14 June 2012

LifeWay pulls 'Blind Side' Movie from Stores, but What's Still on the Shelves?

The Associated Baptist Press reports:
The Florida Baptist Witness reported June 11 that officials at LifeWay Christian Resources decided to pull the movie, an inspirational film starring Sandra Bullock that tells the true story of a white Christian family that adopted a homeless black teenager who went on to play in the NFL, to avoid controversy at the June 19-20 SBC annual meeting in New Orleans.
The decision came after Rodney Baker, pastor of Hopeful Baptist Church in Lake City, Fla., submitted a resolution to the SBC Resolutions Committee voicing concerns he first raised with LifeWay two years ago. Baker, who got a similar resolution passed at the Florida Baptist Convention last fall, said there is much about the film to be commended, but there is no place in a Christian bookstore for a movie that includes explicit language that includes taking God’s name in vain.
(Source
While this article states that LifeWay, the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, ceased selling the movie in order "to avoid controversy," it is difficult to argue against this decision. A film that makes use of coarse language and blasphemy does not have a place in a "Christian" bookstore. So now it seems that LifeWay stores have a small, empty space on their shelves.

Still, what about the numerous other resources that remain, purport to be Christian, and yet propagate teachings that are contrary to the Word of God? What about those items on the LifeWay shelves that blaspheme God, not by misusing His name, but by mishandling His Scriptures? What about those resources that are damaging the Body of Christ by their false teachings?

(For the purposes of illustration, the following examples are taken from the LifeWay online store.)

First, consider the Bible study series Believing God by Beth Moore. This series, though recorded 10 years ago, is still being sold and promoted by LifeWay. It was in one of the videos for this Bible study series that Beth Moore shared a personal revelation and vision that she claims was given to her by God. In this vision, Moore shares that God showed her the Church "as Jesus sees it." Interestingly, this Church includes the apostate Roman Catholic Church (see transcription below):


to beg to differ with people that are ten times smarter than I am. But I want to say to you I see something different than that. I see God doing something huge in the body of Christ. I do not know why I have had the privilege to get to travel around, see one church after another…one group of believers after another, interdenominationally, all over this country, but I have gotten to see something that I think is huge. 
And I’ll also suggest to you I am not the only one. And tonight I’m going to do my absolute best to illustrate to you something that God showed me out on that back porch. He put a picture…I’ve explained to you before I am a very visual person…so He speaks to me very often of putting a picture in my head. 
And it was as if I was raised up looking down on a community, as I saw the Church in that particular dimension- certainly not all dimensions, not even in many, but in what we will discuss tonight, the church, as Jesus sees it, in a particular dimension.” 
(Source)
Are we to believe that the true Church, "as Jesus sees it," includes a faith that teaches a different Gospel and denies salvation by grace alone through faith alone? This is a direct contradiction of Scripture, it is a form of blasphemy, and yet this product continues to be sold by LifeWay.

Wandering over to the music aisle, it seems that LifeWay sells quite a few albums by the once-popular Christian group, Phillips, Craig & Dean (PCD). Yet, there has been a longstanding controversy surrounding PCD's view of the Trinity, namely their adherence to the heresy of modalism. (For helpful discussion on this topic see this article at Here I Blog and this article by Dr. James White of Alpha & Omega Ministries [AOM]).
Source
PCD issued the following statement some time ago and, to this writer's knowledge, has not rescinded or amended it:
We believe in one God who is eternal in His existence, Triune in His manifestation, being both Father, Son and Holy Ghost AND that He is Sovereign and Absolute in His authority.
Yet, as Dr. James White points out, "this is not the doctrine of the Trinity." Writing for AOM, Eric Nielsen explains,
PCD is willing to use words like “Triune” of God, but only in the sense that God has three different roles that he performs throughout Scripture; three different manifestations. This is a key concept that differentiates PCD’s god from the God of the Bible. Although this god manifests Himself in these three roles of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, these manifestations are not eternal, but temporary. Additionally, there are no relationships of a personal kind between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Source)
While we're on the topic of modalism, LifeWay also stocks several products by "Bishop" T.D. Jakes. Of course, it is argued that Jakes affirmed his belief in the biblical doctrine of the Trinity earlier this year in the Elephant Room 2, but the outcome of that is debatable. Modalistic heresy aside, Jakes is still a prolific preacher of heretical Word Faith teachings.


LifeWay also carries books such as Mark Driscoll's Real Marriage, Heaven is for Real, and books by Sarah Young, including Jesus Calling, wherein Young claims to have written words given to her directly by God.

To be sure, there are many good, theologically sound products also carried by LifeWay. Yet, if they are willing to pull a product off of their shelves due to crude language and blasphemy, perhaps they also ought to consider revisiting some of the other authors and artists they are promoting. 

Vulgarity has no place among Christians, but neither does false teaching. If LifeWay can be commended for removing The Blind Side from its stock, they would be applauded even more if they would cease promoting false teachers and heretics.


FURTHER READING
WF Pastrix Paula White: As Paul is to Timothy, So T.D. Jakes is to Me (Apprising Ministries)
Beth Moore the Mystic (Apprising Ministries)
Beth Moore Recommends 'Jesus Calling' Book Claiming Direct Divine Revelation (Apprising Ministries)
The 'Jesus Calling' Devotional Bible

4 comments:

  1. Good observations. But what happened to the R C Sproul post? Did you pull it? I was going to go back to read it. Or did I just imagine I saw it here last night?

    Thanks and keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Excellent article Ebenz. Blasphemy is Blasphemy.

    Thank you for exposing the Blasphemy of Beth Moore

    One more thing,, I can't believe they pulled the film for "controversy"?? That's the main reason?

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  3. There are a lot of not too wonderful things going on in SBC land these days. It would not surprise me to see this movie returned quietly to their shelves after the convention next week in New Orleans. With the ratio of Biblical authors to greedy authors growing in favor of the greedy ones, I suppose that Lifeway and others sell the off-the-wall stuff to keep the ink from going red. Wonder how that will fly come Judgment Day!

    Next week may be historical as the SBC is reported to be in line to elect Fred Luter as their next president. My brother, Fred Luter, is black and a wonderful preacher of the Word, passionate for his church, and the Bride of Christ. After Katrina flooded his church building and scattered his people-most to Baton Rouge and Houston-Fred would meet with his people one week in BR and the next week in Houston. It took several months for repairs to be completed after the flood. He fed, and cared for his flock like as a faithful pastor should. The emotions of dispair and hopelessness were running high for most that were flooded out of their homes, but the ones that from Fred's church were praising God for His goodness and faithfulness throgh it all. What a wonderful testimony to God and to Fred Luter. Here's hoping that he will be able to stop the plunge of the SBC into further apostasy.

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  4. I'm sorry but the concept of trinity will forever make my head hurt and I've read and studied and asked God for wisdom about it. I have a feeling I could easily be called a heretic for not getting the description of the trinity "correctly" so I just keep my unbelievably feeble understanding of it to myself. I'm open for correction and learning...as much as I can understand of it because alot of times, I feel like I'm reading a Phd dissertation when some people talk about the trinity. I've been reading J.I. Packer's Knowing God and it helped me understand the doctrine of trinity a bit more but I won't be surprised if it's seen as teaching false doctrine somewhere in it. Not trying to be sarcastic but I'm aware we live in days of deep deception.

    ReplyDelete

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