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(Revised 11/19/15)

Today many LGBT proponents of gay marriage are accusing born again Christians of hate crimes. Seems to me they’re confusing the definitions of these supposed transgressions: “bias”, “discrimination”, “bullying”, “persecution”, “hate speech”, “hate literature, and “hate crimes”.

Regarding the traditional definition of “hate crimes”, I have never heard of truly born again, biblically sound, mature, godly Christians causing violent, physical, bodily harm to LGBT people or their property. Let’s put the shoe on the other foot. Can LGBT people say they have never caused violent, physical, bodily harm to truly born again, biblically sound, mature, godly Christians or their property?

But I digress. The question at hand: does the Bible have hate speech towards LGBT people, as they claim? I say no! And Pastor Jack Wellman concurs. I have taken the liberty of reposting Pastor Wellman’s article below. Click here for the original posting of his article. I have emphasized certain points by bolding, and inserted comments in [brackets].

Jack WellmanArticle by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book  Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon.

Does The Bible Have Hate Speech?

Some call what is preached in the Bible hate speech.  Does the Bible actually have hate speech?

What is Hate?

There are laws in Canada that make it a crime to preach against certain things that exist in their society and these laws may soon be coming to the U.S but is there really hate speech in the Bible?  Can we say that with authority?  We know that God hates sin and it is said that God hates divorce but it never says that God hates divorced people.  Psalm 7:11 says that “God judges the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day” but the Hebrew doesn’t actually call it “hate” but the Hebrew word “za`am” means “to denounce, express indignation,” or “to be indignant” and it is the wicked because of their sin that God denounces and expresses His indignation against.  For those who have repented and put their trust in God, His anger against sin was satisfied by Jesus Christ at the cross.  Christ “was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities” and “upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace” (Isaiah 53:5) which is what Paul wrote “since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:1) so now there is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1).  God hates sin because sin was very costly…costing Jesus His life and the price for our sins was placed upon Jesus at Calvary in unimaginable torment and suffering that went on for hours.  God loves the Son but He also loves those who have repented and trusted in Him too so Jesus took the wrath of God so that we wouldn’t have to bear it ourselves in hell and it was “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21).

Does God Hates Sin but Love the Sinner?

If we look at the Bible verses that contain the word sin + hate we can see that it is not always directly pointed toward the person but what the person does.  I hated it when my son or daughter disobeyed me but I never hated them…so in my love I disciplined them.  If I didn’t love them, I would do nothing…that would be apathy.  Regarding the sin and not as much the sinner, God has much to say about it and it’s not good; “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him” (Prov 6:16).  The psalmist added “you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you” (Psalm 5:4).  For the most part, the world is separated from God by their sins (Isaiah 59:2) and if we love the world, then the love of the Father is not in us because whoever has “friendship with the world is at enmity (or hostility) with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4).  That’s why those “who love the Lord, hate evil [and] He preserves the lives of his saints” (Psalm 97:10).

What is Love?

If you knew someone who was blind and they were walking toward the edge of a cliff, it would be hateful to not warn them. You could be held legally liable for not warning them.  Just as if you saw a child drowning in a swimming pool and did nothing to save them would be criminally negligent, so it is to not warn people that if they step out of this life without Christ, they face an eternal punishment from which there is no escape.  It is not hateful to warn them of an impending judgment that is coming, on the contrary, it is the most loving thing you can ever do…even if it comes at the expense of their hating you.  It is really the message that they hate and not the messenger.  The message from Jesus’ own lips says “whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:18b).  Everyone loves John 3:16 but it means nothing without John 3:18.

Conclusion

The opposite of love is not hate…it is indifference or apathy.  Do we care that people are dying every day without Christ and will suffer in hell for their sins?  Do we not care enough to point them to the One and only way that they can be saved (Acts 4:12)?  I believe if we don’t share the bad news of people’s sins separating them from a Holy God (Isaiah 59:1-2) and that “whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36b) the “good news” of salvation in Jesus Christ alone will mean nothing.  It’s actually a cruel thing to not tell others that they will stand before God and be judged someday apart from Christ (Rev 20:12-15) and that no works will ever be good enough to save them (Eph 2:8-9).  They must repent of (turn away, forsake) their sins and then put their trust in Jesus Christ.  Show them love by telling them the truth; that God is angry at the sinner every day (Psalm 7:11).  Tell them how they can be saved from God’s wrath and after they die and at the judgment (Heb 9:27) they will be saved.  And tell them to their face that it is in their “hard and impenitent heart [that they] are storing up wrath for [themselves] on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed” (Rom 2:5) so they need to repent, believe, and be saved (John 3:16).

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(revised 11/19/15)

In recent days I have been very concerned about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the “same-sex marriage” issue. As we all know, “same-sex marriage” was approved for all 50 states of the U.S. (plus the District of Columbia) in 2015.

A question for born again Christian readers: are you “vexed” (troubled) by the possibility of nationally recognized gay marriage? I’m not talking about just the possibility of various Christian rights being taking away. I’m also talking about concern over sin itself.

I must admit, I have a tendency to be angry towards sinners themselves. But we need to take a deep breath, step back, and realize why we preach against sin. Sinners are headed straight down the path to Hell and the eternal Lake of Fire, if they do not accept Christ as Saviour. This is what our preaching against sin (of various kinds) should be all about – pointing out sin, and allowing the Holy Spirit to convict so sinners will turn around, repent of sin and accept Christ as Saviour and Lord.

I realize there are various ways to approach sinners and sin. And I would say different people need to be approached in different ways. Plus preachers vary in their personalities and God-given missions. John the Baptist and other prophets seemed to “rail” against sin in righteous anger. On the other hand, Jeremiah was called “the weeping prophet” (see the book of Lamentations), and Jesus wept over Jerusalem.

Following is an excellent, pertinent sermon outline I came across, by Independent Fundamental Baptist Pastor James J. Barker. The original sermon outline can be found here. I hope to add links to the Scripture passages, as time permits.

BEING VEXED IS NOT ENOUGH

Text: II PETER 2:1-9

INTRODUCTION:

1.     I would like to draw your attention to a word found twice in our text this morning – “vexed” (2:7, 8).  Lot was vexed. He did not approve of the so-called “gay lifestyle” of Sodom and Gomorrah.

2.     To be “vexed” means to be troubled, to be afflicted, to be disturbed, to be annoyed, and to be distressed.

3.     From our text we see that Lot was vexed by the filthy behavior of the Sodomites (2:6-8).  In fact, some Greek scholars even translate this word as “tortured” – i.e., Lot was being tortured by “seeing and hearing” what the Sodomites were doing.

4.     If all we had to go by was the OT, most of us would assume that Lot was not a saved man.  However, in II Peter 2:7, Lot is referred to as a just man, and in verse 8 he is referred to as a righteous man.

5.     In other words, Lot was saved.  He was carnal; he was backslidden; he was a compromiser – but he was saved.  Lot knew the Lord.

6.     As we look at the life of Lot this morning, I would like to remind you that I Corinthians 10:11 says these OT historical accounts were “written for our admonition.”

7.     Then the very next verse says, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” This is an important lesson for us because in the Bible, Lot represents the carnal, worldly Christian, and the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah represent the world.

8.     Sodom and Gomorrah are referred to many times in both the OT and the NT.  We do not have time to look up all of the references, but we will look at a few in order to demonstrate that in the Bible, Sodom and Gomorrah is a picture and type of the world (cf. Isaiah 1:9, 10; 3:8, 9; 13:19; Jer. 23:14; 49:17, 18; Ezek. 16:49; Amos 4:11, 12; Zeph. 2:9; Luke 17:28-32; Rev. 11:8).

9.     Did you notice that God not only compares Israel, and Judah, and Jerusalem to Sodom and Gomorrah; He also compares Babylon, Edom, Moab, and Ammon to Sodom and Gomorrah.

10. In other words, just as Lot represents the worldly, carnal believer; and Sodom and Gomorrah represent the world.

11. My message this morning is entitled, “Being Vexed Is Not Enough.”  There are many Christians who complain about the homosexuals but they let their children dress just like the world.  They oppose abortion but they let their children go to proms and get involved in dating.

I. LOT SHOULD HAVE BEEN SEPARATED FROM THE SODOMITES

1.     Second Peter 2:7 says that Lot was “vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked.”  In the King James Bible, “conversation” refers to conduct and behavior.

2.     Lot was not only vexed by the way they talked, he was vexed by the way they lived – “their unlawful deeds.”

3.     I think it is easy to understand what happened to Lot.  We see this all the time.  For example, a young person goes to public school and tries to live for God and soon he or she gets discouraged – the ridicule, the derision, the sarcasm, the scorn, the contempt – it becomes to much to bear so soon the public school student begins to “blend in” rather than be different from his ungodly classmates.

4.     This peer pressure is very strong with teenagers but it is also a problem with adults.  Christians often hear dirty words and gutter language at work.  Wicked sinners will take God’s name in vain, but many Christians will not object.

5.     This is what happened to Lot.  He should have separated from the Sodomites.  He should have taken a stand for God.  He should have protected his family, but he didn’t.

6.     The Bible says, “For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds” (2:8).

7.     Notice, Lot had to endure this ungodliness “day to day.”  He was horribly affected by what he was “seeing and hearing” (2:8).  Many Christians vex their righteous soul by what they are seeing and hearing – for example, by watching garbage on TV, and videos, and the Internet, and listening to rock music, and so on (cf. II Peter 2:8).

8.     Michael Green says, “It is customary for Christians today, living inn a secularized society, no longer to be shocked by sinful things which they see and hear.  They will, for example, without protest sit through a television program presenting material which a generation ago they would never have contemplated watching at a theatre or cinema. But when a man’s conscience becomes dulled to sin, and apathetic about moral standards, he is no longer wiling to look to the Lord for deliverance” (Tyndale Commentary).

9.     Remember, Lot had to be dragged out of Sodom (Gen. 19:16).

10. By the way, notice sodomy is called “unlawful” (II Peter 2:8).  Liberal politicians and wicked judges can pass all the laws that they want but they cannot make homosexuality lawful because God calls it “unlawful.” The Bible also calls it sinful, vile, wicked, abominable, unnatural, dishonorable, unseemly, and foolish.

11. James 1:27 tells us that we should keep ourselves “unspotted from the world,” but too many Christians are like Lot.

II.  LOT DID NOT HAVE A GOOD TESTIMONY IN SODOM

1.     You may remember the interesting conversation between the LORD and Abraham that is recorded in Genesis 18.

2.     In this portion of Scripture, Abraham is attempting to intercede for Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 18:16-33).

3.     Abraham is pleading for the wicked citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah.  He does not want to see them destroyed.

4.     Note that Abraham starts with 50 (Gen. 18:23, 24) and ends up with the LORD assuring him that He will not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if only ten righteous people can be found there (18:32).

5.     Perhaps Abraham thought that Lot and his extended family would be enough to spare the judgment of God. If Lot had just won his own family to the Lord, along with his daughters’ husbands and his sons’ wives, the Lord would have spared Sodom and Gomorrah, but Lot had absolutely no influence in Sodom (Gen. 19:12-14).

6.     The Scofield Study Bible says, “Lot had utterly lost his testimony” (cf. Gen. 19:9 and Scofield margin – “The world’s contempt for a worldly believer”).

7.     The reason Lot could not persuade his friends and family, and the reason he had absolutely no influence for God was he was not separated.

8.     And because Lot was not separated from all of the wickedness in Sodom and Gomorrah, he did not speak out against all of their filthy wickedness.

9.     Preachers today will not deal plainly with sin because (like Lot) they are compromised.   How can they boldly attack rock music when they themselves listen to rock music?  And when they even have it in their churches?

10. Or when they are afraid of losing members?

11. How can they preach against Hollywood if they are captivated by it themselves?

12. How can a preacher speak out against immodest dress when his wife or his daughter wears a mini-skirt?

13. How can a preacher preach about soulwinning if he never goes out soulwinning?  Some preachers say, “My area of expertise is discipleship.”  May I be frank and say that is baloney?  If preachers do not win souls soon there will be nobody left to disciple!

14. In his commentary on this text, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes, “We are to preach righteousness to such a world.  We are to warn it; to tell it of the judgment that is coming because of its sin; we are to plead with men to see their danger and escape from it.  And above all, we are to give them an example of the Christian life and the Christian character, and of loyalty to God and His truth.”

15. Here is where Lot failed. And when he finally did try to warn them about the judgment of God, they did not take him seriously (Gen. 19:14-16).

16. Thanks to the mercy of God (Gen. 19:16), Lot was able to get his daughters out of Sodom, but he was not able to get the Sodom out of them (cf. Gen. 19:30-38).

17. Isn’t it interesting that in Zech. 2:9, the LORD says, “Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah.”  And that is how these nations began – with an incestuous relationship between Lot and his two daughters right after they escaped from Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19:37, 38).

III.  THE STORY OF LOT IS A LESSON FOR US TODAY

1.     We often think that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is a warning against the sin of homosexuality, and it certainly is (cf. II Peter 2:6; Jude 7).

2.     This is one of the reasons why the ungodly hate the Bible.  This is why they make disparaging remarks about fundamental Christians.

3.     There are other reasons as well.  The Bible clearly teaches that if they do not repent and turn to Jesus then they will go to hell.  That is not a message they want to hear.

4.     But the Bible’s strong condemnation of homosexuality is a big bone of contention in these days of moral relativism and apostasy.

5.     However, there is another important lesson here – one that is often overlooked.  Lot represents the modern, worldly Christian.  He is saved but he has little interest in the things of God.

6.     He has godly relatives (e.g., Lot was Abraham’s nephew) but he is more comfortable associating with the wicked crowd (cf. Gen. 13:10-13; 19:1).

