Category Archives: Southern Baptist Convention

Lordship Salvation’s J.D. Greear – The Situational Calvinist

By johninnc

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.

In doing research for another recent post, I stumbled across an article written by pastor J.D. Greear, pastor of Summit Church and president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), entitled “Don’t Be A Fundamentalist (Calvinist Or Otherwise).”

Following are some extensive excerpts from Greear’s article, along with my comments.

Some people give such enormous weight to minor issues that the gospel itself is obscured.

Calvinism is one such issue. We only have so much “bandwidth” as a church, so I choose rather to be known for the gospel than for a tough stance on particulars of Calvinism that are less important than the heart of the message.

My comment: Calvinism undermines the integrity of the gospel. Each of the five tenets of Calvinism strikes at the core of the gospel message. The tenets of Calvinism are often remembered as an acronym “TULIP,” which represents Total Depravity (the false view that people are unable to believe without having been first gifted faith or regeneration); Unconditional Election (the false view that God chooses who will believe); Limited Atonement (the false view that Christ died only for the elect); Irresistible Grace (the false view that the elect are irresistibly drawn to faith in Christ); and Perseverance of the Saints (the false view that the elect persevere in some unquantified level of sinning less and doing good works).

The truth is that anyone can believe the gospel; that God did not choose who will believe the gospel; that Christ died for the sins of the whole world; that people can resist and reject the drawing ministry of the Holy Spirit; and that no one need evaluate his life for signs of persevering in the faith to know whether or not he has eternal life.

So at The Summit Church, I often say, “Calvinism is not an issue to me until it becomes one to you. But when it becomes one to you, it becomes one to me… and I’ll probably take whatever side you are not.” What someone believes about the finer points of Calvinism is not usually the issue; it’s how they believe it. We may have trouble achieving absolute clarity together on every one of the “five points,” but we can be absolutely clear on the fact that the Bible condemns a divisive and uncharitable spirit over something about which gospel-loving Christians have historically had trouble finding complete agreement.

My comment: This is astounding! I’ll probably take whatever side you are not is sheer devil’s advocacy. Whether or not someone has believed the gospel is the defining issue in whether or not he has eternal life. Greear may have trouble achieving absolute clarity on every one of the five points of Calvinism, but the Bible is crystal clear that all five are false.

Everything in the Bible is important, especially things that relate to salvation and evangelism. I have my own convictions. But we must learn to be comfortable with certain scriptural tensions, and live with grace and freedom in some places God has not bestowed clarity to the degree we’d prefer. As Alister McGrath says, the ability to live within scriptural tensions is a sign of maturity, not immaturity.

My comment: it is good that Greear has his own convictions. But, it is not a sign of spiritual maturity to be able to live with Calvinism. It is more a sign of the desire to appeal to a broad enough constituency to ascend to the heights of a large religious organization such as the SBC.

When you elevate your doctrinal system too highly, you become a fundamentalist in a second sense: you start to believe that all of God’s graces, or at least the best of them, are found only within your narrow little camp.

My comment: the gospel is not a “camp.” It is a message to be believed. It is incumbent upon every Christian to be firmly rooted in the truth of the gospel and to promote and defend the gospel in its purity.

Anti-Calvinism fundamentalism can be just as bad, of course. “Calvinists don’t ever share the gospel.” “Calvinists kill missions and evangelism.” “No one who believes in any form of limited atonement believes in a God of love.” “Calvinists believe in a different God than the God of the Bible.” These are all actual statements I’ve heard from Christian leaders over the years. How these people cut out Martin Luther, George Whitefield, Adoniram Judson, William Carey, Charles Spurgeon and Bill Bright from their “faith tradition” I’ll never understand.

My comment: Greear appeals to men, not scripture, to make his false argument that Calvinism is within Christian orthodoxy.

The gospel—not the 5 points of Calvinism—is the center of our faith. If you believe in the loftiness of God’s glory, that salvation belongs only to God, and that God is sovereign over the world, and that he that has begun a good work in you will see it through, then you and I can stand in alignment, even if we parse some of the particulars differently.

My comment: the gospel is the center of the Christian faith. I hope it is the center of Greear’s faith. But, we know that one could likely not become pastor of a large SBC church, much less the president of the SBC, by ardently defending the gospel against either Calvinism or Lordship Salvation. It seems more likely that Greear’s situational Calvinism is a window into his worldly motivations.

If you would like to know how to have eternal life click here: THE GOSPEL

Lordship Salvation: SBC Leadership Seeking Unity

By johninnc

Hebrews 2:9: But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

As the world goes through its twin convulsions of the coronavirus pandemic and racial discord, the world’s religious leaders have joined in the fray, offering everything from medical advice to proposals on police reform.

While there is nothing to preclude any citizen from offering his perspective on current issues, many so-called Christian leaders focus on worldly issues to the near-exclusion, or even the contradiction of the gospel message.

Some allow themselves to be tools of politicians, helping to push the exigent political narratives du jour. Others get entangled with popular social causes. And still others are so theologically bereft, callous, conniving and logically inconsistent that it boggles the mind.

Standing solidly in the last camp is the cynical opportunist J.D. Greear, president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).

There was an article today in Fox News entitled “Southern Baptist president calls for members to declare: ‘Black lives matter’.” Following are some interesting excerpts:

Southern Baptists, we need to say it clearly as a gospel issue: Black lives matter,” Greear said. “Of course black lives matter. Our black brothers and sisters are made in the image of God. Black lives matter because Jesus died for them.”

My comment: I agree with Greear that our black brothers and sisters are made in the image of God and that Jesus died for them. Every person is made in the image of God, and Christ died for every person.

But, Greear didn’t think that the fact that Christ died for everyone was essential when he was making his climb to ascend to the top of the SBC.

In a Christian post article entitled “Calvinism Not to Blame for Southern Baptist Decline, JD Greear Says,” Greear made the following astounding claim:

 In an interview with the Christian Post last Thursday, Greear, pastor of Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, said it doesn’t matter how many “points” of Calvinism one holds because “Jesus gave every one of us the Great Commission, and if we’re not carrying it out, that’s just plain unfaithful.”…

“We only have so much ‘bandwidth’ as a Convention, so we should seek to be known for the Gospel and the Great Commission, not for a particular stance regarding Calvinism. What unites us is so much greater than what threatens to divide us. We are united by a Gospel too great and a mission too urgent to let any lesser thing stand in our way,” Greear said.

My comment:  One of those tenets of Calvinism that Greer references is limited atonement, the false teaching that Christ died only for the elect (those that He has chosen to believe in Him).

The horrific, false tenet of limited atonement would mean that some lives mean more to God than others. By extension, this would mean the only way that Christ could have died for them (the black lives that matter, or anyone else for that matter) is if He had chosen them to believe the gospel. This is a remarkable thing to gloss over in the name of unity. If it doesn’t really matter to Greear that people in his convention are teaching limited atonement, then it doesn’t matter to Greear whether or not they are teaching that Christ died for everyone.

Continuing, from today’s article in Fox News:

“And, oh by the way, let’s not respond by saying ‘all lives matter,'” Greear said.

 My comment: Greear’s advice to his congregants (and readership) is politically expedient, in the same way that his comments about Calvinism were.

And, finally, from the today’s Fox article, one of the other members of the SBC elite weighed in:

“It is clear that change is imperative,” Dr. Ronnie Floyd, CEO and president of the SBC executive committee, told Fox News in a statement.

“We often find ourselves chasing after the winds of our own preferences, opinions, issues, and social media streams, but we must reimagine a new future together built around a unified Great Commission vision,” he said.

My comment: Ronnie Floyd, J.D. Greear, and the SBC teach a false gospel of eternal life by works. There may be unity in their worldly false gospel, but it has nothing to do with the Great Commission.

A good summary of the false gospel of the SBC can be found in the article linked below:

Southern Baptists Hold Lordship Salvation All-Star Event

In addition, both Greear and Floyd endorsed the false gospel message of Greg Laurie and his soCal Harvest event. See links to articles below:

Greg Laurie’s Bitter Harvest

Participating in Greg Laurie’s Evil Deeds

While worldly religious leaders scramble to get their ducks in a row and strike just the right political tone, the gospel seems to take a back seat. And while man’s perception of his greatest needs is ever-changing, his greatest need has always been eternal life through Christ Jesus.

