Lordship Salvation and Vacation Bible Schools: Clueless, Careless, or Callous?

By johninnc

Ephesians 4:14: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

It is that time of year again when the advertisements for Vacation Bible Schools (VBSs) start showing up on church marquees. Unfortunately, the VBSs are only as good as the churches that sponsor them.

Many of the churches that sponsor VBSs are either unclear, inconsistent, or just plain wrong on the subject of how one receives eternal life. As such, they are completely unsuitable for teaching God’s word to anyone, including our children.

A couple of years ago, we featured an article on summer Bible camps and VBS, which is linked below. We still believe it provides a useful framework for evaluating these programs.

Camp Lordship Salvation: Are Your Kids Safe?

In addition to the Biblically unsound churches that sponsor VBSs are the commercial purveyors of VBS supplies to the churches. I recently came across one such purveyor whose complete list of “frequently asked questions” was as follows:

  • What Bible translation does Group VBS use?
  • Is Group VBS associated with a denomination?
  • What are God Sightings®?
  • Is there a missions component to your VBS programs?
  • How do preschoolers tie into Group VBS?
  • How can I easily manage my VBS?
  • Who do I contact if I have questions or issues?
  • What are the main differences between the programs?
  • Do I have to follow Group’s suggested format?
  • Where can I go to find decorating ideas?
  • How many volunteers do your vbs programs take?

Please note that none of the questions had anything to do with how one receives eternal life. When I drilled down into the first question regarding Bible translation, I was dismayed to find that they use exclusively the NLT (New Living Translation), which contains a lot of error that is central to the gospel message. I also find it astounding that a company would actually purport to trademark “God Sightings”!

I would strongly advise against allowing your children to go to any VBS sponsored by a church that is clueless, careless, or callous.

Clueless means any church that is not absolutely clear regarding the gospel message. That would include any church that teaches salvation by works, either directly or by implication. It would include any church that teaches that water baptism or public confession of Christ are required to receive eternal life. Or, that eternal life can be lost or forfeited. And, it would include any church that insists that “a true Christian will ___.”

Careless may mean that the church is affiliated with a group, such as the Southern Baptist Convention or the Presbyterian Church USA, that distorts the gospel message. It might also mean that the church allows the teaching of books like “The Fan,” that contradict the gospel, or that the church allows false teachers, such as Charles Spurgeon or Billy Graham, to be quoted favorably.

Callous means that the church isn’t really concerned whether or not your child has eternal life. Instead, they may be focused on promoting false social gospels, on ill-conceived missions, or on the performances of  good deeds.

Of course, in order to be able to determine whether a church, or its VBS are sound, you must know the gospel and be well-grounded in it.

If you would like to know where to start click here: The Gospel

27 responses to “Lordship Salvation and Vacation Bible Schools: Clueless, Careless, or Callous?

  1. Well, it was actually a border patrol confrontation incident. It wasn’t exactly like Ferguson. Border patrols probably do go to far. Just seeing someone carrying a chip on his shoulder just doesn’t sit well.

  2. Lots of disturbing facts about Anderson are mentioned on Wikipedia. I didn’t go there until yesterday. He has defied cops and provoked them to violence, like Michael Brown in Ferguson.

  3. Anderson teaches that the pre-tribulation rapture is a deception.

    I vigorously disagree.

  4. Anderson has issues with ANDERSON and it comes out sideways…as it does with all of us:

    Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.—Romans 2

    Anderson and all the other crackpot preachers are fitting examples of how terms such as “fellowship”, “church”, “elders”, “deacons”, “authority”, etc. have NO MEANING apart from a sound basis given by the Word of God.

    Has anyone here been in a church where the “elders” followed the “pastor” off a cliff? If the elders held firm to “the form of sound words” a crackpot pastor would bail out of frustration or be removed. Yet we live in a time where God’s wise protections are thwarted, usually under the guise of some “good” that is NECESSARY. They all work together in error, mimicking the ungodly in our government.

    Have a blessed Memorial Day holiday everyone!

  5. But he has been an infant. I forgot that I heard of his infantile rants against Obama. Sadly, I confess I once committed the same sin in my heart, as I was not happy about his 2008 election. I was getting paranoid about marxism and taking it to excessive levels, under the influence of talking head Mark Levin. Obama was a disgrace but my worst worries did not come true. Now I think God’s purpose for Obama was to hold back the dominionists, lol. I never heard of Mrs Anderson’s blog, thankfully.

