[The following is an adaption to a rebuttal (what we call, “I Object”) that we issued on Facebook in response to the image shown above.]
There is no record that Jesus was born sick, diseased, or disabled. So I’m not sure how the comment about God wanting us to be healthy relates. Insofar as wealth, Mr. Benge left out the fact that Christ was visited by wise men who brought Him expensive gifts including gold (Mt 2:11).
We could continue to try to extrapolate conclusions for our own lives based on the events which surrounded Christ’s birth. But there’s going to be quite a bit of subjective guesswork involved. Or, we could just look at passages that actually speak to us directly concerning these matters.
James 5 promises the prayer of faith will heal the sick. Doesn’t say maybe. Doesn’t say sometimes. It says the prayer of faith shall heal the sick (vs 15, DBY).
1 Peter 2:24 says we were healed by His stripes.
Mark 16:17-19 says believers will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.
Romans 8:32 asks the question that if God didn’t spare Jesus, how will He not also give us all things along with Him?
1 Corinthians 3:21-22 then confirms that He did indeed give us all things—-not just in the future, but in the PRESENT as well.
2 Corinthians 8:9 says He was made poor so that through His poverty we could be abundantly supplied (AMP).
I don’t really have anything negative to say about denominations. If you look at most, regardless of what they evolved into over time, they were born from a lack of proper attention given to a biblical subject. In other words, they’re here because prior to their existence, we, as the Church, had neglected certain truths and swept them under the rug.
If you think about it, the Bible is a big book. It’s the living Word of God. We have studied it for thousands of years yet continue to mine gold from it’s depths. Like the turning of a diamond before a brilliant light, this Book shines forth seemingly never ending truths as we gaze into it . . .
Dang . . .
Imagine if I talked like that all the time?
Anyways . . . So it makes sense that we would need various members of the Body to magnify the multiple facets of God’s Word.
In science, you have different studies. Some deal in Chemistry. Others in Biology. Others Meteorology, Anthropology etc. None of these are separate from one another. They do, however all have a different focus. And yet they’re all working to achieve the same, ultimate, purpose of bringing about good to mankind. The biologist does not get mad or upset when the botanist doesn’t want to focus on . . . Eh, whatever it is biologists are into. No, instead he has the bigger picture in mind and knows that even though they are going about it in different ways, they are on the same team, headed toward the same goal.
Maybe we’re Supposed to be Lopsidedon our own
The Bible says to no longer know men after the flesh but as New Creations in Christ. We are all members of the same Body and same Family. What happens all too often, however, is instead of seeing ourselves as One, we think that every ministry should be a self sustaining organism. Then we get upset because we don’t feel they emphasize what ought to be emphasized. “I don’t like such and such a minister because he doesn’t talk enough about xyz.” “So and so focuses too much on this— not enough on that” etc. In other words, we’re saying that they’re lopsided and incomplete. And they are.
But if you take that same ministry/minister and place them back in the Body where they should be, viewing them not as a whole but as they actually are—only a part, then a new perspective emerges.
Our Failure to see the Big Picture
The problem is us. It’s our unwillingness to recognize that other believers possess portions of the same truths we do. We want to be the lone ranger standing atop Mount Sinai, with a long flowing beard, dictating everything the Almighty wants to say to His people.
. . . That was a really mangled euphemism— not sure where I was going with it, but you get the idea.
We have this same attitude when we leave a church. We point out all the bad saying, “they don’t do this they don’t teach that. They emphasize this too much they don’t emphasize that enough.” Well, you didn’t feel that way three years prior when you started going, did you? So what happened? You probably grew. You got what you needed. Then the Holy Spirit started taking you in a different direction and you moved on. You should look back in hindsight and thank God for that church instead of criticizing it. I talk to people all the time who say, “I used to like that minister. I’d listen to him all the time. But I can’t anymore. He’s unbalanced.” Well, if God was able to use him to teach and grow you for a season, maybe He’s still using him to teach and grow others who are just entering, or still in that season.
