PDA

View Full Version : Easy Believism


Terry_Herrington
04-16-2003, 01:31 PM
In thread after thread I read about what is called, "easy believism." I believe that we are to preach the Gospel of Christ to a lost world. We are to say, as Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" Matt. 11:28-30(NIV).

Since this, being Scripture is true, what is "easy believism?"

Daniel David
04-16-2003, 01:39 PM
Easy believism essentially denies the role of repentance. In order for a person to come to Jesus, he must repent of his current course of life and turn to the Lord.

Paul lauded the Thessalonians for turning from idols to the true and living God.

If a presentation is given without any mention of repentance, it is an incomplete gospel and easy believism.

It also denies the role of repentance in what is commonly called sanctification. Repentance is something believers will do their entire life. As they grow in the Lord, they turn from more and more of the world.

Don
04-16-2003, 02:21 PM
More commonly, it refers to the practice of laying out the plan of salvation and "say this prayer and you'll be saved" without ensuring understanding, repentence, relationship, etc.

Scott J
04-16-2003, 03:16 PM
Genuine beliefs change attitudes and behaviors. Easy believism typically teaches that if you give assent to the basics of salvation and say a prayer then you are saved. Many go on to live a life of rebellion against God, some even in church, then die and go to hell.

While there is no requirement to do works for a saved person, there should be a genuine will to please God. It isn't that we must be sanctified to be saved but rather that we will be sanctified if we are saved.

Preacher Nathan Knight
04-16-2003, 03:18 PM
Exactly right Don. Easy Believism teaches salvation without conviction from the Holy Spirit. graemlins/thumbs.gif

IfbReformer
04-16-2003, 04:09 PM
Originally posted by Terry_Herrington:
In thread after thread I read about what is called, "easy believism." I believe that we are to preach the Gospel of Christ to a lost world. We are to say, as Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" Matt. 11:28-30(NIV).

Since this, being Scripture is true, what is "easy believism?" We just got done going through all this in an thread on what perseverance of the saints means.

Here is something that I think will save us all alot of time as to to where the various positions are:


If a person professed faith in Christ but
does not pursue a righteous life after that here is how it is explained by the various schools of thought:

Means of Salvation and Lordship Salvation Views:
The person was never saved.
END RESULT: The person goes to hell.

Loss of Salvation View(Arminian, Holiness, Charismatic):
The person was saved and lost their salvation.
END RESULT: The person goes to hell.

Loss of Rewards, Eternal Security, Free Grace
or as its opponents lovingly call it
"Easybelievism" View:
The person may still be saved and they
have chosen to reject the prodding of the
Holy Spirit and waste their life. They loose
the rewards they could have had.
END RESULT:The person goes to heaven

Note of course that there are variations within each camp but the results the core propositions are the same.

Two of the positions - The Means of Salvation and Lordship Salvation views as well as the Loss of Salvation views see a person professes faith but who does not lead a righteous life as going to hell.

The Loss of Rewards, Eternal Security, or "Easybelivism" position says it is possible for someone to trust in Christ and not build on that foundation by leading a righteous and holy life yet they are saved simply by their trusting in Christ for their Salvation but they are saved "so as by fire".

"repentance" is also a key phrase in that both camps believe in it as they do in "persevarance".

They simply define them differently.

"repentence" as defined by Loss of Rewards crowd is one of changing ones mind about Christ and accepting him as Savior.

"repentence" as defined by the Lordship Salvation and Loss of Salvation crowds is to turn from one's sin and become holy in this sin cursed "corruptable" body before we receive our glorified body.

Some teach "progressive sanctifacation" which can be defined various ways but it basically means we get more and more righteous each day. Some extreme positions on this view are ones like "entire santifaction" which used to be taught by Methodists in which it is possible for someone to actually achieve sinless perfection while in this corruptable body.

"perseverance" as it is defined by the Loss of Rewards view or "Easybelievism" is that we will continue to trust in Christ(through his power) for our salvation.(although some would not agree with even this)

"perseverance" as it is defined by the Lordship position says those who are saved "must" or as they say "will" do good works and become more and more righteous each day. Those who do not prove they are not nor were ever saved.

So if you have not guessed I lean toward the Free Grace or Eternal Security position. This does not mean I agree with everyone in that Camp.

IFBReformer

Dr. Bob
04-16-2003, 11:00 PM
IFB'ers have long criticized groups like Billy Graham and Campus Crusade for simplifying the Gospel to the point where the Holy Spirit is not needed! Mental assent to "believing" in Jesus is all that is called for.

