Category Archives: John Piper

Mission Impossible “salvation”: Lordship “salvation” — Demanding the Impossible!

By Jack Weaver

Occasionally we are asked why we concentrate on exposing the awful and un-Biblical  theory called, Lordship Salvation [LS] or, as I prefer to call it, Lordship Probation. This false message is advancing at lightning speed through too many modern churches today.

Simply put, Lordship Probation (“salvation??”) demands the impossible from an individual who may sincerely be searching for God’s Amazing Free Gift of salvation. Our number one goal is to make the clarity and simplicity of God’s plan of salvation easy to understand and believe.

Our secondary goal is to expose the lies of false Bible teaching — whoever they are and wherever they be, especially the devious tragedy of Calvinism and Lordship “salvation.”

Before we go into detail, I would say that our number one reason for contending against LS is that it contradicts all of God’s Biblical teaching about His salvation by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone by His Word. LS adds and demands good works for one to procure their version of salvation and then they add even more works for keeping one’s salvation. Tragedy!!

We have quoted many LS proponents in previous articles. I will mention some newer ones here to illustrate my point that LS is a growing menace. If you have some LS proponents to expose here, please do so in your comments.

We are thrilled to get to know some of our readers who have wonderfully come out from under the horrible yoke of LS into the Freedom that IS IN Jesus Christ through God’s Grace. You are welcome to comment upon your experience with LS or Calvinism.

Some LS/Calvinist names of disrepute are: Francis Chan, Paul Washer, John MacArthur, John Piper, RC Sproul, Rick Warren, John Calvin, Charles Spurgeon, Arthur W. Pink, George Whitefield, John Knox, Martin Luther, AW Tozer (from Charlie Bing),  etc.  (and we could name more and more).

Pearl, one of our long-time contributors and commenters found that Dave Ramsey (Practical Financial guru) and one of his “Team” members, Jon Acuff  (who recommends Francis Chan) fit into the same camp as those mentioned above. That is a shame because Ramsey and his folks have a great common sense method of helping rescue a family from financial burden. But, in the back reaches of the Ramsey domain, they preach a false doctrine to babes in Christ and the unsaved. So, as we do with others who preach a false message, we cannot recommend them. Please use extreme discernment if you use their services.

Some time back I questioned Dave Hunt at Berean Call Ministries about his recommendation of quotes from Calvinist Gresham Machen. Tom McMahon (Hunt’s assistant) answered me by justifying Machen and many other questionable LS and Calvinists. He declared that their quotes could apply to us today. (I prefer God’s Word that applies to us today!!)

It is nonsense to recommend a teacher, who preaches lies, in order to “enlighten” believers in any area. I recently received a newsletter from Berean Call. At one time they were a great resource against Calvinism. This newsletter article warned against believers getting involved with the politics of today. The article, “Influencing The Culture” was a wholehearted endorsement of an excerpt from one of John (Calvinist guru of Lordship Probation) MacArthur’s articles. No doubt Berean Call would justify such an endorsement in the exact same manner as they defended their endorsement of Machen and other Calvinists. One of Ed’s statements in his note to me reads, “Further, some of the resources we offer or have offered are authored by Calvinists such as C.H. Spurgeon, John MacArthur, Jay Adams (addressing psychology), Mike Gendron (former Catholic), and William Webster.”

This philosophy seems contradictory to Biblical Doctrine and a far cry from Dave Hunt’s excellent book exposing Calvinism, “What Love Is This?”

We believe none of these mentioned have any redeeming qualities worth recommending for study, even though they may occasionally speak or write “a truth.” The lies they propagate otherwise spoil the entire true issue of God’s Grace. As God’s Word says, A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” Galatians 5:9

The rules and dictates of Lordship Salvation and Calvinism or any other false teaching will never cure carnal Christianity — Their teaching only offers confusion.

