Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How Low Can You Go

In my blog description, I call this a rant. Well, today I’m going to live up to that promise.

I am furious! If I could scream audibly in print, I would.

I have been observing and participating in a discussion about John Hagee. The substance of the discussion is his book called, “In Defense of Israel.” The thesis of the book is that Israel is innocent of rejecting Jesus as their Messiah. Hagee makes the ridiculous claim that the Jews are innocent of rejecting Jesus as their Messiah because Jesus didn’t come as Messiah and indeed, never claimed to be the Messiah. That Hagee is a Dispensationalist goes without saying. That Hagee is a heretic also goes without saying.

I know what you’re thinking, but I’m not making this up. I wish I were. Here’s a youtube link showing Hagee’s ad: here
If you have a Bible software program that lets you do a word search, look up the word Christ. You will find that it occurs 555 times in the New Testament in 522 verses. I’m not making that up either. Just for clarification’s sake, “Christ” is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word “Messiah.” I’m sure most people know that. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that even John Hagee knows that. Some preachers take an isolated verse of Scripture and erect a major doctrinal position on it. Hagee has done something much different. He has erected a major doctrinal position based on NO Scripture at all! In fact he has ignored the fact the Jesus is called the Messiah (Christ) in 555 times in the New Testament. That averages out to once in every 14 verses. Not only that. He also flushes hundreds of Old Testament passages down the toilet as well. Jesus literally fulfilled hundreds of Old Testament prophecies that were predicted to be fulfilled by the Messiah. Bible: 555 – Hagee: 0.

What has me even more torqued off is this: Many Christians would say that we shouldn’t be too hard on a clown like Hagee because he’s a brother in the Lord. I want to know how anyone can assert with any level of confidence that someone who denies Christ is Christ can have a relationship with God and thus be a brother in the Lord. How low are we going to place the bar for people so that they can still be called Christian? How much shipwreck can be made of the faith before a man is labeled a heretic?

Scripture says, “A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject” (Titus 3:10). I’m fairly sure that at least two people have tried to tell Hagee that his doctrine is…well…screwy. Youtube has more than one “John Hagee exposed” clip. There are numerous online rebuttals of his heretical teachings. He has been warned! So I say, “Hit the road, Jack! Never darken the doors of a church again.”

Now I can just hear someone crying, “Judge not lest ye be judged.” Read the context! It has nothing to do with refuting error and defending the faith. Am I angry? Yes sir, I am. That’s my Savior he’s blaspheming. Jesus commands me to judge: “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment (John 7:24). Again, read the context. This time, it has everything to do with false teachers.

The first line of the Athanasian Creed has always seemed so necessary. It runs like this: “Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.”

I’m going on record right now: I don’t think that this is unscriptural or overly strict. There are some things you MUST believe in order to have any legitimate claim to the name “Christian.” Surely, belief in Jesus as Christ is one of them. I can hear someone now playing the Doctrine Divides Card. I answer, "No kidding, Einstein!" It’s supposed to divide. How do we differentiate between true believers and pretenders? How do we differentiate between darkness and light? How do we differentiate between truth and error? How do we differentiate between faith and unbelief? Doctrine, that’s how!

There is a minimal standard of what one must believe to be called a Christian, and this is so whether Hagee believes so or not. He is WAY below that line. Sadly, he is not alone. Worse yet, thousands will continue to read his books. Christian TV executives won’t jettison him and he will continue to peddle his damnable heresy to an audience who should know better.

Someone once said, “I will not lower the standard of God’s law to suit your taste. You either come up to it, or perish! To which I say a hearty, “Amen!”

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