There is no grace camp

hyper-grace

I want to thank those of you who took the time to comment on my Michael Brown post over the weekend. That post evidently resonated with many. Within 48 hours of publication it had attracted 250 comments. To put that in perspective, that’s almost as many comments as the original CharismaNews article got in a week.

If you missed the hubbub, Michael Brown wrote an opinion piece confronting what he calls the error of hyper-grace, namely, that the notion that God sees us as holy and righteous. Michael disagrees. “God sees our sin,” says Michael. “Consequently, we need to purify ourselves from everything that contaminates.”

I took issue with this because it suggests that God relates to us on the basis of our behavior and that we have to clean ourselves up before God will accept us. To be fair, Michael never said this, but his message nonetheless amounts to putting a price-tag on God’s love and acceptance.

Where the Bible puts exclamation marks – “God loves you!” – Michael put question marks: “Really? Always? 24-7? God always loves what he sees when he looks at his people?”

Anyway, what followed was a stimulating discussion from people like you. I have now had a chance to read through all the comments several times and I have learned a lot. As I keep saying, E2R readers are a smart bunch! The wisdom some of you have amazes me. I am truly blessed to receive from you.

I also want to thank those of you who encouraged me on my Facebook page on Sunday. After reading one particularly nasty and personal comment (don’t look for it, you won’t find it), my countenance dropped. I get called names all the time and normally it doesn’t bother me. But on Sunday it did and I was gloomy for 10 minutes. Some of you picked up on that and you sought to lift my chin.

Thank you. You’re beautiful.

Jesus Camp

On Monday morning and with a clear head I sat down to distill some of the lessons I learned over the weekend. I’m not yet prepared to share those lessons except for one, and here it is:

As my friend Steve Hackman pointed out in his own response to Michael Brown, the “grace camp” label is horrible. When I went back and reread my article that phrase was the one thing I just had to change. (In the revised post I now refer to the grace movement. I know, it’s hardly an improvement. Got any better ideas?)

Why do I dislike “grace camp”? Because there is no grace camp. There’s just Jesus and we’re all one in Christ. If you trust in Jesus, you’re in the Jesus Camp and it’s the only camp.

Grace is meant to be inclusive. All are welcome in the House of Grace because Jesus died for all of us. The moment we allow ourselves to be defined as a special camp, we start swinging towards an unChristlike exclusivity, like we’re a country club or something.

Manmade religion draws lines between Us and Them but the grace of God tears down dividing walls. I know we’re not all going to see eye to eye, but I don’t want to contribute to a culture that perpetuates fracture lines within the body of Christ. If you see me talking about grace camps again, please remind me of Galatians 3:28.

What about hyper-grace?

Michael never called us a grace camp – that was my own stupid fault – but he does describe us with the label “hyper-grace.” What do you think about this? Personally, I’m in two minds. I think any label is demeaning. The moment we label people we diminish them, we reduce them to caricatures.

“You’re in the hyper-grace camp? So you’re one of those who says we can sin freely and God will still love us. I read about you turkeys on Charisma.”

Yeah, that’s real helpful. I am already paying the price for this cartoon-like rendition of the grace message in the form of time-wasting comments from misguided folks who think we advocate sin.

[Sidebar: You may be aware that this morning CharismaNews published a second piece from Michael. In this article he worries that the message of grace which we preach is unbalanced, as evidenced by the sinful fruit of those who have abused it. Michael seems to think that the abuse of the gospel Jesus revealed and Paul preached is a new thing. I have just one word to say in response to that: Corinthians.]

On the other hand, we may find ourselves stuck with the label hyper-grace much like the believers of Antioch were stuck with the label “Christian.” If that is the case – if you are about to be permanently branded by others as “hyper-grace” – how do you feel about that? Are you happy about it? Do you find it objectionable? Are you cool with it?

To get a conversation started, here are some thoughts from those who commented under the last post:

  • Titus 2:11-12 says grace is a person called Jesus. Thus hyper-grace maybe also called hyper-Jesus. Does this mean there is such thing as “too much Jesus”? Or such a thing as “relying on Jesus too much”? … Hyper (also) means “abounds,” so I guess the name is appropriate because the Scripture says, “Grace super-abounds!” ~Joseph Librero
  • The whole concept of “hyper-grace” being a bad thing is silly! The lengths to which God chose to go in Grace for us (to the death) is pretty “hyper,” is it not?! ~JGIG
  • Wasn’t Paul accused of preaching hyper-grace? (see Romans 3:8, 5:20-6:2) ~John Long
  • I am dead to sin. I have a righteousness conscience. I feel free. Free from sin. That’s hyper-grace. Thank you Jesus. ~ Phillip Waite

So far the vibe seems to be generally positive. But what do you think of this term hyper-grace?

Is it something to embrace, resist, or accept? Does it hinder the gospel by suggesting we’re an exclusive camp within the Body of Christ? Or does it promote the gospel by accurately conveying the way grace operates – energetically and actively? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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79 Comments on There is no grace camp

  1. Gal 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
    we are not there to make any religion, but just to preach JESUS.

  2. I actually think it is indicative of the legalists to place terms on that which is Grace to begin with. In essence, they have changed the meaning of grace to be something other than grace, hence they place adjectives in front of grace for all that believe in Grace only. When we get right down to it, grace is all Jesus and none of us. However, the legalist wants to say it is mostly Jesus but something else must be done to make ourselves presentable to God in order to receive grace.

