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Discussion Forum : News and Current Events : Hyper-Grace Horror Stories - Michael Brown

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 Hyper-Grace Horror Stories - Michael Brown


Hyper-grace teachers frequently emphasize that they do not condone sinful living and that God’s true grace will produce a holy life, and I believe they sincerely mean this. One hyper-grace author even states at the beginning of his book, “We are not propagating immorality, because if we truly believe in God and love Him there will be corresponding works (because faith without works is dead).” Absolutely!

There are boatloads of testimonies these teachers can point to, documenting how thousands of believers have found freedom and deliverance by embracing the message of grace. In previous years, these believers had lived under a weight of condemnation, thinking if they just worked a little harder God might accept them, feeling as if they never measured up. Then they encountered God’s amazing grace and were transformed.

This is wonderful news, and I rejoice in these testimonies too. In fact, that is the message of grace I believe in and preach as well.

Unfortunately, there are now boatloads of stories of believers who have been terribly injured by the hyper-grace message. In fact, since my article “Confronting the Errors of Hyper-Grace” was posted last week, I have not been able to keep up with all the horror stories that have been sent my way.

This one is typical, from Jessica:

“I have seen firsthand the changes that come with people who embrace this message.

“I joined a small group 3 years ago that went from having regular prayer meetings and living holy connected lives together to stating ‘prayer is a work and denies grace’ and ‘sin allows grace to do its great work.’ All of our prayer meetings and Bible studies were traded in for game-nights and nights out at the bar to ‘witness’ where many from the group got plastered ... all in the name of ‘grace.’

“My heart has been so broken for my dear friends who I walked so closely with. As a group, they have embraced sin as not only acceptable, but justified and desirable. I have been completely ostracized and mocked for my stand in holiness. They don’t even call me by my name anymore—they call me ‘Pharisee.’ Unfortunately, I have had to step completely away from these loved ones and am spending my life in prayer for them.”

Another wrote this:

“I had a loved one who was an intense follower of hyper grace start to lie and cheat in his business. … He was a different person before he started following hyper grace. … He wasn’t greedy, in fact he was selfless, humble and very much in integrity. Also I can’t mention to him the fact that he lied and withheld info in order to steer people to invest ... Why? Because he says there is no condemnation in Christ. So no one is allowed to mention that aspect of his behavior to him … or else.”

A worship leader wrote to me, describing what is happening among prominent worship leaders he knows, where “the drinking partying thing is rampant. Totally excused because they were under grace not legalism.”

Of course, my hyper-grace friends will protest: “This is not the fruit of our message. Our message produces love for Jesus and holy living. These people obviously misunderstood what we were teaching.”

But it’s not so simple, otherwise pastors and believers from around the country (and other countries) wouldn’t be contacting me day and night to talk about the destructive effects of the hyper-grace message.

Without a doubt, my colleagues who preach hyper-grace have discovered some wonderful truths that are liberating and transforming, and all of us should embrace those truths. Unfortunately, the hyper-grace message (in contrast with Paul’s message of abundant grace) is unbalanced and highly reactionary, to the real detriment many believers.

Here are three major concerns (out of many more) that must be addressed:

1) Hyper-grace teachers (and their followers) denigrate those who differ with them, calling them legalistic Pharisees, branding them manipulators and tyrants who preach a counterfeit gospel, and sometimes even claiming that leaders who don’t preach hyper-grace are doing so for monetary gain (“sin management is lucrative”; there is an almost endless stream of quotes like this from respected hyper-grace leaders). This is destructive and divisive and needs to stop. (For the record, I use the term “hyper-grace” to be descriptive, not insulting, and some within the movement say, “Yes, we believe in hyper-grace!”)

2) In their zeal to exalt God’s grace, hyper-grace teachers often make extreme statements that lead believers to think that they are not responsible for their sins. After all, if we are always perfectly holy in God’s sight, we don’t really sin. Our bodies do! This is dangerous and unbiblical.

3) Hyper-grace teachers commonly claim that the words of Jesus no longer apply to us. Instead, they argue, Jesus’ teaching was for the Jews under the Law before the new covenant was inaugurated, whereas Paul brought the message of grace. If this false dichotomy doesn’t raise a red flag of warning, nothing will. Simply stated, any teaching that minimizes (or even ignores) the teachings of Jesus should be rejected.

I appeal to you, my brothers and sisters who are leaders in the hyper-grace camp (or, in your view, who are preaching the message of grace) to take these things to the Lord and make some serious course corrections before more lives are destroyed. Many have been helped by the truths you have taught, but many others have been damaged by your errors, and you cannot rejoice in the good without taking responsibility for the bad.

We don’t need any more horror stories.

from: http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/38394-hyper-grace-horror-stories


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 2013/2/25 10:07Profile
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 Re: Hyper-Grace Horror Stories - Michael Brown

I noticed that Michael does not quote any of these so-called hyper-grace teachers by naming a book or article or page number and giving any exact quotes. Instead he points to testimonies of believers who grabbed a-hold of a twisted interpretation of grace and ran with it. Even during the life of the Apostle Paul, some people misunderstood what he was preaching. "Shall we continue in sin so that grace may abound?" Here is what Martyn Lloyd-Jones had to say about the message of grace:

"First of all let me make a comment, to me a very important and vital comment. 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 of salvation than this, that some people might misunderstand it and misinterpret it to mean that it really amounts to this, that because you are saved by grace alone it does not matter at all what you do; you can go on sinning as much as 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 and presentation of the gospel of salvation 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 this question. If a man’s preaching is, "If you want to be Christians, and if you want to go to heaven, you must stop committing sins, you must take up good works, and if you do so regularly and constantly, and do not fail to keep on at it, you will make yourselves Christians, you will reconcile yourselves to God, and you will go to heaven’. Obviously a man who preaches in that strain would never be liable to this misunderstanding. Nobody would say to such a man, "Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?", because the man’s whole emphasis is just this, that if you go on sinning, you are certain to be damned, and only if you stop sinning can you save yourselves. So that misunderstanding could never arise...

