We all seek approval and validation. And it is a stark warning to each of us. Each of us is torn by a myriad of emotions. And to us, many of these emotions are invisible and unseen by us . . . because we are in the middle of them. They can taint our view of reality. Whether it is the pain of recognizing that someone we loved is probably in Hell, or the need for validation, or any other emotional motive, Satan stands ready to seduce each of us from the purity of the gospel, one inch at a time.
Ron Shea wrote the above words in reference to the cross-less gospel movement of the late Zane Hodges, Robert Wilkin, and the Grace Evangelical Society.
But his warnings extended to other areas as well:
This Crossless Gospel is not the only heresy we will see in our lifetime. Throughout our lives, each of us will be targeted by the enemy. And he will seek to sift each of us like wheat in a moment when we are weak. A moment when we deeply need an income to support our family, and a church or teaching job comes available, but at a cost. A moment when our dignity as a theologian has been abased, and we covet the validation of another. A moment when we have been rejected, and covet the love and acceptance of someone we can see and hear and touch.
Stand strong my brethren. The battle is not behind us. It is in front of each of us. And we do not know where the ambush for us has been set.
I believe that one of the ongoing assaults on the true universal church is people and ministries posing as defenders of grace, but who in reality are not clear on the gospel.
Their tactics are the same as the tactics of anyone who wants to gain acceptance within a group. They press the flesh. They find common ground. They attend the same churches and conferences that we attend. They are all around “stand up” kind of guys. We like them.
In other words, they come among us secretly.
2 Peter 2:1: But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
When warning signs come about the doctrines they teach, we overlook them. After all, they’ve been coming to Christian gatherings for years. They say they are free grace (who doesn’t). They have keen insight into things with which we are fascinated. They use the same language that we use. They believe in the premillennial rapture. They are experts in Biblical prophecy. They believe everything we do – except for the gospel.
When Christian brothers point out their heretical assaults on the gospel, we overlook them. We tell the brothers that they are mean-spirited. We choose sides with purveyors of heretical doctrine over the truth of the gospel. We choose to overlook their errors.
And so continues the Ecumenical Grace movement.
But we who know and proclaim the Truth of the Gospel of God’s Grace MUST stand steady and faithful to that Truth. We must not waver but expose the lie when it rears its ugly head.
1 Corinthians 2:5: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Cody Liu, yes, that’s it in a nutshell.
Is the crossless gospel basically just preaching all you have to be saved is to believe in Jesus Christ’s name and not believe or have any knowledge of his atoning sacrifice, our sin and need for a saviour, his identity/deity, etc?
Chas, it looks like the Old Clear Gospel site is up and running again.
I guess it has to do with the fact that he is a KJV defender. They push our buttons. But nothings destroys the gospel foundations like LS.
Jason65, we’re sure used to that, being called a Calvinist, or an Arminian or a greasy gracer, etc. Since I was a little girl people wanted to know what ‘kind’ of a Christian I was.
John WI, I wish I had been able to attend the conference, but disappointed that they missed some things that they should screen ahead of time. I don’t understand teaching about the reformation in a Grace conference unless you are teaching the historical facts of it’s purpose (to reform the Roman Catholic church) and how it’s teachings are still inline with some of the Calvinists, such as faith and repentance being the gifts of God.
Sorry to hear that they allowed this pastor to attend, and hopefully they can figure out why and keep it from happening again.
chas, I think Ron had someone helping him transition the content from the old site to the new, but I’m not sure where they are in that process.
Speaking of Ron Shea, does anyone here know what’s going on at his website? The “new” site has very few articles, and the “old” site hasn’t been working for a few weeks now. Articles that I’d saved links to now go to gibberish. I hope he can get his site back up soon.
John WI, I notice that none of the verses given say anything about proper fruits of repentance. I’ve seen this done with legalists, they will throw out some verses that if you look at those verses they will not support their statement. This statement is just another subtle form of the LS brand of salvation Their problem is that they cannot see someone being eternally secure by simply believing the gospel-that Christ did it all for us. They insist that a person must do his part to seal the deal for his salvation through what they call repentance and perseverance. Thanks John WI for exposing this statement of theirs.
JohnWI, I agree that it is subtle. It is also confusing.
JohnWI, that’s why we did this article. The opponents of grace often aren’t even aware that they are playing for the wrong team.
Jasonc65, It was very nice to meet you at the Grace Conference. It is so nice to meet people, in person, that are on this blog, because I feel like I already know you before I see you face to face, because we are one in the faith.
I was able to find that Pastor David Brown, that was at the conference, that you were talking about and that you had concerns about.
I see that the workshop he taught was on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, red flag #1. Then I went to his church website, to find out there doctrinal statements. It all looked pretty good, until I came across this, which is so subtle, that I had to read it a couple of time to see the error: IX. GRACE IN THE NEW BIRTH
“We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the New Birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about by our sovereign God in a manner above our comprehension, solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in Connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, faith and newness. John 3:3; 2 Cor. 5:17; I John 5:1; John 3:6-7; Acts 16:30-33; 2 Pet. 1:4; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:1 2 Cor. 5:19; Col.2:13; John 3:8”. I don’t see anything in here about one hearing the gospel and believing. I see they are espousing election and then regeneration before one believes. Red flag #2.
One of the recommended links on their website, is the Spurgeon Archive, red flag #3.
They are promoting the Geneva Bible, red flag #4.
I don’t know how this Pastor was able to be allowed into this conference, but I am beginning to wonder if it has something to do with Phil Stringer?
I recently had the experience of being labeled KJV Only on a free grace forum on Facebook. I did not bring up the KJV. I simply insisted on defending the content of the gospel. Larry Newman was making it very complicated with a two tiered heaven similar to the Mormons and denying the faith rest in Hebrews 4. He denied being a Wilkinite but sounded like one. Sometimes, defending the gospel gets you labeled other things.
John 6:46, agree that there can’t be any unity with people preaching different gospels.
And yes, defending the gospel against its endless assaults does result in being labeled divisive.
The ecumenical grace movement is comes in many different forms. The most common one I’ve seen is people allowing false doctrine in the name of “love” and “unity.” The “three essentials” creed, as taught by the church of the eternally secure, is nothing more than a repackaged form of worldly love and unity at the cost of truth. Because what ends up happening is you have all sorts of wicked doctrines of devils being taught and nobody says anything. From annihilationism, to modalism, from women claiming to be elders, to the false inclusionism gospel (the teaching that everybody is already saved and has eternal life, they just have to believe it), from faith is a gift, to a lost man has to seek God, not believe on Jesus, everything gets a free pass. And those who refuse to submit to their “three essentials, unity at all costs” will be labeled divisive, intolerant, hateful, nitpicker, dogmatist, and you name it.
Jason, thanks for the warning.
Some people in our community are checking out Church of the Eternally Secure (house2housechurch dot com). It was hyped a month ago by Brother Luke (sincitypreacher) and promoted by Renee Roland. Luke and Renee have defended GES in the past. The Statement of Faith qualified belief with “wholeheartedly” several times and intimated that it is possible to lose salvation by ceasing belief. Their SOF was extremely dismissive of secondary issues as unimportant. Luke has had enough issues in the past to warrant marking and avoiding. Many in that bunch are also followers of jacksmack77, a youtube railer. It seems that the flock needs to be warned. This virtual assembly will not make you feel eternally secure. I am sad that Renee has fallen into this trap.
“To me it’s strange any church, blog, author, prophecy site, anything that sets itself up as a Christian anything, does not first have an easily available gospel and statement of faith.”
Holly, I really like how you think because I ask the same question. Every year or so I pay visits to the ministry websites of people I was with in college to see if they’ve added ANY clear link to the Gospel. Nope. The best I could do this morning was, after having to dig about four pages deep on a blog linked from the main website, then into a PDF lesson, I found what my former pastor is preaching as the gospel. And here I am someone who was going out of my way to find it. Would a sin-convicted unbeliever go through that much trouble on any webpage? Probably not.
A few years ago I left a comment (twice, I think) asking them why there was no Gospel posted on their various websites. I said it couldn’t possibly be an oversight, I know them too well for that. So why not? I received no answer.
Hi 2believeis2trust, it is obvious that the church that you attend teaches false doctrine. If you have ever believed in Jesus finished work on the cross with His suffering, shed blood, death, and resurrection, then you are eternally saved. You cannot lose your salvation even if you wanted to.
That’s the nature of eternal life – John 10:28-29, Romans 8:38-39, 2 Timothy 2:13.
You should read the account of the Corinthian Christians of the apostle Paul’s time who were living in a deplorable state, but Paul affirmed the fact that they were saved by addressing them as “sanctified in Christ Jesus” and “saints” in 1 Cor 1:2.
Paul addresses them as “brethren” in 1 Cor 2:1, as “brethren” and “carnal’ “babes in Christ” in 1 Cor 3:1, as “brethren” in 1 Cor 4:6, as “brethren” in 1 Cor 10:1, as “brethren” in 1 Cor 11:2, as “brethren” in 1 Cor 12:1, as “brethren” in 1 Cor 14:20, as “brethren” in 1 Cor 15:1, as “brethren” in 1 Cor 15:58. (KJV)
The above list in 1 Corinthians where Paul repeatedly addressed the Corinthian Christians as “brethren” is overwhelming evidence that these are saved people possessing eternal life. Paul would not have addressed them as “brethren” if they were not saved.
Self-righteous Calvinists/Lordship Salvationists would of course deliberately deny the existence of carnal Christians and would deliberately write off carnal Christians as “unsaved” despite overwhelming evidence from Scripture.
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 indicates that Christian’s lives and works here on earth will be evaluated at the Judgment Seat of Christ. If the Christian’s works don’t stand up to the fiery test, then the Christian will suffer a loss of eternal reward that he/she otherwise could have earned, but their eternal salvation remains intact. You need to read 1 Corinthians 3:15 and what it says.
