Lordship Salvation’s Mike Gendron: Steeling Minds Against the Gospel

By johninnc

Ephesians 6:11-12:

[11] Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. [12] For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Today, I had the nauseating displeasure of ingesting spiritual poison, in the form of a false gospel tract entitled “True Faith or False Hope: How Can I be Sure?” The tract was issued by an organization called “Proclaiming the Gospel,” headed up by founder and director, Mike Gendron.

In addition to his role with “Proclaiming the Gospel,” Gendron is an author and popular Bible conference speaker. His speaking engagements have included the “Steeling the Mind” conferences put on by “The Compass Group.” The “Steeling the Mind” list of speakers appears to represent the gamut of professing Christendom, including some who should know better than to participate in conferences alongside those who corrupt the gospel.

The false gospel tract, “True Faith or False Hope: How Can I be Sure,” includes many of the Lordship “salvation” (LS) greatest hits, including:

  • Faulty Bible translations
  • Standard LS proof texts from scripture, misinterpreted
  • A faulty understanding of repentance in the context of eternal salvation
  • The false notion that God gives people faith in Christ
  • The false Calvinist tenet of perseverance of the saints

Following are some examples from the tract, along with my comments:

There are two types of “faith” described in the Bible. One is a dead faith that originates in man as he gives mental assent to certain truths about God, but it produces no evidence of a new life in Christ (James 2:17). The other is a God-given faith which includes being born again as a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). This is a living faith that is coupled with repentance (Acts 11:18). It flows out of a new heart that desires to bear fruit for God’s Glory (Ezekiel 36:26; John 15:8).

(My comment: God gives all people the ability to believe in something. If one exercises belief in Christ, he is saved. God does not give anyone faith in Christ.

The “intellectual assent” argument is standard LS jargon, intended to demonstrate that faith in Christ is not sufficient for eternal life. The verses cited in the tract are intended to give the false impression that one can determine whether or not he is saved by examining his works. This is standard LS fruit inspection, designed by Satan to keep lost people lost and to turn believers eyes back onto themselves for assurance of eternal life.)

Which kind of faith do you have? Would you be willing to look to scripture to test your faith? (2 Corinthians 13:5).

(My comment: 2 Corinthians 13:5 is another LS go-to verse to try to falsely assert that one can tell whether or not he is saved by examining his works. That verse, in context, was part of the Apostle Paul’s defense of his apostleship, and has nothing to do with asking someone to take an inventory of personal righteousness to determine whether or not one is showing the right marks, or signs, of having eternal life. The tract also uses the same tired false LS arguments regarding the book of 1 John containing similar “tests” of eternal life).

The Lord Jesus said we must “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to life, and those that find it are few” (Matthew 7:13-14). The narrow way is hard, and only a few find it, because you must diligently search the Scriptures to find it.

(My comment: Jesus is the strait gate and the narrow way! The way is not hard. The way is narrow.

The KJV Bible has a much different version of Matthew 7:13-14:

[13] Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: [14] Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

In addition, diligently searching the scriptures does not necessarily lead to eternal life. Believing in Jesus as Savior always leads to eternal life. We see this illustrated perfectly in John 5:39-40:

 [39] Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. [40] And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.)

Godly sorrow for their sins produced a repentance that led to salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone (2 Corinthians 7:10).

(My comment: 2 Corinthians 7:10 was written to believers, not unbelievers. It had nothing to do with their receiving eternal life. Since Christ died for the ungodly, how would it be that an unsaved person could muster up a “Godly sorrow”?

Repentance in salvation means a change of mind from any idea of religion that man may have and to accept God’s way of salvation. Repentance does not in any sense include a demand for a change of conduct before or after salvation.)

False converts are not aware of their perilous condition…They desire Jesus as a priest to pardon their sins, but not as a prophet to instruct them, or a king to rule over them.

(My comment: People do not have to desire Jesus as a prophet to instruct them, nor as a king to rule over them, in order to have eternal life. This is unabashed works for salvation – trying to turn the gift of eternal life through Christ Jesus into a trade.)

False gospel tracts, such as the one discussed above, are a “wile of the devil,” designed to keep people lost and to confuse believers. We must put on the full armor of God to stand against these wiles.

If you would like to know the truth about how to have eternal life, click here: THE GOSPEL

196 responses to “Lordship Salvation’s Mike Gendron: Steeling Minds Against the Gospel

  1. Curtis – the last thing I ever heard Piper say that affected me, was something I’ll never forget I don’t believe. It wounded back then in making me feel as something I had done (which I do not believe is wrong in God’s sight) was very wrong and it involved someone I loved dearly. Can’t explain it because I don’t want it to have any affect on anyone else here. But I do know that the Word of God is our weapon, and these men are famous for being ‘thinking mean’ and going beyond God’s Word over and over and over, loving to hear themselves speak in their Q & A sessions, with their rambling, stuttering, feigned humility, all the while forbidding what the Scriptures haven’t, adding their own traditions, and speaking when the Scriptures don’t.

  2. Welcome Jojers thank you for your post and testimony
    John Piper is one to avoid he is a master at loading the language into cult like influence , meaning he strings together word phrases into structures that are contrary to one another that nullifying the Work of Grace by Faith .
    Preachers love to quote him with his phrases the last one i heard it took awhile for me to shake because it made No biblical sense yet used biblical terms making strange fire
    allow the Holy Spirit through the Word of God Make Straight Paths in our thinking

    Pro 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

    Like Holly said

    “All I know is I better keep my nose in His Word, and in fellowship with others who are. I have a whole murky stream of these men in my past. I can barely listen to them, which is why if I am comparing their doctrine to His Word I really look for the written text if possible. Something like the myth of the sirens, keep your ears closed to them”

  3. Holly, I may put a link on that thread.

  4. John, I was just thinking, is there a link for Grudem on Wiki errrors? Might be a good spot for this link too. I hope others will go look at the review and comment. I have some comments from something I shared of Grudem’s with you, I used it in our FB group where we explain the heresy of Calvinism and loadship teachings or doctrines.

  5. Holly, as you know, our friend and former administrator Bruce Bauer has recently written a review of a book by Wayne Grudem. As you would expect, Bruce has started to draw flack from the LS crowd in response to his review. Please see link below:

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R1EO4QXSY5X35V/ref=cm_cd_notf_message?ie=UTF8&cdForum=Fx1PC0CA8706AKO&cdPage=1&cdThread=Tx3UMJYG04U4G62#Mx3SHIAYA85DXXY

  6. Jojers. I am glad you finally decided to comment, great to hear from another one who catches these things. John Piper used to be a whole less obvious years ago (I believe), but eventually they make their colors known. It’s really difficult for people who may not be getting into the strong meat of His Word to discern between good and evil, and as we see in the epistles, an awful lot of believers are misled or warned about being deceived even when it comes to the gospel (2 Cor 11:3-4). Thinking on Peter and Barnabas. They started becoming hypocritical and weren’t truthful about the gospel. It can happen to any of us when we start listening to men without being Bereans, or maybe just caring about our position or standing with others, I guess we see plenty of different types of examples.

    Last night, I was reminded how seductive these men can be as they may sound reasonable, and use the Scriptures seemingly aptly rambling them off to support their position (reminded as I was listening to a video with Wayne Grudem last night — systematic theology). Anyways, we have to continue in His Word, in spite of these men. Whatever their intention or motivation, they are deceivers or being deceived. Or so caught up in knowledge and their own wisdom they may have thought of others beyond what is written. Only the Lord knows their motives or why.

    All I know is I better keep my nose in His Word, and in fellowship with others who are. I have a whole murky stream of these men in my past. I can barely listen to them, which is why if I am comparing their doctrine to His Word I really look for the written text if possible. Something like the myth of the sirens, keep your ears closed to them 🙂

  7. Jojers, I think I know which article you are referring to. Heretical garbage is an appropriate description. Piper’s concern is Calvinism and the dirty dozen sins not Christianity. He’s twisted.

  8. Hello Jojers.

    Great comment. Glad you stepped out of lurk mode, even just if it’s this one time.

    Unfortunately millions (apparently–at least many thousands) in the West are swallowing this putrid garbage.

  9. Jojers, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    Yes, so many of these guys are bad news. They go on and on about loving the Lord, but then corrupt His gospel.

    The fact of the matter is, they either don’t understand, don’t believe, or ARE ashamed of the gospel.

  10. Hey everyone, I’ve been following this site for the better part of two years. I found it after I had a blow to my faith and sunk into a hole. It took awhile, but other things and this website brought me out. I’ve toyed around with commenting before, but I haven’t till now. I’m a reader and I know who to avoid, but sometimes I like to see what kind of heresy is being spewed at the moment. I just read an article by John Piper and I could not believe the garbage being offered. The term “casual Christianity” was used. He basically stated that to see the Father we must live our lives in purity. He told believers in sin that they were going to hell. He rambled on about how hard it was to be Christian and how much trembling we have to do. THEN, he said that we would be doing all these things because one is saved. REALLY!!! Really? Who swallows this putrid garbage? He 180s the whole article and people believe this!! What is going? Funny, I don’t remember Paul saying how hard it was to be saved. I don’t remember the apostles telling believers to buck up or they would be going to hell. Why do these people always ignore Ephesians 2 talking about the Holy Spirit being sealed in us guaranteeing our inheritance? I swear they don’t read the Bible. They take a handful of verses and base an entire wacko religion about it. End of rant.

  11. I do agree with the article posted here at expreacherman
    “Lordship Salvation’s Mike Gendron: Steeling Minds Against the Gospel”
    by johninc
    I stand by my comments posted
    Curtis M

  12. In response to email I sent to Mike Gendron’s organization
    You or your organization is welcome to comment here pertaining to Mike Gendron I was the one who sent the link to Mike Gendron to this blog post . it is called “contending for the Faith ” the term easy believeism is not a biblical term “not of yourselves” is and scripture does warn Justification is a gift to be justified freely
    I sent the email link to Mike Gendron that is not who responded Biblically it is Mike who should respond.
    My reason for sending the emial to Mike is to defend the Gospel of Grace and perhaps Mike maybe teachable

    Curtis M

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

  13. Praying Daniel for you, your mother and father.

  14. Will do Daniel

  15. Daniel, you’ve got it!

  16. Daniel here again. Guys. Please pray for my father. The doctors said that he has T cell lymphoma on his arm. Just found that out after my mother Informed me.

  17. Failure to communicate the biblical distinction between saved and lost carnal belivers, carnal moral belivers. Is a tragedy. . It leaves the lost lost and saved confused.
    Any pastor layperson or believer should acrutaly handel the word of Truth.

  18. for me I could just about echo word for word the experience others had with the fundamentalist church i was attending in 1995 till around 2003 compared to CC. The fundamentalist church had a large bill gothard following the pastor was a good speaker and taught Scofield class and i went through the 3 year class Also went through navigators courses The pastor knew we are saved by grace but not one student including myself knew the answer when asked at the close of 3rd year.
    its like the pastor only taught saved by grace but mixed with law or something to appease the gothardites and religious do gooders like myself . I have not fully come to grip with it all maybe i realy dont need to .
    this thread sure has helped me shed some light on things for me . I can relate to others experience.

