The Circle Maker Heresy – Witchcraft In The Church

Circle Maker Mark Batterson | Apostasy False Teacher

The apostasy of the modern church continues with a book that is teaching witchcraft.

Updated  Tuesday, January 15, 2013.

A book called “The Circle Maker” has started making the rounds through churches as the latest “new method” to access untold blessings from God. Written by Pastor Mark Batterson of National Community Church in Washington D.C., The Circle Maker teaches a new method of prayer by drawing a circle either on the ground or in the Bible based on an old Jewish legend from the Talmud and misuses verses from the Bible to put a new spin on the Prosperity Gospel heresy that wrongly teaches that Christians can receive whatever material blessing they want from God. Not only is this a false teaching and heresy, it is also embracing concepts from witchcraft. The popularity of this book among Christians is yet another sign of the growing apostasy as the church moves away from the Bible to adopt any new method even if it is linked to the occult.

The “New Way” To Pray 

Mark Batterson Photo | Circle Maker Heresy

Pastor Mark Batterson’s teachings are based on traditions of men.

“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

Batterson started National Community Church in 1996 with 3 people and today it is one of the fastest growing churches in Washington D.C. with 7 campuses where the church meets (consisting of coffee shops, movie theaters and concert spaces). The Washington Post has dubbed Batterson: “one of the most promising leaders for the next generation.” David Kinnaman, President of the Christian polling and research firm, Barna Group said:

I’m not sure if anyone could make a bet as to whether he’ll reach the rare echelon of the top two or three pastors, but he’s clearly putting himself in the hunt,” said David Kinnaman, president of the evangelical polling and research firm the Barna Group. (source)

Zondervan, one of the biggest publishers in the world, chose The Circle Maker as one of three books to do a major PR campaign to tens of thousands of churches across America. The book debuted as a New York Times bestseller. So with all the excitement, hype and popularity, what exactly is the book teaching? Here is a video trailer for the book and the accompanying study course:

Notice that the entire premise of the book is based on “the legend of Honi The Circle Maker.” This should be the first red flag to any Bible-believing Christian (and it is this author’s sincere hope and prayer that this article will encourage believers to use the Bible as the basis of their beliefs and decisions about what is God-honoring and what is not). This “legend” is a story from the Talmud and Midrash, which is a compilation of Jewish oral tradition and commentaries on the Mosaic law. The point here is that the Talmud is not the Bible. Honi is referred to as “a prophet of God” and yet he is not mentioned in the Bible.  Notice in the video, Honi did not wait to hear God’s instructions as all the prophets of the Old Testament did. He has his own plan and ideas and took them to God for The Lord to execute. It was Honi’s idea to make the circle, not The Lord’s. This is the exact opposite of God’s prophets who the word of The Lord came to and they acted upon it as willing servants.

The Bible says: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15) and encourages Pastors to “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.” (2 Timothy 4:2). In both commands it is focused on The Bible which is “the word of truth” and “doctrine.”

Why would a Pastor base an entire book and teaching on prayer, one of the most important aspects of Christian life, on a non-Biblical source? The same passage 2 Timothy continues:

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 4:3-4).

Rather than focus on “sound doctrine.” Batterson is teaching “fables” to the church. Batterson reinforces this by saying he is in fact teaching “how to pray in a new way” and states “you can’t just read the Bible, you need to start circling the promises..” All of this is with this goal of achieving “big dreams” and having God deliver your desires to you. This “me-centered” approach to the Bible is a hallmark of the Prosperity Gospel heresy. It is a false teaching that misuses Scripture to teach that whatever a Christian desires on Earth, can be theirs, either through faith, giving money to a pastor or some other New Age technique. When in fact, Jesus Christ instructs to not store up treasures on Earth, but focus on eternal life (which comes through faith in Christ), serving God and our eternal riches in Heaven.  But Batterson, like many Pastors today who are “seeker-sensitive” and “emergent” want church to cater to the wants and desires of the world wants to use the Bible as a means of receiving what you want, as soon as possible.

In this case, it is done by  “drawing a circle in the sand” or around whatever object it is that a person wants.  This is where “discernment” – the ability to distinguish a teaching that is based on the Bible and thus The Word of God, from what is not. This is a very important skill for every Christian and The Circle Maker is a perfect example to demonstrate how believers can be lured and deceived into thinking a teaching is Biblical, when it is not.

 

Circle Maker Prayer Circle | Mark Batterson Apostasy

What does this have to do with the Bible?

Batterson continues his false teachings by saying that when it comes to praying for big things that you want in life: “Your job is not to crunch numbers and make sure the will of God adds up.” However, the Bible says the exact opposite of this. 1 John Chapter 5 says: ” And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” We are indeed instructed to “crunch the numbers” and make sure that what we pray for is in line with God’s will. And how can we know God’s Will? By going to the Bible. Our desires and prayers to God should be in line with Biblical teachings.

Is it okay to pray for a job or a raise? Yes! Ecclesiastes chapter 5 states:

“Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion. Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.”

The Bible clearly supports hard work for an honest days pay and enjoying the fruit of your labor. So we should never think that a Christian cannot pray for material gain. Taking care of oneself, family and others are good thing that the Bible instructs us to do and thus prayer to help make these things happen in a moral, God-fearing manner is Biblical.

Contrast this with a Christian man who knows a Christian woman married to an unbeliever. And his “big dream” is that she will one day be with him so they can have a Christian marriage together. Is this in line with God’s will? Jesus said: ” But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” – Mark 10:6-9.

So clearly this would not be in line with God’s Will. It is the Christian’s duty to search the scriptures if one is unsure about a prayer. We are definitely supposed to “crunch the numbers.” And even after prayers are made it is possible that we do not know God’s will in the matter. Rather than be “audacious” we are instructed to submit to it and stay faithful.

Bold Claims With No Scripture

 

Circle Maker Student Edition | Circle Maker False Teaching Apostasy.

The Circle Maker is being marketed to Christian youth as well.

Batterson instructs Christians to “draw circles in the sand” and “If you draw the circle God will multiply the miracles in your life.” But where is he getting this idea from? This promise that God will multiply your miracle if your draw circles is never stated in the Bible. In fact there is nothing in the Bible that teaches Christians to make circles at all. In his instructional video and in his book, this is a running theme – statements being made as if they are from God but they are not in the Bible. This is another major red flag when identifying false teachings. Here is the first lesson from his group study:

 

At the 10:00 mark in the video The Circle Maker teaches that the promises in the book of Joshua, which God made as the Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land, apply to Batterson and all Christians. But is this what the Bible says? Notice that Batterson does not give the context of the promise from Joshua that God made:

Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. — Joshua 1:1-6.

In the proper context, the passage is The Lord speaking to Joshua specifically and the Israelite nation that was with him at that time. This was not a promise being made to all believer forever. It was a specific situation, with a specific promise of a specific piece of land, namely the Promised Land in the Middle East. There is nothing in this passage that would imply that God was promising any piece of land to any believer at any time in history. It is very important in interpreting the Bible to not read yourself into the text where it is not appropriate. When a promise is being applied to all people, the Bible uses the appropriate language. For example: “Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God:” (Luke 12:8).

In this verse Jesus is making a universal declaration for all people. This is something that all believers should understand as applying to them. If we apply Batterson’s logic, then every Christian should be building an ark, or making a temple or rebuilding the walls of the city of Jerusalem, since God commanded all these things to his prophets in the Old testament. Yet, we do not because we understand those were descriptive verses, that teach us and not prescriptive verses that command us. Batterson does the same thing with the story of the fall of Jericho, applying a specific story to himself even though there is no reason to.

We are to learn from these Old Testament events for their spiritual significance not to repeat the literal actions of the people in the Old Testament. Joshua and the Israelites succeeded in the battle of Jericho because they believed God’s Word. That is the spiritual point. The Word of God came to them and instructed them and they believed it, showing they had faith in The Lord. And God provided the victory. This is how salvation is received by every Christian. We believe God’s Word and promise to save us and God does the work through the death of Christ on the cross. And we get the victory in Jesus.  Rather than being a “how-to guide” on getting the piece of property or material item you want, the account of Joshua leading the Israelites into the Promised Land is a type and shadow of Jesus leading all believers into Heaven.

In the book Batterson gives the account of his church using the Joshua story as a motivation to get an auto shop owner to sell his property to them, even though he did not want to sell it. The Pastor had his congregation “lay hands” on the building then march around it repeatedly.  As Batterson writes: “We circled that property so many times that I’m almost surprised the walls didn’t fall down just like at Jericho.”  This shop owner is not accused of doing anything illegal or unethical. Batterson and his church just wanted his property because it was “an eyesore” next to their new building.  Eventually the owner relented and sold the property to Batterson and his church. Was this a Christian way to treat a shop owner? Batterson needs no Biblical basis because in the book he claims that God told him directly to take the auto store.
Other statements by Batterson:

God “plays chicken” with us until we have prayed enough to satisfy him. (The Circle Maker, p. 109).

“you are only one prayer away from a dream fulfilled, a promise kept, or a miracle performed.” (The Circle Maker, p. 21).

“Prayers are prophecies.” (The Circle Maker, p. 21).

None of this is actually in the Bible. In Acts chapter 7, the Apostle Stephen was put on trial and sentenced to death for proclaiming the Gospel of Christ Jesus. Why didn’t he draw a circle in the sand when his accusers were preparing to execute him? When David was being pursued by King Saul who wanted to kill him and was hiding out in caves to evade him, where were the bold prayers? When the prophet Jeremiah was beaten and jailed for preaching God’s Word, why did he not use Batterson’s methods?  Of course we will find no examples of anyone drawing any “circles in the sand” in the Bible. Jesus instructed the Disciples on how to pray:

And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. — Luke 11:1-4.

Notice that there was no “boldness” or anything “audacious” in the example given by the Son of God Himself. It was humble and reverent of The Lord. It boldly praises God, instead of boldly asking for what we want to suit our own dreams. And it asks that God’s will be done, again, showing that we do indeed make sure we are in line with God’s will when we pray.  And when it comes time to make a request, Jesus taught “give us day by day our daily bread.” When the Israelites spent 40 years in the wilderness, God provided manna  from Heaven for them to eat each day never taking more than what was needed. It was to demonstrate our need for constant dependence on God. And so too should a believer feed their spirit with the Word of God, our spiritual “bread”, each day. The prayer finishes by asking for forgiveness of sin and protection from sinful temptation.

Jesus then demonstrated this in the Garden of Gethsemane when His impending arrest and execution was going set to take place. Jesus was in such emotional agony over facing death and God’s wrath for the sins of humanity that he was sweating blood.  As He prayed to God The Father He said:

Then saith [Jesus] unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. — Matthew 26:38-39.

Despite the torment He was facing, Jesus submitted in His prayer because He was focused on the will of God and not His own will.  There is no earthly prosperity guarantee for Christians. But there is endless eternal riches thanks to Jesus following God’s will and going to the cross to die for all.  And Batterson’s teachings do not follow Jesus’ model at all.

 

“Have You Read The Circle Maker?”

The Circle Maker | Apostasy Mark Batterson

Yes, I have read the book and completed the video courses.

This author has had this question asked numerous times and I have decided to update the article to address this concern. I have read the book and done one hour of course work online. I have also appeared on New York City AM radio for a one hour interview about the book in which I debated it and answered callers who phoned in to defend The Circle Maker. So I am very familiar with the book and have read through it many times.  But since there is more desire to hear more of what is in the book that is so at odds with The Word of God, here are more examples (and if you have listened to the radio show interview on WMCA you will note most of these were read on air):

  • Batterson discussing the legend of Honi:

With the authority of the prophet Elijah, who called down fire from Heaven, Honi called down rain..” p 10.

Once again, the fable of Honi The Circle Maker is not in the Bible. Yet here is Batterson, equating Honi, who was not a prophet of God, and never mentioned in Scripture, with Elijah, one of the great prophets of the Old Testament, who we know for certain was operating under divine authority. Batterson is clearly taking legend and equating it with Scripture.

  • Batterson again emphasizing the use of circles:

“The bigger the circle we draw, the better, because God gets more glory.” p 11.

  • In explaining that God’s promise to Moses and Joshua to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land, had now literally passed to him, Batterson writes:

I had Honi-like confidence that just as this promise had been transferred from Moses to Joshua, God would transfer the promise to me if I had enough faith to circle it.” p. 15.

The errors here are numerous. As explained above, the promise of entering the land of Canaan was not made to Batterson. It was made to Joshua and the Israelites at that time in ancient history. To read himself into the text in this fashion is mishandling the Scripture. And notice Batterson emphasizes Honi once again and the use of the circle as the key to obtaining this blessing. The Honi-Circle story is the foundation of this entire book.

  • Batterson “small or vague prayers”:

“And that’s why our prayers aren’t just boring to us. They are uninspiring to God.” p. 23

Where is this ever said in Scripture? The Bible tells us to cast “all” of our cares at God’s feet because “He careth for us.” As explained above, by Batterson’s wildly unbiblical standards, Jesus’ own model prayer asking God to “give us this day our daily bread” would be boring and uninspiring to The Lord. Clearly, this is heresy and false teaching.

  • Batterson on the risks of not using the circle:

“The greatest risk is failing to circle the promises of God because we forfeit the miracles God wants to perform.” p. 51  

This is the essence of the Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel doctrine. That it is up to the person to act and perform some work in order for God to perform a miracle. In other words, God is bound until we “release Him.” The Lord does not need our “permission” to act. Again, a Christian is blessed through Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross. It is faith that leads to salvation and then the blessings are what Christ has earned for us as adopted children into the beloved family of God.

  • Here is Batterson once again citing Honi as the model for prayer in a Christian’s life:

“I’m sure Honi the circle maker prayed in a lot of different ways at a lot of different times. He had a wide variety of prayer postures. But when he needed to pray through, he drew a circle and dropped to his knees. His inpsiration for the prayer circle was Habakkuk. He simply did what the prophet Habakkuk had done:  “I will stand upon my watch, and station me within a circle.” p. 157

Once again, it is Honi that is the basis for this book (not Joshua at Jehrico, which was just one example in the book).  And Batterson now goes into the mind of Honi to explain his inspiration (where he obtained this information is unknown). And he quotes Habakkuk 2:1 (with no verse citation) to try and support his speculation about what inspired Honi. Here is Habbukuk 2:1 from the King James Version:

I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. – Habakkuk 2:1.

Notice the problem here? The verse does not say “circle.”  The Hebrew word for tower, matsowr, means a rampart, watch tower or defensive entrenchment. Even in the NIV, the most popular modern version, the verse reads “rampart.”  A simple search of all the modern Bible versions will show that none of them used the phrase “station me within a circle.” Yet Batterson added that to The Word of God, just to promote the fable of Honi and the circle-making ritual, which have no connection to the Bible whatsoever. Even if Honi was inspired by this verse from Habakkuk, why does it matter for a believer? Honi was not a prophet of God. So again, Batterson’s teachings are going to man-made ideas and not God-breathed, divinely inspired Scripture. This is heresy and the Bible says this of preachers who teach in this fashion:

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” – Romans 16:17.

Where Is The Gospel?

cross Circle Maker Heresy | Mark Batterson False Prophet

Mark Batterson directs people to draw circles of Honi but ignores the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. – Colossians 2:8.

And this is where Batterson again shows lack of Biblical basis for his “new way to pray.” In his intro or his study group, where is the name of Jesus? Only once or twice is Jesus mentioned, much less preaching on the need to put faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin. There is no Gospel message whatsoever. And if this is supposed to be for those who are already Christians, then why is there is no mention of repentance or putting the focus on God in our lives and not our own agenda? John the Baptist in reference to his own fame as a preacher before Jesus started His ministry said: “I must decrease, so He [Jesus] can increase..” This should be the “big dream” for all followers of Christ. James 4:3 says: “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

 

Praying for whatever we want in life with no regard for God is the foundation of the Prosperity Gospel. It puts God in the role of our servant who we have to “activate.”  Batterson confirms this false teaching when he says: “God has determined that certain expressions of His power will only be exercised in response to prayer.” In other words, God is restrained from doing certain things with His power, unless we move to “release” Him.  In his minor reference to Jesus He sums up the Savior by saying Jesus’ main message is ” What do you want me to do for you?” and that in order to give our requests to Jesus who is waiting on us, “we have to know what to circle.”   This is heresy from a false teacher who is not teaching the Bible but instead fables and the doctrines of men. Do not be deceived.

 

Circle Making – A Tool of Witchcraft

Circle Maker Tarot Card Mark Batterson | Apostasy False teaching

A tarot card called ‘The Wheel’ features a witch’s magik circle.

“Most witches consider their spiritual space to be their magikal circle. A magik circle is a space where a Witch will conduct rituals and ceremonies. It is the gateway between worlds, spiritual and physical realms come together and allow you to communicate with spirit, conduct spiritual work, rituals, ceremonies and castings.” (The Pagan’s Path Wiccan Website source).

 

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.

In witchcraft and Wicca, drawing a “magick circle” is a well known and ancient practice for casting spells and accessing the demonic realm. It is an occult method of prayer. So not only is Batterson teaching a practice that’s not in the Bible, it is copying a technique used in the occult. Any “new” spiritual teaching that does even mention Jesus or the Gospel will inevitably lead back to Satan.

 

Circle Within Magic Circle Book | The Circle Maker Batterson Heresy

A book on witchcraft that focuses on drawing circles to fulfill your desires.

Lord willing it should be obvious at this point that there are numerous red flags of heresy with this book, this Pastor and his false teachings. As believers, with access to the Bible, it is our duty to evaluate teachings, sermons and books (including the articles on this website) to see if they are in line with sound, Biblical doctrine. If it is too hard to determine where to find the proper method of evaluation, start with the Gospels. Look at what someone is preaching and look to Jesus Christ and His Disciples. Did they use this “technique” or “method” that is being taught? At a minimum if you see no mention of these ideas in the life and ministry of Jesus or the Apostles then that should be a warning sign and indication of its lack of importance.

Pray for Mark Batterson’s repentance from this false teaching, National Community Church and all the people being caught up in this new spin on the Prosperity Gospel, that they would return to what the Bible actually says over ancient legends and the occult. And continue to base your Christian walk on the truths of the Bible. It is the Gospel that saves. It is the Gospel and believing in Jesus that brings blessings to Christians, not “circles.” God blesses us because we are in Christ, not because we have “activated his power” in our lives. And when it comes to prayer, The Lord Jesus gave an example of how all believers should pray and that should be all the guarantee needed to know God will hear it answer it in accordance with His perfect will.

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Comments

  1. Your website is bad and you should feel bad.

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    • What’s so bad about it?

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      • Truth Hurts!

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        • What truth are you referring too?

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          • Tammy Chesnic says:

            Did you actually say that the events of the Bible..are not for all true believers? Now that is false teaching. The Bible is our model-Jesus is the Word=every Christian can claim the promises of God’s Word. I am not sure about your intentions here..your comments just don’t add up -I see red flags and warning bells as I read what you have written.

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            • Tami, in your commentary to B & E you criticized him for making the claim that “the events of the Bible…are not for all true believers”. I am sure that you mean well, but you should take the advice that Jesus have to the Pharisees when He told them to “go and learn”. Do really believe that everything in the Bible is to be adheres to today. Do you think that the civil law of the ancient nation of Israel is to be enforced by today’s civil judges. Do you think that it is a right handling of scripture to affirm modern day stoning of adulterers and fornicators, thieves, and those who blaspheme? Are we to take every event in Scripture as prescriptive to a Christian’s life. Are to follow every example of the disciples? Judas betrayed Jesus for money and then hanged himself. Thomas doubted, should we therefore doubt. Peter denied his association with The Lord. Are all the events of the Bible there for us to follow?

              Obviously, B & E was right in his claim that not every event of the Bible is for the Christian today. In God’s great wisdom He has purposes according to His own counsel (Eph 1:11) to reveal Himself and His purpose to mankind progressively. In doing so, He has even spoken to this progressive revelation directly in His announcement of the coming of the New Covenant in Jeremiah: “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers…”(Jeremiah 31:31, 32 NASB).
              Even The LORD has said that some “events” of His prescribed truth were for a certain time.

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              • Responding to the above I replied next to each comment I was led to reprove.
                Tami, (Tammy) in your commentary to B & E you criticized him for making the claim that “the events of the Bible…are not for all true believers”. I am sure that you mean well, but you should take the advice that Jesus have to the Pharisees when He told them to “go and learn”.
                ( I am hardly a Pharisee, also the curtain has been torn. Great news!, I can outright ask My Father God anything in prayer if I am unsure and it will be revealed in His Word. Matthew 7:7 Yet, since you mentioned it, I have studied in Seminary obtaining a Masters in Ministry. I am not “unlearned”. Add my relationship with Christ and God can reveal anything I need to know as long as I seek I will find = a promise!
                You may think you have “learned” but obviously without relationship with Christ you cannot ever see the TRUTH you will see as a man sees and not as Christ. )
                Do really believe that everything in the Bible is to be adheres to today. Do you think that the civil law of the ancient nation of Israel is to be enforced by today’s civil judges. Do you think that it is a right handling of scripture to affirm modern day stoning of adulterers and fornicators, thieves, and those who blaspheme?
                Are we to take every event in Scripture as prescriptive to a Christian’s life.
                (Absolutely we must line up everything according to Scripture, ever tried it? Go to Proverbs and learn that everything written will happen exactly as written. If you get involved in adultery then the price to pay is trust lost a,marriage splits, kids suffer. and many stones beat down to kill, steal, destroy everything in its path if repentance does not take place. )
                Are we to follow every example of the disciples?
                (Absolutely we should follow every example of the disciples!)
                Judas betrayed Jesus for money and then hanged himself.
                (Yes! Then Judas went to the Pharisees…not JESUS with regret= he could NOT cope.If he had a relationship with Christ he would have known to RUN To JESUS)
                Thomas doubted, should we therefore doubt.
                (Yes! Thomas doubted, that is the flesh, showing all Christians that they must rely on the power of the Holy Spirit and not their own flesh or they will also doubt.But what did Thomas do next? Repented!!! He had a true relationship and knew to go straight to ask forgiveness ASAP.)
                Peter denied his association with The Lord.
                (Yes! Peter denied Jesus in the weakness of flesh! BUT what then did he do? He RAN to Jesus and was forgiven and became the ROCK on which Christ built His entire church! Wonderful example…of failure that God turns into Glory when we repent ASAP! That means turn an about-face, straight back eyes focusing on Christ again. Absolutely! the events of the Bible are there to follow…..
                Showing us all that in the flesh we can do NOTHING! But when when we are Holy Spirit led, we will quickly repent and then God can use our lives as powerful examples of God’s mercy and forgiveness.)
                Are all the events of the Bible there for us to follow?
                (Absolutely all events in the Bible are here for us to follow! 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:)

                Obviously, B & E was right in his claim that not every event of the Bible is for the Christian today.
                (I disagree, Every event when understood as” a whole” certainly can be used today. You do know that when Jesus died on the cross we are no longer subject to the punishment you pertained to~stoning for adultery for example? Yet a price is certainly paid when someone has premarital sex/fornication/ takes place for example then comes a broken damaged soul for every time we have sex we take on some of that partners problems= soul peaces=a broken soul of a person, then how about sexual diseases, pregnancy, cheating/betrayal a lack of trust is damaging and often steals kills,destroys a soul. There is a price for theft and any sin as well that can become so entangled as if we wish we were stoned to death after all the consequences are evidenced in the live(s) involved)
                In God’s great wisdom He has purposes according to His own counsel (Eph 1:11)
                to reveal Himself and His purpose to mankind progressively.
                (?Ephesians 1:11 does not say that?
                11 Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God,[a] for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.
                The curtain has been torn…if you want to know, God will reveal it Pray, then get in The word and Praise repeat=answer will appear. Then if it takes a while=fast and pray.God will NOT withhold what you need!
                Matthew 7:11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
                Psalm 84:11 For the LORD God [is] a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good [thing] will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
                Psalm 34:9
                O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
                Psalm 34:10
                The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.)
                In doing so, He has even spoken to this progressive revelation directly in His announcement of the coming of the New Covenant in Jeremiah: “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers…”(Jeremiah 31:31, 32 NASB).
                Even The LORD has said that some “events” of His prescribed truth were for a certain time.
                (Yes the new covenant occurred when Christ died on the cross. That means since nobody can keep all the laws perfectly they must RUN to Christ for He is our only hope…and as Jesus said He sent the comforter to guide us into all truth
                John 14:26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
                Now we have EVERYTHING we need for EVERY answer to EVERY problem.
                The certain time =As soon as when The Bible became available as a whole entire document to guide His people.That it exists for complete perfect instruction until the very day He returns. It is the absolute truth for every problem that will ever exist. No doubt about it.
                John 17:17
                “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.
                John 14:6
                Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
                2 Timothy 3:16-17
                All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
                John 16:13
                “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
                Romans 1:18
                For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
                John 8:32
                and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
                2 Corinthians 10:5
                We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,
                Colossians 2:8
                See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
                1 Peter 3:15
                but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;

                ….must know(Jesus) the truth before being set free from doubt,fear,lies,unbelief…just saying.

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                • Mr. or Mrs. or Miss Anonymous: Your analysis of my commentary directed toward “Tami Chesnic” was not lucid. It was unhinged from rational observation. Please seek wise counsel as to “context” and basic hermeneutics before proceeding. I do not think that you desire to do harm to the Word of God, so please consider these things. Thanks.

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      • following CHRIST says:

        What’s good about practicing witchcraft?

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        • There is no such thing as witchcraft. Wicca does not equal witchcraft. What’s good about following a cult that says its okay to put ‘witches’ to death?

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          • Hi Ryan.

            Thanks for your comments. You raise a great question:

            “What’s good about following a cult that says its okay to put ‘witches’ to death?”

            The Bible indeed does say a witch should be put to death. And thought that is a part of the Mosaic law which applied to the nation of Israel in 1500 B.C., it does say it. So what’s going on here? The law is a reflection of God’s moral standards. It is showing what it takes to be moral and witchcraft was such a pervasive and pernicious and spiritually dangerous sin, it was punishable by death in God’s eyes. It is just like a father saying that any person who assaults children should be killed. Many parents feel this way. Are they wrong for this? Are they insane? No. Their sentiment reflects their utter outrage and disgust for anyone who would do such a thing. God is expressing the same viewpoint in His law.

            The BIG DIFFERENCE though is that God is not like us (humans). Look at what else the Bible says:

            The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. – psalm 103:8.

            For if ye turn again unto the Lord, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him. – 2 Chronicles 30:9.

            And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. – Joel 2:13.

            God is not like us. He is not looking to just destroy His creation for one wrong deed, mercilessly (as say a Dad would do to someone who harmed his child). In the same law where God said a witch should be put to death, God gave specific, MANDATORY sacrifices to be done by priests in the temple to atone for the sins of the people. So a sacrifice could be done to “cover” one’s sins and in God’s eyes. And how often was it done? In the morning and evening, EVERY DAY. So even though God, like MANY parents all over the world says “if you do this, I’m going to kill you!”, He is merciful to provide a way for forgiveness, every sinlge day (just like a good parent). So that witch can be forgiven of his/her sins and turn back to worshiping God and it will all be forgotten.

            And this is the message of the Bible. We are all sinners. Wiccans are worshiping other spirits, even nature itself. This is idolatry. It is a major sin. And it is just one of the many sins we all commit in some form or fashion. I can provide proof of this because I have probably sinned much more and worse than you in my lifetime. But the good news is that Jesus Christ came to Earth to be the ultimate atonement. To die once for every person’s sins who ever lived. All we have to do is believe.

            Now you may read all this and say “this guy’s crazy” and that I’m wrong. But what if I’m right? Then you now know that you can forgiven for all of your sins, never worry about suffering eternal hellfire and look forward to life in Heaven with God all by just putting faith in Jesus Christ and what He did out of love for you. Now it’s your choice to either ignore the sins you knowingly committed and reject God, or start to get to know Him and believe in what He did because He loves you and wants you to return to Him.

            “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” – Isaiah 1:18.

            I hope and pray that you consider God’s offer.

            How to Get to Heaven
            http://beginningandend.com/how-to-get-to-heaven/

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            • Whiteknight777 says:

              Some very good points but a few more would enable one to see the bigger picture. One is that the nation of Israel was a theocracy; both state and religion combined. Commandments, laws, and regulations were all part of the first covenant. Stoning as mentioned would have come under statue law, just as murder is punishable under our statue laws today. Under the first covenant mercy was seldom shown to the individual, though it was shown to the nation by Yahweh.

              In the second covenant, the commandments are still in effect and forgiveness is given to those that repent. No repentance = no forgiveness. To say that all that one has to do is believe ‘Jesus’ (Yahshua) is often said as to imply that no obedience is expected. This is incorrect and dangerous, for scripture also shows that the demons believe and we all know that they do not qualify for salvation.

              To say that we believe Yahshua and all that He said, is to also believe that He said that the commandments are not done away. Read Matt.5. A simple belief is not going to pardon you. You must take action after being forgiven, to sin no more, that is why it is part of the prayer outline given by Yahshua. We need to repent and change for the better every day.

              Finally, overcomers of sin, are promised the earth and not heaven. When Yahshua returns He will establish His kingdom on this earth for 1,000 years.

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              • Tesslynn says:

                well said whitenight777, belief is the START of salvation, a confession, repentance, and acceptance of WHO Yeshua is, was, and will be is the whole package so to speak. Most who come by faith, do NOT have any Hebraic background and limited understanding of any of the culture of the nation, Israel. and unfortunately the Western Church body hasn’t always been accurate in teaching/portraying the Old Testament in ideal correctness. Because they see through the eyes of Christiandom, not Judaism. Their experience is Christianity and culturally they just don’t know. It isn’t a flaw, as much as it is unlearned. Demons are CERTAINLY aware of WHO Yeshua is, and do believe in Him because their goal, purpose and assignment as it were, is to thwart the eternal plan of Jehovah (Yahweh). Yahweh had a plan, purpose, goal in keeping His CHOSEN pure, devout, and alive against all odds in a world where they were constantly outnumbered. They were/are a covenant people, bound to strict moral guidelines, and as you said, a theocracy. no gray area, not any room for compromise-though it occurred despite the mandates and divine instruction on how it would be. Man has always offered his own interpretation, which is quite hysterical -the creation offering guidance to the Creator. But so it goes, down through the ages, everyone contributing their personal “revelation”, their two cents worth, as the “gospel” truth-or even a “thus sayeth the LORD” to affirm an opinion, or add weight or value to their words. When it WASN’T at all representational of the divine plan. And mostly is quite contrary to TRUTH. Deception has always sounded good and so tempting, that hasn’t changed from the beginning, why would it now? People haven’t evolved much either, they are still listening to it, falling for it, and believing it to be the “new” and improved path, when it NEVER was or will be. False teachers, prophets, have always been around, and will close the age still spewing untruth. There is always an interest and audience for such nonsense.

                Bottom line, if you want TRUTH, study the WORD, not a publication on a best sellers list for the present calendar year, composed by the latest wonder of the “church”. Seek ye first the KINGDOM of God, not a publication of Zondervan. (and yes I do affirm that Zondervan publishes Bibles, but they weren’t the source of publication when it was being created. They came WAY later, ha) However good their intentions might be, always go to the source. Pray for instruction, in spirit and in truth, because those who seek HIM, have the promise, they WILL find HIM. Fads come and go, and there is nothing NEW under the sun, it is just repackaged and marketed for an easily swayed and deceived audience. It isn’t about YOU, ever, it is about the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, He ALONE is WORTHY, we are just HIS workmanship. Mark B came into being from dust like the rest of humanity, and he will return to dust, and his wasn’t more “precious” dust. If you get that, then you will see this whole thing for what it is. Blessings to all, He LOVES HIS kids, so get acquainted with the ONE who created you, and don’t follow a man and his foolish notions.

                I haven’t read this book, though I have looked over the chapters, but wasn’t draw in, or thought that it would ADD anything to my faith, or my spiritual walk, or my personal relationship with Yeshua, or knowledge of who He is, or how the subject of prayer should be conducted. Guidelines have already been GIVEN. I KNOW where to get my instruction, my inspiration, my spiritual meat, and it isn’t from a popular “preacher”, or from the latest publication off the Christian press. Not knocking preachers, at all, but a mature believer devours scripture on their own, they weigh everything said to what is WRITTEN, by those inspired and led by the HOLY SPIRIT.

                What I would be concerned with, is for Mark B., the role of teacher/preacher comes with some very SEVERE consequences for leading any astray, or preaching contrary to the WORD. The LORD GOD ALMIGHTY has some pretty harsh judgement for those erring from the truth. Mark will be held accountable for ALL his words. That is already dealt with throughout the Old Testament and New. Yikes, he is treading on some scary turf!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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          • True Christians never put witches or anyone else to death. The Jesuits did. Research the facts

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    • When reading any of these books, ask yourself a simple question…Would you of been able to draw these conclusions on your own by reading just the scriptures alone?

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    • This article is very accusing. You twist his words and make two statements that are not even true. Therefore, my question is this: have you tried contacting Mark Batterson for the purpose of asking him these questions, that you list here in your article? Do you have love for him as a fellow human being and a desire to invest in his life or his walk with God?

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      • Hi Kelli,

        Thanks for your comments. You are correct, the article is very accusatory. But it is supported by actual evidence and confirmed with Scripture. As Christians, the Bible, the Word of God, has to be our final authority.

        If you have found quotes from the book that I have twisted, please state them. If I made untrue statements, please provide them. As I have said throughout the comments, I am open to Biblical criticism. If the article is incorrect in an area, I truly want someone to let me know.

        As for contacting Batterson, I have not. Again, I can just go to Scripture. When a false teacher is preaching a false Gospel, the Bible does not say that we have to engage them in discussion. We are told to reprove them, have no part with them and warn others about their false teachings. But since you have prompted me, I will tweet the article to him and we shall see what his response is.

        Thank you again for your comments. I understand that we can have certain affinity for preachers and prophets who are popular today but we always have to let God and His Word be our guide. I welcome any further thoughts you have. God bless.

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        • well said. When your brother or sister sin against you, then you take it to them directly. When we see the evil deeds of darkness, we are to expose them.

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        • you are a coward and a gossip at least. the BIBLE is very clear, if you have something against a brother or sister, you should GO TO THEM not write garbage about them and their teaching. I’ve read the book and I can tell by your garbage gossip talk, you have not. it’s people like you that give TRUE apologist a bad name….

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          • David, the portion of Scripture you are referencing is related to if a brother sins against you personally, it has nothing to do with false teaching, which the Bible is very clear we are to expose. Sorry but calling people names does not make your argument any more less carnal.

