Cobbs-Leonard is not only a Grammy award-winning Gospel artist, she’s also a pastor and a prophet! As a Gospel artist, Cobbs-Leonard is a consistent talent with wonderfully powerful vocals. The messages in her songs can be hit or miss, however. For example, Break Every Chain is a beautiful worship song. It’s not lyrically or theologically dense, but it says enough to remind those who know better that Jesus Christ came to set the captives free (Luke 4:18)! Meanwhile, I’m Getting Ready, featuring Nicki Minaj, takes the focus off Christ and offers up more of a prosperity-focused message. I’ve previously discussed the doctrinal problems with this song as well as the issue with the collaboration.
I was first introduced to Jones-Pothier through Preachers of Atlanta, an Oxygen network reality show chronicling the lives and ministries of select Atlanta-based pastors. Around the time I watched the show I didn’t necessarily see much wrong with it outside of Leandria Johnson’s storyline and ministry and a lot of the things that Judah guy had to say. But by God’s grace, as I’ve grown in Christ since then, I can see how the show as a whole was problematic. And though I once loved me some “Real Talk Kim”, I also now see that her ministry is out of order and her teaching is riddled with error.
Franklin, famously wed to actress Meagan Good, is a Hollywood executive, author, and ordained minister. Getting his start in entertainment as an unpaid intern for Will Smith, Franklin has since climbed the ranks, building an extensive filmography along the way. His works include, but are not limited to, faith-based films such as Heaven is For Real, Not Easily Broken, Miracles from Heaven and, most recently, The Star Movie. In his latest book, The Hollywood Commandments: Spiritual Guide to Secular Success Franklin attributes his Hollywood success to his ability to find a happy middle ground between living by secular and spiritual principles. “Too often, some people are too spiritual and they don’t recognize the value of the secular, and some people are secular and don’t recognize the value of the spiritual. And what I realize is I believe success is a combination of both,” Franklin said in a recent interview with the Breakfast Club. Franklin also argues it is possible to be wildly successful in the secular world without losing one’s faith. In fact, he says God told him to write The Hollywood Commandments to teach the Body of Christ how to be successful. Telling a crowd during one of his preaching engagements, “After 20 years of tremendous favor, God said, ‘DeVon. I want you to teach what you’ve learned in Hollywood to My people.’”
An associate pastor at Lakewood Church, Gray has served under Joel Osteen's leadership for more than five years. However, it was recently announced that Gray will be relocating this year to begin his new role as senior pastor of Redemption Church in Greenville, South Carolina.
Gray’s personality is charming and unassuming. His preaching style is lively, often incorporating comedy, singing, dancing, and random references to popular secular music. He's so relevant and entertaining that, if you're not careful, you won't even notice he's uttering all manner of doctrinal errors and theological confusion. Gray, who tends to preach around the truth, will make mention of Jesus by name, and he may even speak of our need for the Gospel, but he never quite gets around to actually teaching it. He also offers up a wealth of spiritual platitudes and often inserts misapplied scriptures that his teaching actually sounds meaty to the undiscerning. But, ultimately, his speech is filled with empty words and his disturbingly odd (if not outright demonic) take on God's word.
Lentz is not your papa’s preacher. He's not a preacher of God's Word, either. Lentz repeatedly compromises for the culture, often shrouding the truth in confusion and ambiguity to placate (lukewarm) Believers and non-believers alike. To avoid stepping on toes with the truth, Lentz simply opts to tiptoe around it to remain in good graces with the cool kids. He is the “spiritual guide” to celebrities like Justin Bieber, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and more. His approach to pastoring isn’t to shepherd his flock per the requirements of 1 Timothy 3 or Titus 1 (especially Titus 1:9). Instead, Lentz is more of a well-groomed bro who will pray and take shots with you. Whenever asked his views on sin, Lentz is known to give a lukewarm response, failing to answer the question head on and claiming that it isn’t his job to call sin for what it is. Rather, he says, his focus is more on getting to know people personally that he might deal with those matters on a case-by-case basis, behind closed doors.
Furtick is charismatic in the pulpit, and he is eager to share his desire to reach the lost. But he seems to believe that once the lost are “found” his work is done. “If you know Jesus Christ, I’m sorry to break it to you, this church is not for you,” Furtick says. This applies even if you’ve only known Christ for as little as a week. “Last week was the last week that Elevation Church existed for you,” Furtick declares.
Many Americans are having a hard time grasping why Christian baker Jack Phillips declined to make a custom cake for a gay wedding. One would think the conflict is obvious, but there are many who seem to be appalled, if not downright enraged, by Mr. Phillips and his position. There's been very little attempt to view his position with care and understanding. Instead, there have been tweets, Facebook posts, thought pieces and political pundits seemingly committed to dragging the man through the mud. They say Mr. Phillips wasn't motivated by sincerely-held convictions to decline to make the cake. They say he was motivated by "bigotry"! They say he was motivated by "hate"!
I say that is malarkey.
I say, those who desire to malign Mr. Phillip’s convictions aren’t only being grossly disingenuous, they're being wholly hypocritical.
#ChurchToo is now trending.
Taking its cue from social media’s explosive #MeToo campaign, #ChurchToo allows victims of sexual harassment, assault and abuse in a church setting to share their stories. While some are taking this as an opportunity to leave Church, I'd like to offer up a few things the Church MUST do to make things right going forward.
Saints, I'll be the first to admit that I am not a fan of Farrakhan's ministry through the Nation of Islam (NOI). As most of you know, while he is a world-renowned and respected religious leader, his religion counters Christ. So he’s an automatic “no go” in my book. But if this man has converted to believe on Christ, I'd be among the first to welcome him with sincere celebration and praising the Lord!
For the past week, a video posted by Louis Farrakahn Ministries Facebook page has made its rounds under the caption “I know my Jesus Lives.” The short clip (less than 1 minute, 30 seconds) appears to show Farrakhan denouncing his NOI teachings, publicly professing his faith in the resurrected Jesus Christ, and it seems he’s confessing that he is believing on Jesus Christ for eternal life. The video has has gotten 1.1 million views at the time of this writing, and most folks in my social media circle, including myself, couldn’t help but let out a shout of praise at the prospect of it after viewing it for ourselves.
IF this is the Lord doing a “Saul-to-Paul” type of conversion in Farrakhan, I say BLESS the LORD!
Nevertheless, there's this little warning from Jesus to take heed that no one deceives us (Matthew 24:4). Let's explore how we do just that.