Pastor Don Wolan

Pastor Donald Wolan
Downriver Christian Community Church
Melvindale, Michigan

Friday, April 27, 2012

That's Good Enough For Me?

The present state of leadership among television evangelists and church ministers in this country is downright comical and astounding to me. We have heard the failed prophetic pronouncements from numerous "Christian" television personalities as well as the bombastic buffoonery of left-wing "ministers" all proclaiming "their" truth to a world that is looking for direction and correct spiritual answers. Unfortunately, spiritual discernment among modern day Christians is almost as appalling and laughable as many of the leaders who influence them.

Why should it come as no shock or surprise to me to hear Joel Osteen tell Wolf Blitzer from CNN news that Mitt Romney and all Mormons are Christians! It has been well reported that Mitt Romney is a Mormon, and he makes no apologies for it. But when we have "America's Pastor" answering a hypothetical question with an asinine and unbiblical answer, I can only respond like Popeye - "That's all I can standz, cause I can't standz no more!"  


When did Mormonism become just another Christian denomination? Is Joel Osteen aware of the Mormon teaching and beliefs and whether they jibe with orthodox Biblical doctrine? It is unconscionable to me that a "Christian Pastor" would EVER make those types of comments, let alone in front of a national audience.

Second Timothy 4:3 says:
A time will come when people will not listen to accurate teachings. Instead, they will follow their own desires and surround themselves with teachers who tell them what they want to hear.
Joel McDurmon of American Vision identifies these teachings from Mormonism as some of the essential teachings of the Mormon faith. Are they compatible with real Christianity or Biblical teaching? According to Joel Osteen they are! What say you?
Mormonism is no more a Christian than is occultism, Jehovah’s Witness, Unification Church (Moonies), Scientology, Christian Science, or even Islam. For example:
Mormons teach that God has a physical body and that Jesus was physically conceived.
Mormons teach that Christ was not a god, but only became a god at later point.
Mormons teach that we can all become such gods, as Jesus did.
Mormons teach that the Trinity is actually three such separate gods.
Mormons believe the highest potential of man is to become such a god and subsequently to populate and rule their own planet (or even universe).
Mormons teach that a man needs a wife in order to achieve this status.
Mormons place the Book of Mormon and others above the Bible as the ultimate authority.
Mormons believe the Bible must be properly “translated”—as per Mormons, of course—before it can be appealed to as an authority.
Mormons believe Jesus and Lucifer are “spirit” brothers.
Mormons believe in salvation by works in addition to God’s grace.
Mormons believe in a literal re-gathering of the lost ten tribes of Israel, yet in the future.
Mormons believe that Zion (New Jerusalem) will be built on the American continent.
Mormonism teaches that their “temple garment” underwear, “When properly worn,” protects them “from temptation and evil.” The rules for this underwear are unbelievably ridiculous (see footnote #1 on American Vision website).

Joel Osteen cites Mitt Romney's statement that he believes in Jesus as his Savior and Lord. Just because someone says, "Jesus Christ is my Lord" is NOT proof that they are a Christian. Jesus says in Matthew 7:21,

Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

When judging whether someone is a Christian or not - and we should judge them (1st John 4:1) - we must be sure we are defining our terms correctly and speaking about the same thing! Mormons use very similar language and terms as Biblical Christians, but they mean something totally different to them than they do to us! A "pastor" should be aware of this and point out the discrepancies instead of "accepting" their definitions as being consistent with ours. Failure to do this is reprehensible and an act of treason to the cause of Christ! Giving comfort and aid to false religions and teachers along with commending their teaching to fellow Christians is a practice strictly condemned in scripture! 

Second John 1:9-11 states,

Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.
Is it no wonder that the "modern" church is in the condition it is when some of its most "respected" and "admired" spokesmen are spewing this kind of "Christian" theology? Whatever happened to men of God who called a spade a spade and declared unapologetically the truth about these so-called teachings and ministers?

The Apostle Paul warned the Galatians with the strongest of language when he said:
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel — which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!  As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!  Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. - Galatians 1:6-10

The Apostle Paul was not trying to reach people with a wider and more inclusive net. He was not trying to tickle their ears or water down the message he was commanded to preach. The Apostle Paul did what every true minister of God is supposed to do - he preached the good news of Jesus in truth and love also protecting those who had come to faith from the ravenous wolves constantly attacking the church and its teaching. If the Apostle Paul and others under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit can say and do that, then that's good enough for me! 

Stay Holy, My Friends!

Pastor Don

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

That's Debatable!

It has been a couple of weeks since my last blog due to an overwhelming personal schedule, but I'm ready to get back at it with renewed vigor!