    Grace is all Jesus. Grace is none of me. If anything is added to grace, then it is not grace to begin with. From the standpoint of the hyper-grace name, I think it really is “extreme” in the true sense because grace is pure. People find it hard to receive grace because it is so black and white. It is not chocolate milk. You can not mix a little “doing right” with the grace of God and say that God loves us because of us doing right some of the time.

    For those that say that people are taking advantage of Grace, then I would say that people that are living under the law have never received Grace in the first place. They have not repented (changed their mind) of their unbelief and trying to keep themselves righteous apart from the Grace of God, Jesus. (Galatians 5:4)

  3. Its easy for all of us to label others. In the effort to define a particular class/group of people, we end up categorizing and in many cases create stereotypes, and introduce ‘distance’ – after all, if you’re part of ‘them’, you’re really not part of ‘us’.

    The same act of labelling a group of people ‘hyper-grace camp’ can be seen by calling another group of people ‘legalistic pharisees’. In reading the many comments of the previous various posts, as objectively as I could I saw both being done.

    Being labelled only affects me if I let it. At the end of the day, if the message of Grace has taught me one thing, is that its really more important what the Father thinks of me – through what Jesus did for me – and my sense of self-worth comes from Him.

    That is not to say that I shouldn’t care at all about what my brothers and sisters in Christ say about my behaviour – as a spiritual family we should all care about each other – but I shouldn’t take harsh things (as) personally, though I know this is difficult to do. We should reprove one another *in love*, but knowing that our Father loves us no matter what really does help take away the cutting edges of sharp tongues and harsh words.

    At the end of the day, the best way I can ‘convey how Grace operates’ is in my behavior in challenging circumstances. And this is why I tend not to weigh in over online debates – because unless you really knew me in person – and the change that Grace has wrought in me – its hard for you to see that.

  4. I’ve always heard it said that you got to get the sin out of the camp. Now there’s to much Grace in the camp. No wonder I was so confused for so many years.

    Love you all please respect my sence of humor.

  5. I AM free in Him and in Him there is no sin. The last thing i want to do is sin, because i can. i am not moved by the hyper grace or greasy grace comments people make for a few reasons..lol The more we say we are not or defend the more it rubs for a fight. Also its true!!!!!!!! when i think about the goodness of our daddy it makes me Hyper on the inside, my wife and i have run around our room at midnight because of the goodies of heaven flowing… Jesus is the demonstration of the hyper love Daddy has for us… the cross was pretty hyper! and about greasy grace… if you look up anointing and the like… most will translate out as oil, grease and painted on…. YES we are anointed and greasy! and because of the greasy grace no stronghold or hindrance can stick on me. But our law abiding friends are like velcro and most stuff sticks to them and they try to work and confess it of with short temporary relief. love you all very much!!! Jesus is everything! God is not mad at us!!

  6. Dear Paul,
    your one book (Gospel in ten words) is good enough, we know that you are preaching the GOOD NEWS. Believe me, I really felt the ‘GOOD NEWS’ as GOOD NEWS after reading your blog and your book. I too was throwing stones on the Grace Preachers before, but when all MY strength drained out by trying to DO things, I found the found and understood GRACE. These people who mix WORK with GRACE also will realize the truth when they dry out. That time they will come to the real LIVING WATERS of GRACE.

  7. Jerry Nendel // February 26, 2013 at 5:33 pm // Reply

    Wow. I hadn’t really thought about it that much, but today I was trying to convey to a dear sister in The Lord who knows grace and lives grace, but doesn’t really understand the controversy brewing, and when I used the term hyper-grace there really was the feeling of a stigma. But I believe this is the suffering to be expected. I don’t expect it to get any better. Like the first believers named “Christians” it was meant to demean them but they humbly accepted the name and wore it as a cloak of honor, because it was true.

    I work at a large Christian theater that just showed a play on Jonah. There was a great line in it. Jonah was angry when he saw the people repenting, and a little girl said to her mother “Why is the man of God so sad?”. And the mother answered “Because he is afraid that something he has worked so hard for God is giving away”. So, unfortunately, I believe that persecution is to be expected and responded with love but no compromise.

    And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. (Galatians 5:11 NKJV)

    Jerry Nendel Voice Mail 717-826-6117

  8. I like to say I am a New Covenant believer.Then I just go where the conversation leads. I tell people to start reading about Saul/Paul in Acts 9 and then go through Paul’s epistles starting with Romans and look for God’s Grace and love and see what it says about the words written on stone. Now I say this in different Bible studies I attend not unbelievers or new belivers, people my age that have been in the denominational church 40-60 years. As I have said before I don’t try to make waves just ripples. Let the Bible speak to them just like it did to me when I first embraced Grace.
    I remember an old teaching of Joseph Prince’s when he was preparing a sermon (i think) and God told him–Stop disqualifying my people—. That is really what I try to do although I have dusted off my feet and walked away from a couple of bible studies. I do not have to argue the Gosple the Holy Spirit will take over in His time and place. The Grace message is hitting the United States and you can really see a difference in Joyce Meyers and Creflo Dollar but sometimes an old program will come on with the faith message. I send Paul’s post to some of my friend’s and have passed out 25 of his book’s. We started attending a new church and we have a lunch scheduled with the minister and I have a copy of The Gosple in Ten Words set aside for him. When my husband grabs the check I will hand him the book.
    Please pray that this book speaks to him because this church without a building has about 500 members. I hope when I give it to him he says, ” I already read it and I loved it”

  9. The Greek root word for hyper means “Above”. One dictionary I’m reading also says, “above, over, excess”. Starting to like it!

