Friday, May 18, 2018

Initial thoughts on my debate with Shabir Ally at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater

I praise the true God that my recent debate with Shabir Ally went well, for the glory of His great name and in answer to the prayers of His people.  As you may recall if you read What is Truth, and are even more likely to recall if you prayed for the debate (for which I am very thankful), I debated Dr. Ally on the topic "The New Testament Picture of Jesus: Is it Accurate?"  The debate is not yet live--part of the delay has been that the person who is supposed to process the debate had his computer break, but that has been fixed, so, Lord willing, we will be getting it live in the relatively near future.



I believe that the debate went well, and am glad that it worked out.  It appears that unknown parties were taking down our posters about the debate, as I found out after the fact, but we still had a reasonable number of people in attendance, and having that happen was a learning experience that we can plan about for, Lord willing, debates in the future.  Furthermore, both Dr. Ally and I were interviewed by the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater newspaper, and after the debate there was a front-page article about the event in the paper, allowing information about the Mukwonago Baptist student organization, Set Free, and about both of the speakers and their websites, to be broadcast to all 12,000 or so students who attend Whitewater.

Here is the article from the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater newspaper on the debate:


and here is a link to their newspaper article on the Internet.  The article has some value, although it did not really deal too much with the specific content of the debate arguments. 

Shabir Ally is an intelligent defender of Islam, and, as I expected, it was pleasant to not have to deal with the sort of nasty vitriol and mere appeals to emotion that characterized too much of the argumentation of Dan Barker, President of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, in my debates with him.  Furthermore, Dr. Ally denied the accuracy of the New Testament picture of Jesus in the manner in which a scholarly theological liberal would, instead of attacking the Bible by following the crazy mythicism of Dorothy Murdock with her dependence upon Wikipedia for her case, as Dan Barker did.

While Shabir Ally made a reasonable presentation of the theologically liberal argument, he suffered from the severe handicap that there simply is no ancient evidence of any kind for what modern theological liberalism affirms about the New Testament.  Not just the majority, but the totality of all ancient sources and ancient evidence supports the traditional authorship of the New Testament books, and the extant historical data also are strongly in favor of dates too early for the picture of Christ to be corrupted.  When one needs to make a historical case for something for which there is no historical evidence, things are going to be difficult, no matter how good of a debater or how good a scholar one is.

Of course, that is my take on what happened--you can read further about it in my brief summary of the debate on my website here.  I will plan to inform What is Truth readers when the debate goes live as well, Lord willing, and will post it both on my website and on YouTube.  Muslims or atheists who saw the debate, and Dr. Ally himself, might have a rather different take on events.  I suppose you will just have to watch the debate and make your own decision.  I have more on the archaeological and historical evidence for the New Testament here, as well as, for our Muslim friends, the work The Testimony of the Quran to the Bible here. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Biblical Evangelism and an Approach to the Possible Success of Bill AB 2943 in California

News from California travels around the country, so perhaps you have heard about Bill AB 2943 here in the state legislature and its relationship to religious liberty.  People like me don't want it to pass.  We oppose it, but I think it probably will become law no matter how many people in California are against it.  Here is the exact wording of the crux of the California bill:
Existing law prohibits mental health providers, as defined, from performing sexual orientation change efforts, as specified, with a patient under 18 years of age. Existing law requires a violation of this provision to be considered unprofessional conduct and subjects the provider to discipline by the provider’s licensing entity. 
This bill would include, as an unlawful practice prohibited under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual. The bill would also declare the intent of the Legislature in this regard.
The bill continues by also arguing the following:
Contemporary science recognizes that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender [lgbt] is part of the natural spectrum of human identity and is not a disease, disorder, or illness. . . . [S]exual orientation change efforts can pose critical health risks to lesbian, gay, and bisexual people, including confusion, depression, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, shame, social withdrawal, suicidality, substance abuse, stress, disappointment, self-blame, decreased self-esteem and authenticity to others, increased self-hatred, hostility and blame toward parents, feelings of anger and betrayal, loss of friends and potential romantic partners, problems in sexual and emotional intimacy, sexual dysfunction, high-risk sexual behaviors, a feeling of being dehumanized and untrue to self, a loss of faith, and a sense of having wasted time and resources.
Of course, true Christians, those who follow biblical teaching and practice, don't agree.  They want conversion of the above, "lgbtq,"  ("q" means questioning, that is, someone who is uncertain of his sexual orientation) because they believe that those lifestyles are not congruent with a scriptural doctrine of salvation.  They also deny that those are natural behaviors or that those people were born those ways.  God's Word calls for repentance from those because they are sins or perversions of right or God designed behavior.

Another angle on the bill is first amendment rights for Christians:  freedom of speech and freedom of religion.  Do the secular theories of psychiatry prevail over the beliefs of Christians?  Christians would think they could speak and practice biblical truth, the latter under the free exercise clause, but not if the state rules that this causes psychological and even physical harm to "lgbtq."  Some of this might enter into parental rights too.  If a child grows up with homosexual interests and a parent doesn't like it, can he "attempt to convert" his own child.  Churches and church leaders see these confrontations just over the horizon, perhaps generating a constitutional crisis.

For the rest of this post, I'm going to call "lgbtq," sodomites, not as an offense to them, but because I believe and think that it is a more accurate title.  I don't believe there is actually such a thing as "lgbtq."  I like the designation "q" because those people are uncertain, like a lot of people are about a lot of things.  Their uncertainty fuels their perversion.  They are perverse acts and no science has proven they are natural.

Are the authors and supporters of this bill attempting to protect children?  Is that really their agenda?  The bill will do just the opposite of protecting children.  For instance, you have a little boy, who likes dressing up like a girl.  If passed, this will make that easier for him.  Sodomites can confuse, convert, and push their adherents all the way to sexual reassignment surgery without charge.  The authors and advocates are conspiring to legislate the acceptance of Christians or at least gloat in their power to subjugate them.  They don't care about the kids.

In a technical sense, one might argue that Bill AB 2943 doesn't prohibit churches from evangelizing sodomites.  However, based on past history, these types of laws are very often applied later in court to people who "attempt to convert."  The Federalist says that the bill, if passed, could ban Bibles.  My main purpose for writing this post is to contend that the new law won't stop biblical evangelism of sodomites.  A biblical theology of evangelism will not either stop evangelism of sodomites or break whatever interpretation of the new law its advocates might make.

