Churchianity: Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish

By johninnc

Matthew 16:18: And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 

From Wikipedia

“Embrace, extend, and extinguish”, also known as “Embrace, extend, and exterminate”, is a phrase that the U.S. Department of Justice found was used internally by Microsoft to describe its strategy for entering product categories involving widely used standards, extending those standards with proprietary capabilities, and then using those differences to disadvantage its competitors…

The stategies’s three phases are:

1. Embrace: Development of software substantially compatible with a competing product, or implementing a public standard.

2. Extend: Addition and promotion of features not supported by the competing product or part of the standard, creating interoperability problems for customers who try to use the ‘simple’ standard.

3. Extinguish: When extensions become a de facto standard because of their dominant market share, they marginalize competitors that do not or cannot support the new extensions.

Although this strategy is attributed to Microsoft, it is similar to the strategy that Satan has used, and is using, to try to impede the growth and function of the church, which is the body of Christ.

Various denominations of churchianity embrace the concept of God, embrace the Bible as authoritative, and embrace the death and resurrection of Christ,

Then comes the extension – changing the message of the Bible as to how one receives eternal life. According to the Bible, eternal life is received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ  alone.

Churchianity extends the simple gospel message with non-Biblical, man-made add-ons, or extensions, that change the gospel message into something that is no longer the gospel.

False conditions to how to receive eternal life are added. Things like:

  • Make Jesus Lord of your life
  • Commit your life to Christ
  • Promise to serve Christ
  • Turn from sin

In order to camoflauge these extensions, or add-ons, Biblical terms such as “grace” and “faith” are redefined to implicitly include false conditions added to how one receives eternal life.

Once these false extensions to the gospel become ensconced in “church history” or dogma, they become the de facto standard of churchianity. They become dominant in churchianity, and seek to marginalize those who oppose their false add-ons.

Some people naturally trust institutional authority, others desire to fit in, and still others feel bolstered by strength in numbers.

For those who are clear on the gospel, yet knowingly participate in organizations that have been subsumed by the “embrace, extend, and extinguish” strategy, I offer the following:

2 Corinthians 11:3: But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

For those who are not clear on the gospel, and are just going along with the dominant message being taught in churchianity today, I offer the following:

Matthe 7:13-14: 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: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Despite the efforts to stamp out the universal church by the “embrace, extend, and extinguish” strategy, the gospel message is still getting out, and we should encourage one another to boldly proclaim it.

If you would like to know how to have eternal life, click here: The Gospel


58 responses to “Churchianity: Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish

  1. chas, I’m not aware of any such resources, but I think scripture is sufficient (Luke 22:19).

  2. I don’t mean to hijack this thread with another subject, but I’m not sure where else to ask this.
    Since I haven’t yet found a church in my area that isn’t off on some weird tangent doctrinally, my family hasn’t celebrated the Lord’s Supper in a while. Only alternative I can think of is to celebrate it at home. I went looking online for any type of outline or loose guide for a service, but the search was jammed with materials by Calvinists, “reformed worship” sites and other LS infested stuff, both denominational and non-D. Anybody know of a good grace-oriented source or outline? Or do I even need anything outside of Scripture itself?

  3. Why am I not surprised, and why do they have no fear? I guess that’s the answer, is they have no fear, consequently no wisdom.

  4. The latest from the world of “churchianity,” sent to my attention by commenter Kate:

    Episcopal Church Considers A Gender-Neutral God “Our work toward equity” ByPAUL BOIS @PAULBOIS39 July 6, 2018

