Category Archives: Chan

Sovereignty: Calvinist and Lordship “Salvation” Catchword or Crutch?

By Jack Weaver

First let me note that neither of the words “sovereignty” nor  “sovereign” appear in the Authorized King James Version of the Bible.  The words are simply inventions-with-a-purpose created by the Calvinist/Reformed movement and adopted by Lordship Salvationists (LS) through time. Unfortunately some supposedly clear “evangelical” teachers have likewise adopted “sovereign” and the Reformed meaning of the word into their own vernacular.

The Dictionary.com definition for “sovereign” is “a monarch; a king, queen, or other supreme ruler.”
This is a quote from Chinstitute.org, an extreme Calvinist web site wherein they examine the origin of the word in their own ecclesiastical context from Calvin’s Institutes:

“This idea of the sovereignty of God was Calvin’s most central doctrine. It means that nothing is left to chance or human free will. This is what led him to put such emphasis on the doctrine of predestination – the idea that God, not we, decides whether we will be saved.” [Emphasis mine]

The erroneous concept that the “sovereignty” of God supersedes any idea or decision of man undergirds not only Calvinism and Reformed teaching but also Lordship “salvation” teaching as well. Lest you think LSers avoid the sovereignty issue, John MacArthur, the Calvinist king of Lordship teaching says, No doctrine is more despised by the natural mind than the truth that God is absolutely sovereign. Human pride loathes the suggestion that God orders everything, controls everything, rules over everything.[My emphasis]  From John MacArthur’s article, “God’s Absolute Authority,” Grace to You web site.

It is but a small step from proclaiming the sovereignty (as absolute rulership) of God to the false teaching that man is unable or incapable of making a personal decision to believe in or trust Jesus Christ as his Savior.

God is certainly the Creator and Ruler of the universe — but we as humans have always had the will, the ability if not the innate desire to disobey and dispute His Authority by our own free will (which fact Reformed teachers deny). The Bible chronicles countless examples of God’s people being disobedient and deciding to go “their own way” despite the desires, warnings and chastisements of God. Adam and Eve were the first. Another obvious example is represented by the Children of Israel in the desert after they fled Egypt. The Israelites were rebellious, disobedient and railed against God. They purposely did not obey God’s will for them:

They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel:  But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul. Psalm 106:13-15

Question: Why, in the far reaches of anyone’s mind, would the Reformed, Calvinist and LS proponents need such a doctrine of “sovereignty” to support their teaching?

Answer: Primarily as justification for their out-of-context and unBiblical use of the words “chosen, elect and predestined,” etc. These concepts are, in their eyes, all wrapped up in (1) their false definition of the words “sovereignty of God” and (2) their false presumption of the inability of man to believe in Christ without such “faith” being caused, planted and finished by God in the individual “chosen by God” from eternity past.

Think seriously about this: Without their devised, invented and concocted understanding of the word “sovereignty,” the whole Calvinist/Reformed/LS theology has no core and falls apart.

Then imagine the conundrum that Calvinist LS folks have when their “believers” do not follow their dictates of behavior. Then, rather than the rule of Grace — it becomes the Rule of Rules such as that of John MacArthur, Francis Chan and John Piper, et al.

God’s Gift of salvation is absolutely FREE for the taking, not just for a “chosen” few but for every individual in the whole world. (1 Timothy 2:4, Ephesians 2:8-9, John 3:16, 1 Corinthians 15, 3-4). The just death penalty for our sin debt was made and completed by Christ Himself on the cross, He was buried, arose from the grave and is alive today. To appropriate that Gift is to trust in Jesus Christ alone as Savior and is a decision every individual must make IF he or she ever expects or desires to live eternally with the Lord Jesus Christ in Heaven. We are not talking about a church to join, it is not a matter of being “chosen or elected to be saved,” it is not being obedient to some religious guru’s set of rules to be saved.. Salvation is only by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone. Period. No good works required!

Yep, Salvation is Really FREE!! << Click

American Christianity / Christianity in America: What’s Wrong With the Term “American Christianity?”

A couple of years ago I heard the testimony of a young man who stated that he had been raised in a loving Christian home;  his parents took him to Sunday School and church every week; he intimated that he may have trusted Christ as Savior at a very young age, although he was not sure about that.  While he was attending a secular university, he met some students from The Master’s College (founded by and presided over by John MacArthur).  Through them he was led into what has been called “Genuine, committed” Christianity.  He then claimed to “realize” that his former beliefs of two decades were undoubtedly bogus, what he dubbed, “American Christianity.”

I have often heard the term “American Christianity” bandied about by Lordship Faith preachers as if it is some sort of an inherently-evil nomenclature.  Lordship Faith writers and preachers such as Paul Washer, David Platt, and Francis Chan use the term as a slam against all but whom they deem to be the most committed Christians in America.  Francis Chan in his book Crazy Love labels the masses of American Christians as “the lukewarm.”  Then in one fell swoop he consigns them all to hell.  Only the really on fire minority of churchgoers will make it to heaven, in Chan’s teaching.  Based upon what I read in Crazy Love, possibly even the Apostle Paul himself would not pass Chan’s “lukewarm” test. 

So why has the term “American Christianity” become so offensive in many Christian circles?  I find it rather hypocritical that everyone whom I have heard or read using the term, in such a negative way, IS an American as well as a professed Christian himself!  Doesn’t the derogatory utilization of the term “American Christianity” fail to acknowledge the great history of Christianity in America?  And doesn’t its use deny the fact that Christian churches and Christian mission organizations have been the most colossal senders of Christian missionaries and the Christian gospel worldwide?  And how about the fact that America possesses the most professing Christians and the highest per-capita church-going population in the world?  [Granting the fact that some are not really born-again Christians]

    

Calvinism >> Moderate << Lordship "salvation"

While web surfing yesterday I came across a church web site in which the well known Pastor claims he is neither a Calvinist nor a Lordship “Salvation” proponent — yet he promotes both on his web site. He indicates that he is a “moderate,” half way in between MacArthur’s (Calvinist) Lordship “salvation” (LS) and a Calvinist position (or even a Charles Ryrie position on Grace??). Our analyses in previous articles have pointed out that LS feeds on Calvinism and vice versa. But remember Calvinism feeds on “baby” Christians or church attenders (John Piper, John MacArthur, Francis Chan, et al). The Bible speaks of error as “leaven” and explains that a little error spreads and spoils the whole. Halfway between two errors is obviously — Error.

Yesterday, our web friend Jim F and I had a great exchange of emails where I expressed my position regarding Five Point Calvinism; I am a ZERO pointer, non-Calvinist — Jim agrees. We find nothing in God’s Word — in context — that supports any of the five points of the corrupt Calvinist TULIP nor do we find any support for the manipulation of God’s Word into the LS lie. Jim made an astute statement (which I quote without his permission) “There is also too much focus on what men have said about the Bible. Greater emphasis should go to what the Bible has said about itself.”  (Thanks Jim)

2 Timothy 3:16
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Just think about that verse. If we were all LS or Calvinists, we would have no need of reproof, correction or instruction in righteousness, because they say such would be “automatic” or granted upon “saving faith” or as long as we “persevere to the end.”

Most of you, our dear friends, have no idea of the words and thoughts we read from supporters of LS and Calvinism. We filter these so, if we find them abusive, they never appear. If someone is earnestly seeking Truth we will discuss the pros and cons of their position.. but we refuse to advertise their error.

In recent comments we have been labeled everything one can imagine including Arminian, Roman Paganism, etc. And this milder error prone statement: You folks need to get a grip! A faith that doesn’t produce obedience isn’t saving faith.

