A Very Lonely Path

The Narrow Way - lonely pathA Very Lonely Path for a Genuine Christian

John 21:18-22 Amplified Bible (AMP)

18 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, when you were young you girded yourself [put on your own belt or girdle] and you walked about wherever you pleased to go. But when you grow old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will put a girdle around you and carry you where you do not wish to go.

19 He said this to indicate by what kind of death Peter would glorify God. And after this, He said to him, Follow Me!

20 But Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved, following-the one who also had leaned back on His breast at the supper and had said, Lord, who is it that is going to betray You?

21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, Lord, what about this man?

22 Jesus said to him, If I want him to stay (survive, live) until I come, what is that to you? [What concern is it of yours?] You follow Me!

Desperately Lonely

Have you ever been desperately lonely despite the throng of family, friends, buddies at work and brethren who surround you every day? You do? Well, don’t be too concerned about it because it is standard procedure for all those who want to follow Jesus. “No way José, that’s just not true,” is what you probably may say.” OK, let us take a quick peek at Peter and see whether we can affirm whether following Jesus is the most lonely path there is.

I just love brother Peter. If there ever was a man who drew buckets of living water from the well of truth, or shall I rather say who prodded Jesus – and, may I add, quite unintentionally – to present him and the other disciples with his deeper spiritual truths, it was brother Peter. None of the other disciples were so candidly upfront, outspoken and blunt as he’d been most of his life, and seven and a half times out of ten he managed to put his foot in it. However, it was his foot in it that led him to learn so many precious truths.

Consider for a moment his very brave but very sincere declaration, “Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended” when Jesus told his disciples that “All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.” And all the other disciples seconded their brave brother’s resolve to follow Jesus, even into death. “They must have thought, “Well, if you can do it, brother Peter, so can we.” Helloooo, they must have known more than the God who created everything and knows everything before it even happens.

Or, think about the moment when brother Peter rebuked his Lord and said, “Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee” and Jesus very sternly scolded him with the words, “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” The slightest appreciation for the things of men over and above the things of God disqualifies anyone to follow Jesus. In fact, this very thing of not wanting to feel lonely, rejected, scorned and trampled upon by others is the very thing that prompts Christians to compromise the truth. They will rather set aside God’s truth (his doctrines) and try to find common ground so that their relationship with family, friends and brethren may not falter. The Emergent Church fraternity who boldly call themselves followers of Jesus, are guilty of the relationship paradigm at the expense of truth and sound doctrine.

Neil Livingston, a leader in the Emergent Church said:

The truth of the Bible, like any truth, is not best seen ‘objectively’ . . .  Where then can I find authority that I can be sure of? . . .  As we said before we cannot simply ‘go to the book.’ Truth cannot properly reside as a mere proposition on a paper. Truth lives in persons and relationships.”

In an interview Betsy Hall had with Trevor Hudson on 15 July 2013, he responded in the following way to her question, “How have you seen the Holy Spirit deepen relationships between people?”

I think one of the ways the Spirit deepens relationships is by growing awareness in us of the sacredness of other persons. This leads us into a much greater responsiveness to those around us.

Jesus never said that man’s inherent sacredness should inspire us to respond to peoples’ spiritual needs. It is man’s inherent lost-ness that ought to inspire us to proclaim the Gospel to them so that they may be restored to a right relationship with God and be saved. Jesus did not come to the world to make man aware of his own sacredness. He came to the world to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10).

In the follow-up question, “And where have you seen the Spirit’s work through reconciliation and restoration in South Africa?” he responded as follows.

Trevor Hudson

Trevor Hudson

The Holy Spirit is the Great Includer, always at work widening our little circles to include those we exclude. Wherever I witness this happening in South Africa, I know the Spirit of Christ is powerfully at work. Also when I see people who have been painfully hurt extend friendship and forgiveness to those who hurt them, this for me is a miracle of the Spirit.

Beware of the word “widening” Mr. Trevor Hudson. It reminds too much of the wide gate and the broad way or path. (Matthew 7:13).

