Home > Brandenburg, Fundamentalism, Separation, The Gospel, Truth > Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism: Building Ox Carts to Reach the Conclusions They Desire

Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism: Building Ox Carts to Reach the Conclusions They Desire

Recent reactions to the Together for the Gospel (T4G) meeting in Louisville expose the fundamental error for evangelicalism and fundamentalism. One of the most popular and well-read bloggers in evangelicalism, Tim Challies, covered T4G, obviously at its invitation, and afterward explained what he thought was so good about the T4G brand of togetherness.   I’ll break down his argument later, but Ben Wright, one of the bloggers on the SharperIron blogroll, revealed (probably unintentionally) the thinking of fundamentalists and evangelicals on togetherness, unity, and fellowship.  He writes concerning Challies’ argument:  “There may be another argument that reaches his conclusion, but I don’t think he gets us all the way there.”  You see, the “conclusion” and “getting all the way there,” that is, to this utopian evangelical unity, is what is important to evangelicals and fundamentalists.  They come with the arguments later.  This, by the way, is pragmatism.  You start with a desired conclusion and assume an argument.  The conclusion is big enough and important enough to them to pervert scripture to get there.

And pragmatism was David’s ox cart in 2 Samuel 6.  He needed the ark to get from point A to point B, that is, to reach his desired conclusion, and that desire led him to the ox cart.  It was the best, fastest, and easiest way to get the ark from point A to point B, so the cart was the means that David justified for transportation.  It wasn’t the scriptural means to get there.  It wasn’t a godly method.  It wasn’t how God wanted things done.  But it would work.  It was utilitarian.  All that was proved wrong when Uzzah touched the ark and died.  David got out of the ox cart business.  You would think that professing believers would end their ox cart fascination for ever after that.  But ox carts will be built if the conclusion is what guides the argument.  You want to get to point B after all.

Now some might argue that Ben Wright, featured at SharperIron, is just a young man, one of the restless, petulant, and angry reformed, regularly disrespectful and impudent to older separatists whom he doesn’t like, using the faux authority that SI provides him as a reward for his ejection to the big tent of the Southern Baptist Convention.  It is true that his blog reads mainly as a bitter evangelical rant against his personal distaste with traditional fundamentalism, but I think his point does speak for evangelicalism and now a sizable segment of fundamentalism (why he gets SI promotion).   You have a conclusion, unity, and better, significance or bigness, and so now you just have to start looking for the arguments to get you there.

Challies’ arguments for T4G togetherness do represent the kind of stretch that evangelicals and fundamentalists invent to reach their desired ends.  They also generally approve of these types of attempts, as long as whatever the reasoning, faulty or not, directs them to their theologically correct conclusion.   “Just keep trying, Tim, you’ll finally get us to our goal.”

The first Challies’ argument is in essence that not all doctrinal error is sin, so you don’t have to correct the error and can still be in unity, even for a difference like infant sprinkling versus believer’s baptism.  Now Challies says that some doctrinal error is sin, like preaching that Jesus isn’t God or saying that homosexuality is permissible.  Why?  No reason in particular.  Those doctrinal errors won’t threaten the T4G coalition.  However, he says we should not see all doctrinal error as sin because doctrinal error is merely the consequence of sin, just like illness is the consequence of sin.  His basis for this in scripture?  Nothing.   And then I think we get a second argument, which is that conscience is the guide in the doctrines that divide godly men.  Since two men who differ in doctrine both are persuaded in their own conscience that they are right, neither should they “abuse” the other’s conscience by dividing over those differences.  Challies ends by writing this:

I am encouraged to see Christians uniting across lines that were once considered too wide to cross. Together for the Gospel is an excellent example of Christian leaders being willing and eager to put aside secondary differences for the sake of the gospel. While they disagree on many fine points of doctrine and even many very important points of doctrine, they all hold tightly to what matters most–the gospel message. This is one line that would be too great to cross but one, within which, there is opportunity to practice humility and fraternity. They join together not to condemn, not to argue, but to affirm the common bond of gospel unity. Though never downplaying differences, neither do they seek to bind one another’s conscience. And this, I think, is how God wants us to be as just a foretaste of that greater, more complete, perfect unity to come.