Discussion:

  • Is there a middle ground between LS/Calvinism and God’s Grace teaching?
  • Shall we preach the Truth of God’s Grace and compromise with LS/Calvinism or other error?
  • Is a false definition of Repentance (turn from sin for salvation) acceptable in a Free Grace environment?
  • Share examples (no links) of well known, published, blatant compromise with the Truth possibly outside of areas of any prior discussions.

Please discuss: Is compromise ever acceptable when using God’s Word? Are there any areas where compromise may or may not be acceptable? Let us discuss it amicably.

The Truth of God’s Salvation << Click

Accursed or Innocent? Lordship “Salvation” Teachers.

By Jack Weaver

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:8

Question: Is a Lordship Probation “salvation-by-works” teacher, preacher or proponent accursed when he perverts the Gospel of God’s Grace — on purpose, inadvertently or out of ignorance? Does it matter?

Question: Why would anyone preach such if he knows and believes the true Gospel of God’s Grace? Should we assume therefore he does not know or believe the Gospel?

These are open discussion questions. I have my ideas but would like to hear yours.

SBC preaching, for the most part, “repent of sin or turn from sin salvation,” on purpose, inadvertently or out of ignorance?

Paul Washer, among other errors, says:
The Gospel is to repent of your sins and believe the Gospel.” On purpose, inadvertently or out of ignorance?

MacArthur, Chan, Piper et al knowingly preach Lordship “Salvation” that if one does not follow Christ — he can not become or is not a believer in Christ. On purpose, inadvertently or out of ignorance?

Calvinist Teaching —  one must persevere to the end for salvation. On purpose, inadvertently or out of ignorance?

Arminian teaching that one can never have complete assurance of salvation. On purpose, inadvertently or out of ignorance?

Our friend Eddy, in Bruce’s previous article Proceed with Caution: “ONE” Conference Coming to Miami,  has commented and compiled an exhaustive list of Conference teachers who pervert the Gospel. We have written scores of articles on this web site exposing teachers who spoil the Gospel of God’s Grace. It appears there is no end of “popular” teachers/preachers who are willingly or deliberately falling prey to the works based Lordship “salvation” (Probation) lie of Satan.

WHY?????

The list could go on forever.

Your thoughts?

God, By His Grace,, Offers Heaven Free To You.

Annual ONE Conference; Proceed with Caution: “ONE” Conference Coming to Miami

This is an alert for our readers:

A much-publicized Christian “impact” conference is coming to Miami, FL this weekend, February 10-12.  It is youth-oriented, having rock-style music and fiery preaching.  Some of the keynote speakers are quite well known in the Christian community.  Some come from churches and Christian organizations which have solid grace-oriented statements of faith and salvation.  But please be forewarned that some of the speakers are from churches or ministries supporting Calvinist/Lordship Faith teachings.

Here are some of the speakers speaking at the ONE Conference:

Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, President of Samaritan’s Purse, a worldwide help organization

Frank Harrison, a Coca Cola executive and well-known Christian conference speaker

Francis Chan, Conference Speaker, Author, radical Lordship Faith promoter (see any of the many articles on the Expreacherman site for more detail on his teaching). 

Bob Coy, Calvary Chapel, Ft. Lauderdale

Brian Houston, Hillsong Church, Sydney; Carl Lentz, Hillsong, NYC.  Hillsong Church has a troublesome LS type statement of faith regarding salvation:  “We believe that in order to receive forgiveness and the ‘new birth’ we must repent of our sins, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and submit to His will for our lives.”  

James MacDonald, Harvest Bible Chapel, Chicago.  The Harvest Bible Chapel statement on salvation is equally troublesome to the Hillsong statement, again, promoting a Calvinist/ Lordship Faith salvation plan.  It reads,

“We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as the substitutionary atonement in our place, and that salvation is found in none other than Jesus Christ. Before Creation, God chose those who would be saved and granted this unearned grace solely based on His sovereign good pleasure. Jesus Christ’s death on the cross was the sole and complete payment for sins, fully satisfying God’s righteous wrath, for each person that turns from sin in repentance and places their faith in Christ alone by grace alone. At salvation each person is made a new creation by the Holy Spirit, declared righteous before God, and secured as an adopted child of God forever. Genuine faith continues in obedience and love for Jesus Christ with a life eager to glorify God and persevere to the end.”

Rich Wilkerson, The Rendezvous, Miami.  The ministry’s statement on salvation is more toward the Biblical Ephesians 2:8-9:  “This justification is imputed by the grace of God because of the atoning work of Christ, is received by faith alone . . .”  However, “repentance” as a term is used but not defined and fruits of the spirit and a holy life are expected evidences of true salvation.

Britt Merrick, Reality Church, Santa Barbara.  The church is self-described as “missional” in focus, but does not appear to be connected with the neo-Calvinist movement.  Decent statement of belief:  “We Believe in the absolute necessity of regeneration by the Holy Spirit for salvation because of the exceeding sinfulness of the human nature, and that all are justified on the single ground of faith in the shed blood of Christ, and that only by God’s grace through faith alone are we saved.”

Greg Laurie, Harvest Church, Riverside, CA.  Well-known radio Bible teacher and conference speaker (Harvest Crusades).

Scott Harrison, founder of clean water well-building worldwide help organization called, “WATER.”

Ed Young, Fellowship Church, Dallas.  Pretty solid statements of belief on salvation and eternal security:  “Salvation is a gift from God to man.  Man can never make up for his sin by self-improvement or good works.  Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can man be saved from sin’s penalty.  Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.  . . .  Because God gives man eternal life through Jesus Christ, the believer is secure in that salvation for eternity.  Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God [John 10:27-30], not by the self-effort of the Christian.  It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives this security.”

Pedro Garcia, Calvary Church Kendall, Miami.  Statement of faith looks alright, but, sadly, the web site recommends books by Calvinist or LS writers like John Stott, Francis Chan and Timothy Keller.

Miles McPherson, Rock Church, San Diego.  Web site’s heading on its statement of belief regarding salvation bore the questionable wording, “Repent and Believe.”  But upon downloading the complete statement it presented a grace gospel message.

Christine Caine, Equip and Empower Ministries, Sydney.  Statement on salvation looked fine.   

That’s about it for now.  Feel free to check out these individuals on your own as well.  Please let us know if you have any additional information or warnings about the ONE conference or about any of its speakers.

MacArthur Type Lordship Faith Book with Amplified Ferocity: “Crazy Love”

From the Vintage Archives of Expreacherman we re-present this article (newly titled) which continues to garner substantial attention since its release in 2009.  As always, your thoughtful comments are welcome.

One of my readers who signs his comments “Stickin’ to the Bible” wrote a couple of comments which deserve more than just a cursory look.

He compared the doctrine of Francis Chan,  author of a new book, “Crazy Love,” to John MacArthur.

I have never read the book but did look up Chan and his ministries and find him to proclaim Calvinist doctrine (as does MacArthur).

My friend, Stickin’ then proceeded to offer another comment with details from the pages of Chan’s book. I will quote some below — so you may be forewarned about Francis Chan.

