By Joshua Lindsey, July 2015
One of the great controversies in Fundamentalism of the 21st century is the issue of “Easy Believism” vs “Lordship Salvation.” Certainly there is an importance here, as it deals with the most important issue of all – that of salvation. What I have found to be the problem in dealing with this issue is that it is like the issue of Calvinism and Arminianism. If you claim to not hold to either position, then you will doubtless find yourself disowned by both camps, and even by people who put themselves in one camp or the other even when they are not really.
To explain this, I think that there are many people who take the “Balanced position” on this issue, and do not subscribe to Lordship Salvation or Easy Believism, but they have an incorrect understanding of what these terms mean. As a result, many men of God will say they are “Lordship Salvation” or that they are “Easy Believism” when they do not actually fall into that category.
Perhaps this is brought about by the fact that both have admirable names. For example, the name “Easy Believism.” I do think that Salvation is easy, and you do receive it by believing. So it is a good name. However, that does not make me have to hold the teachings of what is peddled under the name “Easy Believism”. I also believe that if someone is truly saved, they will believe that sin is sin, that it is an affront to a holy God. Thus, whether they realize it or not, since they are saying that God makes the rules on what is sin, they are saying He is Lord. (This doesn’t mean they will obey the Lord, or stop sinning necessarily though.) So Lordship salvation is also a good term. However, I am not a believer in Lordship Salvation either.
Now if you claim either of these terms as terms that represent yourself, don’t turn me off yet! We may actually agree, but use different terminology. These factors I mentioned have led to strange results. There are actually some who claim to be “Lordship Salvation”, others who claim to be “Easy Believism” and some who claim neither, who in effect believe the exact same thing! They also go around decrying each other and not realizing they are preaching the same gospel. What I hope to do is clarify the boundaries of what actual Lordship Salvation is, what actual easy believism is, and what the balanced position is.
As part of this I am going to also point out some false definitions of terms. “Willingness”, “Desire”, “Lordship”, all of these need to be clarified to avoid misunderstanding. I also need to clarify what “belief” and “repentance” actually are, and whether they are necessary for salvation.