Monday, March 10, 2014

Sad Strawman: A Critique of David Cloud's "Repentance and Lordship Salvation Revisited"

A few months ago, I wrote my first ever public criticism of something by David Cloud to answer his position on the church (pts 1, 2, 3, 4).  If you scroll through articles by Cloud, you find a lot of help, including a recent expose' of Paul Chappell.  I try not to get personal with posts, and here again I don't intend to.   In the past, I've supported David Cloud at some cost.  I've defended him when it hasn't been easy to do so (it hasn't been easy-defense-ism).  When I finally did contradict him, it was with his position -- not him.

With the above important disclaimer, I address a recent revisitation of Cloud to the issue of repentance and so-called Lordship salvation.  Cloud wishes to steer men from an idea of Lordship salvation and in so doing, he does harm, because the Bible does teach that.  God saves through Lordship salvation alone.  Cloud in fact presents only a strawman of Lordship salvation, but he still obfuscates a biblical understanding.

Salvation is about Lordship.  There is no non-Lordship salvation.  I beg men to stop rejecting Lordship like that is some virtue, and in so doing, confuse people in such a way as to make their converts twice the children of hell they once were.  I get that some are ignorant, but by pushing people away from the Lordship of Christ, they still ravage lost souls.

Cloud introduces his revisitation by explaining a cancelled subscription due to an earlier article against Lordship salvation I had read many years ago.   For writing against it, a reader criticized him for believing it, perhaps because he had merely debunked a strawman.  To disabuse this critic, Cloud further obscures the nature of conversion.

To answer, first Cloud wants readers to know salvation isn't complex or complicated, but easy.   Elsewhere, Cloud has written against "easy prayerism."  He's against easy prayerism, but he's for easy believism.  Why?  Believing is easy.  For as easy as it is to believe in Jesus Christ, not very many people do it.  I might talk to a thousand people with no one participating in this easy thing.

It's actually impossible for anyone to believe.  Jesus said, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."  Someone asked Him, "Lord, are there few that be saved?"  Jesus answered, "Strive (agonizomai) to enter in at the narrow gate."  One of the great lies of the modern church growth movement is that believing is easy.  Cloud gave a pat answer that I heard Jack Hyles give many times to defend easy prayerism.

Cloud also misses the point of "child-like faith."  Sure, the Bible is plain enough that even a child can have the knowledge of salvation -- scripture is perspicuous -- but becoming "as a little child" isn't easy.  When Jesus said that, he wasn't saying that believing was easy.  He said it because very few want to become like a little child.  That's why "few there be that find it."

"Easy-believism" is closely connected to "non-Lordship."  When I preach the gospel to folks, I often find it is very easy for them to acknowledge that Jesus died for them.  Almost no one rejects that truth.  They, however, have a very difficult time with Jesus as Lord, because that involves the will.  Believing is more than intellectual assent to a group of facts.  This is where repentance and "Lordship salvation" dovetail.  Those who know what it means to turn to Jesus Christ, don't find that easy to do.  They'd rather hang on to their life for themselves.  But Jesus said, "whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."

Second, Cloud contends that he does "not believe that a person must repent of all his or her sins to be saved."  That very statement alone is amazing.  You don't have to repent of all of your sins to be saved?  Alright, so what sin do you get to keep and still be saved?  It is often one particular sin that is the issue in repentance.  Just like with believing, it's impossible for someone to repent.  In other words, it's not easy to repent of all your sins.  Acts 11:18 says that God grants repentance unto life.  Without God granting repentance, no man could repent.

Within Cloud's second point, someone could become confused.  He writes:

Call that ‘Lordship salvation’ if you want to. Repentance is a radical change in attitude toward divine authority, and if a person does not have such a change in attitude he has not repented and he is NOT (capitalization his) saved and he does not have ‘eternal security.’ ... Repentance is largely a change of mind in relation to God Himself, to the role He has in life and in one’s own life in particular. . . .  It means to turn around and go in a different direction. It means to lay down your arms and to surrender to God, to stop being at enmity against Him.

These are "Lordship salvation" statements, so I will "call that 'Lordship salvation'" because I "want to."  David Cloud, the above is Lordship salvation.  I ask you to cling to that position and eschew the man or men who goad you into the errors of this article.

Cloud asserts that "nowhere have I said that repentance means to repent of all your sin or to turn away from all of your sin. That would be a works salvation, which is a false gospel."  Jesus said, "I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."  So what are these sinners, Jesus speaks of, repenting from?  They are repenting of all their sins -- certainly not just some of their sins.  When someone repents and believes, he has a new relationship to sin, one that Paul calls being "dead to sin."  He counted his former life as "dung."

Repentance is not akin to "stopping sinning" or "ceasing sinning."  The message of repentance isn't "in order to be saved, you must discontinue all sinning."  Sure, that's works salvation.  We're not saved by trying not to sin.  Repentance is, however, an admission that even though we can't stop sinning, by the grace of God we want to.  Jesus' sheep hear His voice and follow Him.  He doesn't lead them to sin.  You can't have Jesus and have your sin both -- no man can serve two Masters.

David Cloud's third point is where the strawman reaches maximum:  "We do not support any idea of 'Lordship Salvation' which teaches that an individual must make Jesus Christ absolute Lord of every area of his life before being saved."  I know of no one, nor have I read one person, who has taught that "idea" of Lordship salvation.  If that is what Lordship salvation were, everyone should oppose it.  No one "makes Jesus Christ Lord of anything."  He is Lord of everything.  But no one I have read would call Cloud's definition, "Lordship salvation."  I would be interested in a quotation from any book from anyone who espouses that view.  If it does exist, I would suspect it in something like Campbellism or some cult, not in anything evangelical.

Everything proceeding from that point is arguing against something that doesn't exist.  I would join Cloud in his rejection of that doctrine.  By separating himself from that idea of Lordship, Cloud can join all others who say they reject "Lordship salvation."  Them:  "I reject Lordship salvation."  Cloud:  "So do I."  Then someone reads an actual, real-life position of "Lordship salvation," and because David Cloud rejects "Lordship salvation," he thinks perhaps he must reject it too, because it's called "Lordship salvation."  And what he's actually rejecting is what the Bible teaches about salvation.

In his last paragraph, Cloud says that this definition of "Lordship salvation" is similar to the perfectionism of Pentecostals and Charismatics.  Not really.  Perfectionism, second blessing theology, says that someone after conversion can reach a state of perfection after a second blessing, a Pentecostal type of experience.  Ironically, Jack Hyles would have more likely gone for something like that, except redefining how that sin was defeated through a type of soulwinning power and its results.  Hyles believed that some of your sinning could be reversed through the results of your soulwinning, yielding a kind of perfectionism.  To connect those types of oddball positions with Lordship salvation is a travesty of the greatest degree.

I don't know if David Cloud has anyone read his work before he publishes it, to check it for errors.  It would have been very helpful to him if he could have done that with this one.  I would be amazed if he did with either the first or second editions.  I call on him to take this one down, rethink what he wrote, and then write something different.  I'd be glad to pull down this article as soon as he would his.  Hopefully, this "reproof of instruction" will be a "way of life."

104 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Brandenburg,

Is Jesus Lord of someone who does not believe in Lordship Salvation?

Thank you for the article and for your time.

Bob

Kent Brandenburg said...

Bob,

Your question is ambiguous. I don't believe I can judge the person who says he doesn't believe in Lordship salvation, because, as I said in the article, there is confusion about what it means. Cloud writes a strawman that gives a false impression of what it is. I provided a quote in the article in which he presents a Lordship salvation position, while denying Lordship salvation.

First, Jesus is Lord of everyone.
Second, if by not believing in Lordship salvation, you mean that someone remains in rebellion against Jesus' Lordship, Jesus is not Lord to that person in a saving way.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Brandenburg,

Thank you for your good answer.

I'm thinking about someone who does not believe in Lordship Salvation as a doctrine. Maybe you can think of some authors who have written books or chapters of books which consider the topic of Lordship Salvation and have in fact argued that Lordship Salvation is not Biblical. Is Jesus their Lord?

Thanks again,

Bob

Kent Brandenburg said...

Bob,

There are anti-Lordship books. Ryrie, Hodges, Stanley, Hyles, Hutson, Martuneac. Anti or Non Lordship doesn't portend of true conversion, but there will still be those, who didn't hear Lordship preached, who will actually repent and no longer rebel against Lordship.

A common view of anti-lordship is that Jesus starts as Savior and at some future point becomes Lord. Yes, that leaves many unconverted and perhaps some of the advocates of that. It's possible that they weren't saved until the moment they thought they were becoming dedicated.

Ken Lengel said...

Kent,

I am surprised.

So are you saying that most of the people who thought to accept Christ as Savior, and did not "know" to accept Him as Lord, are not saved?

I think this does great damage to the gospel by making such statements.

He is Lord whether I accept Him as Savior or not. Now that I am saved, I do serve Him as Lord. But I did not before I was saved, and I didn't accept Him as Lord to get saved. Lordship Salvation is a very bad doctrine, without any real support. I am surprised you believe in it.

For His glory,
Ken

Kent Brandenburg said...

Ken,

90 times in Acts Jesus is Lord and twice He is Savior. You don't get Savior until chapter 5. What was the message the apostles preached? In all of those initial messages of Peter, it was Lord---see Acts 2:20,21,25,34,36,39; 3:19,22; 4:24,26,29,33). Look for Savior in Acts 2-4. I'm not saying that they shouldn't recognize Him as Savior, but for Him to be Savior, you must receive Him, and He is Lord. When Jesus preached the gospel, He preached, "Repent for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand." They needed to receive Jesus as the Messiah, the fulfillment of the OT prophecies. Ken, can you deny Jesus as Lord and be saved? You seem to be saying that.

The language "accept him as Savior" -- can you show one place scripture says that? There's no doubt that someone must believe Jesus died for them, believe that He is the Savior and that He saved them through His sacrifice. The cross was a stumbling block for the Jews, and they needed to understand that the Messiah was more than Lord, but a suffering Messiah. As far as "Lord" is concerned, Rom 10:9-13? What is that saying? What about Saul's conversion in Acts 9:3-7?

Can you remain in rebellion against Jesus Christ and be saved? Did you just keep going your own way?

John says, "Believe in Jesus Christ," but He is the Jesus of the Bible, not just a Savior, but not Lord. Believing in Him means believing in who He is, not what we choose Him to be or what we want Him to be.

I believe where this message changed was mainly through the influence of Dallas and Lewis Sperry Chafer and then the 4 spiritual laws tract.

What do you think Lordship salvation is? Why is it dangerous?

Ken Lengel said...

Kent,

Respectfully, those verses in Acts, as you full well know, do not talk primarily of salvation, but only to the fact that He is Lord. Where is exegesis to prove your point? You say "I'm not saying that they shouldn't recognize Him as Savior, but for Him to be Savior, you must receive Him, and He is Lord." First, He is Savior regardless if anyone accepts Him, is that not true? Second, Is he not also Lord regardless of who accepts Him as Lord? Exactly, He is both Lord and Savior. Third, what must you receive? You must receive the free offer of salvation by grace thru faith. God freely offers man salvation when we by faith accept Christ's shed blood on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. Why? because He is Lord? Of course not. Why? because He is our Savior. No again. Why, because our sin has separated us from God. God demands man to repent and seek forgiveness for our sins. The result of the saving faith is that we have now have the ability to follow God instead of just following ourselves or other gods.

Second, I think the question is an inappropriate one. It is not about whether one cany deny Jesus is Lord, and still be saved. I believe a person who claims to have professed faith in Christ will call Christ Lord and strive to live with Christ as Lord. However, it is not a requirement so much as it is a result of the conversion experience.

Third, here is where Lordship Salvation really gets dangerous. You asked the question, can you remain in rebellion against Jesus Christ and be saved. Again, I say the question is an inappropriate one. To suggest that someone who does not believe salvation requires accepting Christ as Lord believes that they can remain in rebellion and be saved is another false dilemma.

You are purposefully confusing how one used to live and how one "should" now live in order to promote this view. Do you still not struggle with sin? Did you ever read Romans 7? When you choose to sin, aren't you in rebellion to God? Even after you are saved? Perhaps you never accepted Him as Lord. So each time you sin, do you check to see if you are saved or not? Your argument is false and faulty.

It is dangerous in that, people alter the gospel message when they add to or take away from it. None of the passages you provided, interpreted appropriately in their context, suggests that accepting Christ as Lord is required for salvation. Period. None. Zero.

Ken

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Ken,

I do think this is as important as anything, but there is so much where we aren't connecting here that it would take a lot of writing to get it done. So you are saying that when Peter was preaching on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 to those unsaved people that he wasn't talking to them about salvation? I was just using Acts as an example really, because the preaching of Lordship is all the way through the gospels, Acts, the epistles, and also fits with OT salvation as well. As you move from the OT to the NT, there is the hope of the Messiah, the Lord. The NT starts with a genealogy, as they are waiting for the Lord (Ps 110). In those sermons in the first few chapters of Acts, long ones, Peter preached that those sinners, unsaved people, were in trouble with the One whom they crucified and they were guilty and needed salvation, because this resurrected One would come back and judge them. If they didn't want to be clobbered, they needed to get right with Him. How? Repent. Call on Him, the Lord, to save them. He would be forgiving. Peter quotes that text from Joel 2:32 that pictures the final cataclysm they were in, but if they called on the name of the Lord, Who is obviously Jesus in this context (and in Romans 10:13), they can be saved. When it says, Call on the name of the Lord, you are saying that they didn't need to receive Him as Lord. I don't get that. This is obvious. Jesus talked about this at the end of His ministry, when He told the story of the Master who sent His Son to the tenant farmers. Their lack of acknowledgement of His authority and power was what had them in trouble. "I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him." That was the last public message to the lost recorded that He preached before His death. There is so much of this, Ken, all over.

Kent Brandenburg said...

