Tag Archives: Arlen L. Chitwood

Chitwood omits “conditional” salvation in revision of book

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).

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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.

Advocates of “Hamitic curse” to speak at WOK conference

Each has spoken at the “Word of the Kingdom” conference before, so this is not exactly “news.” Arlen Chitwood, Royce Powell and Jim Brooks are again scheduled to speak at the annual conference, which is hosted by Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Jacksonville, Florida (see link). Both Chitwood and Powell advocate the “Hamitic curse,” the idea that blacks are biblically cursed; Brooks hosts sermons (including Chitwood’s and Powell’s) on it. In the past, the conference has featured African speakers, and its organizer, John Herbert, has spoken against racism. He did, however, state that he was unsure about the curse.

See the following:

Kingdom seekers split over race issue
Chitwood and others respond to Wilson’s racial diatribe

Editorial note: Several have asked why I continue to report on the matter. Fact is, people within the “Word of the Kingdom” movement continue to advocate the curse. It can hardly “go away” if new voices continually speak for it.

“R Powell” endorses A. Edwin Wilson’s book

An “R Powell,” possibly Royce Powell who succeeded A. Edwin Wilson in pastoral ministry in the 1980s, has written a review of Wilson’s book at Amazon.com, endorsing the text. Here are his comments:

I originally received a copy of the Select Writings of A Edwin Wilson from the Editor, Arlen Chitwood in the early 8o’s, and have referred to it many times over the years for additional insight when I taught a bible class. I recently decided to re-read the book in full and found new insights in the Word of God. So impressed with its content, I purchased two additional books as gifts for my pastor and my sister, who pastors a church in Chicago.

As far as the review that Mark Adams wrote, it it appears his reviews on any Christian writing were mostly negative. — source

I have endeavored several times to contact Powell through various intermediaries, but have thus far been unsuccessful. If “R Powell” is Royce Powell, then these comments shed important light on the racial views of contemporary advocates of the “Word of the Kingdom,” which Wilson founded. Powell spoke last year at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Jacksonville, Florida, and his sermons are promoted by the Los Gatos branch of that movement.

One sermon in particular deserves attention, for in it Powell avows that certain races shouldn’t intermingle. The title of that sermon is “The Three Sons of Noah” — direct link to mp3 file: http://www.calvarybiblechurchtn.org/images/powell/100_The_Three_Sons_of_Noah.mp3 — it is found at this page.

There seems to be a concerted effort to defend the reputation of the late A. Edwin Wilson, who advocated segregation through the 1980s. Radio preacher Arlen Banks reposted Selected Writings of A. Edwin Wilson after having pulled the text from his website over concerns that some of the content was not appropriate. Banks later disavowed those concerns. John Chitwood, Arlen Chitwood’s son (Arlen edited Wilson’s book) also posted a review at Amazon.com, saying Wilson was not a racist.

As regards “R Powell’s” assertion that my “reviews on any Christian writing were mostly negative,” I can only reply that I do not regard Wilson’s book as a Christian writing.

Can it be that salvation is conditional?

Arlen Chitwood boldly asserts that free grace is limited to one aspect of a person’s being, ones spirit. He explains, “The salvation of the soul, unlike the salvation of the spirit, is conditional” (p. 13, Salvation of the Soul, emphasis is Chitwood’s).

I have inquired of many, especially among those who promulgate the “Word of the Kingdom,” as to where such an idea is taught in scriptures. Where does it say that salvation (in this case “soul salvation”) is conditional upon how one lives, not upon the finished work of Christ at Calvary. Thus far, no one has presented such a scripture.

If you can find one, please comment

Chitwood: Salvation is not entirely by grace

Though Arlen L. Chitwood teaches that salvation is by grace, he limits unconditional salvation to one aspect of a person’s being, the spirit. A believer’s other aspects — the soul and body — are saved conditionally.

“The salvation of the soul, unlike the salvation of the spirit, is conditional,” he writes in Salvation of the Soul, the Saving of a Life (p. 13, emphasis is Chitwood’s). “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.”

Chitwood describes redemption as having three phases: salvation of the spirit by grace, realized at the cross; salvation of the soul by works, realized through human achievement; and, salvation of the body, a consequence of soul salvation (in other words, it just happens).

Chitwood never clarifies how salvation can be entirely by grace but also by works. In truth, it is either one or the other.

Two Salvations

In some of his writings, he appears to limit “soul salvation” to judgments rendered at the dawn of the millennial kingdom. “The former [spirit salvation] has to do with eternal verities and the latter [soul salvation] with millennial verities” (ibid, p. 36). Reduced to attaining or losing rewards in the kingdom (cf. Matt. 6:19-20), his theology is innocuous (and, frankly, quite unoriginal). But, he draws such a careful distinction between “spirit salvation” and “soul salvation,” that each becomes a distinct form of salvation.

