Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Should I Blog?

Within this last year, someone approached me, who I believe really cares, to tell me he didn't think I should blog.  It related mainly to church autonomy, that pastors will have to deal with problems at a time not of their choice, because of what their members will read here. I might be 100% true and truthful, but the people receiving it will not get it in the right manner if they obtain it other than just in their church.  I didn't agree.  I'm not going to argue for my position here.  I have several arguments for.  I think I should blog.  However, I want to hear from those who also think I either should or shouldn't.  I want to hear, either way.

I've got one rule.  You must be respectful when you give your comments or I won't publish them. Please, however, give them.  I do want to hear/read them pro or con.

Thank you.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Is the Bible Enough Evidence?

God established the Bible as true.  It's as if scripture has already gone through the verification process and got its authentication seal of approval.  It's already science, because it is already all true.  What's better about it than "evidence," the stuff that people call evidence, some of which is and much of which isn't evidence, is that it channels straight from God, bypassing lying eyes and a contaminated scene.

God is the originator of life.  He's not created.  He self-exists.  Unlike us, He doesn't have to depend on someone or something else to survive.  Everything stays pure with Him, because He doesn't need to change and He won't change, because He's already the perfection of all His attributes.  God has already given us more than enough reason to receive what He said in His Word as true.

The purity of scripture because of its pure source is why in 1 Peter 2 it is called the sincere milk of the Word, which is the pure mother's milk.  Mother's milk comes straight from mother, so it isn't contaminated by taking it out of that channel of purity.  God's Word comes in the same manner.  This is why in times of test, James says, trust the Word of God.  Don't waiver like the waves of the sea.  Don't trust your own desires, but trust God.  You were begotten by the Word of Truth, so trust scripture in those temptations and tests and trials.  This is how you manifest that you are a believer, that you have true faith.

If you believe the first verse of the Bible, everything else left to believe in the Bible is downhill from there.  That's the toughest thing, so if something else seems tough, you can go back to that and remember that nothing is too tough.  He said He created everything.  He has given evidence that He did, enough of it, but if you can believe that, then you know that He has the wisdom and power and nature to do everything else that He said He did and would do.

I am justified by faith.  Why would I think that, receive that, believe that, know that?  God said I was, that's why.  That is faith.  Some say faith is disconnected to evidence.  Not true.  Scripture is evidence.  I'm sitting at an airport right now.  I have an identification.  It says I've already jumped through enough hoops to prove that I am who I say that I am.  The Bible has already done that.  It has already been authenticated as evidence, and so it skips right to the front of the line.  No more investigation is needed.  Validation is settled.  It is a wicked generation that looks for more than that. Now you just know it, believe it, think it, however you want to say that.

There are gaps in historical proof for some of what the Bible says.  The Bible itself is historical proof and better than historical proof.  If you read Isaiah 40-48, you know that what God says is better than other forms of evidence, because it connects to the present, the past, and the future.  Nothing else does that in the realm of what we know.  The Bible is the gold standard.  Everything else is some hybrid, some mixture.

The true church isn't a state church, such as Roman Catholicism.  The true church is the separated church, the one that never identified with or associated with a state church.  True churches always existed.  Yes.  The truth didn't get passed down through Roman Catholicism.  Why do I think, believe, know this?  Scripture says.  I anticipate what the Bible says.  You say, but you can't prove that.  I can, the Bible teaches it, and that's proof.

Other say, no, we don't have evidence for anything but the Roman Catholic church until the Reformation.  That's it, folks.  They have to rely on evidence to get their positions, so it's Roman Catholicism.  They would rather believe their lying eyes than they would the Bible.  They can't see churches in recorded history, not enough came through the hand-written part of history, so they can't say it exists, even though Jesus said it would.  Is the Bible enough evidence?  Are professing Christians too embarrassed of the Bible to accept it?

The Bible stands or as Jesus said, scripture cannot be broken. Written history doesn't stand.  Some of it does, but not all of it, and the further you go back, the more difficult it is to sort through what's true and what isn't.  If you think the Bible needs further confirmation from history, then you've got a problem.

When Jesus spoke to His disciples in the upper room discourse, a speech that went into the streets of Jerusalem with them at the end of John 14 through the end of 16, He made a lot of promises about the future.  They were as good as true, as good as done, right when He said them.   They hadn't happened yet.  The Holy Spirit had not come.  Was what Jesus said, evidence?  Are men better off saying, "I'll believe it, when I see it?"  What He says always comes true like He says.  It is evidence.  To top that off, He prayed in John 17 to the Father that these things would come true. Everything Jesus prays will come true.  We can anticipate what Jesus said would come true.  What He said and prayed are not up for question.  They are true.

