Tauren Well’s Hit ‘Known’ Among Slew of Growing Number of Misleading and Unbiblical Christian Songs

by Greg Cooper   Originally posted on 8/15/2018

“I’m fully known and loved by you; You won’t let go no matter what I do, sings Christian artist Tauren Wells in his latest popular song, Known
Tauren Wells
Peaking at #12 in the August 2018 Billboard charts, the song follows a questionably themed 2017 hit Reckless Love by Cory Asbury, which placed in three notable #1 spots in three categories within the Christian genre on Billboard charts last year. That song describes God’s love as just that — reckless, a word strictly used as a dire negative in the Bible (it literally means, ‘without concern’). Asbury defends its use by saying, “When I use the phrase, ‘the reckless love of God,’ I’m not saying that God Himself is reckless. I am, however, saying that the way He loves is, in many regards, quite so.” His word choices in one interview make this statement even more questionable. He suggested that Jesus' birth and subsequent death on the cross was "the most foolish thing you can possibly imagine".
Reckless Love, as released by Bethel Church (accused as being heretical by many), is just one of countless songs that are blurring the lines as to what is deemed acceptable lyrics — and theology — within the Christian culture.  
While much of Christian music communicates biblical truths that are very much needed in the truth-starved culture in which we live, the absence of essential truths related to the faith can lead to the idea that, as a Christian, you can do whatever you want and still be saved.  While this concept is not found in the Bible, the church at large is increasingly leaning toward this ‘once-saved always-saved’ (or, 'forever safe') theology. Our modern Christian music is an indication of its major influence.
Chris Quilalaas part of the band from Jesus Culture, reinforces this false doctrine in the song Fierce.  He sings that God’s love is an ‘inescapable tidal wave’ that ‘can’t be outrun’, describing God's love as 'fierce'.  While God's love is very often alluded to this way, the Bible describes God as one whose "face is against those who do evil" (Psalm 34:16), having "fierce wrath", and "fierce anger' toward the disobedient, as found in Jeremiah 25:38, John 3:9 and Revelation 19:15, among several others. Jesus Culture has also been criticized as being unbiblical and even heretical.  One site writes, ‘Jesus Culture is not just a band; it is a movement that promotes false teaching and teachers, is built not on the Bible but on the supposed visions and prophecies of its leaders, teaches a false view of physical healing and prosperity, and has a tragically low view of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ.’ Because of this, their lyrics may often be misleading.

A Blending With Pop Culture

Cory Asbury of Jesus Culture
The popularity of today’s theologically-off music is reason for concern.  Polls have indicated that just 19% of church-going Christians read the bible regularly, and just a slim 3% of the overall teenage population in the United States. With such small numbers of people reading the Bible and many others not attending church regularly, mainstream Christian artists are playing an overly significant role in 'teaching' Christianity through 'expressive art' rather than from biblical text. 
Christianity has been negatively influenced by the sways of pop culture with its dominating “it’s all about love” ideology which embraces immorality, and licentious living which is guided by the deceptive power of Satan. Naturally, it is a world seeking an increasing freedom from moral decency as guided by sacred Scripture.  Christians’ blending in with the culture around them has resulted in a literal redefining of who the Jesus of the Bible is — by Christians themselves.
Like many other messages found in this musical genre, Tauren Wells’ ‘You won’t let go no matter what I do’ line along with calling God's grace "ridiculous", and saying, "it's so like me to go astray" in Known, summarizes a morphed worldview.  It flies directly in the face of the Biblical truth to which it seems to be eluding. Repentant faith and a turning from sin is an essential component of salvation, which, as a part of the Christian life, is missing from too much of Christian music.  The culmination of its absence can lead a weaker and uninformed Christian onto a slippery slope of marginalized Truth and, ultimately, an induced state of blissful naiveness in regards to the serious person of Jesus Christ. It was Jesus that said, "...unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." (Luke 13:3b), and, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17).  Hebrews 12:14 says that “Without holiness, no one will see the Lord.” Each of these passages are to be taken quite seriously.  
A False Kind of Freedom 

