After I posted my last blog entitled Repentance the missing link I entered into a conversation with a Pastor who holds to the no-Lordship view. I will be referring to some of the comments he has made but rather than defend my position I will let the scriptures reply after which I will add my own observations questions or thoughts. I am not going to name any proponents of the anti-Lordship except those who are public figures because it is unnecessary to do so unlike others who find it necessary to take others out of context through the use of edited compilation videos with commentary designed to lead one to the conclusion they are trying to drive home. Let me say at the outset that I find this method of misrepresenting others as repugnant, reprehensible and dishonest is it any wonder the bible says Exo 20:16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour. And here, Pro 6:16 There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Pro 6:17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, Pro 6:18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, Pro 6:19 A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers; (Emphasis added). Of course, anyone who does this believes they are providing evidence or proof of their position. The person in question on a previous occasion sent me this compilation video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ejre20zx8I who was then challenged by me to watch the whole video through in context; they didn’t, and I don’t know to this day whether they have or not. At this point in time, it doesn’t matter; they obviously accept it as true regardless of that previous discussion some 4 or 5 years ago. To that person, I say the Lord rebuke you! And I have my answer they didn’t even know what I was referring to.
Maybe they could learn how media and apparently exponents of the no-Lordship salvation camp treats truth by watching the following expose on how low journalism can get in treating those who value truth. I began my Universities studies in Journalism and Communication. The following link should explain why I changed my major https://www.9news.com.au/national/pauline-hanson-one-nation-nra-guns-al-jazeera-politics-news/2ecc0c34-3e3b-4dc2-9900-54b151993e59
This person also stated in a recent email “The anti-Lordship advocates note that the term ‘repent of your sin’ is not actually Biblical. That’s not to say that, when we trust the Lord, we WILL as part of turning to him, turn from sin. But any actions on our part are not the actual saving work.” This statement underlies the crucial error and disagreement the Lordship salvation advocates have with the proponents of No lordship salvation. It also opens a Pandora’s Box whereby much of what the Bible teaches us is negated by this premise. In contrast to this The Westminster Confession of faith defines Repentance this way:
|1. I. Repentance unto life is an evangelical grace is the doctrine whereof is to be preached by every minister of the gospel, as well as that of faith in Christ.|
|2. II. By it a sinner, out of the sight and sense, not only of the danger, but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, as contrary to the holy nature and righteous law of God, and upon the apprehension of his mercy in Christ to such as are penitent, so grieves for and hates his sins as to turn from them all unto God, purposing and endeavouring|
|3. to walk with him in all the ways of his commandments.|
|4. III. Although repentance be not to be rested in as any satisfaction for sin, or any cause of the pardon thereof, which is the act of God’s free grace in Christ; yet is it of such necessity to all sinners that none may expect pardon without it.|
|5. IV. As there is no sin so small but it deserves damnation, so there is no sin so great that it can bring damnation upon those who truly repent.|
|6. V. Men ought not to content themselves with a general repentance, but it is every man’s duty to endeavour to repent of his particular sins particularly.|
|7. VI. As every man is bound to make private confession of his sins to God, praying for the pardon thereof, upon which, and the forsaking of them, he shall find mercy; so he that scandalizes his brother, or the Church of Christ, ought to be willing, by a private or public confession and sorrow for his sin, to declare his repentance|
|8. to those that are offended, who are thereupon to be reconciled to him, and in love to receive him.|
The Westminster Confession is the most comprehensive explanation of the Christian faith that we possess to this day. It is not perfect in every respect and various doctrines have come under attack by its critics; for nearly 400 years, repentance has not been one of them until recently. Evangelicals and Fundamentalists alike would have fully agreed with, endorsed and preached this with passion.
Let me put this in perspective to what the scriptures clearly say Luk 24:44 Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Luk 24:45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, Luk 24:46 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, Luk 24:47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. Luk 24:48 “You are witnesses of these things (Emphasis added). Does this contradict the very thing that person said? How many times does the bible have to say something for it to be true?
Act_2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Act_3:19 “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;
Act_8:22 “Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you.
Act 17:30 “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, Act 17:31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”
The irony here is that these are the very people who proclaim the bible to be the inerrant word of God, they claim to teach the whole bible that it is the only means by which we can know God, the truth, and be saved and yet they deny one of its most important fundamental principles by which we are told salvation is obtained. They claim to preach the whole Gospel but deny one of its central and most crucial tenants. Would I be wrong in saying that they have diminished or ignored those verses which contradict them?
Let me repeat one last time so that there is no misunderstanding: Lordship salvation advocates do not preach repentance as being obtained by man’s efforts. It is a gift and the work of the Holy Spirit that we are able to repent and even respond to the Gospel. Likewise, faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit which is part and parcel of the gift of regeneration unto eternal life. In emails and also in the texts I reiterated this at least a half dozen times… Is that these people don’t listen or they can’t see or is it something much worse?
