Archive for January, 2014

J/A

In a recent debate between James White and Michael Brown on the Atonement, White opined that Revelation 5:9 proves the Calvinist TULIP tenet of Limited Atonement, and asserted that there is nothing in this text that shows that the atonement was applied or effective to those redeemed as a result of their belief. Although, this seemed more for an argument for Unconditional Election, Rev 5:9 does not support White’s contention, and White ignored the plethora of examples throughout Revelation that show the exact opposite.

We will comment later on the debate in its entirety as we believe that a fundamental error made by White is that he attempted to argue that God’s intentions in the atonement prove its limitations, which he actually argues by making “intention” and “decree” synonymous. In other words, whatever the results are of those who believe, God must have intended that those saved prove His divine decree of election. White makes an a posteriori argument for intention based on his presuppositional inclinations towards election without actually establishing any valid argument for what exactly did God intend?  White makes the application of the atonement and its provision the same thing. And although White repeatedly stated that the issue was about God’s intentions in the atonement, he did not provide one Scriptural argument that defines God’s intentions, he merely offered philosophical speculation that God’s intention must be to limit the atonement to the elect since in his view they are unconditionally elected.

For example, if we were to define God’s intent, we could show that God is not willing that any should persish, but that all come to repentance. That shows intent. We could show that God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked and wants them to turn to Him and live. Ezekiel 33:11. Again, showing intent. In Jeremiah 32:35, you can see God’s intent by contrasting it with what He did NOT intend, and that was that Israel caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech. In John 5:40, Jesus said, “Ye will not come to me that ye might have life”. Or Hosea 6:6 where the LORD says He desires mercy and not sacrifice. There are numerous passages in Scripture that show God’s intent and desires, and White failed to show one single example of God’s intent that supported his assumption that God only intended for the atonement to have a limited provision.

Revelation 5:9 reads,

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

White’s argument here is really the same age-old Calvinist cliche that God offers to save “all without distinction, not without exception”. The simple Greek “ek” used in Revelation 5:9 “out of” every kindred, tongue and tribe, does not help White’s case. As in Matthew 24:31, where God gathers his elect “ek” or “from” “out of” the four winds, does this mean that there are winds that God forgot about? Revelation 5:9, as in Matthew 24:31, simply refers to the object that the believers were taken from (the four winds, every kindred, tongue), and says nothing about any who were predestinated to believe.

One problem with White’s theory is that if this verse implies that only all “kinds” were taken out of every kindred, tongue, and people, if he is conceding that the atonement is limited to every kindred, then what about the other kindred? In attempting to make parts of the whole, White’s composition fallacy actually serves to refute his own argument.

Nevertheless, a fatal flaw in White’s logic is the failure to understand or even address the numerous other examples in Revelation that show that salvation was contingent upon something done by the person, i.e., showing faith and repentance. In Revelation 3:5, those who did not overcome by faith were blotted out of the book of life. In Revelation 7:14, those of whom were redeemed were those who came “out of” (there’s that ‘ek’ again) great tribulation and MADE THEIR robes white in the blood of the Lamb. In Revelation 12:10-12, the believers overcame the dragon by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. In Revelation 15:2, the believers had gotten victory over the beast by refusing to take his number.

Not only is White in error by the clear demonstration in Revelation of what believers did to be saved, but we must also look at what condemned the rest. In Revelation 9:20-21, those who were not killed by the previous mentioned plagues refused to repent of their deeds. Since White argued in Revelation 5:9 that there was nothing in the text that said these men were redeemed by showing the condition of exercising belief, then he must also be consistent in Revelation 9 where the text does not say that men refused to repent because they were never given the ability to do so. Likewise, in Revelation 16:11, again the men upon whom suffered under plagues continued in their refusal to repent. If repentance was not a willful option here, it would be senseless for John to include their refusal to do so if they were never able to repent simply because the atonement did not apply to them, which of course as we stated earlier, White would confuse the provision of the atonement with its application, and since these men refuse to believe (thus not receiving the benefit of the atonement’s application) then the provision of the atonement must not apply to them.

Furthermore, Revelation 14:9-12, one of the clearest passages in the Bible on the traditionalist view of hell, shows that those who suffer eternal damnation receive this punishment as a result of willfully taking the mark of the beast. In contrast with believers in Revelation 15:2 who overcame the beast by refusing to take the mark, it is clear that a free will choice was made from Revelation chapters 13:11-18-Revelation 14:13 whether to receive the mark of the beast and thereby secure in themselves eternal damnation whereas they could have chosen otherwise by refusing the mark, and be martyred for their faith.