  10. Jonathan Marsden // February 26, 2013 at 7:00 pm // Reply

    My view is very simple… As soon as you start to measure ‘how much?’ You are right back under the law. With that comes bondage and legalism. Jesus’s grace is sufficient for me. Not some measure or degree or hyper grace – just His grace. If others choose to condemn or try to label in an attempt to rubbish me – then bless them. For my part i believe that when Jesus said ‘it is finished’ it really was finished – who am I to second guess my best friend and savior. I’m not going to reduce this by trying to put some limiting measure on it..

  11. Grace super-abounds that it cannot be contained. It is a gift purchased with the best heaven has, yet freely dispensed to us. How can I not embrace it with awe? How can I not value it with my life? I will not even dare measure it. All I need to do is swim in it. Because of Grace, I am free from my insecurities, free from sin, and free to love, free to forgive. Yes, it’s hyper and it’ll only get more hyper with time. Keep up the posts, Paul. You are a blessing to the grace ‘movement’.

  12. Hi Paul,

    I’m quite fine with any prefix [hyper-] that exalts the Name of Jesus and His extreme, unmerited, abounding goodness.

    According to Wikipedia the prefix “hyper” may be defined as: The English prefix hyper- comes from the Greek prefix “ὑπερ-” and means “over” or “beyond”; it has a common origin with the prefix “super-” which comes from Latin.

    I love that JESUS GOES BEYOND ALL EXPECTATIONS (and religion) to super-bless me! Praise God for people like Michael Brown who, in their ignorance, show us the unlimited goodness of God!

    Love, Daniel

  13. My grace is sufficient for you. It does not say my hyper grace is sufficient for you. Grace speaks of Jesus Himself and that is enough. I do not need hyper Jesus.

  14. Phillip Waite // February 26, 2013 at 9:24 pm // Reply

    Hyper Grace is like a compliment. I think the Holy Spirit might have had something to do with it. After all, our brothers who gave us this tag are still sons of the living God. When I get to heaven, I am going to line them up for a high five. I would imagine I will have the power to do it at the speed of light. I will need that. Thank goodness, as we are empowered to believe, (walk in the spirit) we take less offence and are able to turn the other cheek in love. A gentle kiss from our saviour within us, to our brothers who smite us. Who smite us ever so gently. Our brothers turn their cheek because they believe it is perscriptive, while we turn because it is a work of hyper Grace. Great follow up Paul.

  15. Good luck with trying to find a catch phrase to describe God’s grace and those who are promoting it…I have heard it all : “grace camp”, “grace movement”, ad nauseum. Frankly, it sometimes seems like just another way to say, “I’m in the right group because…” Maybe it’s a lot like wanting to belong somewhere, and especially belong to the right or the “in” group. Maybe it’s time to embrace the words of Francis of Asissi, “Preach the gospel and if necessary, use words.” Having been identified with the “grace camp” and the “grace movement” I must say that I am finding a lot more freedom living “outside the camp” than I did “inside”. I think I have found grace. I just don’t call it that.

    • Hi Barry, I agree with you. It’s a lot like saying: “See, I’m in!” or “Look at me I belong to this hyper, ultra, super, extreme or whatever group.”

      However, We should all declare: “I’m in!” and “Grace is in me!” … after all we are already grouped as the body of Christ and we already belong … as the bride of Christ. Amen!

      Also, God’s Grace, however is not indescribable, nor is it unknown nor out of reach nor mysterious nor mystic nor secret, etc. He (God’s Grace) is beautifully revealed and His character amazingly portrayed in God’s Word. His Name is Jesus! Praise God! No label, no camp, no movement nor description can contain Him, yet He lives inside of us. Amen!

      Inside the Grace camp we might be able to preach the Gospel without words, but the great need is outside the camp. Inside and outside the camp we might want to reconsider what Francis of Asissi says ito “Preach the gospel and if necessary, use words.” This quote is misused and is abused a lot (I’m not accusing you of doing this. It just came to my mind as I read you quoting it). Although what he says is commendable it’s like nowadays we use it as an easy way out, an excuse not to openly testify about the goodness of our God. To share the Good News explicitly we need to use words … Jesus did!

      Hyper-sensitivity to what people think (including their labeling of us) may cause a neglect of Rev 12:11 “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” – because we have Grace!

  16. Thanks to you for love to all brothers or sisters in Christ, its great to read your posts of love and grace, which do not disqualify. Unfortunately there are some that use grace to enjoy hatred, malice and divorce where as Christ has set us free from those nature, replacing with pure love. I wish to see that love operating in our homes and societies for a world depraved of love.

  17. 1) Brown takes issue with Christians labeling Christians “Pharisees” (which I am sure was used as a “descriptive” way to highlight a propensity to hang onto a works-based relationship with God) but then follows suit by in turn labeling a group of Christians as “hyper grace”. Brown excuses his “name calling” by claiming he uses the term “hyper-grace” to be descriptive, not insulting. My response: Mr. Brown, if you really feel like “name calling” is destructive and divisive and needs to stop, then why are you doing it?