The lives the Corinthians were living were deplorable:
1 Corinthians 3:3 – there was envying, strife, and divisions among the Christians.
1 Corinthians 5:1-5 – a Christian man was having sex with his stepmother and consequently Paul pronounced judgment on this man in 1 Corinthians 5:5 where Paul says, “hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.
In 2 Corinthians 2:5-8 we read that this man was chastened and that God had mercy on him and did not terminate his physical life. Paul instructs the church to forgive and comfort him so that he wont be overcome by excessive sorrow and to reaffirm their love and concern for him.
1 Corinthians 4:18 – there was arrogance among the Corinthian Christians.
1 Corinthians 6:7-8 – there were Christians taking other Christians to court and there was cheating among them.
1 Corinthians 7:2 – there was fornication among the Christians.
1 Corinthians 11:21 – there were Christians hogging and gorging themselves with food, and there was drunkenness at the Lord’s Supper.
Grace is NOT a license to sin – Romans 6:1, Romans 6:14-15, Galatians 5:13. Christians who are saved and use grace as a license to sin will inevitably face God’s wrath and punishment, the worst being physical death – 1 John 5:16-17, but loss of salvation is NEVER one of the consequences.
Hope this helps. God bless!
Hello, everyone. Its been quite some time since I’ve commented here or spoken to you all. I apologize for that.
I went to John in an email for help cause, truth be told, I was embarassed to come to my brothers and sisters with my weaknesses but, alas, I have no other options besides prayer and seeking strength and discernment from our Father. So….here goes…
I dont know why but I’ve been having a lot of doubts as of lately. Not so much doubts as second guessing? Its hard to actually explain really. Being in the church of chrisst for the little bit I was I sometimes hear their “doctrine” in my head. How I would loose salvation if I fell into sin after sin after sin, which I did. Then I get terrified with thoughts God no longer loves me and I’ll be in hell, etc. I dont know why and it comes from no where really. Most times Im happy and even smile up towards the sky just thinking of whtlat He uas done for me.
I could use some encouragement. Thank you all.
Ecumenism is disobedience to God’s Word no matter their ‘higher motives’. It causes difficulty for believer’s walk, understanding of Scripture, and even can render the gospel they share ineffective. Praying those who wink at ecumenism will see the harm it causes believers and non-believers alike…
I know someone right now, who started attending a church, who is teaching the outer darkness destination for unfaithful believers (Wilkins, Hodges and forget the name of the one who really developed it). She found out upon asking the pastor, he also defended their crossless gospel. I guess they don’t like that term, but isn’t the gospel spelled out clearly in 1 Cor 15?
I know personally, that at one time GES was a help to me, many years ago, when I was first coming out of the misery that commitment salvation had wrought in me. Yet, after awhile GES began to move, imperceptibly to me at first, but as the crossless doctrine began to take its inner toll on me, I began to have struggles that I’d never had before. Thankfully once again, the Lord used brothers and sisters like you all and especially bro. Jack, to help me get back to the Biblical Gospel of Christ’s death and resurrection for me that had saved me eternally. So, I know from hard experience that GES though some of their teaching is helpful, the majority of it as for the last few years has been unclear at best.
These types of attacks, based not on doctrine, but on the alleged unamed “personal problems” of another believer, show the person’s colors pretty quickly.
The unbiblical manner in which this anonymous person decided to attack another in a vague manner, as to cause gossip and vain imaginations about another person, is done in the dark, but is seen by the Lord (and of course by their ip-address).
Not seeing these types of drive by shootings as a method of judging righteously in God’s Word. Praying if this person knows the Lord, conviction of the Holy Spirit will be upon them, and chastisement from the Lord until they see how this is not His way.
Fryingpan, I agree. Who doesn’t have “personal problems” – at least according to someone else.
I can’t believe someone would get on here and trash a fellow believer by mentioning they have “personal problems.”
And some wonder why I prefer a pseudonym and remain anonymous here.
Should anyone be surprised, based on how well so many Christians treat one another?
we welcome each reader and commenter to form his/her own opinion as to the soundness, or lack thereof, of GES or any other ministry.
We do not recommend GES, based on our own research, and are suspending further discussion of this topic.
Holly and FreeGracer,
I highly encourage you both to read the critique of Thomas Stegall’s book, “The Gospel of the Christ” by Robert Wilkin. I read the article and Dr. Wilkin cites Stegall (gives examples) making statements in support of Lordship Salvationists such as D.A. Carson, and it appears that Stegall leans heavily on Calvinist theologians to support his positions and sides with Lordship Salvationists.
Stegall was a former GES member and it appears that he has animosity towards GES. Again, I recommend you both to read the article. The article is entitled, “A Review of Thomas Stegall’s The Gospel of The Christ” by Robert Wiikin – (Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Spring 2010 pages 3-29.)
I don’t understand Wilkins. He believes that one can have eternal life, and not believe in either Christ’s death or resurrection. (Yes I have verified this). He argues regarding John’s gospel that ‘gospel is never used’, but clearly the cross, His death and resurrection are taught in a book that the purpose statement clearly tells us why it was written, so we would know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that in believing we will have life in His name.
John included it in his gospel, and Jesus did too,
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” John 11:25-27
But since Bob Wilkins does not believe any of those are necessary, including the believe that He is the Christ, the Son of God who is to come into the world, what Jesus is it exactly that he is believing on?
FreeGracer, might be good when you are making accusations against an elder, that you come out into the light, may I ask your real name? If you want to make a claim about Stegall’s articles, may I have a couple examples of the places you are suggesting he ‘deliberately’ did this? (can you know his motives?) Where is it quickly obvious that Stegall was “far from honest in his approach”? These are broad accusations with not one citation.
On #3) For two decades you given out Ron Shea’s gospel booklet, so you judge the doctrine to be good, but determine to besmirch the man’s ‘personal problems’? I imagine we all have ‘personal problems’ including yourself, unless you have already attained, so how did you find that bit of gossip helpful?
GES has a large amount of articles and I have gone to it for many years, some were good, some compromised, and some didn’t make sense. I think you know very well that some at GES are indeed crossless, and the way that you throw up a smoke screen, is to come out and judge other’s motives and personal problems. Think on that, is that we are to judge? How to judge? Judge the doctrine, and leave out the personal smears with no substantiation. Shame on you.
In response to your comment, “Some clarifications are in order: 1) There is no Bob Wilkin, Sr. Bob Wilkin’s father was an unsaved man. Bob has no children; there is no Bob Wilkin, Sr, or Jr.”
I have Robert Wilkin’s book, “Confident in Christ” and on the page just before the table of contents, Dr. Wilkin mentions that his book is dedicated to his wife, Sharon, and to his parents, Bob and Jean Wilkin. It would be correct to conclude that Dr. Wilkin’s dad is Bob Wilkin Sr.
To your point #1, I may have been given some false info about Bob Wilkin. I regret that I did not keep my source to verify. If you are correct that Bob Wilkin has no Jr, then I apologize. We strive to be accurate and if we are found lacking, we have no compunction about correcting the record. Finding a biography of Wilkin is virtually impossible so we must take your word for it.
Is Bob still alive and actively publishing or has he passed from this earth and GES is still presenting his works as if he wrote them yesterday?
We will take Tom Stegall’s well documented analysis over his critics as you suggested we should do in another matter. It seems you may have an axe to grind yourself.
So — you found a tract by GES that has, “Wait fir it, the CROSS.” You should know that one small tract does not define a group’s doctrine or their Statement of Faith. How do we know the contents of this one tract you define as good when you are an apologist for GES?
Good try but it doesn’t fly.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
I remember when I use to believe what GES preached,I read a review of Charles Ryries book So Great Salvation.Here is a bit of what they said.GES said
“The chapter on Christian fruit-bearing is also very helpful. While advocating that all Christians will bear fruit, Ryrie goes on to argue that a weakness of the Lordship argument is the inevitable subjectivity of “fruit inspectors” in determining what is acceptable evidence of genuine salvation. He then gives a biblical study to show that fruit is not always obvious and discernible (for example, one’s inner character, praise to God, or giving). Ryrie demonstrates that the subjectivity of the Lordship argument is one of its glaring weaknesses.”
Whereas the Bible says that not all Christians bear fruit.2 Peter 5-8
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Also I can’t find it on their site now,but I remember them saying that it was bizarre for a Christian not to bear fruit at some point.
Freegracer, while the official position of GES may have changed, the late Zane Hodges wrote an article on behalf of GES entitled “We Believe In: Assurance of Salvation”. That article is still featured on the GES website.
While Hodges does not say that every believer will produce good works, he comes pretty close:
“Of course, there is every reason to believe that there will be good works in the life of each believer in Christ. The idea that one may believe in Him and live for years totally unaffected by the amazing miracle of regeneration, or by the instruction and/or discipline of God his Heavenly Father, is a fantastic notion – even bizarre. We reject it categorically.”
Freegracer, welcome and thanks for your comment.
I had concluded that Bob Wilkin and the late Zane Hodges were in error regarding the Crossless gospel well before I had ever heard of Tom Stegall or Ron Shea.
Simply read the article “The Hydra’s New Head: Theological Legalism” by Hodges as a primer.
In addition to this error, Hodges taught (and Wilkin teaches) that “repentance” ALWAYS means turning from sin.
Let me add quickly that GES DOES NOT teach that a believer will necessarily produce good works. To say that means that one has not familiarized himself with what GES teaches. We believers must report what others say accurately. John Hart of Moody Bible Institute has an article on the GES web site about the subject that progressive sanctification is NOT guaranteed for the believer.
Very late to the party, and I apologize for that. I enjoy this site when I have time and have gleaned much good from it.
Some clarifications are in order: 1) There is no Bob Wilkin, Sr. Bob Wilkin’s father was an unsaved man. Bob has no children; there is no Bob Wilkin, Sr, or Jr.