    The entire Episcopal Church, not just one diocese, is now actively considering replacing all masculine pronouns referring to God such as “Father” and “Him” with gender-neutral terms. According to Fox News, the Episcopal Church “formed a committee Wednesday to ‘provide a pathway’ toward revising the Book of Common Prayer to include gender-neutral language.” Church leaders were alarmed by the “overwhelming use of masculine language” throughout the book and called for immediate revisions, saying it creates a kind of spiritual exclusion. “As long as ‘men’ and ‘God’ are in the same category, our work toward equity will not just be incomplete. I honestly think it won’t matter in some ways,” Wil Gafney, a professor of the Hebrew Bible and strong advocate for the edit, told The Washington Post. The Episcopal News Service said that Church leaders felt the masculine pronouns created a “barrier to evangelizing young people.” Kathleen Moore, a seminarian from the Diocese of Vermont, said that such masculine pronouns get in the way of faith. “Let’s let God be God,” Moore told the religious news agency. Throughout scripture, God continually refers to Himself as “Father” and presents Himself to humanity as masculine. Christ, who is also both man and God, called God the “Father” and ascended into heaven in a male body. For Catholics, the feminine aspects of the Church have always been represented in the Virgin Mary, whom they believe was crowned “Queen of Heaven,” and by the Church itself. In 2017, the Church of Sweden also elected to call God only by gender-neutral pronouns.

    My comment: Not surprising. The world of churchianity does not align very closely with the universal church.

  5. RAS – What I seem to observe is that all of the wolves will defend wolves unless it serves their purpose to attack them in order to gain an audience.

    William Lane Craig along with being a philosopher is also an Arminian who is just as much under loadship as Graham was. Sad thing is neither they nor Calvinists know they are saved because they just don’t believe God’s testimony of His Son and they have to elaborate with their own wisdom of words, adding to His Word proving themselves to be fools.

  6. Brad, you had a good list, and understood and agreed with your thought process (I think), but may I address some things I might think on just slightly differently?
    You mentioned:
    If they start getting visbly angry stop replying to them until they start acting civilly again, if they don’t then just walk away. Don’t persist.

    In some cases, enough is enough in a conversation, but praying first and letting the Holy Spirit give us the words if we are to speak is good too. Most are going to get visibly angry, we should not respond in like manner, so sometimes I believe we need to persist if we are not in the flesh. Especially as oftentimes others are listening and may be reading what we are writing, or hearing what we are saying. Withstand them to their face publicly comes to mind. So I don’t think that you’re wrong, just want to bring out another way to think on it too.

    We need to always answer with the truth, and just keep sound speech that can’t be condemned in mind, and also using grace and salt in our speech for those who are without. Keeping also 2 Tim 2:23-26 in mind for believers that need recovered, or Jude 22-23. We never know who might hear, so I think it’s kind of a case by case basis as to how long to persist — even in some cases we are to rebuke sharply in the presence of all (Titus 1 I believe). Anyways, just thinking out loud on that one.

    You also said “There ARE solid ways, conversationally, to get through to these people. But reading bible verses to them that they have probably already been brainwashed about isn’t always the best way.”

    I understand what you were saying, except I believe Scripture shows us that we need to always answer with Scripture, we don’t need to read it to them, but employ it in our answers — for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. Some won’t seem to hear, but it’s His Word that won’t return void, and will accomplish what He pleases it to do, so some will be fed, and others will have seed to sow. That’s up to Him, but it’s His Word that is living and powerful and discerns the thoughts and intents of our hearts even. It sanctifies (if they know Him) and it’s able to make others wise unto salvation.

    I believe though we can use His Word wrongly, and so we have to examine our intent, be sure we’re not in the flesh, and pray always as we lay out His Word to others.

    In Christ, Holly

  7. I just saw a video clip of William Lane Craig used by someone to “clarify” what B. Graham meant by his own inclusive/universal comments to R. Schuller (because WLC is more articulate than B. Graham). In the video Craig reasons that people will be judged (future tense) according to their responses to general revelation and they will possibly benefit (future tense) from Christ’s atonement without ever knowing it took place. He compared it to inheriting a large sum of money from a relative who you never knew existed. In this way Craig keeps Christ’s death as the only acceptable atonement but he has replaced faith in Christ alone with good intentions toward God in response to whatever light God has seen fit to give that person. He also used Job as an example of one who knew not of Jesus’ death yet he had a ‘relationship” to God. Funny that Craig does not take Gen 1-11 as literal history but he does Job (at least as it suits his cause).

