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. Rich Jan 3, 2015 6:28 pm

    ExegesisThe interpreter makes the scripture say what God has to say.

    EisegesisThe interpreter makes the scripture say what He wants it to say.

    Hirelings tend to make the scripture say what they want it to. The ears do need to be tickled and the bills do need to be paid.

  2. Justin Jan 3, 2015 7:09 pm

    What you are doing by this post is turning non Christians away from Jesus. The Gospel is VERY simple, and you are making it seem as though it is complex…
    Let’s just get away from your whole article and perry’s sermons, and think about if you have handled your disagreement that could cause others to turn away from the Gospel. If you have something against someone confront them in private. You obviously do not know Perry, or any of his staff. They all love Jesus and while it’s not a traditional church with hyms and a choir, our world isn’t the same as it was 20 years ago. Jesus met people where they were (in their sin), showed compassion and showed them a way to a more prosperous life.

    People far from God are meeting Jesus and learning how to follow him. Your article totally depicts the wrong view of NewSpring church, and 50,000 people would disagree with your article… If not more.

    Jesus loves you, he loves all. While it’s not my place to tell you l that you are wrong, or right, you should think of those who don’t know Jesus, and have just been turned off by church all together because they don’t know what to believe (who’s right, who’s wrong??)

    • James Duncan Jan 3, 2015 7:30 pm

      Justin, this ought not be a private dispute. Noble preached and promoted public error, so it is proper to critique and correct it publicly, too. Publicly proclaimed error corrected only privately would be unloving to the people who continued to believe the error.

      I do know Perry personally and have spent more face time with him than 99 percent of his congregation ever will. Even so, this isn’t about him personally, but about his public proclamation of God’s Word.

    • Matt Jan 3, 2015 8:44 pm

      Justin,

      I think it is noble that you contend for your church and pastor.

      The truth is, people only come to Christ through the preaching of the gospel by the power of the Holy Spirt. You are correct that the message of the gospel is simple. The trouble is, in spite of its simplicity Perry still got it wrong when he neutralized the law, which is useful for condemning us, revealing our need for a savior.

      I hope this is helpful in showing why it’s important for Dr. Duncan to continue this good fight.

  3. Themistocles Jan 3, 2015 8:25 pm

    The word for “Commandment” in Hebrew is “mitzvah” from the root verb “tzavah”, “to lay charge (upon), give charge (to), command, order.” The concept of the necessity of doing a mitzvah is a very common idea both throughout the Tanach and later in Rabbinic Judaism. It’s not an exaggeration to say that most of the scripture is an account of the necessity for Israel to do “mitzvot” and the subsequent tragedies that befell Israel for failing to do so (with promises of future redemption). The conversation which Noble describes having with this man would be bizarre if this was an actual Jewish man with some knowledge of Judaism.

    (Noble may have gotten his wires crossed with the plural word “devarim”, translating as “words” or “things” or “sayings”, and the Hebrew name for the book of Deuteronomy.)

    This episode really highlights the need–the very urgent need–for gentile Christians to understand the Tanach and the place of Jews/Israel in God’s economy. This attitude “God used to be mean and legalistic, now he nicer and got rid of all those dumb rules” simply is not valid Christian doctrine. Noble would do himself some good by having a sit-down with a (non-crazy) Messianic Jewish Rabbi to explain the significance of Torah to gentile Christians.

  4. Former NS Member Jan 3, 2015 9:55 pm

    I am motivated by love to tell you this. The Hebrew word closest to commandment is “mits-vah” meaning a directive or landmark to guide us in our journey. The 10 commandments are not “promises” but a specific direction to live our lives. God did make promises to the Jews in the desert but pecisely told them to follow his commandments, as did Jesus in his ministry. God did not make mere suggestions to Moses. He told him precisely what to do along with many more laws. Let us remember what happened to the Israelites when they did dot follow God’s direction or commands. But it was Jesus that changed all of this. I think that is what Perry is trying to say but just in a very bizarre way. Jesus did not merely “suggest” He was the only way but was crystal clear, “I am.” As a former NS member I admire the support of the church in his message but please remember that Perry is human like the rest of us and we all make mistakes.

