John R. Rice on Tongues

I was more than a little surprised when an SFL reader passed along this excerpt from none other than John R. Rice who says very plainly that he doesn’t rule out tongues as being possible in the modern church.

Yes God May Give the Gifts of the Spirit Today, as He Chooses, Just as in Bible Times

Note that the blessed Holy Spirit gives certain gifts to people for the Lord’s service. Do I believe we can have the power of the Holy Spirit just as in Bible times? I certainly do. Nobody had all these gifts in Bible times and, of course, nobody can have all these gifts now in modern times. But, as far as I know, the New Testament churches were set up the same way, and the Bible teaching was the same, and the practices were the same as we ought to have now.

Yes, I believe in the fullness of the Spirit, an enduement of power from on High. I believe in the gifts of the Spirit as God gives them.

Now, here are some lessons, as you see in verses 8 through 10. What are these gifts of the Spirit in verses 8 through 10? To one, the word of wisdom; to another, the word of knowledge; to another, faith; to another, gifts of healing; to another, the working of miracles; to another, prophecy; to another, discerning of spirits; to another, divers kinds of tongues; and to another, interpretation of tongues — all these nine different gifts of the Spirit are mentioned here. Now, what are these gifts for and what about them?

Well, first of all, as far as I know these gifts are still available today. I do not mean available in the sense that you can ask for whatever you want about these gifts. The Bible never does teach that one can decide for himself what gifts to have. The Spirit divides “to every man severally as he will.”

It is true that the Scripture says, “The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” I take it that that must mean that some of these works of the Holy Spirit can be the property of every Christian but that one cannot necessarily decide for himself, except that all should seek to prophesy.

We are expressly taught to seek to prophesy. That means speak for God, witness for God, in the power of the Holy Spirit. In Acts 1:8 we are told, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me …. ” That part we are taught to seek. We are supposed to “covet earnestly the best gifts,” but we are never taught to covet the gift of tongues.

Now, are these gifts for today? They probably are. You would have to remember that they are not very often manifested even in the New Testament times. There is only one clear-cut case of talking in tongues in the Bible and that is in Acts, chapter 2. There are two other cases where languages are mentioned, but the Bible doesn’t say a gift of languages, and maybe it was and maybe it was not. No one has authority to say it was the miraculous gift of tongues since the Bible doesn’t say so. In the tenth chapter of Acts, in Cornelius’ case, and in the nineteenth chapter of Acts, that of a number of Christians at Ephesus, they talked in foreign languages. So let us just say that it was not very often that people had some of these gifts in Bible times.

John R. Rice,Speaking in Tongues

Now granted, Rice’s definition of “tongues” differs from that of most modern day proponents but I still wonder how many modern fundies would completely break fellowship with old John R. for not being a complete and total cessationist. Apparently, the Sword of the Lord who has published his book manages to ignore his belief in sign gifts just as well as they ignore Spurgeon’s Calvinism.

Cognitive dissonance is a beautiful thing.

151 thoughts on “John R. Rice on Tongues”

  1. The Ministry of Truth must have missed one.

    “We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.”

  2. Many modern fundies would probably break fellowship with John R. He was fundy but not quite like…say, Shelton Smith.

  3. To the point I never did understand why a literalist would also be a cessationist, but then my logic brings up other little issues like a Sunday School teacher’s claim that Jesus turned the water into grape juice.

    1. The Bible is literally true . . . until it contradicts the truth of the fundies: “wait! It can’t mean THAT! Our church doesn’t believe THAT! 😯 “

    2. Dear Becky Snake Hips B:

      I never understood why Jesus didn’t turn wine into water.

      Christian Socialist

  4. Halakalash (rhymes with Oshkosh B’gosh) must mean something because I’m always hearing that from speakers-in-tongues, honolulu?

    Part of my further break with fundy-super-lite (the far left wing of GARBC) was recognizing that Cessationists really aren’t. Oh, they don’t believe in Benny Hinn styled healings and tongues and knocking people down with one hand while taking their money and trashing the prayer requests with the other. But who seriously does?

    All fundies believe that God miraculously heals today; everybody knows somebody who knows somebody whose Great Aunt Mabel’s tumors disappeared from one x-ray to the next, confounding the doctors. Why not connect that with someone praying for her?

    All fundies accept stories of being woken in the middle of the night with a strong impression to pray for X missionary, only to later learn of that missionary’s dire peril at that exact time.

    Stories of natives questioning why what could only be angels guarded the missionaries’ house the night they were to die are accepted without question. Lately, tales of Muslims being directed toward the truth be dreams and visions and even the rare story from a non-charismatic of understanding or speaking a not-yet-studied native language–these healings, prophecies, dreams, visions, tongues, exorcisms are accepted based on the perceived trustworthiness of the source.

    But the problem with cessationism, dispensationalism, pre-trib rapture and probably others, is they are anecdotal and eisegetical. They depend not on solid Scriptural proof, but on the “‘faith’ once delivered” by my Bible school prof and his prof before him and so on.

    1. Well, Michael, as Darrell has pointed out before, “missionary stories” get a special pass when it comes to borderline charismatic elements. (Someone want to post the link? I can’t do it on my phone.)

