House Church Talk - Re: Baptisms and Administrations
rjohnson at wise.k12.va.us
Tue Mar 9 15:59:19 EST 2004
This was one of the best thought out e-mails I have read in ages. Your
points are very true and hit home with me.
I was tossed out of a Southern Baptist Seminary because I used the same type
of INDUCTIVE reasoning.
To this day, I am amazed at the number of people who will bet their life on
their Scofield Bible and their dispensational theology.
From: House Church Talk -bounces at housechurch.org
[mailto:House Church Talk -bounces at housechurch.org]On Behalf Of Bruce Woodford
Sent: Tuesday, March 09, 2004 2:53 PM
To: House Church Talk at housechurch.org
Subject: RE: House Church Talk - Re: Baptisms and Administrations
>don't dispense the dialog or take it off list where it may be more proper -
>enjoying the back and forth, and it is showing us all how we can differ on
>issues and still be brethren.
>For me, this is important. We started meeting in a "closed" plymouth
>brethren house meeting 12
>years ago. When the issue of dispensations became waaaaay to much for us
>to staunch, we left.
>My kids and wife would have left years earlier, I demanded that we stick it
>thru some more
>rough waters. Dialog was non existent - dispensations were there and if
>not liked - there was
>no discussion. That was 5 years ago we left. I told them that when I
>accept their teaching
>that Jesus would have come back if Israel had taken Jesus as Lord in Acts 3
>- I will be back in
>their meeting. Dear saints and we miss the times of friendship and worship
>together. They are
>not friends, they are brethren. We do not communicate with them - we are
>not in the same
>caste. There is a caste system here in 'merica, really. Them that have,
>them that don't. But
>that disappears as we are brethren.
I know what you mean! At the time we left the closed brethren,
dispensationalism was not yet an issue for me, but rather the appointment of
speakers and the effective "muzzling" of anyone not appointed! There was no
room for discussion on that subject. It was a few months later that my
"dispensational roots" were irreparably shaken!
In a home bIble study, a group of us were doing a "Precept Ministries" study
on Daniel and Revelation. "Precept" is a very dispensationally based
ministry, but the thing that had impressed us in all of their other studies
was their emphasis on INDUCTIVE BIBLE STUDY. (i.e. finding out and observing
exactly what scripture SAYS, before going to commentaries or attempting to
say what scripture MEANT! Then , having oberved what scripture SAID, we
were to read and evaluate commentaries by the standard of scripture rather
than the other way around!)
Well this was the approach all the way through Daniel chapters 1 to 8. But
as soon as we got to ch.9 (Daniel's 70 weeks), the "Precept" notes took a
180 degree turn! Instead of urging us to continue oberving what the text
SAID and evaluating commentaries on that basis, we were told that Dan.9
COULD NOT MEAN WHAT IT SAID, BUT THAT "WEEKS" must MEAN something other than
"weeks"!!! I immediately "smelled a rat"! The main reason I'd been
eager to take this course was so that I could get clear in my own mind from
scripture the basis of the "seven year tribulation". When I learned that
scripture never even once referred to such a period and that the whole
doctrine of the seven year tribulation was based on DEDUCTION rather than
INDUCTION, (just like the doctrines of "purgatory", "infant baptism",
"limitted atonement", "unconditional election" etc) the system of
dispensationalism (itself, a doctrine arrived at by DEDUCTION rather than
INDUCTION) began to crumble in my mind!
I did not want to shed dispensationalism because I had been raised and
trained in it all my life! So I thought I'd give it another chance. I'd
often heard Sir Robert Anderson's book, "The Coming Prince" highly
recommended as an "authourity" on Daniel's 70 weeks. I'd heard that Anderson
incontrovertibly proved that Daniel's "weeks" were indeed periods of 7
years and that this could be demonstrated by EXACT calculations and that 69
weeks of years were measured to the very day from Cyrus' decree to rebuild
Jerusalem to the death of Christ.
Sir Robert Anderson was a very intelligent man, a mathematician and one who
worked for the Scotland Yard.
So I began to read "The Coming Prince", taking notes as I went and keeping a
calculator in hand to check the writer's calculations. In his book, he
states at least five principles of scriptural interpretation and a number of
rules for doing calculations relative to Biblically prophesied events and
As I read, my estimate of Sir Robert Anderson also came crashing down!
Right in his own book, and in his own words, I found clear violations of
every single principle of interpretation which he professed to follow! Many
of his calculations were incomplete and violated the very rules that he
himself had stated! Rather than being "accurate to the day", I found many of
his calculations were incomplete, not at all accurate but were often off by
weeks, months and even many years!
It became evident to me that Anderson had approached scripture, not as a
humble student willing to learn and be conformed to scripture, but rather
that he had approached scripture with a preconceived theory of which he was
determined to convince others eeven though HE HIMSELF KNEW HE WAS LEADING
For sometime after that, I became very disillusioned, bitter and angry with
many men whom I had looked up to, admired and considered to be men of God.
These men, including my own grandfather, who had taught me "dispensational
truth", had in fact deceived me!!! But then the Lord began to calm me
down and caused me to realize that most of those men had also received what
they had taught from others whom THEY HAD TRUSTED! If they had failed to
follow in the steps of the Bereans of old (who searched the scriptures daily
whether the things the apostle Paul taught them), I, MYSELF, HAD FAILED IN
EXACTLY THE SAME WAY!
I realized that I had no one but myself to blame! I had failed to test the
teachings I had received because I valued the reputation of those who taught
me more than I valued what scripture SAID! As I result, I trusted what I
valued most! The root problem was that my "value system" was all wrong!!!
It is for such reasons that I have now determined to test any doctrine that
I encounter by the principles of Ps.12:6; Proverbs 30:5,6 and I Cor.2:13:
-Is this doctrine stated in the pure words of scripture?
-Can this doctrine be stated without adding any of man's words to the
explanation of it?
-Is this doctrine stated in words which the Holy Ghost teaches, or does it
absolutely require words which man's wisdom teaches?
It is for such reasons that I value INDUCTIVE Bible study and have become
very leary of any doctrine not stated in the words of scripture which has
been arrived at by the process of DEDUCTION.
Your brother in Christ,
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