How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees." Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. -- Matthew 16: 11-12 (ESV)
For those who may not know, Pastor Chris Rosebrough runs a discernment ministry called Pirate Christian Radio. His daily two hour program exposes some of the most heretical and false teachings of our day. He does a full sermon review once per day as well, where he provides commentary as the sermon is reviewed, showing you precisely where and why it is false. As a resource, his show is indispensible for discerning Christians. He shows people how to do the work of a Berean and test everything -- both of which are commendable from a biblical perspective. Unfortunately today most of American Christianity blindly accepts what they hear and the more popular the preacher, the easier people seem to accept their doctrine with no questions asked. There is nothing new under the sun beloved.
But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things. -- 2Corinthians 11: 3-6 (ESV)
The church today shares this problem with the Corinthian Church of Paul's day. Super-apostle? They will line up to hear them speak and go to all of their book signings. Solid biblical preacher? Eh, not so much. In fact they are now labeled boring. Or legalists. Or Pharisees. Enter Carl Lentz's mom. Seriously. Lentz is the heretical pastor from Hillsong NYC who tries so desperately to be hip and relevant to culture that one cannot tell his church apart from the world. He recently appeared on the new age cultists Oprah's "Super Soul Sunday" program. During the 40 minutes he was interviewed Lentz claimed you did not need to be a Christian, which simply means follower of Christ, in order to have a relationship with God. While it is true that technically everyone is in relationship with God, Lentz was simply agreeing with the Universalist beliefs of his host, Winfrey. After his appearance, I did a devotional on the matter and Rosebrough covered it on his program as well. While I tend to fly under the radar, Pastor Chris did not avoid the ire of Pastor Carl's mom:
"@piratechristian God help you all. Leading no one to Jesus"Being Pharisees in an out of the way state/Making no difference in lives SAD"
Chris Rosebrough does not need me to defend him or point out that he actually also pastors a church in North Dakota. Since I am willing to bet money that Kathy Lentz has not been to his church she actually would have no way of knowing that he "leads no one to Christ." Moving past this false witness however the above tweet reveals that it is quite possible she knows less than her heretic son when it comes to Scripture. Because Hillsong NYC and Lentz are so popular it is important for Christians to understand that Kathy Lentz's assertions are as unbiblical as the teachings of her son.
The first point of correction is what Rosebrough routinely calls "playing the Pharisee Card." It is vogue for false teachers to refer to their critics as Pharisees. It sounds derisive. It sounds pious. But when one really understands the Pharisees and their role in the Gospels one must conclude that they simply do not understand the charge they are leveling. Jesus Christ did not rebuke the Pharisees because they sought purity in what is taught. They were rebuked as the key verse today points out because of their false teachings. Here we see Jesus warning His disciples to beware of the teaching of the Pharisees. Let us look at another point of rebuke from our Lord and Savior:
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. -- Matthew 23: 15 (ESV)
The Pharisees had as much zeal as Carl Lentz in spreading his false teachings. They probably had the same sincerity as Carl. It matters not to God. The people at Hillsong NYC put up with a different Gospel readily enough like the Corinthian Church before them. Hillsong International travels across the sea from their Australian headquarters to make proselytes in NYC, Los Angeles, and London but by doing so they make them all twice the sons of hell as they are. This is what Kathy Lentz does not seem to understand. In her purpose driven mind, her son "leads people to Jesus" because he does a faux altar call each week asking who wants to ask Jesus into their hearts before they go out to the club that night. In her seeker friendly theology people like Pastor Rosebrough are Pharisees for insisting on the exact opposite of what Jesus rebuked the real Pharisees for. Remember there are only two choices:
Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. -- Matthew 12: 30 (ESV)
What Kathy Lentz cannot see is that her son is the Pharisee in this conversation. He is the one scattering. He is the one willing to travel the world to preach a different Jesus. A hipster-cool Jesus that is so relevant to your life. He is willing to travel the globe to preach a different gospel. A gospel that has the dressings and trappings of piety without those pesky demands of repentance and bearing one's cross. Nearly as soon as she sent this tweet last week she immediately pulled it down but not before someone captured a screen shot. Too late Pastor Carl's mom. We now know that you know just as little sound theology as your son. I guess the apple does not fall far at all.