Wretched Radio With Todd Friel – Joseph Prince is the new prosperity poster boy
[The following is a segment transcript of a Wretched Radio Show podcast. The show was originally broadcast on Thursday August 16th2012. You can listen to the mp3 on The Wretched Radio website. The name of the file is WR2012-0816-Hr2
Or if you don’t subscribe to the podcast. You can listen to the Wretched Segment of the Day – August 16th – Joseph Prince vs. Repentance http://www.wretchedradio.com/podcast.cfm?page=2]
Joseph Prince, “Repent or I can tell you change your mind.”
Todd Friel, “Alright!”
Joseph Prince, “You used to think this way. Now think this way because the word repentance is so abused today that people say things like alright well so and so doesn’t preach repentance.”
Todd Friel, “That is right and his name is Joseph Prince. This is Wretched Radio. Joseph Prince he is the new superstar on all the prosperity channels. He comes out of Singapore – big church there. He is a well quaffed. He is a brammo, close my beep brummo. He is a brummo. He is a bull brummo is what he is. He is an Ed Young Junior kind of guy and…”
Tony Verkinnes, “And he is spiffy.”
Todd Friel, “And also he is spiffy. Wow that was pretty dated right there. Yeah pretty spiffy is what he is. He is all over the prosperity channels, hanging out with all of the cavalcade of preachers, trying to be nice of false preachers who are preaching a prosperity message and this is Joseph Prince who is an interesting fellow because I think that he preaches enough truth, enough gospel. People will get saved. He talks enough about justification. But one of the errors that he has that somebody has pointed out is that he doesn’t preach repentance. Not biblical repentance. This is the sermon that is probably most famous for that accusation. That he has got it wrong as many people do today in Evangelicalism. The word metanoia means “to change mind.” This is so simple. Do you ever see God commanding say the children of Israel to simply their mind and continue sacrificing their children in the fire? No you don’t do you? Do you ever see God telling Israel to stop worshipping in the altars in the high places or just change their mind about it and continue doing it? It is always stop doing it. That is what repentance is. Go and sin no more. That is what repentance is. It means knock it off. Turn around. Say you are sorry and run away from your sins. Not in perfection but in a new direction.
The example that I think is the clearest, the easiest is one that I have used for years. If I commit adultery against…no….you imagine committing adultery against your spouse. Okay, let’s put your shoes into these metanoia, your feet into these metanoia shoes for just a second. You commit adultery against your spouse and you return and you say, “honey I just want you to know metanoia. I have changed my mind about you. I used to think that I was, maybe you weren’t a good wife. But now I did.”
Tony Verkinnes, “That argument bugs the snot right out of me.”
Todd Friel, “Wow well then you won’t need any to sort of decongest it.”
Tony Verkinnes, “No but I will…”
Todd Friel, “Why does that bother you?”
Tony Verkinnes, “I will need tissues.”
Todd Friel, “I see.”
Tony Verkinnes, “Because if you actually really change your mind,
your behaviour will change.”
Todd Friel, “That is I am okay with that.”
Tony Verkinnes, “Oh.”
Todd Friel, “I am okay but see that is not what they are saying here. What they are saying, what they are saying is, “all you need to do is change your mind.” I am okay if you want to say, “change your mind.” If that encompasses knowledge.”
Tony Verkinnes, “But that would happen would it not if you…”
Todd Friel, “And emotions.”
Tony Verkinnes, “Yeah.”
Todd Friel, “And will. That is a way, but they say, “it is just knowledge. All you need to do is just change your mind. Just change your mind. That is it.” It is not about sin. It is not about turning from your sin. It is about changing your mind.”
Joseph Prince, “As if they are an authority on repentance and I just want to question.”
Todd Friel, “Oh I see so as if we are an authority on repentance. Apparently he is the authority.”
Joseph Prince, “As if they are an authority on repentance and I just want to question the idea of repentance. What do they mean when they say repentance? When they say repentance many of them are referring to you have got to be sin conscious. You have got to beat yourself over your sins. You have got to be sin conscious. No nothing could be further from the truth.”
Todd Friel, “Okay there you hear it, pretty good example right there. So don’t worry about being sin conscious. Just change your mind.”
Joseph Prince, “When it comes to the gospel, the gospel saves because of what Christ has done. We should have no more sin consciousness.”
