Thursday, January 25, 2007

Is ignorance really bliss?

If so, then the guy who preached this sermon ought to be deliriously happy. It is too full of historical, theological and exegetical fallacies to be taken seriously, so if you listen to it, do so for entertainment value. Regrettably, some people may take what he says to heart, but they will be held accountable if they do, because the truth is readily available and easily accessible to debunk most of his claims.

Here are a few of his "insights" that illustrate what I am talking about.
  • Federal Visionism or Auburn Avenue theology is making inroads into Reformed Baptist churches.
  • John Reisinger is a leader of the New Covenant theology movement (true enough), and that movement teaches that the Decalogue remains a standard of righteousness for Christians today. This makes him a legalist.
  • In refuting this "new" Reformed Baptist teaching he traces his own spiritual lineage back to George Whitefield (I guess he assumes that Whitefield, because he was evangelistic, had to be an Independent Fundamental Baptist!).
  • He claims to know some Baptist pastors who have given up reading the Bible so that they can read the Westminster Confession instead.
  • Reformed, sovereign grace Baptists are moving toward the Anglicans and Presbyterians on the way to a "one world church."
  • He equates modern Baptists with 16th century anabaptists (something of which, in the wake of the recovery of the true doctrinal heritage of Sandy Creek I predict we will see more and more from certain sectors of SBC life in the years ahead).
  • "If you say you're a Baptist and you read John Calvin, you're an idiot, you're a fool."
  • "You're a hypocrite if you preach the so-called doctrines of grace."
  • Reformed Baptists are "flaming, stinking hypocrites" if they use any of the "classic" Baptist hymnals, because all of the hymns in those books contradict the doctrines of grace, such as that "old Baptist hymn," "Grace Greater than All Our Sin" (Don't tell him that it was written by Julia H. Johnston, daughter of the 19th century pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Peoria, Illinois. Julia directed the Sunday school of the church for over 40 years in addition to serving as President of the Presbyterian Missionary Society of for 20 years.).
  • If you are a Reformed Baptist and you sing the above hymn (and others he lists, including "Arise My Soul, Arise") you are a "rotten, dirty, lying hypocrite."
I close with one of the very few statements that this preacher made with which I agree--it is near the end of his sermon, "Please don't listen to me, Go to the Words of the Spirit, go to the Word of God." Amen.

48 comments:

Mark said...

So you suffered through a Pastor Jonathan Modene sermon. If ignorance makes you happy, he is the happiest man on earth.

I think he will have much to answer to God about, if this is the level of sermons he preaches to the flock.

Why is it that Arminians or as they want to be called now, in the SBC and IFB, biblicist do not take the entire counsel of God? John 3:16 instead of John Chapter 3 for example. If they disagree, why can they not engage in discussion and listening is part of discussion. I find most Arminians do not. Even if they appear on a "calvinist" blog, many go back to an "arminian" blog and misrepresent what is happening on the "calvinist" blog. I have followed calvinist and arminians that appear on this blog back to their blogs. Pleasantry thinly over hostile attitude. I know the internet hinders full communication, but what I have seen written and heard passing as sermons, my question is why? I have seen where calvinist may get out of line and other calvinist correct the improper behavior. Not so with Arminians.

I was once an Arminian and I had calvinist friends. We debated, discussed, went to lunch and worshiped together. When I embraced the doctrines of faith, I am suddenly a Calvinist without Arminian friends. Why the vitriolic attitudes and attacks? Why does a friend, one who came to Christ under my teaching, one I helped through rough martial difficulty, see me reading a book by Sproul and break fellowship? Why after spending time with a pastor, witnessing and helping with his church duties does he publicly and embrassingly break fellowship? When I was Arminian and reading Osteen and such, my calvinistic friends warned me in a loving chide to be careful.

Guess all of that was to say, now when I heard the bile spewed forth from Arminians, I sadly realize they are talking about themselves. And just do not know it.

