Schafleism Discerned

On the "Carpenterism Discerned" web site no name or names appear anywhere as to the author of any of the articles. It's because the author doesn't want people you to know who he is or what his background is, because if they knew, his credibility would suffer. Well, I'll let you know who he is and what his background is, and you'll get an idea as to why he created the site in the first place.

The author of "Carpenterism Discerned" is a man named Rhett Schafle. He first contacted me in March of 2006, wanting to "tithe" to the site or the church supporting it. I asked him if he agreed with what was on our site and asked if he minded if I asked more questions. He replied:

==Thanks for your reply. I agree with everything on your site and want to help support what you are saying (or I should say, what the Bible is actually saying.) I stumbled across OTC.org a couple days ago. I've been listening to all the mp3s and have read a small portion of the site as well. It's been scarring the pants off me but I know what I am hearing is true. I welcome any questions whole heartedly. I don't have a church or anything like that, and I'd truly appreciate any Christian fellowship I can get. Mainly, I've been learning from the TrinityFoundation.org but after I read your article, it knocked me off my "foundation" so to speak. Anyway, I'd also like to be placed on your mailing list as well. Truly appreciate it, and I also look forward to hearing from you.==

I asked him if he agreed with the six statements at www.outsidethecamp.org/fte33.htm . He replied:

==Hey Marc, I hope this email helps clarify what I believe in regards to your first question:

I agree with all six statements at the link you provided. The logic is undeniable; one can not advocate one gospel, say it alone is the only true way to salvation and then turn around and say that people can also receive salvation through another gospel. Universal atonement is indeed an entirely different gospel no better or different than Humanism or Buddhism.

It sounds to me like Dr. Robbins and Dr. Clark have this idea of some emotional, warm fuzzy unknowable place in Armenians that unconsciously believes what he does not consciously believe. And Mr. Bonars non-sense about Arminians and Calvinist having some sort of balancing effect on each other is straight dung.

I never thought I'd live the day to hear that the above mentioned men may not be Christians and then actually believe it. However, and I hope I am not in error here, I still believe most of their writings can be beneficial to Christians. Such as Dr. Clarks, Christian View of Men and Things, and Dr. Robbins Biblical Thinking lectures. I think for the most part, they do not advocate their tolerance.

I emailed Dr. Robbins about a year ago and asked him if my Arminian mother would go to heaven. He replied that if she thinks that there was any cause in herself for her salvation she would not go. Do you have any thoughts on this?

I truly appreciate your corresponding with me. It is such a relief for me to consider that this may be the first time I have communicated with a Christian before. The Bible always talks about the body of Christ and I have long wondered where on earth my brothers were. What a joy!==

Before I responded, he e-mailed me again:

==After reading more on your website...I have to retract something I said. I said in my last email that I think some of Dr. Clarks and Dr. Robbins books are beneficial to Christians. Now I am beginning to see that perhaps a very large portion of what I have been learning the last couple of years is wrong, damnable. I must admit, I'm a bit shaken right now, but I cannot deny what you are saying. Is there any thing salvageable from the Trinity Foundation?

How can one argue against what you are saying? If you can't trust your senses, you can trust the Bible. Makes sense to me.==

I responded:

==When I first came to the realization that these "Reformed Fathers" were actually heretics, it affected me profoundly. These are the people that the Reformed community world-wide (and even some in the Arminian community), INCLUDING MYSELF, held up as the bastions of orthodoxy! And I am finding more stuff almost every day!

Now that you have realized that what you have been learning the past couple of years is damnable, are you saying that you are (or were not very long ago) unregenerate?

I do believe that both Clark and Robbins have said true, orthodox things. They both have said things in a way that has been helpful. I have even used Robbins' orthodox writings against him!

What did you mean by "If you can't trust your senses you can trust the Bible"?

You wrote, "I emailed Dr. Robbins about a year ago and asked him if my Arminian mother would go to heaven. He replied that if she thinks that there was any cause in herself for her salvation she would not go. Do you have any thoughts on this?"

Sure. Robbins believes that it is possible that an Arminian can believe there is no cause in one's self for salvation (and thus be a saved person) while AT THE SAME TIME believing in universal atonement! He believes that these "Arminian Christians" believe a "blessed inconsistency"! How devilish!!==

I also asked him some follow-up questions to try to discern what he believed. He replied:

==Thanks for all the questions and correspondence. After two years of one sentence email replies from Dr. Robbins I had begun to think that "loving the brethren" meant answering only questions of doctrine in the least amount of words possible and absolutely nothing more. I wasn't expecting to be asked questions. This is great!

