March 30, 2008

Watching The Watcher

Watching the watcher said...You know, you may just be right. About everything. I am not sure you are going about things the right way, though. I also don't get what you hope to accomplish.January 19, 2008 10:11 AM

Watching the watcher said...You say "NASS," (New Bellevue Baptist Church Open Forum) it is about integrity of Church leadership", pointing back to Adrian Rogers. Yet the front page of your blog says "The intent of this blog is not to impugn the character or integrity of Dr Rogers". So which is it? Are your true colors showing through? Admit it, this is really all just about your personal dislike for Rogers, the rest is just blowing "spiritual" smoke, isn't it? January 19, 2008 7:43 PM

I replied. No I am not angry with Dr Rogers, God is. I'm just his messenger and I know how angry God is. I did feel that there was a line I was stepping over in my post. Is there a correlation between one's theology and character? Can there be a connection to Dr Rogers' bad theology that would effect his priorities and cause him to be so busy in one area and neglect another? You tell me. January 20, 2008 5:17 AM

Watching the watcher said...I didn't say you were angry with Dr. Rogers. I said you dislike him and that personal dislike looks like a motive for what you are saying. Yes, there can be a connection between a person's theology and their character/integrity, but if that's what you believe is the case with Rogers you should remove the statement on the front page of your blog. January 20, 2008 5:30 PM

My intentions on this blog is not to impugn the character or integrity of Dr Rogers but his theology. At least that's what I thought I was doing until Watching the Watcher's comments.To impugn even Dr Rogers' theology is a rarity. No one dares to do that but a few. His celebrity and legacy is tremendous. Perhaps it could be said that he was the best of men in so many ways.Let's not forget that Jesus said that there are none good but one. Paul said, let God be found true and every man a liar and there is none righteous no not one. So Dr Rogers was not good. He was an unrighteous liar. So are we all!We are all, without exception, either fools or knaves. The best of us fall short of pleasing God. Let us use this as our base and no one sits atop a pedestal. No one! Either we are foolishly lacking in judgement and prudence or we are tricky and deceitful.
We can't call anyone 'raca', stupid and worthless, utterly vilified. Yet neither can we call anyone good because only our Lord is good. God alone is true and we are liars.
I did not dislike Dr Rogers. However his celebrated status never impressed me one way or the other. I wasn't taught in all my upbringing to celebrate some one's status. Simple poor country people don't do that. That is a life that so few people seem to understand anymore. "Name droppers" were silly "city slickers" and "they best stay away from us"!

Perhaps it could be said of me that I did not like Dr Rogers. I went to a Wednesday night dinner at Bellevue with a friend and his family maybe six or seven years ago. Over dinner he ask me the difference between Baptist and Pentecostals and I struggled to give him a good answer.
Adrian Rogers spoke that evening about how Bellevue could be a bigger church. It was an emergent sermon on church growth. He said that Bellevue had baptized almost 900 people the last year. A lady in the audience heard the number that had been baptized and she began clapping spontaneously. Her lone clapping was interrupted by Rogers who put up his palms in a gesture to stop. "Now you listen to what I was saying" he said to her. His point was that while Bellevue had baptized nearly 900 they could be baptizing even more!
Astounding vision! However she was not following his train of thought. I was embarrassed for her and knew that she would go home that night feeling bad.
When I got in the car with my friend I immediately told him that Dr Rogers "goofed up tonight". I told him that would not have happened in a Pentecostal church. I had been in hundreds of services that spontaneous applause interrupted the sermon and many times the sermon would not get finished. I knew that the least that Dr Rogers could have done for the lady was let her clap and pause for others to join her, but let her clap and not embarrass her.
My opinion was that his ego was in his sermon and her feelings mattered little to him. "Such is the price one pays for attending a big church." "Order must prevail."
If I didn't like him that would be the reason. Moses struck the rock rather than speak to it and it cost him the journey into the promise land. Is it right for one whole life to be measured by one isolated incidence? This incidence will not leave me.
That lone clapper haunts me and I cry for the little people lost in the crowd. I mean it, I weep as I type. Yes, If I didn't like him that would be the reason. But that is not the reason I have a blog and no I am not blowing spiritual smoke! I have heard from God and He is angry with Adrian Rogers. His anger is not at all like human anger. His wrath is terrible and if you are going to be a minister you need to know what he thinks of your self-determination.
If Adrian Rogers was wrong while 99% of the people thought he was right, where do you think you stand with God, Mr Big Shot pastor? Live your celebrated status and enjoy it while it last but you too will face the angry God Dr Roger faces! Your theology has to be correct. It has to be Holy Spirit directed. He must get the credit for every convert and you stay in the shadows.

Watching the Watcher, the statement comes down. Dr Rogers was no fool, he was a deceiver and a liar.

March 29, 2008

Where Is The Outrage?

The Bratton Report, NBBCOF and Saving Bellevue are all moving on having failed in their missions to halt an avalanche. Their dissent has faltered or changed course. Silent are the voices of outrage against a criminal act of a SBC associate pastor at Bellevue A man, pretending to be respectable sodomized his own young son for 12-18 months under the ministry of the man who established Love Worth Finding. There was no gnashing of teeth. No stones were clenched by angry fist. There was no wailing with accusations. There was just one young man with his friends who opened the flood gates. The gates were closed quickly, it was only a "moral failure."
Pastor Roger's widow moved swiftly to deny any knowledge of her husband about the "failure" as if ignorance is a virtue. Why couldn't it have been urgent that she rushed to Mike Fleming's afternoon Radio talk show to announce her outrage for what Paul Williams had done? Why couldn't she have expressed disappointment that this incident had occurred under her husband's care without his knowledge.
No, she a godly woman and wife was only concerned about the damage done to her husbands legacy.
I believe that even Chris Williams was, to his credit, protecting the legacy of Adrian Rogers. He needed Joyce to express his outrage. He needed Pastor Gaines to express his outrage. He needed a Church to rise up in anger demanding swift justice. I believe that Chris wanted to love his Father and yet experience his own outrage through his Church. Now perhaps he is a victim of his own love for his father which serves the evil intentions of a father who doesn't love him.

