“God Without Religion” by Andrew Farley

The problem with religion is that it comes naturally to us. Ever since our ancestors chomped on the forbidden fruit, we’ve had an innate sense of right and wrong that informs everything we do. Instead of trusting our heavenly Father, we trust our own religious instincts. Instead of walking by the spirit, we rely on our own judgment and willpower.

You could say that religion was Adam’s gift to the human race. Even if you’ve never been to church you were born thoroughly religious. You grew up with the idea that if you do good you’ll get good but if you do bad you’ll get bad. This is a law the whole world understands but it’s fruit off the wrong tree. It’ll have you promising, like the Israelites at Sinai, “just tell me what to do and I’ll do it.” But whether you succeed or fail at this way of life, death is the inevitable outcome (Gen 2:17).

Apparently four out of five Christians define spiritual health in terms of “trying hard to follow the rules in the Bible.” I got this figure from Andrew Farley’s recent book, God Without Religion. It’s a good book that seeks to drive a wedge between the old life we’ve all grown up with and the new life God wants us to have. Do you need to read this book? Well that depends on your response to the following statement (check all that apply):

Christians should look to the law;

(a) for salvation
(b) as a moral compass
(c) to define sin
(d) for growth in Christ
(e) for none of the above

If you selected any response from (a) to (d), then you need to read this book! It’ll set you free. The punch-line of this book is that Christians should have no spiritual relationship with the 10 commandments or indeed any rules or regulations. Try to keep the rules and you’ll end up disillusioned and burned out, just like Andrew Farley was before he encountered grace. If you’ve read his first book, The Naked Gospel, then you already know his story.

In God Without Religion, Farley picks up where he left off by showing how law-based religion sucks the life out of us. We are called to be ministers of a new covenant (2 Cor 3:6) but many of our habits (e.g., confession, tithing) come straight out of the old. In other words, we have settled for a way of life that the Bible calls inferior. If you want to know how we’re mixing grace with works this book gives many clear examples. Farley contrasts the old with the new in the context of giving, forgiveness, and holy living. He also tackles tricky subjects like predestination and discipline. If you’ve been brought up on a diet of religious mumbo-jumbo, you’ll find his clear-headed writing as refreshing as a mountain stream.

Indeed, clarity is sorely needed in this day and age. One reason many Christians stay enslaved to law-based religion is that they are confused about the words of Jesus. They say, “We should do everything Jesus said.” But as Farley explains, Jesus had two distinct ministries. In his first ministry he sought to bury the Jews under the true demands of the old covenant. He did this so that the law might fulfill its purpose of silencing the self-righteous and revealing our need for a Savior. However, Jesus’ second ministry revealed a new and better covenant to come. In parable and deed, Jesus revealed a new covenant based on His Father’s grace and subsequently forged in His own blood. If you fail to distinguish between the two covenants, you’ll get confused and end up mixing grace with works.

One part of the book that I particularly liked was Farley’s analysis of Romans 7. Like Paul in that chapter, many Christians find themselves struggling with sin and feeling wretched because of it. According to Farley, sin is what happens when we try to please God by keeping the rules. God introduced the law so that we might recognize the presence of sin. Sin thrives under law so the moment you start trying to live by law-based religion, sin is inflamed (Rms 5:20). You know what happens next: You fail, you repent, and you resolve to do better next time. In other words, you make a law for yourself that declares, “I must do better.” By the strength of your resolve you succeed for a time but eventually you fail again. Sin wins and back to square one you go. This ceaseless cycle of performance, failure and repentance is a surefire sign that you’re living under the curse of religion.

The way to break the cycle is to reckon yourself dead to sin and alive to God (Rms 6:11). You are not handicapped by a sinful heart and you don’t have a sinful nature. What do you have is an old way of thinking that needs to change. You need to renew your mind and start agreeing with what God says about you. He says you are a new creation with new appetites and desires. If you stop and think about it, you will find that sinning is actually something that you don’t want to do. As Farley says, this is significant:

“Now, I know what you’ve heard: sin is the stuff we want to do but aren’t supposed to do. What I’m saying is, that’s wrong. Sin is totally incompatible with who we are, and it’s the last thing we want to do… For the rest of our lives, we’ll continue to prove our new birth, one way or another. We’ll prove it by expressing Christ and being fulfilled, or by sinning and being miserable. Either way, we prove our true identity.” (pp.165-6)

Farley then goes on to tell an intriguing story about how on one day in 2005, “one hundred thousand people woke up Canadian.” (His book is full of good stories!) Similarly, it’s time for we Christians to wake up and realize who we are.

