GOSPEL COALITION: Dark ministers of light?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Gospel Coalition is preaching heresy, according to their doctrinal statement.  Shouldn’t the sheep be smart enough not to buy it?  Yes, but think about how sheep in real life can be awfully innocent and dumb, especially when they don’t know Scripture. That’s why shepherds or pastors must speak out.

The Gospel Coalition on one hand allows the Manhattan Declaration, which encourages unity between Catholics and Protestants, to be promoted as seen in the article at this link, but on the other hand, they allow members to write against the Gospel Coalition as seen in the article at this link.

The Gospel Coalition on one hand allows men like Justin Holcomb, Mark Driscoll’s Executive Director of the Resurgence, to write accurately and Scriptural on the grace of GOD with clarity in an article like the one called “Grace All the Way“. That’s not an endorsement of Mark Driscoll who has many, many issues from heresy to blasphemy, but rather a show of how the Gospel Coalition site can present a Biblical-sounding article on one hand.

On the other hand, the Gospel Coalition also praises men like N.T. Wright who teaches salvation is by works (just like the Catholics teach). In no uncertain terms, N.T. Wright says the Protestants “got it wrong” on justification and the Catholics got it right in the article at this link.  Here’s one quote from Wright’s own mouth (and notice he says “baptised Christian” instead of “Christian”):

“According to Romans 6, when God looks at the baptised Christian he sees him or her in Christ. But Paul does not say that he sees us clothed with the earned merits of Christ. That would of course be the wrong meaning of ‘righteous’ or ‘righteousness’. He sees us within the vindication of Christ, that is, as having died with Christ and risen again with him. I suspect that it was the mediaeval over-concentration on righteousness, on iustitia, that caused the protestant reformers to push for imputed righteousness to do the job they rightly saw was needed. But in my view they have thereby distorted what Paul himself was saying.”

N.T. Wright pokes fun at fellow Brit and Professor of Divinity James Dunn by saying “his typically protestant anti-sacramentalism leads him to miss the point of Romans 6“.    N.T. Wright is obviously very confident that everyone else is wrong, but he is right.   N.T. Wright prides himself in his theological renderings again as he summarizes his position on justification by saying “traditional protestants may not like this much, but it is I submit what Paul is saying.”  N.T. Wright is also Anglican which typically means he is sacramental-based or one who believes salvation is earned through “means of grace”. The purpose of the Gospel Coalition should be obvious.  They are a forum to get conversations started between the wolves and the sheep.  Scripture says we should do the opposite.

“If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into [your] house, neither bid him God speed: For he that bids him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” – 2 John 1:10

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”  – Romans 16:17-18

eucharistIt says that ministers of Christ must separate from false teachers and mark them and shield the flock from them. So it appears the Gospel Coalition is trying to play politics with both the wolves and the sheep.   Where does the Gospel Coalition itself stand? We shall see.

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.” – 2 Corinthians 11:13-15

SacramentThe Gospel Coalition website, in their doctrinal statement, states that baptism and the LORD’s Supper are a means of grace, and that baptism is how you enter the “covenant community” while the LORD’s Supper is how you abide in it.

Here’s a link to their Confession Statement and also here’s the excerpt from that statement:

“Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

We believe that baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordained by the Lord Jesus himself. The former is connected with entrance into the new covenant community, the latter with ongoing covenant renewal. Together they are simultaneously God’s pledge to us, divinely ordained means of grace, our public vows of submission to the once crucified and now resurrected Christ, and anticipations of his return and of the consummation of all things.”

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As part of their ecumenical format, they are willing to allow people like the Baptist in the article at this link to write that he sees baptism as a sign of obedience, but on their own confession of faith, they see it as a “means of grace”. While I do not believe the teaching of “means of grace” for sanctification is as damning a heresy as the teaching of “means of grace” for salvation, the Bible teaches that Christ is the source of grace for both salvation and sanctification. Anyone teaching otherwise is adding to Scripture to do so. Furthermore, the Gospel Coalition confessional statement does not state that they are speaking only of sanctification when they use the term “means of grace”. In fact, they are quite the opposite in their wording for they use the term “entrance into the new covenant community” as a contextual qualifier for what they mean by the term “means of grace”.

