Brainwashing, Mind Control, Indoctrination, Oppression, Coercion, Intimidation, Legalism, False Teaching, Shame, Guilt, and Bondage in the Modern Christian Church

If you hear a pastor or television evangelist say, "God told me to tell you," hold onto your wallet and run. These are the modern-day money changers similar to those who Jesus threw out of the temple.

The modern Christian churches use brainwashing, mind control, indoctrination, oppression, coercion, intimidation, legalism, false teaching, guilt, shame, peer pressure, and other bondage techniques to control members, increase church attendance, and obtain more money. The goal is said to be "winning souls to Christ," but the underlying agenda is the desire for more power, control, and money. These mind control and bondage techniques are not needed to win souls to Christ. In fact, they are very counter productive to soul winning.

Matthew 23:4 "For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 5 "But all their works they do to be seen by men."

Matthew 23:15 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

The focus on money in the church is easily seen by reading the website for the church, TV, or radio ministry. The typical website has information for ordering books, tapes, videos, and other materials from their online store. They may have tricky methods to encourage the visitor to give money. They talk more about money than about God, Jesus Christ, or the Holy Spirit. Rarely do any of these churches present a clear or correct gospel message on their website, radio, or TV program. They use special presentations to entice the visitor to give his money, such as:

The number of church members is directly proportional to the church budget. Getting more new members means getting more money. Money is the prime motivation in Christian churches today. You most likely will not see the gospel printed in the Sunday bulletin, but you will see something about paying your tithing, the church budget, new building plan, or the amount of money collected during last week's service. Collecting the tithes and offerings is one part of the church service that is never forgotten. Jesus spoke and acted harshly with the money changers in the Temple who were making money by fraudulently representing God. Jesus called them a "den of thieves."

Matthew 21:12 Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 13 And He said to them, "It is written, `My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a `den of thieves.' " 14 Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.

The Apostle Paul taught that we are not to put on the yoke of legalistic bondage.

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

American radio preacher, Donald Grey Barnhouse, said:

"It was a tragic hour when the reformation churches wrote the Ten Commandments into their creeds and catechisms and sought to bring Gentile believers into bondage to Jewish law, which was never intended either for the Gentile nations or for the church.

Brainwashing of Humans is Easy and Very Effective

Church members come to accept the policies, practices, and teachings in their church as they drift into bondage from the brainwashing techniques used by church officials. This indoctrination is so effective that the member later denies he has been brainwashed. People who have been brainwashed never know it themselves. Humans can easily be taught to believe something that can easily be proven to be absolutely false. Brainwashing can extend to groups of people without a limit in size or scope. Millions of people were brainwashed to believe Communism was the best economic system until the truth was exposed by the fall of the Soviet Union. Cults and false religions have used these techniques with great success for centuries, and Christian churches frequently resort to the same methods. Parents of brainwashed children have engaged reprogramming experts in an attempt to rescue their children from a cult or false religion. Rescue becomes extremely difficult when the oppressed is an adult who is protected by law from outside rescuers. Many parents grew up in Christian churches that used mind control techniques, and they raise their children to receive the same indoctrination generation after generation. They live their entire lives not coming to the knowledge that they have been brainwashed.

Brainwashing and Other Mental and Personality Disorders.

Cults are classic experts in brainwashing techniques. Members in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) repeat false statements over and over at every church meeting until new members are brainwashed into believing they are true. Testimonies are required in which members are expected to repeat false doctrines by making statements such as "Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God." Jehovah's Witnesses is another cult that uses brainwashing techniques with great success. Any member who dares to leave the organization is shunned by close family members, and this intimidation is as intense as one can possibly imagine. Shunning is a masterful bondage technique.
Mind Control in the Cults.
Understanding Mind Control Among Jehovah's Witnesses.

Top Ten Nutritional Myths, Distortions and Lies That Will Destroy Your Health.

The low-fat diet craze is another example of mass brainwashing that has swept the entire world even though the diet has little scientific support. The fear of saturated fats and red meat continues on a massive scale with the strong support of food manufacturers and vegetarians. Saturated animal fats and red meat are very good foods that preserve health and heal the body. It has all been a big fat lie started by vegetable oil manufacturers and vegetarians.

Works is Rampant in the Christian Church

Churches run by false-teaching, bondage pastors consistently rate members on their works and the amount of money they give. These false churches have special "lists of recognition" for those members who perform the most works. The special list of recognition is often included in the weekly bulletin. The pastor will "leak" the names of those members who give the most money. The pastor and church leadership reward these "workers" and "tithers" with praise and special privileges. They are often given special seating positions. We know this is false teaching because Jesus did not praise people for their works or monetary offerings. Jesus praised people for their greater faith. Leaders were chosen because of their faith, not by their works or money. False churches choose leaders based on their works and money.

Matthew 9:22 But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, "Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well." And the woman was made well from that hour.

Mark 10:52 Then Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your faith has made you well." And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.

Luke 17:6 So the Lord said, "If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, `Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,' and it would obey you.

Acts 6:5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, 6 whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them. 7 Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.

Legalism is Rampant in the Christian Church

Few churches escape the temptation to use legalism to control the members. This problem has existed from the beginning of the church when the Apostle Paul struggled to keep believers from falling back under the Old Testament laws. Judaizers, legalists of the day, tried to make the Gentile believers keep the Jewish commandments of circumcision, the law (Ten Commandments), dietary commandments, and the observance of special days; but the Apostle Paul taught that we are no longer under the law but under grace. Churches, pastors, and "Torah Keepers" who preach justification by keeping the law are blaspheming God. Their justification by legalism and works is a statement to God that Jesus Christ died in vain.

Galatians 2:21 "I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness [comes] through the law, then Christ died in vain."

Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?

Galatians 5:2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.

Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

Scripture clearly tells us to live our lives by the leading of the indwelling Holy Spirit, not by keeping our eyes on the law (Ten Commandments) or on a list of rules. We are to walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh.

Galatians 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

Legalism failed to make the Pharisees righteous.
Judaism 101: List of the 613 Mitzvotl, Commandments in the Torah.

