Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:13-14)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Lordship Proponent and a Free Grace Advocate both say that Lou Martuneac is Lordship Salvation

Just about a year ago, the Pulpit Magazine, which is a web-magazine done by John MacArthur and associates, put out a series on Lordship Salvation. During this time, Lou Martuneac highly advertised his book and spent a considerable amount of time in discussions happening in the comments threads of these posts.

Nathan Busenitz, the managing editor of the Pulpit Magazine, read Lou Martuneac's book, and he had this to say about it:

After reading his book, I am convinced that Lou Martuneac is, in actuality, a proponent of Lordship Salvation.

There, I said it.

I know, I know… this is probably not what most of you expected to read...

But it’s true… after reading his book, I’m convinced... the repentance Lou promotes is, essentially, the repentance of lordship advocates. Thus, because he sees it as necessary to saving faith, I am left with only one conclusion:

Whether he realizes it or not, Lou Martuneac is teaching a lordship gospel.


I can see where Nathan gets this. Lou Martuneac's definition of repentance is the same as Lordship Salvation. Here are some quotes from Lou Martuneac's book (remember, Lou regards repentance as necessary for eternal salvation):

“Repentance is an attitude that always results in action. ...Biblical repentance will produce a change of life evidenced by a new behavior as one yields to the working of God’s Spirit” (pp. 111-112).

“...biblical repentance... [is] [w]hen a man understands that he is a sinner, and makes a definite, on-purpose decision to confess that sin, and turn from the old ways...” (p. 121).

“Good works... are a by-product of repentance and saving faith. They are the evidences of genuine repentance and an unceasing gratitude for God’s mercy” (p. 123).

Lou Martuneac's comments about repentance could be found in any textbook advocating Lordship Salvation. Repentance has always been a huge battleground in the discussion between Lordship Salvation and Free Grace Theology. But Lou Martuneac sides with the Lordship Salvationist.

Another of the very contentious battle-fronts in the Lordship/Free Grace debate is that of Perseverance theology. Lou Martuneac decidedly ends up on the Lordship side, advocating Perseverance of the Saints.

“The natural consequence of repentance and new life in Christ is a changed life. His behavior will change because he has a new desire in him to grow in Christ... the Holy Spirit will show him areas where he needs to take steps of faith and growth... [The Christian] continues to grow and show new evidences of a changed life” (p. 122).

“He is following because he has been saved;... His faith in the Savior resulted in his becoming a follower, a disciple” (p. 138).

Lou furthermore quotes these authors and pastors with approval:

John R. VanGelderen: “The issue is not that a Christian should not have a changed life but that the changed life is not involved as a part of one’s moment of salvation. ...After one makes this decision, logically and theologically it would follow that his life now with the new nature will begin to change as he yields to the divine nature” (p. 244-245).

Dr. Fred Mortiz: “The lost who respond to Christ in true faith will obey Him at that point. Convicted and convinced by the Holy Spirit, they will understand that their obedience to sin places them under the judgement [sic] of God. They will trust Christ alone for salvation, calling on Him. That is obedience to the Gospel! Those who have so trusted Christ can be trained as disciples of the Lord Jesus. They will follow Him in baptism, the first step of obedience to Christ in the Christian life. They will surrender their wills fully to Christ and follow Him. They will be willing to take up a cross, enduring humiliation, suffering, and possible death for the One who literally bore a cross to save them from sin” (p. 248).

Pastor George Zeller: “Behavior and fruit are the evidence of saving faith but they are not the essence of saving faith. Don’t confuse the fruit with the root. ...Discipleship is not a requirement for salvation; discipleship is the obligation of every saved person” (p. 273).

These quotes, are in essence, identical to those you will find in any Lordship Salvation book. A changed life that perseveres until the end is guaranteed by eternal salvation. This is not Free Grace theology, but Reformed Lordship Salvation.

In the opinion of this Free Grace advocate, Lou Martuneac is Lordship Salvation.

Antonio

59 Comments:

Blogger Free Grace Guy said...

Holy Mother of Pearl!

I have to say that I am aghast and shocked! I also read last night on Lou's blog that he does NOT consider himself free grace. He also denies the Lordship title, but these quotes are unambiguous. My gosh, I just don't know what to say. These people seem to think the sinful nature has disappeared from the new believer. Unreal.

Tom <><

September 18, 2007 5:31 PM  
Blogger jonperreault said...

Antonio,

These are some very interesting thoughts and insights. I think you are onto something here.

I bought a copy of Lou's book "In Defense of the Gospel" hoping that it would be sort of a layman's version of Charlie Bing's "Lordship Salvation" classic.

I took both books to work with me hoping to study up on the subject of repentance before teaching on the subject. I began by reading the chapter on repentance in Lou's book. I thought it was confusing, weak, and yes, somewhat Lordship. The more I read, the more confused I became! "Is Lou Lordship or Free Grace?" I wondered. I actually had to read Charlie Bing's chapter on repentance to get the correct answers!

September 18, 2007 5:31 PM  
Blogger Jeremy Myers said...

Antonio,

Thanks for posting this! Do you think a review of his book in the Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society is a good idea or a bad idea?

September 18, 2007 7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reality is that many of the great "pioneers" of FG have declared in writing and oratory (in varying degrees) the same things that you are indicating disqualify Lou as being FG (or atleast seek to discredit him as a viable crtitic of the doctrinal nuances GES holds to).

Chafer held to a secondary assurance of salvation to be gleamed from one's life (which is significantly different than GES's position).

