Saturday, February 25, 2012

Finally…Does the Bible Really Say… Part 3

Trollip sends out a confusing message regarding Christian redemption and praying according to God’s will in the final part of his series: “Does the Bible really say…” despite giving a good account against prolific teachers of the Word of Faith movement such as Kenneth Hagin, Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copel.

The focus is on “health and healing” as perceived by the Word of Faith movement and what the Bible says about it. The sermon shed light on three passages in the Bible, which are misunderstood by the Faith movement. They are Matthew 16:19, Galatians 3:13 and Isaiah 53:5.

You know, there are a few other Scriptures I wanna share with you... just to prepare us... uhm, and to sensitize us to how.. you know, Scriptures can be... misunderstood/ misrepresented. And how we can also fall into those traps if we do not read, you know the word of God carefully and deeply. Okay? And seek to understand what it really says. I want to share three other Scriptures that are favoured to punt, to push the "health and wealth" gospel.

  • Neil Trollip, Does the Bible Really Say… Part 3, February 19, 2012

  • Addressing the faults regarding the Word of Faith’s interpretation of Galatians 3:13 the Christian message of redemption is not accurately conveyed by Trollip. Here, Trollip perceives redemption “has to do with righteousness before God through entering into the life of Christ.” A very peculiar statement, to say the least.

    You know, redemption in Galatians... uhm, has to do with one thing only. Redemption has to do with righteousness before God through entering into the life of Christ. Now that is the context of the Scripture.
  • Neil Trollip, Does the Bible Really Say… Part 3, February 19, 2012

  • What does Trollip mean whose righteousness before God?

    Who enters into the life of Christ?

    Man – there is no escaping this conclusion after listening to the audio statement by Trollip.

    The context of righteousness in the Scripture concerning redemption points to Christ, not man.

    But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came from Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. ../. To those who through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:

  • Romans 3:21-24 / 2 Peter 1:1 (NIV)

  • What prompts Trollip to make such a statement?

    Interestingly, Trollip will agree whole heartedly that God will not pardon a sinner based on the sinner’s own righteous acts.

    However, Trollip will agree according to his disciple doctrine.

    A disciple-to-be (a sinner) before getting baptized (saved*) should fulfil the right things (repentance + discipleship) before God. * The Church of Christ, ICOC and ICC subscribe to baptismal regeneration – one is saved only at the point of getting immersed in water.

    Adherents of the ICOC/ICC* claim today, as in the past, that forgiveness comes through faith plus repentance, faith plus discipleship, faith plus baptism. * ICOC Co-operational Churches (ICOC) & International Christian Churches (ICC)

    It’s quite a thing to say ‘watch-out for other church groups doctrinal mistakes’ while falling “into those traps” of misunderstanding and misrepresenting Scripture.

    The former ICOC accurately defined redemption at least in theory despite relying on a work-related salvation, teaching a would-be disciple should become a disciple first before getting baptised.

    Tom Jones’s, thirteen-week study guide called Deep Convictions accurately describes Christian redemption: “Removing someone from a state of slavery and putting them in the state of freedom. In our case we were delivered from slavery to [sic] sin (Colossians 1:14).” Jones surely meant “delivered from slavery of sin? Even so, in the case of the former ICOC teachings we see a total disregard for the doctrine of justification by faith alone.

    Redemption is God’s work, not man’s. God paid the penalty for man’s sins through the sacrificial death of Jesus.

    Finally, Trollip links his conversion story in order to illustrate that “God used my physical sickness to make me turn to Him.” Meaning God was glorified through Trollip’s illness!

    Now, it is important to say, we should always respect people’s conversion stories. The same applies here. However, Trollip unfortunately made his conversion story central to countering Word of Faith teaching. Here, Trollip uses his sickness, while contrasting his condition with expectations and views by the Faith movement, which teaches people that they have the ability to manipulate the faith-force and become prosperous in all areas of life – even illness.

    What makes this account disturbing is the rationalization that it is God’s will for Christians in the ICOC to pray a prayer asking God to humble certain individuals in order for them to become saved. Trollip’s conversion seems no different.