Works in an attempt to please God is contrary to Scripture, but most Pastors in Christian churches hammer away at members to work, work, work. The Pastor will pressure the members into performing more works with a false doctrinal statement such as, "God will be honored, and you will be blessed." Scripture teaches just the opposite. You will not be blessed for this works mentality. Another favorite bondage plea is to insist that the member "be faithful in your absence." In this message, the Pastor is telling the members that a vacation from church is not acceptable during their vacation from employment. They must attend one of the denomination's churches even when traveling on vacation or away from home on business. Members are pressured into attendance every time the church doors are opens and placed on a guilt trip if they don't perform. They are pressured into working in child care, working in Sunday school, working in outreach visitations, working in nursing home visitations, and working in manual labor for the church. These churches rarely give the member the opportunity to exercise his Spiritual gifts and most likely never mention Spiritual gifts. The Bible teaches that God hates works in an attempt to please Him. These churches and their members are much worse off before God because of their works than if they did nothing at all.

Romans 4:4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. 5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:

The modern day Judaizers in the Christian church are Messianic Jews and those in the "Torah Keeper" movement. Many Christian churches falsely teach that the Ten Commandments apply today. This doctrine is totally baffling, since Scripture written by the Apostle Paul for the church today is clearly against it. They come up with twisted explanations and fall into false teaching. They falsely believe that legalism is the only method possible for a person to resist a sinful lifestyle. These church Pastors, Ministers, and Reverends ignore the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit in the born-again believer. The Apostle Paul taught that legalism is doomed to failure. Submitting to the guidance of the Holy Spirit actually fulfills the requirements of the Law.

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Legalistic preachers typically don't accept repentance from members in the church. The repentant member is simply kicked out no matter what he does. This unbiblical practice of expecting all members to be perfectly sinless leads to denial of sin throughout the congregation. The denial of sin results in a sinful pride, a pattern of lying and a refusal to admit or repent of anything. In one legalistic church the Pastor and Assistant Pastor both had a hot e-mail exchange going on with one of the wives in the church. She was in charge of the children's Sunday School, lead singer on the worship team and programmed the church website. She also had a harem of men in the church on her e-mail list that was kept confidential. Her husband and the other wives didn't have a clue all of this was going on. Suffering from the effects of childhood molestation, she repeatedly invited other men in the church to e-mail her. She sometimes told her husband they were flirting. Her husband would complain to the Pastor, and the man would be thrown out of the church. The Pastor was using her and wouldn't deal with her because of all the things she did for him, and she knew it. This is the reverse of growing a church as can be seen by its small size. The Bible gives clear instructions for discipline in the church.

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

Dispensationalists Who Practice Bondage

Pastors who are dispensationalists should understand grace and refrain from legalistic practices, but that is not so at many churches. The pastor may not preach the Ten Commandments, but many can certainly invent a list of new laws.

Acts 2 dispensationalists insist that each member "babble" in an unknown language they call tongues. This group is commonly referred to as Charismatics. Those who don't babble or fake an unknown language are shunned, ignored, and thought by the participants to be wretched unbelievers. True "tongues" in Acts 2 was a real language to the hearer, not babble.

Acts 9 dispensationalists sometimes have their own list of new laws. Some pastors insist that the members participate in civil disobedience against sinful pagans and against other churches who don't endorse civil disobedience. Members who participate in the unlawful acts of civil disruption are praised by the pastor in front of the congregation. The non-participating members are avoided, shunned, and ignored. These are bondage techniques used to force them into participation. These pastors openly violate Scripture. The Apostle Paul firmly said to obey the civil authorities. These pastors are trying to turn unsaved pagans into righteous heathen instead of presenting them with the gospel as Paul did. Some of the sins they target are:

Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.

Acts 28 dispensationalists can be another strange group of legalists. This group is commonly called Ultra-Dispensationalists or "ultra-dispies." They usually don't call themselves ultra-dispies, but Bible-based dispensationalists use the term to accurately describe them. An ultra-dispy can be identified by his legalism regarding baptism. Ultra-dispies have taken grace to the extreme but in doing so have placed themselves back under a new man-made law not found in the Bible, "Thou Shall Not Baptize." The Apostle Paul said he did not come to baptize but to preach the gospel. Paul did baptize people in this Dispensation of Grace. However, he wanted them to stop falsely claiming they were baptized in his own name. This is probably the main reason Paul stopped baptizing people lest they should say that he had baptized them in his own name. The people were prideful in their bragging that Paul had baptized them. The Bible does not say others cannot or should not baptize. The ultra-dispies have twisted this verse around until many preach as if the gospel is "Thou Shall Not Baptize." They spend their efforts preaching against baptism instead of preaching the gospel. They also refrain from the Christian ordinance of the "Lord's Supper" or "Communion." All legalists lead people away from the gospel and away from Christ by focusing on their legalistic false doctrines and works instead of the gospel.

1 Corinthians 1:13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name. 16 Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other. 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.

In our present Dispensation of Grace, baptism does not save anyone, nor are sins removed or forgiven by baptism as many churches falsely teach. One does not receive the Holy Spirit through baptism. One does not become a Christian through baptism. There is no requirement for baptism in the present Dispensation of Grace. However, baptism can be a personal public testimony of one's faith in Christ after salvation. Baptism should never be given more importance than an expression of one's faith, nor should it be forbidden in a legalistic fashion, for we are not under law but under grace. There is no statement in the Bible saying water baptism is wrong. We are saved by the Spirit's baptism into the Body of Christ by faith is Christ's death, burial, and physical resurrection.

1 Peter 3:21 There is also an antitype which now saves us--baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.

Ultra-Ultra-Dispensationalists also tend to treat the communion service or Lord's Supper as wrong even though is was taught by the Apostle Paul in this Dispensation of Grace. Bread and wine are to be taken in a solemn ceremony in remembrance of Jesus' physical suffering and death. Communion in the Bible is never forbidden as many ultra-ultra-dispies teach.

1 Corinthians 11:23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the [same] night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke [it] and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 25 In the same manner [He] also [took] the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink [it], in remembrance of Me.

One Christian denomination which has many independent branches was originally formed because of their opposition to infant baptism. It certainly was true that the doctrine of regeneration by infant baptism is heresy, but now they have more heretical rules than the Pharisees. They place importance on adult baptism that is not in Scripture. They say one is not saved by baptism, but on the other hand they say that one is disobedient to the point of being lost if they do not get baptized. They will not allow membership in their denomination without an approved baptism in their denomination. They impose dress codes, attendance, and social codes that are strictly heretical but incorrectly refer to the legalism as being fundamental. Adding rules and codes that are not even hinted at in the Bible is a sure sign of a bondage church. Placing oneself back under the Old Testament laws is not being fundamental. It is falling from the grace of God. Failure to understand the gospel in this Dispensation of Grace leaves one's salvation in jeopardy.

