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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Christian, Stop Sharing Joshua Feuerstein Videos


Joshua Feuerstein achieved social media notoriety in 2014. He started out posting simple devotional videos, cheesy "God thinks you're a hundred bucks" kinds of sermonettes, which attracted viewers because of his fierce delivery. None of his devotionals are ground-breaking. In fact, some just butcher the Bible verses he uses. It's his charisma that has been his draw and Facebook his primary medium.

His most recent video, posted two days ago, already has 2 million views. The videos are often hashtagged #shareifyoucare. He knows how to sell himself. A video critical of evolution has made atheists obsessed with him, and he's touched on various social issues. A couple months ago he made national news after recording himself calling a bakery to order a sheet cake that read, "We do not support gay marriage." (It was done in poor taste, and he's since taken the video down.)

Feuerstein has gusto, and his videos may have literally saved lives. He shared a testimony in the video "Cancel Your Suicide" calling on those who might be contemplating suicide to think before they pull the trigger. Hundreds have responded saying the video indeed caused them to re-think their death. He's a former pastor, a featured speaker, has toured the country, and appeared on television and other social media networks.

And there you go. That's Josh Feuerstein in a large nutshell. I understand why he's popular. But he never sat well with me from the first video I saw. Despite all the "good" one might say he's doing, his misuse of scripture is troubling. There's a self-centeredness to his madness, but let's forego that for now to examine just his beliefs.

Many Fred Durst comments
have already been made.
If you've seen many of Feuerstein's videos, you might have noticed that his trademark red ballcap, which he wears backward, now has "ACTS238.COM" embroidered across it. When you go to that website, what you will see is a full-page promotion for an upcoming book called Pentecostal Theology: The Oneness of God.

Oneness Pentecostalism denies the triune nature of God. According to this theology, God is not three distinct persons in one. He is not the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). God simply has different "modes," sometimes manifesting himself as a Son, sometimes as a Father (Isaiah 9:6 is the passage they use to justify this belief), and sometimes as the Spirit (most often referred to by Onenists as the Holy Ghost).

This teaching, also called Modalism or Sabellianism, goes back to the false teacher, Sabellius, in third century Rome. Tertullian called it "Patripassianism" from the Latin words for "father" and "to suffer," because it implied that God the Father suffered on the cross. Sabellius taught that God the Father was the only true manifestation of the Godhead. Modern Modalists will say that God is only Jesus. T.D. Jakes is perhaps the most famous Modalist of today.

A few years ago, Rob Bell tried to say that believing in the Holy Trinity didn't matter since it's too hard to understand and because the belief didn't come about until the Nicene Creed in the fourth century, about a hundred years after Sabellius. Like most things Bell says, that's wrong. The Nicene Creed sought to affirm that which was already written down in scripture. God is unquestionably Triune defined in both the Old and New Testaments. (A quick :90 video explanation on the subject can be found here.)

The Holy Trinity is a divine mystery, this I won't deny. It is as complicated for us finite beings to grasp as it is to understand God's eternal and sovereign will. How do we fathom the complexities of God? How can God be one God and three persons at the same time?

It is okay to ponder these things. The prophets did. David and Solomon both marveled at and struggled to understand the nature of God. The Apostle Paul drew from Job when he wrote, "Oh the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! Who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?" (Romans 11:33-35)

It is good to ask such questions. In asking them it should drive you to praise God and study more about him. The desire for sound doctrine is supposed to inspire a life of godliness (1 Timothy 6:3). You're not going to fully understand the Trinity, and that's okay. What's not okay, however, is to reject God's Triune nature. To do that is to deny God himself.

We read in 1 John 2:21-23, "I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son." If you do not have the Father or the Son, you do not have the Spirit either since the Spirit is the one who testifies about the true identity of Christ (John 16:13-14, 1 John 5:6).

So here's what this comes down to: Joshua Feuerstein is a heretic, he is a liar, and an antichrist. The brand of "Jesus" Feuerstein presents is a false one. When he prays for his viewers and says things like, "In the power of the name of Jesus," if you know something about his doctrine, you know he doesn't actually believe in the power of God. He believes in his own power to call down the name of Jesus, channeling God to do his bidding, so to speak. That's what a Oneness Pentecostal believes. He is not submissive to the Almighty God of the universe.

You might say, "But Brother Gabe, Josh's videos are so loving! They do so much good!" I would agree with you to the extent that I would agree a godless person is able to convince another person not to kill themselves. But what is he accomplishing? Is Feuerstein saving a person just long enough to introduce them to destructive heresies (2 Peter 2:1), and yet still following the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2) to eternal damnation?

Feuerstein might be able to point a person to the true Jesus Christ of the Bible, but the Spirit would be doing this in spite of Feuerstein, not because of him. The gospel has the power to save eternally. There are much better videos and resources on the internet that you could be using instead of Joshua Feuerstein.

He's a gun-toting, evolution-hating, loud-preaching, fire-breathing charismatic and a spiritual man. But that doesn't make him a Christian. He's a false teacher. I hope he repents of his heresy and follows Jesus -- the true Jesus. Until he shows evidence of this, don't share his videos.

Edit: Here's another :90 video on Essential Doctrines. When a person is a mess on primary doctrines, they'll be off on a lot of other issues as well.