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Featured Has Fundamentalism Lost the Gospel?

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by Rhetorician, Jan 4, 2018.

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  1. Off the mark..

    4 vote(s)
    80.0%
  2. Paper has some merit..

    1 vote(s)
    20.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician Well-Known Member
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    To all who have an ear:

    I am not an IFB so I probably should not be even posting at this thread. But, I was raised with a "Bob Jones pastor" and was a Bus Pastor for years and years. I also, in the early to mid 1970s, attended many bus clinics where John R. (as I affectionately call him) and Jack Hyles et al spoke. So I do have experience enough to "have a dog in the fight" as it were.

    In addition to my experiential credential, I have taught religion on the college and grad school levels for more than 20 years. I say all this not to toot my own horn but to show some level of credibility before I make my assertion. And I have recently been ask to teach a college level course on 20th Century Christianity. I have been reading in depth on the Fundamentalist's Movement and the Scopes "monkey" Trial of Dayton, TN. (See other recent posts dispersed throughout the BB.)

    As a serious student of history I have built and cling to at least three lists that have defined my theology. This is not to say that this is all I believe. These three lists are:

    1. The Solas list that came out of the Reformation where the Reformers led by Luther and Calvin recovered the Gospel. (I take it for granted that you know what these are, since we just past the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation?)

    2. The Particular Redemption ideas expressed by the T-U-L-I-P acrostic.

    3. The Fundamentals as expressed in the The Fundamentals that were written in response to the 1800s German Higher Criticism.

    Having laid out my evidence now I present my case for your consideration. (Please think through this carefully and don't "flame" me because I am a Southern Baptist minister, historian, and theologian.)

    I propose that the Fundamentalist's Movement has lost the Gospel. The Gospel of Grace that the Reformers recovered. The Gospel of Grace that is expressed in Particular Redemption (TULIP). And the Gospel of Orthodoxy that was expressed in The Fundamentals.

    To loose the Gospel, I mean that the fundamentalist movement has made all of the issues of "separation" and
    "secondary separation" the main thing and left the core of the Gospel, i.e. the Gospel I wrote about here: The Most Important Question One Can Ask! And because of these and other reasons, like the revivalism of the 1800s with Finney and Moody, the Gospel has denigrated to saying a little ditty of a prayer or "asking Jesus in your heart." (I know that this a simplistic answer and demands more research which I will be doing you can be assured.) I know my thesis it shot full of holes, and is not consistent throughout, and blinded by my own perceptions. But give it some prayerful meditation.

    And again I would want some thoughtful discussion not just the same old tired "Fundamentalists rants." And I know that just because I say this that I will be flamed. But all I ask is that you, from within the movement, take a new look at yourselves. And I grant that this is possible else I would not be posting this.

    I look forward to some lively but honest discussions. And as a Southern Baptist you can see that we have out LOUD DISCUSSIONS in public.

    sdg!

    rd
     
    #1 Rhetorician, Jan 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
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  2. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    The issue I take with your premise is that is overly broad. Yes. There is a segment of Baptist Christianity that has turned the Gospel into profession-only. "Save 'em and dunk 'em" as the saying goes. Even Finney had to address his high recidivism rate among professed converts. I will be following this thread.
     
  3. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician Well-Known Member
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    Reformed,

    Did I not address your critique in the paper? I thought I plainly granted that for discussion's sake?

    rd
     
  4. CertainSound

    CertainSound New Member
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    I am surrounded by SBC churches. The "repeat this prayer and you'll be saved" was every bit as rampant in the convention as it was in the IFB churches that used Finney's manipulative tactics. Not all IFB churches espoused Finney.
    The desire to make a name for oneself by having impressive numbers drove most of that baloney.
     
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  5. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    There are two extremes to combat against, one is to have many who did the "walked down the aisle" at one time and yet had no lasting change, and those who seem to equate being saved with styles and preferences/convictions issues!
     
