Being A Christian – The Bible 7


Yesterday I probably dazzled a few of you with information you’d never heard before.

Today, I’m just going to fill in the gaps and conclude, and we’ll go on from there.

AS I pointed out yesterday, the anti-King James Bible movement tends to completely gloss over these issues. The most famous proponent of the non-King James is James White, who tries to convince you in his popular book that the Vulgate was the Bible in most use by most Christians.

That’s a deliberate mis-statement. The Vulgate was not in use the first few centuries, and was used by Catholics, not Christians.

This is a distinction that Christianity used to be able to make, but no longer, as Billy Graham has done much to convince us they are Christians. That’s why you hear phrases like “Lord of the Rings is a Christian book – it’s written by a Christian!” and “C. S. Lewis is my favorite Christian author.”

Both Tolkien and Lewis were Roman Catholics. C. S. Lewis converted just before he died, and was given the Last rites. And I’m not really sure how a book involving sorcery can be considered “Christian”. I was a serious Tolkien fanatic growing up, and I have a vested interest in trying to prove they’re Christian, but yeah… they’re not. There’s no way to justify a literal belief in the Bible and still be able to read those books.

Sorry.

Getting back on topic, (I’m sometime “prone to wander”) the Bible used from day one until this very second was the Textus Receptus/Ben Chayyim texts. Vaticanus and Sinaiticus were NEVER used by Christians. And we have copies of Bibles translated into the common tongues of various nations (such as Waldensian Bibles, the Diodati, etc.) and they follow the readings of the Syrian texts.

So, really, Scholars have a lot of talking to do to explain why they abandoned the Bible used by Christians in favor of other texts NEVER used by Christians. See, it’s not the King James Only movement whose job it is to explain why we will only use the KJB. When any group abandons a previously held position, the burden of explaining is on them.

The only answer they can give us is, “Theologically we disagree with any text that favors the deity of Christ, that Christ is the only way to God, and that anyone who does not come to Christ must suffer eternal punishment.”

That’s all they have. They’ve constructed elaborate rules of Textual Criticism to justify their position, and they conflict with established rules of Hermeneutics.

So, they have no justification for their position.

It’s not for me to explain why I am King James Only – it is YOUR job to explain why you prefer to use a forgery and a heavily edited, incomplete heretical manuscript as the basis for your Bibles!

My last point on this is what James White refers to as “Conspiracy theories”. He claims King James Only believers suffer from the fear that there are deliberate attempts to subvert the Bible, the fact that missing verses that support the Trinity, the deity of Christ, salvation by grace through faith alone – are all part of a vast conspiracy to remove those doctrines from the Bible. He assures us that nobody is trying to corrupt the Bible, that there is no conspiracy.

“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1–5, KJV)

That’s really odd, because I believe in the normal literal method of interpreting the Bible – and sure enough, Genesis 3 shows that there is someone who first questions the Bible (“Hath God said?”) , causes people to whitewash it (“neither shall ye touch it”), then minimize it (“lest ye die”), then finally that someone denies the Bible (“ye shall not surely die”), and substitutes a different god to worship – themselves (“Ye shall be as gods”).

Those are all the tactics of the Textual Critics, many of whom (not surprisingly) are Universalists, hell deniers, theological liberals, and unitarians. It just feels a little odd that when they have avowed beliefs, that their translations should tend towards those beliefs!

And it feels very odd that when Satan’s plan is to counterfeit the things of God, that James White is saying Satan has no vested interest in questioning, adding to, whitewashing, minimizing and finally denying the word of God!

People, we have an enemy. His first target is the Bible, and I haven’t read where he stopped that attack!

I have a lot of articles on Textual Criticism and the Bible version issue, and I can assure you that – you’ve never been told everything on this issue, and that you’re being lied to. If you’re interested, please read the other articles I’ve got in this category!

psalm11951

Being a Christian – The Bible Part 1


It’s been said that Christianity can be summed up in one anagram.

B – Bibllical Authority only

A- autonomy of the local church. There is no denomination who can seize control of a local church or “excommunicate” someone if they run afoul of God’s word. Only the Local church has that authority, to dismiss the pastor. There is no authority that can order the local congregation, except Jesus Christ. The pastor is only the steward of that church for the Lord. Denominationalism is unBiblical.

P – Priesthood of the believer

T – Two ordinances only, Believer’s Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

I – Individual Soul Liberty. You have the right to be 100% wrong, and nobody, NOBODY has the right to force you to be right. We seek to persuade men, not coerce men (2 Cor. 5:11)

S – Saved membership of the local church.