    2) Brown claims that hyper grace teachers “often make extreme statements that lead believers to think that they are not responsible for their sins”. My response: Mr. Brown, can you clarify in what way Christians are responsible for their sins? Because I take issue with extreme statements that imply that sins have the power to “unwash” what the blood of Jesus took away once and for ALL, that Adam’s disobedience was greater than Christ’s obedience. That once we turn to Jesus, once we believe on Him, something, namely “sin”, can separate us from God’s love.

    3) Brown claims that hyper grace teachings instruct believers to disregard (at the worst) or minimize (at the best) the words of Jesus. My response: Mr. Brown rightly dividing the Word of God leads us to interpret what Jesus said in the same way that Paul did. Paul did not preach a “different gospel” than Jesus; he just understood and preached the changing power of the cross!

    • Bec, this is your Dad you need to go to bed. Posting this at 12:46 am 🙂

      ps You write beautifully, Love Dad

      • Hahahaha! Nice one Paul. And yes, Bec, you do write beautifully. Now to bed young lady! 😉

      • Thanks Dad! Haha, No worries, I wasn’t up posting in the middle of the night…must be a time change for Florida 🙂 Nice to see you are following this AWESOME blog I told you about 😉 Really looking forward to reading the next post in the Eternal Security Series (hint hint!)

  18. I read the previous posts and all the comments. I wanted to comment but couldn’t find the right words,Paul. But you’ve said it in this post. How do I feel about the term Hyper-grace? At first glance it’s derogatory. It’s meant to be. Even though a second look reveals that it’s actually a good term (because that’s exactly what the grace of God is…it’s hyper-OTT! ) Labels can be off putting, but like it or not we will be labeled. For that reason amazing grace may be more palatable to everyone. This labeling is just persecution. I found this out when my eyes were opened to the true gospel after 25+years of mixture. It was as if I was born again -again!! I thought the message would be welcome at church. But no, there was silent disaproval,snide comments, hidden rebukes in sermons, and slighting all those ‘grace’ people. I even got a label…Grace Queen. I’m more than happy to wear that title. I love God more than ever and I want everyone to have that same excitement,but you either ‘see’ it or you don’t. Thank God for your life Paul. I for one truly appreciate you. I read everything you write and engage with the word…in my head at least lol.

  19. Marianne Cantey // February 27, 2013 at 1:25 am // Reply

    I prefer the term “grace embracers” instead of grace camp or grace movement. There are different degrees of embrace/hugs; but when you receive a bear-hug, you know you’ve been embraced

  20. Totally agree! Thank you for bringing the discussion back to reality. The reality is Christ. The entire debate with Dr. Brown was/is really just a distraction from what is real. Arguing over what God sees is simply not important, unless it is said that because God no longer sees our sin, everyone goes to heaven. No one here is claiming this. As you stated so clearly in The Gospel in Ten Words; “There are two ways to get this wrong: One, tell people that they must do something before God will forgive them-that’s called law and it’s a grace killer. Or two, tell sinners that because they are forgiven they are also saved-that’s called universalism and it’s a faith killer. Sadly, some have come racing out of one error only to dive headlong into another. Let’s be clear, FORGIVENESS DOES NOT EQUAL SALVATION (emphasis added). Although Christ carried the sins of the world on the cross, not everyone is saved.”

  21. The term hyper-grace doesn’t bother me…they can call it what ever they like…grace is GOOD NEWS! If they can’t see that then only the Holy Spirit can show them. No worries, though, Paul said that he was persecuted and the same thing is still going on today by those who don’t understand grace! Grace and Peace to all!

  22. I’d like to quickly share how I got involved in this grace… well, lets just say “thing” for now. After studying and teaching the word for a while, I was pretty confused (due to a mixture of grace and law I would come to find out). One night I happened upon a You Tube video from Revival Or Riots ministries. I was blown away by what I heard. It did not sound like the typical charismatic/prophetic messages I was accustomed to. The lines were so clear about where one covenant ended and the other began.

    Then, within 2 days, I heard about Joseph Prince from 3 different sources! Little did I realize it, but this was the beginning of something life changing. I never set out to be part of a grace movement, but boy did grace ever move me. I agree that to preach Jesus is to preach grace. However, in 2 Corinthians, Paul warns about receiving “another Jesus”. So I feel the emphasis on how Jesus embodies Grace and Truth is important.

    My life has been changed and although I would not choose a label, I am happy to bear whatever label might come along with this. We must not let the fear of deception lead us to try and control this grace thing, which in my opinion is what Dr. Brown’s teaching will do.

  23. I like the label AMAZING GRACE believer.

  24. God always loves what he sees when he looks at his people???
    Matthew 3:17 and suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”. We are accepted in the Beloved because of the finished work of Jesus on the cross (Eph 1:6). When God looks at us today, He sees Jesus in us and all over us as we are in the Beloved. And God will surely loves what He sees when he looks at His people!!! In fact we will hear Him says “This is my beloved son/daughter; in whom I am well pleased”.

    His grace is sufficient for me. So, no hyper-grace; grace will do!

  25. Personally, I do not care what others call me. I’m not one for titles and labels much. Jesus calls me righteous, justified, sanctified, and redeemed. That’s good enough for me.

