August 24, 2007

OPEN QUESTION to Bob Wilkin at the Grace Evangelical Society

What could be more vital than the Deity of Christ when we talk about the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

This morning at the Grace Evangelical Society (GES) blog site I posted the Deity of Christ question to Bob Wilkin.

At the GES blog, GES staff member Jeremy Myers has twice dodged the question with redirects and double-speak. For a trained pastor to evade a question, that any first year Bible college student could easily understand and respond to, is unconscionable.

Following is my open question to Bob Wilkin at the GES blog site


Brother Bob:

I have a simple question that I am directing to you personally.

You are the Founder & Executive Director of the GES. I am hopeful that a man of your character, reputation and desire to seek truth will respond with an honest, transparent answer to this simple to understand, direct question.

Can a lost man be born again, while consciously denying the deity of Christ, if he believes in Jesus for eternal life?

Thanking you in anticipation of your reply.


LM


Kyle Kaumeyer, of the GES, posted this note to me at the GES’s official blog site.

“Bob is out of town at a conference and will not be back in the office until Tuesday. Once he is back in the saddle he will have time to respond to your question.”

57 comments:

  1. Dear Guests:

    My concern with the teaching of the "Crossless" gospel is not exclusively over what a sinner does or does NOT know, although there are indisputable essentials to be known and believed for salvation.

    My chief concern with the new twist on the Gospel has grown and been somewhat refocused in recent weeks from my reading and interaction with the men who advocate it. That shift in my focus is what lead to the forming of my question the way I did.

    This is why I am now asking Wilkin, Hodges and Myers if they believe a lost man can consciously reject and deny an essential, vital truth such as the deity of Christ, and still be born again by believing in Jesus for eternal life.

    Two “Crossless” advocates (Danny and Matthew [Dyspraxic Fundamentalis]) believe the conscious denial of Christ’s deity does not hinder a lost man from being saved by believing in Jesus as the Giver of eternal life.

    I am curious, as I trust any Bible-believing Free Grace Christian should be, if Hodges, Wilkin and Myers hold to the same view Danny and Matthew have expressed in unvarnished terms.


    LM

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  2. Lou -

    "consciously reject and deny an essential, vital truth"

    Why do you say "consciously"?

    I'm just curious :)

    I'm also wondering if you are saying that it is OK to not be conscious (unconscious) of His deity and still be saved....

    JL

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  3. Jon:

    The subject, meaning and intent of the question is very clear.

    To help you with your question here a dictionary definition of “Consciously,” “fully aware of or sensitive to something.”

    In this witnessing opportunity a lost man has been made aware that Jesus is God and he has decided to reject and deny this truth.

    Can this lost man be born again, while consciously denying the deity of Christ, if he believes in Jesus for eternal life?

    There is nothing difficult about that question.

    Matthew and Danny believe he can be born again while rejecting the deity of Christ. What say you?

    I am hopeful you are not going to reply with something like Antonio's and Jeremy's predictable evasion of this question, which is to come back with a misdirect, twist of logic or double-speak.


    LM

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  4. The errors of the “Crossless” gospel goes well beyond discussing what a sinner must know/believe to be saved. It has degenerated to what the GES/Hodges are saying the lost man can consciously know, reject it, and still be born again.

    Think of it, a lost man tramples the Deity of our blessed Savior, but the "Crossless" advocate is undeterred. He tells the man that just blasphemed Jesus; he can still receive eternal life by believing Jesus for it. Awful!

    It took me a few weeks to hone in on this, and now that I have, and asked the RIGHT question, these men are not interested in debating this question. Just look at Jeremy’s evasion of this penetrating question.

    It is my hope and prayer that many unsuspecting believers across a broad spectrum of evangelical Christianity will learn to recognize this egregious error and avoid it.


    LM

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  5. Is there any wonder why Lou doesn't want to debate if a simple question - crafted in such a way as to be completely unambiguous - is seemingly impossible to answer?

    Jon, reflect on the question and how you dealt with it. Does this not reveal something about your approach to this subject? Does it not give you pause to reconsider your study and whether or not you really have "Biblical authority" behind your position on the Gospel?

    Kev

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  6. Kev -

    I'm on record as saying that the deity of Jesus is essential in identifying in whom you believe.

    I have reconsidered this many times and am willing to do so again. Maybe you are right - maybe it's not essential and my position on the Gospel is wrong.


    Lou -

    I assumed you already were aware of my position on the deity and would therefore recognize that this is not are area where we are in opposition. I know what conscious means, but thank you for belittling me with your condescending attitude.

    My question is honest. Can I not be fully aware of the deity of Christ and still believe in Him for eternal life? I say no.

    I've said before and I'll repeat it for you and Kev who seem to have short memories. The faith of Abraham was being fully convinced that what GOD had promised GOD was also able to perform. That is the same faith, saving faith, that we have today. What sayest you?

    JL

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  7. Jon:

    I am truly sorry that I offended you in either of my notes to you, but that not was my intent. You asked, “Why do (I) say ‘consciously’?” I defined the word and made the application. Again, I was not trying to belittle you.

    I asked you the same question that I have of Jeremy, Antonio and now Bob Wilkin. It was simply to give you an opportunity to answer when, to date, Antonio and Jeremy are evading this important doctrinal matter. The thing that I find especially disingenuous is how these other men answer a question with a question.

    You wrote (to Kevl), “I'm on record as saying that the deity of Jesus is essential in identifying in whom you believe.”

    That is fine, but it not the subject of or an answer to the question under consideration.

    I am not trying to be critical of you here, just making an observation when I refer back to your initial comment in thread. You asked me one question about my deity question, then a somewhat unrelated question. In your second post, just above, you again come back with a question in reply to a question.

    Now as for your position on the deity of Christ, I was and am not aware of it. I posted the same question to you, that I have to the other men. I am hopeful you are not going to take the same disingenuous route Antonio and Jeremy have thus far. Wilkin is away until Tuesday, and Kyle said Wilkin will reply to my question when he returns. Matthew and Danny gave a straight up answers.

    If you have it in mind that you will not answer my question on the deity of Christ, then just say so. Please do not dance around it with redirects and topic shifting questions. Either answer, or say you don’t want to.

    So, here it is for you to consider and answer. If you will give a straight up reply without any trappings of logic or reweaving it, I’ll address the question you asked me.

    Can a lost man be born again, while consciously denying the deity of Christ, if he believes in Jesus for eternal life?

    Again, sorry that I offended you with my earlier postings, it was not my intention.


    LM

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  8. Lou -

    I couldn't have been more clear!

    "Can a lost man be born again, while consciously denying the deity of Christ, if he believes in Jesus for eternal life?"