Sadly, many of these same IFB'ers practice the very thing they condemn! Soul winning blitzes, bus calling, children's church, long 52-verses of 'Just As I Am' with psychological manipulative invitations each Sunday . . well, you name it and in the name of "evangelism" they are presenting the same "easy believism".

Matter of fact, I see more lasting results and genuine conversions in Campus Crusade than in our two hylesish ifb churches in Casper. :rolleyes:

Artimaeus
04-17-2003, 01:08 AM
The Gospel is EASY to understand.
The Gospel is EASY to believe.
Living the Christian life...now, that's a whole new ballgame.

Getting married is EASY.
Having a successful marriage...now that's a whiole new ballgame.

I believe in easy believism, it is easy and simple...and the most difficult thing I have ever done.

Terry_Herrington
04-17-2003, 02:08 AM
Dr. Bob,

It seems like you want to make coming to Christ so difficult that many will not come. I know that, "broad is the way that leads to destruction and narrow is the way that leads to life," but should we attempt to keep people from responding to the Gospel? I am speaking in general terms and do not mean for this to be a personal attack toward you; I don't know what is in your heart.

I find that so many here are against invitations, against bus ministries, against children's church that I find it hard to see how they ever reach the lost. Are we to simply sit quietly in our church buildings and hope God will just send them in? I attribute a lot of this to the doctrine of Calvinism, and although I do not know a lot about all the intricacies of this doctrine (I am trying to be nice and did not use the adjective false), I feel that it is responsible for Christians becoming so involved with theology, they neglect reaching the lost.

I would rather be associated with a group of Christians who may not cross all the t's or dot all the i's but still have a heart for the lost.

In order to be fair, I must say that I have not done nearly enough in my life and have wasted many years backsliding and have been too much in love with myself so I am not looking down my nose at anyone.

I have come to realize now, however, that if we don't preach the Gospel of Christ and get busy sharing this wonderful message with the lost we are not accomplishing what we are supposed to be doing.

BTW, I like Campus Crusade for Christ and I like Billy Graham. Mr. Graham has not allowed the study of theology stop him from accomplishing what God would have all of us to do, faithfully present Christ to a dying world.

HankD
04-17-2003, 12:02 PM
Easy believism typically teaches that if you give assent to the basics of salvation and say a prayer then you are saved. Luke 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other...

Scott J
04-17-2003, 12:43 PM
Originally posted by HankD:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr /> Easy believism typically teaches that if you give assent to the basics of salvation and say a prayer then you are saved. Luke 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other... </font>[/QUOTE]Without being exactly sure what you are trying to imply...

Jesus was comparing a truly repentant sinner with a Pharisee- under the law BTW. The publican was "justified"- corrected. There is every reason to believe that his behavior would have testified to his change of heart.

Surely we all know people who mentally agree with the facts of the gospel and even say the "sinner's prayer" without any real change in attitude or behavior. It has to reach the core level of our spirit. It must change who we are from the inside- out.

Terry_Herrington
04-17-2003, 01:18 PM
Scott J said,
"Surely we all know people who mentally agree with the facts of the gospel and even say the "sinner's prayer" without any real change in attitude or behavior."

I would say that people who don't have any change of attitude or behavior do not really agree with the facts of the Gospel. They simply say that they do.

Scott J
04-17-2003, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by Terry_Herrington:
but should we attempt to keep people from responding to the Gospel? Absolutely not. But that isn't the question nor is it whether being saved is easy or not. The question is what kind of response to the gospel does the Bible teach us to expect? If salvation involves us becoming a new spiritual creature then should we expect no change of behavior or attitude?

There are folks who will feel guilty, weep bitter tears, know that the gospel is true, and say a prayer then walk away and never show any evidence of spiritual life. I am sorry but if someone never has a pulse or brain wave... we bury them because they are dead. Jesus says that those who in Him will bear fruit. This fruit identifies them.
I find that so many here are against invitations, I prefer a very simple invitation such as "if you would like to speak to someone, please come up after the closing prayer..." We aren't selling used cars. The power of the gospel isn't in whether a preacher can manipulate someone into responding to an invitation. The power of the gospel is when it is preached and the Holy Spirit moves the sinner. against bus ministries, They have their place... and their abuses. against children's church I teach children's church and am a stauch supporter. that I find it hard to see how they ever reach the lost. The best ways are not always part of a program but rather as a Christian submits to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Are we to simply sit quietly in our church buildings and hope God will just send them in? I attribute a lot of this to the doctrine of Calvinism,... I feel that it is responsible for Christians becoming so involved with theology, they neglect reaching the lost. The interesting thing about your misunderstanding here is that God uses calvinists to reach the lost, ie. Edwards, Spurgeon, et al. Whether purposefully or ignorantly, you are blending calvinism with hyper-calvinism. I don't know a genuine calvinist that thinks Christians should not evangelize the lost.