J. Vernon Mcgee (who was linked for some time on GES's website and therefore tacitly FG) states many times in his TTB broadcast that faith alone saves but the faith that saves is not alone. I think he would reject many of Hodges conclusions regarding the interpretation of the Epistle to the Hebrews (although he did agree with T. Kem Oberholtzer's understanding of Hebrews 6). In other words he did affirm regeneration being evidenced by the continuing belief of the believer as the authorial intent of many passages throughout Hebrew's. Also, his (Mcgee's) exposition of 1 John states that the author has a five-fold purpose and is not limited to the single purpose of testing or encouraging fellowship, but also has in mind a genuine test of life. And, he also taught that the "Overcomer" was not a select division of Christ's bride, but the appelation of all who have overcome through faith.

Ryrie, according to his study bible, would affirm the idea that a faith that saves is a working faith according to James 2. That kind of talk is anathema to your strain of FG.

In other words, are you saying that Lou is Lordship because of the examples stated in your article, when clearly some of the early and well known FG people have held similar positions? I think that it would be inappropriate to call them "Lordship" because of the theological positions described above. Then what is the point of your post other than to discredit him to FG people? It could come across disingenuously.

September 18, 2007 7:40 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Hello Anonymous,

None of the individuals (Chafer, McGee, Ryrie) you cited would hold to what seems to be Lou Martuneac’s view of repentance. I believe that Chafer, McGee, and Ryrie would say repentance is necessary for salvation, but they would define repentance as a change of mind of who Jesus Christ is and a change of mind regarding one’s need for salvation. None of them would say that a commitment to turn from one’s sinful habits is necessary for salvation.

I will need to look into Lou Martuneac's book myself for more detail and confirmation (I hope that I am incorrect), but what seems to have been demonstrated is that Lou Martuneac believes that repentance is necessary for salvation, and repentance is not a change of mind but "an attitude that always results in action" or "a definite, on-purpose decision to confess that sin, and turn from the old ways." The danger with this view is one could be believing in his confession of sins or believing in his turning from his old ways to save him instead of believing in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.

If someone is teaching that what is necessary to receive eternal salvation is to make “a definite, on-purpose decision to confess that sin, and turn from the old ways” that is not the biblical Gospel, but is Lordship salvation.

Mike

September 18, 2007 10:46 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Anonymous,

There is not a single "well-known" FG person who has held or holds to the doctrine of repentance as espoused by Lou Martuneac. It could have been taken straight from John MacArthur himself.

Furthermore, if you wish to talk about assurance, Chafer understood the objective word of God to be sufficient for perfect and certain assurance. Works would only be of an inferior, secondary value.

To add, here is Article VI of the Dallas Theological Seminary's doctrinal statement:

"We believe it is the privilege, not only of some, but of all who are born again by the Spirit through faith in Christ as revealed in the Scriptures, to be assured of their salvation from the very day they take Him to be their Savior and that this assurance is not founded upon any fancied discovery of their own worthiness or fitness, but wholly upon the testimony of God in His written Word"

Having read Chafer's book, Salvation: God's Marvelous Work of Grace, he states that absolute certainty of assurance comes from resting in one's confidence in Christ.

Lou's understanding of repentance and his insistence on Reformed Lordship perseverance, squarely puts him at variance with Free Grace theology, and has him in unreserved agreement with Lordship Salvation.

These aren't peripheral doctrines, but heated battlefronts in the discussion of Lordship and Free Grace theologies. Lou has chalked his support in these essential areas to Lordship Salvation.

Every argument that a true FG person could use against LS could be used against Lou:

frontloading with works
no certain basis for assurance
perseverance theology
additions to faith alone
assurance based on works

What kind of “evidence” does Lou look for? How about the cutting of long hair:

“Tom prayed to receive Christ as his Savior [!!! – I wonder if Dennis Rokser and Tom Stegall know that Lou encourages people to pray to receive Christ?]. He began to take steps of growth that one might expect of a new believer. One day, right out of the blue, he asked me what I thought about his hair. Now Tom had long, flowing hair. His hair was not dirty or sloppy, just long and not what you would call a good testimony for Christ. His hair was not an issue as a lost man, his sin and guilt before God was. ...[But now that Tom had become a Christian] his hair had become an issue. The Lord had pricked Tom’s heart about his hair” (p. 153-154).

Antonio

September 18, 2007 11:32 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Tom,

Exactly what was the quote you are talking about where Lou stated that he does not consider himself free grace? Could you post those statements here?

I really appreciate your visit and comments.

Lou takes the Reformed Lordship view of practical sanctification, that it is inevitable. So much for Lewis S. Chafer's and FG's understanding of the carnal Christian.

I wonder if Lou subscribes to John MacArthur's one naturism...

Antonio

September 18, 2007 11:40 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Hey Jon,

Thanks for your visit and comments. I am glad that I am not going crazy. You have been sympathetic with Lou's sentiments. So to see that you have the same thoughts as I is comforting.

Your FG partner,

Antonio

September 18, 2007 11:44 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Jeremy,

I think it would be a grand idea. I know that you will be more fair and balanced to him than he has been to you.

Antonio

September 18, 2007 11:49 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Mike,

Thanks for the comments. They are spot-on. If you are going to read his book, please feel free to discuss its pros and cons here.

Antonio

September 18, 2007 11:50 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Antonio, I seem to recall in Lou's book that he spent a whole chapter arguing that repentance is a change of mind. Perhaps I misunderstood him or did not read it carefully enough.

I do think at times he does come close to a LOrdship position.

God Bless

Matt

September 19, 2007 12:50 AM  
Blogger Liam Moran said...

Lou's duplicity is egregious here. It is embarassing for Lou to write a book supposedly to refute Lordship Salvation and then to find out his teachings actually coincide with Lordship on many crucial points.

Do the Duluthians know that Lou is teaching these things? If so, in order to be consistent with their application of the doctrine of separation, they would need to separate from partnering in ministry with Lou Martuneac.

I agree that a in-depth review needs to be done on Lou's book in JOTGES. His teachings are not consistent with himself or with the Free Grace position.

With such egregious duplicity, I do not know how Lou expects anyone to take his book seriously.