The conscience is a God created warning device within us that is trained by what we know and believe.  Challies is arguing that keeping a properly operating conscience is more important than believing right on “secondary differences.”  In other words, what informs the conscience is less important to Challies than the conscience itself.  For instance, a conscience may be informed by false doctrine that infant sprinkling is correct, but it is better for T4G and evangelicals to preserve the smooth function of the conscience than to tell the conscience what is true.  The conscience has been raised in this argument above Scripture and above the Holy Spirit.  That kind of thinking is permissible to evangelicals and won’t send you off the T4G reservation, because it is an ox cart that can bring them to their desired destination.

SharperIron linked to Challies’ post without disclaimer, as if this were an important bit of interaction for the contemporary fundamentalist thinker.  The concluding paragraph of Challies presents numbers of awful points.  He’s happy that men are coming from widely divergent points of view in order to “unite.”  He disintegrates a biblical doctrine of unity.  In the last line of his essay, he says that the unity that we have now is different than the one we’ll have together in heaven.   The unity I seek, the one in Scripture, is the same as the one in heaven and the one Jesus prayed for in John 17.

Challies explodes a scriptural understanding of humility and fraternity.   He implies, of course, that people who emphasize doctrine for unity are proud.   On the other hand, those who put aside difference to get together are the humble ones.   The problem is that they don’t “downplay” differences, they just ignore them.    Challies also says that arguing about differences wouldn’t be humble and would “bind one another’s conscience.”  What that is, I don’t know.  Feeding a conscience with the truth won’t bind a conscience.  The reality is that the conscience operating correctly should be warning someone that something is terribly wrong at the T4G conference.   All of this combined devastates discernment in the people that need it the most, Christian leaders.  We could rename the conference, Together for Devastating Discernment—T4DD.

What I hadn’t heard during that week was that there was one more conference during the same time as T4G and IBFI, that is, Wheaton’s Theology Conference, featuring the British theologian, N. T. Wright.  Christianity Today quotes Wright saying, “Nothing justifies schism.”  Brett McCracken breaks down the idea in his CT article that these two massive and sold-out conferences should be getting together to fulfill a New Testament understanding of unity.   I don’t agree with any of this, but McCracken writes concerning T4G and the Wheaton conference:

Are we on the same page on the core issues? Can we agree on the claims of the creeds? Yes? Then let’s hash out the details of theological minutia (which is definitely important) in a spirited, friendly debate as the people of God exercising the renewal of our minds (Rom. 12:2).

He concludes his article:

What if both conferences had merged and two seemingly antagonistic groups of Christians put aside their differences for a few minutes to just sing (in both conferences the hymn “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” was sung), side-by-side, in worship of the triune God who gives the same grace through which all who follow Christ have been saved? That would be a unity the rulers of the world would truly be afraid of.

This two evangelical factions seem to know what the conclusion should be.  Now if they can just find the ox cart that will get them there.  Ask Tim Challies.  He’s already got one built.

If you see the evangelical or fundamentalist ox cart on its way somewhere, wait for someone else from whom to thumb a ride.  Unity is found in the assembly, the church.  Outside of the church, it is found in churches of like faith and practice.  Same belief and practice are the basis of the unity, just like we see in the Bible (Eph 4:1-3).  And that’s the only unity that pleases God.  The ark of the covenant was the presence of God.  The presence of God is purity, holiness, and righteousness, both doctrinally and morally.   His presence was not meant for our ox carts.

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  1. April 27, 2010 at 5:48 am

    These are the heroes of the “Young Fundamentalists.” Just like David, they are trying to do a “good thing”, and I believe they have a good motive (like David) but they are not doing it God’s way. Two out of three seems to be good enough for T4G. It wasn’t for God, however.

    Conscience trumps Scripture, instead of sola scritura.

  2. April 27, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Thanks Art. Right on. I’ve been preaching on Sun pm in 1 Kings and Solomon “loved the Lord,” but he married Pharoah’s daughter and worshiped in the high places. Those two began the trek to destruction.

  3. d4v34x
    April 27, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Wow, Ben has his own tag now!

    I fail to see where Ben cheers Tim C to find us a strong line of reasoning to any pre-approved conclusion. Furthermore, it may be that Ben has no need (of anyone) to reach that conclusion (for him) due to his understanding of separation.