I can't find a true church in every year since Christ ascended.  That doesn't mean there isn't one.  I can't find their doctrinal statements.  In certain cases, I can find unorthodox doctrine attributed to separatist groups. This is where we please Him by faith by just accepting that there were always true churches separate from the state church (which isn't even a church), in every year since Christ ascended.  He said there would be, so we believe there was.  That is the evidence, not history. History can be helpful, but it isn't 100% trustworthy.  You can't completely count on it.  You can't even count on contemporary opinions or writings of men, let alone really old ones, written a long time ago.  The Bible is different.  It is the pure mother's milk.

Our view of the church needs to match up with the Bible.  Our view of authority needs to match up with the Bible.  Our view of preservation of scripture needs to match up with the Bible.  The Bible isn't something that God's people didn't have accessible for four hundred years.  That can't be the Bible.  The Bible itself teaches a settled text.  It teaches perfect preservation.  Whatever fits what the Bible teaches is the true view.  It is what we should accept as happening, as the truth, as knowledge, as a fact. Other types of so-called "validation" or "verification," like so-called "reasoned eclecticism" are not faith.  Scripture doesn't teach that the true text is in the majority of the manuscripts, where ever they might be.  All of these positions are not faith, and we should count on them being wrong. They clash with scripture.

I read someone in the last few weeks, who wrote about "reasoned eclecticism":
The main draw of the eclectic approach, for me, is its honesty about what we know, what don't, and why it makes the choices it does. I don't mean to say the other views are dishonest (well, some of them are), but "honest" in the sense of facing facts squarely and not leaning heavily on wishful thinking.
He is saying that someone can only be honest if he sees something.  If he doesn't see a physical manuscript with that particular word, or at least a vaunted textual critic sees it, then it didn't exist, even if it is found in a printed edition.  Being honest in this case is relying on evidence.  Is the Bible enough evidence?  When it comes to biblical doctrine, do we not rely on the Bible for the doctrine? The Bible provides the trajectory, the template, the understanding of what will happen, connecting past, present, and future, like God does, and that is where true knowledge lies.

Is someone being honest if he says he believes the Bible and then either doesn't believe the Bible or just ignores it, because the latest and best history or extra-documents seem to contradict what the Bible teaches?  Are we supposed to go outside of scripture to understand scripture?  Desire the pure mother's milk like babes do.  Stop desiring the latest hybrid that takes the gutter route.

Some in an attempt to elevate lying eyes will call faith in scripture, fideism.  They treat it as if it is an ethereal faith in faith or faith for faith's sake.  No.  There was a talking snake.  Moses looked totally washed out white coming down Sinai.  The Red Sea split and an entire nation walked through.  I don't have to find chariots.  I don't have to find Joseph's tomb in Egypt to believe Joseph ruled in Egypt. One measly archaeological reference to David doesn't overturn David.

Christians, do we really like the Bible?  Do we really trust it?  God deserves to be honored, to be believed.  Let's do believe Him.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Frederick B. Meyer: "Baptist" Kewsick Advocate & Apostate False Teacher, part 2 of 4

