Fall To Grace is deceptively dangerous
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." 2 Timothy 4:3-4
Jude 3 tells us: "earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."
Based on what they have written in, Fall To Grace, Jay Bakker and Martin Edlund are false teachers. The apostle Paul is our example of how to "earnestly contend for the faith."
"For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." Acts 20:29-30
"But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed." Galatians 2:11
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them." -Romans 16:17
Because they preach their delusions instead of the Bible according to Jesus, Christians are told to:
1. Mark them
2. Watch out for them
3. Avoid them
Why? Because false teachers:
1. Cause divisions
2. Put obstacles in the way of truth
3. Upset people's faith
4. Cause dissensions (strife) and hindrances
5. Make others fall away from Christian faith
6. Lead others into sin
7. Defy God's revealed truth
A. By knowing what the Bible says. "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah 8:20
B. By walking in the Spirit. "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." Galatians 5:16
C. By obeying the leading of the Holy Spirit. "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." Romans 8:14
D. By rejecting false teachers and false teaching, as God instructs us. "A man that is an heretick, after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself." Titus 3:10-11
The quotations and page numbers which follow
are from the Advance Uncorrected Proofs
sent to me by the publisher.
Rick Brentlinger reviews, Fall To Grace
by Jay Bakker with Martin Edlund
I do not know Jay Bakker personally. From everything I hear about him, he is a sweet and sincere guy who wants to serve God. Yet, sincerity can never be a replacement for God's truth.
When a man teaches false doctrine about salvation and God's grace, the biblical response is to confront and expose his false teaching. Bold emphasis in the following quotations is mine.
I had hoped that Fall To Grace would be thoughtful and biblically informed. Unfortunately that is not the case. Throughout Fall To Grace, Jay Bakker uses the biblical word "grace" as code for his false teaching of Universal Salvation.
Jay's false teaching about salvation
On page 22 Jay writes: "when people realize that they don't have to earn God's love or fear His wrath; they only have to get to know Him better... a kid started shouting his head off in an attempt to disrupt the talk. He called me "a universalist" and said I was "preaching a false gospel.""
On page 51 of Fall To Grace: "Christ presents us with a game we can't lose. Everybody gets the prize just for showing up."
On page 152 Jay writes: "Because no man is innocent, no man is guilty. We're all saved."
On page 175 of Fall To Grace: Jesus "tells us of God's universal acceptance in every way He can think of. Paul teaches us the same thing."
On page 176 of Fall To Grace: "As we have seen, the point of Paul's ministry is that the religious law has been replaced by the law of Christ, the law of love: universal acceptance through grace."
Jay presents a false gospel in this book. One need not be a Bible scholar to recognize the egregious false doctrine Jay is promoting. Fall To Grace does not present the teaching of the Bible about salvation through grace alone by faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ alone nor does it present the scriptural gospel of the grace of God, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.
The Bible never says what Jay says in this book. Indeed, scripture strongly condemns people like Jay and Martin (his co-author), who preach a false gospel."I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."
Fall To Grace repeats the politically correct yet false views of Bible-rejecting post-modern christianity and the emergent church. Jay's false teaching about hell-fire:
1. In his Introduction, p. xiv - Jay writes: "...grace offers a message of tolerance and understanding. It shows a Christianity that is richer and gentler than the distorted parody presented by hellfire preachers."2. On page 6 of Fall To Grace:
"Heaven and hell were the carrot and stick of our faith. It was turn or burn, baby."
3. On page 112 of Fall To Grace: "Sin is not a hellfire offense punishable by eternal damnation."
Yet Jesus and the Bible make it clear that sin IS a hellfire offense punishable by eternal damnation for those who do not receive Jesus as their Savior, John 1:12, 3:7, 3:18, 3:36.
For the record, hell is mentioned 23 times in the New Testament. 20 of those 23 times, the information about hell comes from Jesus Christ Himself.
Who is presenting a "distorted parody," people who believe what Jesus said about hell or Jay Bakker who denies what Jesus said about hell?
Jay's false teaching about God's love
2. Jay writes on p. 20 of Fall To Grace: "Preaching unconditional acceptance didn't make me popular with a lot of Christians I encountered."
Jay writes on p. 138 of Fall To Grace: "But God's unconditional love is an example to us..."
Unconditional acceptance and the unconditional love of God for the lost is never taught in the Bible. Unconditional love - love without ANY conditions - is a politically correct pipe-dream of postmodern christians who refuse to believe what the Bible says.
