You’ve got to give it to Rev. Rod Bower, Rector of Gosford Anglican and denier of heaven and hell, he’s not shy about saying what he believes (or, more accurately, doesn’t believe). So, for example, there’s this page on his blog entitled “Jesus came to show us the “Kingdom” not to die for our sins!” (pdf copy available here):
Progressive Christians believe that Jesus came to manifest the Kingdom. That is to reveal the Sacred in our every day life. For far too long we have been obsessed about Jesus’ death being a payment to a wrathful god for the insult of human sin.
The gospels have Jesus mention the Kingdom 106 times; there are very few allusions, and they are only allusions, to Jesus dying for our sins.
Admittedly St Paul and other New Testament writers understand Jesus’ death as replacing the temple sacrifice, and that is understandable given their context. However there is no necessity for us to understand the death of Jesus in this way.
Why did Jesus have to die? For him to do anything else would have required him to compromise with violence rather than absorb it.
Sometimes Kingdom moments can feel a little bit like dying because it normally involves giving something of ourselves up for the good of another. But when this happens, that very part of us finds “salvation” or healing.
The Kingdom is bigger than the church, bigger than Christianity, it must be. There are Kingdom people who are Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and atheists. You don’t have to be a Christian to be a Kingdom person, but you do have to be a Kingdom person to be a Christian.
It’s got everything in it that an Anglican minister could want, doesn’t it?
Jesus doesn’t die for our sins.
Of the Word or Son of God, which was made very Man
The Son, which is the Word of the Father, begotten from everlasting of the Father, the very and eternal God, and of one substance with the Father, took Man’s nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin, of her substance: so that two whole and perfect Natures, that is to say, the Godhead and Manhood, were joined together in one Person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God, and very Man; who truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile His Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for all actual sins of men.
Of the one Oblation of Christ finished upon the Cross
The Offering of Christ once made is that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction, for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin, but that alone.
1Cor. 15:1-3 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance : that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
We don’t need to accept the authority of the New Testament epistle writers
Of the Sufficiency of the holy Scriptures for salvation
Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the holy Scripture, we do understand those Canonical books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.
Of the Names and Number of the Canonical Books
All the Books of the New Testament, as they are commonly received, we do receive, and account them Canonical.
2Pet. 3:15-16 … our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
People are “Saved” by Good Works therefore Atheists can be “Kingdom People”
Of Works before Justification
Works done before the grace of Christ, and the Inspiration of his Spirit, are not pleasant to God, forasmuch as they spring not of faith in Jesus Christ, neither do they make men meet to receive grace, or (as the School-authors say) deserve grace of congruity: yea, rather, for that they are not done as God hath willed and commanded them to be done, we doubt not but they have the nature of sin.
Of obtaining eternal Salvation only by the Name of Christ
They also are to be had accursed that presume to say, That every man shall be saved by the Law or Sect which he professeth, so that he be diligent to frame his life according to that Law, and the light of Nature. For holy Scripture doth set out unto us only the Name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved.
John 3:3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
These are not isolated things that Rev. Bowers writes. His blog is full of material promoting what he calls “progressive Christianity“. I trust it is abundantly clear that Rev. Bowers’ publicly stated position is entirely at odds with the Scriptures and the official doctrinal position of the Anglican Church of Australia. The matters on which he writes are not peripheral but central to our understanding of who Jesus is and what the Gospel is.
Our leaders have a solemn reponsibility to deal with this kind of thing. Whether they will or not is a different matter. Rev. Bowers is a rector and therefore has incumbency in his parish. It is difficult to remove him and yet it can be done, certainly on a charge of teaching that is utterly contrary to the teaching of the Anglican Church of Australia. Even if he is not removed it is entirely possible for his bishop to clearly and publicly repudiate his teaching and rebuke him for it. The bishop of Newcastle Diocese is the Right Rev Greg Thompson. In his answers to the election synod of the diocese [pdf] when asked “What should episcopal leadership in the Anglican Church of Australia look like today? “he stated,
The Bishop ought entrust to the body the mission of the Church, yet never abdicate the responsibilities entrusted in this office.
