Tuesday, December 30, 2008

How We Remember The Fallen

How do we remember people who have died? Not very accurately, and not very honestly.

I have a very ungodly interest in the television series House. I can't defend my interest in the show, I just really enjoy it. The last episode of Season 4 really makes my point clear. Wilson's girlfriend, Amber, was dying. She hadn't been well liked by the team of doctors as her nick name surely attested. But as she was dying they each went to say 'goodbye' to her. When they were deciding IF they should go see her the conversation went like this:
Kutner: We should go see her.
Thirteen: We didn't even like her.
Kutner: We liked her.
Taub: Did we?
Foreman: We do today.
There really is a bit of truth about humanity depicted in this short television scene. We tend to like people much more when they are either dying or dead.

Today when I opened my email I was warned of having been mentioned by name at a blog I used to frequent. One of my good friends, and a Brother in the Lord, is being attacked by a very disorderly Brother. It was suggested by the disorderly Brother that I should separate from the orderly, but outspoken, Brother. The blog post in question follows the author's well known style making use of his ability to craft manipulative writing to such an extent to be almost the perfect example of such.

The topic is that of how we should remember Zane Hodges who died recently. Zane is a hero of the blog post author. In fact, if one were to read the blog in question one would be hard pressed to find a post there that doesn't mention (directly or by implication) Zane. I have spent a great deal of time and effort correcting and protecting against the theology taught by Zane. No where near as much time and effort as some other people though, as I'm a fairly recent addition to the scene. I'm offended by the man's recent theology but others, having been longer in the fight, are much more so.

How do we remember the fallen? We remember Solomon as the "wisest man who ever lived" right? But Solomon didn't "finish well" did he? Does the great wisdom he used in his younger years give credibility to the terrible things he did at the end? Should we honor his error because he did so much at the first? I think not, and I would be surprised if any reasonable person would.

Consider Brother Hodges then. At the first he worked to protect the idea that the "free gift of God" truly is "free." I can not describe his good work, as I have not read the things I'm told were truly good. Unfortunately for me I have only ever been exposed to his later and very disorderly teachings. In debate it's commonly accepted that whatever both sides agree on can be considered reasonably accurate. Since every person I know considers Zane's earlier works to be good, I can state that they were with reasonable assurance. I honor that which honors the Lord.

Now the blog post in question seeks to build division between my Brother and I specifically. And generally between him and several men. I feel compelled to link because I am quoting the man, but I do not in anyway endorse the reading of the linked blog. In fact I believe those who are not very well read in the Word of God should absolutely stay away. This is quoted from Unashamed of Grace.
I have found men like Kevl, ExPreacherman, David Wyatt, and Jonathan Perrault to be gracious and honorable. My advice for them is to flee associations with XXXX XXXX, for it will be of no benefit whatsoever to be identified with that man. (I have removed my Brother's name so as to avoid adding insult to injury.)
It's all well and good for someone to suggest separation. But one must be very sure that separation is required. If you are the one who is in error and are suggesting that everyone separate from the man who is pointing out your error you may want to reconsider. Are you sure yours is the Biblical response?

But it becomes all together unacceptable when words are put in someones mouth. To build credibility for his post the author quotes one WJC whom I'm unfamiliar with. The quote is strong and amusing in spots.
XX is a prime example of someone who seems to enjoy tossing around pejorative terms and assaulting Godly men like Zane Hodges - who's handling of God's word dwarfs their feeble attempts to establish a distorted view of God's free and simple grace. His speech of utter disrespect says much about his own character and what animates his obsessive attacks - certainly not the Spirit of our Lord Jesus! Such attacks are characteristic of self aggrandizing men that are afflicted with EDD - Exegetical Deficit Disorder. Their pathetic attacks will ultimately be relegated to the dustbin of errant doctrinal history. In the mean time they do serve a purpose - to show the stark contrast between Zane's thoughtful, consistent and solidly biblical views and the utter chaos that characterizes the ramblings of his detractors (such as XX). Thanks in part to God's provision of gifted men like Zane, ultimately God's light will burn through the perpetual fog thrown up by the likes of XX and those who like to parade and perpetuate his erroneous views.
This is very clever. By quoting WJC, the author is neither seen as the "authority" on the quality of Zane's teachings nor the supposed violence that my Brother does against them. Unfortunately the author does not link to or provide a reference so we can not evaluate the quote as originally used. But the author surely benefits from how he displays it.

So now with credibility "established" the author goes on to inject thoughts, intents and words into the mouths of men such as myself. For example read the following from a comment left under the blog post by the same author. I was not in attendance at the funeral so I am not directly being referenced in this quote. I will leave the daring reader who reads his entire post to evaluate if words have in deed been inserted into my mouth by the author. I think some have been.
The disparity between the likes of XXXX XXXX and some of the others who disagree with the GES is stark and arresting. The more noble came and honored Zane Hodges at his death, speaking good words about him, and remembering him for the tremendous benefits he gave to the Free Grace Theology movement. They realized how much poorer our movement would be without the seminal scholarship and Christian statesmanship of Professor Zane C. Hodges. They understand the wealth of unrivaled exegetical and expositional material left for us by this man taken before his time.
Unfortunately, I do not remember Zane in any such way. He has long since gone into error and has his teachings and followers have been preying on the Body of Christ and those who seek to become part of the Divine Salvation offered in Christ Jesus.

I honored the fact that Zane was a saved Christian despite his terrible errors when he died. His, and the GES's error about the Gospel is deadly. I can not in good conscience ignore this just because he was a Brother who did good things at some point in the past. The truth is that his error has become his legacy.

What's worse is his neo-followers are now building that error up into a mantra and using our natural inclining to respect the dead more than the living as a tool against Zane himself. Now everything good he ever did is being used to bring credibility to his error. He will, I suspect, become more and more well known for his terrible error instead of the good that he did. This is the true violence committed against Brother Hodges.

