Lordship Salvation

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by CF1, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. CF1

    CF1
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    Definitions Source:

    "Free Grace" view affirms regeneration and the "inevitability" of good works by believers. "Free Grace" thus postulates that good works are inevitable but should not be taken as evidence of one's salvation or righteous standing before God.

    Lordship salvation, on the other hand, criticize opponents as advocating "carnal Christianity" by leaving open the possibility of indulging in sinful behaviour and still sharing equal assurance as one who is in some degree subduing sin.
    ____________________

    In the DVD "Amazing Grace: The History of Theology of Calvinism", I'm trying to understand what the authors of this DVD mean when they say in

    Disc 1, Chapter 12, Perseverance of the Saints, Time of 3:55:
    _______________________

    Arminians wrongly say:
    "Lordship of Christ is only something for mature believers"
    and
    "I'm saved because I prayed the prayer when I was 10 years only, even though I may not be following the Lord now"

    While the DVD claims these positions by Armenians, they show photos and names as follows:
    Zane Hodge - Author of Absolutely Free! A Biblical Reply to Lordship Salvation
    C.I. Scofield
    Charles Ryrie
    J.N. Darby
    __________________________

    The narrator of the DVD doesn't explain himself very well so I'm trying to understand what is he talking about. It looks like they are identifying dispensationalists as those that opposes the Perserverance of the Saints by teaching Free Grace, and thus they are opposed to Perserverance of the Saints. This is confusing to me because I thought dispensationalists DID believe in the "Perseverance of the Saints" (or at least a similar term "eternal security" which I'm not sure if it has different nuances to some people.)

    So I googled and found this controversy is called the "Lordship Salvation" controversy and there are attempts to define it here:

    http://www.theopedia.com/Lordship_salvation

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lordship_salvation_controversy

    My questions are:
    1. Is there an easy way to summarize this controversy? It seems to be a lot of questions about cause and effect, and debates about reverse causality.

    2. Are all dispensationalists listed above supportive of Free Grace Arminianism as the DVD claims? I heard that Darby was a strong supporter of most or almost all of the points of Doctrines of Grace, and he even had a big public debate with Moody who supported Free will.

    3. Are there broader or deeper additional differences between dispensationalists and Calvinists, that exist which often set dispensationalists against Calvinists so these two groups often find reasons to be at odds with each other. It seems that since Reformed people reject dispensationalisms idea of a special future for the Nation of Israel, and Dispensationalists (and Baptists) reject "Reformed" views on infant regeneration/baptism, they tend to often pick many battles against each other, resulting in majoring on minor nuances.

    Here is a website that helps answer some of these questions from one dispensationalists point of view:
    http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/hodgesnb.htm
    http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/danger05.htm

    Please let me know if you have any insights into the questions above. Thanks in advance.
     
    #1 CF1, Nov 23, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2011
  2. zrs6v4

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    1. I am familiar with the movie but have not personally watched it although I own another movie produced by these people about open air preaching. I am not sure how they categorize people or how accurate they are.

    2. sorry, I do not know this answer.

    I am not sure if I follow your thinking and questions here, but it is possible to be both dispensationalist and Calvinist. I do not adhere to dispensationalism although I think there are some good strengths as most circles have. I also relate to Calvinistic teachings and adhere to the main 5 points although my views on regeneration and minor subcategories are a little different.

    3. I am not an expert although I am finishing school where both Calvinism and dispensationalism co-exist. I do not have a perfect understanding of how these two may or may not connect but I assume that it depends on how one defines the words (or how far the labels are taken). Logically dispensational teaching is how the Scriptures are broken down into dispensations, I recommend Ryrie's writing on this where he breaks the time periods down to 7 dispensations. If you need any particular definitions let me know. As you know there are key distinctions in dispensationalism that I would happily explain if you need further information. I do not necessarily jump to any of them although I like the literal approach to Scripture.

    I further see no difference in terms like perseverance, preservation, or eternal security although they go hand in hand. The point is that the non-cals who embrace a type of salvation apart from Lordship will emphasize eternal security when they may not be eternally secure. I think Lordship salvation is difficult because it is easy to fall off either side of the horse trying to make someone an angel before they can have peace or giving someone assurance because they utter a prayer. Both have weaknesses and must be balanced with Biblical teaching on faith and repentance in line with all that God does when He is saving someone.
     