What is God’s Real Salvation? << Click

The 100th Anniversary of the Sinking of the Titanic, April 15, 2012: Titanic Gospel Warnings About Rejecting the Gospel

One hundred years ago, today, April 14, 1912, the famous oceanliner Titanic struck an iceberg.  Hours later, in the early morning of April 15, the huge ship sank carrying about 1500 people to their death.

Over the years, analysts have studied what things went wrong leading up to the tragedy of April 1912.  Several facts have been chronicled which detail why this event occurred.  The following piece summarizes some of these findings:

Source:  http://www.39online.com/kiah-20120413,0,4594381.photo

1.  Substandard Rivets in Bow and Stern, containing iron and a high content of slag, which becomes brittle at very cold temperatures.

2.  Ship Steaming Too Fast in spite of repeated telegraphed messages from other ships about iceberg ice in the area.

3.  Lack of Binoculars:  some of the lookouts were not furnished with proper optical equipment.

4.  Repeated Ice Warnings disregarded by Capt. Smith.

5.  Unusually High Tides may have brought excessive icebergs into shipping lanes.

6.  Last Minute Manuever of Ship Failed, causing more damage than would have probably occurred in a strike with the bow.

7.  Watertight Bulkheads were not sealed at the top.

8.  Insufficient Number of Lifeboats:  Only enough to accommodate about 1/3 of the passengers and crew.

9.  Lifeboats Not Filled to Capacity:  some were launched half full.

10. The British Steamer “Californian” saw flares and could have steamed toward them, but failed to do so, some think because the wrong color flares were used, ones which would normally be used for celebrations, not for S.O.S. signaling. 

11. [added to article]  Rope Too Short:  It has been reported that rope used to drop buckets down to collect water temperature readings was too short to reach the water’s surface.  Crew members, instead, substituted water from onboard the ship to render the readings. 

“Titanic” Warnings About the Gospel:

The Gospel of Salvation is so straightforward, so clear in the Bible in many places, including 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 (the death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus); Acts 16:30-31 (“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved . . .”); Ephesians 2:8-9 (We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, not by works); John 3:16-18 (Whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.)

Why do so many people refuse to go God’s way, trusting in his Son, Christ Jesus, for salvation, and not in their own “good” works?

How similar are unbelievers today to passengers on the Titanic?

1.  Both were (are) sailing toward disaster at breakneck speeds.

2.  In the frenzy of the night, many failed to board the Titanic lifeboats which could have rescued them from death; in the hustle and bustle of life, many or most people fail to avail themselves of God’s gift of Eternal Life in His Son, Jesus Christ, who can save them from eternal destruction.

3. Up until the moment of the crash, people on the Titanic were going about their normal routines (business as usual):  crew members were observing their daily duties; passengers were laughing, dancing and dining; both were (are) oblivious to the imminent dangers that lay (lie) ahead.

4. Even after the Titanic struck the iceberg, for the first couple of hours many were in denial that they faced any danger whatsoever— “This ship is unsinkable,” some claimed.  How many people in our day live in similar blind denial:  “There’s no hell,” many declare.  “If there is a heaven, either we’re all going there or we ain’t,” others might retort.  On that sad early morning of April 15, 2012, dozens and dozens of scoffers faced reality head-on.  How many millions, in our generation, will, tragically and avoidably, come face to face with the legitimacy of death and an eternity in torment (Luke 16)?

5.  Some of the passengers on the Titanic, who failed to board the lifeboats which could have rescued them, sought, instead, to save themselves by strapping on life preservers and jumping into the ocean.  If the impact of the fall did not kill them, the frigid water would have finished them off in minutes [this observation is for the purpose of illustration only; obviously, in the frenectic scene of the night, many were not given the opportunity to board the lifeboats].  How many unbelievers, today, steadfastly refuse to accept God’s plan of salvation? (there is only ONE WAY, by grace alone through faith alone in his Son Christ Jesus alone).  They would rather go their own way, seek their own path, add to God’s plan, or devise their own plan, while attempting to please God through their own works.  Refusal to go God’s way will certainly lead to destruction.

