Similarities Re: Dominionism, Calvinism, Replacement “theology,” and Lordship “salvation”

I propose a few questions based on observations and comments on some of our more popular recent posts. Shall we discuss Questions and Similarities Regarding Dominionism, Calvinism, Replacement “theology,” and Lordship “salvation” (LS)?

1) Can we blame any or all of these four errors on a lack of clear Dispensational teaching of God’s Word?

2) Aren’t Old Testament verses taken out of context, in many cases, to justify virtually every one of these four philosophies?

Example for Dominionism: “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.” Psalm 72:8

Many use this and other  verses to justify a Dominionist “theology” — but due to a lack of dispensational teaching and understanding — they wrongly assume that verse and many more apply to today. One can see how they take verses about God’s earthly Dominion in the future and misplace them into today. This teaching  also seems to be similar to certain versions of “Kingdom Now” teaching.

3) Or, are these teachings deliberately pushed to glorify a selfish teacher or church rather that God’s Salvation by Grace through Faith in Jesus Christ alone?

4) Could we say that Calvinist/Reformed “theology” is the teaching which holds the greatest responsibility for Replacement “theology“?

5) Aren’t all Lordship “salvationists”  — Calvinists? Are there any exceptions? Is it not true that LS, Dominionism and Calvinism use the Calvinist catchword “Sovereignty” to justify their theory of God’s Sovereign Dominion today and likewise the Replacement “theology” of today?

I have posed these as questions, as I believe most are true. We will be interested in your respectful comments. Thanks

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62 responses to “Similarities Re: Dominionism, Calvinism, Replacement “theology,” and Lordship “salvation”

  1. I did not mean to cause a distraction. I do not disagree with your view. Some of the worst strains of dominionism have proposed the death penalty for apostasy, which I find scary.

  2. Jason, this stuff is hard to sort out. That’s why we focus on the gospel.

    In my view, there is no political party, or candidate, that can consistently claim the moral high ground. But, if we are to engage civically, we have to make a choice on voting.

    I think Jim Floyd’s article, which is linked below, offers a good perspective:

    There is definitely a dominionist strain within evangelicalism, and that strain is terribly misguided.

  3. Is dominionism liberation theology from the right? Is zionism a form of dominionism (slap myself for an antisemitic thought)? Are dominionists about to hijack political conservatism just when liberalism is tossed into the dustbin of history? Questions like this now bother me, related as they are to politics.

    (Edited by administrator)

  4. Sue, I think you are correct – the fruit of the Holy Spirit should never be viewed as evidence of salvation. Once we go down this trail, then our assurance will ebb and flow with our faithfulness.

  5. Expected Imminently

    Thanks for this perfect reply John.

    I now get what it was that was ‘bugging’ me! These ‘merit badges’ are part of the evidence LS are desperate for to ‘prove’ they are on track and persevering in their ‘saint-hood’. False love is a ‘work’ earning them their rights to hold onto their salvation.

    If others don’t show this ‘love’ then they can question if that person is a genuine believer or not. (Back door works) This outward show of ‘love’ is seen as a fruit of the Holy Spirit – hence their passion for ‘fruit inspection’ of self and others.

    Am I correct that the fruit of The Holy Spirit is evidence of growing maturity by obedience and application of the Word; rather than being evidence of Salvation?
    After all, the most evil people such as Genghis Khan or Hitler were capable of loving acts toward those they loved. I expect they thought their motives were ‘honorable’.

    I’m afraid I often find it necessary to wonder about my own motives. I agree with Scripture that my own heart is exceedingly wicked. Thankfully God’s Grace is sufficient.

    “One may attract more flies with honey than with vinegar. Satan is aware of this.” Oh yes! Absolutely spot on!


  6. Sue, one postscript to my comment above.

    Each of us is susceptible to doing things with the wrong motives. With the LS community though, there is no underlying emphasis on sound doctrine.

  7. Sue, I think there is an emphasis on “merit badges” in the LS community, which would include such things as obligatory foreign mission trips, stuffing boxes for Operation Christmas Child, forming discipling classes in the workplace to study the LS classic books de jour, and so on.

    The problem I have with all of these activities is not the motivation with which they are done (which I am sure differs for each of the participants), but the false gospel that they teach. If someone lovingly teaches a false gospel, they are lovingly deceiving people.

    One may attract more flies with honey than with vinegar. Satan is aware of this.

  8. Expected Imminently

    Thank you Jack, I am certain JCh is in real need for prayer since he unwittingly walked slap, bang, into a spiritual ‘brick-wall’.

    God bless you for your direct, non waffling style revealing error.

    Hello John

    I am grateful for the reminder about Dr Stanfords book, I had downloaded it, then forgotten all about it.

    The term ‘working their own way to heaven’! Its good to be courteous to one another but some are very keen for one to notice how much ‘love’ they have for others and are quick to say to others, ‘that was unloving’ and pour out what I call ‘soppy sentimentalism’. Being called to love is to do as Jesus did which is to lay down His life for His friends. We are to express love by our obedience and application, to God’s Word.

    I have been at the asphyxiating end of this ‘love’ so may have the wrong idea about it. I am wondering if you would consider that LS uses ‘love’ as a method to ‘earn’ honour, humility and respect as a way of merrit to imitate Jesus and be rewarded for it?

    I do hope I have made that clear as I am very keen to known yours, and others thoughts on this.

    Hello JimF

    Yes you did write to him on DTW. He did reply and hoped you would keep in touch with him there. I was hoping and praying that would happen but, it was at the time you were starting your blog and it must have slipped your mind.

    JCh then replied with a sour grapes comment about Jacks site being ‘elitist’; his ‘tone’ was bitter, obviously very upset. Unless he has changed his name again, he has stopped posting at DTW and his own site has been idling since that time. He could be busy writing up a storm of rebuke against expreacher to expose ‘error’; I do hope not, I do so hope that after licking his wounds he will come to recognise what a friend Jack as been to him.

