Why a “Good Boy – Bad Boy” Lordship “Salvation” Is a Lie

………By Jack Weaver……….

Does Lordship "salvation" (LS) teaching deter folks from trusting Christ as Savior? I believe so. If one must work, work, work to gain "salvation" and then work, work, work to keep it.. there's no wonder that kind of "salvation" would be rejected — it is asking the impossible.

I remember hearing this phrase while growing up in Calvinism: "Good boys go to Heaven and bad boys go to Hell.” Therefore, I pose a question: Is Lordship “salvation” simply a twisted manifestation of that old phrase preached for so long in so many religions?

“Salvation is for those who are willing to forsake everything.” (MacArthur, The Gospel According to Jesus, p. 78.) [Be a good boy/girl or else — my comment]

“Let me say again unequivocally that Jesus’ summons to deny self and follow him was an invitation to salvation, not . . . a second step of faith following salvation.” (Dr. John MacArthur, The Gospel According to Jesus What is Authentic Faith? pp. 219.)  [Be a good boy/girl or else — my comment]

“As I see it, a lukewarm Christian is an oxymoron; there’s no such thing.  To put it plainly, churchgoers who are “lukewarm” are not Christians.  We will not see them in heaven.” (Crazy Love, Francis Chan, pp. 83-84.) [Be a good boy/girl or else — my comment]

Those are quotes from Pastors who appear to be sophisticated pushers of the same old lie, “Good boys go to Heaven and Bad Boys go to Hell.”

How can anyone who honestly studies the Bible in context:

  • believe the “good boy, bad boy” syndrome to be true?
  • have any doubt about their salvation — that God freely gives eternal life when by Grace, through faith we believe in the Savior Jesus Christ — He is all sufficient. He has done it all!!

The only answer to those questions is, “They are victims of a lie.”

This Bible verse is one of the first and most thrilling that I studied in depth not long after trusting Christ as my Savior. Here, Christ is speaking:

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. John 10:28

Even on the surface, it is comforting, but let’s dig a little deeper. Read this and rejoice with me!

The word “Never” is one word made up of a Greek compound adverb comprised of five Greek words: ou me, eis, ho, aion. (These are from Strong’s Greek/Hebrew to English Dictionary)

Ou me – a double negative strengthening the denial; not at all,  by no means, neither, not at all, in no case (no wise).

Eis – for any intent, purpose, never perish, any place, time or purpose.

Ho – Male, female, neuter, anyone, he, she or it,

Aion – any age; in perpetuity,  by implication the world; eternal, forever more, from the beginning of the world, without end.

Review: “Shall NEVER PERISH, not at all, by any means, never, not (at all), in no case (no wise), any place, time or purpose, whether male, female, neuter, anyone, he, she or it, at any age; in perpetuity; by implication the world; eternal, forever more, from the beginning when the world began, without end”  POWERFUL !!

Perish is the Greek word, apollumi, meaning to destroy fully (reflexive to perish, or lose),destroy, die, lose, mar, perish.

NEVER PERISH!!

That was an exegesis of only one single Bible verse out of hundreds in which God promises Free eternal life. Now, we who have trusted Jesus Christ alone as our Savior can take further comfort knowing that we:

Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:5

How can any “honest” Lordship “salvation” proponent believe in their own lie, or in anything less than the total, eternal sufficiency of our Salvation in Jesus Christ alone?

Amazing IS God’s Grace.

Heaven Is Absolutely Free! << Click

217 responses to “Why a “Good Boy – Bad Boy” Lordship “Salvation” Is a Lie

  1. Sadly, so true… It is amazing the venom that is present when you might touch John MacArthur, or Paul Washer, or the like. They need not defend themselves, their followers (disciples) will do it for them, and with great gusto…

  2. Excellent work, johninnc.

    I’ve had that particular scripture in mind on and off for a couple of weeks lately as it seems to me to be particularly relevant to the current times and not just a one-time application to the religious leaders on the scene during Jesus’ earthly ministry.

  3. Lordship “salvation” is doubling down on works.

    A person’s commitment to a false gospel doesn’t make it any less false. After all, Jesus pointed out that some people would “compass land and sea” to make just one false convert.

    Matthew 23:15: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

    If they will compass land and sea, they will write books, hold conventions, establish seminaries, build denominations, write statements of faith, make new translations of the Bible, hold prayer breakfasts, go on talk shows, create television and radio ministries, create internet sites, Facebook pages, blogs, and so on.

    The fruits by which we know false teachers are their students.

  4. Abe… they do not, do they?… I remember just talking to the Lord one day, wondering about all these men who preached. But as they ‘preached’, it was their ‘shocking message’, it was their ‘road to heaven’ or their message of guilt and condemnation, but never the simple gospel laid out. Instead of showing how we could KNOW that we were saved, they instead undermined people and said they could not give them assurance. (probationary period I guess).

    Of course I knew the truth of the fact they were not preaching the gospel, I knew they were adding to it, and corrupting minds from the simplicity that is in Christ, but I kept wondering why they would do it. And then it dawned on me, “Why should I wonder”? They had chosen for whatever reason, whether deceiving or being deceived, that they didn’t believe the gospel, and didn’t come with fear and trembling preaching it (1 Cor 2:1-5) but with their own wisdom of words… they have not believed on Him as their Savior, but like their mother, the Catholic church which they have not fallen far from, they down deep think they are co-redeemer…

  5. “How does someone who has believed the gospel not know based on God’s Word that he is saved?”

    Good point. Because he has believed another gospel, one that doesn’t acknowledge that Jesus paid it all.

  6. Another right-on comment John. It would explain what Billy Graham said in that interview with Fox.

    NEWS BRIEF: “Graham Worries Heaven Might Be Wrong Place For Him”, January 2, 2000, Fox News Interview, reported in The Calvary Contender, Vol. XVII, January 15, 2000.

    “In a Jan. 2 Fox News interview, Tony Snow asked Billy Graham: ‘When you get to Heaven, who’s going to speak first, you or God?’ Graham replied: ‘When I get there, I’m sure that Jesus is going to say that he will welcome me. But I think that he’s going to say: ‘Well done, our good and faithful servant.’ Or he may say: ‘You’re in the wrong place’.”
    (LACK OF ANY ASSURANCE)

    Tony Snow’s next question.

    SNOW: “You really worry that you may be told you’re in the wrong place?

    GRAHAM: Yes, because I have not – I’m not a righteous man. People put me up on a pedestal that I don’t belong in my personal life. And they think that I’m better than I am. I’m not the good man that people think I am. Newspapers and magazines and television have made me out to be a saint. I’m not. I’m not a Mother Teresa. And I feel that very much.”

    ISN’T THAT TRAGIC TO HEAR?

    He said himself he was not a saint. How about saying, “without Christ I would not be considered righteous”? How does someone who has believed the gospel not know based on God’s Word that he is saved?

    Must be because he has not believed the Word of God, as he himself has said as reported in Newsweek, “I am not a literalist in the sense that every single Jot and Tittle is From The Lord.”

  7. John wrote: “Let’s say someone believes that “good boys go to heaven and bad boys go to hell.” This person also believes that Jesus is God, and that He was crucified, buried, and raised from the dead. But, this person doesn’t think he has been good enough to go to heaven, so he thinks he is likely to go to hell.”

    This is the heart of the matter. Every catholic person believes that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and resurrected the third day. But it is the disconnect between Jesus doing that, and the acquisition of eternal life, that is the issue. The catholic disconnect is to insert sacramental works in the middle. Just to use one LS group as an example.

  8. Ha! I had a feeling my wording was sloppy . . .

    Yes, I should have written, “simple, clear illustrations SUCH AS THIS”. I find it very helpful.

  9. Frying pan, did my above example meet these criteria?

  10. Thank you, John.

    Speaking for myself, I need to read simple, clear illustrations on a REGULAR basis. Until further notice at least . . .

  11. This good-boy, bad-boy thing all fits in with false repentance.

    Let’s say someone believes that “good boys go to heaven and bad boys go to hell.” This person also believes that Jesus is God, and that He was crucified, buried, and raised from the dead. But, this person doesn’t think he has been good enough to go to heaven, so he thinks he is likely to go to hell.

    The person in this example is not a believer (unless he believed at some point and has since become confused).

    Now, someone comes along to him and says trust in Christ AND “repent of your sins”, “turn your life over to God”, “change direction”, or some other non-Biblical invitation to salvation.

    Repentance means a change of mind. The above “invitations” do not involve a change of mind, but merely a reinforcement of an existing mindset. The mindset would be this: “I know I have to be good to go to heaven. From this decision point on, I’m going to try to be good and serve God.”

    This person has been “sold” a false gospel!

    The hypothetical person above still believes he has to be good to go to heaven – or at least be willing to. He has not changed his mind. He is still not trusting Christ.

    Biblical repentance would be changing one’s mind FROM believing good boys go to heaven and bad boys go to hell (one’s own attempt at righteousness), TO trusting in Christ’s righteousness.

  12. With the “strain” of Lordship, interestingly, you find it also in Pentecostalism. Joyce Meyer is one. Arminians and Calvinists have much in common. I think anyone who strays from the faith will go to a man-centered gospel which always seems to be about works. Look at Rick Warren for an example. Works-based, social gospel. I think the ‘protestants’ didn’t stray far from the flock of Catholicism…

  13. Earlier in this thread I commented on how I was going to cancel my subscription to The Berean Call newsletter. Well, I did so (as mentioned on another thread).

    Since then I’ve received two successive newsletters from them. I chalked up the receipt of the first one to a lag in communication time or whatever, and Jack (or someone here) speculated they’ll probably keep sending the newsletter to me in spite of my request to be removed, so that they can continue to propagandize. Well, today I received the newest issue of their newsletter. Those proved to (appear at least) to be prophetic words.

    I’m having a hard time not thinking, “Okay, they either didn’t get my letter,” which is INCREDIBLY unlikely. Or, that they’re VERY slow to respond or . . . that they are continuing to send me the newsletter in order to propagandize. I’m not saying they’re doing that, but at best there’s evidence they’re doing so.

    My shredder is not capable of shredding a TBC newsletter without being opened and “thinned out,” or else it will jam. So I was tempted to look inside and sure enough saw a great big ad for one of Ray Comfort’s books (or was a DVD? doesn’t matter). Based on the way some Calvinists (and their sympathizers) behave, it won’t surprise me in the least if the truth really is that TBC is ignoring my request to cancel my subscription in order to spread the likes of Comfort et al.

    Will I be able to resist the temptation to not look inside the next issue to arrive should they keep me on their distribution list? Only time will tell . . . Maybe I should burn them instead. Don’t anyone tell your environmentally conscious friends and loved ones that I’m considering that option. 😉

  14. Mark Cahill and I have had numerous email conversations in the past. It was about this time last year when I was reading his book “One Thing You Can’t Do in Heaven” and “The Way of The Master” by Ray Comfort. I noticed in Mark’s book that he dedicated a whole chapter on Gospel tracts from “Living Waters”, a ministry that was founded by Ray Comfort. I wanted to use the tracts too, so I emailed Mark about which particular tracts he likes best and his reply was that he no longer distribute them any more because Living Waters support Calvinism. Well that prompted me to dig deeper into Calvinism and learn more about it, well one thing led to another and along the way (with the help of the Holy Spirit) I was exposed to LS and discovered Free Grace sites such as this one and in October, after several months of growing, reading, and praying I fully trusted Christ.

    In the meantime I tried to send Mark emails about true meaning of repentance (changing of the mind) and LS and how he is (unwittingly perhaps) preaching it, but all I get is “sorry I’m busy” replies.

    I thought about just sending him, by mail, a copy of Dr. Ray Stanford’s book on Personal Evangelism with a brief letter expressing my concerns about LS. Maybe he will find time during his travels to read it.

    Bryan

  15. Now that you mention it, John, I think you’re absolutely right. If by “Perseverance of the saints” you include the age old refrain of “Well, then if they’re living in sin or practicing sin and don’t care, they were never saved to begin with / they were insincere upon ‘conversion'” and thus never really repented and got saved, then yes. Absolutely. There’s ultimately no significant distinction. Not that I can find anyway.

    There’s a strain of LS out there that’s basically perseverance of the saints without being recognized as such. I’ve seen more than my share of Christians who totally reject all points of Calvinism, but who nevertheless teach that they offer no comfort to Christians who are living in sin or who are practicing sin and don’t seem to care.

    We’ve discussed some of this on the following thread: https://expreacherman.com/2012/12/18/dave-hunts-berean-call-promoting-not-only-calvinism-but-now-the-terrible-lordship-salvation-of-ray-comfort/

    Do a word find or “we offer no comfort” on that post and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.

    What a shame (or should I say “outrage”) that clear assurance of salvation has seemingly been relegated to a tiny remnant of believers in these last days? In America at least . . .

  16. I don’t see much of a distinction between Calvinism and Lordship Salvation. Lordship salvation and Calvinism share common roots, and both tend to believe in perseverance of the saints.

  17. Thanks, Holly.

    If you go to his website (Google it and you’ll find it immediately) and click around on obvious things there to be his salvation message or whatever, it will bolster your conviction that Cahill is certainly LS enough to be marked as (sadly) yet another person to avoid (and pray for).

  18. From what I understand about Cahill, he supposedly disagrees with the Doctrines of Grace, but whether he names himself as a Lordship teacher I do not know, but when I did my research on some of what he said, even some of the reformed places quote him favorably. But he certainly seems to have the basic foundation of Lordship teaching unless I’m missing something.

    Here is one who supposedly speaks against Calvinism, but quotes Cahill’s book:

    “According to the Bible, which Mark Cahill takes his teachings from, repentance is surrender to God and turning from sin, “And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost..… and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thess 1:6,9). Repentance is a forsaking of sin to present the body, soul and spirit as a living sacrifice to Christ for the furtherance of His kingdom (Ro 12:1)…Fully surrendering to God and turning away from sin doesn’t guarantee a person won’t sin, but reveals a deep desire not to sin and to be united with the Lord (2 Cor 5:9)…” EQ

    If that is all Cahill, sure sounds like Lordship.

  19. FryingPan9 – I wanted to also let you know, that I made sure I was removed from their mailing lists awhile back, but completely forgot or neglected to remove them from Facebook. I did so today, and I posted letting them know. That post disappeared shortly after.

  20. I haven’t seen much evidence of Mark Cahill being a Calvinist, but that’s based on very recent research I’ve done. In terms of LS the only difference between Cahill and Ray Comfort is the latter is a Calvinist, but he doesn’t seem to advertise it. I say I’m not convinced that Cahill is Calvinist because I’ve seen Calvinist websites decry Cahill’s warnings and criticism of Calvinism.

    But maybe he still has Calvinist leanings with which he’s not even aware?

  21. Fryingpan9 I’m with you…

    I had heard Dave say that he personally didn’t even understand the teachings of Calvinism fully when he first debated James White and I think it’s certainly progressive revelation. I know though he fought against the doctrine. I see (sadly) that men have joined/infiltrated his group that are compromisers, and maybe Dave himself did. I know I have and I will fail in that department, sometimes not sure where to draw the line, but it becomes clearer through comparing things to the light of His Word.

    I know it is discouraging to see ministries and Bible studies and churches taken down by the reformed theology as I have seen over time…It’s heartbreaking to me.

  22. I addressed the Berean Call on their FB page with a simple plea, and I’ll give you my post to them, and their response.

    MY POST:</b? Berean Call, please do not use men like Calvinist and Lordship salvation proponent Mark Cahill to speak at your conferences. This is EXACTLY what Dave fought against… So terribly wrong!

    Berean Call response: “The loving God of the Bible does not want people to perish, but have everlasting life! That is why He created them with the ability, and not inability, to choose. There is not one verse in the Bible that says man cannot believe upon the gospel of Jesus Christ.” –Mark Cahill

    Holly, We would encourage you to read Mark’s book The Watchmen, especially chapter 8 – pp 171-79, in which he presents a very clear refutation of that doctrine using dozens of scriptures.

    Mark has been a long-time subscriber and friend of TBC (well before we knew anything about his ministry). His talks at our conference last year were convicting and encouraging, and we look forward to hearing him again.

  23. Spurgeon is the poster boy in getting a pass in spite of one’s LS/Calvinist leanings. Maybe his influence wouldn’t be so deeply ingrained in the Church of Jesus Christ if some hero worshipper had refrained from dubbing him “The Prince of Preachers.”

  24. Lizzy,

    Our friend and associate John passed along to me some terrible Spurgeon Calvinist “gems” for us to consider.

    Spurgeon on Calvinism:

    “Calvinism did not spring from Calvin. We believe that it sprang from the great Founder of all truth.” (Charles Spurgeon, Sermons, Vol. 7, p. 298).

    “I question whether we have preached the whole counsel of God, unless predestination with all its solemnity and sureness be continually declared.” (Charles Spurgeon, Sermons, Vol. 6, p. 26).

    “You must first deny the authenticity and full inspiration of the Holy Scripture before you can legitimately and truly deny election.” (Charles Spurgeon, Sermons, Vol. 3, p.130).

    “I do not come into this pulpit hoping that perhaps somebody will of his own free will return to Christ. My hope lies in another quarter. I hope that my Master will lay hold of some of them and say, “You are mine, and you shall be mine. I claim you for myself.” My hope arises from the freeness of grace, and not from the freedom of the will.”

    “I have my own opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel if we do not preach justification by faith without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing unchangeable eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross.” (Charles Spurgeon, The New Park Street Pulpit, Vol. 1, 1856).

    On election:

    “If Christ on His cross intended to save every man, then He intended to save those who were lost before He died. If the doctrine be true, that He died for all men, then He died for some who were in Hell before He came into this world, for doubtless there were even then myriads there who had been cast away because of their sins. . . That seems to me a conception a thousand times more repulsive than any of those consequences which are said to be associated with the Calvinistic and Christian doctrine of special and particular redemption. To think that my Savior died for men who were or are in Hell, seems a supposition too horrible for me to entertain.” (Charles Spurgeon, Autobiography: 1, The Early Years, p. 172)

    “I would rather believe a limited atonement that is efficacious for all men for whom it was intended, than a universal atonement that is not efficacious for anybody, except the will of men be added to it.” (Charles Spurgeon, Sermons, Vol. 4, p. 70)

    Thank you, John.

    And to think that TBC (and many other so-called “Grace” ministries) advertise Spurgeon!!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  25. Lizzy, I humbly submit that I’m not failing to see anything. But thank you for your concern. Generally speaking I’m more disappointed than upset w/ TBC, but their giving Mark Cahill a pass does irk me. I am more sympathetic towards their promotion of Spurgeon, unless of course, they’ve been warned about his false teachings and choose to ignore such warnings. I didn’t even know Spurgeon was a false teacher till I discovered this blog. Perhaps if you’ve read everything I’ve read (not just postings on this blog) in the past 6 months you’d agree.

    I could say even more about TBC and even about Dave that would at best be a “caveat” to those unfamiliar with TBC and Dave’s legacy, but I don’t feel compelled to do so here at this time.

  26. Lizzy,

    Thanks for visiting and commenting to FryingPan about Calvinism. We appreciate the fact that we here all agree on that issue of false doctrine.

    I will insert my two cents worth here and let FryingPan respond as he sees fit.

    As you say, TBC advertises some errant (I call them apostate) teachers with a “disclaimer.” That is like a fine restaurant advertising that some of their meals on the menu may or may not be laced with poison.. it is up to you to determine which.

    Babes in Christ may not know that some of TBC’s recommendations preach a false message, innocently believing that the TBC folks are actually practicing what they preach, being “Bereans.” They are not.