T – Three offices Evangelist (church planter), Deacon, Pastor

S – Separation of church and State. The state cannot command the local church, and we recognize it is God who rules.

I bring this up so we can see our course of study for a week or so. Today we talk about the Bible. I have written MANY articles on the Bible, how to study it, and we even took 50 days to go through Hebrews (spread out over about three months). We’ll do that again this year, since there were no negative comments about it, except from one commenter whose only comment was “Christian holidays are racist.”

I don’t think they were commenting on my articles at all, but looking to grind an axe.

The Bible. It’s been said that there’s no one verse that says that the Bible is all you need. Hm.

“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: And in keeping of them there is great reward.” (Psalm 19:7–11, KJV)

“He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” (John 12:48, KJV)

“If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:11, KJV)

“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:15, KJV)

“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” (Deuteronomy 4:2, KJV)

“What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.” (Deuteronomy 12:32, KJV)

“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:” (Revelation 22:18, KJV)

“In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” (Romans 2:16, KJV)

“LAMED. For ever, O LORD, Thy word is settled in heaven. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: Thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. They continue this day according to thine ordinances: For all are thy servants. Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction. I will never forget thy precepts: For with them thou hast quickened me. I am thine, save me; For I have sought thy precepts. The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: But I will consider thy testimonies. I have seen an end of all perfection: But thy commandment is exceeding broad.” (Psalm 119:89–96, KJV)

Smoking gun verse…

“MEM. O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: For they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: For thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, Because I keep thy precepts.” (Psalm 119:97–100, KJV)

Because of this, Baptists have used this catchphrase to explain our relationship to the Bible:

“The Bible is the sole rule for faith and practice.”

What that means is this… the Bible is all you need to instruct you in matters of religion/faith, and is all you need to teach you how you should live.

Some atheists tried using a logcal conundrum to trip up Christians, by insisting, “no text can be used in support of itself.” The Bible does, but the Bible also has the support of history, archaeology. THe Jews exist, so we know there is a Bible. It’s like I explain to people, “The people you read about in the Bible are my relatives.”

There’s people groups that existed that “Rational” scientists said never existed – yetb archaeology suddenly found those people groups. Hittites, anyone?

Rational historians said KIng David never existed – yet archaeology has found references to “The House of David”. Hm!

And… let’s not forget an empty tomb. Kind of hard to ignore that one.

The Bible is all you need. Tradition is to be thrown away. The “Magisterium” of Roman Catholic church “Doctors” is to be dismissed out of hand. The teachings of the WAtchtower Society thrown out with yesterday’s coffee grounds and used cat litter.

All you need is the Bible.

King James Only-ism – invented by Seventh Day Adventist?


One of the usual attacks on King James only proponents is that it was invented by a Seventh Day Adventist.

There is an implication in that statement that Seventh Day Adventism is wrong – and yet most modern translation proponents have absolutely no problem calling the SDA Christians, when they should be dismissing them as a cult! To point out all the constant hypocrisy of the modern version proponents would require a full time job!

Yes, Benjamin Wilkerson did write a book advocating the King James Bible in 1930. So, let’s look at a quick timeline of KJV defenders, and see if it was really started by Wilkerson!

1819 John Henry Todd published A Vindication of Our Authorized Translation and Translators of the Bible.

1829 – John Jebb defends the KJV

1843 John Dowling published a defense of the KJV in “The Burning of the Bibles, Defence of the Protestant Version of the Scriptures Against the Attacks of Popish Apologists for the Champlain Bible Burners (Philadelphia: Nathan Moore, 1843)

1850 John Dowling published The Old-Fashioned Bible, or Ten Reasons against the Proposed Baptist Version of the New Testament (New York: Edward H. Fletcher, 1850)

1883 Dean John Burgon publishes The Revision Revised

1904 The Trinitarian Bible Society begins publishing articles protesting the Critical Greek Text of Wescott Hort.

1924-25 William Aberhard publishes The Latest of Modern Movements: Or What about the Revised Version of the Bible

1924 Philip Mauro publishes Which Version? Authorized or Revised?

1930 – Benjamin Wilkerson publishes his book

Hm.

So, apparently Wilkerson was just following in several others’ footsteps!

so much for that slander.

King James – Preserved Word?