Rick Warren of the Purpose “Driven” paradigm said something similar to Trevor Hudson,

. . . You may be Catholic or Protestant or Buddhist or Baptist or Muslim or Mormon or Jewish or Jain, or you have no religion at all. I’m not interested in your religious background. Because God did not create the universe for us to have religion. He came for us to have a relationship with him.”1 (Emphasis added)

If the Holy Spirit is the Great Includer and wants to be in a close relationship with everyone, irrespective of what they believe or worship, then Jesus grievously contradicted the Holy Spirit when He said,

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10:34-38).

The cross is God’s sword. It divides and cuts asunder relationships between holy and unholy, saved and unsaved, godliness and ungodliness and it is then when Christians often feel loneliness, rejection, denunciation and rebuff.

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).

I remember having many friends when I gallivanted with them in just about every worldly entertainment there is. And then, when I was saved and wanted to tell them about the wonderful thing that happened to me – whoosh, they were gone. I was even more disillusioned when the brethren I started to fellowship with, began to turn their backs on me because I warned them against false teachers and their doctrines.

One little group of brethren who asked me to lead them in a Bible study every week, suddenly changed their countenance towards me (Genesis 31:2) when I warned them against preachers like Angus Buchan. – and whoosh, suddenly they were gone. They were very courteous in their approach. They did not ask me to leave but told me they had some other business to attend to first and would invite me back as soon as they’d finished. I am still waiting. Most people want Jesus but not his truth. They want Him to bless them with abundant health, wealth and prosperity but soon turn their back on Him when things go wrong.

Rob Bell says in his book Velvet Elvis, page 167,


Rob Bell

Oftentimes the Christian community has sent the message that we love people and build relationships in order to convert them to the Christian faith. So there is an agenda. And when there is an agenda, it isn’t really love, is it? It’s something else. We have to discover love, period. Love that loves because it is what Jesus teaches us to do. We have to surrender our agendas.

NO, Mr. Rob Bell, loving someone because you want to see them saved, is NOT an agenda because God who is the essence of love and sent His Son to die on a rugged cross to save lost sinners is NOT an agenda. It is pure unadulterated love, period!

If an agenda is not true love then Jesus Christ’s agenda (itinerary) to seek and to save lost sinners when He came to our world is not love (Luke 19:10). Imagine Jesus having had to surrender his agenda because He teaches a love that just loves without presenting lost sinners the truth. It would never have been necessary for Him to die on the cross and hence no one could ever be saved.

Does it mean that saints should never be friendly with unbelievers and “Christians” who proclaim another Gospel? No, of course not. However, as soon as you elevate your relationship with others above God’s Word and his doctrines, you are not only disobeying Him but also doing those whom you may have had an opportunity to win to Christ by proclaiming the Truth to them, a gross disservice. In fact, you are standing in God’s way. A relational gospel which excludes God’s Gospel truth is no gospel at all, or it is at best another gospel of which there is none. (Galatians 1:6-7).

Jesus never compromised his truth in favour of good relationships. He once asked his disciples, “Do you want to go away as well?” when some of his followers abandoned Him because He said something they did not like and offended them (John 6:67). When is mother and his brothers sought to speak to Him while He was preaching to the masses He bluntly chose his Father’s will as a much higher priority over his relationship with his closest of kin and even said, “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” (Matthew 12:50).

Was Jesus being unloving when He said,

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10:37-38).

NO! saith the Emergent Church fraternity. Relationship is the rock of our salvation. It is the “Comm-UNITY of faith, love and hope” that makes us true followers of Jesus Christ.

The wielding of the double-edged sword of God causes division and not a lovey-dovey kind of relationship that never challenges lost sinners to make a decision for or against Christ. Jesus said your own family members will become your enemies when you wield his double-edged Sword of unadulterated truth (Matthew 10:36).

Brother Peter was a slow learner but whatever his Lord taught him he never forgot and followed it to the hilt. When Jesus told him what manner of death he would suffer in obedience to God and in honour of his Name, he turned his eyes upon John, the apostle of love and said, “Lord, what about this man.” Surely, this man who leaned his head on your breast when we ate the Last Supper with you, this man who loves you so dearly, surely he must also be willing to follow you into death as I am willing to do. No, my dear brother and sister in Christ, you cannot expect others to follow Jesus with you. You, like them and all the saints after them, must follow Jesus alone. They cannot follow Jesus with you. Jesus said “You follow Me.”

