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Tony Evans Is A False Teacher

(2 Peter 2:1-3)
September 2002

Dr. Evans serves as Senior Pastor to the over 6,000 member Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church in Dallas, Texas, which was founded over 25 years ago. He is also founder and president of The Urban Alternative, a national organization that seeks to bring about spiritual renewal in urban America through the church. The Urban Alternative radio broadcast, "The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans" can be heard over 500 stations daily throughout the U.S. and in over 40 countries worldwide. The broadcast can also be seen on several television stations. He is a speaker on the Promise Keepers' platform, as well as speaking regularly in crusades and Bible conferences in the United States and abroad. (, hard copy on file)

As is evident from the last sentence of the above quote, Evans is involved with the ecumenical "Promise Keepers" movement (please see our report on PK). This alone reveals that Mr. Evans is a false teacher leading himself and thousands of others down the broad way to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14; 2 Timothy 4:3), because anyone who loved the truth (John 14:6) would not be involved in such a movement that embraces Catholic liars (Psalm 40:4; Proverbs 17:4; John 10:5; 1 John 2:4).

Also, to further illustrate Mr. Evans broad path, Evans posts (as of Sept. 2002) endorsements of his ministry by false teachers such as John MacArthur, Chuck Colson, and James Dobson (, hard copy on file).

Moreover, Mr. Evans,

I. Does Not Fear God (Psalm 36:1)

In the context of Proverbs 31:30, Evans says,

The fear of the Lord is not walking around trembling in scardness (sic). It's walking around in reverence. (Portrait of a Godly Woman - Part 2, aired Monday, Sept. 9, 2002, tape SM101B)

Hebrews 12:28 says we are to serve God "with reverence and godly fear." What is godly fear?

I am terrified at His presence; when I consider this, I am afraid of Him. For God made my heart weak, and the Almighty terrifies me. (Job 23:15-16)

My flesh trembles for fear of You, and I am afraid of Your judgments. (Psalm 119:120)

But on this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word. (Isaiah 66:2; see also 1 Chronicles 16:30; Psalm 96:9; 99:1; 114:7; Luke 12:4-5)

Without this trembling, Tony Evans removes the beginning of wisdom from himself and all who hear him (Proverbs 9:10). With no true fear, thus no wisdom (Job 28:28), it is no wonder he is among those who,

II. Turn The Grace Of God Into Lewdness (Jude 4)

In a booklet entitled The Carnal Christian, Evans reveals his extremely lewd concept of the grace of God in "salvation. To begin with, he describes the carnal Christian in four heretical ways:

First of all, the carnal Christian is a genuine Christian. He has received Christ as Savior, but refuses to submit to Him and serve Him as Lord. (, hard copy on file)

Second, the carnal Christian is a stagnant Christian. (ibid.)

Third, the carnal Christian is a fleshly- minded Christian. Such people live only to please themselves-forget about serving or submitting to Christ. They are controlled by the old person they used to be instead of the new person they have become. They know all the jargon and have memorized all the lyrics. They wear holy clothes and spiritual cologne, but only to disguise the truth. (ibid.)

Fourth, the carnal Christian is a rebellious Christian. To be saved and walk like "mere men" is to rebel against your heavenly Father. Parents of teenagers know what this kind of rebellion looks like. You say, "Clean up your room." "No!" comes the reply. It's as though they suddenly forgot who pays the bills. They were trained properly as children. They know better. But, during those terrible teens, good training and good sense are often wilfully tossed out the window. Many Christians waste years-perhaps even a lifetime-living out those terrible teen years spiritually.(ibid.)

Every single one of these descriptions describe, not a true Christian, but a false Christian, one who is certainly headed for hell; if they do not repent (Psalm 15:1-5; 24:3-4; 81:15; Zephaniah 1:12; John 5:28-29; Romans 2:6-10; 14:7; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; 1 John 2:4; Revelation 3:15-18; 21:8). Yet, Evans calls them "saved" and "genuine."

