October 6, 2008

KnetKnight’s Reasoning on Rose: We Just Can’t Know?

Dear Guests:

For well over a year Rose of
Rose’s Reasonings has been suggesting the Zane Hodges Crossless gospel is a mere “theory, doctrinal nuance,” and a “difference of opinion that is acceptable.” Those of us who know and understand the reductionist assaults on the Person and work of Christ have a much different view of the Grace Evangelical Society’s (GES) “Crossless & Deityless” interpretation of the content of saving faith.

This week KnetKnight (Stephen), one of my blog partner’s in defense of the Gospel, has posted a series of comments on various issues and personalities in the debate over the GES’s
Crossless gospel. His comments appear in the Clinching the Deal on the “Crossless” Gospel thread.

Just below I have reproduced a revised version of one of
*Stephen’s thread comments. IMO, Stephen is making a genuine attempt to understand and articulate why Rose is either unwilling or unable to state any clear, unvarnished opinion of the teaching of the Crossless gospel. IMO, this is an open and honest attempt to help Rose either see what she has become and/or help recover her from what she is becoming.

Hey Lou. I am starting to think that Rose is in a whole new category. I am not saying this to pick on Rose, you have rightly pointed out my intent is to simply understand her.  It seems she adheres to what might be better termed a “we can’t know” gospel, or “who cares” position ala Tim Nichols -- an inclusive view that is sympathetic to a broad range of Free Grace gospels on the premise that we can’t really know for sure so we lay the message out there then “leave it up to God.” As I pointed out in earlier comments, that position undermines the concepts of biblical inspiration and objective truth.

Rose is essentially taking a stand on uncertainty, along the lines of “
I’m not certain of the content of saving faith so the rest of you shouldn’t be so certain either.”  To be clear, Rose’s stand against Lordship Salvation makes it clear she has strength of conviction regarding what the Gospel is NOT, but that she is not sure with it IS.

If I am assessing her view correctly, and I did say “
if,” then that explains a lot. She is then technically correct to state she is not specifically sympathetic to the crossless gospel, but her own uncertainty won’t allow her to reject them either. Neither does she reject us. It was her Hydra’s Head article that sparked me to realize she is not really “in” either FG camp.  I don’t say this to her credit, nor do I state it meanly; it is simply evidence of her unwillingness to commit to an objective truth on the all important matter of salvation.
None of this is new information really, I’m just seeing it more clearly now. It makes her inclusive position more “understandable,” but also more troubling. For all my disagreement with the crossless folks, at least they are committed to a stand on what they think is objective “truth,” albeit a painfully reduced truth regarding the content of saving faith. Rose isn’t committed to anything except the middle -- and this is one of those cases where being in the “middle” reveals a compromised stance rather than balance.

Like I said, none of this is strictly new info, but putting it together casts a whole new light on it for me. IMO, saying Rose is crossless is truly not a correct label to saddle her with... her actual position is, IMO,
worse than crossless in that it is couched in comfy post-modern terms -- ala “
we just can’t know.” Rose may think she is a harbinger of peace and reason with such a position, but she is, probably unwittingly, chipping away at the idea of objective knowable truth. No wonder she is on the fence so often in this regard; she seems to think “the fence” is a reasonable position, at least in regard to this topic. This kind of lukewarm view of objective truth is central to what I have read in J. B. Hixson’s Getting the Gospel Wrong. My heart breaks with compassion for Rose and those like her who have bitten the apple of post-modernism’s uncertainty.

One more thing. Rose also said “Both sides have the same content in their presentation to the lost.” But why?  I pointed out in the Really Consistent? article on our blog that their practice is logically inconsistent with their view that such info is optional. If it is their view that this info truly is optional to the content of saving faith then it is legalistic and inconsistent of REDEFINED Free Grace advocates to insist that such optional info always be presented.
The Redefined Free Grace crowd has attempted to saddle us with “legalist,” but the term is demonstrably more applicable to the unresolved conflict between their own view and practice. I love irony, too bad in this case that the implications of their confused/confusing/inconsistent gospel are so sad in terms of the souls they risk confusing with their muddled theology.
I encourage Rose to consider what has been shared by Stephen. I encourage Rose to consider and express whether or not she feels Stephen has accurately assessed her position. She is welcome to submit a reply in this thread.**  Or she may prefer to respond either at her own blog or the Crossless gospel blog she partners at. She may, however, choose to ignore and/or disregard Stephen’s evaluation.

In my
Clinching the Deal thread I linked to above, Stephen and I continued our discussion of his comments. All (who have not forfeited their privilege to post here) may comment freely.


LM

Please proceed to the companion article, primarily composed by Rachel, ReDux on Rose’s, “We Just Can’t Know?”

*Changes to his original thread comment have been made by Stephen to better reflect the sum of our extended discussion in the Clinging the Deal thread.

**I retain the right to edit any content of Rose’s potential reply that I believe endorses or legitimizes any of the egregious errors of the Crossless gospel.

61 comments:

  1. Hi Lou,

    I appreciate your reasonableness. I'm not saying Rose isn't reasonable, I'm simply commending you for your genuine attempt at dialog here with Rose. I also appreciate how you have responded to Michele of late, and we have seen that she has been greatly helped.

    JP

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  2. Yes, I think Stephen is right on target. I appreciate his heart of compassion and desire to see Rose reconciled from this. This has been a tough battle and reconciliation should always be at the heart of this challenge to uphold truth. God loves people and His heart breaks far greater than ours does.

    Grace upon grace,

    Brian

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  3. Gentlemen:

    Thanks for the gracious comments about Stephen's attempt to help Rose and all who think a commitment to compromise with known and vital reductionist error honors the Lord.


    LM

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  4. To All Guests:

    Sorry to all that I have to enable comment moderation for the moment. There have been several drive by postings of late and an unethical act of subterfuge by an advocate of the Crossless gospel.

    I will monitor and publish your comments as quickly as possible.


    LM

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  5. Hey guys, I'm so glad you see it that way. I'm not obsessed with Rose, she's just a personality I have known and been puzzled by throughout this debate. I disagree with but have long been able to quantify and "understand" Antonio; I haven't been able to quantify Rose however. She shows hints of being very reasonable at times, and occasionally (like her Hydra's Head article) has shown genuine distinction from her crossless comrades that gives me a glimmer of hope.

    While this article mentions Rose it's not so much "about her" as it is about the larger issue of Christians being strangely comfortable with mutually exclusive views, or not being able to state a simple yes/no answer to fundamental question. The catalyst for my thoughts on Rose was when she couldn't give a yes/no answer to Dave's restatement of JP's question.

    Dave’s question was “Can one be saved that does not know who Jesus really was and even without knowing that He died for them?”



" and he specified only a simple yes/no answer should be given.

    Rose's answer was "very very doubtful. A probable no. Virtually impossible.

" -- Which is a round about way of answering "yes", however weakly.

    Regardless, it puzzled me why she couldn't answer such a vital question in absolute terms. Rather than jump to a rash conclusion I really tried to put myself in her shoes and sort out how someone could "reasonably" answer the question like that even when it was clearly specified that a simple yes/no was being called for.

