Who Makes These Errors?

Which four organizations promote these doctrinal errors in their own written statements?

I have highlighted the errors. Notice the amazing similarities.

Answers and links to the organizations are at the bottom of this post. Try guessing first.

(1) My Comment — Error upon error upon error.

There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.”

“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.”


My Comment: We do not accept Christ as Lord.. We recognize and believe that Christ IS THE Lord God Almighty and trust Christ alone as our Savior. Likewise, salvation is not by turning from sin nor by committing our “entire personality to Him as Lord.”

(2) My Comment — This one defines their version of Lordship salvation and incorrectly uses the word “repent.” Their statement on How to Become a Christian:

“Here is how you can receive Christ:

Be willing to turn from your sins (repent).”

“Through prayer, invite Jesus Christ to come in and control your life through the Holy Spirit. (Receive Him as Lord and Savior.)”


My Comment: “Willing to turn from sin” is not a requirement for salvation. A person does not ” invite Jesus Christ to come in and control your life” for salvation.

(3) My Comment — The Statement “repent of our/your sins” for salvation is not in the KJV Bible. However this statement says:

“……….we are all predestined to be saved if we repent of our sins and accept by faith the relationship of love that God offers to us.”

My Comment: No one is “predestined to be saved” under any circumstance and again, “repent of our sins” is not a requirement for salvation in Christ.


(4) My Comment — Mixing Salvation by faith with Lordship/Discipleship.

A person might be truly born again without explicitly considering the cost of following Christ, but no one can be saved who counts the cost and is unwilling to pay it.”

The problem with easy-believism is not that it will keep God’s elect from getting saved, but that it allows people who are not genuine Christians to live comfortably with a false assurance”


My Comment: God’s salvation does not require that we “follow Christ” or “pay the price.” Salvation is God’s FREE Gift. (Ephesians 2:8-9) It is easy to believe in Jesus.

Answers from their own links to web sites and documents:

(1) Southern Baptist Convention Statement of Faith

(2) Billy Graham Crusades

(3) Presbyterian Church USA

(4) John Macarthur – Grace to You

What do you think? Let’s talk about it.

See our web site — honestly how to have eternal life

55 responses to “Who Makes These Errors?

  1. Yes they do (need to reform). Although he was quoting some of the reformers, he was not, looks like he is a Catholic. I told him I knew his fruits were bad. because he never once pointed anyone to Christ or His Word, but instead pointed people to men’s words or to trust in the quality of their faith.

  2. Holly, the reformed pastors mostly need to reform their false gospels.

  3. Yesterday a reformed pastor and author asked his audience what they were doing practically to help their church’s ‘allegiance’ align with Jesus’ ‘kingship’ beyond other loyalties. (Allegiance is a word he highlights in one of his books). He said he was looking for ideas to share.

    So a woman reformed ‘pastor’ said:

    I preached on Matt 22 Wedding Feast today. Explained that you can’t be a citizen of you don’t act like one, but in more detail…

    His response?

    wait, you mean our bodily actions (habitual and otherwise) matter? (Wink). Well done

    The responses were mainly about how they were preaching liturgically, or accusing others, or trying not to offend those in their audience who were ‘nationalists’ (presumably those who celebrated July 4th, based on what some of them were saying).

    One said he was going to preach on a book, whose theme was ‘God against the Revolution: The loyalist clergy’s case against the American Revolution).

  4. No wonder some of the people around them claimed atheism later. Who could want to even try if they were honest?

    Makes me angry.

  5. chas, there is also this:

    God loves you so much that He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for your sins. If you believe in Him, turn from your sins, and make Jesus the Lord of your life, you will have eternal life with Him in Heaven.

    My comment: This is a false gospel of works. The Bible never conditions receipt of eternal life on turning from one’s sins, nor making Jesus Lord of one’s life.

