[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Monday, July 23, 2007

How I Feel About Things

by Rose

I wanted to let it all hang out a little over here about the recent emphasis on this blog. I am not able to currently back up my feelings by exegeting all the passages concerned (although I have seen others do it over these last weeks), but I am going to express my concern and disagreement. Here goes:

I am very uncomfortable with a lot of what Antonio has been posting. I love brother Antonio, but I find myself at odds with much of what he is promoting of these most controversial teachings of Zane Hodges. (To be sure, I really appreciated the book Absolutely Free! and I agree with many of the articles by Hodges that I have been exposed to.)

I finally got around to reading all of the recent posts here and at Antonio’s personal blog and honestly, I find myself in agreement with much of what Lou Martuneac has said! I read the article The Tragedy Of the Crossless Gospel by Tom Stegall and I felt myself cheering amen and amen in my spirit.

Why do I feel the need to post this? Well, let me say for sure that the purpose of this post is not to begin debating over this that has been debated ad nausium over the last month. But … I helped start this blog ... and I figure it would be good for those who may pop in here to know that not all of us here are of the same opinion:

I don’t feel that it is “Checklist Evangelism” to take someone through important points about the Lord and His salvation that we seek to explain … and to make sure they understand it. Antonio has got me to thinking, and I do appreciate that, but in the end, I don’t see it the same way as he does.

As a dispensationalist, I also think it is important to remember the age we are in. The comforter has come and we have the completed Word of Truth. To refer to encounters from early in the ministry of Christ and minimize the importance of subsequently-emphasized biblical truth as unnecessary to modern day encounters ... because it was omitted in these earlier encounters ... doesn’t seem to apply the principle of progressive revelation. IMHO!

I read with interest the comments in the previous post by David Wyatt. (By the way, I appreciate David’s post and am very glad he is on board. Thank you, David!)

A commenter named “grace” says:
People do get upset when they THINK you're down playing the cross of Christ. (WHICH GES is NOT DOING!!!). But some THINK they are.

She is right! This is truly how it comes across. It makes me cringe. I do see the shades of grey in the actual position, but I am most uncomfortable with what seems like consistent arguments for a downplaying of the Lord’s deity … and now His cross … by insisting that converts need not see it. I hear ya, brother, that you preach it, but that you don’t think it is required understanding for a convert. I hear ya. I just am very uncomfortable with your drumbeat.

Antonio says:
Nowhere do we run into in the Bible this proposition:
1. The one who believes he has eternal life through Jesus' Death and Resurrection alone has it.

But we do run into this one many times:
2. The one who believes he has irrevocable eternal life through Jesus in His promise has has it.

Zane would admit that men and woman have been saved through number 1.


I find the distinction between #1 and #2 ridiculous! I can’t describe the feeling I got when I read that Zane Hodges “admitted” that some COULD be saved by “[believing] he has eternal life through Jesus' Death and Resurrection alone….”

I don’t appreciate separating the name of Christ from the attributes and work of Christ.

I have been uncomfortable from the get-go with calling myself a Free-Gracer. I felt even more uncomfortable after the arguments (many months ago) about the deity of Christ and the proposition that the Mormon Jesus or the JW Jesus can deliver eternal life (I know, I know, there is only one Jesus – I am just using shorthand - you know what I mean, right?)… but after having read some of these things and seeing that there are Free-Gracers like Tom Stegall, I guess I am comfortable to take the label. I am a Free-Gracer, because I am absolutely opposed to Lordship Salvation. I believe that Christ dispenses eternal life as an absolutely free gift to the one who entrusts his eternal future to Him.

However, my eye focuses on the word HIM in the previous sentence. I think it is a loaded and rich name which must be unwrapped and digested. Jesus Christ is the object of faith, not just His name. I don’t agree with the minimalist teachings of Zane Hodges when it comes to the exclusion of the attributes and work of Christ as part of saving faith. I am for preaching faith alone in *Christ alone, but I think *the Person who makes the promise and why He can fulfill it is essential. Oh, and, I am not embarrassed by that. one. bit.

There.

I really apprecaite Antonio, Matthew, and Jodie who are good with this particular teaching of Hodges … but … I had to come out and express the fact that I am not good with it. Now I hope we will get back to the other, original, emphases of this blog.

48 Comments:

  • Thanks Rose, excellent post!

    By Blogger Nate, at Monday, July 23, 2007 10:57:00 AM  

  • Rose,

    I have two things on my to-do list when I finally enter the pearly gates:

    1) Co-teach a remedial prophecy course to Amils with John Walvoord.