Christians today have a tendency to think of God solely as a God of all-accepting love, as indicated in its music and teaching from the pulpit, which is an abuse of Scripture.  Francesca Battistelli sings in one song, “I’m Free to be me, and you’re free to be you.”  She explains"God loves us just the way we are, dents in our fenders and all, and extends His grace to stand on His shoulders and be free!" 1 Peter 2:16, however, describes what true freedom looks like: Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” 

Tauren Wells’ preluding statement in his song, “I’m fully known and loved by you”, may deceptively reinforce that a believer is loved and fully accepted despite the sins that may be enslaving them.  It reinforces a common theme of the “freedom” so often heard in music, which can be misunderstood as freedom to sin rather than a freedom from sin. The Bible says,Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” (1 Peter 2:16), and,For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin…. and since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. Consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6) 


“I’m Free to be me, and you’re free to be you.”

-Francesca Battistelli in Free to Be Me 



There is a danger in that people who don’t heed or know Scripture will do as they please — no matter how sinful or how often — and still be named a true follower of Christ.  Galatians 5:13 says,You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh.” In vs 19-21, The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.” It continues with a harsh warning to every person, “I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” 
Christians and non-believers alike are not getting the full counsel of God by listening to artists like these, who otherwise appear to be holding to a high moral standard by reaching the lost and encouraging believers. Regarding the culture we are living in, Wells says that it is "visionlessness" as far as getting a true glimpse of who Jesus is and what He’s about. He stated, “If we can give people a vision of who Jesus is and who they are, then we can effectively create change in the world.”  As do so many other artists of his genre, Wells likely prefers to share his "vision" of Christ through self-expression: “Everything that we do is geared towards showing people who Jesus is and who they are in Him and inspiring them to connect the dots between the two so that they can be an effective world changer for the cause of Christ in their own unique way," he says“They can use expressive art or science or whatever they want to communicate Christ to the culture.”
The problem with this approach is that it negates the Word of God, which the Bible says is "living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Hebrews 12:4) 

License to ‘Run Away?'

MANAFEST
Rap-Rock stylist MANAFEST (spelled using a curiously upside-down 'A") professes in his song Every Time You Run,“Every time you run, every time you hide, every time you run away, I’m right here with you."  According to Scripture, however, believers do not casually 'run away' and remain unconditionally accepted by God while in a persistent state of rebellion toward Him, if that happens to be the case.
Jordan Feliz indicates in a song that you can run from God all you want:You can never outrun My love” he sings in Never Too Far Gone.  Interestingly, in speaking of the beginnings of his career in music, he said,“God kept giving me revelations and ideas for songs.”  It could be argued that this song wasn’t given by divine revelation. 
Disappointingly, the most popular of artists seem to be caught up in the same questionable theology.  Like so many others, Dove Award winner Lauren Daigle, who contributed to the The Shack's soundtrack, does profess in her song Loyal“I’m forever safe in your arms… I can’t outrun your love.”  It is questionable why a loyal follower of Christ would want to outrun God in the first place.

The Takeaway

While Christian music is oftentimes very biblical and uplifting, it also consistently holds to deceptive ‘truths’ whose aim is solely on God’s love and unconditional acceptance.  This can lead unsuspecting believers to conclude that they can live a life free from repentance, and having a license to run from Him and doing whatever they please. The repercussions of this could one to a false sense of security and a falling away from Christ, the very Person that Christian music is singing about.  We are warned about this in regards to the coming Great Apostasy, the 'falling away' of the Church: 'At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate one another, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.' (Matthew 24:10-11) 
In Colossians 2:8, we find this pertinent message: 
"See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ" (The ‘Christ’ to whom Paul is referring is the One who is ready to judge the living and the dead, hates sin, and those who distort the truth of the gospel).  

In these last days, it is becoming more evident than ever that we need to test the messages we are hearing from professing Christians against the Word of God  including the music being generated.  It is important to understand that in order to be fully embraced in God's love, we must continually repent, believe, and obediently follow Him until the end.

Has Traditional Santa Duped Us Into Being Liars?

