Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) Deception

Exposing the Dangerous Teachings of the Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) Denomination

Richard Hivner Deception


Richard Hivner, a former associate pastor at Candlestick Baptist Church in Spring TX frequented this site to voice his disagreement with it in the comments section. There are many comments he made with an invitation to open discussions about the topics presented here. Unfortunately Richard couldn’t keep himself from perpetuating the abuse that’s spoken of on this site and had to be banned. He emailed me with apologies and promised to have open discussions without judgment or pretension.

Stepping out in trust, we decided to allow Richard to again comment and provoke discussions. Unfortunately he was unable to keep his promise and was again banned.

In hind sight I’m glad we decided to allow Richard to return. He provided a perfect example of why we have this site and why we share the information we do. In his most recent engagement for discussion Steve was asked to address some of Richard’s statements that were very subtle in his attempts at manipulation. There was frustration on both sides as it was apparent that Richard wasn’t really interested in “open discussion” and was simply attempting to push his beliefs on us.

The following dialogue has been captured and recorded here word-for-word without any modifications. It picks up with the conversation at the transition of a conversation between Greg and Richard. It begins with some innocent corrections of scripture interpretation by Steve and progresses from there. You’re welcome to return to the comments section to review the entire dialogue. You can find it in the “Is the IFB a cult” post. As you read, you are encouraged to try and find the subtle twisting and manipulations in his words. I did my best to point them out. I’ll let the conversation speak for itself.

Thanks for reading!

Richard :

Steve & Greg,
I want to say how much I enjoy these discussions concerning the Bible, and how you allow liberty to disagree.
Steve – I still appreciate your take on Nehemiah 8, and your reaffirming my comments as correct. (What I said, not what you read into my statements.)
Greg – I am glad you agreed with Steve and me on Nehemiah.

 

As to being purposefully deceptive, I have no reason to be. I have no agenda except to learn what we agree on and what we do not. I have no problem with being wrong. I do take issue when you say the Bible is wrong, but that is one area we will continuously disagree. So far, other than that, I believe we are agree in essence on all things except the source of corruptness in leadership.

 

Steve- I do believe you use the term semantics when you see a possible disagreement, when all that is being sought is clarification.

 

Greg – I still do not see where Mr. Swindoll and I are legalists, especially since I read the definition you found. I, and I do not believe he, have not ever tried to bring you under obligation to keep our convictions.

 

I do have questions about how you believe a pastor should be chosen. Should the church elect? I have always felt this is the best way, but since being on this site (and based upon my personal experience), I have some questions about peoples ability to discern whether a man is qualified. This being said, I oppose the view of some of the brethren who believe that the outgoing pastor is to appoint his successor. Then I also oppose some other church or churches appointing some one over a church. I believe God set it up the Baptist way, church vote. The problem is – you vote, you get what you asked for good or bad. This is why there are so many disqualified pastors in pulpits. The people refused to follow God’s guide lines and investigate the man’s character. How is his family? How are his finances? What is the reputation he has with those who he has been around? Etc.
Most of the time there is no background check, but a resume’ saying he believes what you believe and got the right education. Then if he can preach like you want, he is in.

 

Baptist churches must take personal responsibility for men they bring in and men they send out. Denominations just move men around to where they want, hoping to cover up an immoral act, or improper behavior. Baptist churches vote in men without finding out about them. Our responsibility to choose the right leaders is how we can change Baptist churches. If we accept the status-quo, we are guilty.

 

I have said it before, and will say it over and over again, If you can Scripturally find a problem in the church or in its leadership (I am not saying to be nit-picky about things you don’t like.) leave the church. Then join one or start one.

 

Greg – If you do not like Webster, use any dictionary of the English language and study the etymology of “Pulpit.” Webster’s is just what my E-Sword program uses. I hope E-Sword is not IFB, it is free.

greg :

Steve – I don’t have the patience to do it, maybe you do, or maybe you are finished with Richard. But wouldn’t it be fun to answer this, just like him by twisting everything he says, making him to be agreeing with us, when he’s not, and simple picking, picking picking every little thing he says to death.

 

I think he may be a borg or an IFB computer program. Says the sweetest, kindest thing all the while plunging the knife in as deeply as it can go, yet smiling that slick, sickening smile all the while.

Steve :

He’s just being passive aggressive. I’m not sure if he’s doing it on purpose or if it’s just his personality.

 

He’s what I call an unreasonable arguer. He has little idea what he’s talking about (except for the IFB dogma he’s parroting) or how to formulate a good counterargument (he doesn’t even know what the fallacy of arguing semantics is) and he continues to argue his point even when he’s been proven to be wrong (my recent comment to him is case and point, I used his own words to show him he was wrong and his response was “…your reaffirming my comments as correct.”).

 

Basically he just argues for the sake of arguing. He’s not really interested in sorting things out to find truth. He has an agenda and nothing will dissuade him from that agenda. He’s typical IFB in that he majors on the minors – not only in beliefs and values, but also in these types of discussions as he distracts from the major flaws of biblical interpretation by focusing on things that really don’t matter (like trying to educate me on the definition of the word Pulpit for example).

 

Ultimately though I think he’s just regurgitating what he was taught, yes like a robot, and then denies that he’s doing that. He’s only hurting himself because we can see right through it. I feel sorry for the guy, but I remember what it was like to be that way. I was the same way when I was blinded by the IFB. So no, I’ll point out errors of exegesis but like I told him earlier, I’m not interested in nit picking or arguing over every little thing that comes up. I just don’t have the time.

 

I do appreciate you Greg and your resolve. You’ve got such a unique way of looking at things. I’ll put up with people like Richard just to hear what you have to say. I really wish you would reconsider being a contributing author. I think that you’d make a wonderful impact.

greg :

Steve – I don’t have the patience to do it, maybe you do, or maybe you are finished with Richard. But wouldn’t it be fun to answer this, just like him by twisting everything he says, making him to be agreeing with us, when he’s not, and simple picking, picking picking every little thing he says to death.

 

I think he may be a borg or an IFB computer program. Says the sweetest, kindest thing all the while plunging the knife in as deeply as it can go, yet smiling that slick, sickening smile all the while.

Steve :

He’s just being passive aggressive. I’m not sure if he’s doing it on purpose or if it’s just his personality.

 

He’s what I call an unreasonable arguer. He has little idea what he’s talking about (except for the IFB dogma he’s parroting) or how to formulate a good counterargument (he doesn’t even know what the fallacy of arguing semantics is) and he continues to argue his point even when he’s been proven to be wrong (my recent comment to him is case and point, I used his own words to show him he was wrong and his response was “…your reaffirming my comments as correct.”).

 

Basically he just argues for the sake of arguing. He’s not really interested in sorting things out to find truth. He has an agenda and nothing will dissuade him from that agenda. He’s typical IFB in that he majors on the minors – not only in beliefs and values, but also in these types of discussions as he distracts from the major flaws of biblical interpretation by focusing on things that really don’t matter (like trying to educate me on the definition of the word Pulpit for example).

 

Ultimately though I think he’s just regurgitating what he was taught, yes like a robot, and then denies that he’s doing that. He’s only hurting himself because we can see right through it. I feel sorry for the guy, but I remember what it was like to be that way. I was the same way when I was blinded by the IFB. So no, I’ll point out errors of exegesis but like I told him earlier, I’m not interested in nit picking or arguing over every little thing that comes up. I just don’t have the time.

 

I do appreciate you Greg and your resolve. You’ve got such a unique way of looking at things. I’ll put up with people like Richard just to hear what you have to say. I really wish you would reconsider being a contributing author. I think that you’d make a wonderful impact.

Richard :

@Steve
Steve,
Though I recognize this is a conversation between you and Greg, I pray you accept my interjection on this point.
When we agree, we agree. If I agreed with you or you agreed with me is semantics. I yield to the fact that I agreed with you. I thought you reaffirmed what I stated, but since I was not clear enough (I was for Greg prior to him following your lead), you cleared it up & we agreed. I do not see that as arguing, it is agreement.
Where do you call agreement argument?

greg :

Steve – Thanks for the kind words, and maybe someday I’ll take you up on your offer, but I do feel inadequate at the present.

 

I am always blessed by the way you and Bob express things, I feel you both have or display more grace than I do. Katie is more like me, kinda in your face, but I can tell she has quite alot more “grey” matter than I do. As I was looking back through the posts yesterday, I see that she had Richard’s number pretty early on, I’m sure you did as well. Btw, this Richard is the same one that you barred at one time, isn’t he?

 

Your point about being “blinded by the IFB” and feeling sorry for Richard is really my motivation in dialoging with him and others that suffer in a legalistic, graceless faith and life. That is why I appreciate this site and what you do for folks who are and have been hurt by this religion disguised as a true faith. It so blinds people to the truth. I know Richard means well, or at least I hope he does, but he has been programmed for so long, that the truth has become obscured by legalistic teaching, to where he can no longer recognize truth. When I was making my points about folks from “all” denominations being able to come a saving knowledge of Christ, he wouldn’t agree, but would want to point out the “problems” they had in their respective “religion.” When I would then point out that the IFB’s had as many problems if not more, he would do what Richard does, and never admit that “Yes, saved Catholics go to heaven!” Why is that so hard for IFB’s? Yes I disagree with lots of catholic beliefs, but like I pointed out to Richard, I disagree with the IFB’s belief in “magical a,b,c repeat after me prayers”

 

I’m rehashing aren’t I? I think my time here with Richard is done. I’m not giving up on him, but frankly I’m worn out by him (that reminds me, not sure if it was here or not, but someone pointed out that keep on talking and wearing out your opponent was one of the ploys/antics of the IFB)

 

Richard you didn’t win, but you did wear me out. Also let me say I wish you the very best, please read your KJV, but more importantly “listen” to its message. If you only knew what was right over the hill from you, just slightly out of your vision/grasp, you would race to get there, just as the veil was torn into, allowing us into the presence of the Almighty. Grace is just around the corner, Hurry!

greg :

“torn in two”

greg :

@Richard
Whose on first?

Steve :

@Richard

 

You lost me. I have no idea what you’re trying to say here. We didn’t agree at all. I don’t know how you thought we agreed.

Richard :

@greg
“Steve and Richard – Great exchanges! The above “kudos” I actually sent to the wrong person!!! Richard good work here!!”
“Richard – Still liking what you’re saying. (mostly/smiles)”
“Your Ezra example was pretty good.”

 

I just take a man at his word.

 

“When I was making my points about folks from “all” denominations being able to come a saving knowledge of Christ, he wouldn’t agree, but would want to point out the “problems” they had in their respective “religion.” When I would then point out that the IFB’s had as many problems if not more, he would do what Richard does, and never admit that “Yes, saved Catholics go to heaven!””

 

“I said, “I am not saying that there are no “Christians” in these denominations, but that their beliefs are contrary to Christ.” You said, “Every Catholic and Church of Christ member that genuinely calls upon the Lord for salvation will bethere praising God.” This reads like we are in agreement.”

 

Again I just read what is posted. You must have missed this post.
These are just a few quotes from the man who just said,

Richard :

@Steve

 

You said, “Apparently, the people stood for five or six hours – from dawn until noon, listening with great attention to the reading of the Scriptures.”

 

I said,”Steve, Good input.
My point was that “the people stood for five or six hours – from dawn until noon, listening with great attention to the reading of the Scriptures,” as you stated, and were not bored (listened with great attention). Why? Because they wanted to know what God said.”

 

I did not say you meant, I was in agreement with what you said.
That is called agreement.

Richard :

@Steve

 

“He’s just being passive aggressive. I’m not sure if he’s doing it on purpose or if it’s just his personality.” I have not dealt with my psychology books lately, but when checking on symptoms of being passive aggressive, I fail in every aspect. I am overly analytical, not ambiguous in my thought process, or writing method. That is why I have to so often explain that what I said may have come across harsher than intended. I am never late intentionally, neither do I make excuse for my failures (which I admit to having). I do not forget things conveniently.
If you are not in psychology by as a profession, do not go in to it. Enjoy life, it is too short.

 

You are a real blessing to my heart. If you have not seen Greg’s bluegrass group, and you like bluegrass, it is worth watching.

Steve :

Richard :
You said, “Apparently, the people stood for five or six hours – from dawn until noon, listening with great attention to the reading of the Scriptures.”
I said,”Steve, Good input.
My point was that “the people stood for five or six hours – from dawn until noon, listening with great attention to the reading of the Scriptures,” as you stated, and were not bored (listened with great attention). Why? Because they wanted to know what God said.”
I did not say you meant, I was in agreement with what you said.
That is called agreement.

 

You need to go back up and re-read the conversation. Taking one or two sentences out of context that seem similar to what we both said doesn’t mean we agree.

