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Oracio
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Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2037
Whittier CA USA

 Forthright Talk on the “Non-Lordship” Message

Those who teach and preach a message of easy-believism, cheap grace, non-Lordship salvation, hyper grace, so called free grace, once saved always saved/eternal security (without including the perseverance of the saints as being necessary), preach a false gospel. I've been looking into this subject as of late and have been deeply grieved by how much this false gospel has influenced so many evangelical churches for the past century and continues to do so today.

Basically this false teaching says that one can believe in Christ as Savior without submitting to Him as Lord. It’s a view which says that one does not need to renounce and turn from one's wicked ways (repent) in order to be saved; that one only needs to give mental assent to (or believe the facts about) Jesus as Savior. This view says that one can be a saved born again Christian without being a disciple (follower) of Jesus Christ.

One of the arguments that proponents of this teaching commonly use is in reference to the fact that the Gospel of John does not contain the actual word "repent". But it's a faulty argument because John's Gospel contains the truth of repentance all throughout despite not containing the actual words "repent" or "repentance". Besides, repentance is clearly taught throughout the whole Bible as being necessary for salvation. A myriad of scriptures can be sited in this regard.

I learned that Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) has been one of the main hubs if not thee main hub of this teaching, which explains why many ministers who have promoted this teaching have been graduates from there. This seminary was founded in 1924 and the founder (Lewis Sperry Chafer) believed and taught this false teaching. It's easy to prove this from his writings which are readily available online.

I learned that in the 1980s there was a big controversy over this issue among well-known ministers. On one side you had men like John MacArthur and R.C. Sproul denouncing easy-believism and defending the truth of the Lordship of Christ in the life of all true believers, and on the other side you had men like John Walvoord, Zane C. Hodges, Charles Ryrie, and Joseph Dillow (all four associated with DTS) denouncing the Lordship view and defending easy-believism.

In 1986 an organization called Grace Evangelical Society was founded by DTS graduate Robert N. Wilkin. The purpose of this organization is to promote easy-believism and denounce the truth of the Lordship of Christ in the life of all believers.

I was checking out a debate recently between Robert N. Wilkin and Reformed apologist James White on this issue and was shocked at how Wilkin twisted so many clear passages of Scripture. One clear example is in reference to 1Cor.6.9-10 and Galatians 5:19-21 where Paul the apostle says clearly that those who practice sin will not inherit God’s kingdom. Wilkin says that inheriting the kingdom there means receiving a special reward, that not inheriting the kingdom has nothing to do with perishing in hell. Another example is in reference to James 2:17-20 which declares that a dead kind of "faith" cannot save. Wilkin says that James is speaking only of a weak faith and that that passage has nothing at all to do with salvation. He even says that one can become an atheist and still be saved. Those are just a few clear examples of many scriptures that are twisted.

In recent times, one of the most well-known and respected ministers who has promoted easy-believism is Charles Stanley. I know that many solid believers endorse him. I used to like hearing his preaching on the radio and TV a lot. I believe he teaches sound doctrine in many areas. But I feel I must be honest and tell it like it is when it comes to the cheap grace, easy-believism message which he preaches. I’ve heard that message from him on several occasions as I've listened to him. I know at least one person who has been spiritually damaged and deceived through hearing him teach that heresy.

To serve as examples, here are some quotes which I believe are causes for serious concern from Dr. Stanley’s book titled Eternal Security:

"The Bible clearly teaches that God's love for His people is of such magnitude that even those who walk away from the faith have not the slightest chance of slipping from His hand."(p.74)
“believers who lose or abandon their faith will retain their salvation, for God remains faithful”(p. 94)
“Even if a believer for all practical purposes becomes an unbeliever, his salvation is not in jeopardy”(p. 93)
"there are Christians who show no evidence of their Christianity"(p. 71)
"Where is this place represented by the 'outer darkness' in Jesus' parables? To be in the 'outer darkness' is to be in the kingdom of God but outside the circle of men and women whose faithfulness on this earth earned them a special rank or position of authority. The 'outer darkness' represents not so much an actual place as it does a sphere of influence and privilege".(p.126)

And here are quotes from Dr. Stanley’s book Handbook for Christian Living:

"You and I are not saved because we have enduring faith. We are saved because at a moment in time we expressed faith in our Lord"(p. 190).
"Discipleship has nothing to do with whether you will go to heaven or not"(p. 505).

