Don’t Be An Antinomian (Christian Anarchist)

Published by Rob Skiba May 24, 2014 at 3:00 AM


We are probably more familiar with the word anarchy, but they both essentially mean the same thing. Here is what Webster has to say about Anarchy:

 Here is what one on-line resource has to say concerning Antinomianism…

 So what does Antinomian mean?

‘Antinomian’ is pronounced [an-ta-nome´-ee-ann].  The word itself can be traced back to the Greek of the New Testament.  It comes from putting two Greek words together: `anti (anti) and nomos (nomos).  The first word “anti” taken by itself means, “over against or instead of”, and corresponds to our English word “anti”, which means “opposed to”.

The second half of the word ‘Antinomian’, which is the word “nomos”, means: (1) a law, rule, standard; (2) a rule of life or moral conduct.  This is the same word that is translated “law” in “Do we then make void the law through faith?  God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”-KJV. Rom. 3:31.  Consequently, when these two Greek words are combined, it gives the meaning: lawlessness; without, opposed to or against laws, standards, or rules of moral conduct.

What is the Basic Doctrine of the Antinomian?

In his late book, Paths to Power, A.W. Tozer defined it this way.  ”Fundamental Christianity in our times is deeply influenced by that ancient enemy of righteousness, Antinomianism.  The creed of the Antinomian is easily stated: We are saved by faith alone; works have no place in salvation; conduct is works, and is therefore of no importance.  What we do cannot matter as long as we believe rightly.  The divorce between creed and conduct is absolute and final.  The question of sin is settled by the Cross; conduct is outside the circle of faith and cannot come between the believer and God.  Such in brief, is the teaching of the Antinomian.  And so fully has it permeated the Fundamental element in modern Christianity that it is accepted by the religious masses as the very truth of God.  Antinomianism is the doctrine of grace carried by uncorrected logic to the point of absurdity.  It takes the teaching of justification by faith and twists it into deformity.”

I know there are some (maybe you, dear reader) who might say, “That’s the gospel!  That’s Grace!  That’s what I believe and practice!”  Oh, if we would only take the time to seek God, pray and read the Gospel, unfettered by the “Doctrines of Men”, we would surely find that Antinomianism is ANOTHER GOSPEL (i.e.- not Christianity).

Charles Finney in the 1800′s spoke of it “as the opposite extreme to legalism.  Legalist are all work, Antinomians no work.  Professing to have yielded up their whole agency to Christ, they throw all responsibility upon Him and do nothing.  Under pretense of being led by the Spirit and of waiting for God to reveal His will to them, they give themselves up very much to spiritual indolence (idleness).” Charles Finney

Noah Webster, in his 1878 Dictionary, defined Antinomianism as: “one of a sect who were charged with maintaining that, under the gospel dispensation, the moral law is of no use or obligation.”

A Brief History

Interesting enough, the Church is being plagued today with Antinomianism more than ever.  In fact, it has almost “leavened the whole lump”.  This is not the first time that it’s crept into the hearts of God’s people unawares.  Historically, in Jeremiah’s day when Israel was deeply backslidden and God’s prophets were crying out against their wickedness, Antinomianism was the root cause.  It was also one of the first signs of decay to hit the early Church.  As the Bible teaches, the early Church fathers were well acquainted with what it was, and like Paul, found themselves in an ever present battle against its deadly effects.

By the 1700′s, Antinomianism had established itself so deeply in most of the colleges that produced pastors, that almost anyone simply professing faith in God was considered a Christian.  This condition having spread to this country as well, found heart-motivated morality in the Church almost non-existent.  After much sincere prayer and true repentance, a real ‘Revival’ did come from God during that time through men such as George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards and others.  This revival reversed the course of Antinomianism but for a short while.  By the start of the 19th. century, Antinomianism had made a strong comeback.  Charles Finney and other Godly persons, who lived during that time, again found themselves facing it’s damning effects.  Although Finney and others succeeded in stamping out numerous strongholds, it didn’t take long for it to make a comeback in this century.

This century has seen a huge rise of those who promise many ‘would be Christians’ liberty, while “they themselves are the servants of corruption” (2 Peter 2:19).  Never before have there been so many who profess Christianity with their mouth, but live like and love the world.  Why?  Because Antinomianism has been the accepted gospel almost universally since the 50′s. 


Yeshua said in…

Matthew 7:

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice LAWLESSNESS!’

So… the ones who are told to depart, are those who practice lawLESSness. They are the Antinomians.

James said in…

James 4: 

11 Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But YOUR JOB IS TO OBEY THE LAW, NOT TO JUDGE WHETHER IT APPLIES TO YOU.

12 God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?

Keeping YHWH’s Law is not about “working for salvation” for that is a FREE GIFT we acquire by Grace through Faith in the finished work of Yeshua on the cross (Ephesians 2:8). Keeping the Law is the evidence of having it written on our heart and mind (Hebrews 8:10) as a result of coming into the “New Covenant”, which should compel us to show our love for YHWH who loved us in that while we were yet sinners (Antinomian transgressors of the Law), He sent His only Son to pay the penalty for that sin (Romans 5:8).

John said in…

1 John 5:

2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.

3 For THIS IS THE LOVE OF GOD, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.

John clearly agrees with James, who agrees with Yeshua, who agrees with Moses, who agreed with YHWH. But were Yeshua, James and John contradicting Paul or were they being contradicted by Paul? Or… could it be that Paul is simply misunderstood due to “ignorant and unstable” people twisting and distorting what he said – just as Peter warned would be the case?

Peter said in…

2 Peter 3:

14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.

15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,

16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

17 You therefore, beloved, KNOWING THIS BEFOREHAND, TAKE CARE THAT YOU ARE NOT CARRIED AWAY WITH THE ERROR OF LAWLESS PEOPLE {Antinomians} and lose your own stability.

18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

In my understanding, Paul is in PERFECT harmony with all of these guys and in no way did he contradict the rest of Scripture.

Romans 6:

15 What then? Shall we sin {transgress the Law – 1 John 3:4} because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!

16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin {transgression of the Law} leading to death, or of obedience {to the Law} leading to righteousness?

Peter warned us ahead of time, not to misinterpret Paul. Moses, Yeshua, Peter, James and John were not Antinomians… and neither was Paul! So we should not allow ourselves to become Christian Anarchists either.

– Rob Skiba

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