    Craig is a philosopher and he like Calvinists (which he is not) fail to recognize that being given life is the issue. The atonement, while taking away the death sentence, does not give life to already dead (judged) people until faith is placed in the promise of life from the Giver of Life—Christ alone. The atonement made it possible for a just God to give life without bringing those who believe in to judgment. Those who believe and have life will not be at the judgment Craig speaks of. It’s just more conflation from not handling the Word of God correctly.

    It seems to me that Craig is big on general revelation and just as prone to misinterpreting it as he is to misinterpreting scripture.

  8. Jason, we are happy that you are here and that you have used clear scripture to dispel perseverance error.

  9. One of the early contradictions that I dealt with was the “warning” that I could deny Christ under fear of death and go to hell. It would make me unstable for a long time. I didn’t know how to deal with contradictory teachings when I was ten. It did not sound like what my mom taught me five years earlier or what I was taught in classes and camps since. It did not sound like any of those John 3:16 memory drills.

    In my impressionable mind, I could only accept that this was a hard teaching, and that I have to deal with it. It did not occur to me to look at my Bible and find out where that teaching was coming from. And yet the awful truth is that it nullified everything. When I was at my childhood church, it was the first false teaching to beguile me, and when I came here, it was the last to go. And yet a calm argument like Brad’s will quickly show me that it is works. And if I thought something was wrong, I was right.

    Or maybe it was not the first. Ask Jesus into your heart is just as subtle, and I was taught that, too. It was not as discomforting but it was just as beguiling. I repented of that when I came to GES in 2009. I was a mess. My memory cannot place these events in precise order.

    Now it occurs to me that parables are for unbelievers, and I understand better why there are some unclear passages that have to be interpreted in context by the clear. Simple things like this come to me from being in the Word and bring me comfort.

  10. They care more about their appearance than what they teach.

    They care more about their delivery than their theology.

  11. Brad, churchianity does include a lot of snake oil salesmen, some of whom are believers just wanting to “get ahead” and some who are deceived. Churchianity also includes a lot of cheerleaders, just cheering on the deceived/deceivers.

  12. Points in dealing with these confused people.

    – Don’t let them bring you to their level. In their heads it is all about winning and being better/smarter than you. Remain calm. Listen quickly and speak slowly.

    – If they start getting visbly angry stop replying to them until they start acting civilly again, if they don’t then just walk away. Don’t persist.

    – If the discussion becomes argumentative be sure to remember to let them finish all of their sentences, before responding. Do not speak in an argumentative tone, do not interrupt them otherwise they can play the victim card easily. If you become upset with them, end the discussion civilly and walk away.

    – If they employ clear contradictive language point it out as clearly as you can, use comparative examples if you have to. Something cannot cost something and be free at the same time and it is impossible to explain such things rationally, which may cause them to reeavulate their beliefs. If they paid 10,000 for a car they didn’t get it for free.

    – If they, for example, say obedience is not a work, logically walk obedience back to being a work. For example: “if you had a job and your boss asked you to do a task for him and you did it, that would be obedience to your boss and the completed task would be the work that you did for him”.

    Just throwing things out there, if people want to add to it.

    There ARE solid ways, conversationally, to get through to these people. But reading bible verses to them that they have probably already been brainwashed about isn’t always the best way.

    Churchianity is just motivational speakers pretending to be Christians.

  13. Brad, you are right – people are able to change the meaning of all sorts of words to hide their works for eternal life doctrine.

    I know it is frustrating to see all of the error out there. It is definitely not of God.

  14. There’s all sorts of words and phrases they use instead of “works”.

    They have 1000 different ways of saying we’re saved by works, without ever actually using the word “works”.

    They’re confused (or deliberately deceiving), there is no consistency in their words except lies, doublespeak and untruths. May God have mercy on their souls…

  15. I once read on some article that a conservative is defined as a traditionalist. Now I am not sure if I want to be one. Jeffress would say that my belief in grace is not conservative. I have moral values, yet I do not believe in salvation by morality in any way, shape or form. What does that make me?

