To: The Body of Christ at Large
From: The Fox Cities Evangelical Ministers Fellowship
Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
As evangelical pastors and ministry leaders in the Fox Valley in Northeastern Wisconsin, we have become concerned by the teachings known as “ModeleticsTM,” contained in the book, Modeling God, by John Lenhart, an author from within our local area. Members of our fellowship have investigated the teachings of this book through personal study and analysis, as well as email exchanges with the author and others in the “Modeletics” movement. As those entrusted by God to “guard the flock of God” in this area, we want to let you know that the teachings of Modeling God trouble us deeply.
We find that the teachings of Modeling God significantly contradict the basic tenets of Biblical Christianity, as summarized in the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds. The errors in this teaching include:
- The nature of God – Modeling God tends to depersonalize God, describing him as “a set of noncontradictory principles,” and to limit God’s sovereign ability to act according to his will.
- The nature of Christ – Modeling God says that Jesus is not fully God in his essence and nature, but only becomes fully God through his choices and actions.
- The nature of sin – Modeling God says that sin is not the violation of God’s objective standard, but is subjectively and relatively defined, depending upon the understanding and experience of the individual.
- The nature of grace and salvation – Modeling God denies salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Instead, salvation depends upon the actions of the individual moving toward righteousness. The atonement of Christ on the cross has little or no role in the salvation of individuals. Grace is the divine influence on a person, for which the person must “pay” through accumulated acts of righteousness.
- The nature of prayer – Modeling God sees prayer as an exchange between God and the person praying. Only if the person praying has accumulated enough favor with God will the prayer be answered.
- The basis of theology – Modeling God bases its theological system almost entirely upon logic and self-authenticating assertions, with little attempt to base its teachings upon the revelation of God in Scripture. There is little attempt to engage with 2,000 years of Christian theology, other than to simply dismiss it.
Further detailed exposition of the teachings of Modeling God, along with analysis and refutation, is available at the web site www.modelinggodheresy.com.
We in the Fox Cities Evangelical Ministers Fellowship represent a wide variety of denominational and non-denominational churches and ministries, united in the purpose of promoting prayer, fellowship, and encouragement among the member ministers and ministries, as well as provide a united evangelical “voice” in the community when necessary. In response to the teachings of Modeling God and the loss of a number of families in several of our churches to these erroneous teachings, we are compelled to respond. We deem the teachings of Modeling God to be heretical teachings that are incompatible with the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, as laid out in Scripture and the Church’s teaching through history.
We are attempting to be guided by God’s Word:
We proclaim [Christ], admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ … My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments … See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 1:28, 2:2-4, 8
As the Lord’s undershepherds, our goal is to present everyone under our care perfect in Christ. Accordingly, we want to collectively and strongly warn the Body of Christ against the teachings of Modeling God, which appear to us to be based on human reasoning and deceptive philosophy. Only in Christ will we find all the treasures of God’s wisdom and knowledge. We believe that the teachings of Modeling God have the potential to lead people significantly astray from the only One who can truly save, Jesus Christ. We would encourage all who encounter this teaching to have nothing to do with it.
We write this for the encouragement and building up of the Body of Christ and for the glory and praise of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Sincerely in Christ,Rev. Thomas A. Lambrecht, Chairman Fox Cities Evangelical Ministers Fellowship N1966 Julius Drive, Greenville, WI 54942 Rev. William B. Acker, SecretaryFox Cities Evangelical Ministers Fellowship 1750 Olde Buggy Drive, Neenah, WI 54956