2019 MAR 03 Prof. Nassivera Chrislam, amalgamation of Christianity and Islam, “may hold a key or two for a more peaceful world”.

2019 MAR 03 Prof. Nassivera Chrislam, amalgamation of Christianity and Islam, “may hold a key or two for a more peaceful world” https://www.jihadwatch.org/2019/03/professor-claims-chrislam-amalgamation-of-christianity-and-islam-may-hold-a-key-or-two-for-a-more-peaceful-world … HERETIC “Nassivera this blend requires Christians to give up the idea of the divinity of Christ.

This post comes from one of our syndications links which may have 3rd party Content and is subject to our Disclaimer on all content

Hersey Watch: Hillsong Worship Pastor’s Evolution is undeniable

Joel Houston

Joel Houston

Hillsong Church has, over the years, hardly avoided the limelight, often finding itself at the center of hotly-contested debates

Now one of its biggest leaders is running headlong into the creation debate.

Joel Houston,  eldest son of the Sydney-based church’s founders, lead musician in the worship band Hillsong United, and co-pastor of Hillsong Church in New York City, tweeted Monday that “evolution is undeniable.”

Houston is certainly not the first to raise questions about the six-day creation story outlined in Genesis, but the affirmation of evolutionary theory nevertheless remains controversial in many — if not most — Christian circles today.

In 2014, Christian musician Michael Gungor stirred up controversy for a blog post he actually wrote in 2012 in which he explained he had “no more ability” to believe 

“that the first people on earth were a couple named Adam and Eve that lived 6,000 years ago.”

He continued, according to Relevant:

I have no ability to believe that there was a flood that covered all the highest mountains of the world only 4,000 years ago and that all of the animal species that exist today are here because they were carried on an ark and then somehow walked or flew all around the world from a mountain in the Middle East after the water dried up.

Gungor defended his claims at the time during an interview with Mike McHargue, co-host of “The Liturgists Podcast,” saying that, though he was raised to hold a literalist or “young earth” interpretation of the creation story, he “came up against some of the science” in college. A lot of what Gungor learned, he explained, created “tension” in his theology. See Right: Study Unwittingly Uncovers Possible Major Flaw in Evolution of Species Theory

Famed young earth creationist Ken Ham, founder of the conservative nonprofit Answers in Genesis, took issue with Gungor’s admission, which he described as “outrageous.” He went on to claim the musician was “repeatedly indoctrinated into evolutionary ideas” throughout college.


So when Houston raised his own questions about theology and evolution earlier this week, Gungor chimed in: See Below

HOW DID PEOPLE RESPONDED TO HOUSTON’S CLAIMS?


How can @joelhouston call himself a worship pastor & yet hold such a heretical view of creation? The Bible says that “God created the heaven and the earth” and “on the sixth day God created man “in His own image”. Times aren’t “evolving”, our culture is decaying. See 2 Peter 3:17 — Frank Sowers (@FrankSowers) June 25, 2018




WHAT DOES HOUSTON ACTUALLY BELIEVE?

After seeing the intense reaction that arose from suggesting evolution is “undeniable,” Houston hedged a bit by offering some context  to his earlier tweet.

He asserted God is “way bigger than we think,” and regardless of one’s theological or scientific beliefs, He “is undiminished by our limitations.”

“If God’s creative process was an easy working week, or finely crafted over six-ages of millennia, does it make Him any more or less God?” Houston asked. “Or us any more or less created in His image? Either way, it was an unfathomably wonderful six-day process, however you think to see it.”


In an interview with Faithwire, Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson, a research biologist for Answers in Genesis, gave Houston the benefit of the doubt, admitting it appears the famous worship leader could still be working through his own theological beliefs because his comments on evolution are “ambiguous.”

One of Jeanson’s main criticisms of progressive thought on evolution is that, according to Scripture, death is an interruption to God’s perfect creation — a bug in the system.

But according to evolutionary theory, death isn’t a bug at all — it’s a feature, a mainstay in a process designed to elevate the fittest by eliminating the weak.

“I think the straightforward reading of the whole of Scripture, the entire corpus of Scripture treats death as an intruder into a very good, perfect creation, in which there is no death, and bloodshed, and suffering,” Jeanson explained. “It’s man’s sin that brings this to bear on the universe. God curses the universe as a result of mankind’s sin.”

Jeanson argued those who don’t hold to a literal interpretation of the creation story found in Genesis but instead see it as some sort of poetic narrative must “tolerate errors in the Scripture.” He went on to say the Genesis account is in “severe conflict” with mainstream evolutionary theory.

After delivering a lecture recently at Boston College, Jeanson recalled a student approaching him to say she “can’t believe” that certain parts of Scripture are literal and without error while others parts are fictional and inconsistent with fact.

“I can’t pick and choose, wake up every morning and pick which parts of the Bible I believe and which parts I don’t. That doesn’t make any sense to me,” he recalled the student saying, adding, “I think the next generation understands the severe importance of this issue when it comes to the foundations of the Christian faith.”

But for Gungor — and perhaps Houston — that dichotomy might not pose a problem.

As Jeanson noted, those who hold to a young earth view often see the evolutionary debate as paramount, while those who espouse an old earth perspective tend to put the issue on the back burner, though many, according to Jeanson, call into question the scientific honesty of their opponents.

Original Source: Date-stamped: June 26, 2018 - Author: By Tré Goins-Phillips Article Title: Hillsong Worship Pastor’s Evolution Comments Spark Fierce Debate Among Christians  Article Link: faithwire.com
Share

World’s First Openly Lesbian Bishop to Remove Crosses, Build Islamic Prayer Room in Swedish Seamen’s Church

Islam vs. Christianity

(PHOTO: REUTERS) The Swedish flag in this undated file photo.

Eva Brunne, the world’s first openly lesbian bishop, has called for a church in Stockholm, Sweden, to remove all signs of the cross, and instead build an Islamic prayer room in order to welcome Muslims. Several other Christian leaders in Sweden have criticized the suggestion.”Leasing a room to people of other faiths, does not mean that we are not defenders of our own faith. Priests are called to proclaim Christ. We do that every day and in every meeting with people. But that does not mean that we are hostile toward people of other faiths,” Brunne, the bishop of Stockholm, explains on her website, according to SVT.

Thousands of refugees from the crisis in Syria and the Middle East have been making their way through Europe into Western states. Christian leaders, such as Pope Francis, have called on parishes across the continent to open up their doors and welcome in refugee families.

Patrik Pettersson, priest of the Oscars parish in Stockholm, took issue with Brune’s suggestion, however.