Last point in this message. This week I attended two pastors meetings. At the SBC meeting, drinking was brought up. They thought Dr Sullivan was right. I disagreed. The atmosphere in that room was horrible. Not christlike. Two days later, I was with some PCA pastors. The sacrament of Baptism came into the discussion. I differed. I expected the same reaction I got from the Arminian SBC pastors. But, the PCA Calvinist discussed scripture and the entire atmosphere was one of fellow christians differing.

So, can someone explain to me why the Arminians choose (freewill remember)to behave in this manner?

Aaron L. Turner said...

I listened to that sermon a couple of mornings ago, having read James White's blog, and reference to it.

I came out of that movement, and I wish I could tell you that this sermon is the exception, but unfortunately it is pretty typical.

These men are often wrong but seldom in doubt.

It is hard to have an honest discussion with them.

Andrew said...

This is one of those times where all I can think is “Please, PLEASE, would somebody in this man’s flock stand up and hold him accountable?” Let us pray that God would stir the hearts in the congregation of Maumee Valley Bible Baptist Church to confront Mr. Modene with his error.

Better yet would be if some indi-Baptist pastors in the Toledo, OH area approached him. Toledo is not some tiny backwoods town where people can be isolated from reality. There must be some faithful churches nearby. If any founders blog readers live near MVBBC, consider if you might be an instrument used to correct this man, in love. It seems his congregation is in great danger.

Brian R. Giaquinto said...

Dr. Ascol,

Do you find this kind of vitriolic rhetoric becoming more or less common? I ask because I am genuinely concerned about the report on "the effects of Calvinism on SBC life" due in San Antonio.

Is there any chance that these saber-rattlers will sway the findings - or at least the recommendations from the findings?

Brian

Tom Bryant said...

I wish I could ask forgiveness for the unChrist-like attitude on the part of people like this. I am not a Calvinist, but I too have heard the jokes and the comments. And I am deeply ashamed. btw, when these comments are spoken I contradict them.

There has been one observation I have made especially when hearing the few pastors who do talk like this: they are very rarely reaching people. They become professional anti's.

Again, not all of us who are not Calvinists act like this.

Tom said...

Brian:

I think these kinds of screeds have already peeked, at least within the SBC ranks. Those who boldly ventured forth the last few years to "take on Calvinism" without doing their homework for the most part have discovered that historical revision, reliance on unreliable sources and gratuitous assertions are quickly exposed in this information age. Enough would-be conquerors of Calvinism have had their shoddy research and ill-informed diatribes held up to public scrutiny that I think others who might have had the same notion have been given pause.

Now, that is not to say that the conversation is over or that everyone is now either convinced or afraid to disagree with the doctrines of grace. Hardly. What I see happening is the emergence of more carefully reasoned, honest critiques of and disagreements with our views. I am very grateful for these because if I am missing something, or expressing a conviction in less than biblical way then I want to be helped to see it and overcome it. Iron sharpens iron.

I hope that we are moving into an era of more thoughtful dialogue on these issues. Guys like Modene will still do their rants, but by doing so they make themselves irrelevant to the much-needed dialogue.

At least, that's how things look from sunny Florida!

ta

scripturesearcher said...

Satan must be hilariously happy with voices like this bird flying around...


Maybe he should be reported to the Mental Health authorities for sanity evaluations.....


I imagine some in padded cells are more informed, honest and rational than this poor chap..


And it would be entertaining but for the fact that there are others like him polluting the pulpits and airwaves of the nation ....

Tom said...

Tom:

Thanks, brother, for your comment. Though I have only known you briefly, what I have sensed from your spirit has been a great encouragement and challenge to me. Harshness, dishonesty, and lack of love do not respect the boundaries of our theological confessions.

As I commented above, I genuinely think we are moving into a season when we can discuss our differences in these areas without castigating those who disagree with us. It is men like you who are helping lead the way. Thanks.

sparrowhawk said...

Fits that these men tend to exhibit as much discipine in their body weight as they do their doctrine, history, and exegetical study.

Tom Chantry said...

Someone had to post on this thread who knew the Reisingers and consequently understood the full absurdity of observation #2. I truly hurt myself laughing!