By Greg Cooper

Nearly every child in the West believes in Santa Claus today - a fictional character slowly transformed over time to appeal to children's imaginations all around the globe.  Santa has slowly evolved into a fantasized version of the real deal: Saint Nick, a persecuted 
Christian in the third century devoted to following Jesus, whose motto was to "sell what you own and give it to the poor", a man with a deep love for children and for the truth."
And yet, many of us Christians have largely disregarded the true meaning of Christmas and have convinced our kids that Santa and the made-up stories that come with him are the more important items of focus.

Most of our children, having such precious faith, have been misguided to "believe" in fictional Santa. During this precious window time of their innocence, they have a natural, simple belief in the supernatural.  With all the lies that are influencing culture and our vulnerable children who are a part of it year-round, should professing Christians be solely pointing them to God during Christmas or include something that is blatantly untrue? 

While parents are certainly not intending to purposefully deceive their children with ill-will, the tradition of how Christmas is celebrated has deceptively - and effectively - whisked away much of our spiritual discernment.  Parents and other well-meaning adults are far-too-often negligently withholding the true meaning of Christmas (and other Christian perspectives in light of an unbelieving world), and what ought to be the sole focus of the true and historical figure of Christianity: Jesus Christ.  
  

While the fascination of Santa and tradition of the stories that encompass it can be fun and heartwarming, we who sincerely want to follow Christ should be promoting Truth instead of what we feel as being the "innocent" things we do based on family tradition.  From a Biblical perspective, our children should hear nothing but truth from us, especially when it involves spiritual realities.  Since it is Christmas season, they especially need this joyous celebration of Jesus’ birth to revolve around belief in the prophesied birth of the Savior of the world in the Old Testament:

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

To those who vehemently disagree (and sometimes quite firmly), the argument is often made: “What’s the harm in Santa?”  
I could answer, let's face it, a child's childhood won't be ruined because they know Santa isn't
real.  But their eternal destiny may be shattered if parents fail to point them to Christ in every situation and in every holiday, especially during the Christmas season.  Proverbs 22:6 says, "Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it."  

One lie begets another, and to them, they may question what else you may say is "real", including Jesus. So what can be gained by convincing a child to believe in the existence Santa Claus? 

It is important to heed Scripture for guidance.  Lying to children is one of the worst things you can do.  Jesus said, "If anyone causes one of these little ones--those who believe in me--to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea" (Matthew 18:6).  
When we lie in any way, we are inadvertently siding with Satan, a relentless enemy of God.  Jesus described him:  "He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it." (John 8:44).

This holiday season, let’s not make our children stumble.  Let’s speak truthfully to them, and stop deceiving them for the sake of family tradition.  Jesus warned: "'You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.' And he continued, 'You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!'"

Simply put, there is no substitute for Jesus Christ, the god-man who sacrificed himself for us all, the one who offers the ultimate free gift of salvation. 

Sure, keep the tree and the dancing Santa and nativity scene, but I challenge you, if you haven't already been practicing this, resolve to speak truthfully to your children by turning Christmas into a celebration of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ the newborn King, rather than a fictional character bringing only temporal, vain gifts hidden in a bag stuffed full of untruths.  Saint Nick would bid fair to heartily agree!


For Christians, TV Viewing Habits and Halloween Participation May Go Hand-in-Hand



By Greg Cooper


Today, it is reported that over three-quarters of professing Christians celebrate Halloween (Source).  Of the 323 million people living in the United States, the vast majority identify themselves as being Christian (Source). This means that there are literally millions of professing believers actively participating in and endorsing Halloween, the day on which Satanists, witches, and occultists prefer to sacrifice animals and children to the devil (Source). Could this also be linked to what Christians are ingesting through television and movies? 

Christians Swayed By Media?

Christians may in fact be more easily swayed to accept Halloween, with all its evils, by what they watch.  It is a sad fact that there are believers today who have immersed themselves in the entertainment media culture which surrounds us.  
Instead of heeding God’s warning to “come out of them [temples of idolatry] and being separate,” as the Bible urges us (2 Corinthians 6:17), some have instead embraced it. Mainstream shows such as Supernatural, Twilight, Charmed, The Walking Dead, True Blood, Ghost Whisperer, Medium, Witches of East End, and even America’s Got Talent, and movies like Harry Potter and the classic The Wizard of Oz – to just scratch the surface of the immense amount of material out there – has been relentlessly flooding the entertainment industry market with an anti-Christ agenda. 

