Charismania

Dysfunctional Discernment

I realize that since I grew up being reprimanded for reasoning and questioning our family dysfunction,  I learned not to trust my God-given discernment.  My family would even get so mad at me for questioning our family dysfunction that they would tell me I was imagining things.  If that’s not a concoction for cultism I don’t know what is!!  No wonder I went from cult to cult, trying to pass off my discernment as just my imagination!

I remember for years I had to play dumb around my family so they wouldn’t hate me (they’d never call it that of course).  Because my insight threatened our family facade.  But over the years I’ve been able to lean on God more so that their hate no longer hurts (not as much anyway).  I’ve had to just submit to their judgment and hatefulness toward me because I realize I can’t ever earn their love or approval. 

Thankfully I don’t even care anymore about what they think of me.  If I still tried to please people I would no longer be a servant of the Lord.  I’m only concerned now with God’s approval and I know I can’t earn that either.  I look for His grace and mercy instead.  And I also realize that only God can cause my family to love me biblically.  Perhaps God wanted me to be afflicted, so that I would have no choice but to lean on Him.  Besides, He has worked it all out for my good!!  And He gave me the ability to forgive my family!!!

I can truly say with the psalmist David “It is good that I was afflicted, so that I could learn God’s statutes” Psalm 119: 71

Charismania, discernment column, Newspaper Articles

Discernment Column (article 1)

Theological Thoughts

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God”—–. “rightly dividing the word of truth”  2 Tim. 2:15

Theology: the study of God that recognizes all His works as being systematic and orderly, revealing that theology is to the Bible what science is to nature, proving God’s word to be a consistent, harmonious system of Christian belief and practice

We live in a day where theological thoughts are subtly being distracted by a worldly system of non-thought. Our vocabulary is even being dumbed down for the sake of “texting,” or other forms of empty chatter, when God says our conversation is only worthy of the gospel, Phil 1:27. Yet, desensitized by media, opinions, doctrines of men, and legalistic do’s and don’ts, our mind may become passive to the point of just believing whatever we are told, rather than going to God’s word ourselves. In fact, lack of reasoning is why so many are ending up in cults today. “The simple believeth every word; but the prudent man looketh well to his going.” Prov. 14:15

Acts 17: 11-12 tells us of Apostle Paul’s encounter with noble minded Bereans. These men and women were not only ready to receive God’s word, but they also searched the Scriptures daily for themselves, to see if all they were being told was true. Not only does this scenario show us that women are to be involved in theological matters too, but that we all need to “test the spirits” with sound doctrine and discernment to keep from being deceived by “seducing spirits and doctrines of devils,” which are sadly shipwrecking the faith of many today, 1 Tim. 4:1.

The Bereans applied themselves to know the truth, as God was drawing them thru His word and by His grace granting them belief in Jesus, with the Holy Spirit enabling them to respond in faith.

 So dear friend, by God’s grace search the Scriptures daily and ask Him for firm belief in Jesus, so that you too may respond in true faith and repentance. For now is the day of salvation! 

 

freewill vs. Sovereignty of God

Forbidden Fruits of Freewill

Why on earth did God put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden of Eden—-KNOWING they would eat of it???

For one, He already had the plan of salvation in place to cover their sin……ultimately to show the glory of His mercy.  In fact, the whole scenario was all about God’s glory.  Think about it, Adam and Eve learned obedience by the things that they suffered, (an O.T. antitype for what Jesus would do for us).

Jesus died for His people, “learning obedience by the things that He suffered” Heb. 5:8.  Showing that this is how God changes our will so that our conscience is purged from dead works so that we can serve the living God–Heb. 9:14

Only after God covered them w/ animal skins (the first blood sacrifice)—could they then serve God w/ fear and godly reverance.  Their eyes were not only opened to how terrible sin is but opened to the goodness of God, which they may have taken for granted had He not allowed them to choose and to suffer as a result.

Like Adam and Eve, we may think that we want freewill, but realize its freegrace we really want.

As one can see, it wasn’t about how great it was to have a freewill, but one of the main points was God, through this scenario, showing us how thankful we should be that we are not just left to our own devices.  The devil is a liar.  Did they really become like God??—NO—or else they would have created their own planet to inhabit, etc. etc.