  4. April 27, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    So, D4, what do you think Ben means by “us” in the quote? Sounds like he was including himself.

  5. d4v34x
    April 27, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    “us” = those reading Tim’s blog trying to follow/parse his logic. That does not necessitate they hope he can pull it off (for them).

  6. April 27, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    “Us” = Ben and Tim, at least, as well as all the others together at T4G 2010.

  7. Gary
    April 27, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Mark 9:38-41

    and John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followed not us: and we forebade him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part. For whoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.

    Kent,

    I think that Jesus disagrees with you.

    A christain from Iran was asked if there was any disunity amongst the different church denominations in Iran. He answered, “that while they where aware of their differences, they still had a brotherly unity and WORK TOGETHER, because their lives depended on it.”

    When a pastor of a church in Iran is brutally murdered, it is not just his church or denomination that mourns his death, but ALL of the churches weep for their deceased brother in Christ.

    Ain’t it great that we live in America, a land where (for now at least) we have the freedom and comfort to have disunity and disfellowship over “the minors”. I’m sure that God is truely pleased with your doctrine of separation.

    • April 28, 2010 at 5:03 am

      Gary,

      I would not presume to speak for Brother Kent, but I will speak for myself here.

      The passage in Mark is very interesting. Let’s see what Jesus said and didn’t say:

      He told His Disciples not to forbid them or go and stop them or disrupt them. I don’t think any of us has done that to anyone from T4G. They answer to God for their actions, and their rewards are from God, not man. He also said “whosoever shall give you a cup of water…” The only water I ever get from the T4G guys and the Desiring God bunch is thrown in my face in the form of blatant criticism of every stance on separation we take.

      By the way, none of us has said that we believe the T4G people are reprobates or not saved.

      What Jesus did not say: He did not say that His Disciples should join them or work with them or lay aside their differences to advance the Gospel. I will not join with them, and I will warn those in my flock about them because of their affiliation with bad doctrine and practice.

      May I say that God is not truly pleased with your lack of separation. We Baptists have always been separatists. We have always been the enemies of the established religions, and we are the only ones, it seems who are willing to say anything about false doctrine at all.

      • d4v34x
        April 29, 2010 at 6:16 am

        “. . . it seems who are willing to say anything about false doctrine at all.”

        Yes, I’m pretty sure it was a separatist Baptist who wroteandedited the two volume 1200 page work /Justification and Variegated Nomism/ in response to the “New Perspectives” on Paul.

  8. d4v34x
    April 28, 2010 at 6:14 am

    Ben, as a reader, is definitely one of the “us”. I place Tim as the “he” separate from the “us”.

  9. April 28, 2010 at 7:01 am

    We must all remember, the doctrine of separation is not Bro. Kent’s doctrine, It is not “American Fundamentalist’s” doctrine. It is God’s doctrine.

    2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for WHAT FELLOWSHIP hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and WHAT COMMUNION hath light with darkness? 15 And WHAT CONCORD hath Christ with Belial? or WHAT PART hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And WHAT AGREEMENT hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 WHEREFORE COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM, AND BE YE SEPARATE, SAITH THE LORD, and touch not the unclean thing; AND I WILL RECEIVE YOU, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

  10. April 28, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Right on, Brother Dave. Separation is Biblical. If someone wanted to debate the limits of separation according to the Bible, that would be one thing – but it is just plain wilfull ignorance for someone to deny the Bible teaches separation altogether.

    Worldwide Christendom is going down the tubes because they are casting aside separation, yoking up with compromisers, false teachers and false brethren – and then wonder why the church is in such a mess. If we ALL did things God’s way, standing where God said to stand in His Word, then there would be Biblical unity, not unity based on compromise.

    Their mentality: Yeah, Lord, we love you – but let us work together with your enemies and those who refuse to stand on your Word – we could do so much more together then!! Lord, we can create a grey unity between light and darkness – we can have fellowship between them, and woe to the separated believer who says otherwise!

    The Bible teaches that a true believer who loves the Lord Jesus Christ (and the Father) will KEEP God’s Word(s) and His commandments. When we cast these off for the sake of some worldly/ecumenical unity, that just proves our lack of love – no matter what our lips might profess!

