There are seven parts to this book and I hope to post my reflections on them a part at a time. This book was written to help people with fears, guilt, and addictions. Prince is convinced that the difference between those who were set free and those who were not, is simply right believing.
First a summary of the first part: Believe in God’s Love for You
What You Believe is Powerful (chapter 1): Wrong beliefs keep you imprisoned but the truth sets you free. The truth that sets you free is the gospel of grace which when believed will uproot all your wrong beliefs.
The God Who Seeks the Shunned (chapter 2): God is not after you for your mistakes and failings and sins. People will shun you like the village shunned the Samaritan woman, but Jesus would seek you out. Uproot common misconceptions about God’s attitude towards those who fail him. Know and believe He abounds in mercy and love and your life will change.
“Jesus Loves Me This I Know” (chapter 3): God’s love for us is unconditional. He forgives us completely; He justifies the ungodly; and loves the sinner. It’s not about how much you love Him but about how much He loves you.
Joseph Prince’s book is very readable. I like the easy to read typo and spacing. The chapters are probably adaptations and edited versions of his sermons. They bear some characteristics of sermons. They speak directly to you in a conversational tone. Sometimes there is the occasional detour and the repetition of ideas in different words. It’s also inspirational and declaratory.
What resonates for me was the mention of how we often have mere head knowledge of the vastness of God’s love for us but when a crisis hits our lack of real belief and knowledge is betrayed by our great fears, anxiety and guilt. On reflection I realize these moments when we see a gap between what we believe about God and how we react or behave are opportunities for the Spirit to write on the tablets of our hearts His personal love letter. Through such experiences what we know in the head percolates to the heart.
From reviewing the first part, I can understand why he keeps preaching the rich theme of God’s grace over and over. For one there are always new people in the audience who need to hear it many times in different ways before it uproots their wrong concepts about God. Second, the whole Bible has a rich deep vein of inexhaustible grace to be mined and surfaced for the people to draw from. Third, faith is not built over a Sunday and often when we are facing a challenge we need to be reminded again and again to look to the God of grace and unconditional love.
I’m going to write on a wider spectrum that what is mentioned above because it is necessary.
My late mom had 7 children. We all grew up poor and treated almost the same way. However, all 7 turned out very, very different from each other. The first girl ran off to get married at a very young to avoid the hardship. The second boy joined the army and supported the family until the others took over later. The third girl did not study or marry and did odd jobs to support the family. Full of love, she sacrificed her life for us all. The fourth became a headmistress, strict, discipline and hard hearted. The fourth is very smart and became a big time finance person in a company in KL. The fifth boy (mommy’s beloved) dabbled in drugs, gambling and all sort of vices and finally ends up in a mental institution. The others would roll their eyes at him and say “seng ka phai” (spoiled rotten). The last is me, the adopted one.
So, although we were all brought up the same, taught the same, in the same circumstances, we are all very different in nature and took very different paths in life.
In the same way, we, the people of God, are all very very different from each other. In a congregation of 20,000 people, we can be thought the same things but each will have their own reaction to the same message.
There is NOT ONE teaching that will produce one result in everyone. Trust me, there is not.
God in His infinite wisdom has prepared the Bible for us in such a way. Most of the most important verses in the Bible seemingly contradicts each other in our human eyes and understanding.
So, men, who is unable to think like God, often would try to formulate a ‘formula’ where there are no contradictions. A ‘one and wonderful solution’ to cover and to solve all the problems of humanity and call it their own. In order to do this they go in one flow. Taking it further and further to a point of no return. It may sound great to us in our small minds because men understand men.
Unfortunately, this is not how God works.
The Bible is full of verses from almost all the writers and the Saviour Himself who would hem us in from the left and from the right. Hence, the narrow gate.
It’s like every one writer is 2 writers merged into one. Say this and then say that. The opposite of each other.
I was reading the “Life Application Study Bible” and I came upon this commentary about the prophet Isaiah..
“The encounter with God permanently affected Isaiah’s character. He reflected the God he represented. Isaiah’s messages-some comforting, some confronting-are so distinct that some have guessed they came from different authors. Isaiah’s testimony is that the messages came from the only One capable of being perfect in justice as well as in mercy-God Himself”
I find Paul and all the other writers of the Bible are the same way.
8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
For you may be sure of this, that EVERYONE who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
The Lord Himself said this,
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
So, this is the narrow gate. Even I myself is no exception to this kind of writing now, Praise the Lord!
He smacks us with commands on the left and Grace on the right. He keeps us on the narrow and the straight.
Both are equally important to Him. We cannot fling open the door of grace without the same amount of preaching against sin and expect the sheep not to fall into the pits.
Right believing is right believing in the Gospel of God, the entire New Testament. As the Word goes forth, lives are being transformed because the word of God is full of power. We must trust Him. We must be faithful to His word. All His word. We leave the seeming contradictions to God. We read aloud His word.
If today, we, as pastors and teachers, go down on our knees and pray for Him to give us a sermon for this weekend and God tipped us towards God’s love and grace and no condemnation in Christ Jesus, we preach that. However, if only the next weekend He says to us to teach that everyone who is sexually immoral will not enter the kingdom of God, then we preach that. Trust me, more than one in the audience NEED to hear this.
The size of our congregation does not matter. What is important is our faithfulness to the Lord and His word.
We don’t need to add or to deduct from God’s word. If we only preach strongly about God’s grace and love, we will have to avoid many other passages in order to make everything tally, a method which our small minds are able to comprehend but is not God’s way.
If we teach the people everything within this complete and perfect word of God, the Bible, then nobody, nobody not even God Himself can say that we have gone astray.
God’s love is not like human love. We think we love by showing love, giving gifts etc.
God’s love is perfect. Perfect in grace, blessings, guiding, guarding, warnings, prohibiting, disciplining, sufferings, forgiving, comforting, advice etc. His love is much much more than we can ever comprehend. So ALL His word which is full of love need to go forth. It is not our prerogative to pick and choose. These are His children He wants us guide. All these different verses are given to us to serve different lives.
We preached everything until our sheep reach their safe pasture in the arms of their loving Saviour. We don’t take any chances when directing the people of God. We take care of them like we take care of our diamonds and gold. We don’t second-guess the word of God. If it’s written, it is relevant.
Even when dealing with our own children, love is shown in many different ways. Some involves pain but absolutely necessary.
However, in dealing with restoration, there is only one way that works..This is to extent God’s love and grace for love never fails.
Pastor Prince says that God spoke to him about preaching radical grace. The question for the rest of us teachers and pastors is- “did God spoke to us about this?”- If the answer ‘no’ then we teach the entire New Testament.
It seems to me that Ephesians 5:5 is referring to the “sons of disobedience” mentioned in next verse. And in the following verse tells “us” not to partake with them, and then reminds us that we are “children of light” (which contrasts with sons of disobedience).
