There are many false people are out there to infiltrate ministries and deceive. We cannot always tell the line between knowing deceivers or those who were their victims. That said, listening to some of these diatribes against those who discern, they always run the same course. They always have the same messages.
With Eric Barger, he has done conferences with Chuck Missler
I am familiar with his ministry TAKE A STAND ministries. It is a ministry designed to do outreach to Mormons, obviously years ago, I thought this was a good thing, but sadly here too, the false messages started cropping up.
No one who writes a blog like this one is gleeful when they find so many dubious connections, teachings and involvements. I think it is important to give grace when it comes to new Christians, non-willful ignorance, and knowing Satan's workers can even work on the extremely sincere.
But you ever notice none of these ever deal with the information presented? How come they never question their friend's connections? How come they never examine anything?
Some of the points made in this article are odd.
"But as one examines doctrine, practice, and those who teach throughout Christendom, one question is constantly voiced: where does a discerning Christian draw the line in determining what is false teaching and who is a false teacher?"
Sure a Christian can be wrong about smaller matters and still be sincere, but as a normal note, false teachings and false teachers go hand in hand. Where is the trust in the Holy Spirit as a teacher here?
Eric Barger writes:
"On the June 16, 2012, “Understanding The Times” program, I co-hosted along with ministry founder, Jan Markell, Jill Martin Rische (daughter of the late Dr. Walter Martin), and Executive Producer Larry Kutzler. The program was titled “When Contending Becomes Cantankerous” and the questions we posed were: When it comes to differences in doctrine and practice, at what point do we sever fellowship with another Christian? What legitimately constitutes someone being called a “false teacher?” And, at what point is error sufficient or egregious enough to deserve the tag of “false teaching” or “heresy?”
One thing not being new to this rodeo, I know this is just advanced "hater" script speech, remember this article where I wrote this? If you have never read this article make so you do so before reading this.
"The Scripts Used to Silence and Mislead Christians"
Some of his choice of those he associates himself with are of interest. We see the same names cropping up all over the place. Along with the Missler connection mentioned above, Jill Rische Martin, I know for a fact, had a Catholic moderator on her message board of years ago, I remember being on that message board and voicing a complaint only to be drummed off. I saw that with my own eyes. Any posts that were too "critical" of the Roman Catholic church were to be censored off and that included many of mine. Of course her father left the Catholic church out of his book "Kingdom of Cults".
Today's Religious Info Net message board is a newer version but I want you to notice something...
While the message board has some CULTS listed with MORMONISM among the number, the Catholic church is relegated to the CHRISTIANITY department. This was true of the old ones as well.
Often if you read websites like this and this website is run by Jill Rische Martin, you will see often they admit the RCC has a few errors but put it in the "Christian" category.
If one cannot even discern that the RCC teaches a false gospel and is anything but Christian, that is a problem. For me, that is a point of separation. I will have nothing to do with any church or ministry that is involved with the ecumenical movement with Rome or the World Christian Movement.
Jan Markell is another name I see cropping up with other ones I have warned about:
"ABOUT THIS DVD: 5 PARTS – 40 MINS EACH: Experts interviewed by Caryl Matrisciana for WIDE IS THE GATE VOLUME 2 include Eric Barger, Jason Carlson, Mike Gendron, Sarah Leslie, Jan Markell, Tom McMahon, Johanna Michaelsen, Brenda Nickel, Roger Oakland, Chris Quintana, Warren Smith, Ray Yungen, Paul Wilkinson and others."
And as you see there are always connections between the same names.
When I say they always know each other, it never fails:
Jan Markell did a show with Chuck Missler too...
Eric Barger's article continues:
"The program was born out of numerous discussions I have had over the past year with my friend, Jan Markell. Both Jan and I have become increasingly uncomfortable, even disturbed, with the tone and lack of civility being portrayed by some within the apologetics and discernment community of speakers, writers, and commentators. We’ve watched, listened, and have tried to intervene as assorted discernment ministries have fired shots at others inside Christianity over issues that fall miserably short of what has always been considered heresy."Perhaps instead of a spirit of indignation, they should examine some of the issues raised by those who are questioning the political and new world order involvements of their compatriots like Missler. Even beyond this are the false teachings that include the deceptions of Christian Zionism [I noticed Jan Markell had her website marked with a Star of David] and other issues. There with a new Christian, I can understand ignorance about the star of David, but what am I to think of self avowed discerners who have been in the field for some time?
