The Casual gospel

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Internet Theologian, Dec 9, 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Internet Theologian

    Internet Theologian
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,224
    Likes Received:
    986
    If today’s gospel seems casual, and certainly it does, one need only to take a look at the message stemming from Free Grace Theology and other easy-believe-ism systems to ascertain as to why this is the case. Within these systems of thought it is found that there need be no real tangible transformation in the life of the so-called believer. This teaching is not merely limited to the initial conception of the new birth, the beginnings, but extends by way of application of the teachings to the entirety of the so-called believers life. By necessity there is no transforming message to be sought in this system, as it is believed and taught by implication that none is necessary.

    If one does not believe in a transforming Gospel, a Gospel that affects the person’s life with tangible evidences of new birth, that is, in all those who are truly converted, then there will be no transforming Gospel message preached.

    Why should there be? Why contend that the message is transformational when in the end it is not an ascribed belief, and transformation of the believer is not to be expected? A transforming message is then not only unaccounted for, but must be deemed unnecessary, this due to the beliefs concerning what a saved person looks like accordingly. There is expected to be little to no impact on the life unless one makes a decision for it to be so, as by choosing to be a disciple. One can readily determine by this that the power is not in the message itself, contrary to 1 Cor. 1:18, but is instead in the power of personal choice.

    Emotionally charged messages, life-coaching, impressive personalities may be status quo but there is no need for a transforming message, and there is then no transforming message given. At the least one who preaches this system should question as to why one would need to believe it to be transformational in the first place. There is little room or need for such a message. Why expect it?

    Below are some of the things I’ve learned concerning what the casual gospel teaches persons to believe within the walls of the church:

    Belief automatically means one has repented. Yet it is also taught, at the same time, that repentance is unnecessary.

    There is no evidence necessary that the person actually has been born again/repented. Tricky and inconsistent? Yes.

    This gospel preaches that holiness is unnecessary because it is considered a work, no matter what Hebrews 12:14 says. There are more passages, but the language and context here in Hebrews is solemn and straight forward.

    Obeying Christ is considered optional as well. Yes, Jesus said His sheep follow Him and obey His voice; John 10:27, but one does not have to be one of those type of sheep.

    Baptism? Optional, don’t worry about that Acts 2:41 thing. (not that there is a such thing as regeneration by water baptism, mind you, it’s just optional)

    Mere mental assent to Biblical facts is all that is necessary (or, heart-felt sinc erity) and you are going to heaven when you die. One proponent taught that simply believing John 6:47, written on a piece of paper, not having any knowledge who Jesus is, what he accomplished, and having no knowledge of the cross or the Gospel is instantaneously saved.

    Belief that faith is a supernatural gift has been supplanted by ‘innate’ faith. Nothing special here; even a dog has faith. Pay no mind to Romans 12:3; Php. 1:29; Eph. 1:19. One simply chooses to state belief in facts and gets to go to heaven, the other can’t come to believe these facts and so is banished to hell.

    Apostatizing from the faith is allowable to the extent that to do so ones salvation is still preached as intact. Therefore 1 John 2:19 is outdated, neutralized.

    Living a lifestyle of sin is allowable, accept for that one sin, most still preach against that but ‘regular’adultery is OK, you just won’t get any rewards in heaven. Matthew 7:21 and following shows living lawlessly equates to being in a lost state, yet ‘many’ on that day will feel they were entitled to heaven. This system preaches it is OK. Need anyone wonder who is preaching the truth here?

    Belief to the end is considered a work, in spite of 1 Cor. 15:2; Col. 1:23; 1 Cor. 1:8. In fact a person can stop believing as soon as they say the sinner’s prayer; they’re still going to heaven. 2 Timothy 2:13 is taken out of context of the whole of Scripture on this issue, and is then used as a proof text to support this fallacy.

    The casual gospel focuses on what happens when a person dies, not on the new creature, sanctification, suffering, maturing, and being transformed, of which all are partakers (2 Cor. 3:18). One gets to skip all that in this truncated version of the gospel, and can go from point A to point B unencumbered by church-going, love for God, desire for God, love of the brethren, sanctification, transformation, or any kind of change whatsoever. Yet, at the same time, and ironically so, the ‘new creature in Christ’ is a popular topic to preach.

    Discipleship is for fanatics and one can choose to either be one of those or just a person who holds mental assent to facts. Let’s not really get transformed here, OK?

    This gospel teaches you how very valuable and how great a person is, that this person is wonderful to God, (instead of showing the wrath of God abides on them, that they are alienated, ungodly, at enmity with God, etc) therefore, not focusing on ones lost state and unworthiness to be saved. No. In this gospel ones ego is stroked during ‘the gospel presentation’, then the person is led in a prayer. It leaves one feeling wonderful about self and wondering why in the world they even needed to be saved in the first place! Romans 5:6? That Jesus died for the ungodly, this must be speaking of other people.

