Pristine Grace

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Sovereign Grace Formulism
by Brandan Kraft
Sovereign Grace Formulism

"I don't tolerate false gospels."

"I don't associate with ANYONE who compromises on the truth!"

"Don't read that author, he's a COMPROMISER!  He said this terrible thing in one of his sermons, therefore the rest of his stuff is bad."

"Don't visit PristineGrace.org, it's operated by the compromiser Brandan Kraft and he TOLERATES false religion.  He even asked people to pray for BROTHER Don Fortner when he was sick with cancer!  He and his website are DANGEROUS!"

"You're not a believer because you haven't properly repented of your freewillism."

"You haven't repented of all your self righteousness, and I cannot consider you a brother in the faith because you say you were converted while attending that church!"

Random people in the Internet Peanut Gallery

    These are all quotes I have seen by supposed believers in free and sovereign grace.   These are the type of people that believe that the abhorrence of what they consider to be false doctrine is true religion.  But notice in their quotes that they aren't really resting in the sovereignty of God and the finished work of Christ.  They have erected a hedge around the Gospel and have turned salvation into a formula that must conform to their hedge.  In their minds, only true adherents to Christ abide by their formula.

    False religion has always abounded in this world, and the most common form of false religion we see today is formulism.  Formulism is the notion that one must follow a defined set of rules in order to obtain salvation.  Roman Catholics and the Orthodox have their rites and ceremonies, protestant have their sinners prayers at a phony altar, and sovereign gracers can also have their formulas.  Sovereign grace formulists will either have Arminian style formulas with their "well-meant offers" or more recently I've seen many with judging formulas.  It's great that some won't tolerate a false gospel, but that intolerance won't save them.  Abhorrence of false doctrine is not the same thing as knowing and loving Christ!  If someone is looking to their intolerance as evidence that they are indeed numbered amongst God's people, then they are sovereign grace pharisees.  They don't know Christ and instead of resting in HIM, they being blind to their hypocrisy rest in a formula of their own concoction.  They traded the real thing for sugar water!

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. - Rom 3:24

    Those of us who believe the Gospel have been freely justified by the Lord's grace in Christ Jesus from before the foundation of the world.  And believing this doesn't change a thing about God's estimation of us and what we mean to Him.  We were either justified by Christ in His work of salvation, or we were not.  And when we come to believe, we begin to understand that the Lord has always loved us and viewed us in Christ.   But if we are looking to our abilities, our supposed faith in the Gospel, or even our abhorrence of false doctrine, we've completely missed the point and may still be dead in our sins and trespasses against the Lord!

    You may say you're a super high and hyper calvinistic ultra five pointed suprlapsarian who eats heretics for breakfast.  But in reality, you may be no different than the other formulists you despise.  It's not the Gospel you claim to be defending, but your own hedge and formula.  As Rolfe Barnard used to say, "you're as straight as a shotgun but also just as empty!"  It is only by His Grace that we can rest in Him, and not the work of our own hands or minds.  May the Lord focus our minds and hearts upon Christ, preventing us from being caught up in every wind of doctrine or formula!

Brandan, a software developer by trade, was raised in the Missouri Ozarks town of Potosi and started the Pristine Grace website around 2001. Brandan and his family live in Ashland Kentucky where they attend as members of Thirteenth Street Baptist Church.