« Lessons on leadership from a guy with no shirt | Main | »

2014.01.30

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Max

Pastors like Phelps and Hall are making religion a byword and reproach. Southern Baptists can be concerned about Phelps, but can't touch him since he is non-SBC. On the other hand, SBC leadership should call Hall into account.

"Let the priests, the LORD'S ministers, Weep between the porch and the altar, And let them say, "Spare Your people, O LORD, And do not make Your inheritance a reproach, A byword among the nations. Why should they among the peoples say, 'Where is their God?'" (Joel 2:17)

DrJamesAch

Peter,

Those audios come close, but it's not enough to really pin him down on it. White, with all his faux pas is a little more 'street smart' than JD Hall. It's one thing to say that Geisler is involved in a conspiracy, as if that isn't bad enough, but it's quite a stretch to claim that Geisler is unregenerate. Given the respect that Geisler has even among Calvinists, I don't think White, nor Hall, nor Turrets have the audacity to make that claim, especially since Geisler has an endorsement on the cover of White's 'King James Only Controversy' book. He may loosely allude to it, but remain ambiguous to maintain plausible deniability.

When I confronted White about his inconsistency in addressing the C.J. Maheney issues surrounding the SGM sex cover ups, and Al Mohler's silence on it, White said that it wasn't an important issue in apologetics (as if thousands of people joining atheist groups as a result of perverted pastors raping their children isn't worthy of an apologetic response. Sexual abuse in the church isn't an apologetics issue to White, but homosexuality is?) and he'd only read about it in passing from an article somewhere. Yet he tweets to Mohler on a regular basis and even praised Mohler for saying "theology matters" during a speech at Brigham Young University (Ironically, White and co criticized Michael Brown for doing an interview with Benny Hinn, but when a fellow Calvinist speaks at a MORMON COLLEGE, its all bubblies and skittles).

I listened to part of Hall's radio show, and I had to turn it off when he used Revelation 21:8 as an excuse for labeling someone unregenerate. Hey JD, ask Calvin or Luther what they thought about Revelation. Oh wait, they never touched it with a 10 foot pole because Calvinists can't exegete Revelation anymore than a tulip can make home-made ice cream (Not even the Pre Mil Calvies. See MacArthur's take on those taking the number of the beast still being savable). Revelation 21:8, just as 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, is a list of sinners who were never saved which is why Paul says in verse 11 of 1 Cor 6 "and such WERE some of you". Furthermore, Revelation 21:8 is in distinction to those who overcame in verse 7, and they overcame by the blood of the l
Lamb and the word of their testimony (Rev 12:10-12). But, considering that consistent Calvinism always leads to conditional security when it comes to perseverance, it is no surprise that Hall demonstrates a clear ignorance of repentance.

Since repentance by definition is a volitional decision, no Calvinist that holds to compatiblism can ever properly identify its Biblical elements. Thus, Calvinists will always be caught using misleading rhetoric: one definition of repentance and the love of God in front of their congregation, and a different one in the class rooms of their cemeteries, I mean seminaries. Greisbach called this the "Accommodation Theory"-if you don't think your listeners can grasp the full reality of what you say, it's OK to lie to them to accommodate them on a level you think they can comprehend. Calvinist utilize the Accommodation Theory with impunity.

Hall said on his radio show that this is all about theology. But what he won't admit is that his antics, and the constant inconsistencies and equivocations from White and co have only shown that "theology" is the driving motivation behind their vilification of anyone that does not support their Gnostic caricature of God.

DrJamesAch

It also seems the Caner controversy is quite profitable for White:

http://www.zazzle.com/hadith_2425_t_shirt-235019869189624920

Twenty-six dollars for a t-shirt??????? ($31.50 when you pull it up on a separate tab).

Andrew Barker

Mark, I believe you may be correct regarding the use of the terms regenerate and unregenerate, but only partly. Reformed advocates like R.C. Sproul would not like to be called hyper-calvinists but they are quite clear that "regeneration proceeds faith". I've grabbed a typical ordo salutis from a site called the contemporary calvinist.

*****************************
Election
Predestination
Gospel Call (Outward Call)
Inward or Effectual Call
Regeneration
Conversion (Faith and Repentance)
Justification
Adoption
The Gift of The Holy Spirit
Sanctification and Perseverance
Glorification

BIG difference, especially when you consider that the unregenerate are "dead in trespasses and sin" (Ephesians 2:1), and that natural man "does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Check out the podcast here. And invite your Amrminian friends to listen; they just might learn something.
*****************************

I would say this is pretty standard calvinist theology and I don't think many would disagree and call it hyper-calvinist?

As a non-calvinist I see massive holes in their argument. Nowhere does scripture say regeneration proceeds faith. It is purely a philosophical construction made to fit the Reformed model. Reformed teaching simply does not understand Eph 2:1-3 at all correctly. But it is forced into doing this because it has already made other errors regarding election and predestination! If God has already chosen, then it's imperative that man does not have the ability to disrupt the process. Better to have a passive corpse to work on, than a living being who might do or say the wrong thing!

Please don't misunderstand, I fully agree we are dead in our sins, it's just that Eph 2 has these 'dead' people walking and doing things in a spirit (pneuma) of disobedience. There appears to be an awful lot of life in these 'dead' people, albeit not as we would wish. It's a fundamental flaw in Reformed thinking.

You will note the two comments at the end of the piece I copied from the website. They are again typical I'm afraid of the attitude which is prevalent in much of today's calvinism. The argument goes thus; the natural man cannot understand the things of God, so if you can't understand what I'm saying to you, it must be because you don't have the Spirit of God in you! It's just one step away from saying you are unregenerate!

