Spend your energy explaining why good ideas are right

The people who fuel bad ideas are often the very people trying to destroy them. Experts will argue against a bad idea until they are blue in the face and then get exasperated when people continue to believe them. But they fail to realize they spent 90 percent of their time discussing why a bad idea is false and only 10 percent explaining how a good idea is true. In other words, they gave the bulk of their time and attention to a bad idea.

What is someone more likely to remember? The thing you spent 90 percent of your time talking about? Or the thing you spent 10 percent of the time talking about? Experts wonder why people continue to believe bad ideas, but fail to realize that they are giving bad ideas far too much airtime.

Thus, we get to one of the key features of debunking wrong beliefs:

The best thing that can happen to a bad idea is that it is forgotten. The best thing that can happen to a good idea is that it is shared. Don’t waste time explaining why bad ideas are bad. Instead, explain why good ideas are good.

Spend your energy explaining why good ideas are right, not what bad ideas are wrong. Do not fan the flame of ignorance and stupidity. Spread intelligent ideas.

Thus, it is better to pour your energy into good ideas and let bad ideas fade away. —James Clear

Is there something to apply here to the preaching and teaching of the gospel?

I recall a teacher, in a course on denominational doctrines, saying that the best way to refute a false teaching was to put forth positively what the Bible teaches on the subject. I forgot much of what we studied in that course, but that principle has always stuck with me, even in moments when I didn’t practice it in the best way.

#false-doctrine, #gospel, #teaching


10-2-2017 False Promises

“They have lied about the LORD, And said, ‘It is not He. Neither will evil come upon us, Nor shall we see sword or famine. And the prophets become wind, For the word is not in them” (Jeremiah 5:12-13 NKJV). False preachers teach false ideas and cause people to falsely believe that: (1) God either doesn’t exist, or doesn’t care, or doesn’t help; (2) nothing bad can happen to those who obey God. This causes frustration and rejection when something bad does happen! (3) People who listen to them are “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting” (Ephesians 4:14 NKJV). (4) Lies about God are based in the Word of God, the Bible.
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#false-doctrine, #false-faith, #false-preachers

Twice dead? Not without being born twice.

In his description of sneaky false teachers, Jude uses these words:

These men are dangerous reefs at your love feasts, feasting without reverence, feeding only themselves. They are waterless clouds, carried along by the winds; autumn trees without fruit—twice dead, uprooted; wild sea waves, spewing out the foam of their shame; wayward stars for whom the utter depths of eternal darkness have been reserved.” (Jude 12,13 – NET)

Nearly every reputable translation (as well as some not-so-reputable ones) uses the simple phrase “twice dead” when it comes to these fruitless trees. This is a description that should not only be concerning to anyone who falls into this spiritual category, it should be concerning to anyone who teaches or believes that once an indidvual is born-again, he or she can never abuse God’s grace to the extent that God’s grace is no longer afforded to that individual. The simple fact of the matter is one cannot be twice dead without being born twice. Someone who has never been alive spiritually cannot die spiritually one time, much less twice.

God’s grace through Jesus can indeed keep us from falling away from the gift of salvation – all you have to do is read how Jude ends his letter; but to say that keeping ourselves in the love of God is equal to not being able to forsake that love is to say something that holds no more water than the clouds that get mentioned right before the trees.

#calvinism, #false-doctrine, #jude, #once-saved-always-saved

The Absurdity of “Christians” Denying a Literal Resurrection

They’re out there…the wolves in sheep’s clothing that deny the Bible-based literal interpretation of a bodily resurrection. Their deceptive and destructive appetite even goes so far as to deny Jesus’ resurrection from the grave.

When I think of these sort of “Christians” I am reminded of a retortful rebuke given by Christopher Hitchens (yes, the well-known and noted and quoted late atheist) to a “Unitarian Christian”, who attempted to dodge the age-old derision of skeptics toward the fundamental Christian elements taught in the Bible by saying the she did not believe in a literal interpretation of the scriptures. His response was simply, “I would say that if you don’t believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and Messiah, and that he rose again from the dead and by his sacrifice our sins are forgiven, you’re really not in any meaningful sense a Christian.

That’s not exactly an “out of the mouth of babes” moment, but it would be hard to get any closer to the real thing.

The truly astonishing thing to me isn’t that denominational ladened “Christians” two millennia on this side of the empty tomb deny the resurrection (don’t confuse my lack of astonishment with a lack of disapproval), but rather that Christians two decades on this side of the empty tomb were doing the same thing! Such was the reason that we read, “Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?…For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!…If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” (1 Corinthians 15:12, 16-17, 19) And the continuation of such denials to this day is the very reason why 1 Corinthians 15 is as applicable today as the day it was written.