  11. Gary
    April 28, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Wow, so are you saying that the churches in Iran are in serious error and that their martyrs died for nothing. It must be nice for you to be able to sit back in your easy chairs and judge those who are out there truely doing our Father’s business. God bless America!! Home of the spoiled self serving churches!!

    Oh and Art,

    I think that Dave and Jerry might be disagreeing with you. If I’m reading them right, they are saying that those who are not strict separationist are reprobates, especially when Dave is using 2 Cor. 6 to define his separatist views.

  12. April 28, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Actually, 2 Corinthians 6 is one passage defining GOD’S separatist views. In case you missed it, it’s from the Bible, God’s Word – not mine.

    And no, nowhere did I state that those who don’t separate are reprobate. What I am saying is that many true believers are compromising and not separating from the reprobates, or even from those who water down the truth, are ecumenical, etc. etc. Someone can call themselves a Christian and say they love the Lord all they want – but without practical obedience to God’s Word (and God’s Word does teach separation, standards, holding to Bible doctrines, etc.), their profession is vain and worthless.

  13. April 28, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Seems like Gary, with nowing little to nothing about us is very quick to accuse us. Funny how it is those that would believe the Word of God and attempt to obey it would be “judged” as being “jugemental” by yhose that disagree with them.

    I don’t believe I said “reprobate” once. I just simply pointed out the doctrine is GOD’s.

    II Corinthians 6 indeed deals with the lost, and I Corinthians 5 deals with those that profess to be saved. The doctrine of separation is God’s and is Biblical no matter who doesn’t like it.

    1 Corinthians 5:9-13 ¶ I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: 10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

  14. Gary
    April 28, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Dave,

    Sorry that I’m a little slow to understand. Thank you for your patients, but:

    If you are not calling anyone a reprobate or unsaved, why are you quoting chapter 6? T4G I believe is different denominations working together, not believers with unbelievers.

    Which sin in 2 Cor. 5:11 are you accussing T4G of that justify separation from them? Please explain.

    Jerry,

    Your “their profession is vain and worhless” statement. Is that in reference to the Iranian Christians who are working together for survival?

  15. April 28, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    My statement was in reference to those who refuse to obey the Scriptures, while stating they love the Lord. A contradiction if I ever saw one.

    It was not made in reference to Iranian Christians, whom I know little about. Curious: How are they “working together for survival”? They might be drawn closer because of persecution – but I can’t see how they are “working together for survival.”

    Either way, situational ethics are not of God. If someone that God Biblically calls you to separate from spiritually is going through a crisis, nothing justifies working with them.

    Do you yoke up with Catholics that the Muslims are persecuting in the Middle East or Europe? Pray for them, sure – but the Bible is still pretty clear we are not to be ecumenically yoked up with them.

  16. April 28, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Gary, my posts were in response to your comment to Brother Kent,

    “Ain’t it great that we live in America, a land where (for now at least) we have the freedom and comfort to have disunity and disfellowship over “the minors”. I’m sure that God is truely pleased with your doctrine of separation.”

    My point was and still is, the doctrine of separation is not Brother Kent’s it is indeed God’s. Brother Kent’s article is written from the understanding of God’s Biblical doctrine of separation in regards to the present day “T4G movement”.

    Revelation 2:1-3 ¶ Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; 2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.

    The church of Ephesus certianly was not untouched by persecution, yet that church practiced separation. Jesus chastened them for leaving thier first love and commanded their repentance, but He commended thier practice of separation.

  17. d4v34x
    April 28, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    “Worldwide Christendom is going down the tubes…”

    Sort of impossible given Christ’s promise in Matthew 16, no? Christianity going down the tubes would require a failure of the work the Lord is doing among men and woman upon the earth.

  18. April 28, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Actually, the word I used was “Christendom” – the definition, based on how I understand most to use this term, would be professing Christianity. The Bible teaches that prior to Christ’s return, there will be a time of apostasy. We are in that time.

  19. Gary
    April 28, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Jerry,

    Well I guess the Iranian churches see themselves as more of a universal church as they work to help each other petition to get brothers out of prision, they give prayer and financial support to each others families, and yes they do have T4G type meetings to work together to spread the gospel message in Iran.

    Yes, to your last part. If I had the means to help a persecuted catholic, I would in a heartbeat.

