On Joseph Prince & New Creation Church – The logical question that ought to come up

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I’ve been listening to Andrew Wommack recently. The below is really a continuation from my posts here and here:

You do not lose your right standing with God if you sin. What a wonderful truth and what a radical truth to our modern day Christianity. Most Christians have been taught that when you come to the Lord, God forgives you and cleanses you and you become a new person. But then, everytime you sin, you lose that right standing with God and you have to confess that sin and put it under the blood and get back under there and if you don’t, God is displeased with you and he can’t accept you and if you were to die before you get all those sins repented of and confessed, you would go to hell. In a sense, those people are teaching you have to be born again again. That’s not eternal redemption. That’s not eternal inheritance. That’s saying that one offering of Jesus didn’t sanctify and perfect you forever (see Hebrews 10:14). But you were only sanctified and perfected until the next time you blow it, which is constantly. And a person who believes that is never going to really develop and see great growth in their life because everytime you sin you lose it all and you have to start over again. That’s not what the Scriptures teach. The Scriptures teach that you were forgiven of past, present and even future tense.

…I know that some people listening to me are saying, “Well, if people believe what you say then they’ll just go live in sin because you’re saying that they can’t lose their salvation, that God loves them anyway… That would just encourage them to go live in sin!”

Well, Paul dealt with the same thing. In Romans 6:1, he says, “What shall we say, then? Am I saying we should continue in sin that grace may abound?” Of course the answer to that is “God forbid”… If this question never comes up, if a person never says, “What are you saying? That God loves me anyway? That I remain righteous and I don’t lose my right standing with God so therefore are you saying I could just go live in sin?” If that question never comes up, then you haven’t preached the same gospel that Paul preached because it came up to him not once but four different times he dealt with this. He said, “What am I saying? Do we continue in sin? God forbid!” But eventhough you have to explain and say, “No, that’s not what I’m saying”, it should be a logical question. If that question never comes up, which in most cases it doesn’t. Most churches today nobody is interpreting them as saying “can you just go live in sin” because they’re preaching so hard against sin and they basically tie God’s love to you and acceptance of you to your performance. That’s the typical message that’s preached. That’s not what the Bible preaches.

(Eternal Redemption, Andrew Wommack, 31:20 onwards)

[A]nybody teaching grace who does not encounter the same arguments and have to explain that they are not advocating a life of sin, has not preached grace the way that Paul did. If, in our efforts to prevent misuse, we present grace in such a way that no one ever accuses us of giving people a license to sin, then we haven’t presented grace correctly.

(Commentary on Romans 6:1, Andrew Wommack)

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  1. Hmm I really like your series of grace posts – How about Hebrews 6? Is that – i.e. falling away, be describing an unpardonable sin?

  2. This falling away is not sinful act that is committed. It was talking about Jewish believers in Christ, were contemplating reverting to Judaism.

    Pastor Joshua of NCC recently revealed something interesting to us. The whole universe are on Lord’s palm. Many of us have yet to go out of earth. So, no matter how you fall, you are still on His Almighty palm. It’s called fallen from Grace, not sin.

    Lord Jesus done a very perfected work at the Cross that the shedding of Jesus blood removed our past, present and future sins. Thus, if you said falling away is an unpardonable sin, indirectly, you are saying Lord Jesus did not do a perfect work at the Cross, which is not true.

    The only sin that is mentioned in the bible is disbelieve in Jesus.

  3. Dear Ken,

    I’m not too sure about Hebrews 6. It does seem to describe an “unpardonable” sin, just like the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. I would take the “falling away” to mean rejecting Christ – i.e. no longer believing – and not sinning gravely. I do think that the promise of salvation is only to those who have faith. On the other hand, I don’t think the “falling away” of Hebrews 6 describes everyone who reverts to unbelief. What are your thoughts?

  4. Hi Ken,

    Regarding Piper’s interpretation, it’s quite consistent with his Calvinism and Reformed beliefs – i.e. those who fall away were never saved in the first place. I once embraced Calvinism, but now I’m quite agnostic towards many of the classic Calvinistic beliefs. My view is that there are elements of legalism inherent in Calvinism, which I won’t get into here. One problem with the typical Calvinistic interpretation (Piper’s view) is that you’ll never be sure if you’re truly saved! Even he acknowledges at the end that he may not be saved!

    I’m not one of those John Piper fans. I know a lot of people are crazy over his “Christian hedonism” views. While I don’t read much of his writings, he’s one person I would generally recommend my friends to read. There are many great things about his writings and ministry. He’s definitely one of the most respected Christian leaders in the world today and I think for good reasons. He’s passionate for God’s glory, he’s generally quite balanced and open (he has good relations with charismatics and non-charismatics) and he has a heart for missions. But I would take issue with him on certain things.

    I watched that video before. I have mixed feelings regarding what he said. When we talk about the prosperity gospel or the Word of Faith movement, I think we need to define clearly what beliefs we’re talking about. There’s quite a lot of bad stuff out there that would come under the movement. However, I think there’s a lot of good too. And I think Andrew Wommack is one of the better guys within the movement.

    While I understand where Piper is coming from and still struggle over some of the issues he talks about, I don’t think his criticism and evaluation of the Prosperity Gospel was fair. He’s basically repeating the criticisms that we hear elsewhere (with his own twist). And I don’t agree with the majority of criticisms of the Word of Faith movement. It’s easy to be critical of the movement because there’s been a lot of abuses. But any balanced critic would see some good also in the movement. I think it’s quite hard to find good and balanced criticisms of the movement.

