C-Dunc forwarded to me some of his recent correspondence with you (I did not ask him to do it or force him to do it or bribe him to do it), and I asked his permission if I could write a response (I did not threaten him or tell him that I was going to write you no matter what he said). He said it would be a good idea (I did not brainwash him into telling me it would be a good idea).
I'm just a regular guy. I sin, I need correction, I am in constant need of the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. I don't have any special knowledge, any special revelation, any special place in God's kingdom. I'm not on a higher plane than any of my other brothers and sisters in Christ. I'm a 39-year-old Christian man with a wife and six children who is striving to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and to expose false gospels with the hope that those in false gospels will repent and believe the gospel. Our little assembly here is certainly not the only true assembly in the world, and it is not my goal to make people move to our assembly. We are not the only ones with the truth. We have brothers and sisters all over the world who believe the true gospel.
I see that you guys really love slandering, especially in a sarcastic manner. Is that a common thing among you? Is that what you've learned in your church(es)? You've gotten very good at it. But I would like to respond to some of your slander. Your comments will be in red, and my responses will be in black.
<<the great maple-tree laden birthplace of the prophet Joseph Smith. ... and of course home to that more contemporary, lesser known though equally distinctive, latter-day prophet Marc Carpenter.>>
<<It's probably clear from the earliest church fathers (post-apostolic) that few if any of them saw the Gospel in strict Carpentarian terms, thus - quite like the Mormons - you would have to see an apostasy of sorts entering in just after the apostles, perhaps restored in these latter days through Carpenter (wait a minute! ... na probably just coincidence)..>>
This is a not-so-subtle comparison of me to Joseph Smith and of our assembly and beliefs to the Mormons. I resent this insinuation very much. I am not a "latter-day prophet." I do not claim to have any "special revelation" from God. I am not the leader of any religious movement. I do not claim to have found any extra-biblical writings or to have any extra-biblical revelation. I do not claim to have "restored" the gospel "in these latter days." This is all just plain slander. You have no proof to back up your accusations.
As for the "the Gospel in strict Carpentarian terms":
<< Since in order to
'really' understand the true Gospel, one must believe and understand clearly
(1) that God alone saves, (2) that God elects his own for inscrutable reasons,
(3) that salvation is conditioned only on Him and not a bit on me, (4) that
anybody who thinks that his choice had ANYthing to do
with it is damned, (5) that anyone who questions whether the guy in #4 is
damned is himself damned, and (6 - infinity) - on goes the chain of damnation
-- since THAT is the necessary requirement for salvation, what would you say
about all of the faith professions of children (assuming they at least
understand that they're sinners & that Jesus died for them), or those w/
learning disabilities or limited capacities - none of whom have background
knowledge, none with sophisticated doctrinal understandings, none able to
define Pelagian, Arminian, etc.? Are they probably
damned until or unless they learn these things?
 Do you have any biblical reason to think that Peter, James, John, Barnabus (basically everyone in Acts except Paul) held to the strict Carpentarian rendering of the Gospel as outlined above? Or do you simply assume that based on their apostolic authority? It's probably clear from the earliest church fathers (post-apostolic) that few if any of them saw the Gospel in strict Carpentarian terms, thus - quite like the Mormons - you would have to see an apostasy of sorts entering in just after the apostles, perhaps restored in these latter days through Carpenter (wait a minute! ... na probably just coincidence)..>>
First of all, nothing that man does is a necessary requirement (condition, prerequisite) for salvation. No belief or understanding, no matter how clear or unclear, is a condition for salvation. Salvation is conditioned solely on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. There is a vital difference between conditions of salvation and results of salvation. There is certain belief/knowledge that is an immediate result of salvation, but this belief/knowledge is in no way a prerequisite to salvation. So to say that we believe that those six things are necessary requirements for salvation is false.
Regarding the essential gospel doctrine that every regenerate person believes, I encourage you to read the series of sermons on the gospel at www.outsidethecamp.org/sermons.htm . That way, you can see what we really believe rather than what you think we believe. See if these sermons line up with those six "necessary requirements for salvation." Somehow, I think you won't take me up on this, since then you would see how wrong you are and you would see that you are engaging in slander.
As far as the term "damned" goes, we do not judge the eternal state of any individual. We do not know whether an unregenerate person is going to go to heaven or to hell. It is not up to us to know or to make that judgment. The judgment that we are required to make is that if we encounter someone who believes a false gospel, we are to judge that person to be currently unregenerate. We do not know if God will regenerate that person later in his life. We pray for that person's salvation. But we do know that this person is currently under the wrath of God.
