Lordship “Salvation” Teaches Confusion [Francis Chan]

We were blessed to have this wonderful email from one of our readers who had read Francis Chan’s book, Crazy Love. Her note is distressing yet encouraging  and I pray it will be a warning to all who have been told by their Pastor or Church leaders that Francis Chan is a “spiritual leader.” He is NOT.. he is a false prophet, teaching the lie of Lordship Salvation — which is no salvation at all.

Thank you for your blog on [Francis} Chan's book Crazy Love. I just finished reading it and felt very disturbed and afraid. Something I don't think God would want you to feel when trying to get closer to Him. I am struggling with some sins in my life but am making an effort to find fellowship and help from fellow Christians. I just thought it was wrong of Chan to say you aren't saved if you aren't doing certain things for God. I personally think God is the only one who knows about someones salvation and it's not for any man to decide, even if he thinks it's Biblical. What I am trying to say is you have helped me see what Chan was truly portraying, the whole Lordship Salvation belief. I feel so much better now and I truly do believe that Jesus died for us on the cross to save us from our sin and nothing we do or don't do can change our salvation if we believe and accept that. So thank you again and God Bless you both :)

Bethany

Dear Readers, please pray for Bethany as she studies God's Word and tries to find a good Bible fellowship of other discerning believers in Christ. Pray  she may gain more assurance of her salvation from God's Word, in Jesus Christ alone.

God's Word says: "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." James 1:5
"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God [Jesus]; that ye may KNOW that ye have [right now] eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” 1 John 5:13

Eternal Life Is FREE from God – NO Doubts!

155 responses to “Lordship “Salvation” Teaches Confusion [Francis Chan]

  1. Thanks Bethany for your candid heart-felt testimony. If you read some of the low-star reviews on Amazon you will see how the book “Crazy Love” has brought much harm to the body of Christ; by promoting an unbiblical works-based salvation plan, the book has decimated many Christian’s assurance of faith. And how many others have been put off from coming to faith in Christ by reading this book and its false gospel? To date the book has sold over one million copies! I still find it hard to believe that hundreds if not thousands of pastors promoted the book to their congregations.
    For a complete review of the book from a grace perspective entitled, “Balanced Love,” see:
    http://www.freegracealliance.com/pdf/BookReview%20ofCrazyLove.pdf

  2. Wow. I just read the 1-3 star reviews over at Amazon and am so glad there are so many who get it! But I’m also sad there are so many more who do not.

    One of the reviewers hit the nail right on the head with the pastoral consequences of this theology:

    Not even touching on theology (a lot of other reviews already have), this book just felt wrong. Rather than inspiring me to draw closer to Christ, it pushed me further away.

    This was the exact effect MacArthur had on me many years ago when I didn’t know what Lordship Salvation was. I see some things never change.

    JanH

  3. Thanks Bruce for staying abreast of this apostasy.

    JanH,

    Two other of our earlier posts include articles or notes that expose even more of Chan. You and Bethany should find them interesting:
    http://expreacherman.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/grace-under-fire-the-fallout-of-lordship-faith-teaching/
    and:
    http://expreacherman.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/macarthur-type-new-apostacy/

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  4. I saw those. In fact, I think it was the grace under fire one that I sent to Kev. :)

    Good stuff!

    JanH

  5. Just wondering if you could give me a good site with audio commentry.
    I have been thinking about the Lordship salvation and wonder if thats what has been robbing me of my assurance? How do I know if I beleive the gospel or Im trusting in my ability to believe it? Im scared that I may be wrong. Everyday I worry. I know the contents of the gospel and I think I believe it but I cant be 100% if I have doubt that will eventually damn me. I wake up at night in cold sweats because I am so scared that I dont trust in christ properly and will be turned away at judgement day.

  6. Hi Nathaniel-

    Here is the site of Word of Grace Bible Church in Wisconsin, pastored by Tom Stegall, a wonderful man of God and Free Grace adherent. He did a sermon series on Lordship Salvation a few years back. You can access it on the Messages page in the left hand column. On the messages page you can select a series at the top of the page. Among the series choices are Lordship Salvation and Good News of Salvation. He also has other sermons you may find helpful on salvation, etc.

    http://www.wogbc.org/home.html

    JanH

  7. I am perhaps volunteering him a bit, but Pastor Stegall’s site has a contact feature also, if you wanted to email him and ask him some questions. That is on the home page. I have contacted him a few times and he has always been very gracious.

    JanH

  8. One more thing, Nathaniel.

    The symptoms you are having are very much associated with the Lordship Salvation teaching. That is the main pastoral effect of that teaching and the thing that personally drives me batty the most, and for just this reason. You are supposed to be ESTABLISHED in the faith, not uprooted and tossed about.

    They say they want folks to be assured of their salvation from this teaching, but many times it produces the OPPOSITE effect. And then what is the person to do? Where do they go? I realize this is not their intent, but regardless of their intent, the effect is basically to tell folks that Christ’s sacrifice is not really sufficient. You can only access that sacrifice through a certain kind of faith- the kind that produces works. So works are kind of confusingly smuggled into the equation as a requirement FOR salvation, and not truly a RESULT OF salvation. It becomes necessary to have them as a second way of being justified before God, not as (the) means of showing (to men who cannot see our faith any other way) that we are already justified before God by faith ALONE.

    The faith that saves looks solely to Christ and what He has done and finds its full assurance there. It does not look to the man for assurance as there is no need, since for one thing, in our flesh dwells no good thing so no assurance can be found there anyway. If we look to us we will only find our need (that is a good thing though, but not if we are looking there to find that which will satisfy our need). And for another thing, our assurance lies in the same place as our salvation lies- in Christ’s finished cross work. We find the satisfaction of our need when we look OUT from ourselves to Christ.

    The reason for the problem you and so many others have is basically because LS preaches YOURSELF to you and what YOU must do for HIM (even though they don’t see it that way) instead of preaching CHRIST JESUS to you and what HE has done for YOU, that you may rest in His supply for your need before the Father. They will preach Christ Jesus AS Lord to you, meaning you must come under His authority to serve Him, but they do not preach Christ Jesus THE Lord to you as the full supply of all your need before the Father. You are not really allowed to rest on HIS finished work because it is always put upon you to assess whether the faith you have is really the right kind of faith. And they say the way to know if your faith is the right kind of faith is by assessing whether you are producing the works of faith- do you have a faith that works?

    This is a complete mischaracterization of how works are produced in the life of the believer, for one thing. The fruit that pleases God is produces as we abide in the Vine, and HE is the one who produces it. So as it comes across to you, they are scolding you for not doing God’s job. And for another, it forces you to find your assurance in a different place than you found your salvation. It forces you to find your assurance in yourself, though they will say it is not really you but God who works in you (even though they scold you for not doing God’s job). This may seem like it works on paper, but in real practice what happens is, the person is focused on HIMSELF, not Christ. This is the Biblical principle that we can only believe what is preached to us and not what is not preached to us, as Paul says in Romans 10:14 when he asks how they can believe what they have not heard. Obviously, you can only believe what you are exposed to. That is why Paul was so careful to preach nothing but Jesus Christ and Him only as the gospel. He did not preach the man to himself, except so as to acquaint him with his need. His trumpet made no uncertain sound. Man has the need. Christ alone is the supply.

    When Christ is presented in the LS message, He is presented as Someone toward whom we must give homage, not as Someone who is the supplier of all our need before the Father. It cannot be denied that in a sense, they are right. Of course He is Someone to whom all should give homage, and we know that one day every knee will bow to Him. So they have His worthiness right. What they have wrong is that they do not present Him as the supplier of all our need. It is law, not gospel. Or worse, law AS gospel. Their trumpet makes an uncertain sound that many people hear as “I must be thus and so before I can know that I am saved.” They require from the man what he cannot produce irrespective of the fact that Christ is worthy of it. They do not preach Christ to the man as the supply for the man that he may “eat His flesh and drink His blood” and REST in His finished work. They present the man to the man as one who has obligation before God that he had better fulfill, or else.

    Here is an example of what I mean. Just this past weekend I was exposed to a verse from the ESV Bible version that all the LSers are gaga about. It was 2 Corinthians 11:3. The ESV translates it this way:

    But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

    But the New King James translates it like this:

    But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

    The King James likewise says:

    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.

    Notice how the ESV puts the focus on the man and HIS devotion TO Christ while the King James versions (yes, I know they are not the same in other places) put the emphasis on Christ and the SIMPLICITY that is IN Him. The ESV preaches the man for and to Christ. The NKJ and KJ preach Christ for (and to, i.e. 1 Cor 2:2; 2 Cor 4:5) the man, as Paul strongly stresses throughout his epistles.

    The KJ, NKJ translations are supported in that we have that same concern raised by Paul in several other places, such as the entire book of Galatians, where the believers were being deceived into adding to what Christ did by coming under the Jewish law for their salvation. The simplicity that is in Christ was being violated. Also we see the same idea in Colossians 2 where they are warned away from adding to what Christ has done for them via empty rituals such as “do not handle, do not taste, do not touch” which have an appearance of wisdom but are of no value against fleshly indulgence; rather, doing such will cheat you out of your reward. The simplicity that is in Christ was being violated. We also see a similar concern in 1 Timothy 4 concerning men who require the abstinence from certain foods and from marriage. The simplicity that is in Christ was being violated. All of these things corrupt the simplicity that is in Christ. Paul’s overwhelming concern is that believers look to Christ ONLY, in simple receptive faith, and find their full assurance IN Him and what He has done.

    Well, my one more thing turned out to be fairly long, and it is a lot of words to say, the issue is not whether you are doing enough to qualify as having saving faith. The issue is has HE done enough to save you in His death on the cross for your sins? If you can say along with the hymn writer:

    I need no other argument, I need no other plea
    It is enough that Jesus died and that He died for me.

    You have saving faith.

    And it is from that safe and secure foundation that you may proceed to abide in the Vine, finding Him to be the supply for all your need as you go through life in relationship with Him, and finding that He Himself will do the fruit bearing in you as you abide in Him.

    As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord [by faith], so walk in Him [by faith]. Colossians 2:6.

    But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Cor 3:18).

    JanH

  9. Amen, Jan. So very well explained. I was greatly blessed.

    I have to say that I do understand, all too well, Nathaniel’s position. It is distressing. But I’ve not been caught up in Calvinism or Lordship theology, but rather in the older Keswick teachings as communicated by the likes of Maj. Ian Thomas, Alan Redpath, Oswald Chambers, Vance Havner, etc.

    The emphasis there being the surrendered life, which leads to HIS life being released in the believer, aka the “victorious life”. Reading Hudson Taylor’s famous testimony often called “The Exchanged Life” sounds very much like was you wrote above, Jan – merely resting in Jesus Christ, Who IS the vine, the branches, the tendrils, the fruit, even the sunshine and the rain… But then, others, from the same camp will come and say that it is my surrender which is lacking, which is why I haven’t true rest and peace. No abudant life. I must die to self. There is something amiss here. I’ve only just started and am discovering more by reading Miles Stanford commentaries which you put up a few days ago. He has much to say about all this. One argument espoused by LS proponents, and even a few Keswick personalities, is called “one-naturism”. This ought to be discussed much more, as I believe it’s a pretty contentious point which needs to be clearly understood and addressed. And yet, I’m not hearing this discussed at all in relation to LS theology.

    Another thing I’m learning is that Wesleyan teachings very much resemble LS teachings. Again, my earliest mistake was assuming Calvinism and LS theology were basically synonomous. Not so. Arminianism is just as confusing, focusing on works in relation to salvation.

    Remember my asking the question who John MacArthur might be emulating, as far as older, classic preachers? This question was answered at Miles Stanford’s site. The most influential teacher was Martyn Lloyd-Jones. I always enjoyed his preaching, but obviously was dull of hearing.
    I’m currently attempting to wade through it all and have yet to adequately digest it. I guess you could say I’m “marinating” for now.

    Does anyone here know more about the “deeper life” teachings?

  10. Pearl,

    Great note and you seem to be “marinating” well. ;-)
    If I recall, the “deeper life” teachings were a precursor to LS/MacArthur/Chan et al. But I admit I have not studied them deeply — because I am too busy rejoicing in my assurance IN Jesus Christ. ;-)
    First I have heard of “one naturism” as a doctrine… and have noticed many Calvinists and LS folks seem to think there is no old nature, new nature conflict in a believer. Great topic and maybe I will start a post on that and we can all explore subject soon.
    Thanks for your great comments, Jack

  11. Pearl-

    Everything I know about the deeper life teachings I learned from Stanford’s site. It sounds like you know more than me, having read some of them. From what I gather from Stanford, it sounds like what happened there is that the identification truths were abused, or poorly understood, or something. In any case, he says they too get the cart before the horse just as the LSers do and that somewhere along the line the doctrine of our positional death in Christ’s death was jettisoned. It seems like even men such as Bill Gothard, who can by no stretch of the imagination be considered Dispensational or grace based (actually, I think he is Reconstructionist. He hangs out with Reconstructionist Doug Phillips, anyway), tried to incorporate the identification truths into what they were already teaching. Instead they should have realized that the identification truths would render much of what they were already teaching unnecessary and erroneous. But they tried to have them both. Thus, confusion.

    I was just reading yesterday the article Stanford has on Dispensationalism’s Missing Link that mentioned some of these things too. He says even the early Dispensationalists like Darby didn’t get both the identification truths and the Dispensational truths together very well, with the exception of William Newell. It was very helpful and I’m going to read it again after dinner.