Do Lordship “Salvation” Folks Deny the Resurrection and Christ’s Proclamation, “It is finished”?

By Jack Weaver

As Resurrection weekend approaches let us analyze the terrible lie and denial by those who teach Lordship “Salvation.” Do their false teachings deny the Resurrection and Christ’s very words?

God’s salvation requires no more than believing the Gospel and then believing in Jesus Christ alone for our salvation. Therefore we conclude that the Lordship “salvation, faith, probation” (LS) folks cannot sincerely believe Christ’s last statement on the cross, “It is finished…” John 19:30b

They must deny the death, burial and resurrection as being Christ’s all sufficient sacrifice for sin for every person in the world, past, present and future. The Lord God sealed His Promise of Christ’s words, “It is finished”  when He raised Jesus Christ from the grave three days later. The Resurrection is proof. LS folks therefore deny His Gospel of Salvation by Grace through their teaching. They demonstrate their misery not knowing that JOY that comes with God’s assurance.

Here is such a denial, according to the guru of Lordship “salvation” :

Salvation isn’t the result of an intellectual exercise. It comes from a life lived in obedience and service to Christ as revealed in the Scripture; it’s the fruit of actions, not intentions. There’s no room for passive spectators: words without actions are empty and futile…The life we live, not the words we speak, determines our eternal destiny (John MacArthur, Hard to Believe, p. 93).

Heresy !!! Thus says JMac as he proudly denies the sufficiency of God’s Grace alone, our faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, to save all who believe in Him. He is claiming null and void Christ’s last words on the cross, “It is finished.”  (“Finished” is the Greek word Teleo meaning complete, executed, concluded, discharged (a debt) :- accomplished, make an end).

And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain [useless, empty)]” 1 Corinthians 15:14

You may have “heard” the Gospel and you may have “come to the knowledge of Christ” or “know” the Gospel but you alone must, at some time, make the decision to believe in Jesus Christ, that He died and was resurrected as your substitute, in your place, for your sins, that He is your Savior. Then, He freely GIVES you the Gift of eternal Life (forever)..
Study John 3:16-18 “.. He that believeth is NOT condemned…”

Christ died, that’s history, Christ died for ME, that’s Salvation.

Christ IS RISEN and coming again!!!

But what if, after Jesus was crucified, dead and buried, He had not been resurrected from the grave? There would be no salvation.. There would be no proof that Jesus is indeed God in the flesh. That is Satan’s message. We see such a lie touted by “liberal” theologians from the time shortly after Jesus was put to death by the Roman court.

Matthew 28:1-8

  • “In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers [guards] did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead; and, behold, He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see Him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring His disciples word.”

Luke 24:6-7

“He is not here, but is risen: remember how He spake unto you when He was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”

GREAT JOY” is an understatement!! Imagine yourself being there with them. Imagine their circumstances, the Person they trusted, worshiped and followed had just been humiliated, crucified was dead and buried. They visit the tomb expecting to complete their mourning. Then they see the tomb empty and hear the words, He is not here: for He is risen.” HE IS RISEN! Just imagine the JOY!

The following has been called “The Gospel in a Nutshell”:

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, 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.1 Corinthians 15: 3-6

Witness after witness after witness is certainly additional evidence of His resurrection.

Salvation by God’s Grace is understanding and believing that we are imperfect; that God calls this sin and that our sin requires a death penalty. But God with love beyond infinity, loved us so much that He sent His Perfect Son, Jesus Christ, to make that death penalty for the whole world. He came to the Jew first and then the Gentile so that all who would believe or trust in Jesus would have everlasting life in Heaven with Him. Jesus, He fulfilled the law and paid the death penalty we humans owe. He did that and arose from the grave just as He promised. Now the responsibility is upon us. Do we trust Jesus alone as our Savior, our complete and all sufficient Savior, apart from depending upon our good works, our promises, our commitment to serve or a life lived in obedience? If we do trust Jesus alone as our Savior, God’s Word says we HAVE everlasting life, guaranteed.