The other classic is a variation on the "you just don't get it" response. It's tantamount to saying "brother you are thick" but of course most calvinists are far too polite to say that! :-)

It is my observation that there an unhealthy preoccupation within Reformed circles as to just who is and who isn't 'saved'. It's not a concept I was brought up with. I don't believe it is particularly scriptural either and referring to other Christians as unregenerate probably says more about those doing the name calling than the recipients of the abuse!


peter lumpkins

Dr. Ach

I agree pertaining to Norm Geisler. None of them, so far as I know, have ever alluded to him as an unregenerate. But White, it seems to me, has done so, or at least done so without ever actually saying the words "he is unregenerate" toward both me and Tim Rogers. I've personally been the brunt of his scorched earth rhetoric since 2010, and it's hard not to take his words this way. And, you are correct. White is much more 'street smart' than Hall...

Scott Shaver

Nice passage from Joel, Max. Very appropriate. Not a proof-text..an old testament reflection of an often degenerate and substandard priesthood under the law.

That's exactly the way some of these "reformers" operate whether they admit it or not ... whether they're even aware or not that WORKS, not unmerited GRACE, is the spiritual dynamic they crave.

They will call you "brother", argue for room in the tent, and then ridicule, malign and ultimately cast you from the tent as an unregenerate heretic for not bowing the knee to their favorite theological constructs...all of them woefully inadequate for embracing the full orb of reality, experience and power which comes from being "in Christ".

That is what I mean by serving a "different kind of god".

Eric suggested earlier in the thread that I should not be "judgmental" of other brothers.

ARE THEY REALLY BROTHERS? I do not question their salvation any more than I would that of 10 year old who exercises and professes faith in Christ.

But are they really "brothers" in the sense of being able to trust the Spirit of God for the ultimate formation and sanctification of others in the redeemed camp.

I doubt it.

If not, I have no time for and have no need for fellowship, dialogue, or academic discussion based on any need for further "reform" among Baptists by those who feel otherwise.

If history has taught us anything that scripture confirms as eternal truth it's this: Mankind cannot "reform" anything apart from a pure interjection of divine grace. Why? Because we're all completely blind and without understanding against the backdrop of God's holiness.

Consequently, perhaps there are "brothers" and "sisters" in the camp of the redeemed with whom I will never see eye-to-eye with, agree with, or even get along with until the day God removes the scales from all our eyes.

I'm good with that.

DrJamesAch

I'd almost forgotten that I had written a short piece on Westboro Baptist Calvinists. http://wp.me/p2K6Yn-lk
I may modify that article to fit JD Hall into it :)

Svy

Peter, this is deceptive. JD Hall never said Caner was going to hell-he said he was unrepentant-this does that presuppose that Canner cannot repent and be saved while Phelps was just plain condemning someone to hell. Listen to what the people are actually saying and stop making stupid videos trying to compare two people to try to discredit one. It's pathetic.

peter lumpkins

Deceptive? Deceptive? What a Double Georgia Hoot!

peter lumpkins

J.D. Hall:

"I think I'm the only one with enough guts to say that. Of course he's not saved. Of course he's not saved. If you're going to argue that [Ergun] Caner is saved...that he knows Christ, you need to take the doctrine of repentance and rip it out of the Bible..."

Deceptive? Deceptive?

Svy, you are the one who needs to listen carefully before you publicly post the most vacuous defense of any point ever made on this blog in my almost seven years now of blogging.

You receive hands down the official DOUBLE GEORGIA HOOT GRAMMY.

Max

"They will call you "brother", argue for room in the tent, and then ridicule, malign and ultimately cast you from the tent as an unregenerate heretic for not bowing the knee to their favorite theological constructs ..."

Scott - this make room under the big tent, unity in diversity, agree to disagree, get along to go along, protect the Cooperative Program at all cost under the banner of BFM2000 mumbo-jumbo is starting to feel very creepy.

cb scott

Svy,

If a person is not saved, where will he spend eternity? In France? On a cruise ship with Benny Hinn? No to both options. Those who are unsaved go to hell.

Mr. Hall stated that Dr. Caner is not saved. Mr. Phelps stated that Dr. Graham is going to hell. Is the conclusion of the two declarations not the same?

One observation must be made here however. We might make an assumptive statement that Mr. Phelps is infected with a narcissistic personality. However, when one listens to Mr. Hall's stating, "I think I'm the only one with enough guts to say that," it removes all doubts that he is suffering feverishly with a narcissistic personality.

Combine his narcissistic nature with his bent for antagonism toward other people and you have what some call a Narcissistic Antagonistic personality.

If, in fact, such is the case, a great multitude of questions can be answered about his obsession with Dr. Caner and a multitude of other people which will reveal the actual core of the problem.

Svy

Sorry for my misspelling. Again, saying someone is not saved is not the same as saying they they aren't saved and will never get saved. I can't understand why you can't understand something so simple. JD Hall said that Ergun is not saved-but he didn't say that Ergun is not saved + will never get saved. On the other hand, Phelps said Billy will be going to hell no matter what. Do you understand or can I be clearer? There is a big difference in that.

peter lumpkins

'Svy'

Look. Just because Phelps said 'irreversibly' is irrelevant as to whether *both* men explicitly proclaimed men unsaved.

Now I want two things from you: a) concede JD *did* say Caner is unsaved since you accused me of misreading his words when it was obviously you b) post your name. If you've got the unmitigated gall to defend JD's unbiblical judgmental rhetoric, then the public has an interest in knowing who you are.

Lydia

" I can't understand why you can't understand something so simple. JD Hall said that Ergun is not saved-but he didn't say that Ergun is not saved + will never get saved."

svy, Are you taking parsing lessons from Bill Clinton?

JD Hall communicated EXACTLY what he wanted communicated (And does so often). He is proud of it.

You have NO idea how often I thank God that burning/banishing/torturing what some Reformed think is heresy.....is illegal now.

Your movement has the protection of child molesters yet to deal with. Why not start there. Children are valuable and deserve protection and justice. The Nate Morales trial is coming up just in time for T4G in Louisville?