Satan has been figuratively having a “field day” with vulnerable eyeballs, which he is using to desensitize mainstream culture…right along with Christians!  One poll found that Christians average 3.1 hours of television a day (that’s 21.7 hours a week!), even more than Atheists who clock in at 2.7 hours (Source). 

Certainly, most of this material does not edify the professing believer, not does it spur them on to put down the remote and pick up their Bible.  In fact, less than 20% of church-goers read their Bible on a daily basis (Source).  A shocking low number, less than 20% percent, even go to church (Source), making the number of actual Bible readers relatively few and far between.  Among our Christian youth, who are the most desired targets by the enemy, also seem to be moving away from the Bible as well. According to one poll, a majority (57%) of those age 18-28 read their Bibles less than three times a year, if they pick it up at all (Source).

The Blurring of Lines

The television shows we Christians watch may actually be helping to blur the cultural line between what is morally acceptable and what is not.  What was once sacred in television – the family unit – has now overwhelmingly become a welcome agent to an evil agenda as well.  With the “world” running the show, and with so many Christian families sitting on their couches as a willing audience, the fact that 99% of shows about the family violate Christian morality (Source) is a horrifying thought, and is certainly not helping Christians to cling to traditional family values. 

For the 2016-2017 season, it was expected that 4.8% of the characters would be presented as LGBQT (Source).  No doubt we can conclude that this is likely due to a rising acceptance of homosexuality across the broad spectrum of American Christianity (Source).

With Christians subjected to mass amounts of material increasingly promoting family disunity, divorce, sex, drug use, same-sex agendas, violence, and the rampant mocking of moral living in general, Halloween may seem like just another day.  With the help of demonic influences, our culture has taken us further and further deeper into moral depravity. 

The Halloween costumes out there are a reflection of what is popular in culture: Women and even young girls, for example, can choose to be a witch, a sexy nurse, the Grim Reaper, or a male-conquering female superhero (or a bunny in their midst).  The “shock value” is lessening, and the uniforms chosen for Halloween may well simply be a visual display of what is actually lurking about deep within the souls of parents and children.

Taking a Stand

As genuine Christians, we should be seeking the Lord, what He has to say, and avoid participating in what the world does.  The Bible instructs us to 'abstain from all appearance of evil' (1 Thessalonians 5:22) and, 'The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.' (Romans 3:12).  The Bible tells us to 'put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:12), and to 'clothe ourselves with humility' (Colossians 3:12).

The grim reality is that the enemy is winning the hearts, souls, and minds of our culture through media, and it is only reaffirmed through the dark holiday of Halloween.  

If you plan to celebrate Halloween this year, or want to enamor yourself with a horror movie, consider being obedient to what the Bible has to say: “have nothing to do with evil”.  Resolve to 'have nothing to do with the fruitless deed of darkness' (Ephesians 5:11).  Let us instead lead our children by the hand to the Lord, and not down dark sidewalks, alleyways, and haunted houses…which can only lead them towards evil.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand - Ephesians 6:13


A special thank you to Tony Palacio for his contribution to this article.



Share
Girl in a jacket

Articles

Since Playboy’s founding, Hugh Hefner has “helped” millions of fathers shift their eyes, hearts and minds through the allure of his images. As a vessel of immorality, he has pushed men to perhaps unintentionally break the very cisterns that were designed to protect these children from the lies of the enemy...








Christian Music Theology - Bad to Worse?

If you have listened to Christian music lately, you may (or may not) have noticed a trend, or a movement, that has evolved throughout the Christian Music Industry. It isn't what it used to be.  It is an ever-evolving theatre of Millennials and aspiring Generation Zs that are reflecting a new culture of mainstream Christianity through their music. More and more, Christian music is leavened with bad theology.