Stickin’ To The Bible said:

I have also heard that Chan is a graduate of Master’s College and Seminary, both are schools founded and presided over by John MacArthur.  In Chan’s book, “Crazy Love,” David Cook Pub., 2008, pp. 68-78, he creates a list of what he describes as his “Profile of the Lukewarm.”  His descriptions are along these lines:

1. People who say they love Jesus but only include him as a part of their lives; 2. People who are moved by stories about those who do what he calls, “radical things for Christ,” but they themselves do not do such things; 3. People who rarely share their faith with others for fear of rejection; 4. on page 78 he says, “Lukewarm People feel secure because they attend church, made a profession of faith at age twelve, were baptized, come from a Christian family, vote Republican, or live in America.”   After making his list of  what he calls “The Lukewarm,” he then discards them like matchsticks all in one fell swoop on pp. 83-84.  Chan says, “As I see it, a lukewarm Christian is an oxymoron; there’s no such thing.  To put it plainly, churchgoers who are “lukewarm” are not Christians.  We will not see them in heaven.”

Clearly, Stickin’ has pegged Francis Chan as a MacArthur type “Lordship Salvationist.” Chan’s statements above imply that one cannot be a Christian without good works — in direct opposition to multiple scriptures which state that salvation is free and complete apart from good works. Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5, Romans 11:6.

Obviously Francis Chan has interpreted Scripture to suit himself or has never read the Book of First Corinthians about the carnal believers in Corinth.

Thanks to my reader Stickin’;… he has done a great job of research and reporting.

   

Latest John Piper News: John Piper Speaks to 42,000+ Youth, Redefining the Plan of Salvation; Latest on John Piper

Source:  The Christian Post, Jan. 5, 2012

Posted by CalifGracer 

John Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minn., stood before more than 40,000 Christian college students Wednesday and told them that some of them might not be saved.

  • John Piper addresses the crowd at the Passion 2012 conference in Atlanta, Ga.
    (Photo: Andrew Shepherd)
    John Piper addresses the crowd at the Passion 2012 conference in Atlanta, Ga.
While speaking at the Passion 2012 conference in Atlanta, Ga., an event which was also broadcast on the Internet, Piper said some people might be deceived into believing they have received salvation because they made a “decision” when they were young, yet they still haven’t “waved the white flag of surrender” to Jesus Christ.
 
Piper continues:
 

“Believing in Jesus is a soul coming to Jesus to be satisfied in all that he is. That is my definition of faith on the basis of John 6:35. This is not…a decision,” he said.  Piper gave his definition of salvation, explaining one concept in three different ways. He said that saving faith is “Seeing and savoring Jesus, being satisfied with all that God is for us in Jesus, and trusting Jesus,” and that those three things are “equivalent realities.”  But those realities should also be apparent in our actions, Piper said, because “God did not come into the world in Jesus or create the world in order to be glorified invisibly.”

COMMENT:

It seems that John Piper knows something more about the plan of salvation than the Bible itself!  He clearly promotes a Lordship Faith salvation plan which demands complete and immediate surrender along with a call to action (works-based salvation) to prove or to guarantee one’s eternal life.  This is formula for a life of doubt, fear and a decimation of a believer’s assurance of salvation.

The Bible makes the way of salvation so simple, so straightforward, so clear—We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone!:

Acts 16:30-31:  “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

John 3:16:  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Romans 4:5:  “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” 

Ephesians 2:8-9:  “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the GIFT of God; NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.”

Titus 3:5:  “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”

Your comments are welcome . . . .

Hope for Today, the Promises of God: Standing on God’s Promises/How Great Thou Art

There are so many great promises in Scripture that give us hope for eternity and strength for each day.  Here are a couple of my favorite Scriptures:

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24:

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is he that calleth you, who also WILL DO IT.

John 10:27-30

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.

Listen to this song by the late great tenor Tony Fontane and then give us some of your favorite promises from the Bible. [Sorry all Tony Fontane songs have now been removed from YouTube; I hope that Tony is not forgotten] Listen to world-famous Susan Boyle sing, “How Great Thou Art”:

Blessings on you all and a Happy New Year!

Why a “Good Boy – Bad Boy” Lordship “Salvation” Is a Lie

………By Jack Weaver……….

Does Lordship "salvation" (LS) teaching deter folks from trusting Christ as Savior? I believe so. If one must work, work, work to gain "salvation" and then work, work, work to keep it.. there's no wonder that kind of "salvation" would be rejected — it is asking the impossible.

I remember hearing this phrase while growing up in Calvinism: "Good boys go to Heaven and bad boys go to Hell.” Therefore, I pose a question: Is Lordship “salvation” simply a twisted manifestation of that old phrase preached for so long in so many religions?

“Salvation is for those who are willing to forsake everything.” (MacArthur, The Gospel According to Jesus, p. 78.) [Be a good boy/girl or else — my comment]

“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.)  [Be a good boy/girl or else — my comment]

“As I see it, a lukewarm Christian is an oxymoron; there’s no such thing.  To put it plainly, churchgoers who are “lukewarm” are not Christians.  We will not see them in heaven.” (Crazy Love, Francis Chan, pp. 83-84.) [Be a good boy/girl or else — my comment]

Those are quotes from Pastors who appear to be sophisticated pushers of the same old lie, “Good boys go to Heaven and Bad Boys go to Hell.”

How can anyone who honestly studies the Bible in context:

  • believe the “good boy, bad boy” syndrome to be true?
  • have any doubt about their salvation — that God freely gives eternal life when by Grace, through faith we believe in the Savior Jesus Christ — He is all sufficient. He has done it all!!

The only answer to those questions is, “They are victims of a lie.”

This Bible verse is one of the first and most thrilling that I studied in depth not long after trusting Christ as my Savior. Here, Christ is speaking:

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. John 10:28

Even on the surface, it is comforting, but let’s dig a little deeper. Read this and rejoice with me!

The word “Never” is one word made up of a Greek compound adverb comprised of five Greek words: ou me, eis, ho, aion. (These are from Strong’s Greek/Hebrew to English Dictionary)

Ou me – a double negative strengthening the denial; not at all,  by no means, neither, not at all, in no case (no wise).

Eis – for any intent, purpose, never perish, any place, time or purpose.

Ho – Male, female, neuter, anyone, he, she or it,

Aion – any age; in perpetuity,  by implication the world; eternal, forever more, from the beginning of the world, without end.

Review: “Shall NEVER PERISH, not at all, by any means, never, not (at all), in no case (no wise), any place, time or purpose, whether male, female, neuter, anyone, he, she or it, at any age; in perpetuity; by implication the world; eternal, forever more, from the beginning when the world began, without end”  POWERFUL !!

Perish is the Greek word, apollumi, meaning to destroy fully (reflexive to perish, or lose),destroy, die, lose, mar, perish.

NEVER PERISH!!

That was an exegesis of only one single Bible verse out of hundreds in which God promises Free eternal life. Now, we who have trusted Jesus Christ alone as our Savior can take further comfort knowing that we:

Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:5

How can any “honest” Lordship “salvation” proponent believe in their own lie, or in anything less than the total, eternal sufficiency of our Salvation in Jesus Christ alone?

Amazing IS God’s Grace.

Heaven Is Absolutely Free! << Click

Calvinism and the Sovereignty of God, Calvinism’s “god” of Limited Sovereignty!

posted by Califgracer

In his 1986 book, Inside The Tulip Controversy:  Calvinism Rebuked and Revisited, author Kent Kelly lays out a convincing argument for the blatant hypocrisy of Calvinism (on page 59) in that, although Calvinists pride themselves on believing in and boldly declaring an “all-sovereign God” [a term that is not even found in the King James Bible, although the concepts of God’s being all-knowing and all-powerful are certainly declared], Calvinist theology itself inherently and duplicitously DENIES the sovereignty of God that they so vociferously proclaim.  Kelly explains:

“Rather than magnifying the sovereignty of God, the Calvinist denigrates His sovereignty.  A sovereign God has the power to overcome total depravity [a Calvinist term shown by the “T” of their favorite acronym “TULIP”] and provide an opportunity for rational choice if He wills to do so.  The Calvinist denies Him that sovereignty.  A sovereign God could provide an atonement that is legitimately available to every sinner.  The Calvinist would deny Him that sovereignty.  A sovereign God can desire the salvation of every sinner and see that desire unfulfilled, for His own reasons, without being a failure.  The Calvinist would deny Him that sovereignty.”

