September 18, 2020

Archival Series- What is Lordship Salvation: And Why Does it Matter?

There is an on-going debate over a certain segment of fundamentalists preaching and practicing a new paradigm shift for separation commonly known as “gospel-driven separation” or “gospel centric fellowship.”

“There is today a very subtle shift that, on the surface, is very persuasive…. Rather than base separatism on the Bible, the whole counsel of God, we should use as our test the Gospel. There is a plea that says the only doctrines for which we should contend are those doctrines that impinge directly upon the Gospel…. That [Gospel-Centric separatism] broadens our fellowship incredibly to include organizations and individuals who are patently disobedient to the plain teaching of Scripture and yet are somehow tolerated, vindicated and even honored in some of our circles.”1
In recent articles we have been considering why there should be no fellowship or cooperative efforts with the so-called “conservative” evangelicals. The reasons include aberrant theology such as non-cessationism, amillenialism, ecumenical compromise, embracing the world’s music in the form of RAP, Hip Hop and CCM for ministry. All of these are grounds for withdrawing from and having no fellowship with believers who teach and do these things. All of this, however, is being tolerated, allowed for, excused or ignored by certain men who minister in fundamental circles, men who are forging fellowship and cooperative ministries with the evangelicals and influencing others to follow them. There is, however, one overarching concern that trumps all of these issues with the evangelicals combined. That is Lordship Salvation!
Defined briefly: Lordship Salvation is a position on the gospel in which “saving faith” is considered reliance upon the finished work of Jesus Christ. Lordship views “saving faith” as incomplete without an accompanying resolve to “forsake sin” and to “start obeying.” Lordship’s “sine qua non” (indispensable condition) that must be met to fully define “saving faith,” for salvation, is a commitment to deny self, take up the cross, and follow Christ in submissive obedience. (In Defense of the Gospel: Revised & Expanded Edition, p. 48.)
It is virtually impossible not to know that the evangelicals, almost to a man, believe, preach and defend Lordship Salvation (LS). When the T4G and Gospel Coalition conferences convene they gather around the LS interpretation of the Gospel. Certain men in fundamental circles, however, are drawn together in “gospel-centric” fellowship with evangelicals. They are gathering around a common acceptance of and bond in Calvinistic soteriology, primarily in the form of Lordship Salvation.

Dr. Kevin Bauder published a serious misrepresentation when he wrote that Fundamentalists and Evangelicals, “believe, preach and defend the [same] gospel.”2 Kevin Bauder has never edited or retracted that statement. Following are samples of Lordship’s corruption of the Gospel for justification.
Let me say again unequivocally that Jesus’ summons to deny self and follow him was an invitation to salvation, not . . . a second step of faith following salvation.” (Dr. John MacArthur, The Gospel According to Jesus: What is Authentic Faith? pp. 219.)

That is the kind of response the Lord Jesus called for: wholehearted commitment. A desire for him at any cost. Unconditional surrender. A full exchange of self for the Savior.” (MacArthur, Ibid, p. 150.)

If you want to receive this gift [salvation] it will cost you the total commitment of all that you are to the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ps. Steven Lawson, The Cost of Discipleship: It Will Cost You Everything.)

Salvation is for those who are willing to forsake everything.” (MacArthur, The Gospel According to Jesus, p. 78.)

This is what Jesus meant when He spoke of taking up one’s own cross to follow Him. And that is why he demanded that we count the cost carefully. He was calling for an exchange of all that we are for all that He is. He was demanding implicit obedience--unconditional surrender to His lordship.” (MacArthur, Hard to Believe, p. 6.)
Based on clear, unambiguous statements from advocates of LS thousands in Fundamentalism reject LS as a corrupt and false interpretation of the gospel.
When the Lordship advocate speaks of “following Christ,” he is speaking of the gospel. When John MacArthur refers to “The Cost of Following Christ,” he really means “The Cost to Receive Christ.” MacArthur believes there is a “Real Cost of Salvation,” or more accurately a “Real Cost for Salvation.” He believes that the gospel demands a commitment of one’s life, and a promise of surrender to the lordship of Christ in an up-front “exchange” for the reception of salvation. (In Defense of the Gospel: Revised & Expanded Edition, p. 82.)
Dr. Ernest Pickering recognized that LS, as MacArthur defined it, was a departure from the biblical plan of salvation. Following are two excerpts from Dr. Pickering’s review of the first edition (1988) of John MacArthur’s The Gospel According to Jesus.
MacArthur laments, ‘Contemporary Christendom too often accepts a shallow repentance that bears no fruit’ (p. 96). This theme recurs over and over again in the book. The recommended cure for this malady is to require more of the seeking sinner than the Bible requires. Instead of ‘merely’ believing on the finished work of Christ the inquiring soul must also be willing to have Christ as Lord over every area of his life. It seems evident upon an examination of this thesis that those who espouse it are adding something to the gospel that is not in the Scriptures. Charles Ryrie was certainly on target when he wrote, ‘The message of faith only and the message of faith plus commitment of life cannot both be the gospel…’” (Balancing the Christian Life, p. 70.)

One of the chief objections to the notion of ‘lordship salvation’ is that it adds to the gospel of grace. It requires something of the sinner which the Scriptures do not require. The message of salvation by grace proclaims to sinner that they may receive eternal life by faith alone whereas the message of ‘lordship salvation’ tells sinners they must be willing to give up whatever is in their life that is displeasing to God.”
Several months after an April 2010 personal meeting with Dr. MacArthur NIU president Dr. Matt Olson announced that with MacArthur they “agree on the most substantive issues of life and ministry.”3 Then Olson hosted MacArthur’s executive pastor Rick Holland in the NIU chapel pulpit to address impressionable young people.4 NIU would not have had Rick Holland in its pulpit, or validated John MacArthur’s doctrine and ministry if the administration had any serious reservations over Lordship Salvation. With Olson’s statement on MacArthur and putting Holland in the chapel pulpit NIU stamped its approval on and endorsed a false gospel, namely “Lordship Salvation.”

