Article by Lina Diquattro
Where is the Gospel?
Janine is a pastor of C3 Church, and claims to preach the healing gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the story of my attempt to seek it out and share it with Janine and fellow pastors of the C3 church.
Personal Introduction – Dear Believer, I do this out of love of God and love for you.
I would like to start with a scripture that truly defines my motive and agenda for critiquing sermons and comparing them to the scriptures. It reveals my desire to really seek out if men, who claim to be leading people to God, really are teaching about the God of the Bible. So this editorial is for those who claim to be believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. My desire is also, that you would be discerning, able to distinguish between right and wrong, lie and truth, God and man.
“… This I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” – Philippians 1:9-11
If Paul is an example to us, who says that we should follow him as much as he follows Christ, this is my challenge to you; In the same manner that Paul commends those who tests what he says with scripture (Acts 17:11), I commend you – test what Janine is teaching and make sure it lines up with the bible. I will add a link to the complete sermon and a transcript that I have personally typed out whilst listening to the sermon. If salvation belongs to our God and you have been saved through His son – then admonish all that stands against God, Jesus. We owe Him this much, to remain pure in His Word.
“…Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and allslander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.” – 1 Peter 2:1-3
“A Fresh Start” – A sermon by Janine Kubala; 8th January, 2012
This editorial was inspired by a recent visit to the Christian City Church located in Oxford Falls, Sydney. I once again encourage you to check everything that you read throughout the duration of this article. Janine Kubala’s full sermon is available on the Christian City Church website: http://www2.myc3church.net/videos/ps-janine-kubala-fresh-start. I will later place an attached link to the transcript of the sermon when I can. (I personally just find a sermon easier to process when I can read along while listening to it.)
My Experience with the Pastors – An attempt at learning the Gospel at C3.
Towards the end of the sermon, Janine starts calling people down to the front. What sounds like the gospel, is actually a call to a ‘better life’. Don’t believe me? When you listen to the sermon, try and answer why Janine only shares the gospel as the last resort when everyone has come down to the front. Where was the teaching on sin?
Feel-good speech, followed by a declaration by Kubala that, these people are now saved because they decided to come to the front and answer God’s calling for a “Fresh Start”. Something didn’t sit well with me. I watched people, crying and weeping as they ran to the front to ‘receive Jesus’ and, something just didn’t sit right. I wanted to join this group of people who were told to just “give their lives” to the Lord.
I tell you the truth, my main concern was what these people had now just been saved into. They had been told that they were ‘amazing’ and people cheered and clapped as they headed down to the ‘altar’ for Janine to pray over them. Not only did this show an amazing contradiction to biblical preaching of the gospel and salvation – so too did the lack of biblical definitions. Where was the explanation of sin? condemnation? The fallen nature? What about the work of the Spirit in our salvation?
I approached Janine and her husband, feeling awkward as a I caught a glimpse of the “reserved for pastor’s” cards that were placed on the lined of the best seats at the front of the church. I didn’t manage to follow where the group of ‘born-again Christians’ had disappeared to, so I asked Janine and her group, “I am sorry to interrupt you guys, but I wanted to know where the group at the front had gone too?”
I received a smile from Janine and her husband. A lady to the left of me said,
“Oh, they went up there…” and pointed up towards the back of the large auditorium. I honestly couldn’t see through the crowds, so I double-checked and we pointed and re-pointed until I finally decided I might wing it. I got some nods and headed off. I finally saw a group of what was mostly teenagers and young adults with clip boards. Some were crying while people with VIP cards around their necks (prayer warriors?), were laying hands on them.
Still, I was not able to just walk away. I didn’t think it was fair to leave this church and base my feelings as fact. I wanted to talk to someone. As I decided this, someone came up to me and asked; “Hi, do you need some help?”