Furthermore, how much does his book shed light on the debate of Lordship Salvation? His book appears to be a collection of quotes from other Free Grace scholars refuting Lordship Salvation rather than his own exegetical examination of the issues.

September 19, 2007 9:04 AM  
Blogger Jeremy Myers said...

Liam,

Your last paragraph there is very insightful. The "exegesis" in the book does seem to focus on long lists of proof texts and even longer lists of quotes from other authors. This is no way to do primary exegesis of the pertinent Biblical passages. Good observation.

September 19, 2007 1:28 PM  
Blogger Free Grace Guy said...

Antonio,

Here is the quote from the comments section of Lou's blog under the article titled "Free Grace: Fractured by the Crossless Gospel":

"When my book came out some men in the Free Grace camp began to claim me as part of their camp. Some Lordship advocates began to label me as a Free Grace advocate. I told both groups they are being hasty, and I do not identify with any particular group or camp. Well, now that I have spoken up about the doctrinal errors with Hodges, some of the Hodge’s loyalists are up in arms with me. Over a year ago I warned them!

Pretty straightforward if you ask me. Go check out the article to see I am not taking it out of context. In another article he wrote he refers to the Free Grace Community in the third person and does not include himself.

It would seem from his quotes that he is soft lordship and is playing it off as if he is somehow not influenced by either side and remains objective. Huh.

Tom <><

Tom <><

September 19, 2007 2:10 PM  
Blogger FG Me said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

September 19, 2007 2:48 PM  
Blogger jonperreault said...

Antonio,

Lou Martuneac has posted an anonymous email someone sent him about this whole issue on his blog. I wrote a comment about it on Lou's blog but last time I checked I was blocked out of making any comments on that site so I'd like to enter my comment on your blog as well. So here it is:

I think this anonymous emailer has some excellent insights.

However, I DISAGREE with him when he writes, "Obviously these few extreme 'Free Grace' bloggers who are looking for errors in your theology are just trying to divide the brethren. They're taking a page right out of the playbook of that diabolical mastermind himself, Satan, who is the accuser of the brethren, a slanderer, and a liar. It is an abomination to God when brothers seek to employ this 'divide and conquer' strategy."

I disagree with the above quote by this anonymous emailer because 1 Thessalonians 5:21 says, "Test all things; hold fast what is good." Although I think we can all admit that there are some "good" things in Lou's book, I think we will also all admit that it is not inspired! Why are we suprised to find some errors in it? While I think it is extreme to call Lou "Lordship Salvation", it is simply honesty to say that his book has some Lordship tendencies. At the end of the day, that's all I'm saying.

September 19, 2007 5:14 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Do not advertize for Lou Martuneac's blog here.

Thanks in advance.

The Management

September 19, 2007 5:57 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Tom,

When you said, "It would seem from his quotes that he is soft lordship and is playing it off as if he is somehow not influenced by either side and remains objective. Huh." I think you got it right. Nathan Busenitz said this same thing.

"Lou answers “Yes.” Repentance is necessary to saving faith... [Yet]he finds Ryrie’s understanding of repentance weak and lacking...

Lou is trying to defend middle ground that doesn’t exist. Either repentance is a change of heart (the lordship view) or it is not. The law of the excluded middle leaves no room for Lou’s attempt at theological funambulism. (I will expand more on this later, demonstrating that this is not the “false dilemma” [cf. page 127 of his book] Lou might want it to be.)
"

He then says that Lou's doctrine of repentance is Lordship.

I agree with Nathan.

Antonio

September 19, 2007 6:13 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Jon,

It is now satanic to point out the errors and inconsistencies of someone who associates himself with Free Grace.

Lou Martuneac has Lordship Salvation tendencies that can lead to all kinds of errors.

The quotes that are shown on the main post reveal that for Lou, repentance is much more than changing the mind. It is confessing sin, it is turning from sin, it is a doormat to faith. It is a frontloading of saving faith. Every argument that is used against LS can be used against Lou, here.

Furthermore, he opens the door wide to fruit inspection and introspection as the subjective foundations for assurance, agreeing essentially with Reformed Lordship Salvation's perseverance theology.

His position is essentially a soft-lordship position, in the line of Darrel Bock.

Confessing sin, turning from sin, and the other descriptions he gives of repentance is nothing more than frontloading the gospel with works. Must one confess their sin to receive eternal life? This is a work.

Furthermore, he has fallen into the decisionism trap, whereby he counsels people to pray to receive Christ. Prayer is a work. Must one pray to receive Christ?

Lou Martuneac is in no position to speak for Free Grace Theology. He is right at home with Lordship Salvation with his view of repentance, his perseverance theology, and his praying to receive Christ.

Antonio

September 19, 2007 6:21 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

I looked at some of Lou Martuneac's postings about repentance and some responses by those who hold to lordship salvation. Those who hold the lordship salvation have also expressed that they do not see any difference between the lordship salvation view on repentance and Martuneac’s view. Although Lou Martuneac is opposed to lordship salvation, he is definitely not free grace.

One response by Lou to a question was especially telling.

Lou was asked, "Can a person get saved while intending to hold on to known sin? (Emphasis on known.) Let’s say a woman is a prostitute. She says, “I want to be saved. I believe Jesus died for my sin and rose again. I know he is my only hope of salvation. I know my current occupation is sin. I don’t want to leave it but I want to be saved.” Can she get saved?”

Lou's response was, "If a person expressed their intention to hang on to their sin I would stop right there. I would not attempt to lead them to pray for God to save them. That person is far from biblical repentance."

Lou's post and the thread of this exchange can be found at:
http://www.sharperiron.org/showthread.php?t=3047&page=6&pp=7
Lou's post was dated August 18, 2006.