  16. Holly, I saw direct evidence of this yesterday in an opinion piece on Fox News.

    Both the writer of the article, Todd Starnes, and one of the people interviewed, pastor Robert Jeffress, seemed to be able to judge the soul of writer George Will, who had criticized Billy Graham. Please note that George Will did not demonstrate any understanding of the gospel in his criticism of Billy Graham, but we simply can’t know whether or not a person has eternal life.

    Following are some quotes:

    Robert Jeffress: George Will’s article reveals that he is neither a conservative or a Christian.

    Richard Lang (Southern Evangelical Seminary President): George Will’s snide and spiritually clueless criticisms of the incomparable Billy Graham reveal far more about Will’s ignorance and hostility to the spiritual than he perhaps intended. When I read Will’s column the image that came to mind was of an ignorant Pekingese yapping at the heels of a spiritual Great Dane.

    Todd Starnes: In spite of the shameful smear, I doubt Billy Graham would’ve been all that bothered.

    I reckon he would’ve smiled at George Will and reminded him that we are all sinners and that God loves him and wants to have a relationship with him.

    My comment: This is just more of the political/LS echo chamber that have joined the late Billy Graham in weaponizong scripture

  17. Madeline, praying you and whoever in your family are like-minded on the gospel can meet and pray for the Lord to bring the same into your lives. It is so hard I know… When I moved to my new house I was really hoping I might find the same. There was a Bible church on the corner, (a misnomer) and I literally wept inside when I heard his first sermon.

    But I am thankful for others here, and those who contend earnestly for the faith that I have met on FB and others on my site. It’s a blessing and one day we’ll always be together with Him.

  18. Johninnc – indeed Billy Graham is not a subject to be crossed by many. No matter what he has falsely taught, they will not hear, but they will bite and devour if you touch their anointed sadly.

  19. John
    Ha, I don’t think I had seen that article before but I think you nailed it. Many believe that you have to “make a deal” to receive the gift and they want to see that you “mean business” before they pronounce you “saved”.

  20. Hi Madeline, Pray you find a fellowship there in Oregon. I live in the Kansas City area and have not really found any to meet with –even just one, or two or a group to with meet and fellowship with in person. Praying there is someone here on this forum Expreacherman who lives in my area to get together with.

  21. Dear Johninnc, Thank you for prayers..most of our friends in
    Different churches but hopefully we can find one couple or
    Couples to fellowship that believe faith alone without “add ons “.

  22. Madeline, I will pray that you will find a like-minded believer(s) with whom to meet.

    We meet with just one other couple.

    Meanwhile, we are also assembled here online.

  23. Been following EP.,Cucuzza, Yankee,Holly, Grace teachers, and
    studying God’s Word for a few years now, and can never get
    enough of Grace message.Came out of Calvinism and LS
    after reading Dave Hunt’s book”What Love is This” and finding
    this website. Out of 95,000 population in Bend, Oregon, we
    have yet to find a church that teaches Grace alone through faith
    alone and that salvation in Christ is a gift.We’re not to forsake the
    Assembling of ourselves together as Hebrews says but what
    Do we do in a situation like this ? Grateful for you all and your
    Input. Madeline

  24. RAS, speaking of “mean business,” we had an article a while back with that in the title. Spoiler alert – it mentions the false gospel of Billy Graham. See below:

  25. I recently listened to Graham’s “last” message video because people were sharing it on Facebook due to his passing. In it he not only butchers the gospel but also messes up the atonement by giving a Jesus died spiritually type of explanation. So to me he messed up both things. Sadly many tend to get one or the other wrong but he missed both. I don’t know if he was saved or not but people are not saved by imperfect sacrifices or by works additions to grace.

    Jim F

  26. Holly, Billy Graham was considered sacrosanct by almost everyone in the religion biz, and even by some people who seem clear on grace.

    There simply is no bridge between his false gospel and the real thing.

  27. Great article John, it’s a bait and switch. Dishonest tactics are often used by pastors and assistant pastors of false gospels in order to grow their churches. They are doubleminded and unstable. Trouble is, if they ever believed they become unstable.

