What you have written regarding your conversion and later life is disturbing. You say you were converted in 1952. Yet you also say that you went through things like Spiritism, Unity, Liberalism, Mysticism, Fundamentalism, YFC, Scofieldism, Phariseeism, and Neo-Orthodoxy. AFTER you were converted?
You said, "So somewhere in July or August, I became a real believer in Jesus. Of course, my knowledge was zilch, but I had life and I was growing." There's NO SUCH THING as being a believer and having no knowledge. EVERY BELIEVER knows and believes the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ. Had you ever heard of imputation when you supposedly became a real believer in Jesus? Had you ever heard of that righteousness whereby God is just to justify the ungodly? The Bible says this about knowledge:
"And this is life eternal, that they might KNOW thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (Jn. 17:3). What KNOWLEDGE is involved in KNOWING God and Christ, which is eternal life?
"And ye shall KNOW the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). What is the TRUTH that God's people KNOW that sets them free?
"... they have no KNOWLEDGE that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray to a god that cannot save" (Is. 45:20b). What is this KNOWLEDGE that these idolaters are missing?
"For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to KNOWLEDGE" (Rm. 10:2). What is this KNOWLEDGE that these lost religionists are missing?
"But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. ... For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the KNOWLEDGE of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. 4:3-6). What is this LIGHT that the lost people BLINDED to? What is the light of the KNOWLEDGE of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ that has shined in believer's hearts?
"But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of DOCTRINE which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became servants of righteousness" (Romans 6:17-18). What is that DOCTRINE that believers believed when they were made free from sin?
Here are some other quotes from you that are disturbing:
"The Pastor asked me if I would like to go to their Rushville Revival Camp meeting. So I went. As I remember years later, that this was probably my first experience publicly with God." This Free Methodist Revival was the place that you experienced God?? No way. God was not experienced; ANTI-GOD was experienced.
"So I left B.J.ism and SBC doubletalk, and became a full blown heretic by joining the ABC/USA." And this was AFTER your supposed conversion. This tells me a lot.
"From 1978 to 1995 I was taught by the Holy Spirit the real Biblical Predestinarian Faith!" So from 1952 to 1978, you DID NOT know the real Biblical Predestinarian Faith. And yet you claim to have been saved in 1952.
"I knew that God called me at the age of 17 to be a pastor while I was a Campbellite." God called you to be a pastor WHILE you were still in the Campbellite heresy??
"I was reimmersed into the Arminian System." AFTER regeneration, you claim.
"I agreed with the Roman Road, got on my knees and prayed the 'sinners prayer.'" And this was 6 months AFTER your regeneration, you claim.
"The next day, I was not able to curse or take the Lord's name in vain. ... But this is the date that I use to tell people my 'before and after' conversion experience. ... Since I stopped cursing, I had the God-change." So you're saying that the day you walked the aisle and prayed the sinner's prayer, you were "converted," and the next day, you couldn't curse. And you claim that your not being able to curse is EVIDENCE of salvation. What hogwash. BELIEF IN THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST is evidence of salvation, not some reformation of character and conduct.
"In light of my real conversion during July 1952, I had to have a 'church ritual' conversion to satisfy the members of Overlea. As Betty Hartman said, 'We knew that you were not saved, because you had not gone forward to accept Jesus.'" So, instead of REJECTING this like any true Christian would do, you went ahead with it to satisfy the God-haters at Overlea.
So, to conclude, if you believe that you imbibed all this heresy AFTER you were regenerated, then you are STILL lost. If I've misunderstood, please write back to clear things up.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Marc D. Carpenter
So - you "grew" from believing in baptismal regeneration into believing biblical regeneration. So - you "grew" from believing the false gospels of Spiritism, Campbellism, Unity, Fundamentalism, Mysticism, Zen, and Neo-orthodoxy into believing the true gospel. Thus, you CANNOT judge ANY Spiritist, Campbellite, Unity advocate, Fundamentalist, Mysticist, Zen advocate, or Neo-orthodox LOST, because you say that YOU YOURSELF were regenerate while in these God-hating synagogues of Satan. What a bunch of hogwash. You are obviously lost. You claim to be so hard-line, yet in your own personal experience, you believe that you remained ignorant of the true gospel after regeneration. You are just as lost as the tolerant Calvinists. You tolerate even more than they do.