Do Fundamentalists and Evangelicals, “believe, preach and defend the [same] gospel?” No, they do not! Men in fundamental circles who are converging with advocates of LS are either tolerating a known and egregious error or have themselves embraced the Lordship Salvation interpretation of the Gospel and are rallying around it with like-minded evangelicals.

It is high time for men like Dave Doran, Kevin Bauder, Matt Olson, Tim Jordan, et. al., to be transparent on the Lordship Salvation controversy. Are these men willing to state in unvarnished terms whether or not they believe LS as John MacArthur, John Piper, Steve Lawson, et. al., “believe, preach and defend” it is the one true Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Lordship Salvation is not the gospel! LS clouds, confuses and complicates the Gospel. LS corrupts the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor. 11:3) and frustrates grace (Gal. 2:21). Above all other considerations (aberrant theology, ecumenism and worldliness) we cannot fellowship, promote or cooperate with evangelicals who “believe, preach and defend” Lordship Salvation.


LM

Originally appeared- April 14, 2011

Related Reading:.
For a clear, concise example of the egregious error that is Lordship Salvation please read, Summary of Lordship Salvation From a Single Page. This article is a reproduction of an appendix entry by the same name that appears on pp. 284-286. In it I examine a statement by John MacArthur that appears in all three editions of The Gospel According to Jesus. You will find that there is no more clear example of how John MacArthur’s LS corrupts and redefines the Scriptures than this one.

What is the Fault Line for Fracture in Fundamentalism?
How can there be unity within a fellowship when two polar opposite interpretations of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ are accepted as legitimate?”
Footnotes:
1) Pastor Marc Monte, Preserving the Separatist Impulse

2) Do Fundamentalists and Evangelicals, “Believe, Preach and Defend the [Same] Gospel?”
“There is no universal ‘mutuality in the gospel’ among evangelicals and fundamentalists. ‘Evangelicals and fundamentalists are [NOT] united in their allegiance to the gospel,’ because there is a vast difference between what evangelicals and non-Calvinists in Fundamentalism believe to be the one true Gospel. It is irrefutable, and Kevin Bauder is well aware, that many men in Fundamentalism reject Calvinistic soteriology in the form of LS as a false, works based Gospel. It is, furthermore, indisputable that virtually every man in “conservative” evangelicalism is a passionate advocate for Lordship Salvation, which Dr. Bauder is also well aware of.”
3) Dr. Matt Olson, Open Letter To Friends in Ministry, November 23, 2010.

4) Northland Int’l University Presents Executive Pastor of Grace Community Church to It’s Student Body

September 10, 2020

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address


This is an article that I periodically reissue beginning with the 9/11 terrorist attack on our nation. Let us once again remember, but never forget, those who serve today, those who served throughout our nation's heritage and the fallen who gave their all that we might live free.


Our nation's military responded to the 9/11 attacks with tenacity and determination. We have dealt serious blows to the terrorists, nations that offer them safe haven and seriously diminished their capability to attack us here at home. Much has been done to secure our country and liberty. I am confident America, under principled leadership, will continue to root out and eliminate imminent threats to our nation and way of life.

For this commemorative moment I would like to focus our attention on another national tragedy, the American Civil War. There were many terrible battles in that war: Antietem, Fredericksburg, Chickamauga and Vicksburg. None was more costly, nor so much at stake than at the Battle of Gettysburg. After three days of battle, beginning on July 1, 1863 there were approximately 50,000 American casualties.

One of the most endearing and treasured memories from Gettysburg was not forged on the battlefield itself. No, for we must go forward to November 19, 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln came to honor what had been done there and deliver his immortal
Gettysburg Address.


On June 1, 1865, Senator Charles Sumner commented on what is now considered the most famous speech by President Abraham Lincoln. In his eulogy on the slain president, he called it a “monumental act.” He said Lincoln was mistaken that “the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here.” Rather, the Bostonian remarked, “The world noted at once what he said, and will never cease to remember it. The battle itself was less important than the speech.” (From Abraham Lincoln Online)

With that I offer for your encouragement Lincoln’s
Gettysburg Address.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work, which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

August 28, 2020

Point of View: Replacement Theology by Dr. Larry Hufhand

Our subject of discussion this morning is: “Replacement Theology.”   Let’s begin by defining Replacement Theology [supersessionism].  We will use the letters RT to refer to Replacement Theology.  Simply put, RT is simply replacing Israel with the Church.  In other words, Israel became the church in the New Testament.  The idea that the church was founded on the Day of Pentecost is not accurate according to those who hold to the RT position.  Since the church is based on Grace, and Grace is God’s favor upon fallen man, then the Church actually began in the Garden of Eden, when God provided a covering of skins for clothes for Adam and Eve.

Another aspect of RT is that all the promises that God made to Israel, now belong to the Church; consequently, God is done with Israel, due to the fact that the Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus.  This, of course was not true. Augustine, in the 4th century, as well as Martin Luther in the 15th century and many Reformers of today believed that the Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus, so they are to be shunned at the least, or killed at the worst.  That played right into the hand of Hitler and his excuse for the holocaust.

Basically, this is a Reformed position, and so anything having to do with prophecy is rendered null and void.  Those who adhere to the RT position, spiritualize all O.T. as well as N.T. prophecies, including the Rapture, the Tribulation period, and the 1,000 year Millennial reign of Christ.  This is the reason the Reformers are so adamant against the Dispensational position of Eschatology.

Dr. Larry Hufhand

The Hufhand Report: Friday Focus, August 28, 2020.

