General objections to the teachings of Arlen L. Chitwood

People have e-mailed, asking me what is my principal objection to the teachings of Arlen L. Chitwood. Firstly, it is that he asserts that the “salvation of the soul” is conditional.

Once the salvation of the spirit has been effected, making it possible for the indwelling Spirit of God to impart spiritual truth into and control an individual’s life through his own spirit, then man’s unredeemed soul occupies the center of attention. 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. —Salvation of the Soul, p. 14

Whether humans are saved comprehensively (all at once, by one act, cf. Rom. 5) or successively (in stages, as Chitwood argues) is not the principal concern. It’s that Chitwood argues that some stages of “salvation” are conditional.

The second objection is that his system is speculative, though he insists it is exactly what the Bible says. He condemns anyone who does not embrace his teaching, which he calls the “Word of the Kingdom,” charging that today’s ministers “false teachers.” Surprisingly, when all is said and done, he offers nothing remarkable.

He argues that we must run the race according to a set of instructions in order to attain the kingdom, yet, ironically, he never describes what these instructions are. One can read the entire of Run to Win, and never encounter the set of instructions necessary for the salvation of the soul. As near as I can tell, according to that text, one must be faithful — and what church isn’t preaching that message?

More detailed objections are contained in two articles (here and here), but in general, my objection is that he makes salvation or some part of it conditional. I do not believe that is consistent with scripture.

© 2009, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

6 thoughts on “General objections to the teachings of Arlen L. Chitwood

  1. I think this guy, Alen Chitwood is a Calvinist. His teachings seem to lean to theirs that we do not have a say in being saved. Am I correct?

  2. I don’t believe Chitwood would call himself a Calvinist. Generally, he refuses to admit that his theology has human antecedents, insisting that what he teaches is “what the Bible teaches.” That’s convient, but not convincing. He does not particularly think out the consequences of his theology. For example, he never explains how the soul is ultimately saved. I find that remarkable, but understandable. Analyzing each part of scripture out of context, Chitwood is unable to present a unified system of theology. He claims soul salvation is conditional, but then ultimately unconditional. He never explains that contradiction.

    Regarding Calvinism, I do not believe Chitwood has spent any amount of time preaching the gospel, nor do his teaches affirm the importance of evangelism. I do, then, get the impression that someone (man or God) outside his system of religion has to bring people in. I can hardly think of anyone who converted to WOK from within that movement.

  3. Alen Chitwood is definitely not a Calvinist. In reply to Martie with all due Christian respect and I hope humility; Calvinists do believe that a person has a part to play in their salvation, they must believe, I have never met one who does not believe that. Martie to me seems to use the term Calvinist in a derogatory sort of a way. It was Calvinists that led the way in the reformation and has given the Western world the freedom from popery it has enjoyed up until today.
    But the object of this blog is not Calvinism it is Alen Chitwood and I am grateful to Brother Mark Adams for the relevant information on this man’s erroneous teaching. There is enough division within the church without someone like this who in my estimation, has in his own opinion discovered something new or was lying dormant for 2,000 years that other believers have missed. Well-done Mark.

  4. Arlen Chitoods teaching are very deep which I love. All you here from preacher are evangelism. There is no better teaching
    teachings than Arlen Chitwood. I just wish he was closer to where I live. Most churches are entertainment. Nothing more importand than deep teachings of God

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