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          • You are misapplying Matt 18 church discipline of a brother sinning personally against a brother, and trying to apply the Biblical remedy for a personal wrongdoing to a different category of wrongdoing. The correct application for the preaching of heresy. The Apostle Paul openly exposed those teaching falsely and told Pastor Timothy to so the same. “In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following.” (1 Timothy 4:6 NASB). Furthermore, the manner in which such corrections are to be made is not intended to protect ‘the feelings’ of the person being corrected, but rather to protect the Bride of Christ. “This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith, not paying attention to Jewish myths (Hmmm? Isn’t Honi is a Jewish legend/myth?) and commandments of men who turn away from the truth.” (Titus 1:13, 14 NASB). To be more concerned for the feeling of any creature OVER the honor of God Almighty, is a humanistic and man-center ideology. Jesus said, “”If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. (Luke 14:26 NASB). So, we here in a 21st century affluent western democracy that uplifts man and downgrades God, need to get our priorities aligned with Scripture, rather than trying to make Scripture fit in with humanistic, man-center, politically-correct, God-hating, unbelieving culture. It is certainly a “wake up call” for one to really sit back and examine one’s life, thinking, and ideology, and to come to the realization that we are bombarded with worldly influence and thought through 24/7 media and entertainment and that the world’s culture has successfully “salted” the “visible church” rather than the church having salted the culture of the world…secular humanism.

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        • My question is this: who are you “Beginning and End”? It seems like you are hiding behind an anonymous blog heading. Please state who you are, since you are bold enough to make these accusations based on “biblical” truth.

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          • To Ron: In your posted comments of September 11th you said, “My question is this: who are you “Beginning and End”? It seems like you are hiding behind an anonymous blog heading. Please state who you are, since you are bold enough to make these accusations based on “biblical” truth.”

            Ron, if B & E were to provide his full identity to you, would that allow you to then deal with the unbiblical nature of “The Circle Maker”, OR give you further means of which to obfuscate the issue with more innuendo and pejorative character assassination of B & E. one of the biggest logical fallacies that people fall into is the fallacy Ad Hominem, or arguing against “the man”. If you knew more details about B & E’s personal identity that could only assist you in making a judgement about his remarks based upon your assessment of him as a person. Given the fact that the matter at hand is not B & E, then this additional assessment of him would further “cloud the issue”. I would like to see just one of Mark Batterson’s supporters deal with the claims of B & E’s blog post using rightly handled Scripture, in context, reflecting the wisdom of the whole counsel of God. This will not happen, because it cannot be done. It is a logical impossibility for a concept to be both good and bad at the same time, and in the same sense (law of non-contradiction). B & E has demonstrated that “The Circle Maker” is full of Scripture that has been wrongly handled. Others here within the commentary to the blog have offered additional evidence that the “The Circle Maker” is not inline with historical Christian orthodoxy (right-speaking) or orthopraxy (right practice). It is because of this fact that all of those who support Batterson in this matter have been reduced to seeking to make Ad Hominem attacks, or twist single Bible verses to squeeze the word “circle” out of the text in an attempt to legitimize him. It would be laughable on a secular level, but when souls are at stake it is simply sad to see the deception of those who would think of God, The Lord of Glory is such man-centered, and humanistically pragmatic terms.

            No Ron, you don’t need the identity of B & E in order to refute B & E’s claims. What you will need is a man-centered, humanistic, pop-cultural, loosely handled, twisted version of a paraphrased Bible, complete with fill-in -the -blank potions where you find a need to craft the Scriptures to meet your feelings. The rightly handled Scriptures are simply at odds with the false claims, and out-of-context twisting of “The Circle Maker”. I am sorry if that hurts, but truth has an edge. It bites, and we must yield to God’s truth, not our idea of His truth. Peace.

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            • WELL…SAID Rob. Amen and amen. It’s sad to see the focus of an attack be the one who tries to point people to the word. However we were warned by Jesus so it’s no surprise.

              If the book is biblical, defend it with the bible! Don’t let an emotional tie to a book lead to souls on their way to a Christ-less eternity.

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      • stupid…

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      • To Kelli

        “Therefore, my question is this: have you tried contacting Mark Batterson for the purpose of asking him these questions, that you list here in your article?”

        Why would you contact the author who has put his teachings in a book?

        These teachings are quite public. The only reason for contacting the author would be if there were some question over whether he wrote this or not. No one is disputing that these teaching are in his book. The author is not disputing it: he is promoting it!

        These false teachings are public. That is why books are published: to make the author’s information public.

        You would only contact someone if the teaching was not public. According to the Bible, you are to mark false teachers; to warn other believers to beware.

        That is what took place here in this article. This article was actually a Christian public service announcement.

        You may not agree with the article. That means you agree with what’s in the Circle Maker.

        You make a choice, then you own it.

        Without a doubt, this book has its origins in the occult, not the Bible. That so many “Christians” cannot discern this is a clear sign of the times of apostasy and compromise in which we live.

        Tragically, so many sitting in pews in Christian churches will be jumping on the beast train and riding it to perdition–all the while chatting on their iPhones, admiring their cool marks and patting each other on the back for being so loving and full of tolerance.

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    • Martha Floyd says:

      You must feel like Mark has sinned against the body of Christ.. And if you are part of the body you should have gone to him personally. My first thought comes from 1 Corinthians 6 where Paul is fussing at the church for airing their disputes before the ungodly. If you had a problem with Mark, you should have gone to him first. By the way who are you and have you read his new book All In?

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      • Too many people get these Scriptures so wrong. This is dealing when someone sins against you personally. The Bible is quite clear on exposing false teaching. 1Cor6 deals with LAWSUITS, not “airing their disputes.”

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    • Martha Floyd says:

      My second and third thought what about Matt 7:12 do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And what about loving your brother 1 Jn 4 and loving your neighbor as yourself Mk 12:31 and Jn 13:35 By this they will know you are my disciples IF you have love for one another. You should have gone to Mark to discuss your concerns. My first thought was 1st Cor. 6:1…

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      • Matt 7:12 – I would hope that my brothers and sisters would tell me if I was saying anything heretical.

        As for the rest, how in the world is it love to allow false teaching? You seem overly concerned with Mr. Batterson and not so much with the millions of potential readers being led astray. I have never personally said anything personal about Mr. Batterson and i didn’t think this article did either. It is only about his teaching in this book which is pure heresy.

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      • To Martha Floyd:
        I am going to assume that you consider yourself a Christian and therefore speak to your comments under those considerations. In your recent posts of October 14 you seem to go to great length in the attempt to find (create) a Scriptural basis for condemning the comments of those who have rebuked Mark Batterson’s content in his book, “The Circle Maker”. Why is that you attention is focused upon protecting the honor of a man, rather than applying Scripture to the content of his book? I have not heard you provide a Scriptural refutation (rightly handled and in context) about the claims of those who have rebuked the content of “The Circle Maker”. You have made comments that are generally the equivalent to “Christianized Political correctness”. Your rebukes have been at the act of speaking out against Mark Batterson’s teaching. There is a strong flavor of “the world’s” philosophy of political correctness that encourages the acceptance of any, and everything (except Biblical Christianity). Political correctness has “salted” the “church”. Why do you not address the Scriptural issues in the book that have been highlighted and rebuked here on this blog site? Furthermore, my hats is off to Rev. Anthony Wade who has patiently refuted the misapplication of Scripture (Matt 18, etc) by those who would silence Mark Batterson’s critics (a good work my brother). Please think about about why you are so quick to defend a man rather than defend the honor of God. There is a great story about a man named Phineas who cared deeply and passionately about the honor of The LORD more than the feelings of men….and this story’s about Phineas, well…it’s inspired and profitable for instruction…it’s from the Bible.

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      • You do not go to the person if there is a false public teaching. You mark the teacher to warn other believers. You mark them and then you avoid them.

        “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.”
        –Romans 16:17

        You mark occult doctrines, you don’t apologize for them. You don’t treat them with kid gloves.

        Occult doctrines–any false doctrines–divide the body of Christ. That is a serious matter. They are to be dealt with swiftly and surely.

        Now you know. Now you make your choice.

        The Bible or the Circle Maker.

        See how that works?

        It’s easy!

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    • Hey Qwerty, that commentary was a bit on the lengthy side, but you sure did offered some great evidence in support of your opinion.

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  2. BEWARE, LEST YOU FALL INTO THEIR TRAP OF
    UNBELIEF AS WELL. Truth hurts and Ephesians 5:8 says we should expose them.

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    • Tammy Chesnic says:

      Do you believe God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Was parting the Red Sea witchcraft? How about the Walls of Jericho-did they not march ’round 7 times-basically circling according to God’s command? I am reading this book, and Scripture is the basis for Mark Batterson’s prayers. Everything thus far is based on what God has done or said. Why call this witchcraft? How do you not know that witchcraft did not get ideas based on Scripture. Satan does this. He wants to be like Jesus. Satan tries to imitate Jesus’ power.
      This is not prosperity-I have not seen a chapter about getting a new car, house vacation, clothes. I see seeking to do God’s work. Planting a church. Asking for needs-as God promises. Claiming GOD’s promises is exactly what we are to do. This is FAITH-not witchcraft. Peoples lives are transforming-coming to KNOW Christ. Why call it witchcraft. Why not The Power of God?

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      • Fixed.

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      • Rob Holler says:

        Tami,

        You said, “I am reading this book, and Scripture is the basis for Mark Batterson’s prayers.” No where is Christian scripture will you find support for prayer circles. Teachings like this are dangerous for reasons other than their association with withcraft. Satan does not have to convince people to not believe in God to watch their soul perish. All that he must do is “help” you to believe in a false god, a god of of your own making, a god constructed in your own mind. This is idolatry and keeps you from focusing on the person of God. My heart aches for those who seek after something “close to God”, but it is not God. So many people want just enough of God to get what the want; a feeling, assurance, relationship health, financial health, self-maximization, or health. Have you been a Christian book store lately: “Ten Steps to Becoming a Better…”, or “Five Steps to Having…”, “How You Can…”. this is Pop-Christianity. This “stuff” is the gospel of YOU. It is all about YOU. Your dreams, your passions, your future (oh yeah,…for God. Sure. Right.) Doesn’t anybody just want God for the love of God. Imagine your children coming almost to you. They come close enough to get a car, tuition, cell phone, laptop, vacation, and a little bit of cash, but they never just want to sit with you and talk to you, for the sake of knowing you, because of the love of you. They love everything “around you”, but where do they spend their time? The truth hurts, but these prayer circles are are just another distraction from the pure beauty of just Christ….Yes, Just Christ. Eternal life is to know God. Do you remember how wearing a WWJD bracelet was going to inspire you to good works and holiness? Do you remember how The Prayer of Jabez was going to “expand your borders” (for God of course)? And the granddaddy of them all; after a decade spent on The Purpose Driven Life, we have a “visible church” here in America that is Driven for the Purpose of their Life. We chase after “false cistens” (Jer 2:13) instead of going to the source of LIVING WATER. Most all of these authors fit the bill too. They’re young, good-looking, relevant (to the culture), and having visible success (traffic) in ministry. THINK! All of these attractive qualities are the same things of which “the world” is attracted. There are about 25-30 passages (not just verses) in the New Testament alone that give us warnings about false tearchers and false doctrine. You will be hard pressed to find very many topics of the New Testament of which there are more seperate passages. And yet, when is the last time that you heard a stout warning from the pulpit on this matter. The Apostle Paul, speaking of those “who refused to love the truth and so be saved, Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thes 2:10-12). These false teachers appear to be “servants of righteousness” (2 Cor 11:15). Honestly, what are you looking for when you are looking for a false teacher? FALSE TEACHERS DO NOT COME WITH A WARNING LABEL. If you were Satan and you had to get people to believe in a god of their own mind, how would you do it? People will notice a big shift in doctrine, that won’t work. No, you would be subtle and keep people right were they are, in church. In America, we have been conditioned to believe anything big and shiny is successfull. Hmmm. Well, big and shiny is only a measure of popularity. Yes, popularity. We know from the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:13-14 that, “the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it ARE FEW.” Jesus himself told us the way of the many (the popular) leads to destruction. There is not safety in the crowd in this instance. If the masses like a preacher it is not a good sign. THINK. the Bible tells us that the “natural man cannot reveive spiritual things”. If the crowd like a popular preacher, then there is a good chance that he is giving them what they want to hear, that is “natural things” and not “spiritual things”. The false gospels; the prosperity gospel, the health gospel, the entertainment gospel, the social justice gospel, and the gospel of self-maximization all have something in common…YOU are the focus. Does this type of theology sound familiar. Creatures have sought to raise themselves to god-hood status since the beginning of time; Lucifer, Eve, Tower of Babel, Mormonism, your neighbor, yourself, and myself have all aspired to independence. Mark Batterson makes so many unsupported claims in The Circle Maker that is becomes laughable. Should a Christian Pastor, be teaching on Christian Prayer, BASED on anything from outside of Christian scripture? Worst of all, his claim that “Bold prayers honor God, and God honor bold prayers” is blasphemous to the words of Jesus Christ himself. Our Lord taught is to NOT pray loud and bold as the Pharisee were want to do, and what does Mr. Batterson have to say about the teaching of Jesus on prayer when He taaught the disciples to pray, asking but for today’s bread.

        If you can’t see the vast problems with this book then you should be afraid that you are under a 2 Thessalonians delusion. You should be afraid. Mark Batterson teaches false statements. Ergo, Mark Batterson is a false teachers. I hope that for the sake of his soul that God grants him the gift of true repentance.

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        • wow- THAT was well said

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        • I simply don’t believe that you’ve done more than skim this book and make snap judgments. Had you read it, cover to cover, you’d understand that his message has little to do with getting what you want. Rather, it has everything to do with God using us to fulfill His…not our…desires.

          Sadly, you’ve already condemned him in your heart. Mark, and his church are opening the eyes of thousands of Washingtonians to our Lord and is to be commended. Does he look for new and catchy ways to deliver the Word? Yes. Does he ultimately connect them to the Living God? YES!!!

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          • Regardless of what the books says (don’t need to read it), Jesus told how to pray and was explicit. He didn’t draw circles. Even in the garden of gostheme(sp?) – his final hours – where he wept and knew what was about to happen, he wasn’t drawing circles on the ground for enhanced strength or whatever. That’s all I need to know. Case closed. NEXT!

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            • Actually if anyone took the time to learn what the focus of the circle is they would realize that Christ did instruct us to do the same.

              The reason of a circle is not to call on a power it is not to call on any spirits. Casting drawing, making a circle is a means to center the mind, focus your heart and to prepare you to open yourself to God. Is that anything different than fasting before prayer, getting on one’s knees or taking a deep cleansing breath?

              Also way before Christianity these practices were a part of all religions including Judaism. In fact scholars even say that the man, Hori, was a member of the priesthood.

              to condemn anyone for their teachings without learning their teachings in fullness is against the Bible as well.
              Matthew 7:1-3
              King James Version (KJV)
              7 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

              2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

              3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

              In my opinion the fault of all religions is that they all say only their way is the right way, that anyone that thinks or believes another way, or thinks another way shall be cast into hell. Even Christians cant agree to one belief.

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              • You said, “In my opinion the fault of all religions is that they all say only their way is the right way”.

                Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

                Sounds like you gotta bone to pick with Jesus the Christ, the Lord of Glory, God in the flesh.

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          • We don’t need circles, we need to seek His Kingdom and make Him our primary concern. Holy Spirit will lead us into ALL TRUTH…which is All of Jesus. His sheep hear His voice and the goal is to do only what we see Him doing and say only what we hear Him say.

            I have not read the book, but just the concept and trailers alone do not sit well in my Spirit.. It is way to dangerous a time right now and deception may be at a zenith right now. I will keep reading my bible and have no part of this book.

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          • laurie goodwin says:

            Andy, how do you KNOW he is connecting people to GOD??? Can YOU see the heart of these people making a decision for Christ? You make as many assumptions of what the wolf is accomplishing, as he does about what Honi-idiot accomplishes. The book is evil, and only evil people preach evil… you will know them by their fruit…

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          • following CHRIST says:

            Andy,Tami, and others who worship & condone this book and man, you need to study scripture more thoroughly rather than defend someone who teaches something found NOWHERE in the Word of God. This is one more reason why I only study THE BOOK rather than other books.

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          • following CHRIST says:

            Andy,Tammy, and others who worship & condone this book and man, you need to study scripture more thoroughly rather than defend someone who teaches something found NOWHERE in the Word of God. This is one more reason why I only study THE BOOK rather than other books.

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        • berna deene saylor says:

          Rob Holler:
          Tami,

          You said, “I am reading this book, and Scripture is the basis for Mark Batterson’s prayers.”No where is Christian scripture will you find support for prayer circles.Teachings like this are dangerous for reasons other than their association with withcraft.Satan does not have to convince people to not believe in God to watch their soul perish.All that he must do is “help” you to believe in a false god, a god of of your own making, a god constructed in your own mind. This is idolatry and keeps you from focusing on the person of God.My heart aches for those who seek after something “close to God”, but it is not God.So many people want just enough of God to get what the want; a feeling, assurance, relationship health, financial health, self-maximization, or health.Have you been a Christian book store lately:“Ten Steps to Becoming a Better…”, or “Five Steps to Having…”, “How You Can…”.this is Pop-Christianity.This “stuff” is the gospel of YOU.It is all about YOU.Your dreams, your passions, your future (oh yeah,…for God.Sure.Right.)Doesn’t anybody just want God for the love of God.Imagine your children coming almost to you.They come close enough to get a car, tuition, cell phone, laptop, vacation, and a little bit of cash, but they never just want to sit with you and talk to you, for the sake of knowing you, because of the love of you.They love everything “around you”, but where do they spend their time?The truth hurts, but these prayer circles are are just another distraction from the pure beauty of just Christ….Yes, Just Christ.Eternal life is to know God.Do you remember how wearing a WWJD bracelet was going to inspire you to good works and holiness?Do you remember how The Prayer of Jabez was going to “expand your borders” (for God of course)?And the granddaddy of them all; after a decade spent on The Purpose Driven Life, we have a “visible church” here in America that is Driven for the Purpose of their Life.We chase after “false cistens” (Jer 2:13) instead of going to the source of LIVING WATER.Most all of these authors fit the bill too.They’re young, good-looking, relevant (to the culture), and having visible success (traffic) in ministry.THINK!All of these attractive qualities are the same things of which “the world” is attracted.There are about 25-30 passages (not just verses) in the New Testament alone that give us warnings about false tearchers and false doctrine.You will be hard pressed to find very many topics of the New Testament of which there are more seperate passages.And yet, when is the last time that you heard a stout warning from the pulpit on this matter.The Apostle Paul, speaking of those “who refused to love the truth and so be saved,Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thes 2:10-12).These false teachers appear to be “servants of righteousness” (2 Cor 11:15).Honestly, what are you looking for when you are looking for a false teacher?FALSE TEACHERS DO NOT COME WITH A WARNING LABEL.If you were Satan and you had to get people to believe in a god of their own mind, how would you do it?People will notice a big shift in doctrine, that won’t work.No, you would be subtle and keep people right were they are, in church.In America, we have been conditioned to believe anything big and shiny is successfull.Hmmm.Well, big and shiny is only a measure of popularity.Yes, popularity.We know from the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:13-14 that, “the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it ARE FEW.”Jesus himself told us the way of the many (the popular) leads to destruction.There is not safety in the crowd in this instance.If the masses like a preacher it is not a good sign.THINK.the Bible tells us that the “natural man cannot reveive spiritual things”.If the crowd like a popular preacher, then there is a good chance that he is giving them what they want to hear, that is “natural things” and not “spiritual things”.The false gospels; the prosperity gospel, the health gospel, the entertainment gospel, the social justice gospel, and the gospel of self-maximization all have something in common…YOU are the focus.Does this type of theology sound familiar.Creatures have sought to raise themselves to god-hood status since the beginning of time; Lucifer, Eve, Tower of Babel, Mormonism, your neighbor, yourself, and myself have all aspired to independence.Mark Batterson makes so many unsupported claims in The Circle Maker that is becomes laughable.Should a Christian Pastor, be teaching on Christian Prayer, BASED on anything from outside of Christian scripture?Worst of all, his claim that “Bold prayers honor God, and God honor bold prayers” is blasphemous to the words of Jesus Christ himself.Our Lord taught is to NOT pray loud and bold as the Pharisee were want to do, and what does Mr. Batterson have to say about the teaching of Jesus on prayer when He taaught the disciples to pray, asking but for today’s bread.

          If you can’t see the vast problems with this book then you should be afraid that you are under a 2 Thessalonians delusion.You should be afraid.Mark Batterson teaches false statements.Ergo, Mark Batterson is a false teachers.I hope that for the sake of his soul that God grants him the gift of true repentance.

          very well said. May I copy this and use it. I will make sure your name is on it.

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          • Berna Deene Saylor: You can use it. My name is not important, Christ’s is!

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          • What ever happened to the wholeness that the Bible entales. Must we insult the onipotence of God by constantly having to revise, add to, and rewrite what we think God ment to say but was too ignorant at the time…Folks we don’t need a new way to pray; Jesus told exactly what the blueprint is for praying to our Father should be…In regards to these new age books like Bat Masterson’s, The Circle Maker, and Echart Tolly’s, The New Earth…I think solomon answered these wanta-be modern day prophets in Ecclesiastes 12: 11- 14, I’ll let you all read it for yourself since 90% of professing Christians don’t spend more than ten minutes a week in Gods Word to start with..and the bloggers supporting all these tainted books proves it; which also exposes a growing problem with today’s luke-warm Christians is that they are bored with the truth, and would rather have a New-Age smorgasboard of religion to get fattened-up on by a sick and lost Christian culture…Jesus even said that in the end times there will be a great falling away from the truth, and it’s happening now….God help us…!

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            • Martha Floyd says:

              His name is mark Batterson and not Bat Masterson and from what I can tell that is a perfect example of how well you read the book. He said on page 160 that it is not a methodology. .. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a circle…. Drawing prayer circles is nothing more than laying our requests before God and waiting expectantly. Please read the book. It has nothing to do with witchcraft. He wants us to pray hard and long. He tells us to get right with God and get close so we will know what is the ” good and acceptable and perfect will of God” and then pray for that.

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              • Martha,
                Mr. Batterson can “say” that he is not writing to teach people to use prayer circle all say long. But when He does exactly that, then what are you gonna believe? Are you gonna believe his actions or his words. Remember the old saying, “what you do speaks do loud, that what you say, I cannot hear”.

                Sadly, “The Circle Maker” is yet another distraction that entices the reader to focus upon a method, rather than a Master. The central concept of the book carries an inherent and subtle suggestion to the reader that Mr. Batterson has found “the key to unlocking God”. What kind of god is developed in the mind of the reader who “buys into” such a notion? Doesn’t this theological reductionism elevate the autonomy of man at the expense of God’s? Taken to its logical conclusion, this effort to “operate” God by using a “once secret key” puts man “into the driver’s seat”. Is not the eventual end in this pursuit, the “making of a god” that is little more than a servant of man? The God of the Bible is not a “cosmic concierge”, but rather He is “the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:17 ESV)

                Mr. Batterson makes an attempt to assure his readers that prayer circles are not an attempt to manipulate God, but he then gives page after page of personal experiences as proof of the effectiveness of prayer circles in achieving this desired result. If a stranger gets into your car without your permission and drives off while yelling back to you, “I’m not really stealing your car”, then do you believe him? Mr. Batterson can deny that he is promoting a once hidden secret method to “unlocked” God, but in writing this book he has labored hard to provide the very evidence that refutes his own denials of the same. Mark Batterson teaches a religious pragmatism that subtely conditions the reader to view God as a useful and an effective means to get our dreams (God-given, of course). The Circle Maker is another modern “Christian” book that focuses our attention onto what we can get FROM God, rather than what we already have IN God.

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            • Can you not “glean” from this man’s fields and draw closer to OUR God? He may not be in complete goosestep with you, but he is definitely turning people to God’s word and our Savior Jesus Christ.

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        • I agree with most everything you have said. I have not read every book you mentioned above, but I have read the Prayer of Jabez, and portions of some of the other ones. I think we need to be careful about throwing out everything wholesale. I understand that you are trying to protect the integrity of God’s word, and I truly appreciate that. I also believe that there are portions of these books where God probably revealed a personal application from these biblical stories, and maybe even a church-wide truth/application, but then in an effort to come up with a whole book, and sell the message, truth and revelation has been deviated from. (excuse the preposition). In scripture itself we are told to hold fast to what is good, and disgard that which is not. The key to any of these revelations, and teachings is to make sure that are according to principles of Scripture, and then specifically if they apply to God’s will for us personally, otherwise it is witchcraft in spirit, whether or not the actual teachings include elements of whichcraft.

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          • Debbie,

            It would be great if we could pick and choose which parts of the book were good and which were bad. But we are warned not to do that. We are told that if even ONE part of that theory is incorrect then it is ALL incorrect.

            In 2 Peter 2:1 the Bible tells us “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies even denying the Lord who bought them and bring on themselves swift destruction.”

            Romans 16:17 “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.”

            2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,”

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        • Rob, This is so well-stated it almost took my breath away. It is heartbreaking to even have to come against false doctrine. It is even sadder to think about the people who are being deceived. Faith in Christ is so simple and sweet. It is so complete in and of itself. It is what says “everything is ok” even when things are really bad. All of this false doctrine draws us away from the simple truth that the God of all creation loves us beyond measure. The problem starts with drawing the prayer circle and ends with a disillusioned Christian when God answers the prayer differently than requested.

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          • Meggie, your words regarding the centrality of Christ are so true. It is a shame that amongst “Christians” that we have to contend for the supremacy and centrality of Christ in all things, especially prayer. But contend for the faith we must (Jude 3-5). It surely was not phrased as a suggestion. In Christ, Rob.

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      • You seems to be willing to go to great effort to make a defensive case for Mark Batterson’s book. Have you thought to ask Mark Batterson to defend his insertion of false theology into a book surround by Biblical stories and themes. The very fact that you claim that the basis for his book is scripture makes me wonder if you have looked at the cover of the book and read Batterson’s own words where he explicitly states that the core philosophy asserted within his book is drawn from “the legend of Honi the circle maker” that he cites as being found in the JEWISH BOOK OF LEGENDS. Last time that I checked the “Jewish Book of Legends” are:
        1) Jewish, not Christians
        2) Not considered historical in their accuracy, HENCE THE TERM LEGEND.
        Furthermore, the Word of God tells us not to run to “Jewish myths”: This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. (Titus 1:13, 14 ESV)
        Finally, for you to try to defend this book against the charge of focusing the reader on material gain is preposterous. Just because Mr. Batterson attempts to camoflouge the tantalizing temptation of using a prayer circle as a once-hidden “key” to unlocking God his message is not the Christian message of dying to self. In chapter two of Batterson’s’ book he writes the this book “will show you how to:
        a) CLAIM God-given PROMISES,
        b) PURSUE God-sized DREAMS,
        c) SEIZE God-ordained OPPORTUNITIES”.
        Does this language exemplify that of “teachers to suit their own passions”? To “claim”, “pursue”, and “seize” things such as “promises”, “dreams”, and “opportunities” certainly appears to be more closely related to tempting our passions and desires rather than training in sound doctrine. With a major focus of the book being;
        a) YOUR fulfillment of,
        b) YOUR dreams, through
        c) YOUR prayer circle,
        the book rings hollow of Christ, and void of true depth or Christian spirituality. Once again, American Evangelicalism has another “how to” book that make us feel like we are pursuing God while we are actually pursuing what we really want – something from God.

        The only true God, the God to which we are called to submit, worship, and serve is not a life coach, nor a servant of man.

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      • Donald Tyson

        http://www.donaldtyson.com
        CAUTION: Satanic occult content

        Books:

        “The Magic Circle”

        “Sexual Alchemy: Magical Intercourse with Spirits”

        “Familiar Spirits”

        “Soul Fight: Astral Projection and the Magical Universe”

        Quotes:

        “There is no aspect of ritual occultism more ancient or more essential than the magic circle. Indeed, it is difficult to find systems of magic that do not use the circle in some form, and when they are found, they seem incomplete and naked. The magic circle is older than Solomon, older than Moses, and occurs throughout the world in all religions and systems of witchcraft and thaumaturgy. It divides, excludes, protects, attracts, focuses, and concentrates, as these functions are needed by the magician. It is used not merely for evocations, but for invocations, for charging of talismans, for scrying, for projecting accumulated occult energy, and even for meditation. A correct understanding of the circle, not only how to project it, but what it signifies symbolically, is the most basic knowledge any magician can possess, and no magician can be said to know anything of importance about magic who has not mastered the use of the circle.
        -Donald Tyson
        “The Magic Circle”

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      • To Tami: in further response to your February 21st commentary I would ask you about a statement that you made in defense of Mark Batterson’s book, “The Circle Maker”. You said, ” I am reading this book, and Scripture is the basis for Mark Batterson’s prayers..”

        The Devil uses Scripture. He just uses it out of context.

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  3. The word prosperity is very deadly, people will do or believe in anything as long as it leave them their pot of gold. Paul said it didn’t matter weather he had food or not he was still content and also Jesus Christ said to carry your own cross with that said we should count the cost for being Christain. Thanks again B&E God Bless

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  4. This is by far the most complete review of The Circlemaker and its commonality with the occult that I have seen.

    Unfortunately, this book continues to gain influence among Christians and has even made its way into church leadership Bible studies. I have pastors telling us that they saw nothing wrong with this book and that their leadership will continue to promote it.

    I will be sharing your article, in hopes that more people will learn about this dangerous apostasy.

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  5. Oh my… Satan will stop at nothing til’ he can keep God’s people from praying and realizing that God listens to their prayers. He shudders at the thought of people being reached with the Gospel… and the Christians getting closer to God.

    READ the Gospels… this is the way God wants us to pray. Hebrews 11:1…
    But so many of us fall short. Our main struggle is not that we’re so faithful, it’s that we are so easy to doubt. READ the Gospels… Jesus was actually AMAZED when someone believed He could do the impossible.
    I’ve read books with the ‘prosperity’ gospel. This is not one of them.

    This book is for Christians mainly…

    The Circle is an ‘analogy’, a ‘metaphor’, it’s not that we’re all to make circles around ourselves literally to pray to God. I have a question… did you actually read this book? Be careful to call God’s Spirit evil.

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    • Hi Oh My,

      I have read much of the book and I have done the online studies, which are over one hour of video materials. In the book Batterson goes out of his way to say the book is not a “name it and claim it” doctrine. However it is just another form of prosperity doctrine. All of the “achievements” Batterson highlights are material, earthly and temporal. This is the essence of the prosperity Gospel.

      if you have read the book or done the coursework, please feel free to share what you feel were correct Biblical applications in the Circle Maker. If there are some serious Biblical points being made (i.e. based on rightly-divided Scripture) I think it’s great to share them here. Thanks again for your comments. God bless.

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      • B&E (Question to Oh My),

        You question is, “Are there any serious Biblical points made in the book or course work?” Yes. The premise of the whole book is centered around a Biblical concept called prayer. There are many verses in the Bible that back up the concept of prayer.

        He talks about giving up control to God and pursuing His will. The prayers you offer are not about the material things a person wants, but what God can do when people pray within His will.

        The whole concept is about building a deeper realtionship with God through having a strong prayer life.

        He states in the book that he is not teaching the proserity gosepel. The proseprity gospel is about a selfish puruit of material blessings. Everything he has prayed for and recieved (which some pn this site have said is material) has to do with God building His church on capital hill.

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        • You totally side-stepped the point about proving the use of the Circle Maker in the Bible. I haven’t read or touched any of this guy’s stuff, but you don’t even have to be Christian to see how odd a Circle Maker is.

          Prayer is about a relationship, so why do you need to pray in a circle? Answer this question evidenced by scripture first.

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          • Tammy Chesnic says:

            The other side of this “circle” prayer-emphasis on the shape is counting the cost of such boldness. The key is what are the results? Lives changed as many are saved!

            Satan is not about to put up with having his own kingdom disturbed without some payback. The early followers of Jesus thought it was worth it. Today there are still many followers of Jesus throughout the world who think it is worth it. They are asking for the power and receiving it and then paying whatever price they have to pay. Even if they are accused of witchcraft.
            Sounds familiar.
            This incident is also recorded in Matt 12:24-30 and Mark 3:22-30. 11:14, 15 “Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed. But some of them said, ‘By Beelzebub, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.’”

            Jesus’ miracles forced the Pharisees to offer some explanation for them. The miracles were just far too convincing. They could not deny the existence of miracles when they were happening before their eyes. They resorted to the basest and most blasphemous explanation for the miracles of Jesus. They did not deny that they took place but claimed that they were done by the power of the devil.

            11:16-19 “Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven. Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: ‘Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. If satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebub. Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges.’”

            Ok. the CIRCLE thing-does NOT matter-it is the FAITH of standing of encircling an area and believing it is to be used for GOD’s purpose!

            Yet there is a circle or two in the Bible like
            ..How about the walls of Jericho? They marched ’round the walls for 7 days! Hebrews 11 all by God’s command.
            How about 40 years of circling in the desert before reaching the promised land -many many circles-much needed lessons-much prayer. It took awhile-put they certainly prayed in circles. Numbers 15-25: God orders the Israelites to march around in circles in the desert for about 40 years.
            Proverbs 8:27
            27 When he established the heavens, I was there;
            when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
            Isaiah 40:22
            It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;
            God can use “circles” if He feels like it. His children can too.
            But -The purpose is to CLAIM God’s promises-boldly-

            How important is it to draw a circle? It is not about the “shape” it is about the FAITH.
            Are we missing the point here?
            It is NOT about a figure/shape-it is about Faith and prayer and knowing that God does not lie-if we will boldly state His Word-and BELIEVE it to be true=God honors the Faith and His Truth written in His Word.

            I guess all of these prayers are witchcraft too?
            Exactly what Satan wants to make you believe so you won’t put prayer POWER into action! Don’t be fooled. Satan is scared when Christians PRAY BOLDLY=results.

            Peter and John returned to their companions and told them everything that had happened and a giant prayer meeting erupted. They raised their voices and prayed in one accord ending with this:
            “And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Thy bond – servants may speak Thy word with all confidence, while Thou dost extend Thy hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Thy holy servant Jesus.” (Acts 4:29)

            Genesis 18:32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?” He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”Judges 6:38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew–a bowlful of water.Judges 6:40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.

            Judges 6:39
            Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece. This time make the fleece dry and the ground covered with dew.”
            Every time we pray, if we do so correctly, God’s mighty power is released and made available to bring victory and breakthrough into even seemingly impossible situations. We do not need to overcome God’s reluctance when we pray. That is not the problem.

            When we pray, we are breaking through resistance from the powers of darkness and taking hold of God’s willingness to do His plan in the earth. That prayer causes His power to be released on our behalf.

            God’s power is in the spiritual world. We can’t always see it and sometimes we can’t feel it, but it is there nonetheless. In many cities and nations, it has been withheld for years; not because of God’s reluctance to act, but rather, because God’s people have lacked the spiritual understanding necessary to break through and use His power to see their prayers answered.

            Everything we need is already paid for and created by the work of the cross. Now we must take hold of it through the heart of faith and the voice of prayer and make God’s power available in the earth. You have an active part in the Kingdom of God coming to earth as it is in heaven. Who is going to do this praying? Every believer is called to prayer. It is a gift that Jesus has given us.

            Fervent Prayer Power
            God loves to hear His people pray. He always answers the call of the righteous. There’s sadness in His heart when there is prayerlessness in the earth. God is waiting for you to rise up and pray. He is longing for you to break through your flesh and the resistance over your prayer life. He is waiting to teach you and help you.

