Refresher on the “Crossless” Gospel Heresy

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Lou Martuneac, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. Lou Martuneac

    Lou Martuneac
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    Dear BB Readers:

    Because of the danger of the recent reintroduction of the “Crossless” Gospel into the Baptist Board by an advocate of this heretical teaching (FreeGracer, Antonio da Rosa ) I am going to begin posting some articles. My goal is to re-alert unsuspecting believers- inform and advise them to avoid this extreme reductionist assault on the Gospel. As you read this article, existing articles at this board, my blog and future articles, understand that this is NOT a personality clash. Some Crossless advocates will undoubtedly try to portray it as such, but I will not be drawn into one because that is not where the debate lies.

    Earlier today in the Loveship Salvation thread I linked readers to some articles that detail the egregious errors of the “Crossless” gospel as expressed by various teachers of it, including FreeGracer, Antonio da Rosa.

    This weekend I do not have the time to do a thoroughly detailed explanation of the heresy that is the Crossless gospel. Next week I will attempt to post some additional articles for your consideration.

    Today, I will offer some general comments, but for detailed analysis of the “Crossless” gospel I will at this time redirect you to my blog where you can read dozens of articles that address the extremes that are inherent in the teachings of Zane Hodges, Bob Wilkin and the Grace Evangelical Society’s Crossless/Deityless interpretation of the Gospel.

    I strongly encourage you to carefully read those articles by myself and various contributors. If you go to my LABELS section and click on Crossless Gospel, you will be taken to many articles that detail the reductionist heresy of the Crossless gospel.

    As I mentioned earlier (FreeGracer) Antonio da Rosa is one of the most vocal advocates for the Crossless gospel in the blogosphere. His views are as extreme and theologically unbalanced as any you will encounter in the evangelical community. When he expresses his views of the Gospel they are the mirror image of the teaching of Zane Hodges.

    Here are a few examples from da Rosa, which (to reiterate) are mirror images of Hodges, Wilkin, and GES theology. I will paraphrase these, but the documentation is available at various sites, including his own.

    1) The lost man does not have to be aware of, know, understand or believe in who Jesus Christ is and what He did to provide salvation, but can still be born again.

    2) A lost man can consciously reject the deity of Jesus Christ, but according to GES he can still be born again. Da Rosa insists the lost man can be saved no matter what misconceptions he has about Jesus. Therefore, according to the Crossless/Deityless gospel- the Mormon, JW or any cultist can be saved no matter who he thinks Jesus is. If the Mormon believes in a Jesus that, he (the Mormon) believes is the half-brother of Satan, will give him eternal life, according to da Rosa this does not hinder him from being saved.

    Da Rosa says that, in an evangelistic encounter, ANY misconception about Jesus or open rejection of His deity must be put on the backburner and left there. Crossless teaching says the lost man can be saved no matter what heresy he believes about Jesus. Da Rosa is on record stating, “the Mormon Jesus and Evangelical Jesus are one and the same.” For documentation and details see, Can the Biblical Jesus & Mormon Jesus be, “One and the Same?”

    3) According to GES’s Crossless/Deityless teaching the Lord’s titles, “the Christ” & “Son of God” do not mean or infer the Lord’s deity. Hodges, Wilkin GES strip the obvious meaning from the Lord’s titles because they think the lost do not have to know or believe that Jesus is the Lord in the sense of His deity. See- The “Christ” Under Siege.

    4) Repentance to salvation by any definition is rejected by the Crossless advocates.

    5) Crossless teaching insists that there is no sin barrier between lost men and God.

    When you read Antonio da Rosa keep in mind that he is addressing the Gospel from the most egregious reductionist heresy you will find anywhere in Christian circles. These disturbing views originated in the mind of and appear in books by Zane Hodges. They are largely perpetuated by Bob Wilkin and the Grace Evangelical Society (GES).

