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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • Rev. John Samson
  • Rev. David Thommen (URC)
  • John Hendryx
  • Marco Gonzalez

    We are a community of confessing believers who love the gospel of Jesus Christ, affirm the Biblical and Christ-exalting truths of the Reformation such as the five solas, the doctrines of grace, monergistic regeneration, and the redemptive historical approach to interpreting the Scriptures.

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  • « Consider your calling, brothers | Main | Book Review: The Good News We Almost Forgot, by Kevin DeYoung »

    Excerpt from a Synergistic Statement of Faith

    "We believe that when an unregenerate person exercises saving faith in Christ, which is illustrated and described as such in the New Testament, he passes immediately out of spiritual death into spiritual life." Stonebriar Community Church, Pastored by Chuck Swindoll, click here for source.

    This simply does not stand up next to the Text of Scripture:

    "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all..."This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father." John 6:63, 65

    "I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. Ezekiel 36:25-27

    "...it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy." - Rom 9:16

    Related Quotes:

    "How can it be said that the weakness of the human will is aided so as to enable it to aspire effectually to the choice of good, when the fact is, that it must be wholly transformed and renewed?" - John Calvin

    "We ought always to beware of making the smallest claim for ourselves." - John Calvin

    "The nature of the Divine goodness is not only to open to those who knock. but also to cause them to knock and ask." - Augustine

    "You may be quite certain that if you love God it is a fruit, not a root." - C.H. Spurgeon

    "We are not born again by repentance or faith or conversion: we repent and believe because we have been born again." - John Murray

    "As grace led me to faith in the firstplace, so grace will keep me believing to the end. Faith, both in its origin and continuance, is a gift of grace." - J.I. Packer

    "Regeneration, however it is described, is a divine activity in us, in which we are not the actors but the recipients." - Sinclair Ferguson

    "Grace alone makes the elect gracious; grace alone keeps them gracious; and the same grace alone will render them everlastingly glorious in the heaven of heavens." - Augustus Toplady

    "Without the Holy Spirit there would be no new birth, no illumination, no understanding or affection for the gospel, and thus no faith -- in other words, no Christians." - J.W. Hendryx

    “To make human action the cause of divine blessing is to overturn the whole nature of salvation.” - Iain Murray

    "...nor of the will of the flesh" (Jn. 1:13). The Bible declares there are only two states of being: flesh and Spirit, and that it is only those who are born of the Spirit (Jn. 3:3, 6:63) who will come to Jesus (Jn. 6:65). The native resources of the flesh are, therefore, morally impotent to meet God's humbling requirement to believe the gospel. (1:13) - J.W.H

    "Grace itself teaches humility. The Apostle said, 'What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it why do you boast as if you had not received it? (1 cor 4:7) thus, even our ability to understand, to know, to discern, to hear, and to believe God's word, are all gifts we have received, not attainments we may boast in." J.W.H

    "Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law... Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart." Ps 119:18, 33-34


    Posted by John on May 26, 2010 01:02 PM

    Comments

    Perhaps I am reading wrong… but it seems to clarify itself with…
    “which is illustrated and described as such in the New Testament,”
    As the New Testament demonstrates,,.
    The action of…
    “when an unregenerate person exercises saving faith in Christ”
    Is proof that God has brought about that change.

    It does not read…
    “We believe that when an unregenerate person (by his own will) exercises saving faith in Christ”

    Am I missing something here, I do not see a synergistic, but still a monergistic saving here…

    Mike,

    The quote said, "when an unregenerate person exercises saving faith in Christ"

    The "WHEN" and "unregenerate" and "faith" are together ... so it is clear that it is the unregenerate person who exercises faith. But, as the bible declares, it is impossible for an unregenerate person to exercise faith. He must first be regenerate.

    Also, Swindoll has long been known to have taught that faith precedes regeneration.

