Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The IFB pastor turned atheist: those who fall away.

Add this to the False churches lead to falling away files...I found this blog the other day, it is of a IFB pastor who left the churches and became an atheist. He is quite the writer and seems to be sincere though I believe sincerely wrong, but what makes me sad, is thinking about how many fall away from the faith watching the parade of nonsense out there in some of the churches?

How many false conversions are there that give some of these folks a brief time or even a long time in this case in the church system who when they see the abuses, and more go running? I don't endorse his website in that he is now an atheist and decries the Christian faith but reading this, I kind of got the feeling why he walked away. Look how much he discusses the abuses, and sadly he is right about many of them! He is also right about the false emphasis on self righteousness and the "rules" that can pop up in many churches.

The IFB River Called Denial

Independent Fundamentalists Baptists and The Secrets They Keep

One's faith today better be apart from a church system and based only on Jesus Christ. If you have it in a church system it's going to crumble, it will be building upon the proverbial pile of sand. Unless one is given the big picture and pays attention to the endless warnings in the Bible about the hirelings, the wolves scattering the sheep, one will come to the WRONG conclusion that the wolves represent what Christianity IS.   I do think there are some good IFBs and independents left, but remember Satan's workers are going after every group out there. Fundamentalist churches are being definitely infiltrated as well with their own apostate leadership [with one example being Jack Schaap].

I wrote about this the other day, but while I had good memories of my last IFB church, there are things in IFB churches I do not agree with, no longer believing in a Pre-Trib Rapture and Christian Zionism would be two definite avenues of separation but one big one would be the advancement in many of the churches of Dominionism and the religious right. As one grows in the Lord and is shown more, it can change their outlook.
I feel broken hearted seeing people leave Christianity behind like this, I have known others, either raised fundamentalist or otherwise, some of even told me they were "saved" who TODAY reject Christianity. These are people who were active members of their various churches, out there "witnessing" and preaching. Today they have walked from everything religious. They have said, "Enough!", and walked away. Remember the 1980's when fundamentalism was in an upswing, well some of those people are knocking around today and want nothing to do with "Christianity" at all.  Where is God in all this? Sadly to many folks, the churches are the representation to God to them and when those fail, they walk.

I am not going to put myself above anyone else here, I spent years in the UU, that is enough to know I can be deceived without the help of the Holy Spirit. One enters a danger zone where they take everything for granted and don't test or even examine themselves to see if they are in the faith.

Matt 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell

Why are these warnings in the Bible? They are for believers to read too.

One can see a network of ex-'fundamentalists" webwide as well as those who left other churches.  If you take a tour of those websites, you do see untold evils done in the name of religion to many many people. The religious right is not bringing people to the place of compassion and love in many cases.  The Bible warns about those who DO FALL AWAY...

Matt 13:3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:

5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:

6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:

8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

I always found these verses interesting, one has the FOWLS eating up the seeds, who are the FOWLS but the birds in the branches, the rotten false preachers? Then there is the "stony places" I would conclude that means the people who have grown hard-hearted and falling away, and with the sun and thorns, this may take more study, but I would conclude sunshine would mean those who are enticed by the bright and shiny things of this world and lured away and thorns would be the hardships and facing evils in this life. When I read this article I noted something here.... It's hard, because I find myself saying to people constantly, after presenting the gospel to them, and quoting Bible verses, read what Jesus Christ preached, wipe away the nonsense before your eyes via the Babylonian church system.

The ex-IFB blogger wrote this article:  "I am happier without God" Something struck me here when he wrote this:
"I am happier without God because my wife and children can be themselves around me and I can be myself around them. We no longer have to pretend we are right with God or that we love Jesus every moment of every hour of every day"
This is one thing I see happening in some of the churches, and I kind of have hinted around this subject with the Duggars quite a bit, all the fake stuff isn't going to fool God. There are too many invested in the churches in telling people to how can I say this.."put on an act." Obviously this man felt the sheer brunt of that. This is what you get when cultural and culture wars Christianity takes over biblical Christianity where everything is about looking "perfect" and fitting what the world sees as the "Christian stereotype". I also found the stuff strange about where he seems to have felt FORCED to love Jesus, unless that is happening naturally and spontaneous, one is in trouble already. If you do not see Jesus as a source of comfort in your infirmities and trials, then something is already missing.

