Abhorrence of Apostasy
One of the most amazing and awe-inspiring sections in the Bible is in Paul’s second letter to the Church in Thesslonica where he warns his brethren about the impending apostasy.
Let no one deceive or beguile you in any way, for that day will not come except the apostasy comes first [unless the predicted great falling away of those who have professed to be Christians has come], and the man of lawlessness (sin) is revealed, who is the son of doom (of perdition). (2 Thessalonians 2:3; Amplified Bible)
Of even greater astonishment is Jesus’ first denouncement of the Pharisees, beginning with “woe unto you” in Matthew 23:13:
But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces; for you neither enter yourselves, nor do you allow those who are about to go in to do so” (Matthew 23:13; Amplified Bible)
John F Walfoord writes in his book “The Kingdom of God,”p. 171:
Those [seven] woes in contrast to the Beatitudes denounce false religion as utterly abhorrent to God and worthy of severe condemnation.”
Paul’s severe warning in Galatians 1: 8 and 9 echoes the severity of God’s intense abhorrence and condemnation of apostasy. This is the only place in the entire Bible where the same thing is repeated twice in succession.
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8-9)
Many Church leaders, some of whom hold high positions and exert enormous power over their flocks and congregations, are increasingly shutting the kingdom of heaven in peoples’ faces. they would obviously and immediately counter such an allegation with the argument that they are actually inaugurating the Kingdom of God on earth and not shutting it in peoples’ faces. To demonstrate the point I would like introduce to you some of the apostisizing remarks many well-known leaders in the Emerging Church have made on sin, salvation and the Kingdom of God. Some of them you may already know but bear with me, if you will.
The apostasy of Rev Jannie Pelser
Rev Jannie Pelser is the leader pastor of the DRC’s Community Church in Rant and Dal, Krugersdorp who is well-known for his regular excursions to Nigeria and the Synoguoe Church of All Nations headed by Temitope Balogun Joshua, commonly referred to as T. B. Joshua, whose fraudulent claims of miracle AIDS cures and many false prophecies have been exposed on the internet. (See other articles on T. B. Joshua here). It seems that he has since abandoned the false miracle coterie of Prophet T. B. Joshua to jump onto the Emerging Church bandwagon. The old English adage “from bad to worse” suits his unstable and shaky egg dance perfectly. This is what Pastor Pelser said on “Kruiskyk.”
‘If Good Friday (aka the crucifixion of Jesus Christ) is so good, brothers and sisters, where do we see the goodness of Good Friday in our world?” . . . “What sense is there in the events surrounding the crucifixion if the world around us does not change and hasn’t changed for more than 2000 years? What does it help when the whole world goes to heaven but has hell on earth?” . . . “What merit is there in a faith that says ‘Hang in there’, some day it will be better? If we do not experience something of it [the Kingdom of God on earth] right now, who says the promise of a better future is at all true?” . . . “I dare you to show me where Jesus commanded people to make sure they will go to heaven. Show me one place where Jesus commands us to make sure that people go to heaven. The command is to go and tell people that heaven has arrived on earth and that it is breaking through to every part of the world. And you and I, my, our calling is to set up the signs of God’s approaching glory on earth and not to focus peoples’ eyes on a pie in the sky when you die while the world around us goes lost in everyday’s struggle to exist.”‘ . . . “Jesus did not come to save peoples’ souls. He came to establish God’s rule on earth.”
Imagine Jesus telling Lazarus who was laid at the gate of a rich man with festrering sores licked by the dogs: “What sense is their in your faith that says ‘hang in there,’ some day it will be better? If you do not experience something of the Kingdom of God right now who says the promise of a better future [in heaven] is at all true? In any case, I did not come to save your soul because heaven is merely a pie in the sky when you die. I have come to establish my Father’s rule on earth. So hang in there, Lazarus. JUST HANG IN”
Please don’t imagine Jannie Pelser to be intelligently original because he’s not. The things he says about heaven and hell are merely an echo of what Rob Bell says in his book “Velvet Elvis.”
