Monday, January 16, 2017

Trinity Doctrine or Worship Music, Which Is More Important?

I have a sister three years older than me and a brother three years younger than me.  When my brother and I were juniors and teens, we would sometimes engage the brotherly conservation of "would you rather" or "do you like better"?  Would you rather get killed by drowning or by the direct hit of a nuclear missile?  That kind of thing.  Do you like this girl better or that girl better, neither actually good choices, but actually intended to leave the other with only bad choices.  The point of the exercise seemed to be leaving everything a bad choice.

For quite awhile, I have noticed a very common evangelical critique of fundamentalism is something to the effect that it's evangelicals who spend their time defending the really important doctrines, like the Trinity, and fundamentalists quibble over non-essentials.  Evangelicals pump out paper after paper, dissertation after dissertation, journal article after journal article, and, of course, book after book, defining and defending major doctrines of scripture, putting their efforts where it really matters. Evangelicals wrangle over justification by faith, while fundamentalists arm wrestle over Bible versions.

In an assessment of the choice of hills to die on, the evangelicals fight with liberals, who deny the faith. Fundamentalists fight with evangelicals and other fundamentalists, what some people call shooting or executing your own wounded.  One person in my comment section characterized what I in particular do as just throwing rocks at people.  As a member of cub scouts, I remember actual mud ball or dirt clod fights, sometimes a stone inserted into one of the balls or clods.  I've thrown rocks and been hit by them, and this, what I do here, this is no rock throwing.

Certain conservative evangelicals especially list as their major critique of fundamentalism, characterizing it as at the most on life support after careening down this cliff of self-destruction, its obsession with non-essential issues.  Adults, these evangelicals, contemplate bare cupboards in the pantry while toddlers, fundamentalists, tug-o-war a plastic toy in the nursery.  Fundamentalists should consider this criticism.  Some self-identifying fundamentalists push back by dividing fundamentalists into the historic fundamentalists, the ones who wrote The Fundamentals and that heritage, from a more recent mutation. They grasp the mantle of the original fundamentalists and promote the initial idea of fundamentalism.

I have a great fondness for fundamentalism, because it has taught a doctrine of separation.  I said "a doctrine," because I don't believe it is a scriptural doctrine of separation, but it's at least separation.  It's got some scriptural separation in it, even if it isn't following what the Bible teaches on the doctrine. Fundamentalists have written some good material about that subject that you will not see in evangelicalism at all.  Separation is holiness. Evangelicalism is not holy.  Unholiness and worldliness characterizes evangelicalism.  However, I do not self-identify as a fundamentalist in some part because of the same reason that evangelicals criticize fundamentalism.  That isn't the main reason, but it is one of them, even if people call me a fundamentalist by whatever definition.

With all of the above in mind, I want to take the evangelical criticism of fundamentalism into consideration by asking the question of the title of this post as a type of thought experiment. Evangelicals would say that fundamentalists would get sidetracked from something very important like Trinity doctrine by their over emphasis on a "non-essential" like worship music.  Is Trinity doctrine more important than the issue of worship music?

It is true that some evangelicals have been deceived on the doctrine of the Trinity, that they have a less than biblical or distorted view of the Trinity, and, therefore, God.  Even though fundamentalists might not give much thought to what they believe about the Trinity, you don't see the same kind of contortion of the Trinity among fundamentalists.  If it were a problem, there would be a greater emphasis on Trinity doctrine.  The reason there is a fight on the Trinity in evangelicalism is because that's where the perversion is occurring and probably due to the lack of separation in evangelicalism.  Fundamentalists would think that there are already many good publications written in times past about and defending the biblical, orthodox teaching of the Trinity.  Rather than write another book, they'll separate from organizations over their false Trinity doctrine, which is what the Bible teaches to do.  Evangelicals write a book on the Trinity, defending it, and fundamentalists separate from the false doctrine.

Ungodly, unholy, so-called worship music, I believe, is a greater danger today to professing believers to being deceived about God than wrong teaching about God.  The Mormons, Islam, the Jehovah's Witnesses, and even Apostolics I don't see swaying people in church to the wrong thoughts about God. The music is a major factor though.  People get the wrong imagination of God through worldly, fleshly, sensual worship music.  They say they are offering the music to God and that shapes what people think about God.  It affects what people understand about loving God.