Nathan White said...

Does anyone else get the feeling that these guys are tying to 'one-up' each other in the anti-calvinist rhetoric? It seems as if they just keep getting worse and worse. I mean, did we ever think that the bus stop analogy would be topped? Looks like it has, as this one is a 'hear it to believe it' kind of thing.

SDG

J.D. Rector said...

Tom and others: I am soooo weary of these "type of sermons"...(I use that phrase very loosely)! It behooves me to pray for his congregation and followers. Surely, there is someone in his fellowship that will go to him and challenge these fallacies and yes, even challenge him personally. Accordingly, I'm afraid that if one did they could be exposed as being "divisive members" of the church. Sadly, that was what a dear brother of mine was labeled when he challenged his pastor at another church over rhetorical comments such as this.

God, give us men who will just tell the truth and nothing else... in other words, "Preach THE WORD!!"

Tom, I will gladly pay the expenses for this man to fly to Southern Seminary and to sit under the godly teaching, training, and instruction of Dr. Tom Nettles if he will let me. Do you think that might work?

Sincerely,
J.D.Rector

wayner said...

I too listened to this "sermon" after seeing James White's reference to it. A few months ago James also talked about another "sermon" Brother Modene did attacking R.C. Sproul (in which he constantly mispronounced Sproul. Also didn't know how to pronounce Whitefield at the time either. In fact I believe in the sermon being discussed he mispronounces Kuyper...Koo-pee-ur). I found a review of his church which can be found here http://www.countrykeepers.com/wp/?p=1947. The review was done in 11/05 and there were 20 in attendance.

The R.C. Sproul "sermon" was so reprehensible I emailed Sermon Audio to see if they would take it off, but they would not.

David said...

I first found out that I had Calvinist or Reformist beliefs when having a discussion with my pastor. Interestingly enough, we were discussing my take on John 6. I simply took the text at its word and the sovereign truth that it communicates. My pastor told me that my interpretation was the same as his and was Calvinistic.

As I began formal studies, I found that these beliefs set me apart both from previous teachings (traditions) that I had recieved as a youngster and many that I found myself discussing scipture with. "Oh you are a Calvinist - that is a false belief!" I was really unable to see how John 6 could be otherwise interpreted.

After 6 years in ministry, and claiming no right to expertise in scripture exegesis, languages, exposition, church history, and reformed theology, I must say that I was shocked to hear such a gross misrepresentation uttered before a congregation.

I do believe that Tom is correct in believing that the age we live in will force those that would carry on serious debate to study the scripture and their arguments. Sadly, there will always be some seeking publicity and attention by turning serious attempts at debate into the likes of the "Thrilla in Manilla." (Did I mention I pastor about 50 miles from Liberty?)

I can only say that if taking God serious at His Word and making all effort to represent that Word honestly before the people makes me a hypocrite - I'm guilty as charged. To do anything less is to speak my truth and man's traditions.

Traditionalist? No! Calvinist? You betcha!

GeneMBridges said...


So, can someone explain to me why the Arminians choose (freewill remember)to behave in this manner?


They just do, Mark. Libertarianism means that our choices are contra-causal or uncaused. That's the problem with libertarian action theory, it cuts the causal nerve. All you need to refute it is one Scripture that states that a choice is the result of a motive.

See:http://www.frame-poythress.org/frame_articles
/2005Determinism.htm

Let's take on some of this just for fun.

1. FV is a problem in the PCA and OPC. Oops.

2. John Reisinger is a leader of the New Covenant theology movement (true enough), and that movement teaches that the Decalogue remains a standard of righteousness for Christians today. This makes him a legalist.

a. Brother John is a pretty mainstream NCTer. He's recanted what he said about the Sermon on the Mount and the Law, I believe. He also does not reject, as some NCTer's do, the imputation of the active obedience of Christ. Kudos to John!

b. If Modene is a dispensationalist (as most of these IFBx men are in my experience), is he a classic dispy? If so, then that means he believes in more than one gospel, two real ways of salvation (viz. in the OT it was by obeying the Law), and his rejection of the Decalogue makes him an antinomian. Oh well.

