October 9, 2007

The Tragedy of a “Crossless” Gospel in William Carey's Gold Mine of Souls


In his article, The “Christ” Under Siege, Greg Schliesmann wrote,

Let us think of a practical example. Do Jehovah's Witnesses ‘not believe’ or ‘deny’ the significance of Jesus as ‘the only begotten Son of God?’ Both! If the individual JW accepts the teaching of his denomination, he too is guilty of denying that Jesus is ‘the only begotten Son of God.’”

It has been noted and Greg reiterated that the advocates of the “Crossless” gospel have been very reluctant to address questions on the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. They were asked, but *refused to answer this question:

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

The Jehovah's Witness (JW) scenario, however, is a practical example of a contemporary situation that cannot be so easily dismissed. This is, in part, why Jeremy Myers “refused to answer” and checked out of the discussion he was having with Greg Schliesmann in the thread under An Open Question to Bob Wilkin at the Grace Evangelical Society.

What we do learn from one GES apologist, however, reveals just how antithetical to Scripture these men have gone in their theology and practice of evangelism. In May 2006 **Antonio da Rosa wrote,

“If a JW hears me speak of Christ’s Deity and asks me about it, I will say, ‘Let us agree to disagree about this subject,’...At the moment that a JW or a Mormon is convinced that Jesus Christ has given to them unrevokable (sic) eternal life when they believed on Him for it, I would consider such a one saved, REGARDLESS of their varied misconcetions (sic) and beliefs about Jesus.” [1]

Crossless” gospel teaching leads to an inevitable, disturbing and unscriptural conclusion: Lost men, who cling to heretical beliefs about the Lord Jesus Christ, can be born again by believing in His name even while they consciously reject His Deity. The JW and Mormon rejects Christ's Deity, yet according to the “Crossless” message they can still be born again.

Imagine missionary efforts 200 hundred years ago in the, “Gold Mine of Souls.”

If ***William Carey took the “Crossless” interpretation of the Gospel to the Hindu of India he would have, in his first year, seen results that would have surpassed Pentecost or any revival campaign the world has ever seen. The evangelistic ministry of a GES “Crossless” missionary would have eclipsed the evangelistic achievements of Adoniram Judson, David Livingstone, Jonathan Goforth, and J. Hudson Taylor.

Picture, if you will, a GES “Crossless/Deityless” gospel preaching missionary in India. That missionary would tell the Hindu that (in spite of his worship of many gods) “if you will believe in the name Jesus as the giver of eternal life, whomever you think Jesus is, even if you just add this Jesus to your list of many gods, you will receive eternal life.” The missionary would realize a stampede of new believers in the name Jesus, but not one genuine conversion.

What does the Bible say?

1 John 2:22-23 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

2 John 9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God.

John 17:1-3 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

1 Tim. 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

The evangelism of the “Crossless/Deityless” preacher is fixated on belief in a promise, which for them must be the sinner's object of faith. Contrary to the false teaching of these men, any man who believes in a promise of eternal life while consciously rejecting Christ’s Deity has not been saved.

Today Antonio da Rosa announced he would be traveling to William Carey's Gold Mine of Souls, India. Antonio is taking this “Crossless/Deityless” message to those who are in spiritual darkness and worship many gods. When da Rosa encounters a Hindu who will view Jesus as just another god among his many gods, what will da Rosa's message be? Drawing from da Rosa’s article this is how he would evangelize the Hindu,

“Let us agree to disagree about this subject...don't worry about your misconceptions...it does not matter how many gods you believe in or worship...just believe in Christ's promise, no matter who you think He is, and you will have eternal life.”

Now, think about the Bible-believing missionary (or a seminary trained national pastor/evangelist) who comes to that town after the heretical “Crossless/Deityless” gospel was introduced to these poor unsuspecting lost people. He will have the double difficulty of preaching the unsearchable riches of the Lord Jesus Christ to men, women and children whose minds remain blinded (2 Cor. 4: 3-6), but have also have been told they are born again, and already possess the gift of eternal life.