This is radically destructive. Because, in this teaching Evans propagates that a person can actually live any way they please and still end up in heaven. This is a damning lie (2 Peter 2:1). Paul said, to the very ones he himself called carnal (1 Corinthians 3:1-3), "Do not be deceived, the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). The carnality the Corinthians were involved in is never described in the way Evans characterizes it. Christians are indeed capable of sinning, but anyone who lives in unrepentant sin, if they do not repent, will go to hell (John 15:1-6; Revelation 21:8). And, anyone who does not confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-10), that is, anyone who does not submit to Christ as Lord, will certainly be judged with eternal doom (John 3:36 NAS; 2 Thessalonians 1:8).

Yet, Evans goes so far as to say,

Simply defined, carnality is a spiritual state in which a born-again Christian knowingly, willingly, intentionally and persistently lives to please and serve self rather than Jesus Christ. (ibid.)

Later Evans writes,

The carnal Christian is also characterized by a willful refusal to grow. (ibid.)

Hebrews warns,

For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. (Hebrews 10:26-27)

If there is no sacrifice for sins (as the verse says) and all that is left is fiery indignation, this describes hell! It will be literal hell for all eternity for any "Christian" who sins willfully.

Yet, Evans rejects this and writes,

Third, the carnal Christian is characterized by rejection of the Christian faith. (ibid.)

So, according to Evans, a person can not only sin willfully and still go to heaven (contrary to Hebrews 10:26-29), but a person can reject Christ (i.e. the Christian faith) and still spend eternity with Him! This is radically lewd (Jude 4).

In Evans lewdness, like so many funeral preachers of today, he assumes salvation upon men (calling them "genuine Christians") who actually went to hell. Evans writes,

To further demonstrate that genuine Christians can be carnal, think about a few Biblical characters. There was Saul, the king of Israel. The Bible says that God changed his heart (I Sam. 10:9). Yet his rebellion against God led to witchcraft and ultimately suicide. (ibid.)

In 1 Samuel 28:16 Samuel tells Saul God is his "enemy." What was Saul's fate?

So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the Lord, because he did not keep the word of the Lord, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance. But he did not inquire of the Lord; therefore He killed him, and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse. (1 Chronicles 10:13-14)

Saul was clearly wicked, and "the wicked shall be turned into hell" (Psalm 9:17). Why? Because,

The righteousness of the righteous man shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression; as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall because of it in the day that he turns from his wickedness; nor shall the righteous be able to live because of his righteousness in the day that he sins. When I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, but he trusts in his own righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous works shall be remembered; but because of the iniquity that he has committed, he shall die. (Ezekiel 33:12-13; see also Deuteronomy 25:16; Revelation 21:8)

Besides Saul, Evans also assumes salvation upon Solomon.

To further demonstrate that genuine Christians can be carnal, think about a few Biblical characters. There was Saul, the king of Israel. The Bible says that God changed his heart (I Sam. 10:9). Yet his rebellion against God led to witchcraft and ultimately suicide. There was Solomon, a wise king. So committed was Solomon that in his dedicatory prayer as king, he said, "Don't give me riches, give me wisdom." (II Chron. 1:1-13) Yet his life of carnality-because of his love for many women-led him to write about the emptiness of life in the Book of Ecclesiastes (Eccl. 1:2; 2:11).

Please read 2 Chronicles 1:1-13. Solomon did not say, "Don't give me riches." Nor does the Word teach that his life of carnality led him to write about the emptiness of life. 2 Peter 1:21 says the Holy Spirit moved him to write Ecclesiastes, and yes, Solomon was a genuine believer (1 Kings 3:3), until he was old (1 Kings 11:4). In his old age Solomon forsook the Lord (1 Kings 11:1-13, 31-33). We know, therefore, that the Lord forsook him (1 Chronicles 28:9). Solomon became an idolater, and idolaters go to hell (Deuteronomy 25:16; Ephesians 5:5-6; Revelation 21:8).

Evans even claims salvation upon the immoral man in 1 Corinthians 5.

And even the Corinthian man who had an incestuous relationship with his stepmother was a Christian. That's why Paul write (sic), "I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan, for the destruction of his flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ." (I Cor. 5:5) [ibid.]

