Has David Jeremiah Changed for the Better?
So has David Jeremiah Changed for the Better? Umm… no. Perhaps his recent showing on one of the scandalous Trinity Broadcasting Network’s (TBN) “Praise-a-thons” might persuade you otherwise? Showing him a friend to these false Word of Faith/Prosperity doctrine teachers?
Hearing David Jeremiah quoted favorably first hand from one pulpit of an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church (IFB) should give many pause how far these promoting Contemplative Spirituality and Mysticism (CSM) have come! (Not the church I am member) While Jeremiah’s books touching on eschatology may be popular in IFB circles comparable to LaHaye’s and Jenkin’s erroneous but money making Left Behind series the ends do not justify the means. Digging around in the manure for some lost valuables just leaves you dirty with a bad smell, in this case the smell of CSM and bad eschatology. David Jeremiah’s odd teachings are no stranger to the Biblical Discernment Ministry site and has more recently been noticed by other friends to this ministry. Dr. David Cloud’s Way of Life Ministries reminds their readers,
“…That Sue Monk Kidd [goddess worshiper] is quoted favorably by evangelicals such as David Jeremiah (Life Wide Open), Beth Moore (When Godly People Do Ungodly Things), Richard Foster (Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home), and Philip Yancy (Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?). Kidd’s endorsement is printed on the back of Dallas Willard’s book The Spirit of the Disciplines. She wrote the foreword to the 2006 edition of Henri Nouwen’s With Open Hands and the introduction to Thomas Merton’s New Seeds of Contemplation. Eugene Peterson, author of The Message, praises Kidd’s book When the Heart Waits. He says, “As I read her book, Kidd became a companion. I love having her walk with my on my journey.”
So really is this a surprise? Not really. Jeremiah’s actions reach back more than a few years with BDM, I have republished our 1999 article below and linked it here.
- David Jeremiah is the former president of Christian Heritage College in San Diego, California (succeeding psychologizer Tim LaHaye in 1988, but resigning in 1999 for health reasons [cancer, now in remission]), the senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church of El Cajon since 1981 (formerly known as Scott Memorial Baptist Church and where he also succeeded LaHaye), and perhaps best known as Bible teacher on the “Turning Point” radio and television programs. The radio program airs on 460 national and international stations daily. Jeremiah has also authored more than a dozen books.
- Jeremiah’s neo-evangelical and psychological leanings are becoming more and more evident with the passage of time. Jeremiah is a product of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches (GARBC), having pastored the GARBC-affiliated Blackhawk Baptist Church in Ft. Wayne, Indiana prior to moving to Southern California, and having served on the GARBC’s ruling Council of Eighteen in the late-1970s/early-1980s. (Jeremiah’s father is Chancellor at GARBC-approved Cedarville College in Ohio.) He has also appeared frequently on “Christian” psychologist James Dobson‘s Focus on the Family radio program (having first met Dobson in 1976 when Dobson spoke at Jeremiah’s church in Indiana).
- At the time of the 1980 GARBC Annual Convention in San Diego, Jeremiah had been speaking at all kinds of neo-evangelical meetings and conferences. Jeremiah was very angry because he had received numerous critical letters complaining that he, as a Council of Eighteen member, was identifying the GARBC with these neo-evangelicals. Jeremiah would not even attend the Council sessions, but did come to the closed Executive Session. He stated before all the Council members and the newly appointed National Representative, Dr. Paul Tassell [then a strong separatist/fundamentalist, but now a flaming neo-evangelical], that he was fed up with the GARBC and wanted nothing more to do with it and its stand on separation! In fact, after this he soon left the GARBC. (Reported in What Happened to the GARBC at Niagara Falls?, pp. 19-20.)
- Jeremiah stated in 1987 (at neo-evangelical Moody Bible Institute) that a Christian should stay in a church which no longer preaches the Bible, as long as he can do some good, and as long as his spiritual life is not hurt. Such counsel is clear-cut, neo-evangelical philosophy! (Reported in What Happened to the GARBC at Niagara Falls?, pp. 20-21.) Jeremiah was a 2/92 Moody Founder’s Week speaker and is listed with a bevy of neo-evangelical speakers in the 1992 Program Schedule for the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in North Carolina. (Reported in the 5/15/92, Calvary Contender.)
