Category Archives: Atheism

Lordship Salvation: Is THEIR Report OUR Report?

By johninnc (illustration by Holly Garcia)

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Romans 10:16: But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

We were recently meeting with some Christian friends, who mentioned that a prominent writer would be appearing at a local megachurch to make the case for Christianity. This writer’s book makes the case for Christianity by describing how much faith it would require to be an atheist.

That is a great topic for a book, and for attendant lectures. But, let’s look at a little bit of background on the teachings of the church (Forest Hills Church, Charlotte) hosting this event.

From their pastor’s blog:

(he is explaining things from Jesus’ perspective)

Through my obedience, my Father has given me the final authority to execute judgment over all humanity. One day, everyone will hear my voice and appear before me in final judgment. Don’t marvel at this saying. It is true. This judgment will solely depend on those who have believed in me. John’s gospel repeatedly states this truth (3:16;5:24,25; 14:6). However, good and bad deeds will prove an individual’s faith. If good deeds aren’t there, it proves faith isn’t present. These people face eternal judgment. If good deeds are there, it proves faith is present and they are granted eternal resurrection life.

Do you believe in me today? Do you believe I came from heaven, lived in human flesh as a man, lived the perfect life you’re incapable of living, died for your sins and rose from the dead to prove your righteousness and grant you eternal life? It’s a free gift, given by grace through faith. Accept this gift. Believe in me. Trust me for your eternal life.

This is a terrible Calvinist “perseverance of the saints” message that is entirely unbiblical. It is an affront to the real gospel message. If good deeds prove the presence or absence of faith, then one must look at himself to determine if he is saved.

The question then becomes:

Is the person teaching that the Bible is reliable reliable? Or, are they setting records (attendance, book sales, etc.) by changing the record?

Let’s look at the conflicting, unbiblical statement of faith (in works) of another megachurch in North Carolina – Summit Church in Raleigh:

We believe that salvation is a free gift given at God’s initiative, and must be received personally by faith.  
John 5:24; Rom 10:9-10; Eph 2:8-9

We believe the Bible to be God’s Word, a true and fully accurate account of God’s love for us.  Its purpose is to teach us how to have a relationship with Him, worship Him and bring Him glory.  
Psalms 19:7-10; 2 Tim 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21

Sounds good so far, right?

Ah, but then the contradiction:

If you’d like a more in-depth explanation of our doctrinal beliefs, you may want to read The Baptist Faith and Message.

Following is an excerpt from the “in depth explanation” from the Baptist Faith and Message:

Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.

A. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.

Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.

 This statement of “faith” requires that someone be regenerated before believing (unbiblical), defines repentance as “a genuine turning from sin toward God” (unbiblical), and thereby makes Jesus necessary for salvation, but not sufficient.

In the false gospel presented in the Baptist Faith and Message, Jesus’s work on the cross, and His victory over sin and death must be augmented by our works – in this case turning from sin.

This is not the record that God gave of His Son. And it is not a message that will save anyone.

1 John 5:10-12:

[10] He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

[11] And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

[12] He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

Have you believed OUR report? Or have you believed THEIR report?

OUR report:

Eternal salvation is a free gift, available to every person on the same basis: by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

THEIR report:

Their reports vary widely. They often look the same as ours – on the surface. But then, they contradict themselves with other statements or beliefs. Some examples:

  • We are saved by grace alone through faith alone. But, the faith that saves is never alone.
  • A true Christian will…
  • You must repent of your sins to be saved
  • You must commit your life to Christ to be saved
  • You must have heart faith, not just head faith to be saved
  • You can lose your salvation

For more information on OUR report, click here: OUR REPORT

 

Can an Unbeliever Produce Christian Music?

World famous songwriter/composer/arranger/conductor John Rutter writes beautiful Christmas music. For many decades his pieces have been performed in churches around the world. The following piece is one popular sample:

There’s just one problem: From all that I have heard and read about the man, Rutter does not claim to be a born-again Christian, although he is not considered to be an atheist.