    It was my hope he would contact you at your blog, but I think he has been ‘scared off’. Dare I hope Jim; that you will take any opportunity to reach out to him.

    God bless all – Maranatha!


  9. Sue,

    I once wrote a response to John Chingford on a blog or site somewhere but I don’t know if he ever saw it. I did so because I thought that he might be truly searching for the truth. I agree that the grip of LS is pervasive and it can take a lot of time to be free of it’s deception. Calvinism and Catholicism can be the same way.

  10. Like Jack said, LS is truly deceitful and merciless. To this point, I found a quote from Dr. A. Ray Stanford’s “Handbook of Personal Evangelism”:

    “Since the greatest majority of those you meet are trying to somehow ‘work their way’ to heaven, it will follow that the are not trusting Christ alone for their salvation. It is important to remember as you deal with them that they probably have never REALLY understood the gospel. Most churches that are ‘Christian’ in name do not make the plan of salvation clear; some do not even know what the plan of salvation is to begin with.”

  11. Sue,

    I will pray for John Chingford.. LS is truly deceitful and merciless — even across the pond.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  12. Expected Imminently

    Hello Jack
    It was a surprise coming across a comment by fellow Brit John Chingford (not his real name). He was certain you had deleted his comments from your blog.

    I want to thank you Jack for your extremely courteous, but necessary straight talking to win this man out of LS. I know this has been a shock to him; he really hasn’t been able to see the level of the deception he has been in – such a very difficult time. LS is a merciless rampaging scourge that sweeps all before it.

    JCh desire to be true to The Lord is an honest one, but The Truth is always painful. “Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Prov.27:5,6.”

    I still pray for him, please continue to pray for him, and others like him, to ‘change his mind’ and recognize the insidious deception that is LS. One day he may be back here giving witness to his release from this wretched heresy. I do hope and pray so!
    God bless this ministry.


  13. John Chingford,

    I finally found your salvation message on your web site and it is contrary to God’s Word. In More than one place you say, So repentance includes a “turning” from our wicked ways.

    Because we do not advertise false doctrine or Lordship type “salvation” I have removed your web link.

    Please search our Blog for repent or repentance and you will see much clear evidence that despite an English Dictionary definition of the word Repent, it means a simple change of mind.

    I pray you will see the error of your words and “Change your mind.”

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  14. John,

    Not sure we have an answer to the details of your questions.
    Old Calvinism was spawned from Calvin who was influenced by Augustine, a Catholic monk. Neo-Calvinists seem to promote Augustine also.

    I am not sure I understand the difference between a die-hard Calvinist and a neo-Calvinist, Do you know?

    Maybe neo-Calvinists remember the good-old-days when Calvin ruled his dominion in Geneva with an iron fist, trying to spread it far and wide. Today Calvinists want the same thing, worldwide. I presume most are following an amillennial view and work for the kingdom on earth (dominion). That is mostly speculation from me. Hope this helps.

    BTW, do you mind me asking, what are your beliefs? I did not see them clearly illustrated on your web site, in a Statement of Faith or a Gospel message for unbelievers.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  15. I run a watchman blog entitled LAST DAYS WATCHMAN {{Link removed by Admin}} Recently it has come to my attention that New Reformed Theology (New Calvinism) is on the rise. I am in the process of investigating this whole thing. From what I can understand, this new movement has links with the New Apostolic Reformation both embracing a new form of calvinistic theology.

    I wrote an article on Dominionism showing that Dominionism has its history within the Catholic church of the dark ages. I showed how Dominion theology was Catholic and those protestant/evangelical denominations/organisations who embrace its teachings are worldly or have been influenced or infiltrated by the Catholic church through ecumenism in the form of disguised Jesuits and Illuminati/freemasons.

    It has NOW come to my attention that new reformed theology also embraces Dominionism. Was OLD Calvinism also Dominionistic?

    If Dominionism comes out of the Dark Ages of the Catholic church, surely Calvinist Reformed Christianity would oppose anything Catholic, wouldn’t it?
    I mean if Calvinism was a progression of the protestant reformation against the evil Catholic institution focussing on grace, godliness, imputed righteousness etc, surely it would have vehemently opposed the church having dominion over the whole Earth because Jesus said “my kingdom is not of this world”.?

    Assuming I am right, I am wondering WHY neo Calvinism embraces Dominionism? Could it be that this new movement is actually another work of Jesuits or some other Catholic counter reformation influence, to weaken the position of protestant Christianity and therefore bring them back into the submission to Rome? For example, John Piper of Neo Calvinism is heavily involved in the VERY Catholic influenced ecumenical Lausanne Movement.

    I would be very interested in what your response would be to my questions. If I am on the right track, I would appreciate if you could give me some evidential links which proves the Catholic influence behind neo Calvinism and the reasons why neo Calvinism would embrace Dominionism, so that I can respond to my readers on my blog.

    Many thanks and God bless
    John Chingford

  16. that previous post was to Marcella 🙂

  17. I am so glad that you realized what was happening and that the Lord gave you that discernment. We often do not realize that the true miracles are the fruits of the Spirit that are produce in us as we conform more to the likeness of Christ if we are willing to surrender our own will to Gods will.
    This is what we should be striving for because this is what God will be looking at when we face Him. I by far have a long way to go, but I desire it.
    Love, joy, peace, patience, longsuffering,etc….
    Patience is one that the Holy Spirit is really convicting me on as of late.
    These fruits are what produce what is holy and righteous and these only come from Christ Himself. All these rituals, candles, labyrinths, visions, and dreams or self-promoting and focus on what can I get out of my god experience.

