Wednesday, April 15, 2009

GES Gospel: Lybrand Open Letter

Here's a link Lou provided to download my Open Letter:

http://docyouments.googlepages.com/GESGospel.LybrandOpenLetter.04-14-09.pdf

Questions? Thoughts?

Grace,

Dr. Fred R. Lybrand

265 comments:

  1. Brother Lybrand:

    Thanks so much for this important and defining document. You have done Christians a great favor by writing and making it available.


    Lou

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  2. Dear Friends,

    I'm embarrassed because I have posted my comments twice because the first time I posted under the wrong title. The second time I posted STILL under the wrong title and date. So rather than post a 3rd time, I just wanted to direct you all to my 2nd post under the date....
    Tuesday, April 7, 2009
    FGA GES GOSPEL STATEMENT

    Sorry for the confusion.

    Diane
    :-)

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  3. Diane,

    I'm posting your comment here so I can respond in this line of comments...

    Hi Fred,
    (Please forgive me for posting this twice. The first time I posted it under the wrong category.)

    Thank you for the opportunity to reply to your Open Letter here on your blog.

    I understand that there are different opinions on this very important topic of the "saving content."
    I'm one who happens to agree with GES on this, but I have no desire to fight with any of my brothers and sisters in Christ. I love you all, and I'm just being a Berean, asking the Lord to show me truth and keep me from error. I'm leaning on Him all the way through this debate.

    I'm not commenting here because I think I can convince you to change your mind. I know I can't. I'm only commenting because I wanted to give you and others who might read your blog an illustration of someone I know personally who was born again BEFORE she understood about the cross and resurrection of our wonderful Savior.
    I want to stress up front that she didn't REJECT the truth of the cross. It's just that she got to the place of believing "in" Christ for eternal life BEFORE she knew about the cross. I don't believe anyone can believe in Jesus for eternal life and REJECT the crosswork of Christ when they hear about it. It's the Spirit of God who enlightens everyone who believes in Him. It's a matter of being open and honest before God when you come to Him.

    BTW...... I didn't go out LOOKING for this example. It came to me. I never in a million years would have thought about it. That's why I want to share it with you and your guests.

    I lead a Ladies Bible study of young moms. We're going verse by verse through John. Before that we used Charlie Bing's wonderful material, "Living In The Family Of Grace." The young moms have grown much in the Lord.

    Well, one Bible Study day one of the mom's said something strange to our ears. She said that she didn't want her little girl (3 years old) to hear YET about the cross and the blood that was shed for her. She thought it was too gruesome. All of us in the room found that strange. But that's the way she chose to handle it with her young daughter.
    She went on to explain that her little girl knows that God sent His Son, Jesus into the world because He loves us and wanted to give us a gift.
    The gift is called eternal life, and those who believe in Jesus get to live with Him forever in His wonderful, happy Home. Her little girl understands that people die. She has been around death because of people in our church who have died. She knows that when people die they move out of their bodies and go live with Jesus if they believed in Him alone to take them there. She knows the body is buried in the ground, but the person moves out and goes to their happy home. She also knows that people who die who didn't believe in Jesus move out of their bodies and go to the bad place where Jesus doesn't live. Her mom said her little girl gets very concerned for people who die because she wants to know if they believed in Jesus to take them to His happy home. She doesn't want them to go to the bad place where Jesus doesn't live. Her faith is in Jesus alone as the only way to go live with God forever. Her mom was the first one to bring it up to us that she's convinced her little girl is saved. It's called the faith of a child.
    Did she REJECT the crosswork of Christ? NO. She just hadn't YET gotten to that place of hearing about it. She believed in Jesus for His gift BEFORE she got to the place of understanding HOW He could give that gift. Now she is 4 and she has been taught about the crosswork of Christ and totally accepts that as true. It was like the apostles who found out later. She loves Jesus and she knows now that He died for her sins. But she got to the place of believing in Him for eternal life BEFORE she knew of His crosswork.

    One person suggested that she wasn't yet saved until she believed in His finished work on the cross and resurrection, but that she was under the age of accountability so would go to heaven for that reason. He suggested that she was just getting taught truths that will eventually lead to her salvation when she's old enough to be held accountable. Only God knows her heart, but if I take God's Word as true, then this little girl was born again when she believed in Jesus for everlasting life because that's what Jesus so clearly promises to those who believe.

    Thank you friends for taking the time to read this illustration. I thought it might be one piece of the puzzle that you may never have considered. I love all of my brothers and sisters in Christ.

    All because of His wonderful grace,
    Diane

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  4. Diane,

    Thanks for your kind and sincere thoughts concerning an example of the GES Gospel saving someone before (she) heard about / understood the cross.

    While I appreciate the story, and have no reason to doubt the basic events, I don't see how the story demonstrates that the GES Gospel saves.

    I said in my Open Letter that the GES Gospel can be used pre-evangelistically (that is, a step in the move to faith alone in Christ alone). But 'asking Jesus into your heart' works the same way. I'm pretty sure I could find 1,000s of stories of small children doing and expressing the exact same joy and actions because they 'asked Jesus into their heart' before they could understand the cross, etc. But, of course, there is no scriptural support for asking Jesus into your hear for eternal salvation.

    You say it well, "Only God knows her heart." But you go on to say, "but if I take God's Word as true, then this little girl was born again when she believed in Jesus for everlasting life because that's what Jesus so clearly promises to those who believe." This is where I think you lose me. I take the Word as true too. Where is this in the Word? I mean, certainly 'believing in Jesus' is in the Word---but the way the GES Gospel pitches it there isn't much meaning behind the the name of Jesus...and there is nothing about His work on our behalf.

    From another angel, the GES Gospel would say that this little girl must believe that Jesus can guarantee her eternal life (how would we know she knew that? And, could she really?). Also, she must also believe that she can never lose it or she isn't really saved (again according to the GES Gospel).

    Basically, we can all come up with anecdotal proof of God's work in people's lives; but that really doesn't prove a particular understanding of the Word is true.

    For example, a hyper-Calvinist would say that you've misunderstood the fact that God regenerated her...and later, she believed (in varying degrees of clarity). In their view God gives her the faith...so the story could prove hyper-Calvinism.

    I'm kind of belaboring the point, but the real key is what does the Word teach, not really what does our experience seem to support.

    As the father of 5 children all of this is near and dear to me...a piece of the puzzle I have pondered at least 5 times :-).

    With three of the children we saw a clear profession of faith in Christ...but some time later...each of them had a bit of a crisis of faith, got it clear, and awoke to full assurance that has never faded since. Frankly, I don't know when they 'really' believed (they could have been assured fully the first time and lost it...but I know with each, the last assurance came as they understood the cross, etc.

    I do appreciate your your heart for knowing the truth...it was the same prayer of mine that led me to realize that my friends in GES had pulled up short on the gospel.

    I would love to know what scripture(s) convince you that they are right. I may have over-explained myself in the Open Letter. I'd be glad to try to share in a more concise way.

    God's best to you as you seek,

    FRL

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  5. Hello Diane. I'll reply under this topic because it seems this is where you intended the comment to go initially. Sorry you had troubles, dern computers and Internet! :-)

    First, I would just like to say that I fully believe God's word to be true as well, yet my conclusion is different. You are a long time friend of my family and you know well the parents who raised me to believe God's word true.

    I appreciate Fred's honesty in what he wrote about whether unborn babies go to heaven. While that's not quite the same thing as your situation I think his point stands that the Bible just doesn't address the issue specifically. This issue is very personal to my wife and I since we lost two unborn of our own. the Bible just doesn't tell us specifically so we are left to piece it together from passages like 2 Sam 12:23 that offer some hope yet are not conclusive. The same principle applies to your store as well, I'm just not aware of a verse that deals specifically with those who are mentally incapable or "not ready" as the mother believed her little girl to be.

    I'm hesitant but feel obligated to point out that your scenario actually demonstrates a real world example in which GES theology, taken to it's logical conclusion, allows for the fact of the cross to be removed from the presentation when deemed a stumbling block. I mean no harshness, but I believe that reasoning is at odds with 1 Cor 1:17-25.

    Thank you Diane for your honest and heartfelt illustration, and for your consideration of my view on the mater in light of scripture.

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  6. Thank you Fred and Stephen for your reply. My only reason for posting was to give an example of someone who came to faith in Jesus for eternal life BEFORE she understood HOW HE could do that. Did she REALLY understand? I think so, but only God knows.

    Fred asked...
    From another angel, the GES Gospel would say that this little girl must believe that Jesus can guarantee her eternal life (how would we know she knew that? And, could she really?). Also, she must also believe that she can never lose it or she isn't really saved (again according to the GES Gospel)I appreciate that thought. Those are good questions that need to be thought through and answered. As far as I could tell, this little girl knew exactly where she would be forever. She had no worry that she would somehow not be with Him. She knew that she would live with Jesus someday because she believed in Him. She believed that He gave her this gift just like He came into the world to do. Did she believe in the "DOCTRINE" of eternal security. NO. She wouldn't know what that even meant. But she did understand the concept. There's a difference between believing in the DOCTRINE of eternal security and believing in the concept. The DOCTRINE is learned..... (all the reasons why we can't loose our salvation), but the CONCEPT is understood at faith.
    "I'm going to live with Jesus forever. YEA!!!"
    That's why a person feels such joy when they believe because they KNOW they have eternal life.

    I just finished reading GES' newest Grace In Focus. I thought it was EXCELLENT. I think it answers a lot of the questions people have on this particular subject.

    Stephen, I will forever have a special love for your family, going way back to your grandfather. God's brought wonderful people into my life for which I will forever be grateful.

    I really mean it when I say I love all my brothers and sisters in Christ. I wish you only God's best.

    In Jesus' love,
    Diane
    :-)

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  7. Bro. Lybrand, I read you entire open letter word for word today & I must say I am very thankful that you said what you did. I dor one am becoming, or was, before I read your letter, disheartened & wearied by this whole debate, but I believe fresh new spiritual air, so to speak, has been breathed, at least into me through your words. You made some great points, & if I can find the time I'd like to interact with you on this further sometime, that is if you can find the time as well. May the Lord bless you my brother.

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  8. Bro. Lybrand, may I link to your blog at my blog? Thanks for your consideration, & may the Lord bless you.

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  9. David,

    Many thanks for your kind words. My real hope is that we really can bring closure to this issue...and get on with the work of building the Movement. GES is simply no longer Free Grace. I'd be glad to interact, and you are welcomed to link me.

    Grace and Truth,

    FRL

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  10. Diane,

    Thank you for your frankness in admitting that you don't know---but that God does---if the girl was saved (what a great example for you are for us of personal honesty!). That fact is really important to see...but it also means that the little girl's experience cannot be an example that supports the GES gospel. The story can only be an example of possible support for the 'theory' that she was saved without believing in the finished work of Christ.

    I don't receive Grace in Focus, but I heard many others that it simply shows how clearly GES has embraced (and are getting open about it) this aberrant view of the gospel. If you could send me an electronic copy (or direct me to a link), I'd be glad to read and comment on it.

    God's best to you,

    FRL

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  11. Thank you bro. Fred for the permission. I look forward to further interaction myself. God Bless.

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  12. Hi Fred,

    On 4-16-2009-9:44 AM you said this on Lou Martuneac's blog: "I won't be a part of a seek-and -destroy process, which I think is perfectly antithetical to gracious living."

    Ironically, you have publicly extended the hand of fellowship to Lou on this same thread. (posted on 4-15-2009) Are you unaware that for at least 2 yrs Lou has been relentlessly engaged in a self-professed "seek-and -destroy" mission of all GES "hereticks."

    Will you explain this? Also, do you believe that the GES gospel is heresy or a false gospel?

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  13. Bro. Lybrand,

    I asked this question over at Michele's blog, & since you may not have seen it there, I wantred to ask it here, & by the way, thank you for your openness & kindness in taking these questions.

    My question is this: would you consider a person that came to Christ under the "GES Gospel" (to use the name for it you have chosen) to be saved, or rather to need further evangelization in order to be saved? Let me say right here that I am not trying to pigeonhole you, I am sincerely curious as to your answer. If you have already answered it elsewhere, I apologize, I have not noticed it. May the Lord bless you bro. Fred.

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  14. Brother Fred,

    I believe you stated well on page 4 of your letter:

    "I have fought to avoid this moment, but the future of the Free Grace Movement is in the balance"There are uncomfortable conversations to be had at this time. I commend you for your taking on the task. Go on in confidence that the Brethren are praying for the fruitful working of these to reconciliation for the Glory of God.

    I don't have the page to quote, but you also said very well that it doesn't matter the conduct of this or that person, the point is the doctrine.

    There are people who are offended with Brother Lou because they have misinterpreted the word "Grace." I will leave my accusations against these people at that. I would suggest that your tone, and methodology with this conversation so far ought to be followed. Let those who accuse do so at their own peril. We need not defend against, or make further, personal attacks.

    We are past the misdirection at this point. Let us let the doctrine be front and centre. Let us see if it points to Christ Our Lord or not, plainly.

    On page 12 of your letter you show that you are interested in truth more than consensus. I applaud this, and encourage the rest of the Brethren to be like minded. You say:

    "I can say personally, that unless these objections are answered, I will never be able to take the GES Gospel seriously in any practical or academic discussion." I agree, with your intent. If there is scholarly discussion to be had on the subject then let us have it. The Bible does not change what it says because this or that person acted in any particular way. Let us simply view Scripture, follow where it leads.

    On page 13 you begin your argument with regard to who has left who, or what. It is clear that the GES has moved away from the Free Grace Movement. That is perfectly fine, if they have moved toward Truth. Yet, in the years that I have been discussing this I have yet to find a Biblical reason for their move. I have been anxious to read, hear or find such and have personally sought after it with great effort.

    Scripture is not silent with regard to defining the Gospel, as you have aptly shown from various verses and passages. Most notably those in 1st Corinthians.

    You have also amply shown the folly of "Faith alone, in John alone."

    I would like to add to this that the requirements for Salvation from sin have been clearly known in this world since the very first sin occured. God demonstrated this with the very first sacrifice.

    In the time between that sin, and the crucifixion of the Lamb God has gone through incredible acts to demonstrate the Gospel again and again. From the Law which sets up the righteous requirements to prophecy that shows the paterns, times, and persons. To history that shows how God would work it apart from man's hands.

    God has demonstrated the Gospel to those who will trust Him throughout Time.

    Those who have read God's word, or been ministered to from it have NEVER been ignorant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. From the beginning we have been told that God would provide the Lamb, that He would be the seed of a woman, and not a man. This tells the instructed person that the lamb would be sinless and not a mere man.

    The Gospel of Jesus Christ can be accurately built from the OT without much trouble with no missing parts save the name Jesus. However, we could find all of Christ's titles, and that His name would be Joshua - which is what it actually was.

    The Gospel has power to save because it meets all the requirements of Scripture. That's the importance of stating it happened "in accordance with the Scriptures."

    The GES would have us believe that a person can be saved based on a vague promise from an unknown person. Scripture tells us otherwise.

    In fact we are given the clearest warnings in the 10 Commandments where God tells us clearly that He is to be identified by what He has done and that we are not to fashion any other idea of Him.

    With all of this clearly established by the orderly Brethren who have fought the good fight and finished well, with so great a cloud of witnesses about us... we are in no position to be dictated to. The Gospel as Paul has declared it is not my declaration. It is the declaration of every bit of Scripture. It came from the mouth of Christ Himself.

    When I can read the Gospel directly out of Scripture without any reasoning but simply to read it, it is the task of any who would question those verses who must answer questions.

    Convince me that the Apostle did not declare "The Gospel by which you are saved" if you can. That is my challenge to any who take a different path than that of all the Apostles, and Christ Himself.

    If you can convince me of this, I will listen. I am not ignorant of correction. I seek after it, always. But appeal to me by means of how bad you say this or that Brother has been acting.. or because of "promise language" and you have lost my attention.

    We are beyond the school yard here. Souls, Eternal Life and the GLORY OF GOD hang in the balance. That the Free Grace Movement is at an impasse is a small thing compared to the eternity the next person the GES witnesses to faces.

    Kev

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  15. Hi All,

    Thanks for your thoughts and questions...it is always challenge to have conversations with a variety of people....especially because of the various assumptions we can have about who we endorse and who we don't.

    I remember when mother and dad divorce...she stayed frustrated with me for hanging out with dad because it meant I was 'endorsing' his lifestyle (lots of alcohol, cigarettes, coarseness). To this day I'm not sure if she was right or not (Dad died about 5 years ago). My only thought back then was try to get the message of Grace to him...which finally did happen (but not, to my knowledge, through me).

    At any rate...I just want to have an open and frank conversation. I'm thinking it is easiest and cleanest from this blog spot.

    Any articles (links) on how to blog better would be appreciated.

    FRL

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  16. So let me take a shot at David's question:

    DAVID SAID: My question is this: would you consider a person that came to Christ under the "GES Gospel" (to use the name for it you have chosen) to be saved, or rather to need further evangelization in order to be saved?

    David,

    Since this is theoretical (rather than an actual situation), let me say that I do not believe anyone can come to Christ (by this I take it you mean saved-from-hell-to-heaven) by believing the GES Gospel. I'd put it in the same category as "Asking Jesus into your heart." No one is saved by asking Jesus into his heart.

    To be saved one must believe the gospel (apart from works). The Question I ask in my Open Letter

    http://docyouments.googlepages.com/GESGospel.LybrandOpenLetter.04-14-09.pdf

    is "Can you be saved with something less than the gospel?"

    My answer is no...so, what is the gospel? 1 Corinthians 1:17-24 makes it unmistakably clear that the finished work of Christ on the cross is in view. It is the message to be believed.

    Everyone needs further evangelizing until they believe this gospel by which we are saved.

    Does this help?

    Thanks,

    FRL

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  17. Dear Friends,

    Here is the good news from the gospel. "Believe IN Him and you will not perish but have everlasting life." (from John 3:16)

    In John 2 Jesus made a whip of cords and drove out all the money changers. So the Jews said to Him in vs. 18... "What SIGN do You show to us, since You do these things?"Then in vs. 19 Jesus answered... "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."The Jews thought He was speaking of the literal Temple, but of course He was speaking of his death and resurrection.

    Now notice vs. 22....
    "Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples REMEMBERED that He had said this to them; and they believed in Him."My friends, do you see the 8th sign here? The purpose statement in John 20:30,31 says these SIGNS were 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 way I understand this is that the cross and the resurrection is the 8th sign which is the greatest of all REASONS to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the giver of eternal life....
    John 11:25-27.
    Talk about a "sign" miracle!!!

    May He alone be praised!!!

    In His love,
    Diane

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  18. Hi Fred,

    I appreciate the fact that you had an unconditional love for your father, regardless of his behavior. We all need that do we not? Hopefully that same love will eventually bear fruit in the present situation, if that is what you are trying to say.

    As for whether you believe the "GES Gospel" is heresy or a false gospel, I take it from your response to David that your answer to me is yes, we are heretics who preach a false gospel. I've always appreciated straightforward answers to questions and I thank you.

    I have to scratch my head, however, when you put believing the promise of eternal life by Jesus Christ into the same category as "asking Jesus into your heart." With such misconceptions as this, is it any wonder this controversy in FG circles hasn't been resolved? One is a biblical concept from Genesis to Revelation, the other is nowhere found in scripture. Believing the promise of God for justification and eternal life is a thoroughly Pauline concept as well. In his great chapter on justification by faith, belief in the promise is the fundamental premise of his entire argument (e.g Rom. 4:20-22). So if you say I'm a "promise only" heretic, I suppose I'll just have to grin and bear it.

    By the way, I certainly do not consider you a heretic, just thoroughly confused. Heresy is much too serious an accusation to just throw around lightly as some do, don't you think? I sense from your reluctance to actually use the word that you might feel the same way, and that is one thing I do appreciate about you, though your point is still well made.

    Thank you for your time and consideration Fred, and may God bless you on your way.

    Gary

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  19. Gary,

    Are you aware of a single instance in Scripture where the person was unaware of the requirement of atonement, and how that is accomplished who is saved?

    Be careful in your answer.

    Kev

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  20. Just one more thing. I love the comment by Diane because she points out something I wish you would thoughtfully consider. The fact that the death and resurrection of Christ is the 8th and greatest sign in the Gospel of John means that it is something we "crossless gospel heretics" would not even consider leaving out of our evangelism efforts. To suggest that we would is preposterous. The presentation and explanation of the finished work of Christ and His resurrection is the most compelling evidence and rationale we could possibly give to an unbeliever for him to believe His promise of eternal life. It is thoroughly disingenuous for any on your side to accuse us of being "crossless." I hope you will have the integrity to stop these false accusations against us.

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  21. goe,

    I don't mean this unkindly, but your post makes me wonder if you have read my GES Gospel: Open Letter, and I certainly have never used the term heretic (until now...thanks a lot! :-) in association with GES.

    I state clearly in my Open Letter that I do not think the GES Gospel folks are, in my view, preaching a false gospel. As you say---

    "I take it from your response to David that your answer to me is yes, we are heretics who preach a false gospel"

    I specifically say in my Open Letter that I do not believe they are preaching a false gospel (currently all the GES Gospel folks I know include the cross, etc.). What I am saying is that the GES Gospel folks are not presenting the gospel consistently with what they understand as the essence of the gospel. This of course will change in time.

    I would not use the word heretic with the GES folks...I really think they believe in an incomplete gospel. What is being said is true and good...it just isn't adequate to save anyone. That is exactly where the "Ask Him into you hear idea lives"...nothing is wrong with it per se, since Jesus does live in the believer's heart---it just won't save anyone if that is all they put their faith in.

    Believing that works are necessary (or baptism) to earn eternal life...now that is truly errant and unscriptural.

    I hope this helps.

    Grace,

    FRL

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  22. goe,

    You said:

    "Just one more thing. I love the comment by Diane because she points out something I wish you would thoughtfully consider. The fact that the death and resurrection of Christ is the 8th and greatest sign in the Gospel of John means that it is something we "crossless gospel heretics" would not even consider leaving out of our evangelism efforts."

    That would be awesome if you always share the cross in your gospel presentation / evangelism! However, I too would invite you to thoughtfully consider that you have a discrepancy between what you think saves someone and what you say to them. Again, eventually this tension will resolve and the cross will be an optional thing to mention. Diane's example shows that...it can be left out with no harm done (at least when sharing with children).

    Grace,

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  24. Brother Fred:

    I want to thank you again for the boldness accompanied by compassion with which you have addressed the GES and its interpretation of the Gospel. The same thanks goes to the FGA for its official statement on GES.

    There are friends on both sides of the debate, but faithfulness to the Scriptures and conscience before the Lord must take precedence. You have made that good and right choice.

    In various ways you have stated the GES Gospel, “just isn’t adequate to save anyone.”

    Based on the Scriptural evidence you are 100% correct.

