Why is chookwatcher allowed by his own supporters to be so scathing of recognised ministries when his doctrine shows him to be a novice in the Word?
The rest of the chookwatcher ‘team’ must be seen to be complicit because they never publicly correct the basic errors of their main man.
In a recent article attacking the teaching of Joel Osteen, chookwatcher makes the following glaring doctrinal error…
God teaches us in his word that the human heart is deceitful above all things:
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9
God also teaches us that faith comes not from our mind or heart but by hearing the Word of God:
“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:14-17
In fact, Romans 10:14-17 follows on from Romans 10:10 which tells us that faith is of the heart.
Romans 10:8-10 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 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 confession is made unto salvation.”
The Word is near us. It is in our mouth and in our heart. The Word of faith that we preach is in the mouth and in the heart of the hearer. That is how we are saved.
That is how faith operates – through our confession by what we believe in our heart. Faith comes by hearing the Word of Christ. It comes to our heart, and we believe. Therefore we speak what we believe, and we are saved.
“For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
So when chookwatcher says that ‘God also teaches us that faith comes not from our mind or heart but by hearing the Word of God’ he is misrepresenting scripture.
It is quite subtle, but nevertheless error. He is declaring that the heart of the believer is still wicked, because it is reasonable to assume that Joel Osteen is addressing believers with this tweet.
Chookwatcher, by declaring that the regenerated person’s heart remains wicked, is preaching another gospel altogether. He is diminishing the power of the Word of God as it impacts the heart and brings repentance and salvation.
Walk by faith, not by sight
What did Joel Osteen tweet that caused chookwatcher to make so obvious an error?
“Faith is not in your head. Faith is in your heart. Sometimes you have to turn your mind off and listen to your heart.”
Of course, Osteen is saying that we need to walk by faith and not by sight, which is doctrinally sound (2 Corinthians 5:7).
There are times when our thinking is so swayed by our flesh or by our senses that we need to rely on our heart to walk in faith. As Paul tells the Galatians, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”
We need to engage faith, which is, remember, based on the Word of Christ, and is of the heart, and let it take us through to the place we are being led to by the Spirit who confirms the Word.
But chookwatcher makes the following snide comment in his post…
‘However, America’s Joel “What-big-shiny-teeth-you-have” Osteen, teaches the exact opposite to God’s Word. In fact, he encourages people to turn off their brains off [sic] and follow their wicked hearts.’
Well, no. Chookwatcher is again misrepresenting what is being said.
Osteen is obviously reminding saints – people who have had their hearts and spirits renewed through faith in Jesus Christ – that they should live by faith and not allow themselves to be distracted off their course by their mind, senses or emotions.
Their hearts, surely, are no longer wicked if they have been redeemed, and this is where chookwatcher’s error kicks in.
Jeremiah does say that the heart is deceitful above all things, but this is before the gospel is preached and a change of heart takes place. That is the point of preaching the gospel. It is the power of God unto salvation to those who believe.
The Jeremiah passage also has the context of the difference between those whose heart is towards the Lord and those whose heart is against Him. As Jeremiah 17 says at verse 7, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord.”
Then God goes on to ask who can examine the heart of man that is wicked, and reveals that He is the One to test every heart whether is it righteous or not. He tests the mind of everyman according to his doings.
You cannot simply take a verse out of its setting and attempt to prove a contrived doctrine. That is what the JWs do. It is called eisegisis.
The way chookwatcher has cherry-picked this verse out of context to demonstrate his own error is really telling. He is shown to be a novice with the Word who should not be opposing anyone’s doctrine, let alone accusing Elders. He needs to get his own doctrine straight. He needs to remove the beam from his eye before he attends to what he thinks is another’s speck.
Faith is of the heart
We believe, not with our head, not with our mind, but with our heart. That is what Paul reveals to us in Romans 10, and he bases this on scripture found in Deuteronomy.
Deuteronomy 30:14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.
The power of the Word of God is in its ability to to enter the heart when it is believed. That is where faith comes. It comes into the heart by the Word of Christ. It comes by hearing the preached Word.
Then there is a change of heart, which is the true meaning of repentance. The Greek metanoia means a change of heart that leads to a change of mind, attitude, direction and thinking.
Proverbs 4:22 tells us that we are to guard our heart above all things because out of it come all the issues of life. How could it be deemed wicked if we are to guard it?
According to chookwatcher, God is contradicting Himself when He gives the following instruction…
Proverbs 3:5-7 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
If the heart is always wicked above all things, even when it’s been renewed through the new birth, why would God tell us to trust Him with all of our heart? Of course, the heart is the important part of our being than connects with God through faith which comes as a result of hearing, receiving and believing the Word of God.
But even under the Old Covenant God told people that they should garrison their hearts by attending to His Word.
Proverbs 4:20-23 My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
Do not let them depart from your eyes;
Keep them in the midst of your heart;
For they are life to those who find them,
And health to all their flesh.
Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.
God promised that He would give those who believe a new spirit and new heart.
Ezekiel 36:25-27 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
Jesus told us that out of the abundance of the heart our mouth speaks, which is how we know the fruit of a person’s life. What we say with our mouth indicates what we believe in our heart, and reveals our heart condition before men and God.
Luke 6:43-45 “For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good. The heart can produce good. That teaching comes to us from Jesus.
So we have seen from several witnesses that, in fact, the mouth reveals the heart condition of a person before God. It is true to say that there are times when we need to listen to the faith that is in our heart and allow it to override what we think in our minds.
The heart of the believer is changed
Of course, we are talking about the regenerated heart of the believer, not the unregenerate heart of a sinner. When we receive Jesus as Lord and Saviour our heart is renewed and we receive the Spirit of God. It’s called regeneration and begins with the heart and spirit. Our spirit comes alive to Him. We are change on the inside, and this will be reflected on the outside as we learn to walk in the Spirit.
All who have received Christ have been given a new nature. We are new creatures in Christ. We are changed.
Colossians 3:14-16 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
When we allow the peace of God rule in our hearts we are demonstrating that we have been renewed. We can sing with grace in our hearts.
There is so much scripture on this that one has to wonder why chookwatcher doesn’t have a clue about the changed nature of the redeemed man of God.
And it makes his doctrine dangerous and his teaching error-strewn. He doesn’t know that the heart of the redeemed person has been changed to receive the Word and Spirit of God. The connotations of this are immense.
He doesn’t understand the place of faith in our lives. He doesn’t understand how we can resist the tendencies of the flesh by listening to our reconditioned heart. Out of the heart are all the issues of life. The inner man is renewed daily.
2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
Again, there is so much scripture on this that we cannot but wonder where chookwatcher goes on the Day of the Lord each week for teaching, or whether he is permitting himself to be self-taught on the Word of God, entering into all the error that that ensues.
To get an idea of the importance of the regenerated heart and spirit, in the following passage, Peter addresses the attitude of a wife whose husband is not saved and how she needs to approach him, giving some interesting information about the heart and spirit of the believer.
1 Peter 3:3-4 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
The hidden person of the heart. The incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. This is the renewed heart of the believer.
The heart of the born again believer has been changed. It is alive to God. It is led by the Spirit. It is the place of faith and of hearing God. It is the true place of peace for the believer.
Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.