  18. Marcella,

    A friend of mine just got the Bible on MP3 complete with sound effects. I’ve got the N.T. on C.D. and the entire Bible on cassette. I may have to enter the 21st century after the deal my friend got.

    If I were a betting man, I’d say that Alexander Scourby had to practice quite a bit before his pronunciation of Bible genealogies. I’ve heard different difficult names said in a variety of ways with confidence. As long as one sounds confident, how can one go wrong? I’m sure I would get an argument about this from a good scholar.

    I know quite a few folks who don’t attend church for the same reason you’re still looking. They do not want play time. They do not have time for play time. They only want solid Bible teaching. It is so sad that many are not interested in hearing truth, but the installation of a prayer Labyrinth is important in order to keep up with the Jones’s. Of course, the expense of the Labyrinth is minimal compared to the gym that includes an indoor running track on the second level where you will also find the weight room.

    I grew up in California where I went to church and Sunday school on Sunday Mornings. Here in Arkansas, many folks and their kids attend church on Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, and Wednesday evenings.
    Today’s kids spend triple the time that I did at church but somehow I learned so much more. The description of your recent church experiences is the explanation without a doubt.

    You “said it” when you wrote “Who cares if they look no different than the outside world!”

    Your mention of a church produce garden is the first time I’ve heard of that. I’m afraid if (or should it be “when?”) there is ever a food shortage the place will be sacked by thieves who never heard of “Thou shall not steal” because “Christians” were dozing as the Ten Commandments were detached from our courthouse walls.

    I am praising the Lord with you that you have found the truth in His Word. It sounds like you have escaped a very bad place.

    I pray that God gives you the wisdom to know what to say when confronted by those still in darkness.

    He is coming soon.

    God’s blessings…

  19. Faith, as I read what you wrote, I had a thought. When people provoke God for dreams, visions, tangible encounters, etc., they are making themselves God and expecting Him to submit to them. I used to be one of those, who had tangible encounters, dreams, visions, etc. I thought I was worshipping God, didn’t know it was the devil deceiving me. I used to keep a journal on my computer – wrote down every dream I had, went to dream interpretters and even interpretted dreams for other people. I also documented most of the tangible encounters I had. It was absolutely crazy! I got rid of all of those writings last year. After I found out that it was the devil, who had been dazzling me, I didn’t want to give him any credit or acknowledgement for anything, so I deleted everything I had written. How I learned I was deceived was when I read my Bible, wondered if things that happened to people in there really happen to people in this world today, and I was convicted to stop doing some of the things I was doing. I took a look at some Christians I know and thought about their relationship with God and mine with Him, and theirs was much different than mine. They didn’t have the supernatural encounters, they weren’t talking about dreams they had, etc. Something wasn’t right, so I prayed and discovered I was deceived. Praise the Lord for the truth in His Word and for the Holy Spirit’s conviction. I’ve witnessed to some of my former friends and shared the gospel, but they refused to accept the truth and continue in their deception. It grieved me so deeply. I wept for them and left them in God’s hands. People told me I was skeptical and crazy when I warned them of the dangers of what they were involved with! The devil tricks alot of people. Many don’t read their Bible, and they accept every teaching they hear and every doctrine as the truth. Alot of people are tossed to and fro by every wind of false teaching.

  20. Clark,

    Thanks for your question. Yes you are right and I have witnessed it.

    Often 2 Chronicles 7:14 is quoted as applying to America (or believers living in America). More than likely it has been done simply out of ignorance, not aware that it was a promise to Israel.

    However, I do pray for our Republic that we will continue to have the freedom to share the Gospel and God’s Word. I likewise pray that someone, somehow will get to our President, explain to him the True Gospel of Jesus Christ — and that he would have the wisdom to decide to trust Jesus Christ alone as his Savior.

    America is not God’s Kingdom on earth.. but that is a theory of many who hold to Replacement “theology” or Kingdom Now teaching.. They completely dismiss any dispensational and literal study of Scripture. I believe Mormons are also looking for their god’s kingdom with the New Jerusalem in America.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  21. How do you feel about people taking promises made to Israel in the Old Testament and acting like they apply to Americans (or any Christians) today? I often hear 2 Chronicles 7:14 quoted as if God means that Americans can pray to God and America will be restored as if this is God’s kingdom on earth. Restoring the land is part of the land promises made to Israel; it really was about real estate. New Testament Christians are not the new Jews, America is not Israel.

    Have you witnessed this? Am I far from the truth?

  22. Faith,

    Indeed well said.. and I will second Bruce’s comment, “Wonderful statement.”

    I have often heard it said, “Wouldn’t it be great to find the perfect body of believers?”

    We will — the moment we arrive in Heaven!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally,Jack

  23. Faith said,

    “God promises us the Holy Spirit when we are Christians, so we already have Him working and convicting us – is that not a miracle in and of itself? So now we need rituals progated from the RCC and Middle Eastern practices to “move us closer” to God? hmmm….. I think I will stick to the Word of God where it tells us that Christ is our High Priest and we can go boldly before the throne in our time of need and at all times.”

    Wonderful statement, Faith! Thank you very much!


  24. Ughh…
    Marcella when I hear of churches doing this I keep thinking of the verses in Revelation 3 about the Laodicean church- neither hot nor cold.
    I want to go and hear Gods Word not party central! 😦
    I live in the Bible belt and cannot even find a church (well I mean a church that preaches Gods Word without the flairs).
    About contemplative prayer and the prayer labryrinth- yes these are dangerous practices and must be avoided. People get experiences, but they are not from Him. Satan can easily deceive those (Christian or non-Christian) to think they HAVE to have visions, warm fuzzies, and physical and tangible responses from God. I am not saying that sometimes the Lord may not choose to respond in a way that is miraculous, but that is based on what HE wants to do not us continually trying to invoke from God responses from Him. God promises us the Holy Spirit when we are Christians, so we already have Him working and convicting us – is that not a miracle in and of itself? So now we need rituals progated from the RCC and Middle Eastern practices to “move us closer” to God? hmmm….. I think I will stick to the Word of God where it tells us that Christ is our High Priest and we can go boldly before the throne in our time of need and at all times.