Related Reading:
In essence, Replacement theology [supersessionism] removes from Israel a national destiny in the land of Canaan because of her rejection of Jesus’ Messianic credentials. All the biblical statements of Israel enjoying future blessings in the land of Canaan are said to be descriptions of the spiritual blessings that now accrue to the Church. The expectation of a physical kingdom has been spiritualized and taken from Israel and given to the Gentiles (Matthew 21:43), even though Jesus never denied that the physical kingdom would be restored to Israel (Acts 1:6-7). That this way of expounding Scripture completely violates the principles of biblical exposition is of little importance to them. We should interpret Scripture by the nature of the text. If it is literal, then we should interpret it literally, but if it is spiritual or figurative, then we should respond accordingly. For instance, Jesus said, “I am the door!” Does this mean He actually is a door? Of course not! The context is clearly figurative and needs to be interpreted as such. We are therefore not committed to any singular form of biblical exposition - literal or figurative - but rather to the context. This will determine our style of exposition and therefore we uphold the integrity of Scripture and its authority. Replacement Theology, ICEJ


An Introduction to Dispensationalism, by Dr. David L. Cummins, from a recorded lecture series.

Moderate Evangelicals, by Dr. Clay Nuttall

 
Israel is a Tough Nut, by Dr. Clay Nuttall

August 12, 2020

Lordship Salvation: Charles Spurgeon Speaks (more than once) Against It

Whenever you engage the theology of Lordship Salvation (LS) you can count on mantra like cries of “misrepresentation” from many of its advocates.* You can quote verbatim and in context the advocates of LS, allowing them speak for themselves without commentary, letting the stark truth of their message unfold in their own terms and still you are going to hear cries of misrepresenting what they teach and/or believe.

From the writing of its chief advocates you can demonstrate Lordship’s message of eternal salvation through an upfront commitment to discipleship and surrender of life expected of a born again Christian to BECOME a Christian. Lordship’s commitment and surrender in “exchange” for salvation message for example **runs like a thread through all three editions of John MacArthur’s The Gospel According to Jesus and still the LS people cry, “misrepresentation” when this is demonstrated.

Last week I posted the personal salvation testimony of Charles Spurgeon. See- Lordship Salvation: Charles Spurgeon’s Personal Testimony Speaks Against It. In his testimony there is no hint whatsoever of the Lordship Salvation interpretation of the Gospel. In the comment thread I followed Spurgeon’s personal salvation testimony with quotes from John MacArthur, Lordship’s most recognizable apologist. Predictably, an advocate of LS (in public and in private) complained that LS and Spurgeon were being misrepresented and that the use of selective quotes from Spurgeon misleads readers about Spurgeon’s thinking.

Brother George Zeller shared some thoughts with me on the complaint raised by that LS advocate in regard to Spurgeon’s personal testimony article. The complaint was that posting Spurgeon’s salvation testimony does not accurately reflect Spurgeon’s “entire train of thought.” With Brother Zeller’s permission I am sharing his response to that concern. He wrote,

It was a lengthy quotation from Spurgeon himself. It was not taken out of context. It is his conversion account in his own words. His main point is that he was saved by simply looking to Christ (not to himself), and by simply trusting Christ. In his account, there is not a hint of Lordship Salvation (though Spurgeon certainly taught Lordship sanctification, as we all should). This is in complete agreement with his teaching elsewhere, as the following quotation shows.
Following the “quotation” Zeller referenced above I will close with some personal commentary.


Looking to Christ and Not to Self
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon entitled A Sermon for the Worst Man on Earth (based on Luke 18:13). See www.spurgeongems.org. [Sermon #1949]
Then, dear Friends, remember, if we begin to preach to sinners that they must have a certain sense of sin and a certain measure of conviction, such teaching would turn the sinner away from God in Christ to himself. The man begins at once to say, “Have I a broken heart? Do I feel the burden of sin?” This is only another form of looking to self. Man must not look to himself to find reasons for God’s Grace. The remedy does not lie in the seat of the disease—it lies in the Physician’s hands. A sense of sin is not a claim, but a gift of that blessed Savior who is exalted on high to give repentance and remission of sins. Beware of any teaching which makes you look to yourself for help! You must, rather, cling to that doctrine which makes you look only to Christ! Whether you know it or not, you are a lost, ruined sinner, only fit to be cast into the flames of Hell forever. Confess this, but do not ask to be driven mad by a sense of it. Come to Jesus just as you are and do not wait for a preparation made out of your own miseries. Look to Jesus and to Him alone.

If we fall into the notion that a certain sense of sin has a claim upon God, we shall be putting salvation upon other grounds than that of faith—and that would be false ground. Now, the ground of salvation is—“
God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” A simple faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the way of salvation! But to say, “I shall be saved because I am horribly convicted of sin and driven to desperation,” is not to speak like the Gospel, but to rave out of the pride of an unbelieving heart. The Gospel is that you believe in Christ Jesus; that you get right out of yourself and depend alone on Him! Do you say, “I feel so guilty”? You are certainly guilty, whether you feel it or not! And you are far more guilty than you have any idea of. Come to Christ because you are guilty, not because you have been prepared to come by looking at your guilt! Trust nothing of your own, not even your sense of need. A man may have a sense of disease a long time before he will get healing out of it. The looking-glass of conviction reveals the spots on our face, but it cannot wash them away. You cannot fill your hands by putting them into your empty pocket and feeling how empty it is! It would be far wiser to hold them out and receive the gold which your friend so freely gives you. “God be merciful to me a sinner” is the right way to put it, but not, “God be merciful to me because I sufficiently feel my sinnership, and most fittingly bewail it.”
The personal testimony of Spurgeonis in complete agreement with his teaching elsewhere” as Zeller just demonstrated.

His conversion testimony devastates Lordship Salvation’s message of faith, plus commitment of life to receive the gift of eternal life. There is no hint of Lordship’s promise to perform plan of salvation anywhere in Spurgeon’s account of how he was born again. Spurgeon’s personal testimony and his later works are consistent with the Scriptures in that Spurgeon insisted that a sinner is saved by looking only to Jesus, and not to SELF.

The true crux of the controversy lies in what LS insists are the REQUIREMENTS FOR (justification) salvation, not what the natural results (sanctification) of a genuine conversion should be. Man is not saved by becoming a disciple of Christ or promising to become a committed disciple of Christ; that is works salvation! That is Lordship’s assault on the simplicity that is in Christ and a message that frustrates the grace of God.
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 Cor. 11:3).

