THE SINLESS PERFECTION HERESY

Let us not continue to live a sinful lifestyle but let us not sin by pretending to be perfect.

I just ran into a couple of people, on Facebook, who are preaching the doctrine of Sinless Perfection and trying to tell people that they, themselves have attained to that state and no longer sin.

1 John 1: 10 If we say, “We don’t have any sin,” we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

If you view sinless perfection as a real and reachable goal, you will chase after it for the rest of your life and never attain to that goal. This will leave you frustrated and feeling condemned. This can lead to suicide or worse.

If you lie about it and pretend to others that you have attained to sinless perfection, God is not amused and Scripture says that you are calling God a liar. That is not a place that I would like to find myself, and I would strongly suggest that you do not go there.

Those who preach sinless perfection, pull a number of verses out of context and try to convince you that both Paul and Jesus have commanded you to be sinless. You can find verses that appear to say so. For instance:

Matthew 5:48 “Be Ye Perfect as your Father in Heaven is Perfect.”

However, as in every verse they pull out, they make gross errors in understanding the meaning of the text. In Greek, the word translated “perfect” is teleios. (a) complete in all its parts, (b) full grown, of full age, (c) specially of the completeness of Christian character.

Teleious is an adjective meaning, “consummated goal” – mature (consummated) from going through the necessary stages to reach the end-goal, i.e. developed into a consummating completion by fulfilling the necessary process (spiritual journey).

[This root (tel-) means “reaching the end (aim).” It is well-illustrated with the old pirate’s telescope, unfolding (extending out) one stage at a time to function at full-strength (capacity effectiveness).] It means “reaching the end (aim).”

There is nothing in the definitions of the word “teleios,” that could ever be construed to mean “sinless.”

Jesus told the woman caught in adultery to “Go and sin no more.” The sinless perfection doctrine would understand him to mean, “Go and be sinless.” That was not Jesus’ intention. Jesus was more than aware that she, an unsaved Jew, still under the Law, could not stop sinning altogether. What he was saying was that she should get out of that relationship and not live an adulterous lifestyle. She could not be sinless, but she very well could stop sleeping around with other women’s husbands.

Paul speaks of being “Dead to the Law.” In this sense, we are perfect. Dead men do not break the Law. It is true that when we are Born Again, our sins are washed away. God sees us through the Blood of Jesus and He sees us as the perfection or righteousness of God. We are sinless if we are in Christ. However, we live in a sinful, fallen body and in a sinful, fallen world. We are still subject to temptation and we still sin. This sin, messes with our relationship with Christ. We must repent. When we do, He forgives us and makes us right again.

Those who preach sinless perfection are divided into three groups:

  1. Those who believe in it but admit they have not yet attained to it.
  2. Those who lie about it (and call God a liar).
  3. Those who turn to Gnosticism for an answer.

Looking at them:

  1. The first group is frustrated, condemned and suicidal.
  2. The second group is going to Hell in a handbasket.
  3. The third group is, of all people, most to be pitied.

I will leave the first two groups lie. Let’s talk about the third group. This group will tell you not only that they believe in sinless perfection but that they are indeed, sinless. When you examine their lives, you find drunks, drug addicts, wife beaters and sodomites, all of whom are telling you that they are “sinless.”

“How can that be?” you ask. Good question.

Gnosticism is a deep subject and far too deep to cover here. Let us limit our conversation to the issue of how a rank, habitual, unrepentant sinner uses Gnosticism to proclaim himself “sinless.” Gnosticism predates Christianity but it infected Christianity from day one. Paul fought the Gnostics, day and night. The one Gnostic belief that applies here is this:

The Body and the Soul may be separated, one from the other. It is possible for a sinless soul to dwell in a sinful body.

In other words, through prayer and meditation I can develop a soul that is perfect before God. My body is getting drunk, whoring around, cheating on my wife and robbing my neighbor but my soul is sinless. My Body will die and go to the grave because it is evil. My soul will go to God because it is perfect.

There is a sense in which this is true. As a Christian, my body will die or, if Jesus comes first, it will be changed. My soul has been washed in the Blood and made perfect. Based, not on my own works but on the Grace of God, my soul will go to be with God. Later, my body will be resurrected, changed and reunited with my soul.

However, my soul and my body cannot be separated while I live. When my body sins, my soul sins. When my soul sins, my body follows. My soul is not, in fact, sinless in practice. If my body commits adultery, it is usually following my soul, where the act first took place. This calls for repentance.

I cannot live in sin and claim that I am sinless because only my body is sinning. This is foolishness of the first order.

Interestingly, the Bible speaks of three salvations:

  1. We have been saved.
  2. We are being saved.
  3. We shall be saved.

We were saved the day that we accepted Christ. By the Grace of God, we left the road to Hell and got on the path to Heaven.

