"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Robert Jeffress Speaks the Truth on the Applicability of OT Law, Women in Abusive Relationships, and Young Earth vs. Science

"I am just amazed at the number of Christians who want to put themselves under the Old Testament Law...folks, we are not under the law, PERIOD! So quit trying to live like you're under the law. Quit picking and choosing what you want to obey in the law. None of the dietary restrictions apply, none of the religious restrictions apply. We have been set free. We are under the New Testament, the New Agreement, praise God!"
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I have been critical of Robert Jeffress over the past year, but I have to say the more I listen to him the more I think he really is one of the better preachers in the SBC. He is not theatrical and overbearing in his preaching, and he does a good job of sticking to scripture.

A case in point about why I like Robert Jeffress is his latest "Ask the Pastor" service on 8/28/11.

About once a year he has a service entitled "Ask the Pastor" where a moderator reads questions to Jeffress that have been emailed or written by church members to the church on controversial topics. Jeffress speaks to the issues without notes, and he gives some great biblical advice, mixed with humor and some just plain ole common sense.

In this session there were some things I agreed on, and some others I didn't but there were three questions that really stuck out to me that I wanted to share with my readers - three things that I think Jeffress was right on the money, when most pastors who are asked these questions will probably be off the mark.

The first was his emphatical statement (see above) that Christians absolutely are not under the Old Testament law, and that they should stop trying to live under the law. You won't hear many pastors say this so clearly and forcefully, because many of them still like to hang the Old Testament tithe and "curses" around the necks of their people by misusing Malachi 3. Thank you, Robert Jeffress, for affirming that Christians are not under ANY of the Old Testament law, we are under the New Covenant. You said it without reservation, and with passion.

Secondly, he was asked what a wife should do if her husband verbally abuses her. He was very clear: a woman has absolutely no responsibility to stay in even a verbally abusive situation in her home. He said:

"I think that is a perversion of submission..I think there is every reason in a marriage relationship, if you are being abused - I'm talking about real abuse here. I'm talking about cursing and belittling and all of this on a continual basis. I think when that continues a wife has every right to say to her husband 'God hates violence Genesis 6 says. He hates physical violence, he hates verbal violence. Unless you change, I'm not going to live in this situation, we're going to separate until you change.' I'm not talking about divorce or remarriage, I'm talking about saying 'I'm not going to live in this situation, here's some conditions that will have to be met for you to change'.

What a contrast. Many SBC pastors will tell a wife they have to suck it up, and they have to pray and win their husbands to the Lord through their submission. Even Paige Patterson told a story once of a woman who came to him seeking council about her abusive husband, and Patterson advised her to stay with her husband and pray for him, acknowledging that he might become violent. Sure enough he was, she became a punching bag, and she came back to him with black eyes, for which Patterson expressed delight that she suffered for her obedience. Thank you Robert Jeffress, for being crystal clear with the women in your church that they don't have to take the nonsense their husbands dish out.

The third thing that I wanted to mention is his response to a question about whether the earth is 6000 years old, or much, much older. He basically said he didn't know himself, but that sincere Christians differ on this topic. He acknowledged in his church are many "young earth" believers, and others who believe the earn is much, much older. He ended this question with a quote I first saw on the Wartburg Watch when they were writing about Ken Ham: "In the essentials, unity. In the non-essentials, diversity. In all things, charity."

If you want to watch the entire "Ask the Pastor" session, click here, and then click on the "Evening Services" tab and scroll to the 8/28/11 service.

Or, see the three excerpts below:



29 comments:

Anonymous said...

But I came in admiring my mother's determination to stick it out in her marriage when my dad has his troublesome years. Taught me a lot on perseverance in my marriage. I n looking back she did have a right to leave but impressed with wanting to think about being an example to her kids. Here is the problem with the Torah, Watch, the Torah is still "kept" in this age but "Under the Law" means being under its management and dictates which not even in the OT was someone fully was ever in compliance with (it is why Christ was necessary for both ages). Keeping the Torah means using it to lead others to Christ through it.