Paul Williams only fear was that he would go to jail, Dr rogers had assured him he would not go to hell! Adrian Rogers left a mess that will not go away and he sits in heaven watching and weeping.

March 28, 2008

Things About Bellevue That Embarrassed Me!

Risking the criticism that I am vindictive and angry, I was embarrassed when Joyce Rogers stood behind the pulpit turning toward her husband sitting on the stage and sang a tear-jerker gospel song before a teary eyed congregation, except for me of course.

I believe in all conservative Churches up to this point in time no public shows of affection (PSA) were allowed. PSAs were reserved for the privacy of the bedroom, which is a rule of decorum that is so foreign today as to be a joke.

Eyes that had never teared when the words of sufferings of Christ or the exaltation of his gracious love were spoken behind that sacred desk now flowed freely. Strong powerful men and staunchly ladies wept openly without shame, except for me of course.

I felt embarrassed for the Lord.

I often wondered when the order of worship was planned who decided that Joyce would sing to her husband. (There were several occasions which shows the pragmatic approach of worship planning, It had worked before it will work again) Who gave the word? Jim Whitmire? Dr Rogers? Joyce?

Could Dr Rogers say no to Joyce? "Joyce, you know this makes me feel uncomfortable and it just doesn't seem right for this kind of affection in a worship service. Joyce, would Lee or Pollard allow this?"

Did she do this without anyone knowing it? Wade what do you think?

March 27, 2008

Things About Bellevue That Embarrassed Me!

Christian banners were displayed in splendorous pageantry at Bellevue. What impresses some doesn't impress all. In fact it was somewhat embarrassing to me. It had the pageantry of Rome as the many banners were paraded down the isles, filling the sanctuary with colorful (I assume hand made) expressions of worship, accompanied with orchestrated music with theatrical flare.

However what I wonder is why a Church would display this theological gallery and not express itself in following historic confessions. The beauty of confessions have an appeal from the Apostles, Germany, London and even New Hampshire! (and dozens in between) Yet the "Bible" is used not as a creed or confession but a fundamentalist declaration that excludes all others from the apostolic faith.

Well, I guess I alone was embarrassed. Story of my life!

March 26, 2008

Altar Calls, The New Sacrament

Altar Calls, the new sacrament
In many churches the obvious criteria for anti-Calvinism is an altar call every service. Rarely you see anyone come forward for salvation but many respond for renewal and commitment.
People with life's difficulties come forward for ministry. The only one who successfully conducted an altar call was Adrian Rogers and rarely was there an altar call that someone didn't get saved. So every preacher aspires to be Dr Rogers. "Oh, if I could just be like Dr Rogers is their Monday morning lament" in their 5 AM quite time.

Pentecostalism is the fastest growing movement in Christianity today and has become the largest segment of protestant Christianity. You rarely see an altar call in these Churches, however due to the Charismatic movement there are end of service calls for ministry. People are prayed for by the laying on of hands for all maladies. There has always been fervent prayer at the close of the sermon and rarely would a service close without such prayer. When people are saved it is during these services so that there is usually not an evangelistic appeal to draw sinners. Yet they are the fastest growing segment of Christianity today. You would think that those Churches that disdain anti-evangelistic techniques and insist that every service close with a specific call to sinners would naturally be the fastest growing Churches. But it seems not to be that way!

March 24, 2008

It's True Because It Is Complicated!

Shakespeare's Elizabethan twist on "Who's on First?"

Calvinism made easy! (Calvinism for moderates or Arminians)
God saves people if they're left-handed (or pick any arbitrary criterion). This denies unconditional election. Otherwise, all the Calvinist these are maintained, so we have TLIP.
So here are the possibilities I've listed:TULIP T TUIP TP or P or TLP or LPTULI or TUL or TLULIP or ULTLIP
These are all consistent positions as far as I can tell, and the issue is which set of letters best describes each view, not whether the view is consistent. Therefore, I claim that there are at least seven possible consistent combinations of views involving these letters. I would guess that there are more combinations also, but I don't want to try all of them.
If they all stand together, then, we have :TT = ((T)^(U)^(L)^(I)^(P)),where '^' is the AND operator. Since these are conjuncted by the AND operator, if any one of them is false, then I think that we say that the TT is false.
If they fall together, what is meant is that if you have:TT' = ((T)^(~U)^(L)^(I)^(P)) ,then what you really have isTT'' = ((~T)^(~U)^(~L)^(~I)^(~P)),which is false. (TT'--//-->TT'')

March 23, 2008

Tributes To Adrian Rogers

Everyone loved Dr Rogers but not everyone appreciated the anti-Calvinism and the needless harm it has done to the body of Christ. How has any good come of this? I have gathered some of these tributes.

