Just a Touch of Arsenic

Most anyone who’s been in or around the charismatic wing of Christianity has likely heard the phrase “chew the meat, spit out the bones” in reference to questionable teaching.  Keep the good part of the teaching, throw out the bad. However, someone could chew on a bone by mistake and break a tooth.  Worse yet, someone could accidentally swallow a small bone and choke.  Wouldn’t it be best to remove the meat from the bone before putting it into your mouth?

Some will make excuses for the teachers assuming they just didn’t phrase that particular part correctly, the message was misunderstood, or the teacher is still growing and just doesn’t know better yet.  So, hey why not cut some slack?  “Where’s the grace?” they’ll say.  However, the prophet Hosea [4:6] stated:

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” [NKJV]

Destroyed.  Not just a slap on the wrist, an “aw shucks, it’s OK,” but DESTROYED. This verse, like the entire book of Hosea, is written to the nation Israel as a warning against her spiritual adultery – idolatry – in not adhering to the whole Truth, not acknowledging God as Lord of all.  However, the basic message has an application for the NT Christian: we are all individually responsible for our own spiritual growth (see Hebrews 5:11-14).

Teaching is serious business as the Apostle James states:

 “Not many should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”  [James 3:1 NIV]

Jesus warned against the “leaven” of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.  It just takes a little bit to leaven the whole dough.  And, once the teaching is leavened this leaven cannot be removed without the rest remaining untainted.  IT’S ALL LEAVENED.

If a person is suggesting that we disregard the “bones” of a teaching then this person is saying the rest of the teaching is OK.  This person is also, in that sense, a teacher themselves.  That’s a rather dangerous position to take in view of the James verse above and other Scripture.

So, for those who like the phrase “chew the meat, spit out the bones” I have a question for you to ponder: How much arsenic would be OK in your dinner?  A teaspoon?  A drop?

12 Responses to Just a Touch of Arsenic

  1. cherylu says:

    I know from personal experience in my time spent in a church where this “eat the meat and spit out the bones” teaching was prevalent that choking on bones or breaking a tooth is not the only problem. It became so exhausing to sit week after week under this teaching, constantly listening and sorting in my mind what was taught that day to know what was not scriptural so as not to take it in and “choke” on it and also trying to decide if there were enough “bones” mixed in with the “meat” that it is was truly time to get up and walk out the door for good. It takes a real toll on a person, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

    If you are in a situation where you are becoming aware of a lot of bones, get up and leave! It may be very difficult to do. But it is certainly worth it in the long run.

  2. Scott says:

    I know this mindset all too well…reminds me of the pastor at the church that we go to. He’s just like this. He’ll say stuff like “well does it mean that I agree with everything that ______ says?” (insert name of whoever here)

    If someone is deliberately teaching outright crap or something that is highly suspect, then I don’t want anything to do with that person’s teaching and I avoid it outright. Like this article says, many charismatics tend to give everyone a free pass and though they will say they are discerning, when push comes to shove there is a tendency not to touch the issue because they want to be careful not to “quell a move of the Spirit”. One woman I know said of Todd Bentley…”well God uses broken vessels I guess” (sighhh). Of course every humble, sound, genuine preacher who is rightly dividing the Word will encourage and want his or her listeners to test their words, measure them up against the Bible, and are open to correction. It’s not out of the realm of possibility for even the genuine ones to slip up every now and then, for teaching is an imperfect gift emanating from mere men. But again for the most part they’re not teaching anything distinctly bad or heretical. I do think we need to have some grace for there is alot of gray area (e.g. anyone who doesn’t share our particular theological team). And what of the ones that start out apparently sound, but then slide further and further into heresy later in their career (there are many that put people like William Branham and Ken Hagin Sr. in this category)? The mark of a teacher that should be avoided is one that is against being tested and measured and discourages it. Spit these people out for sure.

  3. Craig says:

    Scott,

    As blog writer here exposing false teaching, then I would fall under the category of teacher. And, I’m not above correction. Certainly, if someone finds an error in something I write I would implore them to let me know.

    I wasn’t aware that Kenneth E. Hagin was ever sound; and, I’m not sure on Branham. However, to answer your question regarding those who were formerly sound, or who seemed sound, then who slide into heresy, I’ll let the Apostle John answer that one:

    19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.

