"To testify the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24
**PUBLISHED AS A MISSION PROJECT OF PILGRIMS HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH**
November 1, 2003
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CALVINISM VERSUS ARMINIANISM
WILL ANY TRUE BELIEVER IN CHRIST EVER BE CAST INTO THE TORMENTS OF HELL? Part V
EXPOSING THE NEW EVANGELICALISM
MY BURDEN FOR THE THAILAND MISSION WORK
CALVINISM VERSUS ARMINIANISM
By Royce Smith
What is known in the world as Christendom today is divided theologically into various schools of thought—e.g. Catholics and Protestants (historic Baptists are not Protestant Reformers), liberals and fundamentalists, Calvinists and Arminians. To be more exact, Calvinism and Arminianism are historic terms used to designate two opposing soteriological viewpoints, not religious sects which follow either John Calvin or Jacob Arminius. Although these differing doctrinal systems wear the names of these two famous men, neither of them originated the doctrines that compose their systems; instead, they as teachers of those doctrines, systematized them as we know them today.
Many modern Baptists ignorantly insist they are neither Calvinists nor Arminians but are between what they consider to be two extreme positions theologically. Their claim is erroneous because there is no position between true Calvinism and Arminianism. One may go beyond historic Calvinism and teach more than the Scriptures set forth, or below Arminianism and deny what the Scriptures teach as do the Socinians.
I. THE HISTORY OF CALVINISM AND ARMINIANISM
To trace the origins of both Calvinism and Arminianism, one must go back to the beginning of human history. Abel believed God’s revelation and worshiped God accordingly. Cain adhered to his own natural ideas and developed a system of worship based on a humanistic view. Thus, two drastically opposing doctrinal positions began among men. Paul and the other apostles held to the doctrines of grace (a term synonymous with Calvinism), while first century Gnostics sought to amalgamate the Scriptures with pagan philosophies and religions, and Judaisers attempted to merge Christianity with Judaism. From the very beginning the conflict has been between God’s Word and men’s ideas. This controversy resurfaced in history in the Fourth Century when Augustine opposed Pelagius. In the Sixteenth Century, this issue contributed to the Reformation as Martin Luther espoused the doctrines of grace in opposition to the Church of Rome, as did all of the Reformers before Calvin. As a matter of fact, the Waldenses (ancient Baptists) believed the doctrines of grace or Calvinism long before Martin Luther, to say nothing of John Calvin.
However, the doctrines of grace were popularized in modern history by John Calvin, and thus, his name has been forever attached to this system of Biblical teaching. Since Jacob Arminius opposed Calvin’s teachings, his name has come to be associated with the system of doctrines which stands in opposition to Calvinism. Ironically, it was the followers of Arminius—the Remonstrants—who took issue with the doctrinal system of Calvin on five strategic points. Their views were systematically repudiated by the Synod of Dort on these five points. Hence, the five points of Calvinism were born as such.
II. THE DIFFERENCES IN CALVINISM AND ARMINIANISM
Calvinists believe man is totally depraved in all his faculties, dead in trespasses and sins, and completely unable to turn to God apart from regenerating grace. Arminians, on the other hand, contend that man’s depravity has not rendered him incapable of savingly exercising his will in trusting Christ for salvation. Arminians therefore emphasize the so-called free will of man while Calvinists stress the free grace of God.
Calvinists maintain that election is unconditional, arising from God’s free and sovereign grace. In opposition to this truth the main body of Arminians affirm election to be conditional, issuing forth from God’s foreknowledge of faith in some whom He then designates as His elect. “Some Arminians contend God does not [even] know the free actions of men, not because He cannot know them, but because He chooses not to do so.” (Abstract of Systematic Theology, Boyce, p. 120, brackets mine, R.S.)
Calvinists avow the atonement was specifically made for God’s elect only. Hence, they hold to Particular Redemption or Definite Atonement. Because of this position, they are wrongly accused by Arminians of believing in a limited atonement. In reality it is the Arminians, not the Calvinists, who limit the atonement, for, in their system of belief, Christ died for all men equally, rendering all men savable, but securing the salvation of no one. Is it not this belief that actually limits the atonement?