As for the "pretending" part, I always say something about God to the closest ones around me, and I say, "You can't fool God!" This means if you have negative emotions or anger, or the rest, and try to put on false face, and are more invested in appearing to be the "perfect Christian" then that is a place where trouble starts. Sadly the churches lead people to this place, where the appearances, the rules, the Christian "sub-culture" hold total sway. This is a contest I have no interest in, I want God to be happy with me of course, but I know already I do not fit into that world. One subtext I have read in his words is the ones of illness and hardship. I have faced things in this life, I do not want to go into detail here, but those thorns really can hurt. That much is true. Is that what led to his falling away"?

The Christian faith is supposed to be about one's love of and with God, and invested totally in that, not in systems, not in appearances, not falling into the trap of self-righteousness and "putting on a show".

 Ephesians 3:15 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
Oh one thing I kept thinking of reading his articles, and I was an "athiest" well technically freethought agnostic during a portion of my UU years, I kept thinking, what does being an atheist offer but a whole lot of nothing? How could you be an IFB preacher for years and learn about Bible prophecy and truth of the Bible, and see it for yourself and then chuck it all away? But people do...

Doing this blog, I've had the truth of God's Word proven to me so many times, I can't even conceive how someone could go that route, but this is what is happening in these churches out there. I've definitely even have had my own horrified thoughts, thinking "christiandom" [well the harlots we see before us] is such a horror show" but there the Word stands up and one's relationship with God. I really fear so many can't see outside the church system in having that define everything for them.  That said, always examine yourself if you are in the faith as instructed by God's Word. When these things happen to people I find it tragic.

1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

Hebrews 3:12
Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.


Anonymous said...

Well I am a Zionist, as I am certain the Bible teaches me to be so.

Regarding the other issues, this "former pastor" sounds like he was always angry. It sounds like he was working for salvation the entire time. He was trying to be good enough, discovered on the inside that he is not good enough (no one is), and just put on the "Christian clothing" to fool everyone. Got tired of it, and revealed what he was the whole time: an unbeliever.

Either Jesus gives eternal life based on what He has done, regardless of our future conduct and bad behavior. Or, you really do have to be "good enough" for salvation. But nobody can be "good enough".

I am forgiven all sins past and future, even if I blow it horribly bad for the rest of my life, I will be in heaven. It doesn't sound like he ever believed that. His acceptance of the lie of "lordship salvation" will take him to hell.

alert said...

Hopefully people will find the real Jesus when they leave the church buildings. Church buildings with the false pastors have turned many from God.When being born again i went to a "Church" (denomination)for the first time and God told me: "Jesus is not here" and then i felt a rope around my neck. Unfortunately i did not really understand that i should stay away from those churches. It took some years.

Bible Believer said...

I agree, I hope they do find the real Jesus, and yes many of the hirelings are leading people AWAY from God. Fowls of the air snatching up the seeds, that definitely makes sense. I have visited false churches in the past and gotten that feeling as well, and walked out. I am glad you realized you are to stay away. God bless.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Anonymous’ comment above: “His acceptance of the lie of "lordship salvation" will take him to hell.”

Respectfully, this statement doesn’t make any sense in light of the differences held between those who advocate Lordship salvation and Non-Lordship salvation (presumably Anonymous holds this view).

“Lordship” salvation (a name coined by its detractors) is a Reformed view of scripture, which holds that salvation and faith are the work of God alone, and that the salvation and faith of a believer are eternally secure (perseverance of the saints).

Non-Lordship salvation view holds that man, even though he is dead in trespasses and sins, has the ability to decide in favor of God’s offer of salvation (and man is the ultimate decision-maker, not God). Non-Lordship also advocates that salvation and faith CAN LATER BE LOST and turn to unbelief (man’s free will decision again).

So I ask, what happened here? A former long-time pastor who formerly claimed to be a Christian has now renounced Jesus Christ and turned to atheism.

Sounds like he fits the Non-Lordship profile perfectly.

Sincerely, Aka Alert (note, not same person as “alert” who posted above)

John Arthur said...

Hi Galations 4:16,

Perhaps you should read more of Bruce's blog before you jump to conclusions as to why he left the faith.

If you do read more, you will find the real reason is that he no longer believes (after much detailed study on different aspects of the bible and from different viewpoints) that the bible is the Word of God.

I am a progressive Christian and I, too, do NOT believe that the bible is the Word of God.

John Arthur

Bible Believer said...


So why did he leave? Can you provide the link where he talks about the bible? While that may be true too, I do think he was outraged from what he saw in the churches as well. Remember I AGREED with that aspect, though not leaving Christianity behind of course. One poisonous thing in the churches, is where the institutions becomes all important, more then anything else. Also why be a progressive Christian if you do not believe in the Bible? Remember you are talking to an ex UU here, a church more often then not advanced Jesus Christ as a "great moral leader" but not God and where they rejected the Bible as well, and did not consider it the Word of God.