    2) Co-teach an intermediate soteriology course to soft free-gracers with Zane Hodges.

    Thanks for your thoughts on the matter.

    If I have done anything in my hours and hours of study and writing on this subject, I hope that people walk away giving clearer gospel invitations. Not the checklist, two-step, prayer, or the plea to decide or choose to believe.

    On a further note,

    My daughter does not know what substitutionary atonement is, doesn't know any concept of the trinity or how Jesus is both God's Son and God at the same time, or what that means. She has no understanding of this whatsoever.

    But ask her, just ask her, if she is going to heaven. Ask her if she has eternal life. She will say, "yes". If you question her further, and say, "How do you know that you have eternal life".

    She will answer:

    "Because Jesus promised eternal life and that they will not perish to anyone who believes in Him. I believe His promise, and Jesus doesn't lie."

    By Blogger Antonio, at Monday, July 23, 2007 1:32:00 PM  

  • Amen, Rose. You're very discerning and "reasonable" Rose.

    The gospel is holistic, it encompasses everything . . . to create dichotomies' the way Zane does is unnecessary, and un-biblical. I'm not going to debate this right now . . . I just wanted you to know, Rose that I agree with what you said, well much of it. I'm not a Free-Gracer, except maybe in the historical vein of that label.

    shalom

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Monday, July 23, 2007 1:36:00 PM  

  • Rose, you write:

    ----------
    I don’t appreciate separating the name of Christ from the attributes and work of Christ.
    ----------

    This sounds familiar. It actually is an argument for Lordship Salvation.

    Furthermore, no one from GES have separated the name of Christ from His work or attributes. You must come up with a more precise and concise statement of your disagreement with us, for either this is intellectually dishonesty, from not seeking to understand exactly what we are arguing for, or it is itellectual perversion, deliberately distorting what FG believes to make your own position look better.

    I believe it is the former, and I forgive you :)

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Monday, July 23, 2007 1:42:00 PM  

  • Actually, Rose can speak for herself, but she can have justified beliefs (categorically), and not provide an argument for those beliefs . . . , the ironic thing is, is that you seem to think that just because you provide a argument for your position, does not mean it is a sound argument, necessarily, nor does it establish your position ipso facto . . . this actually is an argument from silence.

    And this is as far as I'm going to argue with you on this, I don't have the time that it would take to properly refute you ;-). Although I think I have in the past :-) (on the deity issue).

    shalom

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Monday, July 23, 2007 1:50:00 PM  

  • Thanks Rose,

    As most of your readers know, I am not a contributor, but a reader and an occasional commenter on this Blog.

    I appreciate Antonio's discerning postings against the lie of Calvinism and the expose' of lordship or commitment salvation. I have battled these teachings for many years and was thrilled to see someone else posting with such discernment. I told him so.

    However, I agree with your assessment of his recent posts on some of the teachings of Hodges.

    In fact, I had "Unashamed of Grace" on my Blogroll with the link to it. Recently, however, I felt it only appropriate to leave the UOG name but remove the link.

    I continue to appreciate Antonio for his zeal for souls and his stand against Calvin and lordship salvation.. but I could not in good conscience recommend the blog to my readers, because of his recent teaching.

    I am just too narrow-minded. Rose, (and David for stirring the pot) thanks for the honesty, intestinal fortitude and courage you exhibit with this post.

    Methinks that straining at a gnat has just about choked the brilliance of Unashamed of Grace.

    It won't change the world for Christ but after reading your post, I will consider re-linking to the UOG Blog.

    In Christ eternally by God's Grace and my choice to trust Jesus, my Savior alone for it,

    ExP(Jack)

    By Anonymous ExPreacherMan, at Monday, July 23, 2007 1:53:00 PM  

  • rose, bobby had me read this post! way to go!!!

    In Christ,

    Angela

    By Blogger Angela, at Monday, July 23, 2007 2:14:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    You really bared your soul with this posting!

    It seems to me, (being on a learning curve as far as FG teaching is concerned) that it is but a new phenomena, at least as far as it relates to Evangelicalism. Who in churh history preached down these great truths? Despite protests to the contrary, this is what is happening.? I'll tell you who: the Modernists. I am glad that alarm bells have started ringing.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Monday, July 23, 2007 2:21:00 PM  

  • GNSH:

    actually the "label" Free-Grace has been around for quite some time . . . see Puritan History (Richard Sibbes). Newness or oldness does not speak to the truthfulness or falsity of a particular belief; Lewis called this "chronological snobbery" . . . truth is truth whenever it is "discovered"--I just don't think that Antonio's FG is truth, of any era.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Monday, July 23, 2007 2:27:00 PM  

  • Nice post Rose.

