Once again, Francis Chan, popular conference speaker, author and Lordship Faith Advocate, adds qualifications (good works) to the simple straightforward gospel of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9; Acts 16:30-31; Romans 4:5; John 3:16; Titus 3:5). His latest pronouncement is shown in the brief excerpt of his article below (to view the article in its entirety, see, “Failure to Help the Poor Could Send You to Hell,” by Francis Chan—Churchleaders.Com).
“Blessed Are the Poor
And what about the poor? Jesus is crystal clear about the necessity of reaching the poor. Yet many hellfire preachers are overfed and overpaid, living in luxury while doing nothing for the majority of Christians who live on less than two dollars a day.  Contrast that with Jesus, who in His longest sermon about judgment made helping the poor a vital criterion.
Put simply, failing to help the poor could damn you to hell.
I know, I know, everyone wants to qualify this. We want to add all sorts of footnotes to fix Jesus’ shaky theology in Matthew 25—justification is by faith, not by works; you don’t really have to help literal poor people, etc. On the flipside, some want to keep the stuff about helping the poor but take hell out of the picture. Sometimes, people even take Jesus out of the picture—fighting poverty, they believe, is an inherent virtue whether or not it’s rooted in the gospel. Let’s keep the teeth of both truths. There’s a literal hell, and helping the poor is essential. Not only did Jesus teach both of these truths, He saw them as necessary and interrelated.”
Is Francis Chan right; is what he describes the Biblical plan of salvation, or is he teaching a false gospel of faith PLUS WORKS?
see also: https://expreacherman.com/2012/07/22/francis-chans-latest-speech-to-5000-christian-youths-questioning-their-faith/
For updates on Francis Chan 2013, see:
We welcome your comments.
We know that we must believe upon Jesus Christ and His finished work in our place on the cross. We place our trust in Him that He has saved us and given us eternal life. Because we love Him we want to feed His sheep with His Word as you say, and because we love Him we also want to tend His sheep. Because of His great love for us, He enables us as we abide in Him and abide in His Word, to do more for others. As we put our armor on each day, He helps us in this spiritual battle. Our trust is in Christ and Him crucified. Prayerfully, we’ll encourage each other, stir others up to do good works. To affirm constantly to other believers that we should maintain good works which are beneficial to all others. In Jesus Christ eternally 🙂
Alexander, I think those you named are false teachers, because they have changed the gospel.
But, I don’t think we can know whether or not they are saved. It is possible that they are saved and became confused regarding the gospel.
I’m a sovereign grace teacher elder…I know its by grace alone…Christ alone….I hate any teaching that puts any part of salvation on man….you can either understand spiritual truth and what these types of verses means like “sell everything” “feed the poor” “die to self” “faith without works is dead”…yeah its faith without Christ finished work is dead….I’m not so sure you understand much of this either…yeah francis chan is an unsaved false teacher, along with john mcarthur, john piper, and countless other popular phony preachers, not to mention all the charasmatics and phony works gospel…context is important and most professing Christians aren’t really saved and only looking at the bible thru the lens of their own works and not Christ finished work…..the book of james is for the most part james indicting Pharisees for not preaching the gospel….the preached the law….every chapter in james he is indicting the jewish lawpushers in his congregation….a “doer of the work”….is a BELIEVER in the work of Christ….james says someone who is NOT a doer its like a person admiring themselves in a mirror and not realiaizing how wretched they really are..pure religion is to visit the orphans and widows….that’s preaching the gospel to the lost….an orphan and widow in this context is someone without Christ as their husband and without God as their father….pure religion is to proclaim the gospel.
I didn’t say feeding the poor is the gospel…the gospel is Christ and his finished work…..the term “feeding the poor” is figurative language, its not talking about physical food….its spiritual food…when jesus told peter if you love me “feed my sheep” ….he wasn’t talking about hamburgers and fries….the gospel is a believers spiritual food….when jesus said “eat my flesh and drink my blood” that’s not physical flesh and blood…its a reference to the gospel…spiritual food IS THE GOSPEL…..we “feed” people with the gospel…so when jesus told the goats “you did not visit the sick or feed the poor, those in prison etc…that’s not talking about physical earthly things….the sick are the lost, the poor are those who need to hear the gospel, the goats physically did all those things, they said [when didn’t we do those things]…but jesus sent them to hell because they didn’t believe the gospel or proclaim it….the sheep didn’t remember doing those things either because they thought he meant physically feeding people and visiting a prison…they didn’t do that but what they did do was believe and proclaim the gospel….the bible says to compare spiritual with spiritual..the bible uses figurative language all over the place.
Alexander, thanks for your comments. Feeding the poor is a good thing to do but no one was ever saved by doing so; i.e., feeding the poor is not the gospel. Francis Chan preaches a false gospel. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ Jesus alone—not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9). Now, once you are saved, by all means serve the Lord with joy. Alexander, have you trusted in Christ alone for your salvation, by grace alone through faith alone? Or are you trusting partially in your own good works?
feeding the poor is proclaiming the gospel….the gospel is the food and the poor are those who need to hear the gospel, ………rich= self sufficient [dead faith] ……poor= dependant on Christ [faith]
I have THE GIFT too, so will see if I can find anything to highlight if I can also fryingpan, assuming I find it 🙂
Jack, John, Holly . . .
I just wanted to weigh in here on the Richard Seymour thing. Let me start by echoing what John said about not wishing to malign Mr. Seymour. This recent discussion jogged my memory and made me realize that I remembered having a couple of “issues” with Seymour’s booklet, THE GIFT. I’ve only read it a couple of times (certainly no more than 3 times) and only vaguely remembered that while reading it I thought, “I’m not sure I agree with that, but this book comes highly recommended by someone who I know is a “Free Gracer” so I’ll just make a mental earmark for now and move on. I believe it came in to my possession within the last 6 months or so.
I haven’t yet run to my copy of THE GIFT to find what these issues were based on the recent comments on this post. But suffice to say that this should be an example of how very important it is that we all allow God’s word to be the final authority and to always be on our guard for we never know when something we say or write might be in error or at least cause confusion.
I guess my only point in this comment is to chime in and say, “Yep, I’ve had some issues with Richard Seymour myself.” At some point I’ll reread THE GIFT with a highlighter in hand and report back on anything I find if I feel it’s edifying to do so.
Jack and Holly, I have quoted Richard Seymour a few times. I believe he is generally clear on the gospel.
Having said that, I don’t think he is very articulate in discussing some of the things that I have quoted above.
I used these examples, not to malign Richard Seymour, but to show how futile it is to look to our experiences and emotions for evidence of salvation.
One can quickly see from Seymour’s testimony that his misinterpretation of scripture caused him to glean from his emotions and experience both that:
1. He really was a child of God, because he now loved people more, but
2. He really might not be saved, because not all things had become new to him.
The question is, “Did Seymour resolve his lack of assurance through his behavior and changes rather than plain spoken scripture on assurance through faith in Jesus”?? If so that is false teaching on assurance.
I often hand out his booklet, “The Gift” but because of my failing vision I have not read it in many years. Did not catch those errors back when I did read it. Just assumed it was Biblical. Hence we can say assuming is faulty and contrary to scripture.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Jack, the excerpts came from an article in the Chafer Theological Journal (Fall 2006). It was adapted from Seymour’s book “The Gift of God” (1st edition 1969, second edition 2007).
The excerpts in which Seymour talks about having had doubts of his salvation based on the lack of changes in his life comes from “Clarity Trumpet” number 26 – not sure of the date.
I will take the “unshakable assurance” from God’s Word and not from extra-Biblical sources, experiences or scripture out of context.
I understand he had a miserable childhood but to now add to his assurance using his experiences since trusting Crust as Savior is terrible.
Wonder when that was written? Ancient or recent?
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Jack, I made the point earlier that “If someone is looking to his works as evidence of his faith, Satan will likely turn his inward focus toward his sin (or lack of sufficient works) to cause that person to doubt his salvation.”
I found another article from Seymour that makes that point very well. Following is a pertinent excerpt:
I was saved in June of 1953. Later that same year a number of young people re- turned from their respective Christian colleges for the Christmas break. We had our usual Saturday night youth rally and many of them were present. When the leader asked for testimonies, one after
another stood and shared thoughts similar to this:
“My favorite verse is II Corinthians 5:17: ‘Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new’ (King James Version). I just thank the Lord so much for all the changes in my life. I used to smoke, and drink and cuss, but now God has changed all of that. The things I once loved, I now hate; and the things I used to hate I now love. God has made all things new. Praise His name!”
I sat there dumbfounded. Doubts began to flood my mind. I knew that all things were not new in my life. I still smoked, still used cuss words on occasion, and had an ongoing battle with lust and my temper. Though I had a few doubts about my salvation prior to this, I now began to have major questions and doubts.
Was I not saved because “all things” were not new? I thought that must be the case. So, on Sundays I would walk the aisle “just in case it didn’t take the first time . . . or the second. . .or the third.” Confusion reigned.
He is a long-time friend and one of my Profs at Florida Bible College. I have quoted him also — but not his errors. No More quotes from Seymour!!
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
John what you said here bears repeating.
“Works no more show someone is saved than sin shows that someone is not saved.
If someone is looking to his works as evidence of his faith, Satan will likely turn his inward focus toward his sin (or lack of sufficient works) to cause that person to doubt his salvation.
Looking to our works for either primary or ADDED assurance is a very dangerous practice.”
That’s good to know about Seymour… I quoted his book on one o my posts.
Jack, there is more to this quote from Seymour that adds to its wishy washy character. Seymour says that the unshakeable basis for our assurance is God’s word, but that other things add to our assurance.
But, if God’s word is the unshakeable basis for our assurance, why would we look for other things to shore it up? The confusion in this teaching is that Seymour uses the signs of fellowship from 1 John as both signs of life and signs of fellowship. Following is more from Seymour on this subject (I have highlighted in bold those things that I think would cause confusion):
What John is not saying is, “This is how to tell if another person is saved;” or “This is how to be saved — love the brethren, keep His Word, or keep His commandments.” No, he does not tell us to be saved by doing these things; nor does he tell us to be “fruit inspectors” of other people’s lives. He gives us guidelines and personal assurances that if we see some of these things in our lives, these are further evidences that we belong to the Lord and that our walk is what it should be.
However, the real evidence is God’s promise. He promised in 5:10–12 the following:
He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.
“And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
Based upon this passage and verse 13, if we believe the testimony God gave of His Son then we have eternal life, because this life is in His Son. That is our unshakable assurance for God said it. That settles it forever. Other things mentioned in 1 John are ways we may also tell if we have experienced the miracle of the new birth through faith in Christ, or that we are abiding in Christ in our personal relationship with Him. There is no hint in any of these verses that we will lose our salvation if these qualities are lacking in our lives.
Yes, that statement by Seymour is wishy-washy but even worse, dangerously based on feelings and not on Scripture.
I an surprised and saddened to read that.
All the more important that we MUST STAND strong in God’s Word and His might and not be swayed by feelings or people:
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Works no more show someone is saved than sin shows that someone is not saved.
If someone is looking to his works as evidence of his faith, Satan will likely turn his inward focus toward his sin (or lack of sufficient works) to cause that person to doubt his salvation.
Looking to our works for either primary or ADDED assurance is a very dangerous practice.
I find wishy washy teaching such as the following from Richard Seymour very dangerous:
The epistle of 1 John is a great assurance book. The key word of the book is “know.” In this epistle God gives a believer various ways that he may know that he really does belong to the Lord or is walking in fellowship…
Verse 3:14 mentions the same type of thing when we read “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.” In my young Christian life this was a great proof to me that I must be a child of God—and something real and genuine had actually happened in my life. Before I knew the Lord, I was not very fond of people. Having been born with a double harelip and cleft palate, and having gone through much ridicule from others, I had no great affection for anyone. But a strange thing happened after I trusted Christ. I found myself beginning to love people. I discovered that I stopped thinking of people in terms of their color, or nationality, or economic standing. Instead, I was amazed to find that I had—although I did not understand from where—a real genuine love for people of all sorts. This was evidence to me that something actually had happened when I trusted Christ, and this is one of the things John talks about in his epistle.
Excellent comment Abe, covered a lot of problematic areas.
I did read what you said, I disagree that works show that we are saved. Can we judge by the appearance? Did Paul judge the Corinthians by their bad works to not be saved? Quite the contrary.
It is by our belief we know we are saved. Works can indicate that we are hopefully being sanctified, but plenty of people do wonderful works including the false prophets in Matthew 7 and are NOT saved. So they can claim faith, they can cry Lord Lord, but He does not and never did KNOW them.
I would challenge you to ask what salvation is being spoken of in James 2. You are reading it in a similar fashion to the Roman Catholics.
Can that faith save him from what? What sozo is spoken of there? Eternal life? No. It is good to know the meaning of words in the Bible. We tend to always think of ‘saved’ as eternal life. Faith is not a work, and work does not contribute to being saved in terms of eternal life (Rom. 4:5-6). And we know the Word of God does not contradict itself, so no, that faith does not save us in terms of eternal life 🙂 Hope I explained it better. In His love!
” if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?”
Typical misuse of James 2:14.
The “saved” in that context is not about heaven and hell. It is about hearing “well done, good and faithful servant” at the Bema seat of Christ, and it is about saving the person that is naked and hungry, from those conditions.
There are many things a person can be saved from, in the Bible. Saved from hell? John 3:16. Saved from missing out on a blessing like motherhood? 2 Timothy 2:15 (where it says, saved through child-bearing). Saved from a destroyed life? 1 Timothy 4:16. Saved from being hungry and naked? James 2:14.