    One warning, da Rosa will undoubtedly try to misdirect and divert attention away from the Hodges, Wilkin, GES extremes by claiming they always present the cross and deity of Christ to the lost. This claim is debatable, but that is NOT the core problem with the Crossless gospel. The crux of the debate is that the Crossless advocates believe the lost do not have to know, understand or believe in who Jesus is and/or His finished work on the cross and resurrection, but can still be born again.

    Advocates of the Crossless gospel try to sanitize and legitimize their departure from biblical orthodoxy by referring to their position as “Refined Free Grace Theology.” In gold mining the refining process is for removing impurities. When you read what the GES has done to the Gospel you will agree they have “refined,” removed impurities from the Gospel. And what are these alleged impurities the GES purged from the Gospel: The necessity of belief in the Lord Jesus Christ’s deity, His finished work on the cross and His resurrection. The more accurate label for the GES’s Crossless gospel is “REDEFINED” Free Grace Theology.” This article is must read, Is “REDEFINED” Free Grace Theology- Free Grace Theology?

    Please understand that the GES is a shrinking cell of theological extremists that do not speak for or represent the broad cross-section of men who are part of the so-called Free Grace movement.

    To those of you who advocate for Lordship Salvation- you must understand that there are many men who reject Lordship Salvation that just as passionately reject the heresy of the GES Crossless gospel.

    Many biblically balanced Free Grace men, who were once in fellowship with Hodges, Wilkin and GES, have broken that fellowship because of the extreme views GES has adopted by the leading of Hodges. Antonio (FreeGracer) is a member of and speaks ONLY for that very narrow segment of GES men who are on the far left extreme fringe of the Free Grace movement.

    Any involvement the GES Crossless gospel advocates try to bring to the debate over Lordship Salvation are negated by the extreme opposite heretical presuppositions that are the foundation of GES theology.

    Gone fishin'


    LM

    Incidentally, I am pleased to report that there are some new books and publications on the horizon that in whole or in part will expose and answer the Grace Evangelical Society’s Crossless gospel and various related doctrinal aberrations.

    For example, Dr. J. B. Hixson’s new book Getting the Gospel Wrong includes an extended footnote that discusses the Crossless gospel. For details please read, Crossless Advocates Have Gone Too Far!
     
  2. Free Gracer

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    Perplexed

    Imagine this scenario:

    You have studied years and years in the field of genetics.
    In the course of this study, you have made many discoveries, supplementing current genetic understandings.

    Yet such areas of exploration seem to unsettle the existing fraternity of evolutionary scientists. Without so much as caring to acurately represent your views, they engage in a smear campaign. They do not allow your journal articles to be published. They demonize your character. They supress your work and dismiss your evidence, by a wave of the hand.

    It is an unfortunate custom in society. My mom used to say, "That is the way the ball bounces."

    We all have choices in life. We can rely upon those who have obvious motives, and shun the consideration of something that very well may bew true.

    Or we can disregard the naysayers and consider the evidence.

    Lou Martuneac, after about a year of opposition, has yet to fairly, accurately, and honestly represent my study of 15 years. By all means, in the integrity of your conscious, dismiss the theology of my conviction and study. This is your prerogative. You may listen all that you desire to the wind. But the wind has no substance.

    Not a single, careful, exposition against my position has emerged from the pen or keyboard of Lou Martuneac. If you read his book against Lordship Salvation, you will find the same thing. Much assetion and zero expository defense.

    There are two articles that I have written that haven't even been touched by the likes of Lou. For your consideration:

    Are we Robbed of John 3:16? (According to Lou Martuneac's Theology we are!)
    http://free-grace.blogspot.com/2007/10/robbed-of-john-316-what-does-believing.html

    Does 1 John 5:1 tell the truth? Does whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ born of God?
    http://free-grace.blogspot.com/2007/10/whoever-believes-that-jesus-is-christ.html

    Good day...

    Antonio
     
  3. ReformedBaptist

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    I mean this in the best possible sense my friend, but I for one really don't care about your squabbles with Lou.
     