    Antonio, are you saying that I'm a soft Free-Gracer ? You know that I don't take the two-step approach. You know that I believe faith is passive. My Gospel presentation is just like yours. I let people know that they are to believe Jesus' promise that they have eternal life through Him. I make it clear that He is able to give them eternal life based on His Death and Resurrection. Since we both preach Jesus' Death and Resurrection, then in a very real sense Antonio, our listeners can indeed have the Death and Resurrection as the object of faith. Since you and I connect the dots between the Death/Resurrection and the promise of eternal life, the listener is believing Jesus' promise for eternal life because the Death and Resurrection has persuaded them. Since faith is passive, they connect the dots quickly. They are not agonizing over this.

    Now, can I person believe Jesus' promise of eternal life without understanding His Death and Resurrection. Absolutely. You already know I agree with you on that. But once you've presented Christ and His Death and Resurrection and the promise of irrevocable life, the person who believes probably does so because the Death/Resurrection has persuaded them. In a very real sense, they have passively believed His promise because of the Death/Resurrection, meaning that it is indeed an object of faith. Faith is passive, so they get it all quickly.

    Proposition 1 is very much Biblical because His Death and Resurrection is the source of irrevocable life. Since the Gospel message is the greatest reason to take Jesus at His word in His promise, it is very much an object of faith.

    By Anonymous danny, at Monday, July 23, 2007 2:29:00 PM  

  • Danny,

    Chapter and verse please that states the proposition that believing the death and resurrection for eternal life receives for one eternal life.

    It is unbiblical in the sense that it is unbiblical phraseology, and technically inaccurate.

    Why people do not move on to clarity and precision, I don't know. It is tradition, and it is hard to kick against the goads of it.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Monday, July 23, 2007 2:52:00 PM  

  • Antonio, I just told you that my Gospel presentation is like yours. I don't actually tell people to believe the words of proposition 1. I tell people to believe His promise of irrevocable eternal life. I make it clear, like you do, that His Death and Resurrection allows Him to freely give eternal life. If they believe His promise because of the Death and Resurrection, then in a very real sense it is the object of faith. It's all passive. But I don't tell people that. I make it clear that He has already paid the price for their sins and that His Resurrection gives Him the authority to give eternal life to those who believe His promise to do so.

    By Anonymous danny, at Monday, July 23, 2007 3:01:00 PM  

  • Bobby,

    Our last debate ended with these words of yours:

    ----------
    I think technically we might agree (on how one appropriates eternal life), Antonio
    ----------
    http://unashamedofgrace.blogspot.com/2007/06/must-one-understand-christs-death-for.html

    By Blogger Antonio, at Monday, July 23, 2007 3:01:00 PM  

  • Danny, you write:
    ----------
    If they believe His promise because of the Death and Resurrection, then in a very real sense it is the object of faith.
    ----------
    This is non-sequitor. It does not follow.

    The death and resurrection would be preliminary and preparatory faith. But NOT the object of saving faith.

    The disciples believed in Jesus because of His miracels (John 2:11). Are the miracles the objects of saving faith as well?

    You are obfuscating the principle issue. It is not the death, deity, resurrection, miracles, teachings, or virigin birth of Christ. It is Christ's promise.

    Everything up to the point of the specific promise is preparatory in nature.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Monday, July 23, 2007 3:04:00 PM  

  • Sure, Antonio, simple trust in Jesus Christ . . . but I do not think that the dichotomy in understanding that you posit is necessary. In fact I think the nuance you try to draw between appropriation of salvation and the presupposition of salvation (i.e. death burial and resurrection of the God-man, Jesus Christ) is artificial.

    My sole goal in life is not to under-cut Lordship salvation, as weak as I think it is, and I think to construct a whole theological construct, with that as the starting point is very negative . . . and consequently leads to over-emphasizing of idiosyncratic points that the Bible probably never intended to answer. That's my viewpoint, Antonio . . .

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Monday, July 23, 2007 3:30:00 PM  

  • No, the miracles were not objects of saving faith. Jesus didn't dispense eternal life through His miracles. But because He does dispense eternal life through His Death and Resurrection, a person who understands that believes His promise specifically because the person sees irrevocable eternal life written all over the Cross. Faith is passive, so they don't actually have three objects of faith.

