Sam Kean Moves on from Horizon Christian Fellowship — Morgan County

Sam Kean is transitioning from associate pastor at Horizon Christian Fellowship — Morgan County in order to follow God’s path for him… which is to be further equipped for biblical therapeutic healing & deliverance ministry. 

In light of this transition, below is the audio recording of Sam’s “send off” from HCFMC, as well as an accompanying PowerPoint presentation on the biblical theology of “Departures in the Ministry.”

Departures in the Ministry — A New Testament Theology (PowerPoint)

Departures in the Ministry — A New Testament Theology (audio recording)

What an IFB Cult Leader Sounds Like When Demanding Money

If one says the name Colonial Hills Baptist Church (Indianapolis, IN), then you might remember having seen the 20/20 news report about the church’s publicly blaming/shaming and shunning a statutory rape victim, while failing to properly report her perpetrator. Chuck Phelps was the presiding pastor at that time, and he still is the senior pastor. If you think the church bettered after the debacle, then you are sadly mistaken. 

Colonial Hills recently brought on a new international ministries development consultant, who is associated strongly with the cult known as Falls Baptist Church (FBC) in Menomonee Falls, WI. Matthew Barfield, also a VP at IPM, recently spoke (February 19, 2017) at FBC’s annual Faith Promise Giving special meeting, and his sermon is a proper example of what a cult leader sounds like when demanding money.

One can listen to the audio recording HERE, if FBC will not remove the recording. I provide a correctional critique of his “sermon” below. The text of his message is Matthew 26. [See also John 12, Luke 7 & Mark 14]

>>Barfield’s sermon is not bringing out of the text what is there, but he is using the text as a platform to preach his own talking points… which include some self-given accolades on his mastery of language(s) and ministerial exploits. 

  • The full context of the biblical account is not focused on Mary’s gift or on the doctrine of giving (contrary to what Barfield’s sermon leads one to believe) but on her great love for and belief of Jesus. Mary knew that she had been forgiven much by Jesus; and she was moved to loving action, due to her believing Jesus’ death would be soon. That was a thing even the Disciples themselves did not believe at that time. Ironically, the disciples were the ones misfocused on the gift and “giving,” just like Barfield.
  • Mary had been a prostitute. Would many churches like FBC or Colonial Hills allow a suddenly repentant prostitute to give the result of her “wages” to Jesus, let alone command that she be remembered all over the world for it? Jesus did. 
  • She did what she could” to Barfield means she sacrificed greatly in her gift giving. Contextually, it means nothing other than, A: this was a pre-purchased supply, out of what she already possessed, not what she did not have; B: Mary could not prevent His death, but she could honor His death!! She did what she could.
  • Mary’s anointing Jesus was indeed costly as Barfield notes, but the modern-day equivalent would be to give Jesus embalming fluid. That’s shockingly practical & not exactly flattering. The act sent a poignant, albeit worshipful message. The ointment Mary poured out was used in ancient days to keep stink of death down, but she used it to anoint Him before His death. In contrast, the Pharisees and disciples did not believe; and so, they did not offer to customarily wash & dry Jesus’s feet. The context draws great attention to this contrast. She believed He would die, so she anointed Him is burial ointment. They believed he would not die as Messiah, so they gave Him no common courtesy at all. The only application to be drawn from this context is that disbelievers today still refuse to give Jesus honor… not that believers must give extravagantly, to prove they are truly believers.
  • Mary was giving directly to Jesus’ physical body. Mary was NOT giving to fund missions or raise the budget via “faith promise” (pledging what she did not have on “faith”). In fact, Jesus rebuked the Disciples (particularly Judas) for making the suggestion that the money should have been used for the “Jesus mission fund.” [It is doubly ironic that Barfield is raising funds for missions. He is more Judas than he knows.] 
  • Jesus clearly states the purpose of the passage, when He commands that Mary should be remembered for what she did, after saying she did it for His burial (v. 13). In contrast and in illogic, Barfield charges the audience to give, or they may not be a true believer. If they truly believe in Christ’s return, then they should give extravagantly in light of Jesus’ return, just as Mary gave extravagantly (in light of His death). There’s nothing like a cult leader telling people to give, or else they may not truly be a believer (i.e. headed for Hell & damnation); and by the chance they are a genuine believer, then they certainly won’t have rewards in Heaven unless they give like Mary—extravagantly. 

>>Barfield—with his many appeals for “surrender”—creates (as a cult always does) a false dichotomy between the sacred & the secular, between “the ministry / mission field” and a secular profession… which—in reality—leads to the discontent Barfield describes as a common thought pattern among clergy, when people are not giving enough to missions. Instead, missionaries should just hold “tent-making” jobs like the Apostle Paul.