THE ANSWER:  FREE OFFER OF THE GOSPEL

In the history of Christian theology, you read the technical language, "free offer of the gospel."  Not everyone will want to listen to the gospel, but you can offer it to them.  You offer sodomites the gospel.  If they don't want it, you don't have to do more.  Churches offer them the opportunity.  You see in scripture the language of the free offer.
Psalm 34:8, "O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him."
Proverbs 1:24, "I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded."
Isaiah 55:1, "Come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price."
Isaiah 65:1-2, "I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name. I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people."
Matthew 22:2-3, "The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come."
Matthew 23:37, "How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!"
Luke 14:16-18, "A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: and sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse."
The teaching of a free offer originates from scripture.  It is implied in Jesus' teaching and practice of shaking the dust from ones feet, which appears four times in the gospels, including Matthew 10:14, "And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet."

Not everyone is going to listen to the gospel, nor do they always want it.  Believers not only have no responsibility to preach to people who don't want to hear it, but Jesus commands believers not to preach to them.  Whenever I approach sodomites with the gospel, which is all the time out of love for God and the sodomites, if they don't want it, I don't give it to them.  I try, but if they are unwilling, as many times they are not, I move on.

Whatever bad AB 2943 will do in California, it won't stop biblical evangelism with anyone.  Conversion comes through biblical evangelism.  If a sodomite doesn't want conversion, then we don't have to give it to him.  It's not our responsibility as Christians to preach the gospel to those who don't want to hear it, and since conversion comes by preaching the gospel, sodomites will only be converted if they will listen.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Churches and their Popular Inclusion of Dress Information on their Websites

Our church doesn't advertise a dress code for our services, contrary to the recent fad where churches address it on their websites.  It's very popular.  It now seems like vital, almost required, information for churches, which would likely sneer at churches that teach on dress or even have scriptural dress standards.  Almost exclusively they want you to know that when you come to their church services, you can dress like you want.

My wife, two of our daughters, and I travel to Europe in two weeks.  Today I read an evangelical tweet that mentioned a church in London, called Gracelife, so I clicked on the website and of the very few words on its front page are these two sentences:
We're content-driven in our choice of songs, and choose a range of music that allows us to express our worship joyfully and respectfully as 21st Century worshippers. There is no particular dress code, and children are very welcome in the service. 
Unmitigated musical style and dress stand as essential information at Gracelife, an ideology elevated to a sacramental status in evangelical churches today.

Usually you will see similar language in a section churches title, What To Expect.  When I searched that phrase with "Baptist" and "dress," I got 379,000 results.  The top site on the first page included, What Should I Wear?  "There is not a strict dress code at Grace Baptist Church for our members or guests."  Next:  "We invite you to come as you are!"  Third:  "There is not a dress code at Pacific Baptist Church for members or guests."  After that:  "At Stockton Baptist Church we don't have a dress code."

If you replace "dress" with "dress code," you still get 117,000 results.  That many church web pages use the words "dress code" in their materials. I haven't looked, but I don't think it is likely that any of those 117,000 say they have a dress code.  I'm not going to try, but  I don't think I'll find one.

I've got two main points I want to confront regarding the no dress code mantra repeated on numerous contemporary church websites.

UNCOVERING UNBIBLICAL PHILOSOPHY OF MINISTRY

Speaking in general of evangelism and discipleship, the highlight of no dress code uncovers an unbiblical philosophy of ministry.  You've heard, "Nothing is sacred anymore."  Church very often isn't sacred either.  Church is supposed to be about God.  It can be treated as sacred by how someone dresses in a gathering to worship God.

I think we should assume that the dress information on these websites targets unbelievers, attempting to attract them or lure them with something they would prefer about church, that the path really is strewn with roses.  The Jews seek after signs and the Greeks after wisdom.  Churches aren't to adapt their methods to signs and wisdom.  They are to depend on God, which is to depend on the truth.  Love is in the truth. The change is supernatural.  It doesn't make sense.  It's approached by faith.  The problem isn't intellect; it's rebellion.  The truth isn't the enemy of biblical evangelism.

Methods depending on human means glorify man.  It's not tolerable for believers, since the point of the church is to glorify Christ.  Christ isn't welcoming people into comfort.  All of these offers that clash with the biblical message won't help someone to receive a biblical message.  They are a form of bait and switch.  Unless someone is changing the gospel, the message of the gospel isn't congruent with comfort.

Pragmatic church growth methodology baits with comfort and then switches to surrender.  It makes salvation about you, like a form of therapy, hoping to later see it become about God.  It must start with God and then keep going about God.

Jesus put deny self, take up your cross, and count the cost up front.  The road is a narrow road.  You don't encourage salvation by offering present comfort.

God is seeking for true worshipers.  Worship is sacrifice.  Sacrifice gives something up.  What you want becomes what God wants, not what you want.  Redemption isn't redeeming the outcome of your desires, but redeeming your desires.  Since worship is giving something up, an understanding of worship isn't aided by turning it into what you get.

Comforts of the flesh tend toward the flesh.  You can't and won't flesh people into the kingdom.  Paul calls it carnal weaponry.

Receiving God must be receiving the God, the one and only God.  Receiving God isn't receiving a god that is attractive to us.  People should expect dress that honors God.  God is of the highest value.  He shouldn't be lowered in men's estimation as a means of attraction.  God saves us not by diminishing Himself, but by elevating us.   Men are elevated by having God be of the highest value.

SCRIPTURE TEACHES ABOUT DRESS, SO IT CONTAINS A DRESS CODE

Genesis 3 and several times hence, including with some great detail in the New Testament, teach about dress.  It matters.  Church is about conforming to God.  Unbelievers shouldn't be given the impression that church is about conforming to men.  Churches shouldn't be ashamed of the truth.  If dress means something, which scripture says it does, the world should be told the truth about dress.  It's not acceptable to misrepresent dress to attract unbelievers.

When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well, He wasn't saying, your worship doesn't matter.   Blowing through four husbands and shacking up with a fifth was confronted, not avoided because a marriage code would turn her off.  Jesus confronted her with boundaries of God's law.  A right relationship with God doesn't start with concessions to the flesh, as if this is a negotiation.  There is nothing to apologize for.  God has something to say about dress.  We're happy with everything He says, and you should be too.  If you're not, that's on you, not on God, and you should be ashamed of yourself.

Christianity shouldn't present a Christianity the world will like.  It should present Christianity.  It's all good.  True Christians aren't ashamed or embarrassed about any of it.  Christians should like Christianity and not be unwelcome to any of it.  It's all good.

True Christians also understand meaning.  They know what dress means.  Very often, the world knows what dress means too.  Exhibiting a lack of discernment or wisdom about dress doesn't speak better of Christianity.

Love is in the truth.  We are not loving unbelievers by masking the truth.  Love isn't offering something other than the truth.  Love isn't allowing for unbiblical behavior as a means of showing unbelievers how generous believers can be.