True spirituality then is not about escaping this world to some other place where we will live forever. A Christian is not someone who expects to spend forever in heaven there. A Christian is someone who anticipates spending forever here, in a new heaven that comes to earth. The goal isn’t escaping this world but making this world the kind of place God can come to. And God is remaking us into the kind of people who can do this kind of work.
The remaking of this world is why Jesus’ first messages began with “T’shuva, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” The Hebrew word t’shuva means “to return.” Return to the people we were originally created to be. The people God is remaking us into. (P.151).
One of the most detestable things about the Emerging Church is their unflinching desire to change the meaning of some of the most important doctrines in the Word of God, and to do this they must change the meaning of words. They have already repainted the word “metanoia” (“repent”) with their revolting palette of emerging colours. Another word they have twisted into something else, is T’shuva. The word T’shuva (undoubtedly one of the most important words in the Bible) has nothing to do with the remaking of the world or even the remaking of people who can do this kind of work, i.e. the job of remaking or restoring the world to its original pristine condition. No man, except Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, is able to remake the world and restore it to its original pristine condition and He will only do so when He returns at his Second Advent. Rav Kook in “Orot HaT’shuvah” defines T’shuvah as follows:
‘To nullify the basic nature of life that man shall become a non-sinner’ this itself would be the greatest sin . . . Penitence redresses the defect and restores the world and life to their original character precisely by focusing on the basis of their highest attribute, the dimension of freedom. It is for this reason that God is called the God of life.”
It follows that God being the God of all life is the only Person who is capable of restoring fallen mankind to a position from enmity (eternal death) to sonship (eternal life) with Him, and consequently also to restore the sin contaminated world to its original character. This, however, can only be accomplished through penitence (T’shuva) of individual sinners and NOT by means of the transformation of entire cultures without them having to repent and believe the Gospel. God never haphazardly remakes sinners into the people they ought to be, least of all through contemplative disciplines and practices, so that they may be able to do the kind of global restorative work that is needed. Man is not even able to restore the leaning Tower of Pisa to its original position; what makes him think he can restore the entire earth and cosmos for that matter? Conceitedness, arrogance, bloated pride? . . . You bet! The restoration of all things will inevitably go hand in hand with penitent sinners being restored to a position where they no longer sin. The basic nature of the present world, however, is that of sin, rebellion and disobedience to God and his will and for the Emergent Church to think that they can restore the world and its peoples to a condition of sinlessness is, as Rav Kook says, the greatest sin. Nonetheless, they are really trying very hard to nullify sin and its consequences, suggesting that it has lost its significance in our post modern cultures. The Emerging Church’s unholy maxim that “Everything is holy” is a rather shimmering view of sin and its devastating consequences. Stephan Joubert, for instance, has consistently tried to detach Jesus of Nazareth from the “purity story” in Leviticus where moral opposites are starkly demarcated between us and them, holy and unholy, saved and unsaved, in-out etc. Stephan said the following paradoxical things at a congress held at the Mosa’ek Church in Fairland, Johannesburg from 4 to 5 September 2009.
The apostasy of Stephan Joubert
‘Another thing that you need to know: Life is holy, life is holy. When you follow Jesus as the Sage, not as the religious professional, as the guy with all the rules for right and wrong, but as the Sage from heaven, Jesus will tell you. You will learn from Him: Life is holy. Every single person that you will cross paths, with will be holy. Every place you are will be holy. So this is the journey. The pilgrimage is not to go to holy places. Every morning you wake up, if, you’re on a pilgrimage. When you have coffee at Mug and Bean. Do that more [often]. That’s on a pilgrimage.