            If you are a believer, you are called to prayer – bold, fervent, regular prayer! James 5:1 says the effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. The Amplified Bible translates this, “The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].” What a great promise! God’s power is available for us today! It is not locked up in some inaccessible place far from our reach or possibility to obtain. There is a way for us to experience that power and make it available to our generation. That way is through prayer – through effective, fervent prayer. This type of prayer is a generator for the power of God that will change individual lives, cities, and nations.

            What is prayer, really? In its simplest definition, prayer is fellowship with God. It is the ability to work with and understand the spiritual world. Prayer is your communion with God, where you talk with God and God talks with you. It is where you see what is the spiritual state of people and the situations. It’s powerful, it works, and it is necessary for your Christian life. Prayer is not just a Bible subject that we study: Prayer is a lifestyle.

            I heard someone say once that prayer is to your spiritual life what breathing is to your natural life. If you stop breathing in the natural, of course we know what’s going to happen – you’re going to die. Prayer is the breath of God in your life that keeps your fellowship and walk with Him fresh and alive. It also keeps you free and strong against the plans and strategies of the enemy. You may not know it, but there is a desire and an ability in your recreated spirit to pray. Your spirit is hungry for prayer. Your flesh may be weak and untrained in spiritual things, and even bound up, but your spirit is hungry to pray. It’s hungry to know God and to talk and fellowship with Him. It’s hungry to see the devil defeated!

            In Zechariah 12:10, the Prophet Zechariah prophesies that a spirit of prayer and supplication would be poured out over the house of David. This is literally referring to natural Israel experiencing a last-day visitation from God, but we know in our day that spirit of prayer has been poured out over us, the Church. The Holy Spirit in you loves to pray. He is the spirit of prayer. Prayer, you’re going to discover, is one of the most exciting things you’ll ever see and do! Yes, it can be hard work at times, but there is a satisfaction and a reward that can only come from prayer in your life.

            Our position is one of victory. Because of our position in Christ, we pray boldly and with great confidence. Ephesians 2:6 tells us that we are actually seated in heavenly places with Him. We have a position in the spirit realm, and we pray from that spiritual position – seated with Christ! We don’t pray from defeat, circumstances, or because we’re under attack. We pray out of our position of who we are in Christ, seated in heavenly places, redeemed by the blood, a child of God; we pray because of what Jesus has done for us.

            The Bible says something else about you and your spiritual position in Ephesians 6:10-12: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

            Paul is talking here about being strong in the Lord and knowing how to wrestle against principalities and powers. He’s talking about prayer. Your wrestling against these principalities and powers takes place in prayer. God sees you as a soldier, a strong warrior – a prayer warrior. God wants you as His warrior to pray out in the Spirit of God, using the weapons He has given you, from the position you have in the Spirit, and defeat the enemy. We must realize that we have everything we need to win in Jesus. Even if you don’t feel like a warrior, the Word of God says you are one in Christ. Take it by faith. Rise up and fight! Rise up and pray, O prayer warrior!

            We are seated in heavenly places in Jesus Christ, at the right hand of the Father, far above principalities and powers. We never pray out of thinking we are just part of some religious concept or a religious philosophy. We don’t just pray from earth, trying to get something done, hoping something will happen. We already have a position in the spiritual world with Christ, and we pray from that position with the weapons God has given us.

            God wants us to pick up our weapons and fight. We are not praying out of fear or hearing a bad report, but out of the Spirit of God within us, from our position of victory in Christ. As we begin to realize what our position really is, it will cause great confidence and boldness to come into our prayer life. God has given us a sure foundation for a strong, mature prayer life – faith in God, covenant relationship, and position in Christ. From the strength of this foundation, we are prepared to build the structure of our prayer habits and turn loose effective, fervent prayer to make God’s power available in the strength and intensity that our generation and world must have.

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          • Pastor F says:

            What is interesting is that he says you do not have to draw a circle…he states that it isnt necessary, but it is to begin a consistency in praying specifically. Hey, how many pray at all these days…many have gone to sleep.

            Maybe he should have said underline a promise in the bible, instead of circle a promise in the bible…wait…how many really are in Gods Word daily…or weekly at that…except on Sunday Morning and maybe midweek services…wait, that may not be convenient either.

            So much about the church today is about convenience. Then again, if we mark it in the bible we may mess it up…and if I circle a scripture, which I have done for most of my Christian life, long before Mark was born, and I heard of Honi…does it make that wrong. I

            Maybe we should look at the Lord talking to the Blind men and asking them…”what is is you want me to do for you?” Do you think the Lord didnt know they were blind and needed healing? Of course he did…but he wanted them to be specific about their needs. This is in the book.

            In the book, Mark discusses that we must pray according to the Lords Will…and will all your prayers be answered, not necessarily. I didnt see one time anything pressing the prosperity gospel.

            The whole push was to start a habit of praying consistently, specifically and daily…and praying in the Will of the Lord. It isnt all about getting for yourself everything you want. Though so many want to make prayer that anyway. It really is all about getting us to get back into prayer, and doing it right…the Word says that we can now come timidly to the Lord hoping he will hear our prayer…no it says to come boldly to the Throne of God. It is through Jesus that we have this blessed opportunity…again, which has so much been forgotten…and what is a prayer closet? WHat is an altar…who even prays anymore with conviction…

            I read all this, and I know in churches today, people have a tendency to read something and instantly believe everything they read…but if I were going to blast something like this as witchcraft, and being so much evil and false teaching…I would have read the material, and seen for myself…then I would have had the ability to write knowledgably about it.

            I came here to read what you had to say because after reading the book and looking over the materials, I wanted to check things out…to see what was being said, and I expected to hear from someone who too, had read the material and studied out the facts. I read that this was not the case at all…and it was mentioned to share parts of the book and materials that were scriptural, and the parts that discussed the truths of the Word.

            I agree with the fact we have to watch and beware…to protect the flock that God has entrusted us with…and I do so boldly. My encouragement to you is to see what it says, and not just judge it by a picture of a circle. You are right, it isnt all about us…it is about Him…Jesus.

            In the story, it says that the whole generation felt that God no longer heard them, and they stopped praying, but Honi believed that even since the prophets had long been gone, and they hadnt heard from God, that God would still hear them…and according to the story, He was the only one who believed that. SO…he prayed for rain, to Jehovah God, our Abba Father, and God sent rain on a drought devastated land…and the generation was saved.
            This is because 1 man believed that God still heard their prayers…

            It really isnt about physical circles…it isnt about Witchcraft…though our enemy would like us to stop praying altogether…

            Thats all I will share here…but instead of convincing me that this was wrong…it more let me see the right in it…thanks for your help. :-)

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            • When I pray in tough times and read scripture, I do not find that underlining promises is where strength and truth are found. I find the whole counsel of God and my personal relationship with Christ to be my strength. The sparrows and the lilies of the field bump up against Job and Paul in prison. It is the understanding that eternity with Christ is where complete fulfillment of the gospel is found. It is knowing by belief and by experience that all things do work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purposes. God’s promises are real and his word is true. Sometimes he gives me a specific promise to hold on to. When he does, I cling to it and meditate on it. I just don’t pick my own promise and then try to shove God’s work in my life into a framework of my own making or choosing.

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          • Response:

            YOU SAID:
            “Now we must take hold of it (power) through the heart of faith and the voice of prayer and make God’s power available in the earth.”
            QUESTION:
            Where in Christian Scripture is a clearly defined and rightly divided Biblical doctrine taught that man is to suppose “take hold of” God’s power and “make God’s power available in the earth”? I am offering a bit of caution as to whom does all power and authority belong. There are many so-called “Christian teachers” who would want us to imagine ourselves to “little gods”. I sure that this is not the direction that you are leaning with your statement.

            YOU SAID:
            “This type of prayer is a generator for the power of God that will change individual lives, cities, and nations.”
            QUESTION:
            The term generator refers to something that actually produces power. Are you making the point that the act of praying produces power?

            YOU SAID:
            “In its simplest definition, prayer is fellowship with God”.
            “Prayer is your communion with God”.
            COMMENT:
            Okay, I can see that talking to God can be seen as “fellowship” or “communion”. No problem.

            YOU ALSO SAID:
            “Prayer is a lifestyle”.
            COMMENT:
            A little confusing, but I’m gonna go with giving you the benefit of the doubt that what you meant is that was something like, ” a Christian is to pray without ceasing and therefore a Christians life should be a lifestyle that is characterized as prayerful”. Fair enough?

            YOU SAID:
            “It (prayer) is the ability to work with and understand the spiritual world.”
            COMMENT:
            Gotta part ways with you on this one. Prayer is “fellowship”, or “communion”. You probably didn’t mean to imply that there was a mystical spiritual discernment inherent “in” prayer. You probably also didn’t mean that this mystical discernment process thing was your ability.

            YOU SAID:
            “”It (prayer) is where you see what is the spiritual state of people and the situations.”
            COMMENT:
            We could probably part ways on the subtle assignment of some power to prayer. I’m sure that you believe that all power rests in God, not in “an ability” or “an act” of man.

            YOU SAID:
            “It (prayer) also keeps you free and strong against the plans and strategies of the enemy.”
            COMMENT:
            Hmmm. This sure does sound like you might be ascribing a type of spiritual power to the act of prayer, rather than unto God, unto whom we pray and receive all good things. I’m sure that you didn’t mean it the way that it sounded.

            YOU SAID:
            “It’s powerful, it works”.
            COMMENT:
            Subtle, isnt it? Do you see how the language of mysticism has crept back into the lexicon of the “visible church” From the days of the Gnostic heresy. This type of language ascribes power to a process or an act. All power is God’s alone. I’m sure that you didn’t mean that the way that it came across.

            YOU SAID:
            “In Zechariah 12:10, the Prophet Zechariah prophesies that a spirit of prayer and supplication would be poured out over the house of David. This is literally referring to natural Israel experiencing a last-day visitation from God, but we know in our day that spirit of prayer has been poured out over us, the Church”.
            COMMENT:
            How do you come to you interpretation that this “is literally referring to natural Israel experiencing a last-day visitation from God”? In the context of “the shepherd who will be struck” in 13:7 (a prophecy that the Apostle John sees as fulfilled in the person of Jesus (John 19:37), and in light of “when they look upon me, whom they have pierced”, this appears to referencing those who will lament and repent having put Jesus to death.

            YOU SAID:
            “We don’t pray from defeat, circumstances, or because we’re under attack”.
            COMMENT:
            Ever heard of Job, Moses, Gideon, Samson, King Saul, King David, King Hezekiah, Elijah, the servant of Elisha, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Amos, Nahum, Jonah, Jesus, Paul, the martyrs of the faith. This man-boasting lie that the Christian is never to fall out of a victorious position is so harmful to immature believers who do not yet know this heresy. Stop saying things like this.

            YOU SAID:
            “Yet there is a circle or two in the Bible like
            ..How about the walls of Jericho? They marched ’round the walls for 7 days! Hebrews 11 all by God’s command.
            How about 40 years of circling in the desert before reaching the promised land -many many circles-much needed lessons-much prayer. It took awhile-put they certainly prayed in circles. Numbers 15-25: God orders the Israelites to march around in circles in the desert for about 40 years.
            Proverbs 8:27
            27 When he established the heavens, I was there;
            when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
            Isaiah 40:22
            It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;
            COMMENT:
            Just because you can locage the word “circle” in several places in the text of the Bible does no more to make PRAYER CIRCLES to be sound Christian doctrine. I can find the word “foot” in the Bible. That does mean that we are to apply that term as a directive for marriage and therefore go and kick our spouse. GEEZ! that is a serious lack of Biblical discernment on your part. Context matters.

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          • Dustin Davis says:

            This book is not about making “physical” circles and praying within them. It’s about identifying the goals God has given you, the giants in your life, and developing a strong prayer life and being willing to pray as long as it takes. He even says that there is nothing magical about drawing physical circles. It is instead the action of praying like you believe God is going to answer your prayer, and praying it until He does answer your prayer. And if you feel like attackng that thought, Batterson goes on to say that sometimes our prayers don’t align with the will of God, and that the way God answers our prayers might not be exactly the way we throught they should be answered. Batterson is not trying to create a “new magical” way for our generation to pray, he is simply trying to create a generation that actually prays.

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            • If you don’t want to listen to those who are “rightly dividing” God’s word regarding the spiritual role that circles play within the occult, then listen to those in the occult:

              Author: Donald Tyson

              http://www.donaldtyson.com
              CAUTION: Satanic occult content

              Books:

              “The Magic Circle”

              “Sexual Alchemy: Magical Intercourse with Spirits”

              “Familiar Spirits”

              “Soul Fight: Astral Projection and the Magical Universe”

              Quote:

              “There is no aspect of ritual occultism more ancient or more essential than the magic circle. Indeed, it is difficult to find systems of magic that do not use the circle in some form, and when they are found, they seem incomplete and naked. The magic circle is older than Solomon, older than Moses, and occurs throughout the world in all religions and systems of witchcraft and thaumaturgy. It divides, excludes, protects, attracts, focuses, and concentrates, as these functions are needed by the magician. It is used not merely for evocations, but for invocations, for charging of talismans, for scrying, for projecting accumulated occult energy, and even for meditation. A correct understanding of the circle, not only how to project it, but what it signifies symbolically, is the most basic knowledge any magician can possess, and no magician can be said to know anything of importance about magic who has not mastered the use of the circle.
              -Donald Tyson
              “The Magic Circle”

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        • Tammy Chesnic says:

          Stunned at how it seems very few people actually READ the Bible. People are so unaware of TRUTH! It does NOT matter what you “think” it matters what GOD SAYS! It does not matter if it “seems” weird. What does God say? I am shocked often by the outright truth..few KNOW what God actually teaches,few have even studied The Bible! The problem is if you don’t even read The Bible-how can you even make a comment here? Warning everyone WILL BE JUDGED according to what is written-it is a good idea to start studying-don’t you think-before you comment?
          Even the writer of this website seems ignorant!. I see professional preachers that are ignorant of GOD’s Word! How appaling-
          No wonder when someone finally decides to pray-and take God’s Word for its promises it seems THE MIRACULOUS happens-because there are few who even get it!!!!!!
          If you have actually studied the Bible these comments stick out -and WARNING BELLS and RED FLAGS are everywhere. This is how we know the truth from a lie. If you do not study you will NEVER detect the lies or the actual false comments.
          This reminds me so much of when Jesus was accused of working for Satan-and Jesus just said-basically that makes NO sense at all-If I were on Satan’s side-I would not be teaching about God, healing, forgiving and you would NOT see live transformations. Ridiculously sad- it breaks my heart!

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  6. Hi B&E,
    First of all I must say I appreciate you;your site its opens the mind of people who are spiritually dead,I used to be the type that loves the world,the bible says the lover of the world is an enemy to God,am thankful I got out of it before it’s too late.
    The devil will not stop using all and everything to manipulate,its already recorded that he is the ruler of this world,he won’t stop till he get what he wants,some pastors are devils incarnate there indirectly directing the minds of the Christians into witchcraft, this site opened my spiritual mind and eyes to see what happening,
    Its high time we open our eyes,anyone who is not grounded in the word of God is LOST
    Its written in the bible that they would be false prophets and false teaching all these things happening now are in the scriptures,the bottom line is satan can try whatever he wants as for me and my family we will serve the LIVING God.
    Its my first time commenting here,but am a regular reader.
    Keep up the good work,God bless
    Yours in christ.

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  7. qwerty:
    Your website is bad and you should feel bad.

    He should feel bad about what? Exposing this false teaching? If you didn’t read the rest of the article, you may have missed the fact that drawing circles around you is a part of witchcraft. So now we have this wiccan “christian” decieving people into doing things that are no where NEAR what the Bible says. So please tell us as to why you think what this author did was a bad thing?

      (Quote)

  8. ohmy:

    “The Circle is an ‘analogy’, a ‘metaphor’, it’s not that we’re all to make circles around ourselves literally to pray to God.I have a question… did you actually read this book?Be careful to call God’s Spirit evil.”

    Ohmy, do you realise with that statement you are putting ‘the circle maker’ on par with The Word of God?

      (Quote)

    • > ohmy wrote, “It’s not that we’re all to make circles around ourselves literally to pray to God.”

      The book itself and most the words that Batterson uses in the video clips would agree with this statement.

      The (big, glaring) exception is that the marketing video puts a very large emphasis on the circle.

        (Quote)

      • Hi Ken,

        I invite you to read the new, updated section “Have You Read The Book?” as well. I attempt to show that the book itself does indeed put major emphasis on Honi and the circle ritual. I welcome your thoughts on it.

          (Quote)

        • Just seconds after I clicked “post comment”, I realized I’d misspoke, but I didn’t see any way to edit my reply, plus I had to get myself to work, so I didn’t pursue it.

          The book definitely tells the story of Honi and his circle. (I have the book, but I didn’t finish it — too many other books to read and too little time to read them.)

          Personally, I thought, “Batterson’s making too much of the circle thing.” But I didn’t think “This is wiccan” or “this is heresy.”

          I just now looked at the Honi story from the book. It’d been a good while since I’d read it. I remembered that Honi drew a circle, but I didn’t remember anything overtly Wiccan about it — I didn’t remember the circle itself being the reason for the answer.

          And as I review the Honi narrative, I see the circle itself as inconsequential.. He did indeed draw a circle, but I see no Wiccan incantations — just a bold, and perhaps presumptuous, statement to God [not sure I'd call it "prayer"]: “Lord of the universe, I swear before Your great name that I will not move from this circle until You have shown mercy upon Your children.”

          I do see one of my own pet peeves in Batterson’s next sentence: “The words sent a shudder down the spines of all who were within earshot that day. It wasn’t just the volume of his voice; it was the authority of his town.” I dislike it when writers presume to know those details, especially when they’re portraying a [presumably] factual event.

          As for circling scriptures — I took that as a metaphor. Not that there’s power in the circle, but that there’s power in identifying scriptures that apply to You.

          Christ’s words are powerful, and, in my opinion, their power increases in our own life when we do things to increase our exposure to those scriptures. For me, it’s usually underlining verses that capture my interest or “speak” to my heart. Sometimes I transcribe them to a 3×5 index card that I carry around for a day or two to just remind myself of what I’ve read. Sometimes I’ve written them down and pinned them to my wall. Sometimes I’ve committed them to memory.

          But none of those things I do (except memorization) are scriptural. They’re things I’ve done on my own to increase my exposure to certain verses that I feel God wants me to focus on.

          When Batterson speaks of prayer circles around verses, I assumed he meant identifying scriptural promises that we begin to pray to God about. As if we read Ps 23, and circled (or underlined or highlighted or starred) vs 1, and then added this petition to our daily prayer life: “Lord, help me to realize that You are indeed my shepherd. Help me to want less, both on my side of things by eliminating greed from my life, and on Your side of things by providing for me the things I need. Give me, indeed, my daily bread.”

          Or, if we’re reading in Proverbs and we see “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” So we circle (or underline or …) that verse and begin to pray, “Lord, I tried my best to teach my child, but he’s far from You right now. Lord, Your word tells me to do my part, and I did, and now I ask You to do the part You promised…. save my child, woo him back to you…”

          Now, since I didn’t read all of the book, I can’t weigh in on the parts I didn’t read, but I do remember in the parts that I did read, that Batterson prayed for years for some requests, and for others, he’s still praying. That’s hardly the result I’d from any prayer approach that guarantees answers — the blab-it-grab-it promoters kinda indicate that if you’d just say it correctly, and have enough faith when you do it, then you’d see the answer immediately.

          I’ve read a couple of Batterson’s earlier books completely (“In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day” and “Wild Goose Chase”). Neither book mentioned circles at all, which makes me think this circle thing is a metaphor, not a rune or incantation.

          Back to Honi’s prayer. I said it was presumptuous., but even so, there is at least one Biblical examples of just such presumption. Jacob: “I will not let go until You bless me.” Another example might be the promise Hebrews that we may “come boldly unto the throne of grace.”

          Now then, I’ll freely admit that the marketing video was way over the top. There was much, much more emphasis on the physical circle than there was in the segments of the book I read, and that is a shame. I suspect that Batterson found the Honi story, liked it and first used it as an illustration for a sermon or a series of sermons. That’s a far cry from what the promo video showed.

          I said up front I haven’t finished the book, and I’m in no hurry to do so. But I will at least take the time to read the new section “have you read the book”, probably later tonight.

          Thank you, and bless you, for you patience in dealing with those that disagree. I’ve not read much of your writing (just this article and some of the comments), but the bits I did read showed that while you are resolute in your opinion and you, in my opinion, lean a bit towards sensationalism [instead of saying the circle maker is "wrong", you used attention-grabbing words like "heresy" and "witchcraft"], you do not come across as angry or bitter. This is refreshing to me, and I thank you for it.

          Although I feel that “witchcraft” and “heresy” are too strong, your soft-spoken approach in the comment section reveals your heart. Also, I realize that just saying “wrong” won’t attract readers, and that if nobody’s reading it, then the message isn’t getting out.

          And, remember, I’ve not read it all, and I do plan to read the other article. Once I’ve done that, I may agree completely with the witchcraft/heresy assessment.

          God speed, brother.

            (Quote)

          • Argh! I’ve got to remember to proof-read BEFORE I click “POST COMMENT”.

            Just saw the “didn’t not” in my 3rd paragraph. Should have either been “didn’t” or “did not”.

            And in the 5th para from the bottom, I should have said, “…time to read your new section ‘have you read…'”

            In the next-to-last, “reader” should be “readers”

            The last para: “I’ve not read all the book, and I do plan to read your other article.”

            And then final salutation… Well, I do wish that God will speed you along mightily, and I perceive you as a brother…. So that one is fine.

            Note to self: proofread before clicking, proofread before clicking, …. Question: Is it OK if I circle this note to myself? :-)

              (Quote)

          • Hey Ken,

            Thanks for getting back to me and sharing your experience with the book. As you have not read it all, again I understand your hesitation to consider it heresy but I would like to give more insight into why I declare it as such. There is a growing divide in the Christian church today between adhering to sound Biblical doctrine as the basis of Christianity or mixing in mad-made ideas along the way. This website clearly falls in the former camp. Again, the talmud, Batterson’s source for the circle maker fable, is not Biblical and denies Jesus Christ is the Messiah. So at that point that book has no real bearing in teaching Christian doctrine in my view. Yet it is the basis of the Circle Maker book and is referenced all through out.

            Honi was not a prophet of God, otherwise he would have been in the Bible. I understand that in many churches, these issue are not a concern, but for this author, they are major, because it is letting man-made stories and philosophies guide the church instead of God’s Word. So for some, this will seem heresy and for others it will seem like “very solid spiritual teachings.”

            Beyond that I can only ask that you offer up what you saw as Biblical teachings in the portions of Batterson’s book that you read.

            As for circling Bible verses or phrases, again I have no issue with that. But that is not what Batterson is teaching. He is teaching a means to obtain blessings for the biggest, most audacious desires in your life.

            Thanks again for your comments and feel free to continue to share your thoughts.

            P.S. The new updated section is in the original article. It’s not a separate piece. God bless.

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  9. WOW this was scary. It’s incredible how blind people can be.

    Thank you for this post and all the work you’re doing.

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  10. larry franklin says:

    ‘New way to pray’?? …show me chapter and verse! Far too parallel to Wiccan sorcery.

      (Quote)

    • @larry franklin
      And what do you know of Wicca? I do know many aspects are against the christian beliefs such as a God and Goddess, I am nt and will not argue these points at all but do you have a true study of Wicca? Of any Pagan religion, including the several sects of catholicism. The average wiccans and pagans pray or call on The Power of the Universe which I relate to being the One true power of the universe God.
      I do not place my faith in Christ, though I am grateful for his death, but I instead put y faith in God Almighty. Yes our sins are washed away with the blood of christ but only with thee love and power of God.

        (Quote)

      • I am amazed at how many ‘christian’s I find these days who do not proclaim Jesus Christ as God Almighty and of course Paul is just a no no!! Could I please suggest that you go and find yourself a reliable Bible and read the Scriptures. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name,
        10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in Heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
        11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Php2:9-11)

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  11. I feel as though we can have a ‘productive discussion’ only if you have read the book and if you are a Christian who really is seeking to follow God by following Jesus and adhering to the Word of God. Because then, you’ll know specifically what we’re talking about instead of just saying things out of context.

    I used to be Catholic. When someone Protestant used to say to me that I shouldn’t pray to Mary, I used to defend myself right away… but I had no basis in what I was saying. So I read my Bible and yes I learned I shouldn’t pray to Mary. So we should all be like the Bereans in the Bible.

    Acts 17:11
    “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

    I will try to explain the reason for my answers.

      (Quote)

  12. First, I am your sister in Christ, if you’re a Christian… so let’s make sure we answer each other respectfully and be an example of love. We may not all see other things the same way, but we can all speak and listen respectfully to each other :)

    Eph 4:14
    “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

    As a Christian, I shudder at the thought of being even thought of being related to ‘wiccanity or witchcraft, etc’… eeewww… Jesus is my Lord. I don’t want to have ANYTHING to do with ANYTHING that is witchcraft or wiccan or evil or demonic or against the Word of God! Believe me… I would RUN from such a thing.

    Jn 10:2
    “The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”

    B&E, thank you for your kind response. I noticed how in your answer to me, you didn’t mention anything about the ‘circle and witchcraft’. I noticed that in your response your focus was on the book being about the ‘prosperity gospel’ (and of course, I’d love to discuss this with you specifically and learn from you as well). However, from reading other responses, it seems as though most people are more scared of ‘the circle’ being made and its connection to witchcraft than about the ‘prosperity gospel’.

    I’m not trying to defend this book (anymore) because the Bible is our only Guide and FINAL SAY and if you read the book or not–whatever :). But I’m trying to defend the author and wanting to warn other Christians not to be so quick to point the finger at other christians who loved the message of “persistent prayer” in the book. So what if the world points the finger? I can expect this. But for Christians to think so lowly of each other and be compared to ‘witchcraft’?? Yes warn us if we’re in the wrong… but discuss this first with someone whom you know and likes the book first so you get all angles on the thought. I believe the author is a brother in Christ and that he did not mean AT ALL for his message to be portrayed as witchcraft. This is so far away from the point of the book.

    It almost seems like when Jesus was healing someone on the Sabbath and all the Pharisees could focus on was the fact that He was doing this on the Sabbath instead of focusing on the fact that Jesus just healed a blind man.

    This book is about being FAITHFUL AND PERSISTENT IN PRAYER. This message of course is all over the Bible from Old Testament to New… and yet, some people are focusing on ‘the circle’????? What?

    It’s as if I was trying to explain to you how to not give up in your walk with God by relating it to the game of football (trying your best, getting up when life knocks you down, etc)… but all you heard was how much I cared about football and then got offended that I think Christian life is a game… you missed the message! But this shows me how everyone’s different. Someone may hear the message better if I had related it to something else and not football. Same with the book… I guess to some people circles are related to evil… and to others– a circle is a simple closed shape. The MESSAGE was ‘persistent prayer’… WHO CARES ABOUT THE CIRCLE IMAGERY?

    Now. If you come from a background of witchcraft… and you guys prayed in circles a lot–I’m not sure to whom… (i really know nothing about this)… and this book will remind you of your past and you want to go back… then maybe it’s not for you. But even if talking about circles is just offensive to you (even if it’s not the point–just a label), then maybe this book isn’t for you either… you’ll be so distracted about the shape, you won’t get the message (maybe change it to a square) :).

    Joshua 6:15
    “On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times.”
    (it’s not about the circling… it’s about seeing God fight our battles and showing us His power to get His will done here on Earth… through persistent prayers)

    If you are not into ‘persistent prayer’, well this book is all about that.

    If you want to be inspired to pray faithfully and persistently… for God’s will on Earth… this book will inspire. Another name for the book — the PRAYER WARRIOR.

    B+E, about the prosperity gospel message… well, I think all of the examples of what the author prayed for and other people prayed for wasn’t for selfish reasons. It wasn’t “I want a million dollars, God”… it was, “I want to glorify your name Father and reach more people with the gospel, to do so and so and so (whatever vision God has given you), I need this much money…”– and hey, if God will not be glorified, He can say no to the prayer… but the point was how God DID PROVIDE and GLORIFY HIS NAME.”

    As a Christian, the last thing I want is to be selfish in prayer. However, who are we to say anything if God listens to simple prayers and answers them???
    Example in my life:

    -I was somewhere in another country and I was supposed to meet with somebody in a school. I forgot to ask the details. When I got to the school, it was so big, I had no idea how I was going to find the person (whom I had recently met–a Christian). I believed 100% that God was with me… I believed 100% that He was my Daddy… and that He knew where my friend was. So I sat at table, right where I was, and I said to my Father that I didn’t know what to do… and I asked Him (very humbly) if He could please bring my new friend to me… and I sat down. And I said, I’ll wait on You Lord… all day if I have to.

    I waited and waited and waited… I began to have doubts in my head “who do you think you are? that you think God will answer your prayer? God is so busy with other more important things? Who are you-to give commands to God? You’re a nobody… He isn’t going to answer… you should stop waiting. He’s gonna let you down… What? you really think He’s really listening to you??”
    I had to FIGHT HARD MENTALLY to still believe that ‘yes, my Lord is listening–and He will provide a way to meet my friend’… it wasn’t easy, I think I was sweating.
    And I waited, and waited and waited… and waited… when after what felt like a couple of hours, I heard someone yell my name… and there is my new friend–running to me, telling me that they found me by miracle.

    GOD gets all the glory in this example!!! My faith in Him is strengthened more than ever! and now I have another example in my life to look back and say– My Lord can and will provide my needs and many time even my simple ‘no harm to anyone’ wants… for the glory of HIS NAME. He’s my Father! If I can’t depend on Him, there ain’t no one else!

    Luke 18:1
    Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ 4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”

    6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

    Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; those who seek find; and to those who knock, the door will be opened. 9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

    If I’m going to make goals anyway… why not put them ALL up for prayer, instead of just praying and giving God some of my life… why not GIVE Him and TRUST Him with ALL of it… so that He may provide, open and close doors as HE wishes.

    I write this with respect… I do believe you’re a brother and do not intend bad with what you wrote.

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    • Hi Oh My,

      Thanks again for your comments. And I do respect you and your faith. Christians can have theological differences! Really, it’s okay. It’s good to discuss Scripture and share ideas where we do not agree. And our hope with this site is that it can provide a forum for this. So with respect to your comments:

      First and foremost, my issue with the book is the method it is promoting. Batterson makes it clear that this is a “new” way to pray and it based on an unbiblical story that is indeed using methods practiced by witches for centuries. You say that commenters in this thread are making a big deal about the circles, but it is Batterson who made them a big deal. He emphasizes it throughout his teaching.

      What I notice in the example of your own prayer stresses my point. You said you prayed and waited. You did not make a circle. You did not start walking in a circle. You did not think of Honi. So in other words, yes you prayed, but you did not follow the instructions of the Circle Maker. I am all for prayer and believe in the power of prayer. However, I do not believe in any special powers that come from drawing circles in the sand, in the Bible or walking them in the street. The Talmud is not inspired scripture and in fact rejects Jesus as Messiah, making it completely unbiblical. Yet Batterson makes this the foundation of prayer.

      Additionally, we do not always know God’s will when we pray. But we must try our best to conform our prayers to His will. Batterson says that’s not our job, i.e., we should not worry about the will of The Lord when we pray. Well what if God’s answer to your prayer is “No”? What if what we are praying for is good for us materially, but bad for us spiritually in ways we cannot fathom? What if God is just refusing us as a test of our faith or to further purify us as His children? We cannot presume to know these things yet Batterson teaches prayer as if it is a magic formula that is guaranteed to work and that the only thing holding us back is that we are not being “audacious enough” or “big” enough with what we are asking for. Yet none of this is in the Bible? We are never told to be audacious with God. We are never told that God is offended by small prayers and but gives extra respect to huge ones. Jesus’ model for prayer is nothing like Batterson’s. These are the areas of concern. If you have something from the book or the videos that you think is a Biblical point, please share it. But certainly, the verses you cite, I agree with! Prayer does work. There is great power in prayer. God hears our prayers. I absolutely encourage prayer and an active prayer life for every Christian.

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      • Tammy Chesnic says:

        ???? Your comments do not add up.They are inconsistent and discouraging based on a geometric shape!!!!! Now you absolutely encourage prayer/active prayer life-how about Mark Batterson’s encouragement-that is Faith Focused-and leading many to Christ. Is this website encouraging or leading anyone to Christ? Please re-think what you are accomplishing……

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    • I read All In and Pray circles around your children. Mark refers to the great instruments of God from years ago, and a lot of what he says are truly inspiring and accurate. He explains that praying circles are simply standing on promises and he seems genuine. I feel uncomfortable with a number of things though. Nowhere in the Bible does it teach us to circle. Why did the Israelites need to circle Jericho? The walls where not built that well and the vibrations of their footfall loosened it til it collapsed. He says we should speak things. Jesus NEVER told us to speak or proclaim anything – read carefully where He talks about speaking to the mountain or tree: THEREFOR I tell you whatever you ASK AND BELIEVE – NOT PROCLAIM! You so not have because you do not ASK. Joh 14-17 – 7 times instructs to ask, not once to speak – it is an occultic practice. What is rather disconcerting to me is the symbolism on this church’s website: there is no cross – nothing of Christ, but the dome of the USA parliament building [seat of the queen of heaven], the USA obelisk or sunpillar, and stars. He also speaks of how closely they work with the government. He does not talk too much about holiness, his wife wears a mini skirt – which one does not normally associates with Christfilled women, he uses imagery of activities that God condems such as gambling, and movies [God condemns filling your mind with filth, sensual stuff etc and that is what most movies does]. I also find the prayer prophecy idea a bit dubious, though in a sense he is right – you do not have because you do not pray, God has changed the destiny of nations because of prayer from a clean heart.

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  13. I just read circle maker and immediately became aware of the lack of christ-centered biblical teaching in this book. I am grieved that our church is reading this new age non sense and was very thankful to come across this site after making the same observations on my own. ( except I wasn’t aware of the witch craft stuff and find that irrelevant when compared to the misuse of scripture). Praying for a gentle way to communicate the truth to the church that I love and the leadership that I respect.

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  14. This does sound way too similar to witchcraft for me to even begin to trust what he’s saying. The reason some people are probably buying into it is because he’s mixing little grains of truth (real Bible stories )with a lie (random unbiblical concepts)…which is exactly what the enemy does. He’s always using the same tricks, so I’m not surprised at this foolishness. Excuse any spelling or grammatical mistakes, I’m using my phone to comment.

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  15. @ Beginning and End- Hi, I was wondering if you are familiar with OneCry, a movement praying for revival using a chalk circle for prayer? I am working on writing an article on this subject and wanted to find out if you are aware of this… Please, email me!
    http://www.onecry.com/resources/videos/

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  16. Kathy Cavoores says:

    I’ve never heard of this book but I have heard many ways that Christian leaders try to interest their congregations in prayer. In third world countries (for instance), the church doesn’t have this problem. People are so sick and poor they are content to get on their knees and pray. God hears them and answers them. It seems in America we are so rich we don’t have much to pray for except MORE of the same. Americans seem to want to see some supernatural activity in church since there is so much of it on TV and outside of the church. As a long time Christian, I think I have tried every off-the-wall gimmick to get God to hear and answer me. Now I am content to rest in the basic instructions given by Jesus. He spoke to simple people and I am simple. <3

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    • Kathy, I share your views about the prayers from needy folks. Simple prayers are answered. When we ask according to His will, He hears. But, when I am my old obsessive-compulsive self and pray in a repetitive manner, I am acting like a hypocrite who basically doubts His care. No gimmics necessary. His conscious awareness of my needs is a matter of Trust – – a sacred gift of Him caring more over my needs than I can grasp. Here is how He wants us to pray, no circles drawn, “Our Father…”

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  17. Kacy Green says:

    I read the book and received beautiful revelation from the Holy Spirit. Not once did I relate it to the occult.