Christianity isn't picking and choosing what people will follow and what they won't.  It's changing man into the image of God.  It's not just purifying hearts, but cleansing hands.  The church is the church and it shouldn't be presented otherwise.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Evan Roberts & the Welsh Revival of 1904-1905: Supernatural Spirits & Sleep, Part 6 of 22


             
Although Scripture states that the knowledge of men’s hearts is restricted to the omniscient God (1 Kings 8:39), Roberts could see into men’s hearts and “discern souls in conflict,” so that although “some called it telepathy,” his supernatural powers were “accepted as one more sign that Evan Roberts was being led continually by the Spirit.”[1]  Charges that “the revival depended on his hypnotic skills and magnetism”[2] were rejected.  After all, “in the midst of another mass meeting in [a] 6,000 seat [auditorium], Evan detected that a hypnotist had entered the meeting and was trying secretly to control him. . . . [T]he man confessed to a theatre audience that this was the truth,”[3] so Roberts was not using hypnotism himself but had clear power from the spirit world.  Roberts knew “when anyone g[ot] up unmoved by the Spirit”[4] in one of his meetings and could “see . . . insincerity and hypocrisy.”[5]  He “kn[ew]” when “people . . . [were] prompted by false motives . . . in their prayers” and would consequently interrupt them and stop them from praying.[6]  He recognized when people had been truly converted, so that at times he would announce that someone had “decided” for Christ and the person would then reveal himself; for example, “at Saron, Evan predicted a dozen individual decisions to turn to Christ,” and “[e]ach time someone surrendered,” validating “his strange new powers.”[7]  He “displayed a remarkable gift of detecting those souls who were secretly trying to come to Jesus.”[8]  In another meeting, “he began to cry out:  ‘There is a soul lost because someone has been disobedient to the promptings of the Spirit. . . . Too late! Too late!’ . . . Oh!  Dear people, it is too late! . . . [H]e explained that he was prohibited from praying for the soul that was lost.”[9]  In a different meeting, at the “peak moment, Evan stopped the meeting and announced that there was someone in the congregation who wouldn’t speak to his brother.  He called for that person to confess his sin, threatening him with divine judgment and ordering him to leave.  Because no one admitted this fault, the people had to remain on their feet a very long time. . . . Some accepted this kind of rebuke from a man whom they took to be a prophet; others felt it was a mistaken act done by an overtired young man,”[10] since Roberts continued “months . . . of serial meetings, all-night sessions, and crises.”[11]  Others called Roberts “an unbalanced crow stirrer, an exhibitionist, a hypnotist, and even an occultist . . . a prophet of Baal calling down false fire by his incantations.”[12]
Roberts, however, had an answer for those who said he lacked sleep.  Such a lack was not a problem for him.  He said:  “God has made me strong and manly. . . . My body is full of electricity day and night and I have no sleep before I am back in meetings again.”[13]  For months, as the holiness revival progressed in 1904 and 1905, “he ate and slept little,”[14] getting “two or three hours of sleep each night,”[15] but the electricity that filled his body kept him going—at least until he experienced one his several serious nervous breakdowns.[16]  In meetings he would often have “nervous collapses” from which, however, he would usually “recover suddenly”[17] and continue the meeting in most cases—at least until he came to the point in 1906 where he was “unable to stand or walk for almost a twelvemonth,” remaining in “convalescence” in the Penn-Lewis household.[18]
Allegedly empowered to see men’s hearts and live without sleep, Roberts “called to a man to confess his sin” and said, “The Spirit has given me that man’s name and age.”  This fact was, Roberts said, to lead those who were “skeptical of the reality of this manifestation” to have “no doubt about it.”[19]  On a different occasion “Evan Roberts became visibly upset and started to threaten someone with divine punishment for ‘making a mockery of what was so divine . . . [m]ocking what has cost God his life-blood.’ . . . After carefully scanning the congregation, again he urged someone to ask for forgiveness and then declared that the meeting could not proceed until the obstacle had been removed. . . . The remonstration went on for another ten minutes, but no one owned up.”[20]  Later in a meeting he “lay a limp, inert mass on the reading desk, with outstretched arms as if pleading.  Suddenly he straightened up . . . pointed to the gallery and declared that some person there possessed a heart full of scorn, skepticism, and sarcasm.  That was an obstacle to the path of the Spirit, and the cause must be removed.  He tearfully appealed to him to repent or quit the building,” and “continue[d] to sob, with his face buried in his hands,” but “[n]o response was made from the gallery.”[21]  He would “place his hand on his neck, as if pressing something down.  There was a jerking back of the head . . . as in persons whose nervous systems are somewhat deranged. . . . [T]hese . . . tremors . . . [are] attribute[d] . . . to Divine influence.”[22]  Roberts also had a time when he was told to “remain in the house for six days in a silence which had been commanded by the Spirit” and “cancelled all mission engagements,”[23] after a fashion similar to what had taken place with the prophet Ezekiel.[24]  On various occasions he would “walk out of meetings after five minutes because he claimed to have discovered [spiritual] obstacles there.”[25]  Surely such actions, and such abilities to see men’s hearts, were evidence of the powerful supernatural forces that were at work in Evan Roberts.




[1]              Pg. 47, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[2]              Pg. 49, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[3]              Pg. 126, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[4]              Pg. 70, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[5]              Pg. 77, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[6]              Pg. 60, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.
[7]              Pgs. 82-83, An Instrument of Revival, Jones; the pages record substantial numbers of situations where Roberts exercised his powers to recognize true conversions in a great variety of settings.
[8]              Pg. 89, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[9]              Pgs. 90-91, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[10]            Pg. 88, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[11]            Pg. 91, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[12]            Pg. 98, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[13]            Pg. 41, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[14]            Pg. 41, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[15]            Pg. 51, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[16]            By September 1906 he had already had four.  See pg. 161, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.  His breakdowns were “a divine plan to equip [Roberts] to do battle against Satanic powers and to train others for battle,” resulting in the teachings of War on the Saints (pg. 174, Ibid).
[17]            Pgs. 113-114, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 19 (December 1905).
[18]            Pgs. 165-167, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.  It appears that Jessie Penn-Lewis’s doctrine that “on the basis of Romans Six you may put in your claim for the healing of any bodily disease” (pg. 134, Overcomer, 1914) failed to heal Evan Roberts.
[19]            Pg. 120, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[20]            Pg. 90, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[21]            Pg. 119, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[22]            Pg. 89, “Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival,” A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 19 (December 1905).
[23]            Pg. 91, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.  cf. pgs. 89-90, 114-115, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 19 (December 1905).  Roberts broke his silence on the seventh day.
[24]            Pgs. 110-112, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[25]            Pg. 100, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Paul Obliterates Pandering in Galatians: His Antidote to Pandering

Part One

The Judaizers at Galatia pandered to the Jews in the region.  They wanted to make a "fair show" to their ethnicity and they wished to avoid persecution.  Circumcision was a convenient emphasis over the cross of Christ, even though it nullified grace and the work of Christ became no effect unto them.  The Jews of Galatia didn't have the same effect on Paul and he tells why in the next to last verse of the entire epistle (6:17):
From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
Persecution was a threat to professing Christians, so a motivating factor to pander (6:12).  Paul, however, wasn't doing any handwringing  over that possibility.  Anything that they could have done to Paul, he had already experienced.  His body was his biography and an anatomical masterpiece of perseverance.  His kryptonite to Jewish intimidation was the scars of his personal suffering for Jesus.  There was no pain that Paul had not already experienced.  If he was going to fold under pressure, he would have already.

