April 28, 2014

The Grace "Deformation"

Is there a "Grace Reformation" taking place today in the Body of Christ? Some are claiming there is and that it is as important as the Protestant Reformation. Quite a claim! They speak of a "new understanding" of grace that has been lost since the days of the Apostles and that a "Revolution" is underway to recover that which was lost. Its advocates call it the "Grace Message" and they refer to themselves as "Grace Teachers". The implication of course is that those who disagree with them are somehow 'not' teaching grace, or are perverting and/or diluting it.

Clearly a debate is raging today in the Body of Christ about the doctrine of grace. In some ways, it is the continuation of a theological discussion that was sparked in the Protestant Reformation, although those who know Church History know that these very issues were debated from the 2nd century onwards. In short, it is now being claimed by this new "Grace Camp" that the Reformers got it right on the doctrine of justification by grace through faith, but got it wrong about sanctification. These Grace teachers argue that the Reformers didn't go far enough believing that Luther and Calvin were teaching a "works" doctrine when it came to our sanctification which the Reformers taught was a PROCESS in which we cooperate with God's grace as we are transformed into the likeness of Christ. These new teachers believe that there is no process; that our sanctification is complete at conversion even as our justification is.  Not only did the Reformers disagree with them, but so has every other Christian leader before them in Church History! (except ironically some gnostic heretics)

Even as they are calling it a "Grace Reformation," I believe that when we look at the ENTIRE* New Testament, we must conclude that it is in fact a "Grace Deformation" and a perversion of the Apostolic faith. These are strong words and yet when we consider what's at stake, I believe we must call out a false doctrine and identify it as such. (*When I say "entire", see my post about Hyper Grace citing the dozens of NT verses that these Grace teachers ignore or attempt to explain away. http://joel2generation.blogspot.com/2013/05/hyper-grace-vs-entire-new-testament.html)

The main problem and the primary reason the "Grace Deformers'" message is false isn't so much because they are introducing unBiblical concepts (although some of ideas clearly are like future sins being forgiven before they are ever committed), but rather their message is false because it only "selectively" uses the New Testament. They find all the verses and passages that support their viewpoint and interpretation, and then either try to explain away or simply ignore the passages that contradict their understanding. The way this becomes a false teaching is that it takes one truth to an extreme while denying other equally as important passages of Scripture. It is essentially the sin of omission - omitting huge sections of the New Testament that simply don't "fit" their understanding of Grace. Neglecting the clear teaching of multiple passages in God's Word constitutes "false teaching".

The true Grace message will always bring Kingdom Reformation.  This "false" one, which they have perverted and diluted, is leading and will lead to what I am now calling a "Grace Deformation".

muslim woman's deaf ear opens and she quickly departs

While shopping yesterday, I walked past a couple of Gulf Arab muslim women and I got a clear word of knowledge about a right ear problem.  I engaged them and asked about a right ear problem.  One of them said, “Yes, I can’t hear anything from my right ear”.  I explained that God had revealed her problem to me and didn’t even ask her if I could pray.  I instructed to put her own hand on her deaf ear.  She agreed.  I prayed a quick healing prayer in Arabic in Jesus’ Name and when she took her hand away I asked her how it was.  She tapped her ear and I asked, “Can you hear?” and she replied with a shocked look, “Yes!”.  So I confirmed, clarifying that she could not hear at all before and was now able to hear.  She confirmed that and then quickly shook my hand (which they don’t do) and left immediately.

She obviously didn’t have any grid for a non-muslim to bring God’s power and healing.  Pray for her that she will be considering the very Jesus who opened her deaf ear!