Why the 'Shack' Artist List May Shock You

It could be said that it is probably not an accident that some of the biggest names in Christian music, including Hillsong UnitedLecraeFrancesca BattestelliLauren Daigle, and for King & Country are found on the soundtrack of the widely accepted and hugely successful film The Shack - or, is it?




A Church on the Outskirts
Imagine for a moment that you're hanging out with a crowd that says they are following Jesus  - and, you've decided to pursue Him as you see so many of your friends also doing.  You consider yourself His "disciple" after they told you about how much love He offers people, and since you'd only heard good things about Him, you think that it is only reasonable to give it a shot...




Are You a 'Hypocritical' Parent?

Many times when I am correcting my adoptive children's “bad” behavior, I am frequently reminded by the Holy Spirit that I'm really no less sinful than my child, the one whom I just disciplined. In fact, most every one of the sins I am addressing in my child's heart also reside in my heart. The difference is I am just mature enough to be able not to act all of them out.
  It took me over four decades to get to where I am now - to be able to hold my tongue about half of the time. This begs the question: how can I hold my child, who has been in this world less than I, at a greater accountability than myself?




Sexual Sin: A Scriptural Exhortation
Are you a Christian struggling with sexual sin? Are you desiring freedom? Many books and programs have been written and exist to combat the problem. Most of these contain man's wisdom in psychology, brain chemistry and may include some promises from Scripture, which are meant for those of us who are walking in truth.




'New Life Live' Unsound Statements

Family and Marriage Therapist Dr. Sherri Keffer uttered a very unexpected message to caller Dottie from North Beach, Maryland, who dialed in to the nationally syndicated show, New Life Live, on May 22, 2017 needing some advice regarding her friend's behavior: "I'm the mom you never had", she told the caller - twice!






Enduring Through the Race to Eternal Life
We take a look at the life of Paul and his "race" towards his creator, and how we are to also be running and finishing well as understood by various Scripture.




About


This blog seeks to exhort, question and expose many truth-claims and Christian principles found among many mainstream Christian leaders and those representing the faith.  Since the Bible hasn't changed, and is the only reliable source of ultimate truth, we need to focus on what this proven text says against all other truth claims - even from well known, highly regarded sources.  

The Harder Truths was birthed out of a strong desire to help Christian musicians see that they must maintain theological integrity within their lyrics which prompted me to write my first article, "Christian Music Theology: Bad to Worse?"  In it, I address my greatest concerns as I expose certain Christian artists and groups who claim definitive, unbiblical truth claims.  Since many people are not reading their Bibles, the only Christian message they may come across in their life could be only from the music they hear.  This is why it is so important that musicians communicate a proper, sound message that does not mislead people into a wrong idea about God and the message He is communicating through His Word.  

Since I wrote this article, subsequent articles have since followed. 

My aim not to attack my fellow Christians, but to expose false truth and exhort them as well as those on the fringes of the faith.  In this pursuit it has greatly helped me in the examination of my own faith and has increased my own spiritual growth.  

I hope you enjoy the articles, and I hope it sparks a fire in your heart to live your life wholeheartedly for the Lord in accordance with Scripture.

If you wish to contact me you can do so at satfreak5@yahoo.com.


God bless you!




About the Author



Greg Cooper is a born-again Christian since 2000.  Having a passion for the Truth of the Gospel, he recently began a blog after being lead to write about the changing dynamics within the Christian Music Industry.  His writings have expanded into other areas of Christian life, which are designed to challenge the body of Christ.  They include topics which straightforwardly expose false Christian ideas to what can be considered the “harder truths” of the Bible.  Greg lives with his wife Francesca in Simi Valley, California and has four adopted children.  They are in process of adopting a fifth from Haiti.  Their family story has recently been shared in a recent short documentary, “Committed: An Adoption Story”, which explores their family journey with the intent of encouraging the church to make an impact in children's lives through adoption. 












Hugh Hefner’s Death is a Reminder of Pornography’s Toll on Families


By Greg Cooper


If you haven't yet heard, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner recently died at the ripe old age of 91. He founded the Playboy Enterprise in 1953. For him, it was a fulfillment of a “dream”.
  
