Saturday, February 14, 2015

Overly-grace is now hyper-grace, and it is still as heretic as before

Today, I have revisited the over-grace “landscape”, which I first started to write against, in July 2010, on this blog.  From time to time, I would put up an article or two, when I have come across blatant misinterpretations of Scripture, by people from this community of the Christian Church.  In recent weeks, I kept hearing the phrase “hyper-grace”, and realised that what I used to call “overly grace” has now been termed hyper-grace, when a few Christian leaders with letters behind their names, have taken stand against this branch of erroneous teachings, through writing of books. 

There are more than a dozen articles on this blog, written in response (against) the hyper-grace community’s misleading, even wrong, interpretations of Scripture, on various important subjects.  You can find them under the caption of “Against questionable teachings” on the front page of this blog.  There are 2 direct articles on 1 John 1:9, which I recommend readers to read, to understand the core errors in the hyper-grace theology.  They are:

After spending several hours on the internet, reading the exchanges of views generated by the books mentioned, including my own chipping in, of a couple of comments, I have decided to put up this article here, on this blog.  Unless, there are fresh serious misinterpretations of Scripture by the hyper-grace group coming to my attention, chances are that I would NOT be actively covering this phenomenon in the near future, as there are now other more prominent “warriors” arguing against the heresies from the hyper-grace.

So, here is the article, beefed up from a comment I have left at Dr Brown’s site (Dr Brown wrote a book arguing against Hyper-grace).

So peculiar
One of the people who commented on Dr Brown’s site, pointed to a very peculiar thing, and it is peculiar because it is the same Holy Spirit, yet we got the opposing views on some of the very core tenets of the Faith.
This is especially so (that it is peculiar), when there is NOT the disagreement from either side that the Holy Spirit is active in a believer's life (Well, there is no accusation pointing to the Holy Spirit doing sloppy jobs!).

The hyper-grace proponents would NOT doubt (I think, it should be so), that the other camp's believers are believers; they wouldn’t think that the "opposing camp" individuals, somehow thought they are believers when they are NOT.  Hyper-grace believes OSAS (once saved, always saved), and so, the other camp's individuals are believers; it cannot be the case of "once a believer, but lost it somehow, along the way - that would be contradictory to their core tenets!

On the traditional camp side (the opposing camp to hyper-grace), although I have seen people expressing such thing as "I doubt, that believer was 'really saved'", I think majority of us (meaning I am in this camp), do NOT go round double-guessing or judging if someone "is saved" or NOT; actually, I preferred to say, "have entered into salvation".  And so, both sides generally do NOT doubt each other's having entered into salvation; and so, the Holy Spirit is supposed to be active on both sides.

How come the so differing views, when the Spirit is the same?
How come, on the one side the beliefs are like this, while on the other side, very different, opposite even, for some of the important points of the Faith?

I propose 3 major causes:

1. Motivation
2. Experience
3. Mishandling of the Holy Spirit

Let me elaborate.

1. Motivation.  If your motivation is NOT pure, you are more likely to read things to coincide with your motivation, and there is the greater likelihood of one being ensnared by the dark principality. 

You may say, "But I am NOT part of the founding group, I could NOT have shared their motivations even if theirs were impure."  The dark principality is NOT that stupid; they could identify a major enough and common enough susceptibility or band of susceptibility and exploit it.  When your motivation is within that band you can be drawn into it.

For example, if you are of the mind that you want your late ancestors to, also be where you are going to go - Heaven, you might be drawn into the Christian faith group, that holds out salvation is NOT only available when you are alive, but is also generally available still, when you are dead, meaning you can defer coming into salvation to after-death, or your dead ancestors could still come into salvation!  Is there such a theology put forward by an individual with “strong” theological background, the answer is Yes!

I would put the commonly cited warning from Scripture of 2 Tim 4:3 in this category.

2 Tim 4:3 - For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

2. Experience.  All core theology of the Faith must come from the Word, and NOT from experience.  Our experiences testify to the truth of the Word.  We cannot form any core tenets of the Faith out from our experiences. 

I truly believe there are many cases of God intervening in people's life whereby the individuals did completely nothing, they were most undeserving even, and in such, God rescued and blessed them, but still one must be careful NOT to form theology out of them.  They could help to explain some doctrines in Scripture, but they of themselves are NOT doctrines to be formed. 

One group of individuals I realised are easily taken in, to hyper-grace, are people in depressive state, who find it very hard to get out of their depressive pits.  They respond well to love and grace messages, and the “it is all God’s part, none theirs”.  The “none theirs” appeals to them.  It works for them, one may exclaim!  Yes, and it is because God understands their extreme weakness, and often goes out of His way to help them, that they are “fragile”.  But these must then be fed progressively, with more and more solid food, or they, though being put out of their pits by God with pure grace, could easily fall back in, or fall into others.

Then, there are the, NOT so easily understood/interpreted visions (and even, out of body experiences) that people have.  These, at times are very personal, and could NOT be easily extended to general application.  Often, the person himself isn't even clear about what the vision or experience was trying to tell him of his personal circumstances.  Together, with impure motivation, sometimes these experiences could be spun into mega exploitations by the dark principality. (I want to state that I do move a little in the supernatural; but even so, this is my advice - refrain from forming theology from experience).

3. Mishandling of the Holy Spirit.  This one, I want to directly use the example of the hyper-grace.   The key is our disposition towards the Holy Spirit.  There is a prevalent teaching in the hyper-grace circle that believers should ignore their conscience on becoming a believer!  This together with the incorrect perception of what the roles of the Holy Spirit are, will form a blockage to receiving the truth of matters. 

Hyper-grace believers are taught (one of the world leaders lives in my small country) to ignore the pricking of the conscience.  Hyper-grace believers are taught NOT to believe the Holy Spirit would ever convict the believers of unrighteousness or sins (or impending ones) (conscience is where conviction takes place).  Because of that, the hyper-grace believers lost the most important counter God gave against falsehood (through their numbing of their conscience).

Hopefully, by knowing these 3 dangers, readers can avoid getting into heresy, causing harm to themselves and others.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions
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