Significantly, Chitwood makes this point in Salvation by Grace Through Faith:

The “spirit” of unsaved man, associated with “darkness,” is dead. It is a part of the totally depraved man, with his “body of… death,” in which there dwells “no good thing” (Rom. 7:18, 24). But, with the movement of the Spirit — breathing life into unsaved, lifeless man — man’s spirit is made alive and, at the same time, separated from his soul (Heb. 4:12). — page 8

His use of Heb. 4:12 is disturbing because the text makes no mention of a person’s spirit and soul being divided at the moment of salvation. The text simply says that the word of God searches every aspect of a person’s being. More troubling is what follows:

“The ‘soul’ remains within the sphere of darkness” (ibid.).

In other words, the soul of a believer is not presently saved, and is not saved by grace through blood redemption. Soul salvation, to use Chitwood’s own phrasing, is “unlike” spirit salvation.

How, Then, Is One Saved?

Chitwood never explains how the soul and body ever come to be saved. If by Christ at the cross, why not presently? Why must the soul and body be saved at a future time? If by achieving rewards (i.e., positions in the millennial kingdom), how is that not salvation by works? How can unconditional salvation be conditional?

Ultimately, what is the mode of salvation for the soul and body?

Chitwood becomes so confused on the point that he actually argues that Christians are unequally yoked within themselves![1. In a previous article, I identified Gnostic tendencies in Chitwood’s writings. See http://kingdomexclusion.com/?p=73.]

Within this unredeemed body lie two opposing entities, each seeking dominion — a redeemed spirit, and an unredeemed soul. The unredeemed soul is housed in an unredeemed body, and the two are mutually compatible. But the redeemed spirit housed alongside an unredeemed soul in an unredeemed body experiences no compatibility with either of the other two at all. Compatibility is not possible, for “what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?” (II Cor. 6:14). — Salvation of the Soul, p. 8, emphasis is Chitwood’s

Note that the spirit, saved by grace through faith, is “redeemed,” but the soul, apparently not saved by grace through faith, is “unredeemed.”

What is particularly tragic about Chitwood is that he goes great lengths to teach that salvation is by grace — “All man can possibly do is simply receive, through believing on the Son, that which has already been done on his behalf” (Salvation by Grace Through Faith, X) — but he limits that form of salvation to the spirit. Unquestionably, he teaches that the soul and body are in “darkness,” “unredeemed,” and saved “conditionally.”

That, in the final assessment, is not salvation by grace.

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Footnotes:

The curse of the “Word of the Kingdom”

A “J Kirk Donovan” lately commented here that “the breaking down of national and ethnic barriers, in not only the US but the world, is contrary to the Scripture’s teaching.” As typical of the disciples of A. Edwin Wilson, he declined to provide scriptural evidence. The reason is obvious: there is no such scripture.

Therefore, it is ironic that those who teach the “Word of the Kingdom” often accuse “mainstream” Christianity of rejecting the Bible.

Should not the case of A. Edwin Wilson serve as a warning? That perhaps the “Word of the Kingdom” — steeped in race hatred and bigotry — is flawed? (How is it possible that they can listen to Wilson’s sermons and not blanch? How is it possible that they can read “Selected Writings” and not be sickened?)

Let us review:

1. They teach that salvation is conditional. — Where is this found in scripture?

2. They teach that so-called carnal Christians will be judged in the millennial kingdom. — Where is this stated?

3. They teach that Christians are the “unbelievers” of 2 Cor. 6:14. — Paul calls Christians disciples of Satan?

4. They teach that blacks are cursed. — Again, where is this stated?

The ungodliness of the so-called “Word of the Kingdom” is breathtaking. It is quite appalling. It is not simply a “perspective,” as some are apt to say, but a complete rewrite of scripture. These disciples of Wilson and Chitwood seek to make Christ’s “Yes” a “No,” and his “No” a “Yes.”

That any of them should apologize for Wilson’s racial teachings is evidence enough against the so-called “Word of the Kingdom.” The teaching has now become a curse.

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Postscript: I have been accused, unjustly, of attacking a “godly” man. Well, listen to this man’s sermon (1973):

[audio:A-Edwin-Wilson-1973-04-18.mp3]

Are these the words of a godly man?

Editorial: No accountability among kingdom seekers

First, who is A. Edwin Wilson? He is the originator of a teaching called the “Word of the Kingdom.” He died in 1987, but his teaching lives on, principally in the ministry of Arlen L. Chitwood. What is the “Word of the Kingdom”? It is the belief that the salvation is conditional — that Christians will suffer the hurt of the second death for carnality. Since 2007, I have opposed this teaching, outlining my objections in article after article, maintaining that “Word of the Kingdom” propounds works-salvation.