    Just in case you are not aware, here is the actual text of one of Spurgeon’s worst sermons, Turn or Burn.
    http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0106.htm

    It is dangerous when a “trusted” source like TBC advertises the good and the bad with a disclaimer but without distinction as to which is poison.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  27. To FryingPan9, it appears you are upset with the Berean Call using Spurgeon quotes in some of their material, but what you fail to see is that Spurgeon was not a TULIP man and actually preached salvation by grace and at other times seemed to be persuaded by Augustine and Calvin. The Berean Call also has a disclaimer that although they may use quotes where someone is right, they may not endorse all their theology and in many instances disagrees with most.
    I am one who hates Calvinism, whether it be five point or one point. Those that follow any of those points of Augustine-Calvinism do not realize they are actually adhering to Gnostic teachings and will fight tooth and nail to defend it, Just as the Roman catholics do with their Augustinian religion.

  28. Holly,

    In addition to what I already said, think my decision to cut ties with The Berean Call (“TBC”) was mainly made final based on the following :

    1) Things I’ve learned about TBC at this blog.
    2) Things I’ve learned about Spurgeon since discovering this blog (TBC has always promoted him so far as I can remember). Not to mention Dave’s middle names come from Spurgeon’s name . . .
    3) Things I’ve learned about the false teachings and false gospel of LS at this blog and realizing TBC either gives it a pass or is unaware of it.
    4) I want to send them a message that to not fight against the heresy of LS is to promote it, at least by omission.

    I will miss them sorely, but my letter is already in the mail so there’s (more or less) no turning back now.

  29. FryingPan9 – Wow…. I had a feeling Calvinists had infiltrated Dave Hunt’s group. I remember listening to his Calvinist videos and thought he was too compromising with them. (Dave) And then I remember when he went to speak to Rick Warren (same thing, too compromising).

    Then there were some of the Calvinist literature being favorably promoted, but I had seen one of his last conferences, and he had come out very strong in speech now against these people (which had pleasantly surprised me).

    But I am afraid they have been compromised, so sad to see….

  30. John….

    I laughed out loud at your comment above (second comment from the top). Can’t post the entire comment, but it was great and so true… The good old boy club…

    You said: Jack, I think it is kind of like belonging to a country club for the LS advocates. Everyone is welcome, provided they can pay the initiation fee (turning from sins and committing to follow Christ). Then, there are monthly maintenance fees (works) in order to remain a member in good standing.

    Excellent comment John! So true!

  31. Eddy,

    Thank you for the information about Mark Cahill. I Per your adivice to Google “”One Thing You Can’t Do In Heaven PDF”, I read the sinner’s prayer on page 221 and page 222 of the book.

    How appalling. It could have been written by Ray Comfort. To me is just sounds a bit mean spirited. It almost made me ill getting through all of it.

    Mark Cahill is speaking at the Berean Call ‘s TBC Conference 2013 (and did so last year as well.)

    I’m contacting The Berean Call to ask them to remove me from their mailing list. I enjoyed their ministry for many years but they were not part of the solution in terms of my falling into the confusing and despair that comes from LS teaching. That confusion lasted many years. So based on that and The Berean Call’s obvious deviation from coming from a clear grace perspective, it’s time to move on.

    I can’t afford to be around LS poison . . . It may be years before I can be exposed to it without having a detrimental effect on my peace that surpasses all understanding.

  32. Sam, I don’t know what motivates teachers of false doctrine. Some are deceived and lost, some are saved and have become deceived, some are saved and are pushing an agenda, and some are lost and are pushing an agenda. I try to remember to pray for them and their victims – especially those that find their way onto this site and are hostile to the Grace message.

    In any event, I agree that Lordship “salvation” shares a common theme with Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses and other cults, in that it teaches salvation by works.

    Some of the folks that you mentioned have been great champions of Grace. However, late in life, Hodges drifted to a “message of life” (cross-less gospel) theology.

    My favorite source for Grace teaching is Clear Gospel Campaign. See link below:

    http://www.cleargospel.org/index.php

  33. Pastor Jack,
    Thank you very much, for your sound biblical foundation, as concerns the heresy Lordship Salvation. However, unlike many, I am convinced that there is a contrived and planned deception going on here. Lordship Salvation has been promulgated by those hapless individuals who fail to realize that their pride is every bit a sin, as much as is adultery. Pride is a terrible thing……………….and I must say, is deeply dividing our nation and churches. I thank Jesus for men of Grace, such as yourself, Ryrie, Zane Hodges, and Chuck Swindoll. Ultimately, the crux of issue is this: How is Lordship Salvation any different than Mormonism? Mormons proclaim the name of Christ! Obviously, simply speaking His name does not make them true believers in Christ! Christianity is not a call to morality, but instead a call to renounce our pride, and fall on our knees before our Lord Jesus Christ. I am very well aware of John MacArthur and his teachings, and believe he is a tool of “architects” who are assertively trying to undermine Free Grace protestant churches. I do not believe he and other Lordship Salvationist preachers are benign, innocent preachers………..they are instead a cancer. I do believe that there is a “conspiracy” to undermine Free Grace theology in this country, thus creating a subtle mindset in Protestants to agree with, and eventually fully or partially accept cultic thinking. Hitler did the same thing with Lutheran church in Germany, leading up to WWII. He invoked fear in Lutheran clergy to be “obedient,” and not speak out against evils of his regime. If we truly believe in the power of Grace, we renounce works.

  34. Mike,

    You are quite right. Methodism, started by the Wesley brothers, is a “faith” based on Arminianism (Jacobus Arminius), or simply stated, no assurance of security. Or as you say, based on Lordship “salvation” which is no salvation at all — only probation. And the world calls Methodism one of the “great” religions..But in reality, a religion of works for salvation. And like so many, they never know when they have done enough works. Scripture says salvation is only by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone — NO works before, during or after to keep the Gift of salvation. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

    In Christ, Jack

  35. I was reading the united methodist statement of faith and it seems they teach a progressive salvation. they believe in Christ and His sacrifice but seem to put in Lordship (works) in a progressive way. you cannot have any security in your salvation this way a false gospel has anybody else found this to be true ? thanks mike

  36. Hi John,

    Timely subject in view of the recent Penn State scandal.

    The question is often asked of Christians, “Can a murderer be saved, i.e. can a murderer go to heaven one day?”

    Sons of Jacob, David, and Saul/Paul are biblical examples that come to mind.

  37. John,

    Great point. You are so very right!! And the lie of insecurity is spreading through our churches and “religious” teachers like wildfire. Lordship “salvation” and the “Emerging” churches are all guilty of perpetrating this error in one form or another. They deny the wonderful Grace of God in Jesus Christ that has paid for ALL our sins, past, present and future!!!

    It is a shame that such TV programs do not allow for correct Biblical counter discussion. (Occasionally some have discussion but such is usually with a Roman Catholic priest who would agree that there is no eternal hope for a murderer.) Sad!

    In Christ, Jack

  38. I saw a very sad article on ESPN today. It was about a father who killed the person who molested his son. I will go ahead, just to preempt any confusion, and say that I don’t believe that murder is ever justified. But both the father and his wife believe that the murder sentenced the father to hell. Please see excerpt below:

    “When June saw Gary that night in lockup, the first thing she said was, ‘You’re going to hell for this, you know that, right?’

    ‘I know,” Gary said.'”

    I don’t know Gary and June’s religious affiliation, if any. Nor am I in a position to judge them. But, their testimony betrays any knowledge of God’s Grace. Anyone who knows the Gospel knows that June and Gary are wrong! They need to be told the truth.

    Likewise, there are tens of millions of people in the United States who are told by their church that the sin of murder cannot be forgiven. Both our Vice President and his opponent are members of one.

    http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/8486252/a-father-justice

  39. Jack, either that, or they see Calvinism/Reformed/LS/Catholicism as all the same thing – works-based theological systems.

  40. John,

    Interesting quotes..

    Absolutely right.. Atheists probably see Catholicism as “christianity,” which is a good/bad boy “religion.” That was sorta my opinion when I was an atheist.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  41. Jack, I just read a fascinating article called “How do Atheists Find Meaning in Life”. It was published in the Washington Post. I won’t provide the link, but the fifth paragraph, excerpted below, is fascinating:

    “Many Christians claim we have no reason to care about others if there is no God. But this is itself a religious claim, arising from the theological concept of Original Sin, which declares humankind fallen and corrupt. We can safely ignore it, for in reality we do not need childish stories of eternal reward or damnation to coerce us into being good: research shows that the least religious societies have the lowest incidence of social ills, including crime and violence. Healthy humans have empathy built in, and the explanations for this lie in psychology and evolutionary biology: no gods required.”

    The writer obviously has a terrible misconception of real Christianity, most likely based on having met “christians” who believe the “good boys go to heaven and bad boys go to hell” nonsense taught in most of the so-called churches.

    If most professing christians have believed a false gospel of works, is it any wonder that atheists have no concept of what a real Christian believes?

  42. FYI, for those who are not subscribers to our web site.

    New post on Peace on Earth without the God of Peace?
    http://www.expreacherman.com/2011/12/17/peace-on-earth-or-personal-peace-without-the-god-of-peace-reference-lordship-salvation-and-christmas/

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  43. Yeh gopher it Bruce!

  44. Yeh, the same here about Pilgrims Progress. I liked the story, but recently saw some inconsistencies. I always wondered about pilgrim on this journey without anyone but himself, except when he went to Palace Beautiful. It seemed like he was walking alone, fighting the battles alone, dealing with his sins alone most of his journey. And the journey seemed like it was a journey to get to heaven, instead of knowing that we have already won the prize. Thanks Pearl for bringing that out- will think on that a little more.

  45. I am still amazed — as we study and learn more about the the terrible philosophy of Lordship/commitment “salvation” we also realize that the same philosophy has been taught, preached and propagated for years by “respected soldiers of the faith.” It is no wonder that we see people resist God’s Grace after being taught the lie for centuries… But actually it goes all the way back to the Apostle Paul’s admonition letter to the Galatians.

    So simple By Grace through Faith:
    Romans 11:6
    And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

    Can’t have it both ways — Grace and works for salvation simply can not be mixed. It is forever settled in God’s Word: By Grace through Faith. As Faith so eloquently expressed — God’s irrevocable GIFT!!!

    But we see also how the opponents of Grace redefine the very words “Grace, repent, works, faith,” etc — just as they do the passages which express so clearly the true Biblical Grace meaning of those words and doctrines.

    Friends, thank you. We really appreciate your discernment and willingness to express yourselves so well. Keep it up… Precious Souls for our Savior are at stake.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  46. Sorry to break in again, but I just went back and read Pearl’s insightful comment on Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. I also have wondered the same thing MANY times! Actually, though I do like his analogy of dropping off his burden at the cross, his amazing journey TO it seems almost confusing. Bruce, I add my “Gopher it” to your project as well!

  47. Loving your comments Brie! Acts 13:38-39 becomes more precious to me every day. We’re justified from ALL THINGS through faith in Christ! And boy, do I have a bunch of ALL THINGS, but His grace is sufficient even for me! God Bless!

  48. Gopher it, Bruce!

  49. Brie,

    Excellent points, thanks!

    Pearl,

    Your citation of Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” and its possible ties to LS theology is fascinating! You may be giving me an idea for another article???

    Merry Christmas to all of our ExP friends!

  50. I want to add also in Acts we have an actual record of Paul’s evangelistic preaching! In Acts 13 we can actually be a part of Paul’s audience and hear him preach! Interesting to note that Paul preaches salvation/justification to all who believe, not to those that turn away from sin. He does not even use the word repent in his speech! Like you said John to those who don’t have a flawed view of repentance you don’t even need to bring in the word. Paul certainly did not stress repentance in his proclaiming of the gospel and who better to pattern ourselves and learn how to preach the gospel from than Paul.

  51. Salvation repentance is not turning from sin to Christ, but rather a turning to Christ with one’s sins.

    Perfect picture. Just maddening that most teach otherwise with such amazing subtlety that so many of us miss it.

    I was thinking the other day about Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” when it struck me: why on earth was Pilgrim’s way to the cross so miserably difficult? It should’ve been right outside his front door! Either Bunyan was confused and sincerely believed the way is difficult/costly or he was illustrating the pitfalls of bad teaching aka LS so prevalent in many testimonies; the former most likely.

    Good point, Jack. Grace alone by faith alone in Christ alone truly does contradict every single religion.

  52. Brie, interesting points. There does seem to be more of a fixation on repentance than belief in many circles. I don’t believe that a clear presentation of the Gospel even needs to deal with the matter of repentance, unless the unsaved individual has a misperception of the term that inhibits his understanding of the Gospel.

    I do have one minor quibble when I see the phrase “turn away from all sin”. I think, with respect to the Gospel, that adding commitment to turn away from any sin or commitment to turn away from all sin are the same thing – Lordship “salvation”.

  53. Thanks John,

    Excellent note and quote on true repentance.. Contradicts just about every “religion” in the world, doesn’t it?

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  54. Well said John. I have pondered a lot over the use of “repent” in Acts, and yes I do agree with the actual definition of repent in that it is to change one’s mind, it is not a work. I have seen many LSrs use Peter’s evangelism in the beginning of Acts in his stressing of “repent and be baptized” as an example that repentance is a work, for baptism surely is and Peter seems to intertwine the two.

    It is my personal opinion that at the beginning of his ministry as described in Acts Peter was not fully aware of Gods entire plan of salvation, he sounds much like he is preaching John the Baptist. For example Peter did not know in the beginning that salvation was also intended for Gentiles. I think the story of Cornelius in Acts may be one of the most important in the chapter. When the holy spirit entered into Cornelius and his family the only salvific thing he said was to BELIEVE and RECEIVE forgiveness. The funny thing to me about this passage is it states clearly that Peter was still speaking when the holy spirit came. He was not done, and if you look at his prior addresses repentance and baptism were a part of his talks. I think Peter learned a lot from what happened at Cornelius house, not in just that a gentile could be saved, but what was needed in order to be saved, and baptism and a form of repentance as a work were not needed. I think Acts needs to be studied chronologically because the Apostles learned things along the way, Peter learned more of the gospel even after his original preaching in Acts, he did not have Gods whole plan for salvation understood in the beginning. Those are just some thoughts I have had on Acts, they are hardly from in depth study, but I do feel that the examples in Acts like Cornelius and the Jailor for example show exactly what is needed for salvation and a repentance and commitment to turn away from all sin are never talked about in actual examples of leading one to Christ which are to me more powerful than examining the nuances in the word repentance.

  55. JR and Jack, to define repentance as requiring works of righeousness is not Biblical, no mater who said it. To quote J.O. Hosler from his article entitled “Attaching Personal Righteousness to the Back-Side of the Gospel’s Requirements”:

    “If we wish to define it (repentance) as a work of righteousness, then works are to be added to faith. But if it is a change of mind about the crucifixion of Christ for our sins and His provision of justification, forgiveness,
    reconciliation, and sanctification, then it is not works added to faith. If the book of Acts seems to use the terms faith, belief, and repentance interchangeably (as we have already discussed in previous chapters), then we do not have works of personal righteousness being added to faith. If one did not believe in Christ five minutes ago but does so now, he has changed his mind. Salvation repentance is not turning from sin to Christ, but rather a turning to Christ with one’s sins. If someone believes in a false gospel, he cannot add Christ to his idol, but must turn his faith from a gospel which cannot save to Him Who can. It is not what one does with his sins, but rather what Christ does with his sins, that saves him.”

  56. JR,

    Thanks, It seems clear that Lordship/turn from sin “salvationists” will glom onto anything anyone says — whether in or out of context — to prove their point.

    God’s Word is clear — good works have no part in God’s gift of salvation. It is only and simply by Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone… no matter how anyone spins it.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  57. “. . . How luminously clear this makes the whole question before us! To repent is to change one’s attitude toward self, toward sin, toward God . . ”

    This is a quote by Ironside that i believe was used by Lordship Salvationists to prove that he preaches repentance as turning from sin. While they do sometimes agree that repentance is a change of mind, they further define what the change of mind is, saying that it is a change of attitude or heart toward sin, and that it involves turning. I found an LS defender on facebook proving his point, making Ironside one of them:

    “Now where is it written there that repentance is not to turn away from sin to repeat he says “. . . How luminously clear this makes the whole question before us! To repent is to change one’s attitude toward self, toward sin, toward God . . ” Its very very clear, those who argue otherwise are just splitting hair. I just can’t understand how this is constantly being misquoted by easy believist. ‎”Which comes first, repentance or faith? In Scripture we read, “Repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Yet we find true believers exhorted to “repent, and do the first works.” So intimately are the two related that you cannot have one without the other. The man who believes God repents; the repentant soul puts his trust in the Lord when the Gospel is revealed to him…” In other words he is saying what is needed to be saved is REPENTANT FAITH. Easy believist/Free grace often quote the first portion of the chapter written by Ironside about what repentance is not . . .the fact that he draws distinctions there, doesn’t mean he is not teaching that repentance is turn away from sin. They don’t bother to read what is below. “. . . How luminously clear this makes the whole question before us! To repent is to change one’s attitude toward self, toward sin, toward God . . ” Of course when you change your attitude towards yourself and your sin it means you turn away from it and turn towards God. The three components of repentance, intellectual, emotional and volitional. THis is basic theology so very very basic that I don’t really understnad why the free grace/easy believist crowd tries to split hairs and tells us that Ironside is saying what he isn’t really saying. If Ironside were alive today, he would blass the free grace/easy believist for taking him totally out of context”

    – Sorry, the quote is quite long but at least we can get the context of what this fellow is talking about.

  58. Dear friends.

    FYI, we have just published a new and interesting article by our friend John.

    http://www.expreacherman.com/2011/12/14/1215/

    In Christ eternally, Jack

  59. Just this morning we moderated a militant LS advocate who ignorantly accused us of teaching LS..
    He said, Or another way of putting it, it seems like you are advocating “Lordship salvation.”

    Huh! So much for my pursuing a career in prophecy. That’s too funny.

  60. JR,
    Good to have you back.. I find out more about Stanford as the days go by. And now Ironside?? Hmmmm. As we used to say in the South, “The woods is full of ’em.”

    Pearl,

    I have battled the concept of LS for years before I knew what to call it. It was the same old works based, anti-Grace Galatianism “salvation” then as it is now, just wrapped in different terminology. And how pitiful the LS advocates cannot see that.

    Funny your last statement about me being an LSer… 😎

    Just this morning we moderated a militant LS advocate who ignorantly accused us of teaching LS..
    He said, Or another way of putting it, it seems like you are advocating “Lordship salvation.”

    Go figure!

    I know, I know — it sounds very confused and convoluted but he used all the same old favorite LS verses (taken completely out of context) that we have taught and clarified for years. If he had just spent a tad of time searching our web site he or anyone could plainly see that we DO NOT teach Lordship Salvation but especially, neither does God’s Word. I pray he will see and believe the Truth. The Truth will set him free just as it has us and many others. (John 8:32)

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  61. I know, JR…strange about Stanford…how can it be? Maybe it’s because of his being a 4-pointer? As has been pointed out here before, there are many reformed people which reject LS, and very outspoken at that, which only confuses me about reformed theology – from what I’ve learned here, the two go hand-in-hand. So, I’m at a loss – it’s like trying to solve an algebraic problem, and I’m still stuck on the first line.

    Maybe someone else who knows more about Ironside can elaborate on his firm standing, but I do recall reading not too long ago that he was against LS, but strangely enough is quoted by LSers to suggest that he was one of theirs. If that’s the case, then he didn’t make himself clear enough.

    Can you imagine someone quoting Jack some day to suggest he was an LSer? It ain’t gonna happen!

