The “Crossless” Gospel at the Crossroads

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Lou Martuneac, Nov 25, 2007.

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Can a lost man be saved who rejects the finished work of Christ & His Deity?

  1. Yes

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  2. No

    27 vote(s)
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  3. I'm not sure

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  1. Lou Martuneac

    Lou Martuneac
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    Greetings:

    The debate over the “Crossless” gospel is IMO at a crossroads.

    The “Crossless” gospel in an interpretation of the Gospel that says a lost man does not need to know, understand or believe anything about Jesus and what He did to provide salvation. Yet, he can be born again through belief only in a promise of eternal life.

    The advocates of the “Crossless” gospel go further and state that the lost man can also openly reject and deny the Deity of Christ and still be born again.

    According to Antonio da Rosa, the most vocal and lately the only “Crossless” gospel advocate who will discuss their teaching, says any misunderstanding or open rejection of the finished work of Christ and His Deity should be viewed as mere “misconceptions.” In an evangelistic setting da Rosa, speaking for the “Crossless” advocates, says any “misconception” about the finished work of Christ and His Deity should be put on the “back-burner.”

    This “Crossless/Deityless” interpretation of the Gospel originated with Zane Hodges. It is the official position of the Grace Evangelical Society, Bob Wilkin and Jeremy Myers.

    Following are examples of the “Crossless/Deityless” gospel of the GES:
    The Free Grace Alliance (FGA) is teetering on the brink of being swept up or swept away by the advocates of the “Crossless” gospel. It is my hope and prayer that Free Grace & FGA leaders will obey the biblical mandates on how to address the teachers of false doctrine within the body of Christ.

    I have written an article with an appeal to leaders of the Free Grace movement. I encourage all concerned and/or interested believers to read that article. The article is titled, What is the Defining Question for the Free Grace Movement & the FGA?

    I’ll be happy to interact here (or at my blog) with any who have questions or comments about the “Crossless” gospel controversy.


    LM
     
  2. Alex Quackenbush

    Alex Quackenbush
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    Lou,

    Thanks for your blog and your book along with your challenge to everyone regarding the soundness of our understanding and presentation of the gospel. While it is true God can use our ineptness it does not justify it.

    When I read, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved" I clearly see that the Jesus is presented as Lord. His Deity is not absent from the gospel but part of the gospel.
     
  3. Lou Martuneac

    Lou Martuneac
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    Alex:

    Thanks for the note.

    The "Crossless" advocates will profess a personal belief in the finished work of Christ and His Deity, but maintain a lost man can deny all of it and still be born again.

    That is the crux of the debate.


    LM
     
  4. Alex Quackenbush

    Alex Quackenbush
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    Why do these proponents imagine that presenting the gospel in a way that allows a person to attack it while believing it is even reasonable? I am reading more on your blog to get familiar with that end of it (I am far more familiar with the erring "Lordship" doctrine forwarded by John MacArthur).
     
  5. Lou Martuneac

    Lou Martuneac
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    Alex:

    As you read about the "Crossless" gospel at my blog you will find that it is as far to the right of center as one can go on the Gospel as Lordship Salvation is to the left.

    Both systems are departures from a balanced biblical position on the Gospel.

    This two part series False Paradigms of the "Crossless" Gospel are very helpful.


    LM
     
  6. Alex Quackenbush

    Alex Quackenbush
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    Thanks and I am reading it.
     
  7. Pilgrimer

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    Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin . . . Hebrews 9:22

    Without the Cross there is no Gospel . . .

    "And that's all I got to say about that . . ." Forest Gump:laugh:

    In Christ,
    Deborah
     
  8. tinytim

    tinytim
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    Zane Hodges, where have I heard that name before? It was here on BB, but under what setting? Does anyone else know?
     
  9. standingfirminChrist

    standingfirminChrist
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    Millenial Exclusion/Mercy Eliminated
     
  10. tinytim

    tinytim
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    Really? That's right.. come to think of it... Hmmmm.
     
  11. tinytim

    tinytim
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    This talk about a crossless Gospel reminds me of another Forest Gump line...

    "Stupid is as Stupid does..."
     
  12. tinytim

    tinytim
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    I marked no in the poll, because it used the word rejects....

    But I know many Christians that don't understand the Trinity, therefore don't understand the Deity of Christ...
    But they accept it anyway...

    There is a difference in understanding and rejecting...
    I don't think any of us truly understand everything about the cross or trinity, but we accept it...
     
  13. Martin

    Martin
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    I have known for several years that Wilkin, Hodges, and company were heretics. Their latest theological "twist" is therefore no surprise to me. Maybe the reason these people don't see a need to preach the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is because they have never come to saving faith in the crucified, risen, Lord of Glory.