I don’t know how this works, because wisdom literature never tells you how it works. The other pictures tell you how it works. So if you want all the answers, go to the priestly story. The priest will tell you right or wrong. Go to your pastor, if he or she is still caught up in the priestly story. They know. They know what is sin and what not. . . . As a young pastor, when I was a pastor for three months, one evening I told my wife: ‘I am going to resign.’ I thought I would teach the people about God and about helping them cope with their lives and helping me cope with my life in the presence of God. And all they ask me: “Is this sin? Is that sin? Is this right? Is that wrong? Am I in? Am I out?” And one day, in pure desperation, when this guy came to me and said: ‘Is this sin?’ I said: ‘How should I know? You’re the expert.’ So’ I mean . . .
But the moment that you ‘ and I am not saying that there is no right or wrong. If you heard this, you heard me incorrectly ‘ I am saying if you follow Jesus and stay close on His heels and let His dust fall on your feet; you will know what’s right and wrong. Of course you will. It is a relationship. . .’ In the religion thing, in the cultic thing, it’s about right and wrong. In the following Jesus it is about agape and love. And you can obey without loving, but you can never love without obeying.’
If Stephan Joubert and his buddies at the Mosaïek Curch really followed the Sage from heaven they would have been sagely obedient to God’s command in 2 Corinthians:
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [unholy] thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
Stephan Joubert’s notion that everything is holy is not a very good advertisement for places like Mug & Bean. Had the general public known that Mug & Bean is holy, according to Joubert, they would not in the very least support Mug & Bean. How do I know? Well! Jesus who is awesomely holy once said that the world hates Him which of course means that if Mug & Bean exemplifies his holiness they too are candidates for the world’s hatred (John 15:18). I would like to apologize to Mug and Bean on behalf of Stephan Joubert who seems to want them to lose most of their clientele through their unwanted holiness. Do you get my drift?
Ron Martoia, one of the leading figures in the Emergent Church who benevolently refers to Stephan Joubert as one of his close friends (despite Joubert’s lie in an interview with JUIG that he hasn’t been in contact with Martoia for the last three years), said at a conference of the Mosa’ek Church in July 2011 the following about sin. He calls it “quantum sin” with reference to Plancks constant that says everything, even our deepest thoughts, are interconnected to others thousands of kilometres away so that whatever we think and do impacts others in other parts of the world as well. Here in his own words he describes his views on quantum sin.
They’re doing experiments right now; these are well documented. You can find them all over the internet ‘ many of them are being done at
Arizona State University in the United States ‘ on how thoughts have energy and how our thoughts impact reality.‘ Not like ooh, weird stuff.’ No, they’re measuring this, right?’ You know, Einstein ‘ when he heard Planck begin talking about this ‘ you know what Einstein said?’ Einstein said, I don’t believe any of this because you’re talking to me about spooky actions at a distance; that’s what he called this stuff ‘ spooky actions at a distance ‘ and Planck said no, this is real, and so now they’re doing experiments about how our thoughts impact the fabric of our world.
And so what I would like to do is I would like to offer another metaphor for us.’ I mean, we have the archery metaphor, we have the white wool stained with red that can be washed white again; we have these metaphors, but I want to offer to you a slightly different metaphor that I think is in conversation with the culture we live in, because that’s what the bible is doing ‘ having a conversation.’ And I think a possible way of getting at sin might be something like this: sins are those attitudes, and actions, and behaviours that either individually or collectively demonstrate or show anti-life.’ And because they’re antilife they tear at and tatter the quantum fabric of human existence and they separate that and disconnect us from God, each other, and even ourselves.
Thoughts, attitudes and actions that are anti-life tear at the fabric and I think this is one of the reasons why I want to suggest this morning that sin is fundamentally a relational category.‘ It’s a relational category. Apart from relationship, there’s no such thing as sin. If there isn’t a God that you’re in a relationship, there’s no sin, right?’ Not against God and if you don’t know anybody and you’re on a desert island, there’s nobody around ‘ there’s no sin there either because there’s nobody to sin against.’ So no God, no people, no sin ‘ it doesn’t exist ‘ it’s relational.
