Hello Dr. Brown. I heard that you mentioned outsidethecamp.org on a couple of your recent programs. First of all, I want to be clear that outsidethecamp.org is NOT a Calvinist website. The Christian Confession of Faith is NOT a Calvinist confession. We are not Calvinists; we are Christians. And we, like every other true Christian, believe that the work of Jesus Christ alone is what makes the difference between salvation and damnation -- that the work of Jesus Christ demanded and ensured the salvation of every single person whom He represented on the cross. The efficacious atonement of Jesus Christ is at the very heart of the gospel. Those who do not believe in an atonement that actually accomplished atonement do not believe the true gospel. See www.outsidethecamp.org/gospatone.htm .

To God alone be the glory,

Marc D. Carpenter


Marc,

Dr. Brown would like to make your views perfectly clear to his listening audience.

He holds to the efficacious atonement of Jesus Christ as preached by the apostles in Acts and as summarized by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15, but he strongly differs with some of the points on your website, which he considers to be hyper-Calvinistic. In your view, is Dr. Brown a Christian (his general beliefs would be more in line with Arminianism than Calvinism)? Since your website is quite clear, a simple Yes or No answer would suffice. In fact, because it is so clear, Dr. Brown sees no reason for you to obfuscate in your response.

Also, for the record, do you consider John Wesley to have been a Christian, seeing that he publicly opposed some of what you teach? What about C. S. Lewis? What about Billy Graham? As you know, none of these men would subscribe to all the points on your website.

Dr. Brown is careful not to misrepresent the facts on his show, and it is his understanding that you would not consider him (or the great majority of the Body of Christ worldwide) to be Christian, hence he refers to your website as exclusionary and divisive. Since you have taken the time to write, he wanted to respond directly and he will share your concise responses to his questions with his listening audience.

For the record, he recognizes you as a brother in the Lord but as one clearly deceived in your exclusionary positions.

Trent Pruett

Assistant to Dr. Michael Brown


Trent,

You wrote that "Dr. Brown is careful not to misrepresent the facts on his show." He has already come up short on that count. In his March 5 show, he said, "I finally got a chance to go there yesterday and these folks say explicitly, explicitly, 'We at Sovereign Redeemer Assembly agree in full with all the contents contained within the Christian Confession of Faith, including a very staunch Calvinism.'" This is NOT what we say on our web site. We are NOT Calvinists, let alone "very staunch" Calvinists. He goes on to say, "The gospel is not Calvinism." We do NOT say that the gospel is Calvinism. We do NOT say that if one is not a Calvinist, he is not saved. You will NOT find that ANYWHERE on our web site. "Careful not to misrepresent the facts"? Hardly.

So when I see that "Dr. Brown would like to make [my] views perfectly clear to his listening audience," I seriously doubt that. But if he is telling the truth, he will read the entirety of this e-mail to his listening audience.

First of all, the views I will put forth below are not just my views. These are the views of every single Christian believer without exception. We believe in true Christian unity -- we do not separate over non-essentials. We believe that it is the sin of schism to say that certain people are Christian believers but at the same time not fellowship with them or worship in a separate church from them if they are in the same community.

Here is what we believe:

The gospel is the power of God to salvation (Romans 1:16). This means that God has chosen to display His power to save His people through His gospel. There is no salvation apart from the gospel.

In the gospel, the righteousness of God is revealed (Romans 1:17). Those who are ignorant of the righteousness of God that is revealed in the gospel are seeking to establish their own righteousness and do not submit to the righteousness of God, no matter how zealous for God they are (Romans 10:2-3). Thus, they are not saved. This righteousness of God is the key element of the gospel.

God has not left us in the dark as to what the righteousness of God is; He clearly reveals it in His Word. After God says that His righteousness is revealed in the gospel in Romans 1:17, He waits to define what this righteousness is until He shows that every single person without exception by nature is guilty and defiled before God. From Romans 1:18 through Romans 3:20, God shows that there are none righteous by nature, whether they be the immoral, unconcerned, irreligious Gentile or the moral, zealous, religious Jew. Both Jews and Gentiles are under sin. None is righteous, none understand, none seek God, none do good, all are worthless (Romans 3:9-12). God says in Romans 3:20 that righteousness does not even come from one's best efforts to keep the law.

