January 19, 2010

Is Doctrinal Controversy Healthy (with thoughts on Once Saved Always Saved)?

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16 Comments
  1. We’re naive to think that the Church Father’s all agreed on doctrines. Tertullian, Origen, and others contributed greatly to the Church, but had opinions that were labeled heretical.

    Like it or not doctrine, is often used as control device to silence debate. It ranges from the ludicrous (I had a pastor that believed if you didn’t agree with Pre-trib rapture you’d be left behind) to the critical (if God is perfect love why isn’t annihilationism possible. I prefer that over a Hitlerian ever-burning holocaust.)

    The interesting thing is that Paul labels certain items of which his gospel comprised, and its a rather sparse list.

  2. Dr. Brown

    I know many people who hold fast to the teaching of OSAS. I have friends who personally enjoy the teaching of Charles Stanley who have confessed that they are not walking on the narrow and difficult way the scriptures refer to (St. Matthew 7: 13-14 , St. Luke 13: 23-28). Many of them have stated that this teaching does open a door to compromise their standards of godliness since that whatever sin they find themselves falling into, will not hinder their entrance into the Kingdom (James 5:19&20). One question has always been puzzling to me over the years…if once saved, always saved is true, then once lost, always lost has to be true as well (Ezek. 18: 20 – 32); neither can be true!

    Thanks! Dr. Brown for the work you have done for sooo many years…

  3. I thought I gave my life to Jesuswhen I was 17 but since I rarely read the bible and didn’t know of Jesus’ words, I was like the soil that was rocky and seed had no root. I dried up and blew away by age 18,till I was 48 years old. 30 years living totally in the world with no thought of God. But then he brought me back in 94 and just in time for the Brownsville Revival. I was there the sunday you first came. (although I went to a baptist church in Ft. Walton Beach) I am on fire for Jesus and growing. I loved it when your Fire Ministry youth and Josh Peters came to our Youth Conference BulletProof. ANYWAY– I don’t know if I was ever saved at 17 or not. I was serious about Jesus for awhile. I feel like God had His hand on me and brought me back. Appreciated listening on Ibethel Tb when you were there. God Bless you and I hope Fire Ministry comes back to FT. Walton and takes some of our kids back with you this time.

  4. I do not believe in once saved always saved. But there are thoughs that say that thoughs that fall away were never saved i the first place. I strongly disagree. I believe that you could have gotten a new heart and still fall away.
    Those who have gotten on the ship going to heaven,they are safe. But if that person desides to jump off the boat and get his own row boat he can do so and leave the ship.
    The word says that ” IF we continue in His word we shall be His disciples” That is a big IF.

  5. From what I know from Scriptures and to my understanding, once someone has been washed by the blood of Jesus Christ, he will dwell in the presence of the Lord forever, because Jesus’ sheep are in His hand and no one (not even the devil, nor the world nor oneself) takes them out from Him. This is what I personally believe. There are many consequences to sin, but I am confident that you cannot lose your salvation, precisely because you’ve never earned it in the first place. I believe God can and will discipline the believer that has gone astray, even if that means physical death (in order to save him for judgment day). Does a believer have “free licence” to sin? Plane and simply, I would say yes. The problem is only God knows our heart so we can’t point to someone and say” but what about this guy? He committed this sin and that sin etc” because we can always recall the Scriptures if he went away from us, it’s because he was never part of us. The LA murdered obviously misunderstood the Bible and we cannot blame Scriptures for that: I once had a patient who injured her own eye because she had read that it is better to take away your eye and enter into heaven than perish with both eyes. Is Jesus to blame in such case? Finally I just what to comment on: “if we continue in His word we shall be His disciples”, I really feel comfortable to say that “if we continue” doesn’t necessarily mean that we won’t.

  6. The thing is- while eternal security does have merit from God’s eternal perspective- from our mortal perspective- it simply does not hold up- I prefer GENUINE SECURITY: submit to Christ on His terms – and remain faithful to Him as empowered & guided by His grace,