    I can’t help but wonder if Dr. Brown stops loving his wife when she does something that displeases him? Of course not I am guessing. God may not approve of some of our actions, but that doesn’t mean He stops approving of us. My dad once told me, “Brandon, I need to tell you that you do not ever have to earn my approval. I approve of you and love you because you are my son, and nothing you can ever do will ever change that. I may not always agree with some of your choices, but your identity as my son will never change.” I can’t help but think this is a picture of my position with and identity in Christ. He may discipline me because He loves me, but He will never turn His back on me. I realize we have the right to reject Him and turn our backs on Him, but that is unbelief and rejection of the Gospel, and it has nothing to do with stumbling from time to time. Spouses are not married and divorced from day to day based on their performance, and we are not in one day and out the next, and in again when we make it right.

  26. Sorry, I almost forgot, thank you Paul for your faithfulness to the Gospel message.

  27. So far nobody has commented on what I thought was a pretty cool Star Trek picture (at the top of this post). What – no Trekkies/Trekkers here? I admit, my sense of humor is as warped as a warp drive but wasn’t it even slightly funny? I was giggling like Spock doesn’t when I made it. Words like hyper naturally make me think of star ships.

  28. IM A TREKKIE,IM A TREKKIE. MOVE,MOVE I CAN DO ZHIS, I can do zhis. [ CHEKOV] the latest star trek movie. not the newest! I always liked scotty i need warp drive in 3 min or were all dead……………….I remember the first time I heard the grace message, it was like A Wommack said its to good to believe or to good to be true news.It seems to be to simple to grasp,but when you realize that Gods grace is much more powerful, that if you really begin to grasp it you see that nothing can stand against it. and to quote andrew again, when you see its his work that counts you say {GEE I WAS DOING SO GOOD TO.]

  29. If people are saying “so we can just go on sinning and God won’t care?,” then chances are…you are preaching grace correctly. Paul addressed this very reaction seven times throughout his letters. Grace is meant to be overdone. “Well God doesn’t do things unbalanced!” Really, look at the cross for one hard minute and say balanced. Look at the 613 laws of the old testament for one hard minute and say balanced. Okay, now look at grace and put a stipulation on it….

    Be encouraged brother. Grace reveals grace to mankind or else it wouldn’t be grace. I find myself sometimes getting anxious and antsy when people just don’t see it. Only to be reminded that religion once again lurked into my peripheral. God is sovereign %100 of the time. There isn’t a time when our will (which I believe to be an illusion) supersedes Gods sovereignty. I won’t dive too deeply into that. Case and point, deceived people are simply meant to be deceived for the time being. Can I prove that, of course. God is all powerful and can reveal His grace to them at any given moment if He so chooses. God kept Israel blind, God hardened Pharaohs heart. God clearly states that He purposes Evil in ISA 54. God has always desired for there to be “contrast” in this present life. Without the extreme law, suffering, cross, etc we would never be able to understand how EXTREME grace really is.

    grace and peace brother

  30. Charles Indonesia // February 27, 2013 at 2:00 pm // Reply

    Hi Paul,
    That was Kirk’s ship, isn’t it? The good ol days…
    Back to hyper grace, i always like “Grace Revolution”, like JP wrote.
    Revolution is radical and changes things.
    Keep preach Grace, don’t ever change. God will never change.

    God bless you

  31. The ultimate story of rags to riches!
    His grace displayed
    in saving the worst men
    Behold, God’s riches
    of grace are a Person (Jesus)
    Christ, the fountain
    abounding in His grace
    Over my foul sin and
    mountains of mistakes
    In pleasure He’s immeasurably gracious
    Now we’re seated with Jesus in the heavenly places.
    ~ Shai Linne

  32. Am learning as i grow that all human attempts at theology – and thus explaining how God is doing His thing – do indeed have something missing. So, in fact, the holiness camp, the grace camp, the reformed camp, the Arminian camp, and the whatever-else camps are all petals on the same beautiful flower with the central, VITAL stem being Jesus. HE is the way: Not grace, not mercy, not love, not holiness, not obedience, not even His infinitely valuable and effective sacrifice on the cross. HE is the Way, HE is The Truth, and HE is The Life. He is the way home. If we could learn, by His Word and by His Spirit to simply live out the life of profoundly powerful Love He has for us – for His glory and for each other – we could stop spreading the cancer (as Paul called it in 2 Timothy 2:14) of fighting over words.

    Surely Scripture is authoritative, and just as surely, He is the Author of His own Words. i do not propose that we just do whatever “floats our own boat.” i DO propose that we understand that His Spirit and methodologies and teaching in our lives are Infinite. They are not just bigger than we are – they are beyond our comprehension. So, instead of creating camps and separation, perhaps we could go ahead and do what Jesus has and is praying that we will do – be one in Him; be united in the power of the Holy Spirit – and be known by the world by our Love for Him and each other.

  33. Hi Paul, I just love reading your post. I am an avid visitor of your E2R. Keep it going!

    The criticism done against grace peeachers today is exactly what was hurled against the Apostle Paul when he wrote to the Galatians saying among others that if he is preaching/teaching the law (circumcision), why is he still persecuted? (Galatians 5:11). In other words, the preaching of the unadulterated message of grace a.k.a the super abounding favor of God, known to them as “hyper-grace” will surely draw fire from those who are keeping (clinging to) the law. I think its as simple as that.

    Aren’t you glad that we are in the same company as the Apostle Paul? I am.
    So let’s just continue sharing this amazing message of grace – the unearned, undeserved and unmerited favor of God.

    Keep it up Paul.

  34. noelgmendoza320 // February 27, 2013 at 4:59 pm // Reply

    Hi Paul. I’m an avid vusitor of E2R.

