"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

'We Know Who You Are and What You Expect From Us' Is Code for 'We Know Who We Want You To Be'

Bob Cleveland has pointed out to me this article by Bob Terry, editor of The Alabama Baptist.

Mr. Terry says this about the adoption of the Garner Motion on the Baptist Faith and Message at this summer's Southern Baptist Convention in San Antonio:

It is hard to understand the vote by the messengers as anything other than their expression of unhappiness and rebuke to the trustees involved for arbitrarily excluding Bible-believing Southern Baptists from service because of a practice most consider a secondary issue on which disagreement is allowed.

Anyone who reads the transcript of the debate in a non-biased, non-partisian fashion would draw the same conclusion of Mr. Terry. Dr. Al Mohler seemed to dismiss the messengers concerns by saying in his seminary 'report,' “We know who you are and what you expect of us". The editor of the editor of The Alabama Baptist responds to Dr. Mohler's statement with erudite logic:

Some ask if the trustee boards in question really do “know who you (Southern Baptists) are and what you expect of us” in light of the recent LifeWay Christian Resources study that found about 50 percent of Southern Baptist ministers believe a private prayer language could be a legitimate spiritual gift.

I would simply add if Dr. Mohler knows 'who we are' (meaning 'Southern Baptists' who don't practice 'tongues' in public or private), then why does he have C.J. Mahaney speak at his Southern's campus chapels and revivals - a man who not only speaks in tongues but advocates quite clearly that any teaching this gift has ceased is contrary to the teaching of Scripture.

Read carefully. I am one of C.J. Mahaney's biggest fans. I am glad he speaks at Southern. What bothers me is that Dr. Mohler desires the freedom to have a person who speaks in tongues to be able to teach his seminary students, but he believes it is appropriate for a trustee board to forbid Southern Baptists who speak in tongues PRIVATELY from serving on the mission field.

If there is not some kind of convention control on the establishment of tighter doctrinal boundaries for Southern Baptist missions and ministry service, then any board or insitution can mandate doctrinal requisites that have nothing to do with the BFM. The convention should have the final say on the boundaries of cooperation in terms of 'doctrine,' not the autonomous insititutions.

Dr. Morris Chapman, expressing the same belief as the editor of The Alabama Baptist regarding the motion, said,

“Other doctrines are beginning to be required aside from our adopted confession. It causes one to ask, ‘Where does it end?’”

May I answer that question?

(1). It ends when everyone looks the same, acts the same, and believes the same.
(2). It ends when everyone is the same in terms of soteriology.
(3). It ends when everyone is the same in terms of eschatology.
(4). It ends when everyone is the same in terms of ecclesiology.
(5). It ends when everyone is the same in terms of pneumatology.
(6). It ends when everyone is the same in terms of theology.
(7). It ends when everyone is the same in terms of . . . .

The Southern Baptist Convention is ceasing to be a convention of loosely knit autonomous churches of Bible-believing Southern Baptists who cooperate in spite of differences on secondary issues because disagreement is allowed, and we are becoming a much smaller convention (8,000 messengers in TEXAS) of controlled churches and pastors who are demanded to conform to all secondary and tertiary doctrinal issues before there is ANY cooperation in missions and evangelism ministry because those in charge say to us 'we know who you are and what you expect of us.'

There is a Greek word for that kind of thinking. :)

In reality, there are some who think they know best what Southern Baptists should be and are orchestrating trustee boards to reflect their view of 'doctrinal purity.'

It's past time for that to stop.

We'll see very soon (July 16-18 in Richmond, Virginia) if the trustee boards got the message.

In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

79 comments:

Wayne Smith said...

Wade,

Those in Power want to control God’s Southern Baptist People by making CLONES in their mindset. We need to teach the Whole Gospel Truth in our Churches and Seminaries.


In His Name
Wayne Smith

Darby Livingston said...

The Bible doesn't acknowledge conventions as such. What it does acknowledge is an elder-led church. If a group of elder-led churches decides to cooperate with resources, it seems to me the local churches should decide the qualifications required of those who receive the resources. In other words, local churches appoint elders. Mission boards and seminaries do not. So I would expect that NAMB and IMB trust each local church with providing elder-qualified men and women to serve. I don't see where the Bible gave us the right to delegate that task. I think the BF&M is a suitable enough guide that doesn't bind the hands of the cooperating churches.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

"They" are going to take your secret decoder ring away from you! ;-)

In my own way, I've stated your seven points and thesis for sometime. In a different life, I was on staff at a church in NW Arizona. The Pastor, who I dearly love, and I disagreed on SBC politics. We argued long and hard behind closed doors about whether it was political or theological (this was the mid-80s).

My Pastor was as conservative as they come. But was considered a radical, even "LIBERAL" in NW Arizona, because he did not believe or practice closed/closed Lord's Supper observances. Talk about your non-primary issues!

At any rate, we would discuss long and hard on the Convention issues of the day, but when that was over, we would walk out the door and go together to do home visits, hospital visit, and soul winning.

You see, the SBC issues of the day were not the Main Thing. Telling others about Jesus was the Main Thing.

I love that man and miss him dearly. But we both knew what was important and kept it in perspective. I fear that we are long since past that as a Convention and that we are well on our way to being "Stepford Baptists".

Gary in Norman

Alan Paul said...

I am not sure why you are surprised or anyone is surprised that the requirements for taking a meaningful part in convention life is becoming more difficult. Simply stated, once all those evil moderates were vanquished, then the blood thirsty, having no one else to devour, turned on themselves. And it will continue until the SBC is no more - and that probably is not a bad thing considering her recent history of exiling those they don't agree with.

Anonymous said...

Mahaney speaks (or advocates speaking) in tongues? Who knew?

Anonymous said...

I live in Louisville. I attended Southern Seminary in the 80's. I was driving through Cave Hill Cemetery yesterday on an unusually beautiful July day. I serendipitously passed by the gravesite of Roy Honeycutt. My heart sank as I recounted the malicious and unwarranted attacks on this man’s character and spirituality. Even if people disagreed with some of his stances, perspectives, interpretations, did they have to attach him with such vitriol? There is an interesting article regarding him and his death here: http://www.abpnews.com/37.article.

AndyHigg said...

Wade,

You spoke of a transcript of the debate...where did you find that? And is there one for Mohler's speech?

BTW, I hope you and yours are doing well amidst the plentiful rain. Please pray with us that the good Lord will send some to us (in an extreme drought here in GA) and from you!

Anonymous said...

Wade, IMO, we S. Baptists haven't gotten in this fix overnight.

Florence in KY

Lee said...

I'd suggest that one of the reasons we are seeing smaller conventions with regard to messenger registration and number of churches participating, along with seeing larger numbers of Southern Baptists go outside the denomination to seek opportunities for missionary service and theological education is that there are a lot of cooperating churches that don't fit the current leadership's definition of "Southern Baptist."

About 7% of the churches sent messengers to San Antonio last month. Only about 25% have sent messengers to any convention in the last decade. I think that speaks volumes to this particular issue.

Anonymous said...

Alan Paul, your interpretation of convention history is getting as tired as it has been inaccurate.

The conservative resurgence (though excessive at times in rhetoric and perhaps behavior - no more so than the moderate/liberal side) was a necessary correction.

One of my Baptist college's religion professors taught that Jesus, Buddha and Mohammed are all just "different flags under which God flies His name." When my college ran him out, he ended up teaching at Midwestern Seminary. My profs, with doctorates from Southern and Southeastern, ridiculed every basic doctrine of the Christian faith. They denied the blood atonement, the existence of a real being called Satan, the truthfulness of scripture. They summarily dismissed the concept of predictive prophecy. There was a REAL theological problem in the SBC.

I saw many of my friends enter that college with a desire to serve God and preach the Word and leave cynical, sarcastic and skeptical. No one can tell me there was not a serious theological problem in the SBC colleges and seminaries. I saw it firsthand.

The problem is that once you begin the process of cleansing, it is hard to draw the line. How far do you go?

Do you exclude not only those with aberrent beliefs, but those who stand in support of those with aberrent beliefs? (Many Bible-believers were cast under suspicion because they doubted the reality of the problem or supported the status quo).

When you have restored orthodoxy in the seminaries, how far do you take conformity? How much conformity do we demand?

The current difficulty in the convention is a forseeable product of the conservative resurgence of the 80's and 90's.

We have turned the convention back to theological orthodoxy. Now how far do we go?

Will we demand orthodoxy on fundamental theological issues and essential Baptist practices only, or will we extend conformity to other issues?

I'm a "big-tent" conservative. I think anyone who adheres to the essential truths of the gospel and is in line with basic Baptist polity and practice should be included in the tent.

Theologically, I am probably much closer to Paige than to Wade (I'm a little more calvinistic than Paige). However, I do not share his vision of the convention.

The current controversy is a natural descendent of the first. As the resurgence of the 80's and 90's was healthy and needed, this current dispute is also healthy and needed.

I hope we will never broaden the tent to include those who do not accept the inerrancy of scripture or the core truths of the faith.

But within those limited parameters, let's permit Pre-tribbers and amillennialists, various positions on the calvinist continuum, and various worship styles and practices serve Christ and do missions under the same banner.


Dave Miller
Sioux City, IA

volfan007 said...

dave miller,

you really said a mouthful. i really appreciate what you just said as well. very good insight.

also, some of you need to understand that the sbc numbers have been down every year because people dont really see a need to be there. back in the days of the cr, they saw the need, and they turned out. when people think that things are going well, then they tend to not take the time and effort and spend the money to go to the convention.

as a pastor friend said to me one time about the terrible attendance we were having in our associational meetings, he said, "i dont attend because things are going good. i'm satisfied with the way our dom is doing things. but, if things ever start going wrong, then you can bet that i'll be there." i would betcha a venti, java chip frappucino from star bucks that that's why the attendance was so low in san antonio.

david

Anonymous said...

