Thursday, May 02, 2013

Congratulations for Being Right

How do you know when someone doesn't get the gospel? For one, they have to prove something. They must say or do anything to demonstrate to others that they are right, they are pure and they are holy.  To further demonstrate their rightness and the certainty of their rightness, they must also constantly attack others who they know to be wrong and relentlessly keep a watchful eye on their inconsistencies, their hypocrisies all the way down to their spelling and grammatical errors. You will never find such an individual admitting a mistake or even questioning his own certainty about things. He takes pride in his rightness and certainty of everything because it is his own righteousness and vindication. This is why many of the big mega church pastors who are the targets of so much criticism blame pastors of small churches like myself for picking on them out of jealousy. They are partly right. Their numerical success and notoriety become a real temptation for them in which to find their righteousness and vindication. Because a pastor like myself with a small church cannot point to my "success" for my self justification and vindication - apart from the gospel - I have to look elsewhere. I can vindicate myself and my perceived failure in the mega church pastor's eyes, by pointing out all of his faults. Since I can't vindicate myself by making others come hear me in my church building; I can make myself feel good about myself by knowing that more people will hear me through my blog and comment threads on other people's blogs! This is why they have to minimize the gospel to no longer be the matter of first importance because it would destroy their means of justifying themselves. The gospel must become only one spoke in the wheel with every other teaching being of equal importance. This is how they put the gospel in it's place instead of the letting the gospel put them in their place.

I recognize my own propensity for this every day when I am challenged by someone on my interpretation of Scripture or when the Sunday attendance is a disappointment. I am either forced to flee to Christ for my justification, acceptance and vindication or I have to find it in my blog, my church's numbers, the love and affection of my congregation, the popularity of Facebook friends, the amount of "Likes" on Facebook posts, the number of readers on my Stat counter, the number of comments I attract per post, my scruples that are impossible for 99% of others to keep like I can, the onslaught of criticism that I interpret as persecution for the truth...the list goes on and on.

Of course, if you're like this, you're probably telling yourself that you are trying to defend the truth and give glory to God because what God is most concerned about is being right also as if He actually needs you to defend Him. You are also telling yourself that God would not be pleased with you unless you can honestly say you know exactly what is right in every situation as far as your finite mind can comprehend. You will win a trophy for being more right than others and lay it at Jesus' feet in utter humility....right?  Uh huh.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nailed it.... One need not imagine to long to determine of whom you speak, I appreciate your Christ like demeanor Will

Anonymous said...

And btw, this is Webb Bailey, I know how much " they" dislike someone not " spiritual " enough to leave their name;)

Desmond Ramsey said...

I laughed after reading this. The irony of this post is that you just did what you said the mega church pastors and unregenerate do, by bashing others on their "rightness"

William Dudding said...


Thanks Webb,
But I must admit that I am not very Christ-like in my demeanor. Christ is much more patient, meek and full of pity than I will ever be.

People like I described in this post seem to see the disobedient & immoral transgressing younger brother as the reason for all the problems in the world while people like me seem to see the moralistic Pharisee older brothers to be the reason for all the problems in the world.

Christ comes to both with mercy and love. I am more prone to extend mercy to the younger brother and not to the older brother. I fall very short of Christ.

William Dudding said...

Yes Desmond,
We are all broken, self-justifying, self-defending, self-promoting little worms trying to inflate ourselves. Even in our attempts to recognize that, we still end up doing that. How wretched we all are. How wretched I am.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Will,

This is a very complicated conspiracy theory. It seems like one of those "historic" films that utilizes a lot of dramatic license to make an untenable point.

The history of our church, for instance, you know, since you aren't talking about me (;-D), is that we got "big" early and fast. We had over 600 one week in our Neighborhood Kids Crusade. We used the mother-of-all puppet shows, mega-promotion, etc., with lots of kids making professions of faith. We had over 300 one Sunday, etc. I became too under conviction from preaching expositionally to continue in that path. So I really don't have that chip on my shoulder thing that you want me to have. I get more than enough speaking opportunities elsewhere. I like being at home. I was even given an honorary doctorate!!!

Truth is, I actually just believe what I'm writing and am genuinely concerned. There are many like me out there.

At some point I started really annoying you and things became antagonistic, starting with you. You. So you really are going to need to look in the mirror on this (you and Webb Bailey).

I could write more, but you'll have to believe this to start, or we wouldn't be able to go anywhere. I was always nice to you and things turned South starting with you.

Reforming Baptist said...

Kent,
I am sure you genuinely believe what you write about and are concerned....that others don't agree.