      1. that’s because the devil is at work so much harder in those pagan regions than he is here in our Christian nation, so the spiritual warfare is much closer to the surface. The devils work is evidenced by their use of drums.

        In my experience with missions work its more likely because God is actually working in those people groups unlike in much of the lifeless and farcical religiosity of “christian” ‘Merica.

        1. CS, I understand where you’re coming from. I would refine the point by affirming that God continues to work, yea, even in ‘Merca. However, I have a greater expectation of seeing signs where people do not have the truth and would benefit from authentication.

          ‘Merca may be like the tormented rich man’s family whom even a post-mortem appearance of Moses woulf not sway.

          Cognitive dissonance in fundy veneration of J.R. Rice and in de facto acceptance of some evidence of charisma while emphatically denying its present validity :facepalm: and consequently be extension any fellow believer who doesn’t happen to be a hardline Cessationist.

  5. Rice’s view of the King James (and alternate versions in general) also would not be shared by most of his heirs.

    1. John R. Rice’s fundamentalism was very different from today’s caricature of it. I still disagree with much of it, but I do believe Mr. Rice was a good man and if you read his books you’ll notice that as he aged his views grew less fundy. I know he had fellowship with pentecostals and allowed for differing opinions and actually encouraged people to answer their own questions, he said “I’m not the Pope, read your Bible and get your own answers.”

  6. I met John R. Rice one time, almost 50 years ago. I was a small boy attending a ‘revival’ meeting where he was speaking. I carried a red bible. After the service, John R. came over to me, leaned down to me, smiled, and said, “You have a red bible. I think all bibles should be read!”

    Fond memory for me, even though I left fundamentalism 33 years ago.

    This posting, in all likelihood, will bring about a discussion of the gift of tongues. Many traditions, whether pagan or Christian, acknowledge the possibility (or for some, the necessity) of ecstatic speech. It may be an interesting discussion.

  7. Dr. Rice would not be well received in IFB churches today. I don’t think he would mind either 🙂

    Being IFB is like the car business, there is a different model every year….

  8. I was surprised to read this, but I don’t know why. I’ve read other writings of his, and he never seemed the raging fundamentalist that his successors are.

    Personally, I don’t believe the Bible teaches tongues as practiced today in many churches. But it’s too early to talk about it…

  9. The phrase, “as far as I know”, occurs more than once in this text. That, for me, is the crucial point. As long as we allow for God to be bigger than our somewhat limited ability to comprehend (and for some who are referenced on this blog that lack of ability is quite awesome) then there is opportunity for God to be God and not merely our creation. IMHO.

  10. Coincidentally, today’s post on my blog is a critique of Cessationism. How odd to discover that I agree with John R Rice on something:

    Sadly, while John R Rice did not come across as a raging Fundamentalist, he hosted, endorsed and commended a few of the very worst of them.

      1. Get serious, Bill. Hyles and Rice toured the country, with Hyles billed as the protege of John R Rice, with his explicit endorsement. You may not be old enough to remember it, but believe me, for years Rice and Hyles did the church circuit together. There was nothing incidental or coincidental about it. For several years, until he was too old and frail to undo the image they created, Hyles was considered John R Rice’s golden child.

        1. Jesus was a pretty poor judge of character too. His protege Judas turned out to be a pretty bad choice. 😉

        2. Judas betrayed Jesus Christ, according to God’s plan. He didn’t betray countless children and women to heinous abuse.

    1. There is apparently some evidence that towards the end of his life, he regretted what Jack Hyles had become. Story is that he told some friends “I’ve created a monster!”.

      1. And therein lies the problem. He clearly saw himself as the fundy king-maker. Thus, to reply to Bill, it wasn’t guilt by association. He deliberately associated himself with the worst of the IFB in order to retain his influence and relevance.

        1. But at the same time, he sounds repentant doesn’t he? Assuming the story is true of course…

        2. I don’t know that he saw himself as a king-maker; in the early days of Jack Hyles, I don’t think he was the person he became later in life, and John R Rice used him in the Sword meetings and promoted him – not to make him a kind, but just as we would people who do good work.

          Assuming the story is true; I’ll try to find out where I read that.

        3. I found what I had read:
          Jack Cornelius, who traveled with John R Rice everywhere during those final years in order to be of help to him in his advancing feebleness of age, claimed that Dr. Rice said to him, regarding Hyles, “I’ve created a monster and I don’t know what to do about it.”

  11. Comments made by his grandson seem to indicate that John R. Rice’s family are no longer fundamentalist. If you order a reprint book from Sword of the Lord, you would get a little note explaining that godly men of the past used the Revised Version or the ASV. 😛

    1. I believe they still are fundamentalist, just not in the sense that we understand today, for John R. Rice being a fundamentalist was just believing and defending a very short list of statements of faith, other than that he was willing to fellowship with christians with differing opinions on “non fundamentals.” He wasn’t KJVO, he rallied with non baptist denominations, he believed in certain dress code, but he didn’t impose it tyrannically, he actually told his daughters they had the right and responsability as christians to make their own choices about clothing and let them decide for themselves when they were old enough.
      He would be considered a heretic (and actually is by some like PBC) in most modern IFB churches.

