Archive for the ‘NEWS’ Category

ISIS and Coptic Christians

Posted: February 18, 2015 in NEWS
Tags: , ,

There’s been an uproar over an article written by the Pulpit & Pen website over whether or not the recent beheading of Coptic Christians actually involved the death or real Christians. I have to be cautious in writing this because I want to be sensitive about the emotions that are involved in this yet do so without compromising the truth. The reality is that there are Coptic Christians who have a genuine gospel-oriented testimony, but sadly the majority do not. The problem Westerners have in describing these men is that Coptic simply means “Egyptian”, and Coptic Christian can be just as general as “American Christian”. To a Muslim, an American Christian, for example, could be Catholic, Presbyterian, Mormon, or Baptist even though we Christians know there is an ENORMOUS difference among those groups. Thus it would have helped critics of the martyrs to first determine whether they were Orthodox Coptic Christians (which is about 85-90% of the Copts) or Coptic Evangelicals (which as with “American Christians”, makes up a variety of denominations).

Getting emotional @ ISIS murders doesn’t change the gospel nor make those they kill any more or less a Christian. Martyrdom is not what defines a Christian. If it were, then we could declare Muslim terrorists Christians because they died for what they believed in, or Japanese Kamikazes or my modern day Jewish brethren in the flesh who have continued to reject Christ but are yet murdered for being Jewish. What ISIS did to the 21 Copts and continues to do is reprehensible, but don’t be so quick to jump on the trend wagon of those who hail their “Christian” martyrdom.

If I kill you because of your religion, that does not necessarily mean that my accusations were right. Hitler killed many Jehovah’s Witnesses during WW2 because they professed Christ, but anyone that has done even a cursory examination of the Watchtower knows that they do not believe in the foundational truths of the gospel. Most Coptic “Christians” do not ascribe to the fundamentals of the Christian faith, and as such, it is inappropriate to refer to them as Christians without knowing exactly what particular branch of Coptic Christianity they held to.

That being said, I happen to be personally close to a few Coptic Christians and know some that are genuine believers. But the majority of the Coptic Community are not, and I have to say that the amount of believers among the Copts are the exception not the rule because the gospel of the Coptic Christian churches is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. If anything was made more clear about where the mainstream Coptic Church stood, it was in 1988 when their “Pope” (Pope Shenouda) signed a concordat with Rome agreeing with the Catholic definition of Christianity and Christology.

The reason this is important is because when you’re dead; that’s it. You don’t get a do-over. If we are going to encourage someone to die for what they believe, then we owe it to them to make sure that they get the gospel right before they are martyred, and that those who die do so for the right reason. Encouraging people to die for a lie is worse than the heinous acts committed upon the victims.

You can be angry and disgusted at what ISIS did without conceding that they were actually accurate in what they described as Christianity and Christians. They often get that wrong anyway even when debating ‘orthodox’ Christians. Let’s not cheapen the gospel by making emotionalistic exceptions. Although it is unfair to broad-brush all of the Coptic Christians as heretics, it is equally erroneous to give them all the stamp of gospel approval merely because a terrorist group killed them over their profession. Granted, I question the tactfulness and timing of Pulpit & Pen’s article on this, but now that it’s ‘out there’, it needs to be addressed, and so we have. I doubt there has been anyone that has went after Pulpit & Pen, JD Hall in particular, with the fervor that we have. But you can’t simply disagree with EVERYTHING that someone says merely because they have become your theological adversary. Not even Jesus went that far with the Pharisees. See Matthew 23:3. Of the 2 times a day JD Hall’s broken clock might be right about something, this may be one of them.

Nevertheless even this article may be a bit premature without determining just exactly what denomination the 21 belonged to. I will see what I can find out later on just what denomination they were a part of. Either way, it is sad, unjust and wicked what was done to these men. It’s a pattern that I am all too familiar with and it’s only the beginning of more to come. Revelation 6:9-10. It’s a sober reminder to Christians that they that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (2 Tim 3:12), but that “precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints”. Psalm 116:15.

Dr. James Ach

malarkey conundrum - Copy

The above photograph is a categorical syllogism. It demonstrates whether a certain proposition(s) has a logical conclusion. The story of Alex Malarkey, The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven,  has been “recently” recanted, or so at least that’s what we’ve all been told, but there is a fly in the ointment, and that is that the conclusion of the Alex Malarkey recant, as explained by the Pulpit & Pen website, subsequent commentaries by Executive Director of Grace To You Ministries, Phil Johnson, and Beth Malarkey, yields an illogical conclusion: The parties to the story can not disavow all claims to the book’s content before January 14, 2015, and then affirm them as being made up by Alex after January 14, 2015. Whether or not Lifeway and Tyndale, publishers of the Malarkey story, knew that Alex “disagreed” with the book is not the issue in this article, or how long they knew of Beth Malarkey’s complaints. It’s whether or not using one lie to clean up another is acceptable “S.O.P.”.

We attempted to dialogue with Phil Johnson on numerous occasions (Questions To Phil Johnson & Beth Malarkey), and Phil did offer a few condescending and insulting responses (documented in the above link), and it is clear that Johnson has rejected further discussion because in our opinion he would need to remove the egg from his face standing behind a story that has as many flaws as the book in question. Why impede on the momentum generated by Pulpit & Pen’s article? Who cares if it’s not all true or accurate? Even Phil Johnson admits, that if the “evangelical media” won’t cover it, then he’ll use whatever medium will listen: hardly the characteristics of an honest professing Christian. So long as the ends get the desired results the means used to get it can be ignored [The “Patheos” referred to is a progressive Christian website that is probably worse than the most blatantly atheist website].

philendjustfies - Copy

Phil waited 2 to 3 years to get results. So in his impatience, he was and is willing to do whatever it takes to keep the momentum going, even if that means maintaining a lie to do it. And what of JD Hall of Pulpit & Pen? This isn’t his first rodeo in using a teenage boy to get what he wants. See, Cyber Abuse Of Braxton Caner (teenager who committed suicide after JD Hall went after him on social media and embarrassed on national radio to get to his father). I’m sure there is some concern on behalf of those in the Servetus Klan* of JD Hall and Phil Johnson over heretical books being on the shelves on Christian bookstores, but at a recent G3 conference which held notable Calvinist speakers, James White, Paul Washer, Voddie Baucham, and Steven Lawson, Lifeway was an invited exhibitor, and neither Phil Johnson nor JD Hall and their “The 15″ club objected. Not one word. ** In fact, none of the speakers of this event, all of whom have numerous books sold by Lifeway, have offered any noticeable public responses to the Malarkey scandal.

If Phil & JD were so concerned about the  heresy among Lifeway books, why the silent treatment at a conference where their friends were speaking? And why the silence of those speakers? Could it be that these speakers didn’t want to rock the boat while they are still making a profit from their books on Lifeway’s shelves? JD Hall himself has a book published by Lifeway (Baptist Catechism) and we’ve seen (only rumored) nothing from Hall demanding that Lifeway remove his book from amidst their heretical publications.

JD Hall Knew For A Month Or Longer

bethtojdhall - Copy

Although the Twitter correspondence between Pulpit & Pen staff and Beth Malarkey goes back much further than just the above December 7, 2014, it shows that JD Hall knew for at least one month prior to publishing their article on the Alex recant that Beth Malarkey claimed the that the story did not truly belong to Alex. So why then did JD Hall wait over a month to publish the story? 

Summation of Questions To Phil Johnson & Beth Malarkey

When we wrote this article there were some unanswered questions. In the instant article we will explain why they are/were relevant.

*If Kevin and Beth are still married, how does she not have access to any of the royalties? I don’t see any mention of any separate accounts. 

The relevance of this is obvious. Beth Malarkey claims that she is receiving no assistance as the sole care provider, yet somehow she is paying for very expensive state-of-the-art medical supplies and hospital bills. Perhaps she has an explanation, but she never responded to us. It’s a reasonable question. When drug dealers claim they have no (legal) income, but have a Rolls Royce in their garage, it’s pretty common to question the veracity of their claimed source (or lack thereof) of income. As a woman STILL LEGALLY MARRIED to Kevin Malarkey, we simply find it nearly impossible to believe her claim, because she would be legally entitled to any compensation and/or royalties, particularly since Alex as a minor can not legally consent to contractual obligations.

*Did you attempt to get a copy of the contract from Tyndale? (Direct Request or FOIA)

Having a copy of the contract would show who received compensation and who agreed to the terms. Whoever is listed on the book cover as owning the copyright is irrelevant to the terms of the contract for the book. The contract would show whether or not Beth Malarkey entered into any of the contractual terms confirming her story as to whether or not she was consulted. We do not know yet whether Tyndale claims that the contract is confidential and/or privileged (would be an odd claim in this instance, but possible), but it would help clear up a few things, and would not infringe upon any of what Phil Johnson claims to be ‘privacy’ issues.

*Paraplegic or Quadriplegic? 

Although this is somewhat of a minor contention, it does show how much Phil Johnson was actually paying attention to the details of a case that he claims to have passionately pursued for “several years” (I guess writing a few blog posts about it three years ago equals a continued pursuit of the book publishers to recall the book, but I digress). In nearly every published document we’ve reviewed by Phil Johnson, he refers to Alex as a paraplegic, when all evidence points to him being a quadriplegic. If Phil claims to have such a vested interest in Alex’s plight, how is that he can’t even properly describe the young man’s condition?