38 comments:

Kevl said...

I'm sorry for the very poor writing. I'm still quite sick.. (good excuse eh?)

All are welcome to comment.

Kev

mark pierson said...

Kevin,
I believe that you have handled yourself in a most honorable way here.

Mark

Jonathan Perreault said...

Kev,

Thank you for these balanced thoughts. It is unfortunate that some refuse to honor the late Zane Hodges "at all" simply because he did not finish well. As you have pointed out with your example of Solomon, we need give "honor where honor is due" (Rom. 13:7, NET). Several of those in the "Hall of Fame of Faith" in Hebrews chapter 11 did not finish well either. Yet the writer of Hebrews graciously honors them (e.g. Moses, Gideon, Samson)! We can praise someone's character and conduct without necessarily agreeing with their doctrine. We need to maintain this biblical balance. I have discussed these issues in my article "Remembering Zane Hodges".

Thanks,

JP

Stephen said...

Hey Kev, sorry to hear you're sick. Hang in there bud, get better.

As usual, your article is seasoned with grace and I think you make a great point about Solomon.

Like you, my only exposure to ZH is after he fell into error. The fallen ZH is the only ZH I know, and the fallen ZH is just as real as the ZH the CG crowd wants to memorialize and "honor". As much as I can do in 'respect' is keep my mouth shut -- I trust the testimony of many others, that he has/had been a blessing to them earlier in his ministry, but personally I have no positive exposure to the man. I won't go out of my to trash him, but I can't "honor" him either. It would be a dishonest charade to do otherwise.

"The truth is that his error has become his legacy."

Sadly, yes, and that's the only Zane that many of us know.

Blessings Kev,
Stephen

Kevl said...

Hi All,

Thanks for the encouragement.

I'll continue to be thankful for the fruit of Hodges early ministry, but I won't let that lull me to sleep so that I might ignore the damage he has now left.

The author of the blog post I'm questioning appears to have selective memory. I'm not using his name here only because I did not in the post.. if that seems silly will someone please tell me? He states;

Kevl and I were once very conversant. And even when we discovered our differences, we were able to dialogue.

We were conversant for a time but when our differences became clear he simply stopped replying to my posts at Unashamed of Grace. There was no further dialogue at all.

It's not only his memory that is selective, but his quoting as well.

I quote exactly his entire comment. Please compare it to the article above.

There is some confusion on Kevl's part, where he thinks that I am intending to reference him when I said this:

The more noble came and honored Zane Hodges at his death, speaking good words about him, and remembering him for the tremendous benefits he gave to the Free Grace Theology movement.

Actually I was talking about, in the context, Charlie Bing, Fred Lybrand, and Dave Anderson. They are all people who have benefitted tremendously from Zane Hodges. They honored and respected him by coming to his funeral, and also desired to eulogize him. Yet these free grace men disagreed with Zane on some doctrinal issues. These were the more noble and honorable Christians who disagree with portions of the GES.

I was not talking about Kevl.


Any who choose to read my article will see that I plainly state he is not referencing me directly in the quote I choose. However, the character of his entire post is to put words in my mouth. The quote was to show his doing this to other men who were in attendance at Hoges funeral. Which is plain to the reader I'm sure.

Kev

Glenn W said...

Kevl,

I have been lurking here as well as at some of the other blogs involved in this matter. As you may be aware, I have dropped out of participating in any blogs because the temptation for me to be ungracious has been too great at times. I do not believe I always wrote in a manner consistent with the requirements encumbent on a believer in Christ.

That being said, I have decided to post this comment, which I will probably regret, and say that I find nothing in your post that is dishonorable. I will say that I have found some of the posts from both sides of this "debate" at times to lack the requisite graciousness we are commanded to show one another.

I think this quote is apropos:

It is not the duty, responsibility, or even the prerogative of one believer to assume the role and function of Jesus Christ as the Supreme Court Judge in judging other believers. No one knows all there is to know about another believer; only God has that intimate knowledge of everyone. Therefore, He is the only One qualified to judge and evaluate anyone. The responsibility of believers is to evaluate their own lives in the light of the standards of Bible doctrine. Doctrine in the soul produces true standards of grace righteousness. Grace righteousness and selfrighteousness are mutually exclusive, and grace avoids verbal sins.

Sins of the Tongue
Robert McLaughlin
p 4

Bhedr said...

I don't know why everybody over there feels like Lou is the boogyman. Good word here bro Kevl. I am encouraged by your desire and Lou's to be respectful of Zane, yet keep the faith. In time I pray that repentance will occur in all of this resistence to the truth.

Grace upon grace,

Brian

Lou Martuneac said...

Glenn:

I dropped in to give you a personal greeting. Your past comments in the doctrinal discussions were often very helpful and I appreciated them as I do these.

God bless you,


Lou

Kevl said...

Glenn! Wow I haven't seen your name on a comment in ages. Bless you and thanks for sharing that quote.

I have had to do the same thing as you have several times - restrict my interaction to maintain proper Christian character in my walk. You're not the only one. :)

Thanks for sharing HERE.

Kev

Kevl said...

Brian, you're always an encouragement. :)

Kev

Kevl said...

It's with tears that I have removed JP's blog from my blog list. I love the man and have trusted him. I've continued in fellowship with him when others have warned me he was wandering.

He is now aligned with a proponent of heresy and I'm left shocked and dismayed. What a terrible thing to witness at the close of this year.

The Bible is absolutely clear - Proverbs 12:26

The righteous should choose his friends carefully,For the way of the wicked leads them astray.

Lou Martuneac said...

Kev:

It has been a sad and suprisingly fast shift by JP to openly defend and embrace one of the prime instigators of the Crossless gospel heresy.

What is equally tragic is that JP himself, just a few short months ago, wrote several articles and many comments that biblically, with power, exposed the men by name, and thwarted the reductionist heresies of the GES. JP now seems to have fully embraced the man he once rightly identified and labeled a heretic.