  12. I remember many a sermon about how tongues are no longer used today. And that any church that uses them are heretics. The sermon would include furiously flipping Bible pages to the verses that the pastor were convinced proved that tongues are not for today. And as someone referenced above the phrase “as far as I know” there were a lot if “I believe” statements made. I could never get over the fact the verses quoted in the OP said tongues were one of the gifts.

    It always reminded me of the argument that Jesus was crucified on a Wednesday. Or was it Thursday? Anything but Friday since that is what the Catholics believe.

    1. Our pastor preached Thursday since that was the minority view even among fundies. He had a fondness for embracing the most outre viewpoint available.

      1. Since it was the Passover, there was a special sabbath and it started a day earlier than normal. That’s supposed to explain how Jesus was in the tomb three days and was raised on the first day of the week.

      2. I’ve heard that Thursday crucifixionists exist, I’ve never been able to google up a rationale behind it. At leas the Wednesday’s & Friday’s have like calendars that show Passover falling on the Wed or Fri, etc. As far as I can tell, Thursday’s are just making it up to be different, and don’t have any facts to back it up. I guess that never stopped fundy on a roll.

        1. I had a teacher that said that. His rationale was something to do with the math of the days. It was a long time ago, so I don’t remember exactly.

        2. If the Passover fell on a Friday, that would mean it actually started Thursday Evening, since the Jews considered a day lasting sundown to sundown. And the Passover was considered a special Sabbath, which is why the scriptures say that Jesus had to be taken down in the evening, as the Jews didn’t want him on the cross over the Sabbath. Then the day after that was the regular Sabbath, Saturday. Ergo, a Thursday crucifixion. And some Christians, other than Fundies, hold this belief; in fact, this is the first time I’ve heard of ANY Fundy holding this belief!

        3. IMO the Wed or Thur people are playing clock games, ala the 6 day creationists.

          John’s Gospel is the best clue, IMO without trying to do all the day counting, etc. John starts the Gospel with the Good Creator that hasn’t given up on his creation, and when he gets to the crucifixion, has Jesus tried on 6th day (Friday) where Pilate declares “behold the man” on the day of creation week where man was created, resting on the 7th day, and on the 1st day of the new week in a garden that is no longer guarded by angels keeping humans out inaugurates the restoration of his creation by overcoming the consequences of Friday’s mistakes.

  13. Well, even when the Spirit worked over the Apostles, the “speaking in tongues”, the Bible says was the equivalent of every man hearing the Gospel in their own language — not just jibberish mumbo jumbo that NO ONE understands as can be seen in some churches.

    I was flipping through the channels (yeah, my husband let me have the remote one day, guys! 😮 ), and I came across a show Snake Salvation. It was about these churches “down in the Hollar” — up in the hills of Tennessee that take Mark 16:18
    “They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” and base their church worship around handling poisonous snakes. In this episode a young snake handling pastor (I would say he was in his 20s) was at the pet store getting mice and rats to feed the church snakes. He was talking with the young man who worked at the pet store, and this young snake handling pastor said to the young man, “Well, if your IFB (he said all 3 words, not the abbreviation), you’ll be welcome at our church” acknowledging the same beliefs.

    This is a prime example of taking 1 verse out of context and creating an entire belief around it. I have a Sword of the Lord tape where John R. Rice also says that he was asked when he knew he had been called to preach. John R. Rice’s response was that he wasn’t called to preach, he wanted to preach so badly he just started and figured God would stop him if He didn’t want him preaching! HELLO???? So in theory, by that statement, everything John R. Rice preached from the pulpit all those years actually could have just been poppy cock and just his opinion, not God’s message.

      1. I remember the bishop who used to talk about pastors who “must have overheard someone else’s call.”

      2. I don’t believe in the “call to preach” thing either, I think it’s the first step in becoming a tyrant MoG. I believe God equips us for different roles in His work, and the call to serve God is universal as far as I know, it’s in the Bible, I don’t need an epiphany or something to know I should serve Him using the talents he gave me.

    1. Hm. Wonder why they stick to the snakes and don’t try to drink deadly drinks as well.

  14. I was pleasantly surprised that Mr. Rice actually engaged with scripture, a rarity among the fundamentalists with whom I was associated. Now that compliment is tempered by an acknowledgement that he completely avoids the original languages and the light they shine on understanding “tongues” in its varied uses and his avoidance of the Corinthian correspondence and what Paul says about tongues there. But, hey, I would also like egg in my beer, too. 🙄

  15. John R. Rice was a person whose influence I tended to avoid, even as a fundy. There was just something about the recorded messages that made me want to turn them off.

    As for the Sword of the Lord, any copies I looked at contained such a venomous spirit that I couldn’t stand them. If I remember correctly, venom was spewed over minor things as well as major things.

    Imagine all the energy wasted on hate!

    As for tongues and gifts … well, IFB fundamentalism and Pentecostal fundamentalism are two distinct branches. But they are both fundamentalism.

  16. If you haven’t read Andrew Himes'(JR’S grandson) book on SOTL, Rice, etc., it’s worth a read. I was particularly interested in Himes’ account of Rice’s final Sword of the Lord Conference sermon in 1979. I was actually in attendance for this sermon as a nine-year-old boy. My parents were attending the conference, and for the most part, I went to the “children’s church” version of the conference while my parents were in other meetings. For this particular sermon, however, my dad kept me in the adult service because he wanted me to hear this “great man that God has used”. My dad probably realized that this would be our last opportunity to hear Rice in person. My memories of his message are, of course, rather limited, but apparently Rice sought at the end of his life to remove some of the divisions between men who should have been of like mind.