  6. Anderson is from my area, and he does great harm to the name of Christianity by his railing behavior, and he judges the world (in disobedience to Scripture) and if one is KJV preferred, his RIDICULOUS arguments (like from 1 Sam 25:22, 34, etc.) to prove than any man sitting down to urinate is not a man. I guess he has not been infirm yet, injured or older. He teaches hatred, and his wife’s blog also. Been a number of years since I first was curious when he was praying for the assassination of Obama. The enemy must love these types for how the world loves to mock the church because of them, and how the way is maligned.

  7. I appreciate it. Hovind is now part of the god hates gays crowd and advocates that gays, along with delinquent children, be forcibly sterilized. Anderson is worse than lordship when it comes to gays, since he doesn’t accept their repentance. This is dominionism, too. So much for his stand for the gospel.

  8. Jason, I’m not sorry you brought him up, I appreciate it. Naming people causes known error to come out and I’ll save what you said for when someone asks me in the future. Thank you.

  9. And part of Kent’s problem is that he seems to have had several sites, and his comments are scattered. He has a criminal record, including at least three distinct charges, one of which is structuring, from which he is said to have been cleared. He has made scores of bad arguments that other creationists will avoid. He is situationally ethical and does anything in the name of defending creationism. He has actively promoted tax evasion. He is now an Andersonite, which I found out just yesterday. It seems that having fallen out with the lordship crowd, he now panders to the fringe IFB elements for attention, hence recent comments denouncing Ray Comfort. Worst of all, Hovind is now a eugenicist. I’m sorry I brought him up.

  10. kat…….

    I can so relate to these comments on FB, but the entrance of His Word brings light. I’ve been on posts where it literally seems as if the people swarm like bees to attack, if you disagree with their loadship stand, but I remember it’s not me, and it’s the Lord and His Word, so I try to keep grace and salt in my speech, while at the same time not giving place or subjection to the lawkeepers. Sometimes it seems like no one hears, but it’s not for us to worry about it, God’s Word does accomplish what He sends it to do, and it either is going to give seed to the sower or food to the eater. We do not know if either of those two are in the audience, but it’s a blessing to have someone come to you later with questions who hadn’t even participated in the conversation.

  11. Jason – we all make mistakes on people we like or admire. I wish Kent Hovind’s gospel was sound but it is not. On his 2Pet3 site on ‘Are you saved’, if you click on the button, here are some of the misleading and even errant things you will find:

    > Give your heart to the Lord.
    >He says repentance means two things: 1)To turn from your sin and 2) to turn to God.
    >He has them asking for forgiveness and asking to be saved, and cites Romans 10:13, but of course if he had looked at 14 he’d know that’s not quite how it’s meant.

  12. Well, I saw the camp as an extension of the church, not the other way around. Yet I felt safer at camp. My mind was unformed at that age.

  13. Jason, I think part of the danger of Bible schools is that they make children think of the churches that sponsor them as safe places. Sometimes they are, sometimes they are not.

  14. At the age 8-12, I was involved with Boys’ Brigade, which held camping trips. Their devotions were centered around a clear gospel in every instance in my impression of memory. They used illustrations, such as a dead cork baseball to represent a believer’s deadness to sin. It was clear that repentance of sin was not what they meant, and such heretical notions would never have occurred to me back then. It was a lot like Ralph and Tom’s use of the wallet.

    I have fond memories of playing informal sports and movie nights at the camp lodge. Videotapes included football bloopers, cartoons played forward and backward for amusement, and the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; concerning which we did not waste our time analysing authors but simply enjoyed the story for the type of the substitutionary atonement that the Lion seemed to represent.

    It was from the church, and with Sunday School and VBS, and there were a few voices of doubt, but Boys’ Brigade was not a source of them. Some from the church raised concerns about surprises awaiting the afterlife, namely that some did not truly believe. Saying Jesus is Lord was sufficient and not sufficient in different instances where the lordship of Christ was brought up. Such subtle lordship and anti-lordship teachings confused me and contributed to my plunge into lordship salvation at age 12.

  15. I guess I’ll have to eat my words.

  16. Interestingly enough, there are comments from Kent Hovind denouncing Lordship Salvation and pointing to a clear gospel. Hovind has issues, but this isn’t one of them.

