To Bob Foster:
> Please note that I decided to share with the Session here at SGC my
> correspondence with you.
And please note that I am sharing this e-mail with Bill Parker, John Pedersen, Mark McCulley, and the outsidethecamp egroup. [And now on the outsidethecamp web site -mdc]
Since the Session at Sovereign Grace Church (Gettysburg) knows what you have written and have not disciplined you for it, your church, at the very least tolerates your views, and at the most believes your views. Since Pedersen has said many times that tolerating something is the same as believing it, Pedersen's and SGC's toleration of your views indicates belief of your views. (Pedersen even admitted that he commits the sin of tolerating the false gospel of Arminianism; and since Pedersen admits that toleration = belief, then he said that he commits the sin of believing Arminianism.)
> Consequently, this is my last letter to you
> (unless you repent)
I should have known. You pulled a Pedersen on me. Just when things start to get to where the rubber meets the road, the "I'm all done with you" sign comes out. So be it. You have already said enough for godly people to judge you lost and SGC a synagogue of Satan.
So let's get into what you said to me in your latest letter.
<<So you're saying that a person can confess belief in universal atonement, and you would withhold judgment until you warned them and saw if they repented. And if they repented, then you believe that this person was regenerate while he was confessing belief in universal atonement. Am I getting it right?>>
<<How many times must you warn a person and the person does not repent before you judge the person lost? 1 time? 7 times? 50 times? 1000 times?>>
And you wrote these astounding words:
<<Marc, my concern isn't a need to know if someone is saved or lost at a given point in time. My concern is to call people to repentance when what they confess isn't keeping with the gospel (Ezekiel 14:6; 18:30; Matt. 4:17; Mark 1:15; 6:12).>>
<<I don't understand why you are so inclined towards making the judgment of who is and who isn't lost. It's just not a biblical emphasis.>>
If somebody would have told me back when I first read some of Pedersen's writings and began corresponding with him that a member of Sovereign Grace Church believed and confessed such things as what you said above, I would have said, "No way." Now I can see that this is what you and Pedersen and SGC believe. Your concern isn't a need to know if someone is saved or lost at a given point in time. You believe that making judgments of who is and who isn't lost it is not a biblical emphasis. WOW. This sounds just like the tolerant Calvinism you claim to abhor. A tolerant Calvinist couldn't have said it better. And, here I am, as hard as it is to believe, telling a member of Sovereign Grace Church that making judgments IS a biblical emphasis. In fact, if one does not judge those who confess a false gospel to be lost, one is not regenerate. The Holy Spirit convinces His people of sin, righteousness, and JUDGMENT. You have obviously not been convinced of judgment. Do I have to go over the Scripture verses with you that I go over with tolerant Calvinists? I guess I do, since you have shown yourself to be a tolerant Calvinist.
"Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24).
"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man" (1 Corinthians 2:14-15).
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. ... Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them" (Matthew 7:15-20).
"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers" (2 Corinthians 6:14).
"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1).
If you do not judge anyone to be a false prophet, how are you to beware of false prophets? If you do not judge anyone to be an unbeliever, how are you to obey the command to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers?
Things are starting to come together. A while back, I gave Pedersen a list of names and asked him if they were lost. He never answered me.
<<Isn't it enough to call people to repentance who are in sin? Isn't telling them that if they don't repent that they should fear for their souls, enough? Isn't it enough to tell people who hold on to sin that they are not biblical Christians?>>
NO, IT IS NOT ENOUGH. In fact, IT IS NOT BIBLICAL. You are doing three things here:
(1) You are legalistically telling others that they are in danger of hell when they hold on to sin. You are using fear of punishment to motivate people to repent. EVERY BELIEVER holds on to sin. To tell him that if he continues to hold on to sin he is in danger of hell is PURE LEGALISM.
(2) You are implying that YOU (and every true believer) *ALWAYS* repent when you are confronted with a particular sin. And from what you and Pedersen have said in previous letters, you give a person NO ASSURANCE if they do not repent of something you believe is sin. This is a DENIAL of salvation by the work of Christ alone.
