September 25, 2014

Repentance Facts by Dr. Rick Flanders

The repentance involved in New Testament salvation has been given special attention in recent years by Christians concerned that the Gospel be correctly preached. A lot of this concern arose because of the justifiable dismay in many godly minds over the lack of holiness these days in the lives of professing believers in Christ. Some have decided that the problem must be in how the Gospel has been preached. Some of the representatives of this theory have concentrated on the way preachers handle the issue of repentance. What exactly is the “repentance unto life” (Acts 11:18) taught by the New Testament scriptures? This has become a major issue among groups of conservative preachers and among church members in some good congregations. Interpretations of repentance have swung to the right and to the left, have drawn extreme conclusions, and have fomented heated arguments. Books and articles have been written on the subject, and some of them leave people confused and unsettled. The debate in some arenas has done more harm than it has done good. Certainly we will be helped if we can discern clear facts about repentance from the Bible. And there are several which are both clear and even undeniable. Consider these:

There is no doubt that sinners are called to repent, and that their repentance is required for their salvation. Jesus said,

“I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance," (Luke 5:32).

Jesus called sinners to repentance. Had Tyre and Sidon seen the mighty works done in their cities in their day that were done by Jesus in Chorazin and Bethsaida, these wicked cities would have “repented” and avoided judgment, said the Lord (Matthew 11:21 and Luke 10:13-14). “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish,” Jesus said on another occasion (Luke 13:3). Sinners who don’t repent will perish. And He told us that there is joy in Heaven over “one sinner that repenteth” (Luke 15:7). The salvation of the sinner occurs when he repents. The risen Christ stated that the remission of sins results from the repentance of sinners (Look up Luke 24:46-47). The words of Jesus remove any doubt about the requirement of repentance for salvation. “All men every where,” according to God’s requirement (Acts 17:30), are commanded “to repent.” “The riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering” represent (in Romans 2:4) “the goodness of God” which “leadeth thee to repentance.” God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (Second Peter 3:9b). Sinners who want to be saved will have to repent! So the Bible teaches.

2.                   REPENTANCE IS A CHANGE OF MIND.

The Greek word for repentance used in the New Testament is metanoia. Without question it means “a change of mind.” Unfortunately, in all the flurry of discussion on this subject, some have ventured to argue that repentance is not a change of the mind. But by its etymology the word clearly refers to action fundamentally in the mind. The root of the word is based on a word that means “mind” (nous, mind; noieo, to exercise the mind). Our word “paranoia” identifies a disease of the mind. The Greek word “anoia” adds the negative prefix to “-noia,” and means “unreason.” It is used in Luke 6:11 in the phrase translated “filled with madness.” Dianoia is an intensive word for “thought” and is used in Mark 12:30 in the phrase “with all thy mind”. Eunoia means “good mind,” and is used in Ephesians 6:7, “with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men.” Metanoia fundamentally means a change of mind, and that’s what repentance is. In Luke 16, the Lord Jesus tells a story of a man who died and went to Heaven, and another man who died and went to Hell (verses 19-31). In the telling of the story it is said that sinful men must “repent” (verse 30) “lest they also come into this place of torment” (verse 28). Then it says that to repent in this way is to “be persuaded” (see verse 31), using a word in the Greek that indicates the winning over of the mind. Certainly genuine repentance can be expected to affect other aspects of a life, but essentially it is the changing of the mind.


Often men are told in the New Testament to “repent” (change their minds) in order to be saved. However, it is not only of sin that sinners are to repent. Scripture makes it clear that they are to change their minds about more than one thing. Matthew 3:1-6 indicates that sinners must change their mind about sin. Mark 1:15 says that men must change their minds about the gospel and about their unbelief. Hebrews 6:1 speaks of “repentance from dead works.” Sinners must repent of their good works as well as of sin and unbelief in order to be saved. This is illustrated in the words of Philippians 3, where Paul testifies that he had to count whatever was “gain” to him as loss, in order to have Christ as His Savior (read verses 4-9). To trust Christ as Savior requires a decision. That’s why the word “repent” or “repentance” is sometimes used in connection with it. The sinner must change his mind. To offer salvation on the basis of accepting a creed, or praying a prayer, or agreeing to a set of facts, is to miss the point. The sinner must decide about the gospel. He must change his mind about sin, about believing, and about depending on his own religion or good works. He must decide to look to Christ alone for his salvation.