    Dave,

    Ohhhh now I get it. You didn’t mean to use Corinthians, but Revelation. So are you saying that the T4G members are deceitful apostles and liars? If not, why the separation?

  20. April 28, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Gary, if you choose to blind yourself to the clear teachng of Scripture, then there is little that my words typed on a blog comments section will do.

    I did mean to use ALL those references to show God’s doctrine of separation in the Scriptures. There are many others but I digress.

    Your sarcasim clearly shows you have little intent on thinking in any other vein that you have already chosen.

  21. April 28, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Helping a Catholic is need is not the same thing as yoking up with them spiritually (and I sincerely hope that is NOT what you are advocating), or working in the same ministries and “preaching the Gospel together” – which is impossible, unless you throw out the Bible. They preach another Gospel.

  22. April 28, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Kent:

    I appreciate your article here. So much to react to, time for this only.

    You quoted Challies, “Together for the Gospel is an excellent example of Christian leaders being willing and eager to put aside secondary differences for the sake of the gospel. While they disagree on many fine points of doctrine and even many very important points of doctrine, they all hold tightly to what matters most–the gospel message.”

    Anyone who is aware of Mohler and Duncan signing the Manhattan Declaration would view that statement as ridiculous. Signing the MD alongside Roman Catholic priests and rank liberals gave them Christian recognition and compromised the Gospel. Among T4G leaders, some, protested, but no way are they going to rebuke and split from Mohler and Duncan. Ditto over Piper’s invite to Rick Warren.

    Peter Masters had it exactly right when wrote that to be part of T4G the ministry of warning must be killed off.

    T4G is a unity at the expense of ignoring and/or deliberating disobeying clear Scriptural mandates for separatism from unbelievers and the disobedient among us. May this kind of tribe NEVER increase.

    LM

  23. Gary
    April 28, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    Dave,

    Ok, in all seriousness, are you choosing not to fellowship with T4G because they are fornicators, or covetous, or idolaters, or railers, or drunkards, or extortioners, or false apostles? If no, than these scriptures do not fit. You do not have fellowship with them becaue they differ with you on issues that have nothing to do with salvation. If they have a personal relationship Jesus then they will be in heaven (God will probably teach you a lesson by making one of them your neighbor).

    You say that they error according to scripture, and thus, are disobediant to God. This leads to thinking that because they are obviously disobediant to God, they do not love God and he in return is not pleased with them.

    I fear that you put your faith in YOUR ablility to interpret scriptures above seeing and loving your fellow brothers in Christ the way God sees and loves them. Try reading John 3:16 and think about how it is the Creator of the universe that gave his only begotten son. Try reading the parables in Luke 15 to see the love that God has for us.
    True we must hold to the core gospel doctrines to be saved and pleasing to God, but how about a little grace on disputable matters.

    I know that from reading these posts that IFB think that God has given them the only true interpretation of God’s word, but I have learned that a lot of your views are based as I said before on your faith in your own interpretations on scriptures that are not always that crystal clear. Peter even said that Paul was hard to understand at times.

    Please remember that only God and scripture is infallible. Our interpretations, no matter from what denomination, can have errors. Even from the you.

  24. April 28, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Gary, do you really think God made His Word that difficult to understand? I believe He intended us to study it out, understand it, then stand there – not take some wishy-washy “it’s just a matter of interpretation” stand (which is really a copout). If you are having such a hard time understanding God’s Word, perhaps you should spend more time studying, and less time debating where others stand.

  25. April 29, 2010 at 10:30 am

    D4,

    I would wish that you would be at least 25% as defensive for me as you are about non-separatist evangelicals, probably new-evangelicals (even by a strict definition of that term). I don’t think you are. Why do you think that it is? Think about it.

    Gary,

    You are absolutely welcome to come here and discuss things. However, your Iran illustration, whether it is true or not, is not on the same level as scripture. I’m sure you understand that, but for that reason, I’m not going to use what you say they’re doing in Iran as my basis for faith and practice.

    Jesus said that His friends were those who kept His commandments. Do you think that we should be friends with those who disobey His command of believer’s immersion?

  26. April 29, 2010 at 11:05 am

    d4,

    You are going to have to quit being “clever” in your responses. Us pore dum indypindint babtists can’t unnerstan all the references to books and things.