    #2 zrs6v4, Nov 23, 2011
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  3. Winman

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    Isn't salvation called a "free gift" in Romans 5:16, 18, and 19? If you have to work to be saved, how is it free?

    All you can do with a free gift is accept it, or reject it. But once you accept this free gift, which is eternal life, it is your's.

    I do not believe in Perseverance of the Saints as both Calvinists and Arminians do. This says you must endure or remain faithful to be saved. It is actually salvation by works.

    No, when you accept Christ you are "sealed" by the Holy Spirit and cannot be lost. We are saved because Jesus is faithful to keep us, not because we are faithful to keep ourselves. This is called Preservation of the Saints and is VERY DIFFERENT from perseverance.

    Some call this "easy believeism", but it is not easy, in fact most people find it impossible to believe.

    You don't work to get saved, and you don't work to stay saved.

    Of course in Calvinism that believes in Unconditional Election and Limited Atonement, you MUST work to prove to yourself you are elect. Arminians do not have this problem, as they believe Jesus died for all men, they also believe men have the ability to believe. However, Arminians believe they can quit believeing and lose salvation, so they too MUST work to have assurance. But neither can have real assurance unless they endure to the end.
     
  4. CF1

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    Thanks for the two posts above which give more insights.

    I know there are people who believe in both dispensationalism and sovereign grace (my preferred term for calvinism, since the word calvinism sounds like saying I am of Apollos).

    J.N. Darby the founder of dispensationalism was strongly against "Man's Free Will". Some consider him a 4.5 point Calvinist, although, he did not use that term.

    Lewis Sperry Chafer, first president of Dallas Theological Semiary was dispensationalist, following C.I. Scofields Study Bible. Chafer was also calvinistic.

    However, dispensationalism has changed over time.

    I'm not the most expert either, but it looks like modern dispensationalists have adapted a more non-cal set of beliefs.

    So, it looks like modern dispensationalists have probably used their platform of dispensationalism to support non-cal doctrine, or at least they are associated with non-cal doctrines.

    So the Reformed, Calvinist people are not open to these new dispensationalists ideas, and both groups seem to spend time undermining each others foundational systems, rather than harmonizing them together.

    Does anyone know of any modern dispensationalists who also agree with doctrines of sovereign grace?

    John McArthur has been called a "leaky dispensationalist" that agrees with Reformed doctrine. Maybe he is the most prominent example.

    Current modern dispensationsalists, who are mostly non-cal/arminian complain that John McArthur is not longer loyal to the dispensationalist crowd because he goes along with the Reformed crowd. But McArthur agrees still with the part of dispensationalism that says that the nation of Israel will still have a future in God's plan.

    This leads to a study of why has dispensationalism become non-cal, non-reformed, non-sovereign grace in recent years, even though it began with some leaders who embraced both.

    This topic started trying to understand the "Lordship Salvation" vs "Free Grace" positions, but the answers are probably much deeper in the many differences between how historical and current dispensationalism has changed, while beliefs of dispensationalists have changed from reformed/cal/sovereign grace to mans free will or some mixture of both.

    This history of dispensationalism is another interesting topic I've researched on other forums of dispensationalists in the Plymouth Brethren. Maybe I will start another topic to share what I've learned on those forums about the history of dispensationalists and the Plymouth Brethren as large parts of them have migrated to non-cal doctrine. Let me know if there is interest in such a topic on this Baptist forum. It does help bring more understanding to the current and historical differences between dispensationalism and sovereign grace doctrines. Recently a small book was written by someone in the Plymouth Brethren, reminding them that their history was not mans free will, but many leaders in the early Plymouth Brethren believed in sovereign grace. This book stands in contrast to current beliefs and authors in that movement who continue to lead people further away from soverign grace.
     
    #4 CF1, Nov 24, 2011
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  5. Winman

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    Like Calvinism, there are different degrees of Dispensationalism. There are Hyper-Dispensationalists and I personally believe they are in error, teaching there is more than one gospel. They also overly "divide the word" so that books like Hebrews are only written to the Jews in their view. I do not try to figure out scriptures to some "system" like Covenant or Dispensationalist theology, they are both extreme.
     
  6. CF1

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    Winman,

    That makes sense. There seems to be a temptation for humans to start idolizing their own systems pridefully, which then causes their systems to morph into other things. Then you can get hyper-anything.
     