    Rice was better educated than most IFB’s. I have no doubt that he would handle things differently if alive today.

  17. Like any good fundy child would, I argued down a public school friend when she claimed her mother could speak in tongues.

    I’m pretty sure I used words like:
    -crazy …

    I’m so ashamed.

    1. We were taught to quote the proof text”when that which is perfect is come [which means the King James Version, of course] that which is imperfect shall pass away.” Thus, theoretically, I suppose, tongues and other “sign gifts” were okay until 1611. 🙄 Nevermind the fact that verse has NOTHING to do with the Scriptures.

    2. Megan, truth be told most of us on this site are probably ashamed of things we’ve told people in years past, in the name of the Lord. Blessings to you. BJG

  18. He is actually more balanced than I found the pentecostal groups I use to be part of…..what does that say when the fundamentalist is the reasonable one on an issue?

  19. I was thinking about this on my way to work. “Sword of the Lord” is really an arrogant name for that publication.

  20. Next time i am at my inlaws I will read his book on 33 questions (i forget the exact title) but from perusing it, it is clear that Rice was not afraid to add to Scripture and tie heavy burdens on people. This example may be just another one of those where his extra-biblical understanding happened to match what the Bible actually says.

  21. As a Pentecostal this is really interesting…I believe in tongues used decently and in order.

    1. You may find that even among former fundies, the bias against “sign gifts” seems to hang on longer than some of the other teachings. I honestly don’t have an opinion about this issue. I know I don’t have the gift of tongues 😉 so I’ll leave it at that and let others sort out this doctrinal conundrum.

  22. Being as John R Rice was such an icon in Fundamentalist circles, you can bet the farm that no self-respecting fundy would break fellowship with him. In this respect, the fundy playbook says to just ignore this fact and pretend like he never really believed it…kind of like how fundies (especially the Sword of the Lord ironically) pretends that Spurgeon wasn’t a Calvinist. They can just edit Rice’s writing(s) to eliminate the tongues references like they did (and still do) to Spurgeon’s sermons.

    Problem solved.

    1. I find it kind of funny that I never heard of the guy until I started hanging out on the FFF a few years ago (long after he was dead). Must not have had much sway in my part of the GARBC world.

      A preacher’s influence is a funny thing. Often overstated and overrated by both the followers and the opponents.

        1. Is there a requirement of some kind that I wasn’t aware of? I am familiar with Robert Ketcham and M.R. DeHaan. Just not a student of the weird camps of IFB world. Sorry.

        2. Jeri, I would think that my “ignorance” only proves that his influence is/was overstated. Which was the point of my post.

        3. >>Is there a requirement of some kind that I wasn’t aware of?

          Yes,, have some knowledge of the topic being discussed before you start accusing other people.

          >>Is there a requirement of some kind that I wasn’t aware of?

          No Bill, it only prove that you are ignorant.

        4. Bill, I really think that without any help from anybody, you are showing your full mind and heart. It’s not a pretty sight. B I’m not going to get in the way. I learned long ago that the best way to prove the spiritual blindness and hard heartedness of Fundamentalists was to just let them talk. Knock yourself out.


        5. Bill, I think John MacArthur is a popular preacher who has failed the Gospel by refusing to defend the innocent and oppressed on the church. I conclude the same thing about John Piper. And I conclude the same thing about MacArthur’s number two guy, Phil Johnson, who has examined Fundamentalism and KNOWS this ought to be addressed. I don’t know specifics of abuse cases in their congregations, but I think these men have failed their callings and disobeyed Christ in His directives to the under shepherds. Add to that, I think Piper has often tipped over into being looney in the last few years.

          I don’t understand why you think that a failure to indict MacArthur justifies the GARBC. Believe me, if you have facts on abuses that MacArthur failed to address beyond what I have said, document them and make them public. I’ll post the info.

        6. Well let’s confine it to all the GARBC preachers. And the deacons and the elders. And the people who read up on the scandal but decided not to make waves. And the people who got mad at the victims and flew to the defense of that devil Ebersole. That’ll do.

      1. I definitely agree that outside certain circles a pastor or evangelist’s impact may be quite small.

        However, I would have to say that John R. Rice was pretty influential on mid-20th century fundamentalism. My parents had lots of his books, and he started “Sword of the Lord” which was a staple in my parents’ home and still is.

        This website that has been featured on SFL before has this to say about him:

        1. PW:

          I also noticed (on the site you link us to) that Hyles is first on the list of “Other Great Men of God,” and that the “…internationally known evangelist, and founder of Bob Jones University; Who during his earthly ministry was one of God’s great warriors for the faith” is nowhere listed under said list of great MoGs!

          I suppose that fued is still running strong.


      2. I’ve never heard of Ketcham. I’ve heard of a DeHaan, but I thought it was in conjunction with Radio Bible Class; not a group I’d consider fundy.

        There are lots of people who are big in local and regional fundy circles but not everyone has heard of them. That’s how Fundystan works — gotta be isolated, separated, yet somehow famous and have a following.

