Shock Treatment for the Soul

Update:  My friend Steve from theoldadam blog decided to post this video on his blog and I have also been engaged in the conversation over there as well as the conversation I am having with Steve here.  I love Steve as my brother in Christ even though I know we don’t see eye to eye on this issue.  If you have never checked out his blog before, I would encourage you to see his perspective more fully at his site.  There are more commenters over there who speak from his perspective.

I have no words to describe this message.  Those of you who read here frequently will certainly recognize that this is something God has been working in my life to teach me His truth.  I wanted to share this here.  The video is about an hour long.  I would encourage you to watch it.

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Categories: Christianity, church, Discipleship, Faith, Gospel, Grace, Law, Love, Salvation, theology, Truth | 27 Comments

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27 thoughts on “Shock Treatment for the Soul

  1. I forwarded (because of time restraints) to the last couple of minutesof his talk.

    I can only speak to what I heard.

    It was terrible theology. Just terrible.

    (I’m paraphrasing)

    “If you made a decision for Christ and it did not last then it wasn’t a REAL decision or real faith.”

    Just terrible.

    This places the whole onus back onto the hearer.

    Any decent 10 minute law/gospel sermon would have been so much better.

  2. Jeff,

    This is such a great example of what not to do, or say, that I want to put it up on my site.

    This stuff is exactly why I started my blog (to counter this Pharisee creating theology)

    Whatever he said early in the talk may have been terrific, but he totally ruined it at the end.

  3. I am guessing that since you skipped to the end you missed the analogy of the encounter with a semi and the bit about God not being a derelict Father. I know enough about you from your blog to be not a bit surprised at your reaction; but you missed his point.

    Let me rephrase the statement you quoted above. If you claim to have encountered the living God and remain unchanged; you have not encountered the living God at all.

    This is not teaching salvation by works; it is a warning, in the firm tradition of Scripture that God is in the business of transforming people and that those who are not being transformed should seriously ask the question of whether or not they have encountered the living God at all (2 Corinthians 13:5). If it were as simple as asking if you have ever been baptized; Paul would be doing a great disservice here to his readers.

    Let me put it another way. Once a person is born; they are expected to grow. There was a story recently about a girl who is a teenager in biological age but who remains an infant in appearance and ability. This is something that doctors puzzle over because it there is obviously something wrong.

    Spiritually, there is a similar expectation. Once a person is born again; they must grown and mature or else there is something wrong. Furthermore, if the stench of death hangs over someone who claims to have been born again spiritually; you would be right to ask if it was a spiritual stillbirth.

    In the passage that this man is preaching from, Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” This is a sobering statement. The only people who would even call Jesus “Lord” are those who profess to be Christians. Yet Jesus is saying that not all of them will enter the kingdom of heaven and He says the reason they won’t is because they don’t do the will of the Father. This is Jesus speaking; not me or the man above in the video. God is the one that tells us that what WE DO matters.

    I would encourage you to listen to the whole message when you get the time, especially if you are posting it at your blog as well. You might want to know all of what he says.

  4. Jeff,

    I will try and listen to the whole thing (soon), but no matter how great the rest of it was, he ruined it at the end by putting people back under the yoke of slavery which is their religious performance.

    It really was an awful ending.

    I witnessed the same thing today when I went to visit my friend in a conv. hospital. There was a preacher there putting people (who really needed to hear the good news) back in bondage by telling them that true believers will be doing good works to receive their reward in Heaven. It was just terrible and I felt so bad for those people. My friend suggested that I follow this preacher sometime, and hand over Christ to them…free of charge. I might just do that.

  5. There was a preacher there putting people (who really needed to hear the good news) back in bondage by telling them that true believers will be doing good works to receive their reward in Heaven.

    Do you feel that Jesus was out of line when He said exactly the same thing? Say in Matthew 6 for instance.

    2 John 1:6-8 gives us that very picture as well,
    And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
    Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.

