Recently I ran across this tweet, to which I replied.
This one “Jeremiah Johnson” reminds me a lot of Peter Youngren in word and deed. If you haven’t read of my interactions with Peter Youngren regarding this topic, you can read it here: https://christopherenoch.org/?p=83
I have no doubt that Johnson is well-meaning. And I have no doubt he is doing his best to serve God according to the knowledge that he has. Note: I said, “according to the knowledge that he has.”
It is quite apparent that Johnson has fallen prey to the “feel good” gospel “ear ticklers” that so plague the Church today. As if that were not bad enough, he jumps right in and joins them.
As you can see in the tweets above, “Burt and Ernie” also opts into believing in a god who is more like children’s character Barney, than the TRUE God of the Bible.
The ever-smiling, giddy “Barney-god” gospel message is as follows:
I love you,
You love me,
We’re a happy family,
with a great big hug,
and a kiss from me to you,
Won’t you say you love me too!
I love you,
You love me,
We’re best friends like friends should be,
With a great big hug,
And a kiss from me to you,
Won’t you say you love me too!
Everyone knows there is nothing you can do to anger Barney!
I spent nearly 23 years deep in the Word of God, planting and pastoring churches, and in passionate evangelism. And yes, I ashamedly admit there was a time I believed, and preached this kind of message… until I got into the Word of God and started thinking for myself.
Having said that, I have somewhat mixed emotions on this because I was there. I know how easy it is to be deceived – to believe “big name” evangelists. I know how easy it is to confuse modern-day corrupt Christianity with solid Biblical doctrine. I know how easy it is to take some of Bible, rather than taking the whole counsel of God; to get caught up in the buzz of a certain movement, denomination and doctrine. I know how easy it is to willingly blindfold yourself to the in-your-face clear teachings of scripture.
Its easy to believe in Americanized Christianity, and ignore what the Bible actually says not withstanding the culture and context of the Bible. I’m a firm believer that if we were to go back in a time machine to the days of Jesus, Peter, James, and John we would be shocked to see how different their method, message, and services were compared to “church” today!
I stand amazed how Christian leaders who brag about their faith in the Bible can turn a blind eye to so much of what it says – for no other purpose than to protect and support their trendy, popular, feel-good gospel.
Yes, I have been around the block many times, and I have ran into far too many people like Johnson who preaches this all-loving, hyper-nice, never-get-anyone-mad, Barney-style Jesus. But I find it quite notable that EVERY TIME I challenge them to a face-to-face debate, armed with nothing other than the Word of God – like a mouse they retreat into the woodwork, hard to catch, and hard to corner. And sadly, Johnson follows in the footsteps of his spiritual fathers in this regard.
They are so quick to proclaim “peace, peace” when there is no peace. But when someone calls them out on it, they are so quick to willingly ignore and/or censor them. Ironically Jeremiah should read the book of Jeremiah again. It has a lot to say about these kind of prophets.
Indeed, the only way they can maintain such a fictitious faith is to ignore and/or censor any opposition. Why? I believe that deep inside, perhaps even in their subconscious mind they know they don’t stand a chance up against the truth. It is inevitable that believing in fantasy fosters insecurity. They must protect their doctrine – and ignoring/censoring those who call them out is the only way to do it. They turn a deaf ear, and a blind eye to the messengers of God in this respect, yet all the while they proclaim “love, love”.
As I said in the tweets, this kind of hog-wash is totally against the Bible, Genesis to Revelation. I could easily make my point using almost any book of the New Testament. Jesus’ own words, the Book of Acts, Paul, James, Jude, Peter, and John, not to mention the rest of the Bible is full of doctrine that is contrary to the counterfeit-grace gospel.
There is just so much in the Bible that opposes Johnson’s views. Which one of the thousand trees do we chop down first?
It is not my intention to write an exhaustive article here touching on all the fallacies of Johnson’s doctrine here. I encourage anyone seeking the truth on this topic to read my other blog posts.
But let’s touch the tip of this iceberg with this passage:
Revelation, chapters 2, and 3.
Here is a brief point-form overview of these chapters:
- Jesus is clearly speaking to the Church, not the world.