Going to heaven and not hell? Romans 4:5. No works. But believing in Him, Jesus, who saves the ungodly.
“if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?” Yes or No. The Bible says no.”
Actually, if by saved you mean saved from hell, then the Bible says yes. As John mentioned, the saving there is not relating to eternal salvation. James 2 is dealing with believers who needed growth in their Christian walk. It is true that good works are a good testimony before men but they are not infallible proofs of eternal salvation. Only Christ (the object of our faith) is proof.
You also said, “I absolutely trust Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I just happen to think you are incorrect and incomplete in your understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ. “
Like what? What is missing? Did we forget to erroneously add performance in the Christian life into the gospel like Chan and others do?
Consider the error here from Chan:
“Salvation has nothing to do with my performance. If I’m truly saved than my actions are going to show. All through the New Testament a person’s faith is shown through his actions. New Testament teachings are clear that someone who loves God and doesn’t obey God is a liar, and the truth is not in him. It’s not popular to question someone’s actions and salvation, and Scripture tells us to test ourselves and see if we’re really in the faith. I believe 100% in grace, that I did nothing, and I’m completely saved by the cross. By the grace of God we believe and are saved. If someone has the Holy Spirit in them, there will be fruit and there will not be a lukewarm life.”
1) Chan’s first two statements here contradict each other.
2) The second sentence is false. The believer still has the old flesh nature as well.
3) The Bible says if we as believers say we have no sin we are lying and the truth is not in us. Instead we should confess and deal with God on that sin I John 1:9.
4) The scripture does not say to test ourselves in that fashion to see if we are in the faith. In other words we are not to try to look at our works to see if we measure up. We are to look to see who we are trusting in. Paul wasn’t questioning the believers salvation there but he wanted them to stop questioning him and grow in the in the faith themselves.
5) These sentences “ believe 100% in grace, that I did nothing, and I’m completely saved by the cross. By the grace of God we believe and are saved.” are contradicted by the last sentence.
6) “If someone has the Holy Spirit in them, there will be fruit and there will not be a lukewarm life.” This is Lordship salvation error. Chan goes on to state elsewhere that he believe that lukewarmness indicates that a person is not a believer. However, this is works oriented salvation. In this case it is backdoor – your life better show it style. The problem is that Chan misunderstands the passage in Revelation concerning lukewarm believers. They were believers but useless. Just like any in James 2 that had no works. The Bible often records times when believers were charged to act like they are believers and take advantage of the opportunities they have in Christ.
Your circular logic does not meet the Biblical test.
You said, “It is by our works that we SHOW ourselves saved.” And then you said, “I know my good works are rubbish in his eyes.”
So you present garbage, “rubbish” in God’s eyes, to show yourself to be saved??? And that proves what????
My friend your “theology” is twisted. Do not depend upon your garbage to “show” yourself that you are saved. Trust Jesus Christ alone as your Savior. He and His word will never fail.
Rest your assurance in Jesus Christ and His Holy Word:
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Sean, you said one thing with which I agree. We are called to do good works.
Ephesians 2:10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
But, it is NOT by our works that we show ourselves saved. Show ourselves to whom? God knows whether or not we have believed, and no one else matters. If one is trying to convince HIMSELF that he is saved by a show of his own works, than he is really looking to himself for assurance of salvation.
You said: “Answer this question for yourselves, ” if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?” Yes or No. The Bible says no.”
My comment: Saved from what? Since the Bible does not contradict itself, we know that this cannot mean saved from hell. One receives eternal life by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
Romans 4:5: But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Sean, if you had no good works to show you were saved, would you still think you were going to heaven? If the answer is no, then you need to repent and trust in Christ alone as your Savior. If the answer is yes, then you need to stop insisting that works show that someone is saved.
Speaking of double minded men Jack, Francis Chan is endorsing Mike Bickle now as you may know. Bickle is the false prophet of IHOP fame. He is New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) a self-appointed prophet and apostle of god, who hangs out with Mason and dominionist false prophet Rick Joyner. Works based religions will always be able to find common ground.
I pray Sean might at the very least see that Francis Chan is a partaker in their evil deeds.
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. 2 John 1:9-11
hollysgarcia, I’d ask you to read what I said more carefully. It is by our works that we SHOW ourselves saved. Answer this question for yourselves, ” if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?” Yes or No. The Bible says no. So don’t say “But God’s Word tells us it is by believing in God’s testimony of His Son that we KNOW we are truly saved. I prefer to believe God’s Word. I know of whom I have believed.” Yes of course belief in Christ is essential. I believe in him. My works are rubbish in God’s eyes. It is through God’s abundant and amazing grace alone that I am saved.
John you ask, “If good works prove that we are truly saved, then why are we as Christians exhorted so many times to do them?” I don’t understand your question. This is exactly my point. God calls us to do good works. We aren’t saved by those good works, but he calls us to them. This is what Chan is saying. We are exhorted to do them because that is God’s will for us. We are saved to do good works, not by our good works. You should reread James 2 for yourself and answer the questions that James asks as if they were addressed to you.
Jesus is my Lord and Savior alone, I am filled with Holy Spirit which is the sign and seal of my faith, and I know my good works are rubbish in his eyes.
I absolutely trust Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I just happen to think you are incorrect and incomplete in your understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
God calls us to good works peoples. We aren’t saved by them, but we are called to do them.
Interesting that Sean uses the phrase “a Christian paradox,” a phrase Calvinists use to justify their double-minded, unexplainable and contradictory teachings.
Sean, we pray you will trust Jesus Christ alone as your Savior. God does not need to see your “good works” to prove your faith to Him. He knows your mind.
Are you trusting Jesus Christ of the Bible or Chan and his books?
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Sean – you said; “But it is BY our works that we show ourselves to be truly saved.”
But God’s Word tells us it is by believing in God’s testimony of His Son that we KNOW we are truly saved. I prefer to believe God’s Word. I know of whom I have believed.
These men are the same false prophets in Matthew 7, trying to justify themselves before God by their works. James 2 speaks to justification before men as John shared already. It is spoken to believers, brethren, those that have the Spirit dwelling in them. The justification you will see linked to Abraham was not his justification unto salvation but justification before men. I do hope you will consider some of the links that were shared.
I think too many are building their house upon the sand of faith + works. There is only one foundation we should build our house on, only one in whom our faith should be placed.
Sean, welcome and thanks for your comment.
The book of James is not talking about eternal salvation. The book of James says “brethren” 15 times, which is a pretty good indication it is talking to believers.
If good works prove that we are truly saved, then why are we as Christians exhorted so many times to do them? Example:
Titus 3:8: This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
You said: “I think what y’all are failing to recognize is that this is an example of a Christian paradox. We are saved by grace through faith apart from our works. But it is BY our works that we show ourselves to be truly saved.”
My comment: No Sean. This is not an example of a “Christian paradox.” It is an example of someone misinterpreting scripture to fit the un-biblical belief the performance, promise, or evidence of works are required to make belief in Christ result in eternal life. We call this “paradox” Lordship salvation.
If you would like a biblical analysis of the passages that you cited, we would recommend:
Click to access cucuzza-faith-without-works-is-dead.pdf
In addition, Dr. Thomas Cucuzza is currently doing a sermon series on James. You can find the link to this series below:
That is true. His “training” led him to his wrong beliefs. And who would want to trust someone who themselves doesn’t know their own eternal state for certainty, and is trusting in themselves for it anyway?
Greetings in the name of our Lord,
Chan has specifically said he believes in salvation by faith through grace many times.
In James Ch. 2 it says that “faith without works is dead”. Verse 14-17 of the same chapter reads “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good[b] is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
Very clearly this passage says that if someone sees a brother or sister without food or clothes, and doesn’t help meet their needs, their faith is NOT true faith. James even asked the question: “Can that faith save him?” To which the context of the passage indicates the answer as NO.
I think what y’all are failing to recognize is that this is an example of a Christian paradox. We are saved by grace through faith apart from our works. But it is BY our works that we show ourselves to be truly saved.
(Editor’s note: comment edited for length and repetition)
Very true Abe… Chan had a crisis of faith, and he always will as long as he tries to rely on himself. I sure pray that it’s only that he was bewitched into finishing in the flesh, but being trained at Master’s Seminary, I have my doubts that he ever heard the true gospel.
Michele – if you are who I think you are, I do pray that someday you will come to a knowledge of the truth.
Wanting to feed His sheep is indeed a way we show our love for Him. Washing the feet of others, giving a cup of cold water in His name, one of many ways we show others His love.
Making an ‘issue’ about Chan preaching a works-based salvation however is exactly the example and pattern we are to follow. We are to make an issue by bringing it out in public and stating that he is not being straightforward about the truth of the gospel, as Paul did at Galatia. What these men are preaching is accursed. It will cost people their lives.
Your suspicions are wrong about the reason these men faithfully speak here. That is real love. Love speaks the truth about those who lie about the truth.
So I pray you will ask yourself, what is it you believe? What must you do in order to be saved? These Calvinists and Reformed people are the blind leading the blind into the ditch. Please, search the Scriptures to see if these things are really so.
Chan rejects the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is found in Romans 4:5. Chan rejects this because he insists on using works as the means of justification, but justification with God can never include any works.
Feed the poor for lots of good reasons, yes, but never add it to salvation, because doing so would be an insult to Jesus and His finished work.
Chan actually once stepped down from a church because his own false teachings caused him to doubt his own salvation. He doesn’t have salvation unless he believes that it is truly a free gift paid for by Jesus. That’s not a personal attack on Chan. It is Chan’s attack on the Gospel that the Lord calls anathema (Galatians 1:6-9).
Thanks for your observation.
So then, may we assume that you agree with Chan’s philosophy that failure to help the poor could send you to hell? Are you that unsure of your eternity?
If you rely upon anything or anyone other than trusting/believing in Jesus Christ for eternal life, it is a “work” and cannot save.
There are many folks who claim to be “followers of Jesus” but have never trusted Him, never believing His death for their sins and His resurrection alone are sufficient to save them eternally. Remember Judas was a “follower” of Christ but was unsaved.
We pray you will believe that Jesus alone is your Savior and that you no longer depend upon your emotions and works to save you as Chan preaches.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Is serving the poor really a ‘work’ or is it simply just following Jesus and ‘believing’ on Him to simply just love to do what He did – and taught His followers to do.
I suspect those who make an issue of this claiming Chan is preaching ‘works’ based salvation, need to check their heart and motive in life. If you don’t want to serve the poor, don’t… just check your heart. It’s simply just doing as Jesus taught to do – pick up your cross and follow Him. “Believe” on Him and be saved. Do as He did.
If this is “work” for you rather than ‘belief’ and following Jesus? there’s a bigger problem that you need to be concerned of….
That’s a shocking statement for a leader (Chan) to make.
But I’ve noticed this as a very common emphasis in reformed theology.
They often openly put out humanitarianism as a reason for their existence.
And unfortunately, the motivation is not usually to save the poor (sometimes evangelizing them is left out altogether).
Often, the motivation is just “making the world a better place”.
In return, they receive adulation and applause from the unbelieving world, (the same world which despises our preaching of the gospel).
This being spoken well of, by men, is seen as a “testimony” that they are doing the right thing. Perhaps these good works can even convert lost people, they think.
How about this one… they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do Ga2.10. While they were making such a big deal about it, Paul already did it, but it wasn’t his emphasis!! -And it certainly wasn’t an “extra condition” for salvation..
We know Judas also had a ministry to the poor.
Whilst we can’t judge any individual who obeys the bible, I think the reason for the TREND is varied: (1) desire to obey / (2) desire to please God (3) love & pity, but also (4) a subconscious desire to prove / substantiate / even verify and unknowingly, pay for, their salvation.
Welcome Gemma and thanks for your comment.
As Christians, we should strive to live in obedience. We should need and want to obey the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, not all believers want to obey the Holy Spirit, or want to obey the Holy Spirit consistently. Please see the article linked below for further reference:
well of course failing to help the poor can send you to hell . It’s a sin -james 4:17 — BUT , then the grace and the gospel comes in , so in Jesus Christ , we are not condemned anymore. Then the Spirit living in you will tell you to have compassion for the poor, so that’s why you give, as a fruit of your faith. not as a fear for the wrath of God. But when the Spirit tells you to give (i believe most of the time on very specific context since you cannot help all the poors in the world), if you do not obey, then you have made the Holy Spirit sad (Eph 4:30) ..My own opinion: practically I believe that when Holy Spirit is sad, then I also am sad, I do not live fully the new life in Christ, It doesn’t question my salvation but probably, slowly, will send me astray from the presence – or my discernement of the presence- of God, and will cause me to sin again…….
There is no debate on if salvation comes by faith alone or with work. if you are born again, your spirit knows that you need and want to obey the Holy Spirit and do whatever work He is asking you to do, that’s living in obedience. And in absolute I wonder why people are so frustrated with the work (as fruit ) if it is not because then don’t want to do. So people, what’s our motivation being with the Lord?
Bruce gave an excellent response as to the proper interpretation of Revelation 3:16, as well as its abuse by people who teach salvation by works.
Matt also provided ample scriptural evidence to establish that the admixture of Grace and works for salvation is not scriptural.
I hope these responses have cleared up any question you have about salvation being the absolutely free (no strings attached) gift of God through Jesus Christ.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Thank you for sharing your viewpoint.
“Lordship salvation” teaches that to be eternally saved (i.e. heaven bound), you must BELIEVE in Jesus Christ AND perform or manifest GOOD WORKS (i.e. live a godly life).
“Free Grace Salvation” teaches that we are saved and receive eternal life by God’s FREE GRACE GIFT alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone, and not by works at all (Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 6:23; Titus 3:5; John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 1:30-31). Biblical “GRACE” is God’s “undeserved, unmerited, and unearned favor.”
