Continuing in this look at “Hyper grace”, let’s consider two pastors and writers that perpetuate the hyper-grace view similar to Joseph Prince. These guys may not be quite as well-known but their teaching has influenced many believers. Andrew Farley is the writer of the book “The Naked Gospel” and Jeremy White has written the book “The Gospel Uncut: Learning to Rest in the Grace of God”. Both men espouse very close to the same views regarding this topic.
I bring these two up specifically as a warning for those that may be inclined to take teaching from them. Their message is mixed and we should know what happens when one mixes what sounds like grace with performance.
That is bad enough but it doesn’t just stop there because with these two there are other doctrinal issues as well.
I have taken some telling comments for examination from each of their two books. I will give each quote followed by my thoughts. So let’s consider Andrew Farley first.
He says, “So I John 1:9 is an invitation to become a Christian.” P 152 The Naked Gospel
(If this is your conclusion about I John 1:9 then something is off. John was writing I John to believers that, many of which, were seduced by the errors of Gnosticism. Part of that error led to them to thinking that they no longer sinned. However, I John was written that these believers might have fullness of joy in their Christian walk. I John deals quite heavily with abiding in Christ. The tests in I John are not to see whether a person is saved but whether a believer is walking in fellowship and abiding in Christ. We have to be clear that it is possible for believers not to abide. Why else tell a believer to abide? Take I John 2:6 for example: 1Jn 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. So a hyper-gracer that equates abiding with salvation then makes this verse mean that if you don’t walk as Christ walked then you are not saved. Likewise if you hate your brother then it would stand to reason that you are not saved. And it follows really just like calvinistic “logic” concerning I John.)
“In the Scriptures, fellowship with God is not described in this way. Instead, a person is either in fellowship with God and therefore saved, or out of fellowship and therefore lost.” P156
(This equation does not square with the rest of scripture. Be sure that fellowship does not equal salvation itself. Let’s consider Ephesians chapter 5.
Eph 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
Eph 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Eph 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
Eph 5:12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
Eph 5:13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
We are told to walk as the people we are. IF we are light and we are as believers then we should walk that way. Why is this instruction given then to believers if it is automatic? Also it goes on to say that we (as believers) should not have what? Fellowship. We should not have fellowship as believers with unfruitful works of darkness. They are shameful and bring shame to our Savior. But the light and bring cleansing because the errors can be exposed.
“But this is to ignore the work of Jesus, who on the cross cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). Jesus was out of fellowship with his Father so we would never be.” P 157
(Take note here that Farely is arguing that Jesus lost fellowship with the Father but the Bible actually says no such thing. The actually amounts to what some call the Jesus Died Spiritually view and which destroys the atonement making Christ a sinner not just a sacrificial spotless lamb. Forsaken there has no indication of including being abandoned in fellowship. Just like David who first said the statement in Psalm 22, Jesus felt physically abandoned in physical pain and emotional suffering.)
“In reality, the term rewards does not appear anywhere in the New Testament. The apostle Paul speaks of a “reward” (singular, not plural) or a “prize” in the context of running a race and reaching the end.” P168
(Farley tries to excuse away the concept of rewards in heaven for believers at the Bema Seat. Talk about taking away positive motivation to serve. Sure we should serve out of love but we can also do so knowing that there is eternal blessing and benefits of it.)
Speaking of Jesus: “Our new spiritual life is actually his life.” P176
(Take this and go back to abide or walking or fellowship. He is saying that Christ actually lives his life through us. The Bible does not say this exactly. But it is a cover for them if challenged on why a believer should walk as Christ walked if they are saved. Of course in that case they should walk almost perfectly. Talk about the fear and depression that can ensue once you realize you don’t walk nearly as perfectly as Jesus walked. Maybe Jesus is not walking through me. Maybe I am not saved. See the problem? We aren’t puppets for Jesus. We still have a will. Calvinism likewise makes us puppets.)
“James 2 communicates that a personal decision is necessary in order for true salvation to occur. Those who appear to fall away from belief in Jesus are those who merely associated themselves with certain doctrines for whatever reason.” P198
(This is incorrect. Yes a person needs to decide to trust Christ but you cannot scripturally say that those that fall away are not saved period. They may not be such as those mentioned in first John but believers can walk back into deception. It has happened even in the Bible. What happened with the Hebrew believers in Heb 10? What happened to the Galatians? Why doe Timothy say that the Lord remains faithful even if we do not?)
Now let’s see how Jeremy White mirrors these errors.
“It is the believing and receiving of this saving gift of grace that separates real Christianity from any other belief system in the world. It was this grace that Luther and the Reformers so passionately attempted to articulate and defend.”
White, Jeremy. The Gospel Uncut: Learning to Rest in the Grace of God. . WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.
(Luther did not understand grace as much as he should have. Just read Bondage of the Will or better yet spare yourself the misery and look up some quotes from it. It is curious that he sings the praises of the reformers of the Catholic church. Does reformed Catholicism equal grace? Didn’t they get some much wrong themselves?)