    My answer is still no. I hope this doesn't qualify as "trappings of logic" and I hope "no" doesn't mean I'm reweaving the question. But, then again, who knows with you guys .

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  9. Jon:

    My sincere apology for missing your answer earlier in the thread. I was literally falling alseep at the keyborard last night.

    Thanks for answering here for me. You are unique among the men who hold to the position on the Gospel coming from the GES. They refuse to deal with it squarely.

    The "reweaving" and "trappings of logic" is primarily for Jeremy Myers and Antonio da Rosa. Any objective read of their non-answer replies leave only one conclusion, they are dodging the question.

    Again, my sincere apology for missing the answer you clearly stated.

    I trust this heals any wound you may be feeling.


    LM

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  10. Lou -

    No wound - I just feel like I keep getting put in a box.

    I have emailed Bob Wilkin about this question (a couple weeks ago). His answer was direct, sincere and comforted me a great deal. I think you will all be surprised by his answer but I won't speak for him. I think you will see him answer any question in a very direct, Biblical manner. That has been my experience, at least.

    JL

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  11. Jon:

    Thanks for the note.

    I am looking forward to Bob's reply. I am hopeful it will not resemble the evasive maneuvering I am getting from Jeremy Myers.

    In my opinion, and this is only my opinion, if Bob's reply to my clear, unambiguous question resembles Jeremy's evasive replies, he (Wilkin) is going to be in for a great deal of criticism from a considerable number of concerned Christians in the Free Grace community.


    LM

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  12. Lou,

    My replies are neither evasive nor ambiguous. All I am asking is for this discussion to be about Scripture, not some man-made contrived, hypothetical question.

    I find it surprising that you wish to debate doctrine divorced from Scripture. There is no practice more dangerous. I have asked you for passages which support your question, and you have refused to give any.

    If you want to ask a question about a passage from God's Word on this issue, I would be happy to discuss it (when I have the time). Otherwise, your "question" is nothing more than a waste of my time.

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  13. Jeremy:

    It is not hypothetical, as you have been shown by Brett at the GES blog.

    Since when is a question about the deity of Christ NOT "about a passage from God's Word", several of which I have shared in the public forum with you?

    You are evasive, which is plainly evident to any objective reader.


    LM

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  14. To All:

    This morning Jeremy Myers at the GES blog wrote,

    The truth is, we all have better things to do than respond to every one of your baseless accusations, let alone in the timeframe that you demand.

    Anybody who knows the least little bit about what I and others believe, knows that we firmly hold to the deity of Jesus, and that we teach that He must be God in order to offer eternal life to those who believe in Him for it. For you to imply otherwise is not only laughable, but is the most basic of logical fallacies
    .”

    I replied there as follows in the next post…

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  15. Jeremy:

    You wrote, “Anybody who knows the least little bit about what I and others believe, knows that we firmly hold to the deity of Jesus, and that we teach that He must be God in order to offer eternal life to those who believe in Him for it. For you to imply otherwise is not only laughable, but is the most basic of logical fallacies. .”

    You have misrepresented the basis and subject of my question on Christ’s deity. I never, and you know I never, suggested or implied whether or not you or any “Crossless” gospel advocate personally rejects the deity of Christ.

    If I have called into question your belief in Christ’s deity, produce the evidence. You can’t because I never did.

    You and anyone who has read my question can readily see that it has to do with what a lost person believes about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. More specifically, and you know it, the question has to do with the lost man consciously rejecting the deity of Christ.

    You are going to dodge the question, which has been clear since the first time you acknowledged the question. Dodge the question, but at least be accurate in identifying the exact subject you are not going to answer.

    If you have any sense of making right a misrepresentation you will do so here in regard to your disingenuous statement above.


    LM


    Can a lost man be born again, while consciously denying the deity of Christ, if he believes in Jesus for eternal life?

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  16. The question is very clear from Lou. The answer does not seem as easy though, nor clear. It seems to me clearly that a lost man can be born again without a clear understanding of Jesus being God incarnate. When it comes to a lost man being born again while denying that Jesus is God, that is more difficult. The simple answer seems to be No because there are so many passages that discuss Jesus Christ being God incarnate - but are these passages evangelistic? I'm not as sure, nor do their seem to be many that are 'Gospel' oriented.

    When it comes to a Christian having already been born again, though not fully understanding Jesus is God, the second person of the Trinity, then to no longer believe He is God after that time of belief I would say the Christian is now simply in doctrinal error and out of felloewship with the Apostle's teaching. This seems to be evidenced throughout the epistles as the Apostles would respond to doctrinal error, specifically about the nature of Christ, such as the Supremacy of Christ as God in Colossians (1-2) and 'Jesus being Better' than Angels, being God Himself and given a greater 'NAME' than any angel, being spoken of as 'My Son' in Hebrews 1, as well as other passages.

    But this doesnt discuss the Gospel itself, only answers to doctrinal error in the specific assembly. I dont believe I could actually answer the question posted by Lou correctly since I do not know of any scripture that comes to mind that presents Jesus both as God and Eternal Life-giver at the same moment while giving an evangelistic message. Some would say John 10:27-31 but this is talking about His power and authority to keep His sheep as their shephard, not about believing Him to be God and Eternal-Life Giver so as to receive eternal life. He does state that He and the Father are One, obviously claiming to be God Himself, but I'm not sure this is an evangelistic message. It might be, but I would have to look at it more and study the entire context deeper.

    In my study I dont believe I have ever come across an evangelistic passage about Jesus being both God and Eternal Life-Giver at the same time. Could there be? Possibly yes. But, context is obviously key as there are a great many passages on the deity of Christ.

    Are these passage evangelistic or are they clarifications to help lead us into further truth? I tend to lead towards the latter, seeing passages such as Jn 20:27-29 (Thomas' declaration of Jesus as both his Lord and God) to lead me to believe that you do not have to believe He is God to receive eternal life at all. If you do believe that, then the disciples were not born again until probably after the Resurrection of Christ, seeing in the Upper Room Discourse that they were still very confused about Jesus being God as they asked Him in John 14 to 'Show them the Father.'

    I need to study this issue more deeply, but I am not convinced that you must believe He is God to be born again. Now, do I believe you can be born again, while at the moment of response you DENY Him as God Himself? I do not know.

    Grace Eternal,

    Ross ~ Jn. 5:24

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  17. Ross:

    You wrote, “In my study I don’t believe I have ever come across an evangelistic passage about Jesus being both God and Eternal Life-Giver at the same time.”

    Look no further, John 3:16 is your passage.

    For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

    The context and setting is evangelistic.

    “His only begotten Son,” is Jesus, the Son of God, His deity clearly the point.

