- Absolute Holiness
- The gospel according to Pelagianism: "What must I do to be saved?" Easy; you just stop sinning. This Web site teaches that sinners cannot be justified solely by the imputed righteousness of Christ. Instead we must have a "perfect" righteousness of our own. Unfortunately, in order to explain how such "perfection" is attainable by sinners, the author of this Web site is forced to redefine sin, righteousness, perfection, justification, sanctificationand a host of other biblical terms. What need is there for grace in a system like this? (Hint: you won't find much about grace here.) The spirit of Pelagius and Finney is alive and well on the Web, nowhere more evident than at the "Stop Sinning" Web site. My advice is to skip this one, unless you want to read the pages of invective he aims my way.
- Affirmation & Critique
- This is the journal of "The Local Church" movement (aka Living Stream Ministry), whose guru was Witness Lee. They have someumrather unusual views on church polity, mysticism, and the Scriptures. The vagueness of the pseudo-scholarly writing you'll find in the journal is the only thing that disguises how bad this theology is. Incidentally, this group is notoriously prone to be litigious against people who label them a "cult" (see the annotation and links to "Contending for the Faith" below). Cult or not, I think their theology is deplorable. So sue me.
- All Men Are Saved!
- The heresy of universalism, presented here with overblown assertions and selective Bible quoting. This is seriously dangerous teaching, not only because it lulls sinners into a false sense of security, but also because destroys the fear of God and denies the necessity of faith for salvation.
- Are Men Born Sinners? The Myth of Original Sin
- Tom Overstreet's facile dismissal of the doctrine of original sin. In the tradition of his mentor Finney, Overstreet complains that "the one great problem of original sin is that it clashes with man's irresistible convictions of justice"i.e., he just doesn't "feel" it's right. But the alternative Overstreet proposes is the same utterly graceless theology touted by his spiritual ancestors, Finney and Pelagius. This is serious error, not worthy of the name "Christian."
- Classic Campbellite theology, distilled in easy-reference format. These folks have borrowed Pelagianism's denial of original sin, mixed it with baptismal regeneration, anathematized everyone outside their circle of Campbellite congregations, declared human merit necessary for salvationand yet they claim they have no creed but Christ.
- Bible Truths
- The theology purveyed at this site is even cheesier than the animated .gifs you'll find adorning its home page. These folks deny every biblical truth that points to the sinner's utter inability to save himself. And likewise, at every opportunity, they exalt the sinner's works as instruments of justification. Teaching baptismal regeneration, denying original sin, and aggressively attacking "the view that man's salvation is wholly of God,"this is sheer Pelagianism. At one point, they unabashedly ask: "Could it be, though, man has focused so entirely on Jesus and his accomplishments in making possible man's salvation that he has diminished or removed man's part in obtaining his salvation?" Wow.
- The Robert Brow Model Theology Web
- Brow was a Canadian Anglican pastor and author who was determined to wear the label "evangelical" but who rejected virtually everything else associated with evangelicalism. He died in July 2008, but his website is still online as he left it. Brow's famous article "Evangelical Megashift" in the 19 Feb 1990 issue of Christianity Today correctly predicted the doctrinal drift seen more than a decade later in the Emergent movement. Brow called it "'new-model' thinking" (though it looks remarkably like old-model heresy). The point of view Brow advocated on his website was a curious mixture blending generous doses of Socinianism, modernism, and theological liberalism with post-modern relativism. (There's a troubling measure of libertinism thrown into Brow's strange brew, too. He believed all kinds of sexual fantasy can be explored freely without guilt unless our imagining "turns into a decision to commit adultery." His article "Sodomy in Leviticus" also suggested that Scripture is tolerant of homosexual activity as long as it doesn't involve penetration.) But the worst aspect of Brow's theology was his unrelenting attack on the forensic "model" of justification and the substitutionary "model" of the atonement. Brow insisted he had new, better "models" for those doctrinesbut what he was really selling was the dressed-up wreckage of early-model liberalism. To label such notions "evangelical" is simply duplicitous. Or maybe somewhere along the line he got diverted from the models and started sniffing the modeling glue.
- Rodney Howard Browne
- He calls himself "the Holy Ghost Bartender." Christianity literally laughed itself sick over this man in the mid-1990s. For the life of me, I cannot see why anyone would place any credence in such a man.
- Brother Jed
- Jed Smock is a campus preacher who is legendary for his eccentricities. He has openly embraced the heresy of Pelagianism.
