This examination of AEC is looking at the doctrine of this church and not condemning any individual person. The Gospel is the MOST important doctrine in the Christian faith and so it’s VERY important we get it right.
After listening to Pastor Jesse K. for several weeks and having attended this church. I have become very concerned about how he handles God’s Word. I’m also not saying that Jesse does not love the Lord. I’m just pointing out some of the doctrine I have heard coming from him. He admittedly teaches the Bible using the Discovery method and not according to how the Bible says to do it. At this point I don’t think he is purposely leading his flock astray, but is some cases his theology and doctrine are going in the wrong direction. It’s important to be like the Bereans of Thessolonica, I am comparing what he is saying to scripture. Acts 17:11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. May we all be like the Bareans!!
This is a look at the sermon from May 3rd. The title of the sermon is EVERY SEASON, STAGE, SITUATION…THE GOSPEL by Jesse Kahler.
The sermon series is called DNA and it’s about the core values of their church. This sermon was or should have been a VERY important sermon because the Gospel is what saves souls. I am looking at what he is saying as a person who reads their Bible every day and some of this sermon does not match up. In some cases I am guessing at what he is trying to say, and will clarify this through out this examination. The sermon is convoluted and in some parts heretical.
Around minute 36:00 he uses Luke 11:24-26. He admits this verse peeks his curiosity and it’s not really clear what Jesus is getting at, but it’s clear enough for him to talk about the Gospel. My recommendation is that he could use a very clear verse about the Gospel to talk about the Gospel. If he didn’t understand this verse he should have studied it and tried to explain it rightly. I personally did not find the passage difficult to understand and if it was explained correctly it would have been a very powerful passage to talk about the Gospel. I put a link of a good sermon on this passage at the end.
What I believe Jesse is doing is using Eisegesis (/ˌaɪsɪˈdʒiːsɪs/) which is the process of interpreting text in such a way as to introduce one’s own presuppositions, agendas or biases. It is commonly referred to as reading into the text.
Jesse usually does this in most of his sermons, although not always. His preferred method of interpreting scripture is the Discovey Bible Study method. It is explained in this way. The DBS is much like a cake: it needs to be tasted first in order to really “get it”. Then, after tasting it, a discussion of why it was so good and how it was made is more profitable and enlightening. It’s the “tasting” that makes the difference, as the ingredients below don’t “wow”or convince. But like most good cakes, it’s about simple, good ingredients—mixed in the right way and in precise amounts–that make it work. The same is true with the DBS.
This way of reading the Bible is like a “magical” method and hopefully if you just put enough good scriptures together you will be enlightened!! This is NOT the best way to study the Bible.
The way the Bible tells us to study God’s Word is found in 2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” The Bible says God’s Word in Hebrews 4:12 is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 2 Timothy 2:16-17 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
There are many more examples but I think you get the point. We are to use the Bible as tool like a sword, and it’s to be applied to our lives.
Jesse is going on to explain that “house and finding it swept and clean” in Luke 11:24-26, is like the Gospel, kind of. He goes on to explain how we treat the gospel like a new piece of furniture in a cleaned up house. He used Luke 11:24-26 to come to this understand? Okay? I’m just confused with this analogy.
He gives examples of the what people think the Gospel might be. The first is asking Jesus into our already crowded heart. The second is Jesus filling the God hole in our hearts. The third is we accept the Gospel as a child taking that first step onto a ladder and we move on to higher and loftier things. I would say the third option is the closest. We must have child like faith and then their is sanctification, or moving up the “ladder.” We ARE suppose to move onto higher and loftier things. The Bible says to be holy as I am holy. The Bible also says to move from infant milk to the meat of God’s Word. Jesse says that none of these are right. The fourth option Jesse gives is only using the Gospel when needed and then putting it back and pulling out some other religious thing when it’s needed. I don’t know what he is talking about but lets press on.
At minute 32:00 Jesse starts to go into what is means to live out the Gospel without ever giving the Gospel. He explains it’s not about a bunch of don’t do this or do that, it’s more. He then explains that Morality living and Relativity living are two ways people live. I would agree with him on this point, but not his definition. Morality living is trying your hardest to be a moral person to gain your own righteousness into Heaven. This person is trying to work their way into Heaven by being a good person. Relativity living is when a person makes up their own truth and their is no such thing as objective or absolute truth. He goes on to say that these ways of living are bad, and he would be right about that. But he NEVER explains why! I can tell you why because this type of “living” or I would say belief ends your soul up in Hell for eternity. The Bible says, in Romans 3:10-12, “As it is written, There is non righteous, no, not one: There is non that understandeth, there is non that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. And Romans 3:23, “All have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God.” These verses explain the condition of our hardened hearts against God and that there is absolute truth, and that sin destroys the soul.