“One of the admitted weaknesses of the early “free grace” movement I referred to in the first part of this book was simply that some proponents seemed to imply that a person could claim to receive Christ by faith and then walk away from Him or even completely reject Him without ever casting doubt upon the legitimacy of their salvation. I want to be clear that I am not arguing for such a position in this book. Every believer in Jesus will bear some kind of spiritual fruit, whether it is obviously recognizable or not. On this issue I agree with the free-grace proponent Dr. Joseph Dillow, who said Those who have been born again will always give some evidence of growth in grace and spiritual interest and commitment. A man who claims he is a Christian and yet never manifests any change at all has no reason to believe he is justified.55 Another leading proponent of the free grace position with whom I agree on this point, Dr. Charles Ryrie, also affirms every Christian will bear spiritual fruit. Somewhere, sometime, somehow. Otherwise that person is not a believer. Every born-again individual will be fruitful. Not to be fruitful is to be faithless, without faith, and therefore without salvation.56″
(I bolded sections of this statement that are clearly Lordship in nature. Basically he is saying that salvation is not by grace but by works. there can be no mistake when he says every believer in Jesus will bear some kind of fruit. Remember that a believer is justified in Christ regardless of performance. He is justified regardless if people can see “fruit”. Why because it is not about fruit or performance. It is about Christ and His imputed righteousness. Hmm…not to be fruitful is to be faithless… So if there is not fruitfulness there is not salvation… Doesn’t that sound like the opposite of grace. I wouldn’t be surprised if that quote had come from John MacArthur or Paul Washer. Oh but these guys aren’t like them… they are hyper grace… That’s nice but they are saying the same thing really. Please see my posts on MacArthur and Washer.)
“If I am already totally forgiven for my past, present and future sins by the blood of Christ – then why do I need to confess my sin in order to receive forgiveness?”
White, Jeremy. The Gospel Uncut: Learning to Rest in the Grace of God. (p. 115).
(This is a classic hyper-grace false question because it confuses positional truth with practical onging sanctification principles right within the question itself.)
“Do you know any Bible-believing Christian who claims he or she is sinless?”
White, Jeremy. The Gospel Uncut: Learning to Rest in the Grace of God. (p. 118).
(Yes, actually people have told me that before. One Arminian man told me that basically didn’t sin anymore. Ray Comfort thinks he doesn’t sin any longer…)
“Becoming a Christian begins by the admission of one’s personal sinfulness and that through confession of that sinfulness, one can receive by faith the God who is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse them of all unrighteousness!”
White, Jeremy. The Gospel Uncut: Learning to Rest in the Grace of God. (p. 119).
(Is that the gospel? Are we saved by confession of sin or by grace through faith in Christ based on the gospel? They reason , well we have to agree with God that we are sinners. Sure, unbelievers need to recognize that they are sinners but that is simply so that they can see their need and trust Christ for the remedy. This verse is written to believers anyway. Please see also my Faith Alone stand alone page for an extensive verse list on this.)
“1 John 1:9 is not intended to condone a one-by-one tallying of our sins so that we can confess them in order to find ongoing forgiveness or maintain “closeness” with God. When we have placed our faith in the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we are totally and eternally forgiven. Because of the uncut gospel of grace, we are irreversibly close to God regardless of our behavioral performance.”
(Once again he continues with confusion as to the removal of eternal damnation and the christian walk. If we refuse to agree with God about our sin when the Word reveals it and the Holy SPirit works through that Word then we are resisting God’s onging work in us of sanctification and cleansing.)
“So how is it, then, that we imagine somehow that God the Father doesn’t remember our sins anymore, but God the Holy Spirit does – and that it is His job to keep bringing that sin to our attention?”
White, Jeremy. The Gospel Uncut: Learning to Rest in the Grace of God. (p. 123).
(Yes, as I just stated. The Word reveals the truth and the Spirit works through the Word bringing that truth home to us as believers. This quote is irresponsible. The Word of God is mirror of sorts.)
“It is apparent in the New Testament that the battle we face with our flesh is essentially a battle against the habits and coping mechanisms which bring us momentary pleasure or relief, apart from dependence upon Jesus.”
White, Jeremy. The Gospel Uncut: Learning to Rest in the Grace of God. (p. 163).
(This is part of White’s attempt at one naturism. It is similar to MacArthur’s in that he relegates struggles with sin in the flesh to habits and coping mechanisms in the flesh. However the Bible tells believers to put off the old man and put on the new man in their Christian walk. Now why would believers be told to put on the new man if they are already new creatures? Hyper-grace cannot explain that. They don’t / won’t understand it.)
So let’s tally up the problems. (And there are more btw.) In no particular order:
1) Backdoor lordship performance requirement for salvation to be authentic. (This nullifies grace.)
2) Jesus Died Spiritually / was out of fellowship with the Father while on the cross. (This error nullifies and invalidates the object of our faith.)
3) Virtually eliminating the concept of rewards for the believer.
4) Destroying the concept of ongoing fellowship in our walk as believers
5) Adding conditons such as confession of sins to the gospel method of receiving eternal life
6) Misunderstanding Old Covenant salvation
7) Misunderstanding the Christian life (ie Christ lives His very life through us.)
8) A John MacArthur style modified one nature position. (The flesh is just old habits / coping mechanisms)
9) A confusion of practical and positional forgiveness.
10) Fellowship = salvation
There is more than enough here to recommend marking and avoiding these teachers and don’t stand for anyone recommending them to you.