I went out to the obit for Roy Honeycutt (link in the second 12:54 posting). For those of us who were not paying attention in those years, here are a few paragraphs.

Honeycutt is remembered by many for one headline-making speech in 1984, when he declared "holy war" on the "hijackers," a reference to conservative leaders leading the effort to gain control of the Southern Baptist Convention.

"Independent fundamentalists and many sincere but naïve individuals recruited to support their political party are seeking to hijack the Southern Baptist Convention," Honeycutt warned. He said such efforts are "damaging local churches, risking the destruction of our denominational heritage and compromising our Christian witness to the world."

Honeycutt immediately became a target in the controversy. As the seminary's board shifted to conservative control, he came under increased pressure to resign. He retired in 1993, at age 67, three years earlier than he planned.

"In many ways, Roy was a bridge-builder," Leonard recalled. "When the conflicts developed in the denomination and then in the board of trustees, it was not the season for bridge building."

How could anyhone be surprised at Dr. Honeycutt's treatment. The same people are still running things and acting the same way--aided by significantly less than half of the "sincere but naive" messengers to our conventions. Anyone who thinks that the people who run our institutions will follow general (but not extremely specific) guidance and direction from anyone outside their group has not been paying attention for a long time.

[I do feel that with the presence of the instant discussions on the blogs that it makes saying nasty things harder. There is the potential for instant, competent rebuttal by numerous people. The rebuttal might get more "press" than the charge. :)]

It always puzzles me that all messengers to the SBC would not take the time to go on the net and read some editorials and articles (and maybe a few blogs) and see what is going on and how they really feel about it. But most don't bother. I think that we feel that we know what is going on and then we get there and "don't know what the Baptist Faith and Message is." (reference to a conversation reported between two rather confused messengers)

Bennett Willis

farmboy said...

The religion professors described by Mr. Miller did not respect the doctrinal parameters of the Baptist Faith and Message, as the doctrines they taught departed from the doctrines in the BF&M. Along that metric nothing has changed. The motion offered and passed in San Antonio regarding the doctrinal sufficiency of the BF&M was necessary because representatives of SBC agencies did not respect the doctrinal parameters of the BF&M. Adding to and subtracting from the doctrinal content of the BF&M both represent doctrinal modifications of the BF&M. For churches that cooperate through the Southern Baptist Convention it is essential to have the doctrinal basis of that cooperation clearly defined. This is what the BF&M does, or should do. If it does not serve as the doctrinal basis for cooperation, of what use is the BF&M?

Karen in OK said...

Hello Bennett Willis,
I am curious as to how you know that most delegates are so uninformed.
The overheard conversation you reference is unfortunate but shows little other than a snapshot.

Was it for example between two eighty-year-old women who have been in WMU for sixty years and taught VBS and Sunday School for decades? I doubt it.

Was it between two Christians young in the faith but enthusiastic about participating in the meetings? Maybe, maybe not.

But such lack of knowledge about the BF&M may say as much or more about their pastor's leadership than their laziness.

How would members of your church concretely know that you are aware and informed? Is it possible that some of them assume you are as uninformed as you assume they are?

Anonymous said...

To Alan Paul,

When I blog, I sometimes come off more confrontational than I should or even intend. My opening statement is true to what I feel, but if it comes across to you as harsh, I apologize. I disagree with your analysis of convention history, but I intend you no disrespect personally.

Dave Miller

NativeVermonter said...

May I add one more "ology" to the list mentioned on the original post? I term this as tieology; meaning, a tie means your more doctrinally sound than those theological lightweights that dare wear dockers or even--get ready--JEANS. Really, if you wear jeans to church I think you have disqualified yourself from serving on the mission field, clearly your ability to grasp the hidden truths of Scripture is highly suspect at the least. In fact, maybe your elders need to come visit you for a little talk on maturity. As long as we're circling the wagons and going beyond the essentials in determing who is qualified then this may not be so silly in 10, err, 3 years. And it can't be a tie from a big box store, it needs to be from the Men's Warehouse or something like that. There are different levels of tieology ya know...

volfan007 said...

native,

all ties should be burned and banned. those silly nooses around our necks do no good. boy, i wish that we'd all get away from the tie thing. :)

david

GeneMBridges said...


There is a Greek word for that kind of thinking. :)

May I answer that question?

(1). It ends when everyone looks the same, acts the same, and believes the same.
(2). It ends when everyone is the same in terms of soteriology.
(3). It ends when everyone is the same in terms of eschatology.
(4). It ends when everyone is the same in terms of ecclesiology.
(5). It ends when everyone is the same in terms of pneumatology.
(6). It ends when everyone is the same in terms of theology.
(7). It ends when everyone is the same in terms of . . . .


There are English words for it too: Presbyterianism, Lutheranism, and Catholicism

Ah, and herein lies a sweet irony. On the one hand, I've seen two arguments online and in the real world in the past year:


1. Regarding Resolution 5 from last year...Non-teatotallers = Presbyterians.

2. Calvinism / Covenant Theology leads to Presbyterianism.

However, the actual behavior I see from those who are (a) defenders of Resolution 5 and those who (b) are not Calvinists is remarkably...Presbyterian, but with a twist. They are becoming stricter than Presbyterians.

And if you don't believe that, then take a close look at the WCF. The WCF parses a very specific covenantalism, and there are those in Presbyterian circles that would deny that you're a true Presbyterian if you don't hold to Westminster Directory of worship. On the other hand, you can be a CJ Mahaney, because the WCF doesn't speak to that issue.

One of their journals at present is quite the feast of theology with page-turners like:

"Presbyterian Due Process: A Scottish and American Recovery of Procedural Canons," by Stuart R. Jones.

A close second would be:

"Examining the Work of S. W. Carruthers: Justifying a Critical Approach to the Text of the Westminster Standards & Correcting the 18th Century Lineage of the Traditional Scottish Text," by Chris Coldwell.

If you start letting every agency decide on the BFM and what it can add to it, you'll wind up creating defacto sessions who draw the lines of the BFM differently. Then, you'll wind up make the coalitions within the SBC into de facto presbyteries, because those factions will bicker over what the sessions are doing, but that's what you get when some take a functionally Lutheran platform on the nature of error and then start playing like Presbyterians when governing their sessions.

I agree that seminaries need some latitude, but there is only one each of the other agencies, and in a seminary setting, you need some variance. It's called academic freedom.

But it doesn't stop there with some folks, because when you start reaching way, way down the outline of a systematic theology and elevating things likes PPL to the level of a Baptist distinctive, no matter where you stand on it, you'll have constructed a rationalistic theology, where "Baptist principles," whatever they may be, become the governing principles of a theology. There are certain principles that can do that properly - a doctrine of Scripture and a doctrine of God, but not PPL, etc. There is little difference between those who elevate one set of theological distinctives to that level and another group. The CBF and especially the Alliance of Baptists have been doing that with "religious liberty," et.al. Catholics do it with their list of dogmas.

Before long saving faith = dogmatic faith, and if you don't believe that consider the baptism policy issue @ the IMB. A person must be rebaptized if they came from a church that denies eternal security? That only makes sense if you deny that they had a credible profession of faith when baptized, and I have on my harddrive a nice article by a Landmark HyperCalvinist that makes that very argument. That's functionally Catholic in its view of saving faith. How ironic. The logic coming from some on this issue is really not that different from those others.

Anonymous said...

I was at an sbc seminary in the mid 90's when the attackes got really bad. I never heard one word of liberalism from the profs. I did hear a lot of radical attacks by mostly young students. I watched as all the older students were ran off.

.

Anonymous said...

Gene,

Interesting thoughts brother. I hope many will take the time to ponder them.

God Bless you

Benji Ramsaur

Anonymous said...

Why do I think that most messengers are uninformed.
1. I read the comments in the blogs which should be from relatively informed Baptists and find frequent lack of information and occasionally what seems to be a deliberate misinterpretation of the statements of someone.
2. I have spent 50+ years observing behaviors and am convinced (based on these data) that few people have any interest in thinking critically or even clearly.
3. I have listened to people discuss Baptist things and am amazed at the general lack of information and the large amount of bad information that people have.
4. I went to a Baptist college and knew well over 100 intended preachers the great majority of whom fitted the "sincere but naive" description.
5. I know that the times I have been a messenger to a Baptist convention, that I thought I knew what was going on but when I got there I realized that there were many things that I did not understand well enough to really make an informed vote. [Sometimes I wonder if this is the reason that often <50% of the registered messengers don't vote.]

Why should I think that messengers are informed? Other than their being sincere, I can't think of a reason. Maybe we should have a "voter's guide" which lists the pros and cons of each resolution--if we could get a genuine list of those. But I don't know of anyone to draw up the points so I read blogs. And make comments! :)

The conversation was apparently in the men's restroom so I suspect it was between two men--probably fellows I'd have a lot in common with.

I've been keeping up with things Baptist since I started to college and generally I am not completely sure who is supporting what--and when I know who, I sometimes have a real problem understanding why.

My fellow church members? Well, they may regard me as messed up and wrong headed but uninformed would probably not be one of the descriptors that would come to mind immediately. :)

To classify all the messengers as uninformed would clearly be an overstatement. However, it only takes 50.0%+1 combined of the informed and uninformed to pass something. I truly wish that messengers would make more of an effort.

Bennett Willis

Debbie Kaufman said...

That's still an overstatement Bennet. I think you would be surprised the high percentage of informed messengers. Next argument please, this one is getting old.

Anonymous said...