*Was there any discussion of Alex’s “trip to heaven” in the house prior to the book being published?

Beth’s blog has only 23 articles published for the year of 2009, and 66 articles in 2010. The book was released July of 2010. In those entries for both years there’s not one single mention of Alex telling a story to a book publisher, or her husband working with Tyndale. Tyndale argues they made attempts to contact Beth, which Beth denies, but how did Beth NOT KNOW that a book was being published about her son? Her husband, Kevin, was still living with her at the time of the book’s preparation (assuming that any book takes time to write).  How is it that a book is not discussed on her blog until late 2011 when it was released in 2010? You mean to tell me that a father who took the kids to the park, was constantly active in the kids lives, present at Alex’s hospital appointments never tells his wife that he could have a multi-million dollar book deal that would help with medical expenses? He just all of a sudden got greedy and took off? AND SHE STAYED MARRIED TO HIM? (While most conservative Christians oppose divorce, there are at least 2 grounds in which they concede it is permissible, adultery and abandonment. However, there is no evidence that Beth Malarkey was a conservative Calvinist until after she had talked to Phil Johnson and Hank Haneggraff in 2012. The church mentioned in all of her and Kevin’s blogs was a charismatic church called Christ Our King Church which Beth claims to have stopped attending in October of 2009. Beth claims to have stopped attending this church because she was receiving strange letters about using Alex’s story to make a profit).

If Beth claims that she has opposed this book ALL ALONG, then HOW IS IT SHE HAS NO PUBLIC DENOUNCEMENT OF THE BOOK WITHIN A YEAR OF IT’S PUBLICATION? I will concede that it’s possible she wouldn’t mention it, but then at what time did she start getting concerned that she wasn’t getting compensated for it? And, with the passion of which she now contests the book, where was that passion in 2010? The first mention of her contesting the book isn’t until August 6, 2011. And are we really supposed to believe with that as often as she wrote about Alex on her blog that the preparation and publication of a best seller somehow missed the blog? You don’t have to agree with the theological issues to know that from July 2, 2010 to August 6, 2011 that the FACTS were a lie.

The Alex Malarkey Fan Club Was Surprised

Beth has posted a statement that she claims was made by Alex who stated August 6, 2011 (when he was reportedly in the hospital, we have not confirmed this detail yet) “one of the  most deceptive books ever”. This statement, if this conversation actually happened (it is  based on what Beth says is a screenshot although there is no actual Facebook link to the conversation) was clearly a shock to those running the Alex Malarkey fan page which indicates it was the first time they’d heard about it. This is a clear indication that Beth did not oppose this book for at least a year.  Had Beth been continuously opposed to the writing of this book, then I doubt that Alex’s fan club would have been as surprised as they were, as if they were hearing about this for the first time.

*Do you affirm that Alex did not read the Bible at anytime before July 2010?

We gave details about this question on the article itself (“Questions”), but to summarize: part of Alex’s recant was that he “never read the Bible”. This statement would appear to show that Alex was not “religious” enough to be concerned about such claims at the time he supposedly made up the story. But considering that both of his parents were church goers, we find it hard to believe that a boy who had been prayed for by the family and friends, never read the Bible to Alex. Of course, it’s a little disingenuous to use the fact that he couldn’t physically read as a pretense for claiming he never read the Bible, if that was the intention of the comment.

Beth Shows Her Ability To Write About Mysteries

Some of the things we documented in the Questions article were Beth’s stories about “using your imagination” and “pursuing your dreams”, one of which even discussed imagining what heaven would be like. Get that: IMAGINING WHAT HEAVEN WOULD BE LIKE. Beth also described another similar hypothetical heavenly scenario in an article called “Barriers“:

Do you believe in dreams? Do you believe that as an adult the visions that dance around in your head can begin to unfold. What if one of those dreams involved creating a place where people of all diversities of abilities could function, play, interact, and just be together. I have one of those dreams.

Thus, if Beth didn’t have any part of or knowledge of this book, she sure could’ve fooled us by the way in which she uses the same kind of charismatic language used in these type of books.  See, Part II of Questions To Beth Malarkey

Beth has refused to engage with us (and has blocked us on Twitter as has JD Hall), and instead has allowed Phil Johnson to speak for her.

CONCLUSION

WHAT IS THE MALARKEY CONUNDRUM?

The picture at the top of the article shows a blatant contradiction which is derived some several sources. It affirms two opposing propositions: that Alex did not make up the story, that Alex DID make up the story. Above, we see the December 7, 2014 screenshot to JD Hall, where Beth Malarkey says that the Boy From Heaven is NOT HIS STORY. Then that narrative changes on January 14, 2015 where Alex now personally takes credit for making up the story to “get attention”. 

So while Beth and Phil Johnson’s previous complaints affirmed that Alex disagreed with the book, they never claimed that Alex disagreed BECAUSE he said he “went to heaven to get attention”.  Before the Pulpit & Pen article was written, Beth Malarkey had continued to maintain that Kevin Malarkey had embellished a story from Alex. This original narrative that supposedly provides the exemplar for the embellishment is non-existent. There is no such original to compare this claim to. Thus, either Kevin made up the entire story, or there is a story somewhere that can be viewed and read that shows just WHAT it is that Kevin embellished.

However, screenshots like the above, and where Beth and Phil both claim previously that Alex “NEVER CONCLUDED that he went to heaven”, provide a stark contrast to what is NOW being claimed, and that is, Alex made up the story to get attention.

alexheaven - Copy

It’s pretty simple. A matter of common sense. Alex could not have NOT claimed that the story was his before January 14, 2015, and CLAIM IT is his done to get attention after January 14, 2015.

We do give JD Hall credit for a brilliant spin on the story that got the attention of the national ungodly antiChristian media. In reading some of the comments I have never seen such callousness in the way that many (atheists in particular) are vilifying Alex Malarkey. In our opinion, Alex was/is being used as an innocent pawn in a game of tug-of-war between JD Hall and Phil Johnson’s Calvinist agenda to attack the “Arminians” in the Southern Baptist Convention. They are using a seemingly justified complaint as a clandestine assault of an adjacent agenda. The fact that Hall has repeatedly aimed the success of the article as an “aha gotcha” directly at Ed Stetzer and Thom Rainer is half of the proof because just prior to the recant being published, Hall had been taunting Ed Stetzer and Thom Rainer over other heretical books published by Lifeway (Tyndale was never Hall’s target, it was Lifeway). Had Hall’s intent been to attack the actual publisher who took advantage of Alex, it would have been against Tyndale, not Lifeway. But Hall did not discover who the initial publisher was until later…

…OOPS.

We believe that Beth Malarkey wrote the initial recant letter (due to a common grammatical error that Beth uses on her blog where Alex is often spelled with a capital L- “ALex”-which was part of the original letter posted on P&P which has now been reformatted, and can no longer be accessed through the archives). In our opinion, since Phil Johnson was not getting the kind of results he’d hoped for, he commissioned JD Hall to help spin the story to get better results. Beth was a willing participant, not only for her own attention, but we also believe that this helped her get even with her husband who she publicly claims is a dead beat dad (according to Phil Johnson). It certainly worked because changing the narrative from “Alex DISAGREES with the book” to “Alex DID IT FOR ATTENTION” is why the media never picked up on it before, because Alex never actually recanted before. The media didn’t care that she didn’t agree with the book, they couldn’t belittle Christians as a whole as LIARS until Alex actually said he lied about the book. It’s been a pretty impressive sleight-of-hand trick, and now since we began to question this bogus narrative, Phil Johnson and JD Hall have done everything they can to discredit us, one move which included getting this author kicked off of a Christian forum.

While Hall & Johnson have made every effort to complain that Ed Stetzer marginalized them, they marginalize us. And while Hall & Johnson complain that Lifeway and Tyndale are covering up their complicity in publishing a book knowing the mother was complaining about it, they are complicit in attempting to silence us, and with some pretty vitriolic language to boot.

philnasty - Copy

We’re not merely implying that those attacking the book are lying, we’re documenting it with the facts that prove that the story as reported by Pulpit & Pen is an outright fabrication of the previous versions of the story. Keep in mind, it was the part of the story that included Alex going to heaven that sold the book. It is THAT PART of the story that Alex had previously claimed he did not author or agree with. It doesn’t matter what other parts of the story Alex may have contributed earlier as part of some”original” narrative, it was the part about going to heaven that made the big dollars, and Alex is NOW claiming, at least as far as this letter shows, a complete 180 from the previous narratives.

As fundamental Baptists, we are vehemently opposed to the plethora of heaven tourism material on the shelves of Christian bookstores, but we are also opposed to professing Christians having to lie because they weren’t getting better or faster results by other means. Why didn’t JD Hall go to Lifeway and Tyndale with the new information first that Alex was now personally taking responsibility for the story and disavowing it? Because Hall wanted to use the God-hating media to publicly embarrass several of this theological adversaries, and in the process, threw Alex Malarkey under the bus. . It is not OK to right a wrong by perpetrating an additional fraud. STOP LYING about this, and forcing an impressionable young quadriplegic teenager to take the rap for something he didn’t do.

