Tag Archives: Sword of the Lord Conference 2011

Sword of the Lord 2011 Conference: Final Installment

Many thanks to Don from our whole SFL community for sticking this out and reporting on what he saw. It’s been an experience to read it all

Well, this is the final installment. I will admit this one was the hardest to get through. However, I had an epiphany from this week of “Preaching” and I would like to share it with you all.

Close your eyes and turn away from the computer screen. Face the room you are in, and open your eyes. Then come back to the screen. The brain is an amazing organ in our bodies. In that moment when you turned away and opened your eyes millions of bits of information were taken in from all of your senses and processed by the brain. All of what your eyes took in, all of what your ears took in, all of the smells your nose took in, all of the tactile stimuli that may have been available (heat, cold, breeze…) At one moment your brain took in and processed all of that information.

Now in normal conversation one party speaks while the other listens. We take in information, we process that information, running it through our truth filters, our worldview filters, and what we agree with, we give our validation to… what we disagree with we reject and give reason as to why we do not agree. That is in normal conversation.

So what happens when the conversation is only one sided? What happens when the conversation prohibits anything other than positive feedback? That is what passes for preaching in America these days.

Now, in normal conversation an idea is posited and there is back and forth dialogue between the parties. In Americanized preaching there is, in fact, an information overload that is produced by a rhetorical manipulation storm. Remember in our example we said all that information was taken in. There are things we actively focused on and things that were taken in without actively thinking about them. I submit that this is what happens in the lecture series found in most pulpits in America and especially in the IFB movement. This style of preaching does not allow for any questioning, or dissent. It is easily recognizable. It is often found in a rapid-fire rant. “Your heart is full of wickedness and sin so long as you don’t agree with what your man of god preaches amen? So long as you harbor sin in your heart, so long as you cling to your pride and so long as you are stubbornly hold to your rebellion, so long as you men will not get a hair cut, so long a you ladies will not submit to your husbands, so long as you rob god each week by withholding you tithes and offerings, and so long as you hinder the work of the spirit in our lives then the price of peanut butter will cause you to listen to rock and roll the devil’s music, will lead you to have sex and do drugs and vote for democrats.”

If that is said in less than five seconds, then you have a rhetorical manipulation storm. If it is hollered at you from the pulpit in less than five seconds and the next salvo is then unleashed, an interesting phenomenon occurs. For those who already want to believe they passively let all of that flow past their normal filters and the brain processes the whole sermon as truth. There are some who will try to filter what is said but only catch one or two things but the rest is automatically taken in and the brain will process the bulk of what is said as acceptable. Preachers count on this. The ability to overwhelm your natural defenses with tons of sound bites and religious sounding phrases, in order to push and agenda and persuade their listeners that what they are preaching is truth.

The Friday evening speakers were masters of this style of manipulation. R B Ouellette and Joe Arthur.

When it came to taking notes for these two it was beyond my ability to write that fast. The rants were strung together and were coming out at around 5000 rpm (rants per minute) So for the purpose of this final posting I will listen to them again.

Opening song: “When the Roll is called up yonder”
Opening monologue by Smith
Opening Prayer.
R B Ouellette was introduced as one who knocks doors, and runs busses, runs busses and knocks doors.
The hall is packed for the Friday finale.

Ouelette’s Opening Monologue:
Quotable Quote: “I have a limited amount of time and along number of points.”
(This got a loud amen from some guy down front. That should tell you how the rest of the evening went. )

-SOTL testimonial

Text: 1 Samuel 17:22-29
-Made mention of the trend of young preachers wearing goatees. He tries not to be overly critical so long as they use the King James Bible, Preach and go soul winning. I think he pointed out a preacher he knew who was there.

-Read the Text
-got to verse 29 and misquoted verse 29 and made it say, “There is not a cause.”
Story time: Told story behind text about David and his brothers, about the Philistines and about Goliath.
Quotable Quote:”and you heard me read “There is not a cause.” You say your read that wrong. I read it wrong, but I read it wrong on purpose.” (Ok, so if the King James is Inspired, Infallible, Inerrant, Perfect and Preserved… why is he interjecting error on purpose? We have heard this week that it is a sin for any pastor to get up and say, “Well that may not be the best interpretation of this word or that word. But now its ok for him to deliberately misread a passage in order to build his sermon??)

Title There is not a cause.
I want to talk to you tonight on that topic, “there is not a cause.”

*The voice is beginning to be raised and the points are picking up speed.
-When goliath was defying the army of Israel there was not cause for the Israeli army

Story time: When he was a young preacher going to meetings there were always reposts of somebody getting saved, talk about how many were saved, How many were being baptized, How many came on the buses. Always someone at the meeting who had lead someone to Christ. Come to the Sword conference and had the hardest time finding anybody who wasn’t saved. (Pay close attention to his definition of getting someone saved. ) to the maid, the clerk at the hotel, to the people at the restaurants. Everybody understood we were sent out to get the gospel to every creature. (And every creature learned how to play your game if they wanted to keep from being harassed by overzealous folks who were out to make soul winning numbers look good. )

His personal soul winning story du jour
“Checked in today gave the lady a tract. She said your room might not be ready cause we have a big conference, the Sword of the Lord is here this week. (I would love to know the room count for this conference and the economic impact it has locally. )
QQ “Let me ask you a question , I imagine you get a lot of these (tracts)?
She said, ‘Oh a few.”
Are you going to heaven?
She said, “I hope so.”
I said its not hard, and I gave her the gospel and she agreed to trust Christ.
(Wham bam thank you ma’am. And another one is saved, just like that.)
“You are supposed to that everywhere you go.”
QQ “There was a time when we weren’t just trying to hold out, or hand on or see if we could get by (here comes the Old Paths lament) We were burning with a passion to start churches, build schools and set out good music.”