. . . Again:

"Each year's version of the Baptist Faith & Message (1925, 1963, 2000) is REPRESENTATIVE of the personal theological persuasions of every kind of Baptist ever walking on the planet Earth and can be (and USED to be) the basis for all SBC'ers cooperation in missions and evangelism IF we WILL cooperate--WHICH STILL IS THE QUESTION (will we cooperate?). Everyone, permit each other one to choose the BF&M version to which he/she will adhere--all of which describe what it means to be 'Southern Baptist'--and all take 2 steps forward together in missions and evangelism."

So far, despite valiant efforts and much repetition, no one blogging here over all these months has posed a better way--and none will be found in the days ahead. The BF&M statement has been so narrowed now that folks are being "squeezed out"--narrowing it or its application further only will squeeze out more. Teams are composed of volunteers, who can come onto or leave from the team whenever they choose; why unnecessarily make good team members choose to form other teams, thus reducing overall effectiveness and efficiency? Are we not wiser than that?--As a body and via our disposition, we keep claiming to be!

Happy 4th, everyone.


David Troublefield
Wichita Falls, TX

Alan Paul said...

I would agree with you that any doctrine different from one that elevates Jesus above another "god" is wrong and should be challenged. But the problem (in my humble, non-seminarian-educated opinion) is that conservatives went further than that. They themselves, for political reasons, elevated the Bible into a position higher than Jesus himself. If you didn't agree that the Bible is totally inerrent, then you were cast out and you continue to be cast out (or marginalized to the sidelines) - even if you believed Jesus to be sufficient and the only way to God. And furthermore, correct me if I am wrong, but Baptists do believe in autonomy of the local church and the priesthood of the believer correct? Autonomy and priesthood under the Lordship of Christ, correct?

Plus, do we not have the passages in Matthew as local churches to take care of sin issues? Plus do conventions not have the right to disassociate themselves with churches that are preaching anything other than Jesus.

The resurgence was nothing more that a 20 year long political power play. And this convention is now paying for its sins of casting genuine brothers and sisters in Christ aside and will be nothing more than a footnote in the history of the church.

Thanks,
AP

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray said…
Wait Debbie,
Don’t stop the conversations—I haven’t started.

On the subject of ‘messengers being informed or not informed’, the number of messengers “informed” when the BFM 2000 was ‘pushed through’ was zero because the BFM was kept SECRETE.

That means the CHURCHES, yes the churches, did not have ANY say-so in accepting the new BFM.

When a team wins in sports by using ‘ineligible’ players, they forfeit the game and the ‘losing’ team wins.

Since the messengers were uninformed, they were ‘ineligible’ and the BFM 1963 should win by forfeit. How’s that for realistic thinking? Another ‘stab in the back’ is the decree that the BFM 2000 be referred to only as the BFM since putting the 2000 gave respect or what-ever to the other BFMs.

David 007,
You said, “When people think that things are going well, then they tend to not take the time and effort and spend the money to go to the convention.”

With that thinking, Southern Baptists will really be happy when the attendance at the SBC is zero.
I think when that happens; Southern Baptists will be nothing but history.

Thanks to anonymous,
who gave the Roy Honeycutt link. Besides what Bennett Willis pointed out, I think the ‘request of memorial gifts being sent to the Baptist World Alliance’ says a lot.

Alan Paul,
You sure know how portray truth with few words.

irreverend fox said...

wow Wade...you are like Barry Bonds...the home run KING of our generation!

and like Bonds...I'm sure you are on roids...mental roids or something...because you NAILED it with this post...

tremendous post Wade.

Paul Burleson said...

Wade,

I'm back from a 3200 mile motorcycle trip, catching up on all my missed posts, completely agree with Irreverend Fox and I'm NOT sure whether that's good or bad. :)

Just kidding. I really like the guy's comments. [I even like his name since the scripture says to let the Name of the Lord be reverenced.] :)

But you HAVE really nailed it with this one.

Dad

irreverend fox said...

thanks "Dad"...lol

the tentmaker said...

Wade, several months ago I told you that you were fighting a losing battle. Thank God you did not listen to me. And thank God for men like you who are willing to swim upstream. I have always thought that the pendulum of theology would be self correcting, but now I realize that it takes real courage to become a beacon for balance and equilibrium. I thank God for you.

Fox, good to see you are still kicking.

Bob Cleveland said...

I seriously doubt that "most Baptists" know how things are going in the SBC. The might know how things are going in their own church, I'd guess, but I doubt much knowledge exists, beyond that.

What percentage of messengers to the annual meeting is pastors, vs laypeople? In my experience, the messengers are mostly staff, which leads me to believe that laypeople are simply leaving it to the professionals.

That's what I did for 25 years, until God re-focused my attention via a certain blogger.

Anonymous said...

Alan Paul,

To not approach the Bible as innerant (and I use that word without a literal hermeneutic neccessarily being implied) is to approach the Bible as one who has authority over the Bible to determine what is in error and what is not in the Bible.

And if one wants to say that they derive their authority from "Jesus" that the Bible has error, then how can they justify/prove that they are really getting it from Jesus?

It is only from basing one's beliefs on the Bible (which is from the God who knows all things) that one can justify/prove anything at all since one does not know all things himself so that there might be some truth or fact or future discovery that one does not know that ends up contradicting what one so confidently thought he knew.

The man who humbly comes under the Bible comes under the authority of Jesus Christ. The man who positions himself over the Bible puts himself in danger of creating his own god to his liking that he might name...

Jesus


God Bless You

Benji Ramsaur

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Wade,

I trust your J-4th celebration will be great. At the risk of twisting your words, as, from your perspective, I ever seem to do, I'd still like to offer a couple of observations--albeit skewed--if I may.

First, you ask "why does [Dr. Mohler] have C.J. Mahaney speak at his Southern's campus chapels and revivals - a man who not only speaks in tongues but advocates quite clearly that any teaching this gift has ceased is contrary to the teaching of Scripture."

I do not see this as a problem, Wade, for several reasons. First, it could be for the same reason he has cessationists come, nonCalvinists come, or Anglicans come and speak.

Second, I am unsure C.J. Mahaney "advocates quite clearly that any teaching this gift has ceased is contrary to the teaching of Scripture." If he does, he surely goes against his own ministry's guideline on his website.

You write further, Wade, "What bothers me is that Dr. Mohler desires the freedom to have a person who speaks in tongues to be able to teach his seminary students..." Does it equally bother you he has baby-baptizers speak? Or those historically opposed to separation of Church & State?

Nor does it seem to me to be adequate to assume, as you apparently do, that speakers invited to the Seminary campus must fit similar criteria as commissioned missionaries on the field. This glaring disconnect I do not understand.

The difficulty I see, Wade, is that, quite honestly--not to mention, quite conveniently for you--Dr. Mohler is caught in the proverbial catch-22. If he forbids noncessationists like Mahaney from speaking, you could chide him for his narrowness and use his decision as evidence that SBs are draining the pond of diversity.

As it is, when he does invite diversity onto the campus, you use that decision as evidence of "inconsistency" on his part. Poor Dr. Mohler. He simply cannot win this one, I'm afraid.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade:

I came back from San Antonio with a bad cold or some such, which kept me home that Sunday. But some of my class told me that our pastor's opening words, in his regular Convention report he makes upon his return, were to the effect that nothing the SBC does can force our church to change. We're an independent autonomous church, and we will not change that.

I wonder if the SBC really has a handle on the extent of that feeling among SBC churches, at large.

Folks in the "home offices" may have lost sight of that.

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

A man must sign his name if he is going to falsely accuse Bob Terry.

Anonymous said...

Wade:
Bob Terry believing that Isaiah didn't write Isaiah is NOT a false acusation. It is in his Word+Way editorial and still believes it today.
Why do you keep protecting and buddying up the the moderate/liberals? It's one reason he left Missouri before he planned to.

country baptist preacher said...

OK, I will bite, please show the THE ENTIRE ARTICLE where Bob Terry said that about Isaiah. I don't want to see second hand reports. Please prove your statement.

THANKING YOU IN ADVANCE
cbp

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

I will let your slander stand simply because of country preachers challenge to you. When you give the link to the entire article, please sign your name. I have little patience with gutless people who seek to impugn the character of others while hiding behind their own cowardice.

Alan Cross said...

Excellent post, Wade. I agree with you 100% here. Alabama certainly got a perspective of the Convention that mirrored Mr. Terry's remarks. Thanks for highlighting it.

Gene, you said,

"But it doesn't stop there with some folks, because when you start reaching way, way down the outline of a systematic theology and elevating things likes PPL to the level of a Baptist distinctive, no matter where you stand on it, you'll have constructed a rationalistic theology, where "Baptist principles," whatever they may be, become the governing principles of a theology. There are certain principles that can do that properly - a doctrine of Scripture and a doctrine of God, but not PPL, etc. There is little difference between those who elevate one set of theological distinctives to that level and another group. The CBF and especially the Alliance of Baptists have been doing that with "religious liberty," et.al. Catholics do it with their list of dogmas."

I hope that everyone will go back and read his statement. It is outstanding in its logic. Thank you for your contribution, Gene. You are right on.

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray the ‘black sheep; moderate’ says…
Benji Ramsaur,
This is the BFM 2000 writing to inform you that you have exceeded MY borders when you say:

“To NOT approach the Bible as INNERANT…is to approach the Bible as one who has authority over the Bible to determine what is in error and what is not in the Bible. The man who positions himself over the Bible puts himself in danger of creating his own god…”

I’m sorry to inform you that “INNERANT” is NOT my description of the Bible. MY description of the Bible is as follows:

“We believe the Bible has…truth, without any mixture of error for its matter and that all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy.”

Therefore, Benji Ramsaur, you cannot make your statement without asking the SBC at the next Convention for permission to do so. I will warn you if you decide to make your request, it may create such a fuss that COOPERATION between the messengers, in winning the World to Christ, my go out the window.