    How else does a person excercise that which he desires? It is from his WILL. The unregenerate do not even want Christ. The myth of Prevenient Grace where the Holy Spirit enables a person under conviction to believe the Gospel (synergism) is not found in the Bible. The unsaved cannot even SEE the kingdom, Jesus told Nicodemus. So, the sinner must be BORN FROM ABOVE/(the SPIRIT) (regeneration) FIRST. That act is WHOLLY done by the Holy Spirit (monergism). Therefore, Regeneration -> Saving Faith. (Monergism) NOT: Saving Faith -> Regeneration. (Synergism)

    Matches up with the statement on the Dallas Theological Seminary site, where, if memory serves, Dr. Swindoll was in leadership not too long ago:

    Article VII, Paragraph 2:

    "We believe that the new birth of the believer comes only through faith in Christ and that repentance is a vital part of believing, and is in no way, in itself, a separate and independent condition of salvation; nor are any other acts, such as confession, baptism, prayer, or faithful service, to be added to believing as a condition of salvation (John 1:12; 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24; 6:29; Acts 13:39; 16:31; Rom. 1:16–17; 3:22, 26; 4:5; 10:4; Gal. 3:22)."

    Sounds pretty synergistic to me....

    I agree. The very first phrase gives the idea that FAITH comes first and THEN the new birth. That is the sinner co-operating with the Holy Spirit to 'produce' SYNERGISM.

    OK, now that you pointed it out, I can see more clearly how it does read of a synergistic view.

    Thank you Brother John for clearing that up.

    The Bible makes clear that it is by faith that we access God's grace. It does not say exactly how that faith comes or is activated except that it is a gift. If it is a gift, it wouldn't be coming from self, so whether the Holy Spirit gives faith before being born again or afterwards, does not seem to really matter. I say this because I'm concerned about Christian unity. Swindoll is doing the Lord's work and winning many to Christ. Not that we can't correct or defend truth, but I believe any time we criticize we must equally be careful not to accidentally separate others from another "body part". We all need each other, even if that "body part" does not know exactly what we know or think we know. Since I stumbled upon this one page from the internet, you might have done this elsewhere. If not, I'm sorry, I hope you might consider it in the future.

    Tony,

    Speaking the truth in love is actually the way to bring about unity. Unity is never grounded in falsehood. Furthermore, no one is claiming that someone who believes differently than we do about a particular doctrine is not part of the body of Christ (or something absurd like that). On the contrary, because we love those in the body of Christ we call them to give glory to God -- and they can do so by thinking their thoughts more consistently after Him, as He has revealed Himself to us in the Scripture.

    Most importantly, Jesus Himself plainly teaches monergistic regeneration (John 6:63-65, 37). So Swindoll is teaching something that is in direct opposition to the teaching of our Lord. To the degree we teach incorrectly about God, to the same degree we commit idolatry. Unfortunately we all do this at some levels but when we give and receive correction we help one another better represent God more consistently in our thoughts, words and deeds ... but since this is such an important truth and so critical to the doctrine of 'grace alone', that we must speak out about it. I would be remiss not to when God is being dishonored by doctrine which teaches that man can make claims for himself with regard to the sufficiency of Christ's saving work. No, Christ is not only necessary but sufficient to save us to the uttermost. He not only justifies us for Christ's sake when we exercise faith, but also raises us from the death of sin by His regenerating Spirit in order to bring us to faith.


    I have heard Pastor Swindoll on Ephesians 2 and he sounded like a sovereign grace preacher to me! One of his Theological mentors is Dr John Hannah who is a great lover of the theology of the Reformers.

    Swindoll clearly thinks like most Christians, "My self-generated act of faith triggers God's salvation." However, using this one sentence - one that is not completely transparent (like John 3:16) - is a bit lazy.
    Thanks for the additional support Jeff.

