Sunday, August 9, 2015

Hall of Fame

I'm still stirred up over Charisma Magazine's honoring of the 40 church leaders who they say radically changed the world. They were a bit off -- the majority changed the church for the worse and had little or no impact on the world whatsoever.

Charisma had a similar article back in the year 2000, honoring Christian leaders whose pictures were featured on the cover of their magazine. The feature article was celebrating their 25 year anniversary. As you can see from my response to that article, some of the same movers and shakers were on both lists. Their lists should be the Hall of Shame. [ ]

I'd like to honor a list of Christian leaders who are worthy of the distinction. How I wish that the LORD would raise up more like these. For some on my list, changing the world was not their aim, but being set apart from the world and bearing the reproach of Christ was their legacy.

1. Dave Hunt -- His book The Seduction of Christianity opened the eyes of countless believers to the nature of deception coming into the church. He documented the sources of those evil influences and helped those with eyes to see avoid pitfalls of satanic traps.

2. Walter Martin -- His ministry assisted so many people in helping to get loved ones out of destructive cults. He was bold in his witness to Christ and his encouragement to others to learn how to defend the faith. He is famous for his pet verse: Jude 3 -- it was even on his personal car's license plate.

3 Chuck Smith - the founder of Calvary Chapel -- the LORD used his voice and father-like love of God's hippie children to teach the Bible verse-by-verse to baby Christian who were hungry for God's Word. He fed them and because of his ministry God raised up many teaching voices. The nearness of the LORD's return was front and center at all the CCs in its heyday as the signs of the times were so evident during that last great revival.

4. J. Vernon McGee -- the funny accented man on the radio who consistently taught the Bible in a style all his own. He spoke out against the evils of the world with boldness, but with deep insights and biblical application.

5. Hal Lindsey -- Despite personal failings, no other man since the Apostle Paul heralded the soon return of the LORD as he did. His book, The Late Great Planet Earth, had a tremendous impact on the church and even on the world as he put eschatology into modern man's lingo so all could understand the truth of the times we are in.

6. John MacArthur, like him or not, has been a powerful representative of the church on programs such as the Larry King Show, taking on the new agers and false teachers to their faces. He also has been a mainstay on the radio for decades and his mega-church and seminary are still educating many.

7. David Breese, former host of the weekly broadcast, The King is Coming, loved the LORD and it showed. His little books like The Marks of a Cult and His Infernal Majesty were so helpful in understanding the wiles of the enemy. He is missed.

8. David Wilkerson -- A Pentecostal power preacher and founder of Times Square Church, he seemed tireless in his exhortations to his listeners to serve the LORD without compromise and he never shrank from pointing out false teachings in the church and reproving and rebuking those who were bringing in deception. His sermon, Pillow Prophets, is a classic.

9. Joni Eareckson Tada, a quad­riplegic since the age of 17 after a car accident, has been encouraging suffering believers for decades. She is an inspiration to those who are going through difficult situations and her ministry touches countless needy souls.

10. Jacob Prasch, a teacher with a Hebraic lineage has helped many to understand the big picture of God's purpose for creating man, tying in the Old Testament with the New to see how all of Scripture connects together into a seamless whole. His zeal against false teaching and false prophets in the church has steered many out of dangerous groups.

I'm not saying these individuals were flawless - but their impact on the health of the church was unmatched by any in Charisma's roster.

"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them." - Heb 11:13-16

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