To understand MY (BFM) definition of believing the Bible, the words of the presiding lawyer for the SBC, Michael Whitehead, must be heeded.

He said, “Truth, without any mixture of error for its matter means the truth of the Bible is true and the untruth of the Bible is untrue.”

It is Rex Ray’s understanding that ‘all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy’ is the Words of God which excludes the lies of the devil and men. Also excluded would be the ignorance, misinformation, and stupidity of men.

To understand which is which, we must rely of the words of Jesus when he said the Holy Spirit would teach us. Also we should heed the words of Paul when he wrote: “Don’t get involved in arguing over controversial theological ideas.” (Titus 3:9)

So, as wind separates chaff from grain, the Holy Spirit separates untruth from truth. If the Holy Spirit is not trusted, a wall of rules will make us all prisoners within.

Stephen Pruett said...

David Troublefield has made the suggestion that the standard for cooperation in the SBC should be any version of the B F & M. Somehow this very practical and workable solution has not gained traction. I would certainly support it. I believe the 2000 version was written by a hand-picked committee selected to be in agreement on certain issues, was passed quickly with too little discussion, and that the changes were driven more by politics than the Holy Spirit. I do not believe these problems apply to previous versions, which I could support without equivocation.

Jim Paslay said...

Rex Ray said:

To understand MY (BFM) definition of believing the Bible, the words of the presiding lawyer for the SBC, Michael Whitehead, must be heeded.

He said, “Truth, without any mixture of error for its matter means the truth of the Bible is true and the untruth of the Bible
is untrue.”

Mr. Whitehead must have really made an impression on you because you keep that quote in your ready to fire chamber. Besides you and Mr. Whitehead, I cannot come up with an individual that advocates your interpretation of "truth without mixture of error." In fact your definition is nonsensical. Of course Satan's words are lies. We know that but the Scripture is trustworthy in giving us the truth of what Satan said. If we follow God's truth, it will not lead us to error.

Contrary to the revisionist historians, some who like to comment on this site, there were theological problems within our convention and it was over the inspiration and authority of Scripture.

Rex, we can use the 1963 or the 2000 BF&M and I will assure you that the people on those committees believed the Bible to be "truth without mixture of error" and that they didn't subscribe to your definition!

T. D. Webb said...

Anonymous #5 (who did not sign his/her post) said, "I’m sorry to inform you that “INNERANT” is NOT my description of the Bible. MY description of the Bible is as follows:

“We believe the Bible has…truth, without any mixture of error for its matter and that all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy.”


Mr./Ms. Anonymous, since you reject the doctrine of the "inerrancy" of Scripture, yet accept the BF&M2000's statement that "all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy" would you favor us by explaining how something "totally true" can be "errant"?

In His Grace and Peace,

T. D. Webb

Anonymous said...

Rex,

If the BF&M 2000 only said "It has...truth, without any mixture of error", then you could make the argument that the Bible merely "has" (i.e., contains) truth but is not totally true.

However, when the BF&M goes on to say "Therefore, ALL Scripture is TOTALLY true and trustworthy" (emphasis mine), then this absolutist language excludes the idea that the Bible contains truth and error.

Also, I'm pretty sure what Michael Whitehead means by his statement is that where the Bible says something is true, it is true and where the Bible says something is untrue, it is untrue.

You might could e-mail him yourself and find out.

You said "To understand which is which, we must rely of the words of Jesus when he said the Holy Spirit would teach us."

First, He did not say it to us and so you have to make the case that what Christ said applies to us as well.

Second, I think a valid case can be made that this was only intended for the apostles in that they would go on to write further New Testament revelation.

Third, how do you know, according to your thinking, that the Holy Spirit leads you to see what is true and what is untrue in the Bible (if I have understood you correctly)?

If your answer is by faith, then my question is faith in what or who?

If you say by faith in a Bible passage or passages, then how do you know that that Bible passage or passages is/are true since you believe the Bible is not inerrant?

If you say faith in the Holy Spirit, then how do you know you are getting it from the Holy Spirit?

If you say by experience, then how do you know you are experiencing the Holy Spirit?

If you say you "just" do, then how do you know that you just know that you are experiencing the Holy Spirit?

In fact, how do you know anything at all apart from basing it on the Bible which comes from the All-knowing God who does not get caught off guard by some truth or fact out there since He knows all truths and facts anyways?

God Bless you

Benji Ramsaur

P.S. If you respond, then I might not get back with you until sometime next week (I'm in summer school)

Anonymous said...

To all,

I believe this sentence of mine should not have the word "further" in it: "Second, I think a valid case can be made that this was only intended for the apostles in that they would go on to write further New Testament revelation."

Benji Ramsaur

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray said…
T. D. Webb,
When you have to explain a joke or whatever, it’s not funny. I’m sorry you did not realize that I (Rex Ray) wrote every word in my comment. When I said, “This is the BFM 2000 writing to inform you [Benji Ramsaur] that you have exceeded my borders…” I was taking the role of the BFM doing the talking.

Webb, you said, “Since you reject the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture…”

But I accept Scripture as totally true, trustworthy and inerrant. There is a big difference between Scripture and the Bible. Scripture is God’s Word only, while the Bible contains God’s Word plus untruth.

For example the Holman Bible is now the ‘accepted’ translation by the SBC. It has removed the ‘untruth’ in Matthew saying the girl was “dead” (as recorded by other translations) to being close to death which agrees with Mark and Luke.

Jim Paslay,
Tomorrow is our 50 anniversary, and if I don’t get started on jobs, there may not be a party. I will reply to you later. In the meantime, would you tell why the BFM did not say ‘truth without error’ but said ‘without mixture of error’? Good luck.

Rex Ray

Dave said...

Is that Greek word "skubala?"

:)

Anonymous said...

Stephen Pruett:

Thanks for taking note of my posting in this thread.

By now, I'm convinced that if everyone "Southern Baptist" is to cooperate for missions and evangelism in the future, what I'm advocating will be necessary. I'm able to cooperate (share money and manpower, primarily; I don't feel the need for further basic theological contributions from others) with anyone who can cooperate with me based on his/her choice of an existing BF&M statement (1925, 1963, or 2000). What is proving difficult is that many adhering to the 2000 version--and some adhering to the 1963 version--find themselves, for wrong reasons, unable to cooperate with the broader-view likes of me.

There are no "cousins in Christ". We are each other's brother or sister in Christ, and the Lord Jesus already has spoken to the matter at hand and repeated consistently in blog postings such as this one (Luke 9:49-51). It's time to settle the matter (agree: "the BF&M stops for Jesus"), join hands in cooperation, and all take two steps forward into the lost world being Great Commandment Christians doing Great Commission ministry.

What's so hard about that? Again, thanks, Stephen.


David Troublefield
Wichita Falls, TX

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray said…
Jim Paslay and I’ll include Benji Ramsaur and T.D. Webb and anyone who can tell why the BFM DOES NOT say, ‘Truth without error’ but says “Truth…without mixture of error”?

This “without mixture of error” has bothered me many years. I could not figure what it meant. It sounded like double talk. In 2004, I told Michael Whitehead that I could not understand it. I said it sounds like the Bible has errors that don’t mix.
He said, “That’s exactly what it means. It means the truth of the Bible is true and the untruth of the Bible is untrue. That is why WE added ‘and that all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy.’” (I believe he didn’t like the ‘truth and untruth’.)

Benji lets agree on what the BFM says. You wrote, “However, when the BFM goes on to say ‘Therefore, all Scripture…”

Where did you get “Therefore”? For years, Lifeway printed:

“We believe the Bible has God for its author; salvation for its end; and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter.”

Sometime after 2000, Lifeway printed:
“We believe the Bible has God for its author; salvation for its end; and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter and that all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. The 2000 statement of The Baptist Faith and Message is our doctrinal guideline.”

So, Benji, with your reasoning it could be said the Bible contained errors before 2000 but not after 2000. Is that correct? Also are you saying the second part (added after 2000) contradicts the first part?

I believe both parts are true either separated or together because “Scripture” is God’s Word only.

You would agree Jesus never lied, but he told an untruth because God withheld the knowledge that Jesus would be alone on the cross. Jesus told his disciples they would desert him, but his Father would never leave him. (John 16:32)

Benji, you’re right that we should study the Bible for learning, but it is the Holy Spirit that gives understanding. It’s like Paul. He had as much learning of the Bible as any man. He wrote, “…by reading the Scriptures, I came to realize I could never find God’s favor by…obeying laws.” (Galatians 2:19) Yet his UNDERSTANDING came not by flesh and blood. (Galatians 1:16)

Benji, your First, Second, and Third statements seems to imply the Holy Spirit was given only to the apostles, and He does not teach us anything. Am I reading you right?

Paul wrote: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” “2 Timothy 2:15)

“The word of truth” has to be the Bible…right? Maybe this is where the BFM indicates the Bible has truth and untruth. My goal is not to tear the Bible down, but to lift it up by revealing truth.

By dividing the Bible into truth and untruth, I may conclude a ‘white hat’ does not know what he is talking about; while you must twist his words around to make them true. Example:

The first BFM (play on words) was rules or laws written to Gentiles how to be saved, remain saved, or how to live was incorrect as it ignored Peter’s statement (all are saved by the gift of Jesus.) These rules were wrong as Jesus said it was not what entered a man’s stomach but what came out of his mouth that defiled him; and Paul spent the rest of his life on a losing battle that these rules were wrong and we see the roots of Catholicism.

Benji and the others, do you believe this statement is without error? “For it was the Holy Spirit’s decision—and ours—to put no greater burden on you than these necessary things:” (Acts 15: 28)

Peter had just told them; if they put a burden on the Gentiles, they would be testing God, tempt God, challenging God, correcting God.

