The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Is lordship salvation a counterfeit form of the gospel?


I don’t consider myself an opponent of you and have generally understood your position quite well, as it was one I held and probably still do in some way. I think the difference between your view and mine currently is that I don’t differentiate between Christians and non-Christians. The Jews wanted to keep God to themselves and Christians were trying to expand the love of God. Is it possible that Christians, like the Jews, are failing to see God working in a greater way than their limited ideas? The Jews had many, many reasons why Jesus couldn’t be the messiah. They had a slam dunk case. Today, Christians don’t see a way to interpret John 14:6 except divisively, though many, like me, propose that Christ wasn’t intending to exclude with John 14:6?

Turning the topic towards imputed righteousness - It dawned on me… Imputed righteousness is, ironically, a very Gnostic message. It supposes that the key to life is “knowledge” and that knowledge that leads to eternal life? “Believe in Jesus, that he died for your sins, in your place, and he covers you like a blanket before God, and God doesn’t see the vile person, but the blanket of Jesus, BUT IN ORDER FOR THIS TO WORK, you MUST believe this as stated” How can no one see this hidden Gnostic message here?

Most people who react negatively (myself, included in the past) react to objections to imputed righteousness are largely operating out of emotional knee-jerk reaction. The mind has a chain of logic that is formed slowly, but once learned is near instantaneous, and often times one needs to go through the entire through process slowly before they can begin to challenge their knee-jerk reactions to criticism. This is especially true where any belief leads to something so important. I can’t imagine getting to heaven or avoiding hell (for eternity) can be any more pressing to our minds. With that, many people are not actually hearing your argument from what it is, but are taking the statement, and then filtering it through the rest of their framework. Let’s give an example.

Everyone Sins -> God Expects Perfection -> Imperfect people deserve Hell. No one can be perfect. Jesus did what you could not do, so you can go to Heaven, despite being imperfect.

Ok, so that statement above is what 99% of Evangelical Christianity believes, in a nut shell. But what happens if you start telling people that “not everyone continues to sin, and Jesus isn’t going to cover your willful sins” they will immediately go into defense mode, because the very idea threatens their safety! They can’t even allow the thought to coexist without first examining this in detail. Most people won’t break it down and that is why people are often entrenched in their political circles. You have such a complicated woven fabric of believes that chain off each other and they fire off so quickly they your emotions get the better of you. You no longer hear with the person says, but hear what you think they are saying.

In a nut shell, someone could read Paidion’s viewpoint and be fearful they are destined for hell, because they are not perfect and sometimes still sin. This can and will conjure feelings of dread. This is very reasonable. However, Paidion doesn’t have this fear (rightly so) because Paidion knows (technically, believes) that in the end, God is just and will be reasonable with everyone! He is the good father and he will be good.

Anyway, long post, rambling, but I’d challenge people to dissect statements and deliberately run them through the chains of their minds and then question whether those chained thoughts might be incorrect? If so, you could find the following:

Maybe God doesn’t demand perfect of me. Or, maybe Hell isn’t eternal. Or maybe Hell has a redemptive purpose. Or maybe Hell doesn’t exist at all. Challenge every chained though that makes you feel uneasy when someone presents an idea that you really don’t like (or rather, it makes you feel sick, dreadful, etc…) and then see how the idea could work, if some of other other linked ideas were changed along with it.


Do you believe there’s anything in the New Testament that relates to us? If not, what is the purpose of reading the New Testament? Merely as historical documents?


Thank you, Gabe. I appreciated your post.
When I referred to my opponents, I didn’t have you in mind at all.


What does that mean “He removed…once for all the guilt condition wrought in Adam’s sin”? Is that the gospel you preach? If you told unbelievers that many would think you are a member of some cult like Christian Science or Scientology, or need to be locked up somewhere for the safety of the public :slight_smile:

Humans both before & after Christ have been subject to their subjective “guilt condition” without their being any evidence of any difference between the two.