What is the “Crossless” advocates approach to evangelism when a lost man openly objects to and rejects the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ? Again, we have the answer from da Rosa,

“But if such a one continued to express doubts or objections to this, I would say politely, ‘Let us for the time being put this issue on the back-burner.’” [2]

The doctrine of the “Crossless” gospel advocates has never been so fully exposed. The recent revelation of their downgrading of the Lord titles, “Christ” & “Son of God” has IMO, given an ever increasing number of believers good reason and cause to step back giving the GES, Bob Wilkin and Zane Hodges a very wide berth.

When I first reviewed the “Crossless” gospel, I was disturbed by its reductionist message that has almost nothing that resembles the biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ. Then in our debates at my blog with these men we learned from them what they have done to the Lord’s titles, “Christ” and “Son of God.” This may not be a trampling, but it is no less than a dumbing down of His titles to keep a position on the Gospel, that is antithetical to Scripture, glued together.

IMO, the GES did not want so full a disclosure of their beliefs on the Gospel and Deity of Christ to get such wide spread attention. The teachers of the “Crossless” gospel are now in the unenviable position of explaining their reductionist interpretation of the Gospel, including the total dismissal of Christ’s Deity from what the sinner must have some knowledge of and belief in order to be born again (John 20:31; Romans 10:9-10).

I am hopeful that many across a broad spectrum of evangelical circles are coming to see what these men have done to the Gospel, and the titles of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Many have recoiled from the teachings of Zane Hodges, Bob Wilkin, Jeremy Myers and the GES over this reductionist Gospel and misinterpretation of the Lord’s titles .

In the thread that followed the original version of this article one man posted the following comment,

“Great posts lately on the crossless, antichrist gospel, especially regarding missions. There would be no golden harvest of souls (in India) with this gospel, just fool's gold!”

Lord willing those, who have been drawn into the teachings of the “Crossless/Deityless” gospel advocates, can be recovered from these egregious errors and restored to a biblically balanced position on the Gospel.


Please continue to William Carey Refutes the “Crossless” Gospel.

[1] See Believe Christ's Promise and You are Saved, No Matter What Misconceptions You Hold

[2] See How I Might Do Evangelism With A Jewish Man

* See articles Defining Question & Open Question

**Antonio da Rosa is not on staff at the GES. He is, however, arguably the most vocal and passionate apologist for the GES and especially for all things Zane Hodges. In September 2007, for a series of inappropriate behavior issues, da Rosa forfeited the privilege to participate at my blog.

***For an inspiring biographical sketch of William Carey visit: The Baptist Page

This article has been expanded from it's original form that first appeared on September 12, 2007.


  1. To All:

    Later this week I will post a companion article.

    That article will include a refutation of the "Crossless" advocate's method of evangelism. The refutation will be from William Carey, and in his own words.


  2. Lou,

    Great exposé of the poignant ramifications of a crossless gospel in missions! The crossless gospel on the mission field would be a 49ers rush but for “fools gold.”

    The crossless gospel concept shows the practical ignorance of quote “learned men.” Obviously they have never served on the foreign field. God spare us should they or their disciples ever end up in the governance of seminaries and mission organizations.


  3. Hi Bret:

    I spent three years in South Africa as a missionary.

    Out in the bush village churches there are national pastors that would stop Antonio from preaching his non-deity version of the Gospel.

    In all sincerity I am hoping and praying that in India there are some godly, theologically balanced men there who will be nearby and confront Antonio if he tries to teach the GES/Hodges interpretation of the Gospel. The lost and believers alike need to be protected from the Hodges/Wilkin/GES reductionist message as much as they need to be protected from Lordship Salvation.

    There are some sound Fundamental Bible colleges in India. If the men at those colleges encounter da Rosa, he (da Rosa) will have his hands full.

    The Indian nationals, who have trained and risked their lives for and to serve the Lord, will not stand for what Antonio is bringing to the lost in their home country.


  4. Bret:

    You wrote, “God spare us should they or their disciples ever end up in the governance of seminaries and mission organizations.”

    One encouraging sign that the spread of the teachings of Hodges and the GES is beginning to stall is that several men and venues are beginning to close their doors to Wilkin and his GES meetings.

    If the “Crossless” camp ever has governance over a seminary or mission agency it will be one of their own creation.