  62. It’s been a long time since i posted here, how’s everyone doing? 🙂 I was quite surprised to learn that Miles Stanford had an LS definition of repentance, sounds like David Cloud to me. Someone told me that Harry Ironside is also a Lordship Salvationist, since his work “Except Ye Repent” was quoted by MacArthur?

  63. Thanks Bruce for clarifying that- some article stated he turned from Christianity to atheist. Need to make sure next time 🙂

  64. Thanks Bruce..

    Interesting that he “abandons” the “faith” of his father, then goes from Conservative to Liberal and votes for a Socialist. The shrinkage of one’s mind!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  65. Regarding the current Schaeffer, he calls himself Frank now, to call him an atheist is not quite accurate. He actually joined the Eastern Orthodox Church a few years ago. His theology sounds very mixed up and hard to pin down. It is certainly not biblical! He basically speaks out against what he considers fundamentalism or dogma in any religion or in atheism. John Cornwell, in his review of Schaeffer’s book, “Patience With God,” makes the following observation about Schaeffer’s new-found “theology”: “Frank Schaeffer is no atheist but he believes people can be good without God, and they can have ‘faith’ without religion. Since Schaeffer doesn’t quite get around to defining what he means by religion, his point is somewhat elusive.”

    In addition to Schaeffer’s theological conversion (to what specifically I don’t know), he also made a political shift from a staunch Conservative Republican to actually supporting Obama for president in 2008.

  66. Hi Faith,

    Yes, I agreed with Schaeffer on the culture decay at the time I first read his books — however, unfortunately some folks cannot distinguish Bible Truth from man’s “wisdom” and they become caught up in “religions” because of a love of social issues. Then the True Gospel of Grace is lost.

    I was not aware of Schaeffer’s son’s “conversion” to atheism. That is sad. At least he was honest… Had he remained in the “fold” he might have inherited an empire to run.

    I have not specifically witnessed many (if anyone) abandoning Reformed/Calvinism except a few friends like you who comment about it here on our web site. To see or hear of anyone coming out of that teaching is encouraging indeed. Thanks for your story.

    I am happy you gave up “trying to keep up with works.” You obviously had the good sense and discernment to see the problem and act on it. We can only pray many others will do the same.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  67. Hey Jack your points about Schaffer are very interesting. Even though I do appreciate his observations on the decaying culture, I very well see his Calvinist, preterist, and reconstructionist viewpoints as influencing a whole lot of Christians (and not for the good). I wonder if his son (who now calls himself an atheist) saw the hypocrisy of these viewpoints and realized that he could not measure up to the standards of the teachings of Calvinism. How sad. Even the people under Calvin could not seem to measure up to the standards of Calvinism. The Reformation (even though the Lord brought good out of it) was a very harsh time of bickering and infighting amongst themselves and even persecution among the church. Thankfully, the Lord always brings His Glory forth and always produces a remnant; even when we get off course He sets things straight. That is why I am encouraged because I do see more believers starting to get it and reject the fallacies of Calvinism and Arminianism. I do think people are just getting exhausted trying to keep up with works- I know it exhausted me. I just plain gave up trying 🙂

  68. Very interesting Eddy. I’ve only barely scratched the surface and have much to learn. I’ll google same and take a look at that video you mention.

  69. Faith,

    You bring up a great point.. when Paul withstood Peter in the face. Peter was trying to put believers under the law for salvation just as do LS leaders today. Could we say that Peter was the first believer, recorded in Scripture, who was an advocate for Lordship “salvation”? Excellent observation.

    And your point of the Lausanne Conference is excellent. Francis Schaeffer, whom some have called a “moderate” Calvinist, formed the First International Congress on World Evangelization at Lausanne, Switzerland in 1974. He was an impressive figure of a man and a force to be reckoned with. He was no “moderate” Calvinist but a very slick “ecumenical” promoter of that vile teaching. He was tricky, in that one would question — why would a doctrinaire Calvinist want to evangelize the world when they believe God has already “chosen” only certain ones to be saved? I believe it was his idea to simply attach his Calvinist message onto all denominations through his voluminous writings and extensive speaking tours. It could well have been a profit motive also.

    I was pastoring my church in 1974 and we were inundated with books, literature and tapes of Schaffer pleading for our cooperation. Some of my Calvinist family (not members of my church) pined to go to Lausanne to join Schaffer.

    I am familiar with Methodist Arminian mixing with and influencing the ecumenical movement — and more recently folding themselves into the Emergent/Mystical New Age movement right alongside many other denominations. They have become so far removed from any valid Bible Doctrine that it is a painful thing to witness. They move from error to error with ease. Many old folks are counted in that bunch.. and I suspect they no longer even sing many of the old Wesleyan (Arminian) hymns.

    Faith, thanks so much for those observations.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  70. Wow! The amount of dialogue that has been going on…….
    What this shows me is that words written on a page can influence greatly. This is why we, as believers, have to be super careful about what is read and how much we take in from other Christians or “make believe” Christians. It is so easy to misinterpret Scripture or twist it.
    Lately, I have seen in the Christian circles alot of mixing going on between Arminianism and Calvinism; and denominational mixing. Not that I am 100% in knowledge about this, but there is a reason for this that Eddy seemed to allude to and that is the Lausanne convention. There is an ecumenical push towards the Roman Catholic Church and towards a works oriented salvation; mix in a cup of New Age/Eastern religion with man being the redeeming factor in all this.
    There has always been that factor of man trying to slip in works; something man has done to contribute to salvation- Christian and non-Christian. Even Christians can get caught up into this works oriented Gospel very easily, especially when we want results fast/quick and it just seems……well God is not doing it quite quick enough or not with the results that we would like to see. Americans are good at that – we want results! I can see where alot of preachers from the past and present saw/see the sin abound in the believer and non-believing world and get sick of it and want results, so they put themselves in the place of being the judge of sin/repentance and start becoming works based in their writings. Now there are a few that write just for the profits that come with it and some with peer pressure. Pride is the key because it always is. Paul had to deal with Peter on this issue of sin when Peter was calling those who became new babies in Christ to be circumcised. Peter, a believer and apostle, called these newbies not saved until they followed this Jewish law. This was no different then what is happening today- works. It always seems to creep in and really sitr up a mess.

  71. Oop! I accidentally hit the return key.

    Dear John,
    Thanks for exposing Miles Stanford.

  72. Dear Pearl,
    After reading John Piper’s article I referred to in my last post, I came to the conclusion that MLJ was a charismatic. Your definition of charismatic is very appropriate. Since I have not had any involvement with the charismatics, I know very little of their history. However, I have the feeling that even the Calvinists and the evangelicals at large, are trying to promote the charismatic preachers of the past. In the most recent Lausanne Conference, they venerate many of those charismatic mystic “christian” preachers in a two-part video about church history.

    Google: “cape town 2010 opening sessions turning point”

    Since you are much more knowledgeable then me about the history of the charismatic movement, you may have more better insight into the relationship between charismatic and LS.

  73. John,

    Point well taken.. and please forgive my sloppy exegesis.

    Acts 3:15
    And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
    Acts 10:40
    Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;
    1 Cor. 6:14
    And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.

    2 Cor. 4:14
    Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

    Galatians 1:1
    Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead)

    Christ is God the Son, and God the Father raised The Son from the dead. We need not get into a discussion of the Trinity here. 😎

    Thanks for calling my attention to that.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  74. Hi all:

    Important correction to my statistics.

    The figure I gave of 2,425 was total blog views since the article was written 13 days ago.

    “Views” to this particular article was, at last count, 658. Sorry about that — my eyes were bigger than my brain.. 😎
    “Statistics” was not my favorite college course.

    I am still thrilled at the way the Lord has brought you, our friends, to visit us. Your conversation has encouraged folks to visit this web site and be exposed to a clear Grace Gospel message. Thanks to all of you!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  75. Jack, I am in full agreement that a lost person must understand and believe that Jesus IS God in the flesh, was crucified, died and rose again. However, the accounts of His resurrection are presented in a couple of different ways by the Apostle Paul.

    1 Corinthians 15:4 “And that he was buried , and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”

    Romans 4:24 “But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed , if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;”

    I think that whether one believes Jesus rose again under His own power or was raised by God the Father is not a critical distinction in a person coming to faith in Christ.

  76. Pearl,

    Amen!!!

    I was just tweaking, making sure if someone drops by who may not understand the Gospel clearly, it is here — and often I pray.

    I was just now checking the statistics on this post written 13 days ago and I am astounded. The Lord has brought 2,425 “views” just to this one article — which number is not supposed to include Bruce or me.

    Except for the Lord’s Grace sending folks by, that number is unbelievable. Surely in one or two of those views we pray there will be an unsaved person drop in and see the Truth and consider trusting Christ as Savior.

    I went for 35 years of my life with folks “assuming” I was “saved,” whatever their definition of “saved” might have been. I don’t want someone to come back to me some day and say (as I later asked of many of my “friends,”) Why didn’t you tell me?”
    Even so, I know I have missed some and therefore someone could still ask that of me.. for which I am ashamed but undaunted.

    Thanks for your faithfulness.. Pearl, as well as all the rest of you, our wonderful friends too!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  77. Absolutely, Jack. I took it for granted that those reading were saved.

    One of my favorite verses, which I display on my avatar, is Romans 5:10,

    “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

    We are saved by His resurrected Life:

    “But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” I Corinthians 15:13,14

  78. Jack,

    Great post as always, thanks!

    Your comment to John a bit above on repentance was succinct and solid. Some of the folks might like to take a look at an earlier post of yours that covers the subjects of repentance and perseverance:

    https://expreacherman.com/2011/06/26/false-repentance-perseverance-and-lordship-salvation/

  79. Pearl, I agree with your points.

    Jack, if someone demonstrates a confused perspective on the terms of salvation, I heavily discount, if not altogether disregard, the rest of his opinions.

    I know no-one is perfect, but the Gospel is just not that hard to understand. What is difficult, and requires lots of fancy words, is to find subtle, stealth ways to reduce the Gospel to a false gospel of works.

  80. Pearl,

    That is an excellent short synopsis of the “order of things.” Of course the lost person must understand and believe that Jesus IS God in the flesh, was crucified, dead and rose again under His own power.. for without the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Gospel has no power and we have no hope. I know you know and implied that but thought I’d just mention that as a clarifier. 😎

    For what, at first, I thought was a dud of a post, this has been a very special and lively thread — with lots of new friends and excellent comments… We appreciate all of you for your kind attitude about commenting on some often difficult Scripture.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  81. John,

    It is odd that a person like Miles Stanford can write such great expose’s against Lordship “salvation” and yet mess up the definition of “repentance” thereby effectively placing himself squarely in the same camp of those against whom he writes.

    I am thankful that “repent” was so clearly explained to me when I trusted Christ as my Savior — and was emphasized and clarified in my church and Bible College ie “Repentance is NOT a turning from sin but a change of mind about the subject at hand,” usually, in the NT, about the Person and the saving power of Jesus Christ.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  82. My goodness, John, you found lots to chew on! When do you sleep?

    Stanford seems to be suggesting that we give something to Christ to be saved, rather than coming to Him to receive eternal life by Grace, through faith.

    I have no answer for that one. I honestly don’t get why people feel the need to completely remove any so-called selfish gain from a man in order for him to be saved. To take an isolated event, Paul’s conversion, and apply it to all redeemed humanity seems a very far stretch.

    I’m not a theologian by any means, but this is how I see the order of things:

    By whatever means (the Holy Spirit never uses cookie-cutter methods), a person realizes they are separated from God because they are corrupt in nature, spiritually dead, born to sin. Consequently, I find it very natural that such a person would be struck with fear for his own soul upon learning the eternal consequences (“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10). The soul cries out for forgiveness, looking unto Jesus Christ for His cleansing blood. Immediately, this soul is born again, sealed by the Holy Spirit, now a new creation. Anything beyond that is sanctification, which is nothing but a helpless babe growing day by day and more mature as he is nurtured by a steady diet of the Word, godly fellowship, instruction, and accountability, all nourishing his soul and spirit, thus enabling the fire of the Holy Spirit to increase and penetrate every action of this new life. End of story…or rather, just the beginning of eternity!
    .

  83. Eddy, I was aware of your mistake before I did the research on Miles Stanford. Stanford himself was an LS advocate, as evidenced by his views on repentance. He wrote many articles critical of even more obvious error, but his views on the terms of salvation were way off.

    Thanks, John

  84. Sorry everyone, I made a mistake. Somehow I mixed up MLJ with Miles J. Stanford in my previous posting. Here is the corrected posting. Jack, if possible, please cancel my previous posting.

    Brie,
    I never heard of MLJ till you mentioned him. He is being promoted by the Calvinists such as R C Sproul, John Piper, and John MacArthur.

    Google: “MLJ’s Authority”

    Although he was not a Pentecostal, he was a charismatic. There is even an article on him written by John Piper dated back to 1991.

    Google: “A Passion for Christ-Exalting Power”

    I would be very careful of many of those so called “Great Man of God”. Many of them, such as A.W. Tozer (L.S.), are actually used by Satan to deceive many into believing another gospel. These highly questionable “Great Man of God” are actively being promoted by Calvinists and LS promotors..

  85. Here is more from Stanford:

    “We are first to be witnesses, then soul-winners. When the Lord Jesus is reigning and manifest in us, others will hunger for Him: “Sir, we would see Jesus” (John 12:21). When the Holy Spirit has convicted them of their need for the Savior, they will freely exercise “repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). Thus, they will not be badgered into a decision to get saved before they are convicted of being lost; neither will they be coming to Him to get, but to give. At his conversion, Paul, “trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6).”

    Stanford seems to be suggesting that we give something to Christ to be saved, rather than coming to Him to receive eternal life by Grace, through faith.

  86. Alright. Miles Stanford is very confusing on the subject of repentance. See quotes below. Note that Stanford claims that one must believe in Christ, then repent for sin before receiving the Spirit. This does not seem consistent with salvation by Grace through faith alone in Christ alone.

    “How to be born again consists of “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). Repentance means to turn about, to change one’s mind. God, the Creator of the universe, asks you to turn from your way and choose His way. And He has personally paid your (Adamic) penalty on the Cross so that you are legally free to make the right choice. “God… commandeth all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30)

    In the Gospel of the uncircumcision the order is: belief in Christ, repentance for sin, reception of the Spirit, and then water baptism–the public confession of identification with Christ in His death and resurrection.”

  87. I did find one perplexing quote from Stanford, in a letter he wrote to John H. Gerstner:

    “Whatever repentance may have been required was included in my faith–that of turning from myself and my sin to the Saviour and His righteousness.”

    This sounds a lot like “turn from sin” for salvation.

  88. I understood your meaning, John. But, since uncompromised truth is our objective, Miles Stanford, like every other teacher, is fair game and ought to be scrutinized.

  89. One clarification – I was agreeing with Eddy on being careful with so-called “great men of God”. I was not criticizing Miles Stanford.

  90. Hi Eddy,

    I was the one who brought up Miles Stanford, because that was where I first learned about the teaching of one-naturism, which he refutes.

    He also wrote plenty against LS, citing JMac and others for spreading the error, so I find it astonishing that Mac would turn around and endorse him. As for his being charismatic, I wonder if that term, in this case, is synonymous with what others may call the “deeper life” made well known by the Keswick movement which is comprised of both Calvinists and Arminians? When I hear the term charismatic, all kinds of hokey things come to mind, but I’ve not encountered any such alarms in Stanford’s other writings. On the other hand, however, I was very disappointed some months ago to learn that he was a 4-pointer.

    Having spent much of my Christian life in the deeper life teachings and then recently learning about the subtleties of LS, I’ve recently expressed here my own reserves with many of those teachers (Tozer being one whose material I readily consumed until I heard him say in a sermon that Henri Nouwen, Brother Lawrence, and a few other mystics, were great men of God, called to cleanse the Roman Church from the inside-out). As a result, my bookshelf is looking more and more sparse as I continue to learn about the deep-seated beliefs of men/women I once followed. But, I’m not prepared to throw yet another baby out with the bathwater. In spite of Stanford’s being a 4-pointer, I still cling to the hope that he had a firm grasp of the life of Christ in the believer.

    If I come across more disturbing info on him, in addition to his being a four-pointer, I suppose that would solidify my timid reservations concerning him, together with my having yet another book to toss. 😦

  91. Eddy, good call. Many if the icons of evangelism teach a false gospel. Most of the mainline protestant denominations either teach a false gospel, or do not have a clear statement of faith that is Biblical.

  92. JR,

    Forgive me for being late — but I agree with you on your list of LS folks. And as you say, there are many more not on the list. What a shame LSers are multiplying faster than summer ticks on an Alabama Dawg. (No disrespect to our Alabama friends — I was born there.)

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  93. Thanks Eddy,

    At my age I have had a lot of exposure to false teaching and since I trusted Christ as my Savior 47 years ago, I’ve had lots of time for studying. The Truth wins out when we are determined to be Bereans in our study — God’s Word is the only answer. (Acts 17:10-12)

    Of course I am amazed and appreciate the comments from all of our wonderful Bible Scholars.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  94. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
    I always know that the roman catholics are not saved. However, I just realized very recently that vest majority of the professing Protestant christians are believed in vain, for they believed in another gospel, the Lordship Salvation gospel. I did not know anything about Calvinism until several years ago. I certainly did not know the existence of Lordship Salvation till I started reading some of the writings posted on this site. I am very pleased that God led me here and gave me understanding. Many thanks to everyone’s valuable contributions here.

    Brie,
    Welcome abord. I hope you will come back often.

    John,
    I have to agree with you again. We cannot tolerate those who preached another Gospel. God’s word is the final authority. God is love.

    Bruce,
    Thanks for your valuable suggestion.

    Pearl,
    I am like you, never heard of LS before until I came to this site.

    Jack,
    Thank you for earnestly defending for the faith, not giving up any ground to Calvinism.

  95. Pearl-

    The commentary is around 400 pages based on years of Friday night sermons. I would encourage anybody to read it but the arguments are quite developed and can’t be given a quick superficial look. I doubt many will read it, sadly I have yet to read someone who has they are quite a commitment, and in order to understand Chapter 6 you have to have the basics of Chapter 5, for I agree with Lloyd-Jones that Chapter 6 is a defense and a confirmation of the glorious claims made as to the surety of our salvation in faith alone through Christ alone that are made in Chapter 5. I found that in reading Lloyd-Jones on Chapter 6 especially has helped me confront LSrs, for he states throughout that he feels the confusion of the gospel of faith alone in Christ alone can be muddled by bringing the context of sanctification into Romans 6, and I have had many LSrs throw Romans 6 my way as a defense of some sort of Christian perfection, I can’t begin to describe how beneficial his exposition on Chapter 6 has helped me to combat this twisting of scripture.

    Taking people’s words out of context is a fault of many good intentioned people, I am not accusing your source as an outright liar but I think if he is putting Lloyd-Jones words in the context you claim leads me to believe he may not know the context they came in. It is sloppy research that does happen when someone takes a quote and then quotes a person who quoted that quote etc. to lose the context of the original quote, if that makes sense. I have no problem with your source having issues with Lloyd-Jones, but they have to be taken in context, and it is possible this was not even intentional on his part. I am sorry that came off as accusatory but I was quite shocked at what you quoted being someone who has read the exposition and my initial thought was I doubt your source ever really did.

