The Biblical Examiner
An Examination of Biblical Precepts Involved in Issues at Hand

April 2005


God Sends False Teachers, 1 Kings 22
The Religious Right Feeds at the Federal Trough
Old Age, Movie Review (Yours, Mine and Ours, Cheaper by the Dozen, The Incredibles, extra disk), Slides, Your phone #, address, public property.
INSANE US Experimental Bomb Test, in Attempt to Change Jet Stream, Suggests Time May Be Near For Invasion and Occupation of North American Continent
Prescription Drugs
Videos and Books
Warriors of Honor- The Faith and Legacies of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, New Liberty Videos. New program, Onlie Bible, v. 2.0. Best computer Bible program or your money back. Sprinkle Publications.
Patriot Act
Peru letters go here, found elsewhere.
Case Studies in Easy-Believism
The Power of Prayer
The Story of Our Courtship, David & Heather Ethell.
Spurgeon and the Down Grade
Alarming Statistics
Homeschooler. What's really wrong with the public Schools?

God Sends False Teachers

1 Kings 22

There is little doubt that a primary reason many desire to remove the Old Testament from God's word for us today is because of the many distressing doctrines established there.

1 Kings 22 is one of the few places in Scripture where God gives us a glimpse of what takes place behind the actions we see around us today; it certainly is an unsettling scene for those who deny that Divine Providence controls all history.

1 Kings 22 shows us a man who acquired wicked gain by lies (Naboth's vineyard, chapter 21), and now meets his fate by lies. God has a way of returning a man's ways upon him. They who live by the sword shall surely die by the sword. Ahab lived by lies, and now he dies by lies.

This chapter militates against any idea that God foreknew that Ahab would be killed, and then acts according to his foreknowledge of what Ahab would do. No doubt those who reject God's sovereign control of all history through Divine Providence find this a hard section with which to deal, so they say, "That is Old Testament."

The God who foreordains all events foreordained that Ahab would fall at Ramothgilead, and here he requires ‘someone' to carry out his foreordained plans. Is Ahab an exception, or is the secret counsel of God active in every situation? (See Acts 2:23, 4:28, Ephesians 1:11.)

1 Kings 22:6 (this chapter is almost word for word with 2 Chronicles 18.)

We know the story: Ahab, the king of Israel, in a war with Syria. Ahab asks Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, to join him in battle against Syria. Though Jehoshaphat is a godly man and knows better, he agrees to go with Ahab.

Ahab and Jehoshaphat

3097d AM, 3807 JP, 907 BC, 8 SK, 12 NK

511. SK-Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab, king of Israel, married Jehoram, the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah. This union resulted from the marriage alliance Jehoshaphat made with Ahab. 2Ch 18:1 [L67] She had a son named Ahaziah who at the age of twenty-two succeeded Jehoram to the kingdom. 2Ki 8:18,26,27 2Ch 21:6 22:2

3104d AM, 3814 JP, 900 BC, 15 SK, 19 NK

514. NK-About a year later, Benhadad came up a second time as far as Aphek to fight against Israel. He was badly defeated and surrendered to Ahab. Ahab received him with all courtesy and honour, and after a while let him go in peace. Ahab made a pact of friendship with him, for which act God, through his prophet, pronounced judgment upon Ahab. 1Ki 20:1-43 However, as a result of this league, there were three years of peace between the two nations. 1Ki 22:1

3105 AM, 3815 JP, 899 BC, 16 SK, 20 NK

515. NK-When Ahab could not persuade Naboth to sell him his vineyard, he was depressed. His wife Jezebel engaged false witnesses and had Naboth condemned to death and stoned. Thus Ahab got possession of the vineyard. The prophet Elijah told him of the destruction which was to befall him, Jezebel and all his posterity, on account of this wicked deed. Ahab trembled at this, and because of his timely repentance, he obtained a respite from this judgment. 1Ki 21:1-29 [E47]

3106d AM, 3816 JP, 898 BC, 17 SK, 21 NK

516. SK-As Ahab had done, Jehoshaphat made his son, also called Jehoram, viceroy of the kingdom. Jehoram, the other son of Ahab, later succeeded his brother Ahaziah as king over the Israelites in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah. 2Ki 3:1 This Jehoram is said to have begun his reign in the second year of his brother-in-law Jehoram, the son of Jehoshaphat. 2Ki 1:17

517. NK-Ahab, in the seventeenth year of the reign of Jehoshaphat, made his son Ahaziah viceroy in the kingdom. 1Ki 22:51 [L68]

3107d AM, 3817 JP, 897 BC, 18 SK, 22,2 NK

518. SK-Jehoshaphat visited Ahab at the very end of the third year of the peace which Ahab had made with the Syrians. He was invited by Ahab to go with him to the siege of Ramothgilead. After being entreated, he agreed to join him, and barely escaped from there with his life. 1Ki 22:1-53 2Ch 18:1-34 When he returned home, the prophet Jehu, the son of Hanani, reproved him for helping such a wicked king. 2Ch 19:1,2

519. NK-After Ahab had convinced Jehoshaphat to go with him, he set out to besiege Ramothgilead. Before he went, he asked four hundred false prophets, as well as Micaiah, the true prophet of God, what the outcome of the war would be. They all told him he would do well, except Micaiah, who foretold his defeat. Ahab disguised himself, but was killed in the battle. He was buried in Samaria. 1Ki 22:1-53 2Ch 18:1-34 1

... Jehoshaphat's eldest son Jehoram married Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. It does not appear how far Jehoshaphat encouraged that ill-starred union. The closeness of the alliance between the two kings is shown by many circumstances: Elijah's reluctance when in exile to set foot within the territory of Judah (Blunt, Undes. Coinc. ii. 19, p. 199); the identity of names given to the children of the two royal families; the admission of names compounded with the name of Jehovah into the family of Jezebel, the zealous worshipper of Baal; and the extreme alacrity with which Jehoshaphat afterwards accompanied Ahab to the field of battle. ... 2

Athaliah — Whom God afflicts.

1. The daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, and the wife of Jehoram, king of Judah 2Ki 8:18 who "walked in the ways of the house of Ahab" 2Ch 21:6 called "daughter" of Omri 2Ki 8:26 On the death of her husband and of her son Ahaziah, she resolved to seat herself on the vacant throne. She slew all Ahaziah's children except Joash, the youngest 2Ki 11:1,2 After a reign of six years she was put to death in an insurrection 2Ki 11:20 2Ch 21:6 2Ch 22:10-12 23:15 stirred up among the people in connection with Josiah's being crowned as king.3

Psalms 139:21, 22 required one to hate those who hate those who hate the Lord, and thus avoid them. Jehoshaphat was soundly rebuked for his actions in uniting with Ahab: 2 Chronicles 19:2 And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD. For those who seek to dismiss this established Old Testament law requiring avoiding the ungodly, what is acted out here with Jehoshaphat and Ahab is firmly established by Paul: 1 Corinthians 15:33, 2 Corinthians 6:16, 17, Ephesians 5:11, 2 John 1:11.

The Battle

Jehoshaphat asks Ahab to call a prophet of God to see what God says concerning the coming battle. Did he desire to see if he could get God to confirm his uniting with ungodly Ahab?

Ahab calls together 400 men who claim to be prophets of the true God. Pulpit Commentary tells us that these were probably 400 priests of Bethel and Dan, who replaced the true priesthood at Jerusalem when Israel split from Judah under Jeroboam's heretical proclamation: "You can worship God just as well here in this manner at the calves as you can in Jerusalem as God Requires."

The 400 speak with one voice: "Do it. God is with you. You will prosper."

V. 7. Jehoshaphat does not trust the 400. (I don't know why he was willing to go to war over Israel's cause, if he knew or had enough doubt about the war that he would not trust these 400 men. "If in doubt, throw it out" is good advice. How many Christians are being influenced by the large numbers of false teachers from today's "Christian" pulpits, e.g., Tim LaHaye, Chuck Smith, Jack Van Impe, &c.? Let us not forget J.N. Darby, C.I. Scofield and their followers.)

V. 8. Ahab says there is one other prophet, but he hates him, for he always speaks badly of him—tells him the truth. He is Micaiah - who is like Jehovah? (Not an unusual name in the Old Testament. It is used at least three times.)

Vv. 9-12.

We find the 400 men carrying on like a bunch of mad men before the kings sitting on their two thrones. They tell the kings what they want to hear. Note their indignation when one of the kings doubts their united testimony. Zedekiah (Justice of Jehovah) seems to be the leader in opposing Micaiah. Zedekiah has the right name, for God will have justice, but his message is wrong as sin.

Evidently, Micaiah had been in prison for not speaking in support of the civil government. He was not "Politically Correct", and thus imprisoned, v. 26. (See "Patriot Act" in this issue.)

Vv. 12-16.

The man who brings Micaiah warns Micaiah to speak what the king wants to hear. Micaiah says he will only speak what the Lord requires of him.

V. 15, though his mind is made up, Ahab questions him. Obviously, Ahab wants to be deceived.

Note: How many pastors are questioned by parishioners about what the parishioner should do, but the mind is already made up. Did the parishioner seek advice for appearance's sake? It surely was not to know what the word of God said, for Scripture was ignored.

Micaiah gives Ahab the answer he wants, but in such a way that the king knows he is being mocked. Ahab gets the answer he wants, and he still is not happy.

V. 17. Micaiah tells the truth, but Ahab does not want to hear the truth. So he dismisses the truth as just a personal attack upon him. "Micaiah does not like me, so he is just saying that to spoil my plans." (V. 18.)

Vv. 19-22, reveals one of the more interesting, as well as disconcerting, facts in Scripture. Micaiah tells the kings what he saw taking place in the secret counsels of God. And that secret counsel is being carried out by God's servants right before the eyes of the two kings. God's purpose was to use Syria to kill Ahab, and Micaiah tells how that purpose is being accomplished. (Throughout history, God has used the heathens to judge those who claimed to be his people, e.g., Isaiah 10:24, 25, &c.)

V. 20. With all the host of heaven standing around the Lord, he asks, Who shall persuade Ahab to go out and get himself killed?

Vv. 20-23. the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets...

The Lord did not cause Ahab to believe the lies. Though confronted with the truth, Ahab's self-will caused him to believe the lies:

13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (James 1.)

God raises up false teachers, e.g., Tim LaHaye, &c. (Cf., Daniel 4.) The fallen nature of their hearers permit them to gain many followers who want to believe the false messages over what the word of God says. They listen to the lying prophets while rejecting the word of God, for they do not seriously search God's word to see if those things be true. (See Luke 17:1, Deuteronomy 13.)

Vv. 24, 25, compared with 22:11, 12.

Zedekiah has a reputation to uphold. He had exalted himself as the chief of the 400 false prophets, and Micaiah just called him a liar. The charge has to bring a violent reaction if he would keep his office. Neither king gets upset at Zedekiah for striking Micaiah. As Zedekiah strikes Micaiah in the face, he ridicules him as a prophet. Micaiah does not even answer other than "When the time comes, we will know who is right – you or me." Micaiah does not defend himself.

Vv. 26-28.

Ahab sends Micaiah back to prison to be held until Ahab returns in victory. Does Ahab try to hold God's man hostage with – "OK Lord. You give me the victory in this battle, let me return in peace, and I will turn your prophet loose"?

Vv. 29, 30.

They go to battle. While disguising himself, Ahab convinces Jehoshaphat to wear his royal robes into battle: Is he hoping for Jehoshaphat's death, so Ahab's son-in-law could be king of Judah? – Is Ahab here turning over the command of the united army to Jehoshaphat out of fear or precaution over Micaiah's prophecy? – Is Ahab hiding from God behind Jehoshaphat? – Is he taking precautions in case his hostage plan does not work? – Is Ahab depending on Jehoshaphat's relationship with the Lord to spare him? – Why does Ahab take all of the precautions if he does not believe Micaiah?

V. 31. The king of Syria is after only one person, Ahab. Why such a hatred for Ahab?

1) Because of the humiliating defeat he, King Benhadad, had suffered at Ahab's hands. (See chapter 20.)

2) Because God commanded Benhadad to kill Ahab. If God sent the deceiving spirit to convince Ahab, then he no doubt sent the spirit to urge Benhadad to war also. (V. 20, Who shall persuade Benhadad to kill Ahab?)

Vv. 32, 33. Ahab's plan almost works. Syria pursues the royal robe instead of Ahab. Jehoshaphat cries out. Does he cry out to the Lord, or does he cry out of fear? All we know here is that he cries out, and is spared. From what we see in v. 20, God is the one who directed the battle, as a man with a chess board. God spares Jehoshaphat in his mercy, for he was certainly in a presumptuous sin here. (2 Chronicles 18:31.)

V. 34. Drew a bow at a venture, and smote Ahab. Ahab uses every human means to avoid this event, but he can not. God's foreordained purpose will be accomplished even at a venture. The bow to the man is at a venture, but God holds the man's hands.

Vv. 35, 36.

Ahab is sorely wounded, but cannot not leave the battle, for the battle is too hot and heavy. Jehoshaphat has enough, and after the close call of v. 33, he gets out of the battle. V. 36, the word goes out to Israel's army to go home.

Vv. 37-40. So the king died just as God said he would. The many false prophets can cry out, and even cut themselves, but God's word is true, and it will come to pass. (21:19.)

V. 41ff. God records the good reign of Jehoshaphat. However, in 2 Chronicles 20:35-37, we have the record of Jehoshaphat joining with Ahab's son, Ahaziah, in building ships to bring back gold. That venture with the ungodly also fails.

