Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. - Ephesians 5: 6-11 (ESV)
Perry Noble has taken pen to paper again and it is so revealing when he does. We get a rare glimpse inside the mind of a false teacher of immense proportions. Someone who markets the Word of God but does not preach it. Someone who makes merchandise of the true sheep of the Lord. Some of you may wonder who he is but he pastors a mega church with 25,000 weekly attendees over multiple campuses. While people like Bill Hybels would equate that to divine success it is actually a confirmation of Scripture:
For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. - 2Timothy 4: 3 (ESV)
Beloved we are living in the end days and when 25,000 people turn out to hear this guy you can rest assured it has nothing to do with God or His Word. It is because they want to be able to go to church and play saved while continuing in their sinful lifestyles. They like the fact that Noble curses from the pulpit and is generally inappropriate. The fact though is that his carnal success has made Noble feel as if he has leadership wisdom he can impart to other up and coming heretics as evidenced by the article found at the link above. Using the premise of the seven deadly sins, Noble lists what he thinks are the seven deadly sins for church leaders. Never mind that Perry starts the article by inferring the original seven deadly sins came from the Bible, which they did not. They came from the sixth century and Pope Gregory "the great." He tried to reduce the list of worst sins down to seven, despite the unbiblical nature of this. Sin is sin to God, period. The effects of this are still felt today as Christians routinely excuse their lesser sins by pointing fingers at other people who are engaged in some deadlier version of sin. That aside, Noble gives us his seven deadly sins for church leaders and within them are insights into how the heretical mind of the false teacher works and secrets from their playbook. Let's examine a few today and expose them for what Noble is really saying.
"Piling on. When a church leader falls and people begin to attack, one of the biggest problems in church world is that Christians seem to feel an obligation to "pile on" when they do not know the whole story ... and in reality the person who fell probably needs more people praying for them than they need another bullet in their back."
Rule number from the false teachers playbook is to protect their own. At least Perry did not pull out the "God's anointed" card. Let's clear up some of the misunderstandings here. When a pastor "falls" it is not an attack upon that pastor to say that they fell or to quote the Bible about it. What Perry and these vision casting leaders of today fail to realize is it is not about them. It is about God first and His sheep second. The preacher is held to a higher standard, not a lower one. The other stereotypical ploy here is to pretend that nobody knows the whole story, so therefore everyone should just shut up. Fifty years ago that might have been true. In the age of the Internet however, the truth is known before the liar can think of a convincing cover story. Take for example the recent fall of mega-church megalomaniac Mark Driscoll. We continue to hear the same asinine reasoning used when defending him. That we do not know the whole story. The reality is that portions we do know about, which are public record, is enough to disqualify him from ministry - period. When you steal over $200,000 in tithe monies to cheat the NY Times bestseller list I am convinced that there is no "other side of the story" that makes it OK. You know how I know that? Because the Bible tells me so. When you steal other people's work by plagiarizing every book you have ever written, there is no other side of the story. When I hear you clearly preaching gleefully about the pile of dead bodies you are leaving in your wake as you hurt the very sheep God entrusted to you, I really don't care if you can craft another side of the story. So it is not piling on or attacking. It is speaking the truth. The truly ironic thing here is that Perry Noble is so clueless he does not see his own hypocrisy within this article. Here is another of his seven deadly sins:
"Using prayer as an excuse for passivity. Many times a church leader can see a problem and realize that a difficult decision or either a tough conversation needs to take place ... but they will "pray about it" rather than participating with the leadership calling God has placed on their lives. "
So in this deadly sin, prayer is nearly mocked as a way to avoid having a tough conversation but in the previous one, the transgressor needs more prayer than they need another bullet in the back, right. The reality here is that the fallen pastor is need of a tough conversation. Right now, the enablers of Mark Driscoll need to have a tough conversation with him about his need to repent and his salvation. Not pretend he is the victim and allow him to reconstitute his ministry. Let's see what else Perry thinks is a deadly sin for church leaders:
"Majoring on the minors. When church leaders refuse to "break bread" with someone else who is a believer but doesn't line up doctrinally with everything they believe, then they do not represent Christ as He commanded us to in John 13:34-35."
The second rule from the false teacher's playbook is that doctrine must be marginalized. If it is not, true doctrine exposes people like Perry Noble for what he is - a wolf preying upon the sheep of God. So people who expect solid doctrine are labeled "religious" or "old school." I expect this from the man who preached from the pulpit that the "jackasses in the church" are those who want to go deeper in the Word. So if you want to learn and grow into the meat and wean off of the milk, you are a jackass according to Pastor Perry Noble. This shaming technique has the extra bonus of ensuring your congregation will not realize when you are mangling the Word of God. Like Noble did here with the verses from John's Gospel:
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." - John 13" 34-35 (NIV)
So according to Noble, these verses mean we should break bread with people who do not line up doctrinally with us? Beloved, if you want a glimpse into how we will move toward the ecumenical dreams of a one world religion that will pave the way for the Antichrist, this is the foundation of it. To twist verses Christ gave us so that we would love our true brothers and sisters into a horrible caricature based on false unity. Do you want to know what God says causes divisions in the church? It is not people who speak the truth about pastors who fall. It isn't people who want to go deeper in the Word. It is caused by people who teach false doctrine:
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. - Romans 16: 17-18 (ESV)
Now I would not expect Perry Noble to understand what those verses in John actually mean. This is the man who just this year actually rewrote the entire Ten Commandments to make them less judgmental. So instead of not having any gods before the real God, Noble rewrote it to say that we don't have to live in disappointment anymore. I kid you not. To be honest it was refreshing to see a false teacher admit to rewriting the Bible for a change. One last glimpse for today: