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Devotionals

How the Transactional Apostate Church Destroyed the Faith of Michael and Lisa Gungor

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Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. -- 1Corinthians 15:1-2 (ESV)

https://www.charismamag.com/video/39126-lisa-gungor-i-stopped-believing-in-god-after-pastoring-a-megachurch

If one reads the bible with any frequency and has the indwelt Holy Spirit it will soon become evident that we are living through what the bible teaches are the end times. The love of most has grown cold. The birth pains of a groaning planet are coming more frequently. We are witnessing the great falling away, or apostasy. The sad truth is the majority of the people with microphones in one hand and a bible in the other are part of the apostate church. This bastardized version of the body of Christ tries to talk the talk and walk the walk but discernment reveals the truth. This is important to realize beloved because while God makes things easy; man makes them much harder. The cult of personality, mega church, purpose driven mindset has led so many astray to a powerless gospel that cannot save anyone. A watered down, sugared up, prosperity driven, greedy knock-off of the real Gospel. This should not be of any great surprise as the bible speaks in many instances about these matters. In Matthew 7 we see people lined up to stand before Christ at the final judgment only to discover after a lifetime of believing they were serving Him that He actually never knew them. We see the threats that should any man present any other gospel that they should be accursed! We also have the key verses today that remind us that it is entirely possible to believe in vain. To have the appearance of piety and the machinations of religion but for all of it to be useless, vanity.

We write all the time about false teachers and sometimes it becomes a lesson in the abstract instead of being personal. We fail to realize that for every story of false teaching there are countless victims. Sheep who leave the pen, never to return. Goats who think they are sheep, never pursuing salvation again. They are apart from Christ yet united by their singular desire to never set foot in a church again. With this backdrop I present Michael and Lisa Gungor. They lived a storybook Christian life. Michael was a pastor's kid, raised in church. A product of the church just like his wife to be Lisa. She also grew up in church. They met in Bible College. They got a dream Christian job at a mega-church in Michigan where their music ministry began to spread professionally. They won Dove awards and Grammy nominations. They were the toast of the evangelical world. A few years later they were out of church and Michael even became an atheist at one point. He began publicly challenging the veracity of the bible, drawing the ire from the people he once shared the pew with. To this day they remain outside of the faith and Lisa is coming out with a new book, for which she did a promo video linked above. I just want to go through some of it so we can see the damage that heresy has as we examine a true victim of the apostate church.

"In order to be in the tribe you have to conform to it and if you have doubts you are a dangerous person." -- Lisa Gungor

Lisa is 100% correct in this assessment of modern churchianity. Questions are greeted with faithless platitudes within the church. I remember once a man posted on Joel Osteen's page that he was confused why his house was going to be padlocked by the local sheriff in 10 days. He was confused because he said he always did what pastor Joel said, tithed faithfully and yet here it was. The responses from his followers were a vapid mess of word faith heresy. You just have to have faith! Speak the money you need into existence! The cold hard reality is we all fancy ourselves as being filled with faith until our lives demands it and then we find out we have questions. Beloved, there is nothing wrong with having questions. Why does God allow suffering? Why is my house being foreclosed? Why am I struggling? These are opportunities to develop deeper faith and the church squanders them by blaming the questioner. By asserting that they must not have the requisite faith. What is at the heart of this confusion? False teaching! Beloved you must understand that when your gospel is nothing but hearts and rainbows you set people up for confusion on stormy days. If all your worship is centered on man, whether you be a friend of God or the head and not the tail, then you understand less and less about whom God is supposed to be. Think I am overstating? Michael Gungor actually co-wrote Friend of God with Israel Houghton.

"How many of these leaders of mega churches fall because the pressure is too much?" -- Lisa Gungor

That is a very fair question but it misses the point of the real problem. It is not that the job does not have pressures but rather that man has usurped the role of God and that is why he cannot tolerate the pressure. He was never meant to. If you read Acts Chapter Two, you see the design God had for the church. The people studied the Word, held communion and fellowshipped. The leaders were responsible for the vertical growth of the sheep. That's right, the church was built to feed the sheep, not entertain goats. The horizontal growth of the church was the responsibility of God. He sees to how many are added each day, not man. The purpose driven church flips all of this on its ear. Suddenly the church must cater to the unsaved, despite the bible teaching us the things of God are foolishness to them. The pastor is now the vision caster whose job it is moves from growing the sheep to growing the church. He is encouraged to commit the sin of Lucifer and ascend to the throne of the Most High. So is it any wonder that so many fall? They are trying to do God's job!