    “..have everlasting life,”

    John 3:16 is part of the Lord's direct evangelisitc appeal to Nicodemus.

    The passage clearly shows that Jesus is God and that He, the Son of God, gives eternal life to whosoever believes in Him, the ONLY begotten Son of God.


    LM

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  18. Greg does a fabulous job of showing The Christ (as opposed to a christ like Cyrus and Moses) IS equated with God in another thread here at Lou's.


    With all of this talk about hypothetical questions... and with the ease with which some people seem to "handle" the Gospel (this is not a compliment) here I wondering something.

    The believed average percentage of Christians who share their faith is 2%. Now sharing my faith is my life, it's what I've been called to do. Street ministry, on the web, at church.. this is my calling. I evangelize.

    I mention this because I wonder how many of these experts on how little a person needs to believe to be saved actually put this into practice.

    Twice I've read from at least two people how something isn't reality that we should be talking about the realities of Scripture instead of hypothetical scenarios.

    Paul tells us the Gospel that has saved us, which the Saints have received where in we stand lest we have believed in vain.

    Now we stand in it because He keeps us - if this were not true we would have believed in vain.

    Paul tells us what the Gospel is. It's 1 Cor 15:1-8.

    What does a person need to believe to be saved? I Cor 15:1-8. This is what the Saints have received and believed. This precisely.

    Out of this we see that the Christ of the Scriptures has died for OUR sins, was buried, rose from the grave and was seen alive by more than 500 people.

    This is what Paul says saves. I watch this message change eternity for people - it's what I live for.

    Now, the Apostle of the Gospel of Grace to the Gentiles is Paul. He came baring this Gospel - not Believe on a guy name d Jesus for eternal life.

    Go out into the streets and preach your crossless gospel if you dare (and you ought not dare to do so). See the fruit it bares. I'm sure that many will flock to you - isn't it the message the flesh aches to hear? I'm not bad.. I have no sin.. there is no god who will judge me.. I have eternal life!

    No idea what Eternal Life is because they dare not link it to Jesus' own explanation of it before the Father.

    John 17:1-5

    I am sorry for my harshness. The shallow way we have been discussing the Gospel - THE Gospel has set me off. That which takes a dead man - headed for ETERNITY in inescapable Hellfire and makes him alive and bound forever to Christ!

    This is God almighty. He didn't write the whole book of John (as an evangelism tool) and all the rest of the scriptures that proclaim the Gospel so that some man could decide that he could have just written John 6:47 and added the sub-note "Me = Jesus".

    Kev

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  19. To All:

    1) Please identify when you are quoting another person by putting their words in "..." and italics.

    2) Please keep your posts to about 250+/- words.

    I am not going to enforce that word count strictly, but I am finding that longs post are difficult to sort through and reply to.

    I am also thinking about the guests who read, but do not post. They need to follow the thread.



    Lou

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  22. "What does a person need to believe to be saved? I Cor 15:1-8. This is what the Saints have received and believed. This precisely."

    This is a call back to correct doctrine - it's written to Christians. Why would you evangelize them?

    Makes no sense Kev...

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  23. Antonio, I am writing the following to my guests, but it is directed solely to you.


    Antonio has dodged me and my doctrinal questions and concerns for several days. He waited until late this evening to suddenly post two more of his reckless, increasingly immature demands for a public debate. To make matters worse his posts were filled with bitterness and vitriol.

    Major portions of his posts appeared to be copy and paste reproductions of previous posts, a habit he has been appropriately rebuked and banned from other blogs for.

    I have told him several times that he is barking up the wrong tree, but he is determined to try and turn the discussion on the “Crossless” gospel into a personality clash.

    I have been patient, and apt to teach, but Antonio is consumed with emotion and unrestrained arrogance. Antonio needs to mature into a man that can disagree sharply, but charitably. His ultra-combative attitude, and arrogance have put him one misstep away from being denied permission to participate at my blog.

    I am asking Antonio to refrain from posting any more complaints about a public debate. He needs to accept that it is not going to happen, and live with it.

    I am asking Antonio to refrain from personal ad hominem attacks on any person that participates at my blog

    If there is even more occurrence of the kind of posts that I just deleted I will have to ban Antonio from my blog. He has been banned from several sites in the blogosphere for similar unruly behavior. He is about to become my blog’s first and only casualty.

    I am hopeful Antonio will demonstrate enough character and integrity to abide by my wishes here. I would rather not have to ban him and enable Comment Moderation, but will if he posts any more of what I just removed.



    LM

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  24. Jon said to Kev regarding "the gospel" in 1Cor. 15: "This is a call back to correct doctrine - it's written to Christians. Why would you evangelize them?"

    In other words, Jon is arguing that "the gospel" (vv. 3-4) which includes Christ's death and resurrection is just sanctification "good news" for believers but not "the good news" the lost need to believe to be saved.

    Jon, your comment is ironic because the "correct doctrine" to which Paul is calling the Corinthians to return is itself very much related to your content of faith for salvation.

    First, 1Cor. 15. deals with the resurrection of believers (1Cor. 15:12, 16, 19, 20, 22, 29). The heresy in Corinth involved denying the promise of resurrection which is itself involved in the promise of eternal life (cf. John 6:39, 40; 11:25-26)! So isn't your statement a two-edged sword?

    Your suggestion that Paul cannot be reiterating the gospel by which the Corinthians received eternal life simply because he is calling believers to return to it is unfounded. Scripture teaches that in the Christian life, believers are to hold to the very same gospel by which we were saved. For example:

    "For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; 6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:...: (Col. 1:5-6).

    See also 1Cor. 15:1-2ff; Col. 1:5-6, 23; Gal. 1:6-9; 2:2-5; 2:16-20; 3:1-2; Phil. 1:5).

    In both 1Cor. 15. and Galatians (e.g. Gal. 1:6-10), Paul is addressing a very similar situation. Although the heresies are different, both heresies contradict the original "gospel" by which these believers were saved. Paul calls them back to "the gospel" through which they were born again.

    Paul specifically says he is reminding them of "the gospel" that he originally preached regarding Christ's death and resurrection, and he does so to prove the resurrection of believers which goes along with the promise of life! I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which ye also received...I delivered to you FIRST OF ALL that which I also received... (15:1, 3).

    If this was only some sanctification good news to believers, it is a strange thing that the Apostles taught the same truths of 1Cor. 15:3-4 all over the book of Acts to the lost (e.g. Acts 10:38-43; 13:26-41) and it is also called "the gospel" there.

    It is also noticeable "the gospel" in 1Cor. 15:1-4 corresponds exactly with "the gospel" and the "message of the cross" in 1Cor. 1:17-23. It is also a strange thing that Paul indicates the Corinthians were born again through "the gospel" (1Cor. 4:15).

