Noble Rescinds the Ten Commandments for 2015

Noble’s premise was that what we erroneously know as the Ten Commandments aren’t really commandments. They’re just God’s promises.

Noble compounds his error by arbitrarily rewriting what’s left of the commandments to make them palatable for nonbelievers, even though he’s told us that they’re legally irrelevant. Noble presents his version by starting with the original biblical commandment, then wiping them off the screen and replacing them with his own version. God’s commands appeared on Noble’s big screen for 4 minutes and 12 seconds, but Noble’s commandments got 20:41 of screen time. Here’s what Noble wishes the commandments could be:

 

On Christmas Eve, Perry Noble gifted the world a rewritten Ten Commandments. In so doing, he contradicted Scripture, celebrated his ignorance of the Bible, and ultimately rejected the gospel.

NewSpring had repeated its Christmas service during the week before Christmas day, yet before the final pre-Christmas service, word went out over the NewSpring social media grapevine that Noble had a new sermon, so everybody should come back to hear it.

Noble raised the stakes at the outset, saying that God had told him the previous day that he needed to deliver this sermon. After some of Noble’s staff confirmed for him that he had heard God speak, Noble wrote the sermon in ten minutes. It showed, but it also provided a disquieting glimpse into Noble’s biblical illiteracy. More than illiteracy, it was biblical rebellion.

Noble denies the Commandments

He knows this because a Jewish friend who was driving him around Israel told him that there’s no Hebrew word for command. Noble acknowledges that he knows no Hebrew (as if that’s an acceptable thing for a preacher to remain ignorant of), so he takes his driver’s word as fact. Noble describes his friend as being to him as Mr. Miyagi is to the Karate Kid. “I just love this man,” Noble says. “He is full of wisdom. He loves Jesus. …He’s just an amazing man of God, and he’s teaching me the Bible. I’m trying to spend as much time with him as possible and he’s teaching me the Bible.” His friend is a poor teacher, and Noble is an even worse student.

Noble’s tutor tells him that the Ten Commandments are a mirage. Initially, Noble is surprised.

This is weird, because I’ve been around the Ten Commandments all my life. But in the original Hebrew language, there’s no word for command, so it couldn’t have been the Ten Commandments. He said it’s best translated as the Ten Sayings. Then he said this: ‘You could also interpret it as the Ten Promises of God.’ Instead of Ten Commandments that you have to keep if you’re going to be a follower of Jesus, they’re actually ten promises that you can receive when you say yes to Jesus.

Noble then announces that he is going to persuade his audience to say yes to Jesus because they no longer have to worry about obeying the commandments. Before we get to his rewritten commandments, let’s quickly debunk his erroneous premise.

The entire Old Testament is full of references to God’s commands and to the Ten Commandments in particular. In fact, in Deuteronomy 5, the second presentation of the Ten Commandments, God follows the list by repeatedly referring to his law as commands.

Oh that they had such a heart as this always, to fear me and to keep all mycommandments, that it might go well with them and with their descendants forever! Go and say to them, “Return to your tents.”

But you, stand here by me, and I will tell you the whole commandment and the statutes and the rules that you shall teach them, that they may do them in the land that I am giving them to possess.’

You shall be careful therefore to do as the LORD your God has commandedyou. You shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.

You shall walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess.

Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the LORD your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them. (Deut 5:29-6:1)

Obviously, the Hebrew word for command is an essential part of the Old Testament. What Noble’s Bible teacher may have been referring to was that the Torah didn’t formally labelthe list as the Ten Commandments, instead presenting them as ten sayings. Even so, a saying can be a commandment without having to be labeled as such. And we see in Deut 5 that God Himself called them commandments. Noble and his teacher are both very wrong.

From the New Testament, we see that Jesus understood them as commandments in his response to the rich young man in Matthew 19.(For a man who has assumed the responsibility of pastoring around 40,000 people, why couldn’t he have spent just a few minutes consulting a concordance, calling someone who does know Hebrew, or even Googling it? Even Google knows Noble’s claim is incorrect.)

“If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

For Jesus, commandments referred to the list we know as the Ten Commandments (even though he abbreviated the list here).

Right away, we have a problem with Jesus’ advice if we are to take Noble’s teaching seriously. Noble says that being a Christian doesn’t require obedience, yet Jesus insists on it. The point of Jesus’ exchange with the rich young man was that it was impossible for anyone to actually keep the commandments. The disciples see the problem, to their horror.

When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

To be saved we must obey the Ten Commandments, but we can’t, so it’s impossible for us to be saved by anything we do. The only way to salvation is though the Mediator that God graciously provides for us and whose perfect obedience he credits to us. This is the gospel of grace and the wonder of Christ.

If the commandments don’t even need to be obeyed, there’s nothing to be saved from and no need for the Mediator. All we need to do, in Noble’s formulation, is to say yes to Jesus, something that even this rich young man couldn’t do.

Noble is denying the gospel, not preaching it.

Noble rewrites the Commandments

Noble compounds his error by arbitrarily rewriting what’s left of the commandments to make them palatable for nonbelievers, even though he’s told us that they’re legally irrelevant. Noble presents his version by starting with the original biblical commandment, then wiping them off the screen and replacing them with his own version. God’s commands appeared on Noble’s big screen for 4 minutes and 12 seconds, but Noble’s commandments got 20:41 of screen time. Here’s what Noble wishes the commandments could be:

1) You shall have no other gods before me becomes You do not have to live in constant disappointment anymore.

Read More