-we would read it right about our behaviour (King James Spelling of course) and ask, “WHAT HAVE I NOW DONE? THERE IS NOT A CAUSE!”
-There is not a cause when God’s people allow his name to be maligned
-We live in an era where the name of our God and our Saviour (kjv sp) is maligned and defiled
-“We live in an era where people tell us God woul be really unfair if he sent everybody to heaven (sic). So Rob bell writes a book entitled Love Wins. God wouldn’t be so mean to let anybody die and god to hell/ a loving god woul never send anybody to hell. By the way that’s a true statement. A loving God never sends anybody to hell. The sinner who dies and goes to hell has to spurn God’s grace, ignore God and reject God. He has to climb over the cross which God has erected as a barrier to keep man out of hell” *(Is THAT the purpose of the cross? Thankfully, I must not be reading the same Bible he is. ) From here he goes on a roll and a rant against Campus Crusade for Christ changing their name.
-talks about town meetings where they won’t allow prayer in Jesus’ name. (specific reference to the local Forsyth county board meetings.) You can pray in other names, and pray to other things. You and I who name the name of our saviour (kjv sp.) had better not go along with it. “SOMEBODY IN THE PULPIT, SOMEBODY ON THE PLATFORM AND SOMBODY IN THE LINE AT THE GROCERY STORE OUGHT TO SAY, I LOVE JESUS!

-There is not a cause, when God’s people are more concerned with their safety then they are god’s testimony.
-It didn’t bother God’s army what the Philistines said about God but it bothered them that they might get their heads cut off.
Talks about being afraid to say things in the pulpit that might lose their tax exemption
(The sermon is on a roll now. He is so loud and talking so fast that you can only make out a few words. Yet the Amens are being shouted back just as loud and just as fast. I truly believe that at this point he could say “praise Lucifer” and the crowd would give him an AMEN! So long as he kept up the volume and the rate of rolling phrases. )
-He says pastors are coming up to him wondering what to do now the IFB has been outed on 20/20. He sad he wouldn’t even know what channel it was on (yeah, right! But he has the statistics on how many watched it)
when asked “What do you think we ought to do!??” He says, “Oh, probably just have church tomorrow.”
QQ “Idiots out there are changing their names from Independent to Autonomous.”
-Who watched 20/20 the other night?
-Gave the statistics quoting the viewer numbers.
-Didn’t start a fight but was always taught to finish one.

Story Time About his dad, the mission where his dad preached, his own meanness, blah, blah, blah.
- Then starts a rant on the KJV issue. Says he wasn’t looking for a fight (but this evening he set up and beat the stuffing out of an army of anti-King James forces.
-“I’M NOT LOOKING FOR A FIGHT BUT BY THE GRACE OF GOD I WILL NEVER RUN AWAY!!”
*(He is a master of the Delphi Method)
-God’s people should be motivated by legitimate rewards
- Never seen the righteous forsaken or begging bread….
- Tired of hearing about what you have given up to serve
-Another testimonial regarding Wm Carey (pretty good mileage for a Reformed Baptist with Post mil leanings)

-The more a church grows the less it seems the pastor goes soul winning. (Ok that does it, I’ll pick this fight. For Heaven’s sake someone show me where Christians are commanded to win souls! What does it mean to win souls? Please limit you definition to the New Testament and don’t refer back to Proverbs 11:30. Because Proverbs 11:30 does not say what winning souls means either. Last time I checked we were to be witnesses and make disciples, not just get people to say they believe something on a card or a tract so we can count them to increase our “soul winning:” numbers! )

-There is not a cause, when God’s people criticize those who “are” willing to fight.
“You just lead that lady at the hotel tonight to the Lord so you would have something to talk about.” What was your excuse for not doing it?

Story Time
When I was a young man at camp they spent a good section on everyday teaching you how to win people to Christ. One day, on Thursday, we didn’t have ball games, we didn’t go swimming we went out to the sidewalk sales and the campgrounds and we gave people the gospel and saw people saved. I came back to our GRB Church in the Detroit area. At the mission my dad said son tell pastor so-n-so what you did. “Well pastor we went out and we won 12 (That part was so garbled I couldn’t make out the number but it sounded like 12) The Pastor said, “aw, its too bad you couldn’t follow up on them.” (Play close attention to his response) We got their names and we told them of some churches they could go to. It was strange that the pastor didn’t say, Praise the Lord, I’m happy people got saved (then in a very condescending tone) but you didn’t follow up.

-Talks about you fruit should endure, talks about the parable of the sower.
-Starts a hypothetical argument between a group that focuses on children vs. a group that focuses on adults.
QQ “”If you’re not passing out tracts, if you’re not getting people the Gospel, if you’re not doing your part, THEN SHUT YOUR CRITICAL MOUTH and let other people do something to get people to Christ.”

Quote of the evening:
“How many are sincere? I haven’t the faintest idea how many are sincere but I know I’m sincere and I know the Bible (garbled) …to God I’m in better shape even if everybody I talk to is insincere” (the shouting is at fever pitch now)
-No there’s not a cause when the people of God are willing to criticize those who are willing to fight.
-“There’s not a cause when the People of God see success as a result of a method instead of as evidence of God’s power.” (Yep, after touting the success of his 1-2-3 repeat after me soul winning method he says this. )
Then he goes on to quote the SBC’s baptism numbers and says that’s about 9 per SBC church and calls those low numbers a travesty.
-Then he talks about the power of God and how we need it. ( for t5he past 50-55 minutes he has been all about a man centered effort and works then here in the last few minutes of his sermon he’s going to throw God a bone? Really? )

-John Rice testimonial
-The Battle is the Lord’s (returning to the text)
-the battle is not yours to quit.
-We are soldiers
-Begins a rant about not being in the battle.
-Get up and report for duty
Put on your armour, put on the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God
Pick up the sword and stick the devil in the gizzard.
Bear Bryant Story
Dr Parker story
Is there not a cause… it’s up to you.

