The Low-information Evangelical, Part 2
By Marsha West – BarbWire guest contributor
Appearing in part 1 is the phrase “low-information voter” (LIV) which is oft used by a popular radio talk show host. The host suggests that those who make up this population set are individuals who vote for a candidate or important issue having little or in most cases zero knowledge about either. LIVs are highly opinionated even when they have no idea what they’re talking about.
Also included in part 1 was the following quote from D. Edmund Wright. I appreciate the way he expands on the LIV concept:
But forget low-information voters for just a minute; the malignancy that is really destroying this country is low-information people with high-profile power and/or influence. You know, people who would lobby for, comment on, advocate for, or vote on laws like ObamaCare without any understanding of its real-world impact. Such felonies are then carried out by low-information bureaucratic microbes with the power to destroy lives and businesses with impunity, and a political and talking-head class with the access and sway to codify these common malfeasances. Destruction of private property and liberty – and these two concepts are not divisible – takes place in government cubicles every minute of every day across the country. And why not? (Source)
His thoughts fit nicely with what I’ve come to believe about many leaders in the evangelical community. Specifically, a large number of them are uninformed people with high-profile power and/or influence. The LIVs Wright’s pointing a finger at are liberals. Likewise many of the evangelicals that came to mind for me are liberals but because liberal has a negative connotation they prefer“progressive Christian” or “social justice Christian.” Take your pick. But whichever one you go with has its roots in communism.
So to Christianize the LIV phrase I simply changed “voter” to “evangelical,” thus it became “low-information evangelical” (LIE). I defined the LIE in this way:
Reminiscent of the LIV, the high-profile LIE does not understand the impact that his unorthodox view has on the visible church. When it comes to the Bible, the LIE has opinions on a variety of challenging topics. Even when his opinion is decidedly unbiblical, he presents it as the gospel truth. The LIE’s arguments are often based, not on what God’s Word clearly teaches but instead on esoteric experiences he’s had or what he’s picked up from LIE celebrities.
More on esoteric experiences in a moment.
There’s also a group of evangelicals that fall into the category of undistinguished LIE (ordinary folk). The term I bestowed on them is u-LIE. This group is also uninformed on many things (both Christian and otherwise). They are often biblically illiterate. In part 1 I made this observation:
Sadly, some undistinguished low information evangelicals (u-LIEs) assume that popular pastors, teachers and best-selling authors would never steer them wrong. But nothing could be further from the truth!
Last but not least, I coined the phrase LIE-celebs. These individuals are prominent Christian leaders who are uninformed people with high-profile power and/or influence. Many of them are false teachers who do not speak for God.
LIE-celebs And Their Vain Hopes
God tells us how we are to handle false teachers:
Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.” (Jeremiah 23:16)
We are to pay these folks no mind.
One example of a LIE-celeb is popular women’s Bible teacher Beth Moore. In part 1 I reported on Moore’s claim that she receives personal direct revelation from Almighty God. In other words, God tells her things. According to her, He calls her “baby” and “honey.” I’ll have more to share on this modern day prophetess in a moment.
LIE-celeb Joyce Meyer also claims that she receives extra-biblical revelation or “revelation knowledge” from the Almighty. Both Moore and Meyer’s respective claims clearly deny the sufficiency of Scripture. Equally troubling is that Joyce holds to heretical Word of Faith (WoF) theology. So naturally her students are swallowing the poisonous prosperity health and wealth gospel that does not save anyone. Following is an erroneous assertion made by her:
The Bible can’t even find any way to explain this. Not really. That is why you have got to get it by revelation. There are no words to explain what I am telling you. I have got to just trust God that he is putting it into your spirit like he put it into mine. (Source)
Why do I say this is erroneous? Because it’s not taught in the Bible. She made it up. How do I know this? I searched the scriptures. (Acts 17:10-15) Nowhere does Scripture teach that God’s people are given special “revelation knowledge.”
“The fact that contemporary evangelicals seek ‘fresh’ revelations from God,” says Larry DeBruyn, “indicates that they no longer consider Holy Scripture to be sufficient and authoritative in matters of faith (2 Timothy 3:16).” This seeking is Gnostic and mystic. Harvie Conn, a former missionary in Korea, noted that the “central feature of mystical religion is its belief in special revelation outside the Bible.” Yet if the Bible is no longer considered sufficient, the coming of “new revelations” raises the following conundrum. I repeat it.
“If added revelations repeat what’s in the Bible, they are unnecessary. If new revelations contradict the Word of God, they are heresy. And if they supplement God’s Word, then the new revelations imply Scripture’s insufficiency, and about this Proverbs warns: ‘Add thou not unto his [God’s] words, lest he [God] reprove thee, and thou be found a liar’ (Proverbs 30:6, KJV).” (Source – emphasis added.)
Gnosticism is esoteric mysticism – a desire to “know the unknowable.” One of the obstacles the early church faced was Gnosticism. The Gnostics believed that the masses are not in possession of spiritual knowledge, and only the truly “enlightened” can experience God. The Apostles condemned Gnosticism as a heresy.