    I already agree that a person can be saved without understanding the Cross, as demonstrated by the disciples. But remember Antonio, a person in the modern age who has believed the promise of irrevocable eternal life without understanding the Death and Resurrection, though saved, is extremely susceptible to Calvinism and Arminianism, because the person doesn't have enough info about the sufficiency of the Cross to counteract those two theological camps. Remember how quickly Peter and the others lost faith in Jesus' promise? They misunderstood Jesus' interaction with the Rich Young Ruler. Peter fell back into a works-salvation mentality. Peter no longer believed the promise, and even asked Jesus who could be saved if the ruler couldn't. But after the Resurrection, Peter was rock solid on eternal security.

    A saved person with a full understanding of the Cross has more protection and ammo against Calvinism and Arminianism. To the Arminian who counters him, he can easily counter that Jesus has paid for all sins that people would ever commit, and therefore always makes good on His promise.

    After all, "He died for us, that whether we watch or sleep, we should live together with Him" (1 Thess 5:10).

    By Anonymous danny, at Monday, July 23, 2007 3:51:00 PM  

  • And you are entitled to it, as baseless as I believe it is.

    :) Antonio

    PS: furthermore, if you actually understood what our issue is, viz. the clarity of the gospel invitation, I believe that you would be on board fully.

    But, as it stands, it seems impossible for you to set down your tradition to view and consider another position.

    By Blogger Antonio, at Monday, July 23, 2007 3:55:00 PM  

  • Rose,

    You don't know how much I appreciate what you've said, though I am ashamed of myself for not saying it before. I certainly don't want bro. Antonio or any other brothers or sisters who embrace this teaching to feel "ganged up on". I am thankful that you have "laid down the gauntlet" so to speak. I must admit that I have been uncomfortable with the reductionism from the beginning, & I don't know if it came through in some of my posts at GES or not, but I actually began to doubt whether I had "believed the bare minimum" or not & therefore may not have been saved as long as I thought. That may sound like a "BIG deal!" type thing to some, but to me it is. Why, you may ask. Because if I was not saved when I placed my trust in Christ because of His wondrous death on the cross for me, then what I thought was spiritual growth in grace was actually not, & it actually became more difficult to trust in my wonderful Savior NOW. I know that the blessed Holy Spirit convicted me of my need of the wonderful Lord Jesus (Jn.16:7ff) & because of this, I simply trusted Him. Now of course I do KNOW that am saved & have been many years now due alone to HIS wonderful grace! I know some will think me strange for including all this, but I am so thankful for my Savior that I will risk it. But, in fairness to bro. Hodges, I believe he is right on target in the Epistle of James, & the Epistles of John! He has helped me so much in this area. And Bro. Wilkin in some of his articles at GES have blessed my heart tremendously. But I must say that it has been the earlier articles there, not any of the latest ones. OK, I've had my say, & now I agree with you Rose, let's get on with what grace is all about: exalting our Savior! God Bless you all, & I genuinely mean this: you are a blessing to me because of the Christ in you.

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at Monday, July 23, 2007 6:01:00 PM  

  • Rose, I am really glad you wrote this post.

    You know I do not agree with your position and I do not think you have ever really made a good case for it.

    But I understand totally your discomfort and I am really pleased you expressed it.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 1:39:00 AM  

  • Greetings Rose, I went to the Duluth site and found this.

    The new, crossless gospel has also led to a third domino tipping. The doctrine of salvation is also now in a state of flux. There is currently a very strong aversion by some of the new gospel advocates toward using the terms "saved" and "salvation" as virtual synonyms for "eternal life" or "justification" or "regeneration."

    Rose her are some points to ponder, in John 3:16,17 you find that perish and eternal life in vrs.16 are parrel to condemn and saved in vrs.17.

    16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not PERRISH but have EVERLASTING LIFE. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to CONDEMN the world, but that the world through Him might be SAVED.

    Paul received his gospel from Jesus, so he preached the same gospel as Jesus.

    Gal 1:11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.

    The only difference being Paul focuses on the eigth sign to point to Christ and His promise. John Nemila makes a case for the eight sign being the cross and the resurrection.

    John 2:18-19 So the Jews answered and said to Him, "What SIGN do You show to us, since You do these things?" 19 Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."

    The sign of the cross is used in the same way as the other seven signs in the gospel of John as stated in John 20:31.

    John 20:30-31 And truly Jesus did many other SIGNS in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may HAVE LIFE in His name.