A very lonely path it may be.

However, when saints keep their eyes fixed on their Savior, Jesus Christ, it is the most glorious path to follow.

Proverbs 18:24 Amplified Bible (AMP)

24 The man of many friends [a friend of all the world] will prove himself a bad friend, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. [His Name is Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God).

1) United Nations, Interfaith Prayer Breakfast, September 2005, transcribed from the audio of Rick Warren’s message available at Lighthouse Trails Research Project, “The New Missiology-Keep Your Own Religion, Just Add Jesus” at http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/newmissiology.htm; below Rick Warren’s quote — “Listen to entire transcript.”

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Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

Tom Lessing is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

31 Responses

  1. Martin Horan says:

    Excellent article. Soundly doctrinal. It’s good to see that DTW is still contending for the faith once delivered [Jude 3]. Just what is needed in this world when so many are blown about by every wind of doctrine. Thank you for keeping up the good work.

  2. YvZ says:

    Agree, excellent article!

  3. RJ says:

    INCREDIBLE article! All glory to the Lord Who inspired you to write this….. this is NEEDED for authentic Christians and it’s most definitely going into my favorites!!

    Our adversary will prowl, growl, and DEVOUR us at all costs! So we must be awake, sober, and very vigilant. We must keep our Spiritual armor ON!

    By the way, it’s been a number of years ago now & thankfully the Lord led us away from that church eventually, but at one time we attended a (very liberal, I’m sorry to say) Baptist Church that was into “relationships” & this was before Rick Warren had even been heard of! Their slogan was “relationships over rules” (rather tells us something as to how they treated God’s doctrine, right?) And lo & behold, it came out later that the pastor/preacher ~ was truly “into relationships” all right! He’d been having “relations” with several ladies from the congregation! ~~ sadly, even with some of the most conservative ones.

    Just think of the young gals (and guys, too) who get into all kinds of blatant sin because they “WANT TO BE LOVED” ~ and so therefore they confuse lust with love!! Happens all the time, the world over.

    I’m going to print out this article to remind myself when I get lonely (yep, experience that lots) that I am to turn to the Lord and may I **NEVER** be a truth-compromiser!! ~ putting people, for whatever reason, ahead of the Lord!!
    per your quote: In fact, this very thing of not wanting to feel lonely, rejected, scorned and trampled upon by others is the very thing that prompts Christians to compromise the truth.

  4. RJ

    Do you know how many Christians there are out there looking for a church to attend? They believe that ‘fellowship’ is so important, more important than staying away from false teaching. They believe they have to be around other so called ‘Christian’ people, they have to attend a church and fellowship come hell or high water. Do they think that fellowshiping with other so called Christians validates that they are Christian? Here is the crux of the matter – you can hide your sin from other people but you can’t hide it from God.

  5. RJ says:

    Deborah: Yes, that’s right! I can only say that God knows my heart & that we attended there in “pure ignorance”. See, back then (25 years ago) though we regularly attended church & even toted a Bible along, yet I never really opened its pages & READ it! Well, no more than just a few verses at a time that the preacher read & preached on. Back then, I didn’t know how to spot false teaching and I was also in ignorance in thinking if a teacher or preacher talked about Jesus… that it was okay and must be the truth.

    ***YIKES!!!*** So in such ignorance, I’d watch little snippets on TBN, (not often, just now & then) oh my word — talk about FALSE teaching!!! Fortunately I couldn’t endure much.

    And yes, started reading the Bible for myself, praying for understanding.

    So fast forward to today and yes, I still have friends who say don’t you feel GUILTY for not going to church? And they will go & purposely sit under horribly Rick Warren false teaching — just so they can feel good about themselves that they “went” to church!! And another friend who will slam me over the head with a 2 by 4 (symbolically of course) and act like I’m heathen because I do not regularly attend or am involved anywhere. It’s like they take ONE verse out (Hebrews 10:25) and make that their only mantra. (My in attendance now is based on a health affliction, which is often misunderstood.)

