December 10, 2010

The Convergence of Fundamentalism and Non-Separatist Evangelicalism by Pastor Tod Brainard

Dr. Kevin Bauder is President of Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Plymouth, Minnesota. Let me say first of all that as editor of The Projector, I have followed the ministry of Dr. Kevin Bauder and have appreciated his writings and ministry in past years. We have even printed an article or two of his in The Projector. I have no interest in getting into a brawl with Dr. Bauder or in carrying on a tit for tat discourse. However, in recent time I have watched him move Central Baptist Theological Seminary from a Biblical Separatist entity to a conciliatory, accommodating entity toward men and ministries who are clearly not Biblical Separatists. This is quite revealing as the founder of Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. R. V. Clearwaters, was a very strong, model Biblical Separatist. It seems that Dr. Bauder is now leading the charge for the acceptance and fellowship of those he calls, “Conservative Evangelicals.” Prior to the advertisement that Dr. Mark Dever will be speaking, along with Dr. Bauder [and Dave Doran], at Calvary Baptist Seminary in Lansdale, PA, he wrote this back in March of this year on his web-blog, In the Nick of Time:
Conservative evangelicalism encompasses a diverse spectrum of Christian leaders. Representatives include John Piper, Mark Dever, John MacArthur, Charles Ryrie, Bruce Ware, Bryan Chapell, Wayne Grudem, D. A. Carson, Al Mohler, Tim Keller, John D. Hannah, Ed Welch, Ligon Duncan, Tom Nettles, C. J. Mahaney, Norman Geisler, and R. C. Sproul. Conservative evangelical organizations include Together for the Gospel (T4G), the Gospel Coalition, the Master’s Seminary, the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors, the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals (at least in its better moments), and Ligonier Ministries. These individuals and organizations exhibit a remarkable range of differences, but they can be classed together because of their vigorous commitment to and defense of the gospel...

Conservative evangelicals are different from Fundamentalists, but they are not new evangelicals. New evangelicals were committed to a policy of re-infiltrating ecclesiastical organizations that had been captured by apostates. They wanted to live in peaceful coexistence with apostasy. They were willing to recognize certain apostates as fellow-Christians and to cooperate with them in the Lord’s work. These are attitudes that conservative evangelicals explicitly reject. To apply this label to a conservative evangelical is completely unwarranted.


Frankly, conservative evangelicals do seem to take doctrine more seriously today than many Fundamentalists do. Not that the Fundamentalists are unwilling to discuss doctrine! Many of them are at this moment arguing for a “biblical” doctrine of the perfect preservation of the King James Version or of the Textus Receptus. Others have speculated that the work of redemption was not completed until Christ carried His material blood into the heavenly tabernacle, there to abide as a perpetual memorial before the presence of the Father. Still others have engaged in shrill campaigns of anti-Calvinism while defending theories of human nature that almost beg to be described as Pelagian. Such Fundamentalists are too numerous to be dismissed as aberrations—indeed, their tribe seems to be increasing.

Conservative evangelicals have oriented themselves by fixed points of doctrine. They have scoured apostasy from the world’s largest seminary. They have debunked Open Theism. They have articulated and defended a Complementarian position against evangelical feminism. They have rebutted the opponents of inerrancy. They have exposed and refuted the New Perspective on Paul. They have challenged the Emergent Church and laid bare its bankruptcy
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The “Conservative Evangelicals” have a great articulator in Dr. Bauder. Dr. Bauder gives a positive overview of the movement but says nothing as to their position on ecumenism and Biblical Separation. Read again Dr. Bauder’s definition of neo-evangelicalism. According to his definition, New Evangelicals of the past would qualify as “Conservative Evangelicals” today. Very Interesting. Can this be? Dr. David Beale in his book, In Pursuit of Purity, states “According to (Harold J.) Ockenga’s definition ( of new-evangelicalism which phrase he coined), new evangelicalism differs from Fundamentalism in three major areas: (1) a repudiation of the doctrine of separation; (2) a summons to greater social involvement; and (3)a determination to engage in theological dialogue with liberalism.”1 How is it that according to Dr. Bauder, “Conservative Evangelicals are not New Evangelicals”, yet the founder of New Evangelicalism labels the three major areas of difference from Fundamentalism that current “Conservative Evangelicals” identify with? I do not buy Dr. Bauder’s statement. Dr. Bauder’s “Conservative Evangelicals” repudiate the doctrine of separation, they are for greater social involvement, and they are determined to engage in theological dialogue with liberalism as is seen by their associations with what are considered liberal religious organizations.

