Wednesday, April 15, 2009

An Open Letter From The President Of The FGA

*Edit: Brother Lybrand has offered to answer any questions we might have. I've copied his comment at the bottom of this post.

The (future) out-going president of the Free Grace Alliance (FGA) has released a very important open letter to the incoming president.

This letter deals with the problem of the Grace Evangelical Society's (GES) reductionist message commonly called the "Crossless Gospel" or "Promise Only Gospel." I was glad to read the official announcement from the FGA distancing themselves from the GES. Yesterday however out-going president Fred R. Lybrand DMin released a letter that contains with clarity why the FGA must remain separated from the GES.

Many people in Reformed Theology circles dismiss conversation with those in Free Grace Theology circles because of the lack of scholarship shown by GES influenced theologians. I'm thankful for this clear statement. I will now share the opening of this letter. For the complete letter please visit Lou's blog, In Defense Of The Gospel.

Released: 14 April 2009

To: Fred Chay, PhD., President Elect, Free Grace Alliance

CC: The Community of Free Grace Advocates Worldwide, for the public

From: Fred R. Lybrand, DMin, President, Free Grace Alliance

Re: The GES Gospel (aka - the ‘Crossless’ or ‘Promise-only’ Gospel)

Dear Dr. Chay,

Fred, at your request I am finally, and reluctantly, addressing the issue concerning the Grace Evangelical Society (GES) and the ‘crossless gospel’, so called. I say ‘so called’ because I would name it the GES Gospel. I am not aware of it being held by anyone, anywhere, in history; it is solely owned and promoted by GES. Of course, I am sure that when most GES folks present the gospel, they include a mention of Christ’s death and resurrection. However, when one asks, “What must one believe to be saved?” --- Then the cross and resurrection are clearly unnecessary pieces of information for saving faith and eternal salvation in the GES Gospel view. And as any objective person can see, eventually this line of thinking will invade their presentation of the saving message.


Here's our Brother's comment:

Hey Kev,

Thanks for helping get the message out. I'd love to answer any questions your readers (or you might have)might have.

Also, for the record, I am actually still the President until October's elections...and I'll remain ex officio on the FGA Council for at least the next year.

I know the letter intro gives a different impressing because of the titles established by our bylaws.

Thanks and God bless,

FRL


5 comments:

Fred R. Lybrand said...

Hey Kev,

Thanks for helping get the message out. I'd love to answer any questions your readers (or you might have)might have.

Also, for the record, I am actually still the President until October's elections...and I'll remain ex officio on the FGA Council for at least the next year.

I know the letter intro gives a different impressing because of the titles established by our bylaws.

Thanks and God bless,

FRL

Kevl said...

Thanks Fred,

I'm going to be reading your letter more closely this evening. I'm sure I'll have some questions afterwards.

Thanks for being so open, and I very much appreciate the tone of what I have read in it so far.

Bless you!
Kev

Kevl said...

Brother Fred,

I have just now finished my examination of your letter. I believe it to be a significant contribution to Christendom at this time.

I will be asking some questions, and possibly making comment. I intend to do so at Lou's Blog because he has a larger and more wide readership than I do here.

I hope my readers will also participate there.

Thank you,
Kev

Fred R. Lybrand said...

Hey All,

Being new to this blogging idea, I'm discovering that I've stepped into tangential controversies...so, it seems easiest for me to address my Open Letter on the GES Gospel (and other things) at my own site.

I'm posting this same message at some others sites I've visited. Thanks for the opportunity to be in the conversation on the GES Gospel.

My blog is at www.fredlybrand.org

God bless,

FRL

Lou Martuneac said...

Kev:

As you are aware...

At the Fred Lybrand blog I was asked by Gary to comment on my view of the Crossless gospel. He wants to know how I feel about it in regard to whether or not it is heresy, a false gospel in light of Dr. Fred Lybrand’s first, but not final reply to the question. I feel it is a valid question and this was my reply.

Gary:

Here is my reply to your question. I trust you have the character to post it here since you called on me here to answer you.

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

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

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


LM

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

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