He was a man of enormous gifts, but I tell you what — I think they were put to a terrible cause,” Sherman, who served as the first coordinator of the moderate Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, said. “I take no pleasure in his dying, [but] the results of his efforts in other days caused me and many people great pain. [emphasis mine]

Rogers was no friend of Calvinism. In fact, more than once he was quite outspoken in his criticism of the doctrines of grace and especially some within Southern Baptist life who hold those doctrines to be the truth of God's Word. He referred to them (us) as "wine and cheese theologians." I was always saddened by his public denunciations of reformed theology because he seemed always to be attacking a straw man. Some of his comments provided fuel for the flames that were directed against faithful pastors by disgruntled church members and denominational servants Founders' statement at his death.

There are no PERFECT people on earth and Adrian Rogers was no exception - a truth he often openly admitted. He had his failures and blind spots and his seriousmisunderstanding of the sovereignity of God in the salvation of sinners was one of the most glaring!He understands the full truth of this (and other) subjects now.

I sat under his ministry for three years, and like Dr. Ascol, I was often saddened and sometimes angered by the caricatures of Calvinists and Calvinism that he sometimes painted in his messages. Although often at odds with him theologically, I greatly admired the fervor and energy with which he conducted his ministry, and the character he displayed in his daily walk. He will be greatly missed.

Could someone please enlighten me as to Adrian Rogers view of Calvinism. It may be that I am blind and deaf or that I just did not hear him enough, but this is all news to me. His messages on Grace seemed to be right on in my mind.

I praise God for Rogers' ministry (even though there are a couple dozen sermons I wish he had NOT preached)

I personally wonder if it was any better when Adrian was there (Bellevue Baptist Church). Now I know that is blasphemous to say that, and I would be considered a heretic in good Baptist circles, but I still think I am correct.I know not everyone worshiped AR, but I sure think a lot of them did and still do. Not all people looked at him as God but many did. He ran the church. He had his group of men that did all the stuff for him, just as SG has a group that is there to fight his battles.

Many of us are kids of professors who had to sit quietly by while the fundamentalist leaders like Rogers and others took over the State Conventions and the Baptist Colleges. Eventually, our parents were fired or run out.
Losing a Church is one thing (been there done that), but being forced to move 1,000 miles away from the small town I grew up in is traumatic. The Adrian Rogers of this world have cause my family much pain in recent years.
What did you expect Sherman to say? That Rogers was a stand-up guy? He wasn’t.
You often hear about preachers who get run out of town because of Fundamentalism and BSU directors and Professors who’ve lost their jobs because of fundamentalism. And you think - It’s just a job! And, yea sure it’s just a job. But we often forget about the innocent people behind the scenes - the families.

Adrian Rogers is not the only southern baptist preacher (past or present) to lull sinners into a false sense of security. There were thousands before him, as there are many thousands that continue this today. The sad thing is, most of those 'many thousands' today espouse to be just like Rogers.

Just an opinion...I have heard quite a few AR sermons. There are a few, not many, where he had made very valid statements concerning the sovereignty of God in all things. I say that to imply that he was not completely ignorant to truth, but much like the sin of the Pharisees, there was superficial light while there was inward darkness. They (Pharisees) had enough knowledge of the scriptures to discern that only the Lord's high priest could cure a man of leprosy, but they still attributed His work to the devil(blasphemy of the Spirit). AR had enough knowledge of the scriptures to discern that no man can come to the Son unless the Father draw (drag) him, and certainly he could not have been ignorant of Jesus' qualifying statement that only His sheep can and will believe, but still he attributed the work of salvation to 'you doing something and the Lord doing the rest'.

I won't dare deny Adrian Rogers, Charles Stanley, or even Pat Robertson the right to call themselves Baptists, even though they espouse many a belief that seems to run contrary to the very core of Baptist principles and distinctives. However, I know that calling yourself a Southern Baptist, yet acting in markedly un-Baptist ways, is very much in vogue right now in the late, great Southern Baptist Convention.

I have also exposed fully the horrific errors of exegesis committed by Adrian Rogers in his attempts to deal with Calvinism

Had the debate proceeded, the frequent accusation by the Caners equating so-called Reformed Baptists with hyper-Calvinists likely would have surfaced. White referred on his blog to a sermon in which Caner asked who might fill the shoes of Adrian Rogers to stand against “those hyper-Calvinists who have ceased to give biblical invitations and embraced Protestant Scholasticism."

Adrian Rogers is not the only southern baptist preacher (past or present) to lull sinners into a false sense of security. There were thousands before him, as there are many thousands that continue this today. The sad thing is, most of those 'many thousands' today espouse to be just like Rogers.

Just an opinion...I have heard quite a few AR sermons. There are a few, not many, where he had made very valid statements concerning the sovereignty of God in all things. I say that to imply that he was not completely ignorant to truth, but much like the sin of the Pharisees, there was superficial light while there was inward darkness. They (Pharisees) had enough knowledge of the scriptures to discern that only the Lord's high priest could cure a man of leprosy, but they still attributed His work to the devil(blasphemy of the Spirit). AR had enough knowledge of the scriptures to discern that no man can come to the Son unless the Father draw (drag) him, and certainly he could not have been ignorant of Jesus' qualifying statement that only His sheep can and will believe, but still he attributed the work of salvation to 'you doing something and the Lord doing the rest'.

I theorize that AR was much like those Pharisees that believed, but would not acknowledge Him(and His sovereignty in salvation) because he, like they, loved the praise of men more than the approval of God. Bellevue, much like most other megas, rely on 'cell' groups or 'family bible study networks' to forge some degree of unity or closeness among members, since one will get lost in a crowd of thousands. I know from firsthand sources that some of these 'cell' groups have had Calvinist leaders who have espoused the doctrines of grace despite what was being preached from the pulpit...I would suppose some of these still exist. Knowing the spellbound effect that AR had over most, it is not hard to imagine that some in these groups let the 'goings on' of their bible study trickle upward to higher paygrade staff and deep pocketed givers. I would also think that all it would have taken was their implied disapproval of this to AR, and viola', you have these anti-Calvinist sermons...not that he wouldn't or didn't preach these of his own accord. It's just a theory.

