But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. - 2Peter 2:2-3 (ESV)
The false teachings of the NAR continue to spur on more and more extreme preaching that is not only wildly unbiblical but radically dangerous. It is one the things that God was warning us about in the key verse above. Beloved, we are living in the end times and time is running out. Any chance the enemy gets to damage the cause of Christ and His gospel means more people will simply remain unsaved on the last day. There is a reason why God implores us to be peaceful, turn the other cheek, and pray for our enemies. The anger, hatred and vitriol spewed by politicians is now being spewed from the pulpit. To make matters worse there is a complex network of enablers. People who simply will not say any word of correction. Maybe there is a milquetoast response but no full throated "that's insane and not the way of Jesus." At the top of the list of enablers is Charisma News, operated by supreme dominionist Steven Strang. As such, there is simply a blind acceptance of bizarre, nonsensical and dangerous teachings, such as the above linked article about Pastor Kent Christmas. This is just another in a long line of destructive heresies that lead to the way of truth being blasphemed. Let us reason once more together.
"The senior pastor of Regeneration Nashville church, Kent Christmas is a passionate preacher, many times controversial in his delivery of the Word of God. He believes that Christians should get serious about the gospel of Jesus Christ in these chaotic times when God has been much maligned and Christianity has become a joke to so many misguided individuals." - Charisma News
Let us be clear. Kent Christmas's level of passion is irrelevant as we see Charisma setting up their excusal. At issue is not his "delivery" of the message but the message itself. There is nothing wrong with Christians getting serious about the gospel but the way we do that is by getting serious about our own walk and the doctrine that we follow. That is NOT what Mr. Christmas is speaking about. He thinks getting serious about the gospel is to be radical politically in furthering dominionism, which is NOT the gospel. It is interesting that Charisma here acknowledges the maligning and blaspheming of the way, but he tries to shovel off the responsibility for that on the heads of the lost, which is biblically absurd. The lost believe the things of God are foolishness to them! How do we think they are going to react to the nonsense that Christmas traffics in?
"Many people, including those in the church, misunderstand his passion for Christians to up their game, especially since he is such an ardent supporter of former President Donald Trump. In a recent sermon, Christmas spoke of radicals in the Islamic faith and the extreme lengths to which they will go to carry out that faith. Some were concerned about the words Christmas chose for his sermon:
"You want to know why the Muslim faith has had its advancements?" asks Christmas. "It's because the Muslims are willing to die for their beliefs. They are willing to strap bombs to their chest and they believe in the afterlife. "God, give us some men and women ... let us get hold of some passion and Spirit and say, 'I will lay down my life for the gospel,'" he adds." - Charisma News
Mr. Christmas needs to be more of an ardent supporter of Jesus Christ than Donald Trump. That aside, again this has nothing to do with his passion unless they are inferring that his passion led him to teach something insanely unbiblical. That is not the case however. Just so we cut through this ridiculous defense, here is the context of what he said:
· Islam has advanced so well because adherents are willing to die for their beliefs
· The specific example given for this was suicide bombers
· The very next word is to pray that Christians would decide to lay their lives down for the gospel.
There is no ambiguity about this. This is a direct and insane call for Christians to strap bombs to themselves to kill people. Who? I guess whoever Kent Christmas in his dominionist dreams are enemies of the gospel. What a lie from the pit of hell. To openly advocate from God's desk to kill the very people who probably need the gospel the most. Does Mr. Christmas even believe in the bible? Does he believe that no one is beyond the redemptive work of the Holy Spirit and Christ's work on the cross? Not Muslims. Not atheists. Not Agnostics. Not Democrats. Not Liberals. Do we even remember where God found us? Would this open call for murder apply to us before God supernaturally worked in us? Do not allow anyone, even Charisma News, to pooh-pooh this away as if it is a matter of how he delivered this biblically insane message. It is the message that is the problem. It is the message of dominionism that is the problem. If the bible says the things of God are foolishness to those who are perishing, why are we so offended when they behave as if the things of God are foolishness! Why do we think they are beneath us? Why do we think they are irredeemable? Why do we now advocate for killing them! How little do we think of God's power, reach and salvation! Dear Lord forgive us!
'Secular media such as Newsweek magazine and the ultra-left organization Right-Wing Watch have been touting Christmas' sermon as a prompt for Christians to follow Muslims and commit suicide for their faith. The Newsweek headline read, "Pro-Trump Pastor Suggests Christians Should Be Suicide Bombers." Following Trump's multiple felony charges, msn.com's headline read, "Conservative Pastor Urges Christians to 'Get Hold of Some Passion' and Die for Their Faith."' - Charisma News
Charisma is busy trying to protect Christmas they do not even see the biblical problem that secular sources believe this is what Christmas' message was conveying. Simple linguistics means we must conclude they are right, but the larger problem is that this is why the way of the truth gets blasphemed. Why would anyone want to listen to a church that so cavalierly suggests that Christians kill other people for their faith? Do we realize how much damage this does to the cause of Jesus Christ? It doesn't matter if the sources are deemed "ultra-left." It only matters that the unsaved have yet another reason to never give God any consideration. This is essentially the problem of idolizing this world rather than working for our true kingdom, heaven. Mercifully, this article concludes.
"The sources of such headlines are clearly non-believers who are biblically illiterate. The apostle Paul's devotion to Christ was such that he was willing to die at any time for the gospel, not to commit suicide or hurt others in the process. This willingness to suffer and die for the cause of Christ has been the hallmark of the church throughout the ages, including among the majority of the apostles who were martyred for their faith. Christmas' enthusiasm for the gospel mirrors that of the apostle Paul, and advocating for "suicide bombings" is a willfully false and misleading interpretation of what he is actually saying." - Charisma News
Well, I am quite biblically literate you arrogant hireling. The point of Paul dying for the gospel meant being martyred, not blowing ourselves up to kill others, which was the exact point Christmas was making. It is only window dressing that Charisma admits now that we should not commit suicide or murder because that is precisely what Kent Christmas said. Do not fall for Charisma's sleight of hand here. Kent Christmas was NOT speaking about being willing to be martyred for our faith. He is the one who used the example of Muslim suicide bombings while lamenting that growth of the Muslim faith. This is not a matter of willfully misinterpreting. It is a matter of simply repeating what Mr. Christmas said. The point is also not what a cesspool like Charisma News thinks but rather what Newsweek thinks! The point is what the lost think! What the mission field thinks! This defense is as equally disgusting as the utterances were. It remains the largest reason why people leave the church or would never consider coming. Mark and avoid Kent Christmas beloved.
Postscript - If Kent Christmas unequivocally recants and apologizes for an absurdly poor sermon illustration that might go a long way to repair the damage. When I say unequivocally, that means I am sorry, that was wrong, I ask for your forgiveness. Without any explanation, excuses, or "buts." Paint me skeptical, but I do not see that coming any time soon.
Reverend Anthony Wade - June 27, 2023