I was still feeling very overwhelmed by everything, so I said, “No, thank you. I just want to be on my own for a small while.” It is hard to explain, you had to be there. But I continued questioning the crying, falling to knees, the clipboards, the prayers and assurances for these people when I had just heard a sermon that preached nothing of the biblical gospel.
I walked up to the lady, “Can I speak with you now, is that OK?” I said. “Sure, she said.” She was holding a clipboard. I then noticed that it was a membership to the church. Now I was annoyed. I thought people were here with bibles, trying to start discipling these young ones. They were handing out bibles too which was great.
I asked the elder if she could explain where the gospel was in the sermon as I was confused. She asked me what church I went too and I told her I haven’t been going there recently, which was true at the time. She asked why I was there and I told her to check it out, which was also true. She then said that Janine shared it. I told her that I didn’t hear it, can she explain it. She told me if I acknowledge my sin and accept God into my heart I will be saved. She quoted a scripture, which was great too.
But when I said, “Yes, I know… I am a Christian already. I am asking you because I am confused about what has happened here. How do these people have an assurance that they are saved now. Like, how do we know that we know?” Finally, she said something along the lines of, “when you’ve accepted Jesus”. I asked her how we know that we have accepted the right Jesus, she said I should ask my church these questions. That was all I needed to hear and left.
I wasn’t trying to be tricky but the answers to the questions I gave were simple. Jesus said it Himself, if we would even receive the message like a child, we would see the kingdom of God. It is so simple, even a child can understand it. Why was it so hard to explain?
I still felt like I had somehow misunderstood what had happened? Why wasn’t the gospel clearly given? Why were the importance of clipboard memberships put above reading the bible and talking about what had just taken place with these young ones? I remember very clearly, while I was sitting there observing and listening, that I overheard someone saying that they hate feeling bad about themselves and an elder comforting them with a “There, there… you’re OK now. God loves you.” I seriously never remember Jesus taking this attitude to sin.
The Aftermath – Trying to catch up with Janine about her sermon… and that Gospel again!
After that I decided, I would go straight to the speaking pastor. I added Janine to my Facebook account and started messaging her on her public wall. I first asked her for her personal testimony as to how she came to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. This was sent on 13th January, 2012. There was no reply.
Considering Janine’s busy schedule, I attempted to make contact again. This time, I extended my concern to the fact that I did not hear the gospel in her sermon and am confused about this and would love to hear back from her concerning this. This was sent on the 2nd February, 2012.
After trying to make contact twice, each time really trying to give a chance for Janine to share what she thinks the gospel is because of what I had heard during the sermon that Sunday, I thought I should try and maybe contact her through the Facebook inbox. This was on the 2nd February, 2012 (evening)
Nothing. I thought at this point, that perhaps I should ask how she deals with donations, if someone was interested. I have been careful not to be deceiving, and so I asked in a way that I made it clear that I was asking in the 3rd person. What would someone do if they were interested in donating? I wrote this on Janine’s wall. I got a response that day. She directed me to a person on the C3 team that I could get into contact with. This was sent on the 22nd February, 2012.
I emailed that person expressing my concern about the gospel and what C3’s idea of the gospel was. There was no reply from her. This was just getting more and more concerning with each attempt. At the end of the recent screen grab you will see that I asked if someone could share about the gospel before I even consider a donation. This conversation continued in my inbox. I may disclose what happened in this discussion in another article.
I have sent Janine this article in one last attempt to reconcile this confusion. Why was I sent to my nearest C3 church to get my answer? Isn’t the gospel just a simple answer? Give me a scripture. Janine, I want people to know about this because it is very concerning for someone who call themselves a pastor to answer me concerning donations and not concerning the gospel of Jesus Christ that saves. I hate to think the worse but please share your thoughts on this. Let us come to a place of truth and reconciliation.
NOTE: This article was completed on 16thApril, 2012 and sent to Janine Kubala on that same date. This is so Janina Kubala can be made aware of it’s existence and have opportunity to reconcile it.