“The church chapel cannot reasonably be equated with prayer rooms at airports and hospital chapel[s]. The Christian church and chapels are not just any public areas,” he wrote.

“The only argument Bishop Eva really put forward in support of her view is ‘hospitality.’ … How do you respond to that? Not much of a basis for discussion, as one colleague put it. The theological, ecclesiological, pastoral and working issues are left untouched,” Pettersson continued.

Seamen’s Church Director, Kiki Wetterberg, added that it’s wrong for a Christian church to remove its symbols.

“I have no problem with Muslim or Hindu sailors coming here to pray. But I believe that we are a Christian church, so we should keep the symbols. If I visit a mosque I do not ask them to take down their symbols. It’s my choice to go in there,” she said in the Christian newspaper Dagen.

Breitbart noted that Brunne became the world’s first openly lesbian bishop in the Lutheran Church in 2009, and has a young son with her wife and fellow priest, Gunilla Linden.

Although just over 64 percent of the Swedish population is formally registered with the Lutheran Church, that number has steadily fallen over the decades, from its height of 95 percent of the population in 1972.

Sweden has been welcoming refugees not only from Syria, but also Eritreans who had initially traveled to Italy.

In September, the EU agreed to a plan to relocate a further 120,000 refugees across Europe, despite the opposition of a number of Eastern states, like Hungary, who has said the crisis is stretching their borders and resources.

Germany has vowed to take more refugees than any other nation, opening its borders to close to 800,000 people.

October 7, 2015 | by Stoyan Zaimov | Christian Post Reporter | Source: christianpost.com "World's First Openly Lesbian Bishop to Remove Crosses, Build Islamic Prayer Room in Swedish Seamen's Church"
Share

‘Prophet’ Stands on John MacArthur’s Stage and Rebukes Him

the-prophet
A man claiming to be a prophet disrupted John MacArthur’s sermon recently. The man hopped on the stage and began to call out the pastor for his cessationism. The “prophet” was pointing and yelling, telling MacArthur the Holy Spirit is grieved.

Watch the video to see what happened.

  1. In Christianity, cessationism is the doctrine that spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues, prophecy and healing ceased with the original twelve apostles.
  2. Cessationism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cessationism

Source: Self-Proclaimed ‘Prophet’ Stands on John MacArthur’s Stage and Rebukes Him — Charisma News

 A person who speaks by divine inspiration or as the interpreter through whom the will of a god is expressed. 

thefreedictionary.com/prophet


4cm-iNews-114wActually the “Prophet” from 4cmiNews opinion is absolutely correct.

Cessationism is heresy of the worst kind as it’s denying the Work of and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Share

A Generation of Simon the Sorcerers Is Rising

Eye to the Future Prophetic Insights (01)

I see more of a hunger in the prophetic movement to obtain power than to walk in intimacy. I see more of a desire to live under the anointing than to demonstrate Christlike character. I see more of an appetite to publicly prophesy over thousands than to privately pray to the Father in heaven. I see more of an obsession to chase after someone else’s prophetic mantle than to giving our time to discovering our own unique divine design given by the Father alone. I see more of an urge to chase gold dust, feathers and angels than to encounter the person of Jesus Christ.

All of these pursuits lead to one terrifying end: by Jeremiah Johnson
The rise of a generation of “Simon the Sorcerers” who are currently operating in illegitimate authority!

These individuals carry an appearance of walking in deep relationship with Jesus, but in reality, they are collateral damage to the body of Christ. These men and women are dangerous, their motives are impure, and what they primarily pursue and emphasize causes them to live in continual dysfunction. One of the main reasons the prophetic movement is headed for shipwreck is because we are continuing to honor and give individuals positions of authority that have quit on intimacy. These prophetic individuals consistently tear down with their character what they have built with their gifting.

The Story of Simon

The account of Simon the Sorcerer is told in Acts 8:9, when it says, “Now a man named Simon was previously in the city practicing sorcery and astonishing the nation of Samaria, saying he was someone great, to whom they all listened, from the least to the greatest, saying, ‘This man is the great power of God.’ They listened to him, because for a long time he had astonished them by his sorceries.

Phillip began preaching the good news of the kingdom in Samaria and many men and women were baptized. Even Simon the Sorcerer himself believed and was baptized and immediately started following Phillip because he was amazed at the miracles taking place. When Peter and John heard that Samaria was receiving the word of God, they came down and began to pray that people might receive the Holy Spirit. Laying hands on the new believers, many of them began to be filled and touched by God.

In Acts 8:18-24 it says: “When Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, ‘Give me also this power, that whomever I lay hands on may receive the Holy Spirit.’ Peter said to him, ‘May your money perish with you, because you thought you could purchase the gift of God with money! You have neither part nor share in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Therefore repent of your wickedness, and ask God if perhaps the intention of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.’ Then Simon answered, ‘Pray to the Lord for me that nothing you have spoken may come upon me.‘”

One of the keys to understanding the deception Simon the Sorcerer lived in is to identify what he hungered for.

He said to Peter and John, “Give this authority to me as well.” Simon’s desire for a position of influence and attention was the driving force behind his request to have the apostles lay hands on him. He was quickly becoming addicted to ministry and it was becoming an idol in his life.

When this deadly deception overtakes an individual, destruction is right around the corner. Simon was not interested in deep union with Jesus. He was only interested in the miracle-working power of Jesus. All activity in the kingdom of God that is not born out of intimacy is unauthorized by heaven!

Peter and John had not only walked with Jesus, but as the crowds noted in Acts 4:13 as the lame crippled beggar had been healed, “they had been with Jesus.” Peter and John had waited in the Upper Room to be filled with power from on high, but Simon the Sorcerer was looking for a quick impartation to launch him into ministry.

Peter responds to Simon’s request and says, ” May your silver perish with you because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!” In other words, Simon wanted authority and power so badly that he was willing to use soulish means to obtain them. Peter continues and says, “You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Therefore, repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you.” 

I see thousands of Christian young adults in America who, like Simon the Sorcerer, are hungry for the supernatural and are therefore looking for an impartation, prayer or touch from a well-known leader in the body of Christ to launch them into their ministry.

Rather than seeking intimacy with Jesus Christ and walking in true legitimate kingdom authority like Peter and John, many, just like Simon, are seeking a drive-thru experience because they are hungry for authority, but aren’t willing to obtain it legally through intimacy.

