So many us survivors of abuse are lonely, sad and grieving at this season; we feel like we don’t fit in with the happy holiday celebrations. And if we have participated in the festivities, we felt like we had to put on a mask. This sermon by Jimmy Hinton won’t require you to keep up that mask.
Jimmy touches on the topics of demons and the devil, the false teachings about forgiveness that are prevalent today, and the way so many churches don’t preach the hard message of repentance to abusers. He talks about how Jesus’ mission was to preach the gospel of repentance for forgiveness and His message offended a lot of people. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near. Repent and bear fruit in keeping with repentance.”
As Jimmy says:
Jesus called people to repentance and He shielded the innocent and the vulnerable from people who were oppressive and abusive.
Jesus came to defend the powerless, the poor, the marginalised, the oppressed. And Jesus said [to those who need to repent of oppressing or tacitly allowing oppression of the vulnerable], “You can’t get sucked into that crap.”
We’ve got to do a better job of defending the oppressed.
By the way, the woman on the left of the picture is Clara Hinton, Jimmy’s mother. They jointly produce The Speaking Out On Sexual Abuse Podcast. Jimmy’s father (Clara’s ex-husband) is in jail for multiple sexual offences against children.
Click here to learn more about Jimmy and Clara Hinton.
18 thoughts on “Jesus preached repentance, the heart of the gospel – a sermon by Jimmy Hinton”
There are quite a few Christians I have an ongoing opposing viewpoint with regarding “repentance for forgiveness.” The real and true Gospel has indeed been watered down….waaay down….so far down that it, all too often, has little to no appeal to the souls of those existing without God’s Living Grace: it speaks no:
These Christians never have answers for questions like:
If forgiveness does not have the caveat of repentance, then why such a place as hell? What purpose for the death and resurrection of Christ? Why were lucifer and a 1/3 of the angels cast out from Heaven? What of Jesus’ words, stories and parables during His earthly ministry regarding repentance? What of the messenger John the Baptist’s continual calling of souls to repent? The questions are practically innumerable.
I’m so glad this was featured here. Jimmy’s series about forgiveness — what it is and what it is NOT — who deserves it and who does NOT deserve such is so good. I’m glad he created the podcast series.
So much false teaching surrounds the hippie ‘cheap grace’ ‘forgive all, no matter what’ wrong teachings that infect so much of Christian talk radio, sermons in so many churches, and especially, ‘Christian-living’ books.
Jimmy Hinton’s last 5 or so podcasts have been excellent in addressing these wrong teachings.
—And it’s good that Barb pointed out it was his mom in the picture, as I thought it was his wife, but nope, it’s his mom.
Another neat thing about Jimmy Hinton is on his Twitter account, he identifies himself as being a son of a pedophile. I really respect that, since it’s the dad’s sins and evil, not Jimmy’s doing, so the shame should always be on the dad…. Not many people would want to readily offer up the information that they are the son of a pedophile, but Jimmy does it. And I think a lot of ashamed, embarrassed, abused wives might take strength from that because it truly is the shame of the abuser, despite how shaming and embarrassing it feels to let others know of the abuse, that you are a battered wife, that you were raped, or any number of things along those lines.
(Bold done by me.)
There are a LOT of abusers in my family of origin, including extended family members. My anti-x was an abuser, though not a batterer….and the same can be said for a short-term relationship after my divorce.
Every “friendship” was abusive, as were the places in which I worked or worshipped.
I think anon’s comment has a wider application. And thank you, anon, for unknowingly finding words for me. 🙂
You’re right, Finding Answers, there is a wider application. I’ve had a tremendous run of abusers after the batterer, as it seems predators see who is in vulnerable positions, who is traumatized, who is hurting, struggling, stressed, etc. and it’s as if the dinner bell rang and they come running.
Abusive ‘friendships’ – yes, I know about such and they are so damaging, especially since being abused is cumulative. Having one batterer is hard enough, but then to have others swoop in and be abusive and / or predatory….it makes everything worse and it compounds things.
Thanks for finding some words for me, too, as there have been abusive ‘friendships’ for me, too. 🙂
Oh my goodness Anon what wonderful comments!!!
Finding Answers already highlighted one of the best parts, so I’ll leave it there!
But in your response:
WOW! Couldn’t have said it better! This was SO my experience as well.
I am also so glad that abusive relationships in general were brought up. I would never, ever put them in the exact same category as spousal or parental abuse. But whether it’s a so-called friend, co-worker or supervisor, neighbor, pastor, church leaders, other family members—–if it’s toxic, it’s terrible.
And the pattern can go on and on in quite a vicious cycle, as you put. One “friendship” is over, but then another person tries to move in to take over. This can also happen if you go bouncing from church to church, struggling to find a safe place to worship and fellowship with other believers.