Galatians 5:4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who [attempt] [to] be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love. 7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion does not [come] from Him who calls you.

Colossians 2:20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as [though] living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations-- 21 "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle," 22 which all concern things which perish with the using--according to the commandments and doctrines of men?

Recent Success Story From an ex-Pentecostal who Escaped a Bondage Teaching Pastor

"I use to belong to a Pentecostal church for 6 years, and I've been out now for about 12. And yes, you cannot see the bondage you're in until AFTER you're out of there. It's like the bondage itself binds the believer. I believe that Satan's new strategy is 'allowing' people to get saved and defeat the purpose of their salvation by leading them to churches of a legalistic nature. There is much Shephardism and legalism going on in those churches. And you know, I believe some of the pastors teach it ignorantly, while a great many of them are going along with the flow - you know, don't want to be 'kicked' out of the organization or anything, so they willingly preach these legalistic lies keeping the people of God bound.

In my old church, we confessed to the pastor about EVERYTHING (like he was the high priest on earth). He often compared himself to Moses and us to the "ignorant and stubborn" children of Israel and that God speaks to him and NOT us. So, when I first got saved - the Holy Spirit led me into fellowship with the Father - from developing a prayer life - a relationship was established. Spiritual gifts started to flourish - prophecy, word of knowledge, etc. They started operating fluently after the relationship which was about 4 months after I was saved. I would run out of excitement - being only 18 years old (now 35) to my pastor to tell him what thus said the Lord. God was speaking to me, and it was AWESOME! I wanted him to be happy for me. Well, he asked me how did I know certain things I knew and that he didn't tell anybody - and he would shun me and tell me that God doesn't speak to babes - instead the devil was talking to me. That use to hurt me so very badly. I looked to him as a child would to a father being that I grew up w/o mine.

God use to tell me the topic and the sermon he would preach a whole week before he would, but I learned quickly to keep my mouth shut. He even told me about this lady who had cancer - that he would heal her - but b/c of the pastor's decision - she died instead - that saddened me. He would tell me what was wrong with people who stood in the healing and delivering lines, but I just silently bowed my head and prayed for them - telling no one. Many things were between me and God. Couldn't tell no one else in my church b/c no one I mean no one - went against anything the Bishop said.

Once during a service, I was speaking in tongues in a way that warranted interpretation and the pastor noticed (we were all at an altar call). He asked (for the FIRST time ever), "Is there an interpreter?" No one answered and then sadly he commented, "Well, I guess we have NO NEED for that then". Boy, was I SHOT down many, many times. And for just 18-23 yrs old in that church - it felt like I was around a whole lot of tongue-talking Pharisees or worse yet, at times, Devils!

Anyway, there was a sister who went to the pastor secretly and told him that she was the only one hearing me in English - God said to the people there "Repent, turn my people, turn, turn!" But the pastor never did tell the congregation b/c it would have meant "HE WAS WRONG!!!!! This is one major act of PRIDE that these kind of church leaders allow to dominate them a whole lot!

I'm gonna quit now - I was reading your article and just had to make a comment to tell your readers that you are RIGHT about ALL OF YOUR ARTICLE! And I really appreciate your COURAGE to enlighten people. I hope more people read your article and it encourages them to SEEK and do RESEARCH for the truth and most of all COME OUT of those dead man dens. Surely, many of them are the ones whom the Bible speaks of when it says, "You will say, have not I cast out demons in your name...and I will say, Depart from me I know you not". It saddens me to even think that some of my brethren are in such great error - let's just continue to pray for them that their eyes will be opened, b/c as it stands for now - the many unsaved people I've heard talking about religious issues, have more 'sight' than them and they go to church nearly EVERY night!

Oh God, all of the rituals they practice (staying in church a lot), praying during the noonday, fasting, attending church conferences, Revivals, and etc., and they're STILL BLIND! They are the exact replica of the Pharisees. Remember the Scriptures said that they cleaned cups on the outside so PEOPLE could SEE that they were CLEANED, but the inside was MESSED UP! These churches dress up Christians by laddening them down with "WORKS" (calling it the Christian thing to do) in order to PROVE to the world that they are saved when God said the way his people would be known is by the LOVE they have for one another - WHEW! WHY DID THAT VERY SIMPLE  SCRIPTURE JUST FLY TOTALLY OVER THEIR HEADS?

God bless you, and keep up the good work."

Note: This website is not singling out Pentecostal churches. Bondage preachers are in every denomination.

Preaching of Tithing is Rampant in the Christian Church

Tithing is not a New Testament doctrine in this Dispensation of Grace, but that doesn't stop money-hungry Christian churches from preaching the doctrine. The Pastor, Minister, or Reverend will include some verses from Galatians in his sermon and then preach tithing from Malachi without flinching. Mixing doctrines of law and grace is harshly condemned in Scripture. Tithing is a sure signal that the Pastor doesn't trust God. Pastors who preach tithing don't have faith that God will provide for His church. Therefore, they resort to fleshly brainwashing, intimidation, and coercive mind control techniques to feed their elaborate budget plans. Jesus condemned these practices in the strongest way.

Matthew 23:14 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

Tithing is one false doctrine that church members consistently reject. It has been accurately determined that only three percent of members in one very large denomination give a tithe even though the denomination has been hammering away with the tithe doctrine for a century. Preaching tithing has never worked, but the Pastors who do preach it lack the faith to trust God for free-will giving by the members.

Matthew 23:16 "Woe to you, blind guides, who say, `Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.' 17 "Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? 18 "And, `Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.' 19 "Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? 20 "Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. 21 "He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. 22 "And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it. 23 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 24 "Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

A more sinister doctrine frequently preached is that of telling the believers they should give more than a tithe. This little trick is pulled by denominations that finally accept the fact that tithing is not a New Testament doctrine for the church today. Demanding that members pay more than a tithe is their way around the limitation. The Pastor will typically describe the passing of the Sunday collection plate or bag as "giving tithes and offerings." This does not mean an offering less than a tithe is acceptable. This means the member is expected to give a tithe plus an offering. It is a dreadful scam that is totally unbiblical. "Faith promise giving" is the frequently quoted plea to get more money. The Pastor will ask the members to give above the tithe with the promise that God will give back even more. The member is accused of not having enough faith if his finances don't improve as promised.

