13 June 2013

Is God Mad at You? A Response to David Crank's Lies about Salvation

Who needs to be told in church that they're going to hell? We all pretty much know that.
These unfortunate and ignorant words were penned by pastor David Crank of Faith Church in St. Louis. Crank and his wife, pastrix Nicole Crank, are friends with such influential names as Steven Furtick and Joel Osteen. This ought to offer one an idea of the theology and methodology that can be found at Faith Church.

David Crank
The quote above is taken from Crank's 11 June 2013 blog post entitled, "Is God Mad at You?" In this post, Crank displays what is commonly taught about sin and salvation from many pulpits today. He writes:
Do you think God is pointing a finger at you accusing you? Do you think God can't relate to what you're going through?
I'm here to tell you that Jesus is a loving God who was not here to point a finger at us but to draw us to him and to identify with us.
Who needs to be told in church that they're going to hell? We all pretty much know that.
It is true, our God is a loving God. There is no greater demonstration of this than Christ's sacrifice for His own (John 15:13; 1 John 4:10). But He also is a righteous God, one who hates sin and calls men to repent. David Crank claims that Jesus did not come to "point a finger at us," but in reality, it is Jesus who demonstrated that men must be made aware of their sin before they can come to realize that they need a Savior. In fact, our Lord certainly seemed to be "pointing a finger" at the woman at the well:
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” (John 4:16-18)
Despite the claims of David Crank, many people are not aware that they are deserving of God's eternal wrath and punishment. Now, if the church is, as it should be, filled with true believers who have repented of their sin and turned to Christ alone for salvation, then they are not facing an eternity in Hell. Nevertheless, those unbelievers who may darken the church's doors (and who likely make up the bulk of congregations such as Crank's), are not aware of the depravity of their soul, and merely hearing that "Jesus loves them" will not awaken them to this reality. Further, even true Christians must be convicted of their sin daily by the Word of God so that they may live in light of the great, undeserved salvation that has been given to them.

Crank's post goes on to say,
You need to know inside and out that you don't have to ACT like a Christian, if you prayed to invite Christ into your life, you ARE a Christian.
So when someone says, "YOU DON'T ACT LIKE A CHRISTIAN" then you say, "I DON'T HAVE TO ACT, I AM ONE!"
The pastor of Faith Church has here declared that the evidence of one's salvation can be found in a moment that they prayed a robotic prayer, and not in the fruit of one's life. He offers false assurance of salvation based solely in a moment of decision and not in a regenerated life. Unfortunately for David Crank, God's Word says otherwise:
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. (1 John 1:5-6)
And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. (1 John 2:3-6)
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17)
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (John 14:15)
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Cor 6:9-11)
Crank offers a long list of things that a "you don't have to clean up" including cussing, drug use, cheating, side dealings, lying, impure thoughts, alcoholic tendencies, greed, and bad attitudes. While it may be true that man, in the power of his own flesh, cannot rid himself of such sin patterns, the man who has been truly regenerated by the Holy Spirit will shed these by the power of that same Spirit. The Lord does not save without sanctifying.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Cor 5:17)
We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. (Rom 6:6)
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thess 5:23)
A man comes to the Lord a repentant and broken sinner, but he leaves a new creation—a regenerated man with a renewed mind and heart. Still a sinner, yes, but one who hates his sin and seeks each day to mortify that sin by the power of the Holy Spirit that now dwells within. Mike Abendroth clarifies:
The whole Christian life is a process of becoming more the people that we actually are. Christians, because of Christ's active and passive obedience, are positionally holy and righteous. By the Holy Spirit's enabling power, we should then strive to live up to that position on a day-by-day basis. This is called sanctification. (Mike Abendroth, The Sovereignty and Supremacy of King Jesus, 103.)
Crank concludes his post:
Keep talking to him [God] while you continue to do those things that you know you shouldn't be doing. In time you will get to the point where you no longer want to do those things while in a relationship with God. You will come to want God more than those things and you will start loving him because He loved you first. (Source)
What a sad and detrimental argument! Based upon this, why would a person seek to rid himself of his sin? Why bother if he can have his sin and Jesus too? As this blog observed over two years ago,
The easy-believism, moment-of-decision gospel is one of the most deceptive lies being perpetrated in the church today. For one thing, it is not even remotely biblical. It ignores the clear commands of Scripture to repent (Acts 2:38) and to trust in Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31). The result of asking Jesus into your heart is most often nothing more than tossing a 90 minute weekly church service and the occasional declaration of "I'm a Christian" into an unregenerate, unrepentant life. Come as you are, stay as you are, and just add Jesus as the cherry on the top. (Source)
But Jesus is not merely a garnish to a man's life of sin. One must submit to the Lord wholly, or he does not submit at all. Jesus is not Savior or Lord, He is both Savior and Lord. He is the sovereign King of all.
Why is it so shocking to be told that the Christian must no longer submit to his old king, Satan? The Christian has a new King, and He demands a completely different life, one which He also enables the Christian to live. . . . You cannot believe in Jesus Christ with saving faith and then live the way you used to. (Mike Abendroth, The Sovereignty and Supremacy of King Jesus, 110.)
David Crank's blog post, "Is God Mad at You?" is nothing more than another lying offer of false assurance. Sadly, this type of "anti-Lordship" teaching does not exist only in watered-down, carnival-esque churches like Crank's. Such a soft, ear-tickling gospel is proclaimed from many pulpits today, though perhaps not in such a blunt and simplistic manner. It may wear a more believable, even more biblical, disguise, but it is no less damning.

A Christian's life must reflect Christ, and the Christian must be growing in Christ-likeness each day. Perfection will not be reached this side of glory, but oh, what a privilege to be molded by the King even while we are yet so undeserving!

Further Reading
Bible Study in a Morgue?
Even the Demons Believe
A Life that Is Becoming to the Gospel


  1. David Crank asked, "Who needs to be told in church that they're going to h-ell?"...

    Well how about this Jewish abortion doctor? MacArthur recounts the salvation of an unsaved man who had been attending Grace Community Church 4 Sundays in a row- and the sermon series was called "Delivered to satan". The man concluded, "You were talking about ME. I know I'm damned."

    A week later the man was saved.

    (Listen to five minute clip here)

    How DARE Mr Crank dismiss the power of the holy word and the salvific work of the WHOLE Gospel of God! The power of the word to save wretched sinners is the universe's greatest and most beautiful works.

  2. I think Crank is trying to say 'seek first the kingdom of God', don't delay coming to God until after you've tried to tidy up your life. But as all of your quotations show, he's made a complete muddle of it and is probably giving false assurance. :-(

    1. Crank's post is pretty clear that you can keep all your sin and just add Jesus on the side. His preaching is no different.

      He demonstrates his ignorance of true, genuine, biblical salvation with this line:

      You need to know inside and out that you don't have to ACT like a Christian, if you prayed to invite Christ into your life, you ARE a Christian.

      "Asking Jesus into your heart" produces false converts. It's the reason there are so many so-called "backsliders" in the churches—they have never been saved to begin with. But when people are told that they simply have to pray a prayer and can go on with their sinful lives as always, what do we expect?

      A helpful resource is Wretched Radio's Top Ten Reasons To Not Ask Jesus Into Your Heart.


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