I visited the famous Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago as a kid hundreds of times. My father was a Skid Row preacher and regularly preached at PGM, taking men into the Prayer Room after the sermon to lead them to Christ. This was in the 1970's and 1980's when Harry Saulnier was the mission's director. Back then PGM preached the accurate Gospel of free grace, and none of this “turn from your sins” crap that they preach today in 2020.
I was listening to their latest Unshackled program today, titled: “Bill Terrell, Part One” (program #3590 - aired in 2020). I was disgusted as I listened to Bill's testimony. He was a career criminal, who found religion in prison. PGM's favorite GO-TO Bible verse is 2nd Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” This verse simply means that when you get born-again, the indwelling Holy Spirit now lives inside you. Your spiritual understanding has now been opened (1st Corinthians 2:14-16). The Comforter is now with you for the rest of your life. Everything is new! However, this Bible verse does NOT mean that your addictions, lusts and desire to live in wickedness is suddenly taken away! If you listen to the 'Unshackled' program, you will hear Bill say at 19:10 in time:
BILL - “I found a verse I like in 2nd Corinthians 5:17, 'Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.' A new creature. It's funny. I have no desire for drugs or any of the things that controlled my life before. Could that be what it means?
FRIEND - That's exactly what it means!
That is another gospel! Getting saved is simply receiving God's free gift of eternal life. By choosing Jesus Christ as your Savior, this does not miraculously remove your desire to do drugs and forsake “the things that controlled my life.” Pacific Garden Mission (PGM) is horribly perverting the Gospel of free grace, presenting it to lost sinners as a lifestyle that must be lived. By teaching that getting saved requires surrendering CONTROL of your life over to Christ, PGM has added Lordship to God's plan of salvation. That is another gospel!
I am so sick and tired of professed Christians using oxymora (plural of oxymoron) to present the Gospel. An “oxymoron” is use of conflicting words or concepts. I like to use the plural of the word, “oxymorons.” A few moments later in the program, Bill calls his Mom from prison to tell her, “I turned my life over to Jesus!” That is discipleship, not the free gift of eternal life. PGM peddles Christianity as a life-changing experience, mandating reformation to be saved. That is where they go theologically astray. Certainly the Gospel is the answer to the world's problem, and becoming a Christian ought to transform a person as their mind is renewed by the Word of God (Romans 12:1-2).
Albeit, we absolutely need to keep these two things separate from one another, otherwise we are effectively requiring people to keep the law to be saved. Romans 3:20 says that no one can be justified by keeping the law (i.e., works). Romans 3:20, “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” God does not accept works for salvation. The Bible calls these “DEAD WORKS” (Hebrews 6:1). DEAD WORKS include both GOOD WORKS and BAD WORKS. We don't get saved by doing good works, nor by giving up bad works! Salvation is without works!!!
In the same program I just mentioned from 'Unshackled,' Bill's friend tells him: “Yes, I knew there was something different about you. Praise God! It will change your life.” This is the idea that Pacific Garden Mission pounds into people's minds, that giving your life to Jesus will change your life. This is the heresy of Lordship Salvation (aka,, Calvinism), and not the Gospel of free grace!
'Unshackled's Wacky Theology And Damnable False Gospel
The story is about a man named Doug Ehrhardt (Program #3613 - Aired in 2020). After going through drug rehab, Doug returns to his job and looks for “The Jesus People.” He finds Barry, who advises him at 22:59 time in the program that he will someday stand before “The Great White Throne Of Judgment.” That is not true. The Great White Throne Of Judgment is only for the unsaved (Revelation 20:12-15). PGM's theology is not very good at all.
Barry tells Doug that everyone will one day be divided between the sheep and the goats. Again, PGM horribly misinterprets the Bible. “The Judgment Of The Nations” (Matthew 25:32-33) will happen at the end of the 7-year Tribulation period, when Jesus Christ returns at His Second Coming. Only those people who have survived the Tribulation will be judged at this time, not everyone. This event has nothing to do with The Great White Throne Judgment, which happen 1,000 years later! Only the unsaved will appear at The Great White Throne Judgment, to be judged and sentenced to the eternal Lake of Fire. PGM is really off in their theology!!!
