Baptist False Doctrine!
Once Save, Always Saved (True or False?)
The Baptist movements eternal security doctrine: Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit Will Never fall away from the state of grace.
Before we begin our study to discover the supposed validity of this statement, its origins, and when it became doctrine in this movement; let me say this:
I have visited and been a part of many Baptist churches over the years. I don’t think that I have ever met more caring, loving, down to earth and devoted Pastors than I have in these churches! Their diligence to promote Godly morals in their own lives, and their Christlike care for the sheep of their pasture inspires me to emulate them! Recently, I visited a church and was so moved by the brilliance and insight of the Pastor in his messages, and the amazing love and heart for Christ that I witnessed in the congregation as I participated in a local outreach; witnessing them ministering to their city and to me, that I asked if I could join and become a member. They handed me a pamphlet and said just agree with these doctrines and you’re in. It was the Baptist Faith & Message. A statement adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention June 14, 2000. There was no sign that this was a Baptist church so I was a little surprised. I began to read it and loved and agreed with everything except for the doctrine we will be investigating. I studied the fifty or so scriptures they claim prove that believers can never fall away from the state of grace in section five; God’s purpose of grace. I found them to be vague at best proving nothing scripturally; according to the great theologians of the past. So, it was with a very heavy heart that I had to tell the Pastor that I couldn’t agree; so, I could not join.
I realized in 1986 when I received Christ that the eternal security doctrine was inaccurate because of the many scriptures which disprove it, and how it stands in opposition to the main theme of the Gospel and the great commission. I’ve always said that telling a believer that they can never fall from grace, regardless of their ungodly lifestyle and actions, is like giving your child a loaded gun, or giving a baby a rattlesnake’s tail to play with saying play with this, it’s safe. They impart to their congregation: Don’t worry, nothing will happen as a result of your ungodly behavior, you’re safe; when that’s not true in God’s eyes. So, let’s investigate and draw our own conclusions. What we are after here is the truth! We are not here to vindicate or judge; so, this must be read with an open heart. The scriptures are of no private interpretation! They mean what they mean as written in the original text! So, let’s go!
In 1618, Calvin declared predestination and once saved always saved in his writings. He came to this new way of thinking that was previously unheard of, through the writings of St Augustine. St Augustine was brilliant, and he wrote: Treasures of the gift of perseverance around 429 AD. In these writings of his, he made it perfectly clear that he believed that “it was possible to experience the justifying grace of God and yet not persevere to the end.” What Calvin did, was misinterpret Augustine’s understanding of the scriptures, and created a new way of believing. Calvin’s counterparts of the day called it false doctrine with no scriptural basis; the Armenian group objected to the general predestination scheme of Calvin and taught that salvation is conditioned on faith, therefore perseverance of the saints is also conditioned.
According to Calvinists, since God has drawn the elect to faith in Christ by regenerating their hearts and convincing them of their sins, and thus saving their souls by His own work and power, that they will be kept by the same power to the end. In its most literal sense, once saved always saved refers to a common Baptist belief that once a person gives their heart to God and is born again, that person cannot lose salvation, no matter what the future has in store.
Roger Williams established the first Baptist church in America in 1642; one of my all-time hero’s!
In 1833 the NH Calvinists Baptists wrote their Confessions of Faith and kept those teachings of Calvin. For years prior to this, there had been great controversy within the movement due to the spiritual insights of Charles Finney, another of my all-time hero’s; which goes like this: The voluntary nature of human decision. Since God cannot save men without their concurrence; God must induce human cooperation with in the existing moral fabric of human nature. This view of God’s necessary cooperation with human will make the idea of moral inability an absurdity. God’s commands always imply present ability; every command implies the moral power to obey or to disobey. Conversion, therefore depends on four confluent causes. 1- The Spirit of God brings light and moral suasion. 2- To induce the sinner to turn. 3- The truth is then presented (by a preacher, etc.). 4- The sinner himself does the actual turning, changing his heart as his own act.