I think you draw a false dichotomy between concern for doctrinal issues and concern for the gospel with regard to calvinists. I am considered calvinistic. Yet the usual attendance for our "soul-winning"/church building/door knocking effort consists of the pastor, my 8 and 10 year old sons, and me. A very elderly deacon comes as faithfully as he can.

I would rather be associated with a group of Christians who may not cross all the t's or dot all the i's but still have a heart for the lost. I am not willing to give into the false notion that you cannot have good sound doctrine and a heart for the lost.
In order to be fair, I must say that I have not done nearly enough in my life and have wasted many years backsliding and have been too much in love with myself so I am not looking down my nose at anyone. Me too. Sadly, this is not an affliction limited by our theological perspectives.

...we are not accomplishing what we are supposed to be doing. This is why calvinists can be just as evangelistic as non-calvinists. It is a matter of obedience to spread the gospel and make disciples.

The calvinist perspective simply makes it much easier to understand that people are saved by God through using us to bring sinners to Himself- as opposed to emphasizing our efforts and skill at "soul-winning".

Scott J
04-17-2003, 01:31 PM
Originally posted by Terry_Herrington:


I would say that people who don't have any change of attitude or behavior do not really agree with the facts of the Gospel. They simply say that they do. Exactly!!! But they frequently give an outward appearance of doings so... even to the point of strong emotional demonstrations and grand affirmations of the truth.

HankD
04-17-2003, 02:43 PM
Without being exactly sure what you are trying to imply...

Jesus was comparing a truly repentant sinner with a Pharisee- under the law BTW. The publican was "justified"- corrected. There is every reason to believe that his behavior would have testified to his change of heart."Under the law BTW" Just a passing thought, is it more or less difficult under grace to be justified?

Surely we all know people who mentally agree with the facts of the gospel and even say the "sinner's prayer" without any real change in attitude or behavior. It has to reach the core level of our spirit. It must change who we are from the inside- out. My objection:
"Easy believism" IMO is an improper or at best a confusing label because for those who are regenerate believing is not only easy it is our second-nature. For the unregenerate "believing" is not only difficult it is impossible.

If "easy-believism" is not true faith what is it? "difficult-believism", "not-easy-believism"?

In reality only God can see the heart.
As with the Corinthian Christians sometimes we must be patient and "correct" the sinful behavior of the carnal Christians with whom we have to do. A positive response to the Scripture and the refining work of the Holy Spirit are the determing factors in time.

To simply slap a label on an individual's faith as "easy believism" because they don't live up to our shibboleths (usually those made by "mature" Christians) can cause more harm than good by discouraging the babe in Christ and causing doubt.

Not only that it has been my observation that when the subject of "easy-believism" comes up, quite often a game of spiritual oneupsmanship gets going as to the requirements of "not-easy-believism".

What is even worst is that this game has apparently been played on a global level by those who have lived in the worst kind of sin (all the while making profession of Christ) and later "repented" when the sin became evident.
This by both the "easy-believers" and the "difficult-believers"
Not that they were not saved or have not truly repented, but I am reminded of the following Scripture :

Luke 6:42 ...how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.

Here is my concern (for what it's worth):
I have wondered how many of God's children have indeed come to Jesus Christ then said the "sinners prayer" only to be told by someone later that they were not really saved thereby wounding them.

Again, acceptance of the truths of Scripture and a positive response to the leading of the Holy Spirit often, if not always, takes time to bear fruit in the life of the believer.

If after some time has passed (who knows how much?) and the "believer" openly denies the deity of Christ (for instance) and/or lives in open sin, then, if it is ours to do so or the Spirit leads, we need to counsel them, once or twice as the Scripture directs concerning the reality of their faith.

My opinion, of course.

HankD

Scott J
04-17-2003, 03:01 PM
Originally posted by HankD:
My objection:
"Easy believism" IMO is an improper or at best a confusing label because for those who are regenerate believing is not only easy it is our second-nature. For the unregenerate "believing" is not only difficult it is impossible. If this is what you think Easy believism is then you are confused about the term. Easy believism specifically involves the unregenerate going through the motions of conversion- being deceived and deceving others about their spiritual state.

In reality only God can see the heart.
As with the Corinthian Christians sometimes we must be patient and "correct" the sinful behavior of the carnal Christians with whom we have to do. A positive response to the Scripture and the refining work of the Holy Spirit are the determing factors in time. I would never advocate the view that genuine Christians will never fail or be barren. I had several barren years myself. But a person cannot be saved and go on to never produce spiritual fruit.

