Lordship Salvation: Is THEIR Report OUR Report?

By johninnc (illustration by Holly Garcia)

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Romans 10:16: But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

We were recently meeting with some Christian friends, who mentioned that a prominent writer would be appearing at a local megachurch to make the case for Christianity. This writer’s book makes the case for Christianity by describing how much faith it would require to be an atheist.

That is a great topic for a book, and for attendant lectures. But, let’s look at a little bit of background on the teachings of the church (Forest Hills Church, Charlotte) hosting this event.

From their pastor’s blog:

(he is explaining things from Jesus’ perspective)

Through my obedience, my Father has given me the final authority to execute judgment over all humanity. One day, everyone will hear my voice and appear before me in final judgment. Don’t marvel at this saying. It is true. This judgment will solely depend on those who have believed in me. John’s gospel repeatedly states this truth (3:16;5:24,25; 14:6). However, good and bad deeds will prove an individual’s faith. If good deeds aren’t there, it proves faith isn’t present. These people face eternal judgment. If good deeds are there, it proves faith is present and they are granted eternal resurrection life.

Do you believe in me today? Do you believe I came from heaven, lived in human flesh as a man, lived the perfect life you’re incapable of living, died for your sins and rose from the dead to prove your righteousness and grant you eternal life? It’s a free gift, given by grace through faith. Accept this gift. Believe in me. Trust me for your eternal life.

This is a terrible Calvinist “perseverance of the saints” message that is entirely unbiblical. It is an affront to the real gospel message. If good deeds prove the presence or absence of faith, then one must look at himself to determine if he is saved.

The question then becomes:

Is the person teaching that the Bible is reliable reliable? Or, are they setting records (attendance, book sales, etc.) by changing the record?

Let’s look at the conflicting, unbiblical statement of faith (in works) of another megachurch in North Carolina – Summit Church in Raleigh:

We believe that salvation is a free gift given at God’s initiative, and must be received personally by faith.  
John 5:24; Rom 10:9-10; Eph 2:8-9

We believe the Bible to be God’s Word, a true and fully accurate account of God’s love for us.  Its purpose is to teach us how to have a relationship with Him, worship Him and bring Him glory.  
Psalms 19:7-10; 2 Tim 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21

Sounds good so far, right?

Ah, but then the contradiction:

If you’d like a more in-depth explanation of our doctrinal beliefs, you may want to read The Baptist Faith and Message.

Following is an excerpt from the “in depth explanation” from the Baptist Faith and Message:

Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.

A. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.

Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.

 This statement of “faith” requires that someone be regenerated before believing (unbiblical), defines repentance as “a genuine turning from sin toward God” (unbiblical), and thereby makes Jesus necessary for salvation, but not sufficient.

In the false gospel presented in the Baptist Faith and Message, Jesus’s work on the cross, and His victory over sin and death must be augmented by our works – in this case turning from sin.

This is not the record that God gave of His Son. And it is not a message that will save anyone.

1 John 5:10-12:

[10] He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

[11] And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

[12] He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

Have you believed OUR report? Or have you believed THEIR report?

OUR report:

Eternal salvation is a free gift, available to every person on the same basis: by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

THEIR report:

Their reports vary widely. They often look the same as ours – on the surface. But then, they contradict themselves with other statements or beliefs. Some examples:

  • We are saved by grace alone through faith alone. But, the faith that saves is never alone.
  • A true Christian will…
  • You must repent of your sins to be saved
  • You must commit your life to Christ to be saved
  • You must have heart faith, not just head faith to be saved
  • You can lose your salvation

For more information on OUR report, click here: OUR REPORT

 

Christian Privilege

It has become fashionable, of late, to use the term “privilege” to address perceived inherent advantages that some groups have over others.

Examples of privilege:

  • White privilege
  • Male privilege
  • Heterosexual privilege
  • Cisgender privilege (refers to agreeing with the sex and/or gender one is assigned at birth)
  • Able-bodied privilege

My teenage daughter recently brought home, from a summer program she is attending, a “Christian Privilege Checklist.”