    All heavens rejoice when one sinner, no matter how good he once seemed in the having of many works before many man, than is turned and given repentance to see the lord and his salvation from the greatest sin of man - pride of ones own works in his own glory - even as Cain who had good works through much labor.
    I pray this man is not a comforter of the flesh of so many who hear him, but that he teaches the truth of salvation even doctrinally. It sounds like he doesn't and hasn't! But I do not know much here of his position and stand but I do know the truth and it is that no man can enter unless God grants him to. Not even a "christian" who is claimed of himself to be before others, having good works done for the approval of God so to keep his pride and position such as was true of Cain's efforts and works.
    This is so vital a truth, my heart prays that this man search deeply the cost of the kingdom to enter. That this truth is a matter of eternal life or death and teachers ought to know else they will not enter as they also prevent others from entering by the aid of claim alone! That he make it clear as a crystal bell where he stands before all man no matter what it cost him! That if he find the great treasure, he will give all to have it. That he will with great joy sell all he has to purchase the field with the treasure or even the great peril of great price and worth. He ought to give it all should he find this treasure! All!! All he has and all which has kept him up!
    This is such a serious doctrine, that all man ought to be certain he knows this truth inside him. Especially a teacher of it!

    Waldean Wall,

    Most people today, if they heard John Wesley preach would also mistakenly think he preached 'grace alone'. But he didn't and neither does Swindoll. Aside from John Hannah, the DTS crowd tends to preach very inconsistently with regard to the extent of Christ's work in our salvation. Many in that crowd affirm that Christ died for all of our sins, except the sin of unbelief. You may hear divine election out of one side of their mouth but free will and the unregenerate having the moral ability to believe the gospel out the other. The problem is more with inconsistency than anything else.

    I agree with the problem being inconsistency with gospel preaching. We teach that Christ is salvation but yet also teach that "if you say the sinners prayer", you will be saved. I guess it makes man feel good knowing he did something to secure salvation and his own destiny.

    Yea, inconsistency is the need to eliminate all our self's merit and efforts as the means of our salvation or even others. All in order that we can than be consistent in knowing the truth of Christ crucified!
    I just want people to get it so much as its treasure is so great to my soul! Its passion drives me. But than, it is of God and not me who is sovereign in grace and it is the work of christ! I am learning the value of speaking the truth in love all the time here.

    John(?) above said,
    "No, Christ is not only necessary but sufficient to save us to the uttermost. He not only justifies us for Christ's sake when we exercise faith, but also raises us from the death of sin by His regenerating Spirit in order to bring us to faith."
    God put a leash on me and never let the dog out for all its excitement! Its too awesome in my heart to know these great and wonderful things. I so need humbling so often! But its strange how even being humbled gives me peace when i see my great error in passion even to judge those of god from those not. I really want man to see this treasure as i did!
    Good work being done at this site - in me! I am so grateful for the truth and the way it is spoken here!

    Thank you for your comment to my post above. I will look more deeply into those verses and I do appreciate your heart. I do disagree a little bit though. Unity is founded on the truth about Jesus and core doctrines about Him. We maintain unity out of love. I can be unified with some of my pentecostal and charismatic brothers though they may differ on almost every other matter except the core (maybe 7 definite truths about God and salvation). As you start to multiply the "core" doctrines, I'm sure you have found less unity. I am glad that I can fellowship with so many other Christians. Yes I try to get them to see things my way, but I also learn from them. I think the exact nature of the order of salvation, or how someone believes is not a "core" doctrine. I could be wrong but I don't think Jesus made it a core doctrine. Plenty of times Scripture says Believe in the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved. The apostles and Jesus (except maybe to his core apostles) did not go into doctrinal treatises about the nature of faith. So I don't think we need to protect God's glory more than He seems to. However, May God bless you as you do what God has put in your heart to do. Many people seem to be very blessed as you explain truth.

    Tony

    Thanks for your comments. Again, never did I disenfranchise or unfellowship a fellow believer because we differed over this issue. You appear to assume that disagreement and active discussion about the disagreement equals disunity. I have worked overseas for many years with charismatics and Arminians and, imho, the BEST way to have unity is to openly talk about each other positions and disagreements, not to pretend they don't exist.

    you said >>>>I think the exact nature of the order of salvation, or how someone believes is not a "core" doctrine. I could be wrong but I don't think Jesus made it a core doctrine.

