Passion Conference: A Pastor’s Perspective on The Importance Of Truth and Standing Against Apostasy
In January 2013 I was informed of a conference that simply everyone who’s anyone was going to. I was even invited to bring our youth along with a local church to the conference. My own children were informed by their friends that all the local church youth groups were going to this conference. We have several large churches very close to us and the best way to describe these churches would be what Pastor Jeff Noblit of Grace life Church Muscle Shoals calls “Six Flags Over Jesus,” I just call it “Circus Church.”
These churches have huge youth groups that appeal to the experiential desires of the local community, and so their selling points are carnal. “We have an X-Box in every room.” One has a giant playroom that would give Chuck-E-Cheese a run for their money, and one even has circus animals to attract the kids. So when my children came to me and told me that they were invited to attend this wonderful, exciting and life changing conference, free of charge, I decided to look into the conference and into the speakers that were teaching at this conference.
It didn’t take long to see huge doctrinal, theological and Biblical problems. After just a few minutes on the website of the “Passion Conference,” as I looked at the biography of the teachers, I realized that this was an ecumenical affiliation of some of the worst heretics and false teachers who have ever been associated with the body of Christ. But, what broke my heart is that a historically aberrant and fringe group of false teachers, like the New Apostolic Reformation, health, wealth and prosperity, and other Hyper-Charismatics are now accepted and honored as mainstream Biblical Christianity. And our churches who are sorely lacking in discernment are gladly promoting these false teachers and sending children to the slaughter.
The main promoter of the conference, Louie Giglio, reportedly gave every person at the conference a brand new study Bible which he produced called “The Jesus Bible.” When introducing it, he tells the audience that “the Holy Spirit helped him and his team write it!” You can watch the video and hear him say this at the 6:12 mark, HERE.
For those who don’t know, the Holy Spirit only inspired the words of the original Scriptures according to 2 Peter 1:20-21: “knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. ” This is not a minor issue and I am not trying to nit pick, but what Scripture teaches directly refutes Louie’s statement that the Holy Spirit helped his team (including Giglio, Max Lucado, John Piper, Randy Alcorn, and Ravi Zacharias) write their own interpretation of Scripture.
To be clear about this 2 Timothy 3:16-17 in the KJV says “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” Every word of Holy Scripture is given to us by God and the very words were Divinely inspired. That is why the historical position of the entire church has always been that we believe in the doctrine of the Divine Inspiration of Scripture in the Originals, not in the copies. This is very important and a denial of it is heretical for, without adherence to this evident Biblical truth, anything that anyone writes could theoretically be added to Scripture just as the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormon cults try to do.
Names like Lecrae (who has recently become completely apostate) were mingling in spiritual harmony with Jesus Culture. Francis Chan was standing beside Beth Moore and David Crowder. Louie Giglio, Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman were all standing there in unity and harmony with false teachers and I was in shock. Then you look into the absolutely unbiblical things these children are being taught in breakout sessions about what true Christianity is supposed to be, according to the vain opinions of these false teachers, and is it any wonder that the professing church has become so spiritually anemic. (For more on Francis Chan, see HERE.)
More and more churches are being led into emotionalism and not Biblical Truth, and, as a result, these congregations have no spiritual power of discernment. They are willing to compromise Biblical truth for emotionalism and experience as they are taught to seek after a god who is not the God of the Bible. The icing on the cake is that this massive celebration of wickedness was and still is promoted and supported and attended by Reformed mega-celebrity John Piper.
Fast forward 4 years and the heresies and abhorrent teachings and teachers are even worse. Pulpit and Pen contributors have been seeking to warn all who might otherwise be tempted into following into this unbiblical nonsense, because of the false gospel and false doctrines which are being taught and held to by the speakers. For articles from Pulpit and Pen warning about these false teaching go HERE , HERE, and HERE.
Increasingly we are seeing ecstatic charismatic blasphemies, such as Toking the Spirit and Raising the Dead promoted by John Crowder, who is not to be confused with David Crowder, another false teaching musician associated with the Passion conference and Bethel church and the entire Hyper-Charismatic movement. David Crowder is a Spiritual Formation adherent who teaches Contemplative Spirituality, as well as “Lectio’ Divina in his music and in his book Praise Habit: Finding God in Sunsets and Sushi (Experiencing God).
And, of course, there is also the teaching of Beth Moore and Jesus Culture. These false teachers are teaching prayer labyrinth’s, spiritual surgery, channeling or contemplative prayers, fire tunnels and the personal manifestation of Jesus as He is said to audibly speak to the those who are truly faithful. For information about John Crowder and Jesus Culture and those who are their spiritual mentors go HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Possibly the worst of all of these so-called “blessings” is that those who are true believers can be enabled to spiritually travel to heaven and personally speak with Jesus Himself as He reveals deeper truth to all who are faithful. This illicit notion is being taught by a whole host of false teachers at and around the Passion Conference. For more information and videos addressing the many false teachings of those associated with the Passion Conference and Word Faith/NAR go HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Louie Giglio even closed one of the conferences by asking the crowd “did you hear Jesus speak to you?” As everyone was encouraged to cultivate the unbiblical idea of hearing God’s audible voice, because Scripture is not enough, we need the power and presence and experience of God.
I spoke to several pastors about the conference and the speakers and I was rebuked by several of them because they said I would be wrong to say anything against someone with the celebrity status of John Piper. After a lot of prayer and searching of Scripture, (1 Timothy 4: 6; 2 Timothy 4:1-5; 2 Corinthians 6:14–17) I knew that I could not remain silent.
As you will hear in the message below, I was very emotional at the thought that so many young teens were being led astray by these celebrity wolves who are devouring the sheep, and those who are supposed to shepherd the sheep of God, who are more concerned with fame and fortune than the souls of these children.
The Scriptures warn us that false teachers will come and they will have ungodly passions. (Jude 18–23) These are the false teachers we want to expose because we love Christ and His Body and it simply breaks our hearts that so many are being lead into false worship, through false preaching, about a false Jesus.
Beloved do not be led astray by these false teachers, stand fast for the faith that was once delivered for all time. (Jude 3) If someone tells you that there is a special impartation of the Spirit of God for the faithful at this place or that conference, please remember these words of Jesus in Luke 17: 22-23: “And he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them. For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day.”
We are calling for discernment in our local churches and praying for you to be Bereans. (Acts 17:11) Fight the good fight of Faith and Study to Show yourself approved unto God as you rightly understand and interpret the Word of Truth! (2 Timothy 2:15)
Listen to Justin’s Message, “The Importance of Truth And Standing Against Apostasy.”
[Contributed by Justin Pierce]