Joseph Prince’s ESL mangling of Matthew 27: 3-5

I watched Joseph Prince just completely misinterpret and misread and misrepresent a text in the bible.  He was teaching a sermon about repentance.  His contention was that the bible does not teach the necessity for anyone to repent before they come to Jesus.  Of course, the obvious rebuttal is that John the Baptist preached repentance and Jesus started His ministry with “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is here.”  But Joseph Prince was preaching that we do not necessarily need to repent, and that repentance does always lead to redemption.  He uses the case of Judas hanging himself as evidence.

Here is his proof text from his sermon from Matthew 27: 1-5:

KJV (the version he used): When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

I included verses 1 and 2 but Prince started at verse 3.  In verse 3, Prince believes the two pronouns “he” both refer to Judas when the second “he” refers to Jesus.  Here are the same verses in the ESV:

27 When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. And they bound him and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate the governor. Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus[a] was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself.

In this version we can see that the translators used the name of Jesus for one the pronouns so that there could be no confusion.  Even reading the KJV in context from verse 1, it is easy to see that both pronouns could not possibly refer to the same person.  But English grammar can be tricky in that we do sometimes use the same pronoun in one sentence that refers to two different people.  Even so, the NASB uses the pronoun he but capitalizes the one referring to Jesus which eliminates any possible confusion as well.  So, we can see that Prince first misunderstood the context and assignments of the pronoun “he”.

Then there is the use of “repentance” in the same verse.  I think the ESV translation is correct by saying he “changed his mind” about the betrayal and taking the thirty pieces of silver.  “Changing his mind” gives a better understanding of the text because he felt remorse but not enough to seek forgiveness.  If Judas truly repented with Godly remorse he would have been forgiven.  But Judas never truly believed in Jesus as the forgiver of sins, the Promised Messiah, which is why he hanged himself.

So, what can we conclude about Joseph Princes’s use of Matthew 27: 3-5?  I would have to guess that he used the KJV because that translation supported what his point.  Even The Message, the go-to paraphrase for these scripture twisters, used “Jesus” instead of the pronoun “he”.  He purposely chose the KJV because the wording supported his false premise that the bible does not require repentance in order to receive forgiveness and salvation.

cliché attitude towards men and sex

I just had a conversation with my ex-wife.  My 13-year-old daughter had received inappropriate text messages from a boy her age which is horribly wrong.  I tried to assist because it was allegedly the son of someone I know.  Of course, my ex did not see that way.  I am supposed to work with her which means do it her way and not interfere.  My daughter expressed a little discouragement in that boys only look at her sexually.  I told her that is how it is but one day you will find one who will love you for you.

In a conversation with her mother my ex, to summarize, that a woman should be able to walk around naked and a man should neither appreciate her naked body nor desire to have sex with her.  I am talking about a man who is still a slave to his sinful nature and its desires.  She became cliché in that men feel they are owed sex, seek to dominate women and will rape them if necessary to get what she wants.  A woman should be able to dress and act however they wish, even if it means teasing a man sexually, and the man should not think they want sex.

The other part is that the only people who are responsible and should be held accountable are the men.  Women should not share any of the blame.  My ex said that men are taught to dominate women by either their fathers, brothers, friends or the media.  Really?  Men are pigs and always will be pigs.

What she fails to acknowledge is that we are sinners.  We are slaves to the desires of the flesh.  We can exert control but it does not mean we do not sin.  Not all men are slaves to sex.  Some men are slaves to other distractions.  The thing is that we will always be sinners who tend to sin.  It will not matter who much instruction you give a man it is really only control over his actions and reactions.  Inside, he is probably desiring the woman.

I don’t understand her rationale.  The men of this world should always bear the responsibility of their actions.  I understand that men do rape and abuse women, and I would never teach my son to do that.  But if a woman, in a bar or club or party, is flirting and intentionally rubbing her body against a man she is attracted to does she bear any responsibility at all if now the man wants to have sex with her?  Would he be misunderstanding her “signals”? 