Lydia

"Since repentance by definition is a volitional decision, no Calvinist that holds to compatiblism can ever properly identify its Biblical elements. Thus, Calvinists will always be caught using misleading rhetoric: one definition of repentance and the love of God in front of their congregation, and a different one in the class rooms of their cemeteries, I mean seminaries."

DrJames, I know some teens who are dealing with this in a YRR led youth group. Some have been taught that God grants them repentance as taught by their SBTS youth pastor. The indoctrinated young youth pastor is teaching what he has been taught at seminary. What concerns me is how hard it is to reverse this thinking once it is indoctrinated.

The moral and spiritual chaos this is creating in teens who are only recently abstract thinkers is devastating. They are not mature enough to eventually connect the dots that what the Youth pastor teaches--- he does not practice. Because it is impractical.

And it is just another reason why I am meeting more and more former YRR pew sitters in the 20 year old range who are now atheists. God never "granted" them repentance. They have no "volition" to do so. Somehow they are to think this lack of volition is a way of honoring God's Sovereignty. It "glorifies" Him. I think not. It is quite the opposite when analyzed.

It takes a while for parents to catch on to what is going on. I advise parents to attend youth group to see what is being taught and share other resources to beware as it can be subtle. If they don't know the players being quoted it can take even longer. It can be a black hole of confusion and chaos.

But what is even worse are teens whose parents are not involved at all. They are fresh meat and quite alone looking for a place to belong. Some of them have horrible family situations including abuse. So when they come and learn about a monster determinist god who controls every molecule--- they come to believe that god "determined" their family situation...even abuse. That turns into a god who really disdains them but likes the teen next to them with a great family. It is a recipe for grooming future haters of Yahweh.

It is actually a very hopeless doctrine for so many because THEY have no input therefore no possibility of "relationship" with their Savior.

dustin germain

Taking Caner out of the equation momentarily, if there was someone who all of us could agree was someone claiming to be a brother, but was in fact lying and living in unrepentent sin, would we have cause to call that person an unbeliever?

dustin germain

I think its quite clear that Jordan believes that Ergun Caner isn't saved

Max

As I look across the changing SBC landscape, I don't know which alarms me more ... "pastors" like J.D. Hall or those who defend him. I'm not sure Montana is big enough to accommodate Mr. Hall's ego or the SBC prepared to handle the "spirituality" of his followers. Speaking of spirituality, this thing has entered a spiritual dimension which SBC leadership appears unwilling or incapable to address.

Scott Shaver

Nathan confronted David privately about his sin whereupon David repented confessing to God "Against you and you alone have I sinned."

No blogosphere, no ecclesiastical panels, no public speeches, no investigative reporters and spin doctors analyzing motives ex post facto.

All it took for Peter to repent of his lies was a look into the face of the Christ he emphatically denied.

Who are the detractors of Ergun Caner that they should be taken seriously?

Andrew Barker

Dustin Germain: "Taking Caner out of the equation momentarily, if there was someone who all of us could agree was someone claiming to be a brother, but was in fact lying and living in unrepentent sin, would we have cause to call that person an unbeliever?

Absolutely ... NOT! There is one person and one person only to whom we have to give account and that is God. It really is as cut and dried as that, in my opinion.

The duty of church leaders is to appoint people to positions of trust based on whether or not their lives match up to certain Biblical standards. But that is a far cry from defining whether a person is or is not 'saved'.

dustin germain

Scott, according to your last comment, are you suggesting that the fact that Ergun has not behaved like Peter or David demonstrates that he has nothing to be repentant over, and that he never once lied about his back story?

Svy

// concede JD *did* say Caner is unsaved since you accused me of misreading his words when it was obviously you//

I never denied this. But Caner could get saved which is something that Phelps is not allowing for Billy. It's a simple point.

Second, that is my name. A shortened version of my name but it is my name. I know you Americans can only handle names such as Peter or John but don't believe me. I don't care in the slightest. Just check out my email, it has my name there. I don't know why it matters anyways. I'm a nobody.

Charles Fuller

Thank you for sharing the video, Peter. Mr. Hall's statements, like Mr. Phelps', reflect a similar strain of doctrine. While Fred is unashamed to be called a Primitive Baptist, I doubt JD would care for that label. The roots are the same, and thus, the fruit is equally bitter. Both hold fast to the doctrine that Christ died only for the elect and that everyone else is hell-bound. Fred exults in this, and JD seems pleased, too. This makes them both seem - to me, anyway - deficient where Christian love is concerned. I take exception to both man's judgments. Though I don't agree with Mr. Phelps, I don't know Billy Graham as I do Ergun Caner.

I was a student in Ergun's first class at Liberty. I heard his life story from his mouth and read it in his books. I have also seen videos of his sermons. I did not see any of the reported discrepancies that he had been accused of. What I saw was someone I could relate to. I did not come to faith until I was thirty, so his conversion testimony inspired me to attempt great things for God. Later, Ergun became the dean and president of my seminary. I regularly saw him preach that Jesus died for the forgiveness of our sins and that He rose again. I frequently saw and heard him proclaim that Jesus is Lord. I have no reason to doubt his salvation, and I was saddened by his departure. Clearly, I still hold him in high regard.

That being said, if I put aside what I know of him and accept that he lied, regularly, about his background, and that he did so for the most vile of reasons, it would still be a matter for he and God to resolve, not one fit for public display. If he sinned, it was against God, not against me. Repentance is a private matter, not a public spectacle.

As for the SBC and its future, I pray that when we disagree, that we can be less disagreeable. I do not know what is in the hearts of men like James White, JD Hall, or Fred Phelps, but I pray that they will come to know - if they do not already - the grace love of Christ.

Scott Shaver

Dustin:

To make this simple enough that a fourth grader might understand, my last comment suggests only that I DON'T CARE WHAT THE DETRACTORS OF ERGUN CANER HAVE BEEFS WITH. I DON'T CARE WHETHER HE LIED OR NOT....which of his detractors have never lied? They WILL NOT answer that question because they continue to lie as I type these words.