A second irony is that while I was writing this blog in response to their emails they sent me a link to a video where they preached on repentance about five years ago. That video is everything I wrote in my previous blog it is everything the Lordship salvation component would endorse and agree with because that is the very thing we believe, teach and preach. Not to put too fine a point on this but where is the consistency? I try to remain consistent with the stand I take as far as is humanly possible unless I am convinced that I am wrong or other evidence comes to light that persuades me to change my mind to which I then would have to publically state I was wrong. I guess I will be accused of being closed minded because I refuse to budge on this issue. I won’t budge because I believe I am in the right… I know I am right, the bible tells me so, Church history tells me so.
My whole conversion experience was based on the understanding I am a sinner, I needed to ask God for the forgiveness of my sin, repent, and turn from my sin in faith and live a holy life. Once more this is not a human work it is the sole work of the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 2:8-9. If I was wrong I have been duped!
In their case, there has been no retraction from this person they simply appear to have moved on to the next fad. I admit I am sorely tempted to link their video to this blog but I will not lower myself to that standard; they need to wrestle with their own conscience and cognitive dissonance in the sense that they are trying to hold two contradictory positions at the same time. If they deny this charge I have no other choice but dis-fellowship from them. I am not going to identify that person but I asked them in light of the stand they now appear to take if they would they still agree with their own sermon from that time… I am waiting for an answer. The answer is that they believe they still do.
To put some history behind this current discussion it is necessary to refer to some groups and their orthodoxy or Fundamentalism https://www.britannica.com/topic/Christian-fundamentalism has only been around for just over 100 years. Reformed theology in its various forms including those who are proponents of Lordship salvation have been preaching repentance since the advent of the New Testament Church; now all of a sudden it is wrong to preach repentance of sins as part of the Christian Gospel! I am not aligning fundamentalism with no-Lordship salvation but it appears to be where it has become most popular. No-Lordship salvation is simply Sandemanianism and previous to that antinomianism https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antinomianism that is the root premise where no-Lordship salvation comes from it is the same old heresy dressed up in new clothes.
The Christian church has weathered this storm and other heresies for its entire history and each time the old orthodox position keeps prevailing. If it was true then, it is true now; heresies are still heresies; why would something that is true suddenly not be true and a lie become truth? Hitler explains it here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_lie and his henchman Joseph Goebbels popularised it this way
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
Though Gobble’s agenda was much more wicked and sinister the point I am making is that whether one knowingly or unwittingly perpetuates something that isn’t true they are responsible and they must be exposed. I am not accusing the no-lordship camp of deliberate deception but I need to ask again why if something that has always been held as true is it suddenly under so much attack? The only conclusion I can come to is that because Reformation theology is on the rise then the no-Lordship camp has every reason to feel threatened. Its only answer to reformed theology is anthropocentric reasoning. In the following is an example
The Holiness issue
The subject of holiness appears to be the main point of contention that the No-Lordship advocates appear to hinge their objection on and charge us with teaching a works based salvation. Jack Hyles is a well-known exponent of the no-Lordship salvation camp that the person I am in discussion with linked me to. I do not have space here to disentangle Hyles 10 objections to Lordship salvation. I will deal with his opening statement However, were I to answer every point Hyles makes I would need to write a book in reply. I am hesitant to link or promote Hyles article but it is only fair to do so. I am hesitant in the sense that I do not endorse Hyles nor do I recommend him or any other no-Lordship advocate neither do I endorse the Independent Baptist Movement. https://www.independentbaptist.com/10-reasons-lordship-salvation-is-not-biblical/
Hyles states in his introduction:
Exactly what do we mean when we say, “Lordship Salvation”? We are talking about the false doctrine that says that in order for a person to be saved, he must make Jesus the Lord of his life. If that doctrine were true, then no one could be saved, because as long as we are limited by these fleshly bodies, we will be unable to make Jesus totally the Lord of our lives. This can happen only when we are like Him. I John 3:2,“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
I agree with Hyles that it is not possible to completely make Jesus Lord of our lives while we remain in this world. I do not agree with Hyles implication that the Lordship camp or the Reformers teach we can completely make Jesus Lord. Hyles objections are myriad in that he disagrees with us on many theological levels most importantly freedom of the will and man’s ability to respond to the Gospel of his own volition. To counter this briefly Reformers teach that man has no ability to respond to the Gospel, repent or have faith apart from the power of God’s Holy Spirit regenerating us. This debate goes to the nature of man that I dealt with in another blog a few years ago https://chrissymonds65.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/the-nature-of-man-and-the-nature-of-sin/ and also https://chrissymonds65.wordpress.com/2014/11/22/the-nature-of-man-and-the-nature-of-sin-part-2/
Hyles and those like him appear to miss the whole point of scripture where it exhorts us to live holy lives even though our attempts fail; because we can’t. Reformers aren’t so stupid as to demand complete and utter purity or holiness before we can be acceptable to God that is Donatism which endorses sinless perfection. The Pastor also aligned Lordship advocates with another man called Ray Comfort. Ray Comfort is an associate of Bill Gothard. Bill Gothard does teach salvation by works. My point here is that aligning both the Reformers and those who hold to Lordship salvation with Ray Comfort and Bill Gothard’s extreme position shows a complete lack of discernment and is misrepresentative of my position. I wonder if some of those who make false accusations against us actually know anything about these heretics apart from what someone said about them then align us with them which is guilt by association. I can assure you we aren’t associated with Ray Comfort or his partner in heresy Bill Gothard.