Congregational song: Stand up for Jesus
Soul Winning update for the week (48) were saved by the crew that went down town all week. Another (7) were saved by free lance work. 52 for the week.

Then there was a special singing that was supposed to look like the Spirit of the Lord was just moving on these folks to come up from the floor and sing. It was painfully rehearsed and came off as cheesy.

Joe Arthur was up next.
His text was Luke 24:32 (a one verse super saint)
In his opening monologue he gave a glowing testimonial to Shelton Smith and the SOTL conference. Then he said, “God’s still got some preachers getting the job done. We may be few and we may be faint but we’re still pursuing.”
-The Road to Emmaus
Title: Heavenly-Holy-Heartburn

I could go through it point by point but by now you get the gist of the conference. Joe is a rhetorical phraseologist and he spits them out faster than you can write them down. It was almost comical because there was a guy in the audience who kept calling out: Preach!, Go On!, Amen!. Preach!… it sounded like he was calling in plays from the sidelines when his team was in the red zone.
Joe was on the beam as well. I believe he hit all the requisite topics with a zeal worthy of an IFB veteran preacher. He had the crowd in his hand and was getting a high number of Amens and PiB’s per minute. It was Preachertainment at it’s best. A good one to end the conference on.

I was a bit surprised that the altar call at the end was not a emotional, guilt inducing, pew clearing, hankie fest… but it was just a fizzle.

In the end the SOTL honored Bobby and gave him an early birthday present. They gave him a copy of one of those framed 1620 KJV Bible leafs. (A $480 value if you joined the Diamond Level VIP Sword Club)

Well, I’ve come to the end. I fought doing this all weekend because I knew that I was going to have to listen to those sermons over again. I will admit that in the end I was finally over whelmed. No one can take note that fast and that is exactly what they want. To coin a Fundie Phrase, “if you throw enough stuff at the wall, something will stick.”

I did take away this. I believe there are many folks who believe because they want to believe and I believe there are men who capitalize on that and manipulate it for their own personal gain, be it financial, prestige or power. I believe there are men who are in the system and don’t see it for what it is and truly don’t know any better.

At no time have you seen me question any of their sincerity or their salvation. That is not for me to judge. I have attacked the excesses and the ideas that I believe to be demonstrably false. I have come away with a renewed sense of thankfulness to no longer be a part of what I believe to nearly be a cult. I also have a sense of pity for those who are so caught up in this man-centered religion. I fear for those who worship a particular English translation of the Bible. The worship of the 1611 King James Bible is idolatry. It is worshipped more than the one who wrote it and who it is about. I also fear for those who have reduced salvation to a hit-n-run event. Who don’t care if the hearer was sincere or not but you count them anyway. There will be many in that day who will say Lord, Lord…. All because someone read them a tract, told them they were saved and moved on without showing them Christ as their life. I fear for and pity those who treat the Gospel as such a cheap method of “Soul Winning.” They will answer to the Lord for their actions. As will I. I stand by what I have reported here. And to God I will answer for it, but my conscience is clear.

Field Report 2011 Sword of the Lord Conference (Day 4)

Thursday: Day 4

Opening Song: “Are you washed in the Blood”
Opening Monologue (by Shelton Smith):
- Talks about Worldly rehab efforts –v- Reformers Unanimous.
- Some one asked a county officially where they live about the success rate of the governments rehab efforts and the guy just laughed and said, “Success? We don’t care about success.” The person said then you should come to our church and check out what we have. Its not Rehab, Its not reformation but its regeneration by the power of the Blood of and the power of the risen Christ. (They got that right)
Then they had Paul Kingsbury, the Co-Founder of Reformers Unanimous; up to do the Opening Prayer.
- It was a Prayer Sermon. Thanked God for “Inventing” the local New Testament Church. I’m thankful Lord Jesus that you said that your kind of church, the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” Started with a Mike Norris testimonial in prayer. ( Reinforce the idea that the man in the pulpit is speaking for God. ) More testimonial prayer for Sam Davison and his college.
Quotable Quote: “I thank you for many of the young people from our own church that have found “your will” and “their mate” and are serving you as a result of going to the wonderful college there in Oklahoma City.”
*Truth in reporting: he did lift up the name of Jesus when he prayed and made much of our Savior.

Mike Norris:
Opening Monologue:
Praises the singing, the Sword conference, the New Fellowship building there at Gospel Light, Talks about how in West Virginia conferences they are used to being called from the floor.
*Ready for this one?
“This is a true story I’m getting ready to tell you.” ( As opposed to what? …the rest of what he has been saying? Wouldn’t that make the rest of what he has said and will say from that point forward seem a wee bit suspect? )
Text: Luke 13:31-35
Our text tonight will be from verse 34.
I want to draw your attention to verse 34.
Read it together with me. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! “
Notice the words “Often- Gather- Together”
Title: “Please Come Back”
*Starts off begging for validation Amens.”

Story Time:
-Went shopping with his wife and as she shopped he stayed in his car reading his Bible
-He observed people coming and going.
-He was taken aback by what he saw. Watched people who have little hope in this world.
-The Lord impressed on him as he read this passage that his town is full of sheep without a shepherd
-Our culture has changed
-This is not a Bible nation anymore < Anymore??? When was it in the first place )
-We have some pretty unusual people who visit our church and I’m glad they’re there and get the gospel.
-The Soul winners and the bus folks as they are knocking on doors, are coming across folks of other religions. (fancy that, so did Paul, and Silas, and Luke and Peter and Philip and just about everyone through-out church history have as well.)
-There are occult people dressed in black, with their pale faces, black dress, black fingernail polish, and pierced everything and they paint they body up.
-We don’t change our values, our principles but we change how we look at people. (I almost said an amen for this… almost)
Quotable Quote: “watching the people of my community Murfreesboro, TN …I realized that these are folks that need a shepherd, they need a church, they need a pastor.”