  7. I have to post in defense of my very passionate stand AGAINST once saved, always saved. I was raised in a Christian home where I was baptised in the Holy Spirit at the age of four. I grew up deeply loving the Lord and very committed to him. After high school I got involved with a man and subsequently fell into a lifestyle of sin and continued to do so for six years. I fought the conviction of the Holy Spirit the ENTIRE time. I was miserable but did not repent. One night, as I got dressed to go out for the evening, the Holy Spirit spoke very loudly, very plainly and very simply to my heart (over the blaring music playing n the room behind me) that if I were to die that evening I would go to hell. I knew that for six years I had denied the prompting of the Holy Spirit to repent and return to my first love and follow the path God had laid out for me. I don’t know how scriptural that is, I have heard both arguments…all I know is that as for me, I have NO doubt what I felt the Lord say to me that night. I went out anyway, but returned early and prayed. Repentance soon followed. It has been nine years and I am beginning to understand what took place that night. Again, after studying Hebrews last summer, I understand the arguement FOR this, but after living through this warning, I have NO doubt that when you ourtright IGNORE the voice of God over and over and over, there will be a reckoning for that choice. I have absolute certainty about my salvation before my turning away. I don’t believe that you can LOSE your salvation…..I believe you can CHOOSE to give it away.

  8. Ultimately, both systems fail in that they attempt to explain the unexplainable. Human beings are incapable of fully grasping a concept such as this. Yes, God is absolutely sovereign and knows all. Yes, human beings are called to make a genuine decision to place faith in Christ unto salvation. These two facts seem contradictory to us, but in the mind of God they make perfect sense.

  9. Dr. Michael Brown, I love and respect you very much. I love the Word of God and daily wake up and even purpose many times to take up God’s Word throughout day to day life and so as you know I would see results because God’s Word works, it’s NOT an exageration. You would see miracles and you discern God’s leading all throughout the day all the time as you yourself know. I say this because I want it to be known that I believe in Jesus Christ, He is the ONLY Way, the Truth, and the Life. But I am worried for you to debate Dr. White because it actually is true. I know as believers we don’t have to agree on every area of doctrine. But I believe that if someone approaches the topic in the most objective way they can philosophically (concerning God’s nature), seeking God, and laying all the facts on the table using the scriptures on both sides of this argument going into the Hebrew and ancient Greek languages of the scriptures, you will inevitably have to concede that this is infact the case. And you will see that this really is what the scriptures were saying all along. I came to believe this just last year and I still don’t necessarily promote this teaching because of the fear that it might make someone take advantage of the grace extended to them in Christ. The thing is, though, if someone is leading a rebellious life while NOT making Jesus their lord, they have good reason to wonder if they ever were born of God’s Spirit. That is why we work out our salvation in fear and trembling to see if we really are in Christ–in the family of God. According to the scriptures, if the seed of Christ (the Spirit of Christ) lives in us, then we CANNOT sin now as our spirits have been redeemed. Only our flesh is NOT redeemed. If this sounds like an excuse or copout, it’s not. Both the apostle Paul and John teach this. But IF we are truly in Christ our minds are continually being renewed for God knows ahead of time those who will remain with him. Many are called few chosen. Even the symbolic parables and representations by Jesus and ALL of the apostles reveal this. I have much to say about this but for lack of space and for reason of ineffectivenes when posting a reply online as opposed to in person, this will have to suffice.

  10. Hi Dr. Brown,

    I believe that you can’t eternally lose your salvation. I believe that the good work God began in us He will complete (Phil.1:6). However, I do believe that God will, for a season, cut off unrepentant believers and cast them into the fires of torment and affliction. So in this sense, I believe you can lose your salvation (with regard to your soul) for a temporary period. However, I believe these people will also be saved eventually (1 Corinthians 3:15).

    Having said this, I’m uncertain of the length of time that one can remain cut off. There’s some speculation that one could spend the Millennial reign in this state of torment and darkness (Zane Hodges et al). Needless to say, I’m certain that there are very serious consequences for an unrepentant sinner. I just don’t believe that these consequences are eternal for those that have genuinely believed in Christ for their salvation.

    Blessings,
    Greg

  11. OSAS is not true! If we look at Scripture, there are conditions for the promises of God, including salvation. We MUST repent. We MUST remain in the Vine (John 15) or be cut off and thrown into the fire. We MUST not fall into serious sin (1 Cor. 6, Gal. 5, Rev. 21). We are never perfect and completely sinless, but we are to become sanctified. Walking in the Spirit is a continual walk we do. Jesus told the churches in Rev. 2 and 3 they needed to repent, and return to their first love, or be at risk. Also, in 2 Pet. 2:20-22, it is clear that those who, like a sow returning to the mud after being washed, were believers. The word used for their knowledge of the Lord is “epignosis”, ALWAYS used for believers in the NT and meaning intimate knowledge of God.

    There are many other Scriptures, also. We are WARNED about apostasy, one can not fall from where one has never been! We are to “hold fast”, to “continue in the teachings we hear at the beginning”. Totally agree with Dr. Brown, and look forward to the debate with Dr. White.

