To whom it may concern:
I can't let John Pedersen's e-mail go unchallenged. There are many of you on this cc list whom I have never met and have never heard of, so I assume your impressions of my accusations against Pedersen have come from the ... um ... should I say, "slanted" views of Pedersen. So all I ask is for you to hear me out.
<<Jim has fled into the arms of Marc Carpenter>>
Oh, really? Have you any proof of this? Of course not. I have no affiliation or fellowship with James Kirby. I only found out that he had left Sovereign Grace Church from his posts to the Clark List. So here's just a blatant lie. But I would expect nothing different from John Pedersen.
<<Marc Carpenter, a slanderer>>
Oh, really? Have you any proof for your accusation that I am a slanderer? Of course not. You have yet to disprove even one of the accusations I have made against you. You cry "slander," yet you have not presented a single shred of evidence that what I have said about you is untrue.
Let us first go through the accusations I made in the article www.outsidethecamp.org/noprcsgceagc.htm .
I said that you believe that regenerate people need to repent of tolerating the false gospel. Do you believe this, or do you not believe this?
I said that you believe that A.A. Hodge could have been a regenerate man when he made the blasphemous statement that the Arminian party "holds all essential truth," that Arminianism is "necessary to restrain, correct, and supply the one-sided strain" of Calvinism, and that Arminianism and Calvinism "together give origin to the blended strain from which issues the perfect music which utters the perfect truth." Do you believe this, or do you not believe this?
I said that you publicly rebuked me for judging John Robbins to be unregenerate when John Robbins stated that an Arminian can be orthodox in his view of justification and that not all who believe in universal atonement are unregenerate. Did you do this, or did you not do this?
I said that you believe that regenerate persons can and do tolerate, believe, and confess the false gospel and need to continually repent of these sins. Do you believe this, or do you not believe this?
I said that you believe that the "flesh" of a believer is constantly believing and confessing the lie, is constantly unsubmitted to the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel, and is constantly following a stranger (a false christ). Do you believe this, or do you not believe this?
I said that in an article in the "Encounter With Christ" newsletter, you wrote the following: "Many 'Calvinists' defend Arminianism as a legitimate expression of Biblical Christianity, 'rough edges' notwithstanding. By doing so, such 'Calvinists,' by their toleration of Arminian doctrine, implicitly endorse and believe it. The sober truth is this: whatever people may call themselves, if they tolerate and endorse the teaching of Arminianism, they lend support to the satanic lie of human sovereignty. When such persons are aware of this grave sin, they need to repent and forsake it. I pray that such repentance will ensue, and that I will continually repent of this sin." Did you write this, or did you not write this?
I said that in this quote, you show that you believe that this "repentance" of tolerating and believing the false gospel of Arminianism is something that you yourself need to engage in continually. Do you believe this, or do you not believe this?
I said that in this quote, you believe that you tolerate Arminian doctrine and thus implicitly endorse and believe it. Do you believe this, or do you not believe this?
I said that you believe that a regenerate person can confess a false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner. Do you believe this, or do you not believe this?
I said that you will still say that Arminians are lost but will also say that a regenerate person can "speak as an unregenerate person would speak." Do you say this, or do you not say this?
Come on, John. Offer some proof for once.
Now for more of your statements:
<<Of course, you know very well that I believe it is possible for regenerate persons to be guilty of the act of confessing a false gospel, and to require repentance for this act.>>
Did you write this, or did you not write this?
You wrote this about A.A. Hodge:
<<I do believe that it is appropriate to recognize a distinction between occasions of sinful expression (which plague all believers until the resurrection) and sinful expression as unremitting practice, which the Scriptures teach is contrary to the life of the Spirit ... I do not believe that the statement of A.A. Hodge conforms to the biblical confession of the gospel. It is a statement of false doctrine. In the light of the life-or-death issue it addresses, it is certainly something which calls for rebuke and repentance. Hodge, in making it, was promoting Satan's lie. Is it necessary for me at this point to say that he was unregenerate at the time he made the statement? I have heard Marc to say yes. I would rather say that I believe that Hodge said something that was un-Christian. He spoke as an unbeliever would speak.>>
Did you write this, or did you not write this?
When I asked you for further explanation, you wrote this:
<<When you start to grade greater and lesser offenses in doctrine and absolve the lesser while propounding a certain conclusion on the greater, you arrogate an authority to your private judgment which does not belong to you as an individual in distinction from the collective verdict of the Church. It is one thing to say that something a person says is against the gospel and is, for this reason, Satanic. It is something else to say that on the basis of a certain statement, the person is unregenerate.>>
Did you write this, or did you not write this?
