December 30, 2007

Was Adrian Rogers a Respectful Bible Teacher?

In one word, NO.

The Catholic Catechism respectfully states clearly and correctly the oppositions view: "The first Protestant reformers, on the contrary, taught that original sin has radically perverted man and destroyed his freedom; they identified the sin inherited by each man with the tendency to evil (concupiscentia), which would be insurmountable."

They then proceed to state their positions in their Catechism. There are no fallacies in their reasoning. This is respectful communication.

Adrian Rogers whose own booklet states on the back cover: " of the most respected Bible teachers presenting the Good News of Jesus Christ with strong convictions..."

Yet unlike the respectful manner of the RCC Catechism he constructs a straw man argument by creating a distortion of the Reformers' view that he himself can easily refute. He makes the unlearned think that he has destroyed the Reformed position. His congregation believed him and thousands across the face of many nations believed as well.

But is this respectful?

"God did not take a little tender child and say, "I'm going to cast you into hell." "I'm going to harden your heart and then I'm going to cast you into hell" ""I'm going to create a whole stack of vessels and then I'm going to take a rod and break them all?"

Did Adrian Rogers know anything about the reformation views? Did he understand Total Depravity and Original sin as believed by the Reformers?
Couldn't he have called a professor at Mid-America and sought some information about Calvinism?

Or did he knowingly misrepresent the opposing view with the purpose to deceive?

I confess, I don't know. However it's hard to believe that he was that ill-informed.

If he did this with malicious intent should we give him a "mulligan"? He was so nice and good, should we overlook this one 'itty bitty' error? His devoted followers treat Dr. Rogers' successor, Dr. Gaines with disrespect (wonder where they learned that behavior). Why should they overlook this error.

Dr. Rogers overlooked two Reformation principles:
1) Men go to hell for the inherited sin of Adam. He sinned so we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
2) Man's depravity is, as the Catholic understanding of Reformation views, insurmountable.

Oh well, he didn't know this.

December 27, 2007

Was Dr. Rogers Roman Catholic or Orthodox?


416 By his sin Adam, as the first man, lost the original holiness and justice he had received from God, not only for himself but for all human beings.
417 Adam and Eve transmitted to their descendants human nature wounded by their own first sin and hence deprived of original holiness and justice; this deprivation is called "original sin".
418 As a result of original sin, human nature is weakened in its powers, subject to ignorance, suffering and the domination of death, and inclined to sin (this inclination is called "concupiscence").

406 The Church's teaching on the transmission of original sin was articulated more precisely in the fifth century, especially under the impulse of St. Augustine's reflections against Pelagianism, and in the sixteenth century, in opposition to the Protestant Reformation. Pelagius held that man could, by the natural power of free will and without the necessary help of God's grace, lead a morally good life; he thus reduced the influence of Adam's fault to bad example. The first Protestant reformers, on the contrary, taught that original sin has radically perverted man and destroyed his freedom; they identified the sin inherited by each man with the tendency to evil (concupiscentia), which would be insurmountable. The Church pronounced on the meaning of the data of Revelation on original sin especially at the second Council of Orange (529) and at the Council of Trent (1546).

The 2000 Baptist Faith and Mission
Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God.

Westminister Shorter Catechism
Q. 18. Wherein consists the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?
A. The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consists in the guilt of Adam’s first sin, the want of original righteousness, and the corruption of his whole nature, which is commonly called original sin; together with all actual transgressions which proceed from it.

Q. 19. What is the misery of that estate whereinto man fell?
A. All mankind by their fall lost communion with God, are under his wrath and curse, and so made liable to all the miseries of this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell forever.

Since Adrian Rogers preached against Reformed Theology (Westminister Catechism) then no other conclusion can be formed than that he was closer to Roman Catholicism than Orthodoxy.

Arminians All Look Alike

Who wrote the following?

