ANTINOMIANISM RESURGANCE

Robert and Maureen McQuillan write:

A seemingly dumb blonde, Eve, crashes into Adam’s car writing both vehicles off. As they’re all right themselves, she says, ‘God’s reminding us of his grace.’ Adam, a ‘Duh!’ guy, nods.

Eve adds, ‘Oh look… a bottle of expensive wine in my poor car isn’t damaged. God’s telling us that it’s okay to celebrate our safety by having a drink.’ Adam agrees as she hands him the wine. Adam drinks half the bottle, notices Eve hasn’t drunk any. When he queries why not, she says, ‘Oh, I’m just waiting for the cops.’

Some ‘Adams’ never learn! And neither do some Christians in respect to some common-sense matters!

Spiritual junk food
Two years ago we warned regarding the obvious lack among Christians of a desire to know God’s word, avoid careless Christianity, and to understand Paul’s warnings to Timothy, which are still so relevant.

In 1 Timothy 4:7 he wrote: ‘Stay clear of silly stories that get dressed up as religion.’ 2 Timothy 4:2-4 was for leaders: ‘Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple. You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food – catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages.’

Sadly over the years many Christians have done just that – ran after ‘the latest thing’ and in many cases have been deceived because they themselves haven’t taken time to study God’s word. They have fallen for weird so-called doctrines, have not sought a sound Bible-based shepherd’s guidance and have got caught up in wackiness. Unfortunately many end up totally confused and losing a grip on their faith.

Old spiritual chestnuts that keep coming round… 

  • False end time predictions regarding Rapture dates
  • ‘Pay my ministry well, especially if you want a prophetic word’
  • ‘New truths’ … ignore experienced senior ministers’ cautions
  • ‘Spiritual gypsyism’ – roaming churches to scratch itchy ears
  • Antinomianism – that first raised its ugly head destructively in the days of the early church.

Antinomianism comes from the Greek meaning ‘lawless.’ In Christian theology it is a disparaging term for the teaching that Christians are under no obligation to obey godly laws of ethics and morality.

Even back two years back, this deceit – a wrong teaching about God’s grace – had already been going on for some months. Much confusion caused by ‘big name preachers’ and quickly grabbed by ministers not versed in scripture and God’s truths led to some Christians losing their faith through going back into worldliness.

Wolf in sheep’s clothing
For decades there’s been a saying: Weird church stuff soon filters from America to other western countries. Today spiritual rubbish has also been coming from Asia for some time.

Sadder still is this … because of wrong teaching and a lack of biblical knowledge among Christians and church leaders, Satan, that old wolf in sheep’s clothing, is able to sneak in with destructive corrupted ‘doctrine’ and bamboozle uninitiated ministers and churchgoers alike.

The erroneous resurgence of antinomianism has resurfaced! Concerned ministers who know God’s word and the Lord intimately are again hearing of false teaching such as:

  • ‘The Holy Spirit doesn’t convict Christians, only the unsaved’
  • ‘Once you accept Christ as Saviour you are under God’s grace and free to do whatever you want.’
  • ‘It’s all right to be worldly, have extramarital relationships, smoke, booze and enjoy life to the full.’
  • ‘You never have to ever apologise to God or ever repent of anything again!’
  • ‘We’re sooooo under grace, God will overlook everything.’

Under grace? More like being under a spell!
And sadly some naive Christians, including leaders, have foolishly embraced this. Without God’s grace we would really be lost, condemned by God virtually every day because of wrong thoughts, wrong actions and words spoken in haste, as even the noblest but most honest leaders will admit.

Christians need to hear from the Spirit Christians may be saved and bound for glory but we’re still human and need to hear his prompting within to repent when we make human mistakes. The Spirit seeks to regenerate us – build us more and more like Christ every day, taking us really away from our old character.

Our good friend, Dr Jim McClure recently emailed the following quote from The Divine Conquest by the American Christian pastor, preacher and author, AW Tozer (1897-1963): ‘The work of the Holy Spirit is, among other things, to rescue the redeemed man’s emotions, to restring his harp and open again the wells of sacred joy which have been stopped up by sin.’

A brilliant theologian himself, Dr Jim says simply: ‘Such false teaching is a result of eisegesis – reading one’s own ideas into the biblical text, rather than exegesis, that is, understanding what the text actually says!’

Egypt looming ahead?
Blatant acceptance of non-doctrinal garbage reminds us of that old Keith Green number, So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt.

The Israelites weren’t happy with what they had been graciously given by their caring God and wanted to return to captivity. Numbers 11: 4-6 says, ‘The riff-raff among the people had a craving and soon they had the people of Israel whining, “We ate fish in Egypt – and got it free! … all we get is manna, manna, manna.”’

They missed the truth that God’s provision free! So is all of God’s goodness but discipleship – being a follower and obeying his word – costs! Foolishly they wanted to blindly head into renewed slavery! Accepting wrong teaching is accepting subtle devilish bondage!

Keeping the ‘new’ law
In Old Testament days God’s Spirit only came on certain people, empowering them to accomplish much. He never lived in them to help them fulfil the law. Christians live in better times, New Testament days, under the law of love and liberty, with the Holy Spirit living within to help us keep that law.

James 1: 22, 25 say: ‘Don’t just listen to the word. You fool yourselves if you do that. You must do what it says… take a good look at the perfect law that gives freedom … keep looking at it. You don’t forget what you’ve heard, but you do what the law says. Then you will be blessed in what you do.’

Yes, the Bible assures us that Christians are definitely under grace. But we can’t afford to go on breaking God’s laws! Paul strongly warns in Romans 6:1-2: ‘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?’

The Message Bible says: ‘So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there?’

Written to Hebrew Christians who were ‘homesick’ for Judaism – like those foolish Israelites longing for ‘their Egypt’ – Hebrews 2:1 is both an encouragement and warning: ‘It’s crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we’ve heard so that we don’t drift off.’

May every Christian be on guard lest more heresy slips in.

(c) 2013.11. Permission granted to reproduce provided source is acknowledged

 

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