V. 44, Jehoshaphat made peace with the king of Israel for a profit.

1. An alliance with ungodly Ahab for mutual protection against Syria.

2. An alliance with ungodly Ahaziah, Ahab's son, for mutual profit, gold. (After all, was this not a family venture? Jehoshaphat's son was married to Ahab's daughter.)

2 Chronicles 18:1-19:2, wrath from before the Lord. The lying spirit comes to Ahab from before the Lord. Is it a spirit of wrath from before the Lord against Jehoshaphat that makes him continue to do destructive things?

2 Chronicles 20:35, the Lord hath broken thy works. Christians by the score join with the ungodly for mutual protection and profit, and wonder why things do not go as they want them to go. (Church Incorporation??)

Note the inter-marriage — Ahab's son reigns after Ahab. Jehoshaphat's son reigns after him, making the kings of Israel and Judah brothers-in-law. Later when Athaliah assumes Judah's throne, we have brother and sister reigning. The brother in Israel, and sister in Judah, and both were the children of Ahab and Jezebel.

V. 43, the high places are a continual problem for Judah. They are unauthorized places of sacrifices, yet the sacrifices are supposed to be to the Lord God.

V. 49, evidently Jehoshaphat learns his lesson, and refuses to join again with the king of Israel, no matter what the reward might be.

V. 50, Trapp gives a good comment on this verse, showing us the dangers of close alliances with the wrong people:

And Jehoram his son.] His most wicked son, for so he proved, {#2Ch 21:6, &c.} being the worse doubtless for his wife Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab; between whom and good Jehoshaphat there was so great a league, that they gave the same names to each other's children: Jehoshaphat called his son Jehoram—marrying him to Ahab's daughter; and Jehoram called his son Ahaziah; and Ahab called his sons Ahaziah and Jehoram. Jehoshaphat also, by Ahab's example, made his son Jehoram Prorex: whence Jehoram the son of Ahab is said {#2Ki 1:17} to have begun to reign in the second year of Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah. (Online Bible.)


. God raises up and even sends false prophets, teachers, to tell people what they want to hear. Why? For the same reason he did it here—for the destruction of those who reject him and his word. False preachers and teachers abound today, and God's people love it—TO THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION.

Those who willingly accept the words of the lying false prophets over the clear teaching of God's word are under the same curse as was Jehoshaphat who followed Ahab into battle. He listened to the lying spirits from God who sent to deceive Ahab to his death, despite the warning from God's word. The willing hearers of the false prophets are sending Western Christian Culture to a swift and sure destruction.

Second. Why did Jehoshaphat help Ahab?

1) Because of the "emotional" attachment with Ahab, being in-laws. So why do Christians continue to follow those who corrupt the word of God? No doubt because the corrupters' messages sound good, and appeal to the emotions.

2) If Jehoshaphat condoned his son's uniting with the wicked daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, then Jehoshaphat would see no problem uniting with ungodly Ahab.

3) A result of that ungodly union permitted by Jehoshaphat is the murder of Jehoshaphat's grandchildren by Athaliah.

Why do those who claim to love God totally ignore the warnings of God's word and men, and allow their children to marry those who openly hate God?

Third. A man's claim to be of God does not make him a preacher of truth, for only God's word can support such a claim. How does the message compare with God's word? Zedekiah's did not. Sadly, surprisingly few hearers of our day compare the messages they hear from the many false teachers with God's word. The lack of allowing God's word to expose false teachers is a sure sign of God's judgment against our society, and the sure destruction that is on its way. Our prayer is that God will send a spirit of "revival", a revival of love for his word (according to the AV, for the vast majority of modern versions are perversions. See Rushdoony's article in the winter 05 Examiner). Using a corrupt version must result in a corrupt understanding and teaching.

It does not matter if the whole world lines up on one side and says, Do it! If the word of God says NO, then NO it must be. Were the 400 men prophets of Baal, prophets of the groves, or were they simply ‘Fundamental' prophets who just did not happen to see the need to go to Jerusalem to worship the Lord? Baal was not worshiped at Bethel and Dan. Rather, the gold calves were offered to Israel as another way to worship the Lord God, a way just as good as the true way at Jerusalem. (1 Kings 12:25ff.) However, Jezebel did have her prophets of Baal.

The majority has never been on God's side. God's side has always been the minority. "Every one else is doing it this way" is no reason for anything. What does Micaiah, the word of the Lord say?

Fourth. How many people, even good people, search for churches and preachers who will tell lies in convincing ways? Ahab wanted God's man to tell the lie with as much force as the truth. The 400 false preachers were very sincere and convincing. Even when the "searchers" get the truth, they, like Ahab, act as though the truth were a lie, and proceed to do what their mind was made up to do in the first place.

Micaiah's mockery was so obvious that though he did not want the truth, Ahab says, "Tell me the truth." His mind was made up — he was going to war anyway. We know many "Ahabs". They say with their mouths, "I want the truth," but they only want it if the "truth" will permit them to continue on the way they want to go. They know the false prophets are wrong, but they like being told, "Go thou and prosper."

Every pastor has had people ask for advice, and though they were told what God required, their mind was made up, and they proceed as though there was no word from God.

Fifth. Very seldom are we allowed a view into God's throne room to see his secret counsels. I can think of only two: Job chapters 1-3, and here, 1 Kings 22. There are other instances where we see the spiritual movements of God, e.g., Isaiah 6, but Job and Kings are two where we are shown the secret counsel of God at work. Seeing these two instances makes me glad we are not shown more. These two raise more questions than answers, for both show that God is in control of even the evil that comes to pass upon this earth.

Micaiah saw the Lord sitting on his throne, as Isaiah saw the Lord sitting on his throne. When we see the Lord God Almighty sitting on his throne, the prison house of an ungodly earthly king does not look so bad. The main problem is that most preachers have not seen the Lord at all, particularly on his throne. Or they have seen him only on the cross or in a baby crib. Seeing God's holiness and sovereignty should cause us to stand for him even when confronting Ahab.

Sixth. There are several ways to look at the lying spirit from God:

1. At God's prompting, Satan asked permission to destroy Job. It was granted with the exception of his life.

2. Ezekiel 14:

4 Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols; 5 That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols. 6 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.

The Lord answers his people according to what is in their hearts. In other words, he gives them what they want, so that he may justly judge them according to their sin. (James 1.)

Ahab was determined to go to war, and God provided the false prophets to assure him of victory, so he would go. Without God forcing him, Ahab chose lies over truth. He was so committed to the lie he wanted that he threw Micaiah in prison for telling the truth. Ahab was determined to follow what he wanted to do, so God sent prophets to say what he wanted to hear.

How many Christians today are so committed to the lies they desire to hear that they readily depart from truthful preaching?

3. God is God. All we have here is simply a record of what happened before his throne. We can neither explain nor understand God, for we are not God, nor does God ask for us to approve his actions. He does as he wills throughout history, and no one can say, What doest thou? (Daniel 4:35, Romans 9:19, 20, 11:33ff.)

If 1 Kings 22 seems inconsistent with his Holy character, it is only because we cannot understand it properly, or we do not have all the facts.

Obviously, chapter 22 is an accurate account of what took place, as far as God wants us to know. Any inconsistencies on our part is due to a lack of understanding on our part, or a lack of all the facts. Again, God has given us enough to show that we will hear what we want to hear, and that we will reap what we sow.

Ahab lied about Naboth for personal gain. (21:10, 19.) Ahab is now destroyed by lies. Ahab put the reaping in motion, and now he gets a full crop as God permits the results to come to pass. Ahab used lies to kill a man, and now lies are used to kill him. No one can accuse God of being unjust because he allows Ahab to reap what he has sown. Ahab is the one who used lies for his personal gain. Thus, any fault at any door must be at Ahab's, not God's.

21:20-22, Ahab had been warned by God. 21:29, the warning ‘took hold'. 22:1-4, Ahab forgets the warning. 22:20-23, God permits him to pursue his own way, and now reap the crop he planted.

4) Commonly, men try to make a deal with God: See Psalms 66:13-20 – David said, I will pay thee my vows, Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble. If a man after God's own heart would try to make a deal with the Lord, how much more wicked Ahab?

A common practice among worshipers of false gods was, "If you don't protect me, I will destroy you." The original insurance deals were carried out at the pagan temples. They went to the temple of whatever god covered that area of concern, e.g., shipping. They offered an offering to that god, seeking his or her protection for the voyage. If the god failed them, the next time they would seek the protection from another until they found one that would be the best protector. If they returned prosperous, they would bring back some of the profits from the venture to the god – male or female slaves as prostitutes from battle or money from the trading venture. If they failed in the venture, they might even come back and wreck the temple of that god.

I am sure this pagan manner of worship was part of Ahab's thinking, as he tries to hold Micaiah hostage with the Lord.

How often do Christians do the same thing? They try to play "let's make a deal" with the Lord God almighty. We too often serve the god of Ahab and Jezebel, rather than the Lord God of Micaiah — "I'll serve you Lord. I'll let you be my God if you will work this out the way I think it should be – even if it is contrary to your word. And if it does not work out Lord, I will hold you and your man responsible."

Notice that Micaiah clearly told Ahab it would not work, but Ahab is still going to hold Micaiah responsible — We warn our people that what they are trying will not work, but they do it anyway contrary to God's word. Then when it does not work out, they try to blame God for not letting it work out. Are they not trying to convince the Lord to be on their side, even though they are contrary to his word?

The worst thing, though, is Jehoshaphat: Not believing Ahab's false prophets, he requested the truth, Macaiah. Micaiah told the truth, which did not have any effect on Jehoshaphat – he went anyway. Why? His son married Ahab's daughter. Ungodly alliance will get us into trouble every time.

God is not going to be held hostage. The Lord God Almighty will answer to no man, especially to wicked Ahab. Many times in his mercy, though, he will answer pleas of Psalms 66:13-26.

Micaiah says, "Ahab, if you will return with any kind of victory at all, then you will know who is the false prophet: Zedekiah or myself. Then I will deserve the prison."

Seventh. God's laws, whether Old Testament or New Testament, work just as he tells us they will, no matter how many precautions we may take. A man or nation will not avoid God's promised results.

7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:7.)

End Note:

1 The Annals of the World. Rev. Archbishop Ussher, 1658. Translated, revised and updated by Larry & Marion Pierce, 2003. Master Books, Inc., Green Forest, AR. For ease of reference, Larry has numbered each paragraph in this massive work. Brother Pierce hopes to release Annals on CD in the near future.

2 1999, Smith's Revised Bible Dictionary, sv. JEHOSH'APHAT. Online Bible.

3 Easton's Revised Bible Dictionary. Online Bible

"Faith-Based" – in Big Government

The Religious Right Feeds at the Federal Trough

By Matt Chancey

O.K., here goes. I'm going to get in trouble for saying this, but I don't care. As a card-carrying member of the "Christian Right" it is my responsibility to be an unbiased critic when my friends go "off reservation."

With that caveat, allow me to express my shock at the conservative pundits who are attacking fellow commentators Armstrong Williams and Maggie Gallagher for accepting $240,000 and $41,000 respectively in "bribe money" from the Bush administration to support White House programs on education and marriage. Such criticism represents the height of hypocrisy.

A couple months ago, it was reported that the Bush administration, through its Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, has doled out millions of dollars to conservative Christian organizations. Pat Robertson received $1.5 million. Chuck Colson's Prison Fellowship Ministries was one of four groups selected to receive a $22.5 million grant. Catholic Relief Services, World Vision and the Salvation Army have all received pork from Uncle Sam; and Campus Crusade for Christ, Samaritan's Purse (Billy Graham's son's ministry), and other evangelical organizations have applied for access to the government trough.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love supporting crises pregnancy centers and other charities that promote abstinence and counsel women against having abortions. I donate to them regularly. But I don't see any provision in the U.S. Constitution that gives the President of the United States the right to direct $ billions of taxpayer money (our money) to the charities of his choice.

Perhaps the most frustrating fact about this "faith-based fleecing" of American taxpayers is that the gate-keepers of much of this government pork are the very organizations and individuals who sought to "de-fund" leftist groups during the Reagan/Bush/Clinton administrations.

A FOIA request revealed that the Bush Administration hired independent experts to review grant applications for one of its abstinence programs. Reading the list of grant reviewers is like reading off a list of "who's who in the Religious Right." Summit Ministries, Turning Point, the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, the Christian Coalition, the Traditional Values Coalition, and Paul Weyrich's Free Congress Foundation, are all gate-keepers in President Bush's faith-based welfare program.

So, why are conservatives angry at Armstrong Williams for accepting a $240,000 bribe? If you ask me, Armstrong sold himself cheap. Chuck Colson and Pat Robertson received millions to keep their mouths shut. You didn't catch these men criticizing the Bush administration during the fall of 2004 for his drunken sailor spending binge during his first term of office. The simple, undeniable fact is that President Bush has grown the size of the federal government to levels President Clinton never dreamed of. Yet, we hear nothing but crickets chirping from many leaders of the Religious Right. And why shouldn't we? Why should these conservatives bite the hand that feeds them?

The operating philosophy of conservative groups should not be "Big Government is only bad when we don't control it." The bedrock principle of conservatives—especially Christian Conservatives—is that government is not God. Big Government, no matter who is in control, is always, always, always BAD.

Christian conservative organizations fighting for so-called "individual liberty and personal responsibility" disgrace their charters by taking welfare from the Bush Administration. Paul Weyrich, Chuck Colson, Pat Robertson, Beverly LaHaye, Lou Sheldon, and Franklin Graham have all read the Constitution and should know better. Government money always comes with strings attached. The most obvious string evident in the faith-based funding farce is a general gag order on critical statements against the Bush Administration.

