CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Do You Go To Judas Church?

Oct 13, 2017

You might be asking, “Do I go where?” OK, let me explain. We all know about Judas, right? He of course is the guy that betrayed Jesus. He turned on him, betrayed him, and sold him down the river. His name is now immortalised in history.

But sadly betraying Jesus has not stopped there. Indeed, it has been going on for two millennia now. The ones doing it may not be called Judas, but they are acting just like him, and have the same treasonous spirit. They too are renouncing their Lord, and they too are betraying the one they claim to love.

And here I am speaking about those who say they are Christians. That non-Christians would turn on Christ and abuse and misuse him is to be expected. What we don’t expect is when people filling our pews each week do it. Of course the rot often starts at the top, so I am especially focussing on church leaders here.

There are plenty of Christian pastors, teachers, and leaders who effectively are running a Judas church. They have denied their Lord in various ways, yet still keep their doors wide open, fleecing the flock and pushing their heresies and apostasies.

Let me first offer a few broad-brush indicators of what a Judas church looks like, and then point to a few specific examples of this. Here are some of the ways you can tell if the church you attend is betraying the Lord, and that it is high time for you to leave and find a proper, Christ-honouring and Word-affirming church:

-If your church does not clearly proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ – his life, death resurrection – and the need to turn from sin in repentance, you might be going to a Judas church.

-If your church is at the forefront of pushing radical secular left agendas like homosexual marriage and abortion on demand, you might be going to a Judas church.

-If your church refuses to stand up for the crucial issues of the day, be it the slaughter of the unborn or the war on marriage and family, you might be going to a Judas church.

-If your church is all about entertainment, rock concerts, smoke machines, strobe lights and a celebrity culture, you might be going to a Judas church.

-If your church has controlling and domineering leadership which keeps the flock in fear and bondage, you might be going to a Judas church.

There would be plenty more such indicators, but these few offer some ideas as to what a dangerous or compromising or cultic church might look like. But we have plenty of specific examples of this very thing. So let me examine two of them.

The first one provides a clear cut case of not only a Judas leader and a Judas church, but an entire Judas denomination. Let me offer the opening paragraphs of one report on this shocking story:

United Methodist Church bishop Dr. Karen Oliveto is not only a lesbian, she also believes (and publicly teaches) that Jesus was a bigot filled with prejudices. She does say that Jesus grew and changed, and that’s her point. Bishop Oliveto admonishes, “If Jesus can change, if he can give up his bigotries and prejudices, if he can realize that he had made his life too small, and if, in this realization, he grew closer to others and closer to God, than so can we.”
The United Methodist Church has been on the descent into apostasy for years now. While the denomination is currently in the midst of their 75 weeks of praying about accepting homosexuality, they have long allowed pastors of their churches to go against their current beliefs on the matter. In 2005, Karen Oliveto, a non-celibate lesbian, officiated several same-sex marriages that were held in the United Methodist church she pastored.
Oliveto’s teachings cover the range of normal progressive “Christian” beliefs — the denial of the exclusivity of the Christian faith and the denial of the authority of the Bible, to name two. However, it’s her direct attack on certain Bible passages and Biblical figures that has caused some within the UMC to be concerned.
Writing for Juicy Ecumenism, John Lomperis warns about a sermon that Oliveto preached in 2005. “In her sermon during the closing worship, she criticized St. Paul for casting a demon out of the slave girl in Acts 16:16-18,” he wrote. “Oliveto encouraged her audience to question the traditional interpretation that this exorcism was ‘an act of liberation’ for the girl. Negatively comparing Paul’s response to the slave girl to his subsequent saving of the jailer, Oliveto asserted that Paul was not motivated by compassion for the slave girl and noted that the text does not say that she found salvation.”

Wow. Leaving aside the question of the propriety of women in church leadership positions for the time being (that debate can be had elsewhere), we should have red flags flying all over the place simply because she is a practicing lesbian who claims to be a Christian.

Um, the apostle Paul (who this Miss Judas claims was wrong about other things) was evidently also wrong when he told us that no practicing homosexual would enter the kingdom of heaven. She obviously has long ago jettisoned the Word of God, but the rest of you can read it for yourselves: 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.

If all that is not bad enough then she has the audacity to call Jesus a bigot! Jesus of course is God, so here we have a fallen, finite and very sinful human making accusations against the God of the universe. Wow, I sure would not want to be that woman when she stands before her Creator and Judge one day. She needs to repent.

