Don Fortner's Lawlessness

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Andrew C Bain, Apr 27, 2005.

  1. Andrew C Bain

    Andrew C Bain
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    Apr 6, 2005
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    Fortner boldly affirms that believers have nothing to do with the moral Law for direction in their lives, thus asserting that God has left believers Law-less (without a law). In fact, despite claiming that his "rule of life is the whole Word of God," Fortner rejects the truth that the Ten Commandments are commands; indeed, it seems that Fortner's god gives out no commands, for that may violate Fortner's concept of the "voluntary" nature of obedience. Yet, the Lord Jesus Christ said that the entire Old Testament hangs on the Ten Commandments (or the summary of it, Matt22:40). In other words, the application of the Old Testament to the believer's life is founded on -- literally, "hangs on" -- the Ten Commandments. By the Law, for instance, the Apostle Paul understood that he was a sinner. "But I did not know sin except through Law; for also I did not know lust except the Law said, "You shall not lust."(Rom7:7). Evidently, the Law is not a means of obtaining God's favor or a grounds for establishing a righteousness of our own, for the Apostle states that by this Law, believers know they are sinful, unrighteous, and condemned except for the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ. Knowing that only the finished work of Christ saves, believers look to, delight in, love, and serve this Law with newness of spirit (not the spirit of bondage). After all, their Master Jesus Christ obeyed this eternal Law, and servants are not above their masters, are they?

    Clearly, believers need a standard for living. Even Fortner seems to recognise the absurdity of eliminating the moral Law from the believer's life. He states that the life of the believer is "given over to the rule" of Christ. Well, if someone is under the rule of Christ, would not there be *rules* to follow? And are not rules, laws, and laws, rules? After all, how could a believer know they were "seeking conformity" (Fortner's words) to Christ if their was no moral Law to conform to? Believers need a standard for living. This standard is the royal eternal Law -- the moral Law.

    "Do not think that I came to annul the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to annul, but to fulfill. Truly I say to you, Until the heaven and the earth pass away, in no way shall one iota or one point pass away from the Law until all comes to pass. Therefore, whoever relaxes one of these commandments, the least, and shall teach men so, he shall be called least in the kingdom of Heaven. But whoever does and teaches them, this one shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven." (Matthew 5:17-19)

    What are the consequences of rejecting the moral Law? The moment the moral Law is taken away from our view, and our obligation to obedience according to it, the gospel at the same time is removed; for what is the gospel but a declaration that the Law is fulfilled by Jesus the Messiah and Substitute? If we lose sight of the moral Law, we lose sight of sin; if we lose sight of sin, we cannot pray to our Father to forgive us our sins; prayer is restrained, and we are hypocrites; we lose sight of Jesus the Savior from sin; we lose sight of the gospel; and, if we lose sight of Jesus and of the gospel, then also of God, and Him absolutely. The moment the moral Law is taken away from our view, and our obligation to obedience according to it, the gospel at the same time is removed; for what is the gospel but a declaration that the Law is fulfilled by Jesus the Messiah and Substitute?

    If therefore we mean to rejoice in Jesus, and not to be downright Atheists, Christless and Godless, without hope in the world, we must hold fast the true doctrine concerning the moral Law. If we misapprehend the truth of the Law, we must assuredly do, at the same instant, lose sight of the gospel.

    As a man, unconscious of any charge against him, can have no knowledge nor joy in any discharge; if he knows not the former (the charge), he must laugh at the latter (the discharge). If one is conscious of no crime, a pardon he scorns: so all, who mistake the true meaning and use of the Law, do the same in regard of the gospel. Therefore, were it only for the sake of the gospel, we must hold the Law. The gospel has no meaning, and it is only an empty sound, unless we consider it as bearing its own due reference to the Law. If you burn, therefore, with zeal for the benefits of the gospel, you will embrace, love, delight in and serve in newness of spirit, the Law in the Mediator’s hand; “being not without Law to God, but under the Law to Christ.”(1Cor9:21). The Law bore testimony to Christ, and is now magnified and made honourable by Him to all those who are married to Him, who are joined to Him, and one spirit with Him. “What God, therefore, has joined together, let no man separate." (Matt19:6)

    Ironically, it is Fortner who is the unregenerate legalist. He writes, "But without baptism faith is not complete," making the knowledge and understanding (faith) that the Holy Spirit gives to believers incomplete without the works of man; the believer (says Fortner) must "complete" his faith by works, such as water baptism.

    Fortner you hate the eternal Law, and thus the eternal Lawgiver. You do not understand the Just God and Savior, and hence, are as lost as any Arminian. The gospel is God's promise to save His people based on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. Repent and believe the gospel!

    Andrew C. Bain
  2. billwald

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    Jun 28, 2000
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    The Heidelberg Catechism teaches that we obey the 10 Cs in thankfulness to god's grace bestowed upon us - not as an obligation.

    Can a person be a Christian or a Boy Scout and not follow them? The Boy Scout Law is more inclusive.

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