Southern Baptists’ Fragile Détente: The Fight over Competing False Gospels, Calvinism and Lordship “Salvation”

SBC

By our good friend, John 

The Southern Baptist Convention’s long-standing cooperation between traditional Lordship “Salvationists” and Calvinists has been getting testy of late.

The crux of the issue seems to be the surge of full-fledged 5-point Calvinism within the ranks of the SBC and the reaction from the still-majority of SBC members who oppose Calvinism, but until recently have seemed willing to tolerate it.

The SBC recently formed a team to determine how SBC traditionalists and Calvinists can work together.  Following is a quote from an article dated August 17, 2012, from “The Christian Post” entitled “Calvinism Debate:  Southern Baptists Form Team to Figure Out How to Work Together”:

“There are extremes on both sides that have garnered attention and I want us to pull us back together to that group who say ‘I may or may not be a Calvinist but I love Calvinists, I love non-Calvinists and we can and will do missions and evangelism together,’ Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, said Thursday.”

This past summer, hundreds of Southern Baptists signed “A Statement of The Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation.”

Following are a couple of salient excerpts:

“For the most part, Southern Baptists have been glad to relegate disagreements over Calvinism to secondary status along with other important but ‘non-essential’ theological matters. The Southern Baptist majority has fellowshipped happily with its Calvinist brethren while kindly resisting Calvinism itself.”

And

“We affirm that any person who responds to the Gospel with repentance and faith is born again through the power of the Holy Spirit. He is a new creation in Christ and enters, at the moment he believes, into eternal life.”

The long-standing “Baptist Faith and Message” includes the Lordship “Salvation” concepts of “turning from sin” for salvation and “committing one’s life to Christ” for salvation.  See excerpt below:

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

(Note:  Jack wrote a previous article called “Who Makes These Errors?” in which he commented on the SBC errant statement as follows: “…salvation is not by turning from sin nor by committing our ‘entire personality to Him as Lord’”). Link is: 

The sad part of the whole debate is that neither side is defending the REAL GOSPEL, which is salvation by Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

Lordship “Salvation”, also known as “bi-lateral contract salvation” and Calvinism are both based on the same theological roots.  According to the “Grace Chart” that accompanies “The Gospel” by Ron Shea:

“Bilateral contract salvation” and the “Perseverance of the Saints” are two separate but interrelated doctrines within a complex theological system of salvation by works, which relies, at its core, on redefining the word “grace” as some sort of mystical empowering substance. This theological system is set forth in Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica, Part 1 of the Second Part, Questions 109-114, “Treatise of Grace,” a 12th century manifesto of Roman Catholic Theology. In Protestantism, it is known as “Reformed Theology” or “Calvinism”.

The SBC, which is the largest Protestant denomination in the US, is now an amalgam of Lordship “Salvationists”, Calvinists and believers who lack the Biblical discernment, courage or good sense to disassociate from the SBC.

Eternal Life is Not Complicated But FREE

68 responses to “Southern Baptists’ Fragile Détente: The Fight over Competing False Gospels, Calvinism and Lordship “Salvation”

  1. Jerry McGowin

    I do not think it is fair to call Southern Baptist a denomination. True the convention is influential, though less so today, each church is independent. Truthfully Churches come together to support common interest such as missions, education, and other ministries. Your blog is read by many from varied religious backgrounds and perhaps surprising to you many Southern Baptist Ministers are regular readers. Many in my own Baptist Association and a few in my Church (though I wish more did). I do realize that at the Convention level often the concern and stands have more to do with finances than doctrine or theology. Still on the whole SBC missions are highly effective. I agree that Calvinistic influences are on the rise and I believe will ultimately fragment the SBC. From my perspective I believe that the SBC is all about kingdom building of individual kingdoms rather than building the Kingdom of God. Finances of the SBC seem to be driving the train rather than sound doctrine. As a life long member of Southern Baptist Churches and as one of their missionaries, I have found SBC supporting Churches to firmly believe in “Salvation by Grace alone;” this doctrine is found in our Hymn books and in many if not most of our pulpits as of now I am not ready to chuck the baby with the bath water.

    Yours in Christ who saves by Grace alone.

    Jerry, Dr THD

  2. Jerry, thanks for your comments. I do not want to be combative, but how do you explain how the following from the SBC website comports with salvation by grace alone?:

    “Are you ready to accept the gift of eternal life that Jesus is offering you right now? Let’s review what this commitment involves:

    I acknowledge I am a sinner in need of a Savior – this is to repent or turn away from sin

    I believe in my heart that God raised Jesus from the dead – this is to trust that Jesus paid the full penalty for my sins

    I confess Jesus as my Lord and my God – this is to surrender control of my life to Jesus

    I receive Jesus as my Savior forever – this is to accept that God has done for me and in me what He promised”

    I was told something along these lines when I was 27 years old. I realized just two years ago that I was relying on my “commitment to Christ” rather than on Christ. I believe the kinds of statements above promote this.

    Also, regarding hymns – does the Baptist Hymnal still include “Victory In Jesus”? If so, it contains an LS message – “Then I repented of my sins and won the victory!”

  3. Dear Jerry, I am John’s wife, and I think it is time to get the baby OUT of the bathwater. I grew up in a Baptist church where true free grace was taught and had no idea that other Southern Baptists tainted the salvation message to the extent they did until I was much older and trying to find a place to take my children. I was so disenchanted with what was offered that I opted to not go to church. It is beyond me why people in churches associate with an organized ministry that clearly does NOT teach free grace just because they give money to missionaries, feed the poor, have a great outreach program to disadvantaged people, blah, blah, blah. I do not want, in any way, to associate with anyone who gets the salvation message wrong. It sends the message that one agrees with the statement of beliefs of that church.

  4. I see a problem with the SBC’s statement of faith itself. I’m not sure how a Pastor standing for grace through faith alone could really stand for it. For example:

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

    It would be better to say something like: Regeneration is the new birth which takes place once a person believes in Christ alone for salvation. The last line there is also not right. Repentance (changing your mind about Christ and the way of salvation) and faith are responsibilities of the individual. God is not responsible for those who do not change their mind and believe.

    “V. God’s Purpose of Grace

    Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.

    All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. ”

    If that isn’t Unconditional Election and Perseverance of the Saints then I don’t know what is. If I were a Pastor, I would try to avoid any convention that taught that. What real good can come out of that kind of teaching? The Christian life is not about God enabling us to persevere to the end in order to stay saved. The believer has eternal life the moment he believes and any perseverance is part of sanctification and leads to rewards in the life to come.

  5. Mike: I agree…….. Sanctification is a process that includes both the will of God and the Believer ,,,, Not just God that being said of course if God were not involved in the process we would never grow in grace,,,,,,

  6. Calvary Chapel is going down this same road. Calvary Chapel already makes the error of lordship salvation (since they teach you can lose salvation and the “turn from sins/commit” theology). But what they did do in the past is, reject Calvinism.

    But at their last pastor’s conference, they had Greg Laurie and Bob Coy say that Calvary Chapel should be receiving Calvinists like Mark Driscoll, and that the differences are negligible. So things are changing all over, and not for the better.