  4. Free Gracer

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    Thanks for your input. It really does make a difference.
     
  5. Free Gracer

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    Really?

    Really, Lou? Where do you get your information? Please substantiate your baseless claims with some verifiable information.

    As a matter of fact, the GES enjoys a much greater membership than the FGA, and I can document that fact.

    Are you again lying in order to bolster your fabricated claims?

    Do you remember how you said all over blogdom that the FGA was created to be a place for those who were offended by the GES? When I asked the founder, Dr. Earl Radmacher, personally (have you ever talked to him, Lou?) he called you a liar.

    Why is it that you feel you can get away with such unsubstantiated claims?

    All I can say is: shame, again, on you, Lou.

    Whether someone agrees with your position or not, any impartial obsever knows that your tactics are well below the belt.
     
  6. Goldie

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    The important thing here is not for people to make their assertions and decisions based on the pen or keyboard of Lou Matuneac - but from God's Word, the Bible, and if Lou Martuneac's words/books/writings are scripturally based and solid then good for him! And on that basis, I'm with him 100%. It's the Bible which should have the final say and authority on matters such as these - unless you don't believe it or in it - then your assertions/beliefs are false and other believers should be warned.

    My assertion on the "Loveship Salvation" thread was not one of taking sides, but merely pointing out a Biblical position. One should attack the belief (doctrine) of the person and not make assumptions as to their heart/motives/personality/character. When testing their doctrines/beliefs against the Bible, it will become clear to all whether their stance is in line with the Bible or not. And Christian leaders do have the responsibility to protect the sheep from wolves.

    It just ticks me off when people make assumptions, because when they are proved wrong (most the time) on those assumptions, or cannot prove same - their whole defense (whether true or not) collapses - and Christians should know better, because the Bible tells us to test people on their doctrine - and as soon as someone starts rejecting basic Bible doctrines then they start earning themselves the dubious title of "wolf in sheep's clothing" whereby they behave real smart, and can even quote scripture, and seem to be the nicest of people, yet the acid test is their doctrine and teachings don't correlate to basic Christianity 101, not by a long shot. I tend to avoid them like the plague, although I must admit I don't hate them or wish them any harm.

    Free Gracer, people on this board can only tell you the truth, whether you accept it or not is entirely between you and God in the end. I pray that God gives you salve for your eyes so that you may know the Truth of His Word (in it's rightful context).
     
    #6 Goldie, Aug 17, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 17, 2008
  7. pinoybaptist

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    All these squabbles, and for that matter, most of the debates on soteriology, whether it be Calvinism v. Arminianism, Pelagianism v. semi-Pelagianism v. Classic Arminianism, Calvinism, etc., are vanities of men who in their carnal mind think that they are defending the God who needs no defense from men.

    Whether JMacArthur's doctrine, or Lou Martuneac's, or Antonio da Rosa's, or Calvin's or Arminius', is right or wrong, makes no difference.

    They are in error when it comes to Christ's authored Eternal Salvation for all His people, because He did it without their theology, ideology, geography, race, creed, deeds, and such, as His primary motivation.

    He saved His people from the wrath of God, washed their sins away with His blood, preserved them in Him, and will take all of them to glory with Him, and present them to Himself spotless and without blemish not because of their deed, creed, race, wisdom (or lack of it), but because that is HIS will, and that is because it is His Father's will.

    The mark that both of these camps is missing is the difference between eternal salvation, which is all of God, conditionless, and all based on His grace, mercy, and faithfulness, and that of discipleship and its rewards, which are based on the hearer's response to instruction, practice of what he claims to be his new life, and his faithfulness to the One he calls his Lord and Savior.
     
  8. webdog

    webdog
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    Well, as someone who leans closer to the redundant "free grace" camp (I'm neither a calvinist nor arminian), I can attest to the fact the GES doesn't speak for my views. I agree with much of the soteriology , and none of the eschatology. Millenial Exclusion is heresy.
     