  6. The link for the Billy Graham Crusades quote is broken as well, but from the “What We Believe” page of the BGEA there is this…

    “We believe that all men everywhere are lost and face the judgment of God, that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation, and that for the salvation of lost and sinful man, repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ results in regeneration by the Holy Spirit.”

    The link:

  7. Hi John, yes similar experience with me on finding Jack’s ‘What is Grace’ article. I always had a heavy heart reading other websites and when I first saw that page I almost punched the air with relief/joy as it reflected the Grace I believed I was saved under originally, but then had fallen foul of faulty teaching since.

    Back in 2004 I had a ‘lost my salvation’ panic/depression which lasted about 6 months and was terrifying (i.e. going through a bad patch + bad teaching + satan getting his timing spot-on = condemnation). I scoured the internet for relief but there was not much help back then, most sites just seemed to confirm ‘yep, sorry mate, you’ve lost it’. Eventually the cloud passed, thank the Lord. But things like that damage you to some extent. The cloud kept returning every now and then to torment me and, I have to say, the only consistent relief so far has come from this site and tuning into Yankee Arnold’s preaching.

    Surely there is sound teaching somewhere on the planet, and hopefully I’ve found some of it (even if it took eleven years).

  8. Keith, agree completely. I don’t know how someone concerned about the gospel is not outraged by its corruption.

  9. Jason, ageee. I have seen lots of criticism of both BIlly Graham and the SBC, but generally on tangential issues.

    Jack Weaver was one of the only ones I could find who “pinned the tail on the donkey.”

  10. Criticism of Billy Graham actually was very common but not usually focused on his getting the very gospel wrong.

  11. John, I continue to be amazed at the number of people who continue to sit before SBC pulpits week after week and not only listen to the false doctrine which issues forth but also support it financially. If the pastors of these churches denied the virgin birth or the resurrection, many of these same people would be outraged. The errors of LS are just as serious, just more subtle.

  12. Hobbs, this was one of the first (if not the first) articles at Expreacherman that I had ever read. I had been searching the internet for the obvious error that I could see with the SBC, once I became a believer. I couldn’t seem to find anyone else who would call out the SBC, Billy Graham, etc. for their corruption of the gospel message.

    I am still very suspicious of churchianity.

  13. It seems like nearly all ‘Christian’ websites and ‘Christian’ teaching is designed to subtly undermine a believer’s simple trust in Christ as Saviour. It’s everywhere, and it seems so evil. No surprises why that is of course. But we’re going to have to go around this same insane merry-go-round probably for the rest of our lives. What joy! Tempts one to want to want to jettison Christendom from one’s experience altogether to get some peace.

    ‘Don’t it make you wanna crawl back to the womb
    Find a sanitarium
    Rent yourself a room
    This overload is edging me further out to sea
    I need to put some distance between overkill and me’

    – Bernie Taupin (!)

    Sorry, it’s my fault, I foolishy Googled ‘Count the Cost’ after reading this article. Ended up at ‘The Gospel Way’ website.

    Abandon hope all ye who enter it?

  14. The link for the John Macarthur comment has been removed. A lot of sites frequently do that to keep people from following up to see if they really said it. Here is the link for Macarthur’s statement.
    …. no one can be saved who counts the cost and is unwilling to pay it.

  15. Pingback: Southern Baptists’ Fragile Détente: The Fight over Competing False Gospels, Calvinism and Lordship “Salvation” | Notes From A Retired Preacher

  16. One additional thoughts on being converted – I believe being converted is the consequence of believing in Christ.

    Ron Shea had this to say regarding Acts 3:19:

    “Object of that repentance: ..The only thing that can be inferentially regarded as the object of repentance within this passage is the gospel of Jesus Christ. To repent, to “change one’s mind” in a saving way, is to go from unbelief to belief. To change from rejecting Christ to accepting Christ.

    Consequence of Repentance: “Be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.” The context is plainly soteriological. Moreover, the rhythm and meter of this passage is profoundly similar to Acts 3:38. Peter is speaking, his audience is a crowd of Jews to whom he has ascribed some level of culpability for the crucifixion of Jesus, they are told the essential facts of Jesus death and resurrection, they are invited to repent, and they are offered the remission of sins.”