Listen to this brief excerpt from a Minnesota Public Radio interview:

“John Rutter: What Sweeter Music
by John Birge, Minnesota Public Radio
December 9, 2009
For their Welcome Christmas concerts this weekend, VocalEssence sings a tribute to the English composer John Rutter. One of his most beloved Christmas carols, “What Sweeter Music,” became famous in America when it was used in a Volvo television commercial. Rutter told Classical Minnesota Public Radio’s John Birge that it almost didn’t happen.

St. Paul, Minn. — For a composer who has created some of the most eloquent Christmas music, it may come as a surprise to learn that Rutter himself is not a believer, at least in the conventional sense. In that, he allies himself with another great English composer, Ralph Vaughan Williams, who said “I’m agnostic, but I wouldn’t be who I am if it weren’t for Christianity. It’s given me my values, and a strong sense of faith. But I’m a fellow traveler rather than a believer. ” But Rutter says that the Anglican Church remains central to his being: In 2002, Rutter’s 19 year-old son died in an automobile accident. While Rutter’s grief temporarily interrupted his composing, he retained his faith in the gift of life.”

Is it possible for an unbeliever to produce “Christian” music, music that will uplift true believers, music whose words can be honoring to God, music whose words may even lead one to Christ and salvation? What do you think?

Christian Evidences: Why Should I Choose Christianity? Where is the Evidence?

Recently a man wrote to our behind-the-scenes mailbox asking a very profound, albeit a bit sarcastic, question (detailed below). Now the brief imaginary scenario below actually brings up to Christians a valid question: Why Should I Choose Christianity?

Submitted by Jerry K: “Please convince me!”

Jerry’s comment: Once there was a young man in search of God. In his pilgrimage he first met a Christian minister who told him that if he didn’t accept Jesus, he would suffer in hell throughout eternity. This didn’t sound like a message of love so he continued on and met a Sunni Muslim who told him that if he didn’t accept Sunni’s Allah he would die and suffer for eternity in hell. He continued on and met a Shia Muslim, a Mormon, and a Roman Catholic, all of whom told him the same thing. So the young man didn’t know who to believe so he lived out his life worshiping an unknown universal god and loving his fellow people. When he died god told him that since he guessed wrong he was going to hell. “How was I to know, they all told me the same thing” asked the young man. “Tough luck,” replied god.

Now, Jerry’s question cannot be answered quickly, lightly or superficially. Indeed, countless volumes have been written on the subject over the centuries. Nothing short of a doctoral dissertation will really serve to answer the vast implications of his question. About all that one can do in this very limited setting and format is to give a brief general outline of evidences for the validity of Christianity. Other commenters may certainly join in and fill in some of the gaps and/or provide other evidences. Of course, for the hardened atheist, or the obstinate skeptic, possibly no amount of proofs will pierce the crusty shell of unbelief.

Selected Evidences for the Validity of Christ and Christianity:
.
Recommended Reading: “A Case for Christ,” by Lee Strobel