-As he flies around the country in an out of airports he saw what Jesus sees. I saw people wandering everywhere, worldly, hopeless and helpless. I could feel sorry for them and some of them I do. (ummm sounds vaguely familiar, he’s not been listening to Brandon Heath now has he? )
Quotable Quote: “Most Americans know better than to live the way they are living.” (This was received with a chorus of “hay-mens” )
-We lived as “One Nation Under God”
-We have Bibles laying (sic) everywhere
-He realizes there are places that need church planting and there are some cities where this is church on every corner
-Yet there are hundreds yea thousands of sheep without a shepherd
-It seems that America is comfortable waking away from the wings of protection and provision provided by Almighty God. (That assumes we were a Christian Nation. There may have been a preponderance of people who identified themselves as “Christian” through out our history but we have never been, a Christian Nation. ”)

-In the passage tonight the Pharisees said something he never wants to come from his lips, they told Jesus to get out. “How in the world can anyone with a ounce of religion in them tell the Son of God to get out?”
-Organized religion raises its ugly head and has shut the Lord Jesus Christ out

Quotable Quote: “and today that crowd says to the Lord Jesus, ‘Get out!’ By the Way, that’s why you find him in the Book of Revelation knocking on the door trying to get back in”. (I guess Jesus has his own door knocking ministry, and probably a celestial bus route ministry as well. Poor Jesus, standing out there knocking and no one letting him in. A poor god indeed.)

-Herod = the Government and the government is telling Jesus to get out , we don’t need prayer in school anymore. (+1 for revisiting 1967)
-We don’t need the Bible taught in school anymore. (funny, my twins just graduated from a public high school where the Bible was taught, a regular, for credit curriculum regarding the Bible… OH! He means one can’t go preach the 1611 King James Bible in hopes of manipulating decisions out of unsuspecting children. Ok, Yeah, I see that. )

-Organized religion has kicked Jesus out
-The Government has kicked Jesus out
-If you are a preacher of the word of God then you need to grow a backbone of steel and realize they can lay a hand on you until your numbers are in.
-Be brave and declare, “Thus sayeth the word of God!”
-Hear it in Jesus voice as he calls out Jerusalem, Jerusalem! How often I would have gathered you together and you would not.
Quotable Quote: I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I’ve tried. I’ve given them everything, I’ve given them land, I’ve given them a beautiful Temple, I’ve given them everything… I would have gathered you together and you wouldn’t do it. Wouldn’t do it.”
-He declared to his disciples his passion to have his people come back to him.
-Today, I want you to understand, he is declaring to hi people who are falling away, “Please come Back… Please Come Back.”
“Ladies and gentlemen that should be the plea from our pulpits, ‘Please come back.’”

7 reasons we see people walking away
1. People will fall away. Quotes the verse about there will be a falling away. Apostasy is coming on strong (preaches a little bit of dispensationalism in this section)

2. People will err from the faith. Choosing money and comfort over Christ. Choosing commerce over Christ, Gold over God, mansions over the son of man. (+1 for the mandatory use of alliteration)
3. People’s love will wax cold. They will leave their first love. Where is the passion for Jesus Christ?? It went out the door when iniquity started to abound. (I’m guessing that was some time in the late 1950’s early 1060’s when the Beatles arrived, the Vietnam War broke out, the Student Revolution, and the Hippies popularized free love the use of drugs and listening to Rock-n-Roll music.. It probably all started with Elvis Presley singing that jungle music. Heaven knows iniquity didn’t abound before the 1950…oooup there was that whole Prohibition fiasco and two world wars. Robber Barons, Corruption in government, oh a civil war and how can we forget slavery. Dang I can’t seem to nail down when we were a Christian nation… and when iniquity began to abound in America… )
-We need more preaching on sin.
4. People forsake the assembling of themselves together. People will not go to church. How can a Born again believer not go to church? Why would a Christian not want to go to church? In theses last days we should want to go to church more not less. “Please come back, Please come back” With all the tsunamis and earthquakes and natural disasters… does anyone think that the Lord might soon be coming back? (THAT woke up the amen pew! )
5. People lack faith. When the Lord returns will he find faith on the earth? (It seems that the local Church is the end all be all of Christianity. “Why isn’t anybody coming to your church? Because you are not going out and getting them to come in.”)

6. People will not endure sound doctrine. They heap to themselves teachers having itching ears. That’s why you have some guy in a turtleneck and flip-flops come to the pulpit and say “Hi!” (in an exaggerated feminine voice) “Did you enjoy your worship today (now using a condescending baby language voice) * that got a round of laughs. I’m not preaching fables. I’m not tickling your ears (amen? ) People will not hold up under sound, truthful preaching. ( sound and truthful according to whom? ) Get away for having a conversation and get back to preaching the word of God. (why do I get the impression that this means a lot of yelling and screaming from the pulpit? )

7 People will grow tired of watching. Tired of being prepared. Being in church waiting on the Lord

-the Lord makes his plea for his people to return, “How often would I have gathered you…”
They shoved themselves away from him
We have a rallying place; it’s the local church. It’s the spout where blessings come out.
I love to go to church (like John Cleese loves Spam)
Story time: Restaurant story, waitress had tattoos and Goth clothing. His son said, “I hope she doesn’t cast a spell on us.” (more laughs) but do we see people with compassion? Do we try to get them to Jesus Christ? (or are they just “targets of Opportunity?” where we give them the old hit-n-run, Jesus is a decision , can we put you as saying yes on our card? Are we playing people just to get a decision out of them? Are we only interested in them in order to give them a tract and hit them up with a three or four point presentation of some reductionist, cheapened pseudo gospel? /end rant)

-People walk away from the church
-I want them in the house of God
-Pressure on Pastors like never before
-You cannot imagine the pressure on pastors
- Come back to
- Clean living
- Aggressive witnessing
- Never get away from old fashioned door-2-door soul winning
- Come on Back. (begging to keep the numbers up. How to beg your people to stay in church and keep the numbers up. )
-Where did the teenagers go?
-Where did the college age folks go?
at this point my eyes glazed over and my head went back and I blacked out for several moments… only to be revived with “Please come back, please come back, please come back, please come back” I thought the needle was stuck. So far he mentioned Jesus the most of any of the others.