Farley covers a lot of ground in this book, but his main emphasis is on works versus grace. This is really Farley’s forte. If you want to read a good book on healing, I recommend Wommack. But if you want a solid foundation on the differences between living under law-based religion and living free under grace, you can’t go past Farley.

___
See all E2R’s book reviews here

38 Comments on “God Without Religion” by Andrew Farley

  1. Good stuff Paul thanks for sharing – I saw you recommended Wommack for healing, and he has some good teachings, but what do you think about Curry Blake? I have listened to a lot of his teachings on healing and found them to be excellent. Thanks for all you do.

  2. Excellent review Paul.

    I first came across Andrew Farley last year and since then Moray Grace Fellowship has been giving away copies of, ‘Naked Gospel’ ever since. We will be doing the same with, ‘God without religion.’

    Along with our pastor and his wife, myself and my wife will be at the Andrew Wommack Ministers’ Conference in Warwick this October. Andrew gets a lot of stick about his teaching but as far as I am concerned it has set me free. Free from religious control and free from a mixture of law and grace.

    Excellent blog as well Paul. Not visited a lot since I found it a while back but intend to be a regular reader.

    Blessings.
    Dave.

  3. Doug Sterner // July 2, 2011 at 8:20 am // Reply

    Hey Paul! When are YOU going to write a book? I really appreciate your blog.😀

  4. Farley deeply misunderstand Paul’s critique of the Law. Farley bases his book on Luther’s understanding on the OT Law. The New Perspective of Paul (scholars like E.P. Sanders, N.T. Wright, James Dunn) has demonstrated that the Judaizers were not proto-pelagians, attempting to earn their salvation. Luther make a simple mistake. He assumed that his opponents were the Apostle Paul’s opponents. So, he read the merit-based theology of the Catholic church into the Biblical text. He should have studied Judaism on its own terms.

    Paul’s critique of the Law is primarily focused on ethnic boundaries between Jews and Gentiles. Paul is not opposed to the Law. He is opposed to the abuse of the Law. But Farley appears to be completely unaware of the distinction.

  5. The Torah (the Hebrew word means “instruction”) has many uses. First and foremost, the Torah is a revelation of God and His character. This God has invited us to imitate Him. “To be holy, as He is holy” (Lev. 19:2; Matt. 5:48; 1 Peter 1:16). The Law tells us who God is and this information better equips us to imitate our God. On our own, we can never be like God. We fail miserably. That’s why Jesus died to pay for our sins and sent us the Holy Spirit. With the help of the Spirit, we can fulfill the Law (Romans 8:4; Romans 2:14-15). The Spirit empowers us to imitate God. The Spirit empowers to fulfill the righteous demands of the Torah. And all of this comes from our faith in Jesus Christ.

    Paul criticizes the Judaizers because they are using the Law as an ethnic barrier to keep the Gentiles from inclusion in the people of God. If you are interested in a more holistic approach to the Torah, I would recommend Chris Wright’s excellent book Old Testament Ethics and the People of God.

    • Daniel, you write as though Jesus died to empower us keep the law in order that we might become holy. Even though Paul said “Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes” (Rms 10:4), you want to put law back into the equation. This is contrary to what Paul and the other NT writers teach. We are not made holy by Jesus plus the law; we are sanctified by the blood alone (Heb 10:29, 13:12). Although the law is holy righteous and good (Rms 7:12), it has no power to make you holy, righteous and good. The law reveals sin but doesn’t deal with it. Only the blood of Jesus deals with sin.

      Law-consciousness is a symptom of an old covenant mindset. Paul knew the law better than you or I and he said a Christian is to have no relationship whatsoever to the law. We’re not under it (Rms 6:14), we’re not supervised by it (Gal 3:25), we’re not justified by it (Gal 3:11) but we’re cursed if we observe it (Gal 3:10). Paul said we are dead to the law (Rms 7:4).

