There has been a lot of opposition to Mid-Acts Dispensationalism (particularly by the Baptists) ever since J.C. O'Hair, Charles F. Baker, and Cornelius Stam got started in the early 1900s. However, the opposition has not been very intelligent or honest in its attacks on Mid-Acts Dispensationalism. Many of the articles, sermons, and books that have been written against M.A.D. have contained nothing but lies and slander concerning the teachings. Some have even concluded that those who are in the Grace Movement are a "cult" and have been compared to Jehovah's Witness, Seventh Day Adventists, and the Church of Christ. The main ones who do this are Baptists.
Here are just a few sources you can go to in order to find what I am talking about:
Wrongly Dividing The Word of Truth by H.A. Ironside
Hyper Dispensationalism by Dr. Peter Ruckman
Beware of Hyper-Dispensationalism by David Cloud
Dispensationalism Debunked by Steven Anderson
Moderation by David O'Steen
Such accusations from these sources include:
Many people accuse the Grace Movement of being TULIP Calvinist....--hardly any of them are. Cornelius Stam wrote a book refuting calvinism. What Dr. Ruckman does is quote a few Calvinistic sounding phrases from Charles Baker and then accuses him of being a TULIP. However, if you read Charles Baker's books he teaches that men have a free will and that Christ died for all men.
Many people accuse the Grace Movement of being divisive....--hardly any of them are. There has been very few splits among Grace churches. It is actually the Baptist churches that are known for dividing and splitting. I have seen people come close to getting in fist fights at a Baptist church in a business meeting. I imagine the Baptists have came up with this accusation in order to cover up their own sins of division (Prov. 6:19). I am not saying that Grace churches never divide, but it is not very common. And surely the Baptists are 10 times more divisive than any other group. This is a "pot calling the kettle black". In one of the articles listed above the author states, "I heard about one lady who left a "grace church" because of their lack of grace!" Okay, does this prove something? Because the author "heard about" "one" person that left a Grace church, does this some how prove that Grace churches are divisive? Obviously not. It is also unwise of the author to refer to cases where he only "heard about" what happened and not actually a witness of what was going on. By the way, I know the author's church and attended it for 7 years. In that 7 years I can count at least a dozen families that have left his church. If I were to write an article about that, would it some how discredit the Baptist denomination? Not in reality, but by the author's logic it would.
Note: Baptist churches will not and do not support Grace missionaries, but Grace churches do support Baptist missionaries.
Many people accuse the Grace Movement of not being evangelistic.....--this is not true. Every Grace Church that I know of presents the gospel of the grace of God with clarity. It is actually the Baptist churches that have a faulty evangelism. Local Church Publishers (a Baptist Bible printing ministry) has put out marked New Testament editions that are designed to give a gospel presentation in them. However, the verses given in the presentation are these: Rom. 3:23, 6:23, Acts 16:30-31, Eph. 2:8-9, Rom. 10:9-13, Luke 18:13, John 3:16-17, Rom. 8:38-39, John 10:27-30, 2 Cor. 6:2, Mark 16:16, John 20:31, Matt. 5:16, Luke 9:24-26.
What a mess! Who could get saved off of just THAT? Nobody. Look at that thing.
- No mention of the blood atonement or that Christ died for our sins. They only even gave one verse (Rom. 10:9) that even mentioned the death of Christ, but even that verse didn't directly say "Christ died" and it didn't say WHY He died. That means that the Bearing Precious Seed ministry is not giving us the gospel, (1 Cor. 15:1-4). The gospel IS that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day.
- After giving Ephesians 2:8-9 and Acts 16:30-31 they then ran you to Romans 10:9, 13, and Luke 18:13. This use of Romans 10:9, 13, and Luke 18:13 would make a lost man think that he has to say words to be saved (works). Luke 18:13 is parable that has nothing to do with the plan of salvation in ANY testament, covenant, or dispensation.
- After giving Romans 8:38-39 as teaching eternal security, but then ran to the book of John (gospel of the kingdom) and gave verses on CONDITIONAL security of the believer. John 10:27-29 states that it is the sheep that FOLLOW Jesus that will get everlasting life. Following Jesus was a WORK (Matt. 10:38, 16:24, 19:21-28). Such usage of John 10:27-29 would make a lost man think that he had to follow Jesus to get eternal life.
