ONE YEAR LATER
JEFF PINDER, PASTOR OF FAITH BAPTIST CHURCH, WILMINGTON, DELAWARE RESURRECTS BRUCE WILKINSON'S HERETICAL "SECRETS OF THE VINE" BOOK & VIDEOS FOR USE AT ADULT BIBLE STUDY
GARY GILLEY'S REVIEW OF "SECRETS OF THE VINE"
- P. 39 - In the context of discipline Wilkinson writes, "I will only experience pain as long as I hang on to my sin." How does he know this is true? God gives pain for a variety of reasons. Even in the realm of discipline the consequences of our sins might linger on for years after repentance.
- P. 46 - The author claims that there is a difference between chastening and discipline, when in truth, they are the same Greek word.
- P. 49 - "God would never hurt an innocent person to indirectly discipline a sinning person," writes Wilkinson. Tell that to David and his infant son. I am not certain why Wilkinson is so willing go beyond Scripture and pronounce so boldly what God will or will not do, but this is a common thread running through all of his writings.
- P. 65 - We are instructed to place time limits and conditions upon God by praying, "If you do not show me within a week from today that it is discipline, then I will take it by faith that it is pruning." Who are we to put God on the clock? How can we know with certainty that God has spoken (Wilkinson's mysticism bleeding through again), and why does it matter if this is pruning or discipline? If sin is in our lives we don't need a revelation from God; we need to repent and change.
- P. 72 - "While early pruning is mostly about your outward activities and priorities, mature pruning is about your values and personal identity." Shades of Jabez! Wilkinson simply makes up this idea. Nothing in Scripture would support this view.
- P. 74 - "God doesn't apply pain when a more pleasant method would do just as well." Again we are in Wilkinson's fantasyland. Paul would have certainly been surprised to find out that his thorn in the flesh was unnecessary, if only he would straighten up.
- P. 75 - We are told that "if you invite Him into your circumstances, He will keep His promise to work everything together for your good (Romans 8:28)." I assume this means that if we do not invite Him God won't keep His promise. Yet Romans 8:28 is an unconditional promise to the child of God. Wilkinson seems to have a view of the Lord that is closer to that of an Islamic jinni than that of the biblical God. If we meet certain conditions, if we say the right magical words, if we jump through just the right hoops we have God cornered, and He must give up the goods. But if we don't discover the "secrets" He can do as He pleases.
- P. 79 -- Upon asking God, "What is next?" God answers him, "Your kids... give Me your kids." How did Wilkinson hear God's voice? Was it audible? Was it a little voice in his head? Was it a hunch? He does not say, but he is apparently convinced that God spoke to him. This is pure mysticism.
- P. 95,96 - Wilkinson is a man who loves "steps." When he can't find steps toward some goal in Scripture he feels perfectly at liberty to invent them. Here he tells us that "after discipline to remove sin, after pruning to change priorities [Jesus invites us to] abide in Me." The text simply does not say there are three steps to abiding - it is possible to abide before or during discipline or pruning, as well as after. Wilkinson even develops this into one of his "secrets of the vine": "If your life bears a lot of fruit, God will invite you to abide more deeply with Him." On the contrary, we are simply told to abide. Jesus does not say abide after certain conditions are met, nor that there are different degrees of abiding ("more deeply, less deeply"). He commands us to abide, period.
- Pp. 102,106,113 - Wilkinson has confused genuine, passionate Christian living with mysticism. He often speaks of feeling the Lord's presence, writing down what He says to us, learning to recognize God's "still small voice." We should distinguish Elijah's hearing of the audible "still small voice" of God with Wilkinson's presumably inaudible inner voices. While many in Scripture heard the actual voice of God, none ever heard these inner voices that so predominate evangelical circles these days.
- P. 107 - Just for good measure, Wilkinson throws in a bit of legalism. He has yet, he assures us, "to find a respected spiritual leader throughout history (no less) who had devotions at night" (in contrast to the morning). Like many of Wilkinson's pronouncements, this one is poorly researched and lacking in biblical authority.