      I agree that those who live in step with the Spirit will keep the righteous requirements of the law effortlessly but that’s because it’s Christ the law-keeper in you who continues to keep the law (Rms 8:4). The Holy Spirit is not some kind of life coach empowering us to keep the law. That’s mixing up the covenants. “We have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code” (Rom 7:6). Paul clearly contrasts life under the Spirit versus life under the law: “If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law” (Gal 5:18).

  6. Galatians 3:10 actually says that those under the Law are under a curse if they don’t do it. The expression “under the Law” always refers to the Jewish people (1 Cor. 9:19-21). Paul quotes Deuteronomy 27 and the curse in its original context is exile. Paul is talking about how ethnic Israel is in exile, still awaiting restoration.

    Romans 10:4 says that Jesus is the telos of the Law. Telos in this context means the “goal” of the Law. Jesus is the goal of the OT Law. He is its perfect interpreter and He obeyed it perfectly. So if we are to imitate Christ, (and we are), we must obey God’s law, because Jesus did.

    Does the Law make someone right with God? No, only faith in Christ and His sacrifice on the cross can make someone right with God. The Law cannot empower us to be holy. The Holy Spirit empowers us to holy. When someone first trusts in Christ, he is declared “righteous” and Christ’s righteousness is imputed to his account. So the Christian life is about becoming who you already are. You are righteous in your status before God. Your behavior must become righteous in actuality.

    How does this happen? By faith in Christ. Through the power of the Spirit. Through the revelation of God’s will in both the OT and the NT (including the Torah). It doesn’t happen effortlessly. It takes training and discipline. Paul says in 1 Cor. 9:24-27.

    • Daniel, you say we must obey the law. Why? “Because Jesus did” is not an answer you’ll find in the Bible. We’re not called to imitate Christ’s law-keeping performance – although many are doing exactly that! That’s pretending and the Bible calls it living by the flesh. Jesus became sin and offered Himself a sacrifice for the sins of the world – are you going to imitate that too? Your logic sounds noble but you are casting yourself as a co-savior. It’s an idol-worshiping flesh trip.

      I have 2 questions for you: (1) You say we must obey the law to become righteous – even though we’re righteous already. What do you think will happen to you if you don’t obey the law?

      (2) If you break one part of the law you are guilty of breaking all of it (Jas 2:10). In the history of the human race only one man has ever managed to obey the law. How do plan to succeed where the entire human race – save Jesus – has failed? What’s your plan?

    • Daniel I was going through some old posts and saw what you said about the law three years ago. Is that still your opinion of how we as believers relate to the law?

  7. 1 John 2:6 says, “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.”

    1 Cor. 11:1 says, ” Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (ESV).

    Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

    1 John 3:2 says, “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”

    1 Thess 1:6a says, “You became imitators of us and of the Lord,”

    I’m not suggesting that we can be co-saviors with Jesus. I could never die for the sins of the world. However, we are called to walk in the steps of Christ (1 Pet 2:21). Our calling to imitate his character. This is the heart of the NT ethic and the OT ethic (Lev 19:1-2). In Deut 10:12, God challenges Israel to walk in his ways.

    1) At conversion, the believer is declared righteous. This is our legal status before God. Our character has not changed. We still have all of our B.C. (before Christ) habits and thought patterns. These behavioral patterns need to be changed. The Bible calls this process “sanctification.” The Law (and the rest of Scripture) informs me what God’s will is. God’s Word reveals the type of holy character that God desires for our lives. The Bible teaches that faith without works is dead. It’s useless (James 2:14-26). In other words, saving faith produces good works. If I don’t have any good works in my life, I might not truly know Jesus. My faith might not be genuine.

    2) I know that I don’t measure up. I’ve failed. That’s why Jesus died on the cross for my sins. But just because Jesus paid for my sins, it doesn’t mean that I ignore all of the ethical standards in Scripture. Rather because I am forgiven, I pursue holiness all the more, because I want to please the God who loves me so much that He sent His Son to die for me.

    • So in essence you have resolved to keep the law because you think you can make yourself holy. “No I’m holy already. No – change that, I might not be. Or am I?” Are you or aren’t you?

      Even though Paul said we are dead to the law and married to Christ, you’re maintaining a relationship with it. How is this not spiritual adultery? Just out of curiosity, how have you decided which bits of the law are irrelevant (because I’m sure you’re not keeping the ceremonial law and probably nor even the 10 commandments). Or perhaps you think God will be impressed if you just make a good effort (thus diluting His standards of holiness to your human level of performance).

