When Preaching on “Old Time Religion” is a Mockery of the Old Time Religion
Updated: Aug 1
Gordon Conner is the pastor of Greater Vancouver Baptist Church. He’s been pastor of that church for right around 30 years. You could say that is a lot of years in one place, but when the system of the independent fundamental baptists (IFB) is set up the way it is, anyone can tenure their career in one location and pretty much be guaranteed to fulfil it. As long as you can keep squeaky clean concerning gross and public immorality or outlandish scandals (while doctrinal corruption and perversion of the gospel and wresting of Scripture gets a free get out of jail card, just not external sins that bring the spotlight onto the IFB), you should be fine, but even there you’ll often be fine as well, as noted in many cases including Jack Hyles and many of the people that have been educated by Hyles-Anderson College or associated with Hyles church, First Baptist Church of Hammond, IN.
In 2011 the Canada National Pastors Conference was held at Victory Baptist Church at Sherwood Park, AB. Pastor Gordon Conner preached a sermon one evening titled “Old Time Religion,” which I personally attended. It sounds like it might have been all about “Old Time Religion,” right? It wasn’t. It was in fact a serious mockery of “Old Time Religion.” A heretical, worldly, divisive, change-motivated sermon, one that sickened me, one that has never been repented of.
Below I will consider some of the more serious errors preached in this sermon and also other serious errors of this pastor that need exposure. This is necessarily so. I have approached pastor Conner over these serious sins and errors but he, like most other “revivalists” type IFB churches sees himself as above reproof, criticism and correction, and thus above God’s Word, so thus refuses to acknowledge his serious errors and sin, let alone repent.
So I will rebuke before all as 1 Tim 5:20 commands:
“Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.”
1. Conner preaches a worldly, divisive, change-driven sermon.
I’m absolutely certain this is but only one such example over his years of preaching, but its a good one preached in a timely manner in the National Pastors Conference that was themed “Give Me That Old Time Religion,” complete with the tent and sawdust trails. It was actually very well done and we thoroughly enjoyed the fellowship and sermons with the exception of the sermon in question, “Old Time Religion,” which was, at its foundation, neo-evangelical, propagating a false social “gospel” and easy believism “gospel,” and a rejection of the old ways and the old paths, all in a sermon ironically and allegedly about that “Old Time Religion.” The thrust of his sermon was a galvanization to change among the IFB, not change for greater Biblicism or stricter adherence and obedience to God’s Word, but change in the opposite direction, towards the world, towards what we see in neo-evangelicalism, a loose, casual, walk with the world and a repudiation of separation, in order to keep up with "contemporary change" — a "new way of doing 'old time religion.’” Those were his words and the rest of the sermon gave life to it. I don’t think it was meant to be satire. If it was, it sure wasn’t obvious and it definitely didn’t seem to be the case considering how his son and others from his church were making a loud obnoxious raucous every time he said something that opposed an IFB principle, really a Bible principle. There is nothing “Old Time” about what Conner presented as “Religion,” at least not as far as the Bible is concerned. In truth, it was meant to be a mockery of that “Old Time Religion,” and an itch (2 Tim 4:3-4) for something new. I wonder how that is going for him. I see his son has gone the contemporary way. Mission accomplished? According to his sermon, it sure would be.
Pr 24:21 warns to not “meddle not with them that are given to change:” No one should have been meddling with him after he made his new position clear, a position of adultery with the world (Jam 4:4).
2. Conner preaches a false social “gospel.”
He gave much attention to the social needs of the homeless in Vancouver, which seems philanthropic indeed, even praying some kind of prayers with them, but not one mention of ever actually preaching the true gospel of Jesus Christ to them which must include preaching true Biblical repentance which doesn’t occur in his average weekly preaching as it is, so that wasn’t any surprise (also noted in his watered down exposition of the corrupted gospel on the church website — an incomplete gospel of important elements is a false gospel). Apparently their was a lack of focus on meeting the physical needs of homeless people by the IFB, hence the emphasis on serving the homeless in Vancouver, while he seemingly appeared ignorant and oblivious to their much greater spiritual needs, which incidentally takes care of the physical needs. ‘Give physical bread but not spiritual bread.’ And, ‘when giving spiritual bread, don’t give the true spiritual bread they need to hear.’ That was the take away message.
When the thief and betrayer Judas made a big stink with indignation over Mary pouring a very expensive “alabaster box of very precious ointment” unto the head of Christ, Jesus corrected his false philosophy, “Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.” (Matt 26:7-11). I can see his protest of Jesus, like Judas, based upon the content of his sermon: ‘Feed the poor and the homeless!’ But Jesus didn’t say that and rather exalted her to great prominence, “For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.” (vv. 12-13).
Support for his false social “gospel” came out in his “exposition” of Jam 1:26-27: feeding the homeless and helping the widows, providing multiple examples of that (which obviously isn’t wrong, as long as it remains in its proper and balanced context — essentially it is a means of opportunity to preach the gospel to people), but strangely provided no exposition or practical examples of “keeping unspotted from the world” (v. 27), nor on the greatest need which is that of witnessing for Christ and preaching the one true gospel to them (and not an anemic and watered down version of it), which we know to be the ultimate purpose of doing good works for the lost, as we rightly divide the word of truth (Matt 28:18-19; Mk 16:15; Lk 24:44-48; Ac 1:8). Failing to mention one of the three distinct things in this text of Scripture in James, in a sermon on “Old Time Religion,” clearly implies intentional avoidance. Its also a mark of a false teacher, considering he didn’t mention it at all, indicating deception and a private interpretation of Scripture. Why treat God’s Word like tomatoes falling off the back of a produce truck? The rest of the sermon would buttress this point. He was being a change maker, and “keeping unspotted from the world” interfered with that agenda. Someone or something was leading him away from the truth of God’s Word unto a social justice “gospel,” of the kind championed by his son in his “community” heretical neo-evangelical “city church,” whom, along with the other youth at GVBC, were probably instrumental in moving him away from the truth. This is very common today but it only shows how terribly compromised these “pastors” actually are, and that there may be a very serious underlying spiritual issue, that may well point to an unconverted nature.