The “means of grace” wording as they present it appears to be a total acceptance of merited salvation.  Jesus Christ is your ONLY “means of grace.  He is the source, the fountainhead, and the only way or means to obtain grace according to Scripture which we will share in this article. Anyone who tells you differently is a false teacher. The term “covenant community” is Jesuit-speak.  It’s their way of giving themselves two ways to argue their beliefs. To the Catholics and Anglicans, “covenant community” means salvation, but to Protestants, it could mean anything they want to make it mean.  However, there’s only one Bible and one way of speaking for true followers of Christ. The Bible tells us there is only one covenant in the New Testament and that is the New Testament of Jesus’ blood that He made with all who would believe.  There are no other New Testament covenants (or “covenant communities” for that matter).  There are followers of Christ and His covenant and there are robbers and thieves who seek another entrance through some other man-made covenants.

Baptism of "Saint" Augustine wearing the hat of Dagon

Baptism of “Saint” Augustine wearing the hat of Dagon, the fish god

“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be anathema. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be anathema [viz. eternally damned].”  – Galatians 1:8-9

Anyone who teaches that baptism or the LORD’s Supper are “means of grace” are preaching a false gospel.  The Bible never says such a thing.

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel”. – Galatians 1:6

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It is important to note that “big-name” authors and radio pastors like Ray Ortlund, David Platt, Paul Tripp, Tim Keller, John Piper, Mark Dever, Erwin Lutzer, Alistair Begg, and other such Gospel Coalition councilmen, staff, conference speakers, and supporters have allowed themselves to serve this organization which means they must have read their doctrinal statement.  If they did not read it, then that is very irresponsible of them.  If they did, then they have agreed with this “means of grace” heresy which is a works-salvation belief like unto Rome. They trample upon the blood of the martyrs while they live in their luxury.  I realize that some of these Gospel Coalition leaders may fall into the “irresponsible” category mentioned above.  An example would be Alistair Begg who stood against the Manhattan Declaration due to its ecumenicism as seen at this link and who also preached against baptismal regeneration as seen at this link. However, the Bible commands that we separate from those who proclaim a false gospel of works. Whether through lack of time to read the organization’s doctrinal statement or for some other reason, these men have aligned themselves with an establishment that teaches works salvation.  However, while there are a few like Begg, there are also many of these men who are adamantly in favor of “means of grace” works salvation.

You should rest on Scripture alone – not on man’s decrees. You do not need to be a “big-name” to inherit eternal life or to read His Word or to have His Spirit guide you into all Truth.  Money has a way of corrupting men.

“I would they were even cut off which trouble you.” – Galatians 5:12

“As we said before, so say I now again, If any preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be anathema [i.e. damned without hope].” – Gal 1:9

“For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision [i.e. baptism] avails any thing nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by love.” – Galatians 5:6

The entire Book of Galatians refutes this “means of grace” heresy. There are no Scriptures that teach grace is given by anything except GOD in Christ. In the first few verses of Romans 1, Paul explains He received grace from Jesus Christ for salvation and for his apostleship. Paul is very careful to always point grace back to its source, GOD and Christ, … NEVER anything or anyone else.

“For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”  – John 1:17

FoxeMartyrsMany martyrs felt the same. They stood up to Rome when nobody else would.

“But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.” – Acts 15:11

“Now to him that works is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that works not, but believes on him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” – Romans 4:4

We have access to GOD’s grace by simply believing. Nothing more. No baptism. No LORD’s Supper.

“By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” – Romans 5:2

That grace is made possible by One Person we are told.  Never is baptism or any other work used as a source.

“But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.” – Romans 5:15

You had best be humble toward the One who can give you grace or deny you grace according to how He sees fit.

“But He gives more grace. Wherefore He saith, God resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble.” – James 4:6

GOD is the rightful source of all grace.

“Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God” – Romans 15:15

Throughout the New Testament, the reader sees “the grace of our LORD” over and over. There is no other source of grace. There are no means of obtaining His grace, except Jesus Christ who is the Way, Truth, the Life, and the Means of Grace.

Foxe's_Book_of_MartyrsYou don’t need the decree of any “church” or religious men with their long robes, many college degrees, and eloquent words, regardless of how distinguished they may appear or sound.

GOD has spoken. It’s settled in heaven forever. Those men at the Gospel Coalition will answer to GOD for the lies and the divisions they are causing. They are vipers.