No one that I would consider free grace would cloud the Gospel by requiring that one be willing to give up their known sins to be saved. This leads one to trust in their willingness to give up their sins in addition to trusting Jesus Christ for salvation. That is not faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.

Lordship salvation theology seems to require at least 2 things for salvation:

1) Turning from one’s sins or at least a willingness to give up one’s known sins.

2) Surrendering to or making Jesus Christ as one’s Lord and Master.

Lou Martuneac’s position seems to be that 1) is necessary for salvation but 2) is not. His opposition to a need to make Christ as Lord of one’s life for salvation seems to be why he is opposed to lordship salvation, but his view regarding repentance (a willingness to turn from sins is required for salvation) is in agreement with those who hold to lordship salvation.

The free grace view does not add conditions of turning from one’s sin or a willingness to turn from one’s sins as a requirement for salvation, whether the free grace view of repentance is a change of mind or a turning from one’s sins. Even if someone rejects the need to make Jesus as Master of one’s life for salvation but adds the requirement of being willing to turn from one’s sins, that is not the biblical Gospel nor the free grace view.

I actually agree that Lou’s view should not be called “lordship salvation” since he does not condition salvation on a surrender to Jesus Christ’s Lordship. However, I think it would be fair to call his position, “turn from sin salvation”, since that is what he is requiring.

September 19, 2007 6:26 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

On page 116, Lou writes: “Emotionally, repentance is genuine sorrow for sin.."

This is Reformed soteriology, Lordship Salvation. First, Lou makes repentance a necessary requirement for eternal salvation, in other words, no repentance, no heaven.

Repentance to him involves the mind, the will, and the emotions.

He states that repentance is genuine sorrow for sin. How much must I be sorry for my sins? How much must I sorrow and grieve over my sin? It is left unquantified and leaves open the door to confusion and doubt that one has sufficiently repented enough. This is the same as Lordship Salvation.

How can one know if they repented enough under Lou's teaching?

Salvation is not received by faith alone, in Lou's Lordship and Reformed soteriology.

You must genuinely be sorrowful for your sins
You must confess your sins
You must turn from your sins
and whatever other kitchen sink content Lou has imported into his doctrine of repentance.

And after all of that: IOW, after they sufficiently jump through his repentance hoops AND believe, Lou will lead them to pray and ask God to save them.

This is not Free Grace theology!

Free Grace theology emphatically states that salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone. It is that simple.

Lou has confused and garbled the saving message. No one can know if they have properly and genuinely repented, or if they have prayed and asked right.

In the particulars that I have been emphasizing, Lou's book would not be regarded as faithful to Free Grace theology by a majority of those who subscribe to it.

But as I keep reading from Nathan Busenitz, Lou's quotations from his book have their counterparts in John MacArthur's book.

Antonio

September 19, 2007 7:19 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Mike,

Thank you for the very helpful quotes from Lou Martuneac.

What ever happened to "Just as I am"? It is more like "Wipe off your shoes before you come in"

Lou's response to the question about the prostitue really breaks my heart. It turns someone away from the living water that Jesus says is freely offered to anyone who desires. It really breaks my heart! I am saddened by the fact that his modern fundamentalism has been transported from the Christian life realm into his soteriology.

I am not a Spurgeon quoter, but there are several very good thoughts in his sermons. This one comes to mind:

"Sinner, if thou takest Christ to be thy Saviour this day, thou art justified; though thou be the biggest blasphemer and persecutor out of hell...if thou wilt honor God by believing Christ is able to forgive such a wretch as thou art, and wilt now trust in Jesus' precious blood, thou art saved from divine wrath."

Lou would turn away a prostitute from the waters that could forever quench her thirst by having her jump through his theological and moralistic hoops.

Lou is not at all within the Free Grace Camp. He is far outside.

Antonio

September 19, 2007 7:30 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Personally, I don't know why Dennis Rokser and Tom Stegall stand with Lou Martuneac, or vice-versa.

I have read articles by them and know that they do not believe in perseverance theology, nor in repentance as Lou does, nor in praying to God to receive salvation. Nor in confessing sin and turning from it as conditions.

It must be their strict modern fundamentalism that ties them all together.

Antonio

September 19, 2007 7:34 PM  
Blogger Free Grace Guy said...

Modern Fundamentalism = not cool

September 19, 2007 7:57 PM  
Blogger jonperreault said...

Antonio,

I was not aware of the rule you mentioned in regards to my last comments. My apologies. I will try to abide by this in the future.

I could not agree more with your comments when you write,

"Personally, I don't know why Dennis Rokser and Tom Stegall stand with Lou Martuneac, or vice-versa.

I have read articles by them and know that they do not believe in perseverance theology, nor in repentance as Lou does, nor in praying to God to receive salvation. Nor in confessing sin and turning from it as conditions.

It must be their strict modern fundamentalism that ties them all together."

This is an obvious inconsistency on their part.

September 19, 2007 8:43 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

My comment on advertizing Lou's blog merely means that I do not wish his links posted in the comments section.

This "fg me" posted links on my blog to Lou's blog that J.P. referenced, where this "fg me" calls my criticism of Lou's Lordship tendencies satanic. That will not be tolerated here.

Reference Lou's blog all you want, just please do not put links to it here.

Antonio

September 20, 2007 1:25 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

fg me, if you haven't noticed, I am dealing with quotes from his published book. These are the statements from Lou Martuneac himself. Are you telling me that he now disowns his statements?

If so, it may do him well to publically repudiate the statements in his book that are obviously Lordship Salvation and NOT Free Grace.

Lou Martuneac has not given us any indication that the quotes from his book that I have provided are innacurate to describe his position. They are his words, his position, and his book.

The errors that he falls into are not so insignificant that they should be glossed over. If he no longer believes the Lordship Salvation positions that he has espoused in the first edition of his book, there should be a description of his change of mind in his new book, and a public statement in which he distances himself from these positions.