    • Themistocles Jan 4, 2015 2:30 am

      He’s welcome to be as human and make plenty of mistakes as long as he’s sitting in the pews. But once you claim a calling to get up in the pulpit to disciple others, you’re on a whole new level.

      Whom did Jesus cut a break? Tax collectors, prostitutes, sinners, etc. Whom was Jesus tough on? Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes. Why the difference? Because the later group should have known better, but instead were “blind guides of the blind,” just like Mr. Noble. “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.”

      Noble needs to stop preaching and submit himself to some sort of bible-based educational curriculum–and stay in it for a few years–before even thinking of getting up on another pulpit. What he’s doing now is theological malpractice, as surely as asking your local butcher to do heart surgery on you.

  5. Austin Jan 4, 2015 12:47 am

    Jesus said “My people suffer for lack of knowledge.”

    Perry oftentimes speaks to a very skindeep new-born christian type crowd. I have sonce outgrown his way of teaching and have craved deeper delvings into the scripture. After listening to his message, I cannot label it as heresy, but it definitely isn’t sound preaching or doctrined. I understand what he was doing. He wanted to send a flashy message that ripped away the visions of the wooden white backwoods baptist christianity that so many of we southerners are familiar with and oftentimes leary of. He was trying to paint a new face on what christianity is. A new “marketing face” if you will… it WAS the biggest night for church attendance everywhere after all. But the issue with it is, if the listener was not grounded in his or her scriptural wisdom and biblical knowledge, the parallelism in the sermon could be take catastrophically wrong and build a completely faulty foundation for many followers’ christian foundation. His syntax for his message was simply not tasteful or respectful to the Holy words of God.

    I do believe that though this article is harsh on the New Spring core, he is all but wrong. Leading even ONE soul astray is a disaster. Noble should have checked his facts two or three times over before presenting such a message.

    I don’t believe he refuted the laws but he definitely belittled them and don’t do to ANY of God’s word is a mistake.

    Noble has brought about many meetings with Christ and new Believers which is a beautiful thing, but the Lord also said to beware of false doctrine and false prophets. Do not be afraid to challenge your preacher’s words no matter where you attend church. Do not simply blindly follow. Be self-driven to expand your own spirituality. Do not sit idly going that maybe your pastor’s spirituality will soul out over to you after he enlightens you on some groundbreaking message. We need to stop being a body of Christ driven by feelings because feelings will fade. There is a vast difference between feeling and conviction. Noble is very good at producing the initial feelings of new believers. But after that the convictions must come from ones own spiritual ambition and leaving not on your own understanding or anyone else’s but the the Word of God, the bible.

  6. Brian Jan 4, 2015 2:07 am

    Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (?Matthew? ?22?:?37-40? NIV

    You are correct, this is not personally targeted to Perry as even Jesus noted himself in Acts 9:4. Often words are mistaken, disguised and even taken out of context. Such as “neutralizing the law”, as if one might suggest that man has such authority? God, through the Holy Spirit, authors conviction, enforces His perfect law and clearly man cannot dispute, challenge nor neutralize God’s purpose. Now, do I believe that was the intent of the “neutralizing comment”? No, nor do I support the notion that Perry’s message suggest God’s laws (commandments) be rescinded in 2015 as if that is some New Years resolution. Without doubt, Perry prayerfully desires to communicate with all audiences, churched and unchurched alike. In doing so, he strives to reach the lost and encourage the church body, while generally speaking relative language of our culture. In doing so, it is often mistaken for sacrilegious comments. My faith is secure in God alone and I dispute this misinterpretation based on a single message.
    Kind Regards.

  7. Patrick Jan 4, 2015 7:08 am

    I’ve read several of the comments and am shocked at the blindness and ignorance of Noble’s disciples.

    Perry Noble is simply slow walking his congregation to Apostasy.