In 1780 we see the emergence of the Free Will Baptists in New England. Benjamin Randall spear-headed this non- Calvinist Baptists movement (as it was referred to). He was greatly affected by George Whitfield, another of my all-time favorites. Randall attended one of Whitefield’s last revival meetings in New England where he changed his religion. He professed overtones of Finney in his writings. His teachings were consistent with the theological understandings with these scriptures:
Rm 8 (29 & 30)- For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified, them He also glorified.
Eph 1 (4-6)- According as He (God) hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and without blame before Him in love: Having predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.
Free Will Baptist beliefs of these: God has endowed man with the power of free choice, and governs him by moral laws and motives, and this power of free choice is the exact measure of man’s responsibility. While affirming absolute foreknowledge, we distinguish between God’s future knowledge and decree. All events are present with God from everlasting to everlasting, but His knowledge of them does not in any sense cause them, nor does He decree all events which He knows will occur. The Gospel call to repentance must be matched by the universal extent of the atonement and the universal strivings of the Spirit, so that the call of the Gospel is co-extensive with the atonement to all men, by both the word and the strivings of the Spirit, so that salvation is rendered equally possible to all, and if any fall of eternal life, the fault is wholly his own. We state strong hopes that the truly regenerate will persevere unto the end, and be saved, through the power of Devine Grace which is pledged for their support. This, however is neither determined nor certain for they may yet, because of infirmity and temptation make shipwreck of their faith and be lost.
This was a revolt in New England against Calvinist Baptists! Benjamin Randall’s non-Calvinistic Baptist Movement became the largest such group of the 19th century, though it was not the first. In 1727, Paul Palmer formed the Free Will Baptist Church in NC. They believed that an individual is saved by faith and kept by faith. In Jn 3:16, the Greek word believeth is a continuous action verb, and can thus be read: That whosoever believes and continues to believe shall not perish, but have everlasting life. The once saved always saved doctrine was rejected by the organization. The following questions changed the dynamics of the Calvinist Baptists in the north and many converted to Free Will Baptist.
If election is true, is there sufficient moral justification for the condemnation of sinners?
Can man actually be seen as responsible if a Devine decree rules their eternity and moral inability rules their present?
Does not this render the preaching of the Gospel a futile, irrelevant, and unnecessary exercise?
Since the Devine decree determines all things; both the salvation or condemnation of individuals and the providential means by which they come to hear the Gospel, is it not an intrusion of the Devine prerogative and honor to impose extraordinary human effort in going to the unconverted?
In 1845, The Southern Baptist left the organization they were a part of and created their own. They cited slavery as the issue (as if slavery was an honorable thing to defend, which it was not); but they couldn’t have been happy with the revival to Non-Calvinist Baptist. Perhaps that is the true reason they left. For 80 years they had no doctrine of belief; they just disassociated themselves from the original movement. Finally, in 1925, they cited their beliefs, and simply used the New Hampshire confession of faith, which by this time was considered as mixing Christianity with Calvinism; which is truly what it is! In 2000 they updated their beliefs, and that was the pamphlet I was handed to agree with. That principle was not part of Christianity then, and it still isn’t today. Once saved always saved is Calvinism! He created it! They embraced it! It is against scripture, which we will come to see as we continue our investigation; which makes it “False Doctrine”!
We cannot fully understand scripture, or think that we can make assumptions concerning their meanings from the wording in our Bibles. Even the King James version pales in comparison to what the original text conveys. Only brilliant minds that understand Latin, and have spent a lifetime researching each verse, are able to enlighten us. We will use the great nonconformist minister of the 1600’s, Mr. Matthew Henry’s insight to glean from. At nine years of age, he was able to write Latin and read part of the Greek New Testament. As brilliant of a man as he was, his approach to ministry was not to dazzle people with his insight and eloquence. His approach to preaching was: “Choose for your pulpit subjects the plainest, and most needful truths, and endeavor to make them plainer”. His great desire was that everyone would understand the truth of God’s word, right down to the simplest person; truly, a man after my own heart! Matthew Henry’s six-volume Exposition of the Old and New Testament was commended by George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, and John Wesley. Whitefield read it through four times, the last time on his knees. Spurgeon stated: “Every minister ought to read it entirely and carefully through once at least”. So, let’s begin our investigation and let the chips fall where they may!