In the Old Testament acceptance with God was based on obedience,
doing what God told them to do. In the New Testament acceptance with God
is based on the finished work of Christ on the Cross of Calvary. The
Bible never teaches and God never offers unconditional acceptance to the
lost. What God offers is individual personal salvation to "whosoever"
will repent and get saved.
In the Bible, God never offers to accept lost sinners without ANY conditions. God's love and grace were demonstrated on Calvary when Jesus paid the penalty for sin. God's forgiveness and salvation is freely available to "whosoever" (John 3:16) and "whosoever will" (Revelation 22:17).
Forgiveness and acceptance with God are offered ONLY when/if we trust Jesus Christ and receive the free gift of eternal life He made possible for us, Romans 5:17, 6:23, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. Jesus Himself emphasized the absolute necessity of getting saved in John 3:7, 3:18, 3:36, 10:9, 14:6, by clearly differentiating between lost and saved folks. Is there anything unclear about Jesus' words?"I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:63. On page 23 Jay writes: "We know where we stand with God because we know that He stands by us no matter what we do."
That is certainly true for a saved and born again Christian. It is certainly not true for any unsaved person. The extent of Jay's misunderstanding of and false teaching about grace is staggering.
On page 24 of Fall To Grace: "But "dis-grace" has no place in our relationship with God. You won't be dis-owned or dis-avowed by God. You won't be dis-loved. You can't be un-graced. Once granted, grace is never retracted."
Remember that Jay Bakker writes based on his false belief that everyone is already saved simply because Jesus died on the Cross, p. 152 of Fall To Grace.
Jay makes no distinction between saved and lost folks when he writes of the unconditional love of God. His false teaching is a massive distortion of the Biblical grace message, Romans 5:17, which ALWAYS conditions salvation on receiving God's free gift, John 1:12, 3:7, Romans 6:23, Galatians 3:26.
4. While Jay mentions Jesus' death on the Cross, instead of presenting biblical truth, he attacks and judges Christians who believe what the Bible says about Jesus' substitutionary blood sacrifice on the Cross for sinners.
Jay's false teaching about the atonement On page 73 of Fall To Grace: "Some red-meat Christians even want to interpret God's gift of grace through Jesus as being all about atonement - about God demanding and getting His pound of flesh.But remember... It's God up there on the cross. God is the One making the sacrifice for us. What could be more generous (and further from anger) than that?"
In spite of Jay's disjointed logic, the univocal teaching of the Bible about Christ's Substitutionary Atonement on Calvary is that Jesus died in our place, as our substitute, taking upon Himself God's wrath against our sins.
"Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows... he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him..." Isaiah 53:4-5
"And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2:2
"Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;" Romans 3:25
A propitiation is a sacrifice that appeases the wrath of God. Yet the fact that Christ died for our sins does not save us. No one is automatically saved by the death of Christ on the cross for our sins.
"He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." John 3:18
"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:" 1 Peter 3:18
"Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." Romans 4:25
"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." 2 Corinthians 5:21
"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." 1 Peter 2:24
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." John 3:36
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" John 1:12
"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)" Romans 5:17
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:13
"But they have not all obeyed the gospel..." Romans 10:16
On page 90 of Fall To Grace, Jay writes: "To join the family we must be reborn into it, as Christ was."
On page 115 of Fall To Grace: "What's interesting is that the cost of rebirth-losing your ego, giving up your selfish pursuit of pleasure and glory-is really no cost at all... Having shed our old bodies, Paul tells us we are born into a new one: "one body in Christ." (Rom. 12:5).
Jay Bakker seems to have no understanding of what it means to be born again in the biblical sense. Instead, he presents an incomprehensible New Age idea which is never found in the Bible. "Shed our bodies?" Really Jay, where did you find that in the Bible?
Jesus was "God in the flesh," John 1:14, 1 Timothy 3:16. Jesus was never born again and had no need to be born again. It is difficult to avoid concluding that Jay lacks even a basic understanding of Bible doctrine.
Jay's false teaching about ecumenism. On pp. 96-97, Jay mentions Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Baptists, the Assemblies of God, Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons. Then he writes:
"The point is, we cannot splinter into all the denominations we want... We can each claim that our little group is the only one with a true comprehension of God's word. We can segregate society and close our hearts because of these superficial differences. Or, we can begin to patch up these fault lines and fractures we've created in the church and try to see past our differing interpretations of Scripture to recognize one another as children of the same God.