    The purpose of the signs was not to believe in the signs to believe in the signs, but their purpose was to prove Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God the giver of eternal life.

    Paul was a pattern for those who would believe in Jesus for eternal life.

    I Tim 1:16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him FOR EVERLASTING LIFE.

    Rose same Gospel "believe in Jesus for everlasting life." Evidence the cross and resurrection the eigth sign,,,,,,,alvin

    By Anonymous alvin, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 1:52:00 AM  

  • FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE DEITY…THEN THE CROSS…

    Bobby,

    I use the label "Free Grace" (actually which I ironically reduce down to FG) merely for convenience sake, since this is the term which the FGers themselves have taken. I refuse however to be intimidated by its suggestion that because I believe that sinners must receive a whole Christ then I am not a believer in Free Grace. Free Grace (in the Biblical sense) enables the sinner to receive the whole Christ.

    It is hard to believe that for 1900 years after the canon of Scripture was closed, the last 400 of which has seen Christianity flourish with a glorious Reformation, many revivals, missionary excursions, printing presses along with the modern media etc., that we have had to wait until Zane Hodges and his bulldog Antonio (one of the teachers in Heaven) came along to enlighten us all as to what it means to be a Christian. Lewis may (as you tell me) denounce this as chronological snobbery, (I disagree, although I can see that it is not the fullest argument) and you are right i.e. that age in itself is not the ultimate tester of what is right or wrong, but we cannot ignore history either as if it doesn't exist.

    Picture going out on the door to door evangelism with Antonio's message. A Jehovah Witness opens the door. Automatically, when I bring out my John's gospel, he wants to discuss John 1:1. We agree that Jesus is a very important person, but stick on the Deity. So what?! Right now, it is not even important, and could actually get in the way. So, for the purposes of evangelism, I run along with the "highest creature" view of Jesus who used to be an arch angel. I am just so happy that his wife isn't a Mormon otherwise I've got to run along with the Jesus is the spirit brother of Satan idea too. The JW insists that the dust of Jesus, the giver of Eternal life, still lies in some Palestinian tomb, because He never physically rose again from the dead. But again, so what?! I am one of Antonio's FG evangelists who refuse to be encumbered with such things. But one thing evangelism cannot negate: If I believe that Jesus never rose again from the dead, Paul says that my faith is in vain and that I am still in my sins. But so what! This is where the JW currently is, but if I can get him to say: "Because Jesus (a god) promised eternal life and that they will not perish to anyone who believes in Him (a god) I believe His promise, and Jesus (a god) doesn't lie" then I can pronounce this man to be justified, even if his faith that justifies him is still a vain faith and he is still in his sins. It just doesn't add up and it will never add it up, no matter how aggressively it is marketed.

    So, once again, the alarm bells are ringing as the bedrock of truth that spurs on evangelism is being chipped away. I am just so thankful that those alarm bells are not being ignored.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 1:52:00 AM  

  • Goodnight,

    all I was pointing out was that the chronology of ideas cannot be the criteria of their soundness or falsity . . . that's all. I don't agree with Antonio, on some substantial points, and I think Rose is reflecting good discernment in her post here.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 2:12:00 AM  

  • Fair enough, Bobby. I was addressing you in the first two paragraphs and then expanding upon the general theme of the whole debate in the rest of the posting. I suppose I should have made that clearer. I agree with you that Rose is to be commended for her honesty and forthrightness (is that a word?)on this post.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 2:42:00 AM  

  • Nate,
    Good to see you around.

    Antonio,
    Hey! I believe the Kingdom of heaven has many children in it, who have an even more limited understanding than your daughter!

    Rose, you write:
    ----------
    I don’t appreciate separating the name of Christ from the attributes and work of Christ.
    ----------
    This sounds familiar. It actually is an argument for Lordship Salvation.


    How so? Do you mean because they say that we separate discipleship from conversion? i don't get what you mean.
    Anyways, I know you say that His name contains all that He is and has done. I do understand that. BUT .... When I say that I do not appreciate the "separating the name of Christ from the attributes and work of Christ." I am talking about the name on a piece paper scenario. You know - the idea that someone can believe in the name of Jesus for eternal life, even though He knows nothing about Him and be saved. I call that separating the name of Christ from the attributes and work of Christ.
    He is a Person and not just a name. I repeat:
    Jesus Christ is the object of faith, not just His name.

    I don't want to argue with you, brother, about this. I don't have the time - and - as I said in the post - I think it has been dealt with very well by others over these last weeks.