Calvinists affirm that God’s grace is always effectual in saving the elect for whom Christ made an atonement. This truth is sometimes referred to as irresistible grace. Although saving grace is irresistible, it is so, not because the sinner is saved against his will, but because he is made willing to be saved through the change of his nature, and thus, his will in the new birth (Psalm 110:3). Many Calvinists prefer to call this truth the effectual call or efficacious grace. Arminians, on the other hand, believe that the sinner can effectively resist the grace of God until he ultimately thwarts God’s purpose to save him. Is it not evident, therefore, whom Arminians regard to be sovereign? They make man to be the sovereign and God to be bound by man’s choice.
Finally, Calvinists maintain the elect who have been born again will persevere in their faith and never fall away so as to be lost forever. This is the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. While they do believe in the eternal security of the born-again believer, Calvinists do not teach that every person who professes faith in Christ is thereby saved and eternally secure. Arminians are divided on this issue. Some Arminians believe in the security of the professed believer, e.g. the General Baptists of England, most modern Baptists, and some others. Indeed, it is because of their belief in the security of the believer that they deny they are Arminians. Other Arminians contend that believers can fall away from Christ so as to be finally lost in hell, e.g. Free Will Baptists, Wesleyans, Campbellites, and Pentecostals.
III. THE FOUNDATIONS OF CALVINISM AND ARMINIANISM
The soteriological (salvational) concepts of Calvinists are always consistent with the sovereignty of God. Indeed, God’s sovereignty, along with the Biblical revelation of His nature and attributes, is the foundational truth on which all other aspects of soteriology are founded.
In contrast, Arminian soteriology rests upon the so called Free will of man as did Pelagianism and Semi-Pelagianism from whose roots Arminianism has developed. Instead of pointing men to a sovereign God whose grace alone can save, Arminianism relies on the supposed sufficiency of the human will to choose to be saved when influenced by the gospel. Thus, the foundational doctrine of Arminianism is man’s alleged free will, not God’s free grace; its chief emphasis is human merit, not divine sovereignty; it worships at the altar of choice not mercy; it stresses what is fair, not just; and it elevates humanity, not deity.
IV. THE FRUITS OF CALVINISM AND ARMINIANISM
Said Jesus, “Wherefore by their fruits, ye shall know them” (Matt. 7:20). As with true and false prophets, so both true and false theological systems are known by their fruits.
The doctrines known as Calvinism when proclaimed by Martin Luther and others brought about the Reformation. The Great Awakening and other great revivals resulted from the preaching of the doctrines of grace. The men God greatly used in the Great Awakening, George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards, were Calvinists. The modern foreign missionary movements were initiated by Calvinists—William Carey and Adoniram Judson were Calvinists. The early printers and distributors of religious literature were Calvinists. To this day Calvinists are still zealous in promoting the truth through publishing houses and bookstores.
The doctrines known as Arminianism have produced so-called decisional salvation with its anxious seats, mourners benches, counseling rooms, and the modern invitation which is nothing less than a psychological tool to coerce people into professing faith in Christ. With its emphasis on fairness and God’s owing every person the same opportunity to be saved, it has given rise to contemporary humanism and the whole modern-day rights movement. Because human choice is the high doctrine of this system, to which every other teaching must be adjusted, many sinful and abominable practices based on the so-called right of choice have developed wherever Arminianism has prevailed. Consequently, the abominations of abortion and sodomy have their roots in Arminianism, and their fruit may be laid at the feet of every Arminian preacher who insists on the sovereignty of human choice.
The doctrines of grace, commonly called Calvinism, are the revealed truths of Scripture and have been held by the prophets, our Lord, the apostles, church fathers, martyrs, ancient churches, the Reformers, the Puritans, the English and early American Baptists, and men of God today. I gladly avow them as the theme to be the “faith once delivered to the saints.”
Arminianism, being humanistic in content, must have originated with the great deceiver himself and must be repudiated with holy zeal. Let us, in denouncing this false system, nevertheless be loving and sensitive to those brethren who hold it simply because they have never seen the truth of the grace of God or have been biased against it. They may yet be won to the truth. Those who are willful enemies of the truth, however, must be exposed as the false prophets they are for the sake of truth and lost souls. Let us not shrink back from this unpleasant work, but be true to Him who saved us and called us with a holy calling (2 Tim. 1:9).
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WILL ANY TRUE BELIEVER IN CHRIST EVER BE CAST INTO THE TORMENTS OF HELL?
