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.

No comments: