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Tag: Pastor Karen Joy King

Evangelical Mark Virkler Says Christians Need to Abandon Rational Thinking

mark virkler

Mark Virkler, an Evangelical pastor and founder of Christian Leadership University — an unaccredited online institution, recently wrote an article for CHARISMA titled, Tell-Tales Signs You Have Bought Into ‘Satan’s Truth.’ Virkler, who sports a “Dr.” in front of his name, believes that the biggest problem facing Christians today is that they use wrong approaches for determining truth. I suspect the word “truth” means something different to Virkler from what it does me, but that aside, I totally agree with him about Christians using wrong tools and methodology for determining what is factual and true. Unfortunately, the recommendations I would make to Christians, Virkler rejects, believing they are the Satanic tools used to lead Christians astray.

Virkler begins his post by listing several approaches to truth that he has abandoned — supposedly for the “truth” he is going to reveal later.  Virkler, at some point in his life, abandoned:

  • If dad said it was true, it was true.
  • If my teacher said it was true, it was true.
  • If my college professor said it was true, it was true.
  • If science said it was true, it was true.
  • If one or several double-blind studies said it was true, it was true.
  • If my doctor said it was true, it was true.
  • If my interpretation of the Bible said it was true, it was true.
  • If reason and logic said it was true, it was true
  • If my senses told me it was true, it was true.

According to Virkler, rationalism and humanism are methods Satan recommends to Christians as they search for “truth.” Virkler writes:

Figure it out yourself! Satan offered Eve his approach for discovering truth: You don’t really need these walks with God every day (in other words, you don’t need revelation knowledge or direct encounter with God), for “you can know” (see Gen. 3:5). That temptation has developed into two false philosophies for knowing:

“You” = Humanism: “Life centers in man’s human capacity”
“Know” = Rationalism: “Life centers in man’s reasoning capacity”

Following is an excerpt from John G. Lake’s article, The Power of the Name:

“In the beginning, man’s spirit was the dominant force in the world. When he sinned, his mind became dominant. Sin dethroned the spirit and crowned the intellect. But grace is restoring the spirit to its place of dominion. When man comes to realize this, he will live in the realm of the supernatural without effort.”

Rationalism and humanism are two false gods I worshipped and followed during the early years of my Christian life.


It was a tremendous battle to defeat these two false gods, as they were deeply entrenched in my life through my culture, my education, my natural disposition to be a thinker as well as my “Christian training” which taught me to work hard to keep God’s laws.

What, you might ask, does Virkler recommend in the place of humanism and rationalism? I am so glad you asked! Are you ready, boys and girls? Drum roll, please! Virkler recommends walking with God under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. That’s right. Just let God lead the way and “truth” will be yours! Imagine a college student buying into Virkler’s logic. No need to study, no need to prepare. Just pray and follow the Holy Spirit’s leadership when you take your finals. God will show you the way!

Virkler sums up his God-approved approach to truth this way:

The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, guides you into all truth (see John 14:17; 16:13).

So the Bible is clear: it is the Holy Spirit Who will guide us into all truth. It’s amazing how I had diminished the work of the indwelling, illuminating Holy Spirit and replaced His work with my mind, my theology, my brain and my understanding of Scriptures. I now set aside my false gods of humanism, rationalism and biblicism and honor what Jesus has said and modeled in Scripture. It is the Holy Spirit Who is continuing to reveal all truth to me. Everything the Holy Spirit reveals will be compatible with Scripture, even though it may not be detailed in Scripture.

Notice carefully what he says: the Holy Spirit … will guide us into all truth. Not some truth; not just Biblical truth; not just Christianity-related truth; no, he believes a mythical being who supposedly lives inside every Christian guides believers into A-L-L TRUTH — if they let her, anyway. Christians, then, don’t need reason or critical thinking skills. All they need is Jesus and his ghostly buddy, the horn player in the three-piece band, the Holy Spirit.

Virkler’s nonsensical (and dangerous) approach to truth (facts) is embraced by millions of American Evangelicals. Instead of using the brain the good Lord supposedly gave them to intellectually, rationally, critically, and skeptically study a matter, Christians just pray, maybe read God’s answer book, and trust that a non-existent poltergeist will lead them to all truth.

