February 8, 2009

“Take Heed...Watch & Remember,” Standing Ready in Defense of the Gospel

Dear Guests of IDOTG:

On Monday evening the second of the two-part series,
If Anyone Eats of This Bread… will be posted. In the interim I have a few thoughts to share that flow from the discussion thread under the first installment of the series.

Because the Grace Evangelical Society (GES) stands for an interpretation of the Gospel that has been purged of its saving content they (GES) have become irrelevant to any meaningful discussion of the Gospel. Through adoption of the late Zane Hodges’s reductionist assault on the Gospel, i.e. the content of saving faith, Bob Wilkin and what is left of the GES membership have isolated themselves into an extremist theological corner.

For many it is disappointing to observe what they have become through passionate loyalty to their departed hero (Zane Hodges) who had been Drifting Far Off the Marker in his understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Until they can be recovered from and repent of their errors, isolated in that extremist corner is exactly where it must be shown the GES dwells and where they must be contained.  With any new attempt by GES to spread their reductionist heresy out side their shrinking cell of extremists we must be ready to expose, refute and rebuke any GES attempt to reach beyond their own boundaries. It would be a genuine tragedy for even one more unsuspecting believer to be swept up into the heresy of the GES’s Crossless Gospel.

With that in mind there are several new series in production to remind all of us of the dangerous reductionist extremes the GES has become infamous for. One of these will be posting in just over a week. 

In conjunction with these new series I intend to bring back Phillip Evan’s The Hollow “Gospel” of the Grace Evangelical Society article. It is one of the articles that powerfully exposed the reductionist assault on the Gospel that was originated by Zane Hodges. Here is just one more excerpt from the article:
Look at the context of 2 Cor. 11:4. It’s about another spirit, another gospel! It isn’t about someone introducing a different historical figure who also happened to be named Jesus.

To blind the minds of people, what tactic do you think Satan would use – introduce an altogether different historic person but call him by the same name “Jesus” that brings false doctrines, or would he point to the same historical Jesus while twisting the truth of who Jesus is? In the first instance, Satan would have no credibility at all. What would be the point? In the second, he would have a grain of truth in that he would be outwardly pointing to the same historic Jesus, but at the same time denying the true nature of who Jesus really is. Obviously, Satan will use the tactic that gets the most results, as well as misrepresenting the nature of the particular historical Jesus that he hates the most. Without a doubt Satan has truly blinded GES concerning the Gospel!
Believers have a biblical responsibility and mandate to protect the church of Jesus Christ from any doctrinal assault whether it comes from within or without the church. (See- Perverse Things Draw Away Disciples)
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).
The GES Crossless & Deityless interpretation of the Gospel is the most egregious reductionist assault on the necessary content of saving faith that has ever been introduced to the New Testament church by one of its own, namely Zane Hodges.

With that let us continue to do all we can from the foundation of God’s Word to stand in defense of the Gospel against the twin assaults of
Lordship Salvation and the GES’s Crossless Gospel.



  1. Earlier, in the previous thread, I replied to a comment from IDOTG blog partner Stephen (KnetKnight). I want to repeat that here since it is IMO appropriate.


    Thanks for the note. And I do appreciate the efforts of you and Rachel in laying bare the reductionist errors of the Crossless gospel.

    I have no intention of standing idly by and seeing the GES ruin even one more unsuspecting believer through their Crossless gospel heresy. I have noted earlier that the GES has become irrelevant, but they just don't know it yet. This, however, does not mean we can let down our guard against any new attempts to break out of their shrinking cell of Hodges followers. God forbid the Crossless gospel were to gain any kind of foothold the like of which Lordship Salvation has managed.

    Anyway, the new articles in development are going to once again expose and devastate the egregious errors coming from GES.

    BTW, I also appreciate in the (prior) thread how you exposed the on-going blatant falsehoods coming from GES members in regard to non-GES men attempting to speak directly to the GES Crossless gospel advocates. Here is that comment.