Who are they (or you) to hold Caner accountable before God on no less or greater offenses than you yourselves have committed ... and continue to engage in with this incessant character assassination and deluge of half-truths.

I see nothing here but the roots of bitter envy and clinical narcissism. Caner's detractors claim to be big fans of biblical instruction but they won't touch biblical injunction on this one with a ten foot pole.

Dustin, just exactly what do they/you consider genuine repentance to be?

What's your end game here?

Kyle B. Gulledge

"JD Hall and Fred Phelps both judge men to hell..."
...and they both wear cowboy hats...badly.
I guess they are members of the "Gospel Posse" and are out to string up what they call "heretical and unrepentant preachers".
To paraphrase George Strait: For these two guys; "This is where the cowboy rides away."

Tom Rich

I don't know, Peter, but that audio sure sounds edited to me. How can we judge the words of these men when we don't know the accuracy of the audio? We don't know where it came from, or how you may have edited it to make it look like these men say what your audio says they say. I just don't buy it.


Tom Rich

peterlumpkins

Hi Tom.

Know your smart aleck remark only shows precisely how Caner-critics such as yourself so often skew the tiniest nuance in order to make a point. You obviously want to allude to your and other critics' claim that Dr. Caner allegedly asserted somebody doctored his sermon videos with voice-overs, etc to make him say things he didn't say which is predictably a nothing-but-crock claim from Caner-haters. Caner never suggested any such editorial work on his actual words. What he did assert is the videos were created by others and uploaded by others with the implication his words were not couched in their original context--a mere few words of an entire sermon. That's what Dr. Caner complained about.

However, cyber-stalkers like yourself twist it abit saying Caner claims we made voice-overs, etc.

Interestingly enough, Dr. Caner's complaint comes very close to the claim James White made against me when I posted a video on his comments on a Jerry Vines sermon. One of his complaints was, it was "dishonest" for Lumpkins to take 90 secs or so from approx. 20 minutes of video explaining what I meant. So, I'm "dishonest" but you guys are not.

What a double-Georgia hoot!

With that, I am...
Peter

P.S. As for the research on content above, while I encourage any person to check it out for themselves, know I stand very confident of the sources I cite. So research away, Tom. Research away. Demonstrate my sources faulty if you think you can.

Scott Shaver

Unbelievable:

These guys defy even clinical explanation.

Fredericka

Charles Fuller wrote, "If he sinned, it was against God, not against me."
If someone robs a bank, do you say, 'That is a private matter between the bank robber and God'?

DrJamesAch

I'm curious about what church JD Hall pastored when he was 18 years old. I was a little curious why a website such as Pulpit and Pen did not have any staff testimonies on it, so I did some digging on the Way Back Machine.

Hall's Testimony is MISSING from the current Pulpit and Pen website, and has been replaced with a short comment about Ergun Caner dated Jan 9, 2014 http://web.archive.org/web/20140109052031/http://pulpitandpen.org/about/">http://pulpitandpen.org/about/">http://web.archive.org/web/20140109052031/http://pulpitandpen.org/about/

Here is the original with Hall's testimony on it dated October 7, 2013

http://web.archive.org/web/20131007191509/http://pulpitandpen.org/about/">http://pulpitandpen.org/about/">http://web.archive.org/web/20131007191509/http://pulpitandpen.org/about/

Why from October of 2013 to January of 2014 did JD Hall remove his testimony from his website? Well, I think there's a few explanations:

*Hall claims to have been the pastor of not one, but several churches at the age of 18. Not only does he claim to have been a pastor, but also a "church planter". So at 18 he was not only pastoring a church, but planting others-at 18.

*Hall says he came to Montana at age 26, but spent 10 years in Northeast Arkansas first. This at least means he was in Arkansas from age 16 to 26.

*Jordon left the ministry at to become a successful record setting and award winning marketer/business man, but yet claims that he did not find financial success. Pretty odd for someone that started numerous award winning businesses in "various locations in the Mid-South".

*Jordon went to Williams Baptist College in Arkansas earning a BA in education, and then a MA in History from Arkansas State University. Now if Jordon went to Montana at age 26, and figuring in at least 5-6 years for a Masters degree, how did Jordon become a successful award winning business man starting several other business locations at age 22, while attending college courses toward a BA and MA at the same time before moving to Montana at age 26????

Me thinks JD Hall has some splainin' to do, but I see why he removed his testimony from the Pulpit & Pen website. No wonder Hall is screaming so loud about "Canerizing", looks like he did the same thing to his own testimony right before announcing the "Caner Project". Curious timing for the removal of his testimony indeed!

Scott Shaver

Proverbial Pot Calling Kettle Black

Lydia

Dr James, All I can say is Wow and thanks for doing the research.

The other "pastor" who has really gone after Caner is none other than Jason Smathers:

"According to the criminal complaint, Jason Smathers of Harpers Ferry, W. Va., used his inside knowledge of AOL's computer system to steal a list of 92 million AOL customer account "screen names," and then sold them to Sean Dunaway, who is not an AOL employee”—from CNN Money

•“A former America Online employee was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months in prison for his role in one of the USA's most audacious cybercrimes: stealing 92 million AOL e-mail addresses and selling them to spammers”—USAToday Money

•“Authorities yesterday arrested 24-year-old AOL software engineer Jason Smathers, who is accused of lifting 92 million AOL subscribers' e-mail addresses and selling them to 21-year-old Internet gambling entrepreneur Sean Dunaway for $100,000…. Both men were charged with conspiracy and, if convicted, could spend up to five years in prison and be forced to pay a $250,000 fine. That punishment, however, might not even come close to making up for the potential damage to customer confidence in AOL's internal security” –Washington Post

SVMuschany

Dr James Ach,

I don't mean to speak for Bro Hall, nor do I know why he took down his testimony. However you make several statements and assumptions in your post that deserves attention.

First, as it relates to being pastor at age 18. I do not know what programs Williams Baptist College has in its ministry department, but I do have knowledge at what my school, Hannibal-LaGrange University has for students called into ministry. We had an organization called CMVF (Christian Ministry Vocations Fellowship). Students called into the ministry were helped and guided by faculty/staff into being plugged into different ministries in the area. For students called into pastoral ministry, this group helped provide pulpit supply opportunities, and some of those students were able to serve as pastor of some churches while they still were students. You see HLG was in the great "metropolis" of Hannibal Missouri. Surrounded by rural communities, many of which had country churches that could not afford a bi-vocational minister, let alone a full time minister. These churches loved giving young men the chance to grow and develop as ministers as they earned their college degree. These men were indeed 18+ when they began to serve. Again, I do not know if WBC has anything similar, but at least in Northeast Missouri, there defiantly are/were 18 year olds who have/are serving as pastors of churches.

Also, please note, that according to your own link, Hall states that he has been pastor SINCE 18. It says nothing about him being pastor of multiple churches AT 18. As I have demonstrated, that is entirely possible and I have personally seen others like that serving in rural communities.

Second, I question where you get that a Masters degree takes 5-6 years. I have earned a M.Div from a SBC seminary (MBTS), and am currently working on a Master of Arts (History) from a state school (Missouri State University). The M.Div was geared towards being finished in 3-4 years depending on full or part time. I finished mine in 3.5 years. The MA is geared towards being finished in 2-3 years. Due to the previous graduate advisor in my department neglecting his duties, myself and several others have been delayed. I am due to graduate next December after 3.5 years. So where you got 5-6 years for a Masters, I do not know or comprehend.

Third, your time line has issues. Let me use myself as an example. I graduated High School at 17, I was the youngest male in my class. I did not turn 18 until a month after my graduation. Due to having issues with the first school I attend, I ended up transferring, and it took me 5 years to graduate college. That means I graduated at 22, one month before my 23rd birthday. I then took a year and a half to discover where God was leading me. Thus with taking 3.5 years to graduate from seminary, I graduated at 27, 1 month before my 28th birthday. If I had my "stuff" together you take away my extra year in college, the year and a half between degrees, and have me finishing my M.Div in just 3 years, i would have graduated with my masters at 24, one month before my 25th birthday. Now consider that my M.Div program is longer than my MA. If I had went and earned my MA first, I could have earned that at 23, one month before my 24th birthday. Thus, it is entirely possible for Bro Hall to have earned a BA and MA by the time he reached 26 years old. As it relates to his "age", consider that at college i knew several home schooled students that started college at 15-17 years old. I do not know if this is the case of Bro Hall, but it is entirely possible to start college at 16. Thus if you figure of 4 years for college and 2 years for the MA, that is 6 years, leaving 4 years left in that "10".

Finally, as for his "businesses", I honestly don't know anything about that. With out knowing WHAT his business(es) were, I have no room for commenting based on my observations or experiences and thus to do so would be speculation on my part.

Lydia,

I am not excusing a persons past. However, I do want to know if you think that a persons past prohibits him from serving God in the future? Paul himself was a murderer of Christians before he was saved, convicted, and repented. I could name you several ministries of men who have "colored" pasts, have repented, and gone onto future ministries. Are you saying that because of Smathers' past actions, he is forever prohibited from serving in the ministry in the future? That is a standard that is NOT in scripture. I should also mention that your observation of his past is the very definition of an ad hominem attack. Attacking a person (or a persons past) as a means of deflecting attention away from a person's argument.

Finally, since we are concerned with full disclosure of names on this board, I will go further than I normally do. With my signature.

Stephen Veth Muschany

peterlumpkins

Stephen Veth Muschany

Congrats! are in order. One of the most vocal, vicious critics of Ergun Caner, suggesting he made his past up is now having to defend his own "timeline" testimony. What is more, you're here defending it after hanging with guys who've done nothing but stalk and harass EC for the last several years.

What double Georgia hoot!

SVMuschany

Bro Peter,

Please define "hang out". At best, over the past year, I may have made two dozen comments/tweets/posts/ect that could be construed as "defending" people such as Hall, White, Smathers, ect. It certainly is not my primary focus. Indeed, if you would like to check my blog, you would see where most of my daily attention goes. I wager that of the posts I have made, you and I would agree on 90%+ of them. Dare I say 100% of the posts on politics/racism/gun rights/ect. I have never met Hall, or White, or anyone in person, and don't know them from Adam.

Further, I hope you can see my post responding to Dr. Ach was less about "defending" Hall and more about correcting misconceptions that he makes. Or Bro Peter, do you believe it takes 5-6 years to earn a Master of Arts? One can correct someone with also defending another. That said, yes, to a degree I am defending Bro Hall from an ad hominem attack used to discredit a person rather than deal with issues they are making note of. However had I held a strong desire to "defend" Bro Hall, I would have done so on this article earlier. However I did not feel the need or desire. Again, what drew me out was Dr. Ach's 5-6 years for a Master of Arts comment. The rest of the observations on his post were made to, as best as I could, respond to his points. I thought it best to be thorough rather than just focus on one issue.

As it relates to my response to Lydia, regarding Smathers, I honestly did not know that about him. However, I hope you can agree that my observations regarding his situations are correct. A person's past, if they have repented, should not disqualify someone from the ministry. In particular I think of a man like the late Charles Colson. A man who had a "bad" past, turned his life around and was powerfully effective in the ministry. I do not mean to equate Smathers with men like Paul or Colson. But, if we say Smathers cannot be a minister because of his past, then do we not have to apply the same standard to everyone else?

Stephen Veth Muschany

Lydia

"I am not excusing a persons past. However, I do want to know if you think that a persons past prohibits him from serving God in the future? Paul himself was a murderer of Christians before he was saved, convicted, and repented. "

Way to frame the question. I always get a kick out of such: "you have to answer correctly or you are a heretic". Do they teach this at seminary?