Empowering Illegitimate Authority

We who are prophets and leaders have placed so much emphasis on activation and impartation in our prophetic and supernatural schools in America, and so little time connecting people to the character and nature of God and what Jesus is really like, that we ourselves have blessed and commissioned a generation of Simon the Sorcerers who are operating in illegitimate authority in the body of Christ.

Because intimacy and deep union with Jesus Christ are no longer a focus in the prophetic movement, our horrendous levels of discernment have built stages for these Simon the Sorcerers and given them platforms. We have been incredibly gullible as leaders and therefore produced extremely gullible prophetic people.

Peter told Simon the Sorcerer that his heart was not right before God. I believe Simon’s desires for power and authority were not only not pleasing to God, but I believe deep within Simon’s heart was an impure motive to have the apostles’ hands laid on him: He was full of jealousy!

The Spirit of Jealousy

We are witnessing a mass production of parrots, echoes and mimics in the prophetic and supernatural movements in America. Too many prophetic people are forfeiting authenticity and originality for formulas and models, even in the supernatural. A large portion of immature and young prophetic people are worshipping well known names in the body of Christ and are hungry for them to have hands laid on them by these individuals. Simon the Sorcerers are signing up for their conferences, their ministry schools and their meetings. The motive behind this crazy frenzy is not a love for Jesus, but a jealousy of others possessing what we do not carry and a total disregard for the need for deep union with Jesus.

I believe that the fuel behind this rapidly growing movement is the spirit of jealousy cloaked in a desire for impartation and activation. Simon did not want the Holy Spirit and power from a pure heart that can only be found in those who spend time with Jesus. He was jealous of the power and authority that Peter and John walked in out of an insecure and wicked heart.

Deep Union

The new prophetic generation rising in the earth will walk in legitimate authority because of their deep union with Jesus Christ and central pursuit of His character and nature. They have been trained and raised up by prophetic fathers and mothers who saw and understood early on that God was more interested in changing them than using them. This new prophetic generation is not obsessed by or enamored of another’s mantle or gifting, but simply enthralled by the invitation to come sit at the feet of Jesus.

The Coming Distinction

There is a divine confrontation quickly approaching the prophetic movement.

I see a collision between a breed of Simon the Sorcerers who are going to be exposed for the illegitimate authority that they walk in and a new prophetic generation who walk in true kingdom authority birthed out of intimacy. Beware of these Simon the Sorcerers. They are addicted to ministry and crave the power and anointing of God from an impure heart of jealousy and a selfish desire to be famous.

Instead of carrying a living and active spirit of revelation, Simon the Sorcerer types have to borrow revelation because they have no prayer life. Simon told Peter and John in verse 24, “Pray to the Lord for me yourselves, so that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.” The greatest distinction between this breed of Simon the Sorcerers and the new prophetic generation rising in the earth will be deep intimacy with Jesus that can only be birthed through deep intercession and travail. Simon the Sorcerers are looking to get launched into ministry by another’s touch, but the new prophetic generation is looking to grow in humility under heaven’s touch. This can only be accomplished through prayer, fasting and time in the secret place where private battles are won.

Want to know more about the next great move of God and an appeal to heaven for spiritual awakening?

Click here to see Jennifer LeClaire’s new book, featuring Dutch Sheets, Reinhard Bonnke, Jonathan Cahn, Billy Graham and others.

Jeremiah Johnson is the servant leader of Heart of the Father Ministry in Lakeland, Florida.

A gifted teacher, book author, and prophetic minister, Jeremiah travels extensively throughout the United States and abroad as a conference and guest speaker. Jeremiah and his wife, Morgan, reside in Florida with their two children: Bella Grace and Israel David. Visit Jeremiah online at www.hotfmlakeland.com or Unknown Dreamer Ministries.
3/19/2015 | by Jeremiah Johnson |  Original Source: charismamag.com "A Generation of Simon the Sorcerers Is Rising."
Share

Another Gospel

Heresy Button feature

stories-of-the-prophets

In Galatians, a letter written about the so-called Judaizers in the early church, the Apostle Paul says,

6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of the Messiah and, instead, are following a different gospel, 7 not that another one really exists. To be sure, there are certain people who are troubling you and want to distort the gospel about the Messiah. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that person be condemned! 9 What we have told you in the past I am now telling you again: If anyone proclaims to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let that person be condemned! 10 Am I now trying to win the approval of people or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be the Messiah’s servant.

— Galatians 1:6–10 (ISV)

In one of the strongest statements in the Word of God outside of the teaching of Jesus Himself, Paul insists that the name Christ is not enough. The Judaizers had a gospel, but it was “another gospel.” Just as the worshipers of the golden calf had another god—another god under the name* God—here is another Christ* under the name Christ and another gospel under the name gospel. Paul confronted the churches of Galatia and said, “Because this ‘gospel’ is ‘another gospel,’ it is no gospel.

While this passage Paul wrote was in regard to the Judaizers that took a legalistic view of the New Testament, these verses also hold true for some of the Bible translations now on the market.

There are a number of Bible translations on the market; some of them are listed below:

Bible-Versions

(This newsletter uses the ISV. — ed)

However, there are some translations that call themselves such only by the greatest stretch of the imagination. They cannot be classified even as a paraphrase.

A Bible for Muslims

One translation comes to mind. Wycliffe Bible Translators, Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) and Mission Frontiers are translating the New Testament in a way they claim Muslims can understand.

Many Christians are calling it a perversion.

While this effort first came to light a few years ago, it has again come into the news with tracts starting to appear that are “Muslim friendly”.

Some examples:

  • Wycliffe/SIL produced Stories of the Prophets, a work that uses “Lord” instead of “Father” and “Messiah” instead of “Son.”
  • Frontiers (a Swiss-based publishing company) worked with a SIL consultant to produce True Meaning of the Gospel, an Arabic book that removes “Son” in reference to Jesus.
  • Frontiers also produced a Turkish translation of Matthew, distributed by SIL that uses “guardian” for “Father” and “representative” or “proxy” for “Son.”
  • SIL consulted on the Bengali Injil Sharif, advising that “Son” be translated as “God’s Uniquely Intimate Beloved Chosen One.”

Frontiers and SIL have also produced Meaning of the Gospel of Christ, an Arabic translation that removes “Father” in reference to God and replaces it with “Allah,” and removes or redefines “Son.”

The verse which Christians use to justify going all over the world to make disciples, thus fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19) reads, “Cleanse them by water in the name of Allah, his Messiah and his Holy Spirit” instead of“baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

The Rev. Bassam Madany, an Arab-American who runs Middle East Resources, calls the standard Bible translations “a western imperialistic attempt that’s inspired by cultural anthropology, and not by biblical theology.

