Category Archives: Doctrine

Denial

noevil

In a strange fit of unintentional honesty, Bob Gray sums up the issues with fundamentalism in four paragraphs:


[Noah's sons] knew their father was not perfect. They knew their father was a sinner, drunk, and naked in that tent, but they did not want to see it even though they knew it was true. Anyone who is over you is there because God placed them there in your life, and if you are not careful you will miss the fact that God put them there and you will end up excusing your rebellion because of their imperfection. Here are some sons who said, “We know it’s true, but we don’t want to see it.”

I had the wonderful honor of preaching with Dr. Jack Hyles at least once a month for 22 years. Wait a minute, I knew he was not perfect because he was a human being like me, but I did not want to see his imperfection. I needed a hero. You need a hero. I knew he had weaknesses, but I did not want to see them. I knew he had sins, but I did not want to see them. I refused to allow myself to get that close.

Most divorces are caused because there is no mystique between husbands and wives anymore. Ladies, dress up for your husband like you would for guests in your home. Most church splits are caused because people become too close to each other. They begin to see all the warts. They see all the imperfections. They see all of the sins and here comes trouble in that church.
If you become too close to a staff member, let me tell you what you will find! As it is written, he is not righteous, he does not understand, and he does not seek after God. Let me tell you what you will find if you get too close to anyone. Romans 3:10-18 describes what you will find. Paul is speaking here about the Jews and the Gentiles. The Jews thought they were better than the Gentiles. The Apostle Paul is saying you are no better than the Gentiles. He describes every human in these verses. This is the biography of Dr. Jack Hyles, Dr. John R. Rice, Dr. Curtis Hutson, Dr. B. R. Lakin, Dr. Lee Roberson and the Dr. Tom Malone’s of this world.

We have lost our mystique! You are going to find that your wife has the poison of asps under her lips, she is unprofitable, a throat that’s an open sepulcher, a tongue that uses deceit, her mouth is full of cursing and bitterness, her feet are swift to shed blood, and wives who become too close to their husbands will find the same thing out about them.
Let me see the beautiful forests, but do not let me become too close to see the knots, broken branches, dead branches, serpents, insects or the spiders. Let me stay at a distance and see the autumn time as the forest puts her coat of many colors on like Joseph of old. Let me step back and see it! Don’t let me become too close to see the diseased and dying tree. These two boys said, “We know daddy is a sinner, but we do not want to be reminded that daddy is a sinner.”

Denial is a virtue. Truth is overrated. Fantasy and magical thinking is what we need more of.

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.