So, without clearing it with J.D. Greear, or any focus groups, and without fear of the cancel culture, I will state unapologetically: Eternal life matters!

If you would like to know more about the gospel click here: The Gospel

Lordship Salvation: Herd Mentality

By johninnc

Please note: This article is intended to contrast the false gospels being propagated during the coronavirus crisis with the true gospel. It is not intended to generate any discussions of political or epidemiological responses to the coronavirus, nor any conspiracy theories.  We also cannot purport to know God’s role in or intent with respect to the coronavirus. 

We will not allow any comments related to the above as those things detract from the mission of this ministry which is to promote and defend the gospel.

______________________________________________________

Matthew 7:13-14: Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

From “American Greatness”:

“Herd immunity” is a settled concept in epidemiology. It occurs when “a large percentage of a population has become immune to an infection, whether through previous infections or vaccination, thereby providing a measure of protection for individuals who are not immune.”

 “Herd mentality,” on the contrary, provides immunity from independent thought. It protects a population from thinking clearly by spreading a spirit of conformity. It increases a people’s docility, thus rendering them more susceptible to the blandishments of usurping authority.

Herd immunity I regard as a good thing. Herd mentality, not so much.

The coronavirus outbreak and the resultant stay at home order has given me a lot of time to read and watch various leaders try to use it to their perceived advantage. Among these are religious leaders, who like their purely political counterparts, never let a crisis go to waste. Also, like their purely political counterparts, these religious leaders have their blandishments amplified by a fawning, compliant press.

Many religious leaders who preach false gospels have been featured prominently in opinion pieces, or human-interest pieces, that are haphazardly interspersed with news stories, thus undermining both the news and the gospel. Some prominent religious leaders have even had their Easter services streamed live by one or more national news networks.

Prominently featured false teachers have included:

  • Franklin Graham
  • Robert Jeffress
  • Kirk Cameron
  • Joel Osteen
  • Greg Laurie
  • Pope Francis

While each of the above teachers undermines the gospel in his own unique way, they are part of the herd mentality that man’s works are somehow involved in receiving, keeping, or proving that one has received eternal life. In this case, the herd mentality is the wide gate and the broad way that leads to destruction.

Following is just a small sample of their errors:

Franklin Graham: We have to repent of our sins in turn. A person cannot stay in adultery and be accepted by God. You’ll have to repent…

I’m a sinner. But I’ve been forgiven, and I’ve turned from my sins. For any person that’s willing to repent in turn, God will forgive him.

 (Note: Franklin Graham is son of the late Billy Graham, who also taught a false gospel of salvation by man’s works)

 Greg Laurie: Jesus essentially said the only way your sins are forgiven and to know you will spend eternity in Heaven is by putting your complete trust in Him. And there will be tangible results to show you have done that…

You see, the outward change is often without the inward. However, the inward change is never without the outward…

Here are the elements of the Good News that we must believe and receive to become a born-again child of God…

Repent of Your Sins

To repent means to “change” or to “turn.”  It’s like driving down the highway, pulling a U-turn and heading the other direction. More than simply being sorry, it is a word of action. Many people feel remorse for their sin but never truly repent. Remorse is being sorry, repentance is being sorry enough to stop.

Robert Jeffress: Jeffress is pastor of First Baptist Church, Dallas, TX. The statement of faith of his church is based on “The Baptist Faith and Message” and includes the following:

Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace. Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Savior.

By contrast to the above false gospel messages, the Bible is crystal clear that Jesus is both the straight gate and the narrow way by which one may have eternal life. Consider the following verses:

John 10:9: I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

 John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

 There is only one way to have eternal life. That is to believe in Jesus as Savior.

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.

 And, man’s works have no bearing on receiving, keeping, nor showing evidence that one has received eternal life.

John 5:24: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

The above verse literally means that the believer in Christ presently possesses eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.

If you would like to know more about how to escape the herd mentality of salvation by works click here: THE GOSPEL

Lordship Salvation: Can You Pay the Piper?

By johninnc

Definition of “pied piper,” according to Merriam Webster:

  1. one that offers strong but delusive enticement
  2. a leader who makes irresponsible promises
  3. a charismatic person who attracts followers

Within the world of professing Christendom, there have always been “pied pipers,” who try to corrupt the gospel of Jesus Christ by adding works into how to receive, keep, or prove one has received eternal life.

These false teachers feed on each other, and have misled countless people with counterfeit gospels.

So, who are some of these “pied pipers”?

Charles Spurgeon, 19th century popular false teacher, dubbed the “prince of preachers.” Following is a sample of his false doctrine:

True conversion is in all men attended by a sense of sin (which have spoken of under the heading of conviction); by a sorrow for sin or holy grief at having committed it; by a hatred of sin, which proves that its dominion is ended; and by a practical turning from sin, which shows that the life within the soul is operating upon the life without.

Paul Washer is a contemporary false teacher who considers himself a “five point Spurgeonist.” Below is but one of Washer’s telling quotes:

However, biblical assurance that a person has passed from death to life finds a basis not merely upon an examination of the moment of conversion but also upon an examination of his or her life from that moment on.

Greg Laurie is a prominent false teacher and Lordship “salvationist,” most noted for hosting the annual SoCal Harvest event.

Laurie includes that following about how one receives eternal life:

To repent means to “change” or to “turn.”  It’s like driving down the highway, pulling a U-turn and heading the other direction. More than simply being sorry, it is a word of action. Many people feel remorse for their sin but never truly repent. Remorse is being sorry, repentance is being sorry enough to stop.

Billy Graham, who passed away in 2018, was the foremost name in American “evangelism” for over 50 years.

Following is an excerpt from his book, entitled The Reason for My Hope:

I am afraid that many Christians, in their zeal to share their faith in Christ, have made the Gospel message of making disciples for Him too simple. Just to say “believe in Christ” can produce a false assurance of the hope of Heaven. Jesus spoke often about the gift of eternal life. To make it clear, He said, “Count the cost.”

David Platt is the one time president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s  (SBC) International Missions Board who has been in the news of late for praying for US President Donald Trump.

In the below quote, Platt makes receipt of the free gift of eternal life contingent on “counting the cost.”

What kind of faith are we calling people to? In a day of rampant easy-believism that creates cultural Christians who do not know Christ, who have never counted the cost of following Christ, we must be biblically clear about saving faith, lest any of us lead people down a very dangerous and potentially damning road of spiritual deception.

JD Greear, is president of the SBC. Like the others above, he preaches a false gospel of works.

Following are a couple of choice excerpts from Greear’s false teaching:

Salvation comes by surrendering to Christ s lordship and believing in his finished work, whether or not you pray a prayer asking Jesus into your heart.

Neither the great Baptists of the past nor the Bible describes eternal security as a one-time ritual that produces a guarantee of salvation no matter how you live your life. They described it as the knowledge that if God had started a true work in you, he would complete it. And the way that you show your salvation is genuine is by persevering for the rest of your life.

Persevering in the faith is proof that you have the salvation you could never lose; failing to persevere shows that you never had it to begin with.

John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He is a false teacher of Lordship “salvation.” He is also the namesake for this article.

Following is a telling excerpt of his false doctrine:

Perseverance is the evidence of being born again in Christ, not the means to it.

_______________________________________________________ 

Each of the above “pied pipers” has tried to add the PERFORMANCE of good works, the PROMISE of good works, or the EVIDENCE of good works as an essential accompaniment to faith in Christ in order to establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life.

In opposition to all of the above false teachers and their minions, God’s word is clear: anyone who has ever believed in Jesus as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited. No one needs to turn from sin, surrender to Christ’s Lordship, count the cost, or look to his own works or perseverance for evidence of eternal life.

John 5:24: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

The implication of Lordship “salvation” is that one must help atone for his own sins. That is an impossibly high price for anyone to pay.

If you have been following a pied piper, and would like to have clarity on how to have eternal life, click here: THE GOSPEL

Lordship Salvation: After Christmas Sales

By johninnc

John 5:24: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

One of the Christmas gifts I received from a well-meaning relative was a book that was written by the pastor of her Southern Baptist Church. As I casually flipped through the book, it didn’t take long to find false doctrine that conflates faith in Christ with faithfulness in following Christ.