    While we all agree that Lordship Salvation errs by addition the GES Gospel errs by subtraction.

    Both systems come from polar opposite ends of the soteriological pendulum swing. From either end both are none saving messages.


    Lou

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  25. Hi Fred
    I will address this reply to Kevin also to Fred
    You said:
    As Brother Lybrand pointed out in his open letter, Paul also defines the Gospel that if received brings Eternal Salvation in 1 Cor 1:17-25Kevin, I’m not denying that the gospel that Paul preached can bring life. Anyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God in the Johannian sense (1 John 5:1a). But the Gospel that Paul preached was broader then just how a person can have life. The Gospel included justification truth and sanctification truth (Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Gal 3:3).
    What I see behind Dr. Lybrand and the FGA is unbelief, this is also why Lou and the Bluecollar folks can come together and join hands. Calvinism rejects that Jesus is the Lamb of God that took away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Why they must have the cross as the only way one can be born again is they don’t really believe what Jesus accomplished on the cross, taking away the sin of the world. This is why in the Gospel of John the gift of eternal life Can be taken freely as also is confirmed in Rev 22:17 without any reference to sin. To know God is eternal life, and anyone can come to Jesus as a little child and receive His gift of life (Matt 19: 14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”)
    It’s the wise and the prudent that God has hidden these truths from, and it is also the wise and the prudent who believe the cross is foolishness so it pleased God by the preaching of the cross.
    1 Cor 17: 18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:
    “ I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
    And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
    Luke 10:20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather[a] rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
    21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.

    Kevin said: Progressive revelation has filled in details, like when, where, His Name, and such but the requirement that had to be met has been known since the very first sin.
    There is salvation in nothing else.
    Kevin the living water has not changed, anyone believing that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. It’s always been God’s Christ who gives the living water which springs up into everlasting life. Whatever evidence it takes for a person to come to that persuasion they are born of God, and what greater evidence than the cross. But remember the evidence is not the object of our faith the Christ is, Paul was believing in Jesus FOR everlasting life 1 Tim 1:16.
    (For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ 1Cor10:4; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward Heb 11:26)
    Kevin, the cross is the way God took away the sin of the world, but notice in Genesis sin is not mentioned until Genesis 4:7. Death is the main issue (Genesis 2:17), and that is why life is the main issue in the Gospel of John, Jesus invites the unbeliever to come to Him that they might have life (John 3:16; 4:10,13; 5:24; 6:47; 11:25-27; 20:31). It’s only when they would not come to Him that sin became an issue (He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin because they do not believe in Me John 16:8-11). And as you know sin is never mentioned as sin in the Great White Throne of Judgment, why? Because behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! They are cast into the lake of fire because their names were not found written in the Lambs book of Life, they did not have life! But you have already been told these things over and over and have rejected them :(
    This a grave error!!! Because, anyone who denies that a little child can come to Jesus for His living water like Rev 22:17 states. And we ALL must come as little children to enter into the kingdom of heaven is to deny the invitation to take of the water freely.
    Alvin :)

    We know there are huge numbers who flocked to the “Passion of the Christ” and would say they believe in Jesus but also believe they must work their way to heaven. This should tell us something is wrong, it’s not just the message of the cross that saves. They must come to Jesus to have life, for to know God IS eternal life. To divorce the cross from our message that gives life is also wrong because it shows HOW Jesus is able to give life by taking away the sin of the world.
    But, what does give life has not changed, the living water is still the source of everlasting life, and that is the knowledge of His person FOR life is in His name NOT in His WORK. Everyone must come to Jesus for the living water, and the majority will come by way of the cross. But this little child that Diane mentioned, and others like her can come to Jesus as a babe for His gift and take it freely~!

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  26. Fred:

    In your Open Letter you noted, “It is striking to me how 1 Corinthians settles this issue and should end the aberration found in the GES Gospel.”

    The Bible HAS settled the debate. The GES Gospel (aka, “Crossless, “Promise ONLY”) is an “aberration” of biblical truth. This kind of reductionism has never been seen in the NT church until Hodges originated and introduced it.

    The FGA Official Statement on the GES and your Open Letter: The GES Gospel settles the debate in the FG community.

    IMO, unless and until, the GES people are recovered from and repent of their “Crossless & Resurrectionless” interpretation of the faith that saves they must be left them amongst themselves in their reductionist errors while the rest move forward for the cause of Christ.


    LM

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  27. Lou,

    Did you hear what Fred just said? He says that the GES gospel is NOT a false gospel. Sounds like you and Fred need to talk!

    Thanks Fred. That's what I wanted from you--a yes or no answer. Sounds like you need to straighten Lou out my friend. He's been on a witch-hunt for GES "hereticks" for quite awhile now. I'm glad burning "hereticks" at the stake is not legal or us GES folks would have been toast by now if Lou had his way.:~)

    Fred, I think it is you who needs to go back and actually read my comment. You're starting to rant like Lou now. I'm understanding more and more the frustration Zane and Bob must have always felt trying to reason with you guys.

    Hope both of you have a great day and God bless.

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  28. goe, you didn't provide a single example of what you think Fred misunderstood. He was absolutely right about GES' gospel allowing the cross to be left out entirely. YOU may not do that but GES' view most certainly allows it. Diane gave one real world example and we have another writing from GES which indicates it is acceptable to leave out with adults too. You must've meant something else but since you didn't say... :-)

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  29. Here is a link to an article I wrote last year on just this issue, and it links to a GES published article in which the writer affirms she tells 'everyone' the same thing she tells children.

    http://thelandofreason.blogspot.com/2008/10/clearing-haze-of-always.html

    In GES' view their is no difference and what Fred says is the logical conclusion is already starting to take place.

    No hard feelongs, just the facts.

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  30. Hi Fred/Steven

    The cross is not the living water that springs up into everlasting life. Because the water can be taken freely it has NOTHING to do with sin OR the cross. That is HOW God can provide the gift that can be taken freely sin is no longer a bearer between God and man. The living water is the SOURCE, that is what a spring is. What could Jesus give to the women at the well that would bring life? The answer is in John 20:31 the life is in His name, believed springs-up into everlasting life. Jesus would have ALREADY given the living water to the women at the well if she had known who He was. To believe in Him as the Christ is to have life in His name. If she would have ALREADY known this the giving and receiving would have already taken place. It's all about the giving and receiving of a gift. And this gift is offered again in Rev 22:17 with NO reference to sin, and anyone who desires can take of the water freely :)

    alvin :)

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  31. Fred/Stephen/Kev:

    The GES camp bristles over use of the “Crossless” and “Promise-ONLY” labels of their interpretation of the content of saving faith (cosf).

    In 1988 MacArthur bristled over the label, “Lordship Salvation.” He has, however, come to embrace “LS” and uses it today without apology. In light of renewed protest over the “Crossless” label I find it ironic Hodges, Wilkin, et al., ignored JM’s protests over “LS.”

    Now that the label shoe is (rightly and firmly fit) on the other foot GES complains and make demands just as JM did for cessation of its use. Why should anyone be obliged to drop the “Crossless” label when they refused to accommodate MacArthur?

    The bottom-line is the GES position insists the lost man does not need to be aware of, understand or believe in the Person of Christ, His death on the cross and/or resurrection, but can still be born again.

    So, where the lost are concerned and what must believe to be born again the GES Gospel is indeed “Crossless,” and Resurrectionless and Repentanceless as well.

    The shrinking cell of GES people protest in vain and against the body of evidence from their own publications that affirm their interpretation of the cosf is “Crossless.”

    I documented this in my article, Is the “Crossless” Label, the Right Label? I suggest the GES people learn, as JM did with LS, to accept and embrace “Crossless, Promise-ONLY” because it is an appropriate and accurate label (for their reductionism) that is NOT going away.


    LM

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  32. Hi Dr. Lybrand,

    One of the first reactions I wrote down in my own writings, in reaction to your open letter, was this:

    It absolutely requires of you (or the "we" in the document) that you be correct, without error, that no one can ever be saved with the GES gospel - as an impossibility - to make this separation worthwhile. Can you prove it, or do you feel you have proven it sufficiently in your open letter? Admittedly I haven't read it a second time yet.

    Thanks, Michele

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  33. Thank you for your answer bro. Lybrand. May the Lord bless you.

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  34. Alvin, thank you for once again making my point for me. Before I comment on some of your post to me, I'm going to make this one comment to you as a suggestion. When you quote the Bible, or tell someone what it means, you must always be aware that there are several of them in print. The person you are writing or speaking to may even have read some of it.

    You spent a great deal of effort on the wise and prudent portion of your post. I wonder if you've considered the Scripture you abuse in your references. You may want to read it and see if it applies the way you are using it.

    What exactly do you mean when you say someone can be "born of God in the Johannian sense"? Is one born of God in a "sense"?

    Near the start of your post you quote that Jesus is the Lamb of God who "took" away the sin of the World and build a theology based on your creative writing. However, by the end of the post, for what reason I can only speculate, you quote it properly as "takes." One might surmise that creative writing didn't serve your purposes at the end as it did at the beginning.

    I find you also employ creative writing, or the very least creative interpretation to 1 Tim 1:16 when you emphasise the word "FOR." Some have translated the word in this manner before. However the intended meaning of the word does not match your explained meaning. Paul did not believe for eternal life. Paul believed in Christ TO Eternal Life. With a result of. He did not simply believe in someone for Eternal Life, He believed in Christ and that resulted in his Eternal Life - which is the testimony of Scripture front to back. Your creative use of this verse is the same as the Catholics that claim that Peter is the rock that the Church is built on.

    Your use of Mat 19:14 is also very creative, in exactly the same fashion of the Lordship Salvation people who use anything they can as a Salvation message, except those that actually are - sound familiar?

    Cool stuff about Genesis.. too bad that's one of the portions I've read. *smile* Genesis 2:17 check out the word "evil".. you may want to study that just a bit. You may also wish to read Romans 4. Maybe God changed His mind and decided later that sin was the issue? If it was only later that sin became the issue, and God never brought up sin with Adam how did He justify that Adam was going to die in death?

    You really ought to study the Great White Throne Judgement a bit closer. If you do, and you have the same Word of God that I do, you'll find that people will be judged by their deeds first. I could bust out a teaching on why that is if you like... Once they are known by their fruit - 1 Cor 4 might be interesting to you - THEN God searches for their names in the Lamb's Book of Life...

    Here's the really neat part - there will be no one at the Great White Throne who's name IS found in that Book. They are only at that Judgement because they are not saved. Saved persons will stand at the Judgement Seat of Christ.

    They are not thrown in the Lake of Fire BECAUSE (as you wrote) their names are not in the Book of Life, this is just the last act of Grace on their behalf.

    You have stated to me several times in this post, and more times to other Brothers that the Gospel can't be what Paul claimed to receive from Christ Himself, and declared as the Gospel, that everyone else was preaching... because it somehow violates the idea of Salvation being free.

    What do you do with Christ's words in John 6. Obviously, in a Johannian sense one must eat the flesh of Christ, and drink His blood or not be saved...

    OK my favourite part of your post is that bit about "The Passion of The Christ" truly great stuff, really. Do you think they portrayed the Gospel in that movie?

    You may wish to read the Gospel again and see if they did. You can find it declared in 1 Cor 15:1-11.

    A graphic celebration of the orgy of violence suffered by Our Lord is hardly a depiction of the Gospel of Grace.

    Do you know how the "living water" flowed out of the Flinty Rock in the first place? Do you know? God told Moses to strike the Rock, and God burst It open so that water would flow out. The next time in recognition of what had already happened they were to speak to the Rock in faith for the water - recognizing it was already broken. What Moses did was to think It needed to be broken again.

    What you do is think you don't need to recognize that It ever was.

    Alvin, I feel I must express this following bit. The GES Gospel is the fruit of lazy Christianity. We read a few lines of Scripture in the New Testament only and think that we can make up whatever we want. We dishonor God the Father when we deny His testimony.

    Do you ever wonder why Christ died the way He did? If He merely had to die and rise, and that would make it ok for us to "believe Christ FOR Eternal Life" why would He put His Son to an open shame? Who lights a Lamp and puts it in a closet Alvin? No one. The lit Lamp is placed on a lampstand so it's light can shine forth.

    Creative writing and interpretation may impress those who have not studied the Word of God but it is nothing more than a mere frustration to those of us who have, and who will.

    Alvin, what is 1 plus 1? Come on.. it's not a tough question just answer it. Right, 2. Why did I ask that? Because I knew you wouldn't make up an answer because everyone else knows the answer.

    Alvin, those people who are impressed by your arguments today may actually read the Scriptures tomorrow. If they ever do, they will quickly recognize your betrayal of their trust. I do not intend to be mean. If I wanted to be mean I would have just insulted you and left it at that.

    Please repent and be reconciled to Holy God.

    Kev

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  35. Totally awesome paper Fred. It was a pleasure and a blessig to read.

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  36. Kev:

    So much of what we see coming from GES Crossless supporters is the result of forcing into or extracting from Scriptures whatever they must to float the reductionism of Hodges and Wilkin.

    Alvin exemplifies this in his comments here. Thanks for addressing this.

    Furthermore, any passages that refute GES reductionism are simply negated, ignored or redefined. The latter of the three may have motivated Stephen to coin the consistent downward slide of GES theology as “REDEFINED” Free Grace Theology.


    Lou

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  37. Geo writes: "By the way, I certainly do not consider you a heretic, just thoroughly confused."

    Can I ask you a question, please? You state that Fred is thorougly confused. Would you think that all who would agree with his stance as confused as well? To be consistant, you would have to say that all who are in agreement with what Fred says are "thoroughly confused." So my question is this: Do you think that Fred, and therefore all who would be in agreement with him, to be theological legalists, as put forward by Zane Hodges? Was it ok for Zane to call all those who disagreed with his position legalists? If you do think Zane was correct in calling the opposed position legalistic, can you state how something can be legalistic and not be herectical in nature? Since you have labeled the teaching as being "thoroughly confused," would you say that teaching is in error? If not in error, then please state how something can be "thoroughly confused" and not be in ***some*** type of error.

    What I am getting at Geo is that there certainly does appear to be a huge double standard on the part of GES adherants when it comes to name calling and labeling. But it is actually bigger than that. One of us is very, VERY wrong, which means that one of these positions is "heretical" in nature simply because it isn't the God given one.

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  38. Gojira,

    You have asked an interesting question. I have to confess that I'M a little confused right now myself about Fred's position. On the one hand, Fred says that the GES gospel can not save anyone who believes it. On the other hand he says that it is NOT a false gospel or heresy Then he rebukes me for assuming he meant that it IS heresy. (?) So Gojira, let me ask YOU a question: How can a gospel be inadequate to save anyone and NOT be a false gospel??? Can you make any sense out of a position like that Gojira?

    Furthermore, Fred claims that he does not believe the GES gospel is heresy or a false gospel, yet he fellowships with a man (LM) who has been visciously persecuting the GES for several years, branding them as "hereticks." Lou has a special hatred for one Zane Hodges, who Fred professes to consider a friend, yet he extends the hand of fellowship to
    LM.
    If Fred does not consider the GES gospel to be heresy, and LM DOES consider it heresy, how is that they seem in such harmony here on this blog and on Lou's blog.
    Another thing...How in the world can Fred claim that believing in the promise of eternal life by Jesus Christ is inadequate to save anyone??
    Or equate believing the promise of Christ with "asking Jesus into your heart."? How Gojira? Believing in a PROMISE has ALWAYS been God's way of justification (Gen. 15:6, Rom. 4), yet Fred claims that it is inadequate! LM claims it is heresy!

    Yes, you have asked a very good question! In my opinion you people are at WAR with the life giving PROMISE of Jesus Christ. And even though you have the mantra of cross, cross,cross cross cross.... none of you apparently has any idea what the meaning and purpose of Christ's work on the cross was. When anyone denies or minimizes the complete sufficiency of the PROMISE of Jesus Christ to give justification and eternal life to EVERYONE who simply believes that PROMISE, they have in fact denied the meaning, purpose and sufficiency of the CROSS as well!
    Jesus Christ went to the cross in order to pay the full price necessary in order to be GUARANTOR of His PROMISE of eternal life to every believer.
    The promise of eternal life is FREELY made and received by simple faith alone BECAUSE Jesus Christ has PAID the full price for that PROMISE with His blood! If believing THAT is heresy, then I proudly agree with Lou (and Fred?) that I am indeed a HERETIC!

    You say: "One of us is very, VERY wrong, which means that one of these positions is "heretical" in nature simply because it isn't the God given one." You have made an astute observation Gojira!! Why don't you ask Fred the same question OK? Will you do that? Ask him for a clear and straightforward answer Gojira. I tried it with Fred and have yet to get an unambiguous answer! Maybe you can get better results than me.

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  39. And let me add this: Anyone who is at WAR with the life giving PROMISE of Jesus Christ is at WAR with JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF...AND His FINISHED WORK on the CROSS.

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  40. In fact you should DEMAND an honest and straightforward answer to that question from Fred since he has the arrogance to demand "repentance" from those he says are NOT heretics preaching a false gospel. This man has no right to demand "repentance" from anyone!

    Demand it Gojira!

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  41. I meant to say "ARROGANCE", not "arrogance."

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  42. Here we have an emotionally charged advocate of the GES reductionist gospel shouting “PROMISE,” I believe six times.

    Ironic he shouts the label “PROMISE” for their view of the object of saving faith, when at the same time they decry “Promise ONLY,” and Crossless as an unfair and pejorative label.

    It is gratifying to see GES reductionists embracing the labels that are the right fit and accurate description of the GES reductionist assault on the content of saving faith. As they becoming increasingly transparent, many more will be able to detect the doctrinal errors, alert others and avoid them (GES).

    Make no mistake: the GES propagates a message that insists the lost can be born again apart from knowing, understanding or believing in the Person of Christ, His substitutionary death on the cross and resurrection from the dead.

    We need to pray for their recovery and do what we can to see that their Crossless gospel never gains any traction outside the GES membership.


    LM

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  43. Lou,

    What I said to Gojira goes for you too! Demand an answer from Fred!!!

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  44. Lou,

    Either demand an answer or confess that you have sinned in accusing Zane and the GES of heresy and preaching a false gospel.

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  45. I am still reading and perusing the Open Letter by Fred Lybrand.

    One especially compelling section is where you will read details of Dr. Lybrand’s personal interaction with Hodges in 2008, just before his (Hodges’s) passing.

    Although Hodges was highly reluctant to speak candidly, Dr. Lybrand was able to, “…establish the fact that Zane fully stood by his articles on ‘How to Lead People to Christ’ (JOTGES, Fall 2000, and Spring 2001).”

    Lybrand continues, “I have had a number of individuals say to me that Zane really didn’t mean…(fill in the blank here)…but, in fact, he did. Zane meant exactly what he said in the articles, and he meant exactly what he implied as well, as my notes above (which he confirmed) insist.

    So much for GES advocates attempts to redefine Hodges’s article. Reminds me of revisionist history, which is very popular in the leftist political and academic community.

    One must ask why the GES camp would wait until Hodges’s passing to redefine his articles? Why would they tamper with his article(s) that he clearly meant and implied to be understood at face value as he wrote them, which Hodges himself confirmed to Brother Lybrand?

    The GES Gospel (aka - the ‘Crossless’ or ‘Promise-only’ Gospel)Download and read Lybrand’s letter.


    LM

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  46. Since you all want to sound very noble in your cause . . . . fighting for the cross. Lou and the Bluecollar five-point Calvinist folks can join hands. Of course they believe in a limited atonement but Lou doesn’t seem to mind that . . . . . that my friend is CLEARLY hypocritical to call someone else a Reductionist because of the cross, and at the same time join hands with someone who teaches Jesus only died for a select group. Of course Orthodoxy will do that make an unholy alliance for the sake of unity.
    Taking the Scriptures the most straight forward way when John saw Jesus coming toward him, he said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
    My question would be, well did He take it away? I would take the verse straight forward for what it says, Yes He did!
    But anyone who argues otherwise is a Reductionist, and I believe that’s what your calling GES concerning the cross.
    What does Scripture say about the subject, taking it simply for the straight forward meaning that all sin has been taken away.
    “ Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.
    “I am the bread of life.
    “Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
    “This is the bread which comes down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” (John 6:47-51)
    More straight forward verses:
    The Corinthians were given the ministry of reconciliation;
    That is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. (2 Cor 5:19)
    The reason God is able not to count the sins against the world is because the Lamb of God took it all away.
    For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (1 Tim 2:3-6)
    That’s right because He is the Lamb of God that took away the sin of the world, that is why He can offer the living water for anyone to take freely.
    For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. (1 Tim 4:10)
    And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. (1 John 2:2)
    In the same way He was the propitiation for believers He was for the whole world that’s because He is the Lamb of God that took away the sin of the world.

    This is why the living water can be taken freely as a GIFT without any reference to sin. (John 4:10; Rev 22:17)
    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.This will be my last post here, I will leave you to the wise :(

    Hey Bad, I think it be time to shake the dust off thee feet and high tail it . . . . . heeheeeee Ugly :~}

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  47. No misdirection now Lou. Why won't you ask Fred the QUESTION???

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  48. Please, let's all let Lou ask the QUESTION. Unless someone else wants to ask. The QUESTION will clarify everything before we move on.

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  49. By the way Lou...Fred has already publicly stated here that the GES gospel is NOT heresy or a false gospel. Unless he has changed his mind you are in disagreement with the President of the FGA. That would mean that Fred Lybrand must consider your accusations against Zane and the GES to be SIN.

    Do you want to ask him the QUESTION?

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  50. Gary,

    You said I meant to say "ARROGANCE", not "arrogance."I don't mean to frustrate you but this is funny. It makes me think of the tag line for the movie Alien. "In space no one can hear you scream!"

    hehe

    Kev

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  51. Why don't you be the one to ask Fred the QUESTION then Kev! Do it if you dare.

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  52. Gary you said to Lou


    Lou,

    What I said to Gojira goes for you too! Demand an answer from Fred!!!
    Are you going to answer the question I asked you?

    Quote:

    Gary,

    Are you aware of a single instance in Scripture where the person was unaware of the requirement of atonement, and how that is accomplished who is saved?

    Be careful in your answer.

    Kev

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  53. No misdirection now Kev. After we get an unequivocal answer from Fred then we can proceed with clarity. Ask the QUESTION all of you are afraid to ask. Please.

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  54. Alvin, I realize you have a lot to respond to here.. you haven't responded to me but I want to make note of one of your comments because it fits so well with the rest that I have noted from you.

    You said


    This is why the living water can be taken freely as a GIFT without any reference to sin. (John 4:10; Rev 22:17)You have read that chapter right? You do know that the woman was living with a man who wasn't her husband right? You do know that the Lord told her "everything she had ever done" right?

    And of Revelation 22, read just a couple of verses back the Lord is coming to judge everyone according to their works. Therefore, let the Bride say come!