"Other leaders have voiced the same concern to us in recent days and mind you, the issue is not concerning any rejection of the virgin birth or the bodily resurrection of Christ. Nor is it related to the pseudo-Christian yet cultic Emergent heresy or the seducing web with which spiritual liberalism ensnares so many. The type of “discernment” that I’m referring to here doesn’t involve someone’s denial of the essential doctrines of the faith. Instead, what these squabbles really amount to are nothing more than disagreements on secondary doctrines, styles of worship, and peripheral practices."What do they mean by "secondary doctrines"? He never exactly defines this bit, even the examples he provides later in the article, basically stating that Charismatics and other types of Christians should unify is disturbing. I can accept even a Pre-Trib person as being a fellow born again Christian, even if I pray the Holy Spirit shows them what I learned about the Rapture and more. I can see even someone being initially 'born again" within a Pentecostal church but needing time, study and prayer to understand those errors and coming out. That applies to many Christians who responded to the gospel but then as they grew in discipleship understood more and more.
I had to have my own time in learning some of these things. But here, the field seems to be muddied, when Christians start ignoring the importance of doctrine at all, that is when one gets into a dangerous place. What kind of Christian doesn't care about doctrine or thinks it should be something put on the shelf for the sake of unity? In my opinion not one at all. The love of truth here divides. Even if grace should be extended to those who are in different places and sincere and desiring to learn, hasn't the rejection of the importance of doctrine, taken so many into apostasy to begin with? One thing often times, those who question discernment will tell people, the one world religion stuff doesn't matter over and over, it's a way to put people to sleep in the pews.
1Ti 1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
I mean after all how did some of these teachers manage to mislead so many into embracing so many false teachings? A little leaven leavens the lump and well "secondary" stuff can turn into PRIMARY pretty quickly.
When I expose a ministry on this website, this is usually based on a whole picture, being involved with false teachers, being hooked into the NWO and political world and teaching false doctrines, it is very little about "side issues" as Eric Barger claims. It isn't a matter of someone making a mistake or even have one single "blind spot". To be frank with the MAJORITY spoken of on this blog, there is always an ecumenical tie.
"Many may not be familiar with the phrase “secondary separation” and though others may use the term differently, this is my phrasing of how we defined it during the June 16 “Understanding the Times” radio broadcast. “Secondary separation” is the breaking of fellowship with another Christian over issues not primary but secondary to one’s salvation. Such separation is often accompanied by the public renunciation of the other party. Often, secondary separation becomes a divisive issue which exerts pressure on other individuals to have nothing to do with a party deemed “unclean” or “heretical” by a particular influential writer or speaker."
One thing stressed here, is many of the false teachers will water things way down and will tell folks that separating from everyone that calls themselves a born again Christian, is a mistake. Forgotten is this verse in the Bible:
Matt 7: 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Obviously there are endless warnings in the Bible about those who call themselves Christians and are NOT.
One point disturbing point he makes is below. Doesn't this guy advertise himself as an EVANGELICAL, then why does he desire that Christians stick to Catholic CREEDS? Yes I know Protestant churches have adopted creeds as well. Creeds are no proof of belief or of salvation. Millions of Catholics recite the creed who are not biblically born again. This is more "organized church" deceptions.
"Before anyone misinterprets my statement about “non-essential theologies” to say that I think some doctrines don’t matter, let me set the record straight. There are non-negotiable, essential doctrines that each and every person who correctly calls himself or herself a Christian must align with. They are clearly and simply outlined in the two great creeds of the Church: the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed"
I wonder if he would refer to my point there as a "secondary separation" point. If someone cannot discern that dry toast rote non-biblical creeds mean nothing when it comes to born again biblical salvation, then that worries me. A new Christian, sure may not know, but years of study? That is one I knew very soon after leaving the Catholic church and watching years worth of the dead recitation required before every Catholic mass.
One thing, if a Christian is following the Holy Spirit, we have the grace to know people have things to learn and for God to show them, new Christians, and others. It took me time to see through Christian Zionism and to question the Rapture. I even realize with all the deception in the world today there are many who many NOT know certain things but at least have the feeling something is wrong, even if they can't put their finger on it, and have the basics down about refuting those who would advance unity of all religions and other false agendas. For many Bible Christians, one non-negotiable point is discerning the reality of the Roman Catholic church and other wicked institutions,
He quotes this verse, but points out the discernment ministries as being the wicked ones.
“And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Mathew 24:10-12, emphasis added)"
I would say this verse more applies to those who have joined with the halls of power and those who teach false things. He is correct that Christians should give grace to those who are new Christians, to work out disagreements, but this does not mean closing one's eyes to the deceptions that are out there.