If you give Jesus any attention at all in your life, What did HE say about God's Word?

Matt 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

I understand rejecting the religious political right nonsense, but be mindful they got traps on the left waiting for you as well. In other words Wallis and pals, all are leading towards the globalist kingdom of the antichrist as well just like all those Dominionists are so in love with.

I would be curious as to the bloggers discoveries of the Bible and its would be "contradictions" he discovered. I find myself wondering if he encountered some of the false KJV onlyists who advance the KJV as new revelation or something. Could you show me the specific article?

Bible Believer said...

Another question for you...

Where do you believe the Word of God comes from?

Where is it? [in other words] What is it, if not the Bible.

Remember Jesus Himself said IT IS WRITTEN.

Anonymous said...

The same one person comes to argue every time I post about the lie of "lordship salvation". Why?

"Lordship salvation" is from the reformed camp, and it is a road to Rome. It is not the Gospel, it does lead to hell, it rejects the true Gospel.

Anonymous said...

I actually communicated with the guy. He strongly believed and taught "lordship salvation" his entire life. He rejected the free gift, he says so. He doesn't believe, and he never believed, that salvation was free.

So he was never saved. He is a victim of the "lordship salvation" lie.

The first promient "lordship salvation" church was of course roman catholicism. Those who support "lordship salvation", are leading people to Rome.

Anonymous said...

Regarding replying about Lordship Salvation…this is a blog, and that means I can post my thoughts too, as long as I’m courteous and Bible Believer allows it.

I do get concerned when I see hit & run remarks about this ill-defined issue call Lordship Salvation. For the record, I’m Reformed in perspective and believe that genuine faith cannot be lost. I won’t question the faith of Anonymous who posted earlier, although he has thought it acceptable to condemn me as a heretic on the road to Rome and Hell.

Here is just an observation --

Why is the false teaching of works-based salvation called “Lordship Salvation”???? Why do people keep calling it that?

I realize that no-one on this blog coined that name, but bear with me.

It’s disrespectful. Jesus is Lord and salvation is only possible through Him. So, why do people want to name a major heresy after Him??? It doesn’t make any sense to me, and it actually bothers me a lot.

Works-based salvation is just that. If that is what this former pastor believed (the actual subject of the post), then I’m sorry for him, but he isn’t any different from the majority of people populating this planet. It is the most ubiquitous religious error that mankind makes.

Let’s not dub this bogus religion with a name that gives the appearance of besmirching the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It also gives the impression that the Lordship of Jesus Christ in the life of a saved sinner is wrong and repugnant. The Lordship of Jesus is only repugnant to those who reject Him, not to us believers who love Him for what He has done for us.

In scripture Jesus has many wonderful titles and roles befitting His glorious Self. The title and role of Lord needs to be given the utmost respect.

The Bible makes it clear that salvation is a whole package of gifts from the LORD, all given through unmerited grace. This includes the Holy Spirit, who helps us grow in our life with God. Romans 8:26-30

Sincerely, Aka Alert

John Arthur said...

Hi Bible Believer,

It is not my responsibilty to go back through Bruce's blog and provide you with the link.

It is you who made the statements about his reason for leaving Christianity and hence you should keep reading his blog until you find the real reason rather than assuming that the state of the churches was a major reason.

It is also not my responsibility to explain to you why I am a Progessive and Liberal Christian. I just told you that to inform you where I was coming from.

Thanks for your response to my previous post on your site.

John Arthur

Anonymous said...

"Lordship salvation" is the term that many in that camp use for it, themselves. And yes, you have the right to post. So do I, if BB permits it and if I'm polite. So I will say again, why would I want to be "reformed"? It's reforming catholicism. That's where it comes from. Catholicism is a wrong root, a satanic lie.

Therefore, no need to "reform" it. Better to just dump it.

"Lordship salvation" is a false gospel that never saved even one person. Jesus is Lord. But "lordship salvation" demands a certain (undefined) level of obedience in order to "prove" the person saved.

And I can assure you, the adherents of the "lordship salvation" lie, don't obey the Lord to the level that they preach on the heads of others.

"Lordship salvation" takes attention off of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. The guy that is cited in this article from BB, the guy that "left the Lord", was about as "lordship salvation" as anyone I've ever met. He was never saved.

Anonymous said...

John Arthur stated
>>>It is not my responsibilty to go back through Bruce's blog and provide you with the link.>>>
Makes me wonder why he wrote at all. Seeming to want to "set the record straight", but not willing to help a sister out in his "correction" of her? LAME! Me thinks thou art very contrary!

Bible Believer said...

