Friday, July 18, 2008

Heretic Enters Southern Gospel Hall of Fame

I grew up with a father who loved Southern Gospel music. As a small child, I knew it was Sunday when I heard "JUBILEE, JUBILEE, something something something Gospel Jubilee." Then a bunch of families in very bad polyester clothing would parade onto a fake gazebo and pause while smiling at the camera. I remember such groups as the Chuck Wagon Gang, the Statesman, the Blackwood Brothers, and the Dixie Melody Boys. We listened to Southern Gospel on albums at home and on eight-track cassettes in the car.

In 2007, the Southern Gospel Music Association inducted Joel Hemphill of the Hemphills into the SGMA Hall of Fame. They have this to say about him:
Born August 1, 1939, in Fresno, CA, Joel Hemphill is a noted singer-songwriter, evangelist, musician, and author. He and his wife, LeBreeska, formed the Singing Hemphills in the mid 1960s, traveling the quartet circuit to much acclaim. The Hemphill patriarch has penned over 350 songs, many of which became Gospel Music classics. His songs included such hits as "Pity the Man," "Not in a Million Years," and "Wait Till You See My Brand-New Home.”

Hemphill wrote and recorded six #1 songs. Over a twenty-year period, from 1970-1990, Hemphill had an average #8 song on the "Singing News" Chart. Along with his singing family, Hemphill is the recipient of eight (8) Dove Awards. Joel has received three (3) BMI Awards of Excellence.
The only problem with all this: Hemphill isn't a Christian. He completely and openly denies that Jesus Christ is God which means he doesn't believe in the Trinity. In his book To God Be The Glory: Exalting the Bible View of God, he lays out some of his views. However, to remove all doubt, Hemphill answers his critics and writes the following about the book on his own website:
The focus of my book isn't what Jesus is not, but rather who God the Father is. God is immortal - Jesus was not... Hebrews teaches, and I believe that Jesus did not come in the God family (there is only one God), or the angel family, but in the human family (Heb. 2:7, 9). He is perfect, sinless man, but man nevertheless!...

A God-man could not redeem us. It took a sinless man, the Lamb of God, with righteous blood untainted by the sin of Adam, to redeem mankind. He is the second Adam, not the first God-man... If the disciples who had just seen Jesus ascend to heaven in Acts chapter one, did not pray to him in Acts chapter four, then he is not God!... The incarnation as taught by modern Christianity is a fable.

Jesus was not just a body full of God, he was a man full of God. He had a human mind, soul, spirit and will. Being full of God does not make a person God.

Here is a good question. If we continue to give God’s glory to another, even His highly exalted, sinless, virgin-born son, after we have come to the knowledge of the truth, will it be accounted to us for idolatry? God still speaks! Please pray and ask Him.
He writes more here:
Jesus is not a human incarnation of Almighty God as the Oneness teach, nor an incarnation of God the Son, second person of a triune God, a pre-existent being, as millions of Trinitarians believe.

The doctrine of the Trinity with its lack of Biblical covering reminds me of a tale by Hans Christian Andersen called "The Emperor's New Clothes." . . . You may ask, "what are you saying?" I am saying that the doctrine of the Trinity is Biblically naked , and I am calling on all of those who see and love the truth to join me in speaking up (emphasis in original).
Just like the popular group Philips, Craig & Dean, Joel Hemphill and his family continue to sing in Trinitarian churches. I wonder if any Muslim mosques, Mormon stakes, or Jehovah's Witness' congregations would want him to come sing - he would fit in better theologically there!