@TomH I was attempting to say that Saul of Tarsus was the most famous legalist in history, who kept the letter of the law before finding grace in Jesus Christ. Martin Luther would be the second most famous in protestant circles I would imagine.
Hi all. Just came across this and had to chime in - this has been an excellent discussion.
I’ve benefitted a great deal from Graham Cooke’s teaching, and have heard him speak live on a couple of occasions. I can vouch for his character as a dynamic man of God whose teaching meets the biggest tests of all: he always points to Jesus as the only way to God, and he always points to scripture as the true and complete word of God. He does not ever add to or take away from the Word or the Gospel of Jesus’ finished work of the cross.
I think the verbiage Cooke uses (“have another thought”; “Brilliant perspectives”, etc) could certainly sound like things to be cautious of if not for one thing: Graham’s passion is to know and live out 1 Cor. 2:16, to have the mind of Christ, and this is evident in everything he teaches. He wants to know the real Jesus, and he wants others to know Him, too. Jesus was, and is, brilliant, after all. Jesus knew scripture, and used it to point back to the Father and Jesus’ own role in the Father’s plan, to teach and guide within the new (at that time) paradigm of the work He would do on the cross. He physically healed people, spoke into their lives in ways that only they and God could know in order to call them to salvation - He gave them a new way of thinking, ultimately a new Covenant with God. John 10:7-10…Salvation is only the reward - we have much exciting work to do, and an enemy to contend with, until we go to that reward, and who better to emulate to that end than the Savior himself? That’s where Cooke goes with his teaching.
I would encourage anyone who is wondering about Cooke to spend a little time listening to and/or reading his work with a spiritual peer or mentor you trust, then breaking it down together. If you feel his style or the vein of his material isn’t where God is guiding you at the moment, that’s fine - He speaks to each of us differently, through different avenues and teachers, and with a purpose that is specific to our lives and callings. But his love of Jesus and passion for leading people to Him are unquestionable, and I think you’ll find evidence of that in his Kingdom work. Please, check him out.
I have been involved for many years with a worldwide ministry to women. It has been wonderful. However, in recent years Graham Cooke has become involved in it and they rely heavily on every word that proceeds from his mouth. I have seen mature Christian women almost idolizing him. It is very frightening to watch this happening.
I was taking a course he had written. There were so many places in the book that showed obvious flaws. I red lettered those places and made some derogatory remarks - just in my own book. I obviously could not give my book to anyone else, and I ended up throwing it out. “Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.” There is also a saying, “You cannot take a spoon of sugar with a spoon of poison and expect the sugar to save you.”
Therefore, I have sadly left this organization that does so much good around the world, but I can see it taking a strange turn. I do NOT recommend Graham Cooke at all. I feel that God was taking me out of this and I am grateful to him for showing me and giving me discernment. I wish I could back up my statements with his written statements, but as I said, I threw the book out. I have been at meetings where the speaker would say, Graham Cooke said this, and Graham Cooke said that. I wondered why we were hanging on to every word that proceeded from his mouth. Why don’t you tell me what Jesus said, or share your thoughts or teaching? I believe it is a part of the end time deception. One thing I remember him saying was that there are no tears in heaven. I thought about how Jesus must be crying over a lost world. It is like the Word/Faith movement. You just pretend and it will be. He actually said that the Book of Acts is named that way “because that is what they were doing - acting.” I am sorry, but I cannot follow this man’s teachings.
Consider Joel Osteen. He may say many good things, but that does not mean we should follow him. I put Graham Cooke in this same category. Don’t take a spoonful of sugar with the slightly deceptive poison. I loved this women’s ministry and have been a part of it for many years in many states. However, I am seeing a change in it. They are following this man in an unhealthy way.
@Barbi_Martin Thank you for sharing your experience I am sorry to hear that an unhealthy emphasis was placed on one individual’s teaching and pray that Christ would lead you to a place where you could serve in the context of solid teaching.
While his teaching does strike me as a bit fuzzy and in that sense unhelpful, I did want to point out that he may have been referring to this verse from Revelation regarding no more tears in the New Creation:
Rev 21:4 - He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
He was not referring to Rev 21:4. I do understand that passage, but he was speaking of Kingdom Dominion and how we can have it right now because that is what heaven is like, right now.
The good thing God did use this for was to bring me to a deeper hunger for truth and desiring to go back to the gospel. Desiring to hear solid preaching. When I was saved in the 70’s I got into the Word/Faith movement. Now I want to hear about holiness and repentance. I do hope that I can know the truth of the Bible and not be led astray. I just want to dig deeper into God’s Word. Sometimes I tell God I want to know Him more. He always answers, “Read My Word.” So simple, and yet sometimes we want to make it harder.
God bless you and thank you for responding.
@Barbi_Martin So encouraged you want to grow deeper in your knowledge of God’s Word You might find the following thread helpful. Christ be with you.
I would same some good teachers to listen, none of whom I agree with on every point of doctrine, are:
- Tim Keller (https://gospelinlife.com/free-sermon-resource/ )
- John Piper (https://www.desiringgod.org)
- Chip Ingram (https://livingontheedge.org)
- Matt Chandler (https://thevillagechurch.net )
- Andy Stanley (http://northpoint.org/messages/)
- Steve Gregg (http://thenarrowpath.com)
- John Stott - he has gone to be with the Lord, but you can still listen to his sermons by choosing his name from the sermons page (https://www.allsouls.org/Media/AllMedia.aspx)