Even though White attempted to argue that the atonement in the Old Testament was limited, he again, ignores the provision with the application. When the “Destroyer” sought to slay all the firstborn in Exodus 12 during the tenth plague, the provision was available to every Israelite (“whole assembly” Ex 12:6), but the atonement was only effective to those who applied the blood to the door (Ex 12:13). White attempts to presume that since this provision was only applicable to Israel, that such demonstrates a limited atonement. However, if this were true, then no Israelite would be able to resist the atonement. Moreover, this argument fails to account for the offer, which at this time, was NOT a universal offer, although there was a universal acceptance of any who desired to become a proselyte to Israel that met the conditions. Exodus 20:10, 23:12, 12:19-48, Deut 5:14, 16:11-14.

White then contends that an unlimited atonement would lead to universalism. Again, this is based on the view that the provision of the atonement and its application are the same thing. White is confusing provision with the effect of the application. A father that provides for his family does not mean that everyone at the table is eating their spinach. Provision does not equal effect and application. The provision of the food on the table is effective when the person applies the food to a spoon and fork. If provision always amounted to application, then no father who provides for his family would ever have an anorexic child.

The Scriptures are so clear on the universal atonement that one must wrest the words of God like a UFC fighter to make them say otherwise.

 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

Who were the “all dead” here? Were only the elect dead? If Christ only concluded the elect in unbelief (Romans 11:32) then that would mean that all the non elect were never sinners. Yet this verse shows clearly that the one who died for all, died for all who were dead. Of course, the Calvinist is quick to seize on the “but it says ‘which died for THEM'”; however, that applies to “those that live”.

In 1 Timothy 2:1-6 is further evidence of unlimited atonement,

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

In the Calvinists attempt to limit “all men” to the elect, they skip over verses 1 and 2 where we are told to make prayers for kings, and ALL that are in authority. So if “all men” here means the elect, then are all kings elect? Or are we not supposed to pray for anyone but the elect? If the context defines all as all in authority, does that mean we we only pray for some police officers and judges?

In John 7:37, Jesus speaking at a feast said, “If ANY MAN thirst, let him come unto me and drink”.

In John 6:51, Jesus said, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If ANY MAN eat of this bread he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the LIFE OF THE WORLD”. The fact that those whom Jesus called to be disciples chose not to continue following Him in verse 66 of John 6, shows that the provision was made to all men, but the application only applied to those who believed in Christ.

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men” Titus 2:11.

“To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” Galatians 4:5

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for THE UNGODLY” Romans 5:6

“And if any man believe not, I judge him not, for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world”. John 12:47. The Father does the judging of the sinner at the Great White Throne judgment, and judges the whole world of those remaining that refused to believe in Christ. The world is therefore comprehensive and in contrast to whom Christ died, the clear meaning of the text is that He literally died for the whole world, not just the elect.

Limited Atonement is quite useless if there is only a certain amount of elect chosen before the foundation of the world to be saved. It would make no difference to whom it applies if only a certain amount were preordained to be saved anyway. Nevertheless, this is why Limited Atonement is also contingent upon unconditional election and irresistible grace. But the Scriptures make it clear that those to whom even though a provision was made, willfully rejected him. This could not be any more clear than in Isaiah 65:12,

Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not [not ‘could not’] answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not.

This shows that people often choose the things that God did not desire, even though He called them to do otherwise. This shows that the call is not irresistible, and shows that not only can those called choose to do evil instead, but that what God intends, what He provides, and the application and effects are altogether different from each other.*

The Calvinist doctrine of Limited Atonement is actually more akin to universalism than the Calvinist straw-man applied to the universal atonement premise. The crux of universalism is that God saves everyone unconditionally. The Calvinist view is not much different, it only limits the audience, but everyone within that audience is saved unconditionally, so at least the method between Calvinism and universalism is exactly the same; whereas universal atonement includes the whole audience, but limits the benefit and effects of the atonement to whom it is applied of those who meet the conditions of repentance and faith. John 8:24, 2 Thess 1:8.