We are now being saved. Salvation is a process. Being freed from sin and changed into the likeness of Christ is a lifelong process. We are born again as spiritual babies. After years of Prayer, Bible reading, Christian fellowship and discipleship, we find that we have grown and matured a lot. However, the closer we get to God, the brighter the light. The brighter the light, the easier it is to see our own sin and failings. Baby Christians compare themselves to other Christians and feel pretty good. Mature Christians compare themselves to Jesus Christ and see themselves as wretched sinners. This is why Paul wrote, at the very end of his ministry, that he was the “Chief of Sinners.” Paul was not comparing himself to other Christians but to Christ. In that light, the great Apostle could only see himself as a sinner, having never attained to the likeness of Christ.

On the day that we die, or on the day Christ returns, whichever comes first, we will be saved. We will, at long last, be freed from all sin and all temptation and we will in fact and practice, have become the righteousness of God.

John’s short thesis is an amazing piece of Scripture; he covers two heresies in one paragraph.

1 John 1:5 Now this is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in Him. 6 If we say, “We have fellowship with Him,” yet we walk in darkness, we are lying and are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say, “We don’t have any sin,” we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

A FAITH THAT DOES NOT CHANGE YOU, HAS NOT SAVED YOU!

Those who claim that Grace has given them a license to sin, are not saved. Period. When you are Born Again, you do not become perfect, but you do change directions. If you are a drunk, you may not stop drinking but you agree with God that drunkenness is a sin and you start the fight to free yourself from alcohol. You may still fall to temptation and get drunk when a friend stops by with a bottle, but you no longer hang out in bars five nights a week. If you fall and get drunk, you feel conviction, you know it was wrong, you ask God to forgive you and help you beat the temptation to get drunk. If you say you are saved but still get drunk five nights a week and you feel no remorse, no sorrow, no conviction and you go on your way, insisting that the Blood of Jesus has cleansed you from all sin, you are a liar, and the truth is not in you.

NEVER CALL GOD A LAR!

On the other hand, sin is a strange thing. There are things that I did without a thought when I was a baby Christian… things that I cannot do anymore. It is a strange thing, as a Christian, to wake up one day, under conviction that something you have done freely, as a Christian, for twenty years, is a sin. Sometimes, just when you are starting to feel really holy and righteous, God suddenly convicts you that something you thought was okay, is not okay with him. He let you do it while He was working on your grosser sins. Now that they are conquered, there are, you discover, some finer points that God wants to work on. Just when you think that you are about perfect, God stands you up next to Jesus and starts comparing the two of you. That is a very uncomfortable process.

Years ago, in an old fashioned, country Church of God, I ran into two very self-righteous old biddies who claimed to have attained to sinless perfection… They were “Totally Sanctified.” They wore clothes from head to toe. Only a little of their face showed. Even their hands were hidden in gloves. Their hair, never cut but very gray, was neatly stacked in a “Pentecostal Bun” and hidden under a scarf prayed for by Oral Roberts and never washed. Not a hint of makeup or jewelry could be seen and no perfume hid their body odor. The Black, King James Bibles they carried, seemed to weigh them down. They were, however, the meanest backbiters and the most terrible gossips I have ever met in my life. They would stand and pray things like, “Lord, please help Brother Smith who I saw coming out of a motel with a woman, last Thursday Afternoon…” Mean women… really mean, but “perfect,” as they would happily brag.

Let us not continue to live a sinful lifestyle but let us not sin by pretending to be perfect.

David…

YOUTUBE PROOFS

Let’s get one thing straight, YouTube videos never prove anything. Not a day goes by that someone on Facebook, or using messenger, does not send me a YouTube video with the word proof in the title and a comment telling me that “This video will prove…”

I have received videos that “prove” that:

  • The earth is flat,
  • The earth is round,
  • We never went to the moon,
  • We did go to the moon,
  • Antichrist will be an American,
  • Antichrist is from Turkey,
  • Antichrist will be a Pope from Rome,
  • Antichrist will come from Saudi Arabia,
  • The Beast will rule a ten nation European Federation,
  • The New World Order has already been divided into 10 districts by the UN,
  • Obama is the Antichrist,
  • Trump is the Antichrist,
  • Jared Kushner is the Antichrist,
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is the Antichrist,
  • The Roman Catholic Church is the Kingdom of the Beast,
  • Antichrist will be Muslim.
  • Antichrist will be Catholic,
  • Antichrist will be a demon posing as an alien.
  • The Tribulation will start in 2015,
  • The Tribulation will start in 2016,
  • The Tribulation will start in 2017,
  • The Tribulation will start in 2022,
  • Paul was not an Apostle and his letters are not Scripture,
  • You cannot be saved unless you address God in Hebrew,
  • You cannot be saved if you go to church on Sunday,

All of these things, and a hundred more, are absolutely proven on YouTube videos… at least according to the titles.