    I have no doubt reformed theologians took issue with Romans 6 on him. I was shocked that someone like John Piper could even advocate his teaching which is so anti his positions especially in Chapter 6. Lloyd-Jones informs his audience early on he is making a departure from his contemporaries on Romans 6 in that he believes the main subject is the absolute security of the believer of his justification. I never thought Romans 6 was a Chapter that emboldened assurance of salvation, not by works, until I read him. I also have read free grace teachers on this who I am not sure take as strong of a stance on that being the point of Chapter 6 that Lloyd-Jones does. If anyone has read Lloyd-Jones on Romans like Pearl asked please post your thoughts!

  96. In all fairness, Brie, as I have not read Martyn Lloyd-Jones commentary on Romans, it would be ridiculous for me to keep on hammering that he was an eradicationist. But to call Miles Standford a liar seems a bit excessive to me. Should you ever discover otherwise, I hope you will retract this accusation. And if I discover that Standford was malicious in his research, I, too, will have to concede.

    I wonder if this commentary is available for on-line review that other, more discerning eyes may judge?

    In my otherwise futile effort to prove my case, I did come across this quote by a reformed minister on Jones. I seriously doubt he got his information from Standford, but, again, I could be wrong:

    “On the Romans commentary, one word of warning. In his discussion of Rom 6, Lloyd Jones departs from the Reformed tradition and takes an eradicationist position concerning the “old man.” He doesn’t seem to realize that he took a Wesleyan position on that issue. Others have picked up his particular theology out of his Romans commentary and run with it in directions I’m convinced he never would have dreamed of.

    “It’s cause PLENTY of trouble in my congregation. It was processed by a Christian counseling movement called “exchanged life theology” that is riddled with very serious errors, including a fundamental denial of “positional truth” (such as the imputation of Christ’s righteousness at Justification.)”

    Quote by TE Brian Carpenter, Pastor, Foothills PCA Sturgis, SD,
    Puritan Board Forum, thread entitled “Favorite Martyn Lloyd-Jones Book?”

  97. This is a very good thread. I would agree with Pearl.

    “In the days of Paul and the other apostles, false doctrines were already taking root in the church at large. He gives this serious warning to the elders of Ephesus a few verses down from Acts 20:24,

    “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears” (Acts 20:28-31).

    This was written around A.D. 60. False doctrine was spreading like a deadly virus. Paul knew the legalists were going to come in and pollute the message. It is clear that the Church was already being attacked on fundamental doctrines such as the deity of Christ. We know the gospel of grace had already been attacked as early as A.D. 46 if not sooner. This is when the conference at Jerusalem took place in Acts 15.”
    This is a quote from Secure Forever! God’s Promise or Our Perseverance?

    Lordship salvation is refuted strongly in the book of Galatians, which dates somewhere between A.D. 49-55. This would be only 17 years after the Lord Jesus Christ walked the earth.

    This is why we do not put our faith in the writings of so called “church fathers”. By the way, they all came after 100 A.D. The false doctrines within the “church” were already firmly established for over 50 years.

    Tom

  98. Pearl-

    In relation to the quotes you pulled from Romans 6 they are taken out of context to the discussion at hand that Lloyd-Jones makes in that exposition. Miles Stanford is being dishonest here in what you have shown me he presents. Lloyd-Jones is speaking of positionally being in Adam or in Christ, not the 2 natures, a discussion of 2 natures as it is conventionally presented is not the subject of Romans 6 and would be out of context. The truth is Lloyd-Jones to a point some could say to ad-nauseum repeatedly clarifies that Romans 6 has nothing to do with sanctification! The fact that someone is claiming he is confusing justification and sanctification here is an outright lie, he is discussing 2 kingdoms not to natures and makes pained efforts to ensure his listeners do not bring sanctification into the passages of Romans 6.

  99. Faith,

    I submit that LS is the chicken which laid the rotten eggs of works nestled safely within the folds of Calvinism, Arminianism and Romanism. That about covers the great tree of Christendom, wouldn’t you say?

  100. Regarding Lloyd-Jones, I respectfully beg to differ. At best, he merely adds confusion to the issue of the two natures. The following is an excerpt from Miles Standford:

    “Dr. Lloyd-Jones states that ‘the old man’ of Romans 6:6 is the manner of life he lived before he was saved. And since the old man has been crucified, it is gone–eradicated.

    ‘The ‘old man’ is that man I used to be in Adam. The old man that I was in Adam is the one that was crucified with Christ. It is my old humanity. It is not my carnal nature. That is still here, but the old man is gone, he was crucified’ (Romans 6, p. 63).

    “The cause of this eradication error is in making Romans 6:1-10 the believer’s actual condition, instead of his judicial position.

    ‘When Paul says ‘put off the old man (Col. 3:9), he means that we must put off the characteristics of the life of the old man. It cannot mean anything else. I cannot be told to ‘put off’ something that has already been crucified’ (Ibid., p. 64)

    “On the contrary, Paul says to ‘put off the old man,’ the source; rather than the characteristics, which are the symptoms. One cannot be exhorted to put off that which is not there!

    “According to Dr. Lloyd-Jones, since the believer’s old man is gone, and he is a new creature in Christ, he is required to live at once all that is true of him in Christ. This is the Wesleyan-Holiness error of combining justification with sanctification–the same merging that causes Dr. MacArthur’s Lordship salvation error.

    ‘But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30). If you are “in Christ” all these things become true of you immediately (Ibid., p. 226).’

    ‘From the moment we are regenerated it is true to say of us that we are no longer slaves of sin; we are slaves of righteousness. How utterly wrong and unscriptural it is, therefore, to separate justification and sanctification, or to say that a man can be justified and perhaps years later go on and receive his sanctification. According to the Apostle’s argument, this is not only wrong, it is impossible (Ibid., p. 225).’

    “Dr. Lloyd-Jones’ single Covenant theory blinds him to the difference between position and condition. The sad result is Moses’ law for the believer, instead of Christ’s risen grace-life.

    ‘The Apostle is justified in saying that the law, and each individual commandment, is thoroughly good. Nothing can be better for us than the keeping of the law. “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul,” as Psalm 19 tells us (Romans 7, p. 164).’

    Source: http://withchrist.org/MJS/ (found in alphabetical order under “Polemic Persons”)

  101. Faith-

    Great thoughts! I wonder though if, at least in the case of Luther, his positions may have been in response to his environment. There was only one church, a church that basically ran the world, reform may have seemed to him realistic and the idea of a separate church impossible. Reform would always be the more appealing outcome, who wants to walk away from one’s brothers and leave them in a false doctrine? And as for Augustine I love the quotes Luther pulls from him to support his positions and I wonder what other writings other than the Bible could really give him any support at that time?

  102. Jack-

    In my use of chosen and elect I was showing my thoughts in relation to the response of what some Calvinists have explained to me as their interpretation. Again maybe I wasn’t clear in that I agree with you! However I do believe God has made everything clear to me about salvation, but I do feel there are mysteries as to how he operates and I don’t mind there being some mystery, and I think Calvinism and Arminianism are in part attempts to explain some of those mysteries. It appears you are very certain as to all Calvinistic principles to be wrong, and I could probably agree with you on that with the pervasive Calvinist interpretations of the points, but I have heard the points described in ways that are slightly more palpable to me, though still not convincing enough to sway me that way.

    My mom was in a free-grace self-proclaimed Calvinist church that defined the P as God keeping you to the end despite your failures. They framed it as eternal security apart from works. When I studied Calvinism I had to explain to her that is really not what it means, and she was horrified that that was not normal Calvinist thinking and she had called herself a Calvinist for years. The truth is whether it is accurate Calvinism or not Calvinism exists in many forms, some with a free grace slant hence my hesitation to question salvation or attack one’s theology until I get an idea of what sort of Calvinist they claim to be. Whether intellectually correct or not there are many shades of Calvinism.

    In my LS conversations I try to keep it scripture based, and if they can’t discuss scripture only it really is pointless. Usually starting to debate Calvinism in my experience leads nowhere.

  103. Faith, great question regarding the chicken or the egg. We know this from scripture:
    1. That eternal life is the gift of God
    2. That eternal life is obtained by Grace through faith in Christ
    3. That eternal life cannot be lost or forfeited
    4. That the believer may have assurance regarding eternal life

    To that end, the belief that one had to be chosen to believe would make assurance very difficult.

  104. Brie- nice to have you on board for this discussion and to what you bring.
    Pearl good to see you again.
    Jack, JR, Bruce, and John such good points about the fallacies of LS/ Calvinism. Question though- Which came first the chicken or the egg? What I mean – which came first LS or Calvinism? They seem so joined to the hip- I thought probably that LS was an offshoot of Calvinism.
    What gets me is today especially is the constant repackaging of the same doctrines taught 2,000 years ago. When I read Galations I see the same legalism, but just repackaged. What I have also learned is that Martin Luther and Calvin never wanted to get rid of Roman Catholicism – they wanted to reform it, based on the teachings of Augustine. In fact I knew many Calvinists who love Augustine and found out that Augustine purposed to replace Scripture with the ideas and philosphies of Plato and his own false teachings. These Reformers loved the Catholic Augustine.

  105. Jack and Brie, I also offer this opinion on the matter from Clear Gospel Campaign:

    “We believe that no man, left alone in his lost estate, will seek after God in truth (Romans 3:11), but will corrupt the knowledge of God for a lie (Romans 1:21-25). Accordingly, we believe that no man will therefore ever come to saving faith in Jesus Christ apart from the activity of the Triune God in drawing the unbeliever to Christ, (John 3:8; 6:44; 9:1-41). We believe, however, that in His infinite grace and mercy, our Triune God does, in fact, draw all men unto Jesus Christ (John 16:7-11; John 12:32), and that His offer of salvation to all men is authentic (John 3:16; 1st Timothy 2:4; 2nd Peter 3:9; 1st John 2:2).

    We reject the doctrine of “sovereign grace,” that God infuses in certain elect persons some divine empowering substance that will “irresistibly” impel them to faith in Christ, and that apart from this infusion, men are incapable of faith. Faith is an act of the creature, not an imposition of the Creator. And the drawing of men to faith Christ is an act of the personal Triune God, not a product of an impersonal Aristotelian substance.

    The fact that all men, even those dead in their sins, have the capacity to believe, is evidenced by the activity of Satan, who “has blinded the minds of them which believe not,” and “takes the Word out of their heart” . . . “lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” . . . “lest they should believe and be saved,” (Luke 8:4-5,12; 2nd Corinthians 4:4). The plain meaning of the term “lest they believe,” demands that those who are lost have the actual capacity to believe on Christ without some magical infusion of “sovereign grace” or “irresistible grace.” The fact that not all men respond to Christ is evidence that they are endowed with a free will to resist the drawing of the Father, and to reject the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit, thereby calling the Holy Spirit a liar. “

  106. Brie,

    I suspect your understanding of “chosen and elect” are different from what I see Scripture teaches. We are chosen or elected to service for Christ because we are IN Christ. Study those verses carefully — and don’t let the “minds greater than ours” cloud the issue. The Holy Spirit “pursues” (convicts) everyone for salvation — not just some folks — and then He convicts every believer to be elected or chosen for service.

    With the most prominent advocates of LS being also doctrinaire Calvinists and most witnessing sessions with LS folks should eventually move into the right principles of Salvation. If we carefully present the complete Grace Gospel along with the means of acquiring God’s Free Eternal life, LS folks always drop back and punt the “P” or other letters of the Calvinist acronym.

    I don’t expect we will end the universal debate on Calvinism.. but God is not the author of confusion — and there IS Truth — without error. True Free Grace without the admixture of Arminianism, Calvinism or LS (or any other works based message) is what we preach here. We encourage our friends to search the Scriptures and pray for wisdom. The Whitfields, Spurgeons, Pipers, Lloyd-Jones et al have no more of the Holy Spirit than you, I or any other true believer. The Truth is there.. we just need to see, read and believe it.

    Please get Dr. Tom Cucuzza’s book (upper right side bar this web site) for one of the best analyses and expose’s of Calvinism you will ever read — outside of the Bible itself. “Secure Forever! God’s Promise or Our Perseverance?”

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  107. JR, agree that they teach LS. Since all man-made religion is works oriented, being ecumenical requires being comfortable with others that think salvation is by works – either in addition to, or instead of, by Grace through faith in Christ.

  108. Jack-

    I appreciate your comments, and I will try to clarify that my comments in no way were meant to defend or promote Calvinism or Arminianism, I think both are incredibly flawed. I think I naturally have more sympathy for the beginning points of Arminianism, but it appears like yourself I find Calvinism, especially it’s doctrine of election, abhorrent and the implications of it even more abhorrent. I do have quite a distaste for Calvinism.

    However, I cannot get past that some great men of God have believed it’s precepts, like Whitfield who I mentioned earlier, and I don’t understand why. I have to question myself sometimes and have asked the Lord if I am missing something here. Did God choose me and deliberately not choose others? I don’t THINK so, and I see scriptures that confirm this, but men greater then me have seen scriptures to support election as well. However I look at John the Baptist and see that yes God has chosen specific people, I wonder if John had a choice to refuse the Holy Spirit, if that was even a possibility. I personally don’t like the idea of a God who would deliberately not offer salvation to some, but I have heard out some Calvinists who say that is not what they mean, in that God had foreknowledge of who would accept Him and therefore pursued them and not others based on the foreknowledge. Is this possible? Maybe? I can’t say that God did not operate that way, I choose to believe God pursues all and we can deny Him, but could I be wrong? Maybe?

    In mentioning Whitfield and Wesley earlier I think it would have been interesting to sit down with them and say you are both wrong, lol. I bet it would be a fascinating discourse. But I think, as with election as earlier described, the points can kind of be gray areas and no one can say for sure how God actually accomplished salvation in the believer, except for the Cross. I find strict adherents to either side to be reaching as far as the knowledge available to the human mind with their certainty. And I have also seen varying degrees and strictness in the interpretations of the points. I know LS resulted from the P, but have all those in the past preached LS because they believed in one of the many varying forms of Calvinism. No. Just because one led to the other in some people’s minds and interpretations does not logically fit that LS is therefore all variations of Calvinism.

    The point I was trying to make is that I think we should all vigorously speak out against LS, and it’s origins are no exception. But there are currently people now and in the past that have been mightily used by God that have agreed with these theological systems to at least some degree. The Calvinism v. Arminian v. Neither debate has been raging for centuries and I don’t think we are going to end it now, but I believe that we can save those lost in LS by focusing on Christ alone teachings without having to enter into this unresolvable debate, and that at times by making our LS arguments as an attack on Calvinism can detract from that discussion and lead us down a rabbit hole of disagreement that the focus on Christ alone can be lost.

  109. Brie,

    Sorry I am late greeting you.. but you are welcome.

    You certainly have a good grasp of LS errors but I was surprised at your defense of Reformed teaching. I find some of your statements about Calvinism worrisome. One of the reasons I started this Blog was to expose the lie of Calvinism (and later LS) because I was raised in the doctrine of Calvin until I was old enough to escape it into atheism. And then from Atheism to a believer in Jesus Christ as my Savior, 47 years ago this month at age 35. My testimony of how this happened is detailed in this article I wrote in September 2009.
    http://www.expreacherman.com/2008/11/09/blessings-after-a-disastrous-election/

    We welcome your discussion but this statement you made about Calvinism, among a couple of others, is quite disturbing:

    “…but to attack Calvinism the way I have seen some do in these threads I think can be hurtful to believers who may agree with some of Calvinism and also be free grace.

    I have studied the lie of Calvinism in various ways for the past 45 years.. I love Calvinists but I abhor their doctrine… There is nothing to agree with — all of it, including the 5 [corrected from error of 6] points — none of which are Biblical. I would love to lead all Calvinists to the Truth of real Free Grace in Jesus Christ. Their false doctrine is slick and very dangerous.

    To a Calvinist, God’s Grace (or Free Grace if they choose that phrase) simply means to them that their salvation is “free” and they are secure only because they have been “chosen” to be saved by God (an un-Biblical lie in itself). Thus, in effect, they are implying that God leaves the rest of the world to be conversely chosen by God for hell. That is not my God. They misinterpret the Biblical Doctrine of Election and “choosing.” I have never heard or read a Calvinist who can give a clear Biblical reason for their so-called absolute “assurance” other than the false statement that they were “elected or chosen” to it. Another serious error is their teaching the lie that faith is the Gift of God in Ephesians 2:8-9. We know by sentence structure and other scriptures that “saved or eternal life” is the Gift of God, not faith. (Romans 6:23 and others)

    And we cannot defend Arminianism at all because they have no assurance of salvation since they must “keep on keeping on” and never know when their works are sufficient to satisfy God. My Dad was raised in Arminianism (Methodist) and never had a clue about “true assurance” through his 50 years of later Calvinism, even after I witnessed to him for years. Finally, just before he died, he wrote a letter to me saying he had trusted Christ as his Savior. Pitiful that his life was wasted by false doctrines, first Arminianism and then Calvinism.

    Brie, we as believers in Christ must be discerning about ALL the false doctrines being propagated, LS, Calvinism and Arminianism. I pray you will understand clearly and abandon your seeming defense of Calvinism and Arminianism.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  110. Pearl,

    I know, or it would have been an endless list, LOL, I haven’t included other names since most of them are related to some that i’ve already posted, just for your observations.

    John,

    Ecumenical in a sense that they accept any preacher or church or ministry that believes in the Trinity and profess to teach salvation by faith alone that they do not have a clear doctrinal stand. They do indeed preach an LS gospel (see my most previous post ), they do not claim to be reformed nor charismatic (minus the speaking in tongues) nor baptist , etc, but they are quite flexible to accept their teachings (except Calvinism of course, they’re against it, remember? but quite oddly they teach something similar to the Perseverance of the Saints).

    please allow me to share the church’s site, i posted some links that would describe what kind of church really it is.

    http://lakasangkan.minihost.org/about_us.html (doctrines, core values, etc)
    http://lakasangkan.minihost.org/program.html (how they disciple their converts through the g12 program)
    http://lakasangkan.minihost.org/biographies.html (take note how they define salvation)
    http://lakasangkan.minihost.org/Jesus.html (gospel presentation)

  111. Also from what I have read of Lloyd-Jones exposition of scripture he definitely teaches that man has 2 natures and is still attached to his flesh. I think the arguments come in as to how much the spirit can overcome the fleshly nature and be dominant, and the degrees of that dominance up to a man most all of the time not feeling the nuisance of the flesh or letting it dominate ones actions. I think it is inaccurate according to what i have read of his teaching to claim he stated we do not have 2 natures in the believer.

  112. Pearl-

    Good point you bring up on Lloyd-Jones. In reading his exposition on Romans 7 it is clear that this doctrine is something he struggled with. He cannot say the man in Romans 7 is unsaved to be sure, but he also feels that he is not completely regenerate. I am currently reading numerous commentary in conjunction with his on Romans and I found him quite muddled on the subject, as many great teachers can be it is a very difficult passage of scripture, but he gives so much to think about that is beneficial. I would be interested as to where he fell as to this towards the end of his life, when he preached on Romans he certainly did not have it completely worked out. I wouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater though I find his preaching on assurance, which is one of his strongest themes, to be one of the best I have ever read, you could not tell he was a Calvinist.

    Also, as to this Calvinism v. Arminian debate, I think it is good to look at the past on this. Whitfield, Calvinist, and Wesley, Arminian, never did reconcile their differences on this. But they respected each other and never doubted the others salvation because of their differences in these areas. I don’t think anyone can deny that these men were saved and understood Gods grace, especially Whitfield IMO, and did not perpetrate false gospels that impeded the gospel. If such great men as these can have differing opinions and still contribute mightily to the work of God and be on either side of this debate I think it should make us pause at how important it really is to equate salvation to be found or not found in the methods of these systems of theology.

