A Call for Discernment and Accountability :: by Alice Childs

“Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16). “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10). (scriptures are from KJV)

This topic is not going to be an easy one to address. I will be exposing a pastor who is preaching blatant heresy, and also calling out a Bible teacher who is partnering with him. It’s not allowed at this time on this site to name the Bible teacher in hopes that he will come to his senses and do what is right. However, the “pastor” will be named because of his grievous teachings. The brethren must be warned. This issue affects the body of believers worldwide.

Although we are mandated by scripture to “earnestly contend for THE faith” (Jude 3), anytime we are addressing a matter of reproving and rebuking a brother or sister in Christ, we must do so when it is clear from scripture that such a fellow believer’s words and actions or the doctrines they teach have violated scriptural doctrine and need to be addressed. Also, we must follow the dictates of scripture in how we approach those who are our brethren in the faith.

We are mandated in scripture to “reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering” those among the body of Christ whose actions or words are contrary to scripture, but we must be aware that when we do, we must be very sure that we are not guilty of hypocrisy in being guilty ourselves of doing the same things that we are pointing out (Matthew 7:1-5).

When we exercise judgment, we MUST make certain that our own hearts are clean before the Lord, that our motives for addressing correction and reproof are based solely on doctrinal issues as taught through the whole counsel of God. In other words, we are to judge righteously according to the whole counsel of God and not from any hypocritical or biased opinions (John 7:24).

Contrary to what most people think, scripture does NOT forbid us to judge our brethren in Christ or to hold each other accountable. Rather, when we do need to address error or heresy, we must use discernment and judge righteously with scripture alone.

“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24).

I have taken pains to lay out the reason and the justification for why and how we are called to judge a fellow believer because the issue we are having to deal with now concerns a well-known Christian speaker and ministry leader who operates a worldwide ministry; his influence is vast and global.

Because his ministry is a public one, his error needs to be publicly addressed. MANY have already approached this man privately (as privately as is possible when one’s only recourse to reach him is through social media forums). I myself (among many others) have written him via the private option to “recommend” or “not recommend” him on his personal Facebook page. I took this option explaining why I can no longer support, follow, or recommend his ministry. I also attempted to address this situation (along with many others) on his public ministry page as well.

I (among many others) have taken great pains to address the issue at hand, not from a position of a personal attack, but lovingly and respectfully FROM SCRIPTURE. In most cases, mine included, all who have broached this matter with him have received no comment from him at all, except to have had our comments on his ministry page removed, and our ability to “like” and/or comment blocked.

Having gone to him in private, one by one, in growing numbers, yet being ignored and rebuffed, we now must address the issue in a public manner.

I will refer to this well-known individual as “this teacher.” His ministry partner is Steve Berger.

This teacher is promoting and joining himself in ministry with Berger who has a large New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) “CHURCH.” The NAR has MANY grave doctrinal errors with which Berger aligns himself, but it is outside the preview of this article to address all of the heretical doctrines of the NAR. The issue that I am addressing here is but ONE false doctrinal issue, but it is a major issue.

Besides the NAR doctrines that are not at all compatible with scripture, Steve Berger’s personal beliefs and practices are completely heretical. In truth, what they are is OCCULT.

This teacher is refusing to break fellowship with one whose beliefs and teachings are diametrically opposed to scripture, and is refusing (at least to date) to call Steve Berger out for his heretical doctrines and his false teachings and beliefs.

No one, at least not I, am saying that this teacher should no longer do business with Steve Berger. All of us have business dealings with those who are lost or whose beliefs are different from ours. As long as the ones with whom we do business are not involved with criminal endeavors or in obvious morally corrupt practices, that is the nature of transacting business in a fallen world. No, the issue here is NOT this teacher’s BUSINESS relationship with Steve Berger. It is the fact that this teacher has:

  • publicly praised Steve Berger as a great friend and “brother in Christ” even though Berger’s publicly stated beliefs and actions do not in any way align with the doctrines of the faith according to the scriptures.
  • This teacher has now joined himself and his ministry to Steve Berger by agreeing to speak and preach as a guest at Steve Berger’s church.

