January 18, 2021

RACISM” by Dr. Rick Flanders

“Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond or free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.”
(Colossians 3:9-14)
Dr. Rick Flanders

When a black man was elected president of the United States, it seemed that a thick barrier had been destroyed that marred American life for many years. Progress in relations between the races in this nation had apparently come to the point where white people were not unwilling to vote black people into high office. It appeared to be a break-through. However, distrust and anger over race matters have clearly worsened since 2009. Who can deny it? Some of the problems come from confusion over the issues of race, with faulty ideas gaining favor with passionate people “on both sides.” The situation is dangerous as well as distressing, but there is a solution to it in the Bible.
Let us learn or re-learn five facts about this subject in order to help ourselves and our countrymen finally get past this unhappy and unnecessary strife.
  1. NOT EVERYTHING THAT IS CALLED “RACISM” IS REALLY RACISM!
Originally the term “racism” had a much more specific meaning than it does in common usage today. A racist is a person who believes that certain people’s actions and habits are determined by their “race.” Flaws in character as well as admirable characteristics are rooted in the D.N.A., and genetic causes for good and bad are carried in races. Racist views are those that were propagated by the Nazis and by the Ku Klux Klan. Racism is an ideology; it is not just unkindness or prejudice toward people of a different color or belonging to a different race. Lack of love for anyone is wrong according to God’s “royal law” (James 2:8-9), but not all unloving words or actions constitute racism. The reason this distinction is important is that more and more voices today are raising the alarm that racism is rampant in this country, and that something radical must be done about it. The fact is that true racism, although more available to more people because of the internet, is considerably less influential and widespread than it was even fifty years ago in America. When certain famous people were recently punished for using an unkind racial slur, they were accused of racism. But there is little evidence that they actually espouse Klan or Nazi doctrine because they used the hurtful word. Seeming mistreatment of anyone because of racial bias is called “racism,” although it really isn’t. It is unchristian and unkind, but it isn’t racism. Racist ideas have been spread for many years, and actually prominent leaders have espoused and propagated some of them, but every kind of racial bias is not racism.
  1. ETHNIC PREJUDICE AND PREFERENCE IS ALMOST UNIVERSAL.
The truth is sad, but it is the truth, that preference for one’s own group is an almost universal human characteristic. To set the goal of wiping out racism in the United States, while defining racism as preference for one’s own perceived ethnic group, is to aim at an unreachable target and to excuse the rapid and unwarranted spread of government power. It can also be the means of fomenting further racial hatred and even violent behavior. Although prejudice is not Christian, and racial bias can be hurtful and ugly, they will not be eradicated by mobs or laws.
  1. PREJUDICE AND RACISM CAN ONLY BE CURED BY GOD.
The royal law, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” is God’s law (James 2:8) and it can only be fulfilled when God’s love enters the human heart.
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.”
(First John 4:7-12)
The Source of love is God, and God is love. He sent His love to sinful man by sending His Son to be our Savior. Those who receive Jesus, also receive love into their lives. This is how the hatred in human nature is counter-acted. Before regeneration (the experience of being born again), a man is prone to hate.
“For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
“But after the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness that we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour…”
(Titus 3:3-6)
Insisting that wrongs be righted, that we must be treated with respect, or that racial injustice must be punished seldom rises out of love for others, and often engenders hate. The Bible teaches us to think about things that are true, honest, just, and pure (read Philippians 4:8) in order to maintain peace of mind, but we are constantly reminded of wrong, impure, dishonest, and unjust things that have been inflicted upon our perceived group throughout history. And such thoughts create outrage and anger in our hearts and minds, to our detriment. This is how black people, women, Muslims, Mexicans, and Native Americans are being taught to think, and the regular reminders of injustice only bring more hate. It is God that puts love into hearts. When we have been “justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” and “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us” (Romans 5:1-5).
  1. THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN FREED FROM SIN CAN OVERCOME HATE.
The New Testament speaks of a life of liberty that is experienced by the believer in Jesus Christ (see John 8:30-36). Jesus not only saves men from Hell, but also from their sins, including the hatred in the human heart. Colossians 3 is a passage of scripture that says the Christian is “risen with Christ” (verse 1), that “Christ…is our life” (verses 2-4), that “the new man…is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (verses 9-10), that “Christ is all, and in all” (verse 11), and that “charity [love]…is the bond of perfectness” (verses 12-14). Jesus breaks the chains of sin and hate, and brings love into the life of one who trusts in His salvation. No political or ideological movement or revolution can do that. His love in the heart breaks down the barriers of prejudice (read Colossians 3:1-14 again).
  1. JESUS CHRIST IS THE ANSWER FOR HATE AND THE AUTHOR OF LOVE.
So Colossians 3 concludes that in Jesus Christ the distinctions of ethnicity, class, race, or group, no longer mar the love in the family of God, but instead “Christ is all, and in all” (read verse 11 again). It is amazing how revived Christians get along. The need of our nation is not a renewal of old racial offenses, but rather a revival of the Christian religion. Evangelical revivalism turned the tide of American opinion against slavery in the nineteenth century, as it also did in England in the previous century. The love of God and not angry agitation will be the cure to our racial problems, and will give racial harmony a deep and practical application on a personal level in every town and community. Let the Gospel of Jesus Christ be preached, and the love of Christ be lived and spread by those who believe in Him!

