Some Songs By Keith Green


Keith Green

Keith Green

Keith Green was primarily known as a Christian singer & songwriter. He was one of my favorites ‘back in the day’. So I thought it would be fun to share a Youtube playlist of some of his songs with you, enjoy:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL14CA66EBC8ECF411

 

 

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What’s Wrong With The Gospel? By Keith Green – 21 – Conclusion 21 of 21


Keith Green

Keith Green

This is the final post of this article written by Keith Green. I hope and pray you enjoyed reading it as much as I did posting it.  Someone said  ‘If your favorite author isn’t dead, try picking someone else’. I have found that most of the currant Christian authors are shallow and unscriptural.  They seem convinced that for some reason that the Gospel needs to be recreated to make it more meaningful and in the process less demanding. A gospel devoid of repentance and lacking the Cross, is no gospel at all. Consequently their followers exchange any hope of eternal glory with Jesus Christ for a shallow worldly ‘best life now’.  So I offered this series to you as an example of what the true Gospel of Jesus Christ is compared with what is being taught in our churches today. My prayer is that as we ‘meet God in the closet’ that we will be emboldened to stand up and proclaim the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. — D.J.H.

And now we come to the end of this “Bible study.” Yes, that’s just what it has turned out to be. I hope you will take the time to look up each of the Scriptures given, and see for yourself what God has said in His Word about all these things. I realize that these articles will step on many toes, and some might even be deeply offended, but that is not my intention at all. My only prayer is that through this little effort, many will begin to take up the cross and preach the good news of our salvation with the same power and anointing that Jesus promised and gave to the early Church, and that when we ministers stand before Him on that great day, we will be able to say with Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith . . . I have fully preached the Gospel of Christ” (2Ti 4:7; Rom 15:19), so that we may hear those sweet words from our King’s lips, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Mat 25:21)

Beloved family, the world around us is going to hell. Not because of communism, not because of television, not because of drugs, or sex, or alcohol, or the devil himself. It is because of the Church! We are to blame! We alone have the commission, the power, and the truth of God at our constant disposal to deliver sinner after sinner from eternal death. And even though some are willing to go… into the streets, the prisons, foreign lands, or even next door, they are taking a watered-down, distorted version of God’s message which He has not promised to anoint. That is why we are failing. And unless we admit that we are failing, then I’m afraid there is no hope for us or the world around us. We have the choice between causing eternal tragedy for our whole generation, or bringing our beloved God a whole family full of “good and faithful servants.”

Please pray over all of this. God is waiting to meet you in the closet. (Mat 6:6)

The following list is a list of books for further in-depth study on evangelism and the content of the Gospel:
Today’s Gospel by Walter Chantry – The Banner Of Truth Trust
Finney On Revival by Charles G. Finney – Fleming H. Revell Co.
Gems from Tozer by A. W. Tozer – Christian Publications, Inc.
That Incredible Christian by A. W. Tozer – Christin Publications, Inc.

What’s Wrong With The Gospel? By Keith Green – 20 – “The Follow-Up Program” 20 of 21


Keith Green

Keith Green

There is one last great mistake being committed in the name of evangelism. It is rightly called “follow-up.” I say “rightly called” because it is following up the same miserable and incomplete gospel with a miserable, incomplete, and false replacement for what the Bible calls “discipleship.”

Our “follow-up” usually consists of a “packet of literature,” which almost always includes a complete list of all church services and functions. This “packet” also may include many “essential” items like a complete Bible study on “tithing.” Also enclosed is usually at least one tithe envelope. (It’s amazing that this is one “principle” that nearly every new believer learns right away!)

In my studies of the life of Jesus, it has amazed me that He never had “a follow-up program.” It was usually His habit to let people “follow Him up.” He never had to go door to door, looking for that fellow who He healed last week, wanting to share another parable or two. He always seemed to have the attitude of, “If they want life, then they’ll have to come and follow Me.”