7.     Psalm 1 says, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”

8.     Lot was unwilling to take a stand in Sodom and it cost him his testimony; it cost him his conscience; and it cost him his family.

CONCLUSION:

1.     While the story of Lot is a lesson for the worldly Christian, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is a warning to the unsaved (II Peter 2:6). God will judge the “ungodly” (2:6, 10).

2.     God is patient and long-suffering, but it is unwise to exhaust His patience (II Peter 3:9).

Pastor James J. Barker
email:   jbarker4@optonline.net

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Paul admonishes us to:

“… be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Rom 12:2, KJV)

Yet how often do we encounter professing Christians who are conforming to this world – who after years of claiming to be born again are perfectly comfortable drinking, or smoking, or “clubbing”, or swearing, or dancing, or watching promiscuity-filled soaps, or laughing at dirty jokes, or reading horoscopes, or practicing yoga, or practicing contemplative prayer, or striving for material wealth, etc. etc.? Far too often, I’m afraid.

Sorry if I sound judgmental here. But what about those Christians around us who are doing these things? Should they not be corrected, warned that, for one thing, their witness to unbelievers is being destroyed by their own behavior?

Bottom line: all who claim to be born again Christians should be “no compromise Christians”. Following is an excellent list of links discussing this, by By Martha Mac of SO4J.com. Click here for the original source of this article.

Note – a number of these 50 signs are reflected in my own “old fashioned” separatist Wesleyan Holiness beliefs, as well as in The Fundamentals of 1910-1915 which I hold so dear. I’m not saying I never trip up and sin/compromise – I am saying these 50 signs are what I strive for, with God’s help.

50 SIGNS OF A NO COMPROMISE CHRISTIAN

Signs, Fruit, & Evidences of a No Compromise Christian

50 Signs of a No Compromise Christian - SO4J.com

By Martha Mac / SO4J.com ® / SO4J-TV

INTRO: 50 Signs of a No Compromise Christian – Looks at the Signs, Fruit, & Evidences of a No Compromise Christian or True Believer from the Scriptures in God’s Word. The Purpose is to: Provoke, Exhort, and Stir the Hearts of all those who call themselves a Believer in Jesus Christ— Provoking Believers to Biblically become More & More Conformed into the Image of Jesus Christ in all we: Say, Think, or Do (1 Cor 10:31, 2 Cor 3:16-17,18). This is an SO4J Bible Study about Sanctification & Holiness for the Believer(1 Pet 1:14-17)— it is NOT a set of Rules or a List to Follow in order to be Saved.

PLEASE NOTE: SO4J-TV believes that we are Not Saved by Works – Eph 2:8-9 (Legalism), but our Faith is Proven by our Works (James 2:14-20, Matt 3:8). This is NOT a Bible Study on Obedience to Rules in order to be Saved, or about Legalism. If there is No Obedience to Gods Word (1 John 2:3-6, John 14:15) & one Continues In Sin (1 John 3:8-10) then we’ll have to Face the Terrifying Consequences of Heb 10:26-31 which Jesus Warns us about in Matt 7:21-23 where MANY who Thought they were Saved will spend Eternity in Hell. This is about how a True Believer should Reflect the GLORIOUS IMAGE OF CHRIST in our Lives (2 Cor 3:18, 2 Cor 5:17, Matt 5:16), by living HOLY & CLEAN lives (1 Pet 1:14-15,16-17) for GOD’S GLORY (1 Cor 10:31)— and Obey God’s Word out of a LOVE FOR JESUS (John 14:15,21,23-24, John 15:10,14, John 3:36, John 8:31, Luke 6:46).

SO4J-TV also understands that Christians are not perfect— they still Sin once in a while (so to speak – 1 John 2:1, 1 Cor 3:1-15). We want to reach out to those people who call themselves Christians— yet use the Grace of God as a License to Sin (Rom 6:1-23, Rom 6:15-16). We are concerned that there are MANY “Christians” (Matt 7:21-22, 23) who are NOT ready to face Jesus on Judgment Day (Heb 9:27). Our Aim is to provoke all of us to Examine our Faith with the God’s Word (2 Cor 13:5), and make sure that we are Biblically Saved, and Ready to Face Jesus on Judgment Day (2 Cor 5:10).

"If What You SAY, THINK, or DO is Contrary to God's Word, Then You Are Being DECEIVED!" Martha Mac SO4J.com

ON THIS PAGE:

50 Signs of a No Compromise Christian

50 Signs of a No Compromise Christian - SO4J.com

PUT ON THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD – Eph 6:10-20

By Martha Mac  / SO4J.com ® / SO4J-TV

LINKS

  1 – They Do NOT CONFORM To The Things Of This World—Their #1 Goal Is To Be Like Jesus
2 – They LOVE THE LORD their God with all their Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength
3 – They Are SEPARATING Themselves From ALL Ungodliness And The Things Of This WORLD
4 – They Are Walking Down The Narrow Road Of God’s HOLINESS—They Are God’s Holy Remnant
5 – They Do NOT WATCH WORLDLY (Lustful, Evil..): TV & Movies, Internet Pornography, Computer Games
6 – They Do NOT LOOK UPON Worldly Magazines & Books From Celebrity Magazines To Pornography…
7 – They Do NOT COMPROMISE With The World By Listening To WORLDLY MUSIC— TRUE WORSHIPPERS
8 – They Do NOT LOOK UP TO WORLDLY IDOLS Such As: Singers, Movie Stars, Sports Figures…
9 – They Do NOT PARTNER UP WITH UNBELIEVERS And Those Who Compromise Their Walk With Jesus
10 – They PURSUE PURE AND GODLY FRIENDSHIPS That Inspire Them To Be More Like Jesus
11 – They Display Christ-likeness In Their THOUGHT-LIFE & ATTITUDES – A Beattitude Attitude
12 – They Are HUMBLE and Have Child-like Faith
13 – They REFUSE LUKEWARMNESS—Having “One Foot In GOD’S WORD, And One Foot In The WORLD”
14 – They Seek To Please The Lord through GOOD DEEDS & HAVING A SERVANT’S HEART
15 – They Know That FINANCIAL GAIN DOES NOT MEAN GODLINESS
16 – They SEEK FIRST God’s Kingdom, NOT Worldly Wealth & Possessions
17 – They’d Rather SUFFER & BE POOR & NOT Compromise With The World Than Be Rich & Famous—Content
18 – They Are GENEROUS & are GIVERS Whether They Are Poor Or Have Much
19 – They Are SURRENDERING ALL To Follow Jesus—They Are “Taking Up Their Cross Daily”
20 – They’ve STOPPED PRACTICING SINAnd When They Do Sin There Is Deep Sorrow
21 – They SPEAK OUT & WARN PEOPLE Of God’s Coming Judgments, And PREACH THE GOSPEL
22 – They SUFFER PERSECUTION & BEATINGS For Standing Up For JESUS
23 – They LOVE and DO GOOD To Fellow Christians
24 – They OBEY GOD’S COMMANDMENTS, HIS WORD, and the LORD JESUS CHRIST
25 – They Are DOERS Of The Word, Not Merely HEARERS— Faith Without WORKS is Dead
26 – They FEAR THE LORD And Turn Away From Evil
27 – They Do NOT Seek The Approval Of Man, But Seek Only To PLEASE THE LORD
28 – They Are NOT HYPOCRITES—Giving God Mere Lip Service
29 – Their WORDS & SPEECH Are ENCOURAGING, EDIFYING, AND WISE—NOT Corrupt
30 – They PRAY FERVENT PRAYERS, And Pray Often With Fellow Believers
31 – They STUDY & TEACH GOD’S WORD & HIS WAYS To Sinners & Believers—Making Disciples
32 – They Are WINNING THEIR BATTLE AGAINST SIN & Keeping the FULL ARMOR OF GOD ON!
33 – They Are READY, WAITING, AND EAGERLY ANTICIPATING The Soon Return Of Jesus Christ
34 – They LOVE GOD’S COMMANDMENTS & HIS WORD, Reading It Daily And Memorizing It
35 – They Make Use Of Every OPPORTUNITY To Do Good & Preach The Gospel— They’re “Fire Snatchers”
36 – They PRODUCE MUCH FRUIT For Jesus— They’re PRODUCTIVE with the GOSPEL & Are GODLY
37 – They Are Co-Heirs With Christ: And Share The SUFFERINGS OF JESUS By “Crucifying Their Flesh”
38 – They Understand GOD’S ETERNAL PURPOSES For His HOLY PEOPLE Vs. This Temporal Evil World
39 – They Know They Are Merely Passing Through This World, And Their REAL HOME Is With The Lord
40 – They Do Everything For The GLORY OF GOD
41 – They Do NOT BELIEVE FALSE TEACHINGS & Anything That Is CONTRARY TO GOD’S WORD
42 – They CLEARLY Understand The Gospel & CLEARLY PREACH God’s Word With BOLDNESS
43 – They Let Their LIGHT SHINE—Their FACE & LIFE EXUDES CHRIST
44 – They Put NO CONFIDENCE IN THEIR FLESH – They Are Decreasing & Christ is Increasing
45 – They Have INTEGRITY, HARD WORK, & PURSUE RIGHTEOUSNESS— They do Not Lie, Steal, Cheat
46 – They Are Always VERY THANKFUL TO GOD For His— Kindness, Provisions, Protection, etc
47 – They Are NOT Full of: SELFISH AMBITION, STRIFE, QUARRELING, JEALOUSY— But Are PEACEMAKERS
48 – They Acknowledge & Obey GOD’S WILL For Their Lives
49 – They Are NOT PREJUDICE— They Show NO PARTIALITY TO THE: RICH, POOR, SKIN COLOR, RACE,etc
50 – They do NOT allow the CARES & WORRIES Of This Life to DOMINATE their MIND & CONVERSATIONS

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I have come across some excellent articles by Bro. David Cloud critiquing the heretical New Evangelical movement (aka the Neo-Evangelical movement). So I was pleasantly surprised to find even more historical details in an article by Biblical Discernment Ministries (BDM).

Click here for the original text of this article, which I have reposted  below. I have emphasized certain points by bolding, and inserted comments in brackets.

Neo-Evangelicalism

Characteristics and Positions

In general, a neo-evangelical would be defined as one who has taken a “lower view” of Scripture, has developed a more open, inclusivistic spirit toward liberalism, and has become ecumenical in evangelism efforts. The movement was one born of compromise, nurtured on pride of intellect, growing on appeasement of evil, and doomed by the judgment of God’s Word (Lightner, p. 109). In general, the neo-evangelicals “are radical — theologically, politically, and socially” (Pickering, p. 131). One of the chief spokesmen of neo-evangelicalism would be Billy Graham; chief neo-evangelical scholars would be Edward Carnell, Carl Henry, and Bernard Ramm; major neo-evangelical organizations would be the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), The World Evangelical Fellowship, the Lausanne Committee, Campus Crusade for Christ, and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship; and major neo-evangelical periodicals would be Christianity Today and Moody Monthly. Following are some of the characteristics and positions of the leading neo-evangelicals (see Overview below) (Where indicated, quotes and excerpts are taken from Biblical Separation: The Struggle for a Pure Church, by Ernest Pickering, pp. 131-138; Neoevangelicalism Today, by Robert P. Lightner, 208 pages; or from a Grace Seminary course syllabus on “Biblical Fundamentalism” by John C. Whitcomb, 1979, pp 1-2.):

Leading Characteristics of Neo-Evangelicals:

(1)  Espousal of, or toleration toward, questionable views of Scripture; e.g., most neo-evangelicals, to one degree or another, have scuttled the doctrine of total, complete inerrancy of the Bible (regardless of the lip-service given to it); there is evidence of the acceptance of a conceptual theory of inspiration, but the neo-evangelical hesitates to accept the total verbal inspiration of the Bible. The issue becomes: “Is the Bible inerrant in all its pronouncements [the conservative fundamental view], or is it merely an inerrant record of some inspired truth [the neo-evangelical view]?” A “popular view of the Bible now promoted” among neo-evangelicals is that “the Bible is inerrant when it is teaching us about God and His redemptive works (that is, when instructing in important doctrinal matters [revelational]), but it may contain errors in other areas about which it speaks [non-revelational matters]” (Lightner, pp. 80-81, 84; Pickering, pp. 132-133).

(2)  The sufficiency of Scripture is effectively denied as evidenced by neo-evangelical attempts to “Christianize” pagan ideas and systems founded upon unbelief (i.e., psychology/psychiatry, numerology, astrology, personality theory, etc.) In effect, the Bible is deemed NOT sufficient for all matters pertaining to life and godliness (cf. 2 Pe. 1:3,4). Emphasis has been shifted from the authority of Bible doctrine to the realm of human experience, thereby causing churches to move toward a seminar type of ministry rather than an authoritative and dogmatic preaching ministry.

(3)  The neo-evangelical’s weak view of the inerrancy of Scripture has inevitability led to the toleration of a wide diversity of theological viewpoints (Pickering, p. 131).

(4)  Expresses a dangerous subservience to science; the desire to gain intellectual acceptability has led to a friendly attitude toward science, almost to the point of placing scholarship and science in the seat of authority. This is evidenced in a friendliness toward, or acceptance of, evolutionary theories (e.g., progressive creation and/or theistic evolution), with particularly broad concessions to organic evolutionism and uniformitarianism at the expense of a consistent and normal interpretation of the first eleven chapters of Genesis. (Lightner, p. 76; Pickering, p. 132; Whitcomb, p. 1)

(5)  Emphasis upon the implications of the social gospel; neo-evangelicals view the gospel as being two-pronged in nature — individual and social, thereby neglecting New Testament priorities. As a result, rather than making the gospel applicable to the world, the gospel tends to get watered down to make it acceptable to the world. “The societal impact which [the neo-evangelical] proposes to make fosters the connotation of a ‘Christianization’ of society …” which frequently speaks of a “‘Christian culture,’ a ‘new society,’ and a ‘new social order,’ … [the neo-evangelical aligns] himself and his church with existing social reform movements.” (Pickering, p. 134; Whitcomb, p. 1; Lightner, pp. 67-68, 91-92)

(6)  Enthusiasm over cooperative evangelism, even to the extent of aligning with groups that have been traditionally subversive of Bible truth (e.g., Roman Catholicism). (Pickering, p. 134) Billy Graham, more than any other, has epitomized this inclusivistic approach to evangelism (as opposed to the Biblical separatistic approach). Official neo-evangelical evangelism projects following this approach would be “AD 2000 Evangelism” and “Discipleship 2000,” both claiming the goal of reaching all the lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ by the year 2000.