Sad!

The Bible says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful,” (Prov. 27:6).


LM

Lou Martuneac said...

Kev:

At JP's blog he has begun moderating/blocking comments.

Very sad his new alliance with Antonio da Rosa has gone to lengths of blocking our legitimate scrutiny of da Rosa’s reductionist assaults on the content of saving faith. I'm not sure he'll post my last comment to his thread. So, in the next I want to post it here.

OK?


Lou

Lou Martuneac said...

JP:

Before I begin let me state that there is not a bitter bone in my body. We are grieved to see what you have and are still becoming. It is very sad that you have become a tragedy of the Crossless gospel. IMO, your voice is lost in the defense of the Gospel because of you have embraced the prime instigators of the most dangerous reductionist assault on the Gospel that the NT church has ever been exposed to by one of its own (Hodges & Wilkin).

Enjoying…this blog?”

It has been painful watching you spiral down into what you are becoming, which is a friend and blog partner with Antonio da Rosa who you once rightly declared is a heretic. You have been forming an alliance and cooperative effort with a man who speaks for Hodges/Wilkin/GES. Men who have assaulted the content of saving faith through the reductionist heresy originated by Hodges.

Your blog has already become a satellite for the heresy of the Crossless gospel, and a safe haven for its most extreme advocates. The man who without your restraint used your blog to propagate his reductionist attacks on the Person and finished work of the Lord. God forgive you, if one person is corrupted and is lost to the heresy of the Crossless gospel by reading what you have allowed Antonio to post at your blog in these recent threads, without one clear, unmistakable word of rebuke and refutation to his heresy from you in the same threads.

Your downward slide toward and embracing of da Rosa reminds us of how Rose was drawn to embrace, support and defend the heretics of the Crossless gospel and its advocates. Your slide is much more dramatic rapid.

In all sincerity, you need another one of your own reminders, this one that you posted to Rose not too many months ago.

By defending da Rosa, you (JP) are defending ‘doctrines of demons’, ‘myths’, and heresy. As the apostle Paul pleaded with the Galatian Christians concerning their acceptance of a perverted gospel, I plead with you: ‘O foolish Christian, who has bewitched you’?

You have embraced and taken a supportive stance toward Antonio da Rosa who you once would not hesitate to identify as a teacher of heresy in your article, The Heretic in Antonio. What could have caused you to fall into the same trap, set by the Enemy, you warned Rose about?

Finally you have shown yourself impervious to any kind of appeal to help you pull away from formalizing ties with your Crossless gospel friends and new blog partner. That is very sad.

I prayed for you and Antonio this morning that God might deliver you from the heresy of and/or support of the Crossless gospel.

Finally, to remind the Crossless gospel advocates: Step outside your own CG blogs, try to introduce your reductionist heresies and you will be met there, biblically “marked” so the unsuspecting are not deceived by your egregious errors and misdirects and they will Lord willing, “avoid” you.


LM

Sanctification said...

Kev-

Just wanted to say I was blessed by your humility there with JP.

Michele

Kevl said...

Thank you for saying so Michele. I suspect I went too far. I should have probably marked the error I saw more quickly and accurately.

Kev

Kevl said...

So long as CG advocates go after the masses defenders of the Gospel will have to meet them in the fields where they sow their bad seed.

I've written about how being wrong about something doesn't mean you're preaching "another gospel" in a post here at OMW Infidelity & Another Gospel. Is there a difference?

I believe there is a difference. I know lots of people who have wrong ideas about the Gospel but who are not preaching another one. They are not "enemies of the Cross" and they are not "acting as" enemies of the Cross either. They're just wrong.

But when groups of people, believers or not, band together to systematically attach the Gospel and the preaching of it then faithful believers must stand up against it.

In these recent discussions we have seen a Brother take a tactic that I just don't understand, let alone agree with.

I trust that the God who "uses all things together" will use all of this as well for our good and His Glory.

Kev

Sanctification said...

Kev,

May I make another comment? I know what direction things might go with saying "it's alright to have misperceptions about Jesus and still receive eternal life," it could have drifted into this: telling (for example) LDS people wholesale that in their faith, the doctrine of Christ's deity & work have become irrelevant. And in that hypothetical they largely would be established toward error not wholeness, for in their case they have no faith that there is such a thing as absolute truth, or an everlasting Word. But what happened? What are we hearing now: "emphatic, emphatic," that the cross & deity of Christ be preached and even accepted. It went the other way; not toward drift and license. So in my observation I do see that God has used you, for His glory, according to the passion you have for this, according to the encouragement and soundness only someone of your convictions, can provide. You have been indispensable, in this ongoing conversation. I'm thankful for what you do.

Michele

Lou Martuneac said...

Kev:

JP has taken another step strengthening his defense of and running interference for the heretic Antonio da Rosa.

He is now blocking comments at his blog that deal directly with Antonio's reductionist assault on the content of saving faith.

I posted one for his thread this morning that contained one of Rachel's excellent refutations of Antonio's infamous claim that, "The Mormon Jesus and Evangelical Jesus are One and the Same" JP blocked it.

Sad to see how JP's growing friendship and alliance with the Crossless gospel advocates is causing him to defend and cloak the GES assaults on the cross and the Lord Himself.

In any event, JP ran Antonio off. How? JP asked that Antonio to do the honorable thing and answer the questions you asked him that he has been dodging.


Lou

Lou Martuneac said...

Here is what JP blocked.


Rachel (All):

The last comment by da Rosa was, well predictable. He repeated the misdirect evasion mantra that we all do evangelism the same way, there’s really no difference in our positions, and of course, taking the easy way out by answering a point that JP didn’t even make.

Anyway, in reference to the theme of this thread, this was one of Antonio’s remarks about his view of the Mormon Jesus,

The Mormons and the Evangelicals refer to the same New Testament Jesus. Yes, they have widely divergent conceptions of the Historical New Testament Jesus. All of this talk about ‘ontology’ is a red herring.”