Then you came out with a public statement about A.A. Hodge:
<<My response to the AA.Hodge issue is now in order. On the biblical principle that it is possible for a regenerate person to speak or otherwise act contrary to the gospel (thus sinning, and requiring repentance), I cannot, in good concience, declare with absolute certainty that AA Hodge was unregenerate when he made the statement about Arminianism and Calvinism both being needed to hold one another in check. I can say that such a statement calls for admonition, and may (have) invited the proper conclusion that he was (is) an unregenerate agent of Satan. I can even say that that is the kind of statement an unregenerate agent of Satan could or would make. But I can not proclaim that I absolutely know this to be the case about AA Hodge on the basis of that single statement, and at the time he made it.>>
Did you write this, or did you not write this?
I then asked you a bunch of questions that you never answered, including:
<<3. Can a regenerate person confess the belief that Christ's death atoned for the sins of everyone without exception?
4. Can a regenerate person confess the belief that God chose to save people based on what he foresaw they would do?
5. Can a regenerate person confess belief that unregenerate people can decide to be saved of their own free will?
6. Can a regenerate person confess the belief that some whom God intends to save will resist the Holy Spirit's attempts to save them?
7. Can a regenerate person confess the belief that regenerate people can lose their salvation?
8. Can a regenerate person confess the belief that Islam is the true gospel?
9. Can a regenerate person confess the belief that Buddhism is the true gospel?
10. Can a regenerate person confess the belief that Hinduism is the true gospel?
11. Can a regenerate person confess the belief that Arminianism is the true gospel?
12. Can a regenerate person confess the belief that Mormonism is the true gospel?
13. Can a regenerate person confess the belief that Roman Catholicism is the true gospel?
Can we judge someone to be unregenerate who says:
45. "The difference between Mormonism and Christianity is one of emphasis rather than principle. Each is the complement of the
other. Each is necessary to restrain, correct, and supply the one-sided strain of the other. They together give origin to the blended
strain from which issues the perfect music which utters the perfect truth."
46. "The difference between Islam and Christianity is one of emphasis rather than principle. Each is the complement of the other. Each is
necessary to restrain, correct, and supply the one-sided strain of the other. They together give origin to the blended strain from which issues the perfect music which utters the perfect truth."
47. "The difference between Buddhism and Christianity is one of emphasis rather than principle. Each is the complement of the other. Each is necessary to restrain, correct, and supply the one-sided strain of the other. They together give origin to the blended strain from which issues the perfect music which utters the perfect truth."
48. "The difference between Roman Catholicism and Christianity is one of emphasis rather than principle. Each is the complement of the other. Each is necessary to restrain, correct, and supply the one-sided strain of the other. They together give origin to the blended strain from which issues the perfect music which utters the perfect truth."
49. "The difference between Atheism and Christianity is one of emphasis rather than principle. Each is the complement of the other. Each is necessary to restrain, correct, and supply the one-sided strain of the other. They together give origin to the blended strain from which issues the perfect music which utters the perfect truth."
50. "The difference between Satanism and Christianity is one of emphasis rather than principle. Each is the complement of the other. Each is necessary to restrain, correct, and supply the one-sided strain of the other. They together give origin to the blended strain from which issues the perfect music which utters the perfect truth.">>
Now is another opportunity for you to answer these questions. They are simple questions. Why not just answer them?
(I'll tell you why he won't answer them. He believes that there are no sins that a Christian cannot commit, other than possibly blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Thus, if he answered 3-13 with a "no," he'd be going against his view that there are no sins that a Christian cannot commit. In fact, he believes that to believe that there are some sins a Christian cannot commit is to believe heresy.)
You wrote in your 11/12/02 post:
<< If anyone wants any clarification on any of them, I'd be glad to provide it.>>
Thank you for the invitation. I would like clarification on some of them. The statements are:
"In my flesh I am a God hater."
"The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. We are all God haters in our flesh."
"I do believe that it is possible for a regenerate person to confess a false gospel of universal atonement."
"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."
"but Christians should not forget that, in their flesh, they are adulterers, and Arminians."
"I believe that we are wicked, depraved, and self righteous by nature. When I use the term "nature" I speak of what is natural to us in distinction from the Spirit and his work."
"What you say WILL be true in glorification, but is not yet true."
"I don't believe the law of God is the rule of life for the believer."
"I already indicated to you that the flesh is deceitful as per the description of Jeremiah 17:9, and I think I in good company, not only with Haldane but with Paul, who speaks about deceitful lusts in 4:22 of Ephesians."