Although we believe Dr. Brown failed to defend his views on Authentic Fire (we agree with White on this debate), Brown did an adequate job of defending the universal atonement, and White simply had no answer for the plethora of verses that clearly teach this position. Instead, White wanted to limit the debate to the effects of the atonement, but only according to how he defines “effects” which would have slanted the debate if he had gotten his way because he would have successfully stacked the deck by preventing any possible rebuttal that would show the difference between provision and application.

Authentic Fire, White 1

Atonement, Brown 1

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* The Calvinists here would argue that such verses are counter-factual conditionals explained by secondary causation which is a complete farce, but we will deal with those objections in a separate article.

Although we believe that Brown adequately defended the atonement, we do reject his assumption that salvation can be cast away (conditional security). This view completely undermines the effect of the atonement.

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I understand that my opinion of the Ergun Caner controversy isn’t boding well with friends I have over in the Non Calvinist camp, but I can not apologize for the facts I have studied that have led me to a clear and convincing conclusion that Caner’s consistently changing stories are so bewildering that I could not in good conscience recommend such character as an example to be followed by students eager to learn God’s ways in their Christian walk.

As a former paralegal and intelligence analyst, of the many inconsistencies I’ve discovered in my own research of Caner’s claims was Caner’s claims to have been raised a Jihadist until he was 17 years old (although this video says he was 15 when he converted) : and the lack of the US intelligence agencies’ responses to that claim. Certainly, if Caner would have been interrogated by agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agencies (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA) or Homeland Security,  INTERPOL, or in Israel, Mossad, this would have been an incredible boost to his resume, and added credibility to his claim that he had in fact, been raised a Jihadist.

Since Caner claimed to have been raised Jihadist, this means that the sentiment would have been a familial goal. That being the case, every intelligence agency worth its salt would have wanted to question Ergun, and know the extent of his father’s involvement, if any, and if such intention still exists. They would have wanted to know who his trainers were, the locations of the Madrasas in Beirut (especially Beirut, since Hezbollah has many operations in Lebanon and is funded with millions of dollars by Iran), the identities of the leaders of any particular cell operations and where they were located, how many contacts did his father have, etc. If Caner was “raised” a Jihadist, then his father in coming to America would no doubt have had a specific plan, possible targets, and many Jihadists wait several years in order to implement such schemes at opportune times. Thus any information that could have been gleaned from not only Caner, but his brothers, mother,  father, and friends, would have been of extreme relevance, value and importance to intelligence agencies. Just because Caner converted, does not mean his past would cease to be relevant to intelligence agencies. On the contrary, it would become even more relevant because there’s always a possibility that the conversion could be a way to hide in plain site.

However, not once has Caner ever mentioned being detained or interrogated by any intelligence agencies, nor has he ever mentioned that anyone in his family has ever undergone the same. This would be HIGHLY unlikely and contrary to every known protocol among intelligence agencies not to thoroughly interrogate the Caners once Ergun declared publicly (even once to a group of United States military troops) that he was raised a Jihadist.

Furthermore, although most terrorist cells operate in small groups, once a cell has been compromised, those at the top of the food chain of that cell go to extremes to “tie up loose ends”. And because Jihadists use various intimidation tactics, they would have wanted Caner to know that  his actions in converting cost the lives of those whom he was trained with; yea they would have bragged about it, and used it as an example of what happens to those who defect. None of this is ever mentioned by Caner.

It also begs the question as to what extent any threats still exist. If Caner was raised a Jihadist, he was not raised in it alone. Now I affirm that Christ can save anyone (Heb 7:25), and I don’t want to cast doubt on Ergun or Emir’s conversions, but being converted does not eliminate the potential threat that could still exist. Even though Caner’s conversion was long ago, it is not uncommon for terrorist plots to take several years to come to fruition. As such, Ergun and Emir Caner would owe it to the citizens of America to cooperate with intelligence agencies in confirming their Jihadist plots and connections because the plot (if any) may have changed players, but that doesn’t mean the plot itself has changed, and the fact that Caner has been completely dishonest about his testimony should raise great alarm as to whether or not there may be a remaining threat if he was truly raised a Jihadist.

