(To download the powerpoint file for this sermon, Click here)
(If you would like to receive Pastor Harris’ weekly sermons via e-mail, Click here)
Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
May 2, 2010
Spiritual Confusion: The Errors of Experience Based Theology
The apostle Peter warns about false teachers and mockers that would come in the last days and we need to be prepared to defend ourselves and others against their deceit. Because of that we will continue this morning in our series seeking to expose the foundational theological errors of false teachers and mockers so that we might quickly recognize their heresies. What is claimed about God, Jesus and the gospel will reveal whether any group is heretical or orthodox, but underlying even those doctrines is the question of their source of knowledge and truth, for belief arises from the source that is accepted as authority.
Let me give you a personal example. This past Tuesday I was asked to speak at the Biology Club at Orange County Community College on the subject of why Creation is scientific with a professor there countering with why Evolution is scientific. By flip of a coin, I went first and explained my background, my interest in science, defined my terms, presented my presuppositional hypotheses upon which my model was built and then the evidence in the real world that supported my model. In doing this I also reveled my sources of authority without any shame even though the professor and some in the audience mocked me for it later.
I grew up in a Bible teaching church, but there was a great conflict between what I was being taught in church and in my biology classes. Until that point I had accepted both my teachers in church and at school as sources of authority that were to be believed. This prompted a very serious search for truth with two foundational questions. First, was the Bible actually the word of God as I had been taught at church or something else? My pastor and Sunday School teachers admitted they did not know how to reconcile Genesis and evolution nor how to counter the claims of evolution. Second, were my teachers at college telling me the truth?
The Truth About Evolution
The result of my investigation to this second question was that my teachers were not telling me the truth. This was not because they were evil people per se, but because they were also accepting what others had taught them without critical analysis. I was initially quite shocked to learn that there was much evidence from science that proved evolution to be false. The courses I took in Chemistry and Physics enabled me to understand even better the physical limitations that prevent the story of evolution from being true. Let me give you three quick examples.
There are many chemicals that are isometric, that is they can be either oriented left-handed or right-handed and are referred to as either “D” or “L.” Amino acids, the chemical building blocks of proteins, are isometric and without an imposed control will naturally occur in essentially an equal ratio of D and L forms. The Miller-Urey experiments actually demonstrated this for the few amino acids they were able to synthesize and collect in their trap (they would have been destroyed if left in their synthesizing chamber or in the presence of oxygen). Yet, all proteins in animals are only made up of the L form with the D forms being toxic to life. Since evolution is based on random chemical reactions, it can explain neither this orientation nor a means for an imposed control mechanism to develop. Simply put, evolution is contrary to chemistry.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics, also referred to as the Law of Entropy, states that things go from a state of high energy to low energy and from order to disorder. Evolution demands the opposite and claims it can get around this law by saying the earth is an open system receiving energy from the Sun. First, that ignores the problem of the universe heading toward heat death, how then did the current order form? Second, while the earth receives energy from the Sun, unless there is a specific mechanism to harness the energy into productive work, that energy only facilitates the faster rate of chemical reactions that decompose it. We often refer to this as sun rot. Without the specific mechanism of chlorophyll in a living plant the sun’s energy would not be useful to sustain life.
Physics is the greatest scientific detriment to evolution for it places boundaries on the possibilities, and one of those it the amount of time the earth as existed. A geochronometer is a method of trying to determine the age of the earth. I have a list of forty-two of them based on uniformitarian assumptions that date the earth from less than a billion to only a few hundred years. Many of them show that unformitarian assumptions can be ridiculous, but many others show serious limitations. These would include things such as the decay of the earth’s rotational speed, the decay of the earth’s magnetic moment, the efflux of Helium into the atmosphere and the cooling of the earth. Even with the most generous assumptions, none of these allow for the 4-5 billion years demanded by evolutionists. Some of them limit the age to just thousands of years. Evolution is contrary to physics.
