Ten Questions For Lordship Salvationists
By Curt Wildy
1. How much of their sin must a sinner give up BEFORE Christ is able to quicken them by the Holy Spirit, granting them faith and repentance? Do they have to give up some of their sins, most of their sins, or all of their sins BEFORE they can be saved?
2. If “God does not hear sinners,” does a sinner have to give up all of their sin before God can, or will, hear their prayers for salvation? If not all, then what percentage of their sin must be forsaken before God is able to act?
3. If repentance, like faith, is a gift from God that accompanies salvation, flows from salvation (i.e., from a quickened and converted state), then how is the yet unsaved sinner to go about repenting of, and forsaking, their sin BEFORE God can save them and grant them true repentance and faith?
4. If the primary reason that we commit many sins is because we, by nature (after the flesh), love said sins, then how does a sinner give up their love for sin BEFORE God quickens them, and turns them, so that they may be turned from their sin? Also, how quickly must they hate all of their sins? That same day? Over the span of a week? Over many months? Or over a year or two at most? If, after ten years, they do not perfectly hate every sin that they commit, or are tempted to commit, are they lost (yet unsaved)? Also what does it mean to hate sin? If a part of them wants to commit that sin, but another part hates committing it because it is a sin against God and His love and goodness, is that true hatred, or do they only truly hate their sin when they have absolutely no urge, desire, liking, or temptation to commit that sin ever again?
5. Does repentance mean having a change of mind about sin and the only hope of deliverance from it, a turning of their discernment and understanding regarding such things, or does repentance mean a complete forsaking of sin so that one, except for maybe a few slips here and there at most, essentially forsakes (stops committing, no longer engages in) all sin either (a) as a means or condition for being worthy for salvation or (b) as the immediate result of salvation?
6. When determining that a person hasn’t repented of their sin enough, still loves their sin too much, or isn’t doing all the good that they should be doing as a Christian (“if they really are one in the first place” as is often implied/insinuated), by what means are Lordship Salvationists measuring such things? In other words, what is your standard? Are you comparing them to Christ? Are you comparing them to the word of God (the Bible and the law of God found therein)? Are you comparing them to yourselves and to those who agree with you? Basically, what is the criteria that you use to determine that you have repented enough, hate sin enough, do good enough, but those others over there fall short. Basically, by what standard or measure do you go about determining whether others are good enough if you are not using yourselves, or those like you, as the measurement whereby those falling short need to be measured?
7. If a person knows the Gospel, knows much about Scripture, can refute Arminianism and related errors, etc., but fails to live up to the standards set by the Lordship Salvationists, (i.e. your standards of a satisfactory degree of repentance, good works, hatred of sin, etc.), though they struggle against their sin, hate it, and want to be found amongst Christ and His people, by what scriptural means do you use to determine (a) whether they sinned away the day of grace or (b) whether they committed the unpardonable sin?
8. Seeing that we are to grow in grace, love, and the knowledge of truth, how does a Lordship Salvationist judge whether someone isn’t growing fast enough, bearing enough fruit, adorning the doctrine of Christ quickly enough, to “really be saved” in the first place. How quickly does one have to grow, bear fruit, etc. in order to be “truly saved” in the eyes of Lordship Salvationists? What is the means used to determine the acceptability of their growth and productivity?
9. If God is the one who (a) works all of our good works in us (if we are truly Christian), if He is the one who (b) causes us both to will and to actually do of His good pleasure, and if He has already (c) before-ordained the good works that we should walk in, then how does a Lordship Salvationist determine when someone isn’t really doing enough, bearing fruit enough, to actually be a Christian. In other words, how many good works does God have to work in a Christian before that Christian meets the acceptable threshold for a Lordship Salvationist to say “ah, see, they are a Christian after all because they have done [x] amount of good; or hate their sins [x] amount; or have repented of [x] percentage of their sins.” Basically, how much good does God have to work in a Christian before that Christian can truly be deemed a Christian by their Lordship Salvationist judges?
10. Finally, if divine love is our chief motivation to do the good that God, Himself, works in us; and if we can do no more good works, and no less good works, than what God has ordained for us and works out in us, then what is the best means of using the law to get saved men and women to hurry up and repent enough, hate their sin enough, or do good enough, for them to be acceptable in the eyes of Lordship Salvationists? If women keep on wearing modest pants; or if men/women watch sports in moderation; or if Christians drink wine or ale in moderation; or if Christians watch shows that you do not like, or listen to music that you do not like, or play board games and card games that you do not like, or do not use the Bible translation that you personally like, etc., what is the most effective means of hammering them with the law, or with your pet traditions/commandments/convictions, so that they can be more and more conformed to your image, abstaining from doing all the things that you and others like you do not like them doing, since being conformed to Christ and His image, and striving to follow only the commandments that God sets forth is clearly not enough for the average Lordship Salvationist? Can you cite scriptural book, chapter, and verse to show forth and justify your means and methods of conforming others to your likes, rules, traditions, convictions, and image?