29 January 2013

Seeker-Driven Pastor Brings Polytheism into the Mainstream

Christianity is, by necessity, a monotheistic religion. The God that Christians worship—the one, true God—tells His own that this is so:
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. (Deut. 6:4)
The idea of polytheism—that there exists in the universe a plurality of gods—has been throughout the ages a concept set forth by pagan religions. In fact, it is because of the pagan, polytheistic beliefs of Israel's Canaanite neighbors that God issues the Shema in Deuteronomy 6:4. This is not the only place in Scripture where God affirms His exclusivity:
To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD is God; there is no other besides him. (Deut. 4:35)
Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. (Isaiah 44:6)
It is shocking to think, then, that the pagan idea of polytheism would ever begin to creep into mainstream evangelicalism. Yet such a transgression recently was committed by John Mark Comer, pastor of Solid Rock Church in Portland, Oregon.

On 13 January 2013, Comer taught a sermon entitled, "Yahweh Elohim" from the text of Exodus 34:6. A few excerpts from this sermon may be heard below:


As is clear from the clip above, Comer states in no uncertain terms his belief that the pagan gods of the Old Testament were actual deities, albeit lesser ones than the Lord. Later in his sermon, he will reference Western Seminary professor Gerry Breshears, who has co-authored multiple books with Mars Hill megapastor Mark Driscoll. The course description of Breshears' online Spiritual Warfare course subsection, 'Biblical Worldview', reads as follows, though beyond this it is not known how such information is presented by Breshears (please see Breshears' comments below):
A biblical worldview describes reality differently than a worldview based on naturalism or eastern religion. Throughout the Bible, we see a conflict between Yahweh and other gods. (Source)
What should one do with these passages of Scripture referring to other 'gods'? Must they necessarily be actual, god-like entities simply because the text acknowledges that people worshiped them? Or can a man be led astray by false gods of his own design?

In the many verses from Psalms that Comer references at the conclusion of this clip, the astute Christian will see that David, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is using poetic language to deny the existence of these pagan gods. As Jeremiah 10:1–16 clearly teaches, these false gods exist merely as dead, worthless statues.

Ancient civilizations, without the revelation of the true God, created their own pantheon of gods as a means of explaining various natural phenomena. Often, the god of the sun was the primary god in the pantheon, just as it was in the ancient Egyptian religion:
The central divinity of Egyptian religion is the sun, and from early times the most important sun god is Re. He is believed to sail his boat under the world each night. Every time, during the journey, he has to defeat an evil spirit, Apophis, before he can reappear. At Thebes, which becomes the capital in about 2000 BC, another god, Amen, is of great importance. In about 1500 BC Amen combines with Re to become Amen-Re, who from then on is effectively the state god of Egypt, identified with the pharaoh. (Source)
The Old Testament Scriptures acknowledge that ancient civilizations bowed down to other gods besides Yahweh, and that is why Yahweh calls His people, Israel, to be set apart from such pagan idolatry and to worship Him alone. As will be demonstrated later, the New Testament also affirms that Christians are to be set apart from their pagan neighbors, and that they too are to worship only the one true God. He is, after all, not merely the greatest of many gods, but the only God.
“You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior. (Isa. 43:10–11)
At the same time, Christianity acknowledges that there are spiritual powers at work in the universe. While God has His armies of angels, so too do many demonic entities exist. This clearly is evidenced in the ministry of Jesus, as He heals many of demonic possession. Yet, beyond these angels who fell along with Satan (Rev. 12:4), are there also multiple gods and other deities at work in the universe? Pastor Comer would have us think so. He also would have us think that Jesus Christ did not hold to a monotheistic worldview:



Based upon Ephesians 6:12, Comer teaches that there not only are evil spiritual powers at work in the world, but that some of these actually may be considered to be 'lesser gods'. As noted above, the Christian would affirm the existence of Satan and his minions. Further, this passage in Ephesians does seem to confirm some sort of ranking within that evil empire. To refer to such beings as gods, as lesser deities, however, is to promulgate a worldview that simply is not consistent with orthodox Christianity.

Yet it is precisely this monotheistic worldview that Comer seeks to shatter. He does so by claiming, as can be heard in the clip above, that Jesus Himself did not adhere to monotheism. Rather, what Comer seems to describe is a sort of monolatry, or henotheism, which is defined as "the worship of one god without denying the existence of other gods."

God's Word, though referring to Satan as 'the god of this world' (2 Cor. 4:4) continually affirms the falseness of pagan gods.
Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see. They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell. They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and they do not make a sound in their throat. Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them. (Psalm 115:4–8)
Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”—yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. (1 Cor. 8:4–6)
In this last verse, the Apostle Paul affirms that, in spite of the worship of various gods and the existence of many idols in the pagan Corinthian world, these gods nevertheless are false. There is, says Paul, only one true God. All others are inventions of man. Might an evil entity perform a supernatural work in the name of these false gods, so as to lead men astray, convincing them of the false god's existence? Most certainly, but this does not make that entity a god, it only confirms that it is a deceptive spirit, and an enemy of the true God.
It is not that there are no imaginary gods, so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords. Some are outright fakes and some are manifestations of demons, but none are truly gods. The so-called gods have a certain type of reality, but not as deity. (John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: 1 Corinthians, [Moody: 1984], 193.)
Jesus Christ affirmed a monotheistic worldview by demonstrating His own deity through His life, death and resurrection.
And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (John 17:3)
He clearly taught His disciples the same truth regarding the exclusivity of God, else they would not have continually taught this in their own writings.
one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Eph. 4:6)
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (1 Tim. 2:5)
Even the demons, the source behind the deception of every false religion, believe that there is only one God.
You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! (Jas. 2:19)
Perhaps it is a bit of divine irony that seeker-driven pastor John Mark Comer has arrived at a different conclusion. And while he obtusely claims to still affirm that Jesus Christ is the only means to God the Father, one cannot help but cringe at his lack of condemnation of one of Satan's greatest triumphs, the development of many false religions and the fashioning of a myriad of false gods designed to lead the masses astray.

This teaching is now present in a seeker-driven, evangelical church. How long might it be before this henotheistic, polytheistic worldview begins to permeate the mainstream? Is the body of Christ prepared to accept polytheism? If not, then the Christian best open his Bible and pray for wisdom, because the Great Deceiver is busy.

*Listen to apologist Chris Rosebrough critique this sermon:



Further Reading
Women Elders: the World vs. the Word
The World's Propitiation
As Interest in Spiritual Directors Grows, Christians Must Be Wary and Armed with Truth

71 comments:

  1. Wow scary, these heretics just moved up a new level in the sense of sounding like reputable preachers of the Word of God.

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  2. There is a thread throughout Scripture, that the personalities of other gods is actually devils, or demons. Not only did Paul speak of this, but so did Moses;

    Leviticus 17:7
    And they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils, after whom they have gone a whoring. This shall be a statute for ever unto them throughout their generations.