Aside from these extremists and in reply to Hyles accusations there are a plethora of scriptures that variously tell us as Christians that we are to be living sacrifices,
Rom_12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.To be transformed by the renewing of our minds so we can know the will of God Rom 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Paul even says elsewhere
Co 3:5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, 2Co 3:6 who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2Co 3:7 But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, 2Co 3:8 how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory? 2Co 3:9 For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory. 2Co 3:10 For indeed what had glory, in this case has no glory because of the glory that surpasses it. 2Co 3:11 For if that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory. 2Co 3:12 Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech, 2Co 3:13 and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away. 2Co 3:14 But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. 2Co 3:15 But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; 2Co 3:16 but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 2Co 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2Co 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
In the last passage quoted here not only Paul points out our inability to appropriate anything resembling goodness by the law or the letter of the law; he makes it clear that it is by the Holy Spirit this is achieved not be us. The Spirit enables us to live changed lives. Our works are prepared for us not by us
Eph 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Rom 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Rom 8:29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; Rom 8:30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
There is no ambiguity here about who is doing the creating or maintaining and I can tell you it isn’t us. We are entirely incapable of pleasing God in our own strength or even inventing something that may please Him or placate His wrath apart from Christ. We are told to put on Christ
Rom 13:12 The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light. Rom 13:13 Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. Rom 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.
If Jack Hyles is right then over the half the New Testament should be torn out and thrown away. Of course, that isn’t what Hyles is suggesting he does say, however,
“Of course, every believer should have a sincere desire and make a sincere effort to make Jesus Lord of his life, but in the flesh, that is impossible,”
Jack is right in this life that isn’t possible. Not even Paul or any of the other New Testament writers suggest it is. However, Jack builds himself a giant straw man in suggesting that the Lordship salvation camp is advocating such an ideal and like my friend who texts me today regarding his video on repentance said, “Hi Chris. Yes. I still think it differs from what the full-on LS people say, ie statements like “you have to stop sinning” in order to be saved. Maybe I’m not as far off from where you’re at?
I asked my friend to specifically name anyone that says you have to stop sinning to be saved. My friend posted me a link to Ray Comforts page claiming Tod Friel said we need to stop sinning… yes, he did say that but he didn’t say you need to stop sinning to be saved. I read right through the article and Tod pretty much says what I said and have been saying please read the article for yourself https://www.livingwaters.com/dont-blow-it-at-the-finish-line/?fbclid=IwAR2iJ6hA4l6-3VVTuvDZhwynmAugM60dTo-EFTo5nlv9SAXE7Gyg4RXN_cc
This is where Ray Comfort’s name came into play. I am also interested to know the difference between being moderately Lordship and full on Lordship the bible says this:
Rev 3:14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: Rev 3:15 ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. Rev 3:16 ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Rev 3:17 ‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, Rev 3:18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.
The point here is that we are admonished by scripture not to be fence sitters or have a foot in each camp it’s all or nothing. Jack Hyles, my friend and the whole no-Lordship camp basically deny the power of the Holy Spirit to give us self-control. To be blunt they directly deny the scripture that identifies the proof or fruit of regeneration and the fruit of the flesh or sin nature note that Paul the Apostle says
Gal 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. Further on he says Gal 5:17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.
So Paul is saying that if we walk in God’s Spirit we won’t do what we please we will do what pleases God. If this is true then Paul is also a Lordship advocate which in the no-Lordship camps mind is heresy because Paul advocates works salvation. Paul’s implication is to stop sinning so either Paul is wrong or my friend is wrong… Paul wrote these words under the power and inspiration of the Holy Spirit so he is right and my friend, Jack Hyles and the whole no-Lordship camp are wrong.