            While F. B. Meyer did believe in baptism by immersion for believers, he was very far from being a strong defender of historic Baptist doctrine and practice.  He was “less theological and didactic” than even the other speakers at the already extremely undogmatic Keswick convention[1]—indeed, his “relatively undogmatic approach was of crucial importance”[2] for his spread of Keswick doctrine worldwide—although he did defend a view of Spirit baptism as a post-conversion second blessing similar to the view of William Boardman instead of endorsing the historic Baptist view of Spirit baptism, as it was important to Meyer to put away denominational distinctions and seek post-conversion Spirit baptism.[3]  Meyer denied baptism one added one to the Baptist congregation that authorized the ordinance (cf. Acts 2:41-47; 1 Corinthians 12:13).  Rather, he taught not only that one could receive believer’s baptism and not be added to a Baptist church, but that one could be immersed and remain a member of a paedobaptist religious organization, with no desire whatsoever to separate from it and join a Baptist congregation.  Baptism was a personal matter, not a church ordinance in the Biblical sense:  “[R]emember . . . that you may be baptized, as a believer, without becoming a member of the Baptist denomination.  You may be baptized, and still continue in communion with that Christian body with which you have been accustomed to worship.  This rite is a personal matter between the Lord and the individual believer.”[4]  Since baptism did not add one to a Baptist church, in Meyer’s view, “[p]robably no man has baptized more members of other churches”—who remained in these other churches—“than he.”[5]  Indeed, Meyer pastored a paedobaptist religious assembly, Christ’s Church, for twenty-one years—a longer period than he spent as the pastor of any Baptist church, and this paedobaptist assembly was both his last pastorate and the place where his funeral was held.  Explaining why he was leaving a Baptist church for a paedobaptist religious organization, Meyer wrote:  “I am less of a denominationalist than ever . . . I can best serve my generation from an undenominational standpoint,” although the Baptists he had previously pastored expressed “regret and dismay” once they found out Meyer’s plan, at the last minute—for he had neither “consulted the [Baptist] Church or even consulted with its officers” but “arrangements were carried through . . . [with] secrecy” and as he was “at the bottom a little ashamed of his desertion of Regent’s Park [Baptist Church] . . . he practically accepted the new church before he informed the old one.”[6]  Not only did the fact that the members of Christ’s Church had no Biblical baptism, and so could not Biblically be church members or be a true church of Christ at all, stop Meyer from assuming its pastorate, the fact that his newly adopted religious organization had a “liturgy” did not stop him either.[7]  He was happy to have Christ’s Church “mainly suppor[t] the L. M. S.,”[8] the paedobaptist London Missionary Society, founded as an ecumenical mix of Anglicans, Congregationalists, Wesleyans, and Presbyterians, Calvinists and Arminians, and numerous other forms of doctrinal divergence, such as acceptance of the idea that the heathen could be saved without knowing the name of Jesus Christ—thus, Meyer’s book advocating this heresy of a Christ-less salvation, The Wideness of God’s Mercy, was in substance delivered as the Annual Sermon of the L. M. S.[9]  The previous pastor at Christ’s Church, Christopher Newman Hall,  a divorced adulterer, annihilationist, and rejector of verbal inspiration, “was delighted to secure as his successor at Christ Church F. B. Meyer . . . a worthy heir.”[10]  Meyer was willing to immerse the Anglican minister, Keswick leader, and annihilationist heretic George Grubb.[11]  Indeed, faithful to Keswick ecumenicalism, Meyer refused to “declar[e] it impossible to receive those who accept a formula which implies baptismal regeneration,” thinking that this “would have been far from the unity in Christ . . . at the beginning and the end he rejoiced that we,” whether believing in baptismal regeneration or not, “are ‘all one in Christ Jesus,’” in the words of the Keswick motto.[12]  Meyer presided over the Keswick Open Communion service where those who believed in the true gospel and false gospels united to celebrate, as they thought, the Lord’s Supper.[13]  The Galatian false teachers that the Apostle Paul anathematized (Galatians 1:8-9) would have been welcomed as Christian brethren by Meyer, for he stated that he “hoped one day ‘to kneel before the Throne of God with a High Churchman on one side and a Quaker on the other,’”[14] despite the baptismal regeneration and sacramental false gospel of High Church Anglicanism and the rejection of justification by Christ’s imputed righteousness and other damnable heresies of Quakerism.  He happily preached the Higher Life to those who went beyond even High Church Anglicanism in sacramentalist heresy, such as the Eastern Orthodox.[15]  

Meyer’s personal conversion was extremely dubious in light of the lack of even a sentence or a single phrase about a new birth in Meyer’s authorized[16] biography of several hundred pages, and his deep confusion about the nature of the gospel.  Indeed, “Meyer didn’t know anything about conversion, or about the gathering of sinners around Christ” even during his first pastorate—he only picked up, in 1873, certain evangelistic notions, or perhaps certain promotion and marketing techniques, from D. L. Moody, who himself was sadly ecumenical—but even at that point there is no record of Meyer being born again.[17]  Since Meyer believed good Quakers were Christians, not people in a false religion in need of true salvation—a position that made it much easier to accept the doctrines of Quakers such as Hannah W. Smith—it is not surprising that he would invite “missionaries of . . . the Society of Friends to a yearly Conference.”[18]  Furthermore, Meyer was “one of the very few outsiders who has been allowed, in the course of its 260 years’ history, to address the . . . executive committee . . . of the Society of Friends.”[19]  Meyer’s understanding and proclamation of the Christian gospel was terribly deficient and grossly heretical. 

In light of Meyer’s strong identification with Keswick, it is natural that he also encouraged Pentecostalism.  “In the 1890s, F. B. Meyer was to be found assuring his Keswick audience that they could receive ‘a mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost’ like ‘another Pentecost.’  It was an outlook which helped to create the emphasis on Spirit-baptism found in twentieth-century Pentecostalism. . . . Meyer embodied a spiritual power that was ‘literally Pentecostal.’”[20]  In his international travels, Meyer was part of the “explicit . . . link between . . . holiness revivalism and Pentecostalism,” as he led people to “claim the promise and power of Pentecost” and reported that “Baptists . . . were speaking in tongues and casting out demons.”[21]  Meyer contributed to the founding of the Welsh Keswick Convention at Llandrindod Wells in 1903, an important precursor to the work of the 1904-5 holiness revivalism associated with Evan Roberts and a place from which the false doctrines of Jessie Penn-Lewis were spread abroad.[22]  Meyer taught that the Welsh holiness revivalism involved a restoration of the miraculous gifts of 1 Corinthians 12[23]—a chapter where tongues are included.  It is not surprising that, “[f]ollowing the Welsh Revival of 1904–1905, Meyer reported in Los Angeles on what he had observed in Wales. His report encouraged future leaders of the Pentecostal movement, which was to spread from 1906.”[24]  Meyer’s promotion of Pentecostalism was perhaps furthered by the fact that he himself received revelations that added to Scripture.  For example, he claimed to have a vision in which he engaged in conversation with Jesus Christ[25] and also received, apparently by revelation, information that in heaven angels were making “a new road, along the River Bank” since there had “been so many arrivals lately,” and that Meyer and his physician would have their “mansions . . . together”[26] along this new road overlooking this heavenly river, despite Meyer's lack of a personal and conscious conversion to Jesus Christ and new birth.