Can’t you see what fools we are? We preach a man-made, plastic gospel. We get people to come forward to “the altar” by bringing psychological pressures that have nothing to do with God. We “lead them” in a prayer that they are not yet convinced they need to say. And then to top it all off, we give them “counseling,” telling them it is a sin to doubt that they’re really saved!

(Tomorrow I’ll post the conclusion to the series.)

What’s Wrong With The Gospel? By Keith Green – 19 – Bumper Stickers, and “Christian” Slogans 19 of 21


Keith Green

Keith Green

It pains me to see the beautiful truths of Scripture being plastered about like beer advertisements. Many think it is wise to “get the word out” in this way but, believe that we are really just inoculating the world with bits and pieces of truth – giving them their “gospel shots.” (And we’re making it hard for them to “catch” the real thing!) People become numb to the truth when we splash our gaudy sayings in their eyes at every opportunity. Do you really think this is “opening them up to the Gospel”? Or is it really just another way for us to get smiles, waves, and approval from others in the “born-again club” out in the supermarket parking lot, who blow their horns with glee when they see your “Honk if you love Jesus!” bumper sticker?

What about those “other sayings”? You know, the quasi-biblical ones, like “Please be patient, God isn’t finished with me yet,” which can really be a horrible replacement for “I’m sorry.” (And besides, it puts the blame on the wrong person – “The reason I’m such a creep is because God isn’t finished with me yet.”)

And if you really want to play “Stretch the Bible” there is that other fabulous excuse that absolutely ends all quests or expectations for holiness: “Christians aren’t perfect… just forgiven!” Ah, how convenient. You might just as well say, “Christians aren’t moral, just forgiven!” or what about “Christians aren’t nice, just forgiven!” How about the ultimate? “Christians aren’t saved . . . just forgiven!” (That might be a little too deep.) What we’re saying by this glorious piece of prose is, “Madam, you cannot trust your teenage daughter with my Christian son, you’d better keep your eye on him . . . he’s not safe . . . he’s just forgiven!”

Maybe I’ve gone a little too far to make a point, but I think the world is completely sick to its stomach with our sayings and “witnessing tools.” It’s time for us to be expressing the truth with our lives, and then the whole truth of God with our lips!

(Tomorrow I’ll post the 20’th section)

Who’s A Pharisee?


James Tissot's John and the Pharisees

James Tissot’s John and the Pharisees (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m amazed about how often I hear this word misapplied. This is an especially favorite taunt for people who make extra-biblical or heretical statements  directed against people who have asked for a biblical explanation for what they claim.  Since they’re making claims and statements that don’t line up with what the bible say’s, they can’t tolerate someone exposing them as false prophets. Unable to actually present sound arguments, biblical or otherwise, they resort to ad-hominem attacks against the character of the person they disagree with.

In the Gospels, the Lord Jesus had nothing good to say about Pharisees, often referring to them as vipers, serpents, & hypocrites (see Matt 23:31-33) . It is for this reason that it is used as a taunt, what Christian wants to be identified with these people?

People who teach unbiblical beliefs want to shut sown any hint of criticism.  Since their teachings can’t survive even a brief examination they  become immediately become offensive, often accusing people who question their statements of being a Pharisee. This is a blatant attempt to manipulate and intimidate questioners into silence since there is simply no biblical justification for what they say or do. They try to make it seem that a person using the bible as a basis for judging whether something is of God or not is being ‘legalistic’ and is thus a ‘Pharisee’. They want their hearers to believe that they are only accountable to God and have no need to give an accounting to ‘lesser’ (in their view) people.

That in itself proves their total lack of biblical understanding. This is demonstrated in two ways: 1) Totally corrupting and misstating the definition of a Pharisee to suit themselves. 2) Totally disregarding the commands in scripture for the hearers to verify their claims against scripture.

