August 15, 2018

Extremism vs. Balance in Apparel

Dr. John Van Gelderen
As we approach the warm weather months of summer, modest apparel becomes an issue. Discussions of modesty, like many areas of life, would benefit from the safety of saying “only” or “all” where God has said such while avoiding the inherent danger of asserting “only” or “all” where God has not so spoken.

Isn’t it interesting that extremism comes from both ends of the spectrum—the irreligious and the religious? On the one extreme, you find gross immodesty in cultures, whether atheistic or animistic, that do not acknowledge God. This includes the godless European and American lack of apparel as well as the pagan indecency of primitive tribes. On the other extreme, you find overkill modesty in super-religious cultures with the most extreme example being that part of the Islamic world allowing only a woman’s eyes to be uncovered.

We know the immodest extreme is wrong because God slew animals to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve after they sinned. We do not know what animals God slew. It could have been sheep, but because the intention was covering, I don’t think it was squirrels! For women, the New Testament speaks of dressing with “shamefacedness,” a word which conveys having a sense of shame if you are not properly clothed (1 Tim. 2:9).

Conversely, we know the modesty overkill approach is also wrong. Several times, the Bible positively references a woman being fair or beautiful to look upon. This specific phrase indicates there was more to look upon than just the woman’s eyes.

Amazingly, the Bible does not spell out details of extent regarding apparel, but it does provide absolutes regarding the obvious (something that common sense also confirms). To ignore such would be compromise. It really is. It is dangerous to say anything goes when the Bible speaks of proper covering. This is saying “all” is okay where God doesn’t.

Beyond this, each is left to follow the Holy Spirit within the absolutes, and we must allow others to do the same as long as there is a genuine application of the obvious. Understanding that modesty may be conveyed through more than a single style, a demand that others follow the details of applications we’ve come to is saying “only” where God doesn’t.

Without the Spirit, we tend to at least lean toward the extremes. Some become unwise in the direction of immodesty. This worldliness likely hinders themselves and certainly affects those around them. Others become unwise in the direction of overkill in application, especially when making their position universal—a fit for any and all. This legalism doesn’t help, because it moves into the realm of putting man’s conclusions on the level of God’s Word. The overreach of such a position indicates a flesh-dependent position.

As believers we must apply biblical modesty in a biblically balanced fashion. Some maintain good balance, making appropriate applications within the plateau of God’s absolutes, and some, led by the Spirit to apply matters more strictly than others on that plateau, are very gracious to those who differ from them. However, some have an evident imbalance marked by “my way or the highway” thinking and a condescending to those who legitimately differ on non-absolute applications. Still others condescend toward even these very ones, noting that their supposed strict ways fall short of the strictest of standards. Such extremists espouse the belief, “We’re the only ones right.” But knowing that still others can maintain yet tighter controls and loftier standards, such debates can quickly turn humorous, ridiculous, and tedious. Where does it end? Typically, Baptists tend toward conservativism, but some dress more conservatively than others. The Mennonites, however, outdo most Baptists I know. Still, the Amish outdo the Mennonites while arguing varying degrees of strictness within their own ranks. And yet some Muslims outdo all these, with the strictest of them appearing to look down on the rest from the highest rung.

And thus in moving away from the low apparel standards of a worldly extreme, where do we find ourselves? Debating and defending standards in the power of the flesh may clothe one with extremism of the other kind, and extremism in the name of the real thing discredits the real thing. But remember this is true in both the direction of legalism and of worldliness. Let’s obey the Word and the Spirit and let others who have a heart for God do the same.


Dr. John Van Gelderen
Originally Published: May 9, 2018

Revival Focus

July 31, 2018

Silent No More: Bob Jones University

Brethren:

Today I would like to direct your attention to an article by Pastor Travis D. Smith of the Hillsdale Baptist Church (Tampa, FL). The article title is: Silent No More, which appears at his From the Heart of a Shepherd blog.

Dr. Smith’s article opens with this introduction,

This brief blog post serves as an introductory post to one that will follow titled, “A Failure to Stay the Course: Bob Jones University Student Handbook Changes, Fall 2018”.  I am a 1977 graduate of Bob Jones University and one who has been a loyal alumnus.