See here for this entire study.

[1]           Pg. 67, F. B. Meyer:  A Biography. W. Y. Fullerton.
[2]           Pg. 111, Transforming Keswick:  The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall
[3]           Pgs. 41-42, 45, F. B. Meyer, Fullerton;  cf. “Spirit Baptism: A Completed Historical Event. An Exposition and Defense of the Historic Baptist View of Spirit Baptism,” http://faithsaves.net.
[4]           Pg. 84, F. B. Meyer:  A Biography. W. Y. Fullerton, citing Meyer’s “Seven Reasons for Believer’s Baptism.”
[5]           Pg. 84, , F. B. Meyer:  A Biography. W. Y. Fullerton.
[6]           Pgs. 73-77, F. B. Meyer:  A Biography, Fullerton.
[7]           Pg. 76, F. B. Meyer:  A Biography, Fullerton.
[8]           Pg. 143, F. B. Meyer:  A Biography, Fullerton.
[9]           Preface, The Wideness of God’s Mercy, Meyer.  New York:  Eaton and Mains, 1906.
[10]         Cf. pgs. 282-284, Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals, ed. Larsen.
[11]         Pg. 85, F. B. Meyer, Fullerton.
[12]         Pg. 194, F. B. Meyer, Fullerton.
[13]         Pg. 195, F. B. Meyer, Fullerton.
[14]         Pg. 208, F. B. Meyer, Fullerton.
[15]         Pg. 111, Transforming Keswick:  The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall.  Meyer even preached to the Armenian Patriarch in the Gregorian Church in Constantinople, exhorting him to embrace Keswick theology, rather than exhorting him to repent and turn from the worship of idols, from sacramental salvation, and from other abominable heresies to Jesus Christ and be born again.
[16]         Pgs. 7, 222, F. B. Meyer, Fullerton.
[17]         Pg. 102-103, The Keswick Story:  The Authorized History of the Keswick Convention, Polluck.
[18]         Pg. 143, F. B. Meyer, Fullerton.
[19]         Pg. 188, F. B. Meyer, Fullerton; note also the Quaker influence in ancestors of his family, pg. 11.
[20]         Pg. 43, Transforming Keswick:  The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall.  Meyer proved his doctrine of post-conversion Spirit baptism by “outspoken personal testimonies about a sense of failure giving way to new power, a power seen in practice,” rather than by a careful exegesis of Scripture;  Meyer also “often gave away copies of Murray’s Abide in Christ” (pg. 53, ibid).
[21]         Pg. 178, Transforming Keswick:  The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall
[22]         Pgs. 168-169, Transforming Keswick:  The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall.
[23]         Pg. 172, Transforming Keswick:  The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall.
[24]         Pgs. 429-430, Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals, ed. Larsen.
[25]         Pg. 212, F. B. Meyer, Fullerton.
[26]         Pg. 213, F. B. Meyer, Fullerton.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Metaphysical Reality

When you think of your own existence, you find yourself in a moment of metaphysical reality.  Your thoughts are not mere chemicals.  As you direct your own mind to subject matter, you know this is not only physical.  Some other dimension besides the physical is at work.

Space and matter appear to be expanding and men know this didn't and doesn't "just happen."  Even if it isn't expanding, what we see as doing so must have been caused to begin.  The idea of the universe being part of a chain of infinite causal regress, cause and effect going back forever, is not possible.

Modern observation of the fine-tuning of the universe, the complexity of the cell, and modern physics point to a metaphysical reality. String theorists envision ten or more dimensions.  Quantum-field theorists speculate higher dimensions. Scientists are not yet certain exactly what dark matter and dark energy are, but many of them "believe" that we are detecting the effects of both, and they use dark matter to explain galactic motion.

If someone can accept higher dimensions and dark matter, he should also consider metaphysical reality.  Men choose to conceive of artificial intelligence living in a simulated computer universe. That intelligence could be totally unaware of its programmer-creator watching it, even though the world exists outside of the computer.  The human brain far exceeds the sum of the abilities of any man-made computer,  so that even a simulation is far beyond the computational capability of any current computer or the coding itself required to program it.  Though human minds are immaterial, they depend on matter to exist.  However, as a transcendent Spirit, God does not depend on material things to exist, and therefore His mind could compute far beyond the reach of any even conceivable supercomputer man could build.