That responsibility includes those which every bishop promises to keep in their consecration vows (AAPB)
Are you ready to drive away all false and strange doctrine which is contrary to God’s word; and privately and publicly to call upon and encourage others to do likewise?
I am, the Lord being my helper
Let me be clear, I have absolutely no reason to doubt that Bishop Thompson is a man of his word and will take this matter seriously.
Just another important thing to note. All Rev. Bowers’ stuff is in the public domain on a blog which is, let’s not be under any misunderstanding, a means of having as many people know about it as possible. He and others cannot complain that his writing is being further publicised. I think it’s time as wide an audience as possible know exactly what Rev. Bower believes and, more importantly, whether our church leaders think it’s acceptable for an ordained minister in the Anglican Church of Australia. And not just Rev. Bower but any Anglican minister who teaches contrary to our doctrine on these key matters of salvation. And not just the ministers but also those in leadership who do nothing about it.
As Rev Bowers himself insists…
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This Post Has 24 Comments
Hi David, I raised these matters with the previous Bishop Administrator, Bishop Peter Stuart, in 2013 who in the refused to act against Rev Bower in any way, citing the ‘Gamalian’ defense from Lambeth. It is my view that this Bishop erred, and should also be subject to discipline for failure to act upon his vows.
Jesus never made a big deal about himself having to die for our sins… To get that point of view you really need to zone out while reading John 1:29, Luke11:29, Matt. 12:40, Matt 16:21, Luke 24:6-8, really zone out at Luke 24:46-47, then continued to zone out for John 2:19-22 and John 10:17-18.
“Why did Jesus have to die? For him to do anything else would have required him to compromise with violence rather than absorb it.”
Seriously… Jesus’ only response to stopping himself from being crucified was violence… really? Is this guy saying that the Son of God who could calm storms with naught but words (Mark 4:35-41) and could move through groups of people (John 8:59 and 10:39) could only respond with violence? And is he saying that Jesus was not violent (I’m sure that the shopkeepers he whipped in John 2:15 would have something else to say).
My only assumption is that this poor guy has skipped a few chapters while reading his bible… Maybe one example would be John 14:6 where Jesus says he is the only way to God… Or maybe what this guys is saying is that the nice man Jesus was lying or misleading… Which isn’t really nice then come to think of it.
Daniel, I suspect Revd Rod would likely reject the miracles as mere mythical representations – as is the common thing to do in the brand of ‘progressive Christianity’ that he appears to follow. I struggle to understand how he can with any sense of credibility claim that he is upholding his ordination promises – part of which is assenting to the articles.
It sounds like another person following in Jefferson’s footprints and cutting out of the bible anything they don’t agree with… I’m also having flashbacks of Garfield minus Garfield (http://garfieldminusgarfield.net/) where the whole point of the comic is removed creating something quite lacking and very different.
While it is easy to see why they misunderstand the point and come up with something so different from our standpoint, it boggles my mind that anyone can choose to believe in some aspects of something that they don’t believe is fully correct…
I asked Revd Rod a question…
Dear David. The name is Bower not Bowers. If you are going to talk about me at least get my name correct. Kindest regards. Fr Rod Bower.
Thanks for pointing out the typo which I have corrected and which I assure you wasn’t deliberate. I managed to get it correct on my original post which described another set of your denials of basic Christian belief.
While we have you here, would you let us know how you justify taking a stipend as an Anglican minister when you spend so much of your time denying basic Christian belief?
Fr Rod, I’m not sure you’re familiar with this from Matthew’s Gospel (ch 18): Jesus said… “the kingdom of heaven is like a person, a king who wanted to settle an account with his servants…” ohh… ummm… That’s a little inconvenient…
Here is Fr Rod said of an evangelical friend of mind, who tried to lovingly correct Fr Rod with words of Scripture in quotes. Before removing access to posting on the ANGGOS FB Rod said to her “your religion is repugnant to me”. Fr Rod seems to find evangelical / orthodox Anglicanism and Christianity repugnant.