I learned in this process that science teachers and scientists cannot be my source of authority. They are also limited in their knowledge and some are not true scientists in that they do not adhere to the scientific method and lack the integrity to accurately report what has been observed. They skew their experiments and observations to prove what they want to believe. The global warming hoax of the last decade is a case in point. The scientific method is useful for it was developed by Francis Bacon as a means to prove or falsify claims, but we must remember that scientists do not always follow it and though they may wear white lab coats, they are still sinners. (See also: The Importance of Creation and Mockery in the Last Days, Part 2)
The Truth About the Bible
At the same time I was finding out that some things I was being taught in my science classes were not true, I was also discovering that it was very reasonable to believe the Bible is in fact God’s revelation to us and not the religious musings of ancient men. As I have previously pointed out, we can believe the Bible is reliable because: The Bible is reliable for the following reasons:
1) The Bible claims to be the Word of God.
2) The Bible is historically accurate
3) The Biblical writers were men of the highest integrity
4) The many fulfilled prophecies attest to a divine origin
5) The internal character and preservation of the Bible demonstrate God’s hand upon it.
6) The Scripture’s description of the physical world reveals what could have only been known at that time by the creator.
There are multiple sources of authority that arise within the Bible with each supporting the other. That is a key to knowing whether something is a true or false source of knowledge and authority. There is revelation by God to men by multiple methods including angels but also His son, Jesus (Hebrews 1:1-2). Angelic revelation alone is not enough as we saw some weeks ago, for the angel may turn out to be a devil as in the case of Mormonism and Islam which proclaim different gods, a different Jesus and a different gospel. (See: Demonic Deception).
The Bible reveals things that had been hidden in mystery, but they are longer hidden and are openly proclaimed (Job 12:22; Luke 8:10; Romans 16:25-26, etc.). Jonathan preached about the dangers of the mystery religions a couple of weeks ago. Usually their mystery knowledge will end up promoting a lie of the same nature as the devil used with Eve that God was holding out on her but that with this hidden wisdom she could become what she wanted to be. The Eastern mystery religions, the new age movement and gnosticism all drink from this common putrid well. God has already given us all the revelation we need to live in godliness (2 Peter 1:2-4). (See: Experts in Enigmas).
The Bible sets up a structure of authority within the church, but the men in those positions of authority are still subject to the Scriptures. Cults have some source of knowledge or authority that they consider to be superior to the Scriptures. I warned you about them last week – and interesting enough, I had two Jehovah’ Witnesses come to my door on Friday. (See: Cultic Oppression)
Study of the Bible will also show that not only is it very practical, but within it traditions, reason and experience are all part of the mix by which God directs us to gain knowledge and wisdom to follow Him. However, when any of these are elevated to be superior to the Scriptures, serious theological error will result. We will be exposing each of these in the weeks to come.
I believe the tragedy of my opponent in the presentations this past Tuesday is that he has bought into the lie of evolution hook, line and sinker while rejecting the Biblical revelation. If he were as skeptical of evolution as he is of the Bible he would probably come to a different conclusion. I only say probably because the god of this age has blinded the mind of the unbelieving and even the best evidence and rational arguments fall on deaf ears because of that (2 Corinthians 4:4; Matthew 13:13-15). Each of us have applied our reason to the evidence for and against evolution and for and against the Bible, but we have come to opposite conclusions. Since he told me that he had a Christian background, I surmise that our experiences may have started out to be similar, but we they have reached radically opposite conclusions.
Experience is an important teacher to make us wise, but because it is always limited it is not a good source of knowledge and authority in determining truth or how to live your life. We need God’s revelation to know the truth and gain direction for life. For the rest of this morning I want to expand on the value and dangers of experience in gaining knowledge and wisdom to live in godliness.
The Value of Experience
The value of experience is easily demonstrated both in everyday life and in the Scriptures. On old joke illustrates this well. Junior had finished college two years before and had been holding down a job and keeping his own place during that time when he finally got a chance to come home for a visit. It was a pleasant visit and father and son were able to talk about a lot of things Junior had done during that period and the plans he was making for the future. Just before he left he told his mom, “you know, dad sure has learned a lot in two years I have been away.”
The Bible has many references to the relationship between age and wisdom and the importance of the young to pay attention to it. Job 12:12 states it directly, “Wisdom is with aged men, [With] long life is understanding.” Gray hair is a sign of having gained age and so was considered an honor (Proverbs 20:29), so much so that Leviticus 19:32 instructs the younger to rise up before the grayheaded and honor the aged. When Moses needed to find men to help lead the children of Israel he appointed men who were wise, discerning and experienced (Deuteronomy 1:15). These men became the elders of the people.