  113. Oh, I failed to mention to JR:

    Great list!! No doubt a most thorough one could extend from here to the moon and back!

  114. I agree, Faith – I am always enriched by reading additional perspectives from newcomers who have taken issue with LS as Brie and others have communicated.

    Eddy, you sure have been busy to make folks aware! God bless you!

    Until finding Jack’s commentaries on JMac, I had never heard of LS; but having since learned more about it by keeping my ear to the ground, it is very clear to me that LS is not the sole property of Calvinism, but Arminianism as well.

    In the recent past, I too, have enjoyed the sermons of Lloyd Martin-Jones, but because of his teaching that there is only one nature in the believer (the new nature), I have set him aside, together with many others. Surely this belief only fortifies the LS argument, and it’s amazing how many teachers, reformed or not, adhere to it.

  115. John-

    In truth I think very few of your average church-goers really understand the 5 points of either Calvinism or Arminianism like you appear to. I agree that if you really follow out the 5 points of Calvinism that the will inevitably lead one to a false gospel, but some have different views on the points and can form them into fitting into a free-grace paradigm, because they agree with a few in the beginning they follow them out to conform to their own doctrine, “perseverance of the saints” meaning kind of whatever you want it to mean to fit one’s doctrine.

    In my experience some truly free-grace people, my mother included, that identify or have identified themselves as Calvinists is because a person or preacher who led them to the Lord and trained them in discipleship identified themselves as Calvinists, I think probably wrongly identified themselves that way in really not understanding the system of theology. It can be offensive to some to attack a theology they or their spiritual mentor adhere to, even if what they are adhering to in my opinion is not even true Calvinism. I find it more productive to let them have their Calvinism in whatever form they choose as long as it does not deter from Christ alone or looks to works to confirm salvation. Some people need a label for themselves and sadly the labels out there to me are flawed but the average Christian never looks into it.

  116. My what great discussion and very good points. Brie interesting that you said that you literally almost vomited. I have had the same experience when I have attended any church with false teachings.
    By the way, I went on Caryl Mastricianas (spell.?) site and it looks like she is completely against Calvin and his teachings. This may account for why she has been banned from Lighthouse Trails.
    I find it interesting how these men (LS, Calvinism, etc.) develop these “doctrines” and expect everyone else to accept it as gospel or close to it.

  117. JR, the church that you describe seems ecumenical – anything that you want them to be.

  118. jimmyorourke, thanks for your suggestions. These seem to be very sound. I have been a believer for about a year now, after almost half a century of thinking I had to save myself (a la LS).

    I am a clumsy witness right now, but I am trying.

  119. Brie, thanks for your gracious response. I will remove labels and only address perversions of Grace that must be avoided. Source is Clear Gospel Campaign:

    1. Basic salvation by works. A person mus actually perform some religous act or good work as a prerequisite for gaining eternal life. Common forms – water baptism or public confession of Christ as prerequistes for salvation.

    2. Bilateral contract salvation (LS). A person gains eternal life by making a contract with God. The sinner offers a promise of future obedience in exchange for God’s promise of eternal life. Common forms – “repent of your sins in order to be saved”, “make Christ the Lord of your life” in order to be saved, “make a personal commitment to Christ in order to be saved.”

    3. Denial of eternal security. Salvation once attained must be maintained by obedience to God’s laws. Common forms – “Serious” sin will result in loss of eternal life. Apostasy will result in loss of eternal life.

    4. Perserverance of the Saints. Denial of the doctrine of assurance of salvation. Genuine faith will always produce visible and lasting results in a person’s life. Since at any moment anyone may backslide into serious or habitual sin, thereby “proving” that he ws never really saved, no one can be absolutely sure that he is saved. Assurance of one’s salvation therefore is not derived from one’s certainty of his faith in Christ, but circumstantially from evidence of one’s changed life. Assurance can never be absolute.

    These are all false gospels.

  120. Hi everyone,

    My former church(an LS one but surprisingly anti Calvinist) has a gospel presentation that can be summarized as “Turn away from all your sins and accept/receive Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal Lord (put Him at the throne of your life,) and Savior (Trust Him alone for your salvation)” I summarized it this way because this is basically the message of every “gospel” tract that this church uses (which i admittedly and regrettably did distribute or used for soulwinning).
    My former church was a product of the work of the Navigators, ministry of Dawson Trotman (I am not surprised when i found out later that Billy Graham praised this guy and his ministry).
    We have been talking about the LS/Calvinist connection but as i have stated earlier the pastor of that church is claiming to be anti Calvinist. But then again, they cannot escape the Reformed connection (or maybe Trotman or the Navigators has a Calvinist background?).
    The list i provided below are persons , ministries, churches etc, that have some influence (direct or indirect) in that church. Not sure if all of them are LS or Calvinists (some are even quite charismatic) but you decide whether what type of church really that is.

    Paul Washer (videos),
    Charles Spurgeon (quotes, commentaries),
    Campus Crusade for Christ (affiliate(?) ministry),
    Jonathan Edwards(quotes),
    Charles Finney(quotes),
    Louie Giglio(videos),
    Joel Osteen (books),
    Matthew Henry (commentaries),
    Southern Baptist Church (church compared to this),
    RELEVANT Magazine,
    Living Waters / The Way of the Master/Ray Comfort,
    Billy Graham/BGEA,
    Franklin Graham(son of Billy),
    Will Graham (son of Franklin, grandson of Billy)
    Hillsong Live(or anything Hillsongs),
    John Piper (quotes,books),
    The Gospel Coalition,
    C. S. Lewis
    Desiring God(also by John Piper),
    NavPress/Navigators ,
    NIV Study Bible(or anything NIV),
    Zondervan (most of the books my former churchmates bought came from here),
    Answers in Genesis,
    Francis Schaeffer(quotes),
    Max Lucado(books) ,
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer(quotes),
    Joshua Harris,
    John C. Maxwell,
    Bible Gateway,
    G12 ,
    Joel Comiskey(books specifically about G12),
    Pastor Rick Warren (Purpose Driven Life),
    700 Club,
    Kirk Cameron,
    Grace To You/John MacArthur(commentaries),
    Charles Ryrie (commentaries, at least they have a free grace one :))

    This list is incomplete since i only gave some familiar or interesting ones. , or else you nead to ask Google about them.

  121. Bruce,

    Thank you for the kind welcome, and for the resource. I had checked the FGA site in the past, but will look at it again. It’s nice to meet you.

    John,
    I’ve run into the same challenges you’ve come up against. As a result, I’ve decided to do it this way: a) get the discipleship materials ready (i.e. review of the Gospel and only condition for salvation, doctrine of Assurance, doctrine of Eternal Security, God’s Chastening of believers, Judgement Seat of Christ, etc.) b) go soulwinning c) invite only those who I lead to Christ to the Bible study d) disciple them, encouraging and equipping them to evanglelize the lost and disciple the found. Who knows, by God’s grace maybe a Free Grace church will arise organically.

    Brie,
    Nice to meet you. I understand what you’re saying, but Bruce hit on something which cannot be overstated IMO. Reformed theology, if followed logically and consitently, necessarily leads to the false gospel of Lordship Salvation. In this case, LS is the symptom–Reformed theology the cause. No disease has ever been cured without agressively attacking (in this cae with the truth of God’s Word) the cause of that disease.

    I’ll be gone from blogging next few weeks, so everyone have a wonderful Chritmas!

  122. John-

    I feel your passion and I am thankful for it. We need more people who are free grace proponents to see that the LS teaching spreading like wildfire is a problem in Christianity today that is gravely urgent especially due to the implications it may cause in the lives of many who are seeking God, not just in the here and now but also in the hereafter. This is scary stuff when it comes down to an individuals’s salvation which it does. For the record I am also neither complacent nor do I tolerate or think it is even possible to co-exist in true fellowship with LS adherents. This has caused no small amount of heart break in my life. It is hard to reach out for fellowship with other Christians only to find there is none.

    My most recent experience in a church is a sad story. I started going due to attending a public discussion forum led by the pastor, it was a new church and I was curious. The topic was grace and works, and of course I publicly disagreed with the pastor, a man who seemed to base all of his thoughts on the writings of Piper. During the course of debate a woman had a breakdown, encouraging the others that I may have some valid points, as she said through tears that she had never been sure of her salvation until she had heard what I had said, or I should say what the Holy Spirit prompted me to say that evening, only afterwards to find out she was the head of the children’s ministry! I continued to go to this church because this woman expressed great interest in spending some time with me, I felt I would go for awhile only to encourage her. We started meeting once a week and over the course of about 5 months and I passed along a lot of free grace literature, CDs etc. and her life changed drastically from her relationship with God to her marriage to her extended family her depression, it was such a joy to see what grasping God’s grace can do! However, further conversations with the pastor and his wife showed they were not going to alter their theology one iota, and during one of the last sermons I attended I was so disturbed by his words that I was overcome with what felt like vomitous convulsions I had to excuse myself from the service. I was physically made sick and realized I could not attend the church any longer, and subsequently the girl I was meeting with will not return my phone calls, which in truth were partly to have her return some of my materials she borrowed. It appears she won’t even see me to give back some CDs. I am willing to have LS proponents in my life only to have opportunity to share God’s grace, I will never dilute my message or think that our differing beliefs can be somehow commingled, and sadly due to that the LSrs at some point will cut off a relationship with me.

    As to Calvinists however that is a different story, again I am not a Calvinist nor do I agree with any of the 5 points. I know Calvinists who say they support the system of theology because it leads to eternal security vs. Arminianism, and know Arminians who say the same thing about Calvinists. There are those who may identify one way or the other only agreeing with only some of the points. I think it can be counterproductive to bring these labels into soteriological discussions because to me the debate is about Christ alone Vs. Christ+ and you can find people that fall on both sides of that debate in both arminian and Calvinist camps. If someone is having a discussion of one or all of the 5 points of both of these systems of theology they are most likely saved! The argument there is “how did my salvation happen to me? Did I choose God or did he choose me, could I have resisted the holy spirit etc. You get my drift. As long as the person believes it is Christ plus nothing I know they are saved, and if we differ on how God brought that about that is OK. That is why I would hesitate to say that Calvinism is false teaching or would think someone may not be saved because they identify with the Calvinist points. This debate has caused so much division in the church and I think that the debate should be on Christ alone or Christ+ which neither Calvinism nor Arminianism really addresses and bringing in accusations to these systems of theology to me is a distraction from the real issues that should be discussed.

  123. One other thing – “strict Calvinism” and “strict LS” are big lumps of yeast. “Soft Calvinism” and “soft LS” are smaller lumps of yeast. Satan is very subtle. If we embrace even the slightest facets of these false gospels, we are putting ourselves and others in harm’s way. That is why the Biblical warnings are so clear and so repetitive.

  124. Brie and Bruce, I think your comments on LS are interesting, and very well presented. I agree that LS is often promulgated by sincere, misguided believers.

    But I think that believers are guilty of giving LS proponent the “benefit of the doubt” . This is not Biblical. LS is a false gospel that has no saving power whatsoever. Our willingness as believers to co-exist with this error is probably the biggest impediment to fulfilling the Great Commisssion. I offer the following opinion from Clear Gospel Campaign:

    “The church will never fulfill the Great Commission as long as it is confused on the very message of the gospel! Certainly not while it continues to proclaim salvation by faith plus. And the church will never be lifted from its confusion unless each of those who understand the truth of the gospel labor to change it.”

    And then this, from the Apostle Paul:

    Galatians 1:8-9 “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”

    I am not going to appease any teaching that perverts the Gospel (both LS and Calvinism pervert the Gospel).

  125. Greetings Brie,

    Thanks for commenting today. You bring up many solid points about the vastly-pervasive tentacles of LS teaching throughout Christian churches today. It almost seems insurmountable at times to try to speak out against the falsehoods of LS. I agree with your statement:
    “Obviously LS teaching like many others is the work of the enemy, but I believe he has preyed on the good intentions of godly men to get it out there.” I, too, believe that many many dedicated Christians have fallen prey to LS teaching due to their ignorance of the Scriptures and ignorance of true grace, unclear teaching from the pulpits under which they were raised, and, again, the ubiquitous presentation of the LS “gospel.” As I survey the Christian world, LS influence is everywhere! It is found in the majority of doctrinal books in the Christian bookstores, in Christian music, on Christian Television and in the blogosphere. There are some reliable voices of grace out there, but they just don’t get anywhere close to the kind of media attention garnered by LS “celebrities.” And the mainstream publishers don’t seem to want to touch a book on free grace, but they jump all over each other to publish a book like “Radical,” “Crazy Love” or “The Hole in Our Gospel.”

    Regarding your comments on Calvinism, yes, I have heard that there are some free gracers who hold to some aspects of Calvinist theology. This is difficult for me to understand, though, because LS theology is an outflow of the Calvinist “P” perseverance (they are essentially the same thing). And the five points of Calvinism are inextricably linked and work as one unified belief system. About reading books written by Calvinist author’s, I have done that too on occasion, with discernment.

  126. Hey guys, also new to this blog, and also dealing with the frustration of finding a free grace church, we in the free grace camp are in a small minority. I really appreciate reading the commentary here, it reminds me I am not alone! I will add a couple of things to the discussion.

    1) As to the question posed earlier as to what is the motivation of LS teachers, I truly believe this is a vicious cycle with good intentions. I have been fascinated by church history of late and it is astounding how quickly the free grace theology espoused in the NT by the apostles was lost after their deaths. The truth is if you look at the history of Christianity very few of the past couple thousand years can be described as a time when free grace theology was the norm. It is truly the work of the Lord and a miracle that free grace theology exists even in small measure today with the relentless attacks by the enemy to destroy it. That said, there is no lack of twisted scriptural interpretations out there to support LS theology which is just one of the guises the enemy is infiltrating, or I should say has successfully infiltrated, into our churches today. Obviously LS teaching like many others is the work of the enemy, but I believe he has preyed on the good intentions of godly men to get it out there. To the natural man grace does not make sense. If you want to change behavior you inflict consequences. If you want someone to appreciate something you make them earn it. Grace does not make sense to humanity. I think that this sort of teaching gets propagated because leaders truly desire holiness but and somehow adopt thoughts that seem biblical because they resonate with their own logic. Since according to God’s word we are sanctified by the truth, grace and truth being on the side if Christ and not the law, sadly we get churches that are what some would call “lukewarm” because they are not hearing the life-changing message of the gospel of grace. I think this is a vicious cycle in that over multiplying years of this pervasive teaching we get more and more what appear to be lukewarm Christians, and it appears something is wrong in the church, so men take it in their hands to double down on these condemning messages trying to get radical Christians out there, only to find them getting fewer and fewer, and somehow the devil convinces leadership that the apathy of churches is somehow we are just all non-committed and the problem lies in the church body when the problem lies in the absence of gospel teaching. Paul seemed to be able to inspire passionate believers, but again I think Paul would be described as a heretic by most Christians today if they ran into him preaching on a street corner. In short, I guess not so short, I think the motivation lies in a vicious cycle of leaders sincerely wanting to motivate Gods flock, but they are with good intention taking it into their own hands to do it, and it seems crazy to the human mind but grace does in fact produce holiness not licentiousness and God knows how to make a Christian on fire, and we should preach the Gospel as the apostles did and trust that God knows how to change the hearts of men.

    Also, I am not a Calvinist. But some of the talk on this thread seems to me very harsh against Calvinists and I find that unfair and unintentionally somewhat divisive. I find the arguments in Calvinist debates to be so philosophical that it seems ridiculous to let them divide the body of Christ because the truth is none of us can prove they are true or false beyond a shadow of a doubt. I think the points are interesting to ponder, but should not be a lens one views scripture through. That said I am now in Book 8 of Lloyd-Jones’s series on Romans. A free grace friend said I shouldn’t read the books, oh dear, ya know he is a Calvinist. I have found the series to be nothing short of amazing! Grace all the way through, powerfully communicated and scholarly supported. There may be in the 3000+ pages I have read so far a handful of paragraphs where I saw some Calvinism creep in, which usually makes me bristle, but it was really just an insignificant tangent to his message and therefore did not bother me in the least. I just want to say that I think there is nothing wrong with falling on the side of Calvinism, I don’t, as long as you don’t let it interpret the Bible for you. I think there are some amazing Bible teachers like Lloyd-Jones that have been Calvinists and still delivered powerful spirit filled grace messages. I know LS evolved out of strict Calvinism, and I am all for attacking the false teachings of LS, but to attack Calvinism the way I have seen some do in these threads I think can be hurtful to believers who may agree with some of Calvinism and also be free grace.

  127. Jimmy, I also attempted a Bible study at work. I quickly learned that it was an LS outreach program. I was quickly ostracized, due to my outspoken defense of the Gospel.

  128. Jimmy, I am in the Southeast (the “LS belt”). I have considered an in-home Bible study, but I would need to locate one or more believers who are not wrapped-up in an apostate church.

    I consulted Free Grace alliance months ago to see if they recommended any churches in my community, but they were not aware of any. I live in a pretty large metro area.

  129. Hi Jimmy,

    Great to have you join our fellowship here. Come back often!

    Here is one resource that you might want to check out when looking for a Free Grace church to attend:

    http://www.freegracealliance.com/findchurch.htm

    Free Grace churches are rare but they do exist.

    Blessings in your quest.

  130. Eddy,

    Good insights! You might want to recommend Dr. Tom Cucuzza’s book to Brander Nickel. In the book, Tom gives a detailed connection between perseverance and Lordship Faith teaching. In fact, he even quotes John MacArthur in a candid admission that the Calvinist notion of perseverance (the “P” of the Calvinist “TULIP”) is nothing other than lordship salvation!

    To purchase Tom’s excellent book, see the link in the upper right column.

  131. John,

    Did I read in one of your comments on another thread that you are in the Midwest? My wife and I live in Missouri and have also been unsuccesful in finding a Free Grace church (sad that we’re forced to be apply a redundant label). At the encouragement of Pastor Max Younce (one of Jack’s friends), I’m preparing to start an in-home bible study. Have you ever considered this option?

  132. Eddy, we quit going to an EFCA church recently, because we could never pin down exactly what their beliefs were.

  133. Dear John,
    We are on the same wavelength. I agree with your way of dealing with those ministries not showing a clear statement of faith. Since there are just too many questionable ministries, we should be extra careful and not giving our endorsements to any of them. In most cases, the reason they are not showing their beliefs, or not preaching the Gospel, is because they have something to hide. I share the same frustration as you that so many free grace believers knowingly supporting questionable ministries and churches. Sometimes I which I had a megaphone so I could scream to their ears to wake them up. However, I am not even able to convince my own Mom to leave her EFCA church. Her pastor is clearly in the LS camp.

  134. Eddy,

    Thanks for your extremely keen insight and discernment. I tried to listen to Hitchcock but it was garbled and my hearing is limited — but my friend did listen and wrote to me:

    Jack,
    I listened to 31 minutes of it. All I needed to hear. Unfortunately, he is a calvinist. It is too bad. He is a very good prophecy teacher.

    Unfortunately Hitchcock’s Calvinism disqualifies him from my recommendation. It amazes me that a doctrinaire Calvinist can accurately interpret Biblical prophecy since most are not dispensational teachers. We live and learn. Thanks Eddy.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  135. Dear Jack,
    In regarding to the relationship between LS and Calvinism, I agree with you that they are very closely related. However, Brander Nickel is a very rare exception. She exposed the errors of Calvinism, yet she is still buying into the LS lie. I would not have known her position on LS had I not read her reply to my emails concerning Mark Cahill.