I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain,” (Gal. 2:21).
The egregious errors of LS flow from a variety of doctrinal mis-steps, one of which is the failure to distinguish between the doctrines of salvation and discipleship. Pastor George Zeller wrote an article titled, The Relationship Between God’s Grace and Lordship Legalism. Following is a brief excerpt.
“Don’t confuse saving faith with that which saving faith ought to produce. Don’t confuse repentance with the fruits of repentance. Behavior and fruit are the evidences of saving faith but they are not the essence of saving faith. Don’t confuse the fruit with the root. Before you can “come after” Christ in discipleship (Luke 9:23; Matt. 11:29-30), you must “come unto” Christ for salvation (Matthew 11:28). Discipleship is not a requirement for salvation; discipleship is the obligation of every saved person.”
When a man tries to carefully introduce verses about discipleship as part of God’s plan for salvation, remember that the Bible teaches we come to Christ for salvation and that we come after Christ in discipleship. It is wrong to present discipleship verses as salvation verses. We must not use verses intended to teach discipleship to try to lead a man to Christ. (See- John MacArthur’s Discipleship Gospel)

The effects and danger of LS is far more pervasive than many might realize. Wherever you are, in whatever sphere of ministry and/or influence you have, determine take your stand against Lordship Salvation. Stand in defense of the one true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Alert, warn and teach others so that they will recognize the errors of LS then teach and warn others also.


LM

*A new article gives every advocate of Lordship Salvation the opportunity to name any writer, commentator, preacher who openly rejects Lordship Salvation, but he believes also accurately represents LS in his refutation of it. To date (8/25) there has been one offsite taker. See that discussion at Lordship Advocates, Tell Us: Who Defines LS in Way You Would Agree With?

**Summary of Lordship Salvation on a Single Page is an irrefutable example of the recurring theme.

August 5, 2020

Lordship Salvation: Charles Spurgeon’s Personal Testimony Speaks Against It

The following is taken from Spurgeon: A New Biography by Arnold Dallimore (Moody Press, 1984), pages 18-20.

The story of Spurgeon’s conversion is widely known, but it may well be repeated, and it cannot be better told than in the words in which he himself presented it:

I sometimes think I might have been in darkness and despair until now, had it not been for the goodness of God in sending a snowstorm one Sunday morning, while I was going to a certain place of worship. I turned down a side street, and came to a little Primitive Methodist Church. In that chapel there may have been a dozen or fifteen people. I had heard of the Primitive Methodists, how they sang so loudly that they made people’s heads ache; but that did not matter to me. I wanted to know how I might be saved....

The minister did not come that morning; he was snowed up, I suppose. At last a very thin-looking man, a shoemaker, or tailor, or something of that sort, went up into the pulpit to preach. Now it is well that preachers be instructed, but this man was really stupid. He was obliged to stick to his text, for the simple reason that he had little else to say. The text was—
“LOOK UNTO ME, AND BE YE SAVED, ALL THE ENDS OF THE EARTH” (Isa. 45:22).

He did not even pronounce the words rightly, but that did not matter. There was, I thought, a glimmer of hope for me in that text.

The preacher began thus: “This is a very simple text indeed. It says ‘Look.’ Now lookin’ don’t take a deal of pain. It aint liftin’ your foot or your finger; it is
just ‘Look.’ Well, a man needn’t go to College to learn to look. You may be the biggest fool, and yet you can look. A man needn’t be worth a thousand a year to look. Anyone can look; even a child can look.

"But then the text says, ‘Look unto Me.’ Ay!" he said in broad Essex, “many on ye are lookin’ to yourselves, but it’s no use lookin’ there. You’ll never find any comfort in yourselves. Some say look to God the Father. No, look to Him by-and-by. Jesus Christ says, ‘Look unto Me.’ Some on ye say ‘We must wait for the Spirit’s workin.’ You have no business with that just now.
Look to Christ. The text says, ‘Look unto Me.’”

Then the good man followed up his text in this way: “Look unto Me; I am sweatin’ great drops of blood.
Look unto Me; I am hangin’ on the cross. Look unto Me, I am dead and buried. Look unto Me; I rise again. Look unto Me; I ascend to Heaven. Look unto Me; I am sitting at the Father’s right hand. O poor sinner, look unto Me! look unto Me!

When he had . . . . managed to spin out about ten minutes or so, he was at the end of his tether. Then he looked at me under the gallery, and I daresay with so few present, he knew me to be a stranger.

Just fixing his eyes on me, as if he knew all my heart, he said, “Young man, you look very miserable.” Well, I did, but I had not been accustomed to have remarks made from the pulpit on my personal appearance before. However, it was a good blow, struck right home. He continued, “And you will always be miserable—miserable in life and miserable in death—if you don’t obey my text; but if you obey now, this moment, you will be saved.” Then lifting up his hands, he shouted, as only a Primitive Methodist could do,
“Young man, look to Jesus Christ. Look! Look! Look! You have nothing to do but look and live!”

I saw at once the way of salvation. I know not what else he said—I did not take much notice of it—I was so possessed with that one thought . . . . I had been waiting to do fifty things, but when I heard that word, “Look!” what a charming word it seemed to me. Oh! I looked until I could almost have looked my eyes away.

There and then the cloud was gone, the darkness had rolled away, and that moment I saw the sun; and I could have risen that instant, and sung with the most enthusiastic of them,
of the precious blood of Christ, and the simple faith which looks alone to Him. Oh, that somebody had told me this before, “Trust Christ, and you shall be saved.” Yet it was, no doubt, all wisely ordered, and now I can say—


E’er since by faith I saw the stream


Thy flowing wounds supply,

Redeeming love has been my theme,

And shall be till I die. . .

