Thoughts on New Creation Church – Accused of Antinomianism

The number one reason that New Creation Church is the most attacked Church in Singapore is because of what people call “antinomianism”. Basically, that word means “against law”. There are at least two kinds of antinomianism – one doctrinal/theoretical and one practical. The first is the belief that the Moral Law (10 Commandments) are not for Christians today. The second is the belief that Christians can sin all they want because there’s always grace available for them. Christians have accused New Creation of being antinomian in both these ways.

In this post, I’ll only focus on the second kind of antinomianism – i.e. practical antinomianism. The charge goes something like this: “Pastor Prince and New Creation teach that a Christian can sin all they want because grace is always available.” I’ve heard that charge from many Christians who come from many different Churches in Singapore.

Whenever I hear New Creation being accused of antinomianism, I’m both happy and sad. Sad because I know that such an accusation is meant to be a criticism or judgement against the message of New Creation. But I also feel happy, because I know one thing (and I think this is really powerful and profound):

Paul was also accused of preaching an antinomian gospel!

A whole lot of my posts in this series will be dedicated to this area – that is, New Creation’s teachings on grace. So I won’t get too much into this now but I’ll just leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Martyn Lloyd-Jones and some comments below. I won’t say much about him except to say that he was one of the most respected preachers (known as “the last of the preachers”) in the world when he was alive and his works are still very much read today. He’s Reformed in theology yet at the same time open to Charismatic things. Here’s his brilliant quote. I’m not exactly sure where it came from (I came across it about 10 years ago) but I believe it’s probably from his commentary on Romans 6:

It is true that where sin abounded grace has much more abounded; well then, “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound yet further?” The true preaching of the gospel of salvation by grace alone always leads to the possibility of this charge being brought against it. There is no better test as to whether a man is really preaching the New Testament gospel than this, that some people might misunderstand it and mis-interpret it that it really amounts to this: that because you are saved by grace alone, it does not really matter at all what you do, you can go on sinning all you like because it will redound all the more to the glory of grace. That is a very good test of gospel preaching. If my preaching of the gospel does not expose it to that misunderstanding, then it is not the gospel. Let me show you what I mean. If a man preaches justification by works, no one would ever raise the question. If he says, “If you want to go to heaven, you must stop committing sins, live a life filled with good works, and keep this up regularly and constantly until the end, then you will be a Christian and go to heaven when you die.” Obviously, no one will accuse a man who preached like this of saying, “Let us continue in sin that grace may abound.” But every preacher who preached the gospel has been accused of this! They have all been accused of “antinomianism.” I would say to all preachers: If your preaching of salvation has not been misunderstood in that way, then you had better examine your sermons again, and you had better make sure that you really are preaching the salvation that is proclaimed in the New Testament to the ungodly, the sinner, to those who are dead in trespasses and sins, to those who are the enemies of God. There is a kind of dangerous element about the true presentation of the doctrine of salvation.

Understanding the above quote alone would prevent a lot of criticisms of New Creation’s gospel of grace. It’s not about the quote alone, but about understanding the quote and how it’s based on a proper understanding of the gospel as presented by Paul in Romans 1 to 8.

For those who still don’t get how being accused of antinomianism actually means you’re preaching the biblical gospel, please understand one thing. Neither Paul nor Pastor Prince believe that we can sin all we want since grace is always available! Neither of them would encourage Christians to go and sin! Both are against sinning! (Pastor Prince has mentioned many times that he’s thoroughly against sinning). However, the important thing to note here is this: The gospel they preach is such that they will be misunderstood as saying such a thing! It’s about people misunderstanding your gospel. If you preach a works-centered gospel, no one would mistake you for promoting antinomianism. No one would accuse you of that. But then, that’s because you haven’t been preaching the true biblical gospel of justification by faith alone. However, if you preach the true biblical gospel of justification by faith alone, then you’ll face that charge as Paul did – and as Pastor Prince is facing also.