We have already seen the arguments against predestination according to the Non- Calvinist Baptists, and inspiration of Charles Finney’s insight. Their wording can be difficult to understand, but I wanted to use their original comments to bring validity of what was spoken back then. We will revisit those verses on predestination after we view a few simple scriptures warning us of the very real possibility of living as strong, Christian believers; and yet losing our salvation in the end due to our own failure. Or as I like to say: Once Saved, Not Always Saved! The Eternal Conditional Security Doctrine! No offence, just having a little fun. Here we go!
1Cor 9:27- But I keep under my body, and bring it unto subjection: least that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
Paul sets before himself and them the danger of yielding to fleshly inclinations, and pampering the body and its lusts and appetites. “I should myself be castaway”, rejected, disapproved, adokimos- one to whom the brabeutes- the judge or umpire of the race will not decree the crown. Note- a preacher of salvation may yet miss it. He may show others the way to Heaven, and never get thither himself. A holy fear of himself was necessary to persevere in his fidelity, and how much more necessary is it to our preservation. Note- Holy fear of ourselves, and not presumptuous confidence, is the best security against apostasy from God, and final rejection from Him.
Wow! So, if the Apostle Paul preached that our fleshly desires and lusts could most definitely cause us to miss Heaven, using himself as an example; what more evidence do we need! If that was true for him, it must be true for us.
1Ti 6:12- Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life…
Those who will get to heaven must fight their way thither. There must be a conflict with corruption and temptations, and the opposition of darkness. He exhorts him to lay hold on eternal life. Eternal life is a crown proposed to us, for our encouragement to war, and to fight the good warfare. This we must lay hold on, as those that are afraid of coming up short of it and losing it. Lay hold, and take head of losing your hold. Hold fast to that which thou hast, that no man, take thy crown. We are called to fight and lay hold on eternal life.
These people had salvation; Hold fast to that which thou hast. Again, Paul is warning us that our salvation is something that we can lose. This is my favorite visual picture of salvation that Mr. Henry paints: Eternal life is a crown proposed to us; take head you don’t lose it! Sobering thought, right?
Ga 4:9- But now, after that ye had known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Is it possible for those who have made great profession of faith to be drawn into the very defections from the purity and simplicity of it? This was the case with these Christians. How is it that you, who have been acquainted with a dispensation of light, liberty and love, as that of the Gospel is, shall now submit to a dispensation of darkness and bondage; the weak and beggarly elements, where you again desire to be in bondage.
Again, we see Paul trying to reason with Christians who willfully start sinning again. This false confidence that the doctrine of once saved always saved produces, makes light of our continued ungodly behavior, which Paul is trying to explain has devastating consequences in the end! That’s not eternal security, it’s eternal insecurity! I wouldn’t want to put my hope in it! It is a Calvinist belief that they adopted and it’s not scripturally based.
2Pe 2(20-22)- For if after they escape the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the later end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb; The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
The Apostle; in the last two verses of the chapter; sets himself to prove that state of apostasy. It is a condemning of the way of righteousness. It carries in it a declaring that they have found some falsehood in the word of truth. They bring up such an evil report upon the good way of God; and false charges against the way of truth, and receive the heaviest condemnation. God is more highly provoked by those who by their conduct despise the Gospel, as well as disobeying the law, and who reproach and pour contempt on God and His grace! And seen by God that they have licked up their own vomit again, returning to the same errors and impieties that they had once cast off and seemed to detest and loath, and wallow in the filthiness.