I think what astonished me the most when I found out about Smather's crime and conviction is that he has been so gung ho on going after someone else for a much lesser accusation. I would think he would have been embarrassed to be so resolute in ruining Caner as he was a fairly new pastor with prison in the not so distant past. But then I am old school where such decorum was standard. A bit of quiet humility as a pastor might have served him best.

I don't recall say, Chuck Colson, using his position to "go after people" when he was born again and released from prison. But then, Colson was old school, too.

mary

I haven't been following this very closely, but wasn't there a Doktor who was passing himself off as a Doctor and had a gig at Golden Gate Seminary which led to some embarrassment because the Doktor was really just a Doktor after all and not actually qualified for everything he actually declares himself qualified.

DrJamesAch

Stephen, I will respond to your comments later as I am dissecting Hall's response on his website about his testimony as I have already found numerous holes and contradictions in it from his short testimony that was taken off of the website.

But one thing to consider here in demonstrating how blatantly dishonest Hall is, if you read his response, you note that he won't give my name on it, and labeled the writer as a "Caner defender". Now Hall and even Peter here know good and well that I am NOT a Caner supporter. I've made this clear to Peter, Rogers and I have argued about it and I've sent my own sentiments to Caner personally. However, I do not need to stoop to the vile levels that White and Hall have to make my point. The fact that Hall would label me as a Caner defender knowing full well that this is not true is a blatant lie that shows that he is probably unregenerate according to his own definition of sin and repentance.

It is also ironic that Hall chose to respond to this, but has refused since early January to respond to me calling him out on his deliberate lies about Rogers, and the fact that he admitted to James White on his radio program, that he said Brewton Parker College hated Muslims in anger, but he never apologized to any of them, nor retracted the statement, nor said it was wrong. Unrepentant. I documented this in great detail here, http://wp.me/p2K6Yn-mt and sent Hall the link to it several times with a countdown of how many days it's been since he refused to repent of it. He replied that he was waiting for me to run out of fingers.

But, now you are seeing the same kind of spin practiced by Hall that he accuses others of. And, I'm just getting started :)

DrJamesAch

JD Hall has responded to this which presents even MORE problems now. http://pulpitandpen.org/2014/02/06/how-to-answer-questions-about-your-testimony/

First of all, Jordan makes it appear as if Peter wrote this, knowing full well that I wrote it. I am so "unworthy and irrelevant" that he won't mention my name, but yet what I wrote was important enough for him to devote an entire article on it.

Second, he ended the article claiming that what I wrote was for the purpose of deflecting attention away from Caner. Hall knows full well that I do not support Caner and have written matters AGAINST Caner. But, he can't admit this to his readers because he loses the force of his vendetta against Lumpkins by doing that, which is why he refused to name me in his article.

Now let's look at his explanation.

* Hall writes, "After I had completed my Masters Degree, I was forced in a position to earn more income so that my wife, WHO WAS FINISHING OUR DEGREE and had our first child, wouldn't have to work".

So Hall's WIFE did his homework for his degree??

Furthermore, Mr. Hall, with that shady explanation of such a fast-tracked MA, I don't EVER want to hear you critique someone elses education credentials LOL.

*In Hall's original testimony, he stated that after pastoring at 18, he left the ministry to pursue his business career. But in his new response, he says that he entered college from 17-22. Which is it? Did he go to college first, or did he start his business first? Now mind you, that it wasn't just A business, but a SUCCESSFUL "millions of dollars passed through my hands" business of "SEVERAL LOCATIONS" (that he doesn't give the names of).

*Hall admits that "millions of dollars" passed through his hands, but yet in his original testimony he claims to have failed, which any marketing expert knows is typical in the first few years of business. You don't see much yield until after a loss first. So which is it? Did he find "financial success ELUSIVE (original)" or did he make "millions of dollars"??

*Hall provides ZERO context for his history before becoming a pastor. I would think that an 18 year old pastor would have some background, salvation testimony, some kind of qualifications that allowed someone to entrust him with a church at age 18 (or is it 17?). There is a necessary context that is just absent here.

*Hall claims to have been A PASTOR of several churches, but yet his new response says that he was merely the interem pastor of Hickory Ridge Baptist Church, and then an associate in other churches.

*Hall claims to have been a church planter, but his new response says that he worked with other "groups" but never names one single church that he was responsible for planting. Hall says he was the associate pastor "of A church plant" but doesn't say HE STARTED it.

*Hall was the "co-founder" of Reformation Montana which he describes as a handful of Reformed Baptist Churches, with an "inter-denominational network". Inter-denominational? Kind of odd for a conservative Baptist Calvinist group don't you think?

*Hall says it took him a year and a half to get "spiritually healed" from his "sin". A year and a half to heal from being a successful salesman? And it was then he read Romans 9 and "saw the doctrines of grace". Now Hall has not mentioned any additional Bible college since rediscovering himself in the doctrines of Calvinism. So any college training he had is not said to have emphasized any of the Reformed positions he now holds.

And Romans 9? Really? You mean that a hypothetical question asked by a critic of Paul about corporate Israel showed him this grace that pushed him into a Reformed ministry? Give me a break!! And if he was so broken over it, then why did he "manage ANOTHER business" right before he had his epiphany on Romans 9?????? So it took him "a year and a half" to "spiritually heal" over his sin of being involved in business instead of ministry, and then right before he reads Romans 9 on the Road to Damascus, he GOES BACK TO MANAGING A BUSINESS???

*Hall states that after reading Romans 9, for the FIRST TIME he had "a desire to serve in ministry". You mean he DIDN'T have a desire to serve at 17 (or is it 18?). And if he didn't have the desire to serve at 18-22, THEN WHAT WAS HE GRIEVED OVER BEFORE HE READ ROMANS 9 AND NEEDED SPIRITUAL HEALING FOR?????