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    • What beautiful revelation did you recieve? You sound like a mystic ——–God speaks thru his word and not our feelings. This circle stuff comes right out of the “Purpose driven camp”. Spare me.

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      • I pity you that God does not deem speaking to you worth his time. I personally love when the Holy Spirit touches my heart. Too bad you do not believe in such things. I will pray that God touches you one day.

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  18. Tammy Killian says:

    I am no scholar but it seems to me that maybe Christians had the circle making thing long before any Wiccan person decided to copy it. The Bible says we are either for God or against Him and since Mark is not preaching against God, leave him alone. Who says God quit creating at the end of 7 days. Is He not the same yesterday, today and forever, so He still must be creating. He is eternal savior, healer, deliverer, prayer answerer, etc.
    Anything successful for God the enemy will try to defame and put a bad light on it. This is not a BETTER way to pray just a new perspective on prayer. Evil tends to counterfeit whatever God means for good. Better than repeating the Lords prayer over and over in repetition with no meaning and no purpose. That could be cult like chanting also heard in some churches, prayer with no power.

    God is all about numbers and shapes. They marched around Jericho in a circle or square doesn’t matter.
    The point is this book is not to replace the Bible or change the way we pray but to enhance our idea about prayer and to get people to pray specifically. This book increased my faith in a way that has not happened before.
    I believe the basic teaching of this book we have not cause we ask not. Too many people are not
    even asking God for their hearts desire. God wants to know what we want most. The man with
    leprosy was asked what he wanted when it was obvious that Jesus could see what we needed was healing.

    the other main idea ” pray like it all depends on God and work like it all depends on you”. God’s promises are conditional. If my people pray then I will hear from Heaven.. If you seek me yo will find me, and so on.

    for me it was a life changing book that opened my eyes to how much God wants to hear us pray and believe for bigger things. People often settle for so muh less than God has for us. He said above all things I wish for you to prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers. Not just about finances, but also healing, wisdom, kids, family, marriages or just about any other life issues.
    We must do all we can do then stand and wait and trust God that in His time and Mark never said you would receive instant answers, but that an answer would come in God’s timing.
    Jesus said you are either for me or against me and since he is not preaching Anti-christ then Mark must be FOR JESUS so let the test of time prove itself. A prophet is proven by whether or not his prophesies come true. Obviously he has something here cause if if was not of God there is no reason to explain his success in the ministry. Are lives being changed, are souls being saved.
    After all that is the reason we are christians to go and make disciples of all nations. If his church is doing this then God must be in it and blessing it.

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  19. This is a good discussion and I appreciate everyone’s thoughts. I am part of a church planting organization focused primarily on Europe. My wife and I help lead, along with three other volunteer leaders, a small and growing Christian community of internationals and Portuguese near Lisbon, Portugal. One of our leaders suggested this book and related materials as something that we should consider reading and looking at as a way to give us a stronger focus on prayer and bring us closer as a community.

    I have just begun to explore it. We watched the first video last night. As we listened, we heard a few things. We heard a belief in God hearing and responding to our prayers. We heard a concern that people are reluctant to really believe that God will respond and so don’t put everything to God as they would to their friends and family, expressing their needs and desires and frustrations. We heard a strong desire to reach great numbers of people for Jesus. We heard a practical approach to practicing a strong prayer life that looks for real results in an age of skepticism and weak belief.

    All that was good and we could get behind that, for sure. We were also, though, a little overwhelmed by the whole circle thing. I don’t think there is any connection at all with anything occult there. Reading the description from The Pagan’s Path site, I find no correlation to Mark Batterson’s thinking or practices. I am sure he doesn’t draw a circle around the spot where he stands preaching on a sunday in order to create a connecting point between God and himself or God and his church. And I am sure he would agree that if there is a circle of God’s area of operations it would be more like a boundary that encompass the entire earth and beyond. I think the circle idea it is a tangible device to get people actually doing something with their prayer communication with God. I couldn’t agree more with ohmy about the need to not get hung up on the circle idea. It’s not easy to ignore but it isn’t the point, it is a device.

    I do have questions about his approach to scripture based on the way he felt God was leading him based on Joshua’s experience at Jericho. I don’t know if he thinks we can take anything that God did or promised or enabled someone to do in scriptural stories as what we should adopt wholesale as well. I think that can be actually restricting to what God wants to do in through and for his people by that approach. I haven’t read anything yet of the book and so can’t really say anything definitive about Batterson’s thinking there. It is just a point of how we relate to the Bible relative to what God wants to be doing in our lives and communities.

    To me the discussion shouldn’t be about questioning the sincere faith of a Christian leader. I don’t think there is anything like enough evidence to make that case. In John it is recorded that Jesus said “I am the vine and you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing.” and ” This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” It seems to me that Mark Batterson is bearing a lot of fruit for the kingdom. Let’s applaud the workers who ask God to be enabled to bear as much fruit as possible. The focus is on God and Jesus, even if he doesn’t put that forward as often or as strongly as some of us might like. The church needs all the power of God we can handle to do his work well.

    Thanks for providing the space and the fodder for good, honest discussion that looks for the true work of God in our world that changes lives.

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    • Hi David,

      Thanks very much for your comments. I am glad you are enjoying the discussion. I did want to respond though as you are in a very important position being that you are a church planter and are training up believers in how to do church. Please, please read this book before teaching it or sharing it with others. I find it a little odd that you say we shouldn’t question Batterson because he has the “sincere faith of a Christian leader” and have not read his book. I have read the book and it has a host of problems from a doctrinal standpoint. We are told in Scripture that the Bereans “were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11). They heard a sermon preached and double checked in Scripture to make sure what they heard was an accurate use of the Word of God. And this was after hearing the Apostle Paul preach. 1 John tells us to “test the spirits” because many false prophets are among us. So the Scripture is clear that we are indeed commanded to question preachers and their doctrine.

      1) The Circles — Having read the book, I can assure you that circling is the major part of everything Batterson talks about. And once again, it is not from God. It is from the Talmud, which denies that Christ is Messiah. It is based on a person who is not in the Bible. So why would we make our foundation of prayer on something that is not “the Word”? I think is a big red flag.

      2) Big Prayers – Batterson says that God is offended by small prayers and not offended by big, humungous, audacious prayers. Where is this in scripture? This is a wildly unbiblical statement. Jesus taught us how to pray by saying “give us this day our daily bread.” By Batterson’s clearly stated doctrine (It’s on page 1 of his book), Jesus’ prayer would be offensive to God.

      3) Batterson teaches that we are not to worry about the will of God when we pray. This again, completely contradicts scripture.

      4) Joshua — His use of the story of Jericho again should be a major red flag. He says in the book that the promise God made to Moses, transferred to Joshua and now transferred to him. This is his literal belief. Thinking that every believer can march in a circle around an area they wish to obtain (again which he literally did, more than once), is a completely incorrect use of Scripture. The account of Jericho falling is not a principle of a method Christians use to obtain property. It is a story that foreshadows the salvation we receive in Jesus Christ so that we can enter the Promised Land which is Heaven. Any Pastor who would preach the Old Testament as if we can take anything God said to any prophet or person and apply it to ourselves, is demonstrating a very suspect ability to understand Bible interpretation.

      5) Where is Jesus? — There is very little mention of Jesus in the Circle Maker. Most quotes of verses Jesus speaks are used to demonstrate the importance of circling and not salvation in Christ. He also seems to forget that we as believers are not blessed because of things we do – we are blessed because of what Christ has done.

      These are just a few things that stood out to me. As for the occult part of it, a pastor is not going to come out and say blatantly that he is teaching witchcraft. The Bible says that these hereies are snuck in. These pastors come in “privily” with no warning. And the only spiritual path that teaches circle making is witchcraft. Why would a pastor bring this into the church?

      Again, I just offer these as things to consider as you read the book. I think it is very important in churches today to stick to the Word of God as their guide and final authority. Otherwise there is a greater risk of running into heresies and misleading the flock. God bless you and I hope your church planting goes well to the glory of our Savior Jesus Christ.

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  20. Kacy Green says:

    I have read this book and I now use it as a point of reference. I’ve also had an opportunity to hear Mark Batterson speak at the Catalyst Christian Conference 2011 in Atlanta. He was participating in the conference with David Platt, Francis Chan, Andy Stanley, etc. These are all powerful Christisn leaders who who share the common goal of advancing The Kingdom of Heaven. They each differ in their approach but assuming someone is demonic because they’re different is a far stretch. If the Holy Spirit has revealed this to you and if in fact this is a truth from God, or if anyone on this post believes this to be God’s truth revealed by the Holy Spirit then we would better serve our Father by humbling ourselves in prayer for Mark Batterson and the congregations he serves. If this man is somehow involved in the practice of witchcraft it is just as likely he may be unaware. We should ask first for revelation on the subject and pursue with instruction on how to pray. I haven’t thought or felt anything demonic from my experience with Mark Batterson but I will seek Christ’s counsel and cover this entire situation with prayer. May I please encourage others to do the same. Love in Christ!

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    • Kristen says:

      I have a concern. In several of the posts, commentors have mentioned a “revelation” from the Holy Spirit. I have met many Christians who believe that if they have some sort of spiritual experience regarding a teaching, that it is a valid teaching. That is scary because it puts our emotional experiences on par with the divine Word of God. Paul stated in Galations 1:8 “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.”

      If a teaching isn’t found in the Bible, your emotions and experiences don’t make it doctrine. I have not read this book, so I am not commenting on it’s contents or stating that it is or isn’t doctrinally valid (though it appears not from the excerpts I am seeing here). All I am saying is that an emotional experience doesn’t validate the teachings of this book.

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  21. Cole Jacobs says:

    I think this Batterson character just wants to be the next Rick Warren. I’m sure he has a “relevant” church with a rockin’ praise band and a Message bible. American junk “christianity” makes me sick.

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  22. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that the critic most likely hasn’t even read the entire book.
    What’s wrong with praying boldly according to God’s will. The book chronicles answered prayers that advanced the Kingdom of Christ.
    You mean to tell me that demonic forces would allow things to come to pass that would further the Gospel?

    C’mon, man.

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    • Hi Eric,

      Thanks very much for your comments. I have indeed read the entire book in addition to doing an hour of its courses. You say that the book is about praying boldly according to God’s will. Well for one, God’s will is revealed through Scripture, which Batterson does not even use as the premise of his book. Secondly, Batterson specifically says that we are not to spend time worrying about God’s will. Which is again one of the many reasons I have strong reservations about this book.

      But as I posed to another poster above, have you read the book? If so please let me know where the Gospel is being advanced. If there are Biblical-based positions that Batterson is taking in the book, please share them. I am glad to hear them.

      As for demonic forces and their statements I would point you to the book of Acts:

      And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. — Acts 16:16-18.

      Notice that this woman was possessed by a demonic spirit and yet she still said the truth about Paul and the Apostles. And how did Paul react to her “truthful statement”? It grieved him. So beware of spiritual deception. It can come in many forms. Even Satan can appear as an angel of light. God bless you.

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  23. Yep! Read a little bit of the book at the bookstore and read about “drawing a circle.” My slight familiarity with wicca and witchcraft set off my “spidey sense” right away (Spirit sense!) If it looks like witchcraft and smells like witchcraft.. (you can fill in the rest!) “DANGER WILL ROBINSON, DANGER!”

    Sounds a bit like warmed over, baptized Kabalah.

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    • Foolishness

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      • In the words of one wise teacher I heard “God is not some cosmic vending machine we can just drop coins into and get what we want.” I think Batterson is not teaching the full counsel of God. In his example of the “Feast of Quails” God certainly DID answer with meat in the evening but there’s more to the story. The second time the “prayer for quail” didn’t work out so well.

        Ps 78:27He also rained meat on them like the dust, Feathered fowl like the sand of the seas; 28And He let them fall in the midst of their camp, All around their dwellings. 29 dSo they ate and were well filled, For He gave them their own desire. 30They were not 7deprived of their craving; But ewhile their food was still in their mouths, 31The wrath of God came against them, And slew the stoutest of them, And struck down the choice men of Israel.

        So is this the sort of prayer I should be praying? I think my true prayer should be God give me what I need, not what will make me sick.

        You may have been put off by my “lighthearted” jab at The Circle Maker. But it really is serious to teach wrong stuff.

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        • Kacy Green says:

          I do take it seriously and I seek Godl’s counsel. I have anticipated leading a group study on prayer based upon this book but I’ve postponed because I happened upon this post. I have little use for mockery and take the demonic realm seriously. Obviously you do too. I’ve met Mark Batterson, heard him speak and anticipate reading other books he’s authored. I am praying for him, his family and the people who are being affected by his work. Accusing him of demonic practice is still a stretch for me, only because the Holy Spirit hasn’t revealed it to me. However, even if it’s true he deserves our consideration in prayer not our mocking condemnation. This book is being promoted by many Christian leaders who all need our support in

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        • Kacy Green says:

          I do take it seriously and I seek Godl’s counsel. I have anticipated leading a group study on prayer based upon this book but I’ve postponed because I happened upon this post. I have little use for mockery and take the demonic realm seriously. Obviously you do too. I’ve met Mark Batterson, heard him speak and anticipate reading other books he’s authored. I am praying for him, his family and the people who are being affected by his work. Accusing him of demonic practice is still a stretch for me, only because the Holy Spirit hasn’t revealed it to me. However, even if it’s true he deserves our consideration in prayer not our mocking condemnation. This book is being promoted by many Christian leaders who all need our support in prayer. Quoting scripture back and forth will not save this man….only the true compassionate intercession of a faithful servant of Jesus will. I do appreciate the post. I’ve learned a lot!

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          • Ac 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

            Scripture is my ONLY guide on these sorts of things, I can remember another popular (VERY popular author) who wrote in his best seller that “Jesus had to first get the name of the demon before he could cast him out…” It didn’t happen that way in scripture:

            Mat 5:1 ¶ And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.
            2 And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
            3 Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:
            4 Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.
            5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.
            6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,
            7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.
            8 For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.
            9 And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.

            So the demon was worshipping Christ from far off! Christ was already commanding the demon to leave BEFORE he asked him his name. That author was confusing early exorcism practices with what Jesus’s authority really meant.

            Jesus commanded a spirit to come out of a man possessed who COULDN’T hear or speak:

            Mr 9:25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.

            One teacher I heard said this REALLY blew people’s mind because it was known that ONLY WHEN YOU COULD GET THE DEMON’S NAME COULD THEY BE CAST OUT.

            So why all this bantering scripture back and forth? Because it IS the only way Batterson (and this other author) should or could be corrected. So my only suggestion is that as you are seeking God’s counsel, make sure you seek out and study what he has already said.

            I don’t think Batterson is intentionally teaching witchcraft so I want back off on saying that. But the practice of drawing a circle then praying in it IS a pagan ritual. I am MORE than familiar with a lot of these practices and practitioners. I know one young man that was converted out of wicca and the idea using a circle to pray with would REALLY bother him.

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          • Hi Kacy,

            Thanks for your comments. As someone who is teaching other Christians based on the Circle Maker – I will again just give a strong warning to beware of this book. I also have to ask, why would you want to use a book that is premised on a non-Biblical source, to edify other Christians? The Talmud denies that Christ is the Messiah, yet Batterson said he received so much “wisdom” from this book. What Spirit is leading the author of books that deny Jesus is the Christ? I think these are things that need be seriously considered by someone who is taking on the mantle of leading a Bible study. The Bible says that a pastor is required to:

            Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of – 2Timothy 4:15truth.

            Batterson is not using “the word of truth” as the basis of his book. He is using the legend of Honi. which is not in the Bible and if anything contradicts the way every prophet of God in the Bible performed a miracle.

            As for the practices being demonic, the article is not suggesting that he is presenting his teachings as witchcraft. It is saying that he is copying methods that have been used by witchcraft for centuries. There is absolutely nothing about circle making in the Bible. Yet Batterson has written an entire book about it as a ritual to help gain God’s favor in one’s life. And we see in witchrcaft, circle-making is a ritual done to gain something through occult spiritual means. It’s just like Joel Osteen teaching the Law of Attraction. He is not calling it that, nor is he ever going to mention the book, The Secret, however much of what his foundational teachings say are an exact copy of that book and that occult method. So at the end of the day, he too is preaching witchcraft.

            I hope that makes sense and again welcome your thoughts. God bless.

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        • Hi Marty,

          ” I think Batterson is not teaching the full counsel of God. In his example of the “Feast of Quails” God certainly DID answer with meat in the evening but there’s more to the story. The second time the “prayer for quail” didn’t work out so well.

          Ps 78:27He also rained meat on them like the dust, Feathered fowl like the sand of the seas; 28And He let them fall in the midst of their camp, All around their dwellings. 29 dSo they ate and were well filled, For He gave them their own desire. 30They were not 7deprived of their craving; But ewhile their food was still in their mouths, 31The wrath of God came against them, And slew the stoutest of them, And struck down the choice men of Israel.

          So is this the sort of prayer I should be praying? I think my true prayer should be God give me what I need, not what will make me sick.

          Very well said!! Great, great points. God bless.

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  24. Our friends in Minneapolis will be leading a group on this book. I fear my previous church will also find this book and begin “worshiping” its (false) “truths”. When we warn them, they become defensive and dig their heels in….which is why we left. (Emotionally Healthy Spirituality was their previous deviation from God’s truths. Coming from a new-age background, my spirit senses the evil one in these approaches. Satan can be so deceptive, masquerading as an “angel of light”. Bless you for taking a bold stand for TRUTH….and, we need to continue to pray for the light of truth to shine into our leaders. If Jesus is not glorified, beware, it is probably from the “other side”. JZ

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  25. And they’ll know we are Christians by our love. No wonder the world looks at Christians with disgust. Beginning and End, why not go DIRECTLY to Pastor Mark? I’m not doubting your sincerity at all. I have had the chance to meet with Mark, talk with Mark, share a meal with Mark and discuss his book. The man loves the Lord. Find a ladder to help get you down from your high horse and talk with him directly.

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    • Hi K. David,

      As Christians we are commanded to expose heresy, not just to to the preacher, but as a warning to the public. Listen to the Apostle Paul explain this:

      For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. 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. – Acts 20:27-31.

      The Apostle made it his mission to constantly warn the church about heretics preaching false Gospels. Was he on a high horse? No, he was looking out for the flock that is the church. And the same applies today. The Bible says to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but reprove them, which means to expose them with evidence.

      Christians are to know each other by our love for the brethren. The world should know us by Christ living through us. And Mark Batterson is not preaching Jesus Christ crucified in the Circle Maker. He is preaching another Gospel based on man-made books and fables that have nothing to do with the Bible. I will once again simply ask, if you have read the Circle Maker, please provide the sound Biblical doctrine that is being preached in the book.

      This is so important to publish because the book has become so popular. I did not publish the article out of animosity towards Batterson, but out of a concern for brothers and sisters in the faith and the unsaved who may come across this book. There are eternal lives at stake. There is only one Gospel in Christianity and that is the only way of salvation. So again, if I am in error, please just show me the parts of the Book that you feel have been mischaracterized. Thanks and God bless.

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  26. Since the Bible was not completed at the time of circling around Jericho, I wonder what on lookers would think of the Israelites as they circle around the walls.

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  27. Mark very clearly states in the book that praying circles is not a magical way to get whatever you want from God. He deliberately says he is not teaching prosperity and ordering God around.
    You uses the circle to represent perseverance. And he does reference scripture over and over and the “circle” is based on the Jericho miracle, not on Honi.

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  28. To be very honest, the book the Circle Maker was recommended for me to read. I tried hard to like this book. I am no “newbie” Christian but I was thrown off initially with “the Honi” while I was trying to keep an open mind there were too many cliches and twisted up scriptures. I got halfway through and just could not continue to read the book. I was wondering if I was the only one with these thoughts about the book. Thanks for your research and confirmation.

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    • Hi Monica,

      Thank you for your comments and sharing your own experience. We are called to warn brothers and sisters in the faith of anyone who teaches doctrine to the faith once given to the saints. Praise The Lord that His Spirit of discernment led you to the same conclusion about Batterson’s false teachings. God bless.

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  29. Dear B&E,

    First of all let me say I appreciate your heart in wanting to make sure that the gospel of Jesus Christ is taught according the Word of God no matter the genre used.

    I was born and raised in the Assemblies of God denomination, attended bible college, married a minister and have been in ministry for over 25 years. I am also an educator of music and reading comprehension and critical thinking.

    I’ve read this book and I read your article. All of us need to be extremely prayer and careful about pointing fingers at others. I realize that there are false prophets,etc. in the world we live in. I know that there are many who preach name it, claim it, prosperity. My questions to you-did you actually read this entire book? Do you underline, circle or highlight scripture in your bible? I do. It is a study skill that is taught at most levels in education. If it’s important and you need to remember it you do these things. If I’m listening to a sermon and a scripture stands out to me-you’d better believe it will be marked, in my notes and reviewed the next week. Do you ever use “stories/legends” in your writings or when you speak, to make a point and then clarify it with the Word of God?

    I’ve underlined and circled many truths, in this book, that are scripturally based and encourage the reader to seek a deeper prayer relationship with Jesus Christ. Mark’s use of the legend of Honi, his metaphorical analogy of drawing the circle and his perspective of praying for our dreams, futures, families, jobs, land, etc. are not leading others toward witchcraft. If the use of literally drawing circles is truly going to be compared to those used in witchcraft then maybe we should reconsider the way that we read and interpret scripture and pray. Although we live in the “new testament” we are not completely exempt from the “old testament”. If we were, women wouldn’t have pain in child birth-that was spoken by God in the old testament. If we were then why do we refer to the prophecies of the O.T. that happened in the N.T. Jesus birth was prophesied by Isaiah in the O.T. and Jesus was born in the N.T. If using the analogy of “drawing circles” is going to be considered witchcraft then what are we going to call using a staff/rod to divide the waters of the red sea so the people of Israel could cross over? Moses was listening to the voice of God. Batterson’s book encourages people to seek God, seek to hear His voice, study the word and to listen. I believe we truly have to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. If walking, praying or drawing a circle/around a building, vehicle, family situation, finances, etc. is wrong then why did God have the people do these same types of things in the bible. Just sayin…..in respect, we do have to be very careful not to “fall into practices” that are ungodly but I believe we have to make sure that we are careful to pray about our own perspectives when it comes to “pointing out” what we believe is wrong and leading others astray.

    Another question-how many people that have read your article will “NOT” read “The Circle Maker”, search the scripture for themselves and pray about what God would have them do with the information because you’ve told them it is basically based on practices of witchcraft. The word tells us to search the scripture, the word tells us to seek, ask and knock at the heart of Jesus Christ so that our prayers are heard and answered. It doesn’t say everything will go our way. We are to study to show ourselves good stewards of His word so that we can apply it to life. Mark encourages the reader to do this throughout the book.

    Quite honestly, I’ve tried the name it/claim it, I’ve walked around property and existing buildings, I’ve made lists of situations, peoples, dreams, goals, needs and wants. All of these were done with a true sincerity of seeking Gods will for my life. Seeking a deeper relationship with Him and growing in faith and trust of His promises. Sometimes the prayers were answered quickly, some haven’t been answered and some I still continue to believe, claim, declare, and seek God continually because He tells us to do this.

    So I end with this-thanks again for having a heart that seeks truth. If you haven’t completely read the book please do so. If you have read the book, possibly consider prayerfully reading it again and weigh it out completely. Witchcraft is real, prevalent in society and many christians can easily be lead astray by it’s practices because they are seeking for something deeper, they have a voids in their lives and most prevalently don’t spend enough time in the Word or praying.

    Let us all “humble ourselves and pray……..”. God will hear our prayers, concerns and hearts if we are truly seeking Him!

    Seeking Him Wholeheartedly

    LDH

    I chose not to list every scripture I could have because I believe that if people are going to make comments about this book they better read it first and as they’re reading it they should be praying for God to give them their own discernment in regards to it’s truth. Mark it up, check the scripture, compare it to the truths of witchcraft, then pray some more.
    In the meantime, I will continue to pray for you as I metaphorically pray circles according to the Word of God.

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    • Hi LDH,

      Thank you very much for your thoughtful comments. First off, I am definitely not talking about writing notes in your Bible or using circles to emphasize scriptures you like or want to meditate on. Of course I have absolutely no problem with that whatsoever. But I submit that that is not what Batterson is talking about. In his book, circle making is a ritual used to obtain blessings from God. It is not a Bible study aid.

      Your comments have actually moved me to respond to your concerns in the article itself. I have updated it with a new section entitled “Have You Read The Circle Maker” in which I go into greater detail about the rampant heresy and false doctrine in the book. I wanted to focus on the videos more for this article because they are readily accessible for anyone to see, whether they have read the book or not. However, the book is just as out of line with Scripture as the videos are. So I respectfully ask that you check out the new section and see what you think.

      Thanks again for your thoughts and for motivating me go more in-depth. And to answer your question, yes, I have read the book and referred to it many times subsequently. God bless.

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    • Beware of half-truths and some scriptures mixed with heresy. Think LDS (Mormons), Jehovah’s Witnesses and many of the cults intertwine scripture with their false doctrine. Why even open the book at all?! Lot lived in the city and thought he and his family wouldn’t be tainted by it. This article as well as others I have researched are a good warning to the church, as the Bible warns in 2 Peter 3:3, “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days, scoffers, walking after their own lusts.” And again, similarly, Jude v. 18, states, “How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.” And, 2 Peter 2:1-3 “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you; whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” My question is, who is making money off of this book, and why is it being pushed in the church?

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    • This is fairly late in coming but I just read this and I wasn’t going to comment but to everyone that calls themselves a Christian yet are proving themselves to be of the “itchy eared” variaty… All the debate in the world is not going to make something un-Biblical, Biblical. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it’s not a chicken. Just because a few context-less (is there such a word?) versions of the Bible are thrown into a book doesn’t make it Bible inspired. Where is the Spirit of discernment that God Almighty provided? The Bible is the LITERAL Word of God, unless specified as parable. There is no room for interpretation of what IS so that it can become more palatable for us as individuals. If something contradicts the Gospel (i.e. takes away or adds), the spirit of the anti-Christ is at work.

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      • Amen! What I do not understand in the Assemblies of God, is how can the leadership so blindly support Mark Batterson? Is he simply the “golden boy” that bring recognition to the organization? Shameful. Janine, my hat is off to you!

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        • Thank you sir. Isn’t that the million dollar question? that ppl are so quick to turn their back on the truth. If the reason behind accepting false doctrine is for recognition, then I pray that churches choose obscurity and follow God’s Holy Word… as is.

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  30. I found it interesting in your discussion that you went to page 157 and dissed on the book when it stated ‘and station me within a circle’, as that is not what scripture states, but most of us do not have ramparts to stand upon. had you continued further you would have seen the words re: “the great dangers in… the application of these prayer principles… doesn’t matter if it’s a circle, an oval, or a trapezoid. Drawing prayer circles is nothing more than laying our requests before God and waiting expectantly…. ”
    remember also, he stated earlier , a quote : never put a period where God puts a comma and never put a comma where God puts a period. I do not see the book as one telling us to name and claim, but to begin to pray around things as we seek Him, His direction, His leading… He will show us the way to go… it has helped me to circle my grown children, my singleness, and other things… they are not just prayers anymore, they are things drawn in the sand, which I come back to seeking His will, in His way on. God is an amazing God who is still writing Acts 29….. within the hearts of men and women who will grab ahold of faith, step out of our security of the unseen, and step into a realm of possibility where Jesus asks us to walk on water. I disagree whole heartedly with your take on Joshua and the promise land, if our salvation is all you see in that, I would recommend you read Your God is Too Small… blessings and joy in the journey

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    • Hi Rita,

      Thanks for your comments. My point about the quote on p. 157 is that Batterson changed the words of the actual verse from Habakkuk, without even saying he was doing this. He put the verse in a blockquote as if it was directly from Scripture, but it was not. He changed it just to fit into his own man-made ritual of circle making. At a minimum this is deceptive at worst its outright blasphemy. What are your thoughts on this?

      “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
      - Matthew 5:18.

      Regarding Joshua – Are you saying that you have the ability to walk around a city and capture it? Or that if there is a piece of property that is not yours, you can circle it and possess it? What is the point you are getting from that account? Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. God bless.

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      • my thoughts on changing the words from Hab… is this: He did not do it to change the intent of the passage and it is similar to what the living bible would do… make it alive and 21st century.

        I think you set out to destroy the man and his book because something you didn’t like about the circle, which I and quite a few others agree is not intended to be occult.. nor is anything else in the book. I would ask if you speak with tongues, do you believe they are for today.

        it almost appears as if you are a pharisee, concerned with the jot n tittle and not the weightier things of the law, like love… Mark did not change any jot or tittle, he continually tells us to go to God and His Word and to believe that the God of the Bible is alive and well today, wanting to work within people who have made a way for His Holy Spirit…. continually speaking of others in the bible who believed God and allowed Him to be big in their life.

        I think that we too often see things as too big for us and too big for God to work on our behalf. Neither Mark nor I, from what I’ve read, believe that we get everything we pray for… but when we circle things in our spirit in prayer, it no longer holds the power against it happening, we are built up in the inner man, our mind is renewed, thinking on things that are pure… the unchangable Word of God. we know that He is not a respector of persons, what He has done for one He will do for another, we know that His Truth is parallel. the thief comes to steal, kill or destory, and he does it any way he needs to. if he can get us to pray less, pray smaller prayers, and not stretch out our tent stakes, he wins… not our eternity but our destiny on earth… he wins in that we do not allow God to be big. The book has encouraged me ~ and I read it after reading scripture, and several devotionals ~ as has the 2013 inaugural prayer breakfast speaker Jonathon Cahn… (google and listen)

        your statement that the book is occult is something that you will be held accountable for…
        but life is a choice: comprised of the choices we make and words we speak~

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        • Hi Rita,

          Thanks again for getting back to me. I will just have to respectfully disagree with your position on Batterson’s handling of Scripture. I think his changing of the Biblical text was done deceptively (hence on verse reference) to support his premise, not to give God’s word accurately for modern times.

          As for worrying about the jot and tittle in scripture, it was Jesus The Lord who was concerned about this, not the Pharisees. I will also add that one of the things the Pharisees were doing at that time was adding things to the Word of God. They added extra laws on top of the Mosaic Law. This was spiritual error. Hence Jesus saying, “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is their doctrine.” And this is precisely what Batterson is doing. Creating his own doctrine (Honi/Circle making) and trying to add it to the Bible.

          Ironically, the Pharisees were also the authors of the Talmud and the Midrash, which is where Batterson gets his Honi story from in the first place.

          Thanks again for taking the time to read the article and share your thoughts. We as a body of believers are never going to agree on every issue, doctrinally. But at least we can share them in a spirit of edification, love and iron sharpening iron. God bless.

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  31. Seeking Truth! says:

    Here’s what I struggle with concerning sites like this… Where is your accoutabiliy? Have you contacted Mark Batterson’s Ministries? My point? I’ve read other things like this from people like you and I struggle with the issue that Mark is not here to defend himself. Easy to call someone out when you don’t have to defend yourself. I don’t want false teachers or false doctrine preached any more than you do… but before we start labeling people “false prophets” we better make sure that we are not tearing down a bro / sister simply because we don’t agree. I’ve read the book – my take was to promote a faith and determination to pray. Nothing wrong with referencing Honi… BTW it wasn’t a myth it is a documented historical fact – in Israel today there is a tomb marked just for him. The Bible even gives references to historical writings (ie Jasher). No where does Batterson promote Honi as a Scriptural reference, but as another illustration of what God can do when people pray w/ faith and courage. We use people in our lives as testimony of the Word of God – nothing wrong with that…. I feel Batterson is doing the same thing. We are going to disagree, that’s ok, but do you want me and others to start a site to accuse you of being a false prophet? Teaching false doctrine because I don’t agree with you doctrinally on some issues? I’m not threatening (I have no desire to do that) it’s just that words either bring life or death – how one even interprets that is left to scrutiny. I know there are false prophets out there… I get that… but this is really over the top and taking out of context the intent of the author in my opinion…

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    • Hi Seeking Truth,

      Thanks for your comments. I understand your concern. But the Bible teaches Christians to warn the flock about false prophets. Jesus repeatedly warned the disciples about false doctrine, false teachers, false Christs and wolves in sheep clothing.

      “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” 2 Peter 2:1-3.

      “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.

      “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” – Matthew 7:15.

      Nowhere are we told to go speak to the false prophets and teachers dialogue with them. We are to warn believers and unbelievers as we have been warned. That is the example Jesus Christ set for us. If I had a personal run-in with Batterson and wrote an article about it, that would be one thing. But Batterson has written a book and published it for all the world to read so as such, he, like any pastor or BIble teacher should be open to Biblical scrutiny.

      As far as Honi is concerned, you say there is nothing wrong with teaching about him. First off, Pastors are commanded to preach “The Word” not other books. Yes, Honi’s existence may be a fact, but was he a prophet? Was he a believer? Did he command miracles from God? There is no way to know this because it’s not in divinely inspired Scripture. So to make a book based on a ritual done by someone not in the Bible is not sound doctrine. It’s a man made idea.

      If you want to call me a false teacher, that is your right. But on what basis could you do this? It would have to be the Bible. And that goes back to the main point of the article – if a Pastor is not properly handling the Word of God, blatantly adding and changing it, preaching fables and not pointing people to Christ, they are not operating in accordance with the Word and are teaching heresy. The Bible is where we get all doctrine from as Christians. As the church moves to being less reliant on the Bible in favor of their own ideas, of course many will disagree. But that does not diminish its truth.

      If I have made a doctrinal error, please show me. I am not perfect and welcome Biblical correction. And if Batterson is really making strong Biblical arguments, please feel free to share them. Thanks and God bless.

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  32. Seeking Truth! says:

    One more thing… I think this whole “prosperity” issue is out of control from both perspectives. Those who only preach “financial” prosperity are unbalanced and missing the mark of the Gospel. But those who are just at the opposite spectrum “no financial prosperity” are also off the mark. “… money answers everything.” (Ecc. 10:19) We need a ‘balanced’ understanding of prosperity. God wants us to prosper because He is prosperous! This idea of Christians being broke is false doctrine. Can’t accomplish much with little $$! God wants to prosper us spiritually, financially, numerically, physically, etc. You can’t have faith for something you despise…. so be balanced in prosperity. Don’t love money – love God. But don’t hate those who are prosperous because we need them too. It may not be ‘their’ money and things that you don’t like… it may be your own. For you cats that only preach financial prosperity – shame on you. Spiritual prosperity is more important that temporal things. Balance people… BALANCE!!