What Evans fails to see is "that his spirit may be saved." It does not say that his spirit is saved. In fact, at the end of this section, Paul says,

Therefore put away from yourselves the evil person. (1 Corinthians 5:13)

And then a few verses later Paul writes,

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

Evans is deceived, and he is deceiving others (2 Timothy 3:13) when he teaches that there are unrighteous who are "genuine" Christians.

In Evans discourse on the carnal Christian, Evans perverts the book of Hebrews stating,

The author of Hebrews, who includes himself in the discussion, is writing to a group of Jewish Christians who have turned their backs on the faith.

The book of Hebrews nowhere says this, but Evans adds to the Word of God (Proverbs 30:5-6). The Hebrews are exhorted to "give the more earnest heed" (Hebrews 2:1), but they are never depicted as those who had "turned their backs on the faith." Evans slanders these Christians (2 Timothy 3:3 "slanderers").

III. False Discipleship

More lewdness (Jude 4) can be found in Evans teaching on discipleship. It is evident from his booklet A Call To Discipleship that he teaches a person can be a believer, a Christian, yet not a disciple of Christ.

What is missing in our urban centers are disciples. We have plenty of church buildings, members, and activities. But where are the disciples? Where are the men and women who understand that their purpose in life is to represent God's kingdom on earth—centered on His word, for His glory, and in order to carry out His program? Where are the people who are willing to surrender their existence to the will of God, no matter what the price, because they understand that this is why they are here? This shortage of disciples explains why we have so many Christians and so little impact within our own churches, let alone the community at large. (

Later he writes,

So the goal of the church is to make disciples, not just save people from damnation.

In the next paragraph,

What is a disciple? A disciple is one who has decided that following Christ takes precedence over everything else in life.

A little later,

And until believers in the urban centers become disciples, we cannot hope to see change.

A believer, a Christian, and a disciple are all synonymous terms in Scripture. "The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch" (Acts 11:26). Also, note Acts 18:27-19:10.

And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace; for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ. And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" So they said to him, "We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit." And he said to them, "Into what then were you baptized?" So they said, "Into John's baptism." Then Paul said, "John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus." When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Now the men were about twelve in all. And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God. But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus.

Scripture makes no distinction between a believer, a Christian, and a disciple, because they are all synonymous. And, to make a distinction, as Evans does, is damning, because there is no salvation for those who do not follow (i.e. a disciple) Christ, as Jesus warned.

If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? (Matthew 16:24-26)

In this same booklet (A Call To Discipleship), Evans teaches more false doctrine by writing,

When Satan tempted Adam in the garden, Adam relinquished the rule of the earth to Satan.

This is a lie. God gave Adam (mankind) dominion over the earth in Genesis 1:28, and Scripture never says this changed. Psalm 8:6-8 reiterates this rule.

You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen - even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas. (see also James 3:7)

IV. John 15

More lewdness can be found in the booklet Productive Discipleship: How to become an effective Christian where Evans gives his perversion of John 15:1-6.

Into the fire . . .

Dried-up grape branches burn fast and hot. Touch them with a match, and poof! Up they go in a puff of smoke. "Hold it,'' you say. "Isn't Jesus talking to Christians? I didn't think Christians got sent to hell.'' Who said anything about hell? The analogy used in this passage suggests the fire of God's judgement, not hell. In other words, Christians who try to survive without abiding can look forward to fiery trials. (

This is a damning lie. Hell is the very horror Christ warns about. When He says "fire," it is the same hell-fire that He warns about several times over (Matthew 5:22; 7:19; 13:40, 42, 50, 18:8-9; 25:41; Mark 9:43-49). Evans perverts this passage calling the fire "fiery trials" and then says just the opposite of Christ's warning by writing,

His aim is to get you reconnected to the vine so that you can bear fruit.

Christ says nothing about being reconnected. Jesus' whole point is that if you don't abide (remain) in Him, the Father will cut you off! Anyone cut off from Christ goes to hell,

for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

In this same booklet, Evans reveals his denial of 2 Timothy 1:7 when he writes (immediately after Evans' first quote above),

If God cannot get your attention any other way, He will do it by lighting a match. There's a good chance you know what it's like to be burned by the Master's flames of judgement. Perhaps you've been saddled with an emotional disorder you couldn't seem to shake.