*Hall claims is degree was in "Christian Education", but Fellowship Baptist Church says "Religious Education". I'm sure I don't need to explain the difference between "religious" and "Christian" here. A little like James White's testimony where his college gave him the option of choosing what he wanted his degree to say, biology or theology. I didn't know colleges let you pick and choose what you major in AFTER you've already earned the degree! (Stated on recent Dividing Line discussing Ham/Nye debate, which White said Nye won. Ironically, Hall took the same position which Fred Butler disagreed with).

And if you look at his profile pic on the FBC website, I'm betting that's not Kool-Aid in that Margarita glass with a straw in it. http://app.razorplanet.com/acct/41802-0070/images/untitled.JPG I am a little curious as to why they changed the name from Fellowship BAPTIST to Fellowship Church.

Folks, there are more semi-wide holes in Hall's explanation than I care to continue elaborating on. Needless to say, Hall has dug himself a hole.

I do believe that JD Hall was a good salesmen, because he sure has done a good job at selling a pile of garbage to some very naive professing Christians as well as twisting and distorting something that *I* wrote, as if Peter or Timothy Rogers wrote it. Hall is obviously piggy-backing on the groundwork laid by White against Caner and taking the torch to improve his notoriety.

Yet, Hall still refuses to respond to me as to why it is that after ADMITTING he said-in anger-that BP College "hates Muslims" that he has never apologized to them, never actually said it was wrong (admitting you said something in anger, and admitting it was wrong are 2 different beasts. Jordon's been giving lectures on repentance for several months now, he should know better), and has never publicly repented over it. So is Hall "unregenerate"?

Ironically, one of his defenders debated me on this last night, and when cornered about Hall's lack of context and background, said "A pastor is responsible to his church, AND NO ONE ELSE" (emphasis mine). https://twitter.com/SVMuschany/status/431702623969091585
That one comment summed up the entire debate: Hall and Co are not responsible to being accountable to anyone else but "the elect" of their own kind, BUT YOU ARE.

Tim Rogers

Peter,

Of course JD has made it his mission to prove his resume now. So let's look at his proof. Well, he says he was "interim" pastor of a small church when he was 18. Should someone explain that being an "interim" pastor who mainly is there to preach on Sunday mornings is not the same as being a Pastor? But, let's give benefit of the doubt as he does produce someone in his comment stream that gives a glowing report for JD's sermons. So, at 18 while attending college he was "interim pastor" of a small congregation that was about to close its doors and is still on the brink of closure.

Second, he classifies himself as a "Church Planter" because he completed a NAMB church planting basic training. He became part of a team that planted a church. But, after a year left the church plant to go and serve on staff of another church. Of course that "church failed after I[Hall] left it to serve on staff" at an established church. Really committed to church planting here. But that is not all. After that he "had success in a rural church re-start" or as he describes it "flipping" a church. Oh, I could go on for days with that one.

He goes out of his way to make his testimony appear he was on his own after High School. I have had tough times and know what it is like to fend for oneself in the world so I want to be really careful here. One does not go to college and make payments and serve churches that cannot afford pastors without financial help from family. Not once does he mention any of this. As a matter of fact he speaks of having millions of $$$'s pass through his hands. Could be true, but where does one get the start-up capital to have millions of $$$'s pass through one's hands?

The west Georgia hoot in all of this is the Masters Degree statement. He says: "I got my Master’s Degree very quickly and acted against the wishes of my faculty adviser who said the coursework would be too much. It takes 30 hours (approximately) to get an MA in history. I did it in two semesters. Although 15 hours per semester is common in undergraduate work, it’s usually not advised in graduate work." Certainly do not want to take anything away from such an accomplishment. He is to be commended for taking 15 hours per semester if he was working full-time. But, mind you, working as an interim pastor is not working full-time and taking 15 hours per semester is not that big a deal for a 30 hour Masters degree. Now if he were taking a 90-96 hour M-Div and working in an industry full-time and taking 15 hours per semester then we need to strike up the band. But, let me address his "not advised" by the faculty adviser. Here is a link from http://catalog.sebts.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=4&poid=342#MDivCoreCurriculum>SEBTS catalog, and http://catalog.swbts.edu/catalog/assets/File/2012%20MDIV%20Recommended%20Sequence%281%29.pdf>SWBTS catalog notice the number of hours they advise to take the pastoral track. SWBTS advises to begin taking 10-12 and by the third semester the student is taking 16 hours. My point is that while it is difficult to take 15 hours of graduate courses in one semester people do it all the time in the shorter degree programs. It is the 88-96 semester hour programs that it is exceptional.

Having said this let me point something out. We have an apologists in Phoenix that is calling himself a "Doctor" based on his degree from an unaccredited school where he made his own course and had a review by only one adviser, and now we have a young pastor in Montana who paints himself to be something that really is an embellishment of what he is saying that Dr. Caner is guilty of embellishing his testimony to make himself look better. Does anyone guess why either one is focused in on the embellishment charge?

It does seem that Luke 6:41-42 does come into play here.

DrJamesAch

And the hits just keep on coming. Folks, this is WHY it is important to know something about your pastors background.

Today, JD Hall wrote a new article, some charismatic, Joel Osteen type emotional rhetoric to stir his readers, that stated in part,

"Why did God send Jesus to die on a cross? Not to save us from our sins, but rather to save us from a life of mediocrity." http://pulpitandpen.org/2014/02/07/i-dont-want-to-have-an-impossible-dream-or-birth-a-vision-for-my-life/

Really, JD????

"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:21

"For the son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" Luke 19:10

"Who gave himself A RANSOM for all to be testified in due time" 1 Tim 2:6

"But we see Jesus who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man" Hebrews 2:9

"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but quickened by the Spirit" 1 Peter 3:18

...and many MANY more.

