David Stamen, England
Abstract: The Transformations movement aims at promoting repentance for national sins to cleanse entire countries. This teaching is tested in the Bible.
When Paul and Silas came to Berea in Acts17:10 we are told that the Berean Jews were more noble than the Jews of Thessalonica because they received the word with all readiness of mind and searched the scriptures daily whether those things were so. This is obviously a practice that the scripture commends, namely, that we should first find in the scriptures any new teaching before we believe it and receive it into our hearts. This is not unbelief but shows that we are only interested in such things as God himself has revealed through His word. We are to honour and love God by following those things which He has plainly shown us. This is also our safeguard – we shall be kept from harm and deception by humbly keeping His word.
Likewise, if we hear someone preaching and telling us to believe this or do that, but then do not find those things taught in scripture, then we are not to receive such teaching at all. It doesn’t matter if the teaching comes through a world-famous speaker, a Christian book that has sold millions of copies throughout the world, or someone we might respect. It doesn’t matter if it comes through an apostle or even an angel from heaven (Galatians 1 : 8 ), we are not to believe nor receive it if we cannot find it taught in the scriptures. The apostle Paul was astonished that the Galatians had so quickly left the Gospel that they had believed and received, and followed other teachings that were quite foreign and contrary to the gospel of truth. Today too, we can be amazed at how quickly and easily God’s people receive things that are not taught in the Bible. This happens because we do not search the scriptures to see if these things are so.
There is nothing new under the sun. As in new testament times, so today there is conflict between the truth of the Gospel and teachings that want to bring us into bondage to Old Testament ideas that have been done away with in Christ. These teachings are not part of the New Testament nor are they found there. People use some scriptures, mainly from the Old Testament, and then start to build their own ideas around them. Such teachings rob us of the truth as it is in Christ Jesus and of the liberty we have in Him ( Gal. 3:1, 5:1 ). They want to return us to OT ( Old Testament ) ways of thinking which have been done away with in Christ and by what He achieved at Calvary. At their heart, and in the end, all these teachings represent an attack on the truth of the Gospel – Christ and Him crucified. They distort the truth of Gospel and blind us to the true power and all-sufficiency of the preaching of the cross. Those who promote these ideas are not aware that they are opposing the Truth, but the teaching is still wrong and dangerous. Paul contended hard to deliver God’s people from such falsehoods and pointed out that such teachers trouble the church and shall bear judgement for doing so ( Gal. 1:8,9 ; 5:10-12 ).
Now let us consider this idea that is promoted today that we should confess or repent for the sins of the country we live in. According to this teaching, God is grieved because of the evil in our country and this evil is preventing God from blessing the country and its people as He would like to. It is therefore also under His curse or judgement. We should therefore confess or repent because of the evil in our country and because of the sins that people are committing, so that God may forgive this wickedness and send His blessing – we are to obtain reconciliation for our country and its people. They further teach that it is also necessary to repent for the sins committed by previous generations in our country – national sins – before God can truly send blessing or revival. In this article I’m addressing these teachings. But as this teaching goes around the world, some points become more developed or stressed than others, and what people teach or believe may vary somewhat. So, in this article I’m not responding to the writings of just one person but to the variety of ideas that have developed and become popular among some around the world. Personally, I believe that one can quickly and easily show that these ideas are contrary to the scriptures, but because some people have become so deeply influenced by these various teachings, I have covered most, if not all of the passages that they use in their attempt to support their ideas, lest anyone think these teachings have any biblical validity.
Now, the people who teach these things are not just putting them forward as their own idea or interpretation, but they say that it is taught in the scriptures that we ought to do these things. This is a very serious matter. What authority do they have for laying such an obligation upon Christians?
We shall see that they have no authority whatsoever to teach this. It is a complete invention. It is a deception . . .