Noble rescinds the Ten Commandments for 2015 356

(1/2/2015: Updated with NewSpring’s response. See at the end of the post.)

On Christmas Eve, Perry Noble gifted the world a rewritten Ten Commandments. In so doing, he contradicted Scripture, celebrated his ignorance of the Bible, and ultimately rejected the gospel.

NewSpring was excited that God had given Noble a new Christmas Eve message

NewSpring was excited that God had given Noble a new Christmas Eve message

NewSpring had repeated its Christmas service during the week before Christmas day, yet before the final pre-Christmas service, word went out over the NewSpring social media grapevine that Noble had a new sermon, so everybody should come back to hear it.

Noble raised the stakes at the outset, saying that God had told him the previous day that he needed to deliver this sermon. After some of Noble’s staff confirmed for him that he had heard God speak, Noble wrote the sermon in ten minutes. It showed, but it also provided a disquieting glimpse into Noble’s biblical illiteracy. More than illiteracy, it was biblical rebellion.

Noble denies the Commandments

Noble spent Christmas eve explaining away all ten commandments

Noble spent Christmas Eve explaining away all ten Commandments

Noble’s premise was that what we erroneously know as the Ten Commandments aren’t really commandments. They’re just God’s promises.

He knows this because a Jewish friend who was driving him around Israel told him that there’s no Hebrew word for command. Noble acknowledges that he knows no Hebrew (as if that’s an acceptable thing for a preacher to remain ignorant of), so he takes his driver’s word as fact. Noble describes his friend as being to him as Mr. Miyagi is to the Karate Kid. “I just love this man,” Noble says. “He is full of wisdom. He loves Jesus. …He’s just an amazing man of God, and he’s teaching me the Bible. I’m trying to spend as much time with him as possible and he’s teaching me the Bible.” His friend is a poor teacher, and Noble is an even worse student.

Noble’s tutor tells him that the Ten Commandments are a mirage. Initially, Noble is surprised.

This is weird, because I’ve been around the Ten Commandments all my life. But in the original Hebrew language, there’s no word for command, so it couldn’t have been the Ten Commandments. He said it’s best translated as the Ten Sayings. Then he said this: ‘You could also interpret it as the Ten Promises of God.’ Instead of Ten Commandments that you have to keep if you’re going to be a follower of Jesus, they’re actually ten promises that you can receive when you say yes to Jesus.

Noble then announces that he is going to persuade his audience to say yes to Jesus because they no longer have to worry about obeying the commandments. Before we get to his rewritten commandments, let’s quickly debunk his erroneous premise.

The entire Old Testament is full of references to God’s commands and to the Ten Commandments in particular. In fact, in Deuteronomy 5, the second presentation of the Ten Commandments, God follows the list by repeatedly referring to his law as commands.

Oh that they had such a heart as this always, to fear me and to keep all my commandments, that it might go well with them and with their descendants forever! Go and say to them, “Return to your tents.”

But you, stand here by me, and I will tell you the whole commandment and the statutes and the rules that you shall teach them, that they may do them in the land that I am giving them to possess.’

You shall be careful therefore to do as the LORD your God has commanded you. You shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.

You shall walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess.

Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the LORD your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them. (Deut 5:29-6:1)

Obviously, the Hebrew word for command is an essential part of the Old Testament. What Noble’s Bible teacher may have been referring to was that the Torah didn’t formally label the list as the Ten Commandments, instead presenting them as ten sayings. Even so, a saying can be a commandment without having to be labeled as such. And we see in Deut 5 that God Himself called them commandments. Noble and his teacher are both very wrong.

A quick Google search would have torpedoed Noble's sermon

A quick Google search would have torpedoed Noble’s sermon

(For a man who has assumed the responsibility of pastoring around 40,000 people, why couldn’t he have spent just a few minutes consulting a concordance, calling someone who does know Hebrew, or even Googling it? Even Google knows Noble’s claim is incorrect.)

From the New Testament, we see that Jesus understood them as commandments in his response to the rich young man in Matthew 19.

“If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

For Jesus, commandments referred to the list we know as the Ten Commandments (even though he abbreviated the list here).

Right away, we have a problem with Jesus’ advice if we are to take Noble’s teaching seriously. Noble says that being a Christian doesn’t require obedience, yet Jesus insists on it. The point of Jesus’ exchange with the rich young man was that it was impossible for anyone to actually keep the commandments. The disciples see the problem, to their horror.

When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

To be saved we must obey the Ten Commandments, but we can’t, so it’s impossible for us to be saved by anything we do. The only way to salvation is though the Mediator that God graciously provides for us and whose perfect obedience he credits to us. This is the gospel of grace and the wonder of Christ.

If the commandments don’t even need to be obeyed, there’s nothing to be saved from and no need for the Mediator. All we need to do, in Noble’s formulation, is to say yes to Jesus, something that even this rich young man couldn’t do.

Noble is denying the gospel, not preaching it.

Noble rewrites the Commandments

Noble compounds his error by arbitrarily rewriting what’s left of the commandments to make them palatable for nonbelievers, even though he’s told us that they’re legally irrelevant. Noble presents his version by starting with the original biblical commandment, then wiping it off the screen and replacing it with his own version. God’s commands appeared on Noble’s big screen for 4 minutes and 12 seconds, but Noble’s commandments got 20:41 of screen time. Here’s what Noble wishes the commandments could be:

1) You shall have no other gods before me becomes You do not have to live in constant disappointment anymore.

Noble intimates that the command is selfish and unreasonable. (Check his body language at 35:36 on the video as he wags his finger, as if angry and demanding.) This sets the tone for the rest of Noble’s revision in which commandments that are focused on God and others become favors focused on us. God exists to make us happy.

2) You shall not make an image becomes You can be free from rituals and religion and trust in a relationship.