Love of country and commitment to principle should animate conservative leaders to boldly challenge any reckless, unconstitutional, or just plain stupid policies coming from the Bush administration (or any administration for that matter). If they really care about their president, Christian conservative leaders will confront him when he goes off reservation. They should stop accepting government "hush money" and start demanding lower taxes, lower spending, smaller government, less regulation, and constitutional budgets. Fidelity to their principles requires nothing less.

Matt Chancey


Old Age

Bettie's and my old age has not been a time of slowing down. It seems there is more to do than ever before. I have been invited to speak at Keweah, CA, Apl. 17, and then in Sparta NC, May 12. Then, Lord willing, spend some time in Lima, Peru. See letters in this issue. Lima is kind of high, 22,000 feet, so breathing might be difficult there for us older people.

Christina is finishing up her school work. As those of you who have been with us for some time know, the illness and death of her mother set her back some time, and turned both of our world's upside down. However, Carol and I both agreed that it was all in the Lord's hands, and he would receive the glory of it all. After a year to "recuperate" from the illness and death, Bettie and I married, and it has been non-stop since. (Bettie slipped on a wet floor in a grocery store while pregnant with her youngest daughter, and fell on her knee in such a way as to later destroy the all the cartilage in her right knee. It has left her with a very sore knee as she tries to walk. I often tell her and others that I am glad she has a bad knee, or I would never be able to keep up with her.)

Bettie and I were invited to an aircraft photographer's seminar close to Dullis airport, not as photographers, but because of the slide collection. She met several men she knew in the past from Jeff's flying experiences. One photographer was there from South Africa, who they met when Jeff was flying with the South African AF. Jeff had a far reaching influence for the Lord.

Spring is coming quickly here. That means property to clean up and maintain, which can be quite time consuming, as many of you well know. Though the house here was designed by Bettie to be very well insulated and passive solar heated, we still must light the wood stove in the early mornings to get the chill off the house. Once the sun comes up, though, the house is well heated even with the temperature in the 30s and up outside.

Larry Pierce, Online Bible, has asked me to help him edit Philip Mauro's "The Seventy Weeks and the Great Tribulation" for publishing, which is taking some time. It is the absolute best treatment of Daniel's last 3 visions that I have read, and am likely to read. (Philip Mauro was a brilliant lawyer who wrote the brief for Bryan's winning argument in the 1925 "Scopes" trial.) "The Seventy Weeks..." is on Online Bible.

Movie Review:

We obtained "Yours, Mine and Ours" from Netflix (they have old movies, about 35,000 to chose from).

Staring Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda. It was as UN PC as any movie could be (1968). The man was a widower with 10 children, and the woman was a widow with 8 children. When he asked the blessing at the dinner table, he prayed in Jesus' name. They marry and the story is about the two families merging. Probably a key scene is toward the end of the move after the two families have been together for a while, a step brother is beating up his step brother's boyfriend because he was doing some inappropriate things (we are not shown what) to the girl in the living room after everyone is asleep.

Mom is having their 19th child when the fight breaks out, and as dad is getting mom ready to go to the hospital, the girl is saying that the boyfriend has been telling her that everyone is doing it, and if she loves him, she would let him also. Dad told her that has been the line for multitudes of years. He points out that "this is love", as he is rushing his wife out of the house to the hospital. He clearly said that love is doing the day by day things that support a family.

It is a very heart warming story of two families who each lost one of their parents through death (not divorce), and how they resisted the new parent. And how they came to accept their new parent, either mother or father. It is worth seeing if you have access to it. There are many things that can be taught to the children through this move.

Another movie worth seeing is the original version of "Cheaper by the Dozen".

It is based upon an actual event, and nothing like the modern version, and, again, as UN-PC as any movie. It tells both the ups and downs of a large family (6 boys, 6 girls). The mother is stay at home, while she supports the father in his occupation. The father dies unexpectedly, and mother, because she has been by his side, is able to step in and complete his work. In the actual story and in the movie, mom is voted "Woman of the Year" in 1946.

It is another excellent story of the way a family was before WWII, and the way God meant for a family to operate.

Another family friendly movie:

The expanded version of "The Incredibles" has an extra disk. On this disk, the crew explains how the final version of the story line came about. (The Pixar crew was all clean cut.) They told of the opening lines they laid aside for the one used. The opening they wanted to us was of the Mr. & Mrs. I at a backyard cookout. When Mrs. I asked a neighbor what she did, the lady glowed in her career. When the neighbor asked Mrs. I what she did, and Mrs. I told her she was a stay-at-home mom and homemaker, the neighbor's eyes glazed over and that was the end of the conversation with Mrs. I. The neighbor then went to another group of neighbors and poked fun at Mrs. I for staying at home.

The author of the story line told how when they had their first child, they decided that his wife would stay home, and of the ridicule she received for dropping out of the career lifestyle.

It was an excellent behind-the-scenes view of the family emphasis of the final movie.


Going through the collection of slides that Jeff gathered over the 25 years of his flying and writing career, I have been struck by the many WW II pictures of women in the factories. It was that event that changed the face of America forever. The women abandoned their families, and went into the factories. They never came home, and the average family has been destroyed. (I posted many:

Your Phone Number

Google has implemented a new feature wherein you can type someone's telephone number into the search bar and hit enter and then you will be given a map to their house. Note that you can have your phone number removed.

Before forwarding this, I tested it by typing my telephone number in My phone number came up, and when I clicked on the MapQuest link, it mapped out where I live. Quite scary. It also contained information about my philatelic publications. Not bad. All, just from my phone number.

Look up your own number. Read below for details. Think about it . . . if a child, ANYONE, gives out his/her phone number, someone can actually now look it up to find out where he/she lives. You probably have your phone number on your checks or other documents that are in use.

In order to test whether your phone number is mapped, go to:

Type in your phone number in the search bar (I.e. 555-555-1212) and hit enter. If you want to BLOCK Google from divulging your private information, simply click on the telephone icon next to your phone number or your phone number whichever works. Removal takes 48-hours.

If you are unlisted in the phone book, you might not be in there, but it is a good idea just to check. If your number does come up, if you hit map, it will show you a direct map to your house. If you also think there is an alarming potential to this website function, please forward this info on to friends and family.

(Forwarded from Robert Ford Porter.)

He Died Bringing You These Photos [ Post 293198986 ]

The photographer who took these photos was crushed under the debris when the second tower was destroyed by "Controlled Demolition" INC.

Please look at them carefully. Also note the construction of the twin towers and note the core structure (which does not show the concrete casing around the columns as it was sealed after the photos).


Insane US Experimental Bomb Test, in Attempt to Change Jet Stream, Suggests Time May Be Near For Invasion and Occupation of North American Continent

By: Sorcha Faal, and as reported to the Russian Academy of Sciences


Prescription Drugs

10 Voters on Panel Backing Pain Pills Had Industry Ties

By GARDINER HARRIS and ALEX BERENSON (NY Times, February 25, 2005)

Ten of the 32 government drug advisers who last week endorsed continued marketing of the huge-selling pain pills Celebrex, Bextra and Vioxx have consulted in recent years for the drugs' makers, according to disclosures in medical journals and other public records.

If the 10 advisers had not cast their votes, the committee would have voted 12 to 8 that Bextra should be withdrawn and 14 to 8 that Vioxx should not return to the market. The 10 advisers with company ties voted 9 to 1 to keep Bextra on the market and 9 to 1 for Vioxx's return.

The votes of the 10 did not substantially influence the committee's decision on Celebrex because only one committee member voted that Celebrex should be withdrawn. ...


Check this out at, and you will find it true.

The woman who signed below is a federal Budget Analyst in Washington, D.C.

Did you ever wonder how much it costs a drug company for the active ingredient in prescription medications? Some people think it must cost lot, since many drugs sell for more than $2.00 per tablet. We did a search of offshore chemical synthesizers that supply the active ingredients found in drugs approved by the FDA. As we have revealed in past issues of Life Extension, a significant percentage of drugs sold in the United State contain active ingredients made in other countries. In our independent investigation of how much profit drug companies really make, we obtained the actual price of active ingredients used in some of the most popular drugs sold in America. The chart below speaks for itself.

Celebrex 100 mg * Consumer price (100 tablets): $130.27 * Cost of general active ingredients: $0.60 * Percent markup: 21,712%. Claritin 10 mg * Consumer Price (100 tablets): $215.17 * Cost of general active ingredients: $0.71 * Percent markup: 30,306%. Keflex 250 mg * Consumer Price (100 tablets): $157.39 * Cost of general active ingredients: $1.88 * Percent markup: 8,372%. Lipitor 20 mg * Consumer Price (100 tablets): $272.37 * Cost of general active ingredients: $5.80 * Percent markup: 4,696%. Norvasc 10 mg * Consumer price (100 tablets): $188.29 * Cost of general active ingredients: $0.14 * Percent markup: 134,493%. Paxil 20 mg * Consumer price (100 tablets): $220.27 * Cost of general active ingredients: $7.60 * Percent markup: 2,898%. Prevacid 30 mg * Consumer price (100 tablets): $44.77 * Cost of general active ingredients: $1.01 * Percent markup: 34,136%. Prilosec 20 mg * Consumer price (100 tablets): $360.97 * Cost of general active ingredients $0.52 * Percent markup: 69,417%. Prozac 20 mg * Consumer price (100 tablets) : $247.47 * Cost of general active ingredients: $0.11 * Percent markup: 224,973%. Tenormin 50 mg * Consumer price (100 tablets): $104.47 * Cost of general active ingredients: $0.13 * Percent markup: 80,362%. Vasotec 10 mg * Consumer price (100 tablets): $102.37 * Cost of general active ingredients: $0.20 * Percent markup: 51,185%. Xanax 1 mg * Consumer price (100 tablets) : $136.79 * Cost of general active ingredients: $0.024 * Percent markup: 569,958%. Zestril 20 mg * Consumer price (100 tablets) $89.89 * Cost of general active ingredients $3.20 * Percent markup: 2,809%. Zithromax 600 mg * Consumer price (100 tablets): $1,482.19 * Cost of general active ingredients: $1878 * Percent markup: 7,892%. Zocor 40 mg * Consumer price (100 tablets): $350.27 * Cost of general active ingredients: $8.63 * Percent markup: 4,059%. Zoloft 50 mg * Consumer price: $206.87 * Cost of general active ingredients: $1.75 * Percent markup: 11,821%.

Since the cost of prescription drugs is so outrageous, I thought everyone I knew should know about this. Please read the following and pass it on. It pays to shop around. This helps to solve the mystery as to why they can afford to put a Walgreens on every corner.

On Monday night, Steve Wilson, an investigative reporter for Channel News in Detroit, did a story on generic drug price gouging by pharmacies. He found in his investigation, that some of these generic drugs were marked up as much as 3,000% or more. Yes, that's not a typo ... three thousand percent! So often, we blame the drug companies for the high cost of drugs, and usually rightfully so. But in this case, the fault clearly lies with the pharmacies themselves.

For example, if you had to buy a prescription drug, and bought the name brand, you might pay $100 for 100 pills. The pharmacist might tell you that if you get the generic equivalent, they would only cost $80, making you

think you are "saving" $20. What the pharmacist is not telling you is that those 100 generic pills may have only cost him $10!

At the end of the report, one of the anchors asked Mr. Wilson whether or not there were any pharmacies that did not adhere to this practice, and he said that Costco consistently charged little over their cost for the generic drugs. I went to the Costco site, where you can look up any drug, and get its online price. It says that the in-store prices are consistent with the online prices. I was appalled.

Just to give you one example from my own experience, I had to use the drug, Compazine, which helps prevent nausea in chemo patients. I used the generic equivalent, which cost $54.99 for 60 pills at CVS. I checked the price at Costco, and I could have bought 100 pills for $19.89.. For 145 of my pain pills, I paid $72.57. I could have got 150 at Costco for $28.08. I would like to mention, that although Costco is a "membership" type store, you do NOT have to be a member to buy prescriptions there, as it is a federally regulated substance. You just tell them at the door that you wish to use the pharmacy, and they will let you in.

I am asking each of you to please help me by copying this letter, and passing it into your own email, and send it to everyone you know with an email address.

Editor's Note: Is it any wonder that there is such a big anti-cholesterol push? They keep lowering the safe numbers to make everyone think they are in grave danger of high cholesterol which might lead to heart problems. Note the money to be made from such medication — over a 4,000% markup. And mental health problems! Again, look at the markup. There is an astounding amount of money to be made by making everyone think they are sick. And Bush insisted that the new drug bill could not permit shopping around for the best price. Moreover, the FDA cried to high heaven about the safety of Canadian drugs, yet Canada took drugs off the market that the FDA ruled were safe. Smell the love of money here!!


Things other people accomplished at your age.

Type in your age, and you will see:


I will be speaking on "The History of Dispensationalism " at the Lighthouse World Ministries Bible Conference, which runs May 12 - 14. It is at Sparta, NC. See for more information.


Videos and Books

Warriors of Honor- The Faith and Legacies of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

New Liberty Videos, DVD.

"The Revolutionary War united America. Less than one hundred years later a bloody Civil War divided it. Most Americans believe that Southerners fought to preserve slavery; however, a much deeper divide existed between the North and South. Two drastically different cultures had emerged on the American landscape.

This documentary places the war in its historical and cultural context. It guides the viewer through the causes and the major battles of the Civil War while providing insight into the lives of two stalwart men who fought for the South. Both were masterful generals, brilliant strategists and, above all, faithful Christians. The faith of these "Warriors of Honor" governed their lives on and off the battlefield, and their legacies continue even today.