    At any rate, I will state again that I have no hard feelings toward Rose personally and this article is not to "beat up" on her. Some may take issue that I called her position "worse" in the article. What I meant by that is it's worse in the sense that it's less definable and masks uncertainty in diplomacy. Her position is "better" however in the the more important sense that I believe someone in her position can and will eventually be won to one side or the other. Rose is showing signs of great weariness in the battle and I hope that, when the time comes, she'll fall to our side even if she remains silent about it for fear of getting dragged back into the muck.

    Blessings all, I'm hittin' the hay.

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  6. Stephen:

    This was a sincere, heartfelt passionate appeal you put out to Rose and any who are of the same mindset. I expect some will try to reinterpret this as a personal attack.

    I am also hopeful she will fall to the side of truth and away from the GES's reductionist teaching that is wholly antithetical to the NT teaching on the necessary content of saving faith.

    The new article by Hodges is so polarizing in its content and tone that Hodges may have done more to help Rose see the error coming from GES that any of us who have been exposing it have.

    Thanks,


    Lou

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  7. Hi All,

    Not to be the odd man out, but I see no call to reconciliation here. What would Rose's motive be to comment or reply anywhere other than to defend her position.

    While I agree with much of what is written here I believe it falls short of what is needed.

    Rose has been shown her error, and I believe she is well aware of it. I do not get the sense she is comfortable at all. She needs a reasonable escape.

    That will involve humility but it ought not involve humiliation at all - either real or perceived.

    It is my hope that Rose would feel compelled, for her own fellowship with the Lord and the safety of those she loves to consider these things to see IF she CAN "know" what the Gospel is.

    If I can state it plainly, Rose's problem the stumbling block between her and pure truth is not theology. She will not be "won over" her stumbling block is allegiance, and the high profile nature of the situation.

    We must remember that we are doing something akin to asking the touring rythmn guitarist for Bon Jovi to jump off the tour bus. This is no easy task for a person and you can bet that those with their claws in her are holding on tight.

    I don't to come off as middle of the road myself - you know I am not - but Rose must come to the Light, not come out of the Darkness.

    I hope this is clear... if it's not just tell me.

    Kev

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  8. I think you're right on target Lou. Lines are finally being drawn in the sand in which RedefinedFG reveals that, consistently applied, its views are even more exclusive then they criticize others as being. This has long been obvious elsewhere in that Antonio is no more at peace with us than we are with him. We rightly disagree with Antonio but at least he "gets it" that our views are mutually exclusive; so did/does Alvin if I recall correctly -- probably the only thing we ever agreed on. :-)

    (Psst, Alvin, you might be interested to know that I don't identify with Calvinism anymore either... you can thank the article JoW sent me for that. It caused me to realize that the definitions I was using to identify with even four points of Calvinism were too loose to legitimately connect me to Calvinism... so I admitted it moved on. How anybody can say I'm stuck-in-the-mud or unreasonable is beyond me... that was a pretty big deal. Anyway, I'm not spiteful of Calvinists either, but I've digressed enough already and will move on unless someone asks.)

    Anyway, I'm thrilled that Rose was uncomfortable with Hodges' article. It's a positive sign. It doesn't mean she's on our side but it's a sure sign she's not on their side either... though she's more favorable "toward" them than I'd like it's something concrete to hang my hope on.

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  9. Kev, you are right. This is not so much a call to reconciliation as it is a call to realization, a call to honor the value of truth. Reconciliation may (or not) come but if it it IS to come it must be based on truth to be meaningful; If I'm having an affair my wife and I can't really reconcile unless I END the affair. We can still be "married" but being "reconciled" is likely out of the question.

    Many Christians are having an affair with subjective truth. So, if I understand you -- yes, she (and all of us) needs to first determine what the truth IS, not just what it is NOT, and then "forsake all others" so-to-speak. Fidelity is a critical step to meaningful reconciliation.

    Now, do I understand you or did I just ramble all that for nothin'? ;-)

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  10. Kev:

    I really appreciate what you wrote here,

    Rose has been shown her error, and I believe she is well aware of it. I do not get the sense she is comfortable at all. She needs a reasonable escape.

    That will involve humility but it ought not involve humiliation at all - either real or perceived.

    It is my hope that Rose would feel compelled, for her own fellowship with the Lord and the safety of those she loves to consider these things to see IF she CAN ‘know’ what the Gospel is.

    If I can state it plainly, Rose’s problem the stumbling block between her and pure truth is not theology. She will not be ‘won over’ her stumbling block is allegiance, and the high profile nature of the situation.



    Without any doubt Rose has been shown many times the clear and obvious errors of the Crossless gospel. I can understand what level of discomfort she may be experiencing. She has been in close fellowship with and her allegiances have been first and foremost to the most extreme advocates of the GES’s Crossless gospel. They have had had a firm grip on her for over two years.

    IMO, humility would not hold her back. If she does have a firm conviction that Hodges is wrong and says so openly, the Hodges followers will attack her openly, just like do anyone who publicly rejects the egregious reductionist teaching of Hodges. The certainly that she would be publicly attacked by the followers of Hodges will probably hold her back from saying anything definitive.

    This is why I often ask the question: Just where does your first loyalty lie, to God and His Word, or to your friends and fellowship?

    I guess the question is: What if anything can we do to help her come to know what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is, understand that the CG is antithetical to it, and help extricate her from the sphere of CG advocates she has been entangled with.

    If it were me: A clean and immediate break from the teachers of known and vital error is the only reasonable thing to do.


    LM

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  11. Kev/Stephen:

    IMO, and speaking only for myself I am not calling for reconciliation with Rose at this juncture. Why seek reconciliation with someone who has been at the least a fence sitter on an issue that tears at the heart of the Gospel.

    Virtually everything she has done in the debate has been to sympathize with and lend credibility to the GES’s Crossless/Resurrectionless/Deityless interpretation of the content of saving faith.


    Lou

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  12. Hi Lou,

    I echo Stephen's comments with regard to an affair. Actually that is a very good analogy as it is the one the Lord Himself uses for aligning one's self with bad doctrine. Apostasy is adultery.

    Lou you said
    I guess the question is: What if anything can we do to help her come to know what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is, understand that the CG is antithetical to it, and help extricate her from the sphere of CG advocates she has been entangled with.

    If it were me: A clean and immediate break from the teachers of known and vital error is the only reasonable thing to do.


    A clean break from that association is the only reasonable thing she can do. But it is our job as witnesses to the Truth to make that known to her.

    I don't have the solution, but we must come to one. The calling out of error is not enough. That is surely important but it is not enough.

    The Lord was willing to leave the 99 to go after the 1. Yes this can be abused.

    I think we need to communicate to Rose how important it is, and how possible it is, and how reasonable it is that she come out of that company.

    As JP wisely quoted 1 Cor 15:33 I also echo him.

    Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”

    I do not accept reconciliation without repentance. She must consider and change her mind about these things, otherwise there would be no reconciliation or fellowship.

    But we must present this to her in a way that allows her to do that. I'm all over the map here because I don't really have a solution. I do not suggest baiting.. or giving a soothing message...

    But if I were in her shoes I would be thinking of the wrath that the CG group would show against me. That I would be seen as "one who has gone out from among us".. as a traitor.. possibly as compromising Grace even.

    She might even think that she's just being recruited to work against Antonio... I think in her position it would be "reasonable" to fear just that.

    It's one thing to show error, it's something all together more important to actually draw someone into the Light.

    She will not regret it if she does come, but she can't know that right now.