(7)  Strong criticism of traditional fundamentalism, particularly criticism of its doctrinal emphasis, which is said to have caused neglect of the social application of Christianity to the world (Pickering, p. 135; Lightner, pp. 133-134); this criticism usually includes the call for preaching only a “positive message,” as often expressed by the statement, “God called me to win souls, not to criticize others.”

(8)  The ways of the world are readily accepted by the neo-evangelical; there is a tendency toward finding justifiable reasons condoning and using that which evolves from a carnality, sensuality, secularism, and worldliness (especially in regards to music, theatrics, emotionalistic and psychological manipulations, promotionalism, and general appearance).

(9)  Pleas for more political involvement and “Christian” Activism (Pickering, p. 135).

(10) Unbiblical views regarding God’s role for women (Pickering, p. 135).

(11) Based upon a generally weak view of Scripture, there has been a natural shift from objective Biblical doctrine to subjective experience — allowance for the possible validity of apostolic sign-gifts for our own day (prophecy, tongues, miracles of healing through special persons, etc.) (Whitcomb, p. 2).

(12) Shift away from dispensational premillennialism to some form of “historic premillennialism” (even postmillennialism views are becoming widespread), together with a minimizing of the importance of Biblical eschatology in general, not from doctrinal conviction, but for ecumenical opportunity (Whitcomb, p. 2; Lightner, p. 101).

(13) Emphasis upon the unity of the church in preference to its purity. “Neo-evangelicals either tone down or completely neglect ecclesiastical separation from apostasy and personal separation from the world until these are virtually denied.” (Pickering, p. 135; Lightner, p. 16) (See later in report for more specific comments on this neglect of the Biblical doctrine of separation.)

Further Descriptions of Neo-Evangelicalism:

William Ashbrook — “A movement born of compromise, nurtured on the pride of intellect, growing on the appeasement of evil, and doomed by the judgment of the Word of God.”

Charles Woodbridge — “A movement with a new mood (toleration of false teachers, ridicule of fundamentalists), with a new method (‘the end justifies the means’), a new theology (questioning the canon of the Bible, its inerrant authority, and the nature of its content), and a new ethic (repudiation of personal separation for interaction with the culture). … following the downward path of toleration of error, accommodation to error, cooperation with error, contamination by error, and capitulation to error.”

Ernest Pickering — “It lacks moral courage in the face of the great conflict with apostasy. It lacks doctrinal clarity in important areas of theology. It makes unwarranted concessions to the enemies of the cross of Christ.”

Francis Stiles — “Neo-evangelicalism is a religious philosophy. It attempts to reach and minister to man through his felt needs. It seeks to commend man for his achievements and realign his energies for good. It emphasizes unity at the expense of truth and reduces the Biblical requirements of purity and separation unto God until they are obscure. Man and his present circumstances, rather than God and His eternal precepts, are the core of its concern.


Position of Neo-Evangelicals with Regard to Separation
:

[Separation from modernism, neo-orthodoxy, and all other errant philosophies and doctrines.]

(1) Willingness to remain within old-line denominations, even those that are clearly apostate, under the guise of favorably influencing them with the gospel. The neo-evangelical hopes to emphasize points of agreement with the liberal and the neo-orthodox rather than points of disagreement, in order to “recapture” denominations. (Pickering, p. 136; Lightner, p. 57)

(2) Ecclesiastical separation is considered to be merely a matter of conscience rather than a command of Scripture; the neo-evangelical ignores Rom. 16:17,18. (Lightner, pp. 94, 152-153)

(3) Maintains broad ecumenical fellowship, even to the extent of being involved in the apostate National and World Council of Churches; evangelicals are even urged “to obtain all or part of their training at liberal universities and seminaries” in order to “give evangelism more clout.” The conservative is called upon to welcome the neo-orthodox as friends and brethren since “truth is welcomed wherever it is preached.” This ecumenism generally involves the elevation of “love” above doctrine. (Pickering, pp. 136-137; Whitcomb, p. 1; Lightner, p. 56)

(4) Participates in ecumenical missionary efforts, clearly placing a higher priority on “opportunity” than on “purity of testimony.” (The neo-evangelical also tends to justify questionable methods in missions or evangelism by pointing to successes, e.g., the popularity of the enterprise, numbers, “conversions,” etc.) Leaders in this effort would be Billy Graham, Wycliffe Bible Translators, and the Latin American Mission. (Pickering, pp. 137-138; Lightner, p. 155)

Contemporary Fundamentalism is defined by the doctrine and practice of Biblical separation. To a large degree the difference between Conservative Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism is a matter of separation. Contemporary Fundamentalism maintains stricter views of moral and ecclesiastical (or doctrinal) separation than Evangelicalism. While many spiritual leaders in conservative evangelical circles would practice separation from apostates and Roman Catholics, virtually none would practice separation from [professing] believers who persist in sinful doctrine or sinful practice. In many cases, while certain conservative evangelical leaders would oppose false doctrine by actively teaching against it, few would actively separate from [professing] believers who persist in false doctrine. History has vindicated the Fundamentalist view of separation; that is, no doctrinal position can be maintained over time apart from the practice of separation. (Source: Rocco Piserchia)

Part of the immediate problem is that many so-called evangelical churches and leaders spent much of the mid-twentieth century separating themselves from those who preached separation from unbelief. The neo-evangelicals had such a horror of separation that they had to separate from the separationists. Carl Henry was one of the leaders of the neo-evangelicals. He and others wanted to lead a movement that would distance itself from fundamentalism, and neo-evangelicalism was born. This in turn led quickly to Billy Graham’s acceptance of liberal churches as sponsors of his crusades in the 1950s, and in the 1960s to acceptance of Romanist churches as sponsors of the crusades. What the Bible teaches on theological and ecclesiastical separation was ignored; and compromise, though under different labels, became the modus operandi of the neo-evangelicals. It was called “cooperation” — and who is anti-social enough to oppose cooperation? It was called “engagement,” and who is isolationist enough to reject engagement? It was called “co-belligerence,” a metaphor borrowed from war in which two parties fighting a third party do not fight each other. But the idea of co-belligerence — let alone the notions of cooperation and theological alliance — is itself a betrayal of Christ; it is abandoning theological warfare for cultural warfare. Co-belligerence involves deciding that Christians will neither criticize Romanism nor evangelize Roman Catholics, nor criticize Arminianism nor evangelize Arminians, nor criticize Judaism nor evangelize Jews — because they are our allies in the Culture Wars against the secularists. But fighting Culture Wars is not the Great Commission; Scripture knows only Theology Wars, and in those Wars, all unbiblical thoughts and institutions are the enemies of Christ. Making a separate peace with any one of them, as co-belligerency requires, is treason to Christ.


Overview: The following overview of Neo-Evangelicalism is excerpted from Biblical Separation: The Struggle for a Pure Church, by Dr. Ernest D. Pickering (copyright 1979, Regular Baptist Press), pp. 127-130:

Some errors are openly evident to true believers. Others are far more difficult to discern. The old modernism was transparently erroneous. God’s people saw immediately that men who denied great truths taught in Scripture, such as the virgin birth of Christ and His substitutionary death, were obviously heretics. They were branded as such and duly rejected.

In more recent years, however, systems of thought have been espoused by men thought of as evangelical, teaching in evangelical schools, or ministering to multitudes in evangelism. These are more subtle in their compromises and are much more difficult for the average believer to detect. The more truth contained in a specific system of thought the more difficult it is to isolate the errors. So it has been with the system which has been named the “new evangelicalism.”

Someone has said that the new evangelicalism had its beginnings with a mood. Perhaps this is true, and it makes it the more pernicious because a mood is extremely difficult to describe. You may feel it, but you cannot verbally diagnose it.

After the great struggles between modernism and fundamentalism, a group of younger men arose who had been reared, for the most part, in the homes and churches of fundamentalism. They were intellectually bright and aspiring scholars, many of them trained in either completely secular or liberally oriented religious schools. They were embarrassed by what they viewed as the “backwoodsy” provincialism of fundamentalism. Somehow they wanted to make evangelical truth more “relevant” and acceptable to a larger segment of society. No doubt many of them were sincere in their desire to do so. This mood which characterized them, however, was to lead them into strange paths.

Among these young scholars a more open spirit developed toward liberalism. Not that they openly embraced it, for they did not. But they desired to have more interaction with liberal scholars and leaders, with the hope of learning from them and hopefully imparting some Biblical truth to them as well. It was also their fervent desire that evangelical scholarship have wider recognition. They noted that evangelicalism (fundamentalism) was viewed as unscholarly by society as a whole. Why could not evangelicals win recognition through the writing of books and by securing faculty appointments at prestigious institutions? Of course, to win such recognition before unbelieving scholars, who, for the most part, were bitter enemies of Biblical truth, it would be necessary to show that evangelicals were sufficiently broad-minded and flexible to be able to accept new ideas and work them into their system of thought. Two areas were particularly troublesome to humanistic, unregenerate scholars: the doctrine of Biblical infallibility and the doctrine of creationism. But rising young evangelical thinkers were prepared to make concessions in these areas. Some began to adopt compromising positions regarding creationism. They accepted certain evolutionary premises, using such terms as “theistic evolution” or “threshold creationism.” It was an attempt to incorporate at least parts of the theory of evolution into a Biblical framework.

As they moved along in their efforts, the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture became more and more of a stumbling block. If the Bible were without error when speaking in areas of biology, cosmology, geology and the like, then evangelicals would have no latitude to formulate views that would accommodate to contemporary scientific theories. So, many evangelicals began to equivocate on the doctrine of infallibility.

There were also the pressures of ecumenicity. Ecumenism is a hot commodity these days. Everyone who is anyone is in favor of getting together. For one to be against all [professing] Christians working together is like being opposed to the most sacred things in human life. The ecumenical fever struck many evangelicals. They disdained the isolationism of fundamentalism and longed for wider fellowship and broader horizons. They felt that the evangelical viewpoint should be represented in ecumenical circles. Definite moves were made to see that it was.

With these attitudes prevailing, several historical incidents took place, which were important stepping-stones to the public, visible ascendancy of the new evangelicalism. One of the earliest was the organization of Fuller Theological Seminary (1947). Named after Charles Fuller, famous radio preacher, one of its main purposes, according to its first president, Harold Ockenga, was to train young men to go back into the old-line denominations and win a place for evangelicalism. Because millions of people were acquainted with Charles Fuller through the “Old-Fashioned Revival Hour,” and because he was a strong Bible believer and preacher, the public naturally assumed that the school which bore his name would also occupy his theological position. In this they were sadly misled. Fuller became one of the major fountainheads for the new evangelical philosophy, and it has drifted farther and farther from the position of the man whose name it bears.

In 1956, articles appeared in Christian Life magazine entitled “Is Evangelical Theology Changing?” The conclusion of most of those interviewed was that it was changing. Among those responding to the question were Vernon Grounds, Bernard Ramm, and Edward Carnell. They felt that fundamentalism was changing for the better by having a more open attitude toward the gift of tongues, by being less dispensational, and by evidencing a more accepting attitude toward science.

In 1956, the magazine Christianity Today was begun. It was intended as an evangelical counterpart to the prestigious liberal journal Christian Century. In early issues, two editorials appeared which showed the direction of the magazine. These were entitled “Beyond the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy” and “Dare We Renew the Controversy?” The thought was expressed that too much time has been wasted on fighting the battles with modernism; evangelicals should now progress to more productive efforts. Another editorial, “The Perils of Independency,” supported the mediating view of the NAE [National Association of Evangelicals] as over against the views of independency (fundamental separatism) or church unionism (ecumenism). The editors of the periodical expressed the opinion that “the apostasy condemned by Independency is not as clearly discernible as it is assumed” (Editorial, “The Perils of Independency,” Christianity Today, Nov.12, 1956, pp. 20-23).

Interestingly, in the early days of Christianity Today‘s existence, the Conservative Baptist Fellowship submitted a display ad for the famous Casebooks written by Chester Tulga. These books exposed various forms of modernism and unbelief. The magazine refused to run the ad, explaining the reaction of their editorial committee thus:

“There was a strong feeling, however, that in view of our circulation among many different groups, and of our announced intention to win the liberal, we would be, by running this ad in an early issue, standing the risk of alienating the very persons whom we are trying to win” (Quoted by R.T. Ketcham, “Christianity Today–An Analysis,” Baptist Bulletin, XXII, March 1957, pp.8,9).

The ministry of evangelist Billy Graham also aided the rise of the new evangelicalism, since he was one of its chief spokesmen. His crusades, mixed in nature as they were, gave popular expression to the whole philosophy behind new evangelicalism.

Many of the new evangelicals were authors, some of them prolific. Books and articles began to appear from their pens. Edward Carnell, Carl Henry, Bernard Ramm and others produced works which had widespread influence and promoted aspects of the new evangelical position.

The National Association of Evangelicals became an organizational haven for leaders of this movement. The NAE made no official statements about it, but its own approach to the question of the apostasy made it a natural gathering place for the new evangelicals.