- It gave Mark 16:16 which would make a lost man think he had to be baptized to be saved! The reference is to the gospel of the kingdom going to all nations (Matt. 24:14, 28:19) not the gospel of the grace of God in the church age! (1 Cor. 1:17-21)
- Giving Matthew 5:16 would confuse the reader and make him wonder if he was saved or not, and are these "works" required for salvation. Most "new converts" do not need to go "shine" right after getting saved, most of them need a little polishing first! (in other words, new converts don't have the best "works" to go "shine before men" to "see")
- Then it gives the plain WORKS SALVATION system of the gospel of the kingdom, that one must endure to the end to be saved in Luke 9. We do not have to lose our (physical) life for Christ's sake in order to gain (everlasting) life! We under grace could gain the whole world and NOT lose our own soul. We also do not have to confess Christ before men to be saved under grace, now there is only one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:2-6).
That is Local Church Publishers. Here is Chick Publications, another Baptist ministry.
Chick Publications tracts give this as the plan of salvation:
"NOBODY ELSE CAN SAVE YOU.
TRUST JESUS TODAY!
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. " (Rom. 10:9)
1.) Admit you are a sinner. See Romans 3:10
2.) Be willing to turn from sin (repent). See Acts 17:30
3.) Believe that Jesus Christ died for you, was buried and rose again from the dead. See Romans 10:9-10
4.) Through prayer, invite Jesus into your life to become your personal Saviour. See Romans 10:13
WHAT TO PRAY
Dear God, I am a sinner and need forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ shed His precious blood and died for my sin. I am willing to turn from sin. I now invite Christ to come into my heart and life as my personal Saviour."
Step 1 is scriptural, but step 2 is not. We do not turn from sin in order to be saved. Nobody has ever turned from sin, not even the apostle Paul (Gal. 5:16-6:1). No lost man is capable of turning from sin, he is dead in trespasses and sins and cannot "turn from sin" (Eph. 2:1-4). It is AFTER we get saved that we are capable of walking according to the Spirit rather than the flesh, but while we are in the flesh we cannot please God (Rom. 8:8).
Step 4 is also unscriptural. No preacher in the Bible ever told anyone to "invite Jesus into their heart". The Bible says that if you trust Christ believing the Gospel then you will be sealed with the Holy Spirit and put into Christ (Eph. 1:13, 1 Cor. 12:13). You do not receive Christ through prayer, you receive Christ through FAITH (John 1:12-13, Acts 13:38-39).
The tract then says "what to pray" and then gives a prayer that is not found in the Bible. Chick Publications invented a plan of salvation and invented a saving prayer to go along with it! There is nothing wrong with praying that, but you do not pray that in order to be saved!
I have also been in Baptist churches where the gospel was not even given. The so called preacher just told people to come to the "altar" if they wanted to get saved and then someone would show them how. (this never happened in the Bible record)
Back in December I attended a church event where the "gospel" was supposedly presented--hardly any such thing happened. The "invitation" was the preacher saying to come to the "altar" and praying for salvation--then he mentioned that if we do not come out from our pews publicly than Christ will not confess us before God (Matthew 10:32-33).
To that I say....I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel.
1.) No Baptist church in America has an "altar". They have a platform to stand on for preaching. An altar is for sacrificing animals in the Bible.
2.) We do not "pray" for salvation--we believe....(John 1:7, John 1:12-13, John 3:15-18, John 3:36, John 5:24, John 6:29, John 6:35, John 6:40, John 6:47, John 8:24, John 11:25-26, John 12:46, John 20:31, Acts 4:12, Acts 4:32-33, Acts 5:14, Acts 8:37, Acts 10:43-45, Acts 11:17, Acts 15:7-11, Acts 13:38-39, Acts 16:30-31, Acts 26:18, Ephesians 1:7, Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 2:8-9, Ephesians 3:16-17, Ephesians 4:30, Ephesians 4:32, Philippians 3:3-9, Colossians 1:13-14, Colossians 2:6-23, 1 Thessaloninas 4:14, 1 Timothy 1:16, 1 Timothy 2:3-6, 2 Timothy 1:9, Galatians 2:16-21, Galatians 3:1-26, Romans 3:10-31, Romans 4:1-25, Romans 5:1-21, Romans 8:8, Romans 10:1-5, Romans 11:6, 1 Corinthians 1:17-21,1 Corinthians 2:1-2, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, Titus 3:5, 1 John 3:23, 1 John 5:1, 1 John 5:5, 1 John 5:10, 1 John 5:13)
3.) You do not "ask Jesus to come into your heart".....He already knows what to do and will come into your heart when you put your faith in Him (Eph. 1:13, 3:17, Gal. 4:6).
4.) You do not ask Jesus to takeaway your sins--He did that almost 2,000 years ago (Col. 1:14, 2:13-14, 1 Cor. 15:1-4).
5.) Matthew 10:32-33 is in the context of tribulation salvation (Matthew 10:23) and those tribulation Jews have to "endure to the end" without denying the true Christ (Matthew 24:1-25)....which has nothing to do with us on this side of the dispensation of grace (Eph. 3:1-9, Col. 1:24-27, 2 Cor. 5:14-6:2).