Astronomer Hugh Ross identified one hundred forty fine tuning parameters of our universe, without which life as we know it would be impossible, akin to one hundred forty radio tuning dials that have to be simultaneously tuned to precisely the right frequency.  If it isn't God in charge of those dials, then there must be some explanation and it can't be continuously successful chance.  Even though men haven't come close even to finding another planet that can sustain life, it doesn't make any sense to give credit to some very talented and powerful alien for controlling those dials.

Generating complex order from an explosion isn't possible.  Explosions produce disorder and chaos, not mind boggling order beyond the ability of even human design.  Men don't see accident or chance functioning with precision.  Yet the accuracy applied to all the calculations necessary for succeeding at the monumental number of correct conclusions is beyond the cumulative efforts of all the smartest men.  It is metaphysical reality.  Who is metaphysical reality?  He is God.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Fifth American War: Uniquely Good Analysis By Victor David Hanson

I don't normally read Victor David Hanson.  Through the years, cumulatively I've read several articles of his, but he has written a monumental piece for National Review, just out.  His analysis is dead center, entitled, The Fifth American War.  Enjoy.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Liberty and Lordship

Someone could say to his boss, "Sure you're the boss, but I get to interpret everything you say and, one, make it mean what I say that it means, even if it means changing its meaning, or, two, decide what is plain or clear so as not to do what isn't plain to me."  No boss would take those terms, because he would know what it means -- he isn't the boss any more.  He couldn't and wouldn't count on his business getting done.  Yet, this is the state of most of professing Christianity today.

Whatever it is that professing Christians, including its leaders, don't like or don't think will work, they can void through one of the same two ways as the above illustration.  Differing interpretations and decisions related to plainness become liberty issues or at least are considered to be questionable things.  Your only requirement, something of which you don't have liberty, is to agree to disagree -- that is the only requirement, the only way in which you don't have liberty.  You have liberty only to agree.  You don't have liberty to say someone is wrong, because you would have to sure someone is wrong.  You might be sure, but you can't say, because that would take away this liberty to interpret everything on your own, and the companion liberty to decide what is plain and clear, both of which I will hereon refer to as "faux autonomy."

I have read a very tenuous, spider web thread-like exegetical or theological connection to this inability to be sure, based upon faux autonomy.  If scripture doesn't say, for instance, smoking crack, you go beyond scripture to prohibit.  Peter said that there are things hard to be understood, so things can be too hard to understand.  Jesus talked about weightier matters of the law, so certain matters can be judged to be very light, weighing literally nothing.  Since the gospel is first in importance, someone can judge things to be of very little importance, or might as well be said to be of no importance.

If someone believes in Jesus Christ, he must believe Jesus is Lord.  If someone believes Jesus is the Christ, then he believes Jesus is the Messiah, that is, the King, another implication of lordship.  The identity of Jesus is an aspect of the gospel. You must believe in the Jesus of the Bible, the One revealed in scripture, to be saved.  Doing what you are told shouldn't be and can't be separated from lordship.  He isn't Lord on our terms, anymore than someone is boss on our terms.  If it is our terms, then He isn't Lord to us, that is, we aren't believing in Him.

No one has liberty to sin, especially Christians.  Christians don't have liberty to disobey Jesus Christ. Faux autonomy contradicts the lordship of Christ.  However, this is where Christianity is today, diminishing the lordship of Christ with faux autonomy.  They are picking their own Jesus based on what they prefer.  They use faux autonomy to "believe" in Him and then not do what He says.  They don't believe in Him.

Jesus calls us to salvation by calling us with Him outside the camp (Heb 13:13).  Professing Christians want the salvation that stays in the camp and doesn't bear the reproach of association with Jesus, separate from the world.  They prefer a convenient Christianity, spotted by the world.  This Christianity attracts a larger crowd.  It isn't Christianity.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Repentance Debate Challenge

For a number of decades now the heresy on repentance hatched in hell and taught by Jack Hyles, Curtis Hudson and Shelton Smith's Sword of the Lord, and other "Baptist" leaders, as well as the (falsely so-called) Free Grace movement of Zane Hodges and others, has rejected the Biblical fact that when the lost repent, they must, enabled by God's grace and the powerful working of God's Spirit, turn from their sins to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  Instead of this basic gospel truth, the heresy that repentance is just turning from unbelief to belief (which of itself misunderstands the nature of saving belief or faith, which involves surrender) has infected a significant percentage of the independent Baptist movement. However, while this false gospel has spread, being taught with more or less consistency, in schools such as Hyles-Anderson College, Golden State Baptist College, Dayspring Bible College, Baptist College of America, West Coast Baptist College, Berean Baptist College, as well as through para-church organizations such as the Sword of the Lord, and by nutcases with a large Internet presence like the Holocaust-denying "Baptist" Steven Anderson, no public debate over it has taken place.  In light of these terrible facts, I would be interested in conducting a public and moderated debate with a prominent advocate of the alternative "Baptist" position on repentance.  (It could have some value to debate a "free grace" advocate who attended Dallas Seminary and goes to a Bible church, but I would prefer to debate an independent "Baptist" advocate of this new and false gospel, as I am the most concerned for independent Baptist churches adopting and promulgating this damnable heresy.)  Both parties to the debate would have full rights to do whatever they wished with the video-recorded debate, (which, in my case, very likely means posting it for free online, as my debates with Dan Barker of the Freedom From Religion Foundation are online), over the proposition:

"Saving repentance always results in a changed life."

or something similar.