That happy day when I found the Saviour, and learned to cling to His dear feet, was a day never to be forgotten by me . . . . I listened to the Word of God and that precious text led me to the cross of Christ. I can testify that the joy of that day was utterly indescribable. I could have leaped, I could have danced; there was no expression, however fanatical, which would have been out of keeping with the joy of that hour. Many days of Christian experience have passed since then, but there has never been one which has had the full exhilaration, the sparkling delight which that first day had.

I thought I could have sprung from the seat in which I sat, and have called out with the wildest of those Methodist brethren . . . “I am forgiven! I am forgiven! A monument of grace!
A sinner saved by blood!”

My spirit saw its chains broken to pieces, I felt that I was an emancipated soul, an heir of heaven, a forgiven one, accepted in Jesus Christ, plucked out of the miry clay and out of the horrible pit, with my feet set upon a rock and my goings established . . ..

Between half-past ten o’clock, when I entered that chapel, and half-past twelve o’clock, when I was back again at home,
what a change had taken place in me! Simply by looking to Jesus I had been delivered from despair, and I was brought into such a joyous state of mind that, when they saw me at home, they said to me, “Something wonderful has happened to you,” and I was eager to tell them all about it. Oh! there was joy in the household that day, when all heard that the eldest son had found the Saviour and knew himself to be forgiven.
(Taken from Iain Murray, ed., The Early Years (London: Banner of Truth, 1962), p. 87-90).

Originally posted August 10, 2009

OBSERVATIONS (by George Zeller)

1) Notice how Christ-centered the gospel presentation was.

2) Notice that due emphasis was placed on the death and resurrection of Christ, the all-sufficient Saviour (
1 Cor. 15:3-4).


3) Notice how God used the “
foolishness of preaching” to save Spurgeon, and that the focus was on Christ and Him crucified (compare 1 Cor. 1:20-25).

4) Notice how Spurgeon was instructed to look away from SELF and to focus on the SAVIOUR.


5) Notice that the emphasis of the sermon was upon LOOKING, not DOING. He was to look in the direction of Christ and he was not told to focus on fulfilling any requirements. The only requirement was that he LOOK.


6) Notice how simple the terms of salvation were: “
Look and live!” “Trust Christ and you shall be saved.”


7) Notice that the substitute preacher did not say anything about the terms of discipleship and the demands that are incumbent upon every saved person to follow and obey Christ.

8) Notice that the substitute preacher did not tell Spurgeon to “
submit to Christ’s Lordship” or “fulfill the terms of discipleship” or “turn from and forsake all sin” or “hate father, mother, wife, children, etc.” These things are the rightful results of salvation but not the simple terms of salvation.


9) Notice Spurgeon’s joyful conclusion: “
Simply by looking to Jesus I had been delivered from despair.” “Oh, that somebody had told me this before, ‘Trust Christ, and you shall be saved.’

For a wonderful sermon by Spurgeon dealing with the question of what a person needs to do to be saved, see his sermon entitled, “The Warrant of Faith” available from Pilgrim Publications, Box 66, Pasadena, TX 77501.

Reprinted by permission from George Zeller.


Spurgeon’s personal testimony and the observations above by Brother Zeller devastate Lordship Salvation’s message of eternal salvation through an upfront commitment of life.

With the reading of Spurgeon’s personal testimony I am reminded of the beautiful hymn Look and Live, (William A. Ogden, 1887). Following are the four stanzas and refrain:

I’ve a message from the Lord, hallelujah!
The message unto you I’ll give,
’Tis recorded in His word, hallelujah!
It is only that you “look and live.”


Refrain
Look and live, my brother, live!
Look to Jesus now, and live;
’Tis recorded in His word, hallelujah!
It is only that you “look and live.”


I’ve a message full of love, hallelujah!
A message, O my friend, for you,
’Tis a message from above, hallelujah!
Jesus said it, and I know ’tis true.


Life is offered unto you, hallelujah!
Eternal life thy soul shall have,
If you’ll only look to Him, hallelujah!
Look to Jesus who alone can save.


I will tell you how I came, hallelujah!
To Jesus when He made me whole:
’Twas believing on His name, hallelujah!
I trusted and He saved my soul.


If you’d enjoy singing this treasured hymn with a piano accompaniment see Look & Live


Please continue this series at- Lordship Salvation: Charles Spurgeon Speaks (more than once) Against It

July 23, 2020

Archival Series: Do Fundamentalists & Evangelicals “Believe, Preach & Defend the [Same] Gospel?”

Many of you are aware of a long running series by Dr. Kevin Bauder titled Now, About Those Differences. He is publishing this series to clear up what he alleges to be misunderstandings surrounding his incendiary article Let’s Get Clear on This (March 2010). In his Differences series Kevin heaps lavish praise on Evangelicalism and continues to redefine and/or castigate Fundamentalism just as he did in the Let’s Get Clear on This article. Nevertheless, the current installment, Part 12 subtitled Together (Only?) for the Gospel contains an element that is highly disconcerting, bordering on a deliberate misrepresentation of a known fact.

Dr. Bauder wrote,

Most fundamentally (the word is deliberate), both groups are united in their affirmation and exaltation of the gospel. None of the differences that we have examined to this point results in a denial of the gospel. Both fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals believe the gospel, preach the gospel, and defend the gospel.”
For any objective commentator it is widely known and irrefutable that Calvinistic soteriology in the form of the Lordship Salvation interpretation of the Gospel is the Gospel message of so-called “conservative” evangelicals.

Is it possible that Kevin Bauder refuses to disclose the vast chasm, disagreement and debate in Fundamentalism over what is the true nature of saving faith; what is the Gospel?

His statement above is at best an avoidance of the truth and at worst a deliberate attempt to conceal the disagreement that exists among men in Fundamentalism on the nature of the one true Gospel.

There is wide spread disagreement in Fundamentalism over Calvinism, but for many on both sides of that debate Calvinism does not necessarily mandate a split. Lordship Salvation, however, is an entirely different point of sharp contention.1 John MacArthur defined the core of Lordship Salvation (LS) when in TGATJ he wrote, “Salvation is for those who are willing to forsake everything.”2 Statements such as that are the focal point of controversy and many fundamentalists consider that to be a defining mark of a works salvation.