    Now here’s a Scripture you won’t hear quoted by any Word of Faith preacher who wishes you only health, wealth, success!! “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes.” Psalm 119:71

    This is how I look upon my own thorn in the side.

    Would I love to have oodles of friends and lots of fellowship in my life?? You betcha! (and we will have with our Godly-family reunion in heaven!!) But more than the fellowship & friendship in the here & now, it is more my desire to live honorably and please the Lord. I hope I am up to the task!!

    BTW: 2 last things: love what you said, “Do they think fellowshipping with other so called Christians validates that they are Christian?”

    AND …. as I reread some of this article, I was absolutely blown away by what Neil Livingston said!! My goodness, if he does not think the Bible is SOLID TRUTH, then how can he possibly believe that Jesus is the way, the TRUTH, the life?? Basing it on this one quote, it’d be easy to guess he does not!! And that’s the same as calling Jesus a liar. OUCH!! Wouldn’t want to be in his shoes!
    Neil’s quote: The truth of the Bible, like any truth, is not best seen ‘objectively’ . . . Where then can I find authority that I can be sure of? . . . As we said before we cannot simply ‘go to the book.’ Truth cannot properly reside as a mere proposition on a paper. Truth lives in persons and relationships.”

  6. melody says:

    I had someone tell me that it was better to be in a false church than to be in no church. What??? Are you kidding me. We have been in so many churches that turned out to be false, Alpha, pastor saying that all religions have the same God, pastor preaching on a book other than the bible (blue like jazz) one of the “churches” was the same as going to a rock concert. It was set up like a movie theatre with strobe lights etc. We really would like to find a non denominational church that preaches the Bible and until we do we are staying home.

  7. melody,

    Indeed we are living in the last of the last days and apostasy is rife in ALL the churches.

    Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. (1 Co 16:13)
    For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. (Gal 5:13)
    Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Eph 6:10-11)

  8. melody says:

    Do you go to church? If so which one?

  9. Melody

    Have not found a church in my area to go to. The reason Tom wrote this article is because to be a genuine Christian it’s a VERY LONELY PATH.

  10. Shannon says:


    Now I understand. I posted under general comments about the same thing. There are no more true Bible Believing Churches in my area. The population is around 500000 and not one church that is not the Prosperity Gospel or Seeker etc.I have searched for 3 years now.

    So it is lonely. I have not even found one Christian here who is not caught up in all that…guess I am alone,but we have Jesus and that’s all that matters.

  11. Shannone

    Yip, it’s very lonely Shannon. We are all going through the same thing. I too have searched, and search, there is one Independant Baptist church in my area and I went once, not again. The pastor said something that shocked me to the core and I wont go back.

  12. Shannon says:

    I see the US Supreme Court will soon legalize LGBT marriage nationally. When this happens I am sure the true Pastors in the US will have to go underground at some stage due to persecution and prosecution. Times are changing so fast as I read a Mega church Pastor Tony Campallo now welcomes this into his church and is paving a way for churches in the US to follow suit.

    This just solidifies the fact that we can no longer attend Churches any more. South African churches in all cultures seem to be modelling themselves on the US churches. Just scroll our local TV stations and you will see this.

    I am waking up to the reality now that time is shorter than what I thought.

  13. Rista says:

    Hi Shannon

    I share that loneliness – I live in Wellington which is a very small ‘farm’ town and I have yet to find another person who feels the way I do. I left the Dutch Reformed church about 6 years ago, attended a small home church for a while, realised things were also not ‘kosher’ there and have since been on my own. I see how the young people get introduced to new age and RC practices in their churches and become new agers when they leave their homes and the parents are totally oblivious about what NA actually is. Also do not try and warn them, they tell you that you are TOO. Taking thing TOO far, being TOO judgmental . . . being TOO Christian . . . . so-called LOVE is all they care about. And just be lukewarm so they can all feel comfortable around you. Rather send them to hell feeling loved than to heaven bruised seems to be the general sentiment. Just do not judge the ways they serve God . . . .

    The positive side of all this is that I’ve learned to really study my Bible prayerfully and became very critical about the rubbish dished up by so-called Christian leaders. I used to visit a number of ‘Christian’ sites but have by now excluded most – with time we learn to discern when something is off.