Otherwise we are left to consider it fact that these quotes as I have provided represent Lou's current positions.

If and when Lou publically distances himself from these abbherrent positions, you may post where he does so here.

Antonio

September 20, 2007 1:41 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

fg me,

concerning lou's proclivities to counsel people to "pray to God to save them" and "pray to receive Christ" and the likes:

There are just too many instances of them with Lou. If they innaccurately describe how he invited people to salvation, why does he use such language?

Lou wrote: " I know what I meant when I used that phrase, its use is fair commonly[sic]"

Lou has failed to tell us what exactly he means when he uses those phrases. If I was confused and assumed the worst concerning his use of those phrases, how are those whom Lou evangelizes supposed to understand them?

Lou, in his own words, counsels people to "pray to God for salvation" and "pray to receive Christ".

Would not the hearers understand Lou to mean just that?

Lou says that these phrases usage is "fair commonly[sic]" I assume he means farily common.

This is exactly my point. It is used fairly commonly, and it is absolutely erroneous! Lou wishes to engage himself in a serious debate with large players such as John MacArthur and Zane Hodges, but he makes these rookie mistakes.

If he does not mean "pray to God for salvation" what exactly DOES he mean by those phrases?

The comments that you have him say from one of my previous posts is just damage control. From all of Lou's writings it is abundantly apparent, that when he is in the invitation/appeal part of his gospel presentation that he urges men to "pray to receive Christ" and "pray to God for salvation".

This kind of error coming from someone who sets himself up to speak authoratatively on soteriological issues is unacceptable. Lou uses the "fairly common" mistake of Christendom and counsels men to follow its instruction.

Antonio

September 20, 2007 1:56 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

fg me,

Get your own blog if you wish to have a soapbox. You are not welcome to come over here and call godly men 'abominable'. Your anonymity gives you no credibility whatsoever.

Antonio

September 20, 2007 2:33 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

fg me, over on Lou's blog stated this:

"I also know that you too, Lou, reject the Calvinist/Lordship doctrine of the perseverance of the saints."

Does he? Please have all the time and space necessary on this blog to describe for us the difference between Lou's position and the Calvinist Lordship Salvationist.

In Lou's book, he writes:

"Dr. Hodges advocates that position, which insists a person can depart from the faith, totally deny Christ, persist in sin, and yet still be counted among those who are truly saved” (p. 24).

Why Lou calls Zane Hodges "Dr." is unknown to me. You would think that he would know a little about the man before slamming him.

Zane Hodges does not believe in the perseverance of the saints. He believes that as with all areas of responsiblity, the Christian life can be an utter failure. He believes that one can fail to persevere in the faith (but of course he is still saved! God is faithful to His promises!).

But Lou does not believe this. Lou believes that regenerate man cannot fail to persevere, thus, he believes in the perseverance of the saints.

What is the practical difference between Lordship perseverance theology, and Lou's statements which have been quoted on the opening blog post and here in the thread?

There is none.

Lou's understanding is that fruits and faith will persevere until the end of life in some manner or degree.

Antonio

September 20, 2007 2:39 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

fg me,

Desist in continuing to spam my comments section. If you do not abide by this rule, you will be asked not to post here anymore.

Antonio

September 20, 2007 2:42 PM  
Blogger fg me said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 20, 2007 5:03 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Fg me,

The selected quotation gives no indication whether Lou Martuneac holds to a view of repentance that requires one to give up one’s sins or at least to be willing to give up one’s known sins. The quotation is not a rejection of the lordship position nor a confirmation of the free grace position.

Other writings from Lou unambiguously indicate that a willingness to give up one’s known sins is included in his definition of repentance, which Lou believes is required for salvation.

When Lou Martuneac was asked, whether an unsaved prostitute, who knew prostitution was a sin, could be saved without being willing to leave prostitution? Lou’s response was, “If a person expressed their intention to hang on to their sin I would stop right there. I would not attempt to lead them to pray for God to save them. That person is far from biblical repentance."

Page 121 of his book is that biblical repentance is “a definite, on-purpose decision to confess that sin, and turn from the old ways...” For Lou biblical repentance is a requirement for salvation and thus a “decision to confess that sin, and turn from the old ways” is required for salvation. That is not Free Grace, but “turn from sin salvation”.

I have yet to see a quote (including the one posted) from Lou where he denies that a willingness to give up one’s known sins is required for salvation. Is there a quotation where Lou denies that a willingness to give up one’s known sins is required for salvation? Here is an example from Ron Shea of what such a quotation would look like. “We deny that saving repentance is ever directed to sin, either by way of sorrow for one's sins, or the resolution or promise to "turn" from them.”

Some may say that Lou’s differences on repentance are only minor differences and really just a difference in nuance between him and those in Free Grace. This is just not so.

Lou Martuneac by requiring repentance for salvation and defining repentance as a willingness to turn from one’s sins is committing the same fundamental error as those in lordship salvation who say salvation is by faith alone, but faith includes a surrender to Christ’s as Master.

It is a vast chasm of difference to say to an unbeliever be willing to give up your known sins and believe in Jesus Christ for salvation versus saying believe only in Jesus only for salvation. Lou Martuneac is not a Free Grace advocate but a “turn from sin” salvation advocate.

Mike

September 20, 2007 5:12 PM  
Blogger fg me said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 21, 2007 7:10 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

FG,

They were not adequately dealt with. I gave Lou the benefit of the doubt and asked him what he meant by those phrases. He did not respond with an answer. Seeing that he continues to proliferate this error, as is evident in his book, my blogs, his blog, and other blogs, we have no recourse but to call him into account for this erroneous gospel invitation.

There are just too many instances of them with Lou. If they innaccurately describe how he invited people to salvation, why does he use such language?

