The following was my concluding note to Brother Fred Lybrand (former Free Grace Alliance [FGA] Executive Director) in the previous thread under, The FGA Executive Counsel’s Official Statement
After I posted my concluding note to Brother Lybrand I felt it was suitable to publish on my home page. I encourage every guest to return to the FGA article, which I link to above, and read through the thread. There are many excellent notes from my guests about the current official statement from the FGA.
I have listed that article in my Favorite Picks section of my blog.
I want to thank you for visiting my blog and interacting with my guests and me. I’m sure I can speak for all of us when I say that we genuinely appreciate it.
There are many good comments from my guests about the official statement just issued from the current FGA executive counsel. My guests have identified what are glaring problems with the statement in its present form.
It is impossible to pick just one of the many fine comments to reiterate, but I’ll go with Stephen from 3/13/2008 11:57 AM.
“How can defining the gospel not be part of our focus? Rachel rightly observed that we have said ‘believers are called to preach the gospel’ and our FAQ #1 says ‘The FGA is seeking to unite leaders, churches, and organizations which affirm the gospel of grace.’I trust the FGA’s official statement will be up for additional review and serious revision to include a clear, uncompromised Bible based definition of the Gospel, and that the Gospel must be believed for the reception of eternal life.
How can we unite anyone around ‘the gospel of grace’ if we don’t have a consistent definition of what that is to base that unity on? i.e. if I think ‘the gospel of grace’ is the saving message and someone else thinks it’s ‘the entire bible’ or ‘any good news’ then our unity would be in word only, but not practice.”
At present the FGA is asking believers to ignore a major doctrinal difference on the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the sake of an appearance of unity. There is no biblical precedent for such, which I consider an unholy alliance.
The following appears in my book, In Defense of the Gospel, which I believe captures a major component of what we are discussing.
“When people are converted and receive a love of the truth, they are baptized into a body that has an inherent organic unity. Jesus Christ prayed in John 17 for a unity that came to pass at Pentecost. And every person who is baptized into Christ is in union. The unity is God and Spirit created. There is no unity to be created, the unity is there. It is only a unity that is to be maintained. Those who teach contrary to the body of revealed truth that is the center of this unity, they are the ones who create the divisions and create the stumbling blocks.” (Dr. Mark Minnick: The Scriptural Response to Teachers of Doctrinal Error. A sermon recorded November, 1997. See p. 214.)As long as Crossless gospel advocates like Stephen Lewis, Jim Johnson and Antonio da Rosa (aka- Sock Puppet fg me) remain in FGA membership, which they joined by twisting the Covenant’s “obvious meaning” to suit their Crossless theology, there can never be genuine unity.
The “contrary doctrine” of the Crossless gospel is the reason for and cause of “divisions and offences” in the body of Christ and in the FGA. I am guardedly optimistic about and am praying for the advocates of the Crossless gospel to depart from the FGA so that the purity the Gospel and unity of like-minded believers will be restored and maintained.
With God’s help and direction I want to do all that I can to further the cause of Christ. I will do whatever I can to nurture and encourage the FGA to courageously state and stand for the truth of the Gospel, and resist all who are tearing it down through the reductionist methods of Zane Hodges & Bob Wilkin.
Finally, thank you for speaking to me on the phone yesterday afternoon. I enjoyed the fellowship around the Bible. In my opinion, it was profitable as we shared a time of iron sharpening (Proverbs 27:17).
God bless you and you seek to honor God, His Word, and the precious Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
NOTE: I will be posting some follow up articles for additional discussion of this issue in the days ahead. Please (Fred) consider yourself welcome to visit, read and comment at my blog whenever you like.