Dr. Rick Flanders

(Originally Published November 2015)

January 8, 2021

An Analysis of Bob Jones University’s Position Paper on Calvinism, Arminianism and Reformed Theology

Dr. Robert Congdon
As a follow-up to Lou Martuneac’s article of November 14, 2019, entitled “This is Not Your Father’s Bob Jones University,”[1] I have been asked to review Bob Jones University’s position paper on “Calvinism, Arminianism and Reformed Theology.”[2] The following is a brief analysis of that paper.[3]

After reading BJU’s position paper, I feel that it reflects a style commonly employed by many New Calvinists[4]. Their writing typically skirts issues to avoid offense or exclusion, while maximizing inclusivity. They achieve this by allowing the reader to supply his or her own theological definitions rather than offering clear-cut ones that would reveal Calvinist views. The fact that BJU’s paper appears to use a similar strategy concerns me.

I see this tendency throughout the paper. For example, it contains the term “exercise faith” four times. A standard dictionary definition of “exercise” is “an act of bringing into play or realizing in action.”[5] While this term could apply to an action resulting in salvation, fundamentalist Christians typically select a phrase such as “receive Christ by faith as your Savior” in this context.  Once upon a time, BJU used phrases such as “believe,” “put your faith in” and “ask Him into your heart,” to describe one’s salvation response.

As used by New Calvinists, the phrase “exercise faith” fits within the dictionary definition of “realizing in action.” Calvinism’s teaching on election is that one is regenerated prior to faith. Later on, that person "exercises faith" or “acknowledges” or “realizes” that Jesus is his or her Savior. Ligonier Ministries, a major outlet for New Calvinist teaching, says:

If the Lord has changed our hearts, giving us the disposition[6] to love Him, we will certainly exercise faith and persevere in it to the end (Phil. 1:6). But that we exercise faith at all is due to God’s sovereign grace.[7] 

A writer for The Gospel Coalition, a New Calvinist group, also uses this term, “exercise faith.”

Objectively speaking, faith is a gift from God (Eph. 2:8, although the “gift” is the whole work of salvation, not just the faith). Subjectively speaking, the person exercises faith in the gospel (Eph. 1:13). [8]

Interestingly, if you google the phrase, you’ll also find that Brigham Young University uses it:

To exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is to accept Him as Savior and live in accordance to His will through repentance and obedience to His commandments. Learning to act in accordance with one’s faith in Christ is fundamental to enjoying deep, life-changing learning. [9]

It is rather sad that a Mormon school offers a clearer definition of “exercising faith” than BJU!

Contrary to the Calvinist teaching of regeneration before an act of faith, the Bible teaches that a person hears the Scriptures (Rom. 10:17), after which the Holy Spirit convicts that person’s heart, revealing the sinful condition and the need for a savior (Rom. 3:23). The person then responds by receiving, accepting, and trusting Jesus Christ alone as Savior (John 1:12).

BJU potentially reflects a Calvinist viewpoint when it says, “God’s invitation of salvation is freely offered to all men . . . and available to anyone who desires to be saved.” [10] I take this to suggest that an unsaved person has a desire to be saved. But in my experience, and in the experience of others holding similar positions, it is not desire but rather the conviction of being a sinner in need of a savior that drives a person to ask for God’s gift of salvation.