You assume that we believe that children, those with learning disabilities, or those with limited capacities who are unable to fully articulate belief in the gospel are "damned" (or unregenerate). This cannot be further from the truth. We believe nothing of the sort. If a person is not able to articulate belief in the gospel, we do not assume that the person is regenerate or unregenerate. We do not know. We do not presume that the person is unregenerate, and we do not presume that the person is regenerate. We continue to proclaim the gospel to that person. You portray us as some kind of harsh, unloving monsters. You do not know us, you do not know what we believe, yet you choose to slander us.
You assume that we automatically judge someone who does not have "sophisticated doctrinal understandings" or is not able to define things such as Pelagianism or Arminianism to be lost. This is a lie. We do not require "sophisticated doctrinal understandings" at all. The gospel is not some higher theology that only seminarians can understand. The gospel is simple enough to be understood and believed by children. And get this straight -- I COULDN'T CARE LESS if someone doesn't know what Pelagianism or Arminianism or Calvinism or any of the ISMs are. An ignorance of what Arminianism is isn't going to make me judge that person lost. SO WHAT if a person has never heard of or is not able to say what Calvinism or Arminianism or Pelagianism is! That makes absolutely no difference. And to say that we believe that it does make a difference is slander in the first degree. What matters is this: Does that person believe THE GOSPEL? WHO CARES if he doesn't know what Pelagianism or Arminianism is! Got it?
You talk about "strict Carpentarian terms" as if I made these things up. None of these terms came from me. And you haven't even proven that the six "requirements" are even the "strict Carpentarian terms" that you claim. It is you who are making things up. And you know what -- I don't even require that people use exactly the same phrases that I use! So what does that do to your made-up accusations? You guys are pitiful.
Peter, James, John, Barnabus -- ALL Christians -- believed and believe the same gospel. It is the good news of God's promise to save His people conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. This has NOTHING TO DO with Marc Carpenter. This is no more "Carpentarian" than the sport of wrestling is "Duncanian." The true gospel existed way before I was alive and will exist way after I die. All I am doing is proclaiming it. I am defining it based on what God's Word says it is (and you will see this if you read the series of sermons on the Gospel). It really bothers me to no end when people talk of "Carpenterism" or "Carpentarian" this or that. I DO NOT WANT my name to detract IN ANY WAY from the true gospel, and I DO NOT WANT to be famous or well-known or held up as some "guru" to whom people must go to find out what the true gospel is! It is NOT ABOUT ME. I wish my name could just DISAPPEAR. It's about THE GOSPEL. When I'm dead and gone, I don't want people remembering ME -- I want people to know THE GOSPEL. My name is NOTHING. But, of course, when you can't really attack my beliefs on substance, you have to just resort to the "Carpentarian" slander. I resent this very much.
<<Do you have some specific role in the First Carpentarian Church?>>
More of the same. Our church is NOT IN ANY WAY "Carpentarian." I HATE that term. We are a small assembly that meets on Sundays to sing Psalms, pray, read Scripture, and hear the preached Word. It is not a dictatorship, and it is not a one-man show. It is a gathering of believers who worship with each other, fellowship with each other, and encourage each other. I am not the king, I am not the pope, I am not the priest of the church. For you to give our assembly a name (even in cutting jest) that is named after me goes against every fiber of my being. Our assembly is named after the SOVEREIGN REDEEMER, not some puny little sinful man. And this puny little sinful man has NO AMBITIONS of being anything bigger.
<< When you think of the suffering of Jesus (like the graphic portrayal of the Passion movie), do you think to yourself, 'Wow, he did all that for me, the Capenter family, and perhaps a handful of others only? ' This is not some sort of 'low blow' but I honestly wonder about your thoughts. Of course all of us are struck w/ similar thoughts, but I'm comparing the thoughts of most believing Christians (which would be either the more libertarian notion of "Wow he did this [potentially] for everyone, among whom some will believe & make it effectual for them" - or - the more Reformed notion of "Wow he did this for the elect," the elect being probably a fairly low percent of the world's population throughout the centuries, but FAR more than the 16-or-so you would suppose he died for, no?).>>
Yeah, it's a low blow. There are people from every nation, from all around the world, who believe the gospel. No one believes He just died for "16-or-so" people. No one believes He just died for the people in our assembly. No one believes He just died for the people whom we know to be believers. This is just another false accusation.