Later this paragraph appears,

“There were many irritants in the BJU culture that were not only exasperating, but provoking.  There was a discipline that gave little grace and even less understanding for the excuses and failures of youth.  Outside the campus fence my generation was bold and rebellious; casting aside disciplines and morals that had shaped the ‘Greatest Generation’.  Inside the campus fence little had or would change for another twenty-years.”
Continue to Silent No More: Bob Jones University for the complete article.

The primary article A Failure to Stay the Course has posted 

“For more than 15 years I have observed a pattern of change at Bob Jones University that is all too familiar.  Like a ship slowly, imperceptibly drifting from its course, the University is adrift from the disciplines that shaped the character of generations of Christian students in its past.”
Yours faithfully,


Lou Martuneac

July 20, 2018

Sharper Iron: Does This Sharpen Me?

Dear Guests of IDOTG: I am republishing here an article I first published September 2010 at my secondary blog Sharper Iron: In the Iron Skillet. I think this is a timely reminder of and historical look at what SI had become.

Last week I posted two articles in regard to Sharper Iron (SI). The first was posted at this, the Iron Skillet, blog. The article was composed by Ps. Brian Ernsberger who recently quit SI and explained his departure. Please see, SI's Deplorable Moderator Actions Run Off Another for details. The second article I posted was a response to Aaron Blumer’s article (9/2) A Few Answers to SI Critics. An article in which he complains about long time, wide spread legitimate criticism of SI. You may read SI Sizzles In & Over the Iron Skillet for a complete reaction to Blumer’s complaints. Today, (Sept. 7, 2010) Aaron is hearing from another former, long time member of SI who shares his experience with SI. An experience, which typifies what is commonplace at SI and why so many have quit SI or would never join in the first place. Let’s now consider why one would ask: Does This Sharpen Me?

I’ve recently come to a decision. It wasn’t earth shattering, and quite honestly, the effect of my decision will likely go unnoticed by the very individuals that necessitated it. In May 2005, I joined the self-identified, fundamentalist website, Sharper Iron. Since that time I posted literally hundreds of times on a variety of topics, some serious and others not. My purpose in joining was to reacquaint myself with some of the current issues in fundamentalism as I approached my ordination some twelve years removed from my graduate work. In those early days, I found much to praise at Sharper Iron. I learned a lot. I solidified a number of positions as I observed, and occasionally partook in, the discussions. I entered the fray decidedly separated in my personal life, as well as, ecclesiastically. I am also convinced of the superiority of the traditional family of Greek texts, and I am a non-Calvinist.

While I rarely dealt with threads on Calvinism or the text issue, I derived much personal edification from the interactions of men like Scott and Christian Markle, Jon Gleason, Lou Martuneac, John R. Himes, and others. These men represented a brand of fundamentalism with which I identify. It is a thoughtful, church-centered fundamentalism, but not one that easily tolerates error or compromise. It is also a loving fundamentalism, although you would never know that by listening to its detractors. (I have more than a few anecdotal stories to prove my point here, however). Unfortunately, those men, and effectively this whole segment of fundamentalism, are gone from the threads and pages at Sharper Iron.

 Increasingly, the threads are filled with intimations of serious doctrinal error hurled toward fellow fundamentalists, while the compromise and errors of Conservative Evangelical personalities are glossed over as praise is lavished on their ministries, as in a recent series of articles by Dr. Kevin Bauder.

When a concerned member recently posted a thoughtful response to one of Dr. Bauder’s articles, his response A Letter from Dr. Richard V. Clearwaters to Kevin Bauder  was sharply criticized by SI moderators (Rogier, JayC and Linscott) and ultimately removed by Aaron Blumer. A few days later, an SI Filing/thread was posted by Sharper Iron leadership (Jim Peet, Aaron Blumer) introducing and eagerly promoting a website that was nothing more than a vicious personal attack on Lou Martuneac.

