Sunday, January 8, 2012

Christian Perfection

Part III: Doctrines Old & New
    The doctrine of Christian Perfection is a crowning glory of NTCC. They teach very forcefully that the believer is equipped with power to overcome sin to the extent that, with proper attention given to spiritual things, the heart, soul and body are protected against transgression of every kind. They do not teach that the sin nature is eradicated, only that it’s inflluence is replaced with that of the Divine Nature at the point of conversion. Neither do they teach that all future sins are covered by The Atonement, but that these must be confessed individually.
  This contradicts the common belief that “I’m just a sinner saved by Grace”, and places an emphasis upon Free Will as opposed to any and all forms of Calvinism. This doctrine comes to us through time owing in part to the intellectual labors of the Rennaisance Dutch Theologian Jacobus Arminius, as well as to the establishment of the Methodist Societies in America under the direction of John Wesley.
  It is a doctrine that has much to recommend it, and is by no means “peculiar”, yet is strangely applied in the hands of a group like New Testament Christian Church. In order to avoid the danger inherent in any sort of spiritual monarchy; in order to avoid the social stratification that takes place when the righteousness of some Christians is promoted above that of others, a great deal of severity must be exercised upon one’s personal claims. If the leader of any group claims to be without shortcomings in any area, then it is no wonder if he is accused of tyranny. Nothing but tyrants ever come as a result of self-superiority. It is one thing to inspire the saints with teaching that exalts the power of God to save “to the uttermost”, and yet it is quite another thing to insult the saints’ intelligence.
  R.W. Davis claims that he cannot remember the last time he sinned. He did not say this one time. He has said this on many occasions. Is this intended to inspire confidence in the ability of Christ to sanctify the believer to a high degree, or is this intended to inspire confidence in the Leader as “God’s Man”? It would not seem that personal examples could substitute for the work of the Holy Spirit in teaching and confirming that which the Word of God already says, and if a doctrine stands up to scrutiny, then it need not be augmented with anecdotal evidence. Therefore we must conclude that something else is motivating R.W. Davis to make this claim. Judging from the esteem bestowed upon him by many of his followers, it can only serve to reinforce his stranglehold on godly authority. The Twelve Apostles have not sinned for at least a millenium and nine centuries, give or take a decade or two, and if we were to ask each of them, there is no doubt they could all remember the last time they sinned (leaving aside the “forgetfulness” of God and the ability of heaven’s glories to heal all hurts and so forth).
  Every time Davis adds to the Bible, he sins. Every time he loads another man’s conscience with unbearable burdens, he sins. Every time he accuses those who leave his organization of gross iniquity, he sins. Every time he equates a person’s standing with the organization with his standing before God, he sins. Every time he grows outraged at contradiction, he sins. Every time he publicly humiliates and intimidates one of God’s children, he sins.
  R.W. Davis makes the same claims that all cult leaders make; that everything he does was envisioned by God, that God directs his movements, that he has seen angels, that God has placed upon him His personal stamp of approval because, in God’s words according to Davis, “You have served me faithfully.” This storied perfection gives rise to the cult following he has established within the ranks of both ministers and laity who view him as something more than a mere mortal. These naive brothers and sisters in the Lord are searching for a shepherd, someone to lead them and feed them and show them Christ. What they are getting is the Wizard of Oz; a carnival salesman with a smoke-making machine. 

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