“An Okay Christ”
Those who preach Christ yet relate to Him casually are presumptuous and have never met Him. They speak of another Jesus, one made in the image of sinful man, and not the sinless Savior. True preachers who have seen the Lord are not light and breezy, confident in the flesh. “Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me. For my beauty was turned within me to corruption, and I kept no strength” (Daniel 10:8 MKJV).
Barbara asked us to look into Norman Grubb:
I have many friends who are strong supporters of a man by the name of Norman Grubb. They share many of his articles and written works. I’m troubled by the fact that many seem to give a man and not Christ a place of premminence. Are you familiar with this gentleman and can you perhaps give guidence about his writings.
Let me begin with something that may sound like sour grapes, because we certainly are not esteemed highly among men:
“And He said to them, ‘You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God’” (Luke 16:15 MKJV).
The moment you find someone charismatic and well-loved of men in religious circles, you smell a rat. Not that they always smell like rats. They appear as fine and well-bred race horses. It is the men of God that appear as rats to the world.
Didn’t the world crucify the Lord? Didn’t the respectable, reputable high society folk denounce Christ and His followers? They certainly did! And if we read the Biblical records and histories of the ancient and true prophets and sages of the Lord, we find that they weren’t popular at all. They were hated, shunned, persecuted, hunted down, and killed.
The genuine ministers of God had no formal religious credentials, and if they ever had any, they forsook them when Jesus Christ called and chose them to serve Him. True believers are to beware of those who have, use, and respect the credentials of this religious world. The minister of Christ will echo the words of Paul the apostle:
Philippians 3:2-11 MKJV
(2) Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision party.
(3) For we are the circumcision who worship God in the spirit and rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh;
(4) though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other thinks that he has reason to trust in the flesh, I more.
(5) I was circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews. As regards the Law, I was a Pharisee;
(6) concerning zeal, persecuting the church; regarding the righteousness in the Law, blameless.
(7) But whatever things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
(8) But no, rather, I also count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them to be dung, so that I may win Christ
(9) and be found in Him; not having my own righteousness, which is of the Law, but through the faith of Christ, the righteousness of God by faith,
(10) that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death;
(11) if by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead.
We watched a video of “Doctor” Robert Schuller presenting Norman Grubb to his congregation at his cathedral:
Robert Schuller has nothing to do with the Lord Jesus Christ, except to worship Him in vain. He preaches another christ and another gospel, and if Norman Grubb possessed the true faith of the Son of God, he would not have honored Schuller and shared God’s glory with another. The Lord says:
“O sons of men, how long will you turn My glory into shame? Will you love vanity and seek after a lie? Selah” (Psalms 4:2 MKJV).
“I am the LORD; that is My Name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to graven images” (Isaiah 42:8 MKJV).
“Birds of a feather flock together.” This saying is very true and I know of no exceptions.
In their conversation, Norman Grubb made a statement at 2:12 that sums up his gospel and that of Robert Schuller very well:
“An okay person with an okay christ inside me.”
That sounds appealing and good, but how good is it? Let’s consider the implications of that statement, which are so contrary to the testimony of the Word of God.
Let’s begin with Jesus Christ. He is not just “an okay Christ.” Even if there were other true christs, He is not to be compared to them as “okay,” as though others might stand a chance of being somewhat okay as well. There is no comparison. He, Jesus Christ, is God, the Creator of all things. He is Lord of lords and King of kings. He is the One Who shed His lifeblood for us!
Other christs or not, He is more than “okay.” He didn’t perform some sort of mediocre act of might or courage or goodness to gain us, our approval, or devotion. He laid down His life for us, those at enmity with Him! This isn’t what anyone else has ever done or has ever been able to do for anyone at any time. Furthermore, not only was no other man or christ able to lay down his life for his enemies, he wasn’t able to take it up again from the grave. The fact that Jesus Christ raised Himself from the dead proved He is God and not just mere man or savior of any degree. Is that just “an okay christ”?
To speak of “an okay christ” is to terribly, blasphemously demean Jesus THE Christ. The statement is also highly deceptive (which Satan intends it to be), because appearing to speak of Jesus Christ in positive, complimentary terms. When that happens, the simple will say, “See? They’re talking about Jesus! They seem to know all about Him and love Him! They must be speaking the truth!”
Hearing the sweet error, the people walk away deceived, misled by missing the point of the Gospel. What is that point? Christ died for us and rose from the dead for our sins, overcoming death, yes, but one must repent of his sin, deny himself, and take up the cross of Christ – and that, daily – all because we are not okay.