    This issue is not simply about the order of salvation, but much more about the sufficiency of Christ to supply every spiritual blessing. Is Christ and His work only necessary to us or is He also sufficient? Does his atoning work supply all our needs for salvation or only some? Is faith something we come up with APART from his regenerating grace or do we need Jesus Christ to supply our faith as well?

    Can we boast in prayer "Thank you Lord I am not like other men who do not have faith. When you gave grace to all men I made use of it, but they did not?" Or pray "thank you Lord for everything, except my faith. That was one thing I came up with on my own." Such prayers no one would dare utter since we know all blessings come from Christ. To say otherwise is radically proud and robs God of glory.

    I would encourage you to re-read John 6 (and many other passages but this is a good place to start), I believe you will find that Jesus makes a big deal about this. I would never let something like this break fellowship with someone, but I feel it is right and the most loving thing to do to remind fellow believers something so basic as the fact that we are saved by "grace alone". Because this is what it comes down to. Are we saved by grace alone. Is Jesus grace sufficient to save us or not? So the order of salvation is not the real issue here. The issue is whether salvation is all of grace or not.

    "A Christian is the result of the operation of God, nothing less, nothing else. No man can make himself a Christian; God alone makes Christians... A Christian is one who has been created anew; and there is only One who can create, namely, God. It takes the power of God to make a Christian."- Martyn Lloyd-Jones

    I do not visit your site as often as I should. But every time I stop by, I am encouraged, and quite often I learn something.

    Thank you, and may God continue to Bless.

    I find how this truth acts upon me, personally, amazing. As I look at my struggles and the bible, I find two worlds dividing even in me. The truths value is both humbling and good news together as i see in the bible why these truths work as they do. This discussion of sovereign grace to make a Christian shows to me the truth in mans fall where he became as God in the knowledge of good and evil. AS I am exposed to this truth in my heart and deeds to exercise this in me, I am humbled in its discovery in me, but also as though the Sprit is over me telling me the truth of his reign and rule over all things - including me and my own judgements having the knowledge of good and evil to set myself up as his equal. Here, i yield by his power over me from my throne to decide whom is evil and who is not - who is a christian and who is not! And so i learn by this sovereign truth come over me to pick up my cross and follow Christ by his leading me. This is a valuable truth in my life to see and know. It shows me the way as it also comforts me. For God does not give us more than we can endure but will complete his work to the very uttermost end. Though many times we do not like it, his grace always comes to comfort us. This truth is a great comfort to me in that it reveals the way of the cross in my life. My dependence on God increases as my break from the sin of the world is ever weakened. All so i could be made like him who has done all and given all so to be with him forever more in heaven. This is such great comfort in my many trials and sufferings as the truth bears it out in my life.
    John said, "A christian is the result of the operation of God; God alone makes Christians"! What a wonderful truth! For I could never have done it in any way and my whole life has proven that to me. The truth shall set you free! This topic here, is an enormous truth which so frees me in so many wonderful ways. For I found there is nothing I could do apart from Christ.
    Tony, I have learned that the truth is very great upon us many times but always so valuable in our life as we walk as pilgrims to our heavenly rest. It has power in it somehow to help us get there. Though the core doctrine of christ is true, the "other" truths also point to him sitting on his throne ruling our lives and leading us even now! That is great joy and peace!
    We our all christian pilgrims! I found few long term or permanent "rest areas" along the way to stay in. Our home is not here! Thank God for the way he makes. The body of truth is amazing! It is full of body and power! Thanks for all this discussion again John. I cannot believe the things I am learning through what happens in me as I am comforted. I am not well educated in these things as so many are but am so glad so many are!

    Mark 9:38-41
    38John said to him, "Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us." 39But Jesus said, "Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. 40For the one who is not against us is for us. 41For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.”