“You see what happened here, right Doug. God has given you a second chance. And you better get this right, 'cause one day it's gonna be just you, stand before a Great White Throne in front of the Lord. And on that day, just like the Bible says, before Him shall be gathered all nations. And he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. The sheep (those are the ones who receive Jesus in their heart), they follow Him and they go right on into Heaven. The goats live a life of sin, like you; they follow their own way, and you know where they go, Doug? They go to Hell? Now I'm telling it to you straight, no sugar coating. So you tell me, what's it gonna to be? You gonna be a sheep or a goat?” [emphasis added]
Dear reader, that is another gospel of self-righteousness! You don't go to Hell because you live in sin! You go to Hell because you reject the free gift of eternal life through faith alone in Jesus Christ. At 24:59 in the program, Doug heretically says:
“I repented of all my sins, all my past! And I believed in Jesus, to be the leader of my life!” —Doug Ehrhardt (Program #3613 - Aired in 2020)
That is a counterfeit gospel! That is not what the inspired Word of God teaches. Sadly, religious reprobates have taken control over Pacific Garden Mission, who are not saved. Harry Saulnier NEVER would have allowed this garbage theology to be taught on 'Unshackled.' No one has ever repented of all their sins! You cannot show me anywhere in the Scriptures that requires a person to repent from their sins, or turn from their sins, to be saved. That is the garbage that Pastor Marty Herron and Dr. Steve Pettit teach, and the unsaved Dr. John MacArthur crowd teaches, not the inspired Holy Bible!!!
'Unshackled' is theologically confusing at best! I am saddened that all of their hard work at PGM and 'Unshackled,' literally tens of thousands of hours over recent decades, is mostly in vain. Galatians 5:4, “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” The dear folks at Pacific Garden Mission are fallen from grace, because they add reformation to the grace of God. They are not merely off a bit in the their doctrinal teachings, they are preaching ANOTHER GOSPEL!!! ...
2nd Corinthians 11:3-4, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”
Who hath bewitched you Oh Pacific Garden Mission? (Galatians 3:1-3). Their 'Unshackled' programs are filled with junk theology, preaching the counterfeit gospel of Lordship Salvation. The idea that a person must turn away from their sinful behavior to be saved is human reformation, not the Gospel of free grace. Eternal life is the free gift of God, obtained by faith alone. Mark 7:9, “And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” Satan has crept into most churches, missions, Bible colleges and religious institutions today, preaching a counterfeit gospel of partial faith in Christ plus works!
Arthur Valder's False Gospel
In another 'Unshackled' program about Arthur Valder (program #3615 - aired in 2020), Arthur says at 17:18 time in the presentation that he needs Jesus in his life. In the conversation that follows with his friend Norm, we hear more junk theology. At 20:15 in the program, Arthur's friend Norm advises him: “When we come to Christ, we have to do our best to make a mends when we have wronged people!” That is another gospel. PGM horribly fails to make a clear distinction between discipleship and salvation. No, we don't have to do penitence (righting our wrongs) to be saved. Salvation is not penance (sorrow for sins). It is not reformation (turning for sins). Salvation is a new birth, by REGENERATION!!! Jesus said in John 3:7, “YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN”!!!