Bruce – Fr Rod is so utterly convinced of his own righteousness, ‘tolerance’, and ‘spiritual evolvedness’ that he cannot see the rigid, narrow and intolerant fundamentalism that he himself espouses under the guise of ‘progressive Christianity’.
I am disgusted that the Anglican Church hasn’t stopped Rod Bower from preaching his rubbish .
His latest “bless the burqa ” clearly shows he is in favour of Sharia Law . Tell me where in the Koran does it show that women must totally cover up ? It’s interesting when I see a Muslim man dressed in cool clothes while the poor woman is covered up with layers of clothes during Summer ….where is the fairness in that ? I would like to see that Rod Bower “supposed “man of the cloth wear a burqa 365 days of the year then come back and say he enjoyed wearing it . I see the burqa as an abuse of a woman and with that comes genital mutilation , does he also agree with that ? because they go both hand in hand !!!! .
(We don’t live in the 6th Century Mr Bower ) normal women are not suppressed like they once were, bullied by men , women today should be free to do as they wish , it’s about time Rod Bower comes into the 21st Century .
Spot on!! He is actually a leftist masquerading as a minister.
I would expect more from christians.so tired of the same old negativity,same old tired cliche’s.same old sniping, .If you can’t agree with everything he says at least aknowledge the good that he does.you must be able to think of at least a few posters he’s put up that you’ve agreed with.Ive listened to his sermons and got a lot from them.He has a lot to say about relevant issues,ie humanity,compassion ,love Justice..I don’t necessarily take on board everything he says,he doesn’t always get it right but then who does?..All I’m saying is,.I Would have hoped for better…Yours in Christ <3
hi James, thanks for your comment.
Yes, Rod has some excellent social commentary. Do you think that makes it acceptable for him to deny basic Christian doctrine? Or do you not think basic doctrine is important?
It’s not that these people are sick of the same old negativity,the fact is they do not want to be told they are sinners.Rod Bower is an ear tickling bastard who is going to cause a lot of people to end up in the lake of fire.
Never the less we are living in a time where Christians are aligning themselves and God uses the likes of Rod Bower to separate the wheat from the tares.
You may not approve of Rod Bower (and I certainly don’t, at least not when it comes to what he teaches), but let’s stop with the name-calling please. It’s undignified and, besides, I’m sure Rod is perfectly aware of who his father is.
And even if he wasn’t, I won’t have people spoken of that way here.
This person heavily censors his Facebook page, deleting all negative comments including informative , non abusive ones. His "flock" abuse at the drop of hat, with the usual "bigoted, islamophobic, racist" insults that stands for their idea of intelligent comment and when you do try to reason, it becomes Ad Hominem entirely. I have had quite a good look at this person and IMO he is a leftist hiding in the guise of an Anglican. But a Leftist First and Foremost. He professes to be a Christian and yet we have seen nothing about the Chaldean, Armenian, Assyrian, Nigerian Christians and their persecution but instead the usual pro Muslim hogwash. As for his religious "beliefs" I had to laugh at his new rendering of doctrine. I guess that he has to do this to allow all the self professed leftist atheists and agnostics to feel safe (I am agnostic but I know Jesus of Nazareth better than this idiot). Just another leftist lunatic given undeserved publicity and basking in it. I guess getting the lefties into a church could only be done this way but sleeping with the devil only produces more daemons.
Yes he certainly sounds like a Leftist .He , like most Leftists are not concerned that over 200 girls were kidnapped and FORCED into the Extreme Islamic Cult , for their years will be spent away from their loving families to a life of misery as slaves to a barbaric , murderous cult .
I do feel that God would be frowning upon him ,and the one thing I don’t understand is why he is being permitted to preach under the banner of the Anglican Church . ???
Apologies for this and delete it if you must . But you all must read this at last once. I am an agnostic but I support the man Jesus of Nazareth and his teachings,. But having “turned the other cheek for many years and having many scars to show for it (e.g., cigarette burns) I soon realised that pacifism vs conscienceless fanaticism is pointless. So while I am allied with Christians I am not one and I will fight for my culture and my country and the teachings of J o N. God will NOT help you unless you help yourselves and your culture.