In doing these things publicly, this teacher is lending credence to a pastor and a denomination that clearly teaches false doctrine. By his continued support and partnering in ministry with Berger, this teacher is knowingly endorsing and sending others to Berger’s heretical church and denomination.  Those who are lost will NEVER hear the true gospel of salvation according to the scriptures there, because the leaders of this NAR denomination preach “another gospel” (Galatians 1:8-9; 2 Corinthians 11:4).

This teacher, by his association and partnering in ministry, is leading the lost to those who teach and preach “doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1-3), and leading babes in Christ and the Biblically ignorant who follow this teacher and trust his leadership AWAY from the true gospel of the scriptures and sound doctrine found only in the whole counsel of God, “rightly divided” (2 Timothy 2:15).

This is a HUGE issue and one that cannot be ignored or glossed over. It is nothing less than the eternal destiny of men’s souls that is at stake. False doctrine CANNOT be mixed with true. It poisons and changes the truth into a lie.

“Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the TRUTH” (James 3:11-14).

“Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen” (Romans 1:25).

This is not at all intended to be a PERSONAL attack on either this teacher or Steve Berger. Personally, nothing would give me greater joy than to see this teacher rebuke the blatantly demonic practices and beliefs of Berger and break all ministerial ties with him until such time as Berger repents and removes himself from the occult practice of necromancy (belief that one can communicate with the dead).

Only God knows the state of his heart. We cannot judge the heart, but we are mandated to hold EVERYONE who claims to be a believer in Christ accountable to the Word of God. Because Steve Berger’s beliefs and practices do not at all align with scripture, and because he claims to be a brother in Christ, then we are commanded by God to hold him and anyone else accountable to what the God of the Bible teaches in His Word.

“Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear” (1 Timothy 5:20).

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:2-4).

“This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate” (Titus 1:13-16).

However, this teacher has refused to do this. In fact, he recently “addressed” this issue. In truth, he did no such thing. Not only did this teacher NOT address the core issue that I and others have brought to his attention, which is the blatant practice of necromancy held and practiced by Steve Berger – a practice and belief that Berger has never recanted or repented, but this teacher did not even MENTION this very issue which is at the heart of our concern! In fact, he has NEVER mentioned or even alluded to this issue. What this teacher did do was to play the “poor me” card (bad enough), but the most egregious and indefinable thing was his claim that he was under “demonic attack”!

I was beyond appalled at this accusation against those of us who approached him in genuine love and concern, backing up every concern WITH SCRIPTURE! Since when is being given scripture equated with demonic attack! Scripture given to expressly address error and apostasy is NEVER demonic!

It broke my heart that he would respond in such a fashion and that he would deliberately ignore and deflect from the very issue that lies at the heart of this correction.

Therefore, we are left with no other choice but to publicly expose the arrogant, refusal-to-be-corrected attitude of this teacher. We must do this so that you can be warned and shown FROM SCRIPTURE what the “big deal” is.

We are ALL accountable before God for what we do with His message. He has given every one of us the freedom to choose or reject Him; and although the choice to reject Him is fully ours to make, the consequences of our choices are set by God. Now more than ever, we need Godly wisdom and discernment, and we need the strength of God to stand firm on the truth of scripture alone without fear and without compromise.

Steve Berger’s affiliation with the highly heretical NAR is serious enough, but his promotion of necromancy is so grave and heinous a practice that this issue alone should cause this teacher to immediately break fellowship with Berger and publicly denounce both him and this abomination he promotes regardless of the other errors of the NAR. Yet this serious heresy, of which MANY concerned brethren have repeatedly warned this teacher, has been utterly ignored by him. In fact, he has doubled down in his defense of this deluded soul whom he refers to as his “brother in Christ” and with whom this teacher, at least so far, intends to share a pulpit.