  27. d4v34x
    April 29, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Thanks for addressing the point. I guess I’ll have to go show off (?!?) somewhere else.

  28. d4v34x
    April 29, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Kent,

    I’ve been more defensive for you than you know. You can take me at my word or I can fwd some of my portion of an email correspondence. I did that in private since it involved a blog administrator addressing commenters addressing each other. I did this in public because these folks were the actual subject of the original post.

    You can rest easy. I got your back (as far as I can find justifcation, anyway). ;^)

  29. April 29, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Thanks for having my back D4. I don’t mind defending evangelicals when they are right, but I’ve found that they get plenty of defense. I’m more concerned about their bad influence. I guess that’s probably seeped out though.

  30. Gary
    April 29, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Kent and Jerry,

    So I guess that we can’t show a little grace to those stuck on milk. I am 110% on your side when it comes to water baptism, but is it a salvation issue…no. Their not trying to be disobediant, they honestly (though incorrectly) believe that babies should be baptized because of original sin. They actually think that we are being disobediant for having baby dedications instead of baby baptisms.
    By having some fellowship with them, we might be able to help them over time develope a right understanding, thus take on some serious meat.
    Didn’t Paul always try to correct misunderstandings, not separate over them. Is the Holy Spirit so weak that he cannot shed the scales off of their eyes? I know that I have an awesome and mighty God who cares for them and wishes for them to know the Truth.

    Jerry,

    In regards to the Catholics with whom I do speak with, I do have a good percentage that after some fellowship, do have their eye open and are now going to my church.
    GOD IS GOOD!!

    Kent,

    I thought that the Iranian situation was common knowledge. Our church supports two or three missionaries in Iran. I do not think that Dave’s scriptures support his and your views on separation.

  31. April 29, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Gary,

    In the case of infant sprinkling, we are talking about one of the four main speakers at T4G. There is a scriptural basis for avoiding those who continue disobeying and teaching something different than what scripture teaches (2 Thess 3:6-15; Rom 16:17-18). Separation is what scripture teaches that we do to see what they are supposed to see. Not separating isn’t more caring, because separating is what God told us to do, and God is love.

  32. April 30, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Gary,

    I apologize for being facetious. As far as infant sprinkling goes, if the “loving” paedo-baptists were in charge, they would be banishing, ridiculing, and even physically abusing us. I believe they have done that anywhere they had the power to do so.

    Charity in all things, indeed.

  33. Joe
    April 30, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    So what do you think about the Free Presbyterians’ take on baptism? They appear to be very fundamentally sound in doctrine otherwise. (In fact, I asked an Irish pastor his preference, and he stated that he thought immersion was the more correct, obviously indicating believer’s baptism.) My reference to Free Presbyterians includes Scotland and Ireland, as well as the Irish missionary movement in America.

  34. April 30, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Some Free Presbyterians personally believe in believer’s baptism by immersion – but as a denomination, it is one doctrine practice they won’t take an official stand on (ie. won’t publically/ecclessiastically oppose contrary viewpoints on this).

  35. Joe
    April 30, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Jerry (and others),

    So, what is YOUR thoughts on this?

  36. April 30, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    Thoughts on…? The Free Presbyterian’s stand? It is a compromise – which I believe is unnecessary. The Bible is pretty clear on Baptism’s mode and meaning, and who it is for. Why not take a stand within your denomination – rock the boat, so to speak. How many FP’s are out there that do believe the proper Bible doctrine on this – and how many don’t? Do I/they really want to fellowship with someone who deliberately hedges clear passages of Scripture?

    It is like someone that is KJVonly choosing to fellowship with anyone else who is KJVonly, regardless of whatever other doctrine they may hold – as if the King James Bible is the only doctrine worth holding and the only criteria we gauge everything else by. There are some KJVonly folks who I would never fellowship with (for example, Riplinger and Ruckman and their close followers, someone like Steve Anderson who rejects repentance and who believes his Bible is Jesus, someone else who claims to hold to the KJV but who does not live what it teaches or who is too busy “correcting” it). I can fellowship with some or many FP’s, as their beliefs (minus their Calvinism) are probably the closest to IFB than any other denomination as a whole. Though if a FP was taking a deliberate stand against believer’s baptism by immersion, I could not fellowship with him.