    As for the one naturism, that is another incompatible teaching with the identification truths. I think it was Charles Solomon and Charles Stanley that tried to get them both together. But one naturism is the bed in which LS sprouts. Without it, LS is pretty much impossible and I am pretty sure it is that that causes people so much trouble. They are made to believe that if they really are saved they will be obedient and that is just that. The war within is not an option because there is only one nature- the man’s original nature remade. All the sin in the believer’s life is just old habits that need to be relearned, which is sure to meet with success as he seeks to obey the law, which is now written in his heart. They deny positional truth (I don’t know why) that allows us to have both our old nature and the Spirit given new nature, yet they know better than to be eradicationists. They know we will still sin. But these sins are just vestiges of sinful flesh. I have not seen how they explain that the old man is totally gone but there are still vestiges of him that remain. I don’t quite get how we have only one nature and that is the Spirit generated new nature, but that new nature is not sinless.

    That’s my take on those things at present.

    JanH

    JanH

  12. Nathaniel,

    I actually smiled by some things you have said. I at one time embraced the Lordship Salvation position. I too would wake up in sweat feeling as though my feet were dangling over the very pits of hell. I sometimes had to stay awake just to calm down my racing heart. I feared death and hell even though I went to church and tried talking all knowledgeable and as though I was just so filled with God’s blessings. Nobody knew that I was nothing more than a white washed tomb full of dead men bones.

    I became a 5 point Calvinist and Lordship Salvation believer while as a Bible major at Bob Jones University. I was CONVINCED for the 10 years to follow that my beliefs were solid. I used to debate classrooms and even teachers on the topic. I devoured every book on the subject: Pink, MacArthur, Boice, Hodge (Charles, A.A.), all puritan paperbacks, and so on.

    It was finally in early 2000 that a thought thundered through my head that had me challenge everything I had ever been taught. It sounds as though God has reached finally into your heart to have you question the same thing that I once did. DO NOT IGNORE THIS!!!!

    People will tell you that you cannot go by feelings and that is not entirely accurate. I believe when my head hurts that it is a headache. I believe when I hurt someone that my negative feelings of what I did are not to be ignored. When I faced so many years of having doubts, depression, and so on was to finally stop and ask “WHY AM I LIKE THIS?????”

    I even had to ask myself why it was every time I read The Gospel According to John MacArthur (he says Jesus Christ) was to experience an inner agitation and confusion that would fill my innermost being. I also had to ask why every time I read ‘God’s Way of Peace’ by Horatius Bonar (5 point Calvinist) as to why my heart felt so free and liberated. I discovered the answer much later. Horatius Bonar is one of the few free grace believing Calvinists of his day. I am not a Calvinist anymore, but his book spoke freedom to my heart long ago and I could never understand why. I do not exactly recommend his book but was only stating a fact that I noticed.

    The fact that you are open is how God really begins dealing with you. It wasn’t until I finally felt that I knew nothing and was open to be taught by God that I felt that I learned things that wonderfully changed my life.

    If you click on my name it should take you to my blog. You can see that my beliefs are anything but Lordship salvation oriented. I have been sharing many of the things I learned after rejecting LS and even the 5 points of Calvinism.

    I wouldn’t mind helping you as I believe my personal experiences with Lordship Salvation can be of some benefit to you.

    Dave

  13. Thanks Dave,

    Great testimony.. I read your blog regularly as I subscribe to it on my RSS feed.

    Appreciate your dropping by.

    Jack

  14. Hello Brother Jack,

    I do apologize for not saying hello in my last comment. I just happened to see Nathaniel’s comments today and wanted to extend an invitation to him.

    I still receive emails from you now and then through my old blog name. I will have to send you my other email address soon. Bruce on a few occasions drops me a note about things happening at your site.

    I think you are doing a wonderful job here defending the gospel of grace against those that oppose. You have much more patience than me as I cannot give them two minutes of my time anymore. I get dizzy from my eyes constantly rolling in the back of my head after reading their comments.

    I practically give every LS person I meet the gospel as their teaching is a perversion from the one true gospel. I do NOT believe that all LS people are not saved, but they certainly are playing on deadly ground. I always give the gospel to those that have perverted it.

    Never grow weary of preaching what mankind so desperately needs to hear! Acts 13:38-39 tells us what is to be made known unto others that you brother have been faithfully preaching here:

    38 BE IT KNOWN unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:

    39And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

    Blessings,

    Dave

  15. Oh my, dear brothers Dave & Jack! I can’t put into words how much God has blessed my life through you two. Nathaniel, I can surely relate to your words as well, I have surely been there, & by God’s magnificent grace, He can give you victory. He’s already done it. I don’t have the gift of words like these 2 dear brothers & sister Jan do, but I can just say that Jesus has done it all for you!! Look to Him alone. I used to struggle just like you, in the “did I do it right” introspection, & I am so thankful to tell you that Jesus did it right FOR YOU! Before I saw these posts by Jack & Dave, I had posted as my status on Facebook the very verses Dave posted from Acts 13! That little phrase “All Things” is so freeing Nathaniel & I believe that is what you need to focus on. All the worries & doubts you have, HE TOOK CARE OF ON THE CROSS! He justified you, declared you right with God from ALL THINGS! That freed me & it will you too! I am sorry I just had to post this. You folks are such a blessing to me!

  16. Bro. David,

    Great to hear from you.. and see your words and testimony of assurance to Nathaniel. We continue to pray Nathaniel will see and understand the Truth that sets him free.. simply trusting completely in the FINISHED work of Jesus Christ.

    You are a great encouragement to us also.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  17. I just had a great honest question from a person in the UK who didn’t understand what the “lordship” debate is all about. She inquired of me, “What is Lordship Faith teaching?”
    Here is my response (How would you all respond?):

    Hello LR. Thanks for your question. Lordship Faith teaching (a.k.a. lordship salvation) is, in a nutshell, an outgrowth of the Calvinist teaching of perseverance—the “P” of the Calvinist acronym “TULIP.” MacArthur once wrote that lordship salvation teaching is synonymous with perseverance. Simply put, for lordship salvation advocates it is not good enough to simply trust in Christ Jesus alone for salvation (the gospel message of 1 Corinthians 15:1-8). The clear straightforward gospel message of Ephesians 2:8-9 (salvation comes by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone) is not enough for these folks. For them salvation must include an up-front promise of strongly committed living for God followed by a lifetime of the obedient following through with that commitment OR there is a strong danger of not having done enough or having been good enough to merit heaven one day. This is where works-for-salvation come into the picture. Typical “proof” texts for this teaching include James 2 where James clearly addresses believers (“my brothers”) regarding the QUALITY of faith, not the reality of faith (see James 1:2, 16, 19; 2:1, 5, 14; 3:1). Other common lordship salvation citations come from discipleship passages of the Synoptic Gospels which were written as admonitions to believers to live lives befitting the salvation which they already possessed, NOT as added requirements for salvation. Pity the poor Christian who has an extended period of backsliding. Or how about a young Christian, truly born-again, but who still struggles with an addiction? Or what about an average churchgoer who doesn’t have an outward appearance of strong on-fire living for Christ, yet quietly loves the Lord and prays to him daily? According to Francis Chan’s definitions of “the lukewarm” in chapters 4 and 5 of “Crazy Love,” all of these people mentioned above, according to Chan, would be going to hell. How sad, how unfair that lordship teachers like Chan (I call them “fruit inspectors”) should decide who is and who isn’t going to heaven. This type of unbiblical teaching is unfairly judgmental and it absolutely decimates assurance of salvation for any who buy into such teachings.

    Hope this helps.
    BB

  18. Thanks Bruce,

    Truly, the “lordship faith” teaching is deceitful, despicable, demeaning, destructive and devastating, etc.
    Your analysis is helpful and right on target. Thanks.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  19. I do think Lordship Salvation is a predictable outgrowth of Calvinism, but they definitely are not the same thing, as MacArthur pretends. Traditional Calvinism would say that you only have to believe in Jesus (similar to the Free Grace, or certain Arminian positions), and that as an inevitable result of such simple belief, God will magically intervene in your life in such a way as to make sure you persevere. As far as I can tell, they never used to equate this initial “belief” with an initial “emotional commitment.” I think that’s sort of a new thing for Calvinism.

    As long as belief actually means belief, the Perseverance petal should make no difference in how we initially evangelize — because theoretically, the Perseverance part is supposed to be an act of God. Lordshippers simply realize instinctively that Perseverance is *not* an act of God, so they try to help make sure the Perseverance actually takes place, by using their own human efforts to guilt or inspire people right at the outset and then calling the resulting emotional commitment “faith.”

  20. Thanks Drew,

    Long ago, due to my lifelong exposure to and study about Calvinism, I concluded that all five petals of the Calvinist TULIP are un-Biblical and a lie.

    Therefore it is fruitless to find any truth in TULIP. When we reach deep down into the core of LS we inevitably find a TULIP rotting there.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  21. Recently I was reading a “grace” review of a lordship faith book in which the reviewer was speaking against lordship teaching and legalism in general. So far so good. But the reviewer went on to promote the teachings of Rob Bell. I have heard that Bell’s teachings border on universalism. Am I correct in that assessment?

  22. Bruce,

    I have not read any of Bell’s books but I have read of his universalism from reliable sources. But Bell, amazingly, is still adored by “evangelicals.” A sad state of affairs for the “Christian” community.

    Just one quote about Bell’s book, (Love Wins) from “The Berean Call” newsletter (usually reliable), “Rob Bell is making a fatal assumption that one may ‘choose reality’ after life on earth.” Apparently Bell believes there is no Hell upon death for the unbeliever.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  23. This MSNBC interview is a good primer into the philosophy of Rob Bell. I was really impressed by the reporter. He puts many of us Christians to shame:

    http://livingjourney.wordpress.com/2011/03/20/the-palatable-message/

  24. Thanks Jack and Pearl for the info. That MSNBC piece really nailed Bell! I will forward this to some other friends.

  25. Lordship Salvation.. probably the most depressing thing I ever stumbled upon. I have been sobbing and doubting from confusion for months now.

  26. Brittany,

    We pray that you will cease sobbing and begin rejoicing in the Truth that sets you FREE forever.
    And ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.” John 8:32
    We are happy to see you have visited other pages on this site and found the article on Biblical Hope. We have received many notes recently that people have been blessed by reading that and some are using it in teaching in their churches. We thank the Lord for His Grace.
    Will pray for you.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  27. My husband and I just came out of a “Lordship Salvation” led church and I can say that everything that had been posted here is true. We moved from another state and the first church we attended was this one- for two years I have struggled with doubts and still do a little. We now are going to a “plain” Bible believing church with expository teaching and I am very thankful we left.
    Lordship Salvation/Calvinism believes that you are save by grace without works, but the only way you know if you are saved is by your works.

    Well, a teacher or pastor in these teachings can start coming up with ALL kinds of works that one must do in order to know if you are truely His or not. Truely sad for one to start thinking that the Lords death on the cross did not “quite” do the job and that the Holy Spirit is not “quite” able to the work in us to become more like Christ.

  28. Faith,

    What a great, thrilling testimony and explanation of the evils of the lordship faith system. I am so happy you and your husband have abandoned that deceitful teaching and embraced real, sincere Bible teaching.
    It is interesting that you included Calvinism in your analysis. I have found so many Calvinists with those same doubts about their eternity.
    Honestly, you have no reason for “a little” doubt. As you mention, Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross was for YOU — and is all sufficient. As He said on the Cross, “It is finished.” No more to be done — it is now the individual’s choice to believe in Christ or reject Him.

    Just as I closed my post above, just always remember, we who have trusted Christ to save us can be assured and KNOW we have eternal life:
    “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God [Jesus]; that ye may KNOW that ye have [right now] eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God [Jesus].” 1 John 5:13
    Please subscribe and come back and visit — Your discernment is welcome.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  29. Thank you Jack for your kind words of encouragement.
    One thing I hear the lack of is the Holy Spirit- We are given the Holy Spirit as soon as we believe in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is the agent of change in the believers life- Jesus says “give us this day our daily bread” . DAILY we have to rely on the Holy Spirit through the Word to do the work (not or own) – this therefore brings an attitude of repentance in our lives. If a Christian does not rely on His Word, the Holy Spirit is then quenched and cannot do the work needed in our lives to becoming disciples of Christ.
    This is so freeing to rely on Christ finishing the work in me and those around me-
    Philippians 1:6
    Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

    Ephesians 2:10
    For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

    Both of these verses attest to the fact that it is HE, JESUS CHRIST, that does the work in us .

    Another fallacy of Lordship Salvation and many other work based doctrines is the reliance on VISIBLE MORALITY/WORKS to show whether one is saved or not. I do not hear about how ones INVISIBLE IMMORALITY would condemn every single one of us each and every day. What I mean by this is our thoughts and desires of the heart- break it down even more…. and it means pride, deceit, coveting, anger, etc. Pride is probaly the most dangerous of all sins and easily attained. In Matthew 5, Jesus points these exact things out- you would have to follow ALL 613 laws and then ALSO have perfect thoughts and attitudes to be able to follow God. None of these we can do- only by Christs sacrifice on the cross and our belief in His sacrifice for us and that He is Savior would we be able to have eternal life in Christ.

  30. Thanks Faith.

    Yes the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit is too often missed or ignored. JanH’s comment above and yours clearly state that need.

    We understand by Scripture that every believer in Christ is indwelt with His Spirit the moment we believe, will never leave us and He guarantees to guide us into ALL Truth just as Christ Himself said in John 16:13:
    “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come.”

    We need not pray for guidance from God’s Holy Spirit as that is a given.. we pray to understand God’s will through His Word — and then that we will be obedient to Him.

    2 Timothy 2:15
    “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

    God’s Holy Spirit guides us as we study His Word.

    And then:
    Colossians 1:10
    “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

    2 Peter 3:18
    But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

    We know and understand the Word of God says we are guided by His Spirit to know the will of God.

