Wednesday, March 05, 2014

BIBLE PROPHECY: DANIEL


IS BIBLE PROPHECY IN DANIEL 11
ABOUT END-TIME FULFILLMENTS?

I understand Daniel chapter eleven to be prophetic of (1) the origin of the Arab Empire (Muslims) in the 7th century A. D. and that (2) the ultimate source of the "Little Horn" (Antichrist, per 11:21-45) is the northern area of the Middle East. In my book, NOT ONE STONE (page 27) I refer to Clarence Larkin, H. A. Ironside, and Arthur W. Pink who held this latter view. Larkin calls the Antichrist the "Syrian Horn" (The Book of Daniell, page 248, unabridged edition).

1. Daniel 11:5, 6 is "key" to the view that 11:5-45 focuses on the Arab Empire's Arabian origin in the 7th century and the eventual rise of the end-time Antichrist who takes control of the Middle East countries and builds his "palace" in Jerusalem before he is destroyed (verses 41-45). The "SOUTH" in Daniel 11:5, 6 refers to Arabia, not Egypt. Notice this example: The "queen of the SOUTH" (Matthew 12:42; Luke 11:31) was the queen of SHEBA, located in southern Arabia,"the uttermost parts of the earth." So "The South" refers to Arabia, not Egypt.

2. The first Muslim "king of the SOUTH" [Arabia] was ABU BAKR (632-634 A. D.), the father of AISHA, the favorite wife of Muhammad. The second king, or caliph, was OMAR (634-644 A.D.), also a father-in-law of Muhammad. During these few years following the death of Muhammad in 632, in the SOUTH (Arabia) a "great dominion" originated, even greater than any previous Middle East empire, according to Sir John B. Glubb's history, "The Empire of the Arabs." You can find more information on these two Caliphs on Wikipedia. The "SOUTH" in Daniel 11 (negeb; see Strong's Dictionary #5045) refers to the vast desert called "ARABIA," where the cities of Mecca and Medina are located. AISHA, Muhammad's favorite wife, was the daughter of Abu Bakr -- therefore, she was the "king's daughter of the SOUTH" (11:6). Her opposition to Ali (Muhammad's son-in-law who was married to Fatima) helped create the South vs North Muslim division which has lasted ever since -- Sunni vs Shia. Shiites believe that direct descendants of Muhammad thru Ali's lineage are qualified to be "caliph" in Islam, whereas Sunnis believe direct lineage is not essential to being "caliph." See Wikipedia for information on this split among the Muslims.
 
3. In Daniel 11:6, I understand the unique expression, "END OF YEARS," to be indicative of the Muslim calendar of time. It begins in 622, the year in which the migration (Hegira) by Muhammad and his disciples from Mecca to Medina took place. The Muslim calendar thereby indicates an "end of years." I understand the "king's daughter of the south" in Daniel 11:6 is applicable to AISHA, daughter of the first Caliph of the South, ABU BAKR. I think this verse refers to the battle between Aisha's forces and Ali's forces, known as the "Battle of the Camel," which introduces the history of the Muslims from the seventh century,(11:5-45) -- out of which eventually arises the Little Horn or Antichrist (11:21-45). The "Battle of the Camel" took place in 656 A. D. in the "end of years" perind of time, and was the initial civil war in Islam between Sunni and Shiites. This was a battle between Arabs allied with Aisha, Muhammad's widow who rode around on a prized red camel named Askar, and Arabs which supported Ali, Muhammad's son-in-law, the "Solomon of the Shiites." See the particulars about this battle on Wikipedia.

4. Contrary to the view that the Ptolemies, Seleucids (332-168), and Antiochus Epiphanes somehow fulfill much of Daniel 11, the prophecy does not refer to them. Rather, the "north" refers to the northern division of the Arabs and the "south" to the southern (Early Islam by Desmond Stewart, page 63)

5. The "Abomination of Desolation" (Dan. 11:31) is yet in the future, according to Jesus (Matthew 24:15). The idea that it was fulfilled by Antiochus derives from Jewish presumptions in First Maccabees 1:54 in the Apocrypha, uninspired Jewish writings before the first coming of Christ. A supposed "chronology" is presented by Solomon Zeitlin in The Rise and Fall of the Judean State). Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on Daniel cites historical inaccuracies in this chronology.