If one desired to see the word absurdity played out in real life, all one has to do is watch a “Christian” try to deny that the Bible teaches a belief in a real resurrection.

Related Article:

#denominational-errors, #false-doctrine, #jesus-resurrection-from-the-dead, #resurrection


9-22-2015 Evolutionary Contradictions

Repeating a lie doesn’t make it true. “The prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, ‘Hear now, Hananiah, the LORD has not sent you, but you make this people trust in a lie’” (Jeremiah 28:15 NKJV). The false doctrine of “Evolution” causes people to exchange “the truth of God for the lie” and worship and serve “the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25 NKJV). There is no scientific fact to prove it, and it contradicts Scripture and scientific facts! God will reject the immoral and “whoever loves and practices a lie” (Revelation 22:15 NKJV). “Evolution” cannot account for: amazing design and detail; a human’s emotional heart; cell DNA; faith and hope; an eternal soul; or life, itself. It substitutes primordial goo for God; survival of the fittest for mercy; and outer comparisons for inner connections.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#evolution, #false-doctrine, #lie, #scientific-fact, #scripture, #truth

How about an authentic forgery?

The latest news about the letter that says Jesus was married (in it he supposedly says “my wife”) has left some people wondering if it’s authentic or a forgery. I would simply settle the matter by saying it’s an authentic forgery!

Even if the letter is authentic, by genuinely dating back to 1,200 years ago, as the “tests” have reportedly shown, I believe it would be wise to keep in mind that the neighborhood of 1,200 years ago is more than a few zip-codes away from the neighborhood of 1,900 years ago. So the letter may in fact be genuine – but genuinely wrong nonetheless.

Through the centuries following the establishment of Jesus’ church (the actual biblical bride of Christ – Ephesians 5:22-33), and up to this very day, many people have circulated false ideas (a.k.a. false doctrine) about Jesus’ person and doctrine; whether this was done in spoken word or in circulated letter it matters not, the errors are still the same. People could have very well taught around 1,200 A.D. that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, but that makes the belief no more accurate than that of the idea that Mary, Jesus’ mother, physically ascended into heaven after her death (that’s if she died to begin with) several centuries before 1,200 A.D. (but keep in mind that this idea didn’t receive the Catholic Church’s unfailable “stamp of approval” until 1950). Both ideas are as foreign to scripture as any notion that Judas was politically misunderstood.

Can ideas be authentic and a forgery at the same time? Sure they can. It all depends upon from whom the ideas originate.

For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24:24)

#biblical-forgeries, #false-doctrine, #jesus-wife


5-29-2015 God versus “Climate Change #4

The false doctrine of “Climate Change” assumes that humans can influence and/or control our “climate.” Climate control is in the hand of God, not man. Paul showed that “the living God [is He] who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them”…“Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:15, 17). After the world-wide destruction of the Earth by the flood in Noah’s day, God decreed, “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22 NKJV). How arrogant are those who try to act like God and claim to have control over the seasons?

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#climate-change, #false-doctrine

Black Ice

Yes, black ice. That thin, invisible skim of ice on a surface which is so dangerous because you don’t see it. A few months ago, a friend of ours stepped out her door. She very carefully looked for ice, as it was very cold. Seeing none, she stepped down…onto the only piece of black ice in her yard, and fell, breaking her arm and thigh bone.
The same is true with sin. Sometimes, only a very small item or error is preached. So small that only a very few catch it. Because only one or two approach the elders, they decide to let it go rather than upset the congregation. But sin begets sin. Soon, a whole congregation is led astray, little by little, until the Lord’s Word is unrecognizable.
Take care. Watch for small errors before they become large errors. Search the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11) and do not be afraid to confront false teaching,

#false-doctrine, #false-teaching

False Doctrine

A word to the wise is sufficient…or so they say. The congregation we worshipped with for 14 years was sound…or so we thought. On the evenings of March 1, 2015, and March 8, 2015, I listened in amazement as the preacher I had thought was true to the Word suddenly was declaring that the church had an obligation to fellowship anyone and any congregation where there were “baptized believers.” According to his sermons, it matters not what they believe and what they teach…if they have been baptized, that is the only thing that matters. Yes, baptism matters, but so does the doctrine. Many have been “dunked,” but, if they do not obey the doctrine taught in the New Testament, they are still not Christians. At any rate, please study the Bible on your own. Know the Doctrine of the New Testament. Be ready to dispute and expose those who teach false doctrine.


You may be, I am not

wafflesToday I do what I don’t often do, in the short piece, “Are we or are we not, and does it matter?” on the underused Gospel Progress site.

I call a name.