Richard :

@Steve
Steve,
I believe we already had this discussion, where I explained that you read into my statements something that was not said, neither was meant.The same thing I did, according to you, about your trying to explain away “Pulpit.”
Nothing else you said had to do with the context of the Scripture, just a clarification of what the context was not. Everyone knows there were not padded pews or sound systems as we know them to be.

 

I may not be the brightest candle shining, but I did learn to read. I am not a psychologist, so I can not analyze effectively everything someone writes by reading into statememnts.

Steve :

Richard, I’m done with the pissing contest. I refuse to allow you to continue twisting things around and drawing me into the nit picking that distracts from the issues. If you want to have a discussion then pick a topic (other than me) and discuss it. Otherwise go away.

 

I do enjoy life. I don’t know why you implied that I don’t, but I find it pretty offensive (although it is a great example of the IFB way of thinking, as if to say if we don’t think like you then we must not enjoy life). This is my ministry that God has called me to do and I love doing it. I even enjoy putting up with people like you because it provides such a shining example of what I write about.

 

So, here’s a good topic to move on to if you’d like. I’m curious to know why you advise to not go into psychology as a profession?

Richard :

@Steve
Steve,
Being that you are not to be the topic, it is impossible to discuss why I advise not to go into psychology as a profession. My statement was directed at a person not a profession. “If you are not in psychology as a profession, do not go in to it. Enjoy life, it is too short.”
Sentence structure: “you” is the subject not “psychology as a profession.”
“‘You’ do not go into it” is the inferred statement, not “Nobody” should go into it. The same is in the next sentence, and you understood it. “‘You’ enjoy life …”
You have a tendency of reading into peoples statements. “Enjoy life …” is an exhortation and encouragement, not an accusation that you were not enjoying life. Where I am at we say, “Have a good day” to encourage someone along on their journey, not because we think they are having a bad day. These are just encouraging statements, no more or no less.
Therefore, enjoy life and have a good day.

 

Next Topic? Why do we not discuss which comes first corruption or power? That is what Greg asked for your input about. He was totally content with my answer to the subject we can not agree whether we agree or not about.

Steve :

I need closure to the psychology issue before we move on to a new topic because you lost me again. What do you mean by “If you are not in psychology as a profession, do not go in to it.” then if your statement was “directed at a person not a profession”? Are you giving me advice or being sarcastic??? I’m confused.

Richard :

@Steve
Steve,
I would say I was being a bit sarcastic towards you based upon your psycho-analyzation of me. I probably have a weird sense of humor, but I thought it funny that when I looked up the symptoms of passive aggressive I failed to meet any of the criteria. Hyper-analytical might be a characteristic of my personality. Choleric Sanguine would be my temperament according to some tests. My wife’s former pastor’s wife, Debbie Pearl, describes me a a Command type man. I have taken so many analyzation tests for personality types, strengths, & weaknesses, and you are the first to ever consider me as possibly passive aggressive in behavior or personality.

Steve :

I was referring to your method of communication not your behavior or personality. Passive-aggressive is a communication style. I have no idea what your personality is nor do I care to be honest since it has no bearing on having a discussion – but having a discussion with someone who is passive-aggressive in their communication style can be extremely frustrating.

 

Maybe you’re the one with the “tendency of reading into people’s statements”?! If you need clarification please ask for it rather than make assumptions.

Richard :

@Steve
“He’s just being passive aggressive. I’m not sure if he’s doing it on purpose or if it’s just his personality.”
That is why I used a little humor to deal with your statement. I looked at my previous posts, none met the criteria of passive aggressive.

 

“If you need clarification please ask for it rather than make assumptions.” Good Advice. I was telling my wife how your last post was the first time anyone asked for clarification in a long time instead of making assumptions.

Richard :

@Steve
“He’s just being passive aggressive. I’m not sure if he’s doing it on purpose or if it’s just his personality.”
That is why I used a little humor to deal with your statement. I looked at my previous posts, none met the criteria of passive aggressive.

 

“If you need clarification please ask for it rather than make assumptions.” Good Advice. I was telling my wife how your last post was the first time anyone asked for clarification in a long time instead of making assumptions.

Steve :

Yes, people with certain personality types are prone to the passive-aggressive communication style (that doesn’t mean that you have the passive-aggressive personality disorder) – others do it on purpose. Those who do it on purpose are usually passive-aggressive to either deflect or to try and distract their opponent/discussion partner (which you’ve effectively done with Greg).

 

It doesn’t really surprise me that you don’t see your passive-aggressive communication. Most people can’t recognize their own communication style – someone has to point it out to them. I think I’d be more worried if you could see it, because that would mean that you’re doing it on purpose.

 

You just admitted to using sarcasm with me. That was being passive aggressive. Saying I was “psycho-analyzing” you is being passive-aggressive (if you knew what psycho-analysis is you’d know that that isn’t what I was doing). Another example is your passive-aggressive comments about being “nit-picky” in comment #37 in response to my statement that I wasn’t going get caught up in all the nit picking. You’ve also been sarcastic and passive-aggressive with Greg numerous times (I don’t feel like taking the time to go back and find them all right now).

 

It’s been said that “sarcasm is the refuge of the weak.” Just say what you need to say. Why be sarcastic? don’t beat around the bush. Discussions like this work best when we can be assertive and say what we mean. No communication is perfect, but if you cut out all the nonsense then we might be able to make progress.

 

Now can we move on to something worth talking about rather than just bitch about the way each other communicates?

Richard :

@Steve
Steve,
You mean nobody is allowed to call me names that they cannot back up. IFB is fair, legalist is not, unless Greg’s definition differs from yours.
You mean when I think we agree you are not planning to find a way to prove we disagree, even after I agree with you.
You mean this goes both ways, or is it a one way thing, because of the assumption that all IFB is the enemy. I am not your enemy.
This is where the problem seems to be.
I use sarcasm, to lighten up the mood sometimes, such as when I said my grass was cut so people could see my cars on jack stands, and other times when people made derogatory remarks inferring a whole movement, when all of us must admit that our experience is limited.
As to whether sarcasm is a legitimate form of proper communication, the jury is still out by most in the field of psychology. It has been used historically as an effective form of discourse, though sometimes there is a danger of people not taking things in a humorous way. I will attempt to use no more.

 

Now to my two questions. Does power corrupt, or does power reveal an area of corruption in a person? How should a church find a pastor? I believe I tried to move to this earlier in one of my posts. One more question. If a church votes in a pastor and agrees to give him extreme unchecked authority and he turns out to be a Diotrephes, what should they do, and who is at fault?

Steve :

Richard :
You mean nobody is allowed to call me names that they cannot back up. IFB is fair, legalist is not, unless Greg’s definition differs from yours.
You mean when I think we agree you are not planning to find a way to prove we disagree, even after I agree with you.
You mean this goes both ways, or is it a one way thing, because of the assumption that all IFB is the enemy. I am not your enemy.
This is where the problem seems to be.

 

You lost me again. I don’t understand the connection of this to what we’re talking about. I also don’t understand your use of the words “you mean”. Are you asking me what I mean or are you trying to tell me what you think I mean?

 

I don’t view the IFB as my enemy. I don’t view you as my enemy.

 

Richard :
I use sarcasm, to lighten up the mood sometimes, such as when I said my grass was cut so people could see my cars on jack stands, and other times when people made derogatory remarks inferring a whole movement, when all of us must admit that our experience is limited.
As to whether sarcasm is a legitimate form of proper communication, the jury is still out by most in the field of psychology. It has been used historically as an effective form of discourse, though sometimes there is a danger of people not taking things in a humorous way. I will attempt to use no more.

 

I’m fine with sarcasm. I was just pointing out that you’re use of sarcasm smacks of passive aggressive communication. Sarcasm is a great form of humor. I love sarcastic humor. But this isn’t a comedy shtick so your sarcasm comes off as inappropriate and passive aggressive. In both formal debates and informal discussions sarcasm is generally recognized as a logical fallacy since it doesn’t do anything to validate or prove your argument. If you make a logical fallacy I’m going to point it out since it’s an error in reasoning which can lead to errors in beliefs and views.

 

It doesn’t really matter to me if psychology recognizes sarcasm as a “legitimate form of proper communication”. I’m not sure why you keep bringing up psychology. These are philosophical issues. I think you may be confusing psychology with philosophy. These are philosophical issues not psychological issues. Now you may have a mental health issue which could be affecting your ability to reason properly, but these types of discussions are centered around philosophical underpinnings and really have nothing to do with psychology. Again, I’m just pointing out that your use of sarcasm is inappropriate and feels passive aggressive in this format. It’s annoying and does nothing to validate or prove your argument.

 

You should study the work of William Lane Craig. He’s a brilliant Christian expert in philosophical reasoning and debates secular experts using his skills in this area. I would also recommend Love Your God With All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul by J.P. Moreland

 

OK so let me know when you’re done with this line of discussions and then we can move on to your other questions. I only do one topic at a time.

Richard :

@Steve
Steve,
Move on to the next point. I asked the questions.

 

Concerning the statements when I wrote, “You mean,” I should have used a question mark.

 

As to sarcasm, I said I will attempt to use no more. I thought that ended that discussion.

 

“Now to my two questions. Does power corrupt, or does power reveal an area of corruption in a person? How should a church find a pastor? I believe I tried to move to this earlier in one of my posts. One more question. If a church votes in a pastor and agrees to give him extreme unchecked authority and he turns out to be a Diotrephes, what should they do, and who is at fault?”

Steve :

Does power corrupt or does power reveal an area of corruption in a person?

 

I think it can be both. I think that power can corrupt, but I also think that it can reveal an area of corruption that was already present.

 

On one hand I agree with Greg that power corrupts, but I would add the caveat that it CAN corrupt. It doesn’t always, but it can. It’s been said that “with great power comes great responsibility”. If a person can’t handle the responsibility of the power then it could corrupt him/her. Some people who come into positions of power have no intention of abusing their power but will end up doing things against their values that they wouldn’t have ever thought they would do. So yes, power can corrupt people.

 

On the other hand I agree with you. Some people are already corrupt and seek positions of power to exploit that corruption.

 

But I think for the most part, if someone were to gain a position of power it could corrupt them – not always, but the temptations are much greater for someone in a position of power.

 

So really it doesn’t make much of a difference. If a pastor is corrupt, what difference does it make if power corrupted him/her or if it reveals corruption that’s already there? The point is simply that power causes corruption, whether it’s a new feature or if it awakens a natural bent towards corruption.

 

To complicate things, many people become drunk with power. Power can be an addiction for some people. Others can handle power properly. I think that human nature values power because it gives us a sense of control related to our environment. We often feel out of control because of our human limitations. Having a little power can give us greater control over our environment which can change our perspectives and ideas about life.

 

This isn’t a black and white issue so I don’t think there really is a clear answer. It’s different for each situation and person.

 

How should a church find a pastor?

 

I don’t really have an opinion on this yet. At this time my focus isn’t on church policies or how individual churches function. It’s on my to-do list though. At this time I really don’t think that the way we do church in today’s society is biblical.

 

If a church votes in a pastor and agrees to give him extreme unchecked authority and he turns out to be a Diotrephes, what should they do, and who’s at fault?

 

Again, I don’t know how to answer this. These are issues that I haven’t been able to sort through yet. I think at this point I would be more interested in why a church even has a voting system to bring in a pastor and if that’s biblical or not.