Following is an extended excerpt:

Jesus is the Bread of life. We find our salvation in Jesus, and in Jesus alone. He alone is the Source of our salvation, and He alone is the Sustainer of our salvation.

When we pursue Jesus as Lord and trust our lives to Him and determine that we are going to follow Him regardless, we find in Him all the assurance for our salvation that we need. And that will then put our minds and hearts at rest and led us into the arena of peace we so need. You need the assurance of your salvation, and that is exactly what Jesus means when he says. “I am the Bread of life.” He gives you the full assurance of your salvation when you trust your life to Him and follow Him faithfully for the rest of your life. Jesus is the Bread of life.

The author mixes truth with error in the above excerpt, and in so doing manages to mix God’s grace with man’s works for providing the assurance of eternal life. Man’s efforts are imperfect, can be inconsistent, and fleeting. Even if one has followed Jesus faithfully (based on his own quantification standards), how can he be sure that he will continue to do so for his entire life?

This false teaching would naturally lead to unhealthy introspection for a believer,  and could also reinforce a non-believer’s natural inclination toward thinking that works were necessary to receive eternal life.

In John 5:24, Jesus mentions nothing of our faithfulness as a basis for assurance of eternal life. So, the author makes assurance of eternal life contingent on either adding to, or actually contradicting what God’s word says is the basis for assurance.

How can teaching something different than what God’s word teaches on something as important as the basis for assurance of eternal life constitute following Him faithfully? Quite a conundrum, isn’t it?

In his booklet entitle “The Gospel,” Ron Shea has a section on assurance that is built entirely on John 5:24. In that section, he anticipates the error of basing assurance on man’s faithfulness versus God’s promises. Please see excerpt below:

According to this verse, how can you be sure that you have truly been saved?

  • You can be sure that you have truly been saved if your life begins to change, showing that God has really come into your life.
  • You can be sure that you have truly been saved if many years from now you are still walking with Christ.
  • You can be sure that you have truly been saved if you bear the fruit of good works.
  • You can be sure that you have truly been saved if you heard the gospel and believed it.

Hint: the last answer is the ONLY biblical basis for assurance. Our faithfulness in following Jesus is not a biblical, nor even a reasonable basis for assurance of eternal life.

The Bible repeatedly refers to eternal life as a gift. It is received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. It is not for sale or barter.

Many of the same churches and ministries that so loudly celebrated the birth of our Savior yesterday do not really view Him as our Savior at all, but rather as our helper. They do this by insinuating works into the eternal salvation of mankind.

The book that I mentioned above has been relegated to the same place as the after Christmas sale flyers that will begin in a frenzied rush today – the recycle bin. After all, if we are going to save the planet…

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

Lordship Salvation: Southern Baptist Conventional Wisdom

By johninnc

Isaiah 55:8: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

With the US major party conventions in the immediate forefront of our political calendar, I thought it would be a good time to focus on another convention: one of so-called “evangelicals – the Southern Baptist Convention.

I think it is fair to say that each of the major political parties tries to co opt religion, and vice versa, often for cynical purposes.

Following are recent headlines regarding internal and external politics within the SBC. The first relates to the prospective alignment of political and religious leaders.

Trump taps outgoing Southern Baptist head for religious board (from “The Tennessean”)

Excerpt from the article:

Ronnie Floyd, the immediate past president of the Southern Baptist Convention, will join dozens of other conservative Christian leaders offering counsel to Donald Trump as part of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s new religious advisory board.

My comment: Floyd’s church adheres to the “Baptist Faith and Message,” which has a doctrinally aberrant view of the gospel. Guys like Floyd may help Trump tap into the religiously affiliated conservative voters in America, but what Floyd and the SBC are selling is not Biblical Christianity.  This is simply an attempt to forge a Faustian bargain between political and religious leaders.

Next, we will move to a headline regarding political wrangling within the SBC.

Calvinism Not to Blame for Southern Baptist Decline, JD Greear Says (from “The Christian Post”)

J.D. Greear is a false teacher that we have discussed at length at ExPreacherman. The fact that Greear would be in contention for the leadership of the SBC is sad, but telling. Equally sad is that his rivals also represent false theology.

The SBC is a mosh pit of competing false theology, as set forth in the following ExPreacherman article: SBC False Theology

Following are some of the more interesting, and outlandish quotes from the Christian Post article:

In an interview with the Christian Post last Thursday, Greear, pastor of Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, said it doesn’t matter how many “points” of Calvinism one holds because “Jesus gave every one of us the Great Commission, and if we’re not carrying it out, that’s just plain unfaithful.”

My comment: Greear is correct that if we are not carrying out the Great Commission we are not being faithful. But, none of the five points of Calvinism is true. And, changing the simplicity of Christ into false Calvinist/Lordship “salvation” tenets is NOT carrying out the Great Commission.

And, here is a quote from Dr. Chuck Kelley, president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary:

Lostness in North America is having a bigger impact on Southern Baptists than Southern Baptists are having on lostness. Put another way: The world is having a bigger impact on the behavior of Southern Baptists than we are having on the behavior of the world. In addition to the decline in baptisms, we are down in membership, down in worship attendance, and down in Bible Study attendance

My comment: This is absolutely astounding. Does Kelley really believe that “lostness” is based on behavior?

And, finally, one more quote from Greear:

“We only have so much ‘bandwidth’ as a Convention, so we should seek to be known for the Gospel and the Great Commission, not for a particular stance regarding Calvinism. What unites us is so much greater than what threatens to divide us. We are united by a Gospel too great and a mission too urgent to let any lesser thing stand in our way,” Greear said.

My comment: Choosing unity versus truth? How very sad! Just what is the “mission” of the SBC? Is it to reach the world for Christ, or is it to remain large, and politically relevant?

The next article might give us a good indication.

Southern Baptists are going to need a bigger tent (from “Religious News Service”)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) The Southern Baptist Convention was so famously insular for so long that it earned its own joke about members believing they’re the only ones in heaven…

 But over the past decade that began to change:

 They began reaching out to other evangelical churches and to Roman Catholics on issues of common interest, a collaborative spirit that landed three Southern Baptists in top leadership roles at nondenominational evangelical universities…

My comment: What the Southern Baptists have in common with Roman Catholics is works for salvation theology. This is nothing new. It is just that the world’s religions are coalescing, as is prophesied in scripture.

And, here is a quote from Mike Glenn, pastor of the 10,000-member Brentwood Baptist Church in Tennessee:

“Several years ago, when we were so actively politically engaged, there were times when statements would be made by Southern Baptist leaders, and we would have to say, ‘They don’t represent us,’” Glenn said. “I think there was a sobering up about the realities of the political process. The Southern Baptist Convention had put a lot of eggs in the conservative Republican political system and got very little in return.”

My comment: What kind of “return” were they seeking? In my view, this statement betrays the latent – or blatant – dominionist view that is held by so many Calvinist/Lordship “salvationists.”

My purpose in writing this article was not to delve into partisan politics. Rather, it is a continuation of my call to Christians within churches affiliated with the SBC to understand the damage that this group is doing to the advance and defense of the gospel. It is also to introduce and explain the gospel to those Southern Baptists, and others, who may have never heard, or never understood, the truth of how to have eternal life.

If you are a Christian and belong to an SBC church, I have two words of advice: GET OUT!

And, if you would like to get past the “conventional wisdom” and learn what God has to say about how to have eternal life, please click here: The Gospel

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lordship Salvation: False Prophets or Fruit?

By johninnc

Matthew 7:15-16:

[15] Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

[16] Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

As I encounter people contending for the hearts, minds, souls, votes, and money of a bewildered public, false prophets and their fruit are almost everywhere.

As the late Jack Weaver, founder of ExPreacherMan used to say, “the woods is full of ‘em!”

I am also reminded of the quote that was above the door exiting a Southern Baptist church that I used to sporadically attend: “You Are Now Entering the Mission Field.” That message was true, but incomplete. It needed to be on both sides of the door.

The point is, that much of professing Christendom is comprised of either false prophets, or their fruit. It is just impossible to know which is which.