We are coming up to some troubling parts in the sermon. He states that one of the core values of their church is Gospel living, but never explaining the Gospel. At minute 35:00 Jesse explains they are not trying to persuade people to except the Gospel as a part of their lives and that the Gospel is much more than a piece of furniture. What?
I can tell you we persuade people at our church to accept the Gospel as part of their lives! We beg and plead with them to think about their eternity. We don’t want people to be separated from God for eternity. 1 Corinthians 15:1-2 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. Galatians 1:8-9 says, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
So, I would say it’s important to persuade people AND to keep the Gospel. If you think you are going to be saved any other way but by God’s grace then you have a different Gospel.
At 36:30 Jesse states, “Apparently the Gospel IS NOT something we need to believe in to get to Heaven but it is something that is to guide our lives or conduct. It’s away in which we live.”
So my question would be, what exactly do we need to believe in to be saved? How are we going to get to Heaven? To me this is talking out both sides of the mouth. We are either saved by grace ALONE through FAITH or we need to be moral or living a certain way. Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
The thief on the cross certainly did not get a chance to live a Gospel centered life, but he was still saved because of his belief in Christ. A person must be so careful not to add or take anything away from the Gospel because you will have a different gospel.
At minute 37:00 Jesse tries to explain that we can all fall out of Gospel living and we should never treat it like the Mosaic law. A few problems with this statement is that we are not saved by the law this is true, Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. BUT true born again believers wish to follow God and keep His laws, including the Mosaic Law! This is our fruit! Pslam 119:97 O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day! As Christians we MUST love the law and all of God’s precepts and principles if we love the Lord, and live by them. Jesus did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. We are saved from being slaves of sin to slaves of righteousness, which brings us true happiness and joy. Ephesians 6:6 “not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.”
At 38:40 Jesse did a good job explaining that when Peter excepted the Gospel he then delighted in a Holy way of living. But…. Ugh! He slowly says this, “The Gospel is a way of living.” NO, NO, NO that is not the Gospel! When Jesse uses the word IS he is making a definitive statement, so he should make sure that he actually states what the gospel is. Then he says if you do not understand him he can give you his sermon notes.
At 39:11 Jesse explains that Gospel means Good News, this is TRUE 🙂 Then he very badly compares the Good News to the Old Testament. Jesse says at 39:45 that the messenger came to David and said Saul has died. Jesse equates this to the Gospel the Good News. Nope, still not the Gospel. It may have been good news that King Saul died, just like announcing you are having a baby is good news, but it still is not the Gospel.
At 40:00 Jesse does give part of the Gospel and explains that it’s Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection. Then he says Christian means little Christs. That is not what it means we are not little Christs or little Gods. We are believers in Christ and his work done on the cross for the atonement for our sins. We are FOLLOWERS of Christ never God in any way!
Humble living is Gospel living at 45:45, but it’s not morality. I would argue that it is a moral attribute. The definition of moral is doing what is right or wrong. It’s right to be humble. I know lots of humble unsaved people who can put others first, this does not mean you are saved. Humbling yourself is about dying to yourself and your sinful ways and bow the knee to God’s will and obey Him. And we know how we are supposed to obey by reading his Word, the Bible. Being humble is the opposite of pride. A proud man who can not admit he sinned against God and that he is wrong will never see Heaven.
Jesse does talk about being sanctified by the Gospel, this is good 🙂 and true.
At 47:45 Jesse talks very quickly about the Gospel. You are saved by faith, by grace alone. Then he quotes Don Carson. “The gospel is God’s comprehensive good news that not only initiates Salvation BUT orders all our life in this World and the next.”
Is this the Gospel? Nope. He should have put a period after good news and left of out the word BUT, that is adding to the Gospel. The part he sped over very quickly is the Gospel. You are saved by grace through faith alone. What he should be talking about is sanctification. They are two different theological principals and should never be put together in this way especially as the gospel. If you do this you will add works to the Gospel. The Gospel justifies us, and making disciples is about sanctification. If Don Carson is talking about being right standing with God so that we can be in Heaven then that’s good, but it’s really not clear.
Jesse continues discrediting morality and cleaning up your life. I would say if you are not living a moral life, one might wonder if you are actually a Christian. Jesse does say if we are saved by the Gospel then we should live by it. I agree with this but again confusing to what he means by his wording.
