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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Vantage Point: Smitten

By Ken Horn
Jan. 8, 2012

There is a disturbing trend in evangelical Christianity. Some believers — many believers — have been acting, well, smitten. They have become so smitten with engaging personalities that they are more likely to follow “rock star” preachers than those faithful to God’s Word. They have come to value celebrity above authority.

The church has “stars” today many people look up to like adoring fans idolizing the famous of Hollywood or the music industry.

That’s distressing enough, but it’s a much sadder thing when a church is in the grip of a personality cult and in surrender to the culture.

This is nothing new. But it seems more serious today than it has for a long time.

Crossover Christian musicians have tested the boundaries for years, many providing musical fodder under the guise of a Christian label, with no lyrics to distinguish the songs as truly Christian. Remove these songs from the charts, and Christian music is not selling nearly as well as we are led to believe.

But music issues pale into insignificance alongside doctrinal issues. This is a matter of truth. “His doctrine is bad? The Bible doesn’t teach that? But he is so cutting edge — and look at all the people in his church.” Disciples of such people are following the rock star, not Jesus.

The apostle Paul said, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” (2 Timothy 4:3, NIV).

Numbers do not validate. Look at the size of the largest cults, or even of the empires of some evangelists before they fell.

How can you tell if you’ve been smitten? One way: When you hear a strange doctrine from your leader, you strive to fit his new doctrine into your belief system. Personality first, Scripture second.

Another way: You find yourself defending questionable tactics without really believing in them in your heart.

Don’t be smitten. Don’t look for a church with all the bells and whistles and stars. Look for one that honors and preaches the Word of God.

Ken Horn

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