6. The supposed "restored Holy Roman Empire," or the "European Union," is not in Daniel 11. There are 27 nations in the EU, and none of them is in the Middle East. Daniel eleven does not mention any nation except those in the Middle East. The EU theory was championed by the late Herbert W. Armstrong and is perpetuated by his followers such as Gerald Flurry and the "Philadelphia Church of God."

7. The two legs in the image of Daniel chapter 2 are not Rome, but rather they correspond to the two divisions which arose among the 7th century Arabs -- the southern Arabs and northern Arabs (EARLY ISLAM by Desmond Stewart, page 63). The ten toes of the image represent Arab nations which developed thru "mingling" of "seed," according to Daniel 2:43: the word "mingle" in the original is "ARAB." (See Strong's Hebrew Dictionary #6151). Islamic polygamy "Arabized" the Middle East countries from the 7th century A. D. -- Bob L. Ross (713) 477-2329

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

The Calvinist Flyswatter hopes that you have a very Merry Christmas and that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, establishes His peace in your heart and life.

Merry Christmas to all!

Charles

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Violence In America - Where Are The Pastors?

My heart was sad upon hearing the news of the school shooting in Connecticut.  Scared little children gunned down like it was nothing.  So tragic.  Our prayers are with the families during this time.

The causes of the shootings will be discussed and debated for years as will the ways to prevent future tragedies.  Guns, mental illness, video games, etc., -- no stone will go unturned in a search for answers.

As is the nature of tragedy, pastors will also seek to provide answers.  To help them, I would like to ask one question:  Where were you?  Did you preach on the pervasive culture of violence in America?  Whether it's music, TV, movies, or video games, violence is graphic and celebrated.  Were you men of peace who preached that Christians should stay away from such things?  Or like Pastor Jared Moore did you celebrate the violence and encourage others to get their enjoyment and entertainment from it?

I believe pastors like Jared Moore have a lot to answer for.  Not in a court of criminal law but in the high court of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.

Pray for pastors to do the right thing.

Charles



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pastor Jared Moore Celebrates Zero Baptisms!

Perhaps in anticipation that someone would look at the Annual Church Profile and discover his church baptized no one during past year,  Pastor Jared Moore has written a blog posting patting himself on the back for his fruitlessness.

Most pastors would be ashamed of taking a salary from a church for twelve months without finding one lost person to lead to the Lord and baptize.  Not Brother Jared!  The quintessential Crybaby Calvinist, Jared believes his labors were just peachy-keen in the Lord's eyes.

One must wonder -- what has Jared been doing all year?  Has he been doing "the work of an evangelist" as Paul said to Timothy (2 Tim 4:5)?  It would seem not.  We do know, however, that Jared has spent quite a bit of time watching ungodly, extremely violent TV shows such as The Walking Dead.  He claims the grace of God drew him to such violent entertainment. (No, I'm not making this up, read his article about it here.)

I've seen a preview or two for The Walking Dead and honestly, the preview alone almost makes me ill.  Or as Jared says, "It’s just as bloody and gory as any movie I’ve ever seen."

I'm going to be blunt.  Scripture is clear, God is not pleased with senseless violence and a pastor who is entertained by it and encourages others to be entertained by it has failed in his duty.  The Bible commands a pastor to be "not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome" (1 Tim 3:3).  Remember God's description of how the world was before Noah's flood?  "The earth was corrupt in God's sight, and the earth was filled with violence" (Gen 6:11).

Christians are not to love violence.  In more than one place, God  describes lovers of violence as ungodly and unbelievers.  The Bible says,

They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness... (Rom 1:29).

The LORD tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence (Psa 11:5).

With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent (Psa 17:4).

Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways (Pro 3:31).

For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong; they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble. For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence (Pro 4:16-17).

From the fruit of his mouth a man eats what is good, but the desire of the treacherous is for violence (Pro 13:2).