    Let me share with you my story. And those of you ... uhm, who have been here a while know that I can relate my conversion story in twenty different ways... uhm, but it is the same story. You know in my mid-30s, I have experienced poor health. To put it lightly. Uhm,you know I suffered from high-anxiety syndrome for a few years, It was brought on by a very busy schedule at work. Uhm, bad relationships at work, with family... uhm, all over really. And I fought with God in those days. A number of men tried to study the bible with me... uhm, but I was not very responsive. Now my health deteriorated. And one day, I was rushed to hospital with a suspected heart-attack. My blood pressure was 180/120. I had pains all over my chest. My heart felt like it was pumping here somewhere up my throat. I just felt terrible. Uhm, luckily I didn't had a heart-attack or if I did it was a minor one. But they add me on ECG and all the specialists around me, monitoring me. It was a shock. You know to put it lightly. You know, I realize now that God was putting me through those testing times. To humble me and make me turn to Him. You know, which I eventually did. I was baptized in November 1996. And only afterwards, did I learn that Noeleen was praying... I don't know for how long, probably for a few years that God would humble me. That God would do whatever it took. That He would take away from me, whatever He needed to take away to help soften my heart. That's a brave prayer to pray for someone you love, hey? And I must admit, I wasn't very fired-up when I heard this when I was a disciple. For a while I thought. Mmm-ja, I don't know quite how to respond to this. But... you know I quickly realized that Noeleen did the right thing. Now, if Noeleen was under the influence of the Faith movement, the Positive Confession movement. She would have been confidently claiming my healing. You know, "in the Name of the Lord," she would have been claiming Neil would have been healed. What is God more interested in? What was God more interested in? God was far more interested in me being humble, getting convicted, repenting. That was God's interest in me. Thank goodness and I thank God for that. God was far less interested in my physical health. God used my physical sickness to make me turn to Him. Okay? So that... Noeleen's prayer was absolutely aligned with the will of God. If Noeleen was praying and praying that I would get well - I'm sure she did that as well, but if that was her only prayer she was praying that I would get physically well... I might not would have turned to God. Right? I needed that sickness. You know, and it took years to recover. I needed that to humble me and make me turn to God. You know God can and does use anything He needs to use to encourage us to reach out to Him including sickness.

  • Neil Trollip, Does the Bible Really Say… Part 3, February 19, 2012

  • Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    Does Trollip Really Mean What He Says?

    It is a much more relaxed Neil Trollip addressing his second sermon in a three part series: What Does the Bible Say… The previous sermon Trollip admitted to his audience feeling a bit nervous because of the topic. Here, in Part Two we find a more determined speaker that gracefully tackles issues pertaining to the Word of Faith movement.

    Go here, to compare what others say about the Word of Faith movement regarding Trollip’s second address.

    Part two contrasts sharply with the previous talk.

    Previously, Trollip exposed a local radio station – Radio King Fisher, whom he thought to be “infiltrated by the Word of Faith doctrine.” This time, Trollip from the onset made it very clear that he is not about knocking a particular church or movement. And he kept his word. Well, at least we know his intentions are to expose the teachings of the Word of Faith movement. Trollip made use of video and audio clips to demonstrate particular points about the Word of Faith.
    All right, good morning again and welcome! I see a few new faces. If you are visiting then you are our special guests. Uhm… We continue today with the series called: Does the Bible Really Say… And last week I’ve introduced the Word of Faith movement. Also called the Faith movement and the Positive Confession movement. And I just want to reiterate that… uhm… I’m not referring to a particular church or group of churches in the series. Instead we are looking at a set of beliefs that is present to a greater or lesser degree in many churches. So it’s not about knocking a particular church or movement.
  • Neil Trollip, Does the Bible Really Say… Part 2, February 12, 2012

  • Trollip has mentioned twice to his audience, particularly members of this church not only engage intellectually but also to really dig deep and test and question what you really belief about God and His promises.
    And my intention with the series is not only to inform us and to equip us to teach and help others… uhm… but is also to encourage us to do an honest self-evaluation of what we really believe about the nature of God and the nature of His promises… uhm, and His desires for His people. So I encourage you, not only to engage intellectually but also to use the opportunity to really dig deep and test and question what you really believe about God and His promises.

  • Neil Trollip, Does the Bible Really Say… Part 2, February 12, 2012

  • Which brings us to our point of commentary: Does Trollip really mean what he says? Here we are not questioning Trollip's sermon, per say, but we are perplexed – again, about what Trollip is trying to achieve by asking the audience to make an honest self-assessment of ones beliefs about God and His promises?