1. Uniqueness of the Bible: written by forty authors from eight countries over fifteen hundred years in three languages and all with a consistent and unique message of a God of love who ransomed us from our sins.
2. Old Testament prophecies fulfilled hundreds of years after the time of their writing in and through the person of Jesus Christ (over 300 by many counts). Examples: precise details of Christ’s crucifixion were written in Isaiah 52-53 and Psalm 22 (crucifixion, used as a means of capital punishment would not even exist for several hundred years to come at the point that the prophecies were made).
3. The Book of Daniel correctly predicted in detail the rise and fall of several world empires, including Rome, Greece and Persia.
4. One of the greatest “name” prophecies of Scripture was that of King Cyrus of Persia. Think of it, God prophesied through Isaiah (Isaiah 44:26-45:3) that a great leader named Cyrus would be God’s instrument to bring the Jews back to their homeland in Jerusalem and Judea nearly two hundred years before the events occurred! To prophesy generalized events which will occur is one marvelous miracle, but for the prophet actually to name the individual through whom the prophecy will be accomplished is nothing short of breathtaking! This is a situation in which Scripture really comes alive as the reader digs beyond the casual glance and compares various texts. Not only does Isaiah’s prophecy from God name the leader who would carry out the fulfillment of the prophecy, but the text (especially Isaiah 45:1-3) specifies the means by which the fulfillment was to take place: “to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him so that the gates will not be shut: . . . I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.” These statements are a distinctly perspicuous reference to Cyrus’ leadership of the Medes and Persians on that fateful night in which they diverted the Euphrates River, cut the bars of iron under the walls of Babylon, and stormed the city. Secular tradition also details that the inner bronze gates were mysteriously left unlocked that night which allowed the soldiers, once through the outer wall, easy access into the heart of the city. All of these descriptions dovetail perfectly with the events of the takeover of Babylon as described by Daniel in chapter five.
5. Modern archaelogical evidences verify the authenticity of the Bible. Examples: The Nabonidus Chronicles and early cylinders (British Museum) authenticate leaders and events mentioned in Daniel. (See for one ref., Edwin Yamachi, “The Stones and the Scriptures”): Excavations have proven the veracity of the events of Joshua 11, the taking of and destruction by fire of the city of Hazor.
6. Ancient secular historians, such as Tacitus and Josephus, verify the historicity of Jesus, the crucifixion and events surrounding and including the early Christian church.
7. Ancient very early manuscript evidences (Rylands Papyrus of part of John, dating to 135 A.D.; Dead Sea Scrolls predating the Christian era by a couple of hundred years or more contain almost the entire Old Testament intact).
8. The Books of Acts and 1 Corinthians chronicle that hundreds of eyewitnesses verified the reality of the resurrected Christ Jesus. Christianity is unique in being the only religion or belief system which has a living founder!
9. Twenty centuries of Christendom validate the magnificent impact of Christ Jesus on the world.

I’ll stop for now and give others a chance to add to the list.

Peace on Earth or Personal Peace — Without The God of Peace? Reference: Lordship “Salvation” and Christmas.

Updated:  I am indebted to good friend bro. David Wyatt who, early on, caught an erroneous statement at the beginning of this article. I have edited my error. Of course our Savior, Jesus Christ is addressed as the Prince of Peace in the beautiful prophecy in Isaiah 9:6, one of the greatest OT prophecies in God’s Word of the birth of the Messiah, The Savior, Jesus Christ:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Jesus is also addressed as The God of Peace, The Lord of Peace, the Prince of life and the Prince of the kings of the earth. And we know from Scripture that Jesus Christ brings eternal Peace to any and all who trust Him alone for their eternal life. Do you have that Peace?

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. […] Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:11,14

Jesus said:
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:3

Now, what Peace have we here???

  • Lordship Salvation,
  • Commitment Salvation,
  • Bi-Lateral Contract “Salvation,”
  • Calvinism,
  • Arminianism,
  • the “Social Gospel,” etc.

These are all UNCERTAIN messages with no Peace, no root of a Free Grace Gospel, no Grace life and no future. Most are “feel good” poor imitations of the True Gospel and more than likely are inventions in the minds of unknowing, deluded or devious teachers.

We must be aware. Their dangerous lies are here in brief – there are more. I encourage you to comment or elaborate:

Lordship Salvation, [If I am not living the “Christian life” according to “my teacher’s” prescription or satisfaction, I have no salvation, no peace.]

Commitment Salvation,  [If I haven’t turned from my sin, turned my life over, given my life, committed my life, etc to Christ according to “my teacher’s” conditions, I am not “saved” and have no peace according to his definition.]

Bi-Lateral Contract “Salvation,”  [God makes a Bilateral (two way) Contract with me for my salvation. My end of the deal is — I agree with Him that I will keep that contract in order to secure my salvation. If I break my part of the contract, all HOPE is gone, I have no peace.]

Calvinism, [If I happen not to be “chosen, predestined or elected” by God for salvation, I am condemned to Hell for all eternity. I have no choice to believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. My eternity is already determined, I have no peace.]

Arminianism… [I may believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior but I can never really, really be sure I am indeed “saved” or maybe I need to get “saved” again and again — until eventually I end up in either heaven or hell — no peace. (That’s probation, not Salvation).]

The “Social Gospel,” [We drill water wells in foreign places and bake yummy pies and cookies for little old ladies. We feel good and they feel good. (But we don’t know — that we can never be as “good” as we can possibly be. Without the Gospel of God’s Grace alone by Faith alone in Jesus Christ alone for salvation, we can never be “good enough.” Hell is our eternal destination. No Peace.]