    Do you believe "the gospel" through which the Corinthians were regenerated is different from that of 1Cor. 1:17-23 and 15:3-4?

    Thanks,
    Greg

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  25. Hi Jon,

    I see that Greg has responded - which I have not read but the first two lines of - but I wanted to respond with something so simple it might even be offensive to some.

    Of my appeal to 1 Cor 15:1-8 You said

    "This is a call back to correct doctrine - it's written to Christians. Why would you evangelize them?

    Makes no sense Kev... "



    I direct you to Verse 1. This is not a preaching of a new thing to these people. As Greg says above - Paul is reminding them of the whole Truth they received because they had started to deny part of it.

    1 Cor 15:1 But I make known to you, brethren, the glad tidings which I announced to you, which also ye received, in which also ye stand,

    Notice the tense of this. This is all past tense. He's not telling them this as instruction of something new.

    In fact he he's going back over basics with them because they are still carnal babes in Christ 1 Cor ch2 & 3 being my reasoning about this.

    I'm sure Greg gave a complete reasonable response to your but I wanted to bring up the tense and why that's important.

    Kev

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  26. Greg says -

    "In other words,"

    You can stop right there. All this means is "I'm about to put words in Jon's mouth"!

    Kev says -

    "In fact he he's going back over basics with them because they are still carnal babes in Christ 1 Cor ch2 & 3 being my reasoning about this"

    This is exactly my point! These verses are not written for evangelism.

    For you guys to call yourself Free Grace you would have to admit that Christians can succomb to all types of doctrinal perversion - yet they themselves remain saved.

    As a Christian, to deny that Christ rose again is to deny the very foundation of eternal life. Without Christ risen, we have no hope!

    Greg says -

    "Do you believe "the gospel" through which the Corinthians were regenerated is different from that of 1Cor. 1:17-23 and 15:3-4?"

    No.

    That doesn't mean you have to believe or even understand every detail of the news that's good. It's good whether you believe it or not. You simply must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Do you believe a Christian must hold to every point of the "gospel" to remain saved?

    You guys are starting to sound like Piper and MacArthur!

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  27. Hi Jon,

    You said "This is exactly my point! These verses are not written for evangelism."

    Huh?

    Paul is recounting what these people believed to be saved - he is re-establishing what he evangelized them with.

    Setting aside the whole 'this is the Gospel by which we are saved' part.. I mean how much clearer does God need to be for you?

    Then you said "For you guys to call yourself Free Grace you would have to admit that Christians can succomb to all types of doctrinal perversion - yet they themselves remain saved."

    Truth is never defined by one's theology. No one has to admit that something is something because they are a "calvinist" "dispensationalist" or even "Free Grace" ...

    We admit what is True because the Bible says it's True. The Bible says that 1 Cor 15:1-8 is the Gospel by which we are saved. The fact that Paul uses the Gospel by which we are saved to rebuke those who were now teaching error is just more strength to the argument being made here at Lou's Blog. As we are making the same argument as Paul made.

    Kev

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  28. Do you believe a Christian must hold to every point of the "gospel" to remain saved?

    Why does this eternal security question come up so often?

    Has this not been established here over and over again that everyone (participating) here believes in eternal security?

    Is not the Apostle Paul addressing Christians who had fallen away from essential Truth to correct them? Does this not answer your question?

    Kev

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  29. Jeremy:

    You wrote, “I have asked you for passages which support your question, and you have refused to give any.”

    I offered to you several passages of Scripture that speak to the deity of Christ and the consequences for any man who denies that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, Deity.

    You dismiss them, by creating a theological loophole in your mind, because you do not want to address the question that several other men happily replied to.

    I know why you and select others will not give a clear, unambiguous answer. It is not just a doctrinal problem you are having. I am going to post on that at another time here at my blog.

    To reiterate from earlier posts, if you do not want to answer the question, then just say so. But please try to refrain from these increasing misrepresentations.

    Your doctrine on the Gospel is corrupt, your evasions are obvious, but now you are beginning to compromise your integrity when you make disingenuous statements such as the one above.


    LM

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  30. Lou,

    I did respond to your 1 John passage, and your other two passages only deal with the fact that Jesus is divine. Contextually, they have nothing to do with what must be believed for justification. I do not deny the deity of Jesus, so I don't see how your passages from Colossians and Hebrews have any bearing on your question.

    I want a passage from Scripture which deals with the question you have asked. I want an example from Scripture of a person who is presented with the deity of Jesus, and denies it, but still believes in Jesus for everlasting life, and yet, because they don't believe in His deity, are told they are not justified. If you can find a passage like this, I will happily discuss it. The truth is, you can't.

    I have repeatedly asked you to discuss the woman at the well in John 4, yet you repeatedly refuse to discuss Scripture. Why would you demand answers to hypothetical questions, yet refuse to discuss Scripture? I think I know why.

    Your question comes neither from Scripture nor from real world evangelistic encounters. I doubt very much if your hypothetical situation has ever happened in the history of the world. So why are we wasting time discussing it if neither you, nor I, nor anybody else will ever have this happen to them?

    Your question further reveals some ignorance about the Biblical usage of the term "Christ" which essentially renders the question nonsensical, like asking if 2+2=red.

    Nevertheless, my "answer" (which I have posted elsewhere and you must have missed it) is that a person who is presented with the deity of Jesus, and consciously rejects it, will not believe in Jesus for everlasting life.

    Now, the best way for you to respond to my post, would be to delete it, since that seems to be your best tactic when someone posts something on your blog that you don't like.

    Note that on our blog, we have not deleted your angry, vitriolic, cut-and-paste posts, nor those of John (who, by the way, is making all you men look incredibly foolish, arrogant, and petty.)

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  31. Jeremy,

    It is amazing you continue to refuse to answer the question. Kyle indicated that Bob would answer the question. But now, all you guys are doing is continuing to complain. The answer "yes" to Lou's question is simply the logical conclusion of the crossless gospel view.

    Crossless advocates define "Christ" in purely functional terms - the guarantor of everlasting life. You say a person only needs to believe Jesus is the guarantor of everlasting life to be saved, but believing in His deity is NOT required.

    Even John 20:31, which is supposed to be a crux verse for the crossless position, says "these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name."

    This verse and dozens of others include "Son of God" as appositional to "Christ". Crossless advocates focus on John 4:42 where, following the exact same construction (assuming that "the Christ" is part of the true text), "the Savior of the world" is appositional to the Christ.

    If you are going to take that as appositional in terms of identifying the Christ, you should also take "the Son of God" which outnumbers "the Savior of the world" as an appositional modifier to "the Christ" probably 20 to 1. Unless you have some pressing theological need that would keep you from accepting the clear meaning of Scripture, the term "the Son of God" which is appositional to "the Christ" across all of Scripture should affect your understanding of "the Christ" especially since John 20:31 conditions salvation upon believing this.

