Sunday, April 26, 2009

Questionable "Questionable Teachings" (4)

I shall continue with my discussion on "questionable teachings" listed in Rev Kong Hee's article "Balance is the key of life (Part 3)". Again, I want to emphatically say that I have no intention whatsoever to discredit the ministry of Rev Kong Hee or City Harvest Church. I believe they are working for the kingdom of God but here I want to question whether those teachings that Rev Kong Hee deem questionable are really questionable.

Questionable Teaching #4: Your Sin Is Drawing You Closer To God!

Some preachers are teaching that sinning could even be good for a person since it might draw him closer to God. When that happens, his sinning is actually helping him to realize God's love and grace toward him. As such, sinning might even be a good thing.

Is this what the Scripture teaches? Quite the opposite,

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? ( Rom. 6:1-2)

Romans 2:4 says that "the goodness of God leads us to repentance." Sin certainly doesn't play a part in drawing us closer to Him; on the contrary, sin separates us from God.

I totally agree with Rev Kong Hee that this teaching that sinning in order to draw closer to God is wrong. However, I want to say that some preachers' preaching have been misunderstood to promote this teaching when in fact they have not done so. They were misunderstood just as Paul was:

Romans 3:5-8 (NKJV)
5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.) 6 Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world?
7 For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? 8 And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”?—as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.

The reason why these preachers were misunderstood is because they preached on the verses just before Rom 6:1-2 (which Rev Kong Hee quoted) which is where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. Let's take a look at the verses in context:

Rom 5:20-21 to Rom 6:1-4 (NKJV)
20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

When Paul preached that where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, he knew that people may misunderstand him to be promoting sin in order to receive grace (Rom 6:1), that is why in Rom 6:2, he says unequivocally "Certainly not!". This is also what these preachers preach but still they have been misunderstood.

One preacher who has been misunderstood by other Christians including fellow preachers is NCC's Pastor Joseph Prince. Those who wonder whether he is really preaching this questionable teaching #4 will do well to listen for themselves:

There Is Superabounding Favour To Lift You Up When You Fall (CD Sermon)
E-mail this product to a friend

God’s favour flows in your life, especially when you fail. “How can that be?” you ask. “Aren’t I most undeserving when I fail?” No, the Bible clearly shows that where sin abounds, grace, God’s undeserved, unmerited favour, superabounds. Listen to this message, and see the evidence for yourself in the life stories of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In spite of their failings, they emerged richly blessed! So don’t throw in the towel when you fail. Learn to reach out for God’s grace, and come out even more blessed!

1 comment:

As The Deer said...

Brilliant point Stan.

Yup I totally agree that many grace pastors, including PP, has been misustd as Apostle Paul was. I feel that many pastors who try to refute the gospel of grace or who try to promote mix gospels quote in part, but pastors who quote grace always quote the FULL quote.

As believers we need to come to recognise the voice of our Shepherd, Jesus Christ, and follow Him and NOT what is being wrongly preached at the pulpit..

A similar case to look at is this one other commonly misquoted quotation that mixed grace/ legalistic pastorrs love to abuse is found in Phil 2:12...

12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,Pastors love to misquote this to promote works amd that we need to work out our salvation still.

BUT Notice the comma behind?? This is NOT a full quote... you must also add in verse 13 which says -

13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
And we know this point when quoted in FULL is accurate because Scripture confirms Scripture... Let's take a look at some scriptures that confirm the FULL quote from Phil 2:12-13

1 Corinthians 15:10

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.

And another one that confirms that the FULL quotation is right, not the half quote that pastors often misquote is found in Hebrews 13:20-21 - 20 Now may the God of peace—
who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus,
the great Shepherd of the sheep,
and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood—
21 may he equip you with all you need
for doing his will.
May he produce in you,[e]
through the power of Jesus Christ,
every good thing that is pleasing to him.
All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.
Thus, before anyone reads and agrees with the quotes pastors make in their sermons, one must look at the context of the quote - has it been quoted out of context or partially to serve his needs or is it an accurate portrayal of what the Scripture says?

If it is accurate, one should find multiple scriptural quotations to confirm its accuracy.

If it is a "one-hit wonder", chances are that it has been misquoted. =pp