Does the book of John ever address the question of eternal life? Of course it does. More than a dozen times the terms “eternal life” or “everlasting life” are used in John. This could be said to be the theme of the book, which often tells us how individuals may receive eternal life. Yet never once does the book of John use the word “repent.” Since repentance is required for salvation, isn’t it strange that the book in the Bible that has eternal life as its theme would never use the words “repent” or “repentance”? John says that we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ, through believing in Him or coming to Him. Very many times the word “believe” is used in reference to the way to eternal life. Yet the decision for salvation is never called “repentance.”

The book of Luke also shows us the way to salvation, but strangely says little about faith in Christ in this connection. The term most used to describe the decision for salvation in Luke is some form of “repent.” We see this, for example, in Luke 5:32. But then, in Luke 7:50, Jesus tells a woman who had committed many sins, but had come to Him for forgiveness, “Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.” It is really the only place in Luke where faith is mentioned in connection with the salvation of a sinner. In chapter 5, Jesus calls sinners “to repentance,” and in chapter 7 He tells a sinner that her “faith” had “saved” her. Which is it then, repentance or faith, which brings salvation? The answer to that question obviously is “Yes.” Either one brings salvation. People who repent are saved, and people who believe are saved. Repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin when scripture uses them to describe the salvation decision. This is why Luke can tell us to repent and not perish, and John can tell us to believe and have eternal life. When a sinner believes on Christ for his salvation, he has repented. When a person repents of sin, unbelief, and dead works, and it is real repentance, he has believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. “Repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21) are not two steps to salvation; they are the one step described in Acts 16 as “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (verse 31) viewed from its two sides. Salvation repentance is the change of mind necessary for a sinner to trust in Christ for deliverance from sin. If a man says that he has turned from his sin but has not turned to the Remedy for sin, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, he has not really repented, no matter how many tears he may have shed or how may changes he has promised to make in his behavior. Salvation repentance is turning from darkness to light, and unless a sinner has turned to the Light of the World, he hasn’t really turned from the darkness. To believe on Christ for salvation includes wanting to be saved. It involves renouncing good works for salvation and deciding to place one’s full trust in Jesus to do the saving. It isn’t faith for salvation unless the sinner wants salvation from his sins, and trusts Christ alone to save him. So Luke says, “Repent,” and John says, “Believe.” Both books are telling us to do the same thing.


Many times in the Bible, men are called to repent without using the word. In Acts 3 where one of Peter’s sermons to Jews in Jerusalem is recorded, in verse 19 we find him telling them, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted.” Then in Acts 4:4, where the response of thousands of those who had been called to repent is recorded, we read, “Many of them which heard the word believed.” In other words, they were told to repent and in response they believed. Nowadays some sermons, and some public invitations, and some gospel tracts include language that suggests that the writer or speaker feels compelled to use the word “repent.” If people understand the gospel, and the meaning of the salvation decision, it certainly would not be wrong to say “repent,” but it is not always necessary to include the word because repentance and faith are two ways of looking at the same choice. Jesus offered His salvation with words such as, “Come unto Me” (Matthew 11:28 and 19:14), “eat of this Bread” (John 6:51), “come unto Me and drink” (John 7:37), “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” (John 9:35), and “believe in the Light” (John 12:36). The decision to turn to Him for eternal salvation can be described in different ways.