    Strapping a bomb on a child, to fight Israel, amounts to sacrificing your child to a devil;

    Psalms 106:37
    Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils,

    and Paul...

    I Corinthians 10:20
    But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

    It's a good article, but I wish you had referenced these verses. It would have made your case that much stronger.

    God bless,

    Dan Knezacek

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    1. Absolutely, Dan, these are great additional Scriptures. The Bible certainly speaks clearly and frequently on the topic. Every blog post can't include everything, but I try my best to cover the basics! That's why I love when my readers chime in here in the comments.

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  3. Hello,

    This gentleman tips his hat at the 2 minute mark in alluding to having a radical change in his view of God by... Greg Boyd. Greg Boyd denies God is fully sovereign. Big red flag there.

    Blessings,
    SPQR

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    1. Definitely. The obvious affinity for Greg Boyd would warrant a whole other blog post!

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    2. I noted that as well re: his changed mind by a book by heretic Boyd. It matters GREATLY what we not only hear but read! By way of exhortation, this is a great article by AW Pink on this very topic about what we read: http://www.gracegems.org/Pink2/take_heed_what_you_read.htm

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  4. Demons, fallen angels, Nephilum!!!!!!!! Not gods!!!

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  5. Gosh, Benz, seems that YHWH used the word 'gods' when He SPOKE to Moses, giving the Commandments.... Exodus 20:3


    New International Version (©1984)
    "You shall have no other gods before me.
    New Living Translation (©2007)
    "You must not have any other god but me.

    English Standard Version (©2001)
    “You shall have no other gods before me.

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    "You shall have no other gods before Me.

    Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
    Do not have other gods besides Me.

    International Standard Version (©2012)
    You are to have no other gods besides me.

    King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
    Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

    GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
    "Never have any other god.

    King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
    You shall have no other gods before me.

    American King James Version
    You shall have no other gods before me.

    American Standard Version
    Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

    Douay-Rheims Bible
    Thou shalt not have strange gods before me.

    Darby Bible Translation
    Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

    English Revised Version
    Thou shalt have none other gods before me.

    Webster's Bible Translation
    Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

    World English Bible
    "You shall have no other gods before me.

    Young's Literal Translation
    'Thou hast no other Gods before Me.

    Just in case you don''t want to actually research the TRUTH about this, here is the original meaning of the word 'gods' from Strong's #430


    Hebrew Transliteration Strong's Definition Origin
    "You shall have יִהְיֶֽה־ yih·yeh- 1961 to fall out, come to pass, become, be a prim. root
    no לֹֽ֣א lo 3808 not a prim. adverb
    other אֲחֵרִ֖֜ים a·che·rim 312 another from achar

    gods אֱלֹהִ֥֨ים e·lo·him 430 God, god pl. of eloah

    before עַל־ al- 5921 upon, above, over from alah
    Me.

    So, if I were to extrapolate from the ideas put forth in this blog, I can trust what you say...certain Christians are false teachers, wolves, heretics...because they believe what GOD HIMSELF said....and then also GOD HIMSELF must be a false teacher, wolf, heretic...

    You err deeply with your public pronouncements and criticisms, while displaying malignant lack of knowlege. This is TRUTH. You are the wolf in sheep's clothing. You will be held accountable for EVERY useless word you speak. Consider this truth, and change what you are doing, repent, while HE will still allow you to.

    kay




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    1. Kay, in scripture the explicit is ALWAYS used to interpret the implicit. Scripture also must be read in context. I haven’t looked at the Strong’s definition with regard to the passage of scripture you cited, however if as you say, Strong’s’ defines the “god” referred to in the passage as a “deity”, so what? Remember people at that time believed that there were many “deities” or “gods”. Scripture goes on to explicitly define what these “other gods” actually are; nothing. God explicitly states He is the only God, there is no other. God also explicitly states that there were no other "gods" before Him nor will there be any after Him. It is important to read the whole of scripture.

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    2. kay, the word of God defines what "gods" means and Erin gave us verses that clearly state that "gods" are not really gods but idols>

      "For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the LORD made the heavens." (1 Chronicles 16:26)


      We Must Always keep in mind that the interpretation of a specific passage must not contradict the total teaching of God's Word on ANY given point. Individual texts do not exist as "isolated fragments", but as parts of a whole.The broader context of any given text is the whole of Scripture. It is when we arrive at what the WHOLE of Scripture says systematically that we properly understand the TRUTH

      When God said in Isaiah 43:10 "Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior. (Isaiah 43:10–11) do you think God was contradicting himself and lying?

      god's=Idols anything a person bows down to, worships and anything a person seeks to give you what only God can give you.

      In the Old Testament over and over it states that gods equaled silver and gold, carved images of wood etc. In Genesis chapter 31 Rachael had stolen "household gods" and was sitting on them. Chron. 16:26, Deut. 28:64, Deut. 32:16, Deut. 4:28 gives us examples of so called "gods".

      For people Money might be their god but we know that it literally is not a deity. For other's fame and popularity might be their god or a car. I've seen people worship many things that to them is their god. But we know it's only an Idol.

      We have to recognize figures of speech such as idioms. When we read a news paper and it says, "the tigers dismembered the gators" do we seriously think that they literally took their limbs apart? No, I hope not. When we read in the bible where Jesus called the Pharisees "snakes" were they literally snakes? No. the same goes with when we interpret Scripture as a whole and know that GOD has spoken and has already told us that there is only ONE GOD and He is God-Isaiah 43:10. So knowing this truth, when the bible speaks of so called "gods" we know it's referring idols and created things.

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    3. NewCenturian,Thank you for the comment and the explanation of the generality of the use of the word "idol" in the Bible. No problem there. My reference is specific, and comes from the very mouth of God. He is not generalizing, or using the word, "idol".
      Linda,
      Thank you for the rousing speech. Read the context, one verse. The passage quoted is Exodus 20:3; context is:
      GOD speaking...YHWH, The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

      "Have no other "gods" before Me."
      The word 'gods" used in Ex 20:3, of The 10Commandments fame, is elohim. Strongs #430.
      The very same word is used in Genesis 1:1...
      "in the beginning...God", this word "GOD" in Gen 1:1 is "elohim"

      The entire point of this blog post is inaccurate and laced with false statements and accusations. GOD HIMSELF said, Have no other "elohims" before Me. God Himself is stating, the obvious---there must be other "gods" that humans can focus on and worship. However, there is only one "I AM". The Covenant God clearly establishes His Presence and identification, in a world full of idolatry, (what people do) and a world full of ungodly spiritual influences, (real "gods" in this world)
      Erin attacks a Pastor, publicly defiling his name. With no reason. THE WORSHIP of other gods, and THE REALITY of other 'gods" are two very different things. Some discernment and a little respect could be used on this blog to prevail as Christ prevails, in love and sincerity. So Erin's argument is not even Biblically accurate. Public spectacle for personal motives. each of you should seriously consider the consequences of jumping on a public bandwagon to defile a Pastor. Jesus calls the Pastor:

      Ephesians 4:11-16(NIV)

      11 So Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
      14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ."