If you are a significant advocate of the anti-turning from sin position on repentance and are willing to defend your position in open debate, please contact me on my website.  If you are not an advocate of this position but have connections to one of its significant advocates, please encourage him to stand up for his position like a man (and, in his view, like a Christian, even if his gospel is not in truth Christian) and defend it in an open debate.

I believe it would be beneficial for the kingdom of God to have a public discussion of this sort available, instead of just having two radically different gospels proclaimed among independent Baptists without any serious interaction of this kind.  Such a debate could, Lord willing, be watched by many in this media-focused generation--between the advocates of the opposite positions.

I would love for advocates of the anti-true repentance position to take the name "Baptist" off of their church signs, as they are neither Biblical, Baptist, nor Christian, but if they are not willing to do so, then at least they should be willing to defend their heresy.  The way the majority of them spread it, by taking texts out of context, screaming from behind their pulpits to the whipped-up crowds of the mainly already convinced, "proving" they are right by the number of people they have manipulated into repeating the "sinner's prayer," and other non-exegetical antics, really needs to stop being good enough.  It is time for one of them to defend their new "gospel" in public debate.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Should Naturalistic Explanations Overrule Scriptural Ones?

When scripture teaches something, does that settle a matter, a belief and practice? If a naturalistic explanation clashes with a scriptural one, should the natural overrule the biblical?  The virgin birth is not naturalistic.  Should believers reject that event and teaching for a naturalistic explanation? Should men just receive what the Bible says happened?

New studies say that spanking isn't good for children.  The Bible says it is good.  Should the Bible continue to rule on child rearing?

Naturalists say earth is billions of years old.  The Bible says less than 10,000.  What decides?

Linguists say there's evidence the Hebrew language developed from other ancient ones.  The Bible shows Hebrew the original language in the Garden of Eden.  Is the Bible true?

Naturalism says that societal evolution advances egalitarianism.  The Bible says God designed man as the head of the woman.  What are we to think?

Naturalistic rules of textual criticism say that no one can be sure of the exact wording of the New Testament, neither was the text of the New Testament accessible for centuries.  The Bible says God preserved and would preserve every Word of His Words for every generation of believer.  Which should be trusted?

Taking a naturalistic position in denial of scriptural teaching is a faithless position.  According to scripture it doesn't please God.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Do Christians Like the Whole Bible?

All of the Bible is the truth and all of it is good.  It comes as a package.  You don't accept the Bible and then not accept all of it.  You accept all of it or none of it.  It is like the truth in that way.  There is one truth.  It is the truth whether you like it or not.  Just because you don't like it doesn't mean that you get to choose your own truth.

The Bible is not a buffet restaurant intended for choosing what you like and discarding the rest.   None of it reads that way.  An illustration closer to how scripture reads would be the instructions for putting together an intricate model.  Each individual piece fits in one and only one place.  Every piece is necessary to the whole and each place where each piece goes is also an important feature.  That isn't an exact analogy, but much, much closer than the buffet table that God's Word has become.

Our church is very, very different than most of the evangelical churches in our area and even different than the fundamentalists ones.  All the of the differences between us and them relate to ways that churches have capitulated on Bible doctrine and practice.  Our church still believes and practices where the church has caved and mostly for "cultural reasons."  Today you will read, hear, or see that a church is conservative doctrinally and liberal culturally.  Now very often if not most often, if the doctrine is right, the cultural issues don't matter to them.

Scripture teaches the church is different than the world.  Where a church very often if not most often suffers today is not in its doctrine, but where it contrasts with the world.  The light of the church shines through its practice and especially where the world varies from it.  This is especially and mostly seen in cultural issues.  By that I mean such as dress, music, entertainment, recreation, literature, food and drink, art, marriage, education, manners, and roles, among some others.  All of these relate to morality and righteous behavior.

Here's what has happened and at one time, most professing Christians knew it was happening.  In the 18th and 19th centuries, the differences in culture between the church and the world were little, because of the influence of the church on the culture.  This was a way that the light of Christianity shown on the United States.  The world, however, began to change away from the Christian culture at a more rapid pace.  The churches stood against that.

As the world changed and the differences between the church and the world became more drastic, churches began to modify to accommodate the world.  Those that did were more popular.  Other churches preached against the world, but then also against those other churches.  Finally the churches that weren't moving with the world became the minority.  They were not only castigated by the world but also by a majority of the churches.  Those churches have dwindled until there are very, very few that stand where they once did.

