Oh, did I type that outloud?
My heart aches. It’s just broken… to tears.
I understand why, back in the days of the Bible men would rip their clothing… I understand sack cloth and ashes… I feel the pain of the people. And the worst part is that I just left church.
It is not a good day…. It is not a good feeling. It is not “happy.”
But if it were up to pastor Travis Hearn, he would have me believe that I should be “happy,” all the time. “Because I know God” and according to his perception of Mathew 5 (the Beatitudes) “Christians should… always… be happy…. always…”
According to this latest Heretic we have witnessed in our church hoping/interviewing across Arizona…. we have been introduced to this man… Who stands behind a pulpit of a very fast growing church and proclaims a “feel good, not your fault – saved by the grace of… well, your good attitude,” and proclaims that “Christians should be happy all the time.”
Hearn goes on to declare that Matthew 5 (The Beatitudes) states that we will be happy if we:
“Know God.” (v. 3). … Hmmmm… Satan knows God, Paul knew God, Stephen knew God. Job knew God. I know God… Jesus knew God – suppose it was a “happy day” as He hung on that cross? When His own disciples argued with him at the grave of Lazarus and He “wept,” I guess those were “happy tears?”
The verse actually says “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
For anyone other than Hearn, who understands the fact that the Bible was written in three different languages and sometimes needs an exegetical study…. that phrase “poor in spirit” means to have a “Poor and Contrite spirit” which further means those who know and understand that they are sinners who grieve the spirit of the Holy and Almighty God – and they fall on their face – and repent (turn from their sin… do 180) Those people…. That very few… who literally mourn their sin – will be with Him – Jesus Christ – eternally as He is the Kingdom of Heaven.
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
“That all should reach repentance” is a far cry from Hearn’s hope that “all will go to heaven.” As a matter of fact, you would have to dismiss the scripture that explicitly states the fate of those who do not repent:
“And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them” (Rom. 1:28-32).
Using the Beatitudes to declare Christians to simply “Don’t worry – be happy” is revolting to say the least – Blasphemy. Blessed in no way means happy. Of course you can be joyful – totally different that is a state of the heart that results in a attitude of thanksgiving because of faith. It is knowing that after you suffer the heartaches, pains, trials and tribulations of this hateful, demonic world… not to mention your very own sanctification of the Holy and Mighty God you serve…. Then, and only then will you get to spend eternity with Christ – absolutely… but that is joy an everlasting contentment which is NOT to be confused with happiness which is simply put a very temporal feeling that is explained in Ephesians:
… No longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” (Eph. 4:14).
But according to Travis Hearn the lead pastor of Arizona’s Impact Church- where the word sin is simply NOT mentioned, just a brief couple of jokes about how we are all “messed up,” we are reminded by the BS in Communications… “teacher” of this flock, that it is really not our fault… as we have a sinful nature that causes us to do “stupid things.”
BS? BA? I prefer BS, myself…
Wow. That’s exciting. It is not one bit true… but I can see where it’s exciting – it makes you feel good…. Right? Well, it is not truth – so don’t get too excited.
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Tim. 4:3-4).
For 3 ½ years, this man… who has absolutely no theological training whatsoever, who is nothing more than a communications grad with friends in the NBA and NFL has started another feel good – Joel Osteen movement that he spent the first 20 minutes of the “sermon” informing us of their fabulous, energetic staff and the fact that they have 4 services, and last week had an attendance of 2098 people, and have added 300 new people to their congregation in the last 12 months.
At the end of this 20 minute interlude, Travis concluded: “I’m feeling really good about myself right now.”
Wow… I think I threw up a little in my mouth.
“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words” 2 Peter 2:1-3.
God doesn’t care about how many butts are in your pew Mr. Hearn.
The whole prelude to the “sermon” was that he wanted to make sure that everyone knew that he was taking steps to insure that HE could be available to everyone who attended the church (because they didn’t come to hear the other preachers… ah teachers- whatever they are)… and therefore, in order to allow the church to grow… and for him to still be a dad at home, Hearn went on to state that he needed to take the same steps in order to be like that of: Craig Groeschel (founder and senior pastor of LifeChurch.tv), who is the pastor of what is considered to be the largest church in the United States and has fifteen locations in five states… Therefore, Impact needed to be like them – and if that means having 15 services so be it…. So….
Get ready for it…
There is nothing new under the sun…
Basically he’s going to do video feeds of himself as to appease the masses and instead of “Make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit…I’m with you always….” Blah, blah, blah….. Where is the disciple makers? Oh yeah the Bible… well, we already discussed the fact that he does not understand how to read his….
Somehow I don’t believe that Paul opted to disciple people because video feed was not available… Now, I could be wrong…. But I really don’t think so. Disciple is a verb! It is a minister for Christ. It is a good news preacher. It is a missionary wherever you are in all that you do, “you do it for Christ,” It is someone who “walks worthy of the manner in which they are called,” and we are called to be disciples and to make disciples and to teach and preach – not to be a “one man show.”
Pretty soon they will have bouncy houses and photo-booths to have your picture taken with Mr. Hearn… OH WAIT… That’s Mark Driscoll’s harem of churches…. (With the exception of the fact that the doctrine of Mars Hill is spot on…. Driscoll’s theatrics and bum-fuzzled illustrations- yeah…. not so much).
“There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 16b-17a).
People are going to hell. I cannot believe that this is my world that I live in… I cannot believe that Christians everywhere are not outraged!
I’m just literally sick. Did I mention that Hearn is in charge of his daughter’s athletic tryouts – He scheduled the event on Sunday (He was almost late for the earliest service). And that he is the Chaplain for the Phoenix Suns- that’s outrageous and a shame!
So… we’re back on the hunt for a doctrinal sound Bible-believing Christ-centered church without the theatrics of the “one man show,” who is simply interested in making disciples….
Good lordy! Where have they all gone to?!
Holly T. Ashley is a speaker and writer. Together with her husband David Ashley, they own/operate Cross Strength Ministries
To book Holly or David to speak at your next event please go to the contact us page.