Easy-Believism

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by evangelist6589, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    Recently I have been asked to define the term and so to not derail that thread I have started another focused on the topic. First let me say that degrees of easy-believism are throughout the church as well as the opposite called Lordship Salvation. Easy-Believism is a form of so called evangelism that is very common in my church as well as many others. In our church they use alter calls and invite people to come forward and pray a prayer, but the word REPENTANCE and submission to the Lordship of Christ is ignored. In a tract that my church passed out hundreds of last saturday it states that in order to be saved one must confess, believe and pray a prayer, but not once is the word REPENTANCE used, nor submission to the Lordship of Christ. The Bible is quite clear that those that are in christ are new creations (2 Cor 5:17) and those that love God will do what he says and submit to His Lordship. Mt 7:21-23 is a great verse to illustrate this and a common passage I use in my open air preaching.

    True and False Disciples
    (NIV)
    21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

    Besides the issue of Lordship the easy-believism message is very man centered and thinks that man can choose God without God first granting faith and repentance.

    Mt 15:13-14
    13 He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Leave them; they are blind guides.[a] If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

    The pharisees were blind guides and could only lead the blind and follow the blind. Man is blind without God and only God can plant the seed of faith and repentance in the heart of man. Man centered easy-believism fails to see this as it teaches that man can choose God without God granting the gifts in the first place.

    Note this is just a start of a topic that has had many books.

    Books for more study on this topic
    The Gospel According to Jesus
    Faith Works
    Hard to Believe
    Paul Washer's recovering the Gospel Series
    The Way of the Master
     
    #1 evangelist6589, Jun 17, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2014
  2. Winman

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    It is going right over your head. The false converts in Mat 7:21-22 called Jesus "Lord, Lord" and did many wonderful works in his name. These are Lordship Salvationists if ever there was one.

    Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
    22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

    What they did not do is completely trust and rely on Jesus alone to save them.

    To trust Jesus alone to save you is like the old "lifenets" fire departments used to use. If someone was trapped in a high-rise, firemen would hold a large net and call for the person to jump, promising to catch them. By faith the person would jump, and hopefully the firemen would do a good job and catch them.

    Salvation is the same. It is not working your way, that would be like trying to climb down yourself, you will fall to your death.

    No, you must jump and totally commit yourself to Jesus and him alone to save you. Salvation is not holding on, or enduring to the end, it is LETTING GO, it is jumping and letting Jesus catch and save you.

    [​IMG]

    How hard is it to jump?
     
  3. SolaSaint

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    Easy believism is the scourge of the modern church. It is easy and non offensive to preach and many are following this path. It is not easy to find a genuine doctrinally sound church any more. :thumbsup:
     
  4. Winman

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    Actually it is almost impossible to get people to simply believe on Jesus, almost everyone has to add works or some other condition to salvation.

    Easy believism is not easy at all.
     
  5. SolaSaint

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    Actually it has nothing to do with works, easy believism removes offensiveness of the gospel to make it easier to make a decision. Just add Jesus to your life and remain as you are and you can have a wonderful life. The OP spelled this out.

    The easy believism of Rick Warren and Bill Hybels have filled thousands of churches with tares and goats.
     
  6. Revmitchell

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    Rick Warren does not hold to easy believism.
     
  7. InTheLight

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    So, in your world these people are false converts because they weren't preached repentance:

    1. The Phillipian jailer: "What must I do to be saved?" "Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved." [no mention of repentance]

    2. Nicodemus: "You must be born again." "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life." [no mention of repentance]

    3. The Ethiopian Eunuch Acts 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him.
    36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?”
    37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”
    And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” [no repentance preached]

    4. The thief on the cross. "Today you shall be with me in paradise." [no mention of repentance]

    5. Hundreds of people at the church at Rome. Romans 10:9 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. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” [no mention of repentance]

    6. Paul didn't preach repentance to Felix in Acts 24: 24 And after some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. 25 Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.”