Sadly, many of those who insist that we must actually tell the sinner to “repent” somewhere in our gospel presentation have accepted the false idea that there are two steps to salvation. I have heard it explained in such a way that it seemed as though the explainer thought that the converts of John the Baptist were only half-saved (although he actually preached both sides of the coin according to Acts 19:4 and John 3:26-36). He told men to repent, some imply, and then Jesus told them to believe. It is a false teaching that one must repent first in order to be prepared to believe. It connects somehow back to the wrong ideas related to the old “mourners’ bench” where sinners were expected to weep and agonize over their sins for a period of time before they could be saved. Men are saved in one step, and not in two, as illustrated by incidents in the Bible like the conversion of the Philippian jailor in Acts 16. In response to his question, “What must I do to be saved?” the apostle told him, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”


Christian churches are the ones addressed in Revelation 2 and 3, seven congregations to be exact. They are given direct messages suited to their situations from the risen Christ, and five of the seven are called upon to repent (the Ephesian church in 2:5, the church in Pergamos in 2:16, some in the church of Thyatira in 2:21, the church in Sardis in 3:3, and the church of the Laodiceans in 3:19). In these significant cases, the issue is the revival of saints, and not the salvation of sinners. Repentance is definitely not exclusively a salvation issue. In any dealing between God and man, sinner or saint, repentance in man will be a necessary step in setting things right. The prophet Zechariah spoke the words of the Lord when he said,

“Turn ye unto Me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts,” (Zechariah 1:3).
The call to revival under both the Old Covenant and the New is always a call to God’s people. It is not the call to personal salvation. Revival is the work of God in which He brings His people back (Psalm 85:1-6) and lifts them up (James 4:8-10) to the level of faith and submission where He can bless them. The issue is a need for His people to come back to God. And in revival, God’s people always have to repent. When Job the servant of the Lord saw the error of his self-justification in the time of his awful trials, he cried, “I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6). But Job wasn’t getting saved when he prayed with these words. He was already a believer with a deep and genuine devotion to His God. What he experienced on that day was revival. The phrase, “the LORD turned the captivity of Job,” used in verse 10 of Job 42 is a term describing an Old Testament revival that is used in several other revival scriptures (such as in Psalms 14, 85, and 126). The repentance required in the salvation decision does not necessarily involve self-abhorrence. Probably an unregenerate man is incapable of having such a deep awareness of the implications of sin. Most Old Testament references to men repenting speak of revival, not salvation, and cannot be used properly to illustrate salvation repentance. Interestingly, the One spoken of most often in the Old Testament as repenting, with the word being used, is God. From this fact it is clear that to repent does not necessarily mean to turn in grief and anguish from wicked ways and deeds. God never has to do that. It means to change one’s mind, or, in the case of God, to appear to change One’s mind from the perspective of human observance.


Sometimes sorrow, tears, and mourning are associated in the Bible with repentance. However it is clear that the weeping is not the repenting. Second Corinthians 7:10 tells us that “godly sorrow worketh repentance.” It can lead to repentance (as we see in verses 8 through 11 of the chapter) but sorrow for sin is not part of repentance. Repentance is the change of mind that the sorrow for sin has generated.
Surely we must face the facts about repentance. It is time for Christians to get back to calling sinners to repentance. When the gospel is preached in the power of the Spirit, sinners will be brought to salvation repentance. We have fussed about the details of the matter enough, and have the duty now to spread the light of the gospel of the grace of God. Making sinners jump through more hoops to come to Christ does not make the salvation they receive from Him more effective. Regeneration happens whenever a sinner comes to the Savior, and believers ought to get back to inviting them to come.

Dr. Rick Flanders
Revival Ministries

Related Reading:
See Dr. Flanders prior article, Isn't Repentance a Decision?

Terms of Salvation, by Ps. George Zeller

Lordship Salvation: A Misuse of Scripture

September 15, 2014

What is Congregationalism?