I work hard to now not question people who have given up on church searching, or seeking friendships. I work hard to understand that they have buckled under the strain.
I used to encourage such persons to not give up—-there ARE safe churches and safe persons to relate to. I stand by that—because there is no way that every person and every church in the world is evil and unsafe!
But I now try to factor in their emotional and spiritual exhaustion—-they are possibly physically drained as well.
It’s way too easy, to be on the outside looking in—-pointing the finger and saying or suggesting that if you just tried hard enough, or tried harder, or didn’t stop trying—-you wouldn’t be so alone. And loneliness is a real thing. You may find a form of contentment in being somewhat solitary, but no doubt there are bouts of real loneliness involved.
These people have not necessarily “given up” on fellowship or being around people in general. That is too easy to claim and too swift to judgment.
The best thing to do is to give them space, but give them love as well. Don’t leave them all alone, but leave them be (don’t pressure or stress them). Don’t try to change them, even if you think you know what you’re doing, or what is “best” for them. That’s not your job.
The best place for the hurting is in the Hands of the Healer.
Helovesme, I couldn’t have said this any better. I’ve been crying out these words and feel no one is listening for years.
All I got was “there’s hope there’s hope” when I knew “no there wasn’t”, it was over. I did not want to continue trying I had tried and it was no use trying any more. Action was needed to get away from toxic and abusive people.
So much [of] what you say I’ve had and your closing comments, oh yessss preach it sister.
I’ve been crying re this for long time.
Amen and amen again and again!!
Not long ago, I received news from an associate minister that his senior minister had finally admitted that he had been having affairs with various women in the community over a number of years. (Decades.)
This minister had been grooming young women as a youth pastor decades earlier. Of course, this news came to wife and children about the same time as he announced to the church.
He had spent decades in this church, sort of home-grown, moving up through the ranks.
My opinion of why he confessed at this point was that the struggle to keep his tracks covered had become too complicated. He had just talked the church into hiring an administrative pastor to help him do his job.
He was scrutinized by the staff at this point, questioned, ‘counseled’, ministered to….
….Within weeks of his confession, the church leaders reported to the congregation that he has now repented! One family member of mine who is connected to this church made her statement to me, “I’ve known him a long time and know he (senior minister) loves Jesus.”
She did not receive my refusal to accept her statement as truth. She went into her belittling, intimidating mode to silence me. Two of her family members are on staff in that church. They are the ones who were ‘ministering’ to this perpetrator and navigating him through his incorrect, horrid thing they called repentance.
A man who has been repeatedly grooming the oppressed to abuse them for his own pleasure, for decades, has no idea what he needs to repent of in 14 days. As a minister, it was spiritual abuse on top of sexual and other types of abuse.
As might be expected, when I spoke unwanted truth to my sister, word traveled through her family not to bring the topic up to me again. Silence. After all, I have only been oppressively abused by a husband (senior minister) for half of my life.
Their philosophy seems to be: “Let’s keep ourselves ignorant and our egos boosted. Let’s keep bringing people into this church to get them saved.” Sounds like the Pharisees and arrogant church leaders who have filled our churches for centuries.
(….insert net-speak for no words….for no words….)
Seeing Clearly, THANK YOU for sharing that.
My former pastor retired rather quickly after being the senior minister for a good amount of years. It was after he left that his scandals started to come out. I believe he retired because it was all catching up to him, as you observed in your situation.
Barb already pointed out your astute observation about his supposedly quick turn around—-which also stood out to me. It was so spot on. 14 days is NOT enough time to repent of a good lifetime of lies.
This is NOT an insult to the Lord, who can do anything in any amount of time. I stand by your comment because when you are a fantastic deceiver, good at it like a professional athlete is very well-practiced and polished at their sport—-you cannot possibly grasp the impact of what you’ve done in a few weeks.
The discipline and discernment it takes to lie, to make your lies believable, and to KEEP lying to cover more and more of your lies—-is nothing short of horrible and sickening talent. I was shocked at how “good” my former pastor was at living a double life. If medals could be given out for such a thing, he would have gotten one for sure.
A letter of “repentance” was read to the church from our now retired pastor. Didn’t have the guts to face us. At the time, I didn’t mind that he didn’t show up. At the time—-I thought more about his family—-and how they might [not?] have wanted him to appear to preserve their privacy. As far as I understood, none of them knew and found out with the rest of us.
I don’t know how others feel about our former pastor. We heard a few updates (very few) about how he was in counseling and working on himself, but I don’t buy any of it. I don’t believe he is repentant, but that is just IMO. He got away with so much for so long—-I have strong doubts if he has truly turned his life back to the Lord.