1) The Pharisees were one of the main Jewish sects during Christ’s earthly ministry. They were noted for their zeal for the Torah – the Law of Moses. The Apostle Paul was himself a Pharisee (see Philippians 3:1-6) before his conversion . They were also known for maintaining an oral tradition – which eventually became written – called the Talmud – A.K.A. The Teachings of Man –  which they regarded as equal in authority to  and sometimes exceeding the Torah’s – A.K.A.: God’s Inspired Infallible Word. 

Look at Matthew 15:1-3 Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.” He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?” Jesus didn’t criticize the Pharisees because they obeyed and followed scripture, but because they didn’t. Pharisees disregard the word of God to promote their own ideas and teachings instead of God’s.

 2)  False prophets however don’t want people comparing what they say to what God says.  But what does the scripture say? When Paul & Silas proclaimed the Gospel in Berea, Acts 17:11 says:  “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.” The Bereans were praised for seeking and finding scriptural verification of what was being proclaimed.  1 John 4:1 Tells us to ‘test the spirits’.  1 Thessalonians 5:20 & 21 tells us not to disregard but to test prophecies and hold on to the good. The only way to do that is to verify what is being taught with what God Himself has already said in the bible because God can’t lie or contradict Himself  (see Numbers 23:19).

You wont go wrong in your Christian walk believing that the Bible has all knowledge necessary for salvation and holiness. A person who thinks that their personal dreams, words, and revelations surpass or override biblical revelation is being foolish and will lead you to hell with them.  Don’t be manipulated and controlled by someone claiming spiritual authority who has become offended with you because you asked them “Where does it say that in the bible?” .

I’ll finish by asking you to consider one thing: If a Pharisee is actually someone who disregards the bible to promote their own teachings; who then is actually the Pharisee, the person who asked for biblical proof, or the guy offended because you did?

The Emperor’s New Clothes


Painting of Andersen, 1836, by Christian Albre...

Image via Wikipedia

We’re all familiar with Hans Christian Andersen’s legendary tale The Emperor’s New Clothes. It’s the story of the vain and self-absorbed ruler who spends all his time and treasure on looking good. Two con-men decide to take advantage of the Emperor’s vanity by convincing him that they can make him a fabulous new suit out of cloth so fine and light that anyone who was unfit for their office or uncommonly stupid would be unable to even see it. The two scoundrels spend hours locked away in a room supposedly sewing the new suit. The curious Emperor sends underlings to check on the progress. The two ‘tailors’  show the new clothes being worked on to the underlings, none of whom want to be called incompetent or uncommonly stupid. All agree that the completed suit is marvelous to look at. Finally the completed new suit is delivered to  the emperor, who puts it on and goes for a stroll so that all of his subjects can admire his glorious new suit. The Emperor’s subjects  realize that it would definitely be politically incorrect to admit being unable to see the new suit so everyone expresses their admiration of the Emperor and his new clothes. Everyone of course except for one little child who exclaimed, “The Emperor’s naked!”.  Everyone else then started shouting out “He’s naked! He’s naked!”. The Emperor finally comprehended that he had been hoodwinked, but he was so full of pride that he could not admit the truth and continued on with the procession.

Many leaders in the American church today are like this vain and foolish emperor in H.C. Andersen’s story. They rule over their congregants with an iron fist, demanding unquestioning loyalty and obedience. They are overly impressed with themselves and the pursuit of their own fame, wealth, and glory. They make wild extravagant claims about themselves and their ‘anointing’. They are experts at whipping the emotions of their hearers into a frenzy. They promise miracles of every kind but very few ever actually occur. “Do you need a miracle in your life?” they scream. “Then just come up to the altar and let Jesus heal your job, your marriage, and your crappy personality!” They’ll pull bible verses out of context and teach their followers that if they repeat the verses often enough – like some pagan incantation – and believe hard enough, then God will fulfill every selfish desire they’ve ever had. Provided of course enough money is ‘sowed into the ministry’. The amazing thing is that when God doesn’t give them what they want, the people hear: “You didn’t have enough faith.” or “You didn’t confess the Word enough.”  or “You didn’t sow enough money ….  to get your ‘miracle”. Do you notice the onus for failure is always on the people, never the preacher or the falsehood of the message he preaches.   The cycle repeats leaving a trail of broken and disheartened people.