Last Thursday at Henry Ford Community College, I participated in a debate with an apologist from Islam. The debate was arraigned by the Christian Club and the Muslim Association at Henry Ford Community College and was held in the Liberal Arts building on the campus. Tickets were free, and seating was on a first-come-first-served basis. The main topic of the debate was "Who is Jesus? - Prophet or God." Naturally, I took the position of presenting the evidence for the divinity of Jesus while my opponent, Shadid Lewis, took the position that Jesus was not God, but rather a prophet. My opponent was a convert to Islam from Christianity, while I am a convert from human self-determinism to Christianity.

Preparing for the debate was a lengthy and studious task, since I had never debated anyone from an Islamic point of view concerning the deity of Jesus Christ. With doors opening in our community to minister to local Muslims, I planned out a strategy and set about logically establishing one point after another concerning my subject. I probably spent close to forty hours in preparation time, prayer, studying, and fasting. Needless to say, the preparation was exhaustive and comprehensive. I was also contacted by Sam Shanoun from He provided me with a great deal of invaluable information concerning Islam and the defense of the Biblical position of Jesus' deity.

We are told in 1 Peter 3:15:
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect...

My strategy was to present scriptures that clearly proclaim the fact that Jesus is God. I knew from watching Christian/Muslim debates on YouTube that my opponent would try to attack and undermine these scriptures through false or limited definitions, out of context quotations, the obfuscation of Christian teaching, or ridicule concerning the nature of Jesus Christ. Knowing all this, I felt I was just to present the scriptures to the audience and let the Spirit of God move upon their hearts.

Hebrews 4:12 states:
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

The debate went as I had anticipated and planned for. The audience, from my point of view, listened to my presentation with rapt attention with smiles on their faces. I could see many of the Muslim students writing out various Bible references as I spoke while the same students dallied with their phones when my opponent spoke. After the debate, there were approximately 12-15 young female Muslim students who besieged me with questions concerning the Bible, Jesus' deity, salvation, and a host of other Christian-related questions. Others from DC3 also had the opportunity to speak and explain the Christian message of hope to these young Muslim students. A couple of our members also had the chance to pray with some of these students. Also, after the debate, we were able to give away 10 Bibles and an assortment of tracts and books.

Once again I want to thank everyone  who contributed to the success of the debate through their hard work, prayer, fasting, and show of support. Your contributions were greatly appreciated! I cannot tell each of you how your attendance at the debate encouraged and strengthened me. It was a tremendous blessing to me just to see all of you there in support of this all important issue. May the seed that we cast find good soil and nourishment. May God provide those who will water the seeds and tend their growth while giving each of us a renewed and deepened burden for those trapped in the darkness of Islam.

First Corinthians 3:5-7 states:
What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 

The debate made me realize the opportunity and responsibility we all have in our communities to reach out with the good news of Jesus Christ and His kingdom. There is no debating the fact that we are commanded to disciple ALL nations with the gospel and to teach them EVERYTHING that he has commanded. We are to present the gospel without wavering from or watering down the message and to stand on His truth no matter the response from any group of people. It is God's responsibility to bring growth to the seed that we plant. Our job is to plant and water...Now, that's non-debatable!

Well, Old Buddha was a man and I'm sure that he meant well
But I pray for his disciples lest they wind up in hell
And I'm sure that old Mohammed thought he knew the way
But it won't be Hare Krishna we stand before on The Judgment Day.

No, it won't be old Buddha that's sitting on the throne
And it won't be old Mohammed that's calling us Home
And it won't be Hare Krishna that plays that trumpet tune
And we're going to see The Son not Reverend Moon!

Well, I don't hate anybody so please don't take me wrong
But there really is a message to this simple song
You see there's only one way Jesus if eternal life is your goal
Meditation of the mind won't save your soul.

No, it won't be old Buddha that's sitting on the throne
And it won't be old Mohammed that's calling us Home
And it won't be Hare Krishna that plays that trumpet tune
And we're going to see The Son, not Reverend Moon!

Well, you can call yourself a Baptist and not be born again
A Presbyterian or a Methodist and still die in your sin
You can even be Charismatic shout and dance and jump a few
But if you hate your brother you wont be one of The Chosen Few.

Cause it won't be a Baptist that's sitting on The Throne
A Presbyterian or a Methodist that's calling us Home
And it won't be a Charismatic that plays that trumpet tune
So let's all just live for Jesus 'cause He's coming back real soon.
[ Lyrics from: ]

If you would like to watch or listen to the debate in full, click here to go the DC3 Website.

Stay Holy, My Friends!

Pastor Don