Note, Sept. 4, 2011 — Chitwood offers an older version of Salvation of the Soul, which includes his claim that “soul salvation” is conditional (press here — PDF file). You can also download the text at KingdomExclusion.com (press here — All Chitwood’s Writings).
Without explanation, Arlen Chitwood has omitted a controversial passage from the latest revision of Salvation of the Soul. In previous editions, Chitwood stated, “The salvation of the soul, unlike the salvation of the spirit, is conditional. The salvation of the soul is dependent on the life one lives after his spirit has been saved. It is dependent on the individual allowing the Spirit of God to impart spiritual truth into and control his life through his own spirit” (p. 13, emphasis Chitwood’s). The latest edition, offered at LampBroadcast.org, omits the term “conditional.”
It is not evident whether this represents a shift in Chitwood’s thinking about salvation. He has not replied to several inquiries sent to him.
While much of what Chitwood has to say about Christian maturity is edifying, the division of salvation into three aspects — salvation of the spirit, the soul and the body — is problematic. Chiefly, Chitwood contends that the soul and body of a believer are yet unsaved. He does not offer a plausible explanation for why the blood of Christ should have no effect on believer’s soul or body. Also, by dividing salvation into three parts, he creates different modes of salvation, so that salvation by grace through faith applies only to the spirit — the soul and body are saved by works.
Further complicating matters is that Chitwood never explains how the soul is ultimately saved.
Traditional, evangelical theology recognizes past, present and future aspects of salvation, but not different modes. Evangelicals contend the blood of Christ redeems the entire person.
Despite the omission of the term “conditional,” Chitwood still teaches that the salvation of the soul is by works. The revised passage reads —
And salvation now (in relation to the soul, not the spirit) becomes dependent on the actions of the individual. Salvation now becomes dependent on the life one lives after his spirit has been saved. Salvation now becomes dependent on the individual allowing the Spirit of God to impart spiritual truth into and control his life through his own spirit. — page 13, Salvation of the Soul
Similarly, Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Jacksonville, Florida, maintains that the salvation of the soul is “determined by works” (source). Chitwood is a regular speaker there and a great influence.
Chitwood attempts to resolve the issue by arguing that the salvation of the soul pertains only to achieving or not achieving rewards in the millennial kingdom. This sounds plausible until one considers that the soul of a believer, in Chitwood’s scheme of salvation, is not presently saved by the blood of Jesus, and, apparently, not ever.
© 2011, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.