    I guess staying on our knees before the Lord is the only way we’ll get through the falling away we are witnessing without being swept up with the rest? Building our ‘house’ (faith) on Christ our Rock and His Words is the only way to keep ‘standing’ against the wiles of the devil during these times. Just as Jesus warned us.

  14. YvZ says:

    The US government and Hollywood works with a very clear propaganda regarding legalising and normalising LGBT… After all, June is LGBT month in the US. NOTE: A WHOLE MONTH for sodomites!! All churches who are registered under their 501c3 (tax exempt) clause, must adhere to government regulation. So the devils get exactly what they want, it’s a catch 22…

  15. Shannon says:

    Yes YVZ …This think this will divide the real pastors from the wolves as each church is now going to have to make a decision on which side of the fence they stand.

    Hi Rista..I know Wellington well…not far from Bloubergstrand where I live. You are so right in what you say.We have no choice but to study the Word ourselves and pray that the Holy Spirit opens our hearts to the truth.I struggle with getting my father to stop sitting in front of TBN every day even after he lost his daughter to Cancer and all his beliefs were shattered he still does not realize the errors on the Word of Faith teaching. He still believes she died because he did not have enough faith. My mom fortunately knew the truth long before. One cannot believe how much confusion and anger and infighting this brings whilst someone is dying. Those were long painful days and it proves that Jesus was not the final authority in that situation. I still get angry about how they clung onto false teaching whilst the proof was in front of them. This only served to bring false hope and confusion to my dying sister.
    Satan had a field day.

  16. RJ says:

    Shannon, sorry to hear of your family’s pain (caused by shady WOF teaching!!) WOF, as we know of course, stands for Word of Faith (prosperity) teachers…. oh that they would spell it WOLF churches instead!!! Stick the “L” in there & let it stand for something!

    Not ENOUGH faith, huh? Gotta’ “love” that one, right?

    When you feel directed by the Lord on this, ask your father why did Billy Joe Daugherty die? He was a WOF pastor!! Died at only 57 years old of lymphoma cancer! He taught the Name it – claim it dogma. Did HE not have enough faith? (that’s what they would have told a lay person within the church!) Did his family not have enough?

    A baby in the Oral Roberts’ family (to be honest, it’s been so long ago that I need to verify sources) it “may” have been Richard Roberts’ daughter, but if that’s not correct, I will aim to come back here & correct as soon as I can….. anyway, the entire family was praying in the hospital room…. she died anyway. NOT ENOUGH FAITH??

    They can dish it out, but they sure can’t take it.

    Why did “Daddy” Hagin die? He was one of the original sources/teachers of the WOF movement.

    The facts are, these physical bodies “WEAR OUT” ~ thanks to man’s original sin, that was part of the curse. And until we born again Christians are instantly changed into our glorified bodies, then everyone dies at some point…. unless we catch a ride on the rapture express.

    Deborah, are you & Tom married? 🙂 Sorry…. personal question, I just never was for sure. But love the way both of you write fine articles. I couldn’t help thinking of this article just the other day as a matter of fact.

    Being on my lonely journey I thought I’d start a women’s daytime Bible study (just a very small group out of preference) and my goodness, one of my best friends suggested basing it on a prayer book written by Bill Hybels…. now this gal, my friend, is someone who’s in church all the time. And yet sadly, cannot discern false teaching! I told her I believed in biblical separation from such people; she didn’t ask questions. Right now the whole thing’s on hold, but if we proceed, I want it to be based on the Bible alone, not some book!!

    SOOO VERY SOON now — we’ll all be together with our Savior, Lord and God!! NO LONELINESS THERE!!! No “dysfunctional” families either!! Can’t wait! MARANATHA!!

    While traveling, saw a sign: “When the church becomes like the world in everything, the church is no longer needed.”

  17. RJ says:

    Forgive me, this was not altogether fresh in my memory ~ turned out Richard Roberts & wife did not lose a dd to death, but a baby son, “Richard Oral”

    From Wikipedia: “Together Richard and Lindsay had four children. After several miscarriages, their first child, Richard Oral, was born on January 17, 1984. Within hours, complications developed and he died 36 hours after birth.”