And the way of peace have they not known: Romans 3:17

With such false beliefs, how is it possible anyone can ever have the Peace that Passes all understanding

Just maybe this is the reason we witness so many depressed, un-peaceful and unhappy people at this glorious time of year when we celebrate the marvelous Birth of our Savior.. The Only Savior, the God of Peace, Jesus Christ.

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: Romans 5:1

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Colossians 3:15

Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all. 2 Thessalonians 3:16

How You May Have that Peace of God Which Passes All Understanding. << Click

A Different Kind of Lordship “Salvation”: Following the Lutheran Goddess Sophia???

While searching for something else, I happened upon a web site, Her Church” an Evangelical Lutheran church in San Francisco. (ELCA) “Ebenezer Lutheran Church.”

Often we Bible believing Christians don’t fully realize the degradation that is taking place in American mainline churches.

Quoting their blasphemy:

  • They do not worship the Savior, Jesus Christ but their own invention, “Goddess-Sophia.” Their church, “the Mother of Us All..
  • They hold a “mass” for their Goddess-Sophia.
  • They recommend their members buy and use a “Goddess Rosary.”
  • They recommend and practice Kundalini Yoga (sexual energy) — Quote: “Kundalini Yoga is an ancient practice that utilizes physical postures …. and meditation to balance the energies of the body, focus the mind and awaken the Kundalini energy that lies coiled, like a wise, sleeping serpent, deep within us.Their teacher proclaims, “Through this practice, I experience the Goddess within myself …”
  • They are overtly feminist in teaching. Quote: “Our Christian/Lutheran  feminist prayers and liturgy reach back into the storehouse of tradition to bring forth names as Mother, Shaddai, Sophia, Womb, Midwife, Shekinah, She Who Is.  They do so out of renewed insights into the nature of the Gospel empowered by the risen Christ-Sophia.”
  • They see no problem with homosexuals as participating members of their church. Quote: [1] that people of all sexual orientations share with all others the worth that comes from being unique individuals created by God/dess; [2]  that GLBT people are welcome within the membership of this congregation (organization or synod;” — and they vow to work to: “chang[e] policies that deny full acceptance and human dignity to all peoples especially GLBT persons”  [in total violation of God’s Word.]
  • Their guiding principle is to proclaim a gospelempowered by the risen Christ-Sophia.

I always hesitate to leave links above to blasphemy — but feared you would not believe this wholly blasphemous acceptance of lies by a church in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

So now to cleanse one’s mind from this garbage, we recommend the Truth:

Eternal Life Guaranteed by Our Savior, Jesus Christ. << Click

Beware: Catalyst Conference 2011, Chan, Driscoll, et al.

Well, just received a note from a friend who is attending the Catalyst Conference Atlanta 2011 with the comment, “WOW, Fantastic!” Shocking!!!

This conference was apparently started in 1999 by Pastor Andy Stanley, Reggie Joiner and other young ministers, presumably to reach and teach leaders under the age of 40. They opined that church leadership was stuck in a forty to sixty year old mindset and medium. This team was convinced that this needed to change.

The Conference is meeting in Atlanta as I write this.

To get an idea of the direction of this conference we need only look at the speakers list — of which I will name a few:

Mark Driscoll, Pastor of Mars Hill Church, Washgton State. AKA “The Sexpert Pastor,” New Age and Contemplative advocate whose sermons and videos sport the warning, “Mature Content.”

Francis Chan, Author of “Crazy Love” (of which much has been written on this web site), Lordship Salvationist, former associate of John MacArthur, terrible “theology” etc, etc.

Cornell West, Princeton Professor, Radical Black Activist, former confidant and friend of President Obama, now leading an effort to replace Obama with a more “Progressive” (read Socialist) candidate in 2012. Author of “Race Matters” and prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America. West has described himself as a “non-Marxist socialist” (partly due to Marx’s opposition to “religion,” via Wikipedia). One wonders why there would be a Christian Leadership conference with West as a Speaker. West worked with such public figures as Louis Farrakhan(Nation of Islam head) and Al Sharpton,(Race Hustler) whose 2004 presidential campaign West advised. (*plus so much more*)

Dave Ramsey, OK guy and promoter of personal financial responsibility (not sure why he would go to this affair, much less speak)

And other assorted speakers. The event is sponsored by a plethora of organizations, ecumenical in that some sponsor members are Assemblies of God, Indiana Wesleyan University (Methodist),  Monvee Advisers (recommended by John Ortberg, Contemplative Author) and others some of whom are OK but others questionable.