False worship starts with worshiping the wrong God.  Buddhism is false worship.  However, false worship also occurs when worshiping God the wrong way.  Israel started with worshiping God the wrong way and ended by worshiping the wrong god.  The former precedes the latter.  First, God isn't worshiped, because He doesn't accept false worship.  The understanding of God distorted by the false worship turns into having a false god.

Doctrine and practice are corrupted faster by the music than they are by some wrong doctrinal statement.  What I'm writing here is a little more difficult to explain why Worship Music is more important than the Trinity Doctrine, but it can be understood if someone cares.  Someone should care if He wishes to preserve true worship of God and then the right doctrine about God.

We want to love the Trinity:  God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, these Three are One.  We aren't loving Trinity when we engage in false worship.  We might believe the Trinity doctrine, like a Roman Catholic, without worshiping the Trinity.  If evangelicals believe a true Trinity doctrine, but then don't worship the Trinity, what is the point of believing the Trinity?

Nadab and Abihu worshiped the right God with strange fire.  God killed them for it.  The false worship music is strange fire.  God is holy.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Health Threats from Samaritan Ministries

In the past, I have published Dangers in Samaritan Ministries part 1, part 2, and part 3 (all of which can be accessed here.)  This is essentially "Dangers in Samaritan Ministries part 4," but I gave the article a different name, because I am going to be focusing specifically on how one is likely to die early if he takes the medical advice (that is usually disclaimed as not being medical advice) in the Samaritan Ministries newsletter.

Unfortunately, the promotion of quackery, medical nonsense, and non-scientific misinformation in the Samaritan Ministries newsletter seems only to be getting worse.  In the May 2016 newsletter, a two-page testimonial is given promoting the dangerous quack Ronald Wheeler, who the Florida Board of Medicine calls "a menace to society."  One member of the board indicated that Mr. Wheeler "looks like he's board-certified in medical fraud" and "one of the most dangerous doctors I've seen in a long time."  Mr. Wheeler takes desperate people with cancer, fills their mind with nonsense, and refers them to a clinic in Mexico where he is paid for referrals.  Patients have suffered serious negative medical consequences from his financially-lucrative quackery. So what does Samaritan Ministries say?  They say that he has a 100% cure rate for prostate cancer over the last several years, and from 2006-2013 the rate "drops to 99 percent" (pg. 13)!  They give an e-mail address where Samaritan members with prostrate problems can contact Samaritan to get in touch with people who have followed Mr. Wheeler.  Not the slightest hint of warning about this predatory huckster is given in the newsletter.  The medical advice in the Samaritan Ministries newsletter is dangerous to your health, and this sort of unabashed, unashamed spread of and promotion of life-threatening misinformation is getting worse and worse.

In the June 2016 newsletter, an article entitled "Niacin: The Real Story" mentions someone who was allegedly cured of a disease by taking "60 grams a day – more than 3000 times the RDA" (pg. 7). Taking 3000 times the recommended daily allowance of niacin is very dangerous – it could kill you. You could overdose and require hospitalization at 4.5 grams a day. The article states that everyone should take 100 times the RDA--so God must have designed food very badly, because it would be impossible to get the right amount by eating a balanced diet--and states that sick people should "go up from there" (pg. 11) to an unspecified, unnatural, and dangerous amount.  You are actually supposed to artificially consume so much of it that you start "flush[ing],"--that is, start experiencing a dangerous side effect which the article says "is not dangerous, and is actually helpful for determining the optimum dose" (pg. 6).  Science demonstrates that "long-term use is associated with liver damage."  This Samaritan Ministries article is dangerous.

The July 2016 newsletter contains a three page article (pgs. 8-10) by Joseph Mercola, who, as I noted in Dangers in Samaritan Ministries, part 3, makes millions deluding people and promotes terribly dangerous lies such as that "HIV does not cause AIDS . . . chemicals in our environment, the drugs used to treat AIDS, stress, and poor nutrition are possibly the real causes" and that cancer is really a fungusThis time he was not promoting these particular lies, but was promoting the quack idea that one should get 75 to 85% of total calories from fat!  He was also promoting another quack called Aseem Malhotra, mentioning a paper  published by Malhotra while neglecting to mention that claims in the article were withdrawn because they were inaccurateMalhotra argues for the crazy claim that exercise does not help you lose weight and does not appear to know that fruit contains mainly fructose not glucose. This Samaritan Ministries article is dangerous.

