You Might Be a Lordship Salvationist If… (Part 2)

by johninnc

2 Corinthians 11:3: 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.

Almost three years ago, we featured an article entitled You Might Be a Lordship Salvationist If…

Many people misconstrued the intent of this article, thinking that it was either comedic, tongue in cheek, mean-spirited, etc. However, the intent of the article was to challenge people – both born-again believers and religious non-believers – to challenge beliefs they might hold that are contrary to grace.

The original article is linked below:

Original article

We know that sequels are rarely on par with the original, but respectfully offer the following additional points:

  1. You believe that there is some “middle ground” between Lordship “salvation” and grace – that the truth “LIES somewhere in between.”
  1. You believe that someone must desire to turn from his sins in order to be saved.
  1. You believe that there is some “missing link” between grace and Lordship “salvation,” and you are bound and determined to find it.
  1. You think that doctrine isn’t important, as long as someone “loves the Lord” and wants to serve Him.
  1. You believe you are keeping God’s commandments.
  1. You think being a Christian is not as good as being a “Christ follower.” In fact, you think they are one and the same.
  1. You think that Christians are under any of the Mosaic law.
  1. You are insistent that the thief on the cross would have done good works if he had been afforded the opportunity.
  1. You believe that someone must want to get better in order to be saved.
  1. Your gospel is that Christ died and was raised from the dead. In other words, you don’t believe it was “for our sins.” (see the Apostles’ Creed).
  1. You think that some of the people that the Bible says believed, did not have “saving faith.” Instead, they had “spurious faith,” or only believed some of the things about Him. In other words, they were never “truly saved.”
  1. You are torn up about peoples’ sins, but indifferent as to what “gospel” they might have heard and believed.
  1. You troll grace websites, agreeing with ALMOST everything they say, but trying to get them to “throw you an LS bone.”

I admit the last one is “tongue in cheek.” However, it is more of a warning to those who are clear on grace.

I can’t tell you how many times I have received, or read, a long-winded “leaven sandwich,” in which the writer tries to imbed the leaven somewhere between a couple of thousands of words of grace.

This is usually done by an intermittent commenter, who will wait a few months between submissions, each time trying a different angle on the same error.

41 responses to “You Might Be a Lordship Salvationist If… (Part 2)

  1. If we have guests here who are new to this site, please read this article and its predecessor (see link in article above).

    You may have heard some of these types of things, and have always wondered how they “square” with the truth. The answer is, they don’t.

  2. Really it needs to be put all together in one list.

    I love it JR. When you used the word antinomian, I thought it could be yet another point, as it is their favorite name to call one who wants to keep the gospel unencumbered.

  3. Good ones JR

  4. Haha, i guess so, in fact the list may be endless, as LSers have an endless list of “signs” that you have (or do not have) eternal life. For example, watching bad stuff on TV may be a sign you’re not saved, and believe me, there’s more 🙂

  5. JR, we may have to do a Part 3!

  6. 42. You cannot be accused of teaching something like “Let us do evil that good may come”.
    43. You love to preach against Antinomianism/Easy Believism/Cheap Grace with all your heart but do not preach against Legalism and Works based righteousness.

  7. May i add a few:
    40. You believe that the fruit of the spirit, obedience, love for God and brethren, hatred for sin, works, etc. ALL flow from saving faith.
    41. You believe that all the commands in the Bible work for true believers.

  8. Fryingpan9, it get’s frustrating, don’t weary in doing good though 🙂

    Some may leave your life for a season or two. Some may end up becoming enemies. Some may stick around to harass you 🙂

    But the ones that end up coming back and thank the Lord for having found the truth because you have continually come back with Scripture, it’s such a blessing.

    Praying for the Word to cut through these doctrines and traditions of men.

  9. Fryingpan, the “small means right” mantra that your friend espouses is interesting, but not necessarily true.

    What makes doctrine true is if it lines up with God’s Word.

  10. Fryingpan, not liking the term “eternal salvation” is really sad.

    One either has eternal life, or he never has.

    That’s why Matthew 7:23 says “I never knew you.” If someone could lose eternal life, then it wouldn’t have ever been eternal life. And, “I never knew you” could also mean “I once knew you.”

  11. Fryingpan, I guess the guys who think we can lose our salvation believe we have been made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6) until we do something wrong and get bounced out of that seat.

    Kind of like a salvation rodeo. If you can stay on for a lifetime, it’s a qualifying ride. What a bunch of bull!