    Google: “Caryl Production Repentance and Lordship Salvation”

    Since the link to the above article is still on the home page of Caryl’s website, I am assuming Caryl agree with her that turning from sin is required for salvation. By the way, both Roger Oakland’s ministry and Dave Hunt’s ministry are currently carrying Caryl’s yoga DVD.

    Mark Hitchcock is a popular prophesy expert. He appeared on CNBC, 100 Huntley Street, and frequently giving talks at Christian conferences. According to the information on his site, he was converted while watching Billy Graham on TV in 1965. Using Bible prophesy to sway people into LS is yet another trick used by Satan. In order to find out Mark Hitchcock and Calvinists sharing similar beliefs, please listen to the sermon he gave on Sunday July 2nd, 2006 titled Chosen by God.

    Google: “Mark Hitchcock Chosen by God”

  136. Jimmy,

    You are certainly welcome here and by the content of your comment, you should feel right at home. On our Blog you will find some great commentary exposing the lie of Lordship “salvation” and Calvinism — as well as expose’s of other false teachings.

    Come back and visit any time.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  137. As a first-time visitor of your site, I must say how thrilling it is to read the grace-filled commentary. Serveral of my friends have been taken captive by the false gospel of Lordship salvation–some having been initiated via the front door approach (i.e. demands of discipleship are requirements for salvation) and some via the back door approach (i.e. “If He’s not Lord of all, He’s not Lord at all—translation–if you don’t have good works you’re not saved). You all know the consequences of such folly: a) false assurance of salvation for religious unbelievers b) no assurance of salvation for the believer who is honest about his post-conversion life.

    Blessings to all of you contenders for the faith!,
    Jimmy

  138. JR,

    A redefinition of terms/Scripture to suit their preconceived ideas is the essence of most cults (LS/Calvinism, et al). MacArthur is a master of that deceit.

    As you no doubt know, their perception of their redefinition does not validate their claims which are completely false.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  139. Eddy,

    I had a personal email from a friend asking you to document or give links that shows Mark Hitchcock as a Calvinist.

    My friend was not aware of Hitchcock’s Calvinist teaching so I would like to get that information to him. Thanks.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  140. Jack, the ardent LS/Calvinist proponents hope that their intention to purchase their own salvation (through turning from sins, commitment to discipleship and perserverance) counts for something. Deep down, they know it doesn’t. That is why they have no assurance. That is why they are so busy – it distracts them from having to really think about it.

    If someone buys a car, with no downpayment, and makes payments over the next few years, he has not received a gift. He has bought a car. If he fails to make the payments, he is in default. His car will be re-possessed. Since no one can pay for his own salvation, he is going to default if he tries – no matter how hard he tries. Some will keep their noses to the grindstone their entire lives, trying to pay for Grace. Others will give up in hopeless despair. Still others will eventually realize how futile their efforts are and trust in the finished work of Christ.

  141. Pastor Jack,

    The moment I read that link, I sure detected many serious errors that it’s no use arguing with them, not that they cannot be refuted but that they will not simply examine the view they call “easy believism”.
    I was not surprised at all upon reading MacArthur’s statements, they just simply confirmed my understanding of Lordship Salvation and how that this is so much rooted in the Calvinist doctrine of “Perseverance of the Saints”.
    When LS people read anti-LS articles, they almost would say that they are misrepresented, only because we say that they teach works salvation. But as the quote John posted says, it’s a matter of perception of God and also of what the Scripture says, and as what i’ve pointed out in my earlier posts, it depends on their definition. Therefore, they have enough reason to say they are misrepresented since they have a different perception and definition of terms.

  142. John,

    I can only agree with what you wrote regarding the link and the quote you provided. It is not really that enough to show them some scriptures since they also use it, in fact they also believe it, if they are not twisting it.

  143. Eddy,

    I was not aware Deborah (LightHouse) was no longer promoting Caryl. Wonder why? And that Markell (who leans Calvinist) is supporting so many LS and Calvinist folks, Unfortunately, that is typical of prevalent error today. Everyone wants want exposure to the “scholars” in the modern “Christian” movement rather than avoiding it (as John has so eloquently said). And the self perpetuating lie just grows and grows!!!

    JR and John,

    Good analysis of the MacArthur link. I don’t usually leave links to false preachers whom I know are preaching lies — but this one does vividly show what a scripture abusing, radically Calvinist/LS MacArthur really is.

    The one thing we must remember about LS folks is that, (especially MacArthur (JMac)), they are almost always Calvinists (I don’t know of any exception). As a discerning believer reads the JMac link he will immediately see it is awash with foul Calvinist doctrine.. which naturally opens the door for the other slick (and sick) lies of LS.

    JMac:
    Repentance is a turning from sin (Acts 3:19; Luke 24:47) that consists not of a human work but of a divinely bestowed grace (Acts 11:18; 2 Tim. 2:25).
    […] Even faith is a gift of God, not a work of man (Eph. 2:1-5,8).
    These are two convoluted and extreme Calvinist Lies.

    His statements “faith is a gift of God” and his false “turn from sin” rendering of repentance as a “divinely bestowed grace” are so completely Calvinist lies that any reasonably thinking person should see right through them as first class prevarications. But people fall for the idea and blindly follow the man JMac “religiously” trying to abide by his rules rather than God’s Grace. JMac completely misrepresents Free Grace teaching by classifying it by his pejorative “easy believism.” Scripture defines “Believe” as easy (John 3:16 and hundreds more).

    Just as Satan lied to Eve in the Garden, JMac is misquoting the Lord and lying to his rabid and blind followers.

    And he [Satan] said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
    Genesis 3:1b

    I fully expected to analyze the entire article but gave up in disgust. Please forgive me.. but it is simply slick garbage.

    John, you and JR have done a good job of exposing so many LS/Calvinist lies.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  144. Well said, John.

    Thank you and Merry Christmas.

  145. Here is how I would refute them:

    1. John 3:16-3:18
    2. Ephesians 2:7-2:9
    3. Acts 16:25-16:31
    4. Romans 4
    5. The fact that the Epistles were written – why would you write something to people who automatically turn from sins, automatically perform good works and automatically perservere?

    But, LS proponents will not be swayed by scripture. They have a flawed understanding of who God is – what Gospel do they believe? Following is a quote from an article on the Pure Unadulterated Grace website called “The Eternal Security Debate”. While this article was written specifically on the subject of people who deny the doctrine of eternal security, I believe it has applicability to other perversions of Grace as well (perserverance of the saints, LS, baptismal regeneration and public confession of Christ for salvation). Please note that I am not making a blanket endorsement of this site:

    “Just remember, the next time you are caught up in a debate is to know that they are arguing their perception of God, and your maybe polished arguments will not do much to win them over. This is throwing pearls before swine, and I am not saying that to sound like I am degrading them. You are merely throwing arguments out that will do no good. The problem is not their perception of Galatians 5:19-21, but rather, it is their perception of God that causes them to see Galatians 5:19-21 the way they do.

    The veil over their heart needs to be removed. Do not seek to be some polished debater, but one who can clearly present a loving God to sinners. A God who falls on the necks of sinners with tears receiving them. Teach them of a Savior who shed His blood to “purchase” them, and not “borrow” them as long as he or she proves worthy. A person who is convinced that God receives sinners, and forgives them before they even lift a finger will see those so-called problem texts very differently. The person will no longer be trying to sow on fig leaves of self-righteousness. He will stand completely naked before God knowing that this God has received them right where they stand. God will clothe them in righteousness that is apart from works of the law. The realization that if we are righteous apart from the works of the law means that we can never be made dirty again by the law will change one’s perception of God. They will no longer be working to please, but will work because he or she is already pleasing in His sight.”

  146. John MacArthur himself defined Lordship Salvation in this article, not sure if this article had been discussed in this blog before, note also the verses he used to support his positions.

    http://www.gty.org/Resources/Articles/A114

    Initial observations:

    – He really assumes that repentance is really turning from sin (see 1st distinctive)
    – He has a shallow understanding of some scriptures, just see for yourself
    – He confuses “new creature (2 Cor 5:17)” with new behavior? (see 4th distinctive)
    – He defines grace as God changing your behavior INEVITABLY
    – He doesn’t mention rewards (or lack thereof) in the Christian?
    That’s all i have for now, what’s your take everyone? How do you refute his assumptions? (i said “assumptions” on purpose because he horribly takes many scriptures out of contexts)

  147. One more thing – if a church or ministry does not have a clear statement of faith, I assume the church has some fundamental misunderstanding of the Gospel and I stay away.

  148. Eddy, I agree regarding people being sincere, yet deceived. I see people passing out tracts for cults every day when I walk from work to lunch and back again. The same people have been doing it for years. They are very committed, very sincere and very much in error.

    The people that irk me more are the ones who seem to understand Grace, but are not consistent. I have a friend at work, who is a believer, who said “don’t you have to repent of your sins” to be saved. I asked him if he had done that. He admitted that he hadn’t.

    The biggest scandal in the church today is that believers are not willing to take a stand for the Gospel. That means not being ashamed of Grace. That means not adding caveats to Grace. That means not staying in LS churches, not supporting LS ministries, not promoting LS books, not participating in ecumenical events (which almost without exception devolve into works-assisted theology), and not making excuses for people who talk out of both sides of their mouths.

  149. Jack,
    I found out that Deborah Dombrowski has withdrawn Caryl’ Matrisciana’s articles from The Lighthouse Trail web site. Deborah no longer sell Caryl’s book, nor her Yoga DVD. However, Deborah is still promoting books and publishing articles written by those in the reform/LS camp, such as Bob Dewaay, Jan Markell, and others. Here is what Jan Markell wrote in her gospel tract: “The Lord now offers everlasting life to all who will repent from their sins and trust in Him personally.” In Jan’s most recent conference Understanding the Times 2011, all four speakers she invited to speak at that conference were either LS or Calvinistic. These were the speakers: Bill Koenig (LS), Eric Barger (LS), Mark Hitchcock (Calvinistic), and Brannon Howse (LS). The conference attracted more than 4500 people on Friday night alone. I am pretty sure Jan Markell is a very sincere individual. However, one can be very sincere but still being deceived.

  150. John,
    It is like a bottomless pit indeed! The deeper I dig, the more of them I find. The great apostasy is almost, if not already, at the point of fruition. The rapture must be very close.

    “Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not com], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;” 2 Thessalonians 2:3

  151. Eddy, there is no end to the LS pastors and ministries. It is like a bottomless pit! I try to avoid them like the plague. When I finally trusted in Christ alone, I had a very hard time coming to grips with the fact that so very few people seem to have an understanding of God’s Grace.

  152. Eddy,

    I read the page 221 of Cahill’s “sinner’s prayer” and it surely but subtly is pure LS.

    Thanks JR,

    You are right and we have discussed those very points in previous articles. Your response: “Christians are created for good works (Eph 2:10), but only as a response of service to God and for rewards (1 Cor 3:12-15)”
    I would only add that good works are a voluntary response in service, hence the words “that we should walk in them” — not “must” in Ephesians 2:10.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack,.

  153. To John:

    Thanks for the comments. Perfect examples of Calvinist Perseverance of the Saints, right? I honestly believed some form of that doctrine before. In fairness to them, they actually believe you don’t have to be perfect, that it doesn’t have to be perfect surrender or commitment but another question arises, would God honor such imperfect surrender? God demands perfection which only the Lord Jesus have accomplished. Or if it is truly a “work of God”, as they have said, Christians should already be perfect, but it is not the case since even Christians still sin, and even these LS preachers admit it. I am not saying that God doesn’t really work on a Christian, but He doesn’t do so as if we are robots.

    To Pastor Jack:

    They would actually deny salvation by works but as I have pointed out in my past posts they have a different definition, but when they start to define works as evidence, they do so to say that works are inevitable result or fruit of salvation which they say is a “work of God” (though not perfect). But it would still be a works based salvation because in the end, you should look to your “evidences of works” if you are saved. And furthermore, how much works should be enough as evidence? Works are important, in fact, Christians are created for good works (Eph 2:10), but only as a response of service to God and for rewards (1 Cor 3:12-15), but works are not to be a source of assurance, as if a person cannot be assured of his/her salvation the moment he/she trusts Christ as his/her Savior.

  154. Dear Jack,
    Since you brought up the issue concerning Caryl’s ministry, I would like to let you know that I sent two emails to Caryl concerning the unbiblical Lordship Salvation message in the book they carry. The book is One Thing You Can’t Do In Heaven by Mark Cahill. If you google “”One Thing You Can’t Do In Heaven PDF”, you will be able to find a pdf version of the book. Please read the sinner’s prayer on page 221 and page 222 of the book. Instead of Caryl, her partner Brander Nickel posted a response on their web site. Please google “Q&A: Repentance and Lordship Salvation” for her response. After reading the response from Brander Nickel, I sent her a email, which is the third and the last email I sent to her, invited her to come to this site, Tom’s site, and I also recommended the Gospel track http://www.duluthbible.org/files/Gospel%20eBooklet%20Images/Gospel_eBooklet.pdf to her.
    Eddy

  155. Eddy,

    My first email to Deborah was about an LS message on Caryl Matrisciano’s Yoga CD.. and Deborah very nicely assured me that they do not agree with an LS message — that she would talk to Caryl. Next thing I got a phone call from Caryl totally disturbed that I would question anything on her CD. She was pretty upset and would not listen to my plea for a clear Gospel message. Shortly after that I received an email from Deborah in a totally different tone — she was disturbed that I would question Caryl’s teaching.

    On the Yoga CD her assistant gave his/her version of the Gospel at the very end of her CD.
    “The way we appropriate His Grace is we acknowledge Him as Lord and Savior — not merely a Savior to add to our lives as a lucky charm, but as Lord — to come under Him in obedience and to the study of His Word in Holy Scripture,”

    Frankly that is insulting to anyone who is a Free Grace believer in Jesus Christ.. “Lucky Charm”?????

    Yet not too long ago I heard Caryl had written comments against Lordship Salvation. I do not have it handy but that would seem to contradict LightHouse Trails, Oakland and her own otherwise great anti-Yoga DVD.

    We can certainly pray that they will be convicted by God’s Holy Spirit to see and teach the Truth.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  156. Dear Bruce and Jack,

    Both Roger Oakland’s ministry and Debora Dombrowski’s ministry, together with Dave Hunt’s ministry, were among the few ministries on my recommended list. I purchased books and video from them to give out to my unsaved friends, many of them are catholics. Since I realized the issue of LS, I’ve been sending emails to both Roger and Debora to warn them on the LS lie. I never received any reply from them on the topic. I do not have a clue what is going on in their mind. If we acknowledge each other as brothers and sisters in Christ, we should discuss any issue according to the Word of God. I do not have anything against them and I sincerely hope that they will finally come to the understanding on the LS issue. I even forwarded to them the links to some of the articles posted on this site, What else can we do besides praying for them? Would it help if more people write to them? It would be very beneficial to many people if they could come to the understanding of the LS lie and speak against it. It is a pity that I would no longer be able to recommend their ministries any longer. I still found their sites resourceful for my own research. Another concern I have is that, except the statements of faith, I do not find any article written for the preaching of the Gospel on either Roger or Debora’s web sites. Although they are focusing on exposing new age/ emergent spirituality, no ministry should exempt from preaching the Gospel clearly.

  157. Faith:
    Thanks for illustrating what Christ said, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:36

    FREE, FREE, FREE!!!! By God’s Grace!!!

    Also — my wife, Shirley and I were discussing this topic and all of your great comments.. especially John’s comment that “churches are a mission field.”

    I suggested that those who preach Lordship or commitment “salvation” are really turning away people from trusting Christ by demanding that folks “give or commit their life to Christ” to be saved rather than simply trusting Him alone for their salvation.

    In my “before-Christ” life, I admired some folks who appeared to be Christian by their life style but I was not about to change my life to be whatever kind of “Christian” they were. I later found them to be self-righteous Catholics, Baptists and Lutherans, living their lives by their church’s Law for their salvation rather than by God’s Grace.

    Shirley told the story of her Pastor husband witnessing to a gentleman who was seriously ill in the hospital. The gent would not trust Christ despite a clear Gospel message.. saying “I’m just not ready.” One wonders if he, like I, had been so inundated by behavioral “Christianity” that he did not want to “change his life” or make any “commitment.” Not too much later the gentleman was back in the hospital critically ill and had been told he was dying. Again he heard the clear Gospel message. This time he said he was “ready” and trusted Christ.. It makes one wonder — that finally he realized his life was almost gone so he had nothing to “commit” so he simply trusted Christ alone as his Savior. We really don’t know his thoughts but he did finally trust Christ alone as his Savior.

    As Bruce said and upon which John commented.. I do sincerely believe that Calvinists and Lordship “salvationists,” with their fancy lies and fables, feed off of nominal and baby “Christians” thus leading them down the primrose path to destructive teaching.

    God’s Grace is so simple and so Free — but charlatans as well as those who may be “honest” but with no discernment seem to speak the words but deny the real power and meaning of God’s Free Grace.

    All of you are producing some great thoughts based on sound Bible doctrine.. Thanks.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  158. Amen Jack, John, Bruce, and Eddy!!
    So thankful for the message of grace from our Lord Jesus Christ!
    I am in so much peace because I left the “systems” of man. Maybe there are struggles, but I am now clear about what it means to be a child of God!
    Cannot stop praising Him for that!
    Appreciative of my fellow believers who know it too!

  159. Eddy:

    Re: Roger Oakland. He is associated with LightHouse Trails Research… but I have never read his books.. But I have communicated with Deborah Dombrowski, one of the editors at LT. My conversation revealed that even though they have a good grasp of the lie of Emergent, Mystical modernism, they do not seem to understand the terrible subtle lies of Lordship “salvation.” I fear that same analysis goes for Oakland, judging from the quotes you gave. Bruce may be right that he has no clue about LS.. but that itself is a shame.

    Thanks JR for your quotes.

    John:

    Re Bruce’s statement – It is appalling that so few folks really understand God’s Grace Biblically and unclear churches indeed are a mission field.

    Good analysis of JR’s quotes from some FaceBook author on “commitment – surrender – Lordship” salvation messages. None of these, in the common vernacular have anything to do with salvation and are theologically confusing when voiced in that context.

    The author’s statement, “You surrendered or gave your life to Christ, because he has planted in your hear the repentant faith, that made you become so convicted of your sins and made you give your life completely to Him.” Is totally confusing because the author’s assumption is derived from the serious error of Calvinist/Reformed teaching that God plants in us or gives us faith. As John has so eloquently said, the assumption further would erroneously be that our salvation rests upon our performance rather than our simple faith in Jesus Christ. That is a key doctrine of LS/Calvinist folks that is so confusing to those with little Biblical discernment.

    Obedience and surrender of one’s life to Christ is desired AFTER salvation but is not required to gain or keep salvation nor is a judge of one’s eternal security as is so often prescribed by religionists.

    Great discussion.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  160. Bruce, I agree with your assertion above:

    “I bet that if you had one hundred regular church-going Christians write down exactly what it means to be saved, you might get sixty or seventy different answers.”

    Isn’t this appalling? We know there is only one Gospel, not sixty or seventy. So, the mission field definitely includes the churches!

  161. JR, I think your analogy to the law is interesting, but not a good analogy to coming to faith in Christ.

    The only acceptable definition of surrender, in terms of salvation, is to give up trying to save yourself. Surrender, in this context, would mean accepting salvation God’s way – which is Grace through faith alone, in Christ alone.

    In order to become saved, someone would needs to know he is estranged from God because of sin. He needs to know and believe that God provided a sin bearer – Jesus Christ – who paid the complete price for our sins, who laid down His life for us, and was raised from the dead.