IF SALVATION IS OF THE LORD THEN THERE IS NO WAY A TRULY BORN AGAIN BELIEVER COULD EVER END UP IN HELL
(Continued from October 1, 2003, issue)
By Wayne Camp
In the October issue I continued the arguments for the preservation and perseverance of true believers from the biblical position that salvation is of the Lord. And, since salvation is entirely of the Lord, then it logically follows that if one who is a true believer ends up in hell, the failure would be God’s, not the believer’s. Since the three holy Persons of the Godhead take the full responsibility and the full glory for the salvation of the elect, there is no way a failure in the matter could be attributed to the believer. Scripture does teach that salvation is of the Lord. Jonah 2:9 Salvation is of the LORD. Psalm 3:8 Salvation belongeth unto the LORD. Psalm 37:39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD. Psalm 68:20 He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death. Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 1 John 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
It is also obvious that faith and salvation are not of man. Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Romans 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. One of the reasons that salvation is of the Lord and by grace through faith is so that it will be sure and certain to all the seed, the elect of God. Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all.
Another reason that salvation is of the Lord is so that no flesh can glory in his sight. 1 Corinthians 1:29-31 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. 2 Timothy 1:8-9 . . . God . . . hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.
The verses I have given and many more that could be given show that salvation is of the Lord and is such that it utterly excludes any boasting on man’s part. Our glory must be in the Lord. All this being true, if one were ever to be lost, it could not be his fault for salvation belongs to the Lord. It is of him. He saves from sin; he saves from condemnation; he saves from hell; he saves for heaven. He is fully sufficient for that great task and none of his elect will ever know the torments of hell. God began the work and God continues the work of salvation.
God continues this work of salvation by the every-continuing priesthood of our ever-living high priest. Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. The priests descended from Aaron all died. Jesus is a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. He ever lives to make intercession for his people. If his intercession were to ever fail, we would be lost but it will never fail.
God continues this work of salvation by making it impossible for any creature, including ourselves, to separate us from his love and the love of his Son. Romans 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Hell is a place of wrath, not a place of love. There is nothing about hell that reflects the love of God. Hell is a place of separation from God and his love. Those who go to hell will be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord. 2 Thessalonians 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. Since it unequivocally evident that there is no thing and no person who can separate one of God’s children from him and his love, there is no way a true believe in the Lord Jesus Christ could ever end up in hell.
God continues this work of salvation by always being for us and rendering impotent the efforts of any who are against us. Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? Now I ask every reader of this message, “Is God for his people, his children?” The answer has to be, “Yes, God is for his children.” Then no one can prevail against us.
God continues this work of salvation by seeing to it that not one of those sheep whom he has given the Son shall ever perish. John 10:27-28 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. How could one who is held in such powerful hands ever suffer the torments of hell? The Lord gives his sheep a drink of water that assures they shall never thirst again. John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. He gives them bread that assures they shall never hunger again. John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. He gives them bread to eat that will cause them to live forever. John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. He has given them to his Son to save guaranteeing that they shall never be cast back out into the lost world again. John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. Jesus does the will of the Father and it is the Father's will that he not lose one of those given to him by the Father. John 6:38-39 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
If Jesus were to ever loose one of those given him by the Father, he would violate the will of the Father. Any violation of the will of God is a sin; Christ would have to sin to loose one of those given to him and if he sins, no one will be saved for our great high priest must be holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners. Hebrews 7:26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.
God continues this great work of salvation by sealing those who believe until the day of redemption. Ephesians 1:13-14 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. This seal is the assurance of our preservation. Ephesians 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. This seal is upon us until the redemption of our bodies from corruption and mortality. Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
God continues this great work of salvation by making Christ not only the Author but the Finisher of our faith. Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. He begins this work of salvation and brings it to full fruition. What he begins he continues until it is fully accomplished. He did not give up the ghost until he was able to cry, “It is finished. It is accomplished.” Surely the One who did not quit on the cross until God was fully satisfied and the sin debt of his elect people was fully paid, will not quit the actual work of salvation in us. Yes, he is both author and finisher of this great work of salvation.
God continues this great work of salvation by so working in us that we will never repent of being saved. 2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. I remember reading where Jimmy Swaggart was talking about the doctrine of preservation of the saints. Of course, he rejected the doctrine. He said, “I would not want to get into anything that I could not get out of.” Is he a saved man? Surely if he is he would know that one who has truly experience godly sorrow and God-granted repentance will never want out. The godly sorrow that works repentance to salvation is never regretted.