    In the passage Lou quoted, 1John 2:22-23, the terms "the Christ" and "Son" (in relationship to the "Father) are interchanged. Yet to scolded Lou for believing the term "the Christ" involves deity!

    Furthermore, the term "the Christ" or "the Messiah" had to come from somewhere. The only OT passages that use the term "Messiah" or "Annointed" identify Him in terms of His deity and work (e.g. Psalm 2; 45).

    Your response to Lou is based upon the very ignorance of which you accuse Lou. Your understanding does not come from Scripture but GES mantra. If I am questioned on this, I am ready to respond Scripturally.

    There are dozens more passages that predicate salvation upon believing in the deity of Christ.

    Here are two examples:

    "And He said to them, "You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins." (John 8:23-24)

    "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things." (John 8:28)

    The background for these statements is this:

    "You are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that you may know, and believe me, and understand that I MYSELF AM. Before me there was no God formed, and after me there shall be none. I AM, I AM the LORD [Jehovah/the I AM]: and there is no Saviour besides me." (Isaiah 43:10-11, Darby).

    -- Greg

    P.S. You keep repeating Zane Hodges's argument about the Samaritans not believing Christ's deity. In "How to Lead a Person to Christ" he introduces this argument as an attempt to evade the implications of his own conclusions on John 20:31. His argument is a desperate attempt to impose his own theology in Scripture, much like MacArthur's comments on John 3. I think Hodges is a brilliant thinker, but he has been reduced to a rediculous argument on this. His argument is an exegetical pop gun.

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  32. Jon, I asked:

    "Do you believe 'the gospel' through which the Corinthians were regenerated is different from that of 1Cor. 1:17-23 and 15:3-4?"

    You said:

    "No.

    That doesn't mean you have to believe or even understand every detail of the news that's good. It's good whether you believe it or not. You simply must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.


    It's good news whether or not you believe it!!?? Actually, it is BAD NEWS if you do not believe the gospel:

    In flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey (believe) the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2Thes. 1:8).

    The Word of God says those who do not believe the gospel are going to hell (2Thes. 1:8)!

    The Word of God says a person is born again through "the gospel" (1Cor. 4:15).

    Yet Jon says it's good news even if you do not believe it! He says you do not need to believe "the gospel" to go to heaven! While admitting that the gospel Paul repeats in 1Cor. 15:3-4 is the SAME through which the Corinthians were born again (1Cor. 4:15) and saved from hell (1Cor. 1:17-21), Jon argues "That doesn't mean you [a lost person] have to believe or even understand every detail of the news that's good."

    This is violence against a very holy area of God's holy Word.

    Jon continued:

    Do you believe a Christian must hold to every point of the "gospel" to remain saved? You guys are starting to sound like Piper and MacArthur!

    Jon, I never, for one second, said anything to suggest a person needed to persevere in order to reach heaven! The verses I posted above teach that God wants all Christians to continue to hold to the SAME gospel by which they were eternally saved from hell. That does not mean every Christian will hold to the truths of the gospel, but it does mean the truths of 1Cor. 15:3-4, for example, are essentials truths of the SAME gospel by which the Corinthians were born again (1Cor. 4:15).

    Jon, why are you here? Are you even open to the truth or do you just want to raise smoke screens like this to distract from the issue?

    -- Greg

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  33. Jeremy:

    For over an hour I have pondered how I might reply to your latest post. Initially, I had something quite different in mind, but I have prayed and believe the less said the better.

    If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men,” (Rom. 12:18).

    For several days it has been apparent that the possibility for any productive interaction with you has ceased to be possible.

    From here I will address the “Crossless” gospel, and when I refer to your egregious doctrinal errors it will primarily be in third person.


    LM

    PS: I am only vaguely familiar with John. Jeremy paints with the guilt-by-association broad brush.

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  34. Greg,

    Thank you. Finally some texts to discuss.

    Regarding the biblical usage of the term "Christ" I did not get this from some "GES Mantra" but from the lexicons and word study tools that are available in any Bible college or Seminary. Even without the Lexicons and word study tools (since they sometimes make mistakes) a word study that can be done by anybody will reveal that since Cyrus is called the Messiah in Isa 45 (check the Hebrew), the term cannot and does not inherently refer to deity. Extrabiblical literature confirms this as well.

    Regarding the term "Son of God" the Biblical usage doesn't fit your claim either. After all, we have the "sons of God" in Genesis 6, as well as the statement in Hos 1:10 that Israelites were sons of God. Even from the mouth of Jesus, we are told that we will be sons of God (Matt 5:9). The argument that these are plurals and when used of Jesus it is singular won't work due to the most basic of grammatical rules that plurals are used when referring to groups, and singulars are used when referring to a single entity.

    You are right that in John, the terms "Christ" and "son of God" are in apposition, but if neither "Christ" nor "Son of God" inherently refer to deity, then it is quite likely that in the days of Jesus, someone could believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and NOT understand, know, or believe that He is divine.

    Nevertheless, as you point out with a few references from John, one of the points Jesus was trying to make (which John reveals over and over through his gospel) is that Jesus truly was divine. Through His teachings and His miracles, Jesus was trying to prove that He wasn't just the Messiah, the son of God...He actually WAS GOD in the flesh. This is the whole point of His words in John 8.

    Why does Jesus want people to know that He is God? Becuase, as I have spelled out before, if a person does not believe that Jesus is God, it will be nearly impossible for them to believe in Him for everlasting life.

    But what justifies a person is not that they believe Jesus is God, but that they believe in Him for everalsting life. The fact that He is God brings them to a point where they can believe in Him for everlasting life. This is what Jesus' statements in John 8 reveal. They don't believe in Him because they don't believe He is God.

    Once again, this passage does not deal with Lou's question. He wants to know about somebody who doesn't believe Jesus is divine, but does believe in Him for eternal life. Nobody in this passage falls into that category. Most of them don't believe He is divine, and so also don't believe He has eternal life. There are some who apparently believe both (8:30).

    So does belief that Jesus is God justify somebody? No. But it certainly helps bring a person to the point where they can believe in Jesus for everlasting life.

    This is how I understand John 8.

    Now I would like to see your explanation of John 4. I did not get this from Zane Hodges. I didn't even know he talked about this passage in his article. This woman didn't understand the deity of Jesus, nor the death and resurrection of Jesus. Was she not justified when she believe in Him?