Rape is wrong.  So is inappropriate messages and unwanted sexual comments.  But if the context of the situation is outside of those circumstances then all factors should be considered.

joy expressed

There is a commercial going on now.  In this commercial are a bunch of homemade videos of people giving to their family and friends tickets to an event.  The whole point is to catch the reaction of excitement of the people when they realize what the real present is.  These people are extremely excited, a young girl screams, an old man cries, a husband jumps up and yells and then hugs his wife, and so on…you get the picture.  They are all excited about going to some one-time event that only lasts several hours.  It may be special to that person, something they have always wanted to do but it is fleeting in actual time compared to their lifespan.

I am not immune to this reaction.  I would be excited about receiving tickets to an event that I know that I would enjoy.  (What may surprise some is that one of those events would be a conference of seminars covering biblical doctrines.  That I would enjoy.)  It is a natural reaction to be excited about doing something you did not think you would be able to be a part of.  We all like that time of excitement of witnessing a concert or some type of game. 

Oh, would that excitement be connected to my salvation.  How often I do not express the joy of my salvation as I should.  It’s not that I do not feel joy for the God who sent His Son to die for me, but I also do not express it as I see some do.  I see people in church with angelic looks and tears, and wonder why I am not able to be that way?  There was a time when I was but not so much anymore.  On the other hand I am never really down too much or for very long.  I am human and life will come at me so I will have initial negative reactions to some situations.

But I do get passionate about the bible and discussing the doctrines in the bible.  I mean I guess that is how I express my joy in my salvation.  I love reading commentaries, books about orthodox doctrine and listening to teaching about the bible.  I eat that stuff up.  Right now I am listening to music because if I was listening to someone talking I wouldn’t be able to concentrate.  I love talking about God to anyone who will listen, and I love writing this blog.  I write because I need to share with someone and anyone what thoughts I have about my Lord and Savior, His inspired word and the importance of contending for the faith.

I suppose we all express our joy in different ways.  It is all in moderation.  One cannot get too caught up in the emotional side of joy and one cannot get caught up too much in the cerebral side of knowing God.  We must find the balance, all of us, where we are experiencing the joy of our salvation.  I don’t think we are to be constantly wearing a smile on our faces but we to understand that there is joy in knowing that are salvation is secure in Christ.

dreams should not be about temporal luxuries

There is a lot of talk of God having some special mission for all of us.  We have been born to fulfill some exciting destiny, some mission that is found within the will of God for our lives.  We are bound for greatness.  We are not meant to be mediocre or stuck doing mundane things or living from paycheck to paycheck.  We are meant to bask in the glory of the favor of God who promises to fulfill all our material dreams, the desires of our hearts.  We are meant to be seen and loved by all and worshipped like a god, after all, the Psalms says that we are gods so why not expect to live as gods.

We have no special destiny.  I think Paul is pretty clear about this in his analogy of the human body and how the church body should function the same way.  Here is what Paul says:

1 Corinthians 12: 12-31

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves[d] or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts,[e] yet one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts.

And I will show you a still more excellent way.

The point Paul is making is that the human body has many parts and they all have a function.  Some do their job unseen within our bodies.  Their jobs are of no less importance than the other parts of the body, probably more important because the rest of the body depends on them to breakdown our food and disperse the nutrients and carbohydrates we need to continue living.  When one of these internal organs shuts down the exterior of our bodies suffer and it is evident.  Not all of the body can be the pretty parts like the face and muscles.  And when we concentrate on improving the outside we can severely damage the workings of the organs in the inside.  That is why must take of all the parts of our body so that are always healthy.