Order from The Biblical Examiner. $20 each, post paid. PO MO preferred

New program

The Online Bible For Windows Ver 2.0

30 English Versions (34 in Deluxe) 40 Other Versions

There is so much new material this year that a second CD is added.

The English CD contains more than 30 English Bible versions including the New King James Version, The Message, God's Word to the Nations and The English Standard Version.

In addition to all of the ready to use material on the CD there are several versions that require royalty payment to unlock, notably NIV, NAS, NRSV and NLT. These are included on the CD-ROM but cannot be accessed until they are registered and the royalty of $15 ($22 Canadian) each is paid for the NIV or NASB or $5 ($7 Canadian) for the NRSV or NLT.

This CD also contains 10 ancient languages texts (Greek, Hebrew, Latin and Syriac), 3 sets of Greek and Hebrew Lexicons, 20 Dictionaries, 45 commentaries and more than 350 Devotional, Theological, Historical and Creationist books as well as a set of Bible maps. (See total list of everything on the first CD,

The program features an award winning search engine technology that can instantly find a word, phrase or even a Strong's number in a Bible version, book or commentary. With this program you can do complex or simple searches, synchronize the Scripture with the commentary and display as many versions as you wish at one time.

The Message, King James Version, Bible in Basic English, 21st Century KJV, J.N. Darby Translation, American Standard Version, Revised Standard Version, New Revised Standard Version, New American Standard Version, Green's Literal Translation, Young's Literal Translation, Modern KJV, New King James Bible, Weymouth New Testament, Jewish Publication Old Testament, New International Version, Revised Webster Bible, J.B. Phillips New Testament, God's Word to the Nations and The English Standard Version.

The Supplementary CD contains more than 400 Bible versions, Commentaries, Lexicons and Books in 35 other languages.

French LSG, Geneve, Darby, Haitian Creole, 6 Dutch, 6 German, 2 Italian, Norwegian 3 Spanish, Finnish, Russian, Romanian, Turkish, Hungarian, Greek, Portugese, Ukranian, Albanian, Danish, Vietnamese, Arabic, Chinese, Equador, Swahili, Maori, Cebuano, 3 Indonesian, Philippines, Afrikaans, plus Spanish RVR60 ($10/$14 royalty).

Online Bible 2005 2 CD package $40 (US) post paid. $50 in Canada. With NIV, NAS, NRSV, NLT codes $69.95 $89.95 in Canada. From: Biblical Examiner. PO Box 81. Bentonville VA 22610. PO MO preferred. Guaranteed to be the best Bible Program on the market, or your money back.

Sprinkle Publications.

Complete list of books from Sprinkle Publications (2004)

Here is a chance to add to your library at a very good price. For those of you who are not familiar with Sprinkle, his reprints book that are quite old and are in public domain, primarily Southern, or Confederate history books, as well as very sound theology books. His books are sewn, hard back, cloth books that should last for many years. (Being a lover of old books, he desires that his reprints last for generations, and binds them accordingly. You will not find a better bound book.) I can provide these at 20% discount from retail, but you pay postage. If you are interested, I will tell you the charge and the postage, and how to pay. Send me an e mail.

See the 2004 Sprinkle publication list (a few titles may be missing),

Patriot Act

Praise the Lord for Bush's Patriot Act. I feel so much safer.

And Here's Why

The Patriot Act: Targeting American Citizens

The party line often heard from Neo-Cons in their attempts to defend the Patriot Act either circulate around the contention that the use of the Patriot Act has never been abused or that it isn't being used against American citizens.

Follow the links found at <> You will feel much safer knowing that Bush, in his all-wise sovereignty, is protecting us from men like Dr. Tennant who called the VA one too many times.

Homeland Security Arrests Veteran for Complaining Too Much

Now complaining too much can get you arrested by Homeland Security. The veteran arrested in the article, Dr. Tennant was arrested in front of his family for calling the VA too many times. He did jail time for the offense of "harassing."

Homeland Security Agents Visit Toy Store

So far as she knows, Pufferbelly Toys owner Stephanie Cox hasn't been passing any state secrets to sinister foreign governments, or violating obscure clauses in the Patriot Act.

In Terror War, 2nd Track for Suspects

The Bush administration is developing a parallel legal system in which terrorism suspects -- U.S. citizens and noncitizens alike -- may be investigated, jailed, interrogated, tried and punished without legal protections guaranteed by the ordinary system, lawyers inside and outside the government say.

Court: U.S. Can Hold Citizens as Enemy Combatants

A federal appeals court today ruled that the government has properly detained an American-born man captured with Taliban forces in Afghanistan without an attorney and has legally declared him an enemy combatant.

Patriot Act Being Used to Harass website

It appears that they may be using the Patriot Act to circumvent some of the civil rights protections laid down in the 60s. You see, it is illegal for a government agency to go in and demand the list of all the members of a group. And you can't investigate leaks to journalists by going in and grabbing the reporter's computer.

Terrorism panic goes too far at Area 51

Chuck Clark wasn't even home when law enforcement personnel assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force roared up to his rented trailer in tiny Rachel, Nev., the other day. He didn't know about the still-sealed search warrant until he returned from a road trip and found that his files, photos and computer had been seized.

Secret Service Questions Students

Some teachers in Oakland are rallying behind two students who were interrogated by the Secret Service. That followed remarks the teenagers made about the President during a class discussion. The incident has many people angry. It's good to see the real terrorists are being hunted down.

Boy investigated by FBI for researching paper on Chesapeake Bay Bridge

A 12-year-old kid at Boys' Latin researches a paper on the Bay Bridge, and suddenly the Joint Terrorist Task Force shows up in the headmaster's office.

Photographer Arrested "Under Patriot Act"

A Denver photographer was arrested while taking pictures in Denver, during Vice President Dick Cheney's visit to the city. Denver resident Mike Maginnis reports being physically assaulted by Denver police.

FBI says Patriot Act used in Vegas strip club corruption probe

The FBI used the USA Patriot Act to obtain financial information about key figures in a political corruption probe centered on striptease club owner Michael Galardi, an agent said.

Webmaster Sherman Austin, Jailed under PATRIOT Act

Political prisoner Sherman Austin, who made headlines last year after being targeted as one of the first casualties of the infamous USA PATRIOT Act, was released from the Federal Corrections Institute in Tucson and left Arizona July 12 to return to Los Angeles.

Patriot Act increasingly used against common criminals

In the two years since law enforcement agencies gained fresh powers to help them track down and punish terrorists, police and prosecutors have increasingly turned the force of the new laws not on al-Qaida cells but on people charged with common crimes.

Patriot Act available against many types of criminals

Virtually unmentioned, however, is the fact that the Patriot Act extended the government's powers well beyond the terrorism arena.

Patriot Act of 2001 casts wide net

Overall, the policy now allows evidence to be used for prosecuting common criminals even when obtained under extraordinary anti-terrorism powers and information-sharing between intelligence agencies and the FBI.

Patriot Act's reach has gone beyond terrorism

The Bush administration, which calls the USA Patriot Act perhaps its most essential tool in fighting terrorists, has begun using the law with increasing frequency in many criminal investigations that have little or no connection to terrorism.

Using The Patriot Act To Target Patriots

The Patriot Act has been used to obtain search warrants against doctors and scientists who had been warning about the threat of bioterrorism in the U.S.

Shopkeeper deported from South Carolina under PATRIOT Act killed in Pakistan

After marrying a naturalized U.S. citizen, having two U.S.-born children and running a Rock Hill convenience store for years, Khan was rounded up in post-Sept. 11, 2001, sweeps that targeted Muslim immigrants.

Art becomes the next suspect in America's 9/11 paranoia

On May 10 Steven Kurtz went to bed a married art professor. On May 11 he woke up a widower. By the afternoon he was under federal investigation for bioterrorism.


Three artists have been served subpoenas to appear before a federal grand jury that will consider bioterrorism charges against a university professor whose art involves the use of simple biology equipment.

Patriot Act used to prosecute U.S. civilian

The CIA contract employee accused of abusing a prisoner in Afghanistan is being prosecuted under the Patriot Act in what legal experts are calling a surprising and to some, troubling application of the new anti-terrorism law.

Patriot Act abuses plain

Where were you these past three years while, amid considerable publicity, our government was imprisoning people without making charges against them, holding them without trials, and not allowing them to talk to attorneys?

British Journalist Detained, Harrassed On Trip To LA

When writer Elena Lappin flew to LA, she dreamed of a sunkissed, laid-back city. But that was before airport officials decided to detain her as a threat to security.

Now, don't you feel safer knowing Bush is moving to protect us all from ourselves?

Peru letters go here, found elsewhere.

I gave them suggested topics for the meetings, including teaching the book of Galatians. I must cut the exchange off here so I can get this to the printer. WE WILL UP DATE THIS PERU SITUATION ON OUR WEB SITE. CHECK IT OFTEN TO SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING.

These are my kind of Baptists, for they recognize the "pseudo religious" problem, the very problem Spurgeon complained about ("The Down Grade", this issue).

Few American Christians will admit to that problem. "Easy Believeism, Hylesism" – pray this prayer, say these magic words – as well as Scofieldism, has made major inroads into Mexico and Central America, but we do not know if these people have been part of that theology or not. (The Baptist Church in Brazil where Bettie's sister attends sends missionaries to Peru, and from what we saw and heard when we attended there, they seem to be a Scofield [Plymouth Brethren] church.) My wife and I would like to go to Peru to help these folks. Would you be willing to help us with your prayers and finances.

What a privilege to have the opportunity to work with the descendants of the Incas, who used to sacrifice humans to their gods.

We need funds to pay our way, a translator, opportunity, and a united spirit there among the Christian leaders. If the trip fails to materialize, funds designated for a Peru trip we will be returned. I figure it will amount to around $1,000 each. There will be three of us, plus a translator if needed.

Also, we provide the little booklet, "The Other jesus, The Gospel Perverted", upon request.



Greetings Folks:

Just wanted you all to know that I appreciate you sending me the Biblical Examiner. I really enjoy the articles, and I've learned things and found answers to questions I've had. Thank you for blessing me.

Several other brothers in here with me also enjoy reading the newspaper. Anyway, we just wanted you to know that your paper touches a number of folks here in this prison.

Take care, and may our God bless you all, and may he have mercy on America.

For Faith and Freedom. Robert Crabb D79433, 3B-3-117, PO Box 3466, Corcoran CA 93212

Case Studies in Easy-Believism

By Thomas Williamson

3131 S. Archer Avenue

Chicago, Illinois 60608

In order to avoid the error of producing false professions of faith in our ministry, it may be helpful to look at some of the errors that have been promulgated by well-meaning soul-winning evangelists of the past and present.

The most prominent evangelist of the mid-19th Century was Charles G. Finney, a Presbyterian who developed the altar call as a device to get decisions in his meetings. Ian Murray, in "Revivals and Revivalism," says that Finney "believed that all that was needed for conversion was a resolution signified by standing, kneeling, or coming forward, and because the Holy Spirit always acts when a sinner acts, the public resolution could be treated as `identical with the miraculous inward change of sudden conversion."

Finney believed that conversions could be obtained by the "use of means" to get people to walk the aisle, and he seemed to get results. But many of his converts fell away soon after making their "decision." One of his ministry associates, in a letter to Finney, stated: "Let us look over the fields where you and I have labored as ministers and what is now their normal state? What was their state within 3 months after we left them? I have visited and revisited many of these fields and groaned in spirit to see the sad, frigid, carnal, and contentious state into which the churches have fallen and fallen very soon after we first departed from among them."

Something was wrong - people were making "decisions," but they were not demonstrating the fruits of salvation. More recently, Roger Schultz, faculty member at Liberty University, reported on a revival meeting he attended: "I recently heard an evangelistic message that raised the bar for gimmickry. The evangelist had a thrilling testimony, one that left me brushing away tears. (But he never used the Bible, which is always a bad sign). For the invitation, the evangelist insisted that he did not want people to come forward. Rather, he wanted them to make a decision in the ‘quietness of their hearts.' Later, he asked all who had made decisions to ‘simply stand up.' A little while later, he directed all those who had stood up ‘just to come forward.' Had he been consulted about his deceitful methodology, the evangelist would probably argue that he was simply breaking down personal barriers and eliminating silly internal resistance to the gospel. To me, it seemed like as neaky way of building up to an altar call. The Holy Spirit doesn't need gimmicks."

Observers over the years have noted that Billy Graham, who is considered to be America's premier evangelist, gets a lot of people coming forward in his meetings, but few lasting conversions. Herman Otten, editor of Christian News, stated that "The editor's home congregation participated in the 1957 New York Billy Graham crusade. . . . The editor's home congregation received about 28 [referral cards]. All were visited but none were interested in joining the church. Surveys have shown that Graham's mass crusades have resulted in few ever joining a church."

Christopher Cagan and John Waldrip, after attending Billy Graham's San Diego crusade in 2003, presented a report which determined that "Graham's sermons are an outgrowth of the theology and methods of Charles G. Finney, the 19th Century evangelist who changed the meaning of salvation from Biblical ‘conversion' to the empty ‘decisionism,' which stopped historical revivals and ultimately helped to empty the churches... . the sad truth is that Graham's message converts an almost infinitesimally small percentage of people who did not already consider themselves Christians before they ever heard him preach. The third awful result of Graham's meetings is that almost no one is added to the churches.... Dr. Robert Ketcham of the GARBC (Regular Baptists) showed from hard-core statistics that only 13 previously unchurched people were added to the churches of San Francisco from a lengthy Billy Graham crusade."