While the vast majority of the public is reacting to Hefner’s death by reflecting on a supposed “positive” legacy (as many often do when eulogizing deceased “celebrities”), scores and scores of men, women and children’s lives have been detrimentally affected as a result of the fruit of his life. Without argument, he left a legacy, but not an admirable one. Rather, a legacy which left an immeasurable trail of destruction - one which will undoubtedly also continue to adversely affect generations to come - with eternal ramifications that could be far worse than we may ever realize.

Through the success of Playboy magazine, the luxurious empire existed around his masterpiece and den of immorality: The Playboy Mansion. Biblically speaking, it can be likened to the altar of Israel’s forbidden Baal worship, upon which they built “high places” of worship toward false gods and away from the One true God.  At the altar, they would negligently sacrifice their children in the flames as an act of worship (Jeremiah 19:5). Though such literal sacrifices are virtually unheard of today, the Playboy empire has “helped” move entire generations off the path of righteousness and towards the darkness of an impure life through lust and impurity…through its images of nude women. This has become the modern altar of idolatry - mostly for men - with our children caught in the crossfire. Figuratively, we are sacrificing our young, impressionable children in order that we might serve the god of sexual immorality.  As a result of "free sex" outside of biblical marriage as advocated by Hefner, over 600,000 babies yearly through abortion are also subsequently "sacrificed" by its influences.  One can only wonder, was this a part of Hugh Hefner's "dream"?

Hefner's successful empire has left countless numbers of children hanging in the balance.  These children, having an all-too-common story as adults, are still dealing with pornography issues by the millions. They have strikingly similar childhood experiences. Through a discerning eye, we see can what dangers await a person who is exposed to pornography early in life.  What often begins as a seemingly innocent and natural fascination has been found to result in a life long, and sometimes faith-destroying, addiction to sex and pornography.  For whatever reason, the devil seems to expose boys to porn at around the age of 9, prompting an early start to an evil lifelong pull into sexual sin.


CHILDREN IN THE WAKE OF DESTRUCTION


Since Playboy’s founding, Hugh Hefner has “helped” millions of fathers shift their eyes, hearts and minds through the allure of his images. As a vessel of immorality, he has pushed men to perhaps unintentionally break the very cisterns that were designed to protect these children from the lies of the enemy. For many men (and women), their journey to addiction and sexual immorality began with the fascinating and lethal discovery of a Playboy magazine in their childhood years. Without a doubt, most of those discoveries were a direct result of someone close to them possessing one of Hefner’s evil publications. 

In the wake of Hefner’s passing, as many praise his accomplishments throughout his life, his immoral leadership has also greatly contributed to end “the Age of Innocence” in countless lives. Without question, he has set many on a lust-filled ride on their way to hell itself. Having produced such an incredible amount of fruitless deeds, which the enemy has used bountifully, Hefner’s unrepentant life journey and subsequent death naturally leads one to question the eternal consequences of his actions. The Bible warns about the leading of His children towards sin:


“But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Matthew 19:6


One can only hope that Hefner breathed his last with a regretful, repentant heart of faith toward his Creator.


SOCIETY DESENSITIZED

Hugh Hefner was in good company during most of his 64-year run. Society has mostly embraced and glorified Playboy images, but this wasn’t the case during its beginnings. Hefner was arrested after promoting ‘obscene’ literature in 1963 when he published an issue of Playboy featuring nude shots of Jane Mansfield. The case went to trial, but resulted in a hung jury (link). Today, the public would have sarcastically called for the jury to be literally “hung” if they attempted to call this act “obscene”. Wow, how far we have come!

In a sense, Hugh Hefner has encouraged freedom and liberty for both men and women. However, about the only liberating thing that has taken place is that women have been liberated from their clothing, and men from their responsibility. Children have been defiled and corrupted. Marriages have been ruined. It has been reported that viewing pornography actually doubles the rate of divorce (link).  It is perceivable that up to 500,000 divorces incur annually as a direct result of pornography in the home (link).  


CHRISTIANS AND PORNOGRAPHY

Playboy’s patrons not only include the unsaved, but also professing Christians. According to one poll, 64% of Christian men and 15% of Christian women have admitted to watching porn at least monthly (link). One can only wonder how many professing Christians have shipwrecked their faith as a result of the creation of Playboy.  Perhaps it continues to be one of our greatest sexual outlets since we were kids - when we first discovered it.