In addition, as early as 1956, Christian Life magazine carried a descriptive article on New Evangelicalism and listed eight general features of the movement: (1) “A friendly attitude toward science”;(2) “A willingness to re-examine beliefs concerning the work of the Holy Spirit”; (3) “A more tolerant attitude toward varying views on eschatology”: (4) “A shift away from so – called extreme dispensationalism”; (5) “An increased emphasis on scholarship”; (6) “A more definite recognition of social responsibility”; (7) “A re-opening of the subject of biblical inspiration”; (8) “A growing willingness of evangelical theologians to converse with liberal theologians.”2 It sounds very much like “Conservative Evangelicals” to me. Or are they New Evangelicals? Nowhere in these eight things is there a reference to “peaceful co-existence with apostasy.” Rather, the new-evangelical wanted the opportunity to dialogue with liberalism.

In addition, Dr. Bauder makes the strong assertion that Conservative Evangelicals have “scoured apostasy from the world's largest seminary.” Is this not Puritanism, rather than separatism? When I read of Dr. R. Albert Mohler and Dr. Timothy George signing the Manhattan Declaration in September of 2009 in cooperation with Roman Catholics and the National and World Council of Churches’ members, my first thought was, “This is cooperation with apostasy!” With one sweep of the pen, however, Dr. Bauder has declared that Conservative Evangelicals are not new-evangelical and that Conservative Evangelicals have “scoured” apostasy from the world’s largest seminary without providing any proof. What Dr. Bauder seems to be alluding is that staying in and “scouring” rather than separating from apostasy really does work after all! He is ignoring the history of past attempts to “scour apostasy” by giving tacit approval of what these men have supposedly done, that is, staying in and not coming out from among them yet without giving any real proof this has actually happened. History has always proven that “trying to clean out apostasy while staying in” leads to apostasy not to purity. I would encourage all to read the late Dr. Ernest Pickering’s books, Biblical Separation: The Struggle For a Pure Church and The Tragedy of Compromise. (Note: Dr. Earnest Pickering was past president of Central Baptist [Theological] Seminary)

Separation is God’s answer to apostasy in any generation!

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be their god, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (II Cor. 6:14 – 7:1).

Dr. Bauder does often speak on separation issues, yet seems to have blind spots regarding separation from disobedient brethren and ecclesiastical separation.(Matthew 18:15-18; Romans 16:17-18; I Cor. 5:1-13; II Thessalonians 3:6, 14-15; Titus 3:9-10). Is there absolutely no separation issue here with “conservative evangelicals?” Read on.

 Mark Dever, The New Darling

Dr. Mark Dever has become the new darling of those who profess to be Fundamentalists. Dr. Dever is considered to be “scary smart” by his close associates and has a charming personality. There is no question that he is a brilliant scholar and considered to be conservative in his understandings of the Gospel and an apologist for the same, though many are concerned of his commitment to Reformed dogma. However, when it comes to doctrinal issues such as Biblical Separation, he is way off the mark of Scripture. Dr. Mark Minnick, Pastor of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Greenville, SC, and a professor at Bob Jones University, was on Dr. Dever’s radio program in Washington nearly two years ago to debate the issue of ecclesiastical separation and that of separation from disobedient brethren. It is clear from that interview that Dr. Dever does not share Fundamentalist views on ecclesiastical separation or secondary separation. In addition, let it be known that Dr. Mark Dever also serves on the Board of Directors of Southern Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Though this Seminary is considered by some to be “conservative,” it is funded and supported by the compromising Southern Baptist Convention. Space does not permit a full examination of the compromises of the current Southern Baptist Convention but they are well documented.

Dever’s Alliances
[See below for an important site publisher addendum]

Capitol Hill Baptist Church, (Mark Dever is Pastor there), is a member of the District of Columbia Baptist Convention which is affiliated with the following three national associations: American Baptist Churches, USA; Southern Baptist Convention, and the Progressive National Baptist Convention.3 The American Baptist Churches, USA and the Progressive National Baptist Convention are both members of the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches which are both blatantly apostate. In addition, the American Baptist Churches, USA and the Progressive National Baptist Convention maintain affiliation with the Baptist World Alliance which in turn maintains ecumenical relations with the apostate Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (Roman Catholic Church). It does not take a person long to realize that Mark Dever’s associations and that of his church reveal associations with apostasy. If I am playing Ring-Around-the-Rosie and I join hands with Mark Dever, and Mark Dever joins hands with the District of Columbia Baptist Convention, and the District of Columbia Baptist Convention joins hands with the American Baptist Churches, USA, Southern Baptist Convention, and around to the Baptist World Alliance and the World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, sooner or later we come full circle and we realize that we all are holding hands together.