Is there any answer to the dilemma of "conversions" that do not last? One possibility is to examine the techniques of those who have been successful in their soul-winning ministry. One example of success is the Congregational evangelist Asahel Nettleton, who won 30,000 converts during the years 1812-1822. It was estimated that 90% of his converts were still faithful Christians and active church members, 10 or 20 years after their conversion.

What was Nettleton's secret? According to Sam Horn of Northland Baptist Bible College, "His meek and quiet spirit, his utter dependence on God for results, and his rejection of man-induced means were in stark contrast to the ministry of other evangelists such as Finney who were gaining a reputation and a following by introducing new methods for bringing revival to a church or community....

"His belief that revival was a God-centered sovereign intervention of the Holy Spirit apart from the methods and machinations of men was diametrically opposed to the new thinking represented by Finney."

Asahel Nettleton was a Calvinist who never gave invitations or conducted altar calls in his meetings. (This is not to say that we must adopt these convictions in full, only that such convictions did not in any way hinder Nettleton's soul-winning ministry. If the power of God is working, it doesn't really matter whether or not an altar call is used).

Of course, any man holding Nettleton's convictions today would be denounced as an infidel and run off from most Baptist associations and churches in America nowadays. (After all, it is a lot easier to go hunting for "heretics" in our midst than to win sinners to the Lord).

We prefer to depend, not on the power and sovereignty of God, but on massive multi-million-dollar "festivals" and media events, our worldly entertainment extravaganzas and minstrel shows, and our psychological manipulation methods to get people to walk the aisle, shake the preacher's hand, mumble a prayer, "say these words after me or just follow along while I pray for you," or "just ask Jesus into your heart," and then we wonder why most of our converts never join the church, and most of those who do join a church turn out to be as mean as the Devil and are interested only in tearing our churches apart.

If anybody today has a better solution to the dilemma of false professions of faith that Asahel Nettleton had, and can get better results that Nettleton did, we need to hear from them today.

What the Preachers Say About "Easy-Believism"

"Today, in the ranks of our Independent Baptist churches, we are overcome by the super salesmen ‘soulwinners' who pull professions out of lost souls with a promise that they will go to heaven on the basis of a little prayer and a profession of faith in Jesus. They follow the Hyles, Hutson, Gray, Vineyard, statement of faith and never know the reality of passing from death to life. The followers of these preachers of corruption are promising lost souls liberty where there is not liberty. . . . One "Easy-Believism" preacher, Jack Hyles of the large First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, says that ‘sin does not have to be repented of, only forgotten.'... I am afraid these preachers want to hide their sins instead of forget them." - Gaylon Wilson, "Last Baptist Church."

"To leave out or minimize repentance, no matter what sort of a faith you preach, is to prepare a generation of professors who are such in name only. I give it as my deliberate conviction, founded on 25 years of ministerial observation, that the Christian profession of today owes its lack of vital godliness, its want of practical piety, its absence from the prayer meeting, its miserable semblance of missionary life, very largely to the fact that old-fashioned repentance is so little preached. You can't put a big house on a little foundation. And no small part of such preaching comes from a class of modern evangelists who desiring more for their own glory to count a great number of converts than to lay deep foundations, reduce the conditions of salvation by '/2 and make the other half but some intellectual trick of the mind rather than a radical spiritual change of the heart... . Such converts know but little and care less about a system of doctrine. They are prayerless, lifeless, and to all steady church work reprobate." - B.H. Carroll, in "Repentance and Remission of Sins."

"It is easy to get children to hold up their hands to indicate a decision, but that does not mean they are saved. The Bible says that no one can be saved unless he repents. . . . Repentance is being sorry enough for your sins to want to stop doing them." - George Eager, "Winning Children to Christ."

"Shallow preaching that does not grapple with the terrible fact of man's sinfulness and guilt, calling on ‘all men everywhere to repent,' results in shallow conversions; and so we have a myriad of glib-tongued professors today who give no evidence of regeneration. Prating of salvation by grace, they manifest no grace in their lives. Loudly declaring they are justified by faith alone, they fail to remember that ‘faith without works is dead.'" - Harry Ironside, "Except Ye Repent."

"Just now some professedly Christian teachers are misleading many by saying that ‘repentance is only a change of mind.' It is true that the original word does convey the idea of a change of mind; but the whole teaching of Scripture concerning the repentance which is not to be repented of is that it is a much more radical and complete change than is implied by our common phrase about changing one's mind. The repentance that does not include sincere sorrow for sin is not the saving grace that is wrought by the Holy Spirit." - Charles Haddon Spurgeon, "The Royal Saviour."

"Can't you see what fools we are? We preach a man-made, plastic gospel. We get people to come forward to `the altar' by bringing psychological pressures that have nothing to do with God. We `lead them' in a prayer that they are not yet convinced they need to say. And then to top it all off, we give them `counseling,' telling them it is a sin to doubt that they're really saved!" - Keith Green.

"‘Easy-prayerism' ... is a methodology which focuses on getting people to say a prayer.... What I am against is making this the focus of our evangelistic activity. Repeating a prayer is not necessarily salvation, and we must not confuse it with such. Just because 50 people pray a prayer, or raise their hands in a gospel meeting, or some other thing like this, is no evidence whatsoever that those people have been saved. It is one thing to show some interest in salvation; it is quite another thing to be saved." - David Cloud.

"No doubt the NUMBER ONE lie among Bible-believing people today is, ‘You must ask Jesus into your heart to be saved and trust him to do that (come into your heart),' etc. But look at what this is saying! ‘You are saved because you asked Jesus into your heart.' There is no Scriptural support for this false plan of salvation which is devastating to the cause of Christ; it places the emphasis upon a prayer that is said and what the sinner can do rather than upon what Christ has done." - Ovid Need, in "The Other Jesus - The Gospel Perverted."

"One day I watched one of those trainees talk to a teenage fellow. As I listened, it was evident the teenager did not understand what he was doing and did not get saved. Yet when the counselor was done, the young man believed that he was saved. That high school student had no conviction of sin, no conception of Christ's dying in his place to pay for his sin, no comprehension of trusting in Christ alone for salvation. Rather, just about all he got was that he was to bow his head and ask Jesus into his heart. . . . That day, I doubted. I doubted that asking Jesus to come into your heart was valid. That provoked me to study. Since then I have come to the conclusion that the Bible does not teach that a person gets saved by asking Jesus Christ to come into his heart or into his life." - G. Michael Cocoris, in "Evangelism - A Biblical Approach," Moody Press.

"Decisionism is the belief that a person is saved by coming forward, raising the hand, saying a prayer, believing a doctrine, making a lordship commitment, or some other external, human act, which is taken as the equivalent to, and proof of, the miracle of inward conversion. . . . Decisionism is purely human, carnal, and natural. Conversion is from God.

Decisionism is from man. In decisionism a person does something which takes the place of a saving encounter with Jesus but is, in fact, not that at all. That is why so many people are unsaved today." - R.L. Hymers, Jr. and Christopher Cagan, in "Today's Apostasy."

"Just as 75% of the church is not saved, a full 50% of the preachers are not either. . . . I have called the new way of getting saved ‘easy believism.' In simpler words, all a person has to do to be saved is to ‘accept Jesus Christ as your Savior.' Walk down the aisle and tell the preacher you have accepted Christ. He takes your word for it and admits you to church membership. Show me that condition of being saved in God's Word? But what started with Finney in the 1820's and picked upon by pastors, missionaries and evangelists through the years has resulted in the Local Church being filled with people who are not ‘converted,' and thus resulting in the deplorable conditions that exist in our churches today." - Morris Wright, in The Flaming Torch.

"When you ‘convert' a child (or an adult) by the process of cheap methods, you do not convert him to Christ, but to a circus, or at best to a movement. This type of convert will return to his 'wallowing in the mire' as soon as the circus tent is taken away. . . . If these men could compute the increase of number they 'win' by these tactics they would know the number of false professions they will accumulate during their life," - Forrest Keener, in "Visions of Bubble Gum."

"The way of salvation is falsely defined. In most instances the modern ‘evangelist' assures his congregation that all any sinner has to do in order to escape hell and make sure of heaven is to ‘receive Christ as his personal Savior.' But such teaching is utterly misleading. No one can receive Christ as his Savior while he rejects Him as Lord! It is true, the preacher adds, that the one who accepts Christ should also surrender to Him as Lord, but he at once spoils it by asserting that though the convert fails to do so, nevertheless heaven is sure to him. That is one of the devil's lies! ... Those preachers who tell sinners that they may be saved without forsaking their idols, without repenting, without surrendering to the Lordship of Christ, are as erroneous and dangerous as others who insist that salvation is by works, and that heaven must be earned by our own efforts." - Arthur Pink, in "Present Day Evangelism."

"‘Easy believism' is mostly propagated by the Charismatic movement and the ‘Christian' Rock movement. ‘Easy believism' makes everyone a Christian that either speaks in tongues or simply shows up to some kind of a religious meeting and waves their hands around. This belief completely ignores repentance, humility, and sorrow for sin and behaving like a Christian. It retards Christian growth. This is how many liberal, compromising Christians get their big numbers. They try to make everyone feel comfortable in their sin and then they brag about their big numbers that they claim to have converted." - Mark Finkbeiner, Richland Missionary Baptist Church, Richland, Washington.

"Usually these Arminian Baptists (and their Protestant fellow-travelers) describe the act on which they believe the new birth is predicated in certain terms which are accepted among them. They often require a ‘decision for Christ.' Sometimes they will speak of ‘praying the sinner's prayer' or ‘making a decision for Christ.' Others speak of ‘opening your heart's door to Jesus,' while some instruct lost people to ‘invite Jesus into your heart.'... But whatever exact term or terms may be used, the basic concept is that there is something which a lost person must be induced to do in order to bring about his or her new birth. I cannot see any essential difference between baptismal regeneration (requiring baptism in order to bring about the new birth) and decisional regeneration (requiring a decision in order to bring about the new birth). Both are fundamentally the same in that they require an act on the part of a spiritually dead sinner in order for God to make that sinner alive spiritually." - Curtis Pugh.

"Why then do we read such books as "50 Ways to Give an Altar Call," "How to Draw in the Gospel Net" and other God-dishonoring humanistic instructions about how to get people ‘saved' by coming forward? We have made walking the aisle the fundamentalist sacrament. . . . If we cause people to understand that they were saved by walking the aisle, we'll-define God's wonderful salvation. . .. We must never give the slightest impression that people have to ‘do' something in order to be saved." - Bill Jackson, Christians Evangelizing Catholics.

Thomas Williamson. 3131 S. Archer Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60608

The Power of Prayer

After starting a new diet, I altered my drive to work to avoid passing my favorite bakery.

I accidentally drove by the bakery this morning and there in the window were a host of goodies. I felt this was no accident, so I prayed, "Lord, it's up to you....if you want me to have any of those delicious goodies, create a parking place for me directly in front of the bakery."

And sure enough, He answered my prayer.... On the eighth time around the block, there it was!

The Story of Our Courtship

By David and Heather Ethell

God has a wonderful plan for marriage found in His word, and thankfully, the Lord helped both of us follow Him in that design even after years of doing things our way. Psalm 27:14 says, "Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!"

We believe God's pattern is for men and women to lean on Him for their spouse and not leave their heart on the table for those who they think might be the one. It was not until we became content in what our Lord had for us in our single days that He brought us together.

What does being content mean in your single days? Scripture reveals to us in Titus chapter 2, verses 4 and 5 that young women are to "love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands." So for the single woman, this means preparation for all these areas. Rather than focusing her energies for a mate, young women should focus their God-given energy on becoming what God wants them to be as a mate.

Learning to love children, love the management of the home and above all, to love and know the word of God is a consuming set of tasks for young women in their single days. By concentrating on these tasks we were designed to do we will grow in our walk with the Lord while trusting Him for a godly husband in his timing.

Similarly, verses 6 to 8 of Titus 2 tell young men "to be sober-minded in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you." So young men are to spend their single days preparing for their life as husbands, working hard and seriously, redeeming the time.

For both men and women, being content in singleness does not mean building our life as if we will always be single. It means building our life around God's pattern for marriage so that if and when God calls us into that holy estate we are ready and well prepared.

So our story begins with Heather pulled by the hand of God away from walking in the way of the world. Heather came to live with Bettie Ethell when she was eighteen years old with a six month old baby girl, Kelsea. Bettie had lost her husband, Jeff, just two years earlier, and graciously offered to take Heather and her baby in to learn what it means to be a godly woman.

David had been living with Bettie after his father's death to take care of her and was just moving out. He had spent years trying to make something happen in terms of finding a wife, and finally realized that task should be left in God's hands. At the time Heather came, David was busy laying the ground work for his life as a husband, and had no idea God would lead him to Heather. Heather spent that year with Bettie learning how to be a daughter of the King, a mother and a keeper at home. Many times, Heather wanted to break away from God's will, but God in His sovereignty kept her under His wings.

During Heather's time with Bettie, Bettie encouraged her to make a list of qualities that met the character of a godly man. Having only known the faithless men of the world and growing up without a father figure, these qualities seemed impossible to find in a man. However, seeing the character in Bettie's life such as was in her son and son-in-law gave Heather hope that God would bring such a man in His time. Having a child who needed a father figure now made it hard to be patient.

In the late Spring of the following year, God began to reveal to David that Heather was God's choice for Him. David began to see all the ways that God had prepared him to take on the responsibility of being a father to a little girl who needed one, and a husband to a young woman who needed a covering and godly head. 1 Corinthians 11:3 says that "the head of every man is Christ, the head of every woman is man and the head of Christ is God." David knew that Heather needed the protection and security of a husband and through him, God's covering in Christ. He began to seek the Lord for confirmation of this plan.