True doctrines have slid with the wrong practices, including warped aesthetics and inordinate affections.  Now unity might be expected over minimal doctrine and on almost nothing in the culture.  You can hardly tell the difference in most churches between the church and the world.  To conform to that, the gospel is then changed to something that excludes resulting behavior.  Even if a church hasn't slid on most of the doctrine, it won't separate from a church that has moved.  Churches have become a hodge-podge of belief and behavior. You can't rely on the church anymore for stability for truth, goodness, and beauty.  It's stopped giving guidance and instead reflected what is happening around it.

God hasn't changed though.  He still wants all of His Word practiced, every bit of it. Christians now don't like the whole Bible and they don't even have to like all of it.  They just have to believe the parts that are "essential," which excludes almost everything in the way of practice.

Scripture still has authority as much as it ever has, but churches don't respect the authority of scripture.  They follow it in the areas they think they'll be benefited.  They know the Bible has lost its authority with them, but they still advocate for it in those areas they think they can say are plain enough.  It's not convincing, so churches have stopped attempting to convince people with the truth and now are doing it with social and "spiritual" aspects that they hope will transmit to others the possibility of something divine.

If you are going to preach the Bible, you have to preach all of it, believe all of it, practice all of it, and apply all of it, using its principles.  It is as authoritative, as true, and as good as it ever has been. The Bible applies to every area of life, including the cultural issues.  Christians applied them in the past and we have historical literature on how they did.  Those practices still matter to God.

Churches that have given up on cultural issues are in trouble with God.  Really, they have invented a whole new god who will accept their own personal dislike of a lot of scripture that they don't want to practice. Their god is good with that.

To go along with the perversion of the culture, churches have to go along with new definitions of love, marriage, and sin, among many other words or concepts.  They do that.  One is a redefinition of grace.  If you do believe and practice the whole Bible, because you do believe it is all God's Word and you like the whole Bible, you'll be called a legalist by other professing Christians, churches, and church leaders.  This is to smear you or taint you with something that makes you look like you are less than Christian.  However, they are the ones who have moved off of the biblical truth about grace.

Almost all of those who throw around the word legalist see grace as a garbage can. It is a fake or placebo grace that doesn't change you in a scriptural way.  It allows you live like the world, but be given credit like you are living a holy life.

True grace cleans you up and empowers you to live according to all of scripture.  The fake gracers reduce scripture down to what they think they can keep in their own strength.  They are depending on themselves, so it isn't even the grace of God.  The idea of grace is to minimize or reduce the teachings of scripture, and then let "grace" take care of the rest.  You don't have to live it, but grace will do that for you.  It's not grace.  It's a form of left winged legalism.

People who want to live like they want will gladly accept a new, perverted form of grace. They'll believe they have the grace of God, like Charismatics believe they are speaking in actual tongues or that they are seeing actual miracles.  They don't.  God's grace changes someone to live a holy life, not to conform to the world.

God is a good God, so everything in the Bible is good.  Most professing Christians don't think so anymore.  They are discontent with God and His Word and have reinvented their Christianity to fit the lifestyle that they want to live.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Kirk and a Hero of Polish Resistance

My son is serving with the United States Army in Poland right now.  He wrote this about a task he fulfilled in Warsaw this last week:
Had the honor of escorting this young lady to President Trump's speech in Warsaw yesterday.  Her name is Basia, and she is 93.  She was 20 when she became heavily involved in the Warsaw uprising (an effort of the Polish resistance home army). The Soviets imprisoned her for four years after World War 2 because she was identified as a threat to Communist rule.  Polish veterans like this did not receive recognition for their bravery until after Poland ditched Communism in 1989, so I was happy President Trump deliberately recognized her and her friends during his speech as they sat behind him on stage.  Such an incredible inspiration.
The Warsaw uprising was against the occupying German Nazi army.  She stood there and then afterwards again against the Soviet rule for which she was imprisoned.

I loved the Trump speech, his acknowledgement of the necessity of God for the success of Western civilization.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Frederick B. Meyer: "Baptist" Kewsick Advocate & Apostate False Teacher, part 1 of 4

