December 27, 2006

A Question Left Unanswered

Dear Friends:

Many here likely remember the long series of debates I had with Nathan Busenitz at Pulpit Magazine in late 2006. Twice I posted the question below to Nathan. Nathan is the personal assistant to Dr. John MacArthur. He never did reply to my question.

Nathan wrote this,

But Lordship (Salvation) sees repentance as more than just a change in dependence. It is also a change of allegiance.”
In reply I cited the following passage of Scripture and asked a follow-up question.
Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God,” (Jn. 12:42-43).
The Bible says they were not open about, and would not confess a “change of allegiance.”

Did they biblically repent; were they believers?

Would any Lordship Salvation advocates care to deal with this question?



  1. J:

    Thanks for the comment. I am going to let this question sit and see what other thoughts come in.

    Then I will address each reply.


  2. Brother Lou,

    I have not always agreed with every tenet you have put forth, but you have asked the question they cannot answer.

    Reminds me of when the Lord asked Pharisees questions they couldn't answer.

  3. Hello Art:

    Thanks for the comment.

    I understand we will all have differences in some points of doctrine and application. Those discussions are good because they force us to study, learn and grow.

    I have gone back to one issue that came to my attention in my debates on Sharprer Iron and Pulpit Magazine. I am working diligently through a passage of Scripture to make sure I am rightly dividing it. Looks good so far, but I am making sure of it.

    As for my question: I posted it twice very conspicuously for Nathan at Pulpit Magazine. He did not even acknowledge it, let alone offer an answer.

    I believe you have hit on the reason why they cannot answer it.

    It is very common for LS advocates to refuse to answer or discuss a subject if they believe it may expose their position to legitimate scrutiny. I can cite numerous examples of this from years of experience.

    This was Nathan's method at PM. In the thread following my Confusion & Contradiction article Paul E refused to answer any quesion I posed. Jerry disappeared once he got into a bind with some of MacArthur's problematic statements.

    Some pastors have told me personally that they do not want to study the LS issue out because they do not want to be put in a position that may cause them to have a doctrinal problem with a fellow pastor. I detail one of these episodes in my book.

    Again, thanks for the note.


  4. I would not call myself a Lordship Salvationist. I do not know enough about it to be comfortable with the label.

    But, to answer your question, I offer you this verse;

    Luke 12
    "8 Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: 9 But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God."

    Are these men in John 12:42-43 not the seed that fell among the thorns?

    As to your question specifically, no, they did not repent. Repentance means to turn away from sin. But they would rather have what this world offers then follow Christ with their whole lives. In fact, they repented(turned away) from their repentance. They loved this world more then Christ.

    Part two of your question asks if they were believers. We are in a covenant relationship with Jesus. The fact that it is called a covenant requires something from both sides. He will not break His side of the covenant. He is constant. To remain in this covenant we must be believing, which is not the same as to have believed. The question is always in the present. It's "do you believe?"
    not "did you believe? the question of believing is always tied to the present.

    A question for you. Please read.

    Gal 5 19Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
    20Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
    21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

    This is written to Christians. Is it possible to live like this and still be a Christian? So the question is "what does it mean to "fall away"?"

    God Bless!

  5. Thomas:

    Thanks for taking a shot at this. As I noted above Nathan, MacArthur’s assistant wanted nothing to do with it.

    Sorry I am late in posting your comment and this reply. I’m just back from a strenuous skiing vacation, my ski trips are strenuous, but I like it that way. So, just a quick note in response with more to follow.

    You wrote, “Repentance means to turn away from sin”.

    Your response is , sorry to say, flawed from the outset because that is not the biblical definition of repentance. It is the Lordship definition, which leads to their works salvation message.

    Take a moment and read the following:

    Lordship’s “Turn from Sin” For Salvation

    The Relationship Between God’s Grace and Lordship Legalism

    I trust you will find these helpful.

    More later,


  6. To the latter portion of your comment above I will respond this way: The Bible clearly teaches the eternal security of every genuinely born again child of God. He cannot lose his salvation.

    And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:28).

    And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God,” (1 John 5:11-13).