  7. Thanks for another fabulous post. As a Southern Baptist pastor I have been very frustrated with our denomination’s drift into Calvinism and Lordship salvationism. Your article really brings into focus what the problem really is, Southern Baptists have got the gospel wrong. Faith alone really means “faith alone”.

  8. I like john’s comment about the song victory in jesus. I have said this before too about this song is wrong theology. we did not get the victory when we repented of our sins. if we got the victory at all it is when we by grace alone thru faith alone [believed] in Christ and His finished work of the cross alone that’s when we got the victory. mike t

  9. Jerry,

    Welcome to ExPreacherMan.. We are happy that you are a regular reader and pray you will ask those many Baptist Pastors and friends who are also regular readers to join us in this discussion.

    You said, “Truthfully Churches come together to support common interest such as missions, education, and other ministries.

    Likewise you stated, “As a life long member of Southern Baptist Churches and as one of their missionaries, I have found SBC supporting Churches to firmly believe in ‘Salvation by Grace alone;’ this doctrine is found in our Hymn books…”

    It would be helpful if you will answer a couple of questions about your association with SBC. First let me quote from the SBC Statement of Beliefs on Repentance, under Section “A” Under IV. Salvation:

    http://www.sbc.net/bfm/bfm2000.asp
    Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.

    1. I presume that, as an SBC missionary, you were required to subscribe to, agree with and sign that very SBC Statement of Beliefs and Mission Statement — which indicate that salvation requires a “genuine turning from sin” (works) to be saved. That SBC statement disagrees with your wonderful sign-off statement above, “Yours in Christ who saves by Grace alone. Christ’s Salvation cannot be by both works and Grace — the two are totally incompatible and completely the opposite of each other. (Romans 11:6) Therefore I would be interested in your answering the question, how do you reconcile these two teachings, Grace vs “turning from sin” to be saved?

    (2) SBC educational outreach obviously includes many Seminaries which are aligned with the beliefs of the Southern Baptist Convention (according to many of those statements I checked). Therefore we must presume that all SBC Seminaries are teaching the “turning from sin” for salvation errors of the SBC Statement of Beliefs. If they or you disagree with the SBC Statement of Beliefs, disavow and proclaim your disagreement publicly, will they still welcome you to access their support funds and networks?

    Are you “independent” enough that you could denounce their false teaching and still remain in good standing, a recipient of their largess?

    Then that begs the question, do you personally believe that repenting is a genuine turning from sin for salvation as stated in the SBC Statement is a false teaching?

    I did not intend this as a “grilling” — we appreciate you as a valued visitor and long-time reader. You, being a Doctor of Theology (ThD), a lifetime Baptist Church member and an missionary of SBC’s Baptist affiliated churches, are an excellent representative to answer and discuss these serious questions for our readers. We appreciate your participation.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  10. Brad,

    Thanks for your visit and comment. You are among friends here. I am excited that you see the problem with the SBC and its beliefs. Are you willing to answer any of the questions I presented to Jerry?

    We look forward to your participation in our discussion.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  11. Hi guys , yeah definitely the SBC is going lordship; they are planting churches all over massachusetts; we are in a spiritual battle; 2 thess. 2 says God will send a strong delusion on those who would not receive the love of the truth. I am beginning to think this lordship is the strong delusion.

  12. Jane,

    Thanks for joining our discussion. I value your and John’s friendship and fellowship — especially your duo-discernment. Your experiences of having been involved with churches preaching false messages gives you a unique perspective.

    I pray we will “see” you here again soon.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  13. Jerry McGowin

    It does seem like a grilling.

    First I am not an apologist for the SBC.

    http://www.sbc.net/bfm/bfm2000.asp
    Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.

    Therefore I would be interested in your answering the question, how do you reconcile these two teachings, Grace vs “turning from sin” to be saved?

    The full section you are referring to is as follows:

    IV. Salvation

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

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

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

    B. Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer unto a relationship of peace and favor with God.

    C. Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to God’s purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person’s life.

    D. Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.

    Genesis 3:15; Exodus 3:14-17; 6:2-8; Matthew 1:21; 4:17; 16:21-26; 27:22-28:6; Luke 1:68-69; 2:28-32; John 1:11-14,29; 3:3-21,36; 5:24; 10:9,28-29; 15:1-16; 17:17; Acts 2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:30-31; 17:30-31; 20:32; Romans 1:16-18; 2:4; 3:23-25; 4:3ff.; 5:8-10; 6:1-23; 8:1-18,29-39; 10:9-10,13; 13:11-14; 1 Corinthians 1:18,30; 6:19-20; 15:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Galatians 2:20; 3:13; 5:22-25; 6:15; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-22; 4:11-16; Philippians 2:12-13; Colossians 1:9-22; 3:1ff.; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; 2 Timothy 1:12; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 2:1-3; 5:8-9; 9:24-28; 11:1-12:8,14; James 2:14-26; 1 Peter 1:2-23; 1 John 1:6-2:11; Revelation 3:20; 21:1-22:5.

    Under the heading of Salvation you will find the following terms: regeneration, justification, sanctification and glorification. The SBC is a large organization and I do not know the author or editor of the Baptist Faith and Message. From my perspective the BFM (Baptist Faith and Message) tries to cover to many bases and as a result clouds most issues. This likely reflect the notion that we have to many lawyers in our present day society.

    A great many things are happening (theologically speaking) when an individual comes to Christ Jesus. I think Paul put it best:

    (NKJV) 5: 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

    Supernatural activity is going on.

    The Grace of God is powerful. It is the act of God’s grace that save. Many outside of the SBC criticize the SBC conception of Salvation by characterizing it as cheap grace. I have responded in the past by saying, “True it did not cost me anything God’s grace is free but it cost Christ Jesus a great deal. It cost God a great deal. I cannot imagine what it must have felt like to experience the full weight of the sin of the whole world both past and present and future sins.

    Salvation is an almost Instantaneous event. Following my salvation my first feeling was not elation but guilt. For a moment I saw myself as God must have seen me prior to my salvation and then I repented of my sins.

    The Holy Spirit brings people to Christ in various ways. Some recognize their destination, others experience a need, the point is the Holy Spirit moves people in a host of ways.

    The word, Repentance, is found 58 time in 54 verses in the NT and is a key concept. Certainly repentance is important particularly interesting are the verses in Revelation chapters 9 and 16. Where unrepentant sinners are singled out. For me true repentance comes following conversion as an on going walk with Christ it also demonstrates the work of the HS in one ‘s life.

    For me repentance is connected to Salvation but not necessary for Salvation. But it is a natural outgrowth following salvation similiar to Baptism, Lord’s Supper, submission, Biblical study, and a steady walk with Christ.

    In conclusion, the Salvation section of the BFM, attempts to bring together varied spiritual concepts under headings for organization rather than for a doctrinal explainition that is what commentaries are for.

    I find it odd that though I made it clear that the SBC is not a denomination you seem to be trying to force me to defending it as a denomination. Each and every local Church is independent and is not bound by the SBC in any way.

    Furthermore, I was not required to sign a compliance statement although I believe one is now required.

