Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! - Isaiah 5: 20 (ESV)
Awhile back I started using a phrase called "Kumbya Christianity." This false thinking teaches that we are all on the same team. That anyone who lifts the name of Jesus is a brother. That we need to not "tear each other down." Essentially, that we should all hold hands and sing kumbya until Christ returns. The problem inherent in such thinking are numerous when it comes to Scripture. The Bible makes no bones about the fact that we are to openly rebuke false teachers in Titus 1:9. Adherents to this thinking often misunderstand verses about judgment and unity. What is misunderstood however is always clear if one is truly willing for Scripture to be our guide:
For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. "Purge the evil person from among you." - 1Corinthians 5: 12-13 (ESV)
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. - Romans 16: 17-18 (ESV)
The road to destruction is broad because there are a lot of people on it singing kumbya. These two sets of verses however cannot be clearer. We absolutely are to judge those inside of the church. The division within the church comes from the false teaching, not those who point it out. Unity in and of itself is not something to be celebrated. Unity in Christ and in the Gospel alone is to be pursued. After all, what are you unified with is pretty important. The key verse toady is a simple reminder that we are not to call evil good. We are not to put light for darkness. We are not to put sweet for bitter. So we come to the latest offering from Michael Brown on the Charisma website:
Take a good read of this article because thankfully Dr. Brown provides real life examples of the damage false grace teachers such as Joseph Prince wreak on the body of Christ. While I thank Dr. Brown for bringing these to light, the entire premise is mishandled right from the start when he opens the article with this:
"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."
With all due respect, it does not matter what we think a false teacher means or intends. God does not care about our intentions when it comes to being a wolf. He cares that the wolf is killing the sheep. It is time we take off the kid gloves and call a wolf a wolf. I have spoken to Dr. Brown before about this and I know he personally views Joseph Prince as a brother in the Lord who has received a powerful revelation of grace that has helped millions of people but he has some errors in his theology. Therein lies the problem. Joseph Prince, regardless of his intentions, is the most dangerous false teacher alive today. He claims divine revelation from God to propagate a false gospel. He has led millions to follow this heresy, probably costing untold numbers their eventual salvation by withholding from them the true Gospel which could save them. Remember, we either believe or we believe in vain:
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. - 1Corinthians 15: 1-2 (ESV)
There are no second chances. There are no mulligans. There are no oopsies. We are either holding fast to the true Gospel or we have believed in vain. Joseph Prince is not my brother in the Lord. He teaches an antinomian gospel that leads people into debauchery in the name of grace. God warned us about this:
Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. - Jude 1: 3-4 (ESV)
Joseph Prince preaches a false gospel that perverts grace into sensuality. Period. Additionally, his manner of preaching is not to hear from God but to strip mine the Bible for anything he thinks supports this false message. In the few sermons I have listened to I have witnessed him:
1) Mangle the story of Ananias and Sapphira, claiming they were not believer because God would never punish a believer. The context proves him unbelievably wrong.
2) Eviscerate the story of the flood. Prince claims that Noah was the last pure bred human on the planet, so the flood was not an act of judgment but rather an act of grace because God wanted to preserve the human race.