Lordship Salvation: The Devil is in the Details
By: our dear friend, John
A friend of mine recently brought me a parenting magazine he had picked up from his Southern Baptist church. He pointed me to an article entitled “Should We Stop Asking Jesus into Our Hearts?” The article was a series of excerpts from the book of the same title; written by J.D. Greear, lead pastor of the Summit Church in Raleigh, NC.
In reading the article, I was reminded of a couple of old adages.
The first adage is “the devil speaks with a forked tongue.” Greear aids and abets the evil one by mixing Biblical truths with his LS-slanted opinions and quotes from other shameless promoters of LS, including Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
Consider the following excerpt:
“In his parable about the different types of soil, Jesus spoke of a group who heard his word and made an initial, encouraging response of belief, only to fade away over time. These are those, Jesus explained, who hear the gospel and respond positively to it—pray the prayer, walk the aisle, get baptized, or do whatever new converts in your church do. They remain in the church for a period of time. But they do not endure when the sun of persecution comes out and will not in the end be saved.”
Jesus did not say that these people “will not in the end by saved.” Those are Greear’s words, and they reflect an LS orientation. That LS orientation is corroborated by the following quote, which reveals Greear’s belief in the Calvinist/LS false doctrine of “perseverance of the saints”:
“The apostle John almost always talks about “believing” in the present tense because it is something we do continually, not something we did once in the past…The posture begins at a moment, but it persists for a lifetime.”
Which brings us to our second adage: “The devil is in the details.”
Like virtually all Lordship “Salvationists”, Greear pays lip service to belief in the Gospel, but then betrays that belief by what else he says.
First, the lip service:
“Salvation is not given because you prayed a prayer correctly, but because you have leaned the hopes of your soul on the finished work of Christ.”
Then, the betraying twist:
“Repentance means understanding that Jesus is Lord and that you have lived in cosmic treason to him and reversing your direction based on that.”
Greear’s definition of repentance to include “reversing your direction” is code for turning from sins for salvation, making Christ Lord of your life for salvation, and so on. He repeatedly uses the term “posture” toward Christ (I counted at least six) as a way of expressing this flawed belief system. The word posture is never used in the New Testament.
As a follow-up, I read Trevin Wax’s interview with Greear, from January 31, 2013. Following is a telling quote:
“Disciples of Jesus are the ones who are saved; not those who go through a ritual.”
And from Mark Driscoll’s interview with Greear from March 26, 2013:
“…I would ask them if their present posture is one of submission to Christ’s Lordship and trust in his finished work. If so, they are saved, even if they don’t remember the prayer or the moment they got into that posture.
Second, I would ask them to consider whether the signs of eternal life are present in them. As John explains so thoroughly in 1 John, conversion does not bring sinless perfection, but it does begin to make fundamental changes in the human heart.”
Greear reveals, with these comments, his errant belief that discipleship and evidence of a changed life are requirements for salvation.
My friend who brought me Greear’s article did not buy into it. But, the article is indicative of the kinds of false information that millions of people are being fed in their churches every week. In fact, Greear has received glowing recommendations from a veritable “who’s who” of Lordship “salvationists”, and is a prominent leader in the Southern Baptist Convention.
We must pray for those who preach the gospel faithfully, and be vigilant in exposing false doctrine and false teachers.
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