    I just wanted to express myself!
    God bless you.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 5:54:00 AM  

  • Bobby,
    Thanks. Coming from you, that means a lot - even if you are embracing a "re-formed" soterioligy presently (teehee - I was lurking) :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 6:00:00 AM  

  • Expreacherman,
    Thanks for your words. See, I knew that it was a good idea to post this. A friend suggested it, and the more I thought on it, I figured others were uncomfortable as well, and it would be good to share. Thanks for your comments! I also have appreciated all those things from Antonio that you mention.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 8:05:00 AM  

  • Thanks for visitng, Angela. :~)

    GNSH,
    I don't think they are mondernists, but I can see how you are mistaking that for that. They are not "coming for the deity or the cross" - they are just saying that the convert doesn't need to get it.
    Actually, Colin, I read the latter part of your second comment and the knocking on the door of the JW (with the possibility of the Mormon wife) and that is precisely the problem I think I see.
    The JW insists that the dust of Jesus, the giver of Eternal life, still lies in some Palestinian tomb, because He never physically rose again from the dead.
    How can such a perception of Jesus be held by one who receives eternal life from Him - a perception of Jesus as one who is himself not alive? Absurd.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 8:10:00 AM  

  • Danny,
    I read your comments with interest. I would not trouble yourself too much in arguing over these fine points of difference between yourself and Antonio. What is wrong with the label "soft FGer"? God bless you in Christ.

    David,
    I appreciate your heart. Thank you so much for your comment. I am really glad you are now a part of this blog. I am so surprised to hear of these teachings causing you to question your salvation. I appreciate that you shared that. Many systems of theology seem to cause this. Anytime the focus is taken off the wonderful PERSON of Christ and HIS WORK (it is finished) by any sytem of theology, i believe we get these doubts about security or reality of salvation. Again, I don't think that is what the teaching is intending to do, but the end result is such, as in your case. God bless you, brother.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 8:16:00 AM  

  • Matthew,
    :~) You are such a fine English gentleman.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 8:17:00 AM  

  • Hi Alvin,
    Great thoughts. Thank you for sharing that.
    Clarify something for me. Do you agree that the differences between
    "saved" or "salvation" and "eternal life" or "justification" or "regeneration"
    are not necessary?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 8:29:00 AM  

  • Thanks for the kind words Rose.

    By Anonymous danny, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 2:11:00 PM  

  • Rose,

    I am afraid that "feel" is the operative word.

    Last night in class we were discussing the "at-will" interpretation found in many home bible studies today. The group facilitator asks around the room:

    "What does this verse say to you? What do you think it means? How does this make you feel?"

    The context was the "complimentary hermeneutic" of Progressive Dispensationalism, but it can be equally applicable in this case. My teacher quoted the late Henry Morris saying that such a practice is "a pooling of ignorance".

    This is something that you really must think about:

    You said you read Tom Stegal and Lou Martuneac's comments and responses. In both of Tom's articles, he does not provide a single biblical argument or exposition of scripture that proves his point. Yet you were on an ecstatic high, testifying, "Amen! Amen!"

    He rather quotes from the teachings of men. This is no different than the Calvinists and Reformed people referencing the Westminster Confession instead of the Bible when they make their arguments.

    Furthermore, Lou Martuneac does the same thing. He was all assertion without a shred of support. He balked, he charged, he condemned, but if you read him carefully, in ALL of his words, he does not express a single biblical argument for his charge of heresy. Yet you found yourself in much agreement with what he said.

    This should be quite telling. A red flag should go immediately up! But let me tell you why the red flag does not go up: it is the result of being set in one's ways, being reactionary based upon one's feelings on the matter and one's tradition. Questioning someone's feelings and tradition offends deeply, and many times our reactions stem, not from sense and logic, but from the recesses of our affections. To question our feelings that stem from our set ways and tradition is to question those stalwarts who handed them down to us!

    When my brother first got saved, he used to come around family gatherings and talk about Jesus in a way we were not accustomed to. We come from a very traditional Portuguese Roman Catholic background. Our traditional set-ways made us all immediately reactionary to him. We didn't have a substantive response to him. We said that his teaching was against what we felt was the One True Church.

    He was ready to show scripture and support what he said, but becuase of our handed down traditions, which we will fight for on an emotional playing field, we were not willing to truly consider any case that he would have made.

    And that is the rub: when we are set in our ways and traditions having them handed down to us by those who we trust and love, we are immediately disposed and inclined to be reactionary when one questions our feelings, and as a result, we are close minded, stiff-necked, and hard-hearted, not willing to even consider the evidence. Instead we will respond with our emotions rather than substance.