I simply conclude that James could not give up the Jewish laws and his “JUDGMENT” reflected his ignorance; whereas you must conclude his words don’t mean what they say or something to that effect because there is no untruth in the Bible that is not explained by the Bible.

Rex Ray
Bonham, Texas

Karen in OK said...

Rex Ray,
How is it that so many praying, studying Christians come up with different conclusions?

I very much disagree with your assessment of the Jerusalem Council. (As well as your view of what Scripture is.)

Karen in OK said...

Rex Ray,
I will also add extreme disagreement with your view of Jesus' words.

Anonymous said...

Rex,

I'm taking a little break from study so I thought I interact with your thoughts.

The BF&M 2000 has its roots in the New Hampshire confession which states:

We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a PERFECT treasure of heavenly instruction (1); that it has God for its author, salvation for its end (2), and truth without any mixture of error for its matter (3); that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us (4); and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union (5), and the SUPREME standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and OPINIONS should be tried (6). [emphasis mine)

I don't believe the "intent" of the phrase "It has...truth, without any mixture of error" is to allow wiggle room that the Bible has error. However, someone could take the technical wording of that phrase and say that it could mean that the Bible "contains" truth but is not totally true.

However, that phrase goes on to say "It has...truth, without any mixture of error, for its MATTER." Now, I have read an interpretation of "matter" that allows for wiggle room for the idea that the Bible contains some error. However, I think if authorial intent is taken into consideration, then this interpretation cannot be justified.

You bring up alleged contradictions in the Bible. However, to claim that there are contradictions in the Bible you must bring some criteria to the Bible by which you judge the Bible.

At least part of this criteria must include logic. So, let me ask you this: How do you know logic is valid in the first place?

Why might not consistent naturalism be right in that the only thing that exists is matter? You can't take logic and throw it like a ball. You can't sit down and eat logic. You can't see logic.

So, how do you know that the logic you use by which to criticize the Bible is valid in the first place?

How do you know you are not just having biochemical events going on in your brain that causes you to think the way you do?

Why might it not be that (to borrow some imagery from Douglas Wilson) your brain fizzes moderately and my brain fizzes conservatively?

Why might it not be that its just a waste of time to talk to me since I might be biologically determined to think the way I do in the first place.

God Bless your mind (assuming you have one and not just a brain)

Benji Ramsaur

Anonymous said...

Rex,

Yes, I agree with you that the statements of Jesus are true. However, there is a reason why I believe they are true.

Why do you believe the statements of Jesus are true?

Benji Ramsaur

Anonymous said...

Rex,

If you respond again, I might respond back on Tuesday night.

Blessings

Benji Ramsaur

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray said…
Karen in OK, and Benji Ramsaur,
Thanks for the replies. They are more honorable (in my opinion) that the non-reply of Jim Paslay. Of course he may be busy, but he usually makes an attack and uses silence to answer any further questions. Notice I asked him to “tell why the BFM did not say ‘truth without error’, but he has not answered. He usually tells how the conservative resurgence was necessary to get rid of “liberals” that were ruining the SBC. I’ve asked him to give events that supposedly liberals had done, but he has not named even one. I’ve told him I would name two legalistic events the conservative resurgence has done for ever one event he claims about supposedly liberals. Maybe I should name him ‘Commando Commenter’ for Commandos attack and run strategy.

I believe religious beliefs that do not involve love may be dangerous. Yesterday I heard where a Baptist loved his wife so much he attended her church for 32 years but stayed a Baptist. The Church of Christ convinced his wife she would go to hell if she did not leave him. After repeated efforts for her to come back, he took his life.

Karen,
I believe the replies of Benji are more in keeping with a healthy conversation. Your’s reminds me of a person that says, ‘my mind is made up—don’t confuse me with any facts.’
You ask: “How is it that so many praying, studying Christians come up with different conclusions?”
Answer: Just like Catholics have done. Over 50 years I’ve believed just like you. It wasn’t until I studied the Bible to seek the answers to why and how Catholics started that I saw their roots in the 15th Chapter of Acts.

BTW, how many sermons have you heard on that chapter? I’ll bet you haven’t heard any as pastors avoid it like it’s not in the Bible. The early Christians’ conflict on how man was saved makes Baptist conflict today like a molehill. When I was 73, I told our 65 year old pastor I had never heard a sermon on Acts Chapter 15. I was in shock the next Wednesday when he preached it just like I would have.

Benji, it’s TRUE that Jesus said his Father would not leave him alone on the cross, and it’s TRUE he said, “My God. My God. Why have you forsaken me?” But the two statements are contradictory. Do you agree?

Just as Abraham spared his son from knowing the truth about the sacrifice, God spared his Son from knowing He would be alone on the cross until it happened. Nails did not burst the heart of Jesus which turned some blood to waster. It was the agony of separation from his Father. Jesus was fully man and God, but several times in replying to questions, he said only God knew. The will of Jesus was not to die for the sins of man, but his will was to do the will of his Father.

Thanks again,
Rex Ray

Anonymous said...

Disagreement about whether the gift of languages has ceased or not does not suprise me, of course.

But the idea that half of the SBC ministers would entertain the possibility that any kind of 'private' spiritual gift is legitimate is really suprising.

It's saddening, actually, because it shows a tragic lack of understanding of spiritual gifts and their purpose. How can this benefit the cause of Christ?

The BF&M reads as follows: "and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church".

What biblical basis are we to believe this phrase is based on if not the teaching in I Cor 14 about the purpose and use of these gifts for the edification of the church?

Isn't it abundantly clear to everyone involved that the only reason this novelle concept of a 'private prayer language' has developed into such prominence over these past few decades is to facilitate the entrance of people who believe they have the gift of languages into churches (and other arrangements, obviously) where the public practice of such a gift would be unwelcome?

My concern is not that pentacostal type doctrine is held by baptists, but rather this discussion does not stand on biblical footing. If there can be such a large division of opinion about a doctrinal issue that is so clearly beneath the pale of decent scholarship and scriptural understanding, what hope is there of a common exhortation in better things?

Rex Ray said...

Benji Ramsaur,
I look forward to your reply on Tuesday night. If you reply, you will probably be the only one as most ‘inerrantists’ will avoid discussing if/why God allowed ‘untruth’ in the Bible of Jesus saying, “Look: An hour is coming, and has come, when each of you will be scattered to his own home, and you will leave Me along. Yet I am not along, because the Father is with Me.” (John 16:32)

Their reason is a good one because they have nothing to gain and everything to lose.

What I mean by that is; if God allowed his own Son to tell an untruth, there could be other untruths in the Bible told by good men by their lack of knowledge or stupidity.

God inspired men to write the Bible but He DID NOT hold their hands.

Example: “I didn’t baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius.” (1 Corinthians 1:14) This is an untrue statement. Paul did not lie; his memory was bad as two verses later, he wrote: “Oh yes, I baptized the family of Stephanas. I don’t remember ever baptizing anyone else.” (1 Corinthians 1:16)

Another example of Paul’s bad memory or did he blame the Jews like Moses when he was denied going into the promise land? Paul wrote a year after the event: “The Romans gave me a trial and wanted to release me…But when the Jews protested the decision…I appealed to Caesar.” (Acts 28:18-19) This is untrue.

The only time Romans wanted to release Paul was: “And Agrippa said to Festus, ‘He could be set free if he hadn’t appealed to Caesar!’” (Acts 26:32) Paul may have learned of this decision by way of the grapevine, since there were no Jews present including him. How could Jews protests and how could Paul appeal when he had ALREADY appealed to Caesar?

Paul writes: “But to the rest I, not the Lord, say:” (1 Corinthians 7:12)

Do inerrantists say? ‘No, no, no Paul, everything you write in the Bible is from God.’ They have the problem of telling Paul he’s wrong and right at the same time. (Could it be when Paul wrote: ‘I do not permit women to teach men’; it was the same situation?)

Rex
Bonham, Texas

Karen in OK said...

Dear Rex Ray,
You are right. I have great difficulty compared to Benji Ramsaur in discussing things with you.
I am an over-fifty person in the pew who has never been to seminary.
And I do not want to completely hijack a discussion.

But regardless, I find your views very problematic.
You seem to be saying in your last post that God the Son lied. That has all kinds of implications for our salvation.

Rex Ray said...

Dear Karen,
Hello from a two week drop-out seminary student.
Most of the untruth of the Bible is the result of ‘lack of knowledge’. This was how Jesus told an ‘untruth’. He did not lie.
I established this on July 6 with the statement: “You would agree Jesus never lied, but he told an untruth because God withheld the knowledge that Jesus would be alone on the cross.”

Karen, I see today the Seminaries, IMB, and the SBC reverting back to the early legalistic Christians who became Catholic. (“You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law.” (Acts 21:20)
The doctrine of inerrantists goes beyond the BFM. They have rewritten Foxes Book of Martyrs to make James look like a Baptist preacher.
The old Book written in the 1500s made him look like a Catholic priest. It quoted Pharisees saying, “We and all the people should obey thee.” (James) James was the only one allowed in the Holy Place as his daily job was being a go-between God and the people with his prayers. He had knees as hard as a camel from praying. He was more popular than Jesus in being known as the “Just”. The priest that had him killed was fired by King Agrippa. Many contributed the destruction of the Jews on God’s anger for James being killed.

Karen, I wouldn’t worry about hijacking the post. They’re talking about the BFM not have the proper view of when a baby sins, and overlooking the BFM taking away individual priesthood and the autonomy of the church. But Wade is on the right trail. He only needs to work a little higher on the ladder.

Rex
Bonham, Texas

Anonymous said...

We just got this report from JR in Richmond concerning the issue you have addressed in your post. This is a quote from his report to us on the field.