GOD has spoken. It is enough. His grace is sufficient. No merits of my own will suffice. The Bible doesn’t ask for any of my merits.  The Bible doesn’t say that my following the commands of baptism and observance of the LORD’s Supper  will gain me any extra “grace tokens”.  They are not “means of grace”. They are a means of showing obedience and love to Christ alone.  “Means of grace” talk is covert Jesuit-speak and is not found anywhere in the Bible.  These infiltrators and “Vatican II men” have found a more clever way of propagating Romanism.  Instead of directly saying they are working for salvation, they now say they are obtaining “means of grace” for salvation.  It’s the same thing, but they are using “grace-speak” to covertly cover their true beliefs.

martyrs“But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which [was bestowed] upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”  – 1 Corinthians 15:10

“For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.” – 2 Corinthians 1:12

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9

It is CHRIST ALONE who determines how much grace is given to each man. Man-made sacraments are of no effect.  Obeying GOD’s commands regarding baptism and the LORD’s Supper is not a way of obtaining some “means of grace”.  Only Jesus determines how much grace you are given.

“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” – Ephesians 4:7

The term “sacramentum” came from a Roman oath to the gods and is pagan in origin.

The classic historical work “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs” reminds us that while many pastors today just try to conform to the latest popular theological trends, pastors from earlier years were willing to give their lives to stand against the false gospel of Romanism that is based upon sacraments.

“When he came to the place, where his poor wife and children stood weeping, the sudden sight of them so pierced his heart, that the tears trickled down his face….When all things were ready, directly over against the stake, in the face of Rawlins White, there was a standing erected, whereon stept up a priest, addressing himself to the people, but, as he spoke of the Romish doctrines of the sacraments, Rawlins cried out, Ah, thou wicked hypocrite, dost thou presume to prove thy false doctrine by scripture? Look in the text that followeth; did not Christ say, “Do this in remembrance of me?” Then some that stood by cried out, put fire! set on fire! which being done, the straw and reeds cast up a great and sudden flame. In which flame this good man bathed his hands so long, until such time as the sinews shrank, and the fat dropped away, saving that once he did, as it were, wipe his face with one of them. All this while, which was somewhat long, he cried with a loud voice, O Lord, receive my spirit! until he could not open his mouth. At last the extremity of the fire was so vehement against his legs, that they were consumed almost before the rest of his body was hurt, which made the whole body fall over the chain into the fire sooner than it would have done.”

GOD’s grace appeared to ALL men, not to just those who were baptized or who obeyed certain commands.

“For the grace of God that brings salvation hath appeared to all men” – Titus 2:11

Foxe's_Book_of_Martyrs-coverNever in Scripture does such a belief system exist. There is not even one hint whatsoever that baptism or the LORD’s Supper are “means of grace”.  Where’s the only possible place to find such a far-fetched idea?  Baal-like Rome, that mother of abominations.  Is it any surprise then that the Gospel Coalition promotes pagan Baal traditions like the weeping for Tammuz that is celebrated by the Catholic church as “Lent” and “Ash Wednesday” as seen on their website.  They also promote dialogue with Catholicism and other Roman-friendly gestures, including propelling the Catholic church forward into a positive light.

May the deaths of the martyrs plague the minds of these men at the Gospel Coalition like a cloud of locusts as they sit and enjoy the pleasures and wealth that their compromise with Rome has brought them.

“For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”   – 1 Corinthians 1:17-21

I’ve read through the word “grace” in all of the New Testament and no such thing exists. Baptism is not necessary for salvation as a “means of grace”.  These men are following Rome. Plain and simple. There’s not so much as even a precedent or hint of any “means of grace” or a “sacrament” or a “covenant requirement” needed for salvation in all of the New Testament. That’s heresy and not even intellectual sparring could produce such a hint. Rome is the only source for such teaching. The fact that Tim Keller is one of the chief leaders of the Gospel Coalition should tell you all you need to know as you will see in the article at this link.

martyr

There are no other covenants (or even hints of other New Testament covenants), but only the New Covenant of His blood. Anyone who tells you different is defiant of Scripture and very obedient to Roman papal doctrine.

“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle [you].To him [be] glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”  – 1 Peter 5:10-11

“My faith has found a resting place,
Not in device nor creed;
I trust the Ever-living One,
His wounds for me shall plead.
I need no other argument,
I need no other plea;
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that He died for me.”

– Eli­za E. Hew­itt

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