Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Serious Misnomer

In all of the discussion lately swirling around about the content of saving faith, I have noticed a phrase that keeps popping up: “disobedient brethren.” Now, just in case you may not be aware, let me brief you: Lou Martuneac uses this phrase in referring to some folks who hold a different understanding than he does as to the content of saving faith. He has a list of names of these disobedient brethren: Hodges, Wilkin, da Rosa (I don’t think he includes Myers anymore), Matthew. (I don’t think he knows Matthew’s surname.) The list seems very slightly fluid, (sometimes a name appearing one week and gone the next) but there is a firm core.

Both Lou and the group he opposes would probably both say that saving faith is “believing in Christ.” However, Antonio and Matthew allow for a very skeletal “requirement” of understanding who Christ is. Personally, I am not comfortable with how skeletal an understanding they think a convert may have of Jesus. I have discussed this at length with these brethren. I don’t see it their way. Yet, I don’t feel they are “disobedient.” In fact, I would say that there are being obedient to what they are convinced about and they have found their persuasion in the Bible. They argue for their position from the Bible.

There are certain views on Biblical concepts that I am convinced about. If someone else holds fast to his way of seeing these, who is to decide who is the disobedient one? This is a dilemna. Now, let me be clear, we are talking about brethren. So I am referring in this post to people that I am convinced are believers. To be sure of this, I do have certain truths that I must be sure the person is committed to or I would not count him a brother.

I am thinking right now of a wonderful man who just left our church because he could not go along with our dispensational statement of faith any longer, having been convinced of Covenant theology. I would never call him a disobedient brother! He has to be true to his convictions. I respect him. Something was spelled out in our doctrinal statement and he could not agree with it. This is a good indication that one may need to find a different congregation that one agrees with.

On the other hand, there has to be room for acceptable Christian disagreement, especially when we get into views about theory and scenario.

For example, in our church, there is no clear statement on the Calvinist thingy. Calvinists and non-Calvinists can both agree to the statement of faith, the way it is worded. I have been in discussions with my former pastor about predestination and the like. I have been very adamant that I do not view the Scriptures (that he sees as clearly teaching Calvinim) in the same way he does. He had given me leeway to be faithful to that which I hold. Wouldn’t it be awful if a pastor were to brand me a “disobedient sister” because I do not see what he sees about this "doctrinal nuance" ...about this disputable matter?? This would be quite ironic. While being faithful to what I think the Bible teaches, I would be branded “disobedient” for that.

In our personal friendships which are not in a church setting, I think the room for these disagreements can be a lot larger. But again, who is to decide who is disobedient and who is not?

I do realize that I could be accused of being irresolute for saying all of this, but I think if someone is able to defend their view from the Bible, and they are fully convinced that the Bible teaches what they are saying, having studied the Bible, then calling them disobedient is a serious misnomer. A contraire, they would be disobedient to the Scriptures if they were to just give in to Christian peer pressure to abandon what they see the Bible teaching… in favor of going along with what the rest of the brethren that are opposing them hold to.

Anyways, I did a search on the word disobedient and disobedience and it seems to me that it is always used in connection with someone who is a rebel against Christ, (an unbeliever) or a Christian living in blatant, bold and unapologetic sin or a Christian teaching others to live in blatant, bold and unapologetic sin. I don’t think Matthew or Antonio are disobedient brethren.

174 Comments:

  • Good Afternoon Rose:

    Disobedient brethren are genuinely born again Christians.

    I do not view believers, who have been deceived and adopted a false interpretation of the Gospel, as “disobedient brethren.” They are in need of prayer and biblical counseling to be brought back to a proper understanding of, in this case, the Gospel.

    However, once these deceived brethren become prime instigators and advocates of the false teaching they have then crossed over to and become “disobedient brethren.”

    Antonio and Matthew are examples of men who were at first deceived and went on to become prime instigators of the Crossless heresy.

    The Bible says, “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. . . . And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother,” (2 Thess. 3:6, 14-15).

    It is not a suggestion, but a Bible command to “withdraw from” any “disobedient brethren.”

    The Crossless gospel is a false, non-saving, heretical interpretation of the Gospel. The advocates of the Crossless gospel are teachers of a false Gospel. Saved, but they have become passionate advocates of gross error. Their teaching has introduced offences and schisms to the body of Christ.

    These men refuse correction and will not repent of and forsake their false teaching on a major doctrine: the Gospel. Based on what the Bible says, these believers who advocate the Crossless gospel are “disobedient brethren.”


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/25/2008 4:53 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Lou you need to take the log out of your eye! You accused me of lying! And when the evidence was examined you were found wanting. It was clearly shown that wasn't the case at all and you were told that by a sister but yet refused to repent! And now you are judging someone else, and all from your own disobedient shortcomings!

    Lou said:
    The advocates of the Crossless gospel are teachers of a false Gospel.
    Lou by saying that you are accusing Jesus Christ Himself of a Crossless gospel, because the ones that were born again in the Gospel of John did not need to believe in the cross for eternal life. They simple needed to believe Jesus simple promise of life. And the Gospel of John was the second to the last book to be written. And the same living water that Jesus offered to the women at the well is the same living water that is offered in Rev 22:17. Anyone beieving in Jesus as the Christ the One who guarentees their eternal destiny is born of God. No matter what else their misconceptions they are born of God (1 John 5:1)

    If you knew the gift of God
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/25/2008 5:51 PM  

  • Lou,
    I want to look up that Scripture and get back to it - making dinner right now.

    Alvin,
    I don't think you are a disobedient brother in regards to your beliefs either.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/25/2008 6:22 PM  

  • Rose:

    You wrote, “On the other hand, there has to be room for acceptable Christian disagreement, especially when we get into views about theory and scenario.”

    1) No one I am aware of in the FG community would utter a statement like yours above in regard to John MacArthur’s Lordship Salvation (LS) . LS is not theory or scenario. There can never be room for compromise for the sake of unity with the advocates of LS.

    The same is true with the Crossless gospel of Zane Hodges. The Crossless gospel is no less a heretical view of the Gospel than LS is, just wrong from opposite ends of the theological pendulum swing.

    2) Matthew, at my blog, has already acknowledged that they are not mulling over or discussing the Crossless gospel as though it is a theory. For the GES faction of the FG community the Crossless gospel is as real to them as LS is to men in MacArthur’s sphere of influence.

    Matthew and Antonio are both on record stating that if a lost man rejected the deity of Christ in a personal evangelism encounter they would view this as a non-issue, a mere “misconception” and still be willing to tell him (the lost man) that he can be saved by believing Jesus (even his non-deity Jesus) guarantees eternal life.

    Matthew has clearly stated that if the deity of Christ became an issue in a soul winning situation, even though he hopes the issue never arises, he would be willing to tell the lost man it is not necessary to believe that Jesus is God to be born again, but if you believe Jesus guarantees eternal life, that is enough for now. That is as real as it gets!

    Your “scenario” clause has therefore, been invalidated.

    No, Rose: whether we are taking about LS or the Crossless gospel, there can never, “…be room for acceptable Christian disagreement” with the advocates of a false Gospel. To compromise is to disobey the biblical mandates that forbid it.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/25/2008 6:23 PM  

  • Rose:

    Thanks for the reply.

    While you read 2 Thess. 3:6, 14-15 take a moment to read these...

    "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them," (Romans 16:17).

    "A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject," (Titus 3:10).


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/25/2008 6:30 PM  

  • Lou,
    Haven't looked Thess. over yet, but I just read your comment and it brought to mind another question that keeps coming to mind when I see you post that verse about "marking them that cause division and offences."

    Why could it not be said that you are the one that is causing division and offenses? Honestly - I mean if one were reading these blogs objectively, you really seem to be on the offense.

    Just a thought.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/25/2008 7:36 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/25/2008 8:50 PM  

  • Rose:

    Here is the key verse that appears in the longer passage of Romans 16:17-20.

    Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them,” (Romans 16:17).

    What follows appears in my book, In Defense of the Gospel. It is a very brief excerpt from a long chapter on this issue. This will answer your question about the cause of division.


    Skopeo in this verse is a present infinitive functioning as the object of the present tense admonition to beseech. (Technically, you and mark are both objects of beseech. In Greek syntax, this construction is known as the double accusative of the person and thing.) An expanded literal translation could read, “Now brethren, I am admonishing and begging you to continually scrutinize the ones causing divisions and offences.” That is, we are to take note of, and point out for others, those referred to in Romans 16: 17-20 as the ones who “cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned.”

    What is this paragraph talking about? If you would look at verse 17 you will see that it is a paragraph dealing with people who are teaching contrary doctrine. . . . These are people who are teaching as truth doctrine that actually is alongside orthodoxy. They are teaching what is a contradiction to, what is the opposite of, what is antithetical to, the doctrines that are taught in the Scripture.” (Mark Minnick, The Scriptural Response To Teachers of Doctrinal Error.)

    Those who through false teaching cause divisions are to be marked. It is biblical to personally identify false teachers and point them out so that others may avoid them. Paul uses the word cause (poieo), meaning produce, construct, form, or fashion in reference to those who are the authors of division through their false teaching.

    For the sake of those whom he is leading astray or who might be led astray by him if not properly warned from the Scripture, a faithful minister of Christ must warn against that man even though he pretends to, and perhaps to an extent does, preach the gospel. At best, this is a situation in which a disobedient Christian is behaving like a false teacher. . . . But when some man is the prime instigator, promoter, and advocate of an unbiblical position, we must expose that man as we denounce the sin he is promoting. (Mark Sidwell, The Dividing Line: Understanding and Applying Biblical Separation, p. 65.)

    It is somewhat ironic that if you identify a brother who is promoting a false gospel and biblically mark him, he will likely accuse you of being divisive. You must remember, however, that it is that man's false doctrine, which is really causing the division among believers.


    What I wrote above in regard to the teachers of Lordship Salvation applies just as perfectly to the teachers of the Crossless gospel.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/25/2008 8:53 PM  

  • Lou, is it disobedience to answer, "I don't know," when asked a question of scripture?

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 2/25/2008 9:17 PM  

  • Oops, sorry, Rose. I replied to you at the UoG blog, so I didn't think to say "Hullo!" first.

    Hullo!
    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 2/25/2008 9:30 PM  

  • Missy:

    You asked, "Is it disobedience to answer, 'I don't know,' when asked a question of scripture?"

    You'll need to clarify the nature and purpose of your question.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/25/2008 9:38 PM  

  • Lou, if I do not know the specific answer to a question given to me regarding scripture, such as, "Does the Bible really say you should be stoned to death if your garment is made of blended fibers?" and I answer, "I don't know." In your opinion, would I be considered disobedient to scripture?

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 2/25/2008 9:45 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Lou you said:
    No, Rose: whether we are taking about LS or the Crossless gospel, there can never, “…be room for acceptable Christian disagreement” with the advocates of a false Gospel. To compromise is to disobey the biblical mandates that forbid it.
    also:
    “What is this paragraph talking about? If you would look at verse 17 you will see that it is a paragraph dealing with people who are teaching contrary doctrine. . . . These are people who are teaching as truth doctrine that actually is alongside orthodoxy. They are teaching what is a contradiction to, what is the opposite of, what is antithetical to, the doctrines that are taught in the Scripture.”


    orthodox: correct + doxa, opinion < dokein to think 1. conforming to the usual beliefs or established doctrines, especially in religio; proper correct, or conventional: as orthodox ideas: opposed to heterodox. 2. conforming to the Christian faith as formulated in the early ecumenical creeds and confessions. 3. designating or of any of the churches comprised in the Orthodox Eastern Church.
    Webter's Dictionary
    Lou I believe that also includes the Catholic Church as being orthodox, do you imbrace them also?
    Also Calvinism is considered orthodox. Do you believe that Calvinism is the gospel as they teach? Do you believe people are dead like a rock? Do you believe that God chooses some and reprobates others? Do you believe that Jesus died just for the elect? Do you believe that God forces His will and love on people? Do you believe that works are a necassary evidence of regeneration?
    So Lou are you picking and choosing your advasaries or are you being consistant in your judging?

    If you knew the gift of God
    alvin

    If you knew the gift of God
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/25/2008 10:01 PM  

  • The only person that Matthew and I are being disobedient to is Pope Martuneac.

    Not only do we obey the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, we defend it.

    Lou is the defender of Lordship Salvation:

    A Lordship Proponent and a Free Grace Advocate both say that Lou Martuneac is Lordship Salvation

    Lou Martuneac versus All Free Grace Leaders / Is a willingness to give up one's known sins required for eternal life?

    Furthermore, Lou has an open ended gospel invitation that keeps growing and growing. Last count he requires at least 18 steps for someone to be born again:

    An example of a checklist for eternal life from an outspoken fundamentalist/traditionalist: Lou Martuneac

    Lou is like a jailhouse lawyer. He is looking for every technicality in order to invalidate professions of faith. Unless someone jumps through each successive hoop on his multi-conditional and multi-step gospel checklist, carefully assenting to each in its unique specificity, he regards them unsaved.

    Was there enough repentance?
    Did you regard any sin?
    Did you really have an orthodox understanding of the trinity?
    Did you have enough sorrow for your sin?
    Did you really understand the orthodox understanding of the ontology of Christ?
    Did you understand the substitutional atonement of Christ in its orthodox articulation?

    "on and on and on and on
    on and on and on and on it goes

    God bless these ones not those ones, but these ones."
    (Jack Johnson)

    I will let Lou have the final dozen posts here. This is my one and only.

    And, oh. Hi Rose! You are absolutely right.

    Your orthodox brother,

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 2/25/2008 10:05 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Lou are you consistant in your judging, and shouldn't you be judging yourself first?

    Calvinist proclaim that Calvinism IS the gospel!!! Are they proclaiming a false gospel or do you agree with them? Is Calvinism the Gospel? And if no WHY are you not judging them?
    Pope

    If you knew the gift of God, you would know that it is free! take the water freely!
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 2/25/2008 10:43 PM  

  • Rose:

    In regard to separation from other believers one theologian wrote,

    The second conclusion is that the New Testament also sets clear standards for that separation when it must be made. Those standards include the following . . .The heretical brother- Heresy, or deviant doctrine, that is promoted out of self-willed divisiveness (Titus 3:10).”