Romans 3:21 then says, "But now a righteousness of God has been revealed." This is that same righteousness that is mentioned in Romans 1:17; it is that righteousness that is revealed in the gospel. God first says that His righteousness is revealed apart from our law-keeping, our attempts at obedience and service (Romans 3:21). He then goes on in verses 22 through 26 to say what this righteousness is that is revealed in the gospel. First, the righteousness of God is through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. Faithfulness to do what? Verses 24 and 25 say that Jesus Christ accomplished justification, redemption, and propitiation, for a showing forth of His righteousness.

To propitiate means to appease or to pacify. Christ appeased or pacified God's wrath when the sins of His people were imputed to Jesus Christ, when Jesus Christ became sin for His people, and He incurred the judgment for that sin. There is no fellowship with God when there is sin, because God is righteous. Righteousness is the opposite of sin. So in order for God to fellowship with sinners, the sin of those sinners must be punished in a substitute who is a man who is totally without sin. The only one who qualifies for that is Jesus Christ. Christ took on the sins of His people, and God punished Christ for those sins, and God was pacified.

To redeem means to pay the price for a possession so as to rescue or deliver that possession. Ransom is another word that is used. Christ's blood paid the price for His people's sins and bought them as his very own. What did His people do to make themselves into God's own possession? Absolutely nothing. It is Christ alone who paid the price. We had nothing to pay. Nothing that we ever did or were enabled to do would pay the price. It is only through the blood of Christ.

To justify means to declare that a person is righteous, not guilty. Romans 3:26 says, "for a demonstration of His righteousness in the present time, for His being just and justifying the one that is of the faith of Jesus." God's justice demands that all who are not righteous must be punished. But we have already seen further up in chapter 3 that there's no one who is righteous and that no one will be justified by his best efforts to keep the law. So how can it be true that God declares some to be righteous who have no righteousness in themselves? It can only be through the perfect righteousness of a substitute. And that substitute is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ lived a perfect life. He obeyed the law perfectly for his entire life.

So how does God declare people to be righteous, when it is only Jesus Christ who lived a perfect life? The answer is in Romans chapter 4. God first shows that Abraham could not have been justified by his works. He says that justification is not by works; instead, God justifies the ungodly. And how does God justify the ungodly? The Holy Spirit through Paul goes to the Psalms for the answer in verses 6 through 8. We see that God justifies the ungodly based on a righteousness that is counted or imputed or legally charged to the account of him. Jesus Christ lived a perfect life and was perfectly obedient, even unto death. This righteousness of Christ is imputed or counted or charged to God's people.

In the gospel, believers see how God remains just to justify those who are not righteous in and of themselves. In Isaiah 45:21, God says that He is both a just God and a Savior. How can God be both just and merciful? How can He be just to justify the ungodly? Because the sins of God's people were imputed to Christ, and Christ bore the punishment that their sins deserved, and because the righteousness of Christ is imputed to God's people, and God declares His people righteous. There are two imputations - the sin of God's people imputed to Christ, and righteousness imputed to God's people.

As God said back in Romans 1, the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel. The gospel means "good news." What is this good news that reveals the righteousness of God? It is the good news that God saves His people based on these two imputations. When the sins of God's people were imputed to Christ, Christ endured the wrath of God for those sins and paid the price in full. When the righteousness of Christ is imputed to His people, God declares His people not guilty. This is the good news. This is the righteousness of God that is revealed in the gospel. The gospel is the good news of God's promise to save His people conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone.