    Matthew 7:21-23

    “Not everyone who says to me,‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me,‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them,‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

  8. Owner at NS Jan 4, 2015 8:07 am

    I’m gonna go straight to the point and call out every single one of you. This “argument” has so much conflict. It is like each of you that posts is posting just so you can prove someone wrong. I don’t think God would want that. What needs to happen is to speak from scripture and know the truth. I disagree with Pastor P to an extent. The commandments are a direction, or more so a guide for how God wants us to love our lives, not really promises. If they were just “promises” then we wouldn’t really have much of God’s Law, which Paul emphasizes on a lot. But I do beileve that there are promises behind each commandment. Yeah Pastor P is a teacher, but he is STILL human. All teachers make mistakes (except Jesus), it happens. But it is not our job, or our right to beat a teacher down for making a mistake. Correction is needed, but after that, judging and criticizing needs to stop. Seems like the interest and/or motivation all you post people have is just to prove someone wrong. At this point, the truth has been spoken, and if you wanna believe the false sermon Pastor P spoke, then that’s between you and God.

    • Joey E Jan 4, 2015 2:00 pm

      Good points. But what about in this case, where a “mistake” was made about whether there is a Hebrew word for “commandment.” It is obvious that was wrong. And how does NS respond to this “mistake”?

      They say, “We stand by Perry.” If it was a mistake, they should just admit it. Their response shows it is a sin of commission or omission, depending on your perspective.

    • Robyn moore Jan 4, 2015 3:46 pm

      Don’t stand by Perry, stand by,up and for the Lord Jesus Christ. I would be appalled and most definitely call out my pastor during his sermon if I ever heard him change Gods word. God will never tell man to rewrite the Bible, how can deacons or leaders of this fellowship buy into this. A man of God, preacher, should be versed enough not to even think such as rewriting Gods word. I have read several of perrys sermons and gave found error upon error of what he is teaching . Wake up new springs, it’s not all about feel good and starry eyes and listening to secular music such as highway to hell, it’s about Jesus Christ period.

  9. Andy Jan 4, 2015 8:58 am

    Reading about this reminds me of this quote:

    “the code is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl.” Captain Barbossa. Pirates of the Caribbean.

  10. Holly Jan 4, 2015 10:04 am

    I saw the sermon and I took it as “If you obey this command [the actual commandment] then this will be the result [Perry’s “interpretation”].”

    • Aimee Jan 5, 2015 7:34 pm

      I agree. I wish Perry had chosen to preach this sermon for every night of the Christmas services because a little more preparation would have made that clearer. The assertion that Perry has EVER led people in this church to disregard scripture is a fallacy, proven by the fact that it took YEARS of him preaching several messages a week for PajamaPages to find even ONE message remotely implying that. Regardless of whether or not there is a word for commandment in Hebrew, I still regard those statements as commandments and so do most people. What I HADNT considered is that my obedience to these commandments have always been as a result of my effort and the grace from Christ…I have never obeyed these commandments in my own. What Perry said was TRUE…He IS sufficient for my worship, He DOES provide all of my needs, He DOES give me rest, He HAS freed me from sexual immorality that I was once a slave to. I am a Newspring owner and regular attendee, and was thankful for this message. During a season where my performance in life seems to be a source of discouragement, I needed to be reminded of the salvation I have that wasn’t earned by good works.

      People who hate Newspring will never be persuaded not to. And people who’s lives have been changed by what God has done through Newspring won’t be persuaded either. There are people who are TIRED of being a slave to sin…and TIRED of feeling rejected by the very kind of people who are pouncing on Perry’s every syllable. Thank you for reminding me why we do what we do every week!

      • Bob Fox Jan 5, 2015 9:37 pm

        I don’t believe Perry intentionally led people to disregard Scripture but when you say a commandment is not a commandment…you have a problem. Maybe this will be a wake up call for Perry and God will encourage him to continue fighting the good fight. I believe God puts us back on track if we are ministered to by the Holy Spirit. If today’s seasoned veteran Christians allow errors in teaching, it is one more of a long list of examples of a complacent and ineffective 21st century church. If the Church is to be a beacon of light, why is this nation morally bankrupt. It is not just about Newspring, its about most USA churches.