That remark was in support of his infamous statement, “The Mormon Jesus and Evangelical Jesus are One and the Same.”

Many of us appreciated your reply to that remark by da Rosa:

***BEGIN***
Did everyone catch that? Antonio dismisses discussion of Jesus’ very NATURE (ontology) with a hand-wave and considers it a “red herring”! How can Jesus’ nature be irrelevant to discussions of saving faith? Antonio’s remark is beyond unbiblical, and is in fact anti-biblical.

His example about identifying Lou falls way short, as all of his analogies have. A person’s occupation or hometown is not part of that person’s nature.

Antonio is not ontologically different than Lou, even if he lives in a different state and has a different occupation. It’s true that someone could still receive a copy of the book no matter what they thought Lou did for a living. But that’s not comparing apples to apples.

Let’s say someone sends an email to Lou Martuneac the bookshelf, asking the bookshelf for a book. When asked to clarify, the person says, “you know, Lou, that bookshelf who has a blog at (correct blog address) and lives in (correct city).” Clearly the person is referring to the same “historical” Lou that the rest of us are, but the fact is that Lou is NOT a bookshelf, and no bookshelf can send someone a book. The person may be thinking of the correct Lou, but the person’s “misconceptions” about Lou are of an ontological nature, therefore he really does not have the correct Lou and will never get a book.

“Crossless” advocates, such as Antonio, like to say that what matters is who Jesus is, not who you believe Jesus is. They say that Jesus is God whether someone believes him to be or not. Of course this is true, but the issue is that God has conditioned eternal life upon what we believe about Jesus.

Antonio said, “When one trusts into the Jesus Christ of Nazareth from the New Testament (the KJV or otherwise) for eternal life he becomes regenerate.”

Notice that Antonio finds Jesus’ hometown more important to be believed for eternal life than the very nature of Jesus, his deity! This is preposterous. I guess in Antonio’s theology, believing that Jesus hailed from Galilee is a more serious error than believing that Jesus is a created being.

Finally, notice that Antonio claims yet again that we’ve taken his comment out of context, yet spends his entire post defending the very thing we say his comment means. The problem is that Antonio believes it possible for a person (such as a Mormon) to be born again even while being ignorant of or actively denying the deity of Jesus. Antonio’s statement that Lou referenced earlier summarizes such a view. If Antonio disagrees with this view, let him say so now. Otherwise, the claims of “taking out of context” are simply false.

As I make it a general policy to not interact with Antonio, this will be my last comment here. If anyone doubts the veracity of what I’ve said, they should simply follow the link to Lou’s blog where we discussed this with Antonio (when he masqueraded as the Sock Puppet: fg me in that particular thread) and the links from there- Antonio’s own words bear these things out. ***END***


Rachel, that was powerful and illustrates why Antonio is afraid to engage your questions. If he does, his exact words will be used to show the heresy of the Crossless gospel and will be devastated again. How many times have we seen you expose not just the heresy he promotes, but also biblically throttle every one of his errors and misdirects. Not to mention how you and Stephen personally dealt with Bob Wilkin, uncovered the heretical views he introduced with subtlety at your church and you both took the necessary steps to correct the errors Wilkin spread. And, of course, once you folks had Wilkin’s errors pegged, he bailed the discussion with you.

You folks have been great examples and steadfast in your defense of the Gospel against the GES’s heretical reductionist assaults on the Gospel, i.e. the content of saving faith that were introduced to the NT church by Zane Hodges. Heresies that compelled our host to write The Heretic in Antonio, which illustrates why he (da Rosa) must be publicly rebuked, reproved and why we must obey the biblical mandate to “mark” him for the protection of the unsuspecting from coming under the influence of his “contrary” egregious doctrinal errors.

Finally, to remind the Crossless gospel advocates and those who sympathize with them as if their errors are a mere, “difference of opinion that is acceptable,” Please understand:

Step outside your own Crossless Gospel blogs, try to introduce your reductionist heresies and you will be met there. We will expose and answer your reductionist errors and biblically “mark” you out so the unsuspecting are not deceived by your egregious errors and blatant misdirects and they, Lord willing, “avoid” your “fair speeches” lest they be deceived by you (Romans 6:17-18).


LM

Lou Martuneac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lou Martuneac said...

Kev:

At my blog I just posted an announcement about the disappointing direction with JP.

It opens with:

2008 yielded some high watermarks in the defense of the Gospel against the twin and egregious errors of Lordship Salvation and the Crossless Gospel.

If there is one thing that has been the source of sadness from 2008 it has been the inexplicable and shocking turn about of one man who once was a very passionate defender of the Gospel, against the Crossless gospel advocates’ reductionist assaults on the Gospel, i.e. the content of saving faith. Reductionist errors that originated with the late Zane Hodges, perpetuated by Bob Wilkin and his Grace Evangelical Society (GES) who are theological extremists in the Free Grace community.

Ironcally, see the full report at The Best of 2008.

Rose~ said...

Hi Kevin,
Thanks for inviting me to your blog. :~)

I wanted to ask you about these things that you said about Antonio on JP's blog:

Antonio preaches another gospel which is no gospel at all.

He is acting just like an enemy of the Cross. He is preaching against it.

Since he preaches a different gospel ...


I just want to clarify something about this situation from your perspective, if you would allow it.

Whenever Antonio says to someone in this debate that he preaches the same gospel that they do to the lost, Lou accuses him of "misdirects" and "skirting the issue" and says that the issue is NOT "what they (Antonio and those like-minded) PREACH." Lou stipulates to the fact that Antonio (and those like-minded) DO PREACH THE SAME GOSPEL. He doesn't want to argue over that. Lou always says that they DO preach the same thing to the lost and Lou emphasizes that the issue is NOT with their preaching, but with their view on "what the lost must believe" to be saved.