      I don’t know how many ways I can say this, but God expects perfection. Either you must deliver a perfect performance or put your faith in a perfect high priest. You’re falling flat in the middle of these two choices. “My faith might not be genuine unless I start producing fruit like Jesus.” Don’t you see that’s a faith-killing mindset? Faith is being certain and you’re not. James said faith without works is dead then described two very specific works – neither of which relate to law-keeping.

      The remedy for dealing with our flesh (our old habits and ways of thinking) is to renew our minds not reform our behavior. Paul said we are to offer our bodies as living and holy sacrifices (Rms 12:1). How is it that you think you’re alive but not holy? If one is true, the other must also be true.

  8. Luke 1:6-7. In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.

    How many of God’s commands did Zechariah keep? All of them. How did he keep them? Blamelessly.

    1 Kings 23: Furthermore, Josiah got rid of the mediums and spiritists, the household gods, the idols and all the other detestable things seen in Judah and Jerusalem. This he did to fulfill the requirements of the law written in the book that Hilkiah the priest had discovered in the temple of the LORD. Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the LORD as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.

    Moses didn’t seem to think that the Law was impossible to keep. Deuteronomy 30:11-14 says, Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it” (NIV).

    The problem with Farley’s approach is that the OT Law didn’t demand sinless perfection. It demanded allegiance, a faith commitment to YHWH, the God of Israel (Deut. 6:4-6). God knew that Israel was going to fail. That’s why he gave them the sacrificial system. When God sent Israel into exile, it wasn’t because they weren’t perfect. It was because they stopped worshiping YHWH and started worshiping idols.

    • If Zechariah was blameless, for what reason was he struck dumb? Josiah “slaughtered” priests (2 Kgs 23:20). Actually, I don’t have a problem with either Z or J. But it seems you are watering down the law to accommodate your imperfect performance. Jesus said, “be perfect” (Mt 5:48). Do you think Jesus was exaggerating or did He mean what he said?

      I begin to have a sense of why you think we must keep the law. What I would like to learn from you now is this: What happens if we don’t? What are the consequences of failing to keep it?

  9. God had actually commanded Josiah to slaughter those priests. So, he was acting in according to God’s will.

    Luke calls Zechariah blameless. Luke never says that he was sinless. So, “blameless” must mean something different than “sinless.”

    I don’t think that Jesus was exaggerating when he said,”Be perfect, as God is perfect.” That is our goal–perfection. So even though I might not ever reach that standard in this life, I would continue to press on towards its (Philippians 3:13-14).

    But Jesus also said in the same Sermon, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” God’s kingdom is for spiritual losers, the spiritually bankrupt. That’s why Jesus spend all this time calling tax-collectors and sinners to Him. They are the ones who need a doctor. This is grace. But then He challenges them to imitate their God. “Be perfect, as your Father is perfect.” The word “Father” also implies relationship. I am imitating a God who loves me. He is my Father. He knows that I will fail quite consistently. His grace is sufficient. But that doesn’t mean that I stop trying to be holy. He puts the Holy Spirit inside me to help me in my walk with God. And over time, I make progress.

  10. For who? Believers or unbelievers? For believers in Christ, God disciplines disobedience just like as a father disciplines his son. Hebrews 12:10 says, “God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.”

    Unbelievers, on the other hand, are not in a relationship with God. So whether they obey the Law or not, they cannot please God. Ultimately they will face hell if they do not repent and put their faith in Christ.

    • The Bible says the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ (Gal 3:24), but those who are under grace are to have no relationship to it. You say the exact opposite; the law has no relevance to those who are lost but shows believers how to avoid a spanking.

  11. I have a few questions for you.

    Is homosexual behavior a sin? How about being uncircumcised? How about bestiality? How about eating pork?

    • I have no doubt that we share a similar desire for holiness. We just differ on the means for getting there. Your focus is on your law-keeping behavior. You’ve resolved to give it your best shot. You’re just like the Israelites at the foot of Sinai shouting “we can do it!” However, unlike them, deep down you know that you can’t do it. Yet despite the impossibility of success you’re determined to try your best and take your discipline when you fall short. What a tragic way to live. You have faith that Jesus got you started; but you have no faith that He will keep you from falling and present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy (Ju 24). He’s the Author but you’re the Finisher of your faith.