    I attended New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and I was taught Salvation by Grace. Of course I have not attended every class in every seminary. I preach salvation by Grace and know of no one in my local Association that preaches another salvation.

    I would ask that other SBC readers confirm that every SBC affiliated Churches are independent of the SBC and each Church chooses to cooperate in what every manner they wish.

    Jerry

  14. I am baffled as to why anyone would associate with an organization with which they do not agree on the fundamentals of the Gospel.

    If you are a member of an SBC-affiliated church, does any of your church budget go to the SBC? Do you contribute? How does it feel to be contributing to a group that promotes a false gospel? Do you realize that anyone who corrupts the Gospel is under a curse (Galatians 1:9)?

    Is there anything that would make you disaffiliate with the SBC? If so, what? If corrupting the Gospel is not sufficient grounds to leave this group, what would be?

    The Baptist Faith and Message has evolved over time, but it has been based on A FALSE GOSPEL OF WORKS at least as far back as 1925, and much likely, even before that. Excerpts from the Baptist Faith and Message, three versions, are set forth below:

    1925

    VIII. Repentance and Faith

    We believe that repentance and faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God; whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger, and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, and relying on him alone as the only and all-sufficient Saviour.

    XI. Perseverance

    All real believers endure to the end. Their continuance in well-doing is the mark which distinguishes them from mere professors. A special Providence cares for them, and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

    1963

    Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace. Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour. Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer into a relationship of peace and favor with God.

    All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the cause of Christ, and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

  15. Jerry,

    Thanks for your continuing conversation. I apologize if it seems to be a grilling but we here are sincerely interested in what motivates SBC followers.

    You made some statements which deserve further investigation.

    You said:

    “The Grace of God is powerful. It is the act of God’s grace that save.”

    You may consider it a trivial point but your statement would contradict Titus 2:11 “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,..”

    In contrast to that verse, your premise almost borders on a Calvinist or universalist position. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    God’s Grace appears to all men but — only after an individual makes a personal “through faith” decision to believe in Jesus Christ alone as Savior is he saved. God’s Grace is the method by which He provides to man the opportunity to make a decision to believe in Jesus. By God’s Grace everyone has that opportunity to believe — but tragically, few respond.

    You stated:

    “Salvation is an almost Instantaneous event.”

    Jerry, God’s Word disagrees — salvation is not “almost” instantaneous. Our salvation is instantaneously sealed by God’s Holy Spirit the moment we believe. It is likewise guaranteed eternally:
    Ephesians 1:13
    “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,”

    There is no lapsed time period, no delay and no wait for our feelings between believing and eternal security – A believer is immediately Eternally Secure.

    Further you stated:

    you seem to be trying to force me to defending it [SBC] as a denomination. Each and every local Church is independent and is not bound by the SBC in any way.”

    Jerry, I have researched many Southern Baptist Churches, ministries and their web sites. To date I have not found one which does not proudly display either the SBC “The Baptist Faith and Message” or an SBC link to it. They affirm their allegiance to (“not a denomination”) but the SBC “group. association or bunch.” Not wanting to offend, I am at a loss about what to call the SBC.

    And you said:

    I was not required to sign a compliance statement although I believe one is now required.

    Just curious, were you required to affirm in any way your beliefs or allegiance to the Southern Baptist Message/Church/Convention? Were you ordained as a Southern Baptist Church or SBC Preacher/Missionary in agreement with the SBC Message? If not, just a thought, you could have been a JW or LDS or SDA with no affirmation, expectations or questions asked about your beliefs. Right?

    You wrote:

    I attended New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary [NOBTS] and I was taught Salvation by Grace. [...] I preach salvation by Grace and know of no one in my local Association that preaches another salvation.

    The SBC home page endorses your Alma Mater, NOBTS, whose web page displays a link, “Find Hope in Jesus” describing how to be saved. Among other statements it declares, on slide #5:

    The answer for our struggle with sin is Jesus.

    Jesus said, “Repent and believe in the Good News.” Mark 1:15

    Repent means to change the direction of your life, not just saying you’re sorry to God for your sin. It means to ask forgiveness and start living the way God wants you to live.

    The word “surrender” sums up the meaning. You surrender your life to live for Jesus.

    Jerry, I am shocked — those statements contain a lot of destructive teaching and advocate a pure “turn from sin” Lordship “salvation” stance. I am really curious to know if, you sincerely learned, believe and to this day preach that message from your NOBTS Alma Mater?

    Jerry, these questions are critical to understanding and preaching the clear free Grace Gospel and message. We do appreciate your refusal to back down in face of our mild “grilling.”

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  16. Jerry McGowin

    It would be helpful to focus on one item of disagreement.

    I am at a severe disadvantage. In general you know my theological background by my associations. I, on the other hand have no notion of yours. I thought that we shared a common belief that Salvation is by Grace alone.

    I stated:

    “Salvation is an almost Instantaneous event.” By this I mean more than you give me credit. The Spirit of God moves and the sinner acts I am linking all of this together.

    You stated,

    Jerry, God’s Word disagrees — salvation is not “almost” instantaneous. Our salvation is instantaneously sealed by God’s Holy Spirit the moment we believe. It is likewise guaranteed eternally:
    Ephesians 1:13
    “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,”

    There is no lapsed time period, no delay and no wait for our feelings between believing and eternal security – A believer is immediately Eternally Secure.

    Scripture, in the supernatural since does not use time in the same way we mere humans ( I almost used mortals but I was afraid that that might cause other problems from for you and our discussion.) I noticed you inserted the word “Instantaneous” the passage does not say that. I suggest that we do not venture to far into the weeds lest we become lost. (Not that I am suggesting you can lose your salvation, I believe once sealed you are eternally sealed.

    Do I think that you added to Gospel and will now be judged according to Revelation I do not but please let us be a little bit more forgiving if our definitions and terms do not match up perfectly.

    Is Repentance and the Act of Repentance important, I think that it is. Theologically speaking I believe Repentance is important for life long spiritual growth.

    I am will to attempt to answer your questions and dialogue with you one point at the time.

  17. Jerry McGowin

    john | December 5, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    I am baffled as to why anyone would associate with an organization with which they do not agree on the fundamentals of the Gospel.

    As you stated above , let me see if I can put this in perspective. I am a retired U.S. Army Chaplain, I am also a Kingdom Citizen and in my on small way I am trying with God’s help to be involved in building the HIS Kingdom, I desire to be a useful Citizen. I am also an American Citizen. Like the apostle Paul when it is beneficial to be American citizen I avail myself to its bounty (like Paul did with his Roman citizenship). Am I happy and satisified with the direction my nation is heading? No I am not. I did not vote for Obama or Mitt Romney. Since FL voted for Obama are you going to leave FL. I wouldn’t think that you would. Although it is an old saying and silly to a point I will bloom were I am planted.

  18. Jerry McGowin

    You said

    The SBC home page endorses your Alma Mater, NOBTS, whose web page displays a link, “Find Hope in Jesus” describing how to be saved. Among other statements it declares, on slide #5:

    The answer for our struggle with sin is Jesus.

