While reading 1 Samuel chapter 15, I was struck with the similarities between King Saul of Israel and today’s leaders in the church. The leaders I am here referring to aren’t from the obviously apostate denominations, but those who are extolled and embraced by the evangelical church. The correspondence between King Saul and evangelical church leaders can be seen in the incomplete obedience rendered to God by both. On the part of Saul that incomplete obedience was his failure to completely annihilate the Amalekites and their livestock. He and his men saved the best of the livestock to offer to God, and spared the life of Agag the king. It was shortly after Saul’s disobedience that the Lord came to Samuel.
But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed. Now the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying, “I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.” And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the Lord all night. So when Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul, it was told Samuel, saying, “Saul went to Carmel, and indeed, he set up a monument for himself; and he has gone on around, passed by, and gone down to Gilgal.” Then Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the Lord! I have performed the commandment of the Lord.” But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?” And Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to the Lord your God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.” Then Samuel said to Saul, “Be quiet! And I will tell you what the Lord said to me last night.” And he said to him, “Speak on.” So Samuel said, “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the Lord anoint you king over Israel? “Now the Lord sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ “Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the Lord?” And Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me, and brought back Agag, king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” So Samuel said: “Has the Lord, as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.” 1 Samuel 15:9-23
Saul lost the kingdom because of his disobedience. Evangelical leaders miss bringing the lost into the kingdom because of their disobedience, a much more devastating loss.
Well known evangelical leaders have disobeyed the Lord in that they are unwilling to stand up for the truth of God’s Word the Bible irrevocably and unapologetically. They bring a mixed message to the church and the lost. They confound the truth of God’s Word with the opinions of men. They refuse to expose those who are extremely popular with evangelicals as the false teachers and apostates that they are. It is impossible to highlight each and every leader who is erring in this fashion here, but it is possible to point out one well known evangelical leader as an example of what the many are doing. This very popular “Bible teacher” who refuses to expose popular false teachers is John MacArthur. In a recent publication Hard to Believe MacArthur warned against those who teach that people can be saved without conscious faith in Christ, while at the same time favorably quoting a heretic who taught the very same thing. MacArthur quoted C. S. Lewis at least three times from Mere Christianity in which Lewis says some “fuzzy things” regarding saving faith.
“Here is another thing that used to puzzle me. Is it not frightfully unfair that this new life should be confined to people who have heard of Christ and been able to believe in Him? But the truth is God has not told us what His arrangements about the other people are. We do know that no man can be saved except through Christ; we do not know that only those who know Him can be saved through Him.” (page 64, Mere Christianity) “There are people in other religions who are being led by God’s secret influence to concentrate on those parts of their religion which are in agreement with Christianity, and who thus belong to Christ without knowing it. For example, a Buddhist of good will may be led to concentrate more and more on the Buddhist teaching about mercy and to leave in the background (though he might still say he believed) the Buddhist teaching on certain other points. Many of the good Pagans long before Christ’s birth may have been in this position.” (page 209, Mere Christianity).
Lewis is intimating that unbelievers can be saved without conscience faith in Jesus Christ in the first quote, directly contradicting the Bible, and then says flatly that people from other religions can belong to Christ without knowing it because they believe some things that are in agreement with the Bible, saying that idolaters can be saved. Again, both of these statements directly contradict what the Bible has to say about salvation.
“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” & Romans 10:9-11 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confessions is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” Acts 4:12
I find it hard to believe that MacArthur had no idea that Lewis wrote these anti-biblical, anti-faith beliefs in his famous work Mere Christianity that also directly contradict MacArthur’s assertion that we must have conscious faith in Christ to be saved. By supporting the false teacher C. S. Lewis, MacArthur is rendering incomplete obedience to God, which God condemns in no uncertain terms likening it to the practice of witchcraft, iniquity, and idolatry. As one who is supposed to guard the flock of God, he is sending mixed messages that confuse and lead astray.
“Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.” Acts 20:28-31
There are many who have espoused a Protestant view of faith that later rejected that faith to embrace Catholicism based upon the writings of C. S. Lewis. He was and is a dangerous false teacher who leads many, many astray with his worldly view of faith in Jesus Christ. John MacArthur isn’t the only popular “Bible teacher” who favorably quotes C. S. Lewis, there are many others who do the same. Could it be these evangelical leaders are more interested in the monuments they have built for themselves than the mission that God has called them to? If so, then like Saul, God rejects them as leaders because the corrupting influence of giving credence to false teachers has so infected the church as to render it no longer of use to God Almighty for His work of redeeming a people for Himself, zealous for good deeds.
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you. Titus 2:11-15
As those who love the Lord and desire to serve and please Him we must stand up for the truth, reject the lie, and expose those who are apostates, false teachers, liars, and compromisers, warning others to be on their guard. We must demand leaders who are completely loyal to Jesus Christ and His Word, the Bible. May Christ empower us in this dark and difficult time.
Here is a link that gives expose’s of many evangelical leaders. http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/exposes/
Here is a link that further exposes the hypocrisy of evangelical leaders towards C. S. Lewis