The Ambush of Discernment

(Originally printed in the Summer 2005 Issue of the MCOI Journal Beginning on page 10) Half way through college, during the Christmas season of 1974, I first tasted the adventure of life in Jesus. It soon seemed to me that the most difficult resources to find were the ones that answered questions about conflicting world views. In my eyes, the Christian leaders who provided answers in this area became giants. Little did I expect that … Continue reading

Dangerous Home Front: Proof Texts We Know and Love

(Originally printed in the Fall 2004 Issue of the MCOI Journal beginning on page 8 ) By John David Ferrer On a recent trip to Washington, D.C., I found myself going through several airports; and with each airport are the inevitable security checks. In one airport, I had no problems going through the baggage scan and the metal detectors. But at LaGuardia Airport, I was stopped. I innocently had left a small pocketknife on my … Continue reading

Are You Just Afraid of Death?

After our webcast, “500 Years after Reformation, Many Protestants Closer to Catholics than Martin Luther,” someone posted this question; “Why do you believe these bible stories; are you just afraid of death?” In view of the fact that the fear of death has tormented humanity from the very earliest of times, that is a valid question. In Hamlet, Shakespeare asked the question of what happens after death with the poetic soliloquy, “To be, or not … Continue reading

The Worst Sermon

Needless to say, I was away from home on a Sunday. We decided to go to a friend’s church we had attended before. I won’t name the church and details have been altered to stave off embarrassment. But I bet you can guess the denomination. The first thing I noticed how the congregation had dwindled. Where once there were a hundred seats, now the chairs had disappeared from the back. I walked across a sea … Continue reading

Falling From Grace

The internet and “Christian TV” today have become a great marketplace of religious ideas of all stripes, and people often do not know exactly who to trust. Just about every denomination and sect of Christendom is represented, plus, of course, every type of cult and false teacher. Unfortunately, cults and aberrant teachers do not generally identify themselves as such in their YouTube descriptions. You actually have to view the material offered before making this determination … 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