  25. I have the Bible on MP3 and CD, read by Alexander Scourby. He was or is an actor. He does a great job pronouncing all of those names in the Bible, and he doesn’t stutter, stammer or pause. Me? I’m like a second grader sounding out words. LOL! The more I read those chapters with the hard to pronounce names, the easier it seems to say them and keep reading. No wonder no preachers ever preach on those sections of scriptures.

    Yes, the MO Lutheran synod has good, biblical material. I ordered several Bible studies from Concordia House Publishing. They are the most biblical Bible studies I have ever seen. The MO Lutheran Church that I visited and got to talk to the Pastor at, was the first Lutheran Church I’d been in that heavily relied on Luther’s Small Cathecism. In fact, when I was talking with the Pastor over the course of four weeks, the Catechism was laid out on the table, opened and discussed, but the Bible was tucked up on a shelf, never taken down and never opened up or discussed. That really troubled me!

    I live in a large city, and we probably have as many churches as you do, Chris. I’ve yet to find one that’s biblically sound. I find that church denominations are not the same across the board. Where one Pastor may be preaching partially from the Bible, another Pastor at a nearby church of the same denomination will be reading from a book and preaching on it (like a teacher reading a book to her 3rd grade class). One of the Lutheran congregations moved into a new building two months ago. The first Sunday, I went, and the Pastor showed movie clips and had the owner of a golf store putting golf balls during the sermon. The congregation was laughing and having a great time. The Pastor spent about 3 minutes talking about some passage in the Bible and the rest of the 20 minutes or so on the movie, telling stories and talking about golf. I was shocked at what was taking place because it was the first time I’d witnessed it inside a Lutheran Church. When I was involved in the cult, the “Pastor” played movie clips all of the time. I call them “entertainment” churches because the Pastors use entertainment to excite and stir up the crowd. Who cares about preaching the gospel and praying for souls to be saved? People want thrills, laughs and fun at church. Who cares if they look no different than the outside world! Play movies, and they will draw every seeker from a four state area. Some churches here host Super Bowl parties. The Baptists used to be the only ones with basketball courts, but alot of Lutheran churches and some of the cults have basketball courts in their buildings, too. A few churches have their own gardens for people, who are under financial hardships and cannot afford groceries. Some Pastors say that the gardens are also for preparation in case there’s ever a food shortage. They’ll have their garden produce to feast on! The Lutheran Church my sister attends is huge. They have a basketball court, prayer labyrinth, movie theater, game room for kids, an on staff nurse, and recently started a book discussion group, which draws alot of people. What’s next? A church, where you can do all of your shopping in one stop? Give WalMart some competition!

  26. Bruce,
    I haven’t had the role of Bible Study Teacher for many years. I think it’s a responsibility that keeps one focused better than most personal Bible study schedules. God has obviously blessed your studies. Your concern for the spiritual welfare of others is admirable.
    Continued blessings…

    I can hear your attempts at the Biblical pronunciations. And I can hear your giggles. Next time I come across one of those genealogies, I’m going to read it out loud.
    There is one great benefit of having been raised a Lutheran during my early years. As a youth in Sunday school, I must have read the Genesis account that you’ve related almost yearly. Once upon a time (the 80’s), I think the LCMS printed some of the best Christian school Bible materials available. They were heavy on the Bible and light on unnecessary denominational concepts as I recall. Major difficulties like the Trinity were covered well. I have no idea what the current materials consist of.
    I don’t think Contemplative Prayer is widespread across the MO Synod (yet). I do know that it has been taught at one district convention and that complaints to the highest levels were ignored. I guess the green light is on.
    Your mention of the Free Lutheran Church is the first I’ve heard of the denomination. Checking their website, I found that none of their churches can be found in Arkansas (my temporary home). I thought we had it all down here! There are 230 churches in my county alone. Maybe they heard ’bout the ticks.
    God’s blessings…

  27. Thank you, Jan, for clarifying things for me.

    Chris, I’m glad to see another former Lutheran on board. I agree, too, about biblical illiteracy. No wonder so many people are deceived; they don’t read the Bible. I love to read mine out loud. Yes, I even read the geneologies and chapters that have the names that are sooooo hard to pronounce! Last night, I was reading Genesis 32-33. It’s the story about Jacob, his wives, children and flocks during their journey after he fled when his brother, Esau, threatened to kill him. Jacob had stolen Esau’s birthright and tricked their father into blessing him. Esau became angry and sought to kill Jacob. Jacob fled to his uncle, Laban. When he heard that his brother, Esau, was coming, he became afraid. He asked God to protect him from Esau, then Jacob chose some of his livestock as a present to give to Esau when they met up. When they did, Esau kissed Jacob, and Jacob offered Esau the livestock, but he refused, saying he had enough, but Jacob insisted. This is a good example of brotherly love and forgiveness. Esau was no longer angry with Jacob, and Jacob blessed Esau with a gift. Sibling rivalry exchanged for a civil relationship.

    As for contemplative prayer, yes, many churches are using it. I didn’t know the MO Lutheran church did. The ELCA does. I was influenced into participating in contemplative prayer a few years ago through some Baptist friends. I had no idea that it was contemplative and a dangerous practice until I felt convicted to stop doing it about a year later. I was listening to someone talk about contemplative prayer, so I researched it on the internet, discovered that it was what I had been doing, and I freaked out! I asked the Lord to forgive me for my involvement in it.