- Congregation of YHWH Jerusalem
- This cult is another offshoot of Herbert W. Armstrong's original Worldwide Church of God. They have retained (and even exaggerated) the very features of Armstrong's heresies that the mainline WWCoG has repudiated. For example, they espouse an Arian view of Christ (denying His full deity), and they teach a view of OT ceremonial law borrowed straight from the playbook of the Galatian heretics. They inject their literature and speech with as many Hebraisms as possible, as if to suggest that they are more Jewish than Christian. But at the end of the day, this is little more than old-style Armstrongism decked out in robes and phylacteries.
- Crisis Publications: A Call To Reform
- The subtitle of this page is bitterly ironic, because they obviously hate the theology of the Protestant Reformation. The doctrine featured here is a revival of the ancient Pelagian heresy blended with some bizarre notions about sinless perfection borrowed from the most extreme elements of the "Holiness Movement"served up with a chip-on-the-shoulder contempt for John Calvin and the theology that borrows his name.
- Christian Churches of God
- The theology you'll find here is an amalgamation of legalism, Arianism, and several other deadly errors. It mirrors the original (strongly anti-trinitarian) doctrine of the Herbert W. Armstrong cult, of which it is an offshoot.
- Kim Clement
- One of the Trinity Broadcasting Network's younger, goofier false prophets. This guy has invented his own unique theology and sells it with classic overblown TBN flamboyance. Another wolf in televangelist's clothing.
- Contending for the Faith
- "The Local Church" (see "Affirmation and Critique" above) has often been called cultish, and they have used litigation to try to quell their critics. This Web site is devoted to telling their side of those conflicts, while explaining why they reject historic Christianity. The documents you'll find here are fascinating. But they don't tell the full story. For instance, there's nothing here about how the group acquired and squelched Jim Moran's Light of Truth Ministries Web Site. After Moran's unexpected death in January 2003, The Local Church purchased Moran's Internet domain (ltm.org), including all rights to his in-depth exposés of their group. They replaced Moran's material with their own literature and have managed thereby to get Moran's critique of their movement out of circulation. These tactics are a classic example of how easily truth can be twisted and disguised in the hands of people willing to employ whatever pragmatic tactics they can to defend their errors. Make no mistake, however: the theology promulgated by this group is really, really bad. For an account of why it is bad theology, see this page from the Apologetics Index. Also, while we do not recommend Miles Stanford's material in general, (see under "Bad Theology"), he wrote an informative critique of Nee and Lee.
- Dad's Day Off
- One struggles to find words to express the Really-Deep-Down-Badness of this site. Let's just say it is b-b-b-b-bad to the bone. This guy hates the doctrine of the Trinity, insists there will be no everlasting punishment of the wicked, and is convinced the epistles were included in the New Testament canon by mistakejust to name a few of his more glaring errors. Things only get worse from there. Here's a statement from one of his articles: "It was not necessary for Jesus Christ to come to earth, in physical form as a man born of woman, in order for man to gain preservation for his soul. Practice under the Mosaic Law, if followed faithfully, was quite adequate and effective to accomplish 'soul saving.'" Obviously, that flatly contradicts Hebrews 10:4; Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:16; Galatians 2:21and scores of other biblical statements that point to Christ's atonement as the only way anyone can be saved.
The proprietor of "Dad's Day Off," Noah Russell, is a black-belt master at ripping proof-texts from their contexts to lend artificial credence to his views. He sneers at his theological critics: "With the mountain of evidence that is provided herein from the Bible, are you sure that you want to 'blacklist' my website?" Well, let us be the first to offer an emphatic "YES!" "Dad's Day Off" is a good signpost, however, to remind us that armchair theology and Internet access can be a deadly combination.
- End-Time Deliverance Center
- Stan and Elizabeth Madrak, Demonbusters. According to these people, all your problems are demonic, and they can teach you about "deliverance." Learn how to "return all curses sevenfold." Read the on-line deliverance manual (IF you can GET PAST the ODD TEXT FORMATTING, that is. SOMEONE at demonbusters.com CANNOT LAY OFF the CAPS-LOCK KEY!) And here's something you probably do not know: "You do not have to have your demons cast out to make it to heaven, but it sure makes your life down here better."
- Essays on Theology and Ethics
- In the words of this page's author, this site promulgates "the views of a theologian deeply influenced by modern science, historical studies, cultural relativism, ecological concerns, pragmatism, and the like"everything but Scripture, which is decidedly against the views you'll find here.
