Showboating for Baal
The Lord said not to judge by appearance precisely because people like Paul Washer come preaching in His Name, all decked out and giving impassioned performances. Washer's zeal is not to lift up Christ as Lord, but to lift up man (himself) as Lord. His preaching and example teach men that fleshly zeal and presumption of godliness make up true godliness. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Dennison, a young man seeking our counsel, wrote to us:
Today we were talking about Paul Washer and such, and you guys find him to be a false teacher. I see alot in his doctrine that of course is not True, and the support he gives for a Church [‘formal organization’], so I agree with you.
I spoke to another young man maybe a week ago whose name is ‘Matthew’ and he was part of this organization called ‘illbehonest.com’ which are basically video testimonies that have alot of Paul Washer videos. I cant deny that Paul Washer affected me in my life personally and I have taken many things he said to be true, (which now im second guessing it).
Dennison also asked about our definition of false teachers and how we arrive at the conclusion that Paul Washer qualifies as one:
Anyways the whole point of why im mentioning Matthew is because he said im a victem of ‘americanized churchs’ which is something that Paul Washer preaches against alot because according to his claims American churchs are corrupt.
Which, makes me wonder is that Paul Washer is a Influencial Speaker in Matthews life (as much as it affected my life or even MORE, because he has actually met the guy) and I honestly dont know what makes Paul Washer Technically false.
Is it because of his Organization, or that he hasnt been sent by God? or because his doctrine is not true? Or is it because of the lifestyle he lives?
There are Four Men that have affected my Theology for a very long time, which is Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon, Steve Foss, and Paul Washer.
I read about Martin Luther and how he ‘discovered food, but didnt eat it’ which made alot of sense.
I already know that all four men believe in a eternal hell, believe in freewill, and three believe they are saved by faith or confession of that Fatih, execpt for Paul washer who believes that one must know Jesus and that Jesus must know them.
So I Already can see where you guys differ… or where they err.
I really woundnt know what to tell Matthew concerning Paul Washer and his ideals.
I went to illbehonest.com and watched Paul Washer at Are You Clothed with Power?
My first impression was that Paul is ostentatious. Nice man, clean-cut, presentable, but oh so religious, dramatic, and pretentiously moral and pious. Why? What gain is there in being so? Will drama move the carnal heart to receive Christ, or will it impress the man of sin to aspire to the heroism Washer is selling?
I see Paul’s conduct as just another of thousands of nominal Christian preachers performing in the spirit of Baal, jumping up and down on their altars, doing their level best to impress God and men with sensationalism, affectation, and carnal zeal (1 Kings 18).
There is a problem with men who feel the need to dress in a business suit and tie to win the respect of their audience. I see showbiz; I see a reliance on worldly performance and presentation; I see a “Look at respectable, godly me” approach, a trust in grooming and various appearance-enhancing techniques in body, soul, and spirit to win the hearer’s attention. While Jesus instructed us to wash our faces and comb our hair to be presentable, He wasn’t talking formality, conformity, and carnal impressiveness.
Woe to Elijah and other prophets, those who come from the wilderness with a message from the heart and not from the head, from above and not beneath, from the realm of the alien and not from the confines of the respectable! Woe to John the Immerser, dressed in camel’s hair and rough leather! Woe to Jesus Christ, the Son of a poor carpenter, Who slept outdoors in His garments and washed at the river or sea! How presentable is that?
If Paul Washer and well-dressed, well-mannered, polished, socially acceptable company are right, woe to the prophets and apostles despised by the respectable and dignified world that demands proper decorum. Woe to those in prison with rags drenched in their own sweat and blood from scourgings like those Paul and Silas suffered! How shall they ever succeed to win the honor of the Philippian jailer and his house of family and servants? How shall such a “criminal element” presume to persuade anyone, great or small, to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, they and their house?
In his sermon, Paul Washer states, “You cannot rely on the testimony of Calvin alone….” Wow! I should say not! Calvin was a murderer – a rabid Pharisee Saul of Tarsus to his death! Except while Saul zealously sought to serve the Law of God, Calvin zealously sought to murderously enforce his own laws to his own dogmatic, egotistic ends.