This in the serious, eyes-open spirit of Ep 5.11, “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather expose them” NET.

The Asbury Bible Commentary says of this verse, “… as the Lord himself, they should turn the light of God’s truth upon the secret deeds practiced by false teachers and be quick to point them out for what they are: sins against God …” (emphasis mine). Continue reading


The Absurdity of the Calvinistic Invitation to come to Christ

I just listened to a sermon by John MacArthur entitled, “The Doctrine of Actual Atonement, Part 1” in which he tried to ridicule “evangelicals” who believe that Jesus died and paid the price for sin for every single person by saying that they use the Gospel to try to “coerce” people into coming to Jesus; and once again, which is on par for Calvinists, his lesson became full of circular logic, inconsistent reasoning’s and error filled conclusions that were reached because the starting point was wrong to begin with.

On multiple occasions he referenced how a belief in universal atonement automatically requires a belief in universal salvation – which are two different things! And then he proceeded to “explain” how any atonement other than a “limited one” is actually an atonement that fails, thus requiring Jesus, due to his own logic (he actually talks about what makes sense to him which I didn’t think matters to Calvinists due to the whole irresistible aspect and perverted sovereignty of God), to only shed his sin atoning blood for people who were always going to be saved to begin with and not for people who believe of their own free will through the preaching of God’s grace and judgment of sin in the gospel.

But the kicker for me is how Mr. MacArthur ended the sermon. After all the berating of “evangelicals” who supposedly coerce others with emotion, and after all the talk about how a person has no free will in the matter, this is how he ended his sermon* on “Actual Atonement” (aka Limited Atonement):

All who will ever believe, will believe because the Father will draw them, and he will grant them repentance, and faith, and regeneration. Jesus’ death then is to be understood as a full satisfaction to God’s holy justice on behalf of all whom God will save. The atonement is an actual atonement, not simply a barrier removed. And it is in behalf of all who would ever believe, and since the sinner is unwilling and unable to believe apart from divine intervention and regeneration it comes then down to the power of God based upon the decree of God.

People say, “Well how do you know whether Christ died for you?” The answer is, “Whosoever will may come, and if you come and believe in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ then the death of Christ was for you.” Don’t hold back, come to Christ.” (John MacArthur – minute 18:00 – 19:15 of the audio from “The Doctrine of Actual Atonement, Part 1“)

Here are my big issues with such a conclusion based upon the content of what had already been said in the sermon:

  • Why in the world would someone invite someone to believe when that individual has no choice in the matter?
  • Why would you say that a sinner is unwilling to believe when they are unable to believe? One overrides the other making a “person’s will” in the matter non-influential, non-negotiable, non-consequential and non-existent.
  • Why would someone mention anything about “whosoever will” or even use the word “if” if a person’s salvation is supposedly unconditional?
  • Why would someone’s response to the invitation matter if a person’s response to the invitation doesn’t determine whether or not they’re actually saved – because you never know, Jesus may not have died for them, right?
  • Why in the world would you tell someone to not hold back and come to Christ if they can’t hold back because they’ve already been signed and sealed for Heaven? Or why in the world would you tell someone to not hold back and come to Christ if they can’t keep from holding back because they’ve already been signed and sealed for Hell?
  • Why would a person try to “coerce” an individual by using emotion and saying don’t hold back and come to Christ if in reality the response to the invitation has nothing to do with a person’s will at the end of the day?

An invitation given by a “true Calvinist” is nothing but an absurdity that does the very thing that they ridicule others for – encouraging people to make a decision about the death of Jesus upon the cross when he shed atoning blood for the entire world; but what they fail to understand is that whether or not a person accepts that free gift has nothing to do with overriding God’s sovereignty. That’s why it’s called free will by the will of God.

The doctrine of “Limited Atonement” is nothing but a doctrine invented by men that, in a twist of irony, does nothing good spiritually speaking, thus leaving it useful only as a rotten support beam to build the rest of the error filled elements of the house called Calvinism.

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, putting to death the prophets, and stoning those who are sent to her! Again and again would I have taken your children to myself as a bird takes her young ones under her wings, and you would not!” (Matthew 23:37 – BBE – emphasis mine)

* the given quote from the sermon was written down by author of this post as he listened to the recording and not copied from a supplied document or manuscript; therefore it may contain some grammatical errors, but the sermon snippet itself has been given word for word

#calvinism, #christianity, #death-of-christ, #false-doctrine, #limited-atonement, #religion, #theology

The Fallacy of Rejecting “Paul’s Words”

For various reasons of self-interest and faulty theology there are those in the religious world who believe and teach that the “word’s of Paul” should be rejected.