    Jesus said, “Repent and believe in the Good News.” Mark 1:15

    Repent means to change the direction of your life, not just saying you’re sorry to God for your sin. It means to ask forgiveness and start living the way God wants you to live.

    The word “surrender” sums up the meaning. You surrender your life to live for Jesus.

    Jerry, I am shocked — those statements contain a lot of destructive teaching and advocate a pure “turn from sin” Lordship “salvation” stance. I am really curious to know if, you sincerely learned, believe and to this day preach that message from your NOBTS Alma Mater?

    I earned my Doctorate at an independent Seminary I did not agree with their teaching of the possibility of losing your salvation. Nevertheless I went there. Just because you went to a particular school does not mean you will agree to their every teaching.

    I also went to Public School I did not agree that man came from monkeys. I assume you went to Public School as well do you believe man came from monkeys?

  19. Jack, following is an excerpt from the statement of beliefs of the church I grew up in:

    “Our only hope is Gods free gift of salvation provided through Jesus’ death on the cross. When we repent of our sin, place our faith in Jesus, and surrender to Jesus as Lord we are saved.”

    This statement contradicts itself. It calls salvation “God’s free gift” and then says “when we repent of our sin, place our faith in Jesus, and surrender to Jesus as Lord we are saved.” It cannot be both a free gift and require that we agree to reform ourselves and surrender to Jesus as Lord.

    God cannot lie or contradict himself! Like the “Baptist Faith and Message”, the above statement contradicts itself. Therefore, it is not true and it is not of God. It is the vestige of a man-made religion of salvation by works. This message can save no one.

    I heard this message over and over and over again growing up. It was not until a couple of years ago that I realized that I had sincerely tried to believe a false gospel.

    I finally read a couple of Gospel explanations without the man-made additions. I remember asking myself: “where is the rest of it? The part about repenting from my sins and committing my life to Christ to be saved”? Then, I realized there was no “rest of it.” And I believed in Christ alone and was born again.

    I make this appeal to anyone who has been confused by an affiliate of the SBC or any other man-made religion. If you want to know the real Gospel, please read the short booklet entitled “The Gospel”, which is linked below. You will be glad you did.

    http://www.cleargospel.org/booklet.php?b_id=3

  20. Jerry,

    Public School? With all due respect, that is a specious argument — Public School is not a theological institute where one learns the doctrine of the school.

    In Jesus eternally, Jack

  21. Jerry,

    Thanks.

    Please show me in God’s Word where there is a time lapse between believing and being sealed by God’s Holy Spirit for anyone believing in Jesus alone for salvation. Not there.

    FYI, I graduated from Florida Bible College and ordained into the ministry by Florida Bible Church at age 41 in December, 1971 after having trusted Christ as my Savior in 1964 after hearing the Gospel of salvation by God’s Grace (not of works -Ephesians 2:8-10) at a Christmas Concert. By my faith in Jesus, I was instantly transformed from atheist to Heaven bound believer in Jesus Christ. I am now 83 — still sealed and saved — eternally.

    You said:

    Is Repentance and the Act of Repentance important, I think that it is.

    If you will, please explain the difference between Repentance and the Act of Repentance, specifically the different meaning (if any) of the words and where those words are found in Scripture. Jerry, I wonder if you may be doing what you accused me of doing — adding to God’s Word with that.

    About my beliefs and many of us here, you may read the links at the header of this web site, but specifically our Statement of Faith is here:
    http://www.expreacherman.com/statement-of-faith/

    You may see our statement on what the Bible says about how to be saved at:
    http://www.expreacherman.com/eternal-life-for-you/

    If you know someone who has lost all hope or needs encouragement, check out:
    http://www.expreacherman.com/what-is-bible-hope/

    In fact you may learn a lot about us and our beliefs if you would access each of the title links located in the header above and then scan our past posts here at ExPreacherMan.

    In Jesus eternally, Jack

  22. John,

    Great testimony of being rescued from the prison of works based “salvation.” Yours was certainly not a “Grace” teaching church.

    Almost sounds like you were in an SBC church.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  23. Jack, the SBC’s Calvinist roots and false LS gospel are the proverbial “elephant in the room.” So many people seem to think that they can coexist with the SBC, believe and teach grace, and not have the SBC’s error influence them.

    I have a few thoughts for SBC apologists to consider:
    1. Does your church accept “transfers by letter” from other SBC churches? If so, do you have any idea what your members believe?
    2. Does your church use SBC literature in its Sunday school classes?
    3. If I were to come into your church and teach free grace, would I be shown the door?
    4. Do you think that a “true believer” will “endure to the end”? That “their continuance in well-doing is the mark which distinguishes them from mere professors”?
    5. Do you think you have “mere professors” in your church? If so, do you think they are trying to deceive you, or do you think they have been deceived by your church into believing a false gospel?
    6. Do you think a non-believer who hears that he must “turn from sin” and “commit to Christ” in order to be saved is more or less likely to believe the real Gospel than someone who is told the truth?
    7. Do you want to fulfill the Great Commission? If so, why do you align with an organization that frustrates grace?
    8. Do you think that someone who believes in Christ alone is saved? Or, do you think that Free Grace is “easy believism”?
    9. Do you believe John 3:16 or do you believe the Baptist Faith and Message?
    10. Have you ever trusted in Christ alone?

  24. John ,That’s some strait shootin”” In calvinist roots you have God with a desired will…”get that a desired will, Yet calvinism says you cannot resist the will of God….Then if God’s desired will is to have all to come to repentance and be saved then why don’t all come to Him??? Oh Yeah, God also has a secret will which is in all reality what he really desires… this opposed the the fruit vineyard of the Lordship salvationist, you must show fruit ,,,,,,,,,Is fruit always seen??? isn’t the best fruit the fruit that only God and yourself know about………. MMmmm…. seems like strait shootin is not the Calvinist, lordship salvationist game…….I will twist any calvinist, or Lordship salvationist , sometimes they are intertwined, that’s even better, into a pretzal…… God is a strait shooter………. he says it like it is…he loves all sinners , he died for all sinners but only some sinners get it and it’s not because God causes them to get it…… wee mankind are responsible , god is merciful but we must throw ourselves on his mercy….. Love you guys, we are going to need each other more and more…….Peace

  25. Some of this comes down to a question of separation. One of the biggest things that concerns me is the accuracy of the gospel message. If Calvinism or the broader spectrum of Reformed Theology causes one to cloud or change the gospel message then I have no problem separating from those who do so. By this I mean that I would not try to co-operate in ministry with them. There is also a loss of fellowship that can come when people see things like the gospel differently.

    The real hard matter for some is that they aren’t really willing to come to terms with the prospect that Calvinism may actually lead to another gospel. For example: turn from your sins for salvation, make Jesus the Lord or King of your life, be willing to turn from you sin and go in a new direction, etc.

    It is not an easy thing to leave a church. I would also imagine that it would not be easy in some senses for a church to leave an association, convention, or denomination but I think it would be refreshing to see some churches distance themselves from the popular trend of New Calvinism and Lordship Salvation. The way I look at it is that far more is lost by being associated and around false gospels than is gained by trying to teach the truth amongst them. If you are teaching “free grace” in a church where the leadership primarily teaches “sovereign grace” or LS then you will surely find great frustration.