Bauder also wrote,
This mutuality in the gospel leads to a question. Since conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists are united in their allegiance to the gospel, should they not be able to cooperate at the level of the gospel? To put it positively, should fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals get together for the gospel?”
There is no universal “mutuality in the gospel” among evangelicals and fundamentalists. “Evangelicals and fundamentalists are [NOT] united in their allegiance to the gospel,” because there is a vast difference between what evangelicals and non-Calvinists in Fundamentalism believe to be the Gospel.

Kevin Bauder is well aware, that many men in Fundamentalism reject LS as a false, works based Gospel. It is, furthermore, indisputable that virtually every man in “conservative” evangelicalism is a passionate advocate for Lordship Salvation, which Bauder is also well aware of. It is, therefore, impossible for fundamentalists who reject LS to have any kind of fellowship, unity or cooperation with the evangelicals precisely because of their advocacy of Lordship Salvation. And that is before we examine the ecumenical compromises and worldliness of these same evangelicals.

To be honest with his readers Kevin Bauder must add a qualifier, a clarification. The qualifier would be along these lines, “Only those in the fundamentalists and evangelical camps who rally around Calvinism and Lordship Salvation can be, united in their allegiance to the gospel…” It is the Calvinistic Lordship Salvation message that Calvinists in fundamental circles are choosing to unite around with their Calvinistic counter-parts in Evangelicalism. This is irrefutable! Dr. Bauder also wrote,
Is it really believable that they [T4G] cannot find a place for Christian statesmen like Charles Ryrie or John C. Whitcomb?
Of course it is believable. Frankly, this is a question any casual observer could answer. T4G is Together for the LS Gospel.3 Then there is the alternating year sister conference The LS Gospel Coalition. Lordship Salvation is the interpretation of the Gospel that they gather around. How could Bauder not grasp that T4G will never have Dr. Ryrie on their platform when he surely knows that Dr. Ryrie in, So Great Salvation rejects John MacArthur’s Lordship Salvation?

What the apologists for unity with Evangelicalism such as the pseudo- fundamentalist Sharper Iron do not fully disclose is that Bauder’s so-called “pure gospel” rallying point is Calvinistic soteriology in the form of the Lordship Salvation. This is exactly why no man who rejects Lordship Salvation will ever be invited to the platform of events like T4G and/or The Gospel Coalition.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the sole test for fellowship with the evangelicals is whether or not they can agree on a Calvinistic soteriology. Kevin Bauder is willing to find agreement and base fellowship with evangelicals solely on the LS interpretation of the Gospel. Virtually all other considerations among the evangelicals such as ecumenical compromise, worldliness and aberrant doctrine have been tolerated, ignored, allowed for and excused.

It is irresponsible to portray Fundamentalism as though all fundamentalists accept and agree with the evangelicals interpretation of the Gospel. This is an inappropriate caricature. According to Kevin Bauder,
Both fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals believe the gospel, preach the gospel, and defend the gospel.”
The truth is that many men in Fundamentalism do NOT “believe, preach or defend” the Lordship Salvation message of the evangelicals. They instead reject LS because it “corrupts the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3) and biblically resist its spread as fervently as they would Roman Catholicism’s sacramental system because both are works based, non-saving interpretations of the Gospel.

IMO it is disingenuous for Kevin Bauder to speak as if there is wide spread unanimity in all of Fundamentalism for agreement with evangelicals on what constitutes the Gospel, the nature of saving faith. His failure to disclose the well-known, demonstrable division in Fundamentalism over LS is the practice of censorship by omission. I am calling on Kevin Bauder to be honest with his readers. To publicly recognize that many men in Fundamentalism reject Calvinistic soteriology and especially the Lordship Salvation, which the evangelicals “believe, preach and defend.”

A Personal Admonition to Kevin Bauder:
Brother Bauder you do not speak on behalf of and are no more the voice of Fundamentalism than I am. Fundamentalists speak for themselves and many of them passionately reject Lordship Salvation and would have every right to be offended by your suggesting Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism believe, preach and defend the [same] Gospel.

As I have documented in this article you are perpetuating a fallacy. It is intellectually dishonest to declare, without qualification, there is unanimity on the Gospel between fundamentalists and evangelicals. It is an egregious misrepresentation. Scores of fundamentalist pastors, teachers and evangelists reject Lordship Salvation as a false interpretation of the Gospel and you know this to be true.

I am calling on you to be honest with your readers. Tell them that a select group of Calvinists in Fundamentalism rally around evangelicals on Calvinistic soteriology in the form of the Lordship Salvation. Tell your readers that Calvinistic soteriology is the “pure gospel” you speak of and around which you are trying to influence others toward unity in the Evangelical and Fundamentalist camps.


LM

Originally appeared August 24, 2010.
Kevin Bauder never revised, edited or retracted any of his false narrative above.

1) What is the Fault Line for Fracture in Fundamentalism?
How can there be unity within a fellowship when two polar opposite interpretations of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ are accepted as legitimate? Reasonable men can get along over differences of opinion over Reformed theology. Many men who reject Calvinism have cordial personal friendships with IFB men who are Calvinistic in their theology. There is the desire to work in cooperative efforts and I understand that desire. It is, however, antithetical to the Scriptures to call for unity in any fellowship at the expense of compromise with Lordship’s message, which has changed the terms of the Gospel.
2) For a brief definition of LS by Dr. John MacArthur see, Summary of Lordship Salvation From a Single Page

3) Let’s Get “CRYSTAL” Clear on This: A Response to Kevin Bauder’s “Cannonball” Cogitations: “Foremost Defenders of the Gospel Today?”

Please continue to Cogitations Stemming From the Central/Bauder Ethos Statement

June 8, 2020

Why These Schools Collapsed & What Does it Mean for [Bob Jones University]?