After having read so much of your writing and philosophy, I became "annoyed" by the dangerous conclusions that your philosophy leads people to. Of course, I don't expect you to think that you're position is "dangerous".

Your doctrine of separation leads to isolation. Protest all you want, but your idea of fellowship limits you to only those who agree completely with you. You think that's Biblical...fine, it is the kind of mentality that breeds cults and sects.

Your flattening of the gospel with other doctrines de-emphasizes its importance and makes secondary issues equal with that which is life and death. I maintain that, like the Pharisees, you have made your applications equal with commandments, thus preaching for doctrines the commandments of men. This confuses real sin with your boogie men. It binds the consciences of the weak wrongly.

Your absolute certainty of everything excludes you from correction since you are not allowed to doubt anything. (there are such things as doubtful disputations in Romans 14:1)

Your KJV Onlyism is just plain wrong. The new book by Jason Harris particularly points out your error. It unnecessarily binds people's consciences to another commandment of men.

You mock those who exercise Christian liberty like you did in your most recent post and yes, that annoys me.

A friend of mine who used to blog back and forth with you back in the early Sharper Iron days told me that you were a "scorner" and he had a part in getting you banned from the site. At first I thought you were just a concerned individual, but after a while, I started to see he was right. You have scorn and contempt for almost all other Christians who are not like you. You never cease to make that known. Your concern is scorn and your relentless pursuit of proving yourself right reeks of pride.

I guess I should take Bob Hayton's advice and just stop bothering to even read you or interact with you. I'm sure you wouldn't mind either.

Have I been perfectly loving, gentle, long suffering, kind and so forth? I would be a fool to say I have. I don't even presume to present myself as some perfectly just and fair person. I am sure I have sinned on the internet more times than I even think.

Yet, you strike me as the "strong giant" that Calvin talks about...

"strong giants, who may be desirous tyrannically to subject our liberty to their humour, may safely be let alone, because we need not fear giving offence to those who are not drawn into sin through infirmity, but eagerly catch at something to find fault with."

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Will,

I think a state church man with the power to execute, like Calvin, warning about "strong giants" is rich. I guess, whatever it takes your part though. I don't know, did Calvin subject anyone to a loss of liberty in his lifetime? Everyone in our church is there based upon zero coercion from a state church. We have a discipleship philosophy (one on one), multiple elders, expository preaching, congregational church government.

It's hard for me not to see you as influenced by postmodern relativism that rejects doctrinal certainty and scriptural clarity. I get how you could pendulum swing away from Golden State, so that you project them on almost anything that has any similarity. I was against Hyles and that mentality long, long before you even went to college and have been as boldly against it than anyone I've read on the internet.

As for the rest of your comment:
*I'm not in isolation. The last church conference I preached at, had 25-30 pastors there. I've been at others with 50-75. It's not Shepherd's Conference, but that's no wonder. A big difference though -- these men aren't with a college or under any other influence but the Bible. Their unaffiliated. It's true that we have a lot of agreement, something like Paul says there should and will be in 1 Cor 1, but it's the only men I've ever been with where anything can be questioned and it does. That never happened in the FBFI. Your "unity" is based upon the disregarding of doctrine (not flattening, but erasure). The one faith is not solely the gospel, Will.
*Doubtful disputations (Rom 14) are non-scriptural issues, non-moral issues. For instance, corrupt communication is a moral issue. Fleshly lust is a moral issue. Worldly lust is a moral issue. I preached Luke 20:45-47 tonight. Jesus denunciated the scribes for 6 things, perhaps one of which was in scripture. In other words, He applied scripture with authority, which is what Paul told Titus to do in bible application in Titus 2:15. Should we be sanctified by His example?
*I can't speak to Jason Harris book, and I can't take your word for it. I didn't even know about it. I went to Amazon and there is one review of it, Bob Hayton. I've been very nice to Bob.
*I can't speak to your friend's gossip. He's wrong on my being banned. If you look at the archives, you won't see "banned" by my name. Jason purposefully didn't ban me, because he didn't have a good reason. Many were banned, and I was not one of them. The conflict with the owner of SI at the time was an article posted by Kutilek, who said those who took a similar position to D.A. Waite as lemmings. Calling people lemmings was supposedly against the SI policy. I simply pointed it out, and JJ was unhappy. He, however, had a lot of personal baggage to work through as to his relationships. I know that a belief in the doctrine of perfect preservation in the original language text is the historic position, so I would be interested to read the exegesis of a research lecturer in the school of business. I'm guessing that it all sounds good in the echo chamber, but not under the actual scrutiny of someone who has studied original languages and read the history of the doctrine.