  17. Kat, the second commenter’s assurance of salvation is his/her behavior.

  18. katmazdobelieve

    This is a comment I took from Answers in Genesis Facebook:

    Original commenter- “And how many Christians today are truly leading the type of life that Christ wants them to lead? Well I think they would be in the slim minority anyway and their numbers are probably dwindling. It’s easy to claim to be a Christian but actually very difficult to be one.”

    Second Commenter- “The path is narrow and few will find it”

    Third Commenter- “Do you mean easy to become a christian, hard to live like one?”

    Second Commenter-“You must do the will of the Father and forsake your own will in all things. A Lot of “easy believism” in the world today. People think they can live however they want and they are just “saved” by believing. But even the demons believe and shudder, even the devil knows for a fact that God exists, will he be saved? No because he does not submit to the will of God.”

    It’s heartbreaking to see that what they believe is the broad-way and the easy believism is the narrow way.

  19. Holly, me too. Maybe, also, that they will learn to look to the Bible for the truth, versus the religious traditions of men.

  20. Repent of sin is in the NLT but I guess sodomy isn’t one of them. Phew, that stinks.

  21. John, such a timely article. This was on my mind/heart, and in my prayers. So many children will be subjected to so much error. Just praying they’ll hear John 3:16, and somehow not retain the rest that is error.

  22. Jerry the biggest error (in my estimation) is the addition of ‘from sin’ to ‘repent’. It’s a paraphrase, not a translation, so it has additional words that are not in the original manuscripts and is subject of course to men’s understanding of Scripture, so if repent = repent from sin in the NLT, we can assume there is much more error elsewhere.

  23. New Lordship Translation.

  24. Wow, the New Liberal Translation. Liberal, Ecumenical. Lordship.

  25. Welcome Jerry
    see below and let us know how accurate the 32 ommisions if they are correct. I did not do this research myself for i am not interested in the NLT..
    Curtis M

    “Here are 32 of the most severe errors I could find in the NLT (New Living Translation) Bible.”

    1 Kings 15:12 – “sodomites” replaced with “shrine prostitutes”
    2 Kings 23:7 – “sodomites” replaced with “shrine prostitutes”
    Matthew 17:21 – entire verse omitted
    Matthew 18:11 – entire verse omitted
    Matthew 19:9 – half of the verse is omitted
    Matthew 23:14 – entire verse omitted
    Mark 6:11 – half of the verse is omitted
    Mark 9:44, 46 – entire verses omitted
    Mark 11:26 – entire verse omitted
    Mark 15:28 – entire verse omitted
    Mark 16:9-20 – entire passage is questioned by a footnote that says, “The most reliable early manuscripts conclude the Gospel of Mark at verse 8”
    Luke 4:8 – “get thee behind me Satan” is omitted
    Luke 17:36 – entire verse omitted
    Luke 23:17 – entire verse omitted
    John 3:13 – “which is in heaven” is omitted
    John 3:16 – the all important word “begotten” is omitted, thus denying the deity of Christ
    John 5:4 – entire verse omitted
    John 7:53 – 8:11 — entire passage is questioned in a note which says, “The most ancient Greek manuscripts do not include John 7:53 – 8:11”
    Acts 8:37 – entire verse omitted
    Acts 17:29 – completely removes the “Godhead”
    Acts 28:29 – entire verse omitted
    Romans 1:20 – completely removes the “Godhead”
    Romans 16:24 – entire verse omitted
    Philippians 2:6 -removes the word “equal,” thus denying Christ’s deity
    Colossians 2:9 – completely removes the “Godhead”
    1 Timothy 3:16 – “God” is omitted thus denying the deity of Christ
    1 Timothy 6:5 – “from such withdraw thyself” is omitted
    Hebrews 1:3 – the all-important words “by himself” are omitted
    1 Peter 4:1 – “for us” is omitted
    1 Peter 4:14 – half of the verse is omitted
    1 John 4:3 – the all-important words “Christ is come in the flesh” are omitted
    1 John 5:13 – half of the verse is omitted

  26. Jerry, we do not have any articles on the NLT. However, we have had some comments.

    One was from me on the NLT treatment of Luke 13:3: Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God.

  27. Jerry Weinhausen


    Do you have articles on this site that showcase the problems with NLT in respect to LS? I’ve never heard anybody express difficulty with it apart from the translation theory by which it was produced.



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