Certainly you have noted this.

Here is where my confusion comes in:
I keep seeing you, Kevin, say that Antonio preaches *another* gospel. (As a side note: I don't see Lou correcting you on this statement which goes against what he has ardently said is NOT THE ISSUE.)

So may I ask you about your perspective: Have you not agreed with Lou in his understanding that Antonio *preaches* the same gospel but that the issue is with what of that gospel "the lost must believe"?

I hope you can help me see how your view on it might differ, if it indeed does.

Also, if you would bear with me, brother, I want to ask you about this that you said this right here on your blog in these comments:

I know lots of people who have wrong ideas about the Gospel but who are not preaching another one. They are not "enemies of the Cross" and they are not "acting as" enemies of the Cross either. They're just wrong.

If it is true that Antonio preaches the same gospel -as Lou says he does- then wouldn't Antonio fall under the category that you are speaking about here - the "lots of people" who are "just wrong"?

You also say:

But when groups of people, believers or not, band together to systematically attach [sic] the Gospel and the preaching of it then faithful believers must stand up against it.

So if Antonio preaches the same gospel, wouldn't that preclude him (and those like-minded) from being considered a "group of people who are banding together to systematically attack the Gospel and the preaching of it"?

I am just wondering, based on these statements of yours, if you see this differently than LM does. I know there are lots of differing viewpoints and we shouldn't paint everyone with a broad brush, so that is why I thought to ask for your clarification.

Thank you, Kevin for inviting me here to ask. I appreciate your welcome.

Rose~ said...

BTW - Kevin, remember we discussed Renald Showers a few weeks ago? He was able to reschedule and is coming to our church at the end of January to do that seminar. :~)

Kevl said...

Hi Rose,

I don't remember talking with you about Renald but he is one of the very few teachers whom I comfortably sit a student before.

He and I would not agree with some things, but his understanding of God's plan for History is incredible. His teaching on the Rapture really is second to none.

I'll reply to your other comment in just a moment.

Kev

Kevl said...

Hi Rose,

I think your requests are "reasonable." Sorry.. couldn't resist.

I'll make this request and trust you will follow it. Please do not quote me without letting me know where you have done so. Previously I have engaged with those who seemed "reasonable" here and have found them quoting me in most unflattering ways for purposes that did not match their demeanor when they visit here.

I can't speak for Lou, but I can give my understanding of why he speaks on the issue the way he does.

Antonio, or anyone can say the words of the Gospel to the Lost and even hope or try to have them believe it. But he is on record in a multitude of venues over an extended period of time saying that people do not need to believe the Gospel to be saved.

When I say he preaches another gospel I include what he shares with his visitors at his blog, not just what he claims to tell people he witnesses to.

Lou, I believe, wants to avoid the silly conversation of "well I tell them the same thing you do" as he says that this is not the issue.

He's right. The issue isn't what you tell them the issue is what you tell them they must believe.

I can rattle off the Gospel to thousands of people but if it is not protrayed as having to be believed then it's not preached.

Since Antonio, I use him because you want to discuss my interaction with him, does not hold that one must believe the Gospel he doesn't preach it. He preaches that one must only trust someone named Jesus for Eternal Life.

He preaches, admits, brags and assures that one does not need to know, and can actually deny the truths of the Gospel at the moment of Salvation and actually be saved.

Lou, is trying to get to the root of the conversation. I'm done conversing with Antonio about it. That's the difference. I don't need to get around his clever roadblocks.

My only purpose for discussing it with Antonio at JP's blog recently was to get him to admit right there, again, what I know JP has no right to accept in his ministry.

I do not agree that because someone opens their mouth and pays lip-service to the Truth that they are preaching the Truth.

The Gospel is true, and dependable, or we have believed in vain and we are the most pitiable of people.

My purpose in speaking about Antonio is to protect people from him. Not to address his teaching. His teaching has been destroyed, just as every high minded thought that rises it's self up above the saving knowledge of Christ Jesus must be.

So the context of what you see Lou having said and what I say is different. I agree with Lou that Antonio has the ability, and has made the claim to speak the truths of the Gospel. It's not about what things you speak though.

Have I cleared it up?

I don't see that Lou and I disagree at all in this. We have had different purposes and so the context of our language has been different.

Kev

Kevl said...

Hi Rose,

On the subject of Lou specifically. I want to state categorically that he is an orderly Brother who does not preach "another gospel" or associate with others who do.

Kev

Kevl said...

Hi Rose,

I just realized as I posted my last that I had not dealt with one of your questions.

Why is that Antonio isn't just "wrong" about some portion of the Gospel? Why doesn't he fit into the group of people you quoted me talking about?

Antonio doesn't have some detail or implication wrong. He preaches that one can deny the whole thing.

Something that one might be wrong about the Gospel on is why it was required. IE if one were to believe in Theistic Evolution. I understand this does great violence to the Gospel, but if one doesn't know this they are just wrong.

They can still preach the Gospel, even though they are wrong about Creation without preaching "another" gospel.

But when one preaches something that violates the very nature of the Gospel so as to change how Salvation occurs they are in fact preaching another one.

If a person need not repent to be saved, that is another gospel.

If a person need not have their faith in God that is another gospel.

Of course a wrong definition of repentance, or what the person must repent about would also make it another gospel.

That's enough examples to give you an idea I think.

Antonio's preaching makes the Gospel nothing in his preaching. It has neither power nor requirement.

Kev

Lou Martuneac said...

Hello Kev:

I appreciate the articles you have been posting of late.

First, it has been shown that the GES claim that they always preach the Gospel is highly dubious. This has been born out by the Starks from sources not limited to, but including their personal interaction with Bob Wilkin. You can view their article Clearing the Haze of “Always” for additional details.