    We all would prefer all would have believed it when we hear someone has died. Billy Graham wasn’t sure, and I thought that was the saddest thing ever. He was talking about Mother Teresa getting in there before him and he didn’t know if he’d be turned away. Showed how much he didn’t know about what the Word said, along with his turn from sin gospel and his ecumenism even if he had preached a true gospel, what kind of a shepherd would willingly agree to turn baby sheep over to wolves (give them back to their old false churches and synagogues).

    We can’t judge whether he ever believed, but we can judge the doctrine and the wolf’s fruits. Sad that he died, he’s left a big false legacy behind. I pray somehow those that are left might repent and start teaching the true gospel.

  28. Strangely enough, universalism is not easy-believism. It merely teaches that everyone will eventually repent of their sins, and they won’t get in until they do. I have never heard of the version that teaches that everyone eventually believes.

  29. I think what LukeNC has pointed out concerning Graham espousing a form of universalism (for good hearted Buddhists, Muslims, etc) while attacking ‘easy believeism’ just goes to show how offensive God’s grace is to people and how they stand grace on its head. The universalism aspect replaces knowing that Christ is the Way while attacking ‘easy believeism’ signals the belief in “faith that works” and that these good intentions are what is required by God to receive the gift life. It’s like saying “God will figure out your intentions just show me you mean business”.

  30. Luke, we can’t really know.

    But, in any event, some people who should know better frustrate grace by giving Graham a pass for the false gospel that he taught.

  31. the more I read and hear about Graham, the more I believe he actually was not saved. He did believe in a form of universalism — something conveniently ignored by many of those praising him now. He also repeatedly and openly attacked ‘easy believeism’, even in his latter years. God only knows, but I have doubts. Hope he was.

  32. Phil, for a Christian, a lifetime of preaching a false gospel would probably fall more into the category of the “wood, hay, and stubble” of 1 Corinthians 3:12, rather than falling in the “gold, silver, precious stones” category.

  33. Keith, agree. Many people already believe in receiving eternal life by works, and the turn from sin for eternal life message reinforces that pre-existing belief.

    Ron Shea says it like this:

    We believe that the more ardently and regularly a pastor or teacher holds forth any of the above perversions of the gospel of grace as a necessity for salvation, the more firmly a pre-existing grid of salvation-by-works is fabricated in the hearts and minds of the congregants, progressively shackling the lost sinner more hopelessly behind a veil of deception, making it less and less likely that any forthcoming profession of faith has meaningfully grasped the message of salvation.

  34. In the presentation of any gospel message, I think the linchpin for whether or not a person believes is whether or not he properly repents. If repentance is presented as “to turn from sin” or to “repent of sin”, rather than “to change one’s mind” about one’s self-righteousness, or unbelief, then he will simply add faith in Christ to his pre- existing belief system of good works. Such teaching appeals to the unregenerate masses because it meshes with the way a lost person already thinks. The truth is that the Biblical gospel message offends the vast majority of people because it requires them to change the way they think about themselves in relation to God and what He requires. Ii think that the feel-goodism of the “turn from your sins” repentance message is why Billy Graham gained so much popularity among U.S. Presidents, world leaders, the media and churchianity in general. I don’t know whether or not he ever was personally persuaded that the simple promise of eternal life found in scripture is true, but I hope so.

    I think that many of those who preach a corrupt gospel message sincerely believe that they are preaching the correct message, but they are teaching what they have heard or read from a fallible human teacher rather than seeking to know the mind of God in scripture on the matter.

  35. l just hope that Graham did believe the gospel of his salvation. That Christ’s death for all his sins, burial, and resurrection is the only way for his forgiveness and eternal life; the gospel of his and everyone’s salvation. There is nothing we can add or contribute of ourselves other than accepting this by faith.
    jason, I think the judgement seat of Christ is for Christ bestowing rewards for godly service for the saved as crowns..and more. I don’t think it’s going to be like some interrogation or trial. I think the judgment seat will be for Christ to honor His bride, the body of believers composed of all who have Trusted Him as their Savior, to honor them with crowns and positions of authority. The Bible says every saved person will receive at least some recognition.