- Jesus WARNS the Church of Ephesus to REPENT or else He will REMOVE their lampstand. For those who don’t know: Jesus made it clear in chapter 1 that the lampstand represents the Church itself! In street language, Jesus said, if they don’t repent He will take them out! … and leave them in the darkness. Jesus made it clear in the gospels that darkness is one of the attributes of the everlasting torments of hell. Trust me, you don’t want the Son of Man to pull the plug on your lampstand! Trust me, you don’t want the Son of Almighty God to turn the lights off on you! Trust me, Johnson, you won’t be sitting in the outer darkness, twiddling your thumbs saying, “Wow, Jesus loves me. mmmm, I feel it!”
- Jesus WARNS the Church of Pergamos to REPENT or else He will come and FIGHT AGAINST THEM with the sword of His mouth. And we know that the Sword of His Mouth is much more powerful than any carnal, earthly sword.
- Jesus WARNS the Church of Thyatira saying, “Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they REPENT of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am He which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.” Sounds so loving, doesn’t it, Mr. Johnson? Oh! I forgot you don’t serve this Jesus. You serve the “golden calf” Hippie Jesus who would never do anything but bless us, and never anger anyone.
- Jesus WARNS the Church of Sardis to REPENT because their WORKS are not perfect before God. If they don’t repent, He will come like a thief upon them! Hmmm. What do theives do in the middle of the night? Do they come to tickle your fancy? Do they come to give you a great big hug and tell you how much they love you? Hmmmm
- Jesus WARNS the Church of Laodicea to REPENT or else He will vomit them out of His mouth. Would you like to be the repent-less vomit of God?
And no, Johnson, when Jesus treats you like vomit, it’s not an act of love. I hope you know that already.
Can you really spit at Him, kick Him, shout and abuse Him without incurring any wrath?
That’s what Barney may say, but let’s see what the God of the Bible actually says:
Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.
28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.”
31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Go ahead and spit on, kick, shout at, and abuse Barney. He’ll just get right back up again as giddy, and as loving, and as goofy as ever. He’s too stupid to get angry. But keep me a million light-years away from anyone who even gets close to the aforementioned warning from God!
Yes, that’s a harsh word from the person who is sold as the all-loving, ever-kind, all-understanding God.
The Bible is full of passages like this. God says what He means, and means what He says. Yet people still choose to put the blinders on. Most of the counterfeit-grace ear-ticklers just ignore it. Sad, but true.
Can God ever get angry with you? The answer is staring you right in the face. Will you take the blindfold off? Will you dance around it like a bunny rabbit, ignoring what is in your face? Will you continue to be deceived by the deceived – the popular Christian leaders of today?
I agree with Johnson that twitter is not a place to get deep into the Word. But as of the writing of this article Johnson is nowhere to be found. When he said that we could have a productive conversation outside of Twitter, I thought to myself, “Wow! Will this be the first of his kind to actually stand up to Word of God? Will he actually follow through with this? Or will he hide in ignorance, making up some lame excuses like the rest of them?”
If you have the truth, you have nothing to fear.
As of the writing of this article, he has not yet put his actions where his mouth is. After I challenged him, he disappeared. What does that tell you?
After writing this article I found a message from Johnson saying that he is willing to speak with me on the phone. I apologized for not getting his message sooner, and I immediately gave him my personal phone number.
I got a reply a few days later saying that he will probably call next week – that he has a lot of snow where he is at.
As of today, he has not called.
After pulling teeth with Johnson, and more-or-less backing him into a corner, he finally called me.
I explained that preaching nothing but grace, and not addressing sin as per Bible, people actually get the false impression that it’s ok to sin because grace covers it. Johnson said that he doesn’t believe that grace preaching makes people more comfortable in their sin. He believes that grace preaching will cause people to come out of sin. I protested that people don’t know what sin is because of the lack of preaching on the subject.
I asked Johnson, “Do you believe that Jesus took the full wrath of God against sin?”
“Yes”, Johnson replied
“What is the FULL wrath of God against sin?”, I asked.
“Is it hell?”, I asked
“Yes”, Johnson replied.
“How long? a few minutes? Hours? days? years? or eternity?”
“Eternity”, Johnson said confidently.
“Jesus didn’t paid that price!” I said.
“Jesus didn’t spend eternity in hell. Therefore He didn’t take the FULL wrath of God against sin. He didn’t so-called “pay” the FULL price” I said.
“Well”, Johnson stammered, “you just have to believe”
“Believe what the Bible doesn’t teach?”, I said, “Believe what the Bible doesn’t teach about the lamb sacrifice?”
“We’re not going to see eye-to-eye on this”, Johnson said, “I have to go”
With that the telephone conversation ended.