The Two-Door Gospel of John Hagee

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by asterisktom, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. asterisktom

    asterisktom
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    The Two-Door Gospel
    of John Hagee
    Jesus Christ pronounces "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, but through Me."

    John Hagee, on the other hand, teaches, "The Jewish person who has his roots in Judaism is not going to convert to Christianity." To present Jesus as the way of salvation, according to Hagee, would be "a waste of time".

    Does this constitute a different gospel (Gal 1:6)? And why would John Hagee teach this apparent two-door approach to salvation? This article is an examination of these very questions.

    John Hagee, pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, is certainly a prominent leader in the present evangelical scene. His messages are often heard on TBN. There is no doubt that he is in the mainstream of modern American Dispensationalism, often seen teaching from his involved eschatological charts which are reminiscent of those of Scofield and Clarence Larkin. They are very detailed, but perhaps the lines drawn between the Church and Israel are drawn a little bit too heavily. Hagee has the reputation of being a careful and thorough student and teacher of the Word of God, especially in his eschatology. But is this the case?

    Though I view this dispensationalism as already a departure from Biblical Christianity, and from the Reformational enlightenment, I want to focus in this article on Hagee's views of the Jewish plan of salvation and his dual-track eschatology. Here is where John Hagee's gospel is indeed most questionable. The accommodations that Hagee makes for his pet Jewish beliefs requires him to sacrifice the purity and uniqueness of the Gospel. This error is much more serious than the other aspects of his modern dispensationalism.

    In his effort to honor the Jews, he instead devalues them ... and the Gospel as well.

    It might seem ludicrous that I would say this of a man that has done so much apparent good for the Jewish people. He has raised over a million dollars for Soviet Jews to resettle in in Israel. He was honored as "Humanitarian of the Year" by the B'nai B'rith Council in San Antonio.

    Yet his theology is no help to the Jews. It in fact encourages their intractable hardness to the only Gospel that can save them. Bringing the Jews from Russia to Israel is certainly commendable. It would be infinitely better if Hagee would go all the the way and bring them, by his money and his teaching, to the Mount Zion of God.

    But this John Hagee will not do, because he believes that the Jews do not need this Good News. The Gospel need not be presented to them since they already have access to God; they already have a covenant with Him. This is the Two-Door gospel of Hagee's teaching. I use the term "two-door" to point to the incongruity of this theology with verses like Jesus' "I am the way" and "I am the door of the sheep" and Peter's "there is no other name under Heaven whereby we must be saved". This teaching also goes under the name of "Two Covenant" or "Dual Covenant".

    Honoring the Dishonorable?
    John Hagee's actually dishonors the spiritual Jew and honors the carnal unbelieving ones. CBA Marketplace Magazine panned Hagee's book "Final Dawn Over Jerusalem", writing:

    "In his long list of Jewish people who have blessed the world, Hagee makes no distinction between individuals who simply have a Jewish background and those who truly fear and seek God. He lists Goldie Hawn, Dustin Hoffman, and Barbara Streisand, among others, as Jews who have proven the Scripture 'in thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.' The contributions of these entertainers can hardly be seen as a fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham in Genesis. Hagee also goes as far as branding anti-Semitic those who don't agree with his enthusiastic support of Israel."

    But who are the honorable Jews? They would be the ones like Simeon and Anna of Luke 3, clear-sighted ones who recognized in the Christ-child the spiritual culmination of all Jewish desires and the Answer to all God-given promises. These two - and all modern Jews who likewise discern that Christ is the "Yes and Amen" of all promises to Israel - are the ones that Hagee should honor, not unbelieving movie stars who often take part in productions that actually belittle the Gospel.

    A Prior Covenant: The Cross not Necessary
    John Hagee insists that "The law of Moses is sufficient enough to bring a person into the knowledge of God until God gives him a greater revelation." Moreover. he told the Houston Chronicle, in a recent interview:

    "I believe that every Jewish person who lives in the light of the Torah, which is the word of God, has a relationship with God and will come to redemption."

    Lest he be misunderstood, Hagee says later in the interview:

    "I'm not trying to convert the Jewish people to the Christian faith."

    Further quoting the Chronicle:

    "In fact, trying to convert Jews is a 'waste of time,'... 'The Jewish person who has his roots in Judaism is not going to convert to Christianity. There is no form of Christian evangelism that has failed so miserably as evangelizing the Jewish people. They have a faith structure.'