Who are the “sons of disobedience”? Ephesians 2:2 mentions them clearly in the context unbelievers, and not born-again Spirit-filled saints.
Also from Young’s Literal Translation of Ephesians 5:5, the term “unclean” and the phrase “who is an idolator” are also extra hints that don’t apply to true believers because we are completely washed clean by the blood of Christ forever, right?
I think Paul is exhorting us not to be deceived and behave like people of the world, but to behave in a manner consistent with our noble heritage as sons of God in Christ. I do not think he is warning believers about losing our inheritance (or salvation) because of sin or wrongdoing.
When I first came to write on blogpastor, you know I had nothing but good things to say about Pastor Prince’s ministry. There must be a reason I turned and is unable to support that kind of teaching anymore.
When I changed and blogpastor wrote that coconut article about me (i think) to say that I have changed and unreliable, I could not sleep the whole week. I felt like vomiting the whole time for lost of face. 🙂
When I prayed about it, the Lord had deemed fit to help me write a beautiful support of my change.
I was also reminded that I’m willing to be a fool for the Lord any day and to be humble before everyone so that I can become nothing and the Lord can use me.
This is the journey the Lord deems fit to bring me through. I guess everybody can choose whatever they want to teach. Whether to follow God’s doctrine or man’s doctrine but I’m just putting across my views so that another angle is brought out to the open.
The doctrine of radical grace that Pastor Prince put out there did not work for my life and now not for my ministry so I’ll support teaching the Bible any day. I was too slow to catch it when I lived through it and then things started to happen in my ministry that further proves that it does not work in my people’s lives.
What you are saying is the same as what I have stated. Paul is warning believers not to people not behave like the people of the world. Right hand grace, left hand warning. This and many more passages like this to tell us how important it is to avoid sin.
To have a clearer view about what Paul says about Christians involving in sexual sin
1 Corinthians 5
New International Version (NIV)
Dealing With a Case of Incest
5 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. 2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? 3 For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. 4 So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5 hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh,[a][b] so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.
6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister[c] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.
12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”[d]
Does this sound at all like the ‘gospel’ of radical grace that Pastor Prince teaches? If not, should we teach Paul or Prince?
I don’t know about others but I’d choose Paul any day.
I’d like now to take us to the definition of False Prophet by Jeremiah and to see how we could qualify..
New International Version (NIV)
16 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you;
they fill you with false hopes.
They speak visions from **their own minds**,
not from the mouth of the Lord.
17 They keep saying to those who despise me,
‘The Lord says: You will have peace.’
And to all who **follow the stubbornness of their hearts**
they say, ‘No harm will come to you.’
18 But which of them has stood in the council of the Lord
to see or to hear his word?
Who has listened and heard his word?
19 See, the storm of the Lord
will burst out in wrath,
a whirlwind swirling down
on the heads of the wicked.
20 The anger of the Lord will not turn back
until he fully accomplishes
the purposes of his heart.
In days to come
you will understand it clearly.
21 I did not send these prophets,
yet they have run with their message;
I did not speak to them,
yet they have prophesied.
22 But if they had stood in my council,
they would have proclaimed my words to my people
and would have **turned them from their evil ways
and from their evil deeds**
This is basically saying that if we had a meeting with The Lord, we would turn people from their evil ways and evil deeds..
A false Prophet is one who does not teach the people to turn away from their sins. Not one who does not preach the grace of the Lord. Anyone can be a false prophet, so we’ve got to be careful what we teach. Best to teach from the entire new testament (old testament is relevant to point to the new).
I have listened to Pastor Prince’s teaching almost the whole of my life and now I have come to disagree with most of it. The further I come, the more I disagree because of his tendency to read everything in support of ‘his’ theory and not stick to God’s word.
There is a beautiful walk ahead of us where we walk in the Spirit and not after the desire of the flesh. We will not get here unless we truly desire it. Prayer of repentance and a life against sin is absolutely necessary. The laid back attitude against sin will not do. When we reach here, it’s like heaven on earth.
Although teaching God’s love is crucial but teaching against sin is equally important. My brother, a new Christian said this “the gospel of radical grace does not give people the ‘braking system’ against sins”..I think this very true.
First, know hat all believers will agree with you that we need to be living lifestyles that bring glory to our Lord. It is “how” that we probably differ.
You seem to be saying that the Church needs to be preaching against sin regularly, and you quote 1 Corinthians 5 for that.
Before we start “preaching against sin” in the church every Sunday, we need to first take into account the context in which Paul’s letter was written.
We need to understand that Paul’s letter was written to the Corinthian church to address specific problems that church was having at that time – Paul being away then. That is, some people in the church (whether true believers or not we don’t really know) are known to be living sinful lifestyles. There was something “flaky” going on there since those truly born-again cannot live in such lifestyles willingly (see Romans 6:2), and Paul exhorts those in the church to expel and disassociate from those living in such sin.
In the modern context, from what we learned from Paul’s letter, a church pastor who discovers such “flakiness” going on in his church, should probably confront those members of his church (whether they are truly born-again we don’t know), like Paul did through his letter, and do whatever is necessary to either discipline that person, or if that fails then maybe expel that person to protect the rest of the congregation. I think that is the correct way to apply 1 Corinthians 5.
However, taking Paul’s letter and strict advice to the Corinthian church about specific sexual immorality problems they were having and using that as a modern template for regular Sunday preaching is illogical and in my opinion, will do absolutely nothing to help “normal” Christians grow. To grow, us “normal” Christians need proper spiritual food – that is Jesus – who is the true manna.
It is Jesus, our true manna who authorized Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to write most of the New Testament.
Of all the ages and all the people in the world, only the Corinthians at that time are singled out for such treatment?
How about the other chapters where Paul spoke about such things. Do I need to quote everything because your pastor never did read them to you?
Your proposal sounds great! Paul is ‘illogical’…
Except that you (and your pastor) did not take into account the people who has yet to commit these sins but are dealing with temptation.
Different people are disciplined in different ways. Some are changed by love and grace, some by prohibition and warnings, some has to go through the experience and taste the bitterness in order to change. Just like bringing up kids. Different kids react differently to different treatments. God knows all these things. We don’t.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
QUOTE: “There was something “flaky” going on there since those truly born-again cannot live in such lifestyles willingly (see Romans 6:2), and Paul exhorts those in the church to expel and disassociate from those living in such sin.”
_ _ _ _ _ _ _
1COR3:1-3(NKJV) = 1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.
2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal.
For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?
4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?
(Now, we know that Apollo was not a very good teacher.)