Well, the first thing I want to say is that I have no doubt that I have been unregenerate. My key to figuring this out was when I realized that not too long ago I had told an old friend back home who was baptized with me when we were kids that he was a Christian even though he doesn't know what the Gospel is.

So after all this time studying at the Trinity Foundation, with all the ideas and high concepts, I have nothing left but empty words and I am no better off than a Satanist. I haven't been a Christian all these years; I've been a "Scripturalist."

Its embarrassing and freighting to me that all my past prayers, tears, study, energy, excitement, all the times I was so certain God was helping me, all the loved ones who cried to heaven and all their singing, and just everything....where all nothing but lies and nonsense. I really have no idea what to think anymore. I know those things were false, but I still feel mostly lost. How can I know if my prayers are being heard and are genuine?

Is Dr. Clarks Scripturalism false in its entirety or just in its refutation of empiricism? What I didn't state clearly in my last email was, if Gordon Clark doesn't trust his sense to give him knowledge, then how can he trust what he reads from Bible is not some demonic illusion? I think this is a good point, and Dr. Robbins rebuttals never satisfied me. But now I want to know how much of what I have been learning at TF.org is false.==

While I was waiting for Rhett's response I sent him some recent posts to the Outside the Camp discussion list. He responded:

==Hi Marc,

That message about how american wymen interrigators treat iraqi prisoners is so destrubing, upsetting and revealing I could not read it all. I'm so disturbed right now, I am literally shaking. But I'm glad to hear from you again. Its a comfort to know someone like you is out there. I am in Chaing Rai, Thailand at a local internet shop. Ill be in Thailand for another week or so visiting my furture wife, Praewa. It is also a relief to know a woman like her still exists. Thanks for writing me. I hope to hear from you again. I'm kinda in a hurry right now, but thanks for keeping me in the loop. Did you get my last email? Thanks for all your work.

Rhett==

I wrote:

==Is Praewa a true Christian? You had said you do not know any true Christians.==

Rhett responded:

==I'm back in Bangkok, and got a chance to check me email. I think my last email never made it to you, it was my reply to the attached message you sent me which you had sent priviously about a week ago. In it I had 7 questions about the process and details involved in conversion. I am currently in the process of teaching Praewa about the gospel but having realized that I have only just begun to understand it myself I have many questions regarding the process at conversion. Marc, I have to be honest, I could use some guidance right about now. What exactly does she need to do once she consents and tells me she agrees with and believes the gospel. Arminians ask god into their hearts and ask for forgivness, but what does a real Christian conversion look like if one were watching from a thrid person perspective?

I truly appreciate your correspondance.

Also, I recall in reading one of your posts that you are the father of six children. Could I trouble you for some Fatherly advice? I'm 22 years old and in 1.5 years Ill be out of the Marines. I reject the advice of the "worldly wise men" and would like some life guidance from you. What should I do to live a godly life outside the camp and how can I start preparing for it now? Should I goto collage?==

Rhett resent what he could remember about the 7 questions he had:

==I don't have the original email I sent you containing the 7 questions but I will try to remember them below:

1) Once someone agrees with the Gospel message do they need to do anything? Arminians often have the person "ask God into their hearts" and "ask forgiveness." Does the person need to make a prayer to the Lord and sort of certify everything or something?

2) If believing the gospel is believing we have already been forgiven, why do we pray "forgive us our sins"? Is this not like performing a work in order to attain forgiveness?

3) I agree with and ascent to the gospel message and everything in the Bible and I have repented before God, but I am still uncertain if I have understood this process correctly and so I have some small lingering doubt. Also my sins cause me to doubt that the process of sanctification is happening.

4) It seems that everything is so subjective about salvation; I don't understand how anyone can have certainty. So If I believe everything in the gospel and value it and understand it, but do not have absolute certainty what am I not understanding?==

I knew from the fact that Rhett did not have assurance and that he was planning to marry an unbeliever that he was unsaved. I responded:

==I am very much willing to help. But I think it would be the wisest for us to talk about your own spiritual state before we talk about living a godly life and judging others' spiritual state. I can say, though, that you should definitely not marry or plan to marry Praewa until you know that you both are regenerate people.==

I responded to his previous e-mail:

==1) Once someone agrees with the Gospel message do they need to do anything? Arminians often have the person "ask God into their hearts" and "ask forgiveness." Does the person need to make a prayer to the Lord and sort of certify everything or something?