    Kev

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  13. To All:

    A new review of Zane Hodges’s The Hydra’s Other Head article will be posted at The Land of Reason on Monday morning. The review is written by Rachel and will be presented in three installments.

    The title is classic: Beheading Hodges’s Hydra.

    I will have an update on Sunday afternoon with a sample to wet your appetite for more.


    LM

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  14. Kev:



    You wrote, “A clean break from that association is the only reasonable thing she can do. But it is our job as witnesses to the Truth to make that known to her.”

    I can’t even guess at how many that not only I, but several of us in the blogs and in numerous private e-mail exchanges have appealed to her on that level.



    Rose acts as though she is open to what we have shared, but ALWAYS and I do mean ALWAYS, she clings to and persists in her sympathy toward, cooperation with and defense of the advocates of the Crossless heresy.



    If Rose has any serious problems with the CG, she is totally ecumenical in her response. Unity at the expense of fidelity to the Lord, His Gospel and the Scriptures.
.

    What can I say?

    
You also wrote, “But if I were in her shoes I would be thinking of the wrath that the CG group would show against me.”

    

No doubt Antonio would savage her if she came out openly against the teaching of Hodges. If in fact she has any serious reservations in the first place.



    I have seen her write thread comments with some concern at times and Antonio pounces on her. Just look at her review of the Hodges Hydra Head article. He pummeled her review, she would hardly reiterate or reinforce what she stated in her review. She offered virtually no rebuttal at all to his criticism of her review. She would not openly confront him when he clearly pounced on her review.

    Strange that there is this personal affinity for and loyalty to a man who is a heretic of the first order and thug to any one who openly rejects the egregious reductionist heresy of Hodges, Wilkin and GES.


    LM

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  15. Dear Guests:

    This morning Rose posted at her pro-Crossless gospel group blog a series of comments that strongly indicate her conscience has been seared over the Crossless gospel which Stephen has appealed to her over.

    I violated my ban at Unashamed of Grace to correct her on a serious misrepresentation she posted and to leave a few thoughts for her consideration. You will see what I posted at Unashamed in the next comment.

    I will not post there again.


    LM

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  16. Rose:

    I will inform you (and the readers who may not be aware) that I did NOT write the article. Stephen (KnetKnight) wrote it. You might verify before you complain.

    Furthermore, what Stephen wrote is an honest attempt to help recover you from the post-modern mind set and ecumenical approach you have taken toward the reductionist heresy of Zane Hodges’s Crossless gospel and its most extreme advocates.

    It appears your conscience has been seared by them through your close association with them. Lord willing, you will one day, be recovered and genuinely repent.


    LM

    PS: I realize I am not welcome here, but a least I did not stoop to one of Antonio’s many Sock Puppet: fg me stunt or one of his other alias handles he used at my blog, which have been identified.


    DELETE at your leisure.

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  17. This is a solid working definition of ecumenism.

    There is great emphasis in the church today on uniting professing Christians of all denominations and beliefs. The message is that we're not so different after all... we can work together. Setting aside theological differences, we can help each other in the things we all agree upon. That effort is commonly referred to as ‘ecumenism,’ which is defined as ‘the organized attempt to bring about the cooperation and unity of all believers in Christ’.”

    Any objective observer of Rose's allegiance to and cooperation with those who advocate the GES interpretation of the Gospel knows this is, in the narrow sense of the FG doctrinal controversy, a PERFECT definition of her actions to promote acceptance of and lend credibility to it.

    I kindly challenged Rose to publicly deny she has been propagating the idea that there really is no significant difference between the GES gospel and the Gospel of those who have departed GES?

    I challenged Rose to deny that she is encouraging everyone to “set aside the theological differences” for the sake of working together on other issues.

    Rose has passionately tried to promote unity between the polar opposites on the Gospel around her belief that the Hodges Crossless interpretation of the Gospel is an acceptable interpretation of the content of saving faith.

    Rose can’t honestly deny any of her public actions on behalf of the GES interpretation of the Gospel, therefore, this ecumenical label is a perfect fit.

    Rose's ecumenical approach to the Gospel controversy is potentially harmful to those who may be unaware of what Hodges, Wilkin and GES have done, through reductionism, to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


    LM

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  18. Hi Lou,

    I don't mean to intrude (though that's what it is).

    I want to help (but I'm not sure if I can).

    Michele

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  19. Michele:

    I don’t consider this one an intrusion.

    IMO, the only and best way to “help” is for those who know that the Crossless gospel is a reductionist assault on the content of saving faith to take a clear uncompromising stand against that view, those who instigate it and the ecumenical (unity at the expense of doctrine) approach of the rest.

    If that is the kind of “help” you have to offer, you are welcome to help in that way.

    Thanks,


    Lou

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  20. To All:

    Earlier this week Rose did invite me to post at her blog, but only if I would agree to NEVER discuss the Crossless gospel. Naturally, I declined.

    I will never cooperate at a blog that preconditions participation with a “Gag Rule,” especially when the Gospel is under assault.

    Rose’s blog is a safe haven for the teachers of the Crossless gospel.

    Rose has been encouraging participation at her blog for both those who advocate the Hodges reductionist assault on the Gospel and those who will not violate the biblical mandates that forbid such an unholy alliance. That is the spirit of ecumenical compromise and I will have NO part of it.

    As I cited earlier, “The (ecumenical) message is that we’re not so different after all... we can work together. Setting aside theological differences, we can help each other in the things we all agree upon. That effort is commonly referred to as ‘ecumenism,’ which is defined as ‘the organized attempt to bring about the cooperation and unity of all believers in Christ’.”

    To post at Rose’s blog under her Gag Rule, and out of necessity interact with her Crossless gospel partners would be a step in the direction of the ecumenical compromise she is encouraging in the FG community.

    I’ll have none of it.


    LM

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  21. Lou,

    Thank you for letting me have a shot.

    I do wish to keep in mind what your goal is, and I want to help you achieve it. Still I want to be a faithful friend to Rose, so, I am trying to listen to her words and make sure I do not violate her wishes.

    I am so amazed at all three guys over here, their achievements, their attitude and even their desires. Keep up the good work. Even without any more help from me or another, I am sure you are each well on your way to knowing how to be more helpful, yourselves. I think I see God is doing this already Himself in you.

    Have you noticed the essence of this post? Are you conscious of what actually happened in you and also beginning with Stephen? You have had a change of mind. Or at least something is happening in your exploration of it all. You've changed your thinking about what Rose believes.

    If this new assessment stands the test, don't be in too much of a hurry to move on to the next challenge for her. There's a lot of credit you aren't taking for yourself, here. I encourage you to revel in this stage as long as you can hold out. I think, the longer you focus on the significance of this change of your thinking, the better impact it will have on Rose in having less desire to turn away from you.

    This should be quite celebrated. I think... Rose has been trying to show you her true position in her convictions for a long time, and, now, you see it. At least in part? Do you remember that she has been saying how important it is to her that you correctly and accurately comprehend what she believes? Here you are, doing just that.

    If I listen to Rose I think I know what she is trying to say. But to me I think I ought to not try and speak for her, her opinions, her mind. The point is not what I can say on her behalf, the point to me is to refer back to her and make sure I'm hearing her correctly. So at this time both you and I are performing the same function.