  17. John Gregory, provided the turning in another direction is to turn to faith in Christ, then I can accept that definition. If turning (converting) means either a change in behavior or a promise of a change in behavior, then it is a work or promise of a future work. I think Northland Bible Baptist Church has a very good statement on repentance:

    “(16) Repent (metanoeo) means a change of mind. Repentance in salvation means a change of mind from any idea of religion that man may have and to accept God’s way of salvation. Repentance does not in any sense include a demand for a change of conduct before or after salvation. Matthew 21:32, Acts 20:21, 2 Corinthians 7:8-10, Eph 2:8-9, Rom 4:5, Rom 5:8, John 3:16-18, Gal 3:10-12, Acts 16:25-31, Rom 11:29.

    One of the counterfeits Satan is using today is the misuse of the word “repent”. To insist upon repentance that in any sense includes a demand for a change of conduct either toward God or man is to add an element of works or human merit to faith. Penance is payment for sin. Penitence is sorrow for sin. Works add something of self in turning from sin. But repent (metanoeo) means a change of mind. Nowhere does Scripture use the phrase “repent of sin” to be saved.”

  18. John Gregory

    One small point. Correct you are concerning repentance. The changing of
    the individual’s mind. Turning Is different! Peter says (Acts 3:19) to repent and be converted. Psalms 19:7, in the Septuagint says “The Law is perfect,
    converting the soul”, In both instances the word used for convert is the
    Greek word ‘epistrepsate’ which means simply to change directions.
    To be going in one direction and because of whatever reason turn in
    another direction on your journey. Change your mind which is followed
    by a turning (Converting) into a different direction. Repenting and
    converting are neither considered works. Please correct me if I am wrong.
    God bless,
    John Gregory

  19. John,

    Thanks for your research and other personal notes to me. I cannot imagine any believer in Jesus Christ, who affirms a Free Grace theology, advocating for Spurgeon — especially if they read several of his sermons. Also, he was an obvious Calvinist.

    Keep up the good work.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  20. The “prince of preachers” Charles Haddon Spurgeon made all of these errors, yet he is claimed by some less than dilligent folks in free grace circles as having taught salvation by faith alone. Spurgeon was a dyed-in-the-wool bi-lateral contract (aka Lordship) salvationist, as can be easily discerned by looking up “What it is to Win a Soul” in the Spurgeon archive.

    There is a clear and present danger in the careless adoption of free grace foes as free grace advocates. The danger is that the reader may distrust other things that he reads on free grace sites.

    I have even seen references to daily devotionals from Spurgeon on free grace sites. Whether one believes in grace, Lordship salvation or something else, he should be consistent in his beliefs.

    I believe in salvation by grace, through faith in Christ. I don’t include in my definition of faith turning from sins, willingness to turn from sins, etc. If Spurgeon ever believed this, he later railed against it in his sermons.

    The other thing to keep in mind is that the mainstream churches are often now (and have been in the past) like the mainstream media. They spin and distort, maybe even without knowing that they are doing it.

  21. So do I, even he disagreed with his earlier writtings due to immaturity! I read his biography last year, quite a journey, but he died for his stand for Jesus! Not a bad way to go, I’m thinking!

    In Christ, and I’m looking forward to Eternity! Wanna’ go?


  22. G’Morning TMW,

    My point is that a person has a will.. to do or not to do.

    An inanimate object has no will.. Nee’s “hose” illustration intimated that we are at the disposal of the Holy Spirit despite our will or desire. Not accurate.

    Thus our willing obedience to God’s Word alone is our guide.

    Incidentally, just for the record to my readers, Watchmen Nee and I disagree on several points of theology..