2) If you read Tom Stegall’s articles, it’s only fair that you look up the GES articles he cites. I read Stegall’s articles years ago when they first came out. I must admit I was outraged to think that GES was saying the things Stegall was quoting. However, years of secular scholarship have taught me to verify, verify, verify. So I did. To my amazement, I discovered that Stegall had deliberately quoted GES in such a way to make them look like wackadoos. As I read the entire GES articles Stegall cited, I found myself in agreement with GES. Context is important, friends. In fact, it’s everything in written communication. It quickly became obvious that Tom Stegall was far from honest in his approach.
3) For almost two decades I have given out many copies of Ron Shea’s Gospel booklet. That said, Ron has many personal problems which tend to color his interactions with other people, including believers. Always remember that there are two sides (at least) to every story.
4) GES is not crossless. I often give out a small Gospel booklet published by GES and co-written by Zane Hodges. It is filled with. . .wait for it . . the CROSS. I like the booklet; b/c it is short, to the point and accurate. I would caution you not to define GES, or any organization, by its critics. Do your own homework and don’t rely on someone else who has an axe to grind.
Thanks William. I think I have seen that critique of Stegall’s book.
Holly and John,
I read somewhere online and don’t remember where, but It stated that Tom Stegall was a former member of GES. Robert Wilkin did a critique of Tom Stegall’s book, “The Gospel of the Christ” back in 2010. When I read the critique, there appears to be animosity between Tom Stegall and certain members of GES.
You know that’s the problem with ‘groups’, no one wants to rock the boat, and to me, that translates to being willing to compromise the gospel.
Holly and John,
It is my understanding that Bob Wilkin Jr. replaced Bob Sr when Sr. died. Even though last time I read anything new from them, “Robert Wilkin” was listed as the author, not differentiating between father and son. Therefore a casual reader may read what he thinks is from Bob Sr, when it is actually Bob Jr – (Just a tad tricky, I’d say).
So as far as we know, the leadership and the crossless message are marching forward, basically unchanged. I can’t imagine that any Board members or associates would dare to counter the Wilkin-Hodges doctrine.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Holly, I don’t know about everybody at GES.
It is primarily the late Zane Hodges and Robert Wilkin.
Charlie Bing seems on the surface to have separated from GES, yet if you do a search on Bing’s website, most of the Zane Hodges and Robert Wilkin articles will come up.
I don’t know whether Tom Stegall was ever affiliated with them.
John is it all those at GES, because some used to be involved with them and are not now because of it right? Such as Tom Stegall comes to mind. Can you elaborate, is it all those at GES? (And I realize it is compromise for the ones that do not agree with Wilkins or Hodges to stay there), I just don’t actually know much about them, and you sure filled me in. I had NO idea about #2 and #3. Thank you John for your discernment!
Ken, please read “The Tragedy of the Crossless Gospel” by Thomas Stegall.
Basically, the errors of the GES include:
1. That someone need not know about the death and resurrection of Christ in order to be saved.
2. That repentance always means “turn for sin” and is not required for salvation.
3. That good works WILL accompany faith in Christ (although they correctly assert that one cannot look to works for assurance of salvation).
I hope this helps.
please forgive me for not seeing the difference. I don’t understand the disparaging comments about the Grace Evangelical Society. It appears to me that you preach the same Gospel of grace, apart from works, faith alone, eternally secure because of the finished work of the Savior. How are they preaching a crossless gospel? I’d appreciate a kind and detailed response. I’m not a troll. I don’t wish to preach an inaccurate gospel. Thank you.
Thanks for the reminder Jack
We would like to suggest that all of our discerning friends read our Page, “Goals” of ExPreacherMan.
First, just one quick quote from that Page:
For questions please email us through the email facility on the right side-bar.
I just went to the Grace Walk Ministries website and read carefully the Nicene Creed which they embrace and the latter half of the creed says, “We believe in one holy catholic (universal) and apostolic Church.” The word “catholic” in the context that is used here means, “(especially of a person’s tastes) including a wide variety of things; all-embracing.
synonyms: universal, diverse, diversified, wide, broad, broad-based, eclectic, liberal, latitudinarian; This definition was taken from an online dictionary.
Then I saw the word “latitudinarian” which is one the synonyms for “catholic” in this context. “Latitudinarian” means not insisting on strict conformity to a particular doctrine or standard : tolerant; specifically : tolerant of variations in religious opinion or doctrine. This definition is from the Merriam Webster online dictionary.
This could mean that this particular ministry is what the dictionary definition says “tolerant”, tolerant of variations in religious opinion or doctrine”. That definitely raises a RED FLAG in my mind.
William, I would run in the opposite direction as fast as possible from anyone remotely affiliated with “The Shack” and its author.
I was down that rabbit trail of the radical grace doctrine with Steve Mcvey and a list of others I could mention.
for me personally the further you go down that trail eventually you bump into the mystics. they really don’t take a stand on sound doctrine and against universal-ism they go as far as even denying the old nature.
I was all excited at one time over this doctrine then a good friend of mine told me “you know whats missing ? ”
The Gospel. was his answer.
Radical Grace movement is just another system of thought is my conclusion , but God used it in my Life to seek for wisdom and understanding for the Truth of the Gospel and Turn off all the teachers but Him for a time.
The book the “shack” with Paul Young was in a 8 million dollar lawsuit over royalties , google it Just follow the money.
William, I’m not familiar with any of these folks. I looked at the website, and they do not have any clear statement of faith.
They do quote the Nicene Creed.
The Nicene Creed says that Jesus suffered death, was buried, and rose again. It does not say that Christ died for our sins. I do not think it is very useful.
The testimonials for Steve McVey’s new book “Beyond an Angry God” include one from William Paul Young, author of “The Shack”. Also, Mr. Young wrote the forward to McVey’s book.
I would prefer to stick with sources I know to be credible.
Does anyone here at expreacherman.com know who Steve Mcvey is of Grace Walk Ministries? Is this person legit in terms of doctrine? I clicked under “beliefs” and the info given was somewhat vague in my mind. It also under “beliefs” has short video clips of various speakers I never heard of. The speakers in addition to Steve Mcvey, are Malcolm Smith, Bruce Wauchope, Baxter Kruger, and Brad Jersak. Any of these names ring a bell with anyone??
Thank you, thank you! I was so happy to see that you are still praying for me. The battle in my mind can get so hard.William, I ordered the commentary set. I am excited to get started!
Misty, I am still praying for you!
Yes, sin city preacher has definitely erred in regards to the book of James. Another person to avoid is Mitch Bilankov.
1 Timothy 4:1 – Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.
1 Timothy 4:3 – For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
FryingPan9. I know there are some good guys out there on youtube, just don’t know many and you really need to check them out. Mark S. who also comments here is one, he can be found on “Proclaim His Word”.
That Sin City Preacher guy sounds familiar. I will avoid him.
As we used to say in college, thanks for the warning, dude.
I wrote an article on testing the churches, it could sort of apply for websites too. If I might share, it gives some things to look for, most of you here know pretty much all of this, plus you might add some of your own thoughts there.
The Lord is so good to give wisdom to us through His Word…
That thy trust may be in the Lord,
I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.
Have not I written to thee excellent things
in counsels and knowledge,
that I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth;
that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee? Pr 22:19-21
Curtis, great advice!
You said: “That’s why it is so very important to study the Gospel the bible for yourself asking for wisdom and understanding .”
2 Timothy 2:15: Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
James 1:5: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
Thanks for posting all the good advice/admonishment
Your last paragraph illustrates why we who understand and love free grace (no matter how strong we are) should depart from listening to those who err in the Faith. It is easy to be drawn away. Satan is a powerful being.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Curtis and Jan,
I don’t know if you guys noticed that up on YouTube there is a man called, “Sin City Preacher” aka Luke Boozer and Mitch Bilankov both whom claim to be “free grace” believers, but have erred doctrinally in regards to the book of James. They have posted numerous videos claiming that James is a heretic preaching a false gospel in James 2:14-26. They have thrown the book of James out the window and they have labeled anyone who challenges or refutes “their” position as “dogmatists”.
In the past, I tried to correct brother Luke about his doctrinal error (2 Timothy 3:16) on the book of James, but he immediately removed my comment off of YouTube and suspected that I was a “dogmatist”. I was told by other believers that brother Luke was originally sound in his Free Grace doctrine, but then this Mitch Bilankov person came along and led him astray with his own heretical views on the book of James.
Curtis and Jan, I also like to look at how a statement I faith describes how a person becomes indwelt by the Holy Spirit. I have seen at least one SOF that says that salvation is by grace through faith, but then says that the Holy Spirit indwells only those who have accepted Jesus as BOTH Lord and Savior.
That is great advice Curtis.
When going to other sites, my advice is to ALWAYS look what the people of that site define what the plan of salvation and repentance are and compare those to what the bible says. Galatians 1:6-9
Then look whether they see the Lord Jesus Christ as the eternal God incarnate in the flesh. 2 Corinthians 11:3-4
Then look at other signs of corruption, like traditions of men [past/present “Men of God”, church traditions], vain philosophies [Example: KJVOnlyism/Ruckmanism], following the law or rules of men [Examples: forbidding foods/drinks, strict sabbath/sunday keeping], using supernatural experiences to lord over others [Example: Fleshly and/or demonic visions/prophecies/voices of gods/angels/miracles/tongues/healing powers/etc.]. Colossians 2:8-23; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 4:1-4
Also watch out with those who disregard either the teachings of Paul or focus exclusively on his teachings. Romans 16:17-18; 1 Timothy 6:3-5; 2 Timothy 3:16-17
when surfing other websites remember who you our in Christ Jesus. do not allow all the another gospel teacher’s out there to define who you are in Christ Jesus “your Identity”.
when your identity gets defiled worry and anxiety can set in.
That’s why it is so very important to study the Gospel the bible for yourself asking for wisdom and understanding .
Be on guard in that words can build up and tear down and entrap you ,be careful out there. When you listen and read other teachings with a gospel left undefined you can fall under the spirit of the teaching and entrap yourself and not even know it.