But when did Norman Grubb ever cry out, like Jesus Christ, calling for repentance from, and confession of, sin? All four Gospels and the Book of Acts begin with the word, “Repent… for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” When did Norman Grubb confront the crowds as did John the Immerser, without flattery and tickling of ears?
“Then he said to the crowd that came forth to be baptized by him, ‘O generation of vipers! Who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come?’” (Luke 3:7 MKJV)
Can you imagine “Dr.” Robert Schuller or “Pastor” Benny Hinn or “Dr.” Billy Graham or the many televangelists today saying any such thing? That wouldn’t make one famous, popular, or successful, would it? It wouldn’t draw the crowds, pay the bills, and buy the multimillion-dollar estates, would it?
No, Norman Grubb was a very friendly and gracious gentleman, no doubt. He was a thinker, a popular speaker and writer. But he wasn’t a true, humble, faithful servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. He had never been to the cross, grave, and resurrection. He had wonderfully attractive theory and imagination, called “theological doctrine,” but he didn’t have the reality of the Lord Jesus Christ living in him, as he liked to believe and declare. If he did, he couldn’t possibly refer to the One at Whose feet he would have fallen as “an okay christ,” and he certainly wouldn’t have partnered with a false teacher like Schuller.
What about the “okay person” part of that statement? Who is “okay,” anyway? The Bible is very clear on that point:
Romans 3:10-18 MKJV
(10) As it is written: “There is none righteous, no not one;
(11) there is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God.
(12) They are all gone out of the way, they have together become unprofitable, there is none that does good, no, not one.
(13) Their throat is an open grave, with their tongues they have used deceit, the poison of asps is under their lips;
(14) whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness;
(15) their feet are swift to shed blood;
(16) destruction and misery are in their way,
(17) and the way of peace they did not know.
(18) There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
I can hear someone argue, “Well, that’s unregenerate man the Bible’s talking about, but when Jesus Christ comes and saves a man, isn’t he an ‘okay person’ then? He has Christ within. Doesn’t that make him ‘okay’?” But what did Jesus say of those who have the true faith?
“So likewise you, when you shall have done all the things commanded you, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants, for we have done what we ought to do’” (Luke 17:10 MKJV).
When the rich young ruler came to the Lord, he addressed Him as “good master.” And how did Jesus respond? He said: “Why do you call Me good? There is none good but one, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17 MKJV).
If the Son of God, in His sinless state of manhood, should not be referred to as “good” (or “okay”), how is it that a man reputed to have a close walk with this same Jesus speaks of himself as “an okay person”? How can he use that expression so proudly and emphatically?
The answer is that it is another Jesus of whom Norman Grubb speaks, much the same as the one of whom Robert Schuller testifies. They have another spirit, not the Spirit of Christ. These men are nice, friendly, popular, pleasing, loving, kind, and gentle, but those attributes can all easily be displayed by the carnal man. Indeed, they are displayed by many, even by those who don’t profess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of all men.
Imagine these men speaking of keeping the commandments, as Jesus counseled the rich young ruler. It doesn’t happen! Robert Schuller and Norman Grubb preach a social gospel of a righteousness born of the flesh – with “YOUR love, love God; with YOUR goodness, be good and do good to your neighbor; with YOUR religiosity and power, worship God.”
But what does Isaiah say about OUR goodness? He’s not so positive and socially correct about it:
“But we are all as the unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as a menstruation cloth. And we all fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isaiah 64:6 MKJV).
Does that sound like “an okay person” to you? Perhaps this letter will help your friends, but we have learned the sad truth and power of this saying:
“For a time will be when they will not endure sound doctrine, but they will heap up teachers to themselves according to their own lusts, tickling the ear. And they will turn away their ears from the truth and will be turned to myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4 MKJV).
What about Norman Grubb’s proposed prayer? “Good morning, God! What are You up to today? Can I be a part of it? May I? Thank You.”
I like to be friendly with God, too. And why shouldn’t we be, if we can? But can we be light, presumptuous, and disrespectful with God? Do we realize just Who He is? How did John react to Him when He appeared to him at the beginning of Revelation? “Oh, hi God! What are You up to?”
“And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying to me, ‘Do not fear, I am the First and the Last, and the Living One, and I became dead, and behold, I am alive for ever and ever, Amen. And I have the keys of hell and of death’” (Revelation 1:17-18 MKJV).
Why was John reacting that way, so much unlike Norman Grubb? It is because it was Jesus Christ Who appeared to him.
Is God not “up to” innumerable things all the time? Is He not doing things with us while we sleep? Are we not a part of His doing at every moment, whether we’re aware of it or not? Shall we ask permission and presume He will include us? Will He not talk to us when He pleases? This prayer has apparently wonderful words and seems to express a pleasant, God-friendly attitude, but how does God view it?