  37. Gary
    April 30, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    I’ve got to admit that I would probably would not let a person that held a doctrine different from my church, be a guest speaker in my church.
    My wife is from El Salvador, thus we are very active in Hispanic ministry. Where we live, the Hispanics are about 80% Catholic, 10% Charasmatic, 5% Baptist, 5% other.
    We evangelize to the Catholics, but I cannot figure out the Charasmatics. I think that wisdom would say that inviting a Word of Faith teacher would be a no bueno.
    On the other hand, I’m always willing to go to another person’s church when invited, because if they do hold to what I believe is an incorrect doctrine, I’m able to discuss it with them and possibly get them to come to my church. Remember when I said that we’ve been pretty successful with Catholics.
    How will they know they are in error and trust us to show them the truth unless there is some fellowship?
    In regards to the Iranian churches, their fellowship is more on the level of supplying bibles, petitioning for prisoners, Christian television, etc. They probably don’t speak at each others churches.

  38. Gary
    April 30, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    To Kent because of his last scriptures and Jerry because he seems to find all scriptures easy to understand:

    I’m just curious about two practices that some Christian’s still observe.

    In references to obeying the apostles’ commands . 1 Cor 11 Paul says “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you , brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and KEEP MY ORDINANCES, as I delivered them to you.”

    Then he goes on to talk about how a man’s head is to be uncovered (or short) and a woman’s head is to be covered (or long hair). Do you practice this in your church? Some would say that it was a cultural thing, but doesn’t Paul say that (in reference to women)” for this ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.” doesn’t he also say “doth not nature itself teach you that….”. So again do you hold to this teaching?

    In reference to the Lord’s feasts, not Israel’s, but the Lord’s. Do you still observe them. The apostle Paul did (Acts 18:20-21). Shouldn’t you be Like Paul? You might say that he was trying to be a Jew to the Jews, but even Polycarp (a gentile) a disciple of John the apostle observed the feasts. (the Quatodeciman controversy). So do you still observe them? If you don’t then those who do, think that you are disobediant.

  39. May 1, 2010 at 3:27 am

    Gary, mocking and twisting words is not a good habit to get into. I said God meant His Word to be understood – but that some issues do need to be studied out.

    Does my church keep the Bible’s command for men to have short hair and women long? Yes – doesn’t yours? It is a pretty clear command.

    Don’t rip Bible passages out of context or force them to have a meaning that the rest of the Bible does not give them. Romans 14 and Colossians 2 teach that the NT believer has the liberty to observe or not observe the feast days, because they are not binding on us. They were shadows that are fulfilled in Christ. Also, these two passages teach that you are not to judge or despise those that differ with you on the feast days – so the person who thinks that those who don’t observe these feast days are obedient is picking and choosing what Scripture he wants to obey/follow.

  40. Joe
    May 1, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Jerry Bouey: “The Bible is pretty clear on Baptism’s mode and meaning, and who it is for.”

    I Corinthians 10:2 “And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;”
    I Corinthians 12:13 “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”

    These passages speak of being immersed, but not necessarily of water as in the ordinance.

    I agree with your mode of baptism by ordinance. I also believe that believers are those that are baptized. But I Corinthians 10:2 has caused me to consider the Reformers comprehension. Thus, the fundamental Free Presbyterians are persons I appreciate.

    It also seems that you would exclude me with your idea of soteriology, or rather your aversion to the soteriology of Calvin.

    Thanks for answering.

  41. May 1, 2010 at 8:10 am

    I also believe that believers are those that are baptized.

    Woah – believers are TO BE baptized. Being baptized does not make one a believer – and the Bible teaches believer’s baptism (of course, I am referring to water baptism here – the other passages you quoted are in reference to being baptized into Christ or by the Holy Spirit).

    I believe in Bible doctrine – not Calvinism or Augustinianism (if I spelled that right).

  42. Joe
    May 1, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    And so do I Jerry. Seems as though you are in this just to argue. That is so sad. Try quoting Scripture instead of your own words. Let the Scripture interpret Scripture.

    I Corinthians 10:2 “And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;”

    This does not indicate water baptism or a baptism into Christ. This speaks of a baptism into the Law.

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