Saturday, July 14, 2018

Herescope

New Directions

“How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace,
and bring glad tidings of good things!”

(Romans 10:15b)

On September 15, 2005 the first Herescope post went up. Steve Muse, who at that time headed Eastern Regional Watch Ministries (ERWM), Sue Conway, my husband Lynn and I, sat around my computer screen in our office as Steve showed us how to set up a blog. Steve was convinced that blogging was a useful new technological way to communicate Gospel truth, and to especially warn about error in real-time. The four of us had just returned from a Discernment Ministries conference in Bowling Green, Ohio, where we had learned about the many new heresies coming into the church. We knew that the errors of our time were serious and growing, and the warnings needed to get out quickly.

Steve proceeded to set up the blog and then asked, “What name should we give this blog?” We thought about it for a few minutes, then the logical answer came to my mind – Herescope! Herescope had been the name of a monthly column in a magazine my husband and I published during the mid-1990s called The Christian Conscience. Lynn had coined the term in late 1994 – it literally means “scoping out a heresy.” In our magazine’s monthly Herescope column we had published many articles warning about occult teachings, Promise Keepers, the Toronto “laughing” phenomena, and treacherous New Age teachings. The blog would be a continuation of that magazine column!

As we discussed the premise of the blog and how it would operate, we quickly realized that this was an immense task that would require a group effort. That very day we dubbed ourselves the “Discernment Research Group,” an ad hoc group of committed believers who had already been working together for many years researching, writing, speaking and publishing information about biblical discernment.

When we set up the Herescope blog we immediately realized it could also serve as an active outreach arm for Discernment Ministries. Lynn and I had served on the board of directors of Discernment Ministries since 2000, and we had already been working very closely with Jewel (van der Merwe) Grewe with conferences and writings since 1995. From its inception the Herescope blog blessed Discernment Ministries with much activity. In its early years I was frequently a guest on radio shows, and as a result our outreach spanned the globe. Those were the heady days as online discernment ministries (a term sometimes used as a reproach against us) were able to get out messages to warn believers about the rapidly emerging deceptions and errors of unbiblical teachings. We warned about popular movements that rocked the evangelical world: Rick Warren’s global Purpose Driven agenda; the leaders and methods trained by Leadership Network who spawned the Emergents and Neo-Calvinists; C. Peter Wagner’s New Apostolic Reformation and its dominion; Chuck Missler and Tom Horn and their Nephilim space aliens; and the false “Christ” voice that was speaking to both New Agers and evangelicals. In much of our writings we delved into the history of these movements so that believers could more fully understand the issues.

We sought to be above the fray – to not engage in the “ambulance chasing” of every new bad thing the well-known evangelical leaders were doing, but rather to patiently and from Scripture point out the error and contrast it with the truth. We discovered that our research format was feeding factual information and biblical truth to church people, ministers, and missionaries on the field. We received e-mails from all over the world thanking us for explaining the details about why some new teaching was not biblical. Many of our posts were republished on other blogs and even in printed publications. It was a particular blessing to realize our writings were reaching the lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Pastor Larry DeBruyn passed away over the Christmas holidays, and because in recent years he had been such a major part of our ministry, we decided to step aside and take a break from our regular Herescope postings. It was time for all of us to pause, reassess, regroup, and pray for the Lord’s direction. During this time Discernment Ministries made the decision to return to its original calling and take a step away from the research. After much prayer, Lynn and I realized that we were also to go in a new direction, and so we submitted our resignations from the Discernment Ministries board of directors effective June 30th.

We will continue to publish our Herescope blog as we move in this new direction. This is all in God’s plan and in His hands. We feel profoundly blessed to have worked so closely with Discernment Ministries all of these years and it is with both sadness and joy that we move on to the next phase of our calling in the Lord. Our mission continues to be the publishing of biblical discernment and apologetics research, including testimonies and devotionals, and in the days to come we will publish a testimony on Herescope of the history of how God set up the “Discernment Research Group.”

There will be many changes coming in the future as the Lord directs us. One thing readers will be blessed to know – Lord willing, we will be publishing more of Pastor Larry DeBruyn’s works, including the books and articles he had committed to us to finish before his death. Herescope readers will be kept apprised of these developments.

We are thankful for all of our many friends, research partners, pastors and prayer partners who have together worked with us over these past thirteen years to publish the Herescope blog. There have been 947 Herescope posts put up since 2005. It is with exceeding gratefulness that we can give God all of the glory for His faithful Word which sustained us. These 13 years were not without stress, but they have been filled with joy. Some of us continually battled health issues. We also lost key members of our Discernment Research Group who passed on to glory – including Pastor Ken Silva and Pastor Larry DeBruyn. Several of our dear prayer warriors also moved on to heaven where they will receive their reward.

May the Lord bless you all. We covet your prayers. You can communicate with us directly at Conscience Press, PO Box 1863, Hiram, OH 44234 or at herescope@gmail.com 

Sarah H. Leslie, editor

“And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times,
and strength of salvation:
the fear of the LORD is his treasure.”

(Isaiah 33:6)