Moreover, post Christ’s resurrection & ascension what is the “efficacy of Christ’s sacrifice” in the lives of those who don’t believe in the Christ’s sacrifice for them, who suffer from the effects of all kinds of sin & every kind of “guilt condition”, condemnation, depression, insanity, mental illness & demon possession? Nada. They are severed from Christ (Gal.5:4) & He profits them nothing (Gal.5:2).


I don’t think it is quite that simple. A murderer, for example, should be mentally ill. I would call someone an insane psychopath if they murdered someone and then said to me “oh well, it is under the blood, brother” uhh… No it isn’t. That is the part that scares me: that people, like a sociopath, can use religion to hide their evil and imputed righteousness indirectly (or maybe directly) teaches this. If your present self is evil, you are evil. Christ won’t change that fact.


The removal of guilt simply means the ensuing penalty no longer stands over and against you… it doesn’t mean innocence, it means mercy has prevailed where judgement was due. As for your lame caricature of my position I’ll cut you some slack for the ignorance thereof.

Now… how about tackling those questions you yourself raised I highlighted in my previous post.


If the “efficacy of Christ’s sacrifice” is already effective in that it has “removed ( NOT is yet to with your cooperation ) once for all the guilt condition wrought in Adam’s sin”, why is there any need for “cooperation” to bring “the actualising of peace”? Shouldn’t the removal of “the guilt condition” have already brought “peace”?

How is your position any - practically - different from those who say Christ’s sacrifice has made salvation potentially available for all, but effective for only those who believe? Either way His sacrifice profits people nothing practically unless they “tap in”, yes?

How does one “tap into” the “efficacy of Christ’s sacrifice”? By human choice & or faith? Does libertarian free (LFW) will have anything to do with it, or are we robot puppets that God is playing with like toys & forcing us to do everything we do, including all wickedness & “tapping in”?

So you’re saying there will be those postmortem experiencing “the vacuous void one’s heart experiences not knowing the grace that can flood that void”? That’s your interpretation of texts like:

Heb.12: “My son, do not regard lightly the Lord’s discipline, nor faint being reproved by Him. For the Lord disciplines whom He loves, and He scourges every son whom He receives…For truly they were disciplining us for a few days, according to that seeming good to them; but He for our benefitting, in order to share His holiness. And all discipline indeed for those being present, does not seem to be of joy, but of grief; but afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those having been trained by it.


Yet the New Testament letters say:

“For judgment without mercy will be to the one not having shown mercy.”

How do you reconcile your comment with James?

Matthew 5:7
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Luke 6:37
Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.


Origen… I am prepared to get to your queries presently, but I would like for you to first give some serious effort to detailing your thoughts regarding the questions you’ve raised with regards to your own PU position, as per my post just up the page.


Those questions were addressed to Paidon concerning his theories re Christians (saints) experiencing postmortem corrections to perfect their character, with such corrections possibly lasting for quite some time. IMO ATM the topic seems quite speculative with no definitive Scriptural position as to whether saints are perfected (1) in this life or (2) at the moment of death or (3) when resurrected or (4) sometime thereafter. So, ATM, i have no further comment. Though if you think you know the answers feel free to share your opinions, in which case then i may something to say.


Historical document? Yes I suppose so. It is interesting to note that this forum is full of years of people trying to figure out what the NT means, only to get into endless arguments over the meanings of single verses. Now, today there are untold number of forums dealing with the issues of the Christian God, not to mention the books, churches, denominations, lectures, schools etc…

As a historical document, the bible holds up and is quite understandable thank you very much. As some guide for our lives, it is woefully unimpressive. All it does is cause division.

The wisdom from both the OT and Jesus’ teaching in the NT do give us a glimpse of how God wanted his people to behave, but once again, if taken as what I consider it, as history.