Choir
Announcements
Special singing
Blah, blah blah

Then Sam Davison preached.
Text: 1 Peter 5:5-7
Title?? Casting your cares on the Lord

Let me just repost what I said on the forum:

When I accepted this mission I did so with more than a little trepidation. I knew I would be going back into that world and not just to some rural outpost but also to the mother ship. I will not lie, I was uneasy about going back even just as an observer. I will have to say I had many expectations of the fundieness I would encounter and for the most part I have not been disappointed.

Tonight, however, I ran into something that I would not have expected at a fundie fest like this. I saw God lifted up and glorified as I have seldom seen by an Independent Fundamental Baptist. I saw love and compassion without the trappings of legalistic standards. I saw grace delivered without a truncheon. I heard the love and the compassion that walks hand in hand with Jesus Christ, being preached in a way that was foreign to that pulpit so many times this week (at least so far as the evening services have gone).

I was taken aback by Sam Davison this evening. Though there are points of church governance I would disagree with him on, I never once felt the need to draw my sword and shield in a defensive posture with his preaching tonight. Of all the “Doctors” I have heard this week, Mr. Davison, who was not billed as a Doctor, has delivered the most godly sermon of the conference (evenings) so far. Mr. Davison preached the God of the Bible with freedom, a God not bound by the Independent Fundamental Baptist box, but the almighty creator God he reveals himself to be. Most of the others have preached a god they believe to be no bigger than the covers of their genuine, calfskin, black leather, King James Bible.

I have now sat through four nights of preaching but tonight I heard a message of love, grace, compassion and caring from a pulpit I did not suspect would have any this week. That has been my reward for this mission and I hold on to it as a special treasure. I do not know Sam Davison personally or professionally but if this message is indicative of the man then he exhibits godly character. He may be a fundie’s fundie once one gets to know him, I do not know, but he has earned my respect this day.

Sword Of The Lord Conference 2011: Sermon Audio

Don is taking a well-deserved break today with his meeting summaries but for those of you who just can’t get enough of this stuff, the audio of a few slightly older sermons from these speakers are up over at the Grace Baptist Church website — including some sermons preached earlier this year that look scarily like the ones Don has just summarized. It appears that these preachers do believe in recycling.

You may want to take a preemptive Prozac before you start listening.

Field Report 2011 Sword of the Lord Conference (Day 3)

*Personal Note From Don: Folks, while I appreciate the good words and encouragement I do not want this to be about me. This week is about the excesses and outright error to be found in the IFB world. I found that by the end of the week I was dealing with a mixture of emotions. Anger at the arrogance of a movement that is so disillusioned it believes it is God’s last best hope for Biblical Christianity, and pity that ignorance is exalted to such a level of authority and that tradition has replaced Christ as the focus of worship. I watched as a type of rhetorical manipulation took place and the mass of folks listening did not even realize what was taking place. They believe, because they want to believe. And it hurt because I was just like them not that long ago. Only God can open their blinded eyes.

Here is the Wednesday report.

Opening Song: Saved, Saved

“Wednesday is church time, Amen?”

- No ball games or anything like that.
- Keep the main thing the main thing.
- 20th anniversary of having the SOTL at Gospel Light
- Thanks to the Leadership of Bobby Robertson
- Next week is Bobby’s 80th Birthday
- Bobby has been pastoring at GLBC for 55 years

Story time with Bobby:
Text: Job 16:11-12
Title: “As a Mark for Him’

More story time
“You are either in a battle, coming out of a battle or going into a battle”
The Mark of Grace
- The Mark of Separation by Grace
- We need some compassion
- Mark of Grace is shown by: separation, spirituality, and service
- Go out there where they are at
- God gives the increase
The Mark of Growth
- Maturity
The Mark of Gratitude
- I’m my worst enemy
- We are just not grateful
- Be thankful
More story time
Grace- Growing- Grateful
Occupy till Jesus comes

Congregational song: “Living for Jesus”
Announcements :
SOTL commercial
Offering
Field update from Soul Winning in Winston: (21) souls were saved today, the Soul Winning group turned in 21 cards.
*The offering is off from what they would like for it to be maybe this will catch it up tonight

Up Next: Tim Rabon

Opening Monologue:
-Pleasure to be here
-Thanks Bobby
-Mentions Jack Hyles
-Props to Rice, Hutson and Smith
-Privilege to preach here
Story Time: The first time he shook Bobby’s hand was 20 years ago at some conference and bobby was with Jack Hyles. If you had told him then that Bobby sould know his name and be friends with him he would not have believed it. (*gush… fawn…)

Text: Kings 1-12 (a twelve verse preacher? Must not be that good if he has to use that much Text.)
Title: “The Fight for the Future”
- He wants to see his grandchildren have the same type of Church his children had but it will not happen without a fight.
- There’s a battle raging against the home
- There’s a battle raging for the next generation
- It’s a battle to reduce Godliness in our lives
- The Devil delights to destroy the children of God
- Children are born sinners
- Children do not tend to obey
- You have to train them to obey
- When you see a three year old acting up it makes him want to go over there and just shake the parents
- The kid is acting like all three yr old kids want to act
- The problem is the daddy doesn’t have enough gumption to make him behave.