Richard :

@Steve
Steve,
This first question of whether we believe power corrupts or whether power reveals corruption comes to the heart of the issues. Is man by the fall prone toward excessiveness in behavior, or is it environment that makes men what they are? Is a man a sinner by natural birth, or is he a sinner only because he sins?
My view is that very few men understand our sinful nature, therefore do not put protections up in their life to prevent excesses. Many think they are stronger than we are.
My example is what I heard about Billy Graham. He had men he held himself accountable to when he travelled, and tried never to place himself in situations that could lead to temptations (such things as not being alone with females or being the only one to handle finances, etc.). He had policies in place for how to handle different situations, for the express purpose of protection of the ministry he had been given. Could he have not protected himself and gotten along fine? Maybe, but he understood the sinful nature of man, and knew that he could fall, so he took heed to help prevent such.
Others whom I have known, not all being IFB, have placed themselves in compromising situations and have fallen. Why would a man counsel behind closed doors, without witnesses, or tapes, especially if it is with a woman? Why would a pastor handle the finances? Some would say because they want to play with temptation. I say many times it is because they think they can stand. They think they have attained. They somehow believe that the “old man” has been eradicated by the new nature. I guess they do not believe the Bible they preach, especially Romans 6&7.
These men seem to forget that God did not save this old fleshly nature which is already corrupt.
This is my whole reason for declaring that power does not corrupt. We, in the flesh, are corrupt. (Romans 7:18) “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” The context is about how the law was a revealer of what is really inside. The law did not make us evil or good, it just revealed. My observation is that the same is true about power. That is why I conclude the same as the apostle, that the only way to have victory over the flesh is yielding to Jesus Christ’s lordship. (Romans 7:24-25) “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”

Richard :

@Steve
Steve,
How should a church find a pastor? & If a church votes in a pastor and agrees to give him extreme unchecked authority and he turns out to be a Diotrephes, what should they do, and who’s at fault?
I know you say you have no opinion, nor answer on these yet, but I believe these are a key to the root of what makes an IFB or any other church. Autonomy of the church is an essential issue. The idea of “Is the IFB a cult,” cultish, or just a movement that has been maligned by some idiots who overstepped Scriptural positions, and misused and abused power, is all wrapped up in how a church should function. Therefore, I am asking for grace and patience while I propose some thoughts. Please, straighten me out where needed.
Church polity all comes from what ones view of the church is.
Let’s look at three basic views of church governing. The Romanist view – One universal church under the headship of Christ on earth by His vicar, the pope. All power is given to the pope, and he has the authority to rule over the church by telling them when, where, and how each and every congregation is to operate. The Protestant denominational view – One mystical universal church under the headship of Christ having no headship on earth. Our group starts churches, thus has authority over when, where, and how each congregation operates. We move pastors and they can move up in the organization. The individual congregation has little say over method of service or operation. The Baptist non-denominational view – There is coming a day when the whole of true believers will come together in unified faith in heaven (eternally this is already so). On earth, each called out assembly or “church” has free right to govern itself, independently of any earthly hierarchy (Christ is the head of each church). Doctrines are agreed upon by the church. Policies are agreed on by the church. The expected idea of this philosophy is that those who unite with these assemblies will each spend time with the Lord as to what to do & how things are to be done.
I know using only three categories is simplifying the matter a bit, being that there are churches that hold to universalism of the protestant view mixed with the non-denominational view of individuality, even among IFB. I differentiate these as members of “the church” eternal, in heaven, and mystical from being members of “a church” earthly and effective.
The idea of autonomy of a church is of utmost importance in this day where we have no letters written on how to run a denomination, or how to anoint an apostle to office. God dealt with two offices: the bishop/elder/pastor/overseer and the deacon, and both of these were within the church/assembly. In the first century, under authority of an apostle, we find men placing men into leadership in the churches without the church necessarily being a part of the process. (Titus 1:5) “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:” Since there is no such thing as apostolic succession, we must conclude that after this time period God had another plan of action, a plan that included the churches.

 

I am going somewhere with this and will continue later, if the Lord permits.

Steve :

You say that power doesn’t corrupt since we are already corrupt, but then you go on to give examples of people who have been corrupted and an example of someone who has set boundaries so he wouldn’t get corrupted. I’m so confused on where you stand with this. It seems to me that you’ve disproved your own point.

 

You asked if power corrupts, not if power causes sin. Sin and corruption aren’t necessarily synonymous. “Sinner” is our condition, corrupt is a consequence of our sin.

 

I don’t really understand why this is such a big issue for you. For me this is like splitting hairs. Does it really matter if power is just a revealer of what’s already in the heart? It was power (and not something else) that did the revealing so saying that power corrupts is just saying the same thing in a different way. It’s just a different way of saying the same thing. “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” is just a saying that means that if it weren’t for power, a person wouldn’t have sinned in a particular way.

 

Also, being “prone to excessive behaviors” is vastly different from having excessive behaviors (e.g., until someone commits murder they aren’t a murderer). The same is true for corruption.

 

You can spare me the lecture on church government. I’m not interested. I only recognize the one true church – the body of believers – and, strictly for logistical purposes, a meeting together of local believers. The type of church polity found in most denominations of our society isn’t biblical.

Richard :

@Steve
Steve,
I never gave one example of a man corrupted by power, only how a corrupt man protected himself from himself, and how others did not protect themselves and fell into corrupt actions. The actions come from what is within. Only a man yielded to the Scriptures assessment of himself, and the Spirit’s guidance can do anything but corruptness. (Isaiah 64:6a) “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” That was Paul’s point in Romans 6&7, Jeremiah’s declaration in 17:9, James’ view in 1:13-16, and Jesus’ confirmation of Matthew 7:17-18 “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” The context is men, especially false prophets.
This issue is not splitting hairs. It is, to follow along with your analogy, the hair. Is the Bible correct about why we produce corrupt works, or is man correct? You seem to be inferring that this is not important from my understanding of your statements.

 

You said “You can spare me the lecture on church government. I’m not interested. I only recognize the one true church – the body of believers – and, strictly for logistical purposes, a meeting together of local believers. The type of church polity found in most denominations of our society isn’t biblical.”
“At this time I really don’t think that the way we do church in today’s society is biblical.”
“I think at this point I would be more interested in why a church even has a voting system to bring in a pastor and if that’s biblical or not.”

 

As to who calls each assembly a church and divides them by assemblies, it is God who did that. 37 times in the NT He uses the word “churches.” This would imply that he recognizes each of them individually and not just as part of a whole.
As to church government, I was not attempting to lecture you. I was going somewhere. I am trying to understand who determines how a church is to “do church” since we have no direct biblical mandate. I believe it to be each church has liberty, unless they violate the Scriptures. Therefore, it is easy to say the way we do church “isn’t biblical,” but it is hard to say it is wrong. This leads me to my next question. What is wrong with how a church does church? (If we can stay within IFB churches it would be good, since we are both familiar with the basic operations of many of them.)

Steve :

What you’re saying about the “power corrupts” statement sounds very much like the doctrine of total depravity. Is that the underlying topic here? Is the “power corrupts” discussion just a front for a discussion about the doctrine of total depravity?

 

…fell into corrupt actions.

 

I still don’t see the difference between “falling into corrupt actions” and being corrupted by power. It’s just a different way of saying the same thing to me.

 

I think you may be trying to ascribe a spiritual meaning to a non-spiritual phrase. This phrase has nothing to do with the total depravity of mankind. It’s simply a quote to illustrate that there are things in our lives that will cause us to lose sight of our moral compass and bring out our sinful tendencies. That’s it. I think you’re reading too much into it and over spiritualizing it.

 

Is the Bible correct about why we produce corrupt works, or is man correct?

 

This sounds like a trap question to me. No matter how I answer this question it comes out in your favor. I think the better question is: How do we correctly interpret what the Bible says about this issue?

 

This isn’t as cut and dry as you’re trying to make it. This is a very personal and individual issue and it’s different for each person and each situation. It’s between the individual and God alone. It’s not for us to decide in blanket, all or nothing statements. We could each give scriptural support for our opposing views, but that gets us nowhere. So the unofficial answer is… it’s up to the individual and their unique situation to pray about it and determine what’s right for them at that time in their life. You’re trying to make everyone fit into your little cookie cutter view of this. You can’t put God in your little IFB box and make everyone fit into it. Sorry but a personal relationship with God doesn’t work that way.

 

You seem to be inferring that this is not important from my understanding of your statements.

 

I see the topic as important, but I don’t see the importance of trying to be so argumentative about something that’s just a simple phraseology difference. What if we keep the phrase to its original wording: “Power TENDS to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Is that more palatable to you? What if we quoted William Pitt who essentially said the same thing when he said: “Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it.”. How does that quote sit with you?

 

These quotes are about the tendency of humans to lose our moral footing when we’re given power. History – including biblical history – has proven that. That’s it, nothing more. If you are viewing these quotes through the filter of the total depravity doctrine then you probably won’t understand what we’re trying to say with this.

 

I think our time would be better spent on a collaborative effort to try and flesh through the underlying issues here rather than banter back and forth about some random quote.

 

Let’s finish this discussion before moving onto the church discussion please. I only do one topic at a time.

Richard :

@Steve
Steve,
I am not a proponent of the terminology of Total Depravity of Man. I say this not to debate what appears to be semantics, but to stay away from being put into the category of being a Calvinist. Total depravity of the flesh is actually the better way of describing a proper Biblical view. The Bible teaches total deadness of the Spirit, and total desperation of the soul.
As to why this power discussion is an important issue, you put the proverbial cart before the horse. “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” is another such question that people say is semantics and does not matter. Yet, to give the improper answer leads down a slippery slope toward evolutionary theology. It is a slippery slope when we reason beyond what saith the Scripture. To say that power is the corrupter, when God points out clearly that our flesh is corrupt already, is to add human reasoning to declared truth. (The word corrupt is used in describing the tree in Matthew 7, but is synonymous with the terminology and teaching of every verse I presented. As of yet, there has been no Scripture given to back “power” as the corrupter. Greg did present the case of men with a corrupt nature misusing power, but none of which the power corrupted.)
You said, “I think you may be trying to ascribe a spiritual meaning to a non-spiritual phrase.” I say I am trying to keep us with the lines of God’s revealed truth. I am not trying to ascribe a spiritual meaning to a non-spiritual phrase. I am in conflict with what appears to be a phrase contrary to Scripture, therefore being incorrect, even if Jack Hyles or J. Frank Norris said it.
You, I, and Greg would all agree that power when misused can be an evident manifestation & magnifier of the corrupt nature. We would even agree that it possibly causes corruption to grow (probably not the correct word, but I think you understand my point), but to place it as the source would seem to conflict with the declared word of God. I say this not to argue or debate, but because my mind cannot grasp what seems to be extra Scriptural revelation that seems to be in conflict with what I know the Bible to say.
Even in discussions like this, or in preaching, or teaching, there are statements made that are not clear in meaning, and as you have pointed out at times, need to be corrected. The original statement that started this line of discussion is such a statement. What is really meant by these “power corrupts men” statements? Only context, which was never presented, can answer such. The statements are incorrect outside of context no matter how we try to spin them.
It is time to move on. We could go back and forth, and unless there is Scripture to explain some other view, I will stick with the narrow minded view. I am open to views outside of Scripture when I do not have Scripture for my views such as on how to “do church” in every detail.

Steve :

So you’re saying that this discussion really is about the “power corrupts…” phrase and isn’t about the doctrine of total depravity (or total depravity of the flesh – whatever you want to call it)?

 

What do you mean by “evolutionary theology”?

 

I think you’re making a mountain out of an ant hill with this. One can comfortably believe that power corrupts while at the same time believe that mankind has a fleshly side that’s corrupt already by sin nature. The two aren’t necessarily in conflict.

 

We aren’t saying that power is THE corruptor, we’re just saying that power tends to corrupt in the sense that it can cause some people to lose sight of their moral compass and make mistakes. I don’t disagree with you that the flesh is corrupt already. I’m saying that you’re misinterpreting the quote that power corrupts and making it say something it doesn’t say.

 

Corrupt is in the verb form in the “power corrupts…” quote. You’re trying to view it as a noun. Another way of saying it would be “Power tends to destroy the integrity of a person.” How does that sit with you? If we drop the word “corrupt” can you live with the idea that power can be the conduit that leads someone (I purposefully avoided the word “make”) to do something that reduces their integrity? So the quote could say: “Power tends to be the conduit that could lead someone to do something that reduces his/her integrity and absolute power tends to be the conduit that could lead someone to do something that absolutely reduces his/her integrity.” How does that feel?

 

No one has made the claim that power is “the source” of the corruption (except you). You aren’t paying attention to what we’re saying.

 

You haven’t given any “scriptural truths” regarding this issue. You just picked a few passages and pulled them out of context and used them to fit your view of this issue. I could just as easily do the same thing, but I’m trying to not lower myself to that level.

 

To see “scriptural truth” where there is none is just as much an error as not relying on the scriptural truths that are there.

 

but because my mind cannot grasp what seems to be extra Scriptural revelation that seems to be in conflict with what I know the Bible to say…

 

This disgusts me to be honest. I can’t believe this is coming from a pastor. Do you realize how pious and arrogant that sounds?

 

God gave us reasoning abilities. It’s not an accident that we have logic and reason. God wants us to use our brains to think about these issues and our reasoning abilities to wrestle with them. I would encourage you to study the works of William Lane Craig and J.P. Moreland. They use reasoning abilities all the time to understand “extra scriptural” issues. I’d much rather use my reasoning abilities than robotically follow “extra scriptural” teachings found in the IFB.

 

No, I think the problem is not that your “mind cannot grasp what seems to be ‘extra Scriptural revelation’”, but that you simply refuse to see anything other than what you already have established in your mind. That’s sad to me.

 

The original statement that started this line of discussion is such a statement. What is really meant by these “power corrupts men” statements? Only context, which was never presented, can answer such.

 

I’ve presented the context for you. Greg asked me to fill in the blanks which I’ve been doing. I’ve answered the question of what is meant by the “power corrupts…” statements many times and in many different ways, but you don’t seem to be getting it. I’m not sure why. I don’t know how to explain it more clearly than what I’ve already said.