    Truly a tragedy! And yet, goes to show/prove that tragedy strikes all of us at some point. Even the “miscarriages” ~ by the twisted way they teach, technically even those shouldn’t have happened. I’m not picking on them personally as people, just wish they’d wake up & GET that what they teach doesn’t make a bit of Biblical sense! The late pastor Adrian Rogers called it the “Joy Boys Club”… as we’re all promised health, wealth, prosperity, increase…..

    I’m SO thankful I got out of the WOF beliefs! Sadly after leaving the liberal Southern Baptist Church, I went head first into loving Joyce Meyer & ilk. Took me a handful of years to wake up.

    Taking this a step further, Joyce Meyer had breast cancer, recall that? Why didn’t she just “speak to it & tell it to go away”?? (THEIR beliefs/teaching!) She had surgery instead. Hmmm!!

    See the oxymoron’s here? Understand the hypocrisy?
    *sigh*…. nods head in disgust….

  18. Hannah says:

    If anyone is interested here is a website of sound biblical teaching. http://www.rejoicetv.org Dr. Joel Mullenix is the pastor they are located in Pensacola Florida. He has spoken against predestination. He called it a desecration of scripture. He has also preached on the reality of hell, the false teachings of the Catholic church and the Word of Faith movement. He has preached on the sin of homosexuality. He teaches the true way to be saved. My husband and I watch him every Sunday night. Thank God there are still some true bible teaching pastors here in the United States!!!

  19. RJ says:

    Hannah, I’m in the U.S., too ~ and I LOVE this church you’re referring to!! (watch on TV as well) Though the preacher has a very monotone voice — wink!~ so quite often I have to force myself to stay awake! {smile!} Yet his content is good. And I especially love the very traditional (and soothing) music…. so beautiful & Lord pleasing, I think! I recently downloaded some of their music & turn it on when I’m needing to be uplifted or lighten the burden of living in Sodom & Gomorrah world. If we lived close to Pensacola, this is the church I’d love to attend. You’ll also notice everyone there, from young to old, is dressed nice in their Sunday best & very conservatively as well. That’s amazing “in this day”!!!
    “HUG” to another U.S. person…

    Yes, the sound biblically teaching churches WORLDWIDE are definitely thin these days!! Definitely the minority.

  20. Maryann says:

    I also watch Rejoice in the Lord!! What state are you in? I am in PA.

  21. I am exactly 13,096 km South East of PA 🙂 lol

  22. Shannon says:

    A bakery owned by professing believers refused to bake a cake for a gay couple. The cake, I believe, was going to be used at their wedding. There was much discussion about this. Let me add my perspective by this narrative.
    A man walks into your bakery and orders a cake. But you have just been informed that tomorrow this man would publicly deny Jesus using foul language. Would you still bake his cake and sell it to him?
    Well Jesus did not bake that man a cake. He washed his feet.

    Posted by Rick Frueh

    I thought that profound.

  23. Shannon

    >> I thought that profound.

    Nope, that is not Jesus Christ washing his feet that is the false Christ. Jesus Christ would have preached the gospel to him that his soul may be saved. This Rick guy is preaching that you must humble yourself and serve your neighbour instead of love your neighbour with the gospel.

    We had a whole lot of feet washing going on here in SA among Emergent’s at one stage and they just loved that the gospel was not being preached, but everyone’s feet were really clean.

    I would sell him his cake that he ordered and preach the gospel to him.