Curtis. To me it’s strange any church, blog, author, prophecy site, anything that sets itself up as a Christian anything, does not first have an easily available gospel and statement of faith. Thank the Lord for the red flags, and for the Word that we have to hold fast too. Thank the Lord for the elders who continue to take heed to the doctrine saving both themselves and the hearers damage they could suffer in so many areas. Praise God for those men. It saddens me greatly the compromise going on, and I guess it’s hard to know where to draw the line for some, but when they get money involved, or friendships, compromise can happen. I know I’ve let someone go on far too long because of friendship or not knowing when to stop, wanting to see people to come to Him, also not wanting to see people misled. I believe and hope and pray I’m getting better, more discerning, I am checking things out in advance, to keep my heart with all diligence too. The devil is surely on the prowl…
Eph_4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
1Th_5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
2Ti_1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
Curtis, thanks for your advice and warning. If you can’t tell whether or not something is right, there’s a good chance it’s not.
today on the internet educating myself on something I found an interesting website on discipleship I checked out the doctrinal statement that looked good and stated “By grace through faith” BUT a clear gospel presentation was not found. The gentleman had a picture of himself and family posted and a flag was raised to me of how they were dressed. so I had to dig and dig on website till I found it in the process of discipleship and there it was to be Born again a new life a soul must be “willingness to turn from all evil behavior and plead with God” ect……..
I also noticed “eternal Life” was not mentioned at all so we need to be careful of what is said and also what is not said . I would like to say it again there really is very very few websites and Blog’s out there on the internet like expreacherman .
Glad to hear that your wife is back at home. I will continue to pray for her recovery.
Johninnc, I was happy to hear (after having answered that earlier), Tom emphasize the same things I did, BRETHREN if any of YOU…. And then he explains the differences of salvation/deliverance.
Curtis – you be good to Doris! 🙂 Great analogy on the fearful and unbelieving. Yesterday, I looked up the word and it’s used in rebuking the disciples for not having faith in Him to save them. I like the way you explained it too 🙂
My wife is at home resting and sleeping Now , It was God’s will to release her earlier than expected.
Thank you for praying
Thank you all for praying
good sermon from Pastor Tom , I listened to it this AM . very fitting to the discussion going on here
Preston, one more time with the link to Tom’s sermon on James 5:
Curtis, thanks for the reminder to pray for our troops.
You have provided a very good take on “fearful and unbelieving.”
That quote William posted you could remove the name Jesus and insert any name of ALL the worlds god’s . All of the world’s religious system will eventually unite under Lordship salvation. We see that going on today in Iraq “convert to Islam or die”. We need to remember our Troops in prayer who are fighting against religious atrocities that are going on around the world.
That is what is so heretical and dangerous about Lordship salvation you can surrender to Jesus for Lordship and NEVER Trust Him as Savior.
That is were the “fearful and unbelieving ………” verse comes into play .
They knew Him as Lord (fearfully) but NOT as Savior (unbelieving).
Jesus came to fulfill the Law and He did perfectly so Not acknowledging Him as Savior could interpret as “practicing lawlessness” Trying to make another way to God.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’
Mat 7:23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
remember God is always a perfect gentleman even in correcting us He speaks in a still small voice.
Psa_46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth
Mar_4:39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
eventually the panic feelings you are feeling will get better and turn into very sharp spiritual discernment by reason of use BUT we need to yield to the Holy Spirit for ourselves to get sharper it is a growth process and none of us have arrived we just learn to pick up on good and evil faster and also Not to play with the thoughts in our minds.
Like Jack said
“Misty, anyone who makes you, as an Eternal Blood Bought Child of God, panicky — then you should leave their web site and their memory immediately, never to return.”
by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Heb 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
oooooohhh the disappointment this morning.
last night I saw a link to a sermon on James 5 by Tom. I thought, I am going to listen to that first thing in the morning. Well, there were soooo many comments on this article that under the “recent” comments it was pushed out.
Now what am I going to do sooooo early this morning? uuuughhh the disappointment.
please repost. 🙂
our thoughts and prayers are with you.
to feed off of Holly. I would recommend yankee arnolds 1 john sermon. In it you will see that the “second birth” that is born of God is PERFECT.
1 John 3:9 – Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he CANNOT sin, because he is born of God.
this is why one must be born again. We need this new birth that is INCAPABLE of sinning. Our flesh still sins (it is corruptible) but the second birth is PERFECT? why, because THAT birth is born of God. it is THAT birth that goes to heaven. The new birth CANT commit those sins.
WHEN you believed the gospel that Christ “died for YOUR sins”, He gave you, as a FREE GIFT, a “new” or “second” birth.
Hope that made sense.
My apologies if the latter part of my post caused panic for you. It appears that the theology of Johan Malan is contaminated with false doctrine. I can assure you that Revelation 21:8 is talking about the UNSAVED and only the UNSAVED will be cast into the Lake of Fire.
Misty and William,
Never heard of Johan Malan and I agree with John. AVOID!!!
There are some “Christians” (in name only) who deny that Jesus promises Eternal life upon belief in Him, and others who do not ascribe to Eternal security.
That philosophy would leave the only alternatives:
The oxymoronic “theology” of eternal insecurity or maybe a promise of a perishable “eternal life.” That is NOT from Jesus but from Satan and his push to convince you of his ideology of probation rather than salvation.
Misty, anyone who makes you, as an Eternal Blood Bought Child of God, panicky — then you should leave their web site and their memory immediately, never to return.
Misty, don’t torture yourself with those who would entrap you into their false doctrine. Praying for you.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Praying they will help Doris with icepacks, or pain control, or whatever helps. Praying for quick healing 🙂
Misty, Yankee Arnold has a sermon which might help, remember, once we believe we are not condemned, it is not temporal but permanent, and anyone can be fearful in life, but the word fearful there really is more related to being chastised for not having faith.
There is one thing that will give us our part in heaven, and that is belief on Jesus Christ and Him crucified for US to pay the PENALTY for our sins FOREVER.
Whichever way it is, does not really matter (I will respect the admins choice not to continue the long discussion which already was), just remember it is nothing corruptible that will enter His kingdom, and WE are born of INCORRUPTIBLE seed (forgive the caps, easier than going back to tag with html). Our flesh and blood IS corruptible, so our flesh and blood will NOT enter the kingdom (don’t care whether this speaks to rewards, neither will our flesh and blood enter there), nor whether it’s entering into heaven (neither will our flesh and blood enter there), so either way, the corruptible, our body, will not enter, but our incorruptible (the new man which was born again) WILL enter….
Hope that helps somewhat and stays within the wishes of the administrators here.
Make sure when you listen, that you turn to the verse, and have your notepad ready. Be willing to stop the video and write down what comes to mind to look for in His Word.
Misty, don’t be troubled by what this man says. William rightly observed that his statement includes heretical doctrine.
Why not listen to God, who cannot lie, instead of someone who is in blatant, unabashed error?
Regarding your question about the “fearful and unbelieving” – if someone has trusted Jesus as Savior, he will spend eternity with God in heaven.
Johan (mark and avoid), second work of grace, holiness, which usually means Arminian. Many, many who refute Calvinists are Arminian, so best thing to do is type their name in, and the common searches will come up, whether WOF or Arminian etc. Prove them before you waste time listening.
William, I hope someone answers your question about this gentleman, I would like to know myself. The last part of your post was a trigger for me! After reading what this man said I am feeling panicky. Also, could someone help me with the scripture about the “fearful,and unbelieving shall have their part in the lake of fire?” I am fearful..is this me it is referencing?!!?
William, there is not a consensus on this subject, even among some of the most ardent defenders of free grace. I happen to think that “inherit the Kingdom” means entering the Kingdom, in some contexts. Some of our other regular commenters disagree, and think that “inheriting the Kingdom” always has to do with rewards.
We have a discussion of one of the “inherit the Kingdom” passages (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) under our “Difficult Verses” section.
We had quite a lively debate on this topic back in June, and Jack finally asked that we stop further comment on the subject, because it wasn’t going anywhere.
Will be continuing to pray for Doris. Sorry to hear that she is in a lot of pain right now. When my wife was in the hospital for colitis, she was in so much pain that the nurses gave her morphine twice in one night.
1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you.
William, I had never heard of Johan Malan until now. Based on the above quote, I would not recommend him.
Thank you all
my wife is in a lot of pain tonight and I very rarely ever hear her mention pain. She is a veteran and being pushed to her limits with her room partner. We got her some ear plugs she so hopefully she can get some rest tonight.
Is anyone familiar with professor Johan Malan of Bible Guidance? I recently finished reading an excellent article by him refuting Calvinism and in his article he also gives good background historical information on John Calvin and Augustine of Hippo’s strong influence on John Calvin.
He sounds legitimate, but towards the end of his article he makes the following heretical statement,
” The eternal security that the Lord Jesus offers us is conditional. We need to repent, confess our sins and accept the Lord Jesus as our Saviour to become born again children of God. After our salvation we must live holy, dedicated lives by always remaining faithful to Christ. If we don’t persevere on the way of holiness and true discipleship there is a very real danger of being deceived by Satan and ending up as backsliders.”
Is anyone familiar with the ministry of Johan Malan?
Jack or John,
When God’s Word talks about “inheriting the Kingdom”, is that referring to eternal rewards, and the earned privilege of reigning with Christ? I’ve noticed that some Christians equate “entering the Kingdom” with “inheriting the Kingdom.”
Thanks for the update. Still praying for your wife Doris.
Curtis, thank you for the update. I am still praying for Doris and you!
Curtis, thank the Lord, no she will not feel too great right away, praying for good nurses with wisdom. Ask them if she can take colace while not eating much.
Thanks for the good news. Give our love to Doris.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Thank you for praying Doris is resting now Surgery went well and they removed gall bladder the gall stone was one of the largest doctor has seen. . Doris is not feeling well right now hopefully will start feeling better as starts to recover.