  9. Lou Martuneac

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    Hodges/GES: Drifting Far Off the Marker

    Brethren:

    As I have noted the Grace Evangelical Society (GES) is a shrinking cell of theological extremists. The troubling teachings of Zane Hodges introduced reductionist heresy in the Free Grace movement and beyond. Free Gracer (aka- Sock Puppet: fg me) is an example of the tragedy of the Zane Hodges "Crossless" gospel. Thankfully, many have recognized the GES’s slide into the heresy of Hodges and have separated from Hodges, Bob Wilkin and the GES.

    Today I posted the first of a two part series by Brother Ron Shea (Th. M; J.D.) of the Clear Gospel Campaign. The title of the series is Drifting Far Off the Marker.

    Here is a sample:
    For the complete article go to Drifting Far Off the Marker, Part 1


    Yours faithfully,


    Lou Martuneac
     
  10. Free Gracer

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    Web-Dog,

    I wonder why you insist on getting yourself in trouble. Not a single view or adherent of millenial exclusion heralds from the GES. Not a single proponent. Why is it you speak of that which you do not know? That is the trouble psuedo-watchdogs.

    The GES does teach nor advocate millennial exclusion.

    Furthermore, to simply dismiss a doctrine (millennial exclusion, which I do not hold to) as heresy with a less than brief comment is unwise.

    To Lou Martuneac,

    You have been very critical of some of my eschatological studies and like to bring up Zeller from Middletown. I noticed that you are advocating a book from some soft-free grace people. Greg Sapaugh has a chapter in the book you have advertised on your blog. Greg holds the same understanding of the Judgment seat of Christ as does Zane Hodges. Furthermore, many of the other authors in the book do as well.

    You are like a flip-flopping politician with your finger out to the wind...

    Antonio
     
  11. webdog

    webdog
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    There have been a slew of GES advocates here on the BB who held to ME. They have all been promptly banned for their heresy.

    I have addressed ME ad nauseum. All ME threads are now archived. Do a search.
     
  12. Lou Martuneac

    Lou Martuneac
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    BB Readers:

    Make no mistake about it, Antonio da Rosa is a heretic of the first order. He follows the strange and disturbing teachings of Zane Hodges implicitly. First and foremost in heresy is the Crossless/Deityless gospel. They also believe in a punitive Judgment Seat of Christ.

    Their eschatology is disturbing, no doubt, but their assaults on the Gospel and Person of Christ are the most radical and dangerous forms of reductionism you will find anywhere. These men in the Grace Evangelical Society insist the lost man can be saved apart from any knowledge, understanding and/or belief in who Jesus is and what He did to provide salvation.

    I encourage any one of you to ask Antonio if he believes a Mormon who clings to his belief that Jesus is the half-brother of Satan can be saved by believing the name Jesus for eternal life.

    As you read da Rosa’s posting always keep in mind that he approaches any discussion of the Gospel from the extreme reductionist soteriology of the Crossless gospel.

    You will continue to read Free Gracer (Antonio da Rosa) twisting his own words to make himself sound better. The point of course isn’t about which historical person anyone is referring to, but about believing certain things about that person.

    In context Antonio clearly means to say that the Mormon Jesus (the same “historical” person, yet a completely different ontological person) can actually save someone - IOW that people can believe such ontological misconceptions as those promoted by the Mormons and still be born again. This is heresy, naturally, yet Antonio (as usual) tries to keep himself looking orthodox in order to sneak his view in.

    Antonio wrote,
    Question to BB Readers: When Antonio makes the statement, “the Mormon Jesus and the evangelical Jesus are one and the same,” is he merely trying to say that the Mormons refer to the same historical person that evangelicals do?

    Seeing how no one disputes that, it seems a pretty pointless statement to make... unless, of course, one has a different point to make, such as Antonio clearly has with the statement above.