    Foreign fields are typically more susceptible to error. There are, as I noted, several sound Bible colleges in India. The men that lead and are trained at these colleges will rebuke and refute the teaching that the “Crossless” camp is bringing to their nation.


  5. Though this Crossless gospel will get some adherents, according to Gamaliel before the Council, "If it is not of God but rather of men, it will be overthrown" (Acts 5:38).

    It will be overthrown by those of us who contend earnestly for the faith. Then, we must pray for God to send forth more workers to frustrate this Crossless Message.

  6. TC:

    Thanks for the note.

    Regrettably some here in the States have become adherents. It is especially regrettable that they will take this false teaching to India.

    I have literally prayed that God will use men in India to intercede on behalf of His Word and for the sake of the Gospel.

    My prayer is for protection against this teaching and/or the recovery of Indians who have been introduced or indoctrinated into this unbiblical message.


  7. Antonio da Rosa opened a new blog exclusively for his India mission’s trip.

    In the introductory note to his guests this statement appears, “Please pray that the Holy Spirit prepare the hearts of those whom He is directing our ministry to, through dreams, visions, and other circumstances.”

    What is the ministry of the Holy Spirit?

    “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on Me; Of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged,” (John 16:9-10).

    The Bible is very clear. The Holy Spirit is convicting and convincing the world of sin, righteousness and judgment.

    According to the teaching of the “Crossless” gospel a lost man must only believe in the name Jesus as the Guarantor of eternal life to be saved. All other doctrines or considerations are irrelevant. The lost man does not need to know, understand or believe he is a sinner, that he is under the condemnation and judgment of God, that Christ died for his sins and rose from the dead. The “Crossless” gospel considers each one of these things “excess baggage.”

    At Antonio's India blog I asked this question:

    Why ask people to “pray that the Holy Spirit prepare the hearts” in light of John 16:7-ff, when according to your interpretation of the Gospel, those things the Spirit is convincing the lost world of do not need to be known, understood, or believed for salvation?


  8. It is bizarre to think that the Holy Spirit would need to prepare the way for the gospel with dreams and visions!

    We, by preaching the Word, are to prepare the way for the gospel to be understood. The last time I looked, faith still comes by hearing and hearing still comes by the Word of God (Rom 10:14-17). When we preach the Word of God, as workmen together with God, (2 Cor 5:18-20; 1 Cor 3:9) we unsheathe the Sword of the Spirit and allow Him to drive it deep into the listener’s heart. This is the God-chosen and God-sanctioned method. He chose to use the foolishness of preaching (1 Cor 1:21; 2:1-2). Our job is to preach the very issues that the Spirit of God is convicting the world of (John 16:8-11). A better prayer for a mission trip would be Ephesians 6:19-20 where Paul asked: “…and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”

    Obviously, if your gospel is just an enhancement you need help! A few visions and a dream or two would come in real handy in such a case. Since the crossless, deityless message they preach is NOT THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION they need some real miracles. You will need some visions, dreams, a little smoke, some earthquakes and maybe even a rod that turns into a serpent. Should we even marvel at their prayer request?

    No we shouldn’t. It really doesn’t surprise me at all. Sicken me, yes! Surprise me, no. They’ve got a huge hill to climb to get the masses of India to think that they have a need for eternal life. The Hindu people already believe that they have a type of eternal life. In their belief system they are locked into an eternal cycle of death and rebirth. With the Hindu philosophical concept of endless reincarnation so deeply engrained in hearts of the masses the crossless gospel preacher will always have to beg God for visions and dreams to get any takers. Since it is not the gospel, it is without the natural magnetism inherent to the Gospel (Rom 1:16-17). Under crossless teaching, the only reason that people should trust in Christ is to obtain eternal life. In India, for the Hindu, the need for eternal life is largely a moot issue.

    Think about it, if your message doesn’t even mention sin, righteousness or judgment you’re going to need a lightning bolt or a mystical experience to get peoples attention.


  9. Bret:

    When I read, "...through dreams, visions, and other circumstances..." I just stared at it for a minute.

    This thought crossed my mind, "Does Antonio think God is still speaking? Is the canon incomplete?"

    I'm certain he does not think that way, but that is IMO a reckless way to express the work of the Holy Spirit.