Monday, May 2, 2011

The Abomination Of It All

I've taken a small rest from writing about the doctrinal error known as Easy-Believism. I have several blogs on this subject and hope my readers will check this blog's archive and read what I've been writing. What has sparked my interest to take this theme up again was an event to which my wife was a witness in an evangelistic opportunity with a very young woman last night.

She sat with a distressed 21-year-old woman who has been living with a man three years older than she is. He is a police officer. They have a small child together. They've never married. Now this man has thrown her out and the woman has recently learned he has had another woman all this time that is now pregnant. The young lady is understandably devastated and in shock.

My wife began talking to this woman about her relationship with God. In the course of the conversation, my wife learned that this woman regards herself as a Christian. When my wife asked her how she knew she was a Christian, a believer in Christ as her Lord and Savior, the woman replied that since she made a decision years ago for Christ in this protestant church, she was a Christian.

Do not miss what is being sadly said in this woman's response to my wife's question: the basis upon which this woman believed herself to be a Christian, a believer in Christ as her Lord and Savior, was on a decision for Christ years prior to her deciding to live and fornicate with a man to whom she was not married.

My question is just where was the Lord of her life when she decided to have sex with a man to whom she was not married?

Further investigation by my wife revealed that this woman used to belong to a church in which Easy-Believism is taught. She apparently and obviously never heard from the pulpit of this church that one cannot claim to be a Christian, a follower of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and then live one’s life as though He does not exist. She had never heard from the teaching elders of this church that to be brought to faith in Jesus Christ is the result of God the Father giving them, the fallen human, to Christ.

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:44)

No one apparently told her the Biblical fact that if she was indeed a true believer then it is not because she decided for Christ. It was not that she made her mind up about anything regarding salvation. It was not that she, as an act of her will, decided to accept the facts surrounding the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus, who is the Christ. Besides, it isn't facts to whom the Father draws anyone. It is to a Person: Jesus the Christ. And, unless that human be drawn by the Father to the Son, that human can in no way come to Christ in and of his or her self. It is, as a matter of Biblical fact, impossible (Ephesians 2:1-10).

This, my dear friend, is a perfect example of the faulty and abominable doctrine that is being preached in the vast majority of Evangelical churches today. They are teaching that God has done His part and now you must do your part in making a decision, as an act of your will, for Christ lest you burn in eternal Hellfire.

So, what exactly is this Decisionalism or Easy-Believism salvation? And why does it produce such flimsy and false professions of faith in which these so-called believers can go about their lives after their decision and live like everyone else in the world?

The term “easy-believism” is a usually derogatory label, used to characterize the faulty understanding of the nature of saving faith adhered to by much of contemporary Evangelicalism, most notably (and extremely) by such Dispensational authors as Charles Ryrie and Zane Hodges. The term was popularized in an ongoing debate between Hodges, to whose theology the label “easy-believism” was affixed, and John MacArthur, to whom the term “lordship salvation” came to be applied.” i

This doctrinal error or heresy teaches that all one needs to do to come to faith in Christ, or to come to a saving faith, is the acquiescence to some facts about the Gospel followed by an appeal to Christ for salvation. It is not required, so say the advocates of this soteriology,ii that someone submit, in any sense of the word, to Christ's rule or Kingship over his or her life. Amazingly, some of the advocates of this very dangerous error actually teach that someone can even be unwilling to obey the commands of Christ after making this appeal for salvation and still be considered a Christian.

I cannot begin to fathom the exegetical reasoning behind this theological position.

In recent months, I have been personally involved in the moral crisis of families in my own church in which this easy-believism doctrine is taught: “God has done His part and now it is up to you to do your part.” This semi-pelagianism, and that is exactly what this abomination is, shows its practical result in the morality, or lack thereof, in the lives of those who believe this lie. They think that because they made a decision for Christ, as an act of their fallen and totally depraved human wills, that they are now, “Once Saved Always Saved,” and it does not matter how they then live their lives. Obedience to the commands of God never entered or enters the salvation equation and the outcome of this theology is painfully and tragically all too apparent.

"Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked." (1 John 2: 3-6)

Do not miss the point of this text: The proof of one's claim to know Christ in a salvificiii sense is: “If we keep His commandments.” If you say that you “know Him” and do not keep His commandments (to keep the commandments is another way of saying to obey the commandments), then you are a liar and the truth is not in you! If you say you are in Christ then you have “to walk as Christ walked.”

If you claim to be a believer in Christ as your Lord and Savior then you MUST be living as though He is indeed your Lord and that will be evident by you keeping His commandments. If your heart and life are not inclined to keeping His commandments, then stop professing falsely that you are a Christian. It is just as simple as that. Read First John for confirmation of what I have just said.

This is serious and it is dangerous. The vast majority of professing Evangelical churches all over the world are teaching that you can decide yourself into the Kingdom God by a mere exercise of your sinfully fallen and depraved human will without any change whatsoever in your life.

God's answer in His Word (1 John) to that proposition is that it is a lie!

iiSoteriology is the doctrine of salvation
iiiSalvific sense = salvationally or in a salvation sense