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ROM.6:2 does not say that those truly born-again cannot live in sinful lifestyles willingly. That’s a wrong interpretation. Anyone, even a born-again Christian, can reject, insult or grieve the Holy Spirit/Spirit of God.(eg HEB.10:29)
Paul categorized the Corinthian Church members as ‘babes-in-Christ’ and not as ‘flaky’ or false Christians or not truly born-again, ie they were born-again as Spirit’ual babies, but had remained as babies and did not grow into adulthood.
At 1COR5:5, Paul stated that an unrepentant or so-called flaky Christian sinner would fall into the hands of Satan(ie with the permission of God) and die early, but might still be saved in the day of the Lord(=Christ 2nd Advent). Who knows.? …Maybe, JC would appear on his/her death-bed.
…….I think it is quite wrong to categorize every Christian who has committed serious sins as not truly born-again, flaky/false Christians or….
…as truly born-again Christians who somehow have committed sins unwillingly(???) and automatically have been forgiven/pardoned/let-off by God (or hv ‘get-out-of-jail-cards’ – in Monopoly) just bc they believe in JC.
…….I think it is a wrong belief to say that a truly born-again Christian will not commit sins or even if he/she did, it was done unwillingly. This kind of deceptive self-justification sounds like those rapists who blame their female victims for dressing ‘provocatively’ or blame it on their sex-addiction(=a mental disorder.?).
Every Christian is born-again as Spirit’ual babies. They need to gradually grow by feeding on Spirit’ual food, 1st with milk and then with solid food, both of which are part of the laws/Word of God, whether the written or spoken Word.
…….The need for Spirit’ual growth is esp true for new Gentile Christians who had led mostly lawless lives from childhood, eg carnal/idolatry beliefs, practices, customs and traditions.
Recently, in China, many babies died from eating fake milk that had been adulterated with melanin(=fake protein). Some adults may hv died from foods adulterated with poisonous substances, eg fake eggs, stale pork soaked with red dye, cooking oil adulterated with filtered gutter oil, etc.
…….Similarly, when Spirit’ual babies-in-Christ are fed false/demonic doctrines or beliefs, many of them will die spiritually. Some adults may also die spiritually by feeding on other more complex or controversial demonic doctrines/beliefs.
Let me illustrate about one such Spirit’ual milk; the law of the Sabbath. It was instituted thru Moses, in order to remember God the Creator, who had created the earth(separated from heaven) in 6 days and rested on the 7th day – hence, we hv a week. In addition, Man being created in the image of God, should also rest from their work on the 7th day, which is good for their health.
For the early Jews, whenever a week passed and they rested on the Sabbath day(=Roman Friday), they remembered their Creator. At the same time, they could recuperate from the exertions of their work.
…….When Gentile Christians became favored during the Holy Roman Empire(=4th century AD), the Sabbath day was changed from Friday to Sunday, to follow the Roman week-end; and so Church services began to be held on Sunday. Sunday Church services hv continued till today in many countries, esp in the West.
Recently, in Islamic Johor, the weekend has been changed from Sunday to Saturday, starting in 2014. I think, it is OK for the Churches in Johor to change their services to Saturday bc their members will still be able to remember their Creator and hv a rest day to recuperate from their work-days.
…….I think it would be wrong for the Churches in Johor to insist on having their services on Sunday, a working day in Johor. This would conflict many Church members and may put their health at risk.
Also, for those who do shift-work(eg Drs, police officers, etc), they are still able to remember their Creator as the week passes and their employers do give them rest-days. I think it would be wrong to teach Christians to reject all shift-work bc they would not be able to attend Church services on most Sundays.
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The book of REVELATION was the last book(=circa 90AD) incorporated into the Bible. It was written by apostle John, the most loved apostle of Christ, when he was already very old. In this book, John recorded how Jesus appeared and spoke to him about many revelations, prophecies and secrets.
At REV.2-3, Jesus gave messages to the existing and real Church members(of circa 90AD), mostly criticizing them for their demonic doctrines, sins/evil-deeds, etc. So, it is not true that truly born-again Christians will not commit sins. Church history attests to this non-truth, eg the Judaizers, the Inquisition, persecution of Galileo, the Protestant Reformation, Catholic-Protestant Wars in Europe, colonization, etc.
…….Anyway, sins/evil-deeds will only jeopardize one’s life on earth, eg early painful death. Only the abandoning/forsaking of faith in Christ(eg cursing God/Jesus and die) will cause one to lose his/her salvation – this includes not obeying Jesus or His law/Word(eg disobey Christ by receiving the Mark of the Beast – REV.13:11-18).
I think at REV.20:7-9, Jesus says that some resurrected/raptured Christians may even fall into Satan’s deception at the end of the Millenium, like how Adam n Eve had fallen at the beautiful Garden of Eden in the beginning.
…….So, it is a fallacy for any born-again Christian, esp a new GC, to be too cock-sure or over-confident of himself/herself and his/her salvation bc the devil(=Satan), like a roaring lion, has been roaming the earth, seeking whom he may devour, …esp with his deceptions/demonic doctrines/miracles-magic(=witchcraft).
I think there has been some misunderstanding on your part.
The “radical grace” (or gospel of grace) teaching is not in contradiction to Paul’s teaching in 1 Cor 5. Radical grace does not mean lovey dovey and allow open sinful behaviors in the church.
In 1 Cor 5, Paul was teaching about those who profess to be christians, but openly engage in sexual sins. In such a situation, the church must employ disciplinary measures to manage the situation so that it does not spread.
Ps Prince teaches that if this “christian” is a true believer, he does not lose his salvation when he lives in sin. He didn’t teach that the church should close one eye and allow that christian to remain in church. In fact I remember hearing him preach that NCC had in fact expelled some church members who refused to repent from their sinful ways. Though it was not done openly before the whole congregation.
In my opinion, you shouldn’t tailor your teaching based on which teaching seemed to work, and which seemed didn’t. We should instead teach based on whether it is the accurate and sound doctrine. Sometimes, the right doctrine takes time to take root and bear fruit. We shouldn’t dismiss a teaching just because we don’t see the fruit immediately.
You sincerely want your congregation to live right, I get that. But we want them to obey God out of love, not out of fear of judgment. You should take time to study to see which is the more accurate doctrine, and not merely looking at which teaching gives you the quicker result.
A nuanced shift or a seismic change?
Wonderful to see dynamic evolution towards a life of abundance and fulfilment – journey to the promised land of milk and honey
I found it quite disturbing that Lyn opined some of the most important verses in the Bible seemingly contradicts each other. If that is so, how can peace and grace be in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord?(2 Peter 1:2)
Looking forward to your reflections on the book!:)
Who is Jesus.?
MATT.7:23 implies that those miracles-seeking(+ signs & wonders = Charismatics/Pentecostals.?) “Christians” did not know who Jesus is. This verse/Word implies that only those who know who Jesus is, will be saved(- from hell).