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  33. Seeking Truth! says:

    Dear Beginning and End,

    I appreciate your reply. Yes, Jesus is our example and yes He did warn us about false prophets, but then He went and died on the cross for those false prophets…. Are you willing to make that kind of sacrifice for these ‘false prophets?’ After all He was our example?! Jesus could speak these things because He was going to die for these people – neither you or I have that kind of love. I agree, we have a God given responsibility to speak truth, but like I said earlier, your intrepreation of truth and mine may be different in some areas, that doesn’t make either one of us a false prophet. I imagine my ‘theology’ will continue to change and develop as I draw closer to God – I don’t know it all, but I’m thankful God looks at my heart! His Grace goes even to where my ignorance doesn’t! I think sometimes we are too quick to judge others just because we may differ.. Where we differ on this book is that you intrepret what Batterson did with the whole Honi the Circle Maker as a ‘new way’ of praying or as a theology. I didn’t read it that way at all and I feel like I’m an educated man and a man who spends time in the presence of God… I study His Word often… I’ve received enough revelation to know that we must be careful with our words! This is why I would warn you and others to not be to quick to call someone out when you don’t know their heart or because you perceive something to be a certain way. I’ve learned over the years that what ones ‘says’ and what one ‘perceives’ can be completely different… Last thought… what if YOUR wrong? What if you misjudged this book or this man? What damage did you do? Who did you discourage? Where you a tool of the enemy to tare down God’s warriors on the frontline? I just get a little frustrated when I read things like this when there are REAL false prophets out there and we’re beating up the good guys?! I could spew all kinds of scriptures that would argue w/ what your saying… that would be non-profitable. All said, we obviously are not going to agree on this and I pray God’s best in your life as you continue to seek His truth along with me.

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    • Hi Seeking Truth,

      Well this is turning into a spirited discussion. But what is missing is scripture. As for me following Jesus’ example: Did the Apostle John die for our sins? Did Paul? Did Jude? Did Jeremiah? No. Yet they all warned about false prophets in the Bible. So I don’t think you have to be the Messiah to issue a warning to fellow believers.

      It’s hard to talk about “right” and “wrong” when we are not going to Scripture. If you feel I have misapplied Bible verses in the article, please just identify the verse and provide the proper Biblical interpretation. if you think Batterson is making strong, Biblically-based doctrinal points, please feel free to post them. I am glad to read them and offer my thoughts. There is no “right” outside of Scripture. And speaking of Scripture, I wanted to add this:

      All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. – 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

      Scripture is profitable! So please, spew away. There are many churches that are making a concerted effort to move away from a reliance on the authority of the Bible and this site is clearly not in agreement with that. So by all means, share as much scripture as you like, even if it is to disagree with all my points. God bless.

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  34. Seeking Truth! says:

    Sorry for the spelling errors was in a hurry! Lol!

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  35. Seeking Truth! says:

    B & E,

    Spirited?! Ok? I will get back with you on my scriptural references & I will refresh my thoughts on his book. I know the essence of his book was on encouraging people to pray & we both know there are plenty of scriptures to back that up – surely you don’t have a problem with that. I’ve enjoyed this dialogue – don’t have time right now to expound – but will get back soon.

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  36. Seeking Truth! says:

    I’m Back! Sorry it took so long – been busy! You said you wanted me to share some scriptures to back up my belief, so here we go…

    First, in reference to my “unprofitable” statement I wasn’t implying that scripture is unprofitable, but rather the conversation would be unprofitable… This is a classic example of how something can be taken out of context. FYI here’s my scripture…

    “But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are UNPROFITABLE and WORTHLESS.” (Titus 3:9)

    That was the context of my statement. I do feel that some of this is foolish and I feel somewhat hypocritical for et this discussion, but here I am… you wanted scripture.

    Secondly, I’m not sure how you could read his book and not find any Biblical points… Seriously? The book is ALL ABOUT PRAYER! Not to a foreign God – not to Budda, etc. He promotes praying to Jesus. Surely I don’t have to list scriptures about that.

    Third, there is nothing wrong with using illustrations. There is not ONE scripture that proclaims if someone uses an illustration they are a false prophet. If you believe that, than your belief is not biblically based. That does not define a false prophet. I agree with you that we are commanded to, “preach the Word…”, but there are no scripture references that denies the use of illustrations – this is where I believe you are being a bit legalistic. You use Jesus as our example (a great example) – even Jesus used parables to illustrate Biblical truths. Parables are made up stories. So according to your own belief, as I interpret it, Jesus would be a false prophet for sharing a story that is, “not from the Word”. God gives us permission to do so…

    “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” (Rev. 12:11) The story of Honi is a powerful testimony that draws people to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – not to a false God.

    Forth, the way one defines a ‘false prophet’ better be Biblically sound. A false prophet (when studying the Greek) is one who falsely claims the gift of prophecy or divine inspiration for evil ends. That certainly isn’t the case for Mark Batterson. The great thing about God’s Word is that He tells us how we can spot a false prophet…. “… know them by their fruits…” (Mt. 7:16) There is no ungodly fruit that I can find in this man’s teaching. I’m not saying that I agree with EVERYTHING the man says, but there is no evil motive or intent.

    Fifth, this whole “circle” thing is just ridiculous! I mean the circle in this book is only SYMBOLIC of a spiritual truth – which is persistence in prayer (ie. the persistent friend) boldness (… Boldly approach His throne of Grace) and obedience. Mark references the example of Joshua and Jericho. Why did God have those people march around the city (circle) the city? Could He not have knocked those walls down w/out all that circling? Sure He could! He was teaching them obedience, faith, and determination … it had nothing to do with the circle. If you are married you have a wedding band that is a circle. That wouldn’t make you a witch or warlock – its a SYMBOL of love and commitment which is unending… Same principal applies to Mark’s use of this story and the circle. He is not promoting a literal circle, but the truth that God honor bold prayers and bold prayers, like Honi’s, honors God.

    Lastly, in one’s attempt to prove another man to be a false prophet, one must be careful to not become a heretic… I don’t know you… I want to believe that you are a person after God’s heart and truth… But this I do know about you… You are not perfect. You, like me, are flawed. Sometimes we make mistakes, even in our honest attempts to search for truth. I know you will find ways to disagree with me about the above information… you have that right, but remember it doesn’t make me a false prophet. If you want to differ with Mark Batterson then differ. But to call him a false prophet, in my opinion, is a lie. You can spot a false prophet by the fruit he/she bears. Do you always bear the fruit of the Spirit? If not, wouldn’t that make you a false prophet? Are you getting my point? You just can’t start tearing people down because you differ from their point of view. The scripture makes it clear in the same chapter you quoted “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Mt. 7:2)… I think I would ask for a little more grace / mercy before I start going around and ripping people’s ministry and reputation apart, because I’m going to need it one day for those who have a wrong perception of me…. I’m done! Pray God’s best in your life – wish you well!

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  37. Beginning and End,

    I also appreciated your article. I find myself in a prayerful place as my much respected and loved pastor has just endorsed this book as the best he’s read in a long time concerning the subject of prayer. Not that I’m asking advise in that regard as I will trust the Spirit’s leading… I had just finished Andrew Murray book, “With Christ in the School of Prayer” writing some 150 years ago. I’ve loved his books and this one was no exception. The 2 books have such a gulf of separation that there is really no comparison. I highly recommend the Murray book for anyone wanting insight to rich prayer life. One point Murray makes repeatedly however, is that our prayers are indeed tied to the working of God’s will in our lives, the lives of the lost, and the coming of His Kingdom. And I believe that is scriptural sound. Murray sites many examples one of such being Jesus’ instruction to pray the Lord of the Harvest for laborers… Implying the harvests going unreaped being on us in not fulfilling our commission… It stirred me to our call as ambassadors as our lives are not to be our own, but His alone… Not for my consumption but His will to be done. He has honored us with that role now as His Spirit dwells within us and we now pray and work on His behalf by the power of the Holy Spirit. That makes me love Him and praise Him!

    Sent from my phone so forgive my brevity…

    Peace of Christ be with you. And thank you.

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  38. Even if you ignore the circles & Honi, the very idea that we have to inspire or challenge The Lord in order for him to answer our prayers, belittles Him and is tantamount to treating God like a celestial vending machine. Personally, I’d rather pray for contentment with the estate in which God has placed me and skip all the geometry. All this acquisitive philosophy, perverts the true mission of the church, which is the proclamation of Jesus as Savior and Lord, and to do so with love and compassion.

    Thanks again B&E for pointing out another snare, and keeping the focus on Jesus!

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    • Seeking Truth! says:

      Jim… Although I can appreciate your desire for contentment their is absolutely nothing Biblically wrong with petitioning God for our needs with extravagant faith – matter of fact God loves it! The Cannanite women, Roman Officer, etc all had extravagant faith that Jesus praised. Some issues in our lives require “unusual” faith from us in prayer – that doesn’t make God a vending machine – He is a God who Desire to bless us & stretch us. The Bible does teach that there are times God wants us to pursue Him rentlentlessly in prayer for our needs. Elijah had to pray 7 times before it rained. NT “ask and it shall be given – seek and you shall find – knock & the door shall be opened” each word “ask – seek – knock” in the Greek is a form of the word “beg” with each becoming a greater form of “begging”. If God wants us to be content with our circumstances & needs then why would He require that? God loves the pursuit & the faith to ask Him with boldness. Although we should be content in our relationship with God we should always strive for the greater things of God in our lives (needs / desires – He wants to give us the desires of our heart). Content must never be confused with complacency & your belief, in my opinion, lends itself to status quo.

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      • Seeking Truth~ right on….. you said it well, you spoke in love…

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        • additionally… I was reminded by Francis Frangipan of how we are shaped by the doctrines we hear, how important it is to come to God with an open mind so that He can direct our paths. Scripture says He sends the comforter to lead us into all Truth. Many who are born again never receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit because they are locked in doctrine that says they get it all at salvation… and yet they allow water baptism~ selah ~ joy in the journey ~

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      • Prosperity doctrine morphed from “ask once and believe” to “keep on asking, eventually he will listen” in my most base understanding of it. It misses the point. We all believe that Jesus wants us to talk with him and he wants to bless us. For me, though, prayer is embodied in the Lord’s Prayer and I can’t see that prayer reflected in the prosperity prayer in all of its mutations. If I simply ask that his will be done, I will end up in the right place. The right place for me is close to Jesus and I can’t see how I get there by bending him to my will instead of asking that he bend me to his.

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  39. I thank the Lord that you have spoken out about this weird book. Whatever happened to Jesus teaching His disciples pray using the Lord’s Prayer? This is a far cry from that and my “feelers” went way up when I was so appalled that our Wed. night teacher mentioned this new book she was going to use. I thought, why do we need to do weird things to get the Lord’s attention? I asked her if it was similar to that of a Dream Catcher that American Indians have some sort of occultic beliefs/practices about.
    I have not been back to her class since and I think she should have know better, because she has taught several courses on the various cults and they were good classes. This has certainly gone off the deep end. Are people really so desperate to have their prayers answered that they will resort to occultic followings and books and circles to get what they want in life. Such a far cry from John the Baptist who lost his head on a charger. Did people pray for him? I think so, yet God’s will was done. What about Jesus submitting to God’s will to be led to the cross? What about Paul the Apostle’s bragging about his many shipwrecks and various trials? What a far cry our church has gone that is so much into the prosperity gospel and Gimme, Gimme attitude that our church will resort to anything, even the un-godly and occultic to try to get what we want, when actually, it is a choice that will lead us away from who Jesus really was. Was Jesus a failure because he was buried in a borrowed grave and didn’t own an earthly home? All the Prosperity Gospel Believers need to do is took at Jesus and then wonder where they have gone off-track. If it was good enough for Jesus and John the Baptist and the Apostle Paul, then trusting Him alone and not any “Cirlces” of any sort, including following some guy the Bible never speaks of, as Noni, then iI choose to follow Jesus and toss out the Circle Maker! Wake up church, please!!!

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    • Edit & Re-post due to my typ-o on my above post, with the name Honi (I erred and said, Noni).:
      I thank the Lord that you have spoken out about this weird book. Whatever happened to Jesus teaching His disciples pray using the Lord’s Prayer? This is a far cry from that and my “feelers” went way up when I was so appalled that our Wed. night teacher mentioned this new book she was going to use. I thought, why do we need to do weird things to get the Lord’s attention? I asked her if it was similar to that of a Dream Catcher that American Indians have some sort of occultic beliefs/practices about.
      I have not been back to her class since and I think she should have know better, because she has taught several courses on the various cults and they were good classes. This has certainly gone off the deep end. Are people really so desperate to have their prayers answered that they will resort to occultic followings and books and circles to get what they want in life. Such a far cry from John the Baptist who lost his head on a charger. Did people pray for him? I think so, yet God’s will was done. What about Jesus submitting to God’s will to be led to the cross? What about Paul the Apostle’s bragging about his many shipwrecks and various trials? What a far cry our church has gone that is so much into the prosperity gospel and Gimme, Gimme attitude that our church will resort to anything, even the un-godly and occultic to try to get what we want, when actually, it is a choice that will lead us away from who Jesus really was. Was Jesus a failure because he was buried in a borrowed grave and didn’t own an earthly home? All the Prosperity Gospel Believers need to do is took at Jesus and then wonder where they have gone off-track. If it was good enough for Jesus and John the Baptist and the Apostle Paul, then trusting Him alone and not any “Circles” of any sort, including following some guy the Bible never speaks of, as Honi, then i’lI choose to follow Jesus and toss out the Circle Maker! Wake up church, please!!!

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  40. This is plain Heresy that has attempted to enter the church. God says in His Word, that the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against His church. And I pray the Lord Jesus will open the eyes of His people and His church.

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  41. I thank the Lord that the author of this article, “The Circle Maker Heresy – Witchcraft in the Church” has spoken out about this weird book that I also recognized the “Circles” as closely resembling the occult right away, as well. Whatever happened to Jesus teaching His disciples to pray using the Lord’s Prayer? This is a far cry from that, and my “feelers” went way up when I was so appalled and shocked that our Wed. night teacher mentioned this new book she was going to use for our next class. I thought, why do we need to do weird things to get the Lord’s attention when we pray? I asked her if it was similar to that of a Dream Catcher that American Indians have some sort of occultic beliefs/practices about, and she replied, “No”.
    I have not been back to her class since and I think she should have known better, because she has taught several courses on the various cults and they were good classes. Teaching a class in the church, using this occultic book has certainly gone off the deep end. Are people really so desperate to have their prayers answered that they will resort to occultic followings and books and circles to get what they want in life. Such a far cry from John the Baptist who lost his head on a charger. Did people pray for him? I think so, yet God’s will was done. What about Jesus submitting to God’s will to be led to the suffering and death He experienced on the cross? What about Paul the Apostle’s bragging about his many shipwrecks and various trials? What a far cry from the suffering servants who are in the Bible as our example, that our church has gone in the opposite direction, that is so much into the prosperity gospel and Gimme, Gimme attitude that our church will resort to most anything, even the un-godly and occultic practices, to try to get what we want, when actually, it is a choice that will lead us away from who Jesus really was the ultimate suffering servant who bled and died in our behalf. Was Jesus a failure because he was buried in a borrowed grave and didn’t own an earthly home? All the Prosperity Gospel Believers need to do is look at Jesus and then wonder where they have gone off-track. If it was good enough for Jesus and John the Baptist and the Apostle Paul, then trusting Him alone and not any “Circles” or “Circle Prayers” of any sort, including following some guy the Bible never speaks of, as Honi, then I’lI choose to follow Jesus and toss out the Circle Maker! Wake up church, please!!!

    This is plain Heresy that has attempted to enter the church. God says in His Word, that the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against His church. And I pray the Lord Jesus will open the eyes of His people and His church. Who better to follow as an example than Jesus, and certainly not “Honi” who has been, sadly, so elevated in this new false Gospel, whereas Jesus’ last words and instructions for His disciples was to “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.” Matthew 28:18-20 states His instructions for his church, thus, “v. 18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, ‘All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. v.19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; v. 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world’ Amen.”

    This un-godly book, The Circle Maker, is such a far cry from Jesus’ instructions to His Believers, may we repent and turn to Him and instead of seeking another “new way” to pray, to get what we want, and another path to prosperity, may we instead seek His ultimate calling for us as per His instructions to us in the greatest book every written, the Holy Bible, instead of seeking “wisdom” from the likes of someone by the name of Honi who is mentioned in this book!

    –Judy Doorn 2-12-2013

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    • Hi Judy,

      Amen. What a powerful, Biblically-based statement. I could not agree more. Praise God for your gift of spiritual discernment. God bless you abundantly.

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    • I have read this book from cover to cover and simply don’t see any prosperity gospel. The things Batterson prays for, and teaches us to pray for, are not about “‘me” they are about Him.

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  42. Just heard of this book today. Thanks for the great information about it. I guess many don’t realize how easy it is for the enemy to gain entrance into their lives. The Bible warns us repeatedly to be watchful so we can avoid the traps of the enemy. Circle-making is definitely used in witchcraft and satanic rituals but the Bible doesn’t anywhere instruct us to do this. As far as basing anything on Jewish legend that is a huge red flag. God gave us plenty of examples on how the Jewish people in the O.T. turned to occult and satanic practices and brought God’s wrath on them. Great website…thanks again.

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  43. Tammy Chesnic says:

    Tammy Chesnic:
    Do you believe God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Was parting the Red Sea witchcraft? How about the Walls of Jericho-did they not march ’round 7 times-basically circling according to God’s command? I am reading this book, and Scripture is the basis for Mark Batterson’s prayers. Everything thus far is based on what God has done or said. Why call this witchcraft? How do you not know that witchcraft did not get ideas based on Scripture. Satan does this. He wants to be like Jesus. Satan tries to imitate Jesus’ power.
    This is not prosperity-I have not seen a chapter about getting a new car, house vacation, clothes. I see seeking to do God’s work. Planting a church. Asking for needs-as God promises. Claiming GOD’s promises is exactly what we are to do. This is FAITH-not witchcraft. Peoples lives are transforming-coming to KNOW Christ. Why call it witchcraft. Why not The Power of God?

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  44. I did a devotional on this book after someone from my old church asked me about it because they were about to take up Batterson’s 40 day prayer challenge. The research I did came to the same conclusions. This is a call to change your prayer life based on a fictitious character who is not in the Bible and who petulantly prayed to God demanding something. It robs God of His sovereignty. I understand why the bless me crowd like it because it places God in their service. Excellent article. Keep up the good work.

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  45. I just did a follow up devotional regarding this book. It can be found here:

    http://www.828ministries.com/articles/Delving-Deeper-Into-The-Ci-by-Anthony-Wade-130305-33.html

    Thanks for your vigilance.

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  46. Since the earth is a CIRCLE…GOD created our universe…what does that have to do with the occult? I find it so discouraging that this website is linking a young pastor…who is reaching thousands of lost souls and bringing them to the WORD of GOD….to witchcraft. What a s-t-r-e-t-c-h to ATTACK a man with a strong Christian background because he DARES to boldly catch one’s attention through…sigh…marketing! WHAT is this website…but marketing. You are marketing your views. Likewise, I certainly appreciate the thousands of hours people of faith had to expend to write the BIBLE in a language that immediately speaks to us today. I truly believe I had been “turned off” to the WORD of GOD for years simply because the King James Bible was an alien language. I have 5 different Bibles to help me in my daily devotional because it is important I COMPREHEND the WORD by using examples, stories, “cheater notes”, etc. to explain BIBLICAL truths. I, for one, do not see Mark Batterson as a “false prophet”.
    Have you read the best selling book…The Harbinger? He is marketed as a prophet. WHAT say you about that book?

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    • Hi April,

      Thanks for your comment. I’m not sure where you saw in the article that I was criticizing the pastor for his marketing efforts. The article is really taking issue with his book’s doctrine. Is there a point in the article where you feel Scripture was misused or that is just wrong?

      You say you do not see Batterson as a false prophet. Are you basing that on your opinion or on the Word of God? I think this is the important distinction that is taking place and growing in the church: how closely are we to adhere to the Bible? How seriously do we have to take it as our final authority? Or should we just follow what we think is right today based on our own standards and changing times, etc. So this is why I think this book has been so polarizing.

      Re: The Harbinger – I have not had a chance to read this book but it is certainly on my list. Once I read it I will be glad to share my thoughts on it. What did you think of it?

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    • The Harbinger is also an unnecessary work. I do not need someone to tell me that the signs of the times point to the imminent return of Christ. Cahn uses numerology and other methods to prove a false premise. This country was never under covenant with God – ever. The church is supposed to be under covenant.

      As for the Circle Maker, it doesn’t matter if Batterson is sincere. You can be sincere and sincerely wrong in what you teach. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t go into it thinking witchcraft. The evil rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms could care less what his intentions are. I think the usages of the circle, while troubling, are secondary to the false teachings about petulant prayer, using a non-biblical character to change your prayer life, and the fact that he borders dangerously close to word faith nonsense. Stick to the Bible and you will be fine. It is sufficient. Be well.

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  47. Grieving. Discernment is lost in the church. Not only are many deceived they want to defend that which is false.
    Jesus, IAM, taught us pray, why do we need to search for a “new way” modeled after Honi who is not even mentioned in the Bible? (Red flags should be blowing in the wind by now!)
    May God open blinded eyes with his great kindness that leads to repentance.
    O, Lord, have mercy on us.

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  48. Lyn Diekman says:

    Just an on going example of marketing the Word of God, we will continue to see more and more of this type of stuff. The great falling away scripture warned of is happening right before our eyes. The church in most part seems like it has lost its discernment. Preach the Gospel, many of the new translations have watered down the Gospel, could be one reason the church has a form but denying the Power thereof.
    NIV example has deleted complete verses let alone changing the words adding and subtracting of which scripture again warns not to do. King James Bible is all I use.

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  49. So Batterson is using in extra-Biblical source as a reference point. Who cares? If he wrote a book using MLK or Billy Graham as an inspiration, would we be having this conversation? At the end of the day, the book encourages Christians to dedicate their lives to Christ and the mission they’ve been called for…nothing prosperity gospel about that. We should be supporting those doing Kingdom work, not searching for reasons to tear them down.

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  50. Reading through some of these comments here I am absolutely abhorred at the level of non discernment by some. I kept feeling it is like pearls before a swine.

    Thank you for an excellent article and research done.

    A Scripture verse that came to mind reading some of these comments were : “1Co_14:38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. ”

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  51. In the scriptures, which most of you are asking for when responding, the disciples came to Jesus and were basically complaining because there were man casting out demons in his name, Mark 9:38, read it and notice the reply that Jesus made. I will not get into this argument, just another ploy by Satan to cause division among the people, its called splitting hairs or doctrine, we could spend years arguing this point instead of getting down to the business of winning souls, no wonder religious people make Jesus mad.

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    • That is just a misuse of Scripture. To say that exchange means we should not question false teachings is to ignore an entire swath of the New Testament. There is no argument to be had. The people defending the author are all proposing carnal arguments such as to defend who he is. The people such as the author are sticking to Scripture. Therein lies the difference. The notion that everyone who labors is winning souls is a fallacy. The true danger is in false conversions, which are rampant in the modern church. Bottom line is he recommends changing your prayer habits based on a non biblical fictional character who petulently ignores the sovereignty of God. I find that to be extremely problematic, especially for new Christians who may not be as spiritually grounded. Be well.

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    • By the way, when someone says that God is playing chicken with us regarding answering our prayers and that we haven’t satisfied Him yet by how much we have prayed – that is not “splitting hairs.” I agree, I do not want to argue over minutia. But Paul warned Timothy to guard only two things closely – his life and his doctrine. What we teach and beleive is of the utmost importance.

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    • You entered the “argument” by posting.
      How is praying in circles winning souls?
      How does the passage you quote fit this “argument?”

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  52. I stand corrected on my comments, a very close friend of mine has enlightened me on Mr. Mark Batterson and what he stands for. Until I talked to my Pastor friend I did not know what an emergent was or the hyper grace movement was. I stand corrected, I have been looking for an answer to prayer on a physical matter that I am facing that I was blinded and grasping at anything that might move the hand of God. I am not a new believer, I am spirit filled and have been following Jesus since I was 7. I have been healed of cancer and you would think that I would know better, but recently have lost my sense of smell and no amount of fasting or prayer has brought me an answer, if I have offended anyone I am sorry, please forgive me. Thank you for the responses and I appreciate them.

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    • I, too, have had a disease, neurological in nature. I have found relief from much of it, via holistic medicine, but one issue remains with a globus sensation. In my praying and trusting it is clear that I am to rely on his grace, it is sufficient even if this one last sensation does not leave. He does give the strength to endure, although I would loved to be fully healed.

      This may not apply to you, but zinc supplementation can help the sense of smell, unless maybe, the loss is due to radiation.

      You are teachable, may I be the same. Thanks for encouraging and challenging us all with such humility.

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    • Nothing to forgive. Just having a conversation. I pray you are healed anew my brother.

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  53. The sacred name hebrew roots movement is a heresy. Im very watchful of people who start calling Jesus Yashua or borrow anything from the “Telmud” or jewish mysticism.

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    • Hi London,

      I agree completely. While there is nothing wrong with referring to our Lord as Yeshua, the Hebrew roots/Sacred name movement is rife with heresy and people should be very wary of it. I am working on an article on this growing movement at the present. God bless.

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  54. Anthony DiMaio says:

    You have far too much time on your hand…Get a life, get a job.

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    • fatcheek says:

      lets let Gods word have the final say shall we?……1 john 4:1-3 believe not every spirit but try the spirit
      vers 2 says know the spirit of God:Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that anti christ spirit…. 2nd john 1:9-10 whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God he that abideth in the doctrine of Christ he hath both the father and the son.If there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine recevive him not into your house neither bid him God speed for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

      1 john 2:15-16 love not the world neither the things that are in the world if any man love the world the love of the father is not in him. For all that is in the world the lust off the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is not of the father but of the world vers 22 same chapter says who is a lier but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? he his anti christ that denieth the father and the son 23 whosoever denieth the son the same hath not the Father but he that acknowledgeth the son hath the father also.
      Jesus said ye blind guides whic strain at a gnat and swallow a camel…..it so semple …..Gods word which is Jesus needs no help from me you or any one there is no one beside Him! I john 5:7 For there are three that bare record in heaven the Father, the Word (Jesus the word became flesh and dwelt among us), and the Holy Ghost and these three are one. Come on folks it is that semple if what ever you are in dont side with the doctrine of Christ 100% we are told to have no part in it period no middle ground to tolerance to it we are told to reject it… it is that semple so stop tasting camel fur ie making things harder than what they are and oh yeah 1611 KJV is the only word of God I know. Through seeking Him in my eyesight was restored and i had a dameged rotator cup that was needing sergury that was healed through prayer but it took me seeking Him to recieve those healings the first was at prayer meeting with belivers the second was at a revival agin with belivers if you truly seek Him you will find Him because when you seek Him there is a certain humbelness that one comes to that is indeed childlike where He is in compleat control and you are standing in compleat faith in Him that Will and whose word shall not return onto Him void.

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  55. No wonder the unbelieving world finds us unbelievable!
    1) It’s not about the circle! He could have read a story about a man drawing a line in the sand and used that metaphor in the book, but instead it was a story from the Jewish tradition (part of our religious heritage by the way) that peaked his interest about being bold and persistant in prayer.
    2) Quit giving Satan so much power! Just because the circle is used in witchcraft and satanic rituals doesn’t make it evil. Circles are also used in Christian rituals like marriage – the ring – and in prayer circles. Would you argue that anyone who stood in a circle and prayed at church was being tricked into worshiping Satan? Furthermore, crosses, prayer and communion are often used in Satanic rituals as well. Should we now reject these practices and symbols too? Don’t be ridiculous! Don’t give Satan the power to determine what symbols he can redefine as solely evil. If you do you will find all sacred symbols will be defiled – wouldn’t that make his day.
    3) if you have a problem with the book talk to The author and publisher first as this is the Biblical model for handling such things. Bashing our brother on the Internet and steering someone away from a book that might lead them to a closer relationship with God via prayer hardly sounds like a good way to approach the situation. Perhaps you misunderstood the author’s intent. Perhaps the author could have phrased things differently. Personally, I have read about half of the book so far. I never go into reading a Christian book without framing it as one Christian’s take on a subject. We should always compare what an author is saying to the scriptures, but we must also have a maturity about how to read all texts – i.e. learning to read in context, researching cultural and historical contexts, etc.
    4) Pray about your opinion. Maybe, just maybe, we are all just trying to work out our faith in fear and trembling and should spend more time asking God for guidance rather than bashing someone else who is ALSO trying to pursue God with all their heart, soul and mind.
    Let us try to speak the truth in love for an unbelieving world is watching.

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    • Hope ~

      “We should always compare what an author is saying to the scriptures, but we must also have a maturity about how to read all texts – i.e. learning to read in context, researching cultural and historical contexts, etc.”

      Circle praying is not scriptural. Honi is not scriptural. Demanding God is not scriptural.

      “Spend more time asking God for guidance..”

      Why? One can discern from the scriptures that “circle praying, Honi, and demanding God to answer a specific prayer is not biblical.
      This IS guidance from the Holy Spirit from the Word of God.
      Where are we taught through Scripture to pray in circles, by Honi, or to demand things of God?

      Will you please show us the historical context, context and cultural context of circle praying, Honi, or demanding God to act, is found in the written Word of God?

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      • Allie,

        We need to “ask for guidance” because history is packed with examples of misinterpretation of Biblical texts. The Bible is also very clear that Jesus was very displeased with the way the religious leaders of his day misinterpreted and misused the scriptures. They could quote scripture backward and forward but missed the meaning/spirit of it. Ask members of different denominations to explain the meaning of the same scripture and you are likely to hear some disagreement.
        As far as circle praying not being Biblical – I never said it was! I think you missed the mark there, which only reinforces my point about needing guidance to correctly interprete things.
        And finally no, I won’t take the time to give a lesson on theology, historical contexts or exegesis. If you read my post you would see that it is my belief that each Christian is responsible for educating themselves, not just expect others to spoon feed them what to believe. It seems clear that you want to argue and expose more than you want to seek truth. I made my point and have no desire to waste time fighting a legalistic point of view. Simply put, the pharisees rejected Jesus because he did not reflect their interpretation of the scriptures. Let us be careful not to do the same. Just because we can quote scripture doesn’t mean we understand them.

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        • No dear, I do not wish to argue.
          I believe 2 Timothy 3:16-17 applies as guidance to understanding whether or not the Circle Maker is biblical. It is clear it is not.

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  56. Kevin Hanke says:

    Have you ever heard the saying, “You can’t see the forest for the trees” ? Go up to 10,00 feet and take a look there is a whole forest, made up of many trees. we as human beings have the tendency to get focus on one thing and miss the big picture of what God is doing or saying or even what someones true message is in a book. We as human beings have the tendency to think and believe that our perspective is God’s perspective. Then we speak it put it out on the internet, thinking that we are helping God’s Kingdom. Gods thoughts and ways are so much higher than our ways. He can see the forest and the trees and he made them both. Do you trust God for Mark Batterson? Or do you feel the need to stand in God’s place for Mark Batterson. Maybe you should have drawn a circle, got inside the circle, and then not got out of the circle until God changed Mark Batterson.

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  57. I’ve read this book and the oncerns you wriet about do not exist in the book. The book doesn’t teach that the act of drawnig a physical circle gets material blessing, it actually nearly verbatim says the opposite. The point is to keep repeatedly bringing to God things that are impossible to us and that my friend is very scriptural. I don’t believe you actually read the book because if you did it’s not possible to come to the conclusions that you did. Either that or you misunderstood it. Your concerns are legit concerns but they just aren’t happening in this book the way you think they are.

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    • Sigh. The man has a promo video where he is seen physically drawing a circle around himself three times. In that video he tells a story from the Talmud as being the reason he wants a new way for us to pray. It doesn’t matter how you try to twist and contort yourself to want his message to be biblical – IT IS NOT. Sorry.

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      • Rev, you’re not getting it bro. It’s not that the power is found in the physical circle. It’s a visual aid. The power is from God and that is where the author gives credit and repeatedly makes clear as day throughout the book.

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        • No, I do actually get it. You can design something unbiblical and then try and give the credit to God, that does not make it Biblical. I am not speaking to his motive or his heart, only his teaching. He says that God is playing chicken with our prayers, where is that in the Bible? Remember, you can be sincere and sincerely wrong.

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    • Amen!!

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  58. Cynthia Beier says:

    why is this man looking at other books for Biblical truth, everything we need to know is in the Scriptures. Study to show thyself approved unto God a workman that needs not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of Truth. Jesus gave us the example of how to pray, enough said. If it didn’t come from Him I don’t want it. Embrace the Bible study it, learn it’s truths and you will not fall into the pitfalls of the devil, Be wise as serpents but gentle as doves. And yes warn others if it is not scripturally sound.

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  59. Just started this “bible study” at our Church. It has troubled a lot of us that he is going outside the Bible for teachings on prayer. After our first night, and video, scripture is covered well, but the whole circle thing still bothers me. Why use a teaching from outside the Bible when there is plenty of teachings in the bible, as this study shows, to taech us how to pray.

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    • Amen.

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      • Luke 7:37-38 teaches us not to judge so we will not be judged; to not condemn and we will not be condemned; to forgive and we will be forgiven; followed by give and it will be given in good measure. My heart’s prayer is that God will win glory and we as fellow Christians or Body-parts of Christ will consider Christ and what He would do in regards to Mark Batterson. I read most of his book and will finish it. Please remember to pray for us all. No one is without sin. Jesus said that we can tell a true Christian brother by His claim that Jesus Christ is God come in flesh to die for all our sins. I think Mark believes this, don’t you? God bless you and fill your heart with His love.

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        • Hi Nancy,

          Thanks for your comments. This is Luke 6:37-38 (which is what I am pretty sure you meant):

          37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
          38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

          Well, what does this mean? Should a Christian never judge anyone? If a man assaults a small child, should we not say that is evil, because we would be “judging”? Is it wrong to call the holocaust an atrocity born of evil and sin because we would then be “judging” Adolf Hitler and his regime? I don’t think it does. but the only way we can be sure is by letting Scripture interpret and define Scripture. And in this instance we have another passage with the exact same wording in Matthew 7:

          “Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

          In this passage, it seems to be referring to judging the actions of another hypocritically. So if I was to write a book about Honi and then criticize Batterson for doing the same, then I am in violation of what Jesus The Lord is commanding. I would have to consider the “beam” of using the Talmud and circle making to write my book before criticizing Batterson for doing the same.

          And notice Jesus ends this passage by saying, once I do “cast out the beam” from my eye, then I CAN judge my brother. This last portion always seems to be left out when discussing this passage. So it does not seem to be a blanket prohibition against judgment.

          Furthermore, we can see in Scripture many commands to indeed judge those who preach false teachings:

          “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. 10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: 11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. 12 One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, the Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. 13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;” – titus 1:9-13.

          In this passage, Scripture seems to clearly warn about teachers who are not using “sound doctrine” which is the accurate use of Scripture to teach the flock. And the command is to “rebuke them sharply.”

          I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 3 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; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. – 2 Timothy 4:1-4.