Quotable Quote: ”Punk kids come from Punk parents.”

- Glad for how his children turned out
Quotable Quote: ”Obedience wasn’t an option in our home, Obedience was an obligation.
- You have live in such a way it creates a thirst for Jesus in their hearts.
- Athaliah was the off spring of Ahab and Jezebel.
- She killed the entire seed royal except Joash, these were her grandchildren
- You who have children still in your home, your children are watching you and they will go further away from God than you do most likely. ( quite an assumption there dontcha think?)
(Interesting he keeps talking about depravity…)
- It was her pride that motivated her to annihilate any threat to what she wanted.
- We should never ever be thinking our pride will not cause us to act on it.
- We got to learn how to tell our pride “No.” Get in a mirror and practice saying “No, No, No!” (Just like Jack Schaap)
- Jehosheba is a picture of grace taking and hiding Joash.
- She risked her life to protect her nephew.
- God had made a promise that the Messiah would come through the lineage of David.
- What better place to rear a child than in the house of God?
-Don’t be embarrassed to take your children to church.
- You make them take a bath dontcha?
- You make them go to school dontcha?
- They took him and hid him in the house of the Lord
- What’s your children’s thoughts about God’s house?
- Everyday we are preparing our children for tomorrow.
- Church – Christian School- and Sunday School are not a substitute for the family, all these are to support what we are teaching our children. Support not replace.
- Are unsaved or carnal family members telling you you’re sheltering your children?
- Guilty! My children already have to live in the world too much.
- Glad my children never smoked, never drank.
Quotable Quote: ”I’m glad that when my kids got old enough to have an interest in somebody else when they got out of high school. I’m glad that they let me as their daddy guide them direct them help them so that when it was time to look to a young lady and say to her ‘I Love You’, I could say, ‘Its fine, ok.
Some of you teenagers, I’m your friend and I LOVE YOU*, you may not know me but I LOVE YOU.* Listen to me.. IF you tell every little girl and every little guy that you ever set by or ever.. ever talk to, “I Love You” by the time you get to the marriage altar you’ve given so much of your heart away you ain’t got enough to give to the person you’re gonna spend the rest of your life.”
(sic) (*emphasis mine) [then I guess he had better quit telling all those teenagers he loves them before he depletes his supply for his wife and family! That is the Emotional Purity and Josh Harris camps. And that is one of the most asinine statements I have ever heard! So we only have a finite amount of love to give? The Human heart has such a limited capacity for love? I understand that physical attraction is not love but this is cult like control over emotion. How is one to live life if it is shackled by Vulcan like non-emotion?]
- He told his kids when they could hold hands
- He told his kids when they could say “I love you”
- Do you pray for your kids?
- Are you investing in Family worship time?
The Plot- the heirs were killed
The Protection- Joash was protected
The Presentation- The king’s son was presented to the guards and to the people

- The guards stood around the king to protection
- We should stand guard over our young people
- Tell Satan “You Can’t have them!”
Visual Aid: He was looking for a 7 year old boy in the audience but he had a 9 year old he had come up to the pulpit. (He was in his Fundie uniform.) He used him as a visual representation of Joash. Said if the Lord doesn’t come in 25 year he may be on the Sword’s platform.

- A Child of the King
- They gave him the Testimony
- Testimony is the Law
- Deut 17:18-19 Every King will make his own copy of the law ( until we get to King James and he did it for the last time it would seem.)
- If we are going to win the future we’ve got to give our children the word of God
- The inspired, infallible, inerrant, preserved word of God.
- We want our children to be filled with the Holy Spirit
- We want our children to be surrendered and serving

Story time: He give a much embellished version of William P. Mackay’s testimony. Mackay tell of an old man… Rabon portrays him as a young man. But of course any embellishment is only good fundie form for retelling a good story. Especially since William P. Mackay wrote “Revive Us Again.” (No fundy story is complete without telling about momma.)

- Are we willing to fight for the future?
- Will you be a Jehosheba?

Altar Call
The Family sermon filled the altar the most of any evening sermon all week.

/end day three

Field Report 2011 Sword of the Lord Conference (Day 2)

Tuesday: Day Two
Introduction of next speaker: Lou Rossi
Announcements: (sic) “Some of our men and ladies who went out soulwinning this afternoon in downtown Winston, they have turned in cards and reports on al least 12 people trusting Christ. Some of the folks haven’t reported in yet so there’ll be more than that.” And “…”Go down there for a couple of hours walking the streets and, uh, doing what Christians are supposed to do. Amen?”

Special singing “Who Am I?”
Opening Monologue:
Paul Chappell sends his regards from Lancaster Baptist Church, and he is sending a check for SOTL (one Mafia Don to another)
Quotable Quote: (sic)“We are on the same team. Do I have and amen? Flying the same flag the last time I checked, the blood stained b (inaudible) B-banner of Calvary’s cross. The full inspiration, verbal, plenary, inspiration of the Bible, uh, soulwinning, stand on God, separation. That’s what we stand for tonight, somebody say amen.”

Text: Isaiah 64:1-2 (another two verse text preacher, look at the treasure he finds in his two verses)

Fundie commercial: the goes on about his favorite football team, his wife, and the conference

Title: “When God Rends the Heavens”
Sermon prayer:

Prohibition right out of the starting blocks. ( +1 for Elmer Gantry)

Referred to 44:3 “For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty”

(Now this is funny because last night it was all about there is still water in God’s well but it is up to us to get it out and get it to those who are thirsty. Which is it? The mixed messaging is so confusing.)