The August 2016 issue of the Samaritan newsletter promotes unproven ideas about autism (pgs. 7, 13).  As it is not enough to promote one quack idea per newsletter, apparently, it also has a two page description promoting a disease that does not exist, "Chronic Lyme Disease" (See, e. g., "Does Everyone Have Chronic Lyme Disease? Does Anyone? by Dr. Harriet Hall, and the links and scientific resources on that page), and the Samaritan article promotes ways to "cure" the disease that will actually harm your health.

Why does medical science ignore this allegedly real disease, the Samaritan article asks, which the article states has "more and more irrefutable evidence"? The answer: "the collaboration of some government officials, Big Pharma, and insurance companies to threaten doctors into betraying their Hippocratic Oath by denying the existence of chronic Lyme, all in order to cut costs" (pg. 11).  And we thought that the Conspiracy was actually doctors trying to treat more people to make more money; now they are refusing to give people long-term antibiotics to treat this fake disease, and apparently that refusal to give (unnecessary) antibiotics is also part of the Conspiracy.  When doctors prescribe, that is the Conspiracy; when they don't prescribe, that is also the Conspiracy, and somehow it is a profit motive in both situations. Apparently all the doctors who say that chronic Lyme does not exist are not following the evidence and trying to protect their patients from harm and unnecessary medication, but are in fear that Big Pharma (which wants less, not more, medicine dispensed this time, it seems) will come to get them.  Thousands and thousands of doctors, all medical colleges, medical journals, etc. who deny this imaginary disease are violating their consciences and the Hippocratic Oath and allowing people to be sick, although they do not do this with other diseases--they single out this one and allow people to be sick of it while treating other ones and curing people of them, even though not treating the other ones would also save insurance companies' money.  The Conspiracy even extends over the entire globe--in a world where the president of South Africa can deny that HIV is caused by AIDS, and where world leaders still follow witchdoctors, "public health services worldwide refuse to acknowledge the existence of chronic Lyme" (pg. 11).  It is amazing how much power those pharmaceutical companies have to control worldwide public opinion to reject the Conspiratorial Truth about Chronic Lyme, while those same companies have no power to prevent China and most of the rest of the world from ignoring their copyright and patent protections so that American pharmaceutical companies cannot make any profit at all from or stop copycat imitators based offshore who do no research but reproduce their products.

Of course, the promoters of Chronic Lyme have no financial interest in anything, but are pure as the driven snow.

The most dangerous part of this conspiratorial thinking is that someone with this anti-evidence, conspiratorial mindset will probably believe in unconventional therapy X or Y when he or a family member gets a life-threatening disease, and will eat cottage cheese to stop his cancer instead of doing what would actually work.

False doctrine is also promoted in the August 2016 Samaritan newsletter--a Roman Catholic who runs a clinic called "Our Lady of Hope," that is, to paraphrase, "hope in Mary--our Mary, rather than hoping in Jesus Christ alone--our God" is promoted as someone who "uses his interaction with patients to talk about their relationship (or lack thereof) with Jesus, allowing him to "evangelize in the exam room." (pg. 8)  Surely people will receive tremendous spiritual benefit by being evangelized by a Roman Catholic at a place called Our Lady of Hope.  Perhaps praying to Mary will also help cure you of Chronic Lyme, although Mary won't help you be cured of a real disease.


The December 2016 issue continues to promote the quack David Brownsten, who, as I noted in "Dangers in Samaritan Ministries, part 3," has claimed that he can cure Ebola by giving people vitamin C, but the "Powers-that-Be" are secretly working to prevent people from being cured from Ebola, while he prescribes levels of megavitamins that can actually be dangerous and harm people's health.  Samaritan is recommending this quack to people for treating heart disease, despite the fact that he makes the astonishing claim that people need to consume more salt--very dangerous advice for people with heart conditions (pg. 12).  This dangerous quack has multiple books that are reviewed on the Samaritan website and commended, with not a word of warning.

