The Berean Library

Identifying False Teaching in Christian Bookstores

My Testimony


On this site, you will find further confirmation of material that you may have already suspected, or knew to be false teaching.  Perhaps, you may be one whose eyes will be opened, by God’s grace, Spirit and truth to discover that you are being deceived by false teaching, in the Church, as I once was.  I learned that I was lacking biblical knowledge and discernment.  As a result I was mislead, a very scary thing looking back because I thought I was on the right track and doing the right things in my walk with the Lord (Mt 24:24).

I praise the Lord with a never-ending thanksgiving for saving me, a wretched, totally depraved sinner “of whom I am the worst,” by His grace, on June 10, 1990.  The Holy Spirit revealed to me, on that day, Who Christ is, why His sacrifice was necessary, what Christ achieved by His suffering, death and resurrection (Heb 9:12). The Lord showed me who I was, a sinner that desperately needed Jesus, the Lord and Savior (Rom 3:19-26).  More on my conversion to Christ here.

He not only saved me from my sins and the eternal punishment of hell, the just wrath of a Holy and Just Judge, which I fully deserve, but He also allowed the strong tower of man-made Catholic religion and tradition to crumble before me. That was key. It was after that glorious collapse that I truly ‘felt lost.’

God led me, by His Word, out of a dangerous deception after my conversion to Christ, as well. The deception that exists within the visible church because of false teachers who “creep in unaware.” False teachings, in the church, that injured and nearly paralyzed this runner! Praise the Lord that nothing can separate us from the love of the Father (Rom 8:38-39)!  And the Great Shepherd will let no one snatch His sheep from His hand, or the Father’s hand, for Jesus and the Father are one (Jn 10:28-30)!!!

My journey to discovering biblical knowledge and discernment began with a facebook status I wrote in November of ’09, “Does anyone know what the controversy is all about with some book called The Shack, by William P. Young?”  This led to a forty-something comment thread of which an amazing discussion grew with several friends posting comments and a few links as to what was wrong, biblically, with the book.  This was the first time I had ever heard of the book, Dr. Michael Youseff and Warren B. Smith, let alone see for the first time what biblically refuting something meant, something that was called ‘Christian,’ that is.

Initially, I wasn’t really seeing a crystal clear picture of the unmasking of any false teaching at hand.  I had no idea, at the time, that this was the purpose for what was ultimately going on (Eph 5:11)!  However, I could not walk away from what I was reading.  I could not stop thinking about it!  It was consuming all my time and attention for two days, trying to unravel the point of it all!  In fact, I have been absorbed in discerning false gospels and desiring to share the True Gospel with as many as I can, ever since!  Anyway, I had to dig deeper to understand why these people, Dr. Youseff and Warren B. Smith, were doing what they were doing in their writings about The Shack.  For one thing, ‘my boat was getting rocked’ because Joel Osteen and Eugene H. Peterson were also tossed into the discussion for cross-examining, who I had been listening to and trusting for godly counsel.  By God’s grace, I can now say, this was in my PBKDD– pre-biblical knowledge and discernment days.

Not all the comments were against Young’s book, however.  This is where serious confusion was created.  One person was completely in favor of it and another was going to attend a Bible study for it.  The perspective in favor for the book, which later, but again not at the time, I could discern was owned by one who was sadly deceived by the book, as MANY are.  Another person, enthusiastically writing said, “I was saved by reading this book” while posting a you-tube video of The 700 Club’s interview of Young and endorsement for The Shack as an argument to accept the book as biblical. That was very perplexing to me because I had also listened to and trusted this ‘Christian’ TV program for biblical inspiration and instruction. It didn’t take much longer before I could see The 700 Club’s lack of biblical discernment as they were in agreement with Young’s view and claims of God only being loving and “on everyone’s side,” while stating that it is “bad theology” that teaches that God is also the Just and Holy Judge Who is owed perfect justice for sinful and depraved mankind, breaking His Perfect and Holy Laws.  And by the way, Young’s take on what the love of God is, is so twisted and far from the truth because he denies the substitutionary atonement of Christ which is the ultimate and perfect expression of love, God’s love.

Detouring for the Gospel ☛ God Himself coming to the earth to indwell human flesh, to be tempted and tried to live as we live, but without sin to completely satisfy the substitutionary punishment of the wrath of God which He bore on the cross, for our sins, taking the place we all deserve, once for all, the just for the unjust, so that we wouldn’t have to, for all those who believe. That is LOVE!  Jesus said, in Jn 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”  Young promotes universalism while denying these biblical truths which dangerously sways his readers to believe that there is no real need for repentance or need for Jesus.  Why is this dangerous? Without the realization of the truth that one is a sinner, which comes by God’s Law (Rom 2:15; 3:19-20) and by the Holy Spirit (Jn 16:8), there will be no real repentance (2 Cor 7:10).  Without repentance, there can be no salvation that comes by hearing the Gospel which has the power to save (Rom 1:16; 10:17), not by reading a book of lies like The Shack!