    I just love reading your post. Keep it going.

  35. One of the saints said “Love God and do what you want.” It seems the message that when we are in God then we will know what He wants has been around for a long time!

  36. I love reading this blog as it’s so encouraging and enlightening. Thank you for sharing the true gospel and for pointing me towards Christ’s love and grace. I’m totally blown away by His grace and every new discovery is more food and balm for a soul that was starved and bruised by religion and man’s rules and ideas. Thank you for being a willing vessel of the truth.

    It was fascinating reading all the comments on this post. I was immensely disturbed by the article in Charisma as that’s what I’ve been brainwashed with for about thirty years. It takes a while to come out of it. The fruit in my life shows me though that the grace teachings are true – peace, joy and righteousness. God has truly restored to me the joy of my salvation. Reading what everyone had to say, just confirmed what I knew in my heart – that law-based Christianity is not what God wants for believers.

    I just have one question. How do you teach your children who have been taught religious thinking at Sunday School, the grace of God? Especially when they’re going into their teen years and set in their ideas. I’ve also been looking for a children’s grace devotional and can’t find one. Someone really needs to write one! I’m so tired of cutting out parts of the devotionals that I read to them because there is law inside.

    • That is the $64,000 question! I know there are quite a few parents who follow this blog and we’re all wondering the same thing. I have written a couple of posts on the subject but I’ll be the first to admit they don’t go very deep. (Look up parenting in the subject index.) I guess the main thing is to ensure your kids know unconditional love and that while their behavior may sometimes be unacceptable, they are always 100% loved and accepted no matter what they do.

      • Thank you Paul. Maybe one day I’ll write this devotional if God inspires me. But I suppose how we treat them and our relationship with God is what will stick in their minds much longer than any preaching.

    • Sit down and be open and honest with them about your walk. Tell them about the personal issues that put you down and how the teaching about grace and the real gospel has freed you from the errors of the past. I didn’t need to sit down with my oldest. She was there and aware when I would go into a verbal rant against God because of my depression and the legalistic bondage I was under. Thankfully most of the yuck I learned was not from our church it was from other sources. Our church was just asleep and coasting and I was hungry and seeking ended up going with the wrong teachers for awhile.
      She saw the difference because I got asked “Mommy were you saved before when you were having your problems?” My answer was that I didn’t know about before but I know I am now and that is all that matters.
      I would prayerfully go through your kids bible study, bible story books and glean out anything that is heavy handed against grace but the change in you will be a string help in the matter. I wish there was some good resources out there too.

  37. Hyper-Grace….ummm….that will elevate the Gospel of Grace by leaps and bounds. It will reach other believers who have not heard the unadulterated Gospel! It’s a good thing, Paul! But know, once the “name” is embraced, name-callers will find another one! I share your articles to everyone I know and they are being set free! They have met Jesus through your teachings! Michael Brown? Who is he? ;o)

  38. donavon freeman // February 28, 2013 at 4:08 am // Reply

    I agree wholeheartedly with Makala.It’s not about obedience,works,making ourselves perfect or behaviour.To prove my point,let’s talk about Samson.I will call it “Samson Gone Wild”.
    If you read Judges 16,you will within 15 verses Samson broke a buch of God’s statutes.
    Right after Samson got out of the bed with a prostitute,he found out the Gazites had surrounded him.He simply removed the giant city gates,and quietly walked up hill with them,bars and all.Now who gave him the strength to do such a feat?Why the Spirit did.But why would the Spirit assist a man who had just committed fornication(broken law)?
    But Samson was only getting warmed up.He then in the same chapter went to gentile territory where he should not have been and got with Delilah next.
    If that wasn’t enough he lied constantly about the secret of his strength…Doesn’t God hate liars?
    Yet whenever Samson needed the power of the Spirit it never failed him.Because in the covenant God made with Samson the secret to his strength was in his hair…and until his hair was cut off his behaviour was not under review..read for yourself…Samson killed for personal gain..he lost a bet..didn’t matter..the Spirit fell and he killed a 100 men to cover that bet..
    The new covenant was made between God and his son Jesus Christ and until Jesus is cut off our behaviour is not under review..does that mean I sin like Samson?God forbid…I have a new nature unlike Samson who lived to please the flesh…I’m born again and my race starts at the finish line….so i rest instead of run….

  39. Hyper Grace – if anyone wants to accuse me of embracing hyper-grace, all I can say is “Guilty as charged!! Why wouldn’t I embrace hyper grace – I mean, what other kind of grace is there?? Toned-down grace? Limited grace? Conditional grace? If it isn’t HYPER IN THE EXTREME then it isn’t grace and none of us has a hope!

    It’s just that we are so used to everything about His goodness becoming diminished and emasculated by religion, that some find it hard to accept how good He really is – HYPER GOOD!! Its like the word gospel – we are so used to hearing it being called the “Good News” and then limiting the word “good” to securing our place in Heaven because our sins are forgiven. Yes of course that is good but “gospel” is a hyper-word that means much, much more than that. It is the ” ALMOST TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE NEWS” !!!! Woo Hoo!! that lets us enjoy the benefits of eternal life NOW – healing, wholeness, salvation, provision, protection, bold confidence, full, unbroken access to His Presence, full adoption as His darling sons and daughters, complete union with Jesus – and thats just for starters!