  6. Jesus fullfilled the law for righteousness.

    “No one will be justifies in the sight of the law.”

    “The law brings death.”

    The gospel brings life. Not knowing the slightest thing about how to seperate the law from the gospel and the purpose of each is a terrible affliction in the church.

    It is not an easy thing to do. But so many have never even heard about why it is done.

  7. Steve,
    Yes, Jesus fulfilled the law for righteousness; but I get the feeling you don’t understand exactly what that means. He didn’t get rid of the Law or supersede it. He encouraged it to be observed as I have pointed out already.
    Look at what the writer of Hebrews said about His ministry:

    “7During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek. (emphasis mine)
    -Hebrews 5:7-10

    The Bible repeatedly speaks of obedience and I have pointed to several of the passages here. The writer of Hebrews takes this teaching further just a few moments later in chapter 6:

    1Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3And God permitting, we will do so.

    In a few more verses he adds this:

    7Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.

    9Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are confident of better things in your case—things that accompany salvation. 10God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. 12We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (emphasis mine)

    Now Hebrews is a book commonly cited to “prove” that the old way of doing things is done and over with, but that is an example of bad or perhaps just ignorant exegesis. The writer is actually working to explain how Jesus’ work fits within and beyond the framework of the earthly covenant that God made with His people.

  8. Great , Jeff.

    Then how are you doing? (at keeping the law)

    You don’t understand that we don’t WANT to keep it and WILL NOT to keep it.

    The law is used for civil righteousness (getting along together) and to condemn and convict us theologically.

    It ought NEVER be tied to the gospel for righteousness as Mr. washer did in his talk, telling those kids (nonetheless) that if they were still sinning that they were really not Christians.

    That was absolutely the worst sermon I ever heard.

    he ought revisit the parable of the publican and the Pharisee to see what side of that story he falls on.

  9. You don’t understand that we don’t WANT to keep it and WILL NOT to keep it.

    Are you saying that the Word of God is not true? God is the one that promises a new heart and a new nature that desires to follow Him and His commands
    I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God. Ezekiel 11:19-20

    This is repeated with a little different wording in Ezekiel 36:26-27:
    I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

    There is the promise of Jeremiah 31:31-34 that He will write His Law on our hearts. The writer of Hebrews identifies this for us in chapter 8 as the work of Christ and the Holy Spirit.

    Paul says that God gives us His Spirit which gives us the desire to keep God’s Law (His righteousness).

    The law is used for civil righteousness (getting along together) and to condemn and convict us theologically.

    The law is not simply a matter of civil righteousness. It defines holiness and illuminates God’s character as well as His response to human failing. It condemns us in the sense that it forces us to see the chasm between our nature and God’s, but it encourages us because it shows that God desires to be with us in spite of that.

    It ought NEVER be tied to the gospel for righteousness

    I wish someone would have told Paul that before he wrote Romans 6 and 7. How would you imagine someone can learn what righteousness is apart from knowing the Law?
    Paul finishes by saying, “Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
    So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. – Romans 7:25.
    Paul tells us to be a slave to God’s law in our minds. Paul encourages us to live by God’s standard if we belong to Him. That is why he follows in chapter 8 with the statement that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the Law of the Spirit, (remember Jeremiah 31) alive in Christ Jesus has set us free from the law of sin and death. Then in 8:4, “in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.” The Spirit of God does the things of God (that is the Law) and lives it out in us. There is a battle to be sure; which Paul talks about.

    I have already quoted other passages where Jesus tells his followers to obey the commandments for righteousness.

    he ought revisit the parable of the publican and the Pharisee to see what side of that story he falls on

    Do you hear this guy justifying himself before God or proclaiming his own righteousness? I didn’t. I hear the cry for mercy at who and what we are. While there are some who are confident of their righteousness because of all the “good things” they do; I don’t hear a hint of that here.