Get Real!

Facebook, YouTube and Heresy

Heresy, almost without exception, is truth, taken to a ridiculous, unbiblical and ungodly extreme.

The Bible is simple. The Gospel is straightforward. YouTube and Facebook are tailor made for heretics, making experts out of the ignorant. Anybody, with any idea, can become a Facebook Pundit or a YouTube Guru. It would seem that the more outlandish the idea, the faster one can gain a following.

People with degrees in Dental Technology are now Flat-Earth Experts, having used a Dental X Ray machine to prove that there is no curvature to the earth’s surface. People whose sole qualification is three years in the Church Nursery are now Theologians, certain that a few flowery lines of Biblical Poetry should force Christians everywhere to abandon the preaching of the Gospel and devote their lives to proving the earth to be flat.

At the same time, others are twisting Scripture, writing long essays about why Paul was not an Apostle and his letters are not Scripture. They do this because they want us to believe that our salvation depends on our ability to keep the Law of Moses or perhaps to pronounce the Name of God in good Hebrew with a South Georgia accent. Paul disagrees and them edumacated Christian preachers just won’t stop quoting Paul.

We have a new group trying to hijack my Facebook page and preach their “new doctrine” in comments under my posts. They do not yet know that their “New Doctrine” was around so long ago that Paul himself was forced to fight them. These brilliant Facebook Pundits, armed with videos by YouTube Gurus, believe that they have reached a state of sinless perfection, while still in the body. This is ancient Gnosticism. “In my spirit I am sinless and what my body does does not count. I can live with my twelve year old son in a same sex relationship and still be sinless before God. My soul is not sinning, just my body.” John says that if we say we have no sin, we make God a liar and the truth is not in us… That being true, these theological wonders would have us believe that because we admit that we sin and have need of forgiveness, we are somehow defective.

The “Sinless Perfection” people have broken off from the slightly older heresy called Hyper-Grace. Hyper-Grace uses the Grace of God as an excuse to sin. In its milder forms, it accepts sinful lifestyles as normal and unavoidable for Christians. You were born Gay so you might as well bring your same-sex lover to church and hold hands while you praise God. In its most offensive stage, Hyper-Grace insists that the Grace of God and the Blood of Jesus have saved all mankind and 100% of everybody is going to end up in Heaven, whether they want to be there or not. Christians, forgiven, washed in the Blood, made clean and Born Again at the Cross, love Jesus.  Hyper-Grace believers, use Jesus. Sin hurts God. Sin nailed Jesus to the cross. Sin bothers and hurts Christians. Sin is a plaything for the Hyper-Grace people… They have no love for God… no relationship with Jesus. What hurts God, what nailed Jesus to the cross is of no consequence to them… they could care less… To live in sin for a lifetime and gain Heaven when you die… what a deal!

The Gospel is this: Jesus died to save sinners, of whom I am chief. We are free from the Law. We are saved by Grace, through faith in the Son of God. Having been saved, we are filled with the Spirit of God. We enter into an intimate, husband – wife type relationship with Jesus Christ. We take up our cross, die to ourselves daily, and follow him. Because we love him, we obey him and do what pleases him. We do not have to sin but we do sin. When we sin, the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin. We sorrow and grieve because we have hurt the God we love. We confess our sin and He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

John, in his first Epistle, finds a wonderful balance:

1 John 1:Now this is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in Him. If we say, “We have fellowship with Him,” yet we walk in darkness, we are lying and are not practicing the truth. But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say, “We don’t have any sin,” we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

Paul also finds balance:

Romans 6:15 What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Absolutely not! 16 Don’t you know that if you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of that one you obey—either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were transferred to, 18 and having been liberated from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness.

Heresy, almost without exception, is truth, taken to a ridiculous, unbiblical and ungodly extreme. From his first question, “Hath God said…?” Satan has sought to twist Scripture, bending the very Word of God, to lead men and women astray. Scripture is balanced. Heresy is lopsided. Scripture is Christocentric. Heresy is always Egocentric. Stick with Doctrine that glorifies God. Stick with doctrine that centers on Christ. Stick with doctrine that finds a balance… Run from the extremes of the heretics.

David…

FLAT EARTH EISEGESIS

Let us first, speak to “Eisegesis.” Eisegesis, simply enough, is using the Bible to prove what you already believe or what you want to believe.

