Archives for category: Evangelicalism

“Ding Dong the Witch is Dead!” He believed in witches with magical powers controlled by demons with a masterplan to take over the world, but for many he was the personification of that witch. His version of reality was one filled with demons, satanists, world leaders controlled by Lucifer bent on world domination. Musicians performing mind control through subliminal messaging and so on.

this_was_your_life

Can’t say I’m upset about this. Jack Chick lived in a fantasy world. Anecdotal stories in comic books do not prove that Jack Chick’s frightening world of demons and satanists ruling the world through symbols and mind control actually exists.

Believing in his version of reality is a horrible bondage that I know only too well. I’m glad I got out of it and I’m glad he won’t be making anymore of those horrible comics.
He promoted more than a few people who have been shown to be fakes. He also promoted a false version of Church history that supported his crazy doctrines of Baptist Successionism and KJV Onlyism.
His comic book (I wouldn’t honour it by calling it a history book) called “Did the Catholic Church Give Us the Bible?” was so full of lies and distortions. It was actually one of the books that helped move me away from Evangelical Fundamentalism. So I guess I have to thank him for that. But he deceived many and continues to do so. And David W. Daniels will make sure his legacy continues to confuse and radicalize a small subsection of the Evangelical community for generations to come. Thankfully that subsection is slowly dying away.
I have a full box of his tracts I bought about 10 years ago. I hardly knew what he believed and I was naive enough to believe we were all in the same boat on all the major issues. Jack Chick probably helped radicalize me… for a time… but thank God I eventually saw the light of sanity.
One of my old landlords was a big Chick supporter. He bought into the whole system. NWO. KJV Onlyism. Catholicism as the Whore of Babylon etc. etc. etc. Turns out though he was a pathological liar. He had hoarded millions of Euro in a secret bank account. He kept it a secret from his second wife. His first left him years ago and now we all know why. He was abusive and controlling. And this has been a steady characteristic of almost all extreme Fundamentalists I’ve known. He was keeping the money for his son. He told her he was giving it all to missions. Now an old man he was found out and admitted he has never given a penny to missions. He plans on leaving his wife penniless and giving it all to his worthless son who hardly does anything to help him, while she treats him like a king and acts like a servant. Terribly sad. Fundamentalism forces some human beings to lie about themselves, pretending they are saints. I’d rather be an honest sinner than a lying saint.
Advertisements

…keeping the outer cup all nice and clean, but inside is filthy. Maybe if They’d Taken Me Under Their Wing…

I was young in the Lord and willing to learn. They didn’t know one thing about me. And didn’t want to know. I was a brand new babe in Christ. Hungry for knowledge and in love with Jesus. But I wore sports clothes, didn’t have the right accent, born on the wrong side of the city, and I went to a “heretical” Charismatic fellowship. All they seemed interested in was my wife who was “one of us”. Very sad. But ultimately I’m glad. That experience as well as others caused me to not humbly submit to any man’s or group’s opinion but to search out matters for myself. Something I’m sure they agreed was a good idea in theory, as long as the person ultimately came to believe what they did!

woman-caught-in-adultery

You’ll be sad to know they split a family up later because of a member’s sin (I won’t get into the details) and just like the woman caught in adultery they blamed the woman. Except in this case she was blameless. Yet in their misogynistic way, that only Fundamentalist religionists can do, they sided with the man and excommunicated her. What’s interesting is that back then I always had my doubts about their salvation and sincerity, and this woman was the only one in the whole church I didn’t doubt. Such a lovely woman. The only one who took me in and treated me like a human being. Her husband was nice enough I suppose, but I always thought there was something not quite right about him. And I felt he was nice to me because she was. It never felt like she was either shunning me or trying to convert me. She was just treating me with equal respect.

Anyway ALL of his kids have run off into the world. Like really worldly. She is not allowed back in the assembly. But that was a really liberating experience for her I believe. She was forced to go to another fellowship where she was exposed to Christians other than herself and suddenly realised women who wore trousers were definitely “saved” and many times more devoted than the women she knew, even herself. It was a good experience. And him? Still faithfully attending his Gospel Hall with all his Brethren… No wife, no kids. but oh, so theologically correct and upstanding before his brethren and his god.