    We'll look more at the earlier passages in the morning.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/26/2008 12:58 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Lou,

    You quote 2 Thess "Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother"

    I just wonder by your choice of words and tone, are you counting Matthew and Antonio as enemies or brothers? And if brothers, is your admonishment done in such as way as to reach the ultimate goal of restoration? It appears more from your "admonishment" that you have greater concern for being "right" than "restored".

    You will probably disagree, but that is OK, I disagree with you many times as well.

    Rose, it was good to see you guys Sunday!!!!

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 2/26/2008 1:27 AM  

  • Good morning Rose,

    I'm not a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but you're all heading again for another one of those 100 (or even 200)+ comment battlefield posts where the closing of the comments section effectively and mercifully brings the battle to an end.

    All the ingredients are in the pot and there is no shortage of stirrers!

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 2/26/2008 5:49 AM  

  • Hello again Lou,

    Now I looked at 2 Thessalonians 3 in the New King James vesrion.

    A couple of things:
    I love this verse:
    1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, 2 and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith.

    Being unreasonable goes right along with being wicked. I like that because I place a high premium on reasonableness.

    Anyway,
    I see Paul warning them not to put up with men who are lazy and disorderly. Also, he doesn't appreciate busybodies.

    I think Paul is telling these folks that if a brother does not obey the command and exhortation to work in quietness and eat [his] own bread

    ... then the other believers should not keep company with him so that he may be ashamed and get his act together. Paul placed an emphasis upon being honorable and the ones he was referring to were not honorable - but living like leeches and meddling in others' business - instead of pulling their own weight.

    I see this as having no releveance to doctrinal nuances amongst believers. You may show me other passages that do, but this is not one of them.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/26/2008 7:37 AM  

  • Colin Maxwell,
    I love you brother! We got a good smile out of that this morning. My husband John read it to me with his counterfeit brogue (developed from exposure to that Scot and Ire that you and I both knew at differetnt times)

    I especially chuckled when you used the word "mercifully." (I may have an "off" sense of humor.)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/26/2008 7:43 AM  

  • Alvin,
    I understand your fervor against Calvinism and relate to it well. Let's try to discuss these other things right now, though, OK brother? How about if we try being "nice" while we discuss these things in a reasonable manner? If it turns out that we are all at an impasse, (as it may already have been established to be) then we can part ways with dignity. Let's you and me be peacable, OK? ...even if you think others aren't.
    Thanks Alvin. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/26/2008 7:52 AM  

  • Also Alvin,
    I undersatnd your position about the encounters in the Bible wherein Jesus offers living water to people - this was before the cross, yes. I have called this 'dispensational confusion' before and it may well be. However, I just want to say, I do accept that you are arguing for that from the Bible... and I respect that. It is not an observation that is easily dismissed.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/26/2008 7:56 AM  

  • Lou,
    You said:
    Matthew has clearly stated that if the deity of Christ became an issue in a soul winning situation, even though he hopes the issue never arises, he would be willing to tell the lost man it is not necessary to believe that Jesus is God...

    You and I both know that Matthew said he "might" be willing to tell someone that. He said he would not present the Lord's deity as "optional."

    Your “scenario” clause has therefore, been invalidated.

    You have not removed my persuasion that this is an area of theory and scenario. You have not invalidated my clause at all. Matthew said he has not conducted himself this way, yet you make it sound like it is the bread and butter of his evangelism. I read "theory" into his reluctance to say such a thing. Lou, I am going to count the discussion about this particular aspect of Matthew's evangelism as a dead horse.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/26/2008 8:08 AM  

  • BTW Lou,
    You start so many discussions. I just want you to know that right now I am trying to answer your comments but I will not have time to keep at it indefinitely. Therefore, I ask that you bring up one point to me at a time and be patient while I get back to you. If you want to talk to others fine, but with me do not barrage me with comments that I cannot keep up with. I have four children - all home today - snow.

    BTW, it just occurred to me that you have not engaged the post. I will look at the other Scriptures you have brought up in your comments and then I will not answer further comments until you engage the post. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/26/2008 8:12 AM  

  • I do not see how this is at all akin to a differeence between FG and LS.

    The discussion here is on the content of saving faith - a very specific nuance about what must one KNOW about Jesus and His work. You cannot compare or equate that with the difference between SIMPLE FAITH in Jesus and
    faith & submission
    or
    faith & willingness to forsake sin or
    faith & works of faith etc....

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/26/2008 8:17 AM  

  • Kurt,
    Thanks for the visit. I hope Lou will answer your question.

    Isn't the snow beautiful today? I think it is sticking to the trees like that because there is no wind, but it is one of the few times I have actually thought that it is quite beautiful.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/26/2008 8:19 AM  

  • Lou,
    Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. 10 Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.

    Again Lou, after reading this in its context, I wonder if you could be considered 'divisive'? No, you are not striving about the law. This isn't a foolish dispute or a geneology. I don't think this doctrinal nuance about what all is necessary to know about Jesus in order to lay hold of Him is an empty contention, so I am certain that this passage is not dealing with the kind of thing we are discussing.

    Romans 16 may be, though.

    Romans 16:17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. 18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. 19 For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil.

    It may have an application to false teachers today. What are these teachers doing? Paul says they have smooth words and that they flatter. Why do they do this? To serve their own appetites. I do not think that the division that is happening between the "refined" free grace and the "traditional" free grace is a result of someone wanting to serve their appetite. I think you are sincere in your contending for doctrine. I count Antonio and Matthew as sincere. I think Zane Hodges and Bob Wilikin seem sincere about this. You all are very serious about what you believe and I do not think you or they are discussing any of it to win a popularity contest or to gain in some worldly way, but out of a sincere desire to fight for the truth. This is not the kind of person Paul is referring to in this passage.

    I could be wrong about your motives or Hodges or Wilkin, but I don't think so. None of you are making a lot of money or gaining anything by this contention. I think you all are sincere. Someone may be sincerely wrong, but that is not the kind of person Paul is talking about.

    Again, disobedient is a charge that doesn't hold water for the brethren that hold this view opposing yours. Lordship salvation proponents and Calvinists are not disobedient either, just by virtue of their doctrine.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/26/2008 8:44 AM  

  • Antonio,
    You almost missed my most important rule, but then I saw at the bottom that you did in fact say hi. Very good.

    I don't think it is helpful to call Lou "Pope Martuneac." Please refrain from that on my most reasonable blog.

    Be challenging! Be charitable! Be nice!

    _______________

    Hullo Missy. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/26/2008 8:47 AM  

  • Good Morning Rose:

    Now that Antonio (aka Sock Puppet: fg me) appears to have finished his drive-by posting we can discuss the subject.

    I’ll be back later with some notes for consideration.



    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/26/2008 8:57 AM  

  • Now, Lou.
    I do want to talk to you about this, honestly.

    Before you bring up anything else,
    Can you please engage my post, specifically this:

    The main point of my post is that there are probably very few Christians who hold beliefs out of "disobedience."

    Behaviour is an area where we are often disobedient, but to accuse someone who studies the Bible and comes to a different conclusion about doctrine than oneself as being "disobedient" is just the wrong charge.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/26/2008 8:58 AM  

  • Rose:

    I made my point very clear earlier in the thread.

    Christians who have fallen into error or have been deceived by the teaching of MacArthur or Hodges for example are not necessarily disobedient. Once, however, that Christian refuses correction, then go on to become prime instigators of the false teaching, which men in the GES faction of the FG camp are, they have become disobedient brethren.

    A brother who causes divisions in the church must also come under discipline. The word heresy meant in New Testament times a division, and the Bible condemns schisms. The local assembly must, therefore, deal with any Christian who by his conduct or teaching disrupts the unity of the church.” (Mark Sidwell, The Dividing Line: Understanding and Applying Biblical Separation.)

    When Wilkin spoke at Rachel’s church (2007) he left in his wake divisions and offence because of his Crossless gospel teaching. The teaching of Bob Wilkin disrupted the unity of their church. Thankfully, folks like Rachel and her husband recognized the doctrinal error and their church has dealt with it.

    Believers are not yet all that they should be or will be. In the present everyday life of the church, therefore, it is sometimes necessary to break fellowship with a Christian brother. . . . If a brother becomes enamored with some false teacher of a false doctrine, lends support to him, and gives him Christian recognition, then he is “partaking of his evil deeds” and may thereby deceive and lead astray other Christians. He must, therefore, be dealt with.” (Biblical Separation: BJU Bible Faculty.)

    There is no way to say that the Crossless gospel is a “different conclusion” on the Gospel unless you believe it is an acceptable, correct interpretation of Scripture. It is as wrong in its interpretation as Lordship Salvation is in its interpretation.

    These men have studied the Bible, but have come to wrong conclusion on the Gospel. They were drawn to wrong conclusions by sifting what they read in the Bible through the Hodges interpretation of Scripture. They have twisted, abused and negated passages through the New Testament to hold together, the egregious errors of the Hodges interpretation of the Gospel.

    What I like about the label da Rosa is trying to use for the “Crossless” interpretation of the Gospel is that it defines what is happening and how it is happening.

    Consistent,” Yes, Consistently wrong, and consistently drifting further into error.

    Refined” Refine is to remove impurities. Hodges and his followers have indeed refined the Gospel of what they consider impurities, which are: the finished work and deity of Jesus Christ. Not much left to refine out of the Gospel; is there?


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/26/2008 9:42 AM  

  • Lou,

    I went to bed hopeful, but still no answer for me? :(

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 2/26/2008 10:20 AM  

  • My husband John read it to me with his counterfeit brogue (developed from exposure to that Scot and Ire that you and I both knew at differetnt times)

    I'm all for folk trying to lift themselves up even higher... :o)

    (Just a bit of light relief - now back to WWIII)

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 2/26/2008 10:25 AM  

  • Rose:

    And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed,” (2 Thess. 3:14)

    Doesn’t the portion I put in bold seem significant here?

    Here is your former pastor, Dr. Ernest Pickering, on 2 Thess 3 from his classic Biblical Separation,

    When our brethren do things that are wrong--caused by an incomplete knowledge of or deliberate disobedience to some teaching of Scripture--we should not merely continue fellowship with them as those who have done nothing wrong, but we should warn them, remonstrate with them and seek to recover them to a Biblical position. . . . If one should ask, Does 2 Thessalonians 3 teach secondary separation?--then the response would have to be given, It depends on what you mean by secondary separation. . . . It is the principle of refusing to condone, honor or utilize persons who continually and knowingly are following a course of action which is harmful to other believers and to the welfare of the churches.”

    Dr. Pickering understood that the principles in 2 Thess. 3 are not limited to those who will not work (3:10). Believers who, “do things that are wrong,” is an open-ended proposition.

    Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them,” (Rom. 16:17).

    Rom. 16:17 uses the phrase “contrary to the doctrine.” There is no way to veer around or escape the meaning and force of that verse in its context.

    Romans 16:17 makes it very clear that the teachers of false “contrary” doctrine, which the Crossless advocates are, cause divisions and offences. The Bible commands they be marked, avoided and withdrawn from. To disobey what is here in print, in the Bible, is to disobey the Lord.

    Spurgeon wrote, “Fellowship with known and vital error is participation in sin. . . . To pursue union at the price of truth is treason to the Lord Jesus.” (The Drift of the Times)

    There is no way around the biblical mandates. IMO, the only reason you could have for refusing to obey these biblical mandates could be either: 1) You have accepted the Hodges Crossless interpretation of the Gospel as orthodox and biblical or, 2) You prefer your friendships over fidelity to Scripture at the expense of compromise with doctrinal error.

    So, may I ask you this question: Do you consider the Zane Hodges (Wilkin, da Rosa, Matthew) interpretation of the gospel, (including Antonio viewing a lost man’s unbelief about the deity of Jesus and His finished work as mere “misconceptions” to be “put on the back burner” and left there) an acceptable interpretation of the Gospel?


    LM

    *This is all I have time for until later, or possibly tomorrow.

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/26/2008 10:29 AM  

  • Lou,

    Well, let's ignore my former question. Let me ask you this:

    If my Gospel presentation is to simply hand someone a Bible, and say, "Read this, it's life saving!" Would you consider that sufficient evangelism?

    I have been rebuked by brethren for doing this. Am I disobedient as described in scripture because I disagree and continue to do this?

    I look forward to your thoughts,
    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 2/26/2008 10:34 AM  

  • Missy:

    Sorry, I was typing this while you posted. I have to prioritize who and what I will answer.

    You asked, “If I do not know the specific answer to a question given to me regarding scripture, such as, "Does the Bible really say you should be stoned to death if your garment is made of blended fibers?" and I answer, ‘I don't know.’ In your opinion, would I be considered disobedient to scripture?”

    Discussing a passage such as you suggest from a dispensational understanding of Scripture would be very helpful to you in this case.

    Would you be disobedient for not understanding some point of doctrine; No. If, however, you began to practice stoning folks for wearing garments made of blended fibers, your having become a disobedient Christian would be one of the least of your problems.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/26/2008 10:39 AM  

  • Lou, no more questions please until you engage the post, my responses to your already numerous comments and my objection to your use of the word "disobedient." Thank you.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/26/2008 10:40 AM  

  • I do not want to go on and on listening to more of the same that we have seen and heard over and over, Lou. Let's try to narrow our discussion to this very specific thing, please - I am aware of Goodnighsafehome's expectation and I want to dissapoint him.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/26/2008 10:42 AM  

  • Sorry, Rose.

    Lou, thank you. Your answer to me was reasonable and surprisingly entertaining. I will cease my questions and allow you to address Rose more directly. I will try to make my points later. Please consider the ramifications of my evangelism scenario in your conclusions as you continue.