- The Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary
- A "Protestant" nunnery. The late Mother Basilea Schlink was the order's founder. She blended mysticism, crypto-Catholicism, Proto-Mariolatry, and all the accoutrements of medieval asceticism and convent life. No wonder the term evangelical has all but lost its meaning. Note: For an insiders' look at what life in this cult is like, read "Charlene's Personal Story: A First-hand Account of a Former Sister of Mary."
- Exposing Those Who Contradict
- L. Ray Smith rants and raves with sophomoric sarcasm against the doctrine of eternal punishment. He also insists evil was "created" by God. He seems to have a particular vendetta against D. James Kennedy. This would be amusing if it were not so thoroughly unbiblical.
- Family Radio
- This is Harold Camping's network. The music is very nice and nostalgic if not a little kitschy, sounding very much like Moody Radio did in the 1960s. But the teaching here is profoundly bad. After being out of control for more than a decade (during which Camping's board and co-workers refused to hold him accountable to Scripture) he finally wigged out completely shortly after the turn of the millennium. He had already utterly embarrassed himself and sacrificed all credibility in the early 1990s by predicting that Christ would return to earth on September 6, 1994. After that prediciton failed to materialize, Camping continued to make false prophecies, culminating in his absurd pronouncement that the Church age has come to an end and we are living in the Tribulation. God is through with the church, Camping insistsand judgment has now begun. Camping tells his listeners they need to leave their churches and look to Family Radio to be the main vehicle through which the gospel is preached to the whole world. (You can guess where Camping thinks Christians need to send all their money.) Camping says he has now figured out what was wrong with his earlier calculations on the end of the world, and he is 100 percent certain the Rapture will occur on May 21, 2011. I have challenged him to put his money where his mouth is and deed the ownership and full control of his radio network to me, effective 12:01 AM May 22, 2011. So far, he hasn't done it. This once-fine ministry is a tragic example of what can happen when one man is given too much control with no accountability.
- Charles Finney Sermons and Articles
- A collection of sermons and other material from the 19th-century revivalist who steered American evangelicalism onto a theological dead end.
|Note: In response to several e-mail messages challenging my right to classify Finney as "really bad," I posted an article explaining why he was a heretic, and documenting his errors with his own words. You'll find that article at http://www.romans45.org/articles/finney.htm.|
- The Gospel Truth
- Don't let the name fool you; neither the gospel nor much truth of any kind can be found here. This is sheer and unfettered Pelagianism, featuring, of course, the favorite patron saint of all modern Pelagians: Charles Finney. For those naive souls who continually insist that Finney was no Pelagian but has merely been misunderstood by his critics, that argument is debunked by the unedited versions of Finney's original works, which can be found here. Moreover, follow the link to "Subjects of Importance by authors other than Charles G. Finney," and you'll be led to a plethora of articles attacking the doctrine of original sin, excoriating Augustine, and extolling Pelagius (or "St. Morgan of Wales," as he is known in the whitewashed retelling of his life featured here). "Moral government theology" (complete with its toned-down doctrine of the atonement), manipulative evangelism, perfectionism (along with its evil twin, so-called "holiness" doctrine), and Scripture-twisting that specifically targets Romans 611 are all hallmarks of classic Pelagianism. You'll find them all in copious quantities here. Watch out; this stuff is deadly heresynot "the gospel truth" at all, but a different gospel completely (see Galatians 1:8-9).
- Benny Hinn
- Do I really need to explain how completely bad Benny is?
- The Interactive Bible
- This is a huge repository of Q&As, warnings against "false doctrines," and various opinions on certain doctrinal issues. The problem is, manyperhaps mostof the "answers" you'll find here are wrong. This is mostly classic Campbellite theology, married to a strong Pelagian denial of original sin, resulting in a different gospel from the one taught in Scripture. Don't be confused by what you find at this site. The error may be very subtle, but it is quite deadly.
- Jesus Name Apostolic Holiness Church
- I first noticed Steve Winter (the proprietor of this site) in the mid-1990s ago because of his viciously abusive Usenet posts. In those days his website was called "The PreRapture Web Page." It's full of proof that not everything that masquerades as Bible-believing Christianity really is. From his writings, it seemed pretty clear that Mr. Winter was rather seriously mentally deranged. The video-sermonettes now posted on the web site erase all doubt about that.