God’s Word warns us to “fear thou the LORD and the king: meddle not with them that are given to change: For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?” (Pr 24:21-22).
3. Conner loves the world and the things of the world.
The reason for not speaking to the important truth of remaining unspotted from the world, something alluded to in many other passages as well, and in fact a major mark of true conversion (e.g. 1 Cor 2:12; Jam 4:4; 1 Jn 2:15-17), became quite clear as his sermon progressed. He proceeded to make no false pretence about his love for "soft" ungodly and sacrilegious rock music (giving the example of Bob Dylan) and ungodly television shows (which he described, though I can’t recall exactly which ones), and he ensured everyone knew this, so he could allegedly draw out the hypocrisy that is present in the IFB about secretly loving this sort of music and movies while preaching against it. No, I don’t think they are all like he is, though many probably are, especially those of the “revivalists” flavour. What his preaching was about in reality was a call to come out of the closet and join him as he endeavoured to become more worldly and neo-orthodoxy, like his neo-evangelical “IFB” friends, such as Paul Chappell and the rest of that crowd which is way too many. I believe he wanted to be open about this, and kudos to him for that—we shall know them by their fruit—to either invoke strife by inflammation or to draw disciples away after himself, into his fold, that likewise felt the same as him (something the apostle Paul warns about in Acts 20:30, “Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them”) or both reasons. Me personally thinks both. He painted the audience with the broad brush of hypocrisy for not openly liking his ungodly music and movies, with implications such as ‘you actually love this type of music just afraid to admit it.’ He wanted to be open. He wanted people to join his new found club. His point was clear. Approval. Disapproval for remaining in the closet. Fear not. Be bold and be brave. Be worldly. Follow the lusts of your flesh. Follow after that which you secretly love. Stop hiding. Join the coalition.
The love for ungodly and worldly rock music fits with the love for Contemporary praise and worship music today. Naturally it would. By him (like the sermon demonstrated, and also the music he obviously loves noted in a link to this sort of effeminate contemporary music in one of his blog reports: https://gvbc.ca/blog/2020/06/04/our-world-is-a-broken-world). By his associations. Such as Paul Chappell. His son, Mark, a graduate from the deeply compromised and even heretical West Coast Baptist College, in the very cool, slick, contemporary “community” he pastors, City Baptist Church, where CCM rock music with the effeminacy and unsound doctrine and corrupted syncopation, all contemporary style, is alive and well (never mind the gender indistinctive clothing, the kow-towing to the government regulations that oppose the bible, and so much more ). And of course by most IFB churches in Canada.
The Bible on the other hand tells us to “hate every false way” (Ps. 119:104) and to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Eph. 5:11). That means to hate this CCM/“Christian” rock stuff and other worldly ungodly music (like Bob Dylan) and to reject professing “Christians” and “Churches” that compromise and apostatize with it. We must hate what they do and the way they do it. We must hate the philosophy of ministry that it represents and the way it misrepresents the God of the Bible. We must hate the way it deceives the people with whom it is involved and what it does to churches. We must hate the way that it harms and even ruins discernment and the way that it perverts a biblical or true understanding of spirituality and love. We must hate the way that it endorses false worship for churches. We must not tolerate it or have anything to do with it. It's disgusting. Nauseating of the face-in-palm kind. But he appears to love what God hates, quite the opposite of what is written in Ps 119:127-128,
“Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.”
This antithetical position of misplaced affections that he takes, if he continues to take this position—as it certainly appears—does point to certain things, such as an absence of the love of God (1 Jn 2:15) and a rambling after the lusts of the flesh and the world rather than after the will of God (1 Jn 2:16-17) and after holiness and godliness, which is what the grace of God teaches (Ti 2:11-14), whilst we know those who do gravitate towards the world like the dog after its vomit, and not after the will of God, are in fact unsaved hypocrites (Matt 7:21; 1 Jn 5:1-3; Lk 6:46-49). Those that love the world, even if duplicitously, are the “enemies of God” (Jam 4:4) which is certainly not a saved person (“echthros” in fact describes Gods greatest adversary, Satan, and all unsaved people are the children of the devil, Eph 2:1-3; Jn 8:44, illustrated here by their love of the world), while on the other hand, Jesus speaking to saved people (He was now in the company of only saved people, Judas having left them), said:
“I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. . . . They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” (Jn 17:14, 16).
People that love the world, evidenced by their love for the worlds music (among other ways), are not of God. I think Jesus makes that abundantly clear here in Jn 17 and other places. Saved people are not of the world, just like Jesus wasn’t of the world, for “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (Jn 15:19). Does the world hate those that love the things they love? There is a reason why men like Conner have no enemies.
Read here for further info on "Christian" Contemporary Music: Contemporary Christian Music (CCM), Is It Honouring to God? and CCM is the Soundtrack of End Times Apostasy.
4. Conner’s false gospel of easy-believism and quick-prayerism, the biggest concern amongst all his heresies.
The aforementioned sermon in question certainly included elements of a false gospel, such as his social-justice emphasis, but there are other very clear and ongoing aspects that reveal his compromise and perversion of the one true gospel. This includes his easy-believism and quick-prayerism, both of which dovetail with the heresies presented above, both of which reject true Biblical repentance and Christ’s Lordship. His repentance is completely heretical, if it’s even present at all, thus a false gospel. His post on “Heaven” — supposedly a gospel tract — has absolutely nothing about repentance. He believes that repentance is just a change of mind, but it isn’t. That is what heretics teach that reject the doctrine, typically making repentance synonymous with faith. But Repentance is not A Change of Mind.