God blesses only what He orders. For a local church that desires peace, tranquility, love, and effectiveness, this is no light matter. For several years I served as moderator for a statewide fellowship, and it seemed as if at any one time there were only a handful of churches that experienced the kind of peace that God planned for them. For much of the time, these churches were on a pendulum between anarchy and tyranny. I outline this issue in my book The Weeping Church, now published by Faithful Life Publishers in North Fort Myers, Florida. The book has been in constant publication for over 35 years and sets the bar for dealing with the crisis in church polity.
The purpose of Shepherd's Staff is to create discussion in key areas. Most of these areas appear to be too sensitive for others to handle. I have dear friends who do us a wonderful service by providing devotional material and subjects for application. My concern is for a theology that is biblical, one that will let the Bible speak for itself. We get that truth by asking questions of the text. The center of this particular effort has to rest on the one biblical hermeneutic. When people ignore this system for the use of language, it is impossible to come up with a right answer. This is the problem with human definitions of congregationalism. Human systems are the result of ignoring the one biblical hermeneutic or misusing the rules that God has provided for us.
What some people have done is to use a partial hermeneutic to invent their definition, which in turn allows them to insert personal or collective ideas into the text. The major problem with these additions to the text includes the insertion of their view of the culture or the current government under which they have lived. It would be one thing to just admit that they added it to the text; it is another and more serious matter to force the text to support a specific cultural view.
Admittedly, the Bible is used in their conclusions, and that is the problem. The Bible is used rather than allowing the Bible to use us in the pursuit of truth. The original languages are used as well, but it ends up being a grammatical pretzel rather than biblical principle. As in many doctrinal inventions, the process is meant to "complicate to confuse."  Our task is to simplify to clarify, which is why God has given us some effective tools to test theological inventions. I would remind you that the Bible was not written for scholars; it was written for the common man and woman.
The Weeping Church details the many errors I have referred to, and you can read it for that information. In this article, I want to focus on some of those simple things God has given us to shine a light on error. You can compare your personal view of polity and congregationalism with those tools. Let me warn you that this is where an individual will discover his/her own system of interpretation. Is your polity system a monarchy, a dictatorship, a republic, a democracy, or a form of socialism? Is it papal, Episcopal, Presbyterian, congregational, or a theocracy? You just might be surprised!
The Body of Christ is the heavenly church, and it includes all those who have been redeemed, from Pentecost to the Rapture. Entry to this heavenly congregation is through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. (I Cor. 12:13) This heavenly truth is pictured on earth through the local church. The local church is a congregation, a body. God illustrates the heavenly truth through an earthly body. Since baptism is a local church ordinance, entrance to the local church is by water baptism. The earthly body is not perfect, and there may be unsaved people in the local congregation. The desire of Christ is that we emulate the heavenly body as well as we are able. A disjointed body is painful, and this often happens when a particular body does not pay heed to the things that provide good health.
God is good and has given us a way to understand how the local church should function. Good health, joy, peace, and comfort rest in understanding how God intended for the body to function. The body has a local resident head; we all should easily understand how that works, how it makes decisions and implements them. This collection of body members, or congregation, illustrates for us how the local church should function, make decisions, and stay healthy.
So how does your church government stand up to God’s clear illustration of the body? I know we are tempted to insert our own system into this, so be very careful.
Jesus Christ is clearly identified as the Shepherd of the heavenly congregation, the flock. This heavenly truth is best displayed on earth with the local church. It is a flock with a local under-shepherd, a pastor who is appointed by Christ. The function, decision making, good health, and safe setting are simply displayed in this humble illustration. God knew we could understand this. He also knew we wouldn’t like it and would insert anything we could, including our cultural context, so we could have it our way.
There is more - for instance, the church as a family. That one is so simple that it is embarrassing that anyone would even try to corrupt it! So how does your church government compare to the simple illustrations that God has given us? It is by this simplicity that we can discover if the elite has been pulling our leg about congregationalism. We both really know why they don’t like it, and that is because it reveals the human system of hermeneutics that they use.
Shepherd's Staff is prepared by Clay Nuttall, D. Min
A communication service of Shepherd's Basic Care, for those committed to the authority and sufficiency of the Bible. Shepherd's Basic Care is a ministry of information and encouragement to pastors, missionaries, and churches. Write for information using the e-mail address,

September 10, 2014

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

This is an article that I reissue every Memorial Day weekend and on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack on our nation. Let us once again remember, but never forget, those who serve today, those who served throughout our nation's heritage and the fallen who gave their all that we might be free.