    What Scripture says concerning a genuine believer, and what one looks like (1 John) doesn’t matter, it’s all optional. One can love the world, walk in darkness, not love the brothers, not abide in truth, just skip all that and take 1 John 5:13 out of its intended context. The aforementioned qualifying marks of a genuine conversion are of no matter. Consider that the disciples in Acts, saved at Pentecost had a love for one another immediately, and shared times of fellowship, prayer, breaking bread.


    All the above said, there is not one place within all of Scripture that even remotely teaches these things. There is no casual gospel within the pages of the Scriptures. Not one apostle taught this system, the Christ of God never taught this. None were asked if they wanted to be sure they are going to go to heaven when they die.

    The above teachings in this casual gospel stem from a manmade system that truncates the true Gospel into another which is not the gospel. It propagates itself via easy-believism and has in fact trivialized the most important message to all mankind . There is no gravity or solemnity to this gospel, it’s all to be taken lightly, tongue-in-cheek. The weighty matters of the Scriptures concerning true conversion and false, of Gospel warnings, and self-examination are all trivialized, and in the end Holy God is seen as some sort of cosmic pushover.

    Is it any wonder the world sees the message as some pie in the sky nonsense? The church has left off the true Gospel and traded it for a non-transforming myth, 2 Timothy 4.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  2. JamesL

    JamesL
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    Messages:
    2,242
    Likes Received:
    75
    OP is poof positive that it's not easy to simply believe upon Christ. Sad, really.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  3. agedman

    agedman
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Messages:
    4,255
    Likes Received:
    185
    This statement is not just in the presentation of salvation but in the worship found in more and more churches.

    "There is no gravity or solemnity to this gospel, it’s all to be taken lightly, tongue-in-cheek. The weighty matters of the Scriptures concerning true conversion and false, of Gospel warnings, and self-examination are all trivialized, and in the end Holy God is seen as some sort of cosmic pushover."

    Such is plunging this last church time into apostasy and fleshly exuberance.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Internet Theologian

    Internet Theologian
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,224
    Likes Received:
    986
    Yes agedman it effects all areas and not only during church! :)
     
  5. InTheLight

    InTheLight
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    Messages:
    16,189
    Likes Received:
    611
    Once again, I would ask you to provide the names of the proponents of this easy-believeism, no repentance gospel. Who is preaching this?
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. InTheLight

    InTheLight
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    Messages:
    16,189
    Likes Received:
    611
    Tumbleweed1.gif
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  7. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Messages:
    2,497
    Likes Received:
    454
    Brother, I do most strongly agree with you. I visited the African country of Lesotho in September on a mission. Lesotho is a country that is nominally 80% Christian (split evenly between 'Protestant' and Church of Rome). Yet it has the world's 7th highest murder rate per head of population, the highest incidence of rape and the highest infection rate of AIDS. How can these things be? Does the Gospel not work any more? Or is it the case that they have been taught that you can raise your hand or walk to the front, and say a 'sinner's prayer' and there you are, all sorted out with God- no repentance necessary.
    'What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!' (Rom. 6:1-2). Pray for Africa; it is in the grip of the so-called 'Prosperity Gospel' and other religious junk and desperately needs to receive the true word of God.

    However, I wanted to ask you about 'Free Grace Theology.' This seems to have a different meaning in the UK to that which it has in the USA. There is a difference IMO between 'Practical Antinomianism,' which is what you describe in your O.P. and 'Theoretical Antinomianism' which says that we are no longer under the law in any way, but that true Christians still lead moral lives through the guidance of the Spirit. Would you include a man like Don Fortner in your strictures? Here is something by him: http://graceandtruthonline.com/article19.html
    I have given the link, not because I agree with it- I do not; I believe that we are under the Moral Law as a rule of life- but to show that he does believe in the transformation in the life of the believer. I'd be interested in your comments.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  8. Internet Theologian

    Internet Theologian
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,224
    Likes Received:
    986
    Brother Martin Marprelate,

    Thanks for the response and it is good to see that another is aware of the situation. Some would believe the things in the OP to be spurious, thus seek proof (and when has actual real, hard evidence ever convinced anyone on this forum?) but nonetheless these things are taught, believed, preached in many churches today. To be unaware is to be at the least disingenuous if not outright dishonest, or, one is totally oblivious to the status quo.

    These things were popularized, to some extent by Lewis Sperry Chafer, Zane Hodges, Charles Ryrie among others in what is formally Free Grace Theology.