I don’t know why this issue has not been raised by those defending Caner, and even seems to be a matter that has been unnoticed by his opponents. I believe that Ergun Caner owes it to the American citizens and the intelligence communities to confirm whether or not any potential threats still exist. I’m sure that Lebanon would also appreciate knowing where these training centers are located so they could determine if they are still in use, and if the same people are still involved. That would also certainly be valuable information to US and Israeli intelligence. If the Caner’s father was building mosques inside America, and was an admitted Jihadist, where did the funds come from for the building projects? and did the Imams of those Mosques share the same sentiments as the Caners?

Ergun Caner has opened a can of worms with this side of his testimony and I believe there are several important issues that need to be resolved so that the citizens of America (and wherever else he trained for these Jihadist purposes) can feel safe in knowing that Caner has done all he can to insure that there will be no collateral damage as a result of his defecting from his childhood purpose, or that whatever crowd he was involved with is no longer a threat. But the fact that, as far as I have researched, Ergun has been completely silent about intelligence efforts to determine the extent of his involvement and whether or not there are any remaining potential threats is a very odd omission in his testimony.

Perhaps those reading this will yet believe Caner’s testimony. But in light of the afore mentioned factors, are you willing to take the chance that you could be wrong?

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One additional note on Caner’s claim is that he stated to have been shocked at the 911 attacks. If he was trained to do exactly what was done on 911, converted or not, why would he be shocked? The 911 attacks should have come as no surprise to him.

*The claim that Caner was trained as a Sunni terrorist in Beirut is an odd claim in that the only known Sunni terrorist camps in that area are at that time were Al Qaeda, the rest are Shiite Muslims, Hezbollah in particular.

Updated November 6, 2013 (first published January 24, 2012) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org) –

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This is a warning about the dangerous waters of evangelicalism and the fact that many fundamental Baptists are building bridges to these waters.

Recently I received an e-mail from a father who said that his church has begun using John MacArthur’s material for Sunday School. He asked, “Should a parent like myself be concerned?”

I replied:

“I would be extremely concerned if a church started using MacArthur’s material. Not only is he a staunch Calvinist who believes that one must be born again in order to believe, but he is a worldly rock & roll evangelical.”

In spite of the many good things in MacArthur’s teaching and his gift in exposition, Bible-believing parents should be deeply concerned about building bridges to him.

The first part of the following report is from the Middletown Bible Church, Middletown, Connecticut (no date), http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/separate/macrock.htm

John MacArthur hosts a youth conference which is called the “Resolved Conference.” Thousands of young people attend and listen to Christian lyrics sung to the heavy drum beat of rock music. There is no question that rock music is accepted and approved by John MacArthur and his church. This can be verified by going to the “Resolved” website [http://www.resolved.org/].

Peter Masters, Pastor of London’s famous Metropolitan Tabernacle where Spurgeon preached, wrote an article entitled, “The Merger of Calvinism with Worldliness.”  An excerpt from this article follows:

“When I was a youngster and newly saved, it seemed as if the chief goal of all zealous Christians, whether Calvinistic or Arminian, was consecration. Sermons, books and conferences stressed this in the spirit of Romans 12.1-2, where the beseeching apostle calls believers to present their bodies a living sacrifice, and not to be conformed to this world. The heart was challenged and stirred. Christ was to be Lord of one’s life, and self must be surrendered on the altar of service for him.