    The most recent message from Duluth “What Hinders Me From Being Baptized?”
    it boggles my mind and amazes me How the Truth of God’s word and the Gospel of Grace. when not disciplined by Grace leaves a soul wide open and blinds the heart /mind with the gospel looking right at them . That is absolutely incredible to me .
    I’m listening to Pastor Rosker preach on baptism and God’s word is filling in all the pot holes and dark voids of vacuum that were left unchecked and or not challenged in my thinking to search the scriptures from my past .

    if i could attempt to boil it down it was like being fed a whole lot of doctrine of Christ Jesus and yet not presented Christ Jesus

  19. FryingPan, Isn’t it ‘bless her little ole heart’? 🙂

    Too sad that they are unwilling to reason together with another. I can only assume that their form of truth is of the law. The blind leading the blind.

  20. Hi Shane,

    I was actually in a “liberal” (yes, in MANY ways they were very liberal) Church of Christ beginning in July of 1994. I had NO idea about their belief that one must be baptized to be saved back then. I actually started going there because I heard they were “non denominational” (yeah . . . RIGHT). I was water baptized there on July 4, 1995. It would be YEARS before I’d have a light bulb moment about something the pastor said before he dunked me. I paraphrase, but part of what he said I was being baptized for was “for the forgiveness of [my] sins.” I think at the time I quickly processed what he said along the lines of, “Well, yeah, it’s a testimony that my sins are forgiven.”

    I once shared one of johninnc’s blog posts here about how to be saved on FaceBbook and an old friend I met at that church got on my Facebook wall and did the whole, “Oh bless his heart” southern passive aggressive typical Church of Christ LS nonsense railing against the gospel of grace. I encouraged her to come on this blog and confront the source but she “declined”. Gave some stupid excuse about not being computer savvy enough. Mm mm . . . bless her heart.

  21. Fryingpan, you were not the only one that attended CC that got messed up by the LS presentations. I have found a steady stream of individuals that have been seeing it from within CC’s, and what is bringing them to see LS as false, is ecumenicalism. They see the CC ecumenical moves, and they discuss their concerns with their CC leaders, but the leaders push them away under the guise of “well we all call on the Name of Jesus”. Notice, of course, the absence of the true Gospel. It took me years to fully come out of it, as Chuck Smith would place it within so many messages. Speaking against Catholicism in terms of Mary idolatry and confessing to priests, but then right away confirming that “catholics are Christians”. Telling that we are saved by grace through faith, but then saying the “Church of Christ” is Christian, when in reality, the “Church of Christ” says you must be water baptized to be saved. I’m only now, within the last year or so, really seeing it, that it was always wrong.

  22. Wonderful stories of how the truth of His Word works. What I see time and again that I found compelling in Shane, Fryingpan and Chas’ stories are that error was trying to correct error. But the Lord knew you were seeking for truth. I see people using Arminian load-shippers such as Michael Brown to try to correct load-shipper Calvinists (or vice-versa). There may be some truth, but it will be the old saying come true, “from out of the frying pan and into the fire”.

  23. Interesting story, Chas. Thanks for sharing.

    I too was raised in the RCC but unlike many who remained churchgoers into adulthood, I more or less abandoned whatever faith I had by the time I was a late teen and was agnostic till the age of 26. I didn’t discover the CC movement till I was 40. But after I became a believer at age 26 I soon became a pre-trib rapture believer and later on, after learning about it, came to reject Calvinism. (I’d been a Calvinist in many ways after coming back to the faith at age 26 w/out even knowing it at the time. That lasted several years.) My point here is that when I was looking for a new church to attend in 2006 and I found this local Calvary Chapel. When I looked up what they believed. I couldn’t believe it. They were “everything” I was looking for:
    -Inerrancy of Scripture
    -Belief in the Rapture
    -Rejected all main tenets of Calvinism
    and a few other things (being that it was a decade ago I’m shaky on the details).

    Of course, what’s conspicuous by its absence in the above list is a CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF THE GOSPEL OF GRACE.

    Sorry-don’t mean to shout.

    So yes, for me at the time, CC was a huge departure from RCC, and many other things. But like Shane said, their lack of due diligence when it comes to the gospel messed me up pretty bad, and I know I’m not alone. Well, I’d like to THINK I wasn’t the only one at the CC I attended for almost 7 years who was a casualty of an unclear gospel.

  24. Chas,
    Appreciate the background you’ve presented. Thank you.
    Alec

  25. Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa spawned a worldwide ministry beginning in the 1970s. Many “Calvary Chapel-ites” are fiercely loyal to CS and certainly to “the movement” as a whole. That loyalty is misplaced, of course. CS would often say that “the Bible is the most important thing”, but that stipulation would often crumble if you disagreed with him, some of the other pastors, or the “Calvary Distinctives”. You would be shown the door. Sometimes that was a good thing as there could be some unbiblical ideas cropping up, but it cut both ways. You could just as well be ostracized for defending a genuinely biblical position that contradicted the “distinctives”.

    Having said that, as someone who attended CCCM from the mid ’70s and considered CCCM to be “my church” into the late ’90s, I can attest to CS’s emphasis on studying the Bible for oneself. That–as it turned out–was exactly what kept me from being permanently buried under the varied and inconsistent teaching presented there. Kind of ironic, I guess, that “Pastor Chuck’s” single most repeated and promoted tenet (personal Bible study) would be the undoing of the CC “movement”; the very deliverance from it for some of us.

    If that seems hard to understand, keep this in mind: Like me, a great many of the people who gravitated to CCCM (especially in the ’70s) came out of the Roman Catholic Church. I was always bumping into ex-Catholics there when I first began regular attendance. Anyone who wasn’t raised in the RCC might have trouble appreciating what a great jump toward Truth it was to go from Rome to Costa Mesa. For me it was like night and day. That’s how dark life in the RCC is. Because of that, it took me a while to recognize CCCM’s own problems, and as I say, it was CCCM’s promotion of personal Bible study that led me out of CC.

    For someone raised in a more biblically-oriented church fellowship where the gospel has always been taught more clearly, the problems with CC would be more apparent from the start. But so many who gravitated to CCCM–in the past at least–didn’t have that advantage. Unfortunately, it seems some have abandoned their love of the Truth for the love of CC. It also seems that holds true for some in CCCM leadership. The compromises of the past–a failure to recognize the false gospel of RCC-ism in particular–have caught up with CCCM, and they are being co-opted by ecumenism from several directions. For example (my apologies if this has been posted before), they seem to be completely schmoozed by Rick Warren. A year ago I was banned from CCCM’s blog for trying to answer a direct question about “what is wrong with Rick Warren”; why he was being criticized so much by various discernment ministries. After going back and forth a couple of times with a certain poster (who wasn’t accepting the evidence I presented), I found suddenly that I was cut off. No warning, no appeal, just BAM! “You have been banned from posting.” All previous posts under my Disqus name were deleted. I attempted to contact the blog administrator, but I was ignored. They just don’t want to hear the truth about an increasingly serious situation which they are on the wrong side of.

    Truly sad, and not just a little bit frightening.

  26. fryingpan9, yes, those are the kinds of statements that were typical fare with Chuck Smith. He spent years getting a pass on these issues, and a pass on the ecumenical issues that he was always promoting. People mostly looked the other way. As Holly pointed out, before and after his passing, the topic was virtually forbidden to approach. Somehow he got regard as the authority in the minds of many. I believe he ended up with that regard because he would promote the line-by-line teaching of the Bible that would get people hearing all of it. And that standing alone would be good, but whether he planned it or not, it turned out to be a trojan horse to bring the LS false gospel and ecumenicalism to people. And it messed a lot of people up, me being one of them.

  27. I didn’t realize the following Chuck Smith had, but after he died, a conversation ensued regarding his loadship stance, and his Arminian doctrine (give back your salvation and prove you are saved). His followers came out to defend him and attack others for touching their anointed. I didn’t ever follow him but I did use blueletterbible and years back they added F.F. Bruce’s definition of repentance to what they already had (Roman Catholic leaning). That was what initially led me to go through the Bible and examine each meaning. I looked up old Greek translations of the word repent, and that is how I found Ron Shea’s site. It may be how I found this one, not quite sure of order, but thankful either way.

  28. Thank you, Shane.

    I don’t think most readers here think we’re trying to run them down, and I admit they’re “technically” non denominational. But I’ve seen more than a couple of comments about how some folks in the past, when attending a CC church, were left in extreme confusion about their eternal position and of the gospel of grace, and the CC movement was a part of the problem, and far from the solution.

    Just to give some ideas to those who aren’t familiar with Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel, here is an off the top of my head list of things one can expect to hear said or otherwise stated in a CC body:

    -We don’t believe you can “lose” your salvation, but we teach that you can walk a way from it.

    -A person who insists on living a sinful lifestyle cannot be saved.

    -A true believer won’t PRACTICE sin. If they sin, they beat their breast and are sorry for it. They get help.

    -If you’re not living like a committed believer I worry about where you’re going when you die.

    -I’d like to think I won’t be turned away on the day of judgment becuase of my sincere walk w/ God

    -Repent means to “turn from”

    -You must stop doing the things that displease God if you want to be saved.

    -I’m a big believer in “once saved, always saved” (but if you ask them to elaborate they go the whole “you can walk away from your salvation route)

    My involvement in a CC church did NOT help me understand the gospel. Finding this blog did that.

  29. Chuck Smith was extreme LS, always taught losing salvation. Never once did I hear him teach the true Gospel in years of attending CCCM.

    Calvary Chapel is LS. Like fryingpan talked about, I could count on one hand the number of CC people that understand the Gospel.

  30. Failure to make a defined biblical distication between
    Saved and Lost. Birth truth. And Santification Truth
    Just muddies the clear Gospel of Grace with souls using their own choice of dirt.. Leaving the lost lost and saved confused.
    Christ died for the ungodly. The flesh hates that it can not do anything to please the Lord before and after salvation without Faith.
    Also a twisted gospel message is profitable to make a buck.. Books books books. Buy another book.
    Im all for the free gift of salvation books the good books dont try to educate a soul but to present Jesus finished work and as a Free Gift.

  31. Curtis…

    I finally listened to that Hixson video you posted on 4/29. Good stuff, thanks!

  32. socalexile

    RAS, that’s a good observation,.

  33. It is true that Calvary Chapel seeks to be non-Calvinist. They certainly claim to be such. I have heard Chuck Smith and Don Stewart argue against Calvinism on their “Pastor’s Perspective” radio program, (though their argument was weak). Strict Calvinists like James White have taken Chuck Smith to task for being non-Calvinist. Trouble is, when CS would get into the issue of what part works play in salvation he’d still fall back on what amounts to LS. He would become a soft J-Mac.That confused me for so long. One week Pastor Chuck would be all grace and nothing else, then during the week he’d seem to take it all back, telling us to “examine ourselves” to see if we were “really His” (read: really committed enough to be saved). Messed me up for so long.

  34. for me i like to just lump them both together as Works for salvation . either works to receive salvation , works to maintain salvation, or works as evidence of salvation .
    even pondering a title for a book
    “a mystics guide to self-inflicting righteousness a heavenly path working your way to hell “

  35. RAS, yeah – both Calvinism and Arminianism lead people away from the truth.

  36. I am by no means well acquainted with Calvary Chapel but my experience with those involved indicates that CC is pretty much anti-Calvinist. Not anti Lordship but much more in the “Holiness” or Arminian mold than the Reformed mold. I have heard the founder (Chuck Smith) quoted as saying “Salvation is a gift but you can give it back”.

