NEW PROTESTANT MANIFESTO


Similar to Martin Luther’s historical 95 Theses that sparked the Protestant Reformation, the purpose of this manifesto is three-fold:

1) to expose the false gospel and doctrines believed by Evangelicals,

2) to engage in public dialogue with evangelical pastors and theologians,

3) to spark a new protestant movement or reformation, whose author is Jesus (not Paul¹), whose counselors are the early church (not Martin Luther² or the Reformers), and whose soteriology originates with Judaism (not Roman Catholicism³).


1. Marriage Covenant Gospel and Judgement According to Deeds

Like Roman Catholicism, Protestant (Evangelical) Christianity views salvation as work-based (i.e., only those possessing perfect obedience make it to heaven). The only difference between the Evangelical position and that of Rome is the belief that Jesus earned heaven through His perfect obedience for all those who put faith in Him. Hence the reason the evangelical gospel is commonly referred to as the gospel of faith-alone: though we are saved by works, the works that save us can only be the works of Christ imputed to our account by faith since only Christ was perfect. Contrary to this position, the Bible teaches that the way Jesus has always saved people is by entering into a marriage covenant with them. And like all marriages, this relationship is not works-based, but rather functions according to the principles of gain and maintain. We enter into a saving (marriage) relationship with Christ through faith and we maintain that relationship through faithful obedience to God’s Law. As such, two conditions are necessary for the salvation taught in Scripture: faith and faithful obedience. Hence the reason the bible teaches the final judgment will be according to our deeds even for
those who possessed faith in Christ. Our deeds demonstrate whether we were faithful to the marriage covenant (Isa 54:5; Jer 3:1 w/20, 31:31-32; Eze 16:1-14, 20, 32, 59; Mat 19:16-17, 24:42-51, 25:1-46, 28:18-20; Luk 19:1-10; Joh 5:28-30, 8:31-36, 15:1-14; Rom 2:6-13; 2Co 5:9-11, 6:14-18, 11:1-3; Eph 5:22-32; Heb 12:14; Jam 2:14-26; 2Pe 1:5-11, 2:1 w/3:17; 1Jo 1:7, 2:4, 3:3-10, 24, 5:1-3; Jud 1:21; Rev 2:10, 23, 19:6-9, 20:11-15//Joh 3:16 and Rom 3:28w/Joh 3:17-21, 36 and Jam 2:24).

Early church fathers on this topic:

"He who raised [Jesus] up from the dead will raise us up also, if we do His will, and walk in His commandments."
- Polycarp (AD 69-155)

"The matters of our religion lie in works, not in words."
- Justin Martyr (AD 100-165)

"Whosoever…distinguishes himself in good works shall gain the prize of everlasting life…It is the will of God that he, who is obedient to the commands and repents of his sins should be saved."
- Clement of Alexandria (AD 150-215)

"The Gentiles by faith in Christ prepare for themselves eternal life through good works."
- Hippolytus (AD 170-236)

"That you may not then, when you hear that 'He has chosen us,’ imagine that faith alone is sufficient, he proceeds to add life and conduct."
- John Chrysostom (AD 347-407)


2. Fully Capable Wills and the Continuing Authority of the Law

Contrary to the teachings of Martin Luther (e.g., The Bondage Of The Will) and the Reformers (e.g., Calvinism’s doctrine of Total Depravity), the Scriptures teach we possess wills that (though sinful) are fully capable of meeting God’s expectation of faithful (not perfect) obedience to His Law. Though acquiring new application under Christ and the New Covenant (e.g., the capital crime of sexual immorality – 1Co 5:1-5; the clean law or covenant sign of circumcision – Col 2:11-12), faithfulness to God’s Law in its entirety is still expected as that which defines our love for God and others (Deu30:14-17; Mat 5:17-20, Mat 22:36-40; Rom 13:8-10; 1Co 7:19, 9:21; Gal 5:6//Rom10:4w/Rom 3:31).

Early church fathers on this topic:

"Since God in the beginning made the race of angels and men with free-will, they will justly suffer in eternal fire the punishment of whatever sins they have committed."

"Unless the human race have the power of avoiding evil and choosing good by free choice, they are not accountable for their actions."

- Justin Martyr (AD 100-165)

"In man, as well as in angels, He has placed the power of choice, so that those who had yielded obedience might justly possess what is good, given indeed by God, but preserved by themselves."

"Not merely in works, but also in faith, has God preserved the will of man free and under his own control."

- Iranaeus (AD 130-202)

"There is, therefore, nothing to hinder you from changing your evil manner of life, because you are a free man."
- Melito (died in AD 190)

"God made man free, and with power over himself…so, obeying the will of God, he who desires is able to procure for himself life everlasting."
- Theophilus (2nd Century)

"God gave to every individual…free-will…whosoever will, may keep the commandments…there can be no doubt that every individual, in the exercise of his own proper power of will, may shape his course in whatever direction he pleases."
- Archelaus (3rd Century)


3. Baptismal Regeneration

Popular among evangelicals (e.g., Calvinists) is the belief that regeneration or the New Birth is the prerequisite to faith. Faith is also viewed as something God will accept (as saving) outside of baptism. Baptism exists as simply a memorial or "outward sign of the inward reality" achieved when we exercised faith in Christ. According to Jesus and the New Testament writers, baptism neither precedes faith nor functions as only a sign. It is instead the only place God accepts our faith (as saving). It is therefore in baptism that God grants us justification and regeneration (which includes the indwelling of the Holy Spirit) (Joh 3:1-5; Gal 3:27; Tit 3:5; 1Pe 3:21//Act 10:34-35, 42-48w/Act 11:15-18 = Notice where the HS is given and the order in relation to faith/belief; Luk 23:39-43w/Luk 12:50).