To simply slap a label on an individual's faith as "easy believism" because they don't live up to our shibboleths (usually those made by "mature" Christians) can cause more harm than good by discouraging the babe in Christ and causing doubt. That is not the means or motive. First Baptist of Hammond would be a good case study for you. Plenty of "shibboleths" as well as numerous reported false conversions through easy believism.

Here is my concern (for what it's worth):
I have wondered how many of God's children have indeed come to Jesus Christ then said the "sinners prayer" only to be told by someone later that they were not really saved thereby wounding them. I would share that concern and add this one. How many lost people have been innoculated to the gospel by being told that reciting a form prayer assured them of a home in heaven?

Again, acceptance of the truths of Scripture and a positive response to the leading of the Holy Spirit often, if not always, takes time to bear fruit in the life of the believer. No doubt about it... but it will bear fruit. That life will not remain fruitless forever. Also, the attitude will begin to change immediately. The behavior follows the change of will.

IfbReformer
04-17-2003, 03:02 PM
Originally posted by Scott J:
While there is no requirement to do works for a saved person, there should be a genuine will to please God. It isn't that we must be sanctified to be saved but rather that we will be sanctified if we are saved. While I believe the whole Lordship salvation and mean of salvation advocates mean well they do not realize the implications of what they are saying.

You say repentance is required for salvation - we agree, but is a change of mind of about who we are who Christ is. It is the acknowledgment that we are sinners in the presense of a Holy God. We have broken God's Law and the penalty eternal damnation. It is accepting the Jesus Christ(God in flesh) paid that penalty for us. It is accepting the fact that we can do nothing to merit our salvation.

You and other say "While there is no requirement to do works for a saved person, there should be a genuine will to please God. It isn't that we must be sanctified to be saved but rather that we will be sanctified if we are saved."

My fellow brothers in the Lord - "must" and "will" are the same thing whether you realize it or not.

Your ideology causes people to think they must(not will) do good works in order to prove they are Christians. They are left with wondering whether they have done enough to prove this to you.

Instead, what is the biblical motivation for doing good works as Christian - is it to prove we are Christians or is it as an act of love for Christ?

When I have taught Sunday School my motivation to my students for commitment to ministries at church and holy living was not to prove that they were Christians but to show there love for Christ.

When I tell my students not to commit adultery it is not to prove that they are Christians - it is to show their love for Christ and protect them from pain and suffering it can cause them in this life.

Sin hurts us here and now - even if it does not cost our eternal salvation. That is the motivator - not that we will loose our salvation(as the arminians say) or that we must prove we are Christian(as the Lordship and means of salvation groups say).

The common thing I find among Lordship advocates(I attended a church where the Pastor preached a series on it(he as a Lordship proponent)) - is that they tend to be very judgmental. They look at someone and they say -"well he can't be a Christian because he does this...." or "she probably isn't a Christian because she does not do this...."

Guys I know where you are coming from - I used to look at things very similiar to you until I realized how unbiblical it is.

Bottom line - I see absolutely no difference between saying you have to do good works to maintain your salvation and saying you do good works to prove you are a Christian. There is no difference.

Romans 9:14-16(NIV)
"What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses,
"I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy."

Galatians 3:2-3(NIV)
"I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?"

IFBReformer

IfbReformer
04-17-2003, 03:27 PM
Originally posted by Daniel David:
Easy believism essentially denies the role of repentance. In order for a person to come to Jesus, he must repent of his current course of life and turn to the Lord.

Paul lauded the Thessalonians for turning from idols to the true and living God.

If a presentation is given without any mention of repentance, it is an incomplete gospel and easy believism.

It also denies the role of repentance in what is commonly called sanctification. Repentance is something believers will do their entire life. As they grow in the Lord, they turn from more and more of the world. repentance - is really key to this discussion. Both sides believe in it but they define it differently.

repentance means a change of mind about something.

Free Grace or "Easy Believism" advocates believe the repentance required for salvation is change in mind about the our condition.

We must acknowledge that we are sinners(a difficult thing for most of us to do) and acknowledge we are in need of a savior. We must accept the free pardon of sin by the blood of Christ for us on the cross. The very fact the we must acknowledge that we are sinners is very biblical for salvation and I think for any believer when they come to Christ their will be a godly sorrow for their sinful state.

Lordship or Means of Salvation advocates on the other hand, believe that repentance is not only changing ones mind about being a sinner and needing a savior, but actually turning from and stopping sinning.

I think that they do not realize though that when they were saved they did not really turn from their sin - maybe they gave up a bad habit or two, but they did not really "turn from" or leave their sin. They probably sinned within the first five minutes after they were saved.