    Everyone else, whether Buddhist or Baha'i, needs to believe in Jesus, he says. But not Jews. Jews already have a covenant with God that has never been replaced by Christianity, he says."

    According to Hagee, Paul quit trying to even reach reach his fellow Jews at a certain point. This was when he went solely after Gentile converts. Presumably at this point, according to Hagee's view at least, Paul allowed the Jews to come to God in their own time and in their old way.

    Lest we overstate,or oversimplify his theology, we need to also add that Hagee insists that

    "All people will gain entrance into heaven through Christ. The question is one of timing."

    But does this help his position? This seems to be going from Dual-covenant salvation to outright universalism. In all fairness to him, I don't believe he believes that every single person will be saved. Yet, even granting that he only means that every Jew will be saved, this is a tremendous error as well, doing away with the necessity of faith for all of God's people. God will not drag people into His kingdom, kicking and screaming against the Christ many of them clearly hate. And how can "timing" help the Jew who dies in his sin? How could there not be an urgent need to proclaim to all Jews we meet (as well as all Gentiles) that they need to repent and that there is no other name whereby we may be saved but that of Jesus Christ?

    Right now, the vast majority of Jews (as well as the vast majority of gentiles) is blind to Gospel and blind to the only Way of salvation, Jesus Christ. Yet Hagee says this is not true, maintaining instead that the Jews are only blind as to who their Messiah is. As if this missing piece is only a minor one! That little area of blindness made most Jews of the 1st century fall under utter condemnation. The truth of who He was was tragically "hidden from their eyes". Hagee's downplaying of this present blindness is actually anti-semitism (in result, though not in intent), since it encourages them in their obduracy instead of allowing them to turn to Christ.

    This blindness needs to be taken seriously. It is what, God's intervention notwithstanding, confirms unbelievers in their Hellward spiral. Paul tells us that only the Holy Spirit can take away this blindness (2 Corinthians 3:14-18).

    Friends, do you love the Jews? Then tell them that the truth is only in Jesus Christ. Lovingly and patiently, by your words and life - the two must go together -, point to the Messiah as the promised remedy to their separation from God. All the promises to them - and to us - are "Yes!" and "Amen!" in Jesus Christ, the promised seed of the woman. Abraham, seeing Christ as the Promised Seed, rejoiced to see His day.
     
  2. pinoybaptist

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    His dispensation map is straight out of Clarence Larkin's book, and his devotion to the Jews and Israel borders on fanaticism. I think he says what Jews will love to hear, and not what they need to hear.
    That said, I think it doesn't really matter if the Jews convert or not.
    Jesus Christ has already redeemed His spiritual Israel, and so His dealings with national Israel is over as a nation.
    He will convert the individual Jew whom He wills to convert, and not all his stern and fundamental Jewishness can withstand the will of God for him.
    John Hagee's mouth shoots faster than his brain works, much like Pat Robertson.
     
    #2 pinoybaptist, Feb 2, 2010
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  3. Robert Snow

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    I love Larkin and his charts. I don't think so much of Hagee and his application of Larkin.
     
  4. OldRegular

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    This is an illustration of how error tolerated in the church can lead to heresy.
     
  5. Marcia

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    I read a statement by Hagee about 2 yrs. ago clarifying this. He said that he believers everyone, including Jews, must believe in Christ. I don't have time to find it now, but I read it because I copied it and sent it to someone.

    Btw, I am not a Hagee follower or anything - never have listened to him at all.
     
  6. SolaSaint

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    Great post!! And yes I have heard or read Hagee a few times and he is very confusing. He will sound very exegetically solid one minute and heretical the next when speaking about today's Jew. We need to pray for God to open his eyes and quit leading many Jews to hell.
     
  7. asterisktom

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    I double checked my quotes from Hagee himself. Yes, Hagee, like Benny Hinn for instance, will say other things that sound perfect theologically. Yet he does not deny his heretical statements. He is different with different people.

    He did say - as I quoted above:

    "All people will gain entrance into heaven through Christ. The question is one of timing."

    But, like I wrote in the paragraph following that quote, that only makes matters worse. It is still a different gospel.
     