_____________________________________

*Servetus Klan is a particular group of Calvinists that will use any means necessary to get rid of their enemies, and we believe includes burning them at the stake if it were legal. It doesn’t help that JD offered this serious suggestion in his secretive Pulpit & Pen Pulpit Bunker

jvu-donz-copy - Copy

** One blogger “KT” who reposts articles for Tony Miano, did attempt to contact G3 to inquire about Lifeway at the G3 Conference, his inquiry was ignored.

UPDATE: More screenshots of Phil Johnson’s responses and insults. Phil Johnson tells others he refuses to respond to me in public, but will gladly respond to “serious” Christians IN PRIVATE. That tells you quite a lot about his character.

Hi! Would you care to address some one who addressed you here in twitterdom?

  1. The AchTroll? No, as a matter of policy I don’t respond to frivolous parody accounts. He’s self-refuting anyway.

    TY. I wondered if you’d want to as he provided an income tax form for Grace to You listing compensation& ridicule followed.

    I’ll answer disagreements about doctrine or Scripture from real people, but I don’t generally reply to taunts or ridicule.

    . . . especially from loopy trolls. Anyone *genuinely* confused by the AchTroll can e-mail me. I’ll reply.

    UPDATE 4/2015

    Beth Malarkey tweeted that she is still trying to “figure out” who wrote the book

bethwhowroteit - Copy

Considering that Alex is now supposed to have confessed to this, and Beth and Phil Johnson had already previously claimed that Kevin authored the book, this little gem is a little odd, don’t you think?

malarkey conundrum - Copy

Update: We are now calling this, The Malarkey Conundrum: In 2012, Phil Johnson and Beth Malarkey claimed that Kevin Malarkey made up the entire heaven story; yet in 2015 they allow Alex Malarkey to claim he did it for attention. These are 2 mutually exclusive statements and blatant contradictions that have went unnoticed in all of the media outlets, and is likely the reason why both Phil Johnson & Beth Malarkey refuse to answer us.

Dr. James Ach and Dr. Elisha Weismann

[This is labeled “Part 1″ because there may be some additional testimony added from Kevin Malarkey’s side of the story]

After the liberal media took off with the story about Alex Malarkey recanting his trip to heaven this week (which he really didn’t recant this week), with atheists rejoicing everywhere, and Thom Rainer soaking in Epsom Salt from repeatedly bumping into the elephant in the middle of the Lifeway library, we did our own follow-up. One thing we have learned in the legal field as well as life in general is never take the first story of a previous con seriously without some fact checking first. If they fooled you once, chances are….

Even well-meaning pastors can make this mistake, and we think that possibly Phil Johnson of Grace to You Ministries fits that bill when he wrote about his conversation with Beth Malarkey, the mother of Alex Malarkey.

I personally took the time to read Beth Malarkey’s entire blog, every year since 2007. This is a mother that truly loves her children, and has bent over backwards for them, especially Alex. Some of the stories are tear-jerkers. But, I’ve also spent a life time at learning to think critically and past the emotionalism. That said there are some issues that bother me. I may be way off course, and am not above making mistakes and am not beyond correction, but there are some questions I believe simply must be asked. I’ll spare further commentary for now so we can just get straight to the questions. Moreover, this is not about the review of the book Phil offered which in our opinion is pretty good for a Calvinist :)

In Setting the Record Straight, Phil Johnson stated the following about Kevin Malarkey, Alex’s father and Beth’s husband, in a letter that he wrote to Tyndale Publishers,

I’m curious about what rationale Tyndale’s legal department has for dismissing the concerns that have been raised by Beth Malarkey, who says that: 1) the story told in _The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven_ is filled with exaggerations and untruths; 2) although Alex Malarkey is listed as co-author of the book, he receives none of the royalties; 3) that Kevin Malarkey neglects his duties as a husband and father, not even adequately supporting his family financially (cf. 1 Timothy 5:8), but with Tyndale’s encouragement he travels to promote the book.

As far as we know, Beth Malarkey is still and has continued to be married to Kevin Malarkey. Phil Johnson pretty much accused Kevin of being a dead-beat dad, and that’s a heavy accusation to make, particularly without the husband’s side of the story or proof. I am pretty familiar with the Nouthetic counselors surrounding the GTY Ministry, and I’m not sure that their influences like Jay Adams, Jim Newheiser would consider this very wise in publicly airing out the dirty laundry of a married couple, especially since it is not relevant to whether or not Alex’s claims were true or not (which Phil already knew they weren’t before he recanted which makes it even more irrelevant).

I.

Questions For Phil Johnson

*If Kevin and Beth are still married, how does she not have access to any of the royalties? I don’t see any mention of any separate accounts.

*Did you attempt to get a copy of the contract from Tyndale? (Direct Request or FOIA)

*How are the bills being paid and expensive state-of-the-art medial supplies/equipment being provided if Kevin is not contributing?

*You also said Kevin neglects his duties as a husband/father. So would you say that the following posts on Beth Malarkey’s blog demonstrate that as a fact?

****Saturday, February 6, 2010 Sprucing up a bit!

I went to a friend’s blog and liked the look. I thought I would try something different. Now you have to know me.I am a no frills kind of girl. I am as simple as they come.My kids tease me because grey and white are my standard colors. I do not wear makeup or jewelry.(Makes it cheap for my husband!) [This indicates that her husband doesn’t have to pay for her jewelry which implies that he DOES pay for other things]
**** What a Year So Far, By the way…my other three children stay at home with my husband.

**** Chrismas in the hospital…What???  ( ALex was so sad. The other kids were back home with my husband and would hear the news later in the evening. No one was happy but it is what it is. After some grieving, we all were ok and adjusted. The good news was that since Alex was no longer in PICU the other three kids could come visit. My husband drove them up on Christmas day

****A bit of independence please…. My husband took the other three kids out to a park so since Alex was occupied I thought I would clean the carpet downstairs. SO that I can hear ALex, instead of baby monitors, I use the home land line and call my cell phone. I take my cell phone with me and leave the home phone with Alex.

**** How we started September 2010 The first weekend in September(Labor Day weekend), an old friend and neighbor stopped by to visit. Alex was having a fantastic day. My husband Kevin had taken the other three kids to a park.…What that meant that night was…HELICOPTER RIDE!!! My husband stayed with the other three kids and Alex and I left about 11:30 P.M.

I could keep going (as well as add YouTube videos with Kevin and Alex in them from Beth’s Youtube channel) but I think we all get the point. She speaks of Kevin as her husband, speaks kindly and reverently of him, no mention of him being absent, not contributing anything financially or morally (as far as duties as husband/father).

So when exactly did you interview him to find out just when he became negligent of his duties?

In light of this, we find it strange that these accusations against Kevin don’t seem to surface until she makes the claim that Alex is not getting any of the royalties. What is also strange is that as much as she blogs, there’s a huge chuck of time missing from 2010 right before the book is published, and there’s absolutely zero mention of her husband discussing a book deal with anyone. I would think that would be something worth mentioning, but of course, the Wayback Machine has the 2 earliest dates (out of 4 total) of the captures scrubbed, with only previous posts being visible after 2014 so we’ll never know.

Paraplegic or Quadriplegic? 

You noted that Alex was paraplegic, and I don’t believe he had the use of his arms at the time you wrote that and other sources describe him as quadriplegic. This is relevant because it may have an impact on the validity of whether or not he typed a Facebook message on August 6, 2011. We do note that he used a device to write with as of November 2010, but we have not seen mention of his typing FB messages. I could be wrong, but everything I’ve seen says quadriplegic.

II.

Questions For Beth Malarkey

*Was there any discussion of Alex’s “trip to heaven” in the house prior to the book being published? 2004-2010 is quite a few years for a sudden story. I don’t see any mention of it on your blog from 2007-2012. Is this a story Alex made up in 2010? or was it a story he maintained shortly after his accident? I had some excerpts saved from Google Books, but somebody got it pulled before I screenshotted them.

*Do you affirm that Alex did not read the Bible at anytime before July 2010? That is what his letter claims. Forgive me, but that does seem kind of odd given your strong statements about God** in your blog during those years. In fact, you talk quite a bit about “imagination” and “dreaming” prior to the book being published. For example, On August 9, 2009 you wrote,

When and at what age is it that we close our minds and stop dreaming? When do we stop using our imagination to go beyond what the world says we should and we then just accept what we are told’? We sometimes become what we are on a piece of paper. What if some of the greatest dreamers had listened to that advice and stopped pursuing the vision that they were entrusted with?…What if we stopped telling people that their dreams were impossible and just allowed them to dare to go where their belief may take them?

On January 24, 2008, you discussed a song called “I Can Only Imagine” which is about how the singer describes what heaven would be like, and on July 21, 2009, you offered a few more thoughts on dreams and imaginations in “Barriers

Do you believe in dreams? Do you believe that as an adult the visions that dance around in your head can begin to unfold. What if one of those dreams involved creating a place where people of all diversities of abilities could function, play, interact, and just be together. I have one of those dreams.

With as much as you appeared to be “religious” during these times, Alex didn’t share your views? Alex never read the Bible or you never read it TO him? So then that would make Alex’s salvation only a recent event then, correct? That then begs the question, if he didn’t get at least SOME idea about Jesus from you or dad, are you saying that Kevin fabricated every detail without your knowledge? If you were the “ONLY non-stop caregiver” that Alex had, then how did he craft this story with enough information for a book, and you never knew about it? I mean, Alex would have had to do quite a bit of sneaking around and scheduled some elaborate clandestine trips with his dad for his only caregiver not to notice he was concocting such a novel. And if Kevin made the entire story up, then why is ALEX the one recanting? If Kevin made up the entire story, then how can Alex claim that he made it up to get attention?