(3) If a person confesses a false gospel, you are NOT telling that person that he is lost; instead, you are "withholding judgment" while you call that person to repentance. This INCLUDES your attitude toward those who confess the false gospel of Arminianism. See below:
<<Isn't it enough that when we confront Arminian confessions (explicit, or implicit), that we tell them that unless they repent then what they say is what they believe, and absent repentance they will suffer an eternity in hell? Why does it have to be more than that with you?>>
Again, if I had heard a few years ago that a member of SGC confessed this, I would have been very doubtful. This is so blatantly satanic I can't begin to describe the horrific nature of this statement. I will answer your questions.
IT IS MORE THAN THAT BECAUSE I JUDGE BY GOD'S TESTIMONY. And ANYONE who is confronted with an Arminian confession (and you even say it can be explicit!!) who DOES NOT judge that person lost is obviously a child of the Devil. And here you are, a member of John Pedersen's Sovereign Grace Church, a church that claims to be so intolerant of Arminians, saying that YOU DO NOT judge one who brings an Arminian confession to be lost!!! So your (and Pedersen's) "intolerance" of Arminians does not go so far as to judge someone who brings an Arminian confession to be lost; it is merely "intolerant" of that confession by calling the person to repentance and NOT judging that person to be lost. This confirms what I have been saying for some time now about John Pedersen, even though Pedersen claims that I have misrepresented him (yet he never has given me a single Carpenter quote that supposedly misrepresents him): John Pedersen and his church are subtle promoters of The Lie. They say that Arminians are lost, but when they confront someone who is confessing an Arminian gospel, they do not judge that person lost; instead, they say that "he is speaking as an Arminian would speak." Same goes for the confessions of A.A. Hodge and John Robbins. Sovereign Grace Church is a bunch of tolerant Calvinists who claim to be intolerant because, after all, they call all who confess a false gospel to repentance. What they DO NOT do is judge all who confess a false gospel to be LOST.
<<Your need to proclaim someone lost doesn't lend itself to a disposition that fears adding one's own judgments to the Judgment of God (Phil. 2:12, 13).>>
Oh, yet another tolerant Calvinist statement! I've heard it so many times before by those who tolerate and promote The Lie: "I don't judge saved or lost, because God alone is the Judge, and I don't want to add my judgments to the Judgment of God." GOD'S PEOPLE JUDGE.
By saying, "Your need to proclaim someone lost," you are saying that you DO NOT need to proclaim ANYONE lost!
<<What you are doing Marc lends itself to the mind set that boasts in one's own righteousness --you are able to keep a list of how many people were "saved" under your ministry.>>
I do not keep such a list. I have no desire to keep such a list. I do not boast in my own righteousness.
Quote from a previous letter from Bob: "2) If by the word 'believe', you mean can a regenerate person truly believe (from the heart) a false gospel of universal atonement, I would have to say no."
<<Arminians believe that there is a cooperation between God and man in the Christian life. They believe that the nature of regenerated man, having been changed upon regeneration has a kind of remnant sin (sin that is not of the same quality as the sin prior to one's regeneration). They also believe that with the Spirit's help that they are becoming more holy; more like Christ. The irony of it all is that this is exactly what so called "reformed" believers believe about sanctification. Like their Arminian brothers, they believe in progressive sanctification (a changed nature that becomes more holy). And that is what it appears that you believe about sanctification Marc. It appears that that is what you believe, even though the scriptures testify against your confession.>>
I do not believe in progressive sanctification (where believers get more and more sanctified). Believers are full-fledged saints the moment they are regenerated.
Regarding a believer's sin, I agree with Herman Hoeksema: "Even when he sins, he sins differently from the purely natural man."
<<I do believe that it is possible for a regenerate person to confess a false gospel of universal atonement.>>
DO YOU OTHER READERS SEE WHAT BOB IS SAYING??!!!! THIS IS FROM SOVEREIGN GRACE CHURCH IN GETTYSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA!!!!
<<Marc, unless you repent in keeping with the gospel, you are lost.>>
Yet you cannot judge me lost, because you never know when I'll repent. Same with those who confess an Arminian gospel. You cannot judge them lost, because you never know when they'll repent.
