September 21, 2008

Satan, Bellevue And LWF's Success

"The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest."
Isaiah 34:14
James informs us that the devils know more about theology than most people give them credit. James 2:19 Scholars since Pelagius have struggled with the views of the limitations of human depravity. Often we throw around "Pelagianism" in an argument to combat theologies we think minimize grace. With the Internet we can 'copy and paste' knowledge.
Satan recognizes the intricate details of correct/incorrect doctrine. It is easy to assume that you have silenced Satan with your "truth". You say, "why he can't stand against the Word of God!" Yet Satan knows when your view is your faulty interpretation of the Word of God. He knows when your opinion and the Bible is not equal. Like a gray haired theologian he just smiles as you pronounce truth. Confidently he knows you have provided him with easy access to destroy both yourself and the unenlightened hearers of your words. He is cunningly sly and you can't catch him, put him in a box and throw away the key. Only Christ can and the Holy Spirit is an indispensable assistant in combating him.
The book of Job depicts the relationship of God, Satan and man. Satan serves God as a sifter of man's motives. Satan doesn't approach God to seek to destroy Job rather God approaches Satan to challenge him with Job's faith. God is sovereign in all matters. Job recognizes a common weakness in Job's faith. "Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan recognizes God's sovereignty, " ...put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face." You know the ancient story. God gave Satan the permission to test Job's faith. "God is sovereign. That is the major theme of the book." God knew all the details that Satan would do to Job and approved his scheme.
I believe that the same thing occurred in the early eighties in Memphis, Tennessee. The 80 year old historic Church pastored by Lee and Pollard has come to a place where they needed to move out of the city and relocate to a better location to keep with the fleeing congregation. It is called "white flight". Adrian Rogers had a great dream of a great ministry both locally and nationally.
He had served his denomination as convention president and maneuvered a conservative take over from moderates who primarily ruled the seminaries. Like Job he had acquired fame and prestige.
Job's story had finality and closure. Rogers' has yet to be finalized. It will continue on in heaven.
Satan's sifting entails contemplation and correction. Very little of Rogers' saga has entailed contemplation nor correction. This may be an instance when correction continues in heaven.
Did God know that Satan would put it in Paul Williams heart to molest his own son? Yes! Did God know the abuse would take place for 12-18 months and that Paul's son would endure unbelievable immoral perversion. This coincided with the building of the magnificent structure on I-40 where the attenders could easily drive from their nice home and access the property without the blight of the inner city. It happened when LWF was founded. It also happened when the Harmonic Convergence took place.
This sin seems to lack precedent. Where and when has a SBC associate working at a flagship Church sodomized his own son. NAMBLA frowns on father and son sex. This church sin has a diabolical element to it. In human history there are times when Satan personally enters the fray in testing and this has to be one of them.
There is proximity in this sin. Adrian Rogers was the pastor for over 30 years. This sin happened in the mid eighties and it was a well-kept secret for seventeen years. This seems diabolical as well. A two decade scheme to demonstrate poor theology.
The timing of Dr Rogers success at Bellevue, LWF and the Paul Williams sin. The timing of Dr Rogers' death and the subsequent revelation. God determines the appointment of death, however there is order in the chaos. There seems to be a well ordered plan in it all. There is the hidden sin, seventeen years of secrecy and then a domino of troubles.
If the victim had come froward with the truth early on, could Dr Rogers have successfully maneuvered a recovery. Could Bellevue continue it's growth? Could LWF continue it's success?
Again one ask the question, was there a plan to keep the sin a secret? Has the secrecy served Satan's interest in sifting?
Is the logistics of Bellevue to the SBC denomination an indication of a national sifting of American fundamentalism?
Satan has usurped the glory that should go to God, clearly. Now the glory of Bellevue was placed upon the head of a young man who had to keep silent so that his father's perversion would not shame Dr Rogers.
God can do everything and no thought can be withheld from Him.
picture: Lilith- goddess of the night

1 comment:

WatchingHISstory said...

Jesus warned Peter, "Satan will sift you as wheat." Satan is not a willing helper with God to test the saints. Satan is an exploiter of the saints. He is not desirious of a good outcome rather complete destruction is his goal.

Perhaps it can be said that Adrian Rogers would not receive the conversion that Peter received and went on to comfort the brethern. Adrian was removed from the earth and discipline continues in heaven.

Many ministers are gathered in heaven receiving their heavenly discipline. We all know the common plea they offer God.