    In Christ eternally,


  23. Morning, ExP- The only comparison is a poor example(in that it is not complete) but even Jesus used inanimate things to describe a function, i.e. a lamp, salt…
    All I was trying to point out was that the works of G*D should flow through us, the motive is always love!
    And the closer we cleave to HIM, the more HE can do through us, and we get rewarded too! Talk about “not fair”, “skewed” and definately “biased”. HE is way too infinite to be confined to a simple example, all I was doing is trying to use Watchman Nee’s word picture to get a point across. Why? Because I got it when I read it! So I shared. Okay?
    Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!

    BTW-Give Shirley a hug from me! She is a Sweetie!

  24. TMW,

    Not sure I understand your comparison of a Christian to a water hose. Christians should not be compared to inanimate objects such as a hose.

    Our motivation? The love of Christ should compel us. We have choices to serve and do good works (as we SHOULD, Ephesians 2:10) according to God’s Word, directed by God’s Holy Spirit, only after a person has chosen to believe .. Choices, choices, choices based on the Word.

    We are not Christian robots but believing human beings who must make choices to be obedient or disobedient. If disobedient, we have the discipline of the Lord, if obedient, the blessings of the Lord.

    Our choice — good works are not automatic.


  25. Our works should be an overflow of the changed heart. Never done on their own, because that would be “our” works, not G*D’s. G*D’s Works are for rewards, they are done “by” faith, and initiated by G*D not us. It goes back to the garden hose, the hose doesn’t produce the water, it doesn’t decide when it is used, and is totally useless for it’s created purpose unless it is attatched to the faucet, which is attatched to the plumbing, which is connected to the water supply! AND, unless the garden hose is directed by an outside person, it just dribbles or shoots water where it is not helpful. So we also need Jesus and the Holy Spirit to hold the nozzle end to direct it where it is needed!
    Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!


  26. Lynda,

    I am glad you are interested..

    You asked, “So, repentence has nothing to do with sin? It is belief in Christ?”

    Yes, in both cases.

    Jesus was on the scene, so to speak. But He had not been introduced as the Messiah until John met Jesus. John 1:29
    “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

    And then John 1:34-36 “And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!”

    Jesus was then not ‘just on the scene’ but introduced as “the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world,” the Messiah.

    John’s Baptism was as follows in Acts 13:24: “When John had first preached before His coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.” His message was to the Jews. John was sent to preach to the Jews, for them to change their minds about the coming Messiah. They were worshiping their laws and religion, not the promised Messiah.

    Acts 19:4 “Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”

    Think about repentance — every time you see the word “repent” or “repentance” in the New Testament, apply the correct meaning (change the mind) and see how much sense it makes… especially when it is the truth of Scripture.. Anything else involves works.. 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.”

    Thanks for your interest and questions, Lynda.

    In Christ eternally,


  27. So, repentence has nothing to do with sin? It is belief in Christ?

    What, then, was John’s baptism? What were they to repent from or about, as Jesus was not yet on the scene? About what were those who were baptized under John ‘changing their minds?’

    Can you tell this subject interests me? 🙂

  28. Lynda,

    Thanks for your comment on my new “look.” It needs some work.

    Your verse, 2nd Peter 3:9, is appropriate.

    However when using a word like “repent,” which has been so terribly and widely misused and mistranslated, it is wise, in the interest of clarity and accuracy to use the Biblical meaning of the word rather than the English dictionary definition.

    You are right that “Repentance is key” Repentance is absolutely necessary for salvation. However if we define repentance as “turn around,” or any other redirection of our lives, we misrepresent the meaning of the word.

    The word “repent” in the Greek is Metanoeo, meaning “think differently” or literally, a change of mind — as in Acts 2:38. Those who heard Peter’s sermon were to change their mind about whom they had just crucified, the Lord of Glory, Jesus Christ.

    Think carefully about it. If “repent” meant the necessity of a change of action or direction in life to gain or keep salvation, that would involve doing works which is totally contrary to God’s message of FREE salvation in Jesus Christ. God’s Grace cannot be mixed with works.