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Biblical Discernment Ministries – Revised 8/01

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Thanks to our discernment ministries friend Manny Silva for making us aware of Greg Gordon’s article, reposted on Manny’s blogsite.

Click here for the original site of the article.

95 THESES TO THE MODERN EVANGELICAL CHURCH
“revised”! by Greg Gordon [founder of sermonindex.net]

Saints, I have revised many of these and also all of them are of a size that will fit on tiwtter and facebook easily to re-post. Pray about sharing these with others and sharing each theses individually. I believe many need to hear these truths and they are shared in the humility of my weakness and lack in my own Christian Life. May God in His mercy come and revive North American Christianity for His glory alone. “May the Lamb of God receive the reward of His sufferings in our lives today!”

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Official website for the theses: http://95moderntheses.wordpress.com/

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1. The “church” at large has forgotten that the chief end of man is to glorify God. (Rom 16:27; 1Cor 6:20; Mt 6:9; 1Cor 10:31)

2. Christians ignore most of the methods, practices and principles found in the book of Acts. (Acts 2:42,44; Acts 2:46; Acts 2:38)

3. Many treat “church” like any other social club or sports event that they might attend. (Acts 2:46; Heb 10:25; Acts 1:14)

4. We’ve made Christianity about the individual rather than the community of believers. (Rom 12:5; 1Cor 12:12; 2Tim 4:16)

5. In most “churches” the priesthood of all believers isn’t acknowledged and the role of pastor is abused. (1Pt 2:9; 1Cor 12:12; Eph 4:11-13)

6. The “church” as a whole has lost the concept of their being grafted into the promises given to Israel. (Rom 11:15, 17-18, 20, 25)

7. There needs to be a recovery of teaching the whole counsel of God, especially in expository form. (Acts 20:27; 1Tim 4:6, 2Tim 2:15)

8. We take it too lightly that we have the blessing and honor of having God’s Scriptures in our possession. (Ps 119:16; Acts 13:44; Neh 8:9)

9. There has never been more access to the Word of God, yet so little reading of it. (1Tim 4:13; Neh 8:1-3; Ps 119:59)

10. Some read the Scriptures to attain knowledge, but do not practice what they read. (Jam 1:22; Mt 7:21; 3Jn 4)

11. Worship has become an idol in many “churches”. The music often resembles that of the world. (Amos 5:23; Phil 4:8; 1Jn 5:21)

12. The world is shaping the views of the “church” more than the “church” shaping the world. (Rom 12:2; Mt 5:13; 1Cor 1:22-23)

13. The “church” spends more money on dog food than on missions. (2Cor 9:6; Lk 21:2; Acts 4:34-35)

14. We take lightly the cost of discipleship laid out by Jesus Christ and do not deny our lives. (Lk 14:33; Lk 14:26-27; Mt 8:19-20)

15. There is a lack of true discipleship and making others to be obedient disciples. (Mt 28:20; 2Tim 2:2; 2Tim 2:14)

16. Many subscribe to the error that parts of life are to be spiritual while others are to be secular. (1Pt 4:2; Col 3:3; 1Jn 2:6)

17. Modern Christians often find Jesus’ command to sacrifice and serve abhorrent. (Phil 2:21; Jam 3:16; Rom 12:1-2)

18. Self disciplines in the Christian life such as fasting and praying are considered legalistic. (2Tim 2:21; 2Tim 1:8; Mt 6:17)

19. Little thought and contemplation is put towards the lostness of men, the seriousness of the Gospel. (Phil 3:8; Gal 2:20; Heb 10:34)

20. We are living with an epidemic of cheap grace with flippant confession and shallow consecration. (Lk 14:28-30; Lk 14:26; Jam 4:8)

21. Since the inception of the Church, the Gospel had the requirements of repentance and discipleship. (Acts 2:38; Lk 14:26; Jn 8:31)

22. Now forgiveness is offered without repentance, discipleship without obedience, salvation without sanctity. (Heb 10:29; 4:11; Lk 13:24)

23. Introspection, counting the cost, godly sorrow over sin, are all foreign to many in the “church”. (Acts 2:37; Ps 119:9; Heb 6:1-2)

24. The modern church loves itself more than its neighbor. (1Cor 3:3; Gal 5:13; Phil 2:3)

25. The church must repent of its idolization of personality, and of business principles. (2Cor 2:17; 1Cor 3:5; 1Cor 12:23)

26. Many elders and pastors of the “church” sadly are fleecing the flock to supply their own wants. (Jn 10:12-13; 1Pt 5:2-3; Rev 2:15)

27. The qualities most in demand in today’s pastorate are frequently foreign to the Scriptures. (1Tim 3:2-3; 1Tim 3:5; 1Tim 1:5-7)

28. The professionalization of the pastorate is a sin and needs to be repented of. (2Cor 11:13; Gal 3:1; Gal 2:6)

29. There must be repentance for the ambitious desire and idolization of the celebrity pastorate. (3Jn 9; Jer 17:5; 1Cor 12:22)

30. Pastors must trust the Spirit, not statistics. (2Sam 24:1; 1Cor 1:25; Rom 8:14)

31. Modern day prophets are being stoned by criticism and neglect. (2Tim 4:3-4; Gal 1:10; Jer 1:7-8)

32. God’s prophets are ill-treated and shunned by most “christians” considered too harsh or extreme. (Jer 6:10; Isa 6:9-10; Gal 4:16)

33. The prophets prophesy falsely, priests rule by their own power; and my people love to have it so. (Mt 24:4, 11-12; 1Cor 1:19, Jude 8 )

34. There are many false gospels being preached from pulpits in our day. (2Cor 11:4; Gal 1:8-9; Jude 16)

35. There is an epidemic of a “mock” salvation message. It is correct in doctrine, but false in reality. (2Cor 3:6; 1Jn 5:11-12; Rom 8:9)

36. A salvation that does not make men holy is trusted in by a deceived multitude. (Jude 4; Rom 8:1; Rom 6:17-18)

37. There is a needed perseverance in the truths of the Gospel without unbelief. (Eph 1:1; Heb 6:11-12; Heb 10:26-27)

38. A great need is to see “christians” become saints in actual experience. (1Jn 2:29; Col 3:5-8; Tit 3:8)

39. Many professors of religion are forbidding people to be a part of the holy body of Christ. (Mt 23:13; Ps 119:1-2; 2Pt 1:3-4)

40. Preaching has become all about the happiness of man and not the glory of God. (Jn 6:26; Rom 4:20; 1Pt 4:11)

41. Preachers give smooth words to entice men, yet very few give any words of correction or rebuke. (Jer 6:14; Pro 1:23; 1Tim 5:20)
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[Note: Theses #42 through #52 are found in this sermon by Carter Conlon- DM]

42. Run from gospels that focus on our success and prosperity in the name of Jesus Christ. (Jn 2:16; Acts 20:33; Jer 6:13)

43. Run from gospels that focus on self-improvement. (1Tim 6:5; Heb 12:14; Jam 4:14)

44. Run from churches where men, and not Christ, are glorified. (Col 1:18; Jude 25; Jn 16:14)

45. Run from churches where there is no Bible, no cross, no mention of the blood of Christ. (1Pt 1:18-19; Eph 3:13; Rev 1:5)

46. Run from churches where the worship leaves you cold, where there’s no sense of God’s presence. (1Cor 5:4; Ps 80:14-15; Jer 12:11)

47. Run from churches where you’re comfortable in your sin. (1Cor 14:25; Heb 10:30-31; Heb 4:13)

48. Run from churches that use the pulpit of God for a personal agenda. (Jude 10-11,19; 3Jn 9)

49. Run from those who preach division between races and cultures. (Jam 2:4, Gal 3:28, Rev 5:9)

50. Run from ungodly, spasmodic movements and endless empty prophesying. (Jer 5:13; 1Cor 14:33, 1Jn 2:16)

51. Run from preachers who tell mostly stories and jokes. (Eph 5:4; Tit 1:8; 2:12)

52. Run from those that are only after money, who use one gimmick after another to get your money. (2Pt 2:3; 2Cor 12:14; 1Cor 9:18)
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53. The phrase “accept Jesus as your personal Saviour” is not found in the Scriptures. (Rom 10:9-10; Col 1:13; Acts 26:20)

54. Evidence of true conversion does not seem important to modern day Christians. (1Jn 2:6; 1Jn 4:17; Mt 7:20)

55. Thousands of sinners think of God as having only one attribute: Love! But they continue in sin. (Rom 1:18; Acts 5:11; Ps 2:12)

56. “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life!” has hindered true evangelism. (Rom 3:19; Acts 26:18; Phil 3:18-21)

57. A Gospel of love and grace only, without the law of God being preached. This is a doctrine of Satan. (2Tim 4:3-4; Rom 2:4-5; 3:19)

58. There has clearly arisen a careless mixture of 20th century reasoning with God’s revelation. (Col 2:8; Rom 1:25; Gal 1:6)

59. Decisionism and the “sinner’s prayer” has been a major cause of false conversions in the “church”. (2Pt 2:1-2; Eph 2:4-5; 2Cor 5:17-18)

60. Many will be surprised to hear Jesus say, “I never knew you, depart from me.” (Mt 7:22-23; 1Cor 6:9-10; Gal 5:19-21)

61. Men have taken the place of the Holy Spirit in confirming men in their supposed salvation. (1Jn 2:3-5; 2Ths 1:8; Gal 6:12-15)

62. The doctrine of hell and eternal suffering is something little grasped by most professing “christians”. (Mt 13:42; Jam 5:1; Ps 9:17)

63. The judgment seat of Christ is perhaps one of the most neglected topics in the modern pulpit. (2Cor 5:10; Rom 14:10; 1Cor 3:13)

64. The second coming of Christ needs to be re-instated as the church’s general thrust and burden. (1Jn 3:2-3; Col 3:4-6; 1Ths 4:14-17)

65. The church has lost the fear of God and has over emphasized the love of God. (Heb 12:28-29; Lk 12:5; Heb 10:31)

66. The church has left evangelism to a few trained professionals. (Acts 8:1,4; Acts 4:29; Rom 10:14)

67. Repentance is considered a one-time act in modern evangelism rather than a way of life. (Rev 3:19; Heb 12:17; 2Pt 3:9)

68. The Lordship of Jesus Christ is something that is not taught in many pulpits. (Acts 2:36; 1Cor 12:3; Rom 6:18)

69. Many in “churches” are not open to correction, church discipline or rebuke. (1Cor 5:5; 1Cor 11:31-32; Heb 12:7-9)

70. Some preach salvation as a theory instead of persuading men to come to Christ. (Jn 5:40; Col 1:28; 2Cor 4:5)

71. There has been a loss of the fullness and majesty of the gospel. (1Tim 1:11; Jude 25; Rom 15:29)

72. There is little mention of sin or the depravity of man from “church” pulpits. (Jn 3:20; Gal 5:19-21; Eph 5:5)

73. Covetousness, consumerism, and coddling of the world’s goods does not appear wrong. (Jer 22:17; 1Jn 2:15-16; 1Tim 3:3)

74. Little is made of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in churches or in evangelism. (1Cor 15:14-15; Acts 4:10, 33)

75. The “church” has relied more on technology than God. (Zech 4:6; 1Cor 1:21; 2:4)

76. The prayer meeting is considered one of the least important meetings in the “church”. (1Tim 2:1; Acts 4:31; Phil 4:6)

77. Pastors have never prayed less than they do in the “church” today. (Jer 10:21; Phil 2:21; Eph 6:18-19)

78. Very few are waiting on God for His direction and purpose for His Church. (Eph 1:11; Ps 37:7; Isa 40:31)

79. The “church” has many organizers, but few agonizers. (Phil 3:18-19; Rom 9:1-3; Jer 9:1)

80. We need to have the gifts of the Spirit restored again to the “church”. (2Tim 4:2; 1Cor 14:39; 1Cor 12:31)

81. A serious, sober, self-controlled Christianity is very seldom found or preached. (2Pt 3:11; 1Pt 4:7; Jude 3)

82. The “church” at large has forgotten how to pray. (1Jn 3:22; Acts 6:4; 1Ths 5:17)

83. Many “churches” are more dependent on tradition than the leading of the Holy Spirit. (Mk 7:13; Acts 16:6; Acts 13:2)

84. Multitudes of professors preach and teach: that you cannot be freed from sin. (Rom 16:18; Rom 6:1-2; 2Pt 2:1)

85. The Apostles and Christ always preached the possibility to walk free from sin. (Tit 2:11-12; 1Pt 1:14-16; Rom 6:19)

86. Sinners are not saved to sin, but rather, saved to holiness and good works. (Rom 6:13; Eph 2:10; 2Pt 3:14)

87. Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner. (2Tim 2:19; 1Pt 4:17-18; 2Tim 3:12)

88. A baptism of holiness, a demonstration of godly living is the crying need of our day. (1Tim 6:3; 2Ths 3:6; 2Ths 2:13)

89. Many are confused about obedience, and good works that are readily mentioned in the Scriptures. (Tit 3:8; Jn 10:32; Rev 3:15)

90. Little emphasis is put on the plan of God to make us like Jesus Christ in “churches”. (1Pt 1:14-16; 1Jn 2:6; 1Pt 4:1)

91. Christ did not die on the cross to obtain a worldly “church” but for a “glorious Church.” (Eph 5:27; Tit 2:14; Col 4:12)

92. Christ does not come into an unregenerate and impure heart as many contemporary theologians say. (2Cor 5:17; Mt 5:8; Eze 18:31)

93. A holy Church is God’s blessing to the world; an unholy “church” is God’s judgment upon the world. (Mt 5:14,16; Eph 4:1; 1Ths 2:12)

94. If Christianity is to make any headway in the present time, it must be proved to be more than a theory. (2Ths 3:6-7; 1Ths 4:1,11-12)

95. Unbelief has gagged and bound us as risen Lazarus! We need release in this final hour! (Heb 3:12-14; 1Cor 3:21-23; Heb 11:6)

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(revised 02/27/14)

There are so many evangelical Christians falling away into apostasy in these End Times – sometimes I feel overwhelmed and discouraged. But then I remind myself there are many biblically sound Christian movements today that should be a source of great encouragement for all discerning, biblically sound Christians.

