The ‘New’ Gospel?

Ok…I know this is a little far fetched….but after reading several posts at different ODM’s, and reading some comments of their followers, I am of the opinion that if given the chance, the following would be their version of John 3:16.

    John 3:16 (New Reformationist Version)
    16″For God so loved some of the world that he gave his one and only Son,[a] that whoever believes exactly the same way we do shall not perish but have eternal life.

These same people who spend a large portion of their time bashing Rick Warren, Rob Bell, Joel Osteen and anyone else who doesn’t believe exactly like them, would have us believe that Jesus did not die for the sins of the whole world. I know…crazy right?

    John 3:16-18 (New International Version)
    16″For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[a] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.[b]

Why is it so hard for some to see the beautiful simplicity of the Gospel?


About Jimmy Eldridge

I am a husband, a father, a son, a brother and most of all, a follower of our most gracious savior Christ Jesus. Who are you following?

27 thoughts on “The ‘New’ Gospel?

  1. Amen. I’ve had a recent run on my blog with comments about this very thing. I stated that Jesus died to save me from my sins and it was passionately refuted. It is simple and beautiful and Truth!

  2. God DID/DOES love the world. No argument there. He created it and “saw that it was good.”

    I don’t believe that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, i.e. every man, woman, and child that would ever be born. In simpliest terms, it would have been a waste to do so. The number of those who have/will be saved is already known by God, therefore Jesus death paid the price only for the “whoevers.” Salvation IS limited–to “whosoever will believe.” If you don’t believe—you ain’t saved.

    I have friends that are not reformed in their theology. I’m saved; they are saved. We just disagree on how it happened. That’s how I see it…”simply.”

  3. Hey Keith,
    First of all I agree this is not an issue of salvation. Having said that would you mind telling me your interpretation of I John where John says that Jesus died for the sins of the “whole world?” Those are his words not mine.

  4. Keith,

    As Joe stated, and according to scripture, Jesus did die for the sins of the whole world…as I have stated in other comments and posts, and according to John 3:18, salvation is for the ‘whosoever believe’.

  5. “salvation is for the ‘whosoever believe’.”

    No one is arguing this. The issue is HOW one comes to believe.

    And as far “anyone else who doesn’t believe exactly like them,” we now amend this thusly: People like Jimmy and others spend time time bashing “ODMs” who don’t “believe exactly like them.”

  6. How is “how one comes to believe” an issue? Belief is belief is it not?

    And by the way Mr Silva…there was no bashing…no name calling…no questioning salvation. I did not mention your name or the name of your ministry. Just an observation from some of the reading I have done and then poked a little light hearted humor at it.

    So…having said that…have a nice day!

    And as Joe has asked the question…I am wondering too….Do you hold to limited atonement?

  7. Joe: I’ve been out all day helping my in-laws clear downed trees on their property. We had a really bad ice storm here in Oklahoma last month and we/they are still trying to dig our way out of it.

    Anyway, to answer your question, I understand the term “world” (Gr kosmos) in John 3:16 and 1 John 2:2 to mean people from every tribe, nation, etc., not every single person alive or soon to be alive. The same phrase appears in John 12:19 when the Pharisees lament “the world has gone after [Jesus.] We know that isn’t the case, because EVERYONE wasn’t following Jesus. The Pharisees certainly weren’t and if only ONE person isn’t following, then the “world” cannot mean EVERYONE. Revelation 7:9 seems to express the same thought.

    The NASB translates the verse in 1 John as “…but also for those of the whole world,” i.e people from all over the world–not just Jews or those in the immediate audience.

    If Jesus died, shedding his blood for everyone–that is every man, woman and child that has been or would be born–and in doing so, paid the price for their sins, it stands to reason in my mind that the Jesus died for people that God had absolute foreknowledge of their rejecting Christ. Those same people will spend eternity in hell. Doesn’t seem like a very effective atonement to me. It makes no sense to me for Jesus death to “purchase” the salvation of someone that is 100% guaranteed to reject it. (I have to assume that if God “looks into the future” and sees that a person never believes…that’s exactly how it’s going to happen. No body skeaks up on God.)

