Greetings to All:
You may have read some or all of my recent articles that address the “Crossless”gospel. You can review them by visiting this Series on The “Crossless” Gospel.
This week I posted the OPEN LETTER to the Free Grace Community by Pastor Tom Stegall. That letter's primary goal was to address an issue about the channels of communication between Pastors Stegall & Rokser and the leadership of the GES, primarily Bob Wilkin. I trust you have read that important letter.
A new multi-part series that addresses the “Crossless” interpretation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is about to begin. The topic and subject matter will be: The False Paradigms of the “Crossless” Gospel. The contributing writer is Mr. Greg Schliesmann.
Mr. Greg Schliesmann attends Word of Grace Bible Church in Waukesha, WI. Greg has been involved in the “Crossless” gospel debate for several months and I have appreciated his contribution. A short time ago Greg contacted me about a desire he had to do a short series on the “Crossless” gospel. He asked if he might be able to post his series on my blog. After hearing Greg’s description of the nature and direction of his proposed series I whole-heartedly agreed to post his series. Greg will be available to interact with any who desire to do so in the discussion threads that follow each of his articles.
Following is an introductory statement by Greg. Shortly afterward is Greg's opening statement to his series addressing the “False Paradigms” inherent in the argumentation of the advocates of the “Crossless” gospel.
The Lord used the writings of Zane Hodges to recover me from the Lordship Salvation interpretation of the gospel. For his early work in response to the Lordship controversy I will always be grateful. Today I am certain of salvation based upon the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross and the corresponding promises of God.
In recent months, however, I am have come to the point where I am convinced that grave doctrinal errors are being made by men in leadership at the Grace Evangelical Society (GES), Zane Hodges in particular. Most disconcerting is removing the necessity of the crosswork, and the deity-humanity of Christ as essential truths to the saving gospel.
In spite of every controversy I have witnessed about the gospel, I believe the Word of God is clear about the Gospel of our salvation (John 3:14-18; Rom. 3:19-26; 4:1-5, 23-25; 1 Cor. 1:17-23). By His grace, I hope to humbly heed the plain meaning of His word with grace-oriented brethren rather than to re-interpret it based upon false paradigms and the reasoning of men.
With Greg's opening remarks complete I now turn this discussion over to his introduction of The False Paradigms of the “Crossless” Gospel.
Anybody who has perused “free grace” blogs in the past few weeks has witnessed a clash of views regarding the critical question of what the lost must believe to receive eternal life. Men associated with the Grace Evangelical Society (GES) have developed a relatively new view that denies the lost must believe in Christ's death for sins, resurrection, deity, or humanity in order to be saved. Instead, they claim there are only three essentials:
1) The name “Jesus”
2) Guarantees “everlasting life”
3) Upon believing this.
The GES view says that a lost sinner will be saved upon believing these three items even while that person remains in ignorance and unbelief about Christ’s deity, humanity, death for our sins, and His resurrection.
We must note that the current advocates of this view personally believe and teach the death and resurrection of Christ, and they say these truths are often helpful in preparing the hearts of the lost. However, they sharply oppose those of us who claim the lost must believe Christ’s deity-humanity, death for our sins, and resurrection as essential truths of the message of salvation. In fact, they claim those of us holding to the classical free grace view are complicating the message of salvation by “adding extra theological information to the gospel”. Some even claim we have changed and distorted the true object of faith for salvation by requiring belief in these truths. For this reason, proponents of the GES view have been termed “crossless gospel advocates” in a new article series The Tragedy of the “Crossless Gospel by Pastor Tom Stegall which has sparked the discussion about this issue on various free grace blogs.
The discussions on these blog sites have exemplified a principle that generally underlies doctrinal disagreements. Differing beliefs are built upon differing paradigms. The word "paradigm" is defined as,
“A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them.”
It is obvious the proponents of the “Crossless” gospel have adopted a different set of paradigms that either led to their new view or that have developed to support their view. For example, some “Crossless” gospel advocates now deny the term “THE GOSPEL” is ever used in Scripture to refer to the specific message the lost need to believe in order to be saved.
This was not one of the original paradigms that led to this view, but it is a claim recently developed to support the “Crossless” message. With this clash of beliefs, it is important that we follow the instruction found in 1 John 4:1, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
While this introduction and the series to follow will not thoroughly address every issue raised by “Crossless” gospel advocates, I believe this brief survey of some of their arguments will reveal that “Crossless” gospel advocates have adopted several false paradigms that collapse under even a small amount of Biblical scrutiny.
 See Zane C. Hodges, “How to Lead People to Christ, Pt.1,” Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society (Autumn 2000) and “How to Lead People to Christ, Pt.2,” Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society (Spring 2001). Available online: http://www.faithalone.org/journal/index.html. See section “Adding to the Gospel” in Pt. 1.
 See Antonio da Rosa, “Checklist Evangelists,” (July 12, 2007 blog entry). Antonio claims, “They make doctrine the object of faith and not Christ alone.” This is a serious charge tantamount to saying we preach a false gospel with a false object of faith that cannot save a sinner. If this is represents the position of GES leaders, it seems candor would demand GES require all members to agree with their view of the required content of faith for salvation.
 The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005).
 See Jeremy D. Myers, “The Gospel is More than Faith Alone in Christ Alone,” Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society 19 (Autumn 2006). Also Jeremy D. Myers, “Just the Gospel Facts P’s” and “Gospel Word Study Chart” Also Jeremy D. Myers, “How I Evangelize” (July 13, 2007 blog entry).
***The first in the Series on The False Paradigms of the “Crossless” Gospel will appear early next week.