Our leaders and military responded to the 9/11 attacks with tenacity and determination. Over the years since then we have dealt serious blows to the terrorists, nations that offered them safe haven and seriously diminished their capability to attack us here at home. There is much work yet to be done, but I am confident America will prevail and eliminate this threat to our nation and way of life.

For this commemorative moment I would like to focus our attention on another national tragedy, the American Civil War. There were many terrible battles in that war: Antietem, Fredericksburg, Chickamauga and Vicksburg. None was more costly, nor so much at stake than at the Battle of Gettysburg. After three days of battle there were approximately 50,000 American casualties.

One of the most endearing and treasured memories from Gettysburg was not forged on the battlefield itself. No, for we must go forward to November 19, 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln came to honor what had been done there and deliver his immortal
Gettysburg Address.

On June 1, 1865, Senator Charles Sumner commented on what is now considered the most famous speech by President Abraham Lincoln. In his eulogy on the slain president, he called it a “monumental act.” He said Lincoln was mistaken that “the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here.” Rather, the Bostonian remarked, “The world noted at once what he said, and will never cease to remember it. The battle itself was less important than the speech.” (From Abraham Lincoln Online)

With that I offer for your encouragement Lincoln’s
Gettysburg Address.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work, which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

August 18, 2014

Archival Series: The FBFI Resolutions on the Southern Baptist Convention

This article first appeared Jan. 31, 2011.  These FBFI resolutions on the SBC were adopted in 1994 & 1995.  The 1994 resolution was co-authored by Dave Doran. The 1995 resolution was co-written by Drs. Dave Doran, Tim Jordan, and Matt Olson. Their authorship leads to one question: Over the years since 1994-95, Who Changed?  See the commentary, and related readings at the conclusion of this archival entry.


While applauding the attempts of conservatives in the Southern Baptist Convention to reemphasize the doctrine of the infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture, we do not believe that these men are “fundamental” Southern Baptists. Our reasoning is twofold: first, they still accept the ecumenical evangelism of Billy Graham which makes them New Evangelicals; and second, they do not desire to be known as Fundamentalists. Writing in “The Church God Approves,” James Draper, conservative in the Southern Baptist Convention, condemns Fundamentalists for their divisiveness, bigotry and unfairness; and says that they have a wholly negative approach and show little love and compassion. Those who call for cooperation in pulpit ministries between Fundamentalists and Southern Baptists either misread the nature of the conservative movement in the Convention, or themselves have compromised the cause of Biblical separation.
The FBF applauds those in the Southern Baptist Convention who fought a battle for the inerrancy of Scripture, but disagree with Jerry Falwell and Tim Lee who attempt to convince followers that the SBC conservatives are Fundamentalists. At best, conservative Southern Baptists are New Evangelicals who cooperate with and promote the ecumenical evangelism ministry of Billy Graham. The Southern Baptist Convention dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church, the two Southern Baptist leaders who signed the 1994 ecumenical Evangelicals and Catholics Together* agreement (the furor created caused them later to ask to have their names removed), and statements made by Convention leaders embracing charismatics indicate dangerous drifts in the SBC.

We believe that statements made by Charles Stanley, twice elected president of the SBC, such as, “If it’s a Southern Baptist seminary, it should be balanced in its approach. If you’re going to have liberals, you need strong conservatives . . . if you’ve got people who don’t believe in the virgin birth, you need people who do,” lead to unscriptural confusion. Adrian Rogers, elected to two terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, has said, “I don’t want any witch hunt to purge the seminaries.” Statements such as these reveal that even conservative leadership in the SBC will not take the strong stands necessary to rid the Convention of its liberal and neo-orthodox factions. Until this happens, we do not see how independent fundamental Baptists can make common cause with Southern Baptists.
In recent years some strides have been made to rid the “convention of its liberal and neo-orthodox factions,” but not all of them.** Many of the “dangerous drifts” described above, however, remain in the SBC.
What is glaringly left out of this issue is the matter of separation. [Kevin] Bauder claims that the “conservative evangelicals” aren’t New Evangelicals and he conveniently defines New Evangelicalism in a way that proves his point (whereas his predecessors at Central, Richard Clearwaters and Ernest Pickering, understood New Evangelism much more clearly).