The same is true with the church.  We can’t all be the preachers, musicians, singers and elders.  We can’t all be leading in the front.  If we are all pursuing this “dream destiny” nonsense, then who is caring for the body?  As Paul, we can’t all be the eyes or the hands or the mouth.  Someone has to do the work of maintaining the health of the body.  Someone has to the unseen work, the teaching and equipping of the saints, especially now since most pastors have put aside the role of teaching and have concentrated on evangelizing.

The sign of a healthy church is not that all who attend are driving luxury cars from their mansions to their church.  The sign of a healthy is their saltiness and how bright their beacon shines.  The members can all be poor but still be a healthy church, and they can all be rich and still be a healthy church.  The opposite is also true.  But we must be discerning that what we see is not just a lot of makeup and designer clothes and results from workouts.

We all have a role to play in the functionality of the church but all do not have some special dream destiny that God has set up for us since we were born.  Some of us were meant to live ordinary lives but ordinary lives lived for our risen Savior.  Our destiny is to live with our Lord and Savior in a new heaven and new earth, in the reality of His Glory, in a place that our dreams will never be able imagine.

Benny Hinn’s hysterical show of blasphemy

I am trying to figure out who Benny Hinn thinks he is.  I was watching one of his shows and it was kinda pathetic.  He was on a stage in a custom tailored suit.  As I think about it I wonder if it supposed to look like something the people in Jesus time would wear.  It was long and looked more like a frock fastened in the front.  Anyway, it was quite a show that he put on I must say.

At first I was not sure if he was giving a sermon.  He would walk to the podium where he apparently had a bible opened to the gospel of John.  He would walk over and say some summary statement of the chapter.  It was really the worst sermon I had ever witnessed, and I have nodded in some sermons.  Seriously, all he did was turn a page, say a short sentence and wander away, all the while the music was playing with singers singing some song.  I had a difficult time understanding what was supposed to be going on.

Then the real show began.  He called people up to receive their “healing” because he allegedly felt the Spirit move in the auditorium.  So people would come up with some type of ailment, usually a physical ailment and they are in the process of being healed.  Then he would lay his hands on them and they would fall backwards into the arms of the catchers.  Then would gesture for the catchers to pick them up and he would do it again, sometimes repeating it four times.  In between “slayings”, he would join the singers and sing along with them.  Then he would gesture for the next one to come up.  It was surreal and a little bizarre.

I have watched hidden camera footage that demonstrated that he is a fraud and all he is hype and showmanship, a snake-oil salesman.  And the people are so desperate to be healed that they are willing to wait in line to be touched by Benny.  What about those who are in the wheelchair with real physical issues and people with internal issues?  Where is the hope and help they came to receive?  They are ignored and pushed to the side because they would tarnish the image of Benny Hinn, the God-sent healer to the masses, for a small fee.

Well, I don’t remember anyone that Jesus healed receiving progressive healing.  All the people he healed were healed instantly and did not need physical therapy.  Their recovery was instantaneous and evident.  He did not advertise nor did He call attention to what He was doing.  He instructed the healed to not tell anyone but to offer the proper sacrifice required by the Law of Moses.  The same was true with the apostles because Peter rebuked Simon the Sorcerer for trying to purchase the ability of the apostles.

All the gifts of God are freely given to us.  We are forgiven, endowed with the faith to believe and receive mercy and grace, and we are to live in thanksgiving and grace towards others.  What Benny Hinn and others like him are doing is blasphemous.  I believe they are extorting people all in the name of false promises that God did not give.  It is blasphemous and completely wrong.  Even if they do actually heal anyone it does not matter because they are doing it for selfish gain and large bank accounts.  I pray for those who go to these shows, being duped by Benny Hinn, and leaving the same physical way they came.

The gospel is not about healing the body, it is about healing, no, reviving the soul from its stasis in death.

relationship without repentance? not possible

In the past few years I have heard a lot of people talk about what it means to be a Christian.  It seems that the rhetoric and terminology being used emphasizes the relationship part of being a Christian.  They want their audience to know that Jesus wants to be your friend and he will be the best friend you never had and always wanted.  You may let him down but he will never let you down, or even be mean to you when you make a mistake.  If you believe in Jesus and receive his spirit then you will become a part of his family.

