Friday, December 19, 2008

Jesus Christ The Heretic

Pastor Joseph Prince has often been called a heretic by people who do not agree with his teachings.  There is even an article written by a blogger entitled,"Joseph Prince the heretic".

What exactly is a heretic?  Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary defines it as follows:

1: a dissenter from established religious dogma ; especially : a baptized member of the Roman Catholic Church who disavows a revealed truth2: one who dissents from an accepted belief or doctrine : nonconformist
Looking at the definition above, it seems that Jesus Christ himself was a heretic!  What Jesus preached and did during his ministry on earth went against the accepted belief or doctrine of the religious authorities of his time. 

The Sabbath
Jesus was accused by the Pharisees of breaking the law of the Sabbath by healing on the day of Sabbath.  Jesus challenged them by asking,"Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?" (Luke 14:3)  They refused to answer him but Jesus healed the man before him anyway.
Jesus then exposed their hypocrisy by challenging them:
"If one of you has a son[a] or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out?" (Luke 14:5)
"You hypocrites! Doesn't each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?" (Luke 13:15-16)

"Now if a child can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing the whole man on the Sabbath?"(John 7:23)
This tussle with the Pharisees and experts of the law over the Sabbath is recorded in all three synoptic gospels: Matthew 12, Mark 2 and 3, Luke 6,13 and 14.  
Jesus shed new light on the teaching of the Sabbath: 1. It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath. (Matt 12:12)2. The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. (Mark 2:27)3. The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath. (Luke 6:5)

Adultery
Jesus also shed new light on the law: Thou shalt not commit adultery.
"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matt 12:12)

When Jesus said "you have heard", he's saying that the people have been taught by the religious teachers.  Jesus taught that, contrary to what the religious teachers say, it is not just the physical act that constitutes adultery; in fact it is your heart which determines you have sinned.
Murder
Again, Jesus challenges the teachings of the religious teachers about the law of  "thou shalt not murder" by starting with "you have heard".
"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment." (Matt 5:21-22)

Again, Jesus is consistent with his teaching of the heart determining you have sinned, not just the physical act.

Ceremonial Washing Of Hands
The Pharisees and teachers of the law accused Jesus: "Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands before they eat!"  (Matt 15:2)
Again, Jesus answers that it is the heart that determines sin.
"Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.' "  (Matt 15:17-20)

New Light On Traditional Teaching    Heresy
My point is this: when a preacher sheds new light on what has been traditionally taught, it does not automatically make him a heretic.  We have to study carefully the "new" teaching with the help of the Holy Spirit and determine in our hearts whether it is correct or not.  
If you feel it is not right, then put up your detailed arguments against it and let others judge for themselves. However, it may be the case that you are actually the one in error, so it is not wise to call a preacher a heretic when you disagree with his teaching.
As for me and my household, we have determined for ourselves that what Pastor Prince is preaching is right and our lives have been transformed by the Word he is preaching.
Thank you Jesus for Pastor Prince and his ministry.  

3 comments:

Learning said...

Okay, for a site that's espousing logic you really missed the point - hence your reasoning is cute but useless. The author of the blog in question is not using the word heretic or heresy with reference to anything other than the teachings of Christ himself as the standard from which there has been deviation.

I don't know anything about Joseph Prince other than a few interesting videos I've watched and found to be relatively harmless. Nor do I know anything about the blogger in question. My response here is simply to state the objection to using Websters Dictionary as the standard by which someone's theological assertion is measured for accuracy. Some of the other things you've posted are interesting and occasionally well stated - but this one is pretty weak.

Anders said...

The title of your blog is "The Logical Christian".

A logical analysis of the historical documents and archaeology shows what Ribi Yehoshua from Nazareth taught and how to follow him.
Learn more here: www.netzarim.co.il

Anders Branderud

Fr. Glen said...

Prince is teaching grace, pure and simple. So many teachers today teach an endless cycle of sin-repentance-forgiveness-sin-repentance, etc. THEN comes the questiion of how pure is the repentance, what is the reason fir it.....
Joseph Prince teaches the Godly principle thar shows when we have come to Christ and ask for his fogiveness, we walk in the light...and stay there. By Grace He keeps us there and continues to count our relationship with Jesus as righteousness. If this were not so, then Jesus crucifixion and resurrection woul just be another step in the list of routes to salvation leading down another road of a works cycle earning our salvation by repenting over and over, worrying thar each sacrifice isn' t perfected enough. NO NO NO! Our salvation in Christ is a once for all time event...eternally in force . The Grace continues forever through the miracle of God's love. This is why Paul clearly disallows our attemts to judge each other (Rom 2) because we don't have God's mind, nor do we have a full understanding of Grace and Mercy.
Rev. Glen DeShaw