Supposed Evils Answered (1)
Larry Ray Hafley
The "Baptist Sunday School Committee of the American Baptist Association" published a booklet in 19053 by E. C. Gillentine, The Security of the Believer and Impossibility of Apostasy. Mr. Gillentine says, "I wish to give a few of my objections to the unscriptural, anti -scriptural, unreasonable, dangerous doctrine of apostasy." Gillentine lists what he sees as scriptural objections against the possibility of apostasy. His list incorporates and includes some of the "Evils of the Doctrine of Apostasy" as set forth by Ben M. Bogard, The Baptist Way-Book, pages 28, 29. G. E. Jones, another Baptist, had a similar list in his booklet, Once For All, which was published in the last generation. Wayne Camp, President of the Illinois Missionary Baptist Institute and Seminary, has prepared a similar synopsis of the supposed "Evils of the Doctrine of Apostasy."
From these sources we shall select a few purported evils and objections against the Biblical teaching of the possibility of apostasy and consider their merit. To assume and assert that the possibility of apostasy contradicts the word of God is not enough. It must be proven. Likewise, to profess and proclaim that it does not pollute and pervert the Scriptures is equally short. Proof is desired and demanded and shall be delivered.
But before we begin, it would be interesting to know just how the doctrine of the possibility of apostasy could be "dangerous." How so? To whom? It cannot be dangerous to the unsaved. They are dead in sins. The possibility of apostasy cannot affect them. And what of the child of God? How - can it hurt or harm the believer? If he is saved "at the point of faith" without any possibility of ever-being lost in hell, how can the doctrine touch him? If the doctrine is "dangerous," as avowed, to whom is it dangerous?
Then there is this: the doctrine of the possibility of apostasy is said to be an "evil" one. If a saved person teaches this "unscriptural, anti-scriptural," and "evil" doctrine of the possibility of apostasy, will he be lost in hell for so doing? Advocates of "once saved --- always saved" must answer in the negative. According to them, one may teach an "evil, unscriptural, dangerous doctrine" and still go to heaven. See Proverbs 30:6; 2 Timothy 2:16-18; 2 John 9.
Life In The Son
Mr. Robert L. Shank is the author of Life in the Son, a thorough, easy to read study of the doctrine of perseverance and apostasy. Order from Truth Magazine Book Store ($4.95). Every interested student ought to have this book.
In the next installment of this series, we shall examine a supposed evil of the teaching of the possibility of apostasy.
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XV: 46, p. 2