    The last I checked, the Bible only advocates one way to be saved and that is to believe the gospel. Only trusting in Christ can save. Don’t let people change conversion (the decision to trust Christ) to be about behavior, promises, reform, or any other external.

  26. So refreshing Jim amen

  27. Jim F and John,

    You both have shined light on the problem and the problematic dilemma with Grace preachers and constituents who see Truth yet consort with New/Old Calvinism and Lordship Salvation (SBC and other groups). Solution? Separate!!

    2 Corinthians 6:14
    “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”

    Several years ago when I was trying, in my own little way, to expose the Calvinist and LS lie separately, I was not cognizant of the pastors and churches who were slowly mixing the two — subverting further their already false message.

    So press forward with the Truth and expose the lie wherever it may be found.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  28. Jerry McGowin

    I pulled this from your link

    .17. Repent (metanoeo) means a change of mind. Repentance is absolutely essential in salvation and the Greek the word repent means a change of mind — from any idea of religion that man may have, to an acceptance of God’s way of salvation in Jesus Christ alone. Repentance does not in any sense include a demand for a change of conduct or “turning from sin” to gain or keep, before or after salvation as that would entail a works salvation message. Acts 20:21; II Corinthians 7:8-10; Matthew. 21:32.

    Is repentance a work? If so how does this effect your opposition to works in salvation?

    These items from your link I agree with almost 100% of these items.

  29. Jerry,

    Repentance is not a work.

    In Jesus eternally, Jack

  30. Jerry, welcome back!

    Salvation repentance is not a work, unless it is improperly defined. The improper definition of repentance is one of the fundamental errors of the SBC and a host of its member churches.

    The SBC says:

    “Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God.”

    NOT TRUE!

    From Clear Gospel Campaign:

    “Saving repentance has absolutely nothing to do with regretting your sins or resolving to turn from them. God is willing to save you just the way you are. The Bible says:

    While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8″

    AND

    “When used in the context of eternal salvation, repentance is a change of mind about Jesus Christ, and His eternal divinity, His atoning death, His victorious resurrection, and His offer of eternal salvation by faith alone, apart from the works of the law.”

  31. Thanks Jack and John for the concise clear statements. Thanks John for quoting Romans 5:8. I love that verse because it sums things up and it takes ALL the burden of salvation OFF of me. The entire verse reads, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” [for you, for me and for everyone else] I pray that many many people will trust in Christ alone for salvation. What a joy it is to know the Savior!

    Blessings to all who have commented.

  32. Something I read to my kids this morning and thought would put another light to the subject of repentance.
    Luke 5:1-11
    This chapter deals with the Lord teaching the multitudes and then getting into Peter Simons boat. You know the story- Jesus tells them to cast out nets into the deep water and they will catch fish. Peter doubts this man he calls Master, until the fish start coming in breaking the nets and overloading the boats. Now we see a whole different Peter when he states his sinful state and now calls Jesus, Lord. He saw that this was truly not a normal situation or a normal man. I believe that this is the point of Peters conversion. What we do not see is a pouring out of Peter of all his sinful deeds, but what we do see is that here Peter doubted who this man was and now his disbelief turns to belief. There was an obvious change of mind on who this Man was, not a full front confession of changing his ways or pouring out of all his sins. He just states simply “I am a sinful man” as knowing in totally of who he is and it is the doubt changing to belief that Jesus was looking for.

  33. Jerry McGowin

    How can one have a change of mind about Jesus if prior to salvation one can not know Him.?

    I guess like President Clinton (LOL) it depends on your definition of what is is.

  34. Jerry,

    That is exactly what the Bible and in this case specifically the gospel is for. The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to reveal Christ to the lost. It is their decision to change their mind and believe on Christ for salvation or reject it. If they already knew Him in the sense of salvation then why indeed would repentance (change of mind) be needed. This is my problem with people who advocated regeneration before faith.

  35. Jerry, I will assume you are REALLY interested, and not just playing games, and attempt to answer your question. Repent means to change your mind. The object of repentance can be anything.

    From Clear Gospel Campaign:

    “IF FAITH IS THE HAND THAT ACCEPTS SALVATION THROUGH JESUS CHRIST, REPENTANCE IS THE HAND THAT REJECTS SALVATION BY ANY OTHER MEANS.”

    Some of the objects of repentance associated with salvation are:

    1. The faulty belief that one’s Jewish ancestry will get him into heaven.

    Matthew 3:8-9 ” Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.”

    2. The faulty belief that one’s relative lack of sin will get him into heaven.

    Luke 13:4-5 “Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

    3. The faulty belief that one is sinless, and not in need of a Savior.

    Luke 5:31-32 ” And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

    4. The faulty belief that God is just another idol.

    Acts 17:29-30 “Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent”

    5. The faulty belief that one’s works are necessary to add to his salvation.

    Hebrews 6:1 “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God”

  36. Jerry wrote: “How can one have a change of mind about Jesus if prior to salvation one can not know Him.?”

    That makes the issue that, the two happen instantaneously. Repent in the context of salvation is a change of mind about the facts about the Lord Jesus Christ. The person gets the facts by understanding that Jesus is God, died to pay for our sins, rose again, and is the only way to heaven, based on faith alone in Jesus alone. When they believe that, they are saved.

  37. Matt for Grace and Truth

    Adding “repentance to sin” as a CONDITION of salvation is like this:

    If I say to you that I will give you this Christmas “gift” only if you commit to stop eating chocolate, that is not a gift, but a bargained for transaction, that is, a contract. By definition, a gift does not require any payment or action in return. A gift merely has to be received.

    The Bible states that salvation is a FREE GIFT that is received by simple faith alone. (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5).

  38. No chocolate?! Keep the gift; it can’t be done. :shock:

  39. Good analogy Matt…. There are no conditions to salvation, except to receive it. Jesus comes to the door and knocks, will you open it or keep it closed.
    I agree with Pearl, no chocolate- no way! :)

  40. The Gospel of Jesus is so simple, only simple minded men have so complicated it.

    Faith

  41. I was just poking around on the South Carolina Baptist Convention website and found a link to their “Media Library.”

    The intro to the library is as follows:

    “The Media Library of the South Carolina Baptist Convention is committed to serving churches. The Media Library is comprised of resources that you can request to use in your church. We invite you to take advantage of the valuable resources in this catalog.”

    The first item listed is:

    Beth Moore Studies (reference initials “BM”)

  42. Thanks John,

    Hmmmm…. Good ole Beth Moore, the Contemplative, Mystic, feel-good author who has taken churches by storm.

    It shows a tremendous lack of discernment on the part of church leadership —- or they are complicit.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  43. This is apropos of and an echo/verification of Abe’s comment from Dec. 5, 2012:

    As some may know, I left the Calvary Chapel I had been attending for almost 7 years at the end of May of this year. Other than the pastor and associate pastor, not one single person has since contacted me to check up on me. Not sure what to say about that.

