“Litmus test? How dare you judge anyone!”

Do you all recall the litmus test? If you took Chemistry in high school, you’re familiar with this test in which specially treated paper strips are used to indicate the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. No, I didn’t like Chemistry either and passed it only by the skin of my teeth. In the jargon of our culture, a litmus test has also come to mean any single factor (such as an attitude, event, or fact) that decisively reveals a finding or conclusion. But litmus tests have gotten a very bad reputation lately. In our wide-open, post-modern era, when all truth is relative, and plurality and inclusiveness are worshiped as idols, anyone who presumes to judge anyone else according to any standard is deemed to be sectarian at best.

When it comes to Biblical Christianity, I surely don’t assume to know everything in God’s Word, but there are some basic foundational Scriptural truths that we can stand on. When I come across a person who claims they are an evangelical Christian pastor or a leader of a evangelical para-church organization, I immediately want to know three things about them:

  • Do they uphold the Bible as the infallible, inerrant Word of God?
  • Do they proclaim the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone?
  • Are they faithful to the Gospel by refusing to join in ecumenism with Roman Catholicism and its false gospel of sacramental grace and merit?

If they don’t pass muster on these three items, I really don’t care to listen to ANYTHING else they have to say. Period. Needless to say, just about every performer on TBN who I can think of fails on at least two of these “litmus tests,” with Charles Stanley being the exception.

“…test everything; hold fast what is good.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:21

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” – 1 John 4:1

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” – Colossians 2:8

10 thoughts on ““Litmus test? How dare you judge anyone!”

  1. Those are excellent standards, brother, I’m going to borrow them and keep them in mind when I come across a new teacher or preacher. It’s truly sad to see the difference between Charles Stanley and his son, who has said ‘God has a lot more going on in regards to salvation then what happened 2,000 years ago in a small town of Palestine.’ I can’t imagine a more grievous lie for a ‘pastor’ to utter. I agree with you 100% on TBN, and the other channels calling themselves ‘Christian’ tv. I’ve yet to see a channel that doesn’t blare false doctrine 90% of the time. I also agree with you on Chemistry, so had my science teacher clean slides after school for extra credit to pull of a C-!

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    1. Thanks, sister! It’s sobering to think that 50 years ago maybe 90% of “evangelical” pastors would have passed that 3-question test, now maybe 20-25 %? Yeah, Andy is nothing like his dad. He’s one of the main models for seeker mega-churches. Glad we share a disdain for Chemistry but you do very well with Creation Science!

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      1. That is a sobering thought, brother. It makes me think twice before handing my daughter of to a Sunday school class. Especially when traveling every few months the way we do. It’s a clear, and evident depiction of one generation embracing what the previous one tolerated. The seeker sensitive scratch itching ears, there seems to be a lot of itching ears these days.

        Thank you for your kind comment on Creation Science, brother! It’s funny, all the study I’ve done in that area came from a question my daughter asked me when she was 3! She was watching How to Train a Dragon and said ‘mommy, why are they calling these dinosaurs dragons?’ She’s not the type of little one that asks questions then moves on. She has a thousand follow up questions, so I started researching it. I had always believed evolution, up until that point when I saw that it was all based on the false premise that dinosaurs died out millions of years ago. Once you see that there’s no way of dating those bones, but the Evolutionists give the bones dates based on opinion and assumptions, the rest comes tumbling down after it. It’s fascinating, in regards to the dragon legends, Carl Sagan wrote that he believed people groups have drawn, painted, and sculpted dinosaurs for hundreds of years because we came from lizards. He believed the best explanation was cell memory, our cells remembered being dinosaurs. If that isn’t enough to start your day off with a good hearty laugh, I don’t know what will! God bless you, brother.

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      2. Funny how your daughter’s curiosity got you started on Creation Science, sister! You make a good point about the dragon myths being worldwide, and all pagan religions have their flood legend as well.

        Several believer bloggers here at WP don’t attend a church because they say they can’t find one in their area not given over to compromise. It’s going to get tougher and tougher. Our individual beliefs on the secondaries aren’t going to mesh perfectly with every pastor, but so many are now following the Purpose Driven model in some form.

        Thanks and Lord bless you, too!

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      3. I’ve heard that from a few bloggers, it’s very sad. It’s hard not to have a fellowship of believers. It must be bad when true believers can’t bare to sit under the preaching, yet non-believers enjoy it! The Purpose Driven model is hurting churches far more than they realize, I can sleep in and watch Joel Ostend boost my self confidence in my PJ’s, why get up and get dressed just to hear it at a church? A little leaven leavens the whole lump, a little compromise has led to watered down, or nonexistent, Gospels. I’ve even heard some are having to move just to find a church still preaching Biblical truth.

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    1. Well, there’s MANY dead mainline Protestant churches, several Catholic, several charismatic, several fundamentalist. There’s a handful of
      cessationist, conservative evangelical but they’re either heavy into politics or they baptize infants or both. Argh, I’m just a square peg!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jimmy. The church is sorely lacking in discernment these days. Once in a while I’ll stop the TV remote on TBN just to see what’s going on. When the camera pans across the audience, I feel sorry for those people and wonder, “Do those folks actually read their Bibles”? How could anyone sit under Osteen or Copeland for even a minute? But more dangerous are orthodox pastors who embrace Rome.

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