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  35. Hi Jeremy,

    You said "
    You are right that in John, the terms "Christ" and "son of God" are in apposition, but if neither "Christ" nor "Son of God" inherently refer to deity, then it is quite likely that in the days of Jesus, someone could believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and NOT understand, know, or believe that He is divine.


    Yup that's why the Pharisees and Scribes didn't care when He said He was the Son of God... this is why they never accused Him of blasphemy when He said such...

    It's pointless to argue this with you. You need to read the Gospels.

    Isa 45:1 firstly I couldn't find a translation that actually translates this as "messiah" let alone "the Messiah" Shouldn't tell us to look at the Hebrew unless what you're saying is actually there - we're gonna look. This is "God's anointed for a purpose" much like Jesus was anointed "for a purpose" which is why when we read "The Christ" we need to see the purpose.

    Further John 4.

    Do I really need to lead you through this? I suspect I shouldn't...

    Jesus says "if you knew the gift of God and Who it is Who asks you..." and then goes on to talk about "living water" that would keep you from being thirsty again. Ever wonder what "living water" means? It doesn't mean the water is alive. What is the gift of God? It is the water and the bread and the quail given to Israel in the wilderness. She knew this. She was apparently familiar with the Scriptures from her confession.

    Jesus just identified Himself as able to give the gift of God that would give life - and not just temporal life. Eternal Life. Now who can "give" the "gift of God" - God only.

    Kev

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  36. Jeremy -

    I appreciate your exposition - it gives me a lot to think about. I'm starting to see how this all fits together. Thanks for taking the time to give such a thorough, Biblical answer.

    JL

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  37. Jeremy, I have much to say about your response but would like to focus on one issue at a time for the sake of managability. You said:

    "Why does Jesus want people to know that He is God? Becuase, as I have spelled out before, if a person does not believe that Jesus is God, it will be nearly impossible for them to believe in Him for everlasting life.

    But what justifies a person is not that they believe Jesus is God, but that they believe in Him for everalsting life. The fact that He is God brings them to a point where they can believe in Him for everlasting life. This is what Jesus' statements in John 8 reveal. They don't believe in Him because they don't believe He is God."


    You are starting from the premise that all one needs to believe is that there is someone called "Jesus" who guarantees eternal life by faith alone. You said it will be "nearly impossible" for one to believe in "Jesus" for eternal life if he does not believe He is God. Yet, you gave examples of people you thought fit this category. That calls into question the plausibility your entire argument, and it obviously raises Lou's question.

    In regards to Jesus' statement, "Unless you believe I AM, you will die in your sins." you stated:

    "This is what Jesus' statements in John 8 reveal. They don't believe in Him because they don't believe He is God."

    You appear to admit that John 8:23-24, 28 refer to His deity. Am I correct?

    Yet, you argue that believing He is God is only a logical step toward believing in Him for eternal life rather than conceding it is essentially involved in believing in Jesus Christ, the Son of God for eternal life.

    When Jesus said "Unless you believe I AM, you will die in your sins," did this apply only to Jews or also to Samaritans and Gentiles?

    Am I correct that, according to your view, it could be said to the Samaritans: "You do NOT believe I AM, yet you shall NOT die in your sins"? If so, how do you maintain the veracity of Christ's words in John 8:24?

    -- Greg

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  38. Kev,

    Regarding Isa 45:1, all I can say is that it sure is a good thing the original author and audience wrote, spoke, and read English so they weren't confused by the Hebrew word "messiach" which is there in the Hebrew.

    Regarding John 4, let us assume that your condescending explanation of the passage to me is correct. Notice that I am not saying that your explanation is incorrect. I may very well agree with your exegesis, but for now, let's just assume you are correct.

    The verses you referred to came from John 4:10-15. If you are correct, then Jesus was telling the woman that He was God come in the flesh. Let's assume, as you argue, that she understood what Jesus was saying, and she understood the Scripture passages He was most likely referring to in Jer 2:13, 18; 17:13. These are two very big IFs, which for now I will grant.

    If all of this is true from John 4:10-15, what do you make of the woman's statement in John 4:19, "Sir, I perceive you are a prophet."

    If Jesus had just told her that He was God, and shown her by references to Scripture that He was God, isn't her response in 4:19 rather odd? Isn't she, in a nice sort of way, consciously denying His deity? Isn't she saying, "Well, I understand what you are claiming about being God, but I don't believe it. At most, you are a prophet."

    Let me put it another way. If she understood what Jesus was saying, and if she believed it, 4:19 is an insult to Jesus. If somone tells you "I am God, and here is Scripture to prove it" and you believe them, you don't say "I see that you are a prophet." No, you fall down and worship that person.

    In the following verses, Jesus stops talking about being living water and being God, and just tries to get her to see that He is more than a prophet, He is the Messiah.

    This she apparently comes to believe (John 4:29, 39).

    So, Kev, if your exegesis is correct, here we have discovered an answer to Lou's question. Here we have a biblical example of a person who is presented with the Scriptural truth that Jesus is God, rejects it, but still believes in Him as the Messiah, the Christ.

    Maybe you want to change you exegesis of the passage now to make it so that either Jesus doesn't explicitly reveal that He is God, or so that she doesn't understand what Jesus is saying. Of course, as soon as you do this, you ruin the argument that a person has to know, understand, and believe that Jesus is divine in order to be justified.

    Quite a dilemma...

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  39. Jeremy, just wanted to know if you planned to directly respond to my question:

    When Jesus said "Unless you believe I AM, you will die in your sins," did this apply only to Jews or also to Samaritans and Gentiles?

    Am I correct that, according to your view, it could be said to the Samaritans: "You do NOT believe I AM, yet you shall NOT die in your sins"? If so, how do you maintain the veracity of Christ's words in John 8:24?

    If you decline to answer, I will note that, and we can move on to the next point.

    -- Greg

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  40. Hi Jeremy

    you said "Regarding Isa 45:1, all I can say is that it sure is a good thing the original author and audience wrote, spoke, and read English so they weren't confused by the Hebrew word "messiach" which is there in the Hebrew."

    Yup you're obviously right. Hebrew words only have one meaning. Usage and context do not affect the intended meaning.

    You closed with "Maybe you want to change you exegesis of the passage now to make it so that either Jesus doesn't explicitly reveal that He is God, or so that she doesn't understand what Jesus is saying. Of course, as soon as you do this, you ruin the argument that a person has to know, understand, and believe that Jesus is divine in order to be justified."

    Oh how clever! :) I'm tempted to turn this into a personal attack.. really I am. I admit this to be as transparent as I can be.

    I guess I'll just answer with Scripture.

    The whole chapter is just a tad more complicated than the way you portray it.

    She has a conversation with Him. She perceives that He is a Prophet - and He was. He does not correct her. The conversation continues and He tells her "who speak to you am He." of the Messiah.