Todd Friel, “Really? And that is where I think Joseph gets a little bit on the dangerous side. No I am grateful on some of his teaching on justification. All of your sins, past, present, future gone you are justified. You have been brought into the kingdom of God. You are not going to be replaced, displaced, pushed out, shoved out. You can’t sin your way out. Okay great but does that mean we are never sin conscious? Of course we are. Look at the war that Paul was in, in Romans 7. Look at the battle that should be going on in Galatians 5. This is an individual now who is dangerous because he does not preach biblical repentance.”
Joseph Prince, “Once you are cleansed, perfect tense you should have no more sin consciousness….”
Todd Friel, “Nonsense.”
Joseph Prince, “Or conscience of sins in the old King James amen and that
Todd Friel, “Huh?”
Joseph Prince, “Should have is in the present active, that means you have got to shake it off. You have got to actively shake it off every moment amen.”
Todd Friel, “Well the other word that we are forgiven sinners but we are still mindful of it. What did Paul do? He waged war against his body over sin. We are in a constant battle with sin.”
Joseph Prince, “So preaching a repentance in the area of imparting consciousness of sins is nothing more than dishonouring the work of Jesus.”
Todd Friel, “Alright so now I think what he is saying is if we are dishonouring the work of Jesus. I don’t want to make too big of a leap but I do believe that he is accusing those of us who teach repentance the way that it has really historically been understood until about the twentieth century. We have another gospel. Okay dude game on. That is the way you want to look at it I am down with that because if you don’t preach biblical repentance as a part of the response to the gospel of Jesus Christ then you are not preaching the true gospel. And I have got to tell you something I think the fruit – the rotten fruit of a message like that of Joseph Prince is everywhere in Evangelicalism. Why do you think we see the number of professors of faith who clearly by their lives do not possess faith? Many of them not all, many of them because they have never repented biblically.
Let’s imagine it this way I sin against you thusly. You and I are in Nebraska. Okay let’s just imagine you and I are in Nebraska and we decide, “hey let’s go to Mexico.” It is warm there and I say, “okay friend jump in the car. I have been there before. I know how to get to Mexico.” So we drive and we drive and we drive by a bank after a few hours in and you notice the temperature is actually going down. That is crazy I thought it would be getting warmer and a few more hours go by and you start to notice more pine trees and you are thinking, “well the signs are not really good.” And then suddenly you see another sign that says, “Canada – 84 miles.” And you realise, “hey we are going in the wrong direction.” I have sinned against you. Imagine I said to you, “you know what friend you have pointed out the signs to me and I have changed my mind.” Yep I sure have changed my mind about my sins and I keep on driving. You would say, “well that is not right. You are not contrite. You are not repenting.”
Tony Verkinnes, “And you didn’t change your mind.”
Todd Friel, “What do you want? You didn’t anything. Yeah and then you didn’t change your mind. The fruit that you have changed your mind is a life that is different. You are different and the only way to be different is if you are aware of your sinfulness and if you go to war against your sinfulness that battle that should be taking place. The first thing you want to do after pointing out the signs to me is you want me to change my mind. I agree with you. But then I suspect you want me to stop. You would like for me to turn around. You want me to start driving in the opposite direction toward Mexico and you don’t want me to stop until I get there and I am guessing because I have sinned against you. You would like some form of an apology. Six things that should take place if somebody has repented when they sin and that is what biblical repentance is, you can think of those six things and in order for me to turn.
What do I turn from?
What do I turn to?
And if I don’t turn from my sins I am really not turning to Jesus. I am turning to a made up Jesus and a wrong Jesus.”
Joseph Prince, “Jesus was bound in Caiaphas house and Peter was outside. When a few people recognized Peter as one of Jesus disciples, he denied knowing Jesus. At the third denial the Lord turned and looked upon Peter. Okay Peter went out crying. Now which one came first? Was it because Peter cried the Lord turned and looked at him?”
Todd Friel, “Oh boy.”
Joseph Prince, “No it is the reverse. After he denied knowing Jesus, the Lord turned and looked upon Peter. That broke his heart. It is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance.”
Todd Friel, “I don’t even know what to say to that – that is so awful. Yes when Jesus looked at him what happened then? He was convicted. He knew that he had sinned and he wept over it and then what do we see? We see Peter, we don’t have any record of it. We see him never doing it again. Now imagine if Jesus had looked at him and he said, “okay Jesus I have changed my mind. I don’t know Him. I don’t know who He is. I have changed my mind Jesus. I am not conscious of that anymore but I don’t know Him.” It is absolutely ridiculous it doesn’t even make sense.”
