Free Grace theology?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Timtoolman, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. Timtoolman

    Timtoolman
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    Has anyone heard of this before. It soundls alot like the church my brother in law is caught up in. While contianing some truth in their doctrine it appears they are an in the easy believeism class. Say a few words and bingo. Fire insurance. The Bible says that not all who say LOrd, Lord and do not the things He says....Luke 6:46 will be cast into the lake of Fire. From talking to my bro in law and his friends these people are all who thinks that others who are living and striving to live by God's word are doing works salvation. However it appaers to me it is those (free grace peoples) who may more likely not to be saved then likely because they can not take the pressures "of living a godly life" . James 2:14 says "What good is it my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such a faith save him? Free grace theology seems to advocate that dead faith saves people. In other words salvation is just a change of mind with no real behavoir change or change of actions.

    Anyone care too add.
     
  2. bapmom

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    Im not going to try to explain all of it, since I am going to assume that we agree on the basics of salvation. Its been posted quite indepth on the "What is the Gospel" thread.

    Im in a church, right now, that many of you would probably say is part of the "easy-believism" camp. However, if you got past the first, knee-jerk reaction, you would see that we are preaching the same gospel that you are. Hopefully not one based on works. This is what I think some are really afraid of. They do not want the unsaved to think that they have to WORK for their salvation. So the danger that I see in your post is if we start to REQUIRE works of those we witness to in order to prove to US that they ARE saved. It can, and very often does, morph into works being required in order to BE saved.

    Let me add, yes, God says that when saved we become a new creature, and yes we are to live transformed lives. However, how much transformation must occur in the convert's life before we believe they really are saved? For some are more heavily bound in outward sins....that might not change immediately. As someone said, we can't require full spiritual maturity immediately upon conversion, right?

    So how much? Do we look at their desire to go to church? What if they don't come to church right away, for months, or even years, but at home they start to read their Bible every day....something we wouldn't know about because they aren't in church. It's still a change.

    Do we look at whether they immediately stopped smoking? What if they keep smoking, but all of a sudden they realize that their swearing is offending God and they consciously try to stop. Its a change, right?

    Do you see what Im trying to say?
     
  3. Timtoolman

    Timtoolman
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    Yes I think Iunderstand, we grow at different rates, but we should all show signs of growth, yes, no?
     
  4. Helen

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    Tim, you are right to be concerned. There is a horrible deception involved in the 'cheap grace' theology of saying the magic words and you are saved. One cannot just confess with one's mouth, one must also believe in one's heart. Many get swept away by charismatic (personal charisma not the movement itself) preachers and in a moment of high emotion say the words they are "supposed" to say and then assume they are saved.

    It can happen at that moment, but at those times that moment is the culmination of a wrestling with the Lord, so to speak, and a final giving in, admitting one's disgust with oneself in repentance.

    Just as a fruit tree cannot help bearing fruit, for it is its nature to do so, the saved child of God cannot help having a new life and new life style (which usually evidences itself step by step and not all at once), for it is now in his or her nature to be that way.

    It will show up in the life. It will show up in the words, the attitudes, the way of going. There's no way to avoid it! A saved person is inhabited by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8) who then takes responsibility for the maturing of that person (Romans 8 and Phil. 1). We are not our own, but were bought with a price and belong to Him.

    There is no way this will not show up in our lives in one way or another, and show up more and more as time goes on, as well.

    The saddest example I know of is my own mother. My brother is an elder in his church and, through nagging and persistence, got my mother, who believed in psychics, reincarnation, that sin was just a bad attitude, etc., to say the 'sinner's prayer.' So she said it.

    Her life never changed. She continued carrying on with a married man not her husband (my dad died years ago), continued stirring up fights within the family, continued all of her old ways and life, but it did get my brother off her back.

    She died two years ago. I would love to think she was actually saved and just a 'slow comer.' But I have a horrid feeling that is not the case. There was no repentance and no change in life. No apologies to anyone she had ever hurt with her gossip or insulted to their face.

    Maybe....maybe....

    But a heart change is evidenced in the life, as actions arise from the attitudes and thoughts of the heart. It is a massive deception, this 'free grace' or 'cheap grace' and, I think, very probably a deep insult to Christ's work on our behalf.
     
