Free grace movement...

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Jarthur001, May 6, 2007.

  1. Jarthur001

    Jarthur001
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    From the site...
    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2006/04/biblical-response-to-free-grace.html

    This so called theology is bad theology .....

     
  2. EdSutton

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    I suspect that I am about as strong an advocate of free grace as there is on the BB. And FTR, I also happen to be an associate member of the Grace Evangelical Society, as well as know a few other members of said Society, including having conversed with both Dr. Wilkin and Prof. Hodges, at my own considerable expense over the phone a couple of times each. And this 'article' puts forth some things that I do not agree with, nor would I suspect that Hodges nor Wilkin would necessarily either. Again, FTR, I do not necessarily agree with everything anyone writes, per se, save the authors of Scripture.

    Part of this has to do with definitions. The first is that of 'repentance'. I have posted several times on this board that I do believe and teach that repentance is absolutely necessary for salvation. But I do not believe that "repenting of one(s) sins" is the repentance that is in focus, Biblically, for salvation. And I have posted the same more than once, in detail, and will not do so again, as I would have to compose from scratch, to do it, or spend several hours finding this on the remaining 500 posts that stay on the BB, if it would even be in those last 500 posts, and I have posted well over 3500 posts in a year and a half. I'll sum it up in a short bit. I believe that repentance that is necessary for salvation, in essence and consistent with the NT term 'metanoeO', is a change of mind, is the 'flip-side' so to speak of believe/faith, and is directed toward God and away from 'dead works' (Acts. 20:21, Heb. 6:1) No other definiton of the 'content' of the word repent/repentance (metanoe/metanoia) is consistent with the redundant 'free' grace ['grace' (charis) that is not free by definition, or has conditions imposed, is not grace, at all, but some other theological monstrosity] that through believe/faith results in salvation. And I suspect that most other mis-named 'free-gracers' would be in substantial agreement with this, as well.

    The second charge I reject is that 'free-grace' is a supposed 'license to sin' or a thinly veiled Anti-nomianism, at best. What I do reject, is any back-door attempt to load works into faith, by whatever means, and therefore attempt to 'guarantee' that one will 'walk in good works', whatever that is supposed to mean, else one was not "really, truly, and genuinely" saved, because they never "really and truly believed" to begin with.

    Scripture knows nothing of the words "really and truly believe", nor of the words "really, truly, and genuinely saved", but it does speak of "believe" and "believe not", and also saved and lost. . And those are the only differences the Bible knows, as to this subject of salvation, in this context.

    Hope that helps someone.

    Ed
     
    #2 EdSutton, May 7, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2007
  3. J. Jump

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    Actually the Bible speaks of saved and unsaved/eternally damned. Lost has unfortunately and wrongly been fused together with eternally damned. Lost in context of Scripture is not eternally damned or unsaved in an eternal sense. Just thought I would throw that in the mix :)

    And while grace is free to those that will receive it, grace was actually EXTREMELY costly to the Giver!

    As to the OP I don't know of many folks that believe in the Biblical definition of salvation that would also agree the Biblical teaching of the gospel of the kingdom, so to say that is a majority view would be very inaccurate IMO.
     
  4. Martin

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    As a person who was trapped in the so-called "Free Grace Movement" for several years I can honestly say that I believe its theology is dangerous. It is not dangerous because it up lifts grace, it is not dangerous because it denies the gospel, it is dangerous because it seeks to give assurance to people who show no fruit/sign of being truly regenerated. I believe the biggest problem with the "Free Grace Movement" is that it denies the power of the new birth, the power of regeneration.

    How did I get trapped? I was saved in 1995 through the ministry of In Touch (Charles Stanley). After spending my first year as a Christian struggling with issues such as eternal security and the unpardonable sin, I read Stanley's book "Eternal Security: Can You Be Sure". Through his book I was introduced to Zane Hodges and started reading his books and the publications of the Grace Evangelical Society.