Just last week an SI filing referencing a blog post by Dave Doran provided an illustration of some of the concerns I am articulating in this article. It was one of the clearest examples in a long line of the double standards that exist at Sharper Iron. Doran hurled an ad hominem attack at an unnamed fundamentalist(s) using the phrase “pathetic and disingenuous” to describe those who opposed or were relieved the merger of Faith and Central had not gone through. When one commenter called SI to the carpet over this filing he was firmly rebuked. It appears there is a lot of “respecting of persons” going on over there, and now I suspected and have confirmed yet another conservative fundamentalist has left the SI ranks.
If homogeneity was their goal at SI, they have very nearly accomplished it.
It seems serious concerns brought in from the “right end” of the fundamentalist spectrum are scrutinized far more closely at SI than the attacks thrown back the other way. I find that disheartening at best. My alma mater has been a regular source of ridicule, yet such ridicule is rarely hurled at Conservative Evangelical institutions. It smacks of a bias away from the southern brand of fundamentalists and away, it seems, from me.

I’ve watched over the years as non-Calvinists, traditional text men, and those who hold to a certain standard of personal separation were repeatedly shouted down by SI moderators and other members. Of course, a vigorous debate is desirable in many cases; however, on the internet, such debates often become a numerical dog-pile where reasoned arguments carry less weight than the shear number of responses. The result is that the admittedly minority viewpoints eventually “wore out” and stopped posting.

Today SI is a place where Calvinism is the settled opinion of the overwhelming majority of posters. The traditional text family is seen as inferior and those who hold to it are routinely labeled obscurantist or ignorant. Personal separatism to a degree held by our parents and grandparents is regularly declared legalism and almost anything now appears acceptable under an understanding of Romans 14 that puts the perceived rights of the “strong” over concern for the weak.
I find that SI is not a place that welcomes my viewpoint, nor is it a place that holds the Conservative Evangelical camp to the same standard it hold my “camp.”

Well, I, for one, am tired. The old caricature of the angry, fightin’ fundy, so repudiated by the SI majority is quickly becoming the new face of that very site (moderators and remaining membership), only in reverse. It’s a strange, almost surreal thing to realize that you’ve become the very thing you’ve opposed. Unfortunately, I am almost sure the SI leadership does not even recognize the shift.

I am sure there will be those who believe my assessment is wrong, but I know that I am not alone in this opinion. When a number of different individuals with no connection to one another outside of this website bring the same concerns to light, it should raise the concerns of the site leadership. As for me, I wish them no ill, but I had to ask, “Does this sharpen me?” So, I’ve chosen to leave Sharper Iron for good. As I said, in the beginning, I doubt they even noticed.

(Disclaimer: I have submitted this article anonymously. I am obligated to do so by my current ministry situation.)

Site Publisher’s Addendum:
The author is one of many who have quit SI because of its obvious bias. Many of these raised and tried to resolve genuine concerns with SI’s leadership prior to departing, but without success. Aaron Blumer claims he wants to hear from critics, but when wide spread legitimate concerns with SI were posted in his (9/2) thread by a fundamentalist pastor (Marc Monte) SI moderators immediately set upon him. Blumer responded with, “It’s not like everybody has to like SI. If a few dozen or a few hundred don’t see much value in it (or worse yet, think it’s toxic) that’s OK. They have no obligation to even care about what happens here. But if they do, the contact form is there. I have nothing more to say than that…. And we’ve given folks lots of opportunities to communicate. Until they do, the whole matter is moot. I’m not going to chase ghosts

That reaction typified why the pseudo-fundamentalist SI has hemorrhaged so many members over the last several years. Typifies why SI will never be able to win back those departed. Typifies why SI is not a welcome place for fundamentalist preachers like Marc Monte, Brian Ernsberger and the author of this article. SI is a place whose leadership eagerly welcomes those who wish to heap lavish praise on the star personalities of the so-called “conservative” evangelicals, welcomes those who will tolerate and excuse the aberrant theology and ecumenism of conservative evangelicals, welcomes those who castigate fundamentalism with the broad brush and line up against any who dare to offer legitimate criticism of conservative evangelicalism, defend fundamentalism or question SI’s obvious bias.