This is a response to a person who assumed I was a Catholic simply because I defended the position that Church history mostly favours Catholicism (and even then it is more favourable to Eastern Orthodoxy than Catholicism)
“It seems you assume much without knowing my story or the true facts of Church history. Just to make things very clear I am a non-believer. A very honest and emotionally painful journey to find the truth of Christianity eventually led me out of it. I was taught and I believed not to trust in man’s opinions, but only God’s truth. But no matter where I turned all I saw was man’s interpretations. How to determine man’s opinions from God’s truth? I didn’t seem to be able to find an infallible rule for doing this. And the further back I went all I saw were more opinions. But those opinions were very different from the ones today. Until it dawned on me that all of “God’s truth” is simply man’s opinions, set in dogmatic stone. Yet, this unchangeable truth changed! There is no scientific method in theology. Only opinions. That’s why we have 40000 denominations, with more every week and an ever evolving theology going in ever wider variants.
Call Catholicism heretical if you wish, and indeed it does include many modern innovations not found in the first 300 years, but I challenge you to show me any Christian before, say, Tyndale, who didn’t believe in Baptismal Regeneration. When you don’t, ask yourself why no Christian after the death of the last Apostle and for the following 1500 years until around the time of the Reformation (except for Gnostics) taught salvation alone apart from works.
 
You are left with three possible explanations.
 
1. The Church failed and disappeared immediately after John died and was only revived after Luther reformed the Church. This is known as Restorationism and forms of it are taught by various Christian groups such as Mormons. The problem with this view is that from a spiritual perspective it would appear to make Satan victorious over Christ as Christ declared that the gates of Hades would not prevail against His Church. Of course that is not the only way to interpret that verse, as gates are not known to be offensive but defensive and so a more logical interpretation is that of an offensive Church breaking down hell’s gates and releasing the captives. Still, if Evangelical doctrine is the pure doctrine and salvation is as they teach then there was no Church to attack hell for 1500.
 
2. The true Church only survived underground very soon (though not immediately) after the death of the last Apostle. The date typically given is around the time of the Nicean Council, though it is taught that Catholicism was already growing into the monster it would become when Constantine supposedly took the helm of the Church in 325. This view was made popular by authors such as J. M. Carroll’s Trail of Blood and E. H. Broadbent’s The Pilgrim Church. It assumes that Evangelical doctrines were taught by the Apostles but that Satan moved immediately to start corrupting them. Proponents of this view point to the Corinthian and Galatian churches and to Gnosticism as a general movement as very early examples. It is then taught that Roman Catholicism then began to take grip and eventually smothered the true Church. So that it had to go into hiding. Groups such as the Montanists, Novatianists and Donatists are used as early examples of this pure church. Later groups such as the Paulicians and Bogomils are used then as well as the Waldensians, Lollards and Moravians later still.
 
You even have KJV Onlyists latch onto this view and say that the true Church also kept the true Bible preserved all those years in the Alps. They have gone so far as to say the Waldensians were actually direct descendants of the Apostolic Churches and went into hiding in the Italian mountains for centuries and centuries. Preserving the Latin Vulgate along the way until it could get into the hands of the godly reformers and eventually translated into the infallible KJV! This is how desperate people get when history and facts don’t go their way.
 
The problem with this view is that all of these groups were widely divergent in their beliefs against one another. The earliest groups were all essentially Catholic in their beliefs, just like the main Church itself. There is no Evangelical church to be found during that time. The problems they had were with orthopraxy. Almost any group today would be far too lax in comparison with the main Church of that day, never mind the strict Novatianists. The Paulicians and Bogomils were Neo-Gnostics. The Waldensians still believed in many central Catholic doctrines when they formed, but did evolve slowly. The Reformation can, in many ways, be seen to start with John Wycliffe, culminating in Luther’s act of revolt on 31st October 1517.
 
Both of these positions suffer irreparably from what we can actually know about history.”

In the main, Evangelicalism claims to be THE orthodox body of Christian belief on the earth today. Yet, with a little bit of research it can be easily determined that is very far from the case.

Many Evangelicals claim perspicuity of the Bible. Yet, they all get the Trinity wrong according to the understanding of the early Church.

Many claim that the Holy Spirit teaches true Believers the truth, yet He seems to have failed to teach them that.

The only recourse is to claim the early Church got it wrong and modern Evangelicalism got it right. But this presents huge problems for any Evangelical who wants to claim their brand of Christianity is the original Apostolic brand and is therefore superior.