Following are each of the items listed (source: itspronouncedmetrosexual.com). The “privileges” are in italics. My responses to selected “privileges” are parenthetical, in bold.

  1. You can expect to have time off work to celebrate religious holidays.
  2. Music and television programs pertaining to your religion’s holidays are readily accessible.
  3. It is easy to find stores that carry items that enable you to practice your faith and celebrate religious holidays.
  4. You aren’t pressured to celebrate holidays from another faith that may conflict with your religious values.
  5. Holidays celebrating your faith are so widely supported you can often forget they are limited to your faith (e.g. wish someone a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Easter” without considering their faith).
  6. You can worship freely, without fear of violence or threats.
  7. A bumper sticker supporting your religion won’t likely lead to your car being vandalized.
  8. You can practice your religious customs without being questioned, mocked, or inhibited.
  9. If you are being tried in court, you can assume that the jury of “your peers” will share your faith and not hold that against you in weighing decisions.
  10. When swearing an oath, you will place your hand on a religious scripture pertaining to your faith.
  11. Positive references to your faith are seen dozens of times a day by everyone, regardless of their faith.

(My comment: yeah, right. Christians are at least equally-often maligned as non-intelligent, superstitious, hateful, ignorant, etc.)

  1. Politicians responsible for your governance are probably members of your faith.

(My comment: Some probably are. Many say they are. Most pander to Lordship “salvationists” and other large, mainstream groups within professing Christendom, because that is where the big blocks of votes are.)

  1. Politicians can make decisions citing your faith without being labeled as heretics or extremists.
  2. It is easy for you to find your faith accurately depicted in television, movies, books, and other media.

(My comment: It is not even easy to find my faith accurately depicted in churches that claim to be teaching the gospel. Most churches teach a false gospel, so the depictions in television, movies, books, and other media pick up on this.)

  1. You can reasonably assume that anyone you encounter will have a decent understanding of your beliefs.

(My comment: Almost no one I encounter will have a decent understanding of my beliefs, unless I tell them. Even if I were to give my testimony in a “Christian” church, it is likely that most in attendance would look at me like I had two heads. My testimony would be unwelcome in most mainstream churches).

  1. You will not be penalized (socially or otherwise) for not knowing other people’s religious customs.
  2. Your faith is accepted/supported at your workplace.

(My comment: My workplace has affinity groups for every conceivable special interest group – except Christians – and encourages employees to be identified with pet special interest causes).

  1. You can go into any career you want without it being associated with or explained by your faith.
  2. You can travel to any part of the country and know your religion will be accepted, safe, and you will have access to religious spaces to practice your faith.
  3. Your faith can be an aspect of your identity without being a defining aspect (e.g., people won’t think of you as their “Christian” friend)
  4. You can be polite, gentle, or peaceful, and not be considered an “exception” to those practicing your faith.
  5. Fundraising to support congregations of your faith will not be investigated as potentially threatening or terrorist behavior.
  6. Construction of spaces of worship will not likely be halted due to your faith.
  7. You are never asked to speak on behalf of all the members of your faith.
  8. You can go anywhere and assume you will be surrounded by members of your faith.

(My comment: I cannot even go into a Southern Baptist church and assume that I will be surrounded by members of my faith.)

  1. Without special effort, your children will have a multitude of teachers who share your faith.

(My comment: This is just simply not true. Even if I were to send my children to a “Christian” school, I could not place confidence in that label without performing extensive due diligence to ensure that the “Christian” school was not corrupting the gospel.)

  1. Without special effort, your children will have a multitude of friends who share your faith.
  2. It is easily accessible for you or your children to be educated from kindergarten through post-grad at institutions of your faith.
  3. Disclosing your faith to an adoption agency will not likely prevent you from being able to adopt children.
  4. In the event of a divorce, the judge won’t immediately grant custody of your children to your ex because of your faith.
  5. Your faith is taught or offered as a course at most public institutions.
  6. You can complain about your religion being under attack without it being perceived as an attack on another religion.
  7. You can dismiss the idea that identifying with your faith bears certain privileges.
  8. Share more in the comments below!