Richard :

@Steve

 

“Corrupt is in the verb form in the “power corrupts…” quote. You’re trying to view
it as a noun. Another way of saying it would be “Power tends to destroy the
integrity of a person.” How does that sit with you? If we drop the word “corrupt”
can you live with the idea that power can be the conduit that leads someone (I
purposefully avoided the word “make”) to do something that reduces their integrity?
So the quote could say: “Power tends to be the conduit that could lead someone to do
something that reduces his/her integrity and absolute power tends to be the conduit
that could lead someone to do something that absolutely reduces his/her integrity.”
How does that feel?”

 

I never saw “corrupts” as a noun. I saw the statements with “power” as the noun and the subject of the sentence.
The best illustration of truth is in your statement that describes power as a conduit. Just like in electrical work, a conduit is not electricity, it is an avenue of travel. In the statement “power corrupts” power is the electrical current not the conduit.
God gave us reasoning abilities, not to reason away what is said, but to reasonably apply what He says. Reasoning is also for us to try to work out things that are not clearly laid out in the Scriptures, like for instance how a church should operate. This that we have been dealing with is not an extra Scriptural issue but a direct Scriptural truth.
As to asking, “How does that feel?” My feelings were never an issue. What is right Scripturally was my issue. This is what I thought you would want from an IFB man, no adding or subtracting from the Scripture. It is certainly what I would desire from someone who would oppose the IFB movement.
” I’d much rather use my reasoning abilities than robotically follow “extra scriptural” teachings found in the IFB.” I am glad we have another area of agreement. I do not, to the best of my knowledge follow any teachings of the church I attend robotically. I may follow direct orders, and exhortations from Scripture robotically, but that is not the church but God’s words.

 

Can we move on now?

Richard :

@Steve
Steve,
To your question, “What do you mean by “evolutionary theology”?”
Evolutionary theology is a term that became popular during the last few years as the intelligent design theory was proposed and debated by some creationists. It is basically the repackaging of theistic evolution and other faith based (certainly not science by definition) evolutionary theories. Basically, it is just another religious view that mingles the holy and the profane in the area of God’s creation.
Creationism believes in a mature earth, where what was created only evolves and adapts within “kind” over relatively short time spans, as you know. Evolutionary views (even theistic) believe in adaptation beyond “kind” over an extensive time period.
I was not trying to move into a discussion on the philosophies or religions of evolutionist. I have no interest in going there until I know about what is wrong about how we “do church” in our society. I actually think we may see similarities in our views, though details may differ due to life experiences and personalities, which are things that people have to deal with anytime there is not direct mandate. That maybe why God is for autonomy of the churches and individual soul liberty.

Steve :

I never saw “corrupts” as a noun. I saw the statements with “power” as the noun and the subject of the sentence.

 

Sorry I meant adjective not noun. The adjective form of corrupt means to be guilty or tainted or infected. The verb form of corrupt means to alter for the worse. You’re viewing the “power corrupts…” quote as if power is the cause of the corruption (adjective). In actually the “power corrupts…” quote is supposed to mean the verb form of corrupt where corrupt means simply to alter for the worse.

 

You’re entire argument is centered around the false impression that power is THE corruptor even after we said multiple times that that isn’t what it means or even what we mean by using that quote. We are telling you that you’re mistaken in interpreting the meaning of that quote, but you refuse to acknowledge it. You simply hand wave it and make another argument that basically amounts to nothing more than “your wrong”.

 

This quote could also mean that it corrupts someone’s view of the person in power. Not that it corrupts the person, but just the subordinate’s view of the person in power. For example, lets say I have a friend and my opinion of him is very high. He later gets put in a place of power and I see him abusing that power. My opinion of him is thus corrupted as a result of him being in a position of power. That’s another way of looking at the quote.

 

Human nature is corrupt (guilty, tainted, infected), we both agree on that. Power corrupts (alters for the worse what’s already corrupt), you refuse to acknowledge that. See the difference? I don’t know why I’m wasting my time trying to explain it yet another way when I know you’ll just continue to ignore it and refuse to see it any other way than your way.

 

The best illustration of truth is in your statement that describes power as a conduit. Just like in electrical work, a conduit is not electricity, it is an avenue of travel. In the statement “power corrupts” power is the electrical current not the conduit.

 

No, that’s what we’ve been trying to tell you. Power is just the conduit NOT the current. You’re making it be the current and I’m not sure why – ego perhaps or stubbornness? But the idea behind the quote is that power is simply the conduit. That’s the truth of the statement whether you believe it or not.

 

God gave us reasoning abilities, not to reason away what is said, but to reasonably apply what He says.

 

Agreed. I never argued that we are to use our reasoning abilities to “reason away what is said” and that’s not what we’re doing.

 

Reasoning is also for us to try to work out things that are not clearly laid out in the Scriptures, like for instance how a church should operate.

 

Agreed, except you are trying to put something in scripture that isn’t there. The “power corrupts…” quote isn’t in scripture so we are using our reasoning to work it out (or at least I am, you just continue to insist that it’s “clearly laid out in Scripture”).

 

This that we have been dealing with is not an extra Scriptural issue but a direct Scriptural truth.

 

No, we’ve been dealing with a quote about power. That quote isn’t in the scripture so we are discussing its implications for the Christian. You asked me: Does power corrupt or does power reveal an area of corruption in a person? I gave you an answer and you turned it into a twisted argument.

 

The “power corrupts…” quote is an extra scriptural issue since it’s not in the scripture. You’re trying to fit it in the scripture, but I don’t know why. I’m still waiting to hear “scriptural truth” about this issue. The “power corrupts…” quote is not in scripture so we are using our reasoning abilities to figure it out (or at least I am – I’m not sure what you’re doing).

 

As to asking, “How does that feel?” My feelings were never an issue. What is right Scripturally was my issue.

 

“How does that feel?” is a cultural idiom. In other words “What do you think about that?” (somehow I think you already know that but are yet again arguing just to argue). I wasn’t asking about your feelings. I don’t really care about your feelings.

 

If you’re interested in what’s “right scripturally” then why don’t you use scripture to back up what you are saying? You say you’re interested in scriptural truths, but all you ever do is pick apart what’s said and argue about it. The only scripture you’ve provided are some random passages pulled out of context that support your view of this.

 

This is what I thought you would want from an IFB man, no adding or subtracting from the Scripture. It is certainly what I would desire from someone who would oppose the IFB movement.

 

I have no expectations from you – except maybe for you to show a little respect, but I’m not holding my breath.

 

But that’s the thing, you ARE adding to the scriptures. You are taking your opinions about a matter and pretending that they’re “scriptural truths” when they really aren’t.

 

You know, for a man that claims that his mind “can’t grasp extra scriptural” issues you sure do have a lot of opinions about them.

 

I do not, to the best of my knowledge follow any teachings of the church I attend robotically.

 

But if someone pointed out that you do would you acknowledge it or would you continue to insist that you’re following scriptural truths?

 

You see, this is the problem we’re having. The scripture isn’t black and white about everything so what someone sees as “scriptural truth” someone else might deny as “scriptural truth”. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, that’s why it’s called a PERSONAL relationship with Christ. God wants us to wrestle with these issues so we formulate a set of personal convictions and preferences based on where we are in the sanctification process. By trying to force an idea on me as “scriptural truth” when it’s really just a personal conviction, you’re refusing to acknowledge my personal relationship with Christ. It may be “scriptural truth” for you that power doesn’t corrupt (although I still don’t know why), but it’s not for me. You heavily promoted the idea of free will with Greg, but when it comes down to it you really don’t believe that – or at least your actions don’t match your words.

 

There are absolutes in the Bible, I don’t deny that. But there are also areas of the Bible that aren’t clearly defined. We run into problems like we’re having when someone (you) insists that a personal conviction is a “scriptural truth”.

 

We do our best to formulate convictions and preferences about those issues that aren’t clearly defined based on our personal walk with Christ. The problem I have is when someone, like you, takes a personal conviction they have about something that’s not clearly spelled out in scripture and promotes that conviction/preference as an absolute truth. It seems to me that this is what you are doing with this issue.

 

Be honest, when you asked me that question where you really wanting to have a discussion about it or were you just wanting to know where I stood on the issue so that you could bait me and try to convince me that your convictions about this issue are correct? If the latter, then you’ve done nothing but be deceptive.

 

You claim that you know the “scriptural truth” regarding this issue, but I’ve yet to see any. All I’ve seen are a few passages pulled out of context and used to fit your argument.

 

Can we move on now?

 

No, I’m not ready to move on. I need closure to this issue. I’m not going to allow you to engage us in discussions, state your opinions, ignore what we are saying and then request to move on when you don’t like what we say. If you want to have a discussion about something then have a discussion about it. It would be nice to discuss what the Bible says about this issue at some point rather than just what your opinions about the issue are.

 

Unfortunately you don’t get to just state your opinion, ignore what I’m saying and then request to move on. You’ve come here to voice your disagreement with things on this site so the burden of proof is yours. Still waiting.

greg :

Enjoying the conversation Steve, especially since I ain’t in it. I came across some discussion about yet another IFB pastor that ran off with the money. Chuck Baldwin of Crossroads Baptist Church in Florida. I will post the whole “Lord Acton’s Axiom” with the “power corrupts quote” and then 5 points a blogger made in ref to the Baldwin situation, which applies to much of the problems that are in the IFB, that I happen to agree with, which I will put at the end. And then I will continue to listen, not looking for you guys to discuss any of this, it appears you are trying to get Richard focused on one thing at a time (good luck)

 

Lord Acton’s Axiom

 

I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way, against the holders of powers, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibliity has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absloutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or certainity of corrutpion by full authority. There is no worse heresy than the fact that the office sanctifies the holders of it.

 

1) Corruption is directly proportional to the level of power that is available.

 

2) The IFB seeems to attract men who present themselves as hand-picked by God.

 

3) The single “Man of God” rule is dangerous, manipulativve and one of the greatest sins ever foisted on christendom, and not a biblical concept.

 

4) The worship of “independence” leads to bondage

 

5) Any simple IFB pastor who is only accountable to God….soon will become the only “god” he is accountable to.

Richard :

@Steve
Steve,
The original quote “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” which started this discussion, was not an original thought from you, me, or Greg. It is credited to a misquote of Lord Acton who used one word in his sentence that changes everything from “power” being the cause to “power” being the conduit. That word is “tends.”
Words mean things and are important. Thoughts are conveyed by words.
You call what I believe “Total depravity.” As I inferred earlier, it could be considered as such if “total depravity” is interpreted correctly. I believe I continuously pointed back to the incorrectness of the statement about “power corrupts …” by showing that “power” is not the source according to the Scriptures. I also stated, for that premise of “power corrupts” that Christ would be corrupted being He has “all power.” My whole point is based upon Scriptures well within context. Our flesh is by nature is corrupt therefore power is not the source of corrupt leaders.
“The “power corrupts…” quote is an extra scriptural issue since it’s not in the scripture. You’re trying to fit it in the scripture, but I don’t know why.” I never tried to fit this quote into the Scriptures. It is contrary to the Scriptures, as the Scriptures pointed out. It, out of context and misquoted, as it was, is not just extra scriptural but anti-scriptural. I have said all along, I am taking this quote as “what it says” and not what it is “supposed” to mean. I said the statement was wrong, not the intent or the premise behind it.
I say it again, it is a bad statement. I believe we have all made some at times, but sometimes I have noticed it is easier for some people to argue than to agree. You may remember an earlier post when, I kept saying that I agreed with you about something, to which you continued to say You would not let me off the hook that easily. I said that there was no argument, and explained that I agreed with you. I like agreement. I believe we agree on most essential issues, but when we make declarations that are based upon out of context misquotes, we need to not explain away but correct our statements, as you so eloquently did about the verb, noun, adjective thing in your last post.
In case you did not know, any Bishop/pastor/elder/overseer who takes absolute authority in an IFB church and becomes dictatorial has disqualified himself from the office, and should be confronted by gracious brothers who desire restoration. Refusal to repent and be restored should bring about either removal from office, or if the church chooses to keep him, a movement of membership for his opposition. It is never to be a battle, though because men are prideful it often is. (1Peter_5:3) “Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” I am against absolute authority unchecked.

 

Oh, I wish you would care about my feelings. I do care about yours even though they are not the issue. I really did not realize that as just fodder. I thought you were interested.

Steve :

@Richard

 

The original quote “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” which started this discussion, was not an original thought from you, me, or Greg. It is credited to a misquote of Lord Acton who used one word in his sentence that changes everything from “power” being the cause to “power” being the conduit. That word is “tends.”

 

Yes, I know. I already said that. That’s why I used the conduit analogy. This is what I’ve been trying to tell you. I said almost the exact same thing. You can read it by clicking here. Haven’t you been reading my comments?

 

You call what I believe “Total depravity.”

 

No I didn’t. I asked you if total depravity is the underlying issue – twice. You never answered that question.

 

I believe I continuously pointed back to the incorrectness of the statement about “power corrupts …” by showing that “power” is not the source according to the Scriptures.

