March 24, 2009

Out on a Limb to Protest too Much” (Part 2)

Dear Guests of IDOTG:

Brother Evans’s first installment of this series
Out on a Limb to Protest Too Much concluded with,

People reading these things from you (Antonio da Rosa) 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).

Let’s continue with the second and final installment of Phillip’s series. Do NOT miss the Editor’s Notes at the conclusion.
After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country. And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either,” (Mark 16:12-13).
You said,
Even after further testimony, they did not believe the resurrection.”
It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles. And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them,” (Luke 24:10-11).

You said,
The disciples thought the account of the resurrection was like ‘idle tales’.”
“For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead,” (John 20:8-9).
You said,
Even though Jesus was with the disciples, told them beforehand many times about His death and resurrection, they did not believe, nor knew the Scripture. But they were saved.”
My response to you concerning Mark 16:9-11 should be sufficient to answer your twisting of Mark 16:12-13 and Luke 24:10-11. In all the cases you noted above, Jesus had not yet revealed Himself to them post-resurrection, and they had already been saved.

It is highly ironic of you to quote
John 20:8-9, for it goes toward nicely making my point above concerning the dullness of the disciples’ understanding. You need to understand that the dullness of heart of already saved people who were pre-cross/pre-revealed resurrection is not to be compared with direct denial by lost people of the clearly revealed post-cross/post-revealed resurrection truth. This denial will leave a lost person lost, until they repent (change their minds) and believe.

You said,
The Bible speaks for itself.”
Yes, it does speak for itself. And it will speak on that Day precisely to how you have mishandled the Word of Truth, unless you repent!

You said,
Let me get this clear here, Phillip. Someone may be saved without adhering to the deity of Christ.”
Where do you get the idea that someone could be saved while in conscience denial of the Deity of Christ? Haven’t you read anything of what I wrote above concerning clearly revealed Inspired truth and the COSF in our day? Do you honestly think that a lost person could dishonor God by rejecting the truth of Christ’s Deity, and still become saved in that denial? Do lost people have the right to dictate to God what they must believe in order to be saved?

You said,
But no one is going to believe in Jesus who disregards His death and resurrection.”
Hold the phone here! I thought your whole point above was to try and prove that a lost person could reject the clearly revealed truth of the cross and resurrection and become saved while continuing to reject it!

Such double-mindedness, as you demonstrate Antonio, is a glaring symptom of those who are in bondage to false doctrine.

Antonio, you wrote,
But then you guys ask, why do we consistent Free Grace people preach the cross and resurrection? It is the greatest of testimonies on why Jesus Christ can be believed to secure one’s eternal destiny. Why would we shun the preaching of the cross which draws all men to God? God forbid that I fail to preach the cross and resurrection to men! It is through the knowlege (sic) that Jesus took the sin barrier away between God and man through His death for sin, and the message of His rising from the dead that a man will come to find Jesus able, authoritative, willing, and desiring to give eternal life! This is the basis for Christ’s offer!
Excuse me again, but while you may tell the lost of the cross and resurrection, by failing to tell them that they must believe it in order to be saved, you certainly do not preach the cross and resurrection! And your claim to the label “Free Grace” is sad, for God’s free grace is found in the truth of the Gospel, which you twist and abuse to prop up the reductionist heresy of the Crossless Gospel!

To you, the Deity of Christ, His death on the cross, and bodily resurrection are merely the
basis for the Gospel, and not the heart (1 Cor. 15:1-4) of the Gospel.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Rom. 1:16)

Paul did not preach the
basis of the Gospel. He preached the Gospel! If the Gospel itself is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16), then to preach it means you are calling on the unsaved to believe it!

You, and Bob Wilkin of
Grace Evangelical Society did not arrive at your doctrine via revelation from God, but instead from near worship of the late Zane Hodges. He was a man who was straight on the Gospel until the latter years of his life when he fell into the perverse reductionism that has ensnared you.

Do you mean to tell people that the
content of saving faith has not been thoroughly known and/or understood by the New Testament Church until **Hodges came along and set the world wide body of Christ straight on it? Sounds very much like something the Mormons did in the 19th century when Joseph Smith came along and said everyone else was wrong, but him, and “restored” the Gospel that had supposedly been lost.