Paul's marks were actual marks.  He could place an index finger on spots all over himself as the evidence of ugly wounds, each with an accompanying story.  No one could trouble him.

On the other hand, men can be trouble to other men.  You read this all over the Bible.  It was a concern of Solomon about young men in the first chapter of Proverbs.  Sinners would entice.  They would be trouble.  Something they were offering in the short term would look better than what God could give.  It's never true, but it merited a serious warning from Solomon.  The prospect of missing out on a fun time or not getting to look impressive to the appropriate people seem like enough trouble.  Something far worse wouldn't be trouble for Paul.

The Galatian churches shouldn't be trouble for Paul either.  They should have welcomed some marks to match his.  If they were saved, they were, like Paul, crucified to the world.  The cross of Christ was how they received justification before God.  Their salvation came because of the Savior's suffering, because of His marks.  Paul bore them too. Joining Him outside the camp.  Pandering comes with the proposal of a better time in this world and glory received for a fair showing.  It's not about the truth, but what will work on a momentary basis.

Doctrines and practices, once believed and lived in churches for over a thousand years, have disappeared like they never existed in a majority of churches today.  They are difficult teachings, unacceptable to this world, although required by the next.  Rather than preach and live those teachings, the majority of churches pander like the Judaizers did.

If the Judaizers really cared about circumcision, they would keep the rest of the law too.  Circumcision was a convenience though.  It would provide the most acceptance at the least possible cost.

For Paul, it was preaching only the cross of Christ.  Today, like then, that message isn't good enough.  The Judaizers were ancient advocates of contextualization, making the cross more appetizing to their context with a circumcision sugar-coat.  A spoonful of circumcision might make the cross of Christ go down.

Churches today impress a different context, one obsessed with creature comfort.  They have a Jesus who might slide down easier with the right mix of worldly and fleshly entertainment or amusement.  Not only do you make it through unscathed, mark-free, but with a slightly Christianized version of almost everything the world has and does.  That is trouble everywhere in Christianity today.

When even the Apostle Peter pandered to the James gang, as recounted in Galatians 2, Paul, the least of all apostles, confronted him to his face in harsh terms, not uncertain ones.  Peter was becoming an accessory, even if he didn't accept the perversion himself.  This is the case of a lot of professing Christian leaders today.  They see the damage, but they don't want to hurt their numbers or coalitions, so they sign-off on the pandering that makes up such a big part of evangelical and fundamentalist churches today.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Paul Obliterates Pandering in Galatians: Social Justice Panderers

Other Posts on Pandering from the Past (One, Two, Three, Four, not necessarily in order)

Paul summarizes the issue he has addressed with the Galatian churches in the last little segment of his letter in Galatians 6:11-18.  In the midst of that finale, he writes in verses 12-14:
12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. 13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. 14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
Paul described men who were pandering to achieve short-term, temporal success.  They (1) made "a fair show in the flesh," (2) "lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ," and (3) "desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in the flesh."  They didn't constrain others to circumcision because they loved God's law or else they would have kept it all (v. 13).  What motivated their push for circumcision?

The message of the cross of Christ brought persecution from fellow Jews and circumcision was a way to avoid that persecution.  They weaponized circumcision against potential persecution.  They could pull the circumcision card as a sufficient credential of their Jewishness.  Support of the cross of Christ brought castigation, the antidote of which was circumcision.  See, you weren't giving up Jewishness -- you talk about circumcision all the time.

The circumcision message fit the culture of Galatia.  Preaching the cross, you were out.  Preaching circumcision and you were in again.  You could find acceptance in a wider group with circumcision that would be closed to cross of Christ preaching.  Again, it was cultural.  The significance was merely cultural.  Paul says that in verse 15:
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
In reality, aside from what it meant to a Jewish culture in the world, either circumcision or uncircumcision was nothing.  Paul was crucified to the world, so what mattered in the world, he was crucified to (v. 14).  Circumcision was just cultural, irrelevant as to eternity, so Paul was crucified to it too.  He wasn't preaching something that was of temporal and only cultural significance.  It had to mean more, and it didn't.

Because circumcision was acceptable and fashionable in the culture, it was an easy way to "make a fair show in the flesh" (v. 12).  You could get some mileage in the Jewish community by parking on circumcision.  Let that be the subject matter and you could find short term success.  It wasn't doing anything.  Earlier in the chapter (v. 8a), Paul said, "he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption."  The show had no long term benefit, meaning eternal benefit, like "he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting" (v. 8b).  Circumcision was working with something that had no shelf-life, which future was corruption.  It would get you a lot in the short term though, which is the nature of pandering -- it sacrifices eternal success for the short term variety.

Glorying in the flesh hawks short term benefits.  "Lookee at what you're doing. . . . wow, it's working!"  Circumcision at the historical juncture Paul was living in Galatia was targeting racial identity.  As a cause, circumcision surpassed the cross of Christ, the latter a non-starter for the Galatian world.  Worldly mileage was gained with circumcision as a cause, unlike the cross of Christ.  Easily, those mixing the cross with circumcision could view the latter as furthering the former, which was more of a stumbling block.  Circumcision was a gospel tool with a particular ethnic group.

As we zoom forward to the late 20th and early 21st centuries across the western world, especially in the United States, "social justice" issues work the same as circumcision in Paul's day.  You would do better, the message, at least to mix the two together.  Social justice causes elevate personal stature, especially with certain ethnicity.  If you've crucified this world, there won't be much hope for you, because this one is where you've got to aim your attention.