Anonymous said...

So we have an SBC pastor who is not familiar enough with the Creation/Evolution debate to understand all of the implications of his belief? or Refuses to clearly articulate his position?

Not surprising really.

About 63% of SBC pastors have no business preaching

Tom Parker said...

Wow! How refreshing. That we can have differing views about certain Christian items needs to be shouted from the roof tops.

Anonymous said...

Since the law no longer applies are we free now to steal, kill, lie, covet and commit adultery.

Actually, I understand and agree with Pastor Jefferies. However, we cannot simply choose to discard the O.T. Law. It has great value in helping us understand the character of God and thus in helping us with our Christian formation.

I think overly simplistic statements, while true, can be easily misunderstood. I fear that too many pew sitters today are looking for "sound bites" rather than sound bible teaching.
Just my humble opinion.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Readers - if you haven't already, go read the Wartburg Watch's article on "The Earth Is Fixed and the Sun Moves- Real Christians Believe It!" . Dee does an outstanding job of showing the ridiculousness of these preachers who pop off about matters of secondary importance - like the age of the earth, and whether the earth was created in a literal 6 day period - and elevate them to topics of primary importance.

Jeffress gave a masterful answer to this question. He absolutely allows for differing views on all these matters, and doesn't consider them anywhere near primary importance like Mohler and Ham.

But read Dee's article, the quotes from Mohler, Calvin, and Luther are priceless and make her case perfectly.

And then a quote from Augustine at the end was excellent. These preachers need to stick what they know, and that is the Bible and theology, and really they don't know much of anything else. They are not trained in the sciences most of them, and their ignorance in such matters only serves to hurt their true message: the gospel of Christ.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

9:18 - I'll take a sound bite full of truth, any day over a 30 minute sermon by a wind bag misusing scripture.

confused and worried said...

Can I ask a question and I am being serious as I can, because I do not understand and I am hoping some of your responses can help me better understand. Please no flaming or rude responses, I just am trying to make sense out of life right now.

Why does God allow people like Ergun Caner to be blessed financially in such a tremendous way and others like someone I know personally to have such hard times financially? Now I know that some people would say that maybe Ergun's financial gains are not blessings and ill gotten gains, but when you account for the fact that he has had nothing bad happen to take away those finances then that is a blessing. When he is able to feed his family without having to choose medicine or food then that is a blessing. When he can afford to have multiple properties when others have a hard time paying the rent then Ergun is surely being blessed or it appears like that to me.

Please no flaming and I know this is off topic, but I just want to understand why this man can make a mockery out of the God and yet continues to gain financially and yet others who are trying to live Godly & honest lives are struggling so much.

Anonymous said...

Here is a similar Q&A with John MacArthur:

http://www.challies.com/interviews/5-more-questions-with-john-macarthur

Anonymous said...

We are not under the law but we do have the indwelling Holy Spirit if we are saved. And there are a ton of places in the NT where it talks about "doing the right things" or NOT doing wrong things.

Salvation is free and we never earn it. However, We do have a part in our sanctification. A good tree does not bear bad fruit.

There is some screwed up teaching from many corners that teaches we are to expect Christians to practice sin. They ignore the New Birth and want to keep you at the Cross sinning as the norm. Never reading maturity where you sin less and less.

This is because so many pastors want to be the Holy Spirit for you so they can have followers after themselves. People go to hear what to do and how to live because they are not being guided by the Holy Spirit but a human.

Anonymous said...

"Why does God allow people like Ergun Caner to be blessed financially in such a tremendous way and others like someone I know personally to have such hard times financially?"

Read Matthew 6. They are getting their reward NOW.

Then go read Ezekial 34. If God said that about OT priests what do you think are the implications of those making merchandise of the Gospel today? Getting fat off the sheep?