Kelly goes on to describe (p. 59) the false, unloving, mean-spirited god of Calvinist invention:

“The sovereign god of the Calvinist planned in a past eternity that billions of men, women, and children would be tormented in the Lake of Fire forever.  he had no desire that any of them would be saved.  This god was well aware that because of the sin nature received at conception, they could do nothing but become Hell-deserving sinners by the very fact of their existence.  This same god said that the basis for their condemnation would be a failure to believe in the Saviour and His atoning work.  But this god provided no Saviour for them, and no atonement was made available in which they could believe.  he sent forth people into all the world to command these billions of men, women, and children to believe in a Saviour who was not their Saviour.  he commanded them to repent knowing that he had personally selected them to burn in Hell before they ever received their sin nature.  This god of the Calvinist created billions of vessels of wrath fitted for destruction—commanded them to do what he had willed them to be unable to do—then sent them to Hell for not doing it.  If this is your god, you have my sympathy.”

Kelly delineates above the dark dark side of Calvinism!

Your comments are welcome.

The God of Calvinism: Calvinism’s “god”: All Loving or a Misanthrope?

by Califgracer

One of the top ten excuses that I have heard from individuals who reject Christianity and the God of the Bible goes as follows:

“I just can’t understand how a loving God could send people by the millions or billions to a place of torment called ‘hell’.”

How would you answer that question?  Listen to the following story of how a Calvinist might respond (the following is a brief excerpt from the book “Inside the Tulip Controversy,” by Kent Kelly, 1986, p. 10):  [this brief citation is not intended to be a blanket endorsement of the entire book]:

“A Calvinist once said to a preacher—‘I would like to explain why I believe as I do.  Suppose a man went to an orphanage.  He had predetermined by his grace that he would adopt a certain boy and a certain girl and take them into his family.  Could anyone reasonably accuse the man of being unjust or unfair because he chose these two and left the others’?”

“The preacher replied to the Calvinist—‘Certainly not!  As you have explained the situation I would find no problem of any kind with the man’s purpose and his choice.’  Then the preacher said—‘But suppose the man went to the orphanage and sent word to all the children saying, ‘WHOSOEVER WILL may come!’ and then refused to take any but the two he had originally intended to take.  With that I have a problem which Calvinism cannot resolve’.” (from Harold Mackay)

Now, allow me to intensify Kelly’s story in order to truly view the darker side of Calvinism:

Suppose that the same man came to the orphanage and warned the children and staff that in one hour the orphanage will burn down and that anyone remaining in the building will become burned alive in the fire; again, he makes the initial offer that anyone who will come with him may come and will be rescued.  Then, having given the warning and announced the promised blanket invitation, he then proceeds to choose only two of the children to adopt, to take with him and thereby to rescue them from the fire.  The rest would all be left behind to suffer.

THAT is the dark side of Calvinism!

Your comments and Scripture citations are welcome.

Lordship Salvation: Christian or Cult??

One of our regular contributors has given to me an idea for a new discussion.  Read over the following statement and tell us what you think.

Califgracer

The contributor said:

“I think you are right about that and that is very unfortunate because it co- opts an otherwise valid concept. But then, they [Lordship Salvation teachers/advocates] do that a lot. I have noticed, unless it’s just me, that a lot of the time they use the same terminology we use but redefine it to mean what they want it to mean.”

Isn’t this exactly what every single cult does with Christian terminology or Biblical terminology? Mormons, for just one example, say that they believe in the Trinity, meaning, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. But when pressed, they will have to admit that, according to LDS theology, what they really mean is that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are THREE SEPARATE GODS; if really pressed further, they will even have to acknowledge further that they believe that they, as faithful Mormons, will one day in eternity become “gods” themselves. Hardly Christian theology!!

You have given me an idea for a new post:

Lordship Salvation:  Christian or Cult?

We welcome your comments.

 

 

Testing Lordship “salvation” Advocates

Our friend John made a revealing comment on another Page which is not widely distributed — so with his permission I wish to post it here so all of our subscribers will get the benefit of this wonderful  Biblically based teaching.

From John:

[A]s I read these comments, [from those who have been deceived by Lordship “salvation, Commitment salvation teaching], I am saddened by how many souls are damaged by bad teaching, such as turn from sins for salvation, commit for salvation, or work for salvation. If one applies any of these teachings to clear Biblical doctrine, they cannot survive. I like to think of it this way:
1. Is it consistent with salvation by grace through faith? [Ephesians 2:8-9 and many more]
2. Is it consistent with eternal security?[John 10:28 and many more]
3. Is it consistent with the doctrine of assurance? [2 Timothy 1:12 and many more].

None of the works-based systems of salvation pass these tests. If one believes he must modify his behavior (or promise to modify his behavior) or do anything as a requirement to becoming saved or staying saved, he is trusting in works and not trusting in Christ.

Moreover, if one believes that acts of righteousness are in any way evidential of saving faith, he would always look to himself and his works to justify himself.

[These few verses above were added by Jack.. There are many, many more Scripture passages which prove beyond a doubt John’s wonderful Biblical assertion.]

These are amazingly simple statements yet full of Biblical Truth and they cover the lie of Lordship or Commitment “salvation,” Calvinism, cults and false doctrinal statements from many “main-line” denominational churches.

Thank you, John for expressing so clearly your insight into Biblical Truth.

Biblical Salvation As It Really Is

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.

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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.

Similarities Re: Dominionism, Calvinism, Replacement “theology,” and Lordship “salvation”

I propose a few questions based on observations and comments on some of our more popular recent posts. Shall we discuss Questions and Similarities Regarding Dominionism, Calvinism, Replacement “theology,” and Lordship “salvation” (LS)?

1) Can we blame any or all of these four errors on a lack of clear Dispensational teaching of God’s Word?

2) Aren’t Old Testament verses taken out of context, in many cases, to justify virtually every one of these four philosophies?

Example for Dominionism: “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.” Psalm 72:8

Many use this and other  verses to justify a Dominionist “theology” — but due to a lack of dispensational teaching and understanding — they wrongly assume that verse and many more apply to today. One can see how they take verses about God’s earthly Dominion in the future and misplace them into today. This teaching  also seems to be similar to certain versions of “Kingdom Now” teaching.

3) Or, are these teachings deliberately pushed to glorify a selfish teacher or church rather that God’s Salvation by Grace through Faith in Jesus Christ alone?

4) Could we say that Calvinist/Reformed “theology” is the teaching which holds the greatest responsibility for Replacement “theology“?

5) Aren’t all Lordship “salvationists”  — Calvinists? Are there any exceptions? Is it not true that LS, Dominionism and Calvinism use the Calvinist catchword “Sovereignty” to justify their theory of God’s Sovereign Dominion today and likewise the Replacement “theology” of today?

I have posed these as questions, as I believe most are true. We will be interested in your respectful comments. Thanks

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A Gospel With a Hole or a WHOLE Gospel? Does the Gospel of the Bible Really Have a Hole in it?