 

No one is saying that power is the source of corruption. You’re stuck on that, but I don’t know why. That’s been my point throughout this entire discussion. I said that multiple times. If you feel like you have to keep repeating yourself then you either don’t understand what I’m saying or you aren’t paying attention.

 

I have said all along, I am taking this quote as “what it says” and not what it is “supposed” to mean.

 

And I’ve been saying all along that “what it says” and what it’s “supposed” to mean are the same thing. You’re the only one trying to change its meaning and make it say something it doesn’t.

 

I said the statement was wrong, not the intent or the premise behind it.

 

How can you evaluate a statement without understanding the intent or the premise behind it? That’s your error. You’re taking a statement at face value despite our desperate and obviously unsuccessful attempts to help you understand it.

 

I say it again, it is a bad statement.

 

You’re opinion, but only because you don’t see how we’re trying to apply it for some reason.

 

… but sometimes I have noticed it is easier for some people to argue than to agree.

 

Are you looking in the mirror?

 

You may remember an earlier post when, I kept saying that I agreed with you about something, to which you continued to say You would not let me off the hook that easily. I said that there was no argument, and explained that I agreed with you.

 

You do have a hard time following the conversation don’t you. I said I wasn’t going to let you off that easy about twisting around what Greg was saying. Here’s the comment in case you need to refresh your memory. Comment #74. I never said I wouldn’t let you off the hook about things we agree on. More twisting and deception. At least you’re being consistent.

 

I like agreement.

 

Could have fooled me.

 

… but when we make declarations that are based upon out of context misquotes…

 

Again, no one is doing that.

 

Still waiting on those elusive “scriptural truths” regarding this issue.

 

Finally, there were FOUR different times in this comment alone that I had to correct your recall of our conversation. I’m not going to continue to invest time and energy into this discussion if you aren’t going to follow along. As much as I enjoy the satisfaction of pointing to your errors it gets quite annoying after a while – especially when you refuse to acknowledge them. If you can’t even follow our discussion how do you expect me to trust your interpretation of scripture? Please be more careful in the future so our discussions can go more smoothly.

Richard :

@greg
Greg,
I liked your thoughts and wanted to comment on them. Please do not take offense.
1) Corruption is directly proportional to the level of power that is available.
This statement would possibly be true if men did not see their nature, and did not put up safe-guards against corruption. I did not say safe-guards against power.
2) The IFB seems to attract men who present themselves as hand-picked by God.
I would that all men who would stand before God’s people were hand-picked by God to do such. If God did not pick them for the position, whether it be mechanic or minister, it could be considered be out of God’s will. Psalm 37:23 declares that God should direct our steps.
3) The single “Man of God” rule is dangerous, manipulative and one of the greatest sins ever foisted on Christendom, and not a biblical concept.
I am not familiar with this rule, but agree that it sounds dangerous. I am not so sure it is unscriptural. Moses, Joshua, etc. are possible examples of one head man with extreme authority.
4) The worship of “independence” leads to bondage
Worshipping any thing or one other than God is Idolatry. Idolatry is sin. Sin leads to bondage.
5) Any simple IFB pastor who is only accountable to God….soon will become the only “god” he is accountable to.
That is why simpletons should never be placed in the pastorate. If the pastor is not a simpleton, but a qualified bishop, he less likely to fall into that trap. This applies to any group, not just IFB. 1Timothy 3:2-7 deals with that issue. “Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.”

 

As to this Mr. Baldwin, I do not know him or the church he pastored, but am grieved that anyone falls in sin. It breaks my heart when men, who supposedly represent Christianity of any group or denomination, fall being it reflects upon the whole in the eyes of this wicked perverse world.

Richard :

@greg
Greg,
Chuck Baldwin was a politician, endorsed by well known Republicans. He was a presidential candidate for a party that “worships” liberty/ independence/autonomy in a country that so believes in liberty and self rule that we set aside a day to “worship” such, and “worship” a document that declares such. (I use the word “worship” only to emphasize that just because you strongly believe in something does not mean you worship it.) Please forgive me if this sounds sarcastic. I just do not know anyone who “worships” independence in the sense of bowing down prostrate before it.
He had a following of over 186,000 voters even though he was not on the ballot in most influencial states. Many of his supporters were Ron Paul people, not IFB.
Sounds to me like a real “Jim Jones” or Jim & Tammy Faye Bakker (neither of which were IFB).
Is he a cult figure? possiblity. Is the Constitutional Party which he represented a cult? I do not think so. Was his church a cult? Most likely not.
CB, if what I read is even 3/4 the way true, is a wolf in sheeps clothing. IFB doctrine did not make him such. He is a deceiver. Whether he had trusted Christ or not, who can be sure? He either followed his flesh and was hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, or his father the devil who was a liar from the beginning. One day the truth of who and what he is may be revealed if he quits trying to justify himself, like all of us pride-filled haters of this defiled nature tend to do when we are caught in sin. (Maybe you have never considered or tried to make yourself look not guilty when you know you are guilty, but most people have, even Christians. If you do not believe me, just ask your friends and family, they have. How do I know? Pride produces a desire for self preservation.)

Richard :

Steve & Greg,
Would you say this a correct statement? “Corrupt (adjective) people corrupt (verb) power. Consecrated people consecrated power. Power does nothing of itself. Power is neutral until used.”
This would be both accurate in Political Science and in line with the Bible.
Adam was not corrupted by having dominion (power/authority) over God’s creation.

Richard :

I misquoted myself, no wonder I misquote you.
“Consecrated people consecrate power.”

Steve :

This is what’s known as a “loaded question fallacy” and is again nothing more than a trap question. If I say “yes” then I’ve obviously set myself up to be wrong about the issue since I’d be agreeing that power can’t do anything in and of itself.

 

On the other hand, if I say no, then it would imply that I’m simply saying no to be argumentative since saying no would go contrary to the dictionary definitions of corrupt and consecrate which would also discredit my position.

 

I know what you’re getting at and I think it’s pretty sneaky and deceptive. You’ve already made up your mind and aren’t asking so you can continue to explore the issue. You’re asking so that you can trap us into agreeing with you.

 

Sorry, but I’m not falling for it. You’re oversimplifying this question (and this entire issue) so that it fits your beliefs. That only hurts you because it keeps you closed minded. This isn’t as cut and dry as you’re making it out to be.

 

In the interest of continued exploration (for my benefit, at least, since you’ve obviously made up your mind), I will try and flesh out the issue so that at least I can come to a better understanding of the problems presented in this discussion. You can try to understand it better too if you want, but I’m not holding my breath.

 

To be honest, my knee jerk reaction was to say yes (that it is a correct statement). Given the definitions of corrupt and consecrate I think power can be both corrupted and consecrated. Just like a custom or tradition can be corrupted or consecrated, so can power.

 

This is similar to the “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” argument. The argument is that the gun isn’t evil and never is – the only thing that makes a gun evil is the way it’s used. In this sense, if a gun is used for good it is consecrated and if it’s used for bad it’s corrupted. If I understand correctly, you’re saying the same thing about power “power doesn’t corrupt people, people corrupt people and people corrupt power” right?

 

HOWEVER…

 

What most people don’t realize is that this type of argument falls flat because a person is 100% more likely to kill someone with a gun if he/she has a gun. After all, if there were no guns there would be no gun deaths. As a result, people are consequently much more likely to be corrupted by guns since guns hold significantly more power than let’s say a knife or a lead pipe and it’s much easier to kill someone with a gun. Therefore a person is significantly more likely to be more corrupted by a gun then a knife.

 

The same is true of power. I’m more likely to abuse power if I have power to abuse. (No power, no chance of abuse of power, no corruption. Lots of power, lots of potential for abuse of power, lots of potential for corruption). In this sense then, people are corrupted by power since the more the power, the more potential for abusing that power and an exponential increase in potential corruption.

 

**********************************************

 

Your Adam analogy doesn’t fit either. Adam and Eve eventually WERE corrupted at the prospect of an increase in power. Satan told them that they would be just like God (Genesis 3). Just the desire for that much power corrupted them. Imagine if they were to actually have gotten that much power! Remember too that Adam and Eve were sinless until presented with the prospect of unlimited power. So yes, they were indeed corrupted (in every sense of the word) by power.

 

OK, so I admit this was rather confusing to think through, especially because of your loaded question, but I think I got it sorted out in my head. There’s a lot to think about and I kind of regret your implications that this is as simple of an issue as you are presenting it. I still get no indication from you that you acknowledge your mistakes (the one’s I pointed out in my last comment) or that you’re really taking the time to understand our position on this issue. It sure would be nice to know that you are really reading and digesting my comments. They take a lot of time and effort and having equal participation in the discussion would make it more worth while. But for now I have to just continue to realize that you’re only hurting yourself.

 

This would be both accurate in Political Science and in line with the Bible.

 

So my question to you is… How do you know this is “in line with the Bible”? How do you find support from the bible for your position?

greg :

Hey Steve, I bumped into our old friend “Dr Chad Bush” on another website, anyhoo, it occurred to me, he and Richard argue in the same way. I can’t explain their way of arguing like you, but it is very similar (don’t you think?). Also the breakdown you did above was so great, I could follow it all.

 

Anyway still enjoying the dialogue, and still glad I’m not in it.

Richard :

@Steve
Steve,
“The same is true of power. I’m more likely to abuse power if I have power to abuse. (No power, no chance of abuse of power, no corruption. Lots of power, lots of potential for abuse of power, lots of potential for corruption). In this sense
then, people are corrupted by power since the more the power, the more potential for abusing that power and an exponential increase in potential corruption.”

 

I put your quote right here so that I do not misrepresent what is said. “I’m more likely to abuse” blames the person. “Power” did nothing. I cannot abuse my wife if I have not one, I cannot abuse a gun if I do not have one. I have a wife and I do not abuse her. I have a gun and have not abused it. So according to your statements, I get the impression that man is not responsible for his behavior, since “power” made him abuse it just because it was there, and the gun is the killer just because it’s there.
I believe a better way of saying what you said would probably be, “People are corrupted by ‘potential’,” since potential to abuse is the focus both with guns and power. Logically a man should not own a car because he has “potential” to drive erratically, not have a wife for “potential” to beat her, etc.
With this line of reasoning, there is no personal responsibility for our actions. It is the innocent object that is the blame.

 

“So my question to you is… How do you know this is “in line with the Bible”? How do you find support from the bible for your position?”
I believe my previous posts already have shown the verses showing the corrupt nature of the flesh by declaration and implication. I do not believe you would argue with this nature being ever present, even in the redeemed.

 

“Your Adam analogy doesn’t fit either. Adam and Eve eventually WERE corrupted at the prospect of an increase in power. Satan told them that they would be just like God (Genesis 3). Just the desire for that much power corrupted them. Imagine if they were to actually have gotten that much power!”
1Timothy 2:14 “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”
According to this verse Adam willfully sinned knowing the consequences. Death is not potential power. He had “dominion” (power/authority). He gave it up for death. He knew exactly what he was doing. Why he did it I only can give opinion, God does not say. Maybe he loved his wife more than he loved God. (Just a speculation, not a declaration). How much more power do you think Adam wanted? He had dominion over the whole earth.

 

Lastly, I was not attempting to “trap” you by your answer. I was attempting to come to a consensus statement to which you and I could agree. I like agreement. I also like being correct, as is true with anyone. If I am correct in an agreeable statement, then you are correct in agreeing with the statement. If I am incorrect, or you believe me to be, it would not be consensus but compromise for you to agree with me. I do not want compromise, but correctness.

Richard :

I forgot to explain the consecrtated side of my political science/in line with the Bible statement.
Galatians 5:16 “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the
flesh.”
Galatians 6:8 “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

Steve :

So according to your statements, I get the impression that man is not responsible for his behavior, since “power” made him abuse it just because it was there, and the gun is the killer just because it’s there.

 

I never said that “power made him abuse”. I don’t know why you still have that impression after all I’ve said about the issue. I’m seriously baffled and confused about this statement from you. I’ve worked really hard to be clear about this.

 

I was going to go back and quote myself to offer proof about what I’ve said, but I’ll leave that up to you if you want.

 

Let me try to re-state this very clearly because I still don’t know why you’re misunderstanding what I’m saying.

 

1. I view power as a conduit and catalyst of corruption.

 

a. I do not think that this removes mankind’s responsibility for behaviors

 

b. I agree that we blame the person not power, however;

 

i. I do believe that we can’t escape the fact that its power (and not something else) that is involved and part of the equation.

 

c. I do not think that my view point about power is in conflict with the scriptural teaching that man is already corrupted by a sinful nature.

 

2. I do think that power is a strong temptation to sin and tends to corrupt a person in areas that wouldn’t otherwise be a problem (corruption in the sense of making worse). This is just common sense. If I don’t have power then I can’t sin via power.