But in 2009, sometime in November or December, I came across another reason to oppose this teaching: race hatred. As it turns out, Wilson was a segregationist. Given his Southern origins, this should not have come as a surprise. But it did. After all, “Word of the Kingdom” says Christians need to be aware that they are accountable for their actions.

Apparently, this is not so.

Had Wilson merely been a product of his age, I suppose I would have written off his views as an unfortunate circumstance of history. But there is more. Through the 1970s, Wilson continued to preach that blacks were cursed, and that no equality should be afforded to them. In 1981, his admirers felt his teachings should be memorialized in a published collection of his writings. Chitwood edited and promoted this text, callously disregarding its racist content.

Since publishing several articles on Wilson’s racial theories, only one advocate of the “Word of the Kingdom” has stated that Wilson was wrong on the race issue. Pastor John Herbert of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Jacksonville, Florida, disavowed Wilson’s position on race, saying, “I would not adhere to that under any circumstances.” In this regard, he stands alone.

The Response of Others:

Does accountability matter at all? The hypocrisy of these advocates of the “Word of the Kingdom” is galling.

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Radio preacher says A. Edwin Wilson “not a racist”

Responding to inquiries from KingdomExclusion.com regarding a new website promoting the work of the late A. Edwin Wilson, radio preacher Arlen Banks asserted that Wilson “is not a racist.” The website, http://aewilson.org, features Wilson’s writings and provides links to Wilson’s audio sermons.

Wilson, who died in 1987, taught that blacks will be cursed until the millennial reign of Christ.

Banks said he created the website to counter one created by KingdomExclusion.com (http://aedwinwilson.com). “As for the web site that I created, Wilson supports himself with his own writings and audio, I add nothing. You only show your disturbed view of a portion of Wilson’s Writings on your site. The site in question aewilson.org gives the reader both sides of the spectrum.”

An Internet search of “aewilson.org” yields no results concerning Wilson’s teachings on race.

In December last year, KingdomExclusion.com reported that in the 1950s through the 1980s, Wilson opposed integration as a work of Satan. The website also reported that Wilson taught that blacks are cursed, and that blacks have special proclivities toward sexual sins. Wilson also asserted that blacks should occupy “a position of national and personal servitude” until the millennial kingdom.[1. http://kingdomexclusion.com/?p=819.]

Answering e-mail inquiries, Banks stated that “A. Edwin Wilson is not a racist. Arlen Chitwood, is not a racist. Royce Powell, is not a racist. I, Arlen Banks, am not a racist.”

However, KingdomExclusion.com has identified several racist teachings from some of these prominent figures in the “Word of the Kingdom” movement:

  • Wilson was an avowed segregationist[2. http://kingdomexclusion.com/?p=262]
  • Powell, Wilson’s successor at Daytona Heights Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee, taught that certain races shouldn’t intermingle[3. See Powell’s sermon posted here: http://www.calvarybiblechurchtn.org/rpowell.htm (under “The Three Sons of Noah”).]
  • Chitwood edited and promoted Wilson’s teachings on blacks, endorsing Wilson as a Bible teacher “pre-eminently qualified” to speak on such subjects; and, he wrote independently that blacks are indeed cursed[4. http://kingdomexclusion.com/?p=1223]

Banks seems more concerned to defend the “Word of the Kingdom,” which Wilson and Chitwood originated, than to answer questions regarding the racial views of these teachers. Banks regards all of these men as “God’s Preachers.”

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John Chitwood declares Wilson’s book not “racist”

In reply to a review of Selected Writings of A. Edwin Wilson, which I posted at Amazon.com, John Chitwood (the son of the editor of that book), lately wrote that Wilson’s avowal of segregation should not be construed as reflecting racist sentiment. The book was published in 1981, and contains a chapter, written in the 1950s, lambasting integration as a work of Satan. In his four-star review of the book, Chitwood wrote, “Segregation was a way of life at the time of Wilson’s writing, and it is incorporated into the theme, but certainly not in the spirit of Mark Adams’ shrieking claims of racism.”

He went on to write, “Mark Adams does NOT want you to read this book!” This is untrue. Why anyone would want to read the racist ramblings of an uneducated Southern preacher from the Jim Crow era escapes me, however I would recommend the text as a case study for racism in that period.

Continue reading John Chitwood declares Wilson’s book not “racist”

Price: Redeemed from the curse

“The curse connected with Gen. 9:25, 26b, 27b, of necessity, remains in effect today…” — Arlen L. Chitwood, frequent guest speaker at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship

“Is there any contemporary people group under the Hamitic curse? Don’t know. The Bible doesn’t tell us. The Bible’s genealogies don’t carry into the present day.” — Leadership at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Los Gatos, California

“People in the Lord Jesus Christ cannot be under a curse…” — Pastor John Herbert, Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Jacksonville, Florida

What saith you?