    Granted, Mr. Swindoll’s language – and perhaps his complete theological understanding – is not entirely correct (according to “orthodox” standards and what we know through Mr. Swindoll’s statements of faith and his vast written and recorded record). He could have used the word “receives” in lieu of “exercises,” and your radar would not have gone off with blinking lights and screaming alarms. In Mark’s testimony, Jesus’ instruction to John is very helpful to us. Jesus says, “. . . for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me.” How soon the “soon” is, we are not told, but the promise of our Savior is “soon” according to his plan. How soon Mr. Swindoll finally “gets it” may be as soon as someone stops taking random pot-shots at him, and personally approaches him, speaking the truth in demonstrated love.

    This post, Mr. Hendryx, is not a cup of cold water. Read on in Mark’s narrative, and hear the rest of Jesus’ instruction:

    42"Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. 43And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. 45And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. 47And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48'where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.' 49For everyone will be salted with fire. 50Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another."

    By randomly attacking Mr. Swindoll, you may cause not just one little one to sin (what if Mr. Swindoll randomly reads this, how will he react?), but many little ones to sin. Your intent may be good, and you may believe deeply that you are protecting us from gross doctrinal error. But the consequences of being random – as Jesus’ teaches above – are very grave. The consequence of causing sin in the camp is to be cut off.

    Indeed, salt is good. However, Mr. Hendryx, casting your salt into the wind of the Internet in a random attack is not a loving act toward a brother in Christ, nor an act that brings peace. The wind will soon cause your salt to lose what your original intent was, and soon, the salt that you have built up through your past good instruction concerning these truths will be lost. Jesus said in another place “if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.”
    Your zeal for the truth is commendable. Random attacks are not. Paul has two teachings to consider:

    Galatians 6:1, Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

    2 Timothy 2:24-26
    24And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

    Mr. Swindoll’s transgressions of doctrine and orthodox theology are known and part of the public record. Mr. Hendryx, your spiritual duty may be to go to him personally and restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Please, for the sake of the Name and the peace and purity of the Church, refrain from any more random attacks on the brotherhood of Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Right now, you are in danger of being tempted and falling into the snare of the devil, being captured by him to do his will.

    Thanks Mr. Hendryx for taking the time to reply to my posts above. You make a pretty convincing case to my rebuttals, so I will look further into it. Now that I know more of your heart through your words it is easier to at least trust that your motives are good in defending the doctrines that you do, and makes one want to try harder to understand and appreciate what you are saying. By the way, I don't agree with the post by Dann Golden-Collum. I re-read your orignial post and it didn't sound like an attack. It sounded like you were just trying to show what you believed were deficiencies in Swindoll's understanding of Scripture. If Swindoll makes his statement public then I think it is Ok to discuss publicly in a loving God honoring way.

    I am the guilty here not John:

    I too learned by Johns words and kindness my own errors in many blogs he writes. I am so grateful for all the corrections given me in such the same fashion as the scripture used by Dann above -

    2 Timothy 2:24-26
    24And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25correcting his opponents with gentleness.

    All public teachers must be accountable to the truth and its clarity. This discussion has greatly helped me and shown me how the truth is so well spoken enduring evil even in personal attacks.

    I really see nothing done wrong here except in what i said in one of my replies above when i personally judged Swindoll implying he is a non-christian who pleases mans flesh. That is my fault and i am glad i was corrected as i was! I learned much here of my own self. So please see that it was me who might have done this and that it was never Johns doing. I am the culprit here for which i am sorry and have learned better.
    Should Swindoll read this, I am truly sorry and have been humbled by this i have done! I ask your forgiveness as i do many others now that i have been straightened. The truth is so very wonderful here and it is good to contrast other public figures so to demonstrate it. Even for correction for people like me! It works!

    Dann,
    Have you not done the same thing you charged John here of doing? In the wind of the internet to cast judgement or/and correction publicly? Instead of privately as you asked of John?