People, where is our discernment? The refusal of this teacher to face the truth and to deal with it from and by scripture is why this is such a big deal and why he needs to be reproved and rebuked PUBLICLY FROM SCRIPTURE.

Here then is the issue at the heart of this matter: Years ago, Steve Berger lost his son in a tragic car accident. Apparently, Berger and his wife were deceived into believing they were having contact with their deceased son from beyond the grave. They believed this so thoroughly that they wrote a book about their many conversations with him after death. They and other members of their church even claimed to be getting “new revelations” about spiritual issues from him.

“Folks this is BLATANT occultism! There is NOTHING REMOTELY Biblical or doctrinally sound from such practices! The Bible calls the practice of attempting to communicate with spirits of the dead NECROMANCY, and such practice is strictly FORBIDDEN by God. Those who do such things bring the wrath of God upon themselves because they are trafficking with demonic spirits, NOT the spirits of those who are dead.

Let’s go to the scriptures themselves and examine for ourselves what GOD’S attitude is towards all things occult including sorcery, witchcraft, and necromancy.

“And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?” (Isaiah 8:19).

“There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).

“Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:31).

And from the New Testament:

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).

“But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:12-15).

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1).

Whether one uses a Ouija board, automatic writing, recording devices, or whatever other means to attempt to communicate with the spirits of the dead, the ones who do this are NOT making contact with the spirits of the dead, but with DEMONS masquerading as their dead loved ones. This is why God calls such practices an ABOMINATION, and forbids us any such trafficking into occult and esoteric matters (2 Kings 21:6; 1 Chronicles 10:13; 1 Samuel 28:7-19; Revelation 9:21; Revelation 21:8, among many others).

Berger STILL makes money off of the sale of this book; he is in fact still selling this book. He even has a special website for the sale of this book. Berger has NEVER recanted his beliefs in this occult practice, and he has never repented of it.

This teacher, of all people, should know what scripture clearly states regarding this forbidden practice. God clearly denounces it in the Old Testament and reiterates His forbidding of it in the New Testament as well. That which God called sin in the Old Testament is still sin in the New Testament.

It is clear though that this teacher, having been warned and bluntly told many times now about Berger’s continued and unrepentant involvement in this practice, still refuses to even address this issue with those who have approached him regarding it, neither does scriptural proof of God’s view regarding this abomination seem to matter to him.

Sadly, those of us who have attempted to warn this teacher from around the world – who are heartsick over his arrogant, haughty, and uncorrectable attitude, and have pleaded with him for the sake of God’s honor, for the purity and truth of the scriptures, and for his own witness and the integrity of his ministry – have sadly all been rebuffed by him. As I said, we’ve also had our ability to comment and respond removed by his Facebook page and his other social media platforms. This teacher (and/or those who admin and moderate for him) have called us “troublemakers” and “hateful people” who are “tearing the Church apart,” causing disunity in the Church.

The truth is that there is absolutely no problem in disrupting the “unity” of that which is a FALSE church to begin with. Those who dare to stand on the firm foundation of scripture alone and who dare to call out the false doctrines of demons and blatant occult/demonic practices have ALWAYS been accused of “sowing discord.” Millions down through the ages have gone to a martyr’s death rather than compromise the TRUTH of scripture.

I notice that all who are the very ones yelling the loudest about “unity” NEVER mention what scripture says about ACCOUNTABILITY before God.

Jesus Himself, and later the Holy Spirit, reiterated the same warnings through the Apostle Paul regarding FALSE teachers, FALSE prophets, FALSE doctrines, and FALSE gospels; we are to EXPOSE them.

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11).

These wolves-in-sheep’s-clothing (Jesus’ name for them, not ours) ALL huddle beneath the banner of “unity,” yet they NEVER DARE speak of their OWN accountability to TRUTH according to the scriptures. There can NEVER BE ANY UNITY between truth and error, or between false doctrine and sound! TRUTH is not for sale! Truth stands.

“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel” (Acts 20:28-33).