Where is Washer spiritually that he should even mention a murderer of saints, a vicious despot, as an outstanding example of Christian testimony? Calvin’s spirit, lifestyle, and doctrine were anything but Christian, and if Washer doesn’t know that, it automatically tells he is not born again or sent of God, which makes him a false teacher. True men of God don’t promote Balaam, Elymas, Muhammad, Joseph Smith, Benny Hinn, Pope Benedict, Jim Jones, or John Calvin.
Washer shouts, “You must be broken to testify of repentance! You must believe to testify of faith! You must know something of the filling and the baptism of the Holy Spirit if you’re going to give testimony to the power of the Spirit! And you must know Him to testify of Him. We are not going to spread the Gospel into this whole world through the cleverness of our minds, but in the power of the Holy Spirit! I don’t care what you think of the words; let me ask you, ‘Are you clothed with power from on high?’”
I would to God Paul Washer was baptized in the Holy Spirit, as he claims. He assumes to be preaching under the Spirit’s anointing, but I say it is a fleshly spirit of exhibitionism and condescension. He presumes that passion will win the day, but the Spirit of God is not about carnal passion. Paul Washer is a blowhard who loves himself more than the One he professes to represent.
He shouts on in a spirit of boastful spirituality, “When light shines out of darkness, we understand that we’ve been justified by faith, and the great weight of sin rolls off our shoulders, and we cry out, ‘Abba Father!’ Do you know that? It comes from countless hours alone with God in the Word of God, not simply to gain knowledge so that you become a better debater, or not simply to prepare sermons, but you’re alone with God in the Word of God because you want to know God!
It comes from countless hours alone with God in the night watch when men with better sense are tucked in their beds… of being ‘shut up to God‘ (I learned that language from old men), of being shut up to God, of being consumed by God, in communion with Gaw-haw-awd, where NO ONE CAN SAVE YOU FROM HIM!”
Is this man not boasting of himself? Do not those who speak loudest possess less? Doesn’t he speak nonsense? Can anyone save anyone from God anywhere at any time? And people pay Washer respect!
“It comes from empowerings and fillings of the Holy Spirit (I will not give that up, though you call me ‘Charismatic’), empowerings, infillings of the Holy Spirit, as He replaces the virtue that has gone out of you in ministry, and proves once again that it was to our benefit that Christ leave us and go to the right hand of the Father so that He might send the ever-present, all-powerful Comforter.
It comes from countless trials, and a peace that has nothing to do with the natural, a peace from God, a peace that passes all understanding. It comes from countless victories over SIN! Yes, believers ought to have victory over sin!”
He speaks both truth and falsehood, as is the case of any false teacher or false prophet. Believers are most certainly meant to have victory over sin. To that end, Christ died. But does Paul Washer have victory over sin? If he did, he would not be grandstanding.
“It comes from great victories over sin and the joy of making progress in the Christian faith and the bearing fruit that endures, but it also comes from countless failures, and the terrifying revelations of self and bone-crushing discipline, and bending and breaking and repentance and restoration!
A man of God, when he reaches old age, ought to broken into a thousand pieces!”
This is drama with exaggeration and foolishness – not the hallmarks of a man of God. Before a horse is employed for riding or work, it is broken. Before a team of oxen is put to plowing, the oxen are tried and fitted in spirit for the yoke.
Likewise, a man of God is prepared before being sent out. He is first broken, which is the only way he can ever be a man of God. Once broken, there is no need for breaking again and again. We enter the Kingdom of God through much tribulation, with life and fulfillment on the other side:
“Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the Temple of My God, and he will go out no more. And I will write upon him the Name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of Heaven from My God, and My new Name” (Revelation 3:12 MKJV).
God works with purpose, to a desirable end:
Isaiah 28:24-29 MKJV
(24) Does the plowman plow all day to sow? Does he open and break the clods of his ground?
(25) When he has made the face of it level, does he not cast out the dill and scatter the cummin, and throw in the choice wheat and the chosen barley and the spelt in its border?
(26) For his God instructs him to do right; his God teaches him.