    Now did she believe He was God? Look at what the people of her town said in verse 42 "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world."

    Clearly this can not indicate just a Prophet or even a Cyrus or Mose like messiah. It means The Christ, The Messiah - God Himself.

    Sorry I shant not recant until Scripture reveals that I should. I have no issue at all with being shown I am wrong - I more than welcome it. But reasonings have no authority over Scripture.

    Kev

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  41. Greg and Kev (along with Lou and whoever else...)

    Tell you what. I'm not getting anywhere with you since you ignore my explanations of the text and refuse to answer my questions, and I imagine you feel the same way about me.

    I feel like I'm talking to brick walls who have neither read nor understand the Scriptures. Your arguments and exegesis of Scripture appear to me to be based on traditional misunderstandings of key terms and verses in Scripture. They are completely unpersuasive to me. Again, I'm sure you feel the same way about me.

    One thing I do ask is that you try to refrain from misrepresenting me and my beliefs. I have been blasted on this site and other sites for mispresentations of your view, and each time, after reconsidering the evidence, I have apologized. I feel that nearly everything written about me on this site is a complete misrepresentation of me and what I believe. If you are not going to really take the time to understand what I believe, don't make up my theology for me. On a similar note, I thorougly reject the "crossless gospel" label since I am in print and on audio as saying that the cross is central to the gospel. If you continue to use that label, it is nothing more than a smear tactic and a straw man fallacy.

    The bottom line is that neither one of us is getting anywhere with the other. So, I am going to get back to the mission God has called me to, and teach the Word, invite people to believe in Jesus for everlasting life, and disciple those who believe.

    I know what I believe, and to the best of my ability, I am trying to conform my theology to Scripture, not depending on tradition. I am sure you are trying to do the same thing.

    So tell you what, go ahead and write about me, criticize me, call me a heretic, whatever. I don't really care. Ignore me if you want. I will be corrected by Jesus when I stand before him at the Judgment seat. Whether I am right or wrong in my theology, I will let Him tell me. But one thing I know for sure. He will not be happy with me if I waste any more of my time debating you.

    I mean, I found myself neglecting my wife and children last night becuase I was composing a response to Kev. God was not pleased with me and I repent of this sin.

    Finally, if you really want to know what I believe in these areas, just listen to what I teach on my website, Till He Comes. Eventually, I will be teaching on John 4, John 8, and whatever other passages you have questions about.

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  42. Hi Jeremy, Sorry to see you leave without reconciliation and unity.

    I really do hope you do not feel as though I have mischaracterized you or your beliefs. I have tried never to state what you believe but only to quote you and respond to what I believed you were saying. I may have stated what I thought you believe on occassion but I would like you to know that if I did I know it would not have been my intention to twist it. What advantage would there be in that?

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  43. Lou,

    While reading this article http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/hodgesov.htm

    I was surprised to see this statement about Zane Hodges-

    Hodges goes so far as to say that it is "totally illicit" (illegal!) to appeal to 1 John 5:4-5 in order to understand who the "overcomer" really is (Grace in Eclipse, p.108).

    This book is Circa 1987! It seems that Zane has had issues with proper biblical interpretation for a long time and we are simply seeing the fruit of it now.

    I very much dislike tearing a person down publicly. Naming names is often not nearly as effective as just preaching good doctrine. But with this movement reaching the momentum that it is.. I think it's important to see the root causes.

    Maybe, if people could look at the underlying causes they could see past the paradigm.

    Jeremy closed his discussion here with an exhortation about us believing "traditional misunderstandings". While I am in no way going to judge Scripture by orthodoxy (where would that have left Luther after-all?) I think we need to be wary when someone is departing from proper exegesis and hermeneutic. Good doctrine always comes from good study. And vice versa.

    Kev

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  44. Kevl:

    Some good thoughts on the post above.

    It must be made clear that Zane Hodges is the originator and lead advocate for the “Crossless” gospel. Men from Wilkin right down to da Rosa take their cues from him.

    The extremes to which this doctrine has lead are shocking. I am going to have more to say on Jeremy’s mistreatment of the Lord’s title the “Son of God” in a new article.

    They claim Scripture lead them to their position, but in fact they have followed the Hodges' interpretation of the Bible, which is and has lead them into error.

    To reiterate: Hodges is at the root of the “Crossless” gospel. To think he has not been behind the scenes in the recent debate would, IMO be na├»ve.


    LM

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  45. Jeremy,

    Jesus said:

    "Unless you believe I AM, you will die in your sins"

    Based on your explanation, is it not reasonable for me to ask you how to reconcile your view?

    The conclusion to Jeremy's own interpretation is:

    "You do NOT believe I AM, yet you shall NOT die in your sins"?

    If you want to talk about exegesis we can. For one thing, let's consider all the other ean me statements related to salvation in Scripture to see if they are explaining a "normal" logical step toward coming to salvation or if they are expressing an absolute condition. I think it is absurd to say our understanding of John 8:24 stating an absolute condition is a misunderstanding based on "tradition". Your view is that this verse is stating a normative logical step (that applies to some) toward salvation but not an essential condition for all. The only way a person could reach this conclusion is if he is blinded by his own tradition.

    Your comments on "the Christ" and "the Son of God" reflect a total lack of Scriptural understanding. We didn't even get to this. You want to come in and drop a bomb that "the Son of God" is a term that does not refer to Deity and you do not want to answer for it!? Unbelieveable!!

    You can criticize me for basing my view on "traditional" misdefinitions, but you do not want to see or deal with the Scriptures that I may have to demonstrate the true Scriptural meaning?

    BTW, why are you expressing frustration about this discussion with me? You came in here and made some bold statements. I asked you a reasonable question in light of the text of John 8:24. I even said if you did not want to answer, we could move on.

    -- Greg

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  46. P.S. Jeremy, I also encourage you to check your intellectual elitism. Maybe I'm stupid, but 1Cor. 1:23-28.

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  47. Lou I have just read through this page of your blog. Thanks for posing this question to the men of GES and for hosting this blog. I hope you all don’t mind me posting some thoughts.

    Jeremy’s argument of Cyrus being called a Christ (messiah) in an OT passage somehow disqualifies the meaning of the word Christ in the NT is preposterous.

    Just because Jesus is called Adam in the NT means that the word has no meaning now because there was an Adam in the Old? That is truly the weakest argument that you could use anywhere.

    Sir, do you know that there will be many who claim to be Christ in the future. Does that mean that we cannot believe that “God” or “deity” is intrinsic in the Word. Come on, use your Bible degree and some everyday logic. That is as moot an argument for dismissing the meaning of the word Christ in the Bible as I have ever heard.