On the other hand, I have read several New Calvinist statements implying that when one is elect, and therefore regenerated prior to faith, he or she develops a desire to exercise faith or to acknowledge or recognize Jesus Christ as Savior. BJU’s phrase could be interpreted in either way and is therefore ambiguous, potentially satisfying both Calvinists and Biblicists.

Similarly, consider 2 Peter 3:9:

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

The Calvinist considers “all” to mean “all the elect,” while a Biblicist believes that “all” should be taken literally as referring to all human beings. Clearly, the Bible reflects this in its use of “whosoever will” in salvation passages (John 3:16; Rom. 10:13; Rev. 22:17). Again, BJU’s statement is very weak in its terminology. 

Further on in the position paper, BJU says that our sanctification “will be completed when we stand before God in our resurrection bodies.”[11] This appears to be drawing from Reformed terminology. The Biblicist position teaches that our sanctification will be completed when we appear before Jesus Christ, our Bridegroom, at the Bema. But the phrase, “stand before God” comes directly from Revelation 20:12 and refers to those at the Great White Throne Judgment.

Calvinists believe that all people from all ages, both saved and unsaved, will stand before God at this judgment event (Rev. 20:11-15). Here, God will assess who is elect and who is not. Biblicists believe that the Bema (2 Cor. 5:10) is a time of accounting (Rom. 14:12) with Jesus Christ, our Bridegroom, and not a judgment for “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…” (Rom. 8:1). The English word, “condemnation,” is a translation of the Greek word for “judgment.”[12] Again, BJU uses weak and ambiguous phrasing.

BJU says, “We believe that Scripture presents certain great paradoxes concerning salvation which we gladly embrace as belonging to God . . .”[13] It’s curious that here BJU uses the word, “believe” but speaks of exercising faith earlier.

Interestingly, Calvinists often use similar phrasing about “paradoxes,” yet I do not find “great paradoxes” in the Bible with reference to salvation. Surely, this is the most elementary and crucial issue of mankind. Does God truly leave this issue as a paradox unresolvable by mankind? If so, then why present it in the Scriptures at all, rather than deferring it as a matter to be dealt with in eternity?

My booklet, An Alternative View of Election offers no “paradox” but a straightforward interpretation of the biblical use of the term “election.”[14]

Finally, BJU’s view on the “doctrine of the Second Coming and Reformed Eschatology” is worded in the New Calvinist style. Reformed Theology is very weak on eschatology. It blends the catching up of the church, the Rapture event (1 Thess. 4:16ff), with the Second Coming (Matt. 24:30; Rev. 19:11), claiming that these events occur together.

Similarly, BJU says that “we believe in the visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ at His Second Coming (John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Thess. 4:16; Heb. 9:28; 1 John 3:2-3)”[15] Notice, they combine references associated with the Rapture (John 14:3; 1 Thess. 4:16; 1 John 3:2-3) with references associated with the Second Coming (Acts 1:11 and Heb. 9:28).

BJU appears to favor this combination when it declares that “we acknowledge that there are interpretative differences . . . related to the timing of this glorious appearing . . .” [16] They continue by referencing Titus 2:13 that specifically speaks of the “glorious appearing” as the Second Coming of Christ to the earth. This strategy subtly combines what the Biblicist sees as two distinct events into a single “glorious appearing.”

Interestingly, the BJU Seminary Catalog stated in the front matter that “The seminary faculty holds to...a pretribulational, premillennial approach to eschatology.”[17] By its very definition, “pretribulational” distinguishes the catching up of the church prior to the 7-year Tribulation from the Second Coming of Jesus Christ at the end of the Tribulation. What has changed since BJU’s Dean Stephen Hankins quoted this statement in an email in 2011? BJU’s present usage therefore reflects either carelessness or a Reformed/Calvinist interpretation of these verses.