    That article by Phil is excellent! The comment thread is great too because it debunks one of the most frequent allegations made against us -- namely the false assertion that we are/have been unwilling to dialog and are only talking amongst ourselves. There were some objectors in that thread and neither of them had answers when confronted with the facts. I'm not happy about that or rubbing it in anybody's face, it's just the sad reality of those who either defend GES out of some irrational bond, or those who fail, or refuse, to actually understand the facts. Mike (Messerli) in that thread, for example, was quick to blame us for failing to interact with Wilkin directly yet when the simple facts were presented, even though done kindly, he simply disappeared. I hope Mike gained some clarity eventually, I really do, but since he didn't reply... who knows?

    Other guests can read your full comment and my follow up beginning here.


  2. The thought of being careful not to be entrapted myself comes to mind. I find myself charging in to restore someone quickly all the time. I guess it's because I seek after that same mercy myself.

    I've found recently that I need to guard my fellowship as much as my faith. That by guarding my fellowship I guard my defense and answer for the hope that is within me.

    I'm not sure where these thoughts are going but this is what's in my heart and on my mind as I read the above article.


  3. Kev:

    I appreciate what you are sharing here and understand your desire to do what you can to help others.

    We do, however, have to protect ourselves from fellowships that may not be personally edifying, may expose some to doctrinal error and could undermine the cause of Christ.

    I am grateful for your desire to teach others and defend truth.


  4. I was associated with GES for many years and found their stand against Lordship Salvation to be of great benefit. It is sad indeed to witness the departure of GES from the true Gospel. I pray that those who are holding to the reductionist position will see that they are advocating another gospel, ironically, the same problem (spreading a false message that cannot save) that is occurring with Lordship Salvation(Gal 1:6-9)

  5. Hello Pops, I'm a frequent guest at this blog. Welcome, and thank you for your comment!

    You are exactly right, GES is not/has not been all bad. For all that I have come to disagree with them about Wilkin/GES have challenged me in some positive ways as well.

    I think that makes their departure from the true Gospel all the more painful and that it may well play into why so many, who are thankful for GES' past positive contributions, have a hard time taking a stand against them now.

    Again, welcome, hope to see you around.

  6. Hello Pops:

    Sorry I was not able to reply earlier, I have been at work until just a few minutes ago. I’m glad Stephen greeted you.

    You wrote, “I was associated with GES for many years and found their stand against Lordship Salvation to be of great benefit. It is sad indeed to witness the departure of GES from the true Gospel. I pray that those who are holding to the reductionist position will see that they are advocating another gospel, ironically, the same problem (spreading a false message that cannot save) that is occurring with Lordship Salvation.”

    I can appreciate what you shared in that comment. I am aware of many men who once enjoyed fellowship in the GES until it became apparent that through following Hodges’s redefined interpretation of the content of saving faith the GES began moving far from a balanced interpretation of the Gospel.

    I have often written that the Crossless Gospel (CG) is as radical a departure from the one true Gospel from its extreme end of the soteriological pendulum swing as Lordship Salvation (LS) is from the opposite end. Both, as you noted, are false, non-saving messages. LS errs by addition while the CG errs by subtraction.

    The GES is in my opinion so far removed from the one true Gospel they have essentially negated virtually anything they ever contributed to the LS controversy. Over ten years ago I began to look at the GES because of their rejection of LS. I was considering incorporating some of their material in my book on LS. However, I had an uneasiness about some things I was reading by Hodges & Wilkin and decided to give them (GES) a wide berth. That was why in the first edition of my book on LS I did not quote Hodges or Wilkin.

    In the new edition (due for release in early summer), I added two sections to expose and discuss the polar opposite of LS, which is the GES’s reductionist interpretation of saving faith. I do want to mention that Dr. Charlie Bing’s dissertation was a very valuable resource and I quote it frequently in both editions.

    Anyway, I appreciate your concern and hope for the GES membership to be recovered from the doctrinal errors they have fallen prey to.

    Yours in Him,


  7. Pops, Stephen, even the Lordship people started out with a good work. This and the testimony of the GES ought to keep us all careful to endure in faithfulness to that Doctrine we first received (of Christ and Him Crucified) until the end.

    It gives me pause to consider the finish line and how I'll be running at that point.