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Tag Archives: hyper-grace

Welcome to Spirit Life Magazine! We hope you'll return often!

By Joseph Mattera

The past several decades we have seen a dramatic decline in doctrinal and Biblical preaching. We have gone from theology to therapy in the pulpits. In the past decade we went from therapy to motivational speaking instead of preaching.

In addition to this, whole churches and movements have oriented themselves to a distorted understanding of the gospel by espousing a “hyper-grace” approach that trickles down to not only what they preach but who they allow to minister and teach. (I was told there is even a new television station devoted to this view of “grace.”) Continue reading “Signs of Hyper-Grace Churches” »

Some Honest Questions for Joseph Prince

By Dr. Michael Brown

Josheph Prince

Xenonamandar Jegahusiee Singh, aka, Joseph Prince, is the son of an Indian Sikh priest and a Buddhist Chinese mother, who admittedly dabbled in the occult as a young man. His TV program that airs on TBN and other networks is watched by millions globally (Joseph Prince YouTube)

On a regular basis, I hear reports about believers who have been transformed through the ministry of Joseph Prince, and I thank God for every one of those good reports.

Without a doubt, his message of grace is liberating many from legalism, performance-based religion and a spiritual inferiority complex, and for all of this, I am grateful.

In 1992, God spoke to me to do a fresh study of grace, and the results of that study were eye-opening, to the point that one of the chapters in my 1997 book Go and Sin No More is called “It’s All Grace” while another is called “The Letter Kills.” Continue reading “Dr. Michael Brown Poses Some Questions to Joseph Prince” »

In the previous post, The Outrageous Claims of Mars Hill Church “Investigators”, I indicated my strong disagreement with the conclusions of the group of elders and an overseer who identified themselves as the “investigators” who conducted an investigation into the long train of abuses, misdeeds, and other allegations against the founding senior leader of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Mark Driscoll. Those men concluded that “While we believe Mark needs to continue to address these areas in his life, we do not believe him to be disqualified from pastoral ministry.”

I ended that post by saying that abuse of spiritual authority is one of the most, possibly the most, egregious affronts in existence to the One who is the Source of all legitimate authority, and that in a follow-up post I would offer 25 reasons why that is so that immediately come to my mind. This post consists of those 25 reasons. Continue reading “25 Reasons Hyper-Authoritarian Church Leadership IS Disqualifying” »

[Editor’s Note: For those myriad ostrich Christians who rarely pull their heads out of the sand for a quick gander at what’s going on in Christendom, and find themselves—miracle of all miracles—reading this article, nascent in this hour are several of what could be called “doctrine wars” going on in the Body of Christ. Our view is that such über-discussions, if you will, are a good thing, because for the most part, purporting Christians as a whole in these last days tend to be an apathetic, uninformed, and far from a studious lot, particularly when it comes to the study-requiring and tedious task of doctrine-formulation. As a whole, they seem to basically not much care about much of anything going on in the Church, the nation, or the entire world, for that matter, except maybe in the “Cliff Notes” version. Regrettably, statistics gathered by professional researchers have over and over proved this to be the case. One of these controversies between cessationists, primarily fundamentalist Baptists (albeit, certainly, other Evangelicals identify with that camp as well) who seemingly out of nowhere (though it does suspiciously coincide with reported precipitously declining Southern Baptist adherents) began an all-out assault against the continuationist camp, comprised chiefly by Pentecostals and Charismatics. The cessationist aggression has been spearheaded by prominent Baptist Pastor, John MacArthur, who authored a book, Strange Fire, and convened a mega-conference of the same name. Charismatic scholar, apologist, and author, Michael L. Brown, whose coming to prominence was augmented by his association with and contribution to the so-called, Brownsville Revival, that evolved primarily from his friendship with the now late evangelist, Steve Hill, with his book, Authentic Fire, along with the inveterate former pastor of Westminster Cathedral, R.T. Kendall, with his book, Holy Fire, are two at the top of the list of authors in terms of notoriety countering the unfounded claims of the cessation combatants. The other spiritual maelstrom is between an ever-increasing spate of recently emerging “hyper-grace” teacher-authors and a number of teacher-authors countering the hyper-grace theories with monographic treatises demonstrating the utter fallacy and falsity of the hyper-grace claims. With his book, Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message, Brown, perhaps, leads the latter cadre of apologists. At the core of the hyper-grace posits is the matter of the need for repentance that inures from what the Holy Spirit, in the Word of God, terms “conviction” and “godly sorrow.” Hyper-grace teachers adamantly assert there is no need for either, and that claims to the contrary are simply false and unbiblical. The following article, excerpted from a section of the same title of Brown’s book captures the essence of the counter-argument.]

Conviction vs. Condemnation
By Michael L. Brown, PhD

Unfortunately, some believers confuse conviction with condemnation, and the moment the Spirit speaks to them about something wrong in their lives, they feel hopeless and condemned, which only drives them further from the Lord. This is a lie from the enemy that must be exposed, and I stand with my colleagues in the hyper-grace camp when they seek to expose this destructive notion. Let the truth be shouted from the rooftops: the Holy Spirit never speaks condemnation to a son or daughter of God.

