I was searching for information on Independent Baptist preachers last week, and I found out that Peter Ruckman had died in April.
I never heard that.
I knew he’d retired from preaching earlier this year. He passed away at 94.
I am sorry for his family, friends and supporters.
What REALLY surprised me was the tone of some of his followers. On a blog discussing it, someone left a comment that (The following are direct quotes and not my words – if I misquote you, please let me know so I can fix it…) “I I never really followed him. I’d heard he was racist and..”
And the next comment was, “well, there’s someone black a few posts above who liked him. Why don’t you go sell HIM your stories???”
Another person commented, “I’d heard Ruckman believed in UFO’s, and babies not having a soul till they took a breath, and that concerned me…”
The responses then went ballistic, with name calling and personal attacks.
My thoughts are –
- I had a lot of concerns about Peter Ruckman as well. All of the above concerns, plus a lot of others. But i’ll say that naysaying him while his followers are mourning him is probably a really bad idea. Wait, and then later on when someone’s posting a blog article praising the man’s teachings, THEN voice your concern.
- It’s really hard to discern the tone people use when responding in text. I’ve read things I’ve said that sounded harsh, when in reality the tone was intended as quite mild. But there’s no mistaking personal attacks. I’m really surprised at the MEANNESS of some of Ruckman’s supporters. When someone comes on to talk about the man’s doctrines, here’s an appropriate way to answer… “Brother, right now we’re mourning his passing. I understand you had concerns, but this is not the time to bring them up.” And probably everything would have been just fine.
- Personal attacks against people you disagree with is never appropriate. Although, I can recall at least once, just once, raising the stakes against Atheists on this blog, raising my tone to one of ridicule, and you’d have thought I was speaking to the New Atheists the way that… well, some of them speak to me!
Probably not a good day for Independent Baptists I think. Mistakes were made on all sides.
On the other hand, maybe now we can start getting some bona fides respect for KIng James only believers, now that Peter Ruckman has gone on to his reward. To quote David Cloud, “(Peter Ruckman) has done more damage for the cause of the King James Only movement than anyone else on earth.”