Just bear with me a moment. This post is moving away from recovery to address new followers of Christ regarding messages they may hear among the "warring tribes" in Christendom. Please read with an open heart and mind. I would love to say something to steer you clear of the foolish way "leaders" tend to pick seeds off of the strawberries.
Some of these leaders have used the truth, even twisted it, to play an age-old game of "I'm right, and you are the devil." They claim to be protecting you from false doctrines because they are right, having God boxed neatly into their doctrinal truths, how He works, how He thinks, and what He is doing. The truth is, these "protectors" divide the body of Christ, and make a killing doing so.
Paul had a problem dealing with "Judaizers" that infiltrated the early days of the church. According to Paul, they were teaching a different gospel...no gospel at all. In fact, their gospel was to take followers of Christ and make them Jews instead.
"You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ. Let God's curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you." Gal.1:7-8 (NLT)
The grace received from Christ was being distorted by certain Jews telling the new believers they had to follow the law of Moses, including male circumcision, or their faith is false. Paul was broken by this deception. And wrote the Galatians to try and correct them.
Jesus had the same issues with those who Pharisees who were constantly following Him around trying to fix Jesus' doctrines to agree with theirs. Neither Jesus, nor Paul wrote a best selling book to protest these "word cops" opposition to them. They didn't have a website to expose the evil beliefs. But had that been possible in their day, the Pharisees and the Judaizers would have such.
Listening to the "Bible Answer Man" (BAM) on my XM station, a man called in saying he didn't know who was right or how to believe. He said he thought Joel Osteen was a good man, but the BAM says Joel perverts the gospel with his message. BAM even wrote a book in an attempt to "warn" believers how evil Joel, and other ministers are, i.e. Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyers, etc. BAM doesn't see what God sees...not even close. Dividing the family isn't what Jesus prayed for in the garden before His death. The spirit of the Pharisees is alive and well.
Leave Joel alone. I don't know how many have come to Christ under Joel's ministry. If you feel the way BAM does, check your heart. I am not endorsing any ministry, but Christ. I want us as a group to not play into the hands of the enemy, bringing reproach on Jesus, and driving the lost away. I have heard every argument. I found the best approach to questionable ministers is praying for them. Has BAM got to his knees for Osteen? Has he missed a meal or two to seek God's direction regarding him?
I have noticed Joel nor others under attack by their brethren, do not bother responding...cudos. That is how Jesus reacted. They just go forward doing what they feel God wants them to do.
If you want a proper Biblical response go to Acts 5, read what Gameliel, a Pharisee and teacher told the others, determined to kill the disciples spreading the gospel:
"So my advice is, leave these men alone. Let them go. If they are planning and doing these things merely on their own, it will soon be overthrown. But if this is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even find yourself fighting against God." Acts 5:38-39 (NLT)
I don't expect the BAM to even know this post exists. If he did I would have to ask this question: If you want to attack evil, why not write a book about addictions? That is evil personified in our society, but in truth, those books don't sell really well.
Are you tired of the war within the body of Christ? Say what you think, make a comment.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.