I don’t think we give the Holy Spirit enough credit in these things either. He knows where you need to be and what truths you are ready to accept and so He maneuvers you to that end.
“Well, if its in the Bible, then we should be ready to receive it regardless! If you truly loved God you’d be willing to accept whatever He says.”
Christians refuse to accept what God says all the time. And i mean . . . All . . . The . . . Time.
If you want to believe you’re an exception to that, I’m not going to wake you up.
Of course, as with anything, what I’ve said on this subject is not all that can or should be said. But my hope is to create a new perspective and maybe rebuild some burned bridges. To remind us we are a family. We should be able to look at all of these ministries and denominations as a gift from God to help us see things that we may have missed otherwise.
And who knows . . . Maybe ignite in us the realization that unity is closer than we thought.
Without fail, whenever I bring up this subject, I’m sent a plethora of links to articles and videos that are all missing one thing:
A clear rule of biblical criteria for identifying at what point the Gospel or Jesus become, “different” and thus damnable.
Seriously guys, if we are going to start a crusade in which we’re making these types of accusations toward others, then it’s imperative that we have Scripture to back us up.
Now, I understand people can take a Bible verse, slap on some commentary, and tell you what it, “really means.” I get that. I really do. And that sort of thing can make for a great discussion. But when we’re dealing in serious issues where we’re charging people with potentially damnable things, you gotta have more. Folks need to be able to read it in their Bibles for themselves—-without your help as an interpreter.
Because we have to be sure. There’s a lot at stake here . . .Especially if we’re wrong.
. . . And maybe even our own salvation.
We have a command to be ever willing to believe the best of every person (1Cor 13 AMP). Sometimes it seems like we practice that passage in reverse, doesn’t it? We’re ever willing to believe and suspect the worst of every person. If you define hate as the opposite of love, then what are we doing when we jump at the opportunity to believe the worst about those with whom we disagree? John said anyone who hates his brother is a murderer and has no eternal life in him—So while we’ve been so quick to bring every one else’ salvation into question . . . Maybe it’s time we were a bit more concerned for our own.
. . . Moving on
So I’m putting forth a challenge to all those who are actively involved in this popular practice of accusing folks of preaching a different Jesus/Gospel:
I don’t say that in arrogance. I’m saying it out of obedience to 1 Thessalonians 5 which commands us to test and prove all things.
Quote the statement under investigation and show where in the Bible it’s referred to as another gospel or a different jesus.
Notice I said to quotethe statement as opposed to naming the doctrine. Why? Because unfortunately folks often hear something, rearrange it, then run off saying So and So is teaching X, Y, and Z. We’re not interested in that. Let’s play fair here and deal with the actual quote and not your interpretation of it.
Now . . . Here’s what I suspect. And I say, suspect, because I could be wrong. But so far it seems that the Bible really does not give a measurable criteria in this area. How could it? If I remember correctly, a different Jesus and another Gospel are terms that only occur once in the Bible. The word, heresy maybe a couple more.
And whenever the Bible is not very specific on a subject—Look out! Because folks just can’t leave it alone. So you’ll often see quite a bit of shoehorning going on in order to arrive at conclusions.
That’s right, I said shoehorning— yeah, it’s a word. I looked it up.
Many will ask, “Are you saying there is no way to prove false or unbiblical doctrines with the Bible?” Of course there is. You can clearly demonstrate erroneous doctrines using the Bible.
All day long.
But critics don’t seem content with this. They have to push it to another level. It can’t be just an erroneous teaching. It must fall under the category of a different gospel or another jesus thus allowing for a more direct personal attack with terms like, “heretic” and “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”
Look, we feel strongly about this. I get that. It can be a very emotional subject. But if we are going to insist on using such loaded language, let’s also insist that clear biblical criteria be shown.
And in the event it cannot be . . .
Then we need to serve ourselves up a nice big slice of Humble Pie and repent of this sinful, destructive practice.