In Charismatic circles Joseph Prince has been leading the way these days with this easy-believism false gospel. I have not taken the time to compile any of his heretical teachings; I’ve only heard them and read them. As one clear example, I'll share the link to this video in which Prince clearly denies that repentance (turning from sin) is necessary for salvation:

http://www.christian-faith.com/joseph-prince-says-turning-from-sin-not-necessary-for-justification-or-forgiveness/

In that video Prince first denies that repentance is necessary, and then admits that it is necessary but tries to redefine repentance as only a change of mind about trusting in one's good deeds. He completely rejects the truth that repentance involves renouncing and forsaking one's wicked ways. And he mentions the terms "easy-believism" and "cheap grace" because he knows that many have called him out for teaching that heresy.

If you’re confused on this issue of easy-believism vs the Lordship of Christ in the life of true believers I’d highly recommend this well-written article:

http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/freegrace.html

A.W. Tozer also dealt with this issue in his day long before the Easy-believism vs Lordship controversy of the 80s. Tozer too called easy-believism a heresy. I came across this compilation of Tozer's sermons dealing with that issue:

http://cciog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/I-Call-it-a-Heresy-A.W.-Tozer.pdf

Some have linked the practice of altar calls and the "Sinner's Prayer" method with the cheap grace message. I can see the logic behind that but I would not say that they are one and the same thing. I’ll try to explain. Many of those who use the altar call and sinner’s prayer methods do not actually preach easy-believism per se but do in fact include the preaching of repentance from sin along with the preaching of faith in Christ in their gospel messages. And they preach that one must bear good fruit as evidence of true conversion or salvation just like the Word of God teaches. Yet their methodology betrays their theology, and they do in fact cheapen the gospel message by their methods; because they make the gospel and salvation look like a simple formula of repeating words, regardless of whether or not those words come from a broken and contrite spirit-Psalm 51:17. Since they are so quick to pronounce people saved without waiting to see any actual fruit, they show that they have a very shallow view of the new birth.

I know that we see examples in Scripture of people being saved on the spot and being welcomed into the church immediately, such as in Acts 2:41 where we’re told that about 3,000 souls were saved and added to the church right after hearing Peter’s sermon. But I want to point out a couple of things from that scriptural example to explain why I believe it differs widely from what we see today with the sinner’s prayer method. Here’s the passage:

“Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” 40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

So first of all, it was Peter’s hearers who took the initiative in expressing their desire to be saved after hearing Peter’s sermon and being convicted of their sins against God. We see this same type of thing with the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:35-38, and in many other examples in Scripture. By contrast, in much of modern evangelism we see the exact opposite; it is the evangelist or worker who tries to get the people to repeat a prayer before the people even express a desire to be saved. And notice what Peter’s answer was in response to their inquiry. Peter told them to repent and be baptized. That’s not to say that baptism is taught as being necessary for salvation because it isn't. It’s sort of like saying, “Repent and bear fruit in keeping with repentance; one such fruit being obedience to the command to be baptized in Jesus’ name.” My main point here is that Peter told them to repent on their own and be baptized which is way different than telling people to repeat a sinner’s prayer. There’s more that can be said about that passage but I don’t want to make this post too long (It’s already quite long lol).

So it’s a bit tough for me to say which is worse between actually preaching the easy-believism message blatantly on the one hand, and using the sinner’s prayer method on the other. I lean toward the former being worse but I do not leave the latter off the hook in the least.


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Oracio

 2015/2/12 17:40Profile
Sidewalk
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Joined: 2011/11/11
Posts: 706
San Diego

 Re: Forthright Talk on the “Non-Lordship” Message

"Why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord' but won't do what I tell you?"

Good post as usual, Oracio!

In another thread there is a vision/prophecy by a Norwegian woman from 1968. Looks like the Easy Believe message was forecast back then as well. For some reason, entertainment is more popular than repentance...?

Who gives these modern pastor-priests the authority to devise a formula by which a person becomes a Christian, and then with a wave of the two-finger magic sweep they pronounce the supplicants saved and heaven bound?

Certainly not the New Testament apostles. As in your example of Peter's sermon, with a repentant turning to Christ the crowd was told that they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, not a glossy brochure and a pledge card. They were to receive something by which they would know that they were indeed recipients of salvation, a spiritual reality that would transform everything about their lives.