Yes, we can debate our faith-even argue. But in the end, we need to recognize that we're all members of the same big family. Faith in Christ can be the tie that brings and binds us together, even when everything else threatens to pull us apart.
Jay writes as if everyone is already saved, even folks in cults who reject the deity of Christ. His idea that there are only superficial differences between cult beliefs and biblical beliefs betrays his ignorance of what cults teach and what the Bible says in context.
6. On pp. 105-106 Jay relates a story told by a drag queen at a RuPaul drag show which Jay attended with his wife in Los Angeles. According to Jay a drag queen in heels and a sparkling dress "launched into a three minute speech about how Jesus loved everybody without judgment."
While we certainly understand the drag queen getting it wrong, why does Jay not know enough about the Bible to correct the drag queen's error and get it right? Can anyone read Matthew 23:1-33 and conclude that Jesus loves everyone without judgment?
Jay Bakker's deficient understanding
of the Bible doesn't end there.
On page 107 Jay writes: "Maybe the judgment has to do with sexuality or drinking or different religions (or no religion at all)... What are the rules I make about who gets to sit at Christ's table?"
The issue isn't rules Jay or anyone else makes up. The issue is, what does the Bible say in context? Jay is setting us up for his false teaching of universal salvation by implying that everyone is already saved (even people who have never trusted Christ) and therefore, Christians should never judge anyone as unsaved, especially people from different religions including Baptists, Presbyterians, Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons, pp. 96-97. Jay uses the drag queen story as segue to his unscriptural belief that grace means no judging.
On page 134 Jay writes: "Motivated by God's grace, you are touched by His perfection. When you act out of love, you are, in this small way, perfect. But achieving this standard requires that we reject all the received rules and be guided instead by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
That balderdash sounds more like Maryanne Williamson's A Course in Miracles than the Bible. Rejecting all the written scriptures ("reject all the received rules") and replacing the Bible with the subjective leading of the Holy Spirit is the modus operandi of postmodern christians and the emergent church.
After rejecting what the Bible says, Jay invents a politically correct religion and a politically correct god. These he then cloaks in biblical words like grace to make his false teaching seem scriptural.
1. Personal accountability of sinners to God
2. Original sin inherited from the fall of Adam, Romans 5:12
3. Personal salvation by receiving Jesus Christ as Savior, John 1:12, Romans 5:17, 6:23, 10:9-10
4. Jesus' teaching that ye must be born again, John 3:7
5. The wrath of God against sin, Romans 1:18
6. A fiery hell as the destination of lost sinners, Luke 16:19-31
7. The substitutionary atonement of Christ for sinners, 1 Cor 15:3
8. The lake of fire as God's final judgment against sin, Revelation 20:11-15
9. Justification by faith alone in Christ alone, Romans 5:1, Romans 5:9
10. The Bible as our only rule of faith and practice, ("reject all the received rules"), 2 Timothy 3:15-17
On page 169 Jay writes: "The simple Biblical fact is that Old Testament references in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 do treat homosexuality as a sin... a capital offense, even."
From these citations it should be evident that Jay Bakker, as sweet a guy as he is in person, simply has no idea what the Bible says in context. When it comes to teaching the Bible, he is as lost as a goose in a hailstorm.
Fall To Grace is not a good book or a helpful book. It is a a garbage dump of false teaching, passing itself off as a book about grace. Because so many professing Christians have never bothered to read the Bible, Fall To Grace will probably be a best seller. That's not a good thing because many people will embrace Jay's false teaching.
My conclusion: "This is not a book to be tossed aside lightly. It should be hurled with great force!"
Read the Comments - Leave a Comment
from Kevin Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA from Rick Brentlinger Pace, FL, USA " Fall To Grace is a primal scream liberal rant. If you love God …
Please pray for Jay Bakker, his co-author Martin Edlund and the many undiscerning GLBT Christians who will be led into false doctrine by Jay's book.
"Please Lord, open their eyes and restore them to Biblical truth."
into 90 languages
We are saved:
by grace alone through faith alone
Sep 04, 20 12:30 PM
Romans 1, in historical context, is about ancient Roman fertility goddess worshipers who engaged in shrine prostitution to worship Cybele, not gays and lesbians.
Sep 04, 20 12:29 PM
Gay Christian 101 - Presenting accurate biblical and historical info defending LGBT Christians from those who rip verses out of context to condemn.
Aug 13, 20 05:46 PM
Rick Brentlinger Answers - Thanks for such an interesting question. Same sex activity is mentioned in ancient writings as far back as 4000 years ago.