July 8, 2018

Separation: Vitally Important, But Not The Main Thing


This week I am bringing you a new article by Dr. John Van Gelderen.  For the past ten years or so certain men who circulate in Fundamental circles, have been steering our younger generation toward and embracing the compromising  so-called conservative evangelicals. I trust this insightful article will be a help to you in your walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Dr. John Van Gelderen

Some gardeners put up small fences or screens to protect their gardens from little intruders. For the gardener, the barrier is important, but it’s not the main thing; the garden is.
This simple picture helps to put into perspective the matter of biblical separation, whether speaking of separation from the world or separation from ecclesiastical unbelief. Separation is important, but it’s not the main thing; it protects the main thing. The main thing is your relationship with Jesus. Your walk with God, loving Him with all your heart, soul and might, trusting Him, glorifying Him—this is the main thing. Separation provides barriers to protect your relationship from harmful influences, and this is truly important. But the big deal is not separation; it’s Jesus.
The Scripture does not say that the greatest commandment is separating one from another. Yet, the greatest commandment, which is to love God, will involve separation. Jesus did not say that by this shall all men know that you are my disciples, that you separate one from another. Yet, love, the greatest sign of discipleship, will not leave the boundaries of light and walk in darkness in order to love. The fruit of the Spirit is not that you separate one from another. Yet, the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, includes temperance, which necessarily includes matters of separation.
The key here is priority. If you make separation the main thing, the real main thing gets trampled in the fray. Speaking broadly, some of us in the last quarter of the twentieth century somehow got the idea that separation was the main thing.

Ecclesiastically, the problem at that time was that the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy involving separation from theological liberals had already been fought. We weren’t in ecclesiastical organizations with unbelievers. We didn’t have any true liberals (unbelievers) to separate from. But because we had begun to think of separation as the main thing, we separated from each other!
On the level of personal separation, this wrong priority led to pride as focus centered on maintaining and promoting one’s version of how separation should play out. Inevitably, this led to condescension toward those who differed. The emphasis on rituals over relationship gave a false sense of spirituality and obscured the truth that genuine spirituality is being in right relationship with the Spirit. The Holy One got lost in the focus on holiness.
By God’s grace some have awakened to the fallacy of this wrong priority. Others, perhaps, have yet to see this, and some may think an article like this seeks to deny separation’s importance. But that misses the point. Less important does not imply unimportant. It’s a matter of priority.
Separating is not what you live to do; it’s what you sometimes must do. (And as you wholeheartedly follow Jesus, you may even become the object of such an exercise and witness others’ separation from you.) In all this, remember, the main thing is our relationship with Jesus. As we maintain our walk with Him, we must apply necessary separation.

Dr. John Van Gelderen
Related Reading:

July 1, 2018

A Tribute to America & Her Flag







The Star Spangled Banner Lyrics By Francis Scott Key 1814

Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light.
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?



You’re a Grand Old Flag by George M. Cohan - 1906

You’re a grand old flag, You’re a high flying flag And forever in peace may you wave. You’re the emblem of
The land I love. The home of the free and the brave. Ev’ry heart beats true ‘neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there's never a boast or brag. Should auld acquaintance be forgot, Keep your eye on the grand old flag.



America, The Beautiful Lyrics by Katharine Lee Bates - 1913

O beautiful for spacious skies,
 For amber waves of grain,
 For purple mountain majesties
 Above the fruited plain! 
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
 And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!



O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
 Whose stern impassion’d stress
 A thoroughfare for freedom beat 
Across the wilderness!
 America! America! God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
 Confirm thy soul in self-control,
 Thy liberty in law!



O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife,
 Who more than self their country loved,
 And mercy more than life! 
America! America! May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
 And ev’ry gain divine!



O Beautiful for patriot dream
 That sees beyond the years
 Thine alabaster cities gleam,
 Undimmed by human tears!
 America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
 And crown thy good with brotherhood 
From sea to shining sea!