"We have heard from many of you asking about the status of our personnel policies regarding baptism and private prayer language, and more recently action by the SBC to affirm the doctrinal sufficiency of the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message for all convention entities. First, after a year of review by ad hoc committees, our board has basically affirmed the previous action. However, the wording of each was softened in an effort to be more acceptable as well as changing the prayer language policy to a guideline to allow some flexibility in the consideration of candidates.

It remains to be seen how this will play out. Our board is very conscientious about representing our Southern Baptist churches and that we send out personnel who are solidly committed to what we stand for as Baptists. It is doubtful the convention action will affect these guidelines as most of those interpreting the motion indicated that the BF&M is not comprehensive but a minimal consensus statement of what we believe; also, the convention does not actually have authority over the autonomy of the boards of each entity."

I still do not see much hope in our trustees rescinding this ridiculous guideline. This guideline has NOTHING to do with anything going on, on the field. (As supported by our regional leaders. But, why listen to them???) It has ALL to do with what is going on in the political machine of the SBC. Which is just a pitiful sad thing...

I don't think the BOT has gotten the message or is going to get it at any meetings in the future. It's a shame that our BOT cannot see the forest for the trees. We have so many on the field that would no longer qualify and many more called that are "Baptist" to the core that will not qualify...

You are beating a dead horse.

M with YOUR organization

Anonymous said...

Rex,

Let me first say that I do appreciate your civil tone with me.

I'm not sure if you are understanding what I am getting at because you basically ignored responding to one of my main points.

You can quote "alleged" contradictions to me that you think are in the Bible all day long.

However, in order to claim that the Bible has contradictions you must first come to the Bible with a criteria by which you judge the Bible.

And it is this criteria that you bring to the Bible that I am claiming you cannot justify because you do not know all things. Accordingly, since you do not know all things there might be some fact or truth out there that contradicts ANYTHING you might believe so certainly to be true.

Let me encourage you to do a little experiment.

Why don't you sit down with a piece of paper and draw yourself a circle on one side of the paper and on the other side draw a cresent moon* (boy fishing on it being optional).

Now, I want to imagine that the whole of your knowledge is contained in that circle. And so you look at that circle and notice that your knowledge has limits. You do not have "unlimited knowledge" in other words.

Now, I want you to look at the other side of that moon. Now, Rex, you don't know what is on the other side of that moon. After all, your knowledge is limited within that circle. Therefore, if left to yourself you cannot PROVE anything within that circle to be absolutely right because there might be something on the other side of that crescent moon that contradicts what you think is true.

That's why PRESUPPOSING the total truthfulness of the Bible (which is from the God who knows all things) is the only way you or anybody else can prove anything at all.

So, let's take logic for example. I asked you to justify the validity of logic. Well, if left to yourself you might confidently assert that logic is valid. However, there might be something on the other side of the moon that contradicts what you think.

However, the Bible both assumes and communicates that logic is valid. Therefore, I am able to be certain that logic is valid because I am depending upon the word of God who DOES KNOW WHAT IS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOON.

In other words, Cornelius Van Til was right when he said that the proof that the Bible is true is that if the Bible were not true, you could not prove anything at all.

Let's take another idea. How do you know that the seasons will come in the future the way they have come in the past?

Well, you might say that you know that the seasons will come in the future the way they have come in the past because that is the way you have always seen them to come.

But how do you know that the way you have always seen the seasons come in the PAST will be the way the seasons will come in the FUTURE.

Remember, there might be something on the other side of the moon...

However, if you depend upon what God says in Genesis about the seasons, then you can know for certain that the season will come in the future the way they have come in the past since God does know what is on the other side of the moon.

Alright, let's switch gears a little bit. You believe that Jesus never lied, but did tell untruth(s).

Well, if Jesus could tell untruths, then how do you know that you are saved based off what Jesus said in the Bible.

You might say "Well, because I don't see anything in the Bible or outside of the Bible that would contradict what Jesus said about my salvation"

But Rex

You don't know what is on the other side of the moon.

Rex, how do you know that these alleged contradictions you bring up are not really contradictions, but your own inability to resolve in your mind what looks like a contradiction to you?

After all, everything you know is in that little circle.

God Bless

Benji Ramsaur

P.S. If you respond again, I might respond tomorrow night (I have a paper due tommorrow)

* Something not known on the other side of the moon idea, found throughout this post, taken by me from Richard Pratt's book "Every Thought Captive"

Anonymous said...

Rex,

You said "Their reason is a good one because they have nothing to gain and everything to lose."

Your exactly right. If God allowed untruth in the Bible, then I would end up just like you.

Unable to prove anything.

God Bless you

Benji Ramsaur

Rex Ray said...

Benji,
Thanks for believing I have a civil tone with you. I’m sorry I did not I ignored your main point. I went back to see what it was, and I think it was about logic. You said:

“You bring up alleged contradictions in the Bible. However, to claim that there are contradictions in the Bible you must bring some criteria to the Bible by which you judge the Bible. At least part of this criteria must include logic. So, let me ask you this: HOW DO YOU KNOW LOGIC IS VALID IN THE FIRST PLACE?”
Then you go on to ‘run down’ logic and end up saying: “God Bless your mind (assuming you have one and not just a brain.)”

However in your latest comment, you say: “The Bible both assumes and communicates that logic is valid.”

I agree wholeheartedly with your last statement. When I wrote my first ‘Truth of Acts’ in 1994, I studied only the Bible and knew very little history. Ten years later, I rewrote it after studying some history books written on the Bible and men of the Bible. I found the history did not contradict anything in the Bible, but supported my conclusions on how the roots of Catholicism started in the 15 Chapter of Acts. Basically, the majority added Christ to their rules for salvation and started a faith plus works salvation. Peter and Paul clung to Christ plus NOTHING for salvation and we see their followers withdrawing from the majority when the majority started baptizing babies for salvation in 251 AD.

Benji, lightening knocked out the internet yesterday, and its getting close again, so I’ll send this now and hope to finish it later.

Rex,
Bonham, Texas

Rex Ray said...

Benji,
Back again. When I wrote, “I’m sorry I did not I ignored your main point”, I meant to say, ‘I’m sorry I ignored your main point.’

I’ll try to reply to your comment better and stay off my favorite subject on how Catholics got started. BTW, have you ever wondered about that?

99% of what I know about the Bible comes from the Bible.

You quote Cornelius Van Til (whoever he was): “The proof of the Bible is true is that if the Bible were not true, you could not prove anything at all.”

Benji, how can you believe such a ridiculous statement? Is the Bible needed to prove a rock is heavier than air, or a thousand other facts?

Let’s compare the Bible to a gun. If the sights of a gun were off or untrue, would you say the gun would be of no value in defending yourself or whatever? Of the hundred or so picky ‘errors’ of the Bible, not one of them amounts to a hill of beans. It’s the devil’s lie that reasons if there is one word in the Bible that is untrue, the Bible is not from God and is of no value.

Man likes to worship something he can see, feel, and touch. Thus he makes idols. Never forget that the Bible is the messenger and not God. Maybe God wants the Bible to be the way it is so man will not worship it.

God’s existence does not depend upon every word in the Bible being true (inerrancy), but his existence depends upon “I AM.”

Just as God can hit straight licks using crooked sticks, the Bible does not have to be inerrant.

Benji, understand this one thing: God’s Word spoke the world into existence—not the Bible. God’s Word or Scripture is inerrant, but not the words of men when they spoke words of untruth in the Bible.

In a nutshell: The truth of the Bible is God’s Word, while the untruth of the Bible is not.

When you quote me, I’d appreciate if you would copy paste what I said, and not add to it. You wrote: “You believe that Jesus never lied, but did tell untruth(s).”

I said Jesus told ONE untruth (John 16:32). Why did you add an “s”?

Benji, I appreciate you not ignoring my comments, but do you wonder why the others have? I’ll say it again: “They have nothing to gain and everything to lose.” It’s like an elected official not wanting a recount of the votes, or “Fools rush in where wise men tremble.” Now I am NOT saying you are a fool, but only lacking in experience to AVOID a subject you may lose. I don’t think you will win much with seasons and the moon.

Would you agree that it’s more difficult to prove ever word is true in the Bible, or prove only one word false?

You said, “You can quote “alleged” contradictions to me that you think are in the Bible all day long.”

I’m surprised you did not use the reasoning of the ‘Chicago Statement on Inerrancy’: “Apparent inconsistencies should not be ignored. Solution of them, where this can be convincingly achieved, will encourage our faith, and where for the present no convincing solution is at hand we shall significantly honor God by trusting His assurance that His Word is true, despite these appearances, and by maintaining our confidence that one day they will be seen to have been illusions.”

Benji, maybe you can see Jesus saying his Father would be with him at Calvary as an ILLUSION, but I can’t.

Rex
Bonham, Texas

Anonymous said...

Rex,

I quoted you the way that I did because I did not know for sure if you thought Christ did not tell the truth once or more than once. But I understand that you do not want to be represented as saying something that you did not say and I do not desire to do that.

You said "Is the Bible needed to prove a rock is heavier than air, or a thousand other facts?"

Well, apart from the Bible, there is no justification for logic so that it might be that a rock is heavier than air and a rock is not heavier than air all at the same time.

You said "Let’s compare the Bible to a gun. If the sights of a gun were off or untrue, would you say the gun would be of no value in defending yourself or whatever?"

Well, apart from the Bible providing a justification for the validity of logic, then maybe the sights of a gun is off and not off all at the same time.

For someone who believes that the Bible contains error, you sure do speak rather confidently about some things in the Bible.

You speak about the "Devil", "I Am", and God's ability.

How do you know that any of these things are true within a book that you judge to contain error?

You see, if you are a judge of the book, then you must be able to "justify" your verdict.

Therefore, could you please share your evidence?