You have bought into the prosperity Gospel which is even in the SBC with guys like Mac and Steve Gaines and Paige Patterson...and others. Was Paul rich? prosperous? Read 2 Corinthians.

Rich is a relative term internationally and that is one excuse they use. But when they dare take money from those struggling for their empires it is no different than what God is saying in Ez 34. These false teachers actually teach these struggling people will be blessed to give to them.

Also read the letters to the churches in Revelation. Which ones did NOT get a rebuke. And which ones did? And for what?

What most folks cannot see is that many of our celebrity pastors are the Nicolatians. Conquerer of the people. They get followers after themselves. Stop feeding the false shepherds.

Besides, get a reality check. What can a prosperous preacher teach you about living in the real world? He is isolated and insulated from everyday problems such as making ends meet. HE does not report to a gay boss as a believer who is charged to love. They have little to teach you. Wake up.

Anonymous said...

Woe to the fat shepherds!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2cFQRw-hcg&feature=player_embedded

Anonymous said...

Woe to the fat shepherds!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2cFQRw-hcg&feature=player_embedded

Moses Model said...

confused and worried,

This question has been bugging me a lot for the last year or so. I hope that I can help.

Before Ergun Caner, experience had already taught me not to expect too much help from God. He saved me from Hell, but he had no obligation to help me too much financially or health wise. God has set the earth to operate according to natural laws. When he intervenes, unlikely as that is, it is a miracle. Welcome as the miracles are you pray for bread and thank God for the cabbage.

As a general rule, people are bad at finding truth. They suffer from psychological defects like confirmation bias and pareidolia. Basically the human brain naturally makes connections that are not there. I would like to think that Ergun's blessings are solely the cause of human nature. Certainly there are Christian frauds greater, wealthier, and more despicable than Ergun.

However, also, I have to understand that God uses imperfect people. He uses liars and murderers in the Bible. He causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. In the David and Uriah story, if there was anyone that we would have thought should have been blessed it would have been Uriah. Uriah did all the right things, but was forsaken, intoxicated, adulterated, and murdered. David however remained king,the father of a dynasty, and author of scripture. Ergun may continue to have a profitable ministry.

Confused, as someone who has had his children put in harms way, I wonder, "if God did not protect the first ones what will he allow for the others?" I cannot help, but look at Ergun and ask "why?" Naturally I want to say that it is all fake. Biblically, I know that God uses scoundrels. Spiritually, I ask God, "How could you?" Ergun has become one of my greatest theodicy problems.

The end all is that when I get to heaven, I am going to ask Ergun about it.

Sharon said...

"Please no flaming and I know this is off topic, but I just want to understand why this man can make a mockery out of the God and yet continues to gain financially and yet others who are trying to live Godly & honest lives are struggling so much."

confused and worried,

I don't know what you mean by flaming, so hope my opinion is not considered flaming. I am taking your thoughts seriously.

I think if you take God out of the situation, it makes total sense. It then can easily be explained that Caner has talents that people will pay money for. He is also well-educated. He makes money by speaking, entertaining, teaching, writing books, etc. These are just facts.

The person you contrasted him with-someone who tries to live a Godly life and be honest, etc. may not have the skills and talents to make as much money as he does.

So if you stop trying to figure out why God is doing something or not doing something, and just look at it as a contrast between two people in a capitalistic society, it's pretty simple.

Now this brings in the scary possibility of there either being no God at all, or there could be a God who does not get involved in happenings on earth. I think both of those things are possible conclusions. OR you could be right that there is a God-but then you're back to confusion again.

John Wylie said...

Confused and worried.

The answer you are looking for is found in Psalm 73. Please understand God has not promised to make the saved rich, nor has He promised to take away the problems of this present evil age. But God does promise to be a help to those who put their trust in Him.

I understand your confusion, any thoughtful believer have pondered these questions of life. The thing to remember is that we as believers do not put all our eggs in the basket of this life.

confused and worried said...