- Jeremiah appeared on James Dobson‘s 4/28/92 and 4/29/92 Focus on the Family radio programs to discuss Jeremiah’s book Exposing the Myths of Parenthood. On the 4/28 program, myth #10 was examined: “To be loved is not necessarily to feel loved.” Jeremiah revealed that he has coined a phrase from this: “The only love you can use is the love you can feel.”
Dobson then disclosed his own “theory” of why he thought children could, by every objective standard, be loved by their parents, yet not feel loved — it is due to “hormonal influence,” like “pre-menstrual disequilibrium,” which then causes most of a child’s low self-esteem problems! Dobson concluded: “… if my guess is correct … that there is a hormonal explanation for a lot of that rebellious behavior, and especially the low self-esteem … [then] it’s temporary … this is a developmental imbalance that’s going on … this is why it is of no value whatsoever to say to [rebellious kids], ‘Why are you acting this way?’ … all they know is that they feel these things passionately inside.” Jeremiah agreed with Dobson’s theory.
In effect then, Dobson and Jeremiah are saying that there is no personal responsibility for sin. Instead, ‘My hormones made me do it!’ Jeremiah concluded: “I wish you [Dobson] had been around when I was going through this [when his daughter was on drugs and being rebellious] … you accept the fact that it can be hormonal and just keep on working as hard as you can to communicate love at a feeling level.” What psychological dribble!
- Jeremiah’s adopted daughter, Jan, gave her testimony on Dobson’s 4/29/92 radio program, which had been taped previously at Word of Life in New York. In summary, Jan Jeremiah declared that her problems with drugs, rebelliousness, etc. were due primarily to the identity problem she supposedly suffered when the family moved from Indiana to California — she had “low self-esteem” and “I hated myself.” With the passage of time (supposedly she outgrew the hormonal effects on her behavior) and with the beneficial effects of attending a school in the Dominican Republic (where she was taught that “you are an important person in God’s eyes”), she recovered and again became a joyful Christian serving the Lord. David Jeremiah confirmed that the majority of his daughter’s problems were due to her problem of low self-worth; i.e., she just couldn’t “feel” the love being given her.
The Bible knows nothing of this feeling love that Jeremiah, Dobson, and the many other religious humanists (e.g., James Dobson, Gary Ezzo, Chuck Swindoll, Josh McDowell, etc.) in the professing church today are so fond of. Instead, the Bible speaks of action love-giving, obeying, doing, etc. — and then only in the truth (John 3:16; 14:23,24; Rom. 5:8; 12:9a,20a; Eph. 5:25; 1 John 3:16a,18; 4:9,10,19,20; 5:3; 2 John 6; Rev. 2:4,5).
- Jeremiah is on the Board of Directors of ALIVE Counseling Ministries, headquartered in El Cajon, California. ALIVE (an acronym for “Always Living In View of Eternity”) purports to be a “church oriented approach to [meet] the counseling needs of the Christian community.” However, ALIVE readily reveals its psychological, not Biblical, basis of counseling — the following statement from an ALIVE brochure details how it meets these counseling needs: “… with a biblically based plan for recovery … [benefiting] from the best of modern medical and counseling advances that stand the test of harmony with God’s revealed truth. … Advanced formal education [translated: "psychological training"] provides knowledge of emotions, personal relationships, and thinking about behavior problems. This education enables Christian counselors to apply God’s revealed truth to the problems of man.”! (Emphasis added.)
ALIVE in El Cajon is directed by Dr. Ken Nichols (who holds a doctor of counseling psychology from the Rosemead Graduate School of Psychology) [Nichols is also professor and Vice President of Student Development at Christian Heritage College where Jeremiah was president]. ALIVE also has four affiliate offices that are also directed by men with degrees and experience in clinical and/or counseling psychology. In spite of all this, Jeremiah endorses ALIVE’s highly psychological program:
“ALIVE Counseling is meeting the needs of hundreds of families and individuals. I know personally dozens of marriages that have been saved and deep emotional problems that have been resolved. In this day of psychological confusion and “new age” philosophy, it is encouraging to find a counseling ministry that is firmly rooted in the Scriptures.” (Emphasis added.)