    I visited a Free Lutheran Church last summer. It seemed to be pretty biblically sound. The Pastor did throw in some false teaching and the church participates in ecumenical gatherings, even hosting the National Day of Prayer. However, the beliefs on the national Free Lutheran Church’s website says that they do not participate in ecumenical gatherings. The Free Lutheran Church does not baptize infants, but they do infant dedications. They also don’t believe that baptism and communion offer salvation as do the other Lutheran denominations: ELCA, MO, and WI. I also don’t think the Free Lutherans use Luther’s Catechism, which is packed with false doctrine.

    It’s a blessing to be a part of this community of believers!

  28. Hi all!

    Jan, great to hear from you. Thanks, as always, for your insightful comments and for your definitions for Marcella. I couldn’t have said any of it better.

    Chris, thanks for your comments. Always good to have you join the conversation. Your statement regarding Biblical illiteracy being rampant among churchgoers it right on the money. This has been my observation as well. I hope that this site has provided some education for seekers of Biblical truth. In-depth teaching of Scripture is what I have been engaged in for several years (I teach a weekly Bible class at my church).

  29. You know how to ask a good question, Jack. Here’s where I am presently:
    #1. No. Up until several years ago, I had not heard of “dispensationalism.” Because I had been exposed to the Bible (“By grace you have been saved”…etc), things like dominionism would definitely raise a red flag. It is a lack of Biblical knowledge that leads to any obvious error.

    #2. I don’t know three of the four philosophies well enough to comment. There is no question in my mind that the replacement folks take much of scripture out of context.

    #3. I don’t know.

    #4. I don’t know again.

    #5. When the word “all” is used, my tendency is to answer “no.” The few examples of which I am aware, however, are Calvinist.

    A few comments:

    To rainbowheartlove,
    As a former leader in a Lutheran Church, I encourage you to continue studying. I had to leave the Lutheran church because the particular church I was in had leadership problems. I was already considering leaving because I disagreed with infant baptism along with other issues.
    If you are a member of an ELCA church, I would recommend that you find another church. If a church tolerates homosexuality in the pulpit, what will they not allow?
    The LCMS is a different animal and has a school system in which I taught. I came to view the LCMS as a group of very determined people. However, I have recently learned that it has opened itself up to “Contemplative Spirituality” (a blend of Christianity and Eastern Mysticism), a teaching that seems to have wiggled its way into most mainline denominations. I stayed with the Lutheran Church as long as I did because they taught the inerrancy of scripture. This was a waning belief even 20 years ago and I credit the LCMS for hanging in there on the subject. At the same time, I recently confronted a friend I went to College with who is a Lutheran pastor about the “Contemplative Prayer” notice on his church web site. He told me “we’ll do anything to get the people in here.”
    I believe you are living in a time, rainbowheartlove, when God’s Word is under attack on many fronts. Your questions are good ones. Ask God to reveal His truths to you as you study His Word.
    Bruce “spoke” of an excellent way of reading the scriptures:
    “Literal interpretation of Scripture simply means to take the Bible at face value, to take what it says in its plain normal sense. It means to take a passage of the Bible literally unless there are clear markers to indicate that the passage contains figures of speech or allegory. Literal interpretation means that a student of the Bible should never force a meaning into a text to make the text say something that it was never intended to declare.”

    I love your line “I’m more or less marinating on this one.” I wish I had written that.

    It is hard to find a good church these days. I encourage you to keep looking. You are doing well to enter conversations like this one. I find fellowship online as refreshing as the “in person” type.

    Thanks for the stimulating questions. I have so much to learn. We are facing stunning Biblical illiteracy on every side. Most of those whom I minister to would look at me with a blank stare if I asked them about any of the four philosophies you’ve mentioned. The majority of them don’t even know who King David was. Mr. Darby would be shocked.

  30. Thanks Jan,

    No, I was predestined to answer by covering both bases. 😎 Never hear of old Shank.

    What a terribly contorted and confusing view of salvation.. but “religions” do seem to accomplish that very easily, don’t they.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  31. No Jack! It’s not a trick question!

    No, really it isn’t!!

    And it was an Arminian — Robert Shank.

    God must have predestined you to guess correctly. 😉


  32. Hi Marcella-

    Soteriology is the study of the doctrine of salvation.

    Arminianism is another 5 point system that goes something like this (depending on who is presenting it):

    1) Free will, or human ability (Yes to the first, no to the second. Man is responsible and able to chose, as God gives the enabling grace, which He does for all. No, man does not save himself by choosing salvation, in spite of the Calvinists’ undying insistence to the contrary.)

    2) Conditional election (I really don’t have a position on election prior to salvation due to having no clue and these parentheses are my comments, so, no comment.)

    3) Universal redemption/general atonement (Jesus died for all, so the atonement is general and redemption is universally available.)

    4) The Holy Spirit can be effectually resisted (Yes. This makes Calvinists really mad. But that’s OK since God obviously caused them to be really mad about this.)

    5) Falling from grace (No. This means we can lose our salvation. This is the one that gets everybody else really mad at the Arminians, whether or not God caused them to get mad.)


  33. Jan,

    Hmmmm, my guess is a Calv-inian. 😎

    I don’t recall that exact quote — but since Arminians and Calvinists frequently alter teaching to meet the immediate “need” my real guess is Calvinism.

    But, Jan, I suspect it is a trick question so I will second guess and say Arminian.

    Thanks for the lesson — now for the answer?
    In Christ eternally, Jack

  34. Jan, what does “soteriology” mean? Also, what is Arminianism, and how does it differ from Calvinism?

    Jack, I’m laughing over what you said, “I am saved because you see my works to prove my holiness which proves my election from which you can see therefore I am elect thus saved.” That sounds like a newly elected presidential acceptance speech that’s gone sour.