If my grandson came to me and said ‘grandpa, how should I treat others?’ I would probably say treat others as you want to be treated. But I would definitely not give him a bible and say ‘there you go son, everything you need to know about how to treat others is in that book. oh by the way, good luck.’ :wink:

The wisdom of the NT shows love, compassion, generosity, humility, among other admirable traits. It is the best literature for learning to put others before yourself. It was divinely inspired. And the power of that message (when taken with the OT) is to realize that God created, chose a people, loved them so much he sent his son to do what they could not, and made right all that was wrong between him and his created people. It is stellar history and a story worth telling.

But if you take it as the definitive guide written to us here and now as well as anyone who happens to stumble upon it in the years to come, good luck to you and them for they will be thrown in the same quagmire that divides and consumes countless numbers of people.


Hi, Chad. What I follow, is what the Eastern Orthodox have to say - regarding theological matters. But I also listen to, the Roman Catholic’s position - on theological matters. I really don’t give a damn, what others say - in regards to theological matters…as it applies to me in particular.

I do learn from watching TV shows - on motorcycle gangs and Zombies. So I can become a prospect, of either the EO or RC church. Most likely…in motorcycle gang terminology…I’ll become a patched-in member, of the OCA (Orthodox Church in America) …and a “friend of the club”, with the RCC (Roman Catholic Church)…as allowed by the OCA rules of engagement.


A Prospect is a person who would like to join the club but still needs to earn his patch. The patch members direct a Prospect to do certain duties that vary and supervise him to make certain they are completed. A prospect may have to engage in illegal activities in order to carry out the requests of the patch Members. A Prospect does not have voting rights, as they are not a member of the Executive Committee. A Prospect may retrieve bikes from police impound lots and guard all the bikes while the club is in a meeting. Prospects try their best to follow all club rules and prove that they are worthy of being a club member and earning a patch. Prospects may be dealt menial tasks and have to endure some level of hazing by the club members. Some clubs allow Prospects to wear the club name on the rear of their cut, or vest, but without the full logo of the club. Prospects are voted in the club by the executive committee and must pledge his loyalty to the club and all the members to receive his patch. He may be referred to as a full patch member or as being patched.


A Member is also called a Patch Member or a Rider. Members have earned their patch after graduating from a Prospect. They have the right to wear the clubs colors and attend club meetings. Some clubs simply call them Patches.

The Levels of Club Affiliation

Friend of the Club:

This level of club affiliation consists of people who have made some sort of formal or informal contact with the club, perhaps most commonly through a friendship or acquaintance with a full patch member, but who have not announced an intention of prospecting for future membership. Friends of the club may decide to join the club on rides or attend other club functions and may do this on a very frequent or infrequent basis. The key distinction is that they have not expressed any intent to join the club. A friend of the club may be a bike rider, though this is not necessary. Friends of the club wear no official club “colors” or patches and pay no dues. A friend of the club may eventually develop an interest in formalizing his/her relationship to the club by prospecting for the club at some point in the future.

It doesn’t mean I’m NOT interested - in what folks here and elsewhere - have to say (i.e. theologically, philosophically and scientifically). After all, I do watch TV evangelist Joel Osteen every week. And I have (and continue) to hang out with Eastern yogis, Tibetan Lamas, Zen masters, Native American Medicine people, and Zombies. As well as priests, from the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches.

P.S. Come now, Origen. I’m NOT interested in what Calvinists (and/ or “non-denominational” sites), say on divorce and remarriage - as it applies to me. Or to put it in terms, of “Gone With The Wind”:

What I am more interested in…is what do YOU think about their positions - and why?

Anyway, as we all await the tribulation and ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE…Hopefully, NOT in our lifetime…let me present a short, educational video - to reflect upon.

Remember! This may come, out of the blue!


A lot of believers can attest to the benefit of knowingly experiencing the peace of God that active belief (cooperation) has brought them into in comparison to what they formally knew.

It has… plain and simple the gospel is about letting people know this, i.e., God is at peace with them (2Cor 5:19.)

You need to define what you mean by ‘potentially available salvation’.