“But now, it appears, there is a new Calvinism, with new Calvinists, which has swept the old objectives aside. A recent book, Young, Restless, Reformed, by Collin Hansen tells the story of how a so-called Calvinistic resurgence has captured the imaginations of thousands of young people in the USA, and this book has been reviewed with great enthusiasm in well-known magazines in the UK, such as Banner of TruthEvangelical Times, and Reformation Today. This writer, however, was very deeply saddened to read it, because it describes a seriously distorted Calvinism falling far, far short of an authentic life of obedience to a sovereign God. If this kind of Calvinism prospers, then genuine biblical piety will be under attack as never before. The author of the book is a young man (around 26 when he wrote it) who grew up in a Christian family and trained in secular journalism. We are indebted to him for the readable and wide-reaching survey he gives of this new phenomenon, but the scene is certainly not a happy one.“The author begins by describing the Passion, conference at Atlanta in 2007, where 21,000 young people revelled in contemporary music, and listened to speakers such as John Piper proclaiming Calvinistic sentiments. And this picture is repeated many times through the book – large conferences being described at which the syncretism of worldly, sensation-stirring, high-decibel, rhythmic music, is mixed with Calvinistic doctrine.“We are told of thunderous music, thousands of raised hands, ‘Christian’ hip-hop and rap lyrics (the examples seeming inept and awkward in construction) uniting the doctrines of grace with the immoral drug-induced musical forms of worldly culture. Resolved is the brainchild of a member of Dr John MacArthur’s pastoral staff, gathering thousands of young people annually, and featuring the usual mix of Calvinism and extreme charismatic-style worship. Young people are encouraged to feel the very same sensational nervous impact of loud rhythmic music on the body that they would experience in a large, worldly pop concert, complete with replicated lighting and atmosphere. At the same time they reflect on predestination and election. Worldly culture provides the bodily, emotional feelings, into which Christian thoughts are infused and floated. Biblical sentiments are harnessed to carnal entertainment.’ (Pictures of this conference on their website betray the totally worldly, show business atmosphere created by the organizers.)“Truly proclaimed, the sovereignty of God must include consecration, reverence, sincere obedience to his will, and separation from the world. You cannot have Puritan soteriology without Puritan sanctification. You should not entice people to Calvinistic (or any) preaching by using worldly bait. We hope that young people in this movement will grasp the implications of the doctrines better than their teachers, and come away from the compromises. But there is a looming disaster in promoting this new form of Calvinism” (Peter Masters, “The Merger of Calvinism with Worldliness”).

MacArthur’s use of rock music in his own church is puzzling in light of the excellent statements he has made in the past against rock music, such as the following:

“Our music cannot be like the music of the world, because our God is not like their gods. Most of the world’s music reflects the world’s ways, the world’s standards, the world’s attitudes, the world’s gods. To attempt to use such music to reach the world is to lower the gospel in order to spread the gospel. If the world hears that our music is not much different from theirs, it will also be inclined to believe that the Christian way of life is not much different from theirs” (The MacArthur New Testament Commentary (1986)see discussion of Ephesians 5:20, p. 260).

“The association of hard rock with violence, blasphemy, sadomasochism, sexual immorality and perversion, alcohol and drugs, and Eastern mysticism and the occult are not accidental. they are fed from the same ungodly stream. A leading rock singer once said, ‘Rock has always been the devil’s music. It lets in the baser elements.’ Putting a Christian message in such a musical form [rock style] does not elevate the form but degrades the message to the level already established in the culture by that form” (The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, see discussion of Ephesians 5:20, p. 261).

“It should be noted that the many contemporary entertainers who think they are using their rock–style music to evangelize the lost are often doing nothing more than contributing to the weakening of the church. Evangelizing with contemporary music has many serious flaws. It tends to create pride in the musicians rather than humility. It makes the gospel a matter of entertainment when there is not one thing in it that is at all entertaining. It makes the public proclaimers of Christianity those who are popular and talented in the world’s eyes, rather than those who are godly and gifted teachers of God’s truth. In using the world’s genres of music, it blurs the gap between worldly Satanic values and divine ones. It tends to deny the power of the simple gospel and the sovereign saving work of the Holy Spirit. It creates a wide generation gap in the church, thus contributing to the disunity and lack of intimacy in the fellowship of all believers. It leads to the propagation of bad or weak theology and drags the name of the Lord down to the level of the world. The music of the gospel is certainly not a legitimate means for making money or seeking fame, and it must never be allowed to cheapen what is priceless, or trivialize what is profound” (The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, see discussion of Ephesians 5:19, p. 257).

“Rock music, with its bombastic atonality and dissonance, is the musical mirror of the hopeless, standardless, purposeless philosophy that rejects both God and reason and floats without orientation in a sea of relativity and unrestrained self–expression. The music has no logical progression because it comes from a philosophy that renounces logic. It violates the brain because its philosophy violates reason. It violates the spirit, because its philosophy violates truth and goodness. And it violates God, because its philosophy violates all authority outside of self” (The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, see discussion of Ephesians 5:19-20, p. 261).