    When I made my break part of it was because their web site had a confusing, LS “gospel” on it. Apparently the concerns I voiced before leaving have fallen on deaf ears because today I went against my better judgment and checked out their web site again. It’s gotten WORSE. From what I can tell, I found their equivalent of their “What must I do to be saved?” page, and below are the “highlights” (or should I say, “lowdarkness”?):

    “Jesus died for you. You can be saved by asking Him for forgiveness from your sins. If you are willing to repent of your sin, He is waiting to forgive you. It doesn’t matter what you have done in the past, if you cry out to Jesus for forgiveness, He will not reject you. The word “repent” literally means “to turn away from.” You need to look at your life, admit that you are a sinner, genuinely desire to turn your back on that sin, and ask Him to forgive you. If you do this, He promises to forgive you.

    “He can hear you now if you ask Him for forgiveness. Please turn your life over to Him NOW. Time slips by so quickly, don’t miss this opportunity. If you want to pray and ask Jesus to be your Savior, you can say a prayer something like this:

    “Jesus, I know that I have sinned against you. I know the truth is that I have sinned by my own choice, and I am the one responsible for it. I know that I have earned punishment from You, and that the fair punishment would be death. Jesus, I believe that You died in my place. Forgive me for my sin. I cannot cover or take my sin away, I am relying totally and only on You. You are the only one who can save me. I reject my sin, I turn away from it, I repent. Come into my life, take away my sin, and show me how to live my life in a way that is right and pleasing to You.”

    I did edit it for brevity. (Trust me–I didn’t leave anything out in order to slant their point of view one way or another.) I don’t know how to format these comments so I’m sorry if it’s at first hard to know where my words end and theirs begin.

    I don’t think it would be overkill for someone to pick that apart appropriately. Speaking for myself, I’m still in TRAINING and benefit from hearing false doctrine refuted over and over and over.

  44. FryingPan9, wow! Where would one even start? There is almost nothing in here that is right.

    I will address only one of the points, because I think it is extremely subtle in the way it goes beyond the requirements of the proper response to the Gospel:

    “I know that I have earned punishment from You, and that the fair punishment would be death.”

    My comment: One needs to know that the penalty for sin is eternal separation from God (death) in order to know he needs a Savior. One does not have to acknowledge whether or not he thinks it is “fair.” It is God’s judgment to make, not ours. One just has to know that’s the way it is.

    I like the way that Clear Gospel Campaign puts it:

    “An understanding and belief that one has sinned and fallen short of the standard required by God, and therefore, in need of a Savior (Matthew 9:12; 1st Corinthians 15:1-4).”

    And, the Statement of Faith from ExPreacherman:

    “Establish the fact that the penalty of sin is death. Romans 6:23; Ezekiel 18:20.”

  45. People hear ‘repent’ but what they REALLY hear is ‘repent from sins’.

    People now are redefining the meaning of repent as “turn away from your sins”…

    Then they serve a God who “turned away from His sins” in the Old Testament?

    The obvious eludes them I guess…

  46. it breaks my heart reading all these comments it shows what state the church is in. its a lukewarm compromising church shame on u especially the baptist churches who should know better, because they have fallen prey to this error we the sheep are scattered and have no church to go to how can we stay under this error and tolerate the false teaching. we keep getting told u must go to church and when u do they will not allow u to discern as it is negative and unloving spoken like true ecumenists. go along to get along not me even though it hurts and its lonely i can’t partake of this mess they are under. the calvanism is just seeping in so fast and i don’t really care if it splits the church i don’t think that a church split is a bad thing to divide those who will stand against the truth and those who don’t care for the truth. you just can’t fellowship with these people who don’t care for truth. they tell us just to focus on the love of god and not worry about all the error out their as god will deal with them. they are now embracing the wolves and eating with them instead of naming them and separating from them. oh come lord jesus come we are all so tired of the debates and battles all around us.

  47. I hear you, Mary.

    As someone (currently) w/out a good church to attend “physically and/or in person” one thing I constantly have to think about is how to give an answer for those who would try and twist my words into something they can “write off” as elitism and/or laziness and/or faithlessness, when the truth is I’m simply not willing to go somewhere that 1) can’t get the ABCs of the gospel straight and 2) cares more about “unity” (a false unity) than a sincere desire to promote the truth and protect the flock.

  48. Calvary Community Church , Has live streaming http://yankeearnold.com/?page_id=489

  49. What I have done for myself from my past experience and from the decline of the clarity of The Gospel is to adopt my own personal doctrinal statement. My personal doctrinal statement keeps me balanced and on square with the Free Grace Gospel.
    Every opportunity were someone asks me “where you go to church ” or “why are you not in a church ” is an opportunity to share The Gospel.
    In my experience people who ask them questions do not have assurance of salvation and or are tormenting themselves with a works gospel.
    A personal doctrinal statement helps to keep you away from tormenting your self from sitting under a wrong pulpit leader and to make sure the pulpit leader is square with the Gospel.

    2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
    2Ti 2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
    2Ti_2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

  50. Here in Mississippi it seems like the people’s own conservative mindset is their own worst enemy. what i mean by that is, they (i am guessing somewhat) equate simply believing as a liberal approach to being saved, that they must have some contribution along with saying they have trusted Christ as their savior they are proving this by their life and their good works (going to church, raising hard working children respectful, being active in the community, helping out charities, voting against any liberal and their political agenda, etc.) and people like billy graham, john macArthur all fall into this quality conservative mindset and they would never even consider the idea that what these men are preaching/teaching is cursed by the Bible. that is somewhat of an observation of mine it may not be completely accurate but again i am not a writer and find it hard at times to place thoughts into the correct ideas in written form.

  51. d taylor, I know what you mean. LS naturally appeals to social conservatives.

    This was kind of my point in writing the article called “The Full Armor of God versus the Contemporary Christian Costume.”

    I love Chick-fil-A and am politically conservative, but I think that God transcends political partisanship.

    I also think the end is near, but I don’t hoard precious metals, food, guns, or ammo.

  52. John a typical discussion around here usually goes like this a person automatically equates liberals = not a christian whereas republican = christian.

    The baptist churches around here are republican (mostly) and episcopalians usually liberals (theology and politically) and presbyterians have split–the more conservative group formed their own church (calvinist theology and conservative politically) the other presbyterians (first church) is liberal calvinist in their theology and probably split politically and Methodist, a little bit of both theologies and politics with mostly conservative in their politics not sure about their theology probably close to the baptist.

    and when people like macarthur, idleman and other lordship people equate simple faith with the idea that, that is a liberal salvation by equating easy believism with faith they have sold the lie to the conservative with great acceptance.
    i notice in this his last message to America the cross video (my hope with billy) he gets the emotions going with the patriotism and dramatic life changing testimonies and the call for Americas only hope is to turn back to God. Then hits them with the believe in Christ (he defines believe as commitment 23:15 in the cross video) then goes into the turn from sin. just one big emotional lie

  53. I just started reading this below :

    Manipulating Christians through Group Dynamics
    “Ever since the birth of the church Christians have had to contend with doctrinal errors, man-centered movements, and various heresies. The early church had to deal with Gnosticism (secret knowledge through mystical experience) at one end and Judaism (legalism) at the other. Nevertheless the Bible declares that the gates of hell will not prevail against the true church (Matt. 16:18). But while we have this blessed assurance, the Bible also warns of deception that can sidetrack a believer and build a counterfeit form of Christianity (Matt. 24).