False salvation will always produce a false Christian life and false sanctification and truck loads of other heresies. Of course one would be inclined to naturally think he is of this particular flavour since his associations champion this false gospel (Am 3:3), and due to the watered down and corrupted gospel tracts that he gives out, and the false gospel presented on his website (https://gvbc.ca/heaven) but there is even more, and I’m sure much more if I was privy to what he read, listens to in his personal time or preaches on a weekly basis. A few years ago he attempted to lead someone I personally know (a family member) to Jesus by praying them into heaven. 1-2-3 repeat after me. A quick prayer via easy believism to a false salvation, with absolutely nothing about true Biblical repentance, brokenness, dying to self, losing ones life, surrendering to Christ, fear of the Lord, etc, all things that encompass repentance and faith in the Word of God, unto salvation in Jesus Christ. Absolutely unbelievable! The victims of this abuse were astonished, even though they were unsaved. They knew more of the true gospel than what he did, so thankfully they didn’t comply with his tactics and false assurance. They knew that it was wrong, but he attempted to manipulate them.
Without a doubt, Conner doesn’t evangelize anything like how Jesus evangelized (link). But He is the perfect example we are to emulate.
As noted, the same false gospel that he pushes from his pandering pulpit, is the same false gospel that Paul Chappell and cohorts preach, and the same false gospel that Shelton Smith and Sword of the Lord push. Here are a few good writings on the subject:
During my recent communication with him, in typical IFB fashion (particularly among those who embrace a perverted gospel) he claimed I was allegedly twisting Scripture and salvation itself, without giving any example of that (unlike what I exposed of him, actually giving examples) but that further reveals how corrupt his doctrine and “exegesis” really is. There is only one salvation: Lordship Salvation is Salvation. People like Conner should read that carefully and believe what the Bible teaches, instead of continuing to exchange the truth of God for a lie. It won’t help his audience and it won’t help him. And it’s certainly not true that Lordship Salvation Proceeds from Calvinism.
In our “dialogue” he didn’t like the fact that I questioned his salvation. I feel bad that I had to do that (which is also why I presented the true gospel in my first letter to him), but I was given no other option due to the false gospel he preaches and believes and the other errors and unrepentant sins mentioned above. My feelings towards questioning his salvation is somewhat like Paul’s attitude, “For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season.” (2 Cor 7). The only difference here is that he has not been sorry. I think the evidence of calling his salvation into question is plain, and I’m simply being very honest because I care about him. If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t have written and I wouldn’t be honest. As noted, the gospel he preaches is corrupt, which is very easy to prove (just a few points alone prove that: no-repentance, no-Lordship, perverted easy-believism quick-prayerism noted in his online “Heaven” presentation and “soul-winning” tactics — and yes, repentance is certainly an element of the gospel: Lk 24:44-48; Ac 20:21 cf. v. 24, another aspect of the gospel that is commonly corrupted), and someone that perverts the gospel is unsaved — Gal 1:8-9 makes that very clear. Even common Biblical sense would clarify this.
In the following articles I refute the gospel heresies he embraces:
IFB preachers like Conner (and anyone else that preaches these heresies, which is majority of “evangelicals” and Protestants), do not preach the same gospel that Jesus did: The Religious Rich Young Ruler (Mt 19; Mk 10; Lk 18): The Standard of Christ’s Gospel Preaching.
I believe men like Conner are blind to their false gospel, of what Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4, bridging the problem of those who have not “renounced the hidden things of dishonesty,” and are “walking in craftiness,” and “handling the word of God deceitfully;” in v. 2, with what their actual issue is in vv. 3-4, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
Here is the true gospel that actually saves and doesn’t make the unsaved two-fold children of hell, the very gospel that the Lord Jesus Christ preached consistently in His ministry upon the earth, as did the apostles, and its vastly different than what Conner preaches: ARE YOU SAVED? By the way, neither Conner or any of his defenders (the old boys club) ever attempted to refute what I write. They just malign, chide, slander, talebear, ridicule, lie and bear false witness (through arguing logical fallacies such as straw man, red herrings, smokescreens, ad hominem, etc). Once they realized I was not a pastor, they had freedom to act like teenage girls who don’t get their own way.
I have no doubt that vast majority of people that have been “saved” at or through GVBC are the product of this corrupted gospel, which is why they go on to “plant” cool, contemporary, slick neo-evangelical “churches” such as City Baptist Churches, the same type of corrupt fruit from corrupt trees (Matt 7:15-20) as noted over at Paul Chappell and Lancaster Baptist Church. Not only does this stem from wrong and perverted doctrine, but the methodology is manipulative.
This point alone is all the reason one needs to flee from such dangerous heretics that make unsaved people two-fold more the child of hell they once were.
5. Conner teaches a lot of other error, including the doctrine of sanctification.
Using false labels to describe those who profess to be Christian but are in fact not. These labels create a third category of man, a second category of Christian, none of which is found in Scripture. Its make-belief. Pure fabrication made out of sheer cloth. These terms and theories include: “unbelief,” “carnal Christian,” “backsliding,” and “lukewarm.” These terms are Keswick-Revivalism currency to describe people that are actually lost but proclaimed as saved. They are an ever elusive category that does not exist in Scripture. For instance, in one article he claims that “sometimes even the strongest Christians struggle with unbelief.” (https://ministry127.com/christian-living/dealing-with-doubt). No. They. Don’t. And that doesn’t even make Biblical or common sense. Unbelief = unbeliever. Not sure what part of that, IFB men don’t understand. But it’s convenient for them. It counts for the unsaved people, whom in their seared and reprobate mind (2 Tim 3:8) are counted as saved. It’s not about truth or souls but about numbers and coffers, about filling the pews.
I discuss this subject here: Labels Misused Towards Professing Believers that Only Apply to False Professing “Believers.
Let me give some advice: stop pandering to men and the lusts of your flesh and the things of the world and rather obey Gods Word and remain faithful to Him, to the words in His Word, what His Word actually says, regardless of the results or consequences, and God will bless (Ps 1:1-6). That was the attitude of the apostle Paul:
“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” (Gal 1:10).
I believe this only scratches the surface of his heresies on sanctification, but they are typical in these “revivalists” IFB churches, along with the perversion of salvation passages to buttress their error, all with the intent of giving credibility to actual unsaved people playing church.