It is not because it’s not necessarily impossible for him to have repented. It’s because in order to repent, you have to let go of the immense “power” that your lies have given you. Being a professional “liar” gives you a huge, bloated but false sense of superiority. You can’t stand before the Lord and claim to be powerful, but you can certainly stand before people and easily intimidate them. Pastors have an uncanny, clever but non-Biblical way of putting the fear of God into people, and it works.
I did not believe then and I don’t believe now that he would be willing to give up all that power. It fed and sustained him and benefited him for so long.
Being with the Lord means you give up all the power those lies fed you…. ALL of it. You bow before Him in all His glory. You remain silent and let Him speak. You approach Him with a broken heart, broken for all you’ve done and all the people you’ve hurt.
You have no business approaching Him at all—it is His kindness that is allowing it.
You don’t think about how your sins have affected YOU, and start to go off on a self-pity rant. Your tears won’t move Him if they’re shed for YOUR supposed plight. You think about how they’ve broken the people who trusted you. You abused that trust without batting an eye, and you counted on it in order to keep sinning.
You don’t ask dare to ask Him: “can I have my pastoral position back? Can I resume my book tour? Can I still speak at these scheduled conferences and seminars? Can I keep counseling others? Can I still be on the church board?”
Those are strong indicators that you have no real interest in real repentance.
I would add that when such former or current pastors approach Him, He will reveal the true enormity of their sins. Lies have a way of being tangled and knotted up. I wouldn’t expect that they know “everything” they’ve done, because only the Lord can uncover all they’ve kept buried for so long.
I have been around plenty of professing Christians that are very good at what I call “changing the narrative” to suit their agendas. It is no different than what the devil did in the Garden. He simply took God’s word: don’t eat that fruit or you’ll die—-and changed the narrative around to suit his agenda.
By the way—-I try to be careful in how I feel towards the deceived. I tend to have a mixture of reactions. I am now trying to remember that the devil is very good at what he does—he has had centuries of practice and it is his full-time occupation to boot. He never rests and is always prowling around, always hungry and looking for prey. Being deceived happens far easier and far more often then we want to admit.
I draw the line in the sand when the non-deceived look at the deceived and become prideful. As if THEY would never have been deceived if they were in their shoes. THEY would have been wise as serpents. THEY have superior discernment and shake their heads in horror, “You “others” are so out of touch with the Lord.”
If you have ever NOT been caught up in the schemes of the devil, talk to me. But no one can claim that, IMO. This is another reason why I get so angry at the mostly male pastors or believers who love to blame Eve, and therefore condemn all females—-to being easily deceived and needing male “leadership” to get over their inherent foolishness. They “change the narrative” in that they completely leave Adam’s willful participation in the Fall of mankind.
I honestly haven’t a clue why my pastor and [his] wife turned on me. The denial and the betrayal, the refusal to listen and a whole host of complete failures as an “experienced senior pastor” is something I will never get my head around.
Listening to you, Helovesme, is so good. Such gems of wisdom but my situ doesn’t fit anything I’ve ever heard and leaves me totally baffled to this day. I knew then it was not of God but I had no fight left. I thought at last I’m going to be listened to and get help. Instead I got????
I just thank God for people like you and others here who see the bigger picture and stand for truth and justice.
We all make mistakes. There are those who make colossal ones with major consequences. It takes a bigger man or woman to own up that they messed up and truly repent. The same person preached “no one with unforgiveness in his heart will enter the kingdom of heaven.” It seems that does not stretch to repentance as I was always taught without repentance no one sees the kingdom of heaven.
One rule for one, different rules for themselves or chosen few others, whatever suits their agendas best. Double standards comes to mind, meanwhile lives are destroyed.
My pastor and wife repeated “hope, hope, hope” over and over again. Not realising they had just smashed every hope I had. Until they opened their mouths I had great hope. How would they have known that when they did not even care to speak to me how I felt or what was going on.
Words are getting scarce to understand in the natural. Listening to God He says pure evil and wicked intentions….are you surprised?
[May 7, 2022: We added the link to Hymnary.Org’s Amazing Grace page, which contains the lyrics to John Newton’s Amazing Grace that Now Free quoted above. The Internet Archive link is a copy of Hymnary.Org’s Amazing Grace page. Editors.]
Oh if only many really walked with the open eyes of God and still not in the blindness of sin.
I reckon you nailed it, Now Free!
To enter the Kingdom of Heaven we must repent of our sin and we must be willing to forgive those who have sinned against us.
Yet far too often the visible church preaches that anyone who displays even a tiny bit of repentance can enter the kingdom of heaven — but to victims of abuse it preaches that have any unforgiveness in your heart you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.
I need to add that there is a very troubling aspect to this ritual of announcement that this perpetrator had repented.
It comes across as Easy Believeism, dime-store repentance, quick perks for preachers, disregard for the deeply wounded sitting in the pews who will get no free pass to easy fixes and easy healing.