I thank Jesus for his healing touch and for all of you
Praying Curtis… Missing mine and a number of gall stones too, and they repaired a couple hernias I didn’t know about while they were there 🙂
We will be praying for Doris and also for the docs as they do the surgery. And for her comfort as she recovers. And for you too — it is not easy for the loving spouse either.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
I’m praying for your wife also. Please keep us updated.
Curtis, I have prayed for your wife – for a successful surgery and quick healing – and for the doctors who are treating her.
I covet your prayer support from you all for my wife Doris who is having gall bladder surgery tomorrow. She has 1 1/4 gall stone and at this point they are removing gall bladder . She is in hospital now.
Misty I concur with the others and add to that the whole swath of “fundamentalist” christianity and the KJVOnlyists and their screaming preachers.
What I have discovered the last few weeks, is horrifying and I have good reason to believe that many of their leaders are not just power hungry but even also occultic infiltrants posing as sincere christian leaders. 2 Corinthians 11:12-15; Acts 20:28-32; 1 Timothy 6:3-5; 2 Peter 2:1-22; Jude 4-18.
I agree with what William said
Allow the Holy Spirit to teach you and You Study for yourself and get well grounded on the Gospel .
“Yankee” at CCC has live streaming services there is something about hearing the word preached Live and is important to growth. all the other teachers William mentioned are good .
I found myself getting side tracked recently when I thought I was attending a By Grace Through Faith assembly and it sounded good and they taught from the KJV but every once in awhile I would hear something that was not biblical correct later I found the pastor believes ” works is evidence of salvation” but he agreed with biblical repentance.
What hurts is the shunning that comes when you disagree on the gospel.
No more phone calls, No more visits, No more email response, No encouragement and yet they say we acknowledge you as in Christ and we will pray for you but inwardly they are saying see Ya later.
God did work things out for the better for I am now attending an assembly were my Wife and I attend together and I have heard nothing but grace and a clear gospel presentation
I love hearing the stories & experiences from you guys too.They make a difference.
For now, if I were you I would hold off looking for a church. As mentioned earlier, there are just way too many churches with false teachers teaching FALSE DOCTRINE OUT THERE. I haven’t been to church for years now, but I’ve grown more than ever before by just doing my own personal reading of God’s Word, coming to this website and reading the comments posted by fellow believers, going up on YouTube, and using my commentaries.
There are just too many churches contaminated with Calvinism/Lordship Salvation, Arminianism, and works based theology. Just stick with sermons by Ralph Yankee Arnold, Hank Lindstrom, and Thomas Cucuzza.
Matthew 7:15 – Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
FEW are the TRUE, FALSE are the MANY.
The comments and replies that you guys leave are so encouraging! I am sure that they will bless other weary travelers who happen to rest upon this site.I love to hear your stories and experiences. It lets me know that I am not alone. Thank you , all of you from the bottom of my heart! Now to find a church!!
1 John chapter 4:8 Needs to read in the entire context of chapter 4
God is defining and describing what Love is Not that we Loved God BUT that He Loved US
I myself personally, I do not Love the Lord with all my heart , mind and strength that is an impossibility and points me to my need of a Savior Jesus who is the Christ who demonstrated the Love of God PERFECTLY.
I am however learning to yield to the Spirit every day moment by moment. by experience I am learning to Love God more and more .
every persons situation is different for me it was somewhere between 6 months to a year before I started reading scripture again even trusting myself to read it some of the same scriptures that had me bound up and imprisoned in my Heart mind were the same ones that set me free. It was a very strange experience to go through to say the least BUT I can whole heartily say It was Jesus alone who brought me through and continues to do so.
few very few come out of spiritual indoctrination of which I am very Thankful for the Freedom Christ Jesus set me Free.
I can tell you are well on your way Misty and others who may find this website and post and others who contribute as well.
I learn so much for all your post’s
Your comment, ” I just started listening to them, and was hesitant because I heard them saying that we no longer have a sin nature.” Any preacher who teaches that we no longer have a sin nature is lying through his teeth. The apostle Paul struggled with sin AFTER his conversion which prompted him to write Romans 7:14-25. That’s why we have 1 John 1:8-9, and 1 John 2:1.
” One thing I know for sure, is that I hate my sin, and I grieve over the fact that I have let the Lord down with so many years of doing nothing…being lukewarm.”
My comment – I was much worse off than you were during the time when I fell away from the Lord and was living in apostasy, sin, and rebellion for 9 years.
” Sure I have, but I am so tied down to being a mom and wife, I do not have time to be in the world doing works per say. ”
My comment – the fact that you are a mother and wife and care for your family shows that you have love in your heart and your works are manifest in your home.
-Of course you love God. Otherwise, sin would not bother you.
-Good works examples: Praying for another person; any acts of patience and kindness to your husband and children; etc. The list could be endless.
-Nobody loves God perfectly. But by God’s grace, God sees us holy and 100% righteous in Christ. We rejoice in God’s unmerited, unearned and undeserved grace and favor!
-You are God’s highly favored one based solely on what CHRIST has done!
I am praying with the others here too for you Misty, keep doing your part by spending time with Him in His Word and prayer and fellowship among the saints (here if you are able). I think you will enjoy Tom Cucuzza’s new series on Galatians, but the ‘understanding’ series I believe is an excellent place to start.
May the Lord bless your time in His Word.
Good advice from Curtis.
Stick with those whom you know are solid doctrinally (ExPreacherMan, Holly, Yankee, Cucuzza, Shea et al) and avoid those you do not know to be solid. Agreed, there are thousands of unsound “grace” (and other) sites and just a few sound ones.
Praying for you Misty,.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
I ‘missed’ a couple of these comments above, but Curtis, good discernment, ‘papa’ is a term that comes from the book the “Shack” (heresy), so fiction or not, I hear that a lot too in those who go to that place, thank you for catching that.
I agree with Curtis and John, for now, stick with simplicity, Tom uses the Word, references the passages, and you can always stop and go look up if you need more time. They sounded fine, that does not mean they are, especially when they don’t reference verses, or have an easily located SOF or gospel.
myself I feel i have been down just about every doctrinal rabbit hole out there on the Internet. I would stick to the teachers you find here on Expreacherman and search out for yourself in the scriptures to confirm what you read and hear.
There is very very few blogs or websites like expreacherman
Misty, take a look at “Difficult Verses” – 1 John 4:20.
Misty, I took a look, they speak against Calvinism and some of their detractors call them “hyper-grace”. That ‘can’ me ‘ultra-dispensationalism’ (can’t say whether it does or not, I didn’t find easily a statement of faith). Simply put these people divide Scriptures after Acts 2, starting the division of the church in a couple places in Acts, some in the end literally making gospel + works for the Jews, and Paul’s gospel for the Gentiles. I do not know if they are any of these, I do not see it yet.
I cannot say if they are good or not, and see they have a radio show, so interestingly, listening to the old/new covenant speaking and so far, so good. HOWEVER, where is the gospel readily available. I went under their ‘about’ and didn’t see it.
When we read the Word, there are divisions in Scriptures. All Scripture is useful for us, not all is written TO us. Some is record of historical things, and where Word of Faith people got it wrong is using a verse from Job 22 to declare and decree things and insist God will do it. Trouble is, this is recording what Job’s friend Eliphaz said, and God condemned his words as not being right later, so that Scripture was not TO us. But useful to learn for us, in fact I love Job. But in Job, context is really the entire book.
So far, what I hear about the covenants is true. The Old Covenant was not made with mankind but with Israel. And so I like it best when people reference Bible verses, although I do recognize they have used several, and it is a different format (radio), I would not use these for Bible teachings, and if you cannot find their gospel to find out what they say it is, I would write them and ask them why that is not first and foremost on ALL their pages…. 🙂 I listened to an entire podcast. So far, heard nothing wrong, but that does not mean I could recommend it either, because I need more than that when I take teaching.
In His love.
I just started listening to them, and was hesitant because I heard them saying that we no longer have a sin nature. It is almost like a mind over matter deal. I think for right now I will stick with Tom Cucuzza. His teachings about Gods grace are helping calm my fearful heart enough that I can eventually start in the word again on my own. You said that “if we do not have love we do not have christ, because Christ is love.” This scripture has brought much despair to me. I fear that I do not love. I see selfish motives in my flesh, sometimes I act on them. One thing I know for sure, is that I hate my sin, and I grieve over the fact that I have let the Lord down with so many years of doing nothing…being lukewarm. I look, and try to find good works, but I do not really know what good works consists of. have I ever done anything good? Sure I have, but I am so tied down to being a mom and wife, I do not have time to be in the world doing works per say. Please explain the love problem I am having. How do I know if I love God? I don’t always have mushy feelings, sometimes I am fickle,so if that is the standard I have it all wrong.
The Radical Grace movement is lacking a clear Gospel presentation i meant to say above. There also is not a clear wrote down gospel presentation on that website that I have found.
If you hear words like “papa” “daddy” more than not I know were they got that and it is not from the Bible it is from a book from one of the leader’s of the movement.
what I did for myself personally is adopt my Own doctrinal statement , There is something about having words wrote down. I used the doctrinal statement off expreacheman it is a good one.
I browsed the website and noticed they had a speaker on named Mic Mooney coming out of my own indoctrination I did spend time reading his material and other like minded teachers who are in the “Radical Grace movement” the focus on this movement is ” The Love of God” which is true God is Love
1Jn_4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
However were the “Radical Grace Movement ” go astray biblicaly is separating old and new covenant and go as far as saying the Old testament of the bible is not for you . They through a twist and say the old testament is to you but not for you . some go as far as saying we no longer have a sin nature.
Also what I have found in the “Radical Grace Movement” is Ironically a clear Gospel presentation . The further into the movement you go the closer to Gnosticism and Universalism you get .
My advice to you Misty is we need to study the Gospel ourselves and ask God for Wisdom . I found myself following after all kinds of teachers until i started reading and studying scripture for myself . It really is quite liberating Just to study God’s Word alone , I love to chew on a simple verse of scripture for day’s weeks at a time . .