3. He claims to know some Baptist pastors who have given up reading the Bible so that they can read the Westminster Confession instead.

Then he should name them. I wonder if he knows the difference between the Second London Confession and the WCF or the True Confession and the First London Baptist Confession.

4. Reformed, sovereign grace Baptists are moving toward the Anglicans and Presbyterians on the way to a "one world church."

Yes, Reformed and Sov. Grace Baptist are very well known for their syncretism. We get alone with just eeeverybody. Today Nashville, tomorrow Rome! The real problem here is that Modene can't stand Presbyterians, and we RB's are on speaking terms with Presby's. If you're not Baptist you may as well not be a Christian for him, since Presby's are closet Catholics. Modene is a functional hyper-Calvinist by another name. There's no difference between him and the hypers who would have us all anathematize non-Calvinists or else we are labeled "unregenerate" ourselves.

5. He equates modern Baptists with 16th century anabaptists (something of which, in the wake of the recovery of the true doctrinal heritage of Sandy Creek I predict we will see more and more from certain sectors of SBC life in the years ahead).

Absolutely correct. It should be apparent by now that the Caners are committed to the Anabaptist theory of Baptist origins. To say "I'm a Baptist not a Calvinist" is, I repeat, NOT a category error if by this you are making a HISTORICAL, not a theological statement. That is, if you believe that Anabaptistery is the proper forebear to Baptists today, then you should logically be committed to synergism, thus an enemy of the Reformed faith. Yes, you'll be hearing about this in the future. I'm also quite sure there will be a repetition of the "Calvin vs. the Calvinists" theme and the central dogma theory of Reformed historical theology. Ho-hum. Never mind that the past 30 years has produced a fifth and increasingly popular historical thesis. Read Richard Muller (After Calvin, Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics) for starters. Stay a step ahead of these folks.

6. "If you say you're a Baptist and you read John Calvin, you're an idiot, you're a fool."

Okay, so if I read Bullinger, Ursinus, Zwingli, Perkins, Boston, Spilsbury, and Keach does that apply too?

Hint: Calvin has not EVER been the sole spokesman for the Reformed tradition, nor has he EVER been the standard to which all are to be compared. The words "facile juxtaposition" scream from these statements. Once again this is just his bias against Presbyterians (who he believes are cryto-Catholics I believe) showing.

7. "You're a hypocrite if you preach the so-called doctrines of grace."

No, you'd be a hypocrite if you preached something in which you did not believe. Since we believe them, how is this "hypocrisy?" Does he mean it is hypocritical of Baptists to preach the doctrines of grace? Shall we name the Particular Baptists for him?

Hmmm, well if that's the case, using his logic, then it's hypocritical of him to preach the Incarnation. Let's not forget the General Baptists (with whom he must claim common cause) fell into Socinianism very early.

8. Reformed Baptists are "flaming, stinking hypocrites" if they use any of the "classic" Baptist hymnals, because all of the hymns in those books contradict the doctrines of grace, such as that "old Baptist hymn," "Grace Greater than All Our Sin"

Uh, Amazing Grace was written by whom?

By the way, Brother Tom, I'm halfway done with my paper on fundamental articles. I was sick last week and part of this one. It's handwritten and half of it has been typed. I should have it completed for you by Monday.

preacher289 said...

Did this guy actually claim that Reformed Baptists neglect scripture?? Did anyone hear him exegete anything?

I don't mind someone disagreeing with me, but use scripture to present your case. This man never cracked his Bible.

We need to pray for this man and his church.

Brad

Amicus said...