Be not envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them, for their hearts devise violence, and their lips talk of trouble (Pro 24:1-2).

Remember what was said of our Lord Jesus Christ by the prophet Isaiah?  "And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth" (Isa 53:9).

Here's a challenge to Jared.  Instead of watching this season's The Walking Dead, consider that God's grace may be drawing you to go house to house (Acts 20:20) in order to share the good news of Jesus. (Of course I know as an extreme Calvinist you believe it's not good news for them if God has not preselected them for salvation but you know what I mean.)  Don't be satisfied with fruitlessness. Remember, Jesus' words: "Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned"(John 15:5-6).  As I taught you previously Jared, the Lord delights in sinners being saved in great numbers!

Anyway -- try it Jared.  Just skip The Walking Dead and go knock on some doors at random and start sharing.  Then write another blog post next year and let us know what happened.  I'll covenant to pray for you during this next year.

Charles

Friday, September 21, 2012

Radical Calvinist Set To Become President Of Midwestern Seminary!

The search committee of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has nominated a radical Calvinist to become president of the seminary. The candidate, Dr. Jason K. Allen, hails directly from Southern Seminary (ground zero for the radical/hybrid/hyper/new/neo Calvinist movement in the SBC. He also has ties to Founders Ministries, a church splitting Calvinist "ministry" of which our readers are familiar.

Peter Lumpkins has done the heavy lifting on breaking this story and we urge our readers to read what he has to say and to contact the trustees of Midwestern.

Check Peter's articles,

Courting Disaster: The Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary: Part I

No answers about Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary presidential candidate Jason K. Allen's theology until after trustees vote

Comparing what we were told about Midwestern's former presidents with what we're told about Jason K. Allen

Midwestern's Presidential Search Team encouraged to abandon their policy of silence Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Trustees

The Calvinist Flyswatter urges our readers to contact Midwestern's trustees!  The Southern Baptist Convention cannot afford to have an Al Mohler clone as the head of one our our pastor training institutes.

Charles

Monday, September 17, 2012

Son of Bob Ross Goes To Be With The Lord

Brother Bob Ross' son, Michael Joseph Ross, went to be with the Lord on September 5th.  I have not been "Flyswatting" for a couple of weeks and so did not hear of his dead until just today.  Our prayers are with Brother Bob and his family.

Many of you know that Brother Bob has had some eye trouble and so does not blog as frequently as in days past.  We miss his insights and pray for the strengthening and healing of his eyesight.

God bless you, Brother Bob, during this time.

Charles

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

More Proof Of The Deadness Of Reformed Calvinist Doctrine

The Calvinist Flyswatter has long warned Southern Baptist pastors about the deadness of the new/hybrid/hyper/neo/extreme Calvinist doctrine of "regeneration before faith" as taught and promoted by Southern Seminary and Founder's Ministry (yes, they actually call it a ministry). We have provided biblical and "real world" evidence of its evils.  Now Brother Peter Lumpkins has delivered a crushing blow to the Flounders and their Deformed Reformed friends who promote this hellish doctrine.

Read  "Preaching "Regeneration precedes faith" deadly for Baptists in the Mississippi Valley in the 19th century" at Peter's blog.

Plus, check Bob Ross's powerful historical analysis of the origins of the doctrine and his strong arguments against it.

Isn't it curious how Tom Ascol and his band of bloggers continue to ignore all the historical evidence found on The Flyswatter?  I wonder when Tom Nettles is going to repent of his lying to his students now that Peter has exposed Tom's historical narrative as Calvinist propaganda.  No Tom and Tom, the SBC historically was not what you have tried to make it out to be.

Charles

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

James White Still Brewing That "White Lightnin" Calvinism

Seems "Dr." James White is at it again from his tiny, tiny church smack dab in the middle of metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona.  Check Peter Lumpkins' new article at SBC Tomorrow.

James' influence in the Christian world went from having some respect and influence to having nearly zero once Peter started telling the truth about him.  But like a stink bug, James is always lurking in the shadows ready to dump some "regeneration before faith" nonsense on whoever is willing (pun intended) to get dumped on.

