Of all of the idioms on the subject of trust, there is one that seems to capture the essence of Lordship “salvation” (LS): I trust him as far as I can throw him.
The meaning of this idiom is that when you say you trust someone as far as you can throw him, you really don’t trust him at all.
Before we move on, I will address something unusual about this idiom. According to “The Phrase Finder”, most people who use this expression use it incorrectly:
If you search the expression in Google, you will discover something very odd. A large proportion of those using the expression use it incorrectly, as “I DON’T trust him as far as I can throw him,” thus depriving the sentence both of meaning and of the sardonic wit that inspired it.
For those who understand and believe the gospel, the applicability of the above idiom to Lordship “salvationists” (LSers) is likely to be readily apparent. And, the fact that this idiom is mostly used incorrectly is analogous to the fact that most people, including LSers, present the gospel incorrectly.
Let’s ground ourselves in what LS is. LS is essentially salvation by works. But, it wraps itself around the name of Christ in order to camouflage itself as Christianity. Below is a good working definition of LS:
LS is the unsupportable belief that the PERFORMANCE of works, the PROMISE of works, or the EVIDIENCE of works must accompany faith in Christ in order to establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life.
Because of its focus on works, behavioral change, good intentions, and the like, LS is not really faith in Christ at all. LS is trusting Jesus as far as you can throw him.
Following are three ways that LS dogma changes the gospel of Jesus Christ into a false gospel of works.
Redefining Faith in Christ
Redefining faith in Christ is one of the more subtle ways to undermine the gospel and to keep people lost. Popular terms for redefining faith in Christ include “head faith versus heart faith” and “intellectual faith versus saving faith.” While these terms may sound clever and appealing, they are nothing more than a negation of what the Bible teaches.
John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Charles Stanley, a popular Southern Baptist pastor, redefines faith in Christ this way in his sermon outline from “A Saving Faith”:
Intellectual Faith (Natural Faith) – Believing something is true without proof or commitment.
It isn’t enough to simply believe in the actions of Jesus Christ or the abilities of God. True saving faith is more than that; it is a personal relationship with the Savior.
What Charles Stanley says above is not what the Bible says. Charles Stanley is teaching that faith implicitly involves commitment and that saving faith is a personal relationship with the Savior, whatever that is supposed to mean. The Bible says that one receives eternal life, that can never be lost or forfeited, by trusting in Christ alone as Savior.
Inability to Distinguish between Faith in Christ and Faith in Works
The Bible teaches that eternal life is a gift, received through faith in Christ.
 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.
But, the inability to distinguish between faith in Christ and faith in works is pervasive within professing Christendom.
Consider the following quote from evangelical icon and LSer Billy Graham’s recent book “The Reason for My Hope”:
I am afraid that many Christians, in their zeal to share their faith in Christ, have made the Gospel message of making disciples for Him too simple. Just to say “believe in Christ” can produce a false assurance of the hope of Heaven. Jesus spoke often about the gift of eternal life. To make it clear, He said, “Count the cost.”
What Billy Graham says is not what the Bible says. There is no cost to us for the gift of eternal life. Otherwise, it would no longer be a gift.
Looking for Works to determine if Christ Can be Trusted
The Bible teaches that one can know, with absolute certainty, that he has eternal life the moment he believes in Jesus as Savior.
John 5:24: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
This seems crystal clear, yet the LS community won’t have any of it. Their mantra is more akin to the cold war era statement of US President Ronald Reagan: Trust but verify.
Consider the following false doctrine from “The Baptist Faith and Message”:
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.
This message is false, because it conditions the receipt of eternal life on a person’s endurance, or perseverance.
Charles Stanley, who we discussed above, served two terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), which adheres to “The Baptist Faith and Message.” He further punctuates the SBCs false belief in perseverance with the following false statement (from his sermon outline “A Saving Faith”):
Even demons and the devil believe and have intellectual faith. We must both believe and bear fruit.
Here, Stanley states unequivocally, that works are required to get into heaven. This is in direct contradiction to what the Bible teaches. In other words, Stanley teaches that one cannot trust in Christ’s finished work on his behalf until he sees that good works, or a changed life, have materialized.
Maybe you grew up in churches where some of these false notions were taught. Maybe you have trusted in the false gospels of men instead of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Maybe you have trusted in Christ as far as you can throw Him.
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