I started visiting NCC in the 90's when they were only 400 strong and WOW now it is 24,000 with 4 services on SUNDAYS only.
Firstly, many WOF preachers are very charismatic and charming. Very often worshippers will (without realising it ) slowly focus on the Preacher rather than Jesus. I am not going against JP nor am a tinge jealous but because of my age and maturity in the WORD, sees this point as a danger.
Remember JIM JONES and THE BIBLE TEMPLE of the 80's. To be fair to JP he often reminded us, the congregation not to put him too high nor tend to worship him; always and regularly giving back the due GLORY and ADORATION to JESUS. This I admire him a lot.
The 'RADICAL GRACE' doctrine is not for all men because there will be some like what the Apostle Paul said "using the liberty for an excuse to Sin" Romans 6:1 -2
1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
He (Prince) is constantly under attack from mainstream churches for :
a. Prosperity Gospel
b. EASY Gospel
c. CHEAP GRACE
As a church member I understand where these attacks are from and I do have a balanced view of both sides.
a. Prosperity Gospel.
Pastor Joseph Prince still swears by it. I think he defends it well actually. His stand is "What's wrong with being rich" as in if the LORD chooses to bless anyone with great material blessings so be it, with the qualification of Matt 6:33
He retorts them by saying how is the poor going to be helped if everyone is a poor man? I can be a witness that there was a time when he preached "Prosperity" very hard and often. I hate it when he urges members to give to 'miracle seed' donations eg. church building fund ($500 million ) YES you read correctly 500 big millions , citing the cliche most TV preachers use "More you give, more YOU WILL BE BLESS "
* IS it fair to say that this is tugging the heart-strings of GREED?*
b. EASY Gospel :
The church grew by leaps and bounds because week in week out it was always "Salvation message" for almost 10 years. Anything wrong with that? Nope nothing wrong with that if you have mid-week services for Bible teaching. Your flock needs milk and some need meat to grow. However these days mid-week services no longer exist.
Why then the criticism of 'EASY' Gospel? Are those pastors from smaller churches jealous of JP hence the email attacks?
I am sure some emails are out of jealousy but some are out of genuine concern.
JP overloads GRACE and overlooks FAITH and REPENTANCE. It is like a newbie stepping forward and all he needs is the Salvation prayer and THAT"S IT!
It is like saying ' just hang everything on JESUS's neck and you are ok.'
If that is true, we don't need a church for heaven's sake. Just have a booth and a pastor to lead salvation prayers coupled with ONCE SAVED always SAVED then everyone stays at home and be happy! Of course one must chant GRACE GRACE GRACE to remind oneselves that everything is taken care of by GRACE.
IS this what is taught in the Bible? Oh dear I thought it is by Grace we are saved through FAITH !
GRACE (from GOD) + FAITH (from our Hearts) a 2 key system if I remember it right.
Apostle James adds a little by saying you show me faith (mental) and I'll show you WORKS of Faith (Action faith or faith with actions) Read book of JAMES!
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
I honestly do not think that JP has enough knowledge to preach a church to a mature state.
NCC has many members but many with malnutrition. Go talk to some and they'll quote GRACE and Blessings only.
1.What is a church
2. What are the functions of a church
3. Why is the LORD JESUS so concern about HIS CHURCH aka BRIDE
If any christian can answer all 3 questions it is quite obvious he or she is matured or approaching maturity.
ACTS 3. When the apostles set out to preach during the olden days when the church was less than 1 year old what was the teaching?
19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
When John the Baptist first appeared : 'REPENT and BE BAPTISED'
c. CHEAP GRACE.
You say that to JP he will get angry and shout back "GRACE IS NOT CHEAP - JESUS PAID DEARLY". I think those who attacked him meant 'cheapen grace' insinuating that JP's way of preaching Grace tends to cheapen it. Well now it is known as RADICAL GRACE as you guys know it.
Frankly whatever you call it... it is still the GRACE of GOD we are talking about. Know what? Whether one believes it or not that GRACE of GOD was completed 2000 years ago. JESUS was crucified 2000 years ago whether we like it or not. Means that GOD has poured out HIS GRACE. IT IS A COMPLETED ACT as in IT IS FINISHED.
Hence in my humble opinion whether you believe or otherwise it is the TRUTH. There is a difference only when one believes in that the believer now comes with another key called FAITH to unlock the available salvation (a process). 12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
After being introduced to the Saviour, there are things to do and rules to observed. Now don't jump the gun and say I am introducing the LAW again. The rules I am referring to are REPENTANCE and HOLINESS.
When I was first introduced to the SAVIOUR my first church put me back into the 10 commandments and the whole LAW and after 5 years I ran away. Ha ha no one understands what it is like more than me. After the born again experience we all start out our christian lives as 'Babes' in Christ. There is a growing process to grow into perfection - JESUS or like JESUS. Look at Ephesians 4 to understand the growing which is the responsibility of the church. Alas these days the Church is more into $$$$ haha.
There is the 5 fold ministries : - Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers to bring up the babes.
10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: and what else? 13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: 14That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. (Maturity in Christ)
I hope I have given you a bigger and clearer picture. Allow me to re-emphasise
I am in no way attacking a man of GOD especially Joseph Prince. I do see the call of GOD in him and recognise his ministry or else I would have run away from NCC. It is because we Christians have the HOLY SPIRIT who is the Perfect Teacher in us and the HOLY BIBLE our manual when in doubt.
We are now at the end of CHURCH AGE and very soon the LORD JESUS is coming so these little arguments and squabbles are not expedient to us. We should FOCUS :
1. IS your house in order ?
2. Are there sins in your life? ( confess and repent while still have time )
3. Drop the doctrine once saved always saved.
4. Put JESUS 1st place in everything you do or think.
5. DO not allow even 1 thing to hold you down (eg. Career, bank accounts, a yacht, a girl friend / man in your life , a new bungalow or FERRARI )
6. When you RAPTURE , all you need is one thing to pull you back to earth.
7. Fully divorced from the world - It does not attract you anymore.
8. Pray daily especially when you have many loved ones.
9. Take HOLY COMMUNION daily.
10. ASK the HOLY SPIRIT to show your shortcomings.
11. Ask JESUS personally to make you to be RAPTURE READY !!!!
HE IS COMING - at a twinkling of an eye (5 wise virgins)
Yours in Christ,
Cantonboy (Christian Forums)
Caution: "Destined to Reign" by Joseph Prince