GREENVILLE, S.C. (RNS) A Baptist minister is in hot water after preaching a sermon that called the Ten Commandments sayings or promises rather than mandates.
In his Christmas Eve message, Senior Pastor Perry Noble of NewSpring Church, which regularly has more than 32,000 worshippers at 11 campuses across South Carolina, told congregants that no word for “commandment” exists in Hebrew, the Old Testament’s original language.
“Instead of Ten Commandments that you have to keep if you’re going to be a follower of Jesus, they’re actually 10 promises that you can receive when you say yes to Jesus,” Noble said.
So far, the apology doesn’t appear to have appeased Kelly, but no overt measures have been taken to kick Noble and NewSpring out of the state Baptist convention.
“All church leaders must take seriously their responsibilities to present well-thought and biblically based sermons and teaching that come from God’s infallible, inerrant Word and lead the lost to Christ,” Kelly wrote, urging pastors “to treat their individual ministry settings as a sacred trust.”