      Repent

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    4. kay, the bible clearly teaches that there is only ONE GOD. Orthodox Christianity has always been Monotheistic. If you truly believe that after GOD has said that HE is the Only God in Isaiah 43:10 that the word "gods" is equivalent to other gods existing simply because it uses elohim then you are equivocating and in error. Simply because elohim is used does not mean it means the same thing as you claim.We have to read each verse in it's CONTEXT. In context "gods" can refer to power, magistrates, angels, rulers, judges.

      Psalm 82 is a great example of using elohim for human judges. It doesn't mean they are/were really another god. It reveals that ALL men, regardless of whether or not they are (called) "gods"-will DIE as "mere men” and so God again establishes the TRUTH that only HE Is GOD. in "context" Jesus ridicules human judges who have the audacity to “THINK” of themselves “AS gods.” God’s message is this..” So you think you are gods, do you? Well the grave will prove you as “mere men”. Jesus is clearly stating there is but ONE GOD in Mark 12:29.

      You are committing the fallacy of equivocation. If I say the same word "house" in 10 different sentences it doesn't mean the same thing in each sentence in its context. we cannot assume that. We have to be very careful and read it in its context. House in one context could mean bizarre, in another it could simply mean pad, in another it could mean apartment, or castle. The same word used.

      Sincerely in Christ, Linda

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  6. If you can have pantheism, then there is no separation from what is God. If everything is God then why did God forbid the worship of the Golden Calf?

    This so called "pastor" is simply opening the door for Jehovah's witnesses, Mormons, Muslims, homosexuals etc. It's All-inclusive (except) for those of us who hold to the ONE True Living God and the Word of God as our final authority. And we are being marginalized and demonized. We will be considered the "bad guys" --those fundamentalist radicals

    Just like Islam is being divided into 2 camps =the radical Islamists-"bad guys"-you know those who hold true to their teachings/ and those Muslims who are the "good guys" who don't go around harming people. Actually both are false. But the world doesn't see it like this. It's a false dichotomy

    John 17:3 "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."

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  7. Found this and thought it was very clear:

    Isa 41:21 "Present your case," the LORD says. "Bring forward your strong arguments," The King of Jacob says.
    Isa 41:22 Let them bring forth and declare to us what is going to take place; As for the former events, declare what they were, That we may consider them and know their outcome. Or announce to us what is coming;
    Isa 41:23 Declare the things that are going to come afterward, That we may know that you are gods; Indeed, do good or evil, that we may anxiously look about us and fear together.
    Isa 41:24 Behold, you are of no account, And your work amounts to nothing; He who chooses you is an abomination.

    and 1Kings 18 where Elijah proves the impotence of Baal in the "test" of Baal vs. God.

    I think ultimately this young gun pastor has no clue about the thrice holiness of God, b/c demons and angels are mere created beings and are not even close to how Holy Holy Holy He is and none of them have any of HIS attributes. To say there are lesser gods in some sort of pecking order is to show his brilliant ignorance of the Scriptures and of God Himself. He is a shameful young man who speaks of things he has no clue about.

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  8. I been listening to fighting for the faith for some time; this is rather disturbing that it literally in my neighborhood. One "campus' is not even 4 miles from where I live.

    Then again why the multi site? I see this as unnecessary. Should they be local churches in the first place. I wonder should try to visit them; not that I should unless Chris need a first hand account.

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  9. This seems to be a argument of semantics. I don't believe this pastor is saying that Yahweh exists in a pantheon of other Gods like Zeus or Jupiter. I think we can all agree that the Bible teaches about the reality of spiritual beings in the universe. Elohim is not as much God's "name" (which is Yahweh) as it is God's genre. While "elohim" is used in Scripture in the singular form to speak of the true God, the same word is also used to describe false gods, angels, etc.

    We know from Daniel 10 that Michael strived against another being of the same kind that seemed to have dominion over a certain area. Paul tells us in 1 Cor. that although an idol is nothing, there are real spiritual beings behind them that people are worshipping when they make their sacrifices. We also know that we're to test the spirits (1 John 4:1) and that false signs and wonders from these spiritual sources exists (Rev. 16:14). Therefore, we could all agree that behind many false religions are real spiritual beings trying to set themselves up to be worshipped as gods and are in rebellion against the true God of the Bible.

    I think the crux of this pastor's argument isn't anywhere near "choose a god from the lineup" as much as it is the one true God saying "I am the one true God, don't worship these shoddy imitators." The Bible itself uses the term false gods to describe these. God himself tells us not to worship false gods! But I believe this doesn't mean merely worshipping an empty trinket, but also the force behind that "trinket" as we saw in 1 Cor.

    Like I said, it sounds like we're saying the same thing. We all affirm there are real spiritual beings at war with and in rebellion against God. We all affirm that Yahweh is the one true God and trounces, without contest, the little gnat false gods. Spinning this into an argument about polytheistic beliefs seems to be needlessly splitting hairs.

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    1. imbrex,

      Comer flatly denies monotheism. It's in the second video if you missed it. He says that the others are actual deities - not merely 'false gods' — In fact, Comer refutes Christianity's stance that these gods are nothing more than false gods, idols, of man's own design. Yet there is only one Deity, and that is the Lord God.

      This is not the same thing. At all. John Mark Comer is teaching heresy.

      “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior. (Isa. 43:10–11)

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    2. Thanks for your reply and for keeping conversation honest and civil, EBenz! :) Discussions like these can often erupt and go way off topic, especially in the wild world of the Internet.

      Comer, as I mentioned earlier, is stating that there are other spiritual beings and powers that exist. This isn't a typical polytheistic worldview where all gods are cut from the same cloth and on the same level (as in the Greek pantheon). False gods are not the same as non-existant Gods. As noted earlier in the passage from 1 Cor. 10:20, the idols are real (yet powerless), but there are real spiritual beings "behind" them that people are sacrificing to.

      If anything this is closer to a henotheist worldview than polytheism. BUT, this is not henotheism as that denotes zeroing in to worship one god from a polytheistic lineup. Creational monotheism notes that while there are a multiplicity of gods (or elohim/spiritual beings) there is only one Creator God who is in a unique class all his own. He alone is eternal, creator, savior, omnipotent, and without equal. The other false gods are created beings that, although real (Dan. 10:20; 1 Cor. 10:20), can't hope to hold a candle to him.

      In regards to the Isaiah 43 passage, Isaiah is using hyperbolic language to point out that God is awesome and in a unique class all his own. In chapters earlier than your reference, Isaiah mentions nations and enemies (Isa 40:17, and 41:12) being as nothing as well. This doesn't mean that nations or enemies don't exist, it means in the face of Yahweh they are as nothing. This was coming from a time when Israel was chasing after the worship of idols. Both Isaiah and Jeremiah use this language to show the impotence of the false gods and the supreme difference and totality of the one true God. Although real beings, they are in no way equal (or even close to being equal) to Yahweh.

