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Saturday, June 1, 2013

John 3.16 Revisited Again


The most well-known and popular verse in the NT is also the most misunderstood and misapplied.



Οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν κόσμον ὥστε τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν μὴ ἀπόληται ἀλλ᾽ ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον
John 3:16



I have learned that the mushy Gospel of our Gentle-Jesus-Meek-&-Mild-church is a thick and insidious bog, a morass of lies, that feels like a warm, comfortable bath to everyone immersed in it. I've learned too that the way to pull someone out of it is to get them to see that they are actually floating around dreamily in a swamp. To this end, I’ve spoken to every professed believer I run into, and written at length, on the mistaken notions modern Christianity holds about the Gospel1 and, especially, the love of God. As expected, I have met with mixed results.


The largest obstacle preventing the believer from seeing the swamp they’re in is their mistaken belief that John 3:16 means God unconditionally loves every single human being that has or will ever exist. As long as they cling to that rotting log of false doctrine, they’ll never get back on to solid ground again.

Of course, many will continue clinging to that log as long as the pastors and teachers of the denominations continue to fling it out to them—while continuing to overfill the swamp—which is why it was good to come across this video of a one-time log-flinger finally seeing the light:



Good on you, Colonel Sanders!

Now, don’t get me wrong; in no way does my sharing this video mean that am I agreeing with everything Mr. Pawson is saying in it. I agree with his statements regarding the misunderstanding and misapplication of John 3:16 at the beginning, and I especially agree with what he says about the word “so”, but most of what he says afterwards about God's love is, quite frankly, just as unscriptural as the misunderstandings surrounding John 3:16 that he's decrying.

All that being said, though, it’s still a happy surprise to hear a highly esteemed Bible teacher like David Pawson going to such lengths to wake people up to the corrupted doctrine nearly every Christian has been taught about the most beloved verse in the Bible.


Hmmm. Thinking about it now, maybe I should fisk this video in a future blog. Might be a nice teaching exercise….









Footnotes:


1. Forget all the extraneous garbage the denominations have added to it; the true Gospel of Christ, the victorious report of Messiah's victory over death, is simple: I Cor 15:1-4. Messiah died for our sins, was buried, and rose on the third day, according to the Scriptures (the TaNaKh).




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