Neither Jesus nor the Apostle Paul at all devoted themselves to causes of social justice.  Neither attempted to stop Roman slavery or gender inequality.  "In Christ Jesus" was none of these, "but a new creature" (v. 15).  The Lord and Paul sowed to the Spirit, reaping life eternal and new creatures.  Life was too short for temporal preoccupations.  They were irrelevant in light of eternity.  However, they succeed as pandering.

The spotlight of churches on racial reconciliation, breaking the glass ceiling, orphans, rebuilding Haiti, or community soup kitchens make "a fair show in the flesh" (v. 12).  Today it is moving toward the inclusion of gender neutrality and same sex marriage.  They neutralize the offense of the cross of Christ and other objectionable aspects of the gospel message.  They put the emphasis right where the world wants it -- on its self.  You can justify to your worldly friends the latest cause celeb of your church.  That makes sense.  You'll make sense.  You'll feel good about yourself and ward away the disapproval of the world.  You're more like them than they even thought.

The gospel will make this world better, but it isn't about making this world better.  Even when we pray for those in authority, the point is the gospel, not giving us better living condition (cf. 1 Tim 2:1-2).  The gospel is about the next world.  The time in this life is so short and the time in the next so long, an emphasis on this world misrepresents what our time in this world is all about.  The world needs to know that it will not save the planet, that God is mad at them, and if they don't get right with Him, they're going to be destroyed too, except worse than what will happen to earth.

In 1 Corinthians 7:17-24, Paul argues union with Christ is compatible with any social status:  single, married, widowed, divorced, slave, free, Jew, Gentile, man, or woman.  Live in any kind of society -- democracy, total anarchy, a dictatorship, anywhere from America to Cuba to Red China -- and actual Christianity works.  The gospel is not an immediate revolutionizing, disorganizing element in society.  When social changes occur as the result of the gospel, it soaks and penetrates society's roots to modify its trajectory long term, not as a purposeful maneuver.

In one sense, Paul says, don't worry about riding in the back of the bus.  You're going to rule with Christ in the kingdom.  I know, that's easy for me to say.  In reality, it's harder to say something like that than it is to take on social justice advocacy. Actually, living in California, being a Christian singles me out for bad treatment, when I'm living it like I read in scripture.  Racial reconciliation is an easy message today.  The gospel, the true gospel, is hard.  Circumcision was easy in Galatia.  The cross of Christ wasn't.

Thirty years ago when I came to California, I spent some time camped out at Golden Gate Seminary library reading the multi-volume complete writings of Martin Luther King, Jr., where by his own testimony, he rejected the fundamentals of the faith, essentials for a true gospel or salvation.  As a child, by his own testimony, he went forward at a church invitation after a sermon by his father, later conceding that he just went along with his sister without really believing it.  Don't get me wrong, King is a meaningful historical figure in the United States.  Evangelical's lying to transmogrify him into a saint is a tool in the social justice pandering toolbox.

Just preaching the gospel will not bring you fame.  It does not guarantee worldly success. At least posing for social justice can and does bring both.  It doesn't advance the cross of Christ and it won't even result in justice.  It grandstands for the purpose of at least perceived benefits that won't last.  It appears enlightened to the deceived and wards away accusations of "structural racism" or institutional racism.  It doesn't assuage any actual guilt over anything and in addition does not fulfill the scriptural mission of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Judaizers wouldn't let Galatian believers just preach the cross.  They had to include circumcision.  In particular ethnic communities, you can't just preach the pie in the sky.  The gospel alone isn't enough.  Every gospel needed a heaping helping of social justice along with it.  You will suffer if you exclude it.  Your credentials are taken away.

The world has so changed, knit together by a socialized education system and universal social network, that most outside of particular ethnic communities will also benefit from that emphasis.  They'll at least find acceptance in very wide circles and be included in many bigger opportunities.  Everyone can pander with social justice.

Pandering doesn't glorify Christ.  It glories in your flesh.  It doesn't even make you smarter.  You just look that way.  It's actually foolish.  This is the paradox of the gospel.  The foolishness of preaching glorifies God.  Pandering glorifies you through its show of your flesh.

Friday, May 04, 2018

The Most Important Problem: Part 1 of 4 in The Most Important Message Gospel series of Gospel videos

The Most Important Problem is part 1 of 4 in a series of videos explaining the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The series is entitled "The Most Important Message," and it is designed to help the huge numbers of people in this day who never read anything but watch videos.  It is designed to clearly preach the gospel out of love for and to the glory of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and out of love for the wretched sinners of this world for whom the Lord Jesus shed His precious blood.  Unlike some other gospel videos, it emphasizes making the gospel clear, it clearly calls the lost to repentance instead of leaving that crucial element of the human response to the gospel out, and, of course, as a product of a separatist Baptist congregation, it uses the Authorized Version and encourages people who come to Christ to join independent Baptist churches.  Part 1, which is the part that is now live, is The Most Important Problem.  It can be viewed here:





Or it can be viewed on YouTube by clicking here (please feel free to "like" the video and add a positive comment if you believe it is appropriate).

Feel free to link to the video, embed the video on your church or personal website, and recommend it to the unconverted if you think they would benefit from it.  This first part may also be a help to believers in both their understanding of the great evil of the sin from which Christ has delivered them and in their understanding of how to use God's law in evangelistic preaching for conviction.

The four parts are:

1.) The Most Important Problem--sin

2.) The Most Important Penalty--the lake of fire

3.) The Most Important Provision--the redemptive work of Jesus Christ

4.) The Most Important Promise--salvation from sin by repentant faith alone

Lord willing, I will post on this blog as the other parts are completed.  May the Omnipotent Spirit use His Word that is preached on these videos to draw people to the salvation purposed by the Father through Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Open Mindedness: Relatively New In History -- Why?

I don’t know when it was that I first heard the English terminology, "open-minded."  I searched and found it first in English literature in 1808 in a book titled, Solitude, by Johann Georg Zimmermann originally in Dutch (Über die Einsamkeit) with the following English translation:
How frequently do we observe, even in persons of rank and fortune, who reside continually on their own estates, a haughty manner and arbitrary disposition totally incompatible with that candid conduct that open-minded behaviour, . . . !
It was used a little over a dozen occasions in total up until the 20th century, it was so uncommon.  Now whole books have been authored on open-mindedness, which might be tell-tale. The Economist in 1892 reads:
What is wanted is not a mixed body of advocates, each eager to show the goodness of his own particular case, but a jury of impartial, uncommitted, open-minded men, who have no prejudices one way or the other; who will hear the evidence fully, and who will report upon it on its merits.
The first dictionary in which it arises is The Century Dictionary in 1895.