This does not mean excusing those who are joined together in the networks, advancing false agendas.
He goes on further...
"Unless someone disavows or adds to items listed in the Apostles Creed, they are our brother or sister in Christ and should be treated with respect, compassion, and love. How much clearer could the early Church Fathers have made it? Some doctrines are non-negotiable and some are not. Why are we trying to tack our particular peripheral beliefs onto the essentials, creating division instead of unity in the process? How refreshing it would be to witness ministers and groups that align on the essentials and learn to disagree agreeably on the peripheral issues."
And here he gets it totally wrong. What makes someone a brother or sister in JESUS CHRIST? Whether they are born again or not. NOT recitation or intellectual assent to creeds.
If one was to align themselves with every Christian that professes 'belief' in the Apostles Creed or Nicene Creed this would include every liturgical church, the Catholic church, well you see where I am going with this....
your basic ecumenical outlook.....
This misses one core point, SALVATION, and the HOLY SPIRIT INDWELLING and what makes a Christian a Christian, NOT mere recitation of creeds or intellectual "belief" and statements that God is "real".
Peter even wrote to fellow Christians...
"1 Peter: 2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied."
That is one "BIG DOCTRINE", in my opinion, he gets wrong.
And why on earth is EVANGELICAL Eric Barger praising EARLY CHURCH FATHERS as an example when many of them were deceivers bringing in false Catholic doctrines and more. Run from those who point to those men as an example or for truth instead of SCRIPTURE.
How many of these guys tell Christians to shut their eyes and ears? And they just do not say give grace to your fellow born again Christians but the most watered down ecumenical beliefs. The sad thing is so many out there listen to these teachers, and this is a way to they do inoculate their flocks against those who are sounding the warning cry while taking them down the ecumenical road.
P.S. While fixing a broken link for this article, I found this newer article on his website.
Clearing Up Misconceptions about the Aspostle's Creed.
It looks like others may have pointed out what I just did.
His response is really not one at all. These guys never have the attitude of correcting or examining themselves. He is still wrong about even defining what a Christian even is.
Years ago I did go through the apostles creed and MUCH of it is WRONG. But I will have to dig that up through my files and may post it later. So that is a challenge a Christian can take on.
He can tell people til the cows come home he is not a Catholic, Ok so he's not taking the Eucharist or visiting the Pope, YET, but when he bows before the "catholic' church of the apostles creed and tells us the apostles creed defines WHO is a Christian, he may as well BE.
Let me say up front that I am not what some would call "creedal." I have never been a part of a church that employed the Apostles Creed (or any of the various other creeds from the past). Nor have I ever been a Roman Catholic or in any way friendly to the RCC. Anyone who knows me understands how opposed I am to both the Roman papal system and the extra-biblical religious trap that is Catholicism. It is pretty shocking to me that one pastor, who I thought I knew and who I thought knew me, has accused me of being a closet Catholic of some sort! How silly yet scary at the same time that any other Christian would resort to making these kind of wild claims - yet hasn't even bothered to call or even email me concerning it. I suspect that such a statement is but an attack on me because I dared to rock the boat of some with "When Discernment Turns Ugly."
Regardless, rest assured that I am not a Catholic. (It seems ridiculous to me to even have to say that.) I'm kind of in shock at such an accusation but such is life in the world of apologetics, especially in an age of extremes. After 30 years in this ministry, I'm resolved that I can't please everyone, and the same article may cause people to hurl opposite insults at you, one claiming you're a liberal and another crowing that you are a legalist instead.
With all of that said, I challenge any true Bible-believer to just erase the title "Apostles Creed" from the top and then carefully go through each of the twelve points in it. As you do, ask yourself, "Is there any offense or error in any of these points?" At first glance some might think there are and, as proven by the reaction I received from a few folks after reading my article, some might never understand or receive what's in the Creed if it's, well, "in the Creed." Nevertheless, what it embodies is simply the nuts and bolts of essential Christianity, something I learned to embrace above all peripheral issues long ago from my mentor, the late Dr. Walter Martin. The Apostles Creed, as I point out in the following piece, contains the non-negotiable doctrines that glue us together as believers and, more importantly, that cement us to the Savior, Jesus Christ.
Wild claims? I do not think so.
Recitation or intellectual assent in a creed does not make a Christian as stated above.
Hmm so his MENTOR was Walter Martin, that EXPLAINS A LOT.