“ … in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. 2 Peter 2:2
In Revelation 2:20, Christ chided the church of Thyatira in no uncertain terms. “I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess.” Today, though, it isn’t just a single church tolerating just a single “prophetess;” it’s a large swath of the evangelical church embracing a legion of false teaching sirens, none of whom are actually named Jezebel.
One, in particular, is Christine Caine.
She is one of the sorts about whom Peter warned readers in his day, a warning which applies no less directly to us today. A word-faith charlatan from the prosperity millennial cult of Hillsong, Caine is driven by greed and … and she tells us as much. (For more on the many problems with Caine, see HERE or HERE or HERE)
Christianity Your Way … err, I mean, Christianity Today … featured an interview by Ed Stetzer with Caine. Stetzer, as you may know, departed the leadership of Lifeway for the “Billy Graham Distinguished Chair of Church, Mission, and Evangelism at Wheaton College.” Distinguished or not, Stetzer is probably the ideal goateed ecumenist to fill such a position. Graham was no stalwart for Biblical and Gospel integrity, to be sure. (This is not, btw, a random, baseless slur against the aged evangelist; you can examine for yourself Graham’s egregious ecumenical, doctrine-disregarding alliances in the must-read book Evangelicalism Divided by Iain Murray.)
Stetzer interviews Caine about “Her New Partnership with The Wheaton College Evangelism and Leadership Graduate Program.” This, perhaps, provides us ample discernment fodder regarding Wheaton’s doctrinal integrity as well. It allows known heretics in its graduate program, a program being administered under the evangelically-hallowed name of Graham.
The article features two questions. Here’s the first:
“Why did you decide to enroll in our program?”
And here’s what “the Bible is obviously nonauthoritative because I’m an ordained pastrix” replied …
“For many years, I’ve wanted to do this. When I was in Bible school nearly 30 years ago, I remember reading something from Billy Graham. He wrote that one thing he had wished was that he had spent more time studying. For the last 30 years, I’ve been on the road full-time. I’ve had the privilege and the honor to be across every stream of Christianity in over 60 countries around the world, and have seen God do amazing things.”
Because of her jet-setting for an “other” Jesus lifestyle, disregarding clear commands of Scripture by usurping the gender-specified guidelines of God for ministry, Caine has zero concern for any notion of doctrinal allegiance. She said so, but she’s just been so busy. She’s been across “every stream of Christianity,” a task one cannot do and remain faithful to apostolic commands to avoid those with “different doctrine,” (Romans 16:17-18) unless, of course, YOU happen to be the one with the different doctrine. Which is precisely who Caine is. The “abide in my word” believer (John 8:31) pondering who Paul means when he said, “avoid them” would, upon looking up the word “them” in a modern apostolic dictionary, find a picture of Caine as a suitable example of charlantanry.
No, Caine cares nothing for doctrine. She was catapulted into the ministry by help from Hellsong …err, I mean Hillsong … and was ushered to the charismaniacal, prosperity gospel spotlight by none other than the queen maven of prosperity heresy, Joyce Meyer, whom Caine refers to as her “spiritual mother.” Caine has preached at Bethel Church; she has preached at Passion Conference with pal Louis Giglio and the “I’ve Got Zero Discernment” John Piper. She’s endorsed the circle-praying, witchcraft-borne heresy of Mark Batterson. She preaches at conferences and pals about with numerous Scripturally toxic types such as T.D. Jakes, Steven Furtick, Rick Warren, Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Robert Morris, and Paula White. She participated in the “we disregard doctrine cuz we just loovvvveee jeeeezuz” Together 2016 ecumeni-fest, along with gobs of other charismaniacal false teachers and … oh yeah, the chief apostate of the Tiber, the pope.
“I’m 50, and I knew that when I hit 50 I would be thinking more about legacy rather than how much I am doing today.”