At the 51:00 mark Jesse uses lots of scripture to try and help us understand Gospel living. He still does not explain it that well. Romans 1:16-17 explains, not the Gospel, but the power of it to those who have Faith and believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay our sin debt. It’s like the old hymn, “There is power in the Blood!” It has the power to wipe all our sins away, so we maybe able to stand before a Holy God on the day of Judgment and be righteous in His eyes, even though we have sinned against Him.
Announcement!!! Here we go The Discovery value channel. (Ok a little snarky, sorry. Can you tell I really do not like the Discovery method?) At minute 52:00 Jessie explains this core value of their church this way, “It’s a way we discover life through faith the continual succession of discoveries about Jesus Christ. He then repeats it again. He then says this is how all good churches do this gospel living thing. Well, our church does not use the discovery method, praise God, or I would still be lost, and I would find a different church. We stick with how God wants us to interpret the Bible. With scripture interpreting scripture and rightly dividing the word of truth. This is just another example of eisegesis. When it’s done this way it makes it very confusing and vague, not knowing what you truly stand on. Ephesians 4:14 says, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” The discovery method will inevitably toss you every which way. Expository preaching and dividing the word of God correctly will is the best way and only way and is most honoring to the Lord.
At 53:15 Jesse says the Gospel is as important to every person, in every life, at every stage. Well….what about those who don’t believe? What about those in your church who just go to church but have not believed to Gospel? So it’s not important to everyone? There may be many lost people attending your church!!!
Jesse quotes Tim Keller at 55:25 who is a progressive Christian, and apparently uses the discovery method. Here is one article about him https://reformationcharlotte.org/2019/03/24/tim-keller-problem/
The quote Jesse uses from Tim Keller is vague. It says, ”The Christian Life is a process of renewing every dimension of life by thinking, hoping, and living out the lines of the gospel. The discovery of new implications or new applications of the gospel!” So what exactly does this mean? What are the lines? And what new discovery (here is this word again) or new applications will we need to be saved from eternal damnation? Am I going to find some new revelation or promise that is not in God’s Word that I need to apply to my life in order to be saved? He then goes on to apply this theory of the gospel as seasons in life. This just does not make sense. The season that best explains this entire sermon is being in season of confusion.(56:13). This is certainly a season I feel like I am in as I listen to this sermon. At this time he starts speaking about discovery and says it multiple times. He talks about all the things we might discover. Many of the things he is talking about is sin if you are not practicing biblical principles. Being too busy is not a sin unless you are avoiding God by doing this. Not doing enough is a sin if you are being lazy. Distractions he calls a sin, but in what context and Bible verses do you have to back this up? I agree distractions can be a sin if we are being too busy to read our Bible’s, pray, or take care of our families. Context! Context! Context!
57:50 Jesse explains that this crazy concept of the Gospel applies to your life no matter what stage of life you are in with unique applications and discoveries. Okay? The Gospel is NOT a discovery or an application NOR IS IT CRAZY. It is the Good News that Jesus being born of a virgin, died on the cross and rose from the dead on the third day. Jesus gave his own body as a living sacrifice to pay the punishment for my sin and the sins of the world. He was the sacrificial lamb! THIS IS THE GOSPEL!! It’s NOT an application, like applying a face mask to your skin. And is certainly is not some discovery! It is the belief and trusting that Jesus paid it ALL!! Just in case you have not figured this out yet. This is frustrating because he does not revere the Lord with with words!
At 105:00 Jesse says that Baptism and Communion are dramatic expressions of the gospel. He talks about this being important to the gospel. He says that older believers cry because they remember when they got baptized. Okay, not a hill to die on, but I cry because of joy I have that the person is going to Heaven!!! He also says the communion helps us to experience the gospel of Jesus Christ!! What are you talking about? By taking communion are we saved? No! We are also not saved threw baptism!!
During communion he tells us not to take it if we are confused by the gospel and if the gospel is not our lives. I actually agree with this part, even though if I was new to Christianity I would have no idea what he was talking about. He says, “If you are unclear about this gospel thing do not take part of it.” Ugh! I just find this language to be very flippant and it is not reverent of our Holy God. He should take his own advise. He talks about the drinking of the cup helps us experience true forgiveness and equips us to forgive others. Not sure about this statement either.
I’m praying that someone will speak with Jesse about some of these issues. It grieves me how he miss handles God’s Word.
Here is a link to a conversation my husband had with Jesse, you can access it by copying it a pasting it. I put this here to let people know that we have tried reaching out to him like the Bible tell us too.
AEC has blocked us from making comments on his sermons on social media.
Here is Jesse sermon https://youtu.be/01fTqpBe8S0
Here is a really great sermon of Luke 11:24-28 by John MacArthur