    Then how are you doing? (at keeping the law)

    At this point, I am still learning what the Law means half the time. With those parts of it I have learned as God’s Spirit has taught me; God is gracious to cause me to walk in them. I still stumble and He still picks me up continually.
    It is much like what John says in 1 John 1:8-10:
    If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

    You are not going to hear me make some grandiose claim to have arrived, EVER. I won’t even say that on the other side of eternity because I would never get there apart from God in the first place. But you will never hear me despise the promises of God to me that He will make me to grow in the likeness of His Son.
    Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. `Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
    For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. – Romans 12:1-3

  10. Good work, Jeff. The Washer naysayers are slipping (have slipped?) into anti-nomianism. I think folks confuse the freedom Jesus offers from sin with a free ride from the law.

  11. Jim,
    Thanks for commenting. I agree with you and I also see the danger in people who get hung up in doing works and thinking that those works have secured some kind of standing or approval from God as well.

    The Old Testament prophets railed often about the Israelites doing their “religious duties” out of a sense of obligation and how that offended God as badly as doing nothing at all.

    It is good to remember what Scripture says about God knowing our thoughts and intentions and seeing our heart. He alone is the one who knows us fully.

  12. Washer puts people back into bondage by connecting their works to their belief.

    No man can do that, because no man knows the heart.

    Washer has secret sins (we all do). Who is he to tell others that they aren’t really Christians?

    No gospel there. He takes away whatever he gives, and leaves the hearer only with the law.

    It’s a real shame.

  13. Washer puts people back into bondage by connecting their works to their belief.

    No man can do that, because no man knows the heart.

    Steve,
    I love you, brother, but either you haven’t listened to this message all the way through or you aren’t hearing what this man has said correctly. I understand that the message rubs you the wrong way (which ironically this pastor spoke about as well), so I took the liberty of transcribing a few sections of the video that respond to some of the things you mentioned (I have put quotations from the video in bold type). At one point Washer speaks to exactly your first point.

    Oh dear friend, I cannot look into your heart. I am so easily deceived by my own heart. but there is One who is not deceived. There is one who is not deceived, and He is not deceived by contemporary Christian culture. He knows.

    Washer has secret sins (we all do). Who is he to tell others that they aren’t really Christians?

    I didn’t hear him say that he doesn’t have secret sins. He isn’t pretending that sin doesn’t exist in his life. As for the second part, I took the liberty to transcribe another section that seems a fitting answer.

    I fear men who have spent most of their life telling other men that they are saved. . . You don’t tell men they are saved; you tell men how to be saved. God tells them they are saved.
    What we have forgotten to believe is that salvation is a supernatural work of God.
    And those who have genuinely been converted, regenerated by the power of the Holy Spirit are going to be a new creature. The Bible says if any man be in Christ he is a new creature.

    No gospel there. He takes away whatever he gives, and leaves the hearer only with the law.

    He dares to tell people that they should live according to the Word of God if they claim to believe Jesus is Lord. Would you explain again to me why this is wrong?

    Jesus said that He would have to tell many people at the final day, depart from me you who practice lawlessness. Jesus said it. This pastor repeated it, and this upsets people.

    I understand that you are worried that a bunch of people are being fed a line that they must do the works of the Law to be saved, but I don’t see that happening anywhere in America or anywhere else that I know of. Rather, I see far too many in the church who despise God’s Word (particularly the Law) and teach others to do the same.

    Let me remind you of another saying of Jesus from Matthew. It comes from Matthew 23:1-3:
    Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you— but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice..

    Later in the chapter, he excoriates them again with these words in verse 23:
    “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.

    The Pharisees acted as God’s editors. They picked and chose which laws were most important. Modern Christianity attempts to do the same thing by saying that maybe the 10 commandments are still in force, but some of those others may or may not be according to modern Christianity. For instance, love your neighbor as yourself is in Leviticus; but it isn’t one of the ten commandments, but Jesus said it was good and so we keep it.

    How is it that the modern day church feels it can pick and choose which parts of the Law are to be obeyed?
    You can’t say that Jesus did away with the Law either; because then you would have to do away with all of the Law: the 10 commandments and everything.