        1. Yea, Look at the FBFI group and then compare it with the Sword group; no overlap whatsoever, but still “Fundystan.” The Sword separates from the FBFI and the FBFI from the Sword, and both from everyone else!

          It is amazing what the individual moG will do to bring recognition upon themselves and their churches within these circles. I like to now call it a fundy country club financially supported by the unsuspecting underlings (laity) as they give “His tithe and our offerings.”

        2. Semp, FWIW Ketcham and DeHaan were both integral parts of the birth of two fundamental groups. Ketcham with the GARBC and DeHaan with the IFCA. Two groups with more in common than not.

          Around these parts the schools and churches are/were pretty much interchangeable. Not uncommon for a Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary grad to have an IFCA pulpit or a GRSBM grad to pastor a GARBC church.

          That may be why I am so “ignorant” of things in the IFB world. 😉

        3. Semp,

          You said “That’s how Fundystan works — gotta be isolated, separated, yet somehow famous and have a following.”

          This may be why someone like Rick Warren irks them so badly. Big fish in little ponds jealous of big fish in bigger ponds.

        4. There was a Mark DeHaan that did a radio broadcast out of Grand Rapids, MI. He does a radio show called Discover the Word and Day of Discovery through RBC Ministries.

        5. So Jeri, is it within the scope of your ministry to dig up dead men and put them on trial for the sins of their sons? Or are you saying that Ketcham the younger had a green light from Ketcham the elder to do what he did?

        6. Bill, I’ve heard of GARBC but not familiar with that bunch. My circles were more HAC/PCC/BBF. My last religious leader was starting to drink the KoolAid from LBC in California, though he sent his offspring to PCC. Years ago that religious leader used to get SS material from RBC. My second religious leader mentioned Bill Gothard once but I don’t think he did a lot with it.

        7. I meant to say the SS materials were from RBP, not RBC. George, straighten out your alphabet soup!

        8. Bill, I really think that without any help from anybody, you are showing your full mind and heart. It’s not a pretty sight. B I’m not going to get in the way. I learned long ago that the best way to prove the spiritual blindness and hard heartedness of Fundamentalists was to just let them talk. Knock yourself out.

        9. Jeri, you seem upset. Couldn’t find anything to impugn the character of the DeHanns? Too bad so sad.

          BTW John MacArthur is IFCA. He must have skeletons in his closet what with being a fundamentalist and all. 😉

        10. Jeri, I am just taking your presupposition to it’s logical conclusion. The non sequitur is yours. Name a fundamentalist that you respect and admire and my argument disappears. But since you can’t or won’t then my logic holds.

          For example your links regarding GARBC/ABWE are non sequitur when you use them to make the case that both groups and all involved are corrupt.

          FWIW it shouldn’t be too hard to find some dirt within the IFCA/RBC realm. After all both are made up of people. Then you will have another group to add to your ever growing list of corrupt organizations.

          I can even give you the framework ahead of time. Little bible church has an abusive pastor. Church is IFCA. IFCA doesn’t deal with said pastor (to your satisfaction). IFCA is therefore guilty of corruption. John MacArthur is IFCA. He does not renounce the IFCA and their lack of action toward said pastor or remove his church from fellowship. Therefore John MacArthur is corrupt.

          Basically you believe in 1st, 2nd,3rd and 4th degree (at least) separation. And in my case you are incensed that I don’t fall in lock step with your conclusions which makes me complicit with “them” even if I have no relationship with “them”. To be “separated” from “them” enough I must meet your criteria for anger and disgust toward whomever you are angry and disgusted with. Short of meeting that criteria I am “supporting” them in your mind.

          Okay, now is the part where you respond by calling me a fundy and making some sort of condescending comment. To quote Job “mock on”.


        11. Bill, when I said “keep going,” I assumed you’d get the sarcasm. But thank you for adding “incredible, long winded, tedium” to “non sequitur”. The GARBC and ABWE have covered up for child molesting and adulterous preachers. Deal with it. If MacArthur’s ministry is corrupt, that neither excuses nor acquits the GARBC and ABWE. Look Bill, just one paragraph. Imitate me, please. And please avoid comparing yourself to Job.

        12. Jeri, you have proven my point by ignoring the IFCA. It doesn’t fit your stereotype so you refuse to engage it as part of the topic. A fundamentalist organization that has not had (as far as you or I know) the issues you are concerned with. That means you must pretend they don’t exist (note your insistence on talking only about GARBC). As soon as you hear of one incident though you will get out your brush and paint the entire group, including MacArthur, as corrupt.

          BTW ABWE and GARBC are two different groups. Not all GARBC Churches support ABWE and many ABWE missionaries are supported by more than just GARBC churches. So now you have even more homework. You will have to find every ABWE missionary, get a list their supporting churches, find out what affiliation those churches hold with whom and then blame everyone in all of those groups for Donn Ketcham. It will be interesting to see how far you take your version of “separation”.

          You are a bright lady. I have already given you all the “evidence” you need to ad the IFCA to your list. Connect the dots and tie the bow. You are so close to adding John Mac Arthur to your corrupt fundy preacher list that I bet you can just about taste it.