Part of the rationale for doing these various translations comes from the premise that Jews, Christians, and Muslims worship the same God. As stated by Mission Frontiers:

From a Muslim’s perspective, the premise that Muslims, Jews and Christians believe in the same God— the God of Abraham—is so central to Islamic theology that unqualified rejection of it would, for many, be tantamount to a repudiation of faith.

Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, says,

… [F]or many denominations, the validity of baptism depends on the words used: ‘I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.’ No euphemisms, no nicknames: for example, trial balloons aiming to portray a more gender-neutral God have already been burst: the use of ‘Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier’ in baptism has been rejected by the Catholic Church, if not others.

Pamela Geller sums up the debate succinctly:

Instead of Christians bending over backward to appease Muslims, “it is Islamic authorities who should be excising the Quran and Hadith of the ideology that calls for jihad, genocide, subjugation and oppression of women, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and all non-Muslims,”.

A “Gay-Friendly” Bible?

Another affront to the inerrancy of the Bible is the Queen James Version (QJV) of the Bible, a homosexual-friendly work.

The editors have the tagline, “You can’t choose your sexuality, but you can choose Jesus. Now you can choose a Bible, too!”

In their words, the editors chose that name because, “The obvious gay link to King James, known amongst friends and courtiers as “Queen James” because of his many gay lovers.”

Their rationale for this translation is:

The Bible is the word of God translated by man. This (saying nothing countless translations and the evolution of language itself) means the Bible can be interpreted in different ways, leading to what we call “interpretive ambiguity.” In editing The Queen James Bible we were faced with the decision to modify existing interpretively ambiguous language, or simply to delete it.

Some examples of the changes made to the Bible

Genesis 19:5:

They called out to Lot and asked, “Where are the men who came to visit you tonight? Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!” (ISV)

Has been changed to:

And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may rape and humiliate them. (QJV)

Their reason for the change? They state:

We side with most Bible scholars who understand the story of Sodom and Gomorra to be about bullying strangers. Strangers were not well-treated or well-regarded at the time of Bible (We contend that saying “most” Bible Scholars take this view is incorrect – ed.).

They also single out the Book of Leviticus for the largest changes because it is an “outdated moral code”.

Two passages in Leviticus are highlighted on their website:

You are not to have sexual relations[a] with a male as you would with a woman. It’s detestable.” — Leviticus 18:22 (ISV)

This was changed to:

Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind in the temple of Molech: it is an abomination. (QJV)

Leviticus 20:13 was changed from:

If a man has sexual relations with another male as he would with a woman, both have committed a repulsive act. They are certainly to be put to death. (ISV)

To:

If a man also lie with mankind in the temple of Molech, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (QJV)

This verse, pointing to idolatry (the temple of Molech) as the sin rather than homosexuality.

(For a complete rendering of the rationale for this translation, go to the Queen James Bible website.)

A Gender-Neutral Bible Translation

There are other translations whose editor’s state they want to get rid of the “outdated language” of other translations.

Some of the guidelines for a gender-neutral Bible translation were stated by theNIV Committee on Bible Translation in 1992:

Authors of Biblical books, even while writing Scripture inspired by the Holy Spirit, unconsciously reflected in many ways, the particular cultures in which they wrote. Hence in the manner in which they articulate the Word of God, they sometimes offend modern sensibilities. At such times, translators can and may use non-offending renderings so as not to hinder the message of the Spirit; and

The patriarchalism (like other social patterns) of the ancient cultures in which the Biblical books were composed is pervasively reflected in forms of expression that appear, in the modern context, to deny the common human dignity of all hearers and readers. For these forms, alternative modes of expression can and may be used, though care must be taken not to distort the intent of the original text.

The Damage of Some Translations

What have been the results of the proliferation of English Bible translations? Earl Radmacher and Zane Hodges had named five “present-day problems” in regard to some of the English Bible translations out in print. The problems are these:

  • decreasing confidence in the inspired text;
  • decreasing basis for correct interpretation;
  • decreasing use of Scripture in the worship service;
  • decreasing expository preaching from the Bible;
  • decreasing memorization of Scripture.

The translations that play fast and loose with the original available autographs also add to a decrease in biblical literacy. Based on what you hear coming from many “Bible-believing Christians”, it seems as if the impact has been profound.

One example is found in the variants in The Lord’s Prayer. In the paraphrase book The Message it reads:

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best –
As above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.

With publishers putting out translations that have these types of variations in it, no wonder people doubt the divine inspiration of the Bible.

The translations highlighted above were written with an agenda; not to accurately translate the Word of God, but to pander to a target audience. The 17th Century Puritan Church leader Richard Baxter was very clear on the subject:

I like to hear a man dwell much on the same essentials of Christianity. For we have but one God, and one Christ, and one faith to preach; and I will not preach another Gospel to please men with variety, as if our Saviour and our Gospel were grown stale.

Related Articles

by Khouse.org 23 Feb 2015 | original source: khouse.org/enews 

Share

The Errors of Replacement Theology

Heresy Button feature

Much of the anti-Semitism in the world today can be traced to a concept called “Replacement Theology”.

by khouse.org Editor:
This principle presents the thesis that the church has replaced Israel in God’s plan. Replacement Theology teaches that the church is the replacement for Israel and that the many promises made to Israel in the Bible are fulfilled in the Christian Church, not in Israel.

AugustinusAurelius Augustinus, the bishop of Hippo (354–430), better known as Saint Augustine, was a leader of the Church during the fourth and fifth centuries AD. Under his influence, Christianity embraced a doctrine of anti–Semitism.

From Augustine teachings, the Church came to a view that the Jews were a lost race without hope of redemption. The Church determined that Israel had forfeited her covenants by rejecting Christ. This concept produced a dramatic shift in early Church politics, worldviews, and eschatology.

The leaders of the Church of Rome began to teach that all the future messianic promises of natural Israel were transferred to the new spiritual Israel—the Church.

What follows is Part One of a two part series on the errors of Replacement Theology.

The author, Dr. William Welty, is the Executive Director of the ISV foundation and also serves as Research Analyst in Advanced Communication Technologies and Adjunct Professor of Middle Eastern Studies on the faculty of Koinonia Institute.