6. Conner embraces heretics and gives away their books.
I can see why he has taken the yoke of compromise and Paul Chappellism upon himself, though I am unsure of what came first: the Chappellism or the friendship with the world. Knowing his associations with the old (not as in old paths) man-centred, ear-tickling, boys club, which champions heretics such as Paul Chappell and Cary Schmidt and Jack Hyles and many others, none of what was heard in the sermon in discussion really came as any surprise. Many men that embrace the same heresies as Conner, are yoked in fellowship with Chappell’s ministry and likely with Conner as well, considering they all write on Ministry 127. Like who? Neo-evangelical and emerging churchers such as Stephen Chappell (brother to Paul), Larry Chappell (son to Paul), revivalists heretics such as Rick Flanders, and many others. There is so much wrong with the Chappell doctrine and philosophy, it would take an entire book to point out the error. You can see the above links and also Way of Life Ministries site— which ministry by the way is hated by men like Conner, further addressed in the next point.
I believe men like Conner are enemies to the sound doctrine of God's old paths. Their preaching is shallow, unscriptural, worldly, and of the eisegesis kind. I don’t think he would know sound doctrine and true Biblical exegesis if it hit him on the nose. It's high time to call these men out, for the destruction they are causing among Bible believing churches.
He gives away a book by Sam Allberry. Who is Sam Allberry? Sam Allberry is a gay priest in the Anglican Church who speaks at and is promoted by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention and by the horribly heretical and apostate Gospel Coalition (TGC). Allberry suggested that families should allow open homosexuals to ‘babysit’ your children unsupervised. Allberry is a man who identifies as ‘same-sex attracted,’ and has confirmed that he has “sexual, romantic and deep-emotional attractions to people of the same sex.” Russell Moore, head of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and heretic extraordinare, tweeted, “Sam Allberry is a gift to the church. We need his voice.” Rather than burn such unBiblical trash, he allegedly gave some personal acquaintances of mine who were attending this church this book to read because their son is a sodomite.
Conner’s also reads for positive learning, neo-reformed Calvinist new age psychological-infested heretics such as Paul Tripp.
His embracement of The Gospel Coalition and other “conservative” “evangelicals” is enough reason to separate from him (Am 3:3) since he is blatantly disobedient to scripture (2 Cor 6:14-18; Ps 1:1-3). The critical doctrine of separation can’t be emphasized. Professors that don’t separate are unsaved, since separation is clearly an element of salvation (2 Cor 6:14-18) so that all those who are truly saved practice separation as a lifestyle.
7. Conner maligns those who warn of error.
Instead of warning about error—as the Bible commands—in the “Old Time Religion” sermon, he took it upon himself to warn others about those who do faithfully warn of error. He did that in the said sermon, “Old Time Religion” and though he never mentioned any name, there was absolutely no doubt as to who he was referring to: David Cloud of Way of Life Ministries. Why Cloud? Around this same time he was exposing the serious compromise and heresy creeping into IFB churches through men like Paul Chappell, but many IFB didn’t like this warning. Considering Conner’s close associations with Chappell, undoubtedly he was one of them. Later that same year (2011) R.B. Oulette attended a conference at GVBC, and Ouelette happened to also be critical and slanderous of David Cloud, calling out people like him that care and warn as the Bible commands as “buzzards.” Though I am no Cloudite—in fact I have criticized some of his teachings over the years including here—he is certainly A LOT more faithful to the truth than Conner or Ouelette have ever been. Naturally, the compromised hireling will never like it when he is publicly criticized and all his little defenders will line up to take pot shots at the contender for the faith. That further reveals the nauseating man-centredness of the heretical old boy’s club.
In the article Is Speaking the Truth “Hateful and Evil”?, I address the importance of contending for the faith and reproving error and sin. I also answer common accusations by (mostly) haters of contenders and fighters of the faith, here: Spiritual Warfare.
He could’ve been warning of all the heresies within the neo-evangelical and church growth movement and the old boys club as part of his ministering and edification in the “Old Time Religion” sermon, which would have been indicative of that “Old Time Religion,” rather than positively embracing their material and adopting their errors and then publicly taking pot shots at men that faithfully warn the people as commanded repeatedly in the Word of God. Instead of embracing faithful men of Scripture, he embraces compromised heretics (such as Paul Chappell) and even apostates (such as Paul Tripp), men that tickle his ears and don’t criticize his preaching or his BFF’s. These two errors dovetail.
He claimed in his response to me that my intentions of the initial letter had to do with harbouring “feelings over a message I didn’t like.” But I would say to him: “There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart.” (Neh 6:8). My intentions were something more in line with what Ti 1:3 says, “Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;” and Rom 16:17, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” My hope was what Jam 5:19-20 speaks of, “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” And Pr 28:23, “He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.”
I see that hasn’t occurred. But I’m also not surprised. To be honest, I would’ve been utterly shocked and dismayed if a IFB revivalist preacher would actually take responsibility for his errors, sin and heresies. That would’ve been a real shocker, but there are some important reasons why that didn’t occur and why it doesn’t occur.
8. Conner won’t engage in Biblical debate and puts himself about reproof.
In personal communication with him, he made it clear he wouldn’t “engage in debate” or “endeavour to answer” any of my alleged “ill-informed charges” because that is apparently not what the IFB “Old Boys Club” members do. It didn’t take much to overcome the “shock.” He as a mere man put his ex-cathedra office way above reproof and rebuke and above correction, which is much more in line with a pope than a man of God. When someone denies the Word of God by smokescreen and mirrors or other horrible logical fallacies, and refuses to debate the charges brought before him because I’m not hierarchically privileged enough, he is putting himself about God. The only person that men of this nature just “might” listen to is one who has arrived at the same high level of stature and pedestal exaltation as themselves. Only such a man is “qualified” to give admonishment. That is why the first thing they dig after is the credentials, and when that carnal curiosity is solved, they dig for evil. But many times even the credentials may not even matter. Only those in the inner circle of the club qualify (those outside, are discredited), but these would never even dream of criticizing one another, to fathom doing something that is so “negative,” even if their lives physically depended upon it. Thankfully God’s Word has something to say about that and exposes such disobedience for what it is — proud men lording over people, exercising lordship over not only congregants but others as well, quite the opposite of what Christ taught of the true minister of God:
“But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Mk 10:42-45).