ISIS Snuffs Out Ancient Christianity: Muslim Persecution of Christians, June 2014
By Raymond Ibrahim on November 2, 2014 in Muslim Persecution of Christians
During the Islamic State’s June invasion and consolidation of Mosul, Iraq–where Christians have been present since the first century—numerous atrocities against them were committed. Accordingly, the region is now reportedly empty of Christian presence.
Among other things, the Islamic State reinstituted the collection of jizya, the tribute conquered Christians (and Jews) were historically required to pay in order not to be killed in accordance with Koran 9:29. In one instance, three Islamic State members burst into the home of a Christian family, demanding the jizya-money. When the father of the house pleaded that he did not have the money, the intruders raped his wife and daughter in front of him. The man was reportedly so traumatized that he committed suicide. Four other Christian women were killed for not wearing the Islamic veil.
Soon after taking over Mosul, the Islamic State also announced that it would destroy all Christian places of worship. Several churches were burned, including the Armenian church near the Al Salam hospital and the Church of the Holy Spirit, which was first looted and desecrated. A large Virgin Mary statue disappeared.
Among the many Christians missing are two nuns from the Daughters of Mary Order, who managed an orphanage for girls in Mosul. It is believed they have been kidnapped.
The rest of June’s roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed by theme and country alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity.
Church Attacks and Slaughters
Indonesia: Another Catholic community was attacked in the world’s largest Muslim-population country. The Parish of the Sacred Heart in Pugeran, in the South of Yogyakarta, was targeted by three different groups of unknown assailants riding motorcycles during the first morning Mass. The incident coincided with the start of Ramadan, Islam’s holy month, which often sees a rise in hostility for religious minorities. The attackers, who were dressed in black and covered their faces with masks, broke through the parish gates shouting “Allah is great,” Islam’s historic war-cry. They attacked some Christian objects and posters placed by members of the local Catholic community. Weeks earlier, on May 30, “Islamic extremists attacked a group of Catholics gathered in prayer, beating up the community leader; a week later, Pastor Niko, leader of the Protestant Christian community, was targeted by extremists ‘accused’ of having set up an ‘illegal’ house of prayer without permission,” reports Asia News: “Indonesia is the most populous Muslim nation in the world. Increasingly however, it has become the scene of attacks or episodes of intolerance against minorities, whether they are Christians, Ahmadi Muslims or belong to other faiths.”
Kenya: Approximately 50 militants from Somalia’s Islamic Al Shabaab (“the youth”) network attacked two hotels, a police station and other buildings in Mpeketoni, a predominantly Christian town on Kenya’s coast during the night of Sunday June 15. They chanted “Allahu Akbar” and killed whoever could not recite verses from the Koran. The militants reportedly also went door-to-door asking residents their religion and killed them if they answered “Christian.” More than 57 people were killed. Among them were six children of church pastors.
Nigeria: Suspected Boko Haram jihadis killed nine Christians during June 1 Sunday church service, hours before a bombing of a Christian area in neighboring Adamawa state resulted in nearly 50 deaths. At least 10 gunmen attacked the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria during worship in Attagara village. The jihadis killed nine Christian members who were volunteering as security for the rest of the congregation during service. Another Christian church in Central State Plateau was set ablaze by armed men who also killed at least eight Christian worshippers. According to the Italian news agency, AGI, “The police made their statement, saying that for now they have not assigned the blame for the action, even though the MO and the aims of the attack lead to presuming it was the work by the Boko Haram Islamic Fundamentalists, who have killed thousands of people since 2009.” Speaking about the June 1 church attack, one area Christian leader said the attackers were a small part of 200 assailants who have invaded Attagara and other predominantly Christian villages around Gwoza the past two weeks, destroying homes and churches: “Our church in Attagara was attacked also on Sunday,” said Dr. Rebecca Dali. “There have been 24-hour-a-day attacks on Christian communities of Attagara, Hawul, and Gwoshe around the Gwoza mountains…. The Boko Haram Islamists have destroyed 36 churches in Gwoza area, including that of Attagara attacked on Sunday. We now have only two churches that have not been affected.”