Paul also wrote in the power and inspiration of the Holy Spirit
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, Gal 5:23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And finally Gal 5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
The whole no-Lordship camp must deny the power of the Spirit to give us self-control not to sin. There is no suggestion by Paul or any of the writers of the New Testament that walking in the Spirit is a work of the flesh and being obedient by not sinning is a work of the flesh.
I don’t know if my last blog entry had any impact on this person. I was fairly specific and forthright about where I stand or maybe they just don’t want to accept that I come from the Lordship salvation position or they are trying to find some common ground. Sadly, the more I talk to them the further I can see we are away from each other and that they aren’t hearing what I am saying. In my last blog, I said we agree up to the point where I would say repent of your sins and call upon the name of the Lord. I have always held this position my conversion to Christianity was based on the understanding that confessing my sins and inability to please God means that as part of that we should actively seek to repent or turn from our old life. We do this in faith, which is the gift of God how can the no-Lordship camp not get this?
To put it simply the no-Lordship camp try to compartmentalise faith and repentance into different categories. Even where the bible says repent and turn from your sin (my paraphrase) the no-Lordship camp argue that repentance does not mean literally turn away from sinning it only means to change one’s mind. I assure you repentance in the bible literally means stop sinning, turn away from your old life and live a new life in Christ. This is the whole implication that Paul talks about in Galatians, it is a literal act not simply mental assent or a change of attitude. Literally, conversion means to be given new life by faith through the power of the Holy Spirit. Why can’t the no-Lordship camp see this? I can’t make this any more clear than I already have.
The no Lordship camp define repentance as only being a change of mind however the bible makes it clear that true repentance is a change of life away from sin towards Godliness. Having said that, the no-Lordship camp will jump up and down triumphantly and accuse me of promoting works salvation; it is at the point where I say that we are to live godly lives that their brains switch off and they can only hear me say you have to do this to be saved and the resounding protest is that I am advocating works! Once more I repeat that it is God who causes true believers to repent. Repentance is a gift it is not a work.
This discussion is not an exhaustive survey on the subject of repentance and the Lordship no-Lordship debate. This discussion only touches the fringes of this debate as there is a plethora of side issues that I do not intend to broach.
The central issue here is how Lordship and no-Lordship view the nature of man and their view of man’s ability to approach the throne of grace and receive forgiveness for sins. The object of our faith is Jesus Christ. Christ’s work of being the substitute that satisfies God’s wrath towards the sinner. For a man to approach the throne of grace a perfect sacrifice had to be made on our behalf. Without that act of propitiation by Christ Jesus, we are all still lost and dead in our sins condemned to eternal torment that we rightly deserve.
Both Lordship and no-Lordship camps are in agreement that without faith in Christ’s substitutionary atonement there is no salvation for any of us. Yes we are saved by faith alone but that does not mean we can sit back and not appropriate the power of the Holy Spirit to show ourselves approved
2Ti 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
If the implication here is that presenting ourselves is work based to be approved, then Paul is as much a heretic as the no-Lordship camp accuse the Lordship camp of. To put this verse in perspective and context Paul says further along
2Ti 2:19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”
How much more clear must this be before the no-Lordship camp can see the light?
No one apart from heretics like Bill Gothard, Ray Comfort and others who have nothing to do with biblical Lordship salvation would suggest that we must by our own strength lift ourselves up by our bootstraps to obtain salvation. The no-Lordship salvation thesis is false, it is a giant straw man based on a faulty premise; there is no other conclusion anyone who reads the whole of scripture can come to. It appears that any scripture I or others would use to show that any work in Christ is based on the work of the Spirit falls on deaf ears.
Unlike my friend who insists this is the case I have not drawn on any of my compatriots to prove my case, I don’t need to. I can do my own research and I think I have proved my point more than clear. My friend’s emails to me, on the other hand, are replete with links to this or that exponent of no-Lordship salvation or some very badly edited YouTube video’s that misrepresent Lordship Salvation and the men who defend it.
More than this which is an even bigger tragedy he has no memory of me calling him on this or challenging him to watch the proponents of Lordship salvation preach holiness not as a work of man but as a work of the Spirit by which we can live holy lives and turn from sin. The Bible admonishes us everywhere to live by the power of the Spirit so that we may be salt and light to the earth… this is not rocket science, we don’t need a PhD in theology to get this right. We need to humbly come before God and ask for wisdom and discernment as to what the scriptures say. If we deny that God calls us to live holy lives and turn from sin we are not preaching the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. Paul exhorts his disciple Timothy by saying
2Ti 4:1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2Ti 4:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 2Ti 4:4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. 2Ti 4:5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2Ti 4:6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 2Ti 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 2Ti 4:8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.