Wednesday, July 12, 2006

John Hagee and Two-Covenant Theology

One of the things that bothers me most when I talk about preachers with today's Christians is the inability to distinguish between preachers that are orthodox and those that are not. A few years ago, a lady in the church I was serving told me that she enjoyed watching preachers on television. When I asked who she liked the most, she told me David Jeremiah, Charles Stanley, John Hagee, and Joel Osteen. If you know anything about these four men, you know the wide theological scope we just covered. Before I go any further, let me just say this...if you can't tell the difference between the preaching of David Jeremiah and John Hagee, then you need to start studying the Bible again...get back in Sunday not pass go, do not collect $200.

Anyway, John Hagee seems to be a favorite of many older people in the congregations I have served. I guess his style of communication reminds them more of what one man called "real preaching." You know, it's the huffing, puffing, blow-your-house-down style of preaching. Very big bad wolf. Moving on...because of the inability to distinguish between one theology and another, it seems necessary to point certain, major errors.

Today's error of choice is commonly called two covenant theology, or dual covenant theology. This view holds that it is unnecessary, and even wrong, to seek to evangelize Jewish people because they have their own covenant with God and do not need Christ. Hagee has said, "The Jewish people have a relationship to God through the law of God as given through Moses...I believe that every Gentile person can only come to God through the cross of Christ. I believe that every Jewish person who lives in the light of the Torah, which is the word of God, has a relationship with God and will come to redemption. The law of Moses is sufficient enough to bring a person into the knowledge of God until God gives him a greater revelation. And God has not..."

Re-read that last part...about the law of Moses being sufficient. I agree that the Old Testament is God's Word, but it is incomplete without Christ because the greatest revelation of God came in Christ Himself. Anyway, here's some more Hagee. "There are right now Jewish people on this earth who have a powerful and special relationship with God," declares Hagee in one of his books. "They have been chosen by the 'election of grace' in which God does what he does without asking man to approve or understand it. Let us put an end to the Christian chatter that all the Jews are lost and can't be in the will of God until they convert to Christianity! . . . there are a certain number of Jews in relationship with God right now through divine election."

The truth is that this inclusive view of Hagee's finds no foundation in the revelation of Scripture. In John 14:6, Jesus declared, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Hagee might answer, "That's only for the Gentiles." The problem is that Jesus' audience was Jewish...He was speaking to His disciples. Plus, he clearly states that "no one" can come to the Father apart from Him. Though the disproving of two covenant theology could be quite lengthy, let's look at just two strong texts to help us as we speak to friends who may listen to and read Hagee.

First, Hebrews 11:39-40, speaking of the faithful ones of the Old Testament, says, "These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect." The Old Testament believers did not receive what they were promised because the Messiah had not yet come. It is in the coming of Christ, His substitutionary death on the cross, and in His resurrection that the "better" came and the promise was fulfilled. These saints looked forward to the coming of God's Messiah. Now, together with those who believe, they are made perfect. Salvation did not come through their observance of the law of came through Jesus Christ. Why? Because there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved...not even for the Jews of any era.

The second, and clearer, text is Romans 3:20-24: "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we became conscious of sin. But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." Could it be any clearer than that?

I know more could be listed here, and you may want to share some in response. However, the point here is that we have people in our churches who are watching John Hagee, taking notes, and loving every minute of it...believing themselves to be growing deep in their faith. They are being led away from the Gospel, so let us weep for them, pray for them, and call them out from under this false teacher's ministry.