New Creation Church pastor Joseph Prince “misrepresented” the biblical teaching about repentance in his new blog, according to a Christian radio host and author.
Dr. Michael Brown, host of the radio program “Line of Fire” and author of books such as “Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message” and “The Grace Controversy,” pointed to a blog released by Prince regarding the Jewish Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur on Oct. 11.
“Today, Jews still observe Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement. As the name suggests, it is a day set aside to make atonement for one’s sins,” Prince wrote on his blog. “But for Christians, this beautiful feast points to Jesus and what He did for us on the cross. Because of His sacrifice, all our sins have already been perfectly atoned for.”
Prince added that should Christians sin, they have “an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous,” who is the “propitiation” for sins.
He further said that Christians should no longer be caught up with the idea of punishing themselves every time they sin, saying this practice is not what biblical repentance is about. He said inflicting self punishment turns repentance into a form of “human work,” which will never atone for sins.
Prince said a person’s sins have been “punished fully” in Christ.
These truths are “life-transforming message,” Brown wrote in an article for Charisma News.
However, Prince’s blog presents a “mixture of beautiful truth with potentially dangerous error” that is found in most hyper-grace teachings, Brown said.
He pointed to a portion of the blog that he said downplayed the significance of repentance, which is extremely important in the life of a believer:
“Now, it does not say that if anyone repents, we have an Advocate with the Father. It says that if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father. The moment a child of God sins, straightaway, his Advocate, Jesus Christ, goes into action to pray for and protect him,” Prince’s blog said.
Prince went on to say that “repentance” in the Greek is called metanoia, which means “to change one’s mind.”
Brown said the blog never mentioned that a person who wants to follow Christ must “turn from sin to be in right relationship with God (something taught throughout the entire New Testament).”
He added that Prince also “wrongly defined” repentance.
"’Repentance’ in the Bible means a change of mind, heart and direction,” Brown said. “It means the recognition that you are heading the wrong way on the highway, then making a complete about face—with God's help and grace—and heading in a brand-new direction. But if you recognize you're heading in the wrong direction—in other words, you have a change of mind—but you don't turn around, you have not repented in the biblical sense of the word.”
Misrepresenting the message of repentance is “a potantially fatal omission,” Brown said.
He concluded his article with these truths that are vital in a believer’s life: looking to the cross, confessing one’s sins by the power of the Spirit, renouncing those sins and turning away from the sins one renounced.
According to an article from Grace to You, one of the problems of the controversial hyper-grace teaching is that it focuses more on man’s depravity and God’s forgiveness but does not emphasize the power of God’s enabling grace to transform lives.
“It paints the sinner into a helpless corner, and makes God’s grace a drop cloth,” the article said. “ That’s not a biblically accurate portrayal of the transformation the Lord has wrought in the lives of His people. Yes, we are dependent on His grace, but not as a daily excuse for our sinful shortcomings.”