But I didn't give much thought to his 'every head bowed,every eye closed, pray this prayer and really mean it' spiel, because it's the same free-will, do your part, repeat after me production perpetrated by 99% of SBC churches/pastors everywhere. Paul Williams or any other Bellevueian has heard or will hear the same convoluted theology and decisional regeneration garbage before, during, or after AR's reign. Created PW's comfort...probably not; reinforced it, likely so. AR did not start this false gospel fire, he only added his brand of heretical fuel to it.

As to what Adrian Rogers taught about “Calvinism,” that is more than acceptable in this discussion. I agree with you that he constructed straw man arguments against Calvinists. Have you felt the pain inflicted by his sermons/ pamphlet? I have, my friend, I have. And so did my family and so did my church.

March 18, 2008

Who's Your Mother?

My comments at Wade Burleson this morning.

It is a matter of speculation on my part but what do you do for ten days waiting for the 'promise of the Father' in the upper room. You testify over and over in 'show and tell' fashion. Everyone, and when every male has exposed and exhausted his last memory of text, right before the fire fell(Pentecostal expression) on the assembly, Mary rose among the women at the rear of the room and with veil in hand and her head covered she gave a testimony that no male could give. The Son of God had slid down her birth canal and she could say things no written text had ever said. She alone had thoughts no male could utter. She had pondered the deep mysteries of God as no council of ordained males had ever done and will ever do. Not everything about God has been written. There is not enough ink and not enough paper. I believe when she spoke the power fell, just like my mother! Who's your mother!

Oh, another speculation. When Peter went to Cornelius' house (he and all his male counterparts, skeptics included) and preached his short interrupted sermon. Probably the best sermon that was ever to be preached by a male was just a few words when IMO a precious young servant girl in Cornelius' house was given a ppl (public prayer language) and fighting to constrain herself not for religiously Hebrew traditions but of humble cast her lips trembled and falteringly she stuttered unintelligent speech. Embarrassed, Cornelius wished his household would behave while Peter spoke but no, others joined in and soon, even as Peter was speaking there was divine confusion as even Cornelius was speaking. (confusion is not ordained of God but divine confusion is when male minds cannot figure it out) Of course skeptical Hebrew males were present and they looked at each other in disbelief. They reasoned correctly which is a rarity in a male dominated society.
18 March, 2008

March 17, 2008

My Mom And Dad!

This morning I posted this to Wade Burleson : "I was raised a Pentecostal, Wesleyan Holiness. My mom and dad were a type of Mary and Joseph, except dad is still living.(83 yo) Dad was a hard working man quite and uneducated. He worked in the shoe factory. He never can overcome the temptation to fall asleep in Church. I hold him in the highest esteem, head and shoulders above any man I know.
My mom is the 'spiritual one' in the family. Embarrassed as I was by her spirituality, my memories of her, she is still living, are her rising to her feet in a worship service speaking in tongues and then crying and trembling she would utter something like "listen people, get right with God, Jesus is coming and you need to get right with God." It would go on week after week, year after year during my growing years. Uncle Sam took that away from me in 1966.

But when mom did that folks would rush to the altar and get right. Pastors recognized the move of God and followed her lead. Nobody barked like a dog, at least when I was there, and I didn't hear everything. (My SBC Baptist pastor said people in those churches are slain to the floor and bark like dogs. I haven't asked him for documentation on that, yet) People got saved, healed and ministered to in embarrassing ways. Countless marriages were saved. Hatred turned to love, confusion turned to tranquility, young people surrendered their lust and desires, Church crises were resolved and her son became a Calvinist! Yes, bold, Spirit Filled and evangelistic!

Now by the providence of God I attend a Baptist Church. What a leap! From a Pentecostal, Wesleyan, to a Baptist and they don't know Calvinism nor Pentecostalism. (strangely, they seem to understand Wesleyanism - I haven't understood that yet) I occasionally get to see my mom and tell her about my church and she just smiles and says "I hope they are filled with the Spirit." I tell her I am Calvinist and she smiles and says "God loves Catholics too." She can't hear too well and I say louder, "mom, I'm a Calvinist." She just smiles. What a woman!"
17 March, 2008

March 16, 2008

Satan's Endtimes Template

I'm a panmillennialist, everything will pan out in the end. So I am switching to premill mode and post about dispensational end times. Here goes!

All premill prophecy teachers know that the anti-Christ will eventually receive world control.

No one will be able to buy nor sell without his mark in their hand or forehead. We can see the pattern as a template which can be seen already in many aspects of life. It is a subtle and deceptive force that will deceive even the elect. Those who should know better are taken in by it's deception. Survival on the earth demands that you take the mark.

The end time convergence will not be a sudden over-night move but a long pattern of convergences leading up to the final big move. Astute end-time teachers will see this pattern. The step toward one world rule starts with the templates that we don't recognize. We don't recognize because they appear honorable. There are denominational practices that we hold to for the reason we want to remain faithful to that organization. There are ecclesiastical formats we hold to that demand our loyalty. We are Charismatic, Word of Faith, Conservative, Fundamental, Dispensational, etc. etc. It is an economic and commercial commitment. It is the difference in success or failure.