Antonio, you are too far out on a limb to protest too much.

To My Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Hold strong to your faith and the truth of the Gospel. There are others in the GES like Wilkin and da Rosa. Names to be familiar with like: Rene Lopez, Bob Bryant and John Niemelä out there propagating their various redefinitions of the Word of Truth. Don’t be beguiled by them,
for they themselves have been deceived by Satan. Instead, pray for their recovery, but steer a clear path away from and “avoid them” (Rom. 16:17).

Any attempt to befriend or fellowship with GES theological extremists is unwise. Fellowship and/or cooperation with GES membership will put you in danger of becoming entrapped by their doctrinal errors, potentially causing you to fall into the trap of their reductionist heresy. Tragically, some have.

I have warned you now children of God. Take heed lest you come under the corrupting influence of the GES reductionist assault on the saving message of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


Phillip M. Evans


**Editor’s Note: The GES camp does indeed believe that the saving message of the Gospel was not fully known or understood until Zane Hodges was specially endowed of God to clarify it for everyone. This is expressed in an article at the pro-Crossless gospel blog Unashamed of Grace. The article is titled, I am proud to be one of Zane Hodges’ godchildren. The author equates Hodges’s value to that of: Enoch, Moses, Daniel, the apostles Paul and John. He, furthermore, equates Zane Hodges to Wycliffe, Luther, John Wesley and George Whitfield. Then he states, “It should hardly be a surprise that God is using Zane Hodges to bring a right understanding of the nature of saving faith.”

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 he would NOT 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.

March 22, 2009

GES Member Antonio da Rosa: Plagiarism- Once Again!

Dear Brethren:

You will find the following plagiarized excerpt in Antonio da Rosa’s current article at his
REDEFINED Free Grace Theology blog. The article posted on Friday, March 20. Antonio addresses what he perceives to be flaws in Dr. J B Hixson’s soteriology.

Here is the plagiarized item in da Rosa’s article,

They cannot both be the gospel! One or both of them is a false gospel and comes under the curse of perverting the gospel or preaching another gospel!” (bold added to reflect the plagiarism)
You will find the following on p. 40 of Dr. Charles Ryrie’s classic So Great Salvation (SGS),
The message of faith only and the message of faith plus commitment of life cannot both be the gospel; therefore, one of them is a false gospel and comes under the curse of perverting the gospel or preaching another gospel (Gal. 1:6-9), and this is a very serious matter.” (bold added)
Antonio offered NO attribution to Dr. Ryrie or SGS of any kind, anywhere in his article.

This is no mere coincidence or innocent misstep! This is the third time that da Rosa has been found to be plagiarizing the work of other men. I suspect that in his current attack piece against Dr. J. B. Hixson and Pastor Tom Stegall additional examples of plagiarism may exist.

We have a Grace Evangelical Society Crossless Gospel advocate repeating a deliberate act of plagiarizing the work of another man. Last year we witnessed Mr. Jim Johnson committing plagiarism on a massive scale. See-
ReDux & UpDate: Jim Johnson’s Massive Plagiarism in “Destroying Free Grace Theology”

I have archived a copy of da Rosa’s plagiarized article in its original form. I suspect he will claim that there has been no plagiarism, remove or revise the plagiarized section and any others that may exist before they can be uncovered. The archived copy will be researched for additional examples of plagiarism by Antonio da Rosa.

In any Bible college deliberate acts of plagiarism typically result in the student’s expulsion for a semester, possibly longer, depending on the severity of and/or repetitive acts of plagiarism. Antonio da Rosa is a known three-time plagiarist.

Antonio is scheduled to conduct two workshops at the upcoming Grace Evangelical Society (GES) National Conference, March 30 - April 2.


LM


UpDate:  See comment #9 in the thread below for a reaction by da Rosa to his plagiarism of Dr. Ryrie's So Great Salvation.


Please forward to the OPEN LETTER to ANTONIO da ROSA, aka, The (Mr.) Truth Detector

March 16, 2009

Out on a Limb to Protest too Much

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.