    John only set straight what has been very public for a long time now. And it has helped me so much to see my own error in judging another of not being a christian or of pleasing peoples flesh. He also helped me to understand Swindolls teachings. I have always had trouble with understanding Swindoll and now it has been cleared up as to why! Since I first became a christian, I could not understand his teaching and if they were of the truth! He confused me greatly! Very much so that i regretted him ever talking on the radio else I be more confused! Now it is clear as to why I was so confused!
    I regularly feed from this site as another which both help me tremendously. They are very salty having much flavor. I do not want them to be quiet but to be bold as they speak the truth in love and gentleness enduring even evil! I imagine they do get much flack and scolding for it, as some want to protect others more than these here at this site. I guess we all have our favorites and our own agendas. But to endure the threat that they could be cut off is quite harsh in this situation. I don't think that claim is true here at all. That is unfortunate but as Dann quoted here: 2 Timothy 2:24-26
    24And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25correcting his opponents with gentleness.
    They have done exactly that. All of it! And it has so helped me. But I am certain they know that they have done good in speaking the truth s they do. I personally would be very hurt by your harsh words and charges come upon me as you did here to John. To be cut off? They would cause me doubt in many ways and I would fear even going to church if this is done there as it was here! This is the public you know! This is where the church seems to be most uniting in truth - the internet assembly under christ and his truth!

    Regeneration > Faith

    or

    Faith > Regeneration

    Worthy enough to split hairs and cause theological quarreling and contention?

    A critical doctrine to get right or adiaphora?

    While I believe regeneration precedes faith, I'm not keen on the heat and anger that typically and usually arises from such disputes.

    To all the Synergists out there contributing to John's article and me being a recovering synergist myself, I am wondering what you make of these verses in light of Psalm 139?

    Do these two verses, Pro. 1:23 and Pro. 16:20 reflect a synergism or a monergism?

    Pro 1:23 If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.


    Pro 16:20 Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.

    I hear that so loud, In recovery! Thank God so much! Thank you so much for your kindness and the truth.

    "What is specifically considered adiaphora depends on the specific theology in view."

    Here it is Gods sovereign power and election in view! He promises as Michael said above in Pro 1:23 to turn at his reproof, BEHOLD, I (God and no other) will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you"!

    Dann Golden-Collum

    Thanks for your post. May I comment that I think you have misrepresented the nature of this post. This is no personal attack on the integrity or person of Swindoll. He is a brother in the Lord but he is publicly posting a view of regeneration that opposes the plain biblical teaching of salvation by grace alone in Christ alone. At worst he is being inconsistent. But this is a critical error taught publicly that may affect tens of thousands of people who follow his ministry. Many brothers and sisters are being impacted by it because it is being frequently broadcast. Therefore we have every cause to call attention to it publicly to warn people away from the nature of this unbiblical teaching.

    Americans are sometimes way too easily offended. Rather we should be thankful we can use this medium to correct aberrant views that set aside the complete sufficiency of Christ in salvation. People can decide for themselves whether what I call their attention to is worth looking into further or not. If you think 'grace alone' is adiaphora then feel free to ignore the post. But we believe bad theology hurts people in proportion to its badness and since grace is such an important issue, it is our duty to call attention to it so others can at least take the time to investigate it for themselves.

    ----------------------------------
    Next response.... to the above post with the username "Truth Unites... and Divides"

    Thank you also for your post. As I said earlier, this is not simply about the order of salvation but whether Christians are saved by grace alone or not. The difference between monergism and synergism is that while synergism indeed believes Jesus is necessary for salvation, it does not believe He is sufficient to save to the uttermost. We deny that grace is a reward for our faith ...rather, it is the cause of faith. Jesus provides everything we need for salvation, including a new heart to believe. regeneration is part of what Jesus procured for us on the cross, since all spiritual blessings have their source in Him (Eph 1:3)....Judge for yourself in light of the Text of scripture whether you think this is important enough to discuss and debate publicly. I think it is so I am posting it.