All Biblical citations are taken from the International Standard Version (ISV) translation of the Bible.

by Dr. William Welty
white paper:

Introduction 

View 1: Conservative, evangelical Christian tradition teaches that Jesus the Messiah will one day establish a worldwide empire with Jerusalem as the international federal district, or capital city, of the entire earth. This restored and expanded national Israel will serve as the Messiah’s seat of power for a period of one thousand years. The technical term of theology that is traditionally used to describe this hegemony over the earth is the Millennium, a term that descends from the Latin word meaning one thousand, a direct reference to a specific time period mentioned in Revelation 20:1–10. The establishment of Messiah’s rule over the earth is clearly stated by the larger context of this passage from the book of Revelation as occurring subsequent to his coming. That’s why this view of the rule of the Messiah is called Pre-Millennialism.

View 2: But some Christian groups claim that since the only reference to a specific duration for the rule of Messiah as lasting 1,000 years is contained in Revelation 20:1–10, and since the book consists of apocalyptic symbols, the reference to a reign lasting for exactly ten centuries must also be symbolic. Those who believe that the Millennium will be of an indefinite, or non-ending, duration are called A-Millennialists. This group also considers the rule of Jesus from Jerusalem as the capital city of the earth to be symbolic.

View 3: A third view of the Millennial reign of the Messiah, one which today seems to be held only by theonomists and other aberrant Christian groups, holds the view that the world will gradually be conquered by the Gospel, after which time Jesus will return to assume the reins of world hegemony. This view is called Post-Millennialism.


cross-Post-MillennialismWe reject Post-Millennialism for the very pragmatic reason that the world isn’t getting better and better. Quite the opposite, the New Testament makes it clear that the world will become worse and worse until the time of world-wide judgment commonly called the 70th week of Daniel begins.

cross-A-MillennialismWe reject A-Millennialism on the grounds that it misunderstands the meaning and purpose of apocalyptic symbolism. The events described in apocalyptic literature by symbols are described as symbols, not because they are less literal than normal life, but because they transcend normal life. Apocalyptic images are, in a word, more literal than “real” life.

Tick1The Pre-Millennia view of the rule of Jesus the Messiah over the earth with Jerusalem as his capital city fits the natural context of the book of Revelation. Accordingly, we endorse that view.

The Rise of Replacement Theology: A Consequence of Rejecting Pre-Millennialism

But one of the consequences of rejecting a Pre-Millennial view of end time events has been the rise of Replacement Theology, which claims that God is finished with his dealings with Israel.

The erroneous doctrine of Replacement Theology springs from the false view that the existence of modern Israel was not brought about in 1948 as part of a divine plan for Israel. Replacement Theology traditionally has been embraced by groups such as the Anglican Church. Certain anti-Semitic, pro-Palestinian, and anti-Israel groups that claim to be Christian are also known to embrace this view of modern Israel.

In the Bible, the prophetic books of Daniel and the Revelation to John consist primarily of apocalyptic literature. This literary genre arose to popularity and prominence during the time period between the close of the Hebrew Scripture canon in the mid-fifth century BC and the completion of the New Testament canon in the mid-first century AD.

While it’s true that end-time prophecies address the entire non-believing inhabitants of the earth, a restored Israel and its enemies are the primary focus of the Bible’s prophecies regarding end time events.

Apocalyptic literature discusses how God is going to defeat Israel’s enemies and fulfill the promises made to Israel about the reign of Messiah HaNaggid, the Messiah-Prince of Israel, over all of the earth.

Is the United States or any other nation Israel?

No. Irrespective of what you may think of the uniquely American doctrines of manifest destiny and American exceptionalism, the United States of America is not Israel.

Is the United States or any other non-Muslim nation state an enemy of Israel?

No. Not at present, at least, despite what some perceive as the best efforts of the currently sitting President of the United States to change that status.

Therefore from the standpoint of apocalyptic literature, all nations other than Israel and its enemies are not mentioned by name in biblical prophecy for the same reason that Australia, Costa Rica, Nauru, New Zealand, the United States of America, or even Zimbabwe are not mentioned: these nations are not* the focus of end time events.

The Apostle Paul’s Refutation of Replacement Theology

Romans 9–11: The Apostle Paul answers the errors of Replacement Theology in the ninth through the eleventh chapters of his letter to the Christians who were living in Rome. He writes in

Romans 9:4–5 that to the Israelis alone:

4 … belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the Law, the worship, and the promises. 5 To the Israelis belong the patriarchs, and from them, the Messiah descended, who is God over all, the one who is forever blessed. Amen.

In the post-Crucifixion world of the first century, A.D., the Apostle Paul reminds us that God’s plan for Israel has never been abandoned. Paul informs us in Romans 9:6–8:

6 Now it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all Israelis truly belong to Israel, 7 and not all of Abraham’s descendants are his true descendants. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that descendants will be named for you.” 8 That is, it is not merely the children born through natural descent who were regarded as God’s children, but it is the children born through the promise who were regarded as descendants.

His comments in Romans 9:7 that “not all of Abraham’s descendants are his true descendants” serve as a reminder that there is more to being Jewish than merely being a descendant of Abraham. It will be this truth that forms the basis for the salvation of the non-Jews to whom Paul directed the majority of his evangelistic efforts. Paul also reminds us that God is righteous to take this posture with respect to belief in him. In Romans 9:14–16, he writes:

14 What can we say, then? God is not unrighteous, is he? Of course not! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will be merciful to the person I want to be merciful to, and I will be kind to the person I want to be kind to.” 16 Therefore, God’s choice does not depend on a person’s will or effort, but on God himself, who shows mercy.

God’s willingness to base salvation on the requirement to believe stands opposed to being related to Abraham. In Romans 9:23–26, the Apostle Paul asks the following not-so-rhetorical question:

Can’t he also reveal his glorious riches to the objects of his mercy that he has prepared ahead of time for glory— including us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but from the gentiles as well? As the Scripture says in Hosea,

“Those who are not my people
I will call my people,
and the one who was not loved
I will call my loved one.
In the very place where it was told them,
‘You are not my people,’
they will be called children of the living God.”

Distinguishing Including Gentiles from National Abandonment of Israel

The Apostle Paul asks his Roman Christian audience in Romans 11:1-12 this important question, and also provides his answer to the query he poses:

1 So I ask, “God has not rejected his people, has he?” Of course not! I am an Israeli myself, a descendant of Abraham from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not rejected his people whom he chose long ago. …

5 So it is at the present time: there is a remnant, chosen by grace. 6 But if this is by grace, then it is no longer on the basis of actions. Otherwise, grace would no longer be grace.
7 What, then, does this mean? It means that Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking, but the selected group obtained it while the rest were hardened. 8 As it is written,
“To this day God has put them into deep sleep.
Their eyes do not see, and their ears do not hear.”

