Greg Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, in a recent video posted to his YouTube channel, expounded two ideas some people believe that are actually not biblical.
The first unbiblical idea that Pastor Greg Laurie mentioned is, “God is angry at me, and he wants to ruin my life.” This belief, said Laurie, is “so wrong.”
“God is not mad at you,” said the pastor. “God is mad about you.” He quoted Jeremiah 31:3, which says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Laurie also referenced 1 John 3:1, which says, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”
“God loves you,” said Laurie. “God wants to bless you. God wants to give you a life that is worth living.”
Laurie’s next point, however, was a warning not to take his first point too far. The second unbiblical belief he mentioned was, “God loves me and accepts me as I am.”
This is usually said by someone that is probably doing something they should not do,” he observed. As examples, the pastor mentioned getting drunk or getting divorced for the wrong reasons. Sometimes, he said, the way people phrase this unbiblical belief is, “No one is perfect,” or, “Don’t judge my journey.” But it’s possible for someone’s journey to be going in the wrong direction.
What’s more, Christians are responsible for using wisdom and making judgments about certain matters. Laurie acknowledged that Jesus did say, “Judge not, lest you be judged,” but he said that a better translation would be, “Condemn not, lest you be condemned.”
If someone were to ask, “Is it true that God loves me and accepts me as I am,” Laurie said that “the answer technically is yes.” But he added, “God loves you and accepts you as you are, but he doesn’t want to leave you that way.” So God does not love us based on what we do—we do not have to earn his love. Yet he does not leave us as we are.
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