  36. I agree, we cannot be sure.

    There was this comment on Quora: “In Christian tradition, you don’t go to hell for believing in the devil you go there for sinning against God (and if Catholic for being unrepentant of your sins) God didn’t create the devil per se. He created an angel who rebelled, was expelled from heaven, and became the devil by his own volition.”

    That commenter does not know what a mess churchianity is. Repent of sin is everywhere.

  37. Jason, I hope that Billy Graham believed the gospel at some point.

    Billy Graham taught “repent of sin” for eternal life for much of his career. The New York Times quoted him as such, his website and printed materials said that, and his son Franklin still preaches that tired old false gospel.

    Billy Graham either believed the false gospel he was teaching, or he couldn’t tell the difference between the gospel and his false gospel substitute (kind of scary for “America’s Pastor”), or he feigned belief in the false gospel he preached in order to appeal to the masses.

    He would not have been so well thought of if he had consistently preached a grace message.

  38. Hixson stated that Graham sometimes got the gospel right and gave an example of this in “Getting the Gospel Wrong”. This occurred early in Graham’s ministry. Graham probably believed the gospel at some point, and that suffices for his salvation. Unfortunately, Graham now knows how much damage he has done and of the explaining he will have to do at the judgement seat.

  39. Phil R, I think you have a point. I argue also that part of the problem is that scarcely anyone is taught how to think, let alone how to think logically. There’s a lot of whim and “feels” dictating what is apparently the mindset of the church at large. Or should I say, professing Christendom at large.

  40. I don’t think they see it as a “works” message. They, along with Billy Graham, would admit they are not perfect and still sin. Graham would admit that it is Christ’s finished work that saves, and that it comes by faith in the gospel, BUT, they drag the, “a faith that saves is never alone.” that is, it produces a godly life along with God’s help: a changed life. (But that’s the false teaching that we are saved by faith plus keeping the commandments)
    I don’t think it’s just a pride thing with them, I just don’t think they think in pure theological logic and step back and realize all that Christ has done to secure eternal life for them. I think Graham saw his mission not only preach to trust Christ as their Savior, but to also to be born again and live as a new creation. IOW, I think Graham taught you must be born again and a new creation positionally AND in the way you live your life. Trouble is, in Graham’s zeal to bring people to Christ, he presented salvation not like Christ bought our souls a whole new house to live, instead it was that Graham was saying, yes, we get a brand new house to live in, but we have to remodel and keep maintaining it for it be eternally acceptable to God. Of course, this is classic faith/works Lordship Salvation and a corrupted gospel of salvation.
    But as to why they insist on works.. Again,I don’t think it’s all pride,,,I think it’s just that they think faith has to change a person, both inside and out…and it’s unacceptable otherwise.

  41. Luke I’ve wondered that myself. The LS/Calvinist teachers/preachers, if they are honest with themselves, would have to realize they don’t measure up to the standard, which is perfection, if they are trusting in Jesus plus their good works to get them to heaven. I guess they are not being honest with themselves, just how far we are from the standard. I thank God that I finally heard the clear Gospel through Yankee Arnold, that it’s a free gift. What a burden was lifted from my shoulders. Now I have peace with God! Amen!

  42. Johninnc — you are correct. I do try and correct wherever and whenever I can and also give that simple gospel message.

  43. Luke, it does amaze me that people either don’t want grace, or can’t tell the difference between a grace message and a works message.

    In the meantime, even if there are no world-renowned evangelists who are clear on the gospel, each of us can evangelize.

  44. I’ve often wondered….why is the works message SO popular? No one can even come close to living up to it, yet all of the most successful preachers and evangelists all preach a works message. Billy Graham recently passed — he preached a works message and was arguably the most popular evangelist ever.

    It would seem to me that the simple gospel message would be more popular. It’s so easy to get to heaven — believe in the finished work of Christ — that’s it! *no strings attached*, that message should be the most popular, most successful message ever, but it isn’t. Maybe God will raise up a great evangelist who actually preaches the simple Gospel message soon. I’d love to see it.