    One may feel disgust for his sins, or humbly realize that he is a sinner by his nature.. but that is not repentance. True repentance is a mind change about who I am trusting for my eternity — my religion, my works — or the Lord Jesus Christ.

    True, if one does not come to repentance, (a change of mind) and trust Jesus he will perish eternally.

    God does not change his rules for eternal life. Even a child, who may not be a disgusting sinner, can come to trust Jesus as his Savior by believing in Christ. God’s salvation does not depend on age, mental capacity or degree of “sins.”

    One of the thieves on a cross next to Jesus “repented” or changed his mind about Jesus and believed in Him. He was unable to turn around his life… He changed his mind and simply believed in Jesus — which is true repentance.

    Those of us who have trusted Christ alone as our Savior need to understand and do Ephesians 2:10. As believers, “…. we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we SHOULD walk in them.” He gives us a choice. But, if the verse said we MUST walk in good works, then we are all in a heap ‘o trouble.

    I, for one, am thankful the Lord gives me the choice to simply believe in Christ. Then we have the option to, or not to walk in good works after we have believed. That is our liberty in Christ. We are happier Christians when we obey and walk in good works.

    In Christ eternally,


  29. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH, but that ALL should come to repentance.” (2nd Peter 3:9)

    Repentance is key. If you don’t agree with God that you are sinful to the point that you ‘turn around’ in disgust or at least humble realization, you will never understand that you NEED a Savior. If you don’t come to repentance, you will perish, and that is not God’s will.

    Boy, the font is big today!

  30. Lynda,

    Thanks — back on track. You are right.. and you give me insight from the Greek side of Scriptures.

    “Zoe” alone is simply “life” of many types, including John 11:25 “…..I am the resurrection, and the LIFE” which implies eternal life in Christ.

    Yet at the same time “zoe” is used for physical life in Romans 8:38 “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor LIFE, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

    However, the strong Biblical phrase “eternal life” is a combination of two words.. “aionios,” eternal and “zoe,” life, hence “eternal life.”

    Now, explain the how and why your use of the word “repent.”

    Thanks for your insight


  31. Zoe is the Greek word for eternal life. It needs two little dots over it, but I don’t know how to type that.

    If we don’t need to repent and be aware of our sinfulness, why would we need a Savior?

    (back on track now?)

  32. the merry widow

    Afternoon, ExP! I forgot what zoe means, but it is something about the Love of G*D, I think?!?!?!
    Hah! Told you you were a 500# gorilla…anything else you want to conceed?
    My best to your Schweetie!
    Love all!


  33. I give up folks….

    But first — what in the world is the explanation of:

    ZOE ?????

    In Christ– ExP(Jack)

  34. the merry widow

    Lynda-Taste the rainbow? LOL!
    I have an idea that when we go Home to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, the table will be more than sufficient to seat all comfortably, BUT we will be clumped up to talk, share and laugh together! Then stand and worship our Bridegroom, it’s always more enjoyable as a group!
    On Earth, laughter is inspite of the trouble and trials, there it will be uninhibited by sorrow! Pure joy, unadulterated love, peace…untainted by the Fall!
    Sprinkle some M&M’s on top…;-)
    Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!


  35. tmw, excellent word picture! Our pastor always says our life should be like a fountain. Out of the top flows the water of life from our close connection to God (He’s the Gusher!). The water overflows and pours out in concentric circles to all we touch and do. Without that vital, life-giving connection to the Lord, that intimacy and fellowship with Him, the water becomes more and more sparse, and our lives and the lives of those around us become dry. Salvation gets the water going, connects us, but after that it is fellowship with the Lord that increases our volume, and is a natural outflow of the ZOE He gives.

    How’s that?

    How about Sugar Babies? Pure caramel, yuummmmm! And I want some Skittles stuck to me, too, just for color, heehee!

    See, brother Jack, you are STUCK with us silly sisters for eternity, LOL!