    It seems that Trollip desires that this group should think clearly and critically about complex ecclesiastical principles, forms or practices, not only in other movements but much closer to home. Does Trollip really mean what he says? Does he mean only checking out faults in other churches, like the Word of Faith movement whilst ignoring ICOC issues? Surely our bibles teach, “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matt 7:2) Surely Trollip meant what he said.

    What if a single member or a big group of the sisters, who make up approximately 66% of the Port Elizabeth congregation do develop critical thinking skills. What if they start breaking out of the mould of the relativistic thinking they encounter within the group? What if they discover what happened to the Indianapolis Church of Christ led by Ed Powers in 1994? How would the ICOC Co-operation Churches in South Africa react? Will they too pay attention to Trollip’s words in this sermon “to really dig deep and test and question what you really believe about God”?

    We all know that what has taken Trollip more than a year to study is readily available at the click of our fingers. Many have dealt with most of the issues pointed out by Trollip concerning the Word of Faith movement as illustrated with the link above. Similarly others have dealt with the doctrines of the ICOC. Surely, if Trollip continues with this line of preaching he might entice everyone to investigate the teachings of the ICOC. Not only from a one-side point of view, but also start listening to former brothers and sisters who left the group with their concerns about the ICOC contradictions and inconsistencies of beliefs.

    The call for discernment should not paralyse the quest to investigate one’s own doctrinal beliefs.

    Have any of these ‘truths’ and ‘absolutes’ become prevalent in your church group's set of beliefs after making the Bible your standard with the help of your church study guide, which prescribes the following convictions.

    One-on-one discipleship relationships is God’s will because it is based on ‘one-another’ passages found in the New Testament, teaching to become first a disciple before getting baptised, dating and marrying only members associated to this particular group, confessing your inner-most thoughts and sins to a ‘discipler’ in this particular group, personal decisions should be discussed with a ‘discipler’ in this particular group, attending only worship services and meetings in this particular group, contributing sacrificially time, energy, resources only to this particular group, learning to become and remain evangelistic every waking hour, reading without discretion any literature pertaining to this particular group, whilst judging others not affiliated with your group, persecution is slander and negative talk about your group by others like the media who don’t understand and appreciate your doctrine – to be expected because Jesus was persecuted, making this particular family group more important than your own family, telling or understanding in your heart your family and friends are lost because they’re not a disciple = Christian = saved as taught by this particular group, telling or understanding in your heart your family and friends are lost because they’re not baptised in this particular family group, telling or understanding in your heart your family and friends are lost because they don’t worship in this particular family group, you’re teaching and believing you may never leave this particular group otherwise you go to hell, you’re teaching and believing other churches who don’t baptise people are lost, you’re teaching and believing if we continue to sin we leave Jesus on the cross, you’re teaching and believing the idea of faith is a way to support God in achieving His plans (emunah).

    If you follow at least one of these ‘truths’ and ‘absolutes’ as part of your belief system listen to your own preacher’s encouragement. You should dig deeper, test and question it.

    Does Trollip really say such a person should dig deeper?

    Does Trollip really say such a person should put it to test?

    Does Trollip really say to question it?

    Yes he did!

    So I encourage you, not only to engage intellectually but also to use the opportunity to really dig deep and test and question what you really believe about God and His promises.

  • Neil Trollip, Does the Bible Really Say… Part 2, February 12, 2012

  • The bible teaches: "Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses" 2 Co 13:1 NIV and "Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes', and your 'No', 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one." Matt 5:37 NIV

    We at icoccommentary ask will Trollip continue unabated with such line of questions encouraging openness? Or will the Taliaferros and Renton's pull the plug? Only time will tell.

    Yes, you can! Weigh-up the scales by clicking here.

    Saturday, February 11, 2012

    Does the Bible Really Say… Part 1

    Neil Trollip has been leading the Port Elizabeth Church of Christ in South Africa since 2008, after Rod Fick, the group’s former evangelist, took his own life in November 2007. The internal church politics of 2007 undoubtedly led to Fick’s illness and subsequent suicide, which later prompted members of four families of this church to relocate to Perth, Australia. Nowadays this church group supports the ‘anti-McKean faction’ better known as the ICOC Co-operational Churches (ICOC).

    The Port Elizabeth Church of Christ during the month of February will reflect on “some of the teachings and the doctrine” of the Word of Faith movement in order to find out if it is biblically sound. For some background about the Word of Faith movement go here.