Several times that year, Heather had wondered if David might be the one God had for her, but finally dismissed it because David seemed to be heading off in other directions. She became content that it was not David, but that God would bring someone like Him. Meanwhile, David's confirmation of God's call was growing. His prayer life and time in the scriptures lead him more and more to see the call of taking Heather as his wife and becoming a father to Kelsea. As David became more convinced that this was God's plan, he feared that he might falsely led Heather's heart before it was time, so he actually began growing colder in his demeanor to her, not in an effort to offend, but in an effort to protect her heart and not raise her hopes should this not prove to be God's plan. Heather saw that coldness, and wondered what had changed in David when before he had always been so warm and friendly to everyone. Now it seemed like he was deliberately ignoring or avoiding her. Of course, he was!

Finally in May of that year, David laid a "fleece" before the Lord in preparation for speaking to Heather about the possibility of their marriage. He asked that the Lord bring one of his close family members to him, with no prompting, to ask if the Lord might have Heather as a wife for David. David asked that the Lord do this by the end of the summer. Rather than waiting for months through the summer, the Lord brought confirmation within a week.

A few days later, Bettie's children were gathering for a dinner out, and Bettie said to them that she had something on her heart to share. She prefaced her comments with the clear understanding that she in no way wanted to influence David's life, but the Lord had laid something on her heart that she just couldn't ignore any longer. She said she had been impressed that David should marry Heather. When just a few months before Bettie had thought of the other young men in their church who might possibly become a husband to Heather, God had brought her full circle to realize that it might be her own son that would fill this role. While none of them had ever thought that David would marry a woman who had a child and had such a trying past, Heather's transformation through God's grace had shown them that what God has called clean is indeed clean.

After the others present at the dinner gave their thoughts, also in confirmation of this idea, David could now speak with the assurance God had brought him through answering his very specific prayer. David shared how he, too, believed this was God's plan and had been in prayer for several months about it now. Bettie wept with joy that the Lord would plan such wonderful things right in their home. David rejoiced at God's amazing hand that brought the woman for him right to his door. Of course, it still remained to see if this plan was also confirmed in Heather's heart.

Later that week David spoke to Heather about this possibility. Since Heather had no father in her life and her mother was not in a position of caring for Heather anymore, the conversation was not what David had always envisioned of approaching the girl's father for permission. So, with the agreement of his family and his pastor that this could indeed be God's design, David directly asked Heather if she would be interested in his courting her with the intention of marriage. He explained that their time of courtship would be a time for working through God's word together on what marriage means, what their individual roles in the marriage should be and other necessary issues such as God's plan for having children.

Heather was amazed and delighted. When she learned the reason behind David's coldness of late, she understood what had been happening. David had a growing affection for her in his heart and yet guarded it so that she would not be defrauded. She told David of the many things God had been preparing in her heart for her life as a wife and that she did want David to court her with the plan of seeking God's will for marriage between them.

The actual time of courtship was swift by many standards, lasting only a few weeks. When God has laid the groundwork in two people's hearts, however, the timing of events is much less important than the sure confirmation of His word. We spent those weeks searching the word and studying the foundations of marriage. We found we were both in complete agreement about the glorious, but challenging role of the wife as the keeper of the home and of the husband's role as the keeper of his children's hearts. We were also in agreement over letting God decide the number of children we would have rather than setting a number in our minds.

In late June, in the empty sanctuary of our church, I asked Heather to marry me. Heather had been sent on an errand to the church thinking I was out of town, and I waited in a corner, guitar in hand, to sing to her and propose. With the ring tied to an open Bible, I read from Ecclesiastes 4, verses 9 through 12: "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken."

Heather accepted my proposal of marriage and three and a half months later, in September, we were married. I jumped right into fatherhood, having a 21 month old girl on day one. Since that time we have had three children together, another girl and two boys. God's rich design has been far beyond what either of us could have imagined before. Truly, "unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain that build it." But when the Lord builds, His foundation is sure and His plan is far beyond what we could plan on our own.

(Bettie Ethell Need's son and daughter-in-law live in the Shenandoah Valley of Va, with their two daughters and two sons, on the other side of Massanutten mountain and about 45 minutes from grammie and gramdpa Need.)

Spurgeon and the Down Grade

Lewis Drummond's 1992 biography of Charles Spurgeon is called: Spurgeon Prince of Preachers. The 895 page treatise on the London pastor includes some well-known facts as well as some little-known facts. One such fact is the woeful controversy involving Spurgeon and the Baptist Union. It was sparked in 1887 when Spurgeon printed a series of articles which were critical of liberal theology. The controversy would end after Spurgeon withdrew from the Baptist Union, an organization that he had helped build. He would live five more years in virtual isolation and pass away in 1892 at age 57.

In 1854, Spurgeon went to the New Park Street Baptist Church in London as a supply preacher for six months and never left. He pastored the church for the next 38 years—the rest of his life. It was renamed Metropolitan Tabernacle in 1861 when the church moved to a new location.

The "Down Grade", as Spurgeon called it, was a controversy that developed over several years and erupted in 1887 in Spurgeon's paper, The Sword and the Trowel. He said he feared that the Baptist Union (same as an association or a fellowship in this country) was on a down grade of liberal theology. He said the Parliament had expelled Puritanism from the Church of England in the Act of Uniformity in 1662 and replaced its Calvinistic doctrine with Arminianism giving rise to independent Baptists. Spurgeon's first article (March 1887) said that every single independent Baptist church was established on Calvinistic doctrine but this changed as several books were written to counter the Antinomianism of Tobias Crisp, an eminent preacher. The books frightened a large number of Baptists and put them on the "down grade," Spurgeon contended. We would call it an over-correction.

Spurgeon's second article (April 1887) said: "Arminianism, which is only Pelagianism under another name, had, to a large extent, eaten out the life of the Church of England, and Arianism followed to further and complete destruction."

In the third article (June 1887) Spurgeon said: "By some means or other, first the ministers, and then the Churches, got on `the down grade,' and in some cases the descent was rapid, and in all, very disastrous. In proportion as the ministers seceded from the old Puritan godliness of life, and the old Calvinistic form of doctrine, they commonly became less earnest and less simple in their preaching, more speculative and less spiritual in the matter of their discourses, and dwelt more on the moral teachings of the New Testament, than on the great central truths of revelation."

The article did not attack the independent Baptists, but warned that the same thing could happen to them. To leave Calvinistic doctrine was to enter on a slippery slope into apostasy and disaster. He said: "Those who turned from Calvinism may not have dreamed of denying the proper deity of the Son of God, renouncing faith in his atoning death and justifying righteousness, and denouncing the doctrine of human depravity, the need of Divine renewal, and the necessity for the Holy Spirit's gracious work, in order that men might become new creatures, but dreaming or not dreaming, this result became a reality."

Liberalism at Harvard University and Andover Seminary, a Baptist institution, was used as an example of what had happened in America when one gets on that slippery slope. Both of those schools were instituted for the purpose of training ministers but had fallen into doctrinal error. The reaction to these articles was not very radical at first. Spurgeon wrote more articles in August, September and October, 1887, in which he said: "The Atonement is scouted, the inspiration of scripture is derided, the Holy Spirit is degraded into an influence, the punishment of sin is turned into a fiction, and the resurrection into a myth, and yet these enemies of our faith expect us to call them brethren and maintain a confederacy with them."

Spurgeon hoped the Baptist Union, meeting that year, would address his concerns set forth in the six articles. He was disappointed. The Union totally ignored his concerns. Some of the young men used the occasion as a joke about an old man's senility. Few followed Spurgeon's warnings. He withdrew from the Baptist Union in a letter dated October 28, 1887.

The congregation of the Metropolitan Tabernacle passed a resolution with the following wording: "...the church worshipping at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in annual meeting assembled, desires to express its hearty sympathy with its beloved pastor, C.H. Spurgeon in the testimony for truth he has recently borne by his articles upon ‘The Down Grade,' endorses his action in withdrawing from the Baptist Union (follows him in the course he has taken) and pledges itself to support him by believing prayer and devoted service in his earnest contention for the faith once for all delivered to all the saints."

This caused a furor in the Baptist community all over the world. The press reveled in it. Charges and counter-charges were thrown around. A delegation of Baptist ministers attempted to meet with Spurgeon, but he would not see them because of declining health. He eventually met with the council the next year. He would not reconsider his resignation and pressed the Baptist Union to adopt a statement of faith, which would have removed any doubt about its theological position, but its members refused. The union wanted Spurgeon to produce evidence of his accusations that men in the association had departed from the faith. Spurgeon refused. The association passed two resolutions: the first one accepted Spurgeon's resignation and the second one became known as the "Vote of Censure." Only five members voted against the measures.

In the February 1888 Sword and Trowel, Spurgeon gave his defense. He gave no reason for keeping silent about the identity of those he believed to have departed from the faith and argued that the association had no means by which to expel them if he identified them. It was later learned that those names had been supplied to Spurgeon by the secretary of the association who had sworn him to secrecy.

The entire controversy left Spurgeon with few friends and failing health. The great preacher never recanted his Calvinistic convictions. Someone said that God's servants are not called to win every battle, but they are called to stand firmly on the truth. Such a man was Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Spurgeon's last sermon was delivered to the Pastor's College on April 21, 1891. His text was John 16:14: "He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you" and called it "He Shall Glorify Me."

Spurgeon's last words: "If you wear the livery of Christ, you will find Him so meek and lowly of heart that you will find rest unto your souls. He is the most magnanimous of captains. There never was His like among the choicest of princes. He is always to be found in the thickest part of the battle. When the wind blows cold He always takes the bleak side of the hill. The heaviest end of the cross lies ever on His shoulders. If He bids us carry a burden, He carries it also. If there is anything that is gracious, generous, kind, and tender, yea, lavish and superabundant in love, you always find it in Him. His service is life, peace, joy. Oh, that you would enter on it at once! God help you to enlist under the banner of Jesus Christ!"..

(From The Baptist Evangel. Pastor Jack Warren, editor. 228 Belmont, Saginaw, TX 76179.)

The Down Grade

Editor's note: We desire our material be understood by the average reader, so we will define some terms that are used in the "Down Grade" articles. Bold emphasis is added, and the "Note:" are the editor's comments. There will be a few more terms introduced in the next Down-Grade article.

Arianism, Christian heresy founded by Arius in the 4th cent. It was one of the most widespread and divisive heresies in the history of Christianity. As a priest in Alexandria, Arius taught (c.318) that God created, before all things, a Son who was the first creature, but who was neither equal to nor coeternal with the Father. According to Arius, Jesus was a supernatural creature not quite human and not quite divine. In these ideas Arius followed the school of Lucian of Antioch. (

Antinomianism, [Gr.,=against the law], the belief that Christians are not bound by the moral law, particularly that of the Old Testament. The idea was strong among the Gnostics, especially Marcion. Certain heretical sects in the Middle Ages practiced sexual license as an expression of Christian freedom. (See "Christian Liberty" in the Winter 05 issue of TBE.) In the Protestant Reformation, theoretical antinomian views were maintained by the Anabaptists and Johann Agricola, and in the 17th cent. Anne Hutchinson was persecuted for supposed antinomianism. Romans 6 is the usual refutation for antinomianism. ( How many do I know who deny they are antinomian, yet deny the validity of the moral law of Moses, the Ten Commandments, for New Testament Christians? Clearly, by definition, they are antinomian.

Socinianism: Anti-Trinitarian religious movement organized in Poland in the 16th cent. by Faustus Socinus. Antecedents of the movement were such Italian humanist reformers as Bernardino Ochino, Georgio Blandrata, and Laelius Socinus , who fled to Poland from persecution first in Italy and then in Calvinist Switzerland. Michael Servetus appears to have influenced their anti-Trinitarian views. Socinianist reformers organized (1556) the Minor Reformed Church of Poland and established Rakow as an intellectual center. Faustus went to Poland in 1579 and became the movement's leader and principal theologian. Socinianism represented an extreme attempt to reconcile Christianity with humanism. The doctrine of the Holy Trinity was rejected, the Scriptures were considered authoritative but were interpreted in the light of the new rationalism, and the sacraments were viewed as spiritual symbols. The Nicene and Athanasian creeds were rejected and Jesus was held to be only the human instrument of divine mercy and the Holy Spirit merely the activity of God. Under Faustus the movement became known as the Polish Brethren, and communities were formed in imitation of the early Christian church. Its members refused to hold serfs or to participate in war. Never strong, the movement dissolved (c.1638) in the face of severe Roman Catholic persecution. Some of its members settled in Holland and there played a part in liberalizing Reformed doctrine. Faustus's teachings were compiled by disciples as the Racovian Catechism (1605). Socinianism is sometimes called Old Unitarianism and, erroneously, Polish Arianism. (

Arminian: Arminius, Jacobus, 1560-1609, Dutch Reformed theologian, whose original name was Jacob Harmensen. He studied at Leiden, Marburg, Geneva, and Basel, and in 1588 became a pastor at Amsterdam. He undertook to defend the Calvinist doctrine of predestination against the attacks of Dirck Volckertszoon Coornhert, but as a result of the controversy he changed his own views of the doctrine. He was professor of theology at the Univ. of Leiden after 1603, and he engaged in violent theological debates, seeking to win the Dutch Reformed Church to his views. His teaching, known as Arminianism, was not yet fully developed, but he asserted the compatibility of divine sovereignty with human freedom, denied John Calvin's doctrine of irresistible grace, and thus modified the strict conception of predestination. In this respect his teaching resembled that of the Roman Catholic Council of Trent. Arminianism became a term of abuse among 17th-century Puritans. His ideas were formulated after his death into a definite system by his disciple, Simon Episcopius, who drew up the "Remonstrance" (see Remonstrants). Arminianism later was the doctrine of Charles and John Wesley and most of the Methodist churches. ( Arminians are closer in doctrine to Rome than to Protestants.