You will notice that I did not capitalize any of the pronouns that referred to Jesus.  The reason why is because this Jesus they are talking about is not the Jesus of the gospels.  Jesus did spend most of His time with the “sinners” of His day but that did not mean that He did not tell them that they needed to repent of their sins.  It is likely that they heard Him preach about it in one of His many sermons because not all of His sermons are recorded.  Some are alluded to, like the time when He asked Peter if He could use His boat to teach from.  The sermon is not recorded.  It is only recorded that He taught and then asked Peter to take the boat out and lower His nets.

I believe it is safe to assume that Jesus taught a lot about repentance of sins.  It just wouldn’t be prudent and repetitious to record every single time He spoke about repentance.  A lot of what is recorded in the gospels is sermons that summarized His main message.  Jesus was all about forgiveness and being in a relationship with His people but not before the problem of sin was addressed.  It is not entirely wrong to talk about a relationship with Jesus, our Lord and Savior, but it is wrong when repentance and forgiveness of sins is not equally emphasized.

The correct formula is not relationship then forgiveness of sins then and ignore any kind of repentance.  The sin problem must be dealt with first.  The correct “formula” is recognition of our sin problem, repentance of our sins, knowing that we are forgiven for our sins and then we are able to have a relationship with God the Father through His Son Jesus and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  The saying is that there is not forgiveness of sins without repentance, but there is no relationship with the Creator of the universe with the first two steps.  And none of this happens on our volition or power.  It is a gift of God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son.

Just remember when Rick Warren tells you it is about a relationship and tells you to say, “Jesus, I believe in you and I receive your spirit,” it is not the same Jesus of the gospels.    Your sins are not mistakes, they are acts that are an offense to the Holiness of God that He names as sins, and He does not equivocate like men do.

good works and tithing

The church’s leadership and lead pastor have responsibility to their congregation, their flock if you will.  What happens in most seeker driven churches is the main message being preached is to serve in some capacity, as a sign of good works, and to tithe 10% of your gross income if possible, or to tithe something and strive to reach the 10% threshold.  It seems that the message is all about performing good works for the sake of Jesus, which is fine.  The problem is that the message is delivered in a manipulative and guilt-laden manner.  People are essentially told they must be doing good works and tithing because we are commanded to do so.  But I see no such command anywhere in the New Testament.

Good works and tithing are aspects of worship.  They are a part of the living sacrifice that is Paul’s summary conclusion in Romans 12.  A living sacrifice which means good works and tithing are an outflow of our salvation and sanctification.  God would never force, manipulate, coerce or otherwise make us do something that we would not freely do in gratitude to Him in this dispensation of grace.  Jesus did not engage in discussion with the Gerasenes, argue with them about why they should let Him preach to them.  He commissioned the man whom He had removed the legion of demons to tell everyone what had been done for Him.  Did Jesus command the man to go?  No, the man wanted to follow Jesus but Jesus knew it would be more profitable for the Kingdom if the healed man shared what the gospel had done for him.

The same techniques are used to get people to increase their giving.  The leaders appeal to the Levitical tax of 10% in the Old Testament.  The Levites did not have an inheritance.  Their inheritance was to be in service of the temple and performing the duties therein, and to serve God fulltime.  The 10% tithe was a tax on the other tribes so as to support the Levites.  This has been brought into today’s teaching.  We are to give 10% of the gross because it is the right Christian thing to do if we are to be obedient to God.  It is somehow bordering on being considered blasphemous if a person is not giving more, and the guilt that is laid on because of these sermons is a heavy burden.

We are not under the Law of Moses.  We give as we feel God leads us to give, without compulsion or manipulation because God loves a cheerful giver.  People are reverting back to the Law and demanding obedience to the decrees made in their sermons.  What is ironic is that these same preachers will mock those who preach expositional sermons as those who are laying burdens on their hearers and pronouncing judgment.  It is quite the opposite in reality.