  45. The purpose driven church is just that, a business model.

  46. Phil, very well said.

  47. The way i see it is that many churches are institutions that use business models, with mission statements…. The have to have enough monetary intake to stay in the black., and to keep their “church planting” going along with their next building project going. The church vocabulary had developed new buzz words like “connect” and “accountability”. Hard to find a church that simply asks a offering, without putting its flock under the law of Moses and asking for “tithes and offering.” And now, of course, they have really gone I,T. and have like these ATM machines in the foyers where you can just use your plastic and give your “tithes and offerings” and just push a few buttons.
    There are churches that simply teach that salvation comes when someone simply believes the gospel of their salvation thru Christ, but all to often churches and people wrongly believe that faith must have a level of character including forsaking of sins they call “repenting”, sorrow, change of lifestyle…..To them, you can’t just come to the cross empty handed, with nothing of yourself, and simply believe that Christ has attained eternal salvation thru his death, burial and resurrection for you. People in many churches believe that just believing or faith is not enough; that you must prove yourself to God and others, or your salvation is not real….sad.

  48. Jason, very astute observation, and quite fitting to the theme of the article!

  49. Fryingpan, there is no end to how people take the simple message of the gospel and try to complicate or corrupt it. “Believe” is definitely one of the words that has become altered to fit peoples’ varying narratives.

  50. I once embraced the open source model and even now see that it has its selling points. It also makes a good analogy for the defense of the King James against the corrupt bible versions. The NIV in particular has been treated like a proprietary edition, with planned obsolescence part of the process. The 1984 edition was very successful because of its readability combined with relatively little corruption, and it is was spitefully put out of print. The later editions are progressively losing both readability and accuracy and becoming less relevant, contrary to stated intentions. The King James remains as an open source Bible. Even the literal NASB and NKJV are under copyright and could undergo the same process. It seems that their strategy is to gradually introduce and standardize corruption until the Mess becomes the standard and no one questions it.

  51. Spot on as usual, johninnc.

    I would add “believe” to that list of words that’s redefined. But it sort of needs to be followed by “on”. What I mean is, and I probably wrote about this elsewhere, one of the last conversations (probably the penultimate one) I had with the pastor at the Calvary Chapel I was attending (not long before I left there for good) had him telling me something like, “Yes, but the Bible tell us to believe ON the Lord Jesus Christ.”

    Right. In other words, “It can’t be as simple as believing, in spite of what that pesky ol’ Romans 3:26.”

    (To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.)

  52. John,

    Yeah it makes a good analogy especially with the part about the redefinition of term to include the “extension” or gospel addition.

    This part really sums it up well:

    “In order to camoflauge these extensions, or add-ons, Biblical terms such as “grace” and “faith” are redefined to implicitly include false conditions added to how one receives eternal life.

    Once these false extensions to the gospel become ensconced in “church history” or dogma, they become the de facto standard of churchianity. They become dominant in churchianity, and seek to marginalize those who oppose their false add-ons.”

    I guess this is partly why so many choose the broad path that leads to destruction.

  53. Angela, yeah, I see the “faith as the gift” error a lot. It leads to many of the other errors.

  54. Jim, I wasn’t aware of the business strategy attributed to Microsoft, until a tech savvy friend of mine mentioned it the other day. I thought it might make a good analogy.

  55. Very interesting about the three strategies, I can completely see this happening in the computer world over the years.

    I, on occasion go to a internet Christian Chat site, it is probably one of the bigger ones out there, the site is presently dominated by Calvinism and lordship salvation-ism. I am surprised that many on the site who are quite knowledgeable on scripture, knowing Greek and Hebrew, will say that repentance is turning from sin.

    However, the pervasive error that permeates most all the discussion is that faith is a gift and that salvation always produces works.

    It has been a real eye opener!!

    Thank you for ongoing work …this website continues to be my oasis. 🙂

  56. John,

    Good business analogy. It really is similar to how the devil has tried to phase out the truth of the simplicity of the gospel.

  57. Cheryl, it’s good to hear from you, and we are thankful that you find the site to be a blessing.

  58. Thank you for your article. I have appreciated this website for many years as a beacon of light for the gospel.