ANSWERS TO COMMON & NOT-SO-COMMON
QUESTIONS ABOUT ELLERSLIE
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What is Ellerslie Mission Society?
Ellerslie Mission Society is a non-profit organization founded in 1998 by bestselling authors and speakers Eric and Leslie Ludy, with the expressed purpose of training up a generation of God-fearing, God-adoring Christians to go into all the world and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. Ellerslie Mission Society is the covering organization for Ellerslie Discipleship Training, and is overseen by a board of directors and advisors.
What is the scope of ministry at Ellerslie?
Simply put – we keep quite busy! Ellerslie is actively engaged in the following programs and ministries:
- Twenty-week Semester-Long Training Program (Summer 2017 is the last semester available in this model)
- Practicum Training Program
- The Church at Ellerslie – Sunday morning services at our campus in Windsor, CO, attended by our students, people from the local community, and visitors from around the world (more info here). Our Sunday services are also streamed by thousands around the world each week.
- Ellerslie Prep Academy — Training children in the bravehearted faith
- Ellerslie Press – the printing and publishing division of Ellerslie Mission Society
- Ellerslie Films – the film department of Ellerslie Mission Society (view some of our short films here)
- Ellerslie Missions – the missions and outreach department of Ellerslie Mission Society that sends short and long term missionaries around the world
How did the vision for Ellerslie originate?
At age twenty-two, Eric Ludy was in agony of soul. He was seeing the reality of his own personal weakness in attempting to live out the grand commission of Biblical living. He greatly desired a “father of the faith” that could help him learn the “how” of the Christian life, but never really found the mentor-relationship he was seeking. This desire for a “father of the faith” turned into a long-term prayer request. A prayer for a place where eager young Christian men and women could go in order to be trained in the triumphant Life found in Christ Jesus. Young Eric Ludy penned a vision statement for what is now known as “Ellerslie” in July of 1993. This twenty-page treatise holds an uncanny similarity to the Ellerslie Training model that now is in operation in Windsor, Colorado. Seventeen years of prayer forged this training program, and we cherish that fact.
Is “Ellerslie” a blend of Eric and Leslie Ludy’s first names?
Nope. “Ellerslie” is actually the name of the birthplace and elder estate of the Scottish liberator, Sir William Wallace. In the book, The Scottish Chiefs (circa 1810, by Jane Porter), the Ellerslie estate in Scotland is described as a “refuge of the friendless, and the comfort of the unhappy” and “those whom the lawless plunderer had driven from their houses or stripped of their covering, found shelter, clothing, and food at the house of Sir William Wallace.” Wallace’s Ellerslie estate was burned to the ground by the English in the late 1300’s, and this terrible loss led to his rise as the hero of Scottish freedom. The name “Ellerslie” was inspired by that legacy. We desire Ellerslie to be such a place of beginnings – a birthplace of heroic souls – men and women built strong to be spent for the weak ones of this earth.
Is Ellerslie a cult?
Um, no. When we heard this question our first thought was, “you’re kidding, right?” Anyone who has spent time on our campus would know this notion is completely outrageous. However, if you are one of those extra-vigilant parents who’s never heard of the Ludys or Ellerslie before and you just want to make sure you aren’t sending your precious child off to some strange Kool-Aid drinking, robe-wearing compound where everyone gets brainwashed and/or poisoned ... then we guess we can’t blame you for asking! But seriously, if Ellerslie was a cult, we sure would be an ineffective one. We train students for short stints, then send them off to go and do whatever it is that God is calling them to. That’s a funny way to control people’s lives. As a matter of fact, it’s ironic that we’ve been asked this question, because we are very passionate about exposing cults and standing against unbiblical spiritual control and legalistic oppression within the Body of Christ. If you would like to dig a little deeper into our position on cults, we encourage you to listen to Pastor Ludy’s powerful message entitled, “A Cult Leader’s Worst Nightmare,” read his book "Are These Really My Pants," but even better, come visit Ellerslie! We are in no way an isolated or “closed” environment, and visitors are always welcome. The moment you step onto our campus it is clear that our ministry atmosphere is beautiful, refreshing, liberating, honorable, edifying, Christ-glorifying, Truth-based, non-controlling, non-oppressive, Biblically solid, and, well, the polar opposite of a cult! (If it sounds like we really love it here ... we do!)
