Cool video??

Take a look at the following video.  At first glance it may seem like creative, simple way to present the beauty of the gospel, but what is really the message being presented here?  Watch the video and then I will give you my thoughts on it below….

Here is what I see…. I see the most common form of Scripture-twisting plaguing the modern church right now.  John 3:16 clearly states “that whoever believes in Him”  will have eternal life.  It does NOT say whoever does this, does that, or obeys.  It says “believes”.  But what does the video do with the words of this familiar passage?  Both literally and metaphorically, it removes the word “believes” and twists the other words around.  The final message of “Love God, Love people” is what is left.  “But,” you may say, “that is a Biblical message too, right?”  Yes, but it is being presented along side a verse teaching salvation,  it is being linked with salvation.  But, what was Jesus really talking about when he discussed loving God and loving others?  Let’s look:

“A lawyer, asked him a question to test him.  “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:35-40

Jesus was giving a summary of the Law!  He was not discussing salvation at all, in fact, just the opposite.  Nobody has ever been saved by doing what the law commands!  Look for yourself:

“Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.” Galatians 2:16

And again in Romans…

“Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.  For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:19-20

The Law is designed to show us our sin, our helplessness, and drive us to the feet of the only one who can rescue us.  Trying to follow the Law, under the premise that it leads to salvation, will only lead to despair and confusion.  This video is, quite simply, a wicked twisting of the Biblical Gospel that can only lead people away from the Cross and not to the foot of it.  It makes the viewer look inward to their obedience for salvation instead of at Christ and His obedience.  This video is a perfect example of what is quite probably the most common false doctrine out there right now.  The Law is not the Gospel, folks.  The call of Christ is to believe on His obedience and on His payment for your sins.  It is the good news that you have someone to rescue you when faced with the despair brought on by the Law.  Repentance and obedience will come with this true belief… an effort to obey the Law will be evident in your life… but obeying the Law is NOT what saves!  Christ is.  This video, and this message (being preached in a church near you) is nothing more than smooth, professional, and artistic heresy.

Cool video?  No… not so much.

 

To listen to a recent ChurchSalt sermon on John 3:16, click HERE

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12 Comments on “Cool video??”

  1. revivalandreformation Says:

    This video and its response is a perfect example of how the “church” browbeats lovingly, of course, anyone who strains what he sees or hears through a filter. The church’s filter is very small and the holes are very large, making it quite impossible to do a very good job at all straining out anything that goes against scripture, is twisted or taken out of context, or has its root in secularism. If you or I stand up and say, “It sounds good, but has been twisted, taken out of context or is a worldly concept and it has no place in our midst…” we are called judgmental, intolerant or as Delwyn put it “choking on a gnat”. In other words, it’s only one fly or only one termite or the bread only has a little bit of mold on it…do you see the danger of this Delwyn? This is how the little things get in and destroy, over time. I like to call it the grain of sand principle. One grain of sand couldn’t hurt a fly. How about two? How about three? Let’s take this idea into the physical realm and take one grain of sand and place in a room that is clean and tidy. No big deal. Every day you place one more grain in that room until a year goes by. Well there would be a very small pile of sand. 95% of the room is still clean and tidy so it’s okay, right? How full does the room have to be until we can safely say that there’s a mess and the room needs to be cleaned?

    It’s like sin, Delwyn, how many lies makes one a liar? How many lustful thoughts makes one an adulterer? How many times does a man have to stare at a woman before he is diagnosed with the problem of lust? This video is small, insignificant over a larger scale but it is a symptom of what is occurring in the “church” today. It’s an outward sign of an inward problem that needs to be dealt with.

    Sure John 3.16 is a salvation message, no one will doubt that for a second, but to think for a second that one can take a verse and remove 3/4 of the words and make up something that in and of itself is true is dangerous and runs the threat of judgment according to Revelation 22, where it says, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

    We have no right or authority to add or remove anything from God’s word. This is a prime example of this crime even though it may be minor in the overall scope.

