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.