We can grieve at the fact that one man’s life brought much evil into this world. If anything, the death of Hugh Hefner should remind us that the call to repentance from pornography within the church should be greater now than ever. It should mark the beginning of our death to this deadly sin, a sin which has the potential to separate us from Christ - for eternity.  This is something we should be taking very, very seriously!

No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish
Luke 13:3 

 
A special thank you to Eddie Buraye and Tony Palacio for their contribution to this article


Facebook
Share


'New Life Live' Radio Host's Unsound Statement


'New Life Live' Radio Hosts Compromise to the Philosophies of Psychology


By Greg Cooper

Family and Marriage Therapist Dr. Sherri Keffer uttered a very unexpected message to caller Dottie from North Beach, Maryland, who dialed in to the nationally syndicated show, New Life Live, on May 22, 2017 needing some advice regarding her friend's behavior: "I'm the mom you never had", she told the caller - twice!

Odd messages such as these are coming from therapists and those who can be described as "Christian Psychologists", in the long standing #1 nationally syndicated Christian counseling talk show New Life Live , whose goal is it to help people with a variety of personal issues.  Its reach spans over 150 named Christian Radio markets.  Off-the-wall statements such as this warrant continued concern over how psychology conflicts with sound, biblical truths, and how it may be leading people away from sound doctrine.

While the case can be made that therapy-based tactics are often effective in resolving temporal problems, psychoanalysts such as the hosts of the show - whom likely have the best of intentions - go to battle against issues such as addictions, stress, relationship problems, depression and other dysfunction with methods that are often worldly and extra-biblical. Yet, they also stake a claim on the authority of Scripture, occasionally referencing verses and alluding to Christian concepts, which oftentimes exist only as side-notes in addressing a particular situation.

The attempt at mixing these two can become problematic.  On the radio program, one will rarely hear the hosts ask a troubled caller if they are a believer in Christ, or if there is a belief in the authority of the Bible, or if they are even seeking Christ or making efforts to walk in the light and turn from sin on behalf of the Lord.  The absence of such questions is troublesome.

Interestingly, there are at least some practicing Christian psychologists who at least understand the preeminence the gospel takes over human wisdom.  Sara Rainer, Doctor of Psychology, explained the relationship between psychology and Christianity:  "For Christian psychologists, our worldview must be determined by Scripture", she writes (link).

However, Christ-following believers who are called to be in leadership (and this can include psychologists, especially if they are practicing as a declared Christian) are instructed to use the Word of God for reproof and instruction (as well as many other requirements as listed in 1 Timothy 3), and are instructed to gain converts to the faith within the bounds of the gospel, something not practiced often by self-identifying Christian psychologists and therapists, and as in the case of New Life Live. This is unfortunate, since the opportunities that have presented themselves to share the gospel has vast potential to gain converts to the faith.

Much to the dismay of caller Dottie, her friends were seeking signs from their dead relatives, an open and shut case, biblically-speaking.  But instead of going to Scripture to address the issue (which strongly and affirmatively condemns communication with and signs from the dead, i.e. Leviticus 19:31), the show's co-host immediately focused in on the unrelated topic of Dottie's past: "I am going to probably start out with a question about you", said Dr. Keffer straight out of the gates, and perhaps unknowingly creating a completely fabricated challenge: " I wonder if when you were growing up, when you were little, if you felt like you mattered.  Or if you felt like you were more invisible...you weren't really seen, were you?"

In a near-psychic fashion, host Keffer had an immediate and starkingly accurate introspective on Dottie's childhood, with little to no information given, to which the caller reacted, "I am amazed that you picked up on that with very little I said about myself!" 

The question, which flipped everything on its head by focusing on the caller's hurt-filled past, does in fact sound similar to an approach a non-Christian therapist would take, such as the "No Nonsense" relationship radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger,who often authoritively turns tables on callers and often makes direct, blunt judgments on their character and current situation.