    Michele

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  22. Michele:

    I do appreciate much of your comment and when I have an opportunity I will address the good in it.

    There is, however, one section I must deal with. You wrote, “Rose has been trying to show you her true position in her convictions for a long time…

    You’ll find that those of us (maybe not all of us) who reject the Crossless gospel would disagree with that assessment of Rose’s interaction on the issues. Rose has been vague and often evasive regarding her personal doctrinal convictions on various issues regarding the Crossless gospel and the prime instigators of it.

    I will come back later.


    LM

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  23. Hello Michele, it's late and my wife and I are up late puttin' the polish on an apologetics lesson we're teaching tomorrow, but I really wanted to respond to you at least briefly.

    I can't speak for anyone else, but the way I read of your comment I believe you have grasped at least the spirit of my intent -- I am making a fresh attempt to understand Rose's reasoning. Whether or not I've succeeded is another matter entirely. :-) Neither am I dogmatic that I've even assessed her correctly in the first place.

    In reacting to the existence of this article, Rose questioned why we would find "an inconsequential woman like me of any import."

    Two reasons that I can think of:
    1. That's a question my wife and I have discussed the last couple of days, before Rose brought it up herself, and I think I have a very reasonable explanation for why she is a recurring focal point. I'll put that up later, I just don't have the time to fully elaborate on it tonight.

    2. One of my core convictions, and one that is directly connected to why I am convinced that the debate over the content of saving faith is not theory, is that no one is "inconsequential" to God.

    Good night... er... morning.
    Stephen

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  24. Stephen:

    I really appreciate your opening a dialogue around Michele’s input here.

    You noted that you will follow-up on this, “In reacting to the existence of this article, Rose questioned why we would find ‘an inconsequential woman like me of any import’.”

    That is a topic that I have some definite thoughts on, but I am going to defer to you (and Rachel) sharing your thoughts, then I will share mine. I really appreciate that your #2 above was God-focused.

    I would also like for Rachel to share some of her thoughts because she (Rachel) made a sincere and protracted effort to interact with Rose directly on the doctrinal controversy.


    To Michele: Thanks for opening what I am hopeful will be a fruitful dialogue. I would appreciate your staying focused on this specific topic, which Stephen has raised for your consideration before addressing another.

    Thanks to all,


    Lou

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  25. To All:

    Because of its value, and hope that Rose can be helped through what is in Stephen’s article and thread I encourage all to keep this particular discussion active.

    I mention this because a new series of articles will begin posting later today. That will of course move this down the home page a bit. Even though this falls down the page the subject matter is of IMO supreme importance.

    These new articles will be focused on the publication of three new reviews/critiques of Hodges’s Hydra Head article.


    LM

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  26. Lou & Stephen,

    Thank you for your comments, I am encouraged.

    Lou, I cannot always do everything you expect, of me. I think I understand your general directives and the lines you do not wish me to cross. If there's any doubt, just warn me and I'll stand corrected. Please know that I can't hurt Rose and I don't even want to give the appearance of enabling that. I am sensitive about how I act and what I say.

    In this case you are asking me to comment on something so far no one has described. Do I think it is a godly pursuit to challenge someone who encourages others according to their beliefs? Yes. So you see I'm not so far off your course (or am I?).

    I will wait till the descriptions appear, or, if you want I can suggest something new.

    Thank you for patience, I appreciate you trying to respect what is important to me....

    Peace, Michele

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  27. Hi All,

    Thanks for everyone working this through. Rose is of PARTICULAR importance to the Lord.

    She is perhaps a doorway that can be opened so that the Lord will go in and minister in the midst of those currently trapped in error.

    Or perhaps

    She is a mirror of Truth, the truth of 1 Cor 15:33 and of how Doctrinal error is to be more greatly fought against than any other kind. She may very well be an example of Truth.

    But I rest fully assured in the Truth of Romans 8:28

    That no matter if she is of particular importance for example or access or for some other purpose I can't yet imagine that the Lord Our God is able to work all these things for her good, and ours.

    Yes, Rose is of particular importance, as we each are. But in this situation, the Lord can use her in a way that He has not seen fit to use me. This does not exalt Rose above me. This does not mean she is more important, valuable or useful. It means she is in this situation and the Lord Our God uses all things for the good of those called according to His purpose.

    I'm getting more and more excited by the day!

    Kev

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  28. Michele:

    No one is try to “hurt Rose,” or enable hurting Rose. We have been trying to help and recover her. I trust you understand this.

    More later.


    Lou

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  29. Kev:

    I understand and apperciate the note you just posted.

    God would be glorified to use Rose in a special way that I believe you infer.


    Lou

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  30. Here's my stab at why Rose is a central/recurring figure in our side discussion.

    Truth is not determined by vote/election but I'll use voting as an analogy understanding it only goes so far:

    Ok, I see Rose as something of a swing state in an important vote. Antonio/Lou (and many others, including me) are like states that already favor a particular candidate (content of saving faith) so strongly that it would take something extreme indeed to change our stand. Swing states, on the other hand, get a lot of attention and are "fought over" because they show signs that they could go either way -- they are a natural fulcrum of effort.

    2nd, I think Rose is a prominent enough figure (in our circle anyway) who represents to us precisely "what's at stake" -- the undecided masses who think this isn't anything to fuss about. None of us want to see anyone be uncertain about the cosf, uncertainty is the enemy of assurance. (No, I'm not saying Rose doesn't have assurance). Rose thinks she's "inconsequential" but the truth is, for better or worse, it's evident (to me at least) that a lot of people hold Rose in high regard so getting Rose to "decide" has the potential to generate some relatively large ripples in favor of whichever direction she goes. It's not that Rose is individually more noteworthy than anyone else, but she's in a good position, on this issue at least, to be very influential and I think we all realize that. Thus, she's a very natural fulcrum for the discussion.

    I could write more but that's enough to get this started.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Stephen:

    What follows from you expresses what one of my concern has been.

    Rose thinks she’s “inconsequential” but the truth is, for better or worse, it’s evident (to me at least) that a lot of people hold Rose in high regard so getting Rose to “decide” has the potential to generate some relatively large ripples in favor of whichever direction she goes.

    I do, however, go further with my concern. That is because when push comes to shove in the debate she has consistently been sympathetic to and favoring the advocates of the Crossless gospel.

    She consistently calls on all FG people to tolerate the Crossless gospel and accept the men who hold to the Crossless gospel as if they have not drifted, through Hodges’s reductionism, far from a balanced biblical view of the content of saving faith.

    There are her oft-repeated statements that the Crossless gospel is a mere theory, doctrinal nuance,” a “difference of opinion that is acceptable.”

    I fear that kind of passivity could draw some to the feet of the CG men she cooperates with and that may lead some to fall into the trap of the GES’s reductionist heresy of the Crossless/Deityless/Repentanceless interpretation of the Gospel.

    More later,


    Lou

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  32. Lou,

    You said I do, however, go further with my concern. That is because when push comes to shove in the debate she has consistently been sympathetic to and favoring the advocates of the Crossless gospel.

    and

    There are her oft-repeated statements that the Crossless gospel is a mere “theory, doctrinal nuance,” a “difference of opinion that is acceptable.”

    The reality is that while I hope she will be used as a door, I fear, and even currently observe she is much more of an example (to follow my previous premise) of 1 Cor 15:33.