    1 John 3:4-6 says, Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.

    That word for lawlessness is the same one that Jesus used in Matthew 7:23.

    Here is the crux of the matter; and I will have to expand on this as a blog post. Jesus demonstrated love toward us by dying for us when we didn’t deserve it. The Father lavished love on us through this great and marvelous gift. The Father has also told us in His Word what He loves. I am going to show love to Him in return in the way that He said pleases Him; which is by keeping His Law.

    Some people try to keep the Law out of a sense of duty (which is what the Israelites were frequently excoriated for by God through the prophets).

    Some people proclaim deep affection for God while continually doing the things God says He hates and see no problem with it.

    Both groups will fall under conviction from the Holy Spirit when God’s truth is proclaimed without apology. For those who belong to God; the message is sobering, but evokes a spirit of gratefulness and love toward God for what He has done.
    John speaks about this in 1 John 3:18-24:
    Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

    By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

  14. Jeff,

    You don’t need to listen to the whole talk. He destrys in the last few minutes any good he may have done earlier. he leaves people looking to themselves for the assurance of their salvation. Neither you, nor I, nor anyone would stand before the Living God on the basis of our religious performance.

    Why he does it to these kids is beyond me. Well…not really. I know why. he’s steeped in the law and is a biblicist who does not realize the importance of the cross against our serious efforts. The cross was BECAUSE of our serious efforts, not in spite of them.

  15. Why he does it to these kids is beyond me. Well…not really. I know why. he’s steeped in the law and is a biblicist who does not realize the importance of the cross against our serious efforts. The cross was BECAUSE of our serious efforts, not in spite of them.

    Steve,
    I don’t know why you make such a harsh judgment of this man’s heart after what you have said previously and after not listening to all that he had to say. Context is everything brother and I am afraid you have missed a great deal of it.

  16. Jeff,

    It’s not his heart. ALL our hearts are this way. We are self obsessed idolators. Taht’s why we don’t need to be focusing on ourselves and our performance (obedience), but rather we ought focus on Christ and his forgiveness.

    Focusing on us is just throwing gasoline on the fire.

    The law needs to kill us…not make us better…ala the sermon on the mount.

  17. The law needs to kill us…not make us better…ala the sermon on the mount.

    Steve,
    Sorry I didn’t respond to this before. I have been so engrossed in discussion in the comments at your blog that I let it slip. I am not sure I understand what you are saying here. Are you saying that the sermon on the mount is a problem somehow or are you saying that those who use it in this way are the problem?
    How would you have the sermon on the mount to be understood?

  18. Jeff,

    Jesus wasn’t trying to spur us on to become better (He knows what we are), but he was trying to paint us into the corner with the perfect and hard demand of the law. In essence, he was trying to kill off any idea that we could be what God demands that we be.

    It’s pure law.

    Then, right after when Jesus heals the leper…we receive pure gospel.

  19. Steve,
    I posted several Luther quotes to some comments on your blog, but I wanted to post one of them over here because it fits in with the other statements I have posted from the book of 1 John.

    Where is the fruit that shows you really believe? . . .

    Christ has not died so that you could remain such a sinner; rather, he died so that sin might be put to death and destroyed and that you might now begin to love God and your neighbor. Faith takes sins away and puts them to death so that you should live not in them but in righteousness. Therefore demonstrate by your works and by your fruits that you have faith . . . [Whoever believes] will say it with his deeds — or forget about having the reputation of being a believer . . . Love follows true faith . . . One should do everything that is good so that faith does not become an empty husk but may be true and genuine.
    – quote from a sermon on 1 John 4:16ff by Martin Luther

    This is really the same thing I was trying to say, and it sounds a whole lot like what Washer was trying to say as well, at least this is what I heard him saying.

  20. Jeff,

    I agree.

    We should do all we can to show to the love of Christ to our neighbor.