    Without the knowledge and remembrance of God’s Word it is difficult to know His Spirit’s leading to do His will.
    Colossians 3:16
    “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

    We believers in Christ should all be as the Bereans..
    Acts 17:10-11
    “And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

    Study and know the Scriptures — that is how we know and understand the blessed leading of God’s Holy Spirit. God speaks through His Word in this present dispensation (time period).

    Jesus Christ glorifies the Father and the Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus Christ. We pray to the Father in Jesus Name.. we do not pray to the Holy Spirit.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  31. Pingback: Is “Lordship” Salvation by MacArthur, Chan, et al Error? | Notes From A Retired Preacher

  32. Hi Pastor Jack:

    I know that some of the grace folks have had issues with some of Charles Swindoll’s statements in recent years. Probably, much of their criticism is justified. But I just wanted to point out that, although he has been largely silent on the issue over the years, nevertheless Swindoll made a strong statement against a Lordship Salvation interpretation of John 15 in his recent 2009 book, “Walk With Jesus” (pp. 7-8). Listen to his comments about John 15:7-8 which says, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it will be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so ye shall be my disciples.” Swindoll’s response: “Jesus came to do what neither Israel nor we can do. Now, He is the vineyard [vine?], and he will be faithful to bear fruit. And He invites us to attach ourselves to Him, like a branch abiding in a vine, so that we can become a part of this great fruit-bearing enterprise. THIS IS NOT REFERRING TO SALVATION. BY THE TIME OF HIS LAST EVENING WITH HIS DISCIPLES, THE ISSUE OF SALVATION HAD BEEN SETTLED [emphasis mine]. This is a matter of living abundantly and producing a bumper crop of Christlike qualities in our character. If your eternal destiny has been sealed by your belief in Christ, the crucial question for you is how you will live now. Will you try to become good and righteous on your own . . . and become good for nothing? Or will you abide in Christ . . . and allow Him to produce good within you?”

  33. Thanks Bruce,

    I agree with Swindoll’s statement on abiding being about fruit-bearing for a believer — not salvation. I’m not sure what he means we should attach ourselves to the Vine — as we are attached to Him by our faith.

    However, I will quote a friend who wrote to me about Swindoll:

    “Swindoll’s frequent reading of “The Message” – which shows he either (1) lacks discernment himself, or (2) he doesn’t believe what others have uncovered about Eugene Peterson and therefore totally dismisses heaps of evidence, or (3) he’s completely ignorant of it all because he’s too busy – which is really no excuse at all).

    “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.”

    I believe this dear friend is right.. and if she wishes, she may identify herself, if/when she reads this comment.

    Swindoll may have some good points about LS but when he includes error with the good, that ruins it for me. I just can not recommend Swindoll for that reason.

    I also read that he quotes from Henri Nouwen, a homosexual Catholic priest and recommends many emergent authors, Richard Foster and Dallas Willard (this from Lighthouse Trails – who unfortunately, they themselves do not recognize or speak out about the error of Lordship faith teaching).

    The world of True Faith is really reeling and being challenged, isn’t it?

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  34. The world of True Faith is really reeling and being challenged, isn’t it?

    Indeed.

    And, yep, that’s my beef about Swindoll. As soon as contemplative practices are embraced and practiced, ecumenism is sure to follow.

  35. Here is a recent comment in the 1-star reviews on Amazon of “Crazy Love”:

    E M says:
    Adam,

    Excellent critique of the book. I noticed Chan’s consistent inconsistency as well. I got tired of this book by page 113 but had heavily noted numerous contradictions even to that point. The fact that many Christians can’t recognize the problems with this book, I find disturbing. When someone thinks we should consider Chan’s book “inspired” I think we have the makings of a cult. I had watched some of Chan’s videos and heard about his sermons. He seems to love attention and inciting emotional reactions in people. Maybe someone has to do some reading to really recognize the problems with these kinds of personality traits in people who hold leadership positions.

  36. I think that the comment above is very telling about many Christian’s ignorance of the Scriptures and about their acceptance of any old theology that comes down the pike.

  37. Bruce,

    That is a great analysis of Chan’s work. More and more often I run into folks saying how great they think he is.. and they seem to have no Biblical discernment at all.

    These developments are very sad.. But there are some who are fighting back with the truth.. The Grace Conference at Jim Scudder’s church in Chicago for one — some great expositors of the Word will be there.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack.

  38. Thanks Jack. I am looking forward to being at the Grace Conference July 28 and 29. I should be a great blessing to all!

    Here’s a promo for the conference:

  39. By the way, our mutual friend Dr. Tom Cucuzza will be giving a couple of workshops at the Grace Conference. I’m looking forward to seeing him.

  40. Bruce,

    Thanks for the promo link.. I started to put a link to the web site but maybe your promo will do.

    I sure would love to be there — but tell everyone hello from us.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  41. Hi Jack and fellow believers, I’m hoping someone can help me. I have read several books and heard countless sermons by John MacArthur. I never did believe in Calvinism, my area of concern is the Lordship debate. If any of you are able, please listen to the 30 min sermon about the Rich Young Ruler from an Evangelical Pastor and post your feedback.

    {{Link removed by the Admin.}}

    Thank you,

    Mike

  42. Mike,

    I have gotten half way through the audio and have already heard favorable comments about Ray Comfort — a works/turn from sin preacher. The message so far sounds like a lordship salvation message and is confusing Grace and works for salvation or to keep one’s salvation.

    Please Mike, if you wish to post a link, identify the preacher and give your opinion of the man and his message so we may discuss it.

    Please tell us — Who is the preacher and what do YOU think about his message?

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  43. Mike,

    I note that you are the author of the Internet post of the video. I don’t recognize the preacher.. is this you?

    He favorably quotes questionable preachers James Boyce and John MacArthur (as best my poor ears could hear) and this is not a good thing for a pastor to do unless he agrees with them.

    He preaches commitment salvation – and “count the cost of salvation” as does MacArthur. He says salvation is a gift and then contradicts the very concept of a gift by demanding a commitment to Christ, confusing salvation and discipleship.

    He seems not to recognize the difference between salvation and rewards.

    Mike I would not suggest you advertise that speaker in any way if you are seriously interested in believing and proclaiming the truth.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  44. Hi Jack, No it’s not me. I am sincerely seeking help after several years of teaching by MacArthur. I am not advertising this speaker. I came here looking for help. I uploaded the sermon at 4shared hoping for some input from the people who share on this blog. I don’t understand, it seems like you don’t care about my struggles.

  45. Mike, we are willing to help with your struggles with the lie of Lordship salvation..

    But you must be honest and tell us who the speaker is — and what you like or dislike about him.

    I pray we can have a discussion of issues, not just post a link. And likewise what do you think of the info I gave you after the 30 minutes I listened to the audio. Could you please comment on my comments.

    If you are sincerely struggling with Lordship salvation, we will be glad to help… Many others, like you, have read these blogs and have seen the error of LS.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  46. Mike:
    Jack cares deeply about anyone who genuinely struggles with bondage to the false teaching of lordship salvation. But there have been many individuals over the years who have tried to use Jack’s blog site as a forum to promote their erroneous teachings. So he has to be very careful. As I said on an earlier discussion with you, if you are an honest searcher for truth, you will find much help here from Jack, from me and from many other participants. In the future, it would be most helpful if you would give a source for any downloads or links. That way they can be evaluated properly. Thanks for participating and blessings in your quest.

  47. I wasn’t quite sure what to think. He seemed to make good points. I did have trouble with a few of his statements that sound like works salvation. It was confusing because he also said we are not saved by those works. I agree with your observations. I would like others input if possible. I also think he’s in error not making a distinction between salvation and discipleship. I understand his concern for those who simply pray a prayer. Would you allow others to comment?
    Here’s the link:

    {{Link Deleted}}

  48. Hi Bruce, I had been in bondage to the false teaching of lordship salvation. I found this site hoping it would help keep me from erroneous teachings. I understand Jack has to be careful. I did find some great information going through the blog today. I am an honest searcher for truth. The sermon is from an Evangelical Free Church. I didn’t disclose the source that way I couldn’t be accussed of promoting someone. No hidden agenda here. I want help. Thank you.

  49. Mike,

    Every subscriber has received the link you posted the first time, no need to repeat it. Each person will comment if they feel it important.

    You still have neglected to tell us who the preacher is. His doctrine is contrary to the Bible so it will help all of us to know. We try to expose false teachers and that is difficult to do without names.

    Likewise on your 4Shared Audio posting site, you say:
    Welcome to my page! I want to share my stuff with you and hope you will find something useful here. Enjoy my collection and come back again and again, I will do my best to make it always interesting for you. Thank you for your time!”

    This “sharing” leads me to believe you are actively promoting this preacher and his doctrine. I pray I am wrong.

    Do you attend the church of either Chan or MacArthur? Or where have you been exposed to the LS message?

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  50. Hi Jack, Thank you, I didn’t know they would get the link. I didn’t mention the Pastor to prevent a charge that I was promoting false doctrine etc… I just set-up the 4shared page today. The comment is default, therefore I didn’t say, and I don’t know to change it. Still trying to figure out how to delete it. Just to be clear, you are wrong in assuming I am promoting this preacher. You are wrong abount the 4shared page. You are wrong about why I am here. I never heard of Chan until yesterday when I found this site. Several years ago I was given a MacAthur sermon. I would get sermons via the mial, radio, internet and read several of his books over the years. I’m wanting to renew my mind.

  51. Mike,

    I apologize that I may have misunderstood your motives and reasons for posting the LS doctrine audio. I am sure you understand my concern.

    The best way to renew your mind is a thorough dispensational study of Scripture from God’s Word and solid Grace Teachers, and definitely not the likes of MacArthur, et al. He and other Calvinist/LS teachers will mislead you.

    We welcome you here if you sincerely want valid questions answered or if you wish to state your observations. We await those from you and will discuss them.

    Thanks again for your visits.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  52. Thank you Jack,

    Would you be so kind to please point me in the right direction to some solid Grace Teachers?

    Secure In Him, Mike

  53. Mike,

    There are many.. one such is Dr. Tom Cucuzza (his great book and link are on right sidebar), Dr. Charles Ryrie, and then there is Bruce Bauer who comments and writes excellently here.

    The Free Grace Alliance is a great resource where Bruce frequently writes. Other teachers writing there are Fred Lybrand, Fred Chay and many others.
    http://www.freegracealliance.com/

    Or read my, Cucuzza’s and Bruce’s articles posted on this Blog where doctrine may be discussed.

    Still, feel free to ask questions and comment here. We would love to help anyone sincerely seeking the Truth.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  54. Just visited http://www.thebereancall.org/node/5890. Is Dave Hunt a LS teacher?
    This from thebereancall:
    The growing confusion concerning the gospel even among evangelical leaders is evident in the “Lordship salvation” controversy. John MacArthur stands accused of teaching salvation by works because he declares that, to be saved, one must know and receive Jesus as Lord. Sincere men are aligned on both sides.

    One hardly needs complex arguments, much less a theological degree, to reach a conclusion. When confronted by Jesus on the road to Damascus a not-yet-converted Saul of Tarsus responded, “Who art thou, Lord?” (Acts 9:5). To a jailer’s urgent plea, “What must I do to be saved?” Paul and Silas replied, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). To be saved is to “confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus” (Rom 10:9). Referring to their salvation, Paul told the Colossian believers, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord” (Col 2:6). Peter explained that Cornelius and those with him and all others who had received the Holy Spirit had “believed on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 11:17), and Paul agreed that the gospel he preached involved “faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). God’s gift of “eternal life” is “through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 6:23). The gospel itself is called “the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thes 1:8); etc., etc. The biblical evidence is overwhelming.

    If Jesus is not God, then He cannot be our Savior. And if He is God, then He surely is Lord. More than 100 times in the New Testament Jesus Christ is identified as Lord. This isn’t some title that one is free to use or ignore. This is who He is. Thus to fail to know Him as Lord is not to know Him at all—and not to be saved at all, for no lesser “Christ” can be the Savior. While one may not understand the full implications of His lordship at the time of receiving Christ, any mistaken notion that the “Savior” who is being received is anything less than “Lord of all” (Acts 10:36) is to misunderstand the gospel itself and thus not to be saved.

    Let this reminder challenge once again those of us who know Christ as Lord but who, perhaps, have not been allowing Him full control of our lives. And like Paul, let us not “Christianize” but evangelize the world around us—and let us “labor night and day with tears” to oppose all error within the church. TBC

  55. Anyone familiar with this book?

    The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification: Growing in Holiness by Living in Union with Christ by Walter Marshall.

  56. Mike,

    I had not read that piece from TBC and I am not sure whether it was written by Hunt or McMahon, his associate (Sounds like McMahon). It is a somewhat edgy piece, seeming to advocate LS and then changing the line of thought with language making it all unclear. I heartily disagree with this excerpt from the article. That, of course, does not negate Hunt’s fine book on Calvinism.. but I must reconsider recommending the web site.

    An explanation: Jesus Christ is The Lord (supreme in authority) whether anyone believes that or not. In order to be saved we believe Jesus is The Lord God in the Flesh who died for our sins. Then He becomes our Lord whom we may choose to obey His authority or not. Such obedience or lack thereof does not enhance, cancel or endanger our salvation, which is eternal based on our faith in Jesus alone and sealed by God’s Holy Spirit..

    The author, Walter Marshall, whom you mention is Presbyterian/Calvinist to the core and some of his statements sound a tad LS also – somewhat ahead of his time.
    From “The GOSPEL MYSTERY OF SANCTIFICATION” summary of chapters:
    Chapter Eight
    Be sure to seek for holiness of heart and life only in its due order, where God has placed it, after union with Christ, justification and the gift of the Holy Ghost and, in that order, seek it earnestly by faith as a very necessary part of your salvation.
    That is a lie. [S]eek[ing] for holiness of heart and life is works for service after salvation and has absolutely no part in anyone’s salvation..