    This video breaks this commandment and takes the viewer’s focus off of salvation and puts it on love, love and more love. I know where they are coming from and what their definition of love is because I have had it out with people before over this. Their definition of love is, “Love, don’t judge, do force your views on others, accept them for who they are, don’t judge a book by its cover…etc.” God’s definition of love is much broader than that. Yes He loves, forgives, saves, gives second chances, but also His love means He casts into hell, takes the lives of babies, kills people with cancer, and allows suffering, death and pain. God is a 3-dimensional being, if you will, He is not a cardboard cut-out. He just doesn’t dish out hugs and kisses all the time, but with His affection dishes out wrath, punishment and vengeance. If this video explained the meaning of love this way, then it would have been accepted by Churchsalt and myself and others who follow this path, laid before us by God.

    The crimes of this video are small and subtle but as I said, this video is a symptom of a much larger cancer over taking the so-called church.

    Reply

    • Delwyn X. Campbell Says:

      You make excellent points, and, if you are correct in youre assessment, you are standing your watch well. Of course, I honestly don’t know what the producer’s intention was regarding this video, and I could have been giving it too much grace. If so, thank you for showing me my error. I will join you in praying that the producer will repent and stay focused on the message of the Gospel without diluting or adding to it. We are all dependent upon the gravce of God to keep us, just as it was His grace that saved us. I have to watch myself to make sure that I don’t put too much of “me” in the message, and leave out too miuch of Him 🙂

      Grace to you, and Peace!

      Reply

      • revivalandreformation Says:

        Hey I like the smiley face! 🙂 Anyway, thank you for your response, Delwyn, it’s hard these days to remain candid and truthful, because it sure comes with all sorts of lumps. Praise God we can all be truthful with each other and when iron sharpens iron, we all come out better for it. Bless you, Delwyn, and say hi to your new love, goo on you for falling in love and making a commitment to be faithful to one woman…what a rarity these days, huh? If you need prayers, support or want to go a few rounds in the ring, let me know, I know the ornery Texan that runs this blog can last a while anyway…take care!

  2. Delwyn X. Campbell Says:

    Hi Brother,

    I’m glad that we are on the same page, at least as far as how I am applying the passage to our lives as Christians. For some, John 3:16 only applies during the altar call, and after that, it goes into storage, at least as far as personal application goes.

    I still think that you might be reading more into the video than is actually there, perhaps because I try to think beyond the obvious. For many people, John 3:16 only has purpose as the Gospel verse (even though, speaking biblically, 1 Cor 15:3-4 is more to the point), and it seems like you are in that category. Outside of proclaiming God’s love for sinners, which, by the way, in Peter’s sermon in Acts 2, is not listed as a motivating factor, nor, to my recollection, is God’s love used in any evangelistic sermon reported in Acts, it seems like we are accustomed to ignoring John 3:16 for any useful purpose. Is that right in your eyes? Do you believe that God intended John 3:16 to have such a limited scope? Why or why not?

    Reply

    • ChurchSalt Says:

      Well, we are on the same page as far as loving others, but I do not see any teaching about that in this particular text. So while I agree with your beliefs, I would not draw them out of this particular passage. Love of others is clearly taught elsewhere, but to see it here seems to me to be reading something into the text that isn’t there. The context of v16 (verses 1-21) is a teaching on salvation. So anyway, I guess we agree while disagreeing. Gotta love discussing theology! By the way, I am not master expositor, but if you want to hear my humble attempt at delving into John 3:16, there is a link to a recent sermon at the bottom of the post.

      Reply

  3. Delwyn X. Campbell Says:

    Bro, I am happy that you feel such a strong desire to defend the truth of the Gospel. In this case, however, I think you are choking on a gnat.
    The message of teh video was simple, God loves people, and those who are God’s children should share their Father’s attitude about people. There was nothing in the video that said this is a key to salvation. I hope, however, that you aren’t going to say that there is no connection between God showing His love for the world, and how engagement with the world, or lack thereof, as an indicator of whether we share His love.