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 2/26/2008 11:04 AM  

  • I've never wanted to be so disappointed in my life.

    Missy writes: If my Gospel presentation is to simply hand someone a Bible, and say, "Read this, it's life saving!" Would you consider that sufficient evangelism?

    I think the key word in your question is the word sufficient. In one way, we could answer "Yes" (If it worked who could say otherwise?) but I think the evangelism narratives of the Book of Acts show that much more than this was done. If we got the chance, could we not explain why and how this Book is life saving and how the prospective reader could make it life saving to them?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 2/26/2008 11:19 AM  

  • Missy,
    I wasn't referring to your short and to-the-point questions! Go ahead and ask away. They are related to the idea of "disobedience" and the use of the term so they are right on topic. No "sorry" necessary.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/26/2008 11:25 AM  

  • Thanks, Missy.

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/26/2008 11:34 AM  

  • Rose:

    It should be obvious to any objective reader of this thread that I have engaged your post/article.

    Your article is over the use of the word, “disobedient,” in regard to “brethren” believers. The first line in your article is, “In all of the discussion lately swirling around about the content of saving faith, I have noticed a phrase that keeps popping up: ‘disobedient brethren.” You centered the theme of the article on my applying the biblical teaching on how to address “disobedient brethren.”

    For the record on 2/26 @ 8:58am you asked me, “Before you bring up anything else,
Can you please engage my post, specifically this:

The main point of my post is that there are probably very few Christians who hold beliefs out of ‘disobedience.’

Behaviour is an area where we are often disobedient, but to accuse someone who studies the Bible and comes to a different conclusion about doctrine than oneself as being ‘disobedient’ is just the wrong charge.

    You objected, and I have replied and substantiated my position with Scripture and not just with my own, but the views of various commentators on the key Bible passages. The weight of Scripture supports the mandates to “mark, avoid and withdraw” from born again, but teachers of a false Gospel.

    I dealt with your 8:58am request with two detailed comments today (2/26 @ 9:42 & 10:29am). My, the very first comment in this thread, addressed portions of your article.

    So, I do not understand what part of the post you feel I have left unanswered. I’d be happy to address whatever part you think I have missed. If you can you show me one area I have not dealt with, I’d be happy to address it. Then you can answer this question from my earlier comment.

    Do you consider the Zane Hodges (Wilkin, da Rosa, Matthew) interpretation of the gospel, (including Antonio viewing a lost man’s unbelief about the deity of Jesus and His finished work as mere “misconceptions” to be “put on the back burner” and left there) an acceptable interpretation of the Gospel?


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/26/2008 11:35 AM  

  • Rose, thank you for the green light.

    Colin, thank you, that is a fair answer. However, let's say I do not agree. My opinion is that the word of man is an insufficient witness and that the word of God alone contains the saving message. I am concerned my words will hinder rather than aid.

    So what about the second part of my question?

    "I have been rebuked by brethren for doing this. Am I disobedient as described in scripture because I disagree and continue to do this?"

    What would be your opinion?

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 2/26/2008 11:41 AM  

  • Lou,

    Do you have an opinion on the question I pose above?

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 2/26/2008 11:42 AM  

  • Missy, The word of man in itself is truly insufficient, but to hand someone a Bible and say “This Book could save your life!” is to encapsulate the very word of God. I don’t think that you have to actually quote the Bible word for word to make it an effectual word. Having said that, I do try and get plenty of Scripture quotes in if I can. I cannot see how your words would hinder, although (as indicated in the last post) I can see how they could be greatly improved.

    As it stands from my poor vantage point, I cannot see either how your actions are disobedient, unless you were actively hindering someone else’s more helpful witness. However, there may be other angles on this of which I am not aware and so I wouldn’t set my answer here in concrete.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 2/26/2008 11:56 AM  

  • Missy:

    For time sake, what Mr. Goodnight wrote pretty much echoes my feelings.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/26/2008 11:59 AM  

  • Lou and Colin,

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Let me be clear, that my question is not regarding whether my belief is right or wrong, but whether I am disobedient for refusing to comply with the brethren.

    Colin, I think your answer reflects that I would not be disobedient unless I caused another to stumble on the witnes of another. Like, maybe I say, "You know, that guy shouldn't even be talking to you about this. Read the Bible, that's all you need." Would this be fair?

    Lou, do you agree?

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 2/26/2008 12:52 PM  

  • And please, take your time. We are on winter break, so I am off to play a silly game called candle-pin bowling with my kids...

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 2/26/2008 12:56 PM  

  • Colin, I think your answer reflects that I would not be disobedient unless I caused another to stumble on the witnes of another. Like, maybe I say, "You know, that guy shouldn't even be talking to you about this. Read the Bible, that's all you need." Would this be fair?

    Yes

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 2/26/2008 1:12 PM  

  • Lou,
    I think I have shown that 2 Thess. 3 is not about doctrinal nuances. It is about believers that“do things that are wrong,” as Doc Pickering said. So that passage has no relevance to this issue.

    Romans 16 may have much relevance to this issue. Isn't Paul saying that causing the divisions and offenses is what is contrary to the teaching he had given? I just noticed that. He isn't saying that the doctrine causes the offense and division, but that causing the offense is contrary to what he had taught them about fellowship.

    Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.

    Thank you for your cooperation in being willing to address the specific thing that I want an answer to:

    So you are saying then that holding to a different conclusion on what has to be known about Jesus in order to believe into Him is disobedient? A simple yes or no will suffice.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/26/2008 2:51 PM  

  • Rose:

    In regard to Romans 16:17, “What is this paragraph talking about? If you would look at verse 17 you will see that it is a paragraph dealing with people who are teaching contrary doctrine. . . . These are people who are teaching as truth doctrine that actually is alongside orthodoxy. They are teaching what is a contradiction to, what is the opposite of, what is antithetical to, the doctrines that are taught in the Scripture.” (Dr. Mark Minnick, The Scriptural Response To Teachers of Doctrinal Error.)


    You are now asking a new question, which I will answer thoroughly.

    You now ask, “So you are saying then that holding to a different conclusion on what has to be known about Jesus in order to believe into Him is disobedient? A simple yes or no will suffice."

    I made it clear that men like Antonio (who have been deceived by the teaching of Hodges & Wilkin) have come to not just a "different conclusion" but an erroneous, and false conclusion of what has to be known by the lost man to be saved.

    You are well aware that these men believe a lost man can be saved even if he does not understand or believe who Jesus is, (the Son of God) or anything about what He did to provide salvation. If they were simply deceived, it would not be a disobedience issue, but as we know Antonio, Matthew, the GES faction of the FG community are far beyond deceived when it comes to the Crossless gospel.

    As you may recall I have already addressed the “disobedient” issue earlier.

    I do not view believers, who have been deceived and adopted a false interpretation of the Gospel, as ‘disobedient brethren.’ They are in need of prayer and biblical counseling to be brought back to a proper understanding of, in this case, the Gospel.

    However, once these deceived brethren become prime instigators and advocates of the false teaching they have then crossed over to and become ‘disobedient brethren’
    ."

    Their “contrary” doctrine has sown “divisions and offences” into the body of Christ.

    Now that I have addressed your latest and new question, its your turn to answer this question:

    Do you consider the Zane Hodges (Wilkin, da Rosa, Matthew) interpretation of the Gospel, (including Antonio viewing a lost man’s unbelief about the deity of Jesus and His finished work as mere “misconceptions” to be “put on the back burner” and left there) an acceptable interpretation of the Gospel?


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/26/2008 3:23 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 2/26/2008 3:40 PM  

  • Rose,

    Have you ever played candle-pin? It is very odd to bowl with a shotput type ball and such skinny targets. I guess things were just bigger in Texas. :)



    Lou,

    "However, once these deceived brethren become prime instigators and advocates of the false teaching they have then crossed over to and become ‘disobedient brethren’."

    This statement seems to support my safer action of simply handing a Bible to a lost person and urging them to read it. You KNOW in my limited skill with scripture, I would certainly teach at least one false doctrine. :)

    Have you had a chance to consider my clarification on Colin's stance (the position you claimed agreement with for brevity)? See my comment, 2/26/2008 12:52 PM.

    Thanks in advance for your consideration.

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 2/26/2008 4:44 PM  

  • Hi, Rose. I don't want to get caught in the crossfire here, (grin) but I did want to interject my two-cent's worth and say that this is one of the best article I have ever read on a blog. If every believer would adopt this stance, the church would be much stronger.

    God bless you for your graciousness.

    By Anonymous Gordon Cloud, at 2/26/2008 9:48 PM  

  • Gordon:

    If we were to adopt Rose’s stance, which is tolerance for the false Crossless interpretation of the Gospel and its advocates, the church would be filled with New Evangelical type compromisers who prefer unity at the expense of doctrine.

    The power with God would be gone, and the membership would not even know it.

    There are issues that are not worth contending over (Jude 3), but the Gospel is not one of them



    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/26/2008 11:49 PM  

  • Hi Rose,
    Good post! Sorry I did not take time to read the 53 comments, so I hope mine is still relevant and pertinent to the discussion. The challenge of the day is a proper understanding of the role and authority of the local church. Paul addresses local body of believers, not just some universal invisible group. It is the place and authority of the autonomous local church to decide such matters as who to receive and who to put out. The local church is the organism and organization God has ordained to administer discipline and correction and restoration. The blogosphere is a great place to exchange ideas and learn from others. It’s kind of like an extended Sunday school class, kind of, but it’s not.

    There is no connection to a church at all. So I can try to control others - get as angry as I want; I can turn red in the face, stomp and scream till smoke comes out of my ears, and my eyes are aflame with fire; I can clench my fists and shake my head, and hold my breath until I am blue in the face, but to no avail. A blog is a blog and not a local church. There are no deacons or pastor or congregation for a proper 1 Corinthian hearing.

    Turning for a moment to Para-church ministries, the same thing is true: they are not the local church. The best I can do is voice my opinion about them and choose to participate, or not. Except for Friends of Israel, Arial Ministries, and Answers in Genesis, I usually choose not to participate on any regular basis. I have no authority over Billy Graham, Bill Gotthard, Franklin Graham, Oral Roberts, Marylyn Hickey, or anyone else.

    Some one should grow up, give it a rest, allow the natural flow, enjoy the differences of others and see what great contributions are made from every walk here. What’s that? ME!?! Yes, me; I have a long way to grow; I have not always been a good model to follow, and I am working on it.

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 2/27/2008 7:46 AM  

  • Rose, it would be interesting to know if I would stop getting preaching engagements if the churches I have contacts with were aware of my position on the offer of eternal life.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 2/27/2008 8:29 AM  

  • j:

    I do understand the local church issue you raise, however...

    The problem is one for the local church because the GES has been bringing their heretical Crossless view of the Gospel into local churches.

    In their wake of "contrary" doctrine Wilkin/Hodges have left behind "divisions and offences"

    The blogosphere is great place to examine and discuss doctrine. When a false interpretation of the Gospel is found, such as Lordship Salvation and the Crossless gospel, the blogs are a great place to deal with the "contrary" doctrine and warn unsuspecting believers. This way the corruption of the Gospel will be held back, and Christians in local churches will not be so easily deceived.

    After all, there are likely more than we care to guess who are getting their theology shaped from the Internet and returning to their local church with what they have been deceived with.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/27/2008 8:35 AM  

  • Good morning Rose and all:

    Matthew: Evidently your speech doesn't betray you?

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 2/27/2008 8:39 AM  

  • Hi Lou,
    First, let me tell you that I intend to answer your question. I don't want to yet, however, because I want to get to the root of your "disobedient" charge.

    After reading your comments, I am still not sure about your choice of the word "disobedient":

    Is this right?:
    You believe that someone is "deceieved" at first by a false idea of the gospel, but then they become "disobedient" when they begin to teach others the idea that they are "deceieved" by?

    So then they are "deceived" and "disobedient"? Can a person be "deceived" and "disobedient"? Is it just teaching it that makes them "disobedient" - regardless of whether or not they are still persuaded as to the truth of what they teach?

    Do you understand my dilemna? I can't understand how you view one crossing from "deceived" into "disobedient"?

    Or does "disobedient" mean that the person somehow believes that what he is teaching is wrong, but does it anyway? This sounds a little more like "disobedience."
    So... if this what you mean, then to view, say, Matthew as "disobedient", you would have to view him as no longer "deceived", but willfully spreading that which he no longer is convinced of.

    Is that what you are saying?

    I am very confused about your comments in regards to this.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/27/2008 9:09 AM  

  • Good morning goodnight.

    Gordon,
    Thank you for that comment. I was very surprised by it, pleasantly so.
    I want to be clear, I am not saying that we should all just hold hands and sing cum-by-a. (sp) I think you know that though. :~) Doctrine is good to discuss and even argue over - I think doctrine is of great importance.

    J. Wendell,
    Thanks for your comments. I am glad you are my husband. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/27/2008 9:18 AM  

  • Matthew,
    That question just shows, for me, that this is not the mainstay of your ministry, but a theoretical view that you have not put into practice. :~)

    Just my opinion.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/27/2008 9:19 AM  

  • Missy,
    No, I never heard of it. We have the fat bowling balls and pins in Ohio. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/27/2008 9:21 AM  

  • Rose:

    You wrote, "First, let me tell you that I intend to answer your question."

    This is becoming barely believable.

    You claim to be the "reaonsable" blog, so let's be reasonable.

    I have answered every question you asked of me, but you keep coming up with new questions and/or a twist on the already answered question.

    Now you post a new series of nine questions.

    You have already taken a pass on the question I have posted to you three times. Here is another chance for you to answer or for the fourth time dodge the question.

    Do you consider the Zane Hodges (Wilkin, da Rosa, Matthew) interpretation of the Gospel, (including Antonio viewing a lost man’s unbelief about the deity of Jesus and His finished work as mere “misconceptions” to be “put on the back burner” and left there) an acceptable interpretation of the Gospel?