    Who is thristy for life giving water? He who has no life. What are you if you have no life? Dead. What causes death - sin.

    Sorry Alvin, I do not box you in for no purpose. I do so because you are proof-texting. Your arguments do not come FROM Scripture you are inflicting them ON Scripture.

    Kev

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  55. Please everyone. We ALL deserve an answer to the all important QUESTION. Kev, quit trying to sidetrack from the REAL issue here. Ask Fred the QUESTION.

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  56. Actually, by now no one should HAVE to ask Fred the QUESTION. As President of FGA, who has called for "repentance" from those he has said here are NOT heretics preaching a false gospel, he has a responsibility to either tell Lou he has sinned, or change his mind. Which is it Fred?

    OK, I've asked the question for the second time. MIchele and Gojira have also raised the QUESTION. That makes 3 of us.

    Fred, where are you?

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  57. Goe,

    Why do you think you have the right to "demand" anything from anyone?

    Have you read Fred's letter?

    You wrote, "In fact you should DEMAND... from Fred since he has the (ARROGANCE) to (DEMAND) "repentance" from those he says are NOT heretics preaching a false gospel. This man has no right to(DEMAND) "repentance" from anyone!"

    Is the statement below where you base your comments above?

    "I am genuinely prayerful that those who still remain in GES will take these arguments to heart and reconsider their view on the GES Gospel" - Fred Lybrand.

    It doesn't sound like Dr. Lybrand is demanding or arrogant to me. I would say he is gracious and filled with the Holy Spirit.

    Mike

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  58. Mike,

    Gojira asked me a question earlier that I would like to answer, but I can't answer until Fred gives an unequivocal answer to whether the GES gospel is heresy. If, as he has stated here, it is NOT heresy, then it is Lou Martuneac who has been the arrogant in making false accusations against the GES.

    Only Fred can decide this, and he has a responsibility before God to do so.

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  59. Fred has also called for "repentance" from those he says (?) do NOT teach heresy or a false gospel. That is the ARROGANCE I was referring to Mike.

    Why don't you join us who have already raised this QUESTION Mike?

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  60. This all began because of the question Gojira asked ME. If not for that, I would not even be here today. But since he asked, I AM here until I can answer Gojira's question. Fair enough?

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  61. Goe,

    Are you saying you have been here all day waiting on Fred to answer your questions?

    I don't know a lot about Fred, but I know he is a pastor of a church and president of the FGA. He might be doing ministry.

    I am new to blogging, but it seems to me it would work best if we would post a question (one time) and be patience for an answer. Just like me.

    Mike

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  62. That's exactly what I've been doing Mike. See, I'm responding to you now. And I intend to respond to Gojira. I don't care WHEN Fred answers, as long as he answers. OK? Gojira started this with a very provocative question-- based on one of Lou Martuneac's favorite accusations against Zane Hodges. I intend to give both Lou and Gojira an answer, but I need Fred's unequivocal answer first. Fred can have all the time he needs.

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  63. Gary,

    You may think you have the right to control the conversation but you do not. You are responding to an article. You had engaged with me on a subject that has nothing to do with your current demands of Fred.

    If you are not willing to answer a question that was asked to clarify statements that you made to me then you are being disingenuous.

    I'm not sure what reason you think you can't answer a question asked of you until Fred answers your "either or" question.. except that you are attempting to be disruptive instead of constructive.

    You seem to be looking for a villain. May I suggest that if you need to control the entire conversation so as to force someone to say something you can point your finger at then you should probably just go find a mirror... your search will be over much quicker.

    If you are able to answer my question then please do so. If you are not then please step aside and allow those who will search the Scriptures to weigh in on this VERY IMPORTANT issue.

    Kev

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  64. Gary:

    Dr. Fred Lybrand is the senior pastor of a very large church/ministry. He also speaks at various conferences during the year. So, why don’t you give him the benefit of the doubt; OK?

    BTW, I have already prepared my answer, but I am waiting to let Fred go first. If he is unable to answer by late this afternoon I will post mine, as is.

    Finally, you told Kev that once you get an answer from Fred you will answer our questions. I take that as your promise, buy why not now while we wait for Fred? I do have just one question for you.

    I trust you are not going to dodge our question(s) and/or pull a Casper (disappearing act) on the question(s) like Antonio habitually does.


    LM

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  65. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  66. Hey Gang,

    I'm incredibly sorry...but I'm on a short trip that allows me no internet access except through my phone. So, in about 24 hours I'll get back to it!

    In the meantime, feel free to solve all the issues for me :-)!

    Grace,

    FRL

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  67. Kev,

    Please go back and carefully read the question that Gojira posed to me this morning. He is the one who first raised this whole issue in yet another attempt to unjustly incite people against Zane Hodges. Read it Kev. His question is worthy of an answer, because it contained a very astute observation that relates to the very heart of this thread. Your question was NOT worthy of a response. It was also Gojiro who asked his question first, so he deserves to be answered first. After that, I intend to shake the dust off my feet and never return to this site. Actually, when and if Fred responds, he will be responding to a question that has been raised by 3 people: me, Michele, and most importantly, Gojira.

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  68. Hi Fred,

    Not sure we'll get anything solved so long as we play ping-pong with Gary....


    Gary you said Your question was NOT worthy of a response.I'll take that as meaning you don't have an answer.

    As for shaking the dust off... lol good luck with that. The Pharisees tried all kinds of way to shake their dirt off.. they washed their hands over and over.. and had all kinds of rules and such..

    Unfortunately though they were white washed on the outside they were tombs on the inside.

    Shake shake shake... all you want. If you were a seeking to be a disciple of Christ you would engage my honest question to you, even if it wasn't worthy of being answered. Such as many men of great stature have for you despite your despicable behavior.

    Kev

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  69. Well, no answer from ya there Geo. Only smoke and mirrors. I really have no intrest in asking Fred, as he wasn't the one crying foul(although I do answer you at the end of this). You were. I wish there was ***ONE*** person who holds to the GES position (and who knows what the issue is actually about) who could answer direct questions about their theological stance. If there are any GES people out there who actually have the courage of their convictions, please email me. I only have a few questions, one of which has already been asked, which addresses the apparent GES double standard. Since I really don't expect an answer to that one asked question, I guess I am done with this thread.

    But you asked me a direct question Geo (and since I have no reason for political correctness, which is often a slam against honesty, and also ***DO*** have the courage of my convictions), so I shall answer you directly. Yes, I think it is wrong for one to say that the gospel someone preaches can't save but then say that same gospel isn't heretical, or at least severely erring, in nature.(*****Please note that I said "in nature", and did not mention a person's character.*****) People on both sides of this debate have their own faults, myself included. But what I do not do is fault Fred in any way, shape, or form for the answer he did give. That was his call, not mine, whether I agree with that or not.

    See geo, it isn't too hard to answer a question.

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  70. Geo writes: "He is the one who first raised this whole issue in yet another attempt to unjustly incite people against Zane Hodges."

    You like to read things into something out of thin air, don't ya? LOLOLOLOL This is totally ureal. If you must know, I personally respected Zane for calling all us who oppose his unique unBiblical doctrine as legalists. Hey, I knew where I stood with him, so that was never a problem. Even had a very nice phone conversation with him. So with your assertion, looks like you were barking up the wrong tree. Now you do know that Zane wasn't God, right? I mean you do know the man could be wrong about something, don't ya? I hope so.

    Anyway, have a good one.

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  71. 1) Honesty is the best policy, and honestly before the Lord, regardless of Fred’s opinion, which he’s entitled to, I cannot see how the GES gospel is NOT heresy and/or a false gospel. In this respect, I must agree with Gary’s line of reasoning: If a person “cannot get saved from” the GES gospel and those who preach it and teach it need to “repent” of it, how is it not heretical and a false form of the gospel?

    2) The real issue here is not what either Fred or myself think about a particular label, but what does the Word of God say about the “gospel?” If the “gospel” is “the message of the cross” according to God’s Word itself in *1 Cor. 1:17, and the lost must “believe” in Christ’s “work” on the cross and in His resurrection so as not to “perish” (**Acts 13:41), but GES comes along and actively says (i.e., “preaches”) to people that they DON’T have to believe in the very content that God says they must believe, how is that NOT “preaching a false gospell” or “heresy?” This is not a matter of GES men struggling internally with this Crossless question in their own personal conscience. They are actively, aggressively, publicly teaching and preaching their “Crossless” version of the good news. How is that NOT preaching a false gospel?

    3) We all recognize that the term “heresy” is a loaded and emotionally charged word. I can understand Fred’s reluctance to use this term or even to say that his former GES associates are “preaching a false gospel.” That is a difficult admission for anyone regarding former friends or family members in the body of Christ, and I think Fred is trying to be polite here and keep the discussion focused on what saith the Scriptures? That’s his prerogative. I am, however, personally convinced in my conscience before God that the GES view is an egregious heresy and a false gospel and I am always ready and willing to say that publicly, without apology, even if other brethren who recognize the GES errors are not quite there yet.


    LM

    * “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ be made of none effect.”

    **Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.”

    Reposted at my blog, In Defense of the Gospel

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  72. Gary, if you haven't left yet.. what would it take to reconcile you to the Classic Free Grace Movement? Can you be convinced from Scripture that the same Gospel that has been preached by the Church since Pentecost is the TRUE Gospel?

    Kev

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  73. Excellent post there Lou.

    Now that is out of the way, ***AND NO ONE CAN CRY FOUL***, at least here anyway, perhaps real debate can begin. I doubt it, but maybe it will actually begin. I just wish ONE person from the Hodges/Wilkin/GES group would step up to the plate and give honest straightforward answers to questions. I think though that will not happen either. Sad.

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  74. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  75. Gojira:

    Thanks! I am skeptical, however, that anything I said will resonate with the GES advocates. They bring raw emotion to these discussions IMO because of fierce loyalty to their departed leader, Zane Hodges.

    More to follow on the possibility of a "real debate" with "straight forward answers" from the GES people.


    Lou

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  76. This is why the living water can be taken freely as a GIFT without any reference to sin. (John 4:10; Rev 22:17)
    Kevin said:
    You have read that chapter right? You do know that the woman was living with a man who wasn't her husband right? You do know that the Lord told her "everything she had ever done" right?Alvin said:
    The Greek tenses in John 4:10 would permit the following interpretation of NKJV rendering:
    “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 understanding clarifies the conclusion of the story. As I have pointed out in Absolutely Free! A Biblical Reply to Lordship (Dallas: Redencion Viva, 1989. Pp. 41-42. The “water of life” is the life-begetting truth that “Jesus is the Christ.” She asked Him for this (v.25) and He gave it to her (v.26). Her statement in verse 25 is clearly a functional question which implies: “Are you perhapes the Messiah?” When Jesus replied that He was, her reception of this great truth in faith-that is, her persuasion that it was true-brought salvation. Once she knew this truth by faith (see John 20:31; 1 John 5:1), the saking and giving had already occurred. (“The Gospel Under Siege” Zane Hodges p.156)

    Jesus used ambiguity in John 4:10 as latter confirmation that Jesus had told her “all things about herself.”
    He had not only told her about her past but what she would do once she had the knowledge about His person that He was the Christ, she would ask and He would give her the living water. If she would have already had this knowledge the giving and receiving would have already have taken place. It’s all about the giving and receiving of a gift, her sin was not an issue but was what brought her to be persuaded that He was the Christ because she said the Christ “would tell them all things.” Jesus had just told her all about her life.
    Jesus used ambiguity as a teaching tool all through the Gospel of John. John 3:3:4 born again taken as physical birth - 6:35 as eating and drinking Jesus physical flesh and blood - 11:11,12 Lazarus death taken as physical sleep – John 1:20 Jesus death taken as the destruction of Herod’s temple – and many more examples.

    Kevin said :
    And of Revelation 22, read just a couple of verses back the Lord is coming to judge everyone according to their works. Therefore, let the Bride say come!Everyone (unbelievers) will get a fair hearing at the Great White Throne because there are many who died who thought they should have been excepted because of their works “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matt 7:22,23)
    Notice they did those things in Jesus name they were professing Christians who had not believed Jesus promise of life that can be taken freely (John 4:10; Rev 22:17). But notice at The Great White Throne their works are not the reason for their condemnation. Why? Because, ‘Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world! The reason for their condemnation is because they do not have life, their names are not found in the book of life.

    Kevin said:
    Who is thristy for life giving water? He who has no life. What are you if you have no life? Dead. What causes death - sin.Your not very observant Keven, even if thirst is to strong, even if they simply “desire” they can take of the water of life freely :)
    Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. (Rev 22:17)
    I’m posting this for anyone who might be open, and have not bought into this list of doctrine they say must be believed. Anyone can take Jesus at His promise of life if they simply desire to :)

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  77. Fred,

    I really appreciated the tone of you letter and applaud you for your public statement even though I am more in sympathy with the GES understanding of the Bible. However, I am not a GES member. Still, I occasionally like to enter the discussions. Though not an official GES person, I would like to answer Gojira's questions.

    Gojira to goe:
    Can I ask you a question, please? You state that Fred is thorougly confused. Would you think that all who would agree with his stance as confused as well?
    Looker: I would not use the term confused. I would say they are wrong. The manner in which I respond to the word "confused" would lead me to not use that term. I realize, a case could be made for the word "confused", but nonetheless I would not use it.

    Gojira to goe:
    To be consistant, you would have to say that all who are in agreement with what Fred says are "thoroughly confused."
    Looker: I would say they are thoroughly wrong.

    Gojira to goe:
    So my question is this: Do you think that Fred, and therefore all who would be in agreement with him, to be theological legalists, as put forward by Zane Hodges?
    Looker: It seems that Zane created the term and therefore he also created the meaning or understanding that he desired the term to have. Based on Zane's description, those like Fred and all in agreement with him are theological legalists.

    Gojira to goe:
    Was it ok for Zane to call all those who disagreed with his position legalists?
    Looker: No. It was not OK for Zane to do that. In my opinion, this instance and others of a similar nature squelch dialog rather than encourage it. Terminology can have a far greater impact than just its technical meaning and I was saddened to read this from Mr. Hodges.


    Gojira to goe:
    If you do think Zane was correct in calling the opposed position legalistic, can you state how something can be legalistic and not be herectical in nature?
    Looker: Though my answer above seems to allow me to skip this question, I would still like to offer my opinion. Something based on the laws God has revealed/given may be legalistic and not heretical. I surely can't succinctly prove this from the Bible readily, so I'll just offer it as my personal opinion.I believe the Bible rails against man-made legalism, not all legalism. (parts of Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy come to mind)

    Gojira to goe:
    Since you have labeled the teaching as being "thoroughly confused," would you say that teaching is in error? If not in error, then please state how something can be "thoroughly confused" and not be in ***some*** type of error.
    Looker: In error would be correct.

    Gojira to goe:
    What I am getting at Geo is that there certainly does appear to be a huge double standard on the part of GES adherants when it comes to name calling and labeling.
    Looker: I would guess that one's own sensitivity would drive their opinion on this. I remember Antonio asking me nicely to refrain from using the term crossless on his site. Though I find myself generally in agreement with Antonio's theological positions, I wasn't personally sensitive about the term crossless. I do realize that it can be construed as a loaded term, and therefore I view it in a similar way as I do theological legalist. It can stifle communication.

    Gojira to goe:
    But it is actually bigger than that. One of us is very, VERY wrong, which means that one of these positions is "heretical" in nature simply because it isn't the God given one.
    Looker: It all depends on what we mean by heretical. Since none of us are beholding to an ecceliastical hierarchy that defines heresy and orthodoxy, we are left with a term which has a million definitions. I don't think I would ever call any sincere individual who uses God's Word alone as justification for their doctrine to be heretical.

    People do come to different conclusions, but that is not heresy IMHO. I loved the following dialog.

    The following is my transcription of some dialog in the movie "Martin Luther" starring Niall McGinnis.

    ML = Martin Luther
    JE = John Eck - scholar and defender of the Roman Catholic Church

    This happens during a debate in front of Church authorities at Leipzig. The topic of John Hus and what the Husites believed was under discussion.

    JE: In fact it is common knowledge that your doctrines are approved by those that have already split the church!
    ML: Name them!
    JE: The followers of Hus!
    ML: The Husites were wrong! Yet, I confess there is much that is acceptable to Christ among their doctrines.
    JE: Such as!
    ML: Such as this. There is only one universal church. It is not necessary for salvation to be subject to a Roman pope.
    JE: But Doctor, that is the heart of the heresy! That is exactly what Hus said!
    ML: It doesn't matter who said it. It is the truth.
    JE: Martin Luther, do you think you are the only one who knows the truth?
    ML: I will tell you what I think. I have the right to believe freely, to be a slave to na man's authority, to confess what appears to me to be true whether it is proved or disapproved, whether spoken by Catholic or by heretic.
    JE: Then you deny the authority of the pope!
    ML: In matters of faith, I think that neither council nor pope nor any man has power over my conscience and where they disagree with Scriptiure, I deny pope and council and all. A simple man armed with Scripture is greater than the mightiest pope without it.
    JE: Heresy! Dr. Luther! Heresy!
    ML: Heresy?! So be it. It is still the truth.

    Looker: In the world of the Bible-believing, evangelical Chrisitianity I generally see on the internet, I find the pronouncement of heresy as a hollow activity. I have no good reason to doubt that most are sincere and think they are following God's directives. The word "heresy" holds some shock value, but I think it's influence will mainly be among those only superficially involved in the debate. Those in the midst of the discussion, on both(?) sides, know that they are using God's Word as their rule of faith no matter what the opposition says. Therefore, "heresy" mortars lobbed back and forth are meaningless in the substance of the debate. I realize that in the area of separation, this can have an impact. But the separation issue is less important than the salvation issue.

    Thanks for listening
    Looker4522 (aka John)

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  78. Diane,

    Your salvation story reminds me of my own also. I believed in Christ by means of reading Jn14:6 and I did NOT even think about the cross and the resurrection of our Lord. I came to study these long afterward. To borrow our Baptist friends phrase, I was "gloriously saved." I knew it because I was a Buddhist before. I was gloriously saved before I understand the cross and the resurrection of our Lord. I have heard and read if before. So hang on to your story. It is truly faith alone in Christ alone!

    Diane, just a little clarification: nowadays even grace people are NOT satisfied with BELIEVE (VERB) ONLY, they want to ADD A NOUN, KNOWLEDGE about the atonement and resurrection. Salvation is a NOUN but there is no noun, just that ONE NON MERITORIOUS VERB: BELIEVE. It is faith alone in Christ alone. We will study Christology all our lives.

    Lu Mo Nyet

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  79. Looker4522 (John),

    That was the most rational, most conservative answer I have heard in a long time. In this case the length was a treat.

    If I understand you correctly you feel brave enough to confirm that there are errors on both sides. Both also possess truths which need to be acknowledged by the other? This need for exchange and embrace is real even if there is one camp which is a little more correct than another. I too am tired of the right exerted to exact repentance out of my neighbor. To do this is to hang just shy of chaos.

    So chaos, via "heresy"-wielding, is the enemy of FG; not the different truths about the gospel.

    The open letter used the language "moving away." Solidification of any error is a movement "away," sure. But, isn't a narrowing of limits of tolerable error, a "movement away"? I'll say yes to that too.

    I would appreciate a movement-wide agreement on how much error is too much error, and how much error is permissible for cooperation. I believe this topic was missing altogether from Dr. Lybrand's document? Perhaps this will be addressed in future FG works.

    I observe Dr. Lybrand found a few potential flaws but then somehow jumped a step and attributed the GES gospel as some sort of "door" for universalism, in a single sentence, without any supporting evidence?

    A letter gives people closure - rest - from "debate." It's not as if I'm going to stop thinking just because the letter has been written; in fact the letter is what, soon, will spark I'm sure a new round of invigorating exploration of God's Word. I'd like to consciously embrace the reality of humble growth in ever learning of His Word.

    Thanks for that,
    Michele

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  80. Hello Fred,

    That was quite a letter!! I printed the letter out for me to go through it all again later.

    I only came to learn about the "cross-less" gospel about a year ago. There seems to be a lot of deception surrounding this new gospel that is no gospel. I first heard about it from Lou Martuneac who made some comments in my blog because I quoted the GES. I might quote John MacArthur if he says something good but that does not mean that I support him. Lou wanted people to be made aware that Bob Wilkin and Zane Hodges departed from the historic gospel. I quoted those men only because they said something good and not that I openly supported them.

    I received some emails and some comments from people that were personally slamming Lou's character. I decided to allow people to speak their minds at my blog about the crossless gospel issue and Lou Martuneac as I was so new to it. I was informed by certain followers of the GES that nobody is denying the cross. I was asked by one man to personally call him at his house so he could set me straight about Lou and this whole mess. I did not call him.

    The first thing that I learned about the "cross-less" gospel was that many seemed reluctant to admit that they do believe that a person can be saved without the hearing of the cross. The second thing that I learned is that some that support the GES maliciously attacked Lou claiming that it was Lou that maliciously attacks people. Upon searching, I found Lou to talk no different than that of Tom Stegall. You made mention of him in the beginning of your article about how some complained about Tom's tone or qualifications. This seemed to be the majority complaint about Lou. I decided too to look past the style of Lou's delivery and focus on the truth of the matter.

    I did not read many articles from Lou at the time nor did I read anything by Tom Stegall or others. I decided that I wanted to look into Scripture personally and prayerfully to see what the Scriptures taught concerning this very issue. Galatians 1:8-9 was the focus of my attention. I felt that if Paul said that any other gospel than his was to be considered an "anathema" then one should consider what Paul's gospel actually was. I had written 3 blogs on the topic. My first blog was:

    http://dave-bibletruths.blogspot.com/2008/12/what-gospel-do-you-preach.html

    I am anything but a good writer like you or Lou but what I learned from my own studies is that the "cross-less" gospel is nothing short of pure heresy. It is clearly a gospel that can save nobody.

    I received some interesting comments from those that were too coward to admit whether or not they believe the "cross-less" gospel position. Some lost their problem with being a coward once I posted my response to the issue to say that they did not agree with my position. The man that asked that I call him at his home and that nobody is denying the cross as Lou claims insulted my blog claiming that I do not know what I am talking about and that I should keep quiet. It is my opinion that him insulting my blog was a clear admission on his part that he truly does believe that the cross can be omitted from the gospel for others to be saved.

    I received negative comments and one of them led to another article I did on Acts 9 since this negative commenter claimed that Paul was saved in Acts 9 without hearing of the death, burial and resurrection gospel. This man was misinformed as the parallel passage in Acts 26 clarifies what message Christ gave to Paul on Damascus road. My blog on Acts 9:

    http://dave-bibletruths.blogspot.com/2008/12/crossless-gospel-and-acts-9.html

    It is sad that preaching the cross is "theological legalism" to some out there. It's sad that many of the "cross-less" gospel advocates behave and talk just like those that strongly believe in KJV onlyism where they will resort to harsh language and slander. It is sad how many of them will accuse you of promoting Lordship Salvation if you do not stand with the GES or the late Zane Hodges.