God says in Romans 10:1-3 that those who are ignorant of this righteousness revealed in the gospel are not saved. God says in Mark 16:16 that those who do not believe the gospel are not saved. He says in 1 Corinthians 15:3 that the gospel includes the truth "that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures." Thus, those who do not believe the truth "that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures" are unsaved. What does it mean "that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures"? The atonement is the very heart of the gospel. If one does not believe in the atonement that is revealed in the gospel, then he is still dead in his sins. Below, the true atonement of the gospel is contrasted with universal atonement, which is a false atonement of a false gospel.

The atonement fully and perfectly accomplished complete, absolute, entire remission of all the sins of all the people for whom Christ died. To remit means to cancel, to forgive, to pardon, to take out of the way. Jesus Christ's bloody death on the cross totally canceled, totally purged, totally paid the debt for the sins of His people. Jesus Christ is "The Lamb of God, taking away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). He "was revealed that He might take away our sins" (1 John 3:5). His blood was "poured out for remission of sins" (Matthew 26:28). He "made purification of our sins through Himself" (Hebrews 1:3). His mission was "to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make atonement for iniquity" (Daniel 9:24), and to "undo the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8), that "through death He might cause to cease the [one] having the power of death, that is, the devil" (Hebrews 2:14). Jesus Christ "has been manifested for putting away of sin through the sacrifice of Himself" (Hebrews 9:26). He "washed us from our sins by His blood" (Revelation 1:5). He has "forgiven you all the offenses, blotting out the handwriting in the ordinances against us, which was contrary to us, even [He] has taken it out of the midst, nailing it to the cross" (Colossians 2:13-14). His blood "cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). In Him there is "the remission of sins" (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14). His blood was shed once, because "apart from shedding of blood no remission occurs. ... But where remission of these is, there [is] no longer offering concerning sins" (Hebrews 9:22; 10:18). God in Christ was "not charging their trespasses to them" (2 Corinthians 5:19), and "with His wounds we ourselves are healed" (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24).

What of the "christ" of universal atonement? The "christ" of universal atonement died for everyone without exception. Did this death actually accomplish the remission, the cancellation, the pardon, the putting away of the sin of everyone without exception? It did not do anything even close to that. There are people in hell for whom this "christ" died, for whom this "christ" atoned, whose sins were supposedly "taken away" and "pardoned" and "paid for." Universal atonement advocates use John 1:29 to try to prove that their "christ" took away the sins of everyone without exception. Yet they also say that there are some who are burning in hell. Were the sins of those who are burning in hell taken away by the blood of their "christ"? If so, why are they burning in hell? It is because their "christ" actually accomplished nothing on the cross. There are people burning in hell for sins that were not pardoned or taken away. Their god is a liar when he says that this "christ" took away the sins of everyone without exception. The blood of their "christ" is of no effect in and of itself. And they blaspheme the true Jesus Christ by using His Name in their damnable heresy, claiming that the true Jesus Christ of the Bible paid the sin debt for everyone without exception. They hate the true God and the true gospel. They are unsaved.

The atonement fully and perfectly accomplished complete, absolute, entire redemption of all the people for whom Christ died. To redeem means to buy, to purchase, to pay the ransom price for a possession so as to rescue or deliver that possession. God's people "were bought with a price" (1 Corinthians 6:20). They were "redeemed ... with precious blood of Christ" (1 Peter 1:18-19). They were "purchased through [His] own blood" (Acts 20:28). They "shall be saved from the wrath through Him" (Romans 5:9). They are "justified freely by His grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:24). They sing to Jesus Christ, "You were slain, and by Your blood purchased us to God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation" (Revelation 5:9). Jesus Christ came to "save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21) and to "set these free, as many as by fear of death were subject to slavery through all the [time] to live" (Hebrews 2:15). He is "the [One] delivering us from the coming wrath" (1 Thessalonians 1:10). He has "given Himself a ransom on behalf of all" (1 Timothy 2:6). He "gave Himself for our sins, so that He might deliver us out of the present evil age" (Galatians 1:4). He "gave Himself on our behalf, that He might redeem us from all lawlessness" (Titus 2:14). "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law" (Galatians 3:13). He came "that He might redeem the ones under Law" (Galatians 4:5), "to give His life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45). In Christ, "we have redemption through His blood" (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14).