    “Giving your life to Christ” is not how one becomes saved. Accepting God’s free gift by faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ is how one becomes saved. If Christ planted in your heart the repentant faith that made you so convicted of your sins and made you give your life completely to Him, there would have been little or no reason for any of the Epistles to have been written. Man has free will, both before and after becoming saved. It is an appropriate ideal to give your life completely to Christ after becoming saved. But, if one thinks such commitment is evidential of salvation, he will constantly look to his behavior for evidence of faithfulness, rather than to Christ who is always faithful.

    If someone honestly looks to himself for evidence of salvation, he will conclude that has never given his life completely to Christ and that he has never completely turned from his sins. Then, he will have to use his own judgement to determine whether his degree of commitment provides sufficient grounds for salvation.

    We must be perfect to enter Heaven. Relying on Christ’s imputed perfection is the only way to do that. If we try relying on our works (including our commitment and our turning from sins) in addition to His perfection, we dilute it. We end up with an average of perfection and imperfection, which is always imperfection.

    PS – where does the scripture say that the publican you used in your example ever commiteed his life to Christ?

  162. “..he has planted in your heart* the repentant faith…” he meant, i didn’t notice the typo there.

  163. What do you think of these quotes, found these as facebook statuses as they define surrender?

    1.”Surrender means hands down, give up. A life that’s no longer enslaved to sin, and does good works is by the grace of God and the result of surrendering. A criminal does not surrender to the Law by first reforming, a criminal reforms AFTER they have surrendered to the Law. I say, it’s enough of toxic preaching, that is excluding the real fact that Jesus Christ is the Lord of Lords and the only Savior. Remove Christ as Lord from the preaching then you deny the Savior!”

    2. “Surrender is not something that you get credit for in order to be saved, surrender is to recognize your total depravity before God just like what Jesus described in Luke 18 about the publican who could not even look up his eyes into heaven and smote upon his breast saying God be merciful to me a sinner. Total and complete surrender is acknowledging your complete depravity before God giving your life to Him because you acknowledge He is the only Saviour and the one that should be reigning over your life. But take note, this act of surrender is not something you do or can take credit for, you can’t say “If I haven’t surrendered to Christ, I still would not be saved hence I should be given credit because I surrendered” You surrendered or gave your life to Christ, because he has planted in your hear the repentant faith, that made you become so convicted of your sins and made you give your life completely to Him.”

    Any thoughts?

  164. Hi everyone,

    Powerful discussion! Many good insights.

    Eddy, I do know that Roger Oakland has spoken out strongly against the emergent church movement and against the pro-RCC movie “The Passion.” He has received much criticism among Christian circles for doing so.
    I do agree with John’s earlier statement that Oakland’s site’s statement of faith is WAY too vague and does not even address the issue of salvation directly at all.

    Trying to give the benefit of the doubt, isn’t it possible that Oakland, like probably the majority of Christians out there is simply ignorant about the evils of LS theology? I think that the average Christian doesn’t have a clue about the LS vs. Free Grace debate; Eddy pointed this out in his statement about the “all inclusive gospel.” I bet that if you had one hundred regular church-going Christians write down exactly what it means to be saved, you might get sixty or seventy different answers.

  165. Eddy, I only recognize the LS lies because I used to believe them. I have also had an unhappy encounter with a pastor, who seemed to be clear on the Gospel, but would not agree that the SBC statement of faith was in error. On the subjects of guts and love for unsaved, confused souls, please pray for me to be more consistent,

  166. John,
    Your analysis is very sharp and precise, exposing the cunning tricks used by that cunning serpent. I would not be able to tolerate the inclusive gospel at all. Those who preach such gospel make me sick to my stomach and I want to vomit. If they had been preaching LS clearly, at least I could have preached the free grace Gospel to them directly. They are very “flexible”, they could change their theology anytime to avoid direct confrontation. The only way to deal with them is to corner them, to really force them a take a position. Asking them very sharp and precise yes and no type of questions, not allowing them to use “but”, “however” and the like. I did that to my former pastor, that is how I found out his Lordship Salvation stand. I am sure you are very good at such, since you have the guts to defend the Gospel of Christ and have the ability to see through the craftiness of Satan. Of course, the most important is you have Christ’s love to love the unsaved, confused souls.

    Jack,
    I really like your analysis on that excerpt. After reading the opinions from you and John, I feel more comfortable to expose this author’s name. He is Roger Oakland. I am very sad that although he has a zeal of God, able to expose most of the end time deceptions, yet lack understanding on the difference between the LS gospel and the free grace Gospel.

    On the subject of digging wells and building communities, both Roger Oakland and Deborah Dombrowski are supporting ministries offshore, in places such as Kenya, Myanmar and Philippines. I do not know what kind of gospel these ministries are preaching.

  167. Faith,

    I am happy to see you left that church because of “doctrines” that might confuse your kids.. but it is even more shocking that they did not believe a child can make a decision to trust Christ as Savior!

    You and your husband were wise, and we pray you can find an acceptable Free Grace church (not just in name — but in fact).

    It is really heartbreaking to see so many folks such as you and your family have to leave a church “community” which was teaching a false message. But as Tom said, that is “COURAGE” and for the right Biblical reason.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  168. Pearl,

    Thanks …. Excellent point… and the emotional draw into the “community” is difficult to abandon.. not just for the ladies but for all. It IS a “pat yourself on the back” approach which appeals to many. Surely if we are putting shoes on kids (advertised with dirty faces, big eyes and tears) and drilling water wells — it is hard to remove oneself from that community regardless of a foul message from the pulpit.

    It eventually boils down to, as you say, humanistic social services disguised as a “ministry.”

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  169. John you hit “a nail in the coffin” with your list. These are the points that drove us away from the “church” institution of today. Many of the pastors today have sold out to many different “doctrines”- all point to one thing: WORKS. And yes it is confusing to our children and yes we as parents are to protect our children from these “doctrines” – which is one of the reasons we left. The one church we had left from did not even encourage children to be saved because they felt that children do not have the maturity to come to that saving grace. How sad and further from the truth!

  170. On the issue of community, it’s refreshing to learn that someone from the pulpit is pointing out its fallacies. Only I don’t believe it’s a new thing, but rather each generation patting itself on the back for having tapped into a “new” concept. The only difference might be that the “community” is now global (Hillary’s “global village” comes to mind), where hanging out/supporting the local, emergent coffee shop is just a portion of doing one’s part toward getting shoes on the feet of children in Africa. Closer to home, we have the adertising campaign “Pass it On”, together with Hollywood’s contributions such as “Pay it Forward” (we women, as emotional creatures, are probably most affected by these powerful “feel good” sentiments). Boiled down, however, it’s nothing but humanism: man’s acheivements and “goodness” apart from God; the original rebellion in its most pious form.

  171. Eddy and John,

    You both have analyzed the “book” statement quite well. There are many statements that seem well meaning but within the author’s context they are decidedly incorrect. Without the truth of the Gospel of God’s Grace, the statement is 100% wrong. With such half truths, lies, misstatements and outright deception, such deceit does great damage to the simplicity of the Gospel of Grace. It is indeed an “inclusive” message, virtually ecumenical. Just about any “evangelical religion” could read those statements, run with them and be as happy as a hog wallowing in the mud.

    Thanks so much to both of you.. Eddy, it might be helpful to mention the author’s name (not the book name) as a discreet warning to our discerning friends.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  172. Eddy, one thing further – this confusion is not accidental. The pastors or evangelists (or any Christian, for that matter) that will not take a stand for the clear Gospel are not worth listening to or following.

  173. Bingo Eddy! I know we are supposed to go to church, but this kind of “inclusive gospel” as you called it is very confusing, especially for my children. I am not aware of any Grace-oriented churches in my community. Any time I think I have found one, it turns out to be one of these “inclusive gospel” churches that you have described. The message is so confusing that an LS person can leave believing that it has affirmed his LS position and a free Grace person can leave believing that it has affirmed his Free Grace position.

    If a church is not explicitly Grace-oriented in its statement of faith, I avoid it. Even if a church is explicitly Grace-oriented in its statement of faith, there are some other LS warning signs. The following is not a complete list, nor is it absolute:
    1. The church belongs to, or is affiliated with, a denomination known for LS teachings (SBC, United Methodist, Presbyterian Church USA, etc.)
    2. The church is into hero worship – primarily in the form of esteem and reverance for reformed/Calvininst preachers (such as Spurgeon)
    3. The church has an inordinate focus on contemporary social issues (for example – conservation, digging wells in Africa, stamping out malaria)
    4. The members of the church who have been there for awhile do not have a fundamental understanding of Grace.
    5. The church (or a good portion of its members) talks about accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior.
    6. The church believes that good works automatically follow salvation
    7. The church advocates the study of LS-type books (such as “A Hole in the Gospel” and “Radical”)
    8. The church website has links to LS-type content
    9. The church is heavily involved in ecumenical community events
    10. The church seems uncomfortable with Grace. That is, they add some caveat to every Grace message – often in the form of the “Yes buts”

  174. John,
    Thanks for your insightful comments. I agree with you that the excerpt is confusing. There are many pastors and evangelists preaching a similarly confusing gospel, trying to mix the free grace Gospel with discipleship. In many cases, even one more word will clear up the confusion, but that word is suspiciously missing. I will call such confusing gospel as the inclusive gospel. Inclusive because the confusion would be able to accommodate both the free grace believers and Lordship Salvation believers. In another word, it is up to the listener to interpret the intended meaning of what the speaker is trying to say. Different listeners may end up with different and opposite interpretations.

  175. Eddy, I believe LS is one of the biggest lies ever concocted by Satan. It is subtle and it appeals to our human pride, our human sense of justice and our fallen nature overall. I think the following scripture summarizes it pretty well:

    NKJV© 2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

    I cheated and looked up the author of the quotes that you gave. I had never heard of him, but my first impulse is to stay away. The excerpt that you quoted is kind of confusing. It is not clear whether the author thinks one has to invite Him into our lives to take over our lives as a condition to being saved, or what someone should do as a result of being saved.

    The statement of faith for this ministry does not clearly state how one becomes saved. I am deeply suspicious of ministries that will not clearly state the Gospel and what they think is required to be saved. I don’t know how anyone could stumble onto the site associated with this ministry and get a clear understanding of the Gospel. Instead, it has some fairly vague language, that I have copied below.

    * We believe in the fundamental doctrines of orthodox evangelical Christianity.

    * We believe in the inerrancy of the Scripture, that the Bible, Old and New Testaments to be the inspired infallible Word of God.

    * We believe that God is eternally existent in three separate persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    * We believe that God the Father is the personal, transcendent and sovereign Creator of all things.

    * We believe that Christ was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, provided for the atonement of our sins by His death on the Cross, was bodily resurrected by the power of the Holy Spirit, ascended back to the right hand of God the Father, and ever lives to make intercession for us.

    * We believe in the pre-tribulation rapture of the church and we believe that the second coming of Christ with His saints to rule on the earth will be personal, pre-millennial and visible. This motivates us to holy living, heartfelt worship, committed service, diligent study of God’s Word, regular fellowship, and participation in adult baptism by immersion and Holy Communion.

    This last statement needs a little work, in my opinion. I would replace “this motivates us…” with “this should motivate us…”

  176. Thanks to all of you..

    Eddy and John are right but Bruce is also right to encourage us all to find a good Grace church in which to fellowship — But until (and even after) we all find a good fellowship of Free Grace believers.. and because I am physically unable to get out to a church, I thank you all for the wonderful fellowship we have here. Granted, it is no substitute for a personal face-to-face church fellowship — but I do thank you for what we have.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  177. Dear friends,
    I would not be surprised that Lordship Salvation is the biggest yet the most subtle lie of all the lies. The following is an excerpt from a book of an author some people here might have known. I do not want to disclose the author’s name at this time since I do not want the author’s credential influence your judgement on the writing. What do you think about this paragraph from one of this author’s book? I really want a second opinion since I do not want to have a wrong judgement on the author.

    Excerpt from the author’s book:
    “Christianity is about following Jesus Christ and abiding in Him and in His Word. It is recognizing who He is and what He has done, repenting from our sins, and inviting Him into our lives to take over our lives. When we become part of the family of God, we have been saved by grace, not by works, and we are called to be servants who share this good news with others. Spreading the gospel is the call for every believer. In Scripture, we see a pattern to spread this good news – first in our homes, then to surrounding areas, and ultimately throughout the world.”

    Eddy

  178. Eddy, me too!

  179. FAITH:

    I hope that you and your husband don’t give up on finding a solid Bible-teaching church to make your home. You might try looking at the Free Grace Alliance web site to find a list of grace churches.

    EDDY:

    Thanks for your kind words. Come back and join our fellowship here any time. You’re always welcome.

  180. On the subject of community and friends. My real friends are here, a community of genuine believers. Praise the Lord.

  181. Sorry about the “kept me steady”- typed double

  182. Interesting John- your past Bible study going from LS to ecumenical…hmmmm. Seems like I have seen this pathway walked before.
    Usually I have noticed that many in Calvinist circles end up going the Roman Catholic way. Shudder to think I was headed in that direction, but by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Thank you Tom for your nice words, but I give glory to the Lord for if not for Him I and my husband would be there still in the church. I have been feeling very lonely of late and a little apathetic, but He has kept me steady- giving us the assurance that we obeyed. I just pray that we can find others that are in the same boat that we could fellowship with.

    The Lord bless
    kept me steady

  183. Correction to above – I meant United Methodist, not Southern Methodist (I must have football on the mind).

  184. Tom, I think what you have said is why we have so few Grace churches and so many LS. People recognize error, then tolerate error and then embrace it.

    I chose to leave a Bible study with men from work, because the leader had an LS bent. He chose James as our first book to study, and insisted that genuine faith always resulted in good works, that there is “head faith” and heart faith”, that even demons believe, etc. He also said that he didn’t understand how someone who is really saved could commit certain sins. I asked him if he sinned, and if so, why he thought his sins were not as egregious as those that he thought might be indicative of someone who wasn’t really saved. I got nowhere with this approach. So, I decided to present the Gospel to him. I went through your church’s plan of salvation with this leader, and he told me that it was just an intellectual assent – that one had to “desire a relationship with Christ to be saved (that sounds like a code word for commitment salvation).

    Two or three of the other guys in the group (out of eight) seemed to have a good understanding of Grace, but seemed comfortable with going through extra-Biblical material on James and discussing it, week after week. These guys also go to churches that do not consistently teach a clear Grace message (SBC, EFCA and Southern Methodist). I tried sending some Grace-based material to them, such as links to “Am I Going to Heaven”, and never heard any response from any of them. I feel very isolated, but I am not going to sit through errant teaching week after week.

    After the group finishes James a la LS, they are going to rotate and let somebody else lead for a while – this time going through a book that has an emergent/ecumenical flavor.

  185. Faith,

    Your COURAGE to stand on God’s Word, even if it meant the giving up of fellowship with others is an ENcouragement to me as a pastor. Few Christians today have that kind of loyalty to the Scriptures. Most are addicted to being accepted by their group, even if the group is wrong.

    Jack, thanks for the recommendation on the book.

    Tom

  186. Faith,

    Interesting thought about the “Community” idea being Socialism. The base for Communism is similar to Community.. so they are twins in the Socialist sense.

    Socialism/Communism is absolutely not a Biblical principle (despite the Liberal community advocating for it) and the idea of Collectivism (Socialism) did not work for the Bradford Colony Pilgrims.

    Speaking of Books, Tom Cucuzza’s book Secure Forever! God’s Promise or Our Perseverance?, is one of only very few I would recommend as definite keeper. (upper right column this page).

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack.

  187. Good conversation

  188. Thank you Tom for those insights- You are so right about “community”.
    First of all, I was raised in Scripture to look at my fellow believers as the body or the church. Community, here in this context today, is just another word for socialism, disguised as fellowship and working for a common goal.
    Not my cup of tea exactly. Also, with the books, yes there are some quality Christian books out there- I have just been very careful on what I choose to read now these days. Scripture always trumps a book. The young lady I had conversed with was promoting a book on the writings of St. Ignatius- well…I could go on a long rant about that character.
    You are right in the fact of churches being a democracy today – our allegiance is to Christ, our God alone- period. I had to leave friends in a church many times because of sticking with Scripture over my friendships. Lately it has been very hard and a struggle because my family feel very isolated, but we know in our hearts that we followed the Lord instead of man.

  189. Faith and Pearl,

    Great thoughts — especially about the fallacy of “community.”

    Tom Cucuzza asked me to post this as a comment from him:

    Dear Jack,

    You have “struck a nerve” with me on this one.

    It is my firm conviction that “community” is the new idol in the U.S and also in the body of Christ. I have preached on this many times. We have seen first hand the damage that community can cause in the local church. Many times relationships are more important to people than the truth is. Whether it is family or friends, this has become a god in the church.

    We have had situations in the last few years in our church to where people sided with their friends instead of Scripture because it was clear that their friends meant more to them than the Word of God. I am talking about issues that came up that were clearly addressed in the Word of God. Yet many people cannot stand the thought of having to “break fellowship” with someone who forsakes Scripture because they “feel” strongly about something. Emotions can be a real problem.

    Jesus, when speaking to His disciples, spelled out the terms for discipleship (not salvation) very clearly when He said:

    Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

    Matthew adds understanding to this bold statement:

    Matthew 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (bold emphasis mine).

    Luke 14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

    Think of these truths in light of the power of something like Facebook and or Twitter. While Facebook “connects” people and makes “friends”, it is also used to attack people and try to destroy churches.

    Majority opinion does not determine truth, God does! This is also the problem with a democracy. While community is important, it can never be the standard for deciding what is true and what isn’t.

    Our loyalty must be first and foremost to the Lord and His Word. And what the Lord would do in any situation will not contradict His word, for His Word comes from Him. It is “God breathed”.

    While I appreciate books, teachers and preachers and know their value, we must be careful. I am an author, teacher, and preacher, and hope that my ministry is of benefit to those who are exposed to it. But there is no author who should be read, and His words embraced, more than God Himself. He is God, Who is perfect, all knowing, and all wise. Read the BIBLE, then believe it, and obey it!

    Tom

  190. ” In response, she said that other teachings of “Christian” men help to sanctify and relying on Scripture alone and also that raising Scripture too much is not a good thing.”

    From my previous post I made a goof. What I meant to say is….
    ” In response, she said that other teachings of “Christian” men help to sanctify and relying on Scripture too much is not a good thing.”

  191. Good rant Pearl- 🙂

  192. Coursing through that vein of hautiness and pride, I am irked to no end by many in the bloggosphere referring to lukewarm believers (or just those which hold different convictions, apart from the obvious doctrines of grace) as “Christians”. They glory in their self-piety, all the while lamenting their own unworthiness before God. It’s a strange paradox to behold, yet I’m convinced that the spirit which oozes this sap is not of the Holy Spirit.

    (just my little rant for today…)

  193. 🙂 I meant “there” not “their”

  194. I see all that is written here and am thankful that their are still those who see the truth of free grace!
    I am in a conversation with a girl, who is a “spiritual director”, on a blog site and we have been discussing back and forth about “why the need of a spiritual director”. She has argued that the community is central and that we are to look at past and present teachers of the “faith” (one being St. Ignatius) to guide and “help” sanctify us to further trust in Christ. She also stated that Christians in America have become hyper-individualistic and have not relied on the “community” to build their faith in Christ. I also told her that relying on books and teachings of man can leave one disillusioned and confused about the faith, but relying on Scripture alone builds our faith and trust in Jesus. In response, she said that other teachings of “Christian” men help to sanctify and relying on Scripture alone and also that raising Scripture too much is not a good thing.
    I told her first, sorry but Christ is to be the center, for without Him there would be no body of believers. I also said I would not apologize for raising up Scripture for Scripture is what is profitable for our growth and nourishment as Christians and to put us in right fellowship with Christ.
    I am amazed how Christ and Scripture are taking second place to community, other mens teachings, and works.

