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.