Lou wrote: " I know what I meant when I used that phrase, its use is fair commonly[sic]"

Lou has failed to tell us what exactly he means when he uses those phrases. If I was confused and assumed the worst concerning his use of those phrases, how are those whom Lou evangelizes supposed to understand them?

Lou, in his own words, counsels people to "pray to God for salvation" and "pray to receive Christ".

Would not the hearers understand Lou to mean just that?

Lou says that these phrases usage is "fair commonly[sic]" I assume he means farily common.

This is exactly my point. It is used fairly commonly, and it is absolutely erroneous! Lou wishes to engage himself in a serious debate with large players such as John MacArthur and Zane Hodges, but he makes these rookie mistakes.

If he does not mean "pray to God for salvation" what exactly DOES he mean by those phrases?

The comments that you have him say from one of my previous posts is just damage control. From all of Lou's writings it is abundantly apparent, that when he is in the invitation/appeal part of his gospel presentation that he urges men to "pray to receive Christ" and "pray to God for salvation".

This kind of error coming from someone who sets himself up to speak authoratatively on soteriological issues is unacceptable. Lou uses the "fairly common" mistake of Christendom and counsels men to follow its instruction.

Antonio

September 21, 2007 1:44 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

fg me, if you haven't noticed, Mike is dealing with quotes from Lou's published book. These are the statements from Lou Martuneac himself. Are you telling me that he now disowns his statements?

If so, it may do him well to publically repudiate the statements in his book that are obviously Lordship Salvation and NOT Free Grace.

Lou Martuneac has not given us any indication that the quotes from his book that I have provided are innacurate to describe his position. They are his words, his position, and his book.

The errors that he falls into are not so insignificant that they should be glossed over. If he no longer believes the Lordship Salvation positions that he has espoused in the first edition of his book, there should be a description of his change of mind in his new book, and a public statement in which he distances himself from these positions.

Otherwise we are left to consider it fact that these quotes as I have provided represent Lou's current positions.

If and when Lou publically distances himself from these abbherrent positions, you may post where he does so here.

Antonio

September 21, 2007 1:45 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Fgme,

Yes, I did read his revision and acknowledge it. As I stated before, in case you missed it, Lou Martuneac’s revision fails to deny that a willingness to turn for one’s known sins is required for salvation. The revision fails to deny or contradict this position and elsewhere Lou’s writings unambiguously supports it. If a recent statement does not deny or contradict recent past statements, then the recent past statements still stand. The main issue of this thread is the following question.


Is a willingness to give up one’s known sins (prostitution, smoking, etc.) required for salvation?

Lou Martuneac would say yes. Here is his answer in case you missed it. Lou Martuneac says, “If a person expressed their intention to hang on to their sin I would stop right there. I would not attempt to lead them to pray for God to save them. That person is far from biblical repentance." (emphasis added Posted on August 18, 2006)


How would those in Free Grace community, even with the differences in the definition on repentance, answer the question, “Is a willingness to give up one’s known sins required for salvation?”

Charles Ryrie says no. He says, “I do not need to be willing to give up smoking in order to be saved.” (So Great Salvation page 39). “Is repentance a condition for receiving eternal life?...No, if it means to be sorry for sin or even to resolve to turn from sin, for these things will not save.” (SGS page 99).

Zane Hodges says no. He says, “Thus to repent is to rediscover our direction and to experience true "life" in harmony with our Maker. But repentance is not the means by which we acquire eternal life." (Absolutely Free Chapter 12)

Charles Bing says no. He says, “If it is asserted that repentance means resolving to forsake all known sin, then the absurd scenario emerges in which it would be best to keep people ignorant of their sins when preaching the gospel.”

Ron Shea says no. He says, “Accordingly, we deny that saving repentance is ever directed to sin, either by way of sorrow for one's sins, or the resolution or promise to "turn" from them.” http://cleargospel.org/topics.php?t_id=27

A. Ray Stanford says no. He says, “preachers have been going about earnestly trying to get men to quit their sinning, or at least to work up a genuine sorrow for sin. But is this the divinely appointed task of Christians--to get men to change their ways? No! This kind of preaching often leads to form of self-righteousness and self-reformation—not to salvation.” (Handbook of Personal Evangelism page 80)

G. Michael Cocoris says no. He says, “Repentance means a change of mind or attitude; it does not include tears or turning. To define repentance as being sorry for sin or turning from sin is dangerous, because it could cause people to think that they could do something that could in some way help them obtain salvation.” (“Repentance: The Most Misunderstood Word in the Bible” Pt. 2)

Joseph Dillow says no. He says, “their [lordship salvation] view is that a man must resolve to turn from all known sin and follow Christ absolutely. It seems that works enter through the front door, and another gospel is taught.” (emphasis mine) (The Reign of the Servant Kings page 10).

GES says no. Its affirmation of beliefs say, “No act of obedience, preceding or following faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, such as commitment to obey, sorrow for sin, turning from one’s sin, baptism or submission to the Lordship of Christ, may be added to, or considered part of, faith as a condition for receiving everlasting life” (emphasis mine).

Lewis Sperry Chafer and John Walvoord would have said no. “The divine message is not “believe and pray,” “believe and confess sin,” “believe and confess Christ,” “believe and be baptized,” “believe and repent,” or “believe and make restitution.” These six added subjects are mentioned in Scripture, and there they have their full intended meaning; but if they were as essential to salvation as believing they would never be omitted from any passage wherein the way to be saved is stated.” (emphasis mine). (Major Bible Themes page 187)

Lou Martuneac’s position that one needs to be willing to give up a known sinful habit (eg. prostitution) is outside the circle of those who advocate a Free Grace view of the Gospel.

