In the first year or so of being born again, I had to learn a lot, really quickly. I wanted to know who else was Christian, because there was a lot of expression of Christian faith, and much of it seemed to be contradictory. So, I investigated.
I ran into Four things that made me stop and question every thing I’d been taught.
Ray Comfort. Ray’s “Hells Best Kept Secret” really stumped me. I couldn’t answer it. I wanted to lay claim to “…just repeat after me” because it was co comforting! (no pun). But I wasn’t seeing it in the Bible. And I was left with all those parables and those passages that said things like, “By their fruits you will know them.” I knew Ray wasn’t right about everything, but he was right about the “1,2,3 repeat after me” prayers.
Evangelicalism. I thought, when I got saved, that Evangelicalism was synonymous with Fundamentalism. I was to find out that Fundamentalism in many cases is the exact opposite of Evangelicalism. And as I learned things that the Evangelicals believed, I rapidly was finding were not only not what I believed, but actually contradicted the Bible! So I made the break with Evangelicalism and became a Fundamentalist. It took one day to make that discovery and break.
Calvinism. Calvinism caused me a HUGE amount of emotional turmoil. I liked John MacArthur, so I assumed I was a Calvinist. That created problems for me, huge ones. My wife took pity on me, and told me if it was causing that much stress, it wasn’t of God. She was right. I was stressed because John MacArthur was right about so many things – but the Bible seemed to be saying something different. So I had to conclude traditional Baptist understandings of salvation were the correct one, since I was convinced that Arminianism was wrong too!
The King James Bible. Let me make an admission to you. I’d love to use an ESV. An RSV. An NASB. An NIV. AS an Evangelical, I knew all the standard lines about “They all say the same thing” and “No Fundamental doctrine is changed.” So one day, on a lark, I decided to research it. One hour later, my wife and I were dumbfounded. Everything we’d believed was destroyed. And believe you me, I ran into the writings of Kutilek and others. I found the things that were written by King James Only believers were irrefutable.
By the end of the day, I was a Fundamentalist. All it took really was about three months of research, starting from Ray Comfort, to Evangelicalism, to Calvinism, to the King James Only Issue. Felt like forever!
I started Seminary right after that!