- The Latter Rain Page
- A mind-boggling (and brain-numbing) collection of confusion and seriously flawed theology. This is an amalgamation of the worst errors of pentecostalism, blended with the rankest variety of Semi-Pelagianism, seasoned with a lot of homespun misinterpretations of Scripturepretending to be delivered by divine inspiration. According to the author of this page, if you oppose his views on the so-called "latter rain" or "the five-fold ministry" (i.e., if you deny that the leaders of his movement are true "Apostles and Prophets" with full apostolic authority and miracle powers), you are part of the harlot church and are probably guilty of blaspheming the Holy Ghost, too. No sign of the gospel here, either. The page of articles on "Theology" has nothing whatsoever to say about justification by faith.
- Liberals Like Christ
- More seepage from the sewer of Socinianism. Here's a site that pits the apostle Paul against Christ in order to justify a socialistic gospeltouting leftist politics and kneejerk liberalism, rather than faith in Christ alone, as the way of salvation. Skubalon.
- The Light Unto the World
- Yet another self-anointed expert who reckons he is the first person in nearly 2000 years of church history to figure out the true message of Christ. And (surprise!) according to him, the gospel demands that you attain sinless perfection. Above all, you have to obey the Mosaic ceremonial laws regarding holy days. If you fail to observe Pentecost (or any of the other Jewish feasts or Sabbaths), you will go to hell. Want to go to the hottest part of hell? Observe Christmas. Apparently Colossians 2:16-17 and Romans 14:5 are not in this fellow's Bible. Neither is Galatians 5:4. The "light" offered on this page looks an awful lot like old-fashioned legalistic, Pelagian darkness. This guy would have welcomed the false teachers the apostle Paul condemned in Galatians. (And why is it that these people with an Elijah complex always seem to favor screaming bold typefaces, wall-to-wall text, and lots of underlining and exclamation marks?)
- More Light Presbyterians
- A misnomer if there ever was one. These people say they are "seeking the full participation of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people of faith in the life, ministry, and witness of the Presbyterian Church." I'd love to turn John Knox loose in one of their conventions and see what would happen.
- Newswatch Magazine
- This is what happens when you try to revive the legalistic heresies of Herbert W. Armstrong by force-feeding them a steady diet of classic right-wing conspiracy-buff fodder. Although this site suggests that its mission is "Making clear today's news in light of Bible prophecy," you'll find precious little here that is clear, and even less that has any legitimate connection to Bible prophecy.
- Outside the Camp
- An on-line periodical whose editors once labeled themselves "Calvinists," but who in reality always promoted an especially pernicious variety of hyper-Calvinism. This site's reprehensible "Heterodoxy Hall of Shame" condemns Thomas Boston, Charles Spurgeon, Horatius Bonar, A.A. Hodge, John Murrayand John Calvin himself!as quasi-Arminian heretics for their stance on issues such as the free offer of the gospel. The owners of this site despise "Tolerant Calvinism"the view held by those of us who think evangelical Arminians, though wrong on the doctrine of election, are nonetheless our brothers and sisters in Christ.
- Paul's Passing Thoughts
- Paul Dohse, Sr. is an all-purpose accuser. He hates the church and hates the gospel and for years has been posting his loopy ruminations at this website. His writings and videotaped pontifications are their own self-refutation, and his accusations against various church leaders are so numerous and some of them are so far-fetched that they are actually comical. His "religion" is a Pelagian stew of his own devising. He is a one-man denomination, best ignored. In short "Paulís Passing Thoughts" consists mainly of musings that ought to have been allowed to pass. Itís a shame he keeps writing them down.
- Pinpoint Evangelism
- This is the ministry of Kerrigan Skelly, an ardent apologist for the Pelagian heresy. Here's a disturbing video of Skelly's apologia for Pelagianism, taught at a YWAM base in the Philippines."
We don't believe that babies are 'born sinners' or that they are born with a 'sinful nature,'" they say (right after claiming their only creed is the Bible. Make that the Bible with Psalm 51:5; 58:3; Romans 3:10, 23; and a host of other texts expunged or explained away). Pelagianism is rife among open-air evangelists—not all of them, of course, but there seems to be a large community of street preachers who aggressively promote Pelagian doctrines, and Kerrigan Skelly's ministry epitomizes the problem.
In an article at this site defending Pelagianism, they argue that the pelagian principle appeals to the human mind: "I think most would agree that [Pelagius's] basic principle is sound: 'God now commands all men everywhere to repent' so all men everywhere have the ability to repent!"