(My comment: ETERNAL LIFE! All Christians have eternal life. Those who are not Christians do not have eternal life. If you would like to know how to have eternal life, click here: ETERNAL LIFE FOR YOU.)

Camp Lordship Salvation: Are Your Kids Safe?

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By johninnc

(illustration by Holly Garcia)

As summer vacation time rolls around, I am reminded of the legion of camps and vacation Bible schools being offered by “churches” of every stripe. And, since there is so much false doctrine being promulgated from the pulpits, books, and websites of “Christian” ministries, it stands to reason that their camps and vacation Bible schools would follow suit.

Christian camps and vacation Bible schools can be a great way to train our children in Biblical doctrine, but not if they are doctrinally aberrant – particularly with respect to the gospel message.

As alluring as it may be to give the kids a nice, wholesome getaway (not to mention giving the parents a break from the kids), we should be cautious where we send them.

Most parents would not even think about sending their children some place where their physical safety would be a concern. This vigilance should extend to children’s spiritual well-being. We should not send our children to church camps or VBS without knowing EXACTLY what they are being taught, and whether or not it lines up with scripture. Otherwise, our precious children may be being fed a  diet of theological poison, without our being aware. This could have serious long-term consequences.

Some good up-front questions to ask yourself would include:

  • Do I know what the gospel is? If you are not sure, click the link below:

The Gospel

  • Do my kids know the truth of the gospel?
  • Do I know what the false gospel of Lordship “Salvation” is? If not, click the link below:

Lordship “Salvation”

  • Who is the sponsoring organization, and what are their beliefs?
  • What print and other media are being used?
  • Who prepared those media, and what are their beliefs?
  • Who are the teachers and counselors, and what are their beliefs?

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If the sponsoring organization, materials, or teachers are not crystal clear on the doctrine of salvation, then sending your kids to their camps or vacation Bible schools would be ill-advised.

The camps and VBSs are often packaged with clever themes, focused on fun and adventure, or some special interest. Those that are teaching false doctrine will not advertise that, because most of the time they don’t even know.

I have come up with several examples of false doctrine that one may encounter in camps and vacation Bible schools, and have chosen to illustrate those with the following fictitious offerings:

  • Camp Sherlock: Join Holmes and Watson on a Journey of Fruit Inspection
  • 19th Hole Christian Golf Camp: Shooting Par for Salvation
  • Social Media Evangelism: Lordship Salvation Proof Texting
  • Green Missions: Become Equipped to Save Planet Earth!
  • All Aboard! Choo Choo the Meat and Spit Spit the Bones on the Ecumenical Soul Train
  • Camp Vegas: Salvation Roulette and 21 Reasons Why Christ is not Enough

I used hyperbole in the above examples to make a very serious point. We should stay away from false teachers, and we should keep our kids away from them too. If we don’t know whether or not a teacher is sound, we should not use our kids as guinea pigs.

Lordship Salvation: Where I Come From

by johninnc

Following is the refrain from the song “Where I Come From” by country music star Alan Jackson:

Where I come from it’s cornbread and chicken

Where I come from a lotta front porch pickin’

Where I come from tryin’ to make a livin’

And workin’ hard to get to Heaven, where I come from

I heard this song today for the first time, and it reminded me of where I come from.

I was raised in the southeastern US, and North Carolina is where I currently live. I like fried chicken (sorry PETA) and cornbread. I feel most at home when I’m here. And, I used to think I had to work to get to heaven.

Let me take a moment to explain what I mean.

I am a 53 year-old man that didn’t become a believer in Christ until age 49. As far back as I can remember, I believed that Christ was the Son of God, that He died for our sins, and was raised from the dead.

But, I thought that in addition to believing in Jesus for eternal life, I had to internally resolve to turn from my sins and commit my life to Christ in order to get to heaven. I had fallen for the false gospel of Lordship “salvation.”