Awareness of the reconciliation of all definitely has practical profit in terms of grasping the peace of God… hence the benefit of the gospel.

In this life… definitely both.

NO… said no such thing — how did you conclude that?

Lol… how do you justify just wrenching a text out of context? — oh wait, that’s what you do :wink:

You forget something important… what I said is in relation to God and his response to man. What you’ve pulled out of contrary context is relative man to man — big difference.


God’s response to man is the same as it has always been. I don’t see how Jesus changed that. Was He unforgiving and merciless before Jesus came along? Judgments still do take place.


And if your grandson asks why we should treat others as ourselves??? Maybe you could point to all the examples in the Bible, all the examples in history and all the examples in the world today of the destruction that takes place when we fail to follow God.

You could also tell him that if he follows in Jesus’ footsteps, he becomes part of the body of Christ, a light unto the world, a Son of God who helps to heal the broken hearted etc.etc.


(1) In both Hebrew (amunah) and Greek (pistis) the word translated “faith” includes the nuance “faithfulness.”

(2) So we are saved by our way of being, not by faith alone or an unspecified combination of faith and works. Paul makes the same point by implying that we are judged on the basis of our motives and hidden purposes (1 Cor 4:2-5).

(3) Our hidden motives and purposes lead to good works, but are not equivalent to this.

(4) Good works are a necessary, but not a sufficient condition for salvation: “What good is it, brethren, if you say you have faith, but do not have works? Can faith save you (James 2:14)?” The expected answer to this rhetorical question is a resounding No!

(5) Though works are a necessary condition for salvation, works can’t merit salvation because we are still saved by grace. Thus, as a murderer and an adulterer, David deserved spiritual death, but is nevertheless the only man in Scripture to be described as " a man after God’s own heart." In other words, David is saved by grace through his subsequent way of being.

(6) Jesus teaches that sins of omission can mean a lack of good works that disqualify believers from salvation (Matt 25:41-34).


Well, besides the “faith vs works” controversy with Roman Catholicism…I discovered another reason, why I would choose Eastern Orthodoxy over Roman Catholicism. I discovered this in today’s Patheos Catholic newsletter. To be fair, I also subscribe to their evangelical newsletter.

But here’s the REAL dilemma, folks. When I read articles like this, the excitement just OVERWHELMS


I found this definition at another Christian-oriented site this morning; I’ve taken the liberty to number the propositions in that paragraph so we can refer to the numbers if we have any comments. I won’t say where it came from because I will be throwing a little shade at it and the guy is not here to defend himself.

  1. To be justified is to be declared legally righteous. It is a divine act where God declares the sinner to be innocent of his sins.
  2. It is not that the sinner is now sinless but that he is “declared” sinless.
  3. The sinner is not made righteous in that his soul is changed or that his soul is infused with God’s grace. Instead, justification is a legal act of imputing the righteousness of Christ to the believer (Rom. 4:11, Phil. 3:9). This justification is based on the shed blood of Jesus, " . . . having now been justified by His blood . . . " (Rom. 5:9).
  4. When God sees the Christian, He sees him through the sacrifice of Jesus and “sees” him without sin. …
  5. In justification, the justice of God fell upon Himself–Jesus.
  6. We receive mercy. We are not judged according to our sins. And grace is shed upon us. We receive eternal life. This justification is a gift of grace (Rom. 3:24) and by faith (Rom. 3:28) because Jesus bore our guilt (Isaiah 53:12).
    end quote

Comments (the numbers below relate to the numbers above)