Proverbs contains many admonitions for the children to pay attention to their parents starting in 1:8 in explaining the purpose of the book; “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, And do not forsake your mother’s teaching; 9 Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head, And ornaments about your neck.” In Proverbs 5:1-2 a father instructs, “My son, give attention to my wisdom, Incline your ear to my understanding; 2 That you may observe discretion, And your lips may reserve knowledge.” He has been in his son’s position and warns him about the dangers ahead. We live in a strange time when the seeking of such wisdom is too often discouraged and parents have become reluctant, some even fearful, of teaching their children the wealth of their experiences including their mistakes which often give the most important life lessons. It takes humility, but there is great wisdom the saying, “train your child in the way you now know you should have gone yourself.”
We also find that God invites people to come and experience Him. Psalm 34:8 expresses this saying, “O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” The Lord called Abraham to “walk before Him and be blameless” (Genesis 17:1). This idea of walking with God goes back to the Garden of Eden (Genesis 5:22) and Enoch walking with God so that God took Him directly to heaven without dying (Genesis 5:24). That same idea continues in the New Testament call for us to walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:25). God wants us to live in the experience of trusting Him and His promises. That is the walk of faith.
Experience is a great teacher, though there are many lessons which are wiser to learn from the experience of others than go through them yourselves. As one person quipped, “experience is about the cheapest thing a fellow can get if he’s smart enough to get it secondhand.” The Bible not only gives us God’s revelation of Himself and how we are to live, but as one man put it, “the Bible is a postgraduate course in the richest library of human experience.” The truly wise will learn by the experience of others, though the reality is that most of us learn by our own experience. The fool will not learn by any experience. For them, experience is simply what makes their mistakes so familiar. Because of that, the wisdom that should come with age and experience is not always there and the fool just becomes an old fool. Even among those that are normally wise, there can be lapses. In Job 32:9 Elihu spoke out to Job and his friends saying, “The abundant [in years] may not be wise, Nor may elders understand justice.” This brings us to the weaknesses of experience and the errors it can lead to when we rely on it instead of God’s word.
The Errors of Experience
The first and greatest weakness of experience is that it is limited. In pride man believes that he himself is the final judge of truth, yet the reality of knowing that he is of limited knowledge results in an insecurity that drives him to trust some source of knowledge beyond himself. This is the open door for demonic revelation, mystery religions, gnosticism, and cults. We have already seen the dangers these pose for those who fall into these traps. Because my experiential knowledge is limited, I will need to rely on other sources of knowledge, but I had better be sure that those sources will lead me to truth and not falsehoods which are worse than ignorance.
Recognition of limited knowledge is also the door that leads to what I will refer to as false intellectualism and foolish philosophies. This is when the person simply parrots what they read instead of thinking through the issues deeply themselves. It is commonly found in academic circles, and of recent times, in politicians. They may have a lot of knowledge of certain kinds of books, but they seem to be blind to the disconnect many of their ideas have with reality. The reason is simply that they have not personally experienced the consequences of what they advocate. While this is bad in economics and political systems, it is devastating in religion. Such folks yield themselves to believe the writings of the liberal scholars and so discount God’s revealed truth in favor of the musings of men.
A quick example of this that has now become common even among evangelicals is to advocate that the gospel of Mark was written first and that Matthew wrote his gospel based on Mark. The fact that the same method of literary analysis used to promote this idea can also be used to show that either Matthew or Luke wrote first and that Mark depended on them doesn’t seem to register since the academic elite say it was Mark. Neither do they recognize that it would be ludicrous for Matthew, an apostle and eyewitness, to rely on Mark, who was not present, to tell Matthew what he experienced. The greater tragedy is that this idea quickly leads to rejecting Matthew as the actual author of his gospel account which eventually leads to rejecting that gospel as a true and accurate account of the life of Jesus.
Lack of experience can lead to over reliance on other sources of authority, but pride in experience can be worse. Proverbs 16:18 warns, “Pride [goes] before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.” Proverbs 14:12 states, “There is a way [which seems] right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” Judging truth by what you have or have not experienced leads to disaster. The history of man is testimony to this from Adam and Eve to the present. Eve lacked an experience she was enticed to want and incorrectly concluded that gaining it would be best for her. Many are the men that have assumed that because they have experienced something and liked it their wife will too only to find out that it turns out to be quite the opposite (In this case, his experience of her reaction is what prevents him from making the same mistake again in exactly the same way). Determining truth by your own experience leads to disaster.