When God regenerates a person, an immediate fruit of that regeneration is belief of the gospel and repentance of dead works and former idolatry. This may or may not be through a "formal prayer." It is a realization that the gospel is true and that everything I did and believed prior to believing the gospel was wicked and evil.

2) If believing the gospel is believing we have already been forgiven, why do we pray "forgive us our sins"? Is this not like performing a work in order to attain forgiveness?

One thing that is important to remember is that prayer does not change things. Prayer does not change God's mind. Yet God uses the means of prayer to accomplish His purposes. The prayer for God to forgive our sins is an acknowledgement that we continually sin and are in need of God's forgiveness. This is the ongoing prayer of the believer.

3) I agree with and ascent to the gospel message and everything in the Bible and I have repented before God, but I am still uncertain if I have understood this process correctly and so I have some small lingering doubt. Also my sins cause me to doubt that the process of sanctification is happening.

Have you read the article "Faith Is Assurance" at www.outsidethecamp.org/faithassur.htm ? Do you see how even "small lingering doubts" are indicative of lostness - of not believing the gospel? And what do you mean by "the process of sanctification"? Do you believe that Christians become more and more holy so that they will eventually be holy enough to enter heaven?

4) It seems that everything is so subjective about salvation; I don't understand how anyone can have certainty. So If I believe everything in the gospel and value it and understand it, but do not have absolute certainty what am I not understanding?== 1) Once someone agrees with the Gospel message do they need to do anything?

Again, have you read the article "Faith Is Assurance"? Faith is the absolute certainty that what God promises will happen. God says in His Word that all who believe are saved. To doubt this is to doubt the promise of God -- it is to disbelieve that God unfailingly keeps His promises.==

Rhett sent another set of questions:

==1) How does God deal with the sins in the lives of those he has caused to believe the Gospel. You have said that God hates sin and that those who do certain sins will not enter heaven. But I have certain sins.

2) I have small lingering doubts about salvation because I am not certain as to what salvation entails. Is salvation siimply a mental asent to the Gospel? And in the process of asent to the Gospel I have nessasarily asented to the fact that God has cuased me to asent and that this asent involves Gods promise to see it through?

3) Than I have one more question. What about my sin? I understand that Christs rightousness is imputed to me, but the Bible also says that those who have certain lusts and sins will not enter heaven. The sins of the saved were imputed to Christ on the crioss but they are also still very much alive in their daily lives. So what does this mean? It seems that Paul is saying Christians have the ability through Christ to live sinless lives.

4) I have obvious sins that I hate and wish would leave my soul but they are still there. What does this mean?==

I responded:

==1) How does God deal with the sins in the lives of those he has caused to believe the Gospel. You have said that God hates sin and that those who do certain sins will not enter heaven. But I have certain sins.

God's hatred of sin and the fact that there are certain since that are indicative of lostness are two separate issues. God hates all sin, even the sin that is not indicative of lostness. For believers, God sees them in Christ, through the imputed righteousness of Christ. Thus, in the eyes of God's law and justice, He sees us as perfectly sinless. This is an objective reality, even though we still sin in our character and conduct. As for those sins that are indicative of lostness, God shows us in His Word that there are certain sins by which believers can judge others to be unregenerate. And God graciously preserves His people from committing these sins. This does NOT mean that believers never sin. Believers sin constantly. But they are preserved from sinning any sin that is indicative of lostness. See www.outsidethecamp.org/presgrace.htm .

Now when you say, "I have certain sins," do you mean that you are continuing to sin certain sins that are indicative of lostness? If so, what are they?

2) I have small lingering doubts about salvation because I am not certain as to what salvation entails. Is salvation siimply a mental asent to the Gospel? And in the process of asent to the Gospel I have nessasarily asented to the fact that God has cuased me to asent and that this asent involves Gods promise to see it through?

Salvation is that great change in which God changes an unregenerate person into a regenerate person -- the righteousness of Christ is imputed to that person, and that person is justified through the instrument of faith. When you ask about "mental assent," I assume you're asking about what is faith. Many religionists try to create a dichotomy between the "head" and the "heart." There is no such dichotomy. In the Bible, the heart is what thinks, understands, and believes. It involves the mind. So faith IS a mental action. It is belief with the mind. It is the belief of certain propositions -- what I call "essential gospel doctrine." And I assume you've seen my sermons on Essential Gospel Doctrine. An essential part of faith is the assurance that what God promises is true. It is the belief of salvation conditioned on the work of Jesus Christ alone. Are you waiting for some kind of "feeling" or "vision" to confirm your belief?

