Category Archives: Doctrine

Gangland Christians

Take down the signs and crosses on the fundy church and put up instead a banner that reads “Post-Christian.”

For Independent Baptists talk about the Christian God; they still wave around the Christian book; they still use Christian words like “sin” and “righteousness” and “grace” but many, many are not Christian. Christians follow the example and teachings of Christ above the teachings of a culture stamped Made in America.

The fundamentalist church has left off being a church and has become instead a gang of people attempting to find self-worth and self-empowerment through the practice of dominating others.
The local church is in a perpetual turf war against all comers with weapons of words to protect its power and possessions.

When someone is declared “saved” they mean “has passed initiation and is now wearing our uniform and displaying our colors.”

When these people say “biblical” they mean “the rules that make you one of us.”

When they talk of soul winning they mean “recruiting the strong and preying on the weak”

When they bestow the title of pastor they mean “The leader of the pack. The man who declares himself strong enough to keep us safe and make the outsiders tremble.”

When they call someone “apostate” or “heart-hearted” or “bitter” it is the sign that the protection is lifted and that person it is now the duty of every member to exact cruel justice on them.

Fundamentalists may mock the Southern Baptists or others as being social clubs instead of churches. Many apparently don’t realize that the club they have joined can be far more dangerous.

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.

A Shorter Fundy Catechism

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify the pastor, and to support him forever.

Q. 2. What rule hath the pastor given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?
A. All of them.

Q. 3. What do the scriptures principally teach?
A. The scriptures principally teach whatever the pastor says they teach.

Q. 4. What is the pastor?
A. Better than you.

Q. 5. Are there more pastors than one?
A. Not until the pastor’s son graduates from the Bible college in the trailer out back.

Q. 6. How many persons are there on the church staff?
A. There are three persons on the staff: the pastor, the song leader, and Chuck. Chuck is mostly just the pastor’s son in law.

Q. 7. What are the decrees of the pastor?
A. They’re all up on the wall of his study. He even got a doctoral decree a few years back.

Q. 8. How doth the pastor execute his decrees?
A. Sometimes he tells us Greek words and doesn’t even look them up or nothin.

Q. 9. What is the work of creation?
A. Most of our ladies do up a pretty good casserole.

Q. 10. How did God create man?
A. Perfect. Then women came along.

Q. 11. What are God’s works of providence?
A. This one time I didn’t go soul winning and I broke my leg a month later.

Q. 12. What special act of providence did God exercise toward man in the estate wherein he was created?
A. Well…he let a whole bunch of us be born American. So I guess that’s something.

Q. 13. Did our first parents continue in the estate wherein they were created?
A. Nope. Mine moved to Florida to be missionaries.

Q. 14. What is sin?
A. What isn’t sin would be a lot easier question to answer. It’s pert near everywhere.

Q. 15. What was the sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created?
A. I’m not sure we’re allowed to talk about that. Maybe I’ll draw you a picture.

(feel free to continue on…)