The second great weakness of experience is that what is real and what is perceived can be very different from each other leading to false conclusions. We are all familiar with some of the various optical illusions that can fool our perceptions. A carefully chosen camera angle can make men look like they are sitting in a coffee cup, but they are actually sitting at the next table. Background lines make the soldiers appear to be different sizes when in reality they are all the same. Diverging lines drawn inside parallel polls make them look like they are leaning away from each other, but they are not. The manner in which lines or ovals are drawn make it appear they are moving when in reality they are stationary. Our other senses can also be fooled. What you smell can make you think you are eating that instead of what you are actually eating. Take a shower in soft water and your skin can feel soapy, when in truth it is just very clean. You thought you heard one thing, when what was said or the sound was in reality something else.
Then there are all the areas in which your perceptions lead you to believe something is true only to find out later that it was not. Over the years of doing marriage counseling I have found that most conflicts have a lot more to do with misunderstandings and wrong perceptions than reality. Perhaps that is one of the many reasons the husband is commanded to love his wife and she is commanded to respect him (Ephesians 5:20f). The effort to fulfill those roles force them to work through wrong perceptions and misconceptions.
Religious Errors Arising from Experience Based Theology.
Let me now expand on how experienced based theology leads to serious errors in religion and even the Christian’s spiritual walk.
We will start with False Religions. The atheist claims there is no God because they have not experienced Him the way they think they must to know He exists. It is the fool that has said in his heart, there is no God (Psalm 14:1). God has not only revealed Himself in the Bible, which they reject, but the heavens, earth and all creation also shout out His glory (Psalm 19; Romans 1:18-20), but they reject that too. They demand an experience to satisfy themselves and refuse to believe until that happens. That is the height of arrogance and pride and not really any different from the scribes and Pharisees who continually demanded signs from Jesus (See John 2:18; 6:20; Matthew 12:38, etc.). Intellectual honesty would require them to be agnostics, those who don’t know, for a lack of personal experience does not determine whether something exists. When a tree falls it makes a sound whether you or anyone else is there to hear it or not.
In the case of the animist, Hindu, Satanist, occultist and those in a host of other false religions, it is what they have experienced that ties them into their false religions. I have made the point before from 1 Corinthians 8:4 & 10:9 that the power behind many false religions is demonic. Those entrapped in those religions have experienced that power themselves or know those who have. That experience and the demonic fear that comes with it drives them to continue in that false religion.
What about the role of experience in cults? This is often a key factor in the person continuing in it. A Mormon fellow I worked with while in college would acknowledge that the Bible made more sense, but yet he would not turn from Mormonism because he had experienced the “burning in the bosom.” The experience controlled him. Similar things are true in many cults. Particular experiences hold them there regardless of the evidence that their belief system is contrary to the Scriptures. Some of the cults foster a false sense of family to psychologically overwhelm the individual so that they reject their previous relationships – including family – and become dependent on the cult. Tragically, many turned to a cult because they did not experience the love of Christ among the people in the churches in which they grew up. The hypocrisy they experienced led them to reject not just the hypocrisy, but tragically, also the truth of the Biblical message proclaimed by those hypocrites.
In a similar way, experience also plays a major role in aberrant sects of Christianity. A cult is marked by heretical doctrine and also usually by some authoritarian structure. An aberrant sect will still fall within orthodox Christianity in that they do teach the fundamental doctrines of Biblical faith, but they will also teach doctrine that is either is not Biblical or take a particular doctrine to an extreme to the exclusion of other doctrine. An example of this is Pentecostalism.
Pentecostalism is orthodox in its teaching about God, Jesus and the gospel and we can thank God for them as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, but they have taken an extreme view in teaching that speaking in an unknown tongue is the sign of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Both Acts and 1 Corinthians 12-14 are directly opposed to that understanding of this sign gift for any gift is a manifestation of the Spirit, all true Christians are baptized by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ, and speaking in tongues was not intended for all believers even in the early church (1 Corinthians 12:7,11, 13, 30). Though they are generally noted for striving to understand and follow the Scriptures, it is at this point of departure that their experience becomes prominent over what the Bible actually states. Once experience becomes the interpreter of Scripture rather than Scripture interpreting your experience, the door is open to greater abuse. This has happened with the Charismatic movement, the daughter of Pentecostalism. The Charismatics place even greater weight on their experience even to the point to which some ignore foundational doctrine in favor of experience. For them, the Bible is understood through their experience instead of their experience being understood by the Bible and that is dangerous, even extremely dangerous. That was the point of John MacArthur’s books, The Charismatics and Charismatic Chaos. They were calls to turn away from their experiential basis for belief and return to a Biblical basis.
