Dear Guests of IDOTG:
This is Brother Phillip Evans’s continuation of a discussion he began with Crossless gospel advocate Antonio da Rosa. The discussion did not go far because da Rosa suddenly quit the discussion when he was pressed (by Kev) to provide honest answers to simple unvarnished questions. Antonio also immediately closed and deleted the thread in which the discussion was underway.
On Wednesday (3/11/09) da Rosa followed by deleting the article in its entirety. His charges that he had been “misrepresented” were, of course, indefensible as it was irrefutably demonstrated to him, which may the reason he had to delete the article and thread in its entirety. In any event, the deleted thread was archived prior to it’s being buried. Phillip, therefore, was ready to continue the discussion. What follows is a continuation of the deleted discussion.
“Phillip, I expected you to see my point. Lou’s title takes my quote out of context. My quote in context states that the evangelist may frustrate the grace of God, not the lost man! In his title, he makes it seem that I believe that the lost believing the death, deity, and resurrection may frustrate the grace of God. THIS IS INDEED A MISREPRESENTATION. My point is about the EVANGELIST and NOT THE LOST MAN!”Antonio, I believe you may be out on a limb to protest too much about this – for two reasons:
1. Lou quoted you in context near the top of the article. (Believing the Gospel: “May Indeed Frustrate Grace?”) Therefore, any reasonable person can look at your quote and freely compare it with the title, and then draw their own conclusions. The title does not exist in a vacuum. Lou was not trying to hide anything. The title and the quote are both right there in plain sight and in close proximity. Therefore, I see no deliberate attempt to take you out of context. Usually, when people try to do that to others, they use at least some camouflage. The title, therefore, must be taken for what it is: a very brief way of introducing the article, even if you do not see it as laser perfect as you’d like it to be. Your real concern should be with the content of Lou’s article.
You are like the hunter who prefers to swat at a mosquito instead of shooting at the charging lion. Or the one who strains at a gnat and swallows a camel.
Will you retract your claim to have been misrepresented if Lou changes the title of his article to: Requiring the Lost to Believe the Gospel as Defined by 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, “May Indeed Frustrate God’s Grace?”
2. Don’t forget, the authentic evangelist who preaches the Gospel also believes it. The evangelist knows that the Gospel requires belief in Christ for eternal life as the One who is God in the flesh, who died on the cross and rose from dead. Since this same evangelist preaches the message that he does as a result of his belief, does not his belief in the Gospel, therefore “frustrate grace” in your view?
Antonio, I had written to you:
“Perhaps you could answer this question to help clear things up:Apparently you are either fearful or unable to answer my question clearly and simply in your own words, after which we could both appeal to Scripture to justify our positions. Instead, you prefer to hide behind numerous Scripture passages you’ve fashioned into a cloak via your misuse of them. This is right out of the cultists’ handbook of tactics.
‘Can a lost person be saved while maintaining a denial of the Deity of Christ, His death on the cross for our sins, and resurrection?’”
I will now address your quotations of Scripture that you used as a reply to my question above. You said,
“Let us let the Bible answer that:”You observed, “moments later...”
1 John 5:1
“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God”
“Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’”
Matt 16:21-23All, but the most spiritually obtuse, should clearly see your twisting of Scripture here. First and foremost, you fail to understand that the content of saving faith (COSF) at that time is not the same as it is now. The Old Testament (prior to the cross and resurrection) saints did not have the clear picture that we have now. Much was revealed to them, but much was also hidden from them. Peter’s rebuke of the Lord (Matt. 16: 21-23) is not a denial of something that was already accomplished fact at that time, but was rather his attempt to prevent the Lord’s plans from being carried out.
“From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.
Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, ‘Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!’
But He turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.'”
You said, “Peter confessed that Jesus was the Christ and believed at the same time that Jesus would not die or be resurrected”.
Secondly, you fail to point out that at least by the time of Matthew 16:16, Peter was a saved man. He had been saved by believing what had been revealed to him by the Father up to that point, by believing in Jesus as the *Son of God, the One whom the Father had sent into the world as the promised Messiah. Peter’s verbal chastening of the Lord is a post-salvation event! To take that event and use it to manufacture a doctrine which teaches that a lost person could now (after all that has been revealed to us in Scripture) maintain a denial of the truth of Christ’s cross and resurrection and be saved in that denial, is nothing short of demonic.
“This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him,” (John 2:11).You said, “The disciples were saved here. Later we read of them:”
I agree that at John 2:11 those believers were saved.
“So the men marveled, saying, ‘Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him,’” (Matt 8:27).You said, “The disciples believed in Jesus (pisteow eis) and later just didn’t get that Jesus was God. They were saved in spite of their disbelief that Jesus was God.”
“Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.’
Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say’, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:8-9)
Excuse me Antonio, they were not “saved in spite of their disbelief that Jesus was God.” They had become saved (born again) Old Testament saints prior to the cross and resurrection of Christ by believing to the best of their limited understanding what Jesus had taught them about who He was and what He came into this world to do. This was not a case of them denying the truth that we have so clearly revealed to us today by New Testament Scripture. This example of your twisting of Scripture to bolster your reductionist view is similar to what you did concerning the account in Matthew 16.
“Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe,” (Mark 16:9-11).You said, “Although the disciples had been told many times by Jesus about His death and resurrection, they disbelieved it.”
Here we have yet another example of the same type of Scripture twisting as you did to Matthew 16.
People reading these things from you are beginning to recognize your methods. Those disciples had already been saved prior to the cross and resurrection! When Jesus was prophesying to His disciples things that would later occur, the disciples certainly did not respond with a heart of unbelief! Otherwise, Jesus could not have told them, “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you,” (John 15:3). Instead, they did not fully understand the things Jesus told them due to their dullness of heart, as He pointed out to them while He was with them.
Their sorrow from having literally walked with Jesus, loved Him, and seen Him crucified clouded their minds so that at Mark 16: 9-11 these already saved people refused to believe that Christ had risen from the dead. The faith of these saved people was shaken severely, as was Thomas’, but upon seeing the risen Christ they believed. The lost should heed the words of Jesus: “blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed,” (John 20:29b).
Please continue to Part 2 of this series
*“Son of God” The teaching of Hodges is that the Lord’s title, “Son of God” does NOT mean or infer His deity. See- The “Christ” Under Siege: The New Assault from the Grace Evangelical Society
Editor’s Note: As you read the examples above in which Phillip documents then refutes da Rosa’s egregious errors and abuse of Scripture you might wonder whether these extreme views coming from him are an accurate representation of GES doctrine. Consider this: Antonio da Rosa is a featured workshop speaker at the 2009 GES National Conference. He was a speaker at a 2007 GES Regional Conference. If GES Executive Director, Bob Wilkin, had any genuine concerns with the reductionist extremism of da Rosa why would he feature him (da Rosa) at the GES National Conference? My point is this: When you read the extremist views coming from da Rosa, you are reading what is the accepted position of the GES.
Brother Evans is author of The Hollow “Gospel” of the Grace Evangelical Society