3) Than I have one more question. What about my sin? I understand that Christs rightousness is imputed to me, but the Bible also says that those who have certain lusts and sins will not enter heaven. The sins of the saved were imputed to Christ on the crioss but they are also still very much alive in their daily lives. So what does this mean? It seems that Paul is saying Christians have the ability through Christ to live sinless lives.

No way! Paul NEVER said that Christians have the ability through Christ to live sinless lives! In fact, he said just the opposite! Look at Romans 7! Also, check out what John said in 1 John 1:8 & 10. Now there is a difference between sinning and LIVING in sin. See www.outsidethecamp.org/romans42.htm and www.outsidethecamp.org/romans32.htm .

4) I have obvious sins that I hate and wish would leave my soul but they are still there. What does this mean?

The first sermon I reference above speaks to that. Every believer has obvious sins he hates and wish would leave his soul but they are still there. Yet a believer does not doubt his salvation because of this. He continues to strive and struggle against these sins all his life, but at the same time he knows that these sins do not forfeit his interest in Christ. For if he believed his sins forfeit his interest in Christ, he would believe in salvation conditioned on himself! So since your sins are causing you to doubt, it shows that you believe in salvation conditioned at least in some part on yourself! If you were to "conquer" these sins, then would that cause you to stop doubting? Then it again shows that you believe in salvation conditioned at least in some part on yourself! Salvation is not conditioned on ANYTHING we do or stop doing - it is conditioned on the work of Jesus Christ alone. I'd like to you read another sermon: www.outsidethecamp.org/romans51.htm . If you cannot get to any of the sermons that I've mentioned, please let me know, and I'll send them to you, the Lord willing.==

In April of 2006, Rhett sent me the following e-mail:

==I am so excited right now! Being the only other Christian I know of, I want to rejoice with you, because today I have absolute assurance that I will enter heaven! I wish you were here in person, so we could rant and rejoice!

Please, I welcome you to question me so that you will know.

Previously, I thought the Bible was saying I was not a Christian because I had sin in my life. Sounds ridiculous I know! But I concluded that if a thief would not inherit the kingdom surly those with other more seemingly significant sins would not either, even if my specific sin was not mentioned in the passage. Again I thought that the passage was saying Christians will not have these sins, and if not these sins then surely sins similar or worse as well, which ultimately would mean Christians would not have any sin. Of course that is not correct because then Christ death means nothing.

What I did not understand was that by thief, the passage is not saying a Christian will never steal, but that a Christian will never steal without remorse, regret, shame, desire to change, prayer for forgiveness and will not ultimately continue in thievery. That is what is meant by "not Characterized by sin." Additionally, it was helpful when you said, "All Christians live lives that are characterized by morality, but not all whose lives are characterized by morality are Christians." This helped me to make other logical deduction that clarified and revealed more implications that aided my understanding.

I have now been able to make the consistent, logical connections regarding works staring from the propositions contained in the gospel. I now see the reason that good works cannot save a Christian and sin cannot condemn a Christian and that it is logically impossible for a Christian to believe otherwise. With the gospel propositions as a foundation combined with your Romans 32 and 42 sermons, the pieces of the puzzle fell into place.

Those who consider their sin as indicative of their lostness or even just wonder if they are, or that they may one day grow to be such, and therefore question their salvation because of them, are unregenerate. This includes anyone who is unsure of salvation. Why? The logical implication is: to fear damnation because of ones sins while saying one believes the gospel implies, among other things, that one believes they must reach a state of sinless perfection (not just something close to it) to make salvation happen. If you need to be sinless in addition to Christ's death, you make Christ's death non-sense.

This includes anyone who is unsure of their salvation because to believe the gospel is to have assurance that a free gift of righteousness has been eternally promised to the elect without any regard to their sins. Any doubt about salvation is the results of not assenting to the gospel doctrine and any unbelief in any of the implications of the gospel doctrine is characterized by a belief in salvation by works. To not accept the gospel (including all the doctrine implied) as the only means of salvation is to believe that you must "do" something outside the gospel. If you believe the gospel you know that even your assent was something God caused and used as a means to save you.

The flip side to this logic is that these same people believe that being nearly morally perfect; a reflection of mother Teresa for example, is greater assurance for them that they will enter heaven and they also judge such people accordingly.

But even if one day God allowed them to come to a state of moral perfection, they would still have their past sins to account for. You must also define what Christ death accomplished for you while you were still imperfect, and the result is contradiction to the gospel propositions is scripture.