I was prowling back on the 22nd, looking to see if there’s any other free Bible software worth looking at, and getting disappointed. I stopped at Costas Sturgios’ website for Theword Bible software, to see if it’s gotten any better. I know some people talk about how they love it – I despise it. When I first started this blog on my old laptop, I was alternating between E-Sword and theword, and kind of leaning toward Theword, but every time I tried to minimize the program, I’d close it, because Costas set the windows up slightly off from where the industry standard are, and the buttons slightly smaller.
It was irritating, but better than the incredible delays from E-Sword. Then someone bought me Bible Explorer, and I stopped using both, and got rid of Theword.
Anyways, while poking around his web site, I did see that there was a new free book offered on the main website, with a title along the lines of “Pure TRanslation?”
Okay, I know where you’re getting at with that. I read the blurb, and knew where the book was going. Apparently the author claims to have been King James Only for “many years”, and “researched the Bible Version issue”, and “discovered the truth behind the false claims”, and a disparaging comment about not being “deceived by cults” any longer.
There’s King James Only, and then there’s KING JAMES ONLY. I don’t know which of them you refer to. Were you part of the Ruckman cult, the Riplinger cult, or were you convinced of the truth of the Textus Receptus and Hebrew Masoretic text?
If you’re part of the first and/or second, then I can’t address that. Yeah, you were in a cult. Seriously. And what you were researching mostly was backlash against that cult.
Here’s the facts, that I’ve never seen disputed. People bring up Ruckman (who has passed away) – but to quote David Cloud, “I believe Peter Ruckman has done more damage to the King James Bible issue than good.” He’s destroyed any credibility we could have had. And Sam Gipp is fond of saying, “Ruckmanite is what they call you when they’re losing the argument.”
Gail Riplinger’s bizarre teachings on the King James are some of the shoddy scholarship you see out of some Christians – you know, the “He was published by Zondervan, and you know who else is published by Zondervan, so there’s a connection, and they’re undoubtedly doing goat slayings together at midnight!”
She is utterly opposed to anyone writing any book, dictionary, encyclopedia, concordance or lexicon on the King James Bible – unless its her. If she does it, it’s okay. Her “research” on the Strong’s Concordance was embarrassing. Again, it’s a black eye for King James believers.

Let me answer someone I respect right now, because he’s got a personality quirk that’s just as bad. D. A. Waite is a stalwart defender of the King James Bible. But if you don’t agree with him, you run the serious risk of having pamphlets printed about you where he lambasts you publicly, frying you mercilessly and almost slanderously. Witness the recent revelations that there were some financial irregularities in the Dean Burgon society, and several long term members resigned over it. Waite promptly attacked them publicly. If you did some things wrong financially through ignorance, then you need to appoint a treasurer and solve the issue in good confidence. If you had a moral failing, then repent of it, hand the money to someone else and get on with the work! But don’t publicly attack those who resigned from the DBS over it! (I have never been a member, but I suppose I should join someday).

