Please note: This article is intended to promote and defend the gospel by comparing the incontrovertible word of God to shifting scientific claims. It is not intended to pick sides in suggesting what the proper public health responses are for COVID-19.
John 5:24: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
In the ongoing development of pseudoscientific theories about how to best deal with the public health threat from COVID-19, a trite phrase has come into common usage: The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
In the absence of solid scientific evidence to compel whatever the desired universal behavior du jour that public health officials, newly-ordained media experts, and political opportunists are promoting, the phrase the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence is somehow seen as sufficient. In other words, the absence of evidence that something is helpful is of little consequence if there is the chance that it might be. Guidance often changes frequently, with little consideration given to any possible negative consequences.
In diametric opposition to the pseudoscientists, we have Lordship “salvationists” (LSers) – religious “experts” who create false gospels by teaching that the absence of evidence IS the evidence of absence. That is, if the promise of good works, the performance of good works, or evidence of good works do not accompany faith in Christ, then that is evidence that a person does not have eternal life.
Unlike their perhaps well-meaning pseudoscientific counterparts, these religious “experts” override absolute, incontrovertible proof to promote their false gospels.
The Bible does not teach that there is any evidence of salvation. Rather, the Bible teaches that anyone who has believed in Jesus as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.
Lordship “salvation”, on the other hand, involves the endless search for evidence of salvation – even while explaining away the proof of salvation.
Here are some examples in which LSers override biblical proof in search of evidence:
Soil number 2 in the parable of the Sower
Luke 8:13: They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
The Bible CLEARLY and unambiguously says these people believed. As such, they have passed from death unto life (John 5:24).
This is is not good enough for many LSers. Consider the following quote from J.D. Greear, pastor of the multi-campus Summit Church in Raleigh, North Carolina:
They remain in the church for a period of time. But, they do not endure when the sun of persecution comes out and will not in the end be saved.
Believers who do not confess Christ
John 12:42: Nevertheless among the chief rulers many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
The Bible says these people believed. What other evidence should we need?
But, that’s not good enough for LSers. For example, another huge North Carolina church – Calvary Church in Charlotte – has something contradictory to what the Bible says.
Calvary says that one must confess Christ in order to be saved. From their “Articles of Faith”:
We believe that all who receive by faith alone, Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and who confess Him before their fellow men, are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become children of God.
Philemon 1:24: Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.
2 Timothy 4:10: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
Paul describes Demas as a fellow laborer, but later says Demas has forsaken him for the world. Demas is a Christian who did not persevere.
What would the Southern Baptist Convention – a group of 50,000 cooperating churches – have to say? Following is an excerpt from”The Baptist Faith and Message”:
All true believers endure to the end.
What does “endure to the end” even mean? Did Demas “endure to the end”? Was Demas a “true believer”?
LSers are so hung up on works providing evidence of salvation that they will deny irrefutable PROOF from scripture that someone has eternal life.
I will give you a couple of takeaways from the above:
The argument that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence has no place in science. It is a refuge for those who expect you to accept their “scientific” claims without having met the scientific burden of proof.
Science involves the scientific method. From Wikipedia: the scientific method is an empirical method of acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century. It involves careful observation, applying rigorous skepticism about what is observed, given that cognitive assumptions can distort how one interprets the observation. It involves formulating hypotheses, via induction, based on such observations; experimental and measurement-based testing of deductions drawn from the hypotheses; and refinement (or elimination) of the hypotheses based on the experimental findings.
Please note: rigorous skepticism is inseparable from true science. It is not a sign of moral weakness, lack of virtue, or irresponsible citizenship.
The argument that the absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence is completely appropriate in terms of eternal life, since God’s word says that anyone who has believed in Jesus as Savior has eternal life, without reference to any confirmatory evidence.
Therefore, the argument that the absence of evidence IS the evidence of absence of eternal life is wholly inappropriate, and contradicts God’s clear word. This statement is at the heart of the false gospel of LS.
If you would like to know more click here: THE GOSPEL