Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Soul-a-month-club update

Gene Bridges has informed us of an update on the soul-a-month-ministry from Bailey Smith Ministries (BSM). Without explanation the page promoting that ministry was removed recently from the BSM website. The "Calvinist Gadfly" gave BSM a call and reports on the conversation here.

In short, the page may have been removed from the website but the ministry has not been removed from BSM's practices.

12 comments:

Jerry Simpson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ben said...

Here's a link to the Google cache of the original page.

The Monk said...

1) Give BSM a little credit. It seems they have removed the link because there has been a "misunderstanding." Hey, at least they are listening (even if they don't 'hear the theology' behind the conversation).

2) Bailey Smith is one of the most personable guys I've ever met. While I disagree w/ his methodology and some of his sermons (e.g., "The Wheat & The Tares"), I still count him a brother. Hey guys, here's a Dispensationalist who wasn't afraid to say (twice in public) that "God doesn't hear the prayer of a Jew." He stated that in reference to the Lord only "listening" to His children, to those who are born again. Give him some credit on that point as well.

3) Bailey has some relatives who are "Reformed." I've no doubt there might be some interesting discussions taking place around the table at Thanksgiving.

4) I suggest that for every blog we type in response to Bailey and his ministry, that we also pray for him and his ministry ("Lord, may our brother practice and preach according to Your Word.")

DOGpreacher said...

just a word to: The Monk

Not that I disagree altogether with your comment, but...

(1.)NO!...we don't need to rant on about the web-site, because he did remove the page....But, we shouldn't "give credit" for that. When people call you (thanks Tom) on something & start making you look bad (thanks Tom), a businessman will remove that form of advertisement, but not the practice....if it's making him money.

Give GOD credit if/when HE changes Bailey's heart and causes him to repent from this sin.

(2)My Christ-denying Mason neighbor is verrry personable....
...enough said.

(3)THAT is great to hear. Let's see if they have any influence...

(4)I do believe that we should pray that God would humble Bailey, prune him, and raise up a man that would "preach the word", giving all glory to God...or...expose him as one of the false teachers included in Galatians 1(Their were explicit instructions given for them), nevertheless not my will, Lord, but thine be done .

The Monk said...

dogpreacher:

Thanks for your thoughtful input. Here's a few more things to think about...

You spoke of your "Christ-denying Mason neighbor" who "is verrry personable." Couple of things on this.

First, are you implying that Bailey Smith denies Christ? If so, I think that is a shame. As I mentioned before, I count him as a brother in Christ. He has taken a strong stand against pluralism, declaring the Lord Jesus as the ONLY Savior. The false teachers of Gal. 1 were teaching justification by faith + works. Not so w/ Bailey Smith. Can his theology use some correction? I think it certainly can. However, there is a great difference between heresy and error.

Second, is your neighbor simply a "Christ denyer," or is he denying Christ because he is a Mason? (Have you read R. C. Sproul's NOW THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION? In it he relates, "My father, my grandfather, my uncle, and my father-in-law were all Masons. I'm a little distressed by all of the conflict that seems to be going on now about the Masons and other fraternal organizations." p. 184)

Third, let us pray that the Lord will humble us (Calvinists), prune us, and raise us up to preach the Word and give all the glory to God, as well as doing the same thing in the lives of our non-Calvinist brothers.

GeneMBridges said...

This is sad. We do need to continue praying for him. I also received an email from a person in his organization today in which he said that they do not share criticism of BSM with Dr. Smith. Apparently, if you email them, they intercept them and do not share them with him.

The entire letter was an emotional response to the emails they have been sent and to the bloggers in particular. Repeatedly, they claimed the blogs (The Calvinist Gadfly in particular) had "misrepesented them." In this letter, my own salvation was questioned.

"If you are saved, and trying to defend the faith...does that negate any responsibility to be truthful?" He also said he would prayerfully hope if any real believer ever thought that to be true of any evangelist or pastor, they would take some others with them and confront them. Notice the insinuation...I / we may not be (a) "real" believer(s).

The respondent claimed that the blogs were saying, "If you give us $50 we will go win one," and charging on a "per salvation" basis.

Needless to say, this is a straw man, and the entire letter was constructed around it. As noted, I was also told that "any real believer ever thought that to be true of any evangelist or pastor, they would take some others with them and confront them," followed up, however, within a few sentences with the statement, "Bailey Smith... doesn't know about these emails or any of this silliness, nor will he.... Bailey Smith is no where involved or even aware of it." (Apparently, because he doesn't own a computer). Personally, I don't see how this helps, because it is a tacit admission that Dr. Smith is out of touch with his own office, not to mention the words attributed to him and to which his name was signed. I'm not sure what to make of that.

I do find it rather contradictory to claim that we are to go him with somebody with us and confront them (never mind the actual context of those words has to do with discipline within a local church) when the emails I and at least, according to them 9 others have sent (more if I go by what I know from others I know) are an attempt to do just that, and that our emails are not seen by Dr. Smith anyway and they never will be seen by him. Are we to confront him in private but drive to Atlanta with some buddies and do it?

Never mind the statements Tom, Alan, Scott, and others blogged were all direct quotes and had his own name signed at the bottom.
Apparently, this:

“I was at Peace Baptist Church in Wilson, N.C. and made the statement that for every $48.00 given to Bailey Smith Ministries someone will get saved."

according to BSmith Ministries is not a guarantee of results. Yet, "Whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved" is a guarantee of results. Uh, okay.