We have a consumer mentality with our beliefs and our most cherished beliefs can be tools of Satan to tempt us to sell out for God. The subtle deceiver said in the garden, "did God say?" The very truth we hold dearly is used by Satan to divide us. This is how the elect are deceived. It is a seduction that no mortal man can discern and it requires the Holy Spirit's assistance.

A pastor gives an altar call every service because it is expected of him. It is not a thought out theological scheme but if he fails to do so he is not evangelical and evangelistic. While some say the Word is infallible others say inerrant. Inerrant is an economic issue which mark one as conservative. Now I believe the Word is inerrant but it is not a template I would allow to be a mark of conservative convergence.

Arminianism is a convergent mark that demands allegiance to for the sake of financial gain. There is money to be made in being Arminian, that is anti Calvinist or as some say anti-hyper Calvinistic.

Have you taken the mark? There will be some soul who will say I haven't taken that mark.
Oh, you have not!

March 14, 2008

Free Will From Strange Fire Off God's Altar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In Greek mythology, Prometheus (Ancient Greek: Προμηθεύς, "forethought") is a Titan known for his wily intelligence, who stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mortals for their use. His myth has been treated by a number of ancient sources, in which Prometheus is credited with (or blamed for) playing a pivotal role in the early history of humankind.

Arminians not content with a sovereign God who decrees the elect to salvation from before the foundation of the earth created a tradition of men that would not be bound by an insurmountable depravity. Rather men would be either redeemable or enabled prematurely to decide for themselves and determine their own destinies.

Adrian Rogers, like Prometheus, stole strange fire off the altar of Deity and freely offered it to whoever would receive it. Many others like him preached decisional regeneration in which the sinner would surrender to an evangelism technique designed to elicit a decision. That choice rendered the sinner saved and a candidate for baptism and continued discipleship if he wanted a deeper experience.

Prometheus was rejected by Zeus and the mortals, however innumerable mortals celebrated Dr Rogers as a great man.

picture -

March 12, 2008

Follow The Money Trail

You may be surprised by this but the real movers and shakers in the church are advertisers, marketers and lawyers. It may also surprise you that for the most part they do not give a care whether the Word is inerrant or not. They have no interest as to faith preceding or following regeneration. Their only interest is "what brings in the big bucks." Some of these are men of the cloth crept in unaware. When they were credentialed; they knew what to say before an examining committee. They were discipled into the program. Many of them were formerly successful CEOs and brought with them their marketing skills into the temple.

What has evolved is a Christian Evangelical market where you cannot buy or sell unless you have the mark. You have to take the mark of inerrancy and faith preceding regeneration. You have to be dispensationational and on and on...

Struggles in men's hearts causes them to adopt beliefs that conform to the market. Men who know that faith follows regeneration will adopt a message that seems to say the opposite and in so doing stir the muddy waters until no one knows anything about theology. They know the Word is inerrant but they don't know the meaning of the Word. They have taken the mark!

How Many Angels Can Dance On The Head Of A Pin?

Dorothy Sayers says an infinite number of angels can since they are pure intelligence, not material, but limited, so that they have location in space, but not extension. She ask, how many people's thoughts can be concentrated upon a particular pin at the same time? The same thing could be said for the point of the pin.

In similar thought the question of when regeneration takes place is equally an ontological argument. Clearly Calvinist say Regeneration precedes faith. Any acknowledged response from a depraved human prior to regeneration would detract from God's sovereignty in redemption.

Just as clearly is the Wesleyan belief that faith precedes regeneration. Though humans struggle with free will due to their depravity they are not hindered in their choice for salvation. Both Wesleyans and Calvinist are consistent in their views. There is a logical order that follows their beliefs.

Adrian Rogers would not have been a Calvinist because he believed in free will, however he implied he was not an Arminian and particularly not a Wesleyan. His belief is inconsistent because he couldn't out-right say that faith precedes regeneration. That would make him Wesleyan and not just an Arminian. Wesley was not a true follower of Arminius, yet there are true followers of Arminius who are Reformed Arminian. They hold to free will and total depravity similar to Arminius. They reject eternal security. Dr Rogers was not Reformed Arminian since he adhered by profession to eternal security of the believer. Yet Calvinist believe in perseverance of the saints and thus they believe in eternal security (preservation of the saints).

Reformed Arminians are not semi-pelagian since they hold to total depravity however Wesleyans are semi-pelagian since they hold to a moderated depravity with prevenient grace (pre conversion enablement). Rogers believed in pre conversion enablement (as does the SBC) but was not Wesleyan. So naturally this introduces another variation; Moderate Calvinism. Moderate Calvinist believe in a moderated depravity with enabling grace so they are semi-pelagian (unlike the Reformed Arminians). Unlike the Wesleyans and Reformed Arminians they believe in eternal security.

A unique problem existed for Dr Rogers (I'm sure he has an understanding of it all now). If faith cannot precede (Wesleyanism) regeneration nor can it follow (Calvinism and Reformed Arminianism) regeneration then where does faith fit in? Chronology and logic collide! The inevitable outcome is inconsistency whichever way he turned!

Chronologically speaking a moment of time, "rega" in Hebrew and "atamos" in Greek is the last undivided element (atom) of time. Faith has to exist in that moment or else it takes place afterwards. The Moderate Calvinist create a new element of time denying chronology. A shared element composed of human free will and God's sovereignty. It takes place simultaneously; faith and grace. The dignity of man and the sovereignty of God are preserved. Do you think for a moment that God shares his sovereignty with man? I believe not.

Does this ontological argument make sense? No. Yet listen to preaching from moderates, Calvinist and Arminians, and try to understand what they are saying about the placement of regeneration.