To say that my hand-holding of Dr. Dever is a separate issue from Dr. Dever’s hand-holding with compromising associations is disingenuous and deceptive.

Dr. Dever writes eloquently on many Biblical subjects, but rejects Biblical Separation. He is like many of our time who like to have the appearance of holiness, but deny the basic premise of holiness, the doctrine of Separation! The late Carlton Helgerson, who served on the New England Chapter of the Billy Graham Crusades, wrote this after separating from New Evangelicalism,
From Genesis to Revelation the doctrine of a moral law of God, namely the Biblical Doctrine of Separation is there. More is said in the Bible on this subject than on salvation. In fact, the Doctrine of Separation is involved in the doctrine of salvation. God’s Word clearly teaches separation from alien religions, from idolatry, and from apostasy. Furthermore, it teaches that true believers separate themselves from professing believers who are disobedient. But this new religion, calling itself evangelical, not only ignores the doctrine but treats with scorn those who adhere to it.”.”4
Helgerson further remarks,
“Its attitude toward the doctrine of separation is that it is outmoded, unrealistic, and incompatible with the contemporary emphasis on love (editor: Christian Unity). Pride of intellect is characteristic of this movement. It looks to the demonstrable, takes the position that the only passages of Scripture to have validity in our day are those which the human intellect can recognize as worthwhile
Division is Betrayal of the Gospel?

Mahaney, Mohler, Duncan, Dever
Mark Dever, C. J. Mahaney, and R. Albert Mohler were contributors to a document issued Together for the Gospel (T4G) which lists the imperatives of the movement. They write; “We deny that any church can accept racial prejudice, discrimination, or division without betraying the Gospel.” 5 Who can argue that the church should accept discrimination and racial prejudice, but to say that “division” betrays the Gospel is to say exactly what the New Evangelicals said in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. Division over error is how the Gospel (which by the way includes the whole of Scripture, not just salvation truth) is kept pure and protected for God’s glory, yet we are led to believe that “division” betrays the Gospel. Unity at all costs is the heart throb of New-Evangelicalism.

Witnessing the Convergence of Non-Separatist Evangelicalism (old name New Evangelicalism) with Fundamentalism

There is a joining together of former Fundamentalists discontented with Biblical Separation, tired of the “old Fundamental prohibitions” and those who were never Biblical Separatists, but somewhat conservative in their doctrine, open on eschatology, open on social drinking, and open on music that blends a decent message with the music of the corrupt culture. They are meeting in the middle, so to speak. Their common ground: Rejection of Biblical Separation. Basically, they are saying, “Accept me on my terms: Don’t criticize who I hang out with, what I listen to, what I watch, what I drink, where I go, who I follow, what associations I maintain. Those are under ‘Christian liberty’ and, therefore, are off limits.” I ask you, is this Biblical?

If we say we believe in the authority of the Scriptures, then we must also believe that it authoritatively speaks to all areas of life and godliness. It stands to reason that limited or watered down authority is not a sovereign authority. The Non-Separatist Evangelical reins in the authority of the Scriptures and limits it to certain areas it deems as core doctrine. However, daily life is considered under the realm of personal tastes, rather than under the domain of the authority of the Word of God. The Non-Separatist Evangelical has so compartmentalized his or her life that they only apply God’s authoritative Word to certain areas deemed what I call “God zones;” refusing to apply them to those areas deemed “My life zones!” This, of course, is the height of arrogance and self-love and reduces the Scriptures to nothing more than a salad bar where we pick and choose what we like and leave behind what we don’t like!

