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Dear WPA and Others:
Sometimes, a sentence, taken out of context, will appear to be in
error, but when the whole is considered, it may not be. We cannot
with certainty recognize a false prophet by the existence of one line,
in a long article, that appears on it's face to be erroneous. We must
examine the totality of what is written, and judge the context of the
whole against the word of God. Jesus says, "by their fruits you will
know them". Fruits have to do with character.
Laura Kula, for example, defends the article by Joyner (Combating The Religious Spirit)
, and I agree in
almost all points. I do believe, however, that the overall balance of
the article is not closely comparable to the balance presented by
scripture. As I stated, what is written in that article by Joyner is
That being said, some of these one-liners, presented by Mr. Lee Ford,
certainly do appear to be way over the edge. If I were presented with
any of them, my eyes would begin to roll upward too.
And then, we also have the admonition of Galatians 5:15, warning us
not to bite and devour one another. It is pertinent that this warning
was given by Paul in Galatians, where he engages the Judaizers in
verbal battle. Many of us have already seen the propensity of the
Judaizers to accompany their arguments with the gnashing of teeth and
the casting forth of dissenters from their synagogues. We have to
remember that when we engage them, contending earnestly for the faith,
we must not bite and devour them, even if they do so to us. We tend
to do this whenever we seek to defend ourselves from their
viciousness. We must trust in Jesus for our defense. In that way,
our good fruit will be evident for all to see, and will be contrasted
against the fruit they display.
Perhaps the group would like to know how I wound up in my written
dispute with Bill Burns? We exchanged one private letter each after
our series of public issuances. I told him his article was not half
so bad after he explained it, but that I still felt he could have
worded it in a less confusing way. He wrote back to me, and declared
that there was peace between us, and asked me to accept that, which I
have. I then noticed that all appearances of commercialization were
removed from his website entrace points into the sections where words
of prophecy are given. And so, as brothers, Bill and I have tried to
work through things that we see a bit differently. I think we both
come away changed by our Lord, and I am hopeful in Christ that he will
walk before the Lord in a humble and teachable way. I'm sure that he
is hopeful that I won't become a heresy hunter, looking for people to
devour. I have no intention of becoming such a person.
I want our focus to remain fixed on Jesus of Nazareth. I want to
continue to spend my time handling the real, not seeking out
counterfeits. This is what I have always done! If we handle the real
every day, we will quickly recognize the counterfeits when they SEEK
US OUT or invade our territory. I do not want to start SEEKING THEM
OUT. I do not see Paul doing that. Heresy invaded Galatia....then
Paul dealt with it firmly. That is the example I seek to emulate.
Stephen L. Bening
a servant and prophet of our Lord Jesus Christ
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