Let us start with an extremely exaggerated example:

Let us say that I am a devoted, loving and Christian parent. My beloved child, seemingly out of nowhere, commits suicide. I do not want to believe that my child would go to Hell. I simply must believe that suicide is good and that God approves. I go to my Bible and find that at least seven people in the Bible killed themselves. More than that, among them were Prophets, Kings and Disciples… I carefully compile my list:

  1. [Abimelech] called hastily unto the young man his armour-bearer, and said unto him, Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, A woman slew him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died (Judges 9:54).
  1. And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed with all his might; and the house fell…upon all the people that were therein (Judges 16:30).
  1. Saul took a sword and fell on it (1 Sam. 31:4).
  1. When [Saul’s] armour-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died (1 Sam 31:5).
  1. When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he…got him home to his house, to his city, and put his house in order, and hanged himself, and died (2 Sam. 17:23).
  1. It came to pass, when Zimri saw that the city was taken, that he went into the palace of the king’s house, and burnt the king’s house over him with fire, and died (1 Kings 16:18).
  1. [Judas] cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself (Matt. 27:5).

I am now certain that God approves of suicide. My beloved child is secure in God…. And, while I am still hurting, I decide that God would certainly want me to commit suicide so that I may be with my child…

That is eisegesis!

Let us go on to other things:

Let us say that, in my mind, I see God as a kindly Father. I read a verse that says that I can never be plucked from his hand. I like that and I start a Bible Study. While there are many verses on the subject, they are just about evenly divided between those that support Once Saved, Always Saved and those that speak to fear, trembling, being plucked from the vine and falling from grace.

I compile my lists… 20 verses supporting Eternal Security and 20 verses that speak to falling from Grace.

  • God is Good! I know that and so all of the verses that make God look like a good guy must be literal… Clearly, these verses mean what they say.
  • On the other hand, all of those verses that make God look like a bad guy, must be misquotes, mistranslations or simply false…
  • We all know, after all, that God, is a good guy!

Based on what I now “know,” I write a book and form a new denomination, built on the firm knowledge that, no matter what those mean and ugly verses might say, God would never cast away one of his children!

But what if I saw God as a mean and ugly judge? I would certainly take those same verses and declare that all of the verses that supported my view of God as a stern and awful Judge, were to be taken literally, while all of those verses that spoke of a kind and fatherly God who would show grace and mercy on his children, cannot possibly mean what they say…

Based on what I now “know,” I would certainly write a book and start a new denomination fixed on terror and the firm belief that the slightest infraction of the Law will bring down judgment, death and Hell.

FLAT EARTH

Please note: There is not one single verse, in all of Scripture, that informs us of the shape of the earth… Not even one. Not one verse says that it is flat. Not one verse says that it is a globe… Zero, Zilch, Nada.

On Flat Earth, I must start with an idea, a thought or a belief that comes from a source outside of Scripture… A book, a Facebook Post, a YouTube video or, in the beginning at least, the fertile imagination of one individual. Somehow, I come to believe that the earth must be flat. (For the vast majority of Modern “Flatearthers,” it came through Facebook or YouTube.)

Based on my belief that the earth must be flat, I follow the YouTube Guru or the Facebook Wizard to the Scriptures. There, he / she points out a handful of idioms, allegories and a little poetic language that, while none of it says the earth is flat, might seem to support the theory I so desperately want to believe. The fact that nearby verses speak to the skin on Job’s teeth and the pillars on which the foundations of the earth are firmly fixed be damned… Those things are obviously allegory but anything that backs up what I want to believe must, absolutely must be taken literally!

Now, armed with less than six passages which, while they do not say that the earth is flat, do seem to support what I want to believe, I make a video, go on Facebook, as an On-fire Evangelist for the Flat Earth Gospel! I am so very proud of my new found knowledge and this New Doctrine, that I leave Jesus in order to preach Flat Earth… After all, what is salvation if you can believe something that nobody else knows about yet?

And then come the Party-Poopers… They challenge your science and your theology, making you look like an idiot. If you have an Associate’s Degree in Dental Technology, certainly you can prove the scientists of the world wrong! If that doesn’t work, you can simply declare that all science is evil and scientists are of the Devil… That fixes it!

This is where Flatearthers divide into Clergy and Laity…

  • If you are a Dental Tech, a File Clerk at a College or some other kind of “Expert”, you become Clergy…
  • You write your own stuff,
  • you make your own YouTube channel and
  • start your own page on Facebook…

If no one follows you, not to worry:

  • you find the page of a non Flatearther and begin to preach your newfound religion in comments under their posts…
  • Do that often enough, and you will soon find yourself with your own following.

(This route is not suggested for those with less than a sixth-grade education.)

If you are not so educated as the YouTube Gurus or the Facebook Wizards, do not despair… There are thousands of Wizards and Gurus out there with posts to read and videos to watch… These poor people are in desperate need of followers… which is your purpose for existing…

If you do not know where to find your very own Wizard or Guru, follow the comments under my Facebook Posts… That is where they live…

David