"Pastor Sexton’s college has actually backed away from its strict KJO position as stated in its doctrinal statement."

K. Bauder on Clarence Sexton's participation in the 2014 FBFI conference. I'm OK With This

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Chip Van Emmerik's picture

I wish it were so. Unfortunately, the very phrase the Dr. Bauder identifies as the "really problematic part of the statement", the part about only accepting the KJV, is still in Pastor Sexton's church's doctrinal statement here:

The Masoretic Text of the Old Testament and the Received Text of the New Testament (Textus Receptus) are those texts of the original languages we accept and use; the King James Version of the Bible is the only English version we accept and use. The Bible is our sole and final authority for faith and practice. (Bold Added)

I do not see any reason to consider this as anything other than an abberrant and errant doctrinal position being welcomed by the FBFI. Still one of the major problems I have with the FBFI. They give the appearance, as an organization, that they are more concerned with cultural conformity within their group than doctrinal conformity to scripture. While Dr. Bauder downplays the importance of pulpit association, the FBFI has made this a much bigger issue and should be held to their own standard in the same way apply it to others.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

PSFerguson's picture

Kevin Bauder is correct to point out that they have diluted the Crown College Statement. My suspicion is that it is based on pragmatism as it opens the door to hiring faculty from places like BJU and attracting students from non-KJVO churches.

Bauder is not fully transparent in his remarks. He has not acknowledged that the previous Crown College Statement was fully acceptable to platform speakers in FBFI down through the twentieth century. Indeed, many FBFI churches would have held to that position. That is why Bauder statement that "the King James Only error heaps contempt upon the Word of God, it is a serious error" is frankly disingenuous and an attempt to revise FBFI history. Bauder writes like one of the gay rights advocates trying to silence all Christian views with pejorative and inflammatory statements like, "It would be tragic and perhaps even devastating to what is left of fundamentalism if a prominent national organization like the FBFI gave its endorsement to the King James Only position or treated it as if it were less than a serious error." 

It is not only Crown College that has changed but also the FBFI. I don't view it either change for the better but I am sure my views will not be endorsed by many here.  

TylerR's picture

I don't concern myself too much over what para-church organizations do. That doesn't mean I dislike the FBFI; I just don't spend any amount of time caring what they do. There will be a whole lot of spilled ink here on the nuances of separation, as there always is. What the FBFI does is meaningless to me; what do I care? Does it impact my church? Most of my people don't even know the FBFI exists and wouldn't care if they did know. 

I am very happy that all I have to worry about and be held accountable for is (1) my own stewardship of the church the Lord has placed me in and (2) my own life. I have to make my own choices about implementation of separatist principles with missionaries, speakers, and the like at my own level. Let the FBFI worry about itself. Let Sexton worry about himself. I have other things to worry about. I'm just not interested in politics and I doubt I ever will be. 

Tyler Robbins is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs as the Eccentric Fundamentalist

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Tyler wrote: I'm just not interested in politics and I doubt I ever will be. 

 

Tyler,

You are welcome to disengage, but let's not tar those who do not follow suit by equating disagreement over doctrine (in this case such an important one that biblology is included in most statements of the fundamentals as the first one) with mere politics.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

TylerR's picture

It's not that I want to "disengaage." I just don't see why I need to care about what the FBFI or what Sexton does. All I need to care about is my church. I certainly do think bibliology is important, and I have my own conclusions on the version issue. Therefore, I don't need to spend time analyzing the pros and cons of the FBFI's decision to invite Sexton. I don't belong to the FBFI. I don't care what the FBFI does. It's purely abstract and irrelevant to me. Why? Because nobody will agree about what issues are worth separating over. Nobody. And you know what - that's fine with me! It really is. I've reached my own conclusions. I'm not worried about what other people think. That's why Baptist churches ought to be autonomous - that means I don't necessarily have to parse the nuances of separation within a larger ecclesiastical hierarchy. I am responsible before God for (1) the church He has given me and (2) my own life. I'm worried about that bubble, not the FBFI/Sexton bubble.  

