Heresy: an Import/Export Business

“Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” – Jude 3-4

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” – 2 Timothy 4:3-4

The Scripture above is unsettling. What should I do?

As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” – 2 Timothy 4:5

Do you remember the scene from “Jaws” where father and son were sitting at the kitchen table and the son copied the actions of the father? As the old adage goes, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

When we stand for Christ in our community, the neighbors start watching our actions. Testimony is vitally important. Satan is always trying to shoot holes through it- to point out our shortcomings, to give people an excuse not to believe in Christ.

The West has greater responsibility than we realize. As the East develops, it mimics the West. For example, many in Southeast Asia see our actions on media and copy.

We were recently asked if Christmas is celebrated or even acknowledged in Cambodia / Thailand. Even at a Chinese restaurant in America, you might see a Christmas decoration on the wall and wonder why it is still hanging in June. Generally speaking, many associate Christmas with happiness. Happiness is endorsed. And many identify something that comes from the West as cool.

Like many Americans, many Cambodians also do not have a problem agreeing that, “Jesus is good!” People typically do not even rebuttal the deity of Christ. Then again, even the word for the sun comes with “Preah” before it, which means god. Adding Christ to a multitude of other gods who are worshiped is not a problem. Rejection of the gospel comes at the point where we assert that Jesus is the ONE true God and the ONLY way to heaven (the “exclusivity” of Christ).

Imitation of the West is not limited to popular culture. The church of the East also follows the church of the West. The fall of the American church is having a much greater impact than many of us realize. The world is watching. Since the gospel in recent generations came to much of the world through American missionaries, the tendency is to continue to trust / listen-without-filter whatever is broadcast through that same pipeline today. American false teachers, especially those with a large following, are quickly endorsed.

False teachings manufactured in the West are adopted in the younger, quick-to-follow-without-filtering church of the East. Survival of your brothers and sisters overseas depends in part on what you say and do.

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” – Hosea 4:6

Wherever we are, we must be like the Bereans and compare what we are being taught against the inspired Word of God.

“Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” Acts 17:11

Praise the Lord for His Word.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” – Psalm 119:105

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Respect & Authority

Coming into the church broken has not been easy. But going against the Bible’s warnings can incur judgment and delay our growth. The purpose of this video is to share lessons I have learned the hard way to spare you the pain of making the same mistakes:

“Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” 1 Peter 4:19

1) Respect your elders.
Tough… popular culture says no. The Word of God says Yes.

“Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.”
1 Timothy 5:1

2) Submit to authority.

Don’t touch (rebuke) the Lord’s anointed (1 Chronicles 16:22).

Advice to my younger self: Do not sign on to work within a ministry or organization unless you are aligned with the leadership and willing to follow the rules. If you sign on and later realize it was not what you expected, follow the rules as best you can until you are able to move on. Respectfully asking questions is ok.

“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”
Hebrews 13:17

3) Don’t judge.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”
Matthew 7:1-3

4) Don’t envy. (compare yourself to others)

“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Galatians 5:19-21

5) Trust the sovereignty of God.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28

6) The Lord will avenge.

“Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
Romans 12:19

“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Romans 12:19-21

7) Forgive. It’s in your best interest.

“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Matthew 6:14-15

The Lord chastises those He loves. If you have erred similarly, apologize, repent (Matthew 5:24- first make it right with the person, then with the Lord) and move on.

“For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom He receives.”
Hebrews 12:6

What Is Your Gift?

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
1 Peter 4:10‭-‬11