Here at the Flyswatter, James has always been a great source of humor.  He constantly goes around looking for a theological fight then runs like the wind when one comes to him! The poor man never got over his Rossophobia and I believe it has left deep emotional scars on him.

But I digress.  Check Peter's article.

Charles



Thursday, June 28, 2012

LifeWay Pushes Book By Baptismal Regenerationist

The downward slide at LifeWay continues.  Since Thom "Nepotism" Rainer took over it has been one fiasco after another.

I walked into a LifeWay store the other day and saw a book prominently displayed entitled Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman.  I thumbed through it and made a mental note to follow up since I had never heard of the author.

A quick search revealed that Kyle is a pastor at Southeast Christian Church, the largest church in Louisville, Kentucky and one that is squarely in the "Restoration Movement."  In the deep south these churches are known as the "Church of Christ" though they differ somewhat in northern areas of the country.

On their "What We Believe" page, Kyle's church proudly declares,
We believe the Bible teaches that one receives God's grace by putting faith in Christ, repenting of sin, confessing Christ and being immersed into Christ.
"Immersed into Christ" = WATER BAPTISM for everyone in the "Restoration Movement" = HERESY for anyone who believes in salvation by grace through faith.

Thom, what is going on?  You have the ever clueless Ed Stetzer pushing numbers that make no sense.  You have the Gospel Deception Project filled with Calvinism authors.  Now you have this.

Memo to LifeWay trustees: Can we please get a real Southern Baptist to run LifeWay?

Charles



Ed Young, Jr. Attacks Reformed Theology And Bloggers

For years, many influential non-Reformed pastors gave the Deformed Reformed community a pass. That seems to be over.

Check pastor Ed Young Jr.'s remarks.  Ed is pastor of one of the largest churches in America.  He says what The Calvinist Flyswatter has been saying for years.  His remarks will go a long way toward awakening a Southern Baptist Convention that is just now starting to learn of the dangers of the new/hybrid/hyper/neo/extreme Calvinists.

All I can say is, kick it, Ed!

Charles

P.S. Memo to Tom Ascol: How long did you think you could fool the SBC?

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Was W.A. Criswell A "Founders-type" Calvinist?

In reponse to Dr. Eric Hankins' "A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation," Dr. Tom Ascol at Founders Ministries is claiming that W.A. Criswell was a Calvinist. Ascol quotes from some old sermons of Dr. Criswell, including one in which he said, "I am a Calvinist."  Naturally, Tom's sycophants have taken up the cause and are blogging about Dr. Criswell.  One sycophant (name withheld to prevent from embarrassment) declared Dr. Criswell to be a "five-point Calvinist."

According to Ascol and his Founder's followers, case closed.

But was Dr. Criswell's Calvinism the same new/hybrid/hyper/Reformed/neo Calvinism that Dr. Ascol wants to use to "reform" the Southern Baptist Convention?

I hold in my hand The Criswell Study Bible (Thomas Nelson, 1979).  Yes, you read it right.  The CRISWELL Study Bible.  Criswell as in "W.A."  The notes on Romans 8:30 say,

An order of salvific events may be deduced from this passage combined with insights from other passages.  The order of events is in some cases chronological, but many of the aspects happen simultaneously, making the order primarily logical rather than chronological: (1) foreknowledge, (2) predestination, (3) calling, (4) contrition (2 Cor. 7:10), (5) repentance (Luke 13:3), (6) faith (Heb. 11:6), (7) regeneration (Titus 3:5), (8) justification, (9) reconciliation, (10) sanctification, (11) adoption, and (12) glorification.

Article Five of Dr. Hankins' statement says,
Article Five: The Regeneration of the Sinner

We affirm that any person who responds to the Gospel with repentance and faith is born again through the power of the Holy Spirit. He is a new creation in Christ and enters, at the moment he believes, into eternal life.

We deny that any person is regenerated prior to or apart from hearing and responding to the Gospel.
Concerning the order of salvation, Dr. Criswell held repentance and faith to be prior to regeneration, unlike the "regeneration before faith" Southern Baptist Founders Calvinists of today. Whatever Dr. Criswell meant by the words, "I am a Calvinist," his theology was nothing like Dr. Ascol and his Founder friends.