Following are a few of my favorite movements. I will be adding to this list as I come across more. Dear reader, I realize my list may be controversial. The list reflects my personal doctrinal stances – your list may be different.

The movements are listed alphabetically here, not in order of importance.

Abstinence movement
“Why Wait?” resources

Christian classics – Most Christian publishers are putting out fewer and fewer biblically sound Christian books. Yet at the same time, the Internet is providing us with more and more free, public domain biblically sound books viewable online, as well as inexpensive eBooks. No longer is our reading limited to “hard copy” publications.

– Google online ebooks advanced search page

Christian publishers – There are still a number of small, biblically sound Christian publishers. Click here for my blog listing many of these.

Church bookstores – It seems very few Christian bookstores are biblically sound. Most sell whatever sells well, regardless of how heretical the books, CDs, etc. Check out David Cloud’s article on a good alternative – church bookstores.

Confessing Movement – Mainly consisting of concerned Christians in mainline/liberal denominations. As the denominations grow more ungodly regarding homosexual “rights”, etc., these Christians are pushing for their local churches to become independent from their denominations. Click here and here for my blogs about this movement.

Conservative Holiness movement
Wikipedia article

Conservative Mennonites
Wikipedia article
Conservative Mennonite Fellowship

Creation Science (specifically, the Young Earth movement)
– Wikipedia article on Creation Science  (showing bias against it)
– Wikipedia article on Young Earth Creationism (showing bias against it)

Discernment Ministries, also called Online Discernment Ministries (ODMs).  For links to my favorite ODMs, scroll down to the bottom of the right hand side of my blog page, to the section entitled Blogroll.

Frugal living (downward mobility) – This is a biblical principle. Jesus commanded:

19) Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20) But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal…” (Matt. 6:19-20, KJV)

Since our economy took a downward turn in Fall 2008, many Christians have been forced into frugality, learning how to live on less. Perhaps this economic difficulty is God’s way of driving us to our knees, to rid us of materialism and draw us closer to Him.

Mary Hunt’s Debt-Proof Living
DaveRamsey.com

Homeschooling (Christian) and private Christian schools
– Wikipedia article on Homeschooling (secular)
HomeschoolChristian.com

Hymn websites – Paul encouraged the New Testament Christians to:

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Col. 3:16,  KJV).

Pew hymnbooks have disappeared from many churches since the early 1970s (the advent of Contemporary Christian Music). Thank the Lord for hymn websites, listing hymn lyrics and hymn tunes.

Hymnal.net
HymnSite.com

Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) churches (I prefer IFB churches holding to the positions of David Cloud at Way of Life Literature)

King James Bible movement (including adherents of the Textus Receptus NT and Masoretic OT)
David Cloud’s position on the KJV-only movement
Dean Burgon Society

KJV Bible publishing ministries (Bearing Precious Seed)

Mission agencies – These agencies focus on evangelism (saving souls). They do not use a missional/Kingdom Now/social holiness approach, nor do they support the Insider Movement/ Contextualization.
list of KJV Baptist missions
Biblical Missiology (a consortium, not a missions agency)
i2 Ministries

“Persecuted Christian” groups
Persecution.org
Voice of the Martyrs

Post-Trib movement – I grew up being taught the Pre-Trib Rapture theory. I now prefer the Post-Trib view – although I love to fellowship with all premillenialists, whether Pre-Trib, Mid-Trib or Post-Trib.
Post-Trib.net

Pro-Life movement
Wikipedia article on the Pro-Life movement

“Repentance Salvation” movement (I am using the phrase “repentance salvation” for lack of a better term) – This movement fights Easy Believism aka Easy Prayerism. This movement is mostly Independent Fundamentalist Baptist. Proponents are  David Cloud (IFB) and Paul Washer (Southern Baptist), to name a few.

Repentance Salvation overlaps with a movement perjoratively called “Lordship Salvation”, which is more extreme. Note – David Cloud opposes Lordship Salvation. Opponents of  Repentance Salvation often confuse it with Lordship Salvation, attacking both as equally heretical.

– This “Repentance Blacklist” was posted by a website critical of Repentance Salvation; I actually recommend most (but not all) of the names on this “blacklist”
– Wikipedia article about Paul Washer
“Repentance and Lordship Salvation”, by David Cloud
“Repentance and Lordship Salvation Revisited”, by David Cloud

Separatist Fundamentalist associations (multi-denominational)
– Click here and here for my blogs about these.

Tract-publishing ministries (mostly KJV)
“Witnessing With Gospel Tracts”, by David Cloud

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(blog under construction)

Should Christians dance (or drink, or smoke, etc., etc.)? Originally the Nazarenes (CotN)(as well as many other Wesleyan Holiness denominations) banned dancing altogether, both inside and outside the churches: http://www.biblefacts.org/church/denom/holiness.html

Here’s the info regarding CotN specifically, at the above link:

“Church of the Nazarene, founded 1908, Holiness. Banned activities: dance, alcohol, smoking, theater, membership in secret societies.”

And many Conservative Holiness denominations are still very “strict” in their behaviors: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservative_holiness_movement (I would say they’re “living holy lives” – “strict” sounds too negative.)

Conservative Holiness denominations, unfortunately, have “loosened up” somewhat since approx. 1900-1950. Yet I remember not too long ago when one of the denominations (I forget which one) would not allow “mixed swimming” at their church camps.

The most admirable example I’ve seen in recent years was a plainly dressed born again, biblically sound Mennonite woman with a daughter about five years old. She gave her daughter a coloring book showing a little girl on the beach. But she taught her daughter to color long black dresses on the little girl (down to her ankles), on every drawing of the little girl in her bathing suit.

Was this “old fashioned” or “backward” or “legalistic”? Many evangelicals today would say “yes.” But I admire this Mennonite mother for bringing up her daughter so modestly. Her daughter would now be about 15 years old – I’m guessing she has turned out much more godly than most kids nowadays. By the way, I’m guessing her daughter was home schooled – which also helped greatly I’m sure.

We need to set the bar very high nowadays when it comes to bringing children up in a moral way. It reminds me of the following passage:

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Prov. 22:6, KJV)

I’m pointing a finger at myself here. My stepchildren were almost out of high school by the time I got married, but there is much more I could have done (but didn’t) even in this situation to bring them up “in the Lord.”

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(revised 10/22/11)[blog under construction]

I stumbled across this fascinating article by Quaker universalist Chuck Fager. In spite of his heretical views, Fager has been very helpful in confirming what I have said all along: various Gurneyite Quakers (aka Evangelical Friends) were on opposite sides of Quaker ecumenism.

Specifically, Edward Mott (along with J. Walter Malone) strongly opposed Quaker ecumenism. Dr. Everett L. Cattell (as well as Walter R. Williams and Byron L. Osborne) favored Quaker ecumenism. I knew Dr. Cattell and his two cohorts personally; I deeply respected and admired all three men in the past. But upon learning of their ecumenical stance, I feel deeply betrayed. I stand squarely in Edward Mott’s corner, opposing Quaker ecumenism.

Chuck Fager’s article shows remarkable insight by a man who strongly rejects the born again message of salvation (“Christ as Lord and Saviour”, not just “Christ as Teacher and Lord”). I find it equally remarkable today that many Evangelical Friends cannot discern the dangers of ecumenism in general, and Quaker ecumenism specifically.

Click here for the original text of Fager’s article. I am emphasizing certain points by bolding, and inserting comments in [brackets].

QUAKERS OF THE YEAR: EVERETT CATTELL AND EDWARD MOTT
(Chuck Fager, A Friendly Letter, January 1985)

Forty months ago, in Issue #6 of this letter, I wrote optimistically that the spirit of divisiveness [this shows Fager’s bias – it is not “divisive” to stand up for the biblically sound doctrines of separatist, fundamentalist, born again Gurneyite Quakerism; also, Fager knows full well that where Quaker ecumenism has crept in, doctrinal compromise has always followed] seemed definitely on the wane among Friends, substantially replaced by that of ecumenical dialogue [“dialogue” always means compromise, as David Cloud points out here] and cooperation. Yet in the past year, it has become clear that a struggle between these conflicting attitudes is continuing and may well be intensifying, and that its outcome is by no means clear.

Two men in particular, Edward Mott and Everett Cattell, seem to me to epitomize these contrasting attitudes. While both are deceased, their statements and attitudes still sum up best the forces at work among us. Indeed, repeatedly in 1984 it almost seemed as if I were witnessing a clash between these two eminences, which has led me to nominate them as Quakers of the Year. Both were evangelicals, Mott from Oregon(now Northwest) YM [actually Mott served in New York Yearly Meeting (Gurneyite), then in Ohio YM (Gurneyite), then in Oregon YM (Gurneyite)], Cattell from Ohio YM, now the Evangelical Friends Church-Eastern Region. Mott was prominent in  the 1920s through the 1940s, as clerk of Oregon YM and a well-known preacher; Cattell spent most of these years as a missionary in India, returning as president of Malone College in Ohio. Both were active in Quaker ecumenical relations, but from almost exactly opposite directions, and to opposite effect. [Interestingly, Mott and Cattell both were connected with Cleveland Bible College, which later became Malone College- now Malone University. Yet Mott and Cattell held opposite views regarding Quaker ecumenism.]

Does Continuing the Conversation spell Death?

Everett Cattell, while a lifelong, committed evangelical, was also a pioneer of
recent Quaker ecumenical contacts. Two of his most memorable statements in this regard came out of the 1970 St. Louis Conference of Friends leaders, the first when he admitted candidly, “I struggle in my heart to define what a Quaker is today. I do not know the answer.” The second remark came later, when as conference chair he gravely recommended, “Let the conversation continue.” [I would not say Cattell “gravely” recommended this; on the contrary he seemed thrilled to recommend this over the protests from some other Evangelical Friends at the Conference.]

Cattell’s remarks and attitudes contrast starkly with those of Edward Mott. As he [Mott] stated plainly in his memoirs,

“Orthodoxy and heterodoxy cannot coalesce… The attempt to fellowship and work with unbelievers (which is what he considered other varieties of Friends –Ed. [Fager]) spells death. Any conclusion to the contrary is ruinous to all concerned.” [Mott was right – events since 1970 have shown that, as stated above, ecumenical ventures with non-evangelical Quakers has always been followed by doctrinal compromise.]

At an All-Friends Conference in 1928, he [Mott] delivered a speech intended, he said, “To thwart the very purpose for which the conference was held, the promotion of fellowship among the groups.” (It [Mott’s intent] largely succeeded, too.) As Clerk of Oregon YM he led it out of the Five Years Meeting (later renamed Friends United Meeting), and pushed successfully to cut its ties with the AFSC [American Friends Service Committee]. He railed repeatedly against the moves toward yearly meeting reunification then underway in Philadelphia, New England and elsewhere. Mott’s sentiments were sincere and consistent, and not unusual among fundamentalists of his generation, Quaker and otherwise.

Dealing With a Born-Again Separatist Movement

For his part, Everett Cattell did not minimize his differences with liberal Friends. Yet his was an evangelicalism which, contrary to Mott, was able to conclude at St. Louis that “There are good reasons for continuing dialogue with such folk… ” Again, like Mott, Cattell practiced what he preached, both among Friends and other denominations. [What Fager failed to mention here, is that Dr. Cattell was a New Evangelical. New Evangelicals have no problem “dialoguing” with non-evangelical denominations and establishing ecumenical ties.]

If Cattell’s attitude was in the ascendant only three years ago, what has happened to put these sentiments in eclipse? Much of the answer, I believe, can be found in a recently-published, widely-read book by a very influential non-Quaker fundamentalist: The Great Evangelical Disaster, by the late Francis Schaeffer. It is a clarion call to action by conservative Christians in denominations which are, in Schaeffer’s view, fatally infected with notions of “the pluralistic church.” Such a body is one in which there is room for more than his brand of theology, based on his view of the Bible as “objective, absolute truth in all the areas it touches upon,” and the interpretations he draws from it. Most Friends groups would fall in to this category [of pluralistic churches], even many of the evangelical ones [I’m assuming Fager was referring to “progressive evangelical” churches here, such as those in NWYM. Remember, Fager wrote this in 1985 – and Evangelical Friends heretic Richard Foster, for example, had been active in NWYM since before 1978]. Schaeffer’s manifesto is not only widely-read; the outlook it expresses is also being heeded by many, , as a platform for action. [“Some” is the key word here. By 1985, many Evangelical Friends had become “brainwashed” as New Evangelicals, increasingly accepting the concept of pluralism to one degree or another. Many of these “New Evangelical” Friends did not take Schaeffer’s manifesto to heart. Granted, they may have stayed away from denominations belonging to the ecumenical National Council of Churches. Yet they saw little danger in ecumenical ties with heretical non-evangelical Quaker denominations.]

Schaeffer calls on his adherents to “stand clearly for the principle of the purity of the visible church… ” To do this will require “discipline of those who do not take a proper position in regard to the teaching of Scripture.” This discipline is to be imposed at all levels and in all settings of church activity, because “the church belongs to those who by the grace of God are faithful to the Scriptures.” However, if “a denomination comes to a place where such discipline cannot operate,” then the orthodox members must prepare “to step out.” (Quotes from Schaeffer, pp. 55, 74, 82, 85, 87.)