I don't have a lot to contribute to the present discussion, not having listened to Rev. Modene's sermon and having no intention of doing so (besides, my audio card on this computer is not functioning). But I do want to jump in on the matter of the identification of Baptists with anabaptists and radicals. This is an extremely live issue in the denomination at present. Anyone who is an alumnus of Southwestern Seminary needs to pick up your Winter 2007 edition of Southwestern News and read the article by Malcolm Yarnell on The Baptist Renaissance at Southwestern. This article carries on about the distincitive truthfulness of Baptist doctrine ("...first, there is the errant assumption that 'Baptists' are simply one among many viable options in the broader Christian tradition. Second there is little awareness that calling oneself 'Baptist' is really just another way of saying 'thoroughly biblical disciple of Jesus Christ.'") - and yet then there is a total conflation of orthodox Baptist theology with that of the Mennonites and of the General Baptists. In fact Southwestern's new BaptistTheology.org site currently features the General Baptist "Orthodox Creed".

The message seems to be that if you are a Mennonite or even Amish, and certainly if you are a Free Will Baptist, you are one of us, but if you are a Presbyterian or Congregationalist, you are not a throughly biblical disciple of Jesus Christ.

I live in Mennonite/Brethren country. These folks are dear. In recent decades they've even adopted sola fide (unlike the Amish and the older Mennonites; I have an old Mennonite booklet entitled "Gospel Synergism"). But they ain't Baptists.

Independent Fundamentalists are annoying, but they've been anathematizing us for decades. What is more disturbing is what is happening inside the SBC at the highest levels of academia.

Kevin Rhyne said...

Oh man...I find it interesting that I have yet to see a Calvinist preacher/teacher treat those from the Arminian camp with such venom. And, I wouldn't expect to. If I did, I would wonder if that preacher/teacher really "gets" the doctrines of grace.

Arthur Sido said...

Pastor Modene "responded" to an email sent to him regarding this sermon on the Reformation Truth page, you can find it here: http://reformation-truth.blogspot.com/2007/01/worst-anti-calvinist-sermon-ever.html

I grew up very near Perrysburg where this church is and would be happy to pay for Pastor Modene to attend the Toledo Reformed Theological Conference. It is less than half an hour from his church. Perhaps he can educate Dr. Acol, who will be a speaker at the conference, on why Reformed Baptists are heretics!

preacher289 said...

I am still literally stunned. I listened to the message again to see if I heard him correctly.

"Pastor" Modene needs our prayers as does the church that he serves. I pray that the Lord will burden the hearts of the members there to seek truth and to study the Word, as well as history and theology.

This preacher is a prime example of those who have abandoned the Word, even if it is by ignorance, and have developed a ministry of opinions and theological (and historical) slothfulness. BROTHERS, HE NEEDS OUR PRAYERS!!

Brad

SelahV said...

Dr. Ascol: This was a sermon? SelahV

GUNNY said...

This is one of those times when I question our Baptistic ways when it seems that there is little policing of those who can be ordained as pastors and given a platform from which to stand up and presume to proclaim what God thinks.

This is, in my mind, one of the risks/perils of the autonomy of the local church.

I'm not saying he shouldn't be able to have his viewpoints, but I'd love to at least see certain minimal educational standards to prevent (Deo volente) some of the absurd things that are said.

GeneMBridges said...

Well, in the old days, before "local church autonomy" was invoked for a free pass by just about everybody, an association would have stepped in to correct him in some manner. That's back when associations actually talked about theology and men couldn't start churches if they weren't deemed qualified by their sending church. Associations could examine churches in those days by sending emissaries to them, and they would discuss theology with the elders. The Philadelphia Association reconstituted some General Baptist churches on Particular principles that way through John Gano. The Philadelphia Association was set up such that if a male moved to the frontier, he was required to either join a local church or start one himself if there was no other. If he started one, he must be qualified to do so. In other words, those "elder/deacon" qualifications which are so difficult to come by today were encouraged and developed among the men as a whole. Oh for discipleship like that today!

Martin Graham said...

