Whenever I would grab a book to read and sit on the couch, and I could always count on my dog to come over, jump up and settle down next to me. Just about the time I kicked back to relax, she would lay her head on my lap and give me that look. Oh, how good she was at letting me know what she wanted!
Inevitably, this would lull her into a calm, relaxed state of mind until I thought she had fallen asleep. I would stop pampering her, and pick up my book to start reading again. That’s when she began pushing her head towards my hand in an attempt to take my mind off my reading. So, I would indulge her for a bit longer in the hope that she would settle down so I could read my book. Eventually I came to the conclusion that I would either have to give her what she desired, or else she would get down and go find someone else to scratch those itchy ears.
Now, this article is not really about dogs, and it is not about the dermatological problems with their ears. It is about the way humans, like dogs, are always looking for someone to satisfy their needs. The world is replete with motivational speakers, like Tony Robbins, who can convince others to go out and grasp the bull by the horns to accomplish things they themselves do not believe they can do. In the secular world, some of these motivational speakers can command upwards to a million dollars for a short seminar.
Christians also have their version of motivational speakers, but these speakers offer Biblical truths as they guide their congregations in the way that Christ taught. Of course, we don’t call them motivational speakers; we call them pastors. In addition to motivating their congregations, pastors have other jobs they are required to accomplish. They are spiritual leaders, administrators, marriage counselors, babysitters, teachers, and many other important duties, depending upon the needs of their flocks. However, most important of these duties is teacher.
In listing the gifts of grace according to the measure of Christ, Paul told the Ephesians that one of these gifts is to be a pastor/teacher. Ephesians 4:11. A pastor’s most important mission is to teach, and a good pastor teaches as Christ would, regardless of his other responsibilities. In his first letter to Timothy, Paul tells him to, “Preach the Word!” He goes on to tell him that a time is coming when men will grow weary of the old, plain gospel of Christ, and that they will be more inclined to listen to teachers who will tell them what they want to hear. 2Timothy 4:1-4
We now live in the times that Paul warned Timothy about almost 2000 years ago. Like the secular motivational speakers who sell what the audience wants to buy, there are pastors who bring in millions of dollars a year selling to their audience what they want to hear. The modern day American church has a wide range of teachers who fill their churches with very diverse crowds. Depending upon what the churchgoers seek, they can find any number of churches with a pastor who can make them feel comfortable with their understanding or misunderstanding of the Scriptures. The pastors who feed their congregations what they want to hear, while fleecing them for millions of dollars a year are the very teachers Paul wrote about in his epistle.
These charismatic Pastors have tens of thousands of members in their multimillion-dollar cathedrals. While most God-fearing Pastors across America make a meager living, depending on what the church can afford to pay them, many others are the type that Paul warned us about. One would expect these well-paid preachers to be highly educated theologically, and that their congregations would be some of the best-fed sheep in the world. Unfortunately that is not the case, because, when you look at what these Pastors are teaching, you would be hard pressed to find Scripture that agrees with them. The fact is many of these big money pastors are only telling their congregation what their itchy ears want to hear, not what they need to hear.
Probably the biggest reason so many congregations have succumbed to false teachers is because too many Christian men have stopped seeking wisdom from God. Instead they would rather follow their heart which is as Jeremiah put it, “more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick.” Jeremiah 17:9. Too many Christian men are not studying the Scriptures daily as the Bereans did to find out whether the things being taught are true. Acts 17:10-11. By not being the spiritual leader of the home, men have have fallen into a pattern of looking for what sounds right while making them feel good. So instead of leading their family away from danger, they are allowing false teachers to confuse them with false doctrine.
One of these teachers who likes to scratch itchy ears is Tony Campolo. Mr. Campolo is one of Christianity’s most well-known evangelists who is doing grave harm to the Gospel by twisting the Scriptures to support his poisonous, social political theology. There are many teachings by Mr. Campolo that make him a heretic when it comes to teaching God’s word. One of these heresies, is Universalism.