Preaching that we cannot lose our salvation, gives us no imperative to change. As people watch the behavior of these who profess Christ, they see the apostasy. They condemn the way of righteousness with their actions. They’ve supposedly found a loophole in the word of truth, which becomes contemptable in God’s eyes! They pour reproach and contempt on God’s grace! No wonder it carries with it the most severe condemnation. That doesn’t sound like eternal security to me!
2Pe 3:17- Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error…
We are in great danger of being turned away from the truth. Many who have the scriptures, and who have a right understanding of the sense and meaning of the word are not established in the meaning of the truth; and they are liable to fall into error. Few attain to the knowledge and acknowledgement of doctrinal Christianity. There must be a great deal of self-denial in submitting to the authority of Christ Jesus before we can receive all the truths of the Gospel. If men corrupt the word of God, it tends to their own ruin. Therefore, we are to be upon our guard, seeing the danger is so great.
This is why I couldn’t join the wonderful church, with the loving people; and amazing insightful pastor. That’s why I had such a heavy heart. I couldn’t swallow this doctrine; it’s not scriptural! If I embraced it, I would be back involved with everything I’ve been delivered from; because it’s human nature. We must deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow Christ! I could keep going with scriptures, but why? I was convinced after the first one.
So next, we will let Matthew Henry give us his insight to the two predestination scriptures that Benjamin Randall used to disprove the theory of some being predestined to Heaven, which means the others were predestined to Hell by no choice of their own. It sounds ludicrous just reading it in print, doesn’t it? What kind of God would play a sick game like that? Before we are born, God decides our eternal fate. It has no bearings on our actions. I guess it’s a good way to continue to sin while professing Christianity. I hope that’s not why they continue to profess their Calvinist beliefs with my Bible.
For whom He did foreknow, He did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified, them He also glorified.
Whom He did foreknow He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son. Not, whom He did foreknow to be holy, those He predestined to be so. God’s foreknowledge of the saints is the same with that everlasting love wherewith He is said to have loved them (Jer. 31:3). God’s knowing His people is the same as owning them (Ps 1:6, Jn 10:14, 2Tim 2:19). Words of knowledge often in scripture denote affection, so here; elect according to the foreknowledge of God (1Pe 1:2). And the same word is rendered fore-ordained (1 Pe 1:20). Whom He did foreknow, that is, whom He designed for His friends and favorites. Now these whom God thus foreknew He did predestinate to be conformed to Christ. This takes in the whole of sanctification, of which Christ is the great pattern. To be spirited as Christ was, to walk and live as Christ did, to bear our sufferings patiently as Christ did. Christ is the express image of the Father, and the saints are conformed to the image of Christ. All that God hath from eternity foreknown with favor, He hath predestinated to this conformity. It is a mere cavil therefore to call the doctrine of election a licentious doctrine, and urge that it gives encouragement to sin, as if the end were separated from the way and happiness from holiness. No one can know their election but by their conformity to the image of Christ, for all that are chosen are chosen to sanctification (2Th 2:13), and surely it cannot be a temptation to any to be conformed to the world to believe that they were predestined to be conformed to Christ. Whom He did predestinate those He also called, not only with the external call (so many are called that were not chosen Mt 20:16, Mt 22:14), but with the internal and effectual call! The former comes to the ear only, but this to the heart. This call is then effectual when we come at the call when the spirit draws us, convinces the continence of guilt and wrath, enlightens the understanding, bows the will, persuades and enables us to embrace Christ in the promise. It is an effectual call from self and earth to God, and Christ, and Heaven as our end from sin and vanity to grace and holiness, and seriousness as our way. This is the Gospel call. So, the only way to make our election sure is to make sure our calling (2Pe 1:10). Whom He called those He also justified. All that are effectually called are justified, absolved from guilt, and accepted as righteous through Jesus Christ. They are recti in curia-right in court, no sin that ever they have been guilty of shall come against them, to condemn them. They are owned and loved as friends and favorites. None are thus justified but those that are effectually called. Those that stand it out against the Gospel abide under guilt and wrath.