In regular usage today as an antonym to open-minded is "closed-minded" or at least “narrow-minded,” which are viewed in a negative way by most today.  That I can find, "closed-minded" wasn't used in English literature until the 20th century and very few times in the first twenty years, one being in The Protectionist in 1914:
In the place of the "popular" minded Mc Kinley, the "quick" minded Roosevelt, the "open" minded Taft, the White House today shelters a "closed" minded President who clings to the views and ways of the lecture room. . . . In particular is Mr. Wilson's mind closed against any word of advice or helpfulness, however well intentioned that emanates from either of his two living predecessors in the White House or any man who served the Government under them in any capacity. He has a way of freezing out friendly counsel by his unwillingness to be told anything and by his assumption that he knows everything in advance, and that anyone bringing him information is necessarily so prejudiced that if he listens he is likely in some way to lose the right point of observation. 
Maybe you may join me in wondering why this "very important" trait of open-mindedness did not come along until the advent of modernity.  Why is it seen as a positive?  Why would it not be positive?  Don't closed-minded and narrow-minded sound bad?

In 1987, eminent political philosopher and Chicago University professor, Allan Bloom, published The Closing of the American Mind, which I read then and still think about today.  His thesis confronted modern universities, that unwillingness to believe anything, because of toleration, lead to closing the mind to everything.  Open-mindedness he essentially said lead to believing in something.  I've put it this way -- open-mindedness requires not just tasting everything, but biting down.  So again, if you are not willing to believe anything, you close your mind to everything. You can't truly learn then, and this was the concern of Bloom.

If Bloom was right, then apparently open-mindedness is good, depending on how you define it.  Maybe not.  Maybe not?

Moderns started using open-minded.  Premoderns did not.  Why not?  They weren't using it, so you have to think about, why not.  I'm saying that it was their view of truth.  They didn't see truth as a "search," like people do today, where a lot of sampling is involved until finally you bite down.  God is One and so Truth is also One.  You just believe that one truth, which is revealed.  You're not doing yourself any good by opening your mind.

Premodern Roman Catholics had a similar approach to what I'm describing as premodern Baptists and Protestants -- not the same, just similar.  Roman Catholics took the teaching of the church as Divine authority.  It wasn't.  The Bible is Divine authority, and the church is subject to God's Word.  However, there was still the idea of absolute authority with God being the key to all knowledge.

The Roman Catholic view was different enough to carry with it a number of problems.  The spread of scripture changed things.  God opens minds; hence, scripture opens minds.  Man doesn't open minds.  The industrial revolution proceeded from the dispersion of God's Word.  Without revelation, man is at zero.  He doesn't get anything.  The premoderns thought that way.  That is the natural law thinking behind the Declaration of Independence that said man's rights come from God.  "Self-evident" because God revealed it.  Not self-evident because we've got a bunch of geniuses on this planet.

The truth about our minds is that we don't open them.  God opens them.  When we do believe, it's not because we had amazing mind opening abilities.  We had no ability.  We have no ability.  When we do believe, it's not because we had an open mind.  The truth is revealed, so by nature is non-discoverable.  So there we go.

I've considered myself in the past an open-minded person.  When I talk to Buddhists, I've told them, I'm open-minded, that is, I listen to Buddhists like I would believe them if they told me the truth.  I've not heard the truth from Buddhists, so I haven't bitten down, has been the idea I've had and communicated.  I'm willing to believe the truth.  Maybe Buddhists are impressed with this a little bit, so it's a "great strategy."  I'm listening and everything.  I know nothing else is the truth, so it's not true.  It's not something I know because I've been open-minded.  I know it because God revealed it to me, because that's how we know the truth.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Darkness Hating Light Practices a Kind of Separation Different Than What God Requires

Separation occurs for many reasons. Thirteen men pick up ten players to run full court basketball with three left on the sidelines.  Susie is socially awkward so she isn't invited to the party.  No one asks Dan to sign their yearbook.  Forty seven play, but only five finalists are chosen for the concerto competition.  Less than one percent of applicants are accepted at Stanford.  Jesus said darkness hates light because its deeds are evil.  On the other hand, Paul wrote, have no fellowship with unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.  One of these is the doctrine of biblical separation.

Very often today hating light serves as separation within evangelicalism and fundamentalism.  It's a different kind of separation, but it is separation.  Darkness that hates light, I've found, separates too, but it's different than the doctrine of biblical separation.  Darkness is repelled by light, the movement being away from light.  Light must be scripture.

Biblical separation starts with pointing something out, attempting to change or reconcile, before separation occurs.  It's pursuing something productive.  It might not end well, but it's a process required in scripture.

Hating light has no obligation to light.  Darkness is self indulgent.  Light is a problem for it.  It has no productive interest for the light.  At worst, it wishes light to disappear and at best it retreats.

Even though hating light separates darkness from light, it doesn't take the same biblical proceeding.  It takes a course antithetical to biblical separation.  I've witnessed one of several directions in its flight from light.

It ignores -- the equivalent of turning to avoid painful squinting.  Light doesn't do this.  Darkness does.  I've called it the cold shoulder treatment.  No form of biblical separation jumps to ignorance.  Darkness doesn't want anything to do with light, so it ignores light.

The hating of light also manifests in some kind of destruction of light. It's not welcoming light.  It wants light to disappear or become part of darkness.

You can know light by what it does to darkness.  When light shines on light, it's accepted.  When it shines on darkness, it's not. 

My experience with evangelicalism completely and most of fundamentalism has been something in the realm of darkness as it relates to separation.  I confront with light and the reaction is like that of darkness, not light.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Evan Roberts & the Welsh Revival of 1904-1905: Visions, Voices, and Hysteria, Part 5 of 22



