Why Lordship Faith Misses The Mark For Discipleship -- By: Charles C. Bing

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 12:2 (Autumn 1999)
Article: Why Lordship Faith Misses The Mark For Discipleship
Author: Charles C. Bing

Why Lordship Faith Misses The Mark For Discipleship1

Charles C. Bing

Director, GraceLife Ministries
Burleson, TX

What is your definition of a disciple? We know that good theology often boils down to good definitions, and in good theology we shouldn’t take definitions for granted. Let me offer you some definitions that you’ve probably taken for granted—not theological definitions, but just some every-day type of words. Like the word adult. Do you know what an adult is? An adult is someone who stopped growing at both ends and now is growing in the middle. What is a cannibal? A cannibal is someone who is fed up with people. You’ve heard this definition of a committee: a group that keeps minutes and wastes hours. You know what dust is? Dust is mud with all the juice squeezed out of it. What’s a mosquito? An insect that makes you like flies. And my favorite definition, a skeleton: a bunch of bones with the person scraped off!

Don’t take definitions for granted. Definitions are important. Especially when we talk about discipleship. What is a disciple? You better know what one is, because in some of Jesus’ last words, He told us to go and make them. “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,” He told us (Matt 28:19). But what, exactly, are you trying to make? What, exactly, are you trying to produce? What does a disciple look like?

We must begin with the end in mind. So what is your definition of a disciple? There is a lot of talk about discipleship in the church today. Everybody talks about making disciples. We just can’t seem to agree on what a disciple is, and so now enter the Lordship Salvation proponents, who have a different definition of discipleship. A misunderstanding of what a disciple is confuses the gospel. It dangerously will leave people in spiritual immaturity instead of moving them on into maturity where God desires. I think we all recognize that churches are full of too many people who are in spiritual infancy and have not moved on and grown to live productive and fruitful reproducing types of lives.

I. How Lordship Salvation Understands Discipleship

So what do we do about this problem? Well, the Lordship Salvation camp says that we should front-load the gospel and raise the ante. Let’s raise the standard so that we make sure that only those who are committed to going on can really become Christians to begin with, they would say. Is that the answer? Doesn’t this breed legalism and insecurity which never ever produces spiritual maturity and Christl...

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