Noble talks about people who think incorrectly that their good religious works like church attendance and Bible reading will save them. That point is correct, but by rejecting the concept of the law in the first place, Noble has created a system where good works aren’t even necessary. If there’s no offense against God through breaking his law, there’s no need for reconciliation and no need for the Savior. In Noble’s universe, there’d be no Jesus for anyone to say yes to.

3) You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain becomes You can trust in a name that’s above every name.

Noble complains that Christians have butchered the commandment by prohibiting people from saying darn, a point illustrated with a story about being freaked out by a witch mannequin at a party store. Such is biblical exposition at NewSpring.

4) Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy becomes You can rest.

This is another one that Noble claims that Christians have butchered, thinking that God would kill them for doing yard work on Sunday. Given that Noble had already cancelled church for the following Sunday, it was important for him to ignore the clear meaning of this one. Sabbath breakers prefer not to preach too much about this commandment. Moving on…

5) Honor your father and mother becomes Your family does not have to fall apart.

He complains that parents use this as a “spiritual grenade” by teaching their children that the Bible tells them to honor and obey their children. This is improper, says Noble, because there’s no Hebrew word for command.

Like the Sabbath commandment, this is another awkward one for NewSpring, which often encourages its youth to reject parental authority in favor of NewSpring’s programs and teachings. Common in these parts are stories of families being torn apart by children and young adults who break from their Christian parents in favor of NewSpring, or leave college against their parents’ wishes to attend NewSpring College. NewSpring leaders know that big family events like Christmas often precipitate family conflict over NewSpring, so they prepare young people with articles like this one published in early December entitled My Family Thinks I Belong To A Cult. If young people don’t have to honor their parents, they can’t be talked out of their cults.

6) You shall not murder becomes You do not have to live in a constant state of anger because you will be motivated by love and not hate.

Noble uses this as yet another opportunity to beat up on other Christians.

I think one of the things that bothers me most about Christians is how hateful we seem to come across sometimes. I mean, we’re just mean. And we tend to be mean at people that are very different from us. Theologically, if you don’t agree just like me, I’m going to be mean to you. Moralistically, if you don’t agree with me then I’m going to be mean to you. But then, as we read about the person of Jesus, he just wasn’t mean to very many people (except the Pharisees–called then sons of hell), but to other people, he’s just this loving guy.

Yet again, Noble ignores the sin problem that requires the gospel. God hates sin, and because we were sinners, God hated us. (Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.) Because God’s hate is righteous, it’s holy and good, unlike ours. As we saw earlier, Jesus proclaimed the need to obey God’s law, which is impossible to do perfectly, making us lawbreakers and enemies of God. The good news is that, for those God gave to him, Jesus mediates between us and God with his perfect obedience, meaning that we meet God as our adoptive father rather than as an avenging judge.

Without an understanding of God’s terrifying hate, his love is meaningless.

7) You shall not commit adultery becomes You do not have to live a life dominated by the guilt, pain and shame associated with sexual sin.

Perhaps Noble could tell us what now constitutes sexual sin if there are no commandments regulating sexual behavior. From whence comes the guilt and shame if there is no law forbidding anything? By Noble’s logic, you’re free to commit adultery (whatever that is now) so that you can experience the blessing of having your shame removed.

Noble proudly claims that, unlike most other preachers, he likes to talk about sex and thinks that it’s good so long as it’s in the context of a heterosexual marriage. The problem is that by removing the law against sex outside of marriage, there’s nothing morally commendable or God pleasing about marital sex. Noble promises God’s forgiveness for sexual sin, but there’s no need for forgiveness if there have been no laws broken. By revoking the law, Noble erases the blessing.

8) You shall not steal becomes I will provide.

Noble prefaces this by saying that he actually thinks this is a good command (God must be relieved), but it makes a better promise. Noble assures us that God provides for his children, though his examples limit God’s provision to material benefits. His interpretation of God’s paternal care being linked to American commercialism would surprise believers in other parts of the world and other eras.

9) You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor becomes You do not have to pretend.

Contrary to what you understand from a plain reading of Scripture, this is not intended to benefit your neighbor; it’s really designed for your emotional self indulgence. It’s hermeneutical solipsism; the Bible’s all about me.

Cue another anti-Christian rant:

Church people are famous for pretending. Seriously. Every week in church it’s Halloween. People dress up in costumes, pretending to be someone that they’re really not. It’s a shackle that religion has held on people for far too long….When you know Jesus, you don’t have to pretend for a bunch of people who don’t know him anyway.

All those other non-NewSpring churches, in other words, are full of liars who aren’t actually Christians. (If NewSpringers ever wonder why parents worry that their kids have joined a cult, preaching like this is a clue.)

Noble doesn’t truly believe in removing his own masks and being fully transparent, however. As Chris Rosebrough was first to document, earlier in the sermon Noble accidentally used the N-word while recounting a conversation he’d had with a single friend about whether he should just buy himself a dog over his wife’s objections. Noble said, “I was like, ‘N*****, ca…'” at which point he stopped being honest and changed the topic. In the context of the moment, the word could be nothing else but what it sounded like, and it suggests that he regularly addresses someone in his life by that awful term.

Contrary to Noble’s hypocritical call to full transparency, some things ought to remain opaque. This side of heaven, we’re sinners with thoughts and desires that all-too-frequently violate all ten commandments. With the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying help, we work to make our fallen hearts fully subject to God’s moral law, but it is good for us and all of our neighbors that we keep most our internal ugliness just between ourselves and the Holy Spirit. The ability to do that is part of God’s common grace that holds societies together.

10) You shall not covet becomes I will be enough.

Noble starts by saying that the command against coveting donkeys, oxen or servants seems irrelevant, so he has to wrestle with this one. Now that he’s discovered that it’s not actually a command, he doesn’t have to worry about coveting donkeys any more.

If the true meaning of this command was that God was enough, God had already stated this in the preface to the Commandments when he reminded his people, “I am the Lord you God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.” This is not the same as the command that we must not covet.


Noble finishes the sermon by telling his audience that he has given them ten reasons to say yes to Christ, then leads them in a prayer that starts, “Jesus Christ, I know that I’m a sinner and I need your forgiveness. I believe you died on the cross and you rose from the grave to pay for my sin. I receive your payment.”