    I am greatful to the Lord for rescuing me from the error of free-grace theology. I am sure I will have to give an account for the years (1997-early 2000) I spent in error, but I am greatful that the Lord allowed me to see the error of my thinking.

    I still enjoy the ministry of Charles Stanley, even though I disagree with his position on this issue. Well, at least his old position. Some statements he has made recently seem to imply that he now maybe closer to the Lordship view. I don't know that to be the case, it is just an assumption on my part.

    Edit to add:

    Btw...I do not deny the salvation of someone simply because they are in the free grace movement (Zane Hodges, Bob Wilkin). Like me a person who is truly saved can get confused about certain elements of the Gospel (definition of repentance in salvation, the results of regeneration, etc).
     
    #4 Martin, May 7, 2007
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  5. J. Jump

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    Now wouldn't that just shock the pants off you when you stand before the Judge on that day and He asks you why you strayed from the Truth, and fell for this false teaching of LS. :wavey::laugh: Sorry I couldn't resist.
     
  6. Martin

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    ==Shocked would not be the right word, maybe utterly stunned :eek: . Why? Because I think the Scriptures so clearly deny many elements of the free-grace movement's theology.
     
  7. J. Jump

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    Well only time will tell now :) And we shouldn't have much longer to wait :applause:
     
  8. EdSutton

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    I am not disagreeing with your ideas, per se, here, although I would probably disagree with some. But also FTR, Scripture never uses the terms "unsaved" or the phrase "eternally damned", either, at least in the KJV, RV, or ASV, and I also believe in the NKJV, as well, but I could be wrong on the last one. At least the above versions do use the phrases (like "gospel of the kingdom", as you mentioned) that I mentioned in the previous post, and that is what I was pointing out.
    Just pointing out, again, that these I mentioned are, in fact, in English, Biblical terms and phrases.

    Ed
     
  9. J. Jump

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    Oh I'm not disagreeing that they are not English or non-Biblical. What I am saying is that somewhere along the line of Christendom they were assigned wrong meanings. When someone uses the term "lost" they are equating that with someone that has never been eternall saved before and they are on their way to eternal damnation or whatever you might want to call that. However that is not how "lost" is used in Scripture. Lost is not speaking of someone that has never experience salvation by grace through faith apart from works. That was the point that I was trying to make. :)
     
  10. EdSutton

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    And as a person who was trapped in so-called "Lordship Salvation" theology, although already a believer, through association with an extremely well-known 'college group' which I will not name, simply because that is not my purpose here, for some years, I likewise can say that I honestly believe that its (LS) theology is dangerous, as well. And FTR, I did not come to this position by reading anything by Hodges or Stanley, but ran across their writings after moving away from LS, and better understanding the tenets of 'grace'. I came to this understanding while reading and studying Galatians, FTR. I just have never before stated this on the BB, as it is not particularly relevant, just history, IMO.

    Ed
     
  11. webdog

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    Good post. I agree the OP's link has an agenda to push. The definitions, as you pointed out, are rung through the LS / calvinist dictionary.
    While I agree with the soteriology associated with the free grace position, the eschatology I vehemently deny. If there is any theology I would have to choose being Arminian, Calvinist or Free Grace, Free Grace would be the one closest to what I believe.
     
  12. Jarthur001

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    Try this site on for size. :)

    http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/theology.htm

    Middle Twon is hardly Calvinist.
     
  13. webdog

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    They don't have to be calvinist to come to the same errors in regards to defining words.
     
  14. Jarthur001

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    Right..so no need to make this a Calvinist subject. as you did in your last post. BTW..the writer came from the "holds" of this movement.

    And here is some more on this doctrine from another site...

    “Free Grace” is a theological system founded by Zane Hodges and currently promoted by Bob Wilkin and the Grace Evangelical Society (click here and here for previous discussions). According to “Free Grace” (hereafter FG), repentance is not necessary for salvation. In other words, FG teaches that it is possible for an individual to be saved apart from repentance, which is not deemed part of the message of the gospel. As Zane Hodges has written, “Repentance is never presented in the NT as a condition for eternal life” (Harmony with God, 109).

