R.C. Sproul: Dispensationalism Brought Us the ‘Carnal Christian’, the ‘Sinners Prayer’ and more Antinomianism

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    R.C. Sproul: Dispensationalism Brought Us the ‘Carnal Christian’, the ‘Sinners Prayer’ and more Antinomianism

    When you get the opportunity, I encourage you to listen and watch the video below featuring RC Sproul (and Jr.), Steve Lawson, Robert Godfrey and Sinclair Ferguson. While there is a discussion on various theological subjects, the heresies of dispensationalism is prominent, taking up the first 20 minutes of an 57 minute presentation.

    Here is a partial transcription of RC Sproul Sr’s discussion on dispensationalism and its dangers.

    RC. Sproul:

    “They asked me, R.C., what’s your problem with dispensationalism? And I said, “You know, my biggest problem with dispensationalism is your historic doctrine of regeneration. And that was met with bewilderment. These professors said, “What are you talking about? What’s our problem with regeneration?”

    I said, “Well, classic dispensationalism teaches that when the Holy Spirit regenerates a person, that person does not experience a change in their nature. So that you can have the Spirit in you, and you be in a state of salvation, without any change in your life whatsoever. And that was popularized by the picture books that were spread out by Campus Crusade, where, you had the circle with the chair, and you had the cross outside the circle, and ‘S’ the self, was on the chair, and that’s the picture of the unregenerate person, the pagan. But then you have the next stage of those who are regenerated, where now, Christ is inside the circle, but not on the throne. Self is still on the throne. You’re saved you’re in a state of grace, you’re regenerated, you’re justified – but you have absolutely no fruit whatsoever because your life hasn’t changed – and that gave rise to the development of this concept of the “Carnal Christian” where a person could be saved without any manifestation of any change, and, that’s what I said, I said for us, regeneration involves a foundational change in the disposition of the human heart where that fallen person prior to his regeneration had no inclination to the things of God, no love for Jesus, and once that heart has been changed, through the immediate, transcendent power of God the Holy Spirit in regeneration, now that person has Christ in his life, and Christ is now his Lord. He’s not perfected, not fully sanctified, but the process of sanctification has certainly begun. And if it hasn’t, you have a profession of faith with no faith.

    And so what’s so serious about this is that it invites a false sense of security for people believing that they are saved, because they signed a card or raised their hand or walked an isle, and prayed a prayer, whatever, but have no evidence of the fruit of sanctification in their lives. Then their challenged and the whole thing about this antinomianism is the that Old Testament law has no bearing on the Christian life…that’s all future, and now comes the eschatology, where the kingdom of God is in no sense realized, it’s totally and completely future, now what do you do with that?”



    #2
    Originally posted by William View Post
    classic dispensationalism teaches that when the Holy Spirit regenerates a person, that person does not experience a change in their nature
    Hi Will - My understanding is that rebirth affects not the human nature, which is the sinful nature and remains within, but effects an additional nature (new man) which dominates the believer instead of the old human nature (Rom 6: 12, 14)--through the Spirit (Eph 3:16). This dichotomy of natures is revealed by Paul in Romans 7, and this dichotomy or conflict is not between the believer and the old man, but between the old man (flesh, not the body but the sinful nature) and the Spirit (Gal 5:17). The believer can just identify this conflict as God reveals it, but the believer does effect opposition to it but is rather used of the Spirit in this opposition.
    Comment>

      #3
      Look at it this way, before we were saved we knew those little things we did were wrong but we really in all honesty didn't care because we could silence the conscience, but after we are saved we feel totally rotten about the sins we commit because of the Holy Spirit convicting us of our offense to God, and telling us of and leading us to Gods forgiveness, love, mercy, and unmerited favor.

      You see I was changed and everyone around me knew it, but my life fell apart and I lost everything and faced losing my freedom, so I descended deep and hard down into my old life for 10 years, and yes God kept calling and I felt so awful for what I was doing, and I was still the different person and for a while I went into sin-repent, sin-repent, until I finally found that true repentance is a change of mind and a turn from sin, not only agreeing with God but seeing sin as He does and hating sin as well, and now it is harder for me to walk in Christs path for me and I really do struggle but God is always there waiting for me to go to my knees as soon as I catch myself messing up, God never gave up on me, He never let me go.

      In short I do believe in once saved always saved which I think is the key to this topic of carnal Christians, but in all honesty it is Gods grace that makes me want to repent from my sins, not fear, I have never known anything more beautiful than such a deep and expansive grace that is so far beyond what you or I could ever fathom, How can God love me so much as to give me the forgiveness I don't deserve and not the Hell I do, that is true love, and yes I do fear God, I am terrified to meet Him in all His glory and holiness, even though I know I am a child of His and am covered with the precious blood of the Lamb, but we shouldn't serve Him out of fear but of love, and I do love His love, grace, mercy and forgiveness, which is His character.

      P.S. while I speak of character,,,,Satan wanted to be like God in power, not character, we should shine to reflect Gods character to others.

      I know I said "in short", sorry, next time in long lol.
      Comment>

        #4
        I would caution anyone who would say that Dispensationalism is "heretical" and that anyone who accepts this an Biblical may not be saved. I do not think that (from this point on I will call dispensationalism D P) DP believers are not saved. In going back to what Jesus said was necessary for salvation was very simple John 3:16.