Okay, we’ve addressed the cultic claims. Now let’s address the research.
The scholarship has been done many times already. Elzevir, Erasmus, Stephanus… they went through and looked at the Bible manuscripts in Greek, and determined the proper readings out of the manuscripts used.
There’s your research.
When the VAST MAJORITY of the manuscripts belong to the Antioch family of manuscripts, and less than fifty belong to Alexandrian, it’s obvious that those 47 manuscripts are flawed, erroneous, or deliberately corrupted – not the vast majority. I did a series earlier this year on textual criticism, and some of you doubtless were shocked at the deliberate agendas behind the spurious and arbitrary hypotheses behind the textual criticism. I stated the origins, I stated the rules, and I examined those rules in light of accepted Biblical interpretation and logic, and those rules were found to violate accepted Hermeneutics.
By the way, if you’re looking for information for a dissertation or thesis on the Bible Version issue, I’ve got enough on this web site to pretty much write one.
Hmmm….
Anyway, The modern translations are based upon Wescott Hort, and that’s most definitely a red flag. They decided that out of the two manuscripts of Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, Vaticanus was the most accurate.
Why?
A feeling. Yup, that’s what they said! A Feeling! Wow… amazing scholarship there! Was this the “scholarship” that the author of that book uncovered that convinced him?
Or was it the Textual criticism rule of “The most clear reading must give way to the most obscure”, which is the direct opposite of the Hermeneutic principle of “We accept the clear readings when they are majority, and interpret the obscure in light of the clear”?
Yessir, I’m convinced too! A “Feeling”! Wow! How come I never saw scholarship like this from Stephanus?
Ready for a truth? And I DARE, double dog dare any textual critic to deny this – but if the Textus Receptus source documents were even one tenth as corrupt and as heavily edited as Vaticanus, they’d be screaming that fact loudly. With many passages edited as many as six times by six different scribes, Vaticanus is as reliable as a witness who keeps changing their story. We acccept manuscripts that are a “true copy”. Heavily edited manuscripts are rejected, which is why Stephanus and the Elzevir brothers never bothered with Vaticanus.
Here’s an assertion, that accords with the Bible, which is inspired and inerrant… If the Alexandrian family of 47 manuscripts were indeed the ones preferred by God, they would have remained in constant use by the churches. The Christians copied their Bibles from other manuscripts – that’s why the Antioch family has so many thousands. I had one well meaning atheist or textual critic, I don’t know which, try to come on here and say authoritatively, “We don’t have 5,400 manuscripts… we have only a few hundred.” That’s incorrect. You have to compile the list of lectionaries, uncials, miniscules, papyri and codexes. If he was talking about just codexes, yes, he was right. If on the other hand he was talking about complete manuscripts in the various forms, then he’s completely wrong.
Since the Alexandrian family has ony 47 copies or so, then the Alexandrian manuscripts WERE NOT THE ONES PRESERVED BY GOD. Indeed, since they deliberately change words and remove entire verses that support the cardinal doctrines of Christianity (deity of Christ, vicarious atonement, the Trinity), the evidence supports the facts that these are heretical manuscripts, written by heretics such as Ebionites, the Arians, and the Gnostics.
So… why are the “scholars” pushing for manuscripts that deny the deity of Christ? That deny the Trinity? Was THIS the research that convinced that author???
Here’s the bottom line. Like me, he’s probably got some software with many, many cool translations. And the pressure to conform, to stop swimming upstream all the time is enormous. He caved. That’s it. He caved in to the pressure, to the temptation.
my seminary strongly advocates makiing sure before you accept the call to the ministry to make SURE your doctrinal stances. Know that you know that you know.
And now it’s out there that he caved. And if he ever repents, and REALLY examines the issues instead of trying to justify his compromising…
He’s going to lose all credibility forever.

Inerrancy


This is from my journal, in Quickverse. I keep meaning to write in my journal, and I’m hoping that I can keep working on one daily. I’t’s one more thing to do every day (EEEK!), but this way, I don’t come up with ministry plans and prayer plans, and then forget them because I’m so busy.

Once I wrote this this morning, I realized, “YEah, that’s a blog post.” So, here it is.

* * * * * * * * * *

Got more MacArthur videos yesterday, on inerrancy. I still don’t understand how Christianity can be two-faced about inerrancy!!! Literally, they’re speaking out of both sides of their mouth. They say they believe in the Bible, yet they also, without hesitation say, “well, that verse isn’t in the original manuscripts.”

How do you know? Do you have them in the closet?

“Well, I mean the oldest and best.”

Same question.

“We’ve got Codex Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, and…”

Yeah, uh, those aren’t the oldest. Certainly not the best.

I’ve asked it before, What is better, a faithful copy of a faithful copy of the original, or a flawed and edited original?

This is rapidly becoming an issue dividing Christianity, and the KIng James Only crowd is not the one who moved. We have followed the Bible from the beginning to now, and you all… diverged in 1881 to heretical manuscripts.

What good does it do to protest a translation that removes all references to deity of Christ, and then praise the manuscripts that the translation faithfully rendered?

MacArthur pledges to combat disbelieving scholarship, then turns around and praises the textual critics who write voluminous editions against the Textus Receptus.

Hypocrisy is hypocrisy. Look, I’m not writing these things out of poverty – I have VOLUMINOUS libraries now, thanks to Quickverse Platinum 2010, Wordsearch 11, and Logos 6 Baptist Starter. I must have a digital library of over a thousand books or more. I have 14 bibles in Logos alone, a bunch more in Wordsearch, and I guess about 24 bibles in Quickverse.

I would LOVE to be like you guys, to pick and choose. “I really love the rendering of the ESV here…”

but my eyes are open. Where the King James says, “Let every man…” the other bibles say “let every one”. No big deal? Have you, by any chance, noticed the deliberate de-masculinization of the Western Male in the last 130 years?

We fight the fight for the Bible, and we’re being undercut by the ones who, like Robert Schuller in MacArthur’s tale, say arrogantly, “I can make the belief in an inerrant Bible mean anything I want.”