That demonic lie in the garden is still w/ us today.  The flesh wants to scream—-freewill—but it is in the fiery furnace of failure that we learn it is really God’s freegrace that we want more than life itself!!

What do you really want?

Just remember that when we follow God, we are automatically going to suffer at the hands and mouths of the wicked, but this is also part of God’s chastening process so that we learn obedience because we are not condemned with the world, but saved out of it.  Heb. ch.12

Phil. 1:29  “For it has been granted to you, not only to believe in Him, but to suffer for His name sake”—–What a gift!!!

freewill vs. Sovereignty of God

Theological Thoughts

We need to remember that when Jesus broke the bread, symbolizing His body, He wasn’t eating His own body w/ His disciples. It was in remembrance of what He was about to do for us. It didn’t contain His actual body as some blashphemously proclaim. Same goes for His blood.

Jesus is the door and He explained what that meant—-that He is the only Way to be reconciled back to the Father.

Baptism also is symbolic, or else the water would be how our sins are actually forgiven, rather than Jesus’ blood shed on the cross. The book of Acts makes it clear over and over again that one could only take action and be baptized if they had already been regenerated and empowered by the Holy Spirit to do so. Any other view leads to believing our works save us, rather than God’s pure grace thru faith in Jesus alone.
All are summonsed to repent and believe, not because all have the ability to do so, but because those who were preordained before time began—-will respond to the universal call of the Gospel, because God has given them the ability to do so. This all glorifies God, reminding us that salvation is of His mercy alone toward those He has chosen to show mercy (Rom.9). And He chose us before we could have had anything to do with it!!! Wow, mind boggling isn’t it!! Praise Him!!!

Newspaper Articles

Pagan Origins Argument

This was a “Dear Editor” letter I wrote for the local paper in order to address a pagan origins argument, but also in hopes of sneaking in a refute toward our local Word of Faith/River cults that are spreading corruption like cancer.  I’m hoping this will inspire others to do the same in their own home towns thru the local newspaper.  Just think of the thousands of people who will read it and possibly come to their senses so that perhaps God will grant them repentance.

Have some fun as you read this and see if you can spot these sneaky little seeds I’ve sown for the Lord.  I know “sneaky” doesn’t sound very godly, but rememeber Jesus said to be wise as a serpent, innocent as a dove. We live in a time where we have to be very clever or else we will never be heard.
Dear Editor,
Since Christmas is just around the corner (another “supposed” pagan holiday), it seems necessary to address the pagan origins argument made by one of your contributors. This is obviously an issue many Christians seem to be struggling with, so perhaps it would help to evaluate whether or not we are still observing certain days in a pagan way, or “doing all that we do unto the Lord?”
God’s Word seems to address this very clearly in Rom. Ch. 14 by simply revealing that faith is the real issue when it comes to disputable matters. For instance, vs. 5 states that “one person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.” Then vs. 6, “He who observes the day observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it.” Verses 22-23 especially address the faith issue. So it seems that what we have here is not an issue of whether or not a certain day has pagan origins (even names of weekdays have pagan origins), but rather an issue of how we are observing certain days and whether our present observance of any holiday is compatible or incompatible with Scripture.
From this biblical perspective, (rather than mere opinions or origins arguments) perhaps a clarifying distinction can be made between a right and a wrong observance of any holiday. And although true Christians realize the importance of a clear conscience toward God, it has been largely ignored that this can only begin by reconciliation w/ God by His free gift of grace, thru faith in His Son Jesus Christ. In fact, there’s no point in addressing any of this unless this truth is first established. Without regeneration and revelation by the Holy Spirit, it doesn’t matter how much one “claims” to have a personal relationship w/ Jesus, how many commandments are kept, how many good works are produced or how well one “follows their heart.” God says in Jer. 17:9 that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, so that only God can change it by granting faith in His Son and the sole authority of His Word, whereby He is exalted and glorified, rather than man and his natural resources.
Judge among yourselves; is God glorified when Jesus is presented as just a model of behavior or a mascot for a religious holiday that’s worshiped only once a year? Does it exalt God when His Son is depicted by false teachers as just another man empowered by the Holy Spirit, rather than God in the flesh? Does it bring God glory when He is misrepresented in any way on any given day?
Unfortunately, one such misrepresentation is when well-meaning Christians call Halloween “Satans Day.” God’s Word makes it clear that He is in complete control and every day belongs to Him. Satan is limited and has no dominion whatsoever, for God has placed Jesus in that position (Eph. 1:21, etc.). In fact, no day is evil in itself, but only “evil” in the sense that some people misuse the days that God gives them, as an occasion for evil. Fortunately, we live in a country free from any mandate to celebrate evil. In retrospect, we are also free from any Scriptural mandate to celebrate any certain holiday if we choose not to. Either way, “This is the day the Lord has made; we can rejoice and be glad in it.” (Ps. 118:24)
So perhaps we just need to examine ourselves to see if we are really in the faith. Are we flying around on a broomstick, trying to superstitiously “speak things into existence” or communicating w/ the dead on Halloween? Or are we handing out Bible tracts, communicating the gospel, showing hospitality to possibly misled children who end up on our doorstep? On Christmas are we running around like chickens w/ our heads cut off, focusing on material things and taking part in unbiblical practices that distort Gods true nature and character? Or are we glorifying the Savior who died once, for all the elect, who is now at the right hand of the Father in heaven—– the One who said “It is finished.”
Sincerely— Lee Anne Ferguson