The points put forth by the Arminians were known as Arminianism. The Synod of Dort, Holland, November 13, 1618, was called to develop five points in response to the Arminians' points. The Synod was called 50 years after Calvin, but they named the system Calvinism, after the great French reformer, John Calvin (1509-1565). However, John Calvin had nothing to do with putting together these five points. (For a complete treatment of the Arminian/Calvinism development, see TBE, 8/02, I will send you a copy of that issue if you do not have web access.)


From Spurgeon's 1887 Sword and Trowel Annual Volume

When the reader receives this number of the magazine, the Editor hopes to be travelling along the Corniche Road, which in some places winds its wondrous way far above the sea. One gazes down from above, and draws his breath. During the past year we have often had to look down from the royal road of the truth upon those craggy paths which others have chosen, which we fear will lead them to destruction. We have had enough of The Down-Grade for ourselves when we have looked down upon it. What havoc false doctrine is making no tongue can tell. Assuredly the New Theology can do no good towards God or man; it, has no adaptation for it. If it were preached for a thousand years by all the most earnest men of the school, it would never renew a soul, nor overcome pride in a single human heart. We look down into the abyss of error, and it almost makes our head swim to think of the perilous descent; but the road of the gospel, to which we hope to keep by divine grace, is a safe and happy way. Oh, that all would travel it! Oh, that our earnest pleadings, which have brought upon our devoted head so much of obloquy, would recall the churches to the good old way!

Many of the papers in this volume have been reprinted, because friends have thought them specially useful, and many more have been translated to other magazines, which annexation we accept as a compliment, even where the name of The Sword and the Trowel has been inadvertently omitted. At the same time, borrowed articles should be acknowledged as distinctly as possible, and the paper in which they first appear should have the credit of them. In America, in all sorts of newspapers and magazines, we find pieces of our work, and we think, therefore, that our subscribers are not badly catered for.

Note: How many preachers and authors use Spurgeon's thoughts and ideas, never mentioning that the things they are saying are from Spurgeon? They even change his messages to make Spurgeon support things he militated against when he was alive.

Our band of friends and helpers has suffered serious diminution by death during the last few months. The gaps in our ranks are many and wide. We earnestly pray that others may be moved to take the places of those who have gone home. Of course, our unflinching faithfulness may have driven away a few friends, though we are sure it has brought us more. Hitherto nothing has flagged. The Orphanage, and its half a thousand children, has had its table always supplied; the College has gone on educating men to preach the faith once delivered to the saints; the Evangelists have traveled from place to place, and God has made them as clouds that water the earth; the Colporteurs have kept steadily to their useful toil; and Mrs. Spurgeon's Book Fund has stocked poor ministers' libraries in thousands of cases. To a large extent these works are kept going by the generosity of friends who read the weekly sermons and The Sword and the Trowel. Thanks, hearty and many, to them all for their loving aid. They would do us great service if they could increase the number of our subscribers, by inducing friends to take in the magazine. Ask them to begin in January.

The Sword and Trowel have both been used this year with all our might. We have built up the wall of the city, and we have tried to smite the King's enemies. How could we help it? No loyal soldier could endure to see his Lord's cause so grievously wronged by traitors. Something will come of the struggle over The Down-Grade. The Lord has designs in connection therewith which his adversaries little dream of. Meanwhile, it behoves all who love the Lord Jesus and his gospel to keep close together, and make common cause against deadly error. There are thousands who are of one mind in the Lord; let them break through all the separating lines of sect, and show their unity in Christ, both by prayer and action. Especially do we beg for the fervent prayers of all the faithful in Christ Jesus.

If our readers have hitherto counted us worthy, we again beg for their loving, practical sympathy, as we have enjoyed it these many years. The relationship between us and many of our readers is such as will outlast life itself. Very tenderly have our friends loved us. In the cup of human sympathy our God has brought us draughts of heavenly consolation. The Lord recompense our faithful helpers, and grant them mercy in that day!

So prays the reader's willing servant,


The Down Grade

From the March 1887 Sword and Trowel

"Earnest attention is requested for this paper. There is need of such a warning as this history affords. We are going down hill at breakneck speed."--Charles Spurgeon

This article, published anonymously, was written by Robert Shindler, a Baptist pastor and close associate of Spurgeon's. Spurgeon gave Shindler's article his unqualified endorsement, and the article touched off a controversy that pursued Spurgeon to the grave.

The Act of Uniformity, which came into effect in 1662, accomplished the purpose of its framers in expelling Puritanism from the Church established by law in England and Wales. Puritanism was obnoxious to King Charles II. and his court, and a large majority of the men high in office in both Church and State, chiefly for the godliness of living which it enjoined, and for the Calvinism of its teaching. With the ejectment of the two thousand ministers who preferred freedom and purity of conscience to the retention of their livings, Calvinism was banished from the Church of England, excepting so far as the Articles were concerned. Arminianism took its place. Then the State Church, which the great reformers had planted, and which some of them had watered with their blood, presented the spectacle which went far to justify the sarcasm of an eminent writer, that she possessed "A Popish Liturgy, a Calvinistic Creed, and an Arminian Clergy." The ejected were Calvinists almost to a man. Previous to this period, some few Free Churches had been founded, and were Independent or Baptist, the latter being mainly of the General section, and of Dutch origin.

Note: Liturgy is from Rome, not from the Reformers:

For the conduct of public worship Knox prepared a Book of Common Order. To a great extent this order of worship was based on the form for public worship used by the church of English refugees in Geneva. That in turn was based on the form designed by Calvin. This form of worship consisted in prayer, reading of Scripture, the sermon, congregational singing, and the taking up of an offering. The Book of Common Order contained prayers for special occasions. They were models and their use was not compulsory. Ample room was left for entirely free prayer. (Kuiper, The Church in History. Erdmans, 1955.)


The ejected, who were in one sense alone the first Nonconformists, were mainly Presbyterians; some, however, were Independents, and a few Baptists. The Churches they established were all Calvinistic in their faith, and such they remained for at least that generation. It is a matter of veritable history, however, that such they did not all continue for any great length of time. Some of them, in the course of two or three generations, or even less, became either Arian or Socinian. This was eventually the case with nearly all the Presbyterians, and later on, with some of the Independents, and with many of the General Baptist Communities. By some means or other, first the ministers, and then the Churches, got on "the down grade," and in some cases, the descent was rapid, and in all, very disastrous. In proportion as the ministers seceded from the old Puritan godliness of life, and the old Calvinistic form of doctrine, they commonly became less earnest and less simple in their preaching, more speculative and less spiritual in the matter of their discourses, and dwelt more on the moral teachings of the New Testament, than on the great central truths of revelation. Natural theology frequently took the place which the great truths of the gospel ought to have held, and the sermons became more and more Christless. Corresponding results in the character and life, first of the preachers and then of the people, were only too plainly apparent.

Note: The descent, or Down-Grade, into unsound doctrine starts with a departure from Biblical doctrine, Calvinism, and ends in a Christless message.

The race of preachers which followed the first Nonconformists, that is, the ejected ministers who became Nonconformists, retained the soundness of doctrine, and purity of life, for which they were everywhere remarkable. Their sermons were less lengthy, but still long, and less burdened with divisions and sub-divisions. The life, savor, and power of the gospel remained among them, and the churches, walking in the fear of God and the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were slowly increased.

The Presbyterians were the first to get on the down line. They paid more attention to classical attainments and other branches of learning in their ministry than the Independents, while the Baptists had no academical institution of any kind. It would be an easy step in the wrong direction to pay increased attention to academical attainments in their ministers, and less to spiritual qualifications; and to set a higher value on scholarship and oratory, than on evangelical zeal and ability to rightly divide the word of truth.

Note: As a former pastor, I can vouch for the above statement. How many men have I known and do I know now who feel their classical attainments qualify them to teach God's word, yet it is evident they have no calling from God to pursue what they are attempting to do. With Spurgeon's blessing, Robert Shindler laid the Down-Grade at these men's doorstep. Sadly, these unqualified teachers refuse to admit they are unqualified, particularly since they can get others to follow them into the Down-Grade.

Some of the ministers retained their Calvinistic soundness and their purity of character and life, and these, as a rule, gave prominence to the doctrines of the gospel, and were zealous in their ministry. But some embraced Arminian sentiments, while others professed to take a middle path, and called themselves Baxterians. These displayed, not only less zeal for the salvation of sinners, and, in many cases, less purity or strictness of life, but they adopted a different strain in preaching, dwelt more on general principles of religion, and less on the vital truths of the gospel. Ruin by sin, regeneration by the Holy Spirit, and redemption by the blood of Christ— truths on the preaching of which God has always set the seal of his approbation—were conspicuous chiefly by their absence. In fact, the "wine on the lees well refined" was so mixed with the muddy water of human speculation, that it was no longer wine at all. (Arminianism vs. Calvinism. See Aug. 02 issue of the Examiner, posted at

Note: How prevalent today. "Preachers" offer a simple homely, rather than a searching, thought provoking, sound doctrinal message. See "Smiling Preacher", this issue.

There was another section among the Presbyterians who, like the former two, retained a nominal orthodoxy, and professed to believe, though they seldom preached, evangelical sentiments. Men of this stamp were chiefly remarkable for the extreme coldness of their sermons, and the extreme dullness of their delivery.

Among those who called themselves Baxterians there was little likeness to Baxter; and his zeal and earnestness, and his close, penetrating preaching, and powerful appeals to the heart and conscience were wholly wanting, except in a very few. This remark will apply also to those who called themselves Arminians.

It would appear that the Arian and other heresies did not spread at first so quickly in London as in the country. The author of a manuscript written about 1730, professes to give the sentiments of all the Nonconformist ministers in London at that time. Among the Presbyterians there were, he says, nineteen Calvinists, thirteen Arminians, and twelve Baxterians. All the Independents, he avows, were Calvinists: "twenty-seven thoroughly, one somewhat dubious, three inclined to Antinomianism, and two who were disorderly." There were two Seventh-day Baptists—one a Calvinist, and the other an Arminian. There were sixteen Baptists, of the Particular order; of whom seven were Calvinists, and "nine inclined to the Antinomian strain."

Antinomianism was the term applied to the teaching of Dr. Tobias Crisp. Crisp had been an Arminian, but became an ardent Calvinist, going, perhaps, a little beyond Calvin in some things. He died in 1642, and his sermons were published by his son forty-five years after his death. They were printed from short-hand notes compared with Dr. Crisp's own notes, and therefore were lacking in that correctness and finish which the author's own hand would have given them. This will account for the crudeness of some of his expressions. He was a man of strong faith, ardent zeal, holy life, and great devotion and faithfulness in his ministerial work. He was called an Antinomian, but the term was misapplied. Many of his statements, however, while they will readily admit of an orthodox sense, lie open to the charge of going beyond the truth.

The publication of his sermons awoke a fierce controversy, which lasted some years, and did much mischief. Dr. Williams exposed what he considered the errors and erroneous tendency of some of his utterances; and even John Flavel was among those who denounced his teaching as erroneous and Antinomian. There need not have been such an outcry. The books written against Crisp, many of them good in their way, had the effect of frightening the timid, the doubtful, and the hesitating, who, to avoid Crispianism, as it was called, went as far as they could to the opposite extreme. They verged upon Arminianism, and some actually became Arminians. The Arminianism of that day was a cold, dry, heartless thing, and many who took that name proved that they were already on "the down grade" towards Socinianism.

As is usual with people on an incline, some who got on "the down grade" went further than they intended, showing that it is easier to get on than to get off, and that where there is no brake it is very difficult to stop. These who turned from Calvinism may not have dreamed of denying the proper deity of the Son of God, renouncing faith in his atoning death and justifying righteousness, and denouncing the doctrine of human depravity, the need of Divine renewal, and the necessity for the Holy Spirit's gracious work, in order that men might become new creatures; but, dreaming or not dreaming, this result became a reality.

Note: Those I know today who not only reject Biblical Calvinism, but even militate against that doctrine, would not dream of denying the Biblical doctrine of Christ, but history has proved that is where Arminianism leads. Note also that once on a road of doctrine not found in God's word, it is almost impossible to get off.

It is exceedingly painful to have to state—and the conduct is no less censurable than pitiable—that among the two classes into which those who held Arian sentiments may be divided, the first were so mean and dishonest as to conceal their sentiments under ambiguous phrases. They so expressed themselves that their orthodox hearers might appropriate their statements in support of their own views, while their Arian adherents could turn them to support their scheme. It is stated on very good authority that "many wore this disguise all their days, and the most cautious carried the secret with them to the grave." This is terrible to think of; men going down to the grave with a whole life of the very worst kind of hypocrisy unconfessed, the basest deceit and dishonesty unacknowledged, the life-long practice of a lie unrepented of. Such a course is the very worst form of lying, for it is telling lies in the name of the Lord. Others were only a little less hardened in their career of falsehood; they prepared a sermon, or other composition, revealing their true sentiments, which was made public after their decease. Still more confided their real sentiments to a small circle of adherents, who told the tale of heresy to the world only when the grave had closed over the teacher.