Sudan: Authorities in North Khartoum demolished another church building, that of the Sudanese Church of Christ. Bulldozers came and demolished the church just one day after authorities gave verbal notice of the decision during the congregation’s Sunday worship service the previous day. Congregation members stood by watching their church razed to the ground. About 70 security personnel armed with guns and tear gas stood by threatening anyone who dared to interfere or protest. “They wanted to beat us or throw tear gas on us,” said one congregation member. Authorities gave no clear reason why the church, which has stood since 1983 and which has all the legal paperwork, was being destroyed. According to Rev. Kwa Shamal, the church’s pastor who questioned the commissioner, “They did not want us to ask many questions on why they were demolishing our church.” Because the government refuses to grant the church any compensation, “We will have to pray in a makeshift tent next Sunday” along the road, said the pastor.
Attacks on Christian Freedom: Apostasy and Blasphemy
Afghanistan: The New York Times told the story of “Josef,” a Muslim convert to Christianity who is on the run from Afghani family members looking to slay him. The apostate from Islam lives in a 10-by-10 dilapidated room, his few worldly possessions a tattered Bible and wooden cross with the Sermon on the Mount written on it: “Josef’s brother-in-law Ibrahim arrived in Kabul recently, leaving behind his family and business in Pakistan, to hunt down the apostate and kill him. Reached by telephone, Ibrahim, who uses only one name, offered a reporter for The New York Times $20,000 to tell him where Josef was hiding. ‘If I find him, once we are done with him, I will kill his son as well, because his son is a bastard,’ Ibrahim said, referring to Josef’s 3-year-old child. ‘He is not from a Muslim father.’” Earlier, when Ibrahim first discovered Josef’s conversion to Christianity, he and his family attacked the convert, tied his hands and feet and were going to slaughter him until the father intervened calling for time to investigate matters, which Josef used to escape. Having had a long spiritual journey and closely studying all religions, the Christian convert says that “Even if I get killed, I won’t convert back.”
Egypt: Islamic vindication against Coptic Christians accused of “blasphemy” and “apostasy” was in the air all throughout the month of June in President Sisi’s not so “new” Egypt. First, Kerolos Shouky Attallah, a young Coptic Christian man accused of blaspheming Islam for simply “liking” an Arabic-language Facebook page administered by an anonymous group of Christian converts, was sentenced to six years in prison. According to Attallah’s attorney, the Copt did not make any comments on the site, share any of the postings or upload anything to it, and removed his name from the page once he realized that it might offend Muslims. In the hours preceding the sentencing, a rioting mob burned down several Christian-owned shops in the area near Luxor. Safwat Samaan, chairman of Nation Without Borders, a human rights and development group headquartered in Luxor, said “The sentence today was a shock not just to Kerolos but to everyone who uses Facebook in Egypt. Any person who uses Facebook in Egypt and presses ‘Like’ on any page … can be put into prison for six years.” Also, An Egyptian appeals court upheld a blasphemy conviction against Dimyana Abdel-Nour, a Coptic Christian teacher, and sentenced her to six months, overturning an earlier ruling that only imposed a fine. The appellate court in Luxor ruled that the elementary school teacher had insulted Islam in front of her pupils. Last year, three 10-year-old Muslim children complained to their parents that the Coptic teacher showed disgust for Islam when discussing it in class. And Bishoy Armia Boulous—more notoriously known as Mohammed Hegazy, the first Egyptian ever to try legally to change his religious identity from Muslim to Christian on his official ID—was sentenced to five years in prison. (Years earlier, when he first tried to change his ID, he was also imprisoned and tortured.) The judge cited “disturbing the peace by broadcasting false information” as the reason for sentencing the apostate, who in the weeks before was documenting political unrest in Egypt brought on by numerous Muslim extremist attacks on Christians. The exact section of the nation’s criminal code that Boulous allegedly violated was not released. According to Boulous’ lawyer, the real reason he was charged and sentenced is because he abandoned Islam and became a Christian: “The officer who arrested him, when he found that he hadn’t committed a crime, made up things to keep him in prison so he could be sentenced,” said the lawyer.