God Bless

Benji Ramsaur

P.S. "Van Til's Apologetic" by Greg L. Bahnsen [suggested reading]

Rex Ray said...

Benji,
Regardless of simple truths I ask you, you seem to have a hard time saying ‘yes’ to anything.

I’ll illustrate what I mean: If I asked you: ‘Do you love Jesus’; your standard answer would be:
‘Well, apart from the Bible providing a justification for the validity of logic, then maybe I love Jesus and I don’t love Jesus all at the same time.’

WHAT KIND OF ANSWER IS THAT? In my opinion, it’s ‘double talk’, and it’s wasting your time, mine, and anyone who reads it. If you cannot or won’t communicate better than that, then this conversation is over.

You ask, “How do you know that any of these things are true within a book that you judge to contain error?”

That’s a good question and it has a simple answer (Matthew 13:24-29) with the parable of the field of ‘wheat and tares [weeds]’ The Bible is like the field of wheat that contains weeds. Those ‘weeds’ are the lies of the devil and men, and the ‘recorded’ lack of knowledge of men.

To know what is truth and untruth is illustrated as grain and trash are separated by tossing both into the air and the wind blows the trash away; Jesus said the Holy Spirit would teach us.

Benji with your thinking, you would promote eating food with dirt on it, and condemn those who ate only the food by separating the dirt.

Will you answer three questions with a yes or no?
1. Does, “MY God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” tell Jesus was ALONE at Calvary?
2. Does, “Look: An hour is coming, and has come, when each of you will be scattered to his own home, and you will leave Me along. Yet I am NOT ALONE, because the Father is with Me” (John 16:32) tell that God would be with his Son at Calvary?
3. Is one of the above, true and the other untrue due to a lack of knowledge?

My answer would be ‘yes’ to all three questions. I predict yours will be a lot of double talk, and if it is, this will be goodbye.

In His hands,
Rex

Anonymous said...

Rex,

I might respond on Monday night.

God Bless

Benji Ramsaur

Anonymous said...

Rex,

I said "Well, apart from the Bible, there is no justification for logic so that it might be that [a rock is heavier than air and a rock is not heavier than air all at the same time]."

Now, what I said in brackets was "double talk". It was contradictory. It was illogical.

However, "since" I believe the Bible and the Bible gives me a justification for the validity of logic, then I can justifiably use logic to believe the logical idea that a rock is heavier than air.

Alright, you have brought up Christ's statement about the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit. And you use this verse as your justification for the idea that the Bible has errors.

1. Since you believe that Jesus could state an untruth [unintentionally], you have not yet provided any evidence for how you know that Jesus did not speak an untruth in John 14:26. Therefore, you have yet to justify your supposed justification for how you know the Bible contains error in the first place.

2. You have not yet provided any evidence for how you know that the Holy Spirit, according to you, has taught you which portions of the Bible you believe to be in error and which portions you believe are not.

Do you have revelation from the Holy Spirit as to which Scriptures are in error and which are not? If so, then could you share this revelation with the rest of us.

Now, even though you have not justified your criteria by which you judge the Bible, I want to proceed to answer your questions anyway.

Question # 1. Yes

Question # 2. Yes

Question # 3. No

Now, at this point I want to share with you why I think it is sad that you think the way you do.

You come to these different texts with the presupposition that the Bible can or does contain error.

Therefore, instead of thinking "Mmmmmm, I wonder how these two statements go together [and thus stimulate your thinking]"

You have come to this text and thought "That's a contradiction" and thus shown yourself to be a judge of the Bible.

A judge who has not justified the criteria by which he judges the Bible.

There is a "point" to the moon and circle illustration.

Well, I thought that I would give you one interpretation put forth by Wade's feller:

and shall leave me alone; as they did in the hands of his enemies; for they all forsook him and fled, some one way, some another; though one or two of them, Peter and John, followed him at a distance; and all came together again, but not to Christ, until his resurrection from the dead.

And yet I am, not alone; he was not alone at this time; and his meaning is, that he should not be alone then when they should be scattered from him:

because the Father is with me; not only as the Son of God, by virtue of union to him, and as one with him; but as Mediator, in consequence of his promise to uphold him, and assist him in his human nature; and though he withdrew his gracious and comforting presence from him, he bearing the sins, and standing in the room and stead of his people, yet not his powerful and supporting presence. --John Gill

Another interpretation is in Leon Morris's commentary on the gospel of John found in the footnotes [connected with Jn. 16:32)

God Bless

Benji [no double talk this time] Ramsaur

:)

Rex Ray said...

July 17, 2007
Benji,
Thanks for speaking logically. I will try to do the same. Just for the record, a rock can be lighter than air when a tornado can ‘float’ it for miles. Also water can be lighter than air when hail is formed, but like you say, “the logical idea that a rock is heavier than air.”

First, understand one thing: ‘my thinking’ is that SCRIPTURE is without error, but not all words in the Bible are SCRIPTURE, and these words contain error. In short, all truth in the Bible is SCRIPTURE, and all untruth in the Bible (even though truthfully recorded) is in error and is NOT SCRIPTURE.

You said: “You have not yet provided any evidence for how you know that Jesus did NOT speak an untruth in John 14:26.” Your statement is correct. I think you put in “NOT” by mistake.

But thanks for making the statement that I will ask you. What proof did you use other than some words by MEN—I used Scripture: “My God. My God. Why have you forsaken me?”

With that said, you should see how the Holy Spirit has taught the little that I know by using SCRIPTURE.

You ask me to share how I know from the Holy Spirit which portions of the Bible are true and which are not. Paul has already told you with one word: ‘STUDY.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

Rex,
Bonham, Texas

Rex Ray said...

Benji,
Since you and I are probably the only ones reading this, and we are starting to go in a circle with our thoughts, I’d like to show you the SS lesson I party prepared last week. It brings out the ‘study’ about the conflict of early Christians that makes ours look like a molehill. I think we can learn by history.

BTW, I once carried on a conversation with a Catholic for months on Wade’s blog and he didn’t seem to mind.

Study of Conflicts and Disputes of early Christians

Acts 15:1-35 took place 50 A.D.

Acts 15:1 “And certain men which came down from Judea taught the brethren, and said ‘Except you be circumcised after the manner of Moses, you cannot be saved.”

Who were these men?
See Galatians 2:12
1. Certain came from James… (King James, New American Standard)
2. Men from James. (Holman)
3. Jewish friends of James…(Living Bible—paraphrased)
4. Friends of James…(New Living Bible—translation)

See Acts 15:24
1. Certain which went out from us…(King James,
2. Some…went out from us… (Holman)
3. Some of our number…(New American Standard)
4. Some believers from here…(Living Bible)
5. Some men from here…(New Living Bible)

Since they had the same doctrine, could they have been the same men in Acts 15:5?
1. …certain of the SECT of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.” (King James)
2. But some of the believers from the PARTY of the Pharisees stood up and said, “It is NECESSARY to circumcise them and to COMMAND them to keep the law of Moses!” (Holman)

Did this “sect” or “party” of Pharisees roll over and die, or did they continue teaching their beliefs as shown by the following Scriptures?
1. Reese said Galatians was written 57-58 A.D.
Galatians 2:4 “…Christians—false ones really—who came to spy on us to see what freedom we enjoyed in Christ, as to whether we obeyed the Jewish laws or not.”
2. Galatians 3:1-2 “Oh, foolish Galatians! What magician has hypnotized you and cast an evil spell upon you?...Did you receive the Holy Spirit by trying to keep the Jewish laws?”
3. Galatians 4:17 “Those false teachers…Listen to me, you friends who think you have to obey the Jewish laws to be saved.”
4. Galatians 5:12 “I only wish these teachers who want you to cut yourselves by being circumcised would cut themselves off from you and leave you along.”
5. Galatians 6:12 “Those teachers of yours who are trying to convince you to be circumcised…”
6. 2 Corinthians (written in 57 A.D.) 3:1 “Are we beginning to be like those false teachers of yours who must tell you all about themselves and bring long LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION with them?
(Did the “PARTY” of Pharisees at the Jerusalem Church write these letters of recommendation?)
7. Corinthians 3:6 (Paul tells what they preached by saying what he didn’t preach)
“We do not them that they must obey every law of God or die…the old way, trying to be saved by keeping the Ten Commandments, ends in death.”
8. Corinthians 11:13 “God never sent those men at all; they are ‘phonies’ who have
fooled you into thinking they are Christ’s apostles.
9. Philippians (written 60-62 A.D.) 3:2 “Watch out for those wicked men—dangerous dogs, I call them—who say you must be circumcised to be saved.”
10. Philippians 3:18 “There are many who walk along the Christian road who are really enemies of the cross of Christ.”
11. Titus (written in 65 A.D.) 1:10-11 “…this is especially true among those who say that all Christians must obey the Jewish laws. But this is foolish talk; it blinds people to the truth, and it must be stopped.”