Thursday, March 05, 2009, on the heretical blog, Unashamed of Grace, Antonio da Rosa responded to my defense of Lou Martuneac and the question that I posted there to him concerning the Gospel. I will answer each of his statements here, as he has shut down that comment thread at his blog before I able to post my reply to him. I’d like to thank my friend and brother in Christ, Lou Martuneac, for the opportunity to respond to Antonio directly, here from his blog In Defense of the Gospel.

Antonio said:
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:

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?’
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.

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:”

1 John 5:1
“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God”

Matt 16:16
“Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’”
You observed, “moments later...
Matt 16:21-23
“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”.
All, 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.

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).

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)
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.”

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

He also authored the book, Eternal Security Proved.

March 12, 2009

Upcoming Article: “(Far) Out on a Limb to Protest too Much

Dear Guests of IDOTG:

A fair amount of needless controversy developed over my previous article,
Believing the Gospel: “May Indeed Frustrate Grace.”

In that article I demonstrated how Antonio da Rosa, the blogosphere’s most vocal apologist for the Grace Evangelical Society (GES) reductionist view of the Gospel, believes to call on the lost to believe the Gospel (the cross and resurrection of Christ) “
may indeed frustrate (saving) grace.” This is da Rosa’s position, which has been thoroughly documented. Regrettably, as is his custom virtually any time he is held accountable for his reductionist teaching, he cries, “misrepresentation.” *His complaint appeared in an article at one of his Crossless Gospel blogs.

The driving force behind da Rosa’s (and GES members) baseless cries of “
misrepresentation,” is they refuse to take ownership of their well-documented reductionist assault on the Gospel, i.e. the content of saving faith.

On Wednesday (3/11/09) da Rosa followed his having buried the comment thread were he was claiming he had been “
misquoted” and “misrepresented” by deleting his article in its entirety. His charges that he had been “misrepresented” were, of course, indefensible as it was irrefutably demonstrated to him. In any event, the deleted thread was archived prior to Antonio’s burying it.

In any event, two of my partners in defense of the Gospel (Kev Lane and Phillip Evans) challenged da Rosa at one of his own
Crossless gospel blogs over his claims of “misrepresentation.” Unfortunately, their questions to Antonio were at first essentially dodged. Kev pressed him further to clarify his position in unvarnished terms. Finally, Kev became the target of personal attacks by da Rosa for pressing toward and expecting a clear and transparent answer from him, which he refused to provide. Antonio finally closed and buried the blog thread where these exchanges were taking place.

Kev of the
On My Walk blog devised a very clever way to finish the conversation with Antonio. Kev took snap shots of the Crossless gospel blog thread before Antonio deleted it. From the snap shots Kev exposes the absurdity of da Rosa’s claim and then refutes them. I like this approach because it is like a debate with a man (da Rosa) who refuses to appear. So Kev is continuing the debate with da Rosa voluntarily in abstentia using his (da Rosa’s) known and published views to represent him. Kev’s unique and compelling article is titled, The Grace of a Man: Discussion Disabled.

Brother Evans has also prepared his own continuation of the deleted discussion he began with
Crossless gospel advocate Antonio da Rosa. Here is a sample from Brother Evan’s straight-shooting look at the theology and evasive nature of GES member Antonio da Rosa:

“Perhaps you could answer this question to help clear things up:

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?’

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 method is right out of the cultists’ handbook of tactics.

I will now address your quotations of Scripture that you used as a reply to my question above. You said...”
This new article “(Far) Out on a Limb to Protest too Much” by Phillip Evans will be published on Monday here at IDOTG.


LM

*
da Rosa posted his complaint here ignoring he has been banned for well over a year. Comment moderation kept his posts off this blog.

March 1, 2009

Believing the Gospel, “May Indeed Frustrate God’s Grace?”

Dear Guests of IDOTG:

Today I want to share with you another and new example of the troubling teachings of the Grace Evangelical Society (GES) as articulated by one of its members.

On February 25, 2009 Antonio da Rosa (photograph at right from da Rosa’s blog) posted an article that reiterates and reinforces GES’s escalating reductionist assault on the Gospel, i.e. the content of saving faith. The article exemplifies the crux of the doctrinal controversy in the Free Grace community.

