But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead. - Mark 15: 11 (ESV)
Operating a discernment ministry leads to openly questioning what mainstream churchianity seems to accept without reservation. I remember a few years back when there was a "spoken word" that went viral regarding everything wrong with religion but right about relationship. It sounded so right. It sounded so pious. Yet when you held it up to the unwavering truth of Scripture you were forced to admit that it was filled with doctrinal chasms and outright unbiblical teachings. I even remember some saying at the time the usual refrain of, "what's the big deal?" What we allow to go viral in our spirit forms our doctrine. It becomes rooted in our beliefs and soon it is our religion, whether we like that word or not. Fast forward to today and the vast majority of purpose driven churches and up and coming pastors routinely embrace this false theology of relationship over religion. Those who discern know that God established the word religion and a great deal of the New Testament is God outlining the parameters of our religion. Relationship on the other hand was human wisdom used by NAR and experiential Christianity to describe their preference for listening to their own wickedly deceitful hearts and claiming it was "hearing from God" because after all, you are in relationship with Him right? The reality is that every human being on this planet is in relationship with God. The only question is the status. He is either your Lord and Savior or He will be your judge and jury.
So we come to a new sermon jam video making the rounds from Pastor Judah Smith. The sermon itself appears to be from a few years back but now it has been crammed into an eight minute jam that is produced for most effectual impact, like the spoken word video discussed earlier. Like that video, it sounds so right. It sounds so pious. But is it? Charles Spurgeon once said that discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is the difference between knowing right from almost right. That is what we are dealing with here again in the Judah Smith sermon jam. It is always helpful when you start by understanding who you are listening to. People often say they listen to someone like Joel Osteen knowing full well he is a heretic. They fail to see the danger in allowing a little leaven into their doctrine. Like Eve before us, we dance with devil and think that there are no consequences but there always are and when we dance, he always leads. Who we choose to associate with makes it easy to discern who it is we are. Judah Smith is an up and coming darling amongst the best known false teaching circuits. He is associated with Carl Lentz, Brian Houston, Steven Furtick, Perry Noble, and Louis Giglio; just to name a few. Some might be asking why this matters but remember, what we allow in as teaching forms our doctrine. If you are constantly sustaining yourself on spoiled rotten meat and rancid milk, it is no wonder that your own teaching ends up spoiled. So let us reason together through the sermon jam and the story of Barabbas, through which we can learn a great deal from God.
"A Love Story // Jesus and Barabbas // Jesus and I. We see the story of Jesus going to the cross, and everything seems to be kind of hand in hand, and there' this one character that seems to interrupt a little. His name is Barabbas. We don't even know much about him, except that he's a murderer, the leader of an insurrection and a rebel. Why he's even mentioned -- sometimes I'm not so sure. It's like 'This is about Jesus going to the cross..' but no, it's a love story." -- Judah Smith