Paul mentions it casually in Ephesians 1, how believers have an inner witness from the Holy Spirit that they are children of God. God alone reserves the right to declare that a person is a Christian! Shame on any church leader who subverts that and makes a pronouncement on unsuspecting inquirers who truly want to be saved! They will take that false assurance and quit their pursuit of God right there- short of the finish line!

Indeed, no one is a Christian until God tells them that they are His child! As Tozer used to bellow from his pulpit- "Do you accept Christ? Wrong question! Does Christ accept you?!"

The world is aflood with people who have accepted Christ without the foggiest notion of what that means. Nothing in their day to day life reveals that, they can't answer a simple question about it, will often say "Well, I hope I'm saved."

Easy believe is the current model for the vacuous Christianity that fills churches all across America and probably most of the western world. It will prove powerless against Satanic forces, will not recognize true evil, will not lay down in sacrifice for truth, will accept moral perversion in the deceptive names of fairness and tolerance, and eventually turn with their sweet Satanic friends against people of genuine faith.

Every man is either a disciple of Jesus Christ or a mission field.


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Tom Cameron

 2015/2/12 23:58Profile
Oracio
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Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2037
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

Amen brother. Your description of them as “pastor-priests” is spot on. Indeed, the only difference between them and Catholic priests is that Catholic priests pronounce people forgiven by means of the people confessing their sins to them and saying some Hail Marys and doing some type of penance, while many evangelical pastors pronounce people forgiven and saved by means of the people coming forward during an altar call and repeating a “sinner’s prayer”, or sometimes even just by the raising of hands while remaining seated in the pews. It’s pure superstition. No wonder we've been in such a mess within Evangelical Protestantism. Many have been practicing these superstitious methods on the one hand, and many have been preaching a watered down false gospel on the other, and many have been doing both. Indeed, we desperately need a true revival.


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Oracio

 2015/2/13 12:40Profile









 Re:

Amen. But I believe there is even more to it. When we are preaching a watered down false gospel, we are most likely making false "converts" ie we are conceiving "Ishmaels" . We all know how much they multiplied and they are now the enemies of God's people. !
Yes we desperately need a true revival, but most church- goers don't see that . We need to prepare for some really dark days ahead of us. Thankfully the Lord will be with us always (Matthew 28:20 )

 2015/2/15 1:11
Heydave
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Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
Hampshire, UK

 Re:

This is a very relevant issue to me at this time. We have just come back from the morning service at the independant baptist church we attend on Sundays (we are not members) and are shocked and grieved at tbe preachibg we just sat through. We are well aware of their doctrinal belief in OSAS, but the full time Pastor does not promote easy believism, in that he would preach the neccesity of repentance and accompanying fruit to faith. However they have a interim pastor (from the USA) for a few months as the full time pastor (English) is on a trip to get extra support in the USA.

So this morning this interim pastor preached on OSAS in the most outlandish way I think I have ever heard in person. He gave examples of people who lived extreemly sinful lives with no evidence of any interest in Christ or His church and that you would consider to be unbelievers and unsaved. He then told us that he discovered that they had 'believed' and made some confession of faith many years before and therefore on that basis declared that they were saved people and would inherit eternal life, that God saw them as perfect and they would come into all the blessings of God's kingdom. The way he dishonestly used the scriptures is what really upset me. He basically butchered them! Cut and past, quoting part of verses (like first half of Romans 8:1, but not the rest) and quoting some verses in a chapter and ignoring the ones that give clarity on the importance of fruit or continuing faith like in 1 John, which is one of the clearest letters that explains what a real christian looks like. However he managed to quote two verses in 1 John 2 to try and support his view while ignoring all the rest.

Unfortunately there are many in that church that will lap this up, as they are already deluded by this false gospel. The funny (not) thing about this is that they think they are one of the few churches in the local area that is a solid bible church! They claim to hold a high postion of bible only (KJV only really). However the cut up the sciptures to suit their doctrines. They mistakenly believe that "rightly dividing the word" means you can slice it up into pieces and get a true understanding. To 'rightly divide' means to handle in an honest way and this was anything but honest this morning.

Only this morning I was praying with my wife before we went that God would revive His church (the church worldwide that is). God have mercy on us!