We know that Protestantism got much of its theology via the Roman Catholic Church whom we have to thank for the modern version of the Trinity here in the West. And a lot of that theology comes from the middle ages.

Also if some Evangelicals are willing to go as far as to say that Christianity was corrupted very early and restored only at the Reformation then they are just like the Mormons and Seventh Day Adventists they revile for saying the same thing.

Evangelicalism is just slightly more in line with historic Christianity than these other “Restorationists” and they’re also a much larger movement (being so spread out among all the various denominations). This gives them the false impression that their religion is historic and the genuine thing.

Reading stuff into the Bible is easy, and I am convinced that 90% of theology is just this. Much of what passes for pure Biblical doctrine in the eyes of its adherents is late, very late from a New Testament time frame and would have been thrown out as heretical by the early Church. Calvinism for example comes via Gnosticism and Augustine. Interesting that Augustine was a Manichean before he became Catholic. “Augustine’s position raised objections. Julian, bishop of Eclanum, expressed the view that Augustine was bringing Manichean thoughts into the church.” (Chadwick, Henry (1993). The Early Church. Penguin.) Yes, he was a dyed in the wool Catholic. He is famous for his little phrase “In essentials unity. In non-essentials liberty. In everything love”. Yet can it be doubted that his version of what constituted essentials and non-essentials would have differed very much from what Evangelicals today consider to be such? Augustine believed in Baptismal Regeneration. He believed infants who had not been baptized would go to hell. That sounds like an essential to me. Yet this is anathema to all Evangelical, especially to those Calvinists who hold him up as their patron saint (almost). What is also interesting is that you do not find anything like the determinism taught in Calvinism anywhere in the early Church prior to Augustine. This is why it was never accepted by the Church at the time. It was an innovation. Yet for some reason Augustine was never condemned for it. Maybe because he was held in such high regard. But the Roman Church has surely regretted not doing so, since the child of that theology was born at the Reformation and has grown into a giant today. The only place you find determinism of any description in the early Church prior to Augustine is in Gnosticism.

This post has gone on long enough. Armininians will love reading about Gnostic Calvinism, unfortunately they run into major problems too when examining Christianity from an historic point of view. Some have actually tried returning to “Pure Christianity” including me, but serious problems arise at every turn. My conclusion is that whatever primitive Christianity was, it is lost. Irretrievably lost. Jesus has failed. It would seem to me that the gates of Hades have prevailed.

Below is Tozer giving the standard Evangelical definition of the Trinity. Did you know the early Church did not define the triune nature of the Christian God in this way? The Evangelical version is much more confusing. “He exists in three Persons” Who exists in 3 persons? The Father? The Son? The Holy Spirit? How can one person exist in 3 distinct persons? Tozer is considered one the foremost Evangelical theologians of the 20th century, yet he seems to have gotten the historic Trinity totally wrong.

Historically the Father was indeed seen as the One True God. Christ and the Spirit being sorts of emanations from Him. The Father was the sun and Jesus (and the Spirit) was the beam. Since Jesus was of the same uncreated essence he therefore was God. But He was not the One True God. I could go on, but I won’t bore you. But this version actually makes WAY more sense and would clear up a lot of confusion for folks who seem to think they can get clear knowledge of God from the Bible, yet get basic things like God’s nature all confused. That’s because in spite of their very definite claims to the contrary they actually do get a lot of their information about the Bible second hand from “expert” sources. Tozer did, and he got it wrong.

“God is one—He is one in nature, one in substance, one God in His unitary being, but He exists in three Persons—if I might use the word, all rooted in this one Being; so there are not three Gods, but one God. There are not three substances, but one. Not three divine natures, but one divine nature—only one God.”

Some Christians manage to live with the dichotomy of myth and science. Accepting Genesis 1 within its cultural limits. Others, like me, struggle to find the relevance of a book that Christians admit is full of error, written by men, does not contain accurate history and is open to diverse modes of interpretation, each of which are mutually exclusive and contradict the other.

Only dogma maintains a strong faith. The actual evidence undermines it or changes it to the point it is no longer recognizable. This very transformation calls into question the legitimacy of the dogmas of inspiration and revelation.

If our faith is evolving and if it depends on the knowledge man himself can figure out, then of what value is it to say that God has revealed his will by divine inspiration? We can’t seem to even agree on what it means…