Second, I have been mulling over the application of Gal. 1:8-9 to the GES advocates of their “contrary” interpretation of the Gospel, those facts that must be known and believed to be born again. I am thinking of those whose reductionist assaults on the Gospel are the most extreme and dangerous ever introduced to the NT church, namely by the late Zane Hodges.

I was thinking about this in Sunday school and jotted down the following note.

The Gospel has a technical meaning (which the GES denies) that the lost must hear and believe to be born again. The ‘Crossless’ gospel advocates assault the Gospel by stripping it of the necessary content of saving faith. This is a message of salvation through unbelief, which is ‘another’ gospel.

At Antonio’s blog he wrote an article titled, Believe in Christ’s Promise and You are Saved No Matter What Misconceptions You Hold. In regard to evangelizing the lost and the content of saving faith he wrote:

If a JW hears me speak of Christ’s deity and asks me about it, I will say, ‘Let us agree to disagree about this subject.’

At the moment that a JW or a Mormon is convinced that Jesus Christ has given to them unrevokable [sic] eternal life when they believed on Him for it, I would consider such a one saved, REGARDLESS of their varied misconcetions [sic] and beliefs about Jesus.

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

Elsewhere he stated (and NEVER retracted) the following, which in the opinion of many, is pure blasphemy, “The Mormon Jesus and Evangelical Jesus are One and the Same.”

In regard to the Gospel, i.e. the content of saving faith, those statements are from the Hodges inspired teachings of men who are propagating “another” gospel.


LM

PS: It is good to remember that when you address Rose you are addressing someone who views the reductionist extremes of the Crossless gospel as a mere, “difference of opinion that is acceptable.” I’ll have more on this in a moment.

Lou Martuneac said...
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Lou Martuneac said...
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Lou Martuneac said...
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Lou Martuneac said...

Kev:

If I may, I’ll address this to Rose.


Rose:

In a Bible college chapel I heard a preacher say to the students, “You show me your friends and I’ll show you what you are now, or what you soon will be.

When you were first exposed to the Crossless gospel (CG) and Antonio da Rosa in particular you were challenging and questioning his egregious teachings. Over time, however, you grew increasingly silent in your objections and concerns. You came to the point of not just becoming a friend of this teacher of doctrinal errors, you joined him in a cooperative effort in your group blogs. Of course, da Rosa was delighted that you provided a new venue for him (and his partners) to sow the Internet with seeds of the Crossless gospel’s assaults on the Person and work of Jesus Christ.

Then we began to read your suggesting the CG is mere, “theory…nuance of doctrine and a difference opinion that is acceptable.” Over time you have strengthened your resolve to sympathize with, support and defend the heresy of the CG and the behavior of its most extreme apologists.

When you first encountered these reductionist heresies you would have done better to follow the biblical mandates to “avoid” these teachers of “contrary” doctrine who introduce “divisions and offences” (Rom. 16:17) wherever they take their Crossless gospel, which thankfully they are finding fewer venues to spread their reductionist heresies.

Dr. Ernest Pickering wrote: “It is not a mark of graciousness to allow false teaching to be propagated.” By allowing CG apologists space and your protection at your blog you allow false teaching to be propagated.

My fear has been, and I have shared this with you in public and private. If you kept this fellowship and cooperation with them up long enough you would eventually go beyond the tragic fall you have already suffered by believing and supporting the CG’s reductionist teaching as if it is a mere “difference of opinion that is acceptable,” and crash land into accepting their errors as if they are a genuinely biblical position on the content of saving faith. Well, this weekend Rose you publicly disclosed that you have taken another giant step in that direction.

IMO, Rose you are on the brink of fully embracing the teachings of GES on the Gospel. Below is your on-line comment to Antonio that you posted this weekend. I will let it speak for you.

***BEGIN***Antonio, I finally had a moment to think and contemplate...and therefore I read your post very carefully. You have communicated the track that your understanding of this issue comes down quite well, my brother! I must admit, previous to all these discussions, I had not analyzed very thoroughly what I thought the “content of saving faith” was at all and this has all forced me to do that. This is a good thing! The more I think about all of this, the more I do not believe this should be such a troublesome issue. You are really not all that controversial. BUT: I know others have a different opinion than me on that. You make your case very well. I think if I remember correctly, I had a difficulty agreeing with you on what it means to believe that Jesus is the Christ. You had a very simple explanation -if my memory serves me- and my explanation for what it means is a little less “defined” shall we say.***END***

That is very revealing and a sad indication of what has happened to you, which is continuing to succumb to the reductionism of advocates of the CG whom you choose to befriended, defend and cooperate with.

Rose, you surely remember JP’s warning (before he began to tread the trail you have trod toward fellowship with the advocates of the Crossless heresy) to you in the thread under, Is This Heresy?

By defending da Rosa, you (Rose) are defending ‘doctrines of demons’, ‘myths’, and heresy. As the apostle Paul pleaded with the Galatian Christians concerning their acceptance of a perverted gospel, I plead with you: ‘O foolish Christian, who has bewitched you’?”

Stephen Stark wrote an article that was IMO a very helpful read on your ecumenical approach to what is obviously the most extreme form of reduction heresy against the Gospel ever introduced to the NT church by one of its own, namely Zane Hodges and the GES. His article is titled, Reasoning on Rose: “We Just Can't Know?”

In conclusion Rose, you are a stark example of what becomes of the person who chooses ecumenical compromise with believers who are the prime instigators of extreme doctrinal errors. Unity at expense of Scripture. The Word of God forbids such an unholy alliance and should never be dismissed for the sake of friendship.

Remember the chapel message, “You show me your friends and I’ll show you what you are now, or what you soon will be.

Tragically, you are a stark illustration of that telling statement. You either have already become or are very close to becoming in doctrine exactly what your CG friends are: heretics of the first order. If you have not already embraced the CG you are teetering on the precipice of falling into the trap of the CG.

Please, turn back before you are lost to Hodges’s assault on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


LM

Rose~ said...