Salvation must be obtained and maintained by grace alone or works alone…it cannot be a mixture of both…it’s one or the other. (Romans 11:6; Romans 4:4-5) God declares that salvation is by free grace alone (Romans 6:23). In contrast, Lordship salvation is by definition works based.
Being a gift, I am NOT saved BY good works before or after salvation. Rather, I am saved FOR good works. God desires good works. We “should” produce works (Ephesians 2:10; Titus 3:8; Romans 7:4). They provide a profitable and “visible” witness to other people (James 2:14-26; Matthew 5:16; 1 Peter 2:12). God urges us to do so (Romans 12:1-2). Good works which will be rewarded (1 Corinthians 3:8; Colossians 3:24; 2 John 1:8). Lack of works does, however, produce a loss, but not a loss of eternal salvation (which is a free gift), rather a loss of profitable rewards (1 Corinthians 3:12-15, 2 Corinthians 5:10).
Lordship “salvationists” must attempt to judge (but never truly know) HOW MUCH “fruit” or HOW MANY “works” are sufficient or necessary to prove that you really are a believer in Christ, often resulting in a perpetual state of uncertainty and doubting. Bottom line: We and you have never done and can never do enough to merit our salvation (James 2:10; Galatians 3:10).
If good works don’t save you, then lack of good works don’t damn you. Otherwise, salvation is by works and Jesus death on the cross was insufficient.
Thank you for commenting. We know exactly what Chan teaches, namely, a caustic form of Lordship Salvation. Regarding Revelation 3:16, yes, we have read and analyzed the verse in detail in its proper context. The verse clearly addresses Christians about the quality of their faith. It is no call to throw someone out of the kingdom for lack of displaying of works. For a detailed look at the verse and a review of Chan’s book, “Crazy Love,” see, Free Grace Alliance Articles:
Click to access BookReview%20ofCrazyLove.pdf
“He says if you are lukewarm you are bound for hell, again contrary to Scripture.” – expreacherman
Have you ever read Revelation 3:16?
“So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
Thank you, Bruce. My guess is I’m going to find the review “too generous” as well but I look forward to reading it.
And I did realize there’s more on this blog about Platt than I’d previously remembered because I forgot how even if there’s only one article per se (I know of at least 2) there are nevertheless multiple links within the “major” thread. So with the above review and really reading EVERYTHING on this blog about Platt I should have more than enough to “go on.”
Thanks to one and all participants today at Expreacherman.com. Great conversation with lots of light shed upon LS and Calvinism.
I was out of town on Saturday so I couldn’t jump in but everyone did a great job without me. Thanks again.
I have some info. on Platt that may be useful to you. I purchased and read the book “Radical” some time ago, intending to write a review; but there was already an extensive review at Free Grace Alliance by Roger Frankhauser, so I went on to other projects. Personally, I found “Radical” to be very similar to “Crazy Love,” possibly less condemning, but definitely LS through and through. Listen to this summary statement from the FGA review:
“In summary, Platt offers a compelling call to set aside the “American Dream” version of the Christian life, and to radically follow Jesus. This offer calls us to follow the real Jesus, to wholeheartedly embrace being a biblical disciple. As a whole, what he addresses is a necessary wake-up call for the American church. Unfortunately, in the midst of his offer, he offers a seriously flawed gospel and a seriously flawed view of works as “necessary” evidence of the presence of Christ in the believer’s life.”
Frankhauser definitely nails Platt’s dissemination of what he calls “a seriously flawed gospel.” Regarding his (Frankhauser’s) positive comments about Platt’s “compelling call” in the book, let’s just say that I would not have been nearly so generous in assessing the book due to its overall LS thrust.
To view Frankhauser’s review in its entirety, see:
Click to access Review%20of%20Radical_Fankhauser.pdf
I just read the Califgracer review of CRAZY LOVE per the above link. I’m very glad I did. I’m seeing David Platt have an influence on at least 2 families involved in the weekly home fellowship in my area. I know Platt is linked to Francis Chan not only in his recent joint venture with Chan, but in how his name is usually among those listed as one of the more prominent LS promoters out there today.
But I don’t see nearly as much detail about Platt as I do about Chan on this blog. Is there a review of Platt’s RADICAL similar to the one for Chan’s CRAZY LOVE than you can direct me to? It’s only a matter of time before I end up dealing with Platt’s connection to those in my fellowship and I’d rather have more to go on other than his “guilt by association” by his now well documented connection to Chan.
Thank you much.
We appreciate your visit. You are very perceptive about Francis Chan. His message is disastrous for unbelievers and dangerous for Believers.
We look forward to your further comments. You are among friends here.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Thanks for commenting today.
Yes, you have described well the modern Lordship “Salvation” movement, of which Chan has been a key player.
In Chan’s best-selling book (over two million copies sold!), “Crazy Love,” he concocts his own list of what he calls, “the lukewarm.” Lukewarm refers to any church goer who is not living some radical, on-fire, over-the-top lifestyle for God, whatever all that means. Your term, “Monastic” is fitting. In Chapter Five of his book, Chan declares that all of the lukewarm are unbelievers bound for . . .you know where.
To read a review of the book, “Crazy Love,” go to:
Click to access BookReview%20ofCrazyLove.pdf
It almost seems to me that Chan is emphasizing an almost Monastic Christianity. Or he supposes the 1st Church in Jerusalem was to be the model worldwide where everyone gave all away and had all in common. Paul by no means defends this position in his epistles. If this lifestyle was to be the norm Paul, John and the other epistle writers would have pointed it out. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of his congregants give in fearful desperation thinking they are not truly saved unless they behave radically.
In his sermons he seems to spend more time bragging about himself instead of boasting in what Christ has accomplished. The prosperity gospel guys do this often. The way Chan does it is more subtle because if is wrapped in piety.
Welcome Denise, glad to have you join us today!
Yes, you were right to be uneasy when reading the book “Crazy Love.” It teaches a false, caustically judgmental form of “gospel” called Lordship “Salvation.” If you would like to read a complete review of the book from a grace perspective, see the article, “Balanced Love”:
Click to access BookReview%20ofCrazyLove.pdf
Thanks again for joining us and for your comments!
We are happy to hear from folks like you who discern the Truth of God’s Word — and don’t fall for “every wind of doctrine” we see so prevalent these last days.
You will find many free Grace friends here who agree with you.. and we appreciate your comment. Please join us often.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
I am so glad I have found your blog. I remember “Crazy Love” in a bible study with some friends of mine in college. It didn’t set well with me then and it doesn’t now. So glad to see other people are uneasy about this too.
Welcome to our discussion. We appreciate your comment but I am afraid I do not understand your point.
Every believer SHOULD walk in good works (Ephesians 2:10) i.e. be sold out for the Lord. But Chan puts conditions and a price on it. If you are not sold out, he says you are probably not saved. That is contrary to Scripture. He says if you are lukewarm you are bound for hell, again contrary to Scripture.
Could you please explain your position on Chan? I apologize that I do not understand.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
As a believer, the main message I get from Francis Chan is to be sold out for the Lord! Not Francis’ agenda, not anyone else’s teaching other than Jesus and Jesus alone!
Thanks, Mark, for your kind and thoughtful comments.
We are so pleased to hear that you have accepted Christ as your Savior. Please join us again soon.
Thank you. I think I can agree with what both of you are saying, and to be honest I came to this site by Googling “Why I don’t like Francis Chan”. (I’m a little ashamed of that but I did mean his method and his message, not him as a person.) I see the direction both of you are coming from on this and so in that regard I definitely agree; if Chan is in fact saying that these things must be done in order to be saved, then I am in total disagreement (as, again, I am with much of what Chan says). I was looking at it from the other direction because I am involved in several inner city ministries and so often the churches in the area seem less than motivated to give more than token support to the poorer communities through ANY venue. Most of the families I work with are hard working, honest and more often than not, Christian people. My own church, where my father pastored for over 20 years, now has over 6000 members and yet it offers no real outreach without first taking care of its own wants (a fully stocked gym, state of the art staging, a vacation bible school that is so over the top I am ashamed to describe it). I think this is endemic to so much of the Church today, and I guess I’m overly sensitive to statements that seem to disregard the poor. I see now that wasn’t what you were saying at all. And yes, I have accepted Christ as my Savior. Even though I was raised in the church, I was an agnostic at best for many years and have only come Home within the the last three years.
Thanks to both of you for your thoughtful responses. I learn something every time I talk to new people, and I definitely have from this discussion.
Mark, thanks for joining.
You said: “Doctrine is important, but I often wonder if those who ostensibly (and loudly) decry what they deem ‘Social Welfare False Doctrine’ are simply masking their apathy toward the welfare of others (outside the sphere of their own personal experience)”.
I am one who decries the social gospel, because it is not THE GOSPEL. As such, the “social gospel” does not have the power to save anyone.
The Gospel is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes (Romans 1:16).
The Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) makes no mention of social welfare. Nor does John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8-9; Acts 16:31 or the approximately 160 scriptural references that make clear that salvation is by Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
I believe that we are called upon to maintain good works, as is so clearly taught in Titus 3:14 (NKJV):
“And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful.”
But, more importantly, I believe we are called to defend the Gospel.
Hello Mark; thanks for commenting today!
I agree with you that Christians should not be apathetic about the poor and needy. Christians ought to have compassion for the poor and needy and we should assist and give aid to them as we are able. Probably, the local churches are best able to meet these needs efficiently. The church which I attend, for one example, takes a monthly offering which is completely designated solely to help the needy and poor of our own community. A large designated amount goes to a local food bank in our town. The congregation always gives generously to this offering. In addition, we have partnered with the city and with other local churches in the area to set up community youth houses with after-school programs with sports, games and Bible studies. Twice a year we perform huge voluntary painting and cleanup projects in the area. In the past five years the area has seen crime drop significantly and communities becoming revitalized. These are things that, with a bit of organization and cooperation Christians can accomplish.
Regarding the article on Francis Chan, the point is not, “Should Christians help or feed the poor?” Ephesians 2:10 says that we SHOULD serve the Lord in ways like that. It is the right and proper thing to do. However, Chan would insist that such activity is a NECESSARY and MANDATORY indicator of true salvation, which it is not. It has nothing to do with salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 declares that salvation comes by grace alone through faith alone in Christ Jesus alone. That’s it. No good works are required to obtain, to prove or to maintain your salvation. Acts 16:31 declares the simple straightforward way of salvation: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!”
Mark, have you ever trusted in Christ Jesus alone as your Savior?
Thanks again for joining our grace fellowship today.
Doctrine is important, but I often wonder if those who ostensibly (and loudly) decry what they deem “Social Welfare False Doctrine” are simply masking their apathy toward the welfare of others (outside the sphere of their own personal experience). Personally I believe in salvation by Grace alone- but also that once we are saved, we are also called upon by God to reflect his will on earth. This includes doing all we can to assist others. The most obvious way to reflect God’s nature to another person, saved or unsaved, is to pattern your life, as closely as we humans possibly can, after the example of Christ. To fail to do so is not to fall short in “earning your way into heaven” as I also believe Chan too often emphasizes; it is simply to fall short in reflecting the nature of God.
Welcome Bob! I second Jack’s appreciation of your comment.
I remember some years ago watching one of the Crouch sons of TBN fame being asked a question about why doctrine was rarely emphasized at TBN. Crouch’s response, as I recall, was, “Doctrine isn’t all that important anyway.”
I sense, as you have stated about Chan, that this kind of attitude is prevalent among New Calvinist/LS preachers today.
Thanks for joining us and come back soon.
Thanks for visiting — and especially for your excellent comment. Drop back by often — you will find many here who agree with you.
It is obvious that Chan has no concern for “Theology,” which is the Doctrine of God.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Every time I hear Chan he seems to be denigrating all that “Theology stuff” and emphasizing doing stuff so that we prove we are real Christians and not Hell bound. I can hear that all day and it won’t give me one ounce of saving faith. It’s the Theology stuff, (The birth, life,words, death, resurrection, intercession, mediation of Christ that brings gratitude to my heart and inspires real works from the right motives.
Thanks for commenting today.
Regarding the, as you call it, “provocative” quotation, the context of that statement was given:
The post included the following statement: (to view the article in its entirety, see, “Failure to Help the Poor Could Send You to Hell,” by Francis Chan—Churchleaders.Com).
If you read the article, you will discover that it is consistent with the quotation. And, the “provocative” quotation is in agreement with his theology in general. The Expreacherman.com administration and regular commenters have been chronicling the teachings of Francis Chan for over three years (including the sad fallout of his teaching, especially in the area of decimation of assurance of salvation). Search, if you care to, the many related articles at this site. Chan has consistently promulgated a strongly condemning form of Lordship Salvation teaching, through his sermons and writing, ever since the release of his 2008 book “Crazy Love.”
For an in-depth look at this book and its unbiblical teaching, see the review, “Balanced Love,” at the Free Grace Alliance web site:
Click to access BookReview%20ofCrazyLove.pdf
I understand that the quote by Francis Chan without the entire context is intended to be provocative.
I absolutely hold to Ephesians 2:8,9.
I context though – verse 10 says – For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Good works can’t make us “more” or “less” saved.
But they are the evidence of grace in our lives. And we need to ask ourselves, as believers, if our lives are not demonstrating and pointing to the Glory of God – are we fulfilling the purpose for which we were created?
And that, I believe, is what Francis Chan is talking about.
John, your 5:10pm post was really very good, and that’s something I’ve forced on Lordship Salvationists, and it works.