Following are some of the insidious false messages that abound in the world of professing evangelicalism.

  • Just to say “believe in Christ” can produce a false assurance of the hope of Heaven. Jesus spoke often about the gift of eternal life. To make it clear, He said, “Count the cost.” –“Evangelist” Billy Graham
  • I would ask them to consider whether the signs of eternal life are present in them. As John explains so thoroughly in 1 John, conversion does not bring sinless perfection, but it does begin to make fundamental changes in the human heart.” – Pastor J.D. Greear
  • Another proof of the conquest of a soul for Christ will be found in a real change of life. If the man does not live differently from what he did before, both at home and abroad, his repentance needs to be repented of, and his conversion is a fiction. – 19th Century Preacher Charles Spurgeon
  • I often wonder if those who espouse easy-believism have simply adapted their theology in order to try to get a sinning loved one into the kingdom. – Pastor and best-selling author John MacArthur
  • We have to repent of our sins in turn. A person cannot stay in adultery and be accepted by God. You’ll have to repent. – Evangelist Franklin Graham
  • So a dispassionate statement of belief, with nothing behind it, and no intention to serve God in any way is all it takes…interesting belief. Never heard that before. – Facebook Comment from the son of a Southern Baptist Minister
  • However, good and bad deeds will prove an individual’s faith. If good deeds aren’t there, it proves faith isn’t present. These people face eternal judgment. If good deeds are there, it proves faith is present and they are granted eternal resurrection life. – David Chadwick, Pastor of Forrest Hills Church, Charlotte 
  • The paralyzed man is not healed by walking. Just like a Christian is not saved by works. However, when that paralyzed man walks, he proves that he was healed. When Christians demonstrate a changed life, they prove they were saved by Christ. – Commenter, ExPreacherMan
  • James 2:24 [“Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only”] is the reply to the question of James 2:14. Unproductive faith cannot save, because it is not genuine faith. Faith and works are like a two-coupon ticket to heaven. The coupon of works is not good for passage, and the coupon of faith is not valid if detached from works”  – Ryrie Study Bible
  •  As such, repentance is a necessary precursor to saving faith. It means that a nonbeliever must admit his sin to God, acknowledge he is wrong, and be willing to seek a new way of life. – “Free Grace” theologian Joseph Dillow
  • How a person conducts his life or campaign is an indication of who he is. In Matthew 7, Jesus Himself says that a tree – and people of faith – are known by their fruit, not just the words they say. – Presidential Candidate Ben Carson
  • Repentance is a turning from sin, while faith is turning to Christ. – Theologian Dr. Roy Zuck
  • Second is the subjective or experiential test of assurance in which you ask yourself, “Is my faith real?” The apostle John’s purpose in writing the epistle of 1 John was to give true believers assurance of their salvation (1 John 5:13). In that small epistle John gives several marks to distinguish a true believer. – Commenter, Redeeming Moments website
  • James’s purpose is to contrast mere intellectual agreement with active, saving faith that involves receiving the life of Christ. When Christ stood at the door and knocked, did you respond by opening the door, as Rahab did? If so, I think you’ve met the requirement of this historically controversial faith-works passage. – Author Andrew Farley, from “The Naked Gospel”
  • The question to ask is whether a Born-Again Christian can cease being a Born-Again Christian. The answer to this question is, yes, a Believer can stop believing, a Christian can stop being a Christian, and the Born-Again can turn his back on Salvation and become lost-again. – “Evangelist” Jimmy Swaggert

Each of the above quotes is fruit of false prophets.

Those of us who are clear on the gospel should seek to minister to those who aren’t. In so doing, we should be gentle and wise.

If someone is bound and determined to persist in error, or in their associations with apostate organizations, you should know when to move on.

If you are unsure about the message of a particular person, church, book, website, etc., I would encourage you to see if it passes ALL THREE of the following conditions:

1. Is it consistent with eternal life by grace through faith alone in Christ alone?
2. Is it consistent with eternal security?
3. Is it consistent with assurance of eternal life, based on God’s promises alone (i.e., it is not internally-focused on changes in attitudes, behavior, etc.)?

And, if you want to know how to have eternal life, click here:  THE GOSPEL

 

Ten Verses Misused by Calvinists to Deceive People

Continue reading

Lordship Salvation: Is THEIR Report OUR Report?

By johninnc (illustration by Holly Garcia)

image001-1

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

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

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

From their pastor’s blog:

(he is explaining things from Jesus’ perspective)

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

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

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

The question then becomes:

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

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

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

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

Sounds good so far, right?

Ah, but then the contradiction:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 John 5:10-12:

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

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

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

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

OUR report:

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

THEIR report:

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

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

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

 

Lordship Salvation: How U (1/2) 2 Fans Reject Christ

By johninnc and janeinnc

Ephesians 2:8-9: [8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.

There have been many articles written on the subject of Lordship “salvation” and what it is, and isn’t.

What LS is: LS is salvation by faith in Christ + works. LS is a formula for rejecting Christ.

LS is the unsupportable belief that the PERFORMANCE of works, the PROMISE of works, or the EVIDIENCE of works must accompany faith in Christ in order to establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life.

The Bible teaches that faith and works do not mix for salvation:

Romans 3:28: Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Since faith and works cannot be mixed for salvation, LS is simply salvation by works.

What LS isn’t: LS isn’t faith in Christ. LS isn’t the gospel. LS isn’t Christianity.

Are Lordship “salvationists” (LSers) saved? It depends on whether they have ever had a moment in which they trusted in Christ ALONE as Savior.

Either way, LSers do not believe the gospel now.

The false LS formula is: “Salvation” = Faith in Christ + U (½) 2*

* “You have to”

Common forms of “you have to”:

  • You have to desire a relationship with Christ
  • You have to want your life to change for the better
  • You have to want to stop sinning
  • You have to love God
  • You have to have your heart set on obeying Christ
  • You have to be passionate
  • You have to believe in your heart, not just your head
  • You have to confess your sins
  • You have to be willing to turn from your sins
  • You have to surrender your life to Christ
  • You have to commit your life to Christ
  • You have to show evidence of good works
  • You have to be moving in the right direction
  • You have to love your fellow man
  • You have to follow Jesus in discipleship
  • You have to persevere in your faith
  • You have to, you have to, you have to…!

—————————————————————————————————-

Following are excerpts of a Facebook interchange between Jane and a U (½) 2 proponent (LSer), in which the LSer reads, and summarily rejects, the truth of the gospel:

LSer: Salvation by grace is one of the bedrock teachings of Baptists. For most of us it is in our blood. I speak as a Baptist preacher’s kid, a deacon, and a frequent short term foreign missionary. Nobody does salvation by grace like us.

Jane: Look at the Southern Baptist Convention website “How to be Saved.”You will see 3 works you must do to be saved – none are biblical: 1. It plainly states that receiving salvation is a commitment before it even tells you the plan of salvation. (The receiving of salvation does NOT involve a commitment! If you must make a commitment, you are doing a work.); 2. Repent of your sins. (The Bible tells us to repent (change the mind), but never to repent of our sins – unless you are reading another version where that was added, so that is a work); 3. You are told to “confess Jesus as your Lord and your God – this is to surrender control of your life to Jesus” (If you must surrender control, then that is also a work).

LSer: …so a dispassionate statement of belief, with nothing behind it, and no intention to serve God in any way is all it takes…interesting belief. Never heard that before.

Jane: That does not surprise me. Most people have never heard the Gospel clearly explained. The Gospel is not about what we do for Christ, it’s about what He has done for us. If one thinks he must serve God in order to be saved, he is not trusting in Christ alone, he is trusting in Christ plus his commitment. Salvation is not a trade of our commitment in exchange for eternal life. It is the receipt of the free gift of eternal life through faith in Christ. If we could be saved by our commitment to Christ, He died in vain.

LSer: The difference of opinion is about what constitutes works. Accepting Christ as our Savior certainly sounds like a relationship to me.

Jane: Nope. Not a relationship, a gift. If you were to pull my drowning carcass from a lake, I may just walk off without a 2nd thought, I may spend the rest of my life thanking you, or I may drift in and out of your life to express appreciation from time to time. Regardless, in all circumstances, I have still been saved from death.