  35. Here is one of the more fascinating quotes Vance cites:

    There is no valid assurance of election and final salvation for any man, apart from deliberate perseverance in faith.

    Can you guess whether that was said by an Arminian or a Calvinist?


  36. Thanks. I’ve been involved with other stuff. 🙂


  37. Jan,

    Good to hear from you — wondered if you had been caught-up in a natural disaster, tornado, blizzard, drought or earthquake somewhere and had not recovered.

    Thanks so much for the comprehensive analysis. You make some points that had slipped my mind or not considered.

    Since the Catholic monk, Augustine sorta formulated the concept of what became reformed teaching, later adopted by Calvin.. you wonder where he got it except as pieces and parts of the Catholic religion. False doctrine seems to just bubble up, doesn’t it.

    And Vance’s statement, “the Calvinist demands holiness to prove election, which then substantiates salvation” is priceless. Meaning, therefore, that Calvinists almost have a circular logic.. “I am saved because you see my works to prove my holiness which proves my election from which you can see therefore I am elect thus saved.” Or something like that. 😎

    Great to have you back – we missed you.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  38. Oops. Laurence Vance. 🙂


  39. Hi all.

    Coming in a bit late here, but I’ll take a crack at answering the questions anyway.

    1) Yes, sort of. I think a more important question is, WHY is there a lack of clear Dispensational teaching in churches today? That is probably the real culprit.

    2) Absolutely.

    3) Sometimes, but not always. I think of the name-it-and-claim-it/word-faith teachers as being in the self serving camp and you don’t get a grace message from these guys at all. But I think in general (though this is certainly disputable) the average Reformed guy in the pulpit is mostly doing what he’s doing because he thinks that is correct, not from nefarious motives.

    4) No. There is definitely a relationship in that the Reformers did not “reform” their Catholic eschatology, only soteriology. But I have found claims that Replacement theology goes as far back as the 2nd century. Certainly Augustine held to it, which would put it in the 5th century. So both the Catholic and Reformed churches got it from him, at least, if not prior to that. But they are not responsible for its existence, at least not in a causative sense.

    5) No. Ariminians hold to it too. In fact, Lawrence Vance deals with this in his chapter on Perseverance of the Saints in his book The Other Side of Calvinism. Vance concludes the chapter by saying (p. 596):

    So the only perceivable difference between a Calvinist and an Arminian when it comes to assurance is that the Arminian requires holiness to prove salvation while the Calvinist demands holiness to prove election, which then substantiates salvation.


  40. Thanks Marcella,

    You are exactly right — but not only is there TRUTH in His Word, Scripture says God’s Word IS Truth:
    “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy Word IS Truth.” John 17:17 (My emphasis)

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  41. Bruce,

    Everybody here certainly got their money’s worth with your understandable, excellent, detailed study of Amillennialism, Allegorical, eisogesis, etc. I felt for a moment I was back in Bible College!! (I especially enjoyed the illustration that the illogical misinterpretation of Scripture could “very quickly turn God into a bird.”)

    Thanks Bruce for taking the time to answer questions so eloquently and succinctly.

    We are indeed blessed to have you here helping manage the conversation and answer questions on this web site.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  42. Thank you very much, Bruce! What you said helps alot. I was raised in the Lutheran Church, and recently, someone told me that Lutherans also deny the 1,000 year reign. I didn’t know this. I had a discussion with a Lutheran Pastor recently, and he thinks we are in the tribulation now. I know a Pastor of an Evangelical church, who believed we were in the tribulation, too, then he changed his mind and said it was past the tribulation, then decided it was the pretribulation period. Confusing! The leader of the cult I was in taught that Christians would go through the tribulation. That caused many people, especially the young ones, to cry, scream and be so afraid. Alot of people got up and left and never came back. Fear is a terrible thing to be in bondage to. I know because I lived in fear for at least two years and became deathly afraid of God! So, I am determined to never allow anyone to cause me to doubt or question what I believe. Praise the Lord for the TRUTH in His Word and for the fredom we have here to read and study it!

  43. Hi Marcella,

    First, here is the link to Rob Congdon’s site (feel free to email him with questions):

    Second, please forgive me for incorporating an overabundance of theological jargon. I guess that I thought for a moment that I was back in seminary writing a term paper. Let me break some of it down for you.

    1. Regarding an allegorical interpretation of Scripture: “Allegorical” refers to allegory, the use of figurative language or telling of stories that may or may not be true but are utilized in the Bible to make a point. Does the Bible ever use figurative language, i.e. figures of speech? Certainly it does, but the Bible always gives clear indicators, such as context, to let the reader know that the language is figurative. For one example of misinterpretation or misapplication, LDS missionaries love to use figures of speech from the Bible such as “the hand of God,” “the voice of God” or “the eyes of God” to attempt to prove that God has a body just like that of a human being. Of course this contradicts John 4:24 which declares clearly that God IS a SPIRIT. In addition, using LDS logic, Psalm 91:4 would very quickly turn God into a bird: “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust [find rest].” Jesus is called “the vine,” “the door” and “the bread of life.” Obviously these are all metaphorical terms.

    Given the fact that the Bible does, on occasion, utilize figurative language, what is the connection of figurative usage with Calvinism? And what is the Calvinist’s motivation for using allegorical interpretation of the Bible? Calvinism often misemploys figurative/allegorical interpretation to texts that have a clear literal meaning. Once Bible interpreters go down the allegorical pathway of interpreting the Bible, there is practically nothing left of the Bible to believe or trust. Where does allegory begin? Where does it end? For the Calvinist, here is where the term “eisogetic” or “eisogesis” comes into play. Eisogesis is READING INTO a Biblical text a meaning that is not really there, based upon preconceived notions of what the interpreter thinks that the Bible SHOULD SAY. Calvinism is a man-devised theological system. So, when a Calvinist sets out to interpret the Bible, he approaches the task with strong preconceived biases. When he comes to a text, such as Acts 16:30-31, Romans 4:5 or Ephesians 2:8-9, which speak strongly against a Calvinist understanding of Scripture in favor of a Free Grace view, the Calvinist must perform gymnastic gyrations of misinterpretation to try to MAKE his system fit. Often, dishonesty, or at the least, shoddy research is employed.

