[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, December 10, 2007

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

by Antonio da Rosa

Recently Lou Martuneac stated this:
Wilkin (at his GES blog) erroneously claimed there is a 12 point checklist, but off [sic] course can’t produce any supporting documentation for one. That is because there is none available. Try as you might you are [not] going to get a checklist either.

Your efforts will not work because you have been given clear, precise biblical, based answers.

Leaving aside, for the moment, the false claim that Refined Free Grace theology has "been given clear, precise biblical, based answers," from their traditionalistic counterparts concerning their views on 'what must a man do to be saved?' let us note for the moment that Lou takes exception to the non-specific, illustrative statement of Bob Wilkin, that traditionalists have twelve point checklists. Now such a claim by Bob was obviously tongue-in-cheek, without anyone in particular in mind. Yet, it is Bob's contention that what is already on the books by way of specific statements by extreme fundamentalist/traditionalists is enough to prove the point. For example, Tom Stegall posits five distinct conditions for receiveing everlasting life. But each one of those conditions is made up of varying subpoints. These subpoints must necesarily be assented to in order to fulfill the main condition. Therefore his list of five conditions for everlasting life is, in reality, much larger than that.

It is really difficult to get straight answers from those who consider themselves traditional Free Grace. There really is no great consistency in their statements. These two questions cannot be unambiguously and certainly answered:

How many conditions are there really for one to receive everlasting life?
How do you know that you really know all the conditions? For instance, how do you know that what you think are the conditions are not lacking?

The confusing statements of those who are traditional, and who consider themselves teachers on the matter, is unfortunate, for what is mist in the pulpit is fog in the pews. If they don't know exactly how one is born again and cannot show from the bible what those conditions are (or even know if they have them all), how are those who they teach supposed to know?

With that said, here is a list that I made of the conditions for everlasting life that Lou Martuneac is on record stating:

CONDITIONS FOR EVERLASTING LIFE as articulated by Lou Martuneac

Section one: BELIEFS NECESSARY
1) Believe that there is only one God
2) Believe that God is one; in other words, believe in the Trinity
3) Believe that Jesus is the Christ
4) Believe that Jesus is God’s Son
5) Believe that Jesus is deity
6) Believe that Jesus died on the cross
7) Believe that Jesus died for his sins
8) Believe that God raised Jesus from the dead
9) Believe that Jesus was a human

Section two: ADDITIONAL REQUIRED STEPS
10) Must agree to the convincing and convicting work of the Holy Spirit
11) Must understand that he is a sinner
12) Must confess the sin that makes him a sinner
13) Must turn from that sin
14) Must know that Jesus is God’s Son
15) Must confess with the mouth the Lord Jesus
16) Must transfer his dependence to the Lord for his salvation
17) Must pray for God to save him

An 18th should be included as well. This 18th condition can be articulated as such:

18) If someone disagrees with Lou on some fundamental doctrine about Christ or God, he cannot be saved.

Stated differently:

18) You may not understand all doctrine, but you cannot deny any of the big ones about Christ or God.

Therefore many more conditions are actually necessary. Imagine someone believing that Jesus was God but denying the virgin birth. The virgin birth is not on his list, but you can't be saved and deny the fundamental doctrines at the same time. Therefore another condition for eternal life from Lou would be:

You cannot deny the virgin birth.

The list could go on and on! Lou's checklist for eternal life is turning out to be quite a theology book.

To show that I did not pull these statements out of thin air, here they are by Lou. Some are clearly stated, the rest are clearly extrapolated. So without further ado

I will give the documentation to more than substantiate Bob Wilkin's claim:

The answer to your scenario is this, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved,” (Romans 10:9). [Emphasis his]

Any JW, Mormon or Hindu, who rejects and/or adds Jesus to a list of many gods, according to Antonio, can cling to these wicked heresies and still be born again the Hodges' way.

He must know and believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son, died on the cross for his sins, and rose from the dead.

When he agrees with the convincing and convicting work of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8-9) and transfers his dependence to the Lord for his salvation he has biblically repented.

That “biblical Jesus” you speak of would, of course be the eternal “Son of God”, the “Christ,” i.e., Deity; right?

The defining question is: In this dispensation, speaking exclusively of the “norm,” and excluding the “exceptional” cases, must that lost man believe Jesus died for his sins and rose from the dead for the reception of eternal life (salvation)?

My answer is an emphatic, unvarnished, “Yes, absolutely!” [emphasis his]

If a person expressed their intention to hang on to their sin I would stop right there. I would not attempt to lead them to pray for God to save them. That person is far from biblical repentance.

...biblical repentance... [is] [w]hen a man understands that he is a sinner, and makes a definite, on-purpose decision to confess that sin, and turn from the old ways...

