Recently, I have visited a blog that I find helpful and a friend in the efforts to refute the teaching of Bob Wilkins’s “Crossless” gospel. That blog is Pursuit of Truth.
Two Pursuit of Truth administrators regularly visit and comment here at my blog. Last week I noticed that two of the “Crossless” theology advocates visited Pursuit of Truth. This motivated me to make a few comments in the thread under the article titled, Free Grace Alliance Sponsors a Panel…
Following is an edited except from two of my posts at Pursuit of Truth. Please excuse some redundancy. I put two separate comments together and want leave them prey much as they appeared at Pursuit of Truth.
The “Crossless” theology that originated with Zane Hodges, and is antithetical to Scripture, is being propagated primarily by Bob Wilkin and Jeremy Myers. Jim Johnson, an “Instructor” at the Rocky Mt. Bible College, however, just entered the “Crossless” debate at Pursuit of Truth.
What Does the Bible Say?
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them,” (Rom. 16:17).
What has been irrefutably shown from the numerous articles (primarily by Greg Schliesmann) at my blog, and especially in the continuing series by Tom Stegall at the Grace Family Journal is that “Crossless” gospel theology is “contrary doctrine” and the “cause (of) divisions and offenses” in the Free Grace community.
In referring to the terms beseech, mark, and avoid in verse 17, Dr. Mark Minnick, which I cited in my book on Lordship Salvation, said what is very appropriate for the “Crossless gospel controversy. He wrote:
“If you take those terms and you ponder them for just a moment, what becomes apparent is this: That our response in the first place is mandated. We have no subjective decision to make. The decision has already been made and the mandate is objective; it is in print! It has been in print for centuries! I exhort you, ‘mark’ them and ‘avoid’ them. The response that we are given is a mandated response. We are obligated to obey what is here.”
The following note from Dr. Charles Ryrie also appears in my book on Lordship Salvation:
“The message of faith only and the message of faith plus commitment of life cannot both be the gospel; therefore, one of them is a false gospel and comes under the curse of perverting the gospel or preaching another gospel (Gal. 1:6-9), and this is a very serious matter.” (Balancing the Christian Life, p. 170.)
With a slight adjustment, Ryrie’s statement can be applied to the “Crossless” gospel controversy today.
“The message of faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ and the message of faith apart from any knowledge or belief in the finished work of Jesus Christ cannot both be the gospel; therefore, one of them is a false gospel and comes under the curse of perverting the gospel or preaching another gospel (Gal. 1:6-9), and this is a very serious matter.”
There is no middle ground, no ground to give when the Gospel, the Cross, the Resurrection of Christ and His Deity are under assault, as it plainly is by “Crossless” theology and its advocates.
It is crucial to remember this: It is not the presentation of these truths that are the crux of debate as the “Crossless” men would have people believe. The debate is over what a lost man must know, understand or believe for salvation. It is there that these men have departed from the faith once delivered (Jude 3).
The “Crossless” theology advocates have repeatedly reminded us that they are personally persuaded of the truths of the Gospel. The crux of the debate, however, which they are determined to avoid discussing in unvarnished terms, is what the lost man must believe for salvation.
In my debates with the LS men they did not want to discuss what they believe are the requirements for salvation. They constantly drifted to the results of salvation. The advocates of “Crossless” theology are doing the exact same thing.
They want to keep repeating with unwavering regularity, “we believe the same things you do.” That has been recognized. However, they do not want to state in unvarnished terms that they reject the position that a lost man must believe these to truths to be born again, saved, receive the gift of eternal life and justified.
To reiterate: The question for these men is not whether they personally believe in Christ’s work as the grounds for salvation. The question is whether the “Crossless” gopsel advocates like Hodges, Wilkin, Myers and Johnson believe the lost man must believe in Christ’s finished work for salvation.
It is that question they do not want to answer without first twisting and redefining the Scriptures, like we saw Jeremy demonstrate at Pursuit of Truth. The answer, has however, been made clear from their previous writing.
Their position, which originated with Zane Hodges, is that it is not necessary for the lost person to know, understand or believe in the Deity, or the finished work of Christ as a condition for salvation.