  24. Shannon says:

    Ha Ha I just don”t seem to get it right. I agree I think that part was missing

  25. Mike Evans says:

    Hi Deborah and Thomas,
    I am getting a great deal out of this site. You are doing a very important job. I am in Australia. Earlier this year, God answered a long-standing prayer of mine, ie. “Show me what is of You and what is not of You in my life”. I got saved at 21 after some brief-and terrifying- experiences in the occult thanks to a Philosophy unit I took at Teacher’s college. My Anglican upbringing had not taught me enough to get me born again (some Anglican churches here in Melbourne are evangelical (and unfortunately also charismatic) but most are full of tradition and unbelief). A charismatic friend of my mother’s showed me what I had opened the door to by attending these classes-which presented mysticism in various forms as topics of discussion- however I then joined an AOG church and suffered through horrendous ‘deliverance ministry’ and got ‘spirit-filled’ (but with the WRONG spirit). Seeking help, I went to the USA and supposedly found my answer in the ‘faith message’ and became the first Melbourne-born graduate of ‘Rhema (Heresy) Training Center’, again being led like a lamb to the slaughter. I pastored a church for 17 years teaching these doctrines but basically stayed in various degrees of torment.
    All through these (34) years I was receiving leadings and prophetic utterances-often “confirmed supernaturally”- about a ministry overseas which was always ‘on the horizon’. Earlier this year I stopped praying in tongues and began learning about the extreme charismatic junk going on (Bethel, Sid Roth, the NAR, IHOP) which I’d only heard tidbits about in the past (egs. Toronto, Lakeland). At the same time I re-examined Kenneth Hagin’s purported visions of Jesus and realized he was a false prophet/teacher. Sites such as yours have been EXTREMELY helpful to me. I am still dealing with oppressive spirits but seeing change daily as I now just follow the example of Jesus and say ‘It is written’ with appropriate scriptures. It is difficult to find a church without some error here (I am keeping clear of charismania like it’s the plague)as the most Word-based ones have the taint of Calvinism ( a doctrine I had rejected before reading up on it on sites such as yours).
    I have friends in a horrendous NAR ‘Bethelized’ church (fire tunnels, gold dust, angels etc) and I am only having limited success in helping them to see the error and escape. Ditto with my charismatic/ WOF friends (though some are receptive and were already questioning things, others have rebuked me and walked away). It DOES get lonely at times, however I see myself as extremely blessed of God to now see things as they are and to have been delivered from such horrendous heresy. I never lost my zeal to win the lost with the message of salvation (which is so watered down everywhere I am doubtful that many are truly being saved today) and I wonder sometimes if that ‘preserved me’ through these difficult years and helped me to see the truth when it was shown to me. Have you read an article entitled ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ about the perilous state of the church in Australia? I can provide a link if you’re interested.Long, but excellent.
    You face much persecution for what you are doing. I hope you take that as a compliment from the evil one, who obviously hates what you are exposing. The apostasy seems to be happening at ‘warp speed’ at present. Did you know Rodney Howard Browne has re-surfaced doing an ‘awakening’ convention in Washington DC with all the same kundalini bartending tactics? (with politicians such as Michelle Bachmann in tow). Seeing the NAR, WOFers, Evangelicals and the Roman Catholics all converging into one big mystical train-wreck is quite a sight to behold. I believe your website will help many escape the wrath that is to come upon this blasphemous folly. I believe there are saved and unsaved people ensnared in this labyrinth of deception. Those like me who honestly ask the Lord to show them what is going on will be helped by ministries such as yours.

  26. Hi Mike,

    I am very pleased to hear how the Lord rescued you from all those heretical doctrines you mentioned. What strikes me the most of your testimony is that you went to Jesus and asked Him to show you what was of Him and what not. I know someone who was in a similar situation and also went to the Lord asking Him to show her whether the things she got involved in were of Him or not. It shows you why it is so important to consult Him when you are not sure about things you encounter in churches these days. He is faithful to his word and promises and will always honor your requests if you trust Him to lead you in all truth. My prayer is that God would use you mightily in his service. God bless.