(27) For the dill is not threshed with a threshing instrument, nor is a cart wheel turned on cummin; but the dill is beaten out with a staff and the cummin with a rod.
(28) Bread grain is crushed, but not always does one thresh it with threshing. And he drives the wheel of his cart; and his horses do not beat it small.
(29) This also comes out from the LORD of Hosts, Who is wonderful in wisdom, making sound wisdom great.
Isaiah 65:18-19 MKJV
(18) But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.
(19) I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and I will rejoice in My people; and the voice of weeping will no more be heard in her, nor the voice of crying be heard in her.
Washer continues, “Give us missionaries? No, give us men who have been ravished and mauled by GOD, and we’ll have missionaries!”
Mr. Washer, God neither ravishes nor mauls, though He chastens and scourges in discipline. Will you blaspheme in passion to exalt yourself? Yes, you will. And why, if not because you have never experienced a true relationship with God, His chastening or scourging? You have no idea what those are, in truth.
He says, “You can have a high view of Jesus Christ only to the degree you have a high view of His Gospel, and if you preach this truncated gospel, four-spiritual-law thing that’s going around, I can assure you that it’s because you have a truncated Christ!”
It is so true that the false gospel does nothing more than confound and mislead, as with Bill Bright and Campus Crusade’s Four Spiritual Laws. Many have suffered the deception of a spurious conversion in such a way.
“And if in the Book of Revelation we are warned that if you alter, add to, or take away from, this prophecy, you will be brought under a curse, how much more, sir, will you be brought under judgment for not giving men the Gospel that is the Gospel of Christ, without being truncated, without being edited, without being adorned in order to make it palatable to your generation….”
I marvel at how men add to, and take from, the Word of God while warning others against doing so.
“Missionaries, some of you, friends of mine, on the day you’re slaughtered on the foreign fields, and your blood comes out, I want you to bleed the Gospel of Jesus Christ; bleed it! With all that is in me, I promise that we’ll take care of your wife and your children; don’t worry about them – but bleed the Gospel. Your blood is not as precious, nor is mine, as the Gospel of Jesus Christ….”
Can a man speak so? Can, and should, he swear? Does he have power to keep such promises? Does he know?
Has he “bled”? So easy to talk and try to move souls with passion, but how about to do?
“Paul David Washer (b. 1961) is a Baptist minister and founder of the HeartCry Missionary Society. Converted while a student at the University of Texas, Washer subsequently attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where he received a Master of Divinity degree. Washer began his post-seminary ministry in Peru, where he served as a missionary for 10 years. It was in his time there that he founded the HeartCry Missionary Society to assist in Church planting in Peru.
An itinerant preacher, Washer occasionally preaches at his home church, First Baptist Church at Muscle Shoals, Alabama. He also continues his work with HeartCry Missionary Society as the director. He is presently looking towards church planting in Morgantown, WVA. His denomination affiliation is with the SBC (Southern Baptist Convention). Washer’s preaching emphasizes God’s sovereignty, especially in conversion.”
Note that Paul Washer is a Baptist, contrary on at least two counts to the sound teaching in these verses:
1 Corinthians 1:10-18 MKJV
(10) But I exhort you, brothers, by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
(11) For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brothers, by those of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
(12) But I say this, that every one of you says, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ.
(13) Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you, or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
(14) I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius,
(15) lest any should say that I had baptized in my own name.
(16) And I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides these, I do not know if I baptized any other.
(17) For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the Gospel; not in wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.
(18) For the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those being lost, but to us being saved, it is the power of God.
Paul Washer is contrary to the Bible he claims to believe. He is contrary to Paul the “Washed” in that he is partisan and glorifies water baptism so much as to label himself spiritually as a “Baptist.” The apostle Paul, on the other hand, plays down the importance of water baptism, knowing full well, and teaching accordingly, that an external ordinance has nothing of saving value.
Being a “Baptist” does not refer to Spirit, but to water, baptism. It is ironic that while Paul Washer preaches the great importance of Spirit baptism to enable one to do the work of God, he names himself by water baptism.
I say that unless a man comes out from men’s works, he can never worship the Lord in spirit and in truth, much less be His faithful servant at work with Him.