Does Ellerslie have an orphanage on its campus?
Not really. But we do typically host between fifteen to twenty international children at our Ellerslie campus about ten months out of each year, as an extension of our ministry partnership with His Little Feet International Children’s Choir. It has been a huge, huge privilege for us to provide a “home base” for the His Little Feet children that come to the United States from all around the world for a year of traveling, discipleship, and ministry. We have hosted children from Haiti, Ethiopia, Honduras, and India, and have seen their lives radically transformed by the ministry of His Little Feet. So, no, we are not an orphanage, but we have a big heart for the orphan! For more information about the ministry of His Little Feet, visit www.hislittlefeet.org.
What is the Ellerslie Discipleship Training School?
Typically referred to as “Ellerslie” by those have attended, Ellerslie Discipleship Training is a collegiate-level Biblical discipleship program located in Windsor, Colorado that trains men and women of all ages in the foundations of the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Every year, approximately 150 students are trained with the goal of equipping them to unabashedly represent the true Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world. The teaching staff includes pastor and bestselling author Eric Ludy, along with several other pastors and guest speakers. Though the majority of those who attend Ellerslie Discipleship Training are college-aged, there are also men and women of a variety of ages and conservative evangelical backgrounds, as well as pastors and leaders from around the world, who attend this program.
During the twenty-weeks of training through Ellerslie, we desire for our students to encounter the majesty, loveliness, and worthiness of Jesus Christ, personally behold the efficacy of His amazing Cross-work, be wholly set free from the cyclical patterns of defeat that have encumbered their lives, and powerfully begin a dynamic spiritual growth process that turns them outward from their previous self-centered and fleshly existence, to pour out their strength in bringing life to the weak and dying around them. Please see the 20-Week Training section of our website for more information.
The Practicum Training Program is a continuation of the twenty-week Semester-long Discipleship Training Program. It maintains the same core intentionality of direction but augments the foundational discipleship with specific training in the formation of Christian thought, skilled handling of the Scriptures, and forceful eloquence of the Gospel. Please see the Practicum Training section of our website for more information.
The quintessential attribute of the students that come to Ellerslie is raw spiritual hunger for more of God. Students that come to Ellerslie come because they believe there is more to the Christian faith than what they have personally seen and experienced. And they want more. They dare to ask for more. Though most of our students fall into the collegiate demographic, every semester also has married couples, families, pastors, and elder Christians in a season of transition. We have students of all ages, representing nearly every conservative evangelical denomination from all across the U.S. and Canada, as well as from many other countries around the world.
In an average semester there are typically ten different live instructors and ten additional “legendary heroes of the faith instructors” brought in via audio/video (ie. Paris Reidhead, Ian Thomas, A.W. Tozer, Leonard Ravenhill, etc.). Pastor Eric Ludy teaches approximately fifty of the one-hundred-forty sessions. Leslie Ludy presents three to four sessions alongside Eric, and teaches multiple sessions on Set Apart Femininity for the female students. Other teachers in the Ellerslie Discipleship Training include Pastor Nathan Johnson, Pastor Dan McConnaughey, Director Philip Hartman, Mrs. Sandi McConnaughey, and several other guest speakers, depending on the specific semester. For more information on our Ellerslie pastors and teachers, please visit our staff page.
Our Statement of faith is available at another location on the Ellerslie website. Click here to view it.