    My observation has been that the Arminian rightfully sees that the believer can lose something; they think it is the gift and not the reward that can be lost, so they work to keep the gift. The Calvinist rightfully sees that the gift cannot be lost but they conflate the gift with the reward therefore they say nothing at all will be lost to those who are “truly” elect; everything is automatic. “Am I keeping it?” “Am I really of the elect?” The Arminian can preach assurance but it may be temporary. The Calvinist will not preach assurance but does preach eternal security of the elect. It’s like a broken circle with each system on either end. The circle is so close to touching that both systems are a mirror image with only a couple degrees of separation and both systems lead away from grace orientation.

  37. socal, yeah, this is a mess.

    On another front, check out this definition of “reward” from Dictionary.com:

    noun

    1. a thing given in recognition of one’s service, effort, or achievement.
    “the holiday was a reward for 40 years’ service with the company”

    verb

    1. make a gift of something to (someone) in recognition of their services, efforts, or achievements.

    Using the same source, I cross-referenced the word “gift”:

    1. something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present.
    2. the act of giving.
    3. something bestowed or acquired without any particular effort by the recipient or without its being earned:
    Those extra points he got in the game were a total gift.
    4. a special ability or capacity; natural endowment; talent:
    the gift of saying the right thing at the right time.

    (My comment: none of the definitions of “gift” includes the concept of a reward, or payment. And yet, the definition of “reward” calls it a “gift.” Incredible!)

  38. socalexile

    Good Lord, this explanation of a simple Greek word has all sorts of Calvinism read into it: http://biblehub.com/greek/4102.htm

    You can probably make another post out if it.

  39. socal, there are saved people that go to all kinds of churches – including those churches that are doctrinally unsound on the gospel.

  40. socalexile

    As I said before. Calvary Chapels are a mixed bag. It’s more of a brand than a denomination, and it’s actually very easy to get their name on your church door.

    One thing I do wonder about, being somewhat new to the idea of lower-case “free grace”, is that “how far does grace go?” I mean, while we should correct doctrinal errors on the essentials, mark & avoid those who unrepentantly teach them, are there those who are genuinely saved in Calvary Chapels and are either deceived or ignorant? I tend to think yes, there are.

    Now when people leave CC they tend to go to any ol’ church that meets whatever standard they think they should have, and that’s an issue of deception and ignorance. It’s hard to tell someone that what they’ve been told for years is a lie, and have them accept it.

    In my case, I was saved before I went to CC, but I was baptized by CC, but I left it when I left southern California. Then though a series of events (and many of my own doing), I tried to “deconvert” which didn’t last long, then I floated along agnostically for more than a decade. Even when I was doing the Wiccan/Pagan thing, and then the agnostic thing, I still said little prayers when things got rough. I had no joy but I still believed. So perhaps I was born again, even though I didn’t understand how it all really worked. Of course those in LS would think I was never saved, but i know that even though I was faithless to Him, God was faithful to me.

    Yet until a few months ago, I really didn’t understand the gospel as well as I thought I did, yet God had grace in that I still had faith in Christ (and this was the early 90’s looong before I ever heard the name “John MacArthur” or “Lordship Salvation”. And I think the tenets of both have infested the church in the last 25 years.

  41. I second everything RAS and JohnWI said about the Calvary Chapel movement. I’ve yet to have one memorable conversation with anyone involved in that movement where I’ve been convinced they understand or believe the gospel. At best you end up with someone who gives tacit agreement to the idea of salvation being by grace through faith alone in Christ alone, but who then basically starts spouting LS and Calvinist doctrine in terms of insisting that a believer will be a committed follower, produce fruit, etc. I speak from experience.

    They are a prime example of the “We’re not Calvinist” but who nevertheless are to one degree or another. Especially shameful when you consider that many Calvary Chapels have a laundry list of the tenets of Calvinism which they reject on their “what we believe” sections of their websites.

    In fact, in every case I can remember, everyone I know who’s LEFT the Calvary Chapel movement has moved on to something WORSE, such as the Southern Baptists or any run of the mill LS organization where their confusion about the gospel is even more evident than that of any Calvary Chapel gathering I’ve ever seen.

  42. May the Lord give us all boldness at the right times.

  43. JohnWI, yes I plan on being at the Grace Conference this year. Perhaps we met already.

    Thanks to everyone for the tract and booklet suggestions. I should spend some time reading them.

    I really appreciate the bold stand against Lordship Salvation here. It’s an inspiritation for me to be bolder and not fail to stand up for the truth.

    Thank you for your boldness.

  44. Be fun to hear your stories if you all were able to meet up.

  45. socalexile,
    Yes that’s the Grace Conference we were referring to. It’s at Quentin Rd. Bible Baptist Church in Lake Zurich, Ill. this July 7 and 8. I have been there several years in a row and I must say it is very well done. Many free grace teachers, preachers including Tom Cucuzza, Yankee Arnold, Dennis Rokser and of course the Scudders. Hope to meet up with many of you there.

    RAS, Yes I would stay away from the Calvary Chapel movement.

  46. @socalexile
    It was the Great Lakes Prophecy Conference in Appleton, WI, Sept. 11-12 2015. I can’t vouch for the conference. I think it was a Calvary Chapel movement (different side of the same coin if you ask me) that shut him down.

  47. I recall running across a Gendron controversy last year in which he was disinvited (because of his Calvinist teachings) to a conference at which he was scheduled to speak. What I found interesting was Gendron’s response, both written and in appearance on Brannnon Howse’s program. It was the basic “I don’t preach Calvin…I preach the word of God” all the while upholding Calvinist doctrines and misreading them into scripture. Many of the proof texts were used along with the illogical logic that is Calvinism. I must say that by far the bulk of my encounters with LS adherents is with these types—Calvinist who deny being Calvinist.

  48. I think Jim Floyd and Bryan Roach are going too, if you both go let me know, or maybe they’ll check in. I’ll let them know and you guys might be able to meet up.

  49. Brian, I met Ron Shea at the Grace Conference last year also. I plan on going again this year. How about you?

  50. Brian – this is one that I like to give out and also leave in different places. I buy the pre-printed one which is done really nicely on card stock, I also print it out. It’s by Pastor Tom Cucuzza of Northland Bible Church.

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/storage.nm-storage.com/northlandchurch/downloads/how_to_be_sure_you_are_going_to_heaven_with_cover.pdf

  51. Curtis, I have it saved as a book on my phone, but I don’t know how to do the scannable code.

  52. a scanable code thing that goes to that PDF link John posted

  53. I carry “Am I going to heaven” gospel tract by Yankee Arnold
    I keep clear Gospel booklets in my Truck

    would be nice to have a scanable link to give someone for clear gospel booklet for smart phone . I would like everyone I talk to to have a clear gospel booklet it has Gospel and Doctrine

  54. Johninnc,

    I have some of those. I met Ron Shea at the grace conference in Chicago last year.

  55. Brian, it’s not exactly a tract, but you might be interested in “The Gospel” booklet, linked below:

    http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

  56. Curtis, what gospel tracts do you use?

  57. I hear ya socal
    I witnessed to a 33 year old gentleman who’s mother passed away recently . it was refreshing to witness to someone not “churched” in fact he is well on his way . he was saying people invite him to church his response is why?
    i commended him that he is onto the religious that they are to be sharing Jesus not their religion /church . I think that is so cool when a soul spots that . he does or did think he is going to hell at the beginning of our conversation hopefully that has changed i left him with a gospel tract .

    I witnessed to a young man in dentist office who said when asked if he has taken care of his spiritual condition ? “i go to church he said ” my response was “but have you trusted Jesus as your saviour believing he paid your sin debt “? no response and I got interrupted after that.

    when talking to religious consider asking
    “what is God’s Standard for righteousness?”
    ” our my sins paid for?” (works for salvation cant answer that with a prompt YES).

    to me when the “license to sin” or even “practicing sin” objections to Grace come up you are wrestling with a soul who is a self righteous unbeliever or carnal moral practicing religion believer

    Christ died for the ungodly and the flesh hates that its is ungodly and averts Grace by them words.

    Rom 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

  58. Yeah, they mock everything.

  59. SoCal, yeah – the “churched up” crowd has a lot of sunk cost in their false doctrine. They can be really “dug in.”

  60. socalexile

    Yeah. Keep in mind this is from Family Guy, who’s writers don’t know the difference between LS and the actual gospel. They’re just repeating what they hear from Christians.

  61. SoCal, interesting.

    The video does seem to mock God’s way of salvation.

    On a side note, a lot of the LS crowd use accepting Jesus as Lord AND Savior to mean that one is agreeing to let Jesus be Lord of his life in order to be saved (commitment salvation).

  62. socalexile

    A Mormon on a popular gun board I posted Yankee Arnold’s gospel message on actually posted this as a mocking of what I believe, not realizing this is how it works:

  63. socalexile

    And I get that. It’s just a constant struggle and it seems that I witness more to self-proclaimed Christians than I actually do to those who don’t believe in Jesus at all.

  64. SoCal, see Romans 11:6.

  65. socalexile

    Lately this is the discussions I get into with people :

    Them: “yes we are saved by faith and not by following the Law”

    Me: “so saved by faith alone means that we are saved even when faith is alone, correct?”

    What comes next varies a bit with their doctrinal background, but most will deny that faith can be alone; which to me, is to deny that we are saved by faith alone.

    Then the fun starts. :/

  66. Welcome Brian

    Amen to keep exposing our minds to the Word of God.
    that was some strange fog Jesus brought / bringing me through coming out of my own indoctrination since 2010 .the same verses of scripture that had me bound up are the ones that set me free . I was looking at God’s word by a system of thought instead of allowing God’s Word to read Me allowing the Holy Spirit to dictate policy to me , to collapse into the finished work of Christ .
    Stop Working trying to earn God’s Favor , Stop trying to help God out to live His Life through me

  67. Curtis Marburger

    Believer souls are actually under a higher Law in Christ Jesus who fulfilled all the Law.

    The Law of the Spirit

    might grace reign through righteousness ( How ? ) by the law of the Spirit ,

    who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
    I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord
    Notice Jesus IS “OUR” Lord we don’t make Him Lord because He already is Lord

    Rom 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

    Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
    Rom 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

    the law of the Spirit
    Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

  68. I love God’s law for the law shows me my need for a saviour Christ Jesus for in Him all of the law is fufilled. The Holy Spirit fufills all of the law in me in spite of myself. Yes there are consequences for violating natural law.. . Didnt someone question Jesus about that? and jump off high place to prove it?

  69. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace

    Churchanity stumbles over this verse with law in their shoe

  70. The law is as much an enemy to the Gospel of Grace as the old sin nature

  71. You’re welcome John John. Glad to hear it was helpful!

  72. SoCal- Following up to your last post. Yes, trying to be justified by the law is sinful for us. Later on in Galatians 3 God gives us a good explanation as to why:

    Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
    Gal 3:21-22

    So reason trying to keep the law is sinful is that God (and our own consciences) has already declared that we are sinners. A picture of this is Cain trying to justify himself by the work of his hands rather than the blood of the lame in Genesis 4.

    So there is nothing wrong with the law other than our inability to keep it, which makes it sinful for us to try to keep it when God has made a way to justify us by faith. Good observation, thanks for posting!