    How are individuals drawn into a counterfeit Christianity? It often begins with the ways people normally interact with one another to persuade others to a point of view or to draw them into a group. It may be through invitations, compliments, encouragement, bonding, relationship, and other means of human interaction. However, once people are drawn into a particular group, the dynamics of the group come into play. Over the years we have seen the rise of group movements that use various manipulative means to entice, persuade, intimidate, and captivate. Therefore Christians need to be aware of those interpersonal activities that can serve as snares enticing them into false doctrine.”

  54. “Just as in the Garden, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life are all in place today for vulnerable Christians to respond to such promises: the lust of the eyes to see Jesus before the time through emotional experiences and visualization; the lust of the flesh for fast spiritual progress, for spiritual power, for profound experiences with God; and the pride of life, of being admired, super spiritual, and spiritually powerful. And, like the siren songs of Lorelei, the enchanters lure Christians to shipwreck themselves on the subtleties of Satan. Like the early Gnostic Christians, these sorcerers of the soul claim to have superior spiritual knowledge to dispense to all who will follow them. However, they are Pied Pipers and protagonists for false and fleshly ways.”

  55. d taylor, you said: “…a typical discussion around here usually goes like this a person automatically equates liberals = not a christian whereas republican = christian.”

    My comment: Here too. And, there is no way that the “strait gate” spoken of in Matthew 7:13 is the republican party.

  56. Curtis, I agree that Satan enchants Christians into counterfeit forms of Christianity.

    Just to be clear, though, someone who has never trusted in Christ alone is not a Christian who’s faith has become shipwrecked. He is a non-believer who has no hope of heaven unless he trusts in Christ alone as his Savior.

    I can’t remember a time in my life in which I didn’t believe that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and was raised from the dead. However, it wasn’t until about three years ago that I realized what “for our sins” really meant. My hope of salvation was resting on a commitment I made to Jesus when I was in my twenties – one that I didn’t keep very well. I spent more than 20 years trying to look back to that moment to determine whether I had been sincere in my commitment at that time, and whether I had really repented of my sins. I honestly knew that I could never muster up a more sincere commitment. And yet, I never had much peace of mind regarding my eternal destiny. I thought maybe I just wasn’t cut out to be a Christian. The truth was, I wasn’t saved. I had never trusted in Christ alone.

    After reading some clear gospel explanations (without any of the LS additions), I realized that God did not want, need, nor require my commitment. I realized that God did not require that I repent of my sins to be saved. I realized that salvation was a gift, not a trade. And I trusted in Christ as my Savior, not as my helper.

    I will offer several more clearly articulated quotes on this matter.

    1. Matthew 7:13-14:

    “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

    2. Clear Gospel Campaign:

    “…we affirm that a lost sinner must, at some time in his life, believe on Christ alone, apart from the works of the law, for his salvation, and that apart from such an authentic moment of saving faith, there is no hope of salvation.”

    3. Tom Cucuzza:

    “Don’t put the cart before the horse. You’ll end up in hell.”

    4. J.O. Hosler:

    “Rat poison works because it tastes good to rats. It is mostly made of good nutritious meal and a little bit of poison. Satan wants me to take something that is good and wholesome of which every Christian should be engaged and then say: “This will save you.” This is poison. There is a story of a man trying to escape an insane asylum but his window was too high from the ground. There was a closet of sheets in his room so he tied them all together into a rope. He tied one end to his bed post and lowered the rope. It was too short. If he dropped from the end of it he would break his legs. Suddenly he remembered his old lucky pajama bottoms that were thread bare. He tied one leg to his bed and the other leg to his strong rope, grabbed the rope and jumped out the window. You can guess the rest. This is what will happen if you read this book as a lost person and attempt to tie the filthy rags of your own righteousness to the perfect righteousness of God and conclude that this will save you. If you are already saved and read this book and convert to preaching this kind of a gospel, you will spend the rest of your life preaching a gospel that will save no one and there will be no reward for this at the Judgment Seat of Christ.”

  57. Amen
    I believe I have trusted Christ Jesus as my personal Saviour since 1985
    it is a long testimony from there , maybe I should Write a blog how I got tangled up in LS. I do know after a road to Damascus type encounter August 9th 210 in my back yard. November 2011 at a revival ministry that preached “repent of sin’s” for salvation , something happened and I have not been the same since. When I heard “repent of sin’s ” I knew something was wrong , Jesus paid for my sin’s passed present and future for salvation , My sin is to be condemned to Hell , not toyed around with . My focus is to be on Christ’s finished work and who I am in Christ , Yes I know I am a sinner stop trying to learn me what I already know. Grace teaches me to live by. Perfecting holiness.

    2Co 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

  58. d taylor, in response to what you said: “…a typical discussion around here usually goes like this a person automatically equates liberals = not a christian whereas republican = christian.”

    John’s comment was: “My comment: Here too.”

    Let me echo John’s comment. That’s been my experience here in Middle Tennessee as well.

    Before leaving the Calvary Chapel I attended for almost 7 years, someone in our congregation was given the pulpit to discuss the re-election of Barack Obama and how he felt it would affect Christians, etc. What “got to me” was the assumption that everyone in the congregation was conservative, or at least open to the idea of a church pulpit being turned over to champion the “Conservative Christian” position. (Whether or not I’m conservative or liberal is beside the point.) Sure enough, one person got up and basically stormed out in the middle of his speech, (presumably) never to be heard from again.

  59. Curtis, you wrote:

    “November 2011 at a revival ministry that preached “repent of sin’s” for salvation , something happened and I have not been the same since. When I heard “repent of sin’s ” I knew something was wrong (.)”

    Thank you for sharing this. It really struck a chord with me. My “similar” experience, in terms of me “knowing something was wrong” (and not being the same since) came while watching Ray Comfort’s “Way of The Master” program before I well, knew what I was doing. Or, more accurately, put, had forgotten what I was doing, so to speak–I was at this point a very confused, one time true believer under the curse of LS teaching, without knowing it.

    Basically Ray said something that caused me to have a major knot in my stomach. (It’s basically an echo of things others on this blog have posted about Ray where he teaches that Matt: 7:21-23 applies to Christians who aren’t “serious” about their commitment to Jesus, etc.) It prompted me to find Ray on the Internet and email him.

    In don’t recall hearing Ray say, “turn from your sins” literally in this particular instance while watching Way of The Master, (though you will hear him say it plenty if you have the stomach to watch him on Youtube-not recommended). But it was “turn from sins for salvation” in THEME through and through.

    Anyway, all I really wanted to say it that I also had a “This doesn’t sit well with my spirit” type of experience that eventually lead me to this blog and therefore sound doctrine re the true gospel message and soon thereafeter reclaiming the freedom I’d long ago forgotten because of all sorts of bad doctrine I allowed to pollute my mind.