    There are other questionable quotes but I could not take the time to dredge them up.

    Mike I am amazed that your recommendations of the PDF, your Video and now Marshall’s book are all hard core Calvinist.

    You never told us. What did YOU think of the book.. you say you are not Calvinist, yet all your questions are about Calvinist authors or speakers.

    Please do not post any further articles, books or videos from Calvinists or LS authors without your astute analysis, likes/dislikes and comments about them. Again it seems you are advertising that doctrine even though you say not. You are confusing me about that.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  57. Mike,

    I am disappointed to say that your quote from TBC was written by Hunt in January, 1991. I pray he has seen the error of that article by now. I will write and ask him.

    A couple of years ago I wrote to him complaining about his recommending a statement by Gresham Machen (extreme Calvinist). Hunt dismissed it as a correct statement therefore it stands regardless. I told him it was disappointing and that I disagreed, especially in light of his great book, “What Love Is This” which exposed Calvinists and Calvinism. He stood by his statement.

    Until this excerpt, I had not read anything specifically by Hunt advocating LS doctrine. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  58. Mike,

    We have an interesting post upon which you might enjoy commenting.

    http://www.expreacherman.wordpress.com/2011/04/28/is-lordship-salvation-by-macarthur-chan-et-al-error/#comment-8521

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  59. Hi Jack,
    You stated: Mike I am amazed that your recommendations of the PDF, your Video and now Marshall’s book are all hard core Calvinist. You never told us. What did YOU think of the book. you say you are not Calvinist, yet all your questions are about Calvinist authors or speakers. Please do not post any further articles, books or videos from Calvinists or LS authors without your astute analysis, likes/dislikes and comments about them. Again it seems you are advertising that doctrine even though you say not. You are confusing me about that.
    Jack, I told you before that I am not a Calvinist and I am in the process of working through many years of LS teaching. The reason I am posting this information is because I thought this website had people who are more knowledgeable than I and could help me work through this confusing LS doctrine. I submitted the PDF hoping someone could explain it in layman terms. After you told me you had problems with your eyesight, I went through all the trouble of downloading a sermon, setting up an account at 4shared, uploading the sermon so you would be able to listed to it and help me work through his teaching. I told you before this is very confusing to me. In my research I came across the book. I thought perhaps you or someone might be familiar and could tell me if it’s a good to read. I can’t tell you anything about the book. I just wanted to know if anyone had read it or knows anything about it or the author. Let me be clear. I came here for help. I am not recommending the PDF, Video, or Book. I posted these for help from people whom appear more knowledgeable than I with LS. The only book I recommended was the one refuting Calvinism. I don’t need help with Calvinism. Why do you continue to give me a hard time when all I’m doing is seeking help?

  60. Mike,

    Maybe our posts crossed. I have no intention of giving you a “hard time.” I am trying to understand your “struggles” with LS.

    If you are struggling with LS, then be specific.
    1) What about it do you believe is true?
    2) What about it bothers you?
    3) Specifically in which area of Bible Doctrine do you need help?

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  61. Good evening, Jack, Bruce and Mike,

    One wonderful grace source, Mike, was recommended a few months ago by Jan, and having followed the link, I’ve found it to be extremely informative, shedding light on other LS teachers which are not Calvinist. It is the site of Miles Stanford. In fact, Jack, he wrote to Dave Hunt about his supporting J Mac back in ’91. I hope the link works:

    http://withChrist.org/MJS/huntdavid.htm

    A very rich source.

  62. The previous link really isn’t relevant to LS issues, but Hunt’s dispensational views which are apparently in-line with MacArthur’s as laid out in his book “The Gospel According to Jesus”.

    Anyway, this link is a better starting point. Just click on the tiny arrow next to the books for a pop-up list to appear: http://withchrist.org/MJS/menus.htm

  63. Pearl,

    Thanks for the Stanford links.. I am truly disappointed to see Hunt’s statements on LS and am determined to write and ask if he still abides by that false teaching. Just goes to show — we must take God’s Word, not man’s words.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  64. Thank you Pearl. Going to the website now…. And thank you Jack for allowing the links.

  65. After nearly three years of publication, Francis Chan’s million-plus selling LS diatribe “Crazy Love” continues to bring harm.

    Listen to the following recent reviews of the book:

    Adam,

    Thank you for an outstanding review of this book. I just finished the book today and was deeply troubled by it. Through your and a couple of other reviews, I’ve realized that what was troubling me was precisely what you pointed out — weak exegesis by Chan and a confused message that seemed to be the exact opposite of the “Good News” of the Gospel. I fear that this book will be needlessly terrifying for many believers. You’ve done a wonderful service by pointing out it’s flaws.

    This book was very hard for me to read. I kept waiting for the “crazy love” to show up. It seems as if the grandeur of God is what is his main draw. Unfortunately, all it did was point out how I (we) really need to be scared of God. I am not saying that being in the presence of the Almighty will not produce fear in me at first but I do believe that the good news is that God is not upset toward us anymore. I believe there is much to be said on having a healthy fear of God but what I saw in this book seemed as if fear was the motivation for at least part of his actions.

    There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us.

    1 john 4:18-19 nrsv

  66. Francis Chan is scheduled to speak at Lifelight Music Festival over Labor Day weekend. http://lifelight.org Chan has a video on this website. Along with Chan, other false teachers will share their experiences – Don Piper “90 Minutes in Heaven,” and Bill Wiese “23 Minutes in Hell.” Not only that, but there’s something for everyone at this festival. Most of the bands are rock and roll, made up of people, who aren’t even Christians. Where is the gospel? Where’s the mention of Jesus Christ and Him crucified for the forgiveness of sins? This is a classic example of the apostate church – entertain the crowds, but leave the gospel out. I contacted Lifelight’s founder, Alan Greene, to express my concern over the false teachers, contemporary music, etc. Greene accused me of trying to cause dissension among the body of Christ, and also said, “You call yourself born again, yet…” Check out the “altar call” that Alan Greene gives on that video. He talks about a “love journey with Christ.” I’ve never heard of that. People need a personal relationship with Jesus and need to hear the gospel truth. I’m so concerned over the things that take place at Lifelight, the huge crowd that it draws, and the false gospel that’s put forth. I came out of a cult last year. I know how easy it is for people to get deceived. It grieves me that the founder of Lifelight puts on such a big show, but has little or no regard for the gospel truth. On his bio page, there’s a statement that says this about Lifelight: “A move of God.” I’ve been to many meetings in false churches, where the leaders talked about “moves of God.” Those are not from the God that believers follow, but a false god that leads people in emotions, feelings and experiences that are linked to the New Age, Latter Rain movement and other cults.

  67. Marcella,

    Thanks for visiting and giving your story. I am so happy you saw fit to abandon the cult. Yes, many are tricked and It is great you decided to understand what the Lord has to say rather than a cult leader.

    Glad to know and be warned about the names you mentioned.. is Don Piper any kin to John Piper the ultra-Calvinist?

    Stick around here and subscribe to the Blog — you are welcome and will find great, clear, Gospel Bible Doctrine here. Come back soon.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  68. I have too been confused with Lordship Salvation and grace. However, I do sort of get what Francis Chan is saying by how some Christians say they are but don’t act like them. In my opinion, they don’t need to be as radical as he says, but Christians should be able to be identified whenever someone meets them. This also meant that I’ve been trying to not be a lukewarm Christian. I’ve cried over it many times as well. Recently I’ve listened to Paul Washer, and he’s scared me so much that I’ve started to believe him.

  69. Blair,

    Thanks for dropping in.

    Please be aware that there is very little in Chan’s message that is true.. and PLEASE understand that Washer is teaching a lie.

    A Christian should not be afraid but FREE in Jesus Christ.. and living in the Peace that passes all understanding.
    Philippians 4:7
    “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
    2 Timothy 1:7
    For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
    1 John 4:18
    There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

    Do Not FEAR — but enjoy God’s Love in Jesus Christ. Stop listening to Washer and others who cause you to fear and doubt. Salvation in Jesus Christ is FREE and eternal — without fear.

    Blair, Please stay in touch.. many friends on this Blog will help you.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  70. Hi Blair,

    I don’t mean to take Jack or Bruce’s place at all, but I just felt inclined to add my 2 cents, which is mainly that we ought to be motivated by love for Jesus and the brethren, not fear.

    Jesus said to take His yoke upon you, for His burden is light. He is not sitting behind you, whipping you into submission as many teach and would have us believe, but rather, He is the meek and experienced “Ox” next to you, wearing the same yoke, and it is HE who guides and leads you on in HIS strength.

    For your overall well-being, I strongly recommend that you stop listening to Chan, Washer and other LS teachers. In fact, reading your comment reminded me of a post I read just last week at another blog. I hope you will take a few minutes to check it out:

    http://godspuregrace.blogspot.com/2011/07/message-for-doubters.html

  71. Thank you, Jack. I do not know if John and Don Piper are kin, but one thing is sure, they are both false teachers. Years ago, I was a member of an Evangelical Free Church. The Pastor often quoted John Piper in his sermons. A few things the Pastor said caused me to question what I believe. We should never, ever allow anyone to cause us to doubt or become confused on what we believe. Fear enters in and fear leads to torment. Francis Chan’s false gospel is undoutedly causing many to question, doubt and worry about their faith in Jesus Christ. I commend you, Bethany, for speaking out about what Chan’s book made you feel.

    I believe what Paul said in Galatians 1:6-9 fits well: “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!”

  72. Marcee,

    Your note is certainly typical of so many who have seen the light and abandoned false teaching. I am sure the Lord commends you for your decision — you are simply following the Bible.

    Sadly, too many Evangelical Free Churches are confusing or deliberately indefinite in their doctrinal teaching therefore many allow just about anything to be taught or anybody to teach. I am aware of one EFC church in particular that proudly stated that they are not firm on eternal security in salvation, some pastors teach you can lose salvation, others that eternal life IS eternal. What a confusing mess.

    Thanks again and be encouraged in Christ!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  73. Jack, it’s encouraging when we hear of people, who abandon false teaching and come to the knowledge of the truth.

    I was a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, but left because of their unbiblical agenda: ordaining gay people and women, and rewriting hymns and Bible passages to make them gender friendly. I saw an interview with a Pastor last night, and he told about a woman Pastor in the ELCA, who is making God feminine by referring to Him as “her,” “goddess”, and other female names. She has reworded the Lord’s prayer in this way, “Our mother…” It’s enough to make my mouth turn sour! I don’t want to know what she says in place of Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

    God bless you, Jack!

  74. Marcella,

    Thanks for your insightful comments. Yes, here and there people are coming out of some of these unbiblical, unholy institutions—that is encouraging.

    Regarding the ELCA, is there any small branch of the American Lutheran church which actually preaches the truths of the Bible any longer? From what you describe, it sounds like the title “Evangelical” is quite a misnomer!

    I, too, was part of a denomination (American Baptist) which was hijacked by liberals. Thankfully, my local church pulled out of the denomination years ago.

    Bless you as you keep serving the Lord Jesus.

  75. Bruce,

    Yes it is encouraging to see folks leave the organizations preaching lies and I am so very thankful some of them come here and tell their story.

    Thanks again, Marcella.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  76. It’s sad to see the direction that the ELCA has been heading in for quite awhile. The bishop here where I live is very liberal, promotes and supports gay clergy ordination and has banned a few Pastors, who spoke out against it and left their churches! Many ELCA members are leaving the denomination and starting their own churches under the name of North American Lutheran Church. There are a couple of these churches where I live, but the Pastors are preaching false gospels.

    Bruce, I do not know if there are any American Lutheran Churches around, where the gospel is preached. I am now attending a Missouri Lutheran Church, and the Pastor preaches the gospel every Sunday. What a blessing! There’s another Missouri Lutheran Church nearby, and that Pastor is preaching a false gospel and shows evidence of Lordship salvation being implemented into his sermons and church doctrine.

    The internet is loaded with alot of articles about people leaving the ELCA, including one that says, “15 Minnesota churches leave ELCA over gay clergy vote.” Will that denomination turn from its wicked ways?

    God bless you, Bruce and Jack!

  77. Marcella,

    Thank you… We pray you have finally found a good Gospel preaching church.

    Your question:
    “Will that denomination turn from its wicked ways?”

    I am distressed to say probably not. Many denominations start out with good Biblical motives but they often degrade as time and Godly Pastors pass.

    Stay in touch and let us know how things are going for you.. We appreciate your comments.. here and on other posts so please continue. We will be praying for you.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  78. Hi Jack.

    I was handed a CD copy of Chan’s book “Crazy Love” by a SBC’s pastor’s wife today. After listening to half of the first CD (a 4 CD set), I was impressed.
    I thought I recalled you mentioning the name, so I came back for a look. I’ll admit that before I came here I went to “Appraising Ministries” and “The Lighthouse” looking for info. I couldn’t find anything there that was easily accessible. I then watched a You Tube video where Mr. Chan speaks of the existence of hell, seeming to separate himself from “the emergents.”
    I also read a few comments that Chan made about Rob Bell’s take on hell. It seemed that Mr. Chan felt that much of what Mr. Bell had to say was very worthwhile, although there was disagreement on hell.
    I then went to Mr. Chan’s Eternity College Statement of Faith. And here’s part of what I found:

    Salvation
    We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ, Whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins (Ephesians 2:8-10, 1:7; John 1:12; I Peter 1:18-19).
    We believe that before the foundation of the world God freely and graciously chose those individuals whom He would save. He did this based upon His own sovereign choice and not based upon any foresight or anticipation of an individual’s decision. The grace of God encompasses the gift of salvation and the means of receiving the gift. All and only those whom the Father draws will come in faith, and all and only those who come in faith will be received by the Father (Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:4, 11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:1-2; John 6:37,
    40, 44; Acts 13:48).

