Dear Guests of IDOTG:
Last week the Free Grace Alliance (FGA) Executive Council announced its Open Break from the Grace Evangelical Society (GES) and its Crossless/Promise ONLY gospel.
Late last evening I received a copy of an Open Letter from FGA President Dr. Fred Lybrand to FGA President elect, Dr. Fred Chay.
The Open Letter will be available shortly for download, in its entirety (37 pages) at the Fred Lybrand blog and here at IDOTG. Here are selected excerpts for your consideration.
“It is my deepest hope that GES will repent of its recent error and return to the Free Grace Movement. Perhaps there is a future discussion to be had, and I remain hopeful; however, I want it to be abundantly clear that the GES Gospel, in its current iteration, is not something I can endorse as legitimate or supportable from the Word of God.”There is much more that sheds light from an insider’s perspective on some previously unknown issues in and surrounding the debate within the Free Grace movement. Things that clearly define why GES is not representative of historic Free Grace theology. Things that define how GES has steadily drifted from a biblically balanced view of the Gospel of Jesus Christ thorough reductionist thinking
“The Free Grace Movement did not start with GES, though it could end with it. If we leave the mainstream and follow the sincere, but misguided thinking of recent years, we will no longer be a Movement, but will rather star in the inevitable last act of fading away as a Monument.”
“The GES Gospel is a change in the very definition of the Gospel of Grace that violates our own FGA Covenant when it states,
‘Faith is a personal response, apart from our works, whereby we are persuaded that the finished work of Jesus Christ has delivered us from condemnation and guaranteed our eternal life.’
I was there when we formed these words together, knowing that the death and resurrection of the Savior was clearly among our concerns. I also know that it was Larry Moyer’s counsel to us that also contributed to this emphasis. In any event, believing in the finished work of Christ clearly is not the same as the GES Gospel’s notion of the gospel being nothing except ‘believing that He can guarantee one’s eternal life’. As the GES Gospel advocates point out—Jesus made this promise before He died, which means He made the promise before His work was finished. To believe the GES Gospel is to deny the Classical Free Grace understanding of the gospel through which we are eternally saved.”
Following are the opening paragraphs from the Open Letter.
Dear Dr. Chay,
Fred, at your request I am finally, and reluctantly, addressing the issue concerning the Grace Evangelical Society (GES) and the ‘crossless gospel’, so called. I say ‘so called’ because I would name it the GES Gospel. I am not aware of it being held by anyone, anywhere, in history; it is solely owned and promoted by GES. Of course, I am sure that when most GES folks present the gospel, they include a mention of Christ’s death and resurrection. However, when one asks, “What must one believe to be saved?” --- Then the cross and resurrection are clearly unnecessary pieces of information for saving faith and eternal salvation in the GES Gospel view. And as any objective person can see, eventually this line of thinking will invade their presentation of the saving message.The Open Letter from FGA President Dr. Fred Lybrand to FGA President elect, Dr. Fred Chay is available for download below.
I am aware that you attended a meeting involving a number of folks to attempt to look at the text surrounding (especially) GES and its novel view of the Gospel by which we are eternally saved. I am very thankful that you were invited to attend the meeting, since as you know, in the past we have offered to sponsor such collegial and academic discussions to no avail. It is my deepest hope that GES will repent of its recent error and return to the Free Grace Movement. Perhaps there is a future discussion to be had, and I remain hopeful; however, I want it to be abundantly clear that the GES Gospel, in its current iteration, is not something I can endorse as legitimate or supportable from the Word of God.
I’m sure they might take exception as to whether or not they have left the Movement, but the fact is that GES is no longer mainstream (if it ever was) regarding those who have been patently ‘free grace’ throughout history. In particular, traditional and mainstream Free Grace leaders such as Dr. Chafer, Dr. Ryrie, and Dr. Radmacher are all in print as affirming the necessity of faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross regarding one’s deliverance from eternal damnation. My suspicion is that many folks involved with the Grace Evangelical Society are simply unaware (as was I) that profound doctrinal shifts in the organization have occurred since 1999, culminating in sweeping doctrinal changes in their Statement (August 2005) and the recent attacks (the Hydra-headed article and the review of JB Hixson’s book) against those who disagree with the GES reformulation of The Gospel of Grace. (links added)
Bible-believing Christians all across evangelical Christianity can be thankful for men who are coming forward to clarify the crux of the doctrinal controversy.
Lord willing the advocates of the GES “Crossless” gospel can recovered from and repent of the errors they currently propagate. While we wait the Gospel of Grace will go forward in truth and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Visit the Fred Lybrand blog to view the on-going discussion there.
For the MS Word version download: The GES Gospel (aka - the ‘Crossless’ or ‘Promise-only’ Gospel)
For the PDF format download: The GES Gospel (aka - the ‘Crossless’ or ‘Promise-only’ Gospel)