      As I mentioned above, this isn't the same as saying there are other gods that Yahweh is rubbing shoulders with and he hopes you select him from a lineup. This is saying that there are powerful spiritual beings that people are wrongly worshipping as gods, but that they are nowhere close to being in the same strata as the one true God.

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    3. Polytheism, by definition, is a belief in multiple gods. So anyone who believes in a multiplicity of gods is a polytheist. It doesn't matter what term you (or Comer) use to qualify it.

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    4. Polytheism: belief and or WORSHIP of multiple gods.
      Your straw-man argument against this Pasor is wrong, immature, disrespectful and Biblically illiterate, you randomly accuse him of multiple-god worship, which is no where present in his sermon.
      Have you no good gift to bring to The Body of Christ?
      kay

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    5. Let's look further at the scripture you're offering here:

      Daniel 10:20 refers to the 'prince of Persia' and the 'prince of Greece.' There is nothing in this passage to indicate that these are deities or 'lesser gods.' Demons, powerful fallen angels? Most definitely. Gods? No.

      1 Cor. 10:20 says that the pagans are sacrificing to demons, not 'lesser gods'.

      Comer clearly distinguishes between demons and these so-called 'lesser gods' in his sermon—he does not believe them to be the same.

      Isa. 40:17 and Isa. 41:12 read as follows (emphasis mine):

      All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness. (Isaiah 40:17)

      You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all. (Isaiah 41:12)

      This is not the same language as Isa. 43:10–11 at all:

      “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior. (Isa. 43:10–11)

      The two verses you reference are using metaphor. The nations are as nothing; enemies shall be as nothing. But in Isaiah 43, God clearly states, "Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior."

      That is an emphatic, factual statement. To liken it to Isa. 40:17 and Isa. 41:12 is to make an inaccurate comparison.

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    6. Kay,

      Nowhere have I accused this man of worshiping multiple gods. I have demonstrated that he erroneously is teaching the existence of multiple gods, when God's Word clearly tells us that He is the only God.

      Have you no good gift to bring to The Body of Christ?

      Obviously you think I do not, and that's okay. I do not answer to you. Ultimately, you take issue with the clear Word of God and His declarations that He is the only God. Not the greatest of many gods, but the only God. I suggest you take up your arguments with Him.

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    7. erin, of course you accuse him, re-read the very title of your blog, and every scathing ill-breathed word in it.
      yet, you dodge and weave, neglecting to go to the one scripture given you:
      Exodus 20:3 God is speaking. HE, The GOD of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, says "no other 'gods' before Me"

      "ELOHIMS"

      All I have to say is, you err deeply and unapologetically, for which you will account, yes, Before God Almighty, The One Tue God, and you will shudder when you realize the depth of your deception and delusion.


      Hebrews 12:25
      See to it that you do not refuse Him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused Him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from Him who warns us from heaven? 26 At that time His voice shook the earth, but now He has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”[e] 27 The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.

      28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”[f]

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    8. Kay, you did not leave your name, but since your comments continue to exhibit the same lack of civility, I assume the above comment is yours.

      Is it just me or are we talking past each other? Or perhaps you're having difficulty understanding that I did not accuse Comer of worshiping multiple gods, as you accuse me of doing. What I have done is demonstrated that he is teaching the notion of polytheism—a concept that is condemned quite clearly in Scripture.

      I'm really not sure what is so difficult to understand about Exodus 20:2-3.

      I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me.

      YHWH is the one true God. The only God. All other gods, though treated as deity, do not exist, they are false. Nevertheless, because the Israelites were surrounded by polytheistic people (a people who thought they were worshiping multiple gods but in reality were worshiping worthless idols), the Lord knew Israel would be swayed into worshiping false gods, thus His command to them to worship only Him.

      Just because a person thinks he is worshiping something as a god does not make that thing a god, an actual 'lesser deity.' I can bow down and worship my coffee table, recognizing it as one of these so-called gods that you seem to think exists. That does not make it a god. I can start worshiping the invisible god called Saltine, god of sodium chloride, yet that does not mean that it is real.

      These are ridiculous examples, but hopefully they make the point. Satan and his demons have never ceased to deceive. They are indeed very real and very active. But they are not gods.

      If you are content to deny the biblical teaching of monotheism, that God is the only God who ever has or ever will exist, there obviously is little I can do to persuade you otherwise. Only the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit can illuminate for a man God's truth.

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  10. What struck me most deeply about this sermon, aside from the rank heresy it offers, is HOW subtle satan is. I listened to both of your videos and most of the two hour lesson about it from F4F. The preacher used the scriptures so well and so slyly to make his case! He sounds reasonable, there were a wealth of verses to support his claims, and even the most well-grounded person might leave his sermon scratching his head and going "huh, might make sense".

    It's clear that Comer was teaching polytheism, so there is no need even to parse that. The take-away for me from your piece and Chris's is a lesson in subtlety in how to scripture twist successfully.

    Chris said that he called the church and they apparently have about 7000 who "attend" at at least three different campuses. When I heard that, my heart fainted. That is a lot of people who are being deceived. It always makes me mourn when I hear of massive deception and people at imminent risk of apostasy. And now it is online for more people to be deceived by.

    Thank you for consistently offering lessons for the people to come to and learn how and why a particular sermon or doctrine is false. I know that the Holy Spirit undoubtedly leads many here to learn about truth.

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  11. Erin,
    Gerry Breshears is also an unapologetic defender of The Shack.

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    1. Just for fairness sake, I am not an unapologetic defender of the Shack. I published a review of the book in Christian News Northwest where I appreciated and critiqued the book.

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  12. I have a question: WHY is Comer preaching multiple gods? WHAT IS THE POINT, unless it's as simple a fact that he is deceived. What is to gain by teaching this?

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    1. The Great Deceiver loves to distort God's Word and undermine its authority. "Did God actually say...?" (Gen 3:1)

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    2. Because he wants to make the point there are other spiritual powers at work in the universe, and they are present and real. Call them demons, call them gods, the point is there is more than just one spiritual entity. That is a very good point to emphasize in this universality culture in Portland OR, where people tend to believe everyone religion is equally good cause in the end it leads them to one and the same Spiritual Being out there.

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  13. Good discussion. Of course the first of the 10 commandments does say "you shall have no other gods before me." the questions is what are these "gods." They are NOT YHWH, the all powerful eternal, gracious creator. they are fallen angels who pretend to be what they are not, and deceive many into worshipping them. So Vishnu or Kali or Shiva of Hinduism are such "gods" and deceive many leading them to hell. In God's good grace the second person of the Trinity has come to earth to live, die for our sins, resurrected to new life as our Messiah, Savior and Lord (Acts 2:22-36). He is the only one who can give freedom from the worship of demons so that people through the power of the Spirit can get freedom from the tyranny of the false gods which Exodus 20:3 warns us about.