Did Peter happen to mention “greed” as a feature of false teachers? Oh, yes, yes he did. Caine is driven by the prideful greed to establish her “legacy.” An authentic believer, much less one who was an authentic minister – and Caine simply, Scripturally, cannot be the latter – would have no concern for their legacy. Being properly guided by the Spirit-illuminated Truth of God’s Word, being sanctified in and by that Word, we who genuinely belong to Christ can echo the words of John the Baptist: “He must increase; I must decrease.” (John 3:30) We can affirm fully Paul’s “not I, but Christ” pronouncement to the Galatians. (Galatians 2:20)
Christ is the focus. His Gospel is the message. His legacy is what matters. Ours? Not in the least. But for Caine, who has spent 30 years in “the ministry,” her preeminent concern isn’t about Christ, or the Gospel, or the Kingdom of God, or about thinking on things above, not things below. (Colossians 3:2) Oh no. For Caine, what matters is her legacy. The “it’s all about you” prosperity message that she hurls at her fandom translates to an “it’s all about me” motivation for ministry. Christ is a means to her ends.
“If I am going to be able to speak into the next generation, then I need to understand theologically some of the things this generation is wrestling with culturally. … If I don’t do this, I’m going to become irrelevant.”
Sorry Christine, to the authentic body of Christ, you ARE irrelevant. And you are illegitimate. And you are dangerous. If you were spreading the message from the narrow path, you’d know that what the culture is dealing with is completely inconsequential. To speak relevantly – for the purposes of the Kingdom of God – requires just one thing: the Gospel is the power of God for salvation. God is immutable; so is His gospel. If Caine had “understood theologically” – and especially salvifically – the actual, Scriptural gospel, she’d know this. Her forlorn anxiety over becoming irrelevant would be absent.
“I keep thinking that it all doesn’t feel right.”
She’s talking about how, in thirty years of “ministry,” the culture’s attitudes about “sin, repentance, and salvation” have become skewed. But, true to the “it’s what I feel” spirit of post-modernism, Caine bemoans the change because of a feeling she has, not because of the fact that God’s Word tells us something rather explicit about the world “in the last days.”
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” 2 Timothy 3: 1-5
Of course, coming from the wide path as she does, Caine is – as a legacy-driven “lover of self” – incapable of gleaning Scriptural truth and comparing it to what’s actively going on in the world. Those who are biblically informed are not in the least surprised in the cultural attitude shift, nor does it cause us angst. Instead, it’s evidence of God’s hand of judgment at work. See Romans 1 for more.
“I have maxed out my own understanding and knowledge, and I really want to be in a place that will challenge me intellectually, but still in an environment that is full of heart, full of spirit, and has a commitment to evangelism.”
Maxed out your knowledge? Really? On the one hand, Caine is either confessing her own obvious inadequacies to be engaged as a “minister,” or, on the other hand, she’s gratuitously back-slapping herself for how extensively she’s pushed her neurons to garner all the knowledge she can about God and His Word. She wants to be, she must be, in a place that “will challenge me intellectually” because she’s exceeded the level of even her own genius. Too bad she doesn’t know that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” (Proverbs 1:7) and that God freely gives wisdom to those of His who ask, (James 1:5) but He doesn’t give it to those with an “other gospel” touting an “other Jesus.” For those doing that, wisdom won’t come, rather something far more legacy-destructive is Biblically assured …”But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8)
What Caine’s “I’ve maxed out” statement means, besides sounding like an anxious, apostolically-accursed Aussie’s fear that “a dingo may eat my legacy,” (and thus cut off my future gig income and book royalties) is this: Caine knows not the Scriptures. Jesus phrased it this way for the faithless Pharisees: “Have you not read?” (Matthew 19:4) And we know that for this false teacher, Scripture is – like Jesus – just a means to her ends. Her false gospel isn’t derived from thoughtful, prayerful study of the Word, nor is her theology the result of having been taught “what accords with sound doctrine.” (Titus 2:1)
Caine hasn’t maxed out her knowledge, for knowledge starts with a right understanding of God. What she has maxed out, perhaps, are novel ways to twist God’s Word for her legacy-building efforts in order to remain deceptively, relevantly cutting-edge, able to entice those among the “deceived and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:13) For the authentic believer, though, it is impossible to delve the depths of Scriptural truth and “max out.” To continue study – a noble desire, indeed – does not require advanced degrees from academically elite, though theologically inert, universities, even those laden with lofty evangelical monikers. It merely requires continued, prayerful study of God’s unfathomable truth in His Word.
“Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.” Charles Spurgeon
“Ed: We are also launching a partnership with Propel, so women who are in relationship with Propel can be a part of our program. What do you hope they might gain?”