        I find great problems with saying a Christian can not "backslide" or be "carnal" and still stay "in" Christ. All we have to do is look at Peter who denied Jesus three times so openly and quite solidly that Peter said he never knew Jesus. I call this being carnal, and or backsliding.

        I find these "Biblical experts" who have theories they think what they have discovered and demand that belief as they say is essential to believe as they think or you can't possible be saved. I see this clearly in Calvinism, and Dispensationalism, and Amillennialism. These divisions followers have the attitude that unless you believe as we say you are wrong and likely not saved!

        I see Jesus saying as the required thing on our part is to "believe". I think to add anything beyond that is wrong. Once we "Believe" then the Holy Spirit starts His work to "renew" us. Depending upon the person Spiritual growth may take our lifetime or may quickly make huge changes right before our eyes. How a person changes all depends how deeply I am in sin before I an saved. For example a man who has cheated say who is on his taxes, but was tithing long before he got saved. This man may take a longer time to fully commit his life completely to Jesus, over a man in prison for murder.

        I am not the judge who's job it is to who is or is not saved. I find R C Sproul adding things to be called "saved". I personally find problems when we add anything beyond the initial point of what Jesus said in John 3:16. That is the basic starting point. We grow beyond that point, some grow fast some grow very slowly. A persons internal discipleship in spiritual growth also has so many factors, the reading level a person has, the access for someone to disciple him or her, the kind of church one belongs to, all these and more factors have so much to with a persons spiritual growth.

        I think is becomes so complicated to get saved when we see so many theologians like Sproul telling us what to believe and what to avoid. I say start a new "Follower" in the WORD and let the Holy Spirit do His Job! If we all went back to reading the Bible taking notes and asking our pastor for help when we have issues, praying for the Holy Spirit to enlightening us.

        I also believe with all my being the Bible has no errors, when this is not our basis when studying the Bible, we limit the ability of the Holy Spirit to give us understanding.




        justme
        Comment>

          #5
          After reading my post of January 13, 2013 I would like to make a few additional comments.

          IMO I don't believe anyone just reading the Holy Scripture without any helps or bottom notes, just pure holy Scripture can come to the system of Biblical Despensationalism. However I never would I say my these believers in Despensationalism are not genuine Followers of Christ.

          There are many areas of disagreement, that I find Scripture does support their theories. One being the rapture of believer before the tribulation. In Matthew 24:29 Scripture clearly states "after the tribulation" and in verse 30 "then the Son of Man will appear....."My understanding is those alive when Christ returns will be after the Tribulation. My understanding is we are to be ready at any point with expectation of Jesus Christ and His return.

          One thing the bible teaches is those who were waiting for the Messiah to come, were so misled in what they were being told by Jewish religious leaders, they did not recognize the Jesus Christ their Messiah who stood right in front of them. I expect the very same thing would happen now or when Jesus returns. Perhaps we all have theories that have errors in our theories of the return of Jesus? I think that is entirely possible.

          several areas of concern I have revolve around when some say " A true believer in Christ can't.....! For instance "a true believer can't backslide" or " a true believer could never commit this sin...." Or "There is no such thing as once saved always saved."

          One book I have difficulties with is authored by a man i respect and enjoy his preaching. STRANGE FIRE by Dr. John MacArthur. I would not say those who believe is speaking in Tongues are not saved. I do think some of his statements are good but others I do not agree with. Believers can totally disagree while being respectful and kind. However the basic teachings of Christ in John 13:34. & 35 are a must as believers be adhered to. Unless as Paul instructed in 1 Corinthians where a man was having sexual relations with his step mother. Then in 2 Corinthians Paul said because of the man's repentance he should be welcomed back into the fellowship.

          I find that strict Despensationalism followers have little patients for those who disagree with them. This is much the same as the King James Bible Only believers are. IMO unless there is no other way to understand a verse, or chapter there must be Grace and mercy extended to those who do not agre with us.


          justme
          Comment>

            #6
            Originally posted by justme View Post
            One book I have difficulties with is authored by a man i respect and enjoy his preaching. STRANGE FIRE by Dr. John MacArthur. I would not say those who believe is speaking in Tongues are not saved. I do think some of his statements are good but others I do not agree with. Believers can totally disagree while being respectful and kind. However the basic teachings of Christ in John 13:34. & 35 are a must as believers be adhered to. Unless as Paul instructed in 1 Corinthians where a man was having sexual relations with his step mother. Then in 2 Corinthians Paul said because of the man's repentance he should be welcomed back into the fellowship.
            Just curious, Justme. Are you aware that some of the best theological scholars came out to support MacArthurs Strange Fire Conference? I don't want to side track the Op, but I think there was much good that came from the conference:





            On the subject of tongues:



            God bless,
            William
            Comment>

              #7
              William, I missed saying I watched all the conference that was put on TV. I was very impressed, and even bought the book STRANGE FIRE. I watch John's program every week. I enjoy his study verse by verse. So I did not want to say i "threw the baby out with the bath water". I kave been under the teaching of some very fine professors in Seminary that were dispensationalists. I take very seriously John 13:34,35. I can disagree and not be disagreeable.

              I have some friends that are Assembly of God folks, and thet took HUGE offence at STRANGE FIRE the book. I can understand why, and yet at some of the points they were very upset at, I agreed with what John wrote.

              Thank you for responding to my post, I sincerely did not intend to give the impressions that i disagreed withe the book or John, just on a few points.



              Justme
              Comment>
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