Beware of the Cult and Heresy of Eric and Leslie Ludy
Updated: Sep 8
Eric Ludy serves as the President of Ellerslie Mission Society. He is also the teaching pastor at the Church at Ellerslie and the lead instructor in the Ellerslie Leadership Training. Eric is a best-selling author of more than a dozen books and a “highly respected voice in the Church today, especially on issues of Biblical sexuality, manhood, prayer, and the deeper Christian life.”When asked about his denominational leanings, Eric very simply says, “Just stick Leonard Ravenhill, C.T. Studd, Hudson Taylor, Rees Howells, and Charles Spurgeon into a blender, and that’s pretty close to what I believe.” For the past sixteen years, Eric has been a popular speaker at colleges, conferences and events, and has been a guest on nearly every major Christian radio platform.
Leslie Ludy is a stay at home mom, which is commendable, and maintains a blog called Set Apart Girl.
This warning is a more general warning on the serious errors and heresies that represent these dangerous individuals to the true faith of God’s Word.
1. They Embrace and Promote Modern Bible PerVersions.
They use modern “Bible” perversions (see Rev. 22:18-19; Pr. 30:5-6) derived from the Critical Text. These do no represent the "sword of the Spirit" (Eph 6:17). Consider the example of the ESV and NKJV.
2. They Embrace UnBiblical and Ungodly Music.
They love and use worldly and unscriptural “worship” music such as CCM, which is of “another spirit.” (2 Cor. 11:4). Christians don't have liberty to sin. False worship is sin. The Holy Spirit doesn't manifest works of the flesh. That isn’t liberty, its lasciviousness. The Bible calls it spiritual adultery and those who have this type of mindset and love the worlds music while attempting to conform it to the Bible, are the profane and unruly enemies of God (Jam 4:4). Not His friends, because they rebel against Him and don’t do what He says (Jn 15:14), while true believers are the friends of God (Jam 2:23; Jn 15:14-19; cf. 14:23-24). True Christians are predestined to conform to the image of the Son (Rom 8:29-30).
Read here for further info on CCM:
3. Motivated by Love of Money and Fame.
Regardless of their profession and lip service and vehement opposition, they live for their own glory and not Gods, which is always indicative of a false teacher (e.g. Rom. 16:18; Phil. 3:19; 2 Pet. 2:1-3). For example, on their Facebook page (or how it was in times past; they have removed it since — I possess a copy of what was written then) under “Short Description” we read the following: "Eric and Leslie Ludy are bestselling Christian authors and speakers." What we don’t read is anything about a miraculous and supernatural conversion or really anything at all that would bring glory and honour to the Lord Jesus Christ. Just the opposite; fleshly glory. Given only a sentence, one that is truly saved would give God the glory. Such a person knows everything he has is because of the Lord and His grace alone. Be we don’t read that, and neither do we read anything of that nature over multiple paragraphs as we continue reading in the “Long Description,” which is once again all about exaltation of self and their worldly successes (*see below), even describing themselves as “popular,” etc. This is a philosophy that dominates neo- evangelicalism today but it’s as old as the antiquity of the sun.
4. They Glorify in Heretics.
Under the “Long Description” it was noted that they glorify in their associations with heretics and the ungodly, which includes “Focus on the Family, Family Life Today, Moody Radio, Josh McDowell Radio, Beverly LaHaye, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, and many others, and have been featured in a wide range of Christian publications such as Christianity Today, Charisma, and CCM.”
Not one these should be spoken in a positive manner never mind exalted. Instead of condemning, exposing and separating as God’s Word commands (e.g. Rom. 16:17; 1 Tim. 6:3-5), they yoke in fellowship for popularity and money sake. Most, if not all, of these individuals and organizations are heretical. Extremely heretical. Like wolves in sheep‘s clothing heretical. For Ludy to associate with these false teachers and then exalt his association with them in a positive light, being very proud of this, shows how terribly compromised he really is.
"Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (Am. 3:3).
All of these individuals, including the ones behind the "Christian" publications, fall under the warning and condemnation of Rom. 16:17-18:
”Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple."