    We have seen this happen with Jeremy, who fell even further than the GES would tolerate.

    What a horrible thing it is to TRAIN someone how to think then abandon them because they actually make use of that training consistently.

    The error is what is evil, but error can be corrected through truth. What is vile about the Crossless and the Lordship camps is their lack of consistency.

    Neither applies their own hermeneutic outside of their policy statements. (I can't bring myself to call them statements of faith). They have policy that must be upheld, and that policy is protected by layers and layers of sheltered thinking and teaching.

    What we are CURRENTLY observing happening to Rose is her falling prey and subject to these. It would be no less fearful to watch her fall into the teachings of Lordship Salvation than it is to watch her fall into the hole she is dancing around right now.

    I say dancing, because she is still feeling the warm cuddly feeling and the joy of fellowship. Soon, if this is not adverted, she will feel the dark cold grasp that will do anything to stop her escape just like Jeremy felt.

    I reached out to Jeremy after his dark fall. He was so hurt and wounded that even the mention of Truth as though it existed caused him to pull back.

    I have seen this with people in the Lordship Camp as well. I think of my dear brother Martin who even today is struggling with the idea that Truth even exists because the camp he fell in with abused it so.

    My Brethren. This may be trivial to some. But I promise you this. It is not trivial to Rose. She is on the brink of great danger. That she is not completely aware of it makes no change to it's reality.

    For those who would train her how to think in one area.. she will be just another tasty morsel to spit out when she continues on with that training into other areas they are not currently concerned with.

    Kev

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  33. Stephen and Lou and Kev,

    Rose does indeed have an impact on this online community, as do all of us. Therefore it makes sense to me that you also have the privilege of influencing her.

    I liked the analogy of the swing state, Stephen. Although I think there are others who are more open to your corrections at this time than she. Perhaps Rose holds more influence on the group than others do, but more ground might be gained with someone a little less profile in your own eyes.

    Anything I suggest here is not automatically going to be right. Take what I say with a grain of salt. But at least I might give you a few new things to think about and toss or keep.

    Do I affirm your good intentions? Yes. Do I see God's purposes in your message? Yes. We can talk more about these as you wish to discuss.

    Lou, I believe no one over here wants to hurt Rose, but if she were reading here I would speak to her in terms I hope she would identify with.... I hope that makes more sense.

    Another idea that came to mind was perhaps some kind of work could be done to understand her particular view of ecumenicalism vs. fundamentalism. She sees herself being one and not being the other, I think.... I mean, now you're arguing two things instead of one. You're arguing the scriptures and you're arguing your understanding of ecumenicalism. She may never agree on your definition of the term and the scriptures are more important anyway. In fact it's possible that if she indeed is being ecumenical she wouldn't see that until after the scriptures transform her theological constructs.

    There are cultural things you can surrender here, in order that you might save a few.

    Let me know if you think this is a good idea or not.

    M

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  34. Lou,

    So, you're saying it's more than the ripple effect that Stephen describes. It's also the proactive effort she makes to accelerate others in the direction of error?

    M

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  35. Michele:

    IMO, it is more than a ripple effect.

    If we could ever get any clear unvarnished answers from Rose, we might learn whether or not see views the Crossless gospel as “error.”

    What we do know for sure is that she wants everyone in the FG community to accept the Crossless gospel as nothing more than a harmless “theory, doctrinal nuance,” and a minor, “difference of opinion that is acceptable

    Rose has passionately encouraged the FG community, especially those who reject the reductionist heresy of Hodges, to tolerate the Crossless gospel and accept the advocates of it.

    That can only happen at the price of treason again the Lord Jesus and His Gospel.


    LM

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  36. Kev:

    Your comments are right on target.

    1) I agree that LS and the CG do not have what we night call a doctrinal statement. They typically come to the Scriptures to force into or extract from them whatever they must to float their presuppositions. Hodges being the worst of these.

    2) You used the word “fall” or a form of it. I have often stated that my fear is that Rose and others like her have or will “fall into the trap of the Crossless gospel.” I use the same expression about Lordship Salvation.

    3) I agree that Rose is a tragic victim of the Crossless gospel advocates. Ironically, she is firm in her rejection of LS, but when the Crossless advocates began to interact with her she apparently did not recognize or appreciate the reductionist heresy that is the extreme opposite of LS’s false additions to the Gospel.


    LM

    PS: Rose claims that she dos not read this blog, but I often see her quoting or referencing what is here, so we know she is reading these articles and threads, one way or another. Keep reaching out to her. Lord willing she will awaken her senses to the danger.

    ReplyDelete
  37. To All:

    Kev referenced a Jeremy Myers. For those who are unfamiliar with Jeremy, I am recommending the following articles:

    Is There Genuine Concern for "The Heretic in Me?"

    Grace Evangelical Society Dismisses Jeremy Myers

    ReplyDelete
  38. Kev,

    The best description of the phenomena you are describing, in my ears, was this one:

    I think of my dear brother Martin who even today is struggling with the idea that Truth even exists because the camp he fell in with abused it so.

    Essentially what you are saying is that her doctrine is not so abhorrent and much more theoretically redeemable, compared to the grander problem of her approach to truth as a whole. ?

    You're saying her mind for truth has been widened too far beyond the Word, into much room made for relational and peer influence?

    If that is the case... and I have heard Lou speak critically and accurately of the attempts of her friend to correct her theology, may I suggest that you rise above the fray yourselves?

    Every time her friend or you or anyone goes in to her set convictions and tells her a message of essentially "shame" or "choose" or something similar, this effect is magnified in her, to listen and regret her convictions because of what others say.

    I believe that the best way to get people to fearfully and carefully handle the Word of God is to treat their own efforts as responsible for them-self. As sufficient, as well. I am sure you must believe that the Holy Spirit is capable of bringing her to the correct place, just her and the good book.

    In the end she must stand before God and give an account for her own interpretation of the Word. At that time she will not be able to point to someone else and say, "Well, Michele told me so I thought it must be true too...." We want to prepare everyone for such a judgment.

    If you can also act like this in her midst, like as if she + God are largely sufficient, by doing so you encourage her to become something more secure. You might set her free from a lifestyle of opening doors that best not be opened.

    Just another idea, but if you don't like it, please explain.

    With care,
    Michele

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  39. Michele:

    You wrote, “Another idea that came to mind was perhaps some kind of work could be done to understand her particular view of ecumenicalism vs. fundamentalism.”

    Rose claims to be a Fundamentalist, but at the same time there is no question that she is highly ecumenical in her approach to the Crossless gospel. Ecumenism and Fundamentalism are wholly incompatible with one another.

    I’ll repost this good definition of ecumenicalism. Note the bold section especially. Then I want you to tell me if that is not a nearly perfect description of how Rose is operating within the Crossless gospel controversy?

    There is great emphasis in the church today on uniting professing Christians of all denominations and beliefs. The message is that we’re not so different after all... we can work together. Setting aside theological differences, we can help each other in the things we all agree upon. That effort is commonly referred to as ‘ecumenism,’ which is defined as ‘the organized attempt to bring about the cooperation and unity of all believers in Christ’.”


    Has Rose been advocating, “we’re not so different, work together, set aside theological differences?” I’d like for you to answer that question without qualification.