    Because they deny that repentance is a condition for salvation, FG teachers believe that calling unbelievers to repent of their sin in response to the gospel can be dangerous because of how it muddies the waters of the true gospel. “In order to proclaim the gospel clearly,” writes Bob Wilkin, “we must be exceedingly careful what we say, if anything, about repentance. The simplest course would be to say nothing about repentance” (“Preaching and Teaching About Repentance,” Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, 4/1 [Spring, 1991]).

    Ironically, one evangelist who did not follow this path was the apostle Paul. In his sermon in Acts 17:22-31, Paul concluded his message by exhorting his hearers to respond to the gospel, proclaiming:

    Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead (Acts 17:30-31; emphasis added).
    This, of course, raises an obvious question: If Paul exhorted his hearers to repent in response to the gospel, how can FG disciples deny that repentance is part of the message of salvation? Put another way, if FG theology is true, why did Paul command his hearers to repent? To answer this question, a closer look at FG’s view of repentance is needed.

    In his book Confident in Christ, Bob Wilkin says there are four different reasons why individuals are exhorted to repent of their sins in the Bible. The first reason is “for believers and unbelievers to escape temporal judgment” (Confident in Christ, 207).



    According to Wilkin, the fourth reason that individuals were exhorted to repent in Scripture is “for unbelievers to get right with God” (ibid., 208). As Wilkin writes, “If an unbeliever decides to turn from his sins in order to get right with God, then he will be more open to the gospel” (ibid., 209).
    In other words, even though repentance is not a necessary condition of eternal life, repentance “may make a person more receptive to the gospel” . Stated another way, repentance may prepare someone to believe in Christ.

    Although Wilkin does not specifically discuss Acts 17:30-31 in Confident in Christ, his mentor Zane Hodges fills in some of the gaps. In his book, Harmony with God: A Fresh Look at Repentance, Hodges writes this about the unbelievers in Acts 17:
    Obviously, the pagan idolatry of Paul’s hearers stood in the way of their turning to the true and living God in faith. No one who believed in the worship of images was properly prepared to accept the exclusive claims of the Creator and of His Son, Jesus Christ” (Harmony with God, 84-85).

    As Hodges explains further, this illustrates “how repentance can prepare the way for faith,” (ibid., 86) which is the sole condition for eternal life. And that, he says, is why Paul exhorted his unbelieving hearers to repent even though repentance is not necessary for salvation.



    The FG interpretation of Acts 17:30-31 makes repentance a necessary precursor to faith, and therefore necessary for salvation in a roundabout way. Ironically, Bob Wilkin explicitly denies that repentance is a necessary precursor to faith (Confident in Christ, 201), and yet the FG view of Acts 17 makes it just that.

    In other words, if Paul’s hearers were first required to repent before they could believe and be saved, then repentance itself was presented as prerequisite for salvation. In this way, the FG view of repentance in Acts 17 makes repentance a preparatory act of obedience needed to prepare one’s heart (i.e., create the right disposition?—not exactly sure how to say it) to believe in Christ.



    The FG response at this point is to say that repentance is not a necessary prerequisite that is required before one can meet the sole condition for eternal life, which is faith. Instead, they would say, repentance is oftentimes a helpful way for some people to prepare their hearts to believe in Christ. Paul knew this, they would say, which is why he suggested that they first repent. The problem with this response is that Paul commanded his hearers to repent, not suggested it as perhaps a helpful (but entirely optional) path to prepare their hearts to believe in Christ. Wilkin may deny that repentance is a necessary precursor to faith in Acts 17, but if the word “commanded” in verse 30 is taken seriously, the FG view makes it become just that.

    According to Hodges and other FG advocates, only certain unbelievers are commanded to repent in Scripture, specifically those for whom repentance would “prepare the way for faith” (Harmony with God, 86).
     
  15. Jarthur001

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    Here is a good one...