  • John 3:16-18
    “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. 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.

Dear friend, at this time of year when we remember the death, burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, perhaps you do not know for sure you possess eternal life in Christ. If you are not sure, please believe Him and trust or rely upon Jesus alone as your Savior to deliver you to Heaven; to give you eternal life. It is not thorough an organization, behavior, church or your good works, but simply Jesus alone. I pray you will make this one time decision as it is the most important one you will ever make during your entire life on this earth.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope [guarantee] by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,“ 1 Peter 1:3

HE IS RISEN — GREAT JOY!!!

God’s FREE Gift of Eternal Life << Click

Francis Chan’s Latest Pronouncement: Failure to Help the Poor Could Send You to Hell; Latest Francis Chan news

Once again, Francis Chan, popular conference speaker, author and Lordship Faith Advocate, adds qualifications (good works) to the simple straightforward gospel of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9; Acts 16:30-31; Romans 4:5; John 3:16; Titus 3:5).  His latest pronouncement is shown in the brief excerpt of his article below (to view the article in its entirety, see, “Failure to Help the Poor Could Send You to Hell,” by Francis Chan—Churchleaders.Com).     

 

“Blessed Are the Poor

And what about the poor? Jesus is crystal clear about the necessity of reaching the poor. Yet many hellfire preachers are overfed and overpaid, living in luxury while doing nothing for the majority of Christians who live on less than two dollars a day. [2] Contrast that with Jesus, who in His longest sermon about judgment made helping the poor a vital criterion.

Put simply, failing to help the poor could damn you to hell.

I know, I know, everyone wants to qualify this. We want to add all sorts of footnotes to fix Jesus’ shaky theology in Matthew 25—justification is by faith, not by works; you don’t really have to help literal poor people, etc. [3]On the flipside, some want to keep the stuff about helping the poor but take hell out of the picture. Sometimes, people even take Jesus out of the picture—fighting poverty, they believe, is an inherent virtue whether or not it’s rooted in the gospel.  Let’s keep the teeth of both truths. There’s a literal hell, and helping the poor is essential. Not only did Jesus teach both of these truths, He saw them as necessary and interrelated.”

Is Francis Chan right; is what he describes the Biblical plan of salvation, or is he teaching a false gospel of faith PLUS WORKS?
see also: https://expreacherman.com/2012/07/22/francis-chans-latest-speech-to-5000-christian-youths-questioning-their-faith/

For updates on Francis Chan 2013, see:
https://expreacherman.com/2013/01/05/lordship-salvation-authorsspeakers-francis-chan-and-david-platt-team-up-to-create-the-multiply-discipleship-movement/

We welcome your comments. 

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

Was Whitney Houston a Christian? Whitney Houston Sings “I Love the Lord”

With the sudden tragic death of Whitney Houston, Christians across the Christian magazines, TV programs and internet sites are asking the question, “Did Whitney Houston know the Lord?”  Of course, this is the most important question, one for which this commenter does not have the answer.  Speculations are swirling on the question.  What we do know, however, is that she was raised in a Christian church, and by many reports, she had a devoted Christian mother.  If she trusted Christ as her Savior in her youth by faith in him alone, then John 10:27-30 promises us that God will never let go of her.  She cut her artistic teeth singing gospel hymns in the church choir.  And, in spite of her oft-troubled life, she continued to sing gospel songs into her adulthood.

I trust that you find this song to be uplifting:   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiCBOXOj9s0

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.

Hope Defined, Hope Declared: What is Hope? (Vintage Expreacherman)

by Jack Weaver (reposted article)

For centuries man has misunderstood or misinterpreted many words in God’s Holy Scripture. “Scholars” debate the meanings of Biblical words and we must determine whether such interpretations are errors or truth. If errors, whether they are accidental or deliberate. Let’s take the wonderful and exhilarating word “Hope” and see if we can understand it. Of course this writing will be an abbreviated explanation of the word but it is a start.

