Did Zane and GES change the Gospel? NO!

August 25, 2015
By dreiher2

This post is for the benefit of a few folks on the Dispensational Free Grace facebook page who asked about my paper on the Crossless issue. I feel that the Crossless Gospel issue was mishandled by a small number of people, and caused needless hurt and division in the Free Grace movement. Much healing has happened, but I am still concerned about my material being used to cause hurt and division. Therefore, I wrote up a fairly long post which I want everyone to read before downloading my paper and viewing the video clips.

I am providing my paper and clips with 3 personal requests and a few observations and comments.  The first request is please do not take my comments on how Zane should have communicated certain things better, as being disrespectful toward Zane. I hold Zane as being one of the best Bible teachers and communicators the world has ever known. I would have taken these concerns to him, if he were still here. He would be the first to admit he was not perfect. Please do not use this material to nit pick and find cause to criticize Zane, myself, or anyone else. My second request is that you would read and listen to everything in its entirety and in context, before making your mind up, not just skimming for a few isolated quotes to attack our view. Please be sure to look at ALL of my comments on the transcripts. The comments are easiest to view in the DOC file version of my paper. If you use the PDF version you have to put your mouse over the comment to see it. I put a lot of thought into them in terms of relating some things that may be taken out of context. My third request is that as you read and listen, carefully, that you would pray and ask God to show you the truth. Try to erase from your mind the negative spin you have heard from a small number books and messages accusing Zane and GES for changing the “Gospel.” Instead, keep in mind past or future evangelistic conversations you have with folks, in terms of the difference between the actual content we need to communicate with those we witness to, as Zane called the “Full Gospel,” which would be everything in the Bible about Jesus, and the actual goal we are trying to accompish in the mind of the person we are talking to. Zane’s intent of his 3 messages was not to reduce the amount of material we communicate with people.

His intent was to emphasize the fact that people can assent to everything the Bible says about Jesus, yet fail to be persuaded that we get everlasting life by simply believing Jesus was the Messiah/Christ, who was and is the grantor and guarantor of everlasting life who believe in Him for that life. I refer to that as the “tipping point.”  In evangelistic conversations, instead of a scripted approach, I try to present content about who Jesus was (usually by using the Living Water book), and what He did, and what he promises to people. I do this until they get to the place where it clicks, and they are persuaded that Jesus’ promise is true, and that they “hath everlasting life” (John 6:47). In all honesty, in my personal witnessing encounter, NONE of the issues in this whole “Crossless” mess have never been a problem with the people I encounter. I always run in to problem with people thinking that their works have to play some role.  The people that I talk to seem to have enough facts about Jesus from the Bible, including the teaching that Jesus was the Son of God, usually learned as a child, sometimes in Catholic school. Your experience may vary.

For me, the problem is always, in getting them to the point of believing the promise that Jesus made based upon simple, childlike persuasion that His promise is true. Some people such as small children need almost no content other than simple statements that Jesus made to get them to the tipping point. However, others who were not raised in a Christian environment may be confused or unfamiliar with the basics about Jesus and his work. They will need some teaching before they will ever have enough correct information about who Jesus was and what He did in order to get them to that “tipping point.” That was a concession that Zane’s made many times in these 3 messages. Keep in mind Dr. Ryrie’s exercise which he used in his class. If someone was dying, and you had 25 words left to say before they were gone, what would you say? I believe Zane was using Ryrie’s exercise in a different way by using his deserted island illustration in these 3 messages he gave. He was trying to get people to think about the close of an evangelistic conversation, and not the entire presentation. Please note that Zane was not advocating walking up and down the street reciting John 6:47, and inviting total strangers to believe  in this person named “Jesus” for everlasting life. The very notion is absurd. It just goes to demonstrate that some of Zane’s critics don’t understand what Zane was talking about. Believing in the Jesus of the Bible was Zane’s main point in his 3rd message. People need to believe in the Jesus of the Old and New Testament.

Finally, I think the leadership at FGA and GES should be applauded at trying to set aside some of the errors and misunderstandings from both sides, and to strive to work together, even though we don’t agree about everything. I pray this spirit will continue. I personally have benefited greatly by many of the folks at FGA, especially Charlie Bing, Fred Chay, Dr. Seymour, (whose ministries I support) and others who never come to GES conferences any more.  I wish they would. We need to interract with those we have disagreements with, not only to clarify our own views, but also how they may be able to help us in some areas which we have neglected. We all have blind spots. As I say in the end of my paper, some people will lose their ministry or jobs if they change their view on the saving message or “The Gospel.”  This is not a trivial issue for some, and some people’s ministries and jobs are at stake if they EVER change their views on this. I believe was the reason that things got so heated. However, I personally feel this type of interaction, when done graciously, and with teachable spirits, will help us grow to be more Christlike, by evangelizing like He did, and communicate the saving message more clearly and accurately with our conversations with the lost. I would love to talk to any of you about this issue. Please email me, and we can talk, by phone if you like.

As an added bonus, I added in two short segments from the 2009 Grace Conference at Quentin Road Baptist Church, where Earl invited me to come. During a Q&A session, two questions were asked, one about a concise view of what Lordship Salvation is, and the second was whether a person has to fully understand the death, burial and resurrection to be born again.  In the second clip, Earl presented the view that we need to consider how the apostles were born again even with a totally inadequate understanding of the death, burial and resurrection. He did not elaborate on implications today, but I is clear Earl did not think the answer was cut and dry.

- In Christian Love,

Don

HERE IS THE LINK. All the papers and video files are in this folder. Click on the ones you want.

 

Leave a Reply

User Login