    2. What is amillennialism and what is its connection to Calvinism?

    Amillennialism is a system of theological thought that teaches that there will be no literal thousand-year reign of Christ on earth. Amillennialism is held to by the Roman Catholic Church as well as Reformed Calvinism. Of course this teaching is in direct conflict with Revelation 20, Isaiah 11, and Isaiah 65, all of which clearly speak of a literal future thousand-year reign of Christ Jesus upon the earth. Revelation 20, in particular, states unequivocally, FIVE TIMES, that this is a LITERAL thousand-year period of time. Any unbiased straightforward reading of Revelation 20 must lead to no other conclusion. Yet, the amillennialists use allegorical misinterpretation to try to explain away the literal thousand-year reign of Christ on earth.

    3. So what is “literal interpretation of Scripture” and must we take everything that the Bible says only in its literal sense?

    Response: Literal interpretation of Scripture simply means to take the Bible at face value, to take what it says in its plain normal sense. It means to take a passage of the Bible literally unless there are clear markers to indicate that the passage contains figures of speech or allegory. Literal interpretation means that a student of the Bible should never force a meaning into a text to make the text say something that it was never intended to declare.

    I hope that this clears some things up and keep those questions coming.

  44. Bruce, most of what you said went way over my head. I have much to learn. I had to look up “amilleniumism”, I mean, “amillennialism” to see what it meant. I heard of it before, but wasn’t sure what it was. I cannot locate the link to Rob Congdon’s blog. Can you please provide it? Also, what is “allegorical interpretation” of scriptures? What does that mean? Sorry I’m so full of questions. I am learning alot on Jack’s blog! Praise the Lord!

  45. Faith,

    Thanks for finding Biblical value in our Blog — we appreciate you for your willingness to study God’s Word or just dropping in and, when you wish, your comments. Without you and all the others who visit, Bruce and I would simply be talking to each other. We are blessed to have such a wonderful group of friends who visit and read the Blog. Thanks.

    Come back often and comment when you wish.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  46. Looking forward to meeting all of you also worshipping our Savior! 🙂

    Have enjoyed coming here (even though I do not always post) and reading all of your posts full of wisdom. It sure has help me to see the simplicity of the gospel.

  47. ** Faith, Thanks.

    You are absolutely right, compare Scripture with Scripture in context..
    Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
    The combination of words “rightly dividing” in the Greek is “Orthotomeo” meaning “to cut a straight line — dissect correctly”

    ** Bruce,

    I am grateful that you elaborated on my admittedly lazy and short answer about Replacement teaching (RT) in answer to Marcella’s question.
    RT is such a dangerous thing because it demands that all areas of the Bible be re-interpreted to fit that mold. Your mention of the Catholic reason for their change is typical. History has been altered by misinterpretation of Scripture.

    ** Pearl,

    You are very welcome — I have enjoyed our lively conversations ever since first “meeting” you.

    However, we look forward to greeting all of you in person some day as we worship our Savior in Heaven.. (And unless the Rapture is soon, I’ll beat all of you there).

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  48. Very kind of you to say, Marcella. Thank you. I haven’t been blogging as much lately. I had a lot to “say” in the beginning, by way of erecting a few of my own sign posts (i.e. teachers whose ‘Christ in you’ messages aren’t necessarily in the mainstream, but ought to be). Now that I’ve gotten it all off my chest, what else is there to do but run with it? In other words, please peruse the archives and, hopefully, be richly blessed. It may be a while before something comes across my path.

    (Thank you, Jack & Bruce, for graciously allowing my elaboration.)

  49. Hi friends,

    Thanks Pearl for the link and comments. Thanks Marcella for your comments. Right, Faith, on your warnings—Galatians 1:8-9 comes quickly to mind, as well as Revelation 22:18-19. Tagging onto what Jack said so well about Replacement Theology, I have heard that this false teaching was one of the many contributing factors or ideologies which set the stage for and gave [warped] theological justification for the horrors of the holocaust.

    If Calvinists would just for a moment take off their “only that which agrees with my preconceived Calvinist eisogetic notions” myopic eyeglasses, maybe they could see that Biblical Scripture declares that God still has huge future plans for Israel and for the Jewish people (see Ezekiel 36-38 and Revelation 7 and 14, for example; there are many other Old Testament references). And, possibly, they could see the great damage that their Replacement Theology has caused historically.

    By the way, I learned from Rob Congdon that Replacement Theology and its kin allegorical interpretation of Scripture (along with its resulting amillennialism) originated in the early centuries of Christendom merely as a capitulation to Rome. Rome was expressing concerns that futuristic texts like Revelation might lead to the fomenting of uprisings against Rome. So the early church fathers devised the allegorical interpretation to appease Rome. Later, the Calvinist movement incorporated this teaching into its system of theology.

  50. What I meant is that one needs to take Scripture literally, unless you see otherwise. Too many replace Scripture with their own version or take away from Scripture- dangerous. Seems to me that there are some verses that deal with those who mess with Scripture.

  51. Read Scripture for what it is – right Jack?

  52. Marcella,

    You can’t go wrong with Pearl’s Blog.. and yes, Israel is described as the “apple of His eye.”