Paul the apostle loved being proved (Ac 17:11) calling them “more noble” and demanded to be judged: “I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.“ (1 Cor 10:15). What about pastors and other so called leaders today? Such a godly attitude is very different from what we see in the “old boys club” of the IFB. Very.
Repeatedly Scripture commands to criticize and expose unrepentant error, sin, heretics and false teachers (e.g. Rom 16:17; Eph 5:11; Ac 17:11; 1 Th 5:21; Ju 1:3-4; Ti 3:10-11), to judge others (e.g. Lev 19:17; 1 Cor. 2:15; 5:12-14; 6:1-5: 10:15; 14:29; Pr. 21:15; 27:6; Lk. 12:57), to reprove and rebuke others (e.g. Lev 19:17; Ps. 50:21-23; 58:1; Pr. 12:1; 13:1; 24: 15:5, 31; 17:10; 24:23-25; 28:23; Ti. 1:12-13; 2:15; 2 Tim 4:2-4) — so his rejection, disguised in straw man arguments and false humility and deceit, is actually a Satanic lie. A lie concocted by the father of lies (Jn 8:44), who comes as an “angel of light” and his “ministers . . . transformed as the ministers of righteousness” (2 Cor 11:12-15). People that do this characteristically are “deceitful workers” (2 Cor 11:13), “dogs,” “evil workers,” (Phil 3:2) and “swine” (Matt 7:6), but individuals like Conner must have missed all this judging and sharp reproof taking place in the Bible. I suspect an intentional blindness to this and maybe to much more of the Script of Holy Writ except that which tickles his fancy?
9. Conner misuses and abuses Matthew 18 in his refusal to hear reproof.
I find it a bit amusing that many IFB pastors seem to know only one passage, Matt 18, when someone confronts and opposes their error, heresies, man-centredness or other sinful issues, while ignoring hundreds of other passages that condemn their behaviour. Very convenient and very typical. In so doing, what he is purveying is little different than any of the other club members, such as Paul Chappell for instance, a close buddy of his (which in its own is a huge red flag), who rejects criticism unless it is private: “Has the critic come to me personally (biblically) with this issue? If not, the criticism is being handled in a carnal way.” (“Questions to Ask When Criticized,” Aug 8, 2011). Chappell wrote that article—which happened to be one month prior to the national preachers conference in Sherwood Park (where the sermon in question was preached)—in response to Cloud’s expose of him, something he alluded to in that same sermon, though he couldn’t say it outright. Like with Chappell, the Word of God is his crutch, something he many times treat worse than tomatoes falling off the back of a produce truck.
It’s pretty sad that I had to explain to someone who has “pastored” for 30+ years on what Matt 18 means. That reflects the calibre of doctrine taught at this church or is because of proof-texting scripture? Isn’t a pastor to be teaching “sound doctrine” only (Ti 2:1), and “no other doctrine” (1 Tim 1:3), so the one who doesn’t is in fact disqualified from the ministry (Ti 1:9; cf. 1:6-16; 2:1; 1 Tim 1:3)? If the “young men” are “exhorted to . . . in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,” (Ti 2:6-7), how much the more when it comes to the pastor?
Matt 18 provides instructions on dealing with private/personal sin or issues between brethren or professing Christians of a local church. That is obvious when we read verses 15 and 17. It does not deal with public teachings and actions by Christian leaders. Public error and sin should always be dealt with publicly, not privately, like we see everywhere exemplified and also commanded. Everything I dealt with concerning him is public. Public is not private. Unrepentant public error and sinning is done in public, before a public audience. Matt 18 doesn't apply to that person. Someone can still go to him one-on-one, to take the most charitable approach, but it isn't required. One could also leave out names, another charitable option, but it isn't required and rather in most cases necessary. Public exposure is also not talebearing or sowing discord or something else; it is dealing with error like the Bible states I should (Rom 16:17; 2 Tim 3:5-9; Eph 5:11; Gal 2:11-14; etc; cf. Ac 17:11; 1 Th 5:21; Ju 1:3-16). If someone promotes his sin or unBiblical behaviour or error or false teaching in public, like he did, it is appropriate and loving to deal with it in public. It isn't gossip, it isn't talebearing, if it isn't secret or private. Secret is kept secret with going one-on-one (Lk 17:3) and not talebearing or gossiping. Public is already public. If I warn people about an error, or someone's false teaching that he puts out in public, or repudiate his behaviour, that isn't gossip or sowing discord. That is required in scripture out of love.
The apostle Paul dealt with the sins and errors of churches in public letters, some of which Conner (and majority of other members of the “old boys club”) would most certainly label as private or secret, arguing “the autonomy of the church” or some other unBiblical excuse. Paul mentioned the names of false teachers 10 times in 1 and 2 Timothy (1 Tim 1:19-20; 2 Tim 1:18-20; 2:15-18; 4:10, 14-15) and these letters were not intended merely for Timothy. They are part of the canon of Scripture and public record, and millions of times by now they have been read by people the world over. The NT Epistles were not private letters that were intended for select eyes only. They were public letters that were intended for the use of all of the churches (cf. Col 4:16), and in those letters Paul dealt with a wide variety of sins and errors. He even warned church members by name (e.g., Eudias and Syntyche, Phil 4:2), and how many have not read these names from that time? The same is true for Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus. Those were personal letters in one sense, but they were very public in another. They were never intended for the eyes of Timothy and Titus only. And in those letters, Paul warned about such things as Demas’s false feigned estate, how he had deceived Paul and others and was a serious danger. Imagine if you were Demas in that day. He could have said, ‘Paul, you are wrong to make my personal business a public matter,’ but Paul wasn’t wrong, because Demas’s apostasy was not strictly a private matter. Private business is private business, and private sin is private sin; but public sin and error, especially that which affects other people, is not private business. Demas had been a public figure and so his apostasy had to be publicly reproved and exposed. What Paul did, and there are many more examples that could be given, is the example and command throughout Scripture, including by Moses, Jeremiah, Peter, John, John the Baptist, Jude, the Lord Himself, and others. Every preacher is commanded to “reprove, rebuke, exhort.” (2 Tim 4:2). This reproof is nowhere limited to a man’s own congregation. Titus was instructed to “speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority” (Ti 2:15). Nowhere does Paul tell him that this ministry was limited to the members of one church. The prophets of old did not have to first go to the nation’s rulers or to the compromising prophets before reproving them publicly. There is no evidence that John the Baptist first talked privately with Herod before condemning his adultery and other sins publicly. Nor did Paul do that with Peter in Gal. 2. He exposed Peter before the entire church at Antioch and then the whole world. Peter’s hypocrisy was a gospel issue, so very dangerous. The sermon he preached was nothing private but completely public, and his error on the gospel is certainly public as well, considering ministry in itself is always public to a degree, but irregardless he has fully publicized his ministry with sermons and church on the world wide web, including gospel presentations there and his dealing with lost people outside of the local church membership is certainly public as well. It makes no difference whether he handles unsaved people in a building called church or out on the street — the idea remains the same and the accountability does not change. This isn't that difficult, but it seems to be, especially when it’s convenient for man-centred politicians behind pulpits.