There are over 150 messages in Ellerslie’s core curriculum, each message is 1.5 to 2 hours in length. But in those 400+ hours of training, there is a very defined intent and direction to the training. In simple terms, it is to establish Jesus Christ at the very center of the Christian life, and to establish His Cross-work at the very center of all doctrine, reasoning, and living. We believe that the Christian life is meant to actually work in a real-world functional way, and not just in a theoretical academic sense. We believe that God has supplied to each of us, in and through the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross and His subsequent resurrection, ascension, and out-poured Spirit, everything we need in order to live out a triumphant life on this earth. The following are several key sermons by Pastor Eric Ludy that clearly enunciates the heart of Ellerslie’s training:
- The Majestic Jesus (topic: Jesus Christ)
- The Two Trees (topic: Faith)
- The Power To Do It (topic: Grace)
- The Position of Victory (topic: Reckoning the Truth)
- Canon (topic: Scripture)
- Christophany (topic: Centrality of Jesus Christ)
- Humility and Hutzpah (topic: Holy Spirit)
- The Praying Church (topic: Prayer)
- Generosity (topic: Generosity)
- Ruddy for War (topic: Leadership)
Absolutely. Just because we give reasonable allowance on Scriptural points where there are varying conclusions (ie. soteriology, eschatology, head coverings, spiritual gifts, etc.) does not mean we don’t have a spine in our belief system. We believe that true historic Christianity is defined by five key doctrinal positions. And it is on these five doctrinal pillars that Ellerslie is built and constructed.
The Reformation era brought about what Christian history refers to as the Five Solae that differentiated the True Church from the Apostate church (Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Sola Christo, and Sola Gloria). Ellerslie embraces the Five Solae as written below; and marked by the love and kindness of Jesus Christ, here we as a ministry stand unbending, incorrigible, and immovable.
The Five Solae of Ellerslie Mission Society
1. Sola Scriptura (By God’s Word Alone)
God’s Word is, in fact and in truth, God’s Word.
The 66 canonized books of Scripture are of Divine origin and bear the very nature of God Almighty (they are pure, holy, unchanging, without lie, and wholly authoritative). What the Word of God says, goes. When it speaks, the true believer doesn’t argue, negotiate, or critique – rather he bends his knee, submits, and says, “Yes, Lord!” There is no other book, outside the Bible, that bears such position, honor, and authority.
2. Sola Christo (By Christ Alone)
Jesus is the ONLY WAY unto the Father.
Outside of Jesus and His work upon the Cross, there is no hope for man to enter into the perfectly righteous domain of God. But, in Jesus, a way has been made to access the Throne Room of Grace. That Way is Jesus, Himself. And by faith, a believer is enabled to enter into the Person of Christ, and thus be clothed by His very righteousness, His atoning, reconciling, redeeming, regenerating work upon the Cross. And by faith, a believer is able to share in Christ’s death, His burial, His resurrection, and His ascension. Thus in Christ Jesus, a believer is brought near unto the Father, adopted as a son or daughter of the King, and made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. There is no other Way, outside of Jesus Christ, that any man or woman can approach the Throne of Grace and be reconciled unto the Father.
Jesus is God.
As God’s Word is Truth, so is God’s Word made flesh, Jesus Christ. Like the Scriptures that testify of Him, He too is of Divine origin. He is God Almighty, revealing the pure, holy, unchanging, guileless, and wholly authoritative nature of Jehovah God. There is no other man, outside of Jesus, that bears such position, honor, and authority.
3. Sola Fide (By Faith Alone)
Faith in Jesus is the ONLY way to access the Salvation offered at the Cross.
Trusting, child-like confidence in the work of Jesus upon the Cross is the ONLY means by which a sinner can gain access to the saving grace manifest in Christ. “Without faith, it is impossible to please God …” (Hebrews 11:6). And there is no other means, outside of faith, that any man or woman may access the grace, the righteousness, the salvation, and the mercies of God.
4. Sola Gratia (By Grace Alone)
Grace is the ONLY means by which a Christian can live out the Triumphant life of Jesus.
Without Grace there is no power for a Christian to live as they ought to live. Without Grace there is no power for salvation – no victory over Sin and the Flesh. For, a man or woman in his/her own natural power cannot imitate Jesus’ perfect life. They must receive the impartation of Jesus (or grace) in order to live as they ought to live. And there is no other means, outside of Grace, that any man or woman can live righteously as they ought.