  12. Oh wow. #38 is the nutshell representation of a very revealing and disturbing email I recently received from a friend wherein I had the deep displeasure of learning he is a hardened LSer over a relatively short period of time this past week. Out of this list and the original one published in 2014, this one sums it up best.

    Some other things I hear LSers babble on about that reveal their true LS colors are the following (just off the top of my head):

    You believe one can “turn from their salvation” by their own choice, thus negating any promise of being in heaven they may have once enjoyed.

    You don’t like the term “eternal salvation”.

    You think because you don’t attend a megachurch, have a relatively small congregation, and because your pastor “tells it like it is” (about sin–not the gospel) that you’re therefore in a “true” church and all those megachurch parishioners and pastors are in for a very rude (and hot) awakening on Judgement Day.

    You think one can lose their salvation if they “deny Christ”.

    You think one can lose their salvation by worshipping Satan.

    You think one can lose their salvation by “practicing evil”.

    You believe the “damnation” addressed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 regarding communion refers to losing one’s salvation and practicing sin.

    You think Matthew 27:21-23 refers to “Christians” who aren’t committed and chose a life of sin rather than faithfully serving Christ–that they’re total frauds and false believers because of their sinful choices.

    You’re quick to agree with and/or point out: “Just because someone says ‘I accept Jesus Christ as Lord and savior’; that doesn’t guarantee them eternal salvation”.

    Sorry, I’m still reacting to this experience in the flesh and feeling the sting of another friendship frustrated by God’s GRACE being frustrated . . .

  13. Curtis – Gal 2:4-5 has become a comforting passage with the amount of ravening wolves out there. They’re dressed in sheep’s clothing and many times you have to have some discussions or even fend off sheep who are defending the woolly little falsely clothed wolf as ‘our Christian brethren whom you are attacking’….

  14. Wow, what to say? Ambiguous or lukewarm? Wishy washy? Evidently none of them have heard of 1 Tim 4:16.

  15. music is why most left the IFCA to join EFCA when I was involved with IFCA. They equate worship = music

    yes I agree when you don’t stand for the Truth of the Gospel proclaim the Truth defend the Truth, any Gospel will do .

    the truth of the gospel might continue with you
    Gal_2:5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

    he withdrew and separated himself
    Gal 2:12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

    I said unto Peter before them all
    Gal_2:14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

    I do not frustrate the grace of God
    Gal 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

  16. We also keep wondering why everyone left those other denoms to come to the efca if their old doctrines were not challenged biblically. We wrongly assumed they had left other churches due to bad theology, only to realize now that they retained their backgrounds. CONFUSION! One elder told me, “based on my Calvinistic background, I believe….” What?! Why are you going here if you still hold to that belief? But since the efca does not clarify or challenge those beliefs, everyone can come in and keep their favorite theologies. This explains why we began noticing many views on salvation, predestination, the 10 commandments, etc.

  17. Yes, sadly. Mixing pot, coexisting, ecumenical….. Sigh. One of the favorite catchphrases that I kept hearing throughout this whole ordeal of digging was, “A faith that saves is a faith that works.”

  18. Regarding the EFCA, my wife said “they just sound like a coexist sticker to me.”

  19. from efca statement of faith .
    “8. We believe that God’s justifying grace must not be separated from His sanctifying power and purpose”

    If Justification must not be separated from sanctification how can a soul know they have eternal security ? it just keeps them coming back for more.
    that makes sense now why I was attacked with gasps and bible verses when I stated during a prayer meeting that having trusted christ as my saviour I could live a life of debauchery die and go straight to heaven when I die.
    I haven’t thought about the efca not believing in eternal security until reading your above post here . interesting

  20. Exactly. Without eternal security, the “gospel” is a house of cards that falls apart. What would be the point?!

  21. Penelope, there is no unity with disbelief in eternal security.

  22. From the efca course on its SoF: “The EFCA has chosen to allow for differences in understanding around five key issues that have historically divided Evangelical churches: a. The timing and method of baptism; b. The nature of Christ’s presence during the Lord’s Supper; c. The eternal security of a believer (Arminianism and Calvinism); d. The timing of Christ’s return in relation to the tribulation; and e. The current use of the sign gifts (i.e. speaking in tongues, prophecy, healing, etc.). We have decided to remain silent on these matters and not let them divide us.”