  11. Leeann Jan 4, 2015 10:14 am

    I find it so baffling that anyone would take the amount of time and energy it took to split hairs over the way something was said and comepletelly miss the heart of the message!
    I don’t think that when Perry gets to the gates of heaven along with the tens of thousands of other people he has led to Christ thru the ministry God has given him to be faithful to, that God is going to say “hey Perry, by the way, those Ten Commandments are not promises, they are commandments, now be gone with you.” I know God will say, “well done good and faithful servant … Come and share in your masters happiness” Mathew 25:21

  12. Toby Humphries Jan 4, 2015 10:19 am

    I always appreciate the solid expositonal comments on this page that helps expose error. What I have found with my interaction with many Nobelites is that they can’t take exposure. Everything the prophet says is truth! So defensive! Most do not know what they believe or why they believe it. If it is said at NS it must be truth! Gods Word is truth! And that alone. Maybe the reason so many are offended is that you are supposed to be! You maybe an offender! Keep up the good word to expose error and defend truth!

    • Christian that attends newspring Jan 4, 2015 5:04 pm

      so you’re calling us “nobelites”? Isn’t that a little judgmental Toby? If you call yourself a Christian you’re guilty of a sin front of everyone here. Let’s expose you! That was an error. The TRUTH is that all people fall short of the glory of God and just because you don’t agree with perry, doesn’t mean you should judge everyone that attends newspring. That’s pretty awful. We believe the bible at newspring, that is what we are taught. Many of you at small churches can’t handle the fact that newspring is thriving. You always want to find something wrong with our church. Why don’t you look at your own church and correct the error in it, and let the “nobelites” do the same with their church. Do you guys have youth that are going to schools proclaiming the gospel? Do you have members inviting new people to church on a regular basis? Do you look at people who don’t dress or act like you’re differently? Does your pastor make mistakes? If you can answer yes to any of these then that means your church has work to do too. And you can’t say none of these apply because I know that your pastor makes mistakes. Just like you, and just like me.

  13. Pingback: White pastor drops N-Word during sermon | theGrio

  14. A Believer Jan 4, 2015 10:44 am

    Another point, seems like all the Newspring “owners” are admitting that their leader was wrong. Didn’t he say that Jesus spoke to him? So, do you now believe he is a liar? Also, ask yourself this? What kind of a church closes on Christmas and a Sunday? Wake up people!

  15. young Christian Jan 4, 2015 12:01 pm

    Personally I think that he didn’t think it through enough before he gave this sermon. There is too much to argue about. Yes, things in the bible can be modernized but shouldn’t be changed. If you break the ten commandments you are forgiven. But they aren’t suggestions. It is a sin to say the Lord’s name in vein. It is a sin to murder or steal or covit. It is a sin to have idols. You are to worship one God and follow his commandments. And when you falter from his commandments you ask for forgiveness. That is the way out of it. Not rewording them, making them seem like things God promised. He did promise those things IF you follow TEN commandments. There are only ten. And if you mess up he hill forgive. Its that simple. Why change it?

  16. John Jan 4, 2015 12:20 pm

    Noble’s duty to his ‘investors’ is to fill seats, tickle ears and fill the coffers.

    Being controversial is a time tested method of success to get people to listen and be wowed.

    Bloggers can make a living of being outlandish because it drives traffic and attracts advertising. Noble’s approach is based on a similar model.

    If the Gospel is true and God saves the elect then the games and light show are not necessary. Neither is a huge church. But the country club church is fun and exciting.

    You have to be ‘relevant’, you know.

  17. Sam Jan 4, 2015 1:04 pm

    God set the 10 commandments in stone. If it is God speaking (saying), then it is God’s commandments. God Bless.

    Former New Spring “owner”

  18. John A. Jan 4, 2015 1:24 pm

    Sorry. I didn’t see your reply Dr Duncan and I also assumed Rich’s reply was from the other John. If this church and others are really as corrupt as is suggested here God help us all.