    Trollip has developed a three-part critique. He admitted in his first opening address that the topic makes him feel “slightly nervous.” The three part series is called “Does the Bible Really Say…” He even admitted detecting elements of the Word of Faith belief system in “our movement of churches” referring to the ICOC.

    Neil Trollip spent more than a year studying material about the Faith movement’s beliefs that according to his own words are “subtle, seeping and cause compromise.” The goal of his series is to inform the Port Elizabeth Church of Christ about the Word of Faith movement and the belief system that underpins it. He hopes to equip his church group through the series he developed as to what the bible actually says. Trollip hopes the series will challenge his group to look critically for signs of subtle or perhaps not so subtle Word of Faith beliefs and attitudes amongst members of the Port Elizabeth Church of Christ.

    Perhaps the upside of Trollip’s first message, which he professes to bring “in a way that is full of truth and grace” signalled to members to think for themselves. More so to “test” their “own belief system about God.”
    You know, please let not these lessons only improve your head knowledge. Please let these lessons encourage you personally. To test your own belief system about God. And your expectations… your expectations that you have as a Christian. Your expectations of life as a Christian against the truth of the Scriptures.
  • Neil Trollip, Does the Bible Really Say… Part I, February 5, 2012

  • Trollip dropped a bombshell at the end of Part I. He exposed heresies of the Word of Faith movement that allegedly have infiltrated all kinds of popular Christian media. A local Christian radio station – Radio King Fisher is named and shamed. According to Trollip this radio station is infiltrated by Word of Faith doctrine. Popular Christian Book Shops like CUM Books “best selling authors teach Word of Faith doctrine.” People receiving devotional downloads on their cell phones are at risk because Faith movement agents mostly sponsor the content. People should be careful when watching the Faith movement’s popular Christian T.V network – Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN).

    The definitive downside came in the closing statements of Trollip’s sermon in Part I. Here, Trollip relies on a typical interrogation tactic often used knowingly or not by ICOC preachers. He asks many rapid questions, one after another. The idea is to follow through with a burst of several questions at once, before the audience has the chance to begin to answer even the first. People holding a position of authority very commonly do it. Even mothers make use of such ‘interrogation tactics.’

    ‘Do you realize what time it is? Where have you been? Who was with you? Why didn’t you call me? Where are your shoes?

    This effect produces increases in stress through cognitive loading (the mental act or process through which knowledge is acquired, including perception, intuition and reasoning) and emotional pressure. Persons on the receiving end have no time to complete the answer before another question and another affects their need for completion, thus increasing their stress levels.

    A small child might be overwhelmed after such ‘interrogation’ and will simply cry. Often a mother will react quickly by deflating the levels of anxiety reassuring the child of her love. In the worst scenario she might say: “Go to your room!”

    In the same way, a preacher using such drastic tactics deflates the level of anxiety created by the rapid-fire questions by telling his audience what he thinks about the questions, thus sharing his own convictions on the matter. Hence, excluding anyone to investigate the matters further. The pulpit is often viewed as a sort of position of authority in churches. Members of the ICOC have a high regard for ICOC leadership. (He 13:17) The heightened tensions of fear and guilt experienced by the audience like the example of the mother-and-child last only for a moment, but in the long run this is effective in instilling an inner doctrine particularly suited for the particular needs within the church group.

    The call for discernment by Trollip has become an inner doctrine (something shared only to the group) – “to listen and read critically.” The question beckons if this call applies only to the Word of Faith or also to the ICOC teachings and doctrines?
    So, let me ask you church. You know, do you read... or let me ask you... what ... what other books do you read, what sort of commentaries do you read? What sort of devotions you rely on every morning? Do you watch TBN? Do you listen to King Fisher Radio? And if you do??? You know, do you read, watch or listen critically? Sifting out the good from the bad? Because there is always something good in it. But I think we are called. The call is 'discernment.' You know, to listen and to read critically. To hold up what is said against the truth of the Word. We got to get into the word of God. That's the only way. To rely on commentaries and TD Jakes, the best selling author and the like to teach us about God will result in a false view of God. We must be in our bibles. You know, do you have the heart of the Bereans that Paul commended in Acts 17?
  • Neil Trollip, Does the Bible Really Say… Part I, February 5, 2012

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