God continues this great work of salvation by looking to Jesus as our surety, not to us as surety for ourselves. Hebrews 7:22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. Jesus stood good for a debt we could never pay and he paid. He is the surety of the new covenant.
Since salvation is of the Lord in its conception and in its commencement, it is logical that it will be of the Lord in its consummation as we will now see.
IT IS GOD WHO CONSUMMATES THIS GRAND WORK OF SALVATION
DEFINITION: consummate = to bring to completion or perfection.
God commences the work of the salvation of his people. God continues the work of the salvation of his children. And, My Dear Readers, God will most surely bring to completion and perfection the work of the salvation of those whom he chose unto salvation from the beginning.
Yes, God will continue this great work of salvation in each of his people until it is thoroughly finished and brought to perfection. Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. What he began in regeneration he will perfect in glorification and complete sanctification. He will not quit until he can present us blameless before the presence of his glory.
I pointed our earlier that Jesus Christ is both the author and finisher of our faith. He is the finisher of our faith and the Godhead, the blessed Three Persons of the Holy Godhead, will not discontinue this work without bringing it to its appointed fulfillment. Ecclesiastes 3:14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.
The salvation of the elect is an eternal work of the blessed Trinity. Man can put nothing to it and man can take nothing from it. It is God who does it and he does it in such a way that men should fear and trust him. No man can glory in his site for his salvation. We can only praise God that he has been gracious enough to save unworthy sinners and do it all himself.
God has called us to eternal glory and his calling is irrevocable. 1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. One of the great assurances we have is that God is not a fickle giver of salvation and eternal life. He has called us to eternal glory and his calling is without repentance. He does not go back from it. He gives the gift of salvation and eternal life and he never revokes that gift.
God has predestinated us to be conformed to the image of his Son and he will certainly bring to pass what he has purposed. Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. There is nothing in the purpose of God that will not be fulfilled. There is nothing in the purpose of God that will fail. God has purposed to bring every one of his elect people into the image of Jesus Christ and he will surely do it. Isaiah 46:11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.
The completion of our salvation is so certain that in the mind and purpose of God his elect are already glorified. He has already glorified us in his eternal purpose and no one can stay his hand and keep him from doing it in execution. Romans 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. Daniel 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
Christ shall come and he shall change our vile bodies into glorious bodies. Philippians 3:20-21 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. One day Christ will come in the clouds of glory and all of his children will be caught up to meet him in the air as he descends from heaven. He will change the vile bodies of all of his people and fashion those vile bodies like unto his glorious body. We will awake in his likeness and we shall surely be satisfied.
When our mortal bodies put on immortality and we come forth victorious over the grave, it will be God who gives us that victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:51-57 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. No believer will be cast down to hell. None will fail to experience this great victory over the grave. Why am I so certain of this wonderful truth? I am absolutely sure that it will come to pass because I know that every aspect of our salvation from sin and its terrible penalty is of the Lord. He conceived the plan; he chose us in Christ in that plan; he sent Jesus Christ into the world to die and purchase our salvation and he will with Christ freely give us all that he has purposed for us.
The salvation of the elect is salvation that includes eternal glory. 2 Timothy 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. Our salvation comes with eternal glory and that salvation is in Christ, not in our own efforts and righteousnesses. The salvation which is of the Lord and with eternal glory is on the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The glorification of the elect is grounded in the gracious, marvelous love of the Father, not in our own works. 1 John 3:1-2 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. Note the certainty in the message of John. We know we will be like Christ. We know this will come to pass just as declared in this passage.
When we consider that salvation is commenced by God, it is continued by God, and it is consummated by God we must conclude that there is no way that one who is saved by God could ever be lost. Were one to be lost it would be a reflection on the one who saves and that will never be.
Were I my own Saviour, I might become lost, and that would be to my shame. Since salvation is wholly of the Lord, if I become lost that would be to his shame. He conceived the work, he commences the work, he continues the work, and he will consummate the work. Ecclesiastes 3:14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.
