Monday, August 17, 2015

The Lordship Salvation Controversy in 2015

This is the reality of the world we live in today.
It is also the reality of the doctrines of Christendom.
It is 2015 and that means it has been 27 years since John MacArthur put Lordship Salvation on the discussion table in earnest with his book The Gospel According to Jesus in 1988.  Some years ago after I decided to discuss my walk toward Christ here at OMW this controversy became a point of primary interest to me.

As the years have progressed my focus has been more toward the Gospel than the various controversies surrounding it. This being true lately my heart has been being tugged to discuss where we are in 2015 with regard to the Lordship Salvation controversy.

In the world, that is the world system which is dictated by the Kingdom of the Prince of the Power of the Air, which is ruled by the god of this age Satan himself, tolerance of everything except fidelity is law. We shouldn't be surprised by this.

Tolerating sinners of any kind as they live in the world is something we are supposed to do. We are to plead with sinners to be converted, not try to force them to act like they have been.

1Cor 5:6-13
Your boasting [is] not good. Do ye not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Purge out the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, according as ye are unleavened. For also our passover, Christ, has been sacrificed; so that let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with leaven of malice and wickedness, but with unleavened [bread] of sincerity and truth. I have written to you in the epistle not to mix with fornicators; 10 not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the avaricious and rapacious, or idolaters, since [then] ye should go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you, if any one called brother be fornicator, or avaricious, or idolater, or abusive, or a drunkard, or rapacious, not to mix with [him]; with such a one not even to eat. 12 For what have *I* [to do] with judging those outside also? *ye*, do not ye judge them that are within? 13 But those without God judges. Remove the wicked person from amongst yourselves.
We are not to allow sin in the assembly. We are not to tolerate it. However we are to expect it in the world. We are not given pass to take part, but we are told not to judge those outside of the Church which is His Body.

In society today "Christianity" has been subverted to be some organization of people who are "against" various things and various people. It ought not be so. No one should be "for" a sinner more than one who has been forgiven of great sin.

Luke 7:47
47 For which cause I say to thee, Her many sins are forgiven; for she loved much; but he to whom little is forgiven loves little.
In 2015 Lordship Salvation is adding to this perversion of Christianity by making lists of people who "cannot be saved" or who "cannot be a Christian." Whether intentionally or not the message received by the world is that Christianity is for people who think they are good. Most often the Lordship Salvation proponent is talking about people who say they are saved but are still committing some kind of high profile or highly distasteful sin, but that is not the message the world gets because the world doesn't recognize the reality of being Born Again. They think Christianity is a club you can join, and if you can't be in the club as a XYZ type of sinner then XYZ types of sinners can't join...

There is only one kind of sinner who cannot be saved and that is kind who persists in rejecting Christ until they die in their sins.

None of this is all that new. Lordship Salvation proponents have been making lists and preaching various versions of their false gospel for a long time now. How ever in 2015 the problem is that Christendom is acting like the world even more than we ever have in the past. Metaphorically, we put up signs like one above. All doctrines are welcome they all have equal value and should have equal access to the minds of the Believers.

Oh there are lists of taboo preachers but if you're on Facebook you'll see all the doctrines of all these taboo preachers get spread through Christendom no matter if the preachers of the doctrines are singled out for mocking or not.

Largely whatever that is said from the pulpit, so long as it is encouraging in some vague way, is accepted. This is again nothing new, but this post is about the Lordship Salvation controversy but in 2015 there is little or no controversy. In 2010 it was raging on all fronts, but in 2015 the controversy is "Oh well I understand... I think XYZ preacher is pretty good. I don't concern myself with the finer details that only lead to arguments. I just want to love people."

Titus 1:10-11
10 For there are many and disorderly vain speakers and deceivers of people's minds, specially those of [the] circumcision, 11 who must have their mouths stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which ought not [to be taught] for the sake of base gain.

All is not lost however. There are still learned Believers who are not giving in and letting the Church sleep.

We are not to judge sinners in the world, we are told to warn them of the judgment to come and to preach to them the good news of Jesus Christ. Out in the world it is the wild west, but in the Church we are to be orderly. We are not to match the world. We are a called out people.

In the case of Lordship Salvation we have to demonstrate this "called out people" aspect by rejecting every doctrine except for that which is true. We have failed at this and the scary thing is that people aren't even offended when I bring the subject up any more - they just don't care about those kinds of things.

You know those kinds of things like The Gospel by which we are saved.

1Cor 15:1-11
1 But I make known to you, brethren, the glad tidings which I announced to you, which also ye received, in which also ye stand,by which also ye are saved, (if ye hold fast the word which I announced to you as the glad tidings,) unless indeed ye have believed in vain.For I delivered to you, in the first place, what also I had received, that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures;and that he was buried; and that he was raised the third day, according to the scriptures;and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.Then he appeared to above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the most remain until now, but some also have fallen asleep.Then he appeared to James; then to all the apostles;and last of all, as to an abortion, he appeared to *me* also.For *I* am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called apostle, because I have persecuted the assembly of God.10 But by God's grace I am what I am; and his grace, which [was] towards me, has not been vain; but I have laboured more abundantly than they all, but not *I*, but the grace of God which [was] with me.11 Whether, therefore, I or they, thus we preach, and thus ye have believed.


Anonymous said...

Great article. I have noticed the same. The best known false teachers will all get passed around on Facebook, and if you point out that they are a false teacher, the response is typically a various of the "eat the meat and spit the bones" kind. A response I always felt was very unbiblical.

Your line about accepting any false teaching from any false teacher so long as it is vaguely encouraging in some way.... that is a classic line. Hope you don't mind if I steal it. It perfectly fits the mind-frame of "Christianity" in 2015.


Kevl said...

Thanks for the encouragement Shane. I keep trying to get back to writing regularly but I am a terrible person. :/

Jane said...

Thank you so much. Reading this made me weep for many reasons.

My husband and I walked away from Institutional Christianity 18 months ago. The last place we were at preached Lordship Salvation.

The Gospel has become this:

"The Jews did such a bad job at keeping the law so God's now giving the rest of us a turn"... masked as 'grace' (somehow).

I heard this...

"Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees and Scribes..." (and they actually said we must be more righteous than them, through WORKS) - ie: not resting in Christ's righteousness. (the mind boggles)

and "unless you turn from your sins you can't be saved".

All of my sins?

Every last one?

So I've gotta be sinless to be accepted by God despite ALREADY being reconciled to Him through Christ?

man oh man.

I'm so glad I found this blog.

I feel so very alone in this world.