While there are many aspects of New Evangelicalism, the defining principle from its inception was a “repudiation of separatism.” That was the way that Harold Ockenga put it. That is Billy and Franklin Graham’s foundational working principle.

And by that definition, every Southern Baptist conservative is a New Evangelical. That is evident by the simple fact that they remain in the SBC, which is an unholy organization that encompasses theological liberalism, Charismaticism, Masonism, ecumenical evangelism, modern textual criticism, Amillennialism, the rock & roll emerging philosophy, female preachers, psychoheresy, Catholic mysticism, and other errors and evils. (David Cloud: Conservative Evangelicals, Jan. 27, 2011.)
On February 22-25 at Calvary Baptist Seminary (Lansdale, PA) Dr. Dave Doran and Dr. Kevin Bauder will be participating in a cooperative pulpit ministry with SBC pastor Dr. Mark Dever. The 1994 FBF resolution above warns of compromising the cause of biblical separatism. Dever maintains close friendships with and participates in cooperative efforts with ecumenical compromisers and charismatics. Does the common cause cooperative ministry of Bauder and Doran with Dever at Lansdale compromise the cause of biblical separatism? How do Brothers Doran and Bauder justify their “cooperation in pulpit ministries” at Lansdale with SBC pastor Mark Dever?

Dr. Rick Arrowood details the current posture of SBC pastor Mark Dever,
Just because a man like Dr. Dever is seen by some as a “conservative Southern Baptist, who fights for truth in the SBC,” does not mean he fits in as a separatist and should be called a fundamentalist. Matter-a-fact, he would not want to wear that name tag. He is a leader among Southern Baptists:

•He serves on the Board of Southern Theological Seminary under the direction of Dr. Al Mohler. (Dr. Mohler signed the ecumenical Manhattan Declaration and watches over the Billy Graham School of Evangelism and Home Missions at Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. [Mohler served as chair for the 2001 Billy Graham Crusade in Louisville])

•Dr. Dever also willingly teaches at Gordon-Conwell College in Massachusetts, long known as a leading institution for New-Evangelicalism and compromise.

•To add to the matter, Dr. Dever is quite reformed and a-millennial, which, of course, is a far-cry from the position promoted by the founders of Calvary, Detroit, Central and Northland.

•He has spoken it [sic] the past and is slated to speak in the future with Dr. C.J. Mahaney, one of the founders of the Together For The Gospel [T4G] Conference where he states that his desire is to start churches that are reformed in theology and charismatic in doctrine. T4G has attracted an assortment of our young men, exposing them not only to doctrinal error, but also a steady diet of Sovereign Grace Music.
(Dr. Rick Arrowood: Answering Questions About the Changes We Are Seeing in Fundamentalism)
Does that read like the personal resume of a man who is committed to the theology, application and cause of biblical separatism? It appears troubling inconsistencies among evangelicals such as Mark Dever are no longer a barrier to fellowship and cooperative ministerial efforts for certain men in Fundamental circles who profess allegiance to the cause of biblical separatism as defined in the 1994-95 FBF resolutions on the Southern Baptist Convention.
Who really is changing as we see this new wave of picking and choosing, applying and justifying, defending and mitigating, “mixing and mingling?” If it is right for us to “platform fellowship” with new-evangelicals and those in the SBC, why have we not had them preach in our colleges, seminaries and fellowships over the past sixty years? A Southern Baptist teaching theology in a fundamentalist church, college or seminary has his roots in Southern Baptist soil, and when transplanted temporarily to a fundamental church or school brings that soil with him. If our position has been wrong, then we have missed the placating of well-organized denominationalism with its comforts and retirement benefits. Perhaps we should go to those retired fundamental Baptist missionaries, who have sacrificed term after term on a foreign field, who may be physically and financially struggling in some nursing home, and apologize to them, admitting the Lottie Moon Missions Program would have been a better choice for them. Can you see the shifting of the sand and how it strikes at the foundation of our fundamental Baptist history? (Dr. Rick Arrowood: Answering Questions About the Changes We Are Seeing in Fundamentalism)
For those who may not be aware the 1994 FBF resolution on the SBC was prepared and submitted by the resolutions committee that included Dave Doran. Brother Doran signed on to and therefore endorsed the 1994 resolution on the SBC, which closed as follows,
Those who call for cooperation in pulpit ministries between Fundamentalists and Southern Baptists either misread the nature of the conservative movement in the Convention, or themselves have compromised the cause of Biblical separation.
The 1995 FBF resolution was prepared and submitted by the committee that included Dave Doran, Matt Olson and Tim Jordan. The 1995 resolution closed with,
…we [Doran, Olson, Jordan] do not see how independent fundamental Baptists can make common cause with Southern Baptists.
Yet, Matt Olson will be featuring SBC theologian Dr. Bruce Ware at NIU later this year. In a matter of days Dave Doran and Kevin Bauder will join SBC pastor Mark Dever, invited by Tim Jordan, in a ministerial effort at Calvary Baptist Seminary, Lansdale.