Evans writes this in the context of speaking to Christians, people who are supposedly saved. The problem is, people who know God do not have emotional disorders, as Paul wrote,

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7; see also Isaiah 26:3)

Having an emotional disorder is the result of having a debased mind (Romans 1:28). It is a sign of spiritual death, not life (Ephesians 2:1-3; 4:17-18).

V. The Void

Like Greg Laurie's man-made gospel (see our report on Greg Laurie), Evans has fallen (2 Timothy 3:13) for the same folly. In his booklet Finding Meaning In Life he writes,

"Eternity in their heart'' means He has placed deep in every man's soul a big question mark. There is nothing in finite time that can provide the answer to that cosmic question; however, because of the question mark, people all over the world are looking for a god to answer the question. In this quest everyone who has ever lived has looked for a god to worship, something to fill the God-shaped vacuum inside of him. Everyone looks for something to fill that void, for without that, life has no purpose, no meaning. That lack of meaning is what Solomon called "vanity'' or "emptiness.'' Some men try to fill the vacuum with immorality, drugs, or alcohol. Others stuff it full of church or civic activities. Some make the God-shaped void a bank vault. Solutions differ, but the common thread is that all men try to fill the vacuum inside of them. Only God fits, but many people would rather squeeze something else into His space. (

This "God-shaped vacuum" is found nowhere in holy writ (Proverbs 30:5-6). In fact, just the opposite is found. Those who are without Christ have hearts that are full of evil (Ecclesiastes 9:3; see also Psalm 10; 14; 53; Romans 3:10-18). Evil men are indeed without God (Ephesians 2:12), but this leaves no "God-shaped vacuum." There is an evil spirit that works within them (Ephesians 2:2).

Evans states that this "vacuum" is what drives men to do evil (immorality, drugs). As Evans wrote earlier,

Because they are unfulfilled in life, they cloud their minds with pornography, alcohol, and drugs.

Indeed, man's eyes are never satisfied (Proverbs 27:20), but it is because his body is full of darkness (Matthew 6:23; for other examples, see Matthew 23:25-28; Luke 11:39; Acts 13:10). As the Scripture says,

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness. (Romans 1:28-29; see also verses 30-32)

The reason men do evil is because they do not like God. They hate God (Romans 1:30). And, as a result this they do all kinds of evil (Romans 1:28-32).

Nowhere does God ever describe any kind of God-shaped void. This is a man-made gospel, a different gospel, and Evans is to be cursed (Galatians 1:8-9). Why? Because he preaches a gospel that cannot save (Acts 4:12; Galatians 1:6), but can only damn (John 10:10).

In this same booklet, Evans perverts the book of Ecclesiastes as well (2 Peter 3:16) by saying,

Solomon wrote the book of Ecclesiastes toward the end of his life, and he was looking back and asking, "Who am I?" "Why am I here?" "Where am I going?"

None of those questions or concerns can be found in the book of Ecclesiastes (Proverbs30:5-6). Some questions Solomon did ask are as follows:

For what has man for all his labor, and for the striving of his heart with which he has toiled under the sun? (Ecclesiastes 2:22)

What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? (Ecclesiastes 3:9)

The answer? He gets vanity (Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:23) and some temporal enjoyment (Ecclesiastes 2:24; 3:10-13).

Solomon also asks,

For who knows what is good for man in life, all the days of his vain life which he passes like a shadow? Who can tell a man what will happen after him under the sun? (Ecclesiastes 6:12)

The answer to the last question is, no one (Ecclesiastes 7:14). The answer to the first question is found in Ecclesiastes 5:18; 7:11-12, 16-18 and in Solomon's conclusion.

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

Tony Evans doesn't know God. He is destined for the blackness of darkness (2 Peter 2:17; Revelation 21:8). Please be warned. Don't go with him (Matthew 15:13-14).

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