My motivation is simple. People need to understand that eternal life only comes by believing in Jesus Christ alone. If someone believes that he needs to give up or turn from some known sin (eg. prostitution, smoking, lying, bad temper, whatever sinful behavior one wants) and believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life, then that leaves that person believing in Jesus Christ plus whatever sinful behavior he was willing to give up. That unfortunate person does not believe in Jesus Christ alone but believes in Jesus Christ plus his own willingness to turn from sins, which is not the biblical gospel and does not save.

Mike

September 21, 2007 5:54 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Perreault said...

Just for the record, this is Lou Martuneac's revised definition of repentance (quoting from his blog):

September 19, 2007
What Is Biblical Repentance?
Dear Guests:

The following is from the revised and expanded edition of In Defense of the Gospel. The revised edition of my book will be released by the publisher toward the end of this year.


Repentance is a change of mind where one recognizes he is a sinner before a just and holy God. When he agrees with the convincing and convicting work of the Holy Spirit that he is a sinner (John 16:8-9) and transfers his dependence to the Lord for his salvation—he has biblically repented. Biblical repentance is a change of mind that should produce the fruit of a change in direction from self and sin toward God. The fruit that should follow is distinct from repentance itself. This change of mind is what Acts 20:21 describes as, “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The chapter on repentance, from which this portion is lifted, is 15 pages in length.

Please feel free to post any questions or comments.

Yours faithfully,


LM

September 21, 2007 7:02 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

JP,

No one has answered Mike:

"Yes, I did read his revision and acknowledge it. As I stated before, in case you missed it, Lou Martuneac’s revision fails to deny that a willingness to turn for one’s known sins is required for salvation. The revision fails to deny or contradict this position and elsewhere Lou’s writings unambiguously supports it. If a recent statement does not deny or contradict recent past statements, then the recent past statements still stand. The main issue of this thread is the following question.

No one has answered me:

"fg me, if you haven't noticed, Mike is dealing with quotes from Lou's published book. These are the statements from Lou Martuneac himself. Are you telling me that he now disowns his statements?

If so, it may do him well to publically repudiate the statements in his book that are obviously Lordship Salvation and NOT Free Grace.

Lou Martuneac has not given us any indication that the quotes from his book that I have provided are innacurate to describe his position. They are his words, his position, and his book.

The errors that he falls into are not so insignificant that they should be glossed over. If he no longer believes the Lordship Salvation positions that he has espoused in the first edition of his book, there should be a description of his change of mind in his new book, and a public statement in which he distances himself from these positions.

Otherwise we are left to consider it fact that these quotes as I have provided represent Lou's current positions.

If and when Lou publically distances himself from these abbherrent positions, you may post where he does so here.
"

Antonio

September 21, 2007 7:12 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

fg me,

You are no longer welcome here on this blog. Please desist from posting any more comments.

Antonio da Rosa

September 21, 2007 7:17 PM  
Blogger fg me said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 21, 2007 7:17 PM  
Blogger fg me said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

September 21, 2007 7:18 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Dear readers of Free Grace Blog:

note that fg me has given up his privilege to post on this blog.

Some of his final comments stated:

"One can only hope and pray that you will one day be delivered from the grip of the Devil on your mind and doctrine, repent of your heresy and deceitful ways.

You are an immature, ego-driven, puffed-up, young person.

Goodbye!


PS: Get a haircut!"

Modern Fundamentalism at its finest.

Antonio

September 21, 2007 7:19 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Readers,

I will have to put on comment moderation for the time being, since "fg me" has spammed 10+ childish, evil, and unChristian comments.

The last one he wrote stated:

"Shame on you!

Deceitful, liar! "

This is the Fundamentalism of Lou Martuneac and gang.

Antonio

September 21, 2007 7:22 PM  
Blogger David Wyatt said...

Bro. Antonio,

Thank you for pointing this out. This is important to know.

September 21, 2007 7:24 PM  
Blogger Free Grace Guy said...

Antonio,

Remember what it says in first John, if they love not the brethren then they have not come to know God in an intimate way. Their folly is evident to all.

Tom <><

September 21, 2007 8:10 PM  
Blogger Free Grace Guy said...

FG Me,

It has everything to do with fundamentalism. You people brow beat people over the head with the Bible in that smug, holier than thou sort of way and I'm sick of it. Your pride is reprehensible and your manner disgusting. I was enslaved for far too long by legalistic people like you, so now be a man...you've said your peace, now go!

Tom <><

September 21, 2007 9:23 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 21, 2007 10:15 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Tom,

Great words of wisdom in your posts. I was wondering, if Antonio has gotten back to you on your article of Jesus being the God of resurrection and life? If not, I think it might because he hasn't seen your post on the other blog.

Mike

September 21, 2007 10:24 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 21, 2007 11:20 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Fg me,

"There you go again" seeking to distract. (Credit to President Reagan) No one says GES is the sole representive of free grace teaching, and it is not the issue of this blog.

In case you missed it, in my post at 5:54 pm I referenced Charles Ryrie, Zane Hodges, Charles Bing, Michael Cocoris, Ron Shea, Lewis Sperry Chafer, John Walvoord, A. Ray Stanford, and Joseph Dillow. All these Free Grace individuals would reject the view, that Lou Martuneac holds, that a willingness to give up known sins is a requirement for eternal life.

Antonio and I are trying to perpetrate that salvation is only by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone with no condition of being willing to give up one's known sins. I am proud to be guilty for perpetrating this.

Mike

September 21, 2007 11:29 PM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

fg me,
Antonio was threatened with banning, but never banned. Here is the post by that blog's owner wherein he states that only four people have ever been banned and Anotnio is not one of them.

Why can't you be nicer?

September 22, 2007 8:40 AM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

That link was supposed to go right to the comment, but it goes to the post. Phil J. says in a comment on that post that these are the four banned people:

1. "Carolyn Trace"
2. A white supremicist
3. Chamblee's
4. Mr. Metzler's

The comment was amde at
12:00 PM, OCTOBER 21, 2006

September 22, 2007 8:45 AM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

fg me,
I was there when all this happened. You can see it however you want, but even as I am re-reading that, it is as I remember it - he was threatened, but not banned. Therefore, he has not llied. The whole thing was ridiculous anyways, as it is for you to be bringing it up. Find something of substance to comment on.