It’s all in the motive and attitude. Is it a prayer out of childlike innocence or self-righteousness? If it were the former, there would be no problem, but what we see with Mr. Grubb is a presumptuous, anti-Christ attitude, not innocence. That is a definite problem.
You asked, “Can you perhaps give guidence about his writings.”
Norman Grubb’s writings will have truth in them, as do the writings of most, if not all, false teachers, but on the whole, his philosophy and perspective of Christ is a misleading one, attractive but detrimental to the simple and ignorant.
Barbara, the world has gone after pleasures and flimflam like starving sharks after blood. It is said that there is a great hunger for God in the world today. We find that to be a lie, and surely the Scriptures declare it is a lie. Didn’t Jesus say that in the day of His coming, it would be as in Noah’s day? They apparently hungered and thirsted for God then, too, but they were after that which tickled their ears, not the truth.
Jesus asked the question: “Yet when the Son of Man comes, shall He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8 MKJV)
Was that question a serious inquiry or rhetorical? After years of walking with the Lord, we have found it to be a question Jesus knew the answer to, and that answer was “No.”
Man’s nature is dead set against the truth. That’s the choice man made in Eden in Adam. However, when God decides to save a soul, His Spirit “moves on the face of the waters” and says, “Let there be light,” and there is light. Only then will we see signs of a yearning for truth, and not until then. Jeremiah said, “O LORD, I know that the way of man does not belong to man; it is not in man who walks to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23 MKJV).
We are entirely at His mercy, Barb.
Read The True Marks of a Cult and Diabolical Doctrines, which will tell so much more about any false teachers and those presuming and declaring to be men of God. You could also read The Lovely Essence of Satan and The Nature of Deception.
Your concern was about people focusing on man instead of on Jesus Christ. One of the marks of a false prophet or teacher is that the focus is on him. Take, for example, Luis Palau, who has recently been brought to our attention through someone with my son’s new work. I was amazed, for example, at how his name is in lights everywhere when he plans a “festival.” We watched the video of his event in Guatemala in 2009.
We can ask ourselves some simple questions: Would Jesus glorify Himself over the Father? Would He use worldly entertainment to attract sinners to the Gospel? Would the apostle Paul or any of the prophets or apostles of God come to some city and publish their names like that?
Did the atmosphere that Palau created encourage and inspire repentance of sins? Were there people weeping and confessing their sins at Palau’s “festivals,” OR WERE THEY PARTYING AND HAVING A GOOD TIME? Were people delivered of sins, devils, and worldly works?
Luis Palau has been an associate of Billy Graham. His policies and beliefs on most issues are much the same, including his attitude toward the Catholic Church. He works with it, including it in his “festivals.” At these events, the Catholics are permitted to have their tent, hand out their literature, and sell rosaries! That is abomination to God.
Luis Palau’s association with an apostate religious organization is nothing less than “fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.” But what do the Scriptures have to say about that?
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11 MKJV).
Barb, most professing Christians love Billy Graham and esteem him as a great man of God, willing millions to Christ (he never won one). If Elijah would have been justified in preaching and prophesying to Israel in league with the prophets of Baal, then Luis Palau and Billy Graham are justified in what they do and have done. But what did Elijah do? He gathered the 450 false prophets and had them slain.
God doesn’t tolerate mixture; never did (as in Noah’s day) and never will.
Norman Grubb, Billy Graham, Luis Palau, Robert Schuller, and countless others all preach some truth, but promote another Jesus and an easy gospel, and have deceived millions, and those millions love to have it so.
Can you be sure your new birth was the real birth of the Spirit of God, or was it one of those easy and light conversions common to so many by such a gospel as these men and thousands of others preach through thousands of denominations?
One of the arguments carnal men use to justify their carnal works is that we have modern media at our disposal that the early Church didn’t have and that if the early disciples had access to these, they would have used them. The question is not about using available media but of how it is used. Here we are, communicating with you through the internet. Is that not the most modern form of media?
Some say that the end justifies the means. But does it? God is just as interested in how we are getting somewhere as He is in where we are going. As someone has said, with a different application, “Enjoy the trip; it is the destination.” The way we do things forms us, and our destination is that formation of our character and spiritual standing and relationship with God. Men like Grubb and Graham can’t glorify God by stealing His glory. Their end (and the end of those who follow them) is evil, not good.
I do believe you are going to have a difficult time with what we teach. Indeed, you will wonder if, or come to the conclusion that, we are the false ones. Our message is very different from the common one because we speak from God, not from men.
The will of the Lord Jesus Christ be done. One day, all men shall know Him. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father.
In His Name,