  1. (in justification) "God declares the sinner to be innocent of his sins. " It may be that this is simply unfortunate wording? How can I be ‘innocent’ of a sin knowingly committed? I am happy to be forgiven, when I know I am guilty and God knows it as well - I think it is scriptural to say that God forgives us, but not that we are now ‘innocent’ of a sin. As I said, perhaps just a misunderstanding over a word.
    “To be justified is to be declared legally righteous”? One of the senses of ‘justify’ is in fact derived from the courtroom. When, say, a Roman citizen was found to be ‘not guilty’ of a crime, he was then declared ‘righteous’. So in this sense, to be called righteous is not a comment on your character but a declaration that you are not guilty, you are ‘justified’ in claiming your innocence. You could be the ‘scum of the earth’ but in this you would be righteous, not guilty, justified. BUT - I don’t see anywhere in scripture that states we are ‘not guilty’!! Guilty, yes; forgiven, yes.
    As an interim conclusion I’d have to say that Paul’s ‘definition’ of justification has to go beyond this point. More below.
  2. “declared” sinless? Again, to be sinless, a person must not have sinned, or is currently not sinning in thought or deed. For God to declare us ‘sinless’ would mean that we have not sinned nor are we currently thinking about it or doing it.
    To declare someone ‘sinless’ who is NOT sinless would be - ludicrous? Really , justification cannot be this sort of fiction, can it?
  3. Well…I do agree with the first portion of this point, that “The sinner is not made righteous in that his soul is changed or that his soul is infused with God’s grace”. I DO think that being made righteous in our souls is what we call growth in grace, or sanctification, or Christian maturity - those kinds of expressions. A lifetime’s privilege and challenge -for those who are already forgiven and Spirit-filled.
    Now - this whole ‘imputing’ thing. It sounds to me that the author of the quote is saying that justification is the act, on God’s part, of taking the righteousness of Christ and counting US to have that righteousness - not character, not in our soul, but as a ‘legal act’.
    But that can’t be right! That’s just FICTION. And I don’t think God has to pretend that we are something we are not. He loves US - Dick and Jane and probably Spot as well. The whole legal fiction thing just does not make sense. What would be the purpose of such an ‘imputation’? Is it something we can claim, against God, when we’ve done wrong and want a way out? Etc.
  4. That entire point is just wrong. He sees us as we are - otherwise how can He correct us and guide us and encourage us to greater faithfulness, greater righteousness of character, etc? We have the appallingly overwhelming privilege of being naked and open to the Father of LIghts. We need to grow up, not try to hide behind Jesus.
  5. What the hey???
    I’ll stop there, having pleased some of you, and angered or frustrated the rest. Please comment and refer to the points where I have done well/committed unspeakable heresy. Certainly there is much more to say and thankfully, it has been said by those much brighter than me.


Those propositions comprise what is known as “cheap grace.” I go even further. I call it “the false gospel.”
Yet I once believed exactly this myself. Why in the world would God “declare a ;person sinless” while he still holds onto his sin? And is God blinded to the person’s sin because of Jesus’ sacrificial death?

A total reversal of justice. Also “justice” is not tantamount to “punishment.” If means “fairness.”

George MacDonald wrote:
The Lord never came to deliver men from the consequences of their sins while those sins remained. That would be to throw the medicine out the window while the man still lies sick! That would be to come directly against the very laws of existence! Yet men, loving their sins, and feeling nothing of their dread hatefulness, have (consistently with their low condition) constantly taken this word concerning the Lord to mean that he came to save them from the punishment of their sins. This idea (this miserable fancy rather) has terribly corrupted the preaching of the gospel. The message of the good news has not been truly delivered.

Here’s a parody of this “cheap gospel,” by Dan Barker, a man who left the faith—I think for this very reason:


Agree completely Dave.

Reversing the order of your last 4 words Dave gives the truer sense of the scenario, i.e., guilty, yes; FORGIVEN, YES!

As I understand it Dave it is indeed a ‘legal act’ purposeful in adoption. The orphan child was born Jonny Doe… THAT was and is WHO he actually is and is not denied. BUT, one day Jonny is adopted and by legal judicial act assumes a new identity and is ‘declared’ to be Jonny Happy. WHO he is and always has been does not and cannot change, BUT… adoption has afforded new potential for his life… that’s the power that adoption positions one in (Gal 4:5).