5. Sola Deo Gloria (For the Glory of Christ Alone)
The Glory of Jesus Christ is our Ultimate Goal.
The Christian must decrease that Christ Jesus might increase. There is only One that saves – Jesus. There is only One that is righteous – Jesus. There is only One that is holy, One that is good, One that is perfect, One that is sinless, and One that has done it. And this One is the focal point – the entire fixation of the Christian life. It is all about Him, all for Him, and all to Him. His glory, His praise, His worship, and His renown is the great end of the man or woman that believes.
Ellerslie is congruent with Christian denominations that emphasize the power, preservation, purity, and pedigree of Scripture, the centrality of Jesus and His Cross-work, the infilling of the Almighty Holy Spirit of Grace, the expectancy of triumph in the daily walk of a believer, and the great aim of the Church being the Glory of God. We have every conservative denominational persuasion represented in our student body – from pentecostal, to anabaptist, to reformed, to methodist, to charismatic. The Ellerslie staff consists of Christian influencers from a varied background of denominational frameworks. But there is a strong agreement on the fact that Jesus Christ and the work of the Cross is the primary doctrinal baseline and reasoning point from which our training springs forth. For more specifics about our core beliefs, we encourage you to read our statement of belief and listen to the following messages from Eric Ludy:
How do you handle the more controversial and divisive issues of soteriology (salvation) and eschatology (end times) at Ellerslie?
One of the primary things that makes Ellerslie so unique is the broad base of denominational persuasions among our students and Church members. We have strong Calvinists, staunch Arminianists, and even Open-view soteriologists that pass through. We have preterists, pre-tribs, mid-tribs, post-tribs, and every millennial persuasion in-between-and-surrounding represented in our midst. So how do we keep the peace? We make it very clear what we are about. We are not about a soteriological viewpoint or an eschatological viewpoint. We are about Jesus Christ and Him Crucified. We ask our students to lay down their differences during their brief time at Ellerslie Discipleship Training, and focus wholly on the person of Jesus Christ as revealed in Scripture and behold the mighty work of the Cross. Ellerslie believes that true spiritual unity is possible if everyone fixes their compass to the North Star of Scripture – Jesus and the Cross. This method has garnered extraordinary results that defy the contentious nature of the modern Christian system of denominational identification and line drawing. We in no way want to lessen the clarity of Scripture on any point. We do not avoid speaking straight on any given point of doctrine, but we are sensitive to the fact that certain peripheral aspects of doctrine must be handled with gracious dexterity, due to the wide variety of differing viewpoints.
At Ellerslie we teach our students that the Bible is the record of Truth. It cannot lie. It is without error and without flaw. And when it talks about tongues and spiritual gifts it is 100% correct in its statements. That said, we teach that the primary gift of God is NOT tongues, but Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Gift of God (see John 4:10; 3:16) and His Unspeakable Gift (see 2 Corinthians 9:15). We do not believe that a Christian must speak in tongues in order to demonstrate a saving work of grace in Christ Jesus or evidence of Spirit-baptism. Rather, we believe that the primary evidence of repentance and life transformation is Love. A man or woman of God speaking, living, and acting in Love is the great evidence of change and the primary fruit of the Spirit of God. Simply put, a true Christian, altered by the grace of God, reveals Jesus. At Ellerslie, we do not stand against the Biblical concept of tongues, but we do not allow demonstrations of tongues or specific beliefs about tongues to become a distraction or point of contention among our students.