After reading all those passages on KNOWLEDGE I gave you, you say that you "knew nil & grew." Then you raise the straw man of "Calvinism" and "Calvin's Institutes." You even ask if I pray to Calvin. These are the words of a man who has lost the argument. I am not a Calvinist; in fact, I believe that Calvin was unregenerate, since he espoused universal atonement (I have quotes). I believe that Toplady was lost, since he spoke peace to Arminian (I have the quote). What do you want to say about that, you liar? The KNOWLEDGE that God gives His people immediately upon regeneration is the knowledge of Christ's PERSON and Christ's WORK. You call me a Judaizer for saying this. Just more slanderous drivel. In response to the Scriptures on KNOWLEDGE, you say "Jesus." But your Fundamentalist and Neo-orthodox "Jesus" did not demand and ensure the salvation of all whom He represented. And to claim that you knew the true Jesus while believing such trash shows that you still do not know who the true Jesus is.
You said, "You took years to learn your faith." I didn't take years to learn what the true gospel is. I learned it IMMEDIATELY upon regeneration, just as every believer learns it. You said, "now you demand instant understanding." Yes - there is some understanding that is INSTANT. For God says that before regeneration, we had no knowledge, and upon regeneration, He imparts knowledge. You said, "& no growth to learn the truth." Now in many areas, a Christian has a need to grow. But THE GOSPEL IS NOT ONE OF THESE AREAS. Jesus said in Matthew 16:16 that those who do not believe the gospel are lost. The Holy Spirit said in Romans 10:3 that those who are ignorant of the righteousness of God are lost. Yet YOU dare to disagree with God and say, "No - I wasn't lost when I was ignorant of the righteousness of God. I wasn't lost when I didn't believe the gospel. I grew from believing the false gospel into believing the true gospel." This is an ABOMINATION to God.
You said that you "heard Jesus; not the free will sermon" at the Revival Camp Meeting. You give John 10 as proof. So what you're saying is that the voice of Jesus was at that Revival Camp Meeting, even though this "Jesus" was the one who died for all without exception. Again, this shows that you have never heard the voice of the true Jesus.
You claim to have come out of mysticism, yet you promote ignorance and mysticism by saying that one can know Jesus without knowing doctrine. Pray tell, Ed, what is a doctrine-less Jesus? It is NO JESUS AT ALL. One cannot know Christ without knowing THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST. And if one does not know THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST, then that person is lost (2 John 9). You said that you "had Jesus, not correct theology." The only way one can judge if one has Jesus is by one's DOCTRINE. If you have incorrect theology about the gospel of Jesus Christ, you DID NOT and NEVER HAD and STILL DO NOT HAVE the true Jesus. Belief in universal atonement is belief in salvation conditioned on the sinner. You believed that what made the ultimate difference between heaven and hell was NOT the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone; instead, what made the difference between heaven and hell was THE WORK OF THE SINNER. "Incorrect theology" in this case is DEADLY. So -- what of the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses and Buddhists and Muslims and Hindus, Ed? After all, they just have a little "incorrect theology." I guess you'd count as a brother someone who said that he was regenerate when he made his journey through Mormonism or JW-ism; after all, he "heard Jesus, not the Mormonism or JW-ism." You must think that some JW's are saved, because they know Jesus but are just incorrect in their theology of Christ's deity. Theology doesn't matter, right? It's Jesus without theology, right?
Ed, you are yet dead in your sins. All of your "journey" through all these false religions was just the journey of a lost man going from one false gospel to another. The fact that you do not count your former religion as DUNG shows that you really believe that it contained the true Jesus by which you were saved. As long as you hang onto your "journey" and do not count it as filth for the dung heap, you will continue to bring forth dead works and fruit unto death. Even your "TULIP-loving" is an abomination to God. Ed, you are getting old now. You won't be on this earth very much longer. And your entire life has been a waste. You have gone from one false religion to the next, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. You don't even think knowledge of the truth is something every believer has! You have this mystical, undefinable "Jesus" without doctrine, and this "Jesus" will lead you straight into hell. Think about this, as your life comes to an end. If you continue to reject the true Jesus, you will end up burning in hell forever.
Anyone who believes in a false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner is lost, and anyone who speaks peace to such a one (including speaking peace to yourself when you were in those false gospels) is lost - 2 John 9-11. Think about it. Repent and believe the gospel.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Marc D. Carpenter
E-mails, Forums, and Letters