Thank you in advance for providing explanation of these things as you said you would.
<<I am thankful that while others (to which Jim alludes in his litany) have left this fellowship over the years, people like Jim are definitely the exception and not the rule.>>
Let's talk about one of the other exceptions. His name is Winnen Russ. Now I knew Winnen when he was one of the most, if not THE most, stauch supporters and promoters of Sovereign Grace Church and John Pedersen there's ever been. Winnen was a missionary to China, and you, John Pedersen, even went over there to visit him. I couldn't think of a stronger supporter of anyone than Winnen was of you. Yet something happened. Winnen left Sovereign Grace Church, calling you a heretic. How could this be? Is it just that he decided one day, "I think I'll slander the person I've been promoting for so long, my best friend"? These accusations don't just come out of nowhere, John. Here's some of what Winnen wrote. He first quoted you:
> John Pedersen:
> "But more particularly and directedly, I guess you could say, the law of
> God is an incidental concern, it is and must be in the life of the
> Christian because the relationship that we have is to the Lord Jesus
> Christ because our obligation to the law has been met, it has been
> fulfilled by Him."
And here are excerpts from Winnen re: Pedersen:
> I quoted a statement that John made that day in his sermon that the law
> of God in the Christian's life is and must be an incidental concern since
> Christ has fulfilled the law on his behalf. John refused to explain how
> this statement is consistent with Christian truth. And John has to this
> day not given the explanation.
> John, your statement is very clear. And just as we don't seek
> clarification when an Arminian says, "I believe Jesus died for all men and
> it is up to the individual's free will as to whether or not he will be a
> Christian," so I believe that the meaning of your statement is equally
> clear. To ask for clarification as to what you mean would be to apply a
> double standard--one for the Arminian and another for you. I would like to
> see not clarification but demonstration as to how your statement is
> consistent with Christian Truth.
> Again, the meaning of the statement is clear and unambiguous, just as the
> meaning of an Arminian in saying that Christ died for every single person
> is clear and unambiguous. John, your unqualified statement is just as
> clear as Don Fortner's unqualified heretical statement that The law of God
> is not the rule of life for the believer. And you are stating the very
> same thing, albeit not as boldly nor unabashedly as Fortner in his
> statement above. Because if the law of God is and must be incidental in
> the life of the believer, then it is impossible for it to be so important
> and unincidental to him as to be the very rule of his life!!
Pedersen responded to these accusations, and here are some excerpts of what Winnen wrote back:
> Double talk, John. You make the clear statement that the law of God is an
> incidental concern in the life of the Christian and then state
> " When I made that statement, I was not saying that the law of God is not
> of vital importance. Indeed, it is of paramount importance to the
> Christian. The law is a rule of righteousness and is a rule of life for
> the Christian."
> Yes, John. I guess we could say that the law of God is such an incidental
> concern in the life of the Christian that it is his very rule of life,
> right? If this is not double talk, then I know not what double talk is.
> You can't have it both ways, John. Either the law of God is of paramount
> concern in the life of the Christian or it is an incidental concern in his
> life. These are irreconcilable opposites.
> The reason I asked John to explain what he meant by his statement that
> "The law of God is an incidental concern in the life of the Christian" was
> to see what he would try to do with such a clear statement. Whether he
> would try and explain it away or whether he would repent of making it. He
> chose the former, just as he has continued to choose to try and explain
> Don Fortner's clear statement away rather than facing the truth that the
> meaning of the statement is crystal clear.
> And so we see why it is that the blatantly heretical statements of Don
> Fortner have gone unexposed for 7 months or so. John Pedersen states below
> that "The law is not our life, even while it can be properly and truly
> said to be a rule of life for us." Don Fortner stated that "The law of God
> is not the rule of life for the believer." John Pedersen has taken up for
> him again and again and has tried to make out to me that Fortner's
> statement was somehow not clear. But John takes it for granted above that
> when he states that the law of God is the rule of life for the Christian,
> his own statement is perfectly clear. You can't have it both ways, John.
Here Winnen Russ saw your equivocation, John, just like James Kirby saw your equivocation. With one side of your mouth, you say that the law is not a rule of life for the Christian, and with the other side of your mouth, you say that the law is a rule of life for the Christian. No wonder when people ask you about my accusations you say just the opposite of what you said to me! No wonder people are confused when they confront you with what you've said to me and you say something in direct opposition to it! You are Mr. Slippery! "Oh, that's not what I said." "Oh, that's not what I meant." "Oh, that's just the opposite of what I believe." You cannot be pinned down, because you say you believe one thing one time, and then you say you believe the exact opposite thing the next time!