It would be easy to point out a lot of the silliness that occurs in the movement because of this, but there are too many serious errors to simply make light of it. Common charismatic experience has become the foundation for a strong ecumenical movement that ignores serious doctrinal differences including the gospel. There can and should be inter-church cooperation if the fundamentals of the faith are held in common, but there cannot be if a different gospel is preached. Paul makes that extremely clear in Galatians. Yet, it is not uncommon for Charismatics to welcome practicing Roman Catholics as fellow believers ignoring Roman Catholicism’s rejection of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
Another serious error Diane and I have both run into multiple times with Charismatics is the determination of what is right and wrong by their experiences instead of what Scripture states. In discussions with such people we have had them tell us directly that they don’t really care what the Bible says because they already know what God wants and they usually cite some experience they recently had to prove the point. Others will cite a “word of knowledge” or “word of wisdom” given to them as proof. This is done at times to even justify what is clearly stated in the Bible to be sin. One example was the person who had shacked up with a new partner in lust and was divorcing the previous spouse so they could marry their partner in adultery all the while claiming it was God’s will. That claim adds blasphemy to the list of their other flagrant sins.
But before we get too self righteous over Charismatic excess in placing experience over the Bible, we should take a hard look at how the same principle invades even evangelical, fundamental Christianity. I have heard plenty of Bible believing Christians give excuses based on past experiences or lack of experience why they cannot fulfill some Biblical command or principle. I think hurt and fear are the most often used excuses for not obeying the Lord. Certainly we understand that as we walk with the Lord and experience His hand in our life our trust of Him will grow which should result in greater obedience to Him. At the same time, a lack of experience or having bad experiences cannot be an excuse for not trusting God and obeying Him. Faith is stepping out into the unknown and trusting God for the results as you obey Him regardless of your experiences or lack of them. Hurt and fear are normal in living in a sin fallen world. It is our faith in and obedience to Jesus that enables us to overcome them.
It is not uncommon to hear the phrase, “God told me,” in Charismatic circles. It is used by those manipulating others by claiming special revelation from God, and it is also used as a means to escape any further scrutiny of what is being planned. How can you argue against God telling you something? At the heart of it is an appeal to an experience that then supersedes the Bible. Fundamentalist have their equivalent in the phrases, “the Lord led men” and “I prayed about it.” My response to that is, “I am glad you are striving to follow the leading of the Lord and have prayed about it, now tell me what Biblical principles you are following so that you know it is the Lord and not something else leading you?”
While I agree that God often directs us through His providence, I contend that you cannot properly recognize His hand in your circumstances and experiences without a thorough knowledge of God and His Word. Was that experience really one of affirmation, of testing, or of his judgment? Our like or dislike of the experience is not the basis of determining the reason for God’s actions nor what is the correct response. God allowed Satan to cause Job to experience terrible loss and suffering, yet the root of it all was an affirmation of Job’s godly character. The opposite can also be true. Romans 1 explains that God’s judgment on sinners includes removing His restraining hand and letting them have what they want. The result is that a person may even call his experience a blessing from God, when it is actually His curse upon them. Both good and bad experiences may be the Lord’s testing of us.
The conclusion this morning is actually very simple. While God uses our experiences to teach us and draw us into greater faith and trust of Him, our experiences do not determine truth. They are too limited and easily misinterpreted by wrong perceptions. We must never allow our experiences to supersede the Scriptures in our lives. We must never interpret the Scriptures by our experiences. Instead, we must be diligent students of the Word of God so that we can understand our experience by what the Scriptures say.
Sermon Notes – 4/11/2010
Spiritual Confusion – The Errors of Experience Based Theology
What is claimed about God, Jesus and the gospel will reveal whether any group is heretical or ________
The Bible and evolution are ______________. Which is true and why?