You have to be quick to hear because they will spend minutes exposing texts about depravity and grace and in a quick moment (seconds) he will slip in the simultaneous statement as though that offers him an escape from both Calvinism and Wesleyan Arminianism. Then to further insult your intelligence he will say don't argue with him take it up with God! "This is God's inerrant Word!"

March 11, 2008

Where Is The Outrage?

Obviously no one has heard a sermon railing the homosexuality of an ordained SBC associate minister. Is it because he was an associate to Adrian Rogers? Is it because he was an associate at the flagship church of the SBC?

Generally speaking the reason we are soft on sin in our midst is because of the sin in us. By the same measure the reason we are hard on sinners, especially if they are on the other coast, is the sin in us.

A lot of importance theologically is our belief in the sinfulness of man. How sinful are we? How sinful is the sinner? How sinful are the saints? If we say we are sinless we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

For the sake of effective evangelism Adrian Rogers embraced a moderated view of the sinfulness of the sinner. To distract from this moderation he dragged a red herring across the trail to confuse honest inquiry. The hunting dogs could not follow the trail because of the "inerancy of the Word" to refute this semi-pelagian moderation. The Word is inerrant with or without our defense. Who wants to appear to be opposed to inerrancy? Well of course no true conservative. So if you espoused a view that ran contrary to the aggressive evangelism of Rogers then you were labeled a liberal. A liberal opposes the "inerancy of scripture." Rogers disarmed all opposition except the boldest of Calvinist who posed no threat to his aggressive evangelism.

But this moderated view has far reaching consequences. After Dr Rogers death this view came back to haunt his legacy in the revelation of the awful criminal sin of Paul Williams. We know that "greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world" and when the deception of Williams is greater than the "truth" that was in Dr Rogers then we are left to inquire into the depth of his truth. We ask ourselves, did God intentionally ridicule Dr Rogers by allowing Paul Williams to do his awful deed and then take him on to heaven before the truth was loosed for all to know.
What would be the torment to sit in heaven and observe this awful revelation to your wife and beloved congregation and know that you are a great contributor to the situation. He sits there and sees his self appointed successor take the blame for it all. And the worst hurt he endures is that there is no outrage toward the criminal himself. The man who destroyed his legacy goes free, he is simply forgiven. It is all under the blood and he sits under the ministry of a man who will defend him, that is until he dies and meets his maker. Who knows what further revelation await us!

March 10, 2008

Where Is The Outrage?

We have heard homosexuals denounced from the pulpit with outrage. Bold preachers speak out boasting they will not be silenced about this awful shame. Most of these preachers know the homosexuals are on the west coast. They are courted by Hollywood and the arts. Politicians and educators support them. Fundamentalist preachers rail upon them.

However has anyone heard an angry sermon railing Paul Williams, himself an ordained SBC preacher credentialed by the flagship SBC Church, Bellevue Baptist, pastored by Adrian Rogers.

If you have heard a sermon please let me know about it. Send me a copy of it if you have one.
Has anyone named his name as a homosexual who sodomized his own young son in the same house the son's mother slept in?

March 8, 2008

Will A Man Sell His Soul to The Devil To Be Roger's Replacement?

There is great financial gain to be had by the person who replaces Dr Rogers' anti Calvinist polemics. Steve Gaines has already gained a salary nearly twice what Adrian Rogers was receiving (no one really knows this since it is confidential) at Bellevue Baptist. If Steve Gaines can weather the current storm he and his wife Donna will realize a financial gain with their company, "Hope for Your Future" which would compare to "Love Worth Finding."

However Steve Gaines attempted to follow Dr Rogers' lead a couple of Sundays ago by refuting irresistible grace with "some people believe that stuff." He will not be the one to fill Dr Rogers' shoes!

The man or woman who fills Rogers shoes will have to please the anti-Calvinist crowd with Rogers' style. He will realize stature and celebrity that brings with it a lot of money and a guaranteed place in the SBC. Anti-Calvinism is a highly lucrative business!

March 7, 2008

Adrian Rogers' Watered Down Gospel

Some claim that the Church today is preaching a sugary, watered down gospel. They say, "Instead of presenting God's Pure Law, revealing sin, and then sharing Christ's death on the cross for our sins, and His being the ONLY Way, people are being told "you're life will be so much better if you just say this or pray this prayer!"In church, instead of repenting and fleeing sin as Paul taught, we hear "pep talks" smattered with pop psychology. We hear smooth talks and friendly speeches that don't include adequate Biblical instruction. It's not PC to mention Hell." (The Way of the Master by Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron -Reviewed by Rachel Lower)

However I have a different take on the watered down gospel. It is my opinion that the Sinner is dead (nekros) in sins and has nothing to offer God in Salvation. He not only lacks understanding he doesn't desire understanding. It is futile to think that there are conditions for the sinner to fulfill in order to be saved. You do not lead a corpse to Christ! Of course Dr Rogers just didn't understand this. This gospel would be offensive to the modern man who believes he has the spark of divinity within him and he needs to just step into awareness of this and act accordingly.

So Dr Rogers (Authentic Christianity) accommodated this error into his belief and placed conditions that modern man could comprehend. He watered the message down with: 1) The sinner must understand the character of God. 2) The sinner must acknowledge that the Law of God declares him guilty. 3) The sinner is told he must be converted 4) The sinner is told he must take up his cross. Dr Rogers assumes he has presented a gospel laden with God's pure truth that requires an authentic faith. But in fact he has done the opposite with a gospel that is lean on truth and easy for a modern man to accept. In fact the overriding concern for today's gospel message is that the public must buy it. It is an outcome based gospel confirmed by the world wide acceptance of "Love Worth Finding" The fact that the world will give it an acceptance is the measure by which it is judged. Therefore it is Biblical.