June 22, 2018

1 John 1:9 – Salvation or Sanctification

This article, Salvation or Sanctification, written by Dr. John Van Gelderen, appears at his Revival Focus site and blog.  The article speaks to one of the major errors of those teaching  the “Lordship Salvation” theory of salvation. That being their failure to distinguish between the two separate and distinct doctrines of salvation and sanctification/discipleship.
Dr. John Van Gelderen

 
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
 
For much of my lifetime, I heard this verse referred to as a cleansing and restoring truth for believers who in some way had stumbled into sin. Such an interpretation affects sanctification. About fifteen years ago, however, I began to hear some claim this verse refers to the moment of salvation, insisting that it is really a salvation verse. So, is 1 John 1:9 a salvation or sanctification verse? After considering the various arguments, I believe for several reasons that 1 John 1:9 is a sanctification verse.
 
First, the stated purpose and audience addresses believers. The Apostle John repeatedly notes in the Gospel of John that when you believe in Jesus you have eternal life. He now begins 1 John, declaring that Jesus is “that eternal life.” Eternal life is ultimately someone, not something. Then, he states that his purpose for declaring this eternal life of Jesus is for “fellowship” among believers and especially fellowship with the Father and the Son (1:3), and for realizing “joy” in such fellowship (1:4). Both purpose statements use the word να (that) meaning “in order that” or “for the purpose that.” John’s focus, then, is not receiving eternal life, but having fellowship with that Life and so experiencing the joy of experiencing Jesus. Scripture does not use the word fellowship to denote getting saved but uses it instead to describe a blessing potential for those who are saved.
 
In the epistle, John addresses his audience as “my little children” (seven times) and “beloved” (four times). Also, John includes himself in the subject matter, using the pronouns we, us, and our more than 30 times in the ten verses of the first chapter. All this supports the conclusion that John is writing to believers regarding the privileges of their salvation—and not about how to get saved.
Second, the immediate context of chapter 1 and its grammar support the process of sanctification, not the moment of salvation. Verse 7 speaks of walking in the light. The word walking is never used interchangeably with standing. The moment of salvation provides you with a new standing in Christ. It is because of your new standing you can have a new walk. But walking is beyond standing, and therefore, beyond the salvation moment.
 
The words walk and cleanse in verse 7 are in the present tense, revealing they are repeated matters, not once for all. In keeping with this more-than-once emphasis, the word confess in verse 9 (explaining how to walk in the light) is also in the present tense.
 
Verse 9 specifically says, “If we confess our sins.” The plural sins reveals specific stumblings for which we must agree with God. If 1 John 1:9 is a salvation verse, it would need to say sin (singular) referring to the sin nature. The use of the plural cannot be referring to salvation or you would have to remember and name every single sin you ever committed to get saved! The issue here is simply the specific sins committed as a believer that grieve the Spirit. God never leaves us or breaks fellowship with us. But our sins break fellowship with Him.
 
But when we walk in the light by getting honest and agreeing with God, He is faithful (every time) and just (because we do have a right standing with Him) to (να, “in order to”) forgive us our sins. The verb forgive is in the subjunctive mood indicating possibility. This implies that which is future contingent upon agreeing with God. It is also in the aorist tense indicating the fact of an action. Therefore, God cleans us all up every time we side with the light of His truth.
 
Some argue that since all your sins are forgiven at salvation, there is no more need of forgiveness. But Romans 4:7-8 clarifies, “…Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”
 
Technically, according to this passage, when you trust Christ as Savior, all your past sins are forgiven, and all your future sins will not be charged to your account. In this sense your sins are covered past, present and future, and you are safe. But even though future sins will not be charged to your account, they do break fellowship with God (not Him toward you, but you toward Him); thus, the need and provision for 1 John 1:9.
 
And third, other passages support the conclusion that 1 John 1:9 is a sanctification verse. Some truths are provisional but must be accessed by faith to be experienced. Galatians3:26-27 declares believers “have put on Christ.” Yet Romans 13:14 commands, “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.” Why does Romans command what Galatians declares? It is because positional and provisional realities must be depended upon to be experienced. The same is true regarding forgiveness. The provision was made at the cross. It’s done. But the access is by faith. Passages like James 4:7-10 [see article Draw Near to God] also concur with the interpretation that 1 John 1:9 is a sanctification verse.
 