    #7 asterisktom, Feb 3, 2010
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  8. Martin

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    Hagee is theologically confused. Watch several of his sermons and you will figure that out real quick.

    His son, Matthew Hagee, has become a skeleton with skin. It is very strange to see. He use to look like his father but suddenly he is skin and bones. His head is too big for his neck. Odd. I did some research on this Sunday when I was stuck at home thanks to snow/ice. Nobody seems to know how he lost so much weight so fast.
     
  9. Johnv

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    Theology aside, are some of these comments edifying? Matthew Hagee used to be quite heavy, and he's obviously lost a lot of weight in the last few years. I suspect bariatric surgery, but however he lost the weight, it's his business, and he shouldn't be berated for it.
     
  10. pinoybaptist

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    He could be diabetic or has some kinda cancer.
     
  11. Martin

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    ==I have nothing against him for losing his weight. However I do think he is unhealthy. Losing that much weight that fast can be dangerous. I suspect surgery as well. Sort of like Joyce Meyers' face lift. There is nothing wrong with not wanting to be fat. There is nothing wrong with losing weight. However I do have a problem with these tv preachers who seem to be really caught up in their looks. I could be wrong about Matthew Hagee. Maybe his doctor told him he needed the surgery (or whatever). But I just get really suspicious about anything most of these name it, claim it tv preachers do. Maybe I should not be like that...maybe you are right....maybe I should just leave it alone.
     
    #11 Martin, Feb 3, 2010
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  12. AnotherBaptist

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    Should I take this as more evidence of your obsession with dispensationalism, Tom? A lot of things Hagee says get ignored by other dispies like me simply because of what Martin said...he's theologically confused...or challenged. That doesn't make him a heretic. When Paul said the Jews which remain partially hardened at this time are "enemies of the gospel" would not Hagee be taking what is a Biblical truth (not heresy) and over-reacting to it in a wrong way?

    His attitude is wrong, for sure. But stop calling him a heretic.
     
  13. Johnv

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    It doesn't appear so. I know this is not exactly a scientific study, but, looking at pictures over time, it looks there's a 2 or 3 year difference between him being heavy (it looks like he as about 300lbs+) and his current weight (it looks like he's about 185lbs). If he had bariatric surgery, this is normal, expected, and healthy. The two types of bariatric surgery are bypass and banding. Bypass patients lose 80% of their excess weight in 1 to 3 years. Band patients lose the same weight in 2 to 4 years.

    So, while it might "look" like it might be dangerous, it's normal and healthy (assuming he had bariatric surgery in the first place).
    This doesn't appear to be the case. From all appearances, he was morbidly obese before. "Morbidly obese" is a fancy way of saying "you're so fat that you're a ticking time bomb". Not only is bariatric surgery warranted in such cases (assuming he had bariatric surgery), it's recommended, given the fact that the alternative is death within a few years.
     
    #13 Johnv, Feb 3, 2010
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  14. asterisktom

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    I'm assuming that is merely a rhetorical aside. Take it as you wish. But see below.

    A person who says the following is not merely "confused". He is heretical, according to the classical definition:

    "The law of Moses is sufficient enough to bring a person into the knowledge of God until God gives him a greater revelation.

    "I believe that every Jewish person who lives in the light of the Torah, which is the word of God, has a relationship with God and will come to redemption."

    "I'm not trying to convert the Jewish people to the Christian faith.... In fact, trying to convert Jews is a 'waste of time,'... 'The Jewish person who has his roots in Judaism is not going to convert to Christianity. There is no form of Christian evangelism that has failed so miserably as evangelizing the Jewish people. They have a faith structure."


    I am not going to waste my time debating with you whether the above is heretical or not. You apparently think it is not heretical. To me, it is clearly another Gospel. There are no two ways of salvation.

    I most certainly will continue to label such enemies of the gospel as heretics.

    Now, about my "obsession with dispensationalism": Partly it comes from having been one for many years, even having a rather active dispensational board at yahoo for over several years. After a while - and through the gracious and patient interactions of members there from that nasty "replacement theology" camp - I finally understood their point (most of them, at least). I began to see through what I had once so confidently affirmed, taught, preached even.

    The other reason for this "obsession" is that many of the passages that you might take as being eschatology-related (Daniel 9:24-27, Joel 3:14, Rev. 6:2, etc.) I see as soteriology-related (and having to do with the time of Christ and the church age).