Having a Form of Godliness

Corrupt self-love is the heart of apostasy. II Timothy 3:1-9 indicates that in the last days perilous times shall come. What will be the key note of the last days? Self-love and the satisfaction of self! Professors of faith in Christ will demonstrate in the last days the characteristics of being: “lovers of self, covetous (loving things that we do not possess and willing to do anything to have them), boasters (self-praise), proud (self-love), blasphemers (loving what God hates), disobedient to parents (loving my self-will over and against the authority placed over me), unthankful (loving what I have without being thankful for it), unholy (loving the profane), without natural affection (having unnatural concepts of love for children, spouses, animals, fellow man, the environment, etc), ...lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (that is the practice of Biblical separation!). Dear reader, can the Bible be any clearer? Separation is God’s answer to the corruption of apostasy, yet that very truth is what is being rejected by the Non-Separatist Evangelical.
In my opinion, Dr. Bauder is seeking to administer the morphine of “Conservative Evangelicalism” to ailing Fundamentalism to finally put it to sleep.
What is lost in the passing of Fundamentalism? Lost is the Biblical truth of going outside the camp to Christ, bearing His reproach, contempt, abuse and shame. We are laying down our arms to pick up the olive branch. Militant, Separatist Fundamentalism is anathema to the Non-Separatist Evangelical and, in their estimation, the sooner it is buried the better. Dear Reader, all I can say is, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”


Reprinted by permission: The Projector, Fall 2010. Ω

1) David O. Beale, In Pursuit of Purity: American Fundamentalism Since 1850, Greenville, SC: Bob Jones University Press, 1986, p. 262.

2) Beale, pp. 256 – 266.

3) http//dcbaptist.org Look under Capitol Hill Baptist Church and its affiliations. “Google” American Baptist Churches, USA and Progressive National Baptist Convention and see their ties to the National Council of Churches, World Council of Churches, Baptist World Alliance, and the Roman Catholic Pontifical Council Promoting Christian Unity.

4) Pastor Carlton Helgerson, The Challenge of a New Religion, Burlington, MA: The Church of the Open Bible, 1971, p. 11, 19

5) http//t4g.org/uploads/pdf/affirmations-denials.pdf See Article XVII

Site Publisher’s Note:
It has come to my attention that there may be several errors in this article on the biography of Dr. Mark Dever. Yesterday I addressed one of them. Today, however, I’d like to offer additional details for your consideration.

1) On the District of Columbia Baptist Convention- I have confirmed that Mark Dever and/or his church are not a member of this organization. In fact, there is a story in Christianity Today (2002) where Dever himself makes this very clear. You will find the link to that interview in the thread below.

2) On the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS)- Mark Dever is not a member of the SBTS board. Mark Dever is, however, noted at sites such as Wikipedia as a long-standing member of SBTS’s board of trustees.

3) On the radio program in Washington- Mark Dever does not have his own radio broadcast that I am aware of. In May 2008, however, Mark Dever conducted a 9Marks interview with Dr. Mark Minnick. I tried to provide a link to that interview, but according to several online sources it “could not be found or has been intentionally disabled by the content owner.”

I have alerted the author of this article to these biographical concerns. He has informed me that he is doing additional research to either reconfirm what he has written, revise or retract what may be in error. I appreciate the contact from several men who have with a good motive and spirit brought these things to my attention.

For related reading see:

Conservative Evangelicalism’s Distortion of the Doctrine of Separation, by Dr. Lance Ketchum
“In recent years we have had men rise up out of professed Bible believing Christianity (commonly referred to as Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism) to propose that Scriptural separation is not intended to maintain local church purity (Ecclesiastical purity) relating to doctrinal purity and practice, but merely intended to maintain purity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Therefore they propose that local churches should not separate over other lesser important doctrines such as issues of Church polity, Pneumatology, or Eschatology (to mention a few areas they propose as lesser important areas of Truth). I believe this is little more than another level of an attempt to keep Bible believing Christianity culturally relevant in a national and world culture where true Bible believing Christianity is being rapidly relegated into cultural obscurity.”
Kevin Bauder and Dave Doran to Join mark Dever at Lansdale: Is This a Fundamentalism Worth Saving?

Excusing the Brother for the Sake of His Sister: Is This the New “Fresh Application” of Biblical Separation Principles?

A Letter From Dr. Richard V. Clearwaters to Kevin Bauder

29 comments:

  1. I recently contacted Capital Hill Baptist Church to verify their affiliation with DCBC. They responded that they do not support or claim affiliation with DCBC. Their response to why they were listed under the organizations search was "because of our proximity to DCBC, they have listed us on their website. We are not affiliated with them, or financially support them in any way."

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  2. Dennis:

    Thanks for that clarification.


    LM

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  3. For some evidence as to Dever's relationship/non-relationship with the Convention I would suggest reading the following article from 2009: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2002/february4/17.20.html

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  4. Thanks for the additional clarification on that issue. So then we are left with Dever’s SBC ties, his amillennialism, association with Charismatics, open disdain for biblical separation, etc. All of which Kevin Bauder and Dave Doran are willing to tolerate, allow for and excuse so that they can have their fellowship, in spite of all these things above, around a so-called “pure gospel,” which is Calvinistic soteriology in the form of Lordship Salvation.