    7. Stephen did not preach repentance in his lengthy sermon in Acts 7.

    8. When Jesus appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus, repentance was not mentioned.

    9. In 1 Cor. 15, the classic summary of the gospel is given by the apostle Paul, and the word repentance is not used.

    So, just as you claim your church does not have the proper formula ("In our church they use alter calls and invite people to come forward and pray a prayer" and "in order to be saved one must confess, believe and pray a prayer") neither is your formula necessarily correct--Way of the Master, the law, and repentance.

    Besides, since God is sovereign, who are you to say that people that come forward at an altar call, confess their sins, ask for forgiveness, and confess that Jesus is God and was crucified and rose again aren't saved? Maybe they are the Elect.
     
    #7 InTheLight, Jun 17, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2014
  8. SolaSaint

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    Rev, I must disagree, Warren is this worlds biggest proponent of it. Have you ever watched him preach?
     
  9. Revmitchell

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    Not only have I watched him preach but I know many of his people.
     
  10. SolaSaint

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    His people? I have been to one of his seminars or training sessions for church growth and if that is what you mean by his people, they are a bunch of slick marketers IMO. To Warren Christianity has become a business proposition. I feel he has good intentions but is deceived.
     
  11. JamesL

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    John,
    you didn't define "easy believism", either as a phrase or a theological position. You only described some methods employed by some who you believe to be advocating "easy believism"

    I subscribe to the doctrine of justification which was first called easy believism.

    Just a few points:

    1) 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. (from Monergism.com) - http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/qna/easybelieve.html

    1) "Easy believism" is not a "position", per se. It is a derogatory slur, meant to aid in discrediting a position - very much like when I refer to John MacArthur's radio program as "Works to you" instead of by its actual name. It's nothing but a derogatory slur that is meant to pack more punch than a 1,000 word treatise. But these derogatory slurs (even mine) are usually useless to anyone other than those who agree with the one using it.

    2) Easy believism technically refers to the "Free Grace" position that one must believe in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life. Sola Gratia, per Sola Fide - Grace Alone thru Faith Alone. Faith in Christ, plus nothing. Faith in Christ, minus nothing. To say that some church uses altar calls and sinner's prayers, and call that easy believism is a misunderstanding of what easy believism actually teaches. Or......

    3) The "Free Grace" position has been so horribly misrepresented by its opponents, that some ought to lose their ministerial credentials for such blatant dishonesty.

    Look at this quote:

    http://www.theopedia.com/Non-lordship_salvation

    Virtually everyone today who throws around the term "easy believism" parrots some of these lines. However....

    It is a blatant falsehood to say that easy believism implies there is no "corresponding need" for a committed life of Christian discipleship. There is absolutely a corresponding need, but there is not a corresponding inevitability.

    If there was no need for discipleship, we would not have so many New Testament encouragements and warnings to persevere, endure, follow, etc. On the other hand, if there was inevitability of discipleship, we would not have so many New Testament encouragements and warnings to persevere, endure, follow, etc.

    Easy believism does not teach decisional regeneration. No one, at no time, was ever justified or regenerated because he made a decision.

    To my knowledge, there isn't any advocate of easy believism who actually teaches that we "accept Christ". One believes upon Christ, then HE accepts US on account of faith in Him.

    Easy believism is by no means Arminian. I hold to that view of justification called "easy believism". And if someone ever calls me an Arminian, I'm gonna be looking to punch him in the nose. I have never been called such a vile name as Arminian, and would hope I never am.

    Here is another:

    I really want to slap people who accuse "easy believism" of teaching any such notion of mere intellectual assent to some facts.

    Recently, my 8 year old son has been inquiring greatly about salvation and his eternal destiny, and I instruct him more fully to believe upon Christ. I've used scripture, parables (my own), rhetoric, etc., to convey to him that one must believe the gospel. And just this past weekend, we spent an hour discussing the difference between believing facts ABOUT Christ, and believing IN Christ.

    I've explained that while we're trusting God to save us, it is not a generic god, but the Word of God made flesh. And that we aren't saved because we believe a story, or we believe facts. I've taught him that we trust HIM, not our knowledge ABOUT Him. This is the one issue which makes me the most sick. It has been explained over and over again to the likes of MacArthur, and he still does it.