>>Barfield’s allusion to 2 Corinthians 8 and the example of the Apostle Paul receiving gifts from the Corinthians vs. Macedonians is stretched beyond the context. The context is DISASTER RELIEF for fellow churches to relieve the suffering of the saints (2 Corinthians 8:4). It was a one-time offering asked to be received… not an every year or even every month or week collection. In fact, the Bible never commands the New Testament believer to give a tithe. The passage actually teaches that churches are supposed to note when other churches have endure peril, and then, seek to relieve their plight by whatever means possible. More importantly, Mary’s gift (Matthew 26) was also a 1 time gift… not an annual thing.

>>Barfield forgets verses 12-13 of 2 Corinthians 8, which state believers should give out of what they have AND not give in a way that causes themselves to be in need… which also happens to make Faith Promise Giving unbiblical. 

>>Barfield directly implies—near the end of the sermon—that if someone does not give like Mary, then he/she does not love Jesus the way He loves us… and is on the side of Judas. That is a twisting of the Scriptures!

Conclusion:

Thankfully, the Bible does not teach anything close to “Faith Promise Giving.” In fact, the New Testament believer is never instructed to give a “tithe.” Rather, the Bible teaches free-will & joy-filled giving to those who are in need, but not in such a way as to put the giver in need. There may be ocaisions where disaster strikes and sacrifices are warranted, so that others may have food and shelter and clothing; but to state that extravagant giving is expected regularly by God… or, to say that one may not truly believe if he does not give extravagantly… is sheer cult tactic by a cult leader.

A Response to Anne Graham Lotz’s Inaugural Assessment

Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Billy Graham, spoke out recently in an article published by Prophecy in the News. She responded to Donald Trump’s inaugural prayer service, stating that even though the Christian God was represented, so many other religious presences poluted the day.

As a Christian, I agree with Mrs. Lotz’s assessment that the Creator, as described in the Christian New Testament is not a god among others. He is THE one, true God above all others.

HOWEVER, also as an Anabaptist Christian, I do not believe a true faith is one that can be mandated or forced upon citizens by the State. There are some Christian sects, which believe Christianity must conquer the world by socio-political means. They practice theonomy, which is the establishing of biblical laws into the legal structure of whatever nation Christians call home. This stems from a theology labeled “Post-Millennialism,” which seeks to “bring in the kingdom” of Jesus Christ by societal engineering. Though it is right and good to have morally just and righteous laws by biblical standards, it is quite another thing to try establishing a theocracy in hopes that people will be governed into a belief system. It smacks of Islamic Sharia.

I hate and despise theonomy, because it overlooks the fact that God’s kingdom is not like man’s kingdoms. It cannot be legislated into or out of existence. Rather, His kingdom is within every heart that believes of free will (as opposed to coercion). 

One day, Jesus Christ will return to establish his kingdom on earth. At present, though, believers are both the subjects and the spaces (the temples) of His kingdom, having their primary and eternal citizenship in Heaven with Christ Jesus.

Spurgeon on Christmas

[quotations research attributed to Joseph RiverWind]

“Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas: first, because we do not believe in the mass (Latin for Death) at all, but abhor it, whether it be said or sung in Latin or in English; …consequently, its observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority.” (Charles Spurgeon, Sermon on Dec. 24, 1871)


“When it can be proved that the observance of Christmas, Whitsuntide, and other Popish (Roman Catholic) festivals was ever instituted by a divine statute, we also will attend to them, but not till then. It is as much our duty to reject the traditions of men, as to observe the ordinances of the Lord. We ask concerning every rite and rubric, “Is this a law of the God of Jacob?” and if it be not clearly so, it is of no authority with us, who walk in Christian liberty.” (from Charles Spurgeon’s Treasury of David on Psalm 81:4)

Open Letter: The Irresponsible & Misleading Journalism of Gary Stearman / Prophecy Watchers

The following is a message, which was submitted by Lamb’s Harbinger to Prophecy Watchers via one of their social media venues.

Prophecy Watchers did not respond to this message. In fact, their only action was to block me from sending/receiving messages on their social media.

The message I sent them is in full below:

__________BEGIN MESSAGE________

Recently, you (among others) reported a US military general referring to “little green men” in a speech. You supposed he alluded to aliens. (See https://vimeo.com/166416256 as well as https://www.bing.com/search?q=prophecy+watchers+little+green+men&form=APIPH1&PC=APPL)

In actuality, “little green men” has been code language for forces in the Crimea since 2014. (See https://www.bing.com/search?q=little+green+men+russian&form=APIPH1&PC=APPL)

Either come forward with a correction of your error, or I will expose you without deference for fraudulently misleading your readers/viewers.

You should be ashamed for your lack of responsible journalism. It is a disgrace to our Lord Jesus, making Christians a laughing stock.

___________END MESSAGE____________

Given Prophecy Watchers’ choice not to respond to my plea for integrity, and given their choice rather to block me, I send out this exposé. Before this time, I have been a reader/viewer of Gary Stearman’s work. I hold to the interpretation of Genesis 3:15; 6:4 & 2 Thessalonians 2 which he and many others hold.

What cannot be tolerated is fabrication and exaggeration in reporting. Misleading one’s viewers/readers, whether due to no fact checking or sincere supposition, is plainly wrong and deserves no respect, nor trust.