BJU may not officially be a Reformed or Calvinist school. But its recent publications suggest an awareness and apparent endorsement of Reformed/Calvinist thought and teaching. Perhaps its lack of precision and ambiguous use of Scripture stem from ignorance or a poor understanding of the current meanings of these terms and phrases. If so, we could excuse it and ask that the school become more informed. If, however, BJU is following the pattern exhibited by New Calvinist writing, then there is a much deeper problem at work requiring immediate action to reverse this intrusion of Reformed and Calvinist theology.

Analysist: Robert Congdon

Originally Published November, 2019.



[1] Lou Martuneac, “This is Not Your Father’s Bob Jones University” In Defense of the Gospel blog, Nov. 14, 2019.  https://indefenseofthegospel.blogspot.com/2019/11/this-is-not-your-fathers-bob-jones.html
[2] Position Statements, “Calvinism, Arminianism and Reformed Theology” (Greenville, SC: Bob Jones University, nd.) retrieved from https://www.bju.edu/about/positions.php on 08/21/19.
[3] The above views reflect observations by the analyst acquainted with Bob Jones University and its many graduates but who is not an alumnus. This analysis is presented as a call to BJU to rethink its position paper and also to alert BJU students and alumni to a possible trend. Presenting this analysis is at the request of some BJU alumni.
[4] New Calvinism is a repackaged form of classic Calvinism that is presented in a form more appealing to the present generations. This analysis uses the terms “Calvinist,” “Reformed,” and “New Calvinist” as essentially equal when speaking of these doctrinal statements in the BJU paper. Today, New Calvinists represent the vast majority of Calvinists.
[5] “Exercise” Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exercise on 08/21/19.
[6] Calvinism teaches that the “changed heart” is the result of regeneration before faith, thereby an elect person is now predisposed to love Christ and exercise faith about Him.
[7] “Faith and Assurance” Ligoner Ministries website, retrieved from https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/faith-and-assurance/ on 11/18/19.
[8] Eric McKiddie, “How to Call for a Gospel Response Like a Calvinist” The Gospel Coalition November 24, 2011, retrieved from https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/how-to-call-for-gospel-response-like-a-calvinist/ 11/19/19.
[9] “Exercise faith” Learning Model – Brigham Young University, retrieved from http://www.byui.edu/learning-model/5-principles/exercise-faith on 11/18/19.
[10] Position Statements, “Calvinism, Arminianism and Reformed Theology.”
[11] Position Statements, “Calvinism, Arminianism and Reformed Theology.”
[12]κατάκριμα” Joseph Henry Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1977), 332.
[13] Position Statements, “Calvinism, Arminianism and Reformed Theology.”
[14] Available at www.CongdonMinistries.org website.
[15] Position Statements, “Calvinism, Arminianism and Reformed Theology.”
[16] Position Statements, “Calvinism, Arminianism and Reformed Theology.”
[17] BJU Seminary and Graduate Studies Catalog (Greenville, SC: Bob Jones University), 38. This was confirmed in a private email from Dean Stephen J. Hankins, July 21, 2011.

November 14, 2020

How to Have Peace in Anxious Times, Dr. J. Vernon McGee


God is moving in history and if you listen to the news media you will become discouraged. Beside that you’ll get brainwashed. And you look at Washington today and you feel like giving up or throwing up. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of panel discussions of politicians, educators, the military, and athletes and the movie colony. I don’t think they have any message for us right now. Perhaps you can hear the still small voice of God in these visions [in Zechariah]. God’s purpose will prevail. God is moving in history to accomplish His purposes.”

How many years ago Dr. McGee spoke those words? Indications from earlier in his lesson suggests he was speaking at the time of the 1979 Arab oil embargo. Dr. McGee’s thoughts above are as applicable today, maybe more so than they were those four decades ago.

Remember to keep what happens on the political stage in perspective. We are, after all, “strangers and pilgrims on the earth”, (Heb. 11:13; 1 Peter 2:11). You are to be “casting your care upon Him for He cares for you”, (1 Peter 5:7). The hymn writer tells the believer,

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face,

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,

In the light of His glory and grace.

Less comforting than what the Bible promises us, but none-the-less encouraging: We still live in America. We should recognize that American citizens are in far better shape today than most peoples in virtually every other nation on earth.  Just ask any foreign missionary.


Dr. J. Vernon McGee

Thru the Bible Radio

Zechariah 6:9-15

A study guide by Dr. McGee. You may read on line or download as a PDF.

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

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.