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This Week in Sheep Beating

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"7. You determine how many children you will have. One of the original commands God gave humankind was to bear fruit and multiply, which means to have children (Gen. 1:28). Biological children are a heritage from the Lord (Ps. 127:3-5). Having children is one of our primary callings because we partner with God to expand His eternal family; those who cannot have children or called to be single should focus on having spiritual children. With something as important as this, married couples should pray over Genesis 1:28 and ask God how many children He wants them to have; those who determine family planning without God act like functional atheists." -- Joseph Mattera

Wow. I am unsure if I ever heard this theology before. First of all, this instruction was given to Adam and Eve not you and I. In order to make it doctrine, it needs to be confirmed by Scripture and saying children are a heritage of the Lord does not even come close. There appears to be at least two reasons why God said this. First of all -- there were no other human beings on the planet! God wanted to fill the earth so Adam and Eve would need to be fruitful and multiply. Secondly as a tacit encouragement that the activity is divinely permissible and not sin. What solution does Mattera offer? Again this vague pray and hear what God says. I would imagine with our wickedly deceitful hearts that we will "hear" the answer we want. Once again however to scourge the sheep as basically not believing in God because they decide they want two kids seems to border on the spiritually criminal.

"8. You choose to divorce your spouse for unbiblical reasons. I have known of spiritual leaders who glibly divorce their spouses merely because they do not get along. Jesus did not make divorce that easy (Matt. 5:31-32; 19:1-10). Those whose primary plumb line for divorce is happiness break covenant with God and their spouses and act like functional atheists. Of course, if a believer chooses to divorce, the other person in the marriage is not responsible or in bondage (1 Cor. 7:15)." -- Joseph Mattera

Absolutely agree with everything except the foundation. This is a poor choice and a sin but it does not mean you act as if God does not exist. That is a bridge too far. Does Joseph Mattera live a perfect life? Is divorce unpardonable? Moving on:

"9. Your walk with God is based on blessing and convenience. Those who only serve God when it is convenient or only requires a minimal sacrifice live as functional atheists." -- Joseph Mattera

Two points of enhancement, not necessarily disagreement. First of all, I would wonder if they were saved more than if they were atheists. Secondly, the vast majority of purpose driven, seeker-friendly churches preach nothing but blessing and convenience! It seems as if many in leadership expect more from sheep than they do from shepherds.

"10. You live independent of His body. Once we come to Christ, He places us in His body (1 Cor. 12:12-13). Conversely, lone rangers who continually church hop or live without being in covenant or accountability with spiritual leadership live as functional atheists. I have learned through studying the New Testament that I cannot walk out my calling apart from a local church." -- Joseph Mattera

Here are two more popular false teachings from the NAR. The false authority paradigm and the false covenant paradigm. Beloved we are in covenant with God, not a church building. The church is the body of believers, not a physical location. Now, Mattera is correct that we ought to try our best to be part of a local church because the enemy would love to deal with us alone. The problem is that consistent with the rest of this article, Materra's first instinct is to beat the sheep instead of look to the pulpit. There are real reasons why people leave church that have nothing to do with the sheep wanting to live as functional atheists. Any pastor raised up under the purpose driven church is taught to blessedly subtract sheep from their sheepfold if they disagree with "vision." I know personally in my life and have spoken to many other brothers and sisters who simply cannot find a church anymore that is preaching the uncompromised Gospel of Jesus Christ. When faced with a choice of sacrificing doctrine or fellowship -- fellowship must always give way to the preeminence of doctrine.

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
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