We all know that water baptism is not required for salvation, and even Lordship Salvationists will agree (at least most of them will agree) that water baptism is not required for salvation.
So then I’d say, “But according to your position (LS), you have to commit your life to Jesus to be saved, and water baptism proves commitment to Christ according to your position, but what if the person refuses to get water baptized. That happens, maybe they hate going under water, or maybe they don’t want to have another person see them doing it. It happens. If you’ve been in ministry long enough, you’ve seen almost everything. So if they refuse to get water baptized, then they are not committing to Jesus Christ for salvation. And therefore, water baptism must be required for salvation according to your position, right?”
Then they will see clearly where their “commit to Christ for salvation” position led, and then they will then fight and fight, saying no, water baptism is not required for salvation, and they’ll go on and on with words, defending LS while at the same time explaining away parts of LS.
Also, consider this enigma:
If one must strive to follow Christ in order to confirm he is saved; and
If water baptism is an ordinance that believers should observe; and
If water baptism is not required in order to be saved;
Then how could anyone insist that striving to follow Christ is required to confirm that one is saved?
Lee, the Bible tells us that we can be assured of salvation the moment we become believers. Anyone that suggests that we need to look to our behavior or our motivations (strivings) for assurance is teaching something that appeals to human logic, but is not true.
I posted this excerpt from Clear Gospel Campaign on another thread. It deals with the origin of “Lordship Salvation.” The teachings that are refuted on this website are current manifestations of this very old error. Please read below:
“For a Jew to refuse to be circumcised did not mean that he fell into sin for one foolish hour of his life, but that his entire life was lived in rebellion to God! There was not even a one hour period that he honored God by obeying this command! Never for a single hour had he submitted himself to the Lordship of Yahweh. This was a powerful argument! Could a man be saved who believed on Christ, and yet, lived his entire life in rebellion to God…never for so much as five minutes submitting his will to God’s? Paul said yes, for eternal life is a free gift! The enemies of grace however felt it was utterly absurd, offensive and impossible that a holy God would be willing to save so rebellious a sinner. And it was this appeal to human logic that made this argument so forceful!
The Judiazers had hit upon a compelling strategy. They would force Paul to say that a man could be saved through faith in Christ even if he lived his entire life with his fist raised defiantly toward God. The enemies of Paul were the original “Lordship Salvationists.” They were sincere in their beliefs, and the logic of their argument was as powerful and persuasive in Paul’s day as it is in this day. It would force Paul to say that God not only saves sinners, but saves sinners in the very act of rebellion against God.”
Hello Lee, thanks for writing today!
To answer your assertion, no, the commenters know EXACTLY what Francis Chan is saying. He preaches, teaches and writes a strongly condemning form of Lordship Salvation “theology.” Fail to measure up to his self-contrived standards for Christian living and you may end up in the scrap heap along with the rest of whom Chan calls “the lukewarm.” According to Chan, guess where all of the lukewarm are headed?? The fact of Chan’s extreme Lordship Salvation stance has been well chronicled in many articles on the Expreacherman.com site. Many people at this site have also witnessed the sad sad fallout of Christian lives that have been utterly decimated by this man’s unbiblical teachings. Many have had their assurance of salvation ripped away and destroyed; they now constantly question whether they are even saved any more. One man quit his job impulsively, after he read “Crazy Love,” thinking that he had to do something “radical” and “on-fire” for Christ. He moved his family across the country with no real plans or job in sight. Very quickly his family faced financial ruin.
Yes, I too have read the book “Crazy Love;” I wrote a complete published review of the book which you may care to check out:
Click to access BookReview%20ofCrazyLove.pdf
I do not believe Chan is missing the point of the Gospel, but rather most of these commenter’s are missing what Chan is saying. I have read Crazy Love and Forgotten God any other articles from Chan. I have never got from them that we are saved by works. But that how can we claim to be follower of Christ if we do not seek to live by his teachings and commandments. 1 John 4:20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. Pity is not love and love is more than an emotion. It is an action.
Frank, please check out this clear Gospel explanation. It could do you a world of good, if you will read it with a mind open to the truth.
I have already prayed for you!
Did you even read any of the 80+ comments on this post? If you choose to do so, I’m sure that you will find your objections all discussed clearly. In a nutshell, Francis Chan is disseminating a false gospel, not the Biblical gospel of Ephesians 2:8-9, John 3:16, Acts 16:31 and 1 Corinthians 15:1-8. Chan’s “gospel” is a works-based, achievement-based philosophy which is completely contrary to Scripture. There are several articles on this site which detail his false theology.
Regarding your assertion about James, here is a related comment that was just made on another post:
Regarding James 2, if you do a search on this site, you will find that the chapter has been discussed in detail on several posts. Briefly, James is unmistakeably addressing BELIEVERS, not unbelievers. You will see this clearly in the first two chapters in which James addresses his audience repeatedly as, “my brethren,” or, “my beloved brethren.” James speaks of the QUALITY and USEFULNESS of a man’s faith, NOT the REALITY of his faith. He WARNS against a “dead faith,” that is, an unprofitable and useless faith, genuine faith to be sure (James already confirmed this fact in Chapters 1 and 2), but a faith that is not lived out in a way that would serve and please God as every believer OUGHT TO live. And, James warns of an unprofitable faith that could put the believer in jeopardy of losing some or all rewards at the judgment seat for believers (2 Corinthians 5:10; cf. 1 Corinthians 3:10-15). He admonishes his readers to live lives befitting the rich spiritual heritage which they already possessed by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. This fits the overall thrust of the Epistle in which James wants his readers’ faith in Christ to produce maturity in their lives. James in no way is threatening his listeners with loss of salvation or with never having been saved to begin with. This is where Lordship Faith teachers like Francis Chan, John Piper, Richard Stearns, David Platt, Paul Washer and John MacArthur stray from the pure, simple, straightforward Bible gospel of Ephesians 2:8-9, Acts 16:30-31, Romans 4:5 and 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; INSTEAD, they advocate a merit-based “gospel” which insists upon a whole array of openly-visible works (extreme or radical works for some of them) in order to PROVE that one is truly saved. This false system of faith plus works is much akin to Catholicism (even to the cults). It artificially sets man up as the arbiter of who is saved and who is damned, based upon a works-proved belief model. And pity the poor Lordship Faith follower who never knows when she’s done enough; she lives in a perpetual state of fear and dread; she can never get a grasp upon assurance of faith that Christ would want for her to possess (see John 10:27-30). Living in fear and doubt is certainly NO WAY for a Christian to live!
Notes: 2:19 does not speak of a deficient faith in terms of salvation. The demons have no ability to believe in the sense of salvation. The text says that they merely believe in the existence of one God. Re. Abraham and Rahab, in congruence with Paul’s writings, James 2:21-25 speak of a justification before men (practical righteousness), not before God (judicial righteousness].
iF SOMEONE HAS RECEIVED GRACE THEY WILL HELP THE POOR BECAUSE THEY HAVE A NATURE THAT IS A SLAVE TO RIGHTEOUSNESS. iF THERE IS NOT NATURE CHANGE, THEN IT IS SAFE TO SAY A PERSON HAS NOT COME INTO CONTACT WITH THE DIVINE CHRIST. THEY HAVE NEVER BEEN BORN AGAIN BECAUSE THEY STILL HAVE THEY OWN SELFISH CARNAL NATURE AND ARE SLAVES NOT TO JESUS.AND THEY ARE NOT “IN CHRIST”. GRACE IS FREE BUT WHEN IT IS RECEIVED GOD CHANGES ONES NATURE. WE ARE SAVED BY FAITH BUT NOT A DEAD FAITH AS JAMES ACCURATELY TEACHES.
Jack, thanks for providing the link to the Solid Rock Theological Seminary in India. I was previously unaware of this ministry and I am overjoyed that the Gospel is being unabashedly proclaimed there.
It is good to have a brother in Christ in India. Your country as well as the USA needs to believe the Gospel of the Grace of Jesus Christ. Looking forward to seeing you in Heaven.
Just a thought. Are you aware of the Solid Rock Theological Seminary which was founded in 1986. It is located in Trivandrum, the capital of the State of Kerala, in India.
A dear friend and Brother, Dr. Ron Seecheron is founder and President. The seminary is likewise supported and promoted by two other dear friends and Brothers, Dr. Tom Cucuzza and Dr. Jim Scudder. You should look into the seminary at this link:
Among other things you said:
Giri, Chan distorts and abuses the precious, clear, simple Grace Gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ.. and Chan deserves every admonition and condemnation he receives from us here. I cannot believe Jesus would pat Chan on the head and say, “Well done…” Chan’s message, is a direct contradiction of Christ’s Gospel message. Chan is preaching the law (behavior) to be saved and to stay saved and he is accursed.. As the Apostle Paul said in Galatians 2:21:
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
We should expose and never tolerate such lies and distortions such as Chan’s in our teaching. It is leading brothers, new believers and unbelievers astray and into false doctrine. That is why we expose Chan, Piper, John MacArthur, et al.
A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.Galatians 5:9
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Thank you to My dear eternal brothers Expreacherman and john in CHRIST It’s true for the first time in my life i have posted a comment and am very happy to see someone responding . I have always have this simple hope whenever i see a brother in christ what initially strikes me is, here is someone with whom i am going to spend eternity in the presence of our great saviour, whatever our thoughts on some secondary issues to me the best thing is to relate with my eternal brothers this is one of the reasons i am truly excited with your responses , personally speaking yes IT IS OBVIOUS OUR WORKS ARE FOREVER INSIGNIFICANT TO EFFECT OUR SALVATION sometimes in the deep recess of my heart i have felt very unhappy and ashamed of my self whenever I slip in some areas but our lord in his eternal grace has comforted me and gathered me again as david sought him in psalm 51. I believe it is almost impossible to be consistent in works may be externally some may appear good in certain things but cannot be equally good in all aspects THEREFORE WE ARE FOREVER DEPENDENT ON GOD FOR HIS GRACE. OFCOURSE EVEN A SIMPLE ACT OF GOODNESS IS BECAUSE OF HIS GRACE ALONE ,one incident from my own life where god taught me something precious one day in a sunday service my mind was constantly pondering over one thing whatever my pastor is preaching is he following all that he is preaching this haunted me till evening then god refreshed my mind and heart with these thoughts MY DEAR SON FIRST WHOEVER HE IS LOVE YOUR PASTOR OR ANYBODY AS MY SON LOVE OTHERS IF YOU ARE CONCERNED PRAY FOR THEM SO THAT THEY MAY LIVE GODLY LIVES. Honestly this changed me a lot. you said some may not be “overwhelmed” but i doubt it to an extent when the living god touches someone through his spirit what happens to an individual basically cannot be ordinary scripture is full of such extraordinary encounters of god’s spirit. I am suggesting not to hurt any of you taking our lord as our role model we need not be too critical or i mean it’s better if we leave out venomous language to correct someone or to set something right , some of the comments about chan are too much for a brother in christ, ofcourse, it is no wrong to point someone may be it’s chan or anyone even if they are bad in certain things our response should be in a loving manner
befitting our lord . Finally i believe it is very difficult to continue living the old life consistently and belong to the lord ,Our lord himself said we know them by their fruit and he said not all of whom say lord lord are not of me but the ones who does the will of my father is mine , having said this sometimes it is difficult to know with our limited knowledge to conclude things but if not always sometimes we can perceive things or people for what they are if we are not prejudiced.HOWEVER HOPELESS SOMEONE LOOKS MY WISH IS TO PRAY HOR HIM THIS IS THE WILL OF OUR LORD B’COS PROVERBS SAY LOVE COVERS FAULTS . ONCE AGAIN THANKS TO MY BROTHERS IN CHRIST is n’t wonderful that we are going to live forever together .
Giri, like Jack said you asked some great questions. You said, in part:
“If some professing believer continues to live the old life is it wrong to say there is something wrong with his belief or can’t we say may be he is in a delusion.”
If I were to base my hope of eternal security on how I am living my life, then I would not be trusting in Christ.
How I live my life is fleeting – it changes one moment to the next. We could never have any basis for assurance of our salvation if it depended in any way on our works.
Welcome to our discussion. You make some good points but it may be that you misunderstand our main objective here at ExPreacherMan.
Our main objective is to share the wonderful Gospel of salvation by Jesus Christ alone. Our secondary mission is to expose those (like Chan) who would deny or dilute that wonderful Grace Gospel message. Too many people believe Chan more than they believe the Bible.
Yes, we should share our Gospel message and what we have with less privileged but some believers may not be “overwhelmed” by His presence, yet still trust Jesus as their Savior. But we should not relegate an immature believer to “unbeliever status” simply because they are not “overwhelmed” or behaving as some think they should.
If when you say “his belief” you mean his faith, we must remember – we cannot determine his faith by his behavior, neither does God do so.
And yes, we as Believers SHOULD (Ephesians 2:10) always attempt to live lives that are pleasing to God. We read great portions of the New Testament exhorting believers to do just that. Therefore these Biblical exhortations prove that righteous behavior is never automatic for a Believer — but it is a personal decision and should be a desired goal involving an individual growth process by God’s Grace.
A believer’s STANDING IN Jesus Christ is eternal by our decision to believe in Jesus Christ.
A believer’s STATE (behavior) depends upon his daily walk and does not impact his eternal salvation.
Thanks for your comment. I am sure others here will comment on your words.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Dear people of God , I am a believer of Christ from India after reading much of what has been presented here,I truly and honestly believe we are surely saved by grace of god in christ alone forget about francis chan what this saving grace of christ does to all of us who are truly overwhelmed by his presence in our lives by the indwelling holy spirit , are we not going to share what we have with less privileged , and if some professing believer continue to live the old life is it wrong to say there is something wrong with his belief or can’t we say may be he is in a delusion. what do we mean by living lives that are pleasing to god.