Hi Kevin,
I appreciate your taking the time to answer my questions.

Are you asking that I never quote you on another blog or that if I quote you here I make it clear where I found the quote? I wasn't sure which you meant. Whatever the case, I will try to abide by your request. Let me know.

You seem to say here that Lou's insistence that it is a stipulated fact that Antonio preaches the same gospel and that this is *not the issue* is only means to a better discussion for Lou? I find that a little confusing since he uses that to so often accuse of "misdirects" "skirting the issue" etc...

I think what we tell the lost is the main thing, frankly. I suppose that is why Tim Nichols' papers resonated so well with me.

For example, with Calvinism. I have many Calvinist friends. They can talk to me night and day about how Christ only died for the elect, and that is wrong, but I have yet to hear a Calvinist I know, say that to a lost person. I find a big difference in those two activities: batting around theological ideas with other believers –versus- evangelism.

I do think I am clearly getting one aspect of your answer. Tell me if I have it right:

You believe that speaking about this idea ("one could know Christ as saviour and could possibly be mistaken or ignorant about something important regarding Him and His work") on a blog is tantamount to preaching it to the lost that they don't have to believe the right things? Is that right? That is why you call him a "preacher of a false gospel" because he writes about what the lost could get wrong and still be saved on his blog?

You said:
The issue isn't what you tell them the issue is what you tell them they must believe.

In the instances when I have the privilege of witnessing, I never approach it like that - telling someone what they must believe. To me I want to tell them to trust Christ and *receive* Him into their lives while I tell them all about Him from the Bible. If they are receiving Him and they have reason to believe that the Bible is true, then it doesn't come about where I have to tell them "what to believe." In my view, receiving Christ is a posture of the heart of trust and faith, not someone convincing himself "I must believe this-and-that to be saved." I know people on both sides of this debate find that a little nebulous on my part, but I can’t help it; that is how I see conversion.

"...but as many as received Him to them He gave the right to become children of God..."

(I don't know if I am communicating my thoughts on that too well. It is hard to put into words. It could be our differing perspectives on this aspect that causes the lack of appreciation for others' views.)

You said:
My only purpose for discussing it with Antonio at JP's blog recently was to get him to admit right there, again, what I know JP has no right to accept in his ministry.

Shucks, I was hoping when I read your question to him over there that you were hoping he would agree with you and that you could now accept him - that you all could clear up some misunderstanding or something, although I admit, I thought of that as a long shot. :~)

Kevin, when you say this:
I do not agree that because someone opens their mouth and pays lip-service to the Truth that they are preaching the Truth.

I believe you are referring to Antonio. I wonder how you could know that he is only paying "lip service" to the truth. ? That is steep accusation. Look at the comment below that he gave in answer to you: can’t you see in this his love for the truth and for proclaiming it to unsaved folks? I see love for the truth in both of you and wish you could see it too.

Antonio said on JP’s blog:
Kevl,
Let me, for the record, present what gospel exactly I preach:
That Jesus Christ, the God-man, who was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, raised the dead, healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and wholeness to the lame, was wrongfully convicted by His Israeli countrymen and executed on a Roman cross, dying vicariously and substitutionally for the sins of the world, was buried, and rose again from the dead on the third day, victorious over death and sin, and will again return to earth to set up an everlasting kingdom of righteousness. And that by faith alone in this same Jesus Christ alone one has irrevocable eternal life and guaranteed resurrection.
Nevertheless, this is merely the bare bones of my preaching to the lost (and to the saved!).
No one who has professed faith in Jesus Christ for their eternal salvation in my literally hundreds of evangelistic encounters has ever denied any one of those essential things that I preach.


There is nothing but orthodoxy in that and I would hope with all my heart that you could take someone at their word that they are telling the truth instead of accusing them of “lip service.”

I am praying for this situation, Kevin. It seems apparent that you have a passion for the truth in your heart and I appreciate that. I hope you will also see the passion for truth of your brother’s heart.

Your truly,
Rose

Rose~ said...

Kevin,
I am not going to speak with Lou here, for personal reasons. I wish him no ill and am praying for him.
Thank you.

Kevl said...

Rose,

You don't have to interact with Lou if you do not wish too.

I am asking you not to quote me without letting me know. I will object if you quote me out of context. But I'm asking you to let me know.

I have not read all of your previous comment yet.

Kev

Kevl said...

Rose you said,

I think what we tell the lost is the main thing, frankly. I suppose that is why Tim Nichols' papers resonated so well with me.

The problem is that what the CG preachers tell the lost doesn't stop at the Gospel, if they present the Gospel in the first place. There is no holding to the truth of the Gospel. Antonio tells the lost person, supposedly, the Gospel but then cuts the power out of it by letting the person deny any part of it or even all of it.

The Lost are told they don't need to repent - they don't have to change what they think to be saved. They just have to "Believe Jesus for Eternal Life."

There is no Repentance Unto Life there because the person has no change of mind. They do not see the price of their sin paid for in Christ's death, and they don't see their security for Eternal Life in His resurrection.

The Calvinist who does not preach what he believes is being inconsistent. They are lying as they witness. A thing is not established with false witnesses.

My calvinist friends will find that offensive, but I must be consistent with the Truth.

They are not preaching a "false gospel" but they are preaching the Gospel falsely.

You asked You believe that speaking about this idea ("one could know Christ as saviour and could possibly be mistaken or ignorant about something important regarding Him and His work") on a blog is tantamount to preaching it to the lost that they don't have to believe the right things? Is that right? That is why you call him a "preacher of a false gospel" because he writes about what the lost could get wrong and still be saved on his blog?

Recently at JP's blog Antonio again affirmed that the person wasn't just confused or wrong about something they could deny the entire Gospel and still be Saved.

He preaches that people are saved apart from belief in the Gospel, therefore he preaches another gospel that is not good news at all. Because it is false and does not save.

