Defending the Faith, or Sowing Discord?

About two weeks ago, a friend sent me a broadcast by Michael L. Brown. In this broadcast, he and Sid Roth promoted his newly released book called Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message.

During the broadcast, I listen to them belittle those who believe everything the Bible teaches about grace. Of course they labeled it ‘hyper-grace’ and then everyone who believes in the depths of God’s grace were called heretics. They went as far as to claim this was the greatest threat to the church in modern history and then explained how his book would help the church fight against people like myself. They then explained how our children and loved one’s very souls were at stake.

It’s interesting that Jesus said, “By this shall all men know you are my abounding grace coverdisciples, because of your love for one another.” The Bible also says that God hates when brethren sow discord among brethren. It is a fallacy to think that just because we can put someone under a negative label that this gives us the right to destroy our brothers. Labeling someone as an enemy of God does not give us the right to attack them. Not only did Jesus command us to love our fellow believer, but He also commanded us to love our enemies.
During the broadcast it was said that grace (hyper-grace) is creating divisions in the church. I just did a search on the word ‘hyper-grace’ and found more than 26,000 hits. These lead to two types of articles. One set of articles are the dangers of hyper-grace and the call to fight. The other sets of articles are people like myself saying things like, “No, this is not an accurate representation of what I believe or teach.”

Who is causing the divisions? Who falls under the Bible’s rebuke of, “Are you not carnal (or fleshly minded) when there are fightings, divisions, and wars among you?” Am I causing division by saying, “Look at Christ?” Or is the person who says, “Here is what these heretics believe,” and then calls for the church to fight against ‘those people’ the ones causing the division.

After reading through the top article hits against hyper-grace, the majority of these have never heard the teachings of the people they are criticizing. They are repeating, almost verbatim, the words of Michael Brown’s broadcast. Consider this quote taken directly from one of the parroting sites:
Preachers of hyper-grace doctrine discount the Old Testament and the Ten Commandments as irrelevant to New Testament believers. They even teach that Jesus’ words spoken before His resurrection are part of the Old Covenant and no longer applicable to born-again believers.

The majority of these accusations are like this one. They believe. They teach. They reject. I wasn’t aware that I was hyper-grace until I listened to this broadcast, but he criticized nearly everything I have been discovering in God’s word. And I didn’t even know there was a ‘hyper-grace movement’ out there. But I am encouraged that there is. Yet the above statement doesn’t represent anything I believe or have heard anyone teach.

People like myself teach this: Everything must be viewed through the cross of Jesus. Anything that points to what Jesus fulfilled must be viewed as His works. Grace teaching is that everything goes through the cross and everything is received through Christ. The Bible clearly teaches that every spiritual attribute is the fruit of the Spirit and not the works of man. The Bible teaches that we receive from His divine nature all things. Faith virtue, knowledge, self-control, patience, godliness, philia love, and agape love are all received as gifts of grace through His divine nature. This is clearly taught in Peter’s epistle to the church. The Apostle Paul said, “What do you have that you didn’t receive [from God]. If you received it, why are you boasting as if you have done it?”

Grace teaching is to accept the Bible’s claim that we can do nothing for God, but we look expectantly to Him for every need. We believe the Bible’s claims that we are already overcomers in Christ, and this is our victory – faith in Him. Why that makes us a threat, I don’t know.

There are many accusations Michael Brown’s book levels against those who stand by faith in God’s grace – a grace that God calls abundant, exceeding, and above all that we could think, ask, or even imagine. I’m not sure how you can imagine enough to exceed this promise.

Since this broadcast misrepresents grace and what people like myself teach, I felt led to clarify what grace teaches. I’ve put this into a short book called, ‘Abounding Grace: Dispelling Myths and Clarifying the Biblical Message of God’s Overflowing Grace’. I’ve made this free on Amazon. If you read this article after the free promo has expired and you don’t want to spend .99 cents, email me on my contact page and I’ll get you a free ebook copy.

Don’t allow others to create divisions or poison your attitudes toward those who believe grace is God’s love that He packaged into many spiritual gifts, and gave these to us freely for no other reason than for us to get a glimpse of the depths of God’s love.

Grace is the gospel. The gospel is not about what you do for God, but what God has done – and given – you as a gift of His loving grace!

Abounding Grace can be found by clicking here.

3 thoughts on “Defending the Faith, or Sowing Discord?

  1. If you have read Michael Browns book on hyper-grace, this is a must read. Grace is the foundation of everything, we cannot afford for it to be eroded by erroneous teaching.

    • If you read my book on Abounding Grace, you’ll see what grace teaching really is. Instead of believing rumors about what grace-believers are teaching, read what we are actually teaching. If you don’t want to pay 99 cents, I can give you the ebook for free.

  2. I didn’t have time last night, but there are a couple of things that need mentioning. The most important addresses your implication that we must defend God. All of those who are attacking other Christians for differences in doctrine are claiming to be defenders of the faith.

    Does God need us to defend Him? Is He incapable of protecting His word? It’s not our job to defend God. It’s not our job to divide the church so that our beliefs are the only things taught, or the things we don’t believe are not allowed to be taught.

    As a former apologist, I look back and see that the only fruit from my work was divisions, accusations, arguments, and other works of the flesh. Even Michael Brown repeats this phrase frequently, “I am jealous for the church,” or “I am jealous for the scriptures.”

    According to the Bible, jealousy is the works of the flesh and never by the Spirit. Only God has the right to be jealous. Only He has the right to judge men’s hearts. Only He has the right to execute wrath. It is also God who commanded us to have unity in the body and He expressly forbids divisions while condemning those who cause divisions. We may feel justified when we divide out those people we don’t agree with, and we can even persuade ourselves that we are doing God a service. The truth is that we are acting in the flesh and you cannot do God a service. You are dependent upon Him. All you can do is use the flesh to create false religious works that are opposed to God – or you can look to Him and receive all things by faith – which is what Grace teaches.

    God called Moses out of the pagan courts of Pharaoh. He was taught paganism from the time he left his mothers care until God called him out of Egypt. Where were the apologists to protect Moses? They weren’t needed because God has the power to reveal Himself to anyone at anytime and open our understanding to the word. Only pride keeps people in darkness.

    You are underestimating the power of God’s Spirit. When I was an apologist, I thought God was in need of my assistance. He didn’t need it and He never used it. All the spiritual fruit began to emerge when I began living by this, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Faith doesn’t come by disproving everyone who is outside your understanding. Faith doesn’t come by pointing out ever error or perceived error we can find. The error cannot stand in the presence of the truth, and when the truth is taught, all darkness is exposed. You can never change a person’s heart by pointing out the differences between what they believe and what you believe, and then calling them a heretic because they don’t believe what you want them to believe. However, when the truth is taught fully, and scriptures are allowed to lead us wherever they go, misconceptions in our beliefs and misconceptions in their beliefs are exposed and God’s revelation draws us toward the right way.

    Apologetics – defending the faith – can never produce this fruit. It is by grace and not by human effort.

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