  5. bapmom

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    yes Tim, we should all show signs. Let me add my thoughts on the book of James also. It was written to CHristians, right? I believe God was saying that we need to examine our OWN lives to see if there has been a change within us. It is NOT about examining OTHER people's lives to determine if THEY are saved.
    Thats the danger, although well-meaning, that is too easy to fall into. Becoming "fruit-inspectors" in order to determine each other's salvation.
     
  6. bapmom

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    See now, I would say that most "free grace" people are NOT just trying to get people to say a prayer. I know there are some, but usually they are inexperienced soul winners who have not been taught properly or are way too eager at the outset, and cause people to feel pressured. But I know some of the churches that are accused of this, and I know how they preach. Ive been there. Yet I know too that I agree with the salvation messages that I see here, and I know that those churches are preaching the same message.
    Perhaps the problem only comes in with the application during witnessing..........
     
  7. HankD

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    One more time I will voice my opinion.

    IMO "easy believism" is a misnomer, I am an "easy" believer.

    Believing on Jesus Christ is the easiest thing I know how to do. In fact, its effortless and its so easy I can't help doing it because it's now my nature to do so.

    However, the very verse which teaches "free grace"

    Ephesians
    8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    Also teaches that good works will follow the "free" gift of grace:

    10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

    First salvation by faith through grace and then good works.

    Before I was saved I delighted in doing evil, now I love doing good (which BTW certainly isn't difficult for me}.

    It's a very simple proposition actually.

    Good works flow out of the redeemed life of those who believe and they wouldn't have it any other way. So what is not easy about being saved?

    Personally, I can't see an alternative to "easy believism": would it be "difficult believism"?

    KJV 1 John 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
    2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
    3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

    But if one is a "phoney" believer then I can see how the redeemed life (rather the pretense) would be difficult, nay impossible although this scenario is a reality according to Scripture.

    2 Corinthians 11
    14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
    15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.


    HankD
     
  8. Craigbythesea

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    Free grace theology, when taken to its logical conclusion, is a most pernicious and damnable doctrine:

    “Today in the evangelical world there is a mushrooming movement which professes to champion the “free grace position,” but which others see as dangerously approaching antinomianism. Those who embrace this doctrinal position insist that a true believer can depart from the faith, deny Christ totally, persist in sin (including homosexuality, drunkenness, adultery, etc.), abandon Christianity, and yet still be counted among those who are truly saved. According to this view, such apostates will gain heaven, but will suffer greatly at the judgment seat of Christ and will be excluded from reigning with Christ during the kingdom. Indeed they teach that there will be a group of saved people who will be cast into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. They divide the body of Christ into two parts: 1) the joint-heirs with Christ (those who suffer with Christ and persevere to the end; 2) those saved people who are not joint-heirs with Christ (those who do not suffer for Christ and who do not continue in the faith, the non-overcomers, the immoral believers, etc.)

    The emphasis in bold type is mine. If you would like to read the rest of the article that I quoted from (and you are not afraid of having the worst nightmares that a human being can possibly have), here is the link to it. (But watch out! This is a whole lot more scary than your favorite Halloween horror movie).

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

    [​IMG]
     
  9. James_Newman

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    Wow! That is scary. To think that Jesus might actually save those that believe on Him (John 3:16) but reward them according to their works (Matt 16:27), Man! If I believed that, it might motivate me to start keeping some of those commandments that I've been sweeping under the rug. I'll stick to subjective assurance, based on my own standard of holiness and just trust that I'm putting forth enough effort to prove that Jesus died for my sins.

    The truth is scarier than fiction. But the assurance of salvation by the precious blood of the Lamb is priceless.
    1 John 5
    12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
    13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
     
  10. Bartimaeus

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    Grace is hard for the hard hearted and easy for anyone with childlike faith. It is all up to the work of the Holy Spirit ( and believe you me I AM NOT A CALVINIST ). I know a missionary that preached at a vacant lot to some folk who would stop by and listen to him (3rd world country). The missionary noticed a man who operated a gambling cart would stop and listen many times. The missionary would go out oftentimes, make contact and ask the man if he would recieve Christ. The man continued to decline. Finally the missionary ask him why he would not accept the offer of salvation. The cart operator ask the missionary,"To recieve Christ must I give up my cart?" The missionary knew that the Holy Spirit had already dealt with the man. He told the man yes and he left pushing his cart down the street. That would have been repentance and faith working together for salvation. I am telling you all a true story. Christ called some out of the ships and they followed. Christ called some from the roadside and they followed. They all repented somehow, somewhere in their life or they will not see heaven.
    Thanks ------Bart
     
  11. Helen

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    I think some may be misunderstanding what the question is. John MacArthur refers to the problem as 'cheap' grace, which is perhaps a better name, because God's grace IS free to us. But it was very expensive to Him!