We believe that spiritual gifts are still alive and right for the Church today, but they don’t fall under the typical classification of charismatic or pentecostal in our church practices. We believe that the Spirit of God must rule the church environment. We believe that every detail and every action of church activity must be enabled by the Spirit, directed by the Spirit, and harnessed to the Spirit’s lead. We believe that when the Body of Christ is yielded to the leadership of the Spirit of God, then Jesus Christ will be seen more clearly in our midst, and that every individual member of the Body will be enabled by God, and equipped by God, to perform their unique and particular role in the Body. In light of this, we are a very conservative expression of this Truth, and we are very guarded to honor and reverence God in our practice of it. Everything is done decently and in order and the many conservative denominational expressions found in our midst all feel honored, safe, and respected. Long and short, we believe that God gifts the members of the Body with grace to function in whatever role they are assigned, that the church may declare to the Heavenlies the manifold wisdom of God. For a more detailed understanding of Ellerslie’s handling of the Person of the Holy Spirit, listen to Pastor Ludy’s sermon entitled, “The Master Builder.”
Does Ellerslie teach that one can get more and more of the Holy Spirit or that we are fully indwelled with the Holy Spirit the moment we are saved?
Jesus Christ makes it clear in His parables that a man entrusted with little must prove faithful with the little he has received before he is entrusted with much. Throughout Scripture this principle resounds. It’s a principle of the Kingdom of Heaven. So, when the great gift of the Holy Spirit is bequeathed to the saints of God, it only follows that it would be marked by the same principle. With faithful living comes increase of all the fruit of the Spirit of God. For an in-depth look into this subject, check out Eric Ludy’s messages: “Daring to Ask for More” or “The Master Builder.”
We believe that the Bible speaks to this issue matter-of-factly. However, how it is often applied within the modern Church has been lacking the nature and the attitude of Christ. Eric Ludy gave a message entitled, “Feminine Beauty,” that directly answers this question. If this particular issue is of concern for you, then please take some time to review this message.
Why does Ellerslie have such a strong emphasis on the Cross? Are you not diminishing the Resurrection by talking so much about the Cross?
The reason we emphasize the Cross so heavily is not to displace the resurrection, but to amplify it. Unless you understand the Cross, the resurrection has no context. In fact, we don’t just emphasize the resurrection, we proclaim it with loudest voice (and trust us, Pastor Eric Ludy can get really loud!). And we don’t stop at the resurrection, but we also proclaim the ascension and the exaltation of Jesus Christ to the right hand of the Father, the subsequent sending forth of the Holy Spirit to dwell within the body of every believer, and the imminent return of our precious King. We make a big deal about Jesus Christ and His Cross in order that all the amazing work gained there would be wholly appreciated and appropriated.
No. The teaching pastors at Ellerslie use the King James Version as their basis of Biblical study and as a result, the KJV is the version of the Bible typically quoted from during training programs and in The Church at Ellerslie sermons. But, that said, Ellerslie does not promote the KJV as the only viable translation. Ellerslie supports the versions of the Bible that are word-for-word translations from the original text. The most typical translations toted around on the Ellerslie campus are the KJV, NKJV, RSV, NASB, and the ESV. Ellerslie has chosen to utilize a singular translation for its reference in order to remove confusion from the teaching and learning process, but that in no way is a declaration of inadequacy towards other stout and well-tended translations.
Ellerslie does not have a specific doctrinal agenda towards something called “Lordship Salvation.” However, Ellerslie is very strong on the issue of Christ’s Lordship and ownership over the body, soul, and spirit of a believer and also very strong on the need for personal Salvation in Jesus Christ. Terms like “Lordship Salvation” have been coined by folks that prefer to diminish the notion of the Lordship of Jesus Christ and detach the concepts of human salvation from the rightful legal claim of God upon the Believer. We are not in the least bit intimidated by the fact that when a new Believer comes into the Kingdom he comes in counting the cost, understanding that it means his entire life, and that his body is no longer his own, it was bought with a price. Christianity never at any moment is detached from the notions of the Lordship of Jesus Christ, so Ellerslie does not play patty-cake with these ideas. We speak a bold message that when someone comes unto the Cross of Christ, they must die in order to live – they must relinquish the controls of their existence and allow their body to become the dwelling place of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. If that is what is meant by “Lordship Salvation” then, yes, we proudly preach it. We’d be concerned about those that don’t.