Additionally, the moment you become morally perfect is the moment you believe you can plead before God your eternal security without Christ. If you say that Christ was still a part of it or even all of it, you must define in what way. Of course your answer will contradict the gospel propositions in scripture.

That is why Christ's death covers all the elect's sins: past present and future. All the elect's sin that occur within time are covered because Christ righteousness was given and promised to them before God created time.

Christ's righteousness was ensured for His people outside of time, in eternity. If they were covered from eternity, then time (past present and future) do not have any bearing on the matter.

To worry that in the future you will a commit a sin heinous enough to warrant eternal death, or fear that maybe next year you will live a life characterized by sin is to call God a liar and deny His gospel by denying his Godhead over creation. If you fear your future actions will damn you it is because you do not believe the implied gospel doctrine: namely, whoever believes on Christ WILL have eternal life. To believe the gospel is to believe one has assurance of eternal life.

So why do people still have a problem with this when the logic is so clear.

The problem is that people are confused about what sin signifies in their lives and how they can judge if their sin indicates lostness. What they don't realize is that by asking the question they have answered it. The logic is clear, if you do not have assurance regarding your salvation, you are lost. Thank God for such an easy way to know that one is still lost!

So the problem is instantly simplified. What's left is to look at the thinking that causes people to doubt the gospel in the first place in order to expose their faulty reasoning in regards to the gospel doctrine. (their understanding of the gospel doctrine must always be where the problem lies)

First, they don't believe the future is certain. When God says my people will enter heaven, the agree, called themselves Christians and then struggle with doubt over their salvation. The thing is, Christians do not wait in anticipation to see if they or someone else will one day live a life characterized by sin in order to judge them lost. I do not wait in anticipation, constantly examining my good and bad works, scared that maybe tomorrow my works will have exposed me as unregenerate. We can know today what they and our state is and whether they will or will not live such a life in the future by learning what gospel they or we believe.

If someone then asks, "well, how can you know what someone or yourself will do tomorrow, don't you need to wait and see? The proper reply is: no, one does not. God says in His word that those who believe His gospel will never live a life characterized by sin because they are protected by His promise.

This is true knowledge. That one who asks such questions is skeptical about the future. Skepticism arises from an epistemological axiom foreign to scripture. Thus that person is exposed to be unregenerate.

But like I have been saying the confusion comes from passages like 1Cor 6:9-10. The logical map detailing how works and Christ righteousness fit together needs to be laid out clearly for all. Christians won't walk in sins for one logical reason. They believe the gospel. It's not voodoo magic that keeps Christians from living a life characterized by the sins mentioned in 1 Cor. 6 9-10. The divine or supernatural act (the "voodoo") in salvation occurred in eternity past but manifests itself in time at the point God causes you to assent to the gospel. Through assent, God just took you from one circular and inescapable railroad track of thinking (sin) and brought you onto another circular and inescapable railroad track of thinking (the gospel).

Imagine there are two circular railroad tracks next to each other. If you put a train on the one track, it can not on its own, not matter how it may try, make its way onto the other track. When God causes a Christian to assents to the gospel, he has just lifted that train off the one track and onto the other. Every Christian is supernaturally appointed this destiny.

Because of this disengaging occurrence, where God takes a Christian from one track to the other, the Christians won't and can't live lives characterized by sins. The one track is fundamentally different from the other, although it is still a track and both tracks are ruled by the sin principle.

Therefore: Christians become slaves on Christ's track. The logical consequence of their beliefs will not allow them to live lives characterized by sin.

But it is here that more confusion lies: the sin principle. Why does God put Christians on a track that is still influenced with sin? Well, ultimately, this track does not. Ultimately, this track will bring Christians into heaven. To add to our railroad analogy; imagine that connected to each of the circular tracks is an additional circular track but the train is prevented from looping over because the rails are not positioned to allow it to cross. Well, when a human dies, the rails leading to the adjacent loop release and the train crosses over to the other side at which point the tracks are repositioned so as to prevent the train from returning. Obviously, you can see where this is going.

Anyway, once I realized what the gospel meant and that I believe the gospel, I knew I was saved. It's a logical consequence of believing the gospel.

