I was doing some salvation surfing today and came across an interesting article about James Dobson. Apparently, this influential leader does not believe in OSAS like I assumed! As a non-denominational Christian, I always thought that non-Catholics were usually of the OSAS persuasion. I myself have found plenty of NT scripture that tells me even the faithful can walk away from God–and Dobson agrees! Is this surprising to anyone else here?
Here is the article with the link below it.
I understand that your denomination teaches that it is possible for Christians to lose their salvation. I’m sure you are aware that there has been a debate going on for centuries, often referred to as the Calvinistic/Armenian debate, with Scriptures to back up both sides of the argument. Anyway, in light of your belief, following is a message I have received from Dr. James Dobson/Focus on the Family. Please advise if this viewpoint is the same viewpoint you hold to.
You asked about Dr. Dobson's beliefs regarding eternal security. He holds to the classic Armenian view -- that is, he believes God never violates the free will of the individual. Dr. Dobson feels that God does not force people to accept Him, nor will He lock them into an earlier commitment if they subsequently choose deliberately and willfully to disobey His known will. But while Dr. Dobson does not affirm the doctrine of eternal security, he is at the same time confident that our loving God will not banish us from fellowship with Him for our mistakes, human frailties, faults, and failings. God's forgiveness for sin is one of the foundation stones of the gospel message. Still, this does not change Dr. Dobson's conviction that the choice is ultimately ours. He believes it is possible for an individual to remove himself from the grace of God, and exit by the door through which he originally entered -- the will. This means that, in Dr. Dobson's view, it is possible for a born-again Christian to shake his fist in God's face and say in essence, "I will have my own way!" When that occurs, "There remaineth no more sacrifice for sin." This scripture, which is quoted below in its larger context, is one of at least fifty references that may be cited in support of the theological perspective to which Dr. Dobson ascribes: *For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, the Lord shall judge His people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.* Heb. 10:26-31 KJV Dr. Dobson realizes many good Christians have drawn different conclusions regarding this issue. He feels it is an honest difference in understanding on the part of equally committed people who are seeking the truth through imperfect eyes. "We see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." (I Cor. 13:12) We would emphasize the following points. The Bible teaches very clearly that it is possible to fall from faith (1 Corinthians 10:12). It also assures us that God will protect us from falling (1 Corinthians 10:13). The first passage warns us when we are complacent. The second comforts us when we are troubled. Among the other passages that deal with this are Matthew 13:18-23, Hebrews 10:26, and John 10:27-29. We would, therefore, agree with the basic points which Dr. Dobson makes about the possibility of falling from faith but not with some of the other aspects of his answer. The Armenian view held by Dobson affirms that our free will cooperates in our conversion to Christ. We believe that our natural will resists God, and our will only cooperates with the Holy Spirit after conversion. We do not by nature have a free will to make a decision for Christ. We do not by nature have the freedom to choose for Christ. We do have the freedom to chose against him. From our perspective then, Dobson's answer is half right.