  36. the merry widow

    Milk Duds, caramel centers, covered in milk chocolate, great missiles in the theatre…just saying is all…hummm!!!! About the size of a marble.
    How about nachos?
    We can all come out covered in chocolate and cheese, with raisinettes, candy imperials and popcorn stuck to us!
    Our works should be an overflow of the Love of G*D in us, the more Love, the more fruit(love, joy, peace, meekness, goodness, kindness, generosity, humility, compassion, love of Truth, hope…)all those characteristics that Jesus showed here on Earth. They will become who we are as we are conformed into the image(or likeness) of Christ. Then we can “do” less and accomplish more, because we are doing what our Father is doing! It will be a natural overflow of HIS Life in us, therefore it isn’t “us” doing it but HIM.
    As Watchman Nee put it, we are like a garden hose, the larger the hose, the bigger the connection and the larger amount of water passes through! We are not to hoarde the water, our function is to be the conduit! May all of our connections be large, tight and ready to let G*D flow through us!
    Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!


  37. Very observant Lynda,

    You are right about that verse in James in your first paragraph. So few folks understand that simple truth. Any other interpretation puts works into salvation. The question is always Grace vs works.

    Word pictures are good just so long as they don’t misrepresent the intent of Scripture.

    Milk Duds? Aren’t they just crispier, larger Rasinettes without the raisins?

    TMW, Dark semi-sweet Chocolate is my favorite candy and pie but it gives me a severe headache.. so no chocolate for me. Thanks,

    Hmmmm Milk Duds.. ????

    In Christ, ExP(Jack)

  38. the merry widow

    Dark chocolate, why be like everyone else?
    After all, G*D is extremely creative, and HE doesn’t duplicate methods, and we all have our individual jobs to do in the Lord!
    But we can still share the buttered popcorn…
    In Christ!


  39. Faith without works is dead just means you aren’t much use to the Lord, not that you aren’t saved! Being unfruitful does not make you no longer a tree. You are probably in for a good pruning, though, if you don’t straighten up.

    Boy, the word pictures are flying during this discussion, LOL!

    Maybe it’s the years I have spent with my husband ministering to children. They tend to think in pictures, and have no problem understanding what I mean when I say Open the Present! Kids like presents a lot, heehee.

    Ok, I’m switching to Milk Duds now just to be different.

    Love in Him Who is Love,

  40. Bro. David,

    As we say way down Souf..

    You be right!!”

    Those Raisinettes have been bounced all over the place — come to think about it — they look like little rubber balls anyway — best I remember.

    In Christ, ExP(Jack)

  41. Maybe I’m 102.77 % wrong on this, but I don’t remember anywhere in Scripture commanding us to see who is saved & who is not through their works. A lot of preachers try to force James to say this, but he never does. James does force US to get busy & work out our salvation (he obviously assumes his readers are saved since he calls them “brethren” & “beloved brethren” many times!) before the ravages of sin overtake our lives & render us useless to anyone, let alone ourselves!

    Oh, it looks like I’ve driven us off course. Oh well, I guess that blows any chance I had of sharing some of those coveted Raisinettes with y’all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. the merry widow

    Besides, I can’t find my Interlinear, so how can I be all that serious?
    Just kidding!


  43. the merry widow

    Welllll, we do have life and have it more abundantly!
    BTW-Swiped and reposted at my site your post on mormonism and Romney!
    I’m after the mormon version of a fatwah! 😉
    Plus by pulling all sorts of info into one place, more people may take the time to read it and get it!
    So, thank you afterward!


  44. Zingers? Raisinettes? Imperials? Cinnamon? Buttered popcorn? Stick-in-the-mud? 1000# gorillas? etc, etc…..

    From whence cometh all this deep theological, eschatological discussion and where is it heading? 😉

    Thanks to all..