*We know he’s serious because he just took his coat off.

-Launches into a Hebrew history lesson.
Quotable Quote: (sic) “Those Hebrew parents with their little boy would say “daddy, why are we wandering in this wilderness?” he could say to him, “on we are wandering because God has led us through this wilderness.” That little boy would say, ”Who is God I don’t know who he is daddy.” He’d say, “He’s the God of the Bible [ really? What Bible did they have in the desert wanderings? Was a King James teleported back through time to them? ] The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, he’s the living God, the one true God. And that little boy would say, “How daddy can I know that God is in our midst?” and he could take him out that tent flap at night he could open it up and say, “There is the Glory of God this a fire by night to keep us warm, and a pillar of cloud by day to keep us cool in this desert. God is in our midst and God’s the only God who walks and lives among his people.” (I’m not sure he took a breath during all of that. )
*He’s turning phrases at about 3000 rpm, don’t know if he will be able to keep up this pace.

- Just touched on Elijah on Mt Carmel.
- On to religious relics
- How God used to work
- Retouched text
- We are missing God’s presence
- At God’s presence Mountains flow down
- He is Known to his enemies
- Rant on Prohibition anti alcohol (+1 Billy Sunday point)
- Brokeness and Humility are the cure for Pharaseeism (you know… all those who aren’t IFB)
- God is Holy
- Pop cultural reference to hip hop and the baggy pants
- When he sees baggy pants he just wants to give them a wedgie
-More brokenness
- More soul-winning
-Return to Pentecost
- Talks of the temple
- Fishes of some “amens”
- Back to Peter and John going up to the temple, the lame man….
- More Soul-winning (+1 for working conference theme into sermon)
- IB churches have lost their Soul Winning Fire
- IB churches and pastors are weak, defeated, need to be stirred up and serve God

Quotable Quote: “If you are going to preach on something make sure it’s something legitimate.”
(Sometimes I wonder if they ever listen to themselves preach)

Ball fields and Malls are crowded but can’t get the people of God in the house of God on Sunday evening.
- Christians should be in the house of God three times a week. (+1 attendance = faithfulness to God)
- Empty churches
- Long hair on men (how he got a haircut when he was saved) (+1 Christian appearance standards)
- Smoking (and tobacco use in general) (+1 Christian appearance standards)
- Rabbit trail alert
- Alcohol abuse, drug abuse (+1 Christian appearance standards)
- Rock music (+1 Christian appearance standards)
- Being a new creature means immediate wholesale change. To look like a Christian (So, WHAT does a Christian look like? )
- Long hair again (+1 Christian appearance standards)
*According to this rant God is not to be found in the IB churches.
- They have many decisions but no conversions. (well duh, 1-2-3 repeat after me does not a convert make. )
- Lack of spiritual maturity like…
- Rice, Sightler, Roloff, Greene, Roberson… that generation is gone
- Touched on Patriotism (+1 for God and Country )
- Guns- God and Country
“Wonders if we will be the generation to see all the power of God completely depart?
- Talks about preaching that relies on wit, humor and a slick presentation. ( get this man a mirror )

Gives his alliterated outline
1. See your need individually
2. Seek his face intently
3. Surrender to God immediately

- History lesson on Samuel and Eli
- Ichabod
- Begging Amens
- Final Story time
- Bow head, close eyes
- Raise hands

Next up: Devices of Satan

Announcements: SOTL renewals, they will run you down and get you to renew. (The SOTL collection agency)
VIP cards: three levels. First level gets all this years SOTL sermons and Smith’s School of the Prophets conference album, lapel pin.. Then there’s the Gold level, Conference album lapel pin and a beautiful, (the most beautiful Shelton Smith has ever seen) genuine, calfskin leather, Scofield, New Testament w/ Psalms and Proverbs. Finally there is the Diamond level, you get all the above and, a genuine authentic leaf from a 1620 King James Bible, with authentication and beautiful framing. (so you can worship your very own page that was torn out of a real King James English Bible, in the comfort of your own home. )
Offering:

Intro of 2nd Speaker: Norris Belcher
As Norris came to the pulpit one of his people he brought with him stood up and shouted, “That’s my pastor!”
Opening monologue: Comment on the singing, “If that singing don’t light your fire then your wood’s wet.”

– “I don’t believe we have long.”

Text: II Corinthians 2:10-11 (I guess two verse text are enough to get any IFB preacher with his salt going these days, and probably more than most IFB pew dwellers can handle anyway. )

Title: We are not Ignorant of his devices but it “Seems we are Ignorant” or it could be subtitled, “Ignorance is not bliss,”

Opening Monologue: “Give me fifteen minutes or so to build a foundation and I’ll give you something to shout about.”
- Paul’s biography (Cliff notes version)
- The “we” Paul uses is in hope that the Corinthians mature
- Paul was not ignorant of the Devils devices
(so far pretty tame stuff I can live with… uh oh here we gooooo)
- 35 years of ministry allows me to say something on this.

- Evidently we are ignorant of Satan’s devices
Quotable Quote: With the direction that we are seeing the Independent Fundamental Baptist movement going, some or our brethren are ignorant of his devices. Our movement, now you listen very carefully to what I’m going to say here, I believe with all my heart, our movement, our stripe, our churches are the last vestige for keeping old Fashioned, fundamental, Bible, Christianity alive and well in this world.
We’re it!
Everybody else is already gone. Every other denomination, they’ve already gone. They’re liberal to the core. And if we don’t do it who’s going to do it? If we don’t stand up for God and hold the line and stay with the stuff, Bible Christianity will soon be gone.
We’re God’s Last Hope! (that’s right preacher) (poor little anemic, sickly, weak god. Here is the heart of the IFB. God needs us! W-E A-R-E God’s L-A-S-T H-O-P-E! )
I was thinking:
Obi-wan: “That non-denomination denomination is God’s last hope.”
Yoda: “No. There is another.”