    That’s the way I see it: my wife on the other hand believes everybody in the whole world had/had the same “chance/opportunity” to believe. We’re both looking forward to Heaven.

    I’ll be the first one to admit that I read Scripture through a set of “reformed” lenses.

  8. KEN: No one is arguing this. The issue is HOW one comes to believe.
    ME: No. The issue that you and others have is actually – HOW one ought tell someone else HOW one comes to believe. It’s either your way, or it’s not God’s way.

    For those interested, I have just posted at my blogs a number of lengthy articles dealing with some of the recent back-n-forth….interactions I’ve had with Rick Warren critics. Stop by my website, and click on the blog links at the end of the page. It should make for some good reading. WordPress seems to have a more friendly look to it, but some others might like how blogspot looks.

    Oh, and hello there nonamepreacher.

    Richard Abanes

  9. My partly calvinist pastor once stated to the youth group that John 3:16 meant that Jesus did not love everyone in the world, only the ones that were predestined to become Christians and go to heaven, and that He hates non-christians. I don’t remember exactly how he put it, but it was a very outrageous and controversial statement.

    Everyone freaked. General pandemonium.

    My pastor retracted the statement and reworded it, and it sounded much better.

    As for my own commentary on my pastor’s statement, I believe God loves everyone He created in His own image (everyone on the planet, that is), predestined to go to heaven or not.

  10. My problem with the whole predestination thought is this….if there are those predestined to go to heaven, and the others are predestined to go to hell…then why the emphasis on preaching the gospel? Why reach out to the lost? Why evangelize? Those that are going will go….those that aren’t, won’t!

    The predestination thought makes the statement ‘whosoever believes’ null and void.

    The predestination thought lessens the importance of Christ’ death, burial and resurrection.

  11. Well, obviously God knows what will happen in everyone’s future. But “predestination” teachings aren’t emphasized in the Bible as being all that important. There are some concepts the human mind can’t wrap itself around, so I suggest not get a headache worrying about it and let’s focus on getting the gospel message out to everyone!

  12. Merry…I agree that God knows all…however, I believe that God has chosen a path for us all to take….it is up to us whether we take that path or not.

    Ow….my head hurts…gonna take and Advil now.


  13. Jimmy: Just jumping back in here as the “resident calvinist”–and believe me, I don’t claim to have all the answers, but to address your comment re: “the whole predestination thought…”

    1) I believe God elects/predestines some for heaven. The remainder are left to their “original” destination, i.e hell. Were it not for God’s grace–however we may believe it is “obtained”–we would ALL go there.

    2) We preach the gospel because:
    (a) we are commended to. (Matthew 28:19-20)
    (b) it is the method by which God draws men to himself. (1 Corinthians 1:21)
    (c) evangelism/preaching is God-ordained. Why He chose to do it this way, the Bible doesn’t explain it.
    (d) we don’t have any way of knowing who the elect are, therefore we preach and evangelize all and let God sort it out. I agree with Merry.

    3) Christ’s death on the cross secured the salvation for the elect, but salvation doesn’t take place until one believes. Again, God’s process/method and again, I don’t know that it can be adequately explained in human terms.

    4) Jesus died to pay the price of the sins of those who would believe. He rose in victory over death and Satan.

    I believe I am one of the elect; I was not saved until the day I believed, putting my faith in Christ’s death on the cross, His shed blood to cover my sins. Nothing I do or contribute gains any part of my salvation. (Eph 2:8-9)

    The thing that baffles me even more is–whether you believe God elects or people choose–God already knows and has known from the beginning of time who those people are…any yet–he still allows people to be born with His full and complete knowledge that they absolutely WILL NOT be saved. If God “sees” or “knows” it–that’s set in stone.