    I believe that the scenario with my brother has many parallels to this current situation.

    People must remove themselves from their "feelings" and emotions, and look at the issues dispassionately. They must allow the arguments and expositions of scripture to be truly considered.

    I have been guilty of reactionism based upon my feelings, emotion, and traditions. I have been guilty of close-mindedness and a unwillingness to consider someone else's appeals.

    But we must guard against this at all price. What we reject and dismiss without truly considering, blinded by our emotions and tradition, may very well be the truth. It is true for the Calvinist, and true to the FGer.

    Why do we believe as we do? If we cannot withstand question of our beliefs, or if they cannot hold up under scrutiny, the basis for those beliefs are weak. If we cannot give a well-reasoned argument in favor of what we believe (in disagreement with Bobby Grow) these beliefs are not justified.

    Beliefs and positions ought not to be based upon "how we feel" but upon a considerate appeal to the Scriptures.

    Your forever brother,

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 3:13:00 PM  

  • Rose,

    Excellent, well written thoughts. I have similar concerns.

    By Blogger Earl, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 8:36:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose,
    You said: Do you agree that the differences between
    "saved" or "salvation" and "eternal life" or "justification" or "regeneration"
    are not necessary?

    The core idea of the word "saved" when used of ETERNAL salvation is always to have or receive eternal life.

    Eph 2:5 even when we were dead in trespasses, MADE US ALIVE together with Christ (by grace you have been SAVED),

    2 Tim 1: 9 who has SAVED us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and BROUGHT LIFE and immortality to light THROUGH THE GOSPEL,

    1 Tim 1:15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to SAVE sinners, of whom I am chief. 16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to BELIEVE ON HIM FOR EVERLASTING LIFE.

    Just as at the core of Acts 16:31 saved means to be given life.

    But saved can be used in another sense, as in being saved from death as these verses show.

    Acts 27:20 20 Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us , all hope that we would be SAVED was finally given up.
    31 Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be SAVED.”

    34 Therefore I urge you to take nourishment, for this is for your SURVIVAL, since not a hair will fall from the head of any of you.”

    BLESSINGS,,alvin

    By Anonymous alvin, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 8:49:00 PM  

  • Thanks Rose :)

    By Blogger Kris, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 9:31:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Realizing that Antonio can hold his own, I'm just curious...did you, by chance, take this up with him privately? Maybe it's just me, but it seems a bit unseemly to take a team member to task on your shared blog. Maybe it's my own bizarre thinking, I don't know...

    By Blogger Gayla, at Wednesday, July 25, 2007 7:25:00 AM  

  • I wanted to actually look up the word Gayla used "unseemly":

    un·seem·ly /ʌnˈsimli/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[uhn-seem-lee] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation adjective, -li·er, -li·est, adverb
    –adjective
    1. not seemly; not in keeping with established standards of taste or proper form; unbecoming or indecorous in appearance, speech, conduct, etc.: an unseemly act; unseemly behavior.
    2. inappropriate for time or place: an unseemly hour.
    –adverb 3. in an unseemly manner.

    [Origin: 1250–1300; ME; see un-1, seemly]

    —Related forms
    un·seem·li·ness, noun

    —Synonyms 1. unbefitting, inappropriate. See improper.
    Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

    American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source un·seem·ly (ŭn-sēm'lē) Pronunciation Key
    adj. un·seem·li·er, un·seem·li·est

    Not in accord with accepted standards of good taste; grossly improper. See Synonyms at improper.
    Not suited to the circumstances; inappropriate.

    adv. In an improper or inappropriate manner.

    un·seem'li·ness n.

    (Download Now or Buy the Book) The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

    unseemly

    1310, "unfitting, indecent," from un- (1) "not" + seemly. Cf. O.N. usoemiligr.

    Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper
    WordNet - Cite This Source unseemly

    adjective
    not in keeping with accepted standards of what is right or proper in polite society; "was buried with indecent haste"; "indecorous behavior"; "language unbecoming to a lady"; "unseemly to use profanity"; "moved to curb their untoward ribaldry" [syn: indecent]

    By Blogger Antonio, at Wednesday, July 25, 2007 11:53:00 AM  

  • Antonio,
    Thanks for your thoughts. I will consider whether or not I am on an ecstatic high.
    Also - thank you for the definition of "unseemly". (Every time I hear that word I think of Roman 1:27 in the old King James!)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, July 25, 2007 1:05:00 PM  

  • Alvin,
    Good thoughts. I mostly agree. Do you have any concerns to share - or .. what is your greatest concern over what I have or Antonio has written? Thanks.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, July 25, 2007 1:07:00 PM  

  • Kris and Earl,
    Great to see you both here and thanks for the words.