The January 2017 issue hits a new low--if such is possible--in its promotion of quackery.  This time its "health" misinformation article, "Sugar alert!" (pgs. 10-11) did not even include a disclaimer at the end stating that the article was not meant to cure, treat, etc. disease--while nobody believed the disclaimer anyway, it is no longer present.  While mixing in a number of true statements--of course, nobody believes that it is healthy for a person to get his entire caloric intake from table sugar--the article is jam-packed with misinformation.  It defines "sugar" as "sucrose" at the beginning of the article, although then it warns about glucose and fructose as well.  Sucrose allegedly causes everything from "cancer" to "compromised wound healin [sic]" to--get this--"low [not high] blood sugar"!  What is more, "fructose" is something "that the body [allegedly] can't use very well" and is "associated with liver damage" and "livers like those of alcoholics."

The article never mentions that sucrose, fructose, and glucose are found in fruits such as apples, bannanas, apricots, and blackberries--you name the fruit, it will have them in it--as well as the most common vegetables, from carrots to cabbages.  The article preys on popular ignorance of even the fundamentals of nutritional science and biology.  Of course, the molecules of sugar in these fruits and vegetables are identical in every way to the molecules of fructose, glucose, and sucrose in processed sources and the human body treats them in exactly the same way.  (The problem with table sugar is not that it is the cause of all kinds of diseases, but that it has no useful nutrients in it--it just gives the body calories, but not vitamins or minerals, has no fiber, and so on.)  The Samaritan article recommends, instead of table sugar, consuming "coconut . . . sugar" or "honey" or "molasses," leaving out the fact that these products are full of the identical sucrose, fructose, and glucose molecules that are allegedy the cause of practically every disease under the sun.

So, what does Samaritan recommend a person add to his diet?  Things that are "healthy" like "butter"!  If one wants a snack, he should "eat something fatty and salty"!  Furthermore, a "homeopathic remedy . . . can be helpful," so homeopathic nostrums--which, of course, contain not even one molecule of anything other than water in them--can allegedly have medical benefit.  The Weston A. Price foundation, from which Samaritan has reproduced its January 2017 article, is a long-time promoter of this ultimate quackery, homeopathy.  The open promotion of the occult quackery of homeopathy is another low for Samaritan Ministries--if the organization can promote drinking occult water to cure disease, they can promote anything.

In conclusion, the idea of Christians sharing medical needs is fantastic.  However, the medical advice promoted in the Samaritan Ministries newsletter is inaccurate, expensive, unscientific, conspiracy-mongering, nonsensical, and too often passes from being merely ridiculous to being dangerous to one's health and at times even life-threatening.

If you are troubled by the issues brought up in this post, please contact Samaritan Ministries here and politely explain your concern.




Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Modern Fear or At Least Repulsion of Applying Scripture

Jesus and the Apostles, the New Testament authors, treat the Old Testament with authority and as having one meaning.  They do not treat scripture with any degree of interpretative latitude.  They also make certain application, applying the Bible with complete certitude.  God means one thing.  Then He doesn't deny Himself.

The interpretation and application of scripture fits the reality of the world.  There is only one version of what has occurred from the beginning of creation until now, not two.  You don't get to have reality be whatever you want it.  It really is what it is.  Only what it is.

People can have their own reality, their own interpretation, and their own application.  It's all very flexible.  What's certain is that people don't want to be certain.  Uncertainty is the enemy of authority.  "I'm not sure" is a convenient excuse.

From the date of the founding of the Jamestown colony until now, there was a point in at least United States history where philosophy or belief and practice took a turn toward diminished confidence in applying the Bible to life and culture.  I'm not saying that nothing was unsettled in people's minds.  That characterizes a sin-cursed world.  There will be doubt in a sin-cursed world.

Premodern thinking, however, saw truth, goodness, and beauty as certain.  The standard was an unwavering, single-minded, solid, stable vision.  God created a world, breathed a Word for that world, and fashioned a man to live in it.  Man could understand the world through the Word which He inspired for faith and practice.  It could be understood, known, believed, applied, lived, and practiced by faith.