In 1906, the same year he went to the Keswick Convention and was invited to give a special address,[1] Roberts moved into the Penn-Lewis household after Jessie Penn-Lewis had visions about him,[2] leaving behind “the confusion of South Wales where there were disorderly meetings at Carmarthen, dancing and barking at Llannon, a prophesying curate at Llanelly, [and] a persuasive woman healer in Swansea.”[3]  By 1907 there were “many instances . . . [of] prostrations and trance visions and such manifestations as guiding lights and angelic helps.”[4]  Indeed, Roberts experienced almost innumerable visitations from the spirit world and made “many statements about special guidance by vision and voices”[5] both before, during, and after the Welsh holiness revival.  “[H]e claims as his guide . . . the inner voice . . . the Spirit tells him when to speak and when to be silent, to whom he may grant an audience and whom he must refuse, what places to visit and the places he must avoid.”[6]  Thus, Roberts was directed by visions of Satan and sundry other spiritual beings concerning where he should go to hold meetings.[7]  In one often-mentioned vision[8] he claimed he “was taken up into a great expanse without time or space—it was communion with God. Before this it was a far-off God that I had. . . . I was frightened that night . . . [s]o great was my shivering that I rocked the bed and my brother awakened [and] took hold of me, thinking I was ill.  After that I was awakened every night a little after one” to experience similar communion, although without the same fear, “for about four hours. . . . About five I was allowed to sleep[.]”[9]   Frequently his visions “caused his body to shake.”[10]  He had a “vision . . . [of] a kind of arm stretching out from the moon in the direction of earth,”[11] “many visions about the sufferings of Jesus,”[12] a “terrifying vision of hell,”[13] a “vision . . . [of] a great conflict between Satan and the Archangel of God,”[14] a “vision of a white horse and of a key which opened the Gate of Life,”[15] a vision of “a person dressed in white, with a glittering sword in his hand, striking the devil until he fled and vanished,”[16] various “visions of the devil and of the blessed Saviour,”[17] and “dreams . . . such as that of Satan’s face sneering at him in the midst of some garden shrubs”[18]—although Satan not only sneered at Roberts in gardens in dreams, but also appeared while Roberts was walking in a garden hedge, until a glorious figure in white—the Church—struck Satan and made him disappear.[19]  Thus, “Evan Roberts . . . speaks of God and the devil with the assurance not only of one who has had communication with them, but who has actually seen them.  The devil grins at him in his garden, he goes back into the house, and when he returns Jesus Christ is there smiling at him.”[20]
After seeing a book called The Gospel in Art, he “experienced a new series of visions, each of which was centered upon biblical scenes,” although the pictures in the book “bore a striking resemblance to his visions” of the actual events.[21]  Because of “visions and voices,” in his revival meetings he said, “I have to say strange things;”[22] and services, the large majority of the time, had the scripture readings and sermon omitted for people getting up to sing or speak without any order.[23]  In his meetings, “the din was tremendous . . . constant interruptions [of] the speakers [took place as] excited men and women [rose] to pray, testify, sing, ask questions, recite verses, etc. . . . formal preaching [was] an impossibility.”[24]  “Pentecostal enthusiasm” required that there was no preaching for months in various congregations.[25]  Some ministers stated that they had not preached for almost a year.[26]  Those parts of Wales under Roberts’s influence “almost completely ousted preaching,” for “to cease preaching . . . seemed to many the natural and right thing to do.”[27]  Ministers who ascended pulpits to proclaim God’s Word were forbidden to do so by the confused disorder of their congregations.  This de-emphasis upon preaching was accounted for by the conclusion that “Evan Roberts had a ‘ministry of gifts’ rather than a ‘ministry of the Word.’”[28]  While there was not much preaching of God’s Word, at least there were plenty of alleged miraculous gifts, as Roberts believed that all the spiritual gifts of the Apostolic age were to be present and active in his day.  On those instances where Roberts did attempt to preach, he might be “interrupted about thirty times by pleas and excited comments,” as his meetings “sounded chaotic.”[29]  “He made no preparation beforehand concerning what he should say” even when he did preach; “all was spontaneous response” to what was supposed to be the Holy Spirit.[30]  “Well-structured expository preaching . . . was just unworkable . . . [since] each service was dominated by testimonies, prayers, pleadings, and songs.”[31]  Indeed, his meetings had a veritable “Babel of voices . . . breaking forth simultaneously in prayer and song . . . [and] people . . . praying in several languages simultaneously.”[32]  At times people would sing “again and again” a handful of lines from a song “twenty times,”[33] or even hear a “chorus . . . sung, perhaps, a hundred times”[34] in a meeting.  It “was a new experience” to many churchgoers “to hear a large crowd sing over and over again for 15 or 20 minutes, without a moment’s pause,” a one-line “refrain” from a song.[35]  Such practices prepared the way for the “Pentecostal movements . . . [that] put their own seal on such worship”[36] soon after the end of Roberts’s ministry.  Roberts also encouraged people to pray the same words “over and over together, or every one separately, as [they were] inspired by the Holy Spirit.”[37]
It even came to pass in southern Wales that “Mr. Roberts gradually ceased to speak at his own meetings.  He [rather would] . . . sit silently in the pulpit and take no part—a spectacle rather than a prophet.”[38]  “Evan Roberts accepted everything,” all the people who “acted strangely,” with the sole exception of “loud shrieking and wild gestures.”[39]  “[E]ven in the most orderly meetings confusion reigns . . . Roberts generally preaches but little, sometimes not at all.”[40]  “[H]ysteria [was] . . . a sign and proof of the apprehension of spiritual truths . . . [e]verything was in confusion, without order, without purpose, and often without decency,” despite the fact that “[w]e have no record that such physical results followed the preaching of our Lord or the ministry of the apostles.”[41]  No one must “reduce the interruption[s]”—Roberts forbade his helpers from trying to do so—because “the Spirit’s prompting . . . must never be ignored or questioned.”[42]  In fact, “[s]ometimes he threatened to leave a meeting if anyone tried to interfere in any shape or form.”[43]  “One day he was in a chapel where ninety percent were English speaking, yet he refused to speak in English, not because he was unused to this but because ‘the Spirit has forbidden me,’”[44] the spirit world leading Roberts to speak in what was an unknown tongue to the overwhelming majority of his hearers, despite the Pauline prohibition on such action in 1 Corinthians 12-14.  Answering criticism for downplaying preaching and the reading of the Word, Roberts answered:  “Why should I teach when the Spirit is teaching?”[45]  After all, “the wonderful eloquence displayed by unlettered persons in prayer and speaking” was “proof of direct Divine inspiration,”[46] was it not? 