Thanks for joining us today and sharing your comments.
You have missed the point of this article about Francis Chan. Our point is not to disparage Chan’s lifestyle. From outward indications, he does live a fairly frugal lifestyle. That is in no way an issue of this article.
Our beef is with Francis Chan’s theology. He promotes a caustic, dismissive, legalistic, condemnatory form of Lordship Faith teaching which is completely contrary to Scripture. Although he pays lip service to grace, nonetheless, he promotes a works-based approach to salvation—to be saved, to stay saved and to prove that you are saved. In his teaching, it is not good enough to trust in Christ alone by grace alone through faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9; Acts 16:30-31; Titus 3:5; Romans 4:5; John 3:16-18, et. al.); to Chan, one must “prove” his salvation to God and to the world through a vast array of “on fire” good works. In his book, “Crazy Love,” Chan concocts his own list of churchgoers whom he derogatorily calls, “the lukewarm.” Setting himself up as prosecuting attorney, judge and jury, he dismisses them all as unbelievers and assigns them a place in hell. Chan’s latest pronouncement, as chronicled in this article, is simply an ongoing extension and intensification of his long-standing extremely judgmental (and unbiblical) Lordship Faith belief and teaching. By the way, Chan is no longer employed by the church in Simi Valley, CA.
Brittany, I highly recommend that you read any of the many articles on this site dealing with Lordship Faith, a.k.a, Lordship Salvation or Lordship Probation. Also, you may want to look at a review of Chan’s book “Crazy Love” at Free Grace Alliance:
Click to access BookReview%20ofCrazyLove.pdf
Well, I am not sure how many of you aware that Francis Chan only takes a salary of $36,000 from the church and it has not increased one year since he has been there…despite his popularity and increased numbers in members. He owns a 1,200 sq foot house that his family of 6 lives in and gave ALL of the money that he made off of Crazy Love to a foundation that helped the poor internationally, including human trafficking.
What are we doing??? Giving a 10% tithe to the church and that’s the extent we go? We think we are some sort of amazing for doing that? Slap me if I am wrong, but we are at no place to be judging him because we think he lives above his means.
I’m guilty for it as much as the next person and recently have been strongly convicted about it. As far as I know, from what I hear about Francis Chan is that we could all possibly learn something from him.
Do I think it’s wrong for Christians to have nice things? No. Do I think it’s wrong when we are so consumed with making more money and getting more things without helping other people out that are in need? YES! Jesus told us straight up to love others above ourselves. Do we show that by how much of a house we have, boat, expensive furnishings when the person next door is trying to figure out where their next meal may come from? I’ll let you answer that yourself but there is only one possible answer. I see and massively HUGE problem with it and truth be told….we need to do something about it!
If we are loving our possessions enough that they take the place of Jesus…than yes! Jesus has a right to ask us to sell them because even being an American….possessions should never come before a loving God who sent his son to die on a cross for ALL OF US.
Thanks for your comments. You may wish to read another post that echoes your sentiments about American Christians. See:
I would like to know how Mr. Francis Chan helps the poor? From his own wages that he earns or from money his church had raised. I am for one tried of these big name Lordship Salvationists… oh excuse me… Lordship Probationists… talking about how bad American Christians are. I am a Christian and an American. I am thankful to Jesus for it. John MacArthur (Chan’s spiritual father) and Paul Washer (the list is too long to name them all) stand in their ivory towers with their brand of “Christianity” and throw rocks at us.
1) Salvation in America is the same as salvation in China, Philippines, and others parts of the world. And it is just as needed and just as real. I am not a discount “Christian” because I am an American.
2) All this talk about self denial…..yet they live better then most Americans.
Sorry I kind of got off track there…. Did he really say “fix Jesus shaky theology”?…Wow!… (in a bad way)
Trust in Jesus
Your arguments have been answered in great detail by various participants on this blog. Please go back and read them. I will answer, here, briefly, a couple of your questions and, below that, is a sample of a response that I made to another individual who made similar comments as yours.
Response to your first and major premise, “Surely one can speak about the necessity of works without compromising the gospel of grace?” Answer, NO, ONE CANNOT. Ephesians 2:8-9 declares clearly, boldly and unmistakeably that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, NOT BY WORKS. Adding works as a requirement to obtain or MAINTAIN salvation is a denial of grace and an attempt to add something to Christ’s completed work on the cross. Ephesians 2:10 says that as new creations in Christ, Christians SHOULD walk in good works. Yes, in response to God’s wonderful gift of salvation, it is right and proper to serve God. As you said, it is what we SHOULD do.
You ask the question, “I would ask myself the question – how am I different from Hindus, Hari Krishnas or Muslims, apart from my belief in Jesus?” I would say that any belief system, such as Francis Chan’s social welfare and crazy love “gospel” that demands good works as a requirement for obtaining, maintaining and proving one’s salvation is basically no different than the other false works-based religions that you cite.
Quotation from earlier in the blog:
“Regarding your quotations of James 2, if you do a search on this site, you will find that these arguments have all been answered in great detail on several posts here. Briefly, James is addressing BELIEVERS, not unbelievers. You will see this clearly in the first two chapters in which James addresses his audience repeatedly as, “my brethren,” or, “my beloved brethren.” He admonishes his readers to live lives befitting the rich spiritual heritage which they already possessed by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. James in no way is threatening his listeners with loss of salvation or with never having been saved to begin with. This is where Lordship Faith teachers like Francis Chan, John Piper, Richard Stearns, David Platt, Paul Washer and John MacArthur stray from the pure, simple, straightforward Bible gospel of Ephesians 2:8-9, Acts 16:30-31, Romans 4:5 and 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; INSTEAD, they advocate a merit-based “gospel” which insists upon a whole array of openly-visible works (extreme or radical works for some of them) in order to PROVE that one is truly saved. This false system of faith plus works is much akin to Catholicism (even to the cults). It artificially sets man up as the arbiter of who is saved and who is damned, based upon a works-proved belief model. And pity the poor Lordship Faith follower who never knows when she’s done enough; she lives in a perpetual state of fear and dread; she can never get a grasp upon assurance of faith that Christ would want for her to possess (see John 10:27-30). Living in fear and doubt is certainly NO WAY for a Christian to live!”
Surely one can speak about the necessity of works without compromising the gospel of grace? James speaks about faith without works being dead. So surely, since Jesus has said we should help the poor, we should do thusly? Having lived in poorer places, and associating with people from many nations, and those who have given much to work in poorer nations, my perspective is that we in America are prideful, gluttonous, and live in denial of many things, both the poor in our own country, and of the church overseas. If the statistics about Christians in this country are true, the church, independently of gov’t, could end world hunger, if every Christian tithed. The church at Colosse supported the church in Jerusalem, poor and persecuted – yet it seems the church here in the US fails to consider giving much of anything to our brothers in poverty and persecution overseas.
It seems to me that our faith in Christ, our salvation, should engender some change in our behavior, that we should have some compassion or desire to aid the poor, especially our brothers in Him. I would ask myself the question – how am I different from Hindus, Hari Krishnas or Muslims, apart from my belief in Jesus? – Jesus said that everyone loves those who love them back, loves their family – but we are to be different, loving our enemies and strangers. I say that works to no gain us a place in heaven, do not gain us our salvation – but works are the effect, the result of our salvation.
So glad you found us and be assured your firm resolution has encouraged us. We know you will find a lot of our friends here who agree with you completely, many of whom have come out of similar church circumstances. You are right, dispensational Bible teaching — in context — has the answers, not men.
Your church study group has certainly chosen the worst of the worst Lordship “salvationists”/Probationist’s and new Age gurus to study. We admire your courage for suggesting a change of direction and back to the Bible. We will pray for you.
Please subscribe to and search our ExPreacherMan site. You will find many articles with which you will agree. You will also meet and enjoy some wonderful Heaven-bound friends for life.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Welcome Anne Maree!
Thank you for sharing your church situation with us here at the ExPreacherman site. Please come back often. There are many like-minded people here who can support you and pray for you. I would advise you to hold fast to your position of encouraging the study of God’s Word over the teachings of popular flavor-of-the-month “Christian” teachers. As you stated, I’m sure, too, that you will find many people who agree with with your stance. At my church, I teach a weekly in-depth Bible class to adults. I find that the people are really hungry for a genuine study of the Word of God. I, too, have had to speak out on occasion about some aberrant popular teachings which have surfaced. Most people (not all) have responded well to my stick-to-the-Bible approach and my stick-to-the-simple straightforward gospel of the Bible message (Acts 16:30-31; John 3:16-18; Romans 4:5; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Ephesians 2:8-9).
Blessings in the Lord!
Over the last 3 years in our bible study (where studying the Bible has been replaced by studying the writings of Rick Warren, Phillip Yancey, Tim Keller, John Eldridge, Francis Chan etc,) I brought up the fact it would be really helpful to go back to studying the books of the Bible. All of my homegroup agreed. I have endeavoured to explain my concerns re L.S. doctrine, Psychological teaching, misuse of scripture, the social gospel and so on. Which resulted in a tongue lashing from our Pastor – who ironically is all about “loving on” everyone – except me, it would appear. I have been accused of causing disunity, undermining the vision of the church, having my own agenda, all because I asked could we study the Bible rather than these books and DVD’s from the above authors. I came through the shepherding movement in the 70’s and there are some alarming similarities creeping in to this current wave of teaching. Without a dispensational view point, how easy it is to be deceived into thinking you can fix the world – by human effort and misappropriating the Word of God. Thank you so much for sites like these, it is a great blessing and comfort to know that you are not alone.
Wow, Madeline! You put me to shame with your knowledge of truth at such a young age! I agree, your grandpa sure has blessed you, and us through you, even though we’ve never met either one of you yet! God Bless you, and as Paul said to Timothy, let no man despise your youth!
What a breath of fresh air to read your comment, Madeline! I agree with Jack: you have a very wise grandpa! You’re very blessed to have him in your life.
Wonderful!!! You may be the most knowledgeable 13 year old with the smartest Grandpa ever to visit our web site. You are certainly welcome and pray you will come back, learn, understand and believe God’s Word.
Most important is to understand and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ about Heaven and how to have Eternal Life. Go here and read this to help you understand:
We sure are happy to have you with us — send your friends..
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
wow my grandpa sent me to this web page and told me hopefully this will give u many answers to all of my many questions……………. IT SURE DID!!!!!!! im 13 and i love to learn new things about our lord each day and i absolutly love to learn what should soon become of this world…………….. i dont really wanna be those kids that are completely clueless about what is going on……….. i have many really good friends that are not believers and i try to talk to them but none of them really listen they say well ur only young so what would younow about it……… honestly i know TONS of stuff that is to come of this wonderful world that is really bad……… and we better watch out cus its not gonna be pretty………
Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement. I no longer feel condemned as I did back then. I no longer believe their lies. I believe Jesus Christ died for me on the cross and rose again. My sins are forgiven and salvation is a free gift that I did nothing to earn. I felt I should share my experience because I was sure there would be others affected by those types of groups. And now that Columba mentioned it I remember the name of the group was ‘setting captives free’. I hope Columba no longer believes their lies either. Free Grace was the Truth I had been looking for!
I will read the link you provided John, I’m sure i will be in complete agreement with it. Matt said: “God loves you infinitely much. He smiles down upon you. He sees you as perfect in Christ. God speaks, “Just simply trust me dear child. My grace is sufficient for you.”
By His free grace alone, He saved you from the penalty of sin. By His same free grace, I believe that He will deliver you from the power of your particular sin’s addictive grip.” The thought of God smiling down upon me is very comforting indeed. And I also believe he will deliver me from my addictive sin. Thank you!
Sorry you had that type of experience.. but your story has sadly been duplicated by others on this web site. Thankfully most like you have overcome the lie with the Truth of the Free Grace Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Search and check out our pages and posts — you will find Good News here. Please subscribe, come back and visit. You are among a fellowship of true Christian friends.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
I had the same issue with a group called “illbehonest” and the “setting captives free” website. Both of them claimed to be able to help with freedom, but in reality, only brought about more bondage by making people question their devotion to God, their sincerity, constant examination of works in order to prove you were saved, and that repentance wasn’t real unless you never did it again. Was very depressing to go through that.
God loves you infinitely much. He smiles down upon you. He sees you as perfect in Christ. God speaks, “Just simply trust me dear child. My grace is sufficient for you.”
By His free grace alone, He saved you from the penalty of sin. By His same free grace, I believe that He will deliver you from the power of your particular sin’s addictive grip. The apostle Paul mentions “grace” to the immoral Corinthians and legalistic Galatians 26 times. God’s answer to the struggling one is grace…His undeserved and unearned favor and help.
Jon, I will be praying for you.
Bless your heart, Jon. Variations of the cruel treatment you received is what must drive so many believers to a profession of atheism. You are so right; if God be against you, who could be for you? Contemplating that hopeless thought would drive any of us to suicide! But you must know that it is a vicious lie from the pit of hell.
To that so-called “support group”, I would offer this warning:
“And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a MILLSTONE were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.” Mark 9:42
Jon, Jesus accepts us just the way we are. Please consider reading the attached booklet called “The Gospel” by Ron Shea. See link below.
Jon, I was told by a Southern Baptist preacher that I had to repent of my sins and commit to Jesus to be saved. This is a lie and is one of Satan’s counterfeits of the real Gospel.
We do not give anything to Jesus to be saved.. We accept what he has done for us.