Newspaper Articles

Occult Invasion

Due to inquiries regarding the concerns addressed in my last article, it seems necessary to first elaborate on what constitutes spiritually dangerous occult practices infiltrating many ministries today, and how these are occurring within prayer and counseling techniques that are subtly invading the local Christian arena.
Naturally, when religions outside of biblical Christianity become integrated into the fold, these occult practices will gradually begin to invade the Church and the local outreach ministries that are funded by compromised churches. Some of these practices include Catholic mysticism, contemplative/soaking prayer, healing rooms, Theophostics, SOZO, transcendental meditation, “Christianized” yoga, Reiki, etc.
Interestingly, the common link within all mystical occult practices is that they all involve techniques that require mental passivity in order to seek “truth,” healing, etc., through sensations, guided imagery, visualization, spirit “encounters,” and other subjective experiences. Some of these practices require human mediators or “seers” that help clients summons “a vision of Jesus” that brings temporary healing, guidance or a “prophetic word.” However, this mystical practice w/ the help of a “mediator,” (medium) is never mentioned in Gods Word as a way to Him or as a way that He draws us near. The Bible makes it clear that we are made near by the blood of Jesus, not by subjective experiences and that Jesus is the only Mediator between God and man. Eternal salvation and deliverance can only be granted by God’s gift of grace, thru faith in the TRUE Jesus, not by works, techniques, legalistic lies, or formulaic, positive confessions.
When mystical experiences are portrayed as having eminence over the revealed Word of God, or are given a “Christian” label w/ twisted Bible verses to provide proof texts for heretical doctrines, it subtly suspends God-given reasoning abilities and removes the tools necessary to “test the spirits.” Such is the case when it is presumptuously assumed that the biblical Jesus as revealed in Scripture, will automatically cooperate with an unbiblical process. Therefore, many “spirit guides” that are summonsed, pose as “Jesus,” which shipwrecks faith in the sufficiency of God’s Word, makes the gospel obsolete and leads clients to such a deep level of deception and delusion that only God can reach them and grant repentance.
Biblical practices, involve sober, mentally active and alert consciousness. According to Gods Word, Christians are to test all things, study His Word in context, be discerning, watchful, prayerful, sober, and vigilant. Even our natural God-given imagination, when used biblically, can be a way to actively express worship and petition to God, NOT as a way to passively hear from God, leading to superstition and creating an idol in the mind or what pagan circles call seeing w/ the “minds eye” or connecting to the “god within.” Therefore, its no surprise that these unbiblical practices require altered states of consciousness, which leaves one open to dangerous supernatural experiences that are assumed to be of God (Col. 2: 8, 18).
Jesus never mentioned Him following us into a regressive, subconscious, trance-like state, thru an “inner healing of memories,” SOZO journey to our past. No, Jesus said to put the hand to the plow and not look back and to go directly to “Our Father who is IN HEAVEN,” through Him, NOT to empty our mind or go within ourselves. Believers are to follow Him, all the way to the Father, not the other way around. He is the Truth, the Way and the Life; no one comes to the Father except thru Him. Imposters climb up another way, (John 10:1) claiming to know the truth, but have no love of the truth, (2 Thess. 2:10) false teachers producing false conversions by using Christian terms w/ an appearance of godliness but denying the power of the gospel by gradually marginalizing, perverting, diluting, negating, contradicting, undermining and undoing any proclamation of it, resulting in Satan snatching the Word from peoples hearts (Luke 8:12).
Some of the damaging results include False Memory Syndrome, which has led to many unnecessary court cases involving “recovered memories.” Ironically, most victims of abuse admit to the fact that “not remembering” isn’t the real issue; the real problem is not being able to forget. Entire families are at serious risk due to the psychological manipulation embedded within these practices. Other devastating results include severe mental and physical illness due to “kundalini” effects that can last months, even years. Locally, this has opened the door for opportunists to “make merchandise” of those whose mental, physical and spiritual health has been damaged by such (2 Pet. 2: 1-3 KJV). The fact that this has come to our area without much resistance shows that local churches haven’t been fully prepared to deal with the spiritual abuse that’s beginning to surface and Gods impending judgment, which His Word says comes to the Church first. Sadly, those in alliance w/ those involved, who ignore the warnings, may be future victims.
In many “Christian” organizations today the gospel is just added to a spiritual smorgasbord as a lukewarm attempt to appease both sides of the fence, a futile effort. When ecumenism portrays all religions as having a “portion of the truth,” it’s like saying they all have a little bit of Jesus (whoever “Jesus” is to them). The pagan Greeks in Acts 17 had this kind of mentality, also described in Rev. 22:15 as those who love and practice a lie. While lying convincingly w/ appeals for love and unity, w/ flattering speech, Jesus’ name is blasphemed by imposters who promise “liberty” but lead into bondage (2Pet. 2:19). Yet the true Shepherd leads those who are His out of darkness (John 10:3). Faithful followers of Jesus are to have no other gods, to have no fellowship w/ their works of darkness, to expose them and those who promote them (Eph. 5:11,1Tim.5: 20), to come out from among them, bear witness to the truth and warn others (2 Tim.4).
Lee Anne——(Former Volunteer counselor at a pregnancy crisis center that was slipping in SOZO)