One may say, “I hope it will not rain today.” “I hope my car will start when I have an emergency.” “I hope my children will grow up to be great citizens.” “I hope. I hope. I hope.”

The standard dictionary definition, and one that is generally accepted by most of the world is “to FEEL that something desired MAY happen:” The words “feel” and “may” are two very indefinite and vague words, but such a definition of “hope” exemplifies the thinking of most people.

The dictionary definition of the word “hope” is NOT the Biblical Hope of which we speak.

Let us investigate the Old and New Testament meanings of the word “Hope.”

Psalm 33:22

“Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.”

Hope in this verse is the Hebrew word, “yachal” meaning “trust.”

Psalm 130:7

Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption.”

Again this is the same Hebrew word, “trust.”

Psalm 39:7

“And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.”

Here we see a slightly different Hebrew word towcheleth but with the same root but meaning “expectation.” These and many, many more verses illustrate the Psalmist’s reliance upon the trustworthiness of the Lord. The Lord CAN be trusted. He WILL keep His promises.

Now, in the New Testament we see the word “Hope” in several verses. This word “Hope” is an absolute, a guarantee without a doubt. It is the Greek word “elpis” meaning “to expect or anticipate with pleasure.”

Romans 5:2

“By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

We rejoice in the glory of God, not with uncertainty but with joyful anticipation — guaranteed.

Colossians 1:5

“For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

The Hope of Heaven is not a maybe — but an absolute and definite guarantee by the Word of the Truth of the Gospel.

Titus 1:2

“In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;”

Eternal life — guaranteed and promised by the God of the Universe. He cannot lie.

Titus 2:13

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;”

Every believer in Jesus Christ may look with confidence to the glorious appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ. No doubt!

Titus 3:7

“That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

We are Justified by God’s grace, guaranteed — Rendered innocent or free by God’s Grace, eternal life guaranteed!

As you read this, I want you to have that Hope or guarantee personally. God offers you this by His Grace.

Just briefly, no one deserves to live in Heaven or have eternal life with the Righteous God (Revelation 21:27). We are all sinners by nature and deed. Simply put, we have all sinned and come short of the mark of God’s righteousness (Romans 3:23). All sin requires a payment that must be paid — and that penalty is spiritual death, being apart from God in Hell (Romans 4:23).

By God’s Grace and Love He provided a Sin Bearer in the person of Jesus Christ who was crucified for our sin, was buried and rose again. This Grace is available to the whole world — including you personally (John 3:16). It is not determined by how good you are — or how hard you try — or by your good works, but by Grace alone, which means “undeserved mercy.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

How can we KNOW that Hope is real?

1 John 5:13

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

You can KNOW. God promises Heaven, the Hope (guarantee) of eternal life is when you trust that Jesus paid the death penalty in your place. He promises — and all you need do is to trust Jesus as your Savior. Believe His Word — He died for you.

If you have never trusted Jesus alone as your Savior, do that right now. Believe His promises of eternal life which are yours the very moment you trust Jesus as YOUR Savior.

Remember and believe this:

Jesus died — That is history. Jesus died for ME — that is salvation.

When you make that simple decision, your eternity in Heaven is secure in Jesus Christ. It is God’s guarantee, thus your HOPE of Heaven is guaranteed eternal. You are immediately declared righteous before a Holy God with no possibility of losing His Gift of salvation. Eternal life is ETERNAL — without end, beginning the moment you trust Christ as your personal Savior.

Romans 1:16

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek [gentile].”

Please, trust Jesus Christ as your Savior NOW! God has no strings attached! Claim that wonderful HOPE.

Learn How to Have Eternal Life.

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.

Eternal Life IS FREE!!!