"...unconditional election of individuals to eternal life was not taught by the Apostles. God did elect or predestinate, that all those who would be saved, should be saved in Christ Jesus, and through obedience to the Gospel...."
Was it:
1) Dave Hunt
2) Adrian Rogers
3) Benedict XVI
4) Joseph Smith, Jr.
5) Billy Graham

For the answer click on a quiz

December 24, 2007

Written in Stone or Flesh?

John 5:39-40 (NASB) "You search the Scripture because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life."

The 1963 BF&M stated that "The criteria by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ" With Adrian Rogers as the chairman of the committee to study the BF&M and bring suggested changes to the 2000 convention the wording changed to: "All scripture is a testimony to Christ who is himself the focus of divine revelation."

Jesus is no longer viewed as God’s supreme revelation, he has been demoted to being merely the “focus” of God’s revelation. Jesus has also been demoted from being the criteria by which the Bible is to be interpreted.

According to Jesus Scripture was held in a very exalted position, it was divine in origin but was never meant to be an end in itself. The purpose of scripture is to lead and point people to Christ.

Now there are people who have a low view of Scripture and do not regard it as the true Word of God. However there are those who hold too 'high' a view of Scripture and worship it rather than Christ. "Bible-worshippers" look to the right interpretation as if they have the Christ the Word says they have. Yet as Christ said, they 'think' they have eternal life. Their hearts remain stony and lifeless. Christ as the ends of Scripture gives life to the dead and causes men to live.

The high view of Scripture held by the Conservative resurgence has influenced the followers of Dr Rogers as reflected by the posters of both pro and anti (Gaines) Bellevue. Rather than reflecting a 'lively heart' they reflect arrogant stony hearts. They have a head knowledge of the Word supposing that they have eternal life.

December 12, 2007

Tradition of Ruling Princes

1 Corinthians 2:6 (King James Version)
Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:

Before I start I disclaim any charge that I am seeking to attack Adrian Rogers's Character, person or reputation. He was a man of moral excellence and firmness. I am challenging some of his theology.

In the previous post I referenced Adrian Rogers' theology from the perspective of Jesus' discussions with the Sadducees. In this post I am referencing Jesus' talks with the Pharisees. The Sadducees lacked knowledge of the Scriptures and denied the supernatural power of God in daily affairs. The Pharisees confused tradition with Scripture and thus nullified and made void God's Word.

Like many fiery fundamentalist Adrian Rogers confused tradition of men with the Word of God. This confusion clouds the issue of the Believer's authority. All Churches of assorted variations claim the authority of the Bible as their sole rule for faith and practice. They all claim to be right!

The questions of the rulers in the temple were; "By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave you authority to do these things?"

These question are relevant to us today: By what authority do you believe what you believe? By what authority do you claim certain teachings and deny others?

Biblically the princes under the influence of men's traditions participated in the crucifixion of Christ and that tradition has been handed down through the centuries in various man made doctrines. However Adrian Rogers participated in a line of gradual descension from orthodoxy through this century with men like E. Y. Mullins, Herschel Hobbs who along with Dr Rogers chaired the commmittees to formulate the Baptist Faith and Mission, 1925, 1963 and 2000. Pragmatism won out over orthodoxy and the Southern Baptist Convention led the way for an emergent ministry in a postmodern culture. Under the disguise of a conservative resurgence led by Dr. Rogers the SBC became a mega-church oriented convention substituting individual salvation for a mass movement of people groups throughout the World. It was seen as a battle For the Bible but it was for the sake of effective evangelism and opened the door to emergent ministries led by Rick Warren.

Although there is a departure from the influence of Scofield's dispensationalism there are strong cords that bind fundamentalism to traditions that are confused with Scriptures. Scofield declared that his interpretation was "the commandment of the Lord" I Cor 14:36,37 Fundamentalist have adopted his injunctions and interpretations as their own inerrant Scriptures. 1.) Before the New Testament was written inspired prophets and preachers brought new revelation in the context of I Cor 14:29,30 2.) Sign gifts and tongues were used in this primitive community under the restraint of Church leaders. 3.) The primitive assembly had the exercise of Spiritual gifts especially prophecy. 4.) Women were required to keep silent when the Church assembled. This is declared to be the unquestionable Word of God!

