Cults in Our Culture: Two Case Studies

(Originally printed in the Fall 2004 Issue of the MCOI Journal beginning on page 12) We live in a time and place where tolerance is considered more of a virtue than truth, and where truth is more highly valued in used-car salesmen than in the local Church. But the Word of God consistently values the necessity of absolute truth in doctrine and, in fact, professes to be truth (John 17:17). If for no other reason … Continue reading

Lessons from the Garden

(Originally printed in the Fall 2004 Issue of the MCOI Journal ) Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, … Continue reading

What Bill Gothard and His Followers Still Don’t Get About Grace

When debating Gothardites on the topic of grace, often the first text they cite is James 4:6b: “‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble,’” (ESV). It is also usually the one text they keep coming back to in support of their assertion that grace is not freely given, unmerited favor, but rather is a desire and power to do God’s will that is earned or merited. When someone rightly tells them that … Continue reading

Your Money or Your Kids

(Originally printed in the Spring 2004 Issue of the MCOI Journal beginning on page 8) I am a part-time pastor at a very small country church in what many might think is the middle of nowhere. It is not likely that I will ever have much influence or notoriety, but I do take my pastoral responsibilities seriously when it comes to protecting my small flock from harmful teachings. I am especially concerned about those well-known … Continue reading

Stranger Danger

(Originally printed in the Summer 2004 Issue of the MCOI Journal ) When our children started school, we were introduced to the “Stranger Danger” program. With a growing concern about strangers abducting school children, we, along with most other parents, spent time talking with our kids about Stranger Danger. “Don’t talk to strangers.” “Walk in a group.” “Never get into a stranger’s car, or go anywhere with him—even if he says he knows your parents … Continue reading

For Crying Out Loud: A Book Review

(Originally printed in the Summer 2003 Issue of the MCOI Journal beginning on page 8) Looking at Bill Gothard’s Book The Power of Crying Out: When Prayer Becomes Mighty We1 remember sitting in our little church singing the old hymn Power in the Blood. Our pastor led the congregation with great vigor. “There is power, power, wonder-working power in the blood of the lamb.” This old hymn recites the truth that all power ultimately is … Continue reading