      I, on the other hand, see holiness as a by-product of my relationship with my loving Father. I’m not holy because of my behavior; I’m holy because of Him. I don’t act holy to avoid discipline; I act holy because it’s in my nature and as a secure and much-loved child I seek to imitate my Father who is holy. That part of me that would seek to impress Him with my law-keeping performance died long ago and no longer lives. The life I now live I live by the faith of the Son of God. You can try or you can trust. You’re trying; I’m trusting.

      • You ignored my questions. Your answers will reveal your hermeneutic.

        Galatians 3:24 is talking about the Law’s role in Israel’s history. The Torah was a babysitter or “guardian” over Israel until the Messiah came. Now we are under the Torah of the Messiah. That is, the OT Law as it was interpreted and fulfilled by Jesus.

        You can’t keep the Law if you don’t have faith in Christ and his promises.

    • You said the law is a babysitter to the messiah. When you re 10 years old, do u still need d baby sitter?. Under law Israel was and infant try to be holy but under grace Israel is a full grown son, and now as the same traits as his Daddy.

  12. Good write-up, I am regular visitor of one’s web site, maintain up the excellent operate, and It’s going to be a regular visitor for a lengthy time.

  13. There are millions of Christian people out there who have for years sat in Churches who continue to emphasize “sin management”. I was one. Although I had accepted Christ, I spent all my time at the Cross. Why? Because I was always sinning, and I was fixated on my sin. I was taught that even though I was saved I was still a sinner, and that my heart was desperately wicked (Interestingly enough, I just heard Rick Warren at Saddleback Church say exactly this last weekend). Therefore, I needed to deposit my sin at the Cross. I was told that I needed to be sure I confessed all my sin before I took communion, or I would be judged by God.

    No one ever told me anything about hanging out at the Tomb, where, as Farley points out, new life is born. I was told over and over that Christian principles were good and that all I needed to do was to try harder, read more, memorize verses, pray all the time. And I would do these things, and wonder why my heart still ached. No joy, no excitement, no passion.

    You folks may not like Farley’s approach. But I doubt that any of you can seriously argue with his theology. If you can, point to one statement he makes that is inconsistent with Scripture. I can not find any. Besides, he addresses the basic question all Christians face…if the Gospel is really “good news”, and if the Christian life is where it’s at, why are most of us sad, frustrated, confused and borderline angry? Why do half of the Christian marriages end in divorce? Why are we looked at as hypocrites, judgmentalists, gossips, and basically unhappy people? That is how the world sees us. And we know it.

    For me, I would rather live the freedom that comes from Christ in me than the prison of me in me. I tried that, and it almost cost me my life. Christ died to set me free, not so I could find a new set of rules and regulations, not so I could perform better, not so I could improve myself, but so I could live free. Free of performance, and free of rules. I believe the only person who does not want this kind of freedom is one who still believes that, even though he/she is a new creation and all old things have passed away, his/her heart is evil, wicked and can not be trusted. That belief is born out of fear, and fear does not come from God. Well, if that is a true statement of the condition of my heart, then how in the world is it possible that Christ lives in that heart.

    And BTW, I also discovered that the sinful behaviors that beset me for decades, against which I fought long and hard but never permanently defeated, have disappeared from my life, with almost no effort on my part at all. All I had to do was stop trying to defeat them, and let Christ live my life. In effect, by realizing my sin is not just covered but gone, that God doesn’t see it, and that if I were to talk with God about my sin He would say “What in the world are you talking about?”, I stopped trying not to sin. And by some magical process, the sin that haunted me vaporized. I do not fully understand this, but I am sure God does.

    I am not a sinner. My heart is not wicked or evil. It is where Christ lives, and I can trust it. And now, for the first time ever, after 35 years, I really can “do all things through Him who strengthens me”.

    “Focus your eyes on the things of the Spirit, and you will have life and peace”.

    Don’t be too quick to knock Farley’s approach until you have tried it. It works. It really does.