P.S. The bible is the whole counsel of God from Gen to Rev . It is Jesus all through scripture
Misty, I am not familiar with that ministry.
I have continued to pray for you.
Good morning! Does anyone here know anything about Grace Roots, and Growing in grace with Mike Kapler, and Joel Buerske? I have been listening to their 15 minute podcasts, and they seem to adhere to the same teachings as the other guys you all have suggested. I hope you all are well, and ask that you continue to pray for me.
Thanks Johninnc for the verse in 1 Cor 15. You know I ‘usually’ remember that if someone is not using the Word (even good sound friends) they are reacting off of some emotion. There might be some truth to what they say, I tell them I will pray about it, and search the Word and ask them also for any Word they have that speaks to their disapproval of something, and then I consider it.
I do trust He will give me wisdom, if I will apply my heart to His knowledge (Prov. 22:17-21). And He never fails, and evidently I have a lot to learn 🙂
But the time with Him in His Word will never be taken from me. What a wonderful promise seen in Luke 10:38-42.
Thank you too again, for all you do John here. I see you spend so much time extricating even what someone is asking (from a long rambling post of an opponent) and you use the Word to answer gently. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time to rebuke sharply that someone will remain strong in the faith, because it’s a matter of lives, and mainly because His Word tells us to. You know some just see this as about Jewish people (of the circumcision), or those who are making money, or are unruly, but somehow miss seeing, these men are making money from their teachings and if their teachings are off, they must be spoken to, and sometimes someone is humble and ‘hears’, but if law, legalism, (which is lordship) or any type of error is burdening the gospel and frustrating His grace, we have to speak. Other times they may just try to ignore you or nicely brush you off (like my recent encounter with a Bible teacher).
But any compromise that affects the gospel, quotes of men that can make young ones stumble, how can we justify these things in any manner? I don’t like conflict one bit, but how can I look the other way? So thankful to the Lord that you and Jack do not.
Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. 12 One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Titus 1:9-13
Fryingpan9. Thanks for speaking out loud, made me smile. One childhood friend went so far as to ask me if I only “listen to myself”. Another close relative spoke to a daughter and mentioned how she thought I should stop pastor bashing and do more ‘witnessing’. Another close relative unfriended me on FB for daring to speak about Billy Graham, she thought it was just horrible. Her mother came to me to tell me. I think also of 2 Tim 3:13 besides the wonderful passages you shared.
“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”
I specifically use that particular verse (among others) but always that one from Luke 18:8, along with Luke 6:26 when they extol the person’s virtues by the size of their church, how much good they are doing, how many people they have ‘saved’, how many best sellers they have written, etc….
Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
We can keep pointing people to the truth of the Word of God. Trust in the power of His Word, and pray some might be saved. Not much we can do about those who don’t approve, I tell them I am sorry they do not, but I seek His approval, and I will continue trying to please Him and do the best I can (with His help) to abide in and by His Word.
In Christ 🙂
Holly, thanks for the reminder that we need to pray for wisdom in knowing where to draw the line between Christian unity and defending the purity of the gospel.
Satan wants us to be discouraged. He wants to cause confusion. He wants us to stop defending the gospel. He wants us to choose sides over which mens’ teaching is sound, and which is not. And, he doesn’t want us to use the Word of God as the measuring stick.
1 Corinthians 15:58: Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Totally overlooked Ralph “Yankee” Arnold. Thanks for the addition.
I’m grateful for Jack & John too frying pan & Tom & Ron Shea.Helped me heaps.What about Yankee Arnold, he’s been helping me out too.They are rare but.
Holly, you said, “I have also been corrected by very close friends who usually support me, but sometimes think I’m going overboard because ‘Who’s left if I criticize everyone?'”
If I were asked the same thing (and I’m sure I will be at some point), I’d answer back with a question–What difference does that make if it leaves NO ONE? Right now I can think of 4 individuals off the top of my head who ARE left: Jack Weaver, Johninnc, Tom Cucuzza, and Ron Shea.
And I suppose most of the folks who post on this blog, as well as your blog, Holly.
People like to put a lot of weight in the argument that because something seems drastic or extreme, it likely cannot withstand scrutiny.
Okay, I’m being melodramatic, but just to make a point. And I’m really addressing those hypothetical onlookers and “skeptics” at this point, so allow me to indulge in some “extreme” thinking of my own.
I don’t see a promise in the New Testament about there being “heroes” in the last days that will champion the gospel and sound doctrine. I see plenty of warnings about a falling away, how “they” will not endure sound doctrine, heresy, false teachers, doctrines of devils, few there be that find the truth, and my personal favorite, the hypothetical question asked by The Lord himself, (Luke 18:8b) “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”
I would tell them that I don’t care HOW FEW are “left” even if it means having to say, “Yes, there are about 4 websites/blogs out there that I can recommend–it’s gotten THAT bad”. We are promised a lot of wonderful things in the Bible. An abundance of reliable teachers in the last days is not one of them.
Sorry if I’m championing the obvious here. I just feel we need to be prepared, if it comes to it, to cling to God and His word alone. Because it’s looking more and more that this is where things are heading.
You’re not going overboard, Holly. Everyone else (ALMOST everyone, that is) has given up the ship and doesn’t even seem to care if they have their life vests on.
John G. I was just thinking about how John and Jack need thanked more. It is very difficult to speak. I can only testify personally as to what I’ve experienced.
I have been corrected by close relatives regarding my ‘bashing’ of men (that would be naming names of men who do not preach a clear gospel). I have to protect my children. I do not call them names, bash them as a person, but I have to let them know about the leaven (doctrine) of the Pharisees.
I have also been corrected by very close friends who usually support me, but sometimes think I’m going overboard because “who’s left if I criticize everyone?”. I take it to the Lord in prayer and ask where I am to draw the line, and I ask Him to please continue to show me in His Word.
I get corrected or threatened by strangers and even people I have known from childhood. (Never by the Word, or not at least correctly applied). I’ve been told I am attacking ‘men of God and I will pay’. I have been threatened, scolded, mocked, and again, usually by their words, and not with His.
Yesterday a gentleman who was coming to my site, threatened he would be “exposing us ‘anti-lordship’ people and he would be ‘naming names’ and ‘heavily tagging'” (not verbatim, but something to that effect.) May the Lord be merciful to him and maybe bring more to him to show him the clear gospel. In the meantime while he is preaching and teaching others, and writing books, I pray the Lord will keep him from making sense, so others will not be misled.
So, I could tell more, but I imagine John and Jack see far more, some hesitate to attack a woman or a widow, but not so much men. (Some don’t mind it at all by the way)….
Anyways, I was planning next, to THANK THEM, for standing for His Word, for His truth and not compromising. Thank you brothers! And all here who stand for His truth and pray for others to know Christ and labor in the harvest with a clear gospel.
I use to listen to Sons of Korah,they sing psalms.Before I got saved I went & saw them live at Saint Johns cathedral,which is Anglican.So I won’t listen to them anymore.I’ve got no music to listen to,because I can’t trust the musicians,a lot of them sing about works.If you look at their websites & see what church they go to & then look up their view on how a person gets to go to heaven,they are wrong,so I don’t listen to anything,because i cant find anything. But anyway I’ve got God,I believe in the gospel,so I cant complain,I’m set.
Great message! Uplifting & inspiring! Thank you & bless
You for what you do!
John H. Gregory
Curtis, I’m finding it more and more difficult to find a clear gospel presentation, or there will be one that some how complicates what first started off fairly clearly.
I agree with what Holly said that is what I am finding out there on the internet as well ,
before I got to far on a website I look for a gospel presentation
William, everything I’ve read by Stegall lines up with the Word so far.
One thing I have noticed is a majority of the organized ‘discernment sites’ are Calvinists. The few left are Arminian or outright cults, or ecumenists and compromisers (unfortunately). They go after a certain type of error (i.e. Word of Faith and signs and wonders) but they ignore the more subtle.
Thanks John John, I enjoyed yours also, seems like the enemy is always working overtime to sow doubt and bad seed, and accuse the brethren.
Curtis M, a lot of people don’t seem to understand that although Arminianism may have some good points(whenever they correctly use Scripture), they limit God and they decimate the gift He gives; eternal life. Calvinism and Arminianism have far more in common as the man-centric perseverance they both in the end have bought into.
I always wonder how one can quantify such a “change of life”.
I’ve been a Christian 16 years and I still “have my moments”. If my assurance depended on my keeping up on good works (whatever they are),
then I’d probably be up and down like a yo yo.
It’s funny, that prayer of the Pharisee reminds me of LS/Perseverance mob.
“I thank you Lord (Lord) that I am not like those fruitless wonders”.
– my paraphrase
Oh Matthew 7… you are not reserved for me, for my trust is in Christ.
Enjoyed your thoughts, Holly!
just like to identify counterfeit money by studying the genuine the same holds true to all the another gospels. I can spot them now a lot faster than in the passed and just keep pointing souls to Jesus death burial and resurrection for eternal life by believing. when I would enter into the realm of gentleman like David Cloud , I am entering into the Calvinism – Arminism debate the are both biblical in error on the gospel .
Mr Cloud is simply trying to redefine a known definition of LS and with to many words
John John, I agree about how Lordshippers and even Grace teachers can put things in your mind, (usually with questionable wording) or things like ‘true believer’ or adding, confessing your sins, etc. Or even have you questioning your belief itself.
All people need to know is when they are taught the gospel, is if they believe that it is true for them. It’s not the amount of their ‘faith’ but whether they believe what Jesus did in their place on the cross.
So many voices out there with their clever sayings regarding ‘mental assent’. This is usually how one believes, with their mind 🙂
Calling upon the name of the Lord even becomes to them a step. All of it can become convoluted when we step outside the simplicity of believing alone. The Jews were the ones mainly addressed, whether spoken about, or spoken to, in Romans 9-11, and although the Gentiles as a whole were mentioned as being grafted in (all the nations) to the promise of salvation, of course it still had to be appropriated by belief on Jesus Christ and His work for us. They knew what ‘calling upon the name of the Lord to be saved’ meant. It was a warning, the day of the Lord is near. This IS your Messiah. If you do not believe (admit, confess) that I am He (Messiah, God, Savior), you will die in your sins. Israel rejected Him, and we are the nation that are supposed to provoke them to jealousy.