What of the "christ" of universal atonement? The "christ" of universal atonement died for everyone without exception. Did this death actually accomplish the redemption, the purchase, the deliverance of everyone without exception? It did not do anything even close to that. There are people in hell for whom this "christ" died, for whom this "christ" atoned, who were supposedly "purchased" and "redeemed" by the blood of this "christ." Universal atonement advocates use 1 Timothy 2:6 to try to prove that their "christ" gave himself a ransom for everyone without exception. Yet they also say that there are some who are burning in hell. Did this "christ" give himself a ransom, buy with his own blood, pay the price for those who are burning in hell? If so, why are they burning in hell? It is because their "christ" actually accomplished nothing on the cross. There are people burning in hell who have not been purchased or delivered. Their god is a liar when he says that this "christ" paid the ransom price of everyone without exception. The blood of their "christ" is of no effect in and of itself. And they blaspheme the true Jesus Christ by using His Name in their damnable heresy, claiming that the true Jesus Christ of the Bible redeemed everyone without exception. They hate the true God and the true gospel. They are unsaved.

The atonement fully and perfectly accomplished complete, absolute, entire propitiation and reconciliation for all the people for whom Christ died. To propitiate means to appease, to pacify, to assuage. To reconcile means to bring back into fellowship with, to make peace with. God's wrath was fully appeased when Jesus Christ became sin for His people and suffered the just punishment for that sin. The blood of Christ made peace between God and all for whom Christ died. God "reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ ... God was in Christ reconciling [the] world to Himself" (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). He "sent His Son [to be] a propitiation relating to our sins" (1 John 4:10) and set forth Jesus Christ as "a propitiation through faith in His blood" (Romans 3:25). Jesus Christ is the "propitiation relating to our sins, and not relating to ours only, but also relating to all the world" (1 John 2:2). He came "to make propitiation for the sins of [His] people" (Hebrews 2:17), "that He might bring us to God" (1 Peter 3: 18). "For He is our peace, He making us both one, and breaking down the middle wall of partition, in His flesh causing to cease the enmity, the Law of the commandments in decrees, that He might in Himself create the two into one new man, making peace, and might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, slaying the enmity in Himself. And coming, [He] proclaimed peace to you, the ones afar off, and to the ones near" (Ephesians 2:14-17). "For if [while] being enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life; and not only [so], but also glorying in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we now received the reconciliation" (Romans 5: 10-11). "... through Him making peace by the blood of His cross, to reconcile all things to Himself ... now He reconciled in the body of His flesh, through death" (Colossians 1:20-22). "But He was wounded for our transgressions; [He was] bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him ... But Jehovah pleased to crush Him, to make Him sick, [so that] if He should put His soul as a guilt offering, He shall see [His] seed; He shall prolong [His] days, and the will of Jehovah shall prosper in His hand. He shall see [the fruit] of the travail of His soul; He shall be fully satisfied. By His knowledge the righteous One, My Servant, shall justify for many, and He shall bear their iniquities. Because of this, I will divide to Him with the great, and with the strong He shall divide the spoil; because He poured out His soul unto death; and [He] was numbered with those transgressing; and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for those transgressing" (Isaiah 53:5-12).