Oh, and why not be nice?
You seem so angry.

September 22, 2007 9:24 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Fg me,

I read Jonperreault post from Lou as well as yours again. There is nothing in that post which would deny that Lou Martuneac's would require that someone be willing to give up his/her known sins in order to be saved.

The issue is not whether someone did or did not get banned on some board. If that is what you want to discuss why don’t you start your own blog and let those who want to participate in such a discussion do so, without distracting from the important issue at hand here. The importance of that issue pales in comparison with the question of:

"Is a willingness to give up one’s known sins (prostitution, smoking, etc.) required for salvation?"

Lou Martuneac says, “If a person expressed their intention to hang on to their sin I would stop right there. I would not attempt to lead them to pray for God to save them. That person is far from biblical repentance." (Posted on August 18, 2006)

The key is whether Lou Martuneac would answer that recent question differently today and if so how? His revision still does not indicate that he would.

Here is a comment from a pastor who holds to the lordship salvation position on what Lou Martuneac posted above:

“How, in your mind, is that different from LS? That is exactly what an LS proponent would say, I believe. Yet you say they are wrong, while agreeing with them, it seems. Aren’t you “adding something to faith” if you require her to leave her occupation of prostitution? How are you not? Why can’t she “just believe” and get saved? How is “biblical repentance” different from LS?” (Posted by Larry on August 18, 2006 at http://www.sharperiron.org/showthread.php?t=3047&page=7&pp=7 )

Lou Martuneac defines repentance in his limited section of his “revised book” like many in Free Grace as a change of mind. But, unlike those in Free Grace, what Lou Martuneac requires as a change of mind is quite different. For Lou Martuneac this change of mind must include a change of mind to stop known sins for salvation.

Ron Shea gives the Free Grace view of repentance as a change of mind, when he states, “We believe that this change of mind [repentance] can take virtually any object, as evidenced both by Scripture, and by extant Greek literature. Accordingly, we acknowledge that sin can be the object of repentance, but we categorically deny that there is any basis in the Greek language for understanding "sin" to be the necessary or intrinsic object of repentance. Moreover, we believe that in no passage of Scripture directed to eternal salvation is sin ever the stated or implied object of repentance.” http://cleargospel.org/topics.php?t_id=27

Lou Martuneac is opposed to the lordship position of making Christ master of one's life, but Lou’s view that one needs to be willing to give up one's known sins for salvation is squarely in the camp of lordship theology. One can be opposed to Lordship Salvation and yet not still be Free Grace. Anyone including Lou Martuneac who requires a willingness to give up one’s known sins for salvation is no advocate of Free Grace or the biblical Gospel.

Mike

September 22, 2007 1:04 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

fg me,

whoever you are, you are not welcome here. You are banned from this blog and from Unashamed of Grace. Do not post here or there anymore.

Go sabotage someone elses blog.

Antonio

September 22, 2007 1:13 PM  
Blogger Free Grace Guy said...

Mike,

No, actually I haven't heard from him yet, I'll leave another post on here. Thanks for the encouragement.

Tom

September 22, 2007 3:05 PM  
Blogger Free Grace Guy said...

Antonio,

I wrote a paper in college that shows how John 11:25-26 proves the divinity of Christ and I argued that faith in His divinity was a necessary requirement for salvation, however, I have had doubts and wanted to get your thoughts on it. Would you be able to check out that paper on my blog. Thanks, man.

Tom <><

September 22, 2007 3:06 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Perreault said...

SHOULD THE DOCTRINAL DEVIATIONS OF LOU MARTUNEAC'S BOOK BE DISMISSED?

Let's get Lou's answer to this question. On pg. 227 of his book, Lou writes, "It is foolish to dismiss doctrinal deviation simply because its source comes from a previously trusted friend, fellowship, or institution. Fidelity to biblical truth is the greatest expression of love. When a man's doctrine is brought into question and that question is based on public statements he has made, is it unreasonable to ask that man to clarify his doctrine? Is it unreasonable to search the Scriptures to determine the soundness of a man's theological position?"

The following is one example of a "doctrinal deviation" in Lou's book "In Defense Of The Gospel". In Appendix G "Faith Without Works Is Dead" (p. 275) Lou's former associate Kevin L. Brosnan writes, "Yes, faith without works is dead (worthless, false, impotent)." He goes on to state, ". . . it is true that a faith that produces no fruit in outward works is indeed a false or dead faith" (p. 276). Similarly, "A genuine profession of faith in Christ always secures a position in Christ, a possession of Christ, and always culminates in the production of works for Christ" (p. 277).

I believe many if not most of us in the free grace camp would disagree with the above statements made by Lou Martuneac and associate Kevin L. Brosnan. In context, I believe these statements evidence a misunderstanding of James 2 and the book of 1 John. Furthermore, the above statements appear to be directly contrary to other Biblical texts such as John 15:1-6, 1 Cor. 3:15, 2 Pt. 1:8-9, and Rev. 3:14-20, which seem to indicate that it is possible for a Christian to lack good works.

How should Lou react in light of these "doctrinal deviations"?
On page 228 of his book Lou asks the question: "What If You Have Been Wrong?" He closes the section by saying, "Admitting you were wrong on a particular doctrine is one of the hardest things for a believer to do. It takes a high measure of belt-tightening and swallowing of pride to make an admission like that, but it is a sign of great character. It shows a teachable, humble spirit, and demonstrates your loyalty to Scripture. Christians who genuinely love and care for you will rally to your side and appreciate your candor and humility" (p. 229).

September 24, 2007 8:21 PM  

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