  73. Curtis Marburger

    socal
    if I may here it is preached by Pastor Radke start at 1:08 if you like

    The Christian Life
    Description: #12 – Romans 6 & 7
    Date: 10/29/1981

  74. SoCal, interesting connection.

  75. socalexile

    Something rather stark I just ran into:

    Romans 14:23: “everything that is not of faith is sin”.

    In light of Galatians 3:12: “Yet the Law is not of faith”.

    Some interesting implications here.

    Not saying that God is the author of sin, but is it scriptural evidence that trying to be justified by the law is not only ineffective, bit downright sinful?

  76. Works-based salvation is the very same error from Genesis 11:

    3 Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. 4 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”

    It’s just man trying to reach heaven by his own labor.

  77. Jon, thanks for those Yankee Arnold videos on Catholicism. I watched all of the first one. Very uplifting.

  78. Brian, you’re among friends here. Many of us were caught up in false works for salvation doctrine.

  79. Brian K Wheeler

    Thanks, johninc ! My LS wounds are deep, and still open. This site is such a blessing!

  80. Brian, welcome!

  81. Brian K Wheeler

    Socalexile
    As one just recently having found the Gospel after being raised in the LS type of false doctrine, it is crucial to have access to the true Gospel. Thank Jesus for sites like this one !

  82. socalexile

    Ultimately, the important thing is to defend the gospel. I get into daily battles over “salvation by grace through faith alone”. That’s what really matters. I don’t care if they bang on a drum and wail before the service, as long as they actually teach the gospel.

  83. I know we are all passionate to defend His truth, and it is a joy and a blessing to fellowship with each one of you. In Christ, Holly

  84. Alec, I’m sure it would.

  85. John,
    Sounds like the subject of music would be a lively topic for a future post!
    Alec

  86. Holly I will honor John’s request and no longer continue with this line of discussion.

  87. Just a point of interest on Mike Gendron. I don’t think he first was into Calvinism, or at least I hope not. I think over time he was ‘converted’ (bewitched). But the Lord knows. One interesting thing I noted with him is overtime he began to be more legalistic on his page. Sounded good to many, especially when he chastised traditions (yet interestingly had some of his own). Chastised holidays, very much like his reformed predecessor A.W. Pink, most especially Christmas, and began to sound just like him (let every one esteem the day as they will, not saying one should or should not). Anyways, just found his descent into Calvinism sad but telling. The truth will set us free, and I am afraid when we abide in men’s words vs. God’s we see error creep in.

  88. Just a couple cautions (although of course I respect not continuing). Just wanted to let Joyfounder know, the author of that article above leans towards the reformed side even though identifying as a Pentecostal. It is Gordon Fee (if I am reading rightly) and he was load-ship (and endorsed reformed N.T. Wright).

    I am not a huge music buff in general, and years ago took an old hymnal to make some art things with, because the church was throwing them out. There are some beautiful hymns with beautiful words, some good, some were not so good. Other than that, I have some opinions, but those don’t matter so much, especially in light of not continuing.

    What matters most is that hopefully whatever I do in a worship setting with others I fellowship with, is that I am respectful of personal preferences, esteeming others better than myself, and hopefully and prayerfully that I am proving all things by that which is good.

  89. I want to thank everyone for their views on worship music.

    I would respectfully request that we move on, as I think we’re as close to a consensus as we are going to get.

    Christian music should be about Christ, and Christian churches should not compromise the gospel through music, through associations, or in any other way.

    The gospel is under assault from all directions, including the man made institutions of churchianity.

  90. socalexile

    One huge problem with the argument on the superiority of hymns: they don’t reach everybody.

    While I can tolerate hymns and recognize they are just as good as any other form of musical worship, they don’t do much for me.

    I can find many of the same issues with hymns as the “hymns only” crowd can find in contemporary worship. Many are intended to instill doctrine into the minds of the church, and there isn’t as much emphasis on just praising the Lord. They can be just as repetitious and self-centered as contemporary songs. Every criticism of contemporary worship can be found in commonly-sung hymns.

    Best of all, I don’t see anything in Scripture that demands we worship with a particular genre or even instruments, in fact if you were to use scripture to create laws over the issue, it actually speaks against how hymns are played in many churches:
    “Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy.” (Psalm 33:3)
    and:
    3 “Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;
    Praise Him with the lute and harp!
    4 Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;
    Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!
    5 Praise Him with loud cymbals;
    Praise Him with clashing cymbals!
    6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. (Psalm 150)

    Now like with some hymns, I admit that not all modern worship songs are worth singing; however, you can find some pretty scriptural stuff in the most unlikely places. for instance, “Deathless” by Saving Grace”, which gives the gospel to those who might never hear it:

    “He is the Living One who was dead, behold He is now alive forever and ever and holds the keys to death and Hades.” (Revelation 1:18)
    Royal blood flowed through His veins even as He was a beaten man spat on in shame.
    Tied to the cross by mockers who scoffed, beaten, bruised, pulverized with no help from aloft.
    And though His body was buried once they pulled Him from the tree, there was no grave on earth that could hold His majesty.
    Death was rendered powerless and all hell fears His name… Deathless Conqueror, King of Kings riding through a field of blood…
    “He that is dead is free from sin and if we be dead with Christ then we shall also live with Him.
    Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dies no more; death has no more dominion over Him.”
    King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Eyes of fire… Deathless Conqueror.
    King of Kings and Lord of Lords, with justice waging war He’s the Deathless Conqueror.
    King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Faithful and True… Deathless Conqueror.
    King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Word of God… Deathless Conqueror.
    King of Kings!”

    And it’s played quite skillfully on the strings:

    I know that isn’t for everybody, and it’s a bit of an extreme example, but God used a punk/thrash band called The Crucified to reach this teenager 25 or so years ago.

    One thing I do have an issue with: those who label songs that praise Christ and give the gospel as Satanic simply because of musical genre (such as the above); it’s just too close to blasphemy of the Holy Spirit for my comfort, and its actually counter-productive to the goal of bringing souls to Christ.

  91. Thanks John for allowing my super lengthy comment in! Yes bad doctrine abounds. However at least with hymns one has 100’s of years to choose from. Unfortunately the responsibility is on the music leaders (or pastors) to vet the music and one thing they’ve made very clear to me at least: they don’t want to hear from a hymn-playing pianist. 😕

  92. All great points.

    I think we have a responsibility to ensure the hymns we sing are doctrinally sound, no matter how old or new they are.

    And, I have heard great hymns, that are doctrinally sound, sung in churches that are not.

    The Baptist Hymnal contains both doctrinally sound and doctrinally unsound hymns.

  93. JoyFounder

    “Come, ye who from your hearts believe
    That Jesus answers prayer,
    Come boldly to a throne of grace
    And claim His promise there,
    That, if His love in us abide
    And we in Him are one,
    Whatever in His Name we ask
    It surely will be done.

    Refrain

    Come lovingly and trustingly,
    Take Jesus at His Word,
    For He has said, “the prayer of faith
    Was never yet unheard.”

    If in the “fountain filled with blood”
    Our sins are washed away
    Come boldly to a throne of grace,
    Rejoicing that we may
    Come boldly to a throne of grace,
    And bless the Lord our King—
    Who fills our grateful hearts with praise,
    And tunes our tongues to sing.

    Refrain

    From every precious, golden hour
    We spend in fervent prayer,
    We gather strength from day to day
    For each returning care;
    And, while with true, believing hearts
    We bow before His throne,
    There’s not a promise He has made
    But we may call our own.” Fanny J. Crosby

    Dear Alec & Holly;

    Yes Holly the gospel message, or good theology for that matter, is a most important part of a hymn or non-traditional ‘worship’ song. The problem with the contemporary music movement is it has no foundation or historical strength, if you will, unlike the hymn which is rich in historical significance and depth. Even though you, Alec or I could easily find a hymn that contradicts Grace Alone, Through Faith Alone, In Chirst Alone, I believe there are far more that teach and encourage than what is offered in the contemporary music brand. Centuries of options as opposed to a few decades. Not to mention these saints of old who wrote these hymns. The persecution, suffering and strife these lyricists of old endured is in complete contrast to the modern lyricists, many who write to land a hit on Contemporary Christian FM.

    I guess we can all agree that there is more to congregational singing than simply the lyrics. The very nature of the hymn and how its notes are/were written lends the congregation to a better and more complete corporate and collective worship. Hymns begin and end with poetic phrasing. The harmony is easier to follow with a four-part vocal arrangement, which allows for complete and all-encompassing large-group participation. And since the music is written in a set system of notation the melody and rhythm are more uniform, and singing is in a unified fashion, free from the self-absorbed ‘worship’ team or performers.

    Also Hymns lend themselves as an easier fit into historical Christian worship (& its historical tradition/pattern). This gives the congregation the opportunity “to gather together, proclaim the Word of the Lord, give thanks for God’s mighty acts in Jesus Christ, and to be sent out into Christian service. In this way, hymns become the work of the people, instead of the people’s entertainment.” from a great article I found.

    Hymns were deliberately written for the sole purpose of congregational singing. That is, they were written not to be a performance but for participation. Much of what we hear today as non-traditional worship music has been written as commercial recording music, you know stuff people listen to on Christian FM radio. Church music performed in today’s contemporary church is intentionally written for individuals or smaller group performance, as opposed to congregational singing. The result: the nature of commercial church music destroys the ability for the congregation to participate. (I think this is what Alec was referring to in his comment?) Typically on Sunday morning the congregation is relegated to lamely attempting to follow the worship leader/team’s notional desires or ad-libbing in regards to melody, rhythm, and tempo. Not to mention these ‘worship’ leaders sing in a range that is nearly impossible for the average non musician to follow. Just ask my husband. For those of us who read music, I desperately need notes to follow if I don’t know a song. If I could read the notes I might eventually be able to participate. That is not possible in today’s ‘worship’ system because there is no music available to the congregational singer.

    In the article I mentioned above the author makes an amazing point > the modern church sings as if the crucifixion just happened in the 90’s. The point being that all true worship has a historical foundation. This is because “it recalls the creative and redemptive acts of God.” Hymns are never ‘old music’. “All worship is contemporary because we’re doing it now. All worship is future, because it foretells the coming resurrection, when the curse will be broken and all will be set aright.”

    Until the Lord’s return we as believers in Jesus, sing, speak, preach and pray the old, old story, so that we might become renewed further into Christ’s likeness. And I love this: “Hymn-singing auto-corrects the blind spots in our modern faith understandings. By allowing the witness of previous generations into our worship, we are presented with a more complete picture of what it means to be a person of faith in our own time.”

  94. Alec – one thought would be that of course all should be edified as we humble ourselves to each other, but old hymns, there are many that come from tradition (reformed) and have plenty of apostate words and teachings in them, so with all forms of music, it’s still necessary to prove all things. Hymns don’t bring people together — sound words, humble hearts, and fervent love for each other I believe do. (Although I know where you were coming from).

    One song that comes to mind is Victory in Jesus. Definitely another gospel.

  95. Yes, Alec, my husband and I have observed a spirit of rebellion in many of the music leaders as well as the church leadership in general at the various churches we’ve attended. One particular music pastor told me my music wasn’t relevant enough for his ‘worship’ service.