What about it, Tom?  Wanna come out and play?

Charles

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Aaron Coe Responds

On Feb 17th we introduced our readers to Aaron Coe, a VP at NAMB and for all practical purposes Kevin Ezell's point man for distributing millions of dollars of NAMB funds to new church plants. We followed up with an article on April 14th about the church Aaron planted in New York City before he went to work for NAMB.

On April 25, Aaron responded in a comment and rather than leave his remarks buried in the comments section we felt we should call attention to them here.  Aaron said,
Hi Charles

Your post is very interesting. However, I wish you'd checked your facts with me.

First, I've never been affiliated with A29.

Second, in 2008 Gallery Church in NYC planted three, new, autonomous churches. To which we sent at least two dozen people to get them started. As of today,the 4 churches have an attendance of over 1200 and baptize dozens per year. Unfortunately you don't get the full picture of our work in NYC by just looking at one ACP profile.

Thanks for your prayers


To which I responded in a comment on May 3rd to Aaron,

Aaron, Hello!

What are the names of the other three churches?

Charles
We look forward to hearing from Aaron again.

Charles

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Pray For Dr. Ed Stetzer's Daughter, Kaitlyn!

Lord Jesus,

Please heal Dr. Ed Stetzer's daughter totally and completely.

In Your Holy Name we pray!

#PrayForKaitlyn

Charles

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Using Numbers To Evaluate Churches: A Biblical And Historical Response To Jared Moore

Pastor, blogger, and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary student Jared Moore recently posted an article entitled "Ten Contemporary Sacred Cows that Need to be Tipped." One of the "cows," according to Brother Jared, was church emphasis on "numbers, numbers, numbers." Jared wrote, "Is there anywhere in Scripture where God evaluated His church or their ministry based on numbers? No. So, why is there a huge emphasis on numbers today?"

This article is humbly offered in response to Jared.

Jared Moore: "Is there anywhere in Scripture where God evaluated His church or their ministry based on numbers? No."
Acts 1:15: In the upper room "the company of persons was in all about 120..."

Jared Moore
: "Is there anywhere in Scripture where God evaluated His church or their ministry based on numbers? No."
Acts 2:41: On the day of Pentecost "there were added that day about three thousand souls."

Jared Moore: "Is there anywhere in Scripture where God evaluated His church or their ministry based on numbers? No."
Acts 2:47: "And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved."

Jared Moore: "Is there anywhere in Scripture where God evaluated His church or their ministry based on numbers? No."
Acts 4:4: Shortly after Pentecost "many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand."

Jared Moore: "Is there anywhere in Scripture where God evaluated His church or their ministry based on numbers? No."
Acts 5:14: "And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women."

Jared Moore: "Is there anywhere in Scripture where God evaluated His church or their ministry based on numbers? No."
Acts 6:1: "Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number..."

Jared Moore: "Is there anywhere in Scripture where God evaluated His church or their ministry based on numbers? No."
Acts 6:7: "And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith."

Jared Moore: "Is there anywhere in Scripture where God evaluated His church or their ministry based on numbers? No."
Acts 8:6-7: "And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip when they heard him and saw the signs that he did. For unclean spirits came out of many who were possessed, crying with a loud voice,and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed."

Jared Moore: "Is there anywhere in Scripture where God evaluated His church or their ministry based on numbers? No."
Acts 9:31: "So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied."

Jared Moore: "Is there anywhere in Scripture where God evaluated His church or their ministry based on numbers? No."
Acts 9:35: "And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord."

Jared Moore: "Is there anywhere in Scripture where God evaluated His church or their ministry based on numbers? No."
Acts 9:42: "And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord."

Jared Moore: "Is there anywhere in Scripture where God evaluated His church or their ministry based on numbers? No."
Acts 11:21: "And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord."

Jared Moore: "Is there anywhere in Scripture where God evaluated His church or their ministry based on numbers? No."
Acts 11:24: Barnabas "was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord."