 

You know, it’s ironic. I just looked up the word “corruption” in the dictionary. I’ve been focusing on the word “corrupt” and “corrupted” but I never looked up the word “corruption” in the dictionary. When I did do you know what the definition said? “Dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power…” “Power” is in one of the very definitions of the word corruption.

 

It also stated: “The process by which something…is changed.” The operative word here is “changed”. Corruption means to change for the worse. If someone acts a certain way without power and then acts in a worse way with power then they were corrupted (made worse) by that power. It was power and not something else that was the catalyst for behaving worse than how they would normally behave.

 

I believe a better way of saying what you said would probably be, “People are corrupted by ‘potential’,” since potential to abuse is the focus both with guns and power. Logically a man should not own a car because he has “potential” to drive erratically, not have a wife for “potential” to beat her, etc.
With this line of reasoning, there is no personal responsibility for our actions. It is the innocent object that is the blame.

 

You’re focusing “potential” in the wrong direction. Power can cause potential as well. Humans already have the potential, but if you add power into the equation then the potential increases. We have the “potential” to do anything. But I only have “potential” to abuse power if I have power to abuse.

 

Also, I’m not arguing that we shouldn’t do things because of the “potential” for corruption. You’re putting words in my mouth.

 

Neither does this take away personal responsibility. You’re blurring two different topics here: 1. the potential corruption by people in power and 2. personal responsibility. I can comfortably believe that power is a conduit of corruption and at the same time believe that we are responsible for our behaviors. The two aren’t necessarily in conflict.

 

I believe my previous posts already have shown the verses showing the corrupt nature of the flesh by declaration and implication. I do not believe you would argue with this nature being ever present, even in the redeemed.

 

You only gave scripture references. Anyone can do that. I asked you to explain how you get your perspective from the Bible. I didn’t ask you to just quote scripture. You’re a pastor yet all you can do is quote scripture? I have atheist friends who can do that.

 

1Timothy 2:14 “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” According to this verse Adam willfully sinned knowing the consequences. Death is not potential power. He had “dominion” (power/authority). He gave it up for death. He knew exactly what he was doing.

 

1 Timothy 2:14 reads: “And it was the woman, not Adam, who was deceived by Satan Seems you conveniently left out the by Satan part (although I’m not surprised since the KJV omits those two words). We are never told that he wasn’t deceived by Eve passing along the information Satan told her. I’m pretty sure we can logically deduce that he didn’t “give up” everything for death. We are talking about superior beings, pure and sinless. Why would he all of a sudden become so dumb that he would be willing to give up everything for death unless he had been deceived? This is an example of God giving us the liberty to use logic and reason. (and a good example of why we shouldn’t use the KJV anymore, but that can be for another discussion).

 

I forgot to explain the consecrtated side of my political science/in line with the Bible statement.

 

Again, you didn’t “explain” anything you just quoted a few random verses that seem to fit your point of view. I’d like to know if you really understand those verses in context. Can you explain how you justify your interpretation of those scripture references please? Surely as a pastor you can do better exegesis than simply quoting a few verses?!

 

Lastly, I was not attempting to “trap” you by your answer. I was attempting to come to a consensus statement to which you and I could agree. I like agreement. I also like being correct, as is true with anyone. If I am correct in an agreeable statement, then you are correct in agreeing with the statement. If I am incorrect, or you believe me to be, it would not be consensus but compromise for you to agree with me. I do not want compromise, but correctness.

 

Sorry, I don’t believe you. I was involved in the IFB too long to fall for that. If you were trying to come to a consensus you would have written a statement that contained some of what we both believe about the issue. You only wrote what you believe and then asked if we would agree with you. You were attempting to trap me into agreeing with you.

 

You like agreement, but only if we agree with you not if you have to agree with us.

 

It is possible that we need to agree to disagree and move on. Personally I think we’ve reached an impasse.

Richard :

@Steve
Steve,
“1. I view power as a conduit and catalyst of corruption.
a. I do not think that this removes mankind’s responsibility for behaviors
b. I agree that we blame the person not power, however;
i. I do believe that we can’t escape the fact that its power (and not something else) that is involved and part of the equation.
c. I do not think that my view point about power is in conflict with the
scriptural teaching that man is already corrupted by a sinful nature.
2. I do think that power is a strong temptation to sin and tends to corrupt a person in areas that wouldn’t otherwise be a problem (corruption in the sense of making worse). This is just common sense. If I don’t have power then I can’t sin via power.”

 

This declaration, or ones like this are what I was agreeing with when I made my political science/in line with the Bible statement. One concise statement that is totally in agreement with what you said. You either agree or disagree with the statement. It should not matter my motive (which you imply is evil) or my affiliations. Either the statement is in line with what you believe or it is not. All I see is different wording.

 

“Also, I’m not arguing that we shouldn’t do things because of the “potential” for
corruption. You’re putting words in my mouth. I’m just saying that unless someone
has power, power can’t be a catalyst of corruption.”

 

I was not putting words in your mouth. I was following your argument to its logical end. If you would have, you would have realized guns never kill unless there is an outside force, the killer. To make the gun or power responsible is not fair to either, and leads to a slippery slope of non-responsibility for actions. I only tried to point out the absurdity of putting any blame on the gun as you did. Read this statement and reason this out. Men who are married are 100% more likely to beat their wife than the unmarried, so instead of convicting wife abusers, get rid of marriage. Absurd? “What most people don’t realize is that this type of argument falls flat because a person is 100% more likely to kill someone with a gun if he/she has a gun. After all, if there were no guns there would be no gun deaths.” Same logic. This I believe is the most totally illogical, & not at all thought out statement you have made.

 

As to Adam being deceived by the woman, to make that as a truth, one would have to be adding to the Scriptures. It never says that or anything that implies such. To argue such as fact would be extra-Scriptural revelation, not reasoning. Adam knew exactly what God had said, and knew he would lose it all if he ate of the fruit. This conversation between him and the woman about this matter is a new one on me. If you believe this happened, you are no better than the IFB pastor who lord’s over God’s heritage. You add to and they take away from the Scriptures.

 

“Why would he all of a sudden become so dumb that he would be willing to
give up everything for death unless he had been deceived?”
I do not believe Adam became dumb, nor deceived. He became disobedient to the word of God. He willfully sinned after coming to the knowledge of the truth.

 

Oh, while I am on the subject. “Surely as a pastor you can do better exegesis than simply quoting a few verses?!” Why would I explain what is obviously clear? The Scriptures are the best commentary on the Scriptures. If they declare a truth so clear that it need not be elaborated, I will just let them speak. God is smarter than Baptist preachers. I believe Romans 6&7 are very clear about our flesh and the battle we have. If you disagree with my view on the nature of the flesh or our need to be consecrated (walk in the Spirit), your debate is with God’s word. I truly believe you and I agree on these things if you believe what you call a Bible. (I believe God can draw a straight line with a crooked stick).

 

“Sorry, I don’t believe you. I was involved in the IFB too long to fall for that. If you were trying to come to a consensus you would have written a statement that contained some of what we both believe about the issue. You only wrote what you believe and then asked if we would agree with you. You were attempting to trap me into agreeing with you.”

 

Is that like saying, “Liar, liar, pants on fire, telephone nose as long as a wire.”

 

Titus 1:15 “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.”

Richard :

@Steve
Corruption
1. the act of corrupting or state of being corrupt.

 

2. moral perversion; depravity.

 

3. perversion of integrity.

 

4. corrupt or dishonest proceedings.

 

5. bribery.

 

6. debasement or alteration, as of language or a text.

 

7. a debased form of a word.

 

8. putrefactive decay; rottenness.

 

9. any corrupting influence or agency

Richard :

Of all the definitions of corruption in my last post, I am trying to find one that is synonomous with power. Only #9 would come close, and then only if the power had been corrupted previously. Corrupted power would be a corrupting influence or agency, but then the question would be, “How did the power get corrupted in the first place?” Something that is not corrupt cannot corrupt to any extent, though as we have agreed it can be a catalyst.
Power
1. ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something.

 

2. political or national strength: the balance of power in Europe.

 

3. great or marked ability to do or act; strength; might; force.

 

4. the possession of control or command over others; authority; ascendancy: power over men’s minds.

 

5. political ascendancy or control in the government of a country, state, etc.: They attained power by overthrowing the legal government.

 

Notice “power” in itself is never defined as something corrupt or evil, though we can see how it can be applied to evil and corrupt actions.

 

You are the one who wants to go to definitions.

 

“You know, it’s ironic. I just looked up the word “corruption” in the dictionary. I’ve been focusing on the word “corrupt” and “corrupted” but I never looked up the word “corruption” in the dictionary. When I did do you know what the definition said? “Dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power…” “Power” is in one of the very definitions of the word corruption.”

 

What is “Dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those” not in power? According to definitions I found #s 1-4 it would be corruption.

 

Please let me know what dictionary you used. I chose to just use an on-line dictionary at random since some people have issues with Webster.

 

Unless you are ready to use your power, I am ready again to move on.

Richard :

Listen to http://www.candlestickbaptist.org sermon for 4/22/2012, and you will understand real IFB love. The message is not expositional, but is a special service exalting the Divine Servant, and honoring some of the servants whom He loves.

Steve :

This declaration, or ones like this are what I was agreeing with when I made my political science/in line with the Bible statement. One concise statement that is totally in agreement with what you said. You either agree or disagree with the statement.

 

The difference is that I’m simply stating how I view the issue while you’re trying to get me to agree with you. I don’t really care if you agree with me or not. I’m just trying to help you understand our perspective since you asked. If you weren’t so focused on getting me to agree with you then maybe you’d be able to see what we’re trying to say.

 

It should not matter my motive (which you imply is evil) or my affiliations. Either the statement is in line with what you believe or it is not. All I see is different wording.

 

I never implied that your motive is evil. I’m not sure why you see it that way. I just said that you’re trying to trap me. A trap is a natural consequence of the loaded question fallacy. It’s not evil, just a mistake. I think I’ve already said that a few times. If you present a logical fallacy whether formal or informal you better be prepared for me to comment on it. I would expect the same of you.

 

You said in one comment that the wording is what’s important then in this comment you hand wave what I say as just “different wording”. So which is it? Is the wording important or not?

 

I was not putting words in your mouth. I was following your argument to its logical end. If you would have, you would have realized guns never kill unless there is an outside force, the killer. To make the gun or power responsible is not fair to either, and leads to a slippery slope of non-responsibility for actions. I only tried to point out the absurdity of putting any blame on the gun as you did.

 

What part of “I agree we blame the person not the power (or the gun).” (a direct quote from a previous comment) didn’t you understand? When you make the claim that I said the exact opposite of what I actually said, then yes, you’re trying to put words in my mouth. I never placed blame on the gun or the power so your “logical end” doesn’t fit because you don’t (or won’t, I’m not sure which) understand my premise.

 

Read this statement and reason this out. Men who are married are 100% more likely to beat their wife than the unmarried, so instead of convicting wife abusers, get rid of marriage. Absurd?

“What most people don’t realize is that this type of argument falls flat because a person is 100% more likely to kill someone with a gun if he/she has a gun. After all, if there were no guns there would be no gun deaths.”

 

Same logic. This I believe is the most totally illogical, & not at all thought out statement you have made.

 

OK great, let’s “reason it out”. Here’s a lesson in formal logic using proper syllogism:

 

Major Premise: Men who are married are 100% more likely to beat their wife than an unmarried man
Minor Premise: John has a wife
Conclusion: John is 100 % more likely to beat his wife than a man without a wife

 

You’re accusing me of forming a conclusion (blame the wife, get rid of marriage, blame power, blame the gun) that doesn’t fit the premise. I never placed blame on the victim or the conduit/catalyst of the corruption. You’re saying I am but I’m not. The only conclusion that I’ve come up with is that power is a catalyst/conduit of corruption. You keep telling me that my conclusion is different than what I’ve stated.

 

What I’m saying:

 

Major Premise: I will only abuse power if I have power to abuse
Minor Premise: I have power
Conclusion: I have the opportunity to abuse power

 

Major Premise: If I do not have power, I will not abuse power
Minor Premise: I do not have power
Conclusion: I do not abuse power

 

Major Premise: If John has a wife John is 100% more likely to beat her than a man without a wife.
Minor Premise: John has a wife
Conclusion: John is 100% more likely to beat his wife than a man without a wife.

 

Major Premise: If John doesn’t have a wife, he has no opportunity to beat her
Minor Premise: John doesn’t have a wife
Conclusion: John has no opportunity to beat wife since he doesn’t have one

 

Major Premise: If I have a gun, I’m 100% more likely to commit a gun crime than a person without a gun
Minor Premise: I have a gun
Conclusion: I’m 100% more likely to commit a gun crime compared to a person without a gun.