LSer: I guess the bottom line is that if you are going to define belief as any of us would, but commitment as works, we’ll never get together on this. Take care of yourself.

Jane: I’m sorry that you can’t let go of the commitment part. If you are even remotely curious, please check out the following: expreacherman.com, a blog where many articles have been written and biblicly supported regarding this topic, and northlandchurch.com, the website for Northland Bible Baptist Church (unaffiliated, of course). Dr. Cucuzza has an excellent video presentation of the grace plan of salvation.

What are The Motives Behind Lordship “Salvation” and Other False Teachings?

By Jack Weaver and our friend, John

Are we able to assess the motive of those false teachers/prophets who preach “another gospel”? Galatians 1:6-8

We can certainly assess and discern a false “gospel” message. That would be adding anything to the Gospel of salvation by Grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. If we see or hear ANY teacher, Pastor, CD — or read any books, web sites or articles that tell you any of the following are requirements for eternal life, “the performance of any works, the promise of any future works, or the evidence of any works,” (to quote our friend John), such are teaching a false “gospel,” which is no Gospel at all. (Examples: Repent, turn from sins to be saved, Turn or burn, make Jesus the “Lord of your life” or commit your life to Christ to be saved, persevere to the end, etc.) These are all Satan’s add-on to the precious Gospel of God’s Grace and totally pervert the Gospel (Good News).

We came up with at least four general categories of people teaching false gospels:

  1. Believers who still believe the gospel, but teach error out of a personal motive.
  2. Believers who no longer believe that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone (Luke 8:13, Galatians 5:4).
  3. Non-believers, who are counting on their own righteousness to get into heaven (Matthew 7:15 and Matthew 23:15).
  4. Satan’s ministers, disguised as ministers of righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:15).

While the first and second groups are saved, and therefore eternally secure, all who preach false gospels are under a curse (Galatians 1:8-9).

To even attempt to discern the motives behind the person doing the false preaching, we must carefully analyze them, their behavior and their statements.

Following are some of the reasons that believers may teach false gospels:

  1. Ignorance or misuse of scripture – includes use of “proof texts”, always out of context, as well as use of poor or plainly false Bible translations.
  2. Sense of belonging – desires to be part of something big and exciting, with lots of structured programs for kids, etc. Willfully blind to obvious error.
  3. Respect for authority – putting the doctrine of men on par with, or above, the word of God.
  4. Social pressure – a desire to hold a position of honor, even it requires compromise.
  5. Financial allure – big churchs, big money, lucrative demand for books, etc.
  6. Family legacy – “my Daddy’s Daddy’s Daddy believes that, and so do I.”
  7. Eat the meat and spit out the bones “theology” – disregarding the Biblical warnings to separate from false teachers/teaching.
  8. Ecumenism – going along to get along.
  9. Fear of “failure” – desiring the praise of men above the praise of God.
  10. Hero-worship – reverence for icons of evangelicalism, such as Calvin, Spurgeon, Billy Graham, etc.
  11. Gatekeeping – They don’t want “nominal Christians” in their midst, so they change the Gospel from Grace to fit their own rules of behavior.
  12. A Feeling of Spiritual Invincibility – Failure to separate from false doctrine – as if they are not susceptible to being misled by false teaching – thus they let down their guard and find no need to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:11).

It should come as no big surprise that non-believers also teach false gospels for many of the same reasons as those who purport to be believers in Christ — even so, each of them manage to slip in a teaching of Lordship “salvation” (probation).

If anyone claims to believe in a false gospel of works, we should take him at his word. He needs to be treated as an unbeliever, since simultaneous belief in a false gospel and the real Gospel of Christ is impossible! We should lovingly confront such a religious “professor” of faith in Christ with his disbelief. We must proclaim the Gospel, and if possible, show him from the Bible why his false gospel is false. The Lord does not require ANY works to acquire His gift of salvation – it is FREE. Grace and Works are polar opposites and CANNOT coexist as a means of salvation! (Romans 11:6)

The Only Gospel of God’s Salvation <<Click

Lordship Salvation’s Demon Belief That Does Not Save

By Our Dear Friend, John

James 2:19: Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

James 2:19 is one of the favorite verses that Lordship “Salvationists” quote to try to convince themselves and others that one has to do more than trust in Christ to receive eternal life. Incidentally, you will usually hear them say “demons” instead of “devils”, because that is how the NIV and other LS Bibles have translated this verse.

When you hear someone raise James 2:19 as an objection to God’s free gift of eternal life through faith in Christ, you are hearing the voice of confusion and disbelief. You are a witness to the bad fruit of the LS tree. While it is true that demons believe and tremble, it is not true that this means that simple belief in Christ is not sufficient to save a human believer. Demons are beyond redemption, so the content of their faith is irrelevant. For a more compete discussion of this topic, click the attached link:

A Lordship “Salvationist’s” Prayer To His Prodigal Son

But, besides a demon’s belief, is there a belief that doesn’t save? Is it possible for a human being to believe that Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the dead and still not have eternal life? The answer to the above questions is a resounding YES. There is a belief that doesn’t save. In fact, there are all kinds of beliefs that don’t save, but not for the reasons that Lordship “salvationists” espouse.

Lordship “salvationists” believe that the performance of works, the promise of works, or the evidence of works MUST accompany faith in Christ in order to make that faith result in eternal life. Some of the more common adages that indicate that someone might have been “bitten by the LS bug” include:

  • “There’s head faith and heart faith, and only heart faith saves.”
  • “There’s no ‘fire insurance’. You have to want to follow Christ to be saved.”
  • “A believer won’t be sinless. But, he will sin less.”
  • “We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is not alone.”
  • “We’re not saved by faith plus works, but we are saved by a faith that works.”
  • “A true Christian may backslide, but he will always return to the faith.”
  • “A Christian’s behavior will change once he is saved.”
  • “It is disciples who are saved.”
  • “Believing in Christ isn’t a ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card.”
  • “He can’t be your Savior if He’s not your Lord.”

Each of the above, and other similar expressions, indicate that someone is not quite comfortable with Grace. These types of statements expose an underlying misunderstanding of, or disbelief in, the part of the Gospel that says “Christ died FOR OUR SINS.”

The Lordship “Salvationist” does not believe that Christ paid the FULL PRICE for our sins, leaving us nothing to pay. He believes that Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection were necessary, but not sufficient. He believes that he must add to Christ’s finished work with his repentance from sin, commitment, or perseverance. In other words, the Lordship “Salvationist” has accepted Jesus as Lord and Helper, not Lord and Savior.

So, there is belief that does not save. It is belief in a false gospel of Christ plus works for salvation, more commonly known as Lordship “salvation.”

Can a person believe in Christ alone and not be saved? The answer to this one needs less explanation. The answer is NO.

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.

Eternal Life — No Strings Attached!<< Click

Are All “Christian” Religions Teaching Lordship “Salvation”?

By Jack Weaver

It is sadly evident that virtually every “Christian religious” system ever formulated by mankind (men and women) has veered terribly from those four vital Biblical Gospel points. All “Christian religions” now seem to contain the corrupt seeds, if not the full blown growth and fruit of Lordship “salvation” (LS) as the centerpiece of their teaching.

We here at ExP have written and commented on hundreds of articles documenting errors in organizations and churches, Presbyterian, Southern Baptists, Methodist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Churches of Christ, et al; and by teachers, featuring some of the more obvious and egregious perpetrators of LS such as Spurgeon, Francis Chan, Rick Warren, Paul Washer, David Platt, John Piper, John MacArthur, A.W. Pink, R.C. Sproul, Billy Graham, Al Mohler, Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron, ad infinitum. (Find them.. search Box on the top right column >>)

We will take the liberty of quoting from our good friend, ExP Co-Administrator, author and commenter, Bruce Bauer, and our good friend, author and commenter at ExP, John.

John quotes from Clear Gospel Campaign, one of the very best descriptions of the not-so-subtle lie of Lordship “salvation”:the perversions of the Gospel of Grace is the performance of works, the promise of works, or the evidence of works as a necessity for salvation.”