About 2,000 years ago, Jesus the Christ/Messiah/Savior/Promised-One appeared on earth amongst His fellow Jews.
Jesus was God the Father who came down from heaven to earth, as a human(=manifested in the flesh),…
for the SPECIFIC purpose of preaching, teaching, ministering, dying on the Cross, being resurrected by the Holy Spirit, ascending back to heaven,…
and SAVING fallen(=unclean/evil or sinful-hearted) humans from hell, thereby bequeathing heaven or eternal life to them;…
1st for the Jews(=God’s chosen people) and then for the Gentiles(=God’s invited guests).(- paraphrasing from 1TIM.3:16 & JOHN.3:16)
Jesus(in Greek) = Joshua(in Hebrew) = God the Savior/God is salvation.(cf: MATT.1:23 – Immanuel = God with us)
For salvation, we hv to look to Jesus.(JOHN.14:1-6, HEB.12:2) Salvation is about our after-life, ie where we go to after death on earth – eternal damnation or eternal life/heaven(=to be with God the Father).
For earthly life b4 salvation, we hv to look to Moses, ie be guided Spirit’ually by the laws/Word of Almighty God, who is also the Father, Lawgiver, Teacher, Judge, Prophet, Police, Blesser/Curser, Executioner, etc.(cf: Jesus the Savior-/Advocate/Mediator/High-Priest/etc)
When a Jew becomes a Christ-believer, he/she is required by God to continue keeping all of Moses Law(or Jewish laws) bc it will not be a burden to him/her.
…….When a Gentile becomes a Christian, he/she is required to only keep the laws of Moses which are not burdensome(eg the 4 simple laws of ACTS.15:29, moral laws of EXO.20, etc) and is exempted from the laws of Moses that are burdensome(eg circumcision, Sabbath Friday, kosher foods, etc).
…….Pls refer to my earlier postings elsewhere, for further explanation about this ‘grave’ difference between Law & Grace.
God the Father will only save from hell, those who are in-Christ or hv Jesus in their hearts), even though He may hv to curse them for their sins/evil-deeds.(eg LUKE.23:43, 1COR.5:5)
…….While still on earth, God’s law of ni4ni still applies to everyone, ie believers and non-believers alike. A convicted Christian murderer will most likely still be executed. Such a murderer’s faith in Christ may only avail him/her eternal life after execution.
…….Those believers who commit grave sins/evil-deeds intentionally run the great risk of cursing God/Jesus and die while suffering the curses of God, thereby ending up in hell.(eg the wife of Job & HEB.10:26-31)
Radical Grace teachings seem to be giving some misguided believers, even pastors, the “license-to-sin”, like James BOND-007, ie God’s love prevents Him from cursing them for their sins/evil-deeds.
In truth, the blood of JC only cleanses Adam’s original sin that every human has inherited since birth(ROM.5:12), ie cleanses the sinfulness/evilnessness that is in their hearts n minds.
…….In comparison, Moses Law cleanses their hands/feet of sins/evil-deeds.(DEUT.28) Moses Law can never cleanse the inborn sinfulness/evilness that is in their hearts and minds.
…….That is why believers/Christians were commanded by JC to keep only 1 religious memorial/ceremony, ie the Holy Communion – the drinking of His blood and eating of His flesh. His blood on the Cross symbolizes atonement(LEV.17:11) that begets eternal life/heaven and His flesh symbolizes the laws/Word of God. Digesting His flesh=understanding His Word/laws.
Glad, you are covering the book. I have bought it but its still on the shelf…paiseh. And I am from NCC…sigh.
Regarding Lyn’ heartfelt sharing on her journey…I guess its a phase that every Christian will go through…the questioning, the understanding…till one day, what we know in part…the Lord will fully reveal.
I would like to share a little on what I perceive to be contradicting bits pointed out by Lyn. In the context which I felt it might be. I didnt go bible school lah…but I did see instances of how it might be in real situations at church.
In the context of sinners and no condemnation – THE gospel of Jesus Christ is the ONLY message I have heard that promises absolution for sins,, past present, future. No penance, no karma, no recycling into dogs and cats or building lots of good works to make up for the debts of the past….praying,guessing that perhaps it will save the soul from hell. Just believe in Jesus and his finished work and then walk that faith journey with a renewed heart and mind, attached to the vine of life. Easy, yoke light, burden free…..so simple that we try to complicate it.
Our Jesus offers tax collectors, prostitutes, robbers, murderers who repent and believe in him – absolute absolution. Its a marvelous gift that allows lives to change, to move on instead of dragging packages from the past into the future. It transforms worms into people and then encourages these people to LIVE. Really LIVE with the infinite waves of strength and power from God’s ZOE life in us ( premise is – must be attach to the vine lor) …a living compass called the HOLY SPIRIT and a FULL ARMOUR for every battle in life….some more,no need to fight…wear armour just to be able to STAND…. A confidence of life everlasting in shalom !
So good that many believe it is too good to be true. I am naive. I like it simple and i would like to live it literally… Simply believe.
For Paul’s rebuke though, its leadership 101 to manage the church of Christ.
For the leaders like blog pastor or Joseph Prince – holding the keys of shepherd hood from Jesus Christ – with a responsibility to keep your flock safe …. What would you do if members of your flock are literally wolves in disguise.
They came to cheat, to steal and seduce your womenfolk – would you preach no condemnation or would you take a stick and whack the living daylights out of them? Would you like your sons and daughters to continue associating with them? From what I know of typical responsible pastors – they will guide, they will counsel, they will rebuke in love and then when it is really a wolf they see — they will use their wisdom to excommunicate them from the church and warn the flock about them.
Joseph Prince sometimes sounds contradictory as within that 1 hour of preaching, there are contexts which he spoke of before or missed providing or didnt have time to elaborate. He admits and thats why he often asks us to refer back to a specific sermon or read a particular book.
With the bible, we have no contradictions. If there is one that i perceive, its not the bible. its ME. Its not God…its ME.
Its usually because I understand in part only and not in full… and I need help from teachers and friends to help me with it. Then i apply the compass of the holy spirit into their explanations and assimilate that and place the teaching in the context of my experience. I used to read Hebrews for hours…and still catch no ball …until Joseph Prince came along.
The Prince ministry has been an enigma for me – attractive but also dangerous. It like living in Taroe, Japan where they relied upon assurances of false knowledge that the 10m seawall stop any tsunami from decimating the town – they misplaced their Trust n paid the ultimate price – a shortened life journey.
Consider if one knows the light when one does not experience darkness. Prince is richly mining radical grace spiritually n materially – does truth really set us free or is it more interesting to create a believable fiction where acceptable narrative is better?