They protest that, but then put the following statement in their statement of faith: “I believe the Bible is inspired and inerrant in the original manuscripts.”

That means you believe that the current ones have errors. In other words, it’s a painless lie to state that. And I’m hearing Christians everywhere claim… “We’re winning the inerrancy war.”

No. We’re losing it. If by winning it, you mean more and more people are waking up to the KIng James Only issue… then slowly we’re winning. But we’re losing ground in other areas even faster. And I’m afraid my beloved Logos has the ability to reach in, and change any translatio without my say-so.

And trust me, that’s why Quickverse is still on my hard drive.

Those Fundamentalist Pharisees by David Cloud


Updated September 24 2014 (first published August 2, 1996)(David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

Christians who have strong biblical convictions are often labeled “Pharisees.”

The following are a few examples of the probably hundreds of times people have written to called me a Pharisee.

“I wonder what makes Mr. Cloud so sure he’s right and everybody else is wrong? Look at the Pharisees, Mr. Cloud, and then look in the mirror!”

“You’re the best example I think I’ve ever seen of the Pharisee who sits at the front of the synagogue giving thanks for not being a sinner like everyone else.”

“I figured you were a Baptist organization. You are nothing more than modern day Pharisees! Judgmental ignorant people. Get a grip.”

To label a Bible-believing Christian who is passionate to honor Christ and to obey God’s Word a Pharisee is a slander, because the error of Phariseeism was not their zeal to obey the Scripture. They had no such zeal. They were zealous, rather, to create their own religious system and to exalt their own self-righteousness.

A biblical definition of Phariseeism is as follows:

1. Phariseeism is supplanting the Word of God with man-made tradition and thereby making the Word of God of none effect. “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Mat. 15:7-9).

2. Phariseeism is rejecting Jesus Christ. “Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils” (Mat. 12:22-24).

3. Phariseeism is perverting the Gospel of the free grace of Christ into a work’s salvation. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves” (Mat. 23:15).

4. Phariseeism is self-righteousness. “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess” (Lk. 18:9-12).

5. Phariseeism is the practice of religious hypocrisy. “In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy” (Lk. 12:1).

The Pharisees were at the forefront of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and of the persecution of the early Christians.

It is a great error to label a Christ-loving, Bible-honoring, grace-preaching, self-debasing, peace-loving Christian a Pharisee.

Jesus did not reject the Pharisees because they loved God’s Word and took it too seriously.

Jesus did not reject the Pharisees because they were careful to honor the details of God’s Word. Never did Jesus reprove them for such a thing.

Jesus did not reject the Pharisees because they judged by God’s Word. They didn’t judge by God’s Word; they judged by their own vain tradition. Jesus warned against hypocritical judgment, but He encouraged judgment based on truth.

Jesus did not reject the Pharisees because they marked and avoided false teachers. Jesus Himself warned about false teachers and instructed His people to beware of them (Matthew 7:15-23). Jesus commended the church at Ephesus because they had “tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars” and for hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans (Revelation 2:2, 6). Imagine that! Jesus commended the church for hating the deeds of false teachers. Obviously, that type of thing is not Phariseeism.

Zeal for God’s Word is right and godly. The following testimony expresses the very essence of true spirituality and godliness:

“Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way” (Psalms 119:128).

Was the Psalmist speaking here as a Pharisee? Of course not. It is spiritual to esteem all of God’s precepts concerning all things to be right and to hate everything that is contrary to God’s precepts. Note the emphasis on ALL precepts and ALL things and EVERY false way. This is the very strictest sort of Biblicist mindset, and it is encouraged in the pages of God’s Word as the correct mindset and attitude of the man who loves God passionately.

Jesus reproved the Pharisees for turning the law of Moses into a way of salvation, which it was never intended to be, and for their hypocrisy and for their lack of love and grace and compassion. Consider the following reproof:

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (Matthew 23:23).

Jesus didn’t say, “You Pharisees make far too much of tithing and other such things in God’s law. You are much too zealous for God’s Word. Don’t you know that God never intended you to take everything so strictly. Why don’t you lighten up?”

No, Jesus said they did well to take God’s Word strictly by honoring even the details of tithing. What He hated was that they had missed the heart and soul of the law of God, which was judgment, mercy, and faith. Observe that “judgment” is commended by Jesus!

The law was not given as a means to obtain righteousness; rather, it revealed God’s extreme holiness and man’s fallenness and pointed to Christ as the believing sinner’s justification (Rom. 3:19-24; Gal. 3:10-13, 24-25). The Pharisees missed the heart of the law which is to love God with all one’s heart and to love one’s neighbor as oneself. The fact that they were complicit in the death of the Son of God is clear evidence that they did not love God.