Tithing is Not a New Testament Doctrine.

Divorce in the Christian church in the USA has now surpassed the percentage of broken marriages in the unchurched population. These results show an underlying problem in church members that causes increased difficulties in the marriage. This should not come as any surprise given the added pressure many churches place on their members. Financial difficulty is a primary cause for divorce. Paying tithing to the church in addition to all the federal and state taxes causes an extreme financial burden in many marriages. Pastors promise great blessings for those who tithe. This promise is contrary to the Bible which gives a harsh warning to those who place themselves back under Old Testament legalism.

Galatians 5:4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

2 Corinthians 9:7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

Tithing in the Bible was an Old Testament command for the Hebrews where the farm products were given to members of the Tribe of Levi. Preachers today have no valid claim to receive a tithe from the church members. The church is not the Tribe of Levi. The early church did not pay a tithe to the Apostles Paul, James, John, or to the elders in the church. Pastors who preach tithing are either greedy liars or blind to Scriptural truth.

The prosperity teaching of many preachers is false teaching. The Bible does not promise prosperity to those who give money to these false teachers. They will prosper, not you. These false teachers will burn in the Lake of Fire on judgment day. 

One recent tithe preacher was the Pastor of a Phoenix, Arizona, mega-church in a very large denomination. He screamed from the pulpit at young married couples struggling to make ends meet. He threatened that they must pay their tithing or God would not bless their family. Meanwhile, he was flashing his outrageously expensive Rolex wrist watch, driving a new Cadillac, and living in a multimillion dollar house. He was buddy-buddy with a member of the church who was a famous TV star and country singer to whom he was always giving special recognition. The pastor retired 15 years early with a fat pension package from the church according to the special "Pastor's Pension Package" he had written earlier. He and his wife sold their plush multimillion dollar home and moved out of state. His young personal church secretary (she would only do things for him) divorced her husband and went along. WOW! What a dedicated secretary! A few years later the country singing star was charged with driving drunk, crashing into another driver, and leaving the scene of the accident. He pleaded guilty with a soft plea bargain penalty that was less than he spends on a night out on the town. The final judgment won't be so soft. Jesus spoke of the just penalty hypocrites will receive at the judgment. The pastor preached a false gospel we commonly hear. He said, "Invite Jesus into your heart." That phrase is not in the Bible and the doctrine is not in the Bible. Bible Life Ministries presents the gospel according to Jesus Christ. The pastor continually preached the "Ten Commandments" and tithing. However, the pastor was not the only pervert in the church administration. The following people were following the lead of the pastor:

 1 Corinthians 3:12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

Grasp your wallet when you hear a preacher start his message with a title such as "Seven Steps to Prosperity." You can be sure six of those steps involve giving money, property, and time to him with the false promise that the more you give the more you will be blessed. This false teaching is not in those Bible doctrines intended for the Church in this Dispensation of Grace. Avoid these bondage congregations. They will bleed you dry and dump you in your time of need.

Romans 8:1 [There] [is] therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

Pastors who preach bondage are most likely not saved as indicated in Galatians 5:4.

Galatians 5:4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who [attempt] [to] be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

Church Pledge Cards are an Unscriptural Bondage

Very few church members have a pledge from their employer for a guaranteed salary for the coming year. Even fewer people who are self employed or own a business have a guaranteed minimum profit for the coming year. Yet many church pastors ask their members to sign a "pledge card" to committing themselves to give the church a minimum amount for the coming year. The member is living his life by faith never knowing when the boss at work will call him in to say, "You're fired." It seems the church pastor should set the example for "walking by faith and not by sight," but these pledge card masters have it backwards.

The church member is placed on a bondage trip. The pastor is asking the church member to violate Scripture by taking an oath to give a pledged amount to the church.

Daniel 9:11 "Yes, all Israel has transgressed Your law, and has departed so as not to obey Your voice; therefore the curse and the oath written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against Him.

James 5:12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your "Yes," be "Yes," and [your] "No," "No," lest you fall into judgment.

The church member has the risk of his salary being cut to zero because most people only have one or two sources of income. There is the risk that the amount of funds given to the church will change because most churches have hundreds or thousands of members making contributions. So what is the reason some churches insist that member make a pledge? The pledge cards are used because they result in more money being given. The pastor uses psychological ploys to get members to sign the pledge cards. The pastor give a highly emotional plea coupled with special entertainment to swoon the members into pledging large amounts. The members are told false doctrine that they will be blessed by God if they pledge a large amount, but they will be denied blessings if they don't. Later, the pastor uses the pledge cards as leverage to put the members on a guilt trip because some have not kept up with the pledged amount. This is bondage, folks. Pledge cards are a sinister and evil practice that is contrary to Scripture. If you walk by faith, the pastor should learn to budget the churches expenses by faith. Asking members to sign pledge cards and asking members to make an oath are proof the pastor lacks faith in God. He does not have the faith that God will provide. He depends on other men, not God.

One typical church member writes, "I was the deserted and divorced mother of four children under age 10 and our sole support. I owned no property and no vehicle and was temporarily unemployed. The church sent two guys in silk suits and a new BMW to get my pledge. We were barely getting by. I'd bought us a large, used refrigerator (saved and paid cash) and gave our small one to the church for soft drinks. The stewardship guy said since I could buy a refrigerator I could afford to pledge to the church. They left empty handed. I was humiliated. It was my first experience with church greed. I vowed I'd never let a human/organization get between God and me again. I don't give money to churches. My contributions go to St. Jude's Children's Hospital or any place that helps kids."

Churches claim your gift is a gift to God, not to man; therefore your oath to your church is an oath to God, not to man. This is strongly condemned in Scripture. Man cannot keep the Ten Commandments which were an oath to God. The oath becomes a curse, not a blessing. Intimidating excuses used by churches, such as using the money for "winning souls", is not valid. Scripture should not be violated. Oaths, contracts, pledges, and promises made to one's mate, children, employer, bank, or others are perfectly fine, but they must be honored. Pledge cards are commandments of men that are highly criticized in Scripture.

Colossians 2:20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as [though] living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations-- 21 "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle," 22 which all concern things which perish with the using--according to the commandments and doctrines of men?

