On Obedience… Another Case In Point

I will not belabour the matter much more. I think what has been written in the past few days suffices. The one from earlier today was going to be my last one on the subject for a bit. However, I couldn’t let this one pass. I need for people to see this, to understand this, to perceive the spirit behind it. Why? Because it is far too common in our day, and far too harmful, to remain silent concerning it. So please, consider carefully the following quote from one who professes to be a Gospel preacher:

Many accuse me or my gospel as antinomian (anti-law)… They assume they are more righteous than the people whom they so accuse, just as the Pharisees and Jews before them did with the Lord Jesus and even Apostle Paul. 
From now onwards, I shall ask any who accuses me of being anti-law to LIST TEN THINGS that they think are DOING BETTER than me and share their measurement techniques and tools. I get tired of people who just say things without understanding of what is being said…
If they can’t prove that they are more righteous than me or anyone who holds to our gospel then I shall not allow them to ever comment on my wall…. I will delete their comments because they have lost their right to speak…
Please consider this (not quite) brief commentary/rebuttal.
  1. When the aim is to edify the church of God, and to address false doctrine (especially grievous false doctrine), it is never about one-upmanship as it relates to personal, manifest uprightness/sanctification. The entire focus needs to be on (a) reviewing scripture holistically; (b) testing/proving all things; (c) comparing positions (doctrinal stances) with the Word of God, and (d) holding fast to what is true, and abstaining from (rejecting) that which is not. If the work, the effort, and the words are focused on doctrine in light of Scripture, then taking personal offense, and making it about one’s self, is childish at best.
  2. We are commanded to try the spirits; however, some spirits do not like to be tried. The Apostle Paul, by the Holy Spirit, deemed those in Berea as being “…more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” The Christian is called to hear objectively, analyze objectively, enquire objectively, and discern (coming to right conclusions) objectively. We are to do so concerning the teaching… but also the teacher.
  3.  Note the statement “Many accuse me or my gospel as antinomian (anti-law);” if many accuse him of that, maybe it should tell him something. Maybe he should rethink matters, test out matters, challenge his paradigms, to see if his stance really is correct — maybe, for a moment, he should agree with his “adversary,” look at things from their point of view, to see if maybe, just maybe, they are on to something. Besides, if a lot of people are saying something, the same thing, about a person, it could very well be slanderous, but it may very well be based upon fact. To know the difference (concerning scriptural matters), one must rely on the Bible in its entirety.
  4. He further states “Many accuse me or my gospel as antinomian (anti-law)… They assume they are more righteous than the people whom they so accuse.” The first problem with this statement is that the author presumes to know the motives of people, and what they are actually thinking, when they speak out against him. Because he cannot perceive the matter any other way, he presumes it is nothing more than a personal attack, and nothing more than an opportunity for his critics to put on display ‘how much more righteous or holy they are than him.” He simply cannot fathom that someone may have a truly doctrinal concern over his soundbite preaching, and how his false doctrine actually does harm to the body of Christ. Because he is so sure that he cannot be in error concerning his stance concerning the (extant/spiritual) law of God, he has no choice but to frame it as “oh, they think their better than me.” Again, it is a school-age mindset, one unbecoming of discussions on such grave matters, and it highlights the state of so many of these men. Nonetheless, let me make it abundantly clear. I do not know his personal walk, I am not commenting on his personal walk, I have zero desire to compare his walk to mine, etc. I am simply taking issue with his anomian/antinomian eisegesis and commentary, and seeking to warn others about it.
  5. He then states “From now onwards, I shall ask any who accuses me of being anti-law to LIST TEN THINGS that they think are DOING BETTER than me and share their measurement techniques and tools.” What? Did I really just read this? Again, this is childish, it doesn’t address the heart of the matter, and it makes it about him (as a person) rather than the doctrine he puts forth — the very doctrine we are commanded, as believers, to test/prove/try. His entire commentary is a red herring / straw man pontification. All it does is distract from the matter at hand. And what is the matter at hand? It can be summed up as: “What is the Christian’s (the quickened saint’s) relationship to the law? Does he try to get as far from it as possible or, as the Apostle Paul, does he desire to serve it? Does he accuse those who desire to keep the commandments of God of adding works to salvation, seeking a righteousness of their own, desiring to go back to the Mosaic law, etc.? Or does he provoke/incite/even irritate unto good works using the biblical means that God Himself has ordained.”
  6. Regarding “I get tired of people who just say things without understanding of what is being said,” I am sorry he has grown so tired. Maybe if he relied less on meme-type soundbites, and really considered all relevant scriptural points (instead of hobby-horsing a few passages out of context), he wouldn’t be so fatigued by such opposition. Maybe if he said things clearly in the first place, he wouldn’t have to significantly edit his comments after the fact, adding the much needed (but still not fully accurate in light of his other comments) clarification… (I’m not against editing; I edit my work all the time; I just don’t accuse people of ‘not getting it’ when my words gave them nothing else to get). As I have said before, it is best for people to (a) know what they mean; (b) say what they mean; (c) anticipate counters/objections, and (d) make reasonable effort to address them. If you write insufficiently, or erroneously, it is no one else’s fault if they supposedly ‘say things without understanding what is being said.’ We are not mind readers. Moreover, words have meaning. When the large (visible) bulk of your words point to error, it is reasonable for people to see it as… error.
  7. Regarding “If they can’t prove that they are more righteous than me or anyone who holds to our gospel then I shall not allow them to ever comment on my wall….” — With all due respect, I feel like I am back in grade school after reading that. It is an emotional response, not a well-reasoned one based upon Scripture, and it does no one any good.
  8. Finally, regarding “I will delete their comments because they have lost their right to speak…” — I would suggest blocking them, and me, altogether since deleting comments (though I do not believe he has ever deleted any of mine), will not stop the  ‘many [who] accuse [him]…of antinomianism’ from expressing their concerns.

Conclusion: Anyone who aims to publicly comment, teach, preach, etc., must be ready to state their case, defend it, distinguish it from error, and expect others to test/try it vigorously. It is my belief that the many, many comments/posts/etc., that I have seen from the author, evidence a very strong anomian/antinomian bent. I have seen people that I know, that I have interacted with, and that I do care about, “amen” such error. I have seen said error spread into other “grace”-type circles. I truly, honestly, and vehemently believe it is dangerous error, and in some cases, deadly error. As a result, I speak out against it. I put forth my argument in opposition, strive to back it up with proof-text for others to analyze and consider, and leave myself open to rebuttal should anyone desire to respond. That’s what we all should do. What we should not do is write things like the above-quoted text, that edifies no one, that clarifies nothing, and that evidences a spirit that seems more concerned with defense of self, than defense of truth.

I will leave it there; there are other vital matters to talk about; and I have no desire to continue to ‘pick on’ him or his words. And yet, it’s hard to find someone else who would have served as a better “case in point.” It wasn’t personal (as to some ill-will against the individual himself; anyone else who writes as much as he does, in the manner that he does, could have been used as a case in point…. I just haven’t come across anyone else to that degree) — however, it was personal to me, as it relates to the doctrinal errors he puts forth. I disdain what anomianism/antinomianism did in my life… and I grieve when I see others falling into that same, damnable trap.

That will suffice; to God be the glory.

Amen.

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