    Do the "reasonable" thing, do the balanced thing, answer my question.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/27/2008 10:18 AM  

  • Lou,
    I told you I am going to answer your question. I just want to grasp your position before my attempt at undersatnding your position becomes derailed. I have not asked nine new questions, but am trying to understand your position on this one thing - your use of the word "disobedient."

    My quest is really what the post is about... and your question, while related, is not specific to the word "disobedient." But I intend to answer it anyways!

    Let's not be like this. I will answer your question, but I just want to get a grip in this other thing first.

    (Now why would you go and say that my intention of answering your question is barely believeable? Have I ever told you I would do something and then not done it?)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/27/2008 10:26 AM  

  • Don't start accusing nme of dodging a question. I intend to answer you but I don't like how you want to change the subject before you clarify yourself.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/27/2008 10:27 AM  

  • Rose:

    You wrote, “I have not asked nine new questions...

    Yes, you did! At 9:09am your comment has a series of nine questions in it.

    Nothing is going to be derailed by your playing fair.

    Do you consider the Zane Hodges (Wilkin, da Rosa, Matthew) interpretation of the Gospel, (including Antonio viewing a lost man’s unbelief about the deity of Jesus and His finished work as mere “misconceptions” to be “put on the back burner” and left there) an acceptable interpretation of the Gospel?


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/27/2008 10:34 AM  

  • Oh gees, I am sorry. There are nine question marks. Let me just rephrase it into one question for your ease. I feel like I may be very close to understanding what you are saying, Lou.

    Does a person become "disobedient" when he begins to teach that which he is deceived by... or is he only diobedient when he knows it is false (therefore no longer being deceived) but teaches it anyways?

    In other words, is it "teaching" alone - teaching this thing that causes him to fall into "disobedinece" or do you believe that he must know what he is teaching is false in order for him to be "disobedient"?

    OK, that is two question marks, but I am trying to be really clear about what I want to know.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/27/2008 10:46 AM  

  • Rose:

    This question you are thus far refusing to answer is the same question I posted to you at my blog in this thread. Evaluation & Response, Part 5

    You refused to answer the question there, and thus far we are seeing a continuation of your refusal to address it here.

    I dealt with you and Matthew fairly in my thread, and you left without answering.

    I have answered every question in this thread and still you will not answer the one and only question I have for you.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/27/2008 11:00 AM  

  • Repeating once again:

    When a believer has been deceived, I am speaking of gross doctrinal error such as the Crossless gospel, he becomes a "disobedient brethren" when:

    After having been shown his error, refuses biblical correction of his doctrinal error, and finally sets out to propagate his false interpretation of the Gospel.

    That is as clear as day.

    Now, please answer my question.

    Do you consider the Zane Hodges (Wilkin, da Rosa, Matthew) interpretation of the Gospel, (including Antonio viewing a lost man’s unbelief about the deity of Jesus and His finished work as mere “misconceptions” to be “put on the back burner” and left there) an acceptable interpretation of the Gospel?



    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/27/2008 11:11 AM  

  • Lou,
    I am not refusing to answer.
    I said I will answer. I am tiring of this, brother.

    I did not go back and participate anymore on that post of yours at your blog because I got busy.

    I want to answer your question. I have the answer ready on my desktop in MS word. First, I want you to clarify what you mean by "disobedient"

    Then, I will paste this lengthy reply to your question.

    I do not want to separate your explanation from my clarifying inquiry by inserting an answer to a different query in between.

    After I press publish right now, I am going to prepare the answer and be ready to press publish again... as soon as you explain what you mean about "disobedient" by explaining your earlier hard-to-grasp answer. Here again is what I want to know:

    Does a person become "disobedient" when he begins to teach that which he is deceived by... or is he only diobedient when he knows it is false (therefore no longer being deceived) but teaches it anyways?

    In other words, is it "teaching" alone - teaching this thing that causes him to fall into "disobedinece" or do you believe that he must know what he is teaching is false in order for him to be "disobedient"?


    _________________

    I was just preveiwing and saw that you left another comment - still you say he "refuses" to be corrected. But this presumes that he knowa he is wrong and kicks against the truth deliberately. Is he still "disobedient" if he really believes what he is teaching?

    You will accuse me of asking another question, but I am afriad we are having a difficulty in communication - maybe you don't understand what I am asking?

    (ready to press publich once

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/27/2008 11:18 AM  

  • Rose:

    Now that you have the time to post questions and answer my question.

    Go back to my thread, here it is: Evaluation & Response, Part 5

    In my thread I have just reposted the question that appears here 5 times, which you still refuse answer.

    This removes any reason for not be willing to address this question. The way is now clear for you to reply to my question.

    Now, you can go to my thread and post your answer.

    This way we are all clear, and I can continue addressing your issues in this thread.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/27/2008 11:36 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 2/27/2008 12:53 PM  

  • Oops, J. Wendell forgot to sign out!! That was not him, but me:

    It is no wonder people accuse you of misrepresenting, brother Lou. I told you several times that I intended to answer your question and then you say again and again that I "refuse to answer." This kind of thing could harm your credibility.

    I posted my answer at your blog a little while ago and I expect that you will get back to the subject of this post now and clarify how someone is disobedinet for teaching what they are very convinced is the gospel truth. (Unless that is not what you are saying - I am still not sure.)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/27/2008 12:56 PM  

  • Colin, I dont see how it would.

    In my preaching in different churches; I exalt the deity of Christ.

    And I preach salvation through the cross and the shed blood of our Saviour.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 2/27/2008 1:18 PM  

  • Lou, you might have missed my clarifying question (see comments 2/26/2008 12:52 AM and 4:44 PM) the last couple of passes, relating to the question I asked of you that Colin answered - and you agreed with Colin for the sake of brevity. (see comment 2/26/2008 10:34 AM)

    I have pasted my clarification here, if you could please consider:

    "Colin, I think your answer reflects that I would not be disobedient unless I caused another to stumble on the witnes of another. Like, maybe I say, "You know, that guy shouldn't even be talking to you about this. Read the Bible, that's all you need." Would this be fair?

    Lou, do you agree?"


    Thanks in advance,
    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 2/27/2008 1:34 PM  

  • Rose,

    Maybe it is possible that Lou is considering Biblical disobedience the same as legal disobedience?

    Like, if I am driving 60 mph, and get pulled over. The officer tells me the speed limit is 40 mph, but I did not know. I am still considered disobedient to the law even though I am ignorant of the law.

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 2/27/2008 1:45 PM  

  • Missy,
    Maybe that is it!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/27/2008 1:56 PM  

  • Hi Matthew:

    Obviously your preaching then is positive and void of negative remarks about duty repentance (i.e. the duty of sinners to repent and believe the gospel to be saved etc.,?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 2/27/2008 1:58 PM  

  • Rose,

    Of course, if the sign posted was unclear - like someone had shot it with a paintball (that happens here in New Hampshire) or the speed changed too frequently in a given measurement, that is misleading and defendable. :}

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 2/27/2008 1:59 PM  

  • Lou, thank you for your response to my comment to Rose.

    You said,
    Gordon:

    If we were to adopt Rose’s stance, which is tolerance for the false Crossless interpretation of the Gospel and its advocates, the church would be filled with New Evangelical type compromisers who prefer unity at the expense of doctrine.


    I think that perhaps you are confusing "unity" with "agreement". Given the amount of time and space that the NT writers gave to the concept of unity, I would say that unity IS doctrine. The fact is, all believers are unified in Christ whether we are in agreement or not.

    Which raises a question:

    I have not been involved in any discussions with you before, but you seem to have issues with both LS and some elements of FG theology (in this we would find ourselves in agreement). My question is this, if you feel that Antonio, Matthew, MacArthur and others who preach a gospel that does not match your view of what the Bible teaches are "deceivers", then how can you continue to call them "brothers" even in a "disobedient" connotation?

    If they are your brothers, then they are saved. If they are saved, then they became so by their profession of faith. If this profession/confession of faith is sufficient for salvation and inclusion in the body of Christ, then why does it not meet your standard for fellowship?

    Just wondering.

    By Anonymous Gordon Cloud, at 2/27/2008 4:33 PM  

  • Rose:

    I don’t exactly know why, but I am reminded of Jeremy Myers’ and his “2+2=Red” routine.

    I have answered your question(s), “six ways from Sunday.” It appears I am answering 2+2 =4, but you are trying to get me to say, “Red.”

    Please refer back to my answers at these locations:

    2/25/2008 4:53 PM; 2/26/2008 9:42 AM; 2/26/2008 10:29 AM; 2/26/2008 11:35 AM; 2/26/2008 3:23 PM & 2/27/2008 11:11 AM

    If these numerous replies have not been clear enough for you to understand my take on this issue I can’t help that any longer.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/27/2008 4:50 PM  

  • Lou,
    You must think everyone is up to trickery. I am merely trying to get you to clarify something. I am dissapointed that you will not do that, especially after you said that you would.

    You also inferred that I was lying when I earlier said that I intend to answer your question... and I obvioulsy did intend to answer it because - I did - today at your blog. So you implied I was lying, you have been shown that I was not lying, yet you don't apologize... you just turn to a different accusation. Now I am saying 2=2=red? This is what I mean by a "lack of engagement." I don't feel that we are having much of a give and take kind of a conversation.

    Have I not been polite with you? I am not sure what reason you have to be so suspicious of me. Maybe you are listening to Bhedr too much.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/27/2008 5:31 PM  

  • Now will you please answer this:
    how is someone "disobedient" for teaching what they are very convinced is the truth?

    Let me give you an example: I teach people I know about the Millenial Kingdom. I am a premillenialist. My brother and several of his frends are now Amillenialists. They continually try to "corrrect" me. My brother may think I am refusing Biblical correction because he shows me how he sees the Bible teaching Amillenialism. But I am sure that Premillenialism is the truth and I an not about to accept their "Biblical correction." Is it okay for them to call me "disobedient"?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/27/2008 5:38 PM  

  • Gordon:

    Thanks for the comment/question(s)

    You asked, “My question is this, if you feel that Antonio, Matthew, MacArthur and others who preach a gospel that does not match your view of what the Bible teaches are ‘deceivers’, then how can you continue to call them ‘brothers’ even in a "disobedient" connotation?”

    First, I want to make clear that LS and the CG do not match what the Bible teaches. We are talking about one of the most important doctrines in the Bible, not some minor issue that men can agree to disagree over. The eternal destiny of souls is at stake. Hodges, Wilkin/GES has corrupted, refined and reduced the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the point there is almost nothing left from the biblical plan of salvation.

    Second, I have no good reason to claim they may be or are unsaved. (Although Antonio (aka Sock Puppet: fg me ) and Alvin suggested I am unsaved in another of Rose’s threads.) I have defended MacArthur and Hodges against men who insist they are unsaved. I believe they are saved, but have gone way off in their doctrine to the detriment of the cause and body of Christ.

    You wrote, “If they are your brothers, then they are saved. If they are saved, then they became so by their profession of faith. If this profession/confession of faith is sufficient for salvation and inclusion in the body of Christ, then why does it not meet your standard for fellowship?”

    These men are the prime instigators and apologists for a heretical view of the Gospel. Their teaching brings “divisions and offences” in to the body of Christ and certain churches that have had the misfortune of Wilkin teach his false Crossless gospel. One of them was Rachel’s church.

    My standard for fellowship with believers is based on what the Bible says. The Bible says,

    Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. . . . And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother,” (2 Thess. 3:6, 14-15).

    Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple,” (Romans 16:17-18).

    One of the defining characteristics of the New Evangelical mind set is unity at the expense of doctrine. IMO, to act as though the Crossless advocates are teaching truth, but just saying it a different way, is either the result of ignorance, forsaking truth for friendship or having joined them in their errors.

    I trust this has been helpful.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/27/2008 5:41 PM  

  • Gordon:

    This quote appears in my book, In Defense of the Gospel

    When people are converted and receive a love of the truth, they are baptized into a body that has an inherent organic unity. Jesus Christ prayed in John 17 for a unity that came to pass at Pentecost. And every person who is baptized into Christ is in union. The unity is God and Spirit created. There is no unity to be created, the unity is there. It is only a unity that is to be maintained. Those who teach contrary to the body of revealed truth that is the center of this unity, they are the ones who create the divisions and create the stumbling blocks” (Dr. Mark Minnick, The Scriptural Response to Teachers of Doctrinal Error.)

    Is this helpful?


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/27/2008 5:42 PM  

  • Gordon:

    You wrote, “I have not been involved in any discussions with you before, but you seem to have issues with both LS and some elements of FG theology (in this we would find ourselves in agreement).

    You will find many articles at my blog that address both Lordship Salvation and the Crossless gospel.

    You mention, “…elements of FG theology.”

    1) My issues are, as they are with a host of FG pastors, with the peculiar Hodges/GES doctrinal elements. The GES elements of FG theology have isolated them and their narrow group of apologists and followers out on the extreme edge of the FG movement. The GES has gone down a dangerous doctrinal road and no longer represent the vast majority of FG people.

    2) Which elements of FG/GES theology are issues for you?


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/27/2008 5:43 PM  

  • Rose:

    Just in case I was unclear earlier.

    If these numerous replies have not been clear enough for you to understand my take on this issue I can’t help that any longer.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/27/2008 5:44 PM  

  • Lou,
    I wish we could engage better. I honestly do not think I am dense as I comb your comments seeking the answer to this specific point that I cannot understand, but you obviously are done talking about it.

    _______________________
    ALL:
    Can anyone answer me? How is someone "disobedient" to teach that which their study of the Word has convinced them is true?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/27/2008 6:11 PM  

  • Lou, thanks for your answers. I am still a bit confused though on one point. You do not take the position that LS'ers or FG'ers are unsaved, and I think that is the correct approach.

    If, however, what they believe about the Gospel is sufficient to bring them into the body of Christ, why is it suddenly insufficient to meet the standards of fellowship? I think that we must say that either they are not saved (which I don't believe) or that they are not heretics and therefore should be included in fellowship (which I do believe).