    The Bible is clear, a belief in the death, burial, and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is 100% necessary for salvation.

    "Now I make known to you, brethren, the Gospel which I preached to you, which also you recieved, in which also you stand...that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures" -1Cor 15:1,3-4

    "Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, your faith also is in vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied" -1Cor 15:12-19

    "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" -Rom 10:9

    This does not sound like an issue we can "agree to disagree" on. This is the heart of the Gospel. Apart from this, faith is useless (1Cor 15:2,14). To preach salvation with out the death, burial, and resurrection is to preach a false gospel which is not the Biblical Gospel and to offer people a false salvation.

    These people who preach the crossless gospel are in eternal trouble. As far as I am concerned, Bob Wilkin and Zane Hodges are no less dangerous than John Crossan and the Jesus Seminar.
     
  14. Martin

    Martin
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    Of course I have to ask myself this question:

    Is the crossless gospel the result of anti-Lordship teaching?

    I think the answer to that is yes and no.

    The extreme anti-Lordship folks who follow the likes of Bob Wilkin and Zane Hodges are certainly prime targets for this kind of heresy. In an attempt to back away from Lordship salvation, these people have moved so far to the other side of the mountain that they have fallen off the mountain. When a person starts stripping the gospel down, the crossless gospel is a natural result. There is a sense in which the extreme anti-Lordship folks are always walking towards these kind of heresies. If Wilkin and Hodges are around long enough, they will at some point start denying the need for direct faith in Jesus Christ. Mark my words on this, they will start saying that anyone will be saved who believes in God (non-specific). They are on the fast track to universal salvation theology. Which, of course, is heresy.

    Now, there are non-Lordship folks who would never dream of going as far as Wilkin and Hodges have. In this group there are some fine scholars/theologians such as Charles Ryrie, Robert Lightner, Darrell Bock, and others. These folks reject Lordship salvation, as is commonly taught by people such as John MacArthur, but they also reject the extreme form of anti-Lordshipism (I think I just made up a word) taught by Hodges (etc). The people who hold to this position are generally not walking towards this kind of heresy. Generally these people are strong, Bible believing, born again, Christians who happen to believe that the Lordship position goes too far. These people are not stripping down the gospel and they are not in danger of universalism. Personally, I have very few actual differences with the people in this group. My belief in Lordship Salvation is strong, but I am not always in agreement with MacArthur (etc). I do, at times, find myself in agreement with Ryrie (etc). So, in reality, I am between the MacArthur position and the Ryrie position. However I do lean closer to the MacArthur position in some ways.
     
  15. npetreley

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    Did you know that Calvin actually wrote about topics other than the doctrines of grace? I guess when you're not all about self promotion you can learn to play more than one tune.
     
  16. Lou Martuneac

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    Martin they will preach and speak of the finished work of Christ and his deity, but they insist a lost man can be saved apart from any knowledge, understanding or belief including an open rejection of these truths.

    Ditto John MacArthur for his Lordship Salvation (LS) message. LS is a man-centered, non-saving message that frustrates grace.

    LS is as far left of Bible truth as the Crossless interpretation is to the right.

    Both are false gospels.


    LM
     
  17. Lou Martuneac

    Lou Martuneac
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    Correct! BTW, they have essentially already decided that Jesus is NOT the object of faith. They insist only belief in His promise of eternal life is needed to receive the gift of eternal life. The lost man does not need to know who Jesus is or what He did to provide salvation, but can be born again by believing in His promise. The"Crossless" gospel also allows for conscious rejection of Christ's deity and still insist that man can be born again.

    Antonio da Rosa views a lost man's rejection of the Deity of Christ as a mere "misconception" that should be put on the "back-burner." da Rosa believes that in no way rejection of Christ's deity hinders the lost man from being saved through stated belief in the promise of eternal life from a Jesus whose deity he just trampled.

    Correct again.


    LM
     
  18. npetreley

    npetreley
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    Yeah, we get it. You think Hodges et al make the Gospel too simple. You think MacArthur and others make it too complicated. Okay, now we're all wagging our fingers at them. Bad men. Bad men. Mission accomplished.

    Now, can you think of anything else to talk about besides criticizing how others present the Gospel (even if you have to take people out of context to do so)?

    Heck, I'll even buy your book if it will make you move onto another topic.
     
  19. Alex Quackenbush

    Alex Quackenbush
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    To respond to you with your own post:
    Post #23
    :laugh: :laugh:
     
  20. standingfirminChrist

    standingfirminChrist
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    Who cares?

    The Lord God in Heaven cares.
     
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