        13. Brevity, Bill, brevity. If you are going to excuse the inexcusable, at least be brief. I can see you have not read the full account on the bangladeshmksspeak blog.

        14. Jeri, Your insistence on lock step agreement with you is no different than the indy fundy MOGs you hate so much. You spin a “truth” out of almost thin air. Kind of like on the FFF when you were regularly called a drunk because you drink beer.

          I have made no excuses. I have only pointed out the holes in your stereotyping. That makes me complicit with “them” only in your own mind.

          Ma’am you have become what you hate.

        15. Bill,
          Thanks for falling into a stream of invective against me. That was all that was missing. Every elder who looked into the Don Ketcham case was a GARBC member. Here’s a link to reports from one man’s candid journal about what they put a child victim through.

          I am not a child molester, and I do not defend child molesters. That is what I hate. You defend child molesters. Luckily, you do a bad job of it.

        16. I use invective? You accuse me of complicity with criminals with zero support to those accusations. No quotes. No links. Nothing. A little invective shouldn’t bother you in the midst of your slandering me. 🙄

        17. Here you go:

          “For example your links regarding GARBC/ABWE are non sequitur when you them to make the case that both groups and all involved are corrupt.”

          You wrote that to defend the GARBC, which includes child molesters among its officers, and which has protected them.

        18. Jeri, Context is your friend. I pointed out your own use of non sequitur argumentation.

          “For example your links regarding GARBC/ABWE are non sequitur when you use them to make the case that both groups and all involved are corrupt.”

          The crux of that post is your contention that both groups and all involved are corrupt(all pastors, church members, missionaries and supporters, individuals or churches). Your whole worldview/mindset is non sequitur when you make that leap. Your position boils down to anyone with any connection to either organization is a defender of child molesters. Non sequitur.

          BTW the guilt by association argument you make against me must also include John MacArthur. Yet you seem reluctant to make that connection. Why are you covering for him? Your letting him off the hook makes you complicit with his defending child molesters. It’s your non sequitur, own it.

        19. So now, of course, you agree that the investigations and the resulting cover ups that followed in the Ketcham scandals were all conducted by elders and leaders of the GARBC?

          And that the way that Lloyd and Ebersole treated that young woman was shocking and horrific?

        20. Of course I agree. Just as I agreed that HH should be shut down and the Williams family brought up on charges of abuse, cruelty and neglect. But that was never in question except by you.

          Now by agreeing that the Donn Ketcham investigation by ABWE and the follow up by GARBC leadership was handled horribly (possibly criminally) I get what? A Jeri Massi gold star?

          BTW I note that you continue to ignore John Mac Arthur and his role (or lack of) in all of this. Why is that? You make me out to be a co-conspirator with people I have never met yet refuse to include him and the IFCA in your guilt by association. If you think that I have some sort of influence over any of this would John MacArthur not have even more? And if that is the mark of guilt and complicity then you should be all over him like white on rice.

          What it all comes down to is that I challenged your method of argumentation (which taken to it’s logical conclusion would have to indict MacArthur). Pointing out the fly in your ointment made me an enemy in your eyes and your default position is that makes me supportive of how the Ketcham scandal was handled. Of course you never asked, you assumed and accused. Much like the IFB mog you hate so much. Oh wait, we have already covered that ground.

        21. Bill, If you agree that the GARBC was directly involved in the corruption, then why did you say to me, above, “your links regarding GARBC/ABWE are non sequitur when you use them to make the case that both groups and all involved are corrupt.”

          And Bill, I think John MacArthur is a popular preacher who has failed the Gospel by refusing to defend the innocent and oppressed in the church. I conclude the same thing about John Piper. And I conclude the same thing about MacArthur’s number two guy, Phil Johnson, who has examined Fundamentalism and KNOWS this ought to be addressed. I don’t know specifics of abuse cases in their congregations, but I think these men have failed their callings and disobeyed Christ in His directives to the under shepherds. Add to that, I think Piper has often tipped over into being looney in the last few years.

          I don’t understand why you think that a failure to indict MacArthur justifies the GARBC. Believe me, if you have facts on abuses that MacArthur failed to address beyond what I have said, document them and make them public. I’ll post the info.

        22. Jeri, your indictment was against everyone in every GARBC church. Every little old lady tending the potluck tables. Every pew warmer. Every sunday school teacher and nursery worker. Every church secretary. Every Awana worker and youth leader. Every military chaplain. All church musicians and choir members. All of us. Universally corrupt. The whole enchilada. It was the very argument you used to call me a defender of abusers. You do not know me. All you knew was that I attend a GARBC church. Your conclusion/accusation was that I am actively covering for crimes because of my church membership. That is what I objected to. That is your non sequitur.

          Now if I have misunderstood you and you do not believe that all of the people mentioned in the above paragraph are corrupt I apologize. But since you made the accusations you did against me based on nothing but my church membership, you must be able to see that the logical end would be that you believed as such.

          At minimum when you say all you shouldn’t be surprised when people think you actually mean all.

          BTW thank you for finally addressing the John MacArthur question.


        23. Bill, with all due respect, please stuff it.

          And that goes for his jousters as well. Please!

          Honestly, we all get misunderstood. We all have our issues (including you), and being human we are all inconsistent.

          But this thread has gone on long enough.

