Articles by Jim Baumgaertel

Jim Baumgaertel
Questions About Churchianity vs. The Church
Four Ways Christians Are Being Deceived
Scriptures Referenced in This Article:
          (Follow the Scripture links if you want to study the Scriptures for yourself.)
Acts 17:11 π 2 Ths. 2:9-12 π 1 Tim. 4:1 π Rev. 12:9

Publisher's Note: Occasionally I encounter a brother from a somewhat similar background on a rather similar path as the one I'm on. When that happens, I'm rather pleased to e-publish what this brother has to say.

In this case, I have two articles written by Jim Baumgaertel. The first one is representative of the first step on the path to spiritual freedom: learn to ask the right questions. The second article is representative of the second step: recognize God's truth and walk in it.

May God give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe.

Enjoy! - n.g.

Questions About Churchianity vs. The Church

(These are general questions and not meant to be taken personally by any specific organizations or individuals.)

  1. Should the life of a congregation of Christians revolve around the personality of a man?

  2. Should human leaders try to be the Holy Spirit in peoples lives?

  3. Should meetings of believers be productions for spectators to watch?

  4. Who is truly our Pastor? Whose sheep are we?

  5. Must a Christian Fellowship be operated like a business corporation?

  6. Is frantic, unrelenting activity necessarily the same thing as Holy Spirit-led ministry?

  7. Is the Church a human organization or is it the individuals who belong to Jesus and who are called to be in a relationship with each other?

  8. Should there be a priesthood-class of men over the laity or does the Bible teach the priesthood of all believers?

Let me encourage you to be a noble Berean ( Acts 17:11; top ) in answering these questions! - n.g.

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Four Ways Christians Are Being Deceived

Revelation 12:9 speaks of, "... that Serpent, Satan, who deceives the whole world." The Lord put that and similar verses in his Word to warn us of a reality of world history: Global deception. And even those who profess to be Evangelical Christians are susceptible to the Serpent's lie. "In latter times, some will abandon the faith and follow after seducing spirits and the doctrines of devils." ( 1 Tim. 4:1; top )

Four ways that Christians are being deceived in our day are:

  1. The Repackaged Lie

  2. Blurred Distinctions

  3. Unequal Yoking, and

  4. Following Gurus.

The Repackaged Lie

Satan is brilliantly clever at taking age-old lies, disguising them in subtlety, and gradually introducing them to even those who insist that they believe in the infallible authority of the Bible. Examples of lies the Enemy has deceived us with are all the various ways we are obsessed with "Self"; the numerous techniques of "Christianized" sorcery and divination within the Church; and the many issues and fads designed to give us a "Tower of Babel" vision for global unity.

Blurred Distinctions

Not only is Satan the "Father of lies," but he is also the "Author of confusion." It is getting harder and harder to tell the difference between neo-paganism and the liberal church; or between the liberal church and Evangelical Christianity. The message and the priorities of the Church are becoming indistinguishable from the World. Books by M. Scott Peck, for example, are found in both Christian bookstores and New Age/Occult bookstores. These books teach that humans are evolving to godhood; that we must become "mystics" and use Eastern meditation; and they advocate a one-world government.

Unequal Yoking

Christian leaders and Christian organizations are more and more yoking themselves with unbiblical, pagan groups and movements which set the followers up for synthesis, syncretism and compromise of doctrine and priorities. What fellowship does light have with darkness? These unholy alliances are often taking place in the name of "traditional family values" and involve relationships between Evangelicals, Mormons, and Moonies; or, the alliances involve solving the problems of "Mother Earth" in association with various utopian movements.

Following Gurus

The final way in which Christians are being deceived is very much related to the first three. We are much more likely, these days, to not refer to our Bible for our convictions and world-view, but instead to follow the opinions of leaders we look up to. In these days of "Christian Mass Media", Celebrity Ministers are likely to draw our attention and our allegiance. It is a dangerous thing to set up Gurus within the Body of Christ who are beyond criticism. "Touch not the Lord's anointed!" we are told when the Guru's doctrine or behavior is questioned, which is a reference to 1 Samuel 24 and 26. In those references, David was referring to not killing Saul. He was not forbidding criticism of Saul. In fact, David himself rebukes Saul publicly. In these last days we cannot afford to follow human leaders as if they were Gurus; whether they be Dr. Dobson, Bill Gothard, Pat Robertson, or Billy Graham.

We are to be disciples of Jesus, and Him alone. Our only hope to not be deceived in these last days is to "abide in the vine"; to surrender our hearts moment by moment to the Holy Spirit; to be Acts 17 "Bereans" and filter everything through the written Word of God; and to be lovers of the Truth.

"The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness." ( 2 Ths. 2:9-12 )

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