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.
- Pastor Jim Murphy tells congregation: “We’re going to root this stuff out of our ministry” (Steak and a Bible )
- Pastor James Murphy on Mysticism and Experientialism (Steak and a Bible)