Who’s changing? The men who co-drafted and signed the 1994-95 FBF resolutions on the SBC, or the non-separatist evangelicals in the Southern Baptist Convention? Brother Dever, what do you say?


*In 2009 Southern Baptist leaders including Dr. Al Mohler signed the Manhattan Declaration (MD). The MD is the first cousin of Evangelicals and Catholics Together. Signing the MD extended Christian recognition to Roman Catholics and apostates. Mohler and other SBC signatories have been admonished by their peers, but have not repented of their deed, which compromised the Gospel. (See- Al Mohler Signs the Manhattan Declaration)

**2001- 01.6 Regarding the Southern Baptist Convention
The FBFI expresses gratitude to God for the changes in the Southern Baptist Convention nationally since 1979. We commend the reaffirmation of inerrancy, now a confessional requirement for its agencies—the seminaries, Mission Boards and its publishing arm. Furthermore, we applaud the repudiation of homosexuality and the confessional commitment to a biblical role for women. However, we exhort our brethren to continue reformation by opposing the ecumenism of Billy Graham and “Evangelicals and Catholics Together.” We also urge perseverance at the state and local levels, purging the theological and moral decay. And, where purging is not possible, we urge Southern Baptists to withdraw and rebuild, showing fidelity to the Scripture. Until Southern Baptists fully recognize and repudiate the destruction of Neo-evangelicalism that has weakened their churches and seminaries, the Scriptural response of Fundamental Baptists must continue to be separation.
See the FBFI Resolutions for access to the resolution archives.

Site Publisher Commentary (August 2014):
Who Changed?  The SBC certainly has not changed.  The SBC is today what they’ve been for decades now, which are identified above as, “an unholy organization that encompasses theological liberalism, Charismaticism, Masonism, ecumenical evangelism, modern textual criticism, Amillennialism, the rock & roll emerging philosophy, female preachers, psychoheresy, Catholic mysticism….”
The “changelings” are Dave Doran, Matt Olson, and Tim Jordan.  From their 1995 resolution, “We do not see how independent fundamental Baptists can make common cause with Southern Baptists.” Arguably the lead architect of the changelings movement is Kevin Bauder. What does each of those four men have in common? A direct hand in and/or personal contribution to the ruin and demise of the former Northland Baptist Bible College and Calvary Baptist Seminary, Lansdale respectively.

Related Reading
Dr. Rick Arrowood: The Changes We Are Seeing in Fundamentalism

Kevin Bauder & Dave Doran Join Mark Dever at Calvary, Lansdale: Is This a Fundamentalism Worth Saving?

Note: Calvary Baptist Seminary did not survive Kevin Bauder’s “limited form of fellowship.”

August 11, 2014

Throw Down Your Arms

On the morning of April 19, 1775, British troops marched into Lexington, Massachusetts.  They were met by a small group of patriots on the village green.  The minutemen were armed and ready to protect their homes and families.  While it is true that their guns were used for hunting food and for protection, they also kept weapons handy in case they had to stop tyranny in its tracks.  That is why they could not, and would not obey the command to throw down their arms.