But none of what is commanded in Rom 16:17 and many other such passages, such as 2 Cor 6:14-18; 1 Tim 6:3-5; Eph 5:5-11; 2 Jn 1:9-11; 1 Tim 4:1; 1 Jn 4:1-6; etc, is happening with the Ludy’s. By embracing and glorifying in their unclean and profane association, never mind all the other reasons mentioned here (and also things not mentioned such as the fact they use The Truth Project by Focus on the Family at their school and frequently encourage readers or listeners to sermonindex.net, a site loaded with heretical Keswick/ Higher Life/ Deeper Life teachers), the Ludy’s themselves fall under that same condemnation as well. Instead of marking them and avoiding them like the Scripture commands, Ludy brags about these endorsements by false teachers. Surely Ludy must be one of them as well; especially when we take into consideration his love of money and fame (Rom 16:18), and his own false doctrine (Rom 16:17).
5. They Embrace and Teach False Sanctification.
Though they claim to not “teach ‘Keswick Sanctification’ theology,” they are Keswick to the extreme. It also reflects confusion on their part as to what Keswick theology actually us, since their doctrine is heavily influenced by Keswick/Deeper Life/Higher Life heresy including teaching that sinless perfection is possible (which they allegedly oppose). Naturally, confusion would be the end result if one makes such statements yet actually does embrace aspects of this inerrant theology and additionally, claiming “the Keswick community boasted such greats as Hudson Taylor, Reese Howells, C.T. Studd, and Amy Carmichael” and that they “desire to go on record that we’re happy to hang our hat with them.” Hanging their hat with them means you are heavily into their false Keswick doctrine, especially Reese Howells and Amy Carmichael, two blatant heretics. He goes on to say that these individuals “were sound in their understanding of sanctification, so we heartily agree with them.” They weren’t sound, and indeed he is Keswick though he claims otherwise.
C.T. Studd and Hudson Taylor were very compromised men and promoters of Keswick heresy. Amy Carmichael was very unlikely unsaved, embracing massive amounts of utter heresy derived from Keswick theology including demonic mysticism. Some of her favourite authors were mystic catholic apostates such as Thomas a Kempis, Raymond Lully, Lady Julian or Norwich, Richard Rolle, Brother Lawrence and Samuel Rutherford. Reese Howells was a ravening wolf in sheep’s clothing. His teaching was very bad, an experimental unBiblical non-faith “Christianity,” while being led by a spirit that was not of God. He was under great bondage to demonic spirits, who would appear to him and speak to him, and was utterly unable to discern between “the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” (1 Jn 4:6).
The fact of the matter is that the Ludy’s are loaded with Keswick sanctification heresy and they encourage it. They do not believe the born again believer has received everything at salvation but need to recover some missing element in Christianity that allows them to live a higher spiritual life (i.e. the Keswick, Higher, Deeper, Victorious, Crucified Christ-Life). Like Howells and Carmichael, the Ludy’s are unable to discern and test between the spirit of truth and the spirit of error, while 1 Jn 4:1 commands:
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1 Jn 4:1).
They wholeheartedly embrace and promote the path of broad ecumenicism, which is bound together by exalting mysticism and eradicating biblical doctrines and putting the experiential above the truth of Scripture. And Keswick theological heresy fits precisely into that mould.
Ludy teaches that one can be saved and still be left in some kind of prison, which is the crux of Keswick theology, but it’s extremely heretical and a false gospel (found in their “gospel” video). They teach the traditional possession doctrine of Keswick in which you are fundamentally possessed and controlled by Jesus, through the corruption of passages such as Gal 2:20 and Col 1:27. This is the false teaching that the Christ-life is Christ living our lives for us. It’s deeply entrenched in Keswick theology and it’s erroneous.
In my experience and studies, people that embrace this false sanctification have actually never been born again. They feign faith and are pseudo-believers. They never have a Biblical testimony of conversion and then life that stands up to Biblical scrutiny. And the reason they get sucked into these Keswick heresies is because they are trying to live the Christian life without being in Christ. Essentially, they are attempting to replicate what happens at the new birth, but it’s not the new birth. It’s the Keswick Higher Life. They are diametrically opposed.