    This new movement is truly disturbing, and I fear for the salvation of those that embrace its teachings just as much as I do when someone embraces the teachings of Lordship salvation for salvation. The gospel without the cross is no gospel. It appears that Satan has masterfully attacked the free grace movement from without since the beginning. People are afraid to embrace Christ purely on His merits alone as they want some sort of works. Man broke away from Romanism but Romanism survived through the teachings of Lordship salvation where man can have the best of both worlds. He can claim that salvation is apart from works but out of the other side of his mouth will tell you that you can't be saved without your works. Satan worked cleverly there. However, Satan now in my opinion found a way into the free grace movement to corrupt it within just like the reformers message with Lordship salvation. We now have a new gospel being taught today that was unheard of. Satan has done his job because some people now have tuned me out because I call myself a free grace believer. They immediately identified me with Zane Hodges teachings and considered me a heretic. It's sad because I tell others now that I am a free grace believer that does not support some of the teachings of Zane Hodges.

    Hopefully the free grace movement can be seen as separate from the GES movement. I hate for us to be confused with them.

    Thank you very much for your letter! I'm sure that the Lord will bless that letter to others as well and hopefully turn the GES followers from the errors they teach. I sincerely hope and pray that this heresy will fizzle out even though I have doubts that it will. However, I hope through men like you and others that the damage can be kept to a minimum of what they are doing by discarding important facts that pleased our heavenly Father to share to a dying world. Let us never be ashamed of the cross and boldly proclaim its message to others as there only hope of salvation.

    Lord bless,

    Dave

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  81. p.s. I do recall one other type of comment that I have received at my blog concerning the crossless gospel. It appears that some that support the crossless gospel will use themselves as an example. They will tell you that they believed in Jesus apart from knowing anything about the cross or resurrection as proof. They might tell you about the joy they felt or the changes they seen in their lives to further strengthen their arguments for a crossless gospel. Their arguments are not based on Scripture but personal feelings and experiences. A true story that happened to me while witnessing to a man years back was him telling me that he knows without a doubt that he is going to heaven because, "While tripping on LSD, I felt so close to God." We might as well have people telling us that they are saved because they were born into a Christian family, were baptized, walked an aisle, raised a hand, prayed a prayed, cried with joy and so on.

    All comments were deleted at my blog when I moved my blog from 'Free Grace Believer' to my other blog called 'What in the World?'

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  82. Dave,

    The quantity of the knowledge of Christology (the Lord Jesus Christ) that we believed the very split second when we put our believe on the first time is far far complete than what we know now. The gift of salvation received that very second does not depend on public walking of the aisle or raising of hand nor it depend on saying a prayer, etc. God the Holy Spirit taking that simple believe on the Lord Jesus and make it efficacious--imputing the righteousness of God and of Christ and sealed of the Spirit that very second.

    The experience that we spoke of is a fruit of later reflection years later. The point is that at THE POINT of believing in Christ it was just is believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Experience is a relative by product and NOT the source of faith and salvation. It is faith alone in Christ alone.

    Lu Mo Nyet

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  83. Lou,

    I have posted your "response" to the question I NEVER asked at my blog. I will not be returning here, but I do wish you all the best and may God bless.

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  84. Lu Mo Nyet,

    Amen brother!! God bless you.

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  85. So predictable! And the facade of graciousness above.

    Well Everyone, as usual the GES people cut bait and run. This time we have Gary (goe) who pulls a da Rosa like Casper disappearing act. So predictable!

    If you want to read his cut and run dialogue, with the expected vitriol and personal attacks on me and Fred Lybrand, you can view it where he posted from the safety of his own blog. Read it HereDo as you will, but I suggest do NOT post him a reply. He has comment moderation on. He is undeserving of a reply and will do as he (and da Rosa) often do- twist what you write, then reply using their revision to give themselves a political advantage, demean and/or misconstrue your meaning and intention.

    Pray for the GES people. They are in the grips of a gross heresy, the Crossless gospel. Their bad, unethical and, in da Rosa’s case criminal libel and defamation of a brother in Christ, truly reflects their bad doctrine.


    LM

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  86. Hello Alvin,

    Thanks for your response.

    Of John 4 you said

    The Greek tenses in John 4:10 would permit the following interpretation of NKJV rendering:
    “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”.
    How did she come to know Who He is and her need? He showed her the sin of her life. Yes if she had of known she would have already asked, but she didn’t know Him. She had to be shown Who He is. She by her testimony was well versed in Scripture. She didn’t realize what was happening at first but she knew what that the “living water” is, and that it came from the stricken Rock.

    You then cite Zane Hodges, but I do not recognize even Zane’s better works as having the authority of Scripture. The living water is that which gives life, not the truth about Christ. The waters flow from Him. We get the water by belief in Him.

    Then you repeat a previous mistake by saying.

    He had not only told her about her past but what she would do once she had the knowledge about His person that He was the Christ, she would ask and He would give her the living water.It’s amazing that within one comment you can come up with two completely different interpretations of the same statement. You did that before with a more blatant changing of “takes” into “took” and then back into “takes” again in your previous comment.

    Doesn’t it concern you that your theology demands that Scripture changes its meaning with your every whim???

    You make an interesting statement;

    . It’s all about the giving and receiving of a gift, her sin was not an issue but was what brought her to be persuaded that He was the Christ because she said the Christ “would tell them all things.” Jesus had just told her all about her life.Her sin was the issue for why she needed the Gift, He used it to show her need. He used the need for “living water.” He had to identify Who He was, the giver of Living Water (the Stricken Flinty Rock) in order for her to know Who He was, so that knowing she could ask for that water. This is the same pattern the Gospel follows.

    You said

    Jesus used ambiguity as a teaching tool all through the Gospel of John. John 3:3:4 born again taken as physical birth - 6:35 as eating and drinking Jesus physical flesh and blood - 11:11,12 Lazarus death taken as physical sleep – John 1:20 Jesus death taken as the destruction of Herod’s temple – and many more examples.Only someone who is determined not to believe that the Gospel is the Gospel could possibly say that the Lord was being ambiguous in these things… this is just another example of your creative treatment of Scripture.

    You said

    Everyone (unbelievers) will get a fair hearing at the Great White Throne….

    Yes they will be judged by their works. Their SIN will be THE issue. When God declares someone guilty they will apparently plead with God based on the things they think were “good works.” Mat 7

    You say of these people “Notice they did those things in Jesus name they were professing Christians who had not believed Jesus promise of life that can be taken freely (John 4:10; Rev 22:17).”You don’t know if these people ever professed to be Christians or not. All you know is they claim to have done works “in His Name.”

    Then you go back to your previously refuted statement

    “But notice at The Great White Throne their works are not the reason for their condemnation….”These people have been judged and found guilty according to their works. THEN God looks to see if their names are in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

    You do not go to the Lake of Fire on the basis of not being in the Book, you get to go to Heaven on the basis of your name having been written in it. People go to the Lake of Fire because they are guilty and have not been washed clean.

    Your last statement to me was

    Kevin said:
    Who is thristy for life giving water? He who has no life. What are you if you have no life? Dead. What causes death – sin.Your not very observant Keven, even if thirst is to strong, even if they simply “desire” they can take of the water of life freely :)
    It’s like talking to a merry-go-round… keep talking and the same thing just comes up again like you never spoke about it before…

    Yes it’s free… and it only comes from One Place, the Stricken Flinty Rock. I can “desire” it all I like but it only comes from CHRIST.

    Simply desiring something and it will happen is the theology of things like The Secrete, not the Bible.

    Alvin, thank you for your response, but I have to let you know that your apparent view of Scripture is very low. I have answered each of your points, some more than once, and you have not answered a single one of mine. It is for all of these reasons that I now close my conversation with you.

    If you should come up with an argument that is based in a high view of Scripture I will discuss that with you. However, everything you have posted thus far is conjecture and not from Scripture. Those who are convinced you are correct in your views are not considering them from the point of Scripture.

    Thanks for the chat,
    Kev

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  87. Fred,

    Thank you again for hosting this important conversation. I now wish to honor your intent for doing such. As I have previously stated to you, I believe it's important to get people "on the record" no matter how painful that process might be.

    Several of the GES Gospel proponents (by action, inaction or fellowship) are now on the record. Their unsupportable positions have been articulated. Their behavior has been brought into view.

    At this time I see no further profit in engaging with some of these people at this level. I think it would even be harmful to them. I have ministry to attend to. If I thought I had left something unfinished here I would surely continue my discussions.

    If someone who has a stronger affiliation with the GES and a higher view of Scripture comes into the conversation I will of course discuss with them.

    I thank you very much for your letter. I applaud your tone. I'm thankful to God that we do not need to bash people into believing truth.

    I am going to halt my discussions with some of these people now so that I can continue to be a witness of that Truth.

    Kev

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  88. I am responding to Gojire who earlier wondered if Gary (goe) would get down to the business of a fair and honest discussion of the doctrine. Well, we already have that answer, but my thoughts follow:

    If history is our teacher there is no way and no how any advocate of the GES Crossless gospel will answer in clear, unvarnished terms a legitimate question that if it is answered truthfully will expose the soft underbelly of the Crossless gospel.

    In 2007 Wilkin was clamoring for someone outside GES to debate him on this issue. When Ron Shea stepped up to the plate with his Open Challenge (Start at the article furthest down the page and read up) Wilkin suddenly lost his taste (some believe Wilkin lost his nerve) for the debate and quickly backed out.

    Antonio, well I now refer to him as *“Casper,” you know the friendly ghost. Why? Because of his vanishing act every time he is asked to answer a question that gets to the root of the GES’s reductionist, anti-biblical assault on the content of saving faith.

    Zane Hodges, as Fred documented, refused to openly discuss his views with Fred in private.

    In late 2007 the FGA proposed a private academic meeting to discuss the doctrinal controversy. The GES was invited to send five men to meet with five men from the non-GES camp. NO ONE in GES would agree to appear, including Hodges and Wilkin.

    As for Gary, we gave him benefit of the doubt that he would answer some questions as he promised in this thread. Benefit of the doubt even though he was unwilling to give Fred the same consideration.

    Anyway, from Hodges to Wilkin to Antonio to Alvin to Rose, they simply refuse to answer in unvarnished terms Bible based questions in regard to the GES’s Crossless, Resurrectionless, Deityless, Repentanceless,” interpretation of the Gospel.


    LM

    *This Casper trait has been adopted by Gary (goe) who pulled it off as expected, but not so “friendly” like our cartoon friend.

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  89. Lu Mo Nyet,

    I have no idea what you were talking about as I am scratching my head here. Of course the gift of salvation does not depend on walking an aisle, raising a hand and so on and anyone reading my comments would have understood that. My comment was not directed to a single person in here except the author of this blog. I didn't even read any other person's comments in here. The blog and the people I was talking about had to do with a blog that I deleted almost a year ago.

    I too believe in faith in Christ and Him alone for salvation, but faith based on what knowledge though imperfect is required? In a Christ that died on the cross in my place. In a Christ that was buried and rose again for me proving that God accepted His death on my behalf as the full, sufficient and adequate payment for my sin debt. On that basis, I am now called by God to believe.

    That was the same message that Paul continued to preach (Acts 26:22-23) but now many consider it additions to the verb believe. I am not sure what you meant when you said to Diane:

    "nowadays even grace people are NOT satisfied with BELIEVE (VERB) ONLY, they want to ADD A NOUN, KNOWLEDGE about the atonement and resurrection."

    I am not sure what that meant since even the cross-less gospel demands that the verb be attached to a noun. Their so-called gospel is to believe on "a Jesus" out there that promises "eternal life" to those that believe "him" for "it." I guess Paul wanted to add "knowledge" too in Acts 26:22-23 as well as many other places. Only when we attach "works" to the verb is when we have a problem.

    I did make a comment that probably gained your attention because it appears that you believed in "a Jesus" without hearing about the message of the cross. You claimed to have been "gloriously saved" without the message of the cross and that would have meant that you were gloriously deceived and I do not mean that insultingly. It was later that you came to hear about the message of the cross which is the true gospel. Sorry to hear Gary's approval of this. I cannot bid God's speed to a gospel that is clearly heresy and has the pronouncement of Paul's "anathema" upon it.

    I apologize if I misunderstood you. There are 80 comments in here and I only read a few to try to understand where you were coming from in your response to me.

    I have done a blog elsewhere on this topic and do not feel the need to readdress all the points as I am done here. I again thoroughly enjoyed Fred's letter and hope and pray that others will leave this heretical movement and embrace the only gospel that will save.

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  90. Dave,

    Let me ask you 2 questions: If an unbeliever read John 3:16 and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ without knowing much more beyond THE INFORMATION in this verse will that person be saved? How much knowledge do you say needed to be saved?

    Lu Mo Nyet

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  91. This debate has gotten way out of hand.

    Points for consideration:

    1) The GES advocates believe and preach the death, resurrection, and deity of Jesus.

    It is completely erroneous to assume that at sometime the GES people will quit presenting these things because we do not believe that they are God-mandated content to saving faith, as Fred has stated is the natural outcome to our doctrine.

    Paul sought to persuade people concerning Christ. GES advocates do the same thing. When people are making a case for something in order to persuade others as to their position, they include anything in their communication that they believe will be helpful in doing so. Men and women are convinced when they contemplate and deliberate upon evidence. The strongest evidence that Jesus Christ can be trusted for one's eternal destiny is that He is the God-Man, who removed the sin barrier between God and man by His death on the cross, and that He rose again victorious over death and sin.

    The GES, as I believe all opposed to them who consider themselves Free Grace, are trying to lead men and women to Jesus Christ. The GES does so by painting pictures of Christ that increasingly invites men and women to place their faith in Jesus for eternal life. The communication of the death, resurrection, and deity of Christ are indispensible in this endeavor. There is no chance that our preaching will drop the most persuasive elements of the gospel. Our objective is to lead men and women to place their faith in Jesus for their eternal destiny. The method that we use will include the greatest pesuasive evidences of Christ work and person.



    2) What the debate revolves around is what must the lost necessarily understand in order to have eternal life.

    We must note that at the offset, there is no concensus among those who oppose the GES. Tom Stegall and J.B. Hixson are not saying the same things.

    Let us first discuss the death and resurrection:

    When doing evangelism, the GES advocates use the Word of God. We show that Jesus Christ paid it all on the cross, and that His resurrection proved His payment was accepted. How and why can Jesus give eternal life to those who believe in Him? Precisely because He paid for the gift of eternal life with His blood and rose again from the dead to seal the deal. He now gives eternal life as a free gift to anyone who believes in Him.

    No one, when being evangelized in this way, being given statements about Jesus from the Bible, will believe in Jesus for eternal life who is left unconvinced that Jesus died and rose again. If they find the general statements about Christ's death and resurrection false in the Bible, why would they trust that same bible when it specifically states that all who believe in Jesus has eternal life?

    It does not follow. If the bible is untrustworthy, and is in error speaking about Christ's death and resurrection, why would one believe the bible concerning Christ's offer, why would one place their faith in Jesus? They wouldn't.

    Faith does not occur into a person until one is persuaded/convinced that this person is reliable, able, authoratative, and willing to make good on a promise, or help.

    Someone is not going to place their trust in Him who is not convinced that Jesus is authoratative, reliable, willing, able, etc. to secure their eternal destiny. The way one is persuaded that Jesus can give eternal life is by being convinced that Jesus is authorized and able to do so. The way that one is convinced that Jesus is able to give eternal life is through the contemplation and deliberation of the evidence of His death and resurrection for sin.

    I don't know anyone who has come to faith in Christ who has denied the death and resurrection of Christ. It is unfathomable.

    Since the death and resurrection are the greatest evidences that Jesus can be trusted for eternal life

    and in light of this fact, the GES presents this evidence so that men and women may be persuaded to believe in Jesus

    and in light of the fact that noone is going believe the Scripture stating Christ's promise who denies the Scriptures of Christ's death and resurrection

    There is a logical relationship between believing that Jesus died on the cross and rose again from the dead and believing in Him for eternal life. I have never met anyone, nor have I ever evangelized anyone, who believed in Jesus for eternal life who denied the death and resurrection of Christ.

    In this sense, the debate has made a mountain out of a molehill. In a sense, some kind of belief that Jesus died and rose again is a universal logical pre-requisite to faith in Christ.

    Now what one may exactly or precisely know about Jesus' death and resurrection, and the theological ramifications of it, will be different between individuals.

    Remember, when a person is born again, he is a babe in Christ! He is going to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We should not be jailhouse lawyers trying to negate one's faith in Christ by invoking technicality after technicality.


    The deity issue:

    Tom Stegall and J.B. Hixson do not believe the same things about what a person must know about Jesus in order that they be saved.

    J.B. Hixson says that one must believe that Jesus is the Son of God in the sense that he is something more than a mere human, and Stegall believes that one must believe that Jesus is God, equal to the Father.

    Philip in John 1:43-45 believes that Jesus is the natural born son of Joseph, but at the same time believes that Jesus is the Christ. According to 1 John 5:1, whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. Furthermore, 3 years later Philip does not recognize the deity of Christ, Christ being equal to the Father. Look at this discourse:

    John 14:6-11
    6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

    7 "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him."

    8 Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us."

    9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
    NKJV

    Philip was born again and did not understand the deity of Christ. Sure he understood Christ to be something more than just a mere man, for who else could give eternal life to the believer? No mere man will sit on the throne of David forever!

    But to legislate that someone must have all his ducks in a row is to traffic in a type of legalism. Philip illustrates that men and women can come to faith in Jesus for everlasting life and still not believe that He is deity, in the sense of being equal to the Father.


    As a conclusion,

    Men and women will understand some things about Jesus before they believe in Him. They will have a rudimentary understanding of Christ's work and person.

    But to require anything but simple reliance upon Jesus through an act of faith leads to confusion and ambiguity on the front side, and the potential for lapses of assurance on the back side.

    One knows he has eternal life by believing in Jesus, not by beleiving any lists of things about Him.

    I am open to your comments and questions. Be advised that there is one party who has been commenting here on this thread who I will not respond to.

    graciously in Christ,

    Antonio da Rosa

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  92. The type of question (above) is one of the reason for the problems and divisions in free grace. Is there a Biblical example of this type of questioning to develop one's theology? There is nothing real or believable about it.

    What we do have is the story of the Ethiopian in Acts 8:26-37. The Ethiopian was reading O.T. Scripture from a scroll. He was reading from Isaiah (compare 8:32-33 with Isa. 53:7-8). You know the rest of the story. Philip "opened his mouth, and beginning at THIS Scripture (Isa. 53 - "He was led as a sheep to the slaughter... as a lamb... for His life is taken..."), preached Jesus to him."

    Don't you just love the "yes" and "no" questions that have the "qualifiers."

    On the one hand we say that "faith is the conviction that something is true" and then asked a question in such a way that Does Not allow faith to occur!

    Rick

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  93. What is the common denominator among the GES people in these discussions?

    They come to the table with raw emotionalism. Their emotions are so heavily invested in their allegiance to their departed leader Zane Hodges no one can get through to their brains.

    They have shown over and over and over that they will NOT engage in an open and honest discussion of the Gospel from the Scriptures. Their emotions cause them to react to legitimate questions and criticism as though they are personal attacks. They dodge, evade, double-speak, demonize or what they must to avoid answering questions. Why?

    Their emotional attachments hinder and/or stop them from allowing their brains to engage in a rational debate. Their emotions will not allow them to consider even for a moment the slightest possibility that Hodges may have been wrong in his reductionism

    We are seeing the same thing here at Brother Lybrand’s blog. It is the GES habitual reaction. GES and its sympathizers are reeling from the back-to-back articles from the FGA and Dr. Lybrand on the GES Crossless, “PROMISE”-Only gospel. Their emotions, therefore, are at fever-pitch. Until they learn to control and set aside their emotions we cannot reach their brains.


    LM

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  95. Dear Friends,

    I had no intention of posting here again, but I just had to say this one more time. I rest in this promise alone, and that settles the whole debate for me!!!

    For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever BELIEVES *IN* HIM shall not perish, but have everlasting life!!!"(John3:16)

    Praise God!!!

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  96. Lu Mo Nyet asked me:

    "Let me ask you 2 questions: If an unbeliever read John 3:16 and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ without knowing much more beyond THE INFORMATION in this verse will that person be saved? How much knowledge do you say needed to be saved?"

    Hmmm, what was the context in John 3???? Christ being lifted up on what??? Question for you:

    If a person was to read Acts 2:38 without knowing beyond the information then will such a person be saved? That verse is argued by Lutherans, Catholics and Church of Christ. If a person was to read Romans 2:7 without knowing beyond the information then will such a person be saved? That verse is quoted by those that believe you can lose your salvation. If a person was to read Mark 16:16 without knowing beyond the information then will such a person be saved trusting in his/her baptism? If a person was to read Luke 18:22 without knowing beyond the information then will such a person be saved? Lordship salvation seems to think so. If a person was to read Galatians 6:8 without knowing beyond the information then will such a person be saved? What happens to the man that does not believe that Christ is the "I am he"??

    Do you wish to continue hiding behind a verse here and there without looking beyond the information??? We can prove anything we want that way.

    Adios!!

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  97. Sorry, but I am done with this topic. I am afraid that I might be asked next if God has feathers because Psalm 91:4 says so without knowing beyond the information given there. Or if the Holy Spirit is a dove because we read a verse over yonder. Or if Christ is a door in John 10 and so on. This is the typical crossless gospel tactic by getting people to focus on a verse here and there just like the cults do without "looking beyond the information."

    Take care to those that oppose this cross gospel heresy. Stand firm and keep the faith!!

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  98. Dave:

    You have responded in the most reasonable way.


    LM

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  99. (Fred, sorry, but I am not going to let this disingenuous facade of graciousness from da Rosa go unchallenged.)

    Antonio da Rosa:

    Honesty is the best policy; isn’t it? Of course you do not recognize questions from me but, take a moment here for some transparency.

    Publicly confess, apologize and genuinely repent for your PUBLIC criminal libel and defamation of Brother Ron Shea! You publicly rumored one of the most scurrilous charges imaginable against him. With forethought and malice intended you defamed and besmirched him in the most heinous way imaginable.

    Your private and secretive confessions (plural) do not absolve you of the responsibility to publicly confess and apologize for the PUBLIC sin you committed against Brother Shea and to a lesser extent me for having used my blog and my e-mail to besmirch Brother Ron.

    You owe JP and Rose an apology. They both asked you if you had anything to do with the personal attack on Brother Shea. You categorically denied any involvement. You lied to both of them, publicly to JP (at his now defunct blog) and Rose publicly revealed you lied to her privately.