Fear and repulsion of applying scripture always existed, but greatly multiplied with modernism.  The world opposes God's Word.  With application comes scorn and persecution.  The nature of the flesh is to do what it wants to do.

We arrive today at music, dress, entertainment, and recreation, and believers can't or better won't apply the Bible like days past.  They don't have the confidence, which starts with their uneasiness with scripture itself.  Rock music, as an example, could never have been contemplated for worship.  Now the Bible can't be applied there.  If you do, you're now considered adding to scripture or reading into it something it doesn't say.  You can't apply the Bible to music.  You can't give any objective standard for dress.

God is not being honored because scripture is not being applied.  It isn't being lived.  When it isn't applied, it is being disobeyed.  God isn't being loved.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Keswick's Crisis, Process, Gift Confusion: in Keswick's Errors--an Analysis and Critique of So Great Salvation by Stephen Barabas, part 13 of 17

Having completed his exceedingly problematic attempt to refute alternative positions on sanctification, Barabas proceeds to positively set forth the Keswick method of holiness.  Keswick considers “sanctification as a process, as a crisis, and as a gift.”[1]  The order places “process” first, because it “is the best understood, and not because it is the first in the order of time,”[2] for in the Keswick theology any process in sanctification takes place only in a significant way[3] after the experience of crisis and the receipt of the gift.  Over the course of a twenty page chapter[4] on the crisis of consecration, Barabas states that it is “very characteristic of Keswick” and “some of its basic teachin[g]” to affirm that “sanctification is a process beginning with a crisis.”[5]  Once again, in this matter Keswick follows Hannah and Robert P. Smith and the Broadlands, Oxford, and Brighton Conventions.[6]  The “crisis must take place before we really know the process. . . . The process succeeds the crisis.”[7]  The crisis takes place when one makes a “complete personal consecration” to God, “also referred to as dedication and full surrender.”[8]  The crisis has a “positive side . . . surrender or the committal of oneself to Christ and the pledge to be eternally loyal to Him as Lord and Master . . . [and] a negative side[,] . . . [t]o deny self . . . [to] definitely and for ever cho[ose] the will of the Lord Jesus Christ as [one’s] Guide and Director through life, in place of [one’s] own will.”[9]  In fact, “God’s blessing of deliverance from the power of sin is not to be had” until a Christian makes this full surrender,[10] for “the divine Potter . . . cannot shape the human vessel unless it is committed into His hands and remains unresistingly and quietly there.”[11]  In the Keswick theology, “Consecration is . . . the starting point of the sanctification process,” which is only continued as “the response made to God at consecration is continued.”[12]  The crisis “decision is the inescapable condition of progressive sanctification.”[13]  Progressive sanctification cannoc commence before the crisis of consecration.
               In terms of sanctification as a gift, explicated by Barabas for twenty-one pages,[14] Keswick teaches that we are “asked . . . to accept holiness by faith in the same way that we accept justification by faith.”[15]  According to “Keswick, we are not sanctified by self-effort or by works, but by faith in what Christ has done for us at Calvary.  Sanctification, like justification, is by grace alone.”[16]  Keswick affirms that “if we wish to make any progress in holiness, we have to give up belief in the value of self-effort in holiness. . . . sanctification . . . is not something for which we have to struggle or strive[.] . . . Sanctification is primarily and fundamentally ‘neither an achievement nor a process, but a gift, a divine bestowal of a position in Christ.’”[17]  It is “the heart and essence . . . of Keswick teaching . . . [that] [f]reedom from the dominion of sin is a blessing that we may claim by faith, just as we accept pardon.”[18]  Since believers are “identified with Christ in His death to sin . . . [they] need no longer serve sin,”[19] although it is supposedly possible for “all Christians . . . [to] be in terrible bondage . . . under the power of sin.”[20]  They “have a legal right to be free,” however, and obtain “[d]eliverance . . . not . . . by struggle and painful effort, by earnest resolutions and self-denial, but . . . by simple faith.”[21]  The “special message . . at Keswick . . . [is that it] is possible to serve sin again, but not necessary, for Christ has freed us.”[22]  This “freedom is only potential . . . [and] Keswick leaders often say that God’s method of sanctification is not suppression or eradication, but counteraction.”[23]  Keswick reproduced the teaching of Broadlands, Oxford, and Brighton[24] to affirm that the sinfulness within the believer “is something fixed and permanent, and will remain in us as long as we live. . . . The principle of counteraction is . . . basic to Keswick teaching.”