    Satan loves the spirit of pride and rebellion in the body of Christ. Maybe it’s the chicken or the egg syndrome: rebellion against God brings works salvation followed by the spirit of division or is it the spirit of division brings works salvation. I realize it doesn’t always connect but so many of the LS churches are rigidly ungracious to those who don’t fit into their systems.

    The last time I attended this local dark church before last Sunday was a few months ago. The music was so loud our seats were vibrating. The token elderly couple sitting in the back were covering their ears (don’t know if they had hearing aids). Finally a lady sitting next to them went to the back of the church where the music elder & sound tech was & asked them to turn down the music. The music elder refused. His remedy for the issue > he gave the elderly couple ear buds. More irony > the pastor’s sermon that day was how we need to leave our comfort zones in order to serve & love the brethren. I am not making this up.

  96. why do churches have that lame rock music stuff?
    @Joyfounder,
    Ironic, isn’t it? People who don’t even pretend to be Christians can see things better than evangelicals.
    The fact is that most modern church music is terrible music performed badly by people who have little pride in what they do. Having said that, the bigger issue is not how the music is performed, but the intention behind it. Is it to bring the congregation together old and young? Hymns have always done that.

    The old forms of worship including hymns don’t split churches. But the new forms do. It alienates people and causes them to stumble. It destroys the visible body of Christ. That really is the whole point of every apostate thing.

  97. Joy, I think wanting to attend church for the benefit of young children is fairly common.

    But, I wonder how much risk people are exposing their children to by blithely dropping them off for Sunday school, with no idea of what is being taught. And, even if they did have an idea of what was being taught, would they be discerning enough to know whether or not it was consistent with the gospel?

  98. JoyFounder

    It’s funny John (or sad I guess) I listen to a secular morning radio talk show covering the west coast states. These guys are clearly agnostics when it comes to all things God. They try to bring in a younger demographic than the average AM talk show and talk about things from that perspective. Throughout their show they talk with others on their staff about their personal lives and beliefs. Church comes up on occasion > a few of the guys on the staff thought they needed to start attending church for their young kids sake. They all agreed with the music issue > why do churches have that lame rock music stuff? The ones who had secular bands as a hobby could not understand why these churches wanted to act like hipsters. They wondered why churches looked like theaters and didn’t play the “old music” like they had when growing up in the Midwest. They asked each other who these churches are trying to impress. They wanted what they had back home, quiet without hipsters and tattoos. These guys went to church wanting the old stuff and a refuge from THEIR world. The irony. The very people the church is trying to entice are turned off by their transparent patronizing and worldliness.

  99. Joy, I think the “cool” churches often use their “coolness” to entice people. Churches are often more like businesses. The number of participants at mainline churches is on the decline, so if they see a church that is growing in numbers, they want to emulate their approach.

    If a church is willing to compromise on the gospel, they are headed down the wrong track, no matter what else they may get right.

  100. Luke, another “ism” – sounds like part of the blending of the world’s religions.

  101. JoyFounder

    Well here it goes . . . The church I have attended most recently pays bands to lead the congregation in ‘worship’ with CD’s for sale in the foyer. Most churches I have attended pay their main musicians. In the past I have served the Lord with the musical gifts God has given me. My reality is that I am now benched, if you will, because my style of music is no longer considered acceptable or appropriate for a Sunday morning church service because my joy is playing the hymns of old. Because of my gratefulness to God for this gift and love of music I have never charged a fee for my service. My delight is serving God & others. The point I hope to make here is that there is no place for my music (or Biblical beliefs for that matter) in today’s church, or at least the ones in my surrounding community. I am an outcast. I now only play at home for the Lord and in rest homes or for whoever will have me outside the local church.

    Instead of depending on the traditional church to help with my theology I follow blogs and websites, such as ExPreacherman, who live out their convictions to rightly divide the Word of Truth and love others through their teaching and exhortation. My spiritual situation (and yours perhaps) is what it is . . . but none of this is a surprise to God. Could the internet exist for the remnant? Could God meet our need for fellowship (not forsaking the fellowship of the saints), be it non-traditional, through these new forms of communication? We have an outlet, an opportunity to serve the Lord outside the box if you will.

    I found a very balanced online article addressing the modern church services’ music issues as well as how physically dark the church ‘worship’ centers have become (just one more issue I have with today’s churches). The Calvary Chapel I have attended most recently covered its windows with black, painted its walls and even its ceiling black. Just this past Sunday my 19 year old son persuaded me to return. When my family entered the sanctuary we literally could not see. It was a hazard. My husband who was leading us stopped in his tracks and refused to move forward because he walked into a chair and was afraid he would trip on some poor unsuspecting person. Meanwhile the music is blaring from the front of the room. (We decided not to stay and went to another local community church that serves better coffee). 8}

    When I attend this blackened Calvary Chapel the verse ‘men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil’ always rushes through my mind. Everything is such a contradiction these days. The church brings in the things of this world and waters down its theology, answers to the government over God through its tax exempt status, plays worldly music, and creates a theater-like atmosphere yet wonders why Christians are so spiritually schizophrenic. AFA as the dark sanctuaries : Jesus is the light of the world! Not to mention God (just ask Moses). We sit in the dark while being entertained by bands on the payroll while we are unable to see much of anything, much less the people who are attending. How can this be called corporate worship when it’s virtually impossible to participate with the corporation?

    I apologize for the length but besides the most important topic of Grace Alone, Through Faith Alone, In Christ Alone, this is quite important to me.

  102. Socalexile, I think music styles are a preference, and one should not be made to feel guilty for theirs. In church though I think it should stay appropriate for more ages and groups to edify each other. For me personally, I tend to go with the lyrics being of importance, whether they are sound are not (so many are not). One person may feel something is too loud, and it very well may be. I try not to give too much input there, because I’ve seen legalism and also a lack of wisdom in choices. So for me I try to overlap proving all things into ‘Christian’ music choices too.

  103. Speaking of branches of ‘reformed’, I recently read a website of a local RAPIDLY growing church. The pastor says he believes in a so-called 3rd option of arminianism mixed with calvinism and calls it congruism. Just ridiculous, but the people LOVE it and his church is growing like crazy.

  104. Alec, Young, reformed and restless… There are all sorts of branches of reformed now, and interestingly, they miss their carnality of some identify with Calvin, others are MacArthurites, others are Washer’ed up 🙂 I heard Rick Warren say he was a Kuyper Calvinist. The say there is ‘no such thing as a carnal Christian’, well, they better hope in their carnality of calling themselves after men that they are a Christian indeed… I am afraid though most are not, because their gospel is false. At least I proceed from that place and share the right gospel with them. If it’s not done from the pulpit, I’ve got to go, and as in your situation, well, the music I don’t like when it’s like that either, but a pastor handling God’s Word like that? I think I’d pass up Psalm 50:16-17, and Isaiah 66:2, stating these passages were for the pastor, and never come back.

  105. socalexile

    As far as music, I understand the issue of volume level, and I understand the issue with things like professional stage lighting and smoke machines, which aren’t necessary or a good use of resources.

    When it comes to the musical genre, I can understand not everyone is into contemporary, just like not everyone is into hymns. What I do have an issue with is how people criticize others for what they like that isn’t what a person thinks they should like.

    What’s the line between “entertainment as worship” and “worship as entertainment”?
    A lot of people poo-poo “rock songs” and “happy clappy” songs (as if any emotion is a bad thing) at church. But how about when it’s an entertainment setting, such as a concert on a Saturday night at a church, where the performers are playing songs praising the Lord? A old example of this is Handel’s Messiah (complete with too many “hallelujahs”), modern examples are say…Rend Collective. I would like to think this is acceptable.

    Now why is it unacceptable 12 hours later?

  106. Curtis I can safely say that I too get angry and end up obsessing with what I heard when I see false doctrine (especially the deadly kind to which you refer) go unchecked and unchallenged.

  107. I am thankful for the abilities we have now to hear things online although not sure how long that will continue. For those of you with husbands or wives, you are in a blessed position to fellowship together and grow together in Him.

    Satan doesn’t want husbands and wives to grow strong so there will always be things to keep you from His Word and prayer together, but you two are the closest people to being able to agree together in prayer. Many don’t know each other well enough to be able to be sure they are in agreement. Good to hear of couples that have the right doctrine, worse for those couples who one mate gets it, and the other does not, or doesn’t have a desire to grow.

    I am thankful for my small get together where I live, for now, we have a few like minded believers, so very thankful for that opportunity.

  108. Duluth Bible Church don’t have formal membership , If You have trusted Christ Jesus as your personal Savior you can be a member .
    for me personally going through a membership class and waiting a year or so for a vote to be a member of an assembly is not going to happen for me again .
    No I don’t believe church membership is biblical apart from the universal Church . There is the case for tax exempt status to be formally recognized by a state for things to be done in an orderly fashion .

    My experience with church assemblies in my area are the same as others . it is all works for salvation and or works as evidence of salvation.
    for now i am attending live webcast church there are several Gospel of Grace churches that are doing that now How far webcast church stretches Hebrews 10:25 i do not know I do know bad doctrine makes me grumpy
    I have tried to look away at the sacrifice of sound doctrine for fellowship a couple of times . it don’t work for me it just makes me angry and i end up obsessing over what i heard .

    Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

  109. fryingpan, I’m not sure about membership being biblical or not.

    I belong to the universal church, but am not part of churchianity.

  110. I don’t want to veer this off topic, but is the idea of “church membership” even biblical? It seemed to be one of the things the Calvary Chapel I left almost 3 years ago got right. (Not having memberships, that is.)

  111. Hi Alec, I can feel your pain. the music is getting louder and closer to a rock concert. It seems to be getting this way in most churches. I guess they think the younger members don’t want the traditional hymns, never mind what the older people want. I will sometimes go to a website where I can just listen traditional Christian hymns
    I sometimes go to a church that is grace only in doctrine, but there are some things that cause me concern, like the loud rock “church music,” and pressuring the congregation to get involved and “get connected”.
    I personally don’t see becoming a member of another church. I have had some bad experiences as a member of several churches that caused me to leave them, and the last one I left was an IFCA Bible church that had been infiltrated by LS’rs. Besides, as a saved person I am already a member of the only church that counts for eternity. So I think I will stay an independent attender and not a member of a local church. Besides, churches today are a far cry from what we read in like Paul’s epistles.

  112. This issue about churches seems to be across many regions. socalexile, you summed it up just right.

    The last church I really tried to attend was Baptist, which I am not. I could have taken most things, even despite some biggish differences in theology. But there were two dealbreakers.
    1. Horrible (loud, bad, offensive) “music”
    2. The pastor’s regular criticism of the Bible from the pulpit.

    A third was the schizophrenic quality of the congregation – younger “reformed” Baptists vs. older “IFCA” dispensationalists.

    And this is a “really good” church in my area. And the enemy laughs in delight.

    Alec

  113. socalexile

    Yeah I’m on the GA coast, in the bible belt no less, and I’m stuck with either no church, or settling for one that I might have conflict with.

    I left CA in 1994 and haven’t been back since.

  114. socalexile, I live in SoCal too, and continue to search for a biblically sound (non-LS) church. So far, no joy. It’s amazing how many churches there are around here, and how seriously wrong their soteriology is.