    You used a false identity, The (Mr.) Truth Detector to publicly libel and defame a Brother in Christ.

    Publicly confess, apologize and genuinely repent for your PUBLIC heinous, unethical attack on your brother(s) in Christ.

    If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me,” (Ps. 66:18). Your prayers are hindered!


    LM

    *To All: For complete details on da Rosa’s criminal behavior see-

    OPEN LETTER to ANTONIO da ROSA: aka, The (Mr.) Truth Detector

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  100. Dave,

    I think you are confused. A growing knowledge of Christology or a full-fledged Christology is NOT a condition of salvation. The apostles were saved even BEFORE they know of the resurrection of our Lord. To the Philippian jailer, Paul presents the singular VERB condition of salvation: "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ!" as ONLY condition of salvation(Acts 16:31). You are confused here brother.

    The presentation of the Gospel by our Lord in Jn3 emphasized simple look=believe and NOT of a NOUN or knowledge of resurrection--it does NOT include the resurrection as you erroneously assumed.

    The unbeliever who believed on the Lord WHO paid his/her sins on the Cross is gloriously saved instantly, even if he/she does NOT even know about the resurrection (resurrection IS NOT AN ISSUE). Even SIN is NOT an issue. My point is salvation is faith alone in Christ alone. Period. It is a VERB. The ONLY noun is CHRIST alone. BELIEVE in Christ is the issue. Period. To add anything such as JBHixon's presentation is NOT what the simple presentation of the Gospel is.

    Dave, I know some Christology and I know some exegesis, but the good news of the Gospel does NOT required an unbeliever to know a full expository delineation of Jn3. A Gentile unbeliever does not know Jn3 Serpent as Nicodemus did. I think you are confused about salvation believe and post salvation growing Christology.

    Lu Mo Nyet

    Lu Mo Nyet

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  101. The unbeliever who believed on the Lord WHO paid his/her sins on the Cross is gloriously saved instantly, even if he/she does NOT even know about the resurrection (resurrection IS NOT AN ISSUE). Even SIN is NOT an issue.

    Is there ANY lingering doubt that the GES gospel is the most extreme form of reductionist heresy ever introduced to the New Testament church by one of its own, namely Zane Hodges (and perpetuated solely by Bob Wilkin’s GES)?

    Pray for these who have come under the corruptive influence of the GES “Crossless, Resurrectionless, Deityless, Repentanceless” message.


    LM

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  102. LM,

    Why you who believe in Grace have to resort to personal attack on Darosa? Just discuss theology fairly with an edification purpose. All your nice works and words are eclipsed by your vitriolic personal attack on DaRosa.

    Lu Mo Nyet

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  103. LM

    I have never read anything from Mr. Hodges. You are attacking GES but that does NOT prove your presentation of the Gospel is biblically sound. Even if you are able to prove GES wrong it DOES NOT of itself prove your position.

    What exactly is your presentation of the Gospel--specifically how would you tell a Moslem or an atheist to be saved from Jn3:16?

    Lu Mo Nyet.

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  104. My answer to Dave's question regarding my post on John 3:16.

    YES. Anyone who believes that verse is saved because he is CONVINCED (persuaded) that Jesus has given Him eternal life. That's what the verse says. It's God's promise to the one who believes.

    Can a person be saved without any information to be persuaded that John 3:16 is true?
    Whatever information gets a person to the place where they are persuaded that God's promise is true as recorded in John 3:16, that's what is needed to get them to that place.

    THE INFORMATION THAT IS NEEDED TO GET A PERSON TO THE PLACE WHERE THEY BELIEVE IN JESUS FOR ETERNAL LIFE IS **DIFFERENT** THAN THE ACTUAL BELIEVING IN HIM FOR EVERLASTING LIFE!This is what our friends on the other side are not seeing. This is exactly why they are separating themselves from GES. They just don't see the difference between believing in Jesus and the information that leads one to believe in Jesus.

    I agree with Zane Hodges that to make a list of truths about Jesus a requirement to be believed to be saved is theological legalism. IT'S NOT A REQUIREMENT TO BE SAVED! That kind of reasoning will lead to all kinds of problems because everyone has their own list. But there is no list but to believe in Jesus. That's it! That's the bulls-eye that saves. That's John 3:16.

    (Sigh!!!)It really is time for me to move on from this.
    I need to go back to Antonio's site and GES and others so that I can start learning other truths about my great salvation.

    The saving content is settled for me.
    It's John 3:16.

    Now I want to learn more about the cross-work of Christ that brought about my wonderful salvation. For example...... Zane's wonderful book, "The Atonement." It's that kind of Bible Study I love to get into and digest.

    He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. Now there's a good topic to study!!!

    With the love of Jesus,
    Diane
    :-)
    P.S. Just wanted to through this out.....
    The information the little girl needed to believe in Jesus for everlasting life was what her mother gave her when she told her the story from the Bible that God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to give us a gift. You know the rest of the story. The little girl believed the truth that Jesus is the only way to God. Simple child like faith.

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  105. Ooooops! Bad spelling!
    I meant "throw!
    SORRY!
    :-(

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  106. Lu Mo Nyet,

    Just wanted to say that I appreciate your comments. It's nice to meet you.

    Because of His great love,
    Diane
    :-)

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  107. Lou,

    Because our Lord Jesus Christ PAID all of our sins and the sins of the whole world (1Jn2:2), then the SINGULAR CONDITION of being saved is gloriously REDUCED to DOING NOTHING, even reduced to NON MERITORIOUS believe which is NOT inhale anything, just a simple PASSIVE exhale MERE BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ. I am proud of this 'EASY BELIEVISM reduction' of believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and INSTANTLY saved--simply because HE PAID IT ALL.

    Let me quote Benjamin Warfield, the Princetonian scholar who defined faith as: "The central movement in all faith is no doubt the element of assent; it is that which constitutes the mental movement so called a movement of conviction. But the movement of assent must depend, as it always does depend, on a movement, not specifically of the will, but of the intellect; the assensus issues from the notitia. The movement of the sensibilities which we call “trust, “is on the contraty the produce of the assent. And it is in this movement of the sensibilities that faith fulfills itself and it is by that, as specifically ‘faith, “it is formed." (“Faith,” in Biblical and Theological Studies (Grand Rapids: Eerd­mans), p. 403.

    Lu Mo Nyet

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  109. To All:

    Antonio da Rosa wrote above: “The communication of the death, resurrection, and deity of Christ are indispensible in this endeavor. There is no chance that our preaching will drop the most persuasive elements of the gospel.”

    NO need for any questions. A little full disclosure will be sufficient. Consider the following statements from Antonio da Rosa, such as:

    ...my position that the cross and resurrection are not the conscious and necessary objects/content to saving faith, and my position that a man may be born again apart from an understanding of Christ’s death for sin.

    Theologically speaking, ‘explicit belief in Jesus’ death and resurrection’ is not soteriologically necessary for the reception of eternal life.

    If a JW hears me speak of Christ’s deity and asks me about it, I will say, ‘Let us agree to disagree about this subject.’ At the moment that a JW or a Mormon is convinced that Jesus Christ has given to them unrevokable [sic] eternal life when they believed on Him for it, I would consider such a one saved, REGARDLESS of their varied misconcetions [sic] and beliefs about Jesus.

    I would never say you don’t have to believe that Jesus is the Son of God. This has the import of the gospel proposition which makes it salvific! If someone asks me point blank, do I believe that one must believe that Jesus is God in order to go to heaven, I would say ‘NO!’

    “If I were talking to a Jew, he may very well ask me about the deity and humanity of Jesus. I would certainly entertain his questions and answer them to the best of my ability. But if such a one continued to express doubts or objections to this, I would say politely, ‘Let us for the time being put this issue on the back-burner.

    [WAIT! Antonio just stated above, “There is no chance that our preaching will drop the most persuasive elements of the gospel.” Striking inconsistency!]

    I do not believe that one must understand, assent to, or be aware of the historical Jesus of Nazareth’s deity in order to simply be justified and receive eternal life.”

    In an evangelistic setting where the lost is concerned da Rosa stated it does not matter if he (lost man) is under the impression, “The Mormon Jesus & Evangelical Jesus Are One and the Same.” Antonio da Rosa believes that in the personal evangelism setting to present the Gospel, as da Rosa just defined it above as, “the death, resurrection, and deity of Christ,” and then to call upon the lost to believe this gospel, that: “May Indeed Frustrate God’s Grace.”

    More in the next…


    LM

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  110. Fred Lybrand,

    I'm starting to think I might have read too much into your association with Lou Martuneac. As a result, I might have drawn some overly hasty and unfair inferences about you. I'm still mulling this over.

    Gary

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  111. Fred,

    I mean, it IS possible you just didn't know how serious things are. I probably should have given you more benefit of the doubt.

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  112. Goe,

    I am wondering also about the silence of Fred. It may be true that silence speaks volumes. Or maybe the law of unintended or intended consequences is at work. Only he and the Lord knows.

    Lou,

    You should go directly to Wilkins' blog and cut him down to size exegetically if you feel qualified. I would urge you to go into Wilkins' site.

    I have read some of Wilkins' writings and am not able to tackle him even if I would like to do so in some minor things.

    I guess you must feel inferior exegetically and theologically to the GES' boss (until you prove yourself beyond cut and paste). I suggest you debate Wilkins because I want to learn both the content and method. But your cut and paste method does not lend credibility to your rants. I think you should respect the intellectuality and yes spirituality of all visitors of this blog by presenting a superior exegesis and superior theological arguments rather than blasting Da Rosa. You seem to have a personal problem with him, which does not interest many of visitors here.

    So now please present your superior exegetical and theological arguments against GES' Gospel (if there is one) and let us see if you can really defend your view exegetically & theologically. You can consider this a challenge.

    Lu Mo Nyet

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  113. Gary:

    You wrote, “Because of the complete lack of integrity that Fred has demonstrated thus far I am not even going to attempt any further interaction with him on his blog. Though he advertised it as a place to interact with HIM, all Fred really wanted to do there was turn his dogs loose on anyone who disagrees with him

    Another broken promise???

    Hmmmm,


    LM

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  115. To All:

    What is the necessity of the gospel being “persuasive,” as Antonio said when Crossless gospel advocates insist the lost can be saved apart from knowing, being persuaded of and believing the gospel?

    Antonio defined the gospel as, “the death, resurrection, and deity of Christ?” Antonio referred to the, “the death, resurrection, and deity of Christ,” as the “indispensible…most persuasive elements of the gospel.”

    Another response to Antonio’s GES “Crossless, Deityless & Resurrectionless” gospel above. See-

    The Technical Meaning of the term, “THE GOSPEL.” Greg Schliesmann dealt with the GES redefinition of, “the Gospel.” He asked, “Is the term ‘the gospel?’ ever used after Christ’s resurrection as a technical term for the specific message that the lost must believe to get saved?

    Greg continued…

    Before Jeremy Myers’s article The Gospel is More than Faith Alone, I had never heard any evangelical deny that the term “the gospel” does have such a technical usage. In fact, Myer’s view contradicts prior statements from the Grace Evangelical Society (GES). Even while advocating the crossless gospel, GES has argued that there is both a “broad” and “narrow” usage of the term “the gospel.” They argued that the “narrow” sense does refer to the message the lost must believe to be saved. That is why Zane Hodges could title his book The Gospel Under Siege. Crossless gospel proponents, however, have come to realize the impossibility of arguing that there is a “narrow” version of the term “the gospel” that does not include the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    [Update: Bob Wilkin, Executive Director of the GES, publicly announced his adoption of Jeremy Myer’s view at the GES Regional Conference in Dana Point, CA: August 24-25, 2007.]

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  116. Lou,

    If I'm wrong about a person, I reserve the right to change my mind without your permission.

    Gary

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  117. I love all my brothers & sisters in Christ here, but with our great desire to uplift Him & His truth I fear we may be talking past one another, seeming to forget that though truth is of the utmost importance, we are all on the same side of heralding our beloved Savior. I especially appreciated what bro. Kevin said about the woman at the well's sin being what showed her her need of Christ. It certainly did in my case! I was so empty due to my idolatry that I just needed a slap upside the head, & the Lord gave it to me in the form of seeing my utter sinfulness & need of our wonderful Savior! I also appreciated what Looker said when he pointed out that it was not OK for bro. Hodges to call his opponents theolgical legalists since it stifles dialogue, & I believe he hit on a major point in this whole discussion. I'd really like to see more dialogue rather than heated debate that IMO stifles dialopgue in which we could all benefit. I doubt none of us have all of our theology sewed up neatly yet & we can truly benefit from one another's insights from our study of Scripture. We need each other I believe. All of us have growing to do, yet there is wisdom to be gained from all as well.
    Bro. Lybrand, one more thought, I appreciated your quoting bro. Wilkin's comment from way back in '88 when he said beautifully: "“Lord, I am an unworthy sinner who has placed his complete trust upon what Jesus did for me upon the cross, and He promised that whoever believes in Him has eternal life.” To me, this seems like one of the cleareat & best definitions of the content of saving faith I've ever heard! Is there anything confusing or inadequate about it that caused a need for bro. Hodges' articles about Leading Someone to Christ that began all the debate? I am not trying to trap anyone, just genuinely curious. May the Lord bless you all.

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  118. David,

    "it was not OK for bro. Hodges to call his opponents theological legalists since it stifles debate."

    Do you think it's ok to call someone a "heretick" for at least 2 yrs (maybe more?)...does that stifle debate?

    To the best of my knowledge, Zane's Hydra-head article was his first and only written response to the sustained attack he graciously endured for years. It was to those that charged him with heresy that I believe his article was directed at, not those who merely disagreed with him.

    To make Zane the villain sounds a little like Hitler complaining about bad press.

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  119. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  120. David,

    I'm not calling YOU Hitler...you know who I mean.

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  121. David:

    You noted this, “Bro. Lybrand, one more thought, I appreciated your quoting bro. Wilkin’s comment from way back in ‘88 when he said beautifully: ‘Lord, I am an unworthy sinner who has placed his complete trust upon what Jesus did for me upon the cross, and He promised that whoever believes in Him has eternal life,.’ To me, this seems like one of the clearest & best definitions of the content of saving faith I’ve ever heard!

    Dr. Lybrand commented, “Any way you slice it, Wilkin formerly did not believe the GES Gospel; but, he did believe the Classic Free Grace Gospel.”

    In your opinion, does Bob Wilkin still believe, “complete trust upon what Jesus did for me upon the cross,” is a necessary component of saving faith?

    Please advise,


    LM

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  122. Diane:

    At another blog you stared the GES has never changed its position.

    You wrote, “One thing that I wish our friends on the other side would grasp..... Zane Hodges and GES NEVER changed on what the saving content was. It’s always been the same..”

    I showed you how Wilkin changed the GES Affirmation of Beliefs to accommodate the new Crossless interpretation of the content of saving faith Hodges originated. David just demonstrated from Lybrand’s Open Letter how Wilkin has shifted his view on, “complete trust upon what Jesus did for me upon the cross….”

    Are you still certain GES has NEVER shifted its view, “on what the saving content was,” that must be believed for the lost man to be born again?

    Please advise,


    LM

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  123. Looker: I would not use the term confused. I would say they are wrong. The manner in which I respond to the word "confused" would lead me to not use that term. I realize, a case could be made for the word "confused", but nonetheless I would not use it.
    Looker: I would say they are thoroughly wrong.

    Gojira: Thank you. I personally have no problem with you saying that. LOLOLOL One of the major problems I have with the GES gospel (and the thinking of those in agreement with them) is the absurdity of saying (as they have a terrible habit of building their theology on hypotheticals) a person may be saved by believing in Jesus, and then turning around and saying that the defining things that make Jesus the unique person He is unnecessary to be believed in to be in fact saved. That would be along the same lines of telling an atheist that he doesn’t need to believe in a Christian God to believe in a Christian God. It is senseless. Now some would say that the deity and the cross are psychological necessities. But that really doesn’t help because at the end of the day the GES gospel stills says that it isn’t required to believe in the things that make Jesus be the person He is, that defines and states who He is, to believe in Him. Being so, just how could they be regarded as psychologically necessary when you have just negated their theological importance? The same goes for saying that the deity or cross and resurrection are preached. So what? Those truths (according to GES) do not have to be believed to be saved, even if those are defining points about who this Jesus is that needs to be believed. That is just one the logical problems that is apparent within the GES gospel, not to mention the scriptural problems. Do you actually think that a person can be saved who rejects the resurrection? Well if you are consistent you would have to say yes. You would have to say, to be consistent, that a person can become saved by believing in Jesus all the while rejecting the truth about who Jesus actually is and what He has done. Now how a group of people could actually do that is totally beyond me. What makes the name powerful is not the word itself, but the person behind that word – who that person is. How do you separate the two? That is like saying you can get in a car with no engine and actually expect it to take you somewhere. It is absolutely ludicrous. If you think I am wrong in this part, can you correct me by showing me where GES teaches that to be saved a person must believe in the deity, death and resurrection to become “saved”? If all this sounds confusing to you, I would heartily agree. I say that because the GES gospel makes it that way by demanding one thing and denying the other.

    Looker: No. It was not OK for Zane to do that.

    Gojira: Thank you for your honesty.


    I surely can't succinctly prove this from the Bible readily, so I'll just offer it as my personal opinion.I believe the Bible rails against man-made legalism, not all legalism. (parts of Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy come to mind)


    Gojira: Thank you. Opinion noted.



    Looker: It all depends on what we mean by heretical. Since none of us are beholding to an ecceliastical hierarchy that defines heresy and orthodoxy, we are left with a term which has a million definitions. I don't think I would ever call any sincere individual who uses God's Word alone as justification for their doctrine to be heretical.


    Gojira: Surely you are aware that the term heretic was used by those naming Christ long before the very first post Biblical council? Irenaeus in fact titled his book “Against Heresies” and defined it as teaching error as truth. And he made that statement long before there was a council to discuss the issues. Your answer here troubles me as you give a statement concerning church history. An “ecceliastical hierarchy”? That implies Romanism. Are you aware that arose in time? Are you aware of why the first few councils were needed? Are you aware of how the early church structured their leadership? What you wrote above would imply that you do not. Heresy basically means to stand against, and was a word used against those who stood against the faith once delivered to the saints.

    You write: “I don't think I would ever call any sincere individual who uses God's Word alone as justification for their doctrine to be heretical.”

    Now that is a deep statement. So you would never say that the founder of the JW’s wasn’t a heretic? He used the Bible as justification, and was also sincere. The Gnostics the early post Apostolic church fought were sincere and based much of their thought on the scriptures, especially the Gospel of John…so you would say they were not heretical? You would have to if you actually wanted to stand by what you said, since in fact you said “any sincere individual” coupled with “word of God alone” So you would not think the founder of the Mormons was heretical in doctrine? He was sincere and based many of his doctrines on scripture. The Roman Catholics believe in transubstantiation based solely upon the scriptural account of the “last supper.” To be consistent you would have to say they are not heretical. Peter talks in his second letter about those who distort scripture to their own destruction. It would probably be safe to say that a few of them were sincere, and you would say that they were not heretics in what they taught? The problem is that you would want to wrangle over how a word is defined that basically means to stand against the truth with the teaching of error. That is just a wowser to me.

    By the way, you mention Luther. I am sure you know that he was a world class trash talker to those whom he himself would call preachers of heresy. And also, by the way, his big problem with Huss was Huss’ view of the bread and wine.

    Thanks for listening.

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  124. David,

    There is no contradiction between what Bob Wilkin believed then and what he believes now. I think we are getting a little too hung up on semantics when we make a big issue of this.

    I always appreciate and respect your opinion and graciousness.

    Gary

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  125. Hey All,

    I'm back...but my wife is it trying to tell me about the last few days while I was gone...so...for now I just want to mention one comment I see;

    Goe said:

    Fred Lybrand,

    I'm starting to think I might have read too much into your association with Lou Martuneac. As a result, I might have drawn some overly hasty and unfair inferences about you. I'm still mulling this over.

    Gary

    I assure you all my righteous and sinful opinions are my own. Your inferences about me could still be correct anyway(regardless of the haste or reason)! The real thing to know is that I'm a sinner saved by God's kindness...and I'm very interested in the truth, no matter who says it or holds.

    Of course, if we could all just learn to get along...what would we ever blog about?!!!

    I'll weigh in tomorrow,

    FRL

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  126. Fred,

    Sounds fair enough. Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thanks,
    Gary

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  127. Diane:"I agree with Zane Hodges that to make a list of truths about Jesus a requirement to be believed to be saved is theological legalism. IT'S NOT A REQUIREMENT TO BE SAVED!"

    Thank you! Do you believe, as many in GES do, that a person, to be saved, must also believe in eternal security at the point of initial faith? I really don't see how ya could since that would put one added requirment to believing in Jesus for eternal life. Perhaps GES shouldn't make that little extra step, huh? Perhaps they would rather just be sneaky and reword it so it could just get pushed in without anyone noticing it. You think they would do something like that?

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  128. Gojira,

    It's not an "extra step." Eternal life=eternal security

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  129. "There is a logical relationship between believing that Jesus died on the cross and rose again from the dead and believing in Him for eternal life. I have never met anyone, nor have I ever evangelized anyone, who believed in Jesus for eternal life who denied the death and resurrection of Christ."

    Hello Antonio. Quite a good post you have there. Hmmmmmmm....I can think of many liberals who think the resurrection accounts to be purely fiction and yet profess faith in Christ (most notably the people from the Jesus Seminar). Your system would say they are saved since belief in the resurrection isn't nessecary to be believed to be saved. Wow.
    ***********
    "Someone is not going to place their trust in Him who is not convinced that Jesus is authoratative, reliable, willing, able, etc. to secure their eternal destiny."

    So eternal security is an added requirment put in place by an organization that doesn't add requirments to believing in Jesus "for eternal life"? By the way, did GES ever come to a full consensus amongst members if eternal security was part of the life saving gospel? Just wondering.

    Hope you have been doing well.

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  130. It was Charles Ryrie who said: 'If eternal life could be lost, then it has the wrong name."

    Do you think a person is saved if they are only believing in Him for probation.?

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  131. Geo,

    You saying it doesn't prove it. The theif on the cross obviously didn't believe it at the time, yet Jesus gave him assurance of eternal life. So much for that theory, huh? Oh well. Sad though that you guys add that one requirment and then say you don't add requirments. Besides scripture defines eternal life as knowing God, that it is His life given to us. Eternal security is a blessing brought to us via His gracious love, promise, and work on the cross. Eternal life according to scripture is knowing God and receiving His life. To say, as you have, that eternal security=eternal life would be to say that the very life of God is in need of eternal security. Besides the last I heard not all in GES would agree that eternal security is something that needs to be believed in to receive salvation. That says quite a bit, Geo, especially when someone says that there isn't agreement on the other side.