The teaching of the “Crossless” advocates dismisses repentance, the cross, resurrection and Deity of Christ from the Gospel.

While they teach that lost sinners must believe “the gospel” to receive eternal life, they also teach God does not require lost sinners to believe or even know that “Jesus died on the cross.” That, dear reader, is a “crossless gospel” no matter how you slice it!


Because I quoted Lou, does not mean that I agree with him in his assessment of the Refined Free Grace Theology position. They are here to show his position.

Note: I only spent a little while constructing this post. I am sure that if I spent more time, I could find more of his confusing statements whereby he adds additional requirements.

As an end, I just want to state to you this:

Even these 18 conditions do not represent fully all the conditions truly insisted upon by Lou. You see, each one of these conditions represents other conditions in the forms of sub-points. For example, what does it mean to believe that "Jesus died for my sins"? One must necessarily understand substitutionary atonement or he can't fulfill that one condition. To understand substitutionary atonement would require the fulfillment of a number of conditions that make that doctrine up. In essense, Lou Marunteac's checklist for evangelism at least doubles the eighteen points made here. Others in his position have been more forthright and stated that in order to be born again one must believe the whole Bible. This actually sums up Lou's position.

4 Comments:

  • I can understand no one wanting to comment on this thread. That is OK. It speaks for itself.

    The good thing is that it is now a quick and easy reference to refer people to the checklist evangelism of Lou Martuneac. And as I read more of his stuff and he puts more on paper, I will add to this.

    This list, my friends, is the logical absurdity of the fundamentalist/traditionalist position.

    Isn't is so much easier, at the end of our gospel conversations, to just tell the lost that:

    whoever believes in Jesus has everlasting life?

    I think so. And it is biblical, too!

    Your friendly, neighborhood fger,

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Tuesday, December 11, 2007 6:32:00 PM  

  • True.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, December 12, 2007 12:44:00 AM  

  • John MacArthur and Lou Martuneac have one thing in common.

    They both raise the bar of genuine faith in Jesus Christ. (Remember Cingular?)

    One does it by introducing subjective assurance of genuine faith by works, surrender, and submission to Christ's lordship; the other does it by having an arbitrary set of key doctrines one must assent to before even coming to faith.

    One says, "If you really believe, you will show it by doing X, Y, and Z." The other says, "If you really believe, you must assent to doctrinal points X, Y, and Z."

    I see no difference in my mind between MacArthur and Martuneac except the way they raise the bar of faith: one based on works and surrender, the other on key doctrines.

    By Blogger Ender, at Wednesday, December 12, 2007 7:33:00 AM  

  • Hi Antonio

    Getting Lou to state what a child needs to believe in order to get to heaven was like pulling teeth. And now that you have documented it I can see why. I'm sure when people see Lou's long list they know why he wasn't forth coming with it.
    This shows that he certainly does not believe in a free gift, and is clearly a Lordship Salvationist.

    Lou's comment:
    ...biblical repentance... [is] [w]hen a man understands that he is a sinner, and makes a definite, on-purpose decision to confess that sin, and turn from the old ways...

    I've seen Lou put a couple times Rom 10:9 on how to be saved.

    The answer to your scenario is this, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved,” (Romans 10:9). [Emphasis his]

    He doesn't seem to see that confessing is something you do with your mouth and is a work! He doesn't understand here that save means more then just believing in Jesus for eternal life. Just as in Mark 16:16 save there means more then believing in Jesus for eternal life.

    Mark 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

    The condemnation only being to the one condition believing.

    Thanks Antonio for finally getting his "checklist" that Lou claimed he didn't have!!!

    Lou said:
    Wilkin (at his GES blog) erroneously claimed there is a 12 point checklist, but off [sic] course can’t produce any supporting documentation for one. That is because there is none available. Try as you might you are [not] going to get a checklist either.

    Good job Antonio you nailed Lou for what he is a Lordship Salvationist who makes it impossible for children to believe.
    Remember what I said Lou,,,,,I could just IMAGINE Lou talking to a little child and telling the child they need to believe that Jesus is God. And the little child says, I thought the Father was God, now you got Lou having to explain the trinity before they can believe in the Deity of Christ before they can have eternal life. Lou's checklist proves that to be true, and now I don't have to IMAGINE it I can see it stated in Lou's own checklist!!!
    CONDITIONS FOR EVERLASTING LIFE as articulated by Lou Martuneac

    Section one: BELIEFS NECESSARY
    1) Believe that there is only one God
    2) Believe that God is one; in other words, believe in the Trinity




    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Wednesday, December 12, 2007 7:35:00 AM  

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