    You said, IMO, to act as though the Crossless advocates are teaching truth, but just saying it a different way, is either the result of ignorance, forsaking truth for friendship or having joined them in their errors.

    I don't believe that either Rose or myself has described these men as teaching "truth" or "saying it a different way". Both of us have expressed the fact that we have some issue with some of their tenents. What we are saying (or I am at least, Rose feel free to correct me if you feel differently) is that we recognize that these men are basing their belief upon their interpretation of the Bible. To try to connect this to New Evangelicalism is a bit of a reach in my opinion.

    Some might consider the statements that Paul made concerning heresies to be more directly aimed at things like the doctrines of the Judaizers or the Gnostics rather than variations of interpretations.

    By Anonymous Gordon Cloud, at 2/27/2008 6:13 PM  

  • Lou,
    You said this at 11:36 am:

    This way we are all clear, and I can continue addressing your issues in this thread.

    Then your very next comment at 4:50 says:

    If these numerous replies have not been clear enough for you to understand my take on this issue I can’t help that any longer...

    ..indicating that you would offer no more clarification. Did you mis-speak in the first comment by saying that you were going to continue to address this issue? Or maybe you really didn't mean that you would continue to address the issue but were just saying that for some end?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/27/2008 6:17 PM  

  • Gordon:

    You wrote, "Some might consider the statements that Paul made concerning heresies to be more directly aimed at things like the doctrines of the Judaizers or the Gnostics rather than variations of interpretations."

    The Crossless gospel is as wrong and dangerous today as the doctrines of the Gnostics and Judaizers were in Paul’s day.

    The Word of God is timeless and these passages are no less applicable in the LS and Crossless debates than they were in Paul's day.

    The Crossless gospel is no mere variation; it is a radical departure from orthodoxy.

    Have you taken the time to read Pastor Tom Stegalls’s on-going series, The Tragedy of the Crossless Gospel? I highly recommned it.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/27/2008 6:37 PM  

  • Gordon:

    You wrote, “To try to connect this to New Evangelicalism is a bit of a reach in my opinion.”

    Compromise with known and vital error is compromise of the biblical mandates that forbid it. That is the New Evangelical mindset.

    I have not interacted with you much, but with Rose many, many times in the blogs and in e-mails. Until recently, I was under the impression that she rejected the Crossless gospel. Today, with her acknowledging she finds the Crossless gospel teaching of Hodges acceptable, I am no longer under that impression.

    Now I have to rethink this.

    Rose has embraced Hodges’ view as an acceptable interpretation of the Gospel. So, she is (and has been acting for months as) more of an advocate for the egregious errors, than a believer who recognizes it as a false gospel, but will not separate from its advocates.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/27/2008 6:52 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 2/27/2008 7:12 PM  

  • Rose, I think I'd rather just say...

    {sigh}

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 2/27/2008 7:14 PM  

  • Rose,

    I don't have a dog in this fight... I only have so many dogs and they can't fight every fight. :-) But let me give it a shot.

    It seems to me that the issue is that the "crossless" advocates are being "disobedient" to the faith. IOW, by departing from orthodoxy and teaching such departures, they are essentially disobeying the Bible. I think the idea is that there is a body of truth that has been revealed by God that is not up for interpretation. No deviants or variations are allowed, thus if someone teaches any variation of these specific truths, they are being disobedient to those truths.

    I think.

    Does that help?

    By Blogger Rachel, at 2/27/2008 8:25 PM  

  • Here is a series of excerpts that I used in my book on the subject.

    Doctrinal differences necessitate division. However, it is not those who separate who cause the division, but those whose doctrine or behavior necessitates the separation (2/00 FrontLine). The Fundamentalist (who, by definition, practices Biblical separation) does not cause division between believers. Divisions are caused by the brother who does not hold to sound doctrine (e.g., separation), and the Lord requires separation from that errant brother (2/00 Foundation). The Fundamentalist thus is forced to choose between the fellowship of light (obey God, I John 1:7) and the fellowship of darkness (disobey God, Eph. 5:11). It is not unloving for the Fundamentalist to choose light over darkness, God over a disobedient brother. The disobedient brother by not practicing separation (abiding in light) is the one who is unloving (I John 2:10) and the one who causes division. If he loved his Fundamentalist brother he would abide in the light.” (Calvary Contender, March 1, 2000)

    Separating from and marking teachers of the false Crossless gospel sets a proper example of true Bible Christianity for believers who have been raised in an atmosphere that is not easily discriminated from the type of compromise found in political circles.

    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/27/2008 9:58 PM  

  • 48 hours ago: (or there abouts)

    Good morning Rose,

    I'm not a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but you're all heading again for another one of those 100 (or even 200)+ comment battlefield posts where the closing of the comments section effectively and mercifully brings the battle to an end.

    All the ingredients are in the pot and there is no shortage of stirrers!

    Regards,


    This is the 99th post and the bullets are whizzing. Tin hat weather.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 2/28/2008 1:56 AM  

  • Colin, I dont tell people to repent in order to receive eternal life.

    I tell them to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    But I have heard plenty of more Calvinistic preachers who just tell people to believe and dont mention repentance.

    So far no congregation has made any negative remarks about the lack of mention of repentance in my gospel appeals.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 2/28/2008 3:10 AM  

  • Hi Matthew,

    The point I'm making (and I trust, not in any hectoring way) is that I'm sure that you haven't gone to town and come out and said in the pulpit that repentance is not necessary for salvation?

    What do you think the response would be if you did?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 2/28/2008 3:58 AM  

  • Colin, I would not want to say that in a sermon. And I would be careful about saying it in conversation at my Calvinistic church.

    If I said in a sermon, I am sure a lot of churches would not ask me to preach again. I know one church which is struggling who might ask me back because they get desperate for preachers.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 2/28/2008 8:39 AM  

  • Good morning, lovely Rose of Ohio.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 2/28/2008 8:41 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Lou said in one of his first few comments:

    "Romans 16:17 makes it very clear that the teachers of false “contrary” doctrine, which the Crossless advocates are, cause divisions and offences. The Bible commands they be marked, avoided and withdrawn from. To disobey what is here in print, in the Bible, is to disobey the Lord."

    Mark….avoid……withdraw….

    He has definitely “marked” these so-called “disobedient” brothers (and now apparently you, sister). But I don’t see him avoiding and withdrawing. His own words….. To disobey what is here in print, in the Bible, is to disobey the Lord.

    I guess that avoiding or withdrawing is only done when one is finished “marking”. But how much “marking” is necessary?

    OK, I will turn off my sarcasm and go back to work.

    See you Sunday!!!

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 2/28/2008 9:27 AM  

  • Lou,
    I have not revealed anything new. I have always thought you were wrong to say that Antonio and Matthew preach a "false gospel." I have never once agreed with that phrase in connection with their theories. They do not preach a false gospel from what they tell us - they preach the same cross and ressurection that you do. You yourself have recognized this. You have said:

    "It is not about what these men personally believe or preach..."

    but then said:

    "...it is about what these men say the lost must believe to be saved."

    I have no cognizance of that being "preaching a false gospel" and I never have. I think you are wrong in the way you are characterizing all of this, but if you are certain you are right, you must act accordingly, and I must follow the Lord's leading in my conscience as well. Good day.

    Hello Kurt,
    Maybe Lou will now withdraw - I think he has made his mark. It is really neat to have you reading my blog! :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/28/2008 9:48 AM  

  • Rachel,
    Thank you for trying to help.

    I think the idea is that there is a body of truth that has been revealed by God that is not up for interpretation. No deviants or variations are allowed, thus if someone teaches any variation of these specific truths, they are being disobedient to those truths.

    I see this so differently than you and others do, apparently. I don't see them departing from orthodoxy. They still hold to the same truths that I do. This is just about what the lost person must believe to lay hold of Jesus. I agree their theory on this is quite minimal, but I don't see how that is "departing from orthodoxy." They are not saying that Jesus was the son of a Roman soldier. They are not saying that Jesus was a spirit... or that Jesus was a god among many. They believe the same things that other Bible believers do about Jesus.

    They also believe the same gospel and it is not crossless. They will tell you that they believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of the world and that faith in Him brings the gift of eternal life. How is that not orthodox? They also tell us that they preach this to the lost - so how are they "crossless gospel" advocates?

    So their evangelim ideas are a little different in theory - they are focusing on a bullseye - "believe in Jesus for eternal life" - but that is not saying that the rest of the target is not there.

    I don't see this as "departing from Orthodoxy." I do see things a little differetnly than these brothers, but I don't think they are preaching a false gospel or disobeying the Bible.

    You are convinced they are. I don't know why we see it so differently, but there it is.

    Thanks for your comment.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/28/2008 10:03 AM  

  • Colin Maxwell,
    I think it is over now or very soon. I am sorry not to have dissapointed you more.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/28/2008 10:04 AM  

  • Matthew:

    On 2/27/08 @ 8:29am you wrote, “Rose, it would be interesting to know if I would stop getting preaching engagements if the churches I have contacts with were aware of my position on the offer of eternal life.”

    From the moment I saw that I had concerns and wanted to raise them with you. Colin is already on to part of the problem as I see it.

    Not sure how to go about, but to ask some questions:

    1) Are you actually withholding from the people and leadership of the churches you preach at exactly what your doctrinal position is on the Gospel? Are you being less than transparent?

    2) Have you or do you ever plan to disclose to them in unvarnished terms that you eliminate repentance as a condition for salvation?

    3) Have you or do you ever plan to disclose to them in unvarnished terms that you believe a lost man can be saved despite not understanding or believing that Jesus is the “Son of God” i.e., His Deity?

    When I was ordained I had to write and submit a doctrinal statement to my ordination counsel. I still have in my possession. I had to do the same all over again when I was being interviewed by my mission board. In both cases they were wise to be sure of what they were ordaining and getting with me.

    4) Have any of the churches you preach at asked you for your doctrinal statement? Do you have doctrinal statement that you have shared or would be willing to share with the leadership of churches you preach at?

    IMO, if you were to be honest with these churches about your Crossless gospel, repentance, your Can Men & Women Become Gods thinking, I think you might very well wind up out of their pulpits.

    5) Is it possible you are not disclosing these inner truths to the churches about your theology because it would jeopardize your speaking engagements?

    When Jeremy Myers finally went public with his strange and disturbing views he was released from GES, and that was the right thing to do with him. If these churches you preach at have a balanced view of the Scriptures, IMO, you would not be invited back if you were transparent with them.

    If I were to encounter a preacher with your theological viewpoints I would not only argue against having him in the pulpit, I would rise on protest if he/you were allowed into the pulpit of the church I attend.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/28/2008 10:14 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 2/28/2008 10:17 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/28/2008 10:32 AM  

  • Good Morning Rose:

    Hello Kurt:

    You wrote, “He has definitely ‘marked’ these so-called ‘disobedient’ brothers (and now apparently you, sister). But I don’t see him avoiding and withdrawing. His own words….. To disobey what is here in print, in the Bible, is to disobey the Lord.

    I’ll give benefit of the doubt that you may not be aware that the Bible teaches twin truths of “contending for the faith once delivered,” (Jude 3) and that we are to “mark and avoid” (Rom. 16:17).

    Here is the difference and Rose and I makes good examples, at least in the blogs. She not only is sympathetic, defends the “Crossless” heresy and its advocates, she also actively participates and cooperates with these teachers of false doctrine in the group blog, Unashamed of Grace. It has become clear why she has taken on this cooperative effort with them with a clear conscience, and that is because she accepts the Hodges interpretation of the Gospel as if it is orthodox.

    Now, as for me, I have often said what my primary goal is for interacting in the blogs. It is for taking a public stand against LS and the CG to expose and refute these twin errors so that unsuspecting readers/lurkers will not fall into the trap of either of these false gospels. Frankly, my book drew so much attention that it forced me to get into and open a blog, otherwise I never would have. I wanted my blog to be a safe haven for those who rejected LS and may have desired to have a place for discussion without the likes of some LS men attacking them. Now it is a place where people can come and learn what the dangers signs of LS and the CG are, and avoid being deceived by them.

    Anyway, I discourage young, immature or untrained believers from interacting to closely with advocates of LS and the CG. I do that because I fear they could be swayed by the subtlety of the teachers of these twin heresies. I can name some younger men who got messed up because they got too close. They should avoid as much as possible.

    I hope you understand and appreciate what I have shared with you here.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/28/2008 10:37 AM  

  • Matthew:

    Looks like you already answered one of my concerns (#5) with your note to Colin,

    I would not want to say that in a sermon. And I would be careful about saying it in conversation at my Calvinistic church. If I said in a sermon, I am sure a lot of churches would not ask me to preach again


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/28/2008 10:49 AM  

  • Rose:

    Bottom-line is that these men believe and teach others that the lost do not have to understand or believe who Jesus is, and/or what He did to provide salvation, but can still be saved.

    False teaching on the Gospel!

    Matthew verified for you that these are NOT mere theories with them, but bedrock core beliefs he and Crossless advocates hold to.

    Antonio (aka Sock Puppet: fg me) has spoken very clearly on how he operates in a personal evangelism setting. Antonio has made clear that he believes a lost man can be saved “no matter what misconceptions” the lost man holds. Therefore in any soul-winning scene Antonio will dismiss any misconception the lost man has about who Jesus is and what He did to provide salvation.

    He said if a lost man were to object to the deity of Christ he (Antonio) would put that rejection of Christ’s deity “on the back burner.”

    How you can dismiss the obvious problems with these clear statements as though they are mere theories for blog debates, and as if they are inconsequential having no practical ramification defies a rational, biblcal explanation.

    You have embraced the Hodges’ Crossless interpretation of the Gospel, and that settles for me where you stand doctrinally on the Gospel. At the minimum you have no problem with a mixed message on the Gospel.

    IMO, you are one of the latest and unfortunate tragedies of the Crossless gospel.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/28/2008 12:30 PM  

  • Lou

    1) 'Are you actually withholding from the people and leadership of the churches you preach at exactly what your doctrinal position is on the Gospel? Are you being less than transparent?'