There was nothing in the sermon that supported any of the points in the prayer. How would Noble’s audience know they were sinners? Noble erased the law, so nobody in his audience ought to think of themselves as sinners. What laws have they broken that require forgiveness?

There’s nothing in the sermon to explain the need for Christ (besides him being someone that for some reason pleads for us to say yes to him), nor why he would need to die on a cross. Why was the resurrection important, especially when the cross seems unnecessary? What is Jesus paying for, and why is it me that’s receiving the payment? It’s backwards. God receives the payment because I cannot possibly pay. Jesus was sacrificed for me, not to me.

After the prayer, Noble tells those who prayed to sign a name tag to show that they have “nailed it down” with God. Hearing the gospel is a prerequisite to faith and repentance (Rom 10:14), yet nobody at NewSpring that night heard the gospel preached. Nevertheless, Noble confidently assured scores of people that they had just become right with God.

If it still actually mattered, to many of his hearers such a claim would have seriously violated the Ninth Commandment.

Update

NewSpring’s public relations director sent the following reply to a series of questions I had sent asking if Noble stood by his claim that there is no Hebrew word for command, if he still thinks God told him to deliver the message, if he had said the N-word in the sermon, and if he ever used it with other people.

We do stand by the message Perry gave to our church on December 24, 2015, and we do believe the Lord prompted Perry to deliver it as he did.

In regards to your question about the ‘N’ word, Perry doesn’t use that word and doesn’t address anyone in his life by such a word.  He did not use that word in his message and what you perceived as him doing so was [a] matter of words getting jumbled as can happen with anyone who is speaking.

356 thoughts on “Noble rescinds the Ten Commandments for 2015

  1. Justin Jan 3, 2015 1:49 am

    This article has totally missed the point. As a former atheist, pot head, prodigal son, the work the Lord has done through NewSpring has not only saved me, but absolutely changed my life. It breaks my heart to see such an amazing teaching misconstrued. It’s very clear that all the negativity is stemming from people looking through a lens of condemnation before they even read it, or watch the sermon. Those of you reaching, saying you heard the N-word is outrageous. Perry is so far from racist. It was his preaching that Jesus used to change my mind, and heart about interracial dating. Go watch the series You Asked for it, and watch the message on interracial dating and tell me he is racist.

    Perry never says that we aren’t to follow the 10 commandments. I’ve heard him preach that, in Christ we are even held to a higher standard. Ex. Don’t just avoid adultery but do not even look at a woman with lust, Do not murder, do not even hate someone. If he teaches as followers of Christ, we are held to a higher moral standard than the 10 commandments your entire article loses it’s point. No where does Perry ever imply that we are to run wild and live recklessly with no consequences because we have grace, and the 10 commandments don’t matter.

    You guys have missed the boat when Jesus said he didn’t come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. Christ died as the passover lamb, he was the payment to redeem us from the law. That’s what it means when he said to FULFILL the law. So yes we as Christians are no longer under the law at all. Galatians covers this extensively HOWEVER if you are truly saved the HOLY SPIRIT lives inside of you and convicts you of your sin. If you are truly saved, you won’t just go live recklessly “because the 10 commandments aren’t legally binding anymore.” The the spirit of the living God has taken up residence in your heart and begins to change your desires, actions, thoughts. This is what sanctification is, it’s not us trying hard to follow commandments, it’s us listening to the spirit of God guiding our lives. I promise you the Holy Spirit is much more effective at guiding us than the law. As Paul said, law leads to death, spirit leads to life. The day Moses received the law “about 3000 were killed that day.” The day the Apostles received the Spirit “About 3000 were added to their number that day.” The law leads to death, the spirit leads to life.

    The whole point of the sermon was not to demean to the 10 commandments. It was to illustrate that if you accept Christ as lord, the Holy Spirit will guide you to live an abundant and overflowing life. Not only will he lead you to keep the commands, but thrive well beyond just “keeping commands.” The “promises” Perry spoke of were promises for your life if you’re being led by the Holy Spirit. These promises I can personally attest to, because the spirit of Christ living inside of me has changed my life. I don’t have to strive to keep the 10 commandments, the Holy Spirit guides me as stated in John 16:13. Love for all you brothers and sisters in Christ

    • Justin Jan 3, 2015 1:58 am

      To clarify what I posted above, The Moral law we follow as Christians is even a higher moral standard than 10 Commandments. The Holy Spirit inside of us is what guides us to follow the moral law. Not our best efforts, or intentions.

      • Jimmy Jan 3, 2015 2:03 pm

        Justin:

        Feel free to leave ANY Scripture references so that we can see how you systematically arrived at your theology aside from coming to the defense of your pastor.

  2. Stephen Jan 3, 2015 1:55 am

    “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” – 1 Cor 3:7

    Some of you NewSpringers say, “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only Perry who gives the growth.”

    • Justin Jan 3, 2015 2:49 am

      I don’t think anyone believes that. Perry has been gifted with communicating the gospel, and he uses that gift. Just as Paul writes in Romans 12. Christ alone can save. Only through his blood on the cross. He doesn’t have to use any of us but he does. Nobody who is actively involved at NewSpring believes Perry is anything more than a tool God chooses to use. Nothing more.

      • Jimmy Jan 3, 2015 2:05 pm

        Justin:

        I didn’t hear any communication of the Gospel in that talk. Noble wiped out the Law, so there’s no bad news. If there’s no bad news, why do we need good news?

  3. Jeramy Jan 3, 2015 2:15 am

    I have a great interest in and gratitude for NewSpring since it is where in 2009 my wife committed her life to following Jesus (this has been an irreplaceable factor in the success of our marriage). However, I recognize that Perry Noble’s preaching is not scripture; he is fallible; so do not think I assume he can do no wrong. He is not the best preacher in the world, and he definitely is not my favorite. But I think it is cool to see how Christ-centered and salvation-driven this sermon is; still, the PajamaPages (PjPg) tries so desperately nitpick it and classify it as heresy.