Charismania

Spirit “Encounters”

My brother, just a few months ago, said that he seen a vision of his old friends praying over him in tongues—– (he has no idea they are in the River church now, I didn’t tell him).  But this is what they do, rather than truly witnessing truth to people.  To them it’s all about the supernatural and their strange spiritual abilities to do “astral travel.”

There was a time at the pregnancy counseling center, during our fundraising chili cook off —that I was in the conference room, being SOZOed—–they wanted to pray that my oldest son would have a “Jesus encounter.”

Because he was involved w/ drugs at the time, they said he had a thing for the supernatural, just like the hippies in the 70’s — “Jesus Movement.”  They wanted to pray that he would have an “encounter” while smoking pot!!  Rather than praying God would deliver him from drugs! Unbelievable.  I’m thankful I didn’t go for that—not even then.

Not that I don’t believe Jesus can do anything—–but does He reveal Himself to us within these unbiblical practices?  No.  I can’t find anywhere in Scripture that would indicate that He has chosen to reveal Himself to us during a mentally passive, mind-altering state.  My brother claimed to have a “Jesus encounter” a few years ago during a pot smoking session where “Jesus” supposedly told him “Love was the answer.”  Typical huh?  Love, love, love—no repentance.

But God’s Word tells us that Jesus is at the right hand of the Father now and has even told us in Matt. 24: 23, “Then if anyone says to you, Look, ‘here is the Christ!’ Or ‘There,’ do not believe it—-and vs. 26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms; do not believe it”—-vs. —27– “For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be”—-and Luke 17: 23 He warns “Do not go after them or follow them.”