Here are some excellent helpful quotes, showing the incompatibility between Lordship Salvation and the Gospel Of Free Grace:
"It is an inexcusable error to confront sinners with problems that concern the Christian life and call upon them to make promises regarding them. An unsaved person is never called upon to surrender himself to God. The saving act is in no instance represented as our 'giving ourselves to God'; it is, on the contrary, taking His Son as our Savior." —Ryrie, Charles. Balancing the Christian Life. Moody Press, Inc., 1969 (p. 170)."The second approach finds faith in the gospel alone an 'easy Believism' and seeks to add something to faith in order to accomplish salvation. To repent is to 'change one's mind,' and to believe is to remove one's trust from that in which it has rested and place it in Christ." Howard, William. "Is Faith Enough to Save?" —Bibliotheca Sacra. January-March, 1942 (p.99)."This kind of faith is not 'easy believism'. It is not easy to say, 'I can't save myself, I must recognize that there is something wrong with me, and I must seek help from someone else.'" —Hook, H. Phillip. "A Biblical Definition of Saving Faith." Bibliotheca Sacra. April-June, 1964 (p. 133, 138)."Eternal life is free. Discipleship is immeasurably hard. The former is attained by faith alone, the latter by a faith that works... the former brings with it the righteousness of God so that a man is 'justified freely by his grace' (Romans 3:24). The latter develops a personal righteousness, based on good deeds, so that a man was also 'justified by works' (James 2:24). The former constituted the believer God's workmanship, the latter fulfilled the wonderful purpose for which he had been created. The former cost man nothing, the latter could cost him everything, including life itself." —Hodges, Zane C. The Hungry Inherit. Moody Press, Inc., 1972 (p. 114, 115)."There is a vast difference between coming to Jesus for salvation and coming after Jesus for service. Coming to Christ makes one a believer, while coming after Christ makes one a disciple. All believers are not disciples. To become a believer one accepts the invitation of the Gospel, to be a disciple one obeys the challenge to a life of dedicated service and separation. Salvation comes through the sacrifice of Christ; discipleship comes only by sacrifice of self and surrender to His call for devoted service. Salvation is free, but discipleship involves paying the price of a separated walk. Salvation can't be lost because it depends upon God's faithfulness, but discipleship can be lost because it depends upon our faithfulness." —DeHaan, M. R. Hebrews. Zondervan Publishing House, 1959 (p. 117)."For the unregenerate man, repentance is the change of mind whereby he turns from unbelief to faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ." Post, Roger. "The Meanings of the Words Translated 'Repent' and 'Repentance' in the New Testament." —Master's Thesis, Wheaton College, June 1972 (p. 80)."There are those who, in their zeal to get people to turn from their sinful ways and receive the Lord, almost put repentance on a par with believing... Repentance, as it relates to Christ, means to change our minds about Him, who He is and what He's done to provide forgiveness and deliverance from our sins. When we place faith in Jesus as having taken our place personally on the cross and borne the penalty due our sins, then we're automatically repenting, because we couldn't accept Him in this way without having had to change our minds in some way concerning Him." —Lindsey, Hal. The Liberation of Planet Earth. Zondervan Publishing House, 1974 (p. 136, 137)."Discipleship is frequently equated with salvation and often erroneously made a condition for becoming a Christian". —Pentecost, J. Dwight. Design for Discipleship. Zondervan Publishing House, 1971 (p. 11)."Certainly discipleship is a most important aspect of our relation to Christ, but it belongs to the sphere of Christian life rather than entrance upon that life... One does not become a disciple in order to become a Christian, but because he has become a Christian by faith in the Savior, it is fitting that he embark upon a life of discipleship". —Harrison, Everett F. "Must Christ be Lord to Be Savior?-No." Eternity, September 1959 (p. 14)."There is no more piously subtle abrogation of the Gospel than to tell a Sinner that he must not only believe in the Savior, but dedicate himself to do God's will, crown the Savior Lord of his life, etc., etc. Obviously, dedication and service are highly desirable, but they are the privilege and the duty of the saved, never a condition of salvation for the unsaved (cf. Romans 12:1, 2)." —Unger, Merrill F. God is Waiting to Meet You. Moody Press, 1975 (p. 117, 118)."People are sometimes led to believe that there is saving value in some public confession of Christ, or profession of a decision. "With the heart man believeth unto righteousness." This is salvation. "With the mouth confession is made unto salvation." This is the voice of the newborn child speaking to and of its father. The only condition on which one may be saved is to believe." —Chafer, Lewis Sperry. Salvation. Dunham Publishing Company, 1917 (p. 46).
Have you been deceived by Calvinism? It is commonly known today as “Lordship Salvation”! This is not the Gospel dear friend. You don't trust Jesus as your Lord or King to go to Heaven, you simply trust Him only as your personal Savior!!!