October 17, 2007

FGA Panel Discussion Update

Late Wednesday night Pastor Stegall contacted me. As early as today (Thursday) we will have some notes from him in regard to the panel discussion.

This morning I received a call from Pastor Stegall. He is in transit back to Milwaukee and was, therefore, able to give me only a brief synopsis of the panel discussion. There were many who met for fellowship and discussions after the evening's activities, which is why he was unable to call me last night.

Once Pastor Stegall is back home a follow-up report will be forthcoming.

Lord willing the errors of the “Crossless” gospel were fully revealed. This way there can be a skimming off and removal of the errors that have crept into the fellowship of Free Grace believers. It is my hope and prayer that once Ps. Stegall finished his teaching from the Scriptures no one in attendance had any lingering doubt about whether or not the Hodges/Wilkin message is a departure from the faith once delivered (Jude 3).

Lord willing this discussion will have galvanized men in the FGA to take action that no more would be confused and deceived by the teachings of Zane Hodges and Bob Wilkin.



  1. I'm on pins and needles! I'm frankly glad to see there is such an open and obvious discussion of sinless/deathless/ressurectionless gospel of the GES. I find people I talk to are still reading into GES position and make excuses for them like "they're just counter balancing lordship" or "it's just their style". Counterbalance? Style? What difference does their motiviation make if the conclusion is so destructively wrong??? The more I ponder the GES gospel the more concerned and convineced I become that some people who hear the GES message will end up in hell after being ASSURED of everlasting life by a false gospel. I pray for eyes to continue being opened. The 1 Cor 11:18,19 passage is a good one that we've been mulling over ourselves lately. It's the first time I've realized a practical situation with how a division can be a good thing.

  2. Hi Knet:

    You wrote, “I find people I talk to are still reading into GES position and make excuses for them like ‘they're just counter balancing lordship’ or ‘it’s just their style’. Counter balance? Style? What difference does their motivation make if the conclusion is so destructively wrong???”

    Ironically, I encounter the exact same kind of argumentation from some in the Lordship camp. I noted it in my book. The Lordship Salvation advocates will say, “we are just trying to answer Easy-Believism… it is just a difference in semantics.”

    The “Crossless/Deityless” interpretation of the Gospel is wrong by subtraction. LS is wrong by addition. You are right; motivation has nothing to do with right or wrong. Wrong is wrong, no matter how noble the motivation!

    I have written elsewhere on what happened to the theology of Hodges, Wilkin, Myers and the rest that hold to the GES position. In trying to refute LS they bounced all the way over to another heresy at the opposite end of the soteriological pendulum swing.


  3. Jack:

    The editing was to keep this particular piece current.

    This way I do not have to create new articles with each update on the same subject.

    Once I hear from Ps. Stegall this will get another round editing.

    What you saw in the thread on the 16th was what I pulled up for temporary use here. It was noted that I had done that.

    Thanks for asking.


  4. Hi Lou,
    I was at that panel last night, and I have to tell you, if Stegall is your spokesman, you guys didn't come out well. Stegall and Moyer came off sounding very mired in fundamentalism and I feel that they have condemned many to hell because they don't share their beliefs. Furthermore, Stegall's use of scripture did not help his case much at all. His use of the word "gospel" to further his case only came off sounding weak and uninformed. I only say this because their are other uses of the word "gospel" in the new testament that do not contain reference to the death and resurrection (such as in Revelation). At best, they made a good case for looking into their view of progressive dispensationalism. Maybe Stegall's take on all of this will be different. You guys are the super theologians so I'll leave it to you to decided the true outcome.

  5. Flavio:

    You have shared your perspective, and we'll be hearing from others shortly.


  6. Flavio,

    Everyone on our side of the discussion, including Pastor Stegall, has acknowledged that there are general usages of the word "the gospel" in the New Testament.

    However, it has been pointed out that there is also a technical usage of the word "the gospel" that often appears in the New Testament which refers to the message the lost must believe to be saved. The majority of NT references refer to this.

    GES now teaches the term "the gospel" does not EVER have this technical usage in Scripture and NEVER refers to the message the lost must believe to be saved. We are not uninformed about GES's novel, unsupportable view of "the gospel". We simply reject it because it is clearly wrong. If GES writes a book on their view of "the gospel", it should be titled Indefensible Gospel.