    And:
    “Once [the early Free Church leaders] began to put in writing what was commonly believed among them, they were silent on those doctrines which through the centuries have divided Christians of equal dedication, Biblical knowledge, spiritual maturity and love for Christ.” This “significance of silence” reflected our strong concern for Evangelical unity in the gospel. The Evangelical Free Church is a movement theologically centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ. In a unique way, it seeks to bring together a diverse spectrum of Evangelicals, whose backgrounds may be Lutheran, Reformed, Arminian or Wesleyan, Baptists and paedobaptists, Dispensationalists and Covenantalists—united in the essentials to engage the world with the gospel”
    (Evangelical Convictions, p. 24-25).

  23. Oh, and did I mention this was an EFCA church? They redrafted their statement of faith a few years ago. every time we asked what individual elders and pastors believed, they all parroted, “We believe in the Efca statement of faith.” Us: “What is the statement of faith?” Them: “Don’t you know the statement of faith ?!” Us: “Not offhand, but you seem to. What does it say?” Them : “Why don’t you know the statement of faith?!”

    Ironically, the youth pastor told the congregation that he had no clue what the statement of faith was or the denom when he took the job. And now he is teaching a class on it! Like an expert! And he is very loadship.

    We did find more about the SoF recently by researching. Guess what? The efca has chosen to remain ‘silent’ on several points that could divide a church. One point is “eternal security.” Had they told us this at the beginning, we would have left immediately. Of course, if that is the stance of the denom to be ‘silent’ on ES, then the youth pastor should not have preached sermons that said you could lose it. And they blamed US for this mess. Oy. They also reference several Calvinistic/Arminian books in their new course on the SoF.

    Anyway, the SoF is crafted to be ambiguous, and allows people to retain their former beliefs from various religious backgrounds without challenging them biblically. I was right when I called them on being a mixing pot of beliefs, and the senior pastor refused to answer.

  24. Thankfully, today is the first Sunday away. We have not written our letter of exit, yet, as we are not even sure how much or how little to say. I am afraid the more we lay it out, the more they will malign us. Since they like to sweep things under the rug, perhaps simpler is better. Such a quandary.

    As you both noted, they are using psychological mind games, bully tactics, appealing to the group-think, and desire for approval of men in trying to get us to shut up. I have lost total respect for any of the elders and pastors. My husband and I never attacked anyone’s character, just messages, and yet they were quick to attack our integrity, hearing, intellect. Definitely disrespectful to us, and no scripture to back them up, aside from various vague or out of context references. The Ambiguously Diplomatic Pastor won’t be nailed down on obvious things – like if we have one or two natures after salvation. He has some vague comments of, “well, you see this here and then that there, so it’s hard to know.” He said that Paul talked about two natures in Gal 5, but also having been crucified with Christ and no longer living in chapter two, so maybe it’s just one nature. I was like, “But Paul was not literally crucified with Christ. So it is a metaphor, and most likely refers to the eternal nature of our salvation, having Christ’s act imputed to us in eternity at the moment of salvation even while we are still stuck in the temporal.” Grr. Double grrrrr.

    I am just so sad that we didn’t see this before! Twelve years of thinking we were all on the same page! Looking back, there were clues. But the pastor is so ambiguous, and probably for a reason, that only a polarizing message from the new pastor showed the tip of the iceberg. And like all icebergs, there is waaaaay more below the surface than what is visible. I’m guessing this ambiguity is crafted to grow churches, bring in people of all beliefs, and no one has a reason to leave.

    I have told a handful of close friends the truth, and only because I knew where they stood on eternal security and how bothered they are by the whole thing, too. One friend’s family left, two more are getting ready to leave. The others who don’t know/understand, etc., I finally had to decide didn’t really mean that much to me if they believed the lies.

  25. Penelope wrote :
    “Sounds like they are laying all the blame on us for any issues”

    That’s the double bind mind control tactic at work on you and yours. in an attempt to manipulate you.

    “a double bind works on a psychological level rather than a physical one. A double bind tricks a person into doing what the controller wants, while giving an illusion of choice.”

    “Christians are called together to learn sound biblical doctrine and to encourage one another in the faith. Jesus Himself places them in the Body of Christ when they are born of His Spirit. Jesus establishes leaders as gifts to the church and as teachers and shepherds to lead the church into sound doctrine and practice.

    However, many groups that call themselves “Christian” are not delivering sound doctrine and encouraging believers to walk according to the Spirit—glorifying the Lord through faith and practice. Many groups have added worldly techniques that use emotions and appeal to the flesh. Therefore Christians need to be wary of groups that are not grounded in the Word of God and that entice and attempt to indoctrinate by using psychological group dynamics that appeal to the flesh.