    In his Oct. 3 Differences, Part 22 Kevin Bauder openly acknowledged he will not expound upon or make an application of 2 Thess. 3 to the evangelicals. Bauder wrote, “…my present purpose is not to expound these texts (1 Cor. 5:11; 2 Thess. 3:6, 14; et al.). These passages must not be dismissed…” Then Bauder goes ahead and dismisses the passages from his series.

    This should have come as no surprise whatsoever, but why? Is it possible that passages such as these and Rom. 16:17 will not help increase and encourage others toward fellowship and cooperation with so-called “conservative” evangelicals such as Mark Dever?


    LM

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  5. To All:

    I just heard from Pastor George Zeller. He shared the following with me.

    Pastor Carlton Helgerson was quoted in this article. He was well-beloved by the men here in New England, and was a great influence in my life and upon the lives of many of the Pastors in our region of the country. He pastored for over 50 years at the Church of the Open Bible in Burlington, MA.

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  6. oops, my mistake that article was from 2002 not 2009.

    Christian Markle

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  7. Thanks Lou, for posting this article from Pastor Brainard. It is good to see the rise in awareness and opposition to those who are moving away from the separtist position within Fundamentalism. This struggle, I believe, will be reaching "critical mass" soon and will necessitate another dividing such as was witnessed in the late 40's and into the 50's between the Fundamentalists and New Evangelicals. The break is over different theological issues but the basis is still the same, fidelity to the whole counsel of God.

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  8. Brian:

    As always I appreciate your input here and the contributions you’ve been making to these important discussions. I am gratified that Ps. Brainard and Lance Ketchum have added their voices to stem the tide of what men like Bauder and Dave Doran are trying to influence the current and next generation toward. Lance Ketchum wrote, Conservative Evangelicalism's Distortion of the Doctrine of Separation

    I also noted that you have posted a new article at your blog. To all of my readers, please follow this link to Ps. Ernsberger’s When You are Traveling You Always have Baggage


    Lou

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  9. Thanks for the link Lou. Traffic has been "heavy" by my standards (30+ visits today so far).
    Fundamentalists must be awaken to this undermining of Fundamentalism's militant stand for Biblical separation.

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  10. Brian:

    The real tragedy is that the push and influence to depart from fidelity to the God given mandates for separation is coming from men who once were or still claim to be a Fundamentalist separatist. There is no longer any question that men like Dave Doran, Kevin Bauder, and now sadly we have to include Matt Olson at NIU, have been attempting a paradigm shift on the separation that has in principle and application served us so well for so many decades.

    No we are told separation can include, tolerance and allowances for the aberrant doctrine, worldliness and ecumenism of evangelicals. This new trend toward a “pure gospel, which is a drift away from separation for the sake of a “pure church” is contributing to the breakdown of fidelity to biblical separation. As long as there can be agreement around Calvinistic soteriology in the form of Lordship Salvation the rest is relegated to a non-essential that might otherwise preclude fellowship and cooperation with the evangelicals.

    I am so grateful that more voices are speaking up to warn the NT church that we are being influenced in a direction that has at its end New Evangelicalism, not to mention Charismatic theology.


    Lou

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  11. Ashes:

    If you want to try that again, with a gentleman's tone such as the first comment in this thread, it will have a good chance of being posted. Nevertheless, I am pursuing your concern.


    LM

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  12. Lou, is it your position that amillennialism is something that must be separated from? Machen was amill and was THE leader of fundamentalism.

    While I vigorously reject both amill and charismatic notions, neither of the positions have anything to do with fundamentalism.

    I think you and others are right that a major split is coming again though. There is always a remnant of those who do what God says and those who are willing to compromise his truth.

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  13. Josh:

    Sorry it took this long to reply.

    Amillennialism: Not sure, haven’t give that much thought.

    Charismatics- I will not cooperate with them in any venue.

    On the coming “major split” you mention- I have been on record for about two years asking the Reformed evangelical wanna-bes in IFB circles why they don’t just get it over with. Go to the evangelicals, bring them to your church and colleges, become a “conservative” evangelical or form your own fundagelical fellowship. With recent events at Northland and DBTS they are half way there.

    IMO, this will be a good and sorely needed parting of the ways. Each group can go its own way, follow its own conscience as they feel lead of the Lord.