Jared Moore: "Is there anywhere in Scripture where God evaluated His church or their ministry based on numbers? No."
Acts 12:24: "But the word of God increased and multiplied."

Jared Moore: "Is there anywhere in Scripture where God evaluated His church or their ministry based on numbers? No."
Acts 13:43-44: In Antioch of Pisidia "after the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, as they spoke with them, urged them to continue in the grace of God. The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord."

Jared Moore: "Is there anywhere in Scripture where God evaluated His church or their ministry based on numbers? No."
Acts 13:49: "And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region."

Jared Moore: "Is there anywhere in Scripture where God evaluated His church or their ministry based on numbers? No."
Acts 14:1: "Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed."

Jared Moore: "Is there anywhere in Scripture where God evaluated His church or their ministry based on numbers? No."
Acts 14:21: In Derbe when "they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch."

Jared Moore: "Is there anywhere in Scripture where God evaluated His church or their ministry based on numbers? No."
Acts 16:5: "So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily."

Jared Moore: "Is there anywhere in Scripture where God evaluated His church or their ministry based on numbers? No."
Acts 17:4: In Thessalonica "some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women."

Jared Moore: "Is there anywhere in Scripture where God evaluated His church or their ministry based on numbers? No."
Acts 17:12: In Berea, "many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men."

Jared Moore: "Is there anywhere in Scripture where God evaluated His church or their ministry based on numbers? No."
Acts 17:34: In Athens, "some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them."

Jared Moore: "Is there anywhere in Scripture where God evaluated His church or their ministry based on numbers? No."
Acts 18:8: In Corinth, "Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized."

Jared Moore: "Is there anywhere in Scripture where God evaluated His church or their ministry based on numbers? No."
Charles H. Spurgeon:

"I am not among those who decry statistics, nor do I consider that they are productive of all manner of evil; for they do much good if they are accurate, and if men use them lawfully. "It is a good thing for people to see the nakedness of the land through statistics of decrease, that they may be driven on their knees before the Lord to seek prosperity; and, on the other hand, it is by no means an evil thing for workers to be encouraged by having some account of results set before them. I should be very sorry if the practice of adding up, and deducting, and giving in the net result were to be abandoned, for it must be right to know our numerical condition. It has been noticed that those who object to the process are often brethren whose unsatisfactory reports should somewhat humiliate them: this is not always so, but it is suspiciously frequent."
What else needs to be said?

Charles

HT: A Tennessee reader.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Is LifeWay's Ed Stetzer Clueless Or Conniving?

Pastor Tim Rogers has a new blog article about a recent LifeWay survey he received in the mail.  His comment was "it doesn’t take rocket scientists observing questions to realize the desired outcome of the Research team at Lifeway."  Another pastor commented, "This survey is completely misleading, and it really makes me wonder if someone is trying to make every Southern Baptist think that they are Calvinists."  Take the time and read it carefully.

My only comment is that either Ed Stetzer is extremely clueless or exceptionally conniving.  Of course with Thom "Nepotism" Rainer at the helm it's no wonder.

For more on Ed read our blockbuster story on LifeWay's misuse of statistics and our later apology.

Ed has an agenda.  No doubt about it.

Charles

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Future Of Southern Baptists Churches?

Here is the future of Southern Baptist churches if Tom Ascol, Al Mohler, and Kevin Ezell get their way.

Charles

HT: Steve A

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Update on Aaron Coe's Gallery Church

On February 17th, we introduced you to North American Mission Board President Kevin Ezell's right hand man, Aaron Coe. Aaron came to NAMB from planting and pastoring The Gallery Church in New York City. Since Aaron is responsible for distributing millions of dollars of Southern Baptist money to NAMB church plants around the country one would hope that he was someone who could not only plant but grow a church. As a good steward of Southern Baptist money President Ezell would want that kind of experience, right?