A Brief Look at the Book, The Hole in Our Gospel, Nashville:  Thomas Nelson, 2009, 2010, by Richard Stearns

Recently, I was given a copy of a best-selling “Christian” book entitled, The Hole in Our Gospel:  The Answer that Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World.  The author is Richard Stearns, President of World Vision U.S.A.  My instant reaction upon reading the title, “The Hole in Our Gospel,” was OUTRAGE!  How dare this author declare that the beautiful saving gospel of Christ Jesus, of God’s magnificent magnanimous loving offering of his only begotten Son to die IN OUR PLACE FOR OUR SINS ON THE CROSS, the good news of salvation, the blessed hope declared in the Bible could in any way be deficient?  What a slur, what a terrible affront, I thought!  I read on to see if some way, somehow, I could be mistaken.  Perhaps Stearns didn’t really mean it that way.  Perhaps he just used the title simply to kindle some attention.  Maybe he will explain his way out of the title.  Sadly, he meant what he said and he expanded upon his position. 

I will cite a few quotations from the book to demonstrate the objective of the author, but first let me state that as a relief organization, World Vision has done much good around the world in helping to alleviate starvation, illiteracy and poverty.  I have no beef with that organization.  I have a number of family members who have supported World Vision children.  Second, let’s look at how the Bible defines the Gospel and later we can compare Stearns’ “gospel” with the Biblical Gospel.

The Gospel of the Bible

Ephesians 2:8-9:  (We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.)  “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.”

John 3:16-17:  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

Acts 16:30-31 “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

1 Corinthians 15:1-8 “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures; and that he was seen of Cephas [Peter], then of the twelve; after that he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.  After that, he was seen by James; then of all the apostles; and last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.”

Richard Stearns’ Lordship Salvation/Social Welfare “gospel”:

Quotations from the book The Hole in Our Gospel:

P. 1 “I am a Christian—perhaps you are too.  But what does that mean exactly?  To even be Christians, we must first believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  That in itself is no small idea.  If it is true, it changes everything, because if Christ is God, then all that He said and did is deeply significant to how we live our lives.  So we believe.  But God expects more.  . . .  What is God asking for, really from you and me?  Much more than church attendance.  More than prayer too.  More than belief, and even more than self-denial.  God asks us for everything.  He requires a total life commitment from those who would be His followers.”  [My comment:  This brand of justification is called “commitment salvation.”  It is characteristic of many lordship salvation teachers like Francis Chan.]

P. 2  “The idea behind The Hole in Our Gospel is quite simple.  It’s basically the belief that being a Christian, or follower of Jesus Christ, requires much more than just having a personal and transforming relationship with God.  It also entails a public and transforming relationship with the world.  If your personal faith in Christ has no positive outward expression, then your faith—and mine—has a hole in it.”  [My comment:  Standard addition of works added to faith to truly be saved, common to all lordship faith teaching.]

p. 3 “Belief is not enough.  Worship is not enough.  Personal morality is not enough.  And Christian community is not enough.  God has always demanded more.”

P. 5 “The whole gospel is a vision for ushering in God’s kingdom—now, not in some future time, and here, on earth, not in some distant heaven.”  [A “Kingdom Now” gospel]

P. 15 “So how can our gospel have a hole in it?  As I mentioned in the prologue, the word gospel literally means glad tidings, or good news.  It is shorthand, meant to convey the coming of the kingdom of God through the Messiah.  . . .  The amazing news of the gospel is that men and women, through Christ’s atoning death, can now be reconciled to God.  But the good news Jesus proclaimed had a fullness beyond salvation and the forgiveness of sins; it also signified the coming of God’s kingdom on earth.  This new kingdom, characteristics of which were captured in the Beatitudes, would turn the existing world order upside down.”  [Comment:  Stearn’s reveals his perceived deficiency in the true Gospel of the Bible]

p. 17 “More and more, our view of the gospel has been narrowed to a simple transaction, marked by checking a box on a bingo card at some prayer breakfast, registering a decision for Christ, or coming forward during an altar call.  . . . we just had to get them to pray the ‘sinner’s prayer’ and then move on to the next potential convert.  In our evangelistic efforts to make the good news accessible and simple to understand, we seem to have boiled it down to a kind of ‘fire insurance’ that one can buy.  Then, once the policy is in effect, the sinner can go back to whatever life he was living—of wealth and success, or of poverty and suffering.  As long as the policy is in the drawer, the other things don’t matter as much.  We’ve got our ‘ticket’ to the next life.  There is a real problem with this limited view of the kingdom of God; it is not the whole gospel.  Instead, it’s a gospel with a gaping hole.”  [My comment:  It only has a gaping hole because you misdefine and caricaturize the TRUE GOSPEL of the Bible, as laid out at the beginning of this article.  Mischaracterizing and belittling the Christian gospel is the standard operating procedure of lordship faith teachers.  John MacArthur, in particular, frequently caricaturizes and berates the biblical Christian gospel of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.  His book The Gospel According to Jesus is chock-full of such slanderous false statements.]

p. 21 “When we talk today about proclaiming the gospel, we typically mean evangelism, a verbal proclamation of the good news of salvation and how it can be received by anyone by asking God’s forgiveness and committing his or her life to Christ.  But this is not the whole gospel.”  [My comment:  This statement of Stearns’ is stunning!  I am left in disbelief and his callous disregard for and rejection of the Biblical gospel.]

Final note:  I could go on and on with more quotations from this unbiblical book, this declaration of a false gospel, but I think that you have seen enough to get the point!  Your comments, as always, are welcome.

Bruce

 

 

Calvinism: Futile Hope and “Christian” Despair

I received an email today from a very dear, long time personal friend, Richard, with whom I have been sharing my faith continuously for probably 15 or more years. As yet, he has not made the decision to trust Jesus Christ alone as his Savior. He is a brilliant man, conservative politically and former military. We have had some wonderful personal conversations (at our home) and by email for years. I will share his email (with his permission – anonymously, of course) and let you, my readers, comment on it for his benefit.

Hi, Jack,

I need help in understanding the appeal of Calvinism, please.

I don’t see what its inherent appeal is.  Ok, I get it if I can sign on to a doctrine that says the Elect can be saved, PROVIDED I know that I’m for sure one of the Elect.

As I understand it, however, a Calvinist DOESN’T know that he’s saved.  All he knows is that he might be.  Why sign on to that?  It’s like enlisting in the Army in the hope that one MIGHT be paid and fed but having no guarantee.

There appears to be or have been a kind of frantic or, at least, anxiety-ridden, life that the Calvinist then leads not knowing his fate.  Apparently, as a way to deceive oneself, the Calvinist then works hard to achieve material success in life to kid himself that success is God’s way of saying, “Don’t worry.  You’re one of the ones I’ve chosen.”

But this apparently isn’t sanctified by official Calvinist doctrine.

Even before one embraces and embarks upon a hamster-in-the-wheel life, the new or would-be convert is still faced with the stark doctrine that the Elect are on a list that only God can see, which list, at least official/doctrinally, he may not be on at all.

Why would anyone jump on that initially?  If it’s unknowable what gets one onto God’s list, you live a life of Christian despair.

Do I have this right?

Stay warm!

Richard

Richard, you have nailed one of many problems of Calvinism, “Election.” I am so happy to read that you see the inherent errors in that teaching and will not fall for it. Obviously, by your question, you have done some serious thought and reading about Calvinism.

It is clear to any serious student of the Bible that the Calvinists have manufactured their teaching by taking God’s Word out of context and by building a religion based on men such as; John Calvin and Augustine of old days, and then the more modern purveyors, John MacArthur, John Piper, R.C. Sproul, Francis Chan and many more. Their words seem convincing to the naive or the dedicated followers until they honestly investigate the teaching in light of a contextual study of God’s Word. It is no wonder that this theology so often morphs into a commitment or lordship type “salvation” message.