Romans 6:1 says, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?” Why did Paul write that immediately after writing about justification by faith alone in the earlier chapters? It has to be one of two reasons. Either people were asking him that question and he’s just responding to it in his letter. Or he anticipates that the glorious gospel of justification by faith alone he had just written in the previous chapters would be open to such a charge (after all, he had just written in Romans 5:20 the “heretical” and seemingly “antinomian” teaching that “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more”!) and so he quotes the charge and then immediately provides a response to it (which I’ll write about in another post). Whatever the case, if you’re truly preaching the same gospel that Paul preached, people will accuse you of saying we can carry on sinning as grace will increase.

If Pastor Prince and New Creation Church are accused of antinomianism in this way, I actually take it to be a wonderful compliment, not a criticism.

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14 Comments

  1. Hi bro, it’s extremely heartening to see something like this, where you try to be objective to the best of your ability, to analyze the ups and downs of NCC. Because to me it means that if people refuse to accept your analysis and see the ways of New Creation as at least acceptable if not to their liking, then I can safely assume that they are unchangeable opposition. Thank you for spending time and effort. I have been blessed. :)

  2. Interesting. I guess I’m antinomian then, by the definitions (mostly the first, but partially the second)you’re giving. I’m all for using the law lawfully (1Tim 1), that is to reveal to unbelievers that they are sinners in need of Jesus! But the law does not apply to believers, because Jesus is the end of the law for all who believe! As to sinning all you want, I guess I would tell believers who understand grace, the real gospel, to go ahead and ‘sin all they want’. We have a new heart, are a new creation in Jesus, have died to sin and the law and been raised up in the life of Christ with the Holy Spirit living in us. I DON’T WANT TO SIN!!!! I have never met a true believer who wanted to sin, even if they were in bondage to sin because of bad teaching (i.e. that they were still under law).

    Thank God for preachers like Joseph Prince who are unashamed of the true gospel and don’t back down in the face of pharisees who love to attack. May God grant more and more legalists the Pauline experience of coming face to face with Jesus!

  3. Hi julie, i’m a bit skeptical abt you telling other believers to “sin all they want” even though they understand grace and the real gospel. I believe in the same thing as you. But i also do believe we shouldn’t say things that will be easily misunderstood and be stumbling blocks for others, especially younger christians.

    anyway my 2 cents:

    i sincerely think everybody is missing the point here. Grace from God means there is NO condemnation when we sin. This simply means that when we Christians do anything sinful in accordance to laws given to Moses, we are forgiven and we MUST NOT WALLOW IN GUILT which the devil will ALWAYS plan in us. In any case, holy spirit in us leads to conviction against sin, not condemnation. To put it simply, a true Christian is supposed to hate sin, but when he fails, he jus hafta pick himself up again, apologize to God, continue to hate sin. It doesn’t matter how many times he fell to the same sin, or how many times he has confessed the same sin. Yupz, but this is different from a non-believer who falsely proclaim Christ’s name and then willfully sin to his heart contend. There is a difference btw saying “hey go do wadever u want” which is WRONG as oppose to, “hey it’s ok to fail, no worries” which is the concept of Grace which Paul preached.

  4. I am surprised always at the Back Benchers who appoint them self judge and jury on another Man’s ministry. He will stand or fall before His God quite apart from our Opinions. Concerning the topic of antinomianism who cares, this is quite frankly a monologue in a vacuum. I mean are we really as protestants going to appoint our self a pope of interpretation? Haven’t we fought this battle already throughout all the dark ages and burning at the stake? The gospel is preached souls are changed and God sorts out the wheat from the chaff.

    In My Lord’s service
    Pastor Bill Langill jr

  5. Hey Mingze, I would have to ask for the reference for “Holy spirit leads us to conviction against sin.” If that was from the gospel of John, then I would ask you to read the whole paragraph and try to understand it again. If it is from somewhere else, then I’m curious to know as well. Thanks!

  6. I do not claim to represent New Creation Church (NCC), but based on what I know and understand of the church, I would like to contribute my 2-cent worth to clarify the misunderstanding and allegation that NCC is teaching lawlessness/ anitnomanism:

    1. NCC is AGAINST SIN, and is therefore against the breaking of God’s law.

    2. NCC is FOR GOD’S LAW – for the purpose the law was given, i.e. to show forth the sinfulness of man and to convince man of his need for Jesus as his Saviour.