Regarding Kirby, you wrote:
<< Judging from the way that he has weaseled and qualified and changed the meaning of words to suit his purposes since then, I am not optimistic he will own up to it. But three others beside me heard it first hand.>>
Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! John, you are the MASTER at weaseling and qualifying and changing the meaning of words to suit your purposes! You're so slimy that you can't be pinned down! It all depends on what the definition of "is" is! Bill Clinton has nothing on you! Slick Willy, meet Slick Johnny! You are the consummate politician! You answer without answering! Here's some proof. At a conference in Vermont, you were asked the following question:
<<You discussed a great deal about the matter of limited atonement and the confession of unlimited atonement, which means that someone doesn't understand the truth because he believes a false gospel. This is their confession. So the question is - this is a question that has been raised in another forum: Can a regenerate person believe unlimited atonement?>>
Pretty simple question, right? Look how Pedersen answers it, Slick Willy style:
<<When you say can a regenerate person believe unlimited atonement or believe a false gospel, I'd like to distinguish between the word 'believe' and the word that Paul uses, for example, in Galatians, when he says to the Galatians, 'Who has bewitched you?' Or says in the first chapter, 'I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to another gospel which is really no gospel at all.' Because the faith which God gives is a faith which He gives not in the interest of the false gospel, not in the interest of the lie, but the faith which God gives He gives with the truth. The gospel itself is what brings true faith. And so for a person to believe the gospel and for us to contrast belief in the gospel with belief in the false gospel I think is misleading, because we're implying that belief is something that inheres to a person's psychology, that belongs to them, and that you can equally either believe the truth or believe a lie. And the fact is that God's faith or true belief is only given in the interest of the truth. And you can't use the faith of God to deny Christ. In other words, you can't use that which God gives to deny Him. And so the faith of God will never deny Him. The question is, can a person who is regenerate, that is to say, a person who has the Holy Spirit, can that person come under the influence of or can they be tempted by false doctrine, by the false gospel? And can they for a time acknowledge by at least the fact that they allow the influence of that gospel in their life, acknowledge that gospel to be legitimate or true? And the answer, I believe, is yes, because I think that Scripture is replete with examples of people who have been misled or deceived and who need to be recalled to the truth. And the example I think of the Galatians is a prime example of the issue for me, and I think according to Scripture is not whether a person can find themselves misled by the false gospel or find themselves under the influence of it. The question is, in the clarification of the truth as a person brings the gospel to them and calls them to repentance, will they hear and repent and confirm that they belong to the true Shepherd, that they belong to Jesus Christ? Or will their response to that rebuke be one of offense, in which they say, 'No, I don't want to listen to what you have to say about the truth,' and 'No, I think it's just fine that I am where I am or that I'm saying what I'm saying or being with who I am being with.' And in that situation where a person will not repent, I don't think that there's any possibility that you can regard them as a believer. But I think in the first case, where a person finds himself having been bewitched as the Galatians were under the lie of the Judaizers and they hear the rebuke of the Apostle Paul and they submit to this rebuke in repentance, that that is a confirmation that they belong to Christ. And as to whether it is possible for regenerate people to be in a position like that, I would say, yes it is - it's possible for them to be led and misled into sin. And the issue for us as the people of God is not so much the fact that we don't need to repent but it's the fact that we do repent by the Holy Spirit. And I think this applies to sin in doctrine as well as sin in life. And I don't see where the Bible distinguishes sins in doctrine from sins in life.>>
Umm ... okay, John ... whatever you say.
[Did John ever answer the question: Can a regenerate person believe unlimited atonement? Nope. Because if he would answer that a
regenerate person cannot believe universal atonement, he would be distinguishing between sins a believer can commit and sins a
believer cannot commit, which is heresy, in his mind. But wait a minute ... isn't John always believing heresy in his flesh? Hmmmm ...
so why does John get upset when people call him a wolf or a heretic or a God-hater? Shouldn't he just AGREE and say, "Yes, in my
flesh, I'm a wolf and a heretic and a God-hater"? Hmmmm ...]
Winnen Russ also wrote:
> John, as the saying goes, "The proof of the pudding is in the eating."
> Certain members of Sovereign Grace have learned well. Peter Ruell came up
> to me the other day at the Y and said, "I don't believe that the law of
> God is the rule of life for the believer." Now where in the world did he
> get that notion? He got it from John Pedersen. Bobby Foster continues (as
> of a few days ago) to say that "We are not the new man." Now where in the
> world did he get that teaching? He got it from John Pedersen. And the
> first time I talked to Bobby on the issue he stated to me in no uncertain
> terms that "We (the Christian) are totally depraved." Now how can a
> Christian be totally depraved?