Please know that most well meaning “believers” do not have even a basic understanding of God’s Gospel of Grace. They turn the good news into bad news, because they attach works (turning from sin, committing one’s life to Christ) to the equation, thereby frustrating Grace.
Jon, Romans 5:8 says “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for uus.”
“Repentance” is not turning from your sins, or trying to make yourself more acceptable to God. Repentance is a change of mind to trust in Christ alone!
I was not saved until I repented of believing I had to turn from my sins and commit my life to Christ to be saved.
Jon, you are among friends here. Don’t be discouraged or confused any more by the works salvationists.
Bruce, I just want to say how much i also appreciated your answer to Dime’s questions. You said: ” What about changes of the heart that are known by God but not visible to men, such as inner grief over sin or a desire to overcome addictions? Do these qualify as proper changes in your book?”
As someone who has struggled with a sinful addiction I appreciate your words here. I turned to an online ‘Christian’ group (or so i thought) for help with my addiction. What I got felt like anything but help. I was told that God was disgusted with me and couldn’t even look at me because of my sin. I was told that i should seriously question my salvation. I was told that i was just like Saul, and that my repentance was fake. And I was told that the stench of death was upon me, among other things. I believe the group was Calvinist and asked them as much, but they refused to identify themselves. I felt completely hammered by them and nearly suicidal. I thought if God was against me, who could be for me? I don’t feel that way here, thanks.
What an excellent answer you gave to Dime! I pray that our friend will consult the Scriptures you provided him, and as a result be able to make the critical distinction between Salvation and Discipleship.
Dime, welcome to this grace-oriented blog. I cannot improve on brother Bruce’s answer to you, but if you are at all a visual learner, the following chart may help you see the distinction between being a believer vs. being a disciple:
You’ll have to scroll down to “Believer vs. Disciple” then click.
Thanks for that excellent comprehensive answer to “behind the scenes” commenter Dime’s questions. His queries are typical of so many who have been influenced by the Lordship “salvation” folks.
I pray Dime can see the Truth and believe by Grace alone through Faith alone in Jesus Christ alone for his salvation.
Your comment is worthy of a separate post.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
to answer your behind-the-scene’s question regarding acceptable postings, it is the policy of this site’s administration not to allow the presentation of lengthy diatribes which promote doctrines or agendas, such as Reformed Calvinism or Lordship Faith teaching, which are contrary to the stated Free Grace views of the site’s founders, administrators and a host of regular expositors. That being stated, the site does allow those of differing viewpoints to ask brief pertinent questions and to state their views respectfully and SUCCINCTLY with the intent of engaging in civil dialogue; HOWEVER, the site does not exist to provide an open preaching platform to promote teachings contrary to the Free Grace Gospel.
Dime, I will attempt to answer your questions one by one as you have listed them. My comments will be in itallics.
You asked, . . .
1. How would you characterize Luke 8:14?
Luke 8:14 is part of Jesus’ parable of the seeds and soils of Luke 8:4-15. Keep in mind, that parables are generally intended to present one or two spiritual truths. There are many other Bible passages that declare the gospel much more clearly, e.g. Ephesians 2:8-9, John 3:16-18, Romans 4:5, Titus 3:5, Acts 16:30-31, et. al. Jesus, himself, in this same passage in Luke 8, spoke of parables as being truth veiled from the scoffers. So, back to your question: Group 1 is characterized by those who have heard the Word of God but, being blinded by Satan, they refuse to believe in the Gospel of Grace; they remain unsaved. Groups 2 and 3 appear to be true believers through faith in Christ alone; however, they have fallen away from close fellowship with the Lord and other believers and have remained immature in their faith. They cannot lose their salvation because true salvation is eternal and protected by God (John 10:27-30). They do miss out on the joy and blessing which God would want for them to experience through walking in intimate fellowship with him. Group 4 refers to true believers who are serving God faithfully and are maturing in their faith. This pleases God and brings much joy to their lives.
What about all the times Jesus says “If you do not…do this and this and this…you are not worthy to be my disciple?”
Lordship Faith teachers and advocates love to quote “discipleship” passages from Matthew, Mark and Luke to attempt to “prove” their works-based “gospel.” They fail to acknowledge, however, that these texts were not at all intended to present the plan of salvation. These were admonitions given primarily to Christ’s followers, many or most of whom were already believers! They address the issue of sanctification, that is, the post-conversion process of growing in spiritual maturity and serving the Lord faithfully.
What about the fact that there is a wide path that leads to destruction but a narrow way that leads to life?
The way to salvation is indeed narrow, but it is also uncomplicated and clear: John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Acts 16:30-31 “And brought them out and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” The wide path that leads to destruction encompasses every other “way” which invariably tries to earn its way to heaven through meritorious works.
Sure, Eph. 2:8, John 3:16 etc. say that salvation is a gift and not by works, but reading all the New Testament text as a whole, do you guys not get the overall sense that there is a commitment level required of those of us that profess ourselves to be Christians?
Dime, there is NOTHING that you or I or anyone else can do to add anything to the FREE gift of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone: not before, not during, not after. To add a post-conversion demand of commitment as a requirement to maintain or to prove one’s salvation, is to add works to salvation. Now, if you’re asking, “Is it the right and proper thing for a true believer to serve God faithfully?”, then the answer is, “Of course!” NOT to merit or to prove one’s salvation, but because it is the proper fitting thing to do—it is what we SHOULD do (Ephesians 2:10).
I read some of the other “LS” and “SHOULD” posts, and I agree with them. Good> But in the scheme of all New Testament texts, I still think that stance is incomplete, not wrong. Can you really say to a “believer” that he is saved if he does absolutely nothing in pursuing godliness? When we truly believe, we receive the Holy Spirit and He will divinely cause us to conform to truth and good works. So all true believers will have good change, big or small, in life, no?
Now I will ask you some questions which should serve to answer your questions above. So if you insist on visible good works as “proof” of true salvation, then how many good works must one complete? Must he serve the Lord faithfully for one year, ten years, thirty years? Is he ever allowed any periods of backsliding? If so, for how long? What about changes of the heart that are known by God but not visible to men, such as inner grief over sin or a desire to overcome addictions? Do these qualify as proper changes in your book? Who will be the monitor and judge of all of these desired changes? Have you considered biblical examples of true believers who lived for years in backslidden conditions: Lot, Samson, Solomon, the Church at Corinth come quickly to mind. ALL of them are declared in Scripture to be true believers. You see, the questions created by Lordship Faith teaching are endless and the answers are a scant few.
How would you characterize Luke 8:14?
What about all the times Jesus says “If you do not…do this and this and this…you are not worth to be my discple.” What about the fact that there is a wide path that leads to destruction but a narrow way that leads to life?
Sure, Eph 2:8 John 3:16 etc say that salvation is a gift and not by works, but reading all the new testament text as a whole, do you guys not get the overall sense that there is a commitment level required of those of us that profess ourselves to be Christians?
I read some of the other “LS” and “SHOULD” posts, and I agree with them. But in the scheme of all new testament text, I still think that stance is incomplete, not wrong. Can you really say to a “believer” that he is saved if he does absolutely nothing in pursuing godliness? When we truly believe, we receive the Holy Spirit and He will divinely cause us to conform to truth and good works. So all true believers will have good change, big or small, in life, no?
also Clifford, I guarantee there are times when we have all slid away from the Lord at one time or another. Whether circumstances such as illness or financial troubles can take us off track in trusting the Lord or Satan tempting us or just not spending our time in the Word and prayer. Yes, we have the Holy Spirit, but the Bible also states we can quench the Holy Spirit also. Just look at the Corinthians at the time Paul came to speak to them- they were Christians and were in a royal mess. Now we should never condone sin, but also we can never be the Judge of someone’s heart who has said clearly they have believed in Jesus Christ for their salvation- no matter what position they are in. We are definitely there as encouragers, exhorters and sometimes to rebuke other believers but never to promote a progressive justification/sanctification works salvation.
We have choice and freedom and that is the way God designed it so that we would freely choose Him for salvation/justification and freely choose to submit to the Holy Spirit for sanctification.
Thanks for joining our discussion today.
If you read some of the comments on Amazon of Francis Chan’s best-selling book, “Crazy Love,” you will discover that many of them are very similar to what you said above. Many people want to give Chan the benefit of the doubt and explain or soften his harsh judgmental teachings. However, his writings and teaching are not simply about stimulating more Christian activity for Christ. He takes things to another whole level; he demands an over-the-top radical on-fire lifestyle for Christ; otherwise, he in wholesale fashion declares churchgoers, whom he calls “the lukewarm,” to be unsaved, bound for hell. His teachings are unbiblical, mean-spirited and quite unfair. See my article “Balanced Love” for a detailed analysis of Chan’s book “Crazy Love”: http://www.freegracealliance.com/pdf/BookReview%20ofCrazyLove.pdf
Regarding your quotations from 1 John and James, all good verses, spoken TO BELIEVERS, instructing them live lives befitting the Christian heritage which they already possessed in Christ. These verses are spoken about in detail on many discussions at this site.
I didn’t have time to read all the comments so this might be covered, but I thought I would drop a couple of lines to explain what I think Francis Chan might be saying. In 1 John 3:16-17 it says, “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” Salvation is by faith alone, but James 2:20 says, “…faith without works is dead.” So the only proof of a living faith within someone is that they are living out their faith via their actions here on this earth. One of those actions is what is described in 1 John 3:17, where it questions how the love of God could abide in you if you close your heart to a brother in need.
I think that is what Francis Chan is talking about more here, because in America we have closed our hearts to the poor and needy around the world and we have become satisfied with our own prosperity, and content to stagnate where we are, and not press on towards the upward call of Christ Jesus! That call is to leave all behind for the cause of Christ, and to consider nothing our own as they did in Acts. Of course there is other stuff involved in the “upward call of Christ Jesus” but those are the things that are pertinent to this conversation.
I hope no one takes this amiss, I just thought I would put in my two cents.
Thanks for displaying a more respectable tone in your latest entry. This time you actually made some salient points. Let’s examine some of your statements briefly:
— “we cannot reach heaven by our own efforts. . . . We were saved by grace and grace alone.”
Now you’re getting it! That is what this site is all about (Ephesians 2:8-9).
— “it’s not us feeling guilty and trying to make up for what He did for us. Like I take it that quite a lot of people here have a wife, husband or children. You don’t do things for them because you simply feel guilty and think you should. You give them things because you love them. I love Jesus and I do things because I love Jesus.”
Yes, for the true believer in Christ Jesus, of course the proper, right, logical, loving response to the Savior is to serve him wholeheartedly with joy out of gratitude for all he has done for us. And you are correct that the proper motivation for serving God should be stemming from love, not from guilt. However, you fail to acknowledge (or realize) that GUILT, DOUBT AND FEAR are precisely the motivational tools of choice for the radical Lordship Faith teachers like Chan, Washer, Platt, Stearns, and even Piper. And quite destructive are these tools! They leave the poor Lordship Faith follower ever in doubt, never obtaining assurance of salvation, always striving to serve God out of fear that they might not do enough or that their service might not be sufficiently radical to please an angry god (of Lordship Faith concocting).
—“surly [surely] we should be more loving the longer we are a Christian.”
Yes, that is a proper goal. Ephesians 2:10 declares, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” A key word here is “should.” Yes, as true believers in Christ, and as we are led by the Holy Spirit, we SHOULD love the Lord and love people more. We SHOULD be growing in our faith. We SHOULD be serving God more and more. Of course, this is all proper and the right way for believers to live. But what if we don’t? God is not going to kick us out of his family. He promises that the Father and the Son will hold us in their loving hands and that we will never lose our salvation (John 10:27-30). And, the Lordship Faith teachers are dead wrong when they arbitrarily declare a believer to “have never been saved to begin with, headed for hell” based upon that believer’s not having reached some lofty expectational level of Christian service or achievement. That is wrong, unfair and mean!
—God enables us to serve him, as you say, “through the Holy Spirit,” and “out of His grace.”
Yes, for the true believer in Christ Jesus, serving God should be a joy and the proper way to live; however, failure to serve God, or backsliding in one’s life, does not necessitate that a person was never saved, as Lordship Faith teachers are so quick to declare judgmentally. Samson, Lot and the Corinthian church are prime examples of true believers who served God, if much at all, quite sporadically, and with lengthy periods of backsliding.
I am not saying that works can save us. No one would even be able make it because we were sinful at birth and that alone means we cannot reach heaven by our own efforts. And we certainly wouldn’t be able to after the amount of sin that we all do. We were saved by grace and grace alone.
You cannot believe that Jesus died on a cross to forgive all your sins and not love him. Like what Jesus did for us gives us this love for Him. And it’s not us feeling guilty and trying to make up for what He did for us. Like I take it that quite a lot of people here have a wife, husband or children. You don’t do things for them because you simply feel guilty and think you should. You give them things because you love them. I love Jesus and I do things because I love Jesus. I don’t do it to buy my salvation because I know I can’t and Jesus has already bought it anyway.
Jesus is making us more like Him. “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” Philippians 3:21. If Jesus is making us more like Himself and He loved the world so much to die for the world then surly we should be more loving the longer we are a Christian. The fact is that it’s not us trying to be more loving because we feel guilty or we’re trying to buy our salvation. We are becoming more loving towards others because Jesus is making us more like Himself. We help others more because Jesus is making us more like Himself.
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13. The Bible tells us that God works in us so that we can do will after His good pleasure. He enables us to desire what He desires. He also enables us to do of His good pleasure. So he empowers us, through the Holy Spirit to follow Him. He is the one behind the good works. He is the one behind everything and He does this out of His grace.