  6. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Brother Duke, first I have a question in regard to your poll. You ask, "Am I on the mark or no?" and the second possible choice is "Paper has some merit." What paper are you talking about? It doesn't seem to be the one linked in your OP, which isn't Fundamentalism.

    Thanks!
     
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  7. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    With Reformed, I'd have to agree that your premise seemed overly broad on my first read through as well.
    First, I guess I would think that historically IFB fundamentalism is a 20th century movement in reaction to the modernism of the mid-to-late 19th century. I think someone on the BB has previously suggested that the Northern Fundamentalist Baptists may held the five points of Calvinism, but my impression is that our Southern Fundamentalists seldom did so, and at the most in a greatly modified form (I think I remember an old Springfield grad claiming that Norris was sort of Calvinistic, but I had never thought he was). Secondly, I would question how closely to equate the gospel with TULIP.
    With this I agree -- that a substantial element of the fundamentalist movement has gone to seed on separation, secondary separation and "my way or the highway"-ism. I think this would be the main caricature that people have of IFB's, although it is not representative of all.
    I have responded, but don't know how well I fit "within the movement." Our church is independent, Baptist, and we believe the fundamentals of the faith (and even separation) -- but we move in different circles from much of the IFB "movement" (if we can call it that). One of the reasons we move in different circles is to a great degree because of a rejection repeat-after-me prayerism and such like (and also things like preachers swallowing goldfish on the roofs of their church buildings in their underwear if the church can pack the pews for revival). But we definitely rub shoulders with independent Baptists who sit kind of between us and the radical easy believers. So maybe I am speaking from "within," even though we seldom to never use the terminology IFB to identify ourselves.
     
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  8. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson Administrator
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    I can say with certainty that Dr. B. Myron Cedarholm of the CBA, Pillsbury BBC, and Maranatha BBC was definitely a non-Calvinist. He was an IFBer if there ever was one. Though, more accurately he was a Historic Northern Baptist. Like the founders of the GARBC, he didn't change the Convention did.
     
  9. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    I grew up in an SB church that, when I think back on it now, was all about 'keeping up with the Jonse's'. Had to keep those numbers up. What bothered me most was those emotional pleas (with 'Just As I Am' being sang over and over), "ARE YOU SURE THAT YOU'VE REALLY REALLY BELIEVED"? "ARE YOU SURE THAT YOU HAVE SAVING FAITH"? The tactic is disgusting. The same two old lonely widows would walk the isle and 'rededicate their lives' to the Lord, mostly on a Sunday night. But hey, they kept the numbers up.
     
    #9 kyredneck, Jan 8, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
  10. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    I, too, grew up in SBC, worked in IFB circles and churches, so I know both groups. Posting in this thread is done more from a perspective of the decades from the late 60's through the 90's. But it is doubtful much has changed other then leaders then are not leaders now, but they carry the same baggage.

    I find it difficult to be greatly disparaging of the FB churches.

    They were (are) filled with folks who for the most part want to serve the Lord, but more often in the judgment of sin past and currant leadership have led them into some preoccupation with the outward appearance while the excesses of those leaders are excused because they are a good "soul winner" or a "leader."

    However, would that the separation from the worldliness would also be standard found in the SBC type churches!

    Were the FB churches' zeal to establish and maintain the fundamentals of Biblical principle boiled over into (rightly or wrongly) attacks of perceived worldliness in "standards" (dress, music, ...) and became more often the excuses to separate, the non-FB churches seemed to readily give in to allowing just whatever was pleasing to the senses to be called Godly to the point that the current SBC church has no personal standards of what is acceptable in the fine arts, in the programs of attracting a crowd, in even the presentation of the Gospel, and what the people accept of quality Bible translations each chasing after what is the easy read most politically correct.

    For example:
    Separation and even secondary separation is actually Scriptural.

    The believer is to shun the love of the world and have no fellowship with darkness.