Voila! If you want to be entirely free from sin, then separate yourself from everyone else and go completely solo in this sin infested world of ours. Just think of it; Adam would have remained completely sinless if he hadn’t allowed him to be contaminated by his relationship with his wife, Eve. Those of you who are stinking rich should buy yourself a remote island somewhere and live there without sin for as long as you desire. There is only one snag. Don’t, I repeat don’t under any circumstances, think negative thoughts that may impact others who haven’t separated themselves from others because they prefer to remain in some kind of relationship with their fellow earthlings. Your thoughts may have such a devastating impact on others that, while you may still remain sinless and relation-less on your own little island, everyone else must suffer the consequences of your thoughts. There is, however, a wonderful solution and a way to counteract negative thoughts. Build yourself a little labyrinth on your sinless and relation-less island and do some contemplative stuff like the “silence thing” and as Eckhart Tolle so eloquently taught us, live in the “now.” Those of you who were smart enough would have taken their Bibles along with them to do some “lectio divina.”What Ron Martoia conveniently forgets is that sin is not merely a do-don’t and bad-thoughts thing. Sin emanates from the sin principle (the old Adam nature) that resides like a sore thumb in each of us. Paul describes this “demon” living within each one of us, in the following way:
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Rom 7:15-24)
So, be my guest and break off any relationships you may have with other earthlings and go and live completely alone on an island. You will only be dragging the sin principle (old Adam nature) along with you to your pristine sinless and relation-less little island and happily continue to nurture those little lustful thoughts you have been nurturing since you’d become aware of your own sexuality. It is not what you do that makes you a sinner. It is what you are that makes you one because we are all born in sin (Psalm 51:5). Kapisch? And so the journey to eradicate sin from our world continues to be a major accomplishment in the Emergent Church. Every single one of them have their own little island where they yearn to be in a relationship with others but have denied themselves this basic need for the common good of all humanity. Perhaps this is why Stephan Joubert decided to break off his relationship with Ron Martoia with whom he hasn’t been in contact more than three years ago. So he said. The only problem with his relational break-up with Ron Martoia is that it hasn’t made him to sin less but even more because he lied. I have already proved that Stephan Joubert hadn’t been in contact with Ron Martoia three years ago but less than one year ago. and here to see and listen what I mean). Before I continue I would like to point out something Ron Martoia said that is extremely offensive and even blasphemous because it demeans Jesus Christ’s deity.
‘Well you just read a passage (1 Peter 4:1) where it starts out talking about Jesus wrestling in his body so there would be no sin in his life, and then the passage ending saying” And whatever you do, love deeply because it covers a multitude of sins, and one of the things that we know is that the bible is in constant dialogue with its culture. The language that it uses, it uses in the language of the culture so when you come against that word ‘sin’ in the text we just read in first Peter” And many of you if you’ve been around the Church at all you’ve heard this ‘ that that word sin literally means to miss the mark; how many of you have heard that before?’ Sin means to miss the mark ‘ this is old news, right?’
“Jesus wrestled in his body so there would be no sin in his life?” Really? The text does not say “so there would be no sin in his life”.” It says ” . . . because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.” Some other Bible translations either use the phrase “has ceased from sin” or “is finished with sin,” “have stopped sinning,” and “has stopped pleasing himself and the world, and pleases God.”‘ Only created beings like humans who have sinned, and indeed we all have sinned, can be done with sin. Ron Martoia implies that Jesus was a sinner and had indeed sinned but had overcome it by suffering in his body before He could be done with sin. Jesus did not suffer and die for Himself (Daniel 9:26); He suffered, died and rose from the dead in our behalf. The text simply means that believers are united to Jesus in his death and his resurrection. In their judicial identification with Christ and by being baptized into Him at the moment of their rebirth, they are supernaturally granted all the benefits of Christ’s death and resurrection. Hence Paul could say with conviction:
We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life. . . . For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:3; 10-11) (Emphasis’ added).
