Why? Because Jesus (Matt. 5:17, Luke 6:1-11), Stephen (Acts 6:13), and Paul (Acts 18:13, 21:28) were all called antinomians, and since they were called antinomians, I want to be called an antinomian.
To be called an antinomian means to be charged with being opposed to the law. Jesus and the early Christians were charged with being opposed to the law. Whatever they were saying and doing brought upon them this charge. I also want to say and do the same things that prompt others to charge me with being opposed to the law.
I want you to notice carefully my words. I want to be called an antinomian. I don't want to be an antinomian. Neither Jesus, Stephen, nor Paul were antinomians. They were not opposed to the law at all. They were actually unopposed to it. They preached the truth about the law. The upheld the law and its perfect standard and cooperated with the law to accomplish its purpose. They preached that all men are guilty before God, that no one will be justified before God by keeping the law, and that salvation is a gift from God, apart from the law, through faith alone in Jesus Christ. For this reason they were accused of antinomianism, but they were not actually antinomians. Therefore I also want to preach the truth and uphold the perfection of the law and cooperate with the law to accomplish its purpose. I want to preach that the law does not justify us but that it only shows us we are sinners, and I want to preach that we are not saved by keeping the law but through faith alone in Jesus Christ. Only if I do this will I be called an antinomian, and only if I do this will I actually not be an antinomian.
Real antinomians are those who don't uphold the perfection of the law and who preach that men must keep the law to be justified before God. Real antinomians are those who don't cooperate with the law to accomplish its purpose in showing that all men are sinners who need Christ for salvation. But real antinomians think that they aren't antinomians and accuse Christ and his followers of being antinomians.
So I want to be called an antinomian.
There are many Christians who don't want to be called antinomians, but they forget that this charge comes with being a follower of Christ. We cannot escape from this charge without changing Christ's message. Therefore those who seek to avoid being called antinomians change the message so that no one can accuse them of being antinomians. They cease from preaching the gospel in such a way that actually communicates the gospel message, that people are saved by grace through faith alone in Christ without obedience to the law, and are spared the humiliation of being labeled an antinomian. But you can only be spared from this charge when you stop preaching the gospel. Ironically, when you stop preaching the gospel you become an actual antinomian.
I want to be called an antinomian rather than actually be an antinomian. I want to stand with Jesus, Stephen, and Paul. This is why I say that I want to be called an antinomian.
Let's not be people who seek to avoid the false charges and slanders of the world, who never speak the truth lest we be misunderstood and maligned. Let's be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, the most misunderstood person of all time, who patiently bore the charges and slanders of the world for the sake of the truth of the gospel. Let's proclaim the only salvation there is: that salvation is through faith alone in Jesus Christ and not through obedience to the law, even if we are accused of being antinomians. If we are called antinomians, then we are in good company, and are most likely doing something right.