It’s also hypocritical, for I have no doubt that he has also named names of men or organizations at some point in his life, even if just once or twice (though I could be wrong), without first approaching them. So he just twists the Word of God as it fits his agenda and program?
Speaking to one’s pastor about another pastor perverting Scripture and promoting worldliness and mocking the Bible at a pastors conference in the church I attend is “sowing discord among brethren”? Wow. So Chloe was “sowing discord among brethren” when she told Paul about the issues at the Corinthian Church (1 Cor 1:11)? But then if I had talked to him, I would have been labeled as divisive, trouble-maker, having a critical eye, taking pot-shots, touching the Lord’s anointed, shooting the wounded, and who knows what else. He would know. I address this sort of issue here: Attacking Spiritual Warfare by Misusing Scripture Such As, “Touch Not the Lord’s Anointed.” We see the no-win situation with compromising cultish men, who twist the Scriptures for their own personal agenda. Its an impossible situation, for he cannot appease man-centred lorders over the people. Of course the evidence of that was already there concerning his sermon the “Old Time Religion.” The way he handles scripture (e.g. Matt 18; Pr 6; Jam 2; etc) is disgraceful, privately and without right division (cf. 2 Tim 2:15).
What I'm writing is not difficult. People weaponize the passage “Matt 18,” to use it against the biblical practice of warning about sin, or ungodly living or false teaching. When I name names, I do it only with people who have made something public and most often are unrepentant of their public actions and beliefs. If a pastor’s error and compromise influences other churches, like this unBiblical and ungodly sermon in question certainly could have and might have, those other churches have a very real obligation to reprove him and to warn about him in such a way that their own people are protected. That should have happened but of course it never did and that is because of the horrible compromise that exists in all these “like-minded” “revivalists”-type churches. All peas in a pod; the old boys club. Ignoring sin and error (which they do habitually in their own assemblies) because they are asleep at the wheel or some other nefarious reason—and with primarily one focus and that is keeping the pews full, building an empire and self preservation. That also dovetails with the corrupt gospel.
Those that pervert the teaching of Matt 18 and then malign reproof, and contending for the faith, maligning the one who obeys the Word of God, is a reflection of corruption, and worldly, man-centred beliefs. God’s Word isn’t actually the authority in that place, but the man on the pedestal. As such, they are guilty of “handling the word of God deceitfully;” instead of by “manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.” (2 Cor 4:2).
10. Conner refuses to accept responsibility and accountability for his teachings.
He claims that he has only “One to whom I give account and He is the One I seek to please and honour with my life and ministry,” and though that be partially true, he is shirking the responsibility and accountability of the pastoral office. He wants to honour God with his life and ministry, but how pleasing and honouring is it to God to preach that worldliness is okay, that ungodly and worldly music is okay, that bad movies are okay, that a social justice “gospel” is okay, or leading people into a false gospel with a false assurance making them potentially two-fold children of hell is okay? He has deceived himself. He might be sincere but he is sincerely wrong.
Even if his pious statement were true, that doesn’t mean he isn’t accountable to the congregation he allegedly oversees for what he teaches and preaches in that public arena. If there was no case of earthly accountability, one would have to discard half the Bible. It would hold little practical value. What would be the point of pastoral qualifications? But that is certainly not the case. His ministry is entirely public, accessible by any person in the world on the World Wide Web. He even maintains a blog on that website. He broadcast his services online for anyone in the world to view—even live, “Join us online” it says on the church home page, to whosoever will. He provides a steady stream of archived sermons for the whole world to watch or listen. He maintains a YouTube channel, a Facebook page and a telegram account. He also publishes articles on the heretic Paul Chappell’s Ministry 127 site, also accessible in like manner by whosoever will of the world. His ministry is overwhelmingly public and there is likely more than what is mentioned here. When even just one of these platforms is maintained, his ministry ceases to be merely a local church affair. It becomes a public affair. Even in the area of soul winning, it’s a public affair, if we can call what he does as “soul-winning.” Attempting to lead someone in a quick prayer of 1-2-3 repeat after me, with ZERO repentance or brokenness, or surrender to Jesus Christ as Lord, or carefully going through the Bible with them and asking many questions and patiently teaching, is not Biblical salvation but “another gospel” (Gal 1:8-9) which means he is “accursed.” I believe it would be frightful to know how many people he has made two-fold children of hell.
Modern technology allows pastors to publish their doctrines and practices to a large audience. Whether or not it is his motivation to please all hearers and readers and therefore gain their applause, the audience will give onions as well as orchids. Everywhere we see men lapping up the praise that is lavished on them, but when reproofs are given for their creeds and deeds, they cry “foul” or “trouble-maker.” Isn't it rather strange that this generation of preachers expects to be applauded, but are deeply offended when a critic offers reproofs? Is it not much more reasonable that those who preach and publish and promote their messages in the modern “agora” must welcome reproofs as well as praise? As Solomon said repeatedly in Proverbs, “Wise men receive reproofs.” So it is a fool who doesn’t, while the Bible is clear that both the fool and the reproof-rejector are unsaved.