  12. Hopefully more shows in the future will be dedicated to once saved always saved. I know it’s an issue people get way too hung up on but I think someone like Dr. Brown needs to sort these issues out as to what the Bible says!

    Dr. Brown, maybe you can get someone to debate you on your show on the once saved always saved topic.

    I think it will be very fruitful, just like the Calvinism debates and trinity debates/deity of Yeshua – I recently watched the entire trinity debate that you did with Dr. White on Jewish voice, very, very great debate and produced much fruit. I learned so much from that I’ve watched it almost 3 times, still taking notes on it. Same with the Calvinism debates, I have pages(plural) of notes on that.. And, many of the debates with Rabbi’s I have lots and lots of notes on that as well. See debates are very, very fruitful if done by the right people in the right spirit..

    God bless!

  13. 20 BITESIZE OSAS
    This was supposed to be a bitesize piece on OSAS – but it grew,and grew,and grew !Perhaps you could bite into a few opening sentences,and see if it grabs you! May anything I’ve said that is not true be flushed out of a reader’s mind by the living God and His Holy Scripture before it does any harm ; fallible nobody though I be,may anything I’ve said that is close enough to plumb-truth be given an OBJECTIVE hearing. (BOTH SIDES of the Second Covenant truth can set you free,but,the SWEET/’Gerizim’ side alone (so to speak),could see you back in the behavioral SWAMP !)
    ———————————
    Hello,I am merely an unregenerate Gentile who has some familiarity with Holy Scripture – I have a comment on what is believe to be the most pernicious teaching among the British and American contingent of the Bride : ‘Once Saved,Always Saved’.
    Scripture does say a backlsider can return to Jesus.but also discusses a point of no return – if someone builds their understanding of the narrow Way on the SWEET/’Gerizim’ side of the coin (so to speak),without equal regard to the SOUR/’Ebal’ side,their understanding will be distorted and unbalanced (‘Gerizim’ – Galatians 6:1,’Ebal’ – Hebrews 10:26).
    Mistaken and pernicious understandings of salvation and grace have been around since the early days of the Bride (note Jude 4 and Revelation 2:20 ) ; teaching that leads bondservants astray and STRENGHTHENS HANDS ; that undermines the call to purity and godliness of lifestyle,and perseverence through the consequent persecution such a walk brings on ; teaching that serves to lure disciples back into the (sometimes subtle) materialistic,hedonistic and antagonistic filth from which they were being purified (note Hebrews 10:23-31) ; back into behavioral harlotry while the Bridegroom is away,in the deadly misunderstanding that Jesus will marry someone who has followed after their own desires in His absence (nothing new under the sun – note the First Covenant HAND-STRENGTHENING version of OSAS – Jeremiah 23:14-17).
    OSAS stems from a distorted,ONE-SIDED understanding of salvation (and Almighty God’s sovereignty) : as John Wesley put it,people are saved FROM sin,not IN sin ; as I would put it,people are saved FROM behavioral filth,not IN behavioral filth – FROM the swamp,not IN the swamp. Furthermore,i think the typical OSAS adherent in Britain and America is unaware of the REPULSIVE fruit of the ‘fathers’ (so to speak) of OSAS – namely the so-called ‘Magisterial Reformers’.
    Here is a free article by Daniel Corner,on the fruit of John Calvin,entitled ‘His Ashes Cry Out Against John Calvin’.
    http://www.revivaltheology.net/1_cal_arm/ashes.html
    ‘If he (Michael Servetus] comes [to Geneva] I [Calvin] shall never let him go out alive,if my authority has weight’.
    As you read those words of Calvin,remember Matthew 12:33-37 and Psalm 94:20. (Given those repulsive words,and,if a spade is still a spade,who was enthroned as sovereign in Geneva at that time ? God who is AGAPE ? God who said ‘agape your enemies’ ?) When you consider what Calvin wrote in 1546 and then did in 1553,ask yourself,noting Galatians 5:19-23,which fruit is that ? Is such a man fit to teach ?
    For a more in-depth account of the repulsive methods used to populate the camp (and deal with the opponents) of the ‘Magisterial Reformation’,read ‘The Reformers and Their Stepchildren’ by Leonard Verduin :
    http://www.amazon.com/Reformers-Their-Stepchildren-Dissent-Nonconformity/dp/1579789358/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1325147580&sr=1-1
    Consider the following fruit information Leonard provides :
    ‘They [the leaders of the Magisterial Reformation] constantly urged the magistrate to draw the blood of the opposition’ (Chapter 1).
    ‘The burning of Servetus….was a deed for which Calvin must be held largely responsible….He [Calvin] maneuvered it from start to finish’ (Chapter 1).