    Anyway, I know I’m being very general here and not getting into specifics because I’m still thinking about a lot of the issues and I’ll write more about it one day. I’d be interested to hear your view of his video.

  5. Hi Ken,

    I din read the first link but I watch the one on youtube.

    What I can say about the presentation on the youtube is John Piper dunno God at all.

    In this world, yes, beside God, there is the Devil.

    That’s why daily I cover myself and my family in the blood of Jesus and manifest Lord’s Hand to judge the devil.

    All bad things in life really is from the pit of hell. The way to get away from it was when you encounter it, stands on God’s words, the word of Christ has life and when you believe in it, like what Lord Jesus said, if you believe and speak to your mountain, your mountain will move.

    I know what I am talking about because I encountered the devil for 3 years before I accepted Christ and learnt my rights in Christ. I stand on word of Christ and for 3 months in my early Christian months, I spoke Word of Christ to the devil when he came attacking me. I was delivered in 3 months time.

    Early this year, my husband had a freak accident where his side of his car got scratched bec he “lost” concentration on the expressway.

    He was a very careful and his concentration is always good. I know it was not fault of his. Luckily I covered him in Jesus blood. It could be much worst, the devil wanted his life, but Lord protected him and only his side of the car kena.

    I did ask Lord why so. Lord told me it could be much worst. That CNY sermon, Pastor Prince said that there were a few that could not make to the service if Lord protection is not there. Hubby is one of them.

    What Pastor Prince preached is not about prosperity. If you would give him benefit of doubt and choose to believe in what he preach, you will see the beauty of Jesus being revealed. It’s not about money money and more money promise only. It’s because Lord Jesus came to earth as a man, absorbed all our sins, and being judged, burnt, beaten, and only when He was perfectly judged for all our sins, then He proclaim, “it is Done!” and then He died. He rose again on 3rd day to let us know He had fully paid our debts in abundance. He opened the veil to the Holy of Holy that now we could approach God closely. If only John Piper could see this.

    Why Lord Jesus healed on Sabbath? Why He give us His peace? When He double emphasized that we are not to be troubled nor be afraid?

    It because, to get His blessing, to stay in Him, to let Him fill up our lack, this is the only way. To remain in peace, joy and love. His narrow door to heaven.

    Most people when they face problem in life, they look at the problem and worried. This means looking to what darkness give and accept it and allows darkness to make it bigger.

    When you stand on Words of Christ and tell darkness to get off your back, you will get your peace.

    Why there is a God time to whatever blessing we are looking for? Because, we need to grow in our trust in Jesus Grace. As we grow stronger and stronger, you will know what negative part of your life is not yours, it’s from the pit of darkness. You will be able to command it to get out of you. It’s the lies from the pit of darkness.

    Why I could tell you with such confidence? I gone thru them and Lord give me peace as I trust in Him.

    Go read my blog from the beginning. You will see my early part of my walk is pretty dark, as I trust more in the Lord, I move from glory to glory to now, more peaceful.


  6. Stephanie,

    I don’t doubt your experiences, but I would strongly disagree when you said that John Piper doesn’t know God at all. He may believe differently from you and me. But the last thing I would want to say of anyone is that they don’t know God at all. I believe he’s a Christian and does know God. He may believe differently regarding certain things about God, and may not have experienced God in the same way you and others have (and I’m not saying this is what I believe of him, just that it “may” be true of him), but I think it’s thoroughly unfair and wrong of anyone to say he doesn’t know God.

    I do hope we’ll all be careful not to make such sweeping statements. We can disagree with someone’s beliefs but I think it’s going too far to judge the spiritual condition of any person. I don’t think it honours God at all, nor does it help with the discussion at hand.

  7. Dear Stillhaventfound:

    I’ve had an aversion for Piper ever since seeing that video. My friends have given me excerpts of Piper to read and since listening to NCC sermons I’ve always felt that tiny inkling of unease whilst reading them. I actually completely agree with what you’ve said and it’s nice that you’ve thought through all of this because, I know it’s bad practice, but trawling through the internet it’s impossible to find any form of constructive criticism against Piper’s writings. I was doing so not to dig up dirt but rather to conceptualise what I felt was wrong about Piper’s theology. I also need to think about this more and look forward to any more entries you may publish on the subject. I do feel that Piper has misunderstood the prosperity gospel, but I think the one thing in the video that really put me off was when he said that he felt ‘hatred’. To incite hatred and be so open about it is not a fruit of the spirit and I know it sounds rather inconsequential because that wasn’t the point of the video, it does reflect on one’s character.

    Stephanie, I agree that on one hand what Piper is doing is denying his ministry of many of the promises of the new covenant but yes Pastor Prince tells us rather directly NOT to defend against people who come against him or NCC or its teachings. Let God defend him. Because ultimately John Piper as someone who has been saved is equally righteous and holy and blameless and favoured in Daddy God’s sight (though he may not think it), and that is how we are to see him: as a brother in Christ.

  8. Hi Ken,

    While I disagree with a lot (not everything!) of what Piper said in that video, I still respect him greatly. I think like many evangelicals (including charismatic evangelicals), he has his biases against the Word of Faith movement. I don’t agree with everything in the movement. There’s been a lot of abuses – perhaps more abuses than not. But I acknowledge (and I respect people who are objective enough to acknowledge) the good in the movement.

    Regarding his “hatred”, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on this one. I think there’s a place for righteous and holy anger – and I guess that’s what he was trying to say. Certainly, I think the more extreme elements in the Word of Faith movement warrants condemnation – not the people, but the teachings. I am angry about a lot of things in Christianity myself – and can only hope that it’s a righteous and holy form of anger :)

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