As I explained in my book Go and Sin No More, “If you are a born-again believer, a blood-washed child of God, you are not damned and doomed. God is not saying, ‘To hell with you! Depart from Me, you wicked one.’ Absolutely not! He is saying, ‘You are Mine! I accept you fully through My Son.’”[18]

What then is the difference between conviction and condemnation? Conviction says to the believer, “You have sinned, so come to Me!” Condemnation says to the lost and damned sinner, “You are pronounced guilty. Away from Me!” Continue reading “Conviction Vs. Condemnation” »

Is A New Grace Reformation Taking Place Today?
By Dr. Michael Brown

Is there a new reformation sweeping the Church today, a reformation as radical and important as the Protestant Reformation that rocked the world 500 years ago? According to a growing number of Christian leaders, the answer is emphatically yes.

Pastor Clark Whitten, author of Pure Grace: The Life Changing Power of Uncontaminated  Grace, claims that, “Little has changed in the Protestant church in more than 500 years” – until now, that is. He believes that Luther and Calvin “got it right concerning justification, or how one is saved. . . . But they missed it on sanctification, or how one is perfected into the likeness of Christ.”

Whitten states that Luther and Calvin, followed by the Protestant Church ever since, taught a doctrine of “saved by grace but perfected by human effort,” an approach that has produced “a Church that is judgmental, angry, hopeless, helpless, dependent, fearful, uninspired, ineffective, and perpetually spiritually immature.” Continue reading “Exposing the Dangers of Hyper-Grace” »

As I dialogue with believers across a large spectrum of theological perspectives, it is clear that we often talk right past each other, disagreeing with each other before we even understand each other. Just as often, we uphold our own beliefs by misrepresenting the positions we reject. This does nothing to advance true understanding or dialogue.

While writing Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message, I read the books of the key teachers very carefully, praying that God would show me blind spots in my own life, that He would expose any legalistic thinking within me and that He would open my eyes to any grace insights these teachers had that I might be lacking. Continue reading “Four Hyper-Grace Fallacies” »

The “Radical Grace” Teaching — Reformation or Deformation?
By Michael Fackerell

There is a teaching becoming popular in Christendom today which is known by some of its adherents as the “Radical Grace” message (aka, “Hyper-Grace” – Ed.). This message is being presented as a message of liberation from all the horrible legalistic bondage that “religious” Christians get caught up in when they struggle to overcome sin.

According to this message, we can relax because all we need to do is believe that Jesus has taken care of everything for us — there is really nothing for us to do in order to be saved. According to this teaching, it would be nice if we lived holy lives but it’s no big deal if we don’t — because our salvation is assured by what Christ has done for us on the cross and has nothing to do with how we live at all.

Some also teach that our sanctification is also complete and we have no sin nature once we believe in Jesus — regardless of how we live. (In theology, an unorthodox doctrine known as “eradication of the sin nature.” –Ed.) Continue reading “Hyper-Grace — Reformation or Deformation?” »

It is one thing to downplay the ugliness of sin in the life of a believer. It is another thing to deny the existence of sin in the life of a believer. Yet today, there are believers who claim that they do not sin, even when they do. As scary as this deception is, the reasoning behind it is even scarier.

I first encountered this in some fringe hyper-grace circles, where the reasoning goes like this: “I am a spirit, I have a soul and I live in a body. My spirit is born-again, redeemed and perfect in God’s sight. Therefore my spirit—which is the real me—is incapable of sinning, which means that if there is sin in my life, it’s not really me committing the sin.”

Of course, there are some truths mixed into this line of thinking, but it ultimately leads to an unbiblical, very dangerous conclusion: “Yes, I sin, but it’s really not me sinning!” You can easily see where this nonsense can go.

One well-known hyper-grace teacher asks the question, “Does a daily walk of joyful, sinless existence seem like an impossibility?” He then assures his readers that it is hardly impossible at all.

A friend of mine became concerned by some teaching he was hearing in his church (a very well-known church in his region), and so he called the pastor’s right-hand man and asked him to answer a question with a yes or a no: “Do you sin?” The leader replied, “No, I don’t sin,” explaining that his spirit within him was perfect and sinless and that’s who he really was. Continue reading “A Dangerous and Deadly Deception” »

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. One hyper-grace author even states at the beginning of his book, “We are not propagating immorality, because if we truly believe in God and love Him there will be corresponding works (because faith without works is dead).” Absolutely!

There are boatloads of testimonies these teachers can point to, documenting how thousands of believers have found freedom and deliverance by embracing the message of grace. In previous years, these believers had lived under a weight of condemnation, thinking if they just worked a little harder God might accept them, feeling as if they never measured up. Then they encountered God’s amazing grace and were transformed. Continue reading “Hyper-Grace Horror Stories” »

The biblical message of grace is wonderful, glorious and life-transforming. We can’t live without it for one second of our lives. But there is a message being preached today in the name of a new grace reformation, mixing powerful truth with dangerous error. I call it hyper-grace.

One of the foundational doctrines of the hyper-grace message is that God does not see the sins of His children, since we have already been made righteous by the blood of Jesus and since all of our sins, past, present and future, have already been forgiven. That means that the Holy Spirit never convicts believers of sin, that believers never need to confess their sins to God, and that believers never need to repent of their sins, since God sees them as perfect in his sight. Continue reading “Confronting the Error of Hyper-Grace” »