“… firmly rooted in the Scriptures”? Where in the Scriptures do we find sending Christians to godless atheists for spiritual help (“… make referrals for professional evaluation” [i.e., evaluation by a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist]), or where do we find the concept of support group/recovery counseling (“set up specialized support group training programs”), or where in the Bible are we taught that the key to godly living is to focus on self (“How a person views himself affects his perception of every facet of life … enables participants to better understand that they are fearfully and wonderfully made”)? (Quotes are from ALIVE’s “Introducing ALIVE Ministries” brochure; emphasis added.)
- Dr. Bill Jackson, president of the Association of Fundamentalists Evangelizing Catholics (AFEC), prepared a 6/18/99 statement on “The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration” (EC) (see the 6/14/99 Christianity Today for the full text of the EC). This document has been endorsed by a host of psychologizers and neo-evangelicals such as Charles Colson, Bill Bright, and J.I. Packer, all of whom also signed the controversial ECT documents of 1994 and 1997; as well as endorsed by R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur and D. James Kennedy, all of whom publicly [albeit weakly] challenged and criticized them for signing the ECT documents. There are a number of helpful statements in this latest document which deal with areas which were not fully dealt with in the ECT documents (e.g., imputation is now dealt with favorably, but has been consistently opposed by Roman Catholic Councils and Catechisms). EC says, “We cannot embrace any form of doctrinal indifferentism by which God’s truth is sacrificed for a false peace.” But there is certainly no better example of “doctrinal indifferentism” than the ECT documents themselves (James 1:8)! Because ECT I stated that “Evangelicals and Catholics are brothers and sisters in Christ,” in order to be relevant, the new EC document should be submitted to the Roman Catholics who signed ECT I and II. It is difficult to see how a person could subscribe to both ECT and EC. The only logical conclusion is for all who signed EC to remove their names from ECT. It also appears that the so-called “evangelical” ECT endorsers have been “let off the hook” by former critics.
We believe EC will be used to rehabilitate those who erred in 1994 and 1997, without their having to admit or ask forgiveness for their error. (Source: 7/15/99, Calvary Contender.) [Other “evangelical” endorsers of EC among the 15 members of the Drafting Committee and 114 members of the Endorsing Committee include John Ankerberg, Kay Arthur, Tony Evans, Jerry Falwell, Bill Hybels, David Jeremiah, Max Lucado, Woodrow Kroll, Tim & Beverly LaHaye, Erwin Lutzer, Bill McCartney, Luis Palau, Pat Robertson, Ronald Sider, Charles Stanley, John Stott, Joseph Stowell, Chuck Swindoll, and Ravi Zacharias; also endorsing EC were hyper-charismatics Jack Hayford, Steven Strang, and Bruce Wilkinson.]
However ignorant Jeremiah and fellow endorsers may be of all this, his participation in EC makes him a party to its consequences. It is also important to note that the EC document (which is supposed to be a definitive and comprehensive statement of the true saving Gospel of Christ), never mentions repentance for salvation, and never mentions the total depravity of man (thereby leaning towards a decisional regeneration). Moreover, the EC promotes an ecumenical unity (via “trans-denominational cooperative enterprises”) with all professing believers who attest to the EC’s “essentials” of the faith. But this is not the unity of the faith taught in Ephesians. While we are instructed by Scripture to be of one mind, the evangelical today scoffs at the idea of true Biblical unity based on complete agreement with, and submission to, God’s holy Word. The only use of the word “unity” in the New Testament is found in Ephesians chapter four. It is a “unity of the Spirit” (v. 3), not of men. It is a “unity of faith” (v. 13) based on sound doctrine for which believers are to contend, not water down nor reclassify into essentials and non-essentials (Jude 3). No real spiritual unity can exist apart from doctrinal unity, and we are to “mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Rom. 16:17).
