Flashback: “We’re going to root this stuff out of our ministry.”

A year ago today, I shared a message from The First Baptist Church of Johnson City, N.Y. in which the pastor apologized to his congregation and delivered one of the most thorough warnings about false teaching I’ve heard. It is a tremendous message.

In a sermon called The Subtlety of Satan, Pastor Jim Murphy clearly traced the disintegration of Christianity and its falling away from the truth of the gospel and into more and more error through history – from the attacks on the authority of scripture in the late 1940s, through 1960s liberalism, to modern day mysticism and contemplative spirituality. But in the final ten minutes of the message it becomes crystal clear that this is not mere academics for Pastor Murphy, he is brokenhearted by the error he sees within his own church body and frustrated by the lack of discernment which is due entirely to people not knowing and studying the Bible.

Here are some of the highlights:

“Now is the time for clarity. No more messing around. No more experimentation. No more dabbling into these dangerous practices. Now is the time for clarity and that clarity comes through discernment: this ability to think Biblically. The ability to read a book and see what it is saying aside from the warm fuzzy you got from it. Discernment takes time and it takes work and shame on you for not taking the time and effort. shame on you.”

How do you know it’s not God’s voice if you don’t know the Bible?

I’m here to ask your forgiveness. I expressed my concerns along the way in several areas but there were some things that I heard and saw that I was not comfortable with and I thought well, let’s just roll with this. It may be not that bad.

Today things change. I’m responsible for this ministry. I will be called a tyrant, a fundamentalist, controlling – you fill in the blanks – I don’t care anymore. We’re going to be making some changes and we’re going to root this stuff out of our ministry because it is unacceptable. It is not biblical Christianity and we’re going to get back to the Bible. I’m not going to make a lot of friends …

More of the sermon can be found here including a link to listen to the sermon if it still works.

This entry was posted in Contemplative Spirituality, Discernment, Sermons, The Word and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Flashback: “We’re going to root this stuff out of our ministry.”

  1. Boy that year went by fast, didn’t it. I remember Pastor Murphy doing that. I was so encouraged. I recall that he also said that he planned to go thru the church library and remove books and post a list. I asked once on their Facebook page and I emailed once, but I haven’t seen any result of that, nor got a reply. Do you know anything about the books? Have you heard of any fruit that bore from Pastor Jim’s action? I’ve been interested in follow-up but haven’t seen any, anywhere…

  2. Eliza says:

    Thank you Julia. We need to be discerning. I think the apostasy within the church is exceedingly deep and extremely difficult to root out. There are so many who are looked up to who are promoting error and false teaching. We have yet to find a church where there isn’t compromise or apostasy in the leadership. I have committed to reading only the Bible and once I made that commitment the blessing from reading God’s Word became even more abundant. The clarity has been even greater. Thank you for sharing the warning. God bless you.

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