Steve Berger’s whining cries regarding all who scripturally reprove him – accusing all who dare such reproof as “tearing the Church apart” – is contradicted by scripture that mandates that we earnestly contend for THE faith…” (Jude 3) and that we call out ALL those who come preaching “another gospel.”

“Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:7-10).

The problem with the Church today is that she has been led down the primrose path by the father of lies, who has replaced accountability and sound doctrine with tolerance and a cry for a FALSE unity which embraces every deviant heresy known to man.

Well, God is NOT tolerant; He is HOLY. He has already warned us about these very times in which we are living. In fact, Jesus’ number one warning for the last days was to “BE NOT DECEIVED” by those who are NOT genuine pastors or even believers, but who are instead “ravening wolves.”

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” (Matthew 7:15-16).

Religious wolves SHUN accountability. They shun being called out by the very scriptures that they twist and mock with their “other gospels” for their own agenda.

“For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and TRUTH; Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And HAVE NO FELLOWSHIP with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather REPROVE THEM. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret” (Ephesians 5:9-12, emphases mine).

This teacher needs to wake up and realize that he cannot serve two masters. He has stated that Steve Berger’s large church was his first big client in his touring business, and that, over the years, Berger’s church has brought in a great deal of money. Is THIS the reason this teacher is refusing even to listen to the plethora of brothers and sisters in Christ who are warning and rebuking him FROM SCRIPTURE? Only God knows, but it’s a valid concern based on his refusal to heed anyone’s warnings via scripture. This teacher has become arrogant, haughty, and uncorrectable. These attitudes should never be a part of any believer’s character.

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” (Matthew 6:24-25).

What everyone is beseeching this teacher to do is to confront Steve Berger in love, and give him THE gospel. It is questionable at best by his own beliefs and actions whether Berger even believes THE gospel according to the scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). This teacher needs to break fellowship with Berger and his apostate/occult NAR beliefs, publicly renounce all ministry endeavors with any denomination that is apostate, and publicly accept correction and take full accountability for ever joining himself and his ministry with such unbiblical practices and beliefs.

Ultimately, it is GOD to whom this teacher (and we all) will stand accountable. He needs to return to his calling which is to preach the gospel.

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:14-17).

We ALL stand accountable for how we handle the Word of the Living God. All who, by their own choice, choose not to learn what scripture teaches, who do not revere, do not believe, or choose not to follow the TRUTH according to the scriptures, are WOLVES. Likewise, those who will not take correction given to them FROM SCRIPTURE are no better. They too refuse to follow the revealed Word of God regardless of what they say.

The completed, written canon of the Word of God is THE definitive standard by which EVERY person, EVERY teaching, EVERY ministry, and EVERY belief must be measured.

God’s Word is infallible, inerrant, and immutable. When ANYONE (regardless of who they are) picks and chooses little bits of the Bible and ignores or refuses any other portion of it, then that person is a HERETIC and a FALSE teacher.

Sadly, those who willingly align themselves with such blatant heresy, and who refuse BIBLICAL correction from scripture given to them by brethren who love them and are deeply concerned about the integrity of scripture and the holiness of God’s name and character, are putting themselves on very dangerous ground, as this teacher is doing right now.

Run from false teachers. Run from false “doctrines of devils.” Run from all that would bring reproach upon the holy God of Glory before whom we will ALL one day stand to give an account. Run and warn others to run.

Pray for this teacher that he will heed the correction and reproof of scripture. Pray for Steve Berger and for ALL who are caught in the lies of the heretical NAR and in demonic occult practices. Pray that they will repent and believe THE gospel according to the scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

Last of all, pray that all who need to hear the truth about this issue will accept the truth that the reproof and rebuke is coming from scripture alone, and is being given by this teacher’s brethren who are giving such correction out of love for him and with a broken heart. May we ALL realize our accountability to God, and may we ALL be willing to be broken before the Lord. May we all have a broken and contrite spirit, to be willing to accept with humility Biblical correction when faced with it ourselves.

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come” (John 16:13).