Back here in Australia one could find many examples of the Judas church in action, but let me offer one obvious case in point. Sadly we have in NSW an Anglican priest who is notorious for selling out Jesus and the Bible. Indeed, he is a serial offender in this regard.

I refer of course to Father Rod Bower. He has been such a long-standing apostate and a wolf in sheep’s clothing that I have written a number of articles about the guy. Here is just one of them: billmuehlenberg.com/2016/07/02/mindboggling-gosford-lunacy/

He of course pushes every lefty trendy cause out there. He is pro-homosexual, pro-homosexual marriage, pro-Islam, and so on. He is infamous for using his church billboard to spruik all the radical activists causes out there. One of his most recent messages even made national headlines. The story begins:

Outspoken Anglican priest Rod Bower has courted controversy by labelling Immigration Minister Peter Dutton a “Sodomite” in a social media post that has attracted thousands of shares and divided the religious community.
Father Bower, the controversial rector at the Anglican parish of Gosford who is famed for his roadside billboards, posted a photo on Facebook late on Thursday of a billboard bearing the words “Dutton is a Sodomite”.
The sign appears to be located on a roadside but Fr Bower said it was made “only for social media”. It is accompanied by a lengthy post in which he explains a sodomite is “someone who has no compassion, no capacity to love the stranger, the persecuted, the outcast or the homeless”.
Fr Bower published the post after Mr Dutton provoked a backlash by suggesting the first refugees to leave Manus Island for America under an Australia-US resettlement deal were “economic refugees” carrying luxury goods from Armani.
“The sin of Sodom is greatly misunderstood by those who usually choose to do so, it has nothing to do with homosexuality, it is all about hospitality, or more to the point lack thereof, and particularly about the condition of the heart that leads to inhospitable behaviour,” Fr Bower said in the post.

Oh good grief. How many times have we heard the theological revisionists pushing this utter nonsense about Sodom? It has been refuted hundreds of times, including by me: billmuehlenberg.com/2017/08/16/the-sin-of-sodom/

But Father Bower is so far down the tubes of heresy and apostasy that we expect nothing less from him. The only thing that is surprising is that he still has any parishioners left. Why in the world would anyone who claims to follow Christ go to this Judas church?

They must be just as deceived as he is. But for those who are totally lost down the road of theological deception and error, you have little choice but to flee. A few brave souls may feel led to stay and fight. If God is calling you specifically to do this, then go for it.

But I would say that in most cases people should simply run for their lives, and get out of such Judas churches as fast as they can. They will take you to the very pits of hell of course.

pjmedia.com/faith/2017/09/26/lesbian-bishop-calls-jesus-bigot/
www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/anglican-priest-rod-bower-brands-peter-dutton-a-sodomite-in-social-media-post-20170930-gyrtk5.html

[1482 words]

11 Responses to Do You Go To Judas Church?

  • Sadly, many churches should have “ICHOBOD” emblazoned above their entrances.
    Like the churches that have a rainbow superimposed over a cross.

  • I couldn’t help but blurt out a half laugh in incredulity when I read where she said: “Too many folks want to box Jesus in, carve him in stone, create an idol out of him.”

    Seriously?

    Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness nor shadow of turning.

    Joh_14:9 Jesus said to him, Have I been with you such a long time and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father.
    (MKJV)

    It reminds me of an article you wrote, Bill, about how belief is more than what some people think. I would suggest these two are definitely examples of people who do not believe in any real or meaningful sense.

    Apparently Rev. Billings said of Bower: “I recognise that we come from very different theological standpoints but thank God for the breadth and depth of Anglicanism that can accommodate us both. Every blessing…”

    The accommodation of apostasy is not something anyone should be thanking God for.

    Jud 1:7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them, in like manner to these, committing fornication, and going away after other flesh, laid down an example before-times, undergoing vengeance of everlasting fire.
    (MKJV)

    There is also the case of the Catholic Bishop in Maitland, NSW:
    www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/the-emerging-schism-in-australia

    From what I can make out these people are put in areas that are Labor Party strongholds and appear to be more political appointments than anything. They certainly are not retained for their biblical knowledge.

  • Do you think that the accelerating rate of falling away in the church and so many end times signs point to the imminent revealing of The Anti-Christ and the advent of the Great Tribulation? Seems more and more likely.