    Zwingli’s successor,Henry Bullinger,said this : ‘It is wrong,say they [opponents of the Magisterial Reformation],to compel anyone by force or coercion to embrace the faith,or,to put anyone to death because of erring faith’. (Chapter 2).
    If Leonard has his facts straight,and if a spade is still a spade,what is to be OBJECTIVELY made of that fruit information ?
    Should such men be regarded as ‘heroes’ of the faith ?
    As SOUND and reliable interpreters of Holy Scripture ?!
    As adherents of Zechariah 4:6 ?
    Note Genesis 6:13 and Ezekiel 28:16 – is Jesus likely to build His church by the very means God cited for bringing on the flood : VIOLENCE ?!
    Hopefully,in the light of such repulsive imformation,many OSAS adherents will walk away from Calvinism and OSAS in godly revulsion,and be prepared to OBJECTIVELY listen to a more balanced account of the narrow Way – a Way with no place for (subtle behavioral) harlotry,let alone violence to anyone.
    I can understand OSAS adherents having a hard time accepting this from an unregenerate like myself.
    With that in mind,Michael L Brown is somewhat familiar with David Pawson : Michael has in the past recommended two of David’s Books – ‘Once Saved ,Always Saved ?’ and ‘When Jesus Returns’. (Furthermore,IHOP,where Mike Bickle is based,has described David Pawson as ‘one of the world’s finest Bible expositors and prophetic preachers’.) David Pawson,i’m pleased to say,knows the Holy Spirit,Pentecostally,and the Holy Scriptures,objectively.
    Here is a talk on OSAS,given by David in May 2011 at IHOP : he begins by discussing his book ‘ The Road to Hell’.
    http://www.ihop.org/resources/2011/05/17/once-saved-always-saved/
    Here are two books written by David on this primary facet of the Way that is highly unpalatable and inconvenient to the flesh – plus,a greatly needed discussion on predestination by Roger Forster. As Roger says,certain individuals are not predestined to BECOME believers – rather,HAVING BECOME believers (of their own free will),they are now predestined to glory. The difference is important. In the appendix Roger discusses the fruit of the ‘OSAS-grandfather’,so to speak – Augustine – the man whose own version of predestination,I believe,has eclipsed the eye-gates of many,many (sincere or insincere) Bible-reading folk since.
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Road-to-Hell-ebook/dp/B004W4M6LQ/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1325518974&sr=1-3
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=david+pawson&x=0&y=0
    http://store.ihop.org/store/product/3495/Once-Saved%2C-Always-Saved%3F/
    http://store.ihop.org/store/product/10314/The-Road-to-Hell%3A-Everlasting-Torment-or-Annihilation%3F/
    http://www.amazon.com/Strategy-Human-History-Roger-Forster/dp/1579102735/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1325519211&sr=1-1
    Do read Daniel’s free article ; do listen to David’s free talk at IHOP ; do get Leonard’s book ; seek and sit at the feet of objective men of agape,not violence.
    When you read Daniel’s article,bear in mind Ezekiel 28 :16 Matthew 12:33-37,Matthew 23:15,John 8:41-44,Revelation 21:8 and Psalm 94:20.
    OSAS is a Second Covenant HAND-STRENGTHENER (Jeremiah stood against the First Covenant version). It strengthened the hands of the Magisterial Reformers to the point they thought they could have people KILLED ! (In subsequent centuries,it has strengthened countless others to store up treasure on earth,and/or,to get into bed with their saved/unsaved neighbor.)
    Are the OSAS ‘fathers’ to be regarded as heroes of the faith ? Sound ? Is a spade still a spade ?
    Psalm 94:20 bears contemplation : Can any throne of Magisterial violence be allied with the Lord God of Israel ? With God who (said John) is AGAPE ?
    Matthew 12:33-37. Jesus said bad trees [refering to evil men] are ‘known’ [i.e. they are IDENTIFIABLE] by what comes out of their mouth [and pen].
    How many Calvin and OSAS adherents have an ear to humbly,and OBJECTIVELY hear and heed this inconvenient ACID TEST given by Jesus ?
    No wineskin-denomination declares plumb truth – all veer off on some point.
    If a spade is still a spade,is KILLING people a banner (or hallmark) of SOUNDNESS or UNSOUNDNESS ? Those being conformed to Jesus’s image,those who are sound,are increasingly pure and gentle in character – violence will become imcreasingly replusive. The nine gifts of the Spirit are for the BUILDING UP of the Bride – violence on the other hand,is something to be REPENTED of at conversion – not UTILIZED thereafter !