No. We love the mighty Keswick convention of yesteryear but we don’t stand in agreement with some of the errant doctrinal notions associated with the word “Keswick” today, particularly the view of instant sanctification upon conversion (or, what is often known as Christian perfectionism). In days gone by, the Keswick community boasted such greats as Hudson Taylor, Rees Howells, C.T. Studd, and Amy Carmichael – and we desire to go on record that we’re happy to hang our hat with them. Taylor, Howells, Studd, and Carmichael were sound in their understanding of sanctification, so we heartily agree with them.
We do not teach the errant version of Christian perfectionism. However, we do teach the Biblical concept of perfectionism – that is, that Jesus was and is and will always be perfect. And when we are clothed in His perfection, we are deemed perfect in the eyes of our Heavenly Father. Then, due to our access unto the Father, we are free to ask of the Father for the Spirit of God to live in us. The Spirit of God, just like Jesus, was, and is, and always will be perfect. So, when the Spirit of God enters into us, He begins the sanctification process of the believer. This is not overnight, but lifelong. It’s called the work of the Spirit of God perfecting the saints (or sanctification). He tries us, convicts us, reproves, and disciplines us. He purges us, cleanses us, prunes us, and rebukes us. He comforts us, consoles us, and strengthens us. He enables us, empowers us, and constantly drives us toward the goal of the heavenly prize – Jesus. So, in short, as believers, we are clothed in perfection, but we are not yet perfected inside that clothing – rather, we are being perfected.
Though his ministry training background is somewhat unconventional, Eric Ludy has been in front-lines Christian leadership for more than twenty years. As a young adult, he attended Christian universities in Washington and Colorado, as well as multiple missionary training programs, gaining invaluable missions and leadership experience in various ministry positions both in the U.S. and overseas. After their marriage in 1994, Eric Ludy and his wife Leslie published their first book—a testimony of their God-written love story—which quickly circulated around the world. The Ludys spent the next fifteen years traveling full-time as highly sought-after guest speakers at Christian universities, conferences, leadership conventions, and churches around the world. In 1999, their third book, When God Writes Your Love Story (Waterbrook/Multnomah) enjoyed an eighteen-month run on the Christian bestseller’s list, and remains one of the top-selling Christian relationship books of all time.
Together, Eric Ludy and his wife have written twenty-one books, which have sold well over a million copies and have been translated into over a dozen languages. The Ludys’ books and messages have been recommended and/or utilized by many well-known Christian ministries, including Compassion International, Focus on the Family, Family Life, Youth With a Mission, Teen Mania, Growing Families International, Revive our Hearts, Wretched Radio, and many others. Eric’s book The Bravehearted Gospel has become a notable resource among conservative pastors and leaders around the world. Eric Ludy served as a weekly guest on the Moody Broadcast Network for two years, and has been featured on nearly every major Christian media platform over the past twenty years.
In 2009, Eric Ludy became the teaching pastor of the Church at Ellerslie and the lead instructor at Ellerslie Discipleship Training. His Sunday sermons are streamed by multiple thousands of people around the world every week. For more information, please visit EricLudy.com.
On the first page of the Ellerslie classroom notes, there is a paragraph that effectively answers this question:
Eric Ludy: “I have found spiritual gold in many different places throughout my life. Outside of my dear parents and Leslie’s parents, there are twenty-six greats (from the past two centuries) that have most influenced my Christian thinking and living in our modern times. And since their thoughts are found speckled throughout these notes, I wish to honor them here, as a reminder to all the students gleaning wisdom from this training, that the strongest Christian leaders are but a consecrated quotation of the giants of faith that have preceded them—C.T. Studd, Hudson Taylor, George Muller, Rees Howells, A.W. Tozer, William Booth, Amy Carmichael, Richard Wurmbrand, Leonard Ravenhill, Paris Reidhead, Corrie Ten Boom, George Whitefield, John Wesley, David Brainerd, Charles Spurgeon, E.M. Bounds, John Hyde, Jim and Elisabeth Elliot, Keith Green, Jackie Pullinger, D.L. Moody, Major Ian Thomas, Gladys Aylward, David Wilkerson, and Oswald Chambers. I dearly desire my life to be a quotation of such an audacious band of mighties.”