Such were the crafty devices of the men of "broad views," and "free thought," and "advanced sentiments," in those days of "rebuke and blasphemy." The almost blasphemous utterances of Mr. Voysey, daring and frightful as they are (see "Fortnightly Review" for Jan., 1887), have the one redeeming feature of honesty. He puts the mark of unbelief in large characters on his own brow, and does not seek in the least to hide it from any one, but rather to glory in it, that he has set himself to deny and denounce all that is sacred, and true, and holy in the gospel of our salvation. But these men deepened their own condemnation, and promoted the everlasting ruin of many of their followers by their hypocrisy and deceit; professing to be the ambassadors of Christ, and the heralds of his glorious gospel, their aim was to ignore his claims, deny him his rights, lower his character, rend the glorious vesture of his salvation, and trample his crown in the dust.

The second, and less numerous, class of Arian preachers were more honest. They boldly avowed their sentiments to their congregations, who as readily received them. In most cases, in both preachers and hearers, it was only a short step down from the Arianism which makes the eternal Son of God a super-angelic being to the Socinianism (miscalled Unitarianism) which makes him a man only, denying alike original sin, human depravity, the mediation of Christ, the personality and work of the eternal Spirit, and that new birth without which divine truth has declared no one can see the kingdom of God.

Note: Arminianism denies total human depravity, leaving man with the ability to choose God. Thus, it is the first step toward Arianism, Socinianism and then Unitarianism. Though Arminian teachers may themselves not down-grade to Unitarianism, they lay the foundation for that heresy by denying total depravity.

The descent of some few was less gradual, but more commonly, when once on "the down grade" their progress was slow, though unhappily sure. The central truth of Calvinism, as of the Gospel, is the person and work and offices of the Lord Jesus Christ. We love to use this Pauline and inspired description of our divine Savior and royal Master, and so to "give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name." When men begin to hesitate about, and hold back the truth in relation to him, it is a sign of an unhealthy state of soul; and when these truths are diluted, omitted, or otherwise tampered with, it is a sign which in plain words means "Beware."

The remark of a writer of reliable ability in reference to these times is worthy of quotation:—

"The deficiency of evangelical principles in some, and the coldness with which they came from the lips of others, seem to have prepared the way for the relinquishment of them, and for the introduction, first of Arminianism, and then of Arianism."

Those who were really orthodox in their sentiments were too often lax and unfaithful as to the introduction of heretical ministers into their pulpits, either as assistants or occasional preachers. In this way the Arian and Socinian heresies were introduced into the Presbyterian congregations in the city of Exeter. The Rev. Stephen Towgood and Mr. Walrond, the ministers, were both reputed as orthodox, but the Rev. Micaiah Towgood, an avowed Arian, was chosen their assistant. The old ministers preached evangelical doctrine, but they complied all too readily with the wishes of their new colleague, and ceased to require a declaration of faith in the divinity of Christ in those who sought admission to the Lord's table. Sad to say, they continued to labor on in peace, the older men dealing out the "wine of the kingdom," and the "Living Bread," while the younger minister intermixed his rationalistic concoctions and his Socinian leaven. A similar case occurred in London. Dr. William Harris, an avowed Calvinist, and whose preaching was in accordance with Calvinistic doctrine, had for his assistant, during the last twenty years of his life, an avowed though not strongly pronounced Socinian, Dr. Lardner, who took the afternoon lectureship. When Dr. Harris died, Dr. Lardner was elected to be his successor. For some reason he declined, when Dr. Benson, another Socinian, succeeded to the pastorate. Thus, the old, old proverb was again proved true, "The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge."

[Note: Thus, it has only been since the late 1800s that Presbyterians allowed admission to the Lord's table without a declaration of faith in the divinity of Christ. It seems to be a common practice among far too many today, not only among Presbyterians, but among all non-popish denominations. Here "the Down-Grade" is rightly attributed to the very unbiblical practice of admittance to the Lord's table without a solid profession of faith in the key elements of Christian doctrine, whether children or adults. We must also say that not only can the spiritual Down-Grade be attributed to such a practice, but also the social Down-Grade, as well as a rise of illness among believers. Do they not eat and drink damnation to themselves? (1 Corinthians 11:26ff.)]

This down-grade course was, we have said, more rapid, more general, and more fatal among the Presbyterians than among the Independents and General Baptists. We say General Baptists, for the deadening doctrines of Socinianism had made little inroad upon the Particular Baptists. We could not point to a single case of perversion to Socinianism during more than two centuries, though other and less vital errors have dealt much mischief among the churches of that order. Will our children and grandchildren be able to say as much of this and the next generation in fifty years time? Who can tell? But we pray and hope that they will be.

The principal cause of the quicker descent on "the down grade" among the Presbyterians than among other Nonconformists, may be traced, not so much to their more scholarly ministry, nor altogether to their renunciation of Puritan habits, but to their rule of admitting to the privileges of Church membership. Of course their children received the rite of baptism, according to their views of baptism, in infancy. They were thereby received—so the ministers taught, and so the people believed—into covenant with God, and had a right to the Lord's table, without any other qualification than a moral life. Many such children grew up unregenerate, and strangers to the work of renewing grace; yet they claimed to be Christians, and to be admitted to all the privileges of the church, and their claim was not disallowed. To such the earnest appeals of faithful ministers of Christ would be irksome and unpalatable. The broader road and easier way of the "men of reason and culture," which admitted of laxity of discipline and pliancy of sentiments and habits, was far more agreeable to their tastes and ideas, while the homage paid to reason and understanding, at the expense of revelation, gratified their pride, and left them free to walk after their own hearts in things pertaining to religion. Thus they chose them pastors after their own hearts, men who could, and would, and did, cry "Peace, peace," when the only way of peace was ignored or denied.

[Note: Observe the point made above—the ministers permit a practice that is not according to revelation, but according to sentiments and habits. These practices gratify pride, leaving the people free to walk according to their own desires. And the people sought out such ministers and teachers, as they ignore or deny the only true way to peace, faith in Christ, denied by admittance to the Lord's table without valid profession of faith in Christ. Referred to above is the revival of liturgy, which came not out of the reformation, but from Rome. Its use is not required by revelation, but by the desires of the ministers and teachers.]

These facts furnish a lesson for the present times, when, as in some cases, it is all too plainly apparent men are willing to forego the old for the sake of the new. But commonly it is found in theology that that which is true is not new, and that which is new is not true.

In another paper we propose to trace "the down grade" course among other Protestants in this country—a sad piece of business, but one which must needs be done. Oh that it might act as a warning to the unsettled and unsettling spirits of our own day!


We will cover the second article in the next Examiner.

Alarming Statistics


(A) The number of physicians in the U.S. is 700,000.

(B) Accidental deaths caused by Physicians per year are 120,000.

(C) Accidental deaths per physician is 0.171.

Statistics courtesy of U.S. Dept of Health &Human Services.

Now think about this:


(A) The number of gun owners in the U.S. is 80,000,000. Yes, that is 80 million.

(B) The number of accidental gun deaths per year all age groups is = 1,500.

(C) The number of accidental deaths per gun owner is .000188

Statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners. Remember, "Guns don't kill people, doctors do."


Please alert your friends to this alarming threat. We must ban doctors before this gets completely out of hand!!!!!

Out of concern for the public at large, I have withheld the statistics on lawyers for fear the shock would cause people to panic and seek medical attention.


[We are hearing a lot about high malpractice insurance. My experience, as well as others I know, tells me that many doctors and hospitals are being sued with good reason. From what I understand, the doctors who lose the malpractice suits are not listed anywhere a prospective patient can check and avoid them. I believe that simply letting the patients know what kind of doctors they are dealing with will put the bad doctors out of business, and thus lower the insurance rates.]


What's really wrong with public schools?

The usual argument against public education is very convincing. And very wrong. It runs something like this: Public schools have become breeding grounds for violence and sexual promiscuity; they often are outlets for socialist propaganda; they now constitute a formidable enemy of Christianity (by teaching evolution and prohibiting prayer and Bible reading) and of the family (by teaching sex education and deriding traditional authority structures). And so on — which is not an unmitigated tragedy, since it is being used, under the providence of God, to lead more and more Christians to abandon the system of public education. No matter what the reason, that is certainly a good result.

Unfortunately, the argument above is not as principled as it looks. It is not an argument against state education, but only against certain perceived ills of public schools as they now exist. Thus, even among Christians who agree with the argument, you will find the following attitudes: (1) "The real problems exist in the inner-city schools, but there's nothing wrong with public schools in a rural, Christian community with traditional values"; (2) "We should work to make public schools more moral, by pressuring our legislators to reinstitute prayer and abolish sex-education"; (3) "We should try to force the public schools to give Creation ‘equal time' with Evolution." These and similar positions all attest to the fact that much of the opposition to public schools is merely pragmatic: we are very willing for the state to control education, as long as we can be reasonably sure our children won't be beaten, drugged or raped in the library. To put it bluntly, we want our socialism, but we want it clean. If only the public schools would teach what we want them to teach, we would be happy to have our children's education funded by legalized theft. Quite an interesting position, philosophically: we'll give our children a "moral" upbringing by robbing our neighbors to pay for it.

As Christians, we do not argue against abortion simply by citing the dangers of malpractice; nor should we consider it sufficient to oppose state education simply because of its evil consequences. We do not work for safer methods of abortion; nor should we work to improve public schools. The basic biblical argument, you see, is that the very existence of state schools is immoral — regardless of the level of "morality" contained in them.

According to the Bible (see, e.g., Rom 13:4), the state has an extremely limited function, which maybe summed up in two points: punishing criminals (as defined by God's law) and protecting the law-abiding. That's it. God has appointed civil rulers as His ministers, and their responsibility is to administer His laws. The Bible severely limits the powers of the state — and just in case rulers might misunderstand the extent of their commission, God built a "strict constructionist" interpretation right into the law: the ruler "may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or to the left" (Deut 17:20). The Bible does not give rulers the power to educate children; that responsibility belongs to the family. State schools are therefore immoral in principle. They exist only because God's laws have been violated — by greedy rulers who covet the powers of deity, and by greedy citizens who covet "free" education at their neighbors' expense. Viewed in this light, it is no wonder that the public school system has spawned a generation of illiterate criminals who assume the world owes them a living. Why not? According to their parents, the world owed them an education; they're just extending the logic.

The rise in public-school crime and violence is nothing but the humanistic super-structure built on a rotten foundation. It is quite predictable; in fact, it was predicted in Deuteronomy 28, the list of the curses which necessarily fall upon a culture that departs from God's law. If our educational principles are not founded on God's word, we have shut God out of our system of knowledge — and committed cultural suicide. Romans 1:28-32 tells us what happens to people who will not have God in their knowledge: it reads like a modem report card on "citizenship."

"But," it may be objected, "if the state doesn't provide education and force citizens to submit to it, some parents won't bother to do it themselves." This is true. It is also true that some people don't brush their teeth. We should therefore provide free dental care and send bureaucrats to each home every morning and evening, armed with dental floss, to enforce oral hygiene on the population. Right? Where do you draw the line? You draw the line where God draws it: in His law. God has defined the responsibilities and limits of the state, and whenever it falls short of those responsibilities, or transgresses those limits, it is playing god. The inevitable result is national damnation.

No matter what objection you have to all this, it fails the ultimate test: conformity to God's law. When you say the rural, "moral," community-oriented public schools are still OK, all you're saying is that the full harvest of apostasy hasn't caught up with them yet. But the fact that none of your bad checks have returned is no justification of forgery. Those wonderful schools are possible only by the illegitimate beneficence of a deified state which plunders your neighbors to give your kids a free lunch. There's just no way around it. Public schools are immoral, and always have been — even in the bygone, halcyon days of old, when students got regular doses of birch rods and McGuffey readers.

Look at yourself for a prime example. You went to a "nice" public school, and you didn't turn out so badly. You didn't take LSD in 5th grade, you didn't carry a switchblade in Jr. High, and you were a virgin on Graduation Day. State education didn't pervert you. Or did it? Consider your reaction to this essay. (Never mind that I'm begging the question for a minute.) Regardless of the biblical evidence, you still find it hard to swallow that the state shouldn't do something beyond God's requirements. You think the argument that public education involves theft is somewhat "abstract." Face it: you're a socialist. Many of your ideas about the proper role of government were fed to you from K through 12, and it's like pulling teeth to get rid of them. I'm constantly running into sincere Christians who are absolutely aghast at the thought of abolishing unbiblical government regulation. ("How will the mail get delivered?") I even heard one theologian boldly assert that the value of gold and silver comes from the paper money behind it!

The real problem with public schools is that they exist in the first place. They are an ungodly, unlawful, collectivist institution. The many evils now spewing out of them derive from the curse of God inflicted on all institutions that defy Him. He has commanded parents to educate their children in terms of His law; that cannot be done in a public school. If we want our children to fear Him, to grow into diligent workers for His kingdom, we cannot afford to train them in an institution which has as its fundamental presupposition that I am entitled to as much money as I can vote out of my neighbor's pocket.

Prayer doesn't belong in a public school (Proverbs 28:9). Your money doesn't belong in a public school. Most of all, your children don't belong in a public school. Institutions premised on sin must not be redeemed, but abandoned. We cannot send young maidens into brothels in the interests of "equal time for chastity." As the light of the world, we must set the standard. Our Lord never called His people to help build the tower of Babel in the hope of getting a Bible study in the basement. He commanded us to build our own city on a hill.

David H. Chilton. Taken from the ICE newsletter: The Biblical Educator (Vol. III, No. 3).

From Bob McCurry's ‘newsletter.'