I understand where we're at, where the issue is. Non-Lordship men interpret obvious salvation passages as sanctification ones.

Your language doesn't ring true as a sufficient presentation. I'm not saying someone couldn't be saved by hearing what you are preaching, but it should be more complete than what you are saying, because you seem to be leaving out repentance. We can't get saved by works. Faith isn't a work. Repentance isn't one. It's all grace, but the response is faith, belief, repentant faith, and the object is the Lord Jesus Christ. The LORD Jesus Christ. We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. What is it to believe in Him? You can't believe in Him and in yourself too. Like Paul preached, to turn from idols to serve the living and true God. He doesn't save you to go your own way -- that isn't the grace of God. The beatitudes picture what it is beautifully. Poor in Spirit, understanding your spiritual poverty, Mourning (over what?), and Meekness. Meekness is your life, your power under His control.

Your presentation reads as dangerously close to nothing more than mere assent to facts. Accepting Jesus as Savior. He can be Lord later on. How much later? Who knows? Perpetually. That's not repentance. Repentance is turning to follow Christ.

You are dangerously close to explaining something that is superficial, rocky soil, type of experience. Look at the plan as seen in Isaiah 55:6-7. Romans 10:9-10 in its context, quoting Deut 30:11-14, seeing that covenant in the context of confessing Jesus as Lord. Even in Rom 6:23, the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our what? Our Lord. You just dismiss that, it seems.

Receiving Jesus as Lord isn't guaranteeing a life of sinless perfection. I've not said anything like that. Sanctification is a struggle. That's what Rom 7 teaches. I don't know what you're getting at there.

The idea that the Bible zero teaches, according to you, receiving Jesus Christ as Lord amazes me, Ken. What was John the Baptist preaching, John 1:23? John 9:36-38? John 11:27? Romans 10:9-13? acts 16:31?

Why are men apostates? 2 Peter 2:1, they deny the Lord who bought them. They don't like lordship, don't want a boss.

This isn't a new message. It's historic too, but I'll end there.

Lou Martuneac said...

Ryrie, Hodges, Stanley, Hyles, Hutson, Martuneac.”

I would like to interject that among the men you name above Zane Hodges is so far outside biblical orthodoxy that I believe none of the others would identify with his teaching on the Gospel. Zane Hodges is the originator of a soteriology known as the “Crossless” gospel. Hodges taught, and the Grace Evangelical Society today propagates, that a lost man does not have to know, understand or believe in who Jesus is (Lord/deity) and what He did to provide salvation (death, burial and resurrection, and yet can still be born again. And it gets much worse, but that is the essence of what Hodges taught in brief.

Hodges’s “Crossless” gospel is the most egregious reductionist heresy ever introduced to the NT church by one of its own. I thoroughly condemn that teaching.


LM

http://indefenseofthegospel.blogspot.com/2008/11/grace-evangelical-societys-reductionist.html

The link above is one of scores of articles I have published on the “Crossless” gospel for your consideration.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Lou,

Thanks for your comment. I don't think you are essentially either with Hodges, Hyles, or Hudson, but it was a larger category of books against Lordship. They've all written books dealing with it, including you. Yours is the most recent. There is a Wikipedia article on it, it's such a big deal. Hodges is in that article grouped with Ryrie, but Hyles and Hudson aren't in the Wikipedia radar, even though they might have a larger influence on a larger number of people overall of any of the ones I listed. I probably could have included Lewis Sperry Chafer or Campus Crusade, because they, and Keswick theology, as much as anything are at the root of it IMO.

Anonymous said...

Kent,

I'm really trying to learn more about how Keswick theology has affected they way people think and preach about salvation and sanctification vs what the Bible says. FWIW, I would like to see you write some articles about what this theology is and how it has influenced evangelicalism and fundamentalism.

Thanks,
Mat

Lou Martuneac said...

Kent:

Thanks for the reply. I appreciate that you recognize I am not in line with the soteriology of Hodges, Hyles or Hutson, for I am not.


LM

Anonymous said...

Mr. Brandenburg,

Thanks again for your answers.

You said, "there will still be those, who didn't hear Lordship preached, who will actually repent and no longer rebel against Lordship."

Is there a Scriptural example of this?

Thank you for your time.

Bob

Lewis Beeler Sr said...

I read most of the two articles and comments posted by both David Cloud and and you Mr. Brandenburg, and I was disappointed to read of your unorthodox and erroneous positions on salvation. Sola Fide is quite clear, and is the traditional evangelical understanding of the way of salvation. Faith alone is also the only tradition that agrees with Scripture.

I think if the Apostle John was concerned about people accepting Jesus as their Lord as being a requirement of salvation he certainly would have said something about it in his gospel, and are you really trying to claim that the book of Acts is place to go for understanding salvation, rather than Romans, or Galatians, or Ephesians, or the Gospels. Really? If so, then perhaps we should all be speaking in tongues and casting out demons.

Although many times the followers of Jesus refer to him as their Lord, never is their any indication anywhere in any Scripture that receiving Jesus as Lord is a requirement of salvation. Faith alone is the only requirement ever given in Scripture anywhere for salvation. There simply is no other.

The Apostle Paul had something to say in Galatians to men who teach something different than his gospel and it was not a nice thing he said.

Like those who teach that a person must repent from sin before they can be saved, lordship salvation is a another misunderstanding of the way of salvation. Both repentance and lordship are results of salvation, not requirements to be saved. Have you forgotten that unregenerate men are dead in their trespasses and sin. Dead men don't DO anything. They certainly don't have the power to stop being a slave to their sin, and on their own to cause God not to be their enemy but to be their friend. Jesus is certainly Lord of all things, because He is God, but only His followers know Him as their Lord.

You cannot show me a Scripture that demands either repentance from sin or lordship of Christ to be saved, however I can show you hundreds that require faith in Jesus plus nothing. Faith like a child is the requirement to be saved.

By the way, I happen to minister in a country where over 90% of the people are Roman Catholic, and they all believe Jesus is their Lord and their Savior, and yet none of them are born again. They are not born again because none of them have placed their faith in Jesus alone to save them from their sin.

With humility,

Lewis Beeler Sr

Kent Brandenburg said...

Mr. Beeler,

Thanks for your concern. If I were preaching something false, I think you should reach out to me. I think you're sincere -- that comes across from your comment. I've never believed what you espouse, but early on I thought something closer to what you are saying, and was disabused of that thinking by reading and studying the Bible. What has occurred is that you have been taught something that the Bible doesn't teach.

First, one observation anyone should consider here is that Lordship and repentance are directly related. That's very true. You reject both for salvation, which is consistent.

Second, I talk to a lot of Roman Catholics too, because I'm in California, where we have South Americans, Central Americans, Mexicans, Filipinos, and other Catholics by the droves. I've talked to former Roman Catholic priests and nuns who were converted and they say denial of the Lordship of Christ is directly related to Catholic false doctrine. We're not even talking about the same thing, when we talk, "faith alone," because both of believe it is "faith alone," but you have an unbiblical understanding of both "faith" and you are wrong on the object of faith. You don't get to pick apart the attributes of Christ and pick and choose the ones you'll present and the ones you don't. He is Lord, He is Savior, He is God, so when someone believes in Jesus Christ, to be the Jesus of the Bible, He must be all of those. Denying one of them means He is not the Jesus of the Bible, an impostor Jesus of your own making.

Third, Did you notice that David Cloud too teaches that you have repent of sin? He doesn't deny that.

Fourth, the concept of Lordship and repentance are all over John. I'll perhaps write more about that later. I know you are giving the typical Hyles and Hutson argument that since the word "repent" isn't found in John, that repentance isn't necessary for salvation.

Thanks for writing in, because how you believe is how many, many professing Baptists would say they believe.

Doulos said...

Count me in with Bob's question, though I think you might say it is a given based on the verses you've already referred to.

FWIW, at times, I'm not sure when I was saved. Traditionally, I would have pointed to trusting in Christ as a young child. I was mostly a good kid, but I can't say I was a good kid due to other influences rather than a heart that wanted to obey/be good. Surface-level no one doubted my salvation.

Fast forward to college. Being challenged in more ways than I ever had been before about my beliefs, etc., I found myself fighting rather than eagerly pursuing truth. I chaffed at the encouragement to change/reach higher/submit or submit more to Scripture, etc. I wasn't so sure I cared about being thoroughly good. "Self, we have a problem, here." There came a breaking point, a moment of decision. It was a crossroads of rejecting Him or accepting Him. Based on verses already referenced, I did not see how I could possibly call Him Savior and not want Him to be Lord. Being a Savior necessitates (in my opinion) His worthiness and right of being Lord. Through faith by His grace, "I am His, and He is mine."

Some would say, I guess, that my simple faith as a child was my salvation--and the later decisions were growth in my Christian life...or that it could have been salvation if my heart posture and understanding at that time were correct--that only the Lord knows. Maybe so.

I only know that for me, there was no confidence before. I rejoice to remember the time when I trusted in Him rather than myself to have control of my eternal and present salvation. That's when I genuinely and gladly owned Him. That's when there began goodness and fruit from the heart.

I can't soundly work my testimony into the theological discussion at hand. It's certainly not on par with a Biblical example. And, if any of you are in serious doubt as to my salvation after these ramblings, I won't take offense at correction :)

Kent Brandenburg said...

Bob and Doulos,

Thanks for the questions and comments. I'm answering these together, but I think they are two different subjects somewhat.

Bob, you're asking where the Bible says that we're not saved if we don't receive Jesus as Lord. If I'm wrong, let me know.

Doulos, you're essentially wondering about your personal testimony. That's very good. How much salvation knowledge do we have to know before we can be saved? Just because you were deficient some doesn't mean that you weren't saved, but it should give you pause, like it had and has me in the past regarding whether I'm in the faith. It seems that through the years, having less knowledge or putting up with less has been or become the go-to position. I'll now answer these in a basic way in two separate comments.

Lou Martuneac said...

Kent:

To Mr. Beeler you wrote, "I know you are giving the typical Hyles and Hutson argument that since the word "repent" isn't found in John, that repentance isn't necessary for salvation."

If I may add to that from the Hodges, Wilkin, GES section of my book.

Zane Hodges totally eliminated the necessity of repentance
from the conversion experience. In his book, Harmony
With God
Hodges took the position that the process of repentance may be a preparatory step in coming to salvation, and
should be evident in the life of a believer, but a lost man
can be born again apart from repentance by any definition.
Hodges also said he no longer held to the “change of mind”
view of repentance. Hodges said there is only one answer to
the question, “What must I do to be saved?” Hodges emphatically
stated that repentance is not part of the answer.


LM

KJB1611 said...

Dear Pastor Brandenburg,

You are correct that there is great confusion about what "Lordship salvation" is. Many people who say that they are against it, like David Cloud, actually believe in a true gospel and define "Lordship salvation" as salvation by works. The very large majority of Baptist advocates of "Lordship salvation" simply mean that they believe in the doctrine of salvation found in every Baptist confessional statement of which I am aware, as opposed to the position of those like Hodges which is a new and a false gospel. It would've been nice if Bro. Cloud had given exact quotes of those who take the position that he disagrees with as a false "Lordship salvation."

It is certainly true that when one comes to Christ one receives Him as both Lord and Savior. Furthermore, it is clear that saving faith involves commitment or surrender. For example, the idea of committal or entrustment in the common New Testament verb to believe, the verb found in texts such as John 3:16, is evident. The verb is translated in a form including the word “commit” in Luke 16:11; John 2:24; Rom 3:2; 1 Corinthians 9:17; Galatians 2:7; 1 Timothy 1:11; Titus 1:3. “He that believeth in me hath everlasting life” (John 6:47) includes an act of committal or surrender to Jesus as Lord.

Furthermore, the common Biblical phrase for saving faith in Christ, pisteuein eis auton ("believe in/on Him"), involves submission and surrender. In the words of a standard Greek grammar:

Deissmann in Light From the Ancient East gives several convincing quotations from the papyri to prove that pisteuiein eis auton meant surrender or submission to. A slave was sold into the name of the god of a temple; i. e., to be a temple servant. G. Milligan agrees with Deissmann that this papyri usage of eis auton is also found regularly in the New Testament. Thus to believe on or . . . into the name of Jesus means to renounce self and to consider oneself the life-time servant of Jesus. (pg. 105, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, H. E. Dana & Julius R. Mantey. New York, NY: MacMillan, 1955. Greek characters have been transliterated.)

Thus, it is clear that saving faith involves commitment or surrender to the Lordship of Christ. Denying this plain Biblical fact is a rejection of a core element of true saving faith and a serious corruption and perversion of the gospel of Christ (cf. Galatians 1:6-9).

Kent Brandenburg said...

Bob,

I'll answer you first. Where does Scripture tell us someone is not saved if He doesn't receive Jesus as Lord? I'll enumerate several here.

1) Except ye repent...Luke 13. Repentance is turning to Him to follow Him -- that new relationship is Lord. Turn from idols to serve the living and true God, 1 Thess 1:9. And if you don't repent, you'll perish.
2) He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life, he that believeth not the Son shall not see life. If you believe in the Son, you are believing He is Lord. "Son of man" is a reference to Daniel 7:13. Jesus is the Son of Man in John 3:14, same context as John 3:16, 18, 36.
3) 1 John 5:12 -- He that hath the Son hath life, he that hath the Son of God hath not life. You must have the Son and He is Lord. You can't have a non-Lord son. That wouldn't be the Son.
4) John 17:3--And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. Does anyone know Jesus Christ who doesn't know Him as Lord?
5)1 Cor 16:22, "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha."
6)Matthew 6:24: "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other."

That's a start.

Lou Martuneac said...

KJB: You wrote, “It is certainly true that when one comes to Christ one receives Him as both Lord and Savior. Furthermore, it is clear that saving faith involves commitment or surrender.