  19. Bob Fox Jan 4, 2015 1:26 pm

    Error begets error. I do not know where this is going but I can be sure this is an example of the coming apostasy. Hopefully the church has a board of knowledgeable directors the Pastor is willing to listen to regarding criticism. I know the Pastor has good intentions but needs support from mentors he can trust. If not one board member, pastor, elder or attendee sees any cause of concern regarding this message on the commandments, I fear the Christian church of God is more anemic than I originally thought. Nevertheless, agape love must prevail even though a Pastor makes a mistake.

    • James Duncan Jan 4, 2015 1:34 pm

      Before launching into the Christmas Eve sermon, Noble made clear that every senior NS leader and campus pastor signed off on it. They’re all implicated, so none can call him on it now, even if they knew better.

  20. Sam Giddens Jan 4, 2015 2:01 pm

    I understand what you are saying here Perry. Each person has the “God given right” to have his/her interpretation of the word. All he’s doing is making them more understandable, dang.

    • Bob Fox Jan 4, 2015 2:39 pm

      I agree with skeptics, agnostics, atheists and all non-believers that the Bible can be interpreted thousands of different ways. Unfortunately for them, of the thousands of different interpretations, there is only one true interpretation. That true way comes by 1) being able to read, 2) comprehend what is being read from a spiritual perspective and 3) applying Hermeneutics, the art and science of Biblical interpretation. How can one interpret from a spiritual perspective without being filled with the Holy Spirit?

  21. Bob Jan 4, 2015 2:12 pm

    James, do you know for a fact that the campus pastors were told by Noble exactly what he was going to say? I think he’s saying he asked them about doing a “special service” vs what they had been doing.

    • James Duncan Jan 4, 2015 2:17 pm

      He told them that God had given him a new message and wanted to know if it was really from God. If they confirmed it without knowing what it was so they could test it against Scripture, that’s even worse.

  22. Humblylearning Jan 4, 2015 2:18 pm

    As much as sometimes I want to vigorously engage until I’m blue in the face with people who can’t understand letting the Scripture interpret the Scripture, I have to remember that sometimes no matter what I do, there are just simply going to be some people who fall into the lies of teachers who just soothe people’s ears (2 Timothy 4:3). Jesus says only few will find the way (Matthew 7:14), and many will be rejected in spite of their believing what they were doing got them saved and accepted by Him(Matthew 7:21-23), and that’s just the reality. We can only do what we can to help people, but if ultimately they still choose to follow deception, then that’s just the way Scripture says it will be for some.

  23. Bob Jan 4, 2015 2:29 pm

    So a lead pastor tells his staff that he wants to preach instead of showing some video and the staff is culpable? They were signing off on Noble preaching vs. showing a video.

    • James Duncan Jan 4, 2015 2:44 pm

      That would be good, but that’s not what he said. He wanted them to confirm that God had spoken to him. If he was was already sure of it, he had no business asking them what they thought.

      • Bob Fox Jan 4, 2015 3:17 pm

        My Pastor of 17 years was on the Neil Cavuto Show. In closing, Neil told him that many people are concerned when a Pastor says that God spoke to them. Neil asked my Pastor if God speaks to him. My Pastor replied that he reads God’s Word, that God speaks to him when he reads God’s Word. This I relate to.

  24. Brian Jan 4, 2015 2:31 pm

    In all this give and take about Perry and the message he brought about the “ten promises,” it appears there are two basic sides being taken: 1) Perry publicly taught things some feel are not Biblical and 2) others think that since Perry is “saving souls” those raising the issue have missed the point. As I read the debate, the question that surfaces for me is: Should those who appear to effectively serve the Lord have their teaching questioned? Since Perry appears–in the minds of many–to be an effective servant of Jesus, is it right to be critical of a message of his?

    With this as a central concern, I’d turn to Scripture for an answer–finding it in Acts 17. The apostle Paul has had an incredibly successful ministry; much of the Roman world of the day has felt the impact of what God was doing through him. When the apostle arrived at the city of Berea, as was his custom, he preached. And Luke’s assessment of the response to his preaching is where I find some help:

    “Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so.” ~Acts 17:11

    If it was commendable for Paul’s hearers in Berea to personally search the Scriptures to assess whether what the great apostle said was, in fact, Biblical, it would seem to me that it is only right and commendable for those who have heard Perry’s message to search the Scriptures and assess whether what he said was Biblical. If such a response to Paul’s preaching was lauded by Luke, I expect he would be lauding those who ask tough questions when Perry seems to stray from what the Scriptures say–regardless of the perception of some that he is having an impact for the Kingdom.