It is not up to me to do your research for you.  I have done a more than adequate amount to be able to tell you that the following is reliable and has a common thread among those who possess spiritual insight. After the British had sent a volley or more of shot into those good men, eight of them lay dead, with others wounded.  Some of them were shot in the back, since their own leader had ordered them to disperse.


Almost all the dead and wounded were members of the church, and their pastor, Jonas Clark, had stood with them in the midst of the brief conflict.  Caleb Harrington was shot dead on the steps of the church.  He was going back into the meeting house to get more powder, since that is where it was stored.  The primary edifice on the green was the church building, so the fight had taken place in front of the church.  Clark had repeatedly warned his flock about the coming danger to their freedom and liberty from the tyranny they faced.  His own diary is a record of what took place in the pulpits and other small communities as well as his own.

In 1864, J. T. Headley wrote of the broad involvement of clergy and believers in the events that lead to the Revolution.  His book was entitled The Chaplains and Clergy of the Revolution.  The book was first published by Charles Scribner of New York. Headley identified a long list of pastors who personally and publicly opposed the tyranny of the king.  They fully understood the responsibility of the believer to obey constituted authority as God’s rule, but they also understood that life, liberty, and freedom were gifts from God. 

The involvement of the clergy in energizing the coming conflict did not include the loyalists of the Church of England who were, by duty of the church, bound to the king. The Quakers were pacifists and therefore opposed any fighting.  There were others who opposed the coming conflict, but the record indicates that the number of these dissenters was smaller.  The Colonial army was made up of local militias; and since the pastor was often the only professional in town, in many cases he led the men of his parish into battle. Like it or not, these are the general facts behind that great event known as the American Revolution.


I will let you do your own study on the above.  There are hundreds of books on the subject.  There are some who feel that their action had been wrong and that the patriots sinned in what they did.  Often these individuals fail to fully study the wrongful actions of the king which brought this separation.  There are others who have gone to the scriptures to demonstrate that the separatists were wrong.  What I have found, however, is that in almost every case these writers have limited their view to a few proof texts without reflecting on the whole of this teaching.

Any serious student of this issue will want to read Headley’s book.  It is now published as the Forgotten Heroes of Liberty by Solid Ground Christian Books of Birmingham, AL.

The current issue of the World Magazine, published in Ashville, North Carolina, has an article worth your reading.  Rod D. Martin writes “Was the American Revolution sinful”? Not only does he cite the Bible texts where the legitimate authority must be obeyed, but he is careful to look at the scriptures that deal with exceptions.  No thinking person could believe that all laws made by temporal authority are to be obeyed. For instance, you would not obey a law that said your wife must abort a baby if she already had two children.  Martin also deals with the issue of constituted authority and what happens when authority breaks its covenant with the people.

Finally, there is the continuing debate over the doctrine of the “right of revolution” when constituted authority is replaced by tyranny.  I leave you on your own with this one.


My own doctoral dissertation was abridged and printed some years ago.  It has recently been republished by Faithful Life Publishers of North Fort Myers, FL, under the title The Coming Conflict.  This is the heart of the issue.  What does the entire Bible teach about this subject?  While all the records of history may only provide some of the facts, the Bible is crystal clear on the relationship between the church and state.  This is not a political issue; it is a theological issue, so secular views have to take a back seat.

Now our nation stands on the verge of an internal conflict.  Tyranny rules the administration, the courts, and public opinion.  The unlearned on the right tend to be too quick to respond.  The academic community has rewritten the rules.  The left has given credence and support to those who want biblical Christianity removed from the fabric of our country.  Where does that leave you?  I suggest you read, study, pray, and get ready to obey God.

Shepherd's Staff is prepared by Clay Nuttall, D. Min

A communication service of Shepherd's Basic Care, for those committed to the authority and sufficiency of the Bible.  Shepherd's Basic Care is a ministry of information and encouragement to pastors, missionaries, and churches.  Write for information using the e-mail address,