    #6 CF1, Nov 24, 2011
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  7. Winman

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    Yes, while I lean toward dispensationalism and believe there is some merit to it, I have known some Hyper-Dispensationalists and they are over-the-top. They overly analyze each word in scripture. Now, I believe each and every word in scripture is important as they do, but they can be overly literal, the book of Hebrews being one such example.

    2 Tim 3:16 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    All scriptures applies to every believer. That is not to say we are under the Jewish laws for example, but these scriptures are addressed to us as well as to those Jews and we are to learn from them. The Hyper-Dispensationalist does not view scripture like this.
     
  8. CF1

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  9. 12strings

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    I would agree, but is not it possible for someone to have a false profession of faith. There are several warnings in scriptures like:
    Col. 1:21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

    I would ask:

    1. What do you see these warnings to mean, if not (a) you can lose your salvation, or (b) you cannot lose your salvation, but there will be some who by thier actions after thier profession of faith, prove themselves to not truly be christians?

    2. Lordship salvation was put forward as a response to some real bible teachers in evangelicalism who taught that a true Christian could reject God, even to the point of not believing at all, and yet still be saved by virtue of thier one-time experience of Conversion. Would you agree or disagree with that view?

    3. What is your interpretation of verses like Phil 2:12-13 - work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. ?
    -Is this not teaching that in addition to keeping us as his children, God will work in us and keep us working and willing his good pleasure?
     
  10. convicted1

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    I honestly have no idea with all the negativity in regards to LS. Look, we can not work long enough, or hard enough to obtain salvation, that is true. But one must sell out to the world, and give everything to Christ in order to be saved. Jesus found more favor in one widow woman's two mites than the others who were giving of their abundance. She gave her last two mites. She gave all she had. God wants 100%, and nothing else is acceptable.
     
  11. 12strings

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    I agree that God want's 100%, but the problem is none of us give him 100%.
    Only Jesus Gave God 100%, and we must rely on his Blood and his righteousness instead of our own.
     
  12. convicted1

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    Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

    Mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

    Luke 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.


    This is what Jesus said. We have to love Him with everything in us.


    Matthew 15:7-9
    7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,

    8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

    9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.


    These people were apparently doing this praising half-heartedly.
     
  13. convicted1

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    What I meant Brother is that we have to offer all of us to Him in order to be saved. After salvation, God only requires a reasonable service. That is why we must have Grace as much after salvation as we did when we were saved.
     
  14. 12strings

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    Are you saying that the commitment to Christ is 100% at conversion, and then decreases from there?

    I would tend to think that one can come to christ even through doubts, and imperfect faith, so long as the faith, however weak, is IN CHRIST. And then our commitment grows over our life as we mature in the faith.
     
  15. freeatlast

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    Let me ask a question. Do you believe we have to repent to be saved?
     
  16. CF1

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    Here is another link that gives an overview of the subject of Lordship Salvation. This is the link to a full quote that was partially found on the theopedia.com link in my original post.
     
  17. webdog

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    Willis, this is not sola fide, but a front loaded works based salvation. If we have to offer some kind of exchange or barter system for salvation it frustrates grace. We don't offer anything to Him, we turn to Him for everything He has to offer. What can an unregenerate person offer? NADA.
     
  18. zrs6v4

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    I believe Irwin Lutzer is one. As I said before, the school I am attending is full of them. If you are looking for popular ones there are few, but the scholarly world seems to be full of them. You may be right that there are more non-Cal dispensationalists than Calvinist ones.
     
  19. zrs6v4

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    As for the Lordship Salvation debate, yes we must repent and believe and the logical end to true faith is giving of life to some extent. We never perfectly give all our love to God or all our anything. Yet, a natural fruit of regeneration is that we turn to Jesus and He becomes our Lord in our direction of living. There does not need to be any sacrificies or offerings met with faith such as a giving of life as a so called swap for salvation. I am a big believer in fruits that come from a New Creature and those fruits are directly related to a new view of God that calls for submission and sacrifice willingly.
     
  20. convicted1

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    Brother, what I am trying to drive at, and doing miserably at it through a keyboard, is that we must completely surrender our life to Him. Wave the white flag, so to speak. It's like, "Lord, here I am. I have made a mess of my life. Please take me, break me, and make me. I don't want to live my life the way I have, but live it through you." That is what I am trying to get across.
     

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