Joseph Prince, “If any man sins we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. It does not say if any man repent.”
Todd Friel, “No no, if we say that we have no sins we deceive ourselves and the truth is not within us. But if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Joseph Prince, “The moment a believer sins. Alright straight away the advocate goes to the Father. It is not we go to the Priest, it is the Priest who goes to the Father.”
Todd Friel, “Okay wow what a hash this is. Are our sins forgiven when we believe in Jesus? Yes. Past, present, future, all of them, but that doesn’t mean even as we live, even as we continue to sin we don’t repent. Otherwise what would be going on here if we are not sin conscious and we are not fighting against sin? Well then we would just go on sinning. The danger of Joseph Prince besides just mangling the Bible to pieces, not having this even close to correct is that he is basically teaching that you can go on sinning that grace might more abound. Hey you are free to, don’t worry about sin. We are not sin conscious here. Oh boy Joseph Prince.”
Joseph Prince, “When people say you have got to preach more on repentance. It is actually they want you to hit people and beat people.”
Todd Friel, “Yeah that is it. That is good use straw. I want to actually beat them. I want to physically beat them.”
Joseph Prince, “But God told me to feed my sheep, not beat my sheep and….”
Todd Friel, “That is good right. That is brilliant. What was that by the way that was Jesus talking to whom? Peter after he had sinned and repented.”
Joseph Prince, “The thing is this there is rebuke in Word of God. There is correction in the Word of God. But it is never depressing you.”
Todd Friel, “Huh well yeah.”
Joseph Prince, “You know it is one thing to break a child’s stubborn will. It is another thing to break the child’s inner man, his spirit.”
Todd Friel, “Okay dude I don’t know what you are talking about. I will be honest with you. Yeah you know what we need to be completely broken and that is okay. That is not a bad thing. You know what I would say break his will, of course our will needs to broken. But that is what repentance is Sir so which one is it exactly?”
Joseph Prince, “In the Old Testament you have to repent. Turn away from sin and then God blesses you. Now listen….”
Todd Friel, “No that is not right either. If he is talking about the old covenant, the quid-pro covenant – actually he says if you keep on sinning I am going to throttle you. If you obey my commandments then there will be blessings. That has really nothing to do with the teaching of repentance. This is quite a mess that he is creating.”
Joseph Prince, “In the New Testament God blesses you and it is the goodness of God that leads you to repentance. Listen…”
Todd Friel, “Now I agree with that it is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance. But really the question here is what is repentance?”
Joseph Prince, “It is not repentance that leads you to goodness.”
Todd Friel, “Well repentance is behaving rightly.”
Joseph Prince, “It is goodness that leads you to repentance.”
Todd Friel, “Right but what is repentance?”
Joseph Prince, “A lot believers they have this idea if I repent it will lead me to God’s goodness.”
Todd Friel, “No I agree that is wrong too. But that is he is conflating everything here. He is making a hash of everything. Of course everything that is good that happens toward us is because of Jesus not because of our behaviour. But that has nothing to do with what repentance is.”
Joseph Prince, “But hey the Bible says God’s goodness that leads you to repentance.”
Todd Friel, “Got it already.”
Joseph Prince, “Now I can preach it like this okay. Repent or I can tell you change your mind.”
Todd Friel, “Alright, Joseph Prince who has basically fallen into the trap frankly that many Evangelicals have they take the word metanoiaand say it is just to change your mind. I can’t even tell you how many people that I have met who have wallowed in a walk that has been filled with doubt and uncertainty and sin because nobody ever told them rightly to repent, to turn from their sins. I mean it is just. It is okay. Luke 13. Tower of Siloam, Pontius Pilate killing people in the temple when they went to sacrifice – what is the message? Jesus said, “you repent unless you perish too. You change your mind but just hey change your mind. That is it.” And he doesn’t even by the way explain change your mind about what? Now most Evangelicals these days would say, “you change your mind about Jesus. You used to think this, now you think this and that is all you need to do is change your mind and then later on repentance will come sort of maybe, kind of but not to be worried about too much.” That just is Tony I am sorry I think my analogy works perfectly fine. I commit adultery against my wife. Honey I have changed my mind. Meet my girlfriend she is right here. I hope you like her because I am not letting go of her….”
Tony Verkinnes, “Then you haven’t changed your mind.”
Todd Friel, “That is I am okay with that too unless you have got some little subtext you are trying to trick me here.”
Tony Verkinnes, “No that is all I have got.”