    And one more item, I have never called for a split over Calvinism, but Lordship Salvation is for me, and many others who reject it, the great divide. It is on that interpretation of the Gospel that I believe there should and must be a division.

    "The message of faith only and the message of faith plus commitment of life cannot both be the gospel; therefore, one of them is a false gospel and comes under the curse of perverting the gospel or preaching another gospel (Gal. 1:6-9), and this is a very serious matter." (Dr. Charles Ryrie, Balancing the Christian Life, p. 170.)

    Take a moment and read this article from June 2009, What is the Fault Line for Fracture in Fundamentalism?


    LM

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  14. These individuals...can be classed together because of their vigorous commitment to and defense of the gospel...

    Mark Dever, C. J. Mahaney, and R. Albert Mohler were contributors to a document issued Together for the Gospel (T4G) which lists the imperatives of the movement. They write; “We deny that any church can accept...division without betraying the Gospel.”

    I was going to save this for a more opportune time, but I find from this article a need to speak on a matter pertaining to C. J. Mahaney's organization that may not be general knowledge.

    It may be that when he says "defense of the gospel" and "we deny that any church can accept...division without betraying the gospel," Mahaney may mean something different than Dever and Mohler mean. Whether or not they know this is an open question.

    Some of Mahaney's churches are in a state of crisis at this time due to rampant abuse of church members that is finally coming home to roost among the leadership. One church has lost 50% of its members. These abuses go back quite a few years but are only coming to light relatively recently. Before he went Reformed ("Sovereign Grace"), Mahaney was involved in the Shepherding movement. It seems, from what the survivors (their term) of these churches say, that he has not forsaken that form of church governance. It would seem, among other grievances, that one interpretation of the gospel they have in SGM is that leaving that system of churches is warrant for calling one's salvation into question. This would have implications for the "gospel" Mahaney is "vigorously defending."

    Further, the idea that a church cannot accept division without betraying the gospel may not mean, as far as Mahaney is concerned, division with other churches, but within a given church body. According to those who have left SGM, it is totally unacceptable to disagree with the leadership on any matter, period. One account is that a man was basically ordered to go be the senior pastor of a church plant, in spite of his serious misgivings about that, because the leadership insisted that this was God's will for him, and for him to disagree about that was the sin of unbelief on his part. Long story short, the man was completely wrong for the position and had to step down. Yet, somehow this is his fault. (That is at the heart of one of the current crises in the Kingsway Church and there is more to the story.)

    There are far worse abuses than this. Some of them would curl your hair. Here is one from a site called sgmsurvivors.com (this is not a Fundamentalist site, but I urge you to read these accounts anyway):

    http://www.sgmsurvivors.com/?p=276

    Here is another:

    http://www.sgmsurvivors.com/?p=731

    You will notice that this site is called SGM SURVIVORS. What kind of church spawns a site for people who SURVIVED their experience there?? There is another one called SGMRefuge.

    It appears that Mahaney and his SGM system of churches are very dangerous, not just doctrinally but pastorally. This is what Mohler and Dever are lining up with.

    I hope they would strongly disapprove if they knew.

    These SGM survivors have decided that Maheney's church is a cult. It is run in a completely totalitarian, authoritarian way. The priesthood of all believers is not practiced there at all and lives are damaged and destroyed there.

    JanH

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  15. Lou, your note about the loss of link to Dever's interview with Minnick is interesting indeed. Glad I downloaded it when I heard about. It is a very good interview in exposing some of Dever's thinking on separation.

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  16. The link is still on the 9 Marks website below:

    http://resources.christianity.com/details/mrki/20080525/21e4a8b5-9f3a-44e2-86c7-884ff1a01a4b.aspx

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  17. Jan:

    That is incredible information on Mahaney. I never heard this. One must wonder why, if they know, his T4G partners and MacArthur have said nothing about this. They are willing to tolerate Mahaney and Piper’s Charismatic theology, so why not ignore and excuse this as long as they can agree on Calvinistic soteriology in the form of Lordship Salvation.


    LM

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  18. Brian:

    What the audio demonstrates and we have learned through this whole debate in the last year plus, in the convergence with Dever and the rest of the so-called “conservative” evangelicals is- who is willing to change to have fellowship with one another. And the answer: It isn't the evangelicals.

    To my knowledge Minnick is not moving to converge with evangelicals because of his concern in part with their choices in music. I had a conversation on this with him myself about a year ago when he was visiting my home church.