Virkler’s approach is more insidious and dangerous because he is running an online college (with his wife, daughter, and son) that purports to train adults for the ministry. Want to earn a doctorate in counseling?  Here’s the course list:

  • COU202 Counseled by God
  • COU203 Cornerstones of Communication
  • COU301 Prayers That Heal the Heart
  • COU305 Parenting for Success
  • REN103 Communion With God
  • REN105 Father Heart of God
  • REN204 Naturally Supernatural
  • REN206 Increasing the Anointing
  • REN207 Healing Anointing
  • REN310 Wisdom Through Dream Interpretation

Does anyone think by taking these classes (and I assume all the undergraduate Bible courses) that a recently minted Doctor is prepared and qualified to counsel anyone more than a pet hamster? Of course not. In fact, I seriously doubt this training qualifies a person to counsel said hamster. Now, with all that Holy Ghost power at his disposal, I suppose he could try to raise old George, the hamster, from the dead. Now THAT would be entertaining!

According to Virkler, his educational approach differs from that of the “world.” Instead of teaching students knowledge, Christian Leadership University trains students to sense God and live in the Spirit. Students are expected to NOT independently use their minds. Get your mouth off the floor. I am not exaggerating here:

We have a choice when we come to learning: We can eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, or we can eat from the tree of life. Both trees were present in the Garden of Eden. One was forbidden and one was allowed. We were forbidden to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and encouraged to eat from the tree of life.

What is the tree of knowledge? What is the tree of life? May I suggest that the tree of knowledge is the independent use of our minds, where we try to figure out for ourselves what is good and what is evil. Even if we use the Holy Scriptures in our pursuit of this knowledge, we can still run amuck. The Pharisees did. Paul did. But then he learned that he needed the revelation of the Holy Spirit to help him interpret Scriptures


As I was perusing Christian Leadership University’s website, I came across a local connection on their faculty page, “Dr.” Karen King. King pastors New Beginnings Ministry in nearby Fayette, Ohio. King actually has a degree from Defiance College — a nearby accredited institution. All her post-graduate work and degrees, however, came from — you guessed it — Christian Leadership University (CLU).  This is a common ploy by such institutions. Faculty members may have undergraduate degrees from accredited institutions, but their post-graduate degrees all come from CLU. Some CLU professors have done all of their post-high school work through Christian Leadership. Virkler has a bachelor’s degrees from Roberts Wesleyan College, but his two post-graduate degrees come from unaccredited Bible colleges.

Virkler will likely argue that human accreditation means nothing; that it falls under the humanistic, rationalistic approach Satan uses to deceive people. I would argue that CLU owes its students an education, one that teaches them critical thinking skills; one that values knowledge. Instead, students are taught to value supernatural revelation and God whispering in your ear. Is it any wonder that it is almost impossible to reach and reason with people who have been infected with this kind of thinking? Gnostic at its core, CLU teaches students that they possess an inside track with God; that the Holy Spirit will give them special knowledge and understanding, none of which the educated people of the world possess. Want to see what this baby looks like when its full grown? Take a look at Bethel Redding. No belief or practice is too extreme. When objectivity, rational thinking, skepticism, and critical thinking are deemed unimportant, why, anything is possible.

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 61, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 40 years. He and his wife have six grown children and twelve grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

Bruce is a local photography business owner, operating Defiance County Photo out of his home. If you live in Northwest Ohio and would like to hire Bruce, please email him.

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On the Road Looking for God’s True Church

As Polly and I travel the roads of Northwest Ohio, Southern Michigan, and Southeast Indiana, we are always on the lookout for God’s True Church®. Here are a few of the churches we stumbled upon during our travels.harlan united methodist church harlan indiana

harlan united methodist church harlan indiana

Harlan United Methodist Church, Harlan, Indiana. Harlan United Methodist’s website states that the congregation’s vision is “To provide, for our community, a Methodist based path for growing relationships with Jesus Christ.”

From the church’s January 2017 newsletter:

Have you ever thought about what has happened because Christ came into the world? That baby in the manger of Bethlehem grew up to become our crucified and risen Savior – and the world has never been the same. Jesus’ compassion has made the world more compassionate. His healing touch has made the world more humanitarian. His selflessness has made the world more self-effacing. Christ drew a rainbow of hope around the shoulders of men and women and gave them
something to live for. If Christ had not come, our world would indeed be a hopeless world. If Christ had not come, ours would be a lost world. There would be no access to God, there would be no atonement for sin, there would be no forgiveness, and there would be no Savior. Yes, Christ came into the world and made it a better place. And He will do the same for you if you will open your life to Him.

harvest life church defiance ohio

Harvest Life Fellowship, Defiance, Ohio, Tim and Lisa Hacker, pastors. The church’s website has a message from its pastors for those who visit their website:

Welcome! We’re glad you have ventured onto this page.