Membership and Judging the Salvation of Nonmembers

Membership in a local assembly of believers is not a Biblical doctrine. The practice did not exist in the early Christian church, and there is no Scripture to support it. Churches have drifted into this and other false doctrines, such as church members voting on business matters. None of these procedures is supported by the Bible. Membership is a "worldly" doctrine that requires churches to develop "worldly" rules regarding membership.

The result of the membership policy is a divisive label placed on everyone attending a worship service. "Member" is a label proudly espoused by the member, while the label "nonmember" is applied to everyone else in a derogatory manner. The title "nonmember" is an unwritten church code word that means the person labeled is unsaved or lost. This label pressures people into becoming an official member as the first step in applying coercive pressures to comply with other false doctrines the church is teaching. A person applying for membership must verbalize or sign a statement that he agrees with and supports all of the teachings and traditions of the bondage church.

A pastor who teaches that membership in his church or his denomination is required in order to be saved does not understand the gospel. This pastor and his entire church membership are the ones who are lost because they hold to a false gospel that is not in the Bible.

In a recent church service, twelve people requested membership that required the voting approval of the existing membership. The twelve were asked to give a testimony so the members could judge that they were indeed believing Christians. One young adult male gave a clear and complete presentation of the gospel and confirmed his faith in Jesus Christ according to the gospel. The other eleven, both male and female adults, gave various testimonies that showed they were seriously lacking in the full understanding of saving faith. About half said they were saved because they "invited Jesus into their heart." This phrase is very common in churches today but is not stated in Scripture. The doctrine is completely unbiblical and not even close to the gospel, yet all were approved unanimously by the membership without question. The Pastor accepted them warmly. Apparently the Pastor doesn't understand the gospel either, because he had met with each individual previously to review the testimony and membership request.

Scripture does not teach that salvation is accomplished by having one's sins forgiven. Most Christian churches teach the false doctrine of effectual forgiveness. They teach that sins are not forgiven until one believes Jesus died for his sins. They falsely believe that having one's sins forgiven equates to being saved. The effectual forgiveness doctrine is not in the Bible. Actually, the Bible teaches just the opposite. While we were enemies of God (meaning unsaved), we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son. It does not require faith to be reconciled to God as many churches falsely teach. Reconciliation does not mean one is saved as these churches teach. It means the enmity between man and God as a result of Adam's transgressions has been reversed. One is saved by faith in the resurrection of Jesus. We are saved by His resurrected life. The correct answer can be found in reading Romans 4:25 and 5:10 below.

Gospel of Salvation by Grace Through Faith

1 Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.

Galatians 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ. 11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Romans 4:25 (Jesus Christ) Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life (resurrection).

Romans 10:9 If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.

1 Peter 1:3 Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

1 Peter 3:21 There is also an antitype which now saves us--baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.

Many churches present a salvation invitation or altar call that is not the complete gospel as given in the Bible. Baptismal regeneration is not the gospel in this Dispensation of Grace. The Apostle Paul warned us about other gospels and false gospels. These incomplete gospel messages do not result in eternal salvation for the person responding. The following are some examples of incorrect or incomplete salvation invitations.

  • "Invite Jesus into your heart." This doctrine is not in the Bible.

  • "Believe Jesus died for your sins and be saved." Faith in the resurrection is missing.

  • "Come forward and receive Jesus." This invitation is not the gospel in the Bible.

  • "Give your heart to Jesus." This is a false gospel that will not bring eternal life.

  • "Trust Jesus as your personal Savior." The phrases "trust Jesus" and "personal Savior" are not in the Bible.

  • "Come to Jesus to get your sins forgiven." Your sins were forgiven 2000 years ago.

  • "Be baptized for the remission of sins." No. Baptism does not remove sin.

  • "Life is in the blood of Jesus." No. Eternal life is by faith in the resurrection.

  • "Personal relationship with Jesus." This phrase is not in the bible. What kind of relationship?

  • "God elects those whom He saves." This false doctrine is not in the Bible.

The correct and complete gospel is presented in the Bible verses above, not in these common church invitations. We are to have a deep faith and truly believe that Jesus was God in the flesh, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on the cross for the sins of the whole world, was resurrected by the Father to give us eternal life, and ascended to the right hand of the Father where He is our advocate and makes intercession for us. You are born again by receiving the indwelling of the Holy Spirit upon faith in these gospel truths. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9.

Jesus said, Matthew 7:13 "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide [is] the gate and broad [is] the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it." 14 "Because narrow [is] the gate and difficult [is] the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."

Jesus also said,  Matthew 7:22 "Many will say to Me in that day, `Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'"

Jesus said the way is "narrow" and "difficult." Who are these people who say "Lord, Lord" that Jesus is referring to? They certainly are not atheists who will obviously spend eternity in hell. Jesus is talking about people who fail to understand His gospel. Jesus is talking about many people who attend church every Sunday but simply think inviting Jesus into their heart is the gospel. Jesus is talking about TV evangelists who beg for money and present an incomplete gospel message that leaves out the resurrection. Jesus is talking about people whose improper prayer is not heard by God. These people are all on the broad way that leads to destruction as Jesus promised.

What is a proper style or format for Biblical prayer?
Does God hear and answer improper prayers?
Is prayer addressed to Jesus proper?

You can be confident and sure about your eternal salvation by faith alone.
Click here to say, "Yes, I want to pray to God for salvation."

Click here to say, "I just prayed to confess Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior."

Public Slander of Members and Nonmembers in Church Communications

Many churches broadcast statements about other members and nonmembers that can clearly be classified as slander. The officials of the church publicly judge another person's personal faith, claim the person has committed a crime, or judges his mental health. Church "prayer lists"  and "telephone prayer chains" are full of these slanderous comments about named individuals. Prayer list and telephone prayer chains become a justified method of passing gossip and slander about another person. These prayer methods are obviously very ineffective at helping anyone. Much of the time the slanderous information that is broadcast throughout the church is not true. Typical examples are:

"Ralph Richards --- pray for his salvation. He has a heart hardened toward spiritual things."

"Pray for Joe Smith. His wife has committed adultery."

The salvation of another member is called into question by some churches. They are not satisfied with their initial judgment of some other member. They send out a prayer request to all the church asking everyone to pray for "confirmation of salvation" of another person and identify him/her by name. These churches would not engage in this sort of slander if they knew the gospel themselves.