Until just a few years ago, it had never dawned on me that faith in Christ and faith in Christ plus me were mutually exclusive. Resolving to turn from sins and committing one’s life to Christ are works. We cannot be saved by our works.

Romans 3:20: Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Most churches, evangelists, and print ministries teach Lordship “salvation” either explicitly, or implicitly. It is appealing to us, because it fits into our preexisting belief that we can somehow work our way back to God.

Following are excerpts from our page entitled Lordship “salvation” Defined:

At its core, Lordship “salvation” (LS) is not salvation at all but man made PROBATION – a disbelief in God’s Word which clearly states that salvation is by Grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

LS is the unsupportable belief that the PERFORMANCE of good works, the PROMISE of good works, or the EVIDENCE of good works MUST accompany faith in Christ in order to establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life.

LS can be overt (one must forsake all of his sins and follow Christ in obedience and discipleship in order to be saved) or VERY SUBTLE (one’s behavior will change once he is saved).  But, do not be deceived. Trying to add ANY human merit to Grace makes it no longer Grace. (Romans 11:6).

Anyone who is a Christian has repented (changed his mind) from some false belief  to belief in Christ alone as Savior. For me, I had to repent (change my mind) from thinking that my good intentions had any bearing whatsoever on whether or not I was going to go to heaven.

We receive eternal life when we stop working for it, and believe in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone.

Romans 4:5: But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

LS is where I come from. Belief in Christ is where I am now. God never gave up trying to draw me to him.

If you are workin’ hard to get to Heaven and would like to know how to have eternal life, click here: The Gospel

God has not given up on you either. How do I know? I know, because you are reading this post.

 

 

Stemming Fruit Inspection

See new page Stemming Fruit Inspection, which contains the full text of the chapter “Fruit Inspectors” from Preston Greene’s new book.

This subject is vital to the defense of the gospel, so I hope you will read it and refer others to it.

You Might Be a Lordship Salvationist If… (Part 2)

by johninnc

2 Corinthians 11:3: But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Almost three years ago, we featured an article entitled You Might Be a Lordship Salvationist If…

Many people misconstrued the intent of this article, thinking that it was either comedic, tongue in cheek, mean-spirited, etc. However, the intent of the article was to challenge people – both born-again believers and religious non-believers – to challenge beliefs they might hold that are contrary to grace.

The original article is linked below:

Original article

We know that sequels are rarely on par with the original, but respectfully offer the following additional points:

  1. You believe that there is some “middle ground” between Lordship “salvation” and grace – that the truth “LIES somewhere in between.”
  1. You believe that someone must desire to turn from his sins in order to be saved.
  1. You believe that there is some “missing link” between grace and Lordship “salvation,” and you are bound and determined to find it.
  1. You think that doctrine isn’t important, as long as someone “loves the Lord” and wants to serve Him.
  1. You believe you are keeping God’s commandments.
  1. You think being a Christian is not as good as being a “Christ follower.” In fact, you think they are one and the same.
  1. You think that Christians are under any of the Mosaic law.
  1. You are insistent that the thief on the cross would have done good works if he had been afforded the opportunity.
  1. You believe that someone must want to get better in order to be saved.
  1. Your gospel is that Christ died and was raised from the dead. In other words, you don’t believe it was “for our sins.” (see the Apostles’ Creed).
  1. You think that some of the people that the Bible says believed, did not have “saving faith.” Instead, they had “spurious faith,” or only believed some of the things about Him. In other words, they were never “truly saved.”
  1. You are torn up about peoples’ sins, but indifferent as to what “gospel” they might have heard and believed.
  1. You troll grace websites, agreeing with ALMOST everything they say, but trying to get them to “throw you an LS bone.”

I admit the last one is “tongue in cheek.” However, it is more of a warning to those who are clear on grace.

I can’t tell you how many times I have received, or read, a long-winded “leaven sandwich,” in which the writer tries to imbed the leaven somewhere between a couple of thousands of words of grace.