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  132. "It was Charles Ryrie who said: 'If eternal life could be lost, then it has the wrong name."

    I would say that both you and Charles Ryrie are conflating two seperate issuse. I personally do not look to Ryrie as a cult figure, so it is ok if I disagree with him, and by the same token, he with me. Oh, and Geo, I believe eternal security to be a very Biblical doctrine.

    You sleep well tonight Geo.

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  133. The thief on the cross had obviously already believed that Jesus was the Christ before he asked Jesus to "remember him." Otherwise, why would he have asked Him that? He was asking Jesus to give recognition of his having 'confessed Him before men." Matt. 10:32-33

    If you don't mind Gojira, it's goe. Or Gary will do. Thanks

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  134. Douglas,

    Why don't you address any of your feedback, beefs, objections, criticisms, and questions to me?

    We are friends, and I know that we go far beyond some of the emotionalism that has appeared here on this thread. Ask me a question, give me a valid objection, and I will answer you.

    This includes Fred Lybrand, or any other, except a certain party, who I will never refer to, address, or acknowledge here on the blogs ever again.

    Fred,

    Shall we talk about "classic Free Grace"?

    I do wish to explore your unique relationship to the doctrines and Free Grace theology of L.S. Chafer, Walvoord, and Ryrie, that the GES fails to apprehend.

    To all who oppose GES soteriology:

    1) Why do those who consider themselves FG, yet oppose GES soteriology have 4+ major positions on the content of saving faith and are not in concensus? I will delineate them if you wish.

    2) Tell me why you think that Jesus' message that John gives for us some 5-20 year after Paul's death had only a 3 year shelf life. Will you be so bold as to declare Jesus a liar when He said, "Whoever believes in Me has everlasting life"?

    3) What is your objective hermeneutic that determines what truths must be believed for eternal life and those which are unnecessary to be believed? How do you objectively determine your checklist for evangelism? And please be as verbose as possible, because, as of yet, no opposing faction against the GES has been so frank as to share with us the objective standards by which they determine the precise and specific content to saving faith.

    4) Do you honestly think that someone will be thrown in to hell who nevertheless repudiates all works and trusts SOLELY in the Jesus Christ of the New Testament? You mean someone can have the RIGHT THING (faith) in the RIGHT PERSON (Jesus Christ) and still go to hell on doctrinal technicalities?

    Imagine the scenario:

    Jesus: You trusted in me alone, apart from works. You entrusted your eternal destiny to me by faith alone in Me.

    Man: Yes I did. I believed in you, as per John 3:16; 5:24; 6:35-40, 47; 11:25-26. I believe that you alone dispense eternal life, and I believe in you for that gift.

    Jesus: Nevertheless, there were other doctrinal stipulations. You see, you did not fully understand my death and resurrection. My death was not only potential, but actual, removing all the sins of the world. You see, you believed my death only potentially removed the sins of the world. You didn't believe in real universal atonement.

    You didn't understand that I was fully divine, although you attributed to me some quasi-divine status. You see, without knowledge that I am fully God, you go to hell.

    Man: But i relied upon you alone, according to your own words!

    Jesus: But you didn't understand the progressive nature of Paul's gospel. My words only had a 3 year shelf life, from there, you have to rely solely on Paul.

    Man: But John transcribed your words some 5-30 years after Paul died, how was I to know that John's treatise, written with explicit evangelistic purposes, failed at its proclamation of the truth, and purposefully withheld pertinent conditions I needed to abide by to be saved!?

    Jesus: I know that there are no explicit statements in ANY of the Pauline literature denoting EXACTLY and PRECISELY every detail, caveat, codicil, and stipulation necessary. I assumed you had the objective standard by which to synthesize Pauline material in such a way as to determine for yourself what the exact content of saving faith is.

    Man: but so many people said so many things! I thought I could just rely upon you to receive that which I lacked! I know that I didn't have life! I know that I needed that life! I know you said that you offered that life by faith alone! Was my faith misplaced!?!?

    Jesus: No. It was not misplaced. But you were not qualified to believe in Me! There were pre-qualifiers and conditions to be met BEFORE you could simply trust me for salvation! Sure I died for your sins, sure I rose again. Sure I paid for it all. But my offer came with significant stipulations that during your life you did not qualify for! I am sorry, but I must throw you into hell.

    Man: Jesus, I believed in You! I relied upon you, considering your word true, that if I believed in You, and I did, that I had eternal life!

    Jesus: Most assuredly I say to you, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father, unless they come through Me and the exact doctrinal stipulations that are apprehended by the correct exegetical and hermeneutical processes by which the gospel of John is supplemented by earlier Pauline soteriological addition, that showed that John, who wrote later, was erroneous in his affirmations.

    I am sorry. Faith alone in Christ alone is not sufficient. There were substantial provisos, codicils, strings, and conditions that you did not fulfill.

    In the counsel of the Triune God's will, I bought, purchased eternal life with my death.

    But We deemed that those, and only those, who reached a certain level of orthodoxy, AND believed in Me were saved. That specific level was not the issue of any passage, but is the collation of many passages, being strung together by correct synthesis, and patch-worked together by correct hermeneutics, and found in scavenger like fashion.

    Man: So believing in you for eternal life was not sufficient?

    Jesus: I am sorry. Even though you relied upon Me through My promise alone to guarantee eternal life to everyone who believes in Me, I must send you to hell, for you did not fulfill each one of my doctrinal stipulations in addition to relying solely upon Me without works.

    Man: Did you then lie when you were on the earth!? Please Jesus, say it isn't so! I trusted you!

    Jesus: I am sorry. Progressive revelation was indeed required to be believed in post-resurrection people. My words in John 3:16 only had a 3 year shelf life.

    Man: Jesus, this can't be so!

    Jesus: Depart from Me, you wicked, into the place crafted for the devil and his angels.

    Man: Jesus! No!

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  135. Fred:

    You have missed a great deal in your time away. I am going to republish two comments from well up the thread. Here is the first, which was a two part comment...

    Antonio da Rosa wrote above: “The communication of the death, resurrection, and deity of Christ are indispensible in this endeavor. There is no chance that our preaching will drop the most persuasive elements of the gospel.”

    NO need for any questions. A little full disclosure will be sufficient. Consider the following statements from Antonio da Rosa, such as:

    ...my position that the cross and resurrection are not the conscious and necessary objects/content to saving faith, and my position that a man may be born again apart from an understanding of Christ’s death for sin.

    Theologically speaking, ‘explicit belief in Jesus’ death and resurrection’ is not soteriologically necessary for the reception of eternal life.

    If a JW hears me speak of Christ’s deity and asks me about it, I will say, ‘Let us agree to disagree about this subject.’ At the moment that a JW or a Mormon is convinced that Jesus Christ has given to them unrevokable [sic] eternal life when they believed on Him for it, I would consider such a one saved, REGARDLESS of their varied misconcetions [sic] and beliefs about Jesus.

    I would never say you don’t have to believe that Jesus is the Son of God. This has the import of the gospel proposition which makes it salvific! If someone asks me point blank, do I believe that one must believe that Jesus is God in order to go to heaven, I would say ‘NO!’

    “If I were talking to a Jew, he may very well ask me about the deity and humanity of Jesus. I would certainly entertain his questions and answer them to the best of my ability. But if such a one continued to express doubts or objections to this, I would say politely, ‘Let us for the time being put this issue on the back-burner.

    [WAIT! Antonio just stated above, “There is no chance that our preaching will drop the most persuasive elements of the gospel.” Striking inconsistency!]

    I do not believe that one must understand, assent to, or be aware of the historical Jesus of Nazareth’s deity in order to simply be justified and receive eternal life.”

    In an evangelistic setting where the lost is concerned da Rosa stated it does not matter if he (lost man) is under the impression, “The Mormon Jesus & Evangelical Jesus Are One and the Same.” Antonio da Rosa believes that in the personal evangelism setting to present the Gospel, as da Rosa just defined it above as, “the death, resurrection, and deity of Christ,” and then to call upon the lost to believe this gospel, that: “May Indeed Frustrate God’s Grace.”

    More in the next…


    LM


    To All:

    What is the necessity of the gospel being “persuasive.” as Antonio said, when Crossless gospel advocates insist the lost can be saved apart from knowing, being persuaded of and believing the gospel? The gospel, which Antonio defined as, “the death, resurrection, and deity of Christ?” Antonio referred to the, “the death, resurrection, and deity of Christ,” as the “indispensible…most persuasive elements of the gospel.”

    Another response to Antonio’s GES “Crossless, Deityless & Resurrectionless” gospel above. See-

    The Technical Meaning of the term, “THE GOSPEL.” Greg Schliesmann dealt with the GES redefinition of, “the Gospel.” He asked, “Is the term ‘the gospel?’ ever used after Christ’s resurrection as a technical term for the specific message that the lost must believe to get saved?

    Greg continued…

    Before Jeremy Myers’s article The Gospel is More than Faith Alone, I had never heard any evangelical deny that the term “the gospel” does have such a technical usage. In fact, Myer’s view contradicts prior statements from the Grace Evangelical Society (GES). Even while advocating the crossless gospel, GES has argued that there is both a “broad” and “narrow” usage of the term “the gospel.” They argued that the “narrow” sense does refer to the message the lost must believe to be saved. That is why Zane Hodges could title his book The Gospel Under Siege. Crossless gospel proponents, however, have come to realize the impossibility of arguing that there is a “narrow” version of the term “the gospel” that does not include the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    [Update: Bob Wilkin, Executive Director of the GES, publicly announced his adoption of Jeremy Myer’s view at the GES Regional Conference in Dana Point, CA: August 24-25, 2007.]


    LM

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  136. Hi Gojira,

    I appreciate your question regarding adding eternal security to the list of what has to be believed to be saved..... making it theological legalism as you indicated. (I know I've paraphrased.)

    None of us in GES that I know of believe that people have to believe in the DOCTRINE of eternal security the moment of salvation. That comes later when we learn all the biblical reasons why we can't loose our salvation. But the ***CONCEPT*** of eternal security IS believed or you haven't yet been born again. To believe in Jesus is to KNOW that He HAS saved you. At that moment you have only joy in your heart because you know that you have been saved. Your eternity is settled!!!!! There's no thinking at that moment that your salvation is only good if you continue to obey Him. None of that kind of thinking. When you believe in Jesus Christ for everlasting life, you're convinced that you are saved forever. SETTLED! DONE!

    Later (for many different reasons) doubts may come and you can think you could loose your salvation, but that's not in your mind when FAITH HAPPENS! At THAT MOMENT you believe that your eternity is ***SECURE***!!!
    AMEN! Isn't that the reason we rejoice!!!

    Good question Gojira!

    I know I'm breaking my own rule here. I really did have every intention of not commenting anymore on this blog because I wanted to move on to other things. I want to have sweet fellowship with my Lord in His Word around other truths. Too much of this is not healthy for anybody I don't think. But because I'm interested in this crucial debate, I find myself being pulled back in. But I come here as a friend and sister in Christ who wants a friendly relationship with you all and friendly conversation and discussion around the person of Jesus Christ. He's my Savior!!! He's my life!!! He's my joy!!! And He alone is worthy of all our praise and adoration.

    May God teach us all to seek truth in love and grace.

    With much love to you all because of Him,
    Diane
    :-)

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  137. Fred:

    Here is another on the issue of the GES heresy I posted way back…

    1) Honesty is the best policy, and honestly before the Lord, regardless of Fred Lybrand’s opinion, which he’s entitled to, I cannot see how the GES gospel is NOT heresy and/or a false gospel. In this respect, I must agree with Gary’s line of reasoning: If a person “cannot get saved from” the GES gospel and those who preach it and teach it need to “repent” of it, how is it not heretical and a false form of the gospel?

    2) The real issue here is not what either Fred or myself think about a particular label, but what does the Word of God say about the “gospel?” If the “gospel” is “the message of the cross” according to God’s Word itself in *1 Cor. 1:17, and the lost must “believe” in Christ’s “work” on the cross and in His resurrection so as not to “perish” (**Acts 13:41), but GES comes along and actively says (i.e., “preaches”) to people that they DON’T have to believe in the very content that God says they must believe, how is that NOT “preaching a false gospell” or “heresy?” This is not a matter of GES men struggling internally with this Crossless question in their own personal conscience. They are actively, aggressively, publicly teaching and preaching their “Crossless” version of the good news. How is that NOT preaching a false gospel?

    3) We all recognize that the term “heresy” is a loaded and emotionally charged word. I can understand Fred’s reluctance to use this term or even to say that his former GES associates are “preaching a false gospel.” That is a difficult admission for anyone regarding former friends or family members in the body of Christ, and I think Fred is trying to be polite here and keep the discussion focused on what saith the Scriptures? That’s his prerogative. I am, however, personally convinced in my conscience before God that the GES view is an egregious heresy and a false gospel and I am always ready and willing to say that publicly, without apology, even if other brethren who recognize the GES errors are not quite there yet.


    LM

    * “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ be made of none effect.”

    **Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.”

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  138. Another thought I had, Dear Friends.....

    I just wanted to put in a kind word for Zane Hodges. I do not believe for a moment that he was lashing out at his attackers by calling them a name when using the words "Theological Legalist." I believe he carefully thought about this and felt that this was the correct term to identify the error. It wasn't an emotional reaction. I believe it describes the theological error very well. I don't think there was one tiny bit of malice at all contained in it. I, for one, was thankful for his careful analysis on this very critical issue dealing with the content of saving faith. It needs to be in the theological history books for others in the future to consider. The Zane Hodges I knew was a man of integrity. Very, very gracious and lived what he preached!!

    To tell you the truth, until this debate came up, I never really thought about it before. Perhaps I was a theological legalist. I don't know. I believed that Jesus died for my sins and rose from the grave before I believed in Jesus for eternal life. But I never thought about the requirement that NEEDED to be believed until this debate came up a few years ago. One thing I've always known since I was born again..... I knew I was saved when I simply believed the promise God made to me in John 3:16. That verse has ALWAYS been my assurance verse. That promise is what kept me from doubting all these years. When Zane used the term Theological Legalist, I had to ask myself..... was I that at one time? I would have liked to talk with Zane about that. But I was not offended. I was glad for the teaching. I was sharpened in my understanding on this very important issue. I'm thankful for the term. It describes the error very well. Only those who don't want to face this truth of the error are the ones who are offended. Why else would there be any offense?

    I'm sure there's LOTS of things that the Lord will be sharpening me on that I'm not clear on yet. But thank the Lord for Zane Hodges because God has used him tremendously in my life to sharpen me in understanding the scriptures. That's how much God loves me. How I praise Him!!!

    Friends, do you really want to separate from me because I agree with Zane Hodges and the GES? That is so sad. I've been saved by the blood of the Lamb the same way you were. I'm going to live with my resurrected Savior the same as you if you've believed in Jesus Christ for eternal life. We're in the same family. We're going to be living together throughout all eternity worshipping and serving the same Savior!!!
    You really want to separate from me? That's very sad.
    I can fellowship with you around the person of Jesus Christ. I differ with you on what the bulls-eye is that brings about salvation. But I agree with you that the Savior is the crucified, risen Son of God. How could you even think that I and my GES friends would ever stop preaching the cross. If that were the case, I would separate from ME, too!!! That would never happen.

    If you want to use this little 3 year old child as an example of that happening (not preaching the cross), then you have misunderstood my point. Her mother did teach her about the cross and resurrection a few months later. All I was showing you was that this little girl BELIEVED IN JESUS for eternal life BEFORE she learned of the cross. That little girl believed what her mother told her regarding Jesus giving everlasting life as a gift to those who believe in Him. What her mother shared with her was all she needed to believe in Him. And yes..... she was a smart 3 year old..... smart for her age. She was almost 4 at the time.

    Sorry..... I got carried away here. I hope I didn't offend anyone. That was never my intention. Forgive me if I DID cause any hurt. I only wanted to express my heart because I'm grieved by those believers who want to separate from me and my GES friends.

    Let me finish by quoting a hymn that I love.

    Like a river glorious is God's perfect peace,
    Over all victorious In its bright increase;
    Perfect, yet it floweth Fuller every day;
    Perfect, yet it groweth Deeper all the way.

    Stayed upon Jehovah, Hearts are fully blest
    Finding, as He promised, Perfect peace and rest.
    May we all know that peace,
    Diane

    ReplyDelete
  139. Diane:

    You wrote, “Friends, do you really want to separate from me because I agree with Zane Hodges and the GES?”

    The issue is not what we want to do; it is about what the Bible mandates. Furthermore, you do more than “agree with ZH’s and the GES” reductionist errors, you are doing what you can to propagate and attract the unsuspecting to the reductionist heresy of ZH and GES.

    You are one of the unfortunates who was exposed to and sadly fell in to the trap of Crossless gospel heresy. Because the GES membership continues to shrink into an increasingly small cell of theological extremists, you are by default a prime instigator.

    No one misunderstood your little child illustration. It exemplified the tragedy of the Crossless gospel.

    Your little child illustration is a tragic example of what comes from the anti-biblical teachings of ZH, Wilkin Niemelä, Bryant and Lopez.

    The Bible is very clear in this situation.

    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).

    A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject,” (Titus 3:10)

    The Crossless gospel is a “contrary” doctrine. It has introduced “divisions and offences” into the body of Christ. When it becomes clear as it has with GES that they reject biblical admonitions to turn from and repent of their gross heresy, the Bible commands that they be rejected. We must, therefore, obey the biblical mandates to “mark” so as to warn others to “avoid the teachers of the CG heresy so that they do not become exposed to and like you have succumbed to the their egregious errors.

    ZH originated a system of belief never before seen in NT times. The Crossless gospel is the most extreme and egregious form of reductionist heresy ever introduced to the NT church. The GES is the sole propagator of this reductionism, which is a non-saving, deconstructionist message.

    You want unity in spite of the GES being the sole repository of a heretical form of the Gospel. This is a major doctrine and the GES has taken an altogether anti-biblical stance on the Gospel.

    There can NEVER be fellowship or cooperation with GES until they depart from and repent of the CG heresy. Rose and Michele constantly cry for unity at the expense of fidelity to God and His Word. That is the cry of ecumenical compromise and those who love God and His Word above all will NEVER agree to that kind of sinful, unholy alliance.

    The GES is in cardiac arrest as it should be, I still hope Wilkin right down to folks like you can be recovered from and repent of their heresy. I know that you GES people pack a great deal of emotion over this issue.

    That is IMO because of your fierce loyalty to your departed hero, ZH. That is why IMO you GES people cannot for one moment consider ZH might have been wrong, your emotional attachment to Hodges won’t let you. This is why there has been very little success getting past GES people’s emotions to their brains.


    LM

    ReplyDelete
  140. Lou,

    I have not read your statement on the Gospel and on the condition to receive salvation. Can you restate it to make it clear [to a newcomer] please?

    From what I read I gathered that your Gospel presentation basically as summarized in 1Cor15:3-4 (death and resurrection of our Lord's as core message) and the conditions are repentance and believe. Am I right in reading your Gospel?

    Thanks

    Lu Mo Nyet

    ReplyDelete
  141. Lu MO Nyet,

    No I'm sorry that really isn't my statement. Where are you getting these ideas about my personal view of the gospel?

    Moreover, I see the term "Gospel Presentation" in your question. I of course make a distinction between one's presentation and what one must believe to be saved. In fact, I go to great lengths to make this clear in my letter.

    I don't mean this rudely at all, but it would be a great help for the discussion if you would read the paper this comment stream is about. If you have already read it, then I am very apologetic for my misunderstanding.

    The questions I'm wrestling with relate directly to The GES Gospel Open Letter.

    I'd be glad to talk about my 'understanding', but that needs another blog.

    Thanks much,

    FRL

    Here's where to get the Open Letter:

    http://docyouments.googlepages.com/GESGospel.LybrandOpenLetter.04-14-09.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  142. Hey All,

    I've notices that a number of the comments are about GES's also troubling view that one must believe the Doctrine of Eternal Security to be saved.

    If you don't mind, I'll start another stream so we can consider that issue in a separate and more focused way.

    Thanks much,

    FRL

    ReplyDelete
  143. Fred,

    If you had bothered to read Lu MO Nyet's comment , it was addressed to Lou, not you. Lou DOES believe that repentance and faith are the conditions of salvation. Lu MO Nyet read Lou's Gospel right, and was seeking confirmation from Lou. You misread Lu MO Nyet's comment wrong, just as you did an earlier comment I made. It appears you ARE being "rude' to this gentleman, whether you meant to or not.

    ReplyDelete
  144. Fred,

    Would it be too much trouble if you gave an unequivocal statement on whether you believe the GES gospel is heresy and a false gospel? Do you agree with Lou Martuneac? Since the "repentance" you have called for from the GES lies at the heart of your "Open Letter" , it would seem fitting if you gave us all an answer to this all important queston before starting an entirely new thread on eternal security, don't you agree?

    ReplyDelete
  145. At an inconsequential pro-Crossless blog, this was posted by an Anonymous person. It is a helpful contribution to the discussion here of the GES Crossless gospel.


    All one has to do is read the articles from the GES newsletter and journal from the beginning- (1988) to the present to see how and when the GES gospel was developed.

    This notion that major developments and progression on many key doctrines and passages is misleading at best. God has always had a people. It did not take the coming of Prof. Hodges to get the “saving message” right.

    Read the Pastoral Epistles. Paul instructions to Timothy (2 Tim 4:1 ) does not allow the above thinking as you mean it to be. (referenced a Crossless advocate’s comment)

    Major development has taken place in history, such as the reformation. The reformation did not result in a NEW doctrine being developed concerning how to have eternal life. It has always been by “faith alone, in Christ alone.” Many re-discovered the Biblical truth.

    The GES gospel is new. No one (in NT history outside GES) has ever embraced it. Being new doesn’t make it wrong, or right. It is the fact that for the FIRST TIME in history has it been REVEALED as it is being articulated by GES.

    ReplyDelete
  146. goe said...

    Fred,

    Your "Open Letter" has been posted for 8 days and you have yet to give an unequivocal answer to the most important question of all: Do you believe the GES gospel is heresy and a false gospel? Do you agree with Lou Martuneac? Many of us have been patiently awaiting your answer.

    Respectfully yours,

    Gary
    April 23, 2009 7:22 AM

    Fred R. Lybrand said...

    Gary,

    I have given an answer.

    Perhaps I need a definition of terms: What exactly do you mean by heresy? It is possible I believe it is heresy according to your definition and just don't realize it.

    The problem is that the use of that kind of term can be inflammatory and can distract us from real discussion.

    I have been very clear that I don't believe one can be eternally saved if all they believe is the GES Gospel.

    Why is that inadequate?

    Some definitions of heresy are simply 'deviant opionion' from the norm...I suppose I need to know from you if you think I'm a heretic for not believing in the GES Gospel.

    Again, and I appreciate the clarity, what do you mean by heresy?