The oppressed came to that service unprepared to hear the “repentance” story. They sat in a room where they had planned to worship and were blindsided. They would have left having been retraumatized, confused, struggling in many ways.
If possible, PLEASE look up Clara Hinton’s personal blog. I had the honor of reading one of her posts via Facebook, and at her recommendation I started from the beginning and read through them all. After a long time, I got through her entire story.
I don’t think she has posted anything new (I would have gotten an email notification) but she posted enough of her story to give you a good and clear picture of what she went through.
I learned so much that it’s hard to put into words. First of all, she’s an AMAZING writer. She drew me into her life story in a personal and potent way. I felt like I was in her shoes, living the horrors of what she experienced.
Jimmy, too, has been open and transparent in a huge way. BOTH of them are gracious beyond words. They are prime examples of attempting to use their immense sorrow and suffering to help as many as the Lord will allow.
I asked Clara a question that was hard to ask, but again—-she was so kind in her reply. I asked how she did not go into automatic denial and disbelief when a victim dared to approach her with her story. That tends to be the norm in my limited experience, but she didn’t miss a beat. She believed this young woman.
Her reply was so gracious. She said that all the red flags about her ex-husband started to make sense when she was told. She also said: “why would she lie? She had no reason to.” That was when she suggested I start from the beginning of her story so I could see how it all came together.
Others, too, have asked questions (sometimes very personal ones), and she again was so open and honest with them. She says she has been blown away at how many others have stories similar to hers. So she has been an enormous blessing to so many.
IMO, the holiday season belongs to the hurting. The “hysteria” of the holidays (fast-paced, frenzied shopping, parties and whatnot) tend to drown out what Jimmy is speaking of here.
I will TRY to listen to the whole sermon! I only read what was posted, so I have probably missed out on a lot of good stuff.
When Jesus spoke about Himself, I think we should especially pay attention. How one speaks of themselves, and in this case—our Savior—-should be taken very seriously. He quoted Isaiah 61—-acknowledging the poor, the oppressed. the broken hearted, the blind, the bruised and those held captive.
It is fine and dandy to believe He is speaking to our personal sins, but it would be a great injustice to leave out those the sins that have been done to us as well. We are fully held responsible for the former, we are released from full responsibility for the latter.
The solution is the same: the blood of Christ. It forgives our own trespasses, and heals us from the trespasses done to us. Come to His cross, and lay them all at His feet.
I think we need to learn from the old preachers who were strong on repentance for forgiveness. Something that they did and [the] likes of John Wesley and Whitefield and others involved in revivals since showed that we would do well to take note of – that of standing back and letting God work in the hearts of people.
All too often today repentance is too quick simply because a pastor is working on another agenda and not God’s. They do a quick prayer as they counsel “follow me” with a quick prayer. Not taking time to counsel correctly regarding sin etc. Being too polite and not wanting to know even why someone wants to be saved.
We were taught to ask lots of questions. I have seen children and adults counselled for salvation when they really only wanted to ask a question about a hymn or could they get one of those pens that we gave out as a prize to another child. There’s far too much rushing and pre-conceived ideas. The old preachers often refer [to] when God brought conviction of sin they did not interfere but stood back. Some screaming and yelling their way through to God in repentance such was their vision of hell and what Christ had done for them.
Today far too much is brushed over quickly and this is why few of those converts remain faithful. They were never truly saved in the first place.
There must be true repentance should that take days or weeks before forgiveness comes. We need to get back to letting God save and stop thinking we are the ones to save people. We need to get back to letting God convict and convince and bring a person to Himself. Stepping back and letting the Holy Spirit do His work and doing things on God’s agenda. We forget God is outside time and we need to get with His program.
Bottom line for everything including our healing and recovery. Let God be God!!
Now Free (Formerly Struggling To Be Free) commented (28TH DECEMBER 2018 – 10:30 AM):
(Modification — the word “people” — in square brackets done by me.)
Rhetorical question: How would anyone know if the people were screaming and yelling their way through to God in repentance unless the people were actually screaming and yelling words that could be understood?
Rhetorical question: How many people make an assumption of what someone is seeing as a vision of hell? (The assumption often is flames.)
Rhetorical question: How can we know if what someone is seeing is a vision of hell unless that person defines their version of hell?
I think that probably many people make assumptions about what someone is seeing as a vision of hell.
The Bible uses a variety of language to describe hell: fire, having a parched tongue because it is so hot, outer darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth. We do not know how symbolic or literal that language is.
What Does Hell Look Like? is a reasonably good article that is quick to read. For the more academic minded, I recommend Ruth Magnusson Davis’s article Heaven, Sheol, and Gehenna: What Happened to Heaven and Hell?
Good points, Finding Answers!