- SEE OUR PREVIOUS POST OF Wednesday, August 21, 2013 UPDATED:
"PASTOR PINDER STILL RUMMAGING AROUND IN APOSTATES' TRASH FOR WISDOM AND FEEDING IT TO THE GULLIBLE":
We boldly but lovingly proclaim here that Bruce Wilkinson
(see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Wilkinson), and all of his writings and materials should be avoided for their heresy, mysticism, extra-biblical advice, mantra prayers, prosperity/name it & claim it gospel, and his associations with universalist Robert Schuller, Rick Warren and Bill Hybels. There are many other reasons and we will break them down as best we can in this post. There is much support for our position and we will supply the refrences below.
In any case, having finished a series of sermons on church apostasy using the book of Jude, Pinder has continuously offered apostates as examples of Christian behavior and thought to bolster his sermon points and for general consumption by his followers before, during and after this series.
A) Gary Gilley of Southern View Chapel reviewed "Secrets of the Vine" here:
http://www.svchapel.org/resources/book-reviews/4-christian-living/160-secrets-of-the-vine-by-bruce-wilkinson. Excerpts: "The difference is that with (Prayer of) Jabez the errors just came pouring out like a rushing river, while in Secrets they are more like a gentle stream. You are not as likely to drown in a stream but you can still slip and do damage. Let's take a look at some of the unbiblical statements and concepts." " I suggest that the sincere Christian avoid both volumes."
B) Chris Rosebough of Fighting for the Faith reviews Wilkinson's book, "You Were Born for This: 7 Keys to a Life of Predictable Miracles", which Rosebrough describes as "This book is heretical and dangerous and we're warning the Church in advance of Wilkerson's deceptions." See: http://www.fightingforthefaith.com/2009/06/sinners-in-the-hands-of-an-angry-god.html.
C) David Cloud's "Beware of Dr. Bruce Wilkinson":
http://www.greatpreachers.org/bruce_wilkinson.html. Excerpts: "Wilkinson has been on PTL and has had a mostly ecumenical itinerary. Some are charismatic, evangelical, and Catholic churches, but many are the most liberal of National Council-World Council of Churches denominational churches!" "For Bruce Wilkinson and the other evangelical members of The CoMission to yoke together with Russian Orthodoxy in "evangelism" is inexcusable. Bible-believing churches should have nothing to do with Walk Thru the Bible."
D) Herescope on Wilkinson's "Morality Lite":
http://herescope.blogspot.com/2006/01/bruce-wilkinsons-morality-lite.html. Excerpt: "Bruce Wilkinson's "morality lite" message was sadly lacking in true Biblical morality."
E) Berit Kjos of Crossroad on "The Dream Giver Coach and DISC Assessments":
http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/Jabez.htm. (review of Jabez).
Wilkinson's Dream For Africa is Shattered:
F) In Plain Site review of Jabez:
Excerpt: "The book opens the door for Christians and non-Christians to make the presumption that God must answer this prayer." "The problem is that this book promises rewards from God that God doesn't promise in the Bible. It is true that God hears the prayers of His saints, but there is no guarantee that He will always answer them in a way consistent with our desires. Suggesting that God will always answer the prayer of Jabez is misleading." "Prayer is not a prescription to be filled by God; in fact, Jesus spoke strongly against that kind of rote prayer style in Matthew 6:7, "And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition, as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words."Repeating this prayer daily may cause Christians to see prayer as a mystical ritual rather than personal communication with God."
G) Watchman's Bagpipes review of Jabez:
Excerpt: "Although Mr. Wilkinson’s teaching about seeking increased opportunities for ministry is a noble one, we cannot justify twisting of Scripture to support it, and his unbiblical claims warrant our discernment. Mr. Wilkinson has taken an obscure prayer and has made it into a superstitious charm, a mantra to be said every morning to ensure God’s blessings. Since the book propagates error and has “arguments that merely sound good,” it should be avoided by Christians."