  45. the merry widow

    Jack-Wrong! ;-p
    IN CHRIST, and at HIS Direction you are too a 500# gorilla, in the spiritual realm! It’s ALL our authority in Christ though, once more, it’s ALL about HIM!
    Raisinettes are still around, they are more than a dime, but the box is bigger(even if the number stays the same!LOL!) Buttered it is, iced or hot, sweet or plain?
    I’ll have iced water, and any candy Imperials? I love cinnamon!
    Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!

    Whoever has the idea that real Christians are “stick in the mud” types, have never met Christ(HE certainly let a few zingers loose…

  46. Sisterers in Christ, Lynda and TMW,

    Thanks for keeping the door open for dialog. I really do appreciate your help and participation.

    Buttered Popcorn with tea for Shirley and me — Raisinettes? Still around?? Still a dime?? I haven’t seen them in 60 years when I was a movie-going teenager. Thanks y’all, but no “diet” anything for us — is Aspartame Ok now?

    You both have some great points.

    Yes, salvation is making a mental decision to trust Jesus Christ alone as Savior, plus nothing minus nothing.

    When I share Christ with the lost, I like to define sin as “missing the mark” of God’s righteousness; that is the definition of the Greek word, “harmatano.” Think of a target the size of a thimble a mile away and you are armed with a sling-shot and a marble. Shoot! You (and I) miss the mark! To “miss the mark” is an understandable definition for sin for everyone.

    Outside of Christ we can never attain the absolute righteousness of God. With this explanation of “sin” some self-righteous folks (who say they are not sinners) must admit that they are not as righteous as God. First we are sinners by our human nature and that results in being sinners by our actions.

    Therefore anything short of God’s righteousness is “sin” whether by nature or deed and deserves the eternal death penalty. Hopeless outside of Christ.

    I would suggest that “head knowledge vs heart knowledge” could be confusing. How would anyone (unsaved) know the difference? Why not simply explain that we make decisions with the mind (soul/spirit), therefore we, with the mind, mentally decide we will simply trust/believe that Jesus, the Savior, will personally save us eternally based on the Biblical record.

    I once heard a preacher say, “That man missed Heaven by 12 inches, the distance between his head and his heart. Why? Because he only had Christ in his head and never in his heart. How do I know? Because his works did not show him to be a Christian.”

    Confusing message. Works never prove to God that we are believers in Christ, and that is Who counts.

    God’s gift of salvation is available to any and all who simply trust Jesus alone — without works. That requires only one simple decision to trust/receive Jesus.. Lynda, you wouldn’t make me do the works of “opening the door” to my heart and then “opening the box,” would you? Double smiley 😉 😉 How do I open the door to my heart? If it is believe/receive, those words are much more more easily understood.

    BTW, I have no “position of authority” except as a sinner saved by God’s Grace, using the authority of God’s Word as a Gospel witness. I pray constantly that when I present the Gospel to folks, I will state it clearly and if not clearly, then either the Lord or Shirley (or maybe the person to whom I am witnessing) will show me and I will learn from it. I am just as imperfect as anyone else but I do know that a precious soul for whom Jesus died is at stake and I am the deliverer of the Good News of salvation in Jesus. It must be clear.

    Thanks again for engaging in this dialog and withstanding the 1000# — 500# gorilla… Hmmmmm. .


  47. tmw: definitely butter! 😀 Diet Pepsi, please! Raisinettes, anyone?

    Okay, since others are brave, I’ll wade in, too. Salvation is through Christ alone and His death, burial and resurrection. We DO have a part to play in accepting that sacrifice; but accepting His sacrifice for our sin requires us to acknowledge that we are sinful, yes? If we cannot acknowledge that we have sinned and are in need of a Savior, we cannot and will not accept (believe and confess) the salvation He has provided. Salvation is simple, all the work is done, but being truly saved does require that this is more than head knowledge. It must be one’s spirit, one’s ‘heart’ that responds to what Christ has done. Everyone in America, for example, has heard and heard and heard the Gospel Truth… but not everyone in America is saved!! Jesus has paid for the gift of salvation with His precious Blood, and laid it at the door to every heart. But a gift not received (open the door and open the box!) is a gift that the recipient has refused.