    Bret

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  48. Lou and all,

    It sounds like by Jeremy’s statement about he is going to go back to his old life. I wonder if he is going to close down his blog?

    I’m sure he must have just meant that he was going to quit posting here. I wonder if Greg’s posts were just too clear to debunk. Was he seeing that he would have to concede that your question was not hypothetical after all and bailed out? I guess we will just pine away with that mystery.

    I am beginning to believe that the tide is turning and that people are daily seeing that the crossless position is not the gospel that the Bible teaches. Some pastors in the Free Grace Camp have begun to understand the real issues and are pulling away from the GES position and away from the men who espouse this new way.

    With Jeremy’s sudden departure I wonder if word went out today at 3:00 pm to call off the bloggings because so much ground is being lost? On the GES blog some of the staunch defenders are beginning to ask the real questions of the GES bloggers. One staunch crossless poster was beginning to puzzle over whether a Jehovah’s Witness who does not believe in the deity of Christ and believes that eternal life is life forever on this earth could be truly saved. The fact that one of them would ask that question is ground breaking. I wonder if they will mount a hugh attach on those of us who have posted there or if they will just pull the blog? I bet they would like to pull it now? Someone was over there trying to start a new debate page the afternoon. I questioned if they were just trying to draw those who preach the Cross away from that site. Not that I would recommend it to anyone but just making some observations. Who knows? Just some questions. Just some thoughts.

    BNaz

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  49. Bret:

    It is something we will never know with certainty, but I am of the opinion the “Crossless” advocates realized they had disclosed too much of what they truly believe and needed to bail. IMO, damage control.

    Much about the “Crossless” theology, that has been unknown until my blog began tackling the issue, has come to light.

    I think they are very concerned that they now have to not just defend what they have disclosed, but the level of scrutiny and genuine concern has been raised beyond anything they have encountered in recent years, maybe ever.

    IMO, the GES as a meaningful organization has come to an end. It went doctrinally bankrupt long ago, but it is now out in the open. Many who have not yet resigned the GES may be realizing that it is time to depart from the egregious doctrinal errors coming from the GES and its leadership. The items you note above are examples.

    Jeremy's position that the “Son of God” does not mean deity is absurd. It shows that he and anyone who shares that position has checked out on the Scriptures. Imagine stripping the beloved Savior of His deity by denigrating His title, “Son of God.”

    In a few days I am going to post an article on the “Son of God.”

    Thanks for checking in. Keep active at the GES site, you are making a difference and opening the eyes of the many lurkers. IMO, they may be considering shutting it down as well.


    Lou

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  50. Lou,

    I note that Tuesday has come and gone. Did Bob Wilkin ever respond to your question?

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  51. Yes,

    Bob Wilkin sent me an e-mail yesterday, (Wednesday). He told me whether or not he will answwer the question, but I am withholding that answer for the moment.

    I sent a reply to Bob, and I am awaiting his response.


    Lou

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  52. Lou,

    I am looking forward to Mr. Wilkins response but, to be honest, I am afraid of what it might be. Wouldn’t it be great if someone would just come right out and say what GES is really saying? Then, the whole struggle to get them to reveal their cards and to deal candidly would be over. People could make honest assessments of what is being taught and then choose to be on board or off. With yourself, there is no doubt about what you believe in regards to the Gospel. If the Gospel is God’s message why not just spell it out. If there is a dark side to Historical Gospel that we have preached, let’s hear the challenge. Let’s embrace in four colors, frontally and honestly. Let’s put our cards on the table. If it is truly the gospel its not our to have to shield but to boldly preach. We don’t need to dodge questions, even if an honest answer took us a week, to articulate.

    BNaz

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  53. Can you even remotely envision yourself ever being in the position where someone might question whether or not you preached Christ crucified? Wouldn’t you say; “Perish the thought! What would make you ever think I’d not preach Christ crucified?” Wouldn’t you pale and or even sicken at the thought of such a question being asked of you?

    But, on the other hand, if indeed you were asked, would you give a straight up answer? Would you call those who question you, concerning the Gospel you preach, “Pharisees” in order to avoid an answer? Would you retort with, “How many angels could stand on the head of a needle?”

    Wouldn’t you die a million deaths to think that someone might need to get you to clarify which Jesus you were speaking of?

    What if you had to defend a gospel position where you felt it necessary to explain away Christ's deity? What if you had to make the word “Christ” or the phrase “Son of God” mean anything less than God in order for your gospel to be consistent? What if you had to say that, “Son of God really doesn’t mean God! And when you say “Christ” that really doesn’t mean much more than saying King Cyrus or mere man? There really no deity in that word! Why would you need to disparage our exalted Lord Jesus to a level of vagueness and ambiguity in your gospel message?

    Why would you think that believing in Christ, who was God, who died on the Cross for my sins and was raised on the third day, add works, clutter, or fog to salvation and takes away from the Gospel? That is the Gospel.

    You know, I would only feel that it was unnecessary, if really don’t believe that the Gospel message contained that information?

    Wow, this is the affront that I am appalled with in this new GES position. Those who are following the crossless, reductionist view are preaching “a distorted gospel which is no gospel at all.” Gal 1:6-7

    BNaz

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  54. Wouldn’t you die a million deaths to think that someone might need to get you to clarify which Jesus you were speaking of?

    No Evangelist, or anyone doing the work of an Evangelist could bare such a thing. I'll tell you that I live in terror of not being clear about the Gospel.

    I know that the Seed is the object and not the sower. I know the Seed is potent even when the sower is a complete mess.

    But to imagine preaching to someone who's Eternal Life depends on how they respond to to what you're saying.. and not being clear. God does the saving, but I'll be honest I'm going to do the best I can - even while knowing that my effort is wasted without Him.

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  55. BNaz:

    If Jeremy and Antonio are any indication there is no doubt that there will never be any honest answers to the difficult questions they do NOT want to address.

    I have never seen the likes of what he have witnessed over the past weeks with these men.

    Just look at the GES blog. Now an "Alvin" is doing the same kind of dodging that Jeremy does. Disgraceful!

    I will have more on this later.


    Lou

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  56. I have a question for Jeremy Myers. On this thread (8/28/2007 2:29 PM) he stated that neither the titles "the Christ" nor "the Son of God" involve Deity. In fact, he actually typed Christ's title "son of God" (lowercase).

    If the title "the Son of God" does not refer to Christ's unique relationship with the Father in which he is equal in Deity, what is the meaning of the term, "the Son of God"?

    If anybody communicates with Jeremy, please direct him to this question.

    Thanks,
    Greg

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  57. Romans 10:9 & 12
    10:9 because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
    10:12 For there is no distinction between the Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of All, who richly blesses all who call on Him. (Yahweh)

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