"...Nobody has ever brought this charge against the Church of Rome [The Roman Catholic Chruch], but it was brought frequently against Martin Luther; indeed that was precisely what the Church of Rome said about the preaching of Martin Luther. They said, "This man who was a priest has changed the doctrine in order to justify his own marriage and his own lust", and so on. ‘This man,’ they said, ‘Is an antinomian; and that is heresy.’ [Antinomianism is the heretical doctrine that Christians are exempt from the obligations of moral law] That is the very charge they brought against him. It was also brought against George Whitefield two hundred years ago. It is the charge that formal dead Chrsitianity–if there is such a thing–has always brought against this startling, staggering message, that God ‘justifies the ungodly’... (Rom. 4:5)

"That is my comment; and it is a very important comment for preachers. 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 offered in the New Testament to the ungodly, to the sinner, to those who are dead in trespasses and sins, to those who are enemies of God. There is this kind of dangerous element about the true presentation of the doctrine of salvation.

End of quote

So if someone wants to find fault with another's teaching, let them put to the test the other person's words verbatim and not a third-party's convoluted conception of what is being taught.

 2013/2/25 15:19Profile
Oracio
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Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 1994
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

Quote:
I noticed that Michael does not quote any of these so-called hyper-grace teachers by naming a book or article or page number and giving any exact quotes. Instead he points to testimonies of believers who grabbed a-hold of a twisted interpretation of grace and ran with it. Even during the life of the Apostle Paul, some people misunderstood what he was preaching. "Shall we continue in sin so that grace may abound?" Here is what Martyn Lloyd-Jones had to say about the message of grace:

"First of all let me make a comment, to me a very important and vital comment. 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 of salvation than this, that some people might misunderstand it and misinterpret it to mean that it really amounts to this, that because you are saved by grace alone it does not matter at all what you do; you can go on sinning as much as 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 and presentation of the gospel of salvation 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 this question. If a man’s preaching is, "If you want to be Christians, and if you want to go to heaven, you must stop committing sins, you must take up good works, and if you do so regularly and constantly, and do not fail to keep on at it, you will make yourselves Christians, you will reconcile yourselves to God, and you will go to heaven’. Obviously a man who preaches in that strain would never be liable to this misunderstanding. Nobody would say to such a man, "Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?", because the man’s whole emphasis is just this, that if you go on sinning, you are certain to be damned, and only if you stop sinning can you save yourselves. So that misunderstanding could never arise...

"...Nobody has ever brought this charge against the Church of Rome [The Roman Catholic Chruch], but it was brought frequently against Martin Luther; indeed that was precisely what the Church of Rome said about the preaching of Martin Luther. They said, "This man who was a priest has changed the doctrine in order to justify his own marriage and his own lust", and so on. ‘This man,’ they said, ‘Is an antinomian; and that is heresy.’ [Antinomianism is the heretical doctrine that Christians are exempt from the obligations of moral law] That is the very charge they brought against him. It was also brought against George Whitefield two hundred years ago. It is the charge that formal dead Chrsitianity–if there is such a thing–has always brought against this startling, staggering message, that God ‘justifies the ungodly’... (Rom. 4:5)

"That is my comment; and it is a very important comment for preachers. 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 offered in the New Testament to the ungodly, to the sinner, to those who are dead in trespasses and sins, to those who are enemies of God. There is this kind of dangerous element about the true presentation of the doctrine of salvation.

End of quote

So if someone wants to find fault with another's teaching, let them put to the test the other person's words verbatim and not a third-party's convoluted conception of what is being taught


I believe there is a signifant difference between the situation in which Paul the apostle was placed and the situation today with the "hyper-grace" message. Paul was not preaching a watered down gospel that has no repentance in it. Acts 17:30-31 is a clear example of this:
"Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
Also Acts 24:25 comes to mind:
" Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.”

Once the lost were converted they started learning more in-depth about God's amazing grace. They started being encouraged to rest in the grace of God as true believers in Christ, while at the same time being warned about having a false assurance of salvation if they had not truly repented(1Cor.6:9-10). And within that context of being in the church there was this misunderstanding of seeing God's grace as a license to sin.

However, today the hyper-grace message does not seem to have biblical repentance in it at all when it comes to presenting the gospel to the lost, as well as when it comes to discipleship. It only focuses on a mental adherance to the grace of God, and it has produced an innumerable number of false conversions. They draw them in with a dilluted message and keep them in a delusion.

The lost are not told they need to repent of their sins and trust in Christ but only "accept Jesus into their heart" and everything will be fine, which is an unbiblical and unbalanced message to say the least. On the other hand, Paul's messge was very biblical and balanced. He told the Ephesian elders, "Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God."-Acts 20:26-27


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Oracio

 2013/2/25 16:04Profile





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