In the light of these passages, both the rationale of many recent events and the
echoes of Edward Mott’s broadsides against association with “Hicksite modernistic Friends” of half a century ago are unmistakable. For that matter, Schaeffer also hears echoes of the 1920s and 1930s here. He insists that “we must recognize that there is a direct parallel between what happened in the early decades of this century and what we are facing today…” (p. 88)

Have we really been treated to such rhetoric as this among Friends in 1984? My answer is yes, repeatedly: in the pages of Quaker Life; at the FUM Triennial; in the flap over Elizabeth Watson and the Friends Ministers Conference (see Issues #35 and #44)[of Chuck Fager’s A Friendly Newsletter]; and in other incidents. [Unlike Fager, to all these protests against Quaker ecumenism I give a hearty “Amen!”] As these have accumulated, I have attempted to maintain the earlier optimistic attitude about the overall trend of events: I still thought I heard more of Everett Cattell in the air than of Edward Mott and Francis Schaeffer.

Riding the Wave of History Onto the Rocks of Division

But no more. In the political arena, supporters of the Schaeffer-Mott perspective [technically, Schaeffer became a New Evangelical in the 1940s or 1950s, while Mott remained a separatist fundamentalist his entire life – click here for an article providing hints of Schaeffer’s drift away from J. Gresham Machen and separatist fundamentalism] won a smashing victory in the 1984 presidential election; they feel confident they are riding the wave of history. And events show that they are determined to press ahead with their vision of a purified Christianity, in Quaker circles as elsewhere. Indeed, they can hardly do otherwise: as Schaeffer and Mott repeatedly pointed out, their basic principles are at stake; this is a matter of conscience for them.

What will be the outcome of such efforts? If the parallels with 50 years ago hold true, they will likely yield a melancholy harvest of separations, bitterness and recriminations, even among the orthodox. That is due not least to the fact that their Number One targets for “discipline” are not liberals–who are considered already lost–as much as other evangelicals, particularly those who are prepared to tolerate liberals in an “unpurified,” pluralistic Quakerism. Schaeffer admits and laments this unhappy record, and urges the church’s “true owners” to exercise their discipline over heretics in a loving spirit, rare as such a process may have been in church history, Quaker and other.

Everett Cattell On Coping With Such Campaigns

The arena in which this struggle among Friends should become most intense is
likely to be, as it long has been, Friends United Meeting. Yet it is clearly not limited to FUM. There are also several yearly meetings, spanning the continent, whose unity seems to me to be at risk from such drives to establish the “purity of the visible church” against the infiltration of pluralism. Everett Cattell understood the divisive potential of these trends, even in 1970. He called for Friends to consider some form of organizational “realignment” which would “set each other free to be himself,” and make dialogue and cooperation possible within a symbiotic relationship qf mutual respect without compromise. He argued this might be the only real alternative to eventual acrimonious ruptures.

Here as elsewhere, Everett Cattell now seems to have spoken wisely to our condition. And the question can fairly be asked: Is it now time for some Quaker bodies, faced with the likelihood of a rerun of the upheavals of the 1920s and 1930s, to explore the idea of Cattell’s realignment? And is it time for those Christian Friends who are comfortable with the diversity among Friends today to consider how best to preserve and defend their conviction in the face of this intensifying challenge?

A year ago I would have considered this whole topic a minor matter, and the names of Cattell and Mott would not have occurred to me as possible Quakers of the Year. It does not seem minor anymore; and these two, while not perhaps the happiest nominations, now seem  unquestionably the appropriate ones.

They say hindsight is 20/20. Since Fager wrote this article in 1985, the pendulum has swung away from the “Schaeffer-Mott” scenario. Richard Foster’s Spiritual Formation teachings have continued to spread like wildfire in both evangelical and non-evangelical Quaker denominations. And the Emerging/Emergent/Emergence teachings have also taken deep root in all Quaker denominations, having become popularized around 1990-1995. The EFCI is in a sad state of affairs as far as separatist fundamentalism is concerned. In fact, today EFCI leadership fully supports Dr. Cattell’s ecumenical steps at the 1970 St. Louis Conference. It appears that, if anything, Quaker denominations – evangelical and non-evangelical – are headed not for a “realignment” (aka an agreed-to split) but for an Emergent “Convergent Friends” movement. God help the Evangelical Friends, if they continue to head down this road of ecumenical Quaker apostasy.

Addendum: It would be interesting to see Chuck Fager’s analysis currently regarding the state of Quaker ecumenism – particularly involvement today by Evangelical Friends.

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(revised 03/02/14)

There is a great deal of confusion today among Christians regarding “primary separation” and “secondary separation”. Contrary to popular belief, primary and secondary separation in the past were  practiced by more than just Independent Fundamentalist Baptists. I would say both primary and secondary separation were practiced by many evangelical denominations, during the years of approximately 1900-1942. That is, during the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy. (This article describes in detail the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy among Presbyterians. Similar conflicts were going on in many other denominations.)

Below I am providing excerpts from David C. Bennett’s excellent article about “primary separation” and “secondary separation”.  Click here for the original text of his article. I have emphasized certain points by bolding, and inserted comments in [brackets].

THE FUNDAMENTALIST & BIBLICAL SEPARATION,
by David C. Bennett, D. Min.

Being a fundamentalist and a separatist has historically gone hand in hand. Nevertheless, for some younger preachers of today there is no doctrine of the Christian faith that has alienated so many than this doctrine of ecclesiastical separation. Why is this? As one young pastor said “My generation didn’t go through the Fundamentalist-modernist battle; the fight over the RSV; the Billy Graham issue, etc.”[1]

With that young pastor’s statement in mind we ought to consider firstly, what a Christian fundamentalist is? Professor David Beale wrote “Ideally, a Christian Fundamentalist is one who desires to reach out in love and compassion to people, he believes and defends the whole Bible as the absolute, inerrant and authoritative Word of God, and stands committed to the doctrine and practice of holiness. It is not even a mere literal exposition of the Bible. The essence of Fundamentalism goes much deeper than that. It is the unqualified acceptance of and obedience to the Scriptures.”[2]

The second thing to bear in mind is; what comprises Biblical separation for a fundamentalist? Dr. H. T. Spence says that Biblical separation contains “…two sides: the horizontal, which separates us by the grace of God from sin, error, and compromise; and the vertical, which separates us in the grace of God unto purity, unity, and Christ.”[3] If the separation from does not draw us in closer walk with the Lord it is not Biblical separation.

In the 1930 and 40’s the battles, of J. Frank Norris, Robert Ketcham and other “fighting” fundamentalists, were perhaps more evident for the clash was against those who openly proclaimed out and out unbelief and theological liberalism.

Then in the late 1940’s a theological name change was made when “NEW EVANGELICALISM” was coined. This name change “was born in 1948 at the convocation message delivered by Harold Ockenga in the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. In that message, which was referenced in the forward to Harold Lindsell’s book, The Battle for the Bible, published in 1976, he said the following. ‘Neo-evangelicalism (Neo used interchangeably with New)…While affirming the theological view of fundamentalism, this address repudiated its ecclesiology and its social theory. The ringing call for a repudiation of separatism and the summons to social involvement received a hearty response from many evangelicals…It differed from fundamentalism in its repudiation of separatism and its determination to engage itself in the theological dialogue of the day. It had a new emphasis upon the application of the gospel to the sociological, political and economic areas of life (Emphasis in the original).’”[4] Rather than separation, an alliance between liberals and new evangelicals would continue.

Again it must be stated that the fighting fundamentalists such as J. Frank Norris, Bob Ketcham, W. B. Riley and others knew only too well who the “opponent” was. The adversary held the leadership positions of many churches, denominational organizations and schools. These liberals were very obvious for in their teaching and preaching they openly denied almost, if not every, cardinal doctrine of the faith. Separation was not a choice but a necessity if one was going to be obedient to the Scriptures.

The term “separation” can admittedly come across harsh, uncaring, unloving etc. etc. For example Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines separation thusly as the act of, “severing or disconnecting; disjunction; as the separation of the soul from the body. 2. The state of being separate; disunion; disconection. 3. The operation of disuniting”. These definitions set forth by Webster certainly fits the Biblical act of separation.

Undoubtedly one must be careful that their attitude is right toward others and there is not an attitude of superiority but rather an attitude of humility. Of course the personification of humility is the Lord Jesus Christ whom the fundamentalist should be following ever so closely… 

Take a moment and think about it. The separatist position comes from the Bible, the Word of God itself! In the very first Book separation is seen through God’s division of “the light from the darkness” (Genesis 1:4).  [See also  1 John 1:5–7.]

On the second day God “divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament” Genesis 1: 7. Again division was necessary. On the third day “the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind” Genesis 1: 11…   

In Deuteronomy 22:9 God [speaks about the separation of seed]. Peter picks up the importance of the seed in 1 Peter 1:23. Mixing the seed will produce unacceptable fruit and mixing spiritual truth and error produces unacceptable or bad fruit as well.

Following the teaching against mixing diverse seed the Lord then said “Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together” Deuteronomy 22:10. God follows this Old Testament teaching in 2 Corinthians 6:14-17: “14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers… 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” The fundamentalist HAD to separate not only from the liberal BUT from the new evangelical as they continued to hold hands with the unbelievers and infidels.

As God spoke to the individual heart of such men as Bob Ketcham, J. Frank Norris and others “…each realized there were others of the same mind and heart as theirs. The root of their spiritual legacy was the preservation of the fundamentals of the Faith. Such a heart demanded a separation from the liberalism, modernism, and worldliness that had permanently polluted their places of worship and learning. A corporate organism was born; a movement arose across America during the latter part of the nineteenth century and flourished during the first four decades of the twentieth century.

In every Biblical movement there is always the inevitable tendency for a variety of factions to eventually emerge. There is the faction of the mixed multitude that attaches itself to the movement. There are also the individuals who personally leave the movement’s legacy. And then there are those who make shipwreck their Faith and thus begin to redesign the movement in accordance to their heart’s change. When this trinity of factions surfaces, and begins to erode the heart of the Fundamentalist movement, the term Fundamentalist changes in definition. The fundamentals no longer make the Fundamentalist, the organism becomes an organization, and the Fundamentalist becomes Fundamentalism. Thus the organization becomes more important than the fundamentals themselves. When such a transition is made, purity of practice is lessened in importance. The movement itself becomes a system of greater importance than its original heart. It affects everything: the personal life, the music, education, and the lifestyle in standards of dress and living. The reality of such a transition to take place in Fundamentalism destroys the heart of holiness, which is separation; and results in both the heart and the movement being redefined.

Is Fundamentalism coming to another hour of this concern in its history? Are we to see another change to rise within the camp? (Emphasis added)”[6]

There is a movement among some of today’s fundamentalists who are mixing the seed of fundamentalism and evangelicalism.  They (we will continue to call them fundamentalists) believe there is to be separation from the unbeliever and “new” evangelical of course, BUT, according to Central Seminary’s Kevin Bauder and some of his brethren, they believe the doctrine of ecclesiastical separation does not apply when it comes to the “conservative evangelical”[7]. This designation “conservative evangelical” encompasses a wide spectrum of organizations and preachers.

Surprisingly or not surprisingly a Google search led to a blog entitled “Is This A Conservative Evangelical Blog?”[8] In this blog the blogger says that “For most of my life, the words I have used most to describe my set of beliefs have been ‘Charismatic’ and ‘Evangelical’”. This man then seeks a definition for what he truly is and writes “The only other term I can come up with is “Conservative Evangelical”. He goes on to say that “as the bridges have been built (Emphasis added), and the neoliberal assaults have unfolded, I do think that bible-believing people from many different backgrounds have been finding that we have more in common with each other than we previously realized. The Internet and conferences such as Together For The Gospel, The Gospel Coalition, and New Word Alive have all been a major force for that discovery.”  So here we have a “charismatic evangelical”.

On the same blog a book written by this blogger has the recommendation of Southern Baptist Al Mohler, who Bauder considers a conservative evangelical. Bridges have and are being built and it is worth noting that what brings these “conservative evangelicals” together is; the GOSPEL! Just as the emphasis on missions, which is the taking of the gospel to others, brought the World Council of Churches into being so these organizations such as Together For The Gospel have been birthed under the banner of THE GOSPEL!

This is not a pick on Kevin Bauder paper but what he writes openly about, he must want people to read and therefore comments and judgments will be made. So therefore, to continue, Bauder says these “Conservative evangelicals are different from Fundamentalists, but they are not new evangelicals. New evangelicals were committed to a policy of re-infiltrating ecclesiastical organizations that had been captured by apostates. They wanted to live in peaceful coexistence with apostasy. They were willing to recognize certain apostates as fellow-Christians and to cooperate with them in the Lord’s work. These are attitudes that conservative evangelicals explicitly reject.”[9] IS THAT SO?!

Who are some of these that Dr. Bauder considers conservative evangelicals and not new evangelicals? “Conservative evangelicalism encompasses a diverse spectrum of Christian leaders. Representatives include John Piper, Mark Dever, John MacArthur [see this 1999 article], Charles Ryrie, Bruce Ware, Bryan Chapell, Wayne Grudem, D. A. Carson, Al Mohler, Tim Keller, John D. Hannah, Ed Welch, Ligon Duncan, Tom Nettles, C. J. Mahaney, Norman Geisler, and R. C. Sproul [see this 2003 article]. Conservative evangelical organizations include Together for the Gospel (T4G), the Gospel Coalition, the Master’s Seminary, the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors, the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals (at least in its better moments), and Ligonier Ministries. These individuals and organizations exhibit a remarkable range of differences, but they can be classed together because of their vigorous commitment to and defense of the gospel.”[10]

Al Mohler is one of Bauder’s conservative evangelicals and is a well known name among fundamentalists and evangelicals. Admittedly Al Mohler is a sought after speaker and is quoted by both religious and non-religious news outlets. However, remember, the key point of the new evangelical was “repudiation of separatism”. It would seem this is also the path of the “conservative evangelical” as well.