    If someone honestly believes "assent to facts" is what constitutes faith, then he doesn't understand faith at all. And when someone insists that "faith is not just facts, but includes commitment", he is basically teaching that salvation is by "facts plus works", neither of which saves


    And Dispensational theology is NOT the foundation of Easy Believism. Easy Believism relates to the doctrine of justification. I adhere to Easy Believism, and I am not a Dispensationalist. I hold to a Premillennial, Post Tribulation view, but I also believe that there is one body of believers, both before and after the cross, together in Christ.
     
  12. SolaSaint

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    James obviously your version of easy believism is a different animal than what is being discussed here. If I can speak for the OP, I would say he means those who have people just sign a card to accept Christ (or similar gimmicks) and yes that is done in some churches, I've seen it. Evan if I'm not representing your OP, please set me straight.

    Where did you get the disdain for Mac? I think you are misrepresenting him.
     
    #12 SolaSaint, Jun 17, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2014
  13. convicted1

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    Just touch the tee vee screen, and repeat these words after me, and voila! You're a christian.


    Now, just dial the # at the bottom of the sreen and we'll send you our pamphlets on how to live the christian life...by our terms....

    Also, you'll need to send us a check for $99.95 to cover the S&H charges...
     
  14. Winman

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    Whether you like it or not, Jesus makes salvation seem very "easy" in scripture.

    Jhn 4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

    This was Jesus speaking to the Samaritan women in John 4. Jesus knew this woman had been married 5 times, and that she was presently living with a man outside of marriage when he spoke to her.

    Did Jesus tell her she had to give up her sinful lifestyle to be saved? Did Jesus say she must be very, very sorry to get saved? Did Jesus say she must turn over her life to him immediately and obey all his commands to get saved?

    NOPE.

    Jesus simply said that if the woman knew who he was (the Christ) and the gift of God (eternal life) she would ASK, and he would have given her living water (the Holy Spirit).

    Sounds pretty easy to me.
     
  15. convicted1

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    Jesus did state, "Repent and believe the gospel". :thumbsup: (Mark 1:15)
     
    #15 convicted1, Jun 18, 2014
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  16. Winman

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    #16 Winman, Jun 18, 2014
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  17. convicted1

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    John 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

    :thumbsup: ????
     
  18. Winman

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    So, you would consider letting a doctor operate on you a work of your hands?

    And if you allowed a lawyer to handle your case that would be you working? Maybe you can get out of paying him. :laugh:

    Or, you think hanging in a parachute while it brings you to the ground is you working?

    And asking Jesus would be a work?

    Lots of folks ask for all sorts of government money, I didn't realize they were working. :rolleyes:
     
  19. Winman

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    I don't know Willis, if you think lying on an operating table completely unconscious while a surgeon operates on you is working, then we simply have different definitions for the word "work".

    There is no need to go further, we can never agree.
     
  20. convicted1

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    No Brother Wes. Believing on Jesus as your/mine/their Saviour is a work of God. Most people don't truly believe a loving God, a "God of love", would ever toss them into eternal torment. If God doesn't override their notion(s), they'll never change on their own accord.

    Look at it like this. I am not using the "dead as a corpse" ideology, but "dead to righteousness" ideology. There are people, both straight and gay, who do not believe homosexuality is a sin. They don't. I have a twitter account, and one of the guys I follow on there, who is with football...can't remember his name now, stated it wasn't a sin. I should have unfollowed him right there, but sadly, I didn't...but any hoo... Then there's pologamy, and those who don't think it's a sin, either. God has to override this in order for them to truly sin how sinful pologamy and homosexuality is.

    You are closer to my/our view when you posted this....


    This is exactly what Christ did, and does. In your view, you jump up from the defendant's table and plead your case with Him. You stated numerous times that sinners cooperate with their salvation. So in your view, you are not only the defendant, but also a co-attorney. Please do not taking this as me being offensive, because I am not...just my observation....:praying: :saint:
     

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