6. Extremely Controlling, Man-centred, Man-following and Manipulative.
Truth is not the guiding factor but loyalty and numbers. The following example shows how those who lordship over people behave when their pride and ego and bottom dollar is challenged: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1391606501109509&id=1408543766070539
“From an educational perspective, the main point of the training is to absorb Eric Ludy’s theology.” (source).
Gnostic tendencies implore that you need their teaching and knowledge to go the full distance of the gospel. Frequent promptings of “God told me” are heretical and extra-Biblical revelation and authority. It should be “the Bible says,” NOT “God told me.” This is how false teachers run because their views aren’t biblical. It seems he believes own internal monologue is God’s voice.
Other cult like tendencies include what happens when someone goes against their teaching. They destroy them. They excite revenge upon them. They don’t trust in the Lord but “in man” and the “flesh [of] his arm,” but God says of such, “Cursed be the man” for this mans “heart departeth from the LORD.” (Jer 17:5-8). You need their teaching and knowledge to go the full distance of the gospel. When a church advertises that this “where men go to die and Christ goes to live,” that has cultish written all over it.
7. They Embrace and Teach a Number of Other False Doctrines.
(a) They claim that salvation can be lost. There are over 600 passages of Scripture that make it clear that salvation can never be lost. This erroneous heresy is rampant and foundational in cults and false religions and always indicative of a failure to right divide the word of truth and understand the true gospel of Jesus Christ and the grace of God. Eternal and everlasting life is inseparable from the gospel, for salvation immediately brings this unending life to fruition (e.g. Lk. 18:30; Jn. 3:15-18, 36; 5:24, 29-40; 6:26-58; 10:27-29; 12:25: 17:2-3; Rom. 5:21: 6:22-23; 2 Cor. 5:1; Gal. 6:8; 1 Tim. 1:16; Ti. 1:2; 3:7; Heb. 5:9; 9:12, 15; I Jn. 1:2; 2:25: 5:11-13; etc). Those who believe eternal life can be lost do not believe the record God gave, have not the indwelling Witness of God and make God out to be a liar (1 Jn. 5:9-13); three very important reasons we know those who embrace this damnable heresy have no leg to stand upon concerning salvation.
(b) They knowingly re-baptize people that might not need re-baptism (I.e. already undergone believers immersion — if they are truly saved indeed). The likely reason for that would be to baptize them into that churches membership, so they become contributors to the coffers.
(c) They teach that it is Satan whose wrath was poured out on Christ on the cross (found in their "Gospel" and "Intercession" videos) and that it’s Satan that punishes us for sin. Both are blatant heresies.
(d) In connection with the worldly and fleshly and ungodly music, his preaching is emotionally manipulative.
(e) Eric is carnally minded, not spiritually minded, which means he is unsaved since the carnally minded individual is lost (Rom 8:5-9), for “to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (vv. 6-7).
(f) In one article he wrote:
“This whole Joshua Harris debacle has brought a lot of wounds, pains, and bitterness to the surface in the Christian community.” (The Mud and the Stars, Part 5 of 5).
Really?! Joshua Harris is an apostate and it didn’t take his “leaving the faith” to know that. Anyone with any spiritual discernment knew that long time ago. So why would an apostate bring “wounds, pains, and bitterness to the surface in the Christian community”? We should be glad in the revelation of Harris’s true colours, his return to the vomit and mire like the dog and pig he is (2 Pet. 2:22), making it very clear who he really is, so why the “wounds, pains, and bitterness”?! People that trust in man develop “wounds, pains, and bitterness.” Those of the truth are approved and made manifest when heretics are exposed (I Cor. 11:19). One can see where the trust and joy truly actually rests in people like the Ludy’s and how excessively man-centred they really are.
Their teachings are filled with unsound and false doctrine. It’s everywhere, sermon after sermon, book after book. And very frequent misuse and manipulation of Scripture.
This is just the tip of the iceberg.
If you are truly saved, God would say,
"Cease, my son, to hear the instruction hat causeth to err from the words of knowledge." (Pr 19:27)
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Rom 16:17-18)