The Bible establishes without a doubt that there were two sides at the Church Counsel.
1. One side added Christ to their laws for salvation (faith in Jesus plus works. (Christian Pharisees)
2. The other side believed faith in Jesus plus nothing. (Peter and Paul)

I think after the meeting, both sides believed as they always did, even though the letter to the Gentiles was sort of a compromise that led both sides into thinking they had won. (Gentiles were glad they didn’t have to be circumcised, and the three food laws and the ‘living right law’ could be argued that obeying rules was necessary for salvation. It also established that ‘doctrine’ could be established by leaders, and the “PARTY” probably wanted to add more laws before the ink was dry on the letter. The majority believed this: “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all ZEALOUS of the law.” (Acts 21:20) Their reasons were based on TRADITION: “For these have been preached against in Jewish synagogues in every city on every Sabbath for many generations.” (Acts 15:21) (Catholics gave tradition equal authority with the Bible in 1545.)
Paul did not believe the four “NECESSARY” rules had anything to do with salvation as he wrote, “…Doing good and obeying rules…as not eating certain foods…they only make him proud.” (Colossians 2:20-21) “You are certainly free to eat food offered to idols…it is not against God’s laws to eat such meat.” (1 Corinthians 10:23) He wrote nearly one hundred Scriptures that man was saved by believing, trust, or faith in Jesus, or a gift from God. His reasons were based on: “For my message comes from no less a person that Jesus Christ himself, who told me what to say.” (Galatians 1:12) Paul believed he was right so much he wrote: “Let God’s curse fall on anyone… who preaches any other way to be saved…if an angel comes from heaven and preaches any other message, let him be forever cursed.” (Galatians 1:8)

The crucial part of Acts 15 was the answer given to the Gentiles by the Church Counsel how they could be saved. Were they saved like Peter said, “All are saved the same way, by the free gift of the Lord Jesus”, or were they saved as the letter directed them?
Was the decision (letter to Gentiles that omitted Peter's words) from God, or was the decision based on tradition? Peter had just told them; if they put a BURDEN on the Gentiles, they would be testing God, tempt God, challenging God, correcting God. (different translations.) How then could the Holy Spirit be in agreement with, “For it was the Holy Spirit’s decision—and ours—to put no greater BURDEN on you than these necessary things.” (Acts 15:28)

Rex
Bonham, Texas

Anonymous said...

Rex,

You said you used "Scripture" (i.e., the "forsaken me" verse)

If the Holy Spirit has taught you, through study, that some of the Bible is Scripture while some of the Bible is not (which I do not believe is true by the way), then how do you know that the Holy Spirit, through "study", has "taught" you that this verse in the Bible is Scripture while the "not alone" verse is merely "Bible" and not vice versa?

God Bless

Benji Ramsaur

Rex Ray said...

Benji,
I’m glad you believe in logic. In one case, Jesus tells what he thought WOULD happen, and in the other He tells what DID happen. Since the two events are opposite, which is more logical—what He thought, or what He knew?

BTW, I’ve forgotten if you explained why you believe the two events are NOT opposite. Would you tell with logic why you believe that?

Rex,
Bonham, Texas

Anonymous said...

Rex,

You said "Jesus tells what he thought WOULD happen, and in the other He tells what DID happen."

Why couldn't it have been that Jesus tells what He knew would happen and in the other He tells what he thought happened?

Grace

Benji Ramsaur

Rex Ray said...

Benji,
In your ‘wiggling around’, do you realize you’re saying the same as I only backwards? That is; you’re saying Jesus was mistaken in thinking his Father had left him and his heart broke from a mistake.

Either way, the two statements from Jesus contradict one another which would show every word in the Bible is not true.

BTW, do you know the song? “He could have called ten thousand angels to destroy this world and set him free. He could have called ten thousand angels, but he died alone for you and me.”

I think you might benefit from seeing Wade’s blog today (Monday July 23. and reading his reference blog of Boyd Luther.

Boyd mentions some people think they know the mind of God so well that anyone opposing them is opposing God. With that said, wonder if the ‘every word of the Bible is true group’ would fit that category?

Rex
Bonham, Texas

Anonymous said...

Rex,

I asked Y O U "Why couldn't it have been that Jesus tells what He knew would happen and in the other He tells what he thought happened?"

I do not believe it could have been in the first place. But I wanted to know from you how you distinguished which Bible verse was true and which was not.

Could you give me the criteria that you used by which you made this distinction?

Grace

Benji Ramsaur

Rex Ray said...

Benji,
I will try to make this real simple. If you said, “I will drive this nail without hitting my thumb”, but if your thumb burst with blood and you howl with pain, which event will the Holy Spirit tell me is true? That is my criteria.

Likewise; when Jesus said his Father would not leave him alone on the cross, (that’s what he thought just as you not hitting your thumb) but his heart broke, turning blood into water, and he cried with pain…“My God. My God. Why have you forsaken me?” The Holy Spirit tells me that Jesus is not lying because his Father had really forsaken him.
His Father ‘hid’ this knowledge from his Son to spare him the awful truth until it happened. Is that too difficult to understand? Jesus did not know everything his Father knew since several times Jesus replied to questions that only his Father knew.

Benji, your problem is that you conclude every word in the Bible is true before you read every word, and when you are confronted with truth, you can’t stand it because in a way you’ve made the messenger of God your god.
God wants us to believe the Bible like Job saying, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust him.” Though the Bible has errors, yet I will trust the Bible.
God’s Word is perfect, but not the lies, lack of knowledge, ignorance, and stupidity that God has allowed to be recorded in the Bible.

How would you like to be in this contest that was thought up by two Generals: Each opponent got a grip of the other’s hair and were not allowed to let go. At a signal, they plunge a sword into the other’s side. The location was named “Field of Swords” where all 24 contestants died. (2 Samuel 2:14-16)
I would have named it “Field of Stupidity”. Yes, the Bible is full of STUPID events, and stupid people (even people wearing white hats) saying stupid words.

One even records a stupid lie. (2 Samuel 1:9-10) The event records a man telling how he killed Saul. My uncle would argue it was not a lie—“It’s in the Bible—don’t you believe the Bible?”

“He [Paul] speaks about these things in all his letters, in which there are some matters that are hard to understand. The untaught and unstable twist them to their own destruction, as they also do with the rest of the Scriptures.” (2 Peter 3:16)
New Living Translation: “…Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted…”
Living Bible: “…Some of his comments are not easy to understand, and there are people who are deliberately stupid, and always demand some unusual interpretation…”

I believe one of Paul’s “hard to understand” comments is “I do not allow a women to teach or have authority over a man…” (1 Timothy 2:12)

One side says “I” is Paul, and the other side says “I” is God. So it comes down to which side is stupid.

Have a nice day in the Lord.

Rex
Bonham, Texas

Anonymous said...

Rex,

Like a boy who looks around in the mall for his mother and cries for her while she was behind him all the while, why couldn't it have been that Jesus looked for God and cried "thinking" that God had left Him all the while God was someplace Christ had not looked?

Grace

Benji Ramsaur

Rex Ray said...

Benji,
I speak of what I believe, but you want me to discuss (argue) with what you don’t believe. Why are you doing this?

First of all, Jesus wasn’t looking for his Father. Jesus ‘felt’ his Father’s presence leave him just as he ‘felt’ healing power leave him when the woman touched his garment.

Rex

Anonymous said...

Rex,

Yes, you are telling me what you believe.

However, I am challenging you to justify what you believe.

Now, I believe that Christ told the truth on the cross.

However, where do you get that the way Jesus knew that God had left him was that He "felt" God leave Him?

Even if it was based on feeling, you still believe that Christ could be mistaken.

So, how do you know that Christ was not mistaken based off a feeling within Himself that was not accurate?

Now, I believe that the Holy Spirit exists because of what the Bible says.

However, how do you know that the Holy Spirit exists?

If you say the Bible, then how can you know for sure that the Bible proves the existence of the Holy Spirit since you believe that the Bible contains error in the first place?

If you say that the Holy Spirit tells you that this or that text is true in the Bilbe, then you still have not proven the existence of the Holy Spirit to be able to tell you this in the first place.

Grace

Benji Ramsaur

Rex Ray said...

Benji,
I never thought of ‘how’ Jesus knew his Father had left him. I just had faith that Jesus knew. Not until I was in the middle of writing my last comment to you did it ‘dawn on me’ that probably he knew his Father left him the same way he felt the faith of the ‘woman’s touch’ that cause his healing power transferred to her.

You state: “Even if it was based on feeling, you still believe that Christ could be mistaken.”

If you are talking about Jesus being mistaken in what he said in John 16:32, then yes, I believe he was mistaken because God withheld the truth from him until it was time for him to die alone for our sins

God cannot comfort sin. God turned his back when Jesus became our sin and his Father executed his own Son for our sins to be punished. (It is written, I will slay the Shepard.) And I believe that punishment took Jesus to hell where his every breath would be a scream.
Otherwise, why would the bravest man that ever lived, sweat drops of blood? Many men have died more horrible deaths with less dread than nails on a cross. Christians, eaten by lions, had smiles on their faces.

My 5 year old cousin died in China almost 90 years ago. Her last words were pleasant as she said, “Mama, which one is our house?” Was she looking into heaven? Jesus died with a loud voice. Was he seeing hell? Extreme pain turned some of his blood to water as revealed by the spear.

How can you ask: “How do you know that Christ was not mistaken [when he died]?

You ask, “How do you know the Holy Spirit exists?”

Like you say the Bible tells us just as it tells us that God loves us. I know He exist because of the torment He put me through on convincing me I was lost.

In the past, I’ve had a pessimistic view of those saying something like, “If the Lord hadn’t been with me, I would have been killed in a car wreck.” I would think, ‘If the Lord was with you, you wouldn’t have had the wreck in the first place.’

I have a different belief now after one scary night. As I have often done, I was driving on the shoulder to let people pass. Car lights were blinding as the car went by. A thought hit me that I’ve never had before or since: “I’ll act as a race driver, and see how close I can whip in behind him.” When the car got three feet in front of me, I jerked my car behind him. My car swayed back and forth which scared me, and three things hit my mind about the same time: I’ll never do that again, that car is angry with me, and I saw the back of a young boy walking in the middle of the shoulder. I turned around, and told the boy how close he came to being killed.

I asked my pastor why I had jerked my car. He said, “God let Hagar go without water as far as she could before He intervened. Sometimes—SOMETIMES, He intervenes for us.”

That night, I believe the Holy Spirit spoke to me. And now, I never drive on the shoulder when I can’t see.

Benji, for the rest of what you say, I believe you’re asking yourself as much as you’re asking me.

Rex