No, not Kevin. In our article, we showed you Aaron's less-than-stellar performance as a church planter and pastor. We linked to article after article describing the free help and resources that Aaron received. From Kevin Ezell's church, to NAMB money and personnel, to mission trip volunteers from other churches, Coe's Gallery Church received what seemed to be a nearly unlimited amount of help and resources. Yet year after year under Coe's leadership the church declined.

Yes dear readers, this is the man Kevin Ezell selected to distribute Southern Baptist money to church plants. Now I know what you're thinking. Charles, you say, maybe Kevin was seduced by Southern Seminary's slick video interviews with Aaron that attempted to show him as one of their success stories. No, that's not it. Kevin knew Aaron and even claimed credit for helping to plant The Gallery Church. (Note to Southern: You might want to pull those now embarrassing videos.)

So what's up with Gallery Church these days? After Aaron's departure, the church is now pastored by Freddy T. Wyatt. Like Aaron, Freddy is Deformed Reformed in his theology. Last year the church downsized to one worship service and only a few months ago the New York Times reported that the church had around 100 members. This is sad considering the "lostness" in America's largest city and especially considering the vast resources that NAMB and others have poured into the church for years.

Like most Southern Seminary graduates, Freddy's hero's are not Southern Baptist pastors and evangelists who are proven soul winners. In one of his blog entries Freddy wrote:

I first heard John Piper preach, and first read a few of his books in 1998. His sermons and books became and still are water for my soul. Piper’s personal ministry (which is really the overflow of his preaching ministry) is Desiring God. Desiring God recently began to interview pastors and I really enjoyed this one of Tim Keller. Keller planted Redeemer Presbyterian Church here in Manhattan 21 years ago. Most young planters like myself have gleaned much wisdom from Keller.
Note to Freddy: You can do better. Start by forgetting everything those "regeneration before faith" Southern professors taught you about growing a church. It's not working!

Freddy also serves as the director of Southern Seminary's extension program in NYC and I'm sure the extra income is a help to him and his family. And NAMB? Don't you know they're still involved! (At what point do they quit pouring money into a black hole?) The church has a business administrator who "is officially employed by the Gallery Church through an internship program with the North American Mission Board." All this for a church of 100 members. I kid you not.

When Kevin Ezell tells you about all the church planting that NAMB is doing, ask him how much time and money he has in The Gallery Church. Then duck.

Charles

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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Is LifeWay's Ed Stetzer As "Creepy" As Obama?

In the March 29th Wall Street Journal, columnist and former speechwriter Peggy Noonan wrote the following about President Barack Obama:
Events of just the past 10 days have contributed to the shift. There was the open-mic conversation with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in which Mr. Obama pleaded for "space" and said he will have "more flexibility" in his negotiations once the election is over and those pesky voters have done their thing. On tape it looked so bush-league, so faux-sophisticated. When he knew he'd been caught, the president tried to laugh it off by comically covering a mic in a following meeting. It was all so . . . creepy.
Indeed it was. Here was a President who got caught and then tried to diminish the impact by making a joke of it. Creepy indeed.

Southern Baptists, however, do not have to look to Washington in order to see creepy. We've got it in spades at LifeWay HQ in Nashville.

Unless you're been under a rock for the past ten years, you're no doubt aware of the Deformed Reformed Calvinist movement known as the Founders who have as their stated goal the takeover of Southern Baptist churches to hybrid/hyper/extreme/Reformed Calvinism. They even have a "how-to" manual on their web site telling their pastor friends how to convert our churches.

LifeWay's Ed Stetzer knows all this. He knows that concerned Southern Baptist leaders such as past SBC presidents Adrian Rogers, Frank Page, Bobby Welch, Jack Graham, Paige Patterson, and others have spoken out and warned Southern Baptists about the Reformed movement.

Like Obama, Eddie got caught with his pants down. When LifeWay wanted new curriculum, Ed put together an advisory board, not a broad spectrum of SBC pastors, but a closed group that was overwhelmingly Reformed in theology, many of whom were not even Southern Baptists!

Then he got caught. The Calvinist Flyswatter first broke the story and the rest is history.