    Some techniques are simply ways people normally use to influence one another, such as performing all kinds of loving acts in order to draw the members into the group. Here they are appealing to a person’s desire to be loved and to belong. But, along with these expressions of love there will be group pressure and group conformity. First there’s the love and caring; next comes the pressure to be and do what the group intends.”

  26. Penelope, sorry I missed it, but glad I found it now. It seems that these men instead of humbling themselves and submitting to others, and being a servant to others, they puff themselves up, attack the other person, and deflect however they can from the subject at hand. They can’t seem to correct rightly with His Word, but they have plenty of their own unfortunate devious ways I’m afraid.

    Making suggestions that you are somehow in the wrong is unseemly and isn’t Christ like. It is bully tactics and human nature, it’s not coming from the right place, and I know by now, you both are likely aware of that. Dignity? I understand what you mean, but Penelope, you’ll only keep that intact with people who want to know the truth. Behind the scenes these people often malign people’s characters with their malicious prating. 🙂 Maybe these people are not, but trust the Lord that you are doing the right thing for refusing to compromise His Word, and ‘forgive a brother’ for bad doctrine. It has nothing whatsoever to do with forgiving a brother. It has to do with contending earnestly for the faith.

  27. Goodness, you are right on keeping lies straight, and that preachers will say different things week to week. There is a little truth that we can agree with, and then they keep speaking and undo it.

    We were summoned to a meeting with our senior pastor and head elder, who we had had a heated discussion with on this a few weeks ago. Our purpose in asking questions and discussing was to go through scriptures and to find out if our church is okay with being a mixing pot of beliefs on security, predestination, works, etc., that has come to light recently. If they are happy with it, we said, we will just move on. And then the tirade began.

    Basically said we were the problem, causing a quarrel in church (though we haven’t been talking outright about this to others), and contradicted themselves several times from what they have said in the past on this. Sounds like they are laying all the blame on us for any issues, and yet said that the youth pastor – blatant LS – will not be preaching for awhile, even though we “heard him wrong” and “he didn’t mean that.” Then why can he not preach if he didn’t say wrong stuff and it was a problem with OUR ears? Finally we were told that “it’s been two months since his sermon, and you just need to move on and have love and forigveness for your bother in Christ. We love you, but this discussion has to stop. You are frustrating us.”

    Had to share with my homies on here since my heart is raw right now. They make you second guess yourself, question your love and motives, and basically say it’s not that big of a deal if he “hinted” to losing it, but “that’s not what he meant.”

    We want to leave, and will, but we have been so immersed in service in the church that it’s hard to extract ourselves quietly. Selfishly, we do want a little dignity intact when we go, but it’s getting harder to do. Some of our commitments are ending soon (Sunday school, etc), so hoping we can break away from some of the others without making a huge spectacle.

  28. The reason they can’t get on the same page Sam, is because their god is one of confusion. It’s like telling a lie, you can’t remember the lie after awhile exactly, or the lie becomes truth to you, but you embellish it. They remind me of an unfaithful husband explaining where he’s been and he overdoes the explanation, going into unnecessary detail to cover up. These people do something similar. There is no order. No harmony because what they speak is a lie as their father I’m afraid (Jn 8:44).

  29. Ive noticed that LS teachers include different requirements for salvation.Sometimes they say just repent of your sins but then other times they will say to surrender or give your life and confess him or ask him to forgive you for all you have done wrong etc.The point im making is if they think all these add ons to Faith are required they should list them everytime or their not giving the full Gospel.I think these guys should get on the same page so all their followers knew what to do.(myself Ill just go with John 3:16 or acts 16:30-31 or 1 cor 15:1-4 that is the full Gospel or good news for salvation) The reason Im bringing this up is most people in church hear many different gospels from the same pasters from one week to the next.Sometimes in the same sermon.

  30. John, I would have to disagree with that thinking on John 8:30-31 by Constable. IN HIM is the key phrase, they believed in Him. The Jewish Messiah? What does He think that means? They may not have understood all the components yet, not even His 11 disciples understood about the cross, but they understood that He had the words of eternal life. They had already been pronounced clean multiple times. The Jews that had believed IN HIM were being instructed how to live. He was instructing them how the truth (once they were mathethes-disciples-students-pupils), that instruction would set THEM free. I do not believe He was addressing non-believers at that moment but believers IN HIM.