    John,

    I fully understand the nature of your post, and you did not intend it as a personal attack on Mr. Swindoll. However, if we look at the counsel of Scripture, this type of communication is not advisable, as it does become a personal attack when the party being addressed is not privy to the announcement. The counsel of Scripture is we take the issue directly to the offending brother, not broadcast the offense to the masses. Transmitting such needed discussion between two parties to onlookers only exasperates the problem, causing disharmony, speculation, gossip, slander, and countless other sins within the body of Christ. Mr. Swindoll, as a brother in Christ, deserves person-to-person, Scriptural, and loving correction.

    I am a citizen of the kingdom of God first, and secondly an American – but I am not easily offended. I am not afraid to use strong language gently when correcting a doctrinal or theological error (nor take it when deserving!). And, I agree with you that this is a critical error: “Grace alone” is NOT adiaphora (an indifferent matter)! Our deep concern often leads to mission failure – we forget what our mission is. Paul did not forget the mission when he spoke to the Philippians about some who were preaching Christ incorrectly; “What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.”

    Why not simply preach and teach the “grace alone” truth, and, if you cannot personally tend to Mr. Swindoll face-to-face, then allow God to make the needed correction in Mr. Swindoll’s belief system. Jesus makes this promise, saying, “for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me.” Mr. Swindoll is doing a mighty work in the Name of Christ – his wording and understanding of salvation procedure is a bit mixed up, and some would claim he IS speaking evil of Jesus when he doesn’t get it right. My prayer for Mr. Swindoll is that the “soon afterward” is today, and he would completely embrace Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Solus Christus, and Soli Deo Gloria! “Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.” May God reveal this truth quickly to Mr. Swindoll!

    My prayer for you is that you carefully and prayerfully preach and teach only the truth and not forget the mission. That alone is hard enough to do without making your own critical errors! Preach and teach good theology, telling us the difference between synergism and Monergism, doing it straight from Holy Scripture. People then will know enough to recognize and stay away from these – and other – wrong theologies and doctrines.

    “Only let us hold true to what we have attained.”
    Dann Golden-Collum

    What would God have as to do? He is sovereign and all is of his will which is done! We are the vessels he uses. Now we do that which he gives us to do. Personally I am so grateful for what he has done here in this post to show me much which has hindered me! This has been the greatest post I have ever read. Tremendous! I thank God for this post, in all he does through those who so know the truth and carry it into the world. God works all things for the good of those who love him according to his purposes. Never ever be convinced otherwise! He uses both good and evil for his purposes! God has done so much here and I so thank Him for all his glory in this! This is real gratitude in my heart! These are not words for dispute here! Look what God has done here!!!!! What more do I need?

    Dann Golden-Collum

    Thanks for interacting and for your comments but in the end I would have to disagree with your conclusions. The party in question is not "privy to the announcement" in this instance because he has been confronted publicly and privately on this issue over the course of many of years. This is nothing new nor hidden. So this is no longer a private matter. Further, his teaching and statement of faith is also public and widely known.

    However, more importantly, many dear brothers in the Lord do not understand what the issues are. It is our duty to, at least, inform those sitting under these naunced DTS teachings that they are not hearing a full-orbed biblical teaching of 'grace alone' from their pulpit but a mixture of grace and something else. Many do not know this. Therefore, we are remiss if we do not help brothers and sisters who may be harmed by it. If you knew your friend were drinking something with a light mixture of poison in it and you said nothing, his sickness would be on you. We are not attempting to excommunicate anyone here Dann. We are helping wean people away from inconsistent teaching. If you don't point out where it is coming from we can't help them, and they will continue to drink from that well without discernment.

    In other words, this post is no longer for the purpose of personally correcting Chuck Swindoll as an individual person but to help the many who who are being confused by dispensational soteriological innovations taught daily on the airwaves, this church merely being one of them. Simply teaching Monergism from the Scripture is not enough. We must also open eyes and call brothers and sisters to turn from from bad doctrine when they are caught in it. The Scripture teaches to turn away from falsehood just as much as it commands us to to teach truth.