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4 people are discussing this page, with 6 comments  Post Comment

Anthony Wade

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Please Comment

Submitted on Monday, Nov 5, 2018 at 10:21:13 PM

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Ruth Sali

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This happened to me. Although I was not born and raised in church, the above described is following so much along the lines of what happened to me. I "gave my life to Jesus" in a heretical, charismatic, word of faith, name it claim it- church. As a deeply troubled, mentally unstable, broken and traumatised person that I was, it did not take many months for the church to kick me out as my "faith" did not work, I didn't change, I didn't get freed from my troubles, and I begged for help. To a point that they found me such a nuisance and a troublemaker that they wanted to get rid of me.

So I church shopped for many years, I fell back into my old ways, came back to churchianity, went through and tried all the different heretical approaches. None of them worked.

In the end, I gave up altogether and denounced the Bible and God. And that final decision started my rapid spiralling down into very deep satanic practices and beliefs. I was sucked into all kinds of New Age things, deep, deep, deep...

So sad. I had believed in vain.

But the story does not end there, thanks to be our unspeakably gracious and loving God. In one moment, one night, He ripped my eyes open from my delusions. He directed me to a video that loud and clear preached the pure and unadultered, true Gospel of Christ Jesus. I truly got saved that very moment. I cried over my sins for many weeks. And this all started my journey of the past two years of repentance, deep and indepth study of the true Word of God, with true and very real changes in my life, not the removal of my troubles, not riches and fame, quite the opposite; I was taken to a deep sinking into many kinds of troubles and trials and afflictions. But the true faith in Jesus Christ my Saviour endured all through that. His faithfulness endured and carried me through. And still does.

I am still there, going through so much trouble and trials, deep afflictions, pain and suffering. But in all this I am victorious through Him who strengthens me, not in my own power, not by my might, not by having all that I can ever desire and not by having a smooth and easy life... I am victorious because I have LIFE in Jesus, I have the HOPE of an everlasting life after this short and temporal existence in this fallen and soon to be gone world. I have the TRUTH in the Bible that is the lamp unto my feet, the WAY, directing and guiding me in this treacherous world.

And my prayer for these folks spoken of in this article is that God in His mercy would do just this to them too. It is possible. It is possible to believe in vain, but it is also possible for God to have mercy on people like us gone down that path, and lead us into all truth in Him, into the true Salvation, true Faith, true Hope and everlasting life.

May He keep us on this path. May He shine His light into our dark and sinful hearts. May He have mercy on us now and every day until the end. Blessed be His wonderful Name. Amen.

Submitted on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2018 at 6:23:26 AM

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Anthony Wade

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Reply to Ruth Sali:

Powerful testimony. God is gracious and he is good.

Submitted on Friday, Nov 9, 2018 at 1:25:16 AM

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Diana Nickel

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Yes, Amen. Thank you Lord for this testimony to your Grace and Goodness.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 8, 2018 at 7:09:40 PM

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Reply to Diana Nickel:

Amen!

Submitted on Friday, Nov 9, 2018 at 1:25:34 AM

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whitelily227

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I am raising a child who suffers with autism so I feel a lot of their pain. However, I have trouble with the word "victim". I realized the truth of God's Word concerning my child when I opened my bible. I can testify that God has been faithfully providing so that I can care for my daughter even to the blessing that I don't work and can stay home. I also realized that prosperity and "your best life now" preachings were false when I opened my bible. The biblical illiteracy that plagues many Christians is also due to their own laziness. We must realize that the warnings of false teachers and false doctrines are given to us by Jesus b/c we too are responsible if we are deceived. The wolves will get their due but when we are before God we will have to answer for our gullibility. We have God's Word, His revealed truth to us in front of us so we can search for ourselves. I am not promised healing for my daughter but God promises to never forsake us. But I am no victim. Sin is the reason my daughter is sick. I actually worry that they were never saved to begin with. Let God be true and every man a liar.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 11, 2018 at 1:36:13 PM

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