  14. The earlier debate between Paul and Daniel, while fairly exhaustive, could probably be sustained ad-nauseam without ever changing anyone’s world-view. But having just discovered this excellent website I wondered whether I might be permitted to throw another book recommendation into the ring… Deepak Chopra’s “The Third Jesus”. This well-researched and thought-provoking treatise addresses some of the issues raised above, and promotes the vision of a more humane and loving Christianity than that which has lately been turning people away from organised religion in droves. Daniel’s dogmatic approach – typical of many mainstream churches these days – might be viewed by many people as less concerned with real spirituality than with maintaining the power and prestige of those in “authority”. But Chopra’s insights into the ‘true’ person of Jesus offer hope for the survival of the Christian religion in the 21st century and beyond, as we strive for a more “Christ-like consciousness”, with as much relevance today as it had when Jesus walked the earth some 2,000 years ago. Meanwhile, I commend Steve C’s candid testimony. As he says, “Don’t knock…Farley’s approach until you have tried it.” Galations 5:22-23 reminds us that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”: surely, one cannot be too far off track if those qualities are in evidence? And at the same time, perhaps we should beware of being “desirous of vain glory, provoking one another” (v. 26)? Just a thought – and one offered without any ill-will!

  15. Very interesting post Andrew! The fact that Christ died as a complete payment for our sin is something that many Christians seem to ignore when they are trying to follow the “rules.” As you correctly pointed out, the law was put there to show people how impossible it is to follow. That’s why Christ came, so we didn’t have to beat ourselves up due to an imperfect ability to follow a set of rules. Jesus heavily preached against the Pharisees, who were the rule followers of the day, much like many “Christians” today. This looks like an interesting book.

  16. James 2:14, faith without deeds is deed… The deed being referred to is love.

  17. Ben Fetcher // April 2, 2015 at 12:30 am // Reply

    Hae Paul, plis explain to me what Apostle Paul meant in 1Corinthians 9:24-27. thanx love you.

  18. Paul, I just finished another book by Andrew Farley called Relaxing In God. I was blessed by almost all of the book, except for the author’s VERY negative opinion about tithing. I have been blessed much by tithing over many years. It does not feel like a burden to me at all. I believe it predates the law and is for our benefit. My favorite Grace preacher, Joseph Prince, also believes tithing is for the believer.

    I’ve searched through the website and haven’t found where you have written on tithing. I have a lot of respect for you. Can I please ask what you think?

    • I haven’t read the book and I’ve not written much about tithing. Obviously I don’t believe tithing is a law for the believer any more than circumcision is, and both predate the Mosaic Law. People who have been touched by the generosity of a good God become generous. How generous? That’s between you and the Lord. If you wish to tithe and are blessed by tithing, then go for it. Let every man be convinced in their own mind.

  19. I have this book, and have gotten a great many blessings through Pastor Farley’s words (both in print and through his sermons on ustream). Bob, you need to re-read it. It’s not tithing per se that he trashes, but churches demanding it from believers and warping the words of the Bible to back it up. A couple of excerpts: “I”m all for giving freely and generously so that the gospel message gets out there and people grow in Christ. I’m sold out to it! But when pastors start pulling verses from Malachi about storehouses and grain offerings and blessings and curses (Mal.3:8-10), that’s where I jump ship.” Following that, he goes into quite a lot of detail of why he see it this way. Then Pastor Farley says “…we discover that we can giver cheerfully when we see a need, when we are excited about the ministry, and when we have extra to give.” “So relax and enjoy giving from your heart …”

    I’ve read and listened to the man fairly extensively and, for my money (pardon the intentional pun) … Andrew Farley is all Jesus all the time.

  20. Hello, Paul. Thank you for posting this. I have a question that has to do with what a pastor is teaching and that I believe is just more law-based religion. He is teaching that there are 3 different kinds of Presence’s of God which are 1.) His omni- Presence, 2.) His inner Presence of the Holy Spirit and 3.) His Manifest Presence. He states that how we can get God’s manifest Presence is by doing what He says and how we can not have His manifest Presence is by not doing what He says. He used tithing as an example. If God told you to tithe and you do you will have God’s manifest Presence, and if you don’t tithe you’re basically not in God’s manifest Presence. He also used relationships as an example. If God told you to end a toxic relationship and you do you’ll have His manifest Presence, etc. He seems to be saying in his message that the prerequisite is if God told you to do or not do something. So my question is: Are there conditions for having God’s manifest Presence other than the faith that I have from Him to believe that I already have His manifest Presence because of what Jesus did for me and not what I do or don’t do for Him.

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