    I cannot say I am witholding what I have not been asked.

    If they asked me what I thought I would tell them.

    2) Have you or do you ever plan to disclose to them in unvarnished terms that you eliminate repentance as a condition for salvation?

    No. Why would I do that?

    3) Have you or do you ever plan to disclose to them in unvarnished terms that you believe a lost man can be saved despite not understanding or believing that Jesus is the “Son of God” i.e., His Deity?

    No.

    4) Have any of the churches you preach at asked you for your doctrinal statement? Do you have doctrinal statement that you have shared or would be willing to share with the leadership of churches you preach at?

    No. I have never been asked for any doctrinal statement.

    One church once asked me what theology I followed. I replied 'Brethren Dispensational.'

    5) Is it possible you are not disclosing these inner truths to the churches about your theology because it would jeopardize your speaking engagements?

    I suppose that would be a concern.

    However, as I would not raise these issues in my preaching, I do not see how it has made any difference or will make any difference.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 2/28/2008 12:59 PM  

  • Lou, to be honest, I do not think most doctrinal statements would actually identify a person who believed the 'Cross Gospel'.

    I have never seen a statement of belief that says "We believe that acceptance of the deity of Christ is a condition for receiving eternal life."

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 2/28/2008 1:01 PM  

  • Matthew,

    I freely confess that I am not up in "Brethren Dispensationalism" (although I was a member of an Open brethren Assembley for 5 years in my earlier days as a Christian) - Are there any notable names (or initials!) among the main writers who you could say were more or less identical to your position (as opposed to that of the more regular Evangelical stance, where I might be in agreement with them?)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 2/28/2008 2:11 PM  

  • No, I cannot say there are.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 2/28/2008 2:19 PM  

  • I wanted to add that I think part of the reason Lou uses the "disobedient brethren" phrase is to communicate not only that he thinks they are being "disobedient", but also that he does indeed think they are "brethren". He has stated many times that he sees these people as Christians (despite the attacks some of them have made on him and the rest of us regarding our true Christianity).

    Rose,

    You said,

    "I don't see them departing from orthodoxy. They still hold to the same truths that I do."

    Do they "hold to the same truths as I do"? That's pretty generic. It depends on which truths, don't you think? I cannot confirm or deny such a broad generalization.

    So then we must narrow these "truths" to the ones we are debating here, namely, what it is that must be believed to be born again. Perhaps then, they hold to the same truths that you do, but they do not hold to the same truths that I do (again, speaking of only this issue). Orthodox Christianity holds that salvation comes when people acknowledge their own sin and place their faith in Jesus, God's Son, and his death and resurrection. This is the "bread and butter" of orthodox Christianity. Since they don't agree with this, then on this they have indeed "departed from orthodoxy". Does that mean they have completely "departed from orthodoxy"? Of course not, although we do see some other strange views emerging.

    You said,

    "They also believe the same gospel and it is not crossless. They will tell you that they believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of the world and that faith in Him brings the gift of eternal life. How is that not orthodox? They also tell us that they preach this to the lost - so how are they 'crossless gospel' advocates?"

    Rose, I must say that this comment disappoints me. I discussed this "crossless gospel" phrase with you several weeks ago, and soon afterwards Lou posted a 4-part series by Greg Schliesmann (starting here) regarding the issue of "the gospel". We have thoroughly explained why their gospel is appropriately labeled "crossless". So for you to then return to this position some weeks later, that their gospel is not "crossless", is somewhat frustrating. It's equally frustrating for you to bring up yet again what they personally believe about Jesus' death and resurrection, as if that has anything to do with the issue at hand. Their personal beliefs do not determine whether or not their gospel is "crossless". Perhaps it would be good for you to read or reread Greg's articles on "the gospel".

    Their gospel is crossless when "gospel" is defined as "what the lost must believe to be born again". Surely you can at least grant this statement as true. I imagine you will disagree with such a definition of "gospel", and that's where the info from Greg's articles comes in (and I'll be posting an article about this very issue at my blog as the next in the series). But can you agree that, given the definition above, their gospel is indeed "crossless"? If you can agree to that, then we can move to a discussion of whether or not such a definition is valid.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 2/28/2008 5:19 PM  

  • Rose:

    You have been given a link to Greg Schliesmann’s series that Rachel has encouraged you to read. As a courtesy to you and your guests, here are links to each of the articles Rachel referred to.

    The Technical Meaning of the Term, “The Gospel,” Part 1

    The Technical Meaning of the Term, “The Gospel,” Part 2

    The Technical Meaning of the Term, “The Gospel,” Part 3

    The Technical Meaning of the Term, “The Gospel,” Part 4


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/28/2008 6:45 PM  

  • Oops:

    I referenced the four part series above by Greg Schliesmann and just discovered that there is a 5th part, which I forgot to post.

    For some reason I forgot to post it, which acts as a sort of addendum to the series. All I can figure is that the onset of the Christmas holiday lead to my having gone right by this wrap up.

    In the next day or two I am going to post the final in Greg's series.

    It is from an interaction Greg had with former GES staff member Jeremy Myers. Greg devastates Jeremy’s claims, and here is a sample

    You express great offense that the articles (Stegalls’s Tragedy of the Crossless Gospel) claim your version of “the gospel” is Crossless, but your complaint hinges entirely upon a distinction that you’re making that 99.9% of evangelicals would never understand — that you consider “the gospel” to be all the good news of the NT, not the message that the lost need to believe to receive eternal life.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/28/2008 10:07 PM  

  • Hi there, Rose. Very interesting discussion here.

    My dear friend, Gordon Cloud, has spoken quite wisely here and I was encouraged by his comments.

    Moving on to my thoughts...

    I must say that I find Matthew, Antonio, and others to speak much more like the early apostles when asked, "What must I do to be saved?"

    I fear that Lou and others of his way of thinking would have given a much lengthier, more complicated answer than Paul did in Acts 16:31.

    For this reason, I often find myself feeling less and less able to identify with much of evangelical Christianity and its increasingly convoluted system of determining who is "in" and who is "out".

    What is very interesting is to read how the early apostles answered questions about salvation. Even more interesting is to read how Jesus himself answered those questions!

    Paul himself, when addressing the crowd at Athens (Acts 17) spoke of Jesus as "the man [God] has appointed". He didn't seem to go out of his way to insist on the deity of Jesus, did he?

    Perhaps if some would take their cues from what is recorded in scripture and not repeated quotes from books that they themselves have written, they might find that they are creating division where there need not be division. Which, unfortunately, puts them on the wrong side of the "causing division" fence...

    By Anonymous Steve Sensenig, at 2/28/2008 10:58 PM  

  • Hi Steve,

    I haven't seen you post before. Welcome. (If it's okay to "welcome" you to a blog that's not my own!)

    You said,

    "I must say that I find Matthew, Antonio, and others to speak much more like the early apostles when asked, 'What must I do to be saved?' I fear that Lou and others of his way of thinking would have given a much lengthier, more complicated answer than Paul did in Acts 16:31."

    I don't speak for Lou, but I can speak for myself and tell you that my answer is indeed the same as Paul's in Acts 16:31. I think in fact that all of us here would give that answer. The issue is, what do we mean by "believe in Jesus"? For all of us have required content to that "belief" that is not named in 16:31. True, Paul says nothing about Jesus' death and resurrection. But neither does he say anything about eternal life, or that the jailer must believe in Jesus alone and make sure he's not trusting in his works too.

    Plus, we see in v. 31 that Paul told him to "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ". Yet it is not until v. 33 that he is baptized. What happened in v. 32? "And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house." While this doesn't tell us what exactly Paul and Silas told him, it is clear that they included more than the one sentence of 16:31. Thus we can conclude that v. 31 is a summary statement of certain required content, but does not give us any of that content. So we must look elsewhere to find the answer to this issue.

    You said,

    "For this reason, I often find myself feeling less and less able to identify with much of evangelical Christianity and its increasingly convoluted system of determining who is 'in' and who is 'out'."

    I am not interested in determining if anyone is "in" or "out". I don't even really know that means. What would they be "in" or "out" of? I am simply looking for the truth and trying to spread it. I try to find the truth and declare it, that is all. To be honest, I don't understand how Acts 16:31 connects to saying that "evangelical Christianity" (which is a pretty large umbrella) has a "convoluted system of determining who is 'in' and who is 'out'." Perhaps there is some "behind-the-scenes" history of some discussion that I am unaware of?

    You said,

    "Paul himself, when addressing the crowd at Athens (Acts 17) spoke of Jesus as 'the man [God] has appointed'. He didn't seem to go out of his way to insist on the deity of Jesus, did he?"

    I'll be doing a more thorough response to this issue in an article at my blog later in the series I'm doing. But for now let me mention a couple of things.

    First, it would seem obvious that what we have recorded in Acts 17 is not Paul's complete sermon. Read it out loud and see how long it takes you. Either that, or maybe Paul can come start preaching at my church so I can get out for lunch sooner on Sunday mornings! LOL I suppose the only other possibility is that this was indeed his entire sermon, but he was interrupted. In any event, at the very least, to see Paul's sermon in Acts 17 as some sort of complete outline for normal evangelism seems misguided.

    Second, while it is true that Paul did not emphasize Jesus' deity here, he did mention some other items that "crossless" advocates reject as required content. Paul certainly does emphasize Jesus' resurrection, which also implies that Jesus died (hard to come back from the dead if you were never there). Paul also emphasizes sin and repentance (two more items "crossless" advocates remove from the required content of saving faith) by noting that God has commanded everyone to repent, and by stating that God will "judge the world in righteousness". So perhaps Jesus' deity is not mentioned explicitly here, but the other components of saving faith certainly are.

    Third, "crossless" advocates state that the lost must believe that Jesus alone is the guarantor of eternal life. Interestingly, I see nothing in Paul's sermon in Athens about eternal life, who can give it, and if you have to leave your works out of the equation. While Paul's sermon in Acts 17 may leave out an item that I still maintain is required for salvation, it leaves out every item the "crossless" advocates require. Not one single aspect of the "crossless gospel" is in Paul's sermon in Acts 17.

    So it would seem that Acts 17 doesn't really help us much in answering the question of what exactly is the required content of saving faith. If anything, it only helps my case, while it leaves the "crossless" case wanting.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 2/29/2008 1:40 AM  

  • Good Morning Rose:

    Kurt:

    I responded to your question above. I trust you will have some reaction to what I shared with you.

    See 02/28/2008 @ 10:37 AM

    Thanks,


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/29/2008 8:34 AM  

  • Hi Rose!!! I hope that you are able to stay inside, out of all this snow!!!! Springtime cannot come soon enough for this Ohioian.

    Lou,

    I understand your response and I can appreciate your passion for helping people see teaching that may not be in line with scripture.

    But now to the issue of the post...

    When the dust settles in this discussion, and you and Matthew/Antonio have searched the scriptures, sought guidance/instruction from the Holy Spirit and you both end up on opposite sides of this arguement, who is being disobedient?

    Have you entertained the possiblity that neither of you have this issue exactly correct? That maybe both of you have some of your understandings right and some of them wrong, but neither are 100% correct?

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 2/29/2008 10:29 AM  

  • When the dust settles in this discussion, and you and Matthew/Antonio have searched the scriptures, sought guidance/instruction from the Holy Spirit and you both end up on opposite sides of this arguement, who is being disobedient?

    The one who has abused the clear meaning and text of Scripture, and negated the clear meaning of other passages that refute their errors, and then refuse correction and go onto be prime instigators of a false gospel; that's who.

    Ad that is exactly what the Hodges/GES refining process is doing to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/29/2008 11:02 AM  

  • Rose:

    I trust you are planning to engage Rachel's recent comment to you above. I am looking forward to your handling of her questions and concerns with your recent statements.

    See 2/28/2008 5:19 PM


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/29/2008 11:05 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Lou, you stated:

    "The one who has abused the clear meaning and text of Scripture, and negated the clear meaning of other passages that refute their errors, and then refuse correction and go onto be prime instigators of a false gospel; that's who."

    Again, your position is clear to you and their position is clear to them....so, therefore, your "clear" position trumps theirs? How did that heirarchy get established?

    How can one accept correction when they do not agree with the opposing position or the scriptures that "refute" the proported errors?

    If you have not been convinced that your position is in error, and are convinced that your position is correct (and you are supported by other scholars), how is that disobedience?

    I also again ask, Have you entertained the possibility that neither of you have it 100% correct?

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 2/29/2008 11:54 AM  

  • Lou,
    Why do you care what I say? You won't even engage in clarifying yourself with me, so why should you care what I have to say to Rachel? Just curious. I feel that you have acted toward me with a bit of contempt by saying me that you would clarify yourself and then dodging the clarifying question.... so I don't know why you keep commenting like everything is hunky dory.

    See these contradictory comments:

    You said this at 11:36 am:

    This way we are all clear, and I can continue addressing your issues in this thread.

    Then your very next comment at 4:50 says:

    If these numerous replies have not been clear enough for you to understand my take on this issue I can’t help that any longer

    _________

    Rachel,
    I am thinking about your comments and will get back to you. Maybe I will email you. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/29/2008 12:59 PM  

  • Steve,
    Thank you for the visit. I appreciate you adding your thoughts to the mix.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/29/2008 12:59 PM  

  • Kurt:

    Have you ever read Ps. Tom Stegall's series called, The Tragedy of the "Crossless" Gospel?

    You can download the series and read it at your leisure.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/29/2008 3:38 PM  

  • Lou,

    That is not an answer to my questions.

    Since I asked several questions in one comment, I will slow down and only ask you one.

    Have you considered that neither of you are 100% correct on this issue?

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 2/29/2008 3:52 PM  

  • Kurt:

    Unless I can be convinced from the Bible to the contrary, I am 100% certain I understand the biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Furthermore, I am 100% certain that the Hodges' Crossless gospel is a corruption of the truth.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/29/2008 4:04 PM  

  • Kurt:

    Have you read, or will you read Tom Stegalls's series: The Tragedy of the Crossless Gospel?


