False teaching can and does come from men within the body of Christ, His church. In the Book of Acts, Paul warns the elders of Ephesus that false teaching will come from both without and within the church:
“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears,” (Acts 20:28-31).Zane Hodges is a modern day example of what the Apostle Paul, “with tears,” warned believers to “take heed” and be wary of. Over the years, from within the body of Christ, Hodges has risen and drifted into increasingly deeper and more extreme doctrinal errors. His views on repentance, the Gospel, and the Judgment Seat of Christ are striking examples of a radical departure from orthodoxy. Hodges has been teaching “perverse things” (diastrepho- distorts, twists) and consequently his teaching has drawn away disciples to him. Among the disciples who have been drawn away are: Bob Wilkin, Jeremy Myers, Joseph Dillow and Antonio da Rosa.
The distortion, twisting, redefining or dismissal of numerous clear passages of Scripture has been the hallmark of Hodges’ “Crossless” gospel. His errors on the Gospel, repentance and the Judgment Seat of Christ are organized in such a way that they undermine the Word of God and arrest the development of young believers. Young men have been enticed and deceived by the teaching of Zane Hodges.
“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive,” (Eph. 4:14).Men like Tim Nichols, Jim Reitman, Jim Johnson, Jeremy Myers and Antonio da Rosa were at one time feeding and growing on the milk of the Word of God. Somewhere along the way, however, elements from the teaching of Zane Hodges were introduced, and the milk was soured. Regrettably, it appears no one took these men aside, like Aquila and Priscilla took Apollos aside and, “expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly” (Acts 18:24-28). Instead Bob Wilkin, who also succumbed to the teaching of Zane Hodges, hastened the slide of these men into error.
Doctrinal growth was checked, sidetracked and redirected toward the egregious errors of Hodges’ Crossless gospel. Today, we are witnessing the devastating effects that the teaching of Hodges has had on these men. These are the ones we know who have been drawn away, but there may be many more.
What we have been witnessing in recent months should serve as a wake up call to men in the Free Grace community. How many more of our young men have to be deceived and fall into the errors of Zane Hodges and Bob Wilkin before you will follow the biblical mandate to “contend for the faith once delivered” (Jude 3)? While many stand idly by Hodges and Wilkin are doing all they can to introduce the “Crossless” gospel to unsuspecting believers in the Free Grace community.
“In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth,” (2 Timothy 2:25).I am grateful for men like George Zeller, Tom Stegall, Dennis Rokser and Greg Schliesmann who have defended the faith and body of Christ against the “perverse” teachings of Zane Hodges. There are others who are doing what they can from blogs and other venues to refute and rebuke the teachings of Zane Hodges.
The teaching of Zane Hodges has not only drawn away some of our younger men, it has crippled and marginalized the Free Grace movement. Make no mistake about it, the Free Grace movement is moving, but is, in my opinion, come to rest at the cross roads. If good men, who know the issue, what is at stake and have the answer, but do nothing, the Free Grace movement will begin to move once again. That move will, however, be in the direction of the trap and pitfalls of the teachings of Zane Hodges.
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple,” (Rom. 16:17-18).
“Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers,” (Titus 1:9).
“Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. . . . And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother,” (2 Thess. 3:6, 14-15).
I’ll close with the same question I asked in the previous challenge to men in the Free Grace Alliance and Free Grace community at large.
For a thorough review of the "perverse” teachings of Zane Hodges, please visit George Zeller's The Troubling Teachings of Zane Hodges, Joseph Dillow and Robert Wilkin (GES)
Also read Watch & Remember…