What follows is an addendum to The Necessity of Forbidden Fellowship, which appeared last week.
I can appreciate and understand the pain and discouragement there is when we see once biblically balanced men going off into the extremes of the Grace Evangelical Society (GES) “Crossless” interpretation of the Gospel. Some of these were former teachers and/or close associates. You may have stood side-by-side with them against the Lordship Salvation assault on the Gospel. Your friend, however, may be one that has gone too far in the other direction, which has been right into the reductionist errors of the Crossless gospel.
If you have done all you can to admonish and recover men who have fallen into the trap of the GES “Crossless” gospel, but they will not respond, you are left with one option. You are compelled to break fellowship with another Christian who has become an instigator of this extremist theology. When this day comes let us hope it is with a heavy heart. Your motive ought to be fidelity to the Scriptures, and a desire for the brother to see his error and repent of it.
You may have or are about to come to that fork in the road with a friend who has chosen to walk the way of the Crossless gospel. Will you follow him on that path or walk in obedience to the biblical mandates?
There will be a cost to “contend” with another otherwise Bible believing Christian in your own circles who holds to the Crossless gospel and biblically “mark” him because of his errant position. However, the Scriptural command in Jude 3 to “earnestly contend for the faith” and from Rom. 16:17; 2 Thess. 3:6, 14-15 are not open to selective application.
“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).Those are the mandated courses of action found in the Word of God.
“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)
If you truly love these erring brethren you will follow the biblical mandates to- withdraw, mark and avoid. It is God’s way to recover them and protect the body of Christ from being swept up into doctrinal error. You can’t improve on God’s plan!