Anyone who thinks their works will save them is in trouble. That is rare in the IFB as far as I know where most of the preachers warn against works-based religious systems like Rome [though yes I know there are the Calvinists. Do you have a link where he wrote that salvation was not free, just curious to read it.

Bible Believer said...

Here was a response to my article...

"Bought by the blood, redeemed, saved, sanctified, Holy Ghost filled, I know my salvation is real and my interpretation of the Bible is right, Christians frequently use what I write to “prove” their own rightness. By deconstructing my life and pointing out the errors and flaws in my life they self-righteously remind themselves that they are a true-blue, real deal, Christian.

Armed with an inerrant Bible, an infallible mind, and a God who whispers in their ear, they measure every word I write by their own beliefs and interpretations of the Bible. They arrogantly, without a doubt, KNOW they are r-i-g-h-t.

Today, the Galatians 4 blog is the newest critic of the life of former Christian pastor turned atheist Bruce Gerencser.

In a post titled, The IFB Pastor Turned Atheist: Those Who Fall Away, a blogger by the name of Bible Believer uses my writing to show the error of my past Christian life. His post is not overtly critical but there was a comment on the post that really got my attention.

An anonymous commenter wrote:

Well I am a Zionist, as I am certain the Bible teaches me to be so.

Regarding the other issues, this “former pastor” sounds like he was always angry. It sounds like he was working for salvation the entire time. He was trying to be good enough, discovered on the inside that he is not good enough (no one is), and just put on the “Christian clothing” to fool everyone. Got tired of it, and revealed what he was the whole time: an unbeliever.

Either Jesus gives eternal life based on what He has done, regardless of our future conduct and bad behavior. Or, you really do have to be “good enough” for salvation. But nobody can be “good enough”.

I am forgiven all sins past and future, even if I blow it horribly bad for the rest of my life, I will be in heaven. It doesn’t sound like he ever believed that. His acceptance of the lie of “lordship salvation” will take him to hell.

This comment can be summed up in a few words:

I am right, he is wrong, I am a “true” believer, and he never was, I am going to heaven and he is going to hell."

Anonymous said...

At least the comment got his attention.

The refusal to submit to the fact that there is an absolute truth, makes someone look spaghetti-like anyway.

Bible Believer said...

John Arthur,

I posted all the links I had read, if there is other information that would be interesting to read. There is nothing wrong with asking what has happened to this entire network of people who left Christianity behind. He does focus on the state of the churches, even my own blog focuses on the state of the churches. LOL

Marion said...

I think it is easy to believe, based on all we've learned about the "false" teachers and such that there are no "good" churches out there, or honorable, God-fearing pastors. And that anyone who still attends an "organized" church has got it all wrong and needs to come out. Good churches may be hard to find, but I for one, do believe they exist...we attend one!

John Arthur said...

Hi Bible Believer,

A hint! you might begin with Bruce's series on his journey.

In his post of January 11 2011, he outlines in a letter his primary reason for leaving Fudamentalism. You might like to read the whole series.

John Arthur

Bible Believer said...

Thank you.

I'll check that link out. I may respond to some posts on there. I read Bart Erdmann while UU. He brings him up regarding his disbelief regarding the Bible. I had my days of reading that stuff and questioning. Perhaps I will write about that issue, in an entire article. When I was UU I owned a whole "disprove" the Bible library. It may be interesting to talk about this.

As for fundamentalism, if you read enough of my blog, you will see I am in a sort of different place. While I am sure many would peg me as a "fundamentalist", based on my beliefs, more and more there is a lot I part ways with in the fundamentalist world, I think 40 articles warning about the excesses of Dominionism say something. I have no respect for the authoritarianism out there and other factors discussed regarding the religious right. Especially check out the articles I have written on my blog against Dominionism. He is absolutely correct about the power-mongering in "fundamentalist" circles [I call it Dominionism] but that's basically to cement the term about those who desire theocracy.

Some could say "I left fundamentalism" except in my case, I still believe in the Bible as inerrant and God's Word, and in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. I never fit the "Christian" stereotype or the "Christian culture", in the churches, always kind of outside of it all, and that has been admitted on this blog. Catholic for 20 years, UU for over 12 and then a Christian. One of my main points of even writing that article was this main point, YOU MUST SEPARATE JESUS CHRIST FROM THE CHURCH SYSTEM THAT PORTENDS TO REPRESENT HIM. Perhaps it could have been written better, but that was my main message. I have been sickened by so much of what I have discovered even doing this blog, that is why I said he was RIGHT about the corruptions on the Christian church, I believe the Bible warns about them. Sadly he saw it as "proving" Christianity false.