    I believe there was a switch in audience from the believing Jews to the THEY in vs. 33 (see vs. 37 says THEY were the ones that wanted to kill Him. That’s a definite distinction.

    Before the cross, did the thief need to understand about the death, burial and resurrection? No, it had not transpired. How were the disciples already clean? They believed IN HIM. The Jews were expecting a Messiah. That Savior, that Redeemer, they should have know through His Word was God. Kyrios means God, the Messiah.

    I see two groups of people, the many who believed, and then there were those who did not, who trusted in being children of Abraham to save them, some sought to kill Him, who did not have God’s Word in them.

  31. Phil, that’s a great addition!

  32. Here’s one more, and it can be a tough one; Think of that person who hurt your the most or did the most evil in their life. And think if you ever thought, “he will get his after he dies.” But what if he believed the gospel of his salvation before he died?

    Also someone mentioned the Apostles or Nicene Creed about Christ’s death and resurrection in it. Notice it says “for our sake he was crucified…” And does not say for our salvation he died and rose. Catholics and some Protestants recite this creed in church each Sunday.

  33. I wanted to follow up on one of my previous comments:

    If “believe” does not mean “believe”, why would we expect anyone to “believe”?

    2 Peter 3:16: As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

    As a friend of mine said last night, some of the Bible is hard, but the passages on salvation are very clear.

    The term “wrest” means to twist. Note that in 2 Peter 3:16 it says those that are unlearned and unstable twist not only the parts of scripture that are hard to understand, but other scripture as well.

    That is why we have Calvinists and Lordship “salvationists” explain away verses that say that people believed. It doesn’t fit their man-made theological narrative, so they “wrest” (twist the scriptures) to fit their narratives.

    They are “learned” in the wisdom of men, but completely unlearned and unstable in interpreting God’s word. Their ears are not inclined to His Word. They are inclined to their narrative.

  34. Holly, yeah – it was Constable Bible Notes. The commentary was that these people believed that Jesus was a prophet, or the Jewish Messiah, but did not believe He was God.

    I think this is incorrect. Nicodemus said he perceived that Jesus was a prophet, but it did not say at that time that Nicodemus had believed on Him.

    No, Constable is confused by the multiple audiences Jesus was addressing in the passages. Constable thinks the people that believed on Him (verse 30) were the same ones who wanted to kill Him later in that passage. I think this is extremely strained.

  35. John – what a shock that some ‘free grace’ commentary could comment that those in John 8 who believed were not saved…

    Does John say that in believing AND being a disciple, we will be saved?

    No! His purpose statement says:

    …but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (Jn 20:31)

  36. Holly, there is no limit to the ways in which people will corrupt the gospel.

    I saw one today, in which the writer said that in the parable of the Sower, only those represented by soil 4 were saved. His reasoning was that the account in Matthew said that only those represented by soil 4 were explicitly said to hear the word and “understandeth it.”

    However, the same person entirely overlooked the fact that in the account in Luke, ONLY those represented by soil 2 were said to have “believed.”

    I guess, based on this “analysis”, that anytime I see that someone “understood” the word, I am to assume it means the person is saved? And, anytime I see that someone “believed” the word, I am to question it?

    I saw, in one popular “free grace” commentary, that those who believed on Jesus in John 8:30-31 were not saved.

    If “believe” does not mean “believe”, why would we expect anyone to “believe”?

  37. Wow John…

    And it still doesn’t cover all the ways they try to sneak in I’m sure, yet I can’t think of one, but it will come. Great points! People need to read both parts!

  38. Thanks John, good points. I think Calvinists and Lordshippers of any type tend to hold on to the tradition men. They are quick to complain about ignoring the views of men over the last 2000 years but what good are they if they don’t line up with scripture? They can advocate Lordship salvation for another 2000 years and it would still be the same grace squelching message.

    Jim F

  39. Great article John. The leaven of lordship salvationists comes in so many different forms and semantics as always play a huge role for them.

  40. Fryingpan, I made a couple of revisions, based on your comment. The last item is tongue-in-cheek! And, I added the next-to-last item.

  41. FryingPan9

    Great article, John. If I remember correctly I was probably one of the people that commented on the original article and indicating that I was hoping for a sequel. And I was likely also one of the folks who misconstrued it as being humorous, though I certainly never meant to infer that was the main intent or objective. But some of the absurdity brought to light in this sequel had me chuckling a bit, I must admit.

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