Today I am drawing your attention to a message given by Dr. Will Senn given at the FBFI Annual Fellowship on June 12, 2019. His message title is, What are the Qualities of True Christian Fellowship?1You will appreciate the relevance of the latter part of his message as it has a direct bearing on our discussions about the changing face of Bob Jones University (BJU).

Where the message begins to move toward what is applicable to BJU begins at -20:50. Later the message hones in on specifics that precisely addresses what is happening at Bob Jones University (BJU). To appreciate the impact of what was said you must listen to the balance of Pastor Senn’s message from -17:20 through the end.

Dr. Will Senn
Dr. Senn begins closing his message with an illustration from a graduate class he was teaching at International Baptist College & Seminary (Spring 2019).  His concluding remarks are drawn from the students’ answers to the final exam he had given them. Their assignment was, “I am giving you five colleges where the doors are now closed…. You’re going to make an oral presentation…. Why did they close?” (-17:20) Dr. Senn’s assigned the final.
“Why did Clearwater close, Northland close, Pillsbury close, Calvary Baptist Seminary close, Tennessee Temple close…. why did they fall, what happened and what can we learn? I want you to do the research. I want us to learn something from history because it will have a current application and future application as it relates to our fellowship.”
Dr. Senn then assigned the students a second portion to the exam.  He said, “You’re going to take the lessons learned and I am going to ask you to put yourself in the context of addressing five current Christian schools where if you had the opportunity to talk to their boards what would you say to those board members from the lessons just learned?”

The five current schools assigned were: Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, Faith Baptist (Ankeny, IA), Maranatha Baptist University, Bob Jones University and International Baptist College & Seminary.

The student answers are as revealing as they are factually correct. Dr. Senn read samples of the reasons students arrived at for the five schools closing, for example:
    Guard against sports becoming the focus of the school, rather than the focus being disciple making, loving Christ and other type of school.
    Maintain sound doctrine; do not compromise to broaden the school’s base of support.
    The need for the school to solicit input and support of the pastor and churches that are sending their students to the school.
    Be true to your mission statement. Do not try to be something that you are not.
    Southern Baptists and other evangelicals have their own well established and attractive schools. They are not looking for new schools, but are content with their current choices.
    Sports programming can become overbearing and expensive especially if you seek to compete in higher divisions.

The excerpted student answers above (there were thirty in all) boiled down to a summary statement. Dr. Senn prefaced their summary, “Why these five schools collapsed and then what would you say to the other five schools that I love?” Their summary statement was,
Every failed school veered from its conservative and historic base to accommodate a new base…and each time it was the death knell of the school.
BJU president Dr. Steve Pettit was in the auditorium under the sound of Dr. Senn’s message. From that day to this it appears virtually none of those student admonitions made a dent with Steve Pettit and his mission for BJU. Does Steve Pettit think he can veer from the university’s base to accommodate the SBC and evangelicals and the university will survive it? If that is Steve’s plan then he is not learning from history the lesson that the five closed schools learned the hard way.

Drs. Horn & Pettit
During the tragedy that became Northland’s closure objective observers knew that Matt Olson, with Sam Horn “veered from its conservative and historic base to accommodate a new base.” Today, objective observers recognize that Steve Pettit and Sam Horn “veered from [BJU’s] conservative and historic base to accommodate a new base.” BJU’s “conservative and historic base” recognize what Pettit and Horn together have done. The base has been alienated, their admonitions ignored.  Consequently much of the base has abandoned the school, plus the SBC and evangelical students Steve Pettit is trying to attract, “are not looking for new schools, but are content with their current choices.”

At this blog I have in various forms been writing statements like this, “For NIU the lesson from TTU [Clearwater, Calvary Seminary] and Pillsbury is the same, ‘You can’t come in and turn a hard right or left and expect to have your alumni with you’.”2Today we can take that statement with some editing to read as follows, “For Bob Jones University the lesson from NIU, TTU, Pillsbury, Clearwater and Calvary Seminary is the same, “You can’t come in and turn a hard right or left and expect to have your alumni with you.”

Closing with Dr. Senn, 
“You can’t build that [SBC, evangelical] relationship fast enough. So what happens is your pushing the good people out, the Calebs and Joshuas. And you start listening to the ten spies.”
BJU is well on its way to joining the five failed schools. You cannot alienate your core constituency and expect them to remain loyal. On its current trajectory BJU should not expect to survive Steve Pettits presidency.


LM

Footnotes:


Related Reading:
Dr. Bob Jones, Jr, If BJU Ever Changes...I Pray the Lord Closes Its Doors. 
Ironically it is through the actions of BJU graduates, Steve Pettit (80’) and Sam Horn (86’ 88’ 95’) that the school has lost its ‘strong fundamentalist stand.’ Going forward, unless some radical intervention takes place, it will be through BJU graduate Steve Pettit that the university’s doors are destined to close.

The Northland/BJU pattern is virtually the same, casting off its fundamentalism, separatist roots, and the common denominator is Sam Horn. BJU is learning what the colleges learned the hard way when they went down the road of embracing evangelicalism.  And that lesson is: You cannot turn a college to a hard right or hard left and expect to have your alumni with you. 

What tires objective observers is letters like those from Les Ollila and Matt Olson where they…use subjective imprecise language to quell any concerns…. Northland’s new trajectory has a historic parallel. The devastating effects of introducing Evangelicalism’s philosophy and practices into a biblical Fundamentalist setting are no starker than the demise of Pillsbury Baptist Bible College.

This is the predicted result of Matt Olson’s Experiment with the “new wave” of new evangelicalism. It was clear that the school would not survive Olson’s changes. Matt Olson and his team [Sam Horn] had pounded the nails into the coffin of a once fine, fundamental, Baptistic, separatist school. 

From the front pew it has been my sorrow to observe CCC’s decline over the past 13 years.  From a college with a strong following of biblical fundamental pastors and churches, CCC appeared to have lost her way.  Many reasons will be given for the doors of CCC closing.  Some will cite economics, a dwindling number of conservative churches, low student enrollment and competition from other colleges. Although all of the above no doubt contribute to the demise of CCC; I suggest from my vantage point that the leadership of the college over the past 10 years steered the college away from its founder’s purpose, philosophy and vision.