“It [rock music] does this by catering to pride, by being grounded in emotion, by appealing to the flesh, by watering down the message, by sending a false impression of the nature of the gospel, and by cheapening the Christian life.” Seehttp://data.bereanwife.com/ccm_pdf.pdf

“Now I believe that basically speaking, rock music in and of itself is problematic—period. And I believe that for many reasons. One is: rock music is a product of a disoriented, despairing, drug-related sex-mad generation. There’s no question about that. The first big rock singer was Elvis Presley, who killed himself with drugs and who went through women, you know, continuously. And he gave rise to the whole rock generation. He was the first, and his whole act was sexual, sensual, you know; it was terrible. Nowadays we think he was comical because we’ve come so far. But the vernacular of rock music at this particular point represents a generation that I have real trouble identifying with. And what happens is if you put a Christian message in that vernacular, I think Christianity suffers immensely because I don’t think you can take that kind of medium and use it to propagate a Christian message” [Transcribed from the tape, GC 1301-R, titled “Bible Questions and Answers Part 20.” All Rights Reserved.]

We fully agree with these strong statements against rock music by John MacArthur. However, by tolerating and allowing rock music in his own church, MacArthur either does not practice what he preaches or he has changed his position on music, and no longer believes what he once preached.
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CONCLUSION BY BROTHER CLOUD

Indeed, John MacArthur is facing two ways in regard to the heresy of “cultural liberalism.” On one hand he reproves the emerging “new Calvinists” for their worldliness, while on the other hand he engages in that very thing.

In an interview with Alex Crain of Christianity.com, which was posted on YouTube, Aug. 18, 2011, MacArthur said:

“The fear is that the power of the world’s attraction is going to suck these guys and every generation after them, more and more into the culture, and we’re going to see a reversal of the Reformed revival. … My fear is that the further this thing goes in trying to accommodate the culture, the less it’s going to be able to hang on to that core doctrine” (“MacArthur Predicts Reversal of the Reformed Revival – Part 1,” http://youtu.be/xYhmo5gabQU).

MacArthur, who rightly warns that the heresy of cultural liberalism puts the next generation at risk, is referring to the popular philosophy which was enunciated by Mark Driscoll as the combination of “theological conservatism with cultural liberalism,” which is not new but has always been a major element of New Evangelicalism. It entails such things as Christian rock, drinking, champagne dance parties, beer brewing lessons, gambling nights, hula “worship,” analyzing R-rated movies for “edification,” and performing secular rock in the context of “worship.”

[Editor’s Note: For an example of MacArthurites analyzing R-Rated movies, see our article on How James White Helps Spread Islam and Atheism, where Fred Butler’s {an employee of John MacArthur} glowing reviews of Batman and Star Wars are discussed]

What MacArthur says about the danger of cultural liberalism is true, but his condemnation of it is grossly ineffective and hypocritical because he is guilty of it.

Camp Regeneration, a youth camp hosted by MacArthur for “churches throughout the nation each July,” is rife with cultural liberalism.

High school boys and girls dress immodestly, engage in questionable activities (such as girls getting covered with wet mud in the presence of boys) and rock out to rap music performed by ear-ringed, tattooed hip-hop artists in an atmosphere of darkened auditoriums, flashing lights, and smoke.

The Master’s College, which is headed by MacArthur, hosted a hip-hop concert in December 2011 featuring Lecrae, Trip Lee, Tadashii, Sho Baraka, DJ Official, and THI’SL. The Master’s College students produce pop/rap/country rock videos with full blown dance routines and covers of secular rock songs. They host a Fall Thing event that is extremely worldly. In 2011 the theme was “Unrestricted Reality,” and the students donned costumes imitating characters from Star Wars, sci-fi fantasy, super heroes, and the pop culture in general. This plays right into the hands of the culture’s fascination with fantasy and the devil’s use of it to corrupt men’s minds. The young people wouldn’t want to dress up this way unless their minds and hearts were already infatuated with Hollywood.

The Master’s College’s annual Week of Welcome features beach activities and pool parties complete with girls in tight and very skimpy bathing suits. (All of this is evident from the photos placed at the Flickr pages owned by the camp and school and from YouTube clips. See http://www.pccmonroe.org/2011/10.htm.)

Can someone tell me how MacArthur is leading the way against the adaptation of the sensual pop culture and why he is a safe “conservative” to follow? He was correct in observing that cultural liberalism will ruin the youth and eventually destroy sound doctrine, and his own flock will be the proof of it, as will those of every foolish pastor that follows in his footsteps.