    I have a very difficult time with this last sentence. John 6:37, a verse I have shared with you before, (KJV) states:

    “37All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”

    This is quite different than the “All and only those” in the salvation statement of Mr. Chan’s college.

    My SBC pastor’s wife friend will be quite surprised when I tell her that Mr. Chan’s college teaches T.U.L.I.P.

    I appreciated Mr. Chan’s excitement over the wonders of God’s creation as explained in the first part of the CD (read by Mr. Chan).

    I only wish he would have gotten as excited by the view of hell that the “emergents” take.

    I’ll listen to the rest of Mr. Chan’s book and give you a review when I finish.
    At this point, I have heard nothing that could be placed in the “heretic” column. I still have 3 1/2 CD’s to go.

    I thought I would not have to deal with this “Lordship” issue as I didn’t think it as bad as you’ve painted it. I may have been wrong.

    God’s blessings…

  79. Hi Chris:

    You are correct in your assessment about Eternity Bible College—its position is certainly Calvinist (TULIP).

    Regarding the first part of “Crazy Love” [I assume that the CDs follow the teachings of the book], yes, I agree that the first three chapters were fine, speaking about the greatness of God. No argument there. But I think that the first three chapters were the lure to set the reader up for what was to follow. You certainly need to be extremely discerning after chapter three. In Chapter four, Chan concocts an arbitrary list of what he thinks a “lukewarm” churchgoer looks like. His list includes all but the MOST committed of believers (“Superchristians” I call them). Then, in Chapter five, in one fell swoop, Chan, who sets himself up as chief prosecutor, chief prosecutorial witness, final judge, jury and executioner, consigns ALL of the lukewarm to hell! The rest of the book simply amplifies this position. Chan’s book teaches lordship salvation in its most condemning egregious form! I was stunned, for one example, when Chan advised that it was wrong to pray for the safety of your family because that would not be congruent with a lifestyle that was radically-committed to God. One of the later chapters is almost laughable went it tells of a committed Chinese Christian who fasted without having any food OR WATER for about 80 days! Even Jesus himself went only 40 days and not without water!

    I have written a full-length review of the book “Crazy Love” entitled “Balanced Love,” which has been published worldwide on a number of web sites. You can access it at Free Grace Alliance articles:
    http://freegracealliance.com/pdf/BookReview%20ofCrazyLove.pdf

    Chris, proceed with caution on the Chan CDs!

  80. Chris,

    Thanks for stopping by again.

    I think Bruce’s comment here and his review of Chan speaks volumes; I can add little more. You might use the search bar on the upper right, enter “francis chan” and you will find several articles with great comments where he is mentioned.

    Aside from his Calvinism Chan perpetrates many errors.. I agree with Bruce, “Proceed with caution”!! Bruce also has comments on his review here on our Blog:
    https://www.expreacherman.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/grace-under-fire-the-fallout-of-lordship-faith-teaching/

    And another post with comments that compare Chan and MacArthur:
    https://www.expreacherman.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/macarthur-type-new-apostacy/

    Thanks for your observations.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  81. Thanks Bruce and Jack.

    I particularly appreciate the warning, but Mr. Chan did that for me himself.

    In the beginning of his “book” (and, yes Bruce, the CD’s are the book read by Chan himself), he speaks about how important the first three chapters are and explains the importance of continuing on past them. That was a red flag in my mind.

    The guy has a way with words, there’s no question. So far I’ve only gotten to the wonders of how great God is. I’m certainly not above hearing about God’s greatness again and Chan does it convincingly.

    I can see why so many folks are reading his book. He starts wonderfully and draws one in. It kind of reminds me of T.V. these days. The first few episodes of many of today’s “junk” series usually start off tame and, by the end of season 1, progress to something that should cross everyone’s line.

    This is what interests and bothers me – that “teachers” like Mr. Chan get a pass at any background check. My guess is that his books are very popular and that they can be found in every Protestant denomination.

    I look forward to reading your review, Bruce. Thanks to you both for the help.

    God’s blessings…

  82. Chris,

    You nailed the problem with folks like Chan: The guy has a way with words,

    Thankfully you have the discernment to recognize the error and not fall for his words and lies… but there are too many babes in Christ who get drawn in (like your TV illustration) and are entranced to the point that they never see the problem.

    We are interested in your thoughts on Bruce’s review.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  83. Bruce, thank you for writing the book review. I will read it soon.

    Everyone, please be in prayer for those, who will be attending Lifelight Music Festival this weekend, that they will have discernment and read their Bibles. Francis Chan is scheduled to speak Saturday night.

  84. Chris, praise the Lord that you have discernment regarding Chan’s CDs. I used to belong to a very liberal mainline Protestant denomination. The church I now belong to is one that people may consider Protestant, as well. I was also a member of an evangelical church, and since I’ve been reading this forum, I realized the Pastor was preaching lordship salvation. I started questioning what I believed and became afraid that I wasn’t really saved. In fact, the fear stayed with me for at least six years, and I didn’t have the peace and assurance of my salvation until about two months ago. False teachers like Chan leave people with fear, uncertainty and great anxiety over whether or not they are saved. It’s horrible! I’m so thankful that my Pastor is preaching the gospel truth and that I have Christian fellowship in the church I am now attending. There are alot of false teachers and cults where I live. In fact, I drive past four false churches on my way to church, and the church I go to is only 2 miles from my house!

  85. Hi Jack,

    I’ve just listened to chapters 4 and 5 in Mr. Chan’s book, and have read most of Bruce’s review, but will have to let all of this sink in before I make a comment. It is all so new to me and with the little free time I have it might take a while to comment fully.
    And, of course, I have to finish the book. I enjoyed the first three chapters. After four and five, I wish I could stop.
    I will say this…In discussions with two Christian ladies TODAY, I found that one had read “Crazy Love” and that the other was in the process of reading it. One loved it and the other was confused by it.
    All of these Christians are reading a book by a person they know nothing about! This is the reason behind my search for the truth. I’m concerned for the well-being of my brothers and sisters.
    I knew little about him before I started listening to this book, but now Mr. Chan has me curious. What is this guy really thinking or is he wearing it on his sleeve?
    In poll after poll (Barna), 70% of American Christians think they are going to make it to heaven based on their good works. (We KNOW that’s not going to happen.)
    There is no question that the Christian Church in America is in trouble. I would go so far as to say that what once was a Christian nation no longer exists. A truly Christian nation couldn’t allow abortion or same-sex marriage. There is no question that “lukewarm” would describe a good percentage of Americans.
    At the same time, why did the great sacrifice of our Lord have to happen if we could attain to salvation by our good works? It is the height of arrogance to suggest that such a thing is possible.
    Mr. Chan mentions grace in a very ungracious manner. He tosses the word “grace” into his thrashing like a liberal newspaper tossing a pro-life editorial bone to the conservatives who buy it because it’s the only paper in town and the paper wants to keep its readership.

    Marcella,

    I appreciate your encouragement and am greatful that you have found a fellowship that allows the preaching of the Gospel Truth.

    May God bless you both.

  86. Marcella,
    thank you for your testimony. Yes, lordship salvation teaching certainly leaves most Christians doubting their salvation, as any works-based system would. I find it especially interesting that even two well-known lordship teachers, John Piper and R. C. Sproul, have publicly expressed having doubts of their own salvation at times in recent years. How sad is that when even a movement’s leaders have no assurance of faith!

    Chris,

    I certainly appreciate your steadfast careful study of Francis Chan’s teachings with an eye (and ear) of discernment and a real desire to caution others about the book. Regarding your statement:

    “I knew little about him before I started listening to this book, but now Mr. Chan has me curious. What is this guy really thinking or is he wearing it on his sleeve?”

    I believe that Francis Chan is sincere in what he writes and preaches. I also believe that he is sincerely wrong! As you continue with the book “Crazy Love,” you will hear the sad story of his youth, of his having a distant unloving father and of his being orphaned at a young age. I make nothing out of all of this except to report that one reviewer on Amazon questioned whether his checkered upbringing may have led him to be so judgmental and condemning of a large portion of the Christian community today—I leave that for you to form your own opinion. What I do know, and you will see this documented in my review “Balanced Love,” is that Chan resigned from his church in 2006, largely due to his having doubts of his own salvation. His church allowed him to return later that year. His comeback sermon on October 8, 2006, was entitled “Lukewarm and Loving It.” In it, he lambasted his own congregation as well as the American Christian Church. In my article I wrote, “Much of ‘Crazy Love’ appears to emanate from that sermon. The sermon is an excoriating condemnation of Chan’s congregation and of evangelical Christianity today.” In the sermon, he intimated that a large number of people from his own congregation, perhaps the majority, were headed for hell. By the way, as a side note, I get SO tired of lordship faith preachers and writers using the term, “American Christianity,” as if it is somehow a dirty word for uncommitted faking Christians. And by the way, aren’t these guys Americans themselves too?!?

    Continue to tread lightly, Chris, and let us know of your findings.

  87. Chris,

    Bruce’s statement is the essence of this Blog, “In the battle for souls.” Thanks Bruce.

    Chris, you have more patience than I, reading and listen to Crazy Love. Having read enough Chan quotes to know his position on the Gospel, I would not waste my time on it.

    One wonders how and why Chan is able to gain such an audience among “Christians” and sell millions of his books, all the while promoting such an anti-Biblical message. Obviously Satan’s influence still abounds widely… and will.

    We will continue to do our little part to watch, warn and wait.. “in the battle for souls.” Thanks for joining us Chris — and the same to all of our discerning friends.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  88. The way Lordship Salvationists teach it, it doesn’t sound anti-Biblical. It sounds true. As if we were living the wrong way for hundreds of years and thirty years ago our eyes were opened. I’m still confused, but I’m starting to see what’s wrong with it. It promotes extreme confusion. I get what Francis Chan and Paul Washer are saying about the church, but what they did with it was go to another extreme. I’m guessing that some people can take this extreme while others, like me, cannot. I tend to become scared often as well, even though the Bible says to not be afraid. It’s more of a trust issue with myself and God now.

  89. Hi Blair:

    Thanks for joining us. I hope that you can find a home here and, for a more in-depth understanding, please check out the many postings on this site which denounce the unbiblical teaching of Lordship Salvation.

    Lordship Salvation teaching may have a seeming sound of truth to it as it is being advanced by slick LS proponents, but it is absolutely unbiblical and false and, as you so rightly said, it promotes extreme confusion. It definitely promotes a works-for-salvation message and it completely decimates assurance of salvation for any and all who buy into its wrongful teaching.
    Please don’t fear the false teachings of men like Chan, Washer or MacArthur. There are many clear scriptures which decry their fallacious indoctrination.

    Hope that this clears things up a bit. Please let us know whether you have any other issues that you would like for us to discuss.

  90. Blair,

    We sure are happy you dropped by.. and thanks for your assessment of your experiences with Chan and Washer. You are not alone in being deceived by their preaching. Several folks have commented on our web site about their terrible experiences with Chan, Washer and others.

    You must realize, as Bruce said, that these Lordship “salvation” (LS) folks are lying to you and it is for their own interests. They try to entrap you into that fear of which you speak, wanting their preaching be your security rather than your Savior Jesus Christ. Don’t let them..

    If you have indeed trusted Jesus Christ alone as your Savior there is no need to fear (be afraid) but, using the other Biblical application of the word, you should “fear Him” which means, as a believer, “to honor and revere” Him.

    God’s Word says:
    For God hath not given us the spirit of fear [to be afraid]; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

    For ye have not received the spirit of bondage [slavery] again to fear ,[be afraid]; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption [placed as a son/daughter into His family], whereby we cry, Abba [Daddy], Father. Romans 8:15

    As a believer in Christ, you are God’s child, He does not hate you nor does He want you to be afraid. Simply put, He loves you and desires your close Father/daughter fellowship.

    As Christ Himself said:
    If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
    John 8:36

    Please come back, visit and comment again. Subscribe if you wish. You are certainly welcome.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  91. Hi all,

    Here is a response that I gave to an inquiry on an Amazon review of the Chan book “Crazy Love.” The inquirer was confused by the book and posed the question, “How can we be saved without making Jesus the Lord of our lives?”
    Here is my response to him:

    Hello J.J.:

    Of course, Jesus Christ is Lord of the Universe, Lord of Creation, Lord of Redemption, Lord of ALL, in spite of any puny declaration that you or I might make. We do not make Jesus Lord, he IS LORD! We can’t make him anything. He is Lord by definition, by his mere existence as the Son of God. Jesus Christ also bears the titles, “King,” “Priest,” or “The Great High Priest,” “Prophet,” “Alpha and Omega,” “Creator,” “Sustainer,” and “Intercessor,” among many others. Yet, we do not hear lordship salvation teachers calling people to “make Jesus the Intercessor of your life,” or “the Sustainer of your life.” Lordship salvation teaching, like that of Francis Chan and John MacArthur, goes astray in promoting a works-for-salvation “gospel” which is unbiblical and false. Lordship salvation confuses justification (a one time for all time placing of one’s complete faith in Christ and his shed blood on the cross for salvation—1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Acts 16:30-31; John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9) with sanctification (the process of maturing and growing in faith AFTER salvation); sanctification is also called, “discipleship.” Where Chan and other lordship salvation teachers err is also in quoting scriptures, like the synoptic gospels, which clearly apply to believers for discipleship and try to change them into salvation texts. This creates a jumbled mess which promotes a false “gospel.” There are strong warnings in the Bible against teachers who promote a different gospel (Galatians 1:8; Revelation 22:18-19). For many good articles on Francis Chan, “Crazy Love,” and lordship salvation teaching, see “Expreacherman.”

    http://expreacherman.wordpress.com

  92. Here is some more recent negative “fallout” from the book “Crazy Love.” This is from a recent review of the book on another discussion site.