Dr. Ascol,

Thanks for the post. I listened to most of the sermon and I truly felt remorse for this man. I had to email him. The entire premise of my email was to gently admonish him to accurately represent those with whom he disagrees. I told him that he has a right to hold to his position (as much as I disagree with his theology), but I asked him to reconsider his information. The fact that he identified Reformed Baptists as a "new" movement and lumped us together with Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses was just too over the top. These kinds of scare tactics based on misinformation sadden my heart because it does nothing but harm the cause of Christ. I think we should all be reminded to pray for Pastor Jonathan Modene that the Lord would move his heart to consider the accuracy of his information, and that Christ would show him the truth from the Scriptures.

Blessings,
Martin

Rich Barcellos said...

A RB pastor friend of mine from Toledo listened to the sermon and has since been trying to talk to Pastor Modene on the phone. They are playing phone tag last I heard (yesterday). My friend wants to have a reasonable discussion with him in order to get Modene to reconsider what he said. May the Lord help both of them. Who knows, I may even get to meet Modene when I am in Toledo next month to preach at my friend's church! :-)

Chip said...

Whew! Sounds like quite the tirade. Amazing.

GUNNY said...

GENE,

Ah ... those were the good ol' days.

Arthur Sido said...

You haven't seen anything yet. There is a rambling reply from Jon Modene on the reformation truth blog ( http://reformation-truth.blogspot.com/ ) Be prepared though, apparently every evil Calvinist in America is heading to Perrysburg to burn Jon Modene at the stake.

SelahV said...

Good morning Arthur Sido: I'm SelahV. Haven't had the pleasure of meeting you. Just wanted to thank you for that enlightening post you referred us to. Amazing dialog between Modene and the bloghost over there. (sorry, forgot his name.) He seemed quite genuine in his appeal to Pastor Modene. I pray light will shine and God's love will prevail upon their discussions. I learned a few things I didn't know. But then I'm always learning new things regarding the Reformed Way of thinking. Can't say I agree with it, but I am learning. SelahV

ann_in_grace said...

I cannot believe people at that church call it "preaching". This is totally sick...

scripturesearcher said...

Praying for Modene who is mad ...

Mad at the TRUTH of God and those who teach it.

SuzW said...

Having sat under the unbiblical teaching of human autonomy and libertarian free will, I understand how difficult it is to let go of such blinding theology. After my first flush of anger over the utter hatefulness of his words, I just felt such sorrow for Pastor Modene and his flock.

What he does not understand is that his theology is not freeing, it is binding! Until such time that Pastor Modene repents and approaches Scripture with humility rather than arrogance, he will continue his ungodly tirade against God's precious revealed truth.

He and his flock need prayer.

Kevin Rhyne said...

Isn’t there some level in all of this where it’s just trying to make a name for yourself by ranting about Calvinism? I’m thinking of a few recent events/statements by people that have no grounding in Scripture and fact that have all the air of trying to piggy-back on controversy for the sake of publicity.

Now, the problem is that you can’t just ignore these ignorant tirades. Some people won’t go any further than the tirade to do the research in their Bibles and history. However, the other side of the coin is that these surface-level shock “preachers” get the publicity fix/buzz they were seeking in the first place because of the response by those who are zealous for the truth.

Yet, the Modenes/Caners/Hunts of the world NEVER provide any meaningful responses to shore up their positions. They just hurl insult after straw man insult without any intent whatsoever to actually engage in a substantive dialogue.

I seem to remember somewhere reading that we should not “answer a fool according to his folly” and yet “answer a fool according to his folly.” Now, there’s a call for discernment in how we respond to these things.

Morris Brooks said...

Personally, I think that the issue is just starting to heat up. As the ranks of the Reformed grow those that hold to the Arminian position will feel more threatened and will not want "their denomination" to be taken over by those who are Reformed. Dr. Page, the current SBC president has a book out that is anti-reformed and those within the SBC must think it is a growing issue or they wouldn't have had Mohler and Patterson present their positions last summer at the convention, and I also think that the main reason some of the dialogue has been civil is due the immense respect that Dr. Mohler has within the convention and prominence that Southern has obtained under his leadership. I have been saying for a while that this is the next big issue within the SBC and I think those of us who are Reformed and not in the closet should be prepared to deal with and respond gracefully to the rise of uncivility and witch hunts against us. If history is a teacher, and I believe that it is, then we will see much of the same type of response from the Arminians that we saw from the moderates during the conservative resurgence. The conservative resurgence was indeed over a theological issue, but many moderates, even rabid moderates, whom I personally knew to be biblical conservatives could not see the theological forest for the emotional trees. Even though I am hopeful that the dialogue will continue to be civil, bible based, and not personal I am not confident that it will be.

