Roy Ingle, “The List of Eternal Security Views”

, posted by SEA

There are several ministries today that promote an illogical, irrational, and unbiblical view of the doctrine of eternal security. While time does not permit me to name many, I will name a few classic examples of extreme eternal security views starting with the most extreme and working my way down.
1. Charles Stanley – Dr. Stanley is the senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia and has an international ministry that reaches millions via the radio, television, and Internet. Dr. Stanley, ironically, would only embrace two out of five points of Calvinism (total depravity and perseverance of the saints) but he has a radical view of eternal security. Dr. Stanley teaches that after a moment of saving faith such a person might even become an unbeliever but will still remain saved. Dr. Stanley believes that nothing can separate a person from Christ even unbelief, atheism, or any “sin.” He even wrote a book entitled Eternal Security: Can You Be Sure?.
2. Charles Ryrie – Dr. Ryrie is a former professor of theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. His systematic theology is considered a classic. Dr. Ryrie also wrote a book that led Dr. John MacArthur in turn to write a book on the Lordship controversy. The title of that book was Balancing The Christian Life. In the book Dr. Ryrie follows the founder of Dallas Theological Seminary, Dr. Lewis Chafer, and essentially teaches that salvation is by faith alone and once obtained can never be lost no matter what. Even a return to a sinful life will not negate salvation. Salvation is a gift of God and once received is never lost no matter what. Dr. Ryrie’s famous Ryrie Study Bible teaches this position.
3. Tony Evans – Dr. Tony Evans is the pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas and is the first African-American graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary where he finished with honours. Dr. Evans is a gifted speaker and is the president of The Urban Alternative. Dr. Evans teaches much in line with what Dr. Stanley or Dr. Ryrie teach. He believes that a person is eternally secure and has even said, “God will take you to heaven even if you go in kicking and screaming that you don’t want to go because that is how much He loves you.” Wow! Dr. Evans is probably best known for his teaching on the so-called “carnal Christian” and advocates that a carnal Christian is saved even if they look lost.
4. Bob George – Bob George is probably the least known out of this list but his views are similar but different. Whereas Dr. Stanley, Dr. Ryrie, and Dr. Evans would all teach that a person should confess their sins according to 1 John 1:9, Bob George believes that 1 John 1:9 applies only to unbelievers and that a believer need never to confess their sins. George so strongly believes in eternal security that he believes that confessing sin or even teaching on perseverance is “legalism” and goes against the finished work of Christ on the cross. George believe that the only sin today is the sin of unbelief. Everything is permissible (says George) but not beneficial. Can a believer do what they like? Sure but not all is helpful. I would have put George first but his influence is not felt in most churches.
5. Dr. John MacArthur, Charles Spurgeon, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, and Many Other Calvinist – The last group would represent the so called moderate Calvinist view on eternal security. Many of them would rather not use the term “eternal security” because it gets caught up with what the above teachers teach. Most would rather say “perseverance of the saints.” The moderate view of eternal security is that true believers will persevere. Failure to persevere does not result in loss of salvation but is clear evidence of the lack thereof. While some believers do fall into various sins at time, they will always repent and come back to Jesus. Those who fail to repent prove that they were not truly saved and were not children of God or they would have persevered.
Conclusion – In conclusion, the irony is that you will not find unity among Calvinist over eternal security. Many like Dr. John MacArthur would cringe at the teaching of Dr. Stanley or Dr. Ryrie over eternal security and Dr. MacArthur would say that their teachings are not biblical. However, among Arminians you will generally find more uniformity over the teaching of eternal security and that is outright rejection of the teaching. The doctrine of eternal security finds nothing within Scripture to teach it but continues to receive a large audience mainly due to its willingness to allow sin in the life of so called Christians. May we look to Scripture alone as our final authority and not the teachings of any Calvinist or Arminian theologians.