Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hagee Clarifies His Heretical Position

John Hagee doesn't want his unbiblical teaching to be labeled heresy, so he has posted an open letter in hopes of providing some sort of clarification about what he believes:
    I am writing to share with you some important news pertaining to my latest book In Defense of Israel. It has come to my attention that my choice of language and some of the interpretation being given that language in Chapter Ten has caused some confusion and actually led some readers to question whether I believe that Jesus is the Messiah. If people are reaching such a conclusion, then I have clearly failed to communicate my views as well as I should have.
Now, I haven't thoroughly combed the blogosphere to see what everyone else has been saying about this, but I never claimed that Hagee himself denies that Jesus is the Messiah. My problem was with this statement: "Since Jesus refused, by word and deed, to claim to be the Messiah, how can the Jews be blamed for rejecting what was never offered?" You can see why Hagee would want to cover his tracks.

What he really meant was that while Jesus came as the suffering Messiah, he never claimed to be the reigning Messiah, and that's the one for whom the Jews were waiting. Unfortunately for Hagee, this feeble attempt at backpedaling is just as unbiblical as his original assertion.

Those Jews who rejected Christ as Messiah were without excuse. If all of the Old Testament prophets weren't enough, they had the example of foreigners worshiping the infant Jesus as the King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2). More importantly, Christ himself proclaimed his divine kingship:
    So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?" Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?" Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world." Then Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world -- to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice." (John 18:33-37)
And if there was still any confusion, they had Peter's sermon at Pentecost:
    Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,

    "The Lord said to my Lord,
    Sit at my right hand,
    until I make your enemies your footstool."

    Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified. (Acts 2:29-36)
In the book of Hebrews, they were reminded that Christ, in his role as priest-king, was already reigning:
    For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever. Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man. (Hebrews 7:26-8:2)
If anyone failed to recognize Jesus as the suffering and reigning Messiah, it certainly wasn't due to a lack of communication on Christ's part.

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