The church’s purpose, those of the elders and pastor, is to equip the saints for service and for the defense of the gospel.  To encourage and edify the saints as they refuel before they head back into a fallen world and face a bombardment of contending philosophies that are meant to lead them away from their Savior.

doctrine does matter

At what point does doctrine matter in the church?  It has become apparent that orthodox biblical doctrine, which was an understood belief system in the church, has been pushed to the side.  Essential doctrine has been deemed divisive thus it has been left untaught so that church is more attractive and appealing to those who are not regular attendees of church.  People do not want to be challenged about what they believe in contrast to what the bible teaches about God, His Son Jesus and the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  They want to be told to come as they are, Jesus is your friend and will accept you unconditionally and you will not have to change.  Just use what is being taught so you can be a better person to your fellow man.  Love God, love neighbor, that sort of thing.  And if you are fortunate, the person up front will tell you God has special plans for you and imply that all are children of God, and all are entitled to His blessings.

Mainline churches, the churches with the biggest congregations, often refuse to teach doctrine central to Christianity and the church.  They refuse to teach about the doctrinal differences between Protestants and Catholics, Protestants and Mormons and other heretical and apostate religions.  They do not want to discuss doctrinal topics because it would appear irrelevant to those who come from the background of Roman Catholicism or Mormonism.  It is more important to them to have unity when combatting social ills like hunger and housing the homeless then to expound on the doctrinal differences which separate the two, and show them what the bible actually teaches as opposed to traditions of the church.

Please understand, I am not saying we should not become involved in feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, visiting the people in prison, provide housing for the homeless, or to show compassion and charity to those who need it most.  I am not saying that we should ignore these good works for the sake of doctrine.  All I am saying it is possible to do both, stand up on the principles that the Reformers put forth and do the good works that God has set up for His children to accomplish.  There is a way to contend for the faith and live out the faith, all with grace of God given to us.

Doctrine matters.  We should teach doctrinal principles central to Protestantism at some level, even if it is not from the pulpit.  It is just as important to serve in areas of spiritual need as it is to serve in areas of physical need.  The teaching of doctrine has been left to those who are now considered on the fringes of Christianity.  Most consider it a waste of time.  We ignore doctrinal teaching at the peril of the church and the church body.  Infection will seep into the church because we decided not don the armor of God.  We have let our guard down for the sake of not offending “seekers”.

Orthodoxy must be upheld and maintained or we will lose our relevancy for the sake of being relevant.

inbred skillsets, part 1

Believe it or not, we all have some skills as lawyers and tax accountants.  These skills have nothing to do the law, either legal matters or corporate, nor do they have anything to do with having advanced math abilities.  We did not even go to college to acquire these skills.  As a matter of fact we were born with these skills.  We all have them and we use them often without even realizing it.  These skills are part of our nature and we use them with ease.  These skills are to give the illusion of reasonable doubt about God’s Law and the work of salvation of the cross through Jesus Christ, finding alleged loopholes in the Law and renaming sin with less abrasive terms so as to not seem like we are as bad as the bible says we are.

We are adept at creating the image of reasonable doubt.  We are able to weave arguments that seem to obscure the black and white of God’s Law.  We pontificate on long-worded arguments that are intentionally abstract and designed to dim the light of God’s truth.  God sees everything in black and white but we try to make it all gray.  And when we try to make it all gray we don’t pull the white to black, we take the black and mix it with the white.  We take the goodness of God, the holiness of God, and put a veil over it.  Just as Moses when he left the tent of meeting veiled his face because his proximity to the holiness of God caused his face to glow.  The Israelites were not blinded by the light so as to not be able to see.  Seeing the reflection of the Holiness of God reminded them of the darkness in their souls, the sin they harbored was exposed upon their conscience and they did not like it.