Sorry…a bit lor sor but thought I would like to elaborate on grace vs sexual sin which seemed to permeate Lyn’s key experience of divergence. That radical grace preaching gives people license to sin.
When I was at a Methodist Church, we were pretty law abinding and were a tight community : sin, repentance, discipleship were frequently discussed, preached and models of right behavior are expected to be adhered to. In that 15 years I was there, i knew of 1 Pastor getting sacked for adultery, 1 cellgroup leader getting jailed for stealing – “big” sins. Small sins include lying to get out of not so great serving schedules, gossipping against the leadership, being selfish and not lending a hand to a sister in great need…
At my office, I saw a colleague who is an elder at a Presbyterian Church leading a double life. His wife gets him for days when he is in singapore… and his mistress in indonesia gets him for around 5 days a month when he will formulate all sorts of excuse to go for business trips in Jakarta on company expense. This mistress used to be a prostitute…so before he kept this mistress, he was a ” fornicator”…
He was a good Christian until he was led astray by another colleague – who currently worships at NCC and is part of a cellgroup. I am not sure if he repented but deep down, I doubt. I know of some NCC members who can sit under Pastor Prince, who incidentally, spent a number of sermon hours from July to Oct 2013 preaching against sexual sin …..and still conduct office affairs when they got back to work on Monday.
I draw 3 real instances of men who had sinned.
Whether you preach radical grace or not – one of men’s greatest temptation is sexual sin. Whether you preach laws like Moses or not – one of men’s greatest temptation is sexual sin. Radical grace does not increase licentiousness to sin but if a Christian man have the heart for God, radical grace can help him get back on his feet faster and back on track earlier. For where sin abounds, grace superabundantly abounds to help us out of it.
For the ones who doesnt have the heart for God and uses the teachings of grace to absolve himself…living the double life will have its effect. I see it in their restlessness…I see it in their lack of peace…I see it in the troubles they could have avoided…I see it in the prick of their conscience…if Pastor Prince is to be believed, he is of the opinion this will turn up one day in their bodies. The lack of shalom opens the door to terrible things.
We see ill people everywhere… More than healed people. But does that mean we don’t preach on the healing gift of our Lord? No, we cannot sell God’s message short. Our job is to deliver it to the fullest… the rest is God’s job liao.
The Grace of our God is that all encompassing, that broad, that giving… The breadth, the heights, the depths is yet to be fully plumbed. For the seed that rested on good soil and doesnt allow the troubles and temptations of this earth to choke their life out….we, those seeds…. We can plumb it.
So good, so great…so LOVELY.
For the Marys, Lazarus, Pauls, Johns, Peters, James, Lukes of this world…the simple believers who are determined to run their race to the finish…the Gospel of Grace is their tail wind, their strength, their focus onto the finishing line. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God…they are doing that.
For those who fell..,they need help, we extend it in love. If they repent, the. Gospel of Grace will bring them back on track and give them a lift. If they refuse and continued to live their lives…unfortunately, Satan might get them.
By the way, for every 1 NCC member who lives licentiously…I think I can find more than 100 Marys and 100 Lazaruses. So too, at the Methodist Church and so too at the Presbyterian Church etc….really!
Some queries on yr observations
SEX is a partnership anybody who indulges in its carnal pleasure sins but justified if it’s for procreation only?
Is there such a thing as unnatural or abominable SEX?
Can we sin beyond redemption?
@ Wendy Lam
QUOTE: “By the way, for every 1 NCC member who lives licentiously…I think I can find more than 100 Marys and 100 Lazaruses. So too, at the Methodist Church and so too at the Presbyterian Church etc….really!”
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I think there is a major difference, ie the NCC(and the Episcopal Church) seems to condone various sins/evil-deeds and unrepentant sinners/evildoers amongst its members and leaders, ie no or little action is taken against them(cf: 1COR.5:1-13), …whereas the Methodist and Presbyterian Church leaders took action. Like they say, “Action speaks louder than words.”
…….Lawlessness is the most likely result in NCC.(MATT.7:23)
Example: From the hippy 1960s onwards, liberal USA has descended into much lawlessness, moral and financial bankruptcy. Singapore and PAP would do well to not follow suit.
…….Since the 1960s, the liberals in the Blue States(=North-east and West) of USA have dominated Federal politics by pandering fully for the minority votes(=Blacks/15% and Hispanics/14%) and dividing the majority vote(=Whites/68% of the population). The liberals are pro-unions, feminists, atheists, LGBTs, the poor, Israel/Jews, Irish Catholics, etc. Hence, since the 1960s, their Presidents hv been mostly either liberal Democrats or RINOs(=moderate Republicans) from the Blue States.
NCC vs Methodist Church is like the difference between parents who spare the rod and spoil their child and parents who chasten or discipline their children with love, into becoming fine, responsible and law-abiding individuals.
Here we are talking about the earthly lives of Church members, ie the difference between being blessed by God with a good and long life on earth vs being cursed/punished by God with a sad and short life on earth.
…….Faith in Christ is able to give believers eternal lives/heaven, which will only come after they die(=leave this earth), be resurrected/raptured, live with JC for 1,000 years on a new earth, face Judgment Day and finally be with God the Father in heaven. Hence, in the New Testament, the Christians’ spiritual life is likened to a long marathon race, which requires much training, discipline and endurance.
So, the Christians’ conduct of their life on earth is still important bc they do not go to heaven immediately on the day that they were born-again(of water and Spirit) when they placed their faith in Jesus Christ for their salvation.
I think God uses their remaining earthly lives after their conversion, as opportunities to sanctify them, like the laborious process of refining into pure gold. As most fathers and mothers know, raising a baby into a healthy, good and responsible citizen and worker(=future servant of God) takes a lot of time, hard work and is not easy.
…….Most Gentile Christians are born-again as Spirit’ual babies and God becomes their ‘Abba Father’. Depending on their faith, cooperation and obedience, God the Father desires to eventually raise them up to be men/women of God(=Spirit’ual maturity).
…….No parents would wanna hv unfilial and evil-doing sons or daughters. No Boss would wanna hire lazy, unfaithful and corrupt workers.
The perfect ideal for God wrt His servants/people is repentant, good, godly(=fear God), and law-abiding people who also believe in Christ(eg Jewish Christians like John and Paul). There are exceptions to every rule, eg LUKE.23:43 and 1COR.5:5.
…….That is why there will be different rewards and crowns given to the saints in heaven, like the difference between archangels(=Michael, Gabriel and the fallen Lucifer) and angels or like the difference between managers, supervisors and ordinary clerks.
To become a manager, one has to study hard, graduate from primary & secondary schools and university. There is no short-cut, ie enter uni without going thru 1* & 2* schools. The Law is like 1* & 2* schools and Grace thru faith in Christ is like university. Believers hv to graduate from both b4 they could truly work for God.