    My challenge to anyone reading the post on PjPg is to actually go and watch the sermon itself. It is blatantly clear that Perry Noble is not trying to rewrite the Bible; it is actually some solid exposition on theological truths behind how the 10 commandments benefit us by our following of the principles God lays out in them. In fact, the whole premise of the message is “saying yes to Jesus” not “let’s rewrite the Bible.”

    The central message of the sermon is “when you say yes to Jesus: 1)You do not have to live in constant disappointment any more. 2)You can be free from rituals and religion and trust in a relationship. 3)You can trust in a name that is above every name. 4)You can rest. 5)Your family does not have to fall apart. 6)You do not have to live in a constant state of anger because you will be motivated by love and not hate. 7)You do not have to live a life dominated by the guilt, pain, and shame associated with sexual sin. 8)God will provide. 9)You do not have to pretend. 10)God will be enough.” I do not see how any of these are theologically unsound. The whole post on the PjPg is centered around why Perry Noble is wrong for “rewriting the 10 commandments” even though the sermon is correct theologically in the “promises” from God that are drawn from the 10 commandments to make the sermon points. The whole blog post is missing the point of the sermon by selling it as an attempted rewriting of Scripture, while the sermon is actually an incorporation of other principles of Biblical truth into the concept of the 10 commandments. It appears that the sermon is using other Biblical conclusions to qualify and interpret the discussed passage, which is a sound method of Biblical interpretation.

    Let’s look at some specifics from the PjPg stated disagreements with the sermon. First, the PjPg criticizes the word study on “commandment.” The sermon’s claim is that the Hebrew word that we translated as “commandment” is better translated as “saying” or “promise” since there wasn’t a word for “commandment” in Hebrew. The author of the PjPg then shows how even a simple Google search shows that “command” can be translated into Hebrew, so there is obviously a Hebrew word for command. However, the laughable oversight here is that the author of PjPg just used Google to translate to modern Hebrew, which is starkly different from ancient Hebrew. They are as different as modern English and Old English (which is what Beowulf was originally penned in, for example, the original first sentance: “Hwæt! We Gar-Dena in gear-dagum þeod-cyninga, þrym gefrunon, hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon!”) If the author of the PjPg had done his research and actually linguistically understood this instead of being blindly anti-NewSpring, he would have come across these sources from the web:
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCQQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ancient-hebrew.org%2Femagazine%2F024.doc&ei=l4enVIuqB4SLgwTGu4DgDQ&usg=AFQjCNHoVMRzfY6fva_AaYTodvNHkIrk3w&sig2=SeOgpZvPF1Lo1Lj8ukv0Sw&bvm=bv.82001339,d.eXY
    http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/27_command.html
    http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Glossary/Word_of_the_Week/Archived/Mitzvah/mitzvah.html
    Upon further review, the ancient Hebrew word “mitz’vah” is NOT best translated as “commandment.” Looks like the sermon is on the right track after all. Even Google knows PjPg’s claim is incorrect.

    Then PjPg continues to criticize the relation between the 10 “commandments” and other Biblical truths. The first sermon point relates “You shall have no other gods before me” to the promise “You do not have to live in constant disappointment any more.” You “worship” as your “god” anything that you place more important than God in your life. You will be disappointed by all things that you put before God, simply because those things ultimately cannot satisfy you. This makes complete theological sense.

    The sixth sermon point relates “You shall not murder” to the promise “You do not have to live in a state of constant anger because you will be motivated by love and not hate.” This is the same line of thinking that Jesus’ applied in Matthew 5:21-22 where anger is equated to murder. This sermon point reveals Biblical truth since it parallels Jesus’ own teaching about this “commandment.”

    The seventh sermon point relates “You shall not commit adultery” to the promise “You do not have to live a life dominated by the guilt, pain, and shame associated with sexual sin.” The concept here is that by saying “yes” to Jesus, you no longer have to live in the condemnation of your sin. This is not about removing the “commandment;” it’s about living in the grace-filled freedom from sin that Jesus’ sacrifice provides for us.

    Unlike what PjPg claims, this sermon is definitely not meant to be a reinterpretation of the “commandments” that replaces or modernizes them. It is an attempt to focus on the BENEFITS that God intends when we obey and pursue the lifestyle He has for us, rather than focusing on the RULES and missing the loving God behind the direction given.

    • SDG Jan 3, 2015 8:56 am

      However, the laughable oversight here is that the author of PjPg just used Google to translate to modern Hebrew, which is starkly different from ancient Hebrew.

      This is an interesting statement. You run with the usage of “mitzvah”, yet in the Google search (I, too, am no fan of Google theology) that Dr. Duncan used as an illustration (Noble uses illustrations all the time and is defended for doing so…). In that illustration at the bottom, is the word you attack of “mitzvah”. What’s laughable is that it’s a link to the Strong’s Number and reference to mitzvah. This means that, at the very least, the word was part of the Old Testament (i.e. “ancient Hebrew”) and actually is a valid word to consider.

      Please don’t confuse the facts. Yes, it’s true (and Dr. Duncan would agree) that we should not refer to modern Hebrew – which you pointed out. But it’s also true that this word, by being included in Strong’s, is not only a modern Hebrew word but also ancient – which you failed to mention. Just wanted to highlight this as it stands in opposition to your assertion that Dr. Duncan was mistakenly using modern Hebrew in his illustration.

      • James Duncan Jan 3, 2015 12:32 pm

        Thank you, SDG. I’m not arguing that Google Translator is a good sermon-prep tool, but that Noble didn’t even do the minimum level of research to check what he was told. Noble wasn’t making a fine distinction between ancient and modern Hebrew; he simply said he didn’t know any Hebrew, yet based his sermon on his ignorance. Google might have prompted him to dig a little deeper.