In light of how the Bible defines the gospel of grace there are several problems with that statement. One of the most glaring errors of Lordship Salvation (LS) teachers is the failure and/or refusal to recognize that salvation and discipleship are two separate and distinct doctrines. The LS message insists that a lost man must front-load faith with an upfront commitment to behave like a born again believer to become a born again believer. That is the works salvation! That is Lordship’s works based message that corrupts the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor. 11:3).

A commitment to obey is misplaced dependence. That is depending on behavior for salvation. That is works dependence, which saves no one. A commitment to certain behavior expected of a Christian, to become a Christian turns the gospel of grace on its head. Salvation then is no longer “the gift of God,” but instead a works based message that frustrates grace (Eph. 2:8-9; Gal. 2:21). Sin is the problem for every lost man, and Hell is the inevitable consequence.

Lordship’s upfront commitment for godly behavior from a lost man is not the gospel. “Turning from evil,” the “desire to stop sinning” or the “intent to serve” is not the solution; Christ is the answer!


LM

Kent Brandenburg said...

Lou,

"Faith" itself is godly behavior. How does that occur from an unsaved person? How can we expect an unsaved person to want to believe? He's lost, he's rebellious, all the descriptions of Romans 3:10-12. Is faith a behavior that is expected of a non-believer?

When you read Romans, isn't a major theme, if not the major theme righteousness? Is the unbeliever motivated only by some kind of positional righteousness, like a get-out-of-jail free card? Is that the message of Romans? Does God want righteousness or not? Is the sinner interested in righteousness? Or is it all about avoiding Hell and punishment?

Paul wrote that the goodness of God leads us to repentance (Rom 2:4). What is the expectation of good that an unbeliever has? Is it only the forgiveness of PAST sins, which is the expectation I get from Roman Catholics. I'm not saying you are influenced by that, but Roman Catholics have no sense of deliverance from present or future sins, which is why they must keep confessing, keep doing good, keep going to mass.

Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4, an unsaved woman, that the Father was seeking for true worshipers -- why did He frontload worship? Why would He give her any impression that she would worship the Father in His salvation plan? She shouldn't be expected to worship, should she?

I have dozens and dozens of questions like this. When I read you, you read like you're teaching that Jesus Himself teaches salvation by works. I don't believe that, but if He were teaching salvation today, and we didn't know it was Jesus, I'm afraid you would claim He was frontloading something to grace. I have much more that I could say, but I'll start there.

Anonymous said...

I very much appreciate all the very useful information I have gained from this site. However, I also do not agree with what is generally termed LS. I was personally saved in a heavily LS church. Assured that if "He is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all". At the same time, I heard very clear sermons on salvation by grace, thru faith, without any works necessary. This was VERY confusing, trying to balance between "He would not save me unless I promised to serve Him", & "nothing I do has any merit concerning salvation". I'm grateful to Jesus Christ for saving me as I walked the aisle that morning, praying that He would be merciful to me a sinner who really did not understand. I still don't know what the preach said when I got to the front. I had gotten saved in the aisle.

I am sure there is some answer to this that I am completely missing, but the great defense of salvation by faith is Romans 3 - 4. The Apostle Paul never uses the word Lord in a Lordship sense until 4: 24. If Lordship were such an indisputable necessity, I would think that just once in this very important stretch of Scripture, Paul would have not called Him "Jesus, or Christ", but Lord.
I think it is also noteworthy that either Philip did a poor job of witnessing, or professing Jesus Christ as Lord did not figure into the eunuch's salvation.

I would also like to point out that, as far as I can tell, everyone involved in the discussion (on this site) believes that a man cannot be saved while shaking a fist at heaven, claiming salvation while denouncing any affiliation to God.

The other thing I would like to touch upon is that this is subjective. In my mind, something like repentance. All 3 (faith, repentance, Lordship) are internal events. There will be outward evidences of them, sooner or later because the fruit will grow. But I have never been very comfortable telling someone that they had not found honest, saving repentance based upon visible evidences.

In the 80's, a heavily LS evangelist group came thru Arlington, TX where I was at. They preached that if you got saved, but still smoked cigarettes the next day, you did not get saved. If you got saved, but lusted in your heart the next day, you did not get saved. They had spectacular results at that meeting, including the salvation of the entire staff (minus the pastor), all their wives, & most of the church.

Again, I am thankful for all the good info over the years.
My two cents worth.

Pastor Jim Camp

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Jim,

I've never been exposed to anyone who said, "you're not saved," because you smoked the day after your conversion. I'm not saying they don't exist, but it sounds like more of a perfectionism teaching that I have read. They don't take the present tense verbs of passages, like those in 1 John. 1 John 1:8-2:2 is talking about a believer, confessing His sin. Romans 7. The predominant and historical teaching of salvation, which is lordship, doesn't have that component to it, where you condemn someone after justification for one sin. That seems to be an anomaly. Thanks for dropping by.

Paul uses Lord all over in Romans, starting in Rom 1:3, which is very Lordship. I think a lot of the talk about Lordship today is because the lack of it in the presentation, in lieu of a purposeful leaving it out. However, repentance and Lordship go hand and hand.

I could see how someone who heard what you heard would swing back the other way.

I'd write more, but gotta go here.

Lou Martuneac said...

Kent:

You wrote, “Faith” itself is godly behavior. How does that occur from an unsaved person? How can we expect an unsaved person to want to believe? He's lost, he's rebellious, all the descriptions of Romans 3:10-12.

The way the LS advocate handles this is through Calvinism’s extra-biblical presupposition that regeneration precedes and must occur prior to faith. The Calvinist believes an unsaved man is so “dead” in his sins (Eph. 2:1) that he cannot respond to and cannot believe the gospel. The Calvinist, therefore, comes to the conclusion that God must first regenerate the lost man and then give him the gifts of faith and repentance. This teaching means the lost man must be made spiritually alive, i.e. born again by an act of regeneration prior to believing the gospel and apart
from personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

I encourage folks to read what Brother George Zeller wrote on the question, Does Regeneration Precede Faith?

http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/danger03.htm


LM

Kevl said...

I'm sad to read here how the same old discussions are still being had about this heresy.

Lordship Salvation IS heresy. It perverts the Gospel, puts a stumbling block between the sinner and Salvation, and sows unrest among the Brethren.

Someone above stated that having faith is a godly act.

The Apostle Paul disagrees with you.

Romans 4:3-8
3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.

5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:

7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
And whose sins are covered;
8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.”

I will post a link in my next comment to a clear description of biblical soteriology. I generally do not allow linking to external articles on my blog so I will understand if you do not do so here either. That is why I will post it in a separate comment.

I'll not be debating the Scripture is the beginning and the end of the discussion for me. Christ says he who believes on Him has eternal life. Not he who submits his life to His mastery.

In Christ,
Kev

Kent Brandenburg said...

Lou,

But I'm not a Calvinist and I don't believe regeneration precedes faith. I have written much against Calvinism here. I'm wanting to know what you say about it.

Lou Martuneac said...

Kent:

But I'm not a Calvinist and I don’t believe regeneration precedes faith. I have written much against Calvinism here. I’m wanting to know what you say about it.”

Thanks for that. My intent was not to identify you as a Calvinist, and I appreciate that you have taken it on here. The answer, however, for most LS/Calvinist men to how faith occurs from an unsaved person is regeneration prior to and apart from faith.

For clarification: you want “to know what I say about what specifically?


LM

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Lou,

My comment had a lot of questions. You don't have to answer them, if you don't want to get into it with me. But my first paragraph was this:

"Faith" itself is godly behavior. How does that occur from an unsaved person? How can we expect an unsaved person to want to believe? He's lost, he's rebellious, all the descriptions of Romans 3:10-12. Is faith a behavior that is expected of a non-believer?

Kent Brandenburg said...

Kev,

So believing in the Lordship of Christ is salvation by works? Interesting. If you believe more than He is Savior, you are trusting in your works? So, do you have to believe Jesus is God? What can you deny about Jesus and then not believe in the Jesus of the Bible? 2 John says that not having the doctrine of Christ can be that you don't have Christ.

Apostasy is directly tied to Lordship in 2 Peter 2. Those might be people claiming to be Christians, but they deny the Lordship of Christ.

I agree that we receive eternal life by believing in Jesus Christ, but it is the Jesus of the Bible. I don't think you understand Lordship salvation. What cues me into that is quoting Romans 4. I use that most times in evangelism -- every week. What we're talking about it is what we believe, not works. What is believing in Jesus Christ? There is obviously a faith that does not save and a Jesus who is another Jesus.

Bringing in Lordship to the lost is what the Apostles did. Were they heretics?

Kevl said...

Hi Kent,

I have no intention of getting into a debate with you but I will respond to this comment of yours point by point to show you how that might go. I have found that people do better learning truth when they put away all their commentaries and other works and stick to the Scriptures for at least a year. Depending on how long they have been taught of men this period may need to be extended much longer.

The result, so far, is universal and I highly recommend this exercise to you.

You wrote:
So believing in the Lordship of Christ is salvation by works? Interesting.

First, if you had allowed my comment linking to my writing on soteriology you would not be able to ask this question would you have?

You impeach yourself nonetheless even without allowing the link. Where did I equate, either explicitly or not that if one believes in the Lordship of Christ that is salvation by works?

Who are you arguing against? Are you winning?

This is exactly why debating with people about this subject becomes fruitless. Narry without exception the Lordship Salvation proponent will not engage the actual arguments but must twist things and ask the Gospel of the Christ proponent to defend the writing of disorderly false teachers... ie Hodges as above.

If you believe more than He is Savior, you are trusting in your works?

Again where did I suggest this? You are trying to trap me into saying something you think you can defend against. The real issue is that I'm not saying what you want me to say. I simply quoted the Scriptures.

So, do you have to believe Jesus is God?

Yes. Do your best to twist what I have saying... it won't work.

What can you deny about Jesus and then not believe in the Jesus of the Bible?

Any truth you deny about Jesus equates to you not believing in the Christ. Think you caught me?

2 John says that not having the doctrine of Christ can be that you don't have Christ.

OK.. I don't think I'm going to respond to this as I don't disagree, and you have not made your point clearly enough. Leaving room for assumption also leaves room for wiggling out when challenged and I tired of dealing with that from Lordship Salvation proponents years ago.

Apostasy is directly tied to Lordship in 2 Peter 2. Those might be people claiming to be Christians, but they deny the Lordship of Christ.

Actually it says denying the Lord who bought them. Not denying His Lordship. It is about denying Him, not denying something about Him. Yet again your point is made so vaguely that it is hard to respond with anything more than generalization.

I agree that we receive eternal life by believing in Jesus Christ, but it is the Jesus of the Bible.

Again who are you arguing against and are you winning? Are you suggesting that I teach that one can or must believe in some other Jesus? Can you demonstrate this?

I don't think you understand Lordship salvation.

Then you don't know much about me. I don't fault you for not knowing about me, but I do fault you for assuming something and putting it on me without even bothering to check to see if it is true or not. There's something in the Bible about doing that isn't there?

What cues me into that is quoting Romans 4. I use that most times in evangelism -- every week. What we're talking about it is what we believe, not works. What is believing in Jesus Christ? There is obviously a faith that does not save and a Jesus who is another Jesus.

I'm glad you desire to reach the Lost. Street Evangelism has been the passion of my life for 8 years now. I have preached the Gospel of the Christ (1Cor 15:1-11) faithfully for all that time.

The last part of where Paul declares the Gospel by which we are saved, in which we stand, he states clearly that this is the message that he and all the Apostles preached.

Do you have examples of the Apostles telling anyone they had to submit to the mastery of the Lord Jesus Christ in order to be saved?

End of Part 1

Kevl said...

PART 2

I'm not going to debate with you because the doctrine you hold has been dismantled and displayed to be the heresy it is time and again. Because it is built on assumption and emotionalized reactions to what its proponents say those who oppose them say... You deny the Lordship of Christ!! Yeah got a quote on that? Because of these things any argumentation with you will without doubt come down to your character.

I do not desire to argue about your character.

I suggest you read two important books which will gently, accurately, and thoroughly show you the difference between what Lordship Salvation says and what the Scripture says.

In Defense of the Gospel by Lou Martuneac and Back to Faith by Fred Lybrand.

If you truly believe in Lordship Salvation then see what these men have worked on. If your doctrine is true there is nothing that could come against it. See if these men use logical fallacies or if they accurately present LS and what the Scriptures say.

Please do this.

In Christ,
Kev

Lou Martuneac said...

Kent:

My offering on Calvinism’s extra-biblical teaching that regeneration precedes and occurs apart from faith is what I felt the best answer to the first two questions above. To understand just how the LS teacher arrives at his conclusions, falls into error, leads others in the trap of LS one must know what the terms are, how he is defining the terms he used, and what presuppositions he brings to the table.

For your third question, “Is faith a behavior that is expected of a non-believer?”

First, I want to clearly define, as I see it, the area of debate and controversy. This way you, your readers and me know what the true crux of the LS controversy is.

The major issue and crux of the doctrinal controversy is over Lordship’s definition
of how the lost are born again. Concerns in regard to the discipleship of genuine believers are an important discussion, but for me that is not where the main controversy lies. The crux of the Lordship debate is over the requirements for salvation, not the results of salvation.

That said, I think your question is referring to “for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name,” (Rom. 1:5). In 1999 Dr. Fred Moritz addressed this passage in an article titled, The Gospel Controversy.* I’d like to reproduce a brief portion from an extended excerpt for the full article. These few excerpts will be enough from Dr. Moritz’s article, and I trust a helpful answer.

When a disobedient sinner truly trusts Christ to save him, that act of faith is itself obedience to God!”

Rather than make demands on the lost that Scripture does not make, let us preach the Gospel as it is, dealing squarely with the issues of sin, repentance, and faith. The lost who respond to Christ in true faith will obey Him at that point. Convicted and convinced by the Holy Spirit [John 17:7-11], they will understand that their obedience to sin places them under the judgment of God. They will trust Christ alone for salvation, calling on Him. That is obedience to the Gospel!