As far as politics go, surely you acknowledge that politics are inevitable when one goes beyond the local church and into the para-church organizational level? (They're even inevitable at the local church level, but you get what I'm saying!) You need to worry about what other Pastors might think. You need to ponder what different "wings" of your constituency will accept or tolerate. Meh - someone else can have that quagmire. Again, it's not that I don't care about the doctrine of separation - I just don't see the real, practical benefit to discussing the separatist practices of a para-church organization! 

  1. Reach your own prayerful conclusions about what issues are (1) explicit and implicit teachings, (2) implied teachings, (3) general principles and (4) optional practices and implement in your bubble accordingly. 
  2. Be ready to stand before God for your decisions
  3. Nobody will ever see eye to eye with you
  4. Live with it and soldier on
  5. Re-examine and refine your own views along the way
  6. Meanwhile, expect the conversation on separation to be a bit like this while we wait for the Lord to return . . .

Tyler Robbins is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs as the Eccentric Fundamentalist

James K's picture

This is not a fundamentalism worth saving.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

Jay's picture

I'm glad that Sexton seems to be swinging away from the KJV Only position, but I also felt like Bauder was doing a bit of a disservice in this Nick.  Whether he likes it or not, sharing a platform at a conference has always been seen as an endorsement and a big deal in fundamental baptist circles.  That was actually, I think, one of the many things people have complained about with NIU recently and was certainly a big deal when Calvary had Dever there a couple years back.

Maybe Dr. Bauder has never taken this as a big deal, but that's not quite the case for the rest of the FBFI-ilk.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Jay's picture

The Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International is giving thoughtful fundamentalists an occasion to reflect upon our principles. It is also giving an occasion for thoughtless critics to say, “Gotcha.” What is the occasion? The FBFI has invited Clarence Sexton to return to its platform.

Some leaders of the FBFI have been friends with Sexton for years. In fact, he has even preached for the fellowship before. If memory serves, he and I shared the platform when the FBFI met in Indianapolis some years ago.

For me, it's not an opportunity to say 'gotcha' as much as even more proof that the FBFI isn't as consistent as they want their supporters to be.  But that's not news...I've known that for years.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

James K's picture

Very well put by Kevin.  To be a critic is to be thoughtless if you recognize the doublespeak.  Sigh.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

Ron Bean's picture

I'm glad to see the FBFI welcoming Sexton back to their group. I'm sure there's plenty of room.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

SamH's picture

James K wrote:

This is not a fundamentalism worth saving.

 

I agree, the unbiblical arguments for adherence to one specific English translation is not something which is good for F'ism. It is good to see some more clear thinking on the Text by the leadership at CC...God bless them...

SamH

GregH's picture

James K wrote:

Very well put by Kevin.  To be a critic is to be thoughtless if you recognize the doublespeak.  Sigh.

Agreed. I can't believe I am agreeing with people I usually never agree with on this like Kent Brandenburg, James K, etc. First, the idea that you have a problem with this makes you thoughtless according to Bauder. That is arrogance. Secondly, Brandenburg actually makes some good points on this. The KJVO issue is far from the only thing from Sexton that "thoughtful" fundamentalists are supposed to have problems with. Bauder's piece smells like bad politics. Maybe I am wrong but that is the way it comes across.

Jay's picture

Kent's blog post on this is worth a read, and this section, I thought, raised an especially interesting question:

Perhaps here is a thoughtful question.  What has Sexton done to merit an FBFI national conference speaker status?  What does anyone do to get that slot in a national conference?  Is it because he has been faithful to the Word of God?  Is it because his church is a model of biblical obedience?   is he a model of biblical preaching?  Bauder concludes by saying that a good reason to allow Sexton on your platform is to encourage him for having his feet pointed in the right direction on KJO.

