The Heavens Declare the Glory of God, the Firmament the Work of His Hand

The Heavens Declare the Glory of God, the Firmament the Work of His Hand

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

"Brethren, as a born again follower of Jesus Christ I have realized it is usually acceptable with many believers to expose the teachings of Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, or Rob Bell. However, there are many believers who feel it is taboo to expose the teachings of Charles Stanley, who is very well-known in the Southern Baptist arena.

"This article is intended to compare his teachings with the Word of God. When the Lord saved me, I was immediately given and encouraged from a family member to read a book by Charles Stanley called Eternal Security. Of course, since I was a new believer in Christ, I didn’t want any outside books filling my mind. I just wanted the Word of God. After reading my Bible daily for several months, I decided to see what this book had to say. Sadly, I was very shocked and disgusted by the teachings of this book.

This is not an easy article to write as Dr. Stanley has been a pastor for 40+ years, and is well-respected in the Southern Baptist church. However, when we die and stand before the Lord, the writings of Dr. Stanley or any other well known evangelical leader is not going to matter. The only thing that is going to stand is the Word of God, and what the Lord taught us in His Word.

Below is a list of quotes from Dr. Stanley’s book Eternal Security, each followed by a rebuttal from Scripture:

1. "Even if a believer for all practical purposes becomes an unbeliever, his salvation is not in jeopardy" (Chapter 10, p. 93).

Here is what God says in His Scripture: Matthew 10:22 - And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. Revelation 21:8 - But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death”

  2. "And last, believers who lose or abandon their faith will retain their salvation, for God remains faithful" (p. 94).

Here is what God says in His Scripture: 1 John 2:19 - They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

3. "Christ will not deny an unbelieving Christian his or her salvation because to do so would be to deny Himself" (p. 94).

Here is what God says in His Scripture: Matthew 7:21-23 - “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

4. In regards to the parable Jesus taught in Matthew 25:14-30, Stanley writes: The final verse of this parable is so severe that many commentators assume it is a description of hell. It is not. (p. 124) Where is this place represented by the "outer darkness" in Jesus' parable? To be in the "outer darkness" is to be in the kingdom of God but outside the circle of men and women whose faithfulness on this earth earned them a special rank or position of authority. (p. 126)

Here is what God says in Scripture: Matthew 25:30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:41-42 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 25:46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. Revelation 22:14-15 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 15Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

5. Additionally, below is a list of quotes from Dr. Stanley’s book Handbook for Christian Living: You and I are not saved because we have enduring faith. We are saved because at a moment in time we expressed faith in our Lord (p. 190).

Discipleship has nothing to do with whether you will go to heaven or not (p. 505). It is possible to be a child of God and never a disciple of Christ.

We can live the Christian life with the assurance of heaven as our ultimate destiny but miss the process of maturing as a disciple (p. 505).

Contrary to Dr. Stanley's teachings, a Christian is a disciple as we see in Acts 11:26: ...And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. Moreover, we see the demands and admonitions of Christ concerning true and false disciples in the following verses: Luke 14:25-33 - Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple...So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple." Luke 6:46-49 - “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.c 49But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

Brethren, we may disagree on secondary issues such as end-times prophecy, but we must not be wrong with the Gospel. Dr. Stanley’s teachings do not match up when compared to the Word of God. Dr. Stanley’s teachings are deceptive and can give an assurance of salvation to those who should not have it. Sadly, this type of teaching is very popular and typical in most evangelical churches today. However, this teaching is bad theology and denies the Lordship of Jesus Christ, it perverts the Gospel, and I believe is one of the many broad roads leading to destruction that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 7:13-14. Anyone teaching such heresy should tremble at Galatians 1:8-9.

Please note, I have emailed Dr. Stanley at In Touch Ministries in regards to this matter about a year ago, and I have still have not received a response. I pray you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ In Him,''

Written by Shawn Shawn Pander.

Shawn lives in Mount Holly, North Carolina with his wife Lisa and attends Lincoln Community Bible Church. He is a member of The Speak:Truth Project where he proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the streets in the Charlotte area.