Furthermore, Phil Johnson summarizes what you said about Alex’s testimony,

Alex never concluded he was in heaven. He was a small boy who experienced something extraordinary. The adults made it into what would sell to the masses (citing a footnote of page 202 of his review of the book, The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven)

alexneverinheaven - Copy

If Alex “NEVER CONCLUDED he was IN HEAVEN”, then how is it he is recanting about a story of COMING BACK FROM HEAVEN?

CONCLUSION

While I agree that so-called Christian book sellers/publishers have some explaining (and repenting) to do, there’s just a few things about the Alex Malarkey narrative that are not adding up.  I applaud the efforts Beth has made in attempting to get attention drawn to this matter only to be ignored by those willing to sell God (as Beth put it) to those with itching ears (2 Tim 4:3). But I really hope there isn’t something being left out of the story, and that Beth is being completely forthright. For goodness sake that poor kid has been through enough.  My selfish fleshly side wants God to heal him so he can, inter alia, punch Thom Rainer in the nose.

It is also no secret that I am no fan of JD Hall. I think he is arrogant, carnal, self-willed, cuts corners, and doesn’t mind NOT doing things by the Book. Some think this is just a me-vs-Calvinist issue, and that’s not all true (there are Calvinist contributors to this blog, and Calvinist links on the side of our website to IBCD). Yes, I am VEHEMENTLY opposed to CalvinISM/Reformed Theology, but I am not opposed to all CalvinISTS. I have even given JD Hall a lot of credit for the things that he is RIGHT about, and right about VERY OFTEN. But I can’t stand his attitude and character. It stinks. JD himself even admitted this at one point in his apology-that-lasted-only-56-days regarding Braxton Caner’s suicide. And this is who you want setting the example for you kids?  Don’t fall prey to using the any- means-necessary tactics of this ultra-militant crowd because Christ was just as concerned about truth as He was about grace (John 1:17), and methods as He was about messages (Matthew 5:16, Colossians 4:6, Titus 2:8).

I hope you are being honest, and that this story you’ve told is all that’s left. If not, you have just as much to explain as Kevin does, and you owe Alex an apology for making him recant to something that to him was probably a euphoric dream he had (common on near death experiences) that was coached by BOTH OF YOU, and for whatever reason you are angry with your husband (since most Christian married women don’t air their personal marriage dirt to other men) and used this recant story to get even with him. Yes, the story isn’t true and the story needed to be told, but I think there’s a big part of this that you’re not telling everyone. I believe you love Alex, and would do anything to protect him. It shows in your blogs and videos. But I also think that you don’t believe this would hurt Alex if he took the brunt of the blame for this, but you could be wrong. I have seen a plethora of media sites calling Alex a liar, and this public fiasco could have been handled a LOT differently to spare him so much public humiliation. So if that’s the story you’re sticking to, then I hope you’re right, but I personally have a different opinion because the facts just don’t seem to add up, and if they don’t, then I hope you and Phil do the right thing.

Even though I am convinced that there are others who had different motives then you did in using your story, I am at least glad to see that this chapter of your life has seen somewhat of a satisfactory resolution.

________________

PS. Beth. The original letter on the P&P site, before it was edited and broken up into paragraphs by Dustin’s expert writing skills, had “In Christ, ALex Malarkey”, and that particular spelling error is a trademark of yours on your blog. That was one of the issues that caused me to dig deeper because it did not appear that Alex wrote the letter, and if not, why not?

** I do apologize for speaking of your “religion” and using “God” generally. I do not know your testimony about your relationship with Christ so I really had nothing in which to relate to what exactly you believed, at least back then.

 

 UPDATE: After giving Phil Johnson numerous chances to respond to this article, and I have been quite polite about it, this is how Phil Johnson chose to respond-keep in mind, this guy works for John MacArthur at Grace To You Ministries:

philjohnson - Copy

Notice, if you question Calvinists of this caliber, you’re a troll (a loathsome one at that). Use the old “Ruckmanite” ad hominem, even though the KJVO Controversy wasn’t even an issue here. And how does one make a parody of Peter Ruckman with an account called James Ach? It is ironic that instead of responding in a rationale manner, Johnson does what JD Hall does and simply attacks my identity and character. So much for GRACE to me.

UPDATE: PHIL JOHNSON’S REPLY

philreply - Copy

MY REBUTTAL

It never ceases to amaze me how the same crowd always begins their critiques with personal attacks. And of course, what better way to start it off then by classifying me as a Ruckmanite to a crowd that is mostly BJU. Phil didn’t even attempt to prove that I was a Ruckmanite, knowing that just the mere mention of it is enough to send people running!! Nothing like harpooning the jury FIRST and then on to your bogus analysis!

And in case Phil Johnson isn’t aware of what a parody is, a parody normally reflects the same character of anotherperson. James Ach is not even remotely close to Peter Ruckman. What’s REALLY funny is that in support of Johnson’s argument, he links to A PARODY WEBSITE called Wee Calvin. So much for consistency.

Let’s just skip right to #3 shall we.

A boy “coming to grips with paralysis” was never part of the excuse you gave as the reason Alex ‘made up’ the story. And you couldn’t even describe his paralysis right. It took me 15 seconds to find out the Alex was quadriplegic, yet you maintained he was/is paraplegic in every public statement you made on this matter. Sloppy, but I digress.

And just where is Alex’s so-called ORIGINAL account? You can’t embellish something that DOES NOT EXIST. There IS NO original account. It’s not on Beth Malarkeys blog, it’s nowhere in yours. You’d think with a blog that goes back to 2007, with Beth blogging virutally every day or week, that her paralyzed son talking about going to heaven and back would have been in their SOMEWHERE. Oh but let’s just throw a non-existant story out there because you know that whatever the ’embellishments’ are we have no standard of comparison. How convenient.

And as I noted on my article (which you conveniently avoid since it is far more systematic than this thread is designed to be) how did Alex ever construct this fantasy without his mom knowing about it considering that you labeld him as a dead beat dad, was never around (another point which I debunked in the article), and that Beth was his ONLY CAREGIVER, how did Kevin ever sneak in to get this story from Alex without the mom noticing? The book was released July 2, 2010 and her comments about the book don’t appear until a year later. Assuming the book took some time to prepare, there’s ZERO mention of it on her blog before July,2010, and in fact, there’s about 6 months of blogs missing from February-July of 2010, right about the time mom would be discussing a publishing company talking to her husband about a book. Or did it take a WHOLE YEAR for Beth to figure out a book was released?

ANother no brainer is if the story was embellished, then IT WAS FALSE REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT IT WAS EVEN BIBLICALLY POSSIBLE. IN other words, genius, Beth didn’t need an epiphany that the book was biblically false in order to know that the FACTS THEMSELVES were FABRICATED. What kind of person WAITS OVER A YEAR to complain about something they KNOW IS UNTRUE?

IN fact when it comes to “fabrications” the mom seems quite capable herself of having a vivid imagination; especially since she ENCOURAGED IT before 2010

When and at what age is it that we close our minds and stop dreaming? When do we stop using our imagination to go beyond what the world says we should and we then just accept what we are told’? We sometimes become what we are on a piece of paper. What if some of the greatest dreamers had listened to that advice and stopped pursuing the vision that they were entrusted with?…What if we stopped telling people that their dreams were impossible and just allowed them to dare to go where their belief may take them?

On January 24, 2008, Beth discussed a song called “I Can Only Imagine” which is about how the singer describes what heaven would be like, and on July 21, 2009, you offered a few more thoughts on dreams and imaginations in “Barriers“

Do you believe in dreams? Do you believe that as an adult the visions that dance around in your head can begin to unfold. What if one of those dreams involved creating a place where people of all diversities of abilities could function, play, interact, and just be together. I have one of those dreams.

I’d say if ANYONE had the kind of imagination and dreaming it took to make up this book, IT WAS THE MOTHER.

Alex’s ONLY previous mention against this book by Alex is based on ONE short comment in August of 2011 of which those Facebook accounts no longer exist, the account of which is took place on no longer exists, and can not be verified.

And as far as what you “actually said” regarding Kevin’s involvement:

The book’s cover lists Kevin and Alex as joint authors, but the copyright notice is in Kevin’s name alone, and it is clearly Kevin who tells the story

 But as we shall see, there is considerable evidence that Kevin Malarkey has embellished, exaggerated, and even fabricated the supposed visions and experiences he attributes to Alex

Notice that Kevin made up the story, and attributed it to Alex. NOT ONE MENTION OF ALEX HAVING ANY ORIGINAL STORY and THEN Kevin embellishing it. There is ZERO evidence of Alex’s original story and you’ve had three years to produce it. But as I shall prove on my next point, that’s not the bigger picture.