Brother Kent: Conditioning salvation upon man’s “unconditional surrender,” his commitment to or promise of “obedience” is not the gospel.


LM

*The Gospel Controversy,an article which appeared in the official periodical of
Preach The Word Ministries, October-December, 1999.

Lou Martuneac said...

Kent:

From JMac I want to exemplify just how sorely askew from the gospel of grace his LS teaching has gone. There are scores examples, this is just one of them.

On page 9 of Hard to Believe John MacArthur states that the requirement for eternal life is to be willing to give up all your earthly possessions if the Lord should ask this.

"And he needed to be willing to submit to the Lord Jesus, even if it meant he had to give up all his earthly possessions. He might not ask, but the requirement for eternal life is the willingness to give it all up if he does."

This means that the requirement for eternal life varies for different individuals. For some individuals, the requirement for eternal life would include being willing to give up all earthly possessions if the Lord should ask this. But if the Lord has not required this of other individuals, then they are exempt from this salvation requirement.

According to this teaching, the requirement for eternal life varies depending upon what the Lord has asked each person to do. If this teaching is correct, then we would conclude that there is not just one plan of salvation, but there is a unique and special plan of salvation specially designed for each individual. This would make personal evangelism very challenging because we would never be sure just which plan of salvation is required for the person we are witnessing to.


LM

Lou Martuneac said...

KJB1611:

You wrote, “Furthermore, it is clear that saving faith involves commitment or surrender.”

Like with Kent above I want to make sure that we are focusing on the focal point of the Lordship Salvation controversy. The major issue and crux of the doctrinal controversy is over Lordship’s definition of how the lost are born again. The crux of the Lordship debate is over the requirements for salvation, not the results of salvation.

If it were permitted I could cite and document for you over 40 quotes primarily from JMac on LS. Here are just a few,

Be willing to forsake everything. (GATJ, p. 78)
Give up all for the kingdom. (GATJ, p. 138)
Exchange all that you are for all that Christ is. (GATJ, p. 140)
Turn from sin, abandon self and intend to obey God. (GATJ, p. 161)

From them (and many more) we clearly see that the LS requirements for salvation all focus upon what the sinner must do to be born again. The Bible has a better answer to the question, “What must I do to be saved?” When it comes to salvation, that is how the lost man is born again (justification), the true focus should be on Jesus Christ and what He did to provide salvation.


LM

KJB1611 said...

Dear Lou,

Thanks for the reply to my comment. You stated that LS people are wrong because they don't recognize a believer/disciple disjunction. Here at What is Truth we posted a study of the word "disciple" to see if disciples were a subcategory of believers. It is here:

http://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com/2011/01/are-all-believers-disciples-part-1.html

http://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com/2011/01/are-all-believers-disciples-part-2.html

http://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com/2011/01/are-all-believers-disciples-part-3.html

I would be very interested in seeing an anti-Lordship refutation of the study. It seems very, very clear that "disciple" and "believer" are synonymous categories from a study of the word. If you could point out the exegetical errors in the study above, I would be very interested. I would be very interested in the clear texts where believers are the bigger category and disciples are identified as an elite subcategory. I see many passages where disciples are contrasted with lost people, and other passages where Christ calls lost people to become disciples and thus receive salvation, but I don't see even one clear passage where "disciple" is indisputably a subcategory of elite Christian.

Along those lines, I would also like to know if you think only some saved people are Christians. Since the Greek of Acts 11:26 equates as identical categories "disciple" and "Christian," should someone with your view exhort saved people to become Christians by a post-conversion act of surrender?

KJB1611 said...


Also, since the most commonly used Baptist confessions teach Lordship salvation, do you believe that the vast majority of Baptists before 1900 were lost and believed in works salvation, just like, so it seems, Pastor Brandenburg allegedly believes in works salvation and so is lost? Was the true Gospel restored to Baptists in the 1880s-1890s?

Could you also explain why Christ being the answer and a desire to stop sinning are a disjunction, so that one must choose one or the other? Why is coming to Christ for freedom from bondage to sin's power as well as sin's penalty works salvation, but dividing Christ so that He saves in sin but not from sin until a post-conversion Lordship salvation decision is made really exalting Christ more?

Finally, I have not seen an actual exegetical answer to the exegetical evidence I gave above for why saving faith involves surrender. None of the people who have tried to answer Pastor Brandenburg have, as far as I can see, touched my actual exegesis. If you, or someone else, can actually show how standard Greek grammar is wrong, and the KJV is wrong in its translation of pisteuo as both "believe" and as "commit," I would be interested. I reproduce the exegetical argument again below. Thanks again for the response.

What I said before:

It is certainly true that when one comes to Christ one receives Him as both Lord and Savior. Furthermore, it is clear that saving faith involves commitment or surrender. For example, the idea of committal or entrustment in the common New Testament verb to believe, the verb found in texts such as John 3:16, is evident. The verb is translated in a form including the word “commit” in Luke 16:11; John 2:24; Rom 3:2; 1 Corinthians 9:17; Galatians 2:7; 1 Timothy 1:11; Titus 1:3. “He that believeth in me hath everlasting life” (John 6:47) includes an act of committal or surrender to Jesus as Lord.

Furthermore, the common Biblical phrase for saving faith in Christ, pisteuein eis auton ("believe in/on Him"), involves submission and surrender. In the words of a standard Greek grammar:

Deissmann in Light From the Ancient East gives several convincing quotations from the papyri to prove that pisteuiein eis auton meant surrender or submission to. A slave was sold into the name of the god of a temple; i. e., to be a temple servant. G. Milligan agrees with Deissmann that this papyri usage of eis auton is also found regularly in the New Testament. Thus to believe on or . . . into the name of Jesus means to renounce self and to consider oneself the life-time servant of Jesus. (pg. 105, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, H. E. Dana & Julius R. Mantey. New York, NY: MacMillan, 1955. Greek characters have been transliterated.)

Lou Martuneac said...

KJB1611:

Sorry, but I am not able to participate in an in-depth protracted debate. I have shared my thoughts, you have expressed yours.


LM

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Lou,

I can't speak for everything that MacArthur has written, even though perhaps he would be the most prominent promoter of Lordship salvation. The terminology, I believe, came from those who opposed his teaching, and then he just kind of went with it like President Obama has with "Obamacare." I use it too, because I think it's a technical term. I don't know your background Lou, but I think you misrepresent him. It would take a lot of time to show that, but in the end, what really matters is, are we believing and teaching what the Bible says.

For instance, when I read MacArthur on this, I don't read him like you do. You say he's presenting different plans of salvation for different people. I'm sure he would outright reject that, but that isn't how I've read what he's written. Before I ever read MacArthur on this subject, I believed that you don't deal with every sinner the same way. Jesus doesn't. Because Jesus doesn't, and often presents something a little different, depending on who He talked to, does that mean Jesus gave a different plan of salvation to each person? Again, of course not.

Related to the first few questions I asked, you still didn't seem to answer. You quoted Fred Moritz. And based on that quote, it sounds like you are requiring a work in order to be saved. You seem to be saying that faith is a work. The answer isn't one of two extremes, that being that faith is a work or faith comes via regeneration that precedes faith. Faith isn't a work, but it comes via the Word of God. It's still initiated by God and so it's grace and not works. No matter what you believe, there is some mystery to salvation; in this case, why do some believe and some don't?

I asked those initial questions though because you seemed to be saying that it was wrong for Lordship people to say that a person must be willing to give up his sin, because that is frontloading works, and makes this all works salvation. And yet you believe faith is a work, at least that's what I read after asking you a few times.

Isn't the will involved in faith? Does a person who believes in Jesus Christ, just wanting the penalty gone, but he wants to keep sinning? That's how it reads with you. And I'm not attempting to be unkind. The unwillingness to sin also comes from the grace of God, which is from the Word of God. The will is involved in salvation. If you believe in the Jesus of the Bible, that is incongruent with sin. Why would you believe in Jesus if you want to keep sinning? I don't want this to turn into two comments, so I'm going to stop here.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Everyone,

There is no doubt that unsaved people need to be saved. They need salvation and they can't save themselves, not matter how many works they try to frontload or even if they want to. So sinners need salvation. The question is, and I know that Lou thinks this too and has written it in a comment earlier, what is the response that we are to make to the Savior in order to get that salvation. We know it isn't a work, because of all those works passages. And whatever response is a saving response in the Bible can't be a work. It can't be, because salvation isn't by works.

There are two parts to it: believe and Jesus. People get what it means to believe wrong and then they get Jesus wrong. If you get either of those wrong, you won't be saved. Of course, a lot of people say they believe in Jesus and are not saved, because they do have one of those two wrong. I've put it this way in the past: I can receive Jesus for salvation, but if I think he's a jar of peanut butter, I'm not going to be saved -- He must be the Jesus of the Bible.

What I hear is that the anti or non Lordship purposefully leave out the Lordship of Jesus, and now they attack those who include it as frontloading works. This is an attack on the gospel, and it is going to leave people not saved, because Jesus is Lord.

We even have a guy calling that heresy, and he says he's read Lou's book to back that concept up. I think we're in big trouble with this type of talk all over.

Paul Brownfield said...

Amen. David Cloud has written many helpful thing and I praise God for it. But we CANNOT leave out the Lordship of Christ. Your peanut butter analogy in your comments is very true. There needs to be a belief in the Lord Jesus Christ if the Bible, not whatever our imaginations conjure Him up to be.

KJB1611 said...

Based on the comments above, I wonder if people who read this discussion will conclude, "Pastor Brandenburg and his position have exegesis of Scripture on their side, while his opponents just give their opinions and don't exegete Scripture."

If they do think that, I wonder if they will also think "I wonder if the anti-Lordship people know they don't have exegesis on their side – and if so, will they be willing to change?"

Joshua Roberts said...

Bro. Brandenburg,

Hello from Wales. I wonder where or if Philippians 2:9-11 fits into this discussion? I trust it is every believers desire that "every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord" before it is too late. Enjoying the discussion on this topic. I personally feel it is a shame that the phrase/term "Lordship Salvation" was ever created.

In Christ,
Joshua Roberts

Lou Martuneac said...

Kent:

Thank you for hosting me here these past few days.


LM

Kevl said...

Kent:

This claim

What I hear is that the anti or non Lordship purposefully leave out the Lordship of Jesus, and now they attack those who include it as frontloading works. This is an attack on the gospel, and it is going to leave people not saved, because Jesus is Lord.


Is nothing more than what KJV Onlyists do. They assume the KJV is the proper version without any proof of such and then claim anyone who changes anything is attacking the Scripture, or in your case the Gospel.

The Gospel is as Paul declared it in 1Cor 15:1-11. You can neither add to nor take away from this message and still be preaching the Gospel of the Christ.

You will note there is absolutely nothing about the mastery of Christ over the person to become saved in that message.

To make my point clearer I will ask you: if failing to condition salvation for the sinner on their submitting to the mastery of Christ over them results in them having a false Jesus or a different Jesus then how is this different than not requiring the sinner to submit to any or all of the following?

That Christ is:
Advocate
Almighty
Alpha and Omega
The Apostle of our Profession
Bread of God
Bread of Life
Bridegroom
Capstone
Chief Cornerstone
Creator
Deliverer
Firstborn from the Dead
Firstborn of all Creation
Gate
Great High Priest
Heir of all things
Last Adam
Lion of the Tribe of Judah
Man from Heaven
Mediator of the New Covenant
Morning Star
Offspring of David
Our Husband
Rabbi
The Stone the builders rejected
True Vine
Wisdom of God
The Word

And so on... this is just a few of the significant of the Christ.

How can you claim to receive the true Jesus if you don't submit to Him as these things above and all the other titles?

Kent I sympathize with the desire to preach the Christ of the Scriptures and to ensure that those who think they are saved truly are. However, the Gospel as received directly from the Christ and written explicitly in the Scripture is not deficient. 1Cor 15:1-11 is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe. Period.

Kev

Kevl said...

Kent & All:

Here is what I just noticed in Kent's comment.

We even have a guy calling that heresy, and he says he's read Lou's book to back that concept up. I think we're in big trouble with this type of talk all over.

Got a quote on this Kent?

Did I actually say I read Lou's book so I know what you preach is Heresy? Is Lou's book what I am relying on here?

You need to question yourself Kent. Why is it that you need to burn strawmen instead of what those who seek to correct you actually say?

I'll ask you for the third time; who are you arguing against and are you winning?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Brandenburg and Mr. KJB 1611,

The exegesis I am asking for concerns Mr. Brandenburg's statement in the fourth comment under this article, wherein he says:

"there will still be those, who didn't hear Lordship preached, who will actually repent and no longer rebel against Lordship."

Is there Scriptural exegesis to support this?

Thank you again.

Bob

Kent Brandenburg said...

OK, first Bob? Is there exegesis to support that people who don't hear about lordship will believe in it anyway and be saved. There are plenty of examples where someone doesn't hear lordship and yet believes in it and is saved. They know Jesus is Lord without it being preached. Not every salvation passage represents an example of everything that should be preached. There is a tacit assumption of lordship about Jesus in the Bible. For instance, the Matthew 1 genealogy doesn't say He is Lord, but it is assuming it as a fulfillment of the Davidic covenant. The genealogy says he is Lord. I'd be interested if the non-lordship guys would deny that. The New Testament, new covenant, which is the gospel according to Paul in 2 Corinthians, starts with Lordship. But it doesn't mention it.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Kevl,

I allowed your KJVO comment, but that portion is off thread. I'll be glad to talk to you about the biblical doctrine of preservation, but we should keep it out of this thread. That comment is too indecipherable to answer, or I would try.

Regarding Lou's book -- you referred to it.

There is nothing about deity or repentance in 1 Corinthians 15:1-11. So you are saying that someone has to hear that Jesus was seen of Cephas and of the twelve, etc in order to be saved?