The difference was five minutes after they were saved the Holy Spirit begins to convict them about their sin. They can then choose to something about that conviction or grieve the Spirit by ignoring it.

In some churches I have even heard Pastors of the Lordship persuasion say if a Christian has a bad habit(like smoking or ect...) or some other kind of habitual sin they have never been able to have victory over they may never have really been saved. This is where the LordShip and Means of Salvation mentality leads.

IFBReformer

Scott J
04-17-2003, 03:34 PM
Originally posted by IfbReformer:
While I believe the whole Lordship salvation and mean of salvation advocates mean well they do not realize the implications of what they are saying. No. Actually, I believe that you are wrong about the implications of what I am saying.

You say repentance is required for salvation - we agree, but is a change of mind of about who we are who Christ is. Both. It is the acknowledgment ...accepting the fact that we can do nothing to merit our salvation. No objection to any of this.

My fellow brothers in the Lord - "must" and "will" are the same thing whether you realize it or not. No. They are not the same thing. "Will" does not demand compulsion but simply says that something is going to happen in the future and in fact implies a positive choice on the part of the believer. "Must" asserts an obligation, in this case, against one's will.

Your ideology causes people to think they must(not will) do good works in order to prove they are Christians. I hope not but that would in no way disprove the idea.

Rather, this ideology simply agrees with scripture that when someone is made a new creation in Christ- behavior changes and they bear fruit as evidence of the change. They are left with wondering whether they have done enough to prove this to you. Frankly, no one has to prove anything to me. There are several folks from my church to whom Jesus is not manifestly Lord. I don't know if they are saved and wouldn't judge them... only pray for them. God may have a work to do in their life that I know nothing of. I can be satisfied with that since these folks hear the gospel and exhortations to bear fruit- it is up to the Holy Spirit to move them, not me.

Instead, what is the biblical motivation for doing good works as Christian - is it to prove we are Christians or is it as an act of love for Christ? It is an act of love and obedience toward Christ. Do you have a citation from someone leaning toward Lordship salvation that says any different?

When I have taught Sunday School my motivation to my students for commitment to ministries at church and holy living was not to prove that they were Christians but to show there love for Christ. Ditto.

Sin hurts us here and now - even if it does not cost our eternal salvation. ... that we must prove we are Christian(as the Lordship and means of salvation groups say). This is a mischaracterization. It is not a matter of proving but a matter of natural outcome.

If you planted an apple tree this spring it never produced even a single new leaf... and it became dry and brittle. The question wouldn't be "Is it an apple tree?". The question would be "Is it dead or alive?"

is that they tend to be very judgmental. They look at someone and they say -"well he can't be a Christian because he does this...." or "she probably isn't a Christian because she does not do this...." Are you sure this is an outcome of this particular belief? I have been around alot of 1-2-3 pray with me types and find them the most judgmental of all.

Guys I know where you are coming from - I used to look at things very similiar to you until I realized how unbiblical it is. How many scriptures do you require to prove that genuine conversion results in genuine change?

I see absolutely no difference between saying you have to do good works to maintain your salvation and saying you do good works to prove you are a Christian. Your failure to see it not withstanding, I do not ascribe to the notion that one must prove their salvation. I ascribe to the notion that God will change the redeemed and conform them to the image of Christ.

Thankful
04-17-2003, 03:40 PM
Originally posted by Daniel David:
Easy believism essentially denies the role of repentance. In order for a person to come to Jesus, he must repent of his current course of life and turn to the Lord.

Paul lauded the Thessalonians for turning from idols to the true and living God.

If a presentation is given without any mention of repentance, it is an incomplete gospel and easy believism.

It also denies the role of repentance in what is commonly called sanctification. Repentance is something believers will do their entire life. As they grow in the Lord, they turn from more and more of the world. Thank you for explaining this in a simple way because I believe the plan of salvation and presenting it is simple and easy. It is so easy that many people think that it is too easy to be true. With this explanation, I see the difference in what you are referring to as easy believism.

I see your point: A person must repent of their sins. Ask God to forgive their sins. Invite Jesus into his life as Savior and Lord. Thank Jesus for entering his life and commit himself to live for Jesus.

"That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
Romans 10:9

There should be a change in the person's behavior, a repentance of sin.

HankD
04-17-2003, 04:58 PM
Dear Scott,

For the most part I agree with your response.

Except…

If this is what you think Easy believism is then you are confused about the term. Easy believism specifically involves the unregenerate going through the motions of conversion- being deceived and deceving others about their spiritual state.Well that is exactly it, you have to redefine the term to get to the real issue.
If Easy believism "specifically involves" something other than exactly what the term means in the raw definition of the two plain words - belief being easy, then perhaps it should be specifically called what the misnomer "easy-believism" alludes to in the manner in which you have defined it : "phony-believism".