John alludes to this in his gospel.  He talks about how Jesus, the Word, came into the world.  He quotes Jesus in His conversation with Nicodemus as saying:

19 36And this is the judgment: 37the light has come into the world, and 38people loved the darkness rather than the light because 39their works were evil. × 20 40For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, 41lest his works should be exposed.

Earlier John writes that Jesus came unto His own but His own received Him not. Why? Because our deeds are evil. Just as the Israelites stayed away from Moses after he was in the tent of meeting, we want to veil the light of God’s truth found in His Son Jesus, the Light of the world. So we invent arguments, theories that confuse the doctrines of God. We seek to establish plausible alternate explanations for our existence without the need for God.

This is the skill we all have. Those who do not have the intellect to concoct these elaborate arguments are willing dupes and are eager to believe so they have the false sense of security that are safe from the wrath of the Living God. It is a terrible thing to be at the other end of God’s judgment and wrath.


doctrine divides and rightly so

We live in an age where disagreement with another’s point of view is considered divisive, to keep it to one word.  This is especially true where the society and culture are pushing a particular position as the only right position to support and anyone who opposes is called all types of names that are probably untrue but are said to deflect anyone else from seriously considering the objection presented.  It is almost impossible to disagree with the man-centered philosophy that promulgates popular opinion.  It is borderline ridiculous.  Standing on orthodox biblical doctrine is near the top of the list of intolerable beliefs, even with the church body.

Jude reminds us, earnestly, to “contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints”.  But to insist that there is one way to correctly interpret scripture seems to be looked at with contempt. (I would compare it to be similarly looked at as if the preacher delivered part of his sermon laced with f-bombs but I don’t think we are too far from that reality.)  Those who stand up for the orthodox doctrine that has been passed down through church ages, contending against Arianism, palagianism, Arminianism, Gnosticism to name a few heresies that have tried to infiltrate the church orthodoxy from within the church.  The same attitude was turn towards those who opposed these heresies and apostate teachings, laced with vitriol and hate.  Those who defend and contend from the faith are the ones accused of being in the wrong.

The word of God is a double-edged sword, sharp to enough to divide bone from marrow.  We cannot allow for the prevailing attitude and sentiment to dull the edge of that sword, or wrap it up in bubble-wrap so as to not hurt or offend anyone.  And the mainline evangelicalism has acquiesced to this presentation of the gospel.  The way they define their theology and how they determine what they will preach is by surveying their audience to determine how the wind is blowing and then develop messages that will meet them where they are and catch their sails.  Doctrine takes a back seat, stuffed into the closet because no wants to be confronted with hard truth.  They want soft blows from a rubber mallet that gently knocks out the kinks.

Why are we so afraid of the truth?  Why do we focus on performing good works?  Why are not putting an equal amount of emphasis on teaching essential doctrine?  Why are so concerned with social reform, mounting an attack on the ills of the victims of society and not concerned with teaching biblical truth about justification, sanctification, the Trinity, original sin, creation and other doctrines?  We shouldn’t be neglecting one so we can focus on the other.  We have lost our way.

We are not much different than the Pharisees of Jesus day.  They were building monuments to the prophets they admired but Jesus tells them that would have stood with those who imprisoned them and stoned them.  Today, teachers read verses from Paul’s letters but would probably push him out the door if he showed up in their churches today because he would want to know why they are preaching another gospel than the one in his epistles.  Those who claim to hold the word of God dear would be the ones picking up the stones to throw at Stephen.  We have become so enamored with being accepted and adored by the world that we dare not say anything to have them turn against us.

Doctrine matters.  It mattered to Jesus, it mattered to the apostles and it mattered to the church fathers we consider stalwarts of the faith.  Doctrine divides and rightly so.  Just as Jesus will separate the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the tares, so His truth will separate those who truly are surrendered to Him form those who pay Him lip service, whose lips speak good of Him but their hearts are far from Him.