At the new Grace Evangelical Society blog Bob Wilkin has posted an article titled, Can we separate Jesus’ gift from His Lordship? No!
The following three paragraphs would have appeared in the thread under the article, but my comment has been blocked. I take no offense to that. It is a GES blog and Wilkin is within his rights to administer his blog any way he chooses.
Once your (Hodges’) “Crossless” interpretation of the Gospel became understood both of your voices retroactively lost any meaningful impact in the Lordship Salvation debates.Now, please read those three paragraphs again, and we’ll pick it up from there and shift the discussion.
MacArthur’s Lordship Salvation corrupts the Gospel by addition; the “Crossless” theology of Zane Hodges corrupts by subtraction.
Furthermore, you men have not only lost any relevance in the Lordship debates, you have introduced “division” and “offences” (Rom. 16:17) into the body of Free Grace believers through your “contrary” teaching on the Gospel.
In his classic Biblical Separation, Dr. Ernest Pickering wrote,
What specific circumstances prevent our cooperative fellowship with other truly saved believers?Now, be sure to get this final statement from the paragraph above by Dr. Pickering. It makes all of his remarks above relevant to these blog discussions.
If the believer teaches false doctrine and refuses to be corrected. While some hold the position that one believer should never separate from another believer on doctrinal grounds, we believe this position is incorrect. If a professing believer is teaching error and he cannot be persuaded to the truth, he must be excluded from fellowship. An example of this principle is found in 1 Timothy 1:18-20. Hymenaeus and Alexander had departed from sound doctrine. Paul said they were “delivered unto Satan” (v. 20); that is, they were excommunicated from fellowship (cf. 1 Cor.5:5, 13). Paul evidently entertained the hope that the two were genuine believers, and trusted that, if they were, the action would result in repentance. (Biblical Separation, p. 219. [emphasis his.])
The principle applies whether the professing believer is in our own local church or in some other kind of connectional relationship to us, such as a denominational affiliation. (Ibid, p. 219. [bold added.])Blogs are not church, but there are affiliations/fellowships that have developed in the blogosphere. Attempts to dismiss the Bible doctrine of separation from disobedient brethren are becoming common place. I have read GES sympathizers use the, “This is not church,” argument. It is, however, undeniable that blogs have become vehicles that are serving to form alliances, some of which are dangerous. Loose fellowships and alliances are being formed with the teachers of the heretical Hodges interpretation of the Gospel. This is a violation of the biblical mandates to separate from disobedient brethren who teach false doctrine and refuse to be corrected.
IMO, the two hallmarks of New Evangelicalism are: 1) Questioning the inerrancy of Scripture and 2) Eliminating the biblical doctrine of separation from a) unbelievers and/or b) disobedient brethren.
Those who reject the “Crossless” gospel, but show an affinity for and defense of the advocates of the “Crossless” gospel, are showing tendencies toward the latter portion of New Evangelicalism. I have been saying this as a point of fact, and as a caution to those of you who are blurring the biblical lines for separation from disobedient brethren.
I have posted at a few of the GES blogs, but my goal has been to be a voice for the fence sitters and lurkers. It would be tragic for even one more believer to be deceived by the teachers of a “Crossless” gospel. Many FG believers reject the “Crossless” interpretation of the Gospel. Cooperative efforts with these teachers of a false gospel only serve to legitimize them and their aberrant teaching. This is wrong and a danger to unsuspecting believers.
Zane Hodges, Bob Wilkin, Jeremy Myers, Jim Johnson, Antonio da Rosa and others (such as Alvin, Trent, and Matthew) who are writing in support of the “Crossless” gospel have “departed from sound doctrine.” They refuse correction.
The Bible mandates what the response of believers must be to believers who not only refuse correction, but also aggressively seek to promote their false interpretation the Gospel. To do less than “mark,” “avoid” (Rom. 16:17-18) and separate (2 Thess. 3: 6, 14-15) from them is a betrayal of the Word of God, and treason to the Lord Jesus whose Gospel they have corrupted.
For a related and expanded discussion see my article Perverse Things Draw Away Disciples
Spurgeon's Stand for Doctrinal Purity is another related article.