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

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

Lordship Salvation’s Hidden Secret: Grace Under Fire: The Fallout of Lordship Salvation Teaching

This is a wonderful expose’ of “Lordship Salvation,” by my friend Bruce Bauer. He  exposes the lie and strips the false teaching down to its barren roots. [Excerpt]: “Some Christians live in a constant state of tension and dread, always ill at ease, restless, uncertain, never knowing when they’ve done enough; they’re never quite able to get a grasp on assurance.” Read on and be enlightened.

 

By: Bruce Bauer,  Lancaster, CA

 

 

Introduction

 

Recently I attended the funeral of an elderly Mormon lady, a dear friend of mine and of my family’s for several decades.  I’ll refer to her as “Jane.”  In one of the eulogies given the speaker commented that in her dying days Jane had expressed fears that her church tithes might not have been paid up to date.  As I pondered what had just been said, I thought, how tragic, how sad that a person should have to live in such bondage, doubt and fear right up to the point of death.  I silently felt grateful to God that at least we, as evangelical Christians, don’t have to live our lives in such enslavement to duty shrouded by panic and uncertainty of salvation.  My thoughts raced to John 10:27-30:  “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.  I and the Father are one.” [NIV as are all refs.][i] I rejoiced in the warm snuggling grasp of our Lord’s hands, saving and preserving each and every person who comes to salvation by faith in Christ alone.  But, I reflected, don’t many Christians live out their lives under precisely the same cloud of insecurity, apprehension and angst experienced by Jane?  Do all evangelicals really act so differently than she?

What, then, is the defining distinctive hallmark that sets evangelical Christianity apart from Mormonism, the JWs, Roman Catholicism, and indeed, every other religious belief system?  Free Grace theology states it best:  “We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone” (Ephesians 2:8-9).  Every other religious structure has a works-based salvation plan at its core.  But aren’t many evangelical writers and pastors guilty of promoting a similar type of works-for-salvation system of their own?  Certainly, proponents of Lordship Salvation have been accused of teaching just such a salvation plan despite their vehement denials. Much has been written on this debate.  I will not rehash it here; however, this paper will describe some of the pernicious fallout of Lordship Salvation teaching on the lives of believers especially and on some unbelievers as well.  For additional study of the Lordship debate, I refer the reader to some of the best works that I have read on the subject:  1. Charles C. Bing, Lordship Salvation:  A Biblical Evaluation and Response, GraceLife Edition (Burleson, TX:  GraceLife Ministries, 1992, 1997).  2. Fred Chay and John P. Correia, The Faith that Saves:  The Nature of Faith in the New Testament (Phoenix, AZ:  Grace Line, Inc., 2008).  3. Charles C. Ryrie, So Great Salvation (Chicago:  Moody Press, SP Publications, 1989, 1997).  4. Fred R. Lybrand, Back to Faith:  Reclaiming Gospel Clarity in an Age of Incongruence (San Antonio, TX:  Fred R. Lybrand, Xulon Press, 2009).  5. Thomas M. Cucuzza, Secure Forever!  God’s Promise or Our Perseverance? (St. Cloud, MN:  Thomas M. Cucuzza, Xulon Press, 2007).  6. Lou Martuneac, In Defense of the Gospel:  Biblical Answers to Lordship Salvation (LaVergne, TN:  Lou Martuneac, Xulon Press, 2006, 2010).

The Fallout of Lordship Faith Teaching

Battered! The Father Serra Syndrome

 

Father Junipero Serra was an 18th century Franciscan priest who is famous for founding the Roman Catholic mission system throughout western Mexico and California.  He is known to have been a flagelist, that is, one who would regularly pummel himself with a whip in order to exorcise his personal demons (sinful thoughts and attitudes).  In a California history course in college, I learned that on more than one occasion Father Serra had to be physically restrained by his assistants to prevent him from flogging himself to death.

