Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Jesus Culture's False Gospel: Will the Real Gospel Please Stand Up?

There are many false teachings at Jesus Culture Conferences. Some of these errors are more obvious than others. One of the errors that can be hard to detect is the "different gospel" that is taught and preached consistently throughout Jesus Culture's teachings. It is hard to detect, because for some people--even long-time Christians-- the actual message of the gospel is not fully clear. 

[The absence of the gospel in Jesus Culture conferences --as well as Jesus Culture's home church, Bethel, and its affiliated School of Supernatural Ministry-- is certainly an obvious "different gospel". One can attend many of their events, Sunday messages, classes and even the "Power Evangelism" seminars, and never hear, read, or practice the preaching of the gospel.]

Another way to see these different gospels is through contrast. The short video below illustrates several "other" gospel messages--including some similar to those taught by Jesus Culture--and then the message of the real gospel. 

See if you can detect the true gospel message, from the other, false gospels. Teacher John MacArthur then offers an explanation of the summary of the gospel, as it was inspired by the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul in Paul's second letter to the Corinthians, chapter 5, verse 21: 
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him

Why is Jesus Culture's false gospel dangerous? 

Because "it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16). The Bible says that it must be preached, we must hear it and, by faith, we must believe it, in order to be saved from the rightful punishment of a holy God for our sins committed against Him.  (Romans 10:13-15, Ephesians 2:8).

This is the message that has the power to bring us out darkness and death into light and life, eternally.  (1 Peter 2:9). 

Jesus said in John 12:46-50
“I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness. “If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day. “For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak.“I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.” 
Jesus is saying that we will be judged according to our response to Him and His Word. If the Jesus that is preached is "another Christ" we cannot respond to Him in a way that leads to salvation. Similarly, if the Word that is preached is "another gospel" we cannot respond to it in a way that leads to salvation.

Zac Pooneen, in his article, "The True Gospel and the False", explains it this way: 

Basically, there are only two gospels being preached today - one man-centered and the other God-centered.
The man-centered gospel promises man that God will give him everything he needs to make his life on earth comfortable and will also give him a seat in heaven at the end of his life. Man is told that Jesus will forgive all his sins, heal all his diseases, bless and prosper him materially, solve all his earthly problems, etc., etc.
Self still remains at the center of such a man's life, and God revolves around him - as his servant - to answer his every prayer and to give him whatever he wants!! All that he has to do is "believe" and "claim every material blessing in Jesus' Name"!!
This is a false gospel, because no mention is made of "repentance". Repentance is what John the Baptist, Jesus, Paul, Peter and all the apostles preached first of all. And repentance, unfortunately, is what is not preached today, even last of all!!
The God-centered gospel, on the other hand, calls upon man to repent. It explains that "repentance" means:
Turning FROM Self as the center of one's life, from doing one's own will, from walking along one's self-chosen way, from loving money, and from loving the world and the things in the world (the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life), etc., and
Turning TO God, loving Him with one's whole heart, making Him the Centre of one's life and doing His will henceforth etc.,
Faith in Christ's death on the cross can forgive a man his sins only when he has repented. Then he can receive the power of the Holy Spirit to empower him to deny himself daily so that he can live a God-centered life. This is the gospel that Jesus and the apostles preached.
The false gospel makes the gate wide and the way broad (easy to walk along, because one does not have to deny one's Self or stop living for one's own interests or stop seeking one's own gain). ...But it is all a deception. Although some are indeed genuinely converted in such meetings, because of their sincerity, many such "converts" end up becoming "twofold children of hell" (Matt.23:15) - deceived about their true state.
The true gospel however, makes the gate small and the way narrow - not smaller or narrower than Jesus Himself made it, as some "super-spiritual" cultists do, but just the same size as Jesus made it. Few there be, that find this way to life. There is not much for the evangelists of this gospel to report about, and the statistics are not impressive. But this gospel leads people to the Lord Jesus and to heaven.
"Be careful how you listen. Whoever obeys what he has heard, to him more light and understanding will be given. But whoever does not obey what he has heard, even what light and understanding he thinks he has will be taken away from him." (Paraphrase of Luke 8:18).
He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
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