The Truth About Evolution
Amino acids are isometric, but all animal proteins __________ occur in the L form
Evolution is directly ____________ to the Second Law of Thermodynamics (Entropy)
Without a specific mechanism to harness Sunlight, it only increases the rate of _______________
Too many geochronometers ________ the age of the earth to only millions or just thousands of years
Science is too __________ to be the source of authority, and scientists are still _____________
The Truth About the Bible
The Bible is a reliable source of ________, for it has multiple sources within it that support one another
God reveals Himself in the Bible in multiple ways including dreams, visions, angels and __________.
The Bible reveals hidden mysteries for all to see and gives us ________ we need to live in godliness
The Bible establishes an authority structure in the church, but its authority is still subject to the _______
The Bible establishes traditions, calls for us to reason and to experience _____as part of becoming godly
Similar experiences and reasoning about the same evidences can still result in ___________conclusions
Experience is an important teacher to make us wise, but it is ______. We need God’s revelation of truth
The Value of Experience
The young are to learn from the ___________ – those older. Proverbs 1:8-9; 5:1-2.
It is __________ to learn from the experiences of others. The Bible is a treasury of human experience
Even the aged are ____________ in wisdom, and some are just old fools. Job 32:9
The Errors of Experience
1) Experience is limited and that reality drives men to find a source of knowledge ___________himself
False intellectualism (yielding to supposed experts) results in _____________
Literary analysis can show priority of Matthew, Mark or Luke. Matthew was an apostle & ___________
_________ in experience leads to disaster. Proverbs 16:18; 14:12
2) Experience cannot always tell between what is perceived and what is real and __________
Incorrect perceptions lead to ___________ conclusions – and unnecessary conflicts
Religious Errors Arising from Experience Based Theology
False Religions: Atheists demand an experience according to their own ________________.
Only the ____________ can be atheists. Intellectual honesty demands they are ______________
Experience of demonic power in false religions keeps many people entrapped by ________
Cults: Particular experiences hold the individual in the ___regardless of the evidence against the system
Aberrant sects – orthodox on fundamentals, but also hold ___________ or non-Biblical positions
Pentecostalism’s belief in tongues as the sign of Spirit Baptism is ____________to Acts & 1 Cor. 12-14
Claiming their experience __________ Biblical exposition opens the door for greater abuses
Charismatics give even greater value to ______________resulting in some rejecting even basic doctrine
Charismatic experience has fostered ecumenical ties even with those that __________the Biblical gospel
Determining right and wrong by experience results in rejection of ___________commands and precepts
Even evangelical believes will also often use past experiences as ______________ to disobey God
Faith is stepping out to _______God and trusting Him for the results regardless past experiences or lack
While God does direct through His providence, that leading can only be discerned by the ___________
Experience must never __________or interpret the Bible. Experiences must be understood by the _____
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – 1) Write down all the verses mentioned. 2) Count how many times the term “experience” is used. 3) Talk with your parents about the relationship between experience and wisdom.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. How can you determine if a group is orthodox or heretical? What evidences disprove neo-Darwinian evolution? If possible, give an example from Chemistry, Physics, Geology & Biology. How can we determine the age of the earth? List some of the reasons that support the reliability of the Bible. What are some of the different sources of authority within the Bible? What happens when any of those sources are used to supersede Biblical authority? What is the relationship between experience, age and wisdom? Why are so many parents now hesitant to instruct their children? What does it mean to “walk with God”? How can the limited knowledge gained from experience be overcome? What is the relationship between this and false religions and theological liberalism? Why is it wrong to think that Matthew depended on Mark to write his gospel account? What dangers exist when a person takes pride in their experience as a source of truth? What are some of the things that can cause our perceptions to be very different from the truth? How have wrong perceptions resulted in trouble in your life? How do you overcome them? Why do atheists reject the existence of God? Why is this intellectually dishonest? What is the relationship between the demonic and false religions? What are some of the reasons people stay in false religions? How does experience tie people into a cult? What is an aberrant sect of Christianity? Why is Pentecostal doctrine concerning speaking in tongues and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit an aberration? What does the Bible teach about these subjects? How do Pentecostal and Charismatic differ from each other? What emphasis do they put on experience? What are some of the problems that arise from this? How do evangelical, fundamental believers also slip into placing a priority on their experience over what the Bible teaches? Give examples if possible. What is the proper relationship between experience and the Bible? Are you walking with God by faith?
For comments, please e-mail Church office