Todd Friel, “I agree with you if I am genuinely contrite over my sins then I have understood the kindness of God. Then I am going to hate my sins. I am ditching the girlfriend and I am running back on my hands and knees which really wouldn’t be running back. It would be crawling back on my hands and knees begging for mercy and that is biblical repentance and because Joseph Prince has it wrong and if we are going to play tit for tat then he is preaching a different gospel. This is Wretched Radio.
Todd Friel, “Okay now I am getting annoyed. This is Wretched Radio. The more I am thinking about Joseph Prince the more he is getting up my nose. This is important. If we do not understand biblical repentance people will be confused about the right response to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to be accurate with our presentation and just because Joseph maybe opened up a lexicon and discovered, “hey it just means changed mind,” or he read somebody in Evangelicalism who said, “oh repentance let’s not make such a fuss. It is just about changing your mind. Not about this sin business and turning from it and sorrowing for sin.”
Thomas Watson wrote a book called The Doctrine of Repentance. Chapter 3 – The Nature of True Repentance.
1) Sight of sin
Thomas Watson, “A must man first recognize and consider what his sin is and know the plague of his heart before he can be duly humbled for it.”
Todd Friel, “Where there is no sight of sin, there can be no repentance.”
Todd Friel, “So that contradicts immediately Joseph Prince. Hey it is just changing your mind. He didn’t even express by the way about what. But okay this demonstrates first of all you need to change your mind about sin. I didn’t think it was a problem before. Now yikes look at it.”
Thomas Watson,“Many who can spy faults in others see none in themselves. They cry that they have good hearts. Is it not strange that two should live together, and eat and drink together, yet not know each other? Such is the case of a sinner. His body and soul live together, work together, yet he is unacquainted with himself.”
Todd Friel, “Isn’t that the truth?”
Thomas Watson, “He knows not his own heart, nor what a hell he carries about him. Under a veil a deformed face is hid. Persons are veiled over with ignorance and self-love; therefore they cannot see what deformed souls they have. They devil does with them as the falconer with the hawk. He blinds them and carries them hooded to hell. Ingredient 2: Sorrow for sin (Psalm 38:18) “I will be sorry for my sin.” Ambrose calls sorrow “the embittering of the soul.”
Todd Friel, “Not just change my mind about sin.
Thomas Watson,“A woman may as well expect to have a child without pangs as one can have repentance without sorrow. He that can repent without sorrowing suspect his repentance. Martyr shed blood for Christ and penitent shed tears for sin. Luke 7:38 she stood at Jesus feet….”
Todd Friel, “Changing her mind and drying his…no that is not right. She wept over her sins.”
Thomas Watson, “The sorrow for sin is not superficial it is a holy agony. It is called in scripture a breaking of the heart.”
Todd Friel, “That would be your Psalm 51:17,”
Thomas Watson, “ ‘The sacrifices of God are a broken and a contrite heart;’ and a rending of the heart. (In Joel 2:13,) The expressions of smiting on the thigh. (Jeremiah 31:19.) “Beating of the breast.” (Luke 18:19.) “Putting on a sackcloth.” (Isaiah 22:12.) “Plucking of the hair,” (Ezra 9:3.), all these are but outward signs of inward….”
Todd Friel, “Changing your mind. No sorrow. That is a part of repentance. By the way as an aside and that is what these Puritans are so good at doing is asides in – a lot of them.”
Thomas Watson, “Not all sorrow evidences true repentance.”
Todd Friel, “True godly sorrow is inward.”
Sorrow of the heart, it goes deep. It is a sorrow for heart sins. A wicked man maybe troubled for scandalous sin, a real covert laments heart sins that nobody sees. If you are repentant over sin, nobody has to see it so you can feel shame. You know what goes on inside of your heart and you hate it because God knows it and it is a sin against Him. Godly sorrow it is a sorrow for the offence rather than for the punishment. If you are just sorrowing because woah I don’t want to go to hell. That is not true biblical repentance either.
Thomas Watson, “Godly sorrow is chiefly for the trespass against God. So that even if there were no conscience to smite, no devil to accuse, no hell to punish, yet the soul would still be grieved because of the prejudice done to God.”
Todd Friel, “That is what godly sorrow is and that is just a part of what repentance is.”
Thomas Watson, “Godly sorrow is abiding.”
It doesn’t just happen once. It is ongoing. It is continuing. I do believe it was Luther who said, I think it was number one in the ninety five thesis, “that the Christian life is a life of repentance.” Not a lifelong changing your mind, of godly sorrow it is abiding. It lasts. It goes on.