Now comes the creepy part. Did Ed attempt to make amends to those concerned about the new curriculum? Did he offer to create a more balanced advisory board? Did LifeWay offer to rewrite the curriculum after an advisory board was in place which reflected the views and theology of the vast majority of Southern Baptists? No. Instead, like Obama, Ed decided to dismiss concerns by joking about it.

At 1:03 PM on March 15, 2012, Ed tweeted the following:
(In case you don't know, Tom Ascol is the head of Founders Ministries, and Timmy Brister is an assistance pastor at Tom's church.)

Funny? Maybe to Ed. Maybe to Obama. But to me?

Creepy.

Charles

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Blast From The Past: Five And Six Years Ago From The Calvinist Flyswatter

We are running these "blasts from the past" to remind readers that many of the issues today with the Reformed-Hyper-Hybrid-Extreme Calvinists are not new. The Calvinist Flyswatter has been swatting them for years. Enjoy.

FROM FIVE YEARS AGO:

Spurgeon Rebukes The Founders
("It will be seen that those who never exhort sinners are seldom winners of souls to any great extent, but they maintain their churches by converts from other systems.")

Al Mohler: Homosexuality May Be Genetic
("Dr. Al Mohler is at it again. Instead of concentrating his efforts on training pastors, something he is paid to do as the President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, he has apparently decided again that he wants Richard Land's job.")

Apologetics: D. L. Moody vs. James White
("As I read Spurgeon's remarks, I wonder what fruit 'Dr.' James White has to show for his efforts? After all, James spends most of his time challenging and debating people of similar stripe.")

Church Discipline and Tom Ascol
("Is Tom willing to 'cover all the bases' with his disciplinary proposal, applying it to all categories of non-attending members...?")

FROM SIX YEARS AGO:

Mark Dever vs. the SBC and Charles H. Spurgeon
(Unlike Dever, "CHS promoted both early child conversions and baptisms. He said that among his best members were those who were converted very young and were baptized and became members of the church.")

Southern Baptist seminary professor affirms "regeneration before faith" heterodoxy
("Dr. Schreiner strongly affirms the 'born again before faith' heterodoxy which is neither Baptist nor biblical.")

The James White 'Born Again Before Faith' White Lightning Distillery
("When James comes out and repudiates his 'born again before faith' doctrine for which he has contended, we will know he is serious when he says he agrees with the London Confession and Spurgeon.")

Regeneration In Relation To Faith In Calvinist Theology
(Bob Ross argues that the modern "born again before faith" view is not true Calvinism.)

Bob Ross: Why Are Calvinist Churches Usually So Small?
(No further explanation needed.)

Charles

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

LifeWay Statistics: An Apology From The Flyswatter

Dear readers, The Flyswatter let you down. For that, we apologize.

Last month when we published our blockbuster story on LifeWay's misuse of statistics we failed to do our homework. This is so embarrassing. Please forgive us.

We told you in the story about how churches are failing to report their ACPs, even big churches such as David Platt's. We asked how Ed Stetzer at LifeWay could say with a straight face that baptisms were down in the SBC when he didn't have the numbers from the churches. How could he give interviews to secular media trashing the denomination which pays his salary when he didn't have the data to back it up? Does one plus one still equal two or is it different for LifeWay?

We apologize because we completely missed a May 11, 2011 story in the Tennessee Baptist Convention's Baptist and Reflector entitled "Analyzing trends difficult when fewer churches report stats." The article says,

[H]istorically the Southern Baptist Convention data has been the envy of all other denominations. In recent years, however, participation in the Annual Church Profile by churches has declined, thus making it hard to evaluate accurately what type of progress, if any, is being made to reach our state and nation for Christ.
Another article in the B & R says that "LifeWay is charged with the task of gathering data from churches all across the country."

A month after the May 11th B & R article came out, LifeWay's Ed Stezer was quoted in USA Today on the "decline" in SBC baptisms. Ed said, "This is a trend. And the trend is one of decline." Ed said nothing about the decline of reporting baptisms among SBC churches.

Sorry, readers. We were too easy on Ed in our first article. We cut him far too much slack.

His culpability is way beyond what we first imagined.

Why Ed? Why report data that you do not have and act like you have it?

Charles

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