[25]  The “locus classicus on” the Keswick doctrine of sanctification as gift is “Romans vi.”[26]  As the Holy Spirit counteracts indwelling sin in the Christian, the believer “ceases from his own struggles to live a holy life, and enters the ‘rest of faith’ . . . the secret of perfect and constant victory over temptation.”[27]  Thus, “the heart and core of Keswick teaching is its doctrine of sanctification by faith. . . . The Keswick position,”[28] which is derived from Hannah W. Smith,[29] “is that in Scripture sanctification comes by faith, and not in any other way.”[30]  According to Keswick, for a believer to be sanctified he must:  1.) recognize the truth of the Keswick doctrine, “the scriptural method of progressive sanctification,”; 2.) have “proper faith,” which involves “the believer’s consent to die to every fleshly desire in him,” and 3.) “hand over the fleshly deeds of the body to the Spirit for mortification . . . Romans 8:13 . . . [and] stand in faith in the knowledge that he died to sin in Christ at Calvary.  It is the Holy Spirit’s responsibility to do the rest. Sanctification is thus the result, not of attempts at suppression of the flesh, but of faith in the finished work of Calvary.”[31]  Such is Keswick’s method for receiving sanctification as a gift.
The process aspect of sanctification, which is dependent in the Keswick theology upon experiencing the sanctification crisis and receiving of sanctification as a gift, is discussed by Barabas on half a page.[32]  Barabas discusses sanctification as a crisis for over twenty pages, and sanctification as gift for over twenty pages.  Why only a tiny discussion of sanctification as a process on one-half of one page?  This huge contrast exists because, for Keswick, “Sanctification is primarily and fundamentally ‘neither an achievement nor a process, but a gift[.’]”[33]  Little emphasis is placed upon sanctification as a process because Keswick believes that through the course of the Christian life the “indwelling tendency to sin . . . is as fixed and constant as any of the laws of nature,”[34] so that “purity can become a maintained condition, but never a state,”[35] the “tendency to evil” being merely “counteracted”[36] but left entirely unchanged, and “the tendency to sin [being] . . . simply counteracted.”[37]  Victory over sin, Keswick affirms, “is not a question of progressive attainment.”[38]  Little emphasis is placed upon sanctification as a process because there is little or nothing that actually changes within the believer.  Keswick believes that it “is astonishing that theologians have not seen this”[39] theology of counteraction and rejection of actual inward renewal in the Bible.
               While Keswick is correct and commendable in calling believers to surrender themselves completely to God, in its emphasis upon the believer’s union with Christ, and in its affirmation that strength to grow spiritually is derived from the Lord Jesus through the Holy Spirit, there are serious problems with the Keswick doctrine of sanctification as crisis, gift, and process.  First, it is certainly true that when a believer is deliberately allowing, tolerating, and positively regarding sin in his life his growth in holiness will be greatly hindered or even reversed.  However, it is not true that real steps in sanctification cannot take place before a post-conversion crisis, nor that “God’s blessing of deliverance from the power of sin is not to be had” until such a crisis takes place.[40]  On the contrary, all Christians are delivered from the power of sin.  It is not true, as Keswick affirms, that “all Christians . . . [can] be in terrible bondage . . . under the power of sin”[41] or that, as Hannah W. Smith taught[42] and Keswick proclaims, Christian “freedom [from sin] is only potential.”[43]  To state that, for Christians, “our individual self is entirely and completely under the power of sin”[44] is flatly false.  Since believers are “not under the law, but under grace,” God promises that “sin shall not have dominion” over them (Romans 6:14).  Such freedom is not merely potential, but actual.  Romans six does not establish the mere possibility of freedom from sin for the Christian, but establishes that all Christians are indeed free from the bondage of sin, and as a result, they will—not merely may—grow in holiness.  The commands to the believer in Romans six to reckon and yield are not based upon a mere possibility of change, but upon a certain promise—grace guarantees that sin “shall not” dominate them.  Keswick, adopting the emphasis and Broadlands teaching of Hannah W. Smith,[45] affirms that death to sin and spiritual life are not in any sense a practical reality until, by an act of reckoning, the Higher Life is entered into.  Scripture, on the contrary, commands a believer to reckon himself dead to sin and alive to God because he already is so and is already freed from the dominion of sin and under the reign of grace (Romans 6:11, 14).  The power and promises God made in the New Covenant ratified in Christ’s blood secure the certainty of the believer’s sanctification.  The Keswick doctrine of a merely potential deliverance from sin for the saint is far too weak.