  195. Great analysis, Tom Bruce and John.

    It is a shame how the LS folks can’t see the Truth.. amazing…

    In Christ eternally, Jack

  196. Bruce, I have to confess that I drift between anger and sadness with these folks. The sad reality is, that if someone believes that total commitment is necessary to be saved, than he had better be prepared to be totally committed. Both Jesus and the Apostle Paul made this abundantly clear. They also both made it abundantly clear that no-one could do this.

    Consider the following:

    The rich young man who asked Jesus what he could do to earn eternal life was self-righteous (rich in spirit), like the people that Paul was addressing in Romans 2).

    Both Jesus and Paul suggested that someone could theoretically be declared righteous by a perfect keeping of the law.

    Jesus (Matthew 19:17) – “So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is , God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
    Paul (Romans 2:13) – “(for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified;”

    Both Jesus and Paul said that it was impossible to obtain eternal life by keeping the law.

    Jesus (Mathew 19:26) – “But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible…”
    Paul (Romans 3:20) – “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

    Then, both Jesus and Paul say that salvation is of the Lord:

    Jesus (Matthew 19:26) – “…but with God all things are possible.”
    Paul (Romans 3:21-22) – “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. …”

  197. Hi Tom,

    Great answer!

    “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better is is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud” (Proverbs 16:18-19).

    One thing that I have noticed pretty consistently as I read the writings of Lordship Faith/Calvinist advocates is a smugness, a air of elitism that seems to ooze from their every word. In addition, to these men, it is not enough to simply state their case logically or to attempt to support their views with solid scripture. Instead, since logic and scripture are not on their side, they must invariably denigrate Free Grace theology and any who hold to its precepts [“Pity those poor fools,” as a famous boxer once retorted] in an attempt to bolster their own claims. The following quotation from John MacArthur, “The Gospel According to Jesus,” page 51, will suffice to demonstrate how Lorship Faith proponents slander and caricaturize the Free Grace gospel [by so doing, they are vilifying clear Biblical scriptures, such as Ephesians 2:8-9, Acts 16:30-31, Titus 3:5, John 3:16-18, 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, Romans 4:5]:
    “The cheap grace and easy faith of a distorted gospel are ruining the purity of the church. The softening of the New Testament message has brought with it a putrefying inclusivism that in effect sees almost any kind of positive response to Jesus as tantamount to saving faith. Christians today are likely to accept anything other than utter rejection as authentic faith in Christ.”

    Praise God that there a few good unpretentious voices of grace out there who believe, as Proverbs 16:19 said, “Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.”

    Bruce

  198. Bruce, this is a very good question. I believe at the heart of it all, whether the person realizes it or not, is PRIDE.

    Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    Romans 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
    Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

    Romans 4:1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
    2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

    Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

    They believe somewhere in their being that they can contribute something, therefore being able to feel good about their (self) righteousness, at least for a time, until, if they are honest, see themselves as they are: helplessly lost and guilty before God.

    Tom

  199. Bruce,

    Your question to ALL is a great exercise.. and we see here some great thoughts from our friends.

    Each of you have hit it dead on. All of your ideas provide a look into the corrupt thinking of LS teachers.

    In addition to John’s quoting Galatians 1:8-9 which condemns preachers of false doctrine, probably some of the most apt verses describing the motives of all LSers, whether believers, unbelievers, sincere, purposeful or misguided are:
    1 John 2:16
    For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
    Matthew 15:8
    “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.”
    2 Timothy 4:3
    “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;”

    That time HAS come to the detriment of pure, Free Grace Bible teaching.

    We are so very grateful for each of you who see so clearly the lie of LS.

    But John is a wonderful example that the Gospel of God’s Grace can rescue those trapped in the maze of LS teaching.

    We see LS as one of many traps that capture and/or discourage folks from simply trusting Jesus for their salvation.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  200. Thanks John and JR for your astute observations.

  201. JR, I think you provided good insight with your comments and with the quote from Jack Hyles.

    I think that the most likely “backsliders” are those who think their works contribute to their salvation, and find no peace from pursuing that dead end. My testimony is that at the time I was “led to the Lord” I was “misled to the Lord”. The pastor told me that I needed to turn from my sins and commit my life to Christ. This made sense to me, as it is natural for man to think that he can save himself. I tried “salvation” that way. It didn’t work. I didn’t have faith in Christ. I had faith in Christ and me.

    I did not understand Grace until twenty-two years later. It has been a very difficult process to get the LS stuff out of my system. I don’t think I am alone. I think the LS churches are full of people who are either unsaved or have no assurance of their salvation. I live in the so-called Bible belt, which would be more aptly described as the LS belt. If there are any Grace churches in my community, I have not found them.

    Since I came to faith in Christ late last year, I have begun calling out LS for what it is – a false, counterfeit gospel. It doesn’t matter how well-intentioned the purveyors of LS are.

    A couple of quotes should illustrate this point:

    Galations 1:8-9 “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”

    “If you believe what you want about the Gospel, it is not the Gospel
    you believe, but yourself.” – from the article “Faith Without Works!” from Clarity Ministries International

  202. Some additional motivations:
    6. The LS proponents are believers who become ecumenical. This naturally requires embracing or tolerating error.

    7. The LS proponents are believers who try to harmonize church doctrine (which often contains grievous fundamental error) with scripture, giving them both almost equal weighting.

    8. The LS proponents are believers who do not fully realize that they are no longer under the law.

    9. The LS proponents are believers who do not heed the Lord’s warning regarding a little bit of yeast leavening the entire loaf.

    For example, below is an excerpt from a well-known ministry’s statement of faith:

    “We believe that salvation is the gift of God to man. This gift is effected by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and it results in works pleasing to God.”

    This starts out pretty good, but ends in something that sounds a lot like “a faith that works” and other perseverance of the saints type statements.

  203. To Pastor Jack:

    You said:

    “They write books about it and sell them by the millions to gullible folks.”

    This is a sad observation, i’ve seen it many times, they sell only because they are famous, and their writings appeal to the mindset of common people (including Christians) that they still have a part on their salvation that they can hardly accept God’s Grace.

    Let me share to you Dr. Charlie Bing’s observations regarding this man’s attitude to grace.

    http://www.gracelife.org/resources/gracenotes.asp?id=44

  204. To califgracer:

    Their motivation? I am not exactly sure of what their motivations are but whatever it is, they are quite sincere. As Pastor Jack Hyles said in his book, “Salvation is More Than Being Saved”:

    “Those who embrace this doctrine often do so from good motives. They are sick of sub-standard Christianity and shallow Christian living. They find others who agree with them, and as they fellowship in their lamentation caused by disappointment after examining the lives of God’s people, their lamentation becomes doctrine. They do not realize that they are adding works to salvation. They adopt spiritual clichés such as “if Christ is not Lord of all, He will not be Lord at all.” Then they will adopt other little clichés like, “Don’t pluck green fruit,” “Easy believism,” etc. Their disappointment and oftentimes disgust with the shallowness of many Christians causes them to go so far in their disdain that they teach heresy.”

    Now, the problem with their “sincerity” is that they actually blame the Gospel for immorality in the Church! Let’s say their “Gospel” is the right one, people received it wholeheartedly and sincerely but later on backslid and lived in sin, whose fault is it? What about many who they call “easy believers” that actually live holy lives only because of the Grace of God?

    To Pastor Jack:

    Thanks for the acknowledgement. Like i said to califgracer, they are sincere, but sincerity is nothing if it would only result to twisting the Word of God by redefining terms. Sadly even some non-Calvinist but LS churches have adopted some of these redefined terms just to make sure they have committed followers, that if they spotted someone who is not “committed” in their own terms they question the salvation of that person.

  205. Bruce, regarding the toss-up question:

    It is hard to say what the motivation is. I do not think that deception is the general motive, although that is the result.

    Following may be some of the more common motivations for proponents of LS:

    1. The proponents never heard the undistorted Gospel
    2. The proponents never believed the undistorted Gospel
    3. The proponents believed the undistorted Gospel, but became confused by LS teaching (since it dominates the mainstream denominations)
    4. The proponents believed the undistorted Gospel, but refuse to separate from unbelievers and, therefore, go along with the LS crowd. In other words, they value the praise of men more than praise from God.
    5. The proponents believe the end justifies the means. That is, they want to see devoted disciples, so they distort the Gospel in an attempt to use fear to generate devotion.

  206. FAITH: You correctly, insightfully and without animosity, label Lordship Salvation teaching as “a contradiction” and “odd.” I agree completely.

    TOM: I think that you cut right to the heart of the discussion on the issue of salvation being A GIFT! I get so tired of reading LS writers like MacArthur who make nonsensical gyrations of thought, delivering phrases like “Salvation is free yet costly,” or “Salvation is a gift which demands commitment.” Statements such as these are not only illogical, but, as you intimated, they are intellectually dishonest.

    TO ALL: What do you think is the motivation of such men who distort the clearcut straightforward uncomplicated gospel of grace, promoting, instead, a false gospel of works?

  207. JOHN: Excellent comprehensive answer to Colby’s inquiry about Lordship Salvation teaching. I won’t even try to improve upon it. Thanks for spending the time to give that detailed response.

    COLBY: I hope that you will avail yourself of the many resources on the Expreacherman site. There are probably several dozen excellent thorough discussions on the subject of your question. Also, check out the link on the upper right column to purchase Dr. Tom Cucuzza’s fine book on eternal security; it exposes clearly the fallacious unbiblical teachings of Lorship Salvation’s false doctrine. Blessings on you as you study the Word and God’s Gospel of Grace.

  208. JR,

    Thanks for dropping in and commenting.

    Your comment brings out one of the most devastating aspects of Calvinism and Lordship “salvation” and that is the re-defining of terms, sound Bible words and principles. They write books about it and sell them by the millions to gullible folks.

    Appreciate your stopping by..

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  209. Thanks Faith. The analysis was not mine, but came from Clear Gospel Campaign.

  210. By the way John was not being critical of your well thought out analysis of LS- very true with what LS is.
    🙂

  211. My goodness John you are beginning to sound like a LSer or Calvinist in your description of an LSer- just kidding : ) . Sounded so intellectual and well……confusing. What I mean is – to explain what kind of person who espouses LS or Calvinism is, you would have develop a myriad of salvation scenarios- which all other “works based” religions also have to do. I guess the simplicity of the Bible won’t do for those who can’t rest on its simplicity and feel the need for more. Does it not come down to contentment with the simple Gospel? I have heard countless intellectual descriptions of what truely the atonement really means and what man has to do with it. LS is a contradiction- On one side one must be predestined to even know Christ and on the other hand we must do something about our salvation after we obtained it or we may never have been saved to begin with.
    Odd.

  212. John,

    Very good insight on all sides.

    Also, LS people (and any other group) must completely redefine the word “gift”. This is really one of the core, and I really mean CORE, issues. If salvation is a gift, then there are no strings attached or requirements, otherwise it is not a gift.

    I believe this becomes an issue of intellectual and personal honesty or dishonesty. In other words, do you believe it is a gift or not…yes or no?There can be no middle ground, such as “Well, yes, but…” This shows blindness on the part of the one who cannot accept the word “gift” as it is.

    And if it is an issue of being saved by grace, which is unmerited and undeserved, then it must be a gift, in the real sense of the word. If I must be faithful to receive or keep the gift, then it was never a gift in the first place.

    It is unfortunate that we have had to start using such terms as “free grace”, as if there is another kind of grace. If it is grace, and therefore unmerited, then it MUST be free.

    Even the Word of God, because of man’s blindness and stubbornness, had to say in Romans 5 that salvation is a FREE gift:

    Romans 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
    16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.

    I think the Lord put these 2 verses in the Bible so that LS folks and others would have to come face to face and deal with the term “free gift”.

    This is the heart of the issue.

    Tom

  213. Colby, the basic definition of Lordship “salvation” is that it backloads the Gospel with promises of future works. Thus, it attempts to change the nature of salvation from being a free gift of God’s Grace through faith in Christ, to a contract at law. Please see the following excerpt from Clear Gospel Campaign:

    “Bilateral Contract Salvation, most commonly known as “Lordship Salvation” is the false doctrine whereby God offers a lost sinner the promise of eternal life in exchange for a lost sinner’s promise of future works. It is thereby an exchange of promises, or a bilateral contract. Because the controversy of Bilateral Contract Salvation developed more slowly than the question of other works of man commonly required within religion for man’s eternal salvation, advocates of “Lordship” or Bilateral Contract Salvation are embedded within the framework of evangelicalism, and generally regarded as a different “flavor” of the evangelical faith.

    Ultimately, however, there is no theological distinction between corrupt systems of theology that require works, such as water baptism, to be performed prior to gaining salvation, and corrupt theological systems that require the promise of future works in exchange for salvation. Any gospel presentation that makes, as a requirement for gaining eternal salvation, repentance from one’s sins, committing one’s life to Christ, making Christ the “Lord” (master) of one’s life, becoming a disciple of Christ, and other equivalent statements that require a promise of future behavior (Romans 5:8; Titus 3:5), is heresy.

    Although there is no limit to the number of passages of Scripture that have been twisted to require every conceivable work of man as a prerequisite for receiving God’s eternal salvation, there are three terms most commonly asserted as demonstrating the tenets of Lordship Salvation:
    a) Lord: In the time of Christ, the term Kurios (Lord) could variously mean “God,” “master,” or “Sir” depending on the context of usage. Within “salvation formulas” within Scripture (passages that declare, prima facie, what one must do or believe to be saved), the divinity of Jesus is repeatedly presented as an essential element of saving faith. (John 8:25-27, 8:23-24, 11:25-27, 20:31; Acts 9:20, 16:30-31; and 1st John 5:13).

    The fact that the divinity of Jesus is explicitly identified as an element of saving faith throughout Scripture should inform a theologian as to a logical interpretation of the term “Lord” in conjunction with eternal salvation. And the existence of over 160 verses of Scripture that declare salvation is by faith alone, and countless verses that further declare that salvation is not by the works of the law, should further inform even the most callow theologian that the call to obedience is expressly not a demand placed on man in exchange for eternal life. To interpret the word “Kurios” (Lord) as a call to obedience in exchange for the promise of eternal life is therefore to utterly fail as a theologian! The use of the term Kurios in conjunction with man’s salvation is plainly a call to man to honor Christ as his Creator.

    b) Repentance: The extant Greek literature plainly demonstrates that the Greek verb “metanoeo” and the noun “metanoia” are simply a change of mind. This change of mind can take virtually any object, as evidenced both by Scripture, and by extant Greek literature. Sin can be the object of repentance, but there is no basis in the Greek language for understanding “sin” to be the necessary or intrinsic object of repentance. Moreover, no passage that identifies sin as the object of repentance also identifies the consequence of that repentance as eternal salvation. And no passage of identifying repentance as a requirement for eternal salvation ever identifies sin as the object of that repentance.

    In passages dealing with eternal life, repentance is used in a sense that is equivalent to believing on Christ alone, which, within the witness of the New Testament, has the reasonable scope of:
    i) rejecting other gods (Acts 17:22-30), thereby affirming our Triune God as the only true God;
    ii) rejecting as the means for salvation all other vehicles, such as religion (Matthew 3:5-9), sacraments, animal sacrifice or religious ritual or sacerdotal functions, good works, animal sacrifice, religion, or religious rituals (Hebrews 6:1 [c.f. Hebrews 9:9-14]), or salvation by obedience to the ten commandments (Luke 13:1-5), thereby affirming Jesus as the only means by which men must be saved; and
    iii) evaluating the person and work of Christ and turning to Him in faith (Luke 24:47, Acts 26:20).

    “Sin” is never described as the object of repentance unto eternal salvation.

    c) Disciple: The litany of verses in Scripture could be examined to demonstrate that discipleship is not a condition for salvation. But after examining these verses, those committed to salvation-by-works will simply amble off to some other passage where God places demands on mankind. The fact that God calls us to discipleship is in no way a proof that the call to discipleship is a requirement for salvation.

    d) Faith as implicitly requiring Works: A novel argument that has recently arisen in the Lordship Salvation crowd is the assertion that, at its very root, the Greek word “pisteuo” (“I believe”) implies the promise of works!”

  214. Hi Pastor Jack,

    I’ve been viewing your blog for a long time but this is the first time i would give a comment. I agree with everything you have written against Lordship Salvation but sometimes I hesitate to call it works salvation since Lordship Salvationists deny they actually teach works for salvation. They may also use John 3:16, Eph 2:8-9, Acts 16:31, etc, and might agree with us that salvation is by grace through faith alone in Christ alone.

    I believe the problem lies on their definition of “works”. They have a tendency to relegate works to merely mean good works, good morals, 10 commandments, rituals, religion and nothing more.

    And what about commitment? forsaking all? surrender? turning from (or forsaking) sin?

    Now, for them not to be caught teaching works salvation, they will either say that it is the working of God into a person’s heart causing him/her to repent/commit/surrender or even believe the Gospel, or redefining faith to include a desire to obey God, commitment and repentance(turning from sin).

    As i was typing i realized i am quite off-topic (i hope not :)), but i have already read your post. As i said i hesitate to call them (LS) teaching works salvation (rather it’s faith + “it must result to works” salvation), they may not tell you that you don’t have to be a good boy to be saved but if you are not a good boy, better doubt your salvation.

    I’ll be back later with more related comments, God Bless :).

  215. Hi Jack,

    Great post and right on the money!

    I particularly liked your elaboration of the Greek in John 10—very powerful!

    Your good boy/bad boy analogy goes back to the earliest days of time. In Job, the oldest book of the Bible, the three “friends” of Job pummel Job with barrages of bitter mean-spirited attacks. What is the basis of their attacks? In a nutshell, for the three men, by definition, good obedient behavior is always blessed and rewarded by God while wicked disobedient behavior is invariably cursed, leading to untold suffering and, ultimately, damnation. Over and over the three men demean Job by telling him that his untold suffering has to be a result of his hidden sin and disobedience to God. Yet, God declared the man Job, in the beginning of the Book of Job, to be a righteous man, a man faithful to God. And Job pointed out rightly that many many unrighteous ungodly men seem to prosper, in this life on earth anyway. Maybe the three “friends,” Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar were the first Lordship Salvation proponents.

  216. Jack, I think it is kind of like belonging to a country club for the LS advocates. Everyone is welcome, provided they can pay the initiation fee (turning from sins and committing to follow Christ). Then, there are monthly maintenance fees (works) in order to remain a member in good standing.

    These folks suffer from self-righteousness, in at least one of the following two forms:
    1. They think they are more deserving of Grace than other people are, due to their own works; or
    2. They think that other people are as deserving of Grace as they are, provided they are willing to “pay the same price” (in terms of works)

    So, good boy/bad boy is an apt description. Good boy means you are willing to play by the LS club rules (which are impossible to keep) and bad boy means you are not.

  217. I got lost a short way into the post.

    First, what is Lordship Salvation? I have a guess, and the guess I have works against your argument.

    Second, it’s counter-intuitive to say that LS proponents should take the bible in context and then focus on one verse.

    Last, how would you answer to the verse, “Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead and you will be saved”? The word “confess” here means to act on it, to actually put Jesus as Lord of your life, which means you’re in obedience (ok, maybe not 100% of the time…it’s a process…take Peter for example…but you get the idea).

    ~Colby
    colbystream.wordpress.com

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