6.) Walking down to the front of the church and confessing before men is a work--and we are not saved by works (Eph. 2:8-9, Titus 3:5, 2 Tim. 1:9, Rom. 4:5, Rom. 8:8).
7.) There is no "sinners prayer" ever mentioned in the Bible. We receive the Holy Spirit when we trust Christ and believe on His finished work--not when we pray/confess (Acts 10:43-45, Acts 15:7-11, Gal. 3:1-3, Eph. 1:13, Eph. 3:17).
8.) As a lost child I would pray the "sinners prayer" often and wonder if I had said the right words--I was not trusting anything except my own recitation of man made "sinners prayers".
So why do people say that the Grace Movement is not evangelistic? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. (Matt. 7:5)
Most people accuse the Grace Movement of not believing in taking the gospel to the world.....--this is a plain lie. All Grace Movement articles, books, churches, etc. all emphasize the commission of being ambassadors for Christ and teaching every man the gospel of Christ as instructed in 2 Corinthians 5:14-6:2 and Colossians 1:24-28.
The accusation is made because Grace believers do not follow the Kingdom Gospel commission that is found in Matthew 24:14, 28:19-20, John 20:22-23, Luke 24:47, and Mark 16:15-20. That commission is plainly stated to be the commission of the Gospel of the Kingdom rather than the Gospel of the Grace of God. I covered this thoroughly here: http://av1611studyblog.blogspot.com/2015/05/is-gospel-of-kingdom-same-thing-as.html That commission included water baptism as part of the gospel (Mark 16:16), the power to retain and remit sins (John 20:22-23), beginning in Jerusalem (Luke 24:47), and speaking in tongues, taking up serpents, and healing (Mark 16:15-20). Nobody is suppose to follow that commission under Grace. In the Dispensation of Grace there is only one mediator between God and man, which is Jesus Christ (1 Tim. 2:3-6). There is no command to water baptize (1 Cor. 1:14-17). We do not begin in Jerusalem (Gal. 1:11-17). Signs have ceased (1 Cor. 1:22, 13:8-12).
In response to this sound doctrine, the Baptists will say that we can still make application to Matthew 28:19-20. One author writes, "They wouldn't dare support a Bible-believing missionary who believes Matt. 28:19-20 has an application for today!" Well if Matthew 28:19-20 has application for today, then John 20:22-23, Luke 24:47, and Mark 16:15-20 would also have to have application for today. But the Baptists will not make application from Mark 16:15-20, they only apply from Matthew 28:19-20. This is not consistent Bible study nor is it rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15). The Baptists make themselves the authority and they seem to think that only they can decide what we should apply and what we shouldn't.
Who needs Matthew 28:19-20 when you have 2 Corinthians 5:14-6:2? The Baptists are guilty of mishandling the word of God (2 Cor. 2:17, 4:2).
Many people accuse the Grace Movement of not believing in hell and teaching soul sleep.....--this is not true at all. E.W. Bullinger and Charles Welch taught things similar to that, but neither one of them were Mid-Acts Dispensationalists. You might could find a couple of professing Grace Churches that taught those things, but it has nothing to do with the Grace Movement as a whole. (you can find a few kooks within any denomination)
Many people accuse the Grace Movement of teaching that the whole Bible is not for us......--this is not true at all. Grace believers teach that the whole Bible is for us and to us, only that it is not all about us. We are told to rightly divide the Bible while we were also told that all scripture is profitable (2 Tim. 3:15-17, Rom. 15:4, 1 Cor. 10:11). The whole Bible is for our learning, but not every verse in the Bible is about believers under Grace (Rom. 6:14, Eph. 3:1-9). We must divide grace vs law, prophecy vs mystery, Israel vs the Body of Christ, etc.
One author writes, "Romans through Philemon is indeed the word of God, but so is Genesis through Acts and Hebrews through Revelation. Paul's epistles contain many quotes and allusions to the Old Testament scripture. He said that the things which were written aforetime were written for our learning (Rom. 15:4) and admonition (1 Cor. 10:11). To think that if Paul didn't write about it in his epistles then it is not for us today is extremism. " However, that does not accurately represent anyone. Nobody on earth teaches that certain parts of the Bible are not for us. There are many Grace Movement teachers that have written commentaries on many books of the Bible that are not Paul's epistles. Many of them have preached through the Old Testament books as well.
Many people accuse the Grace Movement of being a cult......--this is not true. Look at the Statement of Faith of any Grace church and see for yourself. Here is a popular one: http://www.shorewoodbiblechurch.org/believe.html