    Thanks,

    FRL

    ReplyDelete
  147. All,

    Several have brought up this idea of "well we preach the Cross anyway so what does it matter"

    We are not talking about what someone claims they preach.

    We are talking about what the Gospel that saves is.

    Frankly, I'm not impressed by people SAYING they preach something. Especially when they are on written record doing NOTHING of the kind.

    If you think saying "we preach the Cross" means that that GES preaches the Gospel that would be like saying I tell people about air pressure as a justification for handing out photocopied Pilot's licenses.

    Kev

    ReplyDelete
  148. Lu,

    Many, many apologies. Gary is right, I didn't read that you were addressing Lou. I assure you however, it wasn't that "I didn't bother to read who you were addressing"...it was that I haven't caught on (until now) that the interactions aren't always directed at me in my blog.

    Many apologies, again. I'm very new to blogging, but I'm a fairly quick study.

    Grace,

    FRL

    ReplyDelete
  149. All,

    One more thing - this idea that calling someone a Heretic is bad because it "stifles debate" is just more humanistic junk that makes a swamp of the water we're giving out.

    Listen to how Paul dealt with heresy.

    Galatians 2:3-5
    3 Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. 4 And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage), 5 to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

    Paul didn't fear stifling debates with those who brought heresy into the Church. He shut them down.

    Truth doesn't debate with Untruth. You know who does try to make it a debate? The same one who asked Adam "Hath God indeed said?"

    Kev

    ReplyDelete
  150. David Wyatt:

    Yesterday, I responded to your earlier comment with a thought and question. I trust you will return with a personal response/answer; right?

    You noted this, “Bro. Lybrand, one more thought, I appreciated your quoting bro. Wilkin’s comment from way back in ‘88 when he said beautifully: ‘Lord, I am an unworthy sinner who has placed his complete trust upon what Jesus did for me upon the cross, and He promised that whoever believes in Him has eternal life,.’ To me, this seems like one of the clearest & best definitions of the content of saving faith I’ve ever heard!

    Dr. Lybrand commented, “Any way you slice it, Wilkin formerly did not believe the GES Gospel; but, he did believe the Classic Free Grace Gospel.”

    My QUESTION: In your opinion, does Bob Wilkin still believe, “complete trust upon what Jesus did for me upon the cross,” is a necessary component of saving faith?Please advise, thanks!


    LM

    ReplyDelete
  151. Fred,

    I agree with you that the use of the term heresy is indeed inflammatory, and Lou has been using it repeatedly on this thread. Why are you allowing that? Do you agree or disagree?

    ReplyDelete
  152. Kev,

    I'm afraid I'm going to have to agree with you about the distinction between what is preached and what is necessary to believe to be saved.

    It is largely unavoidable that everyone 'preaches' more than what is required to be saved.

    The issue is much more in the direction of what would you really focus on helping someone to believe in order to be saved?

    The GES Gospel doesn't get you to the cross, but its proponents do think it helpful to mention. Many things can be helpful, but it doesn't address the true issue.

    Can you be saved with something less than the gospel?

    If 'no'---then what is that gospel?

    Grace,

    FRL

    ReplyDelete
  153. Fred,

    "if 'no'---then what is that gospel?" Why won't you answer that for us Fred? Do you agree with Lou Martuneac's answer?

    ReplyDelete
  154. Gary,

    As I am new to blogging (I'll quit using that excuse in a few days), I'm not sure what "allow" means...am I supposed to rebuke people or kick them out? Where does free speech fit?

    If I read it right, you have referred to someone (me?) as a Hitler. How am I supposed to treat that?

    These are authentic questions I do not understand in Blogopia.

    I feel like an alien.

    Thanks,

    FRL

    ReplyDelete
  155. Fred,

    You had no problem chiding me for assuming you believed as Lou does, yet you have never said one word to Lou for repeatedly using what you admit is an inflammatory term. Your call for repentance from the GES further places you under a moral obligation to answer whether the GES gospel is heresy. Do you agree with Lou, if not, then why do you allow him to repeatedly use the term . You have rebuked both Lu MO Nyet and me, so apparently you do know something about administering a blog.

    ReplyDelete
  156. I was not referring to you as Hitler and you know it Fred.

    ReplyDelete
  157. Goe, why did you even bring Hitler up? Was there something edifying to be accomplished through it? Did it "foster debate"?

    Kev

    ReplyDelete
  158. Brother Fred,

    I believe what Goe is trying to accomplish is to force you to but comment moderation on. This limits conversation and GREATLY increases the blogger's work load. You would have to manually approve or disapprove of every post in every discussion.

    As the blog owner you can publicly ban someone from your blog - as Christians we ought to obey such a thing - however (the world must laugh at our hypocrisy) that doesn't often work.

    Kev

    ReplyDelete
  159. Kev,

    It was a hyperbolic analogy referring to Lou Martuneac, who had been persecuting the GES for years with what Fred admits is an "inflammatory" term.
    Yet Zane Hodges is made to look like the villain when he finally responds to Lou and Duluth shortly before his death. Then Lou cries foul and arrogantly proclaims that this is Zane's "legacy." I stick by what I said.

    Gary O Edmonson

    ReplyDelete
  160. No need for comment moderation. I'm sure many interested parties have archived this exchange. Fred's lack of integrity has been adequately documented for all to see. He has absolutely NO authority before God to call for repentance from anyone. The FGA has no credibility either.

    Thank you and goodbye.

    Respectfully yours,

    Gary O Edmonson

    ReplyDelete
  161. Gary you said

    It was a hyperbolic analogy referring to Lou Martuneac, who had been persecuting the GES for years with what Fred admits is an "inflammatory" term.
    Yet Zane Hodges is made to look like the villain when he finally responds to Lou and Duluth shortly before his death. Then Lou cries foul and arrogantly proclaims that this is Zane's "legacy." I stick by what I said.
    Thank you for being clear.

    Gary, this is your theology playing out in your life. This is what theology does in everyone's lives. This is EXACTLY why Paul took doctrinal error more seriously than any other kind. You have been feeding on a "double-standard" theology and this is resulting in the same type of behavior flowing out of you.

    Gary, if it is terrible of Lou to call Zane on his serious doctrinal error and use the accepted term for such, then how could it ever be ok for you to refer through "hyperbolic analogy" to Lou as Hitler?

    If you accuse Lou of acting un-Christ-like what of your own actions? Are you given a free pass because you think it's ok to do terrible things to people who you think have done terrible things?

    Or is it, and this is what I would guess, that your life and your theology is dictated by situational perceptions. IE - if you're making this point then this Scripture means this, BUT if your making that point then this Scripture means that. Which would translate into - it's terrible of Lou to call someone a heretic when they are blatantly and clearly teaching heresy, but it's ok to call Lou Hitler because your feelings are hurt over Zane being evaluated according to Scripture.

    Gary, I spell this out for you here knowing that it's not a fun read for you. But we HAVE to get this out on the table because THIS is your problem. THIS is exactly why you can't see Truth.

    You are just like the woman at the well. Truth is right here for you but you can't recongize It because you haven't yet seen your need for it.

    Might you consider that Truth is a very narrow path and it really does exist?

    Kev

    ReplyDelete
  162. Hi Fred,

    So far the exchanges has been interesting. If there is more posting on Bible it would be better. A negative example, I have yet to see even ONE good Biblical posting from Lou. If you let his long and getting even longer cut and paste war against Da Rosa then many will not come back to your blog. Why not MORE on Bible--because only Bible is edifying?

    Lu Mo Nyet

    ReplyDelete
  163. Hi Lu Mo Nyet,

    I share your concerns about argument not being about the Scriptures, and I add that those that are about the Scriptures often are rooted in such a "low view" of Scripture that it's hardly right to consider it a Biblical discussion.

    The problem is that the GES Gospel has been shown to be anti-Biblical and this has been established for a very long time now. The only thing left for it's proponents to do is to wage personal attacks.

    What exactly is Lou supposed to write to Antonio? Antonio has been shown his errors from Scripture MANY TIMES. Antonio has flat out refused to discuss the Scriptures for years. I have engaged him time and time again to have him answer simple questions which he will not.

    However Antonio avoids talking about the Scriptures he's always managed to have time for personal attacks and restating the previously proven incorrect positions that he spreads.

    How would you speak to such a person? Would you let such a person come into a fellowship and speak without letting people know the history?

    If Antonio COULD speak from a Scripture point of view he surely would, but he can not because the GES Gospel is no gospel at all.

    I have asked him over and over again to convince me, but he has not ever been willing to do so. I, as Fred expressed he is, am a lover of the Truth. I would not hold on to the Gospel I preach unless I KNEW it was true. If I am shown that the GES Gospel is true I will hold to it.

    But instead of talking about Scripture most of this GES group seemingly prefer to talk about how Lou has hurt their feelings for not endulging their error which lets people smile on their way to the Lake of Fire.

    Kev

    ReplyDelete
  164. One of the biblical principles that guides our response when faced with Christians who, from within the body of Christ, propagate of a false, non-saving gospel is found here.

    Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears,” (Acts 20:28-31).

    Please note the bold section. The GES Crossless gospel advocates are speaking “perverse things.” We keep watch over the flock to prevent the GES from attracting, deceiving and “draw(ing) away disciples after them.”

    Thanks to all who are standing in defense of the gospel against the GES reductionist assault on the content of saving faith.

    Thanks to all who are alerting a broad cross section of Bible believing Christians of the dangers of the reductionist heresy originated by the late Zane Hodges and now coming solely from Bob Wilkin and his remaining GES membership.


    LM

    ReplyDelete
  165. See- Perverse Things Draw Away DisciplesAn updated excerpt follows:

    Zane Hodges, Bob Wilkin and GES is a modern day example of what the Apostle Paul, “with tears,” warned believers to “take heed” and be wary of.
    Over the years, from within the body of Christ, Hodges drifted into increasingly deeper and more extreme doctrinal errors.

    His view on repentance and the Gospel…are striking examples of a radical departure from orthodoxy. Hodges has been teaching “perverse things” (diastrepho- distorts, twists) and consequently his teaching drew away disciples to him and GES.

    Among the disciples who were drawn away are: Bob Wilkin, Jeremy Myers, Rene Lopez, Bob Bryant, John Niemela, Stephen Lewis and the lesser known Antonio da Rosa among others.

    The distortion, twisting, redefining or dismissal of numerous clear passages of Scripture has been the hallmark of Hodges’s “Crossless” gospel. His reductionist errors on the Gospel of Jesus Christ are organized in such a way that they undermine the Word of God and arrest the development of young believers. Young men have been enticed and deceived by the teaching of Zane Hodges. Prior to and since Hodges’s passing Bob Wilkin is the prime advocate of the Crossless gospel.


    LM

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  166. Fred, and this question is addressed to Fred only,

    Everywhere we read from you guys that we must believe "the gospel" to be saved. I assume you mean a "technical" gospel.

    The following is taken from an article I wrote, entitled, J.B. Hixson Shoots his Movement in the Foot, Revealing Major FlawsIt is argued that "gospel" can be used technically to denote what one must believe to be saved. It must be noted, however, that not one passage in the whole of Scripture gives us a detailed definition of what this "technical gospel" is. This is a major flaw in Fundamentalist Free Grace theology (FFG from here on). If there is a "technical gospel" and you must believe it to be saved, it is a tragedy of inestimable proportion that not one passage defines it! Can we not assume that God, in giving us Scripture that is profitable to the human race, would provide for us the exact and incontestable requirements for one to have eternal life? For the FFG to proclaim that a "technical gospel" is required to be believed for eternal life, and then to find that such a "gospel" is not clearly defined for us in Scripture is a major flaw.

    Fred, the question is, where do we find the PRECISE definition of "gospel" in the sense you use it as what must be believed to be saved? Where do we find the content of this "technical gospel"? If it is not found in one passage, what is your objective hermeneutical process by which you ascertain the exact and precise elements contained in this "technical gospel" that is to be the object of saving faith.

    As a side note, I want to inform you of some blogger ettiquite (sp?), since you state you are new to this.

    Allowing people to constantly cut and past and post numerous comments is blogging foul, that turns people off from conversation, and displays bullying that will keep conversations from the meaningful interactions that are desired. You have the power here to encourage those who violate this norm in blogging to cease and desist.

    These people do not make those of us who you wish to discuss these issues with (those of us on the other side) feel welcomed here. Why bother? We are just going to have dozens of cut and paste comments, and emotional rants. I personally would rather stand in line at the DMV then constantly be barraged by these immature, and openly unprofitable tactics.

    Antonio da Rosa

    ReplyDelete
  167. Kevl,

    With all due respect, this is not a spitting contest. Do you wish to speak about the Scriptures? Pick the Scripture, man, and we will discuss it.

    Before you do, Kevl, in your own words, please share with us what you believe that someone absolutely must believe in order to be saved. Be explicit and verbose. In return, I will answer the question you have been wanting me to answer.

    Tell me, in no uncertain terms, what must a man do to have eternal life? Again, be explicit, precise, detailed, and verbose.

    Thanks

    Antonio

    ReplyDelete
  168. Kev:

    Thanks for addressing the remarks by Gary.

    The GES people have no biblical ground from which to produce or legitimize the Crossless heresy. You have noted this very clearly. How many times, by how many people and in how many ways has the GES Crossless gospel been devastated from the Scriptures? It is beyond count.

    The GES people have become immune to the principles of reasonable, ethical debate. Whether it is Gary referencing me as “Hitler” or Antonio publishing rumors that a brother in Christ is a “child molester to besmirch him and protect Wilkin, the GES people just do NOT care.

    They take a pragmatic approach: The end justifies the means, no matter how heinous and sinful.

    You’d think Bob Wilkin would rein in these GES members and/or sympathizers.


    LM

    ReplyDelete
  169. On the issue of "heresy,"

    Dr. Charlie Bing, the former President of the FGA says something similar to what I said above in a previous comment. On January 8th he gave permission to publish a statement on the issue, as follows:

    "I do believe and would say that "heresy" is a relative term [used] so often, that is, everybody is a heretic to someone who does not agree with them. There certainly is "heresy," but it all boils down to what the Bible says anyway, so let's just discuss the Bible and leave out the charge of heresy, unless of course it is a very clear fundamental issue."

    ReplyDelete
  170. Antonio:

    Not again?!!!

    How many times do you times do you think people are going to fall for your disingenuous promises that you will answer questions?

    Kev is spot on with your track record, “Antonio has flat out refused to discuss the Scriptures for years. I have engaged him time and time again to have him answer simple questions which he will not.

    The same is the experience of Rachel, Stephen, myself and many others. There is no reason anyone has to believe or trust you.

    Here you are again demanding answers, then you’ll pull another one of your Casper disappearing acts when it is your turn.


    LM

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  171. Michele:

    By any test of Scripture the Crossless gospel of GES (Wilkin) is heresy.

    Its advocates the teachers of this reductionist non-saving message.


    LM

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  172. Dr. Bing wrote, "There certainly is 'heresy,' but it all boils down to what the Bible says anyway, so let's just discuss the Bible and leave out the charge of heresy, unless of course it is a very clear fundamental issue."

    The GES Crossless gospel, because of what the Bible says and the GES message being clearly anti-thetical to what the Bible says, meets Dr. Bing's requirement that, "...it is a very clear fundamental issue."

    There is no doubt that the Crossless gospel is the most extreme reductionist assault on the Gospel, i.e. content of saving faith, ever introduced to the New Testament church by one of its own, namely Zane Hodges, Bob Wilkin and GES.


    LM

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  173. Antonio (Casper:

    You wrote to Fred, "You have the power here to encourage those who violate this norm in blogging to cease and desist."

    I'm sorry, but this is better than the funny papers.

    You're the one to talk-
    Habitual plagiarism,
    Sock Puppet: fg me,
    Rumoring a man with whom you disagree to be a child molester...
    all of which you remain unrepentant of.

    Of course, you find Gary's "Hitler," fair and legitimate; don't you?

    You do one thing well, play the victim. BRAVO!


    LM

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  174. Hello Antonio,

    Thank you for engaging me in this public space. I agree this is not a spitting contest, and I would much rather never have to mention the things I have ever again.

    I hope that your heart is genuinely willing to follow through with what your post says you will do.

    Here is the post I am refering to. I'm quoting the whole thing because I want what you said to be obvious.

    Kevl,

    With all due respect, this is not a spitting contest. Do you wish to speak about the Scriptures? Pick the Scripture, man, and we will discuss it.

    Before you do, Kevl, in your own words, please share with us what you believe that someone absolutely must believe in order to be saved. Be explicit and verbose. In return, I will answer the question you have been wanting me to answer.

    Tell me, in no uncertain terms, what must a man do to have eternal life? Again, be explicit, precise, detailed, and verbose.
    The question that I have been asking you, for an absurd period of time, is this.

    Can a person be Eternally Saved while at the moment of Salvation deny or not know that Jesus is God, that He died for the person's personal sins on the Cross, that He was raised from the dead on the third day?

    OK to answer your question:

    That Christ died for our (mine, yours, everyone's) sins according to the Scriptures.Which means He was an acceptable sacrifice, spotless, perfect. There is only One who is good and that is God. Mat 19:17 This also means that the payment is made, completely. It is done "in accordance with the Scriptures" the legal payment for my violation has been made.

    He was buried and raised from death to life in His flesh according to the Scriptures. This means that the pattern of His death and God's acceptance of it was exactly as required by prophecy, pattern, types and shadows. I do not have issue with someone saying that He died and was raised on the third day as covering the "buried" part. As it is not that He was buried that is important, but that the pattern established and required was met. You asked me to be as explicit as possible, and so I say that someone who declares that "He died and came back to life on the third day" does not preach the Gospel, because that would not match the requirements of Scripture.

    The person who trusts this understands that there was a legal requirement set out by God that demands justice. They know their sin has left them guilty and subject to that justice. The person who trusts Christ, does so on the basis that Christ suffered that Justice, and that God accepted that in his/her place. That is the basis of trust, exactly the same as Abraham - God will provide a Lamb, and God has provided a Lamb.

    The person being saved doesn't even need to know the word "repent" but he has to do it. He has to change his mind from the view that Romans 1 says we all have, to realize the truth of sin, judgement and righteousness with regard to God and themselves. This doesn't mean a change of behavior, or even a promise to. It means a "realization" or an "after-thought" in response to the ministry of the Holy Spirit (not regeneration, just convincing and convicting). This "change of mind" or "repentance" will be what leads them to trust that Christ died on their behalf.


    The person doesn't need to know all the demands of Scripture, just that all the demands that exist have been met in Christ. This is covered by the statement "in accordance with the Scriptures" the person doesn't need to know about types and shadows and the rest.. This is what faith alone in Christ alone means. I don't have to add anything to His work, He has finished it.

    Please notice there is no cost to the person trusting here. They simply realize their need and see it factually met in Christ, their Eternal Salvation is trusted solely to the fact that Christ has secured it. The Gospel isn't just the promise, it's a demonstration. God is deeply concerned about His character being known. The Gospel demonstrates that God is just in forgiving the guilty sinner who puts his faith in Him.

    I hope this has been clear enough. You may be able to find comments by some other people that don't exactly match what I have written above. If that is your purpose you ought to know that the people I associate and minister with all hold to this same Gospel. It may very in wording but not in substance. Attempting to take one comment of theirs and compare it to my view to try to bring discord among the Brethren would be met harshly, as would be required. Again, I would rather not have to make such comments, but I feel I must to satisfy my conscience before the Brethren here and God Himself.

    I am anxious to read your answer to my long asked question.

    Kev

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  175. All GES supporting blog partners.

    I have long been criticised for asking Antonio to specifically answer my question. Each and every time I have asked it I've been told it is not "graceful" to ask a person to answer specifically.

    Please notice that the much lauded Antonio asked me to answer his question and be "Be explicit and verbose" and to use "no uncertain terms" and his final instruction was "Again, be explicit, precise, detailed, and verbose."

    Please all of you take note, I was fully willing and capable to answer IAW his requests. I did not, nor do I feel that I have been violated in anyway by being asked to be clear. It has not harmed any Christian fellowship that I responded clearly. In fact it is the edifying thing to do.

    I asked Antonio to answer, with much less stipulation than he has demanded, all the way back to the spring of 2007. I do not bring this up to soil Antonio, but to show the absurdity of the arguments people made to protect him from having to answer.

    It took me maybe 20 minutes to answer his question. Because I am assured from Scripture it is true I am able to immediately answer clearly. If there is error in my view, it will be shown to me and I will have the incredible benefit of coming closer to absolute truth!! It is a WIN/WIN situation for the person who answers clearly from a genuine heart.

    Kev

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  176. Kev:

    Since it has been two years that Antonio has refused to answer your question; Would you please repost it here for all to see?

    Thanks,


    Lou

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  177. Can a person be Eternally Saved while at the moment of Salvation deny or not know that Jesus is God, that He died for the person's personal sins on the Cross, that He was raised from the dead on the third day?

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  178. So just that I get this straight. In order for someone to get saved, He must do these 14 things:

    1) Must believe that Christ died for everyone’s sins
    2) Which means one must believe that He was an acceptable sacrifice, spotless, perfect
    3) Must believe that Jesus is God
    4) Must believe that the legal payment was made completely
    5) Must implicitly believe that Jesus was buried
    6) Must believe he was raised in His flesh, and this on the third day
    7) Must believe that this sacrifice and God’s acceptance of it was exactly as required by prophecy
    8) Must believe that there was a legal requirement set out by God that demands justice
    9) Must know their sin has left them guilty and subject to that justice
    10) Must believe that Jesus suffered that justice for them
    11) Must believe that God accepts that sacrifice in their place
    12) The person must repent, realizing the truth of sin, righteousness and judgement with regard to God and themselves
    13) They must understand that all the demands of Scripture have been met in Christ
    14) I have to believe that I don’t add anything to His work, because He finished it

    It seems to me that #1 and #4 directly contradict #9.

    I don't know. You claim to get your gospel out of a single passage, 1 Cor 15:1-11, but you have to go to other places to supplement that passage. 1 Cor 15 does not state that Jesus is God. Nor does it state that works don't have anything to do with it. In all actuality, much of the theologizing you do above must be gained by many other Scriptures.

    How do you know that your list of 14 items above is sufficient to get someone saved? And how come you didn't state that one must believe that Jesus appeared to the apostles, by name?

    In all reality, your list here illustrates the complexity of the fundamentalist gospel. How would you know that the potential convert is in complete agreement and understanding of all these things? It seems to me that he would have to have at least a semester long bible study to be assured that he has adequately understood these things in order to have eternal life.

    I do applaud and thank you, Kevin, for answering my question. There are some in this thread who have been asked the same thing but fail time and again to answer this question.

    I will answer the question that I posed to you first, and then answer your question.

    What must a man do to be saved?

    Simply believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life.