What of the "christ" of universal atonement? The "christ" of universal atonement died for everyone without exception. Did this death actually accomplish the appeasement of God's wrath for everyone without exception? Did it actually accomplish reconciliation between God and everyone without exception? It did not do anything even close to that. There are people in hell for whom this "christ" died, for whom this "christ" atoned, who were supposedly "reconciled" to God by the blood of this "christ," for whom God was supposedly "propitiated." Universal atonement advocates use 2 Corinthians 5:19 and 1 John 2:2 to try to prove that their "christ" was reconciling everyone without exception to God and that their "christ" was a propitiation for everyone without exception. Yet they also say that there are some who are burning in hell. Did this "christ" appease the wrath of God for those who are burning in hell? Did the blood of this "christ" make peace between God and those who are burning in hell? Did this "christ" reconcile to God those who are burning in hell? If so, why are they burning in hell? It is because their "christ" actually accomplished nothing on the cross. There are people burning in hell who are still under the wrath of God, who are not at peace with God. Their god is a liar when he says that this "christ" reconciled everyone without exception to himself and propitiated for everyone without exception. The blood of their "christ" is of no effect in and of itself. And they blaspheme the true Jesus Christ by using His Name in their damnable heresy, claiming that the true Jesus Christ of the Bible reconciled everyone without exception to the true God of the Bible and was the propitiation for everyone without exception. They hate the true God and the true gospel. They are unsaved.

At the end of Jesus Christ's suffering on the cross, He said, "It is finished" (John 19:30). Jesus Christ had finished the work He came to do. All the sins of all His people were imputed to Him, and He suffered as a substitute and representative for His people. His suffering unto death actually accomplished full pardon, redemption, propitiation, and reconciliation for every single person whom He represented on the cross. Christ's atoning death was absolutely, totally effectual. This atonement is the very heart of the gospel. If there is not this atonement, the one true atonement, there is no gospel. If there were only one person for whom Christ died who ended up in hell, the entire gospel would be meaningless, and the blood of Christ would be of no effect.

Do universal atonement advocates believe "that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:3)? Not even close. Far from it. Their "christ" died for everyone without exception, not to accomplish salvation but merely to make salvation possible if the sinner would only do his part. This is not the atonement of the gospel. This is blasphemy. Those who believe that Jesus Christ died for those who are burning in hell spit in the face of Christ, trample underfoot the blood of Christ, and treat the blood of Christ as nothing. They do not believe that the blood of Christ was effectual to accomplish anything in and of itself.

The motto of every Christian is this: "But may it never be for me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (Galatians 6:14). Whoever walks by this rule, this canon, this doctrine, is the one who has peace and mercy on him and is a person to whom all true Christians will speak peace; whoever boasts in anything else does not have peace and mercy on him and is a person to whom all true Christians will not speak peace (Galatians 6:16-17). Whatever one believes makes the difference between salvation and damnation is what one boasts and glories in. The one who believes that it is the work of Jesus Christ alone that makes the only difference between salvation and damnation boasts and glories in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ and does not boast or glory in self. What of those who believe that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception? They do not believe that it is the work of Jesus Christ alone that makes the difference between salvation and damnation; instead, they believe that it is the effort of the sinner that makes the ultimate difference between salvation and damnation. They do not boast or glory in the cross of Christ; they boast and glory in themselves. They might say they "give all glory to God" and that it is "the cross that makes the difference" and that it is "nothing but the blood of Jesus," but if they believe that Jesus Christ died for people who are burning in hell, then they do not believe that it is the work of Christ alone that makes the difference between salvation and damnation. They do not believe that the work of Christ was effectual to secure and ensure the salvation of everyone for whom Christ died. They do not believe the very heart of the gospel. They are unsaved boasters in self. "But now a righteousness of God has been revealed apart from Law, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith of Jesus Christ toward all and upon all those believing; for there is no difference, for all sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth [as] a propitiation through faith in His blood, as a demonstration of His righteousness through the passing over of sins that had taken place before, in the forbearance of God, for a demonstration of His righteousness in the present time, for His being just and justifying the [one] that [is] of the faith of Jesus. Then where [is] the boasting? It was excluded" (Romans 3:21-27).