    So, if one who claims to be a believer, yet is loving the world and worldly, or agreeing and working with those who do fellowship and appeal to that which is worldly, then separation is warranted. I was at one time an athlete, and athletic ability is admirable, but no more then a skilled mechanic, carpenter, bricklayer, electrician, engineer, nurse, doctor, lawyer, preacher... There is not the problem interacting while doing business with the world and worldly. Paul did that as a tent maker. But, neither did Paul put up with those who chased after the "unfruitful works of darkness." He separated from the works of darkness, and separated from those that chased after the works of darkness.

    FB churches took it upon themselves to separate, not by use of Biblical standards, but by personality, yet if that personality was a "good" or "connected" leader, such standards of separation did not apply.

    Consistency became who was the most separated was also the most right with God. Not who was Biblically correct.

    The standards of separation became foolishness (still is) and because it was outside of the Biblical standard, divisive among believers to this day.
     
    #10 agedman, Jan 23, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
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  11. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician Well-Known Member
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    Dear "aged" friend,

    You have well said from the perspective of an insider. I must give a hearty "AMEN!"

    Keep up the good work of self reflection and wise words set forth here. Well done.

    rd
     
  12. JoChris

    JoChris New Member

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    Thank you for this response.
    You actually helped answer a question I was asking about separation (and whether I should with a self-proclaimed Christian) but I couldn't find the words.
    P.S. yes I am going to part ways.
     
  13. 1689Dave

    1689Dave Well-Known Member

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    My experience in an IFB family and church is their emphasis on avoiding social sins, smoking, drinking, cursing, etc., and not so much pursuing works of love as outlined in scripture. I think Dispensationalism produced this environment when early Scofield notes said the Sermon on the Mount is neither rule nor duty for the Church. Leaving little to replace it with. Not understanding the Sermon underlies all NT ethics.
     
    #13 1689Dave, May 4, 2018
    Last edited: May 4, 2018
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  14. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Key question would be" what are we separating ourselves from? Is it a primary or a secondary issue?"
    And we have a call out to have sinners come down to be saved by God, but the emphasis on on what salvation really means as per the Bible, as its not just a one time knell and prayer!
     
  15. Wesley Briggman

    Wesley Briggman Active Member
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    If the individual is under conviction of the Holy Spirit, it will not be "a one time knell and prayer" experience. It will be the beginning of an ongoing, life-long experience.
     
  16. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    I am so glad that my pastor - Merlin G Schultz did exactly that - for on one Sunday night - I finally realized I had not ever been truly saved - in spite of virtually perfect attendance for some 7 years.
     
  17. 1689Dave

    1689Dave Well-Known Member

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    I think if we taught people to identify the fruits of salvation in their lives, namely the fruit of the Holy Spirit, they could rely on that as evidence God saved them.
     
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  18. Covenanter

    Covenanter Well-Known Member
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    I think we all have testimonies of of a change from believing we are believers, to true believing for salvation.

    I suggest Ky means that as a tactic for confirming a decision in this sort of way -
    "Do you believe you're a sinner?"
    "Do you believe Jesus died for sinners?"
    "ARE YOU SURE THAT YOU'VE REALLY REALLY BELIEVED"?
    "ARE YOU SURE THAT YOU HAVE SAVING FAITH"?
    Hallelujah! You're saved for eternity by that assurance!

    Then it goes on by preachers I've heard on the radio -
    "You're saved, not by good works but by faith - believing in Jesus. Jesus will keep you for eternity, & as you're not saved by works, you can't be lost by sinful works."

    So sinners, with sinful lives, are assured of salvation.
     
  19. TCassidy

    TCassidy Administrator
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    What do you mean by "truly saved?" Were you lying about believing Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose again on your behalf? Or were you only partially, not truly, saved?
     
  20. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Maybe he was really saved, but not sure, as many are in that state!
     
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