When you become a follower or Christ you receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit when living in us starts to change us. Galatians 5:22-23 reads, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” So if we truly believed then we have received the Holy Spirit and these things are at work in us. We start to love others more and be more kind. Therefore the works that accompanies faith are only there because Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to us to help us become like Him.
We do not try to prove that we are truly saved. But if we are truly saved these works happen because Jesus is working in us by grace.
You said, “Chan through a bit of meat at you and your all trying to drink it as if it’s milk.”
Did you mean, “Chan THREW a bit of meat at you and YOU’RE all trying to …”? To that slam one could respond, “Yes, Chan threw a bit of meat, and RANCID meat it was!” Chan promotes an extreme form of Lordship Faith teaching in which only radical super-Christians go to heaven. The vast majority of faithful churchgoers, called “the lukewarm” by Chan in his unbiblical book “Crazy Love,” go to hell. Even the Apostle Paul, himself, if one reads Romans 7, would likely fail Chan’s “lukewarm” test.
Regarding the “chair” example, which, by the way, can be seen on literally thousands of websites, did you simply copy and paste that example? That would explain why you quoted it word-for-word in two places of your diatribe.
Regarding your quotations of James 2, if you do a search on this site, you will find that these arguments have all been answered in great detail on several posts here. Briefly, James is addressing BELIEVERS, not unbelievers. You will see this clearly in the first two chapters in which James addresses his audience repeatedly as, “my brethren,” or, “my beloved brethren.” He admonishes his readers to live lives befitting the rich spiritual heritage which they already possessed by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. James in no way is threatening his listeners with loss of salvation or with never having been saved to begin with. This is where Lordship Faith teachers like Francis Chan, John Piper, Richard Stearns, David Platt, Paul Washer and John MacArthur stray from the pure, simple, straightforward Bible gospel of Ephesians 2:8-9, Acts 16:30-31, Romans 4:5 and 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; INSTEAD, they advocate a merit-based “gospel” which insists upon a whole array of openly-visible works (extreme or radical works for some of them) in order to PROVE that one is truly saved. This false system of faith plus works is much akin to Catholicism (even to the cults). It artificially sets man up as the arbiter of who is saved and who is damned, based upon a works-proved belief model. And pity the poor Lordship Faith follower who never knows when she’s done enough; she lives in a perpetual state of fear and dread; she can never get a grasp upon assurance of faith that Christ would want for her to possess (see John 10:27-30). Living in fear and doubt is certainly NO WAY for a Christian to live!
Chan through a bit of meat at you and your all trying to drink it as if it’s milk.
James 2:18 tell us that we show our faith through our works. If we truly believe in Jesus then we will completely follow him. And if we follow him then we do the things he would do and we begin to look like him. If you only have faith and you don’t have works then you are dead (James 2:26). Take the chair example. If someone says I have faith that this chair would hold me but not enough to test it then that person doesn’t have a faith at all. Yes we are saved by grace and grace alone but being saved and knowing what Jesus has done for us drives us to help the poor and needy and to evangelise. And if we truely love God then this drives us to change and be more like Him and to help more people.
Secondly on brother yun’s case. We are told by Jesus himself, in Chan through a bit of meat at you and your all trying to drink it as if it’s milk.
James 2:18 tell us that we show our faith through our works. If we truly believe in Jesus then we will completely follow him. And if we follow him then we do the things he would do and we begin to look like him. If you only have faith and you don’t have works then you are dead (James 2:26). Take the chair example. If someone says I have faith that this chair would hold me but not enough to test it then that person doesn’t have a faith at all. Yes we are saved by grace and grace alone but being saved and knowing what Jesus has done for us drives us to help the poor and needy and to evangelise. and if we truely loved Jesus then his would drive us to help others and be more like Jesus.
Secondly on brother yun’s case. We are told by Jesus himself, in John 14:12, that if we believe we will do the works that Jesus did and greater works than them. That straight from
Jesus’ mouth. And we see Peter in Acts 5:15 shows this. People always ran to Jesus to touch Him to get healed. But now we see that people run to Peter than even his shadow might fall on them. This is more than Jesus. Does that mean the this part of the Bible is wrong? And if this part of the Bible is wrong then can we even trust the Bible at? It’s certainly not wrong and Jesus was not a lair when he told the people that if they believed they would do even greater works than He did because he is with the Father.
And you if you think some of the things are ridiculous then how your differently saying God is not all powerful. Is anything too hard for the Lord?
Lastly to Russ. You talk about someone without even knowing them. Francis gave away all the money he made out of one of his books which was over a million. He downsized his house and he refused to save up for a pension because they’re were poor people in the world. He gives the money to them. Don’t say things about people without knowing things about them. You can’t assume anything. The Pharisees make assumptions about Jesus and they never really understood Him.
I am sure you know by now that you are welcome here. I agree with Eddy, that a large percentage of our friends have searched but not found a good Grace Gospel preaching church in their area. That is an absolute shame and disgrace but a reality we must face in these last days of so much Biblical apostasy.
Rest assured we will be praying for you and your family. Meanwhile we thank you for your contributions to our discussion.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Welcome back.I am not surprised that many born again Christians are in a similar situation as yours. Although most of my elder relatives are professing Christians, none of my first cousins nor any of my siblings are Christians, despite the fact that all of them attended church during their childhood. However, I am not sure how many of my elder relatives are genuine born again Christians. Many, if not all, of them have been attending Lordship Salvation churches for many years. One of them is a Sunday School teacher in a Presbyterian church. That church destroyed at least one and very likely two of my now deceased relatives and sadly, many of our relatives are still attending that church. Since my mom is living in the same city where they live; I have been trying to encourage my mom to challenge their faith and preach the gospel to them if she finds out they believe in the Lordship Salvation gospel. I understand that it is very difficult to challenge an immediate family member’s faith, especially if that individual is a longtime professing Christian. I will pray for you and your household. Tom also wrote an excellent book Secure Forever and there is a link to his book on the side bar here. I and few others here are churchless. There are not that many free grace churches around anymore. I am not able to find even a single solid free grace church in my area so far, although there are not lack of churches around.
“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” Psalm 27:14.
Correction: Those web casts at DBC are audio/visual. In other words, you won’t just be listening to the message, but watching it as well.
I had been having problems figuring out how to comment here, otherwise would have greeted you earlier. Welcome!
I would like to add one more resource to Pearl’s excellent recommendation list:
Duluth Bible Church (www.duluthbible.org). When you get to the site you will notice a “live webcast” feature which allows you to listen to DBC’s sermons live. You can even print out an outline of the message in advance. DBC puts out a quarterly journal that can be read on line as well under “publications”. So many great free grace resources on this site. Enjoy!
Hi, Andrea. Please accept my belated greeting!
It is very difficult finding a sound church. We have yet to find one ourselves, and that seems to be the common denominator nowadays. Before, we weren’t finding one because of the lack of discernment we witnessed in leadership, and now, having learned about LS, I realize there are even fewer!
Eddy reminded me on the last thread that there are sermons available to hear online from Tom Cucuzza, whose book is featured in the upper-right hand page of this blog, together with the link to his church. Maybe you and your husband could hear some of those sermons during the week.
I would also recommend reading from the site of Charlie Bing’s “GraceLife Ministries”, where you and your husband can view a few videos on the topic of free grace, as well as have accesss to many, excellent articles under the “GraceNotes” category. http://www.gracelife.org/
John has frequently included many quotes by Ron Shea’s site called the Clear Gospel Campaign which includes a comprehensive gospel presentation which, for me, succeeded in chipping away common misunderstandings used in most gospel presentations. http://cleargospel.org/booklet.php?b_id=3
I’m certain you’ll be blessed by these links, and hopefully your husband will be convinced.
I appreciate your sharing about your church and family situation. I will pray for you and your husband. I’m sure that many others here will do the same. Blessings on you dear sister and may God be very close to you.
You make excellent points about Chan’s unbiblical theology. You really hit the crux of the matter in your question, “I would like to know how Chan knows when he has helped the poor enough to be saved.” This is precisely the flaw of Lordship Faith teaching. Its adherents never never know WHEN they’ve done enough. Tragically, they remain in a perpetual state of uncertainty, always doubting, never being able to grab hold of assurance of salvation that God wants the believer to experience (see John 10:27-30).
You were almost correct in what you heard about Chan’s “downsizing.” He was a pastor of a large church in Simi Valley, CA, an upper-middle class (nice) area of Southern California. After he went on a short-term missions trip abroad and experienced true poverty face to face, he returned home, sold his large home, purchased one about half the size in the same area (to assuage his own guilt??). Then he wrote the book “Crazy Love,” an extremely judgmental diatribe which sends the vast majority of professing Christians, whom Chan calls “the lukewarm,” to hell! SEE: http://www.freegracealliance.com/pdf/BookReview%20ofCrazyLove.pdf
A couple of years ago, Chan resigned from his pastorate to become more involved in conference speaking and other unknown “ministries.” I do not know where he is now.
Thanks to everyone who replied last time I commented. I did read all of the replies, including the ones about the Nazarene beliefs. I need prayers about what to do about the whole situation, considering my husband being raised in that church and my in-laws going there. I talk about things to my husband and he will agree with my points about the free grace gospel, but then he tries to explain away the false teaching that I point out from the Nazarene church and some we even heard from our Sunday School teacher (his dad, nonetheless) this past weekend. I can empathize with it being difficult for him to accept that his dad, who he respects greatly, is wrong.
I would like to know how Chan knows when he has helped the poor enough to be saved? It seems to me that despite what anyone gives or does, they could always give or do more. I’ve read that Chan downsized his home and moved to the inner city (can’t remember where I read that, so don’t know for sure whether it is true), but compared to the Christians “who live on less than two dollars a day” he speaks of, his lifestyle would probably still be considered a life of luxury.
“We Are The World,”
Basically yes, they put everything into God’s hands, therefore any charge of works righteousness gets brushed off. Their view of mans “total inability” leads them to this. The fact that they surround themselves with/ cooperate with those who teach other sorts of error should not be surprising. Birds of a feather…
What sets us apart is the true gospel.
After reading your reply, I thought of the song We Are The World.
Great comment as always. If I am correct, you are basically saying that they perceive the following:
grace + works = grace
Thanks for sharing your valuable insights.
Yep, One World government — heading that way faster and faster. (Agenda 21).. One World Religion (World Council Churches cooperating with Rome).. almost there quickly,.. and One world currency (or means of trade), all controlled exclusively by the Antichrist.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
I agree with your assessment on the situation. It is not much different in China than in here where almost all of the discernment ministries here are not equipped to defend the free grace gospel for the fact that they themselves believe in the Lordship Salvation gospel. That is why I think the works-based gospel will be serving as a common denominator to unite together different sects of false Christianity and other religions into one religion headed by the mother of harlots the Catholic Church. Actually, I am not surprised that the situation in other countries such as China is even worst than the situation here. Eventually, which could be anytime now, the works-based gospel believers will try to unite together and declare that the grace plus works gospel is the only gospel. Anyone who believes in the free grace gospel will be labeled as a heretic and will be exterminated. However, they will not succeed since our Lord will take us out just in time. Then the antichrist would deceive them by telling them that he has already taken care of us the heretics by his supernatural power or by the help of his UFO riding friends. Well, I am just speculating.
Dear Jack and John,
Almost all of those prominent Christian entities are supporting the global warming lie. Is such an example of the one world government and one world religion partnership?
“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, [saying], Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” Psalm 2:1-3
Great point and excellent comparison, John! And yet both battles rage on and on and on…
Thanks, Jack. It’s all good.
T.D. Jakes…now that’s funny!
I agree with you there on the debate being settled in Galatians. However, I’ve met Lordship supporters that can’t comprehend how that applies to them. To them they do not teach works salvation because what we call works they attribute to a work of grace on God’s part. Thus the subtlety of their error.
You are right on with what you said: “They want to keep hammering away on the obvious rebels, like Rick Warren and other contemplative ecumenicals. It makes them look good and feel better.”
I haven’t found too many who want to truly get into debates about the problems with their LS positions. They would much rather talk about people like Rob Bell and T. D. Jakes.
Your request is completed – I hope I got it right.. if not let me know..
Great comparison.. the hysterics and lies of LS and Gorebull warming. 😎
In Christ eternally, Jack
Pearl, this debate was settled – in Galatians.
Hearing LS folks say a debate about LS is settled is like hearing global warming alarmists say “the science is in.”
Eddy, you asked,
Could it be because there is a blanket of ignorance concerning the very basic terms (“repentance” wrongly defined as turning from sin to be saved and “disciple” being used synonomously with “believer”) used in just about every gospel presentation? If people have a problem with Yun, it’s most likely because of his ecumenical alliances and mysticism. This is why so many of us have struggled for years over our salvation, by hearing contradictory messages. Looking back, my security/insecurity depended on who I was listening to, but I never realized that the gospel message itself was tainted. I learned all of that here, and through the many links provided to other sound ministries like Bing and Shea.
I have read a few debates which took place on LS grounds where the LSers have said that this debate is old hat and that it’s over (as if the getting the gospel right were a “faddish” topic). They want to keep hammering away on the obvious rebels, like Rick Warren and other contemplative ecumenicals. It makes them look good and feel better.
(Oh, and Jack: I just recognized an omission in yesterday’s comment which makes it unclear: could you insert “otherwise” after others in the phrase
…as hard as they may try to convince themselves and others…. Thanks!
Brother Yun, is coming to Florida and California in April to promote the Back To Jerusalem Project. All of his upcoming talks are listed under the EVENTS tap on the home page of the Back to Jerusalem site.
Google: “Back to Jerusalem Movement”
Here is Paul Hathaway’s book Back To Jerusalem.