Seems Andy Stanley has no discernment for Biblical Christian principles – at least in this big event.

Eternal Life is FREE!!! <<Click

Lordship “salvation” Equals a Bi-Lateral Contract “Salvation”

Our friend John brought to my attention (the first time I’d heard it) the description of Lordship “salvation” (LS) as being a Bi-Lateral Contract Salvation. What a wonderful description of the lie of LS. Thank you, John. I am not a lawyer but I think I can explain how it relates to salvation and the LS lie. If I fall short, please back me up.

A Bi-Lateral Contract  is an agreement in which each of the parties to the contract makes a promise or set of promises to the other party or parties. Think about it! This IS Lordship “salvation.

Whereas, in a Uni-Lateral Contract,  only One Party to the contract makes a promise and the second party may accept or reject the contract along with all the provisions and benefits therein. A Uni-Lateral Contract is God’s Salvation by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone. A person may take it or reject it.

God has made His salvation an offer that is absolutely a Uni-Lateral Contract. God sees man as imperfect, a sinner and incapable of ever reaching, on his own, the perfection God requires for Heaven. The requirement for eternal life is TOTAL PERFECTION!! Man himself is absolutely incapable of that, so God provided Himself in the person of Jesus Christ, God in the Flesh, Absolute Perfection to come to earth, live a perfect life and give Himself in death to pay the sin-death penalty for all mankind. Jesus Christ arose from the grave, thereby guaranteeing His Uni-Lateral Contract with mankind.

Now, God’s Uni-Lateral Contract is this — He  has done all the work required for Heaven and offers it Freely to any an all who will take it — There is no obligation on the part of the taker, before, during or after, as it is God’s FREE Gift, a Uni-Lateral Contract to mankind. You simply make the decision to take His Gift by Faith, believing what He has done on that Cross applied to you and could never be accomplished by your good works (Ephesians 2:8-9). You simply believe/trust in Jesus Christ for what God has promised in His Contract. The result is Everlasting, Eternal Life with Him for whosoever believes.

Then we see the counterfeit, “Lordship salvation” whose lie IS a Bi-lateral Contract.. where the proponents say that Christ has “done it” for us but we must do our part, before, during or after “salvation” or, by their rules, we “may not” be saved. There is always that smoldering, lingering doubt. “Have I done enough.” Their theory is such that we must be willing or promise to commit to “follow” Jesus, to work for Jesus and learn the LS subset of rules for their conditional system of eternal life. If we accomplish all their requirements, then maybe someday we will have done enough to qualify for Heaven. We’ve seen that impossible and nebulous teaching proclaimed by the prince of Lordship Salvationists, John MacArthur. Here is one, among many, of his quotes:

“Let me say again unequivocally that Jesus’ summons to deny self and follow him was an invitation to salvation, not . . . a second step of faith following salvation.” (Dr. John MacArthur, The Gospel According to Jesus What is Authentic Faith? pp. 219.)

That, my friends, is a perfect example of the awful lie of Lordship “salvation” or Bi-Lateral Contract salvation. They say that Christ has done His work but in order to gain salvation you must do your part of the Bi-Lateral Contract, “deny self and follow him. What an horribly absurd distortion of sound Biblical Doctrine!!

“Then said they unto Him [Jesus], 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 [Gr. pisteuo = trust] on Him whom He hath sent.” John 6:28-29

The Work of God is complete in His Uni-Lateral Contract. We may either believe on Christ and have eternal life or neglect/reject Christ in God’s Uni-Lateral Contract and suffer eternal separation/death. Either one is a choice one must make, our individual, personal choice. To ignore, put off, refuse or neglect to make a choice IS a choice.

“He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God [Jesus].” John 3:18

Complete Answer — How to NOT Be Eternally Condemned.