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20)
You may be interested to read my article on the brainto give you a wider scope of understanding as to why Ron Maratoia ventured to give us a new metaphor of sin (which is more accommodating to our modern-day culture) and how to overcome sin (bad habits). As you will see, his own and the emergent church’s definition of ‘quantum sin’ relates more to the Buddhist concept than to the biblical concept of sin and its solution.
Let us now again focus our thoughts on our new and upcoming false prophet who has probably inherited Stephan Joubert’s emergent cloak which he allegedly abandoned for the sake of biblical conservatism and traditionalism. The most disturbing thing about Jannie Pelser’s blathering is that he unashamedly uses one of the major themes in die Old and the New Testament, the Kingdom of God (or the Kingdom of Heaven as it is also known) to strengthen his acutely barren brand of apostasy. I call it a “barren brand of apostasy” because he completely unhinges the most important part of entering into God’s Kingdom from the only Door that leads into his Kingdom which is the requirement to be redeemed (aka the salvation of your soul). It is eternally impossible to enter into the realm of God’s Kingdom without redemption (the salvation of your soul). And yet, Jannie Pelser, adversely and in contrast to what Jesus says in Luke 19:10: “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” boldly states: “Jesus did not come to save peoples’ souls. He came to establish God’s rule on earth.” Who’s the liar here ‘ Jannie Pelser or Jesus Christ? If Jesus Christ did not come to save peoples’ souls then his crucifixion was a dismal failure. Not surprisingly, this is exactly what Jannie Pelser suggests when he asks the questions: “If Good Friday is so good, brothers and sisters, where do we see the goodness of Good Friday in our world?” . . . “What sense is there in the events surrounding the crucifixion if the world around us does not change and hasn’t changed for more than 2000 years?” Pelser’s demeaning words about Christ’s crucifixion not being sufficient for the well-being of mankind, is not original. His thoughts lack high mental originality because he is merely echoing the demon, , who inspired Alice Bailey to write and publish some of the most horrendous and blasphemous remarks about Jesus Christ and his finished work on the cross.
“It is time that the church woke up to its true mission, which is to materialize the kingdom of God on earth, today, here and now . . . People are no longer interested in a possible heavenly state or a probable hell. They need to learn that the kingdom is here, and must express itself on earth . . . The way into that kingdom is the way that Christ trod. It involves the sacrifice of the personal self for the good of the world, and the service of humanity . . .“1 (Emphasis added).
“The kingdom and the service!’
“We must grasp this; we must realize that we shall find release only in the service of the kingdom. We have been held too long by the dogmas of the past, and there is today a natural revolt against the idea of individual salvation through the blood sacrifice of Christ.‘ It is essential that today we face the problem of the relation of Christ to the modern world, and dare to see the truth, without any theological bias . . . It is quite possible that Christ is far more inclusive than we have been led to believe’ We have preached a God of love and have spread a doctrine of hate. We have taught that Christ died to save the world and have endeavoured to show that only believers could be saved . . . But Christ founded a kingdom on earth, wherein all God’s children would have equal opportunity of expressing themselves as sons of the Father. This, many Christians find impossible to accept . . .”Individual salvation is surely selfish in its interest and its origin. We must serve in order to be saved, and only can we serve intelligently if we believe in the divinity of all men and also in Christ’s outstanding service to the race. The kingdom is a kingdom of servers, for every saved soul must without compromise join the ranks of those who ceaselessly serve their fellow men.“2
To illustrate the extent to which the demon Djwhal Khul has influenced and polluted the minds and the preaching of the Emergent fraternity, I would like to juxtapose Alice Bailey’s and some of the Emergent Church’s remarks in a table.