Finally, Alex’s ‘recant’ claimed that “I DID IT FOR ATTENTION”. Now think about that. Just WHAT exactly did Alex do for attention? If the whole book was based on an EMBELLISHMENT BY KEVIN, and Alex was just an innocent bystander who had his story twisted, YOU MEAN ALEX GAVE AN HONEST TESTIMONY TO GET ATTENTION? The proof that someone is lying is in Alex’s recant alone. If Alex is claiming that he did something for attention, that completely contradicts that narrative that you are trying to paint of his “original story” simply being one that got manipulated by Kevin. Doing something FOR ATTENTION is implying that Alex did something wrong, and he’s repenting of it. But why is he repenting of ANYTHING if his so-called original story was nothing more that a heartbreaking testimony taken out of context by his father? I’ll tell you the simple answer to that: IT WAS A COACHED CONFESSION because you and JD Hall were not getting the results you wanted, so Pulpit & Pen cast the story as if it was a new epiphany that would get the attention of the liberal media.

Congratulations. It worked, but the problem is that the story Alex gave is a complete and utter contradiction from the story you painted of Kevin Malarkey, and you, Beth Malarkey and JD Hall shamefully threw a teenage quadriplegic under the bus to get the attention of Thom Rainer for ignoring JD Hall over Lifeway books. It was and is one of the most deceptive, vindictive and evil tactics I have seen out of professing Christians.

Shame on you Phil.

PHIL JOHNSON’S REPLY TO MY REBUTTAL

Hats off, gentlemen. A new record.

That second-to-last comment from from the troll or sock-puppet who started this thread could well be the most concentrated extract of pure, oblivious hatefulness I have ever read on Sharper Iron. And here we see the wisdom of not feeding trolls–especially the stubbornly nefarious ones.

No one has yet given a start-to-finish, blow-by-blow account of Alex and Beth Malarkey’s frustrating attempts to make clear that Kevin Malarkey’s book is fiction. I’m sorry if our voyeuristic troll friend feels he is being cheated by not being told every scandalous detail of how the strife over this book unfolded in the Malarkey family, but I for one intend to respect Mrs. Malarkey’s wish to protect a few shreds of the family’s privacy. The publisher withdrew this book, and the author has refused all interviews with investigative reporters–both for a good reason. Reasonable people understand the implications of that.

But stuff like this: “There is ZERO evidence of Alex’s original story and you’ve had three years to produce it.” Is borderline insane and doesn’t really deserve a serious response. No one has ever suggested that Alex’s “original story” was written down, and (more to the point), no one other than this perverse troll has ever even asked for such evidence.

I gather this person is just a typical cyber-bully who thinks he is somehow embarrassing JD Hall, or someone else whom he has a vendetta against. It’s a shame he has to hold a disabled child and his mom up to public scorn in order to make his point.

He himself uses the word “shame,” but it’s clear he doesn’t have a clue what that is.

MY SURREBUTTAL

If this was a court of law, Phil would have been deemed to have admitted to the facts due to his failure to address them. I don’t want to belabor the numerous issues that Phil ignored, but there’s one in particular that still remains at large, so since the rest of the article is too overwhelming for Phil, we’ll narrow it down to this for him:

Alex’s ‘recant’ claimed that “I DID IT FOR ATTENTION”. Now think about that. Just WHAT exactly did Alex do for attention? If the whole book was based on an EMBELLISHMENT BY KEVIN, and Alex was just an innocent bystander who had his story twisted, YOU MEAN ALEX GAVE AN HONEST TESTIMONY TO GET ATTENTION? The proof that someone is lying is in Alex’s recant alone. If Alex is claiming that he did something for attention, that completely contradicts that narrative that you are trying to paint of his “original story” simply being one that got manipulated by Kevin. Doing something FOR ATTENTION is implying that Alex did something wrong, and he’s repenting of it.

There IS NO rebuttal that Phil can give for this fact. You can’t claim that Kevin either made up the story or even embellished it, when Alex claims that he did it for attention if the mother and Phil both maintain that Alex’s story was merely manipulated. That is a blatant discrepancy that defies all laws of non-contradiction.  Let’s illustrate with a simply syllogism:

A. Kevin Malarkey made up or embellished the story

B. Alex said that “I did not die, I did not go to heaven. I made it up to GET ATTENTION”

Conclusion: Kevin and Alex made up the story

The above conclusion can not be possible if we are to take Phil at his word, or else we would have the following:

A. Alex did not make up the story about going to heaven since his testimony was embellished by the father

B. Alex made up the story to get attention

Conclusion: Alex did not make up the story about heaven, he made it up to get attention.

As you can see, Phil’s logic results in a completely absurd conclusion. Perhaps Phil needs a refresher course on  categorical fallacies.

Now on to some of Phil’s other nonsense.

BLOW BY BLOW ACCOUNT

Nobody demanded a play-by-play of the testimony of Alex. But it would be nice if you refer to some evidence that there is at least SOME kind of record for it beyond the mother’s word that a document she sent you, which could have been made on MS Word and formatted into a conversation, actually exists. What I said was that there IS NO SO-CALLED ORIGINAL TESTIMONY but yet you keep referring to it as if a single line in August 6, 2011 is a sufficient record(this is a habit of Modern Version Onlyists who refer to ‘original manuscripts’ that they KNOW do not exist. Sorry, had to throw that in there). I didn’t ask for personal life details, I simply asked where is this original testimony of which you refer that you claim Kevin embellished? Is that not a fair expectation? Does that really require an intrusive measure? Must we simply take it at face value and your word ONLY that some original testimony exists somewhere, and that Kevin Malarkey took it and twisted it?

GUARDING PERSONAL PRIVACY

In claiming that Phil wished to protect the privacy of the Malarkey family, Phil states, “but I for one intend to respect Mrs. Malarkey’s wish to protect a few shreds of the family’s privacy”. First of all, Kevin and Beth are still married, so whether you like it or not, the “family” includes Kevin Malarkey regardless of what he did. Secondly, neither you or Beth were concerned about privacy when you aired out their personal marriage problems in your Setting The Record Straight response-another fact that you completely ignored. That is not “defending Kevin”, but the interest of ANY so-called professing Christian especially one such as yourself with at least some Nouthetic Counseling training, is the reconciliation of the husband and wife. What you did by airing out their marriage dirt was made that so much harder to do. Most counselors would not have even let her discuss her personal marriage issues without the husband present because it leads to what your Calvinist buddy at IBCD calls “The Tenderness Trap”.

CYBER BULLY

This one was quite hilarious. Phil Johnson claiming that I am being a cyber bully with a vendetta against JD Hall, who cyber bullied a 15 year old boy who then committed suicide. If I had a mere vendetta against JD Hall, then I would never give him a lick of credit for anything that he’s done or said that I agree with. I simply can’t stand religious liars, especially when they lie to make another liar look bad selling books for profit, while they make a $200K+ salary a year. See page 7 of Grace to You’s 2011 IRS 990 Form

Let’s get one thing straight Phil, JD Hall came to my blog FIRST before I ever had a clue who he was. He came to my blog posting a nasty comment about an article I wrote about James White. JD Hall simply stopped commenting after I challenged him on several of his doctrinal errors and on his vicious antics, some of which YOUR OWN STAFF had chastised him for (for example: Fred Butler and Tony Miano both criticizing Hall for his use of AHA against Bellevue Baptist Church).

SHAMING A DISABLED CHILD

Phil, you are really not that good this. I am defending that boy from being used as a pawn in your vendetta against the “Arminians” in the SBC which we both know is what this is all about. It’s a power struggle to stick it to the Non Calvinists and Arminians, and eventually take it back over and return it to the old days where the Calvinist black slave owners had a bigger say so in resolutions than they do now (while we’re exhausting our pejoratives, might as well go all-out).

You admitted JD Hall did in 24 hours what you tried to do in 2 years. You were all frustrated with the lack of progress, and so you USED a quadriplegic (not paraplegic as you ignorantly keep reporting) to further your agenda. Beth had an idea and JD Hall agreed. Let’s have Alex recant and get the liberal godless media to chime in. But as I’ve PROVEN, the story offered simply doesn’t add up, and neither does your fake piety or your claim to be an honest God fearing Christian with an ounce of integrity. Your actions are just as wicked-if not MORESO-than that of Lifeway and other publishers of this book.

This being said Phil, I am not a Calvinist like you. I can love you and JD Hall and still hate what you do. I ask myself and God all the time if I crossed a line? was I too aggressive? and then I read about a 15 year old boy that committed suicide after getting attacked on national radio programs, blogs, and social media, and a disabled boy whose story was a convenient tool to attack someones theological adversaries, and I KNOW I did the right thing, and I sleep just fine.

I’ll send you a bottle of Melatonin.

____________________________________________________________

UPDATE: Phil Johnson objected to our usage of “Conclusion” and “Said”.

Read this to the AchTroll: CONCLUDE: kənˈklo͞od: arrive at a judgment or opinion by reason. SAY: sā: assert; report

Although Phil has yet to offer any real substantive response to our contentions, this is one of the silliest objections we’ve seen so far. We responded to it on “Twishort” as follows:

CONCLUDE VS SAID

What you CONCLUDE and what you SAY are both based on events that were known (logically and actually) to you prior to the statements made and beliefs you held about them. What I CONCLUDE is not going to contradict what I SAY I BELIEVE, otherwise I am being rhetorically dishonest about what I CONCLUDED. And since Beth is speaking FOR Alex in those comments, how does she know WHAT to conclude without Alex SAYING what was concluded? Is she a mind-reader? Did she just assume that Alex concluded this or is it based on something Alex SAID? There must have been some way that Beth knew (or presumed) that Alex CONCLUDED he never went to heaven other than just her ability to dream about it. When Alex claimed “I SAID I WENT”, he is making the same kind of present CONCLUSION based on a past experience that the mother claimed in 2012 using the word “conclusion”.