See here for this entire study.





[1]              Pg. 85, So Great Salvation, Barabas.  Barabas states on the same page that Keswick accepts the classical doctrine that “experimental sanctification is the day-by-day transformation of the believer into the image of Christ, and is progressive in nature.  Beginning at regeneration, it continues all through life, but is never complete.”  However, the description of sanctification as process, crisis, and gift is “more characteristic of Keswick” and is “more often” employed than the classical doctrine.
[2]              Pg. 99, Chapter 5, The Law of Liberty in the Spiritual Life, by Evan Hopkins.  Barabas indicates his dependence upon Hopkins’s exposition (pg. 85, So Great Salvation).  Hopkins’s “discussion of ‘God’s Gift of Holiness’” at Keswick in 1899 was also “quoted at length by Steven Barabas, in So Great Salvation” (pgs. 404-405, Keswick’s Authentic Voice, ed. Stevenson; the actual address by Hopkins follows on pgs. 436-442).
[3]              Barabas states:  “Much is made by Keswick of sanctification as a crisis.  It is true, Keswick says, that sanctification invariably begins at regeneration.  There can be no question about this.  On the other hand, many Christians do not make the progress in sanctification that they should. . . . For this reason real progress is often not made until they come to a spiritual crisis” (pg. 86, So Great Salvation).
[4]              Pgs. 108-127, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[5]              Pg. 110, So Great Salvation, Barabas.  Keswick writers do indeed regularly affirm such a crisis/process model; for example, Watchman Nee wrote that sanctification “usually takes the two-fold form of a crisis leading to a continuous process” (“A Gate and a Path,” The Normal Christian Life, Watchman Nee).
[6]              See, e. g., Hannah W. Smith’s preaching of Keswick’s crisis-process model on pgs. 125ff., The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.  Robert proclaimed at Oxford:
It is to bring you to a crisis of faith that we have come together[.] . . . We preach this, not as a finality, but as the only true commencement of a life of progress[.] . . . [T]he Rest of Faith . . . is not a finality but the true and only commencement of a life of progressive sanctification. . . . It was constantly pointed out that, so far from [the Higher Life] being the finality of Christian experience, it was but the commencement of a course of “progressive sanctification[.]” (pgs. 42, 51, 278-279, 332, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago:  Revell, 1874.  Italics in original.)
[7]              Pg. 114-115, So Great Salvation, Barabas.  Compare the belief of Evan Hopkins in “the crisis that prefaced the process . . . the crisis must take place before the process has its beginning” (pgs. 56, 94-95, Evan Harry Hopkins:  A Memoir, Alexander Smellie).
[8]              Pgs. 109-110, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[9]              Pgs. 116-117, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[10]             Pg. 109, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[11]             Pg. 112, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[12]             Pg. 116, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[13]             Pg. 125, So Great Salvation, Barabas.  Interestingly, Barabas wrote concerning this crisis decision:  “For many people the crisis is prolonged—perhaps even over years—and the decision is made piecemeal; for some there are stages in the crisis and in the decision[.] . . . The decision is the inescapable condition of progressive sanctification” (pgs. 124-125).  One wonders what state the person is in who makes the decision piecemeal and in stages; is he still a carnal Christian, has he ascended to the Higher Life of the spiritual Christian, or is he a third type, the carnal/spiritual Christian, a sort of half-and-half that has both not yet met the condition that begins progressive sanctification and yet has also met it, so that progressive sanctification can begin and yet has not begun?  Note that this carnal/spiritual Christian has, because he has surrended much, but not yet all, of his life to God, made progress in sanctification, as he is certainly further along than the alleged category of Christian that is still totally in charge of his own life.  However, although he is further along, since he has not yet fully surrendered, he still cannot even begin the process of progressive sanctification, according to Barabas.  Barabas’s contradictory arguments are just another example of the fact that “Keswick furnishes us with no carefully prepared, weighty discourses of a theological nature” (pg. 51).  His contradictions, unintelligibility, and incoherence are good Keswick teaching.