I wonder sometimes with all the ‘religions’ who fall under the ‘umbrella’ of Christianity, how any of them could be provoked to anything… But I keep praying for them, and pray my own heart’s desire my come close to Paul’s.
I always laugh when theologians say those chapters are speaking to the church. If they will just take these verses and insert church for Israel they might see why (and many other places in the entire 3 chapters, even and including the word brethren -later identified as according to the flesh).
Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for THE CHURCH is, that they might be saved.
For I bear THE CHURCH record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
For THE CHURCH, being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
(a Reformation’s guide to Rom 9-11) 🙂
Jan, you are right – this is just a long-winded way of Cloud saying that no one can be saved by grace without works.
This form of heresy is pandemic in the world of man-made religion.
“The Back door LS to me is the one that hurts the most . They are eager to agree on saved by grace through faith and even agree on repent= Change mind. only later find out that works is evidence of salvation but yet very subtle about it . more than not they stumble over the sower of seeds passage”
David Cloud does this with regards to repentance everytime he defines it, this is from the “QUESTIONS ANSWERED ABOUT REPENTANCE” page on his website:
[QUESTION: Aren’t you preaching “lordship” salvation by saying that repentance is such a radical change of mind that it results in a change of life?
ANSWER: “Lordship salvation” has been given many different definitions. I do not believe in lordship salvation if that means that a person must yield his life 100% to the Lord Jesus Christ before he can be saved, because no one can do that. The very attempt to do so in order to be accepted by God would be the most vicious form of works salvation. I do not believe, though, that a person can be saved unless he accepts Jesus Christ as both Lord and Saviour in at least some very real and evident sense. Romans 10:9 says the sinner must “confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus.” The thief on the cross addressed Jesus as Lord (Luke 23:42). Those who have not received Jesus Christ as Lord have not repented of their sin and idolatry. The Bible plainly tells us that salvation involves changing masters, and if some want to call that “lordship salvation,” that is their business.
In conclusion, I do not believe in “lordship salvation” if it is defined as any form of discipleship, but I do believe that biblical repentance is the change of mind in the sinner that replaces the old lord of his life, sin and self, with the new Lord, Jesus Christ.]
[QUESTION: Aren’t you preaching “works” salvation by claiming that repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of life?
ANSWER: First of all, repentance is not a work of man; it is a work of God. “When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life” (Acts 11:18). “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth” (2 Tim. 2:25).
Furthermore, repentance itself is not the good works in a Christian’s life; it is the cause of the good works. It is the same for saving faith. Saving faith is not a work, but it produces works (Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:4-8). We don’t believe in a works salvation in any sense whatsoever. Salvation is by grace alone through the blood of Christ alone without works or sacraments. Salvation is wholly of the Lord (John 1:12-13). Likewise, biblical repentance is a change of mind that RESULTS IN a change of life.]
I think it may be a good idea to include him in the Wiki Index.
Welcome John John
I like what you posted there ,
Thanks John! I did just read that at your suggestion.
Bless you today!
Welcome John John and thanks for your comment.
Yes, it is the object of our faith (Jesus Christ) that is the issue, not the quality of our faith.
That said, if one has never trusted in Christ apart from his works, then he hasn’t received Jesus as his Savior.
Believing in Jesus as Savior is what results in eternal life (John 3:18).
Incidentally John John, you might be interested in reading our explanation of Philippians 1:6 under “Difficult Verses”.
I once heard a brother tell how he would repeatedly ask the Lord to save him, until he heard the Lord say “I heard you the first time”.
Seems to me when we come to the Lord we are helpless and almost completely ignorant. We see the object of our “little” (saving) faith and know (because of the Spirit) to “call on the name of the Lord”. Then it’s “Welcome to the war!” (Or “War? What war?”)
The Psy-Ops part of the war is legalism, LS, “entire sanctification”, eternal insecurity, 1 John this/Hebrews that (misinterpreted, of course), second work of grace, etc. Direct opposition actually enlivens and energizes us! Psy-ops is the worst, as once our eyes are on US it’s downhill from there. “Did you REALLY believe on Him? Then why are you struggling with sin?!?!?!”
I think “free grace”, too, can become doctrinaire and a trap if it leads to an insoluble “Did you REALLY believe upon Jesus to save you for all time COMPLETELY apart from works?” From reading Paul it is obvious that a faith/works dilemma is not odd for believers to be troubled by. False teachers are often the source of the agitation, but they are effective as they have friends “on the inside”—the world, the flesh, and the devil! We are born again in the context of a world imprisoned under sin, under the law. The only true way out is THE Way, our Lord! The fake way out is dead works/religion. Everyone else just gives up (is given over).
I know there are false teachers about, but there are a lot more of us who DID call on the name of the Lord and He DID hear us the first time and He IS faithful to complete the work He began. And this in spite of our entanglements in legalism and backdoor LS, etc. Since none of that delivers the child of God, who MUST have grace, it works in its own way to frustrate and drive us to HIM.
I’m really thankful for all you believers out there who have helped me “grow up into Him” by standing firm in His grace and truth.
Bless you one and all,
Curtis, thank you for that, I ran across a statement tonight, I put it aside to really take a good look when I’m not tired, but I noticed repentance was a change of mind, but then it was a change of mind about sin, then I thought well maybe he’ll go to the ‘sin of unbelief’ which he included, but then he had all sorts of his own confusing words….
Don’t they understand that it is so important to present a clear gospel and study, God’s Word does not contradict itself, so something must be missing. He said just like John didn’t contain repent, he said that Luke preached repent over and over. So I continued to follow his trail until he got to what must they repent about? They must change their mind about their sins (not verbatim) in order to be forgiven and to be saved. He does rightly go to the repenting ‘of his good works’ but even the wording just had my mind swirling. Could just be me and the type he had on his page, so I’ll wait for tomorrow, but I’m more and more convinced, that I myself need to be sure I’m laying out His Word and not my own understanding. In simplicity and an orderly manner, by God’s grace. I don’t want to make someone stumble…
The Back door LS to me is the one that hurts the most . They are eager to agree on saved by grace through faith and even agree on repent= Change mind. only later find out that works is evidence of salvation but yet very subtle about it . more than not they stumble over the sower of seeds passage
Regarding backdoor teaching (works of the law), it breaks my heart.
In tears I ask any, and have asked many times in the past, “Why, why, do you compromise the truth? God’s Word is not ours to compromise”. I have only had one time where I can remember one person agreeing (after several emails and telephone conversations) to go and publicly ask forgiveness for his wrong quotes and possible stumbling block to young ones.
Paul withstood Barnabas and Peter in public because of this exact error, and hypocrisy was in public and needed publicly corrected… They were to be blamed. Why? Because they had compromised and allowed backdoor Lordship teachings (finishing in the flesh) in their midst.
Who was in the right?
Paul or Peter and Barnabas?
Too many men refuse to do the sharp rebuke so that people might remain strong in the faith, when these are leaders or teachers, I might vacillate at times, I am not Paul, and I am a woman, and so also I like to be kind, but that also is a wishy-washy copout.
But each one of us is responsible, to respond to error (Rom 16:17-19). If there is no way to do it in public on their site (via comments), it should be made public elsewhere, and they should be contacted also (if they have not already). I am not saying it is easy, nor do you generally get good responses. If a person is truly concerned about God’s Word being contended for, they will publicly correct their error.
We fight an enemy who from the beginning has tried to compromise God’s Word. Jesus answered that same enemy with “It is written”.
These men, whose gospels are added to even slightly are in danger. They are causing other people danger and doubts. They are corrupting minds from the simplicity that is in Christ. They make people fall from grace with their many words. They hinder the gospel, and frustrate grace. They need corrected by the Word, and each error addressed with it. And when we correct our own mistakes, we do it the same way, by the Word, not our feelings.
John, so true, I am reminded of a free grace leader I talked to awhile back regarding his quotes of Augustine, and he didn’t seem to understand the compromise there. At first I didn’t seem to understand why performance seemed to be an issue, after all, so many preachers preach that it’s proof of being saved.
Also many verses seem to do the same. But then I really began to clearly “hear” I John 5:13 and John 20:31 and others. I asked questions, if ‘repent’ = ‘repent from sin’, then WHY did John leave it out of the book of John. Another thing I noticed, was John never used the word obey or obedience… WHY? If performance was proof of salvation, and John wrote both verses, was he not telling the truth?
I think backdoor if believed up front is lethal. And if backdoor is believed afterwards, it is like a death blow in a believer’s life.
Stegall is an elder/publications director at Duluth Bible Church. I think Duluth’s doctrinal statement on salvation is OK.
Word of Grace Bible Church features Stegall’s testimony on its website.
as far as the symbolism use of a pyramid I myself don’t have a problem with it as long as used as observation or teaching tool and not something that holds some kind of spiritual power.
I did browse the gentleman’s website and he claims to be free grace but also claims to be “evangelical “christian. the evangelicals do not hold to the doctrine of separating Justification and Sanctification on their doctrinal page . I also did not find a clear gospel presentation on his blog which is a flag to me but maybe i missed it .
Tom Stegall is one of them who is sounding the alarm on the crossless gospel . He is very long winded on Youtube vid I watched. I myself would not consider him a false teacher.
when i do goog searches on teachers I like to see who is calling a person a false teacher more than not they are promoting another gospel and not THE Gospel .
something i am careful of myself is to stay out of the Calvinism vs Arminism debate they are both in error. the crossless gospel i see as an attempt to drag Free Grace into it . That’s why need a narrow doctrinal statement to defend THE clear Gospel of Grace
I concur with John. I have not read that particular book by Stegal nor have I investigated the web site that accuses him.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
William, I’m not aware of Tom Stegall being a false teacher. I have found websites that accuse any and everybody as false teachers, so I am not surprised that there is a website that asserts that Stegall is a false teacher.