9 And David says,
“Let their table become a snare and a trap,
a stumbling block and a punishment for them.
10 Let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see,
and keep their backs forever bent.”
11 And so I ask, “They have not stumbled so as to fall, have they?” Of course not! On the contrary, because of their stumbling, salvation has come to the gentiles to make the Jews jealous. 12 Now if their stumbling means riches for the world, and if their fall means riches for the gentiles, how much more will their full participation mean!

Do note, won’t you please, how the Apostle Paul ends this section of Romans 11 by using the future tense verb to describe the coming “full participation” (to use Paul’s own words) in the unfolding plan of God for the world.

The only way that this final sentence in verse twelve can carry any existential meaning at all is if God has not abandoned Israel permanently.

There remains a future place for national Israel, and therefore Replacement Theology is a false doctrine with no biblical support. Also, please notice how Paul concludes Romans 11 with the following argument:

15 For if their rejection results in reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance bring but life from the dead? … 17 Now if some of the branches have been broken off, and you, a wild olive branch, have been grafted in their place to share the rich root of the olive tree, 18 do not boast about being better than the other branches. If you boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. …
23 If the Jews do not persist in their unbelief, they will be grafted in again, because God is able to graft them in. …
25 For I want to let you know about this secret, brothers, so that you will not claim to be wiser than you are: Stubbornness has come to part of Israel until the full number of the gentiles comes to faith. 26 In this way, all Israel will be saved, as it is written,
“The Deliverer will come from Zion;
he will remove ungodliness from Jacob.
27 This is my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.”

Summary and Conclusions

Replacement Theology is false because it fails to make a distinction between the temporary setting aside of God’s dealings with national Israel so as to bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth, where the gentiles live, and a permanent setting aside of God’s dealing with Israel, which cannot happen due to the promise that God made to his original covenant people. The gentiles have been grafted into God’s family through the faith requirements of the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah, and as the end of days sees the fulfillment of God’s plan concerning Israel as a nation, we will again see the hand of God moving on behalf of the modern nation. Indeed, it’s already evident from even the most cursory of examinations of the history of conflict in that nation between the Jews and their enemies that the same God who sovereignly moved to protect his own people in the past is doing so again.

Source [a] www.khouse.org

Source [b] www.williamwelty.com

Share

Some Honest Questions for Joseph Prince

Profile: Joseph Prince (03)

On a regular basis, I hear reports about believers who have been transformed through the ministry of Joseph Prince, and I thank God for every one of those good reports.

Without a doubt, his message of grace is liberating many from legalism, performance-based religion and a spiritual inferiority complex, and for all of this, I am grateful.

In 1992, God spoke to me to do a fresh study of grace, and the results of that study were eye-opening, to the point that one of the chapters in my 1997 book Go and Sin No More is called “It’s All Grace” while another is called “The Letter Kills.”

So as much as I have been known as a repentance and holiness preacher (which is correct), my preaching flows out of and into God’s grace as it is expressed most fully in Jesus.

Joseph-Prince-LakewoodIt is because I am so jealous for God’s true grace (see 1 Peter 5:12) that I wrote Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message, and while agreeing with many things that Pastor Prince teaches, there are strong area of disagreement as well. (For the record, a mutual colleague of ours delivered a signed copy of Hyper-Grace to Pastor Prince, but I have been unable to secure a personal audience with him.)

Critics of Hyper-Grace have accused me of misunderstanding or misrepresenting their message, despite the fact that I quote the relevant authors, pastors and teachers directly throughout the book, fairly and in context.

But since we all agree that clarity and humility are of the utmost importance in our interaction and that we should strive for unity and understanding wherever possible, I submit these questions for discussion.

My intent is not to stir up ugly debate, nor is it to mock. It is to understand where we truly differ and where we don’t, so here are my questions for you.

1) Does God require anything from you as His child? Is there anything He says that you must do as His child other than receive His grace? If so, are there spiritual benefits that come through obeying these requirements and spiritual losses that come from ignoring them?

2) The New Testament writers often exhort us to live in ways that please the Lord. Does that mean that it is possible for us to displease Him? We agree that He relates to us as His beloved children, but is He always pleased with us? And since Paul urges us not to grieve the Spirit, does that mean that we can, in fact, grieve Him?

3) Is there anything you can do to disappoint the Lord? If the Lord always sees you as perfect in His sight, is there any way for you to disappoint Him? I’ve heard it said that we can only grieve or disappoint Him by not trusting His grace, but according to your message, hasn’t that sin been forgiven as well?

4) If God has pronounced your future sins forgiven in the same way He has pronounced your past sins forgiven, why do Paul and other New Testament writers address these very sins in their letters, and why does Jesus address them in Revelation 2-3 ? We know that God doesn’t bring our past sins up to us, since He has forgiven and “forgotten” them. Why then does He bring our present sins up to us in the New Testament, even warning us about the dangers of walking in those sins, if they have also been forgiven and forgotten in advance?

5) A leading hyper-grace teacher claims that the doctrine of progressive sanctification is a “spiritually murderous lie.” Does that mean that grace preachers like Charles Spurgeon, who believed in progressive sanctification, taught this alleged lie? And if “progressive sanctification” simply means to walk out our holiness with the help of the Spirit, what is so dangerous about this teaching? Put another way, do you reject the concept that the one who made us holy now calls us to live holy lives in thought, word and deed, thereby “completing our sanctification in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1)? Doesn’t Paul say we are called saints (that is who we are) and called to be saints (that is how we live)? (See 1 Corinthians 1:2.)

6) We agree that the Holy Spirit never condemns us for our sins as believers, but does He ever make us uncomfortable when we sin? To me, this is a very loving act of the Father, not wanting us to get comfortable doing things that could destroy our lives and the lives of others. Isn’t that something to be embraced? And doesn’t that drive us to the cross rather than away from it?

7) We agree that we do not need to confess every sin we commit each day in order to “stay saved,” but is any type of confession and request for forgiveness appropriate? For example, is it appropriate for believers to say, “Father, I’m sorry for sinning and I ask you to wash me clean”? Is it OK for us to get our feet washed (using the language of John 13) when we feel the need to? Are we denying God’s grace or showing an ignorance of God’s grace when we confess our sins to Him, asking Him to forgive us?

8) Since you believe we are not to judge our salvation by our conduct, how can we avoid self-deception? I know that you are against certain types of self-examination lest you become “sin conscious” and take your eyes off the finished work of the cross, but what do you make of verses that state that we know we have passed from death to life only if we live a certain way (like 1 John 3:14)? If I understand you correctly, you would question the salvation of someone who demonstrated no change of life and continued to walk in unrepentant sin. But doesn’t this mean that, on some level, you are looking at your “performance” to verify your salvation?

9) Do you think there’s any danger in claiming that the teachings of Jesus before the cross don’t apply to us as believers today? I take a lot of time on this subject in my book, exposing what I believe to be the very real dangers in doing this, but for the moment, I’m wondering if you could tell me why grace preachers like Spurgeon (whom I mentioned above) or D.M. Lloyd-Jones gloried in the Sermon on the Mount and considered it to be choice material for believers today, whereas you reject it as being applicable to us. Were they missing something?

10) What does it mean for you to walk in the fear of the Lord? We agree that we are not to live in servile fear before our Father, especially since fear has to do with punishment (1 John 4:18). But what do you make of verses like these, addressed to believers? “And if you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your sojourning. For you know that you were not redeemed from your vain way of life inherited from your fathers with perishable things, like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:17-19).

11) Do you see any possible danger in emphasizing that it is impossible for a believer to lose his or her salvation? Of course, we could debate whether the Bible teaches this at all, but simply as a matter of experience, many of us have encountered very lost people—drunkards, fornicators, without the slightest interest in God (see 1 Corinthians 6:9-10)—who have then assured us that they were saved because it was impossible for them to lose their salvation. So on a practical level, do you feel it’s important to add any scriptural caveats to your teaching of eternal security and, if so, how can you do this without putting an emphasis on “performance”?

Again, in posting these questions, I am not trying to be contentious, nor have I worded them so as to set some kind of trap. I am genuinely asking for honest responses from Pastor Prince and those who embrace the modern grace message for the sake of clarity and understanding and, where needed, self-correction.

May we all walk in the fullness of God’s grace and love!

 Michael Brown is the author of 25 books, including Can You Be Gay and Christian? and host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire.” He is also president of FIRE School of Ministry and director of the Coalition of Conscience.

Some Honest Questions for Joseph Prince.

Share

10 Commandments ’10 Promises’ ?

Number Ten [10]

10 Commandments – ’10 Promises’

Perry Noble, pastor of a South Carolina megachurch, was rebuked by a Southern Baptist leader in South Carolina for calling the 10 Commandments “10 promises” and for other “problematic positions and statements.”

The rebuke came last week from the president of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, Tommy Kelly, who said, “We as South Carolina Baptists must publicly state and remove ourselves from these positions and problematic statements and call for NewSpring to correct these positions if it chooses to say that it affiliates with South Carolina Baptist churches.

10-commandsNoble, who leads NewSpring Church, had preached on Christmas Eve a sermon on the 10 Commandments where he said there is no Hebrew word for command. His friend in Israel, which he visited last year, told him that the 10 Commandments can best be translated as either the “10 sayings” of God or the “10 promises” of God.

Noble had originally planned to show a video during the Christmas Eve service but said he felt prompted by God at the last minute to preach the message on the commandments. He said he wrote the message in 10 minutes as he felt it was what God laid on his heart.

Hoping to bring more people to Jesus, Noble asked those at the worship service to view the 10 Commandments not as rules they have to keep in order to be Jesus followers but as promises that they can receive when they accept Christ.

He interpreted:

The first commandment (You shall have no other gods before me) as
“Promise #1: You do not have to live in constant disappointment anymore.”

 
The second commandment (You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything) was translated into this promise: “You can be free from rituals and religion and trust in a relationship.”

 
The “you shall not murder” command, he said, is actually a promise that “you do not have to live in a constant state of anger because you will be motivated by love and not hate.”

Two weeks after that sermon, Noble issued an apology on his blog, saying he is imperfect and makes mistakes and that he takes teaching the Bible “very seriously.” He apologized for saying there is no Hebrew word for command. He said he had been debating the issue with “godly people” and researching it and found that the original Hebrew is “metzaveh.”

He said he was not trying to mislead or deceive anyone when he preached that message.

In his apology, however, Noble also stood by his sermon. ” … what I am not apologizing for is saying that the Hebrew word for ‘command’ is not used when the 10 commandments were given. It literally means ‘sayings’ – and, according to Exodus 34:28, can also be interpreted as promises.”

He did note though that the 10 points are “clearly written as imperatives” and did not deny that.

The main point of his message, he said, was to direct people to Christ as everyone has broken the commands and is in need of Jesus.

Noble also apologized for hitting back at those who were critical of him on social media.

“I apologize for tweeting and putting on FB … ‘If those who are angry at what I said about ‘The 10 Commandments’ were actually following all 10 the world would be such a better place!'”

Despite the apology, the state Baptist Convention indicated that it was concerned about NewSpring’s “continued problematic positions and statements that are inconsistent with the beliefs of South Carolina Baptists.” Some of the other problems at NewSpring that Kelly alluded to include profane language, music that is not sacred in content, the need for accountability groups for the pastor and the need for more “sound exegetical study and expository preaching.”

Responding to a comment in defense of Noble and the hundreds of salvations that resulted from the Christmas Eve sermon, Kelly said: “I wonder if you can see into their hearts to know they are trusting in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. I wonder if you attribute the work of the Holy Spirit which saves to this sermon. If not then it does not matter how many people are saved by the message. That shows the power and mercy of God, not the accuracy of the message.

Kelly also said his statement was not an “attack” on Noble but a rebuke on his words and theological positions.

Noble has moved on from the issue since his apology. He is currently preaching a sermon series on “grace.” He tweeted earlier this week, “Grace says you are not what you did on your worse day!”


insert by 4cm:

The Ten Commandments (also known as the Decalogue) are ten laws in the Bible that God gave to the nation of Israel shortly after the exodus from Egypt. The Ten Commandments are essentially a summary of the 613 commandments contained in the Old Testament Law. The first four commandments deal with our relationship with God. The last six commandments deal with our relationships with one another. The Ten Commandments are recorded in the Bible in Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21 and are as follows:

1) “You shall have no other gods before me.This command is against worshipping any god other than the one true God. All other gods are false gods.


2) “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.This command is against making an idol, a visible representation of God. There is no image we can create that can accurately portray God. To make an idol to represent God is to worship a false god.


3) “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name.This is a command against taking the name of the Lord in vain. We are not to treat God’s name lightly. We are to show reverence to God by only mentioning Him in respectful and honoring ways.


4) “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.This is a command to set aside the Sabbath (Saturday, the last day of the week) as a day of rest dedicated to the Lord.


5) “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.This is a command to always treat one’s parents with honor and respect.