    As far as Don Fortner, in what you provided as to his teachings, I do not see that he would fit into the criticism contained in the OP. It is encouraging to see that he believes in transformation of the believer. Scripture is replete with this truth; 2 Cor. 3:18, Hebrews 12:14, 1 John 3:3, 2 Timothy 2:19 etc.

    Of course, as you well know, the Gospel works, still works, will always work and will be the message preached to which the elect respond.
     
    #8 Internet Theologian, Dec 18, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015
  9. DHK

    DHK
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    37,982
    Likes Received:
    134
    I ask the same question as ITL asks:
    Once again, I would ask you to provide the names of the proponents of this easy-believeism, no repentance gospel. Who is preaching this?
    --I have no idea who you are talking about. Just blowing off steam perhaps? Or making false accusations?
    Without actual evidence who are you talking about?

    Secondly you are either very confused about the gospel or have made a false dichotomy between the gospel and sanctification. The gospel does not include the progressive sanctification of the believer. Salvation takes place in an instant like it did with the thief on the cross. What good works was there in the life of the thief on the cross did you see that you could declare him save.
    Or are you still going to stick to: "no change no salvation," and deny the words of Jesus that he was saved?

    There is a difference between salvation and sanctification. If sanctification and good works did not follow salvation then salvation would be by works, and Christianity would be like all the other religions of the world--not of grace, not of faith--but of works.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. JonShaff

    JonShaff
    Expand Collapse
    Fellow Servant

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Messages:
    600
    Likes Received:
    88
    Sanctification is a Part of the Gospel

    The Gospel (The Entirety of the Message of Christ) Includes these Three Parts (...that we are saved From, Hence *Salvation*)

    1. Saved from the Penalty of Sin
    2. Saved from the Power of Sin
    3. Saved From the Presence of Sin

    Also Known as...

    1. Justification
    2. Sanctification
    3. Glorification

    Those are all included in the Gospel.

    Gospel--The Good News of God's *Salvation* Through/In/By/Because of Jesus Christ
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Internet Theologian

    Internet Theologian
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,224
    Likes Received:
    986
    Right. Now, there are several who believe when sanctification is preached ('progressive' i.e. Hebrews 12:14) that one is preaching a works Gospel. Evidence of salvation is often wrongly conflated with works. If a person isn't being transformed, 2 Cor. 3:18, and isn't growing, or never grows in sanctification; Hebrews 12:14 it is indicative of no true conversion experience.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Internet Theologian

    Internet Theologian
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,224
    Likes Received:
    986
    DHK I will provide you (and the other) with only a denial of your request. Evidence would only be denied, ridiculed and mocked. This is what you do. I'll engage with those who are honest in debate and none otherwise.

    Frankly, with your track record of twisting and fabricating things into what others state, and often, you are to be avoided.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. DHK

    DHK
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    37,982
    Likes Received:
    134
    Most of us know those theological divisions, and I could have anticipated such an answer before I even posted what I wrote. That is not the point. When people talk of salvation they don't speak of sanctification and glorification. If I ask you "When were you saved," will you answer: not until I am glorified? Most wouldn't. And that is not the testimony that Paul gave before kings, prisoners, jailers, etc. Our testimony of salvation includes how we came to Christ--not our sanctification and glorification. There is no need to confuse the issue.
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 2
  14. DHK

    DHK
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    37,982
    Likes Received:
    134
    The only conclusion I can come to is that the OPl is based on hearsay.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  15. JonShaff

    JonShaff
    Expand Collapse
    Fellow Servant

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Messages:
    600
    Likes Received:
    88
    Ahhh, ok. The Compulsion of the *Fruit Inspectors*.
     
  16. JonShaff

    JonShaff
    Expand Collapse
    Fellow Servant

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Messages:
    600
    Likes Received:
    88
    So, Let's pretend i am an unbeliever, but i'm curious. I ask you, IT, why do Christians talk about being saved? Can I Be saved?

    How would you respond?
     
  17. Internet Theologian

    Internet Theologian
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,224
    Likes Received:
    986
    Of course, with this caveat, and it is contextually and accurately applied:

    But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
     
  18. Internet Theologian

    Internet Theologian
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,224
    Likes Received:
    986
    That comment in the way it is put is intended to ridicule or at the least trivialize this necessity. The church nonetheless is called to inspect fruit, of self; 2 Cor. 13:5 and of others; note 1 John. Much more NT instruction could be included.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. JonShaff

    JonShaff
    Expand Collapse
    Fellow Servant

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Messages:
    600
    Likes Received:
    88
    Ridicule? Not so much. Trivialize? Hardly. I will concede that we are suppose to inspect fruit, but for what purpose? And to what extent?
     
  20. JonShaff

    JonShaff
    Expand Collapse
    Fellow Servant

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Messages:
    600
    Likes Received:
    88
    Ok??? That's what you got?
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

Loading...