Really? Jesus also commands us to be as perfect as our heavenly Father is (Matthew 5:48). How are you doing with that commandment? The honest, humble, biblically-informed mind will confess its own inability to obey even the First and Great Commandment: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind" (Matthew 22:38). Like all who elevate their own "common-sense" understanding over the clear instruction of Scripture, they have made the fatal mistake of confusing ability with responsibility.
- Plain Truth Ministries
- Heresy, actuallyand not "plain" at all. This is the malformed offspring of the marriage between Artmstrongism and pragmatic, public-relations-driven, quasi-evangelicalism.
- Predestinarian Network
- These guys never met a hyper-Calvinist idea they didn't like. They have also invented some novel ones of their own. Indeed, extremism seems to be the distinctive theme of the Predestinarian Network. Its agenda, apparently, is to collect as many hyper-calvinists as possible and drive one another to even more extreme positions. This is a really unhealthy place to hang out.
- The Preterist Archive
- Preterism suggests that the Tribulation prophecies of Matthew 24 were fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. But much of the propaganda you'll find here is not mere preterism; it's hyper-preterism (though on this Web site the terms "consistent preterism" or "full preterism" are generally preferred). Call it what you will; this view is heresy. It echoes the error of Hymenaeus and Philetus, who taught that the Second Coming was already past, thus overthrowing the faith of some (2 Tim. 2:17-18). Hyper-preterists teach that all New Testament prophecy is now fulfilled; the Lord has returned; and we now live in the New Heavens and New Earth. Sound bizarre? It is. Modern preterism is largely a reactionary movement against the fanaticism of premillennial end-times extremists. Hyper-preterists react to the end-of-the-world doom-and-gloomers by running to an opposite extreme, but their fanaticism is actually driven by a similar spirit.
The proof is seen in the evolution of this website. Its webmaster said in 2009 that he has abandoned full preterism in favor of something he calls "preterist-idealism." The site features an article celebrating preterism's universalist roots. It's a quagmire.
Here's a rule of thumb: when you encounter someone whose whole view of theology is shaped and driven by any eschatalogical theory (be it pre- post- or a-millennial), so that eschatology becomes that person's primary concern and the issue to which every conversation inevitably returns, you've found a candidate for the "really bad theology" category.
- Pristine Grace Website
- This site has lots of classic articles devoted to every hyper-Calvinistic hobby-horse (denying common grace, the free offer, faith as a duty, etc.) This site includes an abridged version of Joseph Hussey's 1707 work God's Operations of Grace But No Offers of Grace, which is one of the earliest manifestos of hyper-Calvinism. Other articles of historical interest here include sermons by J. C. Philpot and John Brine. The Webmaster here is Mike Krall, who likes hyper-preterism almost as much as he likes hyper-Calvinism. The layout won't win any awards for ease of use or aesthetics, but it's a veritable gold-mine if you're looking for classic polemical material defending virtually any kind of hyperism.
- The Prophecy Reformation Institute
- More hyper-preterist drivel. This site is little more than unabashed self-promotion by John Noe, who peddles his hyper-preterist books here. Noe is convinced hyper-preterism is "the only solution to the liberal/skeptic attack on the Bible"as if anti-Christian theology were an apt reply to anti-Christian philosophy. No, thanks. You'll find nothing at The Prophecy Reformation Institute worthy of the name "reformation."
- Profitable Doctrines in God's Word from an Endtime Prophet
- Originally subtitled: "Topics For Adult Male Pentecostals Only." Here's another self-appointed "prophet" whose sick obsessions are evident even in the list of topics he writes about. According to him my merely posting this negative review of his Web site falls under the category of blasphemy according to the "Nine Noahchide Laws for Gentile observance" which sets forth this principle: "Gossip, talking about Pentecostals behind their backs with negative statements is sin." If you want to see the full significance of this "prophet's" own waywardness, note his paraphrase of Galatians 1:10: "The life goal of all Pentecostals is to daily persuade [convince] God, they are living holy enough to be saved in the resurrection day."