When men believe that one who is truly a child of God can be lost, you can rest assured they do not believe that salvation is of the Lord completely. We hold that salvation is of the Lord in its conception, its commencement, its continuation, and its consummation. It is therefore, forever, and we can add nothing to it nor take anything from it. God does it. He is the one who preserves us in Christ. And he is the one who continues to work in us causing us to will and to do of his good pleasure and will continue working in us all those marvelous graces that will ultimately bring us before the presence of his glory in heaven where we shall cast any crowns we have received at his feet for he is worthy of all praise and honor for he is our salvation.
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EXPOSING THE NEW EVANGELICALISM
[EDITOR’S NOTE: The modern church-growth movement is riddled by the movement toward the New Evangelicalism. I should also point out that the New Evangelicalism described by Charles Woodbridge in his 1969 book The New Evangelicalism is not as rank with error as the movement is today, though it was a long way from biblical soundness in 1969. The excerpts from Ernest Pickering’s book given here ought to serve as a warning to three groups of people and churches.
1. Those who just simply get interested in the movement and get involved in its principle of loving everybody and disagreeing with no one.
2. Those who start using Contemporary “Christian” Music in their services.
3. Those who try to participate in the church-growth movement without being infected by its New Evangelicalism. You cannot play with fire and not eventually get burned. Proverbs 6:27-28 Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? 28 Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?
The following paragraphs are excerpted from the final chapter of Ernest Pickering's book The Tragedy of Compromise (Bob Jones University Press, copyright 1994). This important book documents the destructive nature of the New Evangelical movement and the rapidity with which th New Evangelical philosophy is sweeping into formerly staunch fundamentalist churches --
"All over America and the world at this hour there are churches that are drifting into New Evangelicalism without the remotest knowledge that they are doing so. They are being carried along with the shifting winds of compromise and have long since departed from the solid biblical position established by their predecessors. Young pastors, many without firm doctrinal underpinnings, have led their churches to believe that in order to reach the masses they must abandon the strict biblical principles of yore and embrace more fluid and attractive positions. Many saints, firmly indoctrinated by former pastors in clear and uncompromising positions, are now bewildered and drifting from church to church seeking some stability." (p. 155)
"Some fundamentalists have become disturbed by the fact that their circle of fellowship is considerably narrowed due to their strict position. They meet winsome, pleasant personalities from the New Evangelical camp and wonder why they cannot fellowship and work with them even though there may be important theological and methodological differences. New Evangelicals, in their fellowships, cross many denominational and theological lines and this 'freedom of movement' seems attractive to some fundamentalists. A noted itinerant Bible teacher was asked by a friend of mine why it was he never spoke on the issues of separation or the New Evangelicalism in the large conferences he addressed. The man replied, 'It closes too many doors.' New Evangelicals have many doors of opportunity opened to them simply because they do not address publicly 'sticky' issues that are likely to cause these doors to close. Loyalty to the truth can put one in a very lonely position. Paul, disturbed in his soul, said, 'All men forsook me' (2 Tim. 4:16)." (p. 157)
"New Evangelicals have bombarded fundamentalists with the accusation that the fundamentalist position is too narrow and that it repels rather than attracts the people of the world. Those who are paraded before us as the role models of success in church growth are almost all of the New Evangelical persuasion. It is no wonder that young fundamentalists question whether they too should adopt the New Evangelical position, since it certainly seems to work. Preachers must ever remember that their task is not to be popular or successful, but to be faithful. The popular view among many (even fundamentalists) is the concept that if one is truly filled with the Spirit, one will build a large and successful work. While, in God's providence, some may do this, not all will. Scripture is replete with examples of people who faithfully followed their Lord but were not successful by human standards. ... We should never compromise God's truth in order to try to be something that God does not want us to be. We should labor for God's glory alone without thought to our self-aggrandizement." (pp. 157,158)
"One young man who had been for years a member of a fundamentalist church suddenly left it to join a New Evangelical congregation. Upon enquiring as to the reason, the pastor was told that the New Evangelicals were more loving than the fundamentalists and that the young man was attracted to them for this reason. None of us can claim a corner on love, and no doubt it is true that many fundamentalist congregations could greatly improve in their love toward the Lord, toward one another, and toward the world in which they live. However, what some perceive of as love is, in reality, compromise. Many confuse a broad acceptance of various doctrinal positions, lifestyles, musical tastes, and methodologies as a demonstration of Christian love. In other words, if one is broader and more lenient, one is more loving. But this concept is not grounded in Scripture. Truth and love are not to be divorced. They walk together and are in perfect agreement. Some believe that if one is truly loving, one will not denounce error nor evaluate in a negative way the positions of others. Since New Evangelicals do not do this, they are perceived to be more loving than fundamentalists, to be kinder, more gracious, and more tolerant." (p. 158)