What you will read from da Rosa reflects the teaching originated by the late Zane Hodges. It is a message that is being propagated solely by Bob Wilkin’s GES. I want you to give the following sample from his article a careful read, a discerning read. IMO, this will remove any lingering doubt that da Rosa, and all those who hold to the GES interpretation of the Gospel, have checked out on Scripture.

The blog where da Rosa posted this is
Unashamed of Grace. It is a group blog made up of a few contributors who openly advocate, sympathize with and/or defend the GES’s reductionist interpretation of the Gospel. Antonio da Rosa’s article is titled, Time Share Industry and Free Grace.  This is his final paragraph,

The legitimate offer of a free gift comes with no other requirement but to simply receive it. This is essentially what free grace is! The conditions placed upon the lost by well-meaning, but erroneous, traditional Free Grace people are unnecessary caveats, provisos, and codicils in the saving transaction. The requirement of these things may indeed frustrate God’s grace, and preclude people from eternal salvation (not to mention assurance!).
To what “conditions” does da Rosa refer to as, “unnecessary caveats, provisos, and codicils in the saving transaction?” It is clear that his position is that to call on the lost man to believe the Gospel, the saving message Paul preached to the unsaved at Corinth, *(1 Cor. 15:1-4) “how that Christ died for our sins...and that He rose again, according to the Scriptures” are, “unnecessary caveats, provisos and codicils…. that may indeed frustrate grace.”

Think of it, da Rosa’s view is that in personal evangelism to call on the lost to believe the truth of Christ’s deity and what He did to provide salvation is to hinder and has the capacity to frustrate God’s saving grace. On his worst day a balanced Bible-believing Christian could not conjure this absurd incongruity apart from intentionally setting out to strip the Gospel of its saving message. Through the reductionist teaching of Zane Hodges, however, the GES has zealously done exactly that to the Gospel.

When Antonio refers to “
traditional Free Grace people,” he is referring to a segment of men in the Free Grace community who would be very familiar to believers across wide cross section of evangelical Christianity. Men such as: Dr. Charles Ryrie, Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer and Dr. Robert Lightner and a host of others the likes of which the GES is at odds with over the necessary content of saving faith. For example, Dr. Charles Ryrie wrote,
The issue is, How can my sins be forgiven? . . . Through faith I receive Him and His forgiveness. Then the sin problem is solved, and I can be fully assured of going to heaven. I do not need to believe in Christ’s second coming in order to be saved. . . . But I do need to believe that He died for my sins and rose triumphant over sin and death. I do not need to settle issues that belong to Christian living in order to be saved.” (So Great Salvation, p. 40. bold added)
Dr. Ryrie’s statement on the content of saving faith must be viewed as antithetical to the saving message of the Gospel of grace as GES has redefined it.

What does da Rosa, speaking for the GES, mean by, “
The requirement of these things may...preclude people from eternal salvation...”? That means if the lost man openly rejects the deity of Christ, His death on the Cross and/or Resurrection it must NOT be viewed as a hindrance to or preclude/prevent a lost man from receiving the gift of eternal life. This is why you will read statements by da Rosa, which accurately represent the reductionist teaching of GES, such as:
If a JW hears me speak of Christ’s deity and asks me about it, I will say, ‘Let us agree to disagree about this subject.’