Eph 1 (4-6)- According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of Children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us acceptable in the beloved.
Election, or choice, respects that lump of mass of mankind out of which some are chosen, from which they are separated and distinguished. Predestination has respect to the blessings they are designed for, particularly the adoption of children, it being the purpose of God that in due time we should become His adopted children, and so have a right to all the privileges and to the inheritance of children. God acts in pursuance of His eternal purpose in bestowing spiritual blessings upon His people. He hath blessed us- according as He hath chosen us in Him, in Christ the great head of the election, who is emphatically called God’s elect, His chosen, and in the chosen Redeemer an eye of favor was cast upon them. Observe here one great end and design of this choice- that we should be holy; not because He fore-saw they would be holy, but because He determined to make him so. All who are chosen to happiness as the end are chosen to holiness as the means. Their sanctification, as well as their salvation, are the results of the councils of Devine Love- and without blame before Him- that their holiness might not be merely external and in outward appearance, so as to prevent blame from men, but internal and real, and what God Himself, who looketh at the heart, will account such, such holiness as proceeds from love to God and to our fellow-creatures, this charity being the principle of all true holiness. The original word signifies such an innocence as no man can carp at; and therefore; some understand it of that perfect holiness which the saints shall attain in the life to come, which will be eminently before God, they being in His immediate presence forever! Here is also the rule and the frontal cause of God’s election: It is according to the good pleasure of His will, not for the sake of anything in them for-seen, but because it was His sovereign will, and a thing highly pleasing to Him. It is according to the purpose, the fixed and unalterable will, of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will, who powerfully accomplishes whatever concerns His elect, as He has wisely and freely for-ordained and decreed, the last and great end and design of all which is His own glory. To the praise of the glory of His grace, that we should be to the praise of His glory, that is, that we should live and behave ourselves in such a manner that His rich grace might be magnified, and appear glorious, and worthy of the highest praise! Note- The glory of God is His own end; and it should be ours in all that we do.
I’m not sure what I can add to all of this. Matthew Henry has rightly divided the word of faith for us, and in such a simple way that we all are able to understand it. Charles Finney called the whole idea ludicrous. Benjamin spelled it out for us as a result of him coming to know Christ in a new way, as a result of the Great Awakening minister George Whitefield’s message. The Apostles Paul & Peter implore us to fear the outcome of our ungodly lifestyle; not give us confidence in it.
What are we doing by preaching such a false doctrine that assures false confidence?
Can’t you see how it invites us to sin without any repercussions?
This is not the Gospel!
It’s Calvinism, and it’s false doctrine!
I will go to my grave insisting that this message is like giving your child a loaded gun to play with!
Don’t you care what could happen?
How many more have to die in their sin, before you call this what it is?
It’s Satan in the pulpit! Saying: this is the way, walk ye in it!
In Jesus Name; PLEASE STOP IT!
So, it’s with a heavy heart that I share these things. I couldn’t join this awesome church in my area because this doctrine is evil, perverting the faith. What God is attempting to do is to bring unity to His church! We must have unity of faith! I agree with everything else that this wonderful organization holds dear! I loved their doctrine of faith in every regard but this! This is division in the church that the enemy of our soul is delighting in! It is sending souls to hell and keeping the church weak! It’s time to call sin, sin! It’s time to remove this teaching from the Baptist belief! It’s time! The judgements of God will begin in the Church! They begin by judging false doctrine! Please remove these ungodly beliefs, and save yourselves from the impending judgement of God which is about to come! God is about to bring unity to His Church one way or another! Please get on the right side of that judgement; for your own sakes! God is not mocked, whatever a man (or religion) sows, they will truly reap! God Bless! Do the right thing! If you are a member of the Baptist Church; Get out before it’s too late! If they remove those doctrines, feel free to go back! Please, wake up! Experience a Spiritual Awakening!