    “On another note, I felt the same way. This book was crazy-hyped to me and assigned by our church for our small group to read. I’ve tried to get into it, but it just doesn’t move me. More than that, it frightens me because of the way it pushes works-based Christianity. In chapter 5, he virtually contradicted himself when he put Paul the apostle (unintentionally, read Romans 7&8) in the “we won’t see them in heaven” lukewarm category.

    I was hoping to find a book like [not recommended] and instead I found a book that screamed, ‘As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!’ (Galatians 1:6-8) Paul talks in chapter 2 about the exact gospel he means: ‘know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.’ ”

    I thought that the line about Paul was especially insightful.

  93. Bruce,

    Great comment and it is exciting to see one more soul awakening to the lie of Francis Chan. His foul book is spreading like wildfire.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  94. Is there any connection between lordship salvation and legalism?

  95. Marcella,

    Good question. Yes frequently.. if not always. Both false teachings require works to show or prove to men that you are saved and/or even that works are required before God to prove you are saved.

    Both are false, as you know.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  96. Hi Marcella,

    Good answer to your question by Jack! And might I add, from my observation, proponents of lordship salvation teaching are not only legalistic but very smug, condescending and elitist as well! They seem to have this “We alone have the REAL truth of the Bible attitude.”

  97. Jack, thanks for your answer. My question came up when I received a mailing from a lady on the internet, who has a “King James Only” website and is heavily into legalism. She often lords it over people and seems strict and condemning. I started noticing her false teachings a few months ago. I noticed prior to that that she is linked to many websites that are written by people, who have questionable doctrine and beliefs. I inquired of the lady about her relationship with those website authors, and she said she didn’t realize some of them were false teachers. She said she was going to cut off connection with one, but I don’t think she ever did. Then I started thinking that she must agree with those heretics, so I proceded with caution. She wrote a “Bible study” on the Sermon on the Mount and teaches to a group of people from various faiths, and she says these people are hungry to learn. Her Sermon on the Mount writing is very unbiblical. I wrote to her about it, and she stopped communicating with me. Here’s the website I’m talking about:

    http://www.hisservants.org/

    About midway down, you will see “Commentary on the Sermon on the Mount.”

    I hope this is not off topic. I have a feeling this website’s author is into lordship salvation, too. Correct me if I’m wrong. In her newsletter which I recieved today, she wrote, “People around us can see that God is with us in what we do. They can see that we are making every effort to live a life that is pleasing to God.” She talks about Joseph in Genesis 39 and says, “Joseph did not lose the moral graces that distinguished his character, and neither should we.”

    She also talks about Joseph’s obedience in Genesis 46, then writes: “What can we learn from Joseph’s life? 1) Obey God. 2) Always be honest in all things. 3) Resist temptations that come our way. 4) If we live right, God will never leave us (what?! – my comment!) 5) Always give God the glory in all things. 6) Let us always be willing to obey and follow God’s guidance. 7) We must forgive those who harm us. 8) We must obey God. 9) Returning good for evil is hard! Let’s try harder, asking for help from God.”

    Your thoughts on this welcome. Is this some lordship salvation teaching?

  98. Hi Marcella:

    I took about an hour to read over the statements of belief on the web site that you provided the link for. I do not have time or inclination to go any farther with this “project,” but I will address your one central question regarding lordship salvation from my understanding of what I read.

    Your comment about the legalistic flavor of the site is probably justified, but I actually found some indicators to lead me to believe that what is being presented is not intended to promote lordship salvation. The statements of belief spoke strongly about the eternal security of the believer with good accompanying Scripture. She makes statements such as, “Once one is born again, she cannot be ‘unborn’;” “We are not saved or kept by our works;” “Salvation is by grace alone; works are related to future rewards;” “ETERNAL salvation is a GIFT from our gracious and Almighty God because of our faith in Christ!”

    She speaks out clearly against what she calls “conditional security.” I surmise from her writings that the term includes lordship salvation, although the category is probably broader, including the loss-of-salvation crowd as well.

    There were some problematic phrases employed, such as “easy believism,” “grace on demand” and “feel-good churchianity.” It appeared that she did not mean to use these phrases in the same slanderous sense that they are misused by lordship salvation teachers to slam Free Grace theology. But the phrases should probably have been left out because they can have mixed meanings. I was pleased to see that the writer condemned the use of the unbiblical term “cheap grace.”

    All in all, Marcella, I think that some of your concerns are probably justified. Perhaps it would be better if you would look at some other sites for your studies; Jack has some pretty good links on the right side of the page. Blessings on you as you continue in your pursuit of Biblical truth!

    Bruce

  99. Marcella,

    There is not much I can add to Bruce’s analysis.

    However I will comment on some of the numbered comments. Lordship “salvationists” would try to make those items things we MUST do to have or keep their version of “salvation.” Each item we SHOULD do as one who in already “in Christ through faith.”
    EXCEPTIONS:
    4) If we live right, God will never leave us (what?! – my comment!)
    Your comment is justified.. Right or wrong, God will NEVER leave a true believer!!

    7)We must forgive those who harm us. 8) We must obey God.

    In 7 & 8 — these are right things to do for a Believer but the word SHOULD should replace “must,” otherwise it could be construed as promoting a conditional “salvation.”

    Bruce is wise — stick with proven, dependable web sites for research — and keep in mind — each site is managed by humans — perfection is not possible this side of Heaven. We strive to have an accurate understanding of God’s Word and then, building upon that, we use Biblical maturity in the way we handle it.

    Remember, Biblical wisdom can be defined as the proper application of Biblical knowledge.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  100. Thank you, Bruce and Jack! I study and read from the Bible and have done so for a long time. I used to go to plenty of websites, but after finding alot of false teaching, I stopped doing that. I go directly to the source, where I know I’ll find the absolute truth: the Bible.

  101. I see # 8 turned into a smiley face!

  102. I saw a bumper sticker today that said, “Live so the preacher won’t have to lie at your funeral.” Would you classify that as a lordship salvation statement, conditional salvation, Calvinist doctrine or place it in the “other” category?

  103. Marcella,

    All of the above.. The Bumper stickee must have known his/her preacher was a liar and advertised it.

    In Christ, Jack

  104. Hi Jack and Bruce,

    It turns out that I’m no more patient than you are, Jack. “Crazy Love” sat around for weeks before I thought I had better return it to its owner.
    I did go back and look over your review, Bruce. I’m sorry that I didn’t make it through the rest of the book. After chapters 4 and 5, I didn’t want to hear any more. If I was reading the book, I think I would have made it through. After the third chapter on C.D.s, it was difficult listening to Mr. Chan.

    I feel like I should make a few comments “to get this off of my desk” and limp away.

    Bruce,

    I agree with your assessment of Mr. Chan’s intentions. I also think he is sincere. At the same time, I think your concerns are warranted. Mr. Chan speaks of being saved by grace, but there is such a lack of balance in what I heard. Mr. Chan’s confusion about his own salvation is transmitted through his words.

    I wish Mr. Chan would put more of a focus on scriptures like Ephesians 3:17-21. If we even come close to comprehending the love of God, our actions would come because of our love for God, not because of what someone expects of us.

    I feel comfortable referring folks to your review, Bruce.

    I have expressed my concerns about “Crazy Love” to the three folks I know who have read it, including the pastor’s wife who lent it to me.

    I don’t understand why the book was a best seller.

    In fairness to Mr. Chan, I didn’t read the last half of the book. My understanding is that it is only more of chapters 4 and 5.

    I must add that I respect the effect that Mr. Chan’s visit to the poor had on him. I only wish that the choices he has made that display his mercy to the poor would be equally distributed among his listeners. How many of them are poor and don’t know it?

    God’s blessings…

  105. Hi Chris:

    Thanks for you kind comments and for your thoughtful observations about my review of the book “Crazy Love.” You were astute to see that the first three chapters were acceptable, speaking about the greatness of God. Who can argue with that? But, I speak without animosity to Francis Chan (I don’t know the man personally and, as you said, he seems sincere in his beliefs), I think that chapters one through three were the setup, the bait, if you will, to lay the foundation for everything that follows—namely, lordship salvation teaching taken to an extreme. Chris, you were wise to stop reading after chapters four and five because they were particularly caustic and judgmental. In chapters four and five, Chan concocts his own arbitrary list of what are the telltale traits of a lukewarm churchgoer. His description fits just about every Christian that I know, including myself in certain ways. One reviewer said that the Apostle Paul, himself, would fail Chan’s list! Then in chapter five, in one fell swoop, Chan quickly and callously consigns all of the lukewarm to hell! This is an overwhelmingly massive condemnation that Chan has no right, biblically or otherwise, to make.

    Chris, the rest of the book was more or less an expansion on chapters four and five. The rest of “Crazy Love” pushed an obsessive, over-the-edge living for Christ, even to the point of strongly implying that a committed Christian should not even pray for the protection and safety of his own family! One of the later chapters attempts to illustrate what an obsessively-committed Christian looks like. It told a story of an “extreme” Christian in China who purportedly fasted without food OR WATER for eighty days! Wow, he went twice as long as Jesus himself and without water!! Quite miraculous, I would say.

  106. Hi Bruce,

    Thanks for your kindness. Not only were you accepting of the fact that I didn’t finish the book, you were complimentary.

    I appreciate your work on this subject. Somebody needs to question books like this one. It seems to me that much that happens in the American churches these days is faddish in nature, except that it is generally moving away from scripture and more towards “tolerance.”

    God’s blessings…

  107. Wayne Weinschreider

    What does salvation result in and how do you interpret Romans 10.8-10; 2 Corinthians 5.17. Did Jesus die to save us in our sin or from our sin(s). Do you advocate Antinomianism and what is Paul saying in Romans 1.1ff.

  108. Wayne Weinschreider

    I am sorry I meant Romans 6.1ff

  109. Wayne:

    Thanks for visiting. We appreciate your questions but I gather you may not agree with the sound Biblical theology we present on this web site. I pray you will understand the Biblical position after you read these answers to your questions.
    Others may add to this if they wish.

    Q. What does salvation result in?
    A. Eternal Life. Christ said in John 10:28
    And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
    *** Plus many more – 36 Amazing Things resulting from salvation:
    http://www.expreacherman.com/36-amazing-things/

    Q. and how do you interpret Romans 10.8-10?
    A. Romans 10:9-10
    That if thou shalt confess [acknowledge] with thy mouth the Lord Jesus [that Jesus is indeed the Lord God Almighty], and shalt believe in thine heart [ mind] that God hath raised him from the dead [resurrection], thou shalt be saved. For with the heart [mind] man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession [acknowledgement] is made unto salvation.
    Your mouth is the way you can communicate and acknowledge to others the fact of your salvation.

    Q. 2 Corinthians 5.17.
    A. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature [creation]: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
    Of course this references the new nature vs the old nature of the believer — and a new condition now exists. Yet as Paul says in Romans 7:15-18, he is still a sinner and his old nature is subject to sin.
    For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

    Q. Did Jesus die to save us in our sin or from our sin(s).
    A. Jesus died to pay the penalty of all sin for all people..
    And he is the propitiation [atonement] for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:2
    ….Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, Revelation. 1:5b

    Q. Do you advocate Antinomianism?
    A. Wayne there are dozens of definitions of Antinomianism. I am not sure what yours is. However, we believe simply that under the dispensation of God’s Grace, the law reveals that man is a sinner — because man cannot keep God’s law. He is short of God’s perfection (definition of sin). The law has no part in providing God’s salvation, which is only by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone, nothing more and nothing less. And in Matthew 5:17, we see Christ came and fulfilled the law.

    Q. and what is Paul saying in Romans 6.1ff.?
    A. Shall we? No!! Verse 2: God forbid. And further a few verses down, as he says in that chapter, 6:4c
    even so we also SHOULD walk in newness of life.
    That word “SHOULD” is an important word. Not MUST but should. Think about it.

    Wayne, I pray this will help you understand God’s absolutely FREE Grace salvation and trust Him alone as your only Savior.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  110. Jack, I think your answer is spot on. I would only add that eternal security and assurance are logically associated with Free Grace salvation. Anything other than Free Grace salvation would not allow for eternal security or assurance.

  111. John,

    Great point.. Thanks for the addition. I pray Wayne will understand.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  112. Wayne, it sounds like you are meeting your standards for the Christian walk. The problem with this approach is that there are no quantification standards, so each person would need to determine by his own behavior whether or not he is a “saved one”. A person’s behavior may be great by his standards, but not by God’s standard, which is perfection. That is why salvation is not conditioned on our behavior, evidence of change in direction, etc.

    Prior to Paul’s letters to the Corinthians, were they displaying a “change in direction”? Was the prodigal son displaying a “change in direction” when he wandered from home?

    Peoples’ behavior comes and goes. Only Christ is faithful.

  113. Wayne, I am confused by your posts. You say that you believe in salvation by grace alone, though faith alone in the Lord Jesus alone, but you seem to place a lot of weight on behavioral changes as evidence of salvation. This is a perversion of Grace, sometimes called “perseverance of the Saints. It is a common component of false theological systems, such as Calvinism and Lordship (bi-lateral contract) “salvation”.

  114. Wayne, gratitude is a great motivation for serving the Lord. But, your earlier statement that “Salvation certainly is not reaching perfection in this life but will always be evidence(d) by a change in direction” seems to imply that you believe that genuine saving faith will always produce visible and lasting results in a person’s life. Is that what you are saying? If so, I reject that outright.

    Also, my interpretation of Matthew 7:21-23 is that this refers to people who are relying, either in whole, or in part, on their works to get them into Heaven.

