Quite extraordinary things pour forth from the pen of Arlen L. Chitwood, such as the claim that he is not ultimately saved. In an almost confessional tone, he claims his soul is at war with his spirit, that darkness pervades his being. He asserts positively that his body is in partnership with Belial (or Satan). His redeemed spirit, confesses Chitwood, is in a constant struggle with his unredeemed soul.[1. Salvation of the Soul, the Saving of the Life, p. 47] By yielding of his own volition to the Holy Spirit, Chitwood says he hopes to win the salvation of his soul. Except that God has placed a division between his spirit and his soul, he would be entirely corrupt.
“The first thing which God does for man is to place light alongside the previously existing darkness — place a new nature alongside the old nature, a new man alongside the old man — with a division established between the two (cf. Heb. 4:12),” claims Chitwood.[2. ibid.. Actually, Hebrews 4:12 does not state that there is a division between the soul and spirit, but rather that there is a division between the soul and spirit (non-material aspects of a human) and joints and marrow (material aspects of a human). This misreading of scripture, however, is necessary for sustaining the teaching Chitwood calls the “Word of the Kingdom.”]
Thus, an unredeemed body houses his redeemed spirit — light and darkness coexisting in one being.
Whether or not his soul is ultimately saved, depends on his willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to control his life. By yielding to one Chitwood calls the “spiritual man,” he claims he can gain “control over his emotions, feelings, and desires,” and thus realize the salvation of his soul, and thus attain full salvation.[3. ibid., p. 13]
This same fate he consigns to all Christians: apostles and martyrs, prophets and elders, ordinary Christians and the persecuted. No man, reckons Chitwood, is entirely saved, not Paul, not James, not Peter. No Christian reading these words can claim to be fully saved, nor can any Christian claim to be saved unconditionally. Unconditional salvation applies to ones spirit only; ones body and soul are saved conditionally, and this is determined by works.[4. ibid.]
These are, indeed, extraordinary beliefs.
Fortunately, they are not found in the Bible.
© 2010, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.