What a wonderful structured and ordered world view u hv imagined but is this true in the real world?
Steve Jobs and Bill Gates did not go thru you predicted career pathway and ended up running one of biggest and most profitable enterprises around – how account for these exceptions?
@ Jm …….There is an exception to every rule or analogy.
Btw, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates dropped out of college to start computer companies as pioneers in the cptr “gold rush”. From 1979-1981, both of them “copied” XEROX Parc’s GUI technology in making their successful OS’es.(GUI=WIMP=windows, icons, mouse & point-n-click) It was then a free-for-all, in terms of copying cptr inventions.
…….Gates and Jobs were not lazy and dumb people who purposely failed their college education.
Previously, during the late 1970s, cptrs using Gate’s non-graphical MS-DOS OS dominated the limited cptr hobbyists market. Cptrs then were bulky and very expensive(=about US$4,000 & > each).
…….Thereafter, Jobs and Gates were able to popularize their GUI-based cptrs, ie MacOS and Windows 1.0. XEROX missed the boat.
Eventually, Gates’s Windows 3.0 OS beat Jobs’s Apple MacOS during the late 1980s bc Gates allowed his Windows OS to be installed by all int’l cptr manufacturers(eg Japanese and Taiwanese) for a reasonable license fee while Jobs refused.
…….These decisions resulted in Windows PC being much cheaper than Apple Macs. In 1990, an average Windows PC cost about US$500 while an Apple Mac cost about US$1,000. In time, Windows PC cornered 90% of the cptr market.!(=sounds like a repeat of the iOS vs Android smartphone market)
Jobs responded by suing Gates for copyright infringement of its GUI-based MacOS, ie Apple sued Microsoft.(sounds like a repeat of Apple suing Samsung) Luckily for the cptr users then, Jobs lost, or else many jobs would hv been lost. Steve Jobs was a greedy n selfish businessman = quite a short life on earth.
…….The American courts decided that GUI technology could not be patented by Apple/Jobs or by XEROX. I think this was bc both parties in the suit were Americans(cf: Samsung=Korean).
Mostly, Jobs and Gates were just lucky people who were at the right place at the right time. They were not geniuses or inventors. They were only innovators and smart marketers who successfully applied the inventions of others and were the first to put them on the mass consumer market.
…….Then, they were able to protect their businesses by patenting their GUI-based OS’es.
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Google’s Android OS are given out FREE.(also Google Search, Maps, gmail, Chrome, Youtube, etc) Android smartphones and tablets rule the mass consumer market by beating Apple iOS bc Android gadgets are cheaper and quite user-friendly.
…….Most of Google’s income come from the advertising revenue of its popular apps.
For cptrs, the FREE Ubuntu distros, eg Linux Mint 16 and Zorin OS 7, are getting more popular and more user-friendly also, in terms of plug-n-play and being clones of Windows 7, esp for newer desktops and laptops.
…….I think most cptrs that are > 4 yo are not supported by these free OS, wrt drivers, Wifi connections, Broadband(=3G modems/dongles) connections, USB connections, etc.
Maybe, it’s time for people to migrate to FREE open-sourced OS’es and to cut the cable or satellite cord.
P S – Most sports, eg EPL, can be live-streamed from the internet(eg streamhunterdoteu). Most TV shows can also be live-streamed. Eg to live-stream Saturday Night Live or David Letterman Show(=popular US TV shows), people(=non-Americans) can go onto Hulu, NBC or CBS with the Hola add-on.
What you’ve so rightly stated is also what I have stated earlier. There is no one ‘right believing’ that will cause ‘right living’.
I have two daughters. One is great and change by me showing her grace. The other one need boundaries.
The Bible give to some boundaries, to some, grace.
The different times in a person’s life is also a factor.
When I was younger and was pretty amazed by pastor prince’s teachings, I loved it so much, as you can see from my earlier writings.
Now that I’m older, I’m more disciplined I need preachers who shows me how to grow up spiritually.
I now try to avoid sin the old fashion way. By abstaining, going cold turkey, prayers and lots of knee, face on the floor time with God.
I am not satisfied with only chanting ‘I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ’ anymore.
A lot of things that pastor Prince comes up with makes me hungry for a ‘real’ connection with God and not only the superficial aspect of things. I need solid food to grow.
Teaching from the Bible is good because there are many many ideas there that works for me now that would not have worked for me in the beginning. In any churches, there are so many kinds of people.
I’m very glad the teaching of Prince help you so much. You are one of them that is able to grow up with this kind of teaching. I could not grow up though. Many writers here are also like that. They would reject Prince’s ideas from the start.
I’m grateful for the journey though but I now know that there is no one fixed idea that can cause everyone to change. Grace is one beautiful aspect of Christianity. But there are sooo many more. All these will help us to grow beautifully as a Christian.
One of it is suffering. If you take Pastor Prince’s teaching, he says that God will bless you in every way and always if you follow his doctrine. This is not true. One of God’s blessings for us is the sufferings we go through.
I will now cut and paste blogpastor’s own write up in ‘The Power of Right Believing by Joseph Prince in Reflection 2’
“You Are Irreversibly Blessed (chapter 6) – Prince takes the Old Testament story of Balaam paid by Balak to curse Israel but when it came time to curse Israel he actually blessed Israel. Balaam explained that God commanded him to bless and he could not reverse that. God has “not observed iniquity in Jacob, nor has He seen wickedness in Israel”(Num23:20,21). The chapter went on to develop further the idea of justification and how God views us who are made righteous in Christ, and how therefore God loves to pour out his undeserved blessings on us.”
Usually, when we say a person is blessed, he will not suffer. Suffering are for those who are not blessed. If you want to know how much a person is ‘blessed’, Pastor Prince will always use himself as a yardstick. Wonderful wife, son and daughter, money that can fill a vault.
Let’s see what Bible say about the blessed ones
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you
This is not the same definition as Prince’s blessings.
I teach a group of people, old women who longed for a husband all their lives. The poor who has no money for hospitals fees nor food. Some of them are beaten up badly for a long time. So which version of blessedness should I teach? Jesus’s or Prince’s?
That is why I say there is no ‘one’ Power of Right Believing. God deals with different people differently. God has already tailored His word as such. To try to convince everyone to believe what you believe and then to see the same results for everyone is strange, at best. I give it my thumbs down.
Evidently, you and I have a very different opinion of Pastor Prince’s ministry. Even though both of us have sat under and heard the same things, we each interpret what we heard very differently indeed.
On the subject of suffering which you brought up, I absolutely disagree that “when we say a person is blessed, he will not suffer”, and I also have absolutely zero impression of Pastor Prince ever putting that across in his messages. (But bear in mind I’m not implying that every word the man says is 100% correct).