Candidly, there are a lot of fundamental Baptist preachers that I have little respect for, but I don’t know of any full-blown fundamentalist Pharisees. In my experience, every fundamental Baptist preacher believes too much in grace and delights too much in God’s free righteousness to be a Pharisee. There has been a lot of hypocrisy, though, and there is an element of true legalism within some aspects of the fundamental Baptist movement. I have warned about this often. (See, for example, my free eBook THE HYLES EFFECT, which is available at http://www.wayoflife.org.)

While I can’t speak for everyone, I can speak for myself. And I don’t preach works for salvation and I don’t preach works for sanctification. Everything is by God’s grace and His grace alone. Everything is Christ in me the hope of glory. The essence of the Christian life is not me doing something for God. It was described by Paul as follows: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).

This might not come across in every single sermon, but it is clear in my thinking and in my personal life and in the overall perspective of my ministry.

As for hypocrisy, I don’t always live up to what I preach. Far from it, but I confess my sins to God (and to man when the situation necessitates) and don’t pretend to any self-righteousness. I know at every moment that the only righteousness I have that is acceptable to God is in Christ and in Christ alone. That is not the thinking of a Pharisee.

We see in Matthew 23:23 that Christ did not rebuke the Pharisees for paying attention to the less weighty things in the law. He rebuked them for focusing on the lesser matters to the neglect of the weightier ones.

The Bible-believing “fundamentalists” that I know do not neglect the weightier matters of the New Testament faith. They aim, rather, to follow Paul’s example and to give heed to “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). They preach Christ’s virgin birth, blood atonement, resurrection, and ascension. They preach justification by grace alone and the Trinity and the personality of the Holy Spirit and the other “weightier” matters of the faith. They also preach church discipline (1 Cor. 5) and the divine restrictions upon the woman’s ministry (1 Tim. 2:12; 1 Cor. 14:34) and other things that are less weighty.

When a Christian today preaches against pop music and Hollywood’s moral filth and calls for modest dress, he is called a Pharisee, but the Bible demands a very strict separation from the world, and this is not Phariseeism; it is New Testament Christianity.

Following are just some of the commandments on this issue, and they are indeed commandments and not suggestions.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).

“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” (2 Corinthians 7:1).

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:14).

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11).

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12).

“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).

“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11).

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:15-17).

“And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19).

Separation from the world by a born again, blood-washed, saved-by-grace-alone believer is not Phariseeism. It is obedience to God and conformity to His character and will.

The Pharisees were at the forefront of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and of the persecution of the early Christians.

It is a great slander to label a Christ-loving, Bible-honoring, grace-gospel-preaching, self-debasing, peace-loving Christian a Pharisee.

The modern Pharisee would be more akin to the Roman Catholic priest with his sacramental gospel and his traditions exalted to the place of Scripture and his long history of persecuting the saints. The ecumenical crowd doesn’t call Catholic priests Pharisees, though. They don’t seem to be concerned about all of the souls who have been led astray by these contemporary Pharisees.

The only men they seem to be concerned about are those dreadful old “fundamentalists” with their strong Bible convictions and their refusal to smile at error.

Oh, those dreadful fundamentalist Pharisees!

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Settled A Long Time Ago!


“Again, an allegation may be made in negative form, and he who asserts a negative must prove it; as when the atheist asserts that there is no God he is logically bound to make good his assertion—if he can. But it is evident that he cannot do this; because, as John Foster pointed out, it would require universal knowledge to make good such an assertion, for, otherwise, somewhere beyond the bounds of the atheist’s knowledge might be proof that there is a God.”

Why? Why is it the Atheists burden?

” In controversial sermons it is essential that we should clearly perceive where lies the burden of proof, and sometimes in the statement of propositions and questions it may be well to make this formally clear to the hearers; and in general for clearness of discrimination and logical accuracy in argument the underlying principle of the burden of proof should be understood. This principle is well stated in the Roman legal formula: Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat (the proof lies upon him who affirms, not who denies). That is to say, He who alleges anything must prove his allegation; and, conversely, no man is required to prove the negative of another man’s assertion.”

John Albert Broadus, A Treatise on the Preparation and Delivery of Sermons, ed. Edwin Charles Dargan, New (23d) ed. (New York: Hodder & Stoughton, 1898), 174.