    Gayla,
    Privately would be private! So, if I told you about it, it wouldn't be private anymore, would it? :~)
    Either way, if I did or did not discuss this part of his theology in private, I would have posted this ... becase ... the reason I posted it was not to change his mind (I don't think anyone will do that with Antonio.) My reason for posting it was not to attack him - I clearly and assuredly did not attack him. I have a problem with this teaching. This teaching has dominated this blog lately. This is a public blog of which I am a member, so I thought it good for me to publicly state that I did not agree with the teaching. I did this to show balance of thought. I have my own opinion and I wanted to express it. There is no need to be private about it - au contraire - I wanted to be very public that I disagree with it. IT IS NOT OF A PERSONAL NATURE BUT IS ABOUT DOCTRINE. I don't see why it is unseemly to publicly say that I disagree with Antonio's doctrine. If you think so, that is your right.

    I still appreciate him ... and I made that clear as well.

    Again, I think it is an important doctrinal issue and I wanted to go on record about it. PUBLICLY.

    I hope that answers your question :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, July 25, 2007 1:18:00 PM  

  • Antonio, I have no beef with you personally. I don't even know you. May I ask what your point is in posting that definition? Did you not think I knew the definition?

    It seems that in keeping with conduct becoming a Christian, the matter should have been taken up privately. Hence my question. Maybe that happened, I don't know; my question wasn't answered.

    Personally, I wouldn't publicly take to task my fellow team members, but hey, that's just me. This is y'alls blog and you can run it any way you wish.

    By Blogger Gayla, at Wednesday, July 25, 2007 1:27:00 PM  

  • Oops. Sorry Rose - we were posting at the same time.

    By Blogger Gayla, at Wednesday, July 25, 2007 1:27:00 PM  

  • Do you really think that I am exhibiting conduct "unbecoming to a Christian" to express my disagreement and severe discomfort with a serious point of doctrine?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, July 25, 2007 1:38:00 PM  

  • Well, at the risk of being unseemly - Gayla why didn't you approach Rose privately since you believe that would be conduct becoming a Christian? And could it be that your question wasn't answered because it was none of your business to begin with?


    Rose I will state publicly and for the record that I didn't take this post as unseemly or as unChristlike. Makes sense to me that you want to go on record on a blog with your name listed as a contributor that you don't necessarily agree with everything that is posted here.

    By Anonymous mary, at Wednesday, July 25, 2007 1:47:00 PM  

  • I do not think Antonio is so insecure in his ideas as to let a small disagreement ruffel his feathers.

    I do not think Rose is out of line at all.

    I do think an outsider might be trying to sow discord where it is just a matter of disagreement.

    There is nothing wrong in disagreeing in an agreeable manner.

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at Wednesday, July 25, 2007 1:52:00 PM  

  • Mary, Rose, you know...after rereading the post several times, perhaps I was wrong in my initial judgment. John, you've hit on a point as well, and I can certainly get on board with that line of thinking.

    My apololgies,Rose. I ask your forgiveness.

    By Blogger Gayla, at Wednesday, July 25, 2007 4:02:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose, sorry it took so long for me to respond.

    You asked:
    Alvin,
    Good thoughts. I mostly agree. Do you have any concerns to share - or .. what is your greatest concern over what I have or Antonio has written? Thanks.

    Rose, my greatest concern is that the cross will be preached but the estential element will be left out. What we are believing in Jesus for.
    I Tim 1:16 Paul said he was a pattern to those who are going to believe in Jesus FOR everlasting life.
    We must remember the purpose for the signs in the Gospel of John. They were to be believed for the purpose of proving Jesus is the Christ the One who can guarentee everlasting life.
    Most people will need evidence to be persuaded. The sign of the cross is to be center stage.
    But a person can still simply take Jesus at His word. I have no dought that Antonios little child has simply believed Jesus promise on what he stated in one of his posts,,,,,,blessings alvin

    By Anonymous alvin, at Thursday, July 26, 2007 12:25:00 PM  

  • Gayla,
    No problem.

    Alvin,
    Thank you - I see how that this is really a concern. You are right. Thanks for your comments.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Thursday, July 26, 2007 1:46:00 PM  

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