I am equally concerned when there seems to be an online consensus that a teacher is sound. Some of the most heretical teachers are wildly popular.
I don’t pay a lot of attention to discussion of basic geometrical shapes and their uses by sundry groups.
I concur, any compromise on nonsalvivic doctrine leads to huge problems already, compromise on salvivic doctrine is far worse, a huge no no and accursed according to Galatians 1:6-9.
John, or Jack, or Holly,
I am very curious regarding Thomas Stegall and his book, “The Gospel of the Christ”. There is a free grace website called, “Free Grace Free Speech” which shows pyramid symbol that Mr. Stegall uses in his book to symbolize his theology. The website also stated that his pyramid symbol is identical to the pagan pyramid symbol.
The website also claims that Mr. Stegall was exposed as a false teacher at the Word of Grace Bible Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Does anyone know about this? I’m not trying to badmouth Mr. Stegall, but I came across this website recently with this information.
Excellent observations and great points.
The free Grace movement does seem to be more tolerant of “minor doctrinal errors” and the idea that we should consider “the whole body of work” of a teacher and ignore or simply pass over, for example, a more recently published faulty article or his Statement of Faith doctrinal error.
We must remain vigilant and firm in the Gospel.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
I sense the “grace community” trying to become a more relevant “brand” within the world of professing Christendom. So, we see grace societies, grace alliances, grace conferences and the like take shape. These organizations become more like denominations as they mature.
As such, they begin to develop agreed-upon doctrine. If the groups want to grow in size and relevance, the agreed-upon doctrine has to be pretty vague. Leaders begin to emerge.
We see so-called free grace groups embrace demonstrably false teachers and overlook the doctrinal errors of members of their camps.
Pretty soon, free grace is nothing other than “MacArthur is bad.”
People who stand firm on the gospel are criticized for the way they do it by those who are not willing to take a consistent stand. Standing for the free grace brand slowly replaces standing for the integrity of the gospel.
The biggest compromise is in the area of “back-door” LS, which is looking to ourselves (behaviors, attitudes, feelings) for assurance of salvation.
Back-door LS, also known as perseverance of the saints, is a heresy embraced by many people who claim to believe in grace. Some argue that it is not as bad as other works for salvation heresies. That seems like a specious argument to me: “which gospel-centric heresies do you prefer?”
This reminded me of a woman who I went to a Christian High School with. She was all happy and high-fiving me spiritually when I spoken on the Rick Warrens, The Rob Bells, or Joel Osteens of the world. I’ll share an excerpt of her chastisement of me when I dared touched John MacArthur. This was years back and in an email, so will keep her anonymity.
I consider myself a very mature believer. I am strong in my faith and feel that I am a very discerning person. I must tell you that your rants against what seems like any and all preachers is very frustrating to me. It is almost as if you don’t believe anyone is correct in their doctrine. I agree with you on people such as Rick Warren, Rob Bell, Joel Osteen and the like. But, I have seen you attack some incredibly great men of God and it hurts me to see it. Are you the only person you listen to? I ask in love. Also, I am one of the evil people who believes in the perserverence of the saints and some of those other “Calvinistic’ views you despise.
I’m sorry you are disregarding all of us because we have a difference of interpretation of scripture.
I did respond, but no need to go into much other than i mentioned, ‘could I suggest His Word is always the best correction’. There was no more, other than when I suggested she correct me publicly with His Word, she let me my rebuke was ‘just for me’.
I hold and cannot hold to any man or woman says beyond what is written. We must hold up His Word doing our best to do it in soundness of speech, with grace and salt seasoning our speech (with wisdom towards those who are not saved).
But we can NOT let leaven in…. I have trouble forgiving those who have let leaven into the church and stubbornly held onto it. I have trouble because of the trouble and possible loss of life I have seen it cause, It breaks my heart, how can it also not theirs?
It was ‘back-door’ lordship people who rendered me ineffective all those years, and had me trying (and failing) to finish in the flesh.
What people can’t ‘quite’ wrap their mind around, if we are speaking about the gospel, and this good news some how includes a promise or a proof of performance in order to KNOW you have eternal life, then this negates much of Scripture and makes those Scriptures suspect.
The gospel to me, I liken to the Camel’s hump (always thinking on the camel entering the eye of the needle). God is eternal and His promise was made before creation, so what they do not seem to understand is these promises cannot be based on past, present and future. It’s like saying that before the Camel’s hump is lordship teaching, or on top of the hump is lordship, but behind the hump is ‘proof’. No sorry, it is still a load that needs unloaded, there can be nothing in time that people add to the gospel as proof.
And if they are adding it after, they are still rendering believers ineffective instead of pointing them to the Word to become sanctified. AND, they are judging another man’s servant. I know this somewhat speaks to food and drink and holidays but, look what it does also to a believer. Notice it only included choices and behavior not doctrine. Doctrine we are to rightly judge and mark and avoid.
4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Rom 14:4,10
I am pretty firm, I can make a mistake and take teaching and even through the Lord’s mercy, receive some good from what the enemy meant for my harm, but once I know they preach any variance of the gospel, for me, the meat has been spoiled, they need to be sharply rebuked and if they do not take heed, and disobey His Word, they need to avoided.
If more in the church had done this…. (I can only dream).
Holly, I also look to what someone’s version of the gospel is before I will even entertain their teaching on any other matters pertaining to the Word of God. If they are not crystal clear on the gospel, everything else may also be suspect.
I include “back-door” LSers (including those who view 1 John as “tests of life”, those who view James 2 as a field guide for figuring out who is really saved, and those who believe the second soil represents someone who does not possess eternal life) as people who are not clear on the gospel.
One person recently sent me a link to a teaching on the Kingdom and I asked my friend about the person’s gospel. She was unsure of why I asked, as the teaching was not ‘about the gospel’….
Warning: We cannot chew the meat and spit out the bones. If someone get’s their gospel wrong, they are accursed, no matter how likable. I have had a hard time dividing between those I believe who are saved and at one time understood the gospel and are now deceived, possibly because they have not shod their feet daily with the gospel.
Believers can be deceived it’s why Paul Warned the Corinthians in 2 Cor 11:3-4
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
Since they can be deceived, they need warned. but what if they ignore the warning and continue to preach a false gospel? Should we take prophecy teaching from a man who is deceived about the gospel? If they are a believer deceived regarding the gospel, they should be sharply rebuked, and if they do not take heed, get them out of there…. Don’t them hurt the sheep that Jesus gave His life for!!
Even on FB, I’ve had to let go of some friends, that weren’t teachers, but were teaching Lordship, Arminianism and Calvinism daily. I’ve learned, that the ones that do not hear His Word, after a time, all you are doing is allowing them access to ravage the sheep. I let them know, and I let them know in kindness and continue to pray for them and for others to be misled. If they are hearing, I have let them stay and I watch them, because I now am responsible if I have not warned someone of a false gospel.
If the person continues to teach a gospel + works, they are accursed, and Paul says, “let them be accursed”. We have to let them go, not even give them subjection for an hour so that they too don’t mislead the sheep.
I guess some might find me ‘nitpicky’, but what else do we do? Compromise His Word because some of the meat is good? I don’t want to face Him on that day for compromising by looking the other way. Or just not doing my ‘proving’….
Lord help us tremble at Your Word, and to not cast Your Word behind our backs in allowing compromise. Help us to not ever think of men beyond what is written…
Jack, they compromise as Ron Shea mentioned because of their own needs, and they explain it away as necessary to ‘their ministry’. I had one guy say something similar to that. I realize in preaching the gospel to the world it might be hard for some to realize, where do I draw a line, I work with non-believers, I preach to them, wanting to win some over, but what about those who quote Augustine in their newsletters? Or like Berean Call Tom MacMahon, go to a conference filled with Calvinists? Mention Luther favorably? Don’t they have enough discernment to know better? So you have part ways with them too, gets lonely, but thankfully that also draws us even closer to Him.
John, excellent article. They are all trying to bring people into bondage, or to keep people in bondage by their false gospel of works.
And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: to whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. Galatians 2:4-5
I honestly do not understand why they give them place even for an hour. It allows others to be misled in their error.
Good to see you here.. and that you understand the problem with Grace Ecumenism. I had no doubt that you were well aware as I read your FB posts.
Unfortunately very few folks really understand the problem and many who do “get it” don’t seem to care.
Thanks for dropping by and your comment,
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Dori, welcome and thanks for your comment.
Yes, Calvinism is one of the insidious heresies on the rise today, along with its evil twin Lordship “salvation.” Also, Arminianism.
You are right that we must remain on guard. We must also avoid teaming up with people promoting heresy to oppose some competing heresy.
Yes, this is basically the same type of compromise that has allowed ‘our calvinist brothers’ to take over so many churches, not to mention a whole denomination.
A good reminder to
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
~ 1 Peter 5:8
Outstanding, John. Very powerful and insightful. Just when I think I’ve become familiar with everything this blog has to offer, God blesses us with yet a broader and deeper perspective that helps us better appreciate and understand the battle each of us faces.
God is really giving you some wonderful insights.
I especially liked, “They say they are free grace (who doesn’t).”
Amen. They all do. They all really do. And therein lies much of the problem.
Welcome and thanks for stopping by with your comment. You are absolutely right — and we here at ExP endeavor to proclaim the Gospel of God’s Grace and warn of those who will subvert it..
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Thank you! I doubt that we can be warned/reminded too often. Blessings in Him~
In the past few weeks the Lord showed me that this holds for the crossless gospel guys, but also for Ruckmanites, Chick Publications and nearly all IFB pastors and churches.
Thing is, once disillusioned with these people and their heresies, many believers either shipwreck their faith fleeing towards the world or fall into apostasy in Calvinism or Arminianism.
Well said and needed in this day of the blind leading the blind.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack