What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to
the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast
about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham
believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness." Now to the one
who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the
one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is
counted as righteousness ...
Monday, December 29, 2008
The Deplorable Folly of Lou Martuneac
Lou Martuneac has been a busybody. He has been circuiting blogs that have memorialized and honored Zane Hodges and has been spreading his hatred and lies. He is the bulldog of the Duluthian Antagonists, who joyfully sanction his sinful and debased operations. May the Lord repay him for his willful folly.
On one such blog post speaking praise about Zane in memoriam, Lou Martuneac proceeded to inject his venomous language and vitriol. WJC responded to him thus:
LM is a prime example of someone who seems to enjoy tossing around pejorative terms and assaulting Godly men like Zane Hodges - who's handling of God's word dwarfs their feeble attempts to establish a distorted view of God's free and simple grace. His speech of utter disrespect says much about his own character and what animates his obsessive attacks - certainly not the Spirit of our Lord Jesus! Such attacks are characteristic of self aggrandizing men that are afflicted with EDD - Exegetical Deficit Disorder. Their pathetic attacks will ultimately be relegated to the dustbin of errant doctrinal history. In the mean time they do serve a purpose - to show the stark contrast between Zane's thoughtful, consistent and solidly biblical views and the utter chaos that characterizes the ramblings of his detractors (such as LM). Thanks in part to God's provision of gifted men like Zane, ultimately God's light will burn through the perpetual fog thrown up by the likes of LM and those who like to parade and perpetuate his erroneous views.
Any and every impartial and/or godly observer of Lou Martuneac on the World Wide Web will immediately be struck with his uncouth and fleshly behavior. The man brings shame and dishonor to the Lord Jesus Christ, Whom he says he serves. He brings disrepute upon his ministry and the theological positions to which he espouses. He is an irresponsible man who finds himself accountable to noone, and in whom resides a spirit of malice and deception.
I have found men like Kevl, ExPreacherman, David Wyatt, and Jonathan Perrault to be gracious and honorable. My advice for them is to flee associations with Lou Martuneac, for it will be of no benefit whatsoever to be identified with that man.
In a hospital ward a lady missionary found an undersized and undeveloped little Irish boy, whose white, wizened face and emaciated form excited her deepest sympathy. Perhaps of about fifteen years of age, he scarcely looked to be twelve. Winning the lad's confidence by gifts of flowers and fruit, she soon found him very willing, even eager, to listen to the story of the sinner's Savior. At first his interest seemed of an impersonal character, but gradually he began to be immediately concerned. His own soul's need was put before him, and he was awakened to some sense of his lost condition, insomuch that he commenced seriously to consider how he might he saved. Brought up a Romanist, he thought and spoke of penance and confessional, of sacraments and church, yet never wholly leaving out Christ Jesus and His atoning work.
One morning when the lady called again upon him, she found his face aglow with a new-found joy. Inquiring the reason, he replied with assurance born of faith in the revealed Word of God, "I always knew that Jesus was necessary, but I never knew till yesterday that He was enough!"
It was a blessed discovery, and I would that every reader of these pages had made it. Mark it well; Jesus is enough! "He, of God, is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption." "Ye are complete in Him." "God hath made us accepted in the beloved." These are only a few of the precious declarations of Scripture which show clearly that Jesus is indeed not only necessary, but enough.
You see, it is not Christ and good works, nor Christ and the church, that save. It is not through Christ and baptism, or Christ and the confessional, that we may obtain the forgiveness of our sins. It is not Christ and doing our best, or Christ and the Lord's Supper, that will give us new life. It is Christ alone.
Christ and . . . is a perverted gospel which is not the Gospel. Christ without the "and" is the sinner's hope and the saint's confidence. Trusting Him, eternal life and forgiveness are yours... for salvation itself, Jesus is not only necessary, but He is enough.
Question and Answer with Lordship Salvation Proponent Jonathan Moorhead
by Antonio da Rosa
I haven't updated my 'Main Menu' option over at Free Grace Theology Blog in about a year and a half. Needless to say the Menu is lacking in a substantial amount of articles that I have written. Until I get such a time to update the Main Menu, please peruse the archives.
You will find in the archives a piece that I did entitled The Free Grace Rendering and Interpretation of James 1:21 is the Most Probable which discusses the logion "save [your] soul" [Greek = 'sozo' with 'psyche' as its object] in James 1:21, which is an important consideration in our interpretation of James 2:14ff. In the comments section of this particular post (the comments sections of my posts are often rich resources) I had a brief question and answer time with Jonathan Moorhead of TheoCentriBlog, who is an avid proponent of MacArthur's brand of Lordship Salvation.
You may find the dialogue instructive.
Jonathan Moorhead said...
Antonio, if your position is the most probably, why do you personally think it has been rejected for the majority of church history? Just looking for your opinion - no setup.
I have spent some time thinking about Lordship salvation (as you can probably tell).
One of the bottom lines is this:
People just cannot get themselves to agree with the premise that full pardon from God, entrance into heaven, and eternal life have absolutely nothing to do with their behavior whatsoever; that nothing they have done or can or will do in the future has any bearing on whether or not they end up in the kingdom of God (barring of course simple faith into Christ).
They cannot get themselves to understand that even a sinful, debased individual, nevertheless justified and covered by the blood of Jesus, can be in God's kingdom.
Deep down inside they believe, in a very real way, that behavior is intrinsically correllated with one's hope of heaven.
How did this happen?
Grace is a naughty word.
If it is true that your eternity can be absolutely secure no matter what your behavior is (past, present, or future), then you can get fire-insurance and live like the devil.
I happen to agree with the last statement. The RCC and Lordship Salvation, and Arminianism would all be on the same page and dissent against grace.
The person who lives like the devil, in RCC, Lordship Calvinism, and Lordship Arminianism, does not go to heaven. Works all have an integral part, one way or another, in one's final entrance into heaven.
The person who lives like the devil (who never the less has eternal life) in FG theology will lose his soul, both in time and for eternity, yet he will be in the kingdom.
Thanks for dropping by!
Jonathan Moorhead said...
Thanks Antonio. Could you please clarify your statement:
"The person who lives like the devil (who never the less has eternal life) in FG theology will lose his soul, both in time and for eternity, yet he will be in the kingdom."
Can you really "lose" your soul in heaven? Is this the weeping and gnashing of teeth part of "heaven"?
I appreciate the questions. Let me tell you why:
As long as you are asking questions, you are trying to get clarified for you the Free Grace position, not disseminating mischaracterizations.
There is no "weeping and gnashing of teeth" part of heaven, as if it is an actual geographical place.
'weeping and gnashing of teeth' is a figurative expression denoting remorse, sorrow, and anguish over one's wasted life that has now resulted in serious loss in the kingdom of God.
The non-overcoming Christian will be judged by God's word. This word will figuratively cut him in two. Have you ever been confronted with a sin by someone you have hurt and it felt like you were cut in two? It is the same thing.
Your sin nature will be gone, and there will be nothing (no rationalization, no justifications) to hinder the full weight of your shortcomings as a servant/steward. Shame, sorrow, remorse are all appropriate.
But like with any tragedy, one, in the course of time, gets over, and deals with sorrow. And of course, at the ushering in of the eternal state, God wipes away every tear.
Jonathan, one way I have seen the LS distort FG theology is by presenting FG interpretations of parabolic passages as literal, when indeed, the FG interpret them figuratively, corresponding the elements of the parable to truth.
There is no 'outer darkness' geographical area in heaven. Sub-comers are not literally cut in two, or bound hand and foot.
the term 'outer darkness' is better translated 'the darkness outside', IOW, outside the parabolic banquet hall where the overcomers are celebrating.
I do believe that I have even seen you make this mistake in misrepresenting FG. We understand the parabolic passages parabolically and do wooden-literally equate them. The figures in the parable correspond to spiritual truth.
Now to answer your question.
From the time forward at regeneration, the Christian constructs a life. If he constructs it by taking heed to the words of Jesus, he will be saving his life (soul). When we create our life in time, we can construct it in such a way where its meaning and significance transects INTO eternity.
Receving with meekness the implanted word, and being a doer of that word, will result in the abundant life, the saving of the life (soul) in time. It saves one from the temporal effects of spiritual impoverishment and consequences of sin.
To lose one's soul (life) in eternity, is to forfeit the abundant life (vis-a-vis: the intimacy of being one of Christ's metachoi, co-ruling/reigning with Christ, attendant priviliges and honors).
The salvation of the soul, in its eternal ramifications, refers to the abundant life which shall be the eternal experience of the believer whose faith stands the fiery tests.
In other words, if believers are faithful in their earthly trials, not only will they experience the temporal satisfactions: joy, peace, significance, and meaning, they will obtain the abundant life forever!
I appreciate this opportunity, Jonathan, to clarify my statements.
Our behavior certainly has significant eternal repercussions. Just not in the realm of whether one enters the kingdom or not.
I hope that this short discussion has been helpful to you. If you have any questions, I would be happy to field them.
2 Peter 1:3 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
James 2:14-20 14 ¶ What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 ¶ Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
A common interpretation of James 2:14-20 holds that James is distingushing between true and false faith. The argument goes that if one has true faith, then one will do works. It is impossible, on this view, to have faith without that faith resulting in works.
If that were so, we might ask why the apostle Peter needed to write the words:
add to your faith virtue
According to Strong's concordance, virtue is:
a virtuous course of thought, feeling and action virtue, moral goodness any particular moral excellence, as modesty, purity
Does that sound at all like something that might include works? I think so.
Yet faith does not come with virtue automatically; one must add virtue to one's faith. Otherwise, one's faith is dead. Without works, faith is useless in the Christian life.
Let's not have faith alone, but let us add virtue to our faith.
Many of you will have been saddened to learn of the death of Zane Hodges, professor of NT Greek at Dallas Theological Seminary. It is my belief that Zane Hodges was an annointed teacher, used by God to restore right soteriology to the church.
God has always raised up annointed men to restore what is lost. God raised up martin Luther to restore the doctrine of justification, John Calvin to restore the doctrine of assurance and the supremacy of Scripture in theology, the Puritans to restore the doctrine of repentance (though sadly they confused it mixed up with faith), Jacob Arminius to restore the universal saving will of God, George Whitefield to restore the need for personal conversion and John Nelson Darby and others in the 19th century to restore a right understanding of prophecy.
In the 20th century God gave us the blessed teaching of Zane Hodges.
This blog is founded on the wonderful insights of this man and seeks to develop and apply them to the Christian life.
As we approach the end times, it is vital that the church pays heed not only to the message of grace, but also the Bible's accountability teaching. Judgment begins in the house of God. We must lives in the light of the judgment seat of Christ.
This blog, founded on the insights of Zane Hodges is a channel of divine blessing for you in which you will find Scriptural teaching that is much needed for these last days. It will contribute to your spiritual life, leading you to deeper fellowship with God and contribute to your deification, that you might realise to a greater degree that you are a partaker of the divine nature.