Must you be such a typical Calvinist that has to butcher language beyond its common recognition?

Now if you REALLY want to get technical, nowhere in any of the emails provided (and I have will more to say about the conflict among those later, too) does it say that Alex ever actually read the book. So it is likely that the crux of the information he got about the book came from his mother. That’s fine and dandy. No objection with a mother telling her son that such a charismatic book is bogus. However, you can’t use that to prove that Alex objected to the book based on his own empirical research.

Anyone who takes the time to evaluate all of the timelines and emails can see a clear paradigm shift in how the story arrived. And it keeps changing with every defense you offer. The evidence you need to prove what and when Lifeway and Tyndale knew what they knew is the very evidence that distorts the current narrative. All of this evidence was publicly available and known as a result of your prior reviews, and those of Hank Hannegraff at CRI. So why did the media react *differently* this time? Here’s the simple answer:

In that past narratives, Alex (through mom) is merely claiming that the story isn’t true, but never said that her son made it up to get attention. She couldn’t have claimed that to be true in 2015 without not knowing it to be true in 2012 and doubtful she wouldn’t have known that in 2010. The entire past explanations from 2012-2015 do not show Alex as being the inventor of the story, but of Kevin embellishing some original. As Beth said, Alex never concluded he went to heaven. Any 5th grader knows what that means, It’s shameful you don’t. The narrative changed when Alex claimed to have said he went to heaven. That’s why the liberal media ran with it because it was a confession that wasn’t there before that made Christians look like idiots. Yes, Beth previously argued the book wasn’t true, and that Alex DISAGREED with the book, but that DISAGREEMENT was NOT BASED ON THE FACT THAT ALEX WAS THE ONE WHO DID IT FOR ATTENTION. That narrative takes a nose dive with that, and THAT is what sold the story to the masses of God-hating liberals all over the media

Your 2012 review quotes Beth that she best summarized all of these events by saying that ALEX NEVER CONCLUDED that he went to heaven. It is OBVIOUS what that means because it IS THE BASIS ON WHICH YOU ARE TRYING TO PROVE THAT THE BOOK COMPANIES KNEW THE STORY WAS FALSE. Without that, then you would simply be arguing from a cessationist vs contiuationists point of view, limiting the debate to a moral/religions argument instead of a factual one.

If Alex then in 2015 claims I SAID I WENT TO HEAVEN, then he could not have CONCLUDED OR SAID that he did NOT in 2012. You, Beth and JD took advantage of an impressionable disabled teenager because you needed a bigger story to stick it to the Arminians/Non Calvinists in the SBC. The very fact that every one of you Calvinists are in utter silence about Lifeway being an invited exhibitor at the G3 Conference is just ONE of MANY proofs that you could care less about what Lifeway sells/sold. They were selling heresy long before the Boy from Heaven book came out, and you know that and so does JD Hall, but you and JD both still allowed Lifeway to profit off of your books (ditto James White, and many other Calvinists). In fact, Lifeway/Crossway published and promoted JD Hall’s book, Baptist Catechism.

This is one reason (among hundreds) I left Calvinism. It got old trying to make square pegs fit in round holes and having to constantly invent explanations to defend positions that can not be consistently maintained. And the kind of logic and reasoning necessary to come to those warped conclusions unfortunately plays out in non theological endeavors, such as this. This isn’t one of Phil Johnson’s brightest moments for sure. Much audacity went into Phil’s attempt to obfuscate simple definitions. It is not the case that conclusion and said must be the exact same thing, otherwise they would be spelled the same. Both terms in context share a relationship that yield congruent results when bound to the same subject. Phil’s attempt to alter that dynamic is just plain SILLY, and his followers are less the wiser for falling for it.

 

 

A video has went viral alleging that Monster Energy Drink uses the Hebrew numbers 666 in its logo. This is not new, and we submitted information to Wikipedia quite some time ago to answer this when it first got popular on Youtube, but apparently it is just now going viral. Since many of our friends know we are Jewish, we keep answering this question about 20 times an hour, so we thought it would be best to post a quick reply.

Three 6’s make 18, not 666. The number of the beast is six HUNDRED, sixty, and six. This number in Hebrew would be samech, resh, tav, tav, not tav, tav, tav (Keep in mind in Hebrew, this would be written right to left instead of left to right as in English).

Now they may have attempted to transliterate the vav and use it symbolically, but that’s not how it is written in Hebrew.

If you look in 1 Kings 10:14, it describes Solomon’s gold, and in the Masoretic text it is written as shesh, me’ah, shishshiym, shesh.

שש מאה ששים שש

So no, the three vavs do not a 666 make in Hebrew. However, the makers could have intended to convey this anyway despite being ignorant of Hebrew.  “Unleash the Beast” and “Monster” certainly have their devilish themes and it would be no surprise if a secular owned company capitalizes on a demonic theme to promote its brand. But from a strictly Hebrew language view, this isn’t even close to being the number of the beast from Revelation 13:18-in Greek.

If the devil doesn’t kill you with this drink, I imagine the caffeine and sugar just might! But what is more disturbing is that if you are reading this and you have never trusted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, you are already condemned, and under the judgment of God, and face a far greater fate than the side effects of an energy drink! Please read our short article on what to do to be saved here

 

Despite the fact that JD Hall admitted to his improper and “sinful” interaction with Braxton Caner, the James White/JD Hall crowd is still finding ways to vilify the Non Calvinist Caner supporters in a different way now, by blaming Ergun Caner for his son’s suicide:

The Caner family is furthering the myth that B. Caner’s suicide was “caused” by cyberbullying – maybe was caused by his dad in another state

The Caner family is furthering the myth that B. Caner’s suicide was “caused” by cyberbullying – maybe was caused by his dad in another state

This comment was retweeted by Richard Pierce, right hand man of James White at A &O ministries.

If “Hacim” can’t say that he knows for sure what DID cause Braxton Caner’s suicide, then he sure can’t confirm what DID NOT cause it. But, perhaps with enough beers in his system, “Hacim” can make the facts say whatever he wants them to:

Conservative, opinionated, professional geek. We may not agree, but at least we can enjoy a beer over the argument.

It gets really old listening to members from the White/Hall crowd criticizing everyone for speaking about the Braxton suicide instead of “allowing people time to process and grieve”, but then never fail to take the opportunity to re-affirm a comment against the Caner’s when it’s published by someone else.

Surely, I thought Richard Pierce had more sense than to concede to the idea that Ergun Caner killed his own son while condemning others for speculation about Hall and Co’s involvement. Just when I try to give some folks the benefit of the doubt, and even retracted some of our articles about JD Hall and James White, something like THIS gets published.

Where’s the discernment Richard? James?

 _______________________________
And just a P.S. side note on an unrelated issue regarding a Hacim tweet:

Amazing how, without a robust covenant theology, one has to jump through hoops to explain Scripture.

Amazing how Covenant Theology goes through hoops to explain how a thousand years doesn’t actually mean a thousand years in Revelation 20 even though John mentions it six times. Amazing how Covenant Theology can confirm that the first 483 years of Daniels vision were literal 483 years, the first 3 1/2 of the remaining 7 were literal 3 1/2 years describing Christs earthly ministry, but then the last 3 1/2 years cover a 40 year period from the death of Christ to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. It’s fascinating how Covenant Theology can take “the house of Israel AND THE HOUSE OF JUDAH” in Hebrews and make one covenant that applies only to the New Testament church. Jer 3:18, with Ezek 37:22, Heb 8:8, etc..and even though Romans 9:4 confirms that there were/are COVENANTS (plural for the grammatically challenged).

Covenant Theology is full of nothing BUT hoola-hoops.

By Dr. James Ach and Dr. Elisha Weismann (Legal Analysis)

The original intended part 2 (which will now be “Part 3″) is being held in abeyance until details are permissible to be released, if at all.

One question that repeatedly plagued me as I fielded the hundreds of comments that were offered on our Part 1 article was: When did we Christians become so mean? And just in case you think I’m excluding anyone, part of being a faithful believer is knowing when you are just as guilty at failing to practice what you preach, and then being able to admit that in front of those who will likely not only use it against you but make fun of you anyway. As the saying goes, “Your friends don’t need an explanation, and your enemies won’t believe one”. In fact, had it not been for Ryan Hayden and Dave Winter, I probably would have been a lot less restrained in some of the things I’ve said to my theological adversaries, and then I re-read an article that we reposted of Ryan’s about dealing with ideas not character assassinations. It’s one I have to re-read often because of the constant vicious attacks I receive here, and one I’ve had to slow down, take a break, and revisit during the exchanges over this controversy.