6) “You shall not murder.This is a command against the premeditated murder of another human being.


7) “You shall not commit adultery.This is a command against have sexual relations with anyone other than one’s spouse.


8) “You shall not steal.This is a command against taking anything that is not one’s own, without the permission of the person to whom it belongs.


9) “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.This is a command prohibiting testifying against another person falsely. It is essentially a command against lying.


10) “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.This is a command against desiring anything that is not one’s own. Coveting can lead to breaking one of the commandments listed above: murder, adultery, and theft. If it is wrong to do something, it is wrong to desire to do that same something.


January 22, 2015 10 Commandments – ’10 Promises’ BY JENNIFER RILEY , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER: christianpost.com

Share

Hyper-grace: Grace without Limit

Hyper-grace (03)

By Dr. John Yates

Date 21/ Jan / 2015

Personal Matters

As a young Christian zealot I relished opportunities to defend the Lord’s truth, these days I need to be faced with a controversy to make comment. So there I was at a Boxing Day party when a heart broken brother started to speak with me at length about the wreckage the “hyper-grace movement” was doing to his local church. Little did I know that a few weeks later I would be sitting in Joseph Prince’s congregation in Singapore, an alleged global hub of a “grace revolution” that many label as a Christianity “lite” on sin, judgement, confession, repentance and holiness? The issue at hand here is not so much about grace and law but about Jesus.

Grace without Limit

In God’s plan grace has an absolute priority that precedes both creation and sin. “He (God) has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.” This is “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ” in whom we were chosen from eternity (Ephesians 1:4; 2Corinthians 8:9 etc.). Strictly speaking, all grace is “hyper-grace”. Paul says quite literally; “where sin abounded, grace hyper-abounded” (Romans 5:20).

The implications of the limitless nature of grace flow into Paul’s rhetorical question; “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?” (Romans 6:1cf. Romans 3:8). Famous Evangelical preacher Martin Lloyd Jones remarked that if such a thought about continuing in sin has never crossed your mind then you have never heard the gospel! Biblical grace points the sensuous mind towards libertarianism just as much as it scandalises the legal mind.

Since the Lamb of God has “taken away the sin of the world” and “in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them” (John 1:29; 2Corinthians 5:19) the “worst sort” of men can get off scot-free. Therefore through Christ a friend of mine brought an African rebel leader who used to cut little children into small pieces and feed them to his troops into total forgiveness of all his sin, past, present and future. Jesus’ parable of the workers in the vineyard, where those who did 1hours labour received the same reward as those who slogged a 12 hour day, reveals the utterly radical character of God’s grace (Matthew 20:1-13). Rare is that believer who lives in the truly spectacular goodness of such grace.

There is nothing which is …such a permanent surprise, and such a growing surprise to reason as grace…” (P.T. Forsyth).

Does grace then weaken or intensify our awareness of sin?

Confess

hyper-graceMuch of the controversy about the “hyper-grace” movement has to do with its common denial that believers need to confess and ask forgiveness for their sin.

In my judgement this is the result of a tragic confusion about the role of confession in relation to judgement (1Corinthians 2:15).We ask forgiveness of our heavenly Father (Matthew 6:12) not to avert his wrath, for in scripture there is no “angry Father”, but to renew a fellowship with him that has been broken through transgression (1John 1:3-10). The “godly grief that produces repentance” is not the result of a guilty conscience that fears vengeance, it is actually a deep sharing in the grief of the Holy Spirit for our wounding the heart of God (2Corinthians 7:10; Ephesians 4:30).

Despite our fallen experiences neither law as such nor grace as such have ever been forms of mediation between God and his covenant people, the only mediator is the person of Christ (1Timothy 2:5). As Thomas Torrance puts it so excellently; “Grace…is identical with Jesus Christ”. By “Jesus Christ” Torrance means the whole biblical story of the life of Jesus; particularly the cross. All true spiritual discernment passes through the crucifixion for, “The cross tests everything” (Luther).

This is where “hyper-grace” teaching is deeply confused.

Tested by the Cross

The martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer famously said, “Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ… grace is costly…because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ….Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son”. Cheap grace enabled the guards at the Nazi death camps to continue their normal church-going practices, and permitted the Italian mafia to function as practising Catholics until excommunicated by Pope Francis in 2014. Cheap grace means many of our churches are frequented by men and women practising habitual sin without a troubled conscience.

“Hyper-grace” is exposed as cheap grace whenever it bears fruit in following “Jesus” without sustaining great personal loss (Matthew 7:15-20). Avoidance of the essential grace-suffering connection is a failure to understand grace as fellowship with God in Christ.

Some “hyper-grace” teachers accept that to be a disciple of Jesus will lead to painful consequences, like ridicule and rejection (e,g. Matthew 5:10-12).  They never however teach that grace is made actual in our humanity by our sharing in the sufferings of Jesus through which the God’s grace came for our salvation.

We “share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings”; we suffer “with him”, ours is “the fellowship of his sufferings” (2Corinthians 1:5; Romans 8:17; Philippians 3:10).  Jesus own humanity became perfectly saving only through suffering for others; “Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him” (Hebrews 5:8-9). Since the goal of God’s grace is the formation of holy sons in the image of the Son, suffering is indispensible to our experience and appreciation of what grace is all about (Hebrews 2:10-11). The humiliating inner pain of the Spirit’s exposure of sin leading us to confession and repentance is a participation in the gracious life of Christ (Acts 2:27-38). This is an essential part of what it means to take up our cross daily and follow Jesus (Luke 9:23).

Conclusion

The “true grace of God” only comes to us “in Christ Jesus” through the preaching of his gospel (1Corinthians 1:4; Titus 1:2-3; 1Peter 5:12). This message teaches us that we must repeatedly lay down our lives for God’s kingdom in the pattern of crucifixion and resurrection (2Corinthians 1:3-11; 2Corinthians 4:7-12). This is no easy call. As natural men even the twelve apostles were originally bearers of a “hyper-grace” message that had no place for suffering as a central part of spiritual growth (Mark 8:31-33). Only after witnessing Jesus’ death-and-resurrection were they empowered by the gospel of grace to lay down their lives for others for Christ’s sake. True grace unmistakeably makes you more like Jesus – a suffering servant! Such fruit is completely unambiguous.

What then of our “hyper-grace” friends?

Many are in danger of fulfilling Jesus’ prophetic word; “the ones sown on rocky ground…when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.” (Mark 4:16-17). If we bear the gracious life of Christ we will serve these ones through anguished prayer and, where necessary, the warnings of the word. No cheap grace here.

Share