Bible Believer said...

However I don't go with the "left" either, you can see I've already been there including full blown athiest, humanist, agnostic, and then theosophical years while within the UU church. Even his questions about hell, and comments on it, are nothing new to me considering where I was.

There are points he makes I find interesting from a different angle...

like this one..

One theme I've dealt with on here, is how Jesus Christ never intended to be the Christian faith to be about one guy running the show and the whole crowd revolving around the one man show. Error of the nicolatians.

He's got a point here:

"I am convinced that Jesus, real or not, has been lost in the mire of the modern Christian Church. I have little confidence that he can be found. He has been swallowed by a Leviathan called Christianity, and if Jesus appeared today he would most likely be nailed to the cross by Christians."

To be frank, I see most of the churches as following the antichrist, and now married to Babylon. The people inside them are well meaning but the power brokers running the show are not.

My commenter above is right there are a few good ones left, but those are growing rarer and rarer in number.

Even when I was in my "good IFB", I warned about Dominionism, wrote a letter of complaint to the pastor for telling us to vote for Bush, and refused to sign the membership book, and refused absolute authority to any pastor. I already had a Pope when Catholic. So I guess maybe I was a "bad fundamentalist" from the start. Today I am just calling myself a Christian.

As I am reading I am seeing someone who went through a lot, severe pain and anguish, pressures of ministry and more. I sincerely have empathy especially for the health problems faced. He grew up in the fundamentalist Christian system as well. I still stand by what I wrote regarding the falling away, there is no pleasure in seeing that happen to anyone. I have had to pray a lot especially regarding what I have discovered about the churches. The Church system is not what Jesus Christ intended. That was my main point of even writing the article.

It is a theme I have dealt with quite a bit on this blog. There are a lot of us who are done with the church system, and trust me, even I'd rather have Christian fellowship but not at the price of giving up one's conscience or what they know is true. Some of us left knowing Jesus Christ never intended the man-made system we have found to be so corrupt and knowing the Bible tells us of a GREAT FALLING AWAY. [now happening]

Anonymous said...

John Arthur stated:
>>>"I am a progressive Christian and I, too, do NOT believe that the bible is the Word of God.">>>

Wellll John - it looks like you should just stop calling yourself a "Christian." Because Christians believe the Bible IS the Word of God.

John Arthur said...

Hi Anonymous,

You said,

"Christians believe that the Bible IS the Word of God."

I take it that you do not believe (for example) that many of the 17th Century Quakers were Christians.

Perhaps you ought to btoaden your view of what constitutes a Christian? Nowhere does it say "Believe that the Bible is the Word of God and you shall be saved".

John Arthur

Anonymous said...

Ah John - if the Bible is not truth; the Word of God - then NO ONE can be saved. If we do not believe the Bible, we cannot be saved. No thank you, I would rather maintain my narrow view of Christianity based on the BIBLE. After all, it is the "way" that Jesus defined, and I will follow Him.

Bible Believer said...

I agree with anon, why be a Christian if you do not believe in God's Word. Even Jesus Christ Himself is called the Word of God. I am an ex-UU, the UU church was friendly with Quakers and shared services with them at times, Quakers share some similar roots in the transcendental movement. They are deceived seeking after the "inner light", meditation etc.

Those who are Christians are people who are born again believers with the Holy Spirit indwelling. I knew when I was born again, a LOVE for God's Word came with this, that is where the Holy Spirit leads.

If you consider all holy books of equal value and the Bible not true, then you basically have gone the way of the Universalists though you may put more emphasis on "jesus" being a moral teacher...etc.

John Arthur said...

Hi Anonymous and Bible Believer,

The Word of God is NOT the bible but Jesus Christ who is the love of God personified in human action and in human relationships.

The Spirit of God is the Spirit of the historical Jesus and this Spirit has been enlightening human beings ever since the beginning of humanity with God's illuminating compassion, healing mercy and loving-kindness and this Light is received when people yield to God's loving presence.

The bible itself is not the Word of God but a witness to the Word of God. The Pharisees studied the Scriptures (O.T.) because in THEM they thought they would find eternal life, but Jesus said that the Scriptures bear WITNESS to him but Pharisees (the Fundamentalists of Jesus' day) would not COME to HIM that they might find life.

The bible is never referred to as the Word of God but the Scriptures. Only Jesus is referred to as the Word of God.

John Arthur

John Arthur said...

Hi Anonymous and Bible Believer,

When I say that "only Jesus Christ is referred to as the "Word of God'", I include the Spirit of Jesus operative in all ages through the spoken word, not just the 'incarnate Word' speaking through the historical Jesus.