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  53. Jack, thank you for the clarification of replacement theology. I have heard that some preachers teach that “Israel” is the church today, and the promises and blessings the Bible speaks about for Israel really belong to the church. That’s sad! Doesn’t the Bible describe Israel as the “apple of God’s eye”?

  54. Pearl, I signed up for your blog. You are an encouragement to me! I used to attend a Free Lutheran Church, and the Pastor seemed to be preaching biblical messages. However, I heard him say something during one of his sermons, and I immediately thought, “Huh?! That’s not biblical!” The Pastor threw in two false statements, or as you said, “a few drops of arsenic in otherwise clean water.” I was stunned. I continued to go to that church a few more times, but the Pastor kept adding more and more drops of arsenic, so I left. I’m still searching for a church to attend. False teaching abounds!

  55. Muchas gracias, Señor.

  56. Pearl,

    Good to see you.. It is not self-promotion when it is truth and I highly recommend your Blog. The topic is perfect.

    Your recommendation to RainbowLove is excellent. Thanks.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  57. Morning, Jack, Bruce and all ~

    I don’t really have anything “intelligent” to contribute to your legitimate questions, Jack. I’m more or less marinating on this one.

    I do feel motivated, however, to address RainbowLove’s desire to learn more about theology.

    I’ve never read R.C. Sproul. I remember receiving, perhaps less than a decade ago, a series of recordings by him. I asked a fellow bible teacher about him, whether he was trustworthy or not and the response came that Sproul does have many “good” things to say, but that one would, in the process, be getting aberrant teachings as well (i.e. a few drops of arsenic in otherwise clean water).

    In fact, I indirectly addressed this desire to learn theology at my blog a few months ago by posting an excellent quote by Maj. Ian Thomas (one of my particular favorite bible teachers, though not infallible himself!) together with an equally penetrating cartoon. I think it expresses much better what I am trying to say. (Forgive me, Jack & Bruce. I wouldn’t normally succumb to “self-promotion”, but getting our theology from commentaries is something we all have the tendancy to do, and no wonder the Bride of Christ is so confused!). The comments which follow are also very insightful:

  58. Marcella,

    Replacement “theology” in a few words is a teaching that — because the Jews rejected Christ, the Church has taken all the promises to the Jews and the Jews have no inheritance of or right to the land. Dangerous teaching — especially when we see the trouble Israel is in today and tomorrow in the UN.


    Thanks for your accurate analysis.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  59. Dear RHL:

    Thanks for your comments. The “P” of the Calvinist “TULIP” does not stand for persistence; it stands for perseverance of the saints. This teaching is false and unbiblical because it promotes a works-based plan of salvation—one must “persevere” or do good works to be saved or to remain or prove he is saved. The biblical view comes from John 10:27-30; it is called PRESERVATION of the saints; God does the saving and God does the keeping. Tom Cucuzza’s book (link in upper right column) tells all about this subject in detail. I strongly recommend that you buy it and read it.

  60. Hi Pastor Jack,

    Here are my admittedly short answers to your four questions:

    1) All theological error is due to incorrect interpretation of scripture. Since I am a dispensationalist I would give this question a definite answer of “yes!”

    2) Reformed theology leans very heavily on the Old Testament to justify its claims. Since they do not distinguish between Israel and the Church they are very prone to this type of error. Of course all Christians misinterpret Scripture from time to time.

    3) No matter what theology is being taught from the pulpit some ministries will “glorify a selfish teacher or church.”

    4) I don’t think we can hold Reformed/Calvinist theology as the main culprit. The Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church also teach this fallacy. I would say that the reformers stopped reforming too soon.

    5) Everyone who would identify themselves as believing in “Lordship Salvation” probably is Calvinist whether they realize it or not. From my experience, which is not infallible, I would have to answer “yes” to this question.

    Thank you.


  61. rainbowheartlove

    I am currently a member of a Lutheran church and I am trying to learn theology without having to spend lots of money. I have been listening to Dr. R. C. Sproul (yes, I know that you don’t like reformed theology for some reason). I thought the elect are the people who come to believe in Christ due to the act of God working in their hearts. (Total depravity in TULIP). I do think that it takes an act of God to come to believe in him. I like the P for persistance of the believer. My former pastor tried to say that I can lose my salvation but I can’t see how that could happen. Paul said that nothing can separate me from the love of God. That is why I like the P in TULIP but I don’t get some of the other stuff. Can someone lose their salvation? What basic theology groups are there? How do they differ from each other? What is the Biblical supports for each of them? Sorry if you have already talked about questions like these.
    By the way, I attended a Word of Faith church for a while but I found the constant political action to be annoying. I guess advocacy is important but I prefer to help people, pray for people without the political stuff.

  62. I say, “Absolutely!” to question 2. That’s a good example regarding dominionism, Jack. Some also use Genesis 1:26-28, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

    It’s not just the Old Testament that’s taken out of context, but the New Testament, as well. Here are some examples. When I was in the Latter Rain movement, they used Joel 2:28-29 to mean that God uses dreams, visions and prophesy to speak to us today. “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.” Acts 2:17-18 says, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.”

    The Pentecostal and charismatic movements use Acts 2:1-4 to mean speaking in tongues is for today. “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

    Taking scriptures out of context and making them apply to today is a dangerous game to play. This is what I think is meant by “Kingdom now” theology.

    I was reading a blog on which a preacher said that he preached word of faith for 23 years, then he heard Ray Comfort’s message about true and false converts. The preacher said that message changed his life and he left the word of faith movement. He’s now Reformed. Sad! I have seen a pattern of people, who are deceived move from one deception to another. I know several people, who have left one cult to go to another, but they don’t know that the cult they are in now is even a cult.

    I’m not sure exactly what “replacement theology” is, but I believe it pertains to anything that replaces the clear truth of the gospel with a lie.

    I look forward to seeing what others have to say on this topic. God bless everyone!