Google: “scribd 68437089”
I keep on hearing there are those great revivals in the underground churches in China. I am questioning how many people belonging to those underground churches in China are genuine born again Christians. Although there are those Chinese leaders who have spoken out against Brother Yun, I am still struggling to find even one of them who criticizes Brother Yun on his promoting the Lordship Salvation gospel. The Back to Jerusalem project has a facebook account. There are several interesting pictures. One of the pictures is showing a whole row of Rick Warren’s book the Purpose Driven Life provided by Ministries without Borders, while another picture is showing someone holding Joyce Meyer’s book. According to the information posted with that photo, Joyce Meyer Ministries has provided them fifty thousand books in 2010. There is also a picture showing Brother Yun with George Bush and Laura Bush. Here is their Facebook site.
Google: “Facebook Back to Jerusalem”
They are certainly preaching another gospel, and they are also believing in supernatural manifestations, signs and wonders kinds of things.
All new to me, Eddy! Great research, and I hope any one who googles Yun will learn from your findings that he is but one more drop in the LS bucket.
Got it Eddy.
Dear Bruce and Jack,
It turns out that I got the year wrong on the date of Brother Yun’s appearance at Rick Warren’s Church. Please change the date from “On August 27, 2007” to “On August 27, 2006” in my post.
Thanks In advance.
Thanks for all of your research on Brother Yun. I have also read that at least three highly respected Christian leaders in China have spoken out vociferously against the teachings of Brother Yun. And the story of Yun’s alleged 74-day fast without food OR WATER should speak volumes about his lack of credibility.
I thought you were a different Jimmy. Welcome back.
Thanks for your comment. I could not agree with you more. Your commentary is spot on. The self-righteous nowadays are not much different than the religious elites when Christ was on this earth. I hope God will use your post to open the eyes of the self-righteous. They have to understand the seriousness of their predicament if they still insist on using their own righteousness to please God.
Dear Bruce and Pearl,
In regarding to Brother Yun, I never heard of him till Bruce mentioned him on his post. Brother Yun translated to Chinese is 雲弟兄 or 云弟兄. His real Chinese name is 劉振營 or 刘振营. The reason I put his Chinese title and his Chinese name here is to allow the Chinese search engines to index this blog. The information I would be able to find about this man is pretty intriguing. Brother Yun is closely associated with Asia Harvest, an inter-denominational Christian ministry focusing on preaching the Lordship Salvation gospel to China and other countries in Asia. Paul Hattaway, who is the head of Asia Harvest, is the co-author of Brother Yun’s two books, The Heavenly Man, and Living Water. The Heavenly Man was awarded the “Christian Book of the Year” in 2003. On amazon, this book has 227 customer ratings with the average rating of 5 stars. Due to some people questioning Brother Yun’s credibility, Paul Hattaway posted an open letter on his Asian Harvest ministry to defend Brother Yun and the book Hattaway co-authored The Heavenly Man.
Google: “An Open letter Regarding ‘The Heavenly Man'”
On August 27, 2006, Rick Warren introduced Brother Yun and his book The Heavenly Men to his church, and even gave the stage to Brother Yun for his testimony.
Google: “Testimony by Brother Yun youtube”
As you would be able to see from the following excerpt of his book Living Water: Repentance, he is preaching the grace plus works gospel.
Google: “Brother Yun’s Book: Living Water: Repentance”
John H. Armstrong, an ecumenical mystical Christian author and founder of ACT 3, wrote three articles on his web site promoting and defending Brother Yun:
Google: “John H Armstrong : Brother Yun’s Weekend in Chicago”
Google: “John H Armstrong : Brother Yun and the Slander of Christians”
Google: “John H Armstrong : Brother Yun: Do Not Let Good Be Spoken of As Evil”
John H. Armstrong seems to be well versed in the WCC’s upcoming new missional agenda as indicated in his article:
Google: “John H Armstrong : A New Understanding of Mission and Evangelism”
In order to know what WCC is going to promote, the video mentioned in that article is also worth watching,
Google: “New WCC video on world mission and evangelism”
Last year, Armstrong was invited to an ecumenical meeting at the Vatican. Here is his own testimony in a video available on his ACT 3 hope page:
Google: “Act 3 online”
After seeing people from different backgrounds endorsing each other, it is obvious to me that Francis Chan, Brother Yun, Rick Warren, Paul Hattaway, Mother Theresa, Billy Graham, Nicky Gumbel, World Council of Churches, Vatican, Lausanne Movement, World Vision, Tony Blair, Al Gore, and the UN are under the same agenda. Their intention of preparing the world for the upcoming one world religion and one world government is out in the open for the whole world to see.
Good to hear from you.. Yep the oh-so simple solution, as you say is “… the only healing, not soothing, of the conscience is in the precious blood of Christ applied by simple faith.”
But that violates the complexity and urgency of false teacher’s and unsaved society’s need to have folks see, praise and shower them with $$$s for “doing good.”
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
You hit the nail right slam on its head with that last statement! And the only healing, not soothing, of the conscience is in the precious blood of Christ applied by simple faith. (Hebrews 10:1-18) God Bless you brother.
You are so right.. the ecumenicism and “charity” of Catholics is inbred and the same mechanism is being adopted by every shade of LS folks. Their mantra, colloquialized, “If you ain’t doin’ enuff according to whut I say — you ain’t gonna make it to heaven.” Junk religion!
Teresa (she was not MY mother) was enigmatic of the corruption of religion and society. Therefore, bleeding heart society buys into it lock, stock and barrel to sooth their collective conscience
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
It really is true, isn’t it, that LS straight across the religious spectrum from Calvinism to Arminianism (as hard as they may try to convince themselves and others otherwise by their barrage of anti-catholic headlines), inevitably reveal affiliated personalities hiding beneath the skirt of the Roman harlot!
And if Chan and Claiborne are satisfied with Theresa’s so-called acts of kindness, then I fear their ideas of helping the poor. Years ago, I learned how she merely provided cots for the poor souls to die on, withholding basic medical care and pain relief, soothing them with her words that their pain was God kissing them, purifying them. Being ecumenical, there was also no need to convert them, only to help them become “better Hindus”. Meanwhile, donations flooded her ministry and her organization got filthy rich. But, as you can see, the desperate souls for whom the $$ was intended never benefited.
Additionally (and regrettably), I once began to read that book about Brother Yun and tossed it out a few chapters in for the sheer ridiculousness of it.
Great to hear from you! Thanks for commenting and come back often.
Sorry about the trouble getting in. We’ve been flooded lately with spam so we had to install some filters. I think that your comments will go through o.k. now.
Ok, I guess I must be logged in to Word Press now in order to comment.
Bruce, Eddy, John:
Thank you for your help on the water baptism issue of another thread.
You stated, “Why so many people are following him (Chan) is beyond my comprehension.”
I think the religious masses follow people like Chan for at least a few reasons:
1. His message appeals to the pride of man.
2. The religious masses lack a biblical understanding of the Gospel of grace.
3. Our pulpits are filled with folks who reinforce this ignorance.
Therefore, the religious masses are left with what they started with–the futility of establishing their own righteousness:
“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” (Rom 10:1-4)
The late Dr. Cutis Hutson said it well, “If we could reform and establish our own righteousness, that would not be sufficient. Says Isaiah 64:6 regarding our righteousnesses, “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags….” The best we can do is like filthy rags in the sight of a holy God. The only righteousness God accepts is His own, which is imputed to us the moment we trust Christ as Saviour. What a blessed promise is Romans 4:5, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
GOOD COMMENTS EVERYONE!
I don’t know what Francis Chan thinks about the late Mother Theresa; however, Chan features, in his book “Crazy Love,” a 1 1/2 page praise of extreme radical monastic Shane Claiborne (pp.160-161). Claiborne is said to have studied under Mother Theresa. Claiborne has made many outrageous pronouncements such as likening America to Nazi Germany.
Francis Chan also features in the same section of “Crazy Love” (p. 159) a segment on someone named “Brother Yun,” a Chinese Christian who makes the preposterous claim to have fasted in prison without food OR WATER for 74 days!! Wow, that’s nearly twice as long as Jesus Christ himself went without food, and he did not go without water!
I say rejecting salvation leads to misinterpretation. A misrepresentation of God’s Word can cause one to reject grace. Both are true. In the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve believed a deception and acted in sin.
I think that unbelievers have always had some form of the truth but have twisted things throughout the years and continue to twist things to their own liking. The bigger problem comes in when believers themselves start to fall for it.
In the case of Chan, his theology is clearly a product of generations of flawed theology. The social gospel or lordship salvation isn’t new but they are still as deceptive as ever. I’m glad that you were able to escape the cycle of deception.
Thankfully there is a God in heaven who has made salvation available to all, rich or poor. Not that helping people isn’t important at times but the salvation of souls is the real need. I can see why a church needs a good reputation in the community but too many waste time, energy, and money on trying to help in ways that won’t last.
Thanks for the article. If I follow Francis Chan’s theology, it looks like to me one had better be a less than two dollars a day professing Christian than a more than two dollars a day born again Christian. Since the more than two dollars a day born again Christian may be in danger of hell fire. If such theology is not promoting another gospel, I don’t know what it is! Although Francis Chan calls himself Christian, he is no different than those who believe in other religions. All of them believe in the works-based gospel. Why so many people are following him is beyond my comprehension. I am wondering what is his definition of Christian. It seems to me that all those poor souls under the bondage of the Roman Catholic Church living in those poor countries such as Cuba and Africa, or those Coptic Christians living in Egypt, are all genuine Christians according to his flawed theology. Very ecumenical to me if that is indeed the case. I would like to know his opinion on Mother Theresa. Would he agree that Mother Theresa was saved? However, I think he will avoid answering such and similar controversial questions in order to preserve his sheep skin. I hope he will eventually see the light and believe in the free grace gospel.
“But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in [yourselves], neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.” Matthew 23:13
What a disturbing and disastrous quote from Chan.. and even more amazing that his followers will likely see him as a hero, teaching the “truth.” The “social gospel” folks will flock to and support him in droves. And remember the root of this problem is not always easily discernible… But….
We can observe he obviously does not believe God’s word in context, he has not studied to show himself approved a workman, he has violated all tenets of true Biblical hermeneutics… etc, etc.
AND don’t forget — he is a protege and product of John MacArthur and his Master’s Seminary. (JMac, the present day godfather of Lordship Probation teaching). Sadly, he will have lots of support in mainline churches.
Error breeds more error…Nuff said!!!
One wonders how those supporters of Chan who have commented on our website truly feel about him now.
Great comments folks..
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Thank you for sharing the Truth. I agree with you completely.
It seems to me that Mr. Chan has missed the entire point of Jesus’ preaching in the texts he cites. Certainly we see that no amount of feeding the poor could ever save our souls from sin, since sinners can’t save themselves. Bro. John made an excellent point about the false commitment salvation “gospel” making him hungry for the genuine Gospel, as the preaching of Law is designed to make the lost soul hungry for grace, as in Romans 3:19-20, and Galatians 3:24. Jesus often preached Law so as to show us our sin. I agree that we should desire to help the poor, but as an expression of our love for Christ and them, not from fear we’ll be condemned if we don’t. He talks about taking Jesus out of the picture, and that is just what he has done, why do we need a Savior if our helping the poor will do the job? Then Jesus died needlessly, which of course is absolutely false. I am more and more thankful for His loving sacrifice for me every day, as I know you all here are as well. God Bless you all.
So, which comes first? Does the rejection of God’s offer of Grace cause one to misinterpret God’s word, or does a misinterpretation of God’s word cause one to reject Grace?
In my case, after a lifetime of hearing the false LS gospel and wondering whether I could ever do the things that I needed to do to be a Christian, the Gospel came as incredibly good news!
Nice to hear from you!
You may be right about Chan’s motivations for the theology that he is currently endorsing and heralding. I do not know. This latest move, on his part, broadens out his approach and appeal to many, planting him squarely into the camp of the Social Welfare False-Gospel crowd, alongside Rick Warren (author of “The Purpose-Driven Life”), David Platt (author of “Radical”), Richard Stearns (author of “The Hole in Our Gospel”), et. al.
By the way, I’m in no way against helping the poor for the right motivations, but as Charles Ryrie once said, “Helping the poor and feeding the poor is a good thing, BUT, it’s NOT the gospel!”
You are so right about Francis Chan’s lacking a proper dispensational framework for proper exegesis of Scripture. In his best-selling book, “Crazy Love,” he frequently misquotes, takes out of context, or misinterprets seemingly straightforward Bible texts, and, not-so-curiously, his misinterpretations always seem to fit his preconceived extreme LS theological framework. I detailed many of Chan’s wrongful Bible interpretations in the book review “Balanced Love” (it may be downloaded at Free Grace Alliance Articles): http://www.freegracealliance.com/pdf/BookReview%20ofCrazyLove.pdf
Bruce, if one reads the judgment depicted in 1 Corninthians 3 and the judgment depicted in Matthew 25:31-46 they are clearly separate events. If one thinks that the judgment depicted in Matthew 25 is the judgment of church age believers, he would have a difficult time reconciling this with salvation by Grace, through faith.
Chan’s problem, along with not believing the Gospel, is that he does not have an appropriate dispensational framework for Biblical discernment.
The question for Mr. Chan is –does he mean we should personally help the poor, or that we should petition the government to take the money of those we consider “rich” to help the poor? I suspect it’s the latter rather than the former.
Which just goes to show that he’s not really interested in helping the poor so much as he’s interested in helping himself feel better on the backs of others.
Very sad indeed.
Francis Chan’s latest pronouncement links him with the social welfare “gospels” of popular authors David Platt and Richard Stearns.