Part 1 of our article on the Braxton Caner Tragedy generated over 30,000 views and outranked all of the Google ratings of even the local news reports (information we know thanks to our enemies who told us how shameful that was) and was mentioned by a Fox News contributor in the U.S. That number is still counting. It has generated more comments than any other post we’ve done in the 3 years since we’ve started this site, and there are several hundred still waiting in queue. The traffic was certainly unexpected given our opposition against Ergun Caner’s testimony. Our target audience is a small minority of independent fundamental Baptists, so we NEVER intended to have any significant ranking or increased traffic from a crowd that we are morally and theologically opposed to in many areas (e.g. our views of the Southern Baptist Convention). Due to that volume we probably approved of a lot of comments that we shouldn’t have, and now we are going to take the time to explain why by using a phrase that Guy Beaumont used on me when I jumped on something out of context: “Don’t Get It Twisted”.

DON’T GET IT TWISTED-WE HAVE NOT TAKEN SIDES

One of the difficult things to convey to some of those who welcomed our article with glowing accolades was that we are not necessarily on your side either.  Just because we have issues with James White and JD Hall doesn’t mean we are your “friends” because they are your enemy. In fact, I would have to say that we despise much of what comes from critics like the Patheos bloggers and Wartburg Watch far more than we do what comes from the Pulpit and Pen and the Dividing Line. There are 2 areas in which we have the largest contentions with James White and JD Hall: the King James Controversy (primarily White on that one) and Calvinism. But as I have repeatedly said before, there are many things that White and Hall discuss that we are in 110% agreement with. But the garbage that is spewed on the Wartburg Watch against fundamentalism, and the liberal and progressive rhetoric that flows from that sewage dump of a website is as equally appalling as Calvinism.

Some of the comments that I have received on Twitter and on this website have been from that crowd and are just as wicked and evil as what JD Hall has been accused of. So to those who have arrived at our website from places like this, don’t get it twisted, we’re not on your side either.

DON’T GET IT TWISTED- WE NEVER SAID HALL WAS THE PROXIMATE CAUSE OF BRAXTON’S SUICIDE BUT WE DID BLAME CALVINISM PER SE

Now there’s going to be somewhat of a paradox to this story. On one hand, we are going to show how JD Hall and those who jumped in on the melee can be guilty of causing Braxton’s suicide (next point below), but in our initial article we never actually said that Hall WAS guilty of it. You may be thinking, “well isn’t that kind of playing semantics?”. NO. There’s a difference. We will discuss this a little bit further on regarding Hall’s apology, but the article was meant to show how such actions can be prevented by conducting your differences differently instead of such a bully-type fashion, and that there are theological belief systems that foster this kind of attitude, namely:

*Calvinism is a religion that de-emphasizes the love of God against His sovereignty. Therefore the results of ones preaching in seeking truth and repentance become more important than the means. Please see my comment on John 1:17 where Jesus came by GRACE AND truth. As Jesus said in John 16:2, there are some that kill in the name of God thinking they are doing His service. This no doubt describes the militant attitudes of the Roman Catholic Church and it’s inseparable state empire; Islam, and even John Calvin himself in Geneva.

*A theological system that can not state that God loves even those who hate Him but yet commands us to love our enemies in Matthew 5:43-48 sends a conflicting message which ultimately leads to an attitude of extreme militancy.  In other words, if God Himself doesn’t love your neighbors, how can you love them anymore than He would? And since love is what restricts how we respond to our enemies, without it, there is no filter. The theology of Calvinism ultimately-when reduced to its logical conclusion-leads to absolute determinism which produces an attitude of fatalism  “for the glory of God”. Were it not for a built-in conscience some Calvinists would have already drug Braxton and Ergun to the valley of Gehenna and burned them alive. (Granted, that argument can somewhat work against our contention, but it only betrays the amount of consistency the Calvinist demonstrates to his own theology, not whether or not there can be exceptions shown among other Calvinists.) Would a God who hates His enemy call the man he KNOWS WILL BETRAY HIM TO HIS DEATH, “friend”? Yet Jesus did just that. See Matthew 26:50.

The constant yielding to this type of theology is what sears the conscience into rationalizing that such an attitude against ones enemies is permissible. 1 Tim 4:2. Calvinism speaks “lies in hypocrisy”. It will speak in terms of generally understood rhetoric that are unsupported by their theology. Thus the militancy seen is an inevitable result of a theology that has no more compassion than Islam. When Calvinism redefines what love is, then you muddy the standard on which not only God operated on to save us, but the standard in which He told us to reciprocate to the rest of body of Christ that others may know we are His. John 13:35, 1 John 4:7-12.

Lest anyone think we are the only ones to implied that Calvinism had anything to do with this: consider why this is important to Hall. Hall as far as we can tell is no longer a member of the SBC and even dropped the Baptist name off of his church in Sydney, Montana. Comments like this from Fred Butler make it obvious as well:

‏@Fred_Butler
@2cents4you @PulpitAndPen uh so, what. Stop w/ the self-righteousness. If it was CJ Mahaney or Al Mohler’s kid you’d all be freaking out.

Why did Fred mention Mohler and Mahaney? BECAUSE THEY ARE BOTH NOTED CALVINISTS. So the Calvinists themselves made the issue with Braxton-JD Hall about Calvinism.

DON’T GET IT TWISTED- HALL CAN STILL BE RESPONSIBLE

 One blogger*, Wade Burleson, attempted to bring some balance to this issue in an article he titled about blame not being a game. Wade conceded to much of the hoopla that Hall was guilty of beginning with his initial contact with Braxton Caner, but then proceeded to exonerate him on the grounds that just because Hall acted like a jerk doesn’t mean he was guilty of causing Braxton Caner’s suicide. Wade was gracious, and cordial, and as much as we would like to give him a pass on character alone, the fallacy in the argument here is pointing the focus on causation and that’s really not the point. It isn’t whether JD Hall CAUSED Braxton to commit suicide, it’s whether or not his actions could have been reasonably construed to have provoked Braxton into considering suicide as an escape from all of the pressure generated by Hall’s initial contact, and whether or not such actions by Hall could reasonably be expected to have had an emotional impact on a person that could likely be a consideration in the victim’s contemplation of a suicide, regardless of whether or not such consequences resulting in death could’ve been foreseen by Hall or not. Just because Hall didn’t think about that as a consequence, doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t have. To quote Presbyterian minister, Ian Maclaren, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle [you know nothing about]” (paraphrased).

The other fallacy is arguing that Hall could not have foreseen that suicide would be the result of his actions ( a little redundant but we need to expound on that point a little more). Granted, that is a mitigating factor, but is not an exculpatory one. Negligent or Reckless Homicide is still a homicide regardless of whether there was actual intent to cause the death of the victim. A drunkard that gets behind the wheel of a car and kills a pedestrian is still guilty of “involuntary manslaughter” (a form of reckless homicide) regardless of whether he actually intended to kill the victim or not.

Biblical examples of this are seen in cases like the armor bearer and the death of King Saul (1 Samuel 31-2 Samuel 1). The concept Paul introduced in Romans 14 of causing another weaker brother to stumble. The responsibility that God placed on the Watchmen in Ezekiel 3 and 18 for the sinner who dies as a result of the failure of the Watchman to warn him. Granted, these are different scenarios, but all have in common responsibility for the death of someone where the consequences were not necessarily foreseen or expected by the perpetrators. (We have went into greater detail on this in a different article refuting the Calvinist view of secondary causation and the compatibilist’s explanation of human responsibility.) See also Exodus chapter 21. If we don’t know what causation looks like, then how can we expect to know how to avoid causing another person to stumble?

Thus it is not so much that anyone can prove what the proximate cause is of Braxton’s decision to commit suicide, but to make others aware that it should not be neglected as a factor to consider when you choose to  bully someone to provoke a reaction out of your intended audience. It is also not so much that the time frame of nearly 3-4 weeks passing from the incident and Braxton’s demise, as well as the brief exchange between Hall and Braxton was LESS of a factor. That is irrelevant. True, that Braxton was obviously aware of the accusations against his father, BUT THEY DIDN’T INVOLVE BRAXTON. Yes, Braxton went to school and church knowing that others had likely heard about the “Caner Jihad Against Christianity” (James White’s words). BUT THOSE ALLEGATIONS NEVER MADE IT PERSONAL TO BRAXTON UNTIL THE OPPROBRIUM GENERATED BY JD HALL PUT HIM IN THE SPOT LIGHT. Hall and White’s followers have continued to respond with repeating the allegations against Ergun Caner, and that is a complete red herring in this matter.

Watching your dad  on public trial is one thing, but having the attention switched to you personally is quite another and now you have a 15 year old bearing the weight that he is an additional embarrassment to his father, a failure as a professing Christian, and  when Braxton walks into public places, he is looked at as a perpetrator of equal complicity: the PK that is supposed to set a standard for his peers is now publicly exposed as a recalcitrant immoral boy as the result of immorality “permitted in his household” (as alleged by Hall). THAT’S A HEAVY LOAD FOR A TEENAGE BOY TO BEAR. With JD Hall and the assistance of other popular bloggers like Fred Butler, Alan Maricle (“Rhology”), Gene Clyatt, et al, giving it the attention they did, it made Braxton no longer just the son of an alleged liar, but his partner in crime with as much equal responsibility in the “cover ups” as Hall and White have placed on Norman Geisler, John Ankenberg, and anyone who has chosen to support or remain friends with Ergun Caner whether they agree or disagree with how he has responded (or lack thereof) to the allegations about his testimony. The son had now eaten the sour grapes of the father and his teeth placed on edge.

Thus we wouldn’t expect the publicity to have an immediate impact on July 2 and 3. It was the momentum that ensued that merely started on July 2 that caused the most damage.