While some may misuse or abuse 1 John 1:9, and even though our provision in Christ for experiencing His victory is more than enough, what would we do without the blessing of cleansing and restoration through the brokenness of this great verse? Many revivals start when some walk in the light and get appropriately honest before a holy God.
 
 
Dr. John Van Gelderen
 
Related Reading:
 

June 14, 2018

Archival Series: Kevin Bauder, There He Goes Again, Redefining Fundamentalism

Pastor Marc Monte
In his recent essay, “Another One Bites the Dust,” Dr. Kevin Bauder, Research Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Central Baptist Theological Seminary, analyzes the unfortunate trend of the dissolution of Fundamentalist institutions of higher learning.  Dr. Bauder is a brilliant man and prolific writer who has bequeathed a wealth of thought-provoking material to the Lord’s church.  His book, Baptist Distinctives and New Testament Church Order, is a poignant defense of the Baptist position concerning both the polity and the practice of Baptist churches.  This author uses Dr. Bauder’s book and he recommends it widely.

Dr. Bauder’s recent article seeks to address reasons for the demise of many prominent Fundamentalist colleges and seminaries.  Going beyond the standard arguments of cultural shift and constituency alienation (both of which, he postulates, are legitimate issues), Dr. Bauder presents additional, not-often-considered factors pertinent to the death of these institutions.  His analysis deserves thoughtful consideration as Fundamentalist institutions move into the “brave, new world” of the 21st Century. 

In such a thoughtful article, it is unfortunate that Dr. Bauder could not resist his penchant for trashing what he describes as the “King James Only orbit.”  It appears to this avid Bauder reader that the good professor harbors unreasonable angst toward fellow fundamentalists who hold to a view of manuscript evidences different from his own.  His classification, “King James Only orbit,” paints with a broad brush, thereby unfairly dismissing legitimate theological positions within that orbit.

More than most men, Dr. Bauder understands that precise theology is nuanced theology.   For example, Dr. Bauder would not accept the tenants of every form and presentation of Calvinism.  He would be careful to distinguish his brand of Calvinism from others, emphasizing the nuances of his position as opposed to others.  This author contends that the same careful, nuanced approach should apply to the “King James Only orbit.”  There are some within the “orbit” who hold to a false theory of double inspiration.  There are others, however, who simply appeal to the Textus Receptus manuscripts as their authority, rejecting other differing manuscripts as spurious.  Such a view is not heterodox.  It is a legitimate, nuanced theological position.  To hold such a position does not place one outside the fundamentalist theological sphere.  Indeed, the Lord’s church held to the infallibility of those apographs (manuscript copies) for over 1800 years.  Only in the late 1800’s did the text of the New Testament suffer significant destabilization with the publication of newly discovered, variant manuscripts.

Dr. Bauder’s most jarring and politically charged statement appears with his textual position playing loudly in the background:
The King James Only crowd likes to boast that schools like Pensacola Christian College and West Coast Baptist College are thriving, and that may be true. These colleges, however, are not representative of fundamentalist institutions, and their prosperity does not do anything to help normal fundamentalism.” (Emphasis added.)
Herein, Dr. Bauder grievously errs. To say that Pensacola and West Coast are not “representative of fundamentalist institutions” redefines, once again, fundamentalism.  Neither school denies nor do they adulterate any point of the classical fundamentalist credo.  Their doctrinal statements are readily available for anyone’s inspection.  In addition, both schools practice personal and ecclesiastical separation, the hallmark of fundamentalism. The fact that these schools specify allegiance to a specific Greek text in no way diminishes their fundamentalist credentials.  In addition, both schools have a strong fundamentalist heritage.  In the case of Pensacola, it has flourished within the sphere of fundamentalism for decades.  Many fundamentalist churches recommend both Pensacola and Bob Jones as options within the fundamentalist realm.  Dr. Bauder’s needlessly divisive statement lacks both theological and historical support.

