Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I'm A Bible-Believer - Part 1

We have posted here before about one of the specific differences between Bible Believers and Fundamentalists here.  However, when explaining this topic to a friend of mine about why I do not label myself as a fundamentalist (besides the obvious answers such as it was started by baby sprinkling protestants and not Bible Believing Baptists) I thought it meet to generalize these things in print for the over zealous brethren that think fundamentalism was started by John the Baptist and to not identify yourself as such is borderline heresy.

While I understand that not all those who identify themselves as fundamentalists fit this mold, those that have been part of both "camps" will agree that the generalizations are true.  There are 5 basic reasons as to why I am a Bible Believer and not a fundamentalist.

  1. Bible believer's glorify the words of God (Ps. 138:2; 2 Thess. 3:1) while fundamentalists magnify their historical positions (Mat. 15:2,9; Col. 2:8).
While most modern day IFBers will scream about being KJVO Bible believers (even though their heritage is otherwise), they really are not.  They are Bible users.  They use the Bible in a method called "take a verse, take a fit."  That is to say, they have a preconceived idea about a thing, then they go to the Bible to "prove" the Biblical basis for what they want to preach by pulling a verse out of context and then wresting it (2 Pet. 3:16) to fit their alma maters philosophy.

This is done largely because of the shallow knowledge of the Bible most Bible college graduates have.  The fact of the matter is, most pastoral majors at IFB colleges will take less than 40% of their classes learning Bible doctrine.  Instead they are inundated with "philosophy of ministry," "practical theology" (is there some "unpractical" theology?), "baptist distinctives," and administrative courses.  So what they learn are the proof texts to back up the philosophy (Col. 2:8) and historical positions they learned at their college.  They will run to Malachi to prove tithing, Mat.19 to prove divorce and remarriage is adultery, and they will say most of the time the word "church" is used it's talking about a Local Church so there's no such thing as a spiritual body.  Want to see this in action?  Here are 2 recent examples:

  • An evangelist, in an effort to prove that having an altar call is a biblical mandate, used Gen 3:9 as his proof text.  If this isn't stupidity I don't know what is.  Does he not known when the first mention of the word 'altar' is?  Does he not know that Adam and Eve are the only two people alive and they haven't sacrificed (that is the purpose of an altar) anything to anybody?  Does he not know NOTHING has even been killed yet (this is what happens at an altar)?  Don't get me wrong: I'm not dogmatically against having an altar call.  But let's be serious: there are exactly ZERO verses of scripture where any Christian or lost person is told to go to an altar and pray about anything, let alone any mandate to do so.  Have an altar call if you want; but let's not pretend following the pattern of the Wesley revivals makes it Biblical or makes one a heretick if they choose not to have one.
  • Yesterday on Twitter: in an effort to prove that you should never tell a wicked sinner that they are...well...a wicked sinner, but only tell them that God loves them (which isn't true until you get in Christ - Jn. 3:36), a HAC alum pastor used Eph. 4:29.  Now, if context were not important this would just be fine.  But since context is important, it isn't fine.  If you read the verse carefully (which he obviously did not, or cannot), you will see a contrast.  The contrast is instead of speaking corrupt things, speak things that edify & minister grace.  The two key words in that verse are edify and minister.  The word edify (in all of it tenses) appears only in the NT 16 times.  EVERY time it appears, it is in reference to believer's...NOT LOST PEOPLE WHOSE DOOR YOU KNOCKED ON!  Lost people cannot be edified since they cannot understand the things necessary for edification (1 Cor. 2:14) and they are not part of the Body.  If you look at the word minister you will find that the only people in scripture that get ministered to are God and his saints: NO LOST PEOPLE.  So Paul is clearly talking about speaking to believers, not lost people in door-2-door soul winning.  Let me emphasize, nobody is advocating being unnecessarily rude to anybody just because they are lost, but truth is truth.  And there is a tactful way to be honest and let them know there current condition and state.  
However the problem with this man is he went to a Bible college that was more concerned with building the church through soul winning than teaching the Bible (see Jack Hyles' Science of Calling a Pastor rule #3): he learned a philosophy of ministry and now he has to force his philosophy onto any verse that he can make fit what he was taught.  Of course this same fool tweeted: "There is zero Biblical evidence of a witness insulting the very ones they are trying to lead to salvation."  You can't be serious, right?  Has he read any of Peter's sermons in Acts?  He called those Jews wicked and murderers.  Was it true?  Yes.  Was it insulting? I would be insulted if you called me a murderer.  Did anyone get saved after Peter called them wicked and murderers?  You bet your bottom dollar!  (oh, wait...Baptists don't bet) But of course his argument centers around what you define as an insult.  Is it an insult to tell someone they are going to burn in a lake of fire forever if their name is not written in the Lamb's Book of Life, even if you say it with a soft tone and a smile?  But I digress: because he went to a Bible college that doesn't know anything about the Bible he is an example of proof to a statement made by Dr. William P. Grady in his most recent book Given By Inspiration on page 47: "'Pseudo King James Onlyites' are some of the shallowest Bible students in the Body of Christ.  They are always lacking in two areas - right division [which is why the evangelist runs to Genesis to prove doctrine for the church] and cross-referencing."  If this imbecile had simply downloaded E-Sword for free and run the references on those two words, he could have avoided this folly and not ended up in the same error as the Papists, Mormons and JW's: creating a private interpretation (2 Pet. 1:20).  Of course, he could have just read the entire chapter of Ephesians 4 and it would have been obvious too.  But who reads the Bible these days?

Most of the historical positions held by fundamental baptists are not really that historical.  Don't believe me?  Hop on Twitter and see who gets quoted: John Rice, Curtis Hutson, Jack Hyles, Tom Malone.  Occasionally you'll get some from "way back" in the past like Spurgeon, Sunday, Moody, or Wesley.  And these are the "old paths?"  Christianity is 2000 years old and the blessed old paths only go back a few hundred years at most?  Not so old or historic if you ask me.

I'm not a huge fan of David Cloud, but the thing I like about him is his honesty in expressing his positions (even when wrong).  But he had a recent quote that I love that fits in nicely with "historic fundamentalism" and it's modern day cronies:

"Some men seem to think that if John Rice or J. Frank Norris or Bob Jones did or believed something, that I must be some sort of nut for not following them. I don’t understand that mindset. I don’t unquestioningly follow fundamentalist leaders past or present in any matter. I appreciate all of the good things they stood for, but they were only men." 
At the end of the day, fundamentalists have to answer what they really believe: what the Book ACTUALLY says or what their alma mater told them it said.  Lot's of these self-professing fundamentalists don't have enough backbone to go against their protestant movements precepts.  They want to be accepted at the next big leadership conference or pastors school.  I think John 12:43 has something to say about that.


jesse,  June 7, 2012 at 9:02 PM  

Love the truth!

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