If one were to reject the “words of Paul” then they by default have to reject basically every other letter that makes up the New Testament.

Don’t like “Paul’s words” huh? Well I guess you can’t like Peter’s words either since he endorsed what Paul taught and considered him to be a brother in Christ (2 Peter 3:15-16).

Don’t like “Paul’s word’s” huh? Well I guess you can’t like Mark’s words either since history/tradition teaches that Mark wrote through the guidance of Peter who, again, endorsed the “words of Paul” and due to the fact that Mark was very familiar with Paul and considered him a brother in Christ who taught the truth (2 Timothy 4:11).

Don’t like “Paul’s words” huh? Well I guess you can’t like Luke’s words either since Luke greatly supported Paul and due to the fact that they labored together on missionary trips teaching the same thing to others who were coming to Jesus through their preaching (Colossians 4:4, 2 Timothy 4:11, Acts 21:1-19…notice how many times “we” and “us” are used).

So I guess that leaves a person with the words of John and James and Jude…except for the fact that both John and James endorsed Paul’s preaching (Acts 15:6-29) and Jude is just too judgmental!

So you still want to reject the “words of Paul” huh? I don’t know about you, but to me that sounds a whole lot like, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Failing to listen to “Paul’s words” is a failure to listen to the word of God.

If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 14:37)

#apostle-paul, #christianity, #false-doctrine, #false-teachers, #new-testament, #new-testament-canon, #rejecting-pauls-words, #religion, #theology, #unbelief

Just a few questions for my Catholic friends…

Been thinking here lately (I’m really opening myself up to zingers there!) about the catholic church situation and what the catholic church itself teaches about the pope and even Mary.

So the pope’s word is supposed to be infallible, right? When does it become so? Was his word as a “cardinal” infallible? And since he’s still alive does his word continue to be infallible? If not, how does one go from being fallible to infallible and back to fallible again? Talk about a rollercoaster ride! And also, is Benedict still the most-holy or is he only normal-holy? Or is he even Benedict anymore?

Now when it comes to Mary and her conception being “immaculate” from “original sin” how did she come to be that way? Jesus was born in the flesh according to her genetic material, right? Were her mother and father immaculate as well? How about her grandparents? And her great-parents and their great-grandparents? When did this whole “immaculate” thing start in the gene pool? Why didn’t the siblings of Jesus get the same benefits of their mother’s “immaculate” condition? Scratch that last question – seems like I remember something about sex between a husband and a wife not being allowed and no other children being born. But the other questions still stand.


And by the way, if you do give an answer in the affirmative, please give a scripture reference that affirms your affirmation along with it 🙂 That would be most helpful.

#catholic-church, #catholic-doctrine, #catholicism, #christianity, #false-doctrine, #immaculate-conception, #jesus, #mary, #original-sin, #pope

Damascus or Straight – They Don’t Lead To The Same Place

There are many in the religious world who claim that Paul was “saved” on the road to Damascus. Then using the ole’ Damascus road example they teach that all a person has to do to be saved is believe in Jesus and say a prayer and then their salvation is secure. Anybody can stake a claim, but the deed of truth can be something entirely different.

Now, it’s definitely true that Paul met his Savior on the ole’ Damascus road but it’s not true that he received the gift of salvation from Jesus at that point. Paul was told by the Lord to keep traveling on the ole’ Damascus road and head on into the city and wait for instructions…he hadn’t arrived at his destination yet!

The man who couldn’t wait to get to Damascus was now going to have simmer there for a time while waiting for Ananias’ instructions, and Ananias wasn’t out there on the ole’ Damascus road – he would later meet a multi-day blind, fasting and praying Paul in a house on the street called Straight. It was there, on the street called Straight, that Paul would receive the heavenly instructions on what to do to begin his walk in Jesus as a Christian (Acts 9:18, 22:16).

If we want to reach our destination when it comes to the salvation found in Jesus we need to look to the street called Straight and not the broad way of the Damascus road. The street called Straight may be a little more difficult to find, but the scriptures make it clear that it’ll be worth the effort.

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

#baptism, #christianity, #damascus, #faith, #false-doctrine, #paul, #salvation, #sinners-prayer, #straight

Another Example of “Penknife Religion”

Ole’ Jehudi (Jeremiah 26:33) wasn’t the first person to try to change God’s word but people still love follow in his tradition of cutting out and altering the scriptures to make them fit their sinful lives like a custom suit. Here’s a link to the second part of a two-part series from the GospelofChrist.com about the latest perversion of God’s word called the “Queen James Bible” that’s been translated in a way to make homosexuality seem spiritually/morally acceptable. I thought some here might find it an interesting and saddening read at the same time.

#bible, #false-doctrine, #sin, #translations