“We have to deal with men who will be either lost or saved, and they certainly,
will not be saved by erroneous doctrine.
We have to deal with God, whose servants we are, and
He will not be honored by our delivering falsehoods;
neither will he give us a reward, and say,
“Well done, good and faithful servant,
thou hast mangled the gospel as judiciously as any man that ever lived before thee.” Spurgeon
Since it’s inception in 2000, Seth Barnes has written hundreds of entries on his blog. In spite of this readers are hard pressed to find a clear statement of the Gospel message anywhere in his posts. Though his testimony sounds legitimate, the Gospel is elusive in all of his subsequent writings.
The spread of the Gospel should be the heart and joy of any true mission organization and it’s absence at AIM speaks volumes. Based on his blog, Seth doesn’t seem to understand the magnitude of the mercy God shows sinners, the necessity for Christ’s sacrifice, and the triumph of the resurrection. God is not acknowledged as holy and worthy of praise. There is no mention of gratitude for the wrath and eternal punishment from which we have been saved and for the eternal life we have been given based on no merit of our own. He says very little of any lives being changed by this Gospel.
Consider these blog posts by Seth that would seem provide a perfect opportunity for a Gospel presentation.
Seth writes, “So it is for all of us who would move from a life pattern of meeting personal, lower-order physical needs to a life patterned after a different set of spirit-based principles. It is never easy or fast. After all, our brains are hard-wired according to the pattern of physical need-meeting. Neural pathways reinforced by years of habitual hand-to-mouth living must be rewired. Awareness of the possibility alone does not change behavior.”
The Gospel is simply not that confusing. “[Being born again] is simply a term that describes the necessity that a person receive a new birth, a new life, a new nature, a new disposition, a new character, a new mind from God and that person makes no contribution to that…This analogy is very instructive, very simple, very basic; really should not be misunderstood at all. To enter the kingdom of God, whatever it is you may have accomplished morally, religiously, ritually, ceremonially in terms of human goodness is immaterial because you can’t contribute anything to your birth spiritually, any more than you contributed to your birth physically…Let me tell you what you can do. You can do what any sinner can do, you can ask…you can ask God in His mercy and in His grace to give you life. And mystery of mysteries, Jesus said, “Him that comes to Me, I will never turn away.” “Seek and you shall find. Ask and it shall be given. Knock, the door will be opened.” That’s the mystery of it all. source
Acts 20:29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them
Searching for God This is a sad post devoid of any hope and complete lack of recognition or mention of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Orphan spirit?? There is no use of the words sin, repentance, redemption, cross, or JESUS for that matter. Instead Seth says,
“The antidote to an orphan spirit is to see over and over again that your needs will in fact be met, and so begin to change the neural wiring in your brain”
Poor in Spirit In this post, the term is grossly misunderstood and misinterpreted by Seth.
A right description would be, “The poor in spirit are those who recognize their total spiritual destitution and their complete dependence on God. They perceive that there are no saving resources in themselves and that they can only beg for mercy and grace. They know they have no spiritual merit, and they know they can earn no spiritual reward. Their pride is gone, their self-assurance is gone, and they stand empty-handed before God.” source
Concerning the lack of the Gospel at AIM another blogger writes,
“Even more disturbing is the idea that AIM sees no distinction between their panentheistic, God-in-everything view and the pagan God-in-everything view found in the countries, presumably, where AIM is trying to reach people with the good news of the gospel.
One has to wonder, then, what AIM’s “gospel message” is. For instance: Do they explain that all men are born wretched and depraved? (no “divine inner spark”)…Do they teach about the pre-eminent holiness of God?…Do they tell of the exclusive nature of Christ? …Do they explain that without Christ’s atoning death, there is no union with God?” source