  115. Wayne,

    John and I are confused because you sound confused. We are desperately trying to understand your premise.

    Let’s cut to the meat of the question.
    You say you have trusted Christ alone as your Savior. Great. Please answer each specific question.

    1) If you don’t keep “all of” His commandments as you have stated…would you then be lost? What would happen to you?

    2) You said, “Luke 14.26-35 is about the cost. Are you saying this is the cost of salvation? Are you, like John MacArthur, saying that if we are not willing to pay the cost, we cannot be saved? Just what are you saying?

    3) What happens to you if you decide (and all believers still have a will) to walk in the “flesh” rather than in the spirit? Will you lose your salvation? What will happen to you?

    4) If your salvation could ever be lost can you ever regain it? If so please explain.

    5) Do you agree with Chan’s and MacArthur’s Lordship faith teachings?

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  116. Wayne Weinschreider

    How do you dismiss ” but the one who rdoes the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Have you removed First John from your Bible. Are you talking about cheap grace because free grace is a redundant term. If it’s not free it’s not grace.

  117. Wayne, I do not dismiss Matthew 7:21. As I said in my earlier post, this passage refers to those who are trying to work their way into Heaven. The full verse reads as follows:

    7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

    So, what is the will of the Father that one must do to be saved? For this, we need to look to John 6.

    6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do , that we might work the works of God?
    6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

    You have answered none of my direct questions, but have begun to ask false “straw man” questions. I had already demonstrated an awareness and understanding of Matthew 7:21, prior to you asking me how I dismiss it.

    Now I will address your other sarcastic questions:

    1. “Have you removed First John from your Bible?”

    No. First John is written to believers, to encourage them to remain in fellowship with the Lord. These are not salvation passages.

    2. “Are you talking about cheap grace because free grace is a redundant term?”

    No. I use the term Free Grace, because so many advocates of Lordship “salvation”, Calvinism and other false man-made religions pervert Grace by adding conditions to it. I want to make clear that I do not believe any of these false religions.

  118. Hello Wayne,

    You bring up many topics for discussion.

    Regarding the expression, “the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven,” the Bible, itself, answers the question of WHO IS THE PERSON WHO DOES THE WILL OF THE FATHER quite clearly and succinctly: “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye BELIEVE on him who he hath sent” (John 6:28-20); note, he did NOT SAY, “that ye believe and then PROVE THAT YOU believe through a vast array of good works.” Regarding First John, the Epistle is clearly written to believers. John addresses the readers repeatedly as, “my brethren,” “my children,” “beloved,” and “my dear children.” He lovingly calls them to live lives befitting the rich spiritual heritage that they already possessed eternally in Christ Jesus. 1 John 4:10-11 declares, “Herein is love, NOT THAT WE LOVED God, but that HE LOVED US, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, WE OUGHT ALSO to love one another” (we ought to do so; we should do that; it is the right thing to do); WHY? To get saved? NO To remain saved? NO To be forced to PROVE to God and the world that we are saved? NO. Then why should a believer serve God and love others? Because it is the right and proper response of a believer out of her love for God.

    Regarding your use of the pejorative term, “cheap grace,” there is absolutely nothing cheap about God’s grace! He gave the ultimate gift of salvation to us through sacrificing his only begotten Son on the cross on our behalf—there’s nothing cheap about that grace gift! But to us, the gift is absolutely FREE and without strings attached (Ephesians 2:8-9).

    Regarding the earlier use of another incendiary term, “antinomianism,” let’s break down the word for a moment. It comes directly from the Greek, “anti,” meaning “against or opposite something,” and “nomos,” referring to “the law.” So the term, in effect, means to be “against the law or lawless.” This is another pejorative term thrown out by the Lordship camp to decry Free Grace theology. If you just think about it logically for a moment, neither the Lordship Faith group nor the Free Grace group would advocate lawless behavior among Christians. This doesn’t even make good sense.

    For a full development of the issue of how Lordship Faith teachers wrongly caricaturize and
    denigrate Free Grace theology, see the article “Grace Baiting,” at the Free Grace Alliance web site:
    http://www.freegracealliance.com/pdf/baiting.pdf

  119. This is a very long, confused sermon that reflects “Reformed” theology, rather than Biblical truth. There are lots of Lordship “salvation” concepts contained in this tedious sermon that confuses righteousness with holiness.

    [Note: sermon was removed by administration]

  120. Wayne,

    John is correct in his assessment of your sermon download. You are certainly welcome to express your views and to ask questions in a proper spirit of decorum, but we do not allow lengthy sermons promoting Reformed Calvinism to be posted.

  121. Wayne,

    Since you insist on taking scripture out of context and not answering specific questions, we will no longer waste our time but put you on moderation.

    We will pray for you to trust Jesus alone for your Salvation and for you to realize He alone will keep it.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  122. It is sad to me that so often LS/Calvinist advocates are not willing to have an open forum of polite point and response debate but so often resort to name calling instead.

    [Response to a mean-spirited comment which was removed by administrator]

  123. Hello everyone. I find your website very helpful when I have time to read it. I am currently a college student and have been going through incredible times of despair and depression from feeling that myself and all of my family must be going to hell based on the teachings of Chan, Platt, Macarthur,etc. I have learned to better understand lots of the bible, but I am still really bothered by Matthew 25: 31-46. I know that many say that this verse isn’t saying that they were saved by their works, but that their works are only the proof of their faith. This only leads to many questions in my head, how many works are good enough to proofs you have faith? Do the least of these brethren refer to members of local church or worldwide?

    It all becomes very overwhelming and leads to the same depression I’ve been trying to get out of.
    Thank you all for helping,
    Josh

  124. Josh,

    We really appreciate you being here and asking questions. I pray some of us here will have a good, clear Biblical answer for you. I am so sorry you have been confused by these teachers.

    Those verses contain a lot of teaching but let me try to bring a little light to the subject:

    1. We must study God’s word in context and from a dispensational point of view.. meaning that God deals with people differently in different time periods.. However His offer of Salvation never changes and is always by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone. Chan, MacArthur, Platt, Piper all preach a message that includes works to be saved or stay saved. That is NOT God’s way of Salvation.

    A believer in Jesus Christ (one who is trusting Him alone for his salvation) will NEVER lose it. Period! Eternal Life IS Eternal.. No End. (1 John 5:13)

    Please carefully read our page on Eternal Life:
    http://www.expreacherman.com/eternal-life-for-you/

    2. In Matthew 25: 31-46 Jesus Christ is speaking of His Millennial Kingdom, after the He returns to earth for all believers at the Rapture… and is not applicable to those who are believers today… but the future time after the Tribulation. Believers today will not be involved in that judgment.

    The problem with so many Lordship “salvation” preachers (as you have mentioned) is that they want to trap believers (or unbelievers) into assuming that good works are a necessity for gaining and/or keeping your salvation. That is Simply NOT true.

    One of hundreds of Bible verses we must grasp and hang on to is:
    Ephesians. 2:8-9
    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
    Grace is UNMERITED Favor. Salvation is God’s irrevocable Gift to all who will believe in Jesus.

    Good works SHOULD come after salvation (Ephesians 2:10) but a lack thereof can not cancel one’s salvation. It IS Eternal Life!!!

    I pray this helps somewhat — and if you have further questions, please ask.. We have many wonderful folks here who know God’s Word and are anxious to help you and your family understand God’s wonderful Saving/keeping Grace.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  125. Thank you very much for such a fast reply. I think what was most confusing to me is the fact that I don’t on a day to day basis encounter people who are starving and thirsty, and I’m not sure if I have ever known anyone who visited a fellow Christian in prison. Could these examples be looked at as just some examples of how we can help fellow believers and not the only ways? I know Chan and others would say that i need to move somewhere that will lead to me encountering needy people, but I also know he has problems with his theology. I had heard before that this verse doesn’t apply to us today, but others have told me it does so I was confused.

    I know I’m rambling kind of, but I’m typing this on my phone so please forgive me. Also, my family isnt having this kind of problem, they are all faithful believers, I have just heard these teachers place such an emphasis on caring for the poor, that it has led me to fear that no one I know is really a Christian because none of them (or me) are heavily involved in those types of ministries. Some have told me that once a person truly becomes a Christian they won’t be able to stop helping the poor, it is just their new nature to do so. This seems to possibly imply one naturism to me but I’m not sure.

    Thanks again for helping,
    Josh

  126. My gut response to you, Josh, is that we are called to Jesus Christ. Not missions, not helping the poor. Anyone can do those things, and there are plenty who do, and yet are lost.

    If you believe the gospel as presented to you by Jack’s message to which he referred you, then that’s that.

    As to the passage which troubles you, I do believe that a believer will naturally be compassionate, but to what degree depends entirely upon the believer’s spiritual “diet”: a carnal Christian would be dull in all spiritual matters.

    Also, among the body of Christ, there are different occupations. Not all are called to prison ministry, or soup kitchens (Acts 6:2). What matters is that you first be filled with His Holy Sprit, and grieve Him not, that His attributes may be evident, wherein I can’t help but believe He will guide you where He wants you to be. The Christian life ought to be one of rest – waking up in the morning with an attitude of giving Him your life to do with as He will! Who knows where that may lead you?

  127. Thank you for your response Pearl. I definitely believe that my only shot at going to heaven is through Jesus Christ and not through anything I can do, but the simplicity of this belief has been very much corrupted by some of the teachings I have exposed myself to. I am now just trying to dig myself out of the depression and despair that was the result of those teachings.

    Thank you all for this great website and all the help.
    Josh

  128. Josh,

    Here are a couple of many consoling passages upon which you may rest.

    Regardless of what some preacher/teacher tells you, you cannot lose Eternal Life. It is FREE and eternally self describing itself.

    Christ Himself said:
    John 10:28
    And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall NEVER perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

    When the Lord says “NEVER” that is guaranteed eternal — without end.

    And then, with your new assurance of Salvation in Jesus:

    Philippians 4:4-7
    Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. [5] Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

    So,Josh, rejoice with us — safe and secure in Jesus Christ’s righteousness:

    Philippians 3:9
    And be found in him [Christ], not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

    We are praying for you Josh!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  129. You know whose blog I think would also be beneficial to you, Josh?

    Dave over at “Pure Unadulterated Grace”. He writes about your struggles from having been there many years himself. With a fire in his belly, he takes many of the common guilt trip arguments and reduces them to chaff.

  130. That blog is very helpful. Thank you Pearl.

    And thank you again for your help Pastor Jack, this website is an enormous blessing. I pray that over time I can rid my thinking of these wrong teaching, but I fear that it will take some time.

    Josh.

  131. Josh, I have prayed for you. I know how difficult it can be to get the Lordship salvation lies out of your head,

    Please consider reading “The Gospel” booklet – see link below:

    http://duluthbible.org/187304.ihtml

  132. Thanks for the prayers, that brochure was really wonderfully simple. I appreciate it very much.

  133. Josh, totally understand about getting the lies and deception of what many of us have been taught over the years. I myself almost bought the LS/Calvinist lie and the Lord graciously pulled me out. The Lord is gracious to you and will keep you and will show you the way of truth in the light of His Word. Keep there in His Word – the Lord promises that through the Holy Spirit we can receive His truth.

  134. Just browsing and came across this article. I am not commenting in regards to Francis Chan. Not defending him. But I am challenging the idea that God doesn’t want you to feel disturbed when you are trying get closer to him. Honestly, if you are diligently seeking to be close to God, peace is no indicator that you are doing so. Look at Jonah. He was running completely away from God’s direction, and he was what–asleep on a boat. Likewise, our Lord, at the very epitome of God’s will, in the Garden the night he was betrayed, was in utter turmoil. Peaceful feelings should not be the barometer of being on the right path of a close relationship with God. Sometimes God uses disturbance and discomfort to shake us up a little bit and challenge our traditions and assumptions. If the Holy Spirit is working on us to change our views through the writings of a modern author, we need to rely on scripture to cross-check it. Not what your pastor says about scripture, but what it says, and what the Spirit helps you to discern. The Bible is clear about salvation, and also a little edgy about what may indicate that the love of God is not in a person. It is clear about what we are to do as Christians, and if we aren’t doing them, then we might want go back and find the source of why that may be the case. Again, I am not referring any of Chan’s writings. Let’s allow the Spirit to make us feel uncomfortable if need be, if it is to make us run to Christ through it.

  135. Hello Mike,

    Thanks for commenting today.

    Yes, when a truly Born-Again Christian is walking out of step with God’s will, the Holy Spirit will lovingly admonish him to bring him back to a place of fellowship with other believers and a place of again serving God. However, Francis Chan, Paul Washer, John Piper and other Lordship Faith teachers and writers are not speaking about this process mentioned above. They are striking at the very foundation of a Christian’s assurance of salvation by causing them to doubt their salvation based upon their works, rather than upon the finished work of Christ on the cross at Calvary. Francis Chan’s writings, in particular, have caused many born-again Christians to doubt that they were ever saved to begin with, based on his ARTIFICIALLY-CREATED list of what he calls “the lukewarm.” To Chan, any churchgoer who is not radically on-fire for Jesus is declared to be “lukewarm,” bound for hell! This is no gentle kick in the pants, but rather it is going against the Scriptures’ declaration of assurance of salvation through faith in Christ alone (see John 10:27-30).