Early church fathers on this topic:

"They are brought by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated…[that they] may obtain in the water the remission of sins."
-Justin Martyr (AD 100-165)

"The prescript is laid down that 'without baptism, salvation is attainable by none’ (chiefly on the ground of that declaration of the Lord, who says, 'Unless one be born of water, he has not life’)."
-Tertullian (AD 160-230)

"Without baptism it is impossible to obtain the kingdom."
- John Chrysostom (AD 347-407)


4. Table Atonement

Like baptism, evangelicals view the Lord’s Table (communion) as accomplishing nothing spiritual or in respect to salvation. It too functions only as a memorial. Jesus however taught that after we have received the bath of baptism, we still need our "feet" washed through the regular cleansing of His body and blood found in the Lord’s Table. Hence the reason Jesus immediately institutes the Table after His teaching on foot-washing (Joh 13:1-10, 11-30w/Mat 26:17-29//Heb 10:1-14w/1Jo 1:9).

Early church fathers on this topic:

"Breaking one and the same bread, which is the medicine of immortality, and the antidote to prevent us from dying."
- Ignatius (died AD 105)

"The food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by [transfer of His power] are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh."
- Justin Martyr (AD 100-165)

"To drink the blood of Jesus, is to become partaker of the Lord's immortality."
- Clement of Alexandria (AD 150-215)


5. Loss of Salvation and Apostasy

The doctrine of eternal security taught by evangelicals is also a sacred cow that must be slaughtered. Scripture has always taught that a person’s salvation is conditioned upon their behavior. Those breaking the covenant through serious sin (e.g., sexual immorality, idolatry) forfeit their salvation until the biblical prescription for justice is served (e.g., excommunication). Those refusing to serve justice and obey God’s law (i.e., repent) – or who are guilty of insurrection against God’s leaders, will suffer permanent loss in apostasy (Deu 29:18-20; Num 15:15-31w/16:1-50; Mat 7:21-27, 13:36-43, 22:1-14, 24:36-51; 1Co 9:27, 10:1-12; Gal 5:1-4; Phi 2:16; 1Th 1:4w/3:5; 1Ti 1:19-20; Heb 6:1-8, 10:26-30, 12:15-17; Jam 5:19-20; 2Pe 1:9, 2:20-22; 2Jo 1:8//Joh 10:28 and Rom 8:31-39w/Joh 10:27 and Jud 1:21).

Early church fathers on this topic:

"…[we] ought ourselves to fear, lest…after [we have come to] the knowledge of Christ, if we do things displeasing to God, we obtain no further forgiveness of sins, but be shut out from His kingdom…"
- Irenaeus (AD 130-202)

"Forgiveness of past sins, then, God gives; but of future, each one gives to himself…Even in the case of one who has done the greatest good deeds in his life, but at the end has run headlong into wickedness, all his former pains are profitless to him, since at the catastrophe of the drama he has given up his part."
- Clement of Alexandria (AD 150-215)

"But the world returned unto sin…And so it is destined to fire; just as the man too is, who after baptism renews his sins."
- Tertullian (AD 160-230)


6. Church Authority

Evangelicalism recognizes no authority in the church. Yet like her Old Covenant counterpart, Jesus gave His church spiritual authority. Her elders have the authority to grant salvation, enforce God’s laws, investigate accusations, seek justice, pass judgment, excommunicate and declare persons apostate when in agreement with Scripture, evidence and the congregation (Deu 16:18-20, 17:2-13, 19:15-21; Psa 132:16 w/Isa 66:21; Mat 16:18-20, 18:15-20; Joh 20:21-23; Act 15:1-30//Rev 1:6w/Exo 19:6).

Early church fathers on this topic:

"See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles… Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop."
- Ignatius (died in AD 105)

"My child, him that speaks to you the word of God remember night and day; and you shall honour him as the Lord."
- Didache (written AD 100)

"There is no salvation out of the Church."

"No remission of sins can be given outside the Church."

- Cyprian (died in AD 258)


7. Propitiatory Substitution

Thanks to Martin Luther and the Reformers, the Evangelical church also holds to penal substitution, the idea that Jesus’s death represented His punishment for our sins. God however explicitly condemns and forbids all forms of penal substitution. Serving justice in relation to our sins is our responsibility. Hence the reason Christians are called to repent and still suffer in this life – including the suffering associated with death. Jesus in His death served as propitiation (sanctification or cleansing the stain or curse of sin), substituting not for us, but the countless lambs who before Him, could only serve as a pass-over for our sins (Deu 24:16; Jer 31:29-30; Eze 18:1-20; Lev 27:29; Num 35:33-34; Rom 3:25; Heb 10:1-14//Gal 3:13-14w/Gal 3:10-12w/Jer 11:1-7w/Jos 8:29 and Mat 27:5 w/Joh 17:12 "destruction" = Cursed to Hell w/no chance of propitiation).


Footnotes:
¹ Martin Luther, the "father of the Protestant Reformation", started with Paul rather than Jesus when attempting to understand the Bible’s teaching on salvation. The NT book of Hebrews (a book rejected by Martin Luther) states that Jesus is to be the author and final authority (Heb 12:2) when it comes to what we believe – most especially the subject of salvation. A person who builds their view of salvation from the teaching of Jesus will understand Paul very different from Martin Luther and end with a gospel very different than the one invented by him.
² To make his gospel work, Luther placed under suspicion a total of 4 books in the New Testament (Hebrews, James, Jude, Revelation) and added the word "alone" to his German translation of Romans 3:28.
³ Jesus said that salvation is from the Jews (Joh 4:22). Christianity is therefore Judaism 2.0. Luther’s gospel (i.e., the evangelical gospel of faith alone) is instead a modified version of Roman Catholicism. It is Roman Catholicism 2.0.