I don't know that Bauder simplified this down to 'having his feet pointed in the right direction', but still...it would be interesting to get the raison d'être​ for this choice.  I doubt that reason will ever see the light of day, though.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Larry Nelson's picture

 

Here's what Dr. Bauder writes about Sexton's Crown College:

"Another consideration also comes to bear, namely, that Pastor Sexton’s college has actually backed away from its strict KJO position as stated in its doctrinal statement. It used to say that, “The Masoretic Text of the Old Testament and the Received Text of the New Testament (Textus Receptus) are those texts of the original languages we accept and use; the King James Version of the Bible is the only English version we accept and use.” Now it states that, “The Masoretic Text of the Old Testament and the Received Text of the New Testament (Textus Receptus) are those texts of the original languages we use; the Authorized King James Version of the Bible is the English version we use in the English-speaking world.” The elimination of the word “accept” means that this doctrinal statement no longer rejects other versions as the Word of God." [Emphasis mine]

Pulling up the college's online doctrinal statement confirms this:

http://thecrowncollege.com/whatwebelieve/

-------

Looking at the online doctrinal statement of Sexton's church, Temple Baptist Church, Knoxville, TN, however, the word "accept" is still there:

"The Masoretic Text of the Old Testament and the Received Text of the New Testament (Textus Receptus) are those texts of the original languages we accept and use; the King James Version of the Bible is the only English version we accept and use. The Bible is our sole and final authority for faith and practice."

http://templebaptistchurch.com/pages/statement-of-faith.php  (accessed on 05/12/2014 @ 1:44 CST)

--------

So which is it?

 

 

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Larry,

I noted the exact same thing at the very beginning of this thread, but, apparently, no one wants to deal with that.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Larry Nelson's picture

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:

Larry,

I noted the exact same thing at the very beginning of this thread, but, apparently, no one wants to deal with that.

Sorry Chip: I picked up the thread late, and I somehow overlooked your previous mention of it.

It seems like a glaring inconsistency to me!  Pastor Sexton can apparently believe one thing as Pastor of his church, and another thing as President of the college...and the FBFI apparently gets to make amends with Sexton based on the version of him they like.

Ugh!

DavidO's picture

Larry Nelson wrote:
So which is it?

I don't read the two Sexton positions as being mutually exclusive.

But the points Brandenburg/Mitchell bring up are of far greater concern, imo.

Larry Nelson's picture

DavidO wrote:

I don't read the two Sexton positions as being mutually exclusive.

They are not mutually exclusive, but they are distinct.

They are different statements in the way that Dr. Bauder views them as being different.  The nuance involved may be somewhat subtle; reread Bauder's article again for the distinction.

DavidO's picture

The distinction is only that one says less than the other.  100 percent of those who hold to only accepting and using the TR can affirm the new CC statement as true, even if it does not express all that they believe on the matter.  And many who hold to the CC statement could also affirm the church statement.  Not mutually exclusive therefore not necessarily inconsistent.

Ergo one need not believe one thing as pastor and an entirely different thing as the prez of CC.

Larry Nelson's picture

 

Here's how the difference plays out in practice:

Under the college's doctrinal statement, one could presumably use the ESV without being considered a heretic or an apostate (if the statement there merely expresses a choice/preference).  The ESV may not be the version of choice there, and the user would be asked to use the KJV instead for purposes of uniformity and compliance, but the ESV would still presumably be recognized as being God's word.

Under the church's doctrinal statement, if the TR/KJV is truly the only version of God's word they accept (not just prefer or choose to use), then the ESV would presumably not be recognized as God's word. (Gail Riplinger calling...)

 

I know of a church which only accepts and uses the KJV in my area which reportedly burned a NIV sometime back in demonstration of that belief!

 

And wasn't it just a few years ago that the FBFI thought the (nonexistant) distinction mattered?:

http://www.amazon.com/One-Bible-Only-Examining-Exclusive/dp/0825420482

http://www.amazon.com/Mind-God-Man-Laymans-Guide/dp/1889893382/ref=sr_1_...

Seems like a lot of wasted effort if there's really no practical difference involved.

Darrell Post's picture

Whenever I read something like...