    To be frank. Seems like quite a strong response to a post that merely posted a short clip from a statement of faith and explained why it was wrong in light of Scripture and history.

    And this is the problem. A seemingly innocuous post that is only there to instruct the innocent can become a firestorm. Not that we are anywhere close to burning down the house – but the potential is there as this little post smolders on the Internet.

    You are claiming a Biblical duty to warn the unknowing of their dire predicament. You couch your claim with a tease on Monergism that says, “Excerpt from a Synergistic Statement of Faith from a place you may or may not expect.” You are claiming that because Swindoll has been warned, has been doing this for years and is a public figure that anything you say is fair game. You are claiming that since Stonebriar’s statement of faith is public record that you can name names and cite needed correction on your own public forum.

    I find it very sad that you think you have this freedom of expression. Especially when Scripture does not allow such freedom. Scripture demands that if we know of a brother in sin – and that includes theological or doctrinal error – then we must seek that brother out and speak to him directly about it. We don’t get to the second step involving two or three witnesses until after the first step fails to bring about repentance and reconciliation. You claim that since brother Swindoll has been warned multiple times about this sin you now have a Carte blanch opening to nail him with your own accusation.

    John, Scripture does not give you that freedom! That is why these responses to your post are so strong. I appreciate your zeal to guard the truth, as we are all called to do. But when guarding that truth, we are not allowed outside the bounds of Scripture.

    This is where our faith must enter the picture – we do what we’re called to do (which in this case is to approach the offenders with the correctives), and then wait on the Holy Spirit to do His good work in the lives of the persons who need the correction. If repentance and reconciliation does not take place, then the next steps – again, in faith – must proceed. Finally, if contrition and reunion does not take place, then we begin talking excommunication.

    Since Stonebriar and Swindoll are not a part of my denomination (and, most likely, not a part of yours), it is impossible to bring the offending parties to the court of Church determination. Therefore, the best course of action we deduce and induce from Scripture is no action at all, except for fervent prayer for the offenders and active teaching of correct doctrine to those in our care. If someone directly asks about Stonebriar’s (and Swindoll’s) statement of faith or teaching, then we have the duty to inform the questioner of the error and, with love and care, explain the correct path. That is the best we can do.

    Dann Golden-Collum


    Wow!!!?, Dann.
    What do you want? A new subject? We sure been moved from the one of enormous value! You just cannot know or see with my eyes and heart here. I wished you could! But I believe i do know what you want here! But i'd so much rather you sought to know further how it so helped me. So much so! Maybe if you looked you too could see its value here.
    Consider all said here and reread all you wrote as well. Remember that the power behind Gods word is God and not man! WE all need to learn that as i have many times. In fact, this taught me that power ever so greatly!
    Sorry to go now. Keep helping people like me with teachers teaching that which is false or twisted or mixed with the worlds teaching. I know personally as well. I like that label - "recovering synergist"! That explains me so well! Extremely well. Thank god for all your work here! It is so good and you have the courage to help where many rather not for mans sake!

    Oh, not leaving this site at all for all its good. Only commenting here! It reallyl took a sharp turn!
    God is ahead/behind all scripture and never man. And man should never be elevated above God in any way - but lowered!
    The internet is knew and so it will always have its problem of not being a local church. Thank god for the internet though! I live far from a church to attend. Maybe those in a good church do not need this as i do! Maybe they ought to stay with their own church and not get on the internet - at least here! Than church issues can be discussed there by the pastors affected! The internet is really quite a challenge for some!

    Dann

    The post may not be helpful to you so perhaps it is best to move on from it. You and I seem to disagree about what the Scripture does and does not allow in this instance. So it would appear to be a good time to end the conversation.

    Discussion closed.

    Shalom.
    John

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