Why does someone need to believe Jesus is Savior? Does anyone need to believe anything about Jesus or know anything about Him? At this point, I'm not going to answer your multitude of title questions because you obviously don't want to get it.

A lot of people read David Cloud and I wrote to expose what he wrote. I made arguments in that for Lordship salvation, because I want people to believe the truth. Am I winning the argument? I've won it if I tell the truth, so "yes."

Kent Brandenburg said...

Joshua,

"Lordship salvation" makes it sound like there is some other kind of salvation, when there isn't. I think Philippians 2:5-11 fits everything else in the OT and NT about Jesus and our salvation. Every knee bow and every tongue confess Jesus as Lord is good in that it fits everything the NT says.

God's people are a covenant people and do they have to agree with the covenant before they are saved or will they only agree afterwards. The Hebrew OT ends with a genealogy and the NT starts with one. Why? To show that Jesus is Lord.

Kevl and others here say that you don't have to confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus to be saved.

On those grounds, grace is a get-out-of-jail-free card in which you agree to be saved with no agreement to follow the Lord, because you still want to go your own way. Jesus said, "I am the way." It can't be His and yours that is the way. But to Kevl and others, you can have His way and your way and be saved.

Jim F said...

Kent,

The fact is that there is no other salvation than the free gift provided to us all by Christ. (Romans 5:14-21) We either accept it by grace (unmerited favor) through faith (unmeritorious response) or we don't. (Eph 2:8-9) This is the picture throughout the Bible. There are over 150 verses that say or demonstrate this. Here are some of them. (Jn 3:14-18, 3:36, 5:24, 6:29, 6:40, 6:47, 8:24, 8:29-30, 11:25-26, 12:36, 19:35, 20:31, Acts 3:16, Acts 4:4, 8:12, 10:43, 13:39, 14:1, 14:23, 14:27, 15:7, 16:31, 17:4-5, 17:11-12, 18:8, 19:4, 20:21, 26:18, Rom 1:16, 3:22, 3:25-28, 4:3-5, 4:16, 5:1-2, 9:30, 10:4, 11:30-32, I Cor 1:21, 2 Cor 4:4, Gal 2:16, Gal 3:2, 3:5-9, 3:14, 3:24, Eph 1:13, Phil 3:9, 2 Thes 1:10, I Tim 1:16, I Tim 4:10, 2 Tim 1:12, 2 Tim 3:15, Heb 4:2-3, 1 Pet 1:24, I John 5:10, 5:13.) Based on these there is no such thing as “lordship salvation” as expressed by guys like MacArthur. We don't get to take passages like the one in Matthew with Jesus talking about the demands of discipleship and turn it into demands for salvation. To do that is to confuse the whole thing.

I think KJB1611 asked about a free grace refutation of the discipleship = salvation idea. One of the best I've read on that is chapter 5 of Charlie Bing's book Lordship Salvation. It thoroughly deals with the whole issue and is available online for free. Just google it.

Jesus indeed is Lord and God. However the point of salvation is not changing our way or cleaning up our lives. You do not have to confess Jesus as Lord in your sense to be saved. Trusting Him as Savior implies that we know He is God. The get out of jail free card idea is interesting but not complete. Yes, we as believers get out of hell freely based on His grace, righteousness, and atoning work on the cross. However, salvation is also about being born again. There purpose is to have eternal life. This allows man to be the children of God and thereby be reconciled to Him. (Gal 3:26) We have a new positional relationship to Him and a potential ongoing relationship.

Jim Floyd

Kevl said...

Kent,

It is simple. I can read the Gospel of the Christ out of the Scriptures. One can believe it and be saved, or not believe it and remain condemned.

Are you able to read your gospel out of the Scriptures from anywhere? Of course not. There is not a single passage that says "make Jesus Lord of your life and you'll be saved."

I can read the same message out of the Scriptures many times over.

God justifies the ungodly on the basis of faith. Are you an ungodly sinner Kent? Then this is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

That you don't get my challenges speaks to the fact that you have never allowed your theology to be challenged in your own mind. Test all things Kent.

Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures. He was buried and rose again the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He was seen by a multitude of witnesses.

Are you a sinner Kent? Christ died for you. His death was enough to pay for your sin. His resurrection is enough to secure your eternal life. There is nothing else needed Kent. It is completely finished in Christ. He doesn't need your willingness to serve Him. He doesn't need your service. He came to serve, not to be served.

Are you willing to allow your salvation to be based completely and only on His finished work? If so you can be saved, if not you will perish in your sins.

Joshua said...

Kev,

What you're saying sounds 90% right, but it just isn't so.

"make Jesus Lord of your life and you'll be saved." If you turn that one around, you'll find an answer that may be much more palatable: "If you refuse to make Jesus Lord of your life, then you aren't saved".

I know that by personal experience as well as the Scriptures.

I grew up in a Christian home, and made dozens of "commitments to Christ", yet I had a love for video games, the wicked side of the internet and doing my own thing. I didn't want to get saved because I knew those things would have to go, but at the same time I lived in fear of Hell.

Sometimes I would read the Bible where it talked about believing in faith, and that nothing could separate from the love of God, and I would be comforted that perhaps I could keep my sins, not actually follow Jesus, and be able to avoid Hell... but then I'd run into books like James, Titus 1:16 or Jesus' confrontation with the rich young ruler, and it would remind me what I knew deep down - that if I wouldn't turn from my sin, and follow Jesus as Lord, then I wasn't saved.

At no stage did I think that my good work of submitting to Jesus would save me. I got my wretched condition. I understood that once I became a Christian, I'd still stumble and not always operate according to my belief that Jesus Christ is my Lord and God. But I couldn't kid myself that a single prayer from an unrepentant heart that had no intention of following Jesus was going to cut it. You want to find out where the heart is at of a person you're witnessing to? Explain to them what it will cost if they accept Christ as Lord and Saviour. Jesus encouraged folks to count the cost before they committed to Him. His yoke is light and easy, but if you won't wear it, you are none of His. Some will accept His yoke before full understanding of everything about Christ has hit them, but mark it down that the man who will not live in that yoke never tasted of Him. He that endureth to the end shall be saved.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Kevl,

I’m going to take your comment one line at a time to show where you go wrong. I’ll put your comments in italics.

It is simple. I can read the Gospel of the Christ out of the Scriptures. One can believe it and be saved, or not believe it and remain condemned.

I would hope this is the case. Your conflict with what I’m writing has me think, “No, that’s not true.”

Are you able to read your gospel out of the Scriptures from anywhere? Of course not. There is not a single passage that says "make Jesus Lord of your life and you'll be saved."

What I’m teaching is the entire Bible, including the entire NT. You are picking and choosing, reading out of context, to make salvation less than what it is, taking away from scripture. On top of that, here you put words in my mouth that I’ve never said and wouldn’t ever say. I have never said, nor I believe – “make Jesus Lord of your life and you’ll be saved.” That’s the exact strawman of what I wrote about above. No one makes Jesus Lord. He is Lord. The question is, do you believe it? You are saying that a person does not need to believe that Jesus is Lord to be saved. I can read what I am teaching everywhere, because “believing in Jesus Christ” is believing that Jesus is Lord. If not, then you’ve got another Jesus. What I’ve presented is that Lordship is a inviolable or sancrosanct aspect to the identity of Jesus. You take away “Lordship” and you don’t have Jesus. That is His identity. I’m not saying that “Savior” is not also sancrosanct, but it is less emphasized in the NT, but that doesn’t stop men like you from leaving Lordship out on purpose, as a strategy, what I see as a bait and switch.

“Lordship” is also “repentance.” I’ve asked people to consider a lot here without opening all of the NT on salvation. I’ve started with a few places and those HAVE NOT been answered at all. Brother Ross, has made a presentation that HAS NOT been answered. I have preached the whole NT word-by-word, except for about 10 verses in Luke that I’ll finish in the next three weeks. I spent a year and half several years ago, preaching the main salvation passages of the NT. What did Jesus preach? “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Repent directly relates to Lordship. Repent of what? What is sin?

You actually will have a difficult time with a lot of passages of scripture without Lordship. 2 Peter 2 is obviously all about Lordship, and I bring up “deny the Lord who bought them,” and you say that is about the point that He “bought them,” ignoring “the Lord.” That is the Greek word despotes, and even stronger word than kurios. That IS the point. They don’t like Lordship, which is why they are apostate. And it’s obvious these are people who do know about salvation, but they’re not saved because they deny the Lord.

God justifies the ungodly on the basis of faith. Are you an ungodly sinner Kent? Then this is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
First sentence of this paragraph: Again, what is faith and who is the object of that faith? For you, it’s faith that is intellectual and perhaps emotional only, no will involved, and for you, it’s a Jesus who is Savior, but not Lord. Those are conveniently the two most offensive aspects of salvation so it’s no wonder you leave those two out. I don’t know the point of your asking me whether I am a sinner – I would like to know. We need to be saved because we’re sinners, Kevl. I am a sinner. I’m an ungodly sinner. What is it to be ungodly? Who are the ungodly? I believe to you, the person who is ungodly can keep being ungodly, because all that matters is that he is saved from the penalty of sin, not the power of sin. Sin still has dominion over him – that’s the cheap grace that you preach.

Kent Brandenburg said...

That you don't get my challenges speaks to the fact that you have never allowed your theology to be challenged in your own mind. Test all things Kent.

I’ve never allowed my theology to be challenged? Hmmm. I don’t get your KJVO challenge. It’s a different thread. If I were to judge myself, I would say it’s tell-tale that you don’t take your theology from scripture, because a modern version position doesn’t come from scripture.

Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures. He was buried and rose again the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He was seen by a multitude of witnesses.

So if you just give intellectual assent to those facts, that’s salvation? Jesus died for our past sins, but not our present and future sins? The point of Paul making that statement was to say that the Corinthians believed in bodily resurrection as part of what he preached, so why doesn’t he believe it now. Believing that Jesus rose from the dead means more than He is Savior.

Are you a sinner Kent? Christ died for you. His death was enough to pay for your sin. His resurrection is enough to secure your eternal life. There is nothing else needed Kent. It is completely finished in Christ. He doesn't need your willingness to serve Him. He doesn't need your service. He came to serve, not to be served.

You’ve asked if I was a sinner twice, which relates nothing to this subject. Jesus death was enough to save us, true, He finished the work on the cross, true, but then we get to the next statement, that He doesn’t need your willingness to serve. Who do you think Jesus is? He could save us through His death, His finished work, because of what? I couldn’t do that, but Jesus could. Jesus told the woman at the well that the Father was seeking for true worshipers. Part of faith and repentance or repentant faith is a willingness to serve Him. You don’t have to serve Him to be saved, but believing in Him includes not serving yourself anymore. Look at the beatitudes—poor in Spirit, mourning, meek. And those three are tied together.

Are you willing to allow your salvation to be based completely and only on His finished work? If so you can be saved, if not you will perish in your sins.

I get it Kevl, you’re treating me as if I’m not saved because I believe in Jesus Christ. Believing in Jesus Christ and, therefore, believing He is Lord, is not contradictory to trusting in His work on the cross. That you think so shows a lack of understanding of salvation. I read your soteriology at your site, and you’ve got major problems. You don’t take your position from a true reading of scripture. You’ve got problems in that presentation there.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Joshua,

Good testimony and absolutely right. It's interesting to hear how angry those are about the "frontloading of works" (which is untrue). However, they have a faulty view of sanctification from their faulty view of justification. Jesus isn't Lord up front, so He's Lord at the back end (who knows when, if ever). It's convenient up front. You're always saved, while you're lord of your life. When you sin, you just need to keep working at those things. Working, working. Feeling guilty, feeling guilty, not having relief. Problem in so many cases -- an unsaved person. He thinks the problem is that he hasn't prayed through or received the second blessing or received the power, all those things he's got to WORK for to get.

Kevl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kent Brandenburg said...

I removed Kevl's comment from the blog. It was insulting and didn't deal with the comment at all. He can come back and comment if he wishes to interact with the material, but if he just wants to insult, and I say just wants to insult, I don't think I should give him room. All he talked about was KJVO and even with that, just speculated. It's obvious to me he has little to nothing profitable to say here.

Lou Martuneac said...

Hello Jim F:

You wrote, “We don’t get to take passages like the one in Matthew with Jesus talking about the demands of discipleship and turn it into demands for salvation. To do that is to confuse the whole thing…. Jesus indeed is Lord and God. However the point of salvation is not changing our way or cleaning up our lives..”

Throughout the teaching of LS advocates you can find the unbiblical combining of the doctrines of salvation (justification) and discipleship (sanctification) as if the two are one and the same. John MacArthur believes that the gospel demands a commitment of one’s life, and a promise of surrender to the lordship of Christ in an up-front “exchange” for the reception of salvation (justification).

“This is what Jesus meant when He spoke of taking up one’s own cross to follow Him. And that is why he demanded that we count the cost carefully. He was calling for an exchange of all that we are for all that He is. He was demanding implicit obedience—unconditional surrender to His lordship…. That is the kind of response the Lord Jesus called for: wholehearted commitment. A desire for him at any cost. Unconditional surrender. A full exchange of self for the Savior. It is the only response that will open the gates of the kingdom.” (TGATJ: What is Authentic Faith, pp. 149-50.)

“If you want to receive this gift [eternal life] it will cost you the total commitment of all that you are to the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ps. Steve Lawson: The Cost of Discipleship, It Will Cost You Everything, Resolved Conference, Feb. 18, 2007.)

There is no doubt that Jesus saw a measure of real, lived-out obedience to the will of God as necessary for final salvation.... What God will require at the judgment is not our perfection, but sufficient fruit to show that the tree had life-in our case, divine life. (John Piper, What Jesus Demands From the World, pp. 160, 221.)

Endurance in faith is a condition for future salvation. Only those who endure in faith will be saved for eternity. (R. C. Sproul, Grace Unknown, p. 198.)