CAVEAT EMPTOR

A huge caveat in this analysis and discussion is the danger of wanting justice so bad that you allow the “state” to decide all of your quarrels which sets a precedent for them to trample on whatever freedoms any other churches have left in America. The American judicial is no friend to Bible believing Christians and are all too eager to get involved to settle disputes among Christians. Thus, for those who wish to eagerly insist on some type of criminal element to be introduced into this controversy, consider the consequences and backlash from your own government that that can have anytime a negative result happens as the result of a preacher pointing his finger at what he believes to be sinful {correct this <–it’s incoherent}. Christians in America and even here in Israel suffer enough from communities like LGBT for “hate speech”. If you let the government expand such definitions by inviting them to decide your quarrels you are asking to be deprived of whatever liberties you have left. Was Hall negligent? reckless? sinful? undiscerning? Absolutely. But was it criminal? You better think long and hard about that before you go down that road.

BUT DIDN’T HALL APOLOGIZE?

Yes, he did, and in great detail. In fact, we even removed an article about it because I thought it was a genuine act. But that doesn’t erase the damage. It’s like telling the judge you’re sorry for what you did, and because of your sorrow you should be released. Apologizing doesn’t remove the natural consequences of actions you set in motion (speaking allegorically here, not referring to a real judge: a clarification needed in light of how we ended the last section).

But as one person duly noted on our other article, Hall did not direct his apology to Braxton which was the person who needed to hear it the most. And, considering that JD Hall’s own definition of repentance does not involve confessing and apologizing to a private select group of people, but as James White says, “Public sin equals public confession, including everyone you’ve offended”, how can Hall and his defenders truly call Hall’s apology genuine repentance when it is the same kind of “apology” that they would in no uncertain terms reject from Ergun Caner and Timothy Rogers?**(see below)

DON’T GET IT TWISTED JAMES WHITE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS

It is no secret that I am no fan of James White. And the feeling is mutual. In fact, James White has written of me that I am “beneath contempt” and “unworthy”, among a host of creative pejoratives that he has with my name on them. But James White has been somewhat unfairly criticized in the events surrounding Braxton Caner. We discussed this in Part 1 about White’s involvement so will not belabor that point here. Did Hall ride on the coat-tail of White’s pursuit of Ergun? I think so. It certainly boosted Hall’s cyber presence. But, that doesn’t mean that James White is responsible for how Hall pursued his angle. Hall chose a strategy that James White specifically said he would not have done. Yes, we will give James White credit for whatever random modicum of wisdom he occasionally displays.

CONCLUSION

Now that we’ve had our say about what Hall did, we hope that Hall has learned something from this, and perhaps a lesson for all of us (myself included). I’m sure this will be a hot topic around the bloggersphere for a while, but I honestly hope that those who despise how White and Hall have pursued Ergun don’t respond by doing the exact same thing. Moreover, it isn’t going to happen overnight either, And on that note, I will end this by “letting” God have the last word:

ROMANS 12:17-21

17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOOTNOTES____________________________________

*This article was retweeted by James White who was retweeting Phil Johnson. We find this sort of comical in that James White and friends were so adamant about criticizing anyone who blogged about this issue, telling everyone it was “too soon” and to “just stop it”, but the first article that comes out that gives JD Hall at least some kind of relief gets a hearty ‘amen’ by every Calvinist leader that has remained somewhat silent for the last week and telling other bloggers to do the same. It is this kind of repeated inconsistency that draws the kind of attention that these men think they don’t deserve.

Ironically, I seriously doubt that James White and Phil Johnson who have asked for the head of Ergun Caner on a charger would have retweeted Wade’s article on, “The Fallacy of Demanding Repentance”.

James White @DrOakley1689 · Aug 7

@PulpeetandPin Really? Maybe, as I said a week ago, IT ISN’T TIME TO BE TALKING AT ALL? (Ecc. 3:7)

Retweeted by James White
Phil Johnson @Phil_Johnson_ · Aug 7

Amen. @Wade_Burleson on the Caner suicide and the ugly online blame-and-shame stampede: wadeburleson.org/2014/08/blame-

_____________________________________________

**Pastor Timothy Rogers was accused of deliberately making fun of sexual abuse victims due to a comment made to James White about “what room did your father molest your sister in?”. What is odd about this are the lengths that White and his defenders went in attempting to discredit the testimony of Patty Bonds (White’s sister) and thus claiming she wasn’t a victim at all, but when it became convenient to slander Pastor Rogers she all-of-a-sudden became a victim that Rogers was “making fun of”.

Was Rogers comment stupid? Of course it was. But it was said in the light of a woman who was sexually abused by her father, and was threatened and ridiculed by her brother when she attempted to tell her story. Rogers was sticking up for the victim by attempting to provoke a response out of James White as to his treatment of her, given that White was being inconsistent in demanding something from Ergun Caner that he himself was not willing to do in confessing and repenting of how he treated his sister. It was bloggers defending James White and JD Hall that blew the entire comment out of proportion, and labeled Rogers as a “pervert Pastor” which had NOTHING to do with what he actually said, nor what he meant. Yet this same crowd refuses to give Rogers the same benefit of the doubt that they now demand be given to JD Hall, even after a detailed apology was offered by Rogers similar to Hall’s, and especially given some questionable actions that JD  Hall himself has demonstrated towards a woman not his wife.

The tacky part about this is that there is more to the story between James White, Patty Bonds, and their father that we are privy to that has given us pause in discussing the matter. The big problem here is that it is impossible to not mention it so long as the comment made by Timothy Rogers is still thrown in his face, because the story has to be raised to provide context to Rogers’ comment.

 

[Assistant Editor’s  note: this looks like a deliberate conspiracy to slam the borders with known sick immigrants to spread disease as well as chaos into the country. There’s just no other explanation for the things that Obama has allowed to happen on the US borders. A scary thought would  be that if the US is infected with so many diseases as a result of this  breach, that Eastern countries justify the use of a nuclear defense response as an excuse to prevent any such diseases from leaving the US into their countries such so much of the world’s international travel comes from the US.]

A government-contracted security force threatened to arrest doctors and nurses if they divulged any information about the contagion threat at a refugee camp housing illegal alien children at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, sources say.

In spite of the threat, several former camp workers broke their confidentiality agreements and shared exclusive details with me about the dangerous conditions at the camp. They said taxpayers deserve to know about the contagious diseases and the risks the children pose to Americans. I have agreed to not to disclose their identities because they fear retaliation and prosecution.

“There were several of us who wanted to talk about the camps, but the agents made it clear we would be arrested,” a psychiatric counselor told me. “We were under orders not to say anything.”

The sources said workers were guarded by a security force from the Baptist Family & Children’s Services, which the Department of Health and Human Services hired to run the Lackland Camp.

The sources say security forces called themselves the “Brown Shirts.”

“It was a very submissive atmosphere,” the counselor said. “Once you stepped onto the grounds, you abided by their laws – the Brown Shirt laws.”

She said the workers were stripped of their cellphones and other communication devices. Anyone caught with a phone was immediately fired.

“Everyone was paranoid,” she said. “The children had more rights than the workers.”

She said children in the camp had measles, scabies, chicken pox and strep throat as well as mental and emotional issues.

“It was not a good atmosphere in terms of health,” she said. “I would be talking to children and lice would just be climbing down their hair.”
FULL ARTICLE ON FOX NEWS

 

See also Alex Jones “Borders Open To Terrorists”.

Lambesis

A so-called Christian heavy metal band whose frontman was convicted of attempting to hire a hitman to murder his estranged wife has admitted that it duped fans into believing that they were Christian in order to sell their music.

“Truthfully, I was an atheist,” Tim Lambesis, the lead singer and founder of As I Lay Dying told theAlternative Press in a recent interview. “I actually wasn’t the first guy in As I Lay Dying to stop being a Christian. In fact, I think I was the third. The two who remained kind of stopped talking about it, and then I’m pretty sure they dropped it, too.”

The publication noted that his wife, Meggan, had likewise divulged in divorce papers that Lambesis had become an atheist. Lambesis, in admitting his atheism, outlined that he turned away from Christianity as he majored in religious studies while attending college through a long distance program.

“In the process of trying to defend my faith, I started thinking the other point of view was the stronger one,” he said. “I remember one Christian festival where an interviewer wanted one of the guys [in the band] to share his testimony, and he just froze up and let one of the guys who was still a Christian at the time answer the question,” Lambesis recalled. “We laughed about it afterward, but we were only laughing because it was so awkward.”

Read the rest of the article here.

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?

____________________________________

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) –

zz_JohnMacArthur121205

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.
____________________________

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/.
___

About Way of Life – The name “Way of Life” is from Proverbs 6:23: “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.” The biblical instruction that molds men to God’s will requires reproof. It is not strictly positive. It does not focus on man’s “self-esteem.” It does not avoid controversial or unpopular subjects. It warns as well as comforts. It deals with sin and false teaching in a plain manner. It is reproves, rebukes, exhorts with all longsuffering and doctrine (2 Tim. 4:2). This is what we seek to do through Way of Life Literature. The Way of Life preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. A mail stop is maintained in Port Huron, Michigan.

Subscribe to these reports by email

Way of Life Literature – http://www.wayoflife.org
copyright 2013 – Way of Life Literature