    So it really isn't that I merely want to just beat up on dispensationalists. It is that I want to go beyond them and get back to returning those passages and truths they abuse - and Hagee certainly does that - and put them back in their Christ-honoring setting. In Hagee's case, his insistence on a separate track of salvation for the Jews (Read his quotes again) flies in the teeth of the "Faith once for all delivered to all saints".
     
  15. Johnv

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    I preface this by saying I honestly don't know much about Hagee, other than the fact that he's not my cup o'tea. But I think there's a difference between being mistaken about the gospel, and being an enemy of the gospel, let alone a heretics.

    If being mistaken about the Gospel were akin to heresy, then most of us are heretics to some extent.
     
  16. asterisktom

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    I guess my question to you would then be what constitutes heresy in your opinion? BTW, I don't see dispensationalism as a heresy - though I do se it as serious error. But, as I mentioned in my article, Hagee goes far beyond usual Disp. in his pronouncements.
     
    #16 asterisktom, Feb 3, 2010
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  17. Johnv

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    Heresy would be defined as a believe that is contrary to core scriptural doctrine. That said, we're not always in agreement as to what constitutes core, or essential, scripture doctrine.

    Of course, we Baptists define heresy as anything you believe that I don't like. :wavey:
    I'm sure some find dispensationalism as heretical.
     
  18. asterisktom

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    So true.:tongue3:
    Actually I would say some forms of dispensationalism (Hagee's) are heretical. For that matter heretical forms can be found in all kinds of "isms". I do think that disp. does more easily lend itself to crossing that line.
     
  19. Aaron

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    John Hagee's Christ is not Jesus, but the Jew. Any Jew will do. The Jews are his lucky rabbit's foot. He believes he's accepted and blessed because he speaks well of Israel.

    Hagee is not a Christian.
     
  20. drfuss

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    I just read "In Defense of Israel" by John Hagee. Below are some of the problems I observed with the book.

    First of all, I am a strong supporter of Israel and believe they have the God given right to the land of what is now Israel and Palestine. As such, I believe in the main thrust of John Hagee’s book. However, there are many misrepresentations and partial truths in the book that he uses to support his intended message. This allows the book’s credibility to be in question. There is much good information in the book; but one should be careful about quoting from the book due to some of the misleading information he uses to present his position.

    Here are some of the main misrepresentations in the book.

    1. He says that Jesus did not come to be the Jews Messiah. He subtlety defines the Messiah to be ONLY the Messiah that the Jews wanted, i.e. a Messiah to lead the Jews in defeating Rome through the existing Jewish legal system. The Messiah was to be the deliverer of the Jews from their sins first. The Jews rejected the spiritual aspects of Jesus being the Messiah.

    2 He claims that Christ was killed because of a conspriacy between the Chief Priest, King Herold, and a certain sect of the Pharisees. He just declares this conspiracy as a fact without providing any supporting documentation or references. He then claimed that the rest of the Jews had nothing to do with Christ being killed. Note that Herod ruled Galilee and not Jerusalem If Herol was involved in the conspiracy, the High Priest would probably have sent Jesus to Herod first. Pilate, not the Jews, sent Jesus to Herod.

    3. He claims that most Jews supported Jesus and had nothing to do with the killing of Jesus. He references scripture showing that thousands of Jews followed Jusus (as a result of the feeding of the thousands and the miracles). He failed to include the scripture in John 6: 66-68 where everyone deserted Him except His desciples, when Jesus was addressing the spiritual aspects of identifying with Jesus. If the supposed conspiracy was the only reason Jesus was killed and most Jews in Israel supported Him, then why didn't most Jews become Christians after He rose from the dead or on the Day of Pentecost?

    4. He misrepresents replacement theology saying that replacement theology believes that the Jews have been replaced for all future times. The only replacement theology that I am familiar with says that God will again deal primarily with the Jews as His chosen people at the beginning of the Great Tribulation. If there are two replacement theologies, he should address both of them and not just only the one that fits his argument.

    There are other problems with the book. In one case, he completely contradicts himself in two places in the book concerning who inhabited Palestine before 1948.

    As I said above, I agree with the main thrust of Hagee's book. However, one should be careful in believing or quoting the supporting information without other references, because it appears to me that he just assumed some things to add support to his position.
     

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