    The idea of 'cheap' grace is the idea that the grace of God is cheapened by the person sharing about it, not that the grace itself is cheap. It involves things like those mass meetings where people get whipped up into a frenzy so they will say and do almost anything they are asked to say or do.

    My ex repeated the sinner's prayer at a meeting like that -- in between his affairs with other women...

    Believing in Jesus IS the easiest thing in the world to do now, especially after a few years of practice! But that is on this side of the fence. On the other side, repentance is required -- a recognition that one NEEDS saving. And that can be very hard. It should not ever be made to seem easy, although it may be easier for some than for others.

    Most of the preachers who try to get people to just 'say the sinner's prayer' seem more interested in the numbers of the people than the reality of the conversion. Nevertheless, there are great numbers of people who walk away from these times, having mumbled those words, thinking they are now 'saved'. From what they are not sure, and by whom they are not sure, but they said the words so it must be so!

    That is what angers others -- grace has been made 'easy' and 'cheap'.

    Actually, God's grace, being free, may be 'easy'. But our response to it cannot be. It requires our lives. It requires giving up everything and our dreams to God and desperately hoping He will catch us as we figuratively fall into His arms. It means admitting we are filth on our own.

    That's a very hard thing for most to do, and that is why so many have to 'reach the end of their rope' before they are willing to admit they are failures in life.

    When preachers skip the part about our condition without Jesus and what our response to that condition MUST be, then they have missed the first half of the Gospel. They are trying to give an answer without defining the question, and so the answer they give does not connect with many of those hearing it.
     
  12. James_Newman

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    Acts 16:30-31
    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.

    How do you answer this question? Give up everything, and desparately hope that God will catch you?
     
  13. bapmom

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    Thank you Helen.

    Im thankful then that Ive never been in a service like the one you just described. Anytime the preachers Ive heard have preached the gospel it has included hard preaching on our sinful condition, as well as loving preaching on the grace of God being the solution. And in the invitation there are always people at the front to deal with individuals one-on-one to explain to them the Scriptures and the gospel to be sure they understand and really are there to be saved.
    I guess I don't understand why these churches are also accused of "easy-believism." They look nothing like the services Helen described, which I agree would be leaving out an essential part of the equation.
     
  14. Timtoolman

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    Craigbythersa, very interesting I did not know that. So your saying that they believe all believe and will be in heaven. I am not sure my bro n laws sect believe that but it goes along well with the theology that you don't have to have works or fruits to be saved.
     
  15. bapmom

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    Maybe its just semantics, and maybe Im being too picky?

    But you don't have to have works to BE saved.

    Works/fruit naturally follow from the saving faith. Right?
     
  16. HankD

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    You are not being picky enough. Works/fruit do not "naturally" follow from saving faith. It is a spiritual or "supernatural" entity.

    Being the childen of God we are made partakers of the divine nature and our longing is to be holy because our Father who begot us is holy.

    Sheep love the green pastures and pure waters and hate the hog wallow.

    The pretenders love the wallow and long to return to it.

    Good works is not a requirement to become, but an inborn characteristic of the children of God.

    HankD
     
  17. bapmom

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    HankD,

    duly noted, and I stand corrected in my wording! You of course are correct.

    Fruit/works follow SUPERnaturally from the saving faith!
     
  18. HankD

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    I knew what you meant bapmom, you used the word "picky" and I "picked" up on it.

    [​IMG]

    HankD
     
  19. bapmom

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  20. Timtoolman

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    Thats what I am saying bapmom. Works are a natural outpouring BECAUSE you are saved. Not working to be saved. [​IMG]
     

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