  27. Awesome Mike! Awesome! I am so happy to read a comment like yours! :))

  28. Mike Evans says:

    Thanks for the welcoming responses.
    This is a link to a long but worthwhile article on the state of the church in Australia, in particular the Assembly of God (the denomination I joined after I was first saved- there was a time when they got you saved there before they messed you up- now they tend to skip the salvation part, or lead people to a false salvation experience). The author was saved in the AOG at about the same time I began attending this denomination. Hillsong is an AOG church, though many assume they are a separate denomination. The AOG- now known as the ACC- Australian Christian Churches- embraced the doctrines of the NAR. Thus the appearance of Peter Wagoner at the inaugural travesty, I mean ceremony. NAR “ministers” appear at Hillsong conferences and C3 (formerly known as Christian City Church) conferences. I attended C3’s first church in Melbourne (it originated in Sydney). One reason I left was the worldliness which prevails there: the youth group had social nights at nightclubs (ie. ‘pick-up joints’. Hillsong in NYC has this unholy ambiance) and it was said once in the pulpit: “If Jesus was here today He wouldn’t be spending all his time preaching in churches, He’d be going to bars, cinemas and dancing in nightclubs”. Not the Jesus I worship, but maybe the one they follow. This was back in the late 1980’s. People like the hip pastor Steven Furtick also “minister” for Hillsong and C3 over here. He has an endearing rap song for his critics (“Hey , haters”) which is creepy to put it mildly.
    I was feeling uncomfortable in ACC churches here before the Lord liberated me from charismania. Rock music and watered-down doctrine were my main sources of dismay. Better to maintain a lonely walk and be undefiled from all of this aberrant doctrine and rampant ungodliness.

  29. C. Sten says:

    It’s indeed a very lonely path but stories like this from Mike encourage a lot! If I may make a suggestion: could there be a Testimonies/ Share your story – page here? People could share and read each others stories? It is encouraging to hear how God has led others. I left 7 years ago from these charismaniatic churches, watching Todd Bentley’ s revival 2008 from internet was the last straw for me and my eyes started to open.

    Anyway, thank you Deborah and Tom for taking the time to write these articles!!

  30. Hi C.Sten

    Yes I watched Todd’s fiasco from beginning to ending and prayed that people’s eyes would be opened to the God’s truth and amen, look at you!! But unfortunately there were far more casualties.

    Do you think it would be ok to have this page for the testimonies?

  31. Lonely lady says:

    Hi from ‘Lonely’ here in the UK. Having been ravaged by Berg and the CofG and never the same since, and holding on to Jesus for dear life since (decades now); I find myself alone, never married and no kids (not that I mind now – wouldn’t swap Jesus for anyone or be with anyone unless He says so), but my life has been steadily emptying of people for quite a while now. With a low energy condition, most of my life now (nearly 60) is spent at home, just doing the basics and praying, seeking the Lord and on the internet. I still attend the local C of E where they don’t believe in homosexuality and hold fast to normal marriage, but my spirit is not happy, and I think it will not be long before I pull out of the church system entirely. Truthfully, I am rather confused at the moment, but my eyes are being opened to the true nature of the whole church system and where it is leading. It seems almost as if the Lord is peeling relationships away from me, to the point where I have wondered whether I have been rejected? I feel like I did when I left COG all those years ago and was recovering from all the brainwashing. At the moment I am having to trust God it the dark and hold on to who He is. My heart says get out of the church system, but there are moments when I wonder if I am backsliding. Humanly speaking I feel like an orphan in and out of church, but have decided if I have to relocate and start over to cut ungodly ties, then move I will. Last time I tried I had a church woman turn up on my doorstep and frighten me out of it, so I cancelled the sale. Hmmm interesting. I don’t feel my discernment is that sharp, but it seems that the divide between false religion and the out of the box believers is growing rapidly and we are in the valley of decision. Yes, I am having to count the cost and pay the price of loneliness. I think too another reason it is hard, is because so many have become institutionalised in these organisations which have subtly taken the place of Christ. I feel as if I am going through cult withdrawal all over again, but some days I wonder if I am perhaps still unhealed and over-cautious? When I get mentally exhausted with all of this, I simply lay it at Jesus feet and ask Him to guide me and cast my cares on Him. I now see my spiritual journey which started at 15, led me into the church system and round and round on the church merry go round, hopping from cult to cult, but now I am getting off the merry go round and out into the big wide world, away from the religious ghettos, to hopefully be salt and light, although right now, I don’t feel as if I know much at all. I have been in and out of Dominionism, Restorationism, Replacement Theology, the Toronto fiasco, Lakeland, Word of Faith heresy, and lost most christians I know along the way to the point of wondering if I even am one. In the end we rest on the word and the word alone and the faithfulness of our Saviour.

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