Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Fundamentalists Don't Really Believe the Bible.

“Luther holds that all who deny that the Word and Sacraments dispense the forgiveness of sins, who therefore find it particularly offensive if men remit sins, do not actually take God’s Word to be God’s Word, but regard it as merely the word of men…. At first sight this verdict of Luther might appear unfair in view of the fact, for example, that the Reformed strongly stress the inspiration of the Bible. But on close examination Luther’s conclusion proves to be right. For to teach that the Scriptures are the word of God and consistently to practice this truth are certainly two different things.” (Pieper, Christian Dogmatics Vol. III pg. 207)
I tell people all the time, “I’m not a fundamentalist; I’m much more radical than that. I actually believe the word of God when it says “This is my Body, This is my Blood.” I actually believe it not only when it is harping about some point of the law I particularly like, but also when it says “Baptism now saves you.” It is one thing to agree with our brothers that the Bible is the inspired word of God. But what good is that when they can’t put that into practice and believe what it says about the sacraments? Fundamentalists, Baptists, American Evangelicals etc. give but lip service to the scriptures. In reality they think they are free to believe whatever they want. They make up laws where God has made none, and they ignore laws where God has made them, and all because they refuse to believe the Gospel, and take Christ’s word at face value. You lose the sacraments you lose the gospel, and are left trying to earn heaven by kicking a cigarette habit.


Larry said...

“You lose the sacraments you lose the gospel, and are left trying to earn heaven by kicking a cigarette habit”


That’s both hilarious and true, and it is so because it’s not entirely hyperbole.

“…who therefore find it particularly offensive if men remit sins”, this part is particularly true. We have family, Baptist, who may visit when we have our new daughter baptized. Nothing new their per se they’ve been “warmed up” to the idea under our previous children in the PCA church we attended. But of all the things my wife worries most concerning her family it is the opening absolution, “that”, she told me, “will say to my dad ‘Roman Catholic’”.

But here is something I’ve thought about in my experience on this; absolution via the pastor, assurance and the pastor’s authority are all linked. When I was in the terror of believers baptism and totally sure I was reprobate, 24/7 constantly terrorized by this to the point I could do nothing (and I’m not exaggerating) I kept going to pastors within my SB “Calvinistic” circles trying to find that relief that assurance. I told my wife, “Oh how I wish I could hear what the prostitute heard from the lips of Jesus…then I’d know”. But at length they can really give you none and throw you back up onto the “law”, signs of conversion, etc… But since they have no sacraments and no absolution that’s all they can do, Baptist or Reformed. You are ultimately left to yourself to decide “am I really forgiven”. But nothing short of a Word from God will do when the Law has you. I use to pray, “Lord your word alone binds me and only a Word from you will free me.” And I meant it to the core of my terrorized soul. That was a constant daily, even hourly prayer in some form or another. Since they, Baptist (or Reformed) pastors cannot absolve being Christ, the Word for one and that Word of absolution (Gospel) is what the Law terrorized soul needs, at length over time one must come to the realization that they have no authority and they have abdicated it. And this comes more as a psychological outcome of the dire situation. One NEEDS forgiveness for real or all else in life is pointless and dead, and no word short of God’s word will do, and not just a referent word to Scripture but a living Word FROM God to you (a Jesus SAYING HIMSELF to the prostitute Word), such “pastors” in the Baptist/Reformed churches have no such word. Finally one must leave them for such, because they have no more Word or answer than do all the other religions out there on the matter of forgiveness. They loose their authority with one, even if it is implicitly so, they being now impotent, loose their authority with you. It’s like a father/dad who has abdicated his fatherly role with his child, the child leaves him at length because of this for he has both abdicated and thus lost his authority. They have, literally, nothing for you, just words of men which are nothing. And you need an authoritative Word from God not just “of” God.

When suffering and asking, “does God really forgive me?’, and the answer comes back anything less than authoritative even a “surely He will/does” it cannot unbind and has no authority. The “surely” is surely hedging everything and surely is unsure.

Therefore, Baptist and Reformed pastors/theologian should not be surprised AT ALL why at length their churches and ministries loose their hold (authority) on people at length. They have no real Gospel Word from God to loose people bound and thus no real answer, and no (different) answer than any pagan religion has at length.


Bror Erickson said...

Thankfully I have never been under the torture of being a baptist. However, I have been around enough of them to know that what I wrote isn't entirely hyperbole. In fact, I'm not sure it is hyperbole at all.
It is funny, but it is absolution that often seems to be the sticking point with baptists and baptist influenced people who visit me. And then with some it is what sells them on becoming Lutheran. They hear it with authority, they ask how, you show them John 20, and they fall over. It's wonderful to see. And so many Lutherans take it for granted they barely even hear it.

Larry said...

“You lose the sacraments you lose the gospel, and are left trying to earn heaven by kicking a cigarette habit.”

This is tuff to “fish out” of people in Baptist/evangelical/reformed circles though. Because you’ll never hear them say, “I’m trying to earn heaven by X”. That’s what they accuse RCs of, yet RC don’t say, “I’m earning heaven”, either (a shocking thing I learned as a Baptist), they can say, “we believe in grace too”. Hell even Mormons will say they believe in grace to but its all some form of ‘infusion’ power to “turn your life around”.

Probably the best way to “fish this out” of someone is to not ask it that way but ask it something like this: “What did the Lord take away from you (a sin/sins) when you were born again/saved/converted…etc…”. That they will answer, in fact that’s their testimony 99% of the time. And what that tells one is what the denominational doctrine is really conveying to the average layman.

If protestants are no more assured than RC’s then what ever was the point of the Reformation (or the sacraments)?