    This is not polytheism of course. That would say all gods are more or less equal, the denial of the one all Creator, Lord and Savior. the demons who pretend to be God are only that: demons. They are false in that they are not God (Deut. 32:17 or 1 Cor. 10:20 for example) but they are real personal beings, demons.

    All praise be to Jesus our lord and savior.

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Gerry, and for sharing your input.

      The demons who pretend to be God are only that: demons. They are false in that they are not God (Deut. 32:17 or 1 Cor. 10:20 for example) but they are real personal beings, demons.

      Agree. The concern of many here was the teaching of the pastor above that the little 'g' gods are distinctly separate from demons; that they are 'lesser gods' i.e., lesser deities in a sense. Scripture is quite clear that these are the deceptive work of demons but I fear the wandering into henotheism in this pastor's teaching will prove detrimental. A rejection of monotheism is a rejection of God's clear revelation of Himself in His Word.

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    2. John Mark is neither teaching polytheism (there are many gods all of which are more or less equal in nature) or henotheism (I worship my god but allow that there may be other gods worthy of worship), but creational monotheism which says there is only one God who created other spiritual beings -- angels -- some of whom rebelled against God and try to hurt Him by getting His image bearers to worship them by pretending to be God, which they are not.

      I don't think John Mar said that the gods are distinctly different than demons though it is common for Bible to speak of gods as higher level angels (e.g. Ba'al of the Canaanites or Molech of the Ammonites) and demons to be the lower level beings that attack individual humans (e.g., the evil spirit in the demonized man of Mark 1:21ff).

      John Mark is not denying monotheism in the sense that there is one true God, YHWH, the only eternal triune creator of all things, the one who said "you shall have no other gods before me."

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    3. Hi Gerry,

      I don't think anybody here is denying that God created angels, some of whom rebelled against Him (now known as demons) and whose seek to lie and deceive mankind. Creational monotheism, however, as I understand it, actually affirms the existence of lesser gods, i.e., lesser deities. While I certainly do not have the letters behind my name that you do, it seems to me that a belief in many gods, whether or not those gods are worshiped, is a form of polytheism, regardless of what terms are used to qualify it.

      From Greg Boyd's book God at War, which is quoted by Comer throughout his sermon:

      Unlike philosophical monotheism with its speculative conjecture about what "pure" monotheism entails, creational monotheism does not rule out the acknowledgement of the existence of lesser gods...Arising out of the biblical revelation, creational monotheism affirms that there are indeed a multiplicity of gods, but only one is eternal, only one is Creator, only one is Lord, and only one is omnipotent, while all others have their being and their power only by virtue of being given it by their Creator. Hence the Creator is in a class all by himself, and for this reason he and he alone is to be worshiped. (120-121)

      It certainly sounds like it's trying to be orthodox in its affirmation that God alone is eternal, Creator and worthy of worship, etc., but to affirm a "multiplicity of gods" still stands against Scripture. Though there are numerous passages that affirm this, I return to Isaiah 43:10-11 because it is so clear and unambiguous. Before God no other god was formed. There shall be none after Him. He is not only the one and only true God, He is the only God, big or little 'g', that ever was. Many deceptive spirits may be posing as false gods, but posing is all they are doing.

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    4. Walter Martin talking about Mormonism states:

      "While there are variations on the idea of polytheism, none of them amount to monotheism, which is one of the essential, defining attributes of the historically orthodox, Jewish and Christian faiths. Mormons can equivocate and claim that they are henotheists, or that they teach monolarity, but these are both simply forms of polytheism which is defined as "the belief in the existence of more than one God".


      "In a desperate effort to try to link the polytheism of Mormonism to the word of God in the Bible, Mormons have claimed that the original religion of the Jews (which Mormons like to think they are in some way "restoring") was not really monotheistic, but the Jews were, according to Mormons, henotheists - believing in the existence of many gods but serving only one, just like the Mormons. But to arrive at this position Mormons must overlook the glaringly obvious and consistently repeated theme throughout the Old Testament of God's corrections of the Jews. It is true that some Jews believed in other gods. But that was an ERROR - while some Jews committed this error, it is NOT what God taught them in His word. This error is made bluntly obvious throughout the OT, which goes to some pains to inform us in great detail that when the Jews followed after these "other gods", they were punished by God - sometimes quite severely. Furthermore in his many rebukes to the Jews for their errant adoption of the polytheism of the heathens and the corruption of the revealed religion of Israel, God explicitly points out over and over again that these other "gods" are, in reality, only the works of mens hands - idols carved out of wood, bent out of metal or chiseled out of stone and that he alone is the only true God there was, is or ever will be. For example the entire passage of Isaiah 43 through most of chapter 47 is a long, detailed and explicit declaration of this revealed truth."

      just some chunks out of his article-
      http://www.waltermartin.com/forums/showthread.php?2437-The-Problems-of-Polytheism

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    5. Correction: I got these quotes off of a Walter Martin Forum but I don't know that they are from Walter Martin himself.

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    6. "I am Yahweh, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God." Isaiah 45:5

      "Surely, God is with you, and there is none else, No other God." Isaiah 45:14

      "I am Yahweh, and there is none else." Isaiah 45:18

      "Is it not I, Yahweh? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me." Isaiah 45:21

      "I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me" Isaiah 46:9

      "And Yahweh will be king over all the earth; in that day Yahweh will be the only one [echad], and His name the only one[echad]." Zechariah 14:9

      "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one [hen] and love the other, or he will be devoted to one [hen] and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth." Matthew 6:24

      "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one [hen] flesh"? " Matthew 19:5

      "But do not be called Rabbi; for One [hen] is your Teacher, and you are all brothers." Matthew 23:8

      "Do not be called leaders; for One [hen] is your Leader, that is, Christ." Matthew 23:10

      ""The foremost is, 'Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one [hen] Lord; " Mark 12:29

      "you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only [monos] God?" John 5:44

      "I and the Father are one [hen]." John 10:30

      "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only [monos] true God" John 17:3

      "The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one [hen], just as We are one [hen]" John 17:22

      "since indeed God is one [hen]" Romans 3:30

      "to the only [monos] wise God, Amen." Romans 16:27

      "there is no God but one [hen]" 1 Corinthians 8:4

      "yet for us there is but one [hen] God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one [hen] Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him." 1 Corinthians 8:6

      "Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one [hen]." Galatians 3:20

      "There is one [hen] body and one [hen] Spirit, one [hen] hope, one [hen] Lord, one [hen] faith, one [hen] baptism, one [hen] God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all." Ephesians 4:4-6

      "Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only [monos] God" 1 Timothy 1:17

      "which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only [monos] Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone [monos] possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen." 1 Timothy 6:16

      "For there is one [hen] God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus," 1 Timothy 2:5

      "You believe that God is one [hen]. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder." James 2:19

      "For certain persons deny our only [monos] Master and Lord, Jesus Christ." Jude 4

      "the only [monos] God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen." Jude 25

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  14. Gerry,
    Have you corrected Pastor Comer?