          Let’s try to play nice, please?

        24. Well let’s confine it to all the GARBC preachers. And the deacons and the elders. And the people who read up on the scandal but decided not to make waves. And the people who got mad at the victims and flew to the defense of that devil Ebersole. That’ll do.

        25. And Bill, you started off this joust by accusing me, when I was being accurate.

          As for MacArthur, after all that, is it correct to conclude that you DON’T have any specifics to document about him?

        26. I gave you all the specifics you needed on MacArthur when I pointed out the significant cross pollination of IFCA and GARBC. Or the large number of IFCA churches (including Grace Community) that support ABWE and their missionaries. Using the inferences you used on me the conclusion would be if I am guilty then he must also be guilty.

          My whole point is that the process you use to determine guilt is one of association vs. separation. You give yourself the authority to decide who is and isn’t sufficiently “separated” from the bad guys. The exact model used by the MOG to control his sheeple. That is how you decided I was your enemy and a defender of molesters. By nothing more than my “association” with a GARBC church.

        27. No Bill, you are reading selectively. I do blame all Christendom for this mess. I have published posts about the sin of Denominationalism when it is used to prevent victims from being helped by church leadership.

          My view is that those nearest those who have been harmed are most responsible to act first and loudest. SO yes, I blame the corrupt GARBC for its corrupt actions n directly covering up for Ketcham. But I don’t let the IFCA or even the PCA of the hook, which is clear in my writings. I indict all of Christian Evangelicalism for its failure to over the Bible that it claims to believe. I’ve made that clear. Like I said at the beginning: you’re just ignorant.

  23. I agree with the cessationist viewpoint, but IFB’s aren’t really cessationists, even though they proclaim to be. And actually, I’ve never met a true continuationist either, because even if one proclaims the sign gifts to be in effect, they certainly don’t believe they happen in the same manner as in the Bible, i.e I’ve never met a Eutychus, who was raised from the dead.

    1. I agree. Where I think the issue goes off the tracks is when a particular gift (tongues) is seen as proof of or required for salvation. Paul was quite clear that not everyone had every gift (or that any specific gift was given universally).

      1. I totally agree. I have many clear thinking charismatic friends, and I respectfully disagree with on this topic. On their end of things, it drives off track if there is an insistence of the manifestation of a gift. I am skeptical of charismatic interpretations of those passages primarily because I can’t see it in church history prior to the Isuza Street Revival, but I can respect someone who disagrees as long as they don’t view me as less spiritual.

      2. I definitely agree on that issue! Although I’ve always been taught that the sign gifts ended at Pentecost, I am open to the possibility that they are still applicable to today, but I absolutely cannot agree with anyone who would ever claim (as I’ve read some do) that all Christians MUST speak in tongues. I don’t think Paul could be clearer when he says that we don’t all have the same gifts! Anyone who insists that speaking in tongues is a necessary sign of salvation is, in my opinion, definitely off-base Scripturally.

      3. I believe I would more easily be convinced and convicted by the ‘tongues is THE fruit of the Spirit’ teaching had so many of the fruits that the bible lists as essential not been glaringly absent in the people who taught it.

    2. I’ve never met a true continuationist either, because even if one proclaims the sign gifts to be in effect, they certainly don’t believe they happen in the same manner as in the Bible, i.e I’ve never met a Eutychus, who was raised from the dead.

      Your “i.e.” does not follow. I absolutely believe they happen in the same manner but I haven’t been raised from the dead.

  24. I spent many, too many, years in Pentecostal churches and now my views on spiritual gifts are pretty much in line with the J Rice quote. One thing I’ve come to be aware of is the assumption that NT church practice is the ideal model for church today. I’ve come across this in widely diverging types
    of church from formal liturgical to wild charismatics.

  25. Funny thing about tongues. The body part, not the sign gift. They are perfectly content until you start thinking about them. Then you get the dreaded sensation of being aware of your tongue. It probably happened as you read this post. Suddenly it feels horridly large and muscularish, as if it is filling your mouth and maybe about to choke you. There is no known cure.

    1. Dr. Fundystan: Well said. The best of humor has excellent timing. Yours was greatly enjoyed. BJG

  26. JRR broke my heart when I was in high school when I read in one of his books that one shouldn’t marry an only child. We are all apparently selfish….terrible candidates for marriage. No exceptions mentioned. 😯

    1. Sad. That reminds me of some of the unfair accusations Gothard lays on children he deems “unfit” too.

      My husband has said that fundamentalists are very pragmatic, and here’s an example of that: 1) an only child might be selfish so 2) don’t marry one. But where in there is the grace of God? Where is the scandalous, amazing, world-turning-upside-down Gospel of love in what he said?

      Just because he could cite a couple examples from real life does not make it right for him to make such an assumption.

      1. Don’t forget that Bill Gothard also believes that only-children come from selfish PARENTS. That is, parents who are too selfish to have more than one child.

        1. Following that logic, wouldn’t that make Bill Gothard doubly selfish since he never married and had ANY children?

    2. I know some parents choose to have only one child, which is their choice. In the case of my parents, my mother had five miscarriages. They longed for a child for years. She finally was able to carry me for eight months. I hated being pegged as selfish and not a worthy mate. Now I’m sad that I longed for siblings so badly when I could have rejoiced in the way God made me. Everything and everyone has to fit in a very small box for them.

