Evidence of Keller’s disdain for God’s law was clearly presented in the last post, as well as other previous articles in this series. He has mastered the art of undermining God’s law while simultaneously appearing to be committed to truth: “For certain men have crept in unawares…” Jude 1:4. The undeniable foundation of Keller’s antinomianism begins with his redefinition of sin; Keller refers to it as a “better” definition, whereby he completely omits God’s law. Dr. Paul M. Elliott sums it up perfectly:
“In his writings and teachings, Keller avoids the word “sin” and rejects the Biblical definition of the term. In fact, one of the chapters in Keller’s book The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith is titled “Redefining Sin”. In an interview for USA Today Keller explained his position:”
When Keller, author of The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, speaks about “sin” to his audiences, which are 70% single and younger than 40, “I use it with lots and lots of explanation, because the word is essentially obsolete.” They do get the idea of branding, of taking a word or term and filling it with your own content, so I have to rebrand the word ‘sin,’ ” Keller says. “Around here [in his Redeemer Network churches] it means self-centeredness, the acorn from which it all grows. Individually, that means ‘I live for myself, for my own glory and happiness, and I’ll work for your happiness if it helps me.’ Communally, self-centeredness is destroying peace and justice in the world, tearing the net of interwovenness, the fabric of humanity.”
“Is this how the Bible speaks of sin? Can any true preacher of the Gospel dare to “rebrand” the word ‘sin’? Never! Is sin merely, as Keller puts it, “I live for myself, for my own glory and happiness, and I’ll work for your happiness if it helps me”? Is sin merely “self-centeredness [that] is destroying peace and justice in the world, tearing the net of interwovenness, the fabric of humanity”? No. Scripture defines sin as any lack of conformity to, or violation of, the law of God (1 John 3:4, Romans 4:15). As such, it is the most serious problem in the universe. Sin isn’t merely an offense against God’s law, which emanates from the holiness of God. That is bad enough. Beyond that, sin is an offense against God the Lawgiver Himself!” (Exodus 32:33, Deuteronomy 32:51, Psalm 51:4). http://www.teachingtheword.org/apps/articles/?view=post&blogid=5449&articleid=77114
Below are excerpts from an article written by Keller titled “Religion-less Spirituality” (http://www.newcityindy.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Religionless-Spirituality.Tim-Keller.pdf). Keller begins with a shout-out to atheists’ Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche for their “powerful critiques of religion” (devilish rants TB) followed by an edict to the church that we must heed the warnings of these philosophical giants (iniquitous fools TB) because their worthy assessments (vile ramblings TB) of Christianity have “a ring of truth” and are the reason many people “seeking spirituality will reject religion.” But scripture tears down Keller’s unbiblical nonsense and reveals the real reason people reject God:
“And this is the verdict: The light has come into the world, but men loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light and does not come to the light for fear his evil deeds will be exposed.” John 3: 19-20
Amen. Man loves his sin and therefore hates God’s law. This is why people “reject religion.”
Tim Keller’s lawless teachings are further exposed in the below statements from the article:
“Even more than Freud, Jesus condemned self-justification through moral performance, at one point claiming that religion was more spiritually dangerous than overt immorality…”
Jesus: “The experts in the law and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat. Therefore pay attention to what they tell you and do it. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they teach. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. (Matthew 23:2-3,15)
Freud: “Neither in my private life nor in my writings, have I ever made a secret of being an out-and-out unbeliever. I regard myself as one of the most dangerous enemies of religion.”
Christ condemned hypocrisy, not true religion that expresses itself in humble obedience. On the contrary, Christ demands obedience from his people. There is no likeness or commonality regarding religion between Freud and Christ.
“Jesus and Karl Marx agreed that religion is a pretext for oppression….”
Jesus: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness! So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” (Matthew 23:27-28)
Karl Marx: “My object in life is to dethrone God and destroy capitalism.”
Christ again condemns the hypocritical false religion of the Pharisees, not true religion in the power of the Spirit. There is no likeness regarding religion between Karl Marx and Jesus Christ.
“Christians must demonstrate the difference between religion and the gospel through community service…..”
“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:17-23)
The difference between religion and the gospel has nothing to do with community service and everything to do with living in the power of the Spirit that produces a love of the law, resulting in a life of humble obedience and righteousness. Scripture confirms that this is what the unbelieving world needs to see. Though the truly transformed believer has a deep concern for the needs of others it is clearly not what distinguishes us, as there are multitudes of atheists and secular humanists more than willing to write very large checks to various philanthropic organizations; this proves nothing. All of the natural man’s righteous deeds are as filthy rags before a Holy God. (Isaiah 64:6)
“Pushing moral behavior before lifting up Christ is religion…”
“Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” (Romans 7:7,12)
Keller’s statement is a complete departure from scripture. Proclaiming grace through Christ before a person has any concept of their hopelessly sinful condition is futile, as the very knowledge of sin comes only through the law. Does a physician administer treatment before informing the patient that he is sick?
“The church today is calling people to Christ in a “tone of voice” that confirms their worst fears……”
The Apostle Paul’s tone of voice to the Romans:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” (Roman 8:38)
Jesus’ tone of voice to the multitudes gathered around Him:
“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” (Matthew 10:34-36)
The Apostle Paul’s tone of voice to the Corinthians:
“In labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.” (2 Corinthians 11:23-27)
Jesus Christ’s tone of voice to his disciples:
“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me first. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.” (John 15: 18-21)
Do Paul or Jesus seem the least bit concerned with “tone of voice?” or with the “worst fears” of the multitudes gathered to hear them? Keller’s statement is ridiculous.
While speaking of a conversation he had with a woman who recently started attending his church and was conflicted about abortion, Keller states:
“As we spoke, I discovered that she was an Ivy League graduate, a lawyer, a long-time Manhattan resident, and an active member of the ACLU. She volunteered that she had experienced three abortions. “I want you to know,” she said, “that if I had seen any literature or reference to the ‘pro-life’ movement, I would not have stayed through the first service.”
Please note that this woman “experienced” three abortions; she did not commit the sin of aborting three children on three different occasions- no, not at Keller’s church- in Dr. Timothy Keller’s man-centered, seeker-sensitive, unoffensive “church network”, this woman “experienced” three abortions.
EXPERIENCE [ˌikˈspirēəns] VERB
something personally encountered, undergone, or lived through
synonymns: encounter – confront – endure - come up against - bear – suffer – be faced with
Rape is experienced; an abortion is committed. What’s more, abortion is a violation of God’s law. But don’t count on hearing this truth preached anywhere in Keller’s Redeemer church network. Warn the brethren.
“It has been said that every unregenerate sinner has the heart of a Pharisee. This is true; and it is equally true that every unregenerate sinner has the heart of an Antinomian. This is the character which is expressly given to the carnal mind: it is “enmity against God”; and the proof of this is that “it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom. 8:7).” A.W. Pink (1886-1952)