We do go through suffering in this life of course, and sometimes the Lord allows trials in our lives, but the fact of the matter is that when we are weak, then His strength is made perfect. Therefore Matthew 5-7 makes astounding sense when interpreted in that light – because we can count on Jesus Christ to lift us up ESPECIALLY when we are weak. That’s why the poor in spirit and those who mourn can sincerely rejoice.
So in a sense, we can even rejoice when we are suffering. Sounds strangely masochistic, but kind of true when we think about it. (Of course, not to say that I actually rejoice because of the difficulties in my life… I’m definitely not there yet. But I just think it all makes a lot sense and helps to understand what Paul was saying when he says that “he boasts in his infirmities”).
Anyway, I won’t talk too much, suffice to say that instead of laughing at the foolish fantasies of Christians, I now actually have a relationship with Jesus and it’s primarily through Pastor Prince’s ministry. And I’m not the only one apparently as all the testimonies can attest. So I think we all need to take a step back and respect the fact that God is using him mightily, whether you agree with his so-called “superficial” messages or not.
(By the way, on the contrary I think his messages and expositions on the hidden types of Jesus Christ are deeper than that taught at most churches in the world).
I think the ONLY meaningful thing that has happened in my walk with God is that fact that I no
The blessings and suffering/religious-persecution of MATT.5 were specifically referring to the apostles; and not to ALL believers in general. Similarly, to be like Christ does not mean that all believers should be executed like Christ.
The apostles were PERSONALLY(/DIRECTLY) told by Jesus Christ to expect persecution/suffering/martyrdom for His name sake and the sake of the gospel of salvation but they would receive the greatest blessing of all, ie salvation or eternal life or the kingdom of heaven and crowns in heaven(=high positions, like archangels).
…….Bear in mind that Jesus was Spirit’ually with them during most periods of their persecution/suffering/martyrdom(eg ACTS.7:56-59).
In comparison, Abraham and Moses did not experience much persecution/suffering. They lived to a ripe old age and were also blessed by God with the kingdom of heaven(LUKE.16:19-31, MATT.17:2-3).
Just b4 the 1st Advent of JC, most of the prophets who were sent by God to reprimand the Jews for their sins/evil-deeds/law-breaking and to exhort them to repent, were persecuted and killed. It was to be expected that the Jews would continue doing so bc all they wanted from God was the ‘blessed’ return of Israel, their own kingdom of earth(vs being colonized).
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Prior to His sermon at MATT.5, …MATT.4:17-26 says that Jesus had just begun His ministry of salvation and the process of selecting His apostles, who eventually totaled 12.
Why did Jesus choose to call mostly the poor and uneducated(in the Law & Prophets) to be His apostles.?
…Bc the richly blessed(eg MATT.19:22-23) and well-educated(eg the Pharisees) would most likely reject His call to follow Him and become His apostles or disciples.
…….But in the end, God did choose and successfully called a richly-blessed, well-educated, experienced and much-traveled Jew to be His most effective apostle(=replace Judas Iscariot), ie Paul. He too had to go thru religious-persecution/suffering/martyrdom, like the other apostles.
But the suffering/martyrdom of JC and the apostles was not in vain. Their Jewish persecutors were massacred in 70AD when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Holy Temple bc the Jews had appointed false christs/messiahs for themselves to lead them into armed rebellion.
…….This is the fulfillment of ROMANS.12:19-21, ie the true purpose of repaying evil with good – this proves that the Law of ni4ni still applied when the apostles/disciples had to suffer for Christ.
A time is coming soon when the suffering/persecution/martyrdom of believers will be repeated, like what happened during the 1st Advent of JC to earth. This will signal the approach of the 2nd Advent of JC to earth.
…….At REV.13:11-18, JC prophesied and commanded His people to reject the Mark of the Beast(MotB) or they would lose their salvation. This MotB will most likely be computer chip implants. The govts of the world, led by USA, the small horn of DANIEL, will require ALL to receive this implant b4 they could buy or sell anything. Those who refuse(-the MotB) will be persecuted/prosecuted/jailed/executed by their govts/other people and they may die prematurely from starvation. At that time, believers should repay evil with good, like what the apostles did.
…….Then JC would return to ‘save’ His people(1THESS.4:16). He will be destroying this corrupt earth and all the unbelievers and persecutors. He will create a new earth for His people(REV.21:1).
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According to 1COR.14:34 and 1TIM.2:12, it would do well for most sisters-in-Christ to consult with their well-educated brothers-in-Christ, esp in deep Spirit’ual matters.
@Non-Penticostal says “re: “According to 1COR.14:34 and 1TIM.2:12, it would do well for most sisters-in-Christ to consult with their WELL-EDUCATED brothers-in-Christ, esp in deep Spirit’ual matters.”
It would do well for our brothers-in-Christ to affirm and value the wisdom of our sisters, such as @Wendy instead of belittling their contributions w inappropriate application of one-line scriptures. Clearly your message to her was: as a man, I know better than you. How unscriptural, condescending (“deep spiritual matters”), puffed up and, given your prior dismissal of EDUCATION as an apostolic qualification, contradictory.
I for one am glad that this Jesus-follower, who happens to be a woman, posted such thoughtful, wise, instructive and encouraging words in a public forum. Perhaps you should ask her to instruct you as her post built my faith while yours was, well, rambling, and sort of pointless. No one says or believes that we will not be persecuted, but like the martyrs before us, His light will shine in our darkness. Hence the joyful way, historically, they died.
“By their fruits you will know them.” I have had more faith, more joy, more self-control, more willingness to share the gospel by hearing the hyper-grace message. I am more empowered by love to overcome my sinful ways by realizing the fact that all my sins- past, present and future- are remembered NO MORE.
Sin-awareness is not lacking. Grace-awareness is. Satan is the condemner and most walk around with that evil criticism nipping at their joy every day. Indeed, Paul was not condemned because he was preaching about sinfulness but because he preached the grace, i.e. The Good News, the gospel of grace… not the gospel of our sinfulness.
Thank you Wendy for your wise words. Those of us created in His Image — male and female– needed to hear it… and far more of it.
5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, 7 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
Men and Women in the Church
8 I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; 9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.
11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.
15 Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.
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Please heed the Word of God, whether men or women-in-Christ or Christ-believers.
…….”We can do all things(=the will of God) thru Christ who lives in us”(paraphrasing PHIL.4:13 and GAL.2:20)
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Men should treat the women(=his wife, daughter, mother, aunt, sister, etc) well, as per 1COR.7 and MATT.22:37-40.
The Church cannot tolerate 2 heads of the Church. Similarly, a Christian family cannot tolerate 2 heads of the family bc Jesus Christ is the head of the Church, not Mary or Eve, and the husband should be the head of the family.
Single Christian ladies should look up to God and His Word, the Christian men in their families and/or male Church pastors/elders for Spirit’ual guidance.