    I also share your issues with cessationism, but for a different reason. My problem with it is found (ironically) in the broader context of the very passage that johninnc mentioned. I’d go into that more, but I’m not sure I wouldn’t be in violation of site rules so I’ll leave it there until further notice.

  115. Yes, I am finding less and less people open to the gospel or the things of god, they could care less whether there is a god, or a heaven or a hell, they are so wrapped up in their sports, the here and now. Can get very discouraging, we certainly are living in very dark days, how the enemy must be rejoicing, he has more on his side…..

  116. On a side note, I just got into the same discussion with the JWs at my door in regards to works for salvation that I do with Catholics, Mormons, Calvinists/Lordship Salvationists, and that my wife got into with the Bethel/Bill Johnson people.

    I think this may be the apostasy that Paul talked about in the last days.

  117. People assume what it means with “perfect”, I think it’s a reference to Christ, Verse 12 seems to suggest it with “face to face”.

    But it’s not a issue I would divide over.

  118. socal, we believe certain spiritual gifts, such as speaking in tongues, have ceased.

    1 Corinthians 13:9-10 seems to suggest this.

  119. Curtis,

    Thanks for the links. One fault I find with Hixson is the cessationism; I don’t see support for it in Scripture. The main issue I have is 2 Timothy 3:16, which is used to support cessationism, but I see it says “ALL Scripture”, which includes 1 Corinthians 12-14, where Paul instructs us on the proper use of the spiritual gifts that Hixson denies still exist.

  120. @socalexile, Yankee Arnold has a two part series on witnessing to Roman Catholic’s, if you are interested.

  121. http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?sid=102513826390

    here is the sermon audio link instead of the youtube link

  122. Socalexile
    below is a hour long dissertation / testimony on the crossless gospel by JB Hixson

    Why I Am No Longer Free Grace
    JB Hixson shares his insights into the free grace movement based upon his experience as a founding board member and first executive director of the Free Grace Alliance, and his seven-year tenure as administrator and faculty at the largest free grace educational institution in the world.

  123. SoCal, they teach that repentance ALWAYS means “turn from sin.” They teach that Christians experience God’s wrath, and they lean Calvinist on some issues.

    I would prefer to not extensively discuss their various positions here. The cross less gospel position is sufficiently errant for me to not recommend them.

  124. I’ve heard of the “crossless gospel” issue, what other errors do they fall into?

  125. socal, we do not recommend Wilkin and the GES, due, primarily, to their cross-less gospel position, which has led them to many other errors.

  126. Another question: what’s y’all’s opinion of Bob Wilkin and the Grace Evangelical Society?

  127. Jude and socal. I think that if they can understand and believe some of the Scriptures, such as by one sacrifice they’ve been perfected forever (Heb 10:10,14) and that they were forgiven for ALL their TRESPASSES at the cross (Col 2:13-15), as part of preaching Christ and Him crucified, they might hear. Sometimes Jewish people need to hear the Prophets (prophecies) regarding the Christ and the fulfillment of Jesus in His death and resurrection. If they see some of the prophecies in Isaiah and the Psalms on God having a Son, the crucifixion prophecies, they may begin to see. Tom Cucuzza was raised Catholic and may have some insight on some particularly helpful passages.

  128. Luke – often people that preach contradicting messages haven’t really understood the gospel of grace. I think that many likely do this because they start blending discipleship and fellowship with relationship/sonship. Becoming a believer vs. becoming a disciple.

    I personally believe it’s because they have forgotten to shod their feet daily with the preparation of the gospel of peace. They think it’s ‘old hat’ and the already know it and can’t be deceived. But we see in practice that they are deceived (2 Cor 11:3-4) by the enemy. If they knew the power of the gospel they have forgotten it and no longer trust it.

  129. Fryingpan9. For a very short while (years back) I went to Fred Chay’s class here in town (Free Grace Alliance) and also tried the church tracker. One that was called Red Mountain had a statement of Faith that was purely Calvinistic and when I copied and pasted to Fred, he contacted two pastors who denied they were Calvinist and that seemed enough for him, even though they had faith as the gift and turning from sin also for salvation. Another one on the list I did not go to, but two people in my Bible study did. He had weeks and weeks of teaching Outer Darkness and that was enough for them to get out, it was his focal point for his church sermons for literally months. To me that teaching of separation for 1000 years from Christ is antithetical to being a part of His body. How do raptured saints (raised incorruptible) who are married to the Lamb suddenly get ripped out of His body and thrown into Outer Darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth?

    That being said, I stopped looking to their list also 🙂

  130. Thanks Jude. Right now they want to parrot RCC’s false history, then undermine the Bible’s authority when it contradicts them. They do everything they can to keep the subject off of Scriptural teachings.

  131. I’m not sure there are any specific do’s and don’ts, but I can tell you the biggest challenge you will have is getting a catholic to see that they are a sinner in need of salvation. Most of them think that they have “been a good person” , been baptized (usually as a baby), confessed their sins to their priest and that will be sufficient for God. It’s tough because many of them are really good people by the world’s standard, they usually fail to see themselves in comparison to the sinless perfection that God requires to get to heaven. I’m having this trouble trying to witness to my 94 year old catholic grandmother. She loves to hear about God and heaven but when I get to the part that we won’t make it in without faith in what Christ did, she stiffens up and I can tell she doesn’t really get it and is resistant. Most likely still trusting in her works to get her to heaven. Many catholics do not know the bible very well so that can be helpful to show them what the scripture says, but if you come across one who does know the bible they are tough to convert similar to a JW or mormon. The best thing we can do is preach Christ crucified like the apostle Paul and let the Spirit do the work of converting the hearts and minds of the people we are talking with. I have prayed for God to give you the right words when you are witnessing.

    PS- I love your name so-cal exile. I’m in No-cal and I think all of us bible believing born again Christians feel like an exile no matter where in California we are! It’s quite the leftist reprobate minded hotbed as I’m sure you can relate. God help us to be the salt and light we are called to be.

  132. Jude1Four I agree as well. However, many of the LS preachers I’ve seen and heard will come out against the Pope saying the Roman Catholic preaches works salvation while they themselves preach works salvation.

    I’ve heard many a pastor rightly preach against Catholicism and then turn right around and say real salvation demands ‘change of heart, turn from sin, make Jesus Lord of your life, etc., etc., in the SAME sermon!!

  133. Jude, I’m currently in a discussion with some Catholics, can you recommend any do’s or don’ts in witnessing to one?

  134. Thank you to Alec, Johninnc and the other commenters who recognize the correlation between Lordship salvation and the Roman Catholic Church. It shouldn’t be surprising when you see that many “protestant” wolf preachers are meeting with the Pope at the vatican or giving him their ringing verbal endorsement such as : Joel Osteen, James Robison, Kenneth Copeland and Rick Warren to name a few. As a former catholic I can tell you the RCC is pure unadulterated evil, espousing a works for salvation “gospel” and may be more dangerous than ever before under the leadership of jesuit Pope Francis with all his doctrines of devils. It’s frightening that he was given the opportunity to address the US congress as well. Lordship salvation however may be even more dangerous because it is such a subtle twisting of the gospel. It takes passages from the bible about discipleship and makes them about salvation. God wants us to be disciples after we have been saved by faith, but it is not a requirement for salvation. This is why the deadly poison of LS is so confusing. Thanks for fighting the good fight and defending the gospel.

  135. Interesting Luke. Yes a different salvation for different sins! Whatever the reason he’s playing with fire and needs to be challenged. So many people are being affected with his unstable double mindedness.
    “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.
    But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
    For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
    A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:5-8

  136. well he’s been the pastor almost since it’s founding 35 years ago…it’s a pentecostal megachurch too so…

    interesting you bring up the ‘encounter with a ‘rebellious christian’. the pastor’s family took in a drug addicted family member who was a christian, some years ago. during that time, he began preaching free grace, easy to believe, no works, etc. this was some years ago. they eventually had to send that family member to a rehab place out of state. after that, we had a couple of choir members surprisingly have children out of wedlock (they were longtime members). while not calling them out by name, he then started preaching the works salvation, change of heart message. Further, our State has had this transgender issue going on for a little while now and ever since then, I’ve noticed he has gone back to works salvation. This past Sunday, he preached a hard LS message. “You can’t be saved and gay or trans, shacking up, etc. ”

    I wonder…if its a drug/drinking that christians are struggling with he preaches easy believeism, HEAVY on grace, no works. If it’s a ‘sex’ thing, he preaches that hard LS message. I bet it’s the same at other churches as well.

  137. Luke I recently had a conversation with a long time member of the first church we attended when we moved here. This church was JMac all the way > with Master’s Seminary grads as pastor, elders, etc. But this particular long time member held fast to Grace Alone through Faith Alone in Christ Alone. Unfortunately when I ran into him a few months ago he told me he is reading a book on the truth of Calvanism. I wanted to cry right there in front of him. When I challenged him (in love) he became defensive. Never before had I seen him display defensiveness as he was always a truthful and honest, humble man. These decades of total indoctrination finally took their toll on him. He held out for so long.
    Satan has a stronghold in the church. He wants Christians, he already has the world. This is man’s Achilles heel and Satan knows it > man wants to believe HE has the power of salvation, although never admitting to this.

    Your pastor, like most, clearly is succumbing to Satan’s wiles. Perhaps he had an encounter with a particularly rebellious Christian & this is his way of dealing with it? Who knows. But it should not be tolerated. He needs to be rebuked because every person in attendance is now exposed and/or indoctrinated. This is a cancer and will metastasize in your local body creating judgmental spirits and pride as well as fear. The hardest thing I have done as a Christian is to exhort, it’s not my personality. (Also it’s the LSers who are always exhorting everyone and I don’t want to be associated with them.) Take the lead of those on this blog > you can exhort in true love because you care and love those misleading or being mislead. I’m praying God will grant you wisdom in this matter.

  138. Luke, the predestination error usually leads to “a true Christian will…” error. After all, if God were going to lick people, He wouldn’t pick the wrong people.

  139. I’ve been going to this church for over 10 years now. I’ve been totally free grace for about 5-6 years now. I feel like I’m the only one who notices this at this church. The pastor will go for months, preaching a totally free grace message. Then, inexplicably, he’ll preach predestination and then go a couple weeks preaching a total works salvation message. This past Sunday, he preached a strong LS message, “there needs to be a change of heart, saved people don’t do this, that, etc. ” totally contradicting the free grace message from the week before!! All the while the crowd is chanting amen amen….it’s surreal.

  140. In addition to church statements of faith, a lot of pastors have blogs. If you read through a month or two of a pastors blogs, they will often undermine, or contradict, the statements of faith – as well as the gospel.

  141. fryingpan, I know what you mean – the gospel stands in stark contrast to all of the false gospels out there.

  142. Luke > a good way to look for churches is to get on their websites and find their doctrinal statements. Sometimes it’s phrased ‘what we believe’ or ‘articles of faith’. It’s not always easy because as you probably know some of the websites are very cryptic AND quite frankly the average Christian just doesn’t think to question a church’s statement of faith very often. I guess the best way is to double check with the pastor himself. It’s unfortunate we are forced to go to these lengths but such is the world of Christendom today! God bless you in your search

    (We have lived in the same community for 15 years and are on our 5th church now. Our current pastor has started quoting from his ‘heroes’ Francis Chan and Brennan Manning Ugh!. Fortunately we are moving across the country. If we were staying I’ve just about run out of options here! No place is perfect. As we get closer to the End Times the deception will grow & it will get harder, not easier, to find truth.)