There seems to be a big misunderstanding on what it means to 'believe' and an ignorance that 'believing' is in the continuous present tense, not a one time act in the past. The other huge thing they miss is that salvation is in Christ, not something we can have separately from Him.

"He who has the Son (Christ) has (eternal) life, he who does not have the Son of God does not have life".


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Dave

 2015/2/15 11:20Profile
ZekeO
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Joined: 2004/7/4
Posts: 1014
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

 Re: Forthright Talk on the “Non-Lordship” Message

As a hyper grace believer I find your post misinformed and a false representation of the gospel.


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Zeke Oosthuis

 2015/2/15 12:26Profile
Oracio
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Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2037
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

I was checking out this Wikipedia article dealing with the traditional view of the Perseverance of the Saints and felt led to share a portion of it here. This is the main statement that stood out and the reason I decided to share that specific portion here:

“Both traditional Calvinism and traditional Arminianism have rejected Free Grace theology.”

As I pointed out in the OP, the so-called Free Grace doctrine has been promoted by well-known ministers and theologians and has been influencing and creeping into multitudes of evangelical churches for many decades to one degree or another. Unfortunately, there has been much confusion and much tolerance for this doctrine. The confusion has to do with the fact that both the Calvinistic position of the Perseverance of the Saints and the so-called Free Grace doctrine have been called or referred to as "Eternal Security" and "Once Saved Always Saved". But they are in fact two different views, the former being within historic, Christian orthodoxy and the latter being outside the pale of Christian orthodoxy and being in fact heretical. Indeed, I firmly believe that both Calvinists and Arminians (and Christians who consider themselves to be neither) should completely reject this so-called Free Grace doctrine and have no tolerance for it because it is very deceptive, dangerous, and damning.

From the Wikipedia article:

“Free Grace doctrine
The Free Grace or non-traditional Calvinist doctrine has been espoused by Charles Stanley, Norman Geisler, Zane C. Hodges, Bill Bright, and others. This view, like the traditional Calvinist view, emphasizes that people are saved purely by an act of divine grace that does not depend at all on the deeds of the individual, and for that reason, advocates insist that nothing the person can do can affect his or her salvation.

The Free Grace doctrine views the person's character and life after receiving the gift of salvation as independent from the gift itself, which is the main point of differentiation from the traditional Calvinist view, or, in other words, it asserts that justification (that is, being declared righteous before God on account of Christ) does not necessarily result in sanctification (that is, a progressively more righteous life).

Charles Stanley, pastor of Atlanta's megachurch First Baptist and a television evangelist, has written that the doctrine of eternal security of the believer persuaded him years ago to leave his familial Pentecostalism and become a Southern Baptist. He sums up his deep conviction that salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone when he claims, "Even if a believer for all practical purposes becomes an unbeliever, his salvation is not in jeopardy… believers who lose or abandon their faith will retain their salvation."[6] For example, Stanley writes:

“Look at that verse [John 3:18] and answer this question: According to Jesus, what must a person do to keep from being judged for sin? Must he stop doing something? Must he promise to stop doing something? Must he have never done something? The answer is so simple that many stumble all over it without ever seeing it. All Jesus requires is that the individual "believe in" Him.”— Charles Stanley[6] (p. 67).

In a chapter entitled "For Those Who Stop Believing", he says, "The Bible clearly teaches that God's love for His people is of such magnitude that even those who walk away from the faith have not the slightest chance of slipping from His hand (p. 74)." A little later, Stanley also writes: "You and I are not saved because we have an enduring faith. We are saved because at a moment in time we expressed faith in our enduring Lord" (p. 80).

The doctrine sees the work of salvation as wholly monergistic, which is to say that God alone performs it and man has no part in the process beyond receiving it, and therefore, proponents argue that man cannot undo what they believe God has done. By comparison, in traditional Calvinism, people, who are otherwise unable to follow God, are enabled by regeneration to cooperate with him, and so the Reformed tradition sees itself as mediating between the total monergism of the non-traditional Calvinist view and the synergism of the Wesleyan, Arminian, and Roman Catholic views in which even unregenerate man can choose to cooperate with God in salvation.