    Any objective observer of Rose’s participation in Crossless gospel controversy knows (in the narrow sense of the FG doctrinal controversy) ecumenical is a PERFECT definition of her actions to promote tolerance for, acceptance of and fellowship in spite of the reductionist heresy coming from Hodges and GES.



    LM

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  40. Michele

    You wrote to Kev, "If that is the case... and I have heard Lou speak critically and accurately of the attempts of her friend to correct her theology, may I suggest that you rise above the fray yourselves?"

    Which friend and what theology?


    LM

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  41. Lou,

    You asked:
    Has Rose been advocating, “we’re not so different, work together, set aside theological differences?”

    You have convinced me from what you share in this thread. I myself cannot recall any contexts where I have heard her speak those ecumenical things which you quote of her. With Antonio I knew exactly what you're talking about.

    Please don't ask me any more political questions. I'm already unpopular enough as it is.

    M

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  42. Michele:

    You wrote, “I do suspect you’re on to something, but I myself cannot recall any contexts where I have heard her speak those ecumenical things which you quote of her.”

    You are replying to my comment above that the following definition of ecumenism is an accurate description of Rose in her mindset toward the Crossless gospel,

    There is great emphasis in the church today on uniting professing Christians of all denominations and beliefs. The message is that we’re not so different after all... we can work together. Setting aside theological differences, we can help each other in the things we all agree upon. That effort is commonly referred to as ‘ecumenism,’ which is defined as ‘the organized attempt to bring about the cooperation and unity of all believers in Christ’.”



    When you read Rose referring to the Crossless gospel as a “theory, doctrinal nuance, difference of opinion that is acceptable,” you are reading ecumenism. She has been stating these things and similar for at least a year, and many times calling for the FG to stop debating this because in her opinion it is making a mountain out of mole hill (paraphrased).

    For example at UoG, “As I (Rose) said somewhere else this week, this is the most ridiculous case of hair splitting I have ever seen.”

    A few days ago she quoted a pro-Crossless advocate and recommend a paper he wrote. She cited this from that man, “Many more of the controversies in which we are presently distracted would simply become unimportant, because if we are evangelizing according to John’s pattern, it makes little difference what we believe the bare minimum message might be; we’ll be seeking to include all that John does, which surely should be enough to satisfy anybody.

    To which she replied, “I agree with him. He says it much better than I.”

    Why does she agree? Because her opinion what we believe on either side of the debate “makes little difference.” She views the doctrinal controversy, that Hodges and Wilkin have created through their Crossless gospel, as an unimportant distraction, which she just agreed to from the man above.

    She has been calling for the discussion of the CG to cease and she encourages unity at the expense of ignoring the clear and obvious errors of the Hodges reductionist assault on the Gospel.


    LM

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  43. Michele:

    You wrote, “With Antonio I knew exactly what you’re talking about.”

    Everybody does!

    The sad thing is that his Crossless blog partners and readers often either: congratulate, legitimize and sympathize with what we’re talking about.


    LM

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  44. Hi Michele,

    You wrote I am sure you must believe that the Holy Spirit is capable of bringing her to the correct place, just her and the good book.

    Yes I do believe this. But to be honest, I want to do the work He has set before me. To restore such a one...

    He is able to do absolutely anything. It is our privilage to be involved. I count it all joy to be used by Him in anyway He sees fit.

    So yes I believe that even without my super-duper effort that the Lord God could take her out of that danger. But since it's on my heart to be involved I am.

    Make sense?

    She is ultimately responsible for where she is. And at the Judgment Seat of Christ all will be clear.

    I am responsible to respond to how I've been prompted as well though. No matter her complicity and responsibility, I am responsible before the Lord as well.

    Blessings,
    Kev

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  45. Kev, that very much explains my involvement as well. I am convinced that Rose is not yet too far gone; it's obvious that I am not alone in that conviction and that is encouraging.

    Lou's statements strike to the heart of what motivated the original comments that sparked this article. Rose, and many others, simply fail to realize that Historic Free Grace and Redefined views are mutually exclusive; fails to realize the simple truth that AB isn't and never will be ABC. That's not splitting hairs, it's simple recognition of the exclusive nature of truth. I'd argue that the truth of salvation is second only to the truth of knowing the one who provides it that one may believe in Him for it. John 9:35-36 for example.

    "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" He answered, "Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?"

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  46. Kev,

    I was already confident that your heart is in it. That hopefully one day will mean a lot to her if it doesn't already.

    So, once again I think it has been clearly explained and even well defended what your own viewpoint is on ecumenism and how she therefore fits into that category. But there's always two sides to a story. How does she see herself, whether or not she's correct?

    Can you see any reasons why she would think herself a fundamentalist (with the scriptures)? If she is doing something right on some theological issues, can you affirm her in that? I imagine you want to encourage her healthy approaches to the Word of God where they can be found.

    Just another idea....

    Lou, I wanted to let you know that I can't check my email right now. I'm in Arlington at the FGA conference.

    :D
    Michele

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  47. To All:

    I brought this discussion back to the top of my home page because the discussion is very active and the subject matter is an important discussion.


    LM

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  48. Michele/Kev/All:

    You wrote to Kev, “So, once again I think it has been clearly explained and even well defended what your own viewpoint is on ecumenism and how she (Rose) therefore fits into that category. But there’s always two sides to a story. How does she see herself, whether or not she’s correct?”

    Does it matter how Rose sees herself? She can’t even bring herself to make any kind of definitive statement in the first place when it comes to the extremism in the GES/Crossless gospel community. “Theory, doctrinal nuance, acceptable difference of opinion…?”

    There is no doubt that Rose is ecumenical.

    Earlier in this thread Stephen recounted how Rose evades answering a clear, unvarnished question from Dave at the FG Believer blog.

    *Dave’s question was “Can one be saved that does not know who Jesus really was and even without knowing that He died for them?”



 Dave specified only a simple yes/no answer should be given.

 Rose’s answer was “very very doubtful. A probable no. Virtually impossible.

” -- Which is a round about way of answering “yes”, however weakly.

    This is typical of the way Rose dodges and evades any clear answer to a specific question that will put her at open odds with the Crossless advocates. This NEVER happens when Rose is questioned about her views on Lordship Salvation. How does she explain this, she won’t explain it.

    Rose’s attitude toward and actions on behalf of the Crossless gospel, Hodges, Wilkin and her CG blog partners is without any question ecumenical.

    What she says, which is vague at best is one thing, but her actions define her as ecumenical toward the GES’s Crossless/Deityless/Repentanceless heresy.

    She encourages corporate unity with the Crossless camp at the expense of compromising a defense of the Gospel against their reductionist heresy. Compromise is a defining characteristic of the ecumenical mindset!

    The Crossless gospel is heresy of the worst sort through reduction, just as Lordship Salvation (LS) is through its additions to the Gospel. Rose is very clear on the problems with LS, but she takes a thoroughly compromised ecumenical approach to the Crossless gospel. Why?

    In closing, IMO the only way to conclude that Rose is not ecumenical is that she was deceived and has come to accept the Crossless gospel, but will not say so openly, and she is trying to win others over to the GES Crossless view through subtle means.

    Which do you think it is with Rose: Ecumenical toward or advocacy of the CG through subtlety? Her actions can’t be both; can they?