Thomas Watson, “Some may ask the question whether our repentance and sorrow must always be alike. Although repentance must be always kept alive in the soul, yet there are two special times when we must renew our repentance in an extraordinary manner. One before receiving The Lord’s Supper.”
Todd Friel, “And another time he says would be before death. Alright I just think that repentance should just be constant. You don’t really need to repent before you die. Your sins are forgiven – past, present, future. The sin that we commit we confess before taking The Lord’s Supper because we have done the job of examining ourselves in light of the cross. So I think with Thomas Watson I want to make sure you understand. You don’t need to repent before you die in order to go to heaven. He is just saying constantly perpetually be repenting of your sins. It must be voluntary. It must be with compunction. You don’t hate it. You don’t resent it. A man must particularize sin. Not just, “I am sorry for all my sins. Amen.”
Thomas Watson, “A true penitent confesses his sin in the fountain.”
Todd Friel, “It is not just that and oh I did that the other day. No my whole nature, the whole thing. Everything inside of me. It is contaminated.
Thomas Watson, “Sin is to be confessed with all its circumstances and aggravations.”
Todd Friel, “Sin causes us we hate it so much. To look at ourselves and weep over it because we recognize the kindness of God.”
Thomas Watson, “We must confess our sins with a resolution not to act them over again.”
Todd Friel, “And on and on he goes and that by the way was just part two of what biblical repentance is. The Nature of True Repentance. Ingredient next: Shame for Sin. We are just horrified at it. Hate the thought of it. It disgusts us.
Thomas Watson, “Is shame an ingredient of repentance? How far are they from being penitent who have no shame? Many have sinned away shame: ‘the unjust knoweth no shame’ (Zephaniah 3:5). It is a great shame not to be ashamed.”
Todd Friel, “We should be ashamed of our sin.
Another one of the ingredients would be….”
Thomas Watson, “Hatred of sin.”
Todd Friel, “It is a part of biblical repentance.
Thomas Watson, “One may leave sin for fear. As in a
storm the plate and jewels are cast overboard, but the nauseating and loathing of sin argues a detestation of it. Christ is never loved till sin be loathed. Heaven is never longed for till sin be hated. We are never more precious in God’s eyes than when we are lepers in our own eyes. Where there is a real hatred, we not only oppose sin in ourselves but in others too.”
Todd Friel, “We see it and we hate it. We don’t get condescending because we realize what sinners we are too. But wherever we see sin, we despise it and then finally according to Thomas Watson in The Doctrine of Repentance.”
Thomas Watson, “Repentance is a turning from sin. The very day a Christian turns from sin he must enjoin himself a perpetual fast. The eye must fast from impure glances. The ear must fast from hearing slanders. The tongue must fast from oaths. The hands must fast from bribes. The feet must fast from the path of the harlot and the soul must fast from the love of wickedness.
– This turning from sin implies a notable change.
– That the turning from sin be rightly qualified. These few things are requisite.
– It must be a turning from sin within the heart.
– It must be a turning from all sin.
– It must be a turning from sin upon a spiritual ground.
– A gracious soul would forsake it out of love to God.
– It must be such a turning from sin as turns unto God.”
Todd Friel, “So you don’t just turn away from your sin but you turn to God.”
Thomas Watson, “True turning from sin is such as to turn as he has no return.”
Todd Friel, “I don’t want to go back. I am committed to going this direction.”
Thomas Watson, “They are but half turn who turn only from gross sin. But have no intrinsic work of grace. They do not prize Christ or love holiness.”
Todd Friel, “If you just repent of the biggies but the little ones, the respectable ones. I can hang onto those. No big deal. You are not a repentant Christian.”
Thomas Watson, “They are but half-turned who turn from many sins but are unturned from some special sin. There is a harlot in the bosom. They will not let go. As if a man should be cured of several diseases but has a cancer in his breast, which kills him. It reproves those whose turning is as good as no turning, who expel one devil and welcome another. They turn from swearing to slandering, from profuseness to covetousness. Such turning will turn men to hell.”
Todd Friel, “Biblical repentance is a complete turning with contrition. That is the doctrine of repentance. Now that is a little bit different than what Joseph Prince was talking about wouldn’t you say? And for my money and because he actually quotes Bible verses rightly, I am sticking with Thomas Watson and his doctrine of repentance because it is biblical.”
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