The traditional Calvinist doctrine teaches that a person is secure in salvation because he or she was predestined by God, whereas in the Free Grace or non-traditional Calvinist views, a person is secure because at some point in time he or she has believed the Gospel message (Dave Hunt, What Love is This, p. 481).

Evangelical criticism

Both traditional Calvinism and traditional Arminianism have rejected Free Grace theology.[7] The former believes Free Grace to be a distorted form of Calvinism which maintains the permanency of salvation (or properly speaking, justification) while radically divorcing the ongoing work of sanctification from that justification. Reformed theology has uniformly asserted that "no man is a Christian who does not feel some special love for righteousness" (Institutes),[8] and therefore sees Free Grace theology, which allows for the concept of a "carnal Christian" or even an "unbelieving Christian", as a form of radical antinomianism. Arminianism, which has always believed true believers can give themselves completely over to sin, has also rejected the Free Grace view for the opposite reason of Calvinism: namely, that the view denies the classical Arminian doctrine that true Christians can lose their salvation by denouncing their faith (see conditional preservation of the saints). Free Grace theology struggles to maintain a middle ground, hoping to grasp the permancy of salvation (Calvinism) with one hand, while maintaining a true believer can still give up faith and choose to live a life of sin and unbelief (Arminianism). Both Calvinists and Arminians appeal to Biblical passages such as 1 Cor. 15:2 ("By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain"), Hebrews 3:14 ("We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first"), James 2:21-22 ("faith without works is dead"), and 2 Tim. 2:12 ("If we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us").”

Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perseverance_of_the_saints…


_________________
Oracio

 2015/2/15 13:23Profile
Heydave
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Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
Hampshire, UK

 Re:

Zeke, what do you think was false representation, the OP or my experience this morning.? While I accept there are various ways that OSAS people see this, my experience this morning and at other times shows the OP description is true in many cases.

I do also have issues with the reforrmed 'perseverance' position as this creates other problems. I believe we are eternally secure in Christ, but only as we remain in Christ by faith. He only is our security!


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Dave

 2015/2/15 13:44Profile
TMK
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5377
NC, USA

 Re:

Jesus "breaks off" those who do not produce fruit and prunes those who do.

Zeke, what do you think "breaking off" means?

If a person is not producing fruit they are not attached to the vine, I.e. they are not saved. Eternal life is only found in the vine so if a person is broken off the vine there is no life in them.

That is what Jesus says on the matter.


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Todd

 2015/2/15 14:55Profile
Oracio
Member



Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2037
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

Quote:
So this morning this interim pastor preached on OSAS in the most outlandish way I think I have ever heard in person. He gave examples of people who lived extreemly sinful lives with no evidence of any interest in Christ or His church and that you would consider to be unbelievers and unsaved. He then told us that he discovered that they had 'believed' and made some confession of faith many years before and therefore on that basis declared that they were saved people and would inherit eternal life, that God saw them as perfect and they would come into all the blessings of God's kingdom. The way he dishonestly used the scriptures is what really upset me. He basically butchered them! Cut and past, quoting part of verses (like first half of Romans 8:1, but not the rest) and quoting some verses in a chapter and ignoring the ones that give clarity on the importance of fruit or continuing faith like in 1 John, which is one of the clearest letters that explains what a real christian looks like. However he managed to quote two verses in 1 John 2 to try and support his view while ignoring all the rest.


Amen brother, I can totally understand your frustration.

I didn't want to possibly start a Cal vs Arm debate with my last post. I shared all that because I think it's important to understand those differences because like I said there's been much misunderstanding due to this "Free Grace" heresy.

The traditional reformed view of perseverance says that a true believer may have occasional moral lapses. But as in the cases of David, Peter(even after Pentecost), and others, they will eventually repent and get back on track if they are true believers; that they will not continue in unrepentant sin without conviction and true repentance. The false Free Grace view says that conviction and repentance of sin may not necessarily be involved in the lives of true believers.

So again to recap, the traditional reformed view says that repentance, fruit and perseverance in the faith are necessarily involved in true salvation. That's something both Calvinists and Arminians can agree on and unite on. And that's why they both point to the same scriptures which support the need for persevering in the faith to the end.

My hope is that both Calvinists and Arminians (and Christians who claim neither side) will unite in exposing this false gospel that has been deceiving and damning multitudes of souls for many decades.


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Oracio

 2015/2/15 16:33Profile





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