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A “Doctrine of Doctrinal Persistence?” - Comments (2)

Printer Friendly Category: Articles,Doctrine,GES: Hodges, Wilkin, et.al.
Author: John Malone
Date: 16th October, 2007 @ 03:51:55 PM

I had thought I was finished with the matter of the doctrinal errors and heretical behavior of Bob Wilkin, Zane Hodges, Bob Bryant, and others who hold the banner of the rapidly declining Grace Evangelical Society (GES).

To briefly summarize the latest position of the GES – regarded by very many, including me, to be a false “gospel” – is that the minimum content of saving faith is that “Jesus is the guarantor of eternal life.”

This position has been taken and held by Zane Hodges since at least 2001. It has been increasingly advanced by the GES in their conferences and papers since that time. In 2005, Bob Bryant advanced the position at the annual national conference in a “workshop.” At that time, the leader of the GES – and now heretic – Bob Wilkin said that Bryant’s position was not the position of the GES.

Why is it a heresy? I have dealt with that question elsewhere, but the short version is because “guarantor” has replaced the Biblical term “Christ, the Son of God.” Hodges’ position has distilled down to this much: that someone can fail to believe or deny the following, and still have eternal life:

  • That Christ died for our sins, and rose again, according to the Scriptures;
  • That Jesus is the Son of God;
  • That Jesus is Divine;

Since that time, however, not only has it become the position of GES – an organization doctrinally dictated by Hodges – but the mainstay of its doctrinal push. As this heresy has began to preoccupy its focus, more and more brothers and churches have abandoned the GES, substantially marginalizing it.

Today, the GES is busily attempting to eliminate all public discussion of its errors – on their part because it is losing plenty of mind-share and support – but in a larger sense because those who foist such errors never want a public forum where the work of conviction can take place.

Conviction is that work of the Holy Spirit that brings men to their personal awareness and responsibility for sin. All Christians are also free and commanded to bring about conviction of others. Indeed, in certain instances they are commanded to. This is, essentially, the work of prosecution. When your brother sins against you, the Bible teaches, it your responsibility to go privately to him in order to bring him to conviction. The hope at that point is to win him, but the commitment from the outset is to prosecute him as is necessary until he turns from the sin, or the church turns from him. This process applies to sin against an individual.

But when matters are NOT personal, but public, it is the work of the man of God to bring the offender or offenders to public conviction. This is a large topic for another day, but just know this: it is completely unbiblical and non-Christian to maintain a public forum where this conviction becomes impossible.

It is the content LEFT OUT by the “faith statement” of the GES that has now troubled so many. There are those to whom I have spoken who have taken a “middle ground” position, holding that someone may indeed be born again, and yet not concluded that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, or is the Son of God, but that they will most certainly not deny either of those truths, but come to them, or else they were never truly saved.

This becomes what I claim to be the “Doctrine of Doctrinal Persistence.” It’s a trap. It is a similar error to the reformed position which holds that “true faith” will work. It’s a slight modification, that “true faith” will come to certain later conclusions.

This is a potential trap that, if not avoided, will lead to an unhealthy position that will no doubt hinder the faith of others.

Comment by jon paw » 26th December, 2008 @ 02:41:29 PM

“But when matters are NOT personal, but public, it is the work of the man of God to bring the offender or offenders to public conviction. This is a large topic for another day, but just know this: it is completely unbiblical and non-Christian to maintain a public forum where this conviction becomes impossible”

So you should just let people argue with you as long as they want to? Whenever they want to?

Comment by Dan Backens » 14th January, 2009 @ 05:25:32 PM

Jon Paw, No.

But how about a sincere question. Are you saying it is acceptable to close down public discussion when someone disagrees, especially when it has to do with such a foundational truth as how salvation comes to a sinner?

I personally saw that done by these GES guys. It was a painfully long, boring message, full of errors. And at the end, when it was time for questions, he would not answer the only one that was asked. Then quickly closed the meeting. That is not how the house of God is supposed to support the truth.

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