"The Masoretic Text of the Old Testament and the Received Text of the New Testament (Textus Receptus) are those texts of the original languages we accept and use"

...I always want to ask which textus receptus? The differences abound between the various editions. Then if I receive a response, I would want to ask, why? What made that particular edition the right one and the others rejects? Of course the reality is the textus receptus was itself a product of textual critical choices made by editors over many years.

 

DavidO's picture

Yet it is insufficient parsing that allows one to make fallacious statments like

Pastor Sexton can apparently believe one thing as Pastor of his church, and another thing as President of the college

 

As for Darrell's question of which TR, at least one group holds that the true TR is the Greek that underlies the KJV.  Which they say is Scrivener's reverse engineered 1881 (84?) version.  

DavidO's picture

Let's say there were a fellowship of individual pastors and deacons and interested members of various churches.  Let's say the premiere qualification for inclusion in that fellowship were the embracing of a true gospel, and that denying the true gospel would earn one denunciation as an apostate and expulsion from that fellowship.  Furthermore, any members found among that fellowship arguing that said deniers of the true gospel were less than apostates should also subject to the same treatment.  Let's now say that teaching easy believe-ism and denying of the necessity of repentance for salvation amounted (by fellowship consensus) to a denial of that true gospel.  Let's say then that one among that fellowship were honored by its leaders despite the fact that he taught easy believe-ism and denied the necessity of repentance for salvation.  And none of the members acted as if this were a problem.

What would be the proper adjective for such a fellowship?  

Ron Bean's picture

Could it be that the FBFI needs to have Sexton and his school? Does anyone know whether the FBFI is growing, shrinking or staying the same?

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

dharristx's picture

FBFI – Fundamentalist Being Found Inconsistent

FBFI – Fundy Buddies Fawning Indefensibly

David Harris is the Pastor of Faith Baptist Church of Palmhurst, TX (www.faithbaptistministries.org)

C. D. Cauthorne Jr.'s picture

As an FBFI member, I heartily welcome my brother Clarence Sexton!  His position on Bible versions mirrors that of the last head of the FBFI (Rod Bell), and I would even say that it represents the view of most older members (not board members) of the FBFI.  KJO Pastor Jody Jenkins spoke at our regional meeting.  We need desperately to work together as brothers in Christ!

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

C. D.,

Calling to work together sounds great, until some of the men you describe are asked to work with someone who uses an NIV or ESV or even NKJV. Then their refusal to "accept" any version but the KJ makes it impossible.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Larry Nelson's picture

 

When Temple Baptist declares in its doctrinal statement [ http://templebaptistchurch.com/pages/statement-of-faith.php ] that "the King James Version of the Bible is the only English version we accept and useare they not running afoul of the following FBFI resolution?:

-------------

95.16 REGARDING TRANSLATIONS

"The FBF, while recognizing that God has used the King James version of the Bible in a special way in the English speaking world, reaffirms its belief that the original manuscripts of Scripture are the documents which are inspired by God and that Bible translations may be considered trustworthy only if they accurately reflect the original manuscripts (II Timothy 3:16). In light of the considerable discussion among Fundamentalists about the issue of manuscripts and textual theories, no particular belief about the best textual theory should be elevated to the place of becoming a core Fundamentalist belief. Fundamentalists may hold the doctrine of inspiration with equal strength without embracing the same belief about textual criticism. Additionally, proper evaluation of the doctrinal integrity of any particular English translation can only be done by examining its faithfulness to the original languages, not by comparing it to another English translation. While the process of comparing it with other translations may be profitable for matters of clarity and readability, this process cannot pass as the test of doctrinal accuracy since it is illegitimate to check one copy by another, one must compare the copy to the original. In a day when translations abound, Fundamentalists must exercise careful discernment in both the selection and rejection of translations. Some professing Fundamentalists have wrongfully declared one translation to be the only inspired copy of God's Word in the English language and have sought to make this a test of Fundamentalism. Since no translation can genuinely claim what only may be said of the original, inspired writings, any attempt to make a particular English translation the only acceptable translation of Fundamentalism must be rejected."

http://fundamentalbaptistfellowshipinternational.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Complete-Resolutions-2010.pdf

 

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