Thanks everyone.

"John Wylie said...

"I think if you take God out of the situation, it makes total sense. It then can easily be explained that Caner has talents that people will pay money for. He is also well-educated. He makes money by speaking, entertaining, teaching, writing books, etc. These are just facts."

The person you contrasted him with-someone who tries to live a Godly life and be honest, etc. may not have the skills and talents to make as much money as he does.

The individual in question is as smart at what he does as Caner is at what he does, the difference is that he keeps running into bad luck I guess and in my eyes is if anyone is deserving it would be he over Caner.

Now I know none of us are deserving, but if you take in to consideration the fact that Caner has lied to gain fame and fortune and my friend is trying to make an honest way, certainly he would be more deserving of a blessing.

"John Wylie said...

Confused and worried.

The answer you are looking for is found in Psalm 73. Please understand God has not promised to make the saved rich, nor has He promised to take away the problems of this present evil age. But God does promise to be a help to those who put their trust in Him.

I understand your confusion, any thoughtful believer have pondered these questions of life. The thing to remember is that we as believers do not put all our eggs in the basket of this life."

Thank you for the reference, I will definitely be reading that shortly.

Anonymous said...

The New Testment is in direct opposition to the present age of evil. Your FBCJax pastor inbraces the inclusion of this age. You cannot serve two masters but the that paster is trying his best to do that.

FBCJax hope you like your inclusion.

Anonymous said...

"The end all is that when I get to heaven, I am going to ask Ergun about it."

When you and the rest of the redeemed get to Heaven none of this will matter a tinkers dam, nor will we be discussing it.

Anonymous said...

Moses Model

You latest post is one of the most depressing and discouraging things I have ever heard from a brother in Christ.

You wrote "experience had already taught me not to expect too much help from God. He saved me from Hell, but he had no obligation to help me too much financially or health wise. God has set the earth to operate according to natural laws. When he intervenes, unlikely as that is, it is a miracle. Welcome as the miracles are you pray for bread and thank God for the cabbage."

How depressing!!!!

I'm sorry to hear that, but my experience is different. I see evidence of our great God everywhere I look. You know, the God who talked about abundant life? I'm not talking about prosperity gospel here. I am talking about the God who loves us so much that he reveals himself to us in every day circumstances. You may dismiss the miracles in the lives of others as confirmation bias and pareidolia and that it very sad to me. Our God is mighty, loving, all knowing, and causes ALL things to work together for good. We need to trust and rely on him and him only regardless of our circumstances knowing that he is sovereign and he has a plan.

I suspect my comments will be dismissed as those of a naive idealistic immature believer who hasn't suffered enough in this life. That's fine, but God knows where I have been and what I have seen. I hope this post serves to encourage someone.

Anonymous said...

By the way, there is one major difference between Ergun Caner and King David. That is, David repented of his sin after the prophet confronted him.

Thy Peace said...

Emmanuel - Enid > Hebrews: From Shadow to Substance > #23. Learning Obedience through Suffering (Hebrews 5:7-10)
Spurgeon said, "I bear my willing witness that I owe more to the fire, and the hammer, and the file, than to anything else in my Lord's workshop. I sometimes question whether I have ever learned anything except through the rod. When my school-room is darkened, I see most."

Anonymous said...

"However, also, I have to understand that God uses imperfect people. He uses liars and murderers in the Bible. He causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. In the David and Uriah story, if there was anyone that we would have thought should have been blessed it would have been Uriah. Uriah did all the right things, but was forsaken, intoxicated, adulterated, and murdered. David however remained king,the father of a dynasty, and author of scripture. Ergun may continue to have a profitable ministry."

AFter reading this one wonders why not be a pathological liar and make money off ministry. AFter all, you can do that and still have eternal life.