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 2/29/2008 4:05 PM  

  • Lou, I know you have a lot of questions being thrown at you, but since you chose to first engage me in conversation, perhaps you will be kind enough to indulge me.

    You say that what Antonio, Matthew, MacArthur, et al, teach is a false gospel, yet you have repeatedly expressed your belief that they are saved. If what they believe is insufficient for salvation, how did they get saved?

    And if they are truly preaching another gospel, how do you reconcile your belief that they are saved with Gal. 1:8?

    By Anonymous Gordon Cloud, at 2/29/2008 4:06 PM  

  • Hi Rose!!!

    Lou,

    No I have not read it. I can say with 100% certainty that I do not have time or interest right now in reading it. I am leading a Bible Study and am extremely consumed at work right now.

    Thanks for the recommendation.

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 2/29/2008 5:24 PM  

  • Gordon:

    You asked, "You say that what Antonio, Matthew, MacArthur, et al, teach is a false gospel, yet you have repeatedly expressed your belief that they are saved. If what they believe is insufficient for salvation, how did they get saved?"

    1) If you want to know how they got saved it would be best to ask them for their personal testimony. I believe JM's is on line somewhere.

    2) They had to have been saved the Bible way. If, one added commitment to future "good works" (Eph. 2:10) to faith, or were counseled or allowed to remain in unbelief or open denial that they could be saved apart from understanding and believing in the Lord: who He is and what He did to provide salvation, nether were born again.

    3) I have already addressed this. IMO, they are saved, but have fallen into gross heresy.

    Do you think it is strange or unusual for a born again Christian to fall into deep error doctrinally and/or practically?


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 3/01/2008 7:41 AM  

  • Kurt:

    For someone who has taken what seems to be a sudden interest in defending the heresy of the Crossless, gospel and it advocates, it strikes me odd that you do not want to read the opposing view.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 3/01/2008 7:43 AM  

  • Rachel,
    Their gospel is crossless when "gospel" is defined as "what the lost must believe to be born again".

    I was not convinced by those articles that "gospel" = "that which must be believed to be born again"

    But can you agree that, given the definition above, their gospel is indeed "crossless"? If you can agree to that, then we can move to a discussion of whether or not such a definition is valid.

    Well, we all know that they theorize that such a possibility exists - that one could not know of the cross yet believe in Jesus and be saved. It seems pretty moot though, IMHO, because they say they preach the cross to bring people to trust in Jesus. Can you at least acknowledge how I could see that as a moot point?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/01/2008 8:44 AM  

  • OK, Lou, let me rephrase my question.

    Upon what basis do you believe they are saved? You do not accept what they teach is necessary for salvation, so what makes you think they are saved?

    If you have already addressed Gal. 1:8, I did not see it. Those who preach another gospel are accursed. This obviously cannot be talking about a true believer, so if these men are indeed preaching a "false gospel" why are they not accursed?

    As for your question concerning believers going into error or sin: of course I believe it is possible for a Christian to sin and err in doctrine. Error in doctrine among believers has been the whole point of this discussion. I am simply trying to find the logical, biblical conclusion to the points you are trying to make.

    By Anonymous Gordon Cloud, at 3/01/2008 9:27 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 3/01/2008 10:33 AM  

  • Gordon:

    I have been providing you answers and comment. I have "indulged" your questions. Its your turn; OK?

    In your opinion is John MacArthur a born again Christian?

    In your opinion, is Antonio da Rosa a born again Christian?

    Upon what do you base your opinion of whether or not they are Christians?


    LM

    PS: Antonio (aka, fg me) suggested I am unsaved and will not be at the Judgment Seat of Christ. One wonders upon what he bases that assumption.

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 3/01/2008 10:35 AM  

  • Hi Gordon,

    I'm not speaking for Lou here, but since I also think the crossless advocates are saved, I thought I'd share my answer to your question of why I think that.

    It's very simple, actually. People are saved when they believe certain things about Jesus (of course we differ on what those "certain things" are). Antonio, Matthew, Jeremy, Wilkin, etc. have all stated that they do in fact believe what I consider to be essential for salvation. Therefore, I view them as saved. The issue is that they don't think that others need to believe those things. But they themselves do believe them, thus I think they are saved.

    Regarding Gal. 1:8, Paul says, "even if we or an angel from heaven" preaches a different gospel, "a curse be on him" (HCSB). Whatever this curse is, Paul indicates it could even be placed on himself. So, either Paul isn't really saved, or Paul thought he and all believers could lose their salvation, or this curse is not an eternal curse. Neither of the first two options can be reconciled with Scripture IMO, so it seems that the third option is what we're left with, that this curse (whatever it is) is not eternal and is possible to be on a believer.

    Also, Bob Wilkin, in a debate with Darrel Bock, indicated that any other gospel other than the one he preaches is a "false gospel", and that the curse of Gal. 1:8 would be on these people. But he also said he felt the curse was temporal, saying basically that God would not bless anyone with a false gospel. I've not studied it thoroughly, so I can't say whether or not I agree with Wilkin's determination of what the curse actually is. But I do agree with him that it is temporal and not eternal.

    Therefore, it is possible for someone to have the Gal. 1:8 curse upon him/her, and yet still be saved.



    EDIT: AFter typing this, I found an article by Bob Wilkin addressing this very issue. I didn't read it thoroughly, but from what I did read I think I generally agree with what he is saying there.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 3/01/2008 11:59 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    You said,

    "I was not convinced by those articles that 'gospel' = 'that which must be believed to be born again'"

    I'm assuming you plan to explain why you weren't convinced? Disagreeing with the definition without any reason, let alone a good one, leaves us without much to discuss.

    I said:

    "But can you agree that, given the definition above, their gospel is indeed 'crossless'? If you can agree to that, then we can move to a discussion of whether or not such a definition is valid."

    You replied:

    "Well, we all know that they theorize that such a possibility exists - that one could not know of the cross yet believe in Jesus and be saved. It seems pretty moot though, IMHO, because they say they preach the cross to bring people to trust in Jesus. Can you at least acknowledge how I could see that as a moot point?"

    I acknowledge that you think it's a moot point. And I've explained why it's not a moot point several times. I'd be glad to go over that again, but can you first answer my question above? I don't see how saying that their minimalist gospel is a moot point answers my question above.

    Here's what I am asking in response to your claim that their gospel is not crossless:

    Can you agree that, given the definition above [that "gospel" = "that which must be believed to be born again"], their gospel is indeed "crossless"?

    I am not asking you to agree with that definition at this point, but simply to agree that the logic is sound, i.e. "if a, then b" (where "a" = that "gospel" = "that which must be believed to be born again"; and "b" = their gospel is "crossless"). Can you agree with my statement above? If not, why not?

    By Blogger Rachel, at 3/01/2008 12:20 PM  

  • Rachel:

    I am at work and have been unable to look in until just now

    Rachel, your comment above to Gordon is very well said. I was developing something similar for Gordon, once he replied to my question.

    I was thinking about if I were to meet a pastor who professed to have been saved for 20+ years and we began to discuss our doctrinal views. Let’s say I found that he was a five-point Calvinist, believed in double-predestination and preached Lordship Salvation.

    If I were to ask at what point did he come to believe and preach those teachings do you think he would say, “from the day I was born again.” No, he would have arrived at those doctrinal errors over time. The point is that he would not have been a believer and teacher of false doctrine from the moment he was born again.

    Egregious doctrinal errors are learned over time. This is true of Lordship Salvation and the Crossless Gospel. I’ve read MacArthur’s personal testimony, and he did not have the LS view of the Gospel until well after he had been born again. The seed of LS were planted in his mind during his undergraduate college years.

    Men who were saved by faith alone can and sometimes do go off into error on the Gospel that results in their becoming the preacher of a false gospel. Such is the case with MacArthur, Stott, Chantry and (Phil) Johnson and so it is at the opposite end of the theological spectrum with Hodges, Wilkin, Lewis, and da Rosa.

    All, as I assume born again, but have clearly fallen into deep doctrinal errors and their consciences have been seared.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 3/01/2008 4:17 PM  

  • Hi Rose/All

    And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”
    And let him who hears say, “Come!”
    And let him who thirsts come.
    Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. (Rev 22:17)

    The Greek tenses in John 4:10 would permit the following interpretation of the NKJV rendering. (ZH)

    “If you [now] knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink’, you would [already] have asked Him, and He would [already] have given you living water”.

    This interpretation of John 4:10 harmonies perfectly with Rev 22:17.

    It’s simply about the giving and receiving of a gift, nothing about repentance is there. It’s simple taking Jesus at His word.

    The stumbling block for the Calvinist is the simplicity of Salvation, so upon rejecting this, a mysterious, arcane, incomprehensible, decree of God. This is the same stumbling block for any who would add any conditions to being able to take the water freely!

    But I fear, lest somehow as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (2 Cor 11:3)

    If you knew the gift of God, you would know that it is free!
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 3/01/2008 7:24 PM  

  • Lou, nice dodge on the last question.

    As for the people you mentioned being saved, the only person I am completely certain is saved is myself. MacArthur, Antonio and Matthew (and you as well) profess their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. While we may have theological differences, I have no reason to doubt their (or your) profession.

    BTW, for what it is worth, Antonio once hinted that he thought I might not be saved either, so you and I can paddle that boat together.

    By Anonymous Gordon Cloud, at 3/01/2008 10:05 PM  

  • Rachel, as I am sure you are aware, the Greek word for "accursed" in Gal. 1:8 is anathema which indicates one being banished from God. We can compare this to I Cor. 12:3 where we find the same word used the same way.

    There is nowhere in the Bible that I am aware of that speaks of a temporary curse from God upon believers.

    There is another possible answer to this solution that you have perhaps overlooked. Paul could easily have meant that anyone who teaches another gospel was not a true believer in the first place.

    Again, though, I would emphasize that the "other gospels" to which Paul was referring were the Judaizers and the Gnostics. These heresies provide a much more radical difference from the true gospel than the theological positions that are in question in this discussion.

    By Anonymous Gordon Cloud, at 3/01/2008 10:13 PM  

  • Hi Gordon,

    In Wilkin's article, he said,

    "Similarly, anathema was routinely used in the Greek OT (the Septuagint) to refer to the temporal destruction and cursing of people and cities (e.g., Josh 6:17; 7:1-13ff.; 22:20; Judg 1:17; Zech 14:11). There are no clear examples of it being used in the OT to refer to eternal condemnation."

    I do think anathema can refer to eternal condemnation, I just don't think it always does. For me, one of the biggest reasons to believe that the Gal. curse is temporary is the fact that Paul says the curse could even come upon himself or an angel from heaven. Plus, the same word is used in 1 Cor. 16:22, where Paul says that if anyone doesn't love the Lord, then he should be accursed. Defining anathema as eternal condemnation in that verse seems to call into question eternal security.

    I also see a couple of other possibilities here. Perhaps Paul was using hyperbole. People in the ANE frequently spoke in emotive, rhetorical word pictures to get their point across. Or, it could be that the anathema applies more specifically to anyone in that time period coming to the that particular group of Christians with a different gospel, rather than anyone anywhere at anytime.

    In any event, my point is simply that there are many ways to take this verse besides deciding that Hodges/Wilkin et al. are unsaved, especially given the fact that they claim to believe what I think are the essentials to salvation.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 3/02/2008 12:21 AM  

  • Rachel, you said: In any event, my point is simply that there are many ways to take this verse besides deciding that Hodges/Wilkin et al. are unsaved, especially given the fact that they claim to believe what I think are the essentials to salvation.

    I'm glad you feel this way, in this we are in agreement.

    As for the rest of your arguments in this thread, we may have to agree to disagree. :-)

    By Anonymous Gordon Cloud, at 3/02/2008 1:23 AM  

  • Can you agree with my statement above? If not, why not?

    Hi Rachel. I do not agree with the way you are characterizing it, no. "Crossless gospel" is a repugnant term to me, I think it is utterly lame.

    I don't mean to be disrespectful toward you, but I can't appreciate that terminology at all.

    It probably is difficult to discuss for us because I do not accept your basic premise that gospel = 'that which must be believed.' This kind of language sounds more and more ungracious to me all the time: "that which must be believed." It conjers up an image of me twisting a potential convert's arm and saying through clenched teeth: "you must believe this."

    I am not asking you to agree with that definition at this point, but simply to agree that the logic is sound, i.e. "if a, then b" (where "a" = that "gospel" = "that which must be believed to be born again"; and "b" = their gospel is "crossless"). Can you agree with my statement above? If not, why not?

    I never have used the term "checklist evangelism" but the idea that someone must consent to a list of items really bothers me - it goes against my idea of "receiving Chrst." I don't know if you have read any of my postings on "receiving Chrst," but that is how I view conversion - "receiving Christ." Matthew and Antonio may not appreciate the fact that I am not really exacting in my definition of "receiving Christ" and you may not appreciate that about my approach either. I refuse to parse it any closer than I can.

    I see your logical explanation there, but what you are getting at is something against my whole concept of "receiving Christ." I am sorry. I suppose you're right. For the time being, there isn't much to discuss, unless you want to come at it with me from a different angle.

    Have a blessed week.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/03/2008 9:52 AM  

  • Hi Rose, it was good to see you and John Sunday. Sorry we didn't get a chance to chat longer.

    Lou, you stated:

    "For someone who has taken what seems to be a sudden interest in defending the heresy of the Crossless, gospel and it advocates, it strikes me odd that you do not want to read the opposing view."

    Why do you continue to draw battle lines where they need not exist? I have neither defended nor attacked the CG position. In fact, I have never stated my view at all. I only have challenged you to whether or not you have considered that you could be wrong and therefore, by your own definition, a "Disobedient Brother".

    You assured me that you are 100% correct. So, I can only assume from your shining confidence in yourself, that you have all wisdom and understanding in this area of scripture.