The rationale behind the Soul-A-Month Club, as I was told is that it refers to the fact God allows them to see so many people make decisions for the amount of money on which they can operate. They weren't saying they would sell a guaranteed witnessing or soul winning service.

Fair enough, but

A. Nobody has ever said the latter was true, if by that, he means "charge on a per soul basis," which he says the Calvinist Gadfly and others have said. As for the former:

B. Dr. Smith did say that "if you give $48 to BSM, a soul will get saved." How is that not a guarantee of results when "Whosoever will call...will be saved" is a guarantee?

C. By their own explanation, then, Tom's observation, "“Smith claims to be able to get a soul saved for every $48.00 he is sent. The implication is that his evangelism is not only effective, it is efficient," is entirely accurate. This, of course, negates the charge he made that the bloggers had misrepresented them.

The writer went on to tell me that he thought we were doing this to "be divisive, pick fights, entertain" and have "fun."

It seems to me that any criticism of BSM is dismissed, and they think that this internet blogging has nothing to do with holding men accountable for their words. I was also told that we had engaged in "character assassination and creating dissension," which, frankly are very strong words. Of course, no documentation was provided.

Suffice it to say, the entire letter was laced with such comments, but not one time was any documentation of any misrepresentation made. In my own letter to them I raised several direct questions and drew from the BFM and history to ask them. Three of them were lifted directly from this blog. He did not respond to any of them.

The most interesting response was, "Since you obviously enjoy research so, see if there is an occasion when someone was bold enough to speak of God's prophet in the Bible, the way you and Alan apparently do, and God allowed them to live, much less, prosper."

So, it seems the gentleman that wrote me this letter thinks Smith is a prophet and I/we are infidels. Needless to say, I reminded him that Paul confronted Peter publicly, and he prospered.

I was given the expected, "God, in His sovereignty has blessed Bailey as a harvester" speech. Personally, I found it ironic that he would praise God for doing that, but the entire method of evangelism promoted by them and the theology that lays back of it actively denies God's sovereignty in individual salvation.

I have responded, but have yet to email it. It was quite long, so there was much to say in response and I want to choose my words very carefully.

Needless to say, they don't understand why this issue was raised; neither are they least bit concerned they were in error, though, to their credit. they did admit to the webpage being confusing. They did not even admit to using poor judgment. Instead, I was told basically that they don't get many more than half a dozen checks a month for the Soul-A-Month Club anyway.

That said, he did note that their giving is way down and that they have only 2 people working at BSM now (as opposed to 5 once before), and that, like many, they have fallen on hard times. They need our prayers for more than one reason, so we do need to pray for their financial security. However, they do not want our comments or emails. I was explicitly told not to email them unless, I had any "real" concerns, because only two people staff the BSM office.

Researching truth said...

Gene,

While definitely NOT an excuse - It sounds as though the people who answered your emails, reacted out of fear of losing their jobs.

DOGpreacher said...

The Monk:

(1)My apologies, I should have been clearer. I was saying, "What has being personable to do with this issue"? I used an extreme example (although true)to show that your #2 opening statement should not be a criteria for the subject at hand.

(2) The neighbor issue.....
He has told me on more than one occasion, that Jesus is ONE way to go to "heaven", but of course, the Buddhist, the Muslim, & the Mormon will be there also. Yes, he denies that Jesus is the only way to the Father, and thus...eternal life.

I know this isn't the place for an in-depth on Freemasonry, but, there may be (and are) many who have been a 'Church member', 'Deacon', & 'Pastor', for many years, and at the same time a Mason. That's one thing. Being a 3rd degree and above however, and being Born Again at the same time...not possible! As much as I love hearing R.C. Sproul (yes, I have the book you mentioned)on soteriology, THIS IS NOT an area that he is equally knowledgeable in.

(3) In FULL agreement with you. That is why I talked about praying in this manner. I would be thankful for anyone who prayed for me in that way, for they would show their love for God and His word above all else.

BTW...I believe Galatians 1 also identifies this 'another gospel' as being "man-centered" (vain) in verse 11. My understanding may be lacking there, but, if it is not, then what Bailey's staff said to "genembridges" fits right in.

That business about not messing with God's prophet, or God wouldnt let you prosper or live, sounds eerily like Benny Hinn, & Paul Crouch/TBN rhetoric.

Now THAT is scary.

Thanks Genembridges for being diligent, and seeing if these things are so.

The Monk said...

hey dog:
Thanks for the clarification and for the input.

BTW, "That business about not messing with God's prophet..." does sound an awful lot like the TBN rhetoric. Not a good place to be standing. Of course, for just $48 a month you can have your very own TBN...whoops.

Scott Slayton said...

Tom... I was at the Founder's Conference a couple of years ago and you stated that all of the people present at the first SBC came from churches or associations with a Calvinistic confession of faith. I need to find a source that quotes that fact. I wanted to point someone to it. Could you help me find it?

Tom said...

Scott:

You can find that quote in Timothy George's introduction to the Broadman reprint series on Baptist Classics (I forget the name and am away from my library at present) in the volume on Confessions, Catechisms and Covenants.

-ta

Paul said...

Tom, I apologize that this is off topic and wanted to e-mail the monk personally, but his profile is private. If you feel you need to delete this I understand.

Monk, on #2 in the part about God not hearing the prayer of Jews I wonder, does God also not hear (listen to) the prayers of our unconverted children? If not, then why in the world do we teach them at home and in church to pray? I'm just not sure Smith's comment was such a positive thing (or theologically accurate).

If you would like to respond off-line click on my profile and you can get my e-mail address.