    LM

    *Antonio dodged Dave’s question and tried to manipulate Dave to let him [Antonio] tell him [Dave] on the phone what he believes. Dave refused to speak to Antonio because he dodged the question, just like Rose did, only worse.

    ReplyDelete
  49. To All:

    Stephen referred to and expanded on one of my comments above.

    He was referring to my comment from 10/06/2008 7:48 AM in which I pointed out to Michele how Rose thinks “we’re not that different” and “this is the most ridiculous case of hair splitting I have ever seen.”

    Stephen’s comment to Michele attempted to expand on his observations and show that the only way Rose can make those statements is to disregard or simply fail to understand the exclusive nature of truth, at least as it pertains to the doctrine of salvation.


    LM

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  50. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  51. (deleted my previous comment for editing)

    For those who may wonder, Lou is not speaking "for" me. I explained exactly what he wrote above in e-mail and I'm glad he shared it here.

    Another clarification: Rose recoiled at UoG that it's laughable we would suggest she is post-modern. That is a misunderstanding and/or misrepresentation of what's being said here -- I am not trying to cast Rose as-if she is universally post-modern in thinking. Just like you specified earlier that she is ecumenical "in the narrow sense of the FG doctrinal controversy" so also is the limit of my use of post-modern. Whether she's post-modern in other ways is outside my realm of experience with her. Consider this article article at the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry -- http://www.carm.org/emerging/postmodern.htm . All of it does not apply to Rose but portions of it clearly do; namely the idea "...that objective truth may not be knowable". That Rose can't answer a simple yes/no question about the content of saving faith shows that, in the context of the discussion at hand, that this term is rightly applied.

    Brian said in a comment elsewhere that "Rose is beloved to all of us". That we genuinely care is my motivation to restore her and I hope all others see it that as well. Nevertheless, we can't compromise for the sake of unity. While I have a bleeding heart for those like Rose, my heart bleeds more for fidelity to the Lord. Matt 22:36-40 shows precisely this order of precedence. "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind", then "You shall love your neighbor as yourself".

    Finally, consider Prov 27:6
    "Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy"

    In the biblical sense, we are the friend of all those who would be led astray by the deceptive kisses and ear tickling that crossless advocates use to get their message in the door of the unsuspecting church.

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  52. Could it possibly be summed up in this analogy. Rose is kind of playing a Barney Frank type role in not seeing the seriousness of the situation as he didn't in regards to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and thereby verifying their cause which will one day have serious ramifications even though she can't see it now as he couldn't see it then in regards to the present day situation.

    Grace upon grace,

    Brian

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  53. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  54. *EDIT* deleted my last post for a serious mistake.

    Michele,

    I do not spend much time at Rose's blog, and I surely do not spend any mentionable amount of time at the other Crossless blogs. I have done my research in the past and have come to what has been confirmed to be an accurate position regarding them.

    I could not tell you what Rose preaches about other topics. Other topics are not my concern. I am a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is my focus, my meaning, my task, my life, my joy, my desire and my return.

    That's not to be smart... it's just that I have neither time nor qualification to evaluate her other positions.

    She wouldn't want me too... wouldn't that get creepy?

    I want to encourage her to return to that which she received in the start that her joy might be complete and her fellowship full.

    What doctor spends time treating a bruised thumb when the patient's jugular is spraying life-blood across the room?

    Kev

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  55. Excellent statement at the end Kev.

    Our prayer is that Rose changes her mind and sees the importance of what is clearly at stake here and that the cross should wave higher than any aspirations one may have.

    Grace upon grace,

    Brian

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  56. All,

    I'm sure this is already going on, but I feel convicted to ask publicly if... maybe we could surrender this matter and her to the LORD and pray. For a month? And then see what God might do in that time.

    Thoughts?

    -Michele

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  57. Michelle,

    If your child had a terrible illness and I grew tired of you seeking every way you could to bring the root of the sickness out into the light and have it healed and said "Why don't we just surrender this to the Lord for a month" would you think I was crazy?

    The Apostle Paul said that he would not give way for even an HOUR to those who where doctrinally wrong.

    I suspect your intent is noble, but the actual result would be far from noble. It would actually be loveless.

    Kev

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  58. I know this is a late comment on this thread, but Lou mentioned in an earlier comment that he wanted me to comment on this topic.

    I did interact with Rose fairly extensively sometime ago on the subject of the Crossless Gospel. I found that Rose treated my points essentially the same way she treats Antonio's points - effectively silence. My opinion (and that's all it is, just an opinion), is that Rose simply cannot answer either side's points, for whatever reason. It seems to me that when she reads Antonio, she can't think of a solid response, yet when she reads those on our side, she also can't think of a response. So she has decided that since everyone (supposedly) preaches the same truths to the lost anyway, and that therefore the lost will believe those same truths anyway, that it doesn't really make any difference, so why fight over it.

    I think that the biggest issue for Rose is in the "exceptions". I think she feels she simply cannot be dogmatic about saying that the cross and rez are absolutely necessary, because, what about a child, what about a mentally disabled person, what about some rare, weird scenario of someone dying halfway through the Jesus story, etc. I think these "exceptions" combined with the CG folks' constant refrains of "we always preach the cross" have allowed her to adopt this apathetic position.

    The problem is that this issue actually does make a significant difference. I noted this at Rose's blog in a thread from about a year ago where Rose was asking for help in coming to a decision on this issue. Here's what I said regarding whether or not the content of the gospel matters:

    "This discussion is not by any means a 'moot point'. Not when we have Jeremy Myers thinking his daughter was saved at the age of 2 (!) simply because she (supposedly) believed Jesus could take her to heaven. Not when we have Bob Wilkin telling a JW's mother that she only needs to be concerned about getting her JW son to believe that Jesus can give him eternal life apart from his works, and she need not '"get into all that [erroneous JW doctrines]'."

    (note: I personally witnessed, and have access to a recording of, the interaction of Wilkin and the JW's mom at our church - the mom attends our church)

    Oddly enough, even Antonio agrees with us that this issue is important, rather than "moot" or unnecessary. He has, of course, tried to backpedal on that, but his words are written in public for all to see, and I actually agree (at least in principle) with what he has said regarding the importance of this.

    I don't normally have any reason to quote Antonio, but in this case I think his words illustrate two good reasons why this issue matters so much, even through his errors. On another forum a few years ago, someone named "Tyler" said the exact thing Rose is now saying, that it doesn't really matter because all our gospel presentations include the cross and rez anyway, etc. Here is part of Antonio's response:

    "Hi Tyler,

    I humbly disagree with you concerning it being "moot" and only interesting theologically for I can enumerate several factors why it is important:

    1) Child evangelism is one practical ramification. How much does a child have to understand about "substitutionary" atonement, Jesus being God, or the son of God, etc... What exactly must be known, what exact contents to the object must be exactly known, that will be the difference between eternal life, and almost knowing enough?

    Simple faith in Jesus is the key! Believe in Jesus and you will live forever with Him.

    "Unless you become like children..."

    2) Another is the issue of evangelizing "Christian" cults. Biblical Christianity is the only religion in the world where works do not in some way contribute to ultimate salvation. In most Christian cults, they refer to the Bible for their doctrine (among other places). They refer to the same Jesus as we do but with misconceptions few or many. The primary purpose of evangelism is to get the individual born into God's family, thus starting a relationship with God, and starting a true knowledge of Him. The primary aim in evangelism is to get the potential convert to the place where he entrusts his/her eternal well-being to Jesus. At that moment the individual is saved and those dozen or more concommitant gifts (indwelling, sealing, every spiritual blessing in Christ, etc) are imparted to the new convert.