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 3/03/2008 3:07 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    You said,

    "I do not agree with the way you are characterizing it, no. "Crossless gospel" is a repugnant term to me, I think it is utterly lame."

    I didn't ask if you agreed with the way I was characterizing anything. I simply asked if you could agree that IF "the gospel" is defined as "that which the lost must believe in order to be born again", THEN it is valid and legit to call their gospel "crossless". I'm not asking if you like the term, or agree with the term. I'm only asking if you agree that the logic is sound. Arguments can be logically sound but still wrong because their premises are invalid. All I'm trying to establish first is that the logic is indeed sound. Then we can move to the validity of the premise.

    The rest of your remarks above constitute begging the question and well-poisoning, so I'll pass on them.

    You said,

    "It probably is difficult to discuss for us because I do not accept your basic premise that gospel = 'that which must be believed.'"

    I am unsure whether you do not understand what I'm asking, or if you are purposely avoiding the question. I'll assume the former for now. I'll say it again: I am not at this point asking you to "accept [my] basic premise that gospel = 'that which must be believed [to be born again]'". All I am asking at this point in the discussion is if you can agree to the following logic: If "gospel" is defined as "what the lost must believe to be born again", then the "gospel" of Hodges/Wilkin et al. is a "crossless" gospel. I'm not yet asking you to accept that definition of "gospel", I'm merely asking if you can agree that IF "gospel" is defined that way, THEN the term "crossless" is legitimately applied to their gospel. Do you see what I'm asking?

    Also, you have said several times that you don't accept that definition of "gospel", aren't convinced of it, etc. But I haven't seen you offer a single reason as to why not. That is why we are at a standstill in this discussion right now. I made a claim (about the definition of "the gospel"). You challenged my definition. I responded by answering the challenge and explaining my reasons. The ball is now in your court to either agree with me or provide explanations as to why you don't. What you've done so far amounts to hand-waving and saying "nuh uh". You have stated your disagreement with the definition, but have offered no argument whatsoever for your view. It is quite difficult to take your view seriously if you do not attempt to substantiate it with any argumentation.

    You said,

    "This kind of language sounds more and more ungracious to me all the time: 'that which must be believed.' It conjers up an image of me twisting a potential convert's arm and saying through clenched teeth..."

    I don't mean this rudely, but whatever images you come up with have no bearing on the truth or falsity of a matter. I am not saying "must" in the sense of beating a confession out of anyone, but people "must" believe certain things in the sense that if they don't they will not go to heaven. I think you know this, and to be honest, I don't see how this contributes to the discussion in any way.

    You said,

    "Matthew and Antonio may not appreciate the fact that I am not really exacting in my definition of 'receiving Christ' and you may not appreciate that about my approach either. I refuse to parse it any closer than I can."

    The problem is that "receiving Christ" is very nebulous. What does that mean exactly? How do you know someone has done it? If you don't "parse it" more specifically, how will you know if someone has in fact "received Christ"? How would you tell someone that they could know if they have "received Christ"? What about your kids, what do you want them to believe before you are sure and/or can assure them that they have "received Christ"? I know many atheists/liberal Christians who think that Christ really just wants us all to be good people and nice to everyone. If they do that, have they "received Christ"? What about JWs and Mormons? They claim to have "received Christ" ... Catholics too.

    Do you see? If you don't define your terms on this extremely vital matter, the way to heaven appears rather muddied and obfuscated. If we don't know what is required to be born again (i.e. "receive Christ"), then how can we possibly know if we are born again, and how can we tell others how to be? I think it is very important to be exact on this issue.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 3/03/2008 4:44 PM  

  • Rachel,
    Thank you for your thoughts.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/03/2008 4:52 PM  

  • Okay Rose, if you don't want to discuss the issue, that's fine.

    But until you can provide reasons for your disagreement with the definition of "the gospel", your disagreement has no credibility and cannot be taken seriously. I have no reason to even consider your position if you cannot or will not defend it.

    If and when you decide to present some support for your opposition to the term "crossless gospel", I'll be glad to discuss it with you.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 3/03/2008 10:25 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 3/03/2008 11:23 PM  

  • Kurt:

    You wrote, "So, I can only assume from your shining confidence in yourself, that you have all wisdom and understanding in this area of scripture."

    I have been patient with you, but I will not tolerate condescending talk like that.

    The pattern I have noted with virtually all Crossless advocates (Matthew excluded) and those who support their egregious errors is that it takes little time to become sarcastic.

    You are the most recent to fall into that trap. That is too bad. 



    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 3/03/2008 11:26 PM  

  • That's rather hypocritical, Lou.

    For condescension, see:

    2/26/2008 10:39 AM
    this thread to me:

    "I have to prioritize who and what I will answer."

    (you have thwarted several of my attempts at clarifying and understanding your position with similar replies in the past)

    3/01/2008 3:20 PM
    Group Blog Post response to Rose:

    "Not to be the chauvinist pig, but men have thicker skin than women, and you need it to debate these issues."

    For sarcasm, see:

    Your February 29, 2008 Posting
    (and really, a large portion of your blog relies on sarcasm and smugness.)

    You don't get it, Lou. I have been trying to understand your position from the start. But, honestly, your personal witness deter me from your gospel. You appear to have more interest in plugging your book by trolling. Maybe that is not your intent, but a mature unwelcome Christian would brush the dust off his feet and walk away when he is told he is unwelcome - so this comes across as your intent. Also, it appears to me that you have been driving at a division within an organization - and that with your book and following, possibly hope to lead those you have pulled with you. Of all those in this debate you appear to have selfish ambition rather than pure motives. I may be wrong, but this is my impression as an outsider looking in.

    By this your life and doctrine are not aligned and do not speak the witness of Jesus Christ.

    That is truly Crossless.

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 3/04/2008 8:49 AM  

  • Lou,

    I have had a way of doing things around here that have worked for a long time. I have never had to remove many comments or ban people from my blog. I asked Brian not to return to my blog anymore the other day and he seems to be honoring that request.

    When exceptional cases arise, one has to alter the way one does things. I have asked you nicely to quit commenting here because I have become very tired of your attitude. Now I am going to start deleting any comment from you that I deem necessary. Why? Because I want to.

    Kurt is none of the things you said about him. He is a good friend from my church and I don't appreciate the way you have addressed him. (But I am not surprised)

    Now go away and bother someone else.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/04/2008 9:02 AM  

  • Rachel,
    Thank you for your understanding. Right now I am just tired of this. I will let you know if I feel like debating it anytime soon.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/04/2008 9:03 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Lou,

    I apologize for taking my sarcasm too far. I found your treatment of my sister Rose unacceptable.... she is very long-suffering. You continue to slap her around with your comments.

    Rose has demonstrated patience and reasonableness to you. You return her favor to you by picking a fight over and over again.

    You stated to her:

    "Not to be the chauvinist pig, but men have thicker skin than women"

    I find it odd that your thick skin suddenly got thin with my last comment.

    And by the way, you are still drawing battle lines where they need not exist. I still have never stated my position on GC, never defended it once. Yet you continue to see everyone as either enemies or allies and quickly draw the lines for battle. That has been the theme of my comments to you. But you miss the message and drive straight to a friend or foe dialogue.

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 3/04/2008 9:32 AM  

  • Oops....I mean CG...

    By Blogger Kurt, at 3/04/2008 9:57 AM  

  • Missy:

    You wrote, "(you have thwarted several of my attempts at clarifying and understanding your position with similar replies in the past)."

    You kept asking a question that both I and Mr. Goodnight dealt with, but you kept asking both of us for more.

    I have little time to react to the many comments and e-mails I receive. Sorry, you took it personally, but I can't deal with everybody's every question and issue.

    Like I said, some of us need to get a thicker skin.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 3/04/2008 11:40 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 3/04/2008 12:24 PM  

  • I would suggest that if we were following biblical commands for gracious and edifying speech, we wouldn't have to be continually calling for others to have thicker skins.

    Just my opinion.

    By Anonymous Gordon Cloud, at 3/04/2008 12:29 PM  

  • Like I said, Lou:

    Now I am going to start deleting any comment from you that I deem necessary. Why? Because I want to.

    You seem to think people have to answer your inquisitions. Wrong...not on this blog. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/04/2008 12:41 PM  

  • An excellent point, Gordon.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/04/2008 12:41 PM  

  • Lou, you have done this to me on other threads. And you are right, I do take it personally when I probably shouldn't, but I usually find some way to work through my pride. But the reason I shouldn't take it personally is because it isn't personal, not because I should get thicker skin. I don't think you recognize that I am a person - just another obstacle. I am not really in favor of Christians getting thicker skin against one another. We shouldn't have to. I think God calls us to have softer hearts towards one another. I think you should look more closely at what you are implying here.

    I'll encourage you to go back through this thread, and you might recall that Colin graciously answered my questions and followed me through to the end of my questioning (as is his habit) while (along with the condescending quote I provided earlier) you replied,

    "For time sake, what Mr. Goodnight wrote pretty much echoes my feelings."

    Then, in your response above, you fault me for trying to clearly understand you. Like many of your comments and writings, this leaves me with the impression that I am too lowly a scholar to waste your time on. You claim to have those that would be led astray in mind with your constant arguments. Would not an immature, unknowledgable disciple be the most vulnerable? I can't help but consider that maybe if I had more readership, in more influencial circles, you would be more concerned and willing to see me through my unbelief.

    If you plan on being as authoritative as you have chosen to be, you have no other option than to "deal with everybody's every question and issue."

    Love One Another,
    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 3/04/2008 1:06 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Been busy at work and fixing a server crash at my house. So I have missed a large part of this post. I read each of the comments, paying a lot of attention to the arguments.

    First, I want to commend you for your post as it points out yet another weakness is the position of those who accuse of a crossless gospel.

    The division has never started with the free grace camp. If Bob Wilkin or Zane Hodges were disagreed with then they have to my personal knowledge dealt with those issues graciously.

    I have been and am still disturbed by the interpretive methods of those who accuse those of us who see refined free grace as a biblical teaching.

    In addition, if the biblical injunction that Lou uses were really understood by him he would stop having any dialog at all with we who are by his own words "heretics".

    Last, to your point about in the post about disobedience and the reponses shows that Lou and others are the divisive ones and are not following the doctrine of separation but keep on using a serious misnomer as you put it. I have already disassembled Tom Stegall's argument and am waiting for the manuscript to return from several theologians and peers who have already said that the work is good and on target. Why? Because there is no rhetoric, just biblical facts and hermeneutic and logical pointers to what has been written.

    I respect your disagreement with me and the others over the points of Soteriology, you are willing to listen and try to understand and are gracious in your interactions. I don't see much of that from the others. And forgive me when I see it and that it is unjustified I rebuke it.

    I have to get one more cup of coffee and head out to work, but there is no one more thing I would like to point out there is more than just one doctrine of salvation as Lou puts it but a span of several theological doctrines such as Anthropology, Harmatology, etc.

    Again, I don't see hermeneutical work just quoting the bible at people and clinging to pet beliefs for whatever reason without weighing the evidence.

    I'll start posting more of this one my blog from the paper and as it is edited for publication folks will get a preview on the blog.

    Will it change anyones mind, probably not as I have seen these arguments before and the character of the people who make them.

    Good Day and God Bless you.

    Jim

    By Blogger Jim, at 3/05/2008 7:33 AM  

  • Jim:

    In regard to your note here, “The division has never started with the free grace camp. If Bob Wilkin or Zane Hodges were disagreed with then they have to my personal knowledge dealt with those issues graciously.

    It is the jointly held doctrinal views of Hodges and Wilkin that has caused the current “divisions” and “offences” in the FG community. (Rom 16:17)

    We can thank godly men like Tom Stegall for his The Tragedy of the “Crossless” Gospel and Dennis Rokser who have raised the alarm and identified the corrupting influence Hodges, Niemela and Wilkin have had on our Lord’s Gospel.

    The truth is that because of the egregious doctrinal errors on the Gospel of Hodges and Wilkin the FG community has been fractured, and a good thing it has happened otherwise many more might have been deceived and fallen into the trap of the Crossless gospel.

    The Free Grace Alliance was formed in part to become the new FG home of those who have had enough of the teachings of Hodges and no longer wanted to ID with the GES.

    Many FG pastors/teachers departed the GES because of the doctrinal aberrations of Hodges and Wilkin on repentance and the Gospel, not to mention the “punitive” Judgment Seat of Christ.

    See Free Grace Fractured


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 3/05/2008 8:21 AM  

  • This is one of the opening lines in Tom Stegall's The Tragedy of the “Crossless” Gospel, Part 1

    ‘Houston, we have a problem.’ Free Grace movement, we have a MAJOR problem!!! Let’s be honest: in the last few years things have changed doctrinally. The content of the saving Gospel has been tampered with.”

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 3/05/2008 8:43 AM  

  • Jim,
    Thanks for your visit.
    I will look forward to reading your paper. Please return to this blog and post a link to your site when you make the paper available.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/06/2008 2:49 PM  

  • Good morning Rose:

    Many of us who reject Hodges' Crossless and ReDefined gospel have been asking why you have not yet provided a link to Jim Johnson's series at his blog.

    Is there something about the series that makes you uncomfortable about linking to it?

    Plus, we find it very curious why virtually no advocate of the Crossless gospel is posting supportive comments under Jim's articles. Can you shed some light on that?

    Thanks,


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 4/14/2008 1:21 AM  

  • Lou,
    Rather than asking me these questions, maybe you should ask yourself:

    "When am I going to move on from this negative mode of approaching others?"

    "When am I going to figure out that my posture and tone is not helping, but hurting my cause?"

    By Blogger Rose~, at 4/14/2008 10:24 AM  

  • Rose:

    I'll take and report that as affirming your refusal to comment on or link to Johnson's series.

    Thanks,


    LM

    PS: The only people who have a problem with my approach (suggesting it is negative) are the advocates of the Crossless gospel. Why do you suppose that is?

    And as for causes being hurt, the GES loss of membership is testament as to who is hurting one's own cause.

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 4/14/2008 1:19 PM  

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