Ellerslie’s unique vision and purpose demand a very unique sort of leader. For one, he cannot be a product of “the modern Christian system.” Rather, he must be one eager to change the modern Christian system—helping return Christianity to its historical and Biblical roots. He cannot play politics with Truth or owe favors to a hundred different people who helped him get his foot in the door of ministry leadership. He needs to be knowledgeable about the current state of the Church, but not despondent over the challenges. He needs to know the Bible backwards and forward, but not be driven by a denominational agenda nor prove more loyal to a creed than to Jesus Christ. He needs to be able to work with conservative Christians and handle the hottest “doctrinal potatoes” without making doctrinal disputes his focus or forte—but somehow remain focused on Jesus and Him crucified no matter what. And finally, he needs to be a man who will speak straight in a world that likes the Truth served up sideways and heavily diluted.
Eric Ludy has proven to be such a leader, shaped by God specifically to lead a ministry like Ellerslie and to impact the world at large for Christ Jesus. Eric receives quite a bit of flak for his strong stance, bold proclamation, and thunderous preaching style. But by the same token, his bold stance and thunderous delivery style has been the vessel God has used to powerfully impact hundreds of thousands of lives. We believe that the world needs more men willing to go against the grain when the grain goes against Jesus Christ.
As the teaching pastor and lead instructor at Ellerslie, what kind of accountability does Pastor Eric Ludy have in his life and ministry?
Ellerslie has a very close-knit leadership team. There is a submitting one unto another and therefore a high level of accountability. There is a freedom to share concerns and an attitude of receptivity that is continually being cultivated. Pastor Eric Ludy is accountable to Ellerslie’s board of directors, his fellow pastors at the Ellerslie Church, his leadership staff at Ellerslie Discipleship Training, and the leadership of many of Ellerslie’s partner ministries. In addition, all of Eric Ludy’s messages are made available online to anyone who desires to evaluate what is being taught at the Church at Ellerslie and within the training programs. Eric Ludy also meets often with several godly men from the local church body for the purpose of edification and accountability. Eric and the teaching/pastoral staff desire to live with utmost integrity and therefore all use an internet monitoring service (i.e. Covenant Eyes) that supplies outside accountability to our leadership when they are browsing the web. Furthermore, Eric Ludy does not make decisions on behalf of Ellerslie outside of the approval and whole-hearted agreement of the entire Ellerslie Mission Society board of directors and leadership staff.
Does Eric Ludy believe that man is responsible for his own salvation or that God is responsible for it?
Pastor Eric Ludy believes that God is the Author of Salvation. He believes and espouses that salvation is all about Jesus Christ. 100% of it is Jesus Christ. In fact, he declares that there is no salvation outside of Jesus Christ. There is no wooing unto the Author of Salvation without the wooing grace of Jesus Christ. There is no growth in grace and no sanctification without the ever-present power of grace to carry us onward and upward. But that said, Eric Ludy does make it very clear that each of us has personal responsibility in the process of salvation. Yet even though Eric Ludy believes in personal responsibility, he believes that we wouldn’t even be able to say “yes, Lord!” unless God gave us the grace to do it. He gives men zero credit for their salvation—he gives all the praise and glory of the great rescue unto the One who is deserving: Jesus Christ. The term “Semi-Pelagian” is a curse word utilized by those in the hyper-reformed camp in order to supply a cheap shot at someone who isn’t willing to play the 5-points game (Calvinism vs. Arminianism). Eric Ludy stands strongly on the point that Christianity is not about soteriology—it’s about Jesus. And if you make Jesus the focus of your Christianity, your soteriology is solved in Him. Ludy often will say, “We are not saved by signing off on 5-points—we are saved by Jesus Christ. End of story!”