Now the bottom of the article says contributed by Dustin Germain, but it still had to pass through Hall before being posted, and Hall's signature is on the top of the article. SO whether Hall co-wrote it, edited it, he still endorsed this HERESY and posted it on his website.

Scott Shaver

Chickens have a way of coming home to roost.

Catch 22 about JD et al turning these kinds of tigers out of their cages is they don't care WHO they eat.

DrJamesAch

By the way, it was Hall himself that gave the 5 year explanation. He said 4 years for his BA, and then another year for the MA. This was cleared up at 10 a.m. my time, with Stephen, so I am very surprised that he is bringing this up again, unless his comment was merely in queue and was posted before our Twitter conversation.

Lydia

"Ironically, one of his defenders debated me on this last night, and when cornered about Hall's lack of context and background, said "A pastor is responsible to his church, AND NO ONE ELSE" (emphasis mine). https://twitter.com/SVMuschany/status/431702623969091585
That one comment summed up the entire debate: Hall and Co are not responsible to being accountable to anyone else but "the elect" of their own kind, BUT YOU ARE. "

Like you, DrJames, I have not been a defender of Caner.

But we can see the glaring hypocrisy in these guys and what you wrote above is a BIG one. It was not enough for Caner to be accountable to Liberty or his church. Nope. He had to be accountable to JD Hall and James White and a large part of the YRR movement in the SBC.

And SVM's tweet brings us all sorts of problems. What happens when the pastor of a church decides to publicly promote his books, podcasts, etc? What happens when he travels all over speaking at conferences teaching his doctrine and becoming a minor celeb in Christendom? Still only accountable to his church where he is the bossman? So you think this means he is untouchable in the public square he covets as he builds his "brand"?

What a great gig. Most churches are thrilled to have a celeb pastor. That is part of the problem and "groupthink" takes over.

Sorry SVM. Pastors who seek to teach outside their church in the public arena are fair game for PUBLIC analysis and even criticism. They are not "above" it. They need to put on their big boy britches.

Fredericka

Dr. Ach wrote, "Hall claims to have been a church planter, but his new response says that he worked with other "groups" but never names one single church that he was responsible for planting."
Dr. Ach, it's a small world, isn't it. You know who else is described as a 'church planter'? Monica Inez Hunt, Ergun Caner's 69-year-old mom. Ergun describes her that way in several of his recorded sermons. Do you think Ergun is exaggerating or misstating the facts when he describes his mom as a 'church planter'? In point of fact it seems the Southern Baptists have an entire network devoted to this very purpose. It may be that you're defining the term more narrowly than they do.

DrJamesAch

A few things.

First to Fredericka. Apparently, you have don't know where I stand on Caner. I frankly don't care how anyone in the SBC define "church planting". Why is it that when Hall's hypocrisy and conflicting statements are shown, instead of explaining them in a manner that deals directly with the specific accusations, I get spin in return?

Secondly, my comment posted a few posts up about the new article by Hall was clarified by Dustin Germain, and that was not what he intended to convey in the article.

Thirdly, more hypocrisy from Hall. Hall discusses on his radio show today that Dave Miller calling numerous fake accounts "social media terrorists" is wrong. But yet it is perfectly acceptable for Hall and White to label Caner and his defenders as JIHADISTS against Christianity? This blatant hypocrisy appears to me as virtually conspiratorial.

DrJamesAch

And no, I didn't use spell checker on my last comment!

Dale Pugh

Dr. Ach--I'm no Hall supporter and find his vitriol to be outrageous, malicious, and extremely immature, but you need to re-read the article you link to and call "heresy." When I read your statement, I went and read the article. The author of that article does NOT claim that Jesus died to save us from mediocrity. The article is written in opposition to such teaching from prosperity preachers. He is confronting such teaching, not promoting such teaching.
I offer this correction in the spirit of asking that we not get caught up in false accusation for the sake of buttressing our positions. Let's be fair and truthful.
I know nothing about Caner, but if CB Scott is willing to work for him and with him, that's good enough for me.

Patrick

I could give two rips about JD Hall...I don't know who he is, and personally don't care. If he has fabricated his background, then by all means, he should be taken to task for it, just as he has taken others to task for similar things.

That being said, when Dr Ach quoted an article on Hall's website about Christ dying to save us from a life of mediocrity, I decided to check it out, since I detest the theology of Osteen and his ilk. I was prepared to take Hall to task on his website for posting such an article. However, when I read the article, I was completely stunned. Did the article contain the quote that Dr Ach referenced? Of course. However, even with just a cursory reading, it was easy to see that the author disagreed with that statement. He was stating that was commonplace in American churches (which it is), and then went on to explain why he disagreed.

"But here’s the thing; I don’t have any big, audacious, impossible dreams that leave me unfulfilled. I think all this talk of how we’re so empty and unfulfilled and that our current life isn’t good enough is, simply frankly, nefarious. Its evil and we ought to reject it and excoriate that sort of thinking. It doesn’t just appeal to ones desire for the American Dream, but it appeals to the disappointment we feel at not having achieved it. I find myself surrounded by a Christian culture that tells me that the life I desire is not good enough, and that if I’m not dreaming big, impossible dreams that I’m somehow lacking and missing out on what God intends for me. That there is an innate deficiency associated with it. I don’t see where in the scriptures I’m told that I need to do this, and that this has to happen to me, and yet I’m being told this is the case nonetheless."

"I don’t want to have an impossible dream for my life, nor do I want to birth vision, nor so I want to be told that I need something more in my life. Christ died for my sins so I could be forgiven and saved from the wrath of God, not so that I could overcome my prideful desire for significance and personal self-fulfillment. Now that I rest in God’s grace, I simply want to serve him and my neighbor in my vocation, whatever that is, which is a holy thing."

To suggest that the author of the article (I'm unaware if it was Hall or someone else) supported what Dr Ach quoted couldn't be farther from the truth. It requires only a minimal amount of reading comprehension to see that!

The comments to this entry are closed.