The apostle Paul goes on to say that his preaching of the cross is quite contrary to water baptizing. Try telling a Southern Baptist to forego water baptism and see how wet he thinks you are! You’ll prevent him from baptizing over his dead body if he is determined to be worthy of his affiliation title.
The apostle Paul goes on to say:
1 Corinthians 1:19-23 MKJV
(19) For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will set aside the understanding of the perceiving ones.”
(20) Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the lawyer of this world? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
(21) For since, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom did not know God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe.
(22) For the Jews ask for a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom;
(23) but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness.
He also says:
Philippians 3:2-11 MKJV
(2) Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision party.
(3) For we are the circumcision who worship God in the spirit and rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh;
(4) though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other thinks that he has reason to trust in the flesh, I more.
(5) I was circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews. As regards the Law, I was a Pharisee;
(6) concerning zeal, persecuting the church; regarding the righteousness in the Law, blameless.
(7) But whatever things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
(8) But no, rather, I also count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them to be dung, so that I may win Christ
(9) and be found in Him; not having my own righteousness, which is of the Law, but through the faith of Christ, the righteousness of God by faith,
(10) that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death;
(11) if by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead.
But what credentials does Paul Washer present and rest upon, if not those of empty works (circumcision) and evil workers who have all confidence in the flesh?
Theopedia says: “Washer subsequently attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where he received a Master of Divinity degree.”
That which the apostle Paul deems loss and dung, Paul Washer boasts about. Can the difference between these two men be any more obvious? Do they not indeed preach different gospels? How can a man claiming to preach from the Scriptures be so contrary to them unless… he is one of these?:
“For such ones are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. Did not even Satan marvelously transform himself into an angel of light? Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves as ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15 MKJV).
Indeed, Paul Washer speaks some truths, and he presses upon his disciples to lay down their lives, and speaks impressively to his audiences. But isn’t this precisely what Jesus was talking about concerning the Pharisees?:
Matthew 23:2-5 MKJV
(2) The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.
(3) Therefore whatever they tell you to observe [in accordance to the teaching of Moses], observe and do. But do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.
(4) For they bind heavy and hard-to-carry burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders. But they will not move them with one of their fingers.
(5) But they do all their works in order to be seen of men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments.
God says to those who would be His sons and daughters:
“Therefore come out from among them and be separated, says the Lord, and do not touch the unclean thing. And I will receive you and I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18 MKJV).
Contrary to God’s commandment, Mr. Washer’s status is as described at Theopedia, “His denomination affiliation is with the SBC (Southern Baptist Convention),” registered with the authorities of this world for tax purposes. This is not so with the Body of Christ, which needs no man’s permission to preach the Gospel of Christ to him. Truly, what carnal man or worldly organization would ever give the Spirit of God and His servants the right to approach men on their darkness and sin?
Tell me Mr. Washer is a man of God, and I will tell you that Paul the apostle is a cult, which is exactly what Mr. Washer will say of us as we apply the apostle’s teachings to him.
No, those who are Southern Baptists are diametrically opposed to God, and kill us with their ways, thinking they do God service. They have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof. I know because I once was a Southern Baptist under Henry Blackaby and Jack Connor. I know them by their fruits and their doctrines. Beware of their leaven, all who read. They represent the diabolical works of men:
“Concerning the works of men, by the word of Thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer” (Psalms 17:4 KJV).
So, Dennison, you asked, “And I honestly dont know what makes Paul Washer Technically false. Is it because of his Organization, or that he hasnt been sent by God? or because his doctrine is not true? Or is it because of the lifestyle he lives?”
A false teacher can speak true things, but yes, it is because of his organization; yes, it is because he hasn’t been sent by God; yes, it is because some of his doctrine is not true; yes, it is because of the lifestyle he lives – all these, though he may speak some truth.
My question to you to provoke some thought is, “What makes a false teacher deceptive, so much so that, if it were possible, he might deceive even the elect?” Truly, many will show great signs and wonders, as Jesus said, and He also said they would wear sheep’s clothing and speak true things.