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    1. Ben,

      You are referencing Matthew 18, and Jesus' prescription for church discipline and reconciliation within the body. But, rather than "publicly blindsiding" Comer by the publication of this article, all that has been done is that his public teachings which, by the way, also are widely available on the Internet, have been held to the light of Scripture. It is hardly the same thing as standing up in the middle of his sermon and shouting "woe to you, you blind guides, you hypocrites!" But wait, somebody did offer public rebuke to those publicly teaching false and erroneous doctrine. Who was that? Oh yes, it was Jesus. You'll also find that in Matthew just 5 chapters later, in Matthew 23.

      I am also reminded of Galatians 2:11-14, when Paul rebuked Peter before others for his hypocrisy.

      Speaking of hypocrisy, if we're going to be logical with the argument you propose, then shouldn't your public comments left here have first been made to me privately via email?

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    2. All,

      Ben has emailed and thanked me for the correction to his earlier comment. He also asked me to remove his comment, which I've done. However, because I think his comment reflects a common misunderstanding, as well as a comment argument used by Christians who do not like to hear/see public criticism, I think that his thoughts provided for a helpful teaching opportunity. That said, below (in italics) I am going to post the basic gist of his original comment, so that those reading this thread can follow along and hopefully come to a better understanding of why it is that Pastor Comer's error was addressed publicly on this blog. These are not Ben's words, but my paraphrase of his argument.

      In handling issues like these, Jesus tells us that, "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother." Why was this step skipped and this argument broadcast across the entire Internet for believers and non-believers alike to view? One doesn't have to be an intellectual to understand Jesus' words, so perhaps instead of arguing over these minor points, you should focus on the basics, like how to handle disputes. I doubt the author of the article did this with Pastor Comer, but rather publicly blindsided him with this article. Let's promote unity, not division."

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  17. Just because the word god is used by Comer frequently, he always keeps his context of the words god and God correct.

    Jhn 10:34 Jesus calls us gods "theos"
    Jhn 1:1 Jesus is called God "theos"
    2Cr 4:4 Satan is called god of this world "theos"
    ETC...

    When implementing this word from the text, yes there are many gods including God, some in the spiritual realm and some on earth. This word for god/God "theos" is used in many other forms as well...

    If you have the time, a word study of theos is very revealing and adds total illumination to what this Comer is referring to and his references towards gods and God. From such a perspective, Comers teaching is on the mark. Reminder: He never calls the little "g" gods any form of a true God.

    Greek: theos = God = god:
    http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2316&t=NASB

    Hope this helps

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    1. Hi,
      Can someone with a good, working knowledge of Hebrew weigh in on what Brian has written above?

      Thank you.

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    2. Brian,

      Erin, I do not want to change the subject but I feel this is worthy of being addressed. Having come out of the Word of Faith movement I have heard all this song and dance before. Your little messiah's walking on around on earth, you are little gods..small g and so forth. From My understanding of both context of these two scriptures from Psalms 82 and John 10:... I do know that Jesus was talking to those in authority over the people such as judges, and the magistrates. Jesus did not call "us" gods.

      Maybe someone else can chim in here. Teresa

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    3. Yes Erin,
      You are changing the subject and that is very rude as well as distracting. You have proven your lack discernment attempting to associate me with Word of Faith, or song and dance or anything else. These statements are immature, inappropriate and absolutely incorrect.
      Please grow up and read the scriptures (and study the original text) for yourself.
      And you are correct: The scripture never used the word “us” related to gods, He said “You” as in (2)all of (1)you…

      Psa 82:6 I said, "(1)You are gods, And (2)all of you are sons of the Most High.
      Jhn 10:34 Jesus answered them , "Has it not been written in your Law, 'I SAID, YOU ARE GODS'?

      Who would think that this in context is a positive attribute, to be called gods as stated in above text? If one studies the associated teaching, this would be the last thing ever you would possibly want. The very next sentence puts this into perspective:

      Psa 82:7 "Nevertheless you will die like men And fall like any one of the princes."

      Now, I have no idea whatsoever who or what this Word of Faith nor what anyone else teaches about acting like gods. From a scriptural position we know of one Almighty God to be loved and honored, but to be a god as stated in these scriptures? This would be the very worst, something I would never wish on anybody…

      Also "Anonymous" is asking for some to help with the "Hebrew" Sorry but θεός "theos" is Greek. Does anyone actually study God's Word? Do you simply read some of Bible and call it good?:

      HERE / READ / STUDY:

      http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2316&t=NASB

      This is a great read, one of great importance...

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    4. Actually, I was referring to "elohim." I think we have to be careful here, with our study of all this, but also with hurt feelings and insults.

      It is not necessary to tell Erin to grow up--nor is it necessary to aggravate you, although I am not sure where this occurred.

      Strong opinions and even sarcasm are fine--there is a balance needed when we interact.

      But let's remember that we serve Christ (I speak to myself) and we are in perilous times.

      Matthew 6:14-15

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    5. And I also see where I caused some frustration because Brian is dealing with "theos" while I was referring to "elohim." Sorry, Brian.

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    6. Brian,

      First of all, I am not the one who wrote the comment to which you are responding. Second of all, this is the only time that I'm going to ask that you please engage in respectful discussion. You say that Teresa was rude to change the subject (when she actually did so in a courteous manner), however your entire first paragraph in response to her is unabashed rudeness.

      Please engage in a civil discussion, or don't participate at all. That goes for everyone.

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    7. Erin,

      I was not meaning to be rude to anyone or cause him to be be rude to you Erin...forgive me. Teresa

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    8. No apology necessary, Teresa. Your comment may have been a change in subject, but it wasn't rude. :-)

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  18. Hi everyone, This has been a great discussion about a very important topic. Nevertheless, I am going to close comments at this time. Some of you have started to write in with additional concerns about Solid Rock Church. Because the purpose of this blog post and the subsequent comment string is not to become a miniature 'survivor blog', I've opted not to publish these comments at this time. This is not meant in any way to diminish the importance of your concerns and claims, but rather is an effort to keep this particular comment string on topic. Friends, let's ensure that we're praying for the leadership and the people of Solid Rock Church.

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  19. Okay, change of plans. I am going to reopen comments because I think there's still some questions posed here that can be discussed. However, I do want to keep things on topic. I appreciate that there are some who have other experiences they would like to share, and if you want to contact me directly with any information, you can do so by using the Contact tab at the top of the page.

    Julie - I just received your recent note, but have no way of contacting you besides here. I removed your comment prematurely and attempted early this morning to restore it. Unfortunately, Blogger doesn't allow comments to be restored, so I was unable to. I truly do apologize.

    Okay everyone, carry on.

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  20. the word Hebrew word Elohim means spiritual being in the widest sense. The Greek word Theos has the same basic meaning as Brian notes. In English "God" can be Kali to a Hindu or YHWH to a Christian. But we believe YHWH is the only true God. Others like Kali are not God but fallen angels pretending to be God. That is what the Old Testament is talking about when it says "you shall have no other gods before Me." These spiritual beings are usurpers, but real beings who mess us up bad.