4 comments:

  1. Well, if you think about it, this is not unusual teaching for those of Reformed/Calvinist theology. After all, if God chose you for salvation there is nothing you can do to be unsaved. If God chose you to go to hell, there is nothing you can do to be saved. To them election is unconditional - you don't have to choose to follow Christ at all because God will decide whether or not He will force you to be a follower.

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  2. Ah yes, I thought about that. His message so subtle, so deceptive, so accepted by so many.

    We must be wise as serpents, harmless as doves and pray diligently for discernment - for who does not 'like' Dr. Stanley.

    And then there is his son...

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  3. Glenn,
    You could not be more wrong when you assume those who hold to the doctrines of grace believe they can do nothing to be 'unsaved'; the Bible warns against taking God's grace in vain. If God truly saves you, you will not take His grace in vain and you will strive for holiness because you have the Spirit of the living God living within you and empowering you. 'For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus' - Phil. 1:6 I do not doubt the sovereignty and power of a mighty God to save me and keep me until that day. That does not mean I can live any way I want, I must walk in obedience to His word and I desire to do so because He is my Lord and my Master, not because I am trying to 'earn' salvation; it's already mine because of grace.

    If sinners can simply choose to follow Jesus, then why do so many reject and instead choose to go to hell? After all, Christ Himself tells us that many are on the broad road. Only a fool would make such a choice. If God did not choose us and we have free will to choose Him, what do you do with verses like Joh 15:16 "You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit" or Act 13:48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.' or Eph. 1:4 'just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world' and 2Th, 2:13 'But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.' or Rom 9:11 '(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)' and Rom 9:15 'For He says to Moses, "I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION."
    Rom 9:16 'So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.'
    Also, I do not believe God 'chooses' sinners to go to hell, they go there because of unbelief. There may be those within the Calvinist camp who would think otherwise, but they are not the majority. As for your misunderstanding of unconditional election, you cannot choose to follow Christ because you are dead in sin as Ephesians 2:1, 5 clearly states. It is only after God 'quickens' the sinner that they can respond. I am disappointed that you would say "God will decide whether or not He will force you to be a follower", this shows how little you know and understand of the doctrines of grace. God forces no one to follow, it is only after He regenerates a sinner that they would or could follow because all, including you and me, are born dead in sin and would or could never choose to follow a God who is holy and the exact opposite of what we are. We all love our sins and cling to sin with white knuckles until saving grace is administered by the One who is sovereign.

    What most fail to understand is that God does not 'owe' anybody salvation and that we are all deserving of eternal wrath. When you understand how depraved man is then it isn't hard to comprehend what we deserve. It isn't that God saves some... it's that He saves any.

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  4. Lyn,
    I’m always amused with how Calvinist dogma is called “doctrines of grace,” when the reformed God has no grace for those he created to send to hell. I do not deny the need to strive for holiness and the need to not take His grace in vain. But that isn’t the issue.
    
God over and over commands sinners to obey Him, to repent, and to follow him. To choose to serve Him. If man is unable to do any of this, then God is a liar to command people to do what they cannot do. We are give the choice of following God or making ourselves God. Your abuse of the many passages you cited is typical from Calvinists, and will take much more time to properly exegete them than is possible here on this blog. Your entire diatribe - yes, typical Calvinist diatribe - is nothing I haven’t heard a zillion times from Calvinists, but never find in Scripture.

    You say only a minority of Calvinists believe God chooses who will go to hell, but that is the only logical conclusion of Calvinist theology - which really isn’t Calvinist; he just stole from Augustine.

    I fully understand Calvinism, which is a system which blasphemes God and badly misrepresents Him. Calvinism has done much damage to the Christian faith and had caused divisions in many churches I’m familiar with - the Calvinists come in and take over and if you don’t agree with their theology they ask you to leave. Augustine was the primary origin of this nasty doctrine (try reading ante-Nicene fathers and you won’t find such teachings), Rome built on it and most of the Reformers did not leave Rome far enough behind.

    By the way, most of my favorite teachers are Calvinists, but all I do is tune out the Calvinist doctrines when I listen to them or read their works. Unfortunately, most people aren’t as discerning and suck it all in.

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