  143. There is one silver lining in my experience with LS, and this in no way excuses it. But around 2002, 2003 when I was so confused by LS doctrine that I even said things like I “doubted if I was really saved sometimes”, I remember telling someone that I didn’t always feel like I loved the Lord, but I know I loved His Word. That is, whatever it was I believed true doctrine to be at the time (my understanding of it, that is).

    Sometimes I realize that one way I get a real glimpse of just how much I love God’s word now and how much I appreciate the gospel is when I see the perverse words taught by false teachers. It doesn’t excuse the darkness of their deeds, but it nonetheless makes the light of the truth shine all the more in comparison.

    I guess part of the point I’m trying to make it that it’s hard to be numb to the gospel when you’re sensitive to the lies of LS and constantly being “nudged” into awareness whenever it rears its hideous head.

  144. Thank you.

    Yes, I really hate LS too. It is so offensive.

    I think it’s common for some who are delivered from that bondage to sometimes (if not as a default state) forget or altogether fail to appreciate the truly infernal nature of the lies of LS. After all, Paul didn’t decree anathema on all who teach a false gospel because it tickled his fancy or something, if I may use blunt obviousness to make a point.

  145. fryinpgan, your thoughts about Spurgeon don’t offend me. I hate LS!

    I am offended when people who should know better quote Spurgeon in a favorable manner.

  146. I have to admit while reading that long quote from him I did think some rather unkind thoughts about him. The words “pompous oaf’ came to mind. Sorry if I offend or am at least not very diplomatic. I never pretended to not be on the abrasive side from time to time.

  147. fryingpan, Spurgeon would have recognized the analogy.

    Unfortunately, his sermons seem to have had a longer shelf-life than clocks with hands, broken records, and so on. It kind of makes me think Spurgeon took himself pretty seriously.

  148. That’s funny. The very same thing crossed my mind. I should have added, “You know, the old kind with hands. Well, they’re not really ‘hands’ but . . . Never mind.”

  149. fryingpan, I was thinking about using the “clock” analogy, but thought I might lose some of our younger audience (who might have never seen anything other than digital clocks).

  150. “Anyone who is comfortable with Spurgeon is either ignorant of what Spurgeon taught, or agrees with Spurgeon’s Calvinist/LS views.”

    +1

    Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Unless it’s digital. All kinds of things can go wrong with those things . . . 😉

  151. jewel, it was none other than the renowned Calvinist false teacher of the 19th century, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

    Spurgeon was the “rock star” preacher of his time, much like the most renowned false teacher of our times, Billy Graham.

    Spurgeon sometimes professed belief in eternal life by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, but then contradicted that professed belief with other statements – particularly those of the “backdoor” LS variety.

    Anyone who is comfortable with Spurgeon is either ignorant of what Spurgeon taught, or agrees with Spurgeon’s Calvinist/LS views.

  152. fryingpan, if not “repent of sin,” then some backloaded LS, such as “a true Christian will…”

  153. I don’t put much faith in them either, johninnc, which I suppose if why I use them so infrequently.

    Neither do I put much stock in a church’s “what we believe” section when I read that they believe in “grace alone through faith alone” as well as eternal security, because save the 3 or so churches I’ve discovered through THIS FELLOWSHIP OF BELIEVERS AT EXPREACHERMAN.COM ALONE they ALL invariably have “repent of sin” or some stupid variation thereof in there at SOME point.

  154. Bryan, yeah, it’s sad.

    Seems like nothing but “churchianity” out there.

  155. fryingpan, I don’t put much stock in the church trackers.

    I like your “swing a dead cat” line!

  156. Every once in a while (key words “once” and “while”) I look into finding a free grace (or more accurately, “Non LS” church) in my part of Tennessee. One way I do this is to search so-called free grace church tracking websites.

    Well, Ladies & Gentleman, just as the one supposedly free grace church in Tennessee that I found using Free Grace Alliance’s website proved a dead end, it’s the same result this time around.

    Here’s a little “gem” from the ONE church they listed in TN:

    “Salvation occurs when man, confronted with God’s Word (Romans 10:17; 1 Peter 1:23), repents of his personal sin (Acts 17:30; 1 Thessalonians 1:9) and receives God’s grace through faith in the Person and work of Christ (Romans 3:21-22).”

    I don’t honestly know if this is the same church I reported on here around 3 years ago. They’re in the same town, I can tell you that.

    I hate to sound fatalistic, but I really wonder why I bother sometimes.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have about 55,389 person sins I’ve not finished repenting of, so I’d better get cracking, as we say in the land of not being able to swing a dead cat without hitting an LS church building.. (Sarcasm, to those not used to reading my posts.)

  157. “O, when will all professors, and especially all professed ministers of Christ, learn the difference between the law and the gospel? Most of them make a mingle-mangle, and serve out deadly potions to the people, often containing but one ounce of gospel to a pound of law, whereas, but even a grain of law is enough to spoil the whole thing. It must be gospel, and gospel only.

    “Believing” is most clearly explained by that simple word “trust.” Believing is partly the intellectual operation of receiving divine truths, but the essence of it lies in relying upon those truths. I believe that, although I cannot swim, yonder friendly plank will support me in the flood-I grasp it, and am saved: the grasp is faith. Thus faith is accepting God’s great promises, contained in the Person of His Son. It is taking God at His Word, and trusting in Jesus Christ as being my salvation, although I am utterly unworthy of His regard. Sinner, if thou takest Christ to be thy Saviour this day, thou art justified; though thou be the biggest blasphemer and persecutor out of hell…if thou wilt honor God by believing Christ is able to forgive such a wretch as thou art, and wilt now trust in Jesus’ precious blood, thou art saved from divine wrath.

    The WARRANT OF BELIEVING is the commandment of God. This is the commandment, that ye “believe on His Son Jesus Christ.”

    You want to know who wrote this? 🙂

  158. John,

    Sadly, I can say the same for North Atlanta.

  159. Luke, we are not aware of any good churches in the South Charlotte area. As you are finding out, Charlotte is the epicenter of LS.

  160. So my church’s pastor went FULL LS today in his sermon and we’ve decided we need to find a new church. Seems like he was free grace for about a year or so, but was steadily dropping LS stuff until this morning. Can anyone recommend some free grace churches in charlotte, nc?

  161. Yes > the ‘U’ in TULIP!

  162. Curtis, thanks for letting us know about the connection to MacArthur. I’m not at all surprised.

  163. From Mike Gendron website excerpt from his own testimony
    “God granted him repentance and he exchanged his religion for a relationship with His all-sufficient Savior. ”

    just another way of saying god gave him faith

    it is also interesting that to find a “doctrinal sound church” the link points to
    “”the Masters seminary ” graduates ” John MacArthur’s”
    Mikes Testimony and gospel presentation is consistent with load-ship “works” for or evidence of salvation . calvanism /John MacArthur’s
    It still does not cease to fascinate me how a soul can read Gods word “the Gospel of Grace” as Mike proclaims and Yet totally miss the Gospel Of Grace according to God’s word.
    Which leads me to Thank the Only Wise God for His Word the fellowship of like minded brethren and sisters here on expreacherman and others on the blog roll who stand firm on the Word Of God on the simplicity of Christ .
    also remind myself I was once all messed up and under the spell of another gospel and that God was long-suffering with me for the decades it took me to come to the end and admit failure to live the christian life apart from works

  164. Awesome! Thank you. Praying and studying. 🙂 God bless you.

  165. jewel
    Hello a recent newsletter email from Pastor Dennis Rosker addresses the question “Is Faith the Gift of God?”
    Pastor DR also shares a testimony from a soul that is a lot like my own .
    I pray you would consider the following that i copied from email and I also listened to the sermons myself it was refreshing to hear them again after reading your post so thank you for your questions and comments.

    “As I have been teaching verse by verse through 2 Peter at Duluth Bible Church, I immediately had to resolve what Peter meant in chapter 1 and verse 1 by the phrase,
    Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who
    have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:1)

    Through the years of doing exegeting and expounding the Word of God, I have never found a verse that refers to “saving faith” as the “gift of God,” including Ephesians 2:8 properly understood. Yet many Bible teachers and commentaries state this as if it is fact, oftentimes driven by a theological system like Calvinism, not due to the text of Scripture. But wanting to be true to the text and to the Lord, I found myself challenged by the phrase, “have obtained like precious faith,” especially since almost everyone said that it meant that “faith” was given to you as a “gift.” Thus, I examined carefully the context. I then observed the content in the Greek. I then compared Scripture with Scripture. I then read everything I could get my hands on that addressed this verse by way of commentaries, word studies, etc. And I prayed, and prayed, and prayed some more. And to my surprise, the meaning of this verse was so simple in some ways; yet I had made it so difficult. What was my conclusion? I invite you to listen to the following two messages titled, “Is Faith the Gift of God?” which is accessible on sermon-audio or you-tube. ”

    http://www.sermonaudio.com/playpopupvideo.asp?SID=3216912230

    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=321691532

  166. Joy, I know you asked the question to Holly about “unconditional election,” but I thought the following excerpt from a comment by the late Jack Weaver might be helpful on this subject:

    Can a true believer in Jesus Christ “get along” or coexist with Calvinists/Calvinism?

    In a word, “NO”!

    Notice in my explanation below that I use the small “g” instead of the the capital “G” because the god of Calvinism is certainly NOT my God nor the God of the Bible.

    Though there are many more Calvinist errors than these, for starters, I shall illustrate their poisonous flower, the Calvinist T.UL.I.P.

    We see their lies here: —

    T. ** (Total depravity or inability) The god of John Calvin – Calvinism says that man is so “depraved” that he has no ability and thus cannot possibly make any decision to believe in Jesus.

    U. ** (Unconditional election) The god of John Calvin – Calvinism says that god unconditionally “elected” or chose some folks to regenerate in order for them to “believe” while leaving the rest of humanity to an eternity in Hell.

    L. ** (Limited atonement) The god of John Calvin – Calvinism believes their god sent Christ to die for only a certain “limited, chosen/elect” (elite) group of people, denying Christ’s Atonement for the rest of humanity and likewise denying the scripture which plainly says that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world. (John 3:16 – and many, many more verses).

    I. ** (Irresistible grace) The god of John Calvin – Calvinism says that god’s grace is so irresistible and god is so “sovereign” that those whom he chooses WILL believe. They say god does not give that same choice or free will to anyone else to believe — only those he has “chosen.”

    P. ** (Perseverance of the saints) The god of John Calvin – Calvinism says that whoever god “regenerates and causes to believe” must “persevere until the end” to be saved. That means they must do/show good works until the end — or else.

    Mary — you can see that “getting along” with the folks who follow and idolize John Calvin and who vociferously promote his lies will do nothing but corrupt true believers. Calvinists simply do not understand God’s Word, His Holy Scriptures, the Bible. That is why they write “new” translations and call them “bibles” (ESV for example) and insert into them new high-sounding ecclesiastical words with new meanings, which we discover are not in the original Bible documents. Such words are “monergism, the three Solas, sovereignty of god, sovereign grace, depravity, etc.”

    I pray this helps.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  167. I have never heard the term ‘unconditional election’ Holly. Please explain.