The second portion of his statement is even more troubling:  The prosperity of these colleges “does not do anything to help normal fundamentalism.”  Frankly, this author could scarcely believe a man of Dr. Bauder’s intellectual stature would make such an all-encompassing, condemnatory statement.  To claim disagreement with a nuanced theological issue is one thing; but to claim that these schools do “not do anything to help normal fundamentalism” demeans the work and dedication of sincere servants of Christ.  His statement slanders thousands of pastors who recommend Pensacola and West Coast, classifying godly men as somehow as not “normal.” And his statement simply isn’t true.  Thousands of fundamentalist pastors find in these schools a place of believing scholarship for their students.  Both of these schools have sent out thousands of Christian workers into the harvest fields of the world.  Both of these schools proclaim and defend the “faith once delivered to the saints,” (Jude 3).  Both take missions, church planting, and evangelism seriously and both have seen stellar success in these areas.  Both are filling the fundamentalist pulpits of America with men sound in the faith and zealous for the redemption of the lost. 
Succinctly stated, Dr. Bauder’s declaration is both irresponsible and indefensible. 
While Dr. Bauder has presented much good analytical material in his article—material that deserves thoughtful consideration—he has, once again, marred his work with an unnecessary rant against Christian people—fellow fundamentalists—who love and serve the Lord.  He seems bent on making enemies where he could have found friends, and, in so doing, he repeats an error plaguing fundamentalism from its inception—an error which increasingly alienates intelligent young men and women from the fundamentalist movement.


Ps. Marc Monte
Faith Baptist Church, Avon
Originally Published on March 9, 2015.

For a continuation of this discussion from Pastor Monte, please see:

Related Reading:
Were Not Convinced Kevin Bauder is a Help to Fundamentalism

Previous Articles by Ps. Monte:
Muddying the Clearwaters 
Bauders position differs markedly from the strong stance of R.V. Clearaters. Doc, as he was called, had no trouble calling a spade and spade. Bauder struggles with that…. For reasons known only to himself, Bauder mocks those whose doctrinal concerns include bibliology, the blood atonement and sovereignty/free will.
Kevin Bauder: It Wont Fly With Those of Us Who Know
If Kevin desires to take Dr. Clearwaters venerable institution a different direction from the founder, he should do so without pretending to be the guardian of the legacy. I knew Doc well enough to know that he would not be at all happy with the direction of Central Seminary under Bauders leading.  Its bad enough that his school is headed in a decidedly leftward direction. Please, Dr. Bauder, dont make it any worse by pretending some affinity with one of the greatest separatist Christians of the last century.
 Genuine Integrity Demands a Simple Admission 
What troubles [me], however, is the nagging feeling that Jeff Straub was attempting to convey more than just mere admiration for stands well taken. His not-so-subtle mention that both of these pastors are entrenched in the SBC appears to lend tacit approval to the denominational organization…. Dr. Clearwaters was not one to speak well of the denominational machine.” Genuine integrity demands a simple admission from institutional leadership that they are moving from the separatist principles of their founders.
Related Reading:
A Letter From Dr. Richard V. Clearwaters to Kevin Bauder
Kevin, while reading your articles I have observed an inordinate affection towards pseudo-intellectual teaching, and a disdain for old-fashioned, confrontational Bible preaching.  Make no mistake, old fashioned, confrontational Bible preaching is exactly why I founded Central Seminary.  My burden was to train men with an air-tight understanding of the Scriptures, with the ability to stand in pulpits across the land and preach, thus saith the Lord,” with the desire to start churches and win souls to Christ.  To the contrary, I did not start the school over which you [Bauder] preside, for men to flounder in unbelief, for them to wonder for decades where they stand, or for them to be given to counseling, teaching and academic idolatry.  I often told the men I was training, We use the mind here, but we do not worship it.” Dr. Bauder, all given appearances seem to indicate that you are intentionally trying to lead those who follow your writings…away from the testimony upon which [Central Seminary] was founded and into the compromising orbit of protestant evangelicalism.
Piedmont/TTU: A Predictable Pattern of Mergers With Only One Survivor

What Do NIU, Pillsbury and (NOW) TTU Have in Common?