No. Eric Ludy would not define himself as a Calvinist. Though Eric Ludy has many close friends amongst the Reformed community—and though many Calvinists over the years have claimed him as one of their own due to his high view of God, his passion for the integrity of Scripture, and his emphasis that salvation is 100% a work of God Almighty—Eric Ludy refuses to be classified as a Calvinist. In fact, Eric (with a wry smile on his face) calls himself a “Simplitist” or, as Charles Spurgeon described it, “The Man of One Subject.” These phrases are creative descriptions for the Christian who refuses to play the game of soteriological or eschatological classification, but instead labors to direct the gaze of the Church of Jesus Christ back to the simplicity that is in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 11:3). Pastor Eric Ludy believes that, though a true student of Scripture indeed must rightly handle the issues classically associated with the topic of soteriology (atonement, election, sovereignty, predestination, etc.), it is not necessary to hold to a defined and classified position on each of these issues in order to correctly appropriate the grace, forgiveness, justification, salvation, righteousness, power, healing, and sanctification made available in the Person of Jesus Christ. As a “soteriological Simplitist” and “man of one subject,” Eric Ludy does not promote ignorance towards the Scriptures, but rather he promotes proper approach towards the Scriptures (this is clearly enunciated in his messages Christophany and The Simplitist). We at Ellerslie believe that undue emphasis in the arenas of soteriological exactitude has proven one of the greatest contention, division, and schism points in Church history. These divisions have led some of the most promising young students of Christ into an intellectual morass instead of a pure-hearted faith in the power and grace supplied by Jesus Christ at the Cross. Because of Pastor Eric Ludy’s “Simplitist” approach, both Calvinists and Arminians have thrived side-by-side in the Ellerslie environment. This is due to the fact that there is not an emphasis on soteriological classification, but rather on that which truly must define us: faith in Jesus Christ and His glorious Cross-work, with full confidence in the truthfulness and integrity of His revealed Scripture.
No. Pastor Eric Ludy isn’t nurturing a secret pet doctrine. As noted in the previous answer, Eric Ludy’s position on “the five points debate” is well-documented for all to see, hear, and read (listen to his messages Christophany or The Simplitist). He has publicly refused to identify himself on either side of the soteriological debate and, as a result, has been deemed a Calvinist by the Arminians, and an Arminian by the Calvinists. He acknowledges that he may have brought this upon himself when he used the phrase “prevenient grace” in some of his early Ellerslie sermons (a term often wielded by the Arminian camp). This has led to an assumption by some that Pastor Eric Ludy must be in cahoots with the Arminians. Simply put, Eric Ludy believes that a man is awakened by grace, saved by grace, preserved by grace, and sanctified by grace. In other words, it’s grace that saves a man (prevenient, or otherwise). NOTE: out of deference for the Calvinists in our midst here at Ellerslie, Eric Ludy no longer uses the phrase “prevenient grace” to describe the spirit awakening of a believer. He still believes in this antecedent awakening by grace, but purposely avoids the term “prevenient grace” in order to not spark unnecessary debate and/or confusion.
No. Though Eric Ludy has strongly supported the homeschool movement, Eric himself attended public school. Many of our Ellerslie staff, however, have either come out of a homeschool background and/or have homeschooled their own children.
Yes. He has been notified of this fact many times. And every time he is told he is loud, his sermons seem to get even louder! Eric Ludy delivered a message that dealt with this rather humorous theme. The message is entitled “The Voice of the Lion” and is both amusing and powerful. This message chronicles Pastor Eric’s ministry journey through the years, as God has shaped him from an “easy listening” speaking style into the thunderous preacher he is today. We highly recommend a listen—it is sure to endear you to Eric Ludy’s preaching passion in a whole new way!
Pastor Eric Ludy was born in 1970. You do the math and figure out whether you think he is really young. P.S. We’re sure he wouldn’t mind if you concluded that he is just a youngster.