"David Beale warned against those who bear the label fundamentalist but whose personal philosophy is essentially New Evangelical. 'Unlike present-day Fundamentalists, they refuse to regard the militant defense of the faith and the full doctrine and practice of holiness as intrinsically fundamental' (Beale, In Pursuit of Purity, pp. 261ff). In other words, there are fundamentalists who are either becoming or already are New Evangelicals. Some are actually adopting New Evangelical philosophies while still proclaiming they are not New Evangelicals. The basic problem is this: Many fundamentalists, when speaking of the New Evangelicalism, are referring to the original positions and writings of the early founders of New Evangelicalism such as Carl Henry and Harold Ockenga. They repudiate heartily the thoughts of these earlier leaders, but either in ignorance or willingly, they fail to recognize the updated version, the 'new' New Evangelicalism. It is always safer to berate the teachings of those historically farther removed rather than of those who are currently afflicting the church." (p. 159)
"Professedly fundamentalist schools can gradually be weakened because of a lack of required, systematic instruction in the errors of the apostasy as well as the New Evangelicalism. It is often assumed by academic leaders that young people coming to separatist institutions are knowledgeable concerning the history and biblical foundations of the separatist movement. They are not. Years ago someone observed, 'You cannot perpetuate a position without adequately trained personnel.' ... Most fundamentalist colleges and seminaries still have required chapel. In many chapels, however, there is a notable absence of messages on ecclesiastical separation. ... There are numerous institutions that would claim to be fundamentalist, separatist schools where these subjects are never discussed." (p. 161)
"Speaking of militancy, it should be noted that many institutions have a dread of being thought of as too negative or combative. I remember the dean of a fundamentalist school who remarked to me on one occasion, 'We are a separatist school, but we are not militant.'... A biblical position cannot be maintained without militancy. When the apostle Paul drew near to the end of his earthly journey he wrote, 'I have fought a good fight' (2 Tim. 4:7). His entire life and ministry had been characterized by a battle. He was laying down his armor and entering into the presence of the commander in chief. To be militant does not mean to be nasty, vituperative, or mean-spirited. Failure to understand this truth causes some to disdain the term 'militant.' No one was more loving than the Apostle Paul, but no one was more bold and specific in his defense of the faith." (p. 162).
"New Evangelicalism can slip in the back door of church fellowships on the coattails of pleas for a tolerance of diversity. Those calling for a more strict adherence to biblical standards are solemnly warned that to do so would be to violate 'soul liberty' or 'church autonomy.' Some church fellowships that historically have stood strong for biblical separation have had their moorings undermined by just such arguments as these. Those who harbor New Evangelical concepts and practices (even though they may not call them such) are allowed to remain within the fellowship, and, even more serious, are placed in positions of leadership from which they may infect others. When critics of an organization point out the inconsistencies of some brethren within the group, leaders of the group issue a warning against 'wounding our own soldiers.'" (p. 163)
"Strong loyalty to one's church fellowship can blind one to evident signs of developing weakness within that group. I remember many years ago when some of us were fighting against the incursions of the New Evangelicalism into the Conservative Baptist movement. At our annual convention in Detroit, Charles Woodbridge was asked to speak on the subject of the New Evangelicalism. He did a masterful job of delineating the sources, the progression, and the characteristics of the movement. As some of us were descending in an elevator after the session, a seminary president and one of the chief spokesmen for the New Evangelicalism within the Conservative Baptist movement was asked what he thought of Woodbridge's address. He replied, 'He had a lot of interesting points, but none of them apply to our Conservative Baptist fellowship.' The fact of the matter was, however, that at that very time the Conservative Baptists were riddled with New Evangelicalism." (p. 164)
"Unwarranted assumptions often weaken groups. Because they were founded upon separatist principles, many groups assume that all of their present members understand and accept those principles. This is not always the case. Diligent and continuous instruction is required in order to inculcate truth into the minds of succeeding generations. God was very emphatic with the children of Israel that they should see that each generation was taught the Word of God Lord: 'And thou shalt teach them diligently unto they children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up' (Deut. 6:7). Surely this admonition applies to instruction in separatist principles as well as to all other truths of the Word of God. Some have the notion, however, that the battles for the faith are over and that we can now go on to other things." (p. 164)
"Fundamentalist pastors, goaded by their desire to see numerical growth, visit 'growth seminars,' almost always manned by New Evangelicals. In the process of supposedly learning how to 'grow' their church, they also imbibe the philosophies of New Evangelicalism. They see no problem, however, because it 'works.'" (p. 168)
"Perhaps nothing precipitates a slide toward New Evangelicalism more than the introduction of Contemporary Christian Music. . . . This inevitably leads toward a gradual slide in other areas as well until the entire church is infiltrated by ideas and programs alien to the original position of the church." (p. 169)
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MY BURDEN FOR THE THAILAND MISSION WORK
By Wayne Camp
Acts 16:5 And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.