It seemed as though Dr. Keffer were setting caller Dottie up for something else.

New Life Live Founder Steve Arterburn
Founder Steve Arterburn, who has been introduced as "a leading authority on human relationships" (link), was also at the helm, and laughing off Kerri's insightful abilities in a light-hearted manner.

Dr. Keffer inappropriately placed caller Dottie in an awkward position in identifying a deep mother wound, and then claiming she herself was the 'mother Dottie never had' - all within minutes of her engaging her in conversation. Apparently, Keffer believed she was the only one who deeply understood and heard her pain, as a mother who listened well would.

But why a therapist would say such a thing to a caller after two minutes into conversation - one dealing with this kind of situation - is borderline demonic, if not just strange.  For Dottie, she only wanted advice as to how to deal with her friends' behavior, to which no biblical answer was given.  Instead, she was faced with an unfair and unrelated challenge of what Keffer described as her desiring "accolades" in wanting to be "seen and admired, remembered and acknowledged in legacy..." because of her concern over her friends.

With the doctor clearly on a tangent, this left the caller in an awkward position in defense of her own well-being: "I don't know about all that", she said,"but I have a husband that's..he's wonderful, and he practically cherishes me - is that different?"  Dr. Keffer responded by explaining it in from her own spiritual perspective:  "I would call that God's love for you, and God's redemption in giving you a man that sees you." 

The problem in this response this is that God's redemption to mankind is the sacrificial offering of Jesus Christ, who appeared to take away the sins of the world to those who would believe, which has absolutely nothing to do with a supportive husband.  The bible makes it clear:

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace. (Ephesians 1:7)

In this example, Dr. Kerri failed to properly address the problem biblically, created confusion and diversion regarding the concern at hand, assumed an authoritative motherly role in the caller's life, and followed it by offering an unbiblical truth claim.  All the while, Mr. Arterburn remained silent on the matter, except for offering up the idea that a sign from the dead could be chalked up to "coincidence", and not once alluding to the possibility of any demonic or spiritual influences, or that it could be answered biblically.

A third co-host, clinical psychologist Alice Benton, agreeing with Dr. Keffer, also pressed in on the caller: "When we hold back a truth about how we are feeling...it tends to deteriorate the relationship at some level" she told her caller.  " I think you have a truth here with your emotional reaction here with your friend", she said. Aside from sidestepping the real issue of Dottie's friends' behavior, her comments also bring up a greater concern about what she means by "a" truth, when Christians should be primarily concerned about "The" Truth.

Mr. Arterburn, seemingly having no problems with what had been said, finished up the conversation with Dottie by offering her a hand-out from one of his book collections, "Toxic Faith", which can only be assumed as the kind of faith he had diagnosed her as having.

With numerous psychologists also presented as an authority on the show, and with New Life founder Steve Aterburn preaching on pulpits as a guest speaker in churches all around the country, having co-written over 100 books accepted under a Christian genre, and being that it is broadcast on Christian radio and claiming to be Christian-based, the biblical bar for the show should be set much higher than it is.  New Life Live, with their arguably compromised hosts (Dr. Keffer and Dr. Benton's website both do not specify whether or not they identify as Christian or not), can be opening themselves up to spirits other than that of the Holy Spirit in influencing the hearts and minds of both callers and those listening in on their local Christian radio station, which it seems to be doing on a regular basis.

In avoiding this kind of bizarre advice stemming from human insights and wrong theology, New Life Live, rather than continuing to remedy broken human relationships with human wisdom, would be much better served ministering to the needs of their callers by speaking directly to their sinful condition and need of repentance in faith unto salvation, as well as encouraging and leading people to the cross of Jesus Christ by implanting biblical truths, and pointing hurting souls to churches and grounded Christian fellowship.  Instead, New Life seems to be offering people an overwhelming amount of worldly wisdom through a psychological, man-centered approach to healing, and hence missing the mark on sound doctrine, which, as we have seen in this case, can be quite detrimental to the cause of Christianity, the truth, and a right living before a Holy God.


Hear the full New Life Live show here:
http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/new-life-live/listen/new-life-live-may-22-2017-598046.html

Facebook