Anyway, I think we should be able to talk without the rancor. I've sat through dozens of lies from you and your buddies and I still have reached out to you.

William Dudding said...

You prove my point in your comment about Calvin. He didn't have power to execute anyone. He wasn't on city council in Geneva. That's your M.O. Discredit people so that nothing they have to say is valid because they disagree with you.

I'm influenced by relativism. I'm not sure how to objectively disprove that, so I won't even try.

As for the faith and fellowship, I am not erasing doctrine. My position would be like that of Joel Tetreau's explanation at the Standpoint Conference, which I've yet to read anything by you directly refuting:
http://media.sermonaudio.com/mediapdf/226101211154.pdf

The doubtful disputations are not about neutral things. The "weaker brother" in Romans 14 and 1 Cor.8 would not consider associations with idols a non-moral issue. Yet, Paul treats it as "relative". It's sin for some and not for others depending on their conscience. Your philosophy makes no room for such things.

Your definition of perfect preservation is not the historical position. Just because you found a few quotes by a few people who believed something remotely familiar to it, doesn't make it the historic position across the board. No two manuscripts are exactly alike, even those that comprise the several versions of the TR. A perfect stream of flawless manuscripts held in the trust of Baptistic churches through history is impossible to prove.

Please list the dozens of lies I have told.
To accuse someone of lying is serious.
I assume my "lies" are just disagreements with you since you hold the corner on truth.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Will,

Here's an example of what I was talking about with Calvin. It's hard for me to feel chastened by quoting Calvin about liberty.

I've not read or heard or even knew about Joel's session. There are things on the internet I still haven't refuted that disagree with me, but I'm a full time pastor. :-D

Romans 14 deals with non-moral issues. That's all we were talking about. Sure, being a stumbling block is wrong, but receiving people in doubtful disputations are non-moral issues. It's not saying, receive people who defy something I taught as if it is simply a disagreement.

I am representing the historic position on preservation. You won't find another position. The historic position doesn't reject the idea that there are textual variants at all. Before you say several false things about my position, you should know what it is.

By the way, a scorner in Proverbs is someone who scorns the truth. That's a lie to start. You also said I was banned at SI. I wasn't. And there are more here. Your post on April 12 was full of lies. The post you affirmed by the guy at gladly receiving blog was full of lies. So that's a start.

I'm not really expecting you or Fred Butler or him to care. I believe what I believe. If I believe it is error, I'll say it. You can either go ballistic over it or just argue against it. I don't mind someone arguing against something. I expect that. And perhaps I expect the other stuff too as it comes from you. But if you are fine with people disagreeing, then just practice what you believe.

Anonymous said...

Will , ignore the "man" and let him go on his merry way. Don't waste your time on someone who has not once shown any measure of the fruit of the Spirit in his blogging career.

Anonymous said...

Sorry , forgot to leave my name , Webb Bailey:)

Reforming Baptist said...

Kent,
Freedom on standards and preferences is a far cry different from freedom to believe in Jesus as God or not. Calvin didn't have any power but influence, and he used it to legally testify against Michael Servetus who was an Arian heretic. It was the law to get the death penalty for spreading such heresy. As a man of God, he still towers over you and what he says about Christian freedom and "strong giants" isn't annulled because of the Servetus matter. You anti-Calvinists just love to crucify Calvin for that.

I've mentioned Joel's work on koinonia in the past. Maybe you've overlooked it, but it is much more Biblical and in the Spirit of Christian unity than anything that comes from you.

My point about Romans 14 is that the weak brothers think that food and holidays are moral issues because to them, it has problems with association (your same problem with clothing or instruments that are associated with the baser part of our culture) and holidays were required by OT law. Not keeping the feasts would have been seen as sin (a moral issue). Of course, Paul makes it clear that these issues are not really moral issues unless your conscience is defiled by it. So, if you think not wearing a suit and tie on your website is "association" with the world, then you're the weaker one. If you think playing a drum (trapset as you like to call it) is a sin because of it's association with Rock music, then you're the weaker one...just like those who associated meat with idols.

The Scorner scorns truth...I agree with that. But I didn't call you a Proverbs scorner, since you like to get all technical. I could get more pointed and say that you are an accuser of the brethren since that's what most of your blog consists of. That would make you akin to someone else much worse. I'll let God be the judge of that.

Your accusations of lies are so general, that they can't be taken seriously. They were what I thought they'd be - "lies" because they disagree with you, the one who has a corner on the truth.

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