Dress Codes in the Church

Certainly everyone attending church should dress in a manner acceptable for the public meeting. Those with poor etiquette should be quietly reminded that their selection of clothing, or lack thereof, will not to be acceptable in the future. But some denominations go far beyond this standard of public decency. They require both boys and men to wear suit coats, ties, and dress slacks. The girls and women are required to wear long dresses well below the knee. A head covering is sometimes required for women. The excuse given for these requirements is usually stated as a desire to have a more formal atmosphere.

In a recent church service, one of the female choir members was in full compliance with the code but looked absolutely dreadful. She wore a bright orange blouse over a bright purple skirt. The horrible choice of colors was made even worse by of her bulk. Any woman dressed in a nice blouse and blue jeans would have been much more pleasing to the eye.

Matthew 15:9 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.

Dress codes are simply another example of power and control by church officials. Dress codes are good examples of the many commandments of men found in the modern Christian church. Keeping the membership in control with a dress code makes it much easier to keep them in compliance with a host of other false doctrines. The brainwashing technique used here is much like boiling a frog. Little by little the new member learns of the myriad of secret codes and unpublished church rules with which they must comply. Restrictions are applied one by one until the member is entrenched in a quagmire of legalistic requirements. Applying these codes gradually allows the human brain to accept them with less rejection. These churches do not publish a full list of the rules and codes for a handout to a visitor, otherwise most people would hit the exit and never come back. Dress codes are simply more commandments of men that are highly criticized in Scripture.

Colossians 2:20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as [though] living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations-- 21 "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle," 22 which all concern things which perish with the using--according to the commandments and doctrines of men?

Titus 1:13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth. 15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work. 

Mandatory Attendance by the Church

Some Christian denominations impose coercive attendance requirements on members. Members are expected to attend every time the church doors are open. Services are held on Sunday morning, Sunday evening, midweek service, special meetings, evangelistic outreaches, and "revival" meetings. These commitments become so numerous that members are doing some church function every day of the week. The brainwashing technique used here is to keep the members swamped with church activities so they cannot participate in any activity outside the church. The mood in the church office almost becomes paranoia. The church officials are afraid the members will learn something about the Bible from outside the his church. Reading this web page would be strictly forbidden in most churches.

Church members are judged by their attendance record. The Pastor uses one of the many intimidation technique by saying that "faithful members are to be in their places." Little jabbing comments are made to those who miss a service. The Pastor usually has several close members who secretly make a record of the those in attendance. These secret attendance police are assigned a section of the pews and can quickly record those in attendance. Most members get into the habit of sitting in the same area or same seat so the missing member is quickly identified. He is reminded of his absence later with the question, "Where were you last service?"

These techniques are common in cults and false religions but should never be the practice in the Christian church. Attendance at church functions should be based on the free-will desire to participate in a function that blesses those in attendance. Intimidation is a serious violation of Christian doctrine.

Mandatory attendance also applies to the member while on vacation. The member is told to "be faithful in your absence." The member is expected to attend the service at the nearest church within his denomination while on vacation. The implication here is that the member cannot worship God unless he is in a church service. The denomination is also fearful of not receiving as much money during the summer vacation months.

Isolation and Separation Imposed on Members

Restrictions are sometimes placed on church members concerning personal friendships. These mind and body control tactics prevent the members from having a close friendship with anyone outside of the denomination. Contact with casual friends and neighbors is acceptable to the point where the member invites the friend or neighbor to the church. Once the friend or neighbor refuses the invitation to attend the church, the member must discourage further contact. This situation is common. The members are initially very friendly, almost to the point being overly aggressive, only to become an iceberg if you won't attend their church.

Church functions are restricted to the denomination. Members are strongly indoctrinated against attending any church function outside of the denomination. A typical example is the woman who refused to join her sister at a Christmas Eve service while visiting for the holiday simply because it was in a church of a different denomination.

In some denominations, children who are engaged in sports are forbidden to participate when the event is held at the church of another denomination.

Some denominations will not allow their Pastor to attend an interdenominational conference even though all of those in attendance are considered to be Christians. These denominations generally believe nobody is saved outside of their denomination whether they will openly admit it or not.

A coercive technique used in bondage churches is to question the salvation of anyone who disagrees with anything said or done by the pastor. People who leave the church because they get sick and tired of the bondage techniques are held up as an example. The pastor will quote 1 John 2:19 saying,

"They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but [they] [went] [out] that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us."

The pastor means they must be lost otherwise they would not have left the church. In reality the people may have left because the Holy Spirit revealed to them that the bondage techniques show that pastor was lost. Bondage, coercion, and false teaching are inconsistent with being regenerated by the filling with the Holy Spirit.

Pastoral Submission

A favorite bondage and control technique in the modern Christian churches is the false doctrine of pastoral submission. Pastors teach their members that every Christian should belong to a local congregation and place himself in submission to the Pastor. This is false doctrine. Early Christian churches were not even led by a Pastor. The word pastor in the Bible means a teacher and is found only once in the entire Scripture. Early churches were guided by the group of elders. Certainly we should not forbid ourselves from assembling together as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Some churches place an extreme bondage and control requirement on all members by requiring them to submit important personal decisions to the church leadership for approval. This is another false doctrine.

The pastors of these churches suffer from an obsessive compulsive controlling disorder. In his personal life, the pastor's mate and children are miserable. The only stable relationship is with someone else suffering from a compulsive submissive disorder. Pastors with an obsessive compulsive controlling disorder cannot be trusted. They often criticize a member or a group of members publicly from the pulpit by accusing them of being "bench warmers" or "sucking sponges." They release personal information about the member or members that was given in confidentiality. They justify this dishonest practice by saying they prayed about it, and God said it was OK. They criticize the way members pray; and most importantly, they criticize the members for never giving enough money.

Communication Control Imposed on Members

Blocking all channels of communication with the outside world does wonders in controlling members. Without the ability to perform the basic human needs of communication, the members will more easily accept the church's requirement that all Bible interpretation comes from its leadership. Members are strongly discouraged from reading outside books, going to movies, watching television, listening to Christian radio, visiting outside churches, or reading outside websites like this one. In some cases, members are discouraged from studying the Bible on their own. All of these control measures are standard practices in brainwashing.

Members are also forbidden to question any church teaching or doctrine. Peer pressure and ridicule are used against the person who dares to ask the wrong question or express a negative feeling. Consequently, members become noncommunicative. Bible or doctrine discussion between members dries up. The member is expected to get all of his doctrinal interpretation from the leadership of the church. This practice discourages individual Bible reading and Bible study. Researching doctrinal information on the Internet, radio, or in Bible commentaries is strongly discouraged. Members are taught to not trust their own interpretation of Scripture and avoid doing so. One pastor told his congregation that they had better not get any teaching from "another shepherd."