    Reply

    • ChurchSalt Says:

      Hey Delwyn,
      Hadn’t heard from you in a while, I hope all is well. Surely you must admit John 3:16 is all about salvation. I would even submit that it has become the icon for salvation texts (go watch any baseball game). So why take a message on salvation and literally it turn into a summary of the Law? This video said nothing about addressing people who are God’s children in an attempt encourage them into good works (which would be fine). Instead it took a salvation text and turned it into Law, which never saved anybody. Loving God and Loving other is something every child of God should be striving to do (and encouraging other Christians to do), but it isn’t what makes you a child of God. By using a salvation text, they are equating obedience with the Gospel, which is dangerous stuff. Plus, it is artistic and harmless in appearance, which makes it even more dangerous. So I guess I gotta disagree with you on this one…

      Reply

      • Delwyn X. Campbell Says:

        Grace to you, and Peace…

        First off, thank you for asking! “It is well with my soul-” in fact, it is great! I got engaged last week to a wonderful woman, and I feel invigorated regarding my goal of becoming a school teacher. I am going to be preaching at my home church in a couple of weeks, and I am teaching an intro to N.T. Greek class there. I trust that all is well with you as well.

        On the one hand, John 3:16 does speak to the issue of salvation – guess what, all of the Word of God speaks to the issue of salvation, for salvation is the issue of re-establishing the relatoinship that God created us to have with Him, and, in Him, with His creation, on every level.

        We have made a wall that has, on one side, Law, and on the other side, Gospel – I know, for I am steeped in Lutheran teaching on this issue. In reality, just as there is no wall between the front of a coin and the back of it, yet both sides are distinct from one another, and still, the entirety of the coin’s being and purpose is linked to that front and back existing in their proper place, so it is with the revelation of God’s will.

        God did not change, nor did His will change. We don’t worship any God other than the same God whom Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Elijah, Isaiah, Hosea, and Malachi (among others) worshipped. When He handed the Law to Moses, He was the same God as He was when He revealed Christ to Paul and gave to him “the truth as it is in Christ Jesus.”

        As you know, there is more to salvation than getting a “Get Out of Hell Free” card. As Paul wrote, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them”
        (Eph 2:10 NKJV). We are saved as a result of His love, we are transformed as a result of His love. We are able to fully love others as a result of His love. Remember, John, who wrote 3:16, also wrote 1Jn 4:7-12: Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. (8) He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (9) In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. (10) In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (11) Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (12) No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. (NKJV)

        There is a connection between God’s love for us and our love for others, and it is a direct one. The fact that we don’t grasp the latter, is a warning that we have not been apprehended by the former. To say this does not mean that we are making salvation conditioned upon perfect obedience; it simply says that God’s love flows through God’s children to touch those whom we do not yet recognize as His children, as well as those whom we do.

        Do you really disagree with me?

      • ChurchSalt Says:

        No, I understand what you are saying and completely agree… with you. But I do not agree at all that this is the message being presented in this video. John 3:16 is a verse that specifically has salvation as the primary topic before being turned into a summary of the Law by this video. That is a twisting of the Gospel. A Christian does love God and love others, and Christians should continue to encourage each other to grow in their love of God and others. But this is not salvation, it is sanctification. Big difference. They are artisticly presenting an ongoing effect of salvation as a means of salvation. Cart before horse = heresy.

  4. revivalandreformation Says:

    “Revivalandreformation loves Churchsalt…DefendingContending doesn’t love MSN.com”

    “MSN.com loves Churchsalt…DefendingContending doesn’t love Revivalandreformation…”

    Basically anyone of us can twist words to make them say whatever we desire. This is what psychologists do on a regular basis, lawyers are guilty of this and you can ultimately find this coming from someone who has ulterior motives in mind and who doesn’t accept the original message.

    Nice post, ol’ boy, it’s a shame it will get so much exposure from the enemy on other sites.

    Reply

    • ChurchSalt Says:

      If I set out to make an artistic video illustrating how modern pastors are twisting gospel into law, I honestly don’t think I could have done a better job than this video. To me it is a textbook example of the emergent/Rick Warren/cultural messages we are seeing. Harmless artistic outside with deadly heresy on the inside. When Christ returns, will He find any who are faithful?

      Reply

      • revivalandreformation Says:

        Unfortunately you have your first critic. It’s a shame that we as Christians cannot see the difference between truth and half truth. Remember Spurgeon’s words: Discernment isn’t knowing the difference between truth and lie, but between truth and almost truth. “And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said…?”

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