Calvinism seems to be growing by leaps and bounds which is not understandable since it has NO appeal to an honest, dispensational student of the Bible. From my experience it seems most folks who become Calvinists have either been raised in it or perhaps they trusted Christ in a Biblical environment and then chose the “appeal” of Calvinism as an easy way to shun any personal responsibility for themselves.

I will limit my comments for now as I am anxious to see what our discerning and faithful readers will have to say. We have covered this subject in several ways in past posts but this one is unique and personal to both of us Richard, and as you know Shirley and I pray daily that you will see and believe the Truth.
“And ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free. … If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:32, 36

That word “free” in the original Greek means “exempt (from obligation or liability) :- free (man, woman), at liberty.” One who is under the uncertain yoke of Calvinism can never be sure they are “elect” (their definition of the word) and thus they can never honestly say, “I am free (and secure) for all eternity.”

We can be FREE when we decide to believe that Jesus Christ, God in the Flesh, died on the cross for every sin of mine for all eternity.. History confirms He was buried and arose from the grave. Scripture confirms that and Jesus is alive today as an advocate for every one who has put their trust in Him for eternal life.

Richard, thanks for your note and the idea for this post.

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False Repentance, Perseverance and Lordship “salvation”

False Repentance, Perseverance and Lordship “salvation”

These are the Big Three of theological errors in the modern day church. (there are more).

  • False Repentance, telling folks you must turn from sin to be saved or stay saved.
  • Perseverance, the Calvinist idea that if you don’t persevere until the end, you are not among the “chosen” to be saved. Perseverance-ites say the same thing but in a fancier and more exotic language. Sometime you may even see them speak in Romanist Latin. (Sola, sola)
  • Lordship “salvation,” the theory that you must live righteously and do good works in order to be “saved” and if you don’t continue living righteously according to their rules, you obviously made a false profession of your faith and never were saved.

As we briefly state those obvious lies, we see that all three of these false doctrines are reading from the same pages of the same authors and all have merged into a “works” salvation message..

“Lordship salvation”, “Turn From Sin for salvation” and “Persevere for salvation” seem to be a convergence of “theologies” into one ecumenical mishmash. This uniting of false “theology” is simply a propagation of Galatianism, adding works to be saved, stay saved or persevere long enough to maybe be saved (never sure). None offer any real assurance of an eternity in Heaven with our Savior.

As the Apostle Paul wrote to the Believing Church in Galatia:

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.Galatians 1:6-9

Paul’s message is to those believers in the church in Galatia who formerly understood God’s Grace but, still saved, had turned to “another gospel” of works which we understand clearly when we read further in the book of Galatians. This “another gospel” was “of man” not God. While these are addressed as believers, we see today, many unbelievers tricked into believing the Lie of one of the Big Three or maybe all three.

There we have an explanation of how the “Lordship Salvation,” “Turn From Sin for salvation” and “Calvinist perseverance” teachers have veered (or run headlong) into a false message of works to be saved and/or stay saved.

Let’s discuss it…

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Free Grace Theology and “Easy Believism”: Free Grace Does Not Equal Easy Believism

Free Grace Theology and “Easy Believism”:

Is There Really Any Connection?

by Bruce Bauer

  A Harmless Non-derogatory Term?  You be the judge. 

“Easy Believism”  At first glance and in one’s initial thoughts, the term might seem innocuous enough to the average Christian.  After all, he might say, it should be easy to believe; it shouldn’t be difficult to become saved.  Christ died on the cross for our sins, he was buried and on the third day he rose from the grave—believe this gospel, believe in this Jesus of the Bible and you’ll be saved!  Take caution, however, for some in the evangelical world employ the term “easy believism” to mean something completely different than you might think.

For the advocate of Lordship Salvation teaching, the appellation “easy believism” takes on an entirely different connotation with strikingly defamatory undertones.  Listen to the way that John MacArthur utilizes the designation “easy believism” to slander Free Grace theology in his book, “The Gospel According to Jesus,” 1988, 2008 (Grand Rapids:  Zondervan), p. 20:  “Thus the good news of Christ has given way to the bad news of an insidious easy-believism that makes no moral demands on the lives of sinners.”  Other similar slurs have been employed regularly by Lordship Faith advocates such as, “sloppy agape” and “greasy grace.”

The whole thrust of MacArthur’s accusation, of course, is that belief in Christ alone (by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone—the gospel message of Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 4:5) for salvation, if not accompanied by a whole array of outwardly visible works, is not good enough (it’s not meritorious enough to save [or keep saved] the sinner); to MacArthur, simply trusting the gospel of 1 Cor. 15:1-8, John 3:16, Acts 16:30-31, et. al., is not sufficient, i.e., it is not genuine saving faith.

As Dr. Tom Cucuzza declared in his book “Secure Forever: God’s Promise or Our Perseverance” (St. Cloud, MN:  Xulon, 2008) about MacArthur’s unbiblical teaching (p. 89:  see Jack’s link above, right column, to purchase the book), “Is he [MacArthur] not saying that there must be perseverance to be eternally secure?  Perseverance has to do with ‘our faithfulness and works.’  This man is saying that you and I must persevere, or work, to be saved.  This is why, in the same article, MacArthur calls lordship salvation, ‘working-faith salvation.’  This is clearly mixing works with faith.”

“Believism”

Words have meaning.  Words have impact; they can edify or they can bring harm.  I personally abhor this non-word “believism!”  The suffix “ism” in itself is a very thinly-veiled slam against Free Grace theology.  It implies strongly that Free Grace is no better than any prevailing cult or “ism” on the scene today.  False movements or belief systems such as Hinduism, Darwinism, Mormonism, or fanaticism come quickly to mind.  In my opinion, this implication is no coincidence.  Furthermore, setting aside the cultic connection, when one tacks on the often “tacky” suffix “ism,” the insertion can sometimes negate, weaken or alter the thrust of the original word.  Take the word “true,” for instance.  Attach the suffix “ism” and what do you end up with?  The word “truism,” meaning, having the general appearance of truth, or being accepted by the masses as being true, as in a politician’s rhetorical platitudes, yet in actuality or in common practice, it may or may not prove to be reliable or verifiably true at all!  Similarly, “believism” could be inferred to mean, “that which has a general appearance or a facade of true belief but in reality is not real or genuine belief at all!”

Is True Belief Really Easy?

“Easy”

 In exploring and parsing the meaning of the term “easy,” I feel somewhat like a grand juror at the Clinton/ Lewinsky hearings attempting to wade through the morass of Bill Clinton’s infamous convoluted testimony:  “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.  If the—if he—if ‘is’ means is and never has been, that is not—that is one thing.  If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement.”  Say what??  Let’s look at some options below:

Easy, meaning uncomplicated, simple, straightforward, clear, not hard, not harsh, painless, not having to work for something:  When applied to the basic biblical gospel of salvation through faith alone in Christ alone, the synonyms above definitely apply.  Coming to Jesus to become saved is not a complicated arduous task.  Even a child can comprehend and accept the simple message of salvation.  Acts 16:30-31 says, “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”  Jesus beckons and welcomes all who will come to him by faith placing their trust in him alone for salvation:   “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:  and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).  The open invitation is for everyone—2 Peter 3:9.

Easy, meaning carefree, comfortable, gentle, tolerant, soft, mild, lenient, permissive, serene, lax, benign:  This is a false picture of the Christian gospel which Lordship Faith proponents wrongfully thrust upon Free Grace theology.  It implies a false theology of universalism (popularized recently by the vast publication of the heretical book “Love Wins”).  Free Grace rejects universalism outright!  The typical accusation is that Free Grace teaches that salvation comes simply by raising a hand, reciting a formulaic prayer, accepting a few innocuous facts about the historical Jesus, walking an aisle or coming forward at a Crusade.  The Bible says nothing about any of these actions as being salvific; it says instead, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.”