    There are many passages in Scripture that clearly apply this technical usage of the term. For example:

    "...when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not [believe] the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power..." (2Thes. 1:8-9).

    Flavio, there is no way to interpret this passage without acknowledging there is a specific message called "THE GOSPEL" that the lost must believe to be saved. Paul obviously expects his readers to be able to identify this specific message called "the gospel".

    The same point occurs in too many passages to list here, but I have actually posted a lengthy message that looks at many of these passages. For your own study, here are some of these passages to review yourself:

    Acts 15:5-9; Rom. 1:4, 16; 1Cor. 1:17-21; 4:15; 15:1, 3-4; 2Cor. 4:3-4; Gal. 1:6, 7, 8, 9, 11; Eph. 1:13; 2Thes. 1:8; 1Pet. 1:23-25

    Notice, also, the common theme throughout these passages that the condition for salvation is "faith" (i.e., faith alone) in "the gospel". Clearly, these are teaching the same message of eternal life by faith alone in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    -- Greg

  7. Men:

    In the initial reaction to the FGA panel discussion I noted the following from Jeremy Myers,

    I certainly do believe that the death and resurrection of Jesus are central to the Gospel, and that without the death and resurrection of Jesus, there is no Gospel...So I always present the death and resurrection of Jesus when I witness to people. So I argued similarly to Tim Nichols–that it’s a mute point.”

    In these debates it is imperative to keep the focus on the lost man and what response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ will result in his being born again.

    In my debates with the Lordship Salvation advocates they frequently attempted to steer the discussion toward the results of salvation. As much as possible they would avoid a discussion of what they believe are the requirements for salvation.

    In the “Crossless” gospel debates we are seeing the use of the same evasion tactic. Jeremy Myers has repeatedly tried to portray the debate as if it is over what men in his camp present. His initial review of the FGA panel discussion included this now oft-repeated tactic. What the “Crossless” gospel men may “present” to a lost man is not IMO the main crux of debate.

    The question for panel discussion was not over what the men personally believe about the death and resurrection of Jesus. This was the question for discussion, “Is explicit belief in Jesus’ death and resurrection necessary for salvation?”

    The question focused on whether or not a lost man must believe these truths.

    Myers speaks of presenting truths “…for the purpose of getting a person to believe in Jesus.” Myers, however, also believes the lost man does NOT have to know, understand or believe any of these truths and can still be born again. That amounts to a practical denial of these truths.

    Myers holds the same view as Antonio da Rosa. Their belief is that a lost man can hold to any “misconception,” including an outright denial of these truths, and it does not hinder him from being saved. As da Rosa stated in regard to a lost man objecting to the Deity of Christ,

    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.’”

    The “Crossless” advocates believe in the Deity, cross and resurrection of Jesus, but they will practically deny it if the lost man rejects it.

    To reiterate, What the advocates of the “Crossless” gospel might present to a lost man is not the main area of disagreement and debate. It is imperative to keep the focus on the lost man and what response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ will result in his being born again.

    As Greg noted, “…there is no way to interpret this passage (2 Thess. 1:8-9) without acknowledging there is a specific message called ‘THE GOSPEL’ that the lost must believe to be saved.”


    PS: In regard to the subject of the panel discussion question, it is my understanding that Nichols opened his remarks by saying, “I don’t care!”

  8. Lou,

    You closed with
    PS: In regard to the subject of the panel discussion question, it is my understanding that Nichols opened his remarks by saying, “I don’t care!

    Ouch.. what a statement.. I hope this is out of context.


  9. Kevl:

    Got that first hand from a man who was there and heard him say it.


  10. Men:

    This is a very interesting discussion. Does anyone know if the panel discussion was audio taped? I would like to get a copy of the CD if it was. Does anyone know anything about this?

    Also, was Larry Moyer in the panel discussion? This was the first time I had heard that.

  11. Yes, Dr. Moyer was a late addition.

    It was taped by the FGA. Copies are available for $5.


  12. Are they available for download?

  13. Kevl:

    I just heard from Dr. Bing. The FGA is in its infancy so tape orders will be slow in coming.

    I don't know this for sure, but they will probably not being doing any downlaods at this time, but I'd watch the FGA site.