    • Bob Fox Jan 4, 2015 2:52 pm

      First of all, no Pastor saves. He can be used to win people to Christ. Also, no man knows the heart of man accept God. How confident is anyone that people are being saved at any church? Is an alter call an automatic as far as salvation is concerned.

  25. Susan Jan 4, 2015 2:40 pm

    All of this is very disheartening to me. Our sermon this morning at my church was a Religion of Convenience. Think about it. We are wanting to shape God into our image instead of shaping ourselves,(with God’s help and word)into His image. We want everything to be convenient so let’s just make the Ten Commandments convenient. Ha Let’s change them. Are you serious? We were made by God, for God. We go to church to worship and glorify God. Not to worship preachers or change God’s word. Trust in God’s word… DON’T change it so it is convenient and easy for you. I am praying. To God be the Glory.

  26. Daniel Johnson Jan 4, 2015 3:30 pm

    So instead of the Ten Commandments , They are the Ten Suggestions.

  27. honest question Jan 4, 2015 3:32 pm

    I assume that New Spring had the capability of printing all that material, including posters and signs, for all those services, that very night, when he came up with the sermon that morning in 10 minutes? Just wondering. That must have been a lot of printing in record time. And by the way, not only did he say “N….ga” but why did he have to say “by the way my wife’s not black”?

    Ironically, had he framed the sermon differently saying that it could be “helpful” to look at the 10 commandments as promises, just to see them anew, even though they ARE commandments it really could have been pretty good. Just saying.

  28. Angela Jan 4, 2015 3:58 pm

    I truly believe God put Pastor P there for a purpose. I cry every time I see souls saved and get baptized. I love to look around and see folks from all walks of life feel like they can belong, where the chruch I long attended you were a part of an elite or dare say elect group…you would not feel so welcome. God as chosen Perry because of his personality and way of reaching the very lost that he died on the cross for too. My prayer is that he is not lost in himself to the point where there is no humility and his pride is to the point where he could fall. I look at Perry with amusement his delivery of the scripture is usually spot on, but not this time. God speaks to my heart to, he always has since I was a child I’m keenly aware of the Holy Spirit. A few weeks ago before all this happened I felt in my spirit to attend another church, my husband did to. I couldn’t hardly believe we missed all the Christmas services, was it by chance. We we on our way Christmas Eve and missed the service because we thought it was 6:30 so we went to a candlelight service. I don’t know where God is leading us but I don’t think it’s New Spring anymore. I pray God continues to bless them and Perry! No hard feelings but moving on.

  29. Patrick Jan 4, 2015 5:14 pm

    If you read the ancient Hebrew text there in fact is no word meaning command but more like direction.
    http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/emagazine/024.doc
    http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/27_command.html
    These are more credible sites, unlike Google translate.

    I wish my college professors allowed me to use non credible sites to defend an argument.

    It’s very disheartening to see fellow Christians attack a man who is doing such good. Mr. Noble preaches every Sunday with one goal in mind, bringing people closer to Jesus. If pastors would try to work together on this goal rather than judging and criticizing each other people would be less hesitant to become Christians. I was once a non believer and I can tell you it was because other Christians put on a front pretending to be perfect. Perry is real. He knows it’s ok to not be ok, but not ok to stay that way.

    • James Duncan Jan 4, 2015 6:17 pm

      Patrick, I used the Bible to defend my argument. I used Google to show that Perry, who obviously hadn’t done that, also hadn’t even done the very easiest level of research.

      • Patrick Jan 4, 2015 6:26 pm

        Mr. Duncan,

        Perry in fact did do research by speaking to someone who studies the bible and someone who is very fluent in Hebrew and lives in that area. I also have done my research by quoting credible sites that you simply ignored. And how exactly have you backed your argument? You have simply used the same word that is questioned. Have you done the proper research?