With further research, I actually discovered The 7oo Club to be a proponent of the Word-Faith/prosperity gospel movement.  Another commenter in the thread said her church was going to do a Bible study with the book.  This also fueled the confusion for me, making my head spin, since that church she spoke of was one I had once been a member of years ago.  I never heard back what the consensus was on The Shack, from that Bible study, but I pray that the book was dissected with biblical discernment and refuted for the heresies it contains so that none of the sheep there will be mislead !

All in all, by researching the links posted, I started doing something, unknowingly, that I had NEVER done before.  By God’s grace, I was acting like a Berean (Acts 17:11) and beginning the believer’s learning process of “testing everything” (1 Thess 5:21).  This is how the Lord began to show me in my own personal life that I was being “blown around by the winds of false doctrine” of the seeker-sensitive/church growth/purpose-driven/entertainment/contemporary/prosperity false gospel church.

Looking back, we were totally seduced.  Being the undiscerning believers we were at that time, we bought into the contemporary church scene, high on loud music and entertainment, with a charismatic, big personality pastor meeting our every felt-need.  They served Starbuck’s coffee and Krispy Kreme donuts while taking care of the kids for two hours.  Who wouldn’t get distracted with all of that?  Someone who was discerning that’s who, which we weren’t.  We never noticed how low on doctrine they were.  This would be a good place to share that I didn’t even know the word “doctrine” until I had been a believer of 19 years!  Very telling of having attended churches that weren’t loving Jesus and feeding the sheep.  I would have been counted among the many people reading and listening to Rick Warren (The Purpose-Driven Life), Joel Osteen (Become a Better You), Joyce Meyer, Bruce Wilkerson (The Jabez Prayer) and Eugene Peterson (The Message) for godly guidance.  YIKES!!!!!

In time and with further researching of other books, sold in Christian bookstores, fully led by the Holy Spirit to deeply examine Scripture, I could see how much I had benefitted from that Facebook status where it all started with the biblical resources provided of which the Lord had orchestrated the whole thing to get me out of false teaching in the Church. I became convinced and led to do the same to help others who may still be where I once was–a very dangerous, wrong pasture!  Thus, the Facebook group, “Identifying False Teaching in Christian Bookstores” began on March 8, 2010 to expose that not everything in a Christian bookstore is biblical, which was how I used to ‘discern.’  I thought, “If it is in a Christian bookstore, then it is for me, ’cause I am a Christian!”  How careless was that!?  In fact, most of the inventory of books in Christian bookstores, or in the Christian section of secular chains, is not biblical!  Same is true for the entire circuit of Christian TV, radio, websites, schools, seminaries,conferences and churches!

So, the Lord gave me a ‘wake up call’ to the presence of lukewarmness that had set in from a watered-down, false gospel, taking its hold and drawing me back to the cares and things of this world, pulling me away from the things of the Lord which are the unseen and eternal things that really matter most.  After seeing where I went wrong, lacking in godly knowledge and biblical discernment in accordance with Scripture, it became my deepest desire to repent from not being a workman approved to God, accurately handling the Word of Truth (2 Tim 2:15), not heeding Jesus’ warnings (Mt 24:4) as well as Paul’s, Peter’s, John’s and Jude’s to not be mislead, not being like a good Berean (Acts 17:11), and not testing everything; clinging to what is good and fleeing from evil (1 Thess 5:21-22).  Consequently, from there on, deeply desiring to be careful how I continue to walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of my time, because the days are evil; to not be foolish any longer, but to understand what the will of the Lord is (Eph 5:15-17); to not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but to expose them (Eph 5:11).  In light of the shocking realization of my ‘wake up call,’ brought by God’s Holy Word and Spirit as well as aided by biblical teachers and resources on-line, many of whom I list on the “Home” page, it became apparent to me that much of my time had become unfocused and wasted!  It was not spent wisely on being faithful for the True Gospel; therefore, much of my time was unfruitful!!  UGH!!!

My heart grieves and prays for any sheep who have gotten mislead into the clueless, unfruitful and dangerous pastures of false teaching, as I once was.  Prayerfully and hopefully, this site will be used by the Lord for His purposes.  Possibly to make deaf ears to hear and blind eyes to see and hard hearts to believe.  Possibly assisting good bereanship, all for His glory, so we will no longer be deceived and mislead to become faithful and fruitful servants of Christ and His Gospel!

There is simply no greater honor, privilege or blessing than to be called and led by our Sovereign God for His purposes; to walk in a manner worthy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His Gospel (Phil 1:27); to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God (Col 1:10); to abound in love more and more in real knowledge and all discernment so that we can approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God (Phil 1:9-11); to be used by the Lord, in any capacity, 4HisTruth (Jn 14:6; Jn 17:17) & Glory (1 Cor 10:31; 2 Cor 5:9) all by His unfailing and enduring grace!!

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