Just a note about the Passion movie: if that makes you think of the suffering of Jesus, then it is idolatry. That an actor would play the very Son of God is blasphemous. Any picture, whether moving or not, of Jesus Christ, is an idol.
And a note on the "libertarian notion": A "christ" who died potentially for everyone without exception but who actually secured the salvation of no one in particular and will not be made effectual without the person's contribution is a false christ from the pit of hell. Please see www.outsidethecamp.org/gospatone.htm.
<<Yeah I know, now you'll trot out the passage where Jesus says "unless you hate father & mother" and butcher it up for us, as though we should interpret Jesus to mean, "Unless you repudiate your otherwise godly parents who although committed to biblical truth and decidedly Reformed in their thinking have nevertheless not gone off the plank w/ you to assert that everyone outside the Carpenter family is unregenerate - unless you turn sour toward them all, proclaim them damned heretics, rip their evil god-hating hearts out (emotionally speaking) and urinate upon them in my name - ..." I suppose it could mean that but I'll need a lot of convincing that doesn't amount to the same regurgitated essays on outsidethecamp, as wonderfully self-authenticating as Carpenter's authority is (just ask him).>>
This makes me quite angry. I have not set myself up as the authority. I am not "self-authenticating." I do not claim to have any special authority. Where did the authority of your pastor(s) come from? From a group of self-righteous religionists? How does that legitimize their authority? Those in Sovereign Redeemer Assembly have acknowledged that I have the qualifications of an elder/pastor/teacher, and I have been called to serve them. Is this "wonderfully self-authenticating"?
As for the first part of the paragraph:
"... your otherwise godly parents who although committed to biblical truth ..." On what basis do you judge them to be godly? On what basis do you judge that they are "committed to biblical truth"? What standard do you use?
"... to assert that everyone outside the Carpenter family is unregenerate ..." You are a bold-faced liar.
And where is your proof that Chris did all this emotional stuff to his parents? And where is the proof that I believe that people should do all this emotional stuff to their parents?
<<Remember - most people are very unCarpentarian in that they hesitate to proclaim other people's eternal destinations with such gusto (particularly other people who profess genuine faith in Christ).>>
So, according to this reasoning, it is "Carpentarian" to unhesitatingly proclaim other people's eternal destinations with gusto. More filthy slander. For one thing, I never, EVER proclaim people's eternal destinations. Do I need to state that again? I never, EVER proclaim people's eternal destinations. Got it? I challenge you to find EVEN A SINGLE INSTANCE in which I proclaimed a person's eternal destination. Go ahead. Do all your research. Look up everything I've written. Go for it. And after all of your attempts to find something that's not there, you will be shown to be a GUTLESS SLANDERER.
Secondly, you imply that I rush to judgment when I say someone is unregenerate. I do no such thing. I have waited for long periods of time with some whose confessions were not clear (especially those where English is their second or even third language). I ask a lot of questions, and if the answers aren't clear, I ask clarifying questions. During this process, I do not judge the person to be unregenerate. I withhold judgment. I am very careful as to who I judge to be saved or lost.
Thirdly, you imply that I rejoice to judge someone to be unregenerate. This shows that you do not know me and that you just want to spew out slander without even trying to get to know what I believe. Whenever I judge someone to be unregenerate, I do it with great sorrow and heaviness of heart. I mourn over the lost. I pray for the lost. I have compassion for the lost. I witness to the lost. You can see what I believe about our attitude toward the lost in a sermon at www.outsidethecamp.org/romans63.htm . Yet, even though it causes me great grief, I still judge people lost who profess faith in Christ but who confess a false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner. I do not do this to be mean or unloving; I do this to show them their state and to preach the gospel to them in the hope that God will use this truth to save them.
If you would like to know more about what I believe, there are hundreds of e-mails, letters, and forums at www.outsidethecamp.org/efl.htm on a variety of topics, including the topics about which I have written here. If you're serious about knowing what we believe, you'll check them out. And I'm willing to correspond with any of you about essential gospel issues. If you're not serious about knowing what we believe, then at least stop misrepresenting what we believe. You have shown yourselves to be liars, slanderers, and fools. Repent of your self-righteousness and believe the gospel of salvation conditioned on the work of Jesus Christ alone.
To God alone be the glory,
Marc D. Carpenter