I repeat, I just don't like the term "easy-believism" because believing is "easy" for me.
Is it has never been difficult for me to believe in Jesus Christ, I have never had to struggled with it.
It is second-nature to me.
On the other hand, I have struggled with the crucifixion of my flesh.
And I don't think I am different than any other child of God.

So, I repeat, to me there is something flawed about the term "easy-believism".
It doesn't fit the problem (as you defined it) "the unregenerate going through the motions of conversion" because you see there is no "believism" on their part easy or otherwise.

It is semantics: "phony-believism" or using the KJV word "feigned-believism" is to me a better phrase and less confusing all around.

This confusion is born out here in this thread in the attempts at the definition of "not-easy-believism".
If "easy-believism" does not define true belief in Christ what does one call this true belief? "difficult-believism"?

The part of the Salvation of the Lord that is often difficult to endure is the reproval or conviction of sin.
When He (the Spirit) is done with this revelation of sin and the door of faith is opened, how sweet and easy it is to enter! A latter difficulty is His personal revelation of our flesh nature which needs to be mortified.

The term "Easy-believism" (imo) just doesn't provide enough focus or distinction as to what is difficult and what is easy in the conversion of the sinner.

So Scott, to sum up, I agree with your redefinition of "easy-believism" the real problem, "phony-believism", the pretenders, the tares among the wheat who will be with us as He said until the end of the age.

Zechariah 14:21… and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.

HankD

Scott J
04-17-2003, 06:38 PM
Hank, I didn't make up the term. And while it might be a misnomer, I know from observation what it entails. I know of a church that claimed to have 14K people saved one year... but only had a membership of about 800 with attendance, not counting the large children's bus ministry they ran, of 300-600.

Certainly some out of that 14K were truly saved and will be sanctified by the Holy Spirit unto good works. On the other hand, 100's if not 1000's of them now think they are assured of heaven who are as lost as they were before they uttered that scripted prayer.

One of the ways this is perpetrated is by asking if someone wants to go to heaven. Who doesn't? But the failure comes in when they either brush over or completely ignore the implications and gravity of repentance and saving faith.

Daniel David
04-17-2003, 07:07 PM
Originally posted by Thankful:
"That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
Romans 10:9Thankful, this is a great verse and one that I was going to put forth.

What does Paul say about salvation? One must believe in your heart that God has raised from the dead the LORD Jesus.

People must turn to the Lord. How exactly is it turning to the Lord if a person merely mentally subscribes to the fact that he has risen from the dead? This is a critical point. The very fact that people must turn to the Lord, is because they are presently at cross-purposes with him. They need to stop what they are doing and embrace Christ the Lord (not just savior as some would say).

Example: say a person is living in adultery. He does a historical study of Christ and concludes that he is indeed God. He never leaves his adultery. In fact, he loves it.

Someone approaches him and tells him that he shouldn't live that way. The adulteror needs to turn to Jesus and embrace him as savior. The adulteror says he already knows he is God and that Christ died for his sins and raised on the third day.

Easy believism advocate = EBA
Man in adultery = MIA

What does the easy-believism person say now?

EBA - Um, the Bible says you need to stop doing that.

MIA - Why? I am already saved and can't lose my salvation.

EBA - How do you know you are saved?

MIA - I believe Jesus is God and that he died for my sins and rose again, like I already told you. Now, have a nice day.

EBA - ?????

IfbReformer
04-17-2003, 11:45 PM
Originally posted by Daniel David:

Example: say a person is living in adultery. He does a historical study of Christ and concludes that he is indeed God. He never leaves his adultery. In fact, he loves it.

Someone approaches him and tells him that he shouldn't live that way. The adulteror needs to turn to Jesus and embrace him as savior. The adulteror says he already knows he is God and that Christ died for his sins and raised on the third day.

Easy believism advocate = EBA
Man in adultery = MIA

What does the easy-believism person say now?

EBA - Um, the Bible says you need to stop doing that.

MIA - Why? I am already saved and can't lose my salvation.

EBA - How do you know you are saved?

MIA - I believe Jesus is God and that he died for my sins and rose again, like I already told you. Now, have a nice day.

EBA - ????? Daniel David,

Here let me fill in the ???? for you as to what the EBA person would say at the end here.

"If you continue in your adultery and you are truly one of his God will chasten you. You cannot sin with impunity against God. Sometimes God will even take you home early if you do not acknowledge your sin and turn from it.

You will not be able to serve in a church or be a member of a church. The quality of your Christian life will be zero.

I will pray for you that you will leave this sinful lifestyle."

