Comment By “Anodos” Is Indicative Of Sonship’s Dark Spirit
All false doctrine has its consequences. It’s difficult to write about what one encounters personally with those who propagate Sonship Theology and its offspring, Gospel Sanctification, but a recent comment by “Anodos” on the Tchividjian post is telling. He commented as follows:
“The Pharisees had their doctrine nailed down – they had studied scriptures and worked on it for hundreds of years. Jesus was crucified over a doctrinal issue. The Pharisees’ understanding of that doctrine was correct, but they did not know their God even when He stood face to face with them.
You have your orthodoxy all worked out, but your spirit is the same as the Pharisee. The next time you stand face to face with Christ, the tables will be turned. It will be He who says, “I do not know you, depart from me you worker of iniquity.”
Repent. Humble yourself and admit that you might not know all that you think you know. Come to Jesus and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. He will come to those who are spiritually impoverished, to those who are broken hearted and mourn.
Jesus is not a fact. He is a person. Eternal life is not knowing about Jesus, it is knowing Jesus. Your entrance into heaven will not be based on your works or your doctrine, but on whether Jesus knows you. This is a relationship, not a quiz.”
This statement is very, very Sonshippy, and characteristic of the mentality among Sonship’s Koolaid drinking faithful. First, we see the misrepresentation of the Pharisees as a device for promoting their false doctrine. Supposedly, the Pharisees were really, really good at keeping the law and had a laser focus on correct doctrine, but missed the whole point of salvation which has nothing to do with truth, and everything to do with knowing Christ as a “person.” Only problem is—that’s not true.
Anodos’ contention that the Pharisees had Jesus crucified over correct doctrine is a classic GS proposition, but doesn’t square with what Scripture states. Just imagine how intimidating this is to those who are under it; your best intentions in regard to following the truth could result in you being a Pharisee without realizing it. Moreover, since a relationship with Christ has nothing to do with the truth (“Jesus is not a fact. He is a person”), you wouldn’t dare go to the Scriptures and make your own assessment because that is truth-based / doctrine oriented. Therefore, you must be able ascertain what the Scriptures are teaching you about Jesus’ personhood for relationship purposes, and not knowledge. Since you wouldn’t normally try that at home—yep, you guessed it—better depend on those who are really, really good with the Redemptive-Historical Hermeneutic. Do you think that I am insinuating that GS doctrine (which is based on Jesus as a “person [a no-brainer]—not a cognitive concept that we apply to life.” [Paul Tripp]) relegates GS followers to a Pope-like dependence on their leaders for understanding the Scriptures? Absolutely.
The fact is: the Pharisees were the sultans of false doctrine and lawlessness. All of the trials leading up to Jesus’ execution were completely unlawful. Jesus made it clear that they changed the law and replaced it with their traditions. In fact, Jesus accused them of nullifying the law and making it “void” (Matthew 15:16). Since law (Scripture: see Matthew 5:18) determines doctrine, the Pharisees didn’t have correct doctrine. Obviously.
Hence, the idea heard constantly among the GS crowd: those who form their beliefs from biblical facts make the same mistake the Pharisees supposedly made. I have heard this from GS leaders firsthand. Only the gospel, as seen in the Scriptures, is “Spirit”; “facts” are the “letter” of the law –not the Spirit. Therefore, supposedly, the “letter kills, but the Spirit gives life,” and they cite 2Corinthians 3:6 accordingly. Can I emphasize enough how dangerous this teaching is?
Secondly, this is postmodern thought. The following are statements by John MacArthur Jr. in “Truth War” concerning the Emergent Church and Postmodern thought. See if you can detect the parallels between GS hermeneutics / Anodos’ comments, and what MacArthur writes as follows:
“Uncertainty is the new truth. Doubt and skepticism have been canonized as a form of humility” (page 16).
“Even some professing Christians nowadays argue along these lines: ‘If truth is personal, it cannot be propositional. If truth is embodied in the person of Christ [my emphasis], then the form of a proposition can’t possibly express authentic truth. That is why most of Scripture is told to us in narrative form-as a story-not as a set of propositions” (Page 14, emphasis added).
“Propositions force us to face facts and either affirm or deny them, and that kind of clarity simply does not play well in a postmodern culture” (Page 16).
Quoting John Armstrong, a proponent of the Emerging Church: “Theology must be a humble human attempt to ‘hear him’ – never about rational [again, my emphasis] approaches to text” (page 21).
Thirdly, Anodos displays a common propensity among GS advocates to proclaim dissenters as unregenerate. Notice that Anodos, like most GS advocates, base this on my exegetical view of Scripture. Anodos might note in the verse that he uses to condemn me that the word for “iniquity” is “anomia” which means “anti-law” (negative article “a” and “nomia” [law]). That sounds more like the GS crowd than me.
Lastly, Anodos’ comment is indicative of GS/Sonship’s inadequacy in presenting the gospel. “Come to Jesus and ask Him to reveal Himself to you,” is not how one gets saved. I was involved in a situation where I was asked to counsel an individual who was living in unspeakable sin. Later, we became disassociated with each other when he started counseling with a GS / Sonship “elder.” Some time later, I was informed that the counselee spent hours on his knees begging God to save him, and to no avail. Why? Apparently, the counselee had been taught by the GS counselor that before he could be saved, God had to show him his salvation as a “treasure chest of joy.”
Anodos, that’s why you and your GS cohorts are wicked false teachers. And frankly, I don’t care if your names are Anodos, John Piper, Tim Keller, David Powlison, Paul Tripp, Francis Chan, etc, etc, etc. I don’t care how well any of you speak, how well you dress, how many followers you have, or even how good you smell. Your vile doctrine is ruining people’s lives and I will contend against it until God gives me my last breath.