We should use that guideline in our critique of all teachers, thus separating those who would twist or change the Truth of God’s Grace-Gift of Eternal Life in Jesus Christ alone.

John quotes further from Clear Gospel Campaign:

“Ultimately, however, there is no theological distinction between corrupt systems of theology that require works, such as water baptism, to be performed prior to gaining salvation, and corrupt theological systems that require the promise of future works in exchange for salvation. Any gospel presentation that makes, as a requirement for gaining eternal salvation, repentance from one’s sins, committing one’s life to Christ, making Christ the ‘Lord’ (master) of one’s life, becoming a disciple of Christ, and other equivalent statements that require a promise of future behavior is heresy.” (Romans 5:8; Titus 3:5)

We would add that according to God’s Word, the teachers pushing these false doctrines are accursed. (Galatians 1:8,9)

Another pearl of wisdom from John:

“Since the Bible unequivocally teaches salvation by Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, I [we] can readily dismiss any teaching that seeks to introduce works (the performance of works, the promise of future works, or the evidence of works) into the salvation equation.”

And then John commends Bruce on his excellent article on David Platt which really gets to the core of Lordship “salvation.”

Particularly striking [is this] quote from Platt:

“To be born-again, one must repent, turn from sin and self, and believe, trust in Jesus as the Savior who died for us and the Lord who rules over us.”

[John’s] comment: This is really the crux of LS. Platt says we must not only trust in Christ as Savior in order to be born again — no, he says we must also “turn from sin” (works) and accept Jesus as Lord who rules over us (implicit obedience – the promise of future works) in addition to believing. This is exactly what is being taught by Billy Graham and the SBC.

Purveyors of LS have turned the Good News into Bad News!

Our message:

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

As Scripture says — and is frequently quoted by our good friend, Holly Garcia: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. [honest, suitable, worthy]” 1 Thessalonians 5:21