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  21. @Ebenz: Thank you. I'll retype what I wrote (since you mentioned attempting to restore it, I assume it's okay?).

    Some of the commenters seemed to wonder if John Mark had been questioned directly. I attempted to confront both John Mark Comer and Jose Zayas (two of the pastors who preached this sermon on 1/13/13) about the teachings and practices which I believe to be unbiblical.

    John Mark Comer blocked me and never responded.

    Jose Zayas told me that right or wrong, he will stand with the church no matter what. When I tried to share verses with him that contradicted his and the church's words and actions, saying that I believed they were being unbiblical, he refused to hear them, saying he didn't care.

    Dave Hughes, the People Care Pastor/Operations Pastor, then called the police and had them call me and tell me that the church does not want to talk with me and that if I contact people from the church again, I could be arrested.

    John Mark has preached many very good and Biblical sermons. Solid Rock has a reputation for being a church that teaches from the Bible, that teaches truth. Because of that, few test what they teach anymore. That is what makes this teaching so dangerous. I have yet to hear another attendee question this teaching in light of God's Word.

    Another commenter asked why they would teach this. Here is my theory.

    They used to preach repentance in every sermon. This sermon had nothing on repentance. They used to say, "Are you leading an ungodly life?" If your answer was "yes" then their solution for you would be, "Repent of YOUR SIN."

    Now, Jose asked at the end of his version of this sermon, "Are you leading an ungodly life?" To those whose answer was "yes" his solution was, "Then the 'gods' have been ruling your life. Raise your hand and renounce them." Repentance is no longer a part of their "salvation" message, either — listen to their sermon from Easter 2012.

    Their new theology is a cop-out for ungodly, unrepentant, hypocritical men and women. Men and women like themselves who do not want to be held accountable, or repent, when they speak and act contrary to Scripture.

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  22. @Gerry Breshears: I agree 100% with what you said. But I listened to all of John Mark's sermon and he clearly said that there are spiritual beings who are NOT "rulers," not "authorities," not "angels/demons," but actual "gods."

    John Mark said in his sermon that there are other GOOD "gods" who love God. And that there are also evil "gods" — that are even in charge of specific areas or things (such as the "gods" of Egypt or the "god" of, say, thunder). He also said that satan is a "god" (which sounds blasphemous to me).

    He used the passage when Moses threw down his staff, etc. and God worked miracles that out trumped the magicians tricks to say that the other "gods" can work miracles and to say that God is at war with other beings who are also "gods."

    If you would like, I will find the actual quotes and the points at the sermon when he said this, but if you haven't already I would encourage you to listen to the entire sermon.

    John Mark has convinced thousands of people in my city of something I believe to be very dangerous (calling demons — and even specifically satan — "gods"). John Mark Comer listens to very few people these days. But I believe he listens to you.

    If you believe as you said, as I trust you do, I beg of you to hold him accountable, speak with him about his views in a personal conversation, share Scriptures with him like Isaiah 45, and also hold him accountable for how the church has treated people like me who have loved the Scripture enough to try to share it with them and have been slandered and threatened with arrest.

    Because I stood for the Bible, peacefully, Solid Rock made sure no one from the church will talk to me, and only calls the police to threaten me more when I tried sending them a simple request for them to meet with me and an unbiased elder to discuss the issues I brought up about their teachings/practices, handle any issues they have with me Biblically and pursue reconciliation.

    John Mark and Jose Zayas and Dave Hughes all believe that they can teach what they want, say what they want, practice whatever they want and NO ONE can hold them accountable or tell them a Bible verse that tells them they are wrong. That is very dangerous.

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  23. Brian,

    I certainly was not trying to associate you to the Word of Faith movement at all. I do not know you or your back ground.

    When you said above...John 10:34 Jesus calls us gods "theos" I was not sure what you meant by that. I will choose my words more carefully in the future and forgive me for offending you.

    Brian,

    I am learning just like eveyone else on this blog. I may not know how to study like you or understand the bible like you but I am learning.

    No need for you to respond to me but you do owe ERIN an apology because she did not deserve the things you said toward her at all.

    Erin, again did not mean to stir up a hornets net and I will go quietly...I have said my peace.

    Teresa



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    1. hornet nest...sorry. Teres

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  24. Gerry,
    Please define creational monotheism.
    Thanks

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    1. Creational Monotheism means that YHWH is the one eternal, all powerful compassionate gracious, holy, creator, the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit [thus monotheism]. He created other many other spiritual beings or angels to serve Him [thus creational]. Some of these angels rebelled and set themselves against YHWH and His goodness. They steal kill and destroy (John 10:10). The Bible calls them “demons,” “angels,” “spirits,” “powers,” “princes,” and “principalities,” as well as “gods” as in Exodus 20:3 and many other passages (e.g., Ex. 12:12; 15:11; 1 Cor. 8:5). They are not and never were on par with the Creator God YHWH, but they pretend to be equal with or higher than YHWH and deceive many who worship them. Idols are tangible objects in this world which represent these demon “gods.” The first of the 10 commandments forbid worship of any of the created spiritual beings, calling them gods. The second commandment forbids construction of any idols. Jesus, the incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity, condemned the Devil, the prince of this world and head of the fallen angels so no one need be trapped in the worship of the “gods” which are demons. We worship Father, Son, and Holy Spirit only for they are the only true God.

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    2. But isn't the word for the "gods" that you are speaking of also defined to mean "authorities," "rulers," etc. — and used in the Bible to describe earthly authorities as well as spiritual authorities (who obviously were not "gods" with any size of "g")?

      Moreover, John Mark said on Facebook (in his response to a Sherry Smith):

      "gods" and "demons" are two differt biblical words saying there are real spiritual beings in the universe who are not on God's side. My opinion is that there are categories in the demonic realm. I think the scriptures push you to that (the prince of Persia in Dan. is clearly in a different category than "evil spirits" in Mark's gospel), but it's not crystal clear.

      He makes it clear there, as well as in his sermon, that he believes the "gods" he is speaking of to be different than demons. And keep in mind that in his sermon he also spoke of good "gods" who "love" God... are we to believe that God created other good beings to be "gods" (not just that spiritual beings rebelled and now wrongly call themselves "gods")?

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  25. John Mark Comer just clarified his position in a public post on Facebook, addressed primarily to his church. Here it is:

    Solid Rock family,

    Some of you have been asking some great questions about my recent teaching “Yahweh Elohim” and Solid Rock’s theology. To clarify, we are NOT polytheists. We ARE monotheists. We believe there is ONE real, true Creator God with NO equal or parallel. By using the language of “Creational Monotheism,” we are saying there are real spiritual beings in the universe UNDER the Creator God Yahweh. The demonic powers we read about in the scriptures are not “non-entities,” but are real. The New Testament calls them “demons,” “angels,” “spirits,” “powers,” “princes,” and “principalities,” but the primary Hebrew word used in the Old Testament is elohim or “gods.” These beings are “gods with a lowercase g.” They are not on par with the Creator God Yahweh. They are created, but have rebelled against their Creator to wreak havoc on the earth. This is the worldview of Jesus and of the Scriptures.