    Antonio teaches that the lost can be saved no matter what misconception he/she has about Jesus. He insists that in an evangelistic setting, any misconception, including outright rejection of the Lord's deity must be "put on the back-burner" and left there.
    The “Crossless” gospel is an egregious doctrinal aberration that must be exposed and biblically resisted. The statement above by Antonio demonstrates just how tragic the result can be for anyone who adopts the heretical teaching of Zane Hodges and Bob Wilkin on the Gospel.

    When one wants to find the most extreme form of the so-called “Easy-Believism,” he needs to look no further than the Grace Evangelical Society’s Crossless/Deityless gospel. You will find da Rosa continue his trying to redirect attention away from their belief that the lost can be born again apart from knowing, understanding and/or believing who Jesus is (deity) and what He did to provide salvation. He will try to get your mind on a discussion of what he might tell the lost, but remember the controversy is over their view the lost do not have to believe any of it as far as Crossless teaching is concerned.

    The Crossless gospel is as radical departure from its reductionist end of the theological pendulum swing as Lordship Salvation is from the addition end. Both are false interpretations of the Gospel.


    LM
     
    #12 Lou Martuneac, Aug 18, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2008
  13. Rippon

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    I have a suggestion.I think Lou &Antonio should play somewhere else.There's too much drama and baggage between you two.
     
  14. Lou Martuneac

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    Rippon:

    I appreciate your concern.

    The heresy of the Crossless gospel is no small matter. When a man comes to a board that I have frequented and seeks to introduce reductionist heresy I am going to alert BB readers lest they fall into the trap of the Zane Hodges Crossless gospel.

    Antonio wrote,
    Question to you Rippon: When Antonio makes the statement, “the Mormon Jesus and the evangelical Jesus are one and the same,” is he merely trying to say that the Mormons refer to the same historical person that evangelicals do?


    LM
     
  15. Rippon

    Rippon
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    The Mormon idea of Jesus bears no likeness to the Jesus of the Bible.
     
  16. Lou Martuneac

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    Yes, exactly, but for the Crossless/Deityless advocates, like Hodges, Wilkin and da Rosa, it does not matter.

    They insist the Mormon can be saved by trusting in the version of Jesus they believe to be the half-brother of Satan.

    The say that he can be saved with THAT "misconception," and it should be cleared up in a discipleship process. And if he does not abandon his heretical view of Jesus, the Crossless men will separate from him as if he is a saved, but erring brother in Christ.

    That is the kind of absurd, reductionist heresy that I am warning BB readers about.

    BTW, I would think that you men who uphold the Lordship of Christ would be aghast at what the Crossless advocates do to His titles and person in the evangelistic setting. For example, CG advocates teach that the Lord’s titles “the Christ” & “Son of God” do not mean or infer His deity.


    LM
     
  17. Lou Martuneac

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    Dear BB Readers:

    Some of you are curious about more of the kinds of teachings that were originated by Zane Hodges, adopted by Bob Wilkin and the Grace Evangelical Society.

    There are number of disturbing teachings that are unique to Hodges and the GES. Among them are:

    1) The “Crossless” gospel: The lost do not have to be aware of, know, understand or believe in the deity of Christ and/or His finished work and bodily resurrection, but can still be born again.

    2) The GES “Crossless” gospel proponents insist that there is no such thing as “the gospel” that the lost must to believe to be saved! In upcoming days I will post links to a series that deals with this extremist teaching.

    3) One of the little known, and arguably most egregious errors is their view that the Lord’s titles, “the Christ” and “Son of God” do not mean or infer His deity.

    One of my blog contributors wrote a multi-part series to address the GES assault on the Lord’s titles. The two part series is titled, The “Christ” Under Siege & The “Christ” Under Siege: The New Assault From the Grace Evangelical Society by Greg Schliesmann.

    Those of you who are looking for real depth and biblical substance in answer to the heresy coming from GES (Hodges, Wilkin, da Rosa, etc.) will want to access this multi-part series, The “Christ” Under Siege and read it in its entirety. Feel free to comment in the threads or come back here to share your reaction.


    LM
     

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