    If this new convert is determinate to seek out God and His knowledge and puts forth the effort, he WILL grow in his understanding. The Word will open up to him in a new way, and through time and growth, many of the old misconceptions will be cleared up.

    We need to get them saved then encourage them in proper theology. We need to get them saved and then disciple them. Once the Holy Spirit is in their hearts, He can do His job through time and the Word."


    Of course I disagree with his points, but it clearly illustrates the significant difference our views make in how we approach such people. It is one thing to wonder about "exceptions". But children and members of groups such as JWs and Mormons can hardly be labeled "exceptions".

    So Rose's contention that this is a "doctrinal nuance" is simply indefensible. Yet for some reason(s) Rose is unwilling to explore the issue any further at this point. Perhaps she is the type of person who, when confronted or forced into a corner, has a tendency to push back merely for the sake of pushing back as a sort of defensive posture. But when given time to dwell on it on her own, without pressure, she may be more willing to come to a particular conclusion.

    I do think there is a point where there is only so much that can be said and done, and a person must be left in God's hands. We must do our best, but we cannot change every mind and convince every person. There is only so much that can be done, and for me personally, I feel that Rose is at that point. She began to refuse to interact with me on the issue or to answer my questions, so I cannot force her to answer. If she is done, then she is done, and there's not much more I can do about it. If she wants answers, she knows where to find them.

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  59. Rachel:

    Thanks for posting this extended comment. Because of its importance I have republished it as a lead article.

    See- ReDux on Rose's, "We Just Can't Know?"


    Lou

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  60. To All:

    A few days ago I was reviewing a blog article Is This Heresy? The thread went long as the discussion detailed and exposed the Crossless gospel heresy as defined by Antonio da Rosa (aka: Sock Puppet: fg me).

    In the thread Rose tried to sympathize with, legitimize and defend the disturbing views of da Rosa. Jon Perreault had this admonition for Rose.

    Lou,

 Thanks for reposting Rose's comment to me here where it belongs. I replied to her on Unashamed of Grace but am copying my reply here as well where it belongs:

===========================

    

Rose,

 You are preaching your "opinion", I am preaching the "truth" of God's "Word" (2 Tim. 3:16-17, 4:1-4).

    The Scriptures are clear:

"I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears." (Acts 20:29-31)

    

"But the Spirit explicitly says that in later time some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron" (1 Tim. 4:1-2).



    "I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths." (2 Tim. 4:1-4)

    

By defending da Rosa, you (Rose) are defending "doctrines of demons", "myths", and heresy. As the apostle Paul pleaded with the Galatian Christians concerning their acceptance of a perverted gospel, I plead with you: "O foolish Christian, who has bewitched you?"

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  61. To All:

    Rose has posted some comment at Kev's blog On My Walk. I posted a note to her at Kev's blog that was prompted by what I read she had just written to the most extreme of the Crossless gospel apologists. What follows is my note to Rose, which I wanted to have on record here as well.


    Rose:

    In a Bible college chapel I heard a preacher say to the students, “You show me your friends and I’ll show you what you are now, or what you soon will be.

    When you were first exposed to the Crossless gospel (CG) and Antonio da Rosa in particular you were challenging and questioning his egregious teachings. Over time, however, you grew increasingly silent in your objections and concerns. You came to the point of not just becoming a friend of this teacher of doctrinal errors, you joined him in a cooperative effort in your group blogs. Of course, da Rosa was delighted that you provided a new venue for him (and his partners) to sow the Internet with seeds of the Crossless gospel’s assaults on the Person and work of Jesus Christ.

    Then we began to read your suggesting the CG is mere, “theory…nuance of doctrine and a difference opinion that is acceptable.” Over time you have strengthened your resolve to sympathize with, support and defend the heresy of the CG and the behavior of its most extreme apologists.

    When you first encountered these reductionist heresies you would have done better to follow the biblical mandates to “avoid” these teachers of “contrary” doctrine who introduce “divisions and offences” (Rom. 16:17) wherever they take their Crossless gospel, which thankfully they are finding fewer venues to spread their reductionist heresies.

    Dr. Ernest Pickering wrote: “It is not a mark of graciousness to allow false teaching to be propagated.” By allowing CG apologists space and your protection at your blog you allow false teaching to be propagated.

    My fear has been, and I have shared this with you in public and private. If you kept this fellowship and cooperation with them up long enough you would eventually go beyond the tragic fall you have already suffered by believing and supporting the CG’s reductionist teaching as if it is a mere “difference of opinion that is acceptable,” and crash land into accepting their errors as if they are a genuinely biblical position on the content of saving faith. Well, this weekend Rose you publicly disclosed that you have taken another giant step in that direction.

    IMO, Rose you are on the brink of fully embracing the teachings of GES on the Gospel. Below is your on-line comment to Antonio that you posted this weekend. I will let it speak for you.

    ***BEGIN***Antonio, I finally had a moment to think and contemplate...and therefore I read your post very carefully. You have communicated the track that your understanding of this issue comes down quite well, my brother! I must admit, previous to all these discussions, I had not analyzed very thoroughly what I thought the “content of saving faith” was at all and this has all forced me to do that. This is a good thing! The more I think about all of this, the more I do not believe this should be such a troublesome issue. You are really not all that controversial. BUT: I know others have a different opinion than me on that. You make your case very well. I think if I remember correctly, I had a difficulty agreeing with you on what it means to believe that Jesus is the Christ. You had a very simple explanation -if my memory serves me- and my explanation for what it means is a little less “defined” shall we say.***END***

    That is very revealing and a sad indication of what has happened to you, which is continuing to succumb to the reductionism of advocates of the CG whom you choose to befriended, defend and cooperate with.

    Rose, you surely remember JP’s warning (before he began to tread the trail you have trod toward fellowship with the advocates of the Crossless heresy) to you in the thread under, Is This Heresy?

    By defending da Rosa, you (Rose) are defending ‘doctrines of demons’, ‘myths’, and heresy. As the apostle Paul pleaded with the Galatian Christians concerning their acceptance of a perverted gospel, I plead with you: ‘O foolish Christian, who has bewitched you’?”

    Stephen Stark wrote an article that was IMO a very helpful read on your ecumenical approach to what is obviously the most extreme form of reduction heresy against the Gospel ever introduced to the NT church by one of its own, namely Zane Hodges and the GES. His article is titled, Reasoning on Rose: “We Just Can't Know?”

    In conclusion Rose, you are a stark example of what becomes of the person who chooses ecumenical compromise with believers who are the prime instigators of extreme doctrinal errors. Unity at expense of Scripture. The Word of God forbids such an unholy alliance and should never be dismissed for the sake of friendship.

    Remember the chapel message, “You show me your friends and I’ll show you what you are now, or what you soon will be.

    Tragically, you are a stark illustration of that telling statement. You either have already become or are very close to becoming in doctrine exactly what your CG friends are: heretics of the first order. If you have not already embraced the CG you are teetering on the precipice of falling into the trap of the CG.

    Please, turn back before you are lost to Hodges’s assault on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


    LM

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