Paul does not tell us what these devices are. (So Norris is going to tell us what three of them are.)
Three Devices Satan uses:
#1: Satan Labels Evil Things with Pleasant Names
- Homosexual agenda is called “Gay”
- Beer advertises with beautiful people and if you drink their beer you’ll be cool
Quotable Quote: (sic) “If they were truthful the commercial would show a kitchen with tow or three crying infants. Maybe a 4 year old and a 3 year old and a 2 year old cowering under the kitchen table and then the camera would pan from those kids shaking to death, crying, weeping and hiding their faces so the cannot be seen and the camera would then pan over and you would see a mother laying on the floor with her eye swollen shut with a bump knot over top of her eye and blood coming out of her nose; blood coming out of her mouth laying unconscious on the floor then it would pan on over and there would be a drunken daddy standing there with his knuckles all bruised up standing there with his hair all messed up standing there slobbering all over himself with a can of Miller in his hand and then some smooth talking low (garbled) announcer would come over the air and say, ‘Welcome to Miller Time!’ that would be truth in advertising.”

- Right is wrong and wrong is right
- Politics

Quotable Quote: “Some of you took vacation to be here this week … You’re crazy. What in the world is wrong with you people? You took your vacation to come and sit and listen to a bunch of guys get up here and yell at you for four hours a day.” (now THERE’s truth in advertising )
Quotable Quote: “Who is the smart aleck who said that little teenage girl who dresses like a tramp is, well you know, just a little loose?”
- The world calls drunkenness a disease but that’s not what my bible calls it.
- Teenagers in rebellion
- We have lost the sinfulness of sin,
- Drunkards
- Sodomites

- When we stand before God we will not have any labels
- He’s tired of camp loyalty
- He tired of loyalty to colleges
- He tired of loyalty to conferences
- He’s tired of us being loyal to man made institutions
- When are we going to be loyal to the Bible?
- When are we going to be loyal to God?

- You and I will give account how we stood for the old Gospel of Jesus Christ

Quotable Quote: “I think it’s time for ever IB preacher and I think it’s time for every IB Evangelist, and I think it’s time for every IB Missionary and teacher and lay person to get their nose in this Bible and find out for yourself what you believe instead of having to go to your pope (That rocked the house w/everyone denying that they answer to a pope…. Because each of them are the pope in their own eyes. ) or having to go check w/your administrator, or your mentor, or your hero or your headquarters to be told what you believe.”

Quotable Quote: “let’s just take the Bible issue.. this is not hard its in the bible, right here (points to his KJV) This Thing. Put your Calvinist Commentaries on the shelf for a minute. Let’s just go with what the Bible says. Put your manuals up. Let’s just look at the Bible ok? I know it’s gonna be hard for some of us but that’s ok. You know this verse, you know it… I know. 1 Timothy 3:16. Listen… This is King James. I’m gonna give you King James, some of you w/those wacky Bibles in your lap, don’t even look at them just listen, ok? Ready? “ALL” (the house gets to rockin again) You got that part? I could stop right there. “ALL” scripture is given by…. In-spir-ation of God. “PERIOD” … that’s it! You don’t need anything else. He just told you …Hey! He just tol you that the Bible is inspired of God. Put a period there! You don’t have to go to a seminar to find out its inspired, he told you it was.”
(The house is rockin with “hey-mens”, “Preach-it brother”, “go on preacher”, “That’s right”, “Tell it” and a host of other validation responses.)

*goes on to brag about preaching at a young man who obviously saw his error when he preached this sermon elsewhere.
- More KJV Proof texts that show the King James is inspired, incorruptible and perfect.
- I Peter 1:23 – Incorruptible is the King James. Liveth is the inspiration and abideth is the preservation (I guess that it doesn’t matter that that verse is talking about the person of Christ? )
- Psalm 19 -The Law of the Lord is Perfect. (I do not deny any of these verses but I deny that they can be used as proof texts for idolizing the King James translation of Scripture. Truth in advertising: yep they are ignorant of the devices of Satan)
- He goes on to say that the King James was checked 14 times before it was sent to the publishers. (blah, blah , blah… so what. That proves nothing other than there should not have been a spelling error. Hey, that means the Apocrypha was checked 14 times a well… Idolatry is all it is )
.
- The Bible is perfect
- His answer to anyone who says there are errors in the Bible “show them to me”
(This sermon had deteriorated to Bible worship. )

*Basically he goes on to ask, “who do you think you are if you don’t worship the King James?”

Quotable Quote: “We took the clock down and put a calendar up”

#2 Satan Attacks us on our strongest side
- Where we are strongest not our weakest
- Anti- “Entertainment churches”
- According his Bible Soulwinning is on the front burner
- The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing
- The purpose of the church is soulwinning
- Soulwinning- Soulwinning- Soulwinning
- The pastor is the one who has to do the soulwinning program
- That’s why we’re not growing because we’re not soulwinning

#3 Satan puts the emphasis on Tomorrow

- Don’t think we have much longer
- A whole dispensational commercial
- We’re living on borrowed time
- Teach your people to be soulwinners
- Teach them how to love people
- How to give the gospel
- How to be soulwinners
- Soulwinning is the key. “Bingo!”

- He was thinking what if Paul could be at the conference this week
- Somebody is going to be spoken to by God and they’ll hit the altar and be a changed man
- I’m just gonna stand with God
- Bow your heads with me.
“Heads are bowed and eyes are closed.”
Postscript:
With our head bowed and our eyes closed start for this altar

Begging the altar call

SOTL Commercial

/ end day two