  168. Shane, his book on “Preparing Catholics for eternity” was re-written and became “Preparing for eternity” although I don’t know if there were changes. I have meant to go back and look if there was loadship, coming from Catholicism, don’t know if he ever made the break from trusting in his works.

    He had good verses to show errors in Catholic teachings vs. the Bible, but was it just another false gospel in the end? I don’t know, I never read what the gospel he preached was back then. Very sad but I watched him several years back start preaching more Calvinism then a lot of legalism regarding holidays, almost to the extend of lawkeeping, but A.W. Pink was the same.

    A little leaven…

  169. Jewel my dear friend, I do hope you will just take the time to read. There is nothing in Scripture that speaks of God making people believe. God does save people, this is a matter of people blending believing with the act of being saved. Believing is our responsibility, if we look at John 6 and just consider context, these people are just asking what should we do, this is not a matter of works, but Jesus answering their question. He had already earlier in vs. 27 told them to labor not for the food that perishes, but to labor for the meat that endures to everlasting life. By their response, Jesus is showing them there is nothing for them to do, God asks them to respond in belief.

    Then said they unto him, What shall WE do, that WE might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that YE BELIEVE on him whom he hath sent.

    As a friend I want to say I hope you will consider taking the time to prayerfully consider the articles, no need to respond. Just take your Bible out and search the corresponding passage along with what is being said. If you don’t, you will easily get into fear, wondering if you ‘really’ believed, or if God instead gave you the gift of ‘evanescent grace’, in which He sovereignly moves to place a temporary gift of belief on some during this lifetime, but it is not ‘real’ faith.

    It’s a trap, and it will eat you up.

    Unconditional election is NOT good news. Love in Christ.

  170. Jewel,

    There was a good discussion of Acts 13:48 in a previous post. Please see the comments section under this post. Jack Weaver (Expreacherman) gave a great explanation.
    https://expreacherman.com/2012/10/09/can-calvinism-be-proven-by-a-few-partial-out-of-context-verses/

    Jim F

  171. John and Phil R. 🙂 Thank you. I appreciate the links very much. I like to remain teachable. And yes, Phil, I agree with you! I do! That is exactly why I still hold to faith being God’s gift to us, so that we can’t even claim that! I’m still studying this out. Lord willing I will come to the truth soon. God hides the treasure of truth where man has to dig for it. Proverbs 25:2. You see, in the Greek, the word, “world”, “kosmou” or “kosmos” has a few different meanings. One of those meanings, aside from the normal “every living soul that belongs to God”, is “of those who put their trust in Christ. Those to be, after the resurrection, consummated and to last forever”. 🙂 It’s a cool thing to know the Greek a little. This is where we get hung up on context. The context of the verses must be kept in order to understand which definition applies. I’m struggling with it, but I know God will show me. Oh, God bless you and your ministry! It is good and it bears good things for the kingdom. Keep it up! You have blessed even me, this poor raggamuffin child of God.

  172. Yes, I used to think Mike Gendron was wonderful years ago, I had his videos and used to hand them out to everyone. The Berean Call, who I would no longer advocate, is causing much of the confusion. Yes Mike Gendron, does a wonderful job in exposing catholicism, and then the enemy gets people into another false gospel. I just do not know how Tom MacMahon from the Berean Call, can remain friends with him. Dave Hunt wrote “What love is this”, exposing Calvanism, but never practiced Romans 16.17 About marking those that cause division and avoid them.

    The church no longer practices separation, because people are not willing to pay the price of loneliness, yes it is hard, I feel very isolated, without a church, but when the lord makes something so clear and you can see the error so clearly, how can you turn your back on that truth. Mike Gendron, needs to be marked and avoided, don’t let that lovely voice that he has entice you.

    Thats why we have the mess we have in so called Christendom, what a mish mash we have. What confusion, people don’t know what the gospel even is anymore.

    I refuse to have fellowship or be friends with Calvanists or Arminianists, I do not see them as brothers and sisters in christ, they need to be evangelised, they are lost and under a false gospel of works…..

    Sad, sad sad that it has to be this way. I could play the ecumenical game, and do the kumbiya, but, who am I kidding.

  173. Jewel, if you are still there: it is easy to get caught up in verses that seem to point to “ME” and what role I must play in my salvation. But look at the big picture of what Scripture is saying about our salvation. It is Christ who has done it all and paid our ransom price for us sinners in order to rescue us and give us eternal life. It is so simple: all we are required to do is accept His salvation. It is so simple, yet men have complicated it with additional requirements like whether it is “head faith”, forsaking of sins, perseverance and so on…. Our eternal salvation is not about what we do; it’s all about what Christ has done for us. Our part is ONLY about a simple choice we make: Do we accept what Christ has done to save us.

  174. jewel, thanks for your candor.

    I pray that you will continue to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus.

    You might find the article linked below to be enlightening:

    https://expreacherman.com/2014/03/23/john-318-denudes-and-proves-false-the-main-tenet-of-calvinism-predestination/

  175. Thank you, johninnc…. I still think I hold to the fact that those appointed to eternal live believe (Acts 13:48). There is too much in Scripture that points to the Sovereignty of God in salvation. I believe that Gendron’s tract is way off base. It teaches a “works” based salvation that we Christian’s can not fall for. It’s hard not to simply because our world and our pride train us to “work for it”. I won’t bother you folks here again. 🙂 God bless you

  176. Joy, it is always a head scratcher when someone gravitates from one false religion to another.

    LS is just “RC lite.”

  177. jewel, thanks for your comment.

    How do I know God did not give you the faith to believe in Christ?

    Because, the Bible says that eternal life, not faith, is the gift of God (Romans 6:23). See article linked below:

    https://expreacherman.com/2016/04/08/faith-is-not-the-gift-of-god/

    Acts 13:48 does not mean that God chose some people to believe in Jesus, to the exclusion of all others. It means that whoever believes is ordained to receive eternal life once they believe.

    2 Timothy 2:25 is about restoring erring Christians to sound doctrine. It is not about repenting unto eternal life.

    2 Samuel 2:6-10 has nothing to do with anyone being chosen by God to be a believer in Christ.

    As to Repentence, remember this:

    Whenever sin is the object of repentance, the consequence of repentance is never eternal salvation.

    And, whenever eternal salvation is the consequence of repentance, the object of repentance is never sin.

    For more on repentance, see link below:

    http://old.cleargospel.org/topics.php?t_id=27

  178. It was a Mike Gendron interview that opened my eyes to the false gospel of LS. I could not understand how Mike Gendron boldly spoke out against Catholicism, enduring persecution, yet preached the religion of LS/Calvinism as the answer. It occurred to me as I listened that he (a former catholic) was still preaching bondage, just without the rosary & Hail Mary’s. It’s a head shaker.

  179. Kimberly, it’s great to hear from you.

    This tract is a sad example of someone frustrating grace.

  180. Bryan, yeah – Compass seems to get people from all perspectives, not all of whom point “true north.”

  181. Thanks for another great read John. I do get newsletters from Compass International(CI) by email and enjoyed some of their articles However, what you posted was exactly my concerns about CI, they do have a mix of good biblical teachers such as J.B. Hixon and some bad ones like Gendron and Ken Ham. So I have never gave any support to them or promote their ministry. I don’t see why teachers such as J.B. tolerate participating in the conderences with someone who preaches a false gospel.

    Bryan R.

  182. jewelforchrist

    How do I know God did not give me faith to believe? This is one area I am confused on. Acts 13:48 tells us that “as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.” And in 2 Timothy 2:25 the word tells us that God granted repentance. John 6:29 says that “The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent.” His name alone, El Elyon, tells us when we study it out that He is Sovereign over hell and who goes there (1 Samuel 2:6-10). Please look up these scriptures so you know what I’m saying. There are others also I won’t list. I also know that we are commanded to repent and the word seems to say that it is our responsibility else how could we be held responsible? I would appreciate any direction for studying this out. There are over 1,200 references for repent, repentance, believe, and faith in the Old and New Testaments. The question comes to mind, “How do you eat an elephant?”. Thanks….

  183. Kimberrly Yahn

    Isn’t it sooooo like the enemy to deceive like that? Just a few words changed the WHOLE meaning of our precious WAY…He IS the GATE!! “hard”???? Ya, Jesus is NEVER ‘hard’…His Yoke is EASY and the burden is LIGHT with Him!!

    How very sad that now people have to question the very SIMPLE ‘WAY’ through the Gate…it’s bringing faith back to a ‘work’ instead of where it belongs….THE FINISHED WORK OF THE CROSS!! Men’s words are the REASON that ‘FEW’ find it! 😢

    Very grateful for believers that stand in the Work of Christ and do not rely on their own merits … that’s called FAITH! Bless you John for continued support of Jack’s passion…the TRUTH…and exposing the schemes of the evil one!

    God Bless you Brother

  184. Muke, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    Please stick around and comment as you feel led.

  185. Hey guys so glad the ministry is carrying on its refreshing to receive these emails to refresh us from the poison that LS advoctes put out as you called it here in this article. .keep up the good work because I can tell you it’s all around us and is very poisionous as you he said ..not too many come out against it so your posts are like a rejuvienating drink thanks

  186. Alec, the Bible is clear that there are false brethren (believers in false gospels)and apostate Christians (believers in the gospel who have become bewitched by false brethren, or whose faith has been overthrown). With Lordship “salvationists”, it is impossible to tell which is which.

    I think that all works-based religions are coalescing.

    See my response to Shane, above.

  187. Shane, Calvinsim and Roman Catholicism share the same roots.

    Satan is very clever. He uses an obvious lie to make a more subtle lie look like truth.

    You may find the article linked below to be instructive:

    https://expreacherman.com/2012/12/04/southern-baptists-fragile-detente-the-fight-over-competing-false-gospels-calvinism-and-lordship-salvation/

  188. Hi Johninnc,

    Before reading your post, I went online to find out about Mike Gendron. I also read the tract. It seemed to start off *okay* and then go off the rails. I asked myself, “If I were a non-Christian reading this tract, would I understand what it is to be saved?” No. Your assessment is right on.

    The Bible is clear that there are people who are false converts or apostate Christians. It’s terrible that Gendron’s ministry is reaching out to those who think they are Christians and yet offering them a different kind of works based salvation.

    After reading this and a few other of your posts, John, I am understanding your sensitivity to this “Lordship Salvation”. It’s bad news.

    Maybe you’ve written about this elsewhere, but this post about Gendron’s tract has me wondering, do you think “Lordship Salvation” could be a stepping stone on the way to future reconciliation between Evangelicalism and the RCC?

    Thanks for another thought provoking post.
    Alec

  189. Well written article, thank you.

    It’s a shame, really. Mike Gendron does decent work in exposing catholicism as false. And he’s very bold about it. It’s rare to nonexistent to find anyone in “evangelicalism” that will boldly speak against the false gospel and thousands of errors of catholicism.

    But then Mike Gendron goes and gets totally submerged in the LS false gospel and the calvinistic false gospel. Why can he see catholicism as wrong, and yet not see LS and calvinism as daughters of catholicism that are just as wrong? I never understood that.

  190. fryingpan, it’s great to hear from you.

    Yeah, LS makes me sick!

    This guy’s life’s work is perverting the gospel. And, he is in the mainstream.

  191. Excellent article as always, johninnc. Nauseating displeasure indeed.

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