And you and Pedersen believe that EVERY SIN is JUST LIKE the sin of confessing an Arminian gospel. You make no distinctions between sins. So if you see someone who believes a false doctrine in ANY area, including ecclesiology or baptism or eschatology or the regulative principle or WHATEVER, you have to call them to repentance and tell them that unless they repent, they are lost. Further down, you said the following regarding Bill Parker's view that there are certain things that are repented of at conversion that are never repented of again, like dead works and FORMER idolatry:
<< I do believe that he has not been clear about Christian sanctification, but I am confident that Bill would change his mind when his error (sinful error) is exposed.>>
<<If Bill, when all is said and done, believes as you and there is no repentance of His sin against God, then I would not give him any assurance that he is a believer.>>
Okay, Bob. Go for it. In fact, since you have seen his sinful error, you MUST confront Bill Parker with this if you are consistent. After all, why should you single me out for a call to repentance and leave Bill Parker alone? You've never met me; you have met Bill. So you should confront him with this as soon as possible. And you must say that if he does not repent of this sinful error, he is lost. Will you do this? Or are you afraid you might have to warn Bill Parker that he should fear for his soul if he does not repent? Let's see if you put your convictions into action or if you're just a windbag full of words.
<<You on the other hand are not, by what you confess, accounting for the "new creation" by way of the righteousness of Christ alone. You may use a lot of the right wording, but it doesn't mean anything at all if you end up denying what truth you affirm by holding onto that which assumes its opposite. And that's what you do when you hold onto a confession that says that the sinful nature of regenerate man is NOT still totally depraved.>>
Your view is that you have an "old nature" that is totally depraved and that actually BELIEVES the false gospel. Here's a quote from a previous e-mail:
<<I have the old nature and my old nature is always in the service of the creature..it can only believe the lie. The old nature always believes a false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner.>>
From this heretical view, it is now easy to see why you and Pedersen believe that a Christian can confess a false gospel. It's because the Christian's "old nature" BELIEVES (and can ONLY BELIEVE) the false gospel!!! And so when the Christian's "old nature" wins out for a time, there comes the confession of the false gospel! The confession of the false gospel comes from the "old nature's" belief of the false gospel. I think this is fundamental to sorting out what the Sovereign Grace Church people believe. The Sovereign Grace Church people believe that they have, inside themselves, some entity that CAN ONLY BELIEVE THE FALSE GOSPEL OF SALVATION CONDITIONED ON THE SINNER. This explains A LOT.
Quote from a previous letter from Bob:
<<Marc, according to your doctrine, are Christians who grumble still Christians? If they repent of their grumbling, is that the point in which they became Christians?>>
<<Answer to first question: yes.
Answer to second question: no.
And a question for you related to this: Until a Christian repents of his grumbling, does he have no assurance of salvation?>>
And here is how Bob responded to this. Now think about this carefully. Look at what I asked Bob. Now look at his response:
<<I think that Heb. 10:26 and following will answer this for you:
"26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord. And again, 'The LORD will judge His people.' 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.">>
In essence, Bob's answer to my question, "Until a Christian repents of his grumbling, does he have no assurance of salvation?", is YES!!
<<And I also agree with the Bible that Christians do the good works (e.g., Titus 3:8; Hebrews 10:24; Revelation 2:9)>>
<<What you just said has the effect of saying, "Yes, salvation is all of God and no me, but, you still have to do something.">>
I think any of you who have any sense would see the error in Bob's view. Bill Parker has refuted this kind of thinking many times.
<<Every time you sin (most of our day is sin) you are presuming on the grace of God.>>
MOST of our day is sin? So there is SOME of your day in which you live up to the standard of perfect righteousness? And people call ME a perfectionist?
Bob -- you are lost. You are dead in your sins. I call on you to repent and believe the gospel. This is not the Pedersenesque repentance I'm talking about (wherein I do not judge you to be lost); this is evangelical repentance that every believer is given upon conversion. I judge you and Pedersen to be lost by God's Testimony. And I hope and pray that God will give you a new heart and cause that great change of which you have not yet been a part. And if God is pleased to make you a new creature in Christ, you will see that you and all believers cannot confess a false gospel and that you must judge all who confess a false gospel to be lost. As of now, you remain a lost tolerant Calvinist, blinded to the fact that you are participating in what you think you are fighting against.
Soli Deo Gloria,
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