A typical example of communication control occurred during four social dinner gatherings of four couples from the church. Most churches call this assembly a "dinner for eight." In one of these groups there was no Bible discussions other than the prayer before dinner. None of the many church doctrines was discussed during any of the four dinners. These members are afraid to discuss their faith, even within this inside group. There is a subtle atmosphere of fear and compliance.

Service, Guilt Trips, and Beating the Sheep

Work, work, work. The control method used here is fatigue. The member does not have the time or energy to question the doctrines being hammered in by the church. The other mind-control method being used here is to place the member on a guilt trip in order to get more money and work out of him. Work and money allow the church to reach new members and receive more money. Faithful members are on a constant treadmill. Their appointment calendar shows a full schedule of church activities for months in advance. The practice is standard operating procedure in many churches and denominations.

In some churches the members never do enough, never give enough money, and are told they fail in every other expectation. The practice is referred to by wise members as "beating the sheep." New members are quickly baptized into membership or unto salvation. Both of these doctrines are false. Next comes the whipping for not doing enough. Many pastors become experts in "dipping and whipping" the sheep.  The member is placed on a coercive guilt trip, causing him to submit more completely to the church. Saying "no" to anything requested of him is simply out of the question. Members are shamed into performing according to the church leaders.

The members in these churches usually look like they have been sucking on a lemon. They have no joy and no freedom of expression. Ritual, tradition, repetition, and quenching of the Holy Spirit kill the joy of worshiping in spirit and truth.

John 4:23 "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." 25 The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ). "When He comes, He will tell us all things." 26 Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He.

The book "The Purpose-Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?" by Pastor Rick Warren is a perfect example of many legalistic indoctrinations wrapped up in one bound package. The book has the correct title for placing fleshly church members an a guilt trip of endless service. The readers are not encouraged to be Spirit-Driven, Spirit-Filled, or Christ-Driven as would be expected for a Christian. Fleshly members are thrilled at the prospect of doing works as were the Pharisees in Christ's time. They feel justified by their works of service. This book is highly praised by church Pastors because attendance grows and more money is taken in by the church. Members that fall for the "Purpose-Driven Life" scam quickly fall for the tithing scam as well. Unfortunately, the book does not contain the gospel. People are put to work without receiving salvation. They are blind to the true doctrines of the Bible. The term Jesus used for these blind individuals leading the blind was "blind guides."

Matthew 23:16 "Woe to you, blind guides, who say, `Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.' 17 "Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? 18 "And, `Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.' 19 "Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? 20 "Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. 21 "He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. 22 "And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it. 23 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith.

Spirit-Led or Purpose-Driven? Part 1 by by Berit Kjos, November 2003

Bondage preaching pastors have personality characteristics very similar to those of a dictator. In fact, they tend to be harsh dictators in the management of their churches. Some of these characteristics are:

Church members in a church with a bondage preaching pastor also have distinct personality characteristics. Those members who do not possess these characteristics tend to drift away, leaving a church with a concentration of these submissive types.

Churches That Fail to Forgive

Members in the church often turn to the Pastor for prayer, advice, and comfort when facing a divorce. They are shocked when the prayer, advice, and comfort are not forthcoming. Instead they receive a shunning from the Pastor and other members of the church. Thinking the situation will improve they stay a while longer but are eventually forced to leave by the social pressures applied. In other cases they are directly told to attend some other church.

The Bible clearly teaches that the Spirit-filled Christian can at times succumb to temptation and fall short. The truth is that every born again Christian still has sins of pride, coveting, dishonesty, etc. Repentance should be accepted by the Pastor, but much of the time it is not. The Pastor simply asks the member to leave. This is strictly contrary to Scripture. God's warning to Pastors is very clear.

JAMES 3:1 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.

COLOSSIANS 3:12-13 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

GALATIANS 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

Pastors in churches that fail to forgive according to Scripture have a major fault in their understanding of salvation. They equate works with salvation. They are maintaining their salvation by their good works. Therefore, any admission of a shortcoming is equivalent to admitting they are not saved. Members who fall short are simply expelled. The big sinners in these churches are the Pastors themselves, but they see themselves as righteous. Jesus strongly criticized these self-righteous hypocrites because they are just like the Pharisees.

Luke 6:42 "Or how can you say to your brother, `Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother's eye.

Matthew 23:13 13 "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

Matthew 23:35 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. 26 "Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.

Perhaps these are the reasons so many Pastors are themselves tempted. They covet power, money, and engage in adulterous sex. The number of married Pastors admitting to having had adulterous sex with a member of the congregation or worker in the church office is alarming. Add to those the number who didn't get caught.

Sunday Circus at Church

Touchy, feely, emotional Charismatics do have fun at church, but some churches turn the worship into a circus. People are blabbering nonsensical syllables that they invented to make others believe they are speaking in tongues. Other members fake healing and lie about it. Members with an extroverted personality type hop around the worship center in a show of flamboyant exhibitionism. This is a party. They have a joyous time until they have a health problem and are judged by the Pastor and other members as having no faith. Then the party is over.

Members in some highly charismatic churches will refer to those who aren't exhibitionists as "the dead in Christ" or "God's chosen frozen." These comments are not intended for people outside of their church but are intended to intimidate and coerce their own members into participating in the exhibitionist style of worship. If you don't raise your hands in church or fall down on command, they "discern" you have a spiritual problem, make "prophecies" over you and try to exorcise your "demons."

Speaking in tongues and performing healing miracles are not evidence for salvation. Satan and his agents can do those things. Rightly dividing the word of God is evidence of possession of the Holy Spirit. Satan and his agents always twist Scripture.

Jumping and dancing up and down the aisles and in front of the congregation is expected entertainment. Women will jump and spin while the men in the congregation enjoy the show. They call this being in the Spirit, but nobody is thinking about doctrines of the faith. Don't enter the circus church with your modesty.

Faith Equals Health is False Doctrine

Many Pastors falsely teach that physical healing was included in Jesus' suffering and death on the cross. They twist the Scriptures by using a verse falsely to claim physical healing.