Frederick. B. Meyer, who had been present and and loved the pre-Keswick Broadlands Conference, Oxford Convention, and Brighton Convention,”[1] was a central figure in the spread of Keswick theology in Baptist churches.  Meyer was at one point President of the Baptist Union, at a time after C. H. Spurgeon had already separated from it because of the heresies that were filling it.  Meyer was also “a prolific author . . . [although] [h]is books are not of a very scholarly nature.”[2]  Nonethess, he was a definitive Keswick writer.[3]  “[R]aised by a Quaker grandmother, [he] was also much influenced by . . . Hannah Pearsall Smith.”[4]  It “is doubtful whether any other Keswick leader ever did more than Dr. Meyer to make the distinctive Keswick message known throughout the world,”[5] as he “spoke at twenty-six Keswick conventions as well as at important regional conventions, and encouraged Keswick teaching within the Baptist denomination through a Prayer Union, which attracted wide ministerial support . . . [and] became Keswick’s leading international representative,” making nearly twenty visits to the United States and Canada, addressing meetings in South Africa, and engaging in tours in the Middle and Far East,[6] where he preached Keswick theology to the heathen.   Indeed, Meyer was "Keswick’s best known international representative . . . h[e] travel[led] on behalf of the holiness movement . . . [in] South Africa, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Ceylon, China, Nigeria, and the United States” just between 1907-1910, being away “from Britain for several months at a time”[7] and traveling over twenty-five thousand miles spreading the Keswick teaching.[8] “He introduced Keswick teaching into the Baptist denomination,” so that, largely through him, “|Keswick’s influence . . . sprea[d]”[9] beyond its largely Anglican and Quaker roots.  

Meyer, having followed the Higher Life theology from the time of its origin at the Broadlands, Oxford, and Brighton Conventions,[10] contributed greatly to the infiltration of the Keswick theology into Baptist churches and other religious assemblies through his preaching, writing, ministry at specifically Keswick venues, and proclamation at convocations from A. B. Simpson’s deeper life conferences to Moody’s Northfield conferences.[11]  Meyer was critical to the rise of Keswick theology among Baptists churches and many others as he worked as an ecumenical conference speaker and Higher Life holiness evangelist.
Meyer held for years that “the saints alive on earth toward the end of the [first] century were rapt to heaven[,]” a view he mixed “with the historical interpretation of the Book of Revelation.”  Concerning this view of a first century catching away, “Mr. Meyer said, ‘In the main I throughly accept [this] conclusion.  It must be true.’”  After all, “the theory is not so fantastic as it seems . . . the miracle it involved . . . account[ed] in great measure . . . for the rapid spread of Christianity in the next [the second] century.  That there is no record of the event is . . . justified by the fact that there was nobody left to record it.”  On “the first day of 1905 Mr. Meyer preached a sermon advocating this view, which attracted considerable attention, one of the London daily newspapers giving an extended report of it,” as a prominent minister affirming that all Christians were snatched away near the end of the first century as the explanation for the rapid spread of Christianity in the second century would surely sell quite a few newspapers.[12]  Furthermore, in “1917 Meyer launched, with the support of several Keswick leaders, the Advent Testimony and Preparation Movement, which became a significant body,”[13] and of which Meyer “became [a] very pronounced” advocate.  By this time, Meyer was suggesting that the world was going to end because of the First World War:  “the Great War was . . . the Midnight Cry . . . he and some others suggested,”[14] an affirmation somewhat comparable to the prophetic proclamation of Evan Roberts and Jessie Penn-Lewis of the Translation and the end of the world about that time.

See here for this entire study.

[1]           Pg. 126, Let Go and Let God? A Survey and Analysis of Keswick Theology, Naselli.
[2]           Pg. 182, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[3]           Pg. 47, Transforming Keswick:  The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall
[4]           Pg. 152, Changed by Grace: V. C. Kitchen, the Oxford Group, and A.A., Glenn Chesnut.  New York, NY:  iUniverse, 2006.
[5]           Pg. 186, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[6]           Pgs. 429-430, Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals, ed. Larsen.  Meyer “emphasized strongly in his own teaching the steps which led into ‘the blessed life’” (pg. 43, Transforming Keswick, Price & Randall).
[7]           Pg. 62, Transforming Keswick:  The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall
[8]           Pg. 111, Transforming Keswick:  The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall.
[9]           Pg. 43, Transforming Keswick:  The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall.  By 1920, not Meyer alone, but other Baptists, including those corrupted by rationalism and theological modernism, were speaking at Keswick (pg. 140, ibid).
[10]         Pg. 65, F. B. Meyer:  A Biography, Fullerton;  pgs. 42-43, Transforming Keswick, Price & Randall;  pg. 103, The Keswick Story:  The Authorized History of the Keswick Convention, Polluck.
[11]         “Keswick . . . was imported back into the United States by Moody, who brougth into his Northfield Conventions in the early 1890s such figures as F. B. Meyer . . . who returned five times within the decade;  Andrew Murray . . . [and]  H. W. Webb-Peploe” (pgs. 105-106, Theological Roots of Pentecostalism, Dayton).
[12]         Pg. 157, F. B. Meyer:  A Biography, Fullerton.
[13]         Pg. 430, Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals, ed. Larsen.
[14]         Pg. 159, F. B. Meyer, Fullerton.  The war was “the precursor of the return of Christ to reign on earth for a thousand years” (pg. 133, Transforming Keswick:  The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall).  Other Keswick supporters of the Advent Testimony movement from its inception were H. W. Webb-Peploe, John Steward Holden, and E. L. Langston;  Meyer ws the chairman of the Movement (pg. 133, ibid).