Many fundamental Baptists are on the same destructive path, as we have documented in the free eBook “Biblical Separatism and Its Collapse Among Fundamental Baptists.” See www.wayoflife.org/free_ebooks/.
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By Dr. James Ach and Dr. Elisha Weismann

As independent fundamental Bible believing Baptists, we avoid most other denominations due to several doctrinal differences that we believe mandates separation from such believers. However, we still acknowledge many of the truths that some of them espouse to, and still consider many of them Christian brothers and sisters. Nevertheless, there are times when the actions of some churches and their leaders and supporters have an impact that affects us all.

We started this website after the scandal surrounding former pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Jack Schaap, was arrested and convicted of child molestation. While we were still in America, we saw how the scandal affected the credibility of many Baptist churches across the US. Baptists had doors slammed in their face when out door knocking, and several new Facebook groups (“Do Righters”) were started that gained thousands of followers, and many of those groups are now a virtual haven for atheists and skeptics. One man’s actions turned several thousand people into critics, skeptics, atheists, and fundamentalist bashers. (We have dealt with facts beyond that generalization elsewhere, so don’t go into a tizzy about commenting us that it wasn’t just Schaap.)

The scandal surrounding Ergun Caner is beginning to have the same effect, even here in Israel (thanks to James White constantly reminding the Muslims about it for the last four years). Although it has not been so prevalent a topic as we have seen in America, there have been more than one occasion when we have attempted to witness to Muslims in Jerusalem where Ergun Caner has been brought up. It has already been dangerous enough with some of the work we have done (and hence why our personal information has been kept private) without the problems faced with this added scandal.

In our opinion, if Ergun Caner was to be tried in a criminal court with the testimony given by him in videos, and publicly written statements by him, he would be convicted of perjury.

We fear that many of his supporters are supporting him out of the fear that since the majority of his attackers are Calvinist, that it will somehow lend credibility to them as a group if Caner concedes to their accusations. Now those who follow us on here know we are just as much opposed to Calvinism as most of Caners supporters, and we are by no means a fan of James White, who has been undoubtedly the loudest opponent against Caner. But, James White has a point, and regardless of his other faux pas, I believe it is to the detriment of all of the churches involved to ignore this issue’s importance. Anytime any popular “religious” leader is involved in a scandal, it is always used as fodder against the rest of the church. Now we can’t be expected to police every little action or stupid thing some pastor or church member does, but we need to at least address the ones we can, especially when they have the potential to ruin the reputation of Christians on such a large scale.

We are going to view the following facts as we would have when we were both working in the legal field.

The Investigators Defense

This is probably the number one defense that others have offered for Ergun Caner. The problem with this is that, to our knowledge, we don’t know who the investigators were, and specifically, what they were looking for. Investigators always begin with a “hunch” which often leads to additional evidence. Or, they have a few very specific questions and suspicions that are the hallmark of the case, and the investigation begins by building a view based upon certain facts relevant to what the investigator believes is necessary to prove the case.

If the investigators were not specifically looking for deliberate lies, then their ultimate findings will be “we find no fault”. Furthermore, it also depends on which lies they were looking at. If the only matter they investigated is whether Ergun Caner was untruthful about the date of his arrival in the United States, then a simple acknowledging by him that a mistake was made would lead an investigator to conclude that their was no deliberate misconception. But we don’t know what they were looking for. 

As an independent investigator, I would have to conduct my own review of the facts and questions if the full report from the previous investigator is not available or disclosed. I could not simply rely on the conclusion without knowing how they arrived at their conclusion, because I need to know whether or not those conclusions can survive cross-examination in court. Investigators some times have biases, and I need to be able to prove my investigator a credible witness before I put him on the stand.

Therefore, we could not simply rely on the conclusions of these investigations without knowing their qualifications for investigating these kind of matters, what evidence they considered, and what kind of questions  they asked.

Apparent Cover Up of Information

This matter above all else, is what sold us on the scandal. When we first located Ergun Caner’s bio, this is what is now posted on his website, and pay close attention to what we have highlighted in bold:

Ergun Caner is a Professor & Apologist at the Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and Graduate School in Lynchburg, Virginia. Raised as a devout Sunni Muslim along with his two brothers, Caner converted in high school. After his conversion, he pursued his call to the ministry and education. He has a Masters degree from The Criswell College, a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Theology from the University of South Africa. [1]

However, we decided to use a website that maintains a permanent cache of information on websites. The following was Ergun Caner’s biography in this same section as above as follows from July of 2009:

Ergun Mehmet Caner (B.A., M.A., M.Div., Th,M., Ph.D.) is president of the Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and Graduate School at the Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Raised as the son of a Muslim leader in Turkey, Caner became a Christian shortly before entering college. Serving under his Chancellor and President, Jerry Falwell Jr., Caner led the Seminary to triple in growth since his installation in 2005. A public speaker and apologist, Caner has debated Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and other religious leaders in thirteen countries and thirty-five states. [2]

The first issue to notice is

a) Caner’s initial bio stated he was raised the son of a Muslim leader IN TURKEY. This information is removed from the recent bio. If the contention was that Caner simply lived there for a short time, or merely visited there, why not correct the mistake by revising the bio to read “was raised in Ohio, and born in Sweden”. Why doesn’t the current bio reflect where he was actually born? It is common to include place of birth in bios, and he had already listed it once, but not only is the information now different, but any information about his birth place is totally missing from the bio altogether.

b) The original states that Caner has debated Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and other religious LEADERS in 13 countries and thirty-five states.

(i) One of those who he listed as debating was Shabir Ally, although he has at least now conceded that he never met Ally. But we find it highly unlikely that with as popular as Shabir Ally is in the Islamic community, that a person who claims to have been raised a devout Muslim and speaking Arabic would confuse his name with someone elses. That would be akin to us being raised Jewish confusing Moshe Dayan with Chaim Weizmann, or claiming to have debated James White when it was really Norman Geisler.

(ii)There is not one single report, video, audio program, witness of any debates or formal debates. Others have defended this statement as simply that he may have had an argument and mistook that for a debate. As a person trained in apologetics, we find it hard to believe that he could misconstrue what “debate” means, and considering that he listed it as a credential on a biography, it is simply too illogical to conclude that he did not intend to convey that he  had actually had formal debates, just as he said, with religious leaders in 13 countries, and thirty-five states.

We have also seen that lawsuits that have been filed demanding the removal of videos and internet articles. Why remove them if the truth about your testimony is actually in those videos? If they were “doctored”, then leave them there because they would serve as exemplars to any future “doctored” videos. And, if they were “doctored”, then simply produce the original. Filing a lawsuit, and claiming that videos were doctored implies you can produce the original testimony. Otherwise your complaint would be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Why not produce the original testimony and compare it with the “fake” videos? That would shut James White up permanently (well, maybe not permanently).

There are a number of other anomalies in what we have seen. And keep in mind, this is not based upon ANY information from James White or his crowd. It is no secret how we here, as King James Only Bible believers view White’s views and vise-versa. This is based on our own independent research. These facts alone that we have presented would be enough for us to obtain a warrant for probable cause if we were to try this as a criminal case in court, and deliberate embellishment was a crime.

Now we have clearly shown on here how biased James White has been, the cruel antics of his followers and down right vile tweets, and White’s selective prosecution of those outside of his Calvinist circle (see our article titled “Where was James White” and “Response to James White”) [UPDATE/CORRECTION-Since JD HALL has clarified that he did not intend to state that Al Mohler was complicit, we will be removing those argumentative points when we get a chance] However, even a broken clock is right twice a day, and even though we believe White to be broken in several places doctrinally, he’s right on this one.

If you believe that Calvinists have a bad habit of twisting simple commonly understood terms like “love” “all” “world” etc..then don’t do the same thing to Ergun Caner’s testimony. Would we expect White or Hall to ever repent or apologize for any of their actions? I doubt it, they haven’t so far, and probably never will. But if you want to prove that these Calvinists are dishonest and use misleading rhetoric to the detriment of potential converts, then stop giving them an excuse to point fingers at those of us who oppose their doctrinal views and are trying to engage them in a battle for the truth. Will White and others use it against him forever if he concedes? Probably. White still uses out-of-context quotes from Dave Hunt even after the man has been dead for quite some time now. But who cares about their opinions? It is right to either correct their errors, or confront the accusers and set the record straight, not because James White and his ilk say so, but because it’s simply the right thing to do before God. Caner can still have a productive ministry just as David did, but not if he keeps avoiding this matter, and others continue enabling him to do so.

I understand this will not earn us any brownie points, but the name of our blog is Do Right Christians. Doing the right thing is doing the Godly thing no matter what it costs, and let God sort out the fallout. We are not going to compromise what we believe just because we might lose a few friends over it. And if that’s why any of you are afraid to admit the obvious, then who do you fear more, God or men? Acts 5:29