    Oh, Brother Jack! I was not calling YOU a #1000 gorilla! (although gorillas are powerful yet gentle creatures, LOL!) I was calling your experience and knowledge due to years of ministry and your position of authority in ministry the gorilla… something so large and intimidating that folks may not want to disagree with you in any way, see?

  48. the merry widow

    Besides, G*D called us to sit at Jesus Feet, BE and our character matters more than our doing!


  49. the merry widow

    Good morning, all!
    Okay, I’ll throw the ball, David you are so right, me, me, me infects us due to Original Sin, that is all of our problems and a constant stumbling block.
    We forget that the Road to Righteousness is to keep our eyes firmly on Christ’s Footprints and place our feet there!
    And, Jack, in the spiritual world, you are a 500# gorilla! ;-}
    Lynda-I’ve got the popcorn, butter or no?
    Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!


  50. Amen to that!

    Praise the Lord! God Bless.

  51. Thanks David..

    Good observation…

    I think you who said once before:

    It is not “Do, do, do.”

    But DONE, DONE DONE. By Grace in Christ….


  52. Bro. Jack,

    May I say that all of the quotes seem to focus attention on us, & away from Christ? It seems to be that they say I must continually look at me, or others, to prove I am saved, or they are. When we do this, we cannot focus on Christ. It’s like the old joke about the tour director on a bus ride through the city. He said, “If you’ll look to your right, you’ll miss everything on your left!” That’s like looking inward rather than Christward, we miss everything God wants us to see (2 Co.3:18) Of course, I know there is a time to legitimately look at my life but only after I have gazed on Christ first. Actually, when I gaze on Him through His Word, He will show me all I need to see about myself, then I’ll be looking at the beauty of HIS Holiness realizing He has saved me & I am in Him! GLORY!!

  53. Sister in Christ Lynda,

    I really appreciate your comment about this blog message and be assured, I value your opinion as a discerning Christian reader. BTW, I have never been called a 1000# gorilla. 😉

    I believe the discussion should not be about semantics but an effort to encourage truthful and simple rendition of what constitutes the basis of our true Christian faith and how one goes about getting there; (without laying stumbling blocks).

    It is not trying to figure out “what they are trying to say” but examining what they have said, in black and white on an official statement of their beliefs..

    My fear is that too many Christians belong to organizations and/or churches and never take time to read or know anything about their doctrinal positions. And some, when they do read it, don’t really understand what is inferred.

    It is my passion that Christian organizations (and Christians) write and speak the Truth. Speaking the Truth means not mixing Grace and works for either getting or keeping salvation. Almost all of these quotes seem to add works to salvation. Most of them are similar.

    I am no 1000# gorilla, but just a tiny ant scurrying around the realm of Christianity. None of the organizations I have mentioned will see or be impressed with what I have written here. Their feelings won’t be hurt.

    Your comment, being the first, will no doubt help frame the discussion — if there is any. Thanks again. 😉

    See now, TMW has agreed to sit on the sidelines with you.

    May God continue to bless you, (and you TMW)


  54. the merry widow

    Lynda-I attend a non-denom. church, and if I had my Greek-English Interlinear,I might join the fray. But since my daughter packed it, I’m staying out too! I’ll bring the popcorn if you bring the sodas, deal? 😉


  55. Brother Jack, do you really want discussion about the semantics here? It seems that instead you have laid out on your blog what you have decided with the weight of all your years in ministry sitting on top like a 1000# gorilla. It is your blog, after all, and you are the final arbiter here. You have already indicated what you think and basically you are asking for debate. I think I will avoid that, thanks! 😀 I could tell you what I think about what they are trying to say, but that’s pretty much worthless, isn’t it? Why should I get into something that requires me to either agree with you completely or seem to defend someone with whom you obviously disagree? I will pass on this one, but will read with interest those with the fortitude to enter in!

    Blessings, Lynda