“People are no longer interested in a possible heavenly state or a probable hell. They need to learn that the kingdom is here, and must express itself on earth.” (Alice Bailey, From Bethlehem to Calvary, Chapter Five ‘ The Fourth Initiation, The Crucifixion)
|“I dare you to show me where Jesus commanded people to make sure they will go to heaven. Show me one place where Jesus commands us to make sure that people go to heaven. The command is to go and tell people that heaven has arrived on earth and that it is breaking through into every part of the world. And you and I, my, our calling is to set up the signs of God’s approaching glory on earth and not to focus peoples’ eyes on a pie in the sky when you die while the world around us goes lost in everyday’s struggle to exist.”(Jannie Pelser: Sermon delivered on “kruiskyk,” DSTV on 29 April 2012.)
“A lot of arguments happen about religious and non-religious people about the question of who is going to hell and who is going to heaven.’ A lot of times Christians get into this argument by saying,“We have the only way to heaven.” People often ask me what do I think is the way to heaven. I have a problem when they ask me this question because it assumes that the primary purpose of Jesus’ coming and the primary message was a message about how to get to heaven. Now, I think this is an important question. Obviously, mortality rates are still pretty high, so what happens to us after we die is still very, very important to all of us. And I think that the answer the Christian faith gives to the question, how does a person get to heaven, is that a person gets to heaven not by being good enough, not by being smart enough, rich enough, not by your opinions or anything like that . . . that our only way to be accepted by God is by God’s love, by God’s grace and that’s something that we can’t earn or achieve; we just receive it and believe.” But I actually don’t think that Jesus’ primary message is focused on how to get to heaven (Emphasis added) (Brian McLaren)
|“It is essential that today we face the problem of the relation of Christ to the modern world, and dare to see the truth, without any theological bias . . .It is quite possible that Christ is far more inclusive than we have been led to believe’ We have preached a God of love and have spread a doctrine of hate. We have taught that Christ died to save the world and have endeavored to show that only believers could be saved . . . But Christ founded a kingdom on earth, wherein all God’s children would have equal opportunity of expressing themselves as sons of the Father.” (2)||It was never his aim that this world, for which his Son died, should be overpowered by darkness. No! The Kingdom of God is here; the life and abundance [is] on this side of eternity, not an escape in a theology that says “Jesus in my heart, everything is OK” but a kingdom theology here on earth.” (4) (Jannie Pelser: Sermon delivered on “kruiskyk,” DSTV on 29 April 2012.)|
|“The way into that kingdom is the way that Christ trod. It involves the sacrifice of the personal self for the good of the world, and the service of humanity . . .” “We must grasp this; we must realize that we shall find release only in the service of the kingdom.” (3)||“Don’t get me wrong ‘ I believe John 14:6 with my whole heart: Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He is the only One! But I also know that people who don’t believe this will probably never be convinced if I keep on providing them with unintelligible answers to even stranger questions. Their question to me/us would probably be something like: ‘Show me the money! Show me in your own life what it menas (sic) to follow Jesus, then we could probably have a conversation!’ It’s not so much our beliefs [such as our belief that Jesus is the only Way, Truth and Life], but our integrity in terms of following Jesus in the smallest details of our lives through service, sacrifice, humility and generosity that will provide intelligible answers to the right questions here in our day.”‘ (Stephan Joubert)|
|We have been held too long by the dogmas of the past, and there is today a natural revolt against the idea of individual salvation through the blood sacrifice of Christ. (4)||“Jesus did not come to save peoples’ souls. He came to establish God’s rule on earth.” (Jannie Pelser).