    • Chris Rosebrough Jan 3, 2015 1:45 pm

      I read Biblical Hebrew and speak Modern Hebrew and have a degree in Biblical languages.

      Your appeal to resources that discuss the origins of Hebrew words from Ancient Hebrew errs because there is HUGE difference between Ancient Hebrew and Biblical Hebrew just as there is a HUGE difference between Biblical Hebrew and Modern Hebrew.

      The differences are akin to the differences between Classical Greek vs. Koine Greek and the Kings James English vs. Modern American-English.

      Appealing to the etymological origins of a word does not address the fact that how words are used and understood often differ from their origins as languages develop. In fact, by appealing to the Ancient Hebrew in order to deny that Biblical Hebrew has a word for command you’ve committed what is known as the Etymological fallacy. This link will help you understand your error.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etymological_fallacy

      In light of your error, you need to know that it is patently false to claim that ????? does not mean command. By the time of Moses, who is the one who wrote down the first five books of the Bible, ????? most definitely meant to command and there isn’t a single reputable Biblical Hebrew Lexicon that contradicts that fact.

      A simple survey of the best Biblical Hebrew Lexicons will make the point.

      THE ENHANCED BROWN-DRIVER-BRIGGS HEBREW AND ENGLISH LEXICON

      ????? lay charge (upon), give charge (to), charge, command, order

      GESENIUS’ HEBREW-CHALDEE LEXICON TO THE OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES

      ????? to constitute, to appoint —(a) any one over any thing, followed by an acc. of person, and ??? of the thing, (b) with an acc. of the thing, to appoint, to decree, to determine any thing; i.e. to cause it to exist. Isa. 45:12, “all the host of it (the heaven) have I appointed,” caused to exist; 48:5; Deu. 28:8; Ps. 68:29; 111:9; 133:3. (2) to charge, to command, followed by acc. of pers. (like the Lat. jussit aliquem), Gen. 26:11; more rarely followed by ??? 2:16; 28:6; Esth. 2:10, 20; followed by ??? Gen. 50:16; followed by ?? Ex. 1:22. The express words of the command are subjoined with ?????? e.g. Gen. 26:11, ??????? ??????????? ?????????????? ?????? “and Abimelech commanded all the people, saying,” etc.; 32:5; Ex. 5:6. In other …

      LEXHAM THEOLOGICAL WORDBOOK

      ????? (??wâ). vb. to give an order. To command or give instruction or to appoint to a role or position. This verb is frequently used for a human giving a command to another, often to a subordinate (e.g., Gen 44:1). It can be used for humans appointing people to positions of authority: David appointed (??wâ) Solomon to inherit his throne (1 Kgs 1:35), and Nehemiah was appointed (??wâ) as governor of the land of Judah (Neh 5:14). It is also sometimes used for God appointing leaders or for people commissioning leaders to their divinely appointed roles. Moses commissioned (??wâ) Joshua as Israel’s new leader according to God’s instructions (Num 27:18–23; Deut 31:14–23); God appointed (??wâ) judges to rule over Israel (2 Sam 7:11; 1 Chr 17:10), and later appointed (??wâ) David to rule (1 Sam 25:30; 2 Sam 6:21).

      DICTIONARY OF BIBLICAL LANGUAGES WITH SEMITIC DOMAINS

      ????? (??·w?(h)): v.; ? Str 6680; TWOT 1887—1. LN 33.323–33.332 (piel) command, order, tell, instruct, give direction, decree, i.e., state with force/authority what others must do (Ge 2:16); (pual) commanded, directed, be ordered (Ge 45:19; Ex 34:34; Lev 8:35; 10:13; Nu 3:16; 36:2; Eze 12:7; 24:18; 37:7+); 2. LN 37.96–37.107 (piel) appoint, ordain, give charge, i.e., assign one to a role or function for a task or office, with a focus on the authority of the one who appointed the leader (1Sa 25:30); 3. LN 13.104–13.163 (piel) be forbidden, i.e., pertaining to what does not happen, as it is not allowed by an authority (Dt 4:23), note: for another parsing in Isa 28:10, 13, see 7417; note: further study may yield more domains

      THEOLOGICAL LEXICON OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

      ??? ?wh pi. to command S 6680; BDB 845a; HALOT 3:1010a; ThWAT 6:936–59; TWOT 1887; NIDOTTE 7422 1. The verb ?wh “to command” occurs only in Hebr. (yet cf. DISO 244, and Leander 74 regarding ?wt “command” in Cowley no. 37.14; with transposition of the consonants, Arab. w?y II “to commission,” Wehr 1075a; L. Kopf, VT 8 [1958]: 197f.; Eg. w? “to command,”?
      THEOLOGICAL WORD BOOK OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

      ????? (??wâ) command, charge. Occurs in the Piel and Pual. Derivatives

      A CONCISE DICTIONARY OF THE WORDS IN THE GREEK TESTAMENT AND THE HEBREW BIBLE

      ????? tsâvâh, tsaw-vaw´; a prim. root; (intens.) to constitute, enjoin:—appoint, (for-) bid, (give a) charge, (give a, give in, send with) command (-er, -ment), send a messenger, put, (set) in order.

      The bottom line, is that Perry Noble was wrong. There IS a Biblical Hebrew word for command and for him to teach otherwise is a huge error and for him to claim that God laid it on his heart to say there isn’t a Hebrew word for command, makes him a false prophet.