Hope that helps with your question Daniel.

IFBReformer

Don
04-18-2003, 12:01 AM
I understand Hank's frustration here.

I know of a man who knocked on a door, and three children answered. He asked if their parents were home, and the children responded that mom was at the store. He proceeded to talk with the children, asking them about the Bible, and if they knew who Jesus was. It was obvious to the observer(s) that the children were answering his questions with a great measure of guardedness, as if they simply wanted him to go away and leave them alone. He proceeded to lead them in the sinner's prayer, which they dutifully repeated after him, after which he proudly told them they were saved. They said thank you, and closed the door. He then thumped his Bible, proclaimed "Hallelujah!" and asked the observer(s) what they thought of that.

THAT is what "easy believism" has come to be known as. It should be known as "it's easy to be a child of God"; but somehow some of us have gotten into this thought train of "quantity instead of quality."

If we would focus on the quality--God's Word itself--instead of the quantity, then we'd be more fixated on actually making sure people see what God's Word says, that people know what God's Word says, that people KNOW GOD, instead of this thing that has become "repeat after me...."

Hank, I agree with you. But the above story is what "easy believism" has come to mean to me, and why I choose focus on "Do you have a relationship with God?"

HankD
04-18-2003, 02:07 AM
Dear Don,

And I can understand the frustration of Scott and others concerning the mixed multitude.

I am similarly frustrated with the term "Lordship Salvation" which seems to be the solution to so-called "easy-believism".
Personally I have never wanted it any other way than for Jesus Christ to be my Lord, my God and my Savior and even those terms seem inadequate.

Problem:
But I have never lived up to it on my part.
I have done more crash and burns than I wish to remember. To often this Lordship salvation comes across as what is commonly called "sinless perfection" I realize now from the BB that this is not so, but if one says to a carnal babe "If Christ is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all!" with no other explanation, then the little one (spiritually) may fall into a despair if he/she is struggling to overcome fleshy desires and give up.

Yes, as Scott reminded me, there is a danger of lawlessness in the camp as well as the offending these little ones (which also has a desparate consequence).

Judges 12
5 And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was so, that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, Art thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay;
6 Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand.

So, I think the solution is to avoid these confusing doctrinal shortcuts and shibboleths which bewilder babes and carnal Christians, not even understanding why they are being condemned. But to pray for wisdom and gifts from above to nurture the flock, present sound doctrine and grant space for spiritual growth.
And to deal with individuals.

I think we are to quick to hack away at the flock.


HankD

Me2
04-18-2003, 10:20 AM
Is Lordship salvation derive or based in an orthodox religion or is it prevelant among all ?.

I simply see this as another form of legalism.
at best elitism.

I also dont equate the term "easy believism" with the results that the proponents of lordship salvation followers use.

why dont they change it to:
"too bad that you dont know enough at initial new-birth-ism"

lordship salvation (imo) gives one the image of being or becoming judgemental of self and others when a "so-called" believer fails to meet the standards perscribed completely and immediately..

ie..Lack of mercy

HankD
04-18-2003, 10:44 AM
I also dont equate the term "easy believism" with the results that the proponents of lordship salvation followers use.
Thats correct, neither do I except to say it is another masonic type catch-phrase (shibboleth) which if used will prove to others that we are of the Lordship Salvation camp ("difficult-believism") as opposed to the "easy-believers" camp.

My opinion of course.

HankD

Me2
04-18-2003, 11:03 AM
I see lordship salvation as somewhat misleading.

everyone is expected to accept Jesus as lord. and can be believed in a positional base. yet not experientially proven.

some never prove it by upsurping the progression of the sanctification process making the term incorrect also. (lord,Lord) thus not making the definition experientially real (or true) to the believer.

so absolute titles are nice when you have 20/20 "hindsight".

and then theres that real-time judging others before proven effect.

slaughtering the flock...

Scott J
04-18-2003, 01:03 PM
Originally posted by Me2:
I see lordship salvation as somewhat misleading.

everyone is expected to accept Jesus as lord. and can be believed in a positional base. yet not experientially proven. Can you provide a scriptural example to prove this? Is there a NT case where someone accepted Christ as Savior without a change in behavior, a true conversion from the old man to the new? Even the thief on the cross used some of his last few breathes to testify and exalt Christ.

How do you dispense with the scriptures that tell us that Christians will be fruitful and will be conformed to Christ?

some never prove it by upsurping the progression of the sanctification process making the term incorrect also. (lord,Lord) thus not making the definition experientially real (or true) to the believer. Can you maybe rephrase this? I am having a hard time following you.

and then theres that real-time judging others before proven effect.

slaughtering the flock... There may be abuses as there are with any teaching but the object isn't to judge others in the sense that you imply. Christians are supposed to be discerning. We are given numerous standards by which to judge true believers as opposed to pretenders... one of which is love for the brethren.