G. Alford said...

Kevin Rhyne makes a good point about the fact that most of these men (including Modene, The Caners, and Hunt) are just simply grandstanding! I have one in my area of North West Florida that puts inflammatory anti-Calvinist articles in our local paper all the time. A few weeks ago his title was “If John Calvin is one of the elect, so is Adolf Hitler!” Then he proceeded to claim that the doctrine of Calvin and Luther were the foundation upon which the Nazi Party was built. I will not even mention this man’s name or his church here because he does not deserve the attention… but he does pastor a First Baptist Church in a sizable town and has gotten away with this kind of foolishness for several years now.

Far better theologians than I (one of which is the author of this blog) have attempted to gently correct this man in the past, all to no avail…

When it comes to dealing with such men as these one scripture will suffice; “cast not your pearls before swine…”

P.S. – To all such men as Modene the Gospel will always be “a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.”

Grace to all,

DOGpreacher said...

Well...

I saw some guy preaching holding a handful of copperheads/cottonmouths last night on a show called "When Snakes Bite"! If one is a Calvinist, I think we would rather be next to a few of those serpents before we would want to sidle up beside ol Modene, eh?

Michael Louviere said...

Hi everyone! I just want to start off by saying God Bless and it's been a pleasure reading everyones comments. I live about 5 minutes form Pastor Modene's Church in Perrysburg Ohio. I am a member of a local Reformed Baptists church here in Toledo Oh. A fellow brother from our church e-mailed the link to Modene's sermon this week. I was immediately taken a back and was shocked by what I heard. This was not really an attack on Reformed Baptists, it was an attack on Christ Loving, Bible believing people. His lack of Christian History, The reformation and What us Reformed Baptists believe and practice left much to be desired. His tone in the sermon was also one that was not Christ like. I have listened to a couple other sermons from Modene. He honestly reminds me of a pastoral version of the rap star "Eminem", What he says you would think was funny until you realize He Is serious. I honestly sense a leven of envy in his teachings and sermons. One way to get exposure is attack people like R.C Sproul and put it all over the internet. I really take what he preaches with a grain of salt. None of it was scriptural, and most of it was a twisted interperetation of Christian History. There is just an overall backlash in the Baptist denomination, They don't understand why people are going back to the way things were originally. I can't understand why not!? In the end, We must come together and Pray for this man and His Congregation. Always remember to Love and embrace fellow Christians no matter what denomination or theological perspective.

Have a blessed Lord's Day tomorrow. And a wonderful week to come.

With Love,
Michael
www.michaellouviere.com

Highland Host said...

So Gadsby's 'Selection' isn't one of the "classic" Baptist hymnals? Despite being the oldest Baptist (or non-Baptist, come to that) hymnal still in use (it dates from the 1830s)?

Keith said...

I listened to the sermon, every painful minute. As a "dirty-rotten hypocrite", all I can say is: I'm speechless. If "ignorance is bliss", Johnathan Modene is as giddy as the village idiot! One of the saddest, poorly delivered "sermons" I've ever heard. So much anger and hate in his voice. So sad. I'll pray for him and his congregation.

Rick Chase said...

I agree with you guys. But I have also noticed similar ignorance among Calvinists in misrepresenting Arminians. I have also seen the spiritual arrogance and downright meanness of people claiming to own the doctrines of grace (emphasis on grace). I am encouraged to see that is not true of those who subscribe to this blog.

C.T. Lillies said...

I read this post this morning and then wrote a little about it after lunch. Do you all really think there is going to be more of this, seriously, in gearing up for this years convention?