  4. Manny Jan 3, 2015 2:33 am

    Man cannot recognize grace with out knowing the law. How can you know you are a sinner if you don’t know what the commandments are. A tribal man does not know what is wrong with eating a human. To him it Is meat and if its a different color than him it could be a monkey for all he knows. But give him knowledge and law and he will recognize sin and open his heart to love the law by his own grace. There is a difference between not killing and not eliminating. To Many people live in a fruit cake world where they don’t know how to recognize what real grace is. Some don’t steal because ita a law some don’t steal because they love love their neighbor and wish to give to him and not take away. Noble is trying to produce a different play from the original author to make it interesting and entertain more people. This is not entertaining for God. Stick to the whole bible not just what interest you. Look at a life of marriage. It a union of law and love. You don’t cheat on you wife because its illegal but because she is your life and don’t want to give it up for no one. Now suppose I said well I’ll cheat on her and then shell forgive me because it a good and dandy. I’m a sinner and i fell o poor me! I was influenced by Satan! No! That is going to leave a scar that will heal but never leave. Use that logic and your wife will look like a zebra with all those scars! Bring in the law after you have offended grace and it will teach him that she can leave him for a better and loving man. Law and grace are two threads making a rope. Cut one and the rope breaks. Faith with out action is dead! Law with out grace is dead! Grace with out law is dead! Obedience to no law is confusion.

    • Candace Jan 3, 2015 4:35 pm

      The ten commandments were listed on the screen before Perry’s flip of each one. The good thing about contemporary churches is that they try to reach out to crowds who are turned off by traditional styles of teaching the Bible (i.e. ‘fire and brimstone’ Southern Baptist and Methodist churches. “If you don’t obey the commandments, you will go to hell.” That message is OBVIOUSLY not reaching out to the young people of the day.

      This was a creative message to reaching out to non-believers and it did not go against other messages in the Bible (except the translation of commandment, I’m not versed enough to make an opinion on that). I’m sure most Christians and non-Christians have had a taste of the ten commandments. They may not be able to recite them in order, but if they hear one, they can identify it as a commandment. Hearing them over and over definitely tells someone what they’re doing is a sin, by Christian standards, but I think Perry’s message was a way to say… “you know already that you’re sinning, I know that, you know that. I don’t want to weigh in on that today, but let me tell you some reasons why Jesus says you don’t have to live this life on sin.” Basically, I want you to feel God’s promise. Once you’re convicted and truly believe in that, we can work on the temptations and sinning from there.

      I think if anything this sermon reflects the Lord’s beauty and forgiveness.

      I’ve disagreed with several of Pastor Perry’s messages, so I understand the criticism of New Spring Church. However, most of this article against this particular sermon was, by far, a reach. It’s actually saddens me that you feel so strongly against this.

  5. Andy Jan 3, 2015 3:21 am

    I have a question about Command/promise 9. I’m confused as to the things that should stay between us and the holy spirit? James talks about the benefits of confession and living in a communal life. Why is it a bad thing that we should live a life void of shame because of a recognition of our sin, God’s boundless Glory and holiness, and the work of Christ on the cross? Why should there be things that need to be hidden? What are the things that should be hidden more? I’m not a huge fan of Perry Noble or the upper level leadership of Newspring, but on this one I tend to agree with them.

    • James Duncan Jan 3, 2015 12:46 pm

      I’m not saying there’s no place for confession, but that our constant inclination to sin isn’t something that we need to share with the world or act upon. Paul himself in Romans 7 acknowledged that he wanted to do things he ought not, yet he didn’t see a need to elaborate on what those were, just that they would only last until he died and was glorified.

  6. djk Jan 3, 2015 4:34 am

    “Love thy neighbor as thy self”

  7. JT Jan 3, 2015 7:47 am

    I had a much longer reply that somehow that was deleted, and I hate typing on my iPhone, so I will condense this by quoting Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
    A warning written to 21st century preachers of the Word, as he battled Hitler’s regime and did all he could to keep the church alive in Germany until he was martyred.
    “we must be able to speak about our faith so that the hands will be stretched out toward us faster than we can fill them… Do not try to make the Bible relevant. It’s relevance is axiomatic… Do not defend God’s Word, but testify to it… Trust to the Word. It is a ship loaded to the very limits of its capacity!” DB 1932

  8. Morgan Jan 3, 2015 7:58 am

    ill stick with the old stuff!! The KJV, old fashion preachin. The Holy Ghost filled services, not the rock services.. I’ll take a real church, a real pastor!!! Praise God it’s settled, I’m saved!!!

    • Gregory Perry Sr Jan 3, 2015 12:59 pm

      Morgan…it is refreshing to hear a voice of wisdom and discernment in a noisy world of heresy.

  9. SDG Jan 3, 2015 8:39 am

    Well, this thread got active.

    I would like to offer one way that those who disagree with Dr. Duncan could be very helpful. Instead of getting defensive about this, you can start off the dissent by making your case to prove that Dr. Duncan is wrong in the initial assertion that there actually is a Hebrew word for command/commandment. Can we at least start there and you prove that there is actually not a Hebrew word. Here is where you need to focus:

    But in the original Hebrew language, there’s no word for command, so it couldn’t have been the Ten Commandments. He said it’s best translated as the Ten Sayings.

    Is Perry Noble right or wrong here? The remainder of his sermon hinges on this initial thesis that he’s making. If he is right, then the rest of his sermon has more validity. But if he is wrong, this is problematic with the rest of his sermon.

    Let me give you a start… One such Hebrew word for “commandment” is found here. It occurs in both Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 (the two passages where The 10 Commandments are detailed).

    Jeramy was the first one to actually try to discuss this and his reply came in as I was typing this. Thank you for trying. But, you just demonstrated that it’s rather easy to get started with finding the different words that could mean command. Yet you still end up supporting Noble based off of Dr. Duncan using Google and the screenshot showing only the first example. Here’s a better example. There are 30 different words in Hebrew that have been translated into command. You’ll have to try a lot harder to show that over 400 years of English Bible translators are wrong for translating any Hebrew words into “command”.

  10. Cayce Jan 3, 2015 9:29 am

    1. Do you not have anything better to do with your time? 2. Total Depravity of Man. I can live a perfect and sinless life and go straight to hell….

    • James Duncan Jan 3, 2015 12:56 pm

      If you could life a perfect and sinless life, you’d assuredly go to Heaven. But you can’t, which is why God provides a perfect Mediator. If there’s no requirement to obey the law, there’s no reason for Christ.

      That’s the profound error in Noble’s sermon.