    Martin Luther had the nickname ‘Dr. Good Works’ !

    It ought NOT ever be tied to our salvation, connected to our salvation. I can show you dozens of quotes where Luther makes that point perfectly clear.

    To the extent that Luther makes the mistake of tying them together…then he is (was) wrong (on the occasion that he said it.

    Christian encouragement is one thing. Using the law to try and make ‘better’ Christians, and using the technique of emotional blackmail is certainly another.

    A proper understanding of law and gospel is needed when one preaches, or you turn the whole thing into one giant law project and the gospel just goes away.

    Thanks, Jeff.

    – Steve

  21. Faith without works, dead faith. I hear both of you, I wish I had words like Ike to express my thoughts, but i do not.
    Washer makes a point that i know in my heart is true. I know it is true because of what Jesus said . The path to Heaven is narrow, not wide. Not all who say ‘Lord, Lord’
    and so much of His preaching is about truth, not appearance..
    Washer is speaking to a subset of people I know exist. the professing Christian, who , on close examination, shows no fruit, no works, no heart change, no evidence that Jesus is Lord of his or her life.
    I am afraid that the opposite of “Lordship salvation” is not salvation at all, but some sort of universal salvation belief, that Christ died for all sins for all people , and that the saved are not the elect of God but just people. Were that true it would be hard for us to be salt and light, and no one would be hell bound.
    Can ye be born again and not be changed? Can the elect of God act like the children of the Devil?
    Washer speaks the truth, but we must be cautioned to speak it in love as to not be a stumbling block. .

  22. Mat 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
    Mat 7:14 Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
    Luk 13:23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
    Luk 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

  23. Will,
    Thanks for chiming in brother. I have missed seeing you online. In answer to your questions (rhetorical though they may be), I think I have made my position clear. When I watch Washer speak in this message, I sense a genuine heart of love at work. These are Jesus’ words and I am sure that He meant what He said.

  24. Amen bro, Washer means what he says! Have some of the commenters never seen a false declaration of faith??
    I wish I never had.

  25. “False declaration of faith”?

    How can you tell?

    Isn’t God the onlt one who can see the heart?

    The church council member who goes to church 3 times on Sunday and two Bible studies during the week, and who works at the homeless shelter in his spare time, may have motives that are totally selfish and tainted. But outwardly looks like he’s on fire for the Lord.

    And vice-versa.

    Jesus told us not to judge each other’s salvation for just this reason.

  26. Steve,
    You are correct that God is the only one who can see into the heart, but Jesus indicated that the contents of a person’s heart is revealed by what “comes out of them”

    And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” But Peter said to him, “Explain the parable to us.” And he said, “Are you also still without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? 18But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”
    – Matthew 15:10-20

    We are not talking of judging someone’s salvation here. The message comes from Jesus personally as a warning to those who are self-deceived. The words of the message will convict through the power of the Holy Spirit, those whom the message needs to convict. For those who are resting in God, this message is a sobering reminder of what God has saved us from, but it isn’t troubling or a call to legalism. For those who may fall somewhere in between and who are unsettled by this message for that reason, God offers the promise of His Spirit that will set our hearts at ease if you will.

    By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
    – 1 John 3:19-22

    As dangerous as it is to judge a man with condemnation; it is equally dangerous for us to assume that a man is in right standing with God and to tell him so based on “our opinion” or even our theology. As you have aptly pointed out; only God can see the heart. We would be foolish to give someone false assurance when the Holy Spirit is convicting them of sin through God’s Word.

    By the way, I am really curious as to what the “vice-versa” of your example of the church council member above would be. Would you care to elaborate?

  27. “I am really curious as to what the “vice-versa” of your example of the church council member above would be. Would you care to elaborate?”

    A drug addict dying of an overdose in an alley, who just happenes to have faith (no matter how little) in Jesus.

    This person (a real sinner) might be one of God’s own, while the other person (previous example) may be totally lost.

    We cannot know.

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