The Holy Spirit acted freely in sovereignty. There was no place for self-choosing and Christian service was simply the ministry of such gift as the invidual may have received. After the N.T. was written the Christian message came not from inspired preachers but from mere men preaching inspired Scripture. The activity of the Holy Spirit in the primitive assembly took a back seat to the body of Scripture. This was not what Christ had intended in John 16:12-15.

Adrian Rogers adopted this tradition of man. His views of anti-Calvinism were handed down through John R. Rice's "Predistined for Hell? NO!" to Robert L. Summer and thus we have Dr Rogers' booklet "Predestined for Hell? Absolutely Not!"

Jesus said to the Pharisees: "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, 'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.' You leave the commandment of God, and hold fast the tradition of men." Mark 15:6-8

The common Bellevue believer, not well versed in theology, believes that Adrian Rogers' authority was anti-Calvinist and anti-Charismatic and Pentecostal and that is the equal to Holy Scriture. No wonder that Bellevue's leadership is Spiritless and relies on natural processes. Dr. Rogers followed the princes of this world that have come to naught.

December 3, 2007

Super-normal or Supernatural

In 1956 Nicholas Ray produced a movie, Bigger Than Life, about James Mason, a twisted suburbanite addicted to cortisone. He experienced visionary, tyrannical delusions which his wife had to suffer through.

A pessimistic outlook of major mega-churches today is built around a "bigger than life person" who often is the focus of the large complex.

Strangely, these churches are built around the concept of scientific materialism, a form of materialism in which everything can be explained in natural terms or processes. They deny the necessity for God or any kind of supernatural intervention.

The template for this organizational state is found in Mark 12:20-24. Christ addresses the Sadducee's' anti-supernaturalism with the words: "You know neither the scriptures nor the power of God."

A large Church like Bellevue could not be the result of one man's accomplishments, although he may have the dream. Like most churches there are men who have a history of successful vocations outside the church and a history of "ownership" within the church. Perhaps this ownership may involve the donation of material wealth from family past. These men are "kingmakers", they are responsible for the pastor being their pastor. They put together the physical side of the dream the pastor or elders envision. Fundraising, budgeting, material, manpower and physical resources are their jobs.

They provide the physical aspects of the spiritual functions such as preaching, teaching and counseling.

Far the most part in American fundamentalism the glory of the material gets the better of the heavenly splendor. The creative powers of man outshine the miraculous provisions of God. God takes a backseat and is given lip-service.

Christ says you are not just wrong but you "do greatly err". v.27 Wrong about Scripture and the Power of God. Christ had refused the template laid down by Satan's wilderness temptations, he also refused to bow to these influential political leaders in Israel. He spoke boldly to the men who bridged the gap between Rome and Jerusalem. He would not say what they wanted him to say!

I dare say without exception that every mega-pastor today is saying what he is being paid to say! He may proudly boast he speaks for God, yet he dare not offend any of these "kingmakers". They sit and listen to the sermon week after week without an ounce of faith in God but full of man-made confidence and the security that if the pastor errs, he leaves not them.

Now there are disposable people in the hierarchy to be sacrificed and they are dispensed with as gestures of power. The "kingmakers" are immovable.

This is the source of spiritual blasphemy, resistance to the Holy Spirit and the unforgivable insults the men of God heap upon the spirit of Grace. The end product matches the Devil's template. Paul Williams is a product of such a process and Adrian Rogers was taken from this earth prematurely because He would not stand up to these men. Bellevue is experiencing the judgement of the hand of God.

This is not exclusive to Bellevue but is rampant in America. The common man knows big churches are businesses and money is the end product. "To whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more." Luke 12:48