You said, and I trust we can discuss this as adults and brethren


In the instances when I have the privilege of witnessing, I never approach it like that - telling someone what they must believe. To me I want to tell them to trust Christ and *receive* Him into their lives while I tell them all about Him from the Bible. If they are receiving Him and they have reason to believe that the Bible is true, then it doesn't come about where I have to tell them "what to believe." In my view, receiving Christ is a posture of the heart of trust and faith, not someone convincing himself "I must believe this-and-that to be saved." I know people on both sides of this debate find that a little nebulous on my part, but I can’t help it; that is how I see conversion.


Conversion is by grace through faith.

It is by faith that we receive the Gospel as true. In 1 Cor 15:1-11 the Apostle Paul is clear that this is what must be received.

God is very clear about His identity being paramount throughout Scripture. You can preach another Jesus.

Christ is the lamp on a lampstand that no one should put in a closet. The Gospel is the demonstration of God's love and justice. It declares Him as just as He justifies the ungodly.

To say that God just forgives sin, is to make Him a liar. It is a false testimony. It is therefore a false witness that does not bring salvation.

Even if the person receiving doesn't understand this, they still think they "got away with it all." That God loves them enough to look the other way.

No Dear Sister. It pleased the Father to crush His Son. He does not look the other way, no matter the cost. People must have faith in the One True God, for there is no other. Not matter how attractive our man-made alternatives seem.

We can only receive "Him" if we actually receive "Him" not our idea of Him.

You said Shucks, I was hoping when I read your question to him over there that you were hoping he would agree with you and that you could now accept him - that you all could clear up some misunderstanding or something, although I admit, I thought of that as a long shot. :~)

No, I'm sorry. If Antonio had shown that he had repented of his previous thinking I would have received him as a Brother and there would have been great celebration. But my purpose was to protect Jonathon. I know what Antonio preaches, and I have some estimation of why. It is well beyond my skill and power to convert this man back to the Truth. I have left this with the God Who works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

You asked

I believe you are referring to Antonio. I wonder how you could know that he is only paying "lip service" to the truth. ?


Because with one side of his mouth he says he speaks the Truth of the Gospel, but with the other he says no one needs to know or believe it to be saved.

That is lip-service, not preaching.

You closed with

I am praying for this situation, Kevin. It seems apparent that you have a passion for the truth in your heart and I appreciate that. I hope you will also see the passion for truth of your brother’s heart.

That is exactly the problem Sister. I do not see a passion for Truth in Antonio. I see a passion for tickling ears, and crowds of adoring fans. He says what people want to hear and even when pressed into giving answers he still wiggles out of it.

I can't imagine a lost person on the street believing what he says is true. I have spent a great deal of time witnessing to people. The world tells them all sorts of "good" things that they can believe if they like or not. They already think we are just another self-help program. They are not convinced and converted by half measures. People only put their true faith in something that is absolutely true. Everything else is just a club membership.

I hope that you know I've answered you as earnestly as I am able.

Kev

Lou Martuneac said...

Kev:

I am not concerned over whether or not Rose will interact with me, but I will interact with her slide toward accepting the heresy of the Crossless gospel and her on-going sympathy toward and support of its extremist advocates.

Below I am going to post the kind of extremist heresy coming from da Rosa that Rose refers to as a mere “difference of opinion that is acceptable.”

Rose is succumbing to the “contrary “ doctrine of GES because she has chosen the ecumenical approach of unity with her CG friends rather than fidelity to the Scriptures.

Here is an example of her ecumenical approach, “I see love for the truth in both of you and wish you could see it too.” In other words, Rose is saying “Please just accept what Antonio says, just agree wherever you can, but don’t pay attention to his reductionist assaults on the content of saving faith.

I was also thinking that she is here, in your blog, running interference for the heresy of da Rosa.

I have an idea, why don’t you ask Rose the questions you asked da Rosa, that he of course dodges again and again. Maybe Rose will answer for herself.

Anyway, following are the kinds of remarks from Antonio da Rosa that Rose considers a “doctrinal nuance and difference of opinion that is acceptable.”

If a JW hears me speak of Christ’s deity and asks me about it, I will say, ‘Let us agree to disagree about this subject.’

At the moment that a JW or a Mormon is convinced that Jesus Christ has given to them unrevokable [sic] eternal life when they believed on Him for it, I would consider such a one saved, REGARDLESS of their varied misconcetions [sic] and beliefs about Jesus.


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

If I were talking to a Jew, he may very well ask me about the deity and humanity of Jesus. I would certainly entertain his questions and answer them to the best of my ability. But if such a one continued to express doubts or objections to this, I would say politely, ‘Let us for the time being put this issue on the back-burner. Can I show you from the Jewish Scriptures that the advent of Jesus Christ fulfills many prophecies?’ . . . Objections and denials of things pertaining to Jesus can surely preclude one from faith in Him for eternal life. If this Jew can put aside for the moment the discussion of Christ’s deity, and Christ’s voluntary consent to die, and look in a considerate way at the prophecies concerning Christ’s advent in the Old Testament, His miracles, His teachings, His compassionate acts, His righteous and holy acts, and through consideration of these things, become persuaded that Jesus guarantees his eternal destiny through faith, why would anyone consider him unsaved?”

I do not believe that one must understand, assent to, or be aware of the historical Jesus of Nazareth's deity in order to simply be justified and receive eternal life. However, I do believe that one must understand the deity of Christ if he is to grow into Christian maturity and merit a future superlative glorification

The Mormon Jesus and Evangelical Jesus are One and the Same.

Are those a “difference of opinion” that should be accepted?

No!!!

I am praying for Rose to be recovered from her slide toward embracing the CG. Seeing her take another step toward embracing their heresies was disappointing, but not unexpected. Once (and if) recovered then, Lord willing she will repent of having cooperated with and supported the advocates of the Zane Hodges inspired Crossless gospel


Lou