 

Major Premise: If I don’t have a gun, I have zero chance of harming someone with a gun
Minor Premise: I don’t have a gun
Conclusion: I have no chance of committing a gun crime

 

what you’re accusing me of saying :

 

Major Premise: I will only abuse power if I have power to abuse
Minor Premise: I have power
Conclusion: Power is responsible for the abuse/corruption (this doesn’t logically follow the premise)

 

Major Premise: If I do not have power I will not abuse power
Minor Premise: I do not have power
Conclusion: Man is corrupt already without power (this doesn’t logically follow the premise)

 

Major Premise: If John has a wife he is 100% more likely to beat his wife than if he didn’t have a wife
Minor Premise: John has a wife
Conclusion: The wife is to blame for John beating her (this doesn’t logically follow the premise)

 

Major Premise: If I have a gun, I’m 100% more likely to commit a gun crime than a person without a gun
Minor Premise: I have a gun
Conclusion: The gun is to blame for gun crime (this doesn’t logically follow the premise)

 

And so on… If I don’t have power then power can’t be the conduit/catalyst of my corruption can it?

 

“What most people don’t realize is that this type of argument falls flat because a person is 100% more likely to kill someone with a gun if he/she has a gun. After all, if there were no guns there would be no gun deaths.”

Same logic. This I believe is the most totally illogical, & not at all thought out statement you have made.

 

So basically you’re saying “you’re wrong”? A little more information on why you think that’s illogical and not thought out would be appreciated.

 

As to Adam being deceived by the woman, to make that as a truth, one would have to be adding to the Scriptures. It never says that or anything that implies such. To argue such as fact would be extra-Scriptural revelation, not reasoning.

 

Nothing is added to the scripture. The KJV omits things. You can read more about my take on the KJV here http://www.baptistdeception.com/kjv-only-deception/ Of course you wouldn’t logically conclude the same thing I did about Adam since your KJV bible leaves out a critical element in that verse.

 

I’m not pretending it’s a factual statement found in the bible. I’m just using reason and logic to come to a conclusion about something that isn’t overtly stated in scripture. Unlike you who fill in the gaps with what you believe and then claim it as scriptural fact.

 

Adam knew exactly what God had said, and knew he would lose it all if he ate of the fruit. This conversation between him and the woman about this matter is a new one on me. If you believe this happened, you are no better than the IFB pastor who lord’s over God’s heritage. You add to and they take away from the Scriptures.

 

You’re stating fact where there is no fact to state. The bible is silent on the details – you even admitted that yourself, yet you are stating it as fact. Too KNOW that Eve didn’t tell Adam what Satan told her would be “extra Biblical revelation” also since that’s an impossible claim to knowledge since it’s not found in the Bible (or at least I’ve never seen it before).

 

The difference is that you are stating as fact something that is impossible to know where as I’m stating opinion based on the evidence.

 

I do not believe Adam became dumb, nor deceived. He became disobedient to the word of God. He willfully sinned after coming to the knowledge of the truth.

 

So you’re saying that the tree of knowledge of good and evil is to blame for Adam’s willful disobedience?

 

Why would I explain what is obviously clear? The Scriptures are the best commentary on the Scriptures.

 

Because 1. It’s not “obviously clear” to everyone (especially to those who don’t understand KJV English which you quoted) – just because it’s “obviously clear” to you doesn’t mean it’s “obviously clear” to others, and 2. because I asked you so we can discuss it in context – or am I not important enough for you to explain you’re interpretation of scripture to me?

 

“The scriptures are the best commentary on the Scriptures” ONLY if you have proper exegesis. The scripture aren’t the best commentary on the scriptures if you pull verses out of context and twist them to fit your beliefs. What you’re doing is the latter. Like I said, I have atheist friends who can do that. I want to know if you really understand the context or if you are just finding scripture that fits your beliefs. Still waiting…

 

If they declare a truth so clear that it need not be elaborated, I will just let them speak. God is smarter than Baptist preachers. I believe Romans 6&7 are very clear about our flesh and the battle we have. If you disagree with my view on the nature of the flesh or our need to be consecrated (walk in the Spirit), your debate is with God’s word. I truly believe you and I agree on these things if you believe what you call a Bible. (I believe God can draw a straight line with a crooked stick).

 

So when you preach on Sunday morning do you just get up and read a few verses and then dismiss? If the scriptures “declare a truth so clear that it need not be elaborated” then why do we need preaching/teaching?

 

My argument is not about the scripture you quoted. It’s with your understanding of the scripture you quoted. Anyone can find scripture that supports their view. I want to know WHY you believe those scriptures fit your perspective on the argument. What do those scriptures have to do with “power tends to corrupt…” quote (which is what we’re discussing)? How do they fit with what we’re discussing? What does that mean “walk in the spirit”? How is that done? How does that support your view that someone can’t be corrupted by power? and so on… just like you’d do when you preach/teach.

 

“Sorry, I don’t believe you. I was involved in the IFB too long to fall for that. If you were trying to come to a consensus you would have written a statement that contained some of what we both believe about the issue. You only wrote what you believe and then asked if we would agree with you. You were attempting to trap me into agreeing with you.”

Is that like saying, “Liar, liar, pants on fire, telephone nose as long as a wire.”

I’m not even going to dignify that with a reply. And you call me illogical?!

Titus 1:15 “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.”

What’s that supposed to mean?
I can do the same thing: Can I have all your money please? Matthew 5:42 – “Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.”

You are the one who wants to go to definitions.

Not really, I just saw it as ironic nothing more. That’s why I said “You know, it’s ironic…”.
As I recall you pulled out the dictionary as well when we were discussing pulpit. See your comment here http://www.baptistdeception.com/cult/comment-page-3/#comment-6856 so you have no stone to throw when it comes to “pulling out the dictionary”.

Please let me know what dictionary you used. I chose to just use an on-line dictionary at random since some people have issues with Webster.

It was one of the dictionaries on my computer. I think it’s Random House or Merriam-Webster. I don’t remember which one I was looking at to be honest.

Unless you are ready to use your power, I am ready again to move on.

I’m ready when you are.

Richard :

@Steve
Steve,
You have my questions. The ball is in your court.

 

“And so on… If I don’t have power then power can’t be the conduit/catalyst of my corruption can it?”
That statement again settles everything. There is corruption whether or not you have power according to you. Why is there corruption? Because you and I were born with it.

 

As to Adam and Eve having some conversation that is not disclosed in the Bible. I am alright with that. I only limited myself to the Bible. I did not take away from it, or add to it (at least we should be able to agree for this case of Adam’s sin). Disobedience is not dumb or based upon deceit. It is based upon choice. Adam was not dumb. He knew exactly what God had said. He was not deceived. He knew God had never lied to him, and there is no basis for the idea that anyone had deceived him. Speculation on this, when God declares differently is dangerous. I know you say the KJV left out words here, but I am asking you for the translation that puts implication of deception. It is a logical deduction only if there is any evidence. There has not been any given. My opinion that Adam chose the woman and death with her over God and life with Him is at least backed by what is said in my Bible.

 

As to your ability to understand the verses I gave to back the political science/in line with the Bible statement that I made. I am asking which one did you not understand.

 

As to you wanting my money, where do you want it sent, when do you need it, and how much is your need? If I have this world’s goods and am able to meet the need of a brother in Christ, I am more than willing to take care of it. I believe this Bible, whether you say it is right or wrong.

 

If you do not believe I am willing to meet your need, you should listen to http://www.candlestickbaptist.org sermon for 4/22/2012. I cried throughout the whole message.

 

Titus 1:15 “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”

 

The apostle was exhorting young Titus, on the care he should use in looking for God’s men to lead God’s people. He gives him a challenge to know men. He shows the specific qualifications for the office of Bishop, and then gives the contrast.
At this point , Titus is commanded to stand against these who are opposing the truth, and to not yield to their lies and deceptions. Then, as if Titus needed to be reminded, Paul gives this simple, yet profound way to recognize those who have believed the lies. “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.” There are those who receive with meekness the engrafted words, without debate, and are willing to listen, and there are those who for whatever reason have chosen to reject you no matter what you say. Something has so gotten to them that there is no room for discussion, because they just are against the truth. They would be called reprobate, void of understanding, and this all based upon something that you, Titus, cannot undo. The saddest part is that these ones who are so ate up with defilement are blinded to their own condition and are like Samson who knew not that the Holy Spirit had departed, therefore all the time they rail against obvious truth they say “Me and God, we’re alright.”

 

Application: You have had experiences with IFB that have defiled your mind to believe that just because someone is IFB you put up a wall. Whether he is real and has a relationship with Christ is irrelevant to your view. It is as if you are at war with IFB people, even when you are in agreement with them. This is unfair to yourself, unjust to those who are IFB because they believe Bible doctrine and believe in a particular kind of church governing, & undesired by God, who would much rather we endeavored to keep the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace among the church and within our fellowship with other believers. (This statement does not need to be answered or argued. It is a response to your question. If you disagree with my assessment, so be it.)

Richard :

How should a church find a pastor? I believe I tried to move to this earlier in one of my posts. One more question. If a church votes in a pastor and agrees to give him extreme unchecked authority and he turns out to be a Diotrephes, what should they do, and who is at fault? These are important in the whole premise of church government, and church government is what makes an IFB church IFB. Doctrine only makes it Baptist. Everything else that makes IFB IFB is governing (whether right or wrong).
How should we do church? Who dictates how we should do church? Does the church have any say about how to do church or to take care of church business? I am IFB, and I believe God gave the individual churches the liberty to do church as they see fit by the Holy Ghost leadership.
What is “Dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those” not in power?

Steve :

You have my questions. The ball is in your court.

 

I’ve been waiting on you. I only do one topic at a time. When you’re done with this discussion about power and corruption I’ll move on. I’m waiting on you to be done, but it seems like you have to have the final word so let me know when you’ve decided to quit talking about this.

 

“And so on… If I don’t have power then power can’t be the conduit/catalyst of my corruption can it?”

That statement again settles everything. There is corruption whether or not you have power according to you. Why is there corruption? Because you and I were born with it.

 

No, that’s not what my statement says nor even implies.

 

…”there is no basis for the idea that anyone had deceived him (Adam).

 

I gave you a basis for this. You refuse to acknowledge it, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

 

Speculation on this, when God declares differently is dangerous. I know you say the KJV left out words here, but I am asking you for the translation that puts implication of deception. It is a logical deduction only if there is any evidence. There has not been any given. My opinion that Adam chose the woman and death with her over God and life with Him is at least backed by what is said in my Bible.

 

I gave you the evidence. Why do you ignore it?

 

As to your ability to understand the verses I gave to back the political science/in line with the Bible statement that I made. I am asking which one did you not understand.

 

I never said I didn’t understand them. Please re-read what I requested.

 

As to you wanting my money, where do you want it sent, when do you need it, and how much is your need? If I have this world’s goods and am able to meet the need of a brother in Christ, I am more than willing to take care of it. I believe this Bible, whether you say it is right or wrong.

 

Great. I want $250,000 by this time next week. You can send your donation via PayPal via [email protected] Wait, why are you asking what my need is? Matthew 5:42 tells you to ”Give to him that asketh thee…” not ”Give to him that needeth…” Are you trying to add to scriptures Richard? Shame on you. So given your method of interpreting scripture then you should give me the money since God has commanded you to “Give to him that asketh thee…”. Ya know on second thought… lets start with $5,000 in paypal to prove to me that you will practice what you preach. After I see that you’re going to follow through then I will send you my contact information and you can send a money order to me for the remainder.

 

If you do not believe I am willing to meet your need, you should listen to http://www.candlestickbaptist.org sermon for 4/22/2012. I cried throughout the whole message.

 

First, again, Matthew 5:42 says: ”Give to him that asketh…” not “needeth”. If you are only willing to meet my needs then you aren’t obeying scripture (according to your way of imterpreting the Bible).

 

Second, I believe you’re willing. There’s a big difference between being willing and actually doing it though. I’m anxiously awaiting the money. That will really help us.

 

Titus 1:15 “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
The apostle was exhorting young Titus, on the care he should use in looking for God’s men to lead God’s people. He gives him a challenge to know men. He shows the specific qualifications for the office of Bishop, and then gives the contrast.
At this point , Titus is commanded to stand against these who are opposing the truth, and to not yield to their lies and deceptions. Then, as if Titus needed to be reminded, Paul gives this simple, yet profound way to recognize those who have believed the lies. “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.” There are those who receive with meekness the engrafted words, without debate, and are willing to listen, and there are those who for whatever reason have chosen to reject you no matter what you say. Something has so gotten to them that there is no room for discussion, because they just are against the truth. They would be called reprobate, void of understanding, and this all based upon something that you, Titus, cannot undo. The saddest part is that these ones who are so ate up with defilement are blinded to their own condition and are like Samson who knew not that the Holy Spirit had departed, therefore all the time they rail against obvious truth they say “Me and God, we’re alright.”
Application: You have had experiences with IFB that have defiled your mind to believe that just because someone is IFB you put up a wall. Whether he is real and has a relationship with Christ is irrelevant to your view. It is as if you are at war with IFB people, even when you are in agreement with them. This is unfair to yourself, unjust to those who are IFB because they believe Bible doctrine and believe in a particular kind of church governing, & undesired by God, who would much rather we endeavored to keep the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace among the church and within our fellowship with other believers. (This statement does not need to be answered or argued. It is a response to your question. If you disagree with my assessment, so be it.)