1 Peter 2:24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness--by whose stripes you were healed.

The correct meaning of this verse is that our broken relationship with God was healed by Jesus taking away our sins and reconciling us to God. It does not mean we are physically healed. That is stupidity. This practice causes members to deny illness and make themselves liars. Everyone gets sick frequently and eventually dies from some illness. Every faith healer that ever lived - died.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life (resurrection).

The "circus church" party ended when the Pastor in one church had a heart attack and was diagnosed as diabetic. He and many members of the church pray and pray, but he is not healed. He has been teaching for years that the lack of healing is due to one's lack of faith. The Pastor preached a false faith-healing doctrine. His faith collapsed because it was based on false doctrines, not on the gospel. The Pastor recovered after a quadruple coronary artery bypass without coming to a true understanding of the gospel. The members promote the faith-healing false doctrine while they are enjoying excellent health, but when their health fails they slink off and join another church. The Pastor with the heart attack couldn't easily slink off because he started the church and has set up a lucrative retirement plan for himself. He was forced to admit that for years he had been teaching false doctrine.

The Pastor still doesn't know the gospel. He encourages people to come forward to "invite Jesus into your heart" but the response is meager. He doesn't know that the doctrine of "inviting Jesus into your heart" is not in the Bible. He whines about the absence of the Glory of the Lord, but he doesn't understand why the Holy Spirit is absent from his charismatic service. The joy has turned to gloom, but not for long. The next Sunday the circus begins again.

The "Accountability Partner" Teaching Ignores the Holy Spirit

The modern Christian practice of having another person act as one's "accountability partner" is not found in Scripture. In fact, the practice is contrary to the recommendation presented in the Bible that we are to walk in the Spirit.

Galatians 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

The accountability partner philosophy is strictly a fleshly act that is condemned by Scripture. The practice has many negative ramifications that occur often when the partner spreads the confidential information to others. Many times the accountability partner supports sinful acts by their unrighteous agreement. Bondage churches typically support this practice.

The Holy Spirit Can't be Found With a Search Warrant

The exact opposite of the circus church is the dead church where you couldn't find the Holy Spirit with a search warrant. The Holy Spirit is rarely mentioned and then only in passing. Any thought that the Holy Spirit could do anything in the church or in one's life is completely absent. A typical case is the Pastor who refused to pray for his wife while she was in the hospital because he didn't believe in healing. Well, she was healed anyway. Perhaps one reason many churches ignore the Holy Spirit is because they don't have the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Liberal Brainwashing Techniques Flourish

Brainwashing of church members is not limited to the fundamental or charismatic church. Many ministers brainwash their congregation to believe immoral, liberal doctrine that is false teaching. The minister can teach about sin on Sunday by examining the Greek and Hebrew meanings of the word. He will describe the word sin as missing the mark or as an archer missing the target. The next Sunday he will teach that abortion is a moral choice to be made between the woman and her doctor. The next Sunday he will teach that children should not be disciplined by giving them a spanking. These sermons are liberal brainwashing nonsense. The minister sees no sin in pulling the arms and legs off an innocent baby while still in the womb, yet he is strictly against correcting a wayward child according to the Scriptures. These ministers will most likely dismiss the bodily resurrection of Christ to confirm their own damnation.

Joy is Found in Knowing the Truth and the Truth Shall Set You Free

Jesus promised us that the truth will set us free. He is the truth, and knowing Jesus will set you free and give you joy.

John 8:32 "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." 33 They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, `You will be made free'?" 34 Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 "And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Philippians 1:8 For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ. 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

1 Thessalonians 1:6 And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe.

Salvation is found only in the Apostle Paul's Gospel of Grace

Salvation in this Dispensation of Grace is according to Paul's gospel of grace. We are not under the law but under grace. Those who believe baptism is required for salvation do not believe Paul's gospel of grace. Those who believe we are under the Ten Commandments do not believe Paul's gospel of grace. Those who believe we must keep Old Testament dietary laws and celebrations do not believe Paul's gospel of grace. Men who believe they must be circumcised do not believe Paul's gospel of grace. This is stated clearly in Scripture.

Romans 2:16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

Romans 16:25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began 26 but now has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith-- 27 to God, alone wise, [be] glory through Jesus Christ forever.

2 Timothy 2:8 Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, 9 for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, [even] to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained.

The result of legalism is the failure to believe the true gospel by which all mankind will be judged. It does not make one more righteous. It sends one to an eternity in hell separated forever from the One who gave His life, was buried, rose from the dead, and ascended to the Father to give us liberty.

We Are Not Under Bondage But Enjoy Liberty In Jesus Christ

Jesus shed His precious blood for us that we might be freed from the curse of the law. Churches destroy that liberty by placing members back under the bondage of unscriptural codes and rules. They deny the liberty that has been bought and paid for on the cross at Calvary. We are saved by faith and not by laws or the Ten Commandments. We are not to live by law at all. Christ has set us free from the law. We do not use the Ten Commandments as a law of life. This liberty does not mean we can blatantly break the Ten Commandments. God forbid. We are called to a higher level to live in love for one another and walk in the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 4:1 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. 3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus' sake. 6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 2:4 And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage), 5 to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

1 Peter 2:15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men-- 16 as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God.

1 Corinthians 7:23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.

Colossians 2:20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as [though] living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations-- 21 "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle," 22 which all concern things which perish with the using--according to the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, [false] humility, and neglect of the body, [but] [are] of no value against the indulgence of the flesh. 3:1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Matthew 11:28 "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty

Pastors Who Preach Bondage Have Responded

Many pastors have written directly from their church website with insulting hate mail after reading the truths presented here. These pastors are obviously not born-again, Spirit filled Christians. They are fake Christians. Legalistic, bondage preachers are our modern-day Pharisees that put Jesus on the cross. They are wolves in sheep's clothing preaching "another gospel" that the Apostle Paul warned us about. They are in the ministry for power, control, and money. They are certainly destined to spend eternity in hell. Their letters have revealed their corrupt hearts to the Holy Spirit.

God sees your heart and hears your prayer. You will have eternal life with God when by faith you believe on Jesus Christ for salvation. No works! No doing! No one else! No judge! God judges the heart. You can trust Him.

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The best book for the study of dispensations is:
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by Finis Jennings Dake, 1990 ISBN-10: 1558290265

Highly recommended book for studying many different theologies is:
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by Paul Enns, ISBN: 0-8024-3428-2

An extremely well written and documented book in refute of Calvinism is:
The Other Side of Calvinism
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