Propel Women is one of the “ministries” that keeps Caine globetrotting for her false Jesus as she desperately seeks to keep the metaphorical dingo of irrelevancy from eating her must-have legacy. Caine replies to Stetzer’s second question by lauding a “good side of the feminist revolution” saying that “…it got women out of the home and into the marketplace, where the harvest is. [Matthew 9]” But she is quick to point out that “these women aren’t necessarily equipped.” While she doesn’t say so, if Caine’s idea of being “equipped” is equivalent to more women becoming ordained “ministers” like her, then equipping won’t matter. The Lord will not bless disobedience to His Biblical commands. Thus, Caine herself, acting beyond the bounds of allegiance to Scripture, is not duly equipped either. But then, no charlatan ever is, whether they’ve “maxed out” or not.
“What does it mean to be salt and light in the midst of a dark world as we, as women in leadership, are contending with different issues in society?”
No doubt, while Christ expects His sheep to be in the world, not of it, the “contending” to which Caine speaks is issues based, not Gospel based. One may infer the increasingly popular strains of the social justice gospel wafting from Caine’s words. While believers are faced with many different issues, our response to them is driven by faith and guided by the Word. And it is that faith for which we contend (Jude 3), not noble goals of solving the ills of the world. The Scripture, nowhere, teaches a social justice gospel. Jesus came proclaiming the gospel, not a solution to social ills. Believers contend for the faith and proclaim the Gospel. God orchestrates all things to His glory through these means. Jesse Johnson, writing in Right Thinking In A Church Gone Astray, makes the point, “Make no mistake – appeals to pursue social justice ends through ecclesiastical means are often in conflict with the Great Commission.” (Emphasis Original)
“We’ve got to rethink a lot of things when it comes to our witness in the world.”
This notion that we’ve got to contextualize the gospel to make our witness relevant to an increasingly depraved, and changing, culture is post-modern hogwash that has the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4) giggling with impish glee at the utter faithlessness of professing “Christians” who swallow it. What we need isn’t a rethink of our witness, but a refocus on the Word. To the extent that it’s implemented, the Christian witness is alive and well on planet earth, because it is driven by a proclamation of the one singular, saving Gospel. The state of the unregenerate first-century soul is absolutely no different that the state of the unregenerate twenty-first-century one. Each stands “condemned already” (John 3:18) in desperate need of God’s grace, the power of which is divinely bestowed through the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:16)
Far from rethinking “our witness in the world,” genuine believers of the Scriptural Jesus of the Scriptural Gospel – a category absent the membership of Caine and her prosperity gospel – must confront the world with God’s clear, absolute Truth in a loving, but unvarnished (i.e., un-contextualized) manner. The late Francis Schaeffer put it pointedly in the 1984 work, The Great Evangelical Disaster.
“Truth carries with it confrontation. Truth demands confrontation; loving confrontation, but confrontation nevertheless. If our reflex action is always accommodation regardless of the centrality of the truth involved, there is something wrong. Just as what we may call holiness without love is not God’s kind of holiness, so also what we may call love without holiness, including when necessary confrontation, is not God’s kind of love.”
Believers must be willing to proclaim the full Truth of the Scriptural Gospel to the world, not engage it with the coddling apparatus of a watered-down, contextualized, and easy-to-digest, but no less damning, gospel. Caine’s gospel is, of course, no gospel at all, but a heresy that is all too popular, all too embraceable, and, increasingly, all too prevalent in what is called the “church.”
Caine is a wolf – or, perhaps, a dingo – in sheep’s clothing, more concerned with establishing for herself a relevant legacy than with proclaiming the glory and gospel of the risen Christ. But this comes as no surprise from Caine and those of her ilk who are, as Paul reminded Titus, insubordinate to the clear teaching of Scripture, being eager for “shameful gain” by teaching “what they should not teach. (Titus 1: 10-11) They must be avoided. (Romans 16:17-18) Pay close, close attention, as well, to those willing to embrace such wolves, for they too are serving to usher souls down an exit ramp from the narrow path and to keep those on the wide path firmly entrenched in its deceptions. (Matthew 7:13-14)
Jesus warned the Jezebel-tolerating church of Thyatira, promising His judgment on her wickedness and on those who tolerated it. But for those “who do not hold this teaching” He exhorted them to “hold fast what you have until I come.” And what they had was Truth … His Truth. (Revelation 2:18-29) We have that Truth too. Let us beware the popular, relevant, legacy-building charlatans and “contend for the faith.” (Jude 3)
[Contributed by Bud Ahlheim]