 

OK, pay attention to this because it’s going to be my last comment and last communication with you (except for communicating about where to send the money). I explain why below.

 

So basically you’re saying that since you have the truth you see all things pure and because I believe lies and deceptions then my mind is defiled and impure? Do you honestly not see how arrogant and judgmental that is?

 

I also wonder if you realize that you’ve just discredited yourself on both fronts – the corruption argument and your “application” of this verse.

 

First, You say that my experiences with IFB have defiled my mind. If you’re argument is that power can’t corrupt, how can say that the IFB has corrupted my mind (defiled is a synonym of corruption and in fact, properly interpreted Titus 1:15 should read corrupted)? These two can’t co-exist. You’re entire argument was that Power can’t corrupt because we are already corrupted, but somehow the IFB has the ability to “defile” my mind. Like I said before, you’re so twisted in your thinking that you can’t even keep straight what YOU say let alone what I say.

 

Second, you interpret Titus 1:15 with the “defiled and unbelieving” as the ones who yield to the lies and deceptions of those who oppose the truth. If that’s true, and you believe that the IFB has the truth, then how could my experiences with the IFB have defiled my mind? You’re speaking out of both sides of your mouth.

 

So now I see what you’re real motives are for being here. I knew it would come out eventually. You have no interest in having a discussion or coming to the “truth” do you? You’re on some sort of mission to try and educate and proselytize me. If you think I’m just going to let you judge me and preach at me and then let it go because you said in parentheses if I disagree “so be it” you’re delusional. No, this definitely needs to be answered AND argued. If you have your mind set that I’m this bitter, vindictive and cynical person with some sort of vendetta against the IFB you’re sadly mistaken. You have your mind set that I’ve “put a wall” and refuse to at least acknowledge that you may be wrong about me. As a result I’m afraid that further discussions with you is futile. I’m fine with discussions and debates, but I’ll not tolerate someone preaching their closed-minded dogma at me. The IFB doesn’t have exclusive rights to the truth. Have you ever considered that maybe, just maybe, your IFB “doctrines” don’t provide the truth? You have blinders on Richard. I hope that one day you will take them off.

 

What you describe about me is extremely pretentious. My relationship with God and what I’m doing here on this site is between me and God and you have no right to judge my ministry or me. You have no idea what’s in my mind and it’s pretty arrogant of you to pretend that you do. You have no idea how God has worked in my life and what my relationship with God is about.

 

It seems my earlier suspicions have been confirmed. You aren’t interested in the truth at all. Here’s a news flash for you… the IFB doesn’t have the patent on Biblical truth. The IFB doesn’t even believe “Bible doctrine” – the IFB believes IFB doctrine. These are “extra biblical revelations” (as you like to call it) and man made ideals/traditions about a how to do religion that are based on poor biblical exegesis and lead to legalism and traditionalism. You think they are “biblical truths” because you’ve bought into the deception, but the aren’t. Your butcher of what Titus 1:15 is all about is proof positive.

 

In reality, there’s no such thing as “Bible doctrine”. Doctrine by its very definition is nothing more than what a particular group of Christians believe about the Bible. If you’re teaching IFB doctrine then I’m afraid that you are no better than someone who teaches Presbyterian doctrine, or Methodist doctrine, or even Catholic doctrine.

 

As a result, you aren’t interested in Biblical truth at all. You’re interested in what you perceive as Biblical truth based on your IFB doctrines.

 

A big difference between you and I is that I have no Christian group to influence how I interpret or view Biblical truth. My view of God and the Bible isn’t tainted by religion. That bugs you because you don’t understand how someone can “do Christianity” outside the confines of a denomination or group. It bugs you because you claim that the IFB is “Independent” when in actuality it’s so dependent that people like you can’t think for themselves.

 

This is so foreign to you that the only recourse you have is to attack me and try to convert me to your way of thinking. I’ve been there done that and have the tee shirt to prove it. I’ve been freed of the restrictions and false teachings of the IFB and I’m enjoying a pure, unhindered relationship with God. Maybe you’re jealous about that, I’m not sure. But what I do know beyond any doubt that you don’t have the truth.

 

Ultimately with this passage I’m afraid that your IFB beliefs have tainted your view of this particular verse. Besides you using this verse to judge me and accuse me of having a “defiled mind”, I have several problems with your application:

 

First, this verse isn’t about Paul giving a “simple, yet profound way to recognize those who have believed the lies” of those opposing the truth. What you’re trying to do is use this verse to justify your judgmentalism. Nowhere in the passage does it even hint to the idea that we are supposed to judge others by “recognizing” who has believed the lies. Paul is talking about the leadership of Titus to bring the truth to people who have been relying on “Jewish myths” and “have turned their backs on the truth.” (verse 14). This actually discredits your arguments even more because the “lies” that Paul was talking about were lies of religious traditions that people were following to appear spiritual and justify their salvation – very similar to the IFB. We could easily substituted “people who have been relying on IFB myths and have turned their backs on the truth” here. He is calling people who have substituted the truth of the gospel for the lie of traditions and religion defiled not the other way around. This is more of a salvation passage then anything else, not a call to the backslidden. Essentially, he’s reminding Titus that people who rely on “biblical doctrine” that isn’t in the bible aren’t really saved. He goes on the call them hypocrites in the next verse. This is about YOU Richard. Paul is warning Christians about people like you and your IFBisms (hey I just made up a new term – I like it).

 

Second, Paul goes on in verse 15 to talk about the differences between believers and non-believers. Verse 15 isn’t about a believer who’s not listening to the truth. It’s about a contrast between a believer and a non-believer. Notice the word AND. AND is a coordinating conjunction. It ties two similar concepts or words. Paul is calling the non-believer defiled and (ironically) corrupt, not the believer. He’s saying that the non-believers who try to hide behind Jewish myths are believing lies and deceptions. It’s the EXACT opposite of what you say it’s about.

 

This passage is also about hypocrisy as evidenced by the very next verse: 16 Such people (the defiled [ironically translated “corrupt” in the Bible I use] AND unbelieving) claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live.” How does one get a “pure heart” Richard? Is it by following Christ or by following the IFB? It can’t be both. If you are following “Biblical truths and doctrines” as taught by the IFB then you aren’t following Christ. A person gets a “pure heart” by accepting Christ as their savior and being washed in forgiveness and grace. Paul isn’t saying that people who believe in the truth have pure hearts, he’s saying that people who are believers have pure hearts.

 

So see what happens when you read the Bible through the filter of the “IFB doctrines”? You get a very skewed view of the Bible. As a result, what you’re actually doing is calling me “defiled and unbelieving”. So you’re not only judging my motives and my behaviors, but also my salvation. This is the epitome of what Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for in Matthew 23. And if you’re doing this to me then there’s no doubt that you’re doing this to the poor unsuspecting victims that sit in the church pews where you preach.

 

Third, as stated earlier, if you cling to the claim that my experiences with the IFB have defiled my mind then according to the true interpretation of this passage you are setting the IFB up for teaching lies since, according to this passage, a mind is defiled by false teachings and deception. This fits very nicely into the theme of this site and the exact reason why it exists. So while you’re continuing to defile minds by promoting the IFB dogma I’m working to help heal those who have been defiled by sharing the truth. Paul told Titus in verse 13 of that passage to …rebuke them as sternly as necessary…”. Consider this site my stern rebuke to you and your ilk.

 

Fourth, with the misinterpretation of this verse you have essentially told me that you think you have the truth and are therefore “pure and undefiled”. This holier than though attitude makes you corrupt Richard. By the way, do you really think that I’m going to be moved because you can shed tears while you blatantly lie to your congregation? You’re tears are nothing more than an attempt at distracting people from critically thinking about what you’re preaching. On some level I think you are aware that if the Bereans were to be sitting in your church service during your preaching you’d be in trouble. So you begin to shed tears in dramatic fashion to serve as a distraction. People see your tears and hear your passion and forget about the lies your trying to spread. You’re tears have no bearing on the truth.

 

What’s ironic, here is that I’m doing the very thing that we’re admonished to do in this passage. I’m standing up to those who oppose the truth (i.e., IFB “doctrines”) and not allowing myself to be deceived by their lies and deception. That’s why this site is called “Baptist Deception”. I’m doing exactly what Paul tells Titus to do in verse 13: “rebuke them as sternly as necessary to make them strong in the faith.”.

 

Everyone is welcome to come here and comment and even request a discussion, but when someone (like you) comes here to deceive me into thinking we’re having a debate/discussion only to find out that their motives were really to preach at me and judge me it won’t be tolerated. You’ve told me many times that this is a discussion to get to the truth, but now it’s glaringly clear that you have no interest in getting to the truth. You’ve done very well to live up to the IFB stereotype and I’m thankful that you’ve been such a shining example of what I speak out against.

 

One of the reasons I was glad to take over this discussion is because I saw the same patterns in your comments as before. I banned you last time because of your pious self-righteousness and refusal to have an open discussion. You emailed me and promised that your intentions were to discuss not to preach so I allowed you to return and gave you a second chance. You took advantage of me and, as it turns out, were just lying. Well, fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me. There won’t be a third time Richard. This is goodbye. Now that I know your true motives I’m not going to invest more time “discussing” these issues with you. As with others who have come and gone, I’ll truly miss our discussions.

 

This wasn’t an easy decision, by the way. My heart grieves for you, Richard, it really does. But more so it grieves for the people you’re hurting and deceiving. I’ve come to the realization that I’m spending too much time “discussing” these issues with you and not enough time on why I’ve made this site in the first place. That wouldn’t be a bad thing if I knew that we were actually having a discussion to try and flesh out these issues. After what you said about me, though, I came to the realization that you aren’t really interested in discussing these things. You say you are and you try to act like you are, but you aren’t. Now that I know that you see me as vindictive and you’re motive is to try and change me I just can’t continue. God does want peace among believers Richard, but as long as there are denominations that can’t happen. It’s you and your “extra Biblical”, man-made doctrines that cause so much grief and strife among believers. I only wish you could see that.

 

I wrestled with this decision a lot. I enjoy these types of discussions for several reasons. They really do help me flesh out what’s truth and help me gain a fresh perspective on scripture. They also provide evidence for what I speak out against and they help others see that they don’t have to be bullied and intimidated by people like you. It helps others realize that they can apply a little bit of God given logic to any situation and come out with a better, more clear understanding of the Bible than is afforded by relying on what some preacher in an IFB church says. The problem I have with you, though, is that you’re perpetuating the abuse in this format. Although I control a lot about this site I don’t control who visits and who like/dislikes the information. Should someone visit seeking help from their IFB trauma I don’t want them to see that I allowed you to perpetuate the abuse.

 

So in summary, because of your continued lies, deceptions, inability to have a serious discussion and twisted view of me as some sort of project for you to fix, you are again banned. I’ve instructed the site moderator to block you. Goody bye Richard. I hope that one day you will be free of the IFB shackles that you wear.

 

Looking forward to getting the money. Thanks again.

That ended the discussion. Richard tried to follow up several times and even had his wife try to follow up, but according to the site moderator, the comments were pretty hateful, so due to a potential traumatic response in myself I decided to not read them or include them. They’ve been forwarded to our attorney who has archived them for future reference should the need arise.

Of interest to note, Richard never did follow through with his promise to make a donation. The moderator told me that he did again offer to help financially, but only as we need. Apparently he doesn’t like to follow his own rules for Biblical interpretation and seems to be very hypocritical.

Suffice it to say that Richard is NOT the man that he tries to creates the illusion of. He is every bit as abusive as every other IFBer that I’ve encountered. The only difference is that with Richard I’ve honestly come to believe that he is somewhat delusional as he probably truly doesn’t even see what he’s doing. I hope that one day he will.

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  1. A walk down memory lane. Ol’ Richard is slicker than an eel.

    It occurred to me, as I read, that nothing that anyone would say to Richard would be correct, unless Richard re-phrased it “his” way.

    I can see Richard’s intellect in his comments, he’s not lacking in “brain power” but oh how I wished his brain wouldn’t have been shaped in such a legalistic manner. There does not appear to me anyway that Richard’s KJV can speak to his heart at all, it the (KJV) must line up with his preconceived notions, he won’t even hear from his favorite translation! Which is very sad.

    There is so much more to “living” faith than what these simple folks know, I just pray that they find it, true faith and undefiled.

    I would love to hear from some of the folks from Candlestick Baptist!

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