        • James Duncan Jan 4, 2015 7:02 pm

          Jesus called them commandments. How much more do you need?

          • Patrick Jan 4, 2015 7:04 pm

            That’s what is translated now. What’s is the old Hebrew translations? I’ll give you a hint I sent it in a comment..

          • Patrick Jan 4, 2015 7:11 pm

            Sir I feel like you’re very ill prepared. Your article is very loosely put together and non factual. You criticize Perry for not speaking to someone who speaks Hebrew before making the commandment statement when if you watched the service the “driver” was his Hebrew speaking mentor. You criticize him for not speaking hebrew and I doubt half of the current pastors speak Hebrew including yourself. Your hate and envy has blinded you from what the ultimate goal is. You cannot back your statements but to say it says it in the bible. Well it also says “he who is without sin throw the first stone,” and as much as you hate to hear it sir we, including you, are full of sin. I’ll pray for you. Unlike you Perry Noble has no need to bash other pastors and Christians because the lion does not worry himself with the opinions of sheep. Check. Mate.

          • James Duncan Jan 4, 2015 7:15 pm

            You say, “You cannot back your statements but to say it says it in the bible.”

            Thank you very much.

          • Patrick Jan 4, 2015 7:22 pm

            No sir thank you.
            I hope people begin to realize that you have done nothing but twisted words and taken things out of context to satisfy your envy. It’s a little pathetic but listen, “it’s ok to not be ok, but not ok to stay that way”- Perry Noble

          • Sara Jan 4, 2015 10:14 pm

            Gotta love that passive aggressive “I’ll pray for you.”

            You should really check your hero worship. You don’t hide it well.

        • Bob Fox Jan 5, 2015 8:53 pm

          Let’s say for conversation sake they are not commandments but rather promises, directives or whatever you want to call them. Christians will use terms and phrases that are not necessarily found in the Bible but are nonetheless true. See if you can find the words Holy Trinity in the Bible, yet you do not deny what the words mean. If God is saying Thou shall not kill, that statement alone refers to a directive or command, not a suggestion, promise, wishful thinking or anything else a mind can dream up. You can determine what the results or the response should be about not killing someone but make no mistake about understanding what is actually being said. If one has a problem with interpretation, it would be good to take a course in Hermeneutics (the art and science of Biblical interpretation).

      • Joe Blackmon Jan 4, 2015 8:16 pm

        Patrick,

        Please take your sniveling ignorance elsewhere along with your faux scholarship. Here is a listing of every time the Hebrew word “command” is used in the books of Genesis and Exodus.

        Perry Noble is a bible twister extrodinaire. He is also a false teacher that sheep such as yourself live to listen to

        • Patrick Jan 4, 2015 9:06 pm

          oh man you got me…. i’ve posted two credible websites as well maybe you should take a look or not don’t care anymore. Praying for you all. and would like to invite you all to NewSpring Sunday! 9:15 service! Hope to see you there!

        • Patrick Jan 4, 2015 9:08 pm

          Very Christian like by the way.

    • Jenn Jan 4, 2015 7:38 pm

      Patrick,

      First, “direction” still does not mean “promise.” So, your argument is null, and his sermon is still incorrect. Second, one of Perry’s favorite subjects to talk about is how other Christians are lame and too traditional. Third, how can you write a sermon in 10 minutes and still study and preform proper exegesis? It’s fine if he wants to use his conversation with the cab driver as an illustration, but you can’t simply take what one person tells you as biblical truth and then preform a “sermon” without any research to verify his claims. I live in Charleston. Every single travel guide here will tell you they’re scholars on Charleston’s history. (Most of them haven’t attended school for history, kinda like Perry didn’t finish seminary.) They can tell you whatever fun story about Charleston they would like just for entertainment. That doesn’t mean I can go before 50,000 people and rewrite history, lest I be called out. My pastor actually graduated from seminary and I still will follow up with other elders in the church to talk about certain points that I may not be familiar with, just to be sure that my understanding is correct and his exegesis is correct.

      • Patrick Jan 4, 2015 8:10 pm

        First, He was not a cab driver, but Perry’s mentor who studied the bible, please watch the video. Second i never once argued that the translation was promise. I simply argued that there was in fact no translation for commandment in the old Hebrew text, and that these accusations against Perry are far from the truth and questioned this mans opinions and beliefs. Third, Correct me if i’m wrong but Jesus never went to seminary, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Paul never went to seminary. You don’t have to graduate from seminary to preach the Gospel that comes from the heart and the Holy Spirit. Plenty of people have graduated from seminary and done terrible, ungodly things. So “seminary” does not make you a pastor. Loving God and wanting nothing more than to bring people closer to God makes you a Pastor. Also Perry having that service done in 10 minutes. “i can do all things through Christ”. Also. What is your point about old traditional Churches being boring? Most Are! doesn’t make Perry a bad person just a lively person. Last thing, you talk about research, but the guy you’re defending has done no research and he is a PROFESSOR! We could go at this all night but neither one of our opinions will change. I’ll be back at Newspring next week to hear Perry preach and watch people lives be changed because of Jesus because that is the ultimate goal. Again Check. Mate.

        • Jenn Jan 4, 2015 8:38 pm

          I’m not really a chess player, but if you’ve decided we’re at an impasse isn’t that actually a “stalemate” and not a “checkmate?” Just curious.

          Again, chess isn’t my game so I digress. I’m fine claiming a stalemate on this because there will be no time at which I think it wise for a pastor to shepherd thousands of people with 10 minutes of preparation. And your research consisted of attaching two documents you found after googling “commandment.” Dr. Duncan interpreted Scripture with Scripture, which is proper biblical exegesis.

          Let’s get back to the original purpose of this post. You said, “…I never once argued that the translation was promise.” But isn’t that what you SHOULD be arguing since that his what his entire sermon was about? I’m confused.

          • Patrick Jan 4, 2015 8:58 pm

            I love Chess. And I googled “Ancient Hebrew interpretation for Commandment” and those credible pages are what I found. Duncan interpreted nothing. Literally reading scripture back to me. like i said we can argue all day long. I did not find anything saying the translation was promise congrats you got him, but in fact there was no translation for commandment like he said and maybe there is a translation that means promise i honestly don’t know. I didn’t go to “seminary”. Perry Noble is leading people to Jesus and doing great things through Jesus and the Church. It’s ok to not agree with him. Congrats you win! what do you get? People will continue to go to Newspring and hear the Gospel and lives wil stil be changed which is what is important.

          • Joe Blackmon Jan 4, 2015 9:11 pm

            People going to Newspring hear a watered down gospel of easy believism not the gospel that Jesus and Paul preached. Lol

          • Sara Jan 4, 2015 10:30 pm

            Jenn,

            I think the problem here is that Patrick doesn’t consider the Bible a credible source.

        • Sara Jan 4, 2015 10:19 pm

          Patrick, Jesus didn’t need to go to seminary. He WAS the seminary. The disciples didn’t need seminary. They walked with the seminary.

    • Bob Fox Jan 5, 2015 9:15 pm

      I previously belonged to a church that wanted to deviate from the fundamental Baptist way of conducting church. Two pastors had this vision to conduct church the way they wanted. The younger people were mentored by the younger assistant pastor who, unbeknownst to the senior pastor, had some pretty progressive ideas about social issues the church has to deal with today. Through a series of events and unbiblical teaching, the senior pastor called in a Christian consultant to access the situation. The consultant reminded the senior pastor there are some Christian things that are not negotiable. The assistant pastor and his young followers left the church when faced with the list of non-negotiable subjects. The assistant pastor told the church, God thought it best for him to leave. The slightest deviation from Biblical teaching is the start of a path to destruction. This is not a sales pitch for the Baptist church but rather a healthy well balanced church. When there are signs of questionable teaching and the use of unclean words in the pulpit, that should throw up a red flag to anyone who is relatively mature in the faith. The Pastor/Teacher is called to a higher standard regardless of his sin nature.

  30. Rich Jan 4, 2015 5:18 pm

    “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”

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