[1]              Pg. 129, The Keswick Story:  The Authorized History of the Keswick Convention, Polluck.
[2]              Pgs. 159-160, The Trials and Triumphs of Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, Brynmor P. Jones.  North Brunswick, NJ:  Bridge-Logos, 1997.
[3]              Pg. 160, The Trials and Triumphs of Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, Brynmor P. Jones.  North Brunswick, NJ:  Bridge-Logos, 1997.
[4]              Pg. 170, The Trials and Triumphs of Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, Brynmor P. Jones.  North Brunswick, NJ:  Bridge-Logos, 1997.
[5]              Pg. 60, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.  For further visions not listed below, see, e. g., pgs. 47ff., The Revival in the West, Stead.
[6]           Pg. 89, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 19 (December 1905).
[7]              As Roberts recounted to the local newspaper:
He [Roberts] said . . . It was . . . at Newcastle Emlyn.  For days he had been brooding over the apparent failure of modern Christian agencies; and he felt wounded in the spirit that the Church of God should so often be attacked.  It was about four p. m.  Suddenly, in the hedge on his left, he saw a face full of scorn, hatred, and derision, and heard a laugh as of defiance.  It was the Prince of this World, who exulted in his despondency.  Then there suddenly appeared another figure, gloriously arrayed in white, bearing in hand a flaming sword borne aloft.  The sword fell athwart the first figure, and it instantly disappeared.  He could not see the face of the swordbearer.  “Do you not see the moral?”  queried [Roberts], with face beaming with delight.  “Is it not that the Church of Christ is to be triumphant? . . . “I know what I saw.  It was a distinct vision.  There was no mistake.  And, full of the promise which that vision conveyed, I went to Loughor, and from Loughor to Aberdare, and from Aberdare to Pontycymmer.  And what do I see?  The promise literally fulfilled.  The sword descending on all hands, and Satan is put to flight. Amen.”  (pgs. 47-48, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead, reproducing an article from the South Wales Daily News, November 19).
[8]              Roberts’ experience paralleled that of Madame Guyon, who testified:  “It seemed to me that God came at the precise time and woke me from sleep in order that I might enjoy Him” (pg. 43, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead).
[9]           Pg. 86, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 19 (December 1905); cf. pgs. 14-15, An Instrument of Revival, Jones, pgs. 60-62, The Great Revival in Wales:  Also an Account of the Great Revival in Ireland in 1859, S. B. Shaw.  Chicago, IL:  S. B. Shaw, 1905.
[10]            Pg. 104, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[11]            Pgs. 25-26, An Instrument of Revival, Jones;                 Pgs. 79, 136, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.
[12]            Pg. 97, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.  See pg. 138 for one example, where the figure that appeared to Roberts and was identified as “Jesus” was “looking smiling and pleasant,” and so Roberts was sure that the particular “mission” he was then on “would succeed.”
[13]            Pg. 521, “Demythologizing the Evan Roberts Revival,” Pope.
[14]            Pg. 104, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[15]            Pg. 104, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[16]            Pg. 79, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.
[17]            Pg. 136, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.
[18]            Pg. 18, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[19]            See pgs. 47-48, The Revival in the West, Stead.
[20]            Pg. 188, The Great Revival in Wales:  Also an Account of the Great Revival in Ireland in 1859, S. B. Shaw.  Chicago, IL:  S. B. Shaw, 1905.  Roberts said:  “When I go out to the garden I see the devil grinning at me, but I am not afraid of him; I go into the house, and when I go out again to the back I see Jesus Christ smiling at me.  Then I know all is well” (pg. 54, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead).
[21]            Pg. 105, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[22]            Pg. 40, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[23]            Pgs. 48-49, An Instrument of Revival, Jones; cf. pg. 99.
[24]            Pg. 48, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones. Compare the account of women and young girls leading Andrew Murray’s congregation in prayer, and the entire congregation in confusion, on pgs. 194-198, The Life of Andrew Murray, DuPlessis.  Although allowing women to lead the congregation in prayer, Murray commendably did not actively encourage such confusion as Evan Roberts did. where, however, Murray did not actively encourage such confusion as Evan Roberts did.
[25]            Pg. 79, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.  In the particular congregation discussed on pg. 79, preaching was eliminated for two months.
[26]            Pg. 54, Rent Heavens:  The Welsh Revival of 1904, R. B. Jones, 3rd. ed.  (Asheville, NC:  Revival Publications, 1950)
[27]             Pg. 53, Rent Heavens:  The Welsh Revival of 1904, R. B. Jones, 3rd. ed.  (Asheville, NC:  Revival Publications, 1950).
[28]            Pg. 522, “Demythologizing the Evan Roberts Revival,” Pope.
[29]            Pg. 57, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.  Cf. pg. 125 for a description of some representative chaos.
[30]            Pg. 522, “Demythologizing the Evan Roberts Revival,” Pope.
[31]            Pg. 57, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[32]            Pgs. 72-73, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.  Cf. pg. 79, 86; pgs. 40-43, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.
[33]            Pg. 86, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.  Cf. pgs. 44-45, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.
[34]            Pg. 173, Voices From the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.  Cf. pg. 14, The Great Revival in Wales:  Also an Account of the Great Revival in Ireland in 1859, S. B. Shaw.  Chicago, IL:  S. B. Shaw, 1905.
[35]            Pgs. 87-88, “Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival,” A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 19 (December 1905).  In the particular instance mentioned, the crowd was repeating “Diolch iddo, diolch iddo, Byth am gofio llwch y llawr [Thanks to Him:  always for remembering the dust of the earth]” the entire time.  Compare pg. 31, The Revival in the West, W. T. Stead. Contrast Matthew 6:7 and the type of worship found in the inspired songs of the Psalter.
[36]            Pg. 177, Voices From the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.
[37]            Pg. 521, “Demythologizing the Evan Roberts Revival,” Pope.  Roberts instructed those who had been encouraged to stand up in his meetings, and were counted as converts for that reason, to “repeat th[e] [following] prayer in his or her turn:
                Send the Spirit now, for Jesus Christ’s sake.
                Send the Spirit powerfully now, for Jesus Christ’s sake.
                Send the Spirit more powerfully now, for Jesus Christ’s sake.
                Send the Spirit yet more powerfully now for Jesus Christ’s sake.
[Professed converts were to] [p]ray No. 1 over and over . . . Then No. 2 in the same way.  Then No. 3. No. 4 after that” (pg. 521, Ibid).  Thus, the eight words that constituted the body of this prayer were to be repeated over and over and over, with the addition of the words “more,” “powerfully,” and “yet” at certain times, in direct contradiction to the command of Christ:   “when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking” (Matthew 6:7; note also the tremendous contrast between the model for prayer set forth by the Lord in the following verses with the model set forth by Roberts).  Roberts would also have whole congregations repeat this prayer over and over again, and then “would-be convert[s] would suddenly rise and declare . . . ‘I have now received salvation.’ . . . [T]his occurred scores of times” (pg. 36, Voices from the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones; cf. pgs. 31-33).  The vain repetitions were consequently responsible for the production of many professions in Roberts’s meetings.
It is noteworthy that the rote prayer Roberts taught people to repeat fits in with the apparent confusion in his life between his alleged Spirit baptism and his alleged conversion.
[38]            Pg. 141, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.  Jones affirms that, in contrast, preaching did actually take place in various of Roberts’s meetings in northern Wales later on.
[39]            Pg. 50, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[40]            Pg. 88, “Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival,” A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 19 (December 1905).
[41]            Pg. 235, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan.
[42]            Pg. 57, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[43]            Pg. 59, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[44]            Pg. 106, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[45]            Pg. 49, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[46]          Pg. 91, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 19 (December 1905).