Universalism is the belief that there are many ways to gain salvation. In his 1994 book, ”Partly Right”, Campolo writes:
“In each of us is a divine nature of such, that God sacrificed His own Son so that our divine potentialities might be realized.”
What? Campolo believes and teaches the oldest lie in the book, that man is divine, thus equal to God. This is the same lie Satan told Eve to deceive her into eating the forbidden fruit from the “tree of knowledge of good and evil” Genesis 2:15-17. Satan told Eve that the moment she ate the fruit her eyes would be open and she would be like God Genesis 3:1-6. Mr. Campolo, like Jesus told the Pharisees, embodies the very nature of his own father, Satan himself John8:44.
There is a reason the main stream media (MSM) loves to interview and use Mr. Campolo as an authority on Christianity; it is that he also scratches their itchy ears. You will never see the MSM asking for my opinion on God’s word, because I’m not going to scratch their ears by telling them what they want to hear.
Kenneth Copeland is another multimillionaire preacher who is very influential in his speaking, and who has the ability to get people excited. If you listen to Kenneth Copeland with any amount of discernment and biblical knowledge, it will take a very short amount of time to be shocked and disgusted by some of the outrageous statements he makes in order to excite the listener into sending him their money. Copeland is one of the many charismatic “Word of Faith” teachers.
The Word of Faith is a blend of mysticism, dualism, and gnosticism that borrows generously from the teachings of the metaphysical cults. The Word of Faith movement may be the most dangerous false system that has grown out of the charismatic movement so far. Copeland has a long history of making heretical statements like, “You don’t have a God in you. You are one!” (The Force of Love audiotape), and “God spoke Adam into existence in authority with words. These words struck Adam’s body in the face. His body and God were exactly the same size”(Holy Bible, Kenneth Copeland Reference Edition 1991, 45, emphasis in original).
Another great modern day deceiver is Joel Osteen. Mr. Osteen is the senior pastor of the Lakewood Church in Houston Texas. His church boasts a staggering 35,000 members in attendance each week along with a weekly television program that is viewed by millions around the world. Mr. Osteen is another one of the “Word of faith” teachers along with the likes of Benny Hinn, T.D. Jakes, Joyce Meyers, Robert Schuller, Kenneth Hagin, and many others. Next time you hear someone preaching the gospel of prosperity, remember that Paul told the Galatians that even if an angel or himself comes and “preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8-9
I have many problems with these deceiver’s messages, but limited space to write about them. So let’s just look at the transcripts of an interview Mr. Osteen had with Larry King. You will notice that Joel uses the phrase “I don’t know” eight times when pressed about his knowledge of very clear Biblical teachings. When asked if Muslims, atheists, or homosexuals will make it to heaven, he just said, “I don’t think about that.” The problem with that statement is how God clearly said we should not only think about it, but we should warn them their behavior will not allow for them to inherit the kingdom of God. In 1 Corinthians 16:9-10, Paul wrote about those who will not inherit the kingdom of God, and they are the very ones whom Osteen would rather not think about.
The difference between Christ and the false prophets of Universalism, along with those of the “Word Of Faith” movement, is that the Son of God told us that without repentance and the receiving of Him as LORD and Savior, we can expect hell to be our eternal abode forever with all the rebels of God Matthew 4:17, Luke 13:3-5, Revelations 20:15, etc. Christ is the one and only way to Heaven and the name of “Jesus” is the only name under Heaven whereby “we must be saved” Acts 4:12. Jesus said John 14:16, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
When Pastors and teachers change the message so that it is no longer a stumbling block to the Jews or foolishness to the gentiles, then they are no longer teaching the Gospel of Christ. We must not change the message to gain followers, because we will end up with a church full of people who are followers of a new message. We must stick to the same message that has been presented for 2000 years, and if we do, we will gain followers of Christ. In conclusion, all of you who, like Hershee, are just looking for someone to scratch those itchy ears. I would suggest you spend some time on your knees in prayer, seeking the Great Physician who will permanently cure you of that itch.
I pray that those who have ears to hear will hear His voice and call upon the name of the lord Jesus Christ.