    20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

    24 As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is what he promised us—eternal life.

    26 I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. 27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him. [1 John 2:19-27 NIV]

  4. Scott says:

    That’s a great passage thanks. I read about Branham, with mention of Hagin, on Andrew Strom’s “johnthebaptisttv” website. I’m not so sure I would jump on that bandwagon either. Branham got really bizarre in his later days, espousing a teaching called “serpent-seed” doctrine… and thinking he was the second coming of Elijah. And Hagin of course is infamous for being the Word Faith kingpin. I’m not going to nor would I ever judge where they are right now, but again that 1 John passage is great thanks so much. I think it’s safe to say all the well-known Faith teachers are in a world all unto themselves and are against being tested (wasn’t it Benny Hinn who made that outlandish declaration that he wished he had a “Holy Spirit machine gun” to use against his critics?) I think maybe Strom needs to be reminded of this passage as well.

  5. Craig says:

    Your welcome on the Scripture reference.

    Branham also thought the Trinity “a doctrine of demons” along with teaching the “serpent seed doctrine” and other such nonsense. Unfortunatley, while Strom has spoken out about some things wrong in the church such as his series on “Kundalini in the Church” on YouTube, he continues to espouse other questionable folks. As just one example, he apparently promotes John G. Lake, yet Lake’s Christology seems to be much like Bill Johnson’s.

    I think you are correct regarding the Benny Hinn quote.

  6. Craig says:

    This came to me from Walk Thru the Bible as today’s devotional:

    2 Timothy 3

    As Christians, we must be on our guard to follow the truth continually.

    INSIGHT
    The Scriptures are designed to be the basis of truth for leading a Christian to maturity in Jesus Christ. They are accurate and trustworthy, afford adequate knowledge, and lead to a godly, biblical lifestyle. They also yield a biblical ministry: “that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (v. 17). A mature Christian is one who knows what he needs to know (knowledge), is what he needs to be (lifestyle), does what he needs to do (ministry), and is guided by the Scriptures in all of this.

  7. mkayla says:

    Excuses, rather than a stand against apostacy – the false teachings, teachers and prophets that have invaded the church seducing believers to follow another gospel, another jesus, another spirit. “Chew the meat, spit out the bones” was the go to in the Vineyard church I attended. Also, was the phrase “a mixture”, “broken vessels”, “a work of the flesh getting in” and so on. And when I questioned teachings it was pointed out that possibly I had the problem, a wound and in need of healing.

    I put up a similar article on my blog and someone commented that a good Father would never put bones in His child’s food! Wow. How true is that?

    The truth is always found in the word. We don’t need to give a wide road for the operation of the Holy Spirit to explain a lack our own understanding. We are told in the word who He is and how He operates and it is never outside the teaching in the bible. The Lord will never violate His word and He will never violate or offend our flesh to make a point.

    And yes, it is true and sadly so that many are destroyed from this lack of knowledge, but by their own hand in following and not seeking the truth. But when we do question, God is faithful to restore us to sanity.

    Blessings all.

  8. mkayla says:

    :) HA, just to add, this scripture –

    “Not many should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” [James 3:1 NIV]

    is the very one that led me to question the teachings of the healing rooms and intercession. I was a leader and had that fear. When I took my questions to God He began to show me the truth in those crazy WOF teachings. The answers I got back from Him weren’t what I expected – !!! And it took me some time to understand what He was telling me. But later I was also able to begin to understand that He had been sending me warnings all along. I was just too blind to see them. It is of great benefit to ask the real Teacher!
    :)

  9. Craig says:

    M’Kayla you wrote:

    And when I questioned teachings it was pointed out that possibly I had the problem, a wound and in need of healing.

    While I’ve not experienced this exactly, there were two times I questioned teachings by a pastor in a class I was attending (I was not a member and did not attend other functions of that church) in which my concerns were glossed over. Maybe it would have been different if I was a member and had I not paid for his lunch both times. I dunno.

    However, I have read accounts on the ‘net in which others were, like you, told it was they who had the problem. Some were sent to Toronto (or threatened with this) for, i guess, a ‘reconditioning’ or so I’ve heard. Others were told that ‘their problem’ was a result of ‘past hurts’ which the church only knew about because they had obtained information beforehand (past abuse, sins, etc.) by way of having the individual come clean before joining the church! This info then was both used against them if they were deemed ‘trouble’ and/or used in ‘prophecies’ about the individual as this info was shared with others in the church even though the info was promised “confidential.”

  10. Craig says:

    The key thing, of course, is that you ended up heeding the prodding of the Holy Spirit and were then able to see the truth because you were seeking Truth.

  11. mkayla says:

    Yes, consistently praying for those who remain caught up – those we know and those we do not. It is hoped our words will reach their ears and reveal to them the truth!

    Be well.

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