The Gospel is GOOD News << Click

Lordship Salvationists and Calvinists: Why We Expose Them

By Jack Weaver and our friend, John
~~~

We are occasionally asked why we bother to expose Lordship Salvationists and Calvinists. In a few words, we expose them because we love our Savior Jesus Christ and His Gift of Eternal Life by Grace through Faith in Him alone. We simply try to do our best to promote and defend the Biblical Gospel of God’s Grace (Ephesians 2:8-9), to unmask and open to your understanding, those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. (Romans 1:18)

The “Christian” world is running amok with false doctrines proclaimed by Lordship “salvation” (LS) and Calvinist deceivers. We find that most LSers are Calvinists and vice versa. LSers usually include the many faces of Calvinism, i.e. Traditional, New, Hyper, “Moderate,”some Baptists, etc. Thus, since it fits, we use the acronym, “LS” to include all “works salvation” promoters.

We at ExPreacherMan have written many articles about those whose desire it is to advance, promote and subsidize the false message of LS. You may search our numerous, informative articles here.

The objective of this brief article is to clearly define LS, in as few words as possible, so believers in Jesus Christ may be equipped to discern between the truth of God’s Word and the lies being advanced in His name.

At its core, LS is a disbelief in God’s Word which clearly states that salvation is by Grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. (again: (Ephesians 2:8-9)

LS is the unsupportable belief that the performance of works, the promise of works, or the evidence of works MUST accompany faith in Christ in order to make that faith result in eternal life.

LS can be overt (one must forsake all of his sins and follow Christ in obedience and discipleship in order to be saved) or VERY SUBTLE (one’s behavior will change once he is saved).  But, do not be deceived. Trying to add ANY human merit to Grace makes it no longer Grace. (Romans 11:6)

We expose people who promote LS, because they:

• Keep people lost (Luke 8-12 2 Corinthians 4:4);
.
• Are accursed (Galatians 1:9)
.
• Frustrate grace (Galatians 2:21);
.
• Bewitch believers, rendering the believers ineffective in their Christian lives (Galatians 5:4)
.
• Are to be marked and avoided (Romans 16:17 and 16:18)

In addition to the above, people who believe and teach LS don’t currently believe the Gospel and need to be confronted with that reality.  They need our prayers.

One wonders why so many thousands of seeking souls flock to the false message of LS. Could it be a cultic draw by charismatic personalities who manipulate scripture, relish the attention, fame and (incidentally) the dollars cleverly conned from their followers?

These pitiful followers are striving for an LS salvation” that is hopeless and unattainable. Pray for them to see and believe The Truth of the Gospel << Click

*Note: Our special thanks to our friend John for contributing his Biblical knowledge, wisdom and thoughts to this article. JW

A Lordship Salvationist’s Prayer for His Prodigal Son

By our friend, John

(Note: the following article is a PARODY of Lordship “salvation” through the lens of a hypothetical father, who believes in LS, as he prays for his son, who has received eternal life by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. It is meant to demonstrate that Lordship “salvation” is not just another slant on the Gospel. Rather it is disbelief in the Gospel. Each of the false Lordship “salvation” beliefs indicated in the prayer is referenced, with explanatory footnotes provided).

Heavenly Father, I come to you today heavy-hearted. I asked my son today why he wasn’t going to church anymore. He told me it was because he hadn’t found a church in his community that he was comfortable with.

I asked what he meant, since there are plenty of Southern Baptist churches (SBC) in his area. He responded that my church (and the SBC) teaches a false gospel of works that can’t save anyone. He was raised in SBC churches, and I can’t fathom who ever put that idea into his head.

So, I asked what he meant by “false gospel of works.” He said that salvation is “by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone” (he quoted Ephesians 2:8-9). He seemed to think that most churches add something to that – such as “turn from sins for salvation”, or “surrender your life to Christ for salvation.” He said some churches seem to be free grace, but then look to changed behavior as evidence of salvation – which is, by implication, teaching salvation by works.

My son said that those add-ons had been a barrier to him understanding the gospel and accepting Christ. He said that now that he has become a believer in Christ alone for eternal life, he doesn’t want to have anything to do with churches that “frustrate grace” (he referred to Galatians 2:21: “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain”).

Father, I know that Christ died for my sins, was buried and was raised from the dead. That’s the gospel! A lot of unsaved people believe that too, but they’ve never repented of their sins, nor surrendered to the Lordship of Christ. They’ve never trusted in Christ to change their lives.1 Like James 2:19 says – “even the demons believe, and they tremble”!2

I repented of my sins, surrendered my life to Christ, and accepted Christ as my Savior when I was in high school. I have tried to live a life consistent with my faith. I know I haven’t been perfect, but I’ve tried to be a faithful steward of everything with which you have entrusted me – including raising my children in a Christian home, making sure they attended church regularly, and teaching them the plan of salvation that I was taught.

Father, my son made his profession of faith in Christ when he was a child. He was always a difficult child. He told me when he was in his twenties that he “gave his life to Jesus.”3 I was overjoyed, but his commitment to Christ didn’t last very long. I know he has drifted, and has not ever really been a consistent churchgoer. Father, only You know whether my son ever truly surrendered his life to You, sincerely repented of his sins, and trusted in Christ.

Father, my prayer to you today is this: I pray that you would deliver my son from his deception. I pray that you will convict him of his error. I pray that you will reveal to him that there is more to receiving eternal life than simply believing the gospel and accepting Christ as Savior.4 That you would let him know that there is no eternal life without discipleship.5 I pray that you will convince him that repentance in salvation includes at least a willingness to turn from his sins.6

Father, I pray that my precious son will turn from his mistaken belief that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.7

Amen

Explanatory footnotes:

1 Repenting of one’s sins”, “surrendering one’s life to Christ”, and “trusting in Christ to change one’s life” are not conditions for receiving eternal life. (Romans 5:8 Romans 6:23)

2 James 2:19 is often used by Lordship “salvationists” as a proof-text that believing in Jesus is not enough for receiving eternal life. This is not true. Demons are not eligible for receiving salvation, nor does this passage say that demons have faith in Christ.

3 One who is clear on the Gospel would know that expressions such as “giving one’s life to Christ” are not a proper response to the Gospel. The only proper response to the Gospel is belief. (John 3:16)

4 The son is not in error or deceived. The father is. There is absolutely nothing more to receiving eternal life than believing the Gospel and accepting Christ as Savior.

5 Following Jesus in discipleship will not result in eternal life, nor is a discipleship a condition for receiving eternal life.

6 “Willingness to turn from one’s sins” is not a requirement for receiving eternal life.

7 The son is not mistaken in his belief. The father is. Salvation is by Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. If one is not saved that way, he is not saved at all. By trying to add to the finished work of Christ, one is not trusting in Christ as his Savior, but only as his helper. (Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5)

Wiki-Heresies Debut – Exposing Lordship “salvation” In All of Its Vagaries

We at ExPreacherMan take great care in proclaiming the Truth of the Gospel of Salvation by Grace Alone through Faith Alone in Jesus Christ Alone. We know the doctrine of Salvation by God’s Grace alone is Biblically verifiable and true. (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Such Great Salvation is absolutely independent of any Biblical mandate for a performance of “good works,” before, during or after a person makes that one-time decision to trust Jesus Christ as Savior. That is Grace.

Of course, every believer in Jesus Christ SHOULD walk in good works, as taught in many, many places in God’s Word  (Ephesians 2:10), but there is no redemptive power or benefit by doing in good works. God’s Salvation is a FREE Gift, by Grace alone in Jesus Christ alone, without work, effort or merit on man’s part. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved..”

Therefore, we at ExP have created a Page whereby our readers may visit and browse a list, of teachers, preachers, writers and organizations who pervert the Biblical doctrine of God’s Free Grace. We include  descriptions, evidence and (in most cases) links to those whom we discuss.

The link has a permanent place as the last line of several links on our Header at ExPreacherMan. It is easy to find. We invite you to visit:

Wiki-Hweresies << Click

Always remember, Eternal Life is a FREE Gift

Southern Baptist Convention and J.D.Greear Promote: “The Posture of Lordship Salvation”

False

Lordship Salvation: The Devil is in the Details

By: our dear friend, John

A friend of mine recently brought me a parenting magazine he had picked up from his Southern Baptist church. He pointed me to an article entitled “Should We Stop Asking Jesus into Our Hearts?” The article was a series of excerpts from the book of the same title; written by J.D. Greear, lead pastor of the Summit Church in Raleigh, NC.

In reading the article, I was reminded of a couple of old adages.

The first adage isthe devil speaks with a forked tongue.” Greear aids and abets the evil one by mixing Biblical truths with his LS-slanted opinions and quotes from other shameless promoters of LS, including Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Consider the following excerpt:

In his parable about the different types of soil, Jesus spoke of a group who heard his word and made an initial, encouraging response of belief, only to fade away over time. These are those, Jesus explained, who hear the gospel and respond positively to it—pray the prayer, walk the aisle, get baptized, or do whatever new converts in your church do. They remain in the church for a period of time. But they do not endure when the sun of persecution comes out and will not in the end be saved.”

Jesus did not say that these people “will not in the end by saved.” Those are Greear’s words, and they reflect an LS orientation. That LS orientation is corroborated by the following quote, which reveals Greear’s belief in the Calvinist/LS false doctrine of “perseverance of the saints”:

The apostle John almost always talks about “believing” in the present tense because it is something we do continually, not something we did once in the past…The posture begins at a moment, but it persists for a lifetime.”

Which brings us to our second adage:The devil is in the details.”

Like virtually all Lordship “Salvationists”, Greear pays lip service to belief in the Gospel, but then betrays that belief by what else he says.

First, the lip service:

Salvation is not given because you prayed a prayer correctly, but because you have leaned the hopes of your soul on the finished work of Christ.”

Then, the betraying twist:

Repentance means understanding that Jesus is Lord and that you have lived in cosmic treason to him and reversing your direction based on that.”

Greear’s definition of repentance to include “reversing your direction” is code for turning from sins for salvation, making Christ Lord of your life for salvation, and so on. He repeatedly uses the term “posture” toward Christ (I counted at least six) as a way of expressing this flawed belief system. The word posture is never used in the New Testament.

As a follow-up, I read Trevin Wax’s interview with Greear, from January 31, 2013. Following is a telling quote:

Disciples of Jesus are the ones who are saved; not those who go through a ritual.”

And from Mark Driscoll’s interview with Greear from March 26, 2013:

“…I would ask them if their present posture is one of submission to Christ’s Lordship and trust in his finished work. If so, they are saved, even if they don’t remember the prayer or the moment they got into that posture.

Second, I would ask them to consider whether the signs of eternal life are present in them. As John explains so thoroughly in 1 John, conversion does not bring sinless perfection, but it does begin to make fundamental changes in the human heart.”

Greear reveals, with these comments, his errant belief that discipleship and evidence of a changed life are requirements for salvation.

My friend who brought me Greear’s article did not buy into it. But, the article is indicative of the kinds of false information that millions of people are being fed in their churches every week. In fact, Greear has received glowing recommendations from a veritable “who’s who” of Lordship “salvationists”, and is a prominent leader in the Southern Baptist Convention.

We must pray for those who preach the gospel faithfully, and be vigilant in exposing false doctrine and false teachers.

God’s Guarantee of ETERNAL Life << Clivk

Lordship Salvation: Counterfeit Currency Exchange

counterfeit

By our friend, John