  27. One Hundred First.

    Christian Socialist

    PS: Isn`t it problematic to deny present day Spirit utterances if you want to claim that the KJV comes to us by direct revelation …

  28. John R. Rice preached from the KJV and thought it was a reliable translation that even a little child could understand. He also thought the ASV was probably the most accurate English language translation. For that matter, he also didn’t believe in “storehouse tithing.” One further thing, he once turned down for publication a sermon whose content he agreed with because it wasn’t really a bible sermon: it would seem the sermon’s author had merely used the opening text as a springboard for his message.

    Even though I didn’t become a born-again Christian until the early 80’s when I was stationed overseas, I came to greatly admire and respect the man after he’d already gone to Heaven. I did, however, get to briefly speak to his widow once while helping her down a flight of stairs. Whether you like him or not, or agree with him or not, it would be hard to find evidence that he was anything other than a sincere Christian who was trying to serve God as best as he knew how.

    While the hard line Fundamentalist preachers no doubt still speak highly of him, if God were to send John R. Rice back for a while to re-take control of “The Sword,” I suspect that after a few new issues came out, they might like him a lot less.

    1. Totally agree, he wasn’t right on everything, but he was an honest christian, a good man, never had any acandals like today’s clowns, who would certainly separate from him if he were alive today.

  29. @ Bassenco:

    This may not be the best setting for a personal story, but after getting saved overseas, when I got back to the states I wandered into extreme fundamentalism. At one point when I was experiencing some personal problems, I went to the pastor and asked him about getting some sort of [professional] Christian counseling. He told me I needed to go to Roloff Enterprises. What follows describes what some of that help looked like:

    After arriving at Roloff Enterprises, the guy in charge of the “home” somehow discovered that I had $800 in travelers checks in my locker. Being a lot more naive then, especially with people who claimed to be Christians, I signed them and handed them over when he explained that he wanted to put them into an account so that the organization could collect the interest instead of having them continuing to just sit in the locker. Amazing someone would believe that, isn’t it?

    There were men there who had done time and others who had substance abuse problems. To be honest some of them were actually pretty decent guys– I ended keeping in shape by up lifting weights and running witgh some of them. Still, not long after getting there, I got fed up with the place and just before the evening meal started to walk off. Looking back there were people following me. I started to run and was chased. Back then I was in great shape and the only guy who was able to catch me was this skinny fellow who really couldn’t have done anything even even if he had wanted to. It was a different story with the motor vehicles.

    I remember a car and maybe a pick-up truck. Anyway pretty quickly I was surrounded by what could probably be described as a mob. I ran towards one guy and gave him a solid blow to the head after which I suppose I was swarmed. One man actually tried to do the Vulcan neck pinch on me which was actually almost funny in spite of the resulting bruises. In fairly short order I had chains on my legs and was in handcuffs. The guy I had hit clasped his hands together and brought them down on my stomach in a chopping motion. Fortunately I saw it coming and was able to tighten my muscles. This was followed by my being deposited into a dark room.

    That’s probably enough for now, although it’s worth mentioning that I did get $600 back later.

  30. If you read any standard commentary or book of sermons
    written before the Azusa Street Revival, you may find that
    they were very much in agreement as to the cessation of
    what are now commonly called “sign gifts.” They believed
    that the two tongues gifts actually enabled either the
    listener to understand a language he had never learned,
    or the speaker to communicate with someone who didn’t
    already know the language of the speaker.
    They really believed the passage in I Corinthians 14
    dealt with people who spoke differing languages in a
    Church setting, but understood a common language
    (Greek, for instance). The insistence was that a person
    only edified himself if he testified in a language no
    one else understood (a Hebrew Christian might break
    into song in his language, hence the words, “I will sing in the
    Spirit, I will sing with the understanding”). The rule was
    that if no one was available to interpret the “message”
    shared in a language no one else understood, he should
    sick to the common language, even if it was a bit less
    convenient for him.
    Paul was advocating that in a church setting, the goal
    should be edifying each other. The Corinthians had
    turned their “worship” experiences into selfish,
    self-centered ego trips. A person would show off his
    knowledge, facility with languages, even singing
    ability to fulfill his craving for recognition. They even
    uplifted their own “righteousness” by not really
    dealing with the sin of two of the church members
    (they were puffed up by it, rather than morning over
    it and seeking to help the people involved with true
    repentance and restoration). They had the childish
    “look-at-me” attitude.
    Btw, the attitude is still prevalent in churches today, not
    really exclusively the ifbx, but American christianity as a
    whole! The way we “do” church is determined by culture
    almost as much as theology.
    Perhaps some of the more liturgical churches are taking
    say 6th century christianity and “freeze-framing” it as
    much as ifbx are “freeze-framing” mid 20th century
    Christianity. This is not meant to cause a fight, it is just
    some reflections of my own.
    Maybe the pentecostals and the charismatics were
    originally striving for authentic 1st century christianity.
    Anyhow… I’ll stop now.

  31. JRR also believed and wrote that only a foolish young man wouldn’t kiss a girl before he married her.

    I remember reading this as a teen in his “Answers” book.

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