Thursday, September 13, 2007

Herescope 2 years old

Herescope celebrates its two-year anniversary on September 15th.

The Discernment Research Group began several years ago as a group of discernment and apologetic researchers and writers coalesced who were observing the heresies coming via what is called The New Apostolic Reformation. Discernment Ministries, Inc. has been monitoring and exposing the dangers of this movement since its early days. The idea for a Herescope blog was conceived after a Discernment Ministries conference. It was during this time period two years ago that the usefulness of a “blog” for discernment purposes was becoming quite evident. A blog would be a way of getting out current information to an audience plugged in to the Internet, especially those who needed assistance with discernment issues.

Over the past two years Herescope has covered many different topics that are relevant to the sweeping changes happening in the evangelical world. There are so many new heresies and heretical activities that there has been no shortage of material. If anything, we have had to narrow our focus to specific features of the overall transformation of the evangelical church.

As the Discernment Research Group discussed the possibility of doing a blog, one concern was foremost in our minds – that if we exposed error, we felt a necessity to also present Truth. It was becoming evident that many new people in the church pews had never even heard biblical Truth. All they had learned was New Apostolic Reformation heresy, which is substantially new doctrine compared to historical orthodox Christianity. It is truly “another gospel.” With this burden in our hearts, we determined to publish “The Truth” at the end of every post, whether it be a Bible verse or a quote from a good writer or Bible commentary.

We also committed to writing with accuracy, honesty and integrity, and academic credibility. With that in mind, we sought to do something a bit unusual with the blog – actually publish research, not just opinion or news clips. From its inception we determined to use the blog to educate, exhort and warn. We have often delved into the history of the matter so that important background information could be brought forth and the context of the present-day heresy be better understood. We have tried to be factual, and we have taken pains to make sure that we are not misrepresenting someone’s beliefs or doctrines. For every link that you see in an average post, we may have dozens more pieces of documentation.

As time as gone on we have become increasingly uncomfortable about leaping too fast onto the latest bandwagon to “bash” Rick Warren’s latest mis-step, or “hype” things like Ted Haggard’s fall. These are tragedies, not media or marketing opportunities. We carefully weigh whether we have a significant piece of information that would shed light on a current topic. If not, we don’t expose it just for the sake of exposing it. We pray daily that the Lord would continually break our hearts over these situations. Heresy has terrible consequences to human lives and its leaven can very destructive to the Christian faith.

Discernment Ministries is a non-profit corporation, and therefore we are free of any profit motive in the posts that we write. That gives us a tremendous advantage. You will notice that we have reviewed good books by authors we know. These are books that have no professional publisher or marketing agent. You might not have known about these books if we hadn’t told you because they aren’t sold through publishing houses or mass-marketing channels. We decided to use Herescope as a way to tell you about authors like Martin Erdmann, Warren Smith, Tamara Hartzell, Anton Bosch and Mike Oppenheimer and Sandy Simpson.

Many people who correspond with us wonder why we don’t write about various other topics. The Discernment Research Group is a limited number of people, and we have sharp restrictions on our use of time. This is true of all remnant discernment ministries in these last days. We encourage our readers to develop their own good habits for discernment research. Once you have learned how to “google” a topic, you’d be surprised at how easy it is to come up with a better understanding about a particular person or heresy. And a few of you have actually taken on writing projects so that you could warn others! Bless you!

We also encourage our readers to stick to their Bibles. We live in dangerous times when there are many spirits and voices giving people spiritual experiences. So many believers have fallen away from the narrow way when they listened to a Siren Song to entice their spiritual senses – but these experiences did not line up with the Word of God! Run, don’t walk, back to your old-fashioned Bibles! You can trust the Word of God, where God can speak to you through His Living Word, giving you guidance daily and helping you to discern truth from error.

Finally, we would like to publicly acknowledge the wonderful assistance and prayer support that we receive from so many of our regular readers. Thanks especially for the ongoing biblical counsel from Anton Bosch. Thanks to Dr. Dennis Cuddy for his impeccable historical research. A special thanks to Dr. Martin Erdmann for his sound theological knowledge and vast historical research. Honorable mentions go to Steve Muse of Eastern Regional Watch who has given invaluable assistance and donated hours of time to this effort, as has Jewel Grewe and Hester van Boven of Discernment Ministries.

We covet your prayers in the days to come, as the times are darker now than when we began.

“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)

The Discernment Research Group