You can see from these, and many more than can be cited, that LS men base not just the reception of the gift of eternal life (justification), but the keeping of the gift on behavior, discipleship (sanctification, growth) the doing of the good works (Eph. 2:10) expected of a believer to become a believer, and then to eternally keep the gift (glorification).

I’ve read few more succinct explanations of Lordship’s front-loading faith with commitment to obedience (discipleship) for salvation (justification) than that by Ron Shea (Th.M., J.D.), who wrote,

In this view, eternal salvation is not dependent on the performance of a work, but only the promise of future works. In the minds of those determined to adhere to salvation by works, this distinction supposedly allows the works of the law to be somehow added to the equation of salvation without annulling the doctrine of grace. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans would disagree. ‘For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise is of none effect.’ The…expression of ‘saving repentance’ is nothing more than a specific form or expression of Bilateral Contract Salvation . . . ‘a
promise for a promise.’ The lost sinner ‘promises’ future obedience in exchange for God’s ‘promise’ of eternal life. This…is the most common and pervasive form of ‘Lordship Salvation’ taught within Christendom throughout the world
.” (Repentance and Salvation in Scripture: Confusion Over Repentance, p. 3.)

Thanks for disclosing that Lordship Salvation twists passages meant for discipleship of the born again believer into salvation passages meant for the lost to become a born again believer. That is works salvation, which corrupts the simplicity that is in Christ, (2 Cor. 11:3).


LM

Kent Brandenburg said...

Lou,

I'm not signing off on every statement you can find from a "Lordship advocate." MacArthur and those in his circle didn't invent the idea. At the same time, if I were to do due diligence, I would want to look at everyone of your quotes in their context. I think that the way they say things sometimes is suspect, and maybe what they believe is outright wrong because of their Calvinism. I don't fellowship with those guys for numbers of reasons, and my heart aches over the slide that direction for numerous reasons.

Some of the refutation, again, seems to be a strawman overall. It's difficult on that front, because it is true, I agree and believe, that some do say things that are what they're dealing with. One though is an example in your last long quote, where he calls it the promise of future works. That is twisting it just enough to make it into works. The truth is on a razor's edge, and that slides it off that edge to one side. Do you foresee works ahead in your life, because Jesus is Lord? Do you foresee obedience to the Lord? Yes. Are you depending on those works for salvation? No. Believe in Jesus Christ sees an end in righteousness, because unrighteousness offends God. You detach that totally from righteous works, which misrepresents righteousness. In that way, it isn't repentance either, so I believe you are sliding over the other edge in order to smack someone else over to the other side.

I have no great desire to defend Steve Lawson, and I'm pretty sure he would never defend me. However, when I read every word that he wrote, turning "belief" into a "commitment of yourself"--how is that wrong? You can say believe in Jesus Christ, but that must be defined.

I'm going to answer Jim Floyd's comment. I had read it, but then forgot about it, and then you used it to bounce off on. I don't know him. I don't know if Jim Floyd and I have met.

I might not get to it until after church. I go to choir practice in 10 minutes, so it might not get done.

Jim F said...

Hi Lou,

You said, "Throughout the teaching of LS advocates you can find the unbiblical combining of the doctrines of salvation (justification) and discipleship (sanctification) as if the two are one and the same."

The danger of this is that many create a Lordship legalism effect where people try to examine their lives to see if they are showing enough fruit or living well enough to believe that they are saved or one of the "elect". Many will just the passage in 2 Corinthians were Paul exhorts the believers there to examine themselves whether they be in the faith. The problem is that the way to do such a thing is not to "fruit inspect" but toconsider exactly who our object of faith is. Is it Christ, Christ plus, not Christ at all? Lordship salvation not only is construed by mistaking discipleship passages with justification passages but it focuses on works after salvation to prove that one has believed.

Lordship can show up either way. With an upfront commitment / willingness to turn from sin or as a works focus after conversion seeking proof of the "genuineness" of the individual. Many times James 2 is falsely used to justify this position saying that faith without works is dead being alone.

Jim F

Jim F said...

Kent, we have not met but I believe I've seen your name somewhere before. Maybe it was on another blog. Anyway, you said you were not a Calvinist. Don't youthink though that Lordship salvation is basically derived straight out of the idea of Perseverance of the Saints?

Jim F

Lou Martuneac said...

Kent:

I assure you assure that each quote I used above is in context. I let those men and in my book every citation from an LS advocates is in context, letting them define in their own words exactly what they believe to be the way a lost man is to be born again The themes of LS, like treating salvation and discipleship as one and the same runs like a thread through virtually every known LS teacher out there.

I am providing you with a link to a study by George Zeller in which he compiled many quotes from John MacArthur on his LS interpretation of the gospel. You will see that there is no misunderstanding, not taking anything out of context. JMac very clearly states what he believes, preaches and defends that a lost mam must do to be born again. Please see,

http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/lordshrq.pdf

I trust this will be helpful and instructive.


LM

Lou Martuneac said...

Kent: I will try to address some of the other points you raised. Very busy between work and home.


Lou

Kent Brandenburg said...

Jim Floyd,

Hi. I’m going to put your material from your comment in italics to differentiate, and then answer. Here we go.

The fact is that there is no other salvation than the free gift provided to us all by Christ. (Romans 5:14-21)
Agreed
We either accept it by grace (unmerited favor) through faith (unmeritorious response) or we don't. (Eph 2:8-9) This is the picture throughout the Bible.
I don’t use the word “accept.” Can you show me a use of that word in the NT for salvation? Is “accept” in any of the 150 verses below? And then you say “it.” I’m going to have to say that “it” is the free gift. Do we receive the free gift by “accepting the free gift”? Is there anywhere in the below 150 verses that say that. Kevl, the guy who has been commenting, would call this a strawman on my part. It isn’t. I’m being technical, but it isn’t a strawman.
There are over 150 verses that say or demonstrate this. Here are some of them.
I’m not going to go through all those verses and tell you whether they are saying what you are saying, mainly because I agree with those statements and I will not question. I don’t believe they are a basis for what I believe, not trouble for it. Isn’t that great?!?!
Based on these there is no such thing as “lordship salvation” as expressed by guys like MacArthur.
If this were MacArthur’s blog, that might be more helpful. At the same time, I don’t think MacArthur would have trouble saying that he doesn’t absolutely agree with all your listed verses, preaches them, believes them. I do. I don’t know what you think MacArthur says though, so this is impossible to answer. I don’t know that you have just read what people have said that MacArthur said. I don’t know.
We don't get to take passages like the one in Matthew with Jesus talking about the demands of discipleship and turn it into demands for salvation. To do that is to confuse the whole thing.
This is where we get down to something we can really talk about. You (and Lou, I guess) differentiate discipleship from salvation. You make statements that they are different, but in my mind, making a disciple and preaching the gospel are the same thing. Three of the links above are an argument for this from Thomas Ross. I don’t think Thomas Ross has read one book by John MacArthur, the last I knew (he can correct me if I’m wrong). That was a separate study from Thomas Ross completely disconnected from me too. You’ll need to answer that.

Kent Brandenburg said...

continued...

You get a disciple by preaching the gospel. What is a disciple? A follower of Jesus. Acts 14:21 is tell tale: “And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many...” “Taught many” is matheteuo, “make disciples.” They preached the gospel and made many disciples. The one is directly connected to the other. This is in no way the way it is used in the modern Keswick movement, where disciple is some latter category of super dedicated Christian years after being saved. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus said first “teach,” Greek word matheteuo, “make disciples.” Parallel passages, Luke 24:47 and Mark 16:15-16 and John 20:23. Those who are made discipled in Matthew 28:19 are to be baptized: “baptizing them.” Who are to be baptized? Those who are made disciples. Do we wait until someone becomes this super kind of Christian, receives a second blessing, until we baptize him? Consider Matthew 13:52, “every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven...” “Is instructed” is matheteuo, so made disciples into the kingdom of heaven. This is an unsaved scribe, who is made a disciple, i.e. now a citizen of the kingdom. There is so much more to say here, because the idea that a disciple is not essentially a synonym for a saved person belies its usage. The idea that a disciple is someone far subsequent to conversion is a development out of Keswick theology, which is simple to read in history.

It seems you are saying that someone can be saved without repentance, because repentance is someone not a follower becoming a follower by faith. That is what it is to believe in Jesus Christ. It isn’t a work, because scripture says it isn’t (Acts 11:18; Philip 1:29; etc).

Jesus indeed is Lord and God. However the point of salvation is not changing our way or cleaning up our lives.
The point of salvation is not to change your way or clean up your life? So what is the point of salvation? Is it just to get you to heaven? Lou, you’re saying you agree with Jim Floyd?

You do not have to confess Jesus as Lord in your sense to be saved.
Romans 10:9-10?

Trusting Him as Savior implies that we know He is God. The get out of jail free card idea is interesting but not complete. Yes, we as believers get out of hell freely based on His grace, righteousness, and atoning work on the cross. However, salvation is also about being born again.
This “being born again” language seems like you are front loading works, like some kind of change is intended in one’s life. A person doesn’t have to change at all and you are making it as though the person is thinking about changing. You’ve got to be careful here. (all sarcasm, but something that sounds like what you would say)

There purpose is to have eternal life. This allows man to be the children of God and thereby be reconciled to Him. (Gal 3:26) We have a new positional relationship to Him and a potential ongoing relationship.
So Lou, you are agreeing with Jim here and his potential ongoing relationship? You get just a positional relationship and only a potential ongoing relationship?

This is truly salvation by works, Jim. You’ve got to keep doing the good works to maintain the potential ongoing relationship.

KJB1611 said...

There have been a lot of comments on here, but I am still waiting for an exegetical answer to the following questions. I have heard nothing exegetical at all in response to these questions.

1.) Here at What is Truth we posted a study of the word "disciple" to see if disciples were a subcategory of believers. It is here:

http://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com/2011/01/are-all-believers-disciples-part-1.html

http://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com/2011/01/are-all-believers-disciples-part-2.html

http://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com/2011/01/are-all-believers-disciples-part-3.html

I am still very interested in seeing an anti-Lordship refutation of the study. It seems very, very clear that "disciple" and "believer" are synonymous categories from a study of the word. If any anti-Lordship commenter here could point out the exegetical errors in the study above, I would be very interested. I would be very interested in the clear texts where believers are the bigger category and disciples are identified as an elite subcategory. I see many passages where disciples are contrasted with lost people, and other passages where Christ calls lost people to become disciples and thus receive salvation, but I don't see even one clear passage where "disciple" is indisputably a subcategory of elite Christian.

2.) I would still like to know, along those lines, if only some saved people are Christians. Since the Greek of Acts 11:26 equates as identical categories "disciple" and "Christian," should anti-Lordship people exhort saved people to become Christians by a post-conversion act of surrender?

3.) Also, since the most commonly used Baptist confessions teach Lordship salvation, were the vast majority of Baptists before 1900lost and believers in works salvation, just like, so it seems, Pastor Brandenburg allegedly believes in works salvation and so is lost? Was the true Gospel restored to Baptists in the 1880s-1890s?

4.) Why would Christ being the answer and a desire to stop sinning are a disjunction, so that one must choose one or the other? Why is coming to Christ for freedom from bondage to sin's power as well as sin's penalty works salvation, but dividing Christ so that He saves in sin but not from sin until a post-conversion Lordship salvation decision is made really exalting Christ more?

KJB1611 said...


5.) I have not seen an actual exegetical answer to the exegetical evidence I gave above for why saving faith involves surrender. Nobody has, as far as I can see, touched my actual exegesis. If someone can actually show how standard Greek grammar is wrong, and the KJV is wrong in its translation of pisteuo as both "believe" and as "commit," I would be interested. I reproduce the exegetical argument again below. I am still waiting for an exegetical response. Pastor Brandenburg is correct that I have never read a book by MacArthur in my life (although I have flipped through a few and looked at a page here or there.)

What I said before that has not had any exegetical response at all:

It is certainly true that when one comes to Christ one receives Him as both Lord and Savior. Furthermore, it is clear that saving faith involves commitment or surrender. For example, the idea of committal or entrustment in the common New Testament verb to believe, the verb found in texts such as John 3:16, is evident. The verb is translated in a form including the word “commit” in Luke 16:11; John 2:24; Rom 3:2; 1 Corinthians 9:17; Galatians 2:7; 1 Timothy 1:11; Titus 1:3. “He that believeth in me hath everlasting life” (John 6:47) includes an act of committal or surrender to Jesus as Lord.

Furthermore, the common Biblical phrase for saving faith in Christ, pisteuein eis auton ("believe in/on Him"), involves submission and surrender. In the words of a standard Greek grammar:

Deissmann in Light From the Ancient East gives several convincing quotations from the papyri to prove that pisteuiein eis auton meant surrender or submission to. A slave was sold into the name of the god of a temple; i. e., to be a temple servant. G. Milligan agrees with Deissmann that this papyri usage of eis auton is also found regularly in the New Testament. Thus to believe on or . . . into the name of Jesus means to renounce self and to consider oneself the life-time servant of Jesus. (pg. 105, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, H. E. Dana & Julius R. Mantey. New York, NY: MacMillan, 1955. Greek characters have been transliterated.)

KJB1611 said...

Illustrations of the fact that Baptists have held a Lordship view of salvation in their confessions:

“Unfeigned repentance is an inward and true sorrow of heart for sin, with sincere confession of the same to God, especially that we have offended so gracious a God and so loving a Father, together with a settled purpose of heart and a careful endeavor to leave all our sins, and to live a more holy and sanctified life according to all God’s commands” (The Orthodox Creed, Baptist, 1679).

“This saving repentance is an evangelical grace, whereby a person, being by the Holy Spirit made sensible of the manifold evils of his sin, doth, by faith in Christ, humble himself for it with godly sorrow, detestation of it, and self-abhorrency; praying for pardon and strength of grace, with a purpose and endeavor by supplies of the Spirit to walk before God unto all well-pleasing in all things” (Philadelphia Confession of Faith, Baptist, 1742).