  14. Keith,

    I agree that God’s process or method cannot adequately be explained..and I would add…or understood.

    I am willing to admit that I may be completely wrong…although I am sure I’m not 🙂 …we will just have to ask God when we see him…together in heaven.

  15. Jimmy:
    “…we will just have to ask God when we see him…together in heaven.” Sounds like a plan.

    Thanks for the cordial exchange.

  16. For those interested, This Open Letter to Steve Camp outlines my initial thoughts/intentions/motivation for writing to Ken Silva’s ISP about an article that was problematic. It also covers various issues relating to the “Ken Silva vs. Richard Abanes” controversy, including:

    1. Bible Study notes on key passages being discussed,
    2. the actual contents of my email to Silva’s ISP,
    3. observations about the current state of the church,
    4. an indictment of today’s so-called Online Discernment Ministries, and
    5. documentation of Ken Silva’s violation of federal copyright/privacy laws, and other issues.

    The open letter should answer most questions and addressed the widely-read article by Steve Camp titled “Battles in the Blogsphere.”

    This is my final word on the issue. Those who have ears to hear, and eyes to see, will both hear and see the truth.

    Richard Abanes
    Pop Culture Mix

  17. This post was made by a message board administrator in charge of moderating the forums at and

    +++++++++++++++++++++ BEGIN

    From an Admin stand point I usually encourage people to use the report feature when they see someone violating our Terms of Service. One thing I have found is that the anonymity of the Internet fosters hotheadedness. Therefore, one never knows how terribly the recipient of a warning will respond. This is not to say that Mr. Silva has a tendency to that sort of behavior. (However, his response certainly does seem to indicate that it is in the realm of possibility that it would be so.)

    We provide a service with a Terms of Service to which everyone agrees to abide by. Outlined in that service is how we will deal with violations of our Terms of Service. Rather than our members having to deal with this sort of unpleasantness we offer to deal with the situation privately.

    In my opinion, a person does the right thing when he/she reports what is perceived to be a violation of our rules so that the situation can be reviewed and the appropriate action taken.

    I doubt that the service provider in this case lost any sleep over any perceived threats of a law suit from Mr. Abanes. Such a suit standing up in court would be near impossible.

    I believe, rather, that they did much the same thing I do. Look at the content and determine if it violated their rules. They found that it indeed did break their rules and sent a notice to Mr. Silva requesting that the content be removed for violations of the Terms of Service. (This is actually more than what we do in that we remove the content ourselves and notify the offender of the action taken.)

    In this Admin’s view Mr. Abanes did the right thing. . . .

    Mr. Silva should have reviewed the Terms of Service and determined if they were rules by which he wished to be governed. . . . When asked to remove the content for violations of the Terms of Service Mr. Silva should have complied as per his agreement and then considered finding a site more suitable for his style.

    +++++++++++++++++++++ END

    This sums up the incident fairly well. I have nothing to add, except my 100% agreement with this administrator. As I have noted before, those who have ears to hear and eyes to see will both see and hear the truth.

    See his full post at my website, under Thoughts of a Web Forum Administrator: A Look At Ken Silva’s Actions

    R. Abanes
    Pop Culture Mix Website

  18. Richard….have to go on record as saying that I have grown weary of the whole “Ken Silva vs. Richard Abanes” thing.

    All of the positioning from both sides is getting old.

    I have come to the realization that the folks at the ODM’s will never change. They rarely will admit when they have made a mistake. They are directed by God to do and say everything they do and say(according to them).

    The sad part is that even sites that I used to frequent like CRN have become filled with the same kind of stuff that you see at the ODM sites. It makes me sad and sick at heart.

    I will be honest here when I say…I have become sick of hearing the bantering from both sides of the argument.

    The REALLY sad thing is that all of this just gives non-christians another reason to question the validity of christianity.

    The scripture said that they would know that we are his disciples by our love for one another…where is that love in all of this?

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