          Christians are commanded to reprove, rebuke and exhort others with the bible. Why? Because the Apostle Paul, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, accurately prophesied that the days were coming when people in the church would not want to listen to sound biblical docrine and will be turned away from the Bible to believe fables. The story of Honi is a fable. It is not Biblical doctrine. It is taken from a book that rejects Jesus as Messiah. So why would we as Christians want to learn doctrine from it? Why would we want to use methods (drawing or walking circles) that are not in Scripture but are found in abundance in books on witchcraft?

          This is the dividing line in the Christian church today: the importance of using the Bible and treating as the divinely-inspired Word of God. Some will give it that respect and some will not and the two groups will keep moving farther apart. But my hope and prayer as is that we unite in Scripture, not divide over its importance and its exclusive place as the guide for our lives and salvation. Thanks again for your comments and God bless.

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          • Thank you for your response. Humbly I confess that in reading The Circle Maker, I had a wonderful sense of restored faith. The story of Moses and the quails thrilled me. But, then I went to my Bible and read the “whole” story. This miracle was not a good thing. Mark praises the abundant blessing of the quails. However, what I did not remember about the story was that a plague broke out on all those who ate the meat and many died because they complained against God. So as Mark says in his book: “He might just send winds out of the west at fifty miles per hour with a 100 percent chance of quail”. Thank you for sharing your alerts. God bless you and keep you in His Word.

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            • Hi Nancy,

              Praise The Lord. Flesh and blood did not reveal that to you but our Father in Heaven. Your comment is exactly what the purpose of this article embodies: getting believers to go to Scripture and making sure that pastors are preaching sound, Biblical doctrine. The “quail miracle” is a perfect example of Batterson’s very poor handling of The Word of God. Had he just taken the time to read the entire passage, it would be quite obvious the quail was a punishment, not a blessing. Great job being a good Berean and searching the Scriptures to see if what you read was true! That is just awesome. God bless you abundantly and may you and I both continue to grow in our knowledge of our Savior Jesus Christ.

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              • My spirit was warmed by your response. However, I have a question about the book by Mark called All In. Before learning about the truth, I purchased the DVD and Study Guide for my class. After viewing the video, it seems harmless. It appears to be a way to encourage us to be all in for our Lord Jesus without selfishness but in consecration. Have you viewed or read this book? Probably not. I know this site is on the Circle Maker book but now I’m concerned about what to do. If you have any insights on this, please let me know. Praying for guidance.

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                • Nancy,

                  I would encourage you to look very deeply into the words of The Lord Jesus:

                  “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. (Matthew 7:16-18 NASB)

                  The fruit of Mark Batterson is “The Circle Maker”. “The Circle Maker” is bad fruit BECAUSE it comes from a bad tree. The tree is causative to the fruit. The Lord Jesus did not say in the preceding verse to beware of false teaching. He said “Beware of false prophets”. Jesus is indicting the teacher, not the teaching. The teaching is an indicator of the tree’s nature. It is about ontology, the essence, or nature of the tree.

                  Please keep in mind that some of the most used phrases of The Lord Jesus were “Beware”, “Be not deceived”, “Behold”, and “Truly, truly”. He was often emphasizing caution and awareness. If you have come to believe that Mark Batterson has in fact misrepresented Scripture regarding the story of “the quail” being a blessing rather than as a curse, then you should have great reason to NOT return to “that fruit tree”. To hear truth and not to believe truth is one of the most dangerous things you can do (2 Thes 2:10-11).
                  Partaking of a bad piece of fruit once may make you sick. Returning to the tree for more will kill you.

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                  • Thank you for your insight. I will study the Word and listen in prayer for His guidance. There is a saying somewhere (not the Bible)
                    “Eat the meat, throw away the bones.”
                    In reading many, many books, I have always used that premise to take away any good and leave the rest. It appears you would not approve of that saying, correct? As a Christian and believer that we function best as a Body I will diligently seek after God’s Truth. Thanks again.

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                  • I have heard that Christianism too often about eating the meat and spitting out the bones. I always ask people…if the bone is known to be rotten, why in the world would you want to eat the meat that sits upon it?

                    Be well all.

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                • Nancy,

                  Regarding “eat the meat and throw away the bones”. I am sure that this is great metaphoric advice for some areas of life. When it comes to determining our source for Spiritual nourishment, we are taught to “abide in Christ”. The same Christ who said “beware of false prophets”. God’s word is our food. Look for teachers and preachers who make much of Christ, not themselves. These are harder to find. They don’t usually have big ministries, big book deals, big speaking engagements. These men labor in the word of God, to rightly teach what God has said.

                  When God radically re-birthed me after 42 years of being a church going false convert, my heart of stone was replaced with a heart of flesh…and I knew it! Now, having said that, I realize that my personal experience should never be the basis for theological determination. I did an exhaustive study of 1st John. It there that I found the measuring stick to determine that I was in fact born again from above. Upon my conversion my desires were instantly changed. I wanted different things. I came to hate sin, not just avoid sinful pleasures that deep down I wished of which that I could partake. Everything changed (2 Cor 5:17). Christ began renewing my mind as part of His church so “that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, (Ephesians 5:26 ESV). The more that I studied the word, the more that I became aware of my previous errors in the choosing of whom to listen. My point is this; it was the work of the Christ washing me with the water of the word.

                  I have said all of this just to encourage you to look to the word (in context) to see of whom you should listen. If we are to abide in Christ, then should we not seek this who would point to Christ? Should a Christian teacher focus you upon YOU, or upon Christ? As a Christian you will struggle to “abide in Christ” if you are constantly being pointed to YOUR goals, YOUR destiny, YOUR mission, YOUR dreams (do you see a problem here?). It’s all about Him. It is all about the Glory of God in, through, and for Christ Jesus (Isaiah 43:7). Let us make much about Christ!

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  60. Jim Sawyers says:

    My only comment will be as follows. I do not doubt that the most of the people in the comments are children of the most high GOD but I will say this with all the LOVE that I can put into the remark is this… “That people that claim to be children of GOD should read his WORD and not the cheap mark-offs of the old devil.” I did not read every comment but what I did read and that includes the comment of the dear lady that I read who used the wrong bible in her remarks, But the most of the persons that I read which was about half were so messed up with their arguements that I can not believe that they were studing the same Bible that I study which is the “King James A. V. 1611″. The Bible that I read is GOD’S Love letter to me and I treat it as such and would not read a man’s copy of said letter as I am sure that I would not for many reasons NOT HAVE THE WORDS OF LOVE THAT WERE WRITTEN TO ME IN THE FIRST PLACE, nough said, Thank you all and may God talk to you about 2 Timothy 2:15 May God bless you and yours in all that you do for him.
    B. A. D. F. (born again devil fighter)

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  61. Have you contacted Mark Batterson directly? It would be Biblical to contact him first and share your thoughts first, if you think he is in sin, before you air your accusations against him.

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    • I am unsure if you understood the point. Scripturally you only go to your brother when he sins against YOU. The writer of this piece as well as myself do not know Mr. Batterson, so he has not sinned against us. Since the teaching is false, the Bible instructs us to expose it.

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      • Amen.

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      • I was thinking more along the lines of Galations, and certainly not commenting because I and trying to confrontational. I ask because there are some valid points you could share, but at the same time I feel like there is a lot of bad mouthing. I do know Mark personally, and I can tell you he really, really does love Jesus. He is a Godly man with a huge heart, who loves his family, the church and the un-churched. He is very open to others and would probably love to talk to you. I just think we should show a lot more love, and operate out of love.

        Galatians 6

        6 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load. 6 Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.

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        • Keelan, I also am trying to not be confrontational. But some points here:

          1) I have never said anything against Mr. Batterson. I have tried to say that you can be sincere and sincerely wrong. So i do not question his love for God or people. It is his teaching here that is heretical. I also do not recall the writer of this blog ever saying anything personal against Mr. Batterson.

          2) The Galatians verses carry the same provisions as the Scriptures discussed already. Mark Batterson has not sinned against me nor the writer of this blog. Again, we are speaking only to the teaching contained in the Circle Maker.

          3) I would be surprised at best of Mr. Batterson is going to be willing to renounce this teaching. It is a Christian best seller, fully embraced by the Assemblies of God. I would also be surprised if he has not already heard and answered whatever concerns have been raised here. People have to decide for themselves. If you know him as you indicate and he wishes to have a dialogue, feel free to give him my email. I am always willing to have theological discussions.

          Thanks!

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        • One last point. I see the usage of the purpose driven term, “unchurched.” If you want to get to the heart of what has gone wrong in American Christianity in the past decade it is found within the change of the term unsaved into unchurched. People do not need to be churched. Being churched doesn’t do anything on an eternal level. People are unsaved and need salvation from the Savior.

          Thanks again.

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        • Keelan,

          Regarding Mark Batterson, you said that, “I know that he really, really loves Jesus”. While I appreciate your sentiments, that simply isn’t the issue. But for the sake of argument, how would begin to establish such a determination? Would you watch how the speak about Jesus? Would you look to see how much love others? Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments”. (John 14:15 NASB).

          MARK BATTERSON: “Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less.” (The Circle Maker, iBook Pg 16)
          JESUS CHRIST: “Give us this day our daily bread.”(Matthew 6:11 NASB)
          -When Jesus Christ teaches us to pray for our but our daily bread, has He offended God?

          MARK BATTERSON: ““But before I “But before I show you how to draw prayer circles”.
          (“The Circle Maker”, iBooks Pg. 20)
          JESUS CHRIST: “Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” (Mark 7:8 NASB)
          -Why did a “Christian pastor” writing a book to Christians about Christian prayer have to go outside of Christian Scripture to find a reference for his central ideology to his book? He had to do so because it is a tradition of men and not a commandment of God.

          Regarding the love question and keeping the commandments of Christ, why didn’t Batterson write a book about Christian prayer using the Lord’s Prayer? Not exciting enough to sell a lot of books?

          I could go on, and on with so many examples of Scripture twisting, literary “bait & switch, the making of numerous unsupported claims, the making of logically false claims, the making of God to be the servant of man, and on and on.

          Give it up. In light of the above reasons, Mark Batterson appears to love Mark Batterson.

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  62. Brent Durham says:

    Kudos! Great way to get hits on your website nice marketing ploy.

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  63. Pastor F –
    “In the story, it says that the whole generation felt that God no longer heard them, and they stopped praying, but Honi believed that even since the prophets had long been gone, and they hadnt heard from God, that God would still hear them…and according to the story, He was the only one who believed that. SO…he prayed for rain, to Jehovah God, our Abba Father, and God sent rain on a drought devastated land…and the generation was saved.”

    This was during the 400 years God was silent to Israel, that may be why they felt God no longer heard them. Honi was part of a man-made religion during God’s silence that was not set up by God.
    The legend of Honi also states that he slept for 70 years and other crazy stuff.
    His “prayer” was one of defiance, not boldness.
    There are plenty of examples to use and encourage us to pray…from the Bible.

    I think all commenters would agree with you that all of us can pray more or read the Bble more, but Honi should not be used as an example. Marking our Bibles to learn who our God is is NOT the same thing as the circle Honi drew.
    I encourage you to research the legend of Honi and the religion set up at that time.
    It is true that circle drawing is used in witchcraft, new age, and the Kabbalah. This blog post caused me to research it for myself.

    Personally, this book has caused me to pray for the author – that he would study the scripture in its context and not use silly gimmicks to teach people how to pray. I do not think mark batterson is part of the occult or trying to get people involved in occult practices. I think he is probably a great guy, a great dad and husband. I think he read about the legend of Honi without discerning its full context and thought it would be a great way to pray. A book has been published and people flock to the latest greatest way to get God to hear them and have prayers answered, but we forget! God is not deaf.
    Even the the Jericho illustration is taken out of context.
    God does not play games with us. ever. so “chicken” is not even a biblical example. It’s just a messy way of dividing the Word of God.

    God has answered many of my prayers with a resounding, “yes.” Some are answered with, “no or wait.” Some things I’ve never even thought to pray for He has given to me and at other times my weak or timid prayers, He has answered as well.
    Do you know how grateful I am that he has not answered all of my selfish or silly prayers…He is sovereign and knows us and all that we ever need.

    There is no magic formula for prayer, none. Our God is faithful to us even when we are faithless.

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    • Allie, great insight. Good job! I have researched this book and it author. Mark Batterson is not uninformed, or making an innocent error. He speaks openly about his long list of goals (nothing wrong with goals). But you have to wonder about a “Christian pastor” who has a goal to be a highly successful best-selling author. Who is that goal about? What would he do to get there? Let’s be honest about all the “zillions” of new “Christian books” that continuously hit the shelves. How many of those have a new “spin” on a 2,000 year old faith (that would be funny if so many people didn’t buy it). Lots of them! How many of the are unveiling a once hidden secret to “unlocking” God’s blessing for YOU, or his power in YOUR life, or YOUR self-esteem, or YOUR relationships, or YOUR destiny, or YOUR greatness. The large percentage of these books prey upon hurting and damaged people who think that they can trust anything written that uses Christian Scripture. Most of these authors want to sell books. Most of them want to be on the best-sellers list, and get the speaking engagements, the TV and radio interviews, and then a bigger book deal.
      “If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.” (1 Timothy 6:3-5 NASB). No, don’t think for a minute that Mark Batterson is not smart. He takes a topic, prayer, about which most people who are Christians in name only would NOT buy a book. He finds “an angle” that nobody has every written about before (never mind that he had to GO OUTSIDE OF SCRIPTURE to do it), then “braids together the desires of carnal people who want stuff from God with a few Scriptures and misapplied biblical stories and a never before legend of a man who Batterson makes to look like Elijah, and POW…out comes a best-seller for damaged people who think they are pursuing God.

      Our politically correct culture puts tremendous psychological pressure to NEVER speak against something or someone, unless it is Christian in nature. The word of God tells us to point out these heresies. “In pointing out these things (false teachers and their false doctrine) to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. (1 Timothy 4:6 NASB)

      So Allie, keep up the good fight to “contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3).

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  64. The Bible is God’s word. The Bible is what we should follow because it is truth. I will not be deceived and the Holy Spirit within me decerns truth and untruth. I always search scripture just to reassure myself what the truth is when I hear such nonsense. I honestly started laughing when I watched that first video. Laughed because it sounds rediculous once you already know the truth in the Word(bible). Then I became sad because of all who are deceived. The ones who are believing in the circle making sincerely need to study and read the Bible. No one in the Bible ever used a circle to pray. Jesus never taught us to pray that way. The bible never talks about what pastor batterson is describing. So if the Bible is God’s WORD, and the Bible is the truth, and God warns about adding to the Word or taking away….why in te world would we do anything different from what God tells us to do? Follow the bible or follow pastor batterson?? God is your judge in the end. I choose our creator, the author and finisher of our faith…..the beginning and the end….the great I AM.

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  65. Rob Holler:
    Tami,

    You said, “I am reading this book, and Scripture is the basis for Mark Batterson’s prayers.”No where is Christian scripture will you find support for prayer circles.Teachings like this are dangerous for reasons other than their association with withcraft.Satan does not have to convince people to not believe in God to watch their soul perish.All that he must do is “help” you to believe in a false god, a god of of your own making, a god constructed in your own mind. This is idolatry and keeps you from focusing on the person of God.My heart aches for those who seek after something “close to God”, but it is not God.So many people want just enough of God to get what the want; a feeling, assurance, relationship health, financial health, self-maximization, or health.Have you been a Christian book store lately:“Ten Steps to Becoming a Better…”, or “Five Steps to Having…”, “How You Can…”.this is Pop-Christianity.This “stuff” is the gospel of YOU.It is all about YOU.Your dreams, your passions, your future (oh yeah,…for God.Sure.Right.)Doesn’t anybody just want God for the love of God.Imagine your children coming almost to you.They come close enough to get a car, tuition, cell phone, laptop, vacation, and a little bit of cash, but they never just want to sit with you and talk to you, for the sake of knowing you, because of the love of you.They love everything “around you”, but where do they spend their time?The truth hurts, but these prayer circles are are just another distraction from the pure beauty of just Christ….Yes, Just Christ.Eternal life is to know God.Do you remember how wearing a WWJD bracelet was going to inspire you to good works and holiness?Do you remember how The Prayer of Jabez was going to “expand your borders” (for God of course)?And the granddaddy of them all; after a decade spent on The Purpose Driven Life, we have a “visible church” here in America that is Driven for the Purpose of their Life.We chase after “false cistens” (Jer 2:13) instead of going to the source of LIVING WATER.Most all of these authors fit the bill too.They’re young, good-looking, relevant (to the culture), and having visible success (traffic) in ministry.THINK!All of these attractive qualities are the same things of which “the world” is attracted.There are about 25-30 passages (not just verses) in the New Testament alone that give us warnings about false tearchers and false doctrine.You will be hard pressed to find very many topics of the New Testament of which there are more seperate passages.And yet, when is the last time that you heard a stout warning from the pulpit on this matter.The Apostle Paul, speaking of those “who refused to love the truth and so be saved,Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thes 2:10-12).These false teachers appear to be “servants of righteousness” (2 Cor 11:15).Honestly, what are you looking for when you are looking for a false teacher?FALSE TEACHERS DO NOT COME WITH A WARNING LABEL.If you were Satan and you had to get people to believe in a god of their own mind, how would you do it?People will notice a big shift in doctrine, that won’t work.No, you would be subtle and keep people right were they are, in church.In America, we have been conditioned to believe anything big and shiny is successfull.Hmmm.Well, big and shiny is only a measure of popularity.Yes, popularity.We know from the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:13-14 that, “the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it ARE FEW.”Jesus himself told us the way of the many (the popular) leads to destruction.There is not safety in the crowd in this instance.If the masses like a preacher it is not a good sign.THINK.the Bible tells us that the “natural man cannot reveive spiritual things”.If the crowd like a popular preacher, then there is a good chance that he is giving them what they want to hear, that is “natural things” and not “spiritual things”.The false gospels; the prosperity gospel, the health gospel, the entertainment gospel, the social justice gospel, and the gospel of self-maximization all have something in common…YOU are the focus.Does this type of theology sound familiar.Creatures have sought to raise themselves to god-hood status since the beginning of time; Lucifer, Eve, Tower of Babel, Mormonism, your neighbor, yourself, and myself have all aspired to independence.Mark Batterson makes so many unsupported claims in The Circle Maker that is becomes laughable.Should a Christian Pastor, be teaching on Christian Prayer, BASED on anything from outside of Christian scripture?Worst of all, his claim that “Bold prayers honor God, and God honor bold prayers” is blasphemous to the words of Jesus Christ himself.Our Lord taught is to NOT pray loud and bold as the Pharisee were want to do, and what does Mr. Batterson have to say about the teaching of Jesus on prayer when He taaught the disciples to pray, asking but for today’s bread.

    If you can’t see the vast problems with this book then you should be afraid that you are under a 2 Thessalonians delusion.You should be afraid.Mark Batterson teaches false statements.Ergo, Mark Batterson is a false teachers.I hope that for the sake of his soul that God grants him the gift of true repentance.

    The point of the book is not to ‘draw circles’. It is to mentally decide that we are focused in on our relationship with God, and particularly on the conversation we are engaged in with God at that particular time. Misleading article and follow up comments for sure.

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    • I would like to know why we need a book like “The Circle Maker”…. why we need to draw circles, or walk around in circles, or imitate Honi…

      when He has already given us direct access to the throne of grace ‘to find mercy and help in time of need” ? (Hebrews)

      If the Name of Jesus — and His shed blood on the cross that purifies us from all unrighteousness – already gives us access to the throne of mercy — can someone please tell me why we need to draw a circle?

      If He has already given us ‘everything we need that pertains to life and godliness’…why do we need another prayer method…. or why are we going to be like the OT saints who were given instructions direct from God and directly IN SCRIPTURE to walk around Jericho, when we ourselves have the instructions in the New Testament directly from Christ on how to pray? (what was that curtain between the Holy of Holies and the sanctuary ripped in two for then? do we NOT have direct access, and why is that not ‘enough’?)

      “and when ye pray, say this”… don’t… ‘draw a circle’ around your prayers. Or claim ‘this’ thing for God (where’s the humility in ASKING?)

      Satan must enjoy so much watching people ‘scramble’ through another new method to try to get this promise or that promise or to ‘get God’ to give them this or that…when ALL the time Christ has already bought for us, DIRECT access to the throne.

      what a privilege prayer is. How sad that we have to complicate it and put ourselves into confusion to ‘get what we want’ when there are such clear Scriptures already in His word about prayer and “ask in MY name” (not Honi’s name. And you don’t even need a circle! all you have to do is ask…and wait for Him to answer. Maybe that’s the part people don’t want to do…is the waiting on Him.)

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      • Amen! Well said. :-) and yes Satan is enjoying this. Just another deception and people are being deceived. That is why we need to be in the Word daily and in prayer daily so that we are not deceived. Decieved by people who use God’s word and twist it to deceive. For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. (Matthew 24:24 NLT)

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    • Talk about misleading.
      2) Should it not concern us that the author builds at least one of his key points on a logically false claim? The logically false claim is very subtle and the reader is quickly focused on the resulting conclusion without noticing the fallacy of the supporting claim. For the unsuspecting reader it is too late. The typical reader has already focused upon the resulting premise and has “bought in” to the promise of the conclusion. Here is how he does it: In chapter two, Batterson claims that “prayers are prophecies”. Wait! What?” Prayers are prophecies? Ummm, no they’re not. Words mean things, and the word “prayer” refers to prayer, and the word “prophecies” refers to prophecies. In short, the evidence from the whole counsel of God would hold that prayers are words toward God, where prophecies are words from God. In this instance Mr. Batterson violates logic; specifically the Law of Non-Contradiction (A=A, therefore A does not = B). Could it be that the author of the Bible (God the Holy Spirit) uses two different words in order to discuss “prayers” and “prophesies” because they are NOT the same? These two words are different in both their denotation and connotation. The subtle mingling of the two terms is a “slick” technique to manipulate the meaning of a word in order to bring the reader to a manipulated conclusion. It appears that Mr. Batterson employs this smooth talk to slide the term “prayer” into the place of the term “prophecy” so that he can convince the reader that they can “pray” their future into being, offering god-like control over the desires of their future. The Bible says, “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by SMOOTH TALK and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive” (Romans 16:17-18). A clear thinking person should readily see the danger of manipulating biblical terms in order to create the appearance of biblical support for any tendered conclusion. This is a blatant abuse of biblical terminology in an apparent attempt to manipulate, if not deceive, the reader.

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  66. Dustin Davis says:

    This book is not about making “physical” circles and praying within them. It’s about identifying the goals God has given you, the giants in your life, and developing a strong prayer life and being willing to pray as long as it takes. He even says that there is nothing magical about drawing physical circles. It is instead the action of praying like you believe God is going to answer your prayer, and praying it until He does answer your prayer. And if you feel like attackng that thought, Batterson goes on to say that sometimes our prayers don’t align with the will of God, and that the way God answers our prayers might not be exactly the way we throught they should be answered. Batterson is not trying to create a “new magical” way for our generation to pray, he is simply trying to create a generation that actually prays.

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    • “Be not deceived”. These are some of the most frequent words of The Lord Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry. Compare messages. Which message pleases your flesh camouflaged in religion:

      MARK BATTERSON:
      In chapter two of Batterson’s’ book he writes the this book “will show you how to:
      a) CLAIM God-given PROMISES,
      b) PURSUE God-sized DREAMS,
      c) SEIZE God-ordained OPPORTUNITIES”.
      Does this language exemplify that of “teachers to suit their own passions”? To “claim”, “pursue”, and “seize” things such as “promises”, “dreams”, and “opportunities” certainly appears to be more closely related to tempting our passions and desires rather than training in sound doctrine. With a major focus of the book being;
      a) YOUR fulfillment of,
      b) YOUR dreams, through
      c) YOUR prayer circle,
      the book rings hollow of Christ, and void of true depth or Christian spirituality. Once again, American Evangelicalism has another “how to” book that make us feel like we are pursuing God while we are actually pursuing what we really want – something from God.

      -OR-

      JESUS CHRIST (God in Flesh):
      “And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:24, NASB).

      CONCLUSION:
      “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:14, NASB)

      “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” (Matthew 7:21, NASB).

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      • Mark Batterson is not saying draw circles on the ground every time you bring a prayer to God. He is not creating a new Name It and Claim It brand. Instead, he is reminding us of the need to line up our life goals with God’s Word and Will and to pray for specific needs and expect God to respond – to pray and to pray without ceasing. That sounds biblical to me. Much of it sounds like Matthew 7:7-11, James, and Romans 12:1-2 where Paul urges us to offer our bodies as “living sacrifices” because of God’s mercy.

        Many suggestions in the book line up with actions by many in the Bible to size up the problem, pray over the problem, and move forward expecting miraculous results. Mark used the battle of Jericho as an example while I look at Nehemiah and his rebuilding of the wall and the life of Daniel as prime examples of courageous prayers, actions, and expectations.

        I’ve seen God work miracles. I pray with expectation and am no disappointed. I’m challenged by the book “The Circle Maker” to seek God’s will in stronger ways around my life and growth in God and to start keeping a prayer journal to keep track of my requests and God’s answers.

        Is Mark’s book about prayer circles? I would say no, it is about prayer and Mark uses Honi’s story as a catalyst to get our attention. Jesus might have used a story or two to get people’s attention. Is Mark’s book heresy? I would say no, not at all. Does Mark’s book contain great reminders to pray and truth about prayer and God’s promises? I say YES!

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  67. If one must go to extra-biblical Jewish myths to instruct others how to pray they do not understand the Biblical model of prayer. The story of Honi lacks any of the Biblical prophets mandates of ” Thus sayeth The Lord ” and therefore is to be disregarded.

    ” “I had Honi-like confidence that just as this promise had been transferred from Moses to Joshua, God would transfer the promise to me if I had enough faith to circle it.” p. 15. ”

    This is the standard ” name it and claim it ” false doctrine that makes faith a force that compels God to act instead of a child-like reliance and trust in the object of a believer’s faith, Jesus Christ.

    When asked the disciples asked Jesus how to pray He did not respond by telling them to draw circles, to make their faith active, or to speak it into existence. He told them to begin by glorifying God and praying His will to be done.

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    • Amen brother!

      Men want status and power – “God-hood” (just ask Adam & Eve). If you are a writer and want to sell a lot of books it is a tough thing to do if you are writing about a two thousand year old religion that has been studied and written about more than any other topic in the history of the world. This lust for status has been camouflaged with qualifying phrases such as “for God”, or “for the Kingdom”. This lust for status and attention creates a temptation and a pressure for pastors to “find the new thing” that will get them big churches, public attention, book deals, and speaking invitations. The Apostle Paul appeared to be very well aware of the temptation to provided carnal men with religious sounding material when under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit he wrote, “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” (See all of 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 & 1 Corinthians 2:1-2) The gospel of Jesus Christ…It is not just for evangelism. This is the message that every Christian needs to hear repeatedly. Carnal men want something from God. They tickle “itching ears” with silly myths about “godliness for gain”. If they are not preaching a gospel of guaranteed health and wealth, then they are preaching a gospel of Leadership, or of Self-Esteem, or of Self-Fulfillment, or of Self-Importance. They will tell you of what a great plan that God has for “your life” and how you can find “your destiny” and how you can be great (for God of course). This type of preaching IS in accord with Scripture: “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will become lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.” (2 Timothy 3:1-4). Yep, it IS in accord with Scripture.

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  68. Hmm. Did the whole study. Never felt compelled to go out and draw a circle on the ground and stand in it until God did what I prayed about. This did give me confidence again to go boldly before the Lord once again on behalf of a sick child. I began to question God’s everything – and I got my perspective back and now I pray boldly, without a piece of chalk by the way.

    It’s not about drawing circles. I think this kind of bold prayer lets us see into our lives, what we should be praying about, seeing where God is working and getting on that train. I think it shapes our prayer to work with God instead of for our own desires. I think bold prayer changes out desires to fit God’s.

    It focuses our prayer more intensely. That’s what I came away with. Gives me joy to work with God. I hope it gives Him joy as well.

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    • Please do not take this the wrong way but it is not about you. I am sure plenty of people can read Prayer of Jabez for example, which is an even worse book, and walk away with a healthy God perspective. Perhaps it speaks to your maturity in God. That does not make it right to say absolutely ridiculous things, like God is playing chicken with our prayers or that God finds our prayers boring or uninspiring.

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  69. The Bible itself uses extra-Biblical sources to back the truth of the Gospel despite the non-canon mark on it. Jude does this, Paul does it in reference to the unknown god and the philosophical sayings of prophets com the area, Romans mentions all of creation testifying. If a dude takes a story and uses it to glorify God – isn’t he just following after the pattern God’s servants have set for us?

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    • Hi Henke,

      Thanks for your comments. This is a great question. There is one big difference between the Biblical authors and Batterson:

      “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” – 2 Timothy 3:16.

      The biblical authors wrote under direct divine inspiration. The Bible is a supernatural book written by supernatural means. So we cannot put ourselves on the level of the authors of Scripture when writing on our own. Scripture should be the basis of Christian theological writing, always. Jude quotes the prophet Enoch directly. We do not know where he got that quote from (because the “Book of Enoch” was not written by Enoch himself). Regardless, it was quoted via divine inspiration.

      The Apostle Paul on Mars Hill did used the “unknown God” of the Greeks as an object lesson about the God of the Bible. And a pastor can use an object lesson today. There is nothing wrong with that (i.e., a pastor saying “the Christian life is like a boxing match. We have to battle our sinful flesh and the lusts of it every day. Round after round.” – this comparison can be easily supported and backed up with Scripture). Batterson takes a completely unbiblical source (the Talmud), and a source that rejects Jesus as Messiah (in fact the warrant for Jesus’ arrest and death is in the Talmud in Sanhredrin 43a), and puts it on par with the Bible. He quotes the account of Honi and speaks of it as if it is from the bible itself. He compares Honi to Elijah. All this is spiritual error. Honi is not a prophet of God. Honi is not in the Bible. So we can put absolutely no trust or reliance on his story or use it as some model for Christian living.

      Not to mention that many of the statements in the book are not Biblical and mischaracterize God. This the danger of teachings such as these. I hope that clarifies the article’s point. Thanks again for your comments and please feel free to ask any other questions you may have. God bless.

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  70. If it is not about circles, then why make much of circles?
    If it is not about Honi, then why make much of Honi?

    If it IS about praying to God through faith in Christ Jesus, then why not make much of the prayers HE prayed and the many examples of prayer given to us in Scripture?

    God promises us an answer to our prayers, supplications, and requests as we make them known. Phil.4:6
    The peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard our hearts, our minds, in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:7
    What better answer could we hope for no matter what we think we need.

    Of course phil. 4:6-7 is not a catchy title or new concept to sell a book, obviously quite a few people constantly want to rely on “new methods” or thier own efforts to get something from God. This is why “circle praying” and the example of Honi is so popular.

    Rest in the sufficiency of Christ and His Word.

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    • Mark’s primary initial example was of Joshua and the children of Israel obeying God at Jericho followed by his own stories of prayer for his Washington D.C. church plant and how God worked to answer the prayers – some totally against his ask but so much better in the outcome. The book reads to me like a reminder to pray boldly with expectation God will answer and honor prayer. His concepts match those in scripture about asking, praying with confidence, and praying for God to act beyond anything we can conceivably do on our own. It is all about glorifying God and bold prayers and living for Christ do glorify God.

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      • Hi Eric.

        I guess if Mr. Mark had written his book about obedience to God and his word, Joshua sure would be one to use as an example. I don’t think there is anything mentioned about Joshua praying bold prayers. He was simply obedient to everything God told him to do. To the point of killing all of the people of Canaan and taking all the gold and silver for God. They did not kill Rahab as had been promised.
        I’m going by memory here, so please check what I am saying, I do not remember the story of Joshua being anything about prayer. God told him to do these things, Joshua was not asking for these things.
        Going around (around does not always mean a circle) Jericho was across various types of terrain.
        I think Joshua was about listening to God and doing what he says to do, even if it was marching around a city and blowing horns. Not a prescription for prayer. The principle is, obedience.
        I’m no theologian, but this (The Circle Maker) seems like a sloppy interpretation of the text, to build a “new way to pray” around the example of Joshua.
        There are so many other examples out of Scripture to encourage us to pray, bold or not, praying is trusting The Lord God to do as he pleases.
        I appreciate Mr. Mark’s idea to encourage others to believe God and pray more, who can disagree with that?
        Honi is another issue, he is Jewish legend. Honi claims to have slept for 70 years along with drawing a circle in the sand while demanding God to send rain. I have read somewhere that drawing circles was part of the Jewish culture at that time, sort of like, “I drew my line in the sand, now it’s your (God) turn to act,” so I get the possible circle thing for Honi, the legend.
        But my questions remain, if this was during the time of God’s 400 years of being silent, he had no prophets at this time, God was not speaking to Israel. God’s true prophets were no longer prophesying. Correct? Wasn’t this the time that the pharisees decided to form their own deal since God was silent?
        So, why use Honi as a positive godly example of bold praying?
        Another question is that IF The Circle Maker is not about getting God to hear your prayers so that YOU get what you want, by drawing circles, what’s up with Mr. Mark, drawing circles in the videos and making the title of the book about making circles? do you see why this can cause confusion?
        I began to look into this book when some gals around me kept talking about “drawing circles around my desires” to get miracles. (let’s understand the true biblical definition of miracle.)
        Bold praying is praying, Philippians 4:6-7. Or any other passage that tells us to pray or how to pray, this is BOLD praying! Just pray.
        It is up to God to answer as he sees fit and how it fits in his glorious plan to glorify himself in any given situation. As. the. Lord. wills.
        “new way to pray” is a red flag for me and should be for all discerning christians. Instead, let’s write books about ancient biblical ways to pray, to fear The Lord and desire what he desires as it written in his word. His Words. Suffcient words.

        One commented something about satan taking things and perverting them, I do think the “circle” conversation can be an issue for some coming out of withcraft or new age, or it can be a cultural thing for others. The pentagram used to be a sign for jews and christians before using the cross. It was only perverted in the 1940’s for satanic means, I think. Check me on that.

        Just my thoughts, and sorry this went on so long, I certainly did not mean to take so much of your time.

        If I could speak with Mr. Mark, I would just ask/encourage him to be very careful with his words, when interpreting scripture and writing books. God’s words are precious living words and every human teacher needs to be careful, very careful when teaching these Words.
        I hope I have made some sense. :)

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  71. Jude Tyler says:

    It boggles my Christian mind that so many who profess to be believers are unable to discern Circle Makers for the false teachings that is so blatant unscriptural. False teachers are many and many people wanting their ears tickled and wanting the ultimate experience. Come on people and I am saying this in love, please you must read Gods Word and see how it aligns with the garbage that is in Circle Makers.

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  72. Jenny Mertes says:

    Cal Jernigan’s Central Christian mega-church in Mesa, AZ, will be using Batterson’s book as the basis for a new series on prayer starting in January – Cal himself announced this on Christmas Eve and passed out a copy of the book to each family. We took one home but were suspicious – when we Googled “prayer circle heresy” we were horrified at the pagan and occult roots for this teaching. Horrified and appalled that a church like Central Christian would promote such teachings. And very, very sad that so many will be deceived.