But Gnosticism is not the issue; the issue at hand is this: how can one know for certain if Meyer’s so-called revelation came from God? “Is she on par with the apostles who received revelation knowledge from God himself?” asks apologist Matt Slick. He continues:
Or how about the Old Testament prophets? Does she, like them, also receive revelation knowledge from God? If so, how would we know if it were true or not? The answer is simple: we test what she says against Scripture, and it is obvious that she is getting a lot of things from somewhere else that contradict the word of God. (Source)
More On Moore
In part 1 I brought the reader up to speed on Beth Moore’s slide into mysticism and also gave a heads up on her unbiblical teaching and had planned to leave it at that. But then the news came that she made an appearance on Joyce Meyer’s TV show. This is the sort of news Beth fans should be made aware of, so I decided to include a bit about it here. Just before her appearance Beth tweeted:
I have the great privilege of sitting down w/@ Joyce Meyer in her studio today to talk about unity. Pray for Jesus to be so present & pleased.
The unity Meyer and Moore espouse is man centered, not Christ centered.
Scoffers And Bullies And Meanies, Oh My!
So – Beth Moore sitting down for a chat with a WoF heretic is a problem in and of itself. But the reason she gave for appearing on the show was to talk about unity. The obvious question is why would a “solid Bible teacher,” as she is called, choose to unite with a woman who preaches a false gospel? Although their tête-à-tête is troubling it’s not the only concern people have with her. As I pointed out in part 1, she’s been under fire for, among other things, engaging in Christian mysticism, likewise for her acceptance of “charismania” which is odd for someone who’s an SBC Lifeway Bible teacher. Another problem arose when she appeared on Life Today with “Protholic” and big time promoter of ecumenism James Robison and proceeded to advise the audience to tune out the “scoffers”:
We’re going to have people that are honestly going to want to debate and argue with us about awakening and downpours … But there will be scoffers and they will be the far bigger threat, the one within our own brothers and sisters, our own family of God — far, far more demoralizing. And yes, it will come from bullies, and yes, it will come from the mean-spirited.(Source)
Beth’s attempt to shut people up who question her teaching should be concerning to Christian women who read her books and participate in Bible studies she has written.
For those of you who are Joyce Meyer fans, it’s imperative that you wake up to the fact that some of this woman’s teaching is outright heresy. Anyone who continues learning from her is choosing to remain under the teaching of what Jesus referred to in Mat. 7:15 as a ravenous wolf. Listen to John’s warning:
Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works. (2 John 9-11)
Sadly, a growing number of LIE-celebs, likewise u-LIEs, are taking part in the wicked works John spoke of.
We are living in perilous times, brethren. It’s now common place for professing Christians to dabble in mysticism. The result? Many believers boast of having subjective magical mystical experiences such as visions; dreams; impressions; hearing inner voices; experiencing private illumination; and angel visitations. Warning! Christians who engage in esoteric mysticism deny sola Scriptura – the sufficiency of Scripture.
God’s people must come to grips with the fact that historic orthodox Christianity holds to the belief that everything we need to know about our Triune God is contained within the pages of the Bible. (Psalm 119:105)
Stranded In Spiritual Infancy
Following is an observation by apologist and author Bill Muehlenberg from a post entitled Kindergarten Christianity:
We have millions of believers who may have been saved decades ago, but are still acting like spiritual infants. They have not grown much, they have not progressed much in their walk with Christ, and their spiritual condition is rather anaemic and shallow.
They have not become genuine disciples in other words, and they are still stranded in a spiritual infancy. They can’t even handle the deep truths of God as revealed in Scripture. Indeed, many of them hardly even read their Bibles, barely pray, or engage in in-depth fellowship.
No wonder they are still floundering around as babies. They have not moved beyond the nursery. They are all stuck in day care. They are permanent residents of Christian kindergarten. Sadly this is so very widespread today in our churches.
This brings me back to the low information evangelical. As Muehlenberg pointed out, many Christians prefer milk to solid food. (1 Cor 3:1-3) Consequently they’re biblically illiterate…which is the reason for the colossal lack of discernment among Christians. So it should come as no surprise that the worst sort of unbiblical teaching has reared its ugly head in the visible church, thanks largely to diaper-wearing milk-fed u-LIEs who rarely, if ever, go to the Bible to scrutinize someone’s teaching. (1 John 4:1) These same u-LIEs are the ones who put on a pedestal/promote/pay tribute to and finance the lavish lifestyles of LIE-celebs, some of whom are prosperity preaching/health and wealth televangelists. What will it take to get professing Christians to understand that they’re propping up heretics?
Before I close I must also mention that the liberal media seems to think that all Protestants are evangelicals – and that includes WoF heretics such as Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes and Oprah’s pal New Age/New Thought/Emergent guru Rob Bell. Nowadays evangelical is such a broad term that it has lost its meaning. Even Red-letter Christians Tony Campolo and Jim Wallis, who have abandoned the biblical gospel for the “social gospel,” call themselves evangelicals.
Campolo, Wallis, Osteen, Bell, et al. can say they are monarchs and wear a crown if they so desire. But as I’ve said many times, a mouse in the cookie jar is not a cookie.
Beth Moore recommends ‘Jesus Calling’ book—Apprising Ministries
Contemplative Prayer–On Solid Rock Resources
Cults and Heretical Teaching—On Solid Rock Resources
Emergent/Emerging Church—On Solid Rock Resources
New Age/New Thought Spirituality—On Solid Rock Resources
Occult—On Solid Rock Resources
Word of Faith/Televangelists—On Solid Rock Resources
Marsha West is a religious/political writer and owner of EmailBrigade.com. She is also the founder and editor of the Email Brigade News Report, a biweekly news resource for people of faith that is chock-full of critical news and information.
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