So Winnen saw it, too. And is this slander as well, John? Are you calling Winnen a slanderer for saying such a thing? Are you going to say that you do NOT believe that Christians are totally depraved in their flesh? Are you going to say that you DO believe that Christians are the new man? Are you going to say that you DO believe that the law of God is the rule of life for the believer? What kind of slick rhetorical maneuvering are you going to use this time? "It depends on what 'we' means"? You can't get around it, John, no matter how much you falsely accuse people of slander. The statements are right out there in the open. They are your own statements and they are the statements of the people under your influence. They can't be denied.
There was a discussion on the Clark List as to the spiritual state of Gordon Clark when Gordon Clark said:
"An Arminian may be a truly regenerate Christian; in fact, if he is truly an Arminian and not a Pelagian who happens to belong to an Arminian church, he must be a saved man. But he is not usually, and cannot consistently be assured of his salvation. The places in which his creed differs from our Confession confuse the mind, dilute the Gospel, and impair its proclamation. The Arminian system holds (1) that God elects persons to eternal life on the condition of their reception of grace and their perseverance as foreseen; (2) that Christ died, not as the substitute for certain men, definitely to assume their penalty, but to render a chance of salvation indifferently possible to all men; (3) that all men have the same influence of the Holy Ghost operating on them, so that some are saved because they cooperate, and others are lost because they resist, thus in effect making salvation depend on the will of man; and (4) that since salvation is not made certain by God's decree nor by Christ's sacrifice, and since man's will is free or independent of God's control, a regenerate man can unregenerate himself and ultimately be lost." (What Do Presbyterians Believe?, Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing Co, 1965, pp. 174-175)
Gordon Clark went on to say this in The Atonement (2nd Edition, The Trinity Foundation, 1996, p. 139):
"At any rate, according to Arminians [all of whom must be saved, according to Clark], Christ never actually procured the
reconciliation of anyone: He merely removed the obstacle of divine justice so as to make all mankind salvable. The Atonement has no efficacy in itself so far as application goes. For that matter, on their [the Arminians, all of whom must be saved, according to Clark] theory, the ransom might not have released anyone. In other words, Christ did not intend to save anybody, nor did his death insure [sic] the salvation of anybody. Salvation is an additional work of man's free will."
From these quotes, we can conclude that Gordon Clark believed that all true Arminians, all of whom believe that (a) Christ did not
die as the substitute for certain men, definitely to assume their penalty, (b) salvation is not made certain by Christ's sacrifice, (c)
Christ never actually procured the reconciliation of anyone, (d) the Atonement has no efficacy in itself, and (e) Christ's death did not
ensure the salvation of anyone, MUST be regenerate people. Or, put another way, Gordon Clark believed that there are people who
believe that (a) Christ did not die as the substitute for certain men, definitely to assume their penalty, (b) salvation is not made certain
by Christ's sacrifice, (c) Christ never actually procured the reconciliation of anyone, (d) the Atonement has no efficacy in itself, and
(e) Christ's death did not ensure the salvation of anyone, who are saved. Thus, Gordon Clark did not believe that the gospel includes
the doctrines that (a) Christ died as a substitute for certain men, definitely to assume their penalty, (b) that salvation is made certain
by Christ's sacrifice, (c) that Christ actually procured the reconciliation of all whom He represented, (d) that the atonement has
efficacy in itself, (e) that Christ's death ensured the salvation of all whom He represented. If Gordon Clark was not unregenerate, then
there has never been an unregenerate man on the face of this earth.
Yet the people from Sovereign Grace Church who were on the Clark list said that they would not judge Gordon Clark to be lost when he made the statement that all true Arminians must be saved. According to them, this was one of those instances in which a regenerate person could have been "speaking as an unregenerate person would speak." Do you agree with them, John?
Bob Foster, a member of your church, wrote:
<<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.>>
<<I do believe that it is possible for a regenerate person to confess a false gospel of universal atonement.>>
<<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.>>
<<<<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.>>
Would you concur with Bob Foster, John?
Okay, enough. John and/or his followers will respond to this in at least one of four ways: (1) Not bother to answer, (2) Accuse me of slander without giving any evidence, (3) say he believes the opposite of what I say he believes, and/or (3) cause a diversion such as going into a completely different topic, perhaps about something else I've written, not about him, but about something totally different. I wonder which one it will be.
See the attachments.
To God alone be the glory,
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