 Matthew 21:12-13:  And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Jesus was dismayed that His house had been turned into a place of business, including the exchange of currencies.  He overturned the moneychangers’ tables and referred to them as thieves.

Those of us who have traveled to different countries are familiar with having to convert our money into local currency in order to buy things in that country.  We hear about the interactions of different currencies in the world of finance, and the impact of those interactions on global trade and the economy.

In God’s economy, there is only one currency that will pay for our sins:  the blood of Jesus.

Romans 3:24-26:  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

But the moneychangers continue to ply their trade, trying to convince people that other currencies will take away sin and save us.  In God’s economy, currencies other than the blood of Christ are useless counterfeit.

In his sermon of June 9, 2013, entitled “The Enemy is Stalking Us”, Tom Cucuzza put it this way:

And so what does Satan do?

He deals with counterfeit messages.  He deals in messages that sound good or even close to the real thing.  But folks, if they’re not the real thing it’s false.  It’s counterfeit.  It’s from the devil.

And the closer he can get to the real plan of salvation and yet not be the plan of salvation more people will be deceived into that.

So, what are some of the more common counterfeits being offered by the Lordship “salvationists” today?

Repent of your sins to be saved.  Follow Christ to be saved.  Forsake your sins to be saved.  Count the cost.  Put Christ on the throne of your life to be saved.  Surrender your life to Christ for salvation.  Give your life to Christ for salvation.  Allow God to change your life to be saved, and on and on.

So, are the false teachers promoting these various and sundry counterfeit currencies today like the moneychangers that Christ drove out of the temple?

John 10:1:  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

Notice that Jesus uses the term “thief” to refer to anyone who tries to enter into salvation in any other way than through Him – the same term that He used to refer to the moneychangers.

As Christians, we are the temple of Christ.  We must not let these thieves have any place in our temple.

Again, from Tom Cucuzza:

People say:  “well I listen to this guy, I listen to that preacher, and boy what they were saying, it was fabulous.  Pastor, why are you down on them?”

I’m down on them because they are preaching a false gospel that will not save.

Praise God for the truth they do say.  But, I’m not going to praise God for the error that they promote.  And you shouldn’t either.  You shouldn’t either.

You be careful folks of what you take in.  What you listen to.  What you read.  You better be careful!

Here is the True Gospel of Salvation!! << Click

Freed From the Bondage of Lordship Salvation and Religions

OUR REGRETS, by Jack Weaver:

We regret to say that the lady who was so excited about being freed from the bondage of Lordship Salvation and gave us permission to print her testimony here at ExPreacherMan has requested that her article be removed.

It is a tragic shame but she has succumbed to false teachers and no longer believes what she originally wrote about her salvation. She cannot get clear in her mind the true Biblical meaning of the word “repent,” A CHANGE OF MIND, in spite of all the scripture many of us have shared with her in personal communications.

We request that you pray diligently for her in her search, that she will heed the Truth of God’s Word and salvation by Grace and not by works of any individual righteousness.

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;”

Jesus alone is The Savior and He alone has done all the saving for us by His Death, Burial and Resurrection, apart from our good works. He tells us that we appropriate that salvation by simply believe in Him — that He is the ALL SUFFICIENT SAVIOR. (John 3:16-18)

God’s Guarantee of Eternal Life!! << Click

Lordship “Salvation” – Playing Hide and Seek with the Gospel

hide and seek

By our friend, contributor and commenter, John

 2 Corinthians 4:3-4:  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

How does Satan use Lordship “salvation” to keep people from believing the Gospel?

Following are some of my random thoughts on this question.  Please feel free to add yours.

False Fronts

 Luke 8:12:  “Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.”

Much of mainstream Christendom teaches some form of false gospel of faith plus works.  Churches that fall into this category are not really churches at all – they are false fronts.  Satan loves to steer lost people into these buildings of bewilderment.

Consider the following from the Statement of Faith of a large Southern Baptist Convention affiliate in South Carolina:

“Our only hope is God’s free gift of salvation provided through Jesus’ death on the cross. When we repent of our sin, place our faith in Jesus, and surrender to Jesus as Lord we are saved.”

Of course our only hope is God’s free gift of salvation by Grace through Faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8).  Unfortunately, by adding “when we repent of our sins” and “surrender to Jesus as Lord” as conditions of receiving eternal life, this church is not preaching the Gospel.

Note that the SBC mantra is “Reaching the World for Christ”.  This is not a likely outcome.

Playing for the Wrong Team

Closely associated with false fronts are believers who align themselves with them.

According to a March 27, 2013 blog in “The Christian Post”, the combined membership of the top 15 denominations in the United States is 62 million.  At the top of the list, with 16.2 million members, is the Southern Baptist Convention, followed by the United Methodist Church at 7.8 million.  Following is a quote:

 “…I have noted on a number of occasions how church membership, unfortunately, is fast becoming a meaningless number. Only the Assemblies of God on this list reported membership growth from the previous year, and their growth rate was only one-half 0f one percent.”

The real shame is that the membership numbers for many of these denominations are not shrinking faster.

Camouflage

 The Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) is a specific message that is unique in that it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes.  Countless false gospels have been created by adding to the content of saving faith.

In his article “Attaching Personal Righteousness to the Backside of the Gospel Message”, J.O. Hosler writes:

“…one’s positions on the millennium, the rapture, or the length of days in creation do not fall within the parameters of what is essential to personal salvation. If we take a biblical concept that is important and profitably true and make it a contingency of the gospel when it is not, we have changed the gospel (Gal. 1:6-9).”

Fomenting Dissension among Believers

My final thought is that Satan’s work does not stop once a person believes.  He loves to cause dissension between us by appealing to our fleshly natures.  He hopes to divide and conquer by appealing to our emotions.  This includes misplaced loyalty to pastors or theologians, hurt over perceived slights from other believers, and disagreements over non-central theological issues.

The Grace Gospel of TRUTH << Click

Billy Graham, King of Lordship Salvation’s False Gospel!

From our friend, John

A friend of mine recently recommended an article from “Decision Magazine”, a periodical published by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Organization.  I went to the website for that magazine and perused the titles from several back issues, before coming across an article dated September 12, 2012, entitled “How to Be Sure You’re Saved.”

There were five steps offered by Graham, at least two of which constituted a false gospel of works.

They were as follows:

1.   You must recognize your need

2.   You must understand the cross

3.   You must count the cost

4.   You must take a definite step

5.   Allow God to change your life

Under number 3 (you must count the cost) is the following quote: 

“Many people come to Christ without first counting the cost. The cost includes repentance, the forsaking of sin, and a continual, daily, open acknowledgment of Christ in your life.”

My Comment: Graham is not clear whether he believes that “counting the cost” is a requirement for salvation or for discipleship.

Under number 4 (you must take a definite step), Graham is explicit in his view that something besides simple faith in Christ is required for salvation: 

“We ask people to make a public confession of Christ in our meetings because Christ demanded a definite commitment. Christ had reasons for demanding that people openly follow Him. He knew that an unwitnessed vow is no vow at all. Until you have surrendered to Christ by a definite act of your will, you are not a Christian.”

My comment:  there is no vow, commitment, or confession required to be a Christian.  Salvation is by Grace through faith in Christ alone.

Graham finishes with this invitation: 

“Would you not like to know that every sin is forgiven? Wouldn’t you like to know that you are ready to meet God? It could happen today, if you will only let Christ come into your heart. Invite Him in right now. The Bible says, “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).”

My comment:  this invitation is not Biblical.  One is saved by Grace through faith.  Once that happens, Jesus comes into his heart.  It is not the means by which one is saved.  It is the result.

I saw Billy Graham live once when I was in junior high.  We watched his crusades on television when I was growing up.  Now, I pass by the Billy Graham Library each time I drive to the airport.  I am reminded every time I see a billboard advertising Graham’s self-promoting “library” of the extent to which he is considered the authority on matters of faith by the religious establishment, government and the mainstream news media.  But, now that I believe the Gospel, I don’t believe Billy Graham.

Billy Graham was the leading icon of evangelicalism in the twentieth century.   His theme song was “Just As I Am.”  The words to the first verse read as follows: 

“Just as I am, without one plea

But that Thy blood was shed for me,

and that Thou bidst me come to thee,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.”

If Billy Graham ever believed those words, he denies them by his current teaching.

Eternal Life is Simple and Free << Click

Southern Baptists’ Fragile Détente: The Fight over Competing False Gospels, Calvinism and Lordship “Salvation”

SBC

By our good friend, John 

The Southern Baptist Convention’s long-standing cooperation between traditional Lordship “Salvationists” and Calvinists has been getting testy of late.

The crux of the issue seems to be the surge of full-fledged 5-point Calvinism within the ranks of the SBC and the reaction from the still-majority of SBC members who oppose Calvinism, but until recently have seemed willing to tolerate it.

The SBC recently formed a team to determine how SBC traditionalists and Calvinists can work together.  Following is a quote from an article dated August 17, 2012, from “The Christian Post” entitled “Calvinism Debate:  Southern Baptists Form Team to Figure Out How to Work Together”:

“There are extremes on both sides that have garnered attention and I want us to pull us back together to that group who say ‘I may or may not be a Calvinist but I love Calvinists, I love non-Calvinists and we can and will do missions and evangelism together,’ Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, said Thursday.”

This past summer, hundreds of Southern Baptists signed “A Statement of The Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation.”

Following are a couple of salient excerpts:

“For the most part, Southern Baptists have been glad to relegate disagreements over Calvinism to secondary status along with other important but ‘non-essential’ theological matters. The Southern Baptist majority has fellowshipped happily with its Calvinist brethren while kindly resisting Calvinism itself.”

And

“We affirm that any person who responds to the Gospel with repentance and faith is born again through the power of the Holy Spirit. He is a new creation in Christ and enters, at the moment he believes, into eternal life.”

The long-standing “Baptist Faith and Message” includes the Lordship “Salvation” concepts of “turning from sin” for salvation and “committing one’s life to Christ” for salvation.  See excerpt below:

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

(Note:  Jack wrote a previous article called “Who Makes These Errors?” in which he commented on the SBC errant statement as follows: “…salvation is not by turning from sin nor by committing our ‘entire personality to Him as Lord’”). Link is: 

The sad part of the whole debate is that neither side is defending the REAL GOSPEL, which is salvation by Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

Lordship “Salvation”, also known as “bi-lateral contract salvation” and Calvinism are both based on the same theological roots.  According to the “Grace Chart” that accompanies “The Gospel” by Ron Shea:

“Bilateral contract salvation” and the “Perseverance of the Saints” are two separate but interrelated doctrines within a complex theological system of salvation by works, which relies, at its core, on redefining the word “grace” as some sort of mystical empowering substance. This theological system is set forth in Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica, Part 1 of the Second Part, Questions 109-114, “Treatise of Grace,” a 12th century manifesto of Roman Catholic Theology. In Protestantism, it is known as “Reformed Theology” or “Calvinism”.

The SBC, which is the largest Protestant denomination in the US, is now an amalgam of Lordship “Salvationists”, Calvinists and believers who lack the Biblical discernment, courage or good sense to disassociate from the SBC.

Eternal Life is Not Complicated But FREE