For example, Dr. Mohler wrote in his blog http://www.albertmohler.com/2010/04/23/this-man-was-no-moderate-the-legacy-of-cecil-sherman/ concerning Southern Baptist Cecil Sherman who died April 17th, 2010 at the age of 82.

[Bro. Bennett proceeds to provide various excerpts from Dr. Mohler’s blog, in which Dr. Mohler provides various examples of how liberal Cecil Sherman was. He cites examples of Dr. Sherman affirming evolution, denying an inerrant Bible, accomodating professors who deny the Virgin Birth.]

… By then [approximately 1981], Sherman was serving as Coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, a group of moderate Baptists who separated from the Southern Baptist Convention.” Here we have an out and out liberal working within a group that Al Mohler calls “moderate Baptists”!

It would seem the liberals are now the moderates and the moderates are the conservative evangelicals. Not once in this article did Dr. Mohler mention separating himself or the seminary of which he is president from the unbelief of Cecil Sherman!  Not once was it mentioned that separation was necessary for spiritual and Biblical purity!

[Bennett goes on to give examples of how Dr. Mohler has not practiced separation, instead compromising with liberals.]

… [Dr. Nettleton] is now deceased but what he wrote years ago is still so very applicable today. Dr. Nettleton wrote “Today we are choosing between two alternatives. A LIMITED MESSAGE OR A LIMITED FELLOWSHIP. If we preach all of the Bible truths, there are many places where we will never be invited. If we join hands with the crowds, there will be limiting of the message of the Bible. Bear this in mind–it is the Baptist who lays aside the most! It is the fundamental Baptist who makes the concessions! Think this through and you will find it to be true. We believe in believer’s baptism. We believe in separation. We preach eternal security. We believe in the imminent coming of Christ. We consider it an act of obedience to reprove unbelief in religious circles. The Sadduccee and the Pharisee are to be labeled. But according to a present philosophy we must lay these things aside for the sake of a larger sphere of service.”[13]

So it might seem that these fundamentalists, Bauder, Minnick and Doran, may desire a wider fellowship for at least the purpose of more speaking engagements even though it would in all probability limit their message. However, any preacher working out a separatist position whether ecclesiastical or personal should be motivated by the desire to “…do all to the glory of God” 1 Corinthians 10:31c. Our separatist position should be leading us to personal holiness for (1) God is holy and (2) He calls us to be holy, 1 Peter 1:15, 16 “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” …

As stated earlier Bible separation doesn’t mean one hates the new or conservative evangelical but it does mean to “withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us” (2 Thess. 3: 6).  There is another passage not often used in the discussion on separation but is, I believe, very appropriate for the day in which we find ourselves: Luke 9:46-50.

The passage here in Luke and also in Mark doesn’t give a lot of detail concerning this man of whom John speaks other than he was casting out devils. This man was not in the band of disciples to which John belonged, the fundamentalists. He was an outsider, conservative evangelical? Jesus simply said if this man is not against us he is for us. HOWEVER, Jesus did not go and invite the man to come and join them nor did Jesus go and join him. The Scriptures do not tell us everything concerning this incident but as one reads the Scriptures no more is said of this unnamed man. The Lord Jesus nor did His disciples cooperate in any campaign or share any speaking event with this unnamed man BUT they were separated from him for whatever reason!!

Because I would not ask any of the men Bauder mentioned earlier as conservative evangelicals, to speak in my pulpit nor would I accept their invitation to speak in theirs, doesn’t mean I am better than they, nor that I do not appreciate their public stand on many issues BUT it does mean there are important doctrinal areas which prohibit such a public relationship between them and me.

As a missionary I must ask “Is the difference today between the Southern Baptists and the independents so miniscule separation is no longer an issue?” After awhile, one wonders why these independents continue to be independent if there is not that much difference. Why would one stay independent when you could be part of the largest Protestant organization in the USA? Why not do what Jerry Falwell did and lead your church into the Southern Baptist Convention?

AS A MISSIONARY I wonder why any of the students from Central, BJU or Detroit would go as a missionary with an independent Baptist mission board and travel all over the USA begging support when they could go with the Southern Baptist International Board of Missions and be sent to the field almost immediately.  If a man can work with a Southern Baptist as so many independent mission board missionaries do why not become a Southern Baptist?

What do these men such as Bauder, Doran and Minnick have in common with Mohler and the other conservative evangelicals? Is it the Reformed theology? Or is it any Bible version other than the King James? Al Mohler uses the English Standard Version and even though Bauder touts the fact he uses the King James Bible for ministry he has written enough for all to know what he really thinks of it. As far as Minnick and Doran they are not lovers of the King James Bible or its Greek Text either.

Dr. Bauder says “Other fundamentalists do not necessarily draw the lines where I do…. [and] might very well choose to separate from me. That, too, is part of the judgment that they must make, and I must grant them liberty to make it. I am not the one to whom they will answer. For my part, the dictum is pretty simple. Let us separate where we must. Let us fellowship where we can. Let us love one another withal.”[16]

It is to be admitted that fundamentalists have in all probability never agreed on every issue or person with whom they should separate or cooperate. It was interesting to read that in 1959 John R. Rice “…and Bob Jones, Sr. held a series of one-day rallies in different parts of the country in an attempt to explain the separationist position to the wavering, and Jones urged that The Sword [of the Lord] be made ‘the official organ’ of separatist fundamentalism. Meanwhile, Rice made new, younger, friends. One was Jack Hyles, who in 1959 had become the pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana; another was Curtis Hutson, who eventually became Rice’s successor. A third was Jerry Falwell, pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia.

In 1971, Rice planned a ‘great world conference on evangelism’ that would bring together the various strands of fundamentalism. But Bob Jones, Sr. had died three years earlier, and his son and successor, Bob Jones, Jr., objected to the inclusion in the conference program of two Southern Baptists, W. A. Criswell and R. G. Lee, whom Jones considered ‘compromisers and traitors to the cause of Scriptural evangelism.’ (It did not help that shortly before Jones, Sr.’s death, Criswell had referred to him as ‘a senile old fool.’) Jones also opposed Rice’s insistence that there be no criticism of Billy Graham (and presumably, neo-evangelicalism) at the conference. Rice argued that his position on separation was the same as that held by Bob Jones, Sr. and that there was ‘nobody living in this world who was more intimately acquainted’ with the late evangelist. Not surprisingly, Jones, Jr. disagreed, and he and Rice engaged in an exchange of views about separation–Rice in The Sword of the Lord, Jones in a pamphlet, ‘Facts John R. Rice Will Not Face.’ To Rice the importance of soulwinning trumped what he considered minor disagreements among Christians about biblical separation. (Emphasis added)

The upshot was that Rice’s planned conference was postponed and then canceled. In November 1971, Bob Jones, Jr. and Bob Jones III were dropped from the cooperating board of The Sword [of the Lord] to be replaced by Jerry Falwell and Curtis Hutson. In 1976, Jones, Ian Paisley, and Wayne Van Gelderen organized their own “World Congress of Fundamentalists” in Edinburgh. Unlike the split with Billy Graham, however, Rice’s refusal to agree with separationist fundamentalists like Bob Jones, Jr. and Ian Paisley only enhanced the growth of The Sword. By the mid-1960s, the paper had more than recovered its losses after Rice’s criticism of Billy Graham; in 1974, circulation of The Sword of the Lord was over 300,000. Rice had been a major participant in shaping the two most important divisions of late twentieth-century fundamentalism, the split between fundamentalists and neo-evangelicals and then the creation of two fundamentalist factions: Rice’s more sentimental and irenic; Jones’s more academic, doctrinal, and confrontational.”[17]

Note “soulwinning” was John R. Rice’s emphasis as to whom he would fellowship just as the Gospel is Mohler’s. For Clarence Sexton’s Independent Baptist’s Friends International it is worded as “…an effort to promote…World Evangelism.”[18] Kevin Bauder and supposedly Dave Doran and Mark Minnick are much the same for they would fellowship with any who have a “vigorous commitment to and defense of the gospel.”[19]

Whether it is called soul-winning, preaching the gospel or world evangelism all three actually are covered under the term proclaimed as the Great Commission. History has shown that working together for the sake of the Great Commission leads to ecumenism and the eventual surrender of certain Biblical principles, of which one is surely to be Biblical separation.

John R. Mott in all probability would have been considered an evangelical in his day but his desire for world missions led to the eventual formation of the World Council of Churches.[20] …

Time marches on! Separatist men, schools, mission organizations and churches sadly all too often with the passing of years throw aside Biblical ecclesiastical separation for the high and lofty goal of reaching the lost with the gospel. However, the Bible is not fluid and the passages teaching separation continue the same. Consider John 15:19; John 17:14; Romans 12:2; Romans 16:17; 2 Corinthians 6:14–18; Galatians 6:14,16; Ephesians 5:11; 2 Timothy 2:22; Titus 2:11-12; James 1:27; James 4:4; 1 Peter 2:11-12; 1 Peter 4:1-4; 1 John 2:15-17; 1 John 5:19; Proverbs 4:2, Proverbs 4:14-15.

In closing we must remember the Bible path of separation, both personally and ecclesiastically, will be both narrow and much less travelled! NEVERTHELESS IT IS THE ONLY PATH of true obedience where sweet fellowship is found with the dear Saviour and His small flock!


[21] http://learningtogive.org/papers/paper115.html

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(revised 09/09/15)

I came across an article entitled “The Conservative Holiness Movement: A Fundamentalism File Research Report,” by Mark Sidwell. Click here for the entire original text of the article.

I found the following section especially interesting, since I admire many aspects of both the Conservative Holiness Movement and Fundamentalism. I have copied the entire section verbatim. I have emphasized certain points by bolding, and inserted comments in [brackets].

The Conservative Holiness Movement and Fundamentalism
by Mark Sidwell

For many people, any kind of strongly conservative, traditional form of religion is “fundamentalist,” but such a definition ignores two important factors. First, this definition does not give sufficient weight to the historical context that spawned and shaped Protestant Fundamentalism in twentieth-century America. Second, it does not take into account how religious adherents view themselves—either as Fundamentalists who embrace the label or other religious conservatives who shun it.

In terms of both historical context and self-identification, the Conservative Holiness movement reveals some links with Fundamentalism. For example, the following description of H. Robb French’s preaching at the Interchurch Holiness Convention certainly displays similarities to the Fundamentalist position: “Brother French also was very conscious of the political tides and the dangers of communism and socialism. More than once, he pointed out the coming world church and exhorted his audiences to ‘come out from among them.’ He had little time for those who would sacrifice scriptural principle on the altar of compromise with the elements that would deny the substitutionary atonement of Christ, the virgin birth of Christ, and others of the great doctrines of the church.”[45] Yet a closer examination also reveals some significant differences.

Fundamentalist Leaven”?The Holiness movement predates Fundamentalism, and historians generally agree that Holiness teaching, at least of the Keswick variety, influenced Fundamentalism.[46] They debate, however, how much Fundamentalism influenced the Holiness movement or whether the two movements ever identified with each other.[47] Paul Bassett notes some such influence, although he characterizes it as “leaven” foreign to Wesleyan thought and theology. He argues that the Church of the Nazarene edged toward holding to biblical inerrancy only under the pressure of the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy and that Holiness theologians rescued the movement from such tendencies. [48] [This doesn’t speak very highly for the Church of the Nazarene – that is, that they did not hold to biblical inerrancy.]

Susie Stanley has examined this question in even greater depth, contending that the Wesleyan and Holiness churches were “innocent bystanders” in the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy.[49] This bears further research. In my opinion, even if the Conservative Holiness denominations were not actively involved in the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy, they would still be considered Fundamentalist if they held to the beliefs of The Fundamentals (a series of articles from 1910-1915.]  She identifies four areas in which she concludes that Holiness Christians differed from Fundamentalists: the inerrancy of the Bible, premillennialism, women as ministers, and “social holiness” (by which she means “social justice activities undertaken by Wesleyan Holiness adherents”).[50] She argues that the first two are characteristic of Fundamentalism but are shared by only a few within the Holiness movement. The last two are, in her view, points to which Holiness Christians hold but which Fundamentalists reject. Based on her study, Stanley questions the identification of the Holiness movement with Fundamentalism.

The case of the Conservative Holiness movement suggests either that the movement has been touched by Fundamentalist leaven or that the conclusions of Basset, Stanley, and others may require some revision. Conservative Holiness adherents, for instance, have been staunch supporters of the doctrine of inerrancy. The Articles of Religion of the Bible Missionary Church say, “We believe the Holy Scriptures inerrantly reveal the will of God concerning all things necessary to our salvation.”[51] A doctrinal statement from the Pilgrim Holiness Church of New York, the Wesleyan Holiness Association of Churches, and God’s Bible School refers to the Bible as “the inerrant, infallible Word of God.”[52] Edsel Trouten published in the Convention Herald, the voice of the Interchurch Holiness Convention, a multipart defense of inerrancy.[53] Clearly, inerrancy is an important doctrine to many in the Conservative Holiness movement.

Premillennialism is likewise important. The Church of God (Holiness) is explicitly premillennial in its Articles of Faith: “The second advent of our Savior, Jesus Christ, is premillennial and visible.”[54] The Bible Missionary Church (and Griffith ’s offshoot, the Wesleyan Holiness Association of Churches) as well as the Pilgrim Holiness Church of New York are not only premillennial but also explicitly pretribulational, a position generally associated with dispensationalist Fundamentalism.[55]

However, one must offer two qualifications. First, the link between Holiness groups and premillennialism is not necessarily a link to Fundamentalism. When Methodist minister John Lakin Brasher embraced the Holiness cause in the late nineteenth century, he accepted premillennialism along with the “second blessing” of entire sanctification.[56] Before Fundamentalism ever arose, then, some Holiness Christians identified with premillennialism.