If someone makes a profession of faith and never changes in a discernable way rejecting all efforts to be discipled then it is not unfair for Christians to compare them to the standard set forth in scripture.

It is not "loving" toward the "flock" to let them think everything is OK when they have never genuinely been saved. There is also no need to pick a single person out and say because you have/haven't done this, that, or the other then Christ isn't Lord therefore you are not saved. A saved person who hears the exhortation to make Christ Lord will want to do it even if it doesn't come to immediate fruition... the desire will be there.

Dr. Bob
04-18-2003, 01:32 PM
Many know a famous (now dead) ifb pastor Jack Hyles who is the guru of easy believism. At a seminar at FBC Hammond, at which I was personally in attendance, Dr Hyles was asked about this fact that thousands were "saved" and baptized in his church annually but there was no more evidence of true conversion.

He said that he would be "thrilled" if 10-15% of these converts were truly born again.

Which means 90% had believed (something) prayed (a repeat-after-me ditty) and think they can live the way they want with impugnity because they have "fire insurance" . . and will end up in hell.

That is more than "sad". That is eternally tragic. graemlins/tear.gif

Me2
04-18-2003, 01:54 PM
First..the object of anything of God is for it to be given by christ..

such as "fruit" from the tree of life.
as it is with any rule or standard set within the parameters of our new spirit.

the difference is how we receieve the fruit or rule.

we "take" it from christ, or he "gives" it.

here man is "taking" authority of overseeing other men's beliefs and works. and "taking" reponsibility of micromanaging Gods message by "adding" to it.

by adding to it, is expecting men to understand when they have no proof, no need or no comprehension of what is necessary in salvation, towards needing a God or even a "Savior"..and even beyond that, needing a lord.. man must learn what his spirit is by Gods methods, standards and timing.

after they receive the FREE gift of the Spirit.

in todays religions..we might have plurific circulation of Religious messages but God selects who and when each individual is initially save. when they receive new spirits and when to draw them to himself.
and when he does..it is without education.

we learn what happens later.

rom 11:29 for the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

and how can we be drawn to God if we dont poccess his spirit within us.

we do nothing on our part, but receive.
we dont not even understand...

think to yourself..if you repent and ask.

isnt that adding to? prompting? even tempting?

by the time your asking...your already "saved".

any asking or repentance is merely..
a response on your part to an overwhealming invitation..

which could have been years in the making!

and comprehending of lordship
is far down the road of education..
after some trials and tribulations....

does lordship salvation have within it..
the doctrine of the law killing our flesh?
lets see..we call that sanctification..

because until the law does indeed kill our flesh
our old man still thinks its alive and on its throne.

until we die to our flesh, we are our own lord and IN NEED OF NO OTHER.

and that doesnt occur upon initial salvation...
for some, it takes years.

Lordship salvation is a misnomer until proven.
one person at a time....

Daniel David
04-18-2003, 02:20 PM
One's theology dictates what they do and why they do it.

Even if you say that repentance is just a change of mind about who Christ is, that still implies a need to change the rest of you. Christ is the Lord. He died to crush sin. He is holy and "without holiness, none shall see the Lord". How does only changing your mind mesh with the person and work of Christ? You still need to change your lifestyle.

Classic example:

A man and woman are living together. They both get saved at the same time. They must repent of their sin and either separate or be married (whichever would address why they are living together). If such never happened, they never truly embraced Christ. Their own personal lord is sex (or whatever warped sense of "love" they have for each other). They are still in a form of idolatry.

Paul address the Thessalonian believers as those who TURNED FROM IDOLS TO THE LIVING GOD.

That is Lordship salvation. It does not guarantee that people are perfect or will live perfectly. It is saying that saving faith will cherish Christ above EVERYTHING else. So no sin competes with Christ as the master or lord.

You cannot serve two masters (this is a theological truth that transcends the application of money and God).

Btw, it is a theological debate whether a person has one or two natures at the new birth. That should not color your interpretation of what kind of faith actually saves a person.

Finally, IFB and others, the means-of-salvation view (IMHBAO) addresses and removes all of the judging and criticism that the Lordship controversy creates. Please study the position before you cast it off.

Dr. Bob
04-18-2003, 08:42 PM
Thanks Daniel for a clear explanation.

The "basics" MUST be: "the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God . . " (Heb 6:1) and "how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God".

THEN we can get into deeper study and understanding. If people want to call these "basics" LORDSHIP is their choice; I opt not to. But I preach them over and over and over again. It IS basic!