H) John Beardsley of Biblical Discernment Ministries review of Jabez:
"Bruce Wilkinson, founder of Atlanta-based Walk Thru the Bible Ministries (he resigned as its president in February of 2002), is a popular speaker at many ecumenical, neo-evangelical national gatherings such as Promise Keepers, the Navigators, Focus on the Family, Campus Crusade for Christ, the Fellowship of Companies for Christ, and Christian Schools International, as well as BIOLA, Wheaton, Mt. Hermon, the Christian Business Men's Committee, Moody Bible Institute, and many others. While a student at Dallas Seminary in 1976, and under the guidance of psychologizers Howard Hendricks and Gene Getz, Wilkinson founded Walk Thru the Bible Ministries"
" Other shallow, Jabez-like books by Wilkinson include A Life God Rewards and Secrets of the Vine." "Wilkinson claims that if we'll just pray the prayer of Jabez, word-for-word, every day for a month, then we'll see God's power released in our lives." "The book presents prayer as being essentially disconnected from our relationship to God through Jesus Christ." "Wilkinson goes into each of the requests of Jabez, and in Max Lucado-like fashion, speculates about what Jabez was thinking or doing as he prayed, and/or the details of what supposedly happened to Jabez after the prayer." "The real tragedy of Bruce Wilkinson's book will be the carnage created as desperate souls follow his advice and pray Jabez's prayer for a month, and yet see no change or see things getting worse around them. The book has no discussion of what to do when the prayer seems to fail (e.g., a child dies, a marriage fails, a job is lost, healing does not come, etc.). Many of them will turn to themselves seeking the reason. Yet Wilkinson has guaranteed that the prayer will work. The clear implication is that a failed prayer equals failed faith." "The Prayer of Jabez is a particularly dangerous work from a Christian theological perspective. It arises from a human-centered rather than a Christ-centered worldview."
I) Ralph Dettwiler of Behind the Badge review of Jabez:
http://www.behindthebadge.net/articles/a69.html. Excerpt: "I consider the idea that the author has found the prayer that God answers rat poison because it is no different than claiming you have found the magic words to get what you want from God."
J) Dan Corner of Evangelical Outreach reviews Jabez, etc.:
"Bruce Wilkinson changes grace into a license for immorality."
K) Lighthouse Trails Research articles:
http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/wilkinsonquits.htm. (Wilkinson abruptly quits Africa after three years of trying to impose the social gospel on native Africans whom he alienated).
Excerpt: "In October of 2003, Bruce Wilkinson Spoke At Robert Schuller's Crystal Cathedral and said, "I want to talk about dreams. Of all places in the world to talk about dreams this is the place ... because I think Dr. Schuller is the patriarch, in the work about living your dream." Wilkinson's book, The Dream Giver, had come out just one month earlier and he gave his message at the Crystal Cathedral based on the book. One week later, Wilkinson spoke at Rick Warren's Saddleback Church and shared a similar message.
Bruce Wilkinson's message about "God's Dream" led to the formation of Dream For Africa, an organization founded by Wilkinson. Wilkinson had planned to build a large orphanage in Swaziland, Africa, one which according to the Wall Street Journal article would have a bed-and-breakfast, game reserve, bible college, industrial park and Disneyesque (like Disneyland) tourist destination." Wilkinson who has taught that believers can receive blessings from God by reciting Jabez's 33 word prayer had felt confident that his dream for Africa would become a reality."
Excerpt: "According to a Wall Street Journal Article written by WSJ reporter Michael Phillips on December 19th, 2005, Bruce Wilkinson "resigned in a huff from the African charity he founded." Wilkinson, author of Prayer of Jabez, moved to Africa with his family in 2002 with the hopes of rescuing one million orphans. The article states: "Mr. Wilkinson won church loads of followers in Swaziland but left them bereft and confused ... his departure left critics convinced he was just another in a long parade of outsiders who have come to Africa making big promises and quit the continent when local people didn’t bend to their will.""
AUDIO OF BRUCE WILKINSON SERMON AT SADDLEBACK CHURCH WITH RICK WARREN:
SEE YOUTUBE VIDEOS OF WILKINSON, RICK WARREN, &