  60. Amen FryPan thanks for the witness. I choose not to hear LS and am careful what I hear and read. I listened to a sermon I thought was free grace but was laced with LS. I couldn’t sleep and was troubled and didn’t know why. Then brothers pointed out I was listening to a LS laced sermon.
    that messed me up for a time but I am all the more wise now

    “A Free Grace Oasis; a fellowship of believers in eternal salvation by Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.”
    this is an Oasis here and am growing sharper and sharper in my discernment and am recovering my lost ground cleansing my souls from the pollution.
    I did a lot of searching as well while I was troubled for truth and found this blog and the “the clear gospel”

  61. fryingPan thanks for the comment i believe or i hope any free grace believer in the south may see and understand what is going on in the visible church with this combining of politics into their version of the gospel.

  62. John, in one of his videos, Ray Comfort literally says, “stop sinning” (I guess he claims his last sin was around 30 years ago). What can you expect from a t.v. ‘evangelist’ who packages his book with female heretic Joyce Meyer?

  63. Holly, I am glad my salvation is not dependent on my ability or willingness to stop sinning, but on imputed righteousness:

    Romans 4:7-8: “Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”

  64. I am a member of a baptist church in mississippi grew up n this church and as of late have stoped going because the pastor promotes at best confusing teachings concerning the Bible. if there was a free grace close to home i would move my membership but there is not and baptist churches do not take a person off the roll unless you die or move membership. I say all that to say because being a member i receive their weekly new and views and that is what this post is about last week november 11-15 in the news and views was an article by the executive director-treasurer he writes an article each week. any way i am posting a link to the article below, so as not to make this post to long the writeup was titled Religion Shopping.

    i sent an email to Mr Futral about a few of his statements in the article.

    Below is my email i sent to him and then below my email, is his reply and as you can see it seems like to me, either in his reply he really does not either see the errors or does not want to discuss the problems i mention or my email was not clear and i need to better compose my thoughts.
    my email.
    i just hope to continue confronting the problem here in mississippi, hoping eventually some one will listen.

    Mr Futral
    Being a believer, i have over the last year or two have been trouble about the presentation of what a person must do to receive eternal life/salvation by baptist.
    Your writeup the week of November (Religion Shopping) again brings to light the problems of baptist and their understanding of what a person must do to receive eternal life.
    As i have studied, what does the Bible say a person must do to receive eternal life and i began this because churches are presenting very different ideas in this area and these ideas are not lining up to what the Bible teaches the changes are very subtle and require close study of verses in their context.
    (Below is a section of his write up i put in my email to him as to high lite the area i am speaking about in my email i had this section in italics in my email )
    in your writeup you said this below. you say
    I sought to solidly present the Good News from heaven in Jesus Christ that our sins can be forgiven because of His sacrificial gift to us on the cross. Jesus is alive and well and that a commitment to Him brings about not just a religious activity that we participate in but a complete walk of life in faith and confidence day after day. I suppose it began to sound like a sermon so it wasn’t long before the conversation was over.

    you say that you sought to solidly present the good news. your good news presented not what the Bible teaches, that a person receives eternal life by Faith alone in Christ alone. You add the work of commitment to your gospel.
    not once in the Bible will a person find, when a condition is given for an unbeliever to receive eternal life the act of commitment. the work of commitment is always found in the discipleship(sanctification) area of a believers life not as a requirement for an unbeliever to become a believer and receive eternal life.

    (Below is a section of his write up i put in my email to him as to high lite the area i am speaking about in my email i had this section in italics in my email )
    as the article continues i read this below.
    Thirdly, consider the faith that sets Christianity apart from all other religions. The more you learn about world religions the more you will understand that there are some with good qualities and some not so good but nearly without exception they require you to live up to some standard of walk and lifestyle that enables you to attain rightness before God and eternal life. The problem is that regardless of how good you live you cannot undo one sin. All of the goodness does not overcome one sin. Our God made all of the provisions for our sins to be paid for and forgiven if we would trust Him. Romans 10:9 says, “If thou shall confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” If you trust that God has made the provisions and as a sinner you claim Him as your Lord, He will save you. It is all by faith and not by works. It is not payments that you may make and it is not a host of good deeds. It is by trusting God.

    It is interesting you speak of faith in the write up but i am guessing by this article you define faith for salvation as commitment, confession, making Christ Lord of ones life(you claim Him as your Lord). the Bible defines faith for a person to receive eternal life, as trust that is it, nothing is added to faith and is defined as the simple act of trust. A unbeliever trust that Jesus is the Messiah (Christ) and by The Messiah’s life, death and resurrection he has the authority to give eternal life to all who will trust in Him for that eternal life and by that faith a unbeliever becomes a believer.

    Why confuse an unbeliever with language/words requirements(commitment, confession, making Christ Lord of ones life) meant for the believer in the area discipleship.

    As the paragraph closes you close with trusting God, if i was reading this as an unbeliever i would not know what i must do, is it commitment, confession, making Christ Lord or is it placing my trust in Christ for eternal life. They are not the same

    The presentation to unbelievers must be 100% crystal clear each time, other wise we have people walking around trying to work their way to eternal life and placing their faith in acts they are doing and not in the only object of faith and that is Christ alone.

    david taylor
    Greenwood Ms

    now his reply to my email

    Dear David,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to read the article on Religion Shopping in The Baptist Record and for sharing your thoughts with me in your email. Obviously, you have come to know the one and only Savior, Jesus, and are seeking to grow in His likeness. I pray that the Lord will bless you as you keep on loving Him, Serving Him and blessing others.
    Thankfully yours,
    Jim Futral

  65. God bless you, d taylor, for doing the Lord’s work and earnestly contending for the faith once delievered to the saints.

    I make it a point to keep my comments about things that bother me to a minimum for what are probably obvious reasons to some.

    But when I read Mr. Futral’s reply to your concerns, the following words come to mind:

    Obfuscation
    Pathetic
    Typical
    Disappointing
    Frustrating
    Inexcusable
    Lame

    To name several . . .

  66. David You have the Truth of The Gospel , Hold Fast
    2Ti 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

    Thank you for sharing your testimony , 3 years ago this month I was awakened to the Truth of The Gospel myself as well.

    In my experience as well most Pastors and or Leaders that are in Salvation error when confronted with the Truth of the Gospel will go silent or just use a coined phrase of blessing to silence you.
    Many have the courage of their opinions few the courage to abandon their opinions to God’s Word

    keep up the good work David

    Curtis

  67. thanks and hope this will encourage/help more free grace believers take a position against erroneous teaching
    it just behooves me that something needs to said in hopes that some one will question what is being taught in baptist churches and maybe the members (the ones that do believe in free grace) of the baptist churches will begin to ask each other and possibly their pastors are we really being taught correctly as you can with this persons reply there is a effort ahead.

    on another note i came across this today not sure if yall have seen this before the link below is to a list of church of christ members.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:American_members_of_the_Churches_of_Christ

  68. D Taylor,

    Interesting — that list is certainly NOT any recommendation for the Biblical wisdom and discernment of those “famous folks,” since Church of Christ is a “works for salvation” preaching church.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

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