  11. Ba Jan 3, 2015 9:55 am

    Revelation 22:18-19 says, “For I testify unto everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, if anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; And if anyone takes away from the words of this book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, and from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” These are very stern warnings that should get our undivided attention.

  12. SDG Jan 3, 2015 10:11 am

    As I was listening to Perry’s sermon on my run today, I heard over and over that these are not Commandments but they are Promises. One of the wise things believers should do is see how the NT interprets the OT. Something hit me quite hard…

    Ephesians 6:1-2 ESV

    Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise)

    Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, says that this “commandment” is the first one that also includes a promise. If this were merely a promise on its own, the verse would make no sense to read it using Perry’s method of interpretation…

    Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first promise with a promise)

  13. Dee Parsons Jan 3, 2015 10:24 am

    The response by some NewSpring defenders is typical of what I have seen in a myriad of megachurches in which the pastor becomes the celebrity and must be defended at all costs.

    A member becomes concerned when his pastor is critiqued because it calls into question the member’s judgment in selecting who to follow. I observed this for the last 5 years as I dealt with followers of Mark Driscoll. I used to get treatises on why Driscoll was a great preacher and leader. They were more concerned with apologetic defenses of the pastor than of the faith.

    Hang in there and continue to document what you see. You are providing a needed service to the body of Christ, even if some do not want to see it.

  14. John A Jan 3, 2015 10:30 am

    You say:

    “But it is good for us and all of our neighbors that we keep most our internal ugliness just between ourselves and the Holy Spirit”

    God’s word says:

    Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (?James? ?5?:?16? ESV)

      • John A. Jan 3, 2015 11:39 am

        Thanks Dee and happy new year to you. I just want to be clear Im not defending Noble in any way. My comment was a bit off topic but I think it is important to point out the flawed theology of the one who is set on exposing flawed theology. I think people begin to tolerate error from their leaders because they agree so strongly in other areas. The author of this site should be held to the same standard he employs to criticize Noble and others.

  15. Servant of God Jan 3, 2015 10:34 am

    I just wish that you would find something better to do with your time. You spend all of your time writing articles about this church. What good does that do? My question for you, sir, is what are you doing to further the Gospel? Because attacking churches that are changing people’s lives and saving them from a life of sin and showing them Jesus is doing nothing to further the kingdom of God. Find a new hobby.

    • Rich Jan 3, 2015 11:55 am

      Because of the numbers “my” way is correct. Because we say the words Jesus, Gospel, Sin, God, love “we” couldn’t be incorrect. How dare you correct us. When you preach another Jesus, Gospel, God, love it is a requirement of those that have not been blinded, to point out the broad path of destruction people are on. The mega gatherings in corporate buildings are making the scripture “many are called few are chosen” come to pass. This is the other side of Love that no one wants to discuss. Does God love tares, yes, will He burn them in the fire, yes. A study of the words many and few is in order for the mega buildings ran by hirelings. What good is changing lives if it is to be burned up in the fire. He must increase and I must decrease is not a theme of the hirelings. Hint: the increase is not numbers sitting in a seat.

    • Tikatu Jan 3, 2015 2:19 pm

      SOG, I’ll quote Dr. Duncan’s question to Hannah, who posted up thread and made a similar accusation.

      Hannah, before the 10 Commandments post, when was the last time PP had a new article about NewSpring?

      Obviously, Dr. Duncan doesn’t spent “all” his time writing about NewSpring. However, if you’ve read about their treatment of him and and his family, it’s easy so see how he might be tempted to do so.

  16. DB Jan 3, 2015 11:16 am

    some ppl are so shallow. It’s hard to believe that as long as the bible has been God written word, think of all the generations of people that have lived by this word and some guy that just happens to lead a church comes along and says something so powerful that his followers are willing to drop what God has kept together for 2000 years just because this dude says he heard from God. Really? Are you guys really that shallow?

  17. Matt Jan 3, 2015 11:47 am

    Servant,

    This is the gospel, though. We need the law to condemn us, to show us what sin is, then finally to show our need for a savior (Romans 7:7-25). It is important to reveal when this isn’t being taught and why it needs to be. It isn’t a hobby, but something that is biblically mandated (many places but Titus 1 is a good start).

  18. Lucas Hoffmann Jan 3, 2015 12:30 pm

    I find it funny that Noble’s defenders continue to refer to the ten commandments as…the ten commandments.

    If he’s right, should you not be calling them promises?

  19. JJ Jan 3, 2015 12:32 pm

    I am saddened by your blog post. I relate to both sides… have grown up in the church and also attended Newspring regularly. It was at newspring in 2001 that I actually began to understand and live out my faith. The deep theology and criticical nature of those in the church where I grew up had put a nasty taste in my mouth and turned me away from Christianity. I don’t agree with everything that is done at newspring, but it is not my place to judge. God is the ultimate judge and rather than point fingers and criticize Perry, you should be praying for him. Praying that God will continue to give him clarity, discernment, and wisdom. It is our own hearts that we should be examining because God is the ultimate judge. Honestly, you act just like the pharasees in Matthew 12:1-14.
    Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? Matt 7
    It is one God that we serve. Only God has the power to change lives and hearts, Perry is accountable to God, not man. It is not for us to point fingers at the work God is doing.

    • Jimmy Jan 3, 2015 2:13 pm

      It is absolutely for the Church to point out and make moral judgements on false teaching. Go study how Jesus and the Apostles talked to and about false teachers.

  20. Steve Turner Jan 3, 2015 12:58 pm

    Wow, if everyone worked as hard to WIN lost souls to Jesus and we do pointing out splinters in each others eyes, there would not be enough buildings to hold services. No wonder we can’t win the majority of the world, we can’t even “become one body”.

  21. Justin Jan 3, 2015 1:52 pm

    Just want to add this in. If you do a little bible study of Exodus 20:1(the first appearance of The 10 Commandments) they are also known as the Decalogue. The Hebrew in Exodus 20:1 literally mean Ten Words, or Ten Utterances. No where in the original manuscripts is the word commandment used in Exodus 20:1. Yes they are later referred to as Commandments. But the scripture first refers to them as ” Ten Words” or “Ten Utterances” Don’t take my word for it, do your research. Later in Exodus 34:28 it is referred to as “Words of the Covenant”, “The Ten Commandments.”