Second, not all Conservative Holiness Christians are avowedly premillennial in their statements of faith. The Doctrinal Statement of Hobe Sound Bible College makes no explicit reference to the millennium.[57] The Bible Methodist Connection of Churches teaches the imminence of Christ’s return in its constitution (para. 23) as well as a separation between the resurrection of the righteous and the wicked (para. 24), but it says, “It is not to be understood that a dissenting understanding of the millennium shall be held to break or hinder either church fellowship or membership” (para. 25). [58] One should note in this connection a group tangentially related to the Conservative Holiness movement that reflects some of these concerns, the Fundamental Wesleyan Society (FWS) formed in 1979.[59] The FWS reckons itself a part of the Holiness movement in general, and some sources identify it as a part of the Conservative Holiness movement.[60] But the group does not count itself as a part of the Conservative Holiness movement today. The chief difference is that those aligned with the FWS believe that entire sanctification is not identified with the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which they say happens at regeneration.[61] In addition, many in the FWS are not as committed to the lifestyle issues that mark the Conservative Holiness movement. However, the FWS strongly asserts the doctrine of inerrancy, declaring in its Statement of Faith “that the Scriptures are inerrant, infallible, and correct even when they speak on points of history, science and philosophy.”[62] At the same time, the FWS expressly rejects premillennialism, asserting that postmillennialism is the more truly Wesleyan and biblical teaching.[63]

Separatism—Perhaps the chief distinctive of contemporary Fundamentalism has been its stress on “separation,” that the Christian should strive to free himself from worldliness, from false doctrine, and even from ecclesiastical connections to other Christians who willfully persist in sin.[64] The Conservative Holiness movement obviously owes its origin to concerns about growing worldliness. Furthermore, it is a “come-out” movement that has emerged from another come-out movement. Some in the movement acknowledged their debt to Fundamentalism. Edsel Trouten’s use of Baptist Fundamentalist Chester Tulga has been previously noted. Conservative Holiness ministers warn other believers against “compromising their convictions of separation.”[65]

Yet the context of these separatist comments is often different, sometimes subtly so, sometimes more obviously. Generally, Conservative Holiness Christians stress a separation based more on practice than on doctrine. Dale Hallaway writes, “We are currently faced with the necessity of ‘earnestly contending for the faith,’” but he means by this “that we stand firmly for old-fashioned principles which govern one’s conduct in all areas of life.”[66] One could perhaps view the original Holiness secessions of the late 1800s and early 1900s as doctrinal, since they involved a defense of the doctrine of entire sanctification against the hostility of denominational leaders. But the Conservative Holiness withdrawals centered more on behavioral questions, matters of dress and entertainment. Conservative Holiness leaders expressed doctrinal concerns, but they gave them second place generally to concern about eroding standards of holiness. In this emphasis, the Conservative Holiness movement differs from Fundamentalism, whose basis of separation revolved, theoretically, around more purely doctrinal concerns.

Making a Distinction—The most obvious evidence for or against viewing the Conservative Holiness movement as Fundamentalist is how those within the movement identify themselves. Even this approach yields only a qualified answer at best. A writer in the Fundamental Wesleyan Society says plainly, “We are fundamentalists,”[67] as the very name of the organization would indicate. Still, elsewhere he writes with qualification, “While we may feel that the rest of the holiness movement should have taken more seriously the contributions of fundamentalism, yet inherent in fundamentalism is a spirit of legalism and intolerance passed down from its Calvinistic roots. [Such comments are very common among New Evangelicals and their sympathizers.] Today the conservative holiness movement is not only contending for fundamental Christian doctrine, but it is also infected with the dogmatic spirit of fundamentalism.”[68] Even then, the FWS is only at the edge of the Conservative Holiness movement.

Tom McCasland, brought up in the Conservative Holiness movement, says that he was “taught to identify myself as a fundamentalist evangelical.” However, he has come to reject Fundamentalism, which he identifies with the conservative faction within the Southern Baptist Convention. He charges that Fundamentalism is hostile toward the use of reason, that it rejects historical tradition as a guideline, and that it reduces the Bible to “limp leather” and “a book of propositions.”[69] [Again, such comments are very similar to those made by New Evangelicals.]

Discounting McCasland’s critique of current application of the term, it is significant that some Conservative Holiness Christians at one time thought of themselves as “Fundamentalist.” The sticking point in such identification would likely be how far self-professed Fundamentalists and Conservative Holiness believers are willing to agree to disagree. The Fundamentalist movement has never had a particularly strong Methodist contingent,[70] and the since the 1950s the movement has been overwhelmingly Baptist in composition. [What this author fails to mention here, is the formation of the National Association of Evangelicals in 1948, as well as the rise of the Billy Graham ecumenical crusades in the 1950s. Fundamentalists split into two groups over these and similar issues. Namely, separatist Fundamentalists – primarily Baptists – and nonseparatist Fundamentalists.] The question would be how much Fundamentalists would be willing to overlook Wesleyan Holiness distinctives (notably falling from grace and entire sanctification) and how much Conservative Holiness adherents would be willing to cooperate with those who reject their distinctives.

[I believe it is critical to separate from New Evangelicals, including the National Association of Evangelicals, Billy Graham Evangelistic Crusades, etc. My big question is which denominations, if any, in the Conservative Holiness Movement separated from New Evangelicals?]

The history of the Evangelical Methodist Church illustrates the tensions inherent in a Fundamentalist-Holiness relationship. Founded in 1946 as a protest against growing liberalism in the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Methodist Church contained both Holiness and non-Holiness factions. Eventually, the tension grew too great, and in 1952 the denomination split over the issue of entire sanctification. [Was the issue of New Evangelicals not a factor also? This needs to be researched.] The non-Holiness segment, led by W. W. Breckbill, took the more ardently Fundamentalist position, aligning itself with the American Council of [Christian] Churches, a Fundamentalist alliance.[71] In this case, mutual opposition to liberalism was not sufficient to make up for deep differences over the doctrine of sanctification. Once the split took place, those opposed to entire sanctification found themselves more comfortable in the Fundamentalist camp. This story reproduces in miniature the general outline of Fundamentalist-Holiness interaction.

Conclusion

In his History of Fundamentalism in America, George Dollar uses the label “Orthodox Allies” to describe conservatives who were not in the Fundamentalist camp. His definition of the term is too narrow, excluding some self-professed Fundamentalists.[72] But the concept has value nonetheless, as in the present case. One cannot honestly equate Fundamentalism with the Conservative Holiness movement. To do so would sweep too much evidence under the rug. Nonetheless the two movements have similar concerns in addition to their differences. Both reject theological liberalism and both enunciate a strong separatist position. The Holiness view may place more stress on personal separation, and Fundamentalism may be known more for its ecclesiastical separation, but neither group would deny the other aspect. Their interaction, although limited, suggests they are orthodox allies. The closeness of their alliance will likely depend on the nature of the foe they face and their willingness to forego some of their distinctives for the sake of unity.

[Besides the author not mentioning New Evangelicalism, I have another issue. He barely mentions the historical basis of Fundamentalism: The Fundamentals, a series of articles published from 1910-1915. It would be very interesting to see 1) a list of the doctrines put forth in The Fundamentals articles. And 2) how many of these doctrines the Conservative Holiness Movement agreed with.]

[Another problem with this article is the ambiguous definition of “Fundamentalism.” Does Fundamentalist mean those on the Fundamentalist side of the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy? Or does Fundamentalist mean those who hold to The Fundamentals articles from 1910-1915? Or does Fundamentalist mean the separatist Independent Fundamentalist Baptists? Or does Fundamentalist mean nonseparatist Baptists? There are many meanings to the term Fundamentalism, as opposed to a more simple, clear cut meaning for the term “Conservative Holiness Movement.”]

ENDNOTES

[45] Leonard Sankey, “Our Fortieth Year,” May–June 1991, pp. 2–3.

[46] See George Marsden, Fundamentalism and American Culture: The Shaping of Twentieth-Century Evangelicalism, 1870–1925 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), pp. 72–101.

[47] For a brief discussion of this issue, see Mark Sidwell, “Methodism and Fundamentalism: A Survey,” Biblical Viewpoint 29, no. 2 (1995): 90–92.

[48] Paul Merritt Bassett, “The Fundamentalist Leavening of the Holiness Movement, 1914–1940, The Church of the Nazarene: A Case Study,” Wesleyan Theological Journal 13 (1978): 65–91.

[49] Susie Stanley, “Wesleyan/Holiness Churches: Innocent Bystanders in the Fundamentalist/Modernist Controversy,” in Re-forming the Center: American Protestantism, 1900 to the Present, ed. Douglas Jacobsen and William Vance Trollinger (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998), pp. 172–93.

[50] Ibid., p. 190.

[51] J. Gordon Melton, ed., The Encyclopedia of American Religions: Religious Creeds (Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1988), p. 323. The wording comes originally from the Manual of the Church of the Nazarene. Commenting on the Nazarene version, Stanley notes (pp. 178–79) that inerrancy is applied only to things “necessary to our salvation,” not in matters of history and science, as most Fundamentalists affirm. However, Bassett notes (p. 74) that this phrase was added in 1928 by factions within the Church of the Nazarene sympathetic to Fundamentalism. There is every indication that Glenn Griffith and the others who founded the Bible Missionary Church understood this article, in the case of their church, as teaching full inerrancy.

[52] J. Gordon Melton, ed., The Encyclopedia of American Religions: Religious Creeds, vol. 2 (Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1994), p. 161.

[53] Edsel Trouten, “The Conservative Holiness Movement and the Inerrancy Issue,” appearing in six consecutive issues of the Convention Herald from March through September 1981. See also “International Council on Bible Inerrancy,” Convention Herald, February 1978, p. 2.

[54] Melton, Religious Creeds (1988), p. 288.

[55] Ibid., p. 324; Melton, Religious Creeds, vol. 2, p. 162.

[56] Brasher, The Sanctified South, p. 62.

[57] It says only that Christ “is coming again to receive the church as His bride” and that “There will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the unsaved and the unsaved”; the Doctrinal Statement is found at http://www.hsbc.edu/doc.html.

[58] “Constitution of the Bible Methodist Connection of Churches.”

[59] For information on the Fundamental Wesleyan Society, see http://members2.visualcities.com/fwp. The organization’s periodical, Arminian Magazine, is also found on-line at http://wesley.nnc.edu/arminian. Note in particular C. Marion Brown, “For Such a Time as This,” Arminian Magazine, Fall 1995, and Vic Reasoner, “What Is a Fundamental Wesleyan?” Arminian Magazine, part 1, Spring 1995; part 2, Fall 1995.

[60] The host on the Internet for Arminian Magazine, Northwest Nazarene University , identifies the periodical as “a publication from the conservative holiness movement.”

[61] Its teaching on entire sanctification is detailed in the following articles by Vic Reasoner from the Fall 1998 issue of Arminian Magazine: “Interpreting the Word Accurately,” Fall 1998, and “John Fletcher Revised.” Reasoner also set forth this view in his book The Hole in the Holiness Movement, which led to an exchange with the Interchurch Holiness Convention. See Edsel Trouten, “Holes in The Hole of the Holiness Movement,Convention Herald, Jan.–Feb. 1993, pp. 4–5, and Vic Reasoner, “Plugging the Holes,” Arminian Magazine, Fall 1993. In his rebuttal, Reasoner charges that the Conservative Holiness movement is not really “conservative” because its view of entire sanctification modifies the teaching of John Wesley.

[62] “Statement of Faith,” http://members2.visualcities.com/fwp/statement.html. See also Vic Reasoner, “Defining Biblical Inerrancy,” Arminian Magazine, Fall 1998.

[63] See particularly the articles in Fall 1984 issue of Arminian Magazine: C. Marion Brown, “Editorial”; Robert L. Brush, “Is the Second Advent of Our Lord Imminent?”; Vic Reasoner, “Are There Two Phases to Christ’s Second Advent?” (refuting pretribulationism); and Elmer Long, “The Design of the Gospel.” See also Vic Reasoner, “The Obituary of Dispensationalism: 1830–1988,” Arminian Magazine, Spring 1990.

[64] These concepts are summarized and discussed from the Fundamentalist viewpoint in Mark Sidwell, The Dividing Line: Understanding and Applying Biblical Separation (Greenville, S.C.: Bob Jones University Press, 1998).

[65] Bryan , “The Interchurch Holiness Convention: A History,” p. 9

[66] Dale L. Hallaway, “Will We Remain—A ‘Conservative’ Holiness Movement?” Convention Herald, March–April 1987, p. 6.

[67] Reasoner, “What Is a Fundamental Wesleyan?” part 2.

[68] Vic Reasoner, “The Spirit of Tolerance,” Arminian Magazine, Winter 1993.

[69] Tom McCasland, “Why I Am No Longer a Fundamentalist: A Confession,” http://www.baylor.edu/~Thomas_McCasland/fund.htm.

[70] See Sidwell, “Methodism and Fundamentalism: A Survey.”

[71] On the Evangelical Methodist Church , see J. H. Hamblen, A Look into Life: An Autobiography (Abliene, Tex.: J. H. Hamblen, 1969), pp. 117–37, for the viewpoint of the Holiness faction, and Randy Hilton, The History of the Evangelical Methodist Conference (Kingsport, Tenn.: Able Printers, 1994), for the viewpoint of the non-Holiness faction.

[72] George W. Dollar, A History of Fundamentalism in America (Greenville, S.C.: Bob Jones University Press, 1973), pp. 173-83. Dollar appears to limit Fundamentalism basically to those of a Baptist and dispensationalist viewpoint.

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