May 29, 2020

The Hufhand Report: Friday’s Focus on Fundamentalism

A recent article written by Dr. Kevin Bauder, has come to my attention, and with it, he has opened up a can of worms, in regard to the strategy of Bible colleges and Christian Universities in their approach to getting students.

         This article appears to be an about face for Dr. Bauder, who has consistently downgraded fundamentalism every chance he got, over the last 10 years.  Actually, there is much in the article, with which I would agree, and have written about.  Please forgive this feeble attempt to understand how we got into this mess.


           The answer to this dilemma is a return to old time Biblical fundamentalism, but few people are interested in doing that.  Reflecting on the past, there was a time when many young men went off to college, simply to major in some particular course of study, such as History, Engineering, Literature, Political Science, etc.  In the course of time, they began to seek God’s will for their life, aided by the influence of godly pastors.  As a result, some of them gave themselves to the ministry, at which time; they would choose a seminary where they would focus on studies pertaining to the ministry, such as languages, Bible, apologetics, and theology. Generally, their choice of seminary came through their denominational preference. 


         All of this changed when the denominational Seminaries started to become liberal in their theology.  The advent of such schools as Moody Bible Institute, Biola, Detroit Bible Institute, Temple University, and Bob Jones University, etc., became the answer to this onslaught of liberalism.  The products of these Christian schools produced thousands of young men and women who had no place to serve, hence, the church planting movement of the 1920’s through the 1970’s.  Now here we are, back where we started from in the beginning.  Someone has stated, “What goes around, comes around.”  This is what has happened.


         As a result of the former strategy, every community in America had a denominational church of one kind or another, to which young men could attend.  The pastors of those churches were always on the lookout for young men who would make good ministers and he would take them under his wing and steer them into the ministry.  The number of men going into the ministry adequately supplied the church or churches in each community with a pastor.


         However, the strategy that began with the advent of the Bible colleges was different. The church planting movement came about as a result of thousands of young men surrendering to the ministry, with no place to serve upon graduation from college.  Most of the pastors and missionaries presently serving, or have recently retired, are products of those fundamental churches, as well as fundamental schools.  On the other hand, some of us, like me, are products of churches that were in liberal denominations.  My pastor didn’t really care where I went to college, as long as I went to their particular denominational seminary.  If I did that, my pastor assured me of a nice comfortable pastorate somewhere in the country.  I didn’t take him up on it.


         Once the fundamentalist movement got started in earnest, back in the 1920’s, fueled by several aggressive church planting associations, such as the CBA of A, the GARBC, the BBF, and the IFCA, it wasn’t long until churches began to dot every little town and village in America.  The Bible schools were pumping out preacher boys by the hundreds and soon there was a “glut” of preachers with few places to serve, except in communities where there were already at least one or two well attended Gospel preaching churches.  New churches were started in these towns, and soon there were three or four in it, and to make matters worse, churches began to split and splinter, and soon, there were hundreds of small struggling churches scattered all across the landscape of our country, which is the case today, with no pastors to fill them, as the number of pastors continues to decline.  To make matters worse, hundreds of pastors are walking away from the ministry every month.


         With the advent of Christian day schools starting up in the 1970’s, it altered the focus of most pastors.  Where they were once aggressively growing their Sunday Schools and Churches, through soul winning programs and evangelistic preaching, they began concentrating on building their Christian schools. And although the Christian school has been a blessing and did alleviate the glut of preacher boys coming out of college, because now many of them became involved in the Christian school, it did nothing to head off what would tragically follow.


         What we have to understand is that the choices we make are often fraught with unintended consequences and one of the consequences is the product of our Christian schools. Instead of training our young people for the battlefield through the ministry of the local church, we educated them in the Christian school to ignore where the battle was.  We actually took them out of the battlefield, which was the public school system.  What we really accomplished in our Christian schools was to develop a callousness toward the things of God.  The Bible became a textbook, instead of love letter and a manual for Christian living.  Instead of causing their hearts to be tender toward the ministry, we actually turned their hearts away from it.  Let me tell you a story and I’m done with this.


         This goes back to the days when Bob Jones III was still President of BJU.  He wrote a letter to all of the BJ pastoral graduates in regard to something that literally broke his heart.  Even as I write, I hesitate to mention it; for fear that it might return the grief to his heart.  He told of inviting many of the Christian schools that had a basketball team, along with their cheerleaders, to a week of competition and comradery at the University.  Thousands of young men and women gathered together.  As they gathered in the Auditorium, to hear the 75cent pitch about the school, they were then told about the different courses of study that were positioned through-out the building, naming each one, and then dismissing them to go where their interest was.

DR. Bob Jones, III

          In writing his letter to us, and I still have the letter, he asked this question: “Do you know how many of those thousands of students came to the School of Religion?”  To his grief and sorrow, he said, “Just one.”  That was 20 years ago.  Imagine what it is today!  No wonder there is such a dearth of ministerial students.  The fire has gone out in our churches, as well as our Bible colleges and Universities.  And I’m sorry to have to say, much of it must be laid at the door of our Christian schools and pastors who lost their focus. Let’s face it, with a few exceptions, most of our once thriving fundamental churches are dead or dying.  There is little to no life in them.  Although the Christian school endeavor, along with the Bus ministry, has declined greatly, the problem of young men entering into the ministry still exists, and is getting worse. What fundamentalism needs today is a champion; i.e. someone like Billy Sunday, Bob Jones Sr., W.B. Riley, a Bob Ketchum, a John R. Rice, a Lee Roberson, or a Tom Malone, who will step up to the plate and lead the way.  God help us, and if it doesn’t happen, we can write our own obituary.



Dr. Lawrence Hufhand

The Hufhand Report:
Friday Focus (May, 29, 2020)
Reprinted by Permission.

Related Reading: