I just read an article sent to me by email entitled “Hyper Grace.” The title reminded me of another article I read recently
entitled “The Hyper-Faith Movement.” The common denominator between these two essays is that each is in the attack
mode against what is apparently something the writers do not believe. The first writer wants to establish a balanced
doctrine of grace while the other fellow desires to see a balanced doctrine on faith. In each case truth must be truth
which implies that the doctrine being discussed is what the Bible declares it to be and nothing more.
What is troubling in each article is that the writer challenges his brothers and sisters in Christ rather than simply
focusing on the teachings themselves. It is never right to openly attack a fellow covenant child of God. If there are
disagreements, those must be addressed behind closed doors in a spirit of love. The tenor of these divisive essays is a
sad sign to the world that the Church is divided and therefore weak. To cover a brother’s sin (or misunderstanding) is
true covenant love. That love does not condone sin, if there is sin involved, but rather continues to love the offender
despite his offense while restoration is taking place. Let love prevail, as the apostle Paul admonishes us.
We could possibly apply the hyper prefix to almost any biblical doctrine in an effort to rein in what we believe to be
excessive. In many cases the addition of this prefix is the writer’s personal opinion; his opinion may not actually denote
truth either. Let us look at some hypothetical examples:
1. HYPER-PRAYER. Perhaps a writer or preacher believes that excessive prayer displaces the good works we are to do
according to Scripture; therefore, he develops the “hyper-prayer” teaching. Prayer is good, he asserts, but too much is
not good since God wants us to be about our Father’s business.
2. HYPER-HOLINESS. Maybe a minister sees overly zealous believers desiring deeply to live holy lives, so he teaches
against what he declares is “Hyper-Holiness” and deems it legalism and religiosity. Their “feeble attempts” to live
righteously are attacked.
3. HYPER-GIVING. We might even have a fellow develop what is known as “Hyper-Giving.” To him anything over the tithe
(10%) is viewed as excessive and carnal so he attaches the “hyper” prefix to clarify his position on giving. Anything given
to God beyond the tithe is surely given with wrong motives or is somehow being coerced into giving; in either case this
man’s opinion is wrong and must be exposed as error.
4. HYPER-STUDY. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit many years ago I was taught a method of biblical study that I have
since named the “accumulus method.” This method accumulates every pertinent verse or passage from the Bible that
deals with the studied subject; these are written down so a full study can be made with ease. These verses and passages
are studied carefully, cross-referenced, meditated on, and prayed over, making notes as I go. It is a slow and sometimes
burdensome labor, but it yields truth. Once this thorough examination is completed I feel I truly have a balanced doctrine
before me. Maybe I am guilty of hyper-study by the one who minimizes study in favor of doing!
5. HYPER-PROPHETIC. What about the people who want nothing to do with spiritual things like spiritual gifts, speaking in
tongues, expressive praise and worship, and prophetic utterances? To them such things go beyond what is reasonable
so they attach the label “hyper-prophetic” in an effort to discredit these beliefs and those who practice them.
Usually those who tread out on the thin ice of criticism soon find the need to attack people, not just ideas and beliefs.
This happens so they can further discredit their opposing teachings thinking this will help to establish their own beliefs.
It does not. This only serves to diminish the criticizer and undermine his credibility. This man soon learns the law of
seedtime and harvest is real, and his seeds of judgment come back to destroy him.
I see the use of the prefix “hyper” as moving any truth beyond its correct biblical definition. Maybe we need to use the
word “balanced” at this point to clarify what we are saying. A balanced doctrine, to me, is the opposite of hyper.
“Balanced” encompasses the whole of Scripture as It relates to the idea or to the belief in question and thus develops
what can correctly be deemed “balanced.”
There will always be those who oppose whatever we believe and teach, so let’s be honest with ourselves and thorough
as we develop our beliefs and not be deterred by the naysayers and detractors. Your opposers come in two varieties:
1) Folks who are themselves misguided in their efforts to rally everyone around their own beliefs; these are not ‘bad
people’ but rather are brothers and sisters in Christ.
2) And, there are the evil ambassadors of Satan sent to destroy God’s people and His Church. They employ every tactic
they can to divide and create mistrust and strife.
You must know the difference between misguided Christians and evil people. And indeed you can know the difference
if you will listen to the voice of the Spirit of God within you. It is His job to lead you into all the truth. In the first case, you
walk in love and seek to settle differences in peripheral beliefs behind closed doors. Romans chapter 14 contains the
formula for handling Christians who do not believe just like we believe. But on the other hand, God Himself will handle
the evil people for you. Speak the truth always and stand firm on the truth, then let God be God – He is our shield.
So, if we are to always walk in love with brothers and sisters in Christ who are in error, what is the correct manner in
which we are to deal with the error itself? Simply teach the truth and allow truth to affirm itself in the hearts and lives of
people. We do truth an injustice when we attempt to help it do its job. We preachers and teachers are the worst
offenders in this regard. God help us to merely place the truth on the table and let the people of God feed upon it. The
truth is this: the more of me in what I teach, the more distorted and unfruitful the truth will be.
If my fellow pastor down the street is teaching something that clearly defies Scripture, I must not assume that it is my job
to correct him; that is the work of the Holy Spirit. The fact is the Spirit of God may task me with the work of correction for
him, but that will be clear to me and to him and it will always be done in love and with patience.
Jesus sets in place His apostle over a sphere which includes pastors, teachers, evangelists, and prophets. If one of
these ministers is in error it is the one in spiritual authority over him that brings correction in love. This is one of the
distinct advantages of having a spiritual father. He is tasked by Jesus to watch over the souls of the sheep under this
charge in the very same manner as a pastor is shepherd to the flock of Jesus under his charge.
The warning from Holy Scripture still stands: Judge not! The next time you see some teaching that seems to be
excessive in your opinion, resist the temptation to write a “Hyper” article for the web, choosing instead to be fully
convinced in your mind on your belief and pray that God will reveal His divine truth to you and to the other guy.
Church, we live in an age in which it is very important for us to be viewed by the world as strong and unified. Let us give
the devil no place amongst us through judgment or strife. Let our voice be heard as a single sound that speaks of the
love and power of God. May the love of God prevail in His Church! Amen.
|The "Hyper" Doctrines
By Bishop Randy Barnett