Frequent commenter Eric P. has written a devastating critique of Teen Mania’s foundational theology in his article, “Ashamed of the Gospel? A Case Study of Works Based Doctrine.” It is quite extensive and shows how Teen Mania turns the true meaning of the Scripture on its head in order to promote a works-based Christian lifestyle instead of a grace-based Christian life.
Eric systematically analyzes one of the foundational teachings given by David Hasz to the interns during their first week of the Honor Academy and demolishes the idea on which the Honor Academy is essentially built: Embracing a standard of moral excellence leads to sanctification, knowing God better and a heart of love.
As Eric points out, “The problem is that, if you want to achieve moral excellence, having a standard is not the way to get it. Standards don’t do a thing to keep anyone from sin.”
The entire essay is worth reading and chewing on, but here is the takeaway:
Teen Mania says that keeping the standard results in love. The Bible says that love results in the ability to keep the standards.
Hasz has it the wrong way around. He’s saying that the tree grows downward from the fruit, that the cart pushes the horse, that first you grow up and then you come to life. In the Honor Academy’s view, love is an afterthought that comes along once you’ve worked hard enough at keeping the standard. In Scripture, love is the center of all things, the summary of all the rules, the very heart and identity of God.