Bouquets and Brickbats

NEW JERSEY: I just received the latest issue of the Grace Proclamator, and wanted to write concerning your editorial on Why? Why? Why? I thought that you brought out some excellent points regarding Protestantism and the universal church heresy. I hope that you will print this letter as I have included some interesting case studies.

About ten years ago I had some contact with a group of non-denominational fundamentalists in Pennsylvania. This group was very fond of the Scofield Reference Bible’s notes regarding the "church". (Editor’s Note: Scofield sets forth three churches in his Bible: the local church, the regional church as the "church in Memphis which includes all the local congregations of all denominations in Memphis, and "the true church," which is the mystical creature called the universal invisible church.) One of the leaders in this group was very knowledgeable about Landmark Baptists. He admitted that our churches had their roots far back in antiquity, however, he still thought that we were heretics. He insisted that the dispensation of the law existed until Pentecost in spite of what Luke 16:16 says. He also thought that the disciples only had a temporary salvation until Pentecost when he thinks that they truly had eternal life. Yet, eternal life was received during the ministry of Jesus by those who trusted him as Lord and Saviour (See John 3:3, 16, 36). That same person later caused controversies and left the group. They all insisted that all believers formed a universal body, yet they separated from other Christians over the slightest deviation in opinion from what they believed. They would not hold fellowship with one of America’s largest Fundamentalist schools in South Carolina. But, as I said, they held to the universal body doctrine and made it a test of fellowship.

Case #2 involved another member of that same group who admitted that in the Greek, EKKLESIA (ekklesia) meant only an assembly, but he insisted that God gave the word an entirely new meaning in the English. This is the same argument that the Protestants used in defending their wicked baby sprinkling. Incidentally, the man whom I just mentioned was saved in a Landmark Baptist Church in New York but turned his back on the truth. He now pastors some non-denominational church where he can flaunt his heresy and deceive believers.

Case #3 involved a man who lives here in New Jersey. He has been involved in numerous splits and divisions in churches out here. He told me that while he didn’t believe in a universal church, he did believe that all Christians were in one body. Well that’s the same thing! He didn’t understand that the Lord used the term "body" as a metaphor, and that it referred to a local assembly. I confronted him one time as to the meaning of EKKLESIA and all that he would say was "ha?" I think that that is a very ignorant response. Some people have told me that they believe that believing in a universal church is an evidence of salvation. You read that right! These people have fallen for the wicked lies of old Mother Rome, her children and grandchildren.

Case #4 involved a man who is a famous preacher in the Southwest. I heard him speak in Florida about ten years ago. He related how he grew up in ABA churches but went to a popular fundamental school. While admitting that EKKLESIA only meant a local assembly, he stated how he was "led by the Spirit" to believe that all Christians were in one universal body! "1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. By the way, that fellow left the ABA years ago because he knew that sound brethren wouldn’t go for his "big church".

Brethren, we need to stand like men, believing the preserved Word of God (KJV, Textus Receptus, Hebrew Massoretic). I want to bring one final thing to your attention; please pray for churches to be planted in New Jersey, we need them badly. I hope that some of your readers will write in response to this letter if it is printed. Thank you for an edifying publication.

I covet your prayers!

KENTUCKY: Thanks for sending the Grace Proclamator and Promulgator. I read it all about as soon as it comes, and agree with a lot of it!

Since you will probably get some "flak" over your position on race, as stated on pages 6 & 7 of the January issue, let me give a word of encouragement. It has been my joy for over 30 years to be outspoken on this matter in almost exactly your words. For years, as a teacher and administrator at Mid-Continent Baptist College, I worked to open our doors to godly people of any race, with some success. A dear friend, ___________, taught in the same school (he is still emeritus professor there), and was even more outspoken than I. In fact, he lost one pastorate over the issue. But Acts 8 is clear enough; if we are not willing to preach the gospel to the elect of every race, we deny grace!