Are There Any Reasons for Ever Saying that Belief Unto Salvation is Not Easy?

  1.    Uncomplicated?  Straightforward?  Simple?  Clear?  Absolutely!  . . .  Easy?  Listen to Charles Ryrie from his book “Balancing the Christian Life,” (Chicago:  Moody, 1969, 1994), pp. 188-189 about the problematic quality of the word “easy” when speaking of Christian belief:  “The content of our faith involves unbelievable demands.  We are asking people to trust this unseen Person about forgiveness of sins and eternal life on the basis of the death of that Person which is said to be substitutionary.  Is that easy?”
  2.    Stubborn unbelief.  For those who, for a lifetime have obstinately and repeatedly spurned the gracious invitation of the gospel and the wooing of the Holy Spirit, for them, saving belief is not easy.  Pharaoh was a prime example of this.  God’s repeated calls through Moses for Pharaoh to repent were spurned over and over, not because the concepts of belief in the true God and repentance were too complicated for him to understand, but because of his unyielding, unrepentant, pigheaded will.  Eventually, God firmed him up in his (Pharaoh’s) own willful long-term rejection of God’s grace (Romans 9).

 A Few Pertinent Questions for Lordship Faith Advocates

The simple clear-cut gospel message of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone is unmistakably biblical, as cited above (many additional texts could be shown—the Gospel of John in particular throughout declares this gospel).  So for the Lordship Faith advocate who loves to slander Free Grace theology with the false nomenclature “easy believism,” I pose the following salient questions:

  1. The Bible clearly presents an uncomplicated plan of salvation; why do you want to make it so difficult for a person to become saved?  Why do you invent so many practical and theological hoops through which the seeking unbeliever must leap?   Are you desirous of limiting salvation only to a handful of elite superchristians, the chosen few?
  2. Since you declare that true saving faith must be accompanied by a lifetime of strong commitment to God evidenced by a collection of clearly visible “good works,” how many good works must one do?  For how many years?  Are any periods of backsliding allowed?  For how long are they permitted?
  3. If visible good works must accompany true saving faith, how can one know whether she has truly made it (to heaven)?  Can there ever be any real assurance of salvation?
  4. How do you explain clear Bible examples of long-term or lifetime backslidden believers, such as Lot (called by Peter a righteous man, 2 Peter 2:7), or the Corinthian church whom Paul called brothers in the Lord, or what about the Laodicean Church of Revelation 3, clearly believers whom Jesus loved, rebuked and disciplined (cf. Hebrews 12:5-6).

(For a more detailed development of some of these thoughts, see, for one example, the article “Grace Baiting,” at Expreacherman: http://www.expreacherman.wordpress.com/2010/09/02/macarthur-grace-baiting-an-article-bt-bruce-bauer/   OR  http://www.freegracealliance.com/pdf/baiting.pdf

Easy Believism, “Cheap Grace,” Lordship “Salvation”

Easy Believism, “Cheap Grace,” Lordship Faith.

By Jack Weaver

Wow!! That title describes a large platform upon which to start a discussion.

Several times I have been accused of “Easy Believism” and “Cheap Grace” when explaining God’s Amazing Grace in Salvation.

The pejorative term “Easy Believism” and “Cheap Grace” are most notably shouted by Calvinists and Lordship Salvation (C-LS) proponents such as  John MacArthur, R.C Sproul (Monergism.com), Francis Chan, et al.

C-LS folks deny the clear dispensational teaching of Scripture. (Dispensationalists rightly divide the Word of Truth, [2 Timothy 2:15] understanding that God deals with (governs) man in different ways in different ages, even though in every age His salvation is always freely given by trusting in God’s promises through faith, believing the available and revealed knowledge of Jesus Christ, the Savior/Messiah).

Several years ago I was sharing my faith in Jesus Christ with a stranger. I noticed someone watching me carefully. Shortly afterward the stranger departed, this watcher derided me by saying, “You were teaching him Easy Believism.” I regret that I never had  a chance to follow up that topic with him.

Many times we see a very subtle statement by proponents of Lordship Salvation, using Ephesians 2:8-10, that “Salvation is by Grace, but true salvation results in good works.”

Yes, Salvation IS by God’s Grace through our faith but the second half of that statement, while it sounds good, is absolutely un-Biblical. Ephesians 2:10 clearly says,“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we SHOULD walk in them.” How tricky it is for C-LS “scholars” to read that word “should” as MUST! 

John MacArthur – Master’s Seminary Journal

TMSJ 4/1 (Spring 1993) 5-24

Excerpt (John MacArthur)

Though elsewhere I have employed the expression “lordship salvation” for the sake of argument, here I am using the more accurate expression “working-faith salvation” (cf. Jas 2:17) A faith that is void of submission is a merely intellectual faith, sometimes appropriately called “easy believism.” “Easy believism” is the view that saving faith is a solely human act. Those who adopt such a view must then scale back the definition of faith so that believing is something that even depraved sinners are capable of.

(See also Bruce Bauer’s excellent review of JMAc’s latest book, “Slave.”)

Unbelievable statements by the “respectable Bible Scholar,” John MacArthur. Being a Calvinist, JMac apparently does not believe Christ died for sinners. Despicable thoughts by JMac!!

These are a couple of words from C-LS folks that emerge from their imagination, but do not appear in a search of God’s Word;  “sovereignty” and “depraved.”

Name calling, pejoratives and verbal persecution are not unusual occurrences if/when we share the free Grace of Jesus Christ… Salvation is FREE without the requirement of works before, during or after. Yes as believers in Christ, we SHOULD do good works because we are saved and belong to our Savior — but God never places any requirements to do good works to be saved or stay saved.

I believe that Jesus Christ is the True and Only Savior of the world. He died personally for your sins and mine — those sins that would separate us from God for all eternity. He was buried and arose from the grave, proving He is God. He is alive today. [1 Corinthians 15:1-4]

Now the simple part.. God simply asks you to trust (believe in) Jesus Christ for your eternal life. He paid the death penalty price and all He asks of you is that you will believe in Him. [John 3:16] That is the very essence of God’s salvation and it is forever.

Isn’t that easy to believe??

God’s Eternal Hope for You

Dismantling the Calvinist Tulip: “TULIP” De-Petaled

petals

I appreciate this quote excerpt from a wonderful Blog friend. It is priceless… I have taken the liberty to emphasize some words and phrases.

Excerpt from Major Ian Thomas’ book “Mystery of Godliness”:

FREEDOM OF CHOICE

By: Major W. Ian Thomas

Never allow anyone to deceive you into believing that God has placed an arbitrary limitation upon the efficacy of the blood of Christ, or that there are those who cannot repent [change their mind], even if they would, simply because God has deliberately placed them outside the scope of His redemptive purpose! This blasphemes the grace, the love and the integrity of God, and makes Him morally responsible for the unbelief of the unbeliever, for the impenitence of the impenitent, and saddles Him squarely with the guilt of the guilty as an aider and abettor of their sin.

Such is not the teaching of the Bible, for the Lord Jesus Christ made it abundantly clear that the reluctance is on man’s part, not on God’s!

Without freedom of choice it is equally impossible to obey or to disobey to be commended for the one or to be condemned for the other!