  136. Mike,

    One additional thought:

    Lordship Faith teachers like Francis Chan, John MacArthur, Paul Washer, John Piper and David Platt would apparently have Christians to live in a constant ongoing state of dread and fear—the fear of not having done enough to merit and/or maintain eternal life! This is wrong and it is no way for believers to live. God would have us to live lives of confidence in him. Should we trust in our abilities and good works to maintain our standing with God?? NO! Rather, we get our hope and confidence in what Christ has done on our behalf at the cross. And, God promises that once we are saved through faith in Christ alone (the gospel: 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Ephesians 2:8-9; Acts 16:30-31), then HE will keep us safe in his loving hands of protection (John 10:27-30). Romans 8:15 reads, “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”

  137. Bruce, you said:

    “Yes, when a truly Born-Again Christian is walking out of step with God’s will, the Holy Spirit will lovingly admonish him to bring him back to a place of fellowship with other believers and a place of again serving God.”

    The Holy Spirit does admonish a believer to come back to fellowship with God. However, the believer does not always listen and may completely disregard the admonishment. This in no way demonstrates that he is not a “true believer”.

  138. Mike, the Holy Spirit may make us uncomfortable, as you say. But He would never make a believer doubt his salvation.

    You said:

    “The Bible is clear about salvation, and also a little edgy about what may indicate that the love of God is not in a person. It is clear about what we are to do as Christians, and if we aren’t doing them, then we might want go back and find the source of why that may be the case.”

    The Bible is clear about the terms of salvation. Salvation is by Grace, through faith in Christ.

    It would be great if a Christian always did “what we are to do as Christians.” But, unfortunately, it is often not the case. Not only do some Christians not do what they should, some even quit believing the Gospel altogether in favor of idolatry, atheism, LS or some other false gospel. They are still saved, and yet even their faith has not endured.

    I would heartily recommend that you read the entire series “Must Faith Endure for Salvation to be Sure” the 9th part is linked below.

    http://www.duluthbible.org/widgets/download.aspx?file=%2ffiles%2fResources%2fGrace_Family_Journal%2fGFJ_2003_PDF%2fGFJ_2003_04_Fall%2fGFJ_2003_04_MustFaithEndure_09_Stegall.pdf

  139. Hi John,

    Yes, you are absolutely correct when you say that a true believer may not always follow the prodding of the Holy Spirit and that this nonresponse does not necessitate a state of unbelief. It is sad, but some truly born-again Christians do not live by the will of God. However, we certainly don’t need LS authors like Francis Chan to set themselves up as judge, jury and executioner of the Christian community.

  140. Note:
    Just in case some of you may not have subscribed to our posts, see our new one by our friend John:
    You May Be A Lordship Salvationist — IF..
    http://www.expreacherman.com/2012/08/14/you-might-be-a-lordship-salvationist-if/

    A great article,
    In Christ eternally, Jack

  141. Im glad there are those who still have a discerning spirit. I ran across Francis Chan’s name a little while back when I made the mistake of picking up a nice looking study Bible ( or so it seemed ), when I opened it and read ….. A lot of the comments I disagreed with. I asked the gentlemen behind the counter if they knew who authored it. I found out if was authored by witness lee. Francis Chan’s name also came up in it. He was a disciple of witness lee. I knew that a book was being taught by someone in the church I attend with that name. Lord Behold, it was the book you speak of. Most of the church read this book. I chose to stay in a Biblical study class. Thing is the church I attend has several members that have taught and attended the same conservative seminary I attend. I can assure you….that the error did not come from there…. But this goes to show you how readily heresy can penetrate a church with its lack of Biblical hunger these days. Thanks for your post.

  142. PS. Many reformed theologians hold the view of lordship salvation. I guess they don’t know the only good works that come through a saved believer are from the Holy Spirit conforming man into Spiritual maturiy so he manifest what is in him (the Holy Spirit ). The Holy Spirit manifest the works of God. We don’t. We are still flesh and at best have a marred image of God within the flesh. Those who think they may merit good works short of God doing them are sadly mistaken. Galations 1:6-10.

    In Christ

    Richard

  143. Welcome Richard,

    We’re pleased that you discovered the Expreacherman.com site. Please come back again some time. It’s encouraging that you are able to sift out the false teaching which is so prevalent in churches today. I was not aware of the connection between Witness Lee and Francis Chan. Thanks for that information and blessings on you as you continue to study at the seminary.

    .

  144. PPS

    Either they believe Christ was born perfectly with a sinless nature, lived a perfectly sinless life to fulfill the whole law of God, so we who believe wouldn’t have to by the Grace of God, because it’s impossible for man to fulfill the whole law of God perfectly, or they don’t, which would mean their belief is actually false belief. Because they rely on their own merits and not what Christ did for salvation.

  145. reading these comments I wonder what is going on in peoples minds? If you are saved, truly saved, you would never become and idolater or an atheist? Do you really believe just because you say “I’m saved” you are? That is insanity. A true Christian is one that has a transformation in spirit and everyday life…so if there isn’t a direct and immediate difference in that person and the things that they do and say they were NOT, in fact, saved. Christians are to be a light on a hill, bear good fruit, feed the poor, clothe the naked, tend to the sick, and minister to people in need…that is what Jesus spoke in the Gospels and that is what we, as Christians, should ALL be doing. Arguing about who’s theology is right…what denomination is right…and attacking other Christians is absurd. Christ is weeping watching us tear each other apart. Believe what you want, do what Christ said to do, and let God be the Judge. I love all my Christian brothers and sisters. God bless.

  146. JD Jones,

    We welcome you here and thanks for commenting.

    Our purpose on this web site is to share the Gospel of God’s Grace and provide discernment of good and evil as taught in God’s Word for Believers.

    But strong meat [nourishment in the Word] belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Hebrews 5:14

    We cannot sit idly by and see the lie being taught to fragile minds that good works MUST follow when a believer trusts Jesus Christ as Savior. That is heresy.

    The Apostle Paul struggled with his old sin nature as do we:

    Romans 7:15-20
    For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. [16] If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. [17] Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. [18] For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. [19] For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. [20] Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

    The Corinthian Church (of believers) was one of vile behavior, but Paul called them Brothers and saints in Christ, albeit carnal Brothers.

    1 Corinthians 1:4-6
    I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; [5] That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; [6] Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:
    1 Corinthians 3:1-3
    And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. [2] I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
    [3] For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

    You said about good works, “we, as Christians, SHOULD ALL be doing.”
    My emphasis on the word SHOULD. That is key.

    The Bible is full of “should”s, Ephesians 2:10, we SHOULD walk in good works, because our salvation is NOT of works but by Grace — We are asked to do many things, “walk in the spirit” (Galatians 5:1), “Put on the armor of God” (Ephesians 6:1), Study God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:15), etc, etc. Over and over we are urged, begged and pleaded with to be obedient to our Savior and God’s Word — so we see good behavior and a Spiritual life is not an automatic thing for believers. We are asked to “grow in Grace” by the power of God’s Holy Spirit because upon belief, we are not born into Christ fully mature — we SHOULD grow. However if we, as the Corinthians, are or become carnal, God does not cancel his Gift of ETERNAL Life… it is Eternal. (Ephesians 2:8-9, John 3:16, Romans 6:23)

    Hebrews 13:5
    for He [Jesus] hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

    Just remember, our eternity does not rest in our behavior but upon the faithfulness of our Savior, Jesus Christ…. and that is why we call out those who pervert the message of God’s Grace.

    Philip. 3:9
    And be found in Him [Jesus Christ], not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  147. Matthew 7:16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

    Matthew 7:18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.

    Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

    John 15:8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

    1 Peter 2:12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

    I guess my question to you is; who considers themselves a true Christian but doesn’t do what Christ commanded us to do?

    Matthew 2535‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40“The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
    41“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44“Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ 45“Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46“These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

    I believe we that call ourselves Christian feel compelled to do these works, not for salvation, because we should love our fellow brothers and sisters as Christ loves us.

    God bless

  148. Agent Misfit (aka JD Jones from a previous comment),

    1) It appears you are quoting verses from the NIV Bible which is quite misleading.

    2) You take verses out or proper exegetical context to justify your argument, some out of Dispensational context — implying that those who do not feed the poor, do good works, etc as you quote, “These will go away into eternal punishment,…

    Then you end your “lesson” with:

    “I believe we that call ourselves Christian feel compelled to do these works, not for salvation, because we SHOULD love our fellow brothers and sisters as Christ loves us.”

    If you had written in that last paragraph, “I believe we that call ourselves Christian SHOULD feel compelled to do these works..” that paragraph would have been accurate and you would not be misleading and confusing your thoughts.

    Please understand that salvation is a FREE GIFT, no charge, no works but service or discipleship is voluntary and SHOULD be done by every believer — but the Lord, the Bible and we do not judge whether a person is a believer by his works. The Lord knows whether we have our faith in Jesus (guaranteed eternally) or not and He NEVER determines or changes our salvation depending upon our works.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  149. Bottom line is that if you are in Christ then your life reflects that. Those works don’t get you to Heaven but you are to be a reflection of Him totally and completely. Read James!

  150. Hello Leslie,

    Thanks for commenting today. Regarding your statement, here are some of my thoughts on James (especially chapter 2):

    Regarding James 2, if you do a search on this site, you will find that the chapter has been discussed in detail on several posts. Briefly, James is unmistakeably addressing BELIEVERS, not unbelievers. You will see this clearly in the first two chapters in which James addresses his audience repeatedly as, “my brethren,” or, “my beloved brethren.” James speaks of the QUALITY and USEFULNESS of a man’s faith, NOT the REALITY of his faith. He WARNS against a “dead faith,” that is, an unprofitable and useless faith, genuine faith to be sure (James already confirmed this fact in Chapters 1 and 2), but a faith that is not lived out in a way that would serve and please God as every believer OUGHT TO live. And, James warns of an unprofitable faith that could put the believer in jeopardy of losing some or all rewards at the judgment seat for believers (2 Corinthians 5:10; cf. 1 Corinthians 3:10-15). He admonishes his readers to live lives befitting the rich spiritual heritage which they already possessed by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. This fits the overall thrust of the Epistle in which James wants his readers’ faith in Christ to produce maturity in their lives. James in no way is threatening his listeners with loss of salvation or with never having been saved to begin with. This is where Lordship Faith teachers like Francis Chan, John Piper, Richard Stearns, David Platt, Paul Washer and John MacArthur stray from the pure, simple, straightforward Bible gospel of Ephesians 2:8-9, Acts 16:30-31, Romans 4:5 and 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; INSTEAD, they advocate a merit-based “gospel” which insists upon a whole array of openly-visible works (extreme or radical works for some of them) in order to PROVE that one is truly saved. This false system of faith plus works is much akin to Catholicism (even to the cults). It artificially sets man up as the arbiter of who is saved and who is damned, based upon a works-proved belief model. And pity the poor Lordship Faith follower who never knows when she’s done enough; she lives in a perpetual state of fear and dread; she can never get a grasp upon assurance of faith that Christ would want for her to possess (see John 10:27-30). Living in fear and doubt is certainly NO WAY for a Christian to live!

    End Notes 1: James 2:19 does not speak of a deficient faith in terms of salvation. The demons have no ability to believe in the sense of salvation. The text says that they merely believe in the existence of one God. Re. Abraham and Rahab, in congruence with Paul’s writings, James 2:21-25 speak of a justification before men (practical righteousness), not before God (judicial righteousness].

    End Notes 2: John, in First John, as does James, addresses BELIEVERS about the quality of their salvation, not the reality of their salvatiion.

  151. Leslie,

    Welcome to ExPreacherMan. Bruce’s comment in answer to yours is Biblical, excellent and thorough.

    One thing we must not do as believers in Jesus Christ is to preach to a new believer, as you say, they “are to be a reflection of Him totally and completely.” That is a lofty and admirable goal but how many believers can say about themselves, “I am a reflection of Christ totally and completely”?

    As The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-9, we are saved by grace through faith. The Gift of God is salvation, eternal life and it is given totally without works or obligation.

    Ephesians 2:8-9
    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    We then read in Ephesians 2:10:

    “For we [believers] are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto [for the purpose of] good works, which God hath before ordained that we SHOULD walk in them.

    Every believer in Jesus Christ must rejoice that the Lord chose, in that verse, to use the word SHOULD instead of the word “must” — otherwise none of us would ever qualify.

    Yes, every believer SHOULD walk in good works and “… grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” [2 Peter 3:18] as we travel this amazing road of the Christian Life.

    We here at ExPreacherMan preach God’s Grace for salvation and growing in His Grace for a believer’s daily walk — We do not preach the legalism of conforming to some human expectations such as that preached by the “judge and jury” folks such as Chan, Platt, Piper, Washer, MacArthur, et al.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  152. Leslie,

    One further point — we have many readers here who have been tricked by the Lordship “salvationists,” seen the Truth and removed themselves from it.

    Please read this encouraging note from our dear friend Holly:
    http://www.expreacherman.com/2012/08/14/you-might-be-a-lordship-salvationist-if/#comment-18269

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  153. Leslie, you might also be interested in pastor Tom Cucuzza’s booklet entitled “Faith Without Works is Dead – What Does it Mean?” Please find link,below:

    http://expreacherman.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/cucuzza-faith-without-works-is-dead.pdf

  154. I find it interesting that Francis Chan confessed recently on the Christian Post, that he still struggles with doubt. He says he started to slip…he said he was still currently struggling with both doubt and joy….

    It was sadly almost prophetic that he at one time had joy when he shared at Macarthur’s Master’s Seminary about 20 years prior and John Macarthur told him not to lose his joy.

    Chan said, “But here I am 20 years later and I feel myself losing it,” he declared with an impassioned pitch to his voice. “When was the last time I was so excited with the same passion to do what I do?”
    “Where did that go?” he wondered, asking of himself at another point during his Exponential 2013 remarks, “Are you even a prophet anymore? Are you saying what God Almighty wants you to say?”

    Quoted in 2013….

    People need to see what this false gospel does both to the deceived and the deceivers regardless of their “intentions” or “passion” or “sincerity” (which by the way we have no idea of any of that). It destroys people, and this is the work of the enemy.

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