The Scriptures are fallible human witness to 'God' since they contain many contradictions and attrocities like 'God' supposedly commanding the Israelites to commit genocide (surely not the Word of God).

John Arthur

Bible Believer said...

Why do you think Jesus quotes God's Word and responds "It is written" to Satan. This is to tell us that God's Word is indeed WRITTEN down.

Why did Jesus repeat over and over "it is written"?

Mat 2:5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Mat 4:6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in [their] hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Mat 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Mat 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Mat 11:10 For this is [he], of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
Mat 21:13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
Mat 26:24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.

Hey when I was CATHOLIC and UU, they told me over and over the Bible is not true that "jesus" is "outside" of scripture etc. But this is another "jesus" being preached. The "cosmic christ" of the one world religion not Jesus Christ in the Bible.

Jesus I believe told us, "It is written" over and over for a reason.

And remember the apostles in the later epistles, etc back this up....

1Cr 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

John Arthur said...

Hi Ordinary Believer,

Firsly, let me applaud you on your opposition to Dominion theology (a dangerous form of Fundamentalism that will take away many human freedoms) and on your opposition to Calvinism (consistent Fundamentalism but with horrible implications).

Seondly, about the phrase "It is written".

The phrase "It is written" is a reference to the OT scriptures, not a reference to the Word of God, nor to the bible as a whole. Nowhere, does Jesus say that these Scriptures or any Scriptures are the Word of God.

You do realise that the canonical Gospels were most probably written between 30-70 years after Jesus' death and they were by unknown authors which later church tradition attributed to Mark, Matthew, Luke and John. They do not contain the verbatum "words" of Jesus.

Mark's Gospel was probably the first Gospel written (somewhere between CE 60-70), then Matthew and Luke (CE80-90)and John (CE90-100).

Most people in the first century were NOT literate. They relied on oral transmission of the message.They didn't carry Hebrew bibles around with them. Only those with a good education could read and write.

Anonymous made a statement that if the bible is not the Word of God then no-one can be saved. And you concurred with this statement.

You do realise that through most of church history most Christians could not read or write so they didn't have a bible. How do you suppose that they were "saved"? The story was told orally, though the church elites (i.e.priests) could read and write and they relied on their INTERPRETATION of the bible.

With the invention of the printing press in the 15th century and Martin Luther's translation of the bible into German in the 16th century the bible was gradually disseminated among s wider audience (though it is only in the 20th century that education at secondary level and above became more widespread).

The bible does not save us. The bible does not make us whole (sozo is the Greek verb 'to save' and means 'to make whole' but it is the message of the reign of the God of love that makes us whole, when we respond positively to it.

You say that you are not a Fundamentalist. You may not be a social Fundamentalist but, since you believe in the inerrancy of the bible in the (now missing) originals, you are a theological Fundamentalist.

Tell me this! If the bible is the Word of God and you are led by the Holy Spirit (as you claim) and as millions of other Christians have claimed, why since the publication of the NT in German in 1516 and the widespread use of the bible in the churches, has the number of different INTERPRETATIONS of the bible proliferated since the Reformation? Why did we have about 30 different Christian groups around the time of the Reformation but now there are over 30,000?

Perhaps it might be better to develop a compassionate and caring Christianity and to read the bible through the lens of healing mercy and peace than look at it as the Word of God.

John Arthur

Anonymous said...

I've had to leave my church behind and go online for a good service preaching the word that's meant to be preached. Zac Poonen is a great pastor in India.

Lisa Ruby said...

Bible Believer wrote: "One of my main points of even writing that article was this main point, YOU MUST SEPARATE JESUS CHRIST FROM THE CHURCH SYSTEM THAT PORTENDS TO REPRESENT HIM."

Bible Believer, you got to the heart of the matter in that one sentence. We are in the last days and wolves are working from within every denomination that names the name of Jesus Christ -- including that of the Independent Fundamental Baptists.

Those who follow Jesus Christ must not allow religious predators who engage in religion for fun and profit to cause us to stumble and become offended in Jesus Christ.

Hyprocrites/playactors have their place. (It is a place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.) Let us purpose not to become offended in Jesus Christ. Rather, we should be offended at the true source of offense: hypocrites who claim to be part of the body of Christ but are not. We must learn from this man's tragic fall from the faith and obey God and come out from among them and be separate.

Bible Believer said...

Hi John Arthur,

Sorry I am late in responding to this, thanks regarding the opposition to Dominion Theology and Calvinism. I believe the verse in Revelation sums up the NT being the word of God, as well.