One thing Dr Rogers forgets, conveniently, is that the sinner is dead. (nekros) If he is dead then his selection for salvation is unconditional. It is of grace that he is saved. Since a dead man can not respond to God, God must respond to him and that response is the new birth. Jesus said to Nicodemus, "You must be born again!" Then a born again man 1) begins to understand the character of God. 2) The law of God declares him guilty. 3) Confesses sin, repents and has faith. 4) Takes up his cross and follows Christ.

The pure undiluted gospel is there are no conditions; it is an unconditional salvation. This is not an easy message for the sinner to believe. It is an impossible thing for him to do. Once born again it is easy to believe and made possible for him to accomplish. The unbelievers will not buy it and the believers have no need to buy it. That would put 98% of ministries out of business today! Not a bad idea!

March 6, 2008

Stop This Baptist Predator Minister

Handling of minister misconduct (Wikipedia)
"On December 17, 2006, the church announced that Paul Williams, a minister and staffer at the church for 34 years, had been placed on leave with an investigation pending regarding a "moral failure," identified by Gaines and others as alleged child molestation in the 1980s. The next day, December 18, Gaines released a statement that acknowledged that he had been aware of the allegation since June 2006 but that he did not address it for several months because Williams had been attending professional counseling, because of confidentiality concerns, and out of compassion for the staffer.
On January 28, 2007, a church committee released a report (Bishop's ) on its investigation of Williams' conduct and the staff's handling of Williams. The report alleged that Williams had sexually molested his son in the 1980s, that Williams and his wife had informed Jamie Fish, the church's minister of biblical guidance, of his past actions in May 2006, that Steve Gaines met with Williams and his wife in June 2006 to discuss the issue, a meeting that was kept confidential, and that Williams was retained on staff thereafter. In early December 2006, Williams' son, the target of the alleged abuse, met with Gaines to discuss why Williams was allowed to remain on staff. The report found that no other children were molested by Williams. The report criticized both Gaines and Fish for not immediately coming forward with the information related to the abuse, either to the church or to authorities as possibly required by Tennessee law. "
Stop Baptist Predators is a victim's abuse advocate organization. They are more interested in going after Steve Gaines than the pervert himself. While Gaines made errors in handling the problem he does not deserve the effort that many have made to dump on him. While Williams' crimes are alleged, he has gone through an ecclesiastical investigation and subsequently relieved of his duties. He may still be ordained and functioning as a minister. Where he resides, works, and attends Church should be public concern. He has not been arrested for the crime and charges are not pending as far as we know.
He attends Warren Community Church in Somerville, TN located on hwy 64. The pastor is Dr Ken Culver. Anyone who knows where Williams works and lives should let us know so that others can be warned and precautions taken.

March 4, 2008

Evangelistically Speaking!

The city wide crusade was held at Ellis Auditorium in spring of 1989. T. L. Lowery was the guest preacher. I was appointed the chairman of the usher committee. The auditorium had 5000 seats. We had to assist people to find a seat, receive the evening offering and get a head count. I had forgotten to get a head count and was asked by the finance committee members for the count. So hasitly we went back into the auditorium to get a head count. We counted less than 300 and it wasn't a precise count, since everyone was scattered in a 5000 seat auditorium.
I personally checked and double checked and could not come up with a number reaching 300.
I went back and told the men that there was 275 and they laughed knowing I had forgotten to get a precise count. I hadn't taken my job seriously and so I said OK, there maybe 300!

At the Tennessee State Campmeeting in Chattanooga the following May Orville Hagan, the state overseer (pictured above) reported on the success of the tri-city wide crusades the past spring and he said Memphis had over 500 in attendance! I thought to myself "where did he get that figure?"

The following year was the 1990 Church of God International General Assembly in Dallas, Texas. Once again Orville Hagan reported to the assembly the success of the tri city crusades and there were more than 1000 in attendance. I was amazed that the number had increased so dramatically!

This is what is refered to as evangelistic estimating. It is OK because it is for the kingdom of God! The altar committee got a count of the number that was slain and piled in the Spirit!

March 3, 2008

Prophets For Profit

While serving as a pastor for American servicemen in Aschaffenburg, Germany in 1985, T. L. Lowery preached our annual Campmeeting in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Within a week after the Campmeeting I received a personal letter from Dr. Lowery on National Church of God letterhead. He had not even spoken to me personally at the meeting but his personal message stated how much he enjoyed fellowshipping with me. He had a good time.

He had a personal request. "Would I try to find a Mercedes for a friend of his." He would send the money to me for the car and the shipping cost. I did not take the letter seriously and in fact laughed to my self about it. In a few days I heard from another pastor and he was so excited about a letter he had received. I replied, "don't tell me I already know, it was T. L Lowery" He said, "How did you know?" I said, "I received the same letter!" Several days latter all the pastors I talked to had received the letter also.
One of the pastors actually went out and found a car and notified Dr Lowery. He sent the money for the car and shipping. However with the fluctuating exchange rate on the dollar the pastor lost several hundred dollars that came from his own pocket. The last I heard from the pastor he never received the correction from Lowery. Now what was he going to do with all the cars he could have received? Give them to his friends!