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    • It’s unfortunate that this article completely changed your mind. FIrst of all this article takes scripture out of context in many instances. It is important to know who the scripture is being written to a the time and it does directly apply to today’s society, however the theological principles do. To pull on verse out to fight against Batterson’s work is to use the Bible as a weapon in a negative sense. I recommend you read the book for yourself, take a course how to study the bible inductively and don’t rely on other peoples opinions and articles to change yours and finally ask God to reveal himself through it all to guide you to the truth. I was just looking into the book as well myself, haven’t read it yet either. I will use it now as a challenge to deepening my theology, I challenge you to do the same.

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      • JD,

        What do you mean by, “out of context?”
        Where/what are the many instances verses are taken out of context in this article? In what way?
        How can we know if Mr. Batterson’s verses are in context or Scripture in this article is “out of context” if we do not use Scripture to interpret Scripture?
        Isn’t it true some Scripture is descriptive and other Scripture is prescriptive?

        Thanks for helping me understand.

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        • JD, you hit the ball out of the park on that one. You are exactly right in requesting that he provide evidence of his allegations against B & E’s article. That fact is that those who do drive-by criticism typically resort to unfounded accusations and/or name calling when they run out of sound positions from which to substantiate their point. There are several posts within this blog stream that have substantiate e amples where Batterson has made false statements within The Circle Maker. One need only read the entire stream to have all of that information. Good job in defending a truthful servant of Christ against unfounded allegations.

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  73. We don’t need a new way to pray, man! I really really like the old way. Just talking to God beats any new method any old day. HE already knows the answer and everything we need is already taken care of when we remain in touch with the GIVER. The prince of Peace. The Way the Truth the Life. NOTHING any new book can tell me which will get me there any sooner than just BEING with him, chatting it up and waiting on HIS answers! Coolest thing in the world to just relax and LET GOD love you and take care of things for his own glory.

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  74. my little pony says:

    I would just like to throw a few thoughts out there. They are from both view points since I am on the fence about the Biblicality (not a word?) of the book. 1)From the bit I have read, this book doesn’t seem to be about “prosperity gospel” dreams but more so about “being in ministry” dreams or “salvation of loved ones” dreams so I don’t know if that is a fair assessment. 2) With that being said, I can see how the circle drawing thing is close to the witchcraft stuff BUT since Satan can never create, only pervert something created by God isn’t possible that the Honi thing is a God thing that was highjacked by witches? 3)This is my first encounter with this website, I usually stay away from people who “call out” other christians (unless it’s like Rob Bell or Jay Baaker) because I feel like when we get to heaven there will be christians smacking there head and saying “doh!” about stuff but the main point is that they are in heaven.

    In the end the Bible is my ultimate authority not a blog or a popular (and quite short) book written by a human being. Just some thoughts.
    Blessings to you all.

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    • To My Little Pony: You wrote, “This is my first encounter with this website, I usually stay away from people who “call out” other christians (unless it’s like Rob Bell or Jay Baaker) because I feel like when we get to heaven there will be christians smacking there head and saying “doh!” about stuff but the main point is that they are in heaven.”

      Key words:
      (1) “Who ‘call out other Christians”
      (2) “because I feel like”

      First, before we make the case from Scripture that it is in fact Biblically sound for one to point out false teachers, let’s step back and put this question into some perspective. When we actually listen to the words of such a question, we would have to bury ourselves in the minutiae of Scriptural misapplication to find a basis to think that a Christian should NOT point out a false teacher.

      The Scripture is full of language about defending the defenseless, caring for the weak, the evil of taking advantage of the helpless. There is so much Scriptural support showing that a Christian should protect others, the case can be made that given the shear weight of Scripture directing Christians to protect and care for others that reason would necessitate that the burden of proof in this matter be shifted to those opposed to the pointing out of false teachers.

      Pointing out a false teacher, in accordance with Scripture, is an act of protecting those who are being damaged. How much hate would one have to have for a helpless little old widow woman in order to stand by and watch her sign over her life savings to a investment broker known to be fraudulent. Talk about hate, indifference, and cowardism.
      And those who are judged as spiritual cowards are thrown into the “lake that burns with fire and brimstone” (Rev 21:8) (Betcha didn’t know that God condemns cowards to eternal torment).
      The Scriptures reveal to us as Christians we are to “contend for the faith”. This command (not an optional suggestion) is found in Jude 3-4, as he is teaching about the evil of the false teachers. Question: Where do you find specific, in context, on-topic, Scriptural support for NOT pointing out false teachers? Now, before you start in on “double-helix love twist” (that is, using the dual commandments to love God, and love others and wrongfully misappropriating the term “love” in a culturally sensitive, politically correct way that hijacks Biblical love, and twists Scripture’s meaning to the point that “love” is morphed into an emotional equivalent of being agreeable and supportive to everyone, and never making people feel uncomfortable; otherwise known as politically correct humanism, or the spirit of this age), be sure that you are not hi-jacking the term “love” and applying it wrongly as being accepting of other people’s statements and position.

      To those who think that pointing out false teachers is wrong; why? Is it because it is mean-spirited and Christians are not suppose to be mean-spirited?

      a) First, prove that pointing out false teachers is mean-spirited.

      b) Second, if you can prove that pointing out a false teacher IS mean-spirited, then prove that a Christian should not be mean-spirited in pointing out a false teacher. Check out Jesus speaking harshly to the false teachers, the Scribes & Pharisees in Matthew 23. Wow, He rips them to shreds.

      In the Gospels we see that Jesus was not averse to bringing a harsh word of rebuke during His earthly ministry. Jesus’ words and actions were not limited to defense of the Faith, but He was often taking an offensive, or polemic approach, to advance the Faith while crushing His opposition. Jesus “cleansed” the Temple (Mark 11), or as seen in His harsh upbraiding of those against the truth in Matthew chapters 11, 12, 15, 16, 21, 22, and when our Lord “goes off” on those spewing false teaching in Matthew 23 in the “Seven Woes to the Scribes and Pharisees. In Mark 3 we see Jesus condemn scribes to eternal damnation, not exactly the extension of an “olive branch” of peace. In Mark 7, we see Jesus publicly shame and openly rebuke those holding to man-made religious tradition. One could make the case that Jesus’ earthly ministry was marked more so with offensive polemics than with defensive apologetics.

      The Word of God instructs to be sober-minded, not to come to conclusions about spiritual matters using our own sensations and emotions. We are not to exegete our “feelings” (e.g. “I feel like…”). Although it may be uncomfortable to take a position against someone claiming to be in the true faith that is exactly what Jesus did during His earthly ministry. Jesus openly corrected the religious establishment of His day. His rebukes to false teachers were public and quite embarrassing. So much so that those false teachers used the Romans to murdered Him.

      When it comes to a Christian in error, the Scriptures suggest gentle and loving correction. When it comes a open false teaching and false teachers that lead people after someone other than Christ (e.g. The gospel of God wants you to really love yourself), then the open and public rebuke is what is instructed by the LORD’s Word. “Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.” (1 Timothy 5:20 NASB). The Scriptures are very clear, in fact, tailor made for the Jewish myth of Honi. “This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work. (Titus 1:13-16 ESV)

      True Christians will conform themselves to Scripture, even if it is against the sentiment of the culture. We are to “salt” the culture, not to be salted by the culture.

      “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:13 NASB).
      .

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      • my little pony says:

        Rob: “This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work. (Titus 1:13-16 ESV)

        True Christians will conform themselves to Scripture, even if it is against the sentiment of the culture. We are to “salt” the culture, not to be salted by the culture.

        Thanks so much for calling that scripture to mind for me! I totally receive that. I just always want to be objective (my husband says I am objective to a fault! haha) But now that you’ve pointed out a very blatant verse where it is explicitly saying “Jewish myths” I’m no longer on the fence about the book or the teaching. Thanks for the help.

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  75. I wondered when someone would start blowing the “false teacher” whistle. While there are many of them out there, Mark Batterson is not one of them. I know him personally. I would love to debate you openly as your ignorance of the scripture is so evident. You don’t deserve the time needed to fix your flawed and poorly written blog. If you are the only one hearing the dog whistle, then you just might be the dog! But I am sure you will find some other pharisees out there in the www. Why don’t you write about some real nonsense that is happening; like the Westboro Baptist Church. Or are you a member?

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    • Hi Chris,

      Thanks very much for your comments. I really appreciate hearing from someone who knows Mark Batterson and is very familiar with his ministry. Please know that I am completely open to Biblical correction. So I invite you, as I have others to simply do so. If you would like to actually go to Batterson’s book and show, with Scripture, how it is teaching sound, Biblical, doctrine, I would be glad to read it. Similarly if you have a Biblical critique of the points made in the article, please feel free to share it.

      As for Westboro Baptist, their intentions are quite clear. The Circle Maker is a much more subtle deception because it is mixing truth with error and non-Biblical accounts. That is a far greater danger than a hate group who do not even claim to preach or share the Gospel. Thanks again for your comments and please feel welcome to continue this discussion.

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      • My biggest problem with your article is how that you have confused extra-biblical with un-biblical. Even in your opening paragraph you said that the fact that he used the legend of Honi The Circle Maker as the premise for his whole book should be the first red flag to any Bible-believing Christian. Really? Because the story is not from the Bible? So we can’t use any stories to illustrate a point unless they are a story that is found in the Bible? Now if that story is promoting a point that is contrary to the teaching of scripture that is one thing, but if it is harmonious then that is another. Un-biblical means that something goes against scripture while extra-biblical is something that is not found in the bible but does not contradict it either. I use modern day illustrations every week in my messages to illustrate biblical truth. The fact that he uses an extra-biblical story shouldn’t be a flag to anyone. Now if the story admonishes a point that isn’t truth…. well, that is un-biblical.

        I don’t have the time nor the desire to go point by point on your blog. That isn’t an excuse, I just have more important things to do. I would love, LOVE, to debate you in person. Most bloggers run back and forth from their writings and google grabbing whatever they can to make their point not having any clear understanding of scripture. I am a seminary graduate, know both greek and hebrew, spent a lot of time in Israel and Turkey, and been a minister for going on 20 years. I say this to say that I have studied to show myself approved. I am not a novice.

        One small example I will mention, since it was toward the top of your long rant, is when you said Batterson said, “Your job is not to crunch numbers and make sure the will of God adds up.” He is not saying to not pray according to the will of God, he is simply saying that the thing that you pray for may not make sense, aka: “add up”. He is challenging people to pray beyond what they think is possible b/c God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ever ask or think. Eph 3:20.

        Also you said, “If you draw the circle God will multiply the miracles in your life.” But where is he getting this idea from? This promise that God will multiply your miracle if your draw circles is never stated in the Bible.” He isn’t talking about literally drawing circles!!! It makes me wonder if you really read the book or if you did if you had an intent from the first page to find only what you wanted to see! He is simply saying that when we pray, God moves. And that is very biblical.

        You dogged batterson for him talking about being bold and that being bold is un-biblical in our prayers. I notice that you didn’t use any scripture to show that it was un-biblical, only scripture that highlighted other aspects of prayer, none of it showed being bold as un-biblical. As a matter of fact, Hebrews 4:16 said for us to come BOLDLY before the throne of grace.

        Anyway, I’m starting to do what I said I wasn’t. I would ask you to pray about the nonsense that you are writing but clearly you are already persuaded that you think you are speaking truth. That breaks my heart and I believe breaks the heart of God. But before you write something else, do this and study what it un-biblical and extra-biblical mean and you will see that just about every point that you listed as false teaching was either, a misunderstanding on your part of what Mark was really saying or it was extra-biblical, not un-bibilical.

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        • With all due respect, contrary to the lack of respect you opened this dialogue with, it is you who is confusing extra-biblical and unbiblical. Honi is UNBIBLICAL. His manner of prayer was UNBIBLICAL. You bring up illustrations but overlook the fact that Honi is not an illustration in Batterson’s book – he is the foundation for it! If Mark Batterson had written a biblical book on prayer, and referenced Honi on page 77 as an illustration, I would agree with you. That is not what he did. He used the fake story of Honi to try and create a new prayer paradigm. That is unbiblical. If you think that the story of Honi is harmonious with the Bible then we have discovered the disagreement. The story of Honi is completely unharmonious with the Bible. He demands things from God and when he gets them, he demands more. He does so rudely and with great petulance.

          Thank you for presenting your credentials. If you had studied to show yourself approved you would have approached this matter with a degree of humility. Clearly you are upset because you know Batterson but that makes your arguments carnal, not spiritual.

          Despite trying to muddy the picture, let us go back to the statement –

          “If you draw the circle God will multiply the miracles in your life.”

          No one is saying it is about literal circles. Despite your attempt to walk this statement back it is very clear what he is saying and it is not biblical. Drawing a circle does not force the hand of God. Prayer is not always answered as we want. This statement is so petulant and Osteenish I cannot believe you would even try and defend it.

          When it comes to the Hebrews verse, you left out the context:

          So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

          These verses are not talking about standing in a circle and demanding our way with God. Nor is it about multiplying miracles. It is about our weakness to sin and that we can come boldly to Christ to help us at our times of deepest need.

          What breaks the heart of God is when people claiming to represent Him redoes prayer based upon a fable that teaches petulance instead of humility. I understand that you know Mr. Batterson but maybe you need to realize that God is involving you to lovingly correct him. He needs to repent of this false teaching and correct it. Be well.

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        • Chris,

          Since you know Mr. Mark, why not connect these two so that an understanding of what is biblical and what is not, can be discussed, it could prove to be helpful for us all on this thread. This is about lifting high Christ’s Word, not personal feelings.

          One hour of researching the context of Joshua and the legend of Honi will bring great insight into why many of us are having a hard time with the main foundation of the, Circle Maker.

          I will bring it up again, because no one can seem to answer this for me; it is an honest question. Honi was during the time that God was no longer speaking through prophets. (honi is called a prophet.) The story also says he slept under a carob tree for 70 years.
          The story of Honi took place during the 400 year silence, before Christ, who came and is now was the one speaking for God. Hebrews 1:1-2. The “religious leaders” at the time of Honi were false. They set themselves up as God’s leaders over Israel, the scribes and pharisees came from this religious group. Is this correct?
          So basically, we are being encouraged in the Circle Maker as a “story” or “illustration” to pray like a man who set himself up as one of God’s prophets who was not from God, but really a Pharisee, if you will, as our model to learn a “new way to pray.”
          If this is true, then any believer should have a hard time with the Circle Maker as Hoin being the foundation.

          I’m not suggesting keeping this going for the sake of debate, but I do hope to get an answer (from anyone) or discussion if my take on Honi being a false prophet is true. This does matter, and for me it is not against your friend, but for understanding and discerning truth.
          Thanks.

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          • Allie,

            The scripture says that there was no prophet who spoke for God not that there were no prophets. However, in saying that, I am not saying Honi was one.The scripture doesn’t mention him so I treat the story as simply that, a story. The pharisees did not come from the line of the prophets of the Levitical priesthood, but they were a sect of the Jews who believed that through their good deeds and strict adherence to the law that they were considered righteous.

            The main question that needs to be asked is; Is the way he prayed biblical. And Anthony, telling me I need an understanding in humility it hilarious coming from someone who’s screen name is Rev. lol As if! As if our righteousness is anything but filthy rags before God. When people call me Reverend I quickly correct them and let them know there is nothing reverend about me. I’m guessing it must be a culture thing, but culture doesn’t override being Biblically correct. Which that is what this post is all about, right? And would you have considered Paul to need a lesson in humility when he laid out his pedigree in Philipians 3? Perhaps I needed to add that all things that I have learned I have considered loss. And if this was a live, person to person discussion I could have easily said that. One of the many reasons that I hate blog discussions. You get hit for things that you didn’t say but you didn’t say them simply b/c you didn’t want to type a novel.

            Here is some food for thought on praying boldly, as that seems to be the hot button for everyone. The Apostle John wrote, “And this is the confidence that we have in [God], that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He hears us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him” (I John 5:14-15). The word CONFIDENCE here is the Greek word parrēsia which means bold!!! Look it up for yourself. And while I could list many more, it only takes one mention in scripture for it to be truth, does it not? If you read batterson’s book you would also have read in chapter 11 that some things we pray and believe for are not God’s will therefore He does not open that door. He holds the key of David and opens the door no man can open and shuts the door that no man can shut.

            Let me end with saying this. I am bowing out of the discussion only b/c I have already committed too much time. There are multiple blogs across the web crying wolf, and some of them are legit. But I don’t believe I am called to go in and debate via this forum as I am probably not going to change any of your minds anyway. But I will tell you that Mark is a Godly man. He loves God and he loves people. There are plenty of false teachers out there that need to be exposed but this guy isn’t one of them. And Anthony, I am not speaking from a place of hurt b/c I know Mark, though you laid your judgement as if you were God. I simply am speaking from the place as a son who sees my brothers not in unity and it breaks my heart. The thing that encourages me is that this isn’t a salvation issue. However, let me say something that I feel some conviction on and apologize for any prideful remarks. I want my heart clean before God. I pray that God leads you all by His word and Spirit into all truth. Blessings.

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            • First to Allie. In all likelihood Honi never existed. He is a legend or as Chris said, a story. So it does beg the question why a pastor would be drawn to a story of such a disrespectful man and then use his disrespectful manner of prayer to try and convince others to change their prayer life.

              Chris I use the title of reverend because that is the title conferred upon me. It is not a cultural thing but a grammatical thing. Reverend has two definitions, one meaning belonging to a division of clergy – which is clearly why someone would use such a title. The second definition is someone who is deserving of being respected. I have never met anyone who uses this title for that reason and neither have you. But you knew that didn’t you? Stop trying to muddy the waters because you find you position unsustainable. But back to your glaring display of lack of humility, it is in relation to how you approached the conversation. The tone, etc…then to essentially brag about all of the great studies you have done – as a matter of refutation – that is what makes you clearly prideful. My using the title Reverend is accurate. I am a reverend.

              As for Philippians 3, I would need you to point out what scripture you are looking at because none of them in that chapter support your point. Paul only would boast in Christ, not himself, and either way it is not in Philippians 3.

              Please, stop trying to deflect the conversation and confuse people just because you are friends with the guy. Try defending God not man. No one has suggested you shouldn’t pray with boldness, so I dismiss that strawman. The point is that drawing mental or spiritual circles around things and demanding them of God is not bold it is petulant and unscriptural. You bring up chapter 11 as if someone said every single word in his book is anathema. A false teacher still says some things that might be right in the middle of the false. It is ironic that you quote chapter 11 because that point you make is why Honi should not have been used to write a book.

              Mark is a godly man? Read Romans 3 and get back to me. None are righteous all have forsaken God. That includes this reverend, you with your 20 years and the Godly Mr. Batterson. After that correction realize that no one has ever impugned Mr. Batterson’s intent, only his teaching. YOU have chosen to make this issue personal. You came into the thread like a bully to defend your friend, not Scripture and you got called on it. I am glad that you apologized for any prideful remarks you may have made. I do the same. But realize that the first argument of false teaching is false unity. I am only unified with Christ and those that are with Christ. I have never said that MB is a false teacher but rather that this book is horribly false. It is not mildly false. It is not partially false. It is completely false and Christians should have nothing to do with it. “Godly” men can make mistake my brother. Defend God.

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              • “If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, ya persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” That Phil 3.

                It is interesting that you can so accurately judge someone’s tone when all you have to go by is text. If I were to do the same, your text sounds just as prideful as any proud man I have ever met. Because you are convinced that you are absolutely right.

                The circle maker never references commanding God as you suggest. It is talking about being specific in prayer. But I think I have a better pulse on you now b/c I went to your website and saw where you think that Francis Chan is falling joining in with cults also. Francis is another friend. If I were a betting man I would bet you are a cessationist. And I have zero desire to argue with someone who believes that “dunamis” is not for today. Maybe when the day comes that you need a miracle you will start believing.

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                • You are correct about tone in written form. I think if you re read you initial post however you would agree it was dripping with venom. You did not seek a discussion you sought to attack.

                  Thanks for visiting my site! Next time try reading the devotional instead of the title. I have never heard anything preached by Chan that is contrary to the Gospel and I view him positively. However, he recently aligned himself with renowned false prophets at IHOP and publicly declared that he “loves Mike Bickle.” That is one instance and hopefully he learns from the mistake.

                  I am also not a cessationist, so you are wrong yet again. I have seen too many miracles and healings in my walk to brush them away. I am against the abuses found within Charismania. Let me be very clear. I believe in the Bible, period. I believe it is infallible, unlike Mark Batterson, who has made a severe error with his book and Chan who made a severe error in propping up false prophets. You defenses continue to be of people while mine continues to be of God and His Word. You really ought to check that and be careful.

                  Take care.

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                  • to be clear, I am not saying Batterson does not believe the Bible is infallible. I was trying to say that he is not infallible. Poorly written sentence on my part.

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                  • Anthony, venom? Jesus become indignant when the disciples treated the children the way they did and forbade them to come to the Christ. I think there is a such a thing as righteous indignation. And yes, I get upset when I see believers talking about another child of God when they don’t even know that person. Of course Mark is not infallible. But the writer of this blog says he is a false teacher. So, if I were to go look through all of his material and present a well laid out argument that proved his position wrong then would that then make him a false teacher? There is a big difference between a false teacher and a wrong teacher. We have all been wrong at one point in something that we have taught. I don’t know one pastor or professor that would say they have never varied on anything they have ever taught. Does that make them false? If being wrong means being false then everyone is a false teacher because none of us get it right 100% of the time. In my many years of study and experience I have learned that the more that I know the more I see that I don’t know.

                    So, yes, you picked up on me being indignant when I read the ridiculous accusations by this blogger. What his “tone” should have been was something more like: I don’t agree with Batterson’s thought on this aspect of the book (and then list that aspect) or that he didn’t like the fact that the book was written around a story that wasn’t found in the bible. Not call the man a false teacher. (And he did, I went back and looked at the blog.) I’m not saying we don’t call out false teachers but I am telling you that Mark Batterson is not one. And I hope you don’t see this as defending man, I am standing up for my brother in Christ, who is a child of God. Have you read any of his other books? They are amazing. Try reading primal. It will stir you to love the Lord with greater fervor. At least it did me. I honestly feel like when I read blogs like this one that the Holy Spirit inside of me is grieved. I just don’t think we are approaching our disagreements with others the right way. And I include myself as one of those, and that too grieves the Spirit inside of me and leads me toward repentance.

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                    • Chris:
                      Anthony, venom? Jesus become indignant when the disciples treated the children the way they did and forbade them to come to the Christ. I think there is a such a thing as righteous indignation. And yes, I get upset when I see believers talking about another child of God when they don’t even know that person. Of course Mark is not infallible. But the writer of this blog says he is a false teacher. So, if I were to go look through all of his material and present a well laid out argument that proved his position wrong then would that then make him a false teacher? There is a big difference between a false teacher and a wrong teacher. We have all been wrong at one point in something that we have taught. I don’t know one pastor or professor that would say they have never varied on anything they have ever taught. Does that make them false? If being wrong means being false then everyone is a false teacher because none of us get it right 100% of the time. In my many years of study and experience I have learned that the more that I know the more I see that I don’t know.

                      So, yes, you picked up on me being indignant when I read the ridiculous accusations by this blogger. What his “tone” should have been was something more like: I don’t agree with Batterson’s thought on this aspect of the book (and then list that aspect) or that he didn’t like the fact that the book was written around a story that wasn’t found in the bible. Not call the man a false teacher. (And he did, I went back and looked at the blog.) I’m not saying we don’t call out false teachers but I am telling you that Mark Batterson is not one. And I hope you don’t see this as defending man, I am standing up for my brother in Christ, who is a child of God. Have you read any of his other books? They are amazing. Try reading primal. It will stir you to love the Lord with greater fervor. At least it did me. I honestly feel like when I read blogs like this one that the Holy Spirit inside of me is grieved. I just don’t think we are approaching our disagreements with others the right way. And I include myself as one of those, and that too grieves the Spirit inside of me and leads me toward repentance.

                      I do not wish to debate semantics because it takes away from the gravity of the real discussion. I said venom, you say indignation.. That’s fine. I can live with your view. The point was you did not appear to approach this as wanting a discussion.

                      There is such a thing as righteous anger/indignation. But Jesus set that bar so much higher than this. I once thought I had righteous anger about people forcing a man of God out of his pulpit for personal petty reasons. I sat down to do a devotional about righteous anger and by the time the Holy Spirit was done with me I had a devotional teaching me that my flesh did not rise to the bar Jesus had set. Here is that devotional, if you are interested:

                      http://www.828ministries.com/articles/Righteous-Anger-Be-Consum-by-Anthony-Wade-120214-826.html

                      There is a difference between a false teacher and error. However, once that error has been pointed out and the person refuses to correct that error they have now left the realm of error and entered into the realm of false teaching. Batterson is aware of the criticism and clearly disagrees. That is why it is no longer merely error. Now, does one book make someone a false teacher? Again I feel like we are arguing semantics. This book is false and badly false. I cannot speak to the rest of Batterson’s work but if he believes what he wrote in this book, I would be worried. I thought BE (blogger) did a fair and extensive job in reviewing this book. I recall him focusing on the book and not the man.

                      Your description of disagreement is more in line with matters where there is allowable disagreement. For example, if you are post trib and I am pre trib, we can present our disagreements as “I don’t agree with…” In this case we are dealing with false doctrine, which needs only one thing – to be exposed. It is not a matter of personal disagreement it is a matter of his book disagreeing with the Bible.

                      I hear your argument about Batterson not being a false teacher but you must realize that is a carnal argument. You have a personal opinion about him. I get that. Maybe outside this book he is apple pie but this book is false and dangerous. I do not have to read Primal because I am not discussing that book. I am discussing the one that instructs the body of Christ to change their prayer life based on an unbiblical, petulant example. You need to also consider that it is you, not the Holy Spirit that is grieved. I can definitely see that you are grieved. The Bible teaches us to expose false teachings so there is no way the Holy Spirit is then grieved from following the Bible.

                      Please realize that my criticism is not about him as a person. I do not know him. I also did not feel BE had addressed him as a person. The issue is his teaching throughout this book which is simply unbiblical, no mater what his intent was. Without rehashing all of the excellent point made in this blog article, I do not want Christians thinking God is “playing chicken” with their prayer. I do not want Christians thinking God finds their prayers boring or uninspiring. I do not want Christians taught that the answer of “no” from God should send them into a circle drawing defiance. Those are all horribly false doctrines.

                      I appreciate the conversation. We may simply have to agree to disagree. Just realize one thing. I am defending Scripture and you are defending man. I have yet to hear a scriptural argument as to why Batterson is right. Just take the three points i just listed and see if you can make a scriptural argument for why they are correct. These three points are in Batterson’s book:

                      God sometimes plays chicken with our prayers

                      God sometimes finds our prayers uninspiring

                      When God says no to our prayers we should dig our heels in, draw a circle and demand the prayer again.

                      Thanks.

                        (Quote)

                    • Rev., those last three points that you offered for Chris to explain from Batterson’s own words:
                      These three points are in Batterson’s book:

                      “God sometimes plays chicken with our prayers”

                      “God sometimes finds our prayers uninspiring”

                      “When God says no to our prayers we should dig our heels in, draw a circle and demand the prayer again”

                      SET, GAME, MATCH. These unbiblical (and sophomoric) statements are more than proof positive that Batterson is ‘just winging it’ to produce a book in line with his imaginations about God. He does not confine himself to the safety of Scripture. Of course, authors who confine themselves to the safety of Scripture do not come up with “new ideas” about our 2,000 year old faith. And it is hard to sell books when you don’t have some kind of “newly discovered, once hidden secret” method to getting God to serve your needs. Topics such as “take up your cross and follow me” just don’t pull in the big bucks from the masses on the wide path.

                        (Quote)

                    • Mark Batterson: False Teacher

                      Rev. Anthony Wade
                      In response to “Chris” regarding Mark Batterson at the blog site, “Beginning and End” in discussion of the book, “The Circle Maker”.

                      “I have never said that MB is a false teacher but rather that this book is horribly false. It is not mildly false. It is not partially false. It is completely false and Christians should have nothing to do with it.”
                      -Rev. Anthony Wade

                      Mark Batterson has not made a mere mistake in his statements within The Circle Maker. A mistake would be like locking your keys in your car, or dripping ketchup onto your new shirt. Mark Batterson is a well-published author (not a rookie). He is obviously well supported by editors as he is published in this work by Zondervan. These false statements within The Circle Maker are not accidental. No disrespect intended to Reverend Anthony Wade for he has been a “rock of truth” on this matter, but the Scriptures tell us that in pointing out false teachers that we are “a good servant of Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 4:6).

                      I have no hesitation in showing Mark Batterson to be a false teacher:
                      I provide the following logical syllogism and explanation of the proof (yes, this is “over the top”, but it is time to close the mouths of those who defer to the honor of man, rather than the honor of God).

                      A false teacher is one who teaches false things.
                      Mark Batterson is one who teaches false things, therefore…
                      Mark Batterson is a false teacher.

                      The above statements form a simple logical syllogism that is logically consistent by use of the third law of logic, that is, the law of proper inference. Furthermore, having established that the syllogism is logically sound, the resultant fact postulated by the logical syllogism is held to be true if the individual components of the syllogism are true. The first component of the syllogism, “A false teacher is one who teaches false things”, is inherently true. So, now we must show the second part of the logical syllogism to be true. If it can be shown that Mark Batterson’s teachings contain false teaching, then the components of the logical syllogism are shown to be true, and therefore the logical conclusion of the syllogism is also true. Let’s look at just one example that Batterson makes repeatedly with “The Circle Maker”:

                      Should it not concern us that the author builds at least one of his key points on a logically false claim? The logically false claim is very subtle and the reader is quickly focused on the resulting conclusion without noticing the fallacy of the supporting claim. For the unsuspecting reader it is too late. The typical reader has already focused upon the resulting premise and has “bought in” to the promise of the conclusion. Here is how he does it: In chapter two, Batterson claims that “prayers are prophecies”. Wait, wait, wait! What?” Prayers are prophecies? Ummm, NO THEY ARE NOT. Words mean things, and the word “prayer” refers to prayer, and the word “prophecies” refers to prophecies. In this instance Mr. Batterson violates the first rule of logic; specifically the Law of Non-Contradiction (A=A, therefore A does not = B). Could it be that the author of the Bible (God the Holy Spirit) uses two different words in order to discuss “prayers” and “prophesies” because they are NOT the same? These two words are different in both their denotation and connotation. The subtle mingling of the two terms is a “slick” technique to manipulate the meaning of a word in order to bring the reader to a manipulated conclusion. It appears that Mr. Batterson employs this smooth talk to slide the term “prayer” into the place of the term “prophecy” so that he can convince the reader that they can “pray” their future into existence, offering them god-like control over the desires of their future (who else offered humans god-like knowledge and power?) The Bible says, “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by SMOOTH TALK and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive” (Romans 16:17-18). A clear thinking person should readily see the danger of manipulating biblical terms in order to create the appearance of biblical support for an tendered conclusion. This is a blatant abuse of biblical terminology in an apparent attempt to manipulate, if not deceive, the reader. Mark Batterson has clearly made at least one patently false statement in his teaching. He has made it repeatedly and done so without ever offering correction. This is just one example of false teaching offered by Mark Batterson.

                        (Quote)

                    • Rob:
                      Mark Batterson: False Teacher

                      Rev. Anthony Wade
                      In response to “Chris” regarding Mark Batterson at the blog site, “Beginning and End” in discussion of the book, “The Circle Maker”.

                      “I have never said that MB is a false teacher but rather that this book is horribly false. It is not mildly false. It is not partially false. It is completely false and Christians should have nothing to do with it.”
                      -Rev. Anthony Wade

                      Mark Batterson has not made a mere mistake in his statements within The Circle Maker.A mistake would be like locking your keys in your car, or dripping ketchup onto your new shirt.Mark Batterson is a well-published author (not a rookie).He is obviously well supported by editors as he is published in this work by Zondervan.These false statements within The Circle Maker are not accidental.No disrespect intended to Reverend Anthony Wade for he has been a “rock of truth” on this matter, but the Scriptures tell us that in pointing out false teachers that we are “a good servant of Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 4:6).

                      I have no hesitation in showing Mark Batterson to be a false teacher:
                      I provide the following logical syllogism and explanation of the proof (yes, this is “over the top”, but it is time to close the mouths of those who defer to the honor of man, rather than the honor of God).

                      A false teacher is one who teaches false things.
                      Mark Batterson is one who teaches false things, therefore…
                      Mark Batterson is a false teacher.

                      The above statements form a simple logical syllogism that is logically consistent by use of the third law of logic, that is, the law of proper inference.Furthermore, having established that the syllogism is logically sound, the resultant fact postulated by the logical syllogism is held to be true if the individual components of the syllogism are true.The first component of the syllogism, “A false teacher is one who teaches false things”, is inherently true.So, now we must show the second part of the logical syllogism to be true.If it can be shown that Mark Batterson’s teachings contain false teaching, then the components of the logical syllogism are shown to be true, and therefore the logical conclusion of the syllogism is also true.Let’s look at just one example that Batterson makes repeatedly with “The Circle Maker”:

                      Should it not concern us that the author builds at least one of his key points on a logically false claim? The logically false claim is very subtle and the reader is quickly focused on the resulting conclusion without noticing the fallacy of the supporting claim.For the unsuspecting reader it is too late.The typical reader has already focused upon the resulting premise and has “bought in” to the promise of the conclusion.Here is how he does it:In chapter two, Batterson claims that “prayers are prophecies”.Wait, wait, wait!What?” Prayers are prophecies?Ummm, NO THEY ARE NOT.Words mean things, and the word “prayer” refers to prayer, and the word “prophecies” refers to prophecies.In this instance Mr. Batterson violates the first rule of logic; specifically the Law of Non-Contradiction (A=A, therefore A does not = B).Could it be that the author of the Bible (God the Holy Spirit) uses two different words in order to discuss “prayers” and “prophesies” because they are NOT the same?These two words are different in both their denotation and connotation.The subtle mingling of the two terms is a “slick” technique to manipulate the meaning of a word in order to bring the reader to a manipulated conclusion. It appears that Mr. Batterson employs this smooth talk to slide the term “prayer” into the place of the term “prophecy” so that he can convince the reader that they can “pray” their future into existence, offering them god-like control over the desires of their future (who else offered humans god-like knowledge and power?)The Bible says, “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by SMOOTH TALK and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive” (Romans 16:17-18).A clear thinking person should readily see the danger of manipulating biblical terms in order to create the appearance of biblical support for an tendered conclusion.This is a blatant abuse of biblical terminology in an apparent attempt to manipulate, if not deceive, the reader.Mark Batterson has clearly made at least one patently false statement in his teaching.He has made it repeatedly and done so without ever offering correction.This is just one example of false teaching offered by Mark Batterson.

                      No offense taken. My comment was based on three different factors. One, I was trying to move the conversation from the personal aspect of the man to the doctrinal aspect of the teaching in the hopes of trying to have Chris see that overarching point. Secondly, I had simply not said what he said I said, so I wanted to correct that. Thirdly, I do not know anything else about Mark Batterson. To me it is completely plausible that until this book he has been rock solid in his theology and preaching. So what do we do then with someone who has printed one really bad book in the midst of a 20 year career of correct teaching? I was more prepared to deal with the book than the man. If anyone reads my work or visits my website they know that I do not mince word and I do name names. But I try to be careful in dismissing someone from the brotherhood when I do not have all the facts? I may not be right, but I hope I clarified. Thanks.