And where does the Scriptures limit the scope of a born again believers reproof and warning? The servant of Christ (Gal 1:10; Mk 13:34) is instructed to preach the word, “reprove, rebuke, exhort,” to “speak, exhort, and rebuke with all authority,” and “to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints” (2 Tim 4:2; Ti 2:15; Ju 1:3; etc). Where does the Bible say that this ministry can only be performed by a pastor of a church and only to his own congregation? Will he continue to wrest and manipulate these verses out of their meaning, knowing what 2 Pet 3:16-17 declares? Only a compromised man-centred coward would even fathom protesting a person critiquing a sermon that was preached at a national public conference for any number of people to give accolades to. He apparently loves the praise of men but not their critique. Go figure. But he shouldn’t however “love the praise of men more than the praise of God” (Jn 12:43). Rather, he should be as the one who is truly saved, who has been “circumcis[ed] . . . of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” (Rom 2:29).
11. Conner’s neo-evangelical stance of focusing on the messenger and method but not the message.
Why do the questions of man-centred preachers always focus on “identification” and not the message. Their attention is on the means and the messenger but not the most important — the message. If only they dealt with the message, and took it to heart and actually repented over their grievous errors, it would benefit them much much greater than their misplaced man-centred and selfish affections. Can any of these man-centred compromisers show me any place in Scripture where the focus was on the messenger rather than the message? Just the opposite as we read in Phil 1:14-19 for instance. What do they do in their perplexity when they get to the author-less book of Hebrews? Do they skip it, because they are unable to find out who the author is or first examine what church the author belonged to? In old times, men and women used alias’s and pseudonyms very commonly, but men like Conner focus on the messenger. That is tell-tale. The hypocrisy and man-centredness is nauseating.
The proper test of criticism is not to ask dozens of questions about the critic and his motives. The proper test is whether the critic is speaking the truth. Even if the critic is Balaam or Balaam’s ass, if he is speaking the truth you need to to take heed. Period. And I am certainly speaking the truth, both concerning his sermon and his corrupted gospel he preaches and practices. If he wants to vindicate himself, then prove these charges to be untrue. Prove the sermon was actually Biblical by posting it on his website, unedited. Though the gospel he preaches has already been clearly proven to be corrupt based upon the tracts he gives out and how he handles the gospel in dealing with unsaved people, and the presentation on his website (“Heaven”) and sermons on the gospel (including the sermon in question, where he preached a blatant social gospel and left out the true gospel by a long shot)—he should endeavour to find proof to substantiate that he is not preaching a false gospel. I’m not sure how he’ll be able to do that considering the large amount of evidence already stacked against him, or the fact he leaves out or corrupts important aspects of the gospel which results in not only an anemic gospel but also a perverted one. It’s not too difficult to prove this and if he has an honest cell in his body, he would acknowledge it. His only response should be genuine repentance with godly sorrow in sackcloth and ashes for misleading so many people over the years. Has he no fear of God? “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mk 8:36). “God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” (Ac 10:34-35). What does Paul again say about the one who perverts the gospel in Gal 1:8-9? “Let him be accursed.”
An important element of the messenger-focus involves the construction of red herrings, straw man arguments, ad hominem attacks and other logical fallacies, which is lying, bearing false witness. In my initial expose by email, shared with other Baptist pastors who were at the conference, in his response he threatened to reverse the tides and expose me, referencing Rom 16:17. This is disingenuous, especially considering the fact he didn’t address any of my concerns and rather took a passage (Rom 16:17) that was the foundation of my exposure. Additionally, he has never exposed anyone from the pulpit, while there are hundreds of names he should be mentioning — yet, he threatens to expose the one being faithful to God’s Word. Just. Wow. Maybe he is about to make history in his own personal statistics and also for GVBC? Furthermore, a true expose by Mr. Conner should not actually be focused on exposing someone (me) to the “old boys club” but rather to the congregation he allegedly oversees. That would be Biblical. His statement, “I am seriously pondering whether it is you that needs to be “marked” according to Romans 16:17 . . . I will let you know and I will use bpcanada and the 235 men on that list,” reveals A LOT about him; precisely what I have been exposing here (and my letter to him) about the horrible and disgusting man-centredness that runs amuk among “revivalists” type IFB churches today. A true under-shepherd would actually be concerned about protecting the (professing) flock of God, while a Diotrephes man-centred stranger (3 Jn 1:9-11 — who happened to be unsaved, he was “evil” and “he that doeth evil hath not seen God”) would be more concerned about his reputation within the “old boys club.”
His “235 men” don’t bother me. Elijah went up against 400, as did Micaiah — 400 ear-tickling man-centred “prophets.”
Anyone that teaches a false gospel is accursed (Gal 1:6-9) and the “gospel” he preaches is accursed. Paul the apostle warned, including himself,
“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
A rejection of the true gospel and embracement of a false gospel of easy believism and quick prayerism is the primary reason for the massive amounts of false professing believers in IFB churches, and likely many in the leadership as well. But as noted, not only is there a false gospel, there is also a false Jesus, one that is only Saviour but not Lord. This is similarly an attack on the true gospel of Christ, which you can read about here.
Did he have nefarious intentions with his sermon on “Old Time Religion”? I believe the evidence of that is overwhelming. I don’t think it was satire or theatre. Words do have meanings. He said many words that completely contradicted not only the mainstream position of the IFB at the time (though it was in the process of quickly changing) but also the very theme and position of the conference and church he was preaching at. So in other words, he was intentionally creating division and sowing discord. He wanted to make an impact and turn people from “the old paths, where is the good way,” that we are commanded to “walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” (Jer 6:16a). Of note, since there is only one rest in the Bible—the rest we enter in at salvation (Matt 11:28-30; Heb 3:6-4:11)—then those who walk not in the old paths, which is the good way, are obviously unsaved people.