[14]             Pgs. 86-107, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[15]             Pg. 86, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[16]             Pg. 86, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[17]             Pg. 88, So Great Salvation, Barabas.  Barabas quotes Ruth Paxson, Life on the Highest Plane, Vol. II, pg. 107.
[18]             Pg. 89, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[19]             Pg. 89, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[20]             Pg. 90, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[21]             Pg. 90, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[22]             Pg. 92, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[23]             Pg. 94, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[24]             For example, the Oxford Convention set forth the Keswick doctrine of counteraction:
The natural tendency of Peter was to sink [when walking on the water].  Jesus counteracted this, and Peter walked on the water until he took his eye off from Jesus and looked at the waves.  Our tendency by nature is to sin, but faith in Jesus meets this tendency to evil [and] . . . brings into operation the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, which sets us free from the law of sin and death. (pg. 53, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago:  Revell, 1874)
Thus, for Keswick, as at Oxford, there is no actual growth in the believer’s inward holiness—indwelling sin is not eradicated, but only counteracted, so that the Higher Life keeps one above water but devoid of any actual progress.
[25]             Pg. 95, So Great Salvation, Barabas.  Compare the teaching at the Oxford Convention:
[S]ettle it once for all that we shall never find anything good in ourselves of any kind whatsoever.  Christians are apt to think they can have stocks of virtues laid up in themselves [that is, that God actually makes them holy in progressive sanctification, but this is false.] . . . God’s way is . . . just like drawing on a bank.  Our money is in the bank, not in our pockets.  God never gives us anything [inwardly.] . . . We get up each morning with nothing, and we go to bed with nothing. (pgs. 302-304, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago:  Revell, 1874)
[26]             Pg. 89, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[27]             Pg. 95, So Great Salvation, Barabas.  It is noteworthy that an examination of the personal journals of T. D. Harford-Battersby, co-founder and chairman of the Keswick convention, “do not bear witness to unfailing victory, to neverbroken peace,” but to a kind of spiritual life that is entirely consistent with the classical Baptist and old evangelical view of Romans 7:14-25 (pgs. 188ff., Memoir of T. D. Harford-Battersby, Harford).  Mr. Harford-Battersby’s private journal was more honest about the continuing reality and influence of indwelling sin in the regenerate than was the public preaching of the Keswick theology.
[28]             Pg. 100, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[29]             Mrs. Smith wrote:  “We can do nothing . . . [o]ur only part . . . is to stop working” (Journal, 1867, reproduced in the entry for March 26 of The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, Hannah W. Smith, ed. Dieter).  Compare Evan Roberts’s exhortation to be “simply trusting and not trying,” a maxim on sanctification that was also adopted by Pentecostalism (pg. 65, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan).
[30]             Pg. 100, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[31]             Pgs. 106-107, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[32]             Pg. 85, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[33]             Pg. 88, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[34]             Pg. 47, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[35]             Pg. 47, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[36]             Pg. 49, So Great Salvation, Barabas.  Keswick theology often affirms that Romans 6:6 does not actually teach that the body of sin is progressively, through mortification, “destroyed,” but that it is merely “counteracted.”  As noted in the discussion above in the section “The Body of Sin Is Indeed Destroyed, Not Merely Counteracted,” this conclusion of Keswick is false.
[37]             Pg. 49, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[38]             Pg. 96, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[39]             Pg. 104, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[40]             Pg. 109, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[41]             Pg. 90, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[42]             E. g., pg. 128, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[43]             Pg. 94, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[44]             Pg. 139, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
[45]             E. g., pg. 128, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.