  • Hi Bill, I’m so glad my friend (Katherine) put me onto your articles. I love the direct, clarity of thought you give on contemporary topics. I always look forward to reading them; they inform and teach me. I appreciate your research. Just recently, one of your articles in particular, about Hefner (playboy magazine) and his contributing to the evil downward spiral of morality. This helped me understand the dawning of ‘different’ troubled times’ of that era. I was only a kid then. All that stuff would have been a shock to my God-seeking-farming-dad in the country and he would not allow TV into our home. It was his way of trying to protect us children from evils. I was only about 9-12 years of age then and He withdrew us from the then Methodist that became Uniting Church, I think because of its ecumenicalism. I haven’t read your article re George Whitfield yet, (I just noticed the title), but I know as he became an old man those biographies and sermons by the reformers became his ‘best friends’.
    Truth is amazing and keeps our souls safe.
    May God Continue to bless you with the presence of that Truth in your heart and mind;

  • Poor Bill. How sad you have to write an article like this — so terrible, so true! Yes, we have a fully fledged judas iscariot church in our area, plenty of dysfunctional ones too. Your ‘indicators’ should be printed out and sent to every Church in Australia. A lot of protestant churches have “controllers’ in charge. Leading to the ‘boss cockie’ syndrome, with his ‘peons’ in the pews. The Brethren are then are stifled, to satisfy the ‘boss cockies’ need to feel important and enjoy the sound of his own voice. Thanks anyway Bill, you are a watchman, and a prophet in, this God rejecting wilderness.

  • Thanks Bill,

    Methinks you are too kind and gracious on this occasion!
    Five times “you might be going to a Judas church”.
    The strong descriptions given, of the middle three of these maybe Judas churches, show that they have little possibility of redemption, and indicate something worse than just error or confusion. In each there is a broken heart, a deception that is lauded as the truth and unlikely to ever be repented of by the leadership.

    Yes it is time for some to reassess the reasons why they continue to go to such churches. It is very difficult being anything like salt and light there. Everything turns out to be opposition.
    Even the somewhat praiseworthy, “I’m there for the other believers and for the weak”, has knobs on it. Perhaps its time to get out and take them with you. Looking for life and truth and love in some of these places is a lost cause. If one is a savour of life 2Cor2.14-16 to some there, then get them out of that which would have them buried.

    NB Love without holiness, without God’s character stamp, without truth, cannot be “agape”.

  • “……and get out of such Judas churches as fast as they can. They will take you to……….the very pits of hell of course….”

    Judas to some degree repented, he was at least “remorseful ” or “regretful”, but Rod Bower seems to be a case of reprobation.

    Thanks Bill and God Bless.

  • Although I haven’t been to any “Judas Churchs”, I sometimes have to wonder if some of the “Christians” I have on facebook (including my aunt and her brother) are these Judas type of Christians. For some reason they never once ever call out all the Christians or all the people who’ve died in the name of Islam but if trump said something “mean” about muslims, they quickly come to Islam’s defense. I don’t understand why Christians would rather defend Islam but don’t say anything about Christians getting killed in the world. The only thing I can think of is this quote by John Macarthur: “It’s a sinful tendency of the fallen human heart to crave worldly respect”. Since my aunt and her brother have Muslim friends, I wonder if it’s because they’re afraid that they might offend them if they actually did call out Islam.

  • Minor quibble, is the UMC a Judas denomination, or one where the Judas element is noticeably large, possibly even the majority, and favoured by the MSM? I’ve seen the odd article about Oliveto and the UMC but had the impression that at least some elements were still committed to Scripture and that a split was looming. According to a Salon article (yes definite skew) there’s to be a special session at the 2019 General Conference on the matter of homosexual clergy. And according to the piece if practicing homosexuals are permitted to be ordained conservative bodies are threatening to break away. Since another piece suggested the threat of a split has been looming for at least a couple of decades it may be more theoretical than actual.

    As for the Bower piece, that’s a staggering degree of double think. Sodomy (homosexuality) has historically been disparaged. Bower clearly favours homosexuality over Christianity so for him to hijack the word as a term of abuse, but redefine it in a unique Leftist fashion is queer!

  • Mike Marshall – Speaking of Judas – He is quite an important character for proving that hell is real and eternal. Judas was regretful but he did not repent. He cannot have repented because Jesus said that “it would have been better for him not to have been born”. Ouch. In other words, he must have gone to hell, and not purgatory, since a temporary purifying punishment would still be worth it in the end. Any amount of pain would be worth eternity in heaven. Instead, he killed himself and went to hell forever. There is no other interpretation possible from these words of Jesus. Hell is real, hell is eternal, hell has no escape and hell is always missing in the narrative of the Judas churches.

Leave a Reply