“The Church’s fixation on the death of Jesus as the universal saving act must end, and the place of the cross must be reimagined in Christian faith. Why? Because of the cult of suffering and the vindictive God behind it.” – Alan Jones, Reimaging Christianity p. 132“The other thread of just criticism addresses the suggestion implicit in the cross that Jesus’ sacrifice was to appease an angry god. Penal substitution [the Cross] was the name of this vile doctrine.” – Alan Jones, Reimaging Christianity p. 168Perhaps our ‘inward-turned, individual-salvation-oriented, un-adapted Christianity’ is a colossal and tragic misunderstanding, and perhaps we need to listen again for the true song of salvation, which is ‘good news to all creation.’ So perhaps it’s best to suspend what, if anything, you ‘know’ about what it means to call Jesus ‘Saviour’ and to give the matter of salvation some fresh attention. Let’s start simply. In the Bible, save means “rescue’ or ‘heal.’ It emphatically does not mean ‘save from hell’ or ‘give eternal life after death’ as many preachers seem to imply in sermon after sermon. Rather its maning varies from passage to passage, but in general, in any context, are means to get out of trouble. The trouble could be sickness, war, political intrigue, oppression, poverty, imprisonment, or any kind of danger or evil.’ (Brian McLaren: A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 93)(Tom Lessing comments: McLaren’s insidious remarks are subtle denials of the existence of a literal hell. In his own estimate hell is but earthly troubles like sickness, war, political intrigue, oppression, poverty, imprisonment, or any kind of danger and evil and hence far more dangerous than a literal hell. In the same sense that heaven is not an esoteric “pie in the sky when you die” reality after death but a reality right here and now on earth, and so too hell is a reality on earth in the form of all those troubles mentioned above. Jannie Pelser holds to the very same opinion when he says: “ “Die Koninkryk van God is naby, die Koninkryk van God is hier.”) Pelser said:There is an alternative [to the archaic view that the Kingdom of God is like a pie in the sky when you die and hence like something out there somewhere after death]. There is no need for things to be so broken, miserable and heartrending. A turning point has come; the inevitable turning point in history that has reversed the destruction has arrived. The Kingdom of God is not a post world phenomenon. It is a reality that has broken through and dawned [on the world]. The Kingdom of God, brothers and sisters, is here. The sign of the approaching Kingdom of God can be observed in Jesus’ command to his disciples and his answer to John’s disciples when they asked Him: “Are you the One or must we wait for another?” Listen, dear brothers and sisters, listen hoiw Jesus answers them: ‘The bind see, the deaf hear, lepers are healed,.’ The command to the twelve disciples and the seventy [was]: ‘Go and proclaim the peace of God. Heal the sick, free the oppressed, raise the dead.’ The actions of the apostles addressed the immediate context and life of the people. I dare you to show me where Jesus commanded that people must be certain that they will go to heaven. The Kingdom of God is near, the KIngdom of God is here.” (Jannie Pelser: Sermon delivered on “kruiskyk,” DSTV on 29 April 2012.)
Brian McLaren says here. “Dallas Willard also addresses this issue in ‘The Divine Conspiracy.’ Atonement-centred understandings of the gospel, he says, create vampire Christians who want Jesus for his blood and little else. He calls us to move beyond a ‘gospel of sin management ‘ to the gospel of the kingdom of God. So, rather than focusing on an alternative theory of atonement, I’d suggest we ponder the meaning and mission of the kingdom of God.”
Was and is it the sins, rebellion and disobedience of mankind that plunged the world into its dark abyss of chaos, war, suffering, terrorism, hunger, poverty and the likes or was it the senseless slaughtering of an innocent Man (God Himself) that caused all the turmoil in the world? Pelser seems to think that God could have circumvented the senseless slaughtering of his Son if He had simply created us all and immediately taken everyone to heaven. This is what he said:
Why didn’t God just simply make us all in the beginning and then place us with Him in heaven if it wasn’t his purpose to establish a rich kingdom on earth where HE wants to be the King and US to be loyal and obedient subjects of his will? God wanted to establish an alternative kingdom on planet earth and that’s why He sent us to at least be citizens of that kingdom.
————–(1) Alice Bailey, From Bethlehem to Calvary, Chapter Five ‘ The Fourth Initiation, The Crucifixion (2) Ibid (3) Ibid (3) Jannie Pelser: (4) Ibid