Ben Bogard was a pastor in this area, and among those who helped constitute this (SBC) association in 1893. We are "landmark" in our ecclesiology, and my booklet, The Church on the Rock, is a presentation of this position . . . Also, please encourage Brother Huffman in his position that we need not "dot every i and cross every t" exactly alike to have good fellowship. Part of Christian maturity is the recognition that "I could be wrong about something." (Of course, only un-Christian immaturity is reflected in "always learning and never coming to the knowledge of the truth.") There is a necessary balance, and you paper comes near that point. I suppose my good friend, Cecil Fayard, of Grenada, MS, put me on the list; I’ve seen the paper in his church while visiting there.

At any rate, thanks for your testimony; maybe it will help a bit to know there are even some "Southern" Baptists who agree!

LOUISIANA: You have been doing a great job with your paper. You are doing a good work. Keep it up my brother.

CO CORK, IRELAND: Your article on "The World’s Worst Possible Famine" was excellent.

ARKANSAS: I appreciate the stand you take. Keep up the good work.

CANADA: Just a quick note to say, "Hello," and to tell you how much I appreciate the paper, GP&P! I do not always agree on every jot and tittle, but nearly! . . . I like your stand on Baptist traditions which are unscriptural . . . Keep up the good work!

OKLAHOMA: I’m really enjoying the articles you’re writing about Israel’s restoration. Are the a-mills still fretting? . . . I don’t see how anyone could argue against it—anyone that believes the Word of God, anyway.

I also wanted to mention that I enjoyed the article on preaching the Word in a balanced fashion. While I love the KJV, and use it for study and preaching, I cannot go with those who make it more that it is. It is just a translation of the Word—a good translation, I believe, and worthy of confidence and use—but not a perfect translation, and not necessarily better than any other translation. But it is based on the right texts, which most modern translations are not. And, it is a translation (in most cases), rather than an interpretation, which many modern versions are. What is passing strange is that the KJV translators did not make anywhere near the claims for the KJV that the "KJV only" proponents do!

I also am with you 100% on the men’s/women’s clothes issue, the long hair issue, and the head covering. I have held to the position you describe on the men’s/women’s clothes issue for a long time, but this is the first time I remember seeing anyone put it down on paper. This is one of those silly hobby horses that men try to ride, and does nothing for the glory of God, or the edification of the churches. It seems to me that the key here is whether the man or woman is trying to be perceived as the opposite sex. There are pants that are perceived in this culture as being feminine, and there are pants that are perceived as masculine. How many men wear pants suits?!

The problem with the men’s/women’s clothes issue is defining some particular clothing design/construction as belonging particularly to one sex. As you mentioned, the clothes they wore in Biblical times were largely the same in construction for both sexes. Let some man show up for services (in one of these argumentative preacher’s churches) in clothes like our Lord wore! I imagine the fur would be flying very quickly.

Some say now that pants are only for men. But (I have read) that pants were originally designed for women, because they could not accidentally expose more than was modest by blowing in the wind, or if the woman fell. So then, if this story be true, pants are actually women’s clothing! But then they say that it is the current (fashion) culture that must decide whether any particular style of clothing belongs to men or women, and therefore pants belong to men. {You might note that this argument is generally propounded by the older generation, who grew up when women didn’t wear pants often.} The easy reply there is, "Be ye not conformed to the fashion of this world . . .!" But if the current fashion does dictate to us, then surely the current fashion is for women to wear pants.

My point is that unless we take the Scripture to mean that men should not attempt to look like women and vice versa, we will soon be involved in countless difficulties trying to figure out what belongs to men and what to women. Not only will we be befuddled by the fashion changes over time, but also Christians in various parts of the world will have to change their style of dress when they travel, since various cultures have different (and often opposite) ideas of what belongs to men versus women. In Arabic countries pants (and especially shorts) on women are often considered abomination, but the ordinary clothing for men is what most Westerners would call a dress.

I enjoy the paper. Keep up the good work.