The atonement whereby Jesus Christ, the God-man mediator, as a representative and substitute for His people, in His bloody death on the cross, accomplished full pardon, full redemption, full propitiation, and full reconciliation for everyone whom He represented, is the very essence, the very heart, the very core, the very foundation, the very cornerstone, the very crux of the gospel. One cannot deny the atonement by believing in universal atonement and still believe the true gospel. All who deny the atonement, including all who believe that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception, are not true Christians. One cannot deny that the atonement is an essential gospel doctrine by believing that some universal atonement advocates are saved and still believe the gospel. All who deny that the atonement is an essential gospel doctrine, including all who speak peace to universal atonement advocates, are not true Christians. The cross of Christ is what Christianity is all about. If there is no atonement, there is no Christianity. Michael Brown and Billy Graham do not believe the true gospel as the Bible defines it; thus, they are unsaved. (See www.outsidethecamp.org/heterodoxy52.htm ). John Wesley and C.S. Lewis did not believe the true gospel as the Bible defines it; thus, they were unsaved. (See www.outsidethecamp.org/wesley.htm ).

You wrote that Dr. Brown "strongly differs with some of the points on your website, which he considers to be hyper-Calvinistic." We are far from Hyper-Calvinistic. In fact, I wrote an article entitled "Damnable Hyper-Calvinist Heresy" at www.outsidethecamp.org/hyperheresy.htm , and I expose James White's charge of Hyper-Calvinism as slander at www.outsidethecamp.org/jameswhite.htm . As for our website being "exclusionary and divisive," it is no more exclusionary and divisive than Jesus Christ and the apostles were. Over and over again, the Bible says that those who do not believe the gospel are unsaved. Does this exclude the unsaved from being classified with the saved? Yes. Do we exclude true believers? May it never be. Do we divide true believers against each other? May it never be. We divide as Jesus Christ divided: "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. I came to divide a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a bride against her mother-in-law. [Ones] hostile [to] the man [shall be] those of his [own] house" (Mathew 10:34-36).

Consider Hebrews 13:10-13. Those serving the tabernacle, those self-righteous religionists who believe that their works form some part of the ground of their salvation, have no authority or right to eat at the altar at which we eat. Those who condition salvation on themselves have no place eating the body and drinking the blood of Christ. Those who boast in themselves have no place with those who boast in the cross of Christ. We have nothing to do with those who believe a false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner. We do not fellowship with them. We tell them that they are lost and their deeds are evil. And when we tell them that salvation is conditioned on the work of Jesus Christ alone and that those who condition salvation on themselves have no place with us, when we expose their best efforts as evil and wicked, what do they do? They do to us just as they did to Christ. They counted Christ as unclean, as refuse, and as a reproach. They crucified Him outside the city, outside of their self-righteous rituals and religion. And since we are one with Christ, we, too, go outside the camp of self-righteous religion and bear the reproach that Christ bore. There is no salvation inside the camp of self-righteous religion. Inside the camp of self-righteous religion, you will find those who condition salvation on themselves and those who commit spiritual whoredom with them. You also will not find persecution for Christ's sake. The blood of Christ is not there. The suffering of Christ is not there. It is all the empty religion of God-haters. But those of us who are one with Christ, who are joint-heirs with Christ, are the ones who go outside the camp where Christ is, because outside the camp is where the blood of Christ is, where salvation conditioned on the work of Christ alone is, where boasting in self is excluded. Only those outside the camp are one with Christ. Only those outside the camp are sanctified by the blood of Christ. If you are not outside the camp, you are lost. You are still in your filthy rags of self-righteousness. As an integral part of being one with Christ outside the camp, we bear the reproach of Christ. Outside the camp is where suffering is, where persecution is, bearing the persecution that Christ bore. And, as we bear the reproach of Christ outside the camp, we rejoice that we are one with Christ in His suffering and that we will be one with Christ in glory. Amen.

To God alone be the glory,

Marc D. Carpenter

www.outsidethecamp.org


Marc,

I would like to direct to http://lineoffireradio.askdrbrown.org/. Dr. Brown addressed your letter on air March 15th. We would like to inform you that Dr. Brown has publicly marked you as a divisive brother, and will not be interacting with you further until you repent of your exclusivism.

Ask Dr. Brown Staff

www.AskDrBrown.org


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