At the moment that a JW or a Mormon is convinced that Jesus Christ has given to them unrevokable (sic) eternal life when they believed on Him for it, I would consider such a one saved, REGARDLESS of their varied misconcetions (sic) and beliefs about Jesus.” (Excerpted from da Rosa’s **“REDEFINED” Free Grace blog from an article posted May 2006 titled, Believe Christ’s Promise and You are Saved, No Matter What Misconceptions You Hold. [bold added].)
In his article The Hollow “Gospel” of the GES, Phillip Evans made this important observation:
The fact that Bob Wilkin has not publicly corrected or rebuked da Rosa (who posts links to his personal blog on the GES blog), means by default that da Rosa’s quote above is indeed the official doctrinal position of the Grace Evangelical Society, namely, that one can be saved while maintaining a deliberate denial of the Deity of Christ. Pure unadulterated heresy!”
Why doesn’t Wilkin correct da Rosa’s extremism? (Wilkin and da Rosa pictured at the 2008 GES National Conference) The answer is revealed in stark terms by Wilkin who wrote,
Jesus made it clear that the only condition [for salvation] is being convinced that He guarantees eternal life to all who believe in Him. Add anything to that and you have a different gospel.” (Bob Wilkin, JOTGES Autumn 1998)
The following excerpt is from Pastor Tom Stegall’s expansive biblical review of the GES gospel, which appears at Brother George Zeller’s Middletown Bible Church website.
“In a subsequent book by Wilkin, Secure and Sure, he states no less than 113 times throughout the book in almost mantra-like fashion that a person receives eternal life simply by believing in Jesus for it, or some varied form of the same expression. Yet NEVER ONCE in his entire book, despite 113 occasions to do so, does Wilkin state that by believing in Jesus for eternal life he means someone must believe that Jesus is God-incarnate who died for his sins and rose again.” (Tom Stegall, The Tragedy of the “Crossless” Gospel, Part 1. Tom Stegall is Pastor of Word of Grace Bible Church in Milwaukee, WI, and a former GES member.)
As you study and compare the new article by Antonio da Rosa to numerous related quotes by him and GES you quickly understand why da Rosa once stated, then recently reiterated an attempt to justify his infamous statement on the Person of Jesus Christ, which is:


The view of GES is that the lost man does not have to know who Jesus is, in the sense of His deity. Nor does he have to be aware of or believe what Jesus did to provide salvation, but still can be born again. Therefore, da Rosa’s infamous
Mormon & Evangelical Jesus statement proves that, for the Crossless Gospel advocates, it does not matter if the lost man believes a promise of eternal life even if he believes it is being made by Mormonism’s Jesus, a.k.a. the half-brother of Satan. That would be viewed by da Rosa as one of his acceptable “misconceptions.”

At the pro-GES blogs there are individuals stating (in the threads) that if someone believed in the finished work of Christ and His resurrection, but did not believe in the promise of eternal life, they never received the gift of eternal life, were never born again. Can there be any remaining doubt that the reductionist soteriology of Bob Wilkin and the GES is the most egregious assault on the content of saving faith ever introduced to the New Testament church by one of its own?

I want to close this commentary with a special note and admonition to all who read the mounting documented proof of the reductionist soteriology coming from the Grace Evangelical Society’s membership.

As you become familiar with the
Crossless gospel please understand that the GES faction of the Free Grace movement has become an isolated and shrinking cell of theological extremists. This I trust is becoming increasingly obvious as you read various GES published works that are being exposed for your consideration. The GES does not speak for or represent the broad base of individuals who would identify with the Free Grace movement.

To those of you who have any level of God-given influence as pastors, teachers, or through a Christian service ministry, you would do well to caution and warn those whom the Lord has placed in your sphere of influence. You can protect your people from the GES reductionist assault on the Gospel, i.e. the content of saving faith, by equipping them to recognize what it is at first sight. It would be a genuine tragedy of the
Crossless gospel if even one of your acquaintances were to be caught up in these obvious and extreme errors.
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).
Do all that you can, in the power of the Spirit, to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and biblically resist the reductionist Crossless gospel of the Grace Evangelical Society.

Yours in the Defense of the Gospel,


LM


UPDATE: On Wednesday (3/11/09) da Rosa followed his having buried the comment thread were he claimed he had been “misquoted” and “misrepresented” 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. In any event, the deleted thread was archived prior to Antonio’s burying it. A new article is on the way that carries through and concludes the discussion that Antonio decided he could no longer continue and must bury. The new article will be introduced this evening.

I would like to direct your attention to Kev’s blog: On My Walk. There you may read his compelling documentary on, The Grace of a Man- Discussion Disabled.

*Phillip Evan’s noted, “In another article of Wilkin’s, he (Wilkin) argues that 1 Cor. 15:1-4 is ‘Paul’s gospel,’ or good news for how those who are already saved can grow in sanctification, and is therefore not the saving message that the lost must believe in order to become saved. Wilkin’s argument is a non sequitur.” (bold added)