 FLORIDA: Brother, your article on Preaching the Word in balance was a breath of fresh air, especially the portion in which you dealt with the issue of the design and construction of women’s and men’s clothing. I have heard so much on this that cannot be backed up by Scripture that it makes me sick. You are the first whom I have seen have the nerve to put down in writing what many of us know to be the truth. Again, it was a breath of fresh air!

ALASKA: I want you to know I appreciate your recent articles on God’s restoration of Israel. I doubt that most see the current dangers of the "Dominion Theology" movement and the post-mil doctrine’s resurrection. Both are gross mis-applications of Scripture so far as I am concerned. This another catalyst toward a World-Wide Universal Church. It’s much like the modern tongues movement in that respect.

ARKANSAS: Please remove my name from your list of recipients of your publication—the Proclamator. I do not understand why you would try to destroy the credibility of the AV 1611—KJV.

All other translations in English, teach different meanings than the KJV. God promised we would always have his word. These new translations cannot be correct if the KJV is correct. (They differ) If the KJV is not correct and without error, then there was a period of time when God left the major world language without his word.

I believe he has always made good his promises to us. Please mail me no more.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I have never tried to discredit the KJV, but have repeatedly declared on these pages and from the pulpit my love for the Word of God and the KJV translation of that word. The brother apparently has reference to some things I said in the last issue of the paper (He has only been on the mailing list a couple of months). I asked in that issue and I ask again for some Biblical reference from the KJV 1611which mentions the AV 1611 indicating it is the one version that we are to use today.

Do not we Baptists insist on a "thus saith the Lord" for our doctrinal stands? Do not we Baptists insist that the Bible is the only and all-sufficient rule for our faith and practice? Do not we Baptists rebuke Rome and others for adding to the word and making their additions as binding as the 66 books composing the Bible? That being true, I have asked and am asking for a "thus saith the Lord" that establishes firmly that the KJV AV 1611 is the one and only one we are to use.

The Brother also wrote, "If the KJV is not correct and without error, then there was a period of time when God left the major world language without his word." I wonder if he has given any thought to what he has said. His position of "King James onlyism" means that many people went many years without the word of God before the KJV. It also means that much of the inhabited world today has no Bible because many do not read or speak English. One also wonders what this brother would do if he went to a country where English is not commonly spoken or understood. Would he have an interpreter translate his reading of the KJV? Would that not produce a flawed version heard by the people?

The brother also wrote, "All other translations in English, teach different meanings than the KJV." Now I wonder if this brother has read all the other versions and knows for a fact that they are different in every case. I also wonder if the brother uses an AV 1611 in his study and in the pulpit, or, if in fact, he uses a 1769 revision of the KJV, which I believe is the fifth revision of the AV 1611? If the AV 1611 was an inerrant, "correct and without error" translation, why has it been revised at least five times and why, if he does, would he use one of the revisions rather than the genuine AV 1611.

If I held that the AV 1611 was the only "correct and without error" version of God's word available, I would preach from none else, not even a revision of the AV 1611.

It would appear that the Brother does not have an answer to what I wrote last issue. He cannot produce a text from the AV 1611 that declares it to be the only acceptable version, and is therefore without a text, and, therefore, without Biblical authority, when he preaches that it is.

And, by the way, I have a copy of the AV 1611 and it has 14 books in it that are not in the 1769 revision which I use. Were these infallible translators infallible when they included these books as part of the AV 1611? If not, is there not a serious problem here? Should we be preaching from First Esdras, Second Esdras, Tobit, Judeth, The rest of Eshther, Wisdome of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch with the Epistle of Jeremiah, The Song of the Three Children, The Story of Susanna, The Idole Bel and the Dragon, The Prayer of Mannasseh, First Maccabees, and Second Maccabees? If not, why not, since these books were translated by the KJV translators and are included in the AV 1611?

And, Yes! I dropped the brother from our mailing list as he requested, but I sent him a copy of this along with a letter in which I asked him the questions that I raised here. He refused to answer a single one. I wonder why.

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Friday, March 04, 2011

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