Everyone in their circle of influence goes along with what the church emperor says. No one wants to admit that there is no substance or truth to the message and face being labeled spiritually incompetent or uncommonly stupid. But in reality even a little child can see the foolishness and deception being practiced. Indeed anyone who is willing to compare what the bible says versus what the religious emperor says will – like the little child in the story – proclaim “He’s naked! He’s naked!”

In Matthew 18:2,3,4 (ESV) And calling to him (Jesus) a child, he put him in the midst of them 3and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

So do not be taken in by a lot of slick talking. Check what you hear with what God says in the bible. Don’t be fooled into trying to make the bible say what you want it to say. Remember the apostle Paul’s word to the Corinthians – For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power. 1 Corinthians 4:20 (NLT) and 1 Corinthians 2:3 I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. 4And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. 5I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God. 

You see, by the power of  the Holy Spirit a real man of God speaks little but accomplishes much. A false man of God speaks much but accomplishes little.

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do.


The Great White Throne Judgement

Judgement Day

“Well brother, I certainly wouldn’t want to have to be in your shoes on judgement day!” My ‘friend’ – also a leader at our fellowship – said to me. I was stunned. What horrible thing did I do?

My wife and I had attended this church for several years. We were very involved and were in leadership positions. But God told us to leave. We really loved the people and had many friends there; but there were issues that really concerned us that we could no longer ignore and after a lot of prayer and contemplation we left.

What prompted this blog was a conversation I had with a friend who still attends that fellowship. He has noticed that there are some differences with what’s going on there and with what the bible says. So he’s tried going to the pastor there to discuss his concerns.

Now this church is one of those that is run like a corporation. The CEO is too important to be bothered by his members. His time is way too valuable. The leadership there are expected to act as an insulating  layer between the pastor and congregation so that his time isn’t consumed by having to actually pastor. When my wife and I were there we were expected to make hospital visits, which we always were eager to do. We love praying for the sick because from personal experience we know Jesus heals. When the pastor would ask us to call on someone in the hospital we were always instructed to ‘tell them how much my wife and I love them’ – even if  he didn’t know them. I was disturbed by this and so I would always make sure the sick person knew how much Jesus loved them and that the pastor had asked us to visit.

In this church the quickest way to be identified as a troublemaker is to question the pastor about what he says in the pulpit or to express questions about anything being done.  So when problems come up he gets one of his ‘leaders’ to talk to the troublemaker  and try to get them back into line. The leadership spends a great deal of time and effort trying to put down dissent and to make sure that the sheep are obedient. The people are viewed as assets to be used and controlled, not as brothers and sisters to serve.

My young friend has run afoul of this corporate machine because he’s bothered by what is said and done from the pulpit versus what the bible says. The leader was sent to get him back into line and told him that he can obey and be blessed or disobey and be cursed.

I advised him to leave. Nowhere in the bible are we told to be in slavish subservience to men. Nowhere in the bible does God ask us to disregard what he says and do what men say instead. In Acts 4:19 (NLT) it saysBut Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? “. Hebrews 13:17 (NLT) tells us: “Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.”. Narcissistic pastors use this as justification for demanding unquestioning obedience. This was never intended to give the pastor total control and authority over those he is supposed to be serving. When this is used to manipulate and control people into ignoring the scriptures and blindly following the whims of their leaders it is a heinous sin. The Bereans were praised in Acts 17:11: (NLT) “And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.”

If you’re in a church where the word of the pastor is more revered than the word of God, where the name of the pastor is more exalted than the name of Jesus, where the glory of the pastor is more important than the Glory of God, leave. Do not be deceived into accepting a lie instead of embracing the truth. On judgement day you will be found among the blessed if you followed Jesus, damned if you didn’t. It wont be easy leaving a fellowship where all your friends are, it is the hardest thing you’ll ever do. You decide: Is it right for you to obey God? or men?

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