                        (Quote)

                    • Brother Reverend Wade, thanks for your comments. Again, let me emphasize that my point was not really directed at you, but our brother Chris. It was my position that Chris was charging you with having identified Batterson as a false teacher when in fact you had not (BUT COULD HAVE BEEN RIGHT IN SO DOING). I think that it is time to turn the table on the supporters of these men who come in sheep’s clothing and put the burden of proof upon them to demonstrate that a book such as “The Circle Maker” is not authored by a false teacher while the very evidence of it’s fallacy is all written all over the very pages of the book itself. Reverend Wade, I know nothing about you except what you have written here in this blog commentary. I have nothing but the highest level of respect for you. You have been a consistent Biblical voice on this matter, and are gentle and pastoral in your comments. You have demonstrated great restraint in not labeling Batterson as a false teacher. I do not think you wouldn’t mark him as such, but have chosen not to do so at this time. For me, I am no longer in that place.

                      Here is how I see it. If I were to stand by silently and watch an elderly widow place her life savings in the hands of an investment advisor that I knew to be crooked, then I am guilty of a sin of omission and take part in the evil of the crooked investment advisor against the helpless widow. In my estimation, the godly and Biblical contributors to this blog commentary have been patient, longsuffering, and have even given Batterson the benefit where doubt has existed. But “Elvis has left the building”. “That ship has sailed”. As Phinehas stood for the honor of God in Numbers 25, it is time to mark “The Circle Maker” as full of false doctrine and Batterson as a false teacher.

                      As for anyone who thinks me as unloving, be prepared to treat Jesus, the Prophets, and the Apostles the same way; that is, if you are to be intellectually honest and consistent. Go read how Elijah dealt with false prophets in 1 Kings 18, or Jeremiah’s treatment of the false as he openly mocks them in Jeremiah 2. Go read about the harsh words by the Apostle Paul as he instructs the church to deal rigorously with false doctrine and false teachers. The Apostle Paul was never so moved to such levels of anger at immorality, pride, abuse of the spiritual gifts and the abuse of the Lord’s Supper; his greatest expression of anger was reserved for the false teachers amongst the Galatians. He went so far as to suggest that they should go ahead and dismember themselves while performing circumcision upon Christian converts. Have you read how Jesus openly humiliated the false teaching Scribes and Pharisees as He publically chastised and embarrassed them for not knowing the Scriptures. In John 8:13-49, Jesus tore up the scribes, Pharisees and ruling Jews in the Temple court, going so far as to tell them that they “were of their father, the devil” (v.44). Read about the manner in which Jesus publically upbraided, humiliated, and embarrassed the religious false teaching elite in Matthew 11, 12, 15, 16, 21, 22, and goes “nuclear” on the false teachers of the scribes and Pharisees in “The Seven Woes” in Matthew 23. Read 2 John, from the Apostle of love as he teaches what grace should be shown to false teachers…NONE. The Apostle Peter, in his second chapter of 2 Peter carries no soft words for the false teachers. Jude, Wow. He commands Christians to contend for the faith (that is not PRE-tend, but CON-tend. Same root word as contentious).

                      All in all, I cannot find a Biblical basis for so much care and concern in dealing kindly with repeatedly warned and unrepentant false teachers. Look at the way that Jesus dealt with the toleration of false teaching in the seven letters to the seven church in Asia in Revelations. He threatened to remove their “candlestick” (take’em out).

                      The spirit of this age, humanistic political correctness has shut the mouth of truth coming from the “visible church”. The “visible church” has largely bought-in to what the world has demanded in that there is seldom a call to repentance, seldom a discussion of sin, and the feelings of men supersede the honor of God. We have redefined the gospel as loving God and loving your neighbor, when in fact, these are commands and therefore represent law, not gospel. By redefining the gospel in to “loving”, and then morphing Biblical love into man’s idea of love, then there has developed an un-written law that one should never criticize or oppose anyone (unless your criticizing something Biblical). This is the spirit of the age and Christians should have no part in that sickening love-fest of promoting all manner of evil by their silence.

                      Brother Reverend Wade, not one word of this post is said against you. I feel as though I am coming along side of you to voice that which a pastoral heart is patiently restraining. Again, you have been a rock of truth and a Biblical voice on this matter from the start. You have spoke truth to error in love as a redeemed and godly man. God bless you for your Biblical allegiance, insight, humility, and skillful communication.

                      My angst is focused toward the willfully blind, who support such teachers and enable them, and in so doing cause unbelievers to blaspheme the way of truth (2 Peter 2:2). If you aid those who teach falsely, then you “participate in their evil deeds” (2 John 11).

                      For An Audience Of One!

                      Rob

                        (Quote)

              • By the way, God doesn’t need defending. Vengeance is mine says the Lord, I will repay. God is more than able to do that on His own.

                  (Quote)

                • I did not mean defend as in the way the world defends. I am saying that we should defer to God before we defend man. All the best to you Chris. Sorry for any acrimony on my part.

                    (Quote)

              • Chris and Rev. Anthony,

                I do think we all can agree 100% that Honi may or may not be, an actual person.
                This is only one reason why we cannot base our prayer life on such a story. In the Jewish culture this story is also about environmentalism. Planting trees for the generations. I think we can see the silliness of using such an example as a foundation for “godly prayer”.

                I was surprised when I began looking at the gk. meanings for the words used in Philippians 4:6-7, I was wanting to know the meanings of prayers, supplications, thanksgiving, and requests. If I am reading correctly, requests does contain a sense of urgency, almost demanding. I was surprised by this. Other’s may have another thought on this.

                Rev. Anthony – thanks for leading us back to the Word and how we need to look at teaching that comes in the name of Christ.

                Chris – My pastor is in the “celebrity” pastor’s club. Even more so than MB, according to twitter followers and speaking engagements. He is mentioned in some “discernment blogs” and it hurts. I know him and his family, but this doesn’t mean he is above others discerning what he teaches. I discern and study after each one of his messages or read his books. Paul commended this in the noble-minded Bereans. Acts 17:10-12.
                I cannot “defend” some of the things taken out of context that he may teach or associations (sharing the same stage or speaking at their church) with those who are truly false teachers as opposed to “wrong teachers”.
                But, I do know him and I do want to get out there how much he loves The Lord Jesus Christ and people.
                MB can learn and grow from reading some of these thoughts found here and the many other blogs that have critiqued his book. I have read some blogs that attacked MB, but most are looking squarely at the teaching contained insdie the book. This is truly a biblical thing and Holy Spirit directed.

                The thing about Francis Chan is an upsetting one to me with him choosing to speak at Ihop. It seems this is happening more and more with mainline evangelical celebrities for the sake of “unity in the faith”. How are we to understand this?
                And, so you know..I am not against him and have even shared a vehicle with him at an event.
                But, we, as believers cannot simply follow blindly without holding up their words to the very Word of God.

                The best to you as you seek and teach truth of God’s word in all things.

                  (Quote)

                • Thanks Allie. Let me start with the concept of unity, which is what false teachers scream first when anyone challenges them. Here is a devotional I did on that topic:

                  http://www.828ministries.com/Diary/Dividing-God-s-People-With-by-Anthony-Wade-130424-947.html

                  As for your pastor, I cannot speak to it without knowing who it is but if you are already seeing holes in his theology than at some point you may have a tough decision to make. Please realize that false teachers do not necessarily know they are false. They may be very well intended, claim to love God, do all sorts of good deeds but none of that matters in light of teaching that leads people astray (again we are talking about core doctrine).

                  Not sure what you were asking about regarding the Philippians verses but here was a recent devotional I did about those verses:

                  http://www.828ministries.com/articles/Top-Ten-Searched-Bible-Ver-by-Anthony-Wade-Faith_God-131118-353.html

                  If you confusion is about demanding things from God all I can say is that He is a big God, He can take it. The issue for me would be what we are demanding and why. Honi was demanding an end to a drought and before asking, was demanding. Then when it rained he didnt like that it was so harsh so he demanded God lessen it. He then was unsatisfied again and demanded more. That is just petulant.

                    (Quote)

            • False Teachers: Disguised and Deceived.

              Chris,

              You said the following about Batterson: “But I will tell you that Mark is a Godly man. He loves God and he loves people. There are plenty of false teachers out there that need to be exposed but this guy isn’t one of them.”

              QUESTION: Is this the Biblical test? Is the outward projection of an appearance of “loving God and loving people” the test as to whether or not someone is a false teacher?
              COMMENT: The outward projection of an person’s appearance or behavior is not what the Lord Jesus Christ taught as the test by which false teachers and false prophets are to be determined.
              “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. (Matthew 7:15 NASB). “Sheep clothing”. Camouflage; isn’t that what you should expect from the enemy? You will not recognize a false teacher or a false prophet by their outward appearance or behavior. They look and act like sheep. They are disguised, or camouflaged. Furthermore, the Apostle Paul writing under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit said, “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15 NASB).

              The Lord Jesus Christ taught that a false prophet or false teacher is “known by their fruits”. The false prophet is identified as false by making prophetic proclamations that do not come true (Deut 13). In the same way that a false prophet is judged by the accuracy of his prophecy, a false teacher is judged by the accuracy of his teaching. One must determine if the teacher’s teaching is accurate, or in accord with sound doctrine (1 Timothy 1:10, Titus 1:9, & 2:1), rightly handled (2 Timothy 2:15) as found throughout the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27). Now, the common knee-jerk reaction to “knowing them by their fruits” by those not wanting to label a popular teacher as false is that the teacher in question is very successful in ministry and that this apparent success is “the fruit” of their teaching. Not so. The fruit of an apple tree is the apple that it bears. The fruit of a prophet is the prophecy that he bears. The fruit of a teacher is the teaching that he bears. Batterson’s teaching is the issue, not a human-minded determination of apparent success (e.g. His godly behavior, the size of his church, the number of book deals, the number of speaking engagements). In fact, these outward indicators are the means by which the world measures success. To evaluate Mark Batterson according to his outward signs of ministry success is to regard Batterson according to the flesh, or humanly. The Scriptures teach otherwise. “Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer.” (2 Corinthians 5:16 NASB). To regard a minister as successful based upon outward evidence is to regard him according to the flesh, rather than according to the Spirit; it is to evaluate his ministry in worldly ways, not by spiritual ways. We are to walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:25), not the flesh (Romans 8:5, 8:14, 1 Corinthians 2:12-13, Galatians 5:16).
              Furthermore, outward “evidence” or signs should not be relied upon as proof that a teacher or prophet is “of God” because the Scriptures tell us that false teachers and false prophets will even perform miracles. “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 13:1-3 NASB)
              Jesus said, “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24:24 NASB). A prophet or teacher should be determined to be true or false based upon the accuracy of their prophecy or teaching, not according to outward signs of apparent success. In fact, according to The Lord Jesus Christ, we should expect to see large crowds following after false prophets and false teachers. “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”(Matthew 7:13, 14 NASB). Jesus said that it will be the many who are on the broad path that leads to destruction. A big ministry is a measure of popularity, not truth. It is a measure of people’s opinion, not an indicator of God’s approval. Popular ministers are not false by definition, but the presence of a large following in light of Matthew 7:13-14 should give us extra cause to check their “fruit” more carefully. Remember the words of our Lord regarding popularity amongst men: “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.” (Luke 6:26 NASB).

              Determining a false teacher is difficult, if not impossible, when looking at the outward signs of ministry success. It is unbiblical to regard them according to the flesh. False teachers do not look or act like a false teachers. What did you expect? FALSE TEACHERS DO NOT COME WITH A WARNING LABEL.

              QUESTION: Are false teachers and false prophets aware that they are false?

              COMMENT: It is very difficult to think that someone that we admire and are close to could be a false teacher. The Scriptures reveal to us that there would be “many” false prophets and false teachers (Matt 7:15, 24:11, 24:24, Mark 13:22, Acts 20:29-30, 2 Peter 2:1, 1 John 4:1). This truth is difficult to embrace when we regard men according to the flesh (humanly). We not only make the mistake of evaluating a minister based upon their apparent ministry success, but we also make the mistake of evaluating a minister based upon their apparent sincerity. This too is wrong. It is difficult to accept regarding those with whom we are close, but according to Scripture a false teacher is his own first victim. His deceptive teaching captured himself first. You might say that they are the first to drink their own Kool-Aid. “For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.” (2 Peter 2:18, 19 NASB). False teachers are enslaved to their own teaching. False prophets and false teachers believe every word of what they are prophesying or teaching. They are sincere. Sincerity is a measure of purity of allegiance to an ideal, but it is no measure of the truth of the ideal to which one is sincerely committed. The 911 hi-hackers were sincere about Allah. They, while sincere, were also wrong about Allah.
              False prophets and false teachers of “Christianity” are usually sincere, but nonetheless, are always
              false.

                (Quote)

              • Rev. Anthony,

                Thanks for the links, they are helpful.

                In regards to the Philippians passage, it was more of a thought than a question. I noticed “requests” made reference to a plea that was to the point of demanding.
                Your article is exactly what I learned in looking at this passage about prayer; give it all to him and our promised answer is, peace. We may not get what we request, but we will have peace about the whole process, even in waiting, as we make our petitions known to our Father.

                Unity – I get this. I listened to a bit of Francis’ message at the Ihop conference and he mentioned loving others in the church, loving Mike Bickle and being unified in Jesus…although there may theological differences, we are to live in unity with our brothers and sisters.
                This was my point of reference when wondering about those who support false teachers/doctrine as a way to show the world that we love one another.

                It seems that IF one is a “Berean” then they are easily identified as the “troublemaker” or “divisive” or “unloving”. Many who discern come across as unloving or as a troublemaker, so that is why I tread lightly. There is also the possibility that I may not be seeing things clearly as well.

                  (Quote)

                • Our unity must be in Christ and His Gospel. Paul even says that disunity comes from those who preach other gospels. If i know someone is preaching a gospel that is not of Christ I show love for those deceived to expose them.

                  The first cry of a false teacher is unity. They consider correction to be troublemaking. The issue is the false doctrine.

                  Thanks!

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  76. Chance Sampson says:

    I read the first sentence of this blog and that all I needed to read to know that you didn’t actually understand this book.

      (Quote)

    • I read the first sentence of this response to the blog article and that was all that I needed to read to know that you didn’t actually understand this blog article.

      Chance, forgive my use of your own words to highlight absurdity by being absurd, but how could you understand from reading of the first sentence of the blog article that the author of the blog article did not understand “The Circle Maker”. After all, you only read the first sentence of the blog article. In no way did the author of the blog article, B & E, have anything close to an opportunity to explain his understanding of “The Circle Maker” within the first sentence of his article. The first sentence of B & E’s article read, ” A book called ‘The Circle Maker’ has started making the rounds through churches as the latest “new method” to access untold blessings from God”. I’m not sure why you decided that B&E did not understand “the Circle Maker” based upon the first sentence of his article. In fact, my keyword search of “The Circle Maker” text revealed that the book itself discusses the accessing of BOLD blessings through circling prayers more than two dozen times. It sounds to me like the first sentence of B&E’s article is a pretty good understanding of “The Circle Maker”.

      In your post, it sure sounded like something within B & E’s article may have upset you, but then again, how could that be the case when you only read the first sentence of his article and it so accurately describes “The Circle Maker”? I think if the truth be told, you just may have read more than the first sentence of B & E’s article on “The Circle Maker”. Besides, if you had read the entire article, then your comments would have a lot more credibility. Give it a chance, try two, maybe three sentences and see what you think. You might like it.

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      • I should have said that it was the first two sentences.

        I’m not going to waste my time reading the whole article. I don’t watch a movie with a bad trailer, I don’t watch a series with a bad pilot, and I don’t waste my time reading articles that show a lack of understanding on the subject matter in the first two sentences. I clicked on it because I was mostly curious to see how someone could have a problem with this book, but then I remembered that people have problems with anything regardless of how perfect or imperfect it may be.

        At any rate, I apologize for the antagonistic comment to begin with. It’s not healthy, and it’s the exact opposite of how the church should talk to each other.

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        • Chance, I know that you said that you should have referenced the first two sentences of B & E’s article when you commented that it was from those sentences by which you could tell that he, that is B & E, had no idea about that which the “The Circle Maker” was written, but the real clincher for me was in the third sentence of B & E’s article. I would encourage you go back and read number three. It was number three that really “sewed it up” for me. It is a real good read, and besides that; if you’ve read this response so far, then you have already put more effort into reading a measured quantity than what that third sentence will demand from you. Give it a shot. Go for three. Take a chance.

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  77. There is NO secret to serving God….Thank you for the exposing of the circle maker. I have seen the book and never knew it was about drawing circles around yourself. A very clear and present danger of using witchcraft. To truly know Christ a person only needs to receive Him through repentance and following His ways. The new age teachers are trying to get to God on their own instead of the way He showed us. Bible reading and kneeling prayer or head bowed in reverence work to get to the throne of grace. No other work needed. This has been proven by many men and women. People wake up there is NO SECRET to serving God.

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  78. Teresa:
    There is NO secret to serving God….Thank you for the exposing of the circle maker. I have seen the book and never knew it was about drawing circles around yourself. A very clear and present danger of using witchcraft. To truly know Christ a person only needs to receive Him through repentance and following His ways. The new age teachers are trying to get to God on their own instead of the way He showed us. Bible reading and kneeling prayer or head bowed in reverence work to get to the throne of grace. No other work needed. This has been proven by many men and women. People wake up there is NO SECRET to serving God.

    You need to read the book Teresa instead of just believing what you read on the internet.

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    • Hi Chris,

      In your initial response to me, you stated you “did not have the time” to actually go to Batterson’s book and defend it with Scripture. But now you have continued to post comments and response to others and still not do this. You have provided your credentials as a pastor and a Biblical scholar. Why are you still not showing us by quoting Batterson’s book and then rightly dividing Scripture, how he is right? I am very confused by your defense of the book at this point. It is much more rhetorical than actual substantive Biblical arguments. Do you plan on offering any?

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  79. Ruth Allan says:

    Thank you for this article. Pastor Mike Hoggard of Bethel church devoted two hours to the subject of this book and its clear evidence of witchcraft in the church.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUs4nwQBMYg

    The whole thing is worth listening to, but finally Mike reveals a discovery he made that made his jaw drop – that in a book published in the early 2000s, no less a personage than queen witch Silver Ravenwolf talks about the drawing of a magic circle and refers its origin to the circle drawn by – guess who? Honi the Circle Maker.
    QED.

      (Quote)

    • Hi Ruth,

      I just listened to Pastor Mike’s teaching this morning and was stunned! I am going to update the article this weekend with that new information and have already read the portion from the book he cited today to confirm he was on the money. I praise God for your discernment! God bless and keep watching.

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      • Ruth Allan says:

        Hi Beginning and End

        So glad you found Mike’s talk helpful. I think his discovery proves that this appearance of witchcraft in the church is not accidental or merely unfortunate – it is an organised attack.

        I forgot to say how good YOUR article was. I shall enjoy catching up with your other posts and will look forward to reading your latest ones.

        God bless you and I certainly will keep watching.

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  80. It seems that in the hours spent reading extra-Biblical sources and watching videos, a much wiser use of one’s time would be to sit down with an exhaustive concordance, seek out and study all references to prayer within Scripture, and learn from there – unless, of course, there’s reason to believe that God left something out that He wanted us to know…. ;-)

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  81. greetings. Fantastic text and a fantastic blog

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  82. This “circle making” thing only brought one thought to mind and that is satanic bondage from Rabbecca Brown’s book titled “Vessel of Honour” which describes a scenario in which a person (satanist or Wiccan, if memory serves me well) draws a circle around a house in order to satanically an spiritually bind the inhabitants or owner of the house. how this is applied to Christian beliefs and doctrines has left me dumb-struck as to how a person can deceive so many and get away with it

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  83. Wesley O'neal says:

    This article is just what the scriptures commands. If only more true followers of Jesus would be more incline to reprimand false teachers, the church would be less spotted with them. While is important to warn the body of Christ to try every spirit, it is also important to be mindful of the apostles Paul warning that we are separate ourselves from these ministers of satan. We are living in a generation of the antichrist

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  84. Jennifer says:

    Thank you so much for this helpful article and subsequent discussion. I only recently became aware of this book when I paged through most recent Thriving Family magazine published by Focus on the Family and saw the children’s version of this book in their top 10 list! Let me just say, as a former wiccan priestess studying directly under Silver Ravenwolf in the Black Forest Clan, she did the honi thing years ago before it was “Christianized”. As a renewed child of God I find this book to be appalling on so many levels. This is one book that won’t be making it to my family’s top 10!

      (Quote)

    • Hi Jennifer,

      Thank you so much for your comments and testimony! I praise The Lord for bringing you out of Wicca. I came across the Silver Ravenwolf connection a few months ago and will now look into it further. God bless you abundantly. -B&E

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  85. Not sure if I’m posting correctly but I have been reading all these comments and have been completely sidetracked by a question….B&E you have said more then once now that honing was not a prophet of god or he would have been in the bible……are you saying gods prophet’s are limited to only the the names in the bible?….are re you saying (much like Jews believe) that there are no prophets of god right now speaking today because they are not in the bible?

    Beginning and End:
    Hey Ken,

    Thanks for getting back to me and sharing your experience with the book. As you have not read it all, again I understand your hesitation to consider it heresy but I would like to give more insight into why I declare it as such. There is a growing divide in the Christian church today between adhering to sound Biblical doctrine as the basis of Christianity or mixing in mad-made ideas along the way. This website clearly falls in the former camp. Again, the talmud, Batterson’s source for the circle maker fable, is not Biblical and denies Jesus Christ is the Messiah. So at that point that book has no real bearing in teaching Christian doctrine in my view. Yet it is the basis of the Circle Maker book and is referenced all through out.

    Honi was not a prophet of God, otherwise he would have been in the Bible. I understand that in many churches, these issue are not a concern, but for this author, they are major, because it is letting man-made stories and philosophies guide the church instead of God’s Word. So for some, this will seem heresy and for others it will seem like “very solid spiritual teachings.”

    Beyond that I can only ask that you offer up what you saw as Biblical teachings in the portions of Batterson’s book that you read.

    As for circling Bible verses or phrases, again I have no issue with that. But that is not what Batterson is teaching. He is teaching a means to obtain blessings for the biggest, most audacious desires in your life.

    Thanks again for your comments and feel free to continue to share your thoughts.

    P.S. The new updated section is in the original article. It’s not a separate piece. God bless.

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    • Hi Allen,

      When I say prophet, I am speaking of men and women who had literal, audible conversations with God, as seen in the Bible time and time again. And in that light, I definitely do not believe there are prophets today. Do you know of any prophets today?

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      • Ukvayat says:

        The word of God seems to contradict what you believe. Please re-read 1st Corinthians 12.

          (Quote)

        • As for “prophets” today: the rendering of those gifted with the miraculous sign gifts in 1 Corinthians 12 tells us of what has been given to the church in the earliest days of its establishment. I will agree that there are true Christians who hold a different interpretation of this text, but I would like to offer a few points.
          1) We should all consider what are the implications to men speaking “new revelation” on behalf of God in light of the declaration in Jude 3 that the Christian was “once for all” handed down. If a man speaks “new revelation” as from God, then should we not handle this “word” as Scripture just like thenwords from the prophet Isaiah, or Amos? Adding to Scripture is a problem now, isn’t it?
          2) Jesus said the “the Law and the prophets were until John” (the Baptist) in Matthew 11:13. From this, one could reasonably conclude that whatever the Apostle was speaking of when he wrote of prophets in 1 Corinthians 12, the term prophet could not be meant in the same sense in which the prophets of old where Jesus says the were until John. The term “prophet” in the OT is also meant as one who preaches the written words of God as well. The term “prophet” would not be reserved only for those to whom God spoke verbally.
          3) One of the fallacies that I have come to discover in my own thinking on this matter was a presupposition that I had eisegeted (read into the text) into the Scripture. My presupposition had “put God into a box”. Deep below my conscious handling of the data Obhad presupposed that God did things one way up to the day of Pentecost and had done things another way from the day of Pentecost forward. Two ways, with one “gear change”, if you will. Dr. James R. White (Alpha and Omega Ministries) posed a really good question that exposed my presupposition. He said (paraphrasing), “why is it that we assume that the state of the early church in Corinth is normative. We do we make no room for God to work with people to transition them from his revelation through the Law and the Prophets, and through the revelation of God through Jesus Christ, and allow no transitional providence for the NT Scripture writing period to have necessitated miraculous revelation to feed the Body as the Church awaited the deliverance of NT Scripture.

          These are some of the thoughts that freed me up from trying force 1 Corinthians 12 upon the church perfected by the written Scriptures following the first century. After all, being a part of Pentecostalism for nearly 50 years, being a graduate of Oral Roberts University, and living in Tulsa, Oklahoma and never having witnessed a “Biblical” representation of the miraculous sign gifts being resident as gifted to an individual, I discovered that I had great cause to doubt men who make much of themselves regarding their “giftings”, and good reasons to consider God’s use of the sign gifts as authoritative until the writing of the NT Scriptures and the death of the Apostles.

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          • Ukvayat says:

            1) Any “new revelation” will not contradict the Word of God nor the Spirit of God thus it will never add to Scripture but rather reinforce it.
            2) This is a gross misrepresentation of the text! The “law and the prophets” is a phrase used to simply mean for the Jews what we call the Old Testament. Jesus did not come to abolish it but to fulfill it.
            3) Your very reasoning as to why we should rather consider the text transitional for the church rather than normative is insufficient. The role of prophecy is consistent throughout the entire Bible! Why would prophecy suddenly become a thing of the past for God? Is not our God never changing? So why would He change this?

            These ‘sign’ gifts are still used today because God is still alive today! Just because you have not experienced it does not mean it does not exist – this is the same reasoning atheists try to disprove God so why do we use it against our siblings in Christ? Especially considering your location in the Bible belt – the missions field is full of people who must actively use and experience ‘sign’ gifts.

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  86. I am ashamed of most of the commenters of this article. I could go on a long winded tirade for or against this book and it would be worthless. This sunday I want you to openly condemn your minister if his lesson involves anything not in the bible. If a minster teaches anything not expressly stated and quoted from the bible then he is a false profit, at least that is what I am getting from a lot of the people condemning the book. Although by that same logic then Christ was a false profit for using parables then……. after all he use a method that was new, and non bible teachings to teach people to use the teachings of the bible in their every day lives…… enough, I leave this filth now. I will make sure to wave and say hello to you all you hate centered people from my seat in heaven.

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    • Hi Me,

      Thanks for your comments. I think there is a difference between preaching and mentioning things that are not in the BIble and preachings things that are in direct contradiction to the Bible. In Batterson’s case, he is doing the latter.

      Additionally, this is why Jesus spoke in parables:

      10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. – Matthew 13:10-16.

      Rather than just being creative or bringing “something different” to His preaching, Jesus used parables as a means to test discernment. Those who truly believed in Christ and heeded God’s Word, would understand the mysteries of the Kingdom. But to everyone else, they would be confused. So it was really a discernment test. If you had the Spirit of God working in you, then you could hope to understand, for others, not so much. What this article is doing is promoting Biblical discernment. And if someone is preaching unbiblical methods for the church, it is a Christian’s duty to warn the Church about it.

      ” Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” – Romans 16:17.

      I hope you can understand my perspective.

        (Quote)

  87. trulyblessed says:

    I thank God for leading me to pick up the Circle Maker in Barnes and Nobles.. I read it…. applied it and I now feel a closeness to God that I have never felt in 40 years of being a Christian. You can debate all you want….. I know what I feel

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    • trulyblessed – applying cocaine can make one *feel* closer to God, as does New Age principles, Hinduism, demonic influence and Buddhism.
      Feelings are subjective and come and go, good and bad.
      The truth of God’s word, applying IT, is what brings us “closer” to him, set apart (sanctification) for Him. Prayer to the God of the Bible through faith in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit will bring us closer to Him and give us peace, not drawing circles and demanding Him to do something, BIG. Nothing is BIG to him. God is kind and patient with our fickle feelings and will in time as we study His ways, will draw us back to the truth of HIS word, so we learn. There is no one like our God and His word – indwelling JOY!
      Philippians 4:6-7

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      • At the end of the day what we have all learned here is….Christians love to tell each other that they are wrong..

        Now I must un check the notification box because this has been entirely un fruitful.

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      • trulyblessed says:

        Allie- Perhaps cocaine, Hinduism, demonic influence and Buddhism can make one *feel* closer to God too…. I wouldn’t know….
        My Creator knows my heart and that’s really all that matters to me =)) Now… like Allen, I will un check the notification box.

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        • Hi Trulyblessed,

          Thanks for your comments. God does indeed know your heart. He knows all of our hearts. And here is what The Lord thinks of our hearts:

          The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? – Jeremiah 17:9.

          This is what God tells us about our hearts. They are deceitful and wicked. So we should not be making decions on critical matters by just “listening to our hearts.” We are to make them in accordance with The Word of God, which we can rely on 100% of the time.

          And in this instance, time and time again what Batterson is teaching does not line up with Scripture. And that should be a very big red flag for us. My hope and prayers is that all of us let Scripture inform our faith and not just the lines of a charismatic preacher. God Bless.

            (Quote)

  88. Better with age says:

    Do we really have to split hairs here!? I read the book and if it doesn’t make a prayer warrior out of you ( however you choose to pray is the right way) I don’t know what will. Did you miss the point of the book? Prayer is powerful, and only God will deliver what he desires. Mark knows that and if you read more into his book than that I think maybe you should, well, pray about it!

      (Quote)

    • Wow… splitting hairs. It only takes a word or two to change the meaning of Scripture. That’s what makes deception so dangerous – because it is subtle. As for your comment “however you choose to pray is the right way” – that is not the answer Jesus gave when His disciples asked in what manner (or how) they should pray. Read Luke 11.

      And therein lies the problem with this entire issue.

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  89. Better With Age:
    How You Pray Matters To Jesus

    YOU SAID:
    “however you choose to pray is the right way.”

    In the sixth chapter of Matthew we see where Jesus cites three specific do’s and/or don’ts for praying:
    1) “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites.”
    2) “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret.”
    3) “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.”

    Then Jesus takes the time to provide an actual example of how to pray and says, “Pray then like this…”
    (Matthew 6:5-10, 12, 13 ESV)

    If Jesus said to “pray like this”, then it logically must follow that there is way to pray that is “other” than how Jesus taught to pray; therefore, my friend, Jesus actually refutes your statement of “however you choose to pray is the right way.”

    Furthermore, Batterson’s book is full of contradictions to Scripture. It is “pop-Christianity” fashioned after an image of God that is not Biblical.

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  90. We can discern firstworld words and ideas using the global church – drawing cirlces, maybe those being persecuted and beheaded (Iraq) need only to draw circles around themsleves or have more faith.
    This “circle thing” fails the test.
    It also fails the test of Scripture.

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  91. manny porter says:

    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 4:3-4).

    let God be true and every man a lier!!!!!!!!!!!! this book is from the pits of hell !!!!!!!

    stay strong my brother !! cling to his word as as one of davids mighty men like eleazar !
    God has given us eternal life !!!!!

    9 And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David, when they defied the Philistines that were there gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel were gone away:

    10 He arose, and smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword: and the Lord wrought a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to spoil.

    there is a church that just started near my home that I started to take my family too ,, I got the feeling it was another weak church and to no surprise I had before I left 4 months ago told the pastor how witchcraft was creeping into the church by this book , he is now promoting this book . he posted this news to his fb page yesterday ..
    THE GREAT FALLING AWAY IS UPON US , BROTHERS AND SISTERS ARM YOURSELFS WITH THE WORD OF GOD ALMIGHTY !!!!!

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  92. Jeff Hagan says:

    PEOPLE, WHERE IS YOUR DISCERNMENT???

    If one only pays attention to two things in this article they are enough to cause anyone with any knowledge of the Bible to run far and fast from this book and teaching. This quote from the OP is one:

    First – “Notice that the entire premise of the book is based on ‘the legend of Honi The Circle Maker.’ This should be the first red flag to any Bible-believing Christian (and it is this author’s sincere hope and prayer that this article will encourage believers to use the Bible as the basis of their beliefs and decisions about what is God-honoring and what is not). This ‘legend’ is a story from the Talmud and Midrash, which is a compilation of Jewish oral tradition and commentaries on the Mosaic law. The point here is that the Talmud is not the Bible. Honi is referred to as “a prophet of God” and yet he is not mentioned in the Bible… Honi did not wait to hear God’s instructions as all the prophets of the Old Testament did. He has his own plan and ideas and took them to God for The Lord to execute. It was Honi’s idea to make the circle, not The Lord’s. This is the exact opposite of God’s prophets who the word of The Lord came to and they acted upon it as willing servants.” HELLO? Clearly false and improper teaching. Don’t buy his book, don’t fall for this garbage.

    Second – the fact he is claiming he is presenting a “new” way to pray. There are no “new” ways to pray. Do not stray from God’s Word.

    And the article doesn’t stop with these two which are clearly enough, the author presents much more yet people here are still crying out against the information presented in this piece.

    People please “study to show yourselves approved.” Perhaps take some hermeneutics and exegesis classes. Please do something so you obtain some proper knowledge of God’s Holy Word and discover how to rightly divide the information within.

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  94. Fanie Minne says:

    It is sorrowful that you choose to focus your attention on one aspect whilst you miss the message that is being communicated, that of the power of persistent prayer.

      (Quote)

    • @ Fanie Minnie: You said, “It is sorrowful that you choose to focus your attention on one aspect whilst you miss the message that is being communicated, that of the power of persistent prayer.” Fanie, your comments suggest that you think that B & E should not be concerned about only “one aspect” of Mark Batterson’s book, “The Circle Maker”. Many well-meaning Christians, and even more worldlings, cry foul anytime someone disents with a public figure who professes to be of God. They often criticize those that bring criticism, violating their own standard of not criticizing. Your criticism focuses upon B&E being wrongly focused one one point of Batterson’s teaching. Question: How much leaven is required to leaven the whole lump? How much ungodly teaching should a slave of Christ permit without objection? Can you quantify that for me? How do you measure those quantities? Jesus used “leaven” when warning his disciples about the teaching of the Pharisees. The leaven is the smallest quantity of ingredient in mixture, but affects the entire loaf. It only takes “one aspect” of a teaching that is ungodly to affect the whole teaching. This is the message of Jesus in this metaphor.
      Now, as for there only being a problem with “one aspect” of Mark Batterson’s book…where would I begin. The list of problems with the teaching that is “The Circle Maker” is long and well documented in B&E’s article, as well as in the commentary that follows. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear”. I would encourage you to see The LORD God to be high and lifted up; reigning in all of His majestic glory, the thrice holy God of Isaiah 6, the Always Right Creator God of Job 38-42, the Holy One of Revelation 4-5, then think of Batterson’s “handling” and manipulating of this God into a mere servant of man. A servant that responds from heaven if we have unlocked a once hidden secret to getting Him to respond to our white-washed desires for self-promotion, and self-indulgence. Mark Batterson’s message is about prayer of some kind, and to a “god” of some kind, but he misses the mark in claiming that this great high and holy One, the almighty God of Bible is the same “god” of which he writes in his book. “The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him.”
      -A.W. Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy

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