In the last few years, God has been moving in unprecedented ways bringing a fresh wind to His body. Even more, the people of our church have been going out among their friends, family, co-workers, and into the community where we are seeing God move by His Spirit to change lives, heal, deliver, and bring people into a new level of relationship with Jesus Christ.

Our message to you is pretty simple. God is in a good mood and heaven is invading earth!

This website has some pretty cool testimonies on it for you to read and be encouraged by. We will also be putting up sermons from time to time for you to download or listen to via streaming audio and video.

If you are able, come join us for our weekly Sunday meeting or one of our small groups for “Christian practice”. We’ll do our best to equip you and send you out onto the “field” ready to bust through the enemy’s line and bring God’s touch down to a world in need.

We believe that you are destined to be a “supernatural being having a temporary earthly experience” and not the other way around.

God is rocking our world!

lapointe united methodist church port clinton ohio

LaPointe United Methodist Church, Port Clinton, Ohio, Paula Stewart, pastor. (Church’s Facebook page) To answer the question, Interested in learning about Jesus? my response is no!. Next question, please.

lick creek church of the brethren bryan ohio

Lick Creek Church of the Brethren, Bryan, Ohio, Bill Holsopple, pastor. According to the church’s About Us page, Lick Creek Church is:

…a friendly church.  You’re greeted with a smile and a handshake whether it’s your first visit or your 100th visit.  We even take time out during worship service to greet each other!  We’re known for our steak suppers, homemade ice cream and made from scratch apple dumplings. Lick Creek Church follows the teaching of Jesus.  Our mission is to provide spiritual direction, unity and purpose to all people by continuing the work of Jesus Christ peacefully, simply, together. Hymns and music take an active part in our worship service along with Scripture readings and children’s story.  And, of course, there is an uplifting message from our pastor. We offer Sunday School classes to young and not so young prior to worship service.  We recently remodeled two of our Sunday School rooms that are attractive to youngsters. Our members and friends enjoy potluck meals and opportunities to gather in our homes or local restaurants.  We also have the ideal location to view the annual Bryan fireworks show, which we celebrate with a hotdog roast and popcorn. Most importantly, Lick Creek Church of the Brethren displays love for our fellow friends and members, as well as to our community, through our service to God. In addition, we continue the teaching of Jesus by conducting Love Feasts in which church members and friends attend a simple meal, participate in Scripture readings, and conduct foot washings as Jesus did with his Disciples.

maranatha chapel

Maranatha Chapel, Harlan, Indiana. (Church has no web presence.) The church congregation wants passersby to know that the Bible is greater than all other books; or perhaps they want people to know that the words on the pages of the Bible are greater than all other words. Regardless, this church will always be remembered for a sign message it displayed in 2008: Do You Want a Muslim for President? This message told me all I need to know about Maranatha Chapel.

New Beginnings Ministries, Fayette, Ohio, Karen Joy King, pastor. According to the church’s Facebook page:

God has raised up New Beginnings Ministries of Fayette, Ohio, to be a church which prepares people to live victoriously each day and to be ready for the soon return of Jesus Christ. Many are lost and don’t know God. Many are saved and don’t know God. Many will miss the Rapture because they are not ready nor looking for it as the Scriptures command. It is our purpose to lead the unsaved to Christ for salvation and the filling of the Holy Spirit. It is our purpose to comfort and strengthen each individual who attends.

Many of God’s people today are struggling, defeated, and not strong in the Lord as we are commanded to be. The joy of the Lord is to be our strength, but through improper teachings and living, that joy has been stolen, rendering Christians impotent for God. God’s unadulterated truth changes lives if properly taught and accepted.
New Beginnings Ministries is here to be a safe haven where people can meet God, not just be taught about Him; but to know Him — to be accepted, loved, encouraged, and strengthened so they can be all God wants them to be and then be able to minister to others.

Jesus died for everyone, but only those who repent of their sins and accept Christ as their Savior will be saved. Through salvation and the filling of the Holy Spirit, eternal life can be theirs, which will be more glorious than anyone can imagine.

New Beginnings wants passersby to know that their beliefs don’t matter; all that matters is what the Bible says — infallibly interpreted, of course, by Pastor King. Something tells me that at New Beginnings beliefs really do matter, and that having wrong Bible-based beliefs are not tolerated — i.e beliefs that contradict the claim that Jesus died for everyone and that someone must be filled with Holy Spirit to gain eternal life.

Bruce Gerencser