I am not aware of any evidence at all of other Baptists criticizing such statements as teaching works salvation. Was the true gospel lost so that all the Baptists of past centuries are burning in hell because the true, anti-Lordship gospel had not yet been discovered, since they lived before the day of men like Zane Hodges and Curtis Hudson, who graciously restored the true, anti-Lordship gospel which Baptists had ignored from the time of Christ their Founder until very recent times? If LS is works salvation, must not this be the conclusion we must draw?

KJB1611 said...

One final question. If you can't answer the questions above, are you willing to change your position, since Jesus Christ is Lord?

Lou Martuneac said...

Kent:

You wrote, “You (and Lou, I guess) differentiate discipleship from salvation. You make statements that they are different, but in my mind, making a disciple and preaching the gospel are the same thing.”

I recall from years ago, in a group setting, one man espousing LS to a younger man just entering ministry. I began to question, challenge what was being said. I finally said to the man something like, “I agree that one ought to live for Jesus Christ as Lord and master, be he had better receive Jesus Christ as his Savior first.” To that the man bellowed, “NO!”

No responsible Bible teacher I know rejects the teaching of Christ in Matthew 28:19-20. There is, however, a biblical order to things here.

I believe you’ve read my book, In Defense of the Gospel: Biblical Answers to Lordship Salvation. In it I dedicate a lengthy chapter to demonstrate from the Bible that salvation and discipleship are two separate and distinct doctrines. I also demonstrate, from the writing of LS advocates, that they reject this distinction and instead insist that the requirement for salvation (justification) must include a lost man’s upfront commitment to live as a born again disciple of Christ to become a born again disciple of Christ.

LS front-loads faith with promises to live as an obedient disciple in “exchange”* for the promise of eternal life. That front-loads a commitment to do the “good works (Eph. 2:10) expected of a born again believer to become a born again believer. Preaching faith, plus commitment of life for salvation “corrupts the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor. 11:3) and “frustrates grace (Gal. 2:21).

In his critical review of MacArthur’s TGATJ Dr. Ernest Pickering wrote, “John MacArthur is a sincere servant of the Lord, of that we have no doubt.... We believe in his advocacy of the so-called lordship salvation he is wrong. He desperately desires to see holiness, lasting fruit, and continuing faithfulness in the lives of Christian people. This reviewer and we believe all sincere church leaders desire the same.... But the remedy for this condition is not found in changing the terms of the gospel.”

Kent: Is “unconditional surrender,” a “commitment to leave sin” and a “full exchange of self for the Savior” necessary for a lost man’s justification, necessary for the reception of eternal life?


LM

*JMac wrote of salvation, justification as an “exchange.”

Kent Brandenburg said...

Lou,

I would rather not defend MacArthur. I haven't quoted him here once. I go directly to the passages. I haven't looked at MacArthur once here in writing any of this. I didn't look at a commentary to write any of this.

You said there was a particular order to make a disciple. Who are the "them" of baptizing "them" after they go and make disciples? Make disciples of all nations, baptizing them. Disciples are being baptized. I gave at least three other exegetical points.

This two pronged plan: Savior and Lord, saved and disciple, carnal and then spiritual Christian. It produces two categories of Christians that the four spiritual laws tract laid out. You've got the saved person, with Jesus in the life and self on the throne. Then you've go the dedicated saved person, with Jesus in the life and Jesus on the throne. Or as Charles Homscher taught it in his NBT tract: you've got the cross of salvation and the cross of dedication. This is in fact the new teaching in the history of Christianity, the addition to historic doctrine.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Lou,

The paradigm you have set up is faith plus commitment. It's a wrong paradigm. Faith is commitment. Commitment is the involvement of the will in faith, the repentance part of the faith. You turn into two parts out of convenience to make it look like works. You say that this corrupts the simplicity in Christ, 2 Cor 11:3. There is a great irony here, because the false teachers at Corinth were preaching another Jesus. They were not corrupting simplicity through Lordship.

You also load your statements with words that invent a strawman, like this: "upfront commitment to live as a born again disciple of Christ." I would never say it that way, put it that way. If you take every statement by a lordship advocate, you could piece all of that together maybe, but I would gather that no one on planet earth puts it that way, so you're quoting no one.

There's also this one: "to live as an obedient disciple in exchange." I understand your emphasis on exchange. You're saying these guys believe it costs you something. You exchange your lost self for a saved self. You give up your sin for righteousness. There's an exchange. Jesus takes your sin and you take His righteousness. You offer your soul for cleansing. Lost self does his own thing and he gives up his own thing for Jesus' way. All that is an exchange. The language bothers you a lot, because you think it means it costs someone something. Jesus said count the cost. I recognize you think he was telling already saved people, count the cost. In other words, you may not want to follow me as a saved person, so count the cost. That doesn't work, Lou.

You have framed a loaded question for me to answer: "Kent: Is “unconditional surrender,” a “commitment to leave sin” and a “full exchange of self for the Savior” necessary for a lost man’s justification, necessary for the reception of eternal life?"

I would answer it this way. We're saved through believing in Jesus Christ. All of those describe or explain part of what it is to believe in Jesus Christ. That puts me in a better future situation not to be taken out of context and sound byted.

Thanks Lou!

d4v34x said...

The paradigm [Lou has] set up is faith plus commitment. It's a wrong paradigm. Faith is commitment. Commitment is the involvement of the will in faith, the repentance part of the faith. You turn into two parts out of convenience to make it look like works. You say that this corrupts the simplicity in Christ, 2 Cor 11:3. There is a great irony here, because the false teachers at Corinth were preaching another Jesus. They were not corrupting simplicity through Lordship.

Very worth repeating.

Anonymous said...

Excellent comment by D4. Faith is commitment. "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded, that he is able, to keep that which I've committed..."

Bobby Mitchell said...

That comment commending D4's comment and quoting 2 Timothy 1:12 was mine. I hit enter before putting my name to it. Sorry about that.

Jim F said...

Kent,

You can read my views on MacArthur and others at my blog standforthefaith.wordpress.com

It should be apparent to you there that I in no way endorse any works salvation.

Thanks

Jim F

Btw

I'll do my best to try to respond back to your last comment to me.

d4v34x said...

Actually, the post by me commended by Bobby is me quoting Bro. B. to whom the "well put" is actually due.

I'm sure I've put other things well a time or two, just not this. :)

Jim Camp said...

I really hate to comment. I am certainly no Greek scholar, but I looked at each of the verses given by Thomas Ross, & could not find the idea of commit in any of them (by our modern meaning).
In our day, we use the word "commit" & "commitment" with the idea of "a pledge or a promise or a dedication". I can see some of this definition in this, but Robertson's Word Pictures translated each as "intrust", which is a very different idea. Websters has "commit" as "1. To give in trust", which again would be intrust.

Presuming that Strong's Greek Dictionary is a good source, he puts "pistis", roughly, as "persuasion, credence, ... especially reliance upon Christ for salvation". This word comes from peitho, to convince.

The point being that faith is about trust, reliance upon, to believe upon.
Personally, this is one of my biggest problems with the LS position, the SEEMING constant demand that salvation is not about entrusting Jesus Christ for the salvation of our souls, but the promise of dedication to Him.

As always, appreciate all the good material.

Lou Martuneac said...

Jim:

You wrote, “The point being that faith is about trust, reliance upon, to believe upon.”

You have recognized and in succinct terms defined the content of the faith saves, the faith in the One who justifies the lost man. First year Bible College students are taught to let the Bible says what it says without interpreting those things through the trappings of logic. LS is a system sprung from the fallible logic of men, who among other ideas reject the Bible’s teaching of the carnal Christian. MacArthur actually rejects the two natures of saved men.

LS teachers are unwilling to set aside the stringent logical demands of the LS system. Therefore, they try to force into or extract from the Scriptures things that are just not there to bolster their LS presuppositions. You’ve seen here that LS teachers front-load faith with demands for an upfront “commitment” to do the “good works” (Eph. 2:10) expected of a born again disciple of Christ to become a born again Christian.

Thanks for posting your comment.


LM

KJB1611 said...

Dear Jim,

Thanks for looking up the references and trying to interact with God's
Word instead of just giving your opinion and ignoring what the Bible
actually says. That is commendable and the right way to go about
things.

You are correct that "entrust" is prominent in the idea of the verb
"believe," pisteuo. "Commit to one's trust" and "entrust" are both
fine translations in many of the texts I mentioned. However, "entrust"
is not a different idea, because one is trusting in a Christ who is
both Lord and Ransomer for deliverance from both the penalty and power
of sin. One who does not want deliverance from the power of sin does
not want the Jesus of the Bible. Jesus is Savior from sin's power, not
its penalty only.

The standard Greek lexicon, BDAG, on the verb pisteuo, def. #2,
states: "to entrust oneself to an entity in complete confidence,
believe (in), trust, with implication of TOTAL COMMITMENT to the one
who is trusted. In our literature God and Christ are objects of this
type of faith[.]" In the Louw-Nida Greek lexicon, pisteuo (31.102)
states: "to believe in the good news about Jesus Christ and to BECOME
A FOLLOWER." The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament lists
under pisteuo "pisteuo as to believe. . . to OBEY . . . to trust."

Strong's Greek dictionary is not a good source, because it is far too
small. It is the difference between a one-word or one-phrase
definition and several pages (or, in TDNT, many pages) of categories
of usage with examples. Think the difference between a pocket English
dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary. However, note that even
in Strong's "pistis" has as part of its definition "fidelity" or
faithfulness. Compare Habakkuk 2:4, where "the just shall live by his
faith," the key verse of both Habakkuk and Romans, employs a word for
"faith" that is translated "faithfulness" everywhere else in the OT,
because saving faith always produces faithfulness. See:

http://faithsaves.net/the-just-shall-live-by-faith/

for more. Also, remember that I gave evidence that "believe in/on" is
a Greek phrase for surrender or committment above, evidence that
nobody has touched with a ten-foot pole despite huge numbers of
comments.

You stated: "Personally, this is one of my biggest problems with the
LS position, the SEEMING constant demand that salvation is not about
entrusting Jesus Christ for the salvation of our souls, but the
promise of dedication to Him."

KJB1611 said...


Trusting Jesus Christ for the salvation of our soul is trusting Him
for salvation--and salvation is not just freedom from sin's penalty,
but also from its power. The sinner who wants to keep his sin but not
go to hell does not want the Savior. Telling the sinner this fact is
not somehow adding works to the way of salvation. There is no Biblical
basis whatsoever for hiding from the lost man that Jesus will free him
from the power of sin--all his sin--and if he doesn't want to be freed
from all his sin, he doesn't want Jesus. Lewis Sperry Chafer actually
said we are to hide from the lost man what is involved in the
Christian life--lead him to make a "salvation" (?) decision, and then
spring on him what he has just gotten into after the decision. This is
using the hidden things of dishonesty (2 Thess 2) and is not at all
what we see the Lord Jesus or the Apostles practicing. Christ preached
to the lost multitudes to deny themselves, take up the cross (point
actions), and follow (durative action, a result of the point action of
repentance/faith/denial/taking up) Him. Those who did not would lose
their souls in hell, Mark 8:34-36. The anti-Lordship position refuses
to let the Bible say what it says without interpreting its statements
through the trappings of a pre-conceived, non-exegetical system, a
system sprung from the fallible ideas of men, forcing into the
Scriptures things that are just not there (e. g., saved people lose
their souls??) to bolster their presuppositions. The Lord Jesus
preached to lost people: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that
heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting
life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death
unto life. . . . Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the
which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come
forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and
they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (John
5:24, 28-29). An anti-Lordship person who didn't realize Jesus was the
One preaching would say that the preacher really blew it when He told
the lost that those who do good will receive life and those who do
evil will receive damnation (v. 28-29) right after saying eternal life
was by belief alone, v, 24. Christ told the lost that when they are
saved by faith alone (Jn 3:14-18) they will do good and want the light
instead of darkness (3:19-21). Many passages like these ones explain
why Baptist confessions reject the anti-Lordship position (apart from
the fact that it did not even exist when most of them were written).

Thanks again for actually looking up passages, caring about what the
Bible says, and not just ignoring the oracles of the living God.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Jim Camp,

If Lou says you're right, do you think that means you're right?

If you take commitment out of belief, you don't have belief any more. Imagine anyone believing in anything with no commitment, and I mean up front, not coming to some commitment years in the future, who knows how long, after he has "believed." Belief is not assent to facts. It includes assent, but that's not all it is. If you believe in Jesus, and Jesus is Lord, Savior, and God, does that only mean that you could get that right as a test question. How many people in this country would get that right? If Jesus is Lord and you believe on Him, it means you want to do what He says. If you don't want to do what He says, how is that believing on Him? It isn't.

I agree with Thomas. You can cherry-pick and find something very short that will give you "entrust," but it is lacking in curiosity of something that is very important or it is shopping for the definition that fits a predisposed belief. You've got to enter this with a dispassionate nature, like Paul when he was converted. He could count everything in the past as loss, even though his whole life was wrapped up in it. Could you say bye to your former view on this?

Lou Martuneac said...

Kent:

You wrote to Jim, "If Lou says you're right, do you think that means you're right?"

You're a fair man. Jim did indicate that he had arrived at his conclusion(s) through having done his own study. IMO, apart than that opening note to Jim, you were fair with him.


LM

Kent Brandenburg said...

Lou,

Just because someone has "studied" doesn't mean that he has reached the threshold of "study." Strong's Concordance is not a final word to me. Saying you've looked up all the passages doesn't do it for me. That doesn't mean that he hasn't studied, but based on only what he said, it doesn't meet what I believe is necessary. I appreciate your thinking I'm a fair man. But is what I'm teaching right? Is it what the Bible teaches?

You saying "no commitment" and my saying "commitment" -- those two contradict. We're not both right. Even if I said you were fair, what does that do if you're wrong? And you are wrong on this, because faith includes commitment. No commitment is incomprehensible. And I'm wanting to be fair.