    3. NCC is against the teaching that man must, and therefore should try to, keep God’s law to become righteous and to be blessed by God. NCC teaches that man can never, and therefore need not even try to, keep God’s law (in full, which is the only way to keep God’s law), to become righteous and be blessed by God.

    4. NCC believes and teaches that it is ONLY by receiving God’s grace in the Person of Jesus Christ, that man can overcome sin and become righteous.

    5. NCC believes that a person under law and in bondage, will TRY TO and will FAIL TO keep God’s law, whereas a person under God’s grace and in true liberty, will WANT TO and will GET TO love God and to love his neighbours.

    1. Many thanks to you Lip Kee. I suppose, you’ve briefly spoken Pastor Joseph Prince’s mind on this matter to his accusers, who believe they can make heaven by their work and effort, thereby rubishing the finished work of christ on the cross of calvary. You have said it all. God bless u and continue to give u a deep sense of understanding over His words. As for Pastor Joseph Prince, may God continue to keep n use him mightily for the work of transformation in the life many thro’ the gospel of grace which am one of the beneficiaries. In His service, Joseph Etimnte(from Nigeria)

  7. On antinomianism, I will strongly disagree with the notion that you must be accused of preaching antinomianism in order to be recognized as preaching the right gospel. Was Jesus ever accused of preaching antinomianism? By no means!

    On the Ten Commandments, it still applies to Christians today.

    “18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
    Matthew 5:18-19

    Is there condemnation? No. But the Ten Commandments still apply. Has heaven and earth disappeared? No. What it simply means is that a believer who has sinned because of his weakness will not lose his salvation, but will still have to give an account at Judgment Day before the Great White Throne. Salvation isn’t the end even though it is for eternity; rewards and punishments are still given in heaven.

    Lastly, there is one thing which I detest about the NCC more than its teaching on antinomianism, and that is its prosperity gospel, which is a false gospel.

    Here are some of the objections against Prince’s teachings found in his Daily Devotional:
    http://www.friendster.com/group-discussion/index.php?t=msg&&th=425153&goto=30448987#msg_30454252

  8. Keep the Law (Torah) lawfully. As a means of attaining righteousness, unlawfully. As rules and principles to live by, unlawful. But as Yeshua said, the Prophets and the Law prophesy until Yohan. Keeping the Law in remembrance as prophecies, this is the one and only way that is Lawful, and this is by the one true gospel. And the one true gospel is the Mashiach died for our sins according to the Tanach (Old Testament), He was buried and He rose again the third day according to the Old Testament. No gospel, no grace, no Spirit, no life. The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life. And the Spirit zealously testifies of the Mashiach.

  9. Bro, if you really read the bible you SHOULD know that Jesus was hated by the pharisee who preach on law. He did not only preach antinomian-ism, He did it by forgiving people of their sins, healing the sick and all. Tell me if those people have tired to please God or Jesus? Have they done anything to deserve all that? Matthew 5:18-19 was spoken to Jews at that time. He was speaking to people who know the law and they understand the law. Jesus wants His people to know only Jesus can fulfill all the Law and before He die at the cross, you shall be perfect mat5:48. Kindly read why Jesus spoke to them that way and DO NOT take it out of context. Read the statement before that

    Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the prophets. I did not come to destroy but to FULFILL! Mat 5:17

    Pray and tell me if Jesus fulfill the Law, why should I fulfill the Law again? Jesus being better than us 101 ways did something we can’t. Even the rich young ruler who is able to keep the Law is not able to follow Jesus. The only account that I need to answer is the consequence of my actions in this world. I rape and kill and rob, I get jailed. Is this what God wants for me? NO. punishments are given in heaven? Will you put your son in the middle of the road and bang him with a car to punish him? What is your heart for your son? Do you love your son because he love you or you love him because he is your son? If your son is drowning and you know how to swim, will you stand there and ask him:”Son before I save you, do you love me? Have you done everything I told you to do for me? Have you please me enough?” do you preach Law because in your life you earn everything? I did this therefore I deserve it. But what did you do to even deserve a life? Did you earn for the toothpaste you use when you was young?

    Lastly from the bible if you as earthly father knows how to gives good things to your child WHAT MORE YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN!!!

    Amen for prosperity. The LOVE of money is the root of all evil. If nice people are rich the world will be a better place. If you don’t want your money can give it to me. I’ll thank you greatly for helping my family.