Do some Christians today beat themselves up as Father Serra did?  Oh, maybe they don’t do so physically, but do they torment themselves mentally and emotionally over their struggles with sin?  Listen to the following composite of one who is caught up in such a pattern of conflicted self-deprecating thinking:  “James is a young man with a different set of problems, the greatest one being lust.  Though he has never actually committed fornication, James struggles continually with impure thoughts.  He lives in dread that his Christian friends will discover what is happening inside his brain.  Attached to this mental impurity is a sense of deep shame, a shame that permeates his feelings about himself and his position before God.”[ii] James desperately needs a regular healthy dosage of the preaching of God’s abundant awesome gift of grace in the believer’s life.  He also would benefit tremendously by the warm understanding embrace of fellow Christian brothers and sisters.

The teaching and preaching of Lordship Salvation can foster a tremendous state of anxiety and doubt for some believers because its precepts demand a high level of purity of thought and lifestyle undergirded by the constant threat of not having been blameless enough or virtuous enough to merit salvation.    Recently I witnessed a heart-wrenching testimony from a young Christian man whose assurance of salvation was decimated by the reading of a best-selling book which promulgates a very condemning form of Lordship Salvation doctrine.  Out of respect  for the young man I’ll share just a brief portion of what he said without giving his name:  “there is no hope for most of us to ever be like the one who is not lukewarm.  There is no hope for me anymore, for I thought I was a Christian for over 15 years, but I am according to the scriptures ‘lukewarm’ and will not be accepted into heaven . . . .  May God have mercy on us all . . . .”  Hearing a sad profession such as this reminds me of why it is so crucial for Free Grace teachers and writers to proclaim strongly the message of God’s grace and to counter the harmful repercussions of Lordship Faith preaching.  I wonder if any of these popular Lordship pastors and writers ever pause to consider the fallout, the damage and pain that they might potentially inflict through preaching and publishing their judgmental diatribes.  Who will pick up the broken pieces of shattered lives?

Driven! When is Enough Enough?

 

Some Christians live in a constant state of tension and dread, always ill at ease, restless, uncertain, never knowing when they’ve done enough; they’re never quite able to get a grasp on assurance. One of the consistent marks of Lordship Faith teaching is that it sets very lofty (some would say unattainable) standards of normative Christian achievement.  After all, their teachers might say, didn’t Jesus establish the ideals for us in the Sermon on the Mount?  Pity the average churchgoer who may not appear to be very dedicated to God or to be very active in serving him.  She might find herself listed among the ranks of the half-hearted or, dare I say, the “lukewarm”; if so, certain Lordship Faith leaders would almost certainly brand her as unsaved.  But who sets the criteria for Christian attainment and who gauges the hearts and motivations of the congregation?  How many years must one actively serve God?  Ten, twenty, thirty, fifty?  Must good works be obvious to men or can they be quietly noticeable before God?  Are any periods of failing allowed?  For how long?  Is working in a secular job acceptable or must one quit her job and go to the mission field?  Do true “on-fire” believers have to sell their fancy cars and houses and live like paupers?  The questions are endless and the answers are few.  And, one of the saddest questions of all is, how many unbelievers are put off by Lordship teachers’ unreasonable up-front demands of commitment, surrender and change of lifestyle in order for one to be allowed into the kingdom?  Rather, shouldn’t Christians be giving them the good news, the grace news of John 3:16, Acts 16:30-31 and Ephesians 2:8-9?

Listen to the story of a driven believer:  “Betty is as reliable as Mother Teresa, as dedicated to Christ as one can be.  . . .  But no matter how much Betty does, she always feels she’s not doing enough, because she also feels that somehow she isn’t quite pleasing God.  This haunting sense of God’s disapproval drives her from Bible study to prayer group, from buying each ‘New and Improved System for Personal Devotions’ at her local Christian bookstore and joining every church outreach program to standing at every opportunity to recommit her life to Christ.  In spite of her ‘gold-medal performance’ as a Christian, Betty continues to feel that God considers her a failure.”[iii] Is this really the way that God wants Christians to live?  Wouldn’t God want us to live lives characterized by confidence, freedom and grace?….

[…]

Read the balance of this excellent free article in PDF format Click here: >> “ Driven ” at Free Grace Alliance web site.