This is usually done by an intermittent commenter, who will wait a few months between submissions, each time trying a different angle on the same error.

Who Said That?

By johninnc

From Wikipedia: Who Said That? is a 1947-55 NBC radio-television game show, in which a panel of celebrities attempts to determine the speaker of a quotation from recent news reports.

The following quotes are from various organizations and individuals that are attempting to influence contemporary society in one way or another. My point in selecting  these quotes is not the degree to which they do, or do not, reflect appropriate perspectives on the issues to which they pertain. Rather, my point is the degree to which these quotes seem aligned with contemporary issues of social justice, environmentalism, and altruism.

I will publish the source of each of the quotes (the answer key) as the first response to this article.

_______________________________________________________

1. We believe we have a responsibility to innovate, sponsor, and evaluate new forms of community that will encourage development of the fullest potential in individuals.

2. The poor and excluded face dire threats from climate disruptions, including the increased frequency of droughts, extreme storms, heat waves, and rising sea levels.

3. Advocate

Join with others who are seeking to ensure that governments, corporations and communities do their part to achieve the goals of:

  • Halting the spread of HIV through effective prevention, treatment and care.
  • Eliminating the stigma and discrimination experienced by those who are HIV-positive.
  • Reducing the conditions of poverty and marginalization that contribute to the spread of HIV.

4. With the news on immigration focused on administrative relief and a new Congress seemingly bent on undoing that relief, we know there may be some confusion about what is happening.

5. How do we deliver the first AIDS free generation in over 30 years? It all begins with the elimination of HIV transmission from mother to child. Right now, in developing countries, over 650 babies are born with the disease every day. But we have the power to change things by providing HIV positive mothers with the lifesaving medication they need to deliver a healthy, HIV—free baby. And all it takes is just 40 cents a day.

6. Current scientific findings indicate that reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are required to avert accelerated climate change. Scarcity of natural resources and threats to ecosystems and biodiversity are serious environmental issues. Recent events, from extreme weather events to severe droughts to the decline in summer arctic sea ice extent, all illustrate the severe consequences and devastating impacts of climate change. These challenges demand fundamental changes in the way society, including businesses, uses natural resources.

7. We support the right of all public and private employees and employers to organize for collective bargaining into unions and other groups of their own choosing.

Every person has the right to a job at a living wage. Where the private sector cannot or does not provide jobs for all who seek and need them, it is the responsibility of government to provide for the creation of such jobs.

 Corporations are responsible not only to their stockholders, but also to other stakeholders: their workers, suppliers, vendors, customers, the communities in which they do business, and for the earth, which supports them.

8. Inequality is the root of social ills … as long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems.

9. And rising inequality and declining mobility are also bad for our families and social cohesion — not just because we tend to trust our institutions less, but studies show we actually tend to trust each other less when there’s greater inequality.

10. Learn about and support proposed legislation that would provide in-state tuition for immigrant students as well as other pro-immigrant bills…

Consider holding a series of workshops or events that educate people in your community about their legal rights, how to prepare for a raid, or the impacts of local immigration laws and ordinances.

11. Principles of Solidarity

  • Engaging in direct and transparent participatory democracy;
  • Exercising personal and collective responsibility;
  • Recognizing individuals’ inherent privilege and the influence it has on all interactions;
  • Empowering one another against all forms of oppression;
  • Redefining how labor is valued;
  • The sanctity of individual privacy;
  • The belief that education is human right; and
  • Making technologies, knowledge, and culture open to all to freely access, create, modify, and distribute.

12. Sustainability –  it’s in our heritage.

_______________________________________________________

As you think about the missions of the above individuals and groups, and their adherents, think about what makes them similar and what makes them different. Think about how these messages may have been different in different times and circumstances.

And, if you would like to know how to have eternal life, based on God’s unchanging word, please click here: Eternal Life

Please note: we are interested in your comments. However, we are not interested in your political views, your impression of Jesus’ political views, etc. We are interested in your views of how governments, businesses, and churches are becoming more closely aligned in their stated goals and priorities.