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

As for the timing of the writing of the gospels, I do not buy the traditions that make the time longer after, the Catholic church emphasizes a far longer period of time as they educate their priests in the synoptic gospels. Remember in my case, during my UU years, I read Bart Erdhman, I read books and heard lectures by those in the Jesus Seminar. I know the claims where they say the bible does not contain the true words of "jesus". During a time in the UU church, I owned a library disproving the Bible, I think I ordered some of those from the freedom from religion foundation. Why trust the traditions that claim gospels were almost 100 years old by the time they were written? Where is there proof? As Jews, most of the apostles were indeed literate, illiteracy would become actually more common later on. Jesus wrote in the sand remember in the Bible, why would He do this if he was surrounded by illiterates?

One can be saved by the PREACHING of the WORD. so yes on that point you are correct, of course one hopes they are hearing it.

Bible Believer said...

As for church history and growing illiteracy, so wonder Rome's power was so immense. So wonder the Dark Ages came about. Yes you are correct many became dependent on the priests
and were not given God's Word and or in an adulterated fashion.

Luke 12:48

King James Version (KJV)

48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

And yes the Reformation changed this...
This of course in Western society is no longer an excuse. God will know who had access to His Word and those who were taught orally the true thing.I do not separate Jesus Christ from the Bible in that Jesus Christ is referred to as the WORD. Sure paper and ink do not save but what is contained within is what matters.

I accept that I would be considered a theological fundamentalist by many considering my beliefs regarding the Bible however if you read enough of this blog, you will see I am not with any church and this applies many of my readers too. Obviously I am outside the circle of what you call social fundamentalism condemning many of the teachings and actions.

"Tell me this! If the bible is the Word of God and you are led by the Holy Spirit (as you claim) and as millions of other Christians have claimed, why since the publication of the NT in German in 1516 and the widespread use of the bible in the churches, has the number of different INTERPRETATIONS of the bible proliferated since the Reformation?"

Well the Catholics on message boards used to ask me this one, the problem is with those who actually do NOT READ IT. Those who go for different interpretations are going the way of listening to false preachers, false traditions--that one is big, and listening to man over God. This is what you get from the error of the Nicolaitans, the clergy class telling the "laity" how to read scripture and most of the time they are leaving great parts out and changing others even especially in the cases of the liturgical churches adding their own traditions. So much of the church system is FLATLY NOT in the BIBLE. [I mean that's one of the running themes of this entire blog, and by the way that goes for a lot in the fundamentalist churches like Dominionism and altar calls]

The false church system, has people listening to IT instead of to what is in God's Word: Dominionism a case in point as they all scramble to grab onto the world's kingdoms while Jesus Christ rejected the kingdoms of this earth that Satan offered. Actually the 30,000 denomination number is rather inflated especially if you count the denominations that are only region dependent. Once in an debate I went to a big city phone book, and counted, LOL, I estimated there was around 4,000 and if you didn't count different denominations that were named after countries, and regions and taught the same as others, the number was even lower.

I agree with a caring compassionate Christianity but not one that throws out scripture. One can believe in God's Word and hold onto the mercy and more, after all God is merciful.

Psa 116:5 Gracious [is] the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God [is] merciful.

The problem is those who listen to false traditions, false preachers and the babylonian nicolatians have lost the plot. Yes even the fundamentalist churches have entered into the error of the Nicolaitans with their "one man show" time.

Bible Believer said...

One point to John Arthur, I want to make, I've read a lot of your friend's blog, the pastor become an athiest, even more of it later, and well, he is right about much of the false aspects of the church system. The problem is, as wrote before:" Bible Believer wrote: "One of my main points of even writing that article was this main point, YOU MUST SEPARATE JESUS CHRIST FROM THE CHURCH SYSTEM THAT PORTENDS TO REPRESENT HIM."

That's it in a nutshell. Too many are unable to separate Jesus Christ, from the false church system, a church system that is warned of in the Bible over and over.

Thanks Lisa I agree we are in the last days, remember the Bible tells us the wolves will wax WORSE and they HAVE. I believe they have grabbed ahold of all the denominations. One thing too John Arthur pertaining to your friend's blog, I have called out Sword of the Lord and other aspects of the fundamentalist world as FALSE.

Your friend is also right about the hypocritical attitudes towards the poor and etc among fundamentalists. I've posted at least 10 articles pertaining to that issue.

The Bible has God's truth and even if a myriad of false preachers, wolves and hirelings have twisted it to their own ends, this does not change that fact, in fact for those who truly love and study God's Word, they see through the showtime the delusion.

Bible Believer said...

Lisa is right we must not allow religious predators who use religion, and the wicked world system who basically uses the false churches as a mind control nexus to turn away from Jesus Christ.