Jim Camp said...

Hello Kent,

Between you & Thomas, that is a lot to deal with. In your comment, you asked me 2 direct questions (first sentence, last sentence), so let me start there.
1. I don't understand the question. It seems out of left field. Maybe I'm a bit dense today.
I don't know if you are suggesting that my commitment to Scripture is so base that I dance a
little jig every time someone agrees with me, of if you are suggesting that Lou is that big a
influence in my beliefs? Again, I simply am not figuring out the question. That answer, of
course, is no.
Contrary wise, I did dance a jig that I said something so sharp, so intelligent that both you
and Thomas responded! (this is a joke fellows, I'm just teasing)
2. The second answer is yes. I like to tell myself I am dispassionate. This is not about me,
it is about the Lord & His Word. I think this second question is referring to the brief
testimony I gave earlier. I was saved over 30 years ago & it does not frame my theology (not
the salvation, but the mixed up teaching of the church I was at. Salvation hopefully has a
serious effect upon my theology).

I have been reading here for about 5 or 6 years. It has challenged me greatly to make dead certain that what I am telling people is actually / exactly what Scripture says, not just my opinion or some other guys opinion (Jer. 23:28). I am grateful for this influence in my life.

Your last paragraph stated that a person can cherry pick or shop for definitions to support predisposed beliefs. This was simply not what I was doing. I was stating that the verses used
by Thomas to support the definition of "commit / committed" did not fit our common use of that term.
Moreover, I used Robertson as support for the translation of "intrust", with Strongs to back him up.
From my perspective, it was not me cherry picking, it was Thomas. I was hesitant to state this,
for it gets very persnickety at times in these discussions, & I have no bone to pick you fellows.

Again, Thanks
Jim Camp

PS - One major critique that has driven me nuts for quite some time. On the blog, the section for
"recent comments" is 5 deep. often many comments will not be visible, & I have missed some good
information, thereby. Is there no way to make that larger?



Kent Brandenburg said...

Jim Camp (there is a Jim Floyd up there),

You probably know that Lou and I are talking to each other through you, because Lou hasn't hardly talked to me here, but he talks to people to congratulate them for saying something different than my post.

Thomas and I, differing than other blogs, do usually answer comments here. Not always, but way more than some other guys.

I can look into a bigger comment list. We are at a rather more rapid pace here on this, because we're presently in the 80s.

Jim Camp said...

Bro. Ross,

Thanks for the response, I honestly appreciate it. I'm sure you are very busy, & I appreciate your
time.

Your first sentence stated that I was "trying to interact with God's Word". At first read, I
thought you were saying this in the manner we would down here in the Southwest - "you're TRYING to play football but you should take up knitting". I reread it, & your second & very last sentence clarified that this was not what you were saying. I spent an hour chuckling over my reactionary nature.

The analogy concerning Strongs was a insightful.

My main contention was the definition of the word. With faith & believe being so extensively used in the NT, the definition of the words are very important. You quoted several standard lexicons which all included some variant of our modern term "commit".

So is that idea inherit in the word itself? Much like fire carries the idea of heat within it, as there is no cold fire.
I don't speak Greek, therefore I am at the mercy of the Strongs, Robertsons, & lexicons for any study into the original languages. But this is where I find a bit of disconnect - The root of the word means to convince, & the word "pistis" appears to mainly mean entrust/believe/depend.
So my question is, where did it morph into obey or become a follower? I understand that words
have varying shades, but this seems a long way from the source.

Along similar lines, why not a different term, altogether? This was a spectacular argument that
was used here to establish local only ecclesiology. The word ecclesia doesn't carry a different idea (universal, invisible). It was a great point. Universal, invisible proponents must force their idea into the word, for it is not inherit in the word itself.
In similar fashion, does "pistis" & its variants carry the idea of obey or follow? If not, then why not a different word altogether (not suggesting changing Scripture, of course).

As Always, thanks in advance.

Jim Camp

Jim Camp said...

Kent,

I did not realize that. Thanks for letting me know.
I was dense enough to not see that until you explained
it to me. Maybe if you type slower....

Sincerely,
Jim Camp

Lou Martuneac said...

Kent:

I think Dr. Ernest Pickering said it well and with grace, in his review of MacArthur’s first edition of The Gospel According to Jesus, when he wrote,

John MacArthur is a sincere servant of the Lord, of that we have no doubt.... We believe in his advocacy of the so-called lordship salvation he is wrong. He desperately desires to see holiness, lasting fruit, and continuing faithfulness in the lives of Christian people. This reviewer and we believe all sincere church leaders desire the same.... But the remedy for this condition is not found in changing the terms of the gospel.”

MacArthur has changed, has corrupted the biblical plan of salvation. Men who come to embrace LS have had to force into or extract from the Bible things that are not there.

Any man who teaches LS is frustrating the grace of God. He is as wrong on LS as JMac is wrong. No man, who believe LS is the gospel, cannot brush aside John MacArthur’s teaching on LS when his teachings on LS are brought into a discussion. More than any other man in evangelical circles JMac has defined the core beliefs of Lordship Salvation. You’ve staked out faith, plus commitment as a core belief you have. You wrote above, “Imagine anyone believing in anything with no commitment, and I mean up front….” Faith, plus a commitment to the kind of behavior expected of a born again Christian to become a born again Christian is a theme that runs like a thread throughout MacArthur’s volumes. That is wrong!

Salvation is either by God’s grace or by human effort, commitment, or work. It cannot be by both, anymore than law and grace were both means of salvation in Paul’s day.” (Dr. Robert Lightner: Sin, the Savior and Salvation, p. 203)

The message of faith only and the message of faith plus commitment of life cannot both be the gospel; therefore, one of them is a false gospel and comes under the curse of perverting the gospel or preaching another gospel (Gal. 1:6-9), and this is a very serious matter.” (Dr. Charles Ryrie: Balancing the Christian Life, p. 170.)

I am hopeful that, through the Holy Spirit’s guidance, many who have fallen into the trap of Lordship Salvation will be recovered from and repent of it.

Kind regards,


LM

KJB1611 said...

For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10)

When the Thessalonians were saved, they turned from their idols to God with the intention of serving the living and true God (and waiting for his Son from heaven also, of course). How in the world "turned… to serve," a verb followed by an infinitive of purpose, can really mean that they didn't have to turn from their idols, but could keep them, and that they didn't really turn to God for the purpose of serving him, because that would be front-loading works, is truly astonishing to me. This passage is about as explicit concerning commitment to serve God as being part of coming to saving faith as I can think of.

Anonymous said...

Thank you again Mr. Brandenburg for your time and your good answers to my questions (I am the one who asked for Scriptural examples of those who do not hear Lordship preached but get saved anyway). It must be my own obtuseness that keeps me from seeing the "plenty of examples" to which you refer (I admit I'm one of the "dummies.") I know you mentioned Matthew 1 as one example, and even there I don't see anyone getting saved in that chapter, but I will try to keep looking into it. I don't want to take up too much more of your time with this question. Thanks again for you help with this.

Bob

Anonymous said...

Mr. Brandenburg,

Also, would you say that Mr. Martuneac or Mr. Cloud are preachers of a false gospel?

Thank you.

Bob

KJB1611 said...

Dear Lou,

I understand that you may not have time to actually get into the exegesis of passages of Scripture in your comments; I do not doubt that you are very busy. However, I rather suspect that both Pastor Brandenburg and I would find biblical exegesis much more convincing than quotations from new evangelicals affiliated with Dallas Seminary such as Ryrie. Speaking for myself at least, I don't really care what MacArthur says, what Ryrie says, etc. I would be interested in seeing how the anti-Lordship position is consistent with historic Baptist doctrine, though. The idea of repudiating my Baptist heritage and the plain exegesis of Scripture to adopt a position taught at Dallas seminary, a school founded by a Presbyterian, Chafer, seems extremely unappealing.

I'm not sure if we're supposed to disagree with the quote by Dr. Robert Lightner, but we certainly do think that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone not by human effort, if that was even in question. We also agree with your quotation from Ryrie that a separate act of commitment or process of commitment in addition to faith is not the gospel. What we do believe is that trusting Christ as Savior is to trust in a Savior from both the penalty and power of sin. I can't comment on whether MacArthur would disagree with salvation by grace alone through faith alone, as you appear to believe that he does, because I've never read a book by him in my life. It would seem more appropriate to discuss MacArthur on his own blog and interact with Pastor Brandenburg and my position here, which is the historic Baptist doctrine of salvation, but I certainly have no desire to tell you what to do.

I'm probably not going to respond to any further comments dealing with the works of men, unless it relates to the historic belief of Baptist churches. I would much rather discuss what Scripture says and what true churches have believed than what modern new evangelical writers say.

KJB1611 said...

Dear Jim,

Thanks for the testimony about the blessing that this blog has been to you. It was a blessing to read it. We certainly do want to go only by what Scripture says.

What I would say, Jim, in response to your question, is that when one trusts in Christ he is trusting in Him to save from the power of sin as well as the penalty of sin. That is the same thing as saying that saving faith involves surrender, because one who does not want Jesus to save him from the power of sin wants to keep his sin, and does not want Jesus. I have no problem saying that trust is fundamental to the pistis word group. That does not mean that trust excludes commitment, any more than trust excludes repentance.

For another illustration of this, one that someone who does not know Greek can grasp, notice how the King James translates peitho (Strong's 3982) as both trust, believe, and obey. Notice that the apeitho (Strong's 544) word group is also translated as both disbelieve and disobey:

Joh 3:36* He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Ac 14:2* But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.
Ac 17:5* But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.
Ac 19:9* But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.
Ro 2:8* But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
Ro 10:21* But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.
Ro 11:30* For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
Ro 11:31* Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
Ro 15:31* That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints;
Heb 3:18* And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?
Heb 11:31* By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
1Pe 2:7* Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
1Pe 2:8* And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
1Pe 3:1* Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
1Pe 3:20* Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
1Pe 4:17* For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

Kent Brandenburg said...

Bob,

I'm catching your sarcasm. I didn't answer the question of, is there a passage that says you can be saved and not believe Lordship or be saved and not hear Lordship. You've got to believe Lordship, because there are passages that say that, even if other passages are silent. On can you believe Lordship when you didn't hear it, I don't have a passage, except those passages where it is silent on Lordship and someone gets saved. There are some of those. But not every passage tells us everything that was said or happened.

Mr. Cloud, I think, believes about like we do. He just misrepresents Lordship salvation and confuses people on it, because he argues against a strawman.

I think someone could be saved with Mr. Martuneac's presentation, but I also believe there will be many false professions because of what he does. I think he himself is saved, although it doesn't matter what I think, really. Overall, I believe he represents a false gospel and even if he barely gets under the threshold, he causes damage. Does anyone want to take a position that is probably a false gospel, let alone that we know is?

KJB1611 said...

Here are the peitho references:

Mt 27:20* But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.
Mt 27:43* He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.
Mt 28:14* And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.
Mr 10:24* And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
Lu 11:22* But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.
Lu 16:31* And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
Lu 18:9* And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
Lu 20:6* But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet.

KJB1611 said...

Ac 5:36* For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought.
Ac 5:37* After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.
Ac 5:40* And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
Ac 12:20* And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus the king’s chamberlain their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king’s country.
Ac 13:43* Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
Ac 14:19* And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.
Ac 17:4* And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.
Ac 18:4* And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
Ac 19:8* And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.
Ac 19:26* Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:
Ac 21:14* And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.

KJB1611 said...

Ac 23:21* But do not thou yield unto them: for there lie in wait for him of them more than forty men, which have bound themselves with an oath, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him: and now are they ready, looking for a promise from thee.
Ac 26:26* For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.
Ac 26:28* Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
Ac 27:11* Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.
Ac 28:23* And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.
Ac 28:24* And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.
Ro 2:8* But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
Ro 2:19* And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness,
Ro 8:38* For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Ro 14:14* I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.Ro 15:14* And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.
2Co 1:9* But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
2Co 2:3* And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all.
2Co 5:11* Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
2Co 10:7* Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ’s, even so are we Christ’s.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi,

Notice that Lou quotes Robert Lightner and Charles Ryrie, Dallas guys, same school of Chuck Swindoll. I'm not saying all Dallas guys go the same direction, but they are generally not separatists and new evangelical. I understand so is MacArthur, but these are from Dallas, same school as Chafer, that if you trace the lineage here, there is an initial connection with Finney. Same trajectory. And Pickering is also a Dallas graduate. All quotations of Dallas graduates. I appreciate some of the separatist philosophy of Pickering, which would have tied in with BJU, where he got his undergrad, but he was still in that line of Dallas on this subject.

KJB1611 said...

Ga 1:10* For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
Ga 3:1* O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
Ga 5:7* Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
Ga 5:10* I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.
Php 1:6* Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Php 1:14* And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
Php 1:25* And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;
Php 2:24* But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.
Php 3:3* For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
Php 3:4* Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:
2Th 3:4* And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.
2Ti 1:5* When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
2Ti 1:12* For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
Phm 21* Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.
Heb 2:13* And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.
Heb 6:9* But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
Heb 11:13* These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
Heb 13:17* Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
Heb 13:18* Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.
Jas 3:3* Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
1Jo 3:19* And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

KJB1611 said...

For a comprehensive study of the entire "believe" word group in the Old and New Testament, please read my study here:

http://faithsaves.net/the-just-shall-live-by-faith/

James Bronsveld said...

I attended meetings with Bro. Cloud over the weekend at his sending church, and jotted down the following quote from one of his messages. In context, he was addressing Rob Bell's book Love Wins and Bell's denial of God sending people to Hell.
Bro. Cloud said this, "There's both severity and goodness in God's character. You can't throw away one of them without having a false god." Amen and amen. That almost sounds like saying you cannot throw away Christ's Lordship and keep His salvation without having a false god. To which I say again, amen and amen. It's too bad that his warnings about "lordship salvation" muddy the waters the way they do.