    By using the language of “Creational Monotheism vs. Modern Monotheism," we are challenging the post-enlightenment, Western European view of monotheism from the last 300 years that says there are no other spiritual beings in the universe. We don’t buy it, and we don’t think Jesus does either. At Solid Rock it is our deepest conviction to know and pursue the ways of King Jesus, to understand and adopt his way of thinking and his worldview. Stay rooted in the Scriptures, keep asking questions, and above all follow the Creator God in Jesus!

    John Mark and the teaching team of Solid Rock

    http://www.facebook.com/johnmarkcomer

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    1. After further review of the videos and the blog posts, it is clear that this approach using god and God in English simply went over the head of everyone. This is not an in-depth study though, if one looks at the original Greek text and honestly views how god and God are implemented, Comer is utterly on the mark. Once again I encourage you to look at this, it will not take much time nor a master’s degree:

      http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2316&t=NASB

      Comer's teaching, to use a word, style, is indeed unorthodox but from a truly pure original text perspective this teaching is as accurate as anything I have ever witnessed, even though for some people it is hard to follow along. The main reason it is hard to follow is simply when Comer says God in English, unless one is studied, one cannot follow his context because one cannot read the small "g" nor big "G" real time therefore it is easy to mix the two up. This type of teaching demands that one knows and understands the original language and true context, if not, "they" will have no idea of what Comer is referring to, "they" will simply be making up unsubstantiated stories exactly like what this whole blog is about.

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      Below is a factual start of knowledge regarding original text and exact word usage in The Bible.

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      Greek = θεός
      Transliteration = theos
      Pronunciation = the-o's

      -{Outline of Biblical Usage}-

      1) a god or goddess, a general name of deities or divinities
      2) the Godhead, trinity
      a) God the Father, the first person in the trinity
      b) Christ, the second person of the trinity
      c) Holy Spirit, the third person in the trinity
      3) spoken of the only and true God
      a) refers to the things of God
      b) his counsels, interests, things due to him
      4) whatever can in any respect be likened unto God, or resemble him in any way
      a) God's representative or viceregent
      1) of magistrates and judges

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      Hebrew = אֱלֹהִים
      Transliteration = 'elohiym
      Pronunciation = el•ō•hēm'

      -{Outline of Biblical Usage}-

      1) (plural)
      a) rulers, judges
      b) divine ones
      c) angels
      d) gods
      2) (plural intensive - singular meaning)
      a) god, goddess
      b) godlike one
      c) works or special possessions of God
      d) the (true) God
      e) God

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      2Cr 4:4
      in whose case the god (theos) of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (theos).

      Phl 3:19
      whose end is destruction, whose god (theos) is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.

      1Cr 8:5
      For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods (theos) and many lords,


      Act 28:6
      But they were expecting that he was about to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had waited a long time and had seen nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and began to say that he was a god (theos).

      Jhn 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God (theos), and the Word was God (theos).


      Context is everything in the original text and Comer implements context perfectly.

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  26. According to Pastor Comer, "...we are challenging the post-enlightenment, Western European view of monotheism from the last 300 years that says there are no other spiritual beings in the universe."

    But doesn't the Bible make this clear already? Ephesians 6:12 states:
    For our struggle is not against [fn]flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

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  27. Pastor Comer states, "By using the language of “Creational Monotheism vs. Modern Monotheism, we are challenging the post-enlightenment, Western European view of monotheism from the last 300 years that says there are no other spiritual beings in the universe. We don't buy it, and we don't think Jesus does either."

    Pastor Comer doesn't think Jesus buys it either??

    This is a strange response to criticisms and concerns about the sermon.

    The sermon could have been shortened to this:"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)












    You don't think Jesus does, either?

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  28. John Mark Comer said on Facebook in response to Sherry Smith:
    "And you're misunderstanding me a bit. "gods" and "demons" are two differt biblical words saying there are real spiritual beings in the universe who are not on God's side. My opinion is that there are categories in the demonic realm. I think the scriptures push you to that (the prince of Persia in Dan. is clearly in a different category than "evil spirits" in Mark's gospel), but it's not crystal clear. Alright, I'm off Facebook for the day!"

    In his sermon, he also said that there are other "good gods" who "love" God.

    He is welcoming people who live out of state to come and "chat" with him after services, but he is still blocking and removing the posts of people who live locally and who write and ask questions/ask to talk with him or another pastor after a service. And he has done nothing about the pastors (Jose Zayas, Dave Hughes) who have threatened to arrest people (on what charges?) or called the police to tell them that the church "does not want to talk" and to threaten arrest (again, on what charges? Telephonic Harassment is all they claim, but those of us being threatened have never called — only written but a few times or attempted once to talk to a pastor in person) who questioned them about the church's teachings/practices. Ask them about why they won't talk to people who live locally. Ask why they are threatening us. Ask why they are blocking us. Ask them to handle things biblically and pursue reconciliation with those who desires only to get biblical answers from them and to forgive them for their wrongs towards us.

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  29. I really love how the head of systematic theology at Western Seminary can say something as clear as this, "John Mark is neither teaching polytheism (there are many gods all of which are more or less equal in nature) or henotheism (I worship my god but allow that there may be other gods worthy of worship)" and yet everyone here seems to think they know better than this guy. Like Gerry didn't listen to the teaching and is somehow aloof on this issue. If any one of you who is countering what he is saying has a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology AND a Masters in Divinity (heck, if you have even one of those degrees you can come to the party) then be my guest and continue to beat the drum of heresy. I'm sure you know much better than a man who has spent years in real, actual, academic study. It's on a blog! It must be the truest, most accurate and fully vetted source of all knowledge! Thank you so much donotbesurprised.com for exposing these people! How would I ever know what people I've never met before that I need to start hating if it weren't for you? Just you wait. I'll bet I'm supposed to hate Western Seminary now since one of their people disagrees with this blog and that shock jock from Christian Irate Radio.

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    1. "The first cause cannot have been an intelligence, let alone an intelligence that answers prayers and enjoys being worshiped. Intelligent, creative, complex, statistically improbable things come late into the universe, as the product of evolution or some other process of gradual escalation from simple beginnings. They come late into the universe and therefore cannot be responsible for designing it."

      The above quote was said by Richard Dawkins. Besides being a famed atheist, he has quite a few letters after his name as well as a great deal of impressive achievements. So, hey, since he has all that fancy education behind him, I guess he's right. Right? I mean, that is the logic you just used above.

      No disrespect meant to Dr. Breshears at all, but ultimately, we must look to Scripture, not men with many diplomas, to know what is true. And, in the end, the issue was with John Mark Comer's teaching, not with what has been shared here by Dr. Breshears.

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