    If Grace leaves us with anything short of all Jesus is and has, then I don’t want it because the gospel promises me that I am a joint-heir with Him and one in spirit with Him. Everything He has is mine! And He made it all possible without my permission, my co-operation or my help! That’s pretty hyper!! Hyper grace? Oh yes! Bring it on!!!!

    Thankful Gilly, UK

  40. What Dr Brown doesn’t understand is that grace is grace, as God had predestined from the foundations of the world. It’s human fallibility, which tries to put grace into a box, or put some measurement and weight to it. Grace is uncontainable! Legalists put some weight to grace by labelling it as hyper-grace and write about the sins that hyper grace people are committing, but if one shift the weight to the other end of the scale and call it legalism, we ALSO see a very ugly picture of self righteousness, hypocrisy and works. Jesus is not glorified there either. Didn’t Jesus reprimand the people for looking at the speck in his brother’s eye, whilst he has a log in his own eye? Sure He did! Now we can rightly say that legalists are of the one camp and libertines of the other camp. Both camps are trying to remove the specks from one another’s eyes, but they’re unable to do so because they’re blinded by the logs in their own eyes! Whooo!!
    We grace believers are all familiar with legalism, we’ve been there, done that and got the T-shirts, and surely we are grieved by those who flash out the grace card when confronted about their unChristlike behaviour.
    There is nothing we can do about them in their own camps, but pray for them. Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith and He is working in every one of them and us. We, in His Grace, have our shortcomings, but we look up to Jesus. The world is watching us and surely they see all of us, who call ourselves Christians, as a bunch of clowns. Let us not get drawn into the ways of carnal Christians.

    I hope I make sense.

  41. I have just left the page of Charisma News with exasperation. There seems to be an assumption by Dr. Brown’s supporters, if not Dr. Brown himself, that the truth is already settled on the matter and anyone that disagrees with them in “serious error.”

    Honestly, I find Dr. Brown’s patent hyperarminianism to be the “serious error.” He puts himself in the same category as Spurgeon and Lloyd-Jones when he says: “So, to repeat, I teach and preach biblical grace as did Spurgeon and Lloyd-Jones (although I am not a Calvinist).” But such a statement is, at best, grossly misleading. You can see my exchange with him here.

    I don’t see what he bothered to deal with the substance of my arguments. He claims that he doesn’t have time to respond to me, but apparently he has time to chime in on a whole lot of other comments there.

    I don’t believe that the noteriety or popularity of someone determines the truth of what they are saying. That said, Dr. Brown needs to be put into context lest their be any misunderstanding: He is not as “mainstream” in Christian thought with regard his views on grace as some might be tempted to think. Oh sure, he’ll find support among the Wesleyans, the Holiness and Pentecostals. The Churches of Christ might like a lot of what he says. But Luther, Spurgeon, Nee, Billy Graham, and many others would disagree with his soteriology. I can find Andrew Farley’s book and Steve McVey’s book in LifeWay (a Baptist bookstore). And grant, Michael Brown can get published by Baker and other mainstream Evangelical presses when he talks about the Old Testament and Jewish concerns, but outside of that?

  42. Seriously, i will rather accept the grace of God and live a SEEMINGLY unrighteous life (people call it sin) than live a SEEMINGLY righteous life OUTSIDE of God’s grace. The latter is a form of godliness that totally denies the power of God.

    Debola .O.
    Nigeria

  43. A certain philosopher observed that there are 3 stages when introducing a ‘new’ truth:
    1) it will be opposed
    2) it will be violently opposed
    3) it will be self-evident i.e. “I knew it all along”
    I would estimate that the Grace Movement is somewhere in the 2nd stage.It therefore, has some way to go .before it is firmly established -ONCE AGAIN.
    All Movements or Revivals are started by GOD.in order to re-establish his original intention.for the Church.
    There is nothing ‘new’ in Christianity .God wants a blemish-free, wrinkle-free Bride. He’s ironing out the wrinkles with His’ irons’ – His highly anointed, Preachers of Grace.

    The Grace ‘Movement’ is a temporary vehicle to re-establish Grace as the operational factor -NOT the Law – in our Christian life. It will ALWAYS be opposed and persecuted. That’s a given.
    As Pastor joseph Prince says -:a dog may bark and bark at the moon; but the moon still s-h-i-n-e-s.
    Not all opponents fall into the same category a). There are many who are genuinely upset about the so-called ‘errors. They will eventually find their way out and end up in group number 3)(above).They are true seekers.

    b) Many will never accept the truth.

    c) The rest will fall somewhere in between, and not have the peace and satisfaction which God desires for them.

  44. Yeah I have no problem with “hyper” grace just as I have no problem radical grace or hyper/radical love. I mean, it’s God we’re talking about here. He’s immeasurably more than we could imagine.

  45. john farmer // March 3, 2013 at 7:01 am // Reply

    The main things are the plain things, I was once told. Call it what you wish, Paul said it was part of the gospel that saves us, if we continue it, which gives us the ability to stand in it, and there I shall plant my feet upon that solid Rock.