Some would have you believe that only those can obey the Gospel and accept Christ as their Saviour, to whom God has given the ability to obey as a purely arbitrary, mechanical act on His part, leaving no option in the matter to any individual either way! On the basis of this strange hypothesis, the fearful judgment of God is to fall upon those who have remained in their rebellious state of unbelief, only because they have been unable to exercise an ability to obey the Gospel, which only God can give, and which He has refused to give them! Needless to say, such an idea can only serve to bring the righteousness and judgment of God into contempt and disrepute.

The revelation that God has given to us by His Holy Spirit through the apostles is delightfully clear: “if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world (I John 2:2); “Who gave himself a ransom for all (I Timothy 2:6); “... that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9).

It is your inherent right to choose which is at the very heart of the mystery, both of the mystery of godliness and of the mystery of iniquity.

From: The Mystery of Godliness. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House. ©1964.

What?? A Permanent Salvation?? Are You Serious?

Dr. Tom Cucuzza has granted me permission to post this sampling of his wonderful pamphlet, The Permanence of Salvation. Although a scholarly and eloquent treatise, it is easy to read, simple to comprehend and one of the best I have ever seen detailing God’s Grace in Salvation. It effectively destroys all the “isms,” like Calvinism, Arminianism, Lordship Salvationism, Catholicism, etc. Below are some of my favorite quotes from the article. Tom has included a plethora of Scripture references to illustrate the Truth he presents:

“Salvation is permanent because the Eternal God does not give birth to temporary children.” Priceless!!

“If everlasting life could cease, then it would not be everlasting!  It would be temporary.”

 “Salvation is an event that happens only once in a person’s lifetime.”

“Jesus said, ‘Ye must be born again.’  He did not say, ‘Ye must be born again, and again, and again.’  Once you become a child of God, you are henceforth and forevermore a child of God!”

 “This is an amazing fact!  The believer is already seen [by God] as being in Heaven with the Lord.”

A believer “Being ‘sealed’ with the Holy Spirit can best be illustrated by examining the historical function of a king’s signet ring.  …..”

 “So it is evident that the entire Trinity is involved in keeping the believer saved.  He is held in the Son’s hand, enclosed by the Father’s hand, and sealed by the Holy Spirit.”

“The thought of [The Body of Christ] parts ‘coming and going’ is inconceivable and even preposterous”

“[E]verlasting life is a gift–not a reward.”

“[I]t is God who keeps us saved.”

“And so it is clear that when you put your faith in Jesus Christ you are saved forever.  You are safe and secure for all eternity.  This is God’s way of salvation and His promise to you. “

“[I]f it were up to each of us to keep ourselves ‘preserved’ for Heaven, then we are in very feeble–even impossible hands”

You may obtain the entire pamphlet when you go to the link below. Download the PDF file, read it and print it out. Give it to your friends so they may see how simple and permanent God’s Salvation in Jesus Christ really is. Tom will be using this as a bound pamphlet handout for his church members.

By Dr. Thomas M. Cucuzza
3686 County Road 8 S.E.
St. Cloud, MN 56304
Phone: 320.252.5677
 Copyright © 2009 by Thomas M. Cucuzza
All rights reserved.  St. Cloud, MN 56301
 All Bible quotations are taken from
the Authorized King James Version
 
UPDATE*** Just heard from Tom and the finished product is also available from their church in a beautiful booklet form for a $3.00 donation. This includes shipping and handling. 
For the printed booklet, Call Northland Bible Baptist Church 
320.252.5677 ext 0
 

 The Permanence of Salvation PDF << Click here

Is “Lordship” Salvation by MacArthur, Chan, et al Error?

Dear readers,

This is about theologians who would teach that a believer in Christ WILL be obedient or WILL do good works. (Washer, MacArthur, Chan, et al. I suggest some of my links with further details – footnotes below)

Just to be clear, yes, I agree with the Bible that by all means a believer in Christ SHOULD be obedient, but….

If we teach or preach that just because one is saved there “will be” obedience and good works, this assumption is contradicted by over half of the New Testament which urges, beseeches, begs and implores believers to be obedient and do good works befitting a believer in Christ.

God’s Grace provides us the means whereby we are empowered and enabled (but never forced) to be obedient.
1 Corinthians 15:10
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all:yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

A few examples of the Apostles Paul and Peter begging believers in Christ to obey Scriptures:
Beseech = Greek, Parakaleo = invoke or implore, beg.
Ephesians 4:1
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, [As believers in Christ we are called to be witnesses for Christ]

1 Peter 2:11
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

1 Thessalonians 4:1
Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.

1 Corinthians 1:10
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Romans 12:1
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Ephesians 4:24
And that ye put on [you array yourself – something you do] the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Romans 13:12
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off [something we do in obedience] the works of darkness, and let us put on [something we do in obedience] the armour of light.

We believers should enjoy and relish the Lord leading and discipline (teaching) us by His Grace into obedience to Him — but our disobedience never puts our salvation in doubt in God’s eyes, only man’s. And because the unsaved see believers and (right or wrong) judge Christ by us, we SHOULD be obedient to our Savior, because we ARE saved eternally — but thankfully not to be or stay saved.

Footnotes:

1. Lordship salvation Calvinism and One-naturism <<Click

2. Lordship Salvation [Chan] teaches Confusion. << Click (A pitiful true story)

John MacArthur’s New Apostate Book: Slave

This review by Bruce Bauer is from: Slave: The Hidden Truth About Your Identity in Christ (Hardcover), by John MacArthur
The back paper jacket to the book caught my attention: “A COVER-UP OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS: Centuries ago, English translators perpetrated a fraud in the New Testament, and it’s been purposely hidden and covered up ever since. Your own Bible is probably included in the cover-up!”

WHAT? Are we to understand that Bible translators for centuries, hundreds if not thousands of highly-trained knowledgeable men of God, have kept a well-guarded secret about the true meaning of the Bible that only NOW Dr. MacArthur will be the one scholar who will bring us the real scoop?

Yes, this is exactly what the book would have us to believe, that the common Greek term “doulos” has been mistranslated in every major version of the Bible since the earliest of printed Bible translations. According to MacArthur, “doulos” should be translated primarily if not exclusively as “slave.” Most modern translators (NASB, NIV, KJV, NKJV, ESV) as well as common Greek-English lexicons interpret the term in a variety of ways as, “servant,” “slave,” “bond servant,” “bondman,” or “attendant.” MacArthur also states on pp. 29-30 that the proper meaning of the Old Testament’s nearest equivalent term, “‘ebed” has also been hidden by modern translators:
“The King James Version, for example, never translates ‘ebed as ‘slave’—opting for ‘servant’ or ‘manservant’ the vast majority of the time. But contrast that with the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old Testament from before the time of Christ. It translates ‘ebed with forms of ‘doulos,’ or ‘slave’ more than 400 times!”
WHAT?? The LXX translated the Old Testament from Hebrew to Greek, NOT to English! So MacArthur is leaping to an inappropriate conclusion about the meaning of the Hebrew in this case.

My greatest problem with the book was that the author, MacArthur, took the ancient images of slavery and superimposed them onto modern Christianity with the intent to create the notion that our normative relationship with God and our service to God should be that of a slave to a master, instead of that of a child of God responding out of love and gratitude to an omnibenevolent (all loving) Father God. Romans 8:15 says, “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba,” Father.”

With this slave-to-master representation set into place, the author proceeded to promote his standard lordship salvation doctrine dressed in new clothes, slave garb. He even used much of the same argumentation that he used in “The Gospel According to Jesus.” And, once again, he freely denigrated and caricaturized Free Grace theology, especially in chapter five.

Eternal Life For You