Josh
"...the word of God is not bound."
--2 Timothy 2:9

centuri0n said...

I stop reading this blog for 5 days and sudddenly the whole world as I know it is wrong.

I'm going to stop someone from drinking a beer in the name of the Gospel. That will, I am sure, stop me from being a hypocrite.

Stephen Thomas said...

We are all liable to mispresent other positions, especially when we have an agenda, but I think that generally Calvinists do a better job at honestly representing semi-Pelagianism in its various forms because all of us started out that way. When I counter the claims of semi-Pelagisnaism among friends, I admit, I'm not using Arminian systematic theologies as my sources. But I am using my own memory of what I myself used to believe.

Highland Host said...

I have read the entire works of Wesley (I was laid up with a broken knee at the time). When I want to deal with the Arminian interpretation of a passage of Scripture I have Wesley on the New Testament and Adam Clark on the whole Bible. I even have s pocket-size Wesleyan systematic theology to make sure I don't misrepresent their position. So all I ask is that the Free-willers ('Arminianism' is a system, these people are not systematic) bother to read something like Boyce or Dagg, and probably something like Hodge on Romans, or Gill.
That way they will actually know what we're talking about.

Amicus said...

Modern neo-Pelagianism is nothing like the old Arminianism of Wesley or even what earlier Arminian Baptists preached. We could have conversations with those people.

The issue is total depravity. Wesleyan Arminians acknowledge it, and interpose a theory of universal prevenient grace. But the new Pelagians deny it altogether.

Since we're talking about hymns, notice:

Calvinist (J. Small):
I've found a friend, I such a friend! Christ loved me ere I knew Him;
He drew me with the cords of love, and this He bound me to Him;
And round my heart so closely twine those ties that naught can sever,
For I am His and He is mine, forever and forever.

Arminian (C. Wesley):
Long my imprisoned spirit lay, fast bound in sin and nature's night.
Thine eye difused a quickening ray - I woke - The dungeon flamed with light!
My chains fell off! My heart was free!
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

Neo-Pelagian (R. Carmichael)
The Savior is waiting to enter your heart - why don't you let Him come in?
There's nothing in this world to keep you apart - what is your answer to Him?
Time after time He has waited before, and now He is waiting again
To see if you're willing to open the door.
What is your answer to Him?

Now the point is that while we reformed Baptists cannot honestly sing Carmichael's little ditty, today's freewill crowd can sing neither Small's nor Wesley's hymn. Because they don't believe anybody's spirit is lying fast bound in the dungeon of sin.

C.T. Lillies said...

HH wrote:"So all I ask is that the Free-willers ('Arminianism' is a system, these people are not systematic) bother to read something like Boyce or Dagg, and probably something like Hodge on Romans, or Gill. That way they will actually know what we're talking about."

Easy there...we don't want a revival to break out or anything.

Josh
"...the word of God is not bound."
--2 Timothy 2:9

Highland Host said...

Amicus. You're right. That's why I refer to these people as 'Free-willers', not Arminians. The sum and substance of their doctrine (which is anthropology, not theology) is the autonomous free will of man. Everything else is adjusted to fit. That is why the logic of their position ends in open theism (but of course the position is not logical in the first place).

Now, I do not say that one has to read Hodge or Gill or Dagg to understand the BIBLE, but that one has to read them to understand Calvinism. In the same way one does not need to read Wesley or Clark to understand the Bible, but to understand Wesleyan Arminianism.
I quite agree that Charles Wesley (whose name has finally been allowed into Gadsby's. His hymns have been there since the 1830s, but that's another matter...) writes in such a way that most of his hymns can be sung without alteration by Calvinists. I myself have preached at a Wesleyan Reform Church. We can have fellowship with such because they are willing to have fellowship with us. Not so the Free-willers. And that grieves me.

Michael Louviere said...

Want a REAL description of what Reformed Baptists believe? Listen to this sermon: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?sermonID=2107193039

"Why I am a Reformed Baptist". It is a blessing. Love you fellow Christians.

Michael