But I can't leave this site without giving you a sample of what sort of "Bible study" (by which he evidently means "Scripture twisting") you'll find here. This is what the "prophet" says in a study titled "Job's Twenty Children": "For years Job dedicated his life to God his wife Dinah, daughter of Jacob, and his ten children. To heap dishonor upon him his children repaid him by living a double standard, hypocritical and sexually sinful drunken lifestyle. This is a good argument for Pentecostals not to have children, because almost certainly they will overtly and clandestinely serve the Devil and reject God's holy direction for eternal life in Jesus." OK. Well, I know one Pentecostal whom we certainly hope does not have children.
- Refuting Calvinism
- Rambling and often sophomoric stream-of-consciousness video diatribes—arguing not merely against Calvinism, but also against the biblical principle of divine grace. Evidently these guys have concluded that the only viable alternative to Calvinism is rank Pelagianism, and they seem to be vying with one another to see how much of authentic Christianity they can jettison. They denounce the doctrine of original sin and the principle of substitutionary atonement while promoting a notion of sinless perfectionism. In the words of one of their teachers: "I don't believe in original sin; I believe in natural ability. I don't believe in prevenient grace; I believe in free will. I don't believe in a born-with sinful nature; I believe in an acquired sinful nature over time through habitual sinning."
- Restoration Movement
- Information about the Campbellite movement and its history.
- Dr. Gene Scott®
- W. Eugene Scott, Ph.D. actually registered a trademark for the name "Dr. Gene Scott." He was the quintessential Southern California religious wackountil he dropped dead from a stroke in February 2005. If you think a foul-mouthed, immoral, cigar-chomping, narcissistic windbag would make a good spiritual leader, Doc would have been the perfect guru for you. One of his best-loved "worship" choruses was a little ditty he wrote titled "Kill a Pissant for Jesus." He's gone, but his website lives on.
- Pastor Melissa Scott
- Dr. Gene Scott®'s teaching lives on, too. His third wife, Melissa, took over his pastoral position and his teaching role. Slightly more cogent than her husband, she still teaches the same bad theology.
- Seventh-day Adventist Church
- A modern version of the same kind of legalism that threatened the Galatian Church in the New Testament.
- Shepherd's Chapel
- Arnold Murray is this group's guru, and he teaches a host of errors, including the notion that modern Jews are really descendants of Kenites, whom Murray claims descended from Cain and usurped the chosen-people status of the true Israelites. Murray's teachings are immensely popular in the "Christian Identity Movement," which advocates racism and white supremacism. The Christian Research Institute archive has a helpful on-line exposé of Murray and the Identity Movement.
- Streams Ministries Online
- The design here is fairly slick, but that's about the only good thing I can say about this site. This is the ministry of John Paul Jackson, one of the infamous "Kansas City Prophets." He's still peddling his own imagination as if it were the Word of God. He now specializes in interpreting dreams and visions. You can submit your dreams to him for interpretation (I advise strongly against this). For a while he offered something called the "Dream Certification Process." It seemed to be a training program where you could learn to invent dream-interpretations like Jackson does. But I couldn't tell for sure, because you had to register to use that part of the website, and since I take Deuteronomy 13:1-5 seriously, I want nothing to do with a "prophet" who usually gets his predictions wrong.
- "The largest Christian television network in the world"unfortunately. The spirit of Tetzel is alive and well on cable TV. Bad doctrine, spurious claims of divine revelation, mawkish emotions, gaudy makeup, and tawdry decorations all contribute to the unique ambience that is TBN. To borrow some biblical language, TBN is "the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird" (cf. Rev. 18:2).
- Tentmaker Online
- More universalism masquerading as biblical Christianity. Recently the proprietor of this site has added "full preterism" to the list of heresies he embraces.
- a true church
- This group used to be called "God's Word Fellowship." The original name was inappropriate enough, but the new name could hardly be less fitting. In the first place, this is not a true church at all, but a cult based on the teaching of one manDarwin Fish (yes, that's his real name). In the second place, the indefinite pronoun is misleading, because Darwin and his acolytes don't really believe there are any other true churches out there. As a matter of fact, their public "ministry" consists mainly of picketing churches and large evangelical gatherings while handing out literature condemning all the best-known Christian leaders and historical figures as heretics. Among their more serious errors, they deny the doctrine of the Trinity and teach that God is human. See our FAQ warning about the errors of this group. Or see this page for an analysis of Mr. Fish that mirrors his own look and feel.
- Truth or Tradition?