    Maybe others have seen Dr. Charles Ryrie name placed on the http://www.faithalone.org/ website. I do not agree with all of what Ryrie, has to say, but I do consider him a good man. I wondered how he could get mixed up in such a group such as Wilkin and Zane Hodges. Frankly the more I read of their work, the more I laugh at their logic. What in the world is somone like Ryrie doing with these nuts????...(sorry...but this was my thoughts).

    Well...would you believe Ryrie was tricked? :)
     
  16. James_Newman

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    Maybe it would help you to start at the beginning.

    Acts 16
    30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
    31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
     
  17. Jarthur001

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    Many of the "free-grace" movement was ban a few months ago, based on what the board says as error in their teaching of "ME". I for one happen to agree with this move.

    However, we really never got to the bottom of this subject.

    Is the soteriology position found in the "free-grace movement" a error in teaching?
     
  18. Lou Martuneac

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    Gentlemen:

    I have spent the better part of seven months dealing with the strange teachings that originated with Zane Hodges.

    At the outset (Ed will know this) everyone should understand that there are two very different factions in the Free Grace community. One would be sympathetic to Zane Hodges, Bob Wilkin and the Grace Evangelical Society (GES). They have introduced an interpretation of the Gospel that has come to be known as the “Crossless” gospel in the Free Grace (FG) community. This “Crossless” theology has been the reason and cause of division and offence (Rom. 16:17) in the FG community.

    The other branch, which rejects “Crossless” theology, has no definite fellowship they might call home like the “Crossless” gospel advocates find the GES their home. Many of those who reject the “Crossless” gospel, however, are comfortable with the Free Grace Alliance (FGA). There are, however, some in the FGA who hold to the “Crossless” interpretation of the Gospel. That is unfortunate because they have introduced their divisive teaching into the FGA.

    Anyway, at my blog you will find many articles on this controversy over the teachings of Zane Hodges, Bob Wilkin, Jeremy Myers and the GES.

    The Hodges no repentance for salvation position is wrong.

    They also believe a lost man can be born again apart from any knowledge, understanding or belief in Jesus, His deity and/or His finished work on the cross.

    They believe a lost man can consciously/openly reject the deity of Jesus Christ and still be born again.

    They believe the Lord’s titles, “the Christ” and “Son of God” do not mean or indicate His deity.

    You can read more about this at my blog, In Defense of the Gospel.


    LM
     
  19. EdSutton

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    Long time; no read!

    Glad to see you are still alive and kickin'!. :thumbs: :laugh:

    Lou Martuneac is basically correct here, that there are more than one flavor of the "free grace" position.

    I do tend to sorta' doubt that the division is all that clear cut though, as there are variations among some from either end of the spectrum, in this. I could not identify absolutely with most, but could still partly identify with most, by varying degrees, at the same time.

    Folks, I would suggest that if you have the time, as well, look up some of the 'dialogue' in the archives of the BB, where both Lou Martuneac and EdSutton contribute to [or was that take away from?] :laugh: :laugh: the discussion(s) of Lordship Salvation, and repentance, among other subjects. (I do suspect that Lou Martuneac's contributions will be far easier to find at 225 intelligent posts than Ed Sutton with 4K+, however, since many of mine are in games, humor, 'bickering', etc.) That has some bearing on these discussions, as well.

    Ed
     
    #19 EdSutton, Nov 11, 2007
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  20. EdSutton

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    Do you mean are we saved by grace through faith, apart from any works, including any and all of those surreptiously 'snuck in' by 'backloading' them into faith? If so, them I say the "soteriology position" is definitley NOT an error in teaching!
    Do you mean that one receives 'eternal life' and shall never perish, by believing (or faith) in the person of Jesus, based on His being crucified, and that is sufficient, with the distinction being that of "believe" and "believe not"? If that is what you are, again asking (which, BTW, I do not believe that that is what you are really asking, at all), then I again say this "soteriological position" is entirely Biblical, and not an error in teaching.
    As the Aussies might say, "Spot on!"

    Ed
     
    #20 EdSutton, Nov 11, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2007

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