    In Deuteronomy 4:13 is the first time they are referred to as only Commandments. First mention of them only calls them “10 Words or 10 Utterances.” Which is the premise Perry built the message on, which is biblically accurate in the context of scripture. The 2nd mention in scripture is “Words of The Covenant” A Covenant implies a promise being made IE. Noah and the Rainbow. Or a promise about how the Lord will Bless Israel if they keep his commands. So Israel’s end of the Covenant was to keep 10 PROMISES to God. If they kept them The Lord would Bless them, in a whole more than just those 10 ways.

    All the message did was put that exact same thing in a New Covenant light. If we accept Jesus ( our end of the promise), then all of God’s promises are for us.

  22. Ally Jan 3, 2015 2:06 pm

    Steve Turner….I have one word AMEN!!!!! SMH

  23. Howard Tuckey Jan 3, 2015 3:51 pm

    2Timothy 4:3,4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

  24. Wilhelm Jan 3, 2015 3:56 pm

    If people would actually study for themselves instead of relying on someone else for their spiritual fulfillment, they would be better off. Reminds me of the Catholic church abuses of the middle ages. Herd the Sheeple!

    • Jordan Jan 4, 2015 5:17 pm

      Reminds me of the Catholic church abuses of the middle ages.

      Which “abuses” are you referring to?

      • Jordan Jan 4, 2015 5:19 pm

        Sorry, I accidentally included my question in the block quote. I meant to ask which supposed “abuses” of the Catholic Church you were referring to.

  25. RG Leverett Jan 3, 2015 4:22 pm

    i read this post and decided let me listen to the sermon
    Looking it over I would say Noble is minimally orthodox in a broad evangelical kind of way. But he appears to badly need some decent theological education. While some of us PCA Presbyterian reformed types overtheologize he is need of basic theological education.
    His comments on the 10 commandments not being commandments is basically nonsense. The problem is his sermon lacks basic good exegesis. So he starts with bad exegesis which if he takes it too its logical conclusion will take him into at best antinomianism and at the worst heresy.

    But I don’t think that’s his intention. He jumps from the 10 suggestions nonsense straight to his application. Much of hid application is not that bad. If he had spent a little bit of time with more solid exegesis and how the 10 commandments point out our sin and need for salvation then gone into his application it would have been maybe a decent sermon.

    I also don’t think God told him to preach That sermon. I’m sure he had a strong feeling that he confuses with the voice/call of God. Not wise but many do the same.

  26. RG Leverett Jan 3, 2015 4:27 pm

    Did he use the N word? it sounds like he was about to but caught himself. My guess is that he’s a hipster cool type that tries to stay with the culture. Since so much of rap and hip hop uses the N word some whites will use it as a brand of coolness. I’m betting he uses the N word as a way to show “coolness”

    It doesn’t mean he is racist just unwise. In teaching I hear the N word all day long. Some kids have even called me the N word. But I stay away from it. I am a Southern white guy I know I can not use it in conversation. They only time I utter the word,is in reading literature or history that uses the word.

  27. Jordan Jan 3, 2015 4:48 pm

    To the defenders of Newspring:

    I have noticed that many of you have responded to this article with comments such as “Why don’t you [Dr. Duncan] spend your time doing something else?”, or “Christians shouldn’t tear other Christians down”, or “my life/my friend’s life/my family member’s life has been changed by Newspring.” I would simply like to point out that these are emotional responses to a legitimate criticism of Perry Noble’s message, not of Perry Noble himself. Even though I don’t agree with everything Dr. Duncan says, I can see that he is not judging Noble (as no one other than God can do), but only Noble’s message. Additionally, as Christians we are happy to hear that your life has changed for the better after attending NS. However, the fact that lives have been changed doesn’t mean that NS can do no wrong.

    I hope that some of the supporters of NS will attempt to refute Dr. Duncan’s argument with a rational, compelling argument that isn’t based on emotion.

    • Rich Jan 3, 2015 6:02 pm

      1Coorinthians 6:1-5 If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people? Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, do you ask for a ruling from those whose way of life is scorned in the church? I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers?

  28. Stephanie Jan 3, 2015 5:01 pm

    James, keep up the good work brother. Slick talkers like this Perry Noble need to be exposed. He belittled and changed God’s Word and that is one of the most evil things anyone can do! God help us!

  29. Chris Jan 3, 2015 5:02 pm

    Sermons like these make me so glad I’m not a protestant. Personality of megachurch pastors eventually take over their ability to preach bilical/HISTORIC Christian truth

  30. Ben Jan 3, 2015 5:32 pm

    At least two parts of this message need to be addressed. First, I listened to the message and struggled to hear the N-word. At times I notice that Perry’s vocabulary can be vulgar but I could not state without a shadow of doubt that he said that.

    Second, the real problem is the premise of the message. First, it is called the ten words. That does not negate these words being commandments. Hebrew does have a word for commanding and the word for commandment is related to the verb. Check Hebrew Lexicons and you can find them. While the word commandment is used in Exodus 20:6, promise is not. Second, the words “You shall not” is the strongest way to prohibit an action.(Gesenius 107o) Also, the rest of the words like “honor” are imperatives. That means that they are commands. One is an infinitive. It could be taken as an emphatic imperative. That would make the use a command and not a promise. If Perry said I am applying this passage as promises then his message is not quite as bad. The premise is based on bad exegesis. It is almost like Perry came up with 10 valuable lessons and looked for a passage to use. Harry Emerson Fosdick did this in the 60’s. He looked for a need, came up with a message, and sprinkled verses to justify his sermon. Perry may be sincere and have outward success but nothing can justify sloppy exegesis of Scripture. We must all be careful in our handling of Scripture.

Comments are closed.