His sermon spoke to what comes after, the last sentence of Jer 6:16 — he said it loud and clear for anyone with ears to hear: “We will not walk therein.”
Pastor Conner’s road is one that leads to apostasy, something I address here: Three Main Stops on the Road to Apostasy. He should give heed to this and stop the leaven from leavening the whole lump (1 Cor 5:6; Gal 5:9). But I won’t be holding my breath. I am a nobody to him and his club, and why change the program when the people keep coming and the coffers keep flowing? Its not God’s favour and pleasure that is pursued but man’s.
I am not the first one who has seen enough and is done with the serious compromise and false gospel being pushed by revivalists type IFB churches that produce false professions by the truck loads and promote their corrupt fruit of heretical churches, as we see with Mr. Conner and his son’s city church (who happened to be one of the members of the GVBC peanut gallery present at the National Preachers Conference in 2011, hipping and hollering like kindergarten children to every erroneous and unorthodox thing pastor Conner stated); and we see further with many of the churches associated with or planted from Lancaster Baptist Church (Paul Chappell) including Chappells son and brother and former staff members like the heretic Carey Schmidt — yet in all this he feels the need to expose me because he doesn’t like it when someone is faithful to scripture in exposing these serious errors. I think his feelings are deceiving him due to the indoctrination and brainwashing by these IFB churches and their monstrous man-centredness. But he is free to do what he feels he need to do, just understand God's eyes are upon the evil and will reward everyman according to his work. But that doesn’t change anything as far as what I am doing, what God has commanded me to do. His unrepentant response with the logical fallacies (which again is a form of lying, bearing false witness, which God hates) and malice, leaves me no choice but to publicly expose him (Rom 16:17: Eph 5:11; Ju 1:3). I will continue to do that here until such a time of genuine and public repentance. This is necessary to stop the mouths of compromisers and false teachers who “subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.” (Ti 1:11).
I would much rather endure the wrath of the entire IFB “old boys club” than keep my mouth shut in the face of the false gospel and other perversion of scripture and other sin that have brought such ruination to churches and reproach to the name of Jesus Christ and delivered countless poor souls into eternal hell fire with a false assurance placed upon them by these deeply compromised men or false teachers.
He should also refrain from playing the victim card. He claims to be okay with what I wrote—even though he said he would expose me on one of the blogs he attends—because these “are the last times.” I agree these are the last days of the last days, and it’s apostasy such as his that reflects this even further (2 Tim 3:1-9; 4:3-4).
What I find shameful, as far as I am aware no one that heard his sermon publicly reproved it. Maybe he is right, there may be many closet hypocrites among the IFB. I don’t know. But what I do know is his sermon was heretical and needs to be exposed, even if a bit late. He was advocating for a "neo-orthodoxy" amongst the IB’s which seems eerily similar to sermons delivered by Billy Graham and Harold Ockenga in the beginning of their ministries on changing the hearts of the people from the truth to a fable. It certainly appeared like he was calling good evil and evil good but has he never read Pr 17:13? “Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.”
I am fully persuaded that men like Gordon Conners do need to repent and believe in the true gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and turn from the false gospel they have embraced. I understand, this might take some serious humbling of self, admitting before a mostly religious crowd that you have been a fake all your life, but isn’t eternity worth it? “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mk 8:36-37). Jesus warned why it is that “few that be saved,” — “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (Lk 13:23-24). Strive to enter in I would say to him. God’s terms of salvation, striving to enter in, is true repentance and faith (Ac 20:21; Mk 1:15), and that involves denying self, give up your life by dying to self (Mk 8:34-35; 10:21-31; Matt 16:24-25; Jn 12:24-25), turning from sin (Ac 3:19; Lk 13:1-5; Rev 9:20-21; 16:9-11; etc), from stuff (Mk 10:21) and from people (Matt 10:32-39; Lk 9:57-62; 14:25-26), surrendering to Jesus Christ as Lord and following Him (Lk 14:25–15:32; Phil 2:10-11) — as all salvation testimonies in Scripture demonstrate. Denying the word of God won’t help you. Jesus wasn’t preaching to lost people how to be better Christians. He was saying these things over and over in the Gospels to the masses of unsaved people (e.g. Matt 10:32-39; 16:24-26; 19:18-30; Mk 8:34-38; 10:17-31; Lk 9:23-26, 57-62; 13:1-5, 23-30; 18:18-30; 19:1-10; Jn 12:24-26; etc). Again, read here on How to be Truly Saved and Have Eternal Life.
Conner, like the Paul Chappells and others of that compromise and heresy flavour, are a fulfilment of whom Paul was warning of in Rom 16:17-18, where I am commanded, even begged (“beseech”) to:
“mark them . . . and avoid them which “cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned.”
“For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”
A shout out to all readers — I would encourage you to do the same. Stop pandering to these false teachers with their false gospel and false practices. Separate. Repudiate. Obey God’s Word. If you care for true conversions and for the souls for which Christ died, then you will. Don’t be deceived for it is deadly dangerous.
Lastly, it bears importance to mention that faithfulness is not predicated upon a positive response from dull and uncircumcised ears or disobedient ears. One's motivation to obey the Word of God is not dependent upon whether someone likes a warning or expose or not, or whether they will respond positively or not. I’m not trying to cozy up to compromised men or worse, false teachers and wolves in sheep’s clothing. The idea is to warn about them, not buddy up to them, with the hope they will repent (Jam 5:19-20). Nor is my concern the feelings of false teachers or heretics, but rather the poor souls that are being deceived (Rom 16:18; 2 Pet 2:2). Marking someone and avoiding someone (Rom 16:17) is required because God requires it; not only for the truth's sake and God's glory but also because of the people that might come in contact with his teachings.
The Bible emphasizes the importance of the ministry of reproof. The terms “reprove, reproof, rebuke, exhort” are found nearly 60 times in the NT. We are to “reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Tim 4:2). I am to “speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority” (Ti 2:15).
“Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.” (Ps 119:127-128)