- In early-1998, neo-evangelical, charismatic Greg Laurie concocted a new “ministry,” PREACH THE WORD. Its first event was held August 26-29, 1998, titled “Leader’s Training Seminar.” Laurie states the purpose of the Leader’s Training Seminar is to bring in “some of America’s most powerful communicators to spend three days teaching on the topic of how to effectively bring God’s Word to our generation.” (Source: Greg Laurie/Harvest Crusade Internet web site, 4/98.) (The seminar was held concurrent with a Laurie’ “Harvest Crusade.”)
Besides Laurie speaking at the Leader’s Training Seminar, four other neo-evangelical psychologizers participated: David Jeremiah, Chuck Smith, Chuck Swindoll, and John MacArthur. It should be emphasized here, this event was not dubbed a debate. These are five men speaking on the same platform in supposed agreement. (This would seem to be a problem only for John MacArthur, since the others, including Jeremiah, have never spoken out against psychology, but instead have taught many psychological concepts openly.)
- Speakers at Shadow Mountain have included four-temperaments guru Tim LaHaye (10/3/99 — both services with books on sale), hyper-charismatic and liberal activist E.V. Hill (July, 1999, Summer Bible Conference), Promise Keepers‘ Bill McCartney (1996, with his wife also giving her testimony from the pulpit), and assorted sports figures. Also, as of November, 1999, Dr. Ken Nichols is teaching a lay counseling class. This is apparently the same Dr. Ken Nichols who was at Northwest Baptist Seminary in Tacoma, Washington some years back. He has a Ph.D. from Rosemead Graduate School of Psychology and was Director of Alive Counseling Ministries in Richland, Washington — both highly psychologized organizations. Yet, Jeremiah has identified himself with the teachings of all these men (2 John 11).
A Shadow Mountain member reported that on the last Sunday in October of 1999, Jeremiah preached on Mary Magdalene, concluding the sermon with a statement that “‘Contrary to Baptist doctrine regarding women preachers, Mary Magdalene was the first to ‘preach’ Christ’s resurrection.’ The ladies loved it.” (Jeremiah recanted by the evening service, saying that ordaining women pastors was not Scriptural.)
- Other Jeremiah’ ecumenical/neo-evangelical activities include:
(a) Speaking at Billy Graham Training Center (“The Cove”) programs (every year since 1992);
(b) Speaking at ecumenical, charismatic, psychospiritual men’s conferences that have become so popular since the advent of the Promise Keepers movement. For example, Jeremiah spoke at the 1994 Christian Men’s Conference (“Becoming a Faithful Man”) held 8/26-8/28 in Palm Springs, California;
(c) Having a blasphemous religious rap group “DC Talk” for a week long (3/3/94-3/8/94) appearance at Shadow Mountain. (Reported in the May-Jun 1994, Fundamentalist Digest.);
(d) Participating in a four-way written dialogue with apostate relational theology preacher Bruce Larson [now co-pastor of apostate Robert Schuller‘s Crystal Cathedral] in the Winter 1994 Leadership magazine. Other participants included Chuck Swindoll, then the new president of Dallas Theological Seminary, and Charles Blake, pastor of the West Angeles (CA) Church of God in Christ. (Reported in the Jul-Aug 1994, Fundamentalist Digest.);
(e) Quoting from the Living Bible (without acknowledging that it is only a paraphrase), and honoring liberal/neo-orthodox men like William Barclay (a favorite, seemingly) and German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. (Reported in the 9/15/94, Calvary Contender – from Jeremiah’s 1994 book, Turning Toward Integrity.);
(f) Speaking at National Religious Broadcaster’s (NRB) meetings, and serving on its 90-member Board of Directors. Jeremiah was the keynote speaker for the 1997 NRB Convention. As he began to speak, Jeremiah said, “It is a privilege for Donna and me to be here. I deeply appreciate the musicians we have just heard [rock music]. I have been coming to the NRB for 25 years, and only missed one three years ago when I was ill.”;
(g) Praising South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu on his 10/11/99 Turning Point radio program. (Tutu is a liberation theologian who believes Christ was a revolutionary similar to Castro or Mao. He does not believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, but believes that all great religions lead to God. He was quoted as saying: “I am a socialist. I hate capitalism.” He favors ordination of homosexuals.)