What Moses Model is sugggesting is that there really is no new birth. We stay totally depraved after salvation. They always use David as an example to glorify sin. I suggest everyone go back and real all about David to the end and ask yourselves if you would want him as a dad today. Yes, David repented and paid a very high price for his sins. Do people miss that part.

Here is a basic clue. Born aGain Christians ACT like believers. They are not perfect but they are not pathological liars who make merchandise out of the Gospel. A good tree does not bear bad fruit.

Too many people have bought into a lie about santification. Many do not even know what it is.

Work out your salvation with fear and trembling!

Moses Model said...

Anon,

A couple of years ago I stole the thanking God for the cabbages from Richard Wumbrand's "Tortured for Christ". God does not give us what we want sometimes. When you look at promises from the Bronze Age to the Roman Empire they had lower standards for their fulfillment. Their death rates were higher and their nutrition was lower. I have a better roof over my head and food to eat. Personally I count a water toilet as ample blessing. Financially however, I have received some gifts, but I have sold stuff and worked multiple jobs like everybody else. Right now, I am more or less stable financially. I am fine with this.

When someone says to me that God will provide, I generally say that I had low standards anyway. I had hoped that my children would be under divine protection, but in the last few years I have realized that most of the protection is in my hands. God reserves the right to say "no" to even this basic prayer.

Sure all of this will work together for good eventually. I do not doubt this. However there is not a time table on this good. Heaven might in some instances be the fulfillment of this promise. I do trust God, but I also recognize that he can say "no" and has no real obligation to protect me or my family more than he already has.

Anon 1:09,

You are probably right. However, I am keeping a list of Christians to ask what where you thinking. Martin Luther may anticipate a question on his antisemitic policy.

Anonymous said...

John 10:10

English Standard Version (ESV)

10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.



Matthew 6:31-33

English Standard Version (ESV)

31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Jeremiah 29:11

English Standard Version (ESV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Acts 13:22

English Standard Version (ESV)

22And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, 'I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.'

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic: New BBC Open Forum > John Langworthy Arrested

Katie said...

Dearest Confused,

It's true that those who are wicked seem to prosper the most. Christianity doesn't promise us so much justice as it does MERCY. At the judgment day we Christians thankfully will not receive justice, but mercy only.

I personally find Ergun Caner to be despicable. Not only has he been deceitful and arrogant, but self righteous, blinded by his own inability to understand right from wrong. Ergun Caner with all of his material things is a living, breathing example of the parable of the rich man. Money and fame are his priority, without a care for refining his soul. Sad, really.

Scripture tells us that we will have trouble in our lives. Jesus spoke about broken families due to the gospel message. Common grace tells us it rains on the good as well as the bad, We live in a fallen world.

If you read the early church fathers you'll find that many of them lost their lives for standing up for the truth of the gospel. God didn't lift a finger to spare them. But I'm convinced their reward is great. I cannot explain why God allowed the inquisition to kill Jan Hus, but spared Martin Luther. I trust He has His reasons.

We are not promised a problem free life. I'd love to see more churches working to meet the needs of those who are hurting.

One more thing. IF Christians would STOP supporting Caner, he'd get his justice.

God bless Christian friend.

Anonymous said...

1. Book of Galatians: learn it, live it.

2. Brides and grooms agree to live together under terms; abuse is not a part of the terms. Strategic separation sometimes wise.

3. No one can know for certain. But atheistic evolution is neither good math nor sound science. And, the Lord Jesus was a creationist.

Anonymous said...

1. Book of Galatians: learn it, live it.

2. Brides and grooms agree to live together under terms; abuse is not a part of the terms. Strategic separation sometimes wise.

3. No one can know for certain. But atheistic evolution is neither good math nor sound science.

John M. Harris said...

This has got to be the best answers on these topics, especially concerning issues like "creation" and "eschatology" etc. We just can't be so dogmatic on things we really don't fully understand. Each of us only understands in part (1Cor 13). Fantastic.