    With men like Bauder and Doran, however, it is clear they will tolerate, allow for and excuse the evangelicals CCM/Rock music, Charismatic theology, and ecumenical compromises so that they can have their fellowship.

    Who’s changing to accommodate the other? It’s not the evangelicals. They will never accept men from IFB circles who will not change and/or redefine biblical separatism in principle and/or application. Bauder and Doran have made the choice and are trying influence others to change with them.


    Lou

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  19. Lou, what do you think needs to happen for a split to occur? Does one side have to stop using the name? In other words, when people write of this 50 years from now, how will they describe what the split looked like?

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  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  21. Josh:

    Nothing else needs to happen, the mechanism(s) for a split is already in place. Look at recent regional conferences. The Calvinist men are closing ranks and that is fine with me. They should if they are more comfortable among their own who embrace Calvinism. Although to reiterate I am not one who believes a split has to occur over Calvinism, per se.

    Look at how the Calvinists in IFB circles are gravitating toward the conferences of evangelicals such as T4G, Gospel Coalition, Shepherds and Desiring God. Look at how some “Fundamentalist” schools (by name or definition) are putting evangelicals in their pulpits and classrooms (NIU, Lansdale and DBTS). Seminary leadership happily sharing platforms with evangelicals who openly reject and disregard the God-given mandates for separatism. Doran and Bauder with Dever at Lansdale is just the start, there will be more of this.*

    It, the history, is happening right now before your eyes. They are splitting off! They are trying to influence a generation to split off with them, but at the expense of surrendering the high ground of absolute fidelity to the God-given mandates for separation.

    Using names? Don’t know. 50 years from now? Don’t know, won’t be here. Depends on who writes the history if any is written. Any objective observer can see what the split looks like right now.

    Did you read the article I linked you to? Your thoughts?


    LM

    *See Is This a Fundamentalism Worth Saving?

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  22. One must wonder why, if they know, his T4G partners and MacArthur have said nothing about this.

    I don't know what the reason is. There have been a few times on the survivors site where they have wondered the same thing.

    They are willing to tolerate Mahaney and Piper’s Charismatic theology, so why not ignore and excuse this as long as they can agree on Calvinistic soteriology in the form of Lordship Salvation.

    I am not willing to speculate on why MacArthur, et al have not spoken up about it, assuming they even know. They may not. We can't be more than armchair speculators on that aspect of it.

    I think the best we can do, well, the best I can do anyway, is read with an open mind and use all the faculties God gave me to judge with sober judgment on the matter. I find the consistency of the testimonies and the tone of the postings to be persuasive enough to conclude they should not just be dismissed. They should be taken as at least possibly true and verified as far as it is possible to do so. It might be best if MacArthur, et al were the ones to do this. But, to be honest, I'm not sure how impartial they would be able to be anyway.

    What we have here is either a massive case of very serious spiritual abuse in the SGM churches, some of which might even be criminal, or else a serious case of highly orchestrated defamation by an alarming number of disgruntled ex members who claim to have no motive to take down SGM.

    There is always at least two sides. Can we get an accurate account of the SGM leadership side? I don't know. I do know there is a commenter on the survivors site who calls himself a former SGM pastor. That's a pretty high level insider.

    What I would say at this point is, if there is anyone in a position to investigate this matter, who feels the Lord would have them look into this, who will do so fairly and neutrally, then they should do it. I am sure the Lord would have the truth come out, whether via MacArthur, et al or by some other means. God is not mocked. Someone is going to reap what is sown and He will defend the one(s) who are telling the truth. Incidentally, that's how the survivors feel, too. They are not out to take down Mahaney/SGM. Actually, in the latest article on there Kris says these important things:

    And I have never – and I repeat never – wanted to “take SGM down.”

    (With all the stuff people have shared with me over the past three years, if “taking Sovereign Grace down” had been my goal, don’t those guys understand that it probably would have happened by now?)


    If anyone – or anything – is going to “take down Sovereign Grace Ministries,” it will be the refusal of its own leaders to openly and publicly own up to their mistakes, missteps, and sins....

    It will be the apparent inability of its leaders to treat SGM members – present and former – as “joint heirs in Christ,” as brothers and sisters in the Lord worthy of just as much honor and respect as they believe themselves to be. It will be the ghastly reality of their deceived and wacked-out ideas about their own authority and power. And their obvious belief in their ability (and right) to control what people think, know, and say about Sovereign Grace Ministries.

