Friday, July 19, 2013

What About Bob?

This past week, a close friend asked me to listen to Robert Morris of Gateway Church in the Dallas area and give my thoughts.  Here's my response:

I've done a lot of on-line research of Robert Morris by listening to his sermons, reviewing his website, and reading about the books he has written.  I can say without a doubt that I would never recommend his books or sermons, nor would I sit in his church or satellite group.  He does say some truthful things, but it is laced with false doctrine.  His smooth style is very dangerous, and I consider him a false prophet like Joel Osteen; even if you only eat food with just a little bit of poison it will eventually kill you.

First, as part of his Alpha Summit conference line-up, he has teamed up with Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Church and Perry Noble of Newspring Chruch.  Both of these pastors are part of the seeker-driven movement and have successfully woven in liberalism and other deceptive teachings into their churches.

Second, in his sermon entitled "The Miracle of Meditation" from 12/19/2009, he reads Joshua 1:8 and states that if you meditate on God's word day and night, then you will prosper and have success in your family, relationships, health, finances, every area, etc.  This is a perversion of the prosperity gospel, and it is not biblical.  Joshua 1 and Psalm 1 are talking about the spiritual prosperity of the believer, not temporal or earthly prosperity.  In John 16:33, Jesus explicitly tells his disciples that they will have tribulation in this life.  

Third, in his book The Blessed Life, he states that tithing will bring guaranteed financial results and change every area of your life.  During his 05/21/11 sermon on tithing, Robert Morris issues a money-back guarantee on tithing and says that Christians must tithe to avoid divorce and losing their kids and jobs to the devourer; the curse must be removed by tithing.  There are so many problems with this statement, but at a minimum, that money is not "his" to give back; it is a tithe to the Lord, not to Robert Morris.  His teaching on tithing is blatantly false and unbiblical.  Tithing was instituted before the Mosaic law with Melchizedek & Abraham in Genesis 14:18-20 and reiterated in Matt. 23:23.  Tithing is not part of a covenant (if you do this, God promises this); it's a command for Christians to obey regardless of circumstances or outcome.

As an aside, what do you tell the Christian who reads and meditates on the Bible and/or tithes and is suddenly diagnosed with terminal cancer?  What about the Christian who meditates and tithes, but loses his job, or his wife, or his kids?  Or what about the "Christian" person who does not read the Bible and/or tithe, but is rich by the world standards and has it all?  How does he explain the prosperity of the wicked in the world today?  Robert Morris preaches a works-based salvation.  He is teaching a false gospel because Jesus is not enough for the believer; the believer must do his part too.  In addition, Robert Morris does not preach through the Bible book-by-book, verse-by-verse.  You can see from his sermon series titles that he selects a topic and then picks the Bible verses to support his series and books; this practice allows him to subtly distort what the Bible says.

Fourth, in his book The Power of Words, he shows how God blesses your life through the words you speak.  This is very similar to Osteen's book, I Declare.  Both of these books contain teaching that sounds more like witchcraft and not Christianity.  There is no verse in the Bible which says our words have any power to create.  Only Jesus can create by the power of His word, (Heb. 1:3).

Fifth, he allows Michele Cohen to preach in his pulpit which is forbidden in 1 Tim. 2:12.  Women are not to preach or teach men spiritual truths.  They should not be pastors, or Adult Sunday School teachers, or Bible conference speakers, or Christian TV show hosts.  In addition, I'm very uncomfortable with the title of Jewish Ministries Pastors for Geoffrey & Michele Cohen at Gateway Church.  From the Gateway website Geoffrey Cohen's greatest experience with God is seeing Jesus in Jerusalem.  I don't know what he means by this, but if he claims to have seen a vision of Jesus, that is blasphemous, (Exod. 20:4-5).  Christians do not have visions, or hear God speaking to them audibly or directly to their heart.  God speaks to believers through his word alone.  I also believe their ministry focus on Israel and Jews is misguided; "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus," (Gal. 3:38).

Bottom line, if you continue to sit under the teaching of Robert Morris, I won't be much help to you because I will continue to contradict him (and vice versa).  Therefore, I recommend that you get rid of ALL Robert Morris' books & sermon CDs and delete his sermon app.  It's that serious because "a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump," (Gal. 5:9).  I do not plan to listen to anymore of his sermons or read anymore excerpts from his books.  Spiritually, it's very dangerous to knowingly listen and/or read false doctrine (1 Tim. 6:3-5).

Right now, I suggest that you start strengthening your assurance of salvation and knowledge of the Bible.  Dr. Don Green has a great sermon series on 1 John which started in 2012.  His sermon topics include the marks of a true christian, the Christian assurance of salvation, and the principles of sanctification.  He is the pastor of Truth Community Fellowship in Petersburg, KY, and his sermons are also available in iTunes.  I don't agree with everything Dr. Green says because he is not a proponent of the KJV and prefers the modern versions.  He preaches from the NASB, and if you decide not to read the KJV, then I would recommend the NKJV or the NASB over the NLT.

Renewing Your Mind with R.C. Sproul is another good series for Christian teaching (it is also available in iTunes).  The lectures are short, powerful, and biblical.  Again, I don't agree with everything that R.C. Sproul preaches because he is Presbyterian and believes in paedobaptism (baby baptism), while I believe in credobaptism (believer's baptism).  Even so, this is a great place to start; his website has many good resources (books, articles, & CDs).

It's difficult to find a church where you are in total agreement; however, as long as there's no false doctrine being preached, then it's just a matter of where you fit in the best in a local body of believers.

I know that all this information is shocking to you, but please make it a matter of serious prayer:  "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ," (Col. 2:8).

P.S. You didn't ask, but I would also advise you to get rid of the Jimmy Evans book too.  Evans joined with Creflo Dollar at The Gathering Conference last week; Dollar is a prosperity gospel preacher who preaches that we are little gods because we are made in the image of God (which is complete blasphemy).  Evans promotes the unbiblical "have your best marriage now" philosophy.  However, marriage is a picture of Jesus and His church, (Eph. 5:32).  The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, not to have a good marriage.  The Bible does not promise a marriage that "works", and Evans' guarantee of a satisfying, dream relationship is similar to Robert Morris' work-based mentality--if you do this, then God is obligated to do this; this concept is not biblical and is deceptively dangerous to the believing Christian.

(Please see my follow-up article to this post.)