When I was pastoring in Memphis, 1988/89, Dr Lowery came to preach one of three tri-citywide crusades (Knoxville, Chattanooga and Memphis). It was a shameful disgraceful representation of the denomination for Memphis. He tried to see how many he could slay in the Spirit in a pile-on of bodies. My sister, the wife of the district overseer walked out of the service in humiliation.
But the real humiliation came when a prayer breakfast invitation was given to the pastors in Memphis. We got a free breakfast at a nice hotel. T. L. read a written sermon hastily in his 'anointed voice'. A hasty prayer was offered with equal 'anointing'. Then the real business began. He introduced a man from his church who presented a pyramid multi-marketing scheme having to do with automotive products! I wondered if the breakfast was paid from the crusade budget.

This is the stuff of semi-pelagian Christianity which pervades American fundamentalism. Struggling small church pastors are easy mark for con artist eager to make a buck. T.L. Lowery is such a man. But he is not alone in this industry.

March 1, 2008

Prophets For Profit

T. L. Lowery is a sixty year veteran in the Church of God, a Pentecostal denomination with headquarters in Cleveland, Tennessee. He is a denominational "superstar" who is highly regarded by the membership. He held tent crusades across the nation in the 50's and 60's, had an international ministry and then became a successful pastor of a large Church in Cleveland, Tennessee. He moved on to hold overseer offices in the headquarters of the denomination and then went back to pastoring in Washington DC. (Maryland) He has left his Church in the hands of his son, Stephen Lowery, and is back in Cleveland with T. L. Lowery Global Foundation, an interdenominational ministry to train and "impart" partners to preach with Pentecostal anointing.

He is infamous for getting Randy and Paula White their start in making enormous amounts of money in pretentious ministries. Overriding the denominational ministerial credentialing procedure (both had divorced to marry each other) Dr Lowery ordained Randy as Bishop in his own Church "Without Walls International". Of course Randy repaid him with a substantial donation which resulted in a building named after him.

"But Lowery said Randy is not a bishop in the Church of God. The title is good only at Without Walls, he said.
The evangelist said he's not surprised by Randy's success, lauding his "infectious personality and tremendous spirit." On May 31, Lowery will honor his former protege by naming a new building at his ministry "The Randy White Mentoring Auditorium."
"He donated a large sum of money to the building fund," Lowery said. "This is a way to show my appreciation."

T. L. Lowery is a prophet for profit. His ministry is an example of the money that can be made by an "infectious personality and tremendous spirit." His ministry is not unique but repensents a broad spectrum of American Fundamentalist who profit through conservative ministries.
Adrian Rogers was a protege of John R Rice. He wrote his booklet, "Predestined for Hell? Absolutely not!" Rice wrote, "Predestined to Hell? No!" Robert L Sumner, "An Examination of TULIP: The Five Points O Calvinism" Dr Rogers depended on both for his small booklet. posts: "In the May 18, 1979 edition of The Sword of the Lord, John R. Rice wrote an article entitled, “Southern Baptist Leader Wants S.B.C. President Believing Inerrant Bible.” It is a reaction to a (then) recent article in the Nashville Banner, in which Paige Patterson outlines his plans for retaking the Convention by electing an inerrantist as President who would pack the trustee boards of the Convention with other inerrantists.
John R. Rice did not believe that it would work. Under the subheader, “The Fatal Flaw in Dr. Patterson’s Plan” he wrote: Dr. Paige Patterson is in a most influential place. He is an associate of W.A. Criswell, the strongest preacher in the Convention. He is a member of the largest and richest church in the Southern Baptist Convention, the First Baptist Church at Dallas. He is in the church that gives the most money to the Cooperative Program and has more influence than any other church among Southern Baptists. But his plan will fail. There is a fatal flaw in it. The fatal flaw is that he plans still to go on supporting infidels while he tries to change things."

Did Dr. Rogers moderate his views about infidels? Well, no, I personally heard his sermon against these infidels on my 51st birthday 1997. He never departed from his mentoring. Dr Rogers mastered the art of courting infidels without compromising his beliefs. The facial expression of Dr Rice seems to say you can't do that. The facial expression on Dr Rogers' portrait at Bellevue seems to say "watch me".
Now the common thread that seems to run through all these men: Rice, Patterson and Rogers is another kind of infidel. Rice's legacy is scared by Jack Hyles' bunch, Rogers' legacy is scared by Paul Williams and Patterson's legacy will be scared by the cries of victims of Baptist preachers who are sexual predators. So who is destroying the SBC, the Calvinist or the anti-Calvinist?

RyanDeBarr writes: "Dr. John R. Rice was a great polemicist but a very bad prophet.
A quick scan of Southern Baptist blogs will reveal just how thoroughly Paige Patterson did succeed. There are those today who lament the fact no moderates can be found on any of the trustee boards. In fact, Patterson succeeded so well that many strong conservatives are a little sick of him!
A lesson to be drawn from this is that God works through anyone He pleases to work through. John R. Rice did not think that God could use Paige Patterson, because of Patterson’s associations. I have heard many times that “God can’t use you if you ___________!!” But God works however He wants, through whomever He wants, to accomplish whatever He wants."

God works through Hyles, Williams and a host of conservatives!

Love Worth Finding?

Did Adrian Rogers give this title a lot of thought in 1987 when he launched the success which is now international in scope?

Does the title indicate an abandonment of evangelism? Can the sinner seek or find the "love worth finding"? If the love is found by the sinner is it God's love? Is it a humanistic Christian love that speaks of the divinity in all of us? If they seek, knock and ask will the sinner find it? Is it God's redeeming love that boast "God so loved the world" or is it a self love that lifts one's esteem to a higher level of living under guidance of appropriate proof texts?

Is LWF evangelistic seeking no profit in witnessing unto Christ? Or does it have a message that profits the prophets?

Can I write a post with all questions?