Feminists and woman pastors in Church are unscriptural, except when there are no worthy men available.
There is also the (2-become-1)problem of “romeo wolves” coming to Church, pretending to be sheep, to squire away good n pretty but foolish Christian girls as wife.
…….Thereafter, these foolish Christian girls may become like their wolfie-husbands/bf’s = fierce feminists(= bc of 2 becoming 1 – GEN.2:24).
Other kinds of wolves come to the Church to make money, eg real estate agents, insurance salespersons, MLM-business, unit trust agents, Genneva Ponzi scammers, etc.
Must first thank Blogpastor for giving us a forum to discuss and share.
I fully understand where you are coming from.
The best thing about the body of Christ, is that he made us very different and as we grow, we have the opportunity to come together in corproate worship in different parts of him and in different roles. The diversity and differences add to our vitaliy as a body. As long as we dont tear each other up, I think God enjoys our difference as he had made us individuals after all.
I first came to NCC around 2005 – frankly, all the struggles you pointed out, I have been through it. There have been times when I couldnt associate my troubles with the “bubbly” I have been fed week after week, i have fallen asleep at church, I had let the message come in one ear and go out another…I have been angry with Pastor Prince and God and Jesus…all !
Its now 2013 – some of the troubles and disappointments, I cannot rememeber in detail already ( this is the most amazing part of letting Jesus reign, the sting is no more) but I was seriously put through fire – being “cheated” out of $300k commission by a prestigious firm, restarting my career from ground Zero, betrayed by friends whom I trusted…through it all, it is very difficult to associate my sufferings with the shalom and blessings that Pastor Prince preaches week after week, i suffered this for more than 5 years….so what did I do? Why am I still at NCC?
For some strange reason…I 乖乖 followed Pastor Prince’s message to keep ” hearing” the word of God’s goodness. Some of his DVDs, I think I replay over 20 times. I watch until I can repeat his quotes. When things are the toughest, I could wake up at 7am to watch the DVD and then go to work. Then I can watch till 2-3am before I sleep.
Strangely…the more I hear, the less the fears and worries….the trouble remains for months but it no longer haunts my heart. Verses to trust in God, to believe in his goodness…it automatically comes out.
its 2013 – I just went through a tough 2012 but this year has been a very blessed one. Not because troubles are less but I think I can handle them easier now. Emotioanally, I think I am wiser, more matured.
If I look back from 2006- now : i believe I had been put through God’s refiner’s fire. The character development and life journey has changed me, perhaps into a model that God wants me in at this stage of my life. I am also enjoying my service at RSM very much.
I see that God has not left me nor forsaken me…that his abundant blessings that Pastot Prince preached, is indeed so. Its doesnt seem so during many many parts the last 7 years but looking back now, I see it.
As a result of my walk, I sincerely see what Pastor Prince is talking about. We might lose sight of God’s goodness during the blindingly painful suffering period but when its over…we’d know we never fallen out of his loving hands.
憨憨信天父 is what I learned.
Hey, I have somewhat the same experiences as you too!
So right now, I find myself facing some new personal challenges in my life overseas, and I’ve had my fair share of discouragements here. But through it all, funnily enough I’ve never felt so loved – because I know God is using these trials to refine me into a person more fitting for a son of His.
Once I came home particularly distressed, so I flipped through the Bible to find some verse of comfort, and almost immediately my attention was drawn on Jeremiah 20:11-12. “The Lord was with me as a mighty awesome one” and “You who tests the righteous” were the two verses that gave me special comfort. The word “tests” in Hebrew is “bachan” which means “to examine, try, prove”, which I take to mean as Him giving me an exam for lack of a better description.
So in other words, He is always with me as an awesome God and He wants me to progress past His exam and moreover He calls me “righteous”.
And then when I count all the blessings that He has already given me (including a wonderful wife who is apparently great cook too!), I feel so blessed indeed.
Btw, through His exam, He showed me clearly the flawed areas that I needed improvement upon. But I must say that through it all, instead of feeling condemned, I strangely feel loved instead, because He really cares about my well-being in both body and soul.
Even Mother Theresa had grave private doubts
….. As her new letters reveal, Mother Teresa was all too familiar with human frailty and doubt. Like the rest of us, she found questions of God, Heaven and Hell as impenetrable as the mysteries of death…..
So how can fans of Pastor Prince be so sure about God and his “Huat Ah only blessing one covers oneself with the blood of the perfect lamb and tithe 10 or more ( give till it hurts) to Gods’ annointed ?”
With respect to the instructions and commands to avoid sin, perhaps reading my earlier blogpost may be of help: http://www.blogpastor.net/2009/11/indicatives-and-imperatives-of-the-gospel/ and this one on how to decide what to preach in the season the church is in: http://www.blogpastor.net/2009/11/singapore-churches-are-preaching-the-half-gospel/.
The Bible does contain paradoxes or what J I Packer would rather call antinomies. Read more about this here: http://www.trinityfoundation.org/journal.php?id=76
I remember a few years,Pastor Kong of City Harvest Church was preaching about church discipline. He claimed that there is no such thing as “imputed righteousness” and one need to do righteousness act before one can be considered as righteous. Or rather Pastor Kong does not believed in the “gift of righteousness” I remember CHC used to claim that their church preached about the uncompromising words of Christ with emphasis on the Great Commandment.
If preaching on the do and don’t really worked in the long run, CHC would not be in such predicament. The Bible is very clear on the “imputed righteousness” and “gift of righteousness”. In addition, it’s the goodness of God that leads to repentance and not the fear of judgement or condemnation.
“Millions of Christians live in sentimental haze of vague piety, with soft organ music trembling in the lovely light from stained glass windows. Their religion is a pleasant thing of emotional quivers, divorced from the will, divorced from the intellect and demanding little except lip service to a few harmless platitudes. I suspect Satan has called off his attempt to convert people to agnosticism . After all , if a man travels far enough from Christianity , he is liable to see it in perspective and decide that it’s true. It is much safer , from Satan’s point of view, to vaccinate a man with a mild dose of Christianity so as to protect it from the total disease. ” Chad Walsh
Millions of Christians bask in the joy of His Righteousness, with the powerful music of a heavenly choir praising the Light of the World. Their faith is their most valuable possession. Their deep Abba love excites a desire to know and do His will and frees them from the oppression of condemnation. I suspect Satan feels his defeat more acutely by such powerful praise and joy and faith in the finished work of the cross. After all, as a man travels closer to faith, hope and love–he is liable to also draw other men to their core desire as well, which is “the greatest of these”: Love. From Satan’s point of view, that message, nailed to the cross, is the most dangerous of all, because it means, he is defeated. Death is defeated. Sin is defeated. And grace abounds all the more…