Being a UU, I knew about all the rotten bottom feeder TV evangelists, I read about every forsaken political lying preacher in a variety of publications from Free Inquiry to Freedom from Religion Foundation to the Humanist. I knew they were out there long ago. However in learning God's Word and in learning what Jesus Christ actually taught, not what I was TOLD he taught by hirelings, I became a Christian. This is something I tell people today.

The church system is basically a giant blind spot that seeks to obliterate God's Word for millions. There are millions now who see the so called God's "represenatives" on earth from the Pope to evangelical preachers and want nothing to do with what they think is Christianity.

The Bible warns about all these things for a reason. The warnings about Mystery Babylon? The majority of denominations are JOINED. The church system with few exceptions is a giant blinding mirage working on behalf of Satan. We are called out for a reason and to be separate.

I think your friend's blog is very interesting and he is right about the hirelings, oh so very right, with their evil manipulative ways, showtime, making merchandise of people but the problem is he left Jesus Christ behind offended by them. He left what should have been his first love.

Rev 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

That to me is a tragedy of great proportions. Now remember the BIBLE WARNS ABOUT THIS.

Matt 24

10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.


If you read this blog or enough of it, you definitely will discover, I have found out somethings so evil they are beyond mind-blowing, the luciferian net-works, the deceit in politics and more. A lot was not even easy to deal with. This world definitely has Satan as prince of this earth. I had to make my mind up long ago, to keep my eyes on Jesus Christ and not the endless brigade of false preachers.

I've seen intense evil in religion, shunning from some family members for leaving their church--Catholic, insults and other things.

I even ONCE was an UU who had "Christians" treat me like dirt. I wrote about this here.

With your friend, I have prayed that he can find his way to Jesus Christ, FREE of seeing Him via the false church lens that seriously distorts the picture.

John Arthur said...

Hi Bible Believer,

(i) Revelation 22: 18-19.

"this book" does not refer to the bible as a whole but simply to the book of Revelation. The whole bible had not yet been cirulated to all congregations in the Roman Empire, let alone become a canon at this stage.

(2)You don't have to accept Bart Ehrman's view or that of the Jesus Seminar. Most biblical scholars hold that the Gospels were written between 30-70 years after the death of Jesus. This includes most Evangelical scholars at major seminaries.

(3) In the first century 90% of Palestine was extremely poor.These people could not read or write.

(4) You say that the apostles could read and write. Well Paul could and 7 of the 13 letters attributed to him are accepted as genuine by most NT scholars. The other 6 were probably not written by Paul.

The 4 Gospels are by unknown authors whom later church tradition attributes to Matthew. Mark (not an apostle), Luke (not an apostle) and John.

Ist and 2nd Peter are thought not to have been written by Peter. So there is not much evidence that the apostles could read and write.

I'll come back to some of your other points in a few days.

John Arthur

John Arthur said...

Hi Bible Believer,

(1) "Jesus wrote in the sand remember" (John 8:6)

You do know that the overwhelming majority of textual scholars (Evangelical as well as Liberal) do not believe that John 8:1-11 was in the now missing original manuscripts. It isn't in the earliest and best manuscripts that we have.

So we do not know whether Jesus wrote in the sand, so this passage cannot be used to support the view that Jesus' disciples could read or write. Maybe some could. We simply do not know.

(2) The identification of the Nicolaitans

I don't know of any modern NT scholars who support tour interpretation that it refers to the clergy ruling over the laity. They were possibly a group engaging in immorality.

However, I do not believe that pastors and elders ought to be given power over congregations. (I'm a democrat). So I kind of agree with you.

(3)I appreciated your points supporting Bruce's atance against autocratic church rule, spirtual and emotional abuse that occurs in many Fundamentalist churches and his opposition to hypocritical Christians.

(4). I agree with you that most Christians do not read their bibles but I do not think that this explains the mutltude of differences in biblical interpretation by inerrantists.

I think that the bible has different points of view on many topics and that this partly accounts for some of differences.

Most pastors DO read their bibles and they often differ from one another. Biblical scholars who support inerrancy also differ from one another, not only on many topics but on their overarching theological systems. e.g. Calvinism (covenant theology, new covenant theology, Kuyperianism etc.), Arminianism, Open Theism, Dispensationalism (in its various forms), and Dominionsiam, just to name a few.

(5) Many thanks for your responses to me. Where we agree is that we both think that Jesus is the Word of God. Where we disagree is on the role of the bible.

Anyway, keep up the GOOD work of opposing Calvinism, authoritairanism, spiritual abuse and Dominionism.

John Arthur