  10. Well I finally got around to reading this. Great Post by the way!

    So true. When you preach the gospel correctly you should expect to get misunderstandings from people who take this as encouraging them to sin.

    What we need to recognise is that the old spirit man who was within you is dead. Born again believers are dead to sin and alive in Christ. We right now have a new incorruptible spirit within is that is connected back to the Lord himself. We are a new creation in Christ. But we do still have the same soul and body.

    I don’t know if people here have noticed but deliberate sinning is no longer desirable when you are born again. The reason that is true is because you don’t have a sin nature within you, driving you anymore. You’re a new creation. However, if your mind is unrenewed you may continue for a while in sin. Every time you sin you will notice that you hate it more and more. This is very healthy. The key here is to realise that you are not a slave to sin any longer. You can overcome it’s draw because you have the overcomer within you.

    That draw is not from your sin nature because that’s dead. The draw to sin is temptation. Even Jesus was tempted. Don’t focus on what you’re being tempted with. Focus on Jesus instead. Change your thoughts. Also, don’t try to correct sin through law keeping. You’re not under law, you’re under grace.

    The way you overcome the bondage is to realise you’re no longer bound to sin. Don’t go and follow rules like the 10 commandments. Paul didn’t call the 10 commandments the ministry of death for nothing. You’re under grace now. Realise who you are in Christ. Focus on Christ and his finished work and live victoriously!

  11. Consider what is the Etymological root source of the word Antinomian. It’s a Hebraic term used by Jesus in the Epistles as a heinous sin.

    (Matthew. 7:23) “I never knew you; depart from me you that work‚ (Greek Strong # 458) ANTINOMIAN.”

    As Jesus and others spoke about Antinomianism over 15 times in the Epistles all as a public rebuke of sinful wickedness.

    Let us peel off the theological bark and shine the spot light on this term use as a dogma, to learn the bare truth of what Antinomianism actually intended mean in the Greek Epistles (Strong # 458 Antanomia) what it really means. Greek Strong # 458 Antanomia i.e. Anomia, meaning Antinomian i.e. Antinomianism.

    The Greek word Anomia, in Greek one can use a singular “A” prefix letter to abbreviate for “no,” “not,” “without” and “ANTI.” “A” prefix letter attached to a Greek word gives the word a negative meaning. The identical the same when a “A” prefix letter attached to English words as Amoral, Atheist, etc. The disposition exhibit in the meaning of this word is that those who consider themselves as antinomian are against IE anarchists of God’s Law, Scripture Law is the (Greek Strong’s # 3551 NOMOS.) Antinomianism is antithetical to God’s scripture sovereignty.

    Just look at one verse (Matthew. 7: 21-23) Who are those that find themselves expelled by Jesus.? ? ? Who are these people? ? ? The Antinomians being talked about here that call Jesus “Lord” and even do good works in His name. These are church Antinomians involved in church activities. They expect to inherit eternal salvation, nevertheless find themselves expelled by Jesus from salvation.

    (Lev. 4:2) express this reprimanded sin as “Against the Commandments of Yahweh.” or Anti-commandments. The Torah (Hebrew Strong’s # 8451) meaning scripture Law, is interchangeable with the (Greek Strong’s # 3551 NOMOS) and the Greek NOMOS, is the word used by the translators of the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew word Torah. As used in (Hosea. 8:1) “They transgressed My covenant and transgressed against My law.” As Hosea express, Against Yahweh Covenant and Torah, is coined by the word Antinomian.

    “Antinomian” has been alternative form of expression for over two millennia meaning against the scripture Lawgiver and His Law. It’s from the term in the Epistles {Greek Strong # 458 Antanomia i.e. Anomia.} (Heb. 1:9) “Love righteousness and hate (G Strong # 458) ANTINOMIAN.”

    The greatest tricks the devil has pulled here is to convince people they can access the spiritual world by Antinomianism I.E. bypassing the physical world.

  12. A man is bound by whatever will master him. If Joseph Prince is your master (even though you won’t admit it) then you are bound to him – baptised into him (Immersed in him) , in union with him.

    The same applies to any other prophet you are clinging to.

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