    Note 1Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:7 – GENTLENESS is actually a prerequisite for appointment to eldership ? Do such violent men represent or misrepresent Jesus (Jesus who is God,who is AGAPE) ? Are they qualified for eldership ?
    (There WERE disciples of Jesus in the 16th Century contending for the faith and counting the cost – find out about them in Leonard’s book. With regard to STRENGTHENED HANDS,note Leonard’s chapter on ‘conductual-averagism’ as he calls it – where he says the behaviour of those who followed the ‘Magisterial Reformers’ was not in contrast to the rest of society – remember Jeremiah 23:14.)
    ‘Humble Pie’ is perhaps the most awful tasting pie on earth.The longer a believer spends under any given deception,the more pride will prevent them from eating a slice – particularly if the teaching in question is a source of (false) comfort to them ; the more pride will prevent them from calling a spade (of repulsive fruit) a spade (of repulsive fruit) – they may seek to deny or excuse the fruits of the ‘OSAS-fathers’.
    If a believer has not only been unknowingly deceived by a teaching themselves (in this case,OSAS),but has actually begun to (sincerely or insincerely)teach it to others,the idea of calling a spade a spade is likely to be even more unbearable to their pride. May many OSAS teachers take a leaf out of Apollos’s book : although he was mighty in the Scriptures,he was humble enough to adjust his position a little closer to plumb,at the instruction of two people who may have had a fraction of his academic knowledge of Scripture : Priscilla and Aquilla,Acts 18:24-26.Though he may have had,as it were,a DIPLOMA on the wall,they had had a DIP in Holy Spirit – I should think by the time they’d finished with Apollos,he had BOTH! So,there you have one man who,instructorwise,took a little bite of Humble Pie,and what a big reward he got in return. May many WINESKIN teachers (whether they be Catholic,Anglican,Calvinistic,Dispensational,Adventist,Wesleyan or Cessationist) do likewise – at the instruction of BALANCED,OBJECTIVE,DIPPED Bible teachers who HUMBLY stand OUTSIDE all Second Covenant wineskins/camps.
    May authentically (grafted and) saved Gentile OSAS adherents consider the Romans 11 statement by Paul on SALVATION that has come to Gentiles ; may they OBJECTIVELY ask themselves the following : God did not spare the natural branches – will He spare ME ? (Romans 11:11,17-22)
    Will God spare Gentile branches who wallow in (sometimes subtle) materialistic,antogaonistic and hedonistic filth ? Consider Revelation 3:4-6. What did Jesus say about a few names ? What is the destiny of the other names if they carried on as they were ?) To put it in slightly different terms,if a man,on returning from elsewhere,discovered his bride-to-be had spent her nights with Tom,Dick and Harry in his absence – would be still go through with ther wedding ? ‘I know your deeds’ said Jesus (to flocks in Revelation) : will any Western believer who has spent their days in antagonism,materialism and hedonism (i.e. in filth) in His absence,be part of the pure spotless Bride ?
    May many OSAS adherents humbly and OBJECTIVELY watch or read Daniel,Leonard,Roger and David’s stuff ; may they (in the light of Jesus’s ACID TEST,and after discovering the behavioral fruit of the ‘OSAS-grandfather/fathers’) walk out of the OSAS-wineskin as a result (a wineskin,remember,built with the use of VIOLENCE) ; denying themselves thereafter of any behavioral filth OSAS had STRENGTHENED their hands to commit,and bearing,if need be,potential embarassment,ostracization and the reproach of Christ ; may they be among those who have made themselves READY for the Bridegroom (Revelation 19:7),among those who have REMAINED in the true vine with no need to shrink away from Him in shame at His coming (John 15:1-2,6 and 1 John 2:28) ; may they finish up in the new Jerusalem.
    Once saved,always SPARED ?!

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  15. People get so caught up in doctrinal controversies they forget the ultimate message to the Church of Ephesus: To return to our first love (Jesus), because He is all that matters. I was raised in a “christian” environment and it drove me to atheism and agnosticism for 14 years over the hypocrisies of christians. Pentecostals dogging on Baptists, SDA’s dogging on every other church while they claim to be the one “true” church. Christians drive more people away from Christ than atheists do, including members of their own families. When Jesus sees the Church today, i can’t help but wonder what he thinks about us. Is he ashamed? I would be if i were him. Where has our mercy, love and forgiveness gone? Truly, if we’re not saved by his Grace then none of us will make the marriage supper of the Lamb, because not a one of us is worthy of him.

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