  46. Paul..your website is great I am highly inspired by your revelation and have started a blog( i think i read in one of your books that this is a good way to rest.. on THE ROCK ) on Gods love with the name ‘puregraceindian’ .. not sure how that name sounds compared with hypergrace!! but agree we should not be dividing ‘ One Christ ‘ -God bless .(google -puregraceindian – u find me)

  47. Dear Paul, so forgive me, this is meant to encourage but I’m a little bit confused by it all really! Are we really to be defined by what movement we belong to in Christendom? Grace, hyper-grace, a little bit of law and grace… I mean if there is only one Lord, one faith, one baptism etc then shouldn’t we just be defining and basing our lives simply on the fact that we, as born again people are only, truly witnessing to the reality of Christ in this World, when we realise that we all drink from the same cup & that we only really understand that it is His life in us that is the foundation of everything that happens in us and through is. Isn’t this the way it’s always been? If we are Christians (IE we have received this new life) then that is surely the only group we belong to …. and that includes Dear Dr Brown (who has a much bigger brain than most of us). Otherwise, how can we really love God and love each other authentically and sincerely with all this division? When I read the opening chapter of 1 John that is vs 1-8 …. there it is, the basis for fellowship… Bless you Paul.
    Jason

  48. I find so much revelation in Luke 15 and the story of the prodigal son. He came back home prepared to be a servant and his first work was to confess his sins but the father ignored him but instead threw a party. I don’t think the father ever thought about what the son had been doing but only that he had decided to return and then receive the grace offered by the father. Does not 1st Cor 13 say we should take no notice of offenses. God would not instruct us to do that if he took notice. God has forgiven and forgotten so why should we try to remind Him. His response is “I don’t know what you are talking about.”

  49. I saw Steve Hill on ” It’s Supernatural.” A television show.I have never heard of Steve Hill..He had a lot to do with the Brownsville revival in Florida.He endorses Michael Brown.It seems he had a vision of an avalanche and related it to false teachings in the church.He has a book out “Spiritual Avalanche”A warning about a teaching that is out that says we can sin all we want,because we are forgiven.Who teaches that?That is not what the Grace message says.What is going on here.Why all this division?He was also healed of cancer.He was on his death bed making plans for his cemetery plots with his wife.He was healed.Man I was not making plans for my DH death.I believed up into last moment.Seems he said he would win 1 million souls.Then he was healed.OM GOSH.I don”t get all this.Guess my husband did not say the magic words.Anyone?

    • I watched it too. Apparently that message is out there but I have no idea who preaches it. For the longest time I’ve even noticed contradictions coming from preachers on television. And usually it happens almost simultaneously. But the best advice I’ve heard a few give is to check it out in the Word. They’ll even say “don’t take my word for it”. We do that and just pray for each other and let God handle it.

  50. Reading this is so freeing! I am 17 and was saved a year and a half ago. Have heard all this stuff on “grace” both good and bad. So now I know, I can go and continue to sleep with as many guys I want and Jesus still loves me and I don’t even have to repent! That is freeing! I can even have sex with some of the older men I know for money, and God will still love me! So freeing to know that I can do all these things that the “religious pharisee” call sin, but God still accepts me! I even occasionally partake in homosexual sex, and knowing that God still loves me and that I don’t have to feel guilty or bad or it cause I am under grace makes me feel so much better about myself! Thank you for clarifying that! Take care!

    • Leigha, you know lying’s a sin right? Rev 21:8 says “all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone.” So you had better hope that this gospel of God’s grace, which you have shamelessly mocked, is true, otherwise you are toast.

      And that’s no joke.

      • Leigha, I hate to burst your bubble but when you were 15 and a half you said you were saved. That would mean that Jesus and the Holy Spirit came into your heart. If you have felt guilty until you read this post then they weren’t living through you. The Holy Spirit convicts the sinner and convinces the Christian he has the righteousness of Jesus. God loves you and so does Jesus but God will not let sin into Heaven. Keep up your lifestyle and if you don’t feel free then you really didn’t accept Jesus. Thank God, He is a God of second chances.

      • gotta admit Paul it does sound like a mock,to much in your face.

      • Brother Donavon Freeman used the appropriate scripture in revealing the heart and grace of Jesus to reconcile women with broken backgrounds back to His love (Woman at the well and prostitute to be stoned in the temple). But obviously the works of the saviour were/are the least concerns of the pharisees/religious. However, clearly these women understood Mark 8:36: For what shall it profit a man/person, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Satire/mockery or not, I’m surprised noone took apart her arguments.

        >”Have heard all this stuff on “grace” both good and bad.”

        Nope, you certainly did not experience the hearing of faith. It’s not head knowledge, but a heart revelation and thus spiritual transformation under Grace.

    • You mock the blood of Christ young lady. You are writing hand in hand with the accuser of the brethren.

    • chrisvanrooyen // April 14, 2013 at 5:02 pm // Reply

      Hi leigha.
      Yes you are correct you can do all these things. The only question Jesus will be asking you is. Do I know you. So if you can maintain a relationship with him while doing all the above, I can assure you.I have no doubt you will be in heaven , you see it is about relationship not rules.

      • Chris, I know what you are trying to say (“All things are lawful,” 1 Cor 10:23). But I don’t know that I would say it that way as it may be misconstrued as giving permission to sin – something grace never does. Grace brings freedom to choose without ever encouraging us to choose ungodliness (Tit 2:12). Grace says, “Choose life!” – as you know.

    • Liegha, a friend once said to me, to know the book is one thing, to know the author is different,you need to know the author,when the holy spirit takes up residence in you,your nature begins to change, If your looking for a free ticket, you’ve got that anyway, I cant help but think you want a free pass which makes me question your sincerity am I helping out guys ,or should I shut up.

    • i think liegha is probably one of those legalistic people making fun of grace .

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