- Subtle but deadly peddlers of the heresies of unitarianism, annihilationism, and a cheapjack variety of Arianism (denying the deity of Christ). Their sister site has an oxymoronic name: BiblicalUnitarian.com. Their YouTube channel features slick-looking videos and generates lots of activity—and even more confusion. Don't be fooled by their grinning deception. This group is a splinter of The Way International. It was founded by John W. Schoenheit, one-time researcher for that cult. He was fired in 1986 for writing a paper suggesting that the rampant sexual misconduct of the cult's leaders was immoral. He nevertheless has retained and embellished many of the heresies promoted by Victor Paul Wierwille and The Way International. Toxic stuff.
- The United Pentecostal Church
- Oneness Pentecostalisma deadly blend of Pelagianism, Sabellian modalism, and extreme Pentecostalism.
- Worldwide Church of God
- Once a cult, always a cult, it seems. This is the group founded by Herbert W. Armstrong, who blended elements of Arianism, Seventh-day sabbatarianism, Anglo-Israelism, Galatian-style legalism, Pyramidology, and various other quirks and heresies into a deadly mix of false doctrines. Armstrong also falsely prophesied some end-times events, including the "rapture" of the church (he predicted the group would be miraculously taken to Petra in Jordan in 1972). After Armstrong's death in 1986, the group abandoned his anti-trinitarianism, disclaimed his rigid Saturday-Sabbatarianism, and made several other significant and much-publicized concessions to historic Christian orthodoxy.
But are they really orthodox? They teach a doctrine of post-mortem salvation; a muddled view of justification; and a confusing version of "the gospel of the kingdom" that still contains strong elements of Armstrongism. Doctrinal confusion seems rife within the group, and their teachings have been constantly in flux since Armstrong's death. Their halting movement toward evangelical "orthodoxy" still looks as if it may de-rail before they actually shed all their founder's false teachings.
WCG's published "Statement of Beliefs" does include an appendix with the Nicene Creed, the Disciples' Creed, and the definition of Chalcedon. But there is no explicit affirmation of these historic formulaeand the introduction to them warns that "creeds can become formal, complex, abstract, and sometimes equated with Scripture." Furthermore, the modern doctrinal statement offered by the WCG fudges on issues like soul sleep and eternal punishment. ("Does the punishing of the wicked last forever? The Bible can be interpreted in different ways on that." The Bible can be interpreted "many ways" on just about everything. It has only one true meaning, howeverand therefore only one right interpretation.) And when the WCG deals with vital doctrines like justification by faith, those articles of faith are abbreviated and framed in unnecessarily ambiguous language. (For example, Scripture is affirmed as inspired and "foundational to the church"but not expressly said to be the sole and sufficient rule of faith.)
The WCG today is certainly not as solidly in the mainstream of the evangelical movement as some of the recent giddy reports (cheered on by the WCG's own tireless PR department) have tried to make out. It appears uncertain at this point whether they intend to be truly orthodox, or merely stake out a permanent position on the fringe, doing what they have always done: borrowing popular errors from other groups and trying to amalgamate them into a mongrel system that is uniquely their own.
In any case, as much as we would have liked to see them in a different category, Scripture and conscience compel us to say frankly that the theology of this group is still really bad.
- Youth With A Mission
- If you wonder why I would link a well-known and widely respected organization like YWAM in the "Really Bad" category, see "Youth With A Mission and Theology: A History"an account of YWAM's propagation of "Moral Government Theology." See also "The 'Spiritual Mapping' of Youth With A Mission" for even more documentation regarding YWAM's dangerous flirtation with Pelagian ideas.
YWAM has long touted a faulty view of the atonement in their training sessions at home and overseas. The result has been a proliferation of pseudo-Christianity, weakened churches, and Pelagian tendencies wherever these doctrines have taken hold.
- Martin Zender.com
- Here's a dude who bills himself as "the world's most outspoken Bible scholar." Brazen he surely is; scholarly he most certainly is not. Zender has a cocky yet blathering style of teaching that (apparently) some have mistaken for proficiency in handling Scripture. Like the proverbial stopped clock, he even manages to intersect with a point of truth from time to time. But this guy is by no means to be trusted. His best-known heresies are his denial of hell and his belief that God is going to save everyone. Despite his angry claim that he "defies labels" and used to distribute a famous rant titled "I Am Not a Goshdanged Universalist", he is indeed a universalistand lately he just waffles on whether the label fits or not. Trust me: it fits. "Universalism" is, after all, the technical name for the doctrine he is peddling. You'd think the world's most outspoken theological hack would understand that much. But, then, that's why we think he's a Really Bad hack.