    Nope. SGM doesn’t need me (or any of “the blogs”) to “take them down.” Their own paranoid and deceptive and controlling thinking and behavior will do more destruction to Sovereign Grace Ministries than any blogger – “embittered” or not – could ever do.
    (Bold hers.)

    http://www.sgmsurvivors.com/?p=1927


    That's probably all I'm going to say on this. There's enough information here that anyone who wants to find out more knows where to go.

    JanH

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  23. To Josh Lucas in reference to your first post, you stated, "Machen was amill and was THE leader of fundamentalism." No Machen was not "THE" leader of Fundamentalism in his day. He did not identify himself with Fundamentalism. Yes, many of his beliefs were Fundamental but he was not a self-identified Fundamentalist. I would speculate at this juncture to say that Machen did not identify with Fundamentalism in his day because he was tied to his Reformed Theology too strongly to be willing to accept the dispensational emphasis that Fundamentalism had at that time. Yes, it is only speculation on my part, so please take it as such. To my knowledge there is no way to prove or disprove, so I leave it in the speculation category.

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  24. Brian, I think historically speaking you are wrong. The fundy/modernism fight took place years before the dispy/CT split occurred.

    Machen and other presbies moved away from the fundy label because their emphasis was in a pure presbyterian church, which was consistent with fundamentalism. They weren't looking for a second movement. They were trying to maintain a pure group.

    Much of dispensational, IFB type, KJVO, and other groups came after the original split. They joined in the fundy movement.

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  25. Josh,
    I pull this quote from Dr. David Beale’s book, In Pursuit of Purity, as a backdrop for my earlier statement on Machen.
    “Some, notably J. Greshem Machen, have rejected the name but endorsed its viewpoint.” (p.11) (emphasis mine)
    I believe that if we had the ability to question Dr. Machen and ask him, “Are you a fundamentalist?” he would have said, “No.” Please note how I phrased my words, I said “self-identified.” Machen fought against liberalism which meant that he fought side-by-side with men who did identify themselves as Fundamentalists because they were fighting the same foe but that does not mean that he considered himself to be a Fundamentalist.
    Please remember, I use the word speculate/speculation meaning a conjecture. I don’t believe that we can at this late date find any conclusive information to deny or confirm. I base my speculation on this quote from Dr. Beale’s book, “Though his (Machen’s) leadership extended to the conservatives of other denominations, his strongest commitment was to preserve the conservative Reformed position at Princeton.” (p.168) (again, emphasis mine) That “commitment…to preserve the conservative Reformed position” surely had an impact on his overall reluctance to be fully engaged as a Fundamentalist, knowing that to do so would put him in league with dispensationalists whose views on many things dear to the Reformed mind were at glaring odds.
    I did not wish to sidetrack this thread like this, but I did want to correct the error that Machen was “THE” leader of Fundamentalism, when he wasn’t.

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  26. Lou,

    You have placed footnotes denoting the errors of the post. Why dont you simply remove the errors in the post instead of addressing them with a footnote? These basic errors should make you question everything from these sources as this information, such as Dever's lack of affiliation with the DC convention was not difficult to verify.

    KD

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  27. KD:

    I have had several good conversations with Ps. Brainard. If any revisions or retractions need to be made he will do so in the next installment of The Projector. He is rehashing the issue with Dever and the DCBC. He did confer with DCBC prior to this article and they confirmed that Dever’s church was listed, according to them, because it was a church in good standing and had been a dues paying member. That is what they said, and if it is wrong then Ps. Brainard is not culpable for any error if in fact it exists.

    As for the radio and SBTS board issues, I believe they are settled. Dever has given radio interviews, he did conduct an Internet interview, which for some us is like radio. Dever, according to on line sources, is on the SBTS board of trustees.

    In any event, these issues are being resolved, but do not take away form the vast amount of pertinent information, which one might expect would give Bauder and Doran (and those they are influencing) pause before rushing to embrace another evangelical who rejects God’s Word on separatism.

    In my opinion, Dr. Bauder is seeking to administer the morphine of ‘Conservative Evangelicalism’ to ailing Fundamentalism to finally put it to sleep.

    Thanks for asking,


    LM

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  28. Though I have my reservations about T4G, the quote from T4G regarding divisions seems to be stripped from the context. When you read the entire paragraph, the issue that is being dealt with is racial, not doctrinal. Though they may be lacking in separation, I don't think this statement should be used to support their view of personal or ecclesiastical separation. IMO

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