Uganda: After Muslim family members tried to poison a relative who converted to Christianity, and failed, he was attacked again by Muslims who killed his young daughter. On June 16, four men barged into the home of Hassan Muwanguzi—a former sheikh who converted to Christianity in 2003—with one shouting, “Today we shall kill you—you have been a trouble-maker and are not respecting our prophet’s religion.” He fled into a room, thinking they would not hurt his daughter, Grace Baruka. But then he heard the 12-year-old girl’s cries, as the Muslim invaders were strangling her. When he came out of the room they seized him: “They hit me with a blunt object, and I fell down. I just woke up and saw neighbors surrounding me while wailing, saying that my daughter is in critical condition.” Neighbors took Grace to a clinic but she was declared dead upon arrival. Muwanguzi has suffered greatly for embracing Christianity: first he lost his wife and job as a schoolteacher after his conversion; then an aunt tried to poison him by putting insecticide in his tea; and now his 12-year-old daughter has been killed. Lamented the former Muslim in tears to Morning Star News: “I am regretting why I survived the poisoning. God could have allowed me to die. My daughter has died, and I am now mourning for her death as well [as] have pain all over my body.”
Lebanon: The Abra Municipality, a predominantly Christian suburb in the coastal city of Sidon, released a memo urging all citizens—the majority of whom are Christian—to respect observant Muslims during Ramadan and abstain from eating in public. In his memo, Mayor Walid Nicolas al-Mchantaf stressed the importance of showing consideration during the holy month and refraining from dining at restaurants and cafes during the fasting period, which begins at sunrise and ends at sunset. A large Muslim community exists in the town and has been in the spotlight since last year’s violent clashes between Islamic gunmen and the Lebanese Army.
Germany: Muslims were granted their own section at the cemetery in the Hessian town of Seligenstadt. And they have been allowed to conduct Islamic ceremonies, in which the corpse is wrapped in cloths and buried facing Mecca. Now these same Islamic communities, including Ahmadiyyas, are demanding that Christian symbols and crosses in the cemetery be removed or covered up during Islamic funerals.
United Kingdom: The National Health Services suspended a Christian health worker on full pay for nine months for praying with a Muslim colleague. Victoria Wasteney, a senior occupational therapist, was also accused of “bullying” the colleague after giving her a book about a Muslim woman who converts to Christianity. According to Wasteney, her relationship with the Muslim woman was friendly and sometimes intimidate, as the Muslim female often came to her for support; the Christian health worker did not think that she was behaving coercively or disrespectfully. Andrea Williams, the chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said the case demonstrated that “the NHS is increasingly dominated by a suffocating liberal agenda that chooses to bend over backwards to accommodate certain beliefs but punishes the Christian
Technically Roman catholics are not Christians,but that is beside the point.
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It would be interesting to know whether Fr Rod packs his church every Sunday with people who don’t believe anything, like himself. He might find that such people find no reason to drop by.
Whenever I have been there the place has been near empty.
Pray that Rod Bower will be given a revelation of who Jesus Christ truly is; the unique Son of God.
Yes Jesus did reveal the kingdom, but He also made the Way for us to get there by suffering and dying in our place on the cross; paying for our sins and bearing God’s wrath upon Himself. Unimaginable suffering He lovingly went through for you and me, if we will accept His generous, wonderful offer.
Through Jesus Christ alone are we redeemed, justified, saved and declared righteous in the sight of God. There is only one way to God; Jesus is the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through the Son. It’s all in the Bible for you to discover, and it is all absolutely true. There are many, many, many lies in the world, but there is only one Truth, and Truth is absolute, it cannot be compromised. Let God’s Word speak louder than the words of man.
Pray in Jesus’ name that Rod Bower will come to understand this fundamental Biblical Truth and come to repentance for the false doctrine he is peddling and the damage he is causing.