1 Thessalonians 3:2 And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith.
As I am packing my suitcases, transferring lessons and messages to my laptop computer and to CDs, gathering various items that I must take with me, including some peanut butter for Bro. Anond and other things, I am under a very heavy burden for the work in Thailand. I feel especially led to work toward establishing the churches we are working with in the faith.
By God’s grace, I plan to do this in two ways. First, I want to work diligently in establishing the pastors and other students in the faith in teaching them four days each week in the school. Second, I will be visiting the churches as often as possible—most Saturdays and Sundays—and will be preaching to them as much as possible. My teaching and preaching will be geared toward the fundamentals of the faith so long held by the Lord’s churches on this earth.
I firmly believe that the Sovereign Grace Independent Baptist School of Theology will be of great assistance in this matter of establishing the churches in the faith. This is not a new problem in mission work. As is evident from our texts above, this was a continuous concern for the Apostle Paul and his co-workers. Paul and Silas with others traveled among already organized churches establishing them in the faith. Paul sent Timothy to the church at Thessalonica to establish them in the faith. Paul and Silas went through Syria and Cilicia for the purpose of confirming the churches. Acts 15:41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.
It was of great concern to Paul that the Lord’s people in his churches not be as children tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine but that they would grow up into strong Christians. Ephesians 4:13-14 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.
Peter prayed that the Lord would establish and strengthen the scattered Christian pilgrims to whom he addresses his two epistles. 1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
I am asking all our readers and supporters to pray for the churches and pastors in the Hill Tribes in the jungles of Northern Thailand. Pray that they may be further established in the faith and grace of God.
Please pray for me as I labor especially with the pastors and then the churches on the weekend. Pray for my wife as she is left here at home. Pray for Pilgrims Hope Baptist Church. They are also making a great sacrifice to do this school work.
I appreciate so much those who are supporting this work and making it possible. I speak of Bro. Anond’s work with the churches and his and my work with the school. May God bless you for your prayers and support.
If you would like to receive regular e-mail reports while I am in Thailand, please send your e-mail address to me and ask to be put on the report list. My e-mail address is RWcamp@cris.com.
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RALEIGH SPRINGS BAPTIST CHURCH
5322 Banbury Ave Memphis, TN 38135
OCTOBER 30-NOVEMBER 2, 2003
Theme: Preaching Great Biblical Texts
Speakers in order
Elder Jimmie Davis Fulton MS
Elder Dan Cozart Tyler, TX
Elder Author Blevins Aztec, NM
Elder Kyle White Elmendorf, TX
Elder Steve Fulton Henderson, TX
Elder Paul Brown Oklahoma City, OK
Elder Ron Crisp Independence, KY
Elder Wilburn Perkins Oakdale, LA
Elder Dean Robinson Lawton, OK
Elder Orval Heath Mena, AR
Elder Roger Dohrer Claremore, OK
Elder J.C. Settlemoir Pittsboro, IN
PASTOR: Elder Jack Duplechain
FALL BIBLE CONFERENCE
Grace Baptist Church
5512 Old Jacksonville Highway
November 6-8, 2003
Royce Smith, Laurence Justice, Forrest Keener, Orval Heath, Jack Duplechain
Pastor: Elder Dan Cozart
Phones: (903) 561-7664 (903) 561-1163
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This page was last updated Friday, March 04, 2011