    Your question:

    Can a person be Eternally Saved while at the moment of Salvation deny or not know that Jesus is God, that He died for the person's personal sins on the Cross, that He was raised from the dead on the third day?

    Yes, a person can.

    Now I know that my answer will now be a soundbite for those who consider me their enemy, but I would like to qualify a bit.
    To do so, I wish to borrow from my comments above, that got buried quickly by a spam attack:

    When doing evangelism, the GES advocates use the Word of God. We show that Jesus Christ paid it all on the cross, and that His resurrection proved His payment was accepted. How and why can Jesus give eternal life to those who believe in Him? Precisely because He paid for the gift of eternal life with His blood and rose again from the dead to seal the deal. He now gives eternal life as a free gift to anyone who believes in Him.

    No one, when being evangelized in this way, being given statements about Jesus from the Bible, will believe in Jesus for eternal life who is left unconvinced that Jesus died and rose again. If they find the general statements about Christ's death and resurrection false in the Bible, why would they trust that same bible when it specifically states that all who believe in Jesus has eternal life?

    It does not follow. If the bible is untrustworthy, and is in error speaking about Christ's death and resurrection, why would one believe the bible concerning Christ's offer, why would one place their faith in Jesus? They wouldn't.

    Faith does not occur into a person until one is persuaded/convinced that this person is reliable, able, authoratative, and willing to make good on a promise, or help.

    Someone is not going to place their trust in Him who is not convinced that Jesus is authoratative, reliable, willing, able, etc. to secure their eternal destiny. The way one is persuaded that Jesus can give eternal life is by being convinced that Jesus is authorized and able to do so. The way that one is convinced that Jesus is able to give eternal life is through the contemplation and deliberation of the evidence of His death and resurrection for sin.

    I don't know anyone who has come to faith in Christ who has denied the death and resurrection of Christ. It is unfathomable.

    Since the death and resurrection are the greatest evidences that Jesus can be trusted for eternal life

    and in light of this fact, the GES presents this evidence so that men and women may be persuaded to believe in Jesus

    and in light of the fact that noone is going believe the Scripture stating Christ's promise who denies the Scriptures of Christ's death and resurrection

    There is a logical relationship between believing that Jesus died on the cross and rose again from the dead and believing in Him for eternal life. I have never met anyone, nor have I ever evangelized anyone, who believed in Jesus for eternal life who denied the death and resurrection of Christ.

    In this sense, the debate has made a mountain out of a molehill. In a sense, some kind of belief that Jesus died and rose again is a universal logical pre-requisite to faith in Christ.

    If someone uses my answer as a soundbite and does not include my qualifications and understandings, it would be disingenuous.

    I believe it is virtually and universally impossible for someone to beleive in Jesus Christ according to the veracity of His statements as found in Scripture, and at the same time to deny His death and resurrection according to the veracity of statements made in the Scripture. It is a non sequitur. It does not follow.

    Now as pertaining your deity comment, I believe that someone will understand that Jesus is something more than just a mere man, for no mere man can guarantee one's eternal destiny by faith. But I do not believe that an understanding of deity is necessary, in the sense that one must believe that Jesus is God, fully equal to the Father.

    Submitted for your consideration.

    graciously,

    Antonio da Rosa

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  179. On the issue of "heresy,"

    I'll offer what is apparent from my understandings.

    There are two words in the Greek, translated "heresy." Strongs #139, and #141. All of the instances of #139 found in the book of Acts refer to the sects of budding Christianity, the Pharisees, and the Sadducees.

    2 Peter 2:1 is referring to the false teachers and false prophets who were never saved unlike our free grace brothers and sisters (similar to the book of Jude).

    Galatians 5:20 is referring to the divisiveness caused by the yeast of hypocrisy (Pharisees), also known as the circumcision group or the Judiazers.

    The only other use of #139 is 1 Cor 11:19, which may possibly be an appropriate passage for this situation; Paul's point was that they were more concerned about favoring themselves than resting in unity and humility which was the whole significance in the instituting of the Lord's Supper.

    Titus's instance of "heretic" (#141) in 3:10, is to sharply rebuke the circumcision group, as mentioned also in Galatians 5 as the apparent work of their fleshly living. The rebuke is so that they may be "sound" in the "faith."

    A Pharisee (Judiazer) may be "in the faith," however not "sound." So where is the pharisee-type in our midst? They are talkers and deceivers. Their mouths must be stopped, because they are subverting whole households. They profess to know God, but in works, they deny Him and are disqualified for every good work. We who are Spiritual (galatians 5) should speak, exhort and rebuke with all authority, letting no one despise us.

    Titus 3:10 - Strongs #141 - is defined as: schismatic, factious, a follower of a false doctrine

    The book of Titus is a book meant to determine Spiritual leaders from Pharisees. The Pharisees teach what false doctrine? Their false doctrine was to deny that it is Christ who fellowships with us by faith, alone. Not by what can be accomplished outwardly. It is the Judiazers who are schismatic, hypocrites, who are obsessed with superficial obedience to laws, distracting the entire Body from true godly living.

    We determine Spiritual brothers by their behavior that accords with sound doctrine: the grace of God teaches us to be godly. Men who are sound in our faith look back to the merciful circumstances in which they received their salvation as a pattern for their sanctification: "But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit..." vs 3:4-5

    I mean, Paul is pretty hard-core against the Pharisees. He believes they should be warned: "God is not mocked." He believes their works are fleshly and not Spiritual. He strongly juxtaposes their disobedience from our Spiritual obedience, through the book of Galatians. So I don't mind making a big deal of Pharisaical yeast, either.

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  180. Various da Rosa statements that express his view on the Gospel:

    ...my position that the cross and resurrection are not the conscious and necessary objects/content to saving faith, and my position that a man may be born again apart from an understanding of Christ’s death for sin.

    Theologically speaking, ‘explicit belief in Jesus’ death and resurrection’ is not soteriologically necessary for the reception of eternal life.

    If a JW hears me speak of Christ’s deity and asks me about it, I will say, ‘Let us agree to disagree about this subject.’ At the moment that a JW or a Mormon is convinced that Jesus Christ has given to them unrevokable [sic] eternal life when they believed on Him for it, I would consider such a one saved, REGARDLESS of their varied misconcetions [sic] and beliefs about Jesus.

    I would never say you don’t have to believe that Jesus is the Son of God. This has the import of the gospel proposition which makes it salvific! If someone asks me point blank, do I believe that one must believe that Jesus is God in order to go to heaven, I would say ‘NO!’

    “If I were talking to a Jew, he may very well ask me about the deity and humanity of Jesus. I would certainly entertain his questions and answer them to the best of my ability. But if such a one continued to express doubts or objections to this, I would say politely, ‘Let us for the time being put this issue on the back-burner.” (WAIT! Antonio just stated above, “There is no chance that our preaching will drop the most persuasive elements of the gospel.” Striking inconsistency!)

    I do not believe that one must understand, assent to, or be aware of the historical Jesus of Nazareth’s deity in order to simply be justified and receive eternal life.”

    In an evangelistic setting where the lost is concerned da Rosa stated it does not matter if he (lost man) is under the impression, “The Mormon Jesus & Evangelical Jesus Are One and the Same.” Antonio da Rosa believes that in the personal evangelism setting to present the Gospel, as da Rosa just defined it above as, “the death, resurrection, and deity of Christ,” and then to call upon the lost to believe this gospel, that: “May Indeed Frustrate God’s Grace.”

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  181. Point of clarification, if I understand Antonio's comments about the possibility of "denying" the death and resurrection and still being saved:

    Kevl asked:
    Can a person be Eternally Saved while at the moment of Salvation deny or not know that Jesus is God, that He died for the person's personal sins on the Cross, that He was raised from the dead on the third day?As I read Antonio's immediate response to that question ("Yes") I thought he was agreeing that such a person can clearly deny (in bold, above) Christ's death and resurrection, however further down it seems clear that Antonio does not believe a person can deny the cross and resurrection at the very moment of belief.

    Am I right to assume that Antonio did not notice the "deny" in Kevl's question?

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  182. Jim,

    In all honesty, there is a distinct possibility that one could deny the death and resurrection of Christ and still at that moment place His sole faith and reliance upon Jesus to guarantee his eternal destiny.

    But this could only happen on Planet X, if there were 10 to the power of 1,000,000,000,000 variables met. The possibility of this happening is the same as a hurricane sweeping through a junkyard and piecing together a working Boeing 747 JumboJet.

    It is virtually impossible to do so, but hypothetically it is possible, for God does not mandate that one do anything but believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, to receive eternal life.

    But as I said earlier, a man will not be persuaded that Jesus is able, willing, and desirous to guarantee his eternal destiny without the testimony of the Word of God and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Faith comes by hearing the word of God through the power of the Holy Spirit.

    Something about the Word of God must convince a man to believe in Jesus for eternal life.

    If someone denies the very basis by which Jesus can do such, it follows that he will not entrust Himself to Jesus.

    Antonio

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  183. Jim:

    You just saw Antonio confirm that he saw the word, “deny” in Kev’s question.

    Antonio affirmed his belief that, “…that one could deny the death and resurrection of Christ and still at that moment place His sole faith and reliance upon Jesus to guarantee his eternal destiny.”

    Would you please answer a question for everyone in this thread-

    Do you agree or disagree with Antonio da Rosa, “that one could deny the death and resurrection of Christ and still at that moment place His sole faith and reliance upon Jesus to guarantee his eternal destiny?”

    Thanks in anticipation of your answer,


    LM

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  184. Diane: "None of us in GES that I know of believe that people have to believe in the DOCTRINE of eternal security the moment of salvation."

    Hi Diane,

    Since Fred wants to do a seperate thread, I will just note breifly: Unless he has changed his wiews Antonio holds to the position that one must believe in Eternal Security at the moment of faith. On page 76 of Secure And Sure Bob Wilkin writes, "We can't lead someone to faith without communicating eternal security since that is part of what we must believe." Sounds kind of plain to me. At the 2006 national conference the issue was "at the forefront" of that conference, so writes Wilkin. He states that "Both Zane Hodges and Bob Bryant said that if a person has never been sure that he is eternally secure by faith in Jesus, then he has not yet been born again." This is found in the March-April 2006 newsletter. Wilkin goes on to write: "A person who has never been sure he is eternally secure by faith alone in Christ alone has not yet believed the saving message. And there is no other way to be born again except by believing the saving message." Here he equates believing in eternal security as part of the saving message. It doesn't get any plainer than that, Diane. And of course that is also an added requirment, which means that GES can't even rise above the critical objections they charge others with. Oh and by the way, it would be totally wacked out crazy to say that having someone believe in eternal security at the initial point of faith is different from saying they need to believe in the "doctrine" of eternal security at the initial point of faith.

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  185. Gary,

    My apologies concerning your screen name.

    Yes, the thief lacked assurance, yes he did not think he would be with Christ, which means he did not believe in eternal security. As previously stated, the passage does not support GES soteriological teaching.

    Have a good one!

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  187. Dr Lybrand,

    Thank you so much for your clear “Open Letter”. As I have read through the blog, the questions here, for the most part, are completely and clearly answered in your open letter.

    Dr Lybrand, I cannot believe this fellow “GOE” and his comments. They are unkind in the extreme and are a second cousin to libel. I don’t think that in all the years of debate between the Lordship Gospel people I ever heard anyone call one of his opponents “Hitler”. Imagine John MacArthur calling Zane Hodges “Hitler”. That would have made headlines the world over.

    Frankly, if I were in your position I would remove his statements and call on him to give a public apology if he wants to ever post here again. It’s your call though.

    As far as what you believe to be the essence of the “minimum message that must be believed for eternal salvation,” whatever you might say, you would never leave out the DEATH and RESURRECTION as the essence of what a sinner must believe for the obtaining of eternal life. Everyone on the side of Classic Free Grace agrees on this issue.

    This is the lure that A.dR. is casting your way. He wants to get your irreducible gospel minimums so he can compare them with Dr. JB Hixson’s, Ryre’s, etc. minimums.
    Be assured that though we may have some differences of opinions we in the Classic Free Grace movement all agree on this issue; We all preach that one must believe in the person Jesus Christ and his death and resurrection. Not one of us would ever dream that that is not at the core of the gospel. NOT ONE! Only GES denies that these are necessary to be believed.

    We would never preach a “reductionist gospel” that would not require that the sinner believe those two nonnegotiable issues (Cross and Resurrection).

    Sorry GOE, AdR and GES you will not get that out of our Gospel to be believed message.

    Call it legalism if you must, we call it “the power of God unto salvation to all who believe.”

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  188. Douglas,

    With all due respect, at the initial point of saving faith, one understands that he cannot be lost, but has ever-lasting life.

    Now, the doctrine of eternal security has many facets, components, arguments, and evidences. One does not necessarily know a WHIT about these things.

    But he does believe Jesus when He states that he will never perish but has eternal life.

    Reliance upon someone, or trusting in someone, or believing in someone always has a purpose.

    In the context of chartering a plane to the bahamas, if I said, "I am trusting in the airline pilot" you can be sure I mean I am trusting him for my safety during travel. I am NOT trusting in him for a medical diagnosis, nor to prepare my income taxes.

    When Christ elicits faith into Himself, it is not faith that He exists, answers prayer, or will give you a donkey. He asks that you believe in Him for the purpose of receiving eternal life.

    The GES is not proposing some complex thing here. It is a simple proposition, man, not like the wild, complex, and multiple-object checklists that are being proposed around blogdom and Christianity.

    When we say a person must believe in Jesus, the obvious question arises: for what?

    Answer: eternal life

    And if someone believes in Jesus, believing His statement "whosoever believes in Me has eternal life and shall not perish", he knows He has eternal life, for the guarantee is included in the promise to the believer.

    Don't make this a straw man. Faith in anything has a purpose. The faith that Christ's elicits from us is for the purpose of receiving the benefits of His promise: never perishing and possessing eternal life.

    If you don't believe you have eternal life, the only other option is to state that you believe Jesus to be a liar, and you are left with the option:

    "Disbelieve Jesus and you may someday realize you have eternal life!"

    As corny as this sounds, this is the logical conclusion of the theology that denies that assurance is of the essence of saving faith.

    Antonio

    Oh, BTW, the theif on the cross. Listen man, the theif was about to die, and knew that Jesus was gonna die. They were on the cross for, what was it, 6 hours. We have only a slim 20 second reading of what transpired between them two. It would be unwise from such a small record to state something as dogmatic as you are asserting! Surely much more dialogue occurred in and around and among the people crucified and on the ground!

    Regardless, the theif knew that Jesus must rise from the dead and rule, and he knew he was going to rise again, was going to be in the kingdom, cuz he asked Jesus to have a PART in it, to remember him there! If the theif is not in the kingdom, how could Christ remember him there? One cannot be the beneficiary of any benefits if he is not available for them!

    Also, Paradise and the Kingdom are not the same thing. The kingdom will be instituted when Christ sits on the throne of His father David in Jerusalem. Jesus states, by implication, not only will the theif have a part in the kingdom, but that even TODAY he would be with Him in paradise during the interim.

    The theif did not ask, "Lord, will you take me to the kingdom with you?" He asked to be remembered there.

    Antonio

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  189. Antonio,

    I personally work with someone who actually claims to believe Christ, yet he denies that Christ was God in the flesh. He also denies that Christ rose from the dead, saying that was a made up tale (he rejects a resurrection for anyone). However, he states that he believes in Jesus and will go to heaven when he dies because he believes in Jesus. There is a whole ton that I could say about his beliefs (he is the son of a preacher) He is very, shall we say, liberal in beliefs and says that "the God of the old testament is a made up brute barbarian." He claims the new testament miracles never happened. He claims the virgin birth is an added fable to help aid in creating the "Christ as God" myth. But he does say that Jesus does save based on faith alone. As I said, he holds to liberal theology, and is a very real person, as I am not making this up. Today I asked him about the commandment that says you shall not commit adultry. His reply was, "that is the old testament god humans created...You deal with him."

    My question, Antonio, is this: Would you say that his salvation is real...that is, would you accept him as a believer? Is he, according to your theology, saved? All I want is a yes or a no. If you give me a simple yes, then this subject of a "crossless gospel" is dropped between you and I forever. I will never bring it up between you and I. If your simple answer is no, then the same as above, I will never bring this subject up between you and me. That is all I ask Antonio, either a simple yes or no. I am not asking you to qualify or explain your answer...just either yes he is saved or no he isn't. No dogding by saying I don't know as he himself has told me point blank that he believes in Christ alone through faith alone and that based on that he says he is saved (although he doesn't personally believe in a literal hell, he says that hell is the grave). Just a yes or a no, according to your theology, is he saved, and as far as I am concerned this subject, between you and I, is dropped, gone, over, done with. Thanks in advance.

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  191. Bret

    Be assured that.. we... have some differences of opinions"That is correct.

    We are talking about how a person gets right with God, how one receives eternal life.

    In all reality, there are as many positions on the gospel as there are members in the FGA. If you ask 10 of them what you must do to be saved, you will get 11 answers.

    This is a major and fundamental flaw in your position. Since there is no objective hermeneutical procedure by which one ascertains the exact content of saving faith, determining one truth to be essential and another truth non-essential, you are left with the authority of the evangelist himself. There is no concensus in your movement! You have at least 4 major positions on saving faith! They all cannot be the true gospel, either one of them is true and the others false, or they are all false. They just aren't saying the same things!

    This theology can have no authoratative pronouncement of "Thus saith the Lord!" The authority comes only from the evangelist and his traditions and opinions that he substantiates with his patch-work quilting, scriptural hop-scotch, and scavenger hunt "synthesizing" of the bible.

    Whenever one leaves the objective pronouncements of the Lord Jesus Christ, who has the authority of the Father, from the Gospel of John, the only book in the canon with an explicit purpose for evangelism, the sky becomes the limit on the content of saving faith.

    You may have harmony on this cross and resurrection issue, but there are still the issues of deity, humanity, assurance as the essence of saving faith, and others.

    As soon as one person omits a critical component of saving faith, or does not require the necessary level of understanding of a critical component, he is preaching an inadequate gospel that cannot save.

    Furthermore, how much does one have to believe and/or understand about Christ's cross? As shown above in Kevl's statements, there is some hefty theology being required about the cross to be understood for eternal life.

    Is it ok that 1 believes that Jesus died on a cross? Does he also have to believe that this death was for sins? What must he know about this death for sins? Does one have to know that Jesus was buried? Does one have to know that Jesus rose again on the third day or is it enough that one knows He rose? Does he have to know that Jesus also appeared to the apostles, by name?

    Your position has opened up a can of worms that prevents concensus. There lies no objective hermeneutical rule to determine the EXACT content of saving faith. This will produce problems both on the front side and the back side of salvation.

    Jesus is clear that all who believe in Him have eternal life. Your theology is in practical denial of Christ's pronouncements that had the authority of the Father. When you leave the realm of the objective statements of Christ which express to mankind how one has eternal life, you remove yourself from the objective biblical mandates that speak to the issue, and the sky becomes the limit on the content of saving faith.

    The Duluthian faction believes that assurance is of the essence of saving faith. This is a critical understanding of the gospel. This states that if someone at the moment of faith does not know he will not perish but has eternal life, he is not saved. But if this becomes the norm for the FGA, where will Dave Anderson and others, like Fred Lybrand go?

    If assurance is of the essence of saving faith, and a person does not make sure that the potential converts understand the promise of Christ, they are presenting a gospel that does not save, which is a false gospel.

    I am afraid that the only thread at the moment holding the FGA together is its common enemy of the GES.

    The theology of checklist evangelism does not hold up under scrutiny. And the illustration that there are so many opinions and positions on the gospel in the FGA is only one item which shows its deficiency.

    Antonio

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  192. Antonio,

    You wrote your post to me while I was writing mine to you. I am not going to reply, as I am anticipating an answer from you with what I asked which will dictate whether this is a dead subject or not between us.

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  193. Antonio,

    Dave Anderson jumped ship, so to speak? Wow, that to me is a huge shocker! Are you serious?

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  194. Antonio, I have not read your comment yet but I have it printed for my consideration. I may not be able to reply until Saturday.

    Kev

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  195. Hi Naz,

    I note you are pastor at a Duluthian-sympathetic church, one whose constitution makes as its opening statement of purpose,

    "Harlingen Bible Church, chartered under Texas law as a nonprofit organization, was founded because of the trend today toward liberalism and modernism in the present church age. Realizing that God called Christians to separate themselves from this very thing, yet to fellowship with other churches and denominations of like precious faith, we, gladly and without reservation or apology, seek to stand for the “faith once delivered to the saints.”This is a church who disciplines its members' disagreement with the rest through revoking membership to the church or else demoting them to inactive-status:

    Article VII.
    D. Disharmony. By a 2/3 vote of the Board of Elders, a member out of harmony with the practices or beliefs of this congregation, may be removed from the membership or designated an Inactive Member (Titus 3:10-11).

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  196. Douglas,

    You are asking me to pronounce someone else's salvation. I cannot look into his heart and examine the details about his faith.

    Let me just tell you this much, and I believe it will answer your question sufficiently:

    If at a point in time, this person believed in the bona-fide Jesus of Nazareth of the New Testament for the purpose of receiving eternal life and the guarantee from perishing, he has eternal life.

    This would be the right thing (faith) in the right person (Jesus Christ) for the right thing (eternal life, eternal salvation, justification).

    If your illustration to me posits (and I cannot with certainty tell) that this person believed in the right person (Jesus Christ) for Christ's guaranteed promise of eternal life and freedom from perishing, how could I consider a one unsaved? To do so would be to make Christ a liar.

    Of course I would find it quite interesting to question this person myself with my own questions to see where he REALLY is at. I am left thoroughly unconvinced that this person is as you state, even if he is telling you these things. How was it he was persuaded to believe in Jesus for eternal life? How can he trust what the Scriptures say about Jesus and deny the other scriptures that are foundational to Jesus being authorized to dispense eternal life by faith alone?

    I truly do not like answering these types of scenarios, for in the end, the Lord alone knows the heart and knows if faith in His Son has been exercised. When faced with such a mish-mash and hodgepodge of information such as you give, I will defer the judgment to God Himself, who is able to sort through such a train-wreck.

    I don't go around telling people they are saved. I never give anyone any assurance of their salvation, nor do I make pronouncements upon who is saved or not. I do, however, point people to Christ's objective statements whereby they may gain assurance for themselves, and if one confesses to me that they have believed in Christ for eternal life, and I have no reason to doubt them, then I would consider such a one saved.

    I hope that my comments have been helpful.

    Antonio

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  197. Douglas,

    I did not say that he jumped ship. I said if the Duluthian faction takes over the FGA that people like Dave Anderson would jump ship, for Dave is adamantely opposed to assurance being of the essence of saving faith.

    Antonio

    PS: Elliot Johnson did jump ship from the FGA precisely because of the current controversy and the way it was being handled.

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