Praise God through Jesus Christ!!==

The following are e-mails from Rhett that came over the next 5 days, including answers to some of the questions that I e-mailed him during this time:

==I know I have written you many times in the last few days and I hope you are not offended that I am writing so much. But I want to tell you, OTC.org has fitted the missing pisses at the center of a large puzzle for me. Suddenly I am seeing the picture for the first time and understanding what all those miscellaneous pieces finally mean in context. I'd like to share some thoughts with you I had while studying Romans. I believe this may help people who are confused about what is meant when the Bible says that the regenerate have "died to sin" but yet they still sin. I think many people are confused about why there is still sin in their lives and what that sin signifies. The problem, as I am finding, results from a lack of clearly defined terms.

Romans 6:2,8-12 says:

2 Let it not be! We who died to sin, how shall we still live in it?

8 But if we died with Christ, we believe that also we shall live with Him,

9 knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dies no more; death no longer lords it over Him.

10 For in that He died, He died to sin once for all; but in that He lives, He lives to God.

11 So also you count yourselves to be truly dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

12 Then do not let sin reign in your mortal body, to obey it in its lusts.

Despite the seemingly simple vocabulary and sentence structure, these verses, even if read a dozen times, have a way of remaining strangely vague.

One may object that they understand what is written in their own minds but when asked to describe specifically about the exact meaning, they soon begin sounding like mystics.

There are key phrases and words in these verse that need clarifying or the meaning dissolves into obscurity. I will only address one such phrase in this email which is repeated in several different ways and I think is the most important key to understanding these verses, namely: "death to sin."

It is easy to identify the objective aspect of this phrase (verses 8-9) as being Christ taking our condemnation to the cross. But the subjective side remains somewhat obscure. You have said that one of the effects (fruits) of salvation is a life free from being characterized by sin.

I am beginning to understand that the reason a life not characterized by sin is an effect of salvation is that salvation is the belief in certain propositions, which if truly believed and held to, simply do not logically allow the one believing to live as though he did not believe what he believes. If he truly believes the Biblical proposition he will act accordingly; cause and effect. The cause is assent to the gospel, the effect being a life not characterized by sin. It's not magic, its logic!

I think many people get confused and think that there is this supernatural interference by God that defies logical processes (means to an end) that just comes in and overrides their will at key moments causing them not to live lives characterized by sin. Actually, when God causes us to believe in the gospel propositions, He has already established His means to that end.

I don't know that everything in the following lists can be deduced from the gospel propositions alone, but how can one who believes that sin is: (a) eternally damnable, no matter how big or how small (b) a complete offence to the God he professes to love, (c) will lead to pain, misery, and suffering, (d) will result in him being disciplined (if he truly is one of the elect) by God, (e) is from Satan, the destroyer of the world, (f) is hated by the One that freely died for him, (g) is the very thing that God has promised to protect and save him from, (h) the thing that makes him the most like the wicked going to hell and less like the Jesus he says he loves, (i) is what is practiced by those who do not believe in God, (j) is the thing God says the regenerate are no long to (in fact cannot, are unable to) live in; ...profess that a life Characterized by sin is something that logically follows and is permissible?! To me it is clear that those who believe all the things listed above have only one logical path in front of them; to hate sin and strive against it.

So why doesn't God completely remove sin from the saved elect? The first thing to note is that He soon will, in heaven; if before, then one would have his own perfection as a reason for God to accept him into heaven. But God, because He is perfect, must deserve all the glory. God's glory is shown in the way in which a Christian enters heaven: through His son, through His grace, through Himself and His own perfection. With this in mind, the elect can actually take, indirectly, some comfort in seeing that they are yet afflicted under the sin principle. Through sin we are reminded of the reason Christ's death was necessary and consequently we have our assurance constantly before us. This could be a joy if you think about it, we do not have to strive to find the brighter side of things, God have given it to us already. All things work (or can be understood) for our own good and His glory.

It has been pointed out that one who has died to sin is one who has a new heart and a new spirit and believes the gospel. But I think many would ask: "what does it mean to have a new heart and spirit." It would truly help to define these words as specifically as possible and then use those definitions when preaching so hearers will not easily be confused. As you have said, the heart refers to what we today call the mind. It is clear in scripture that "minds" (that is brain tissue) do not think. So what is meant by mind must be either the spirit or the soul. I'm not sure that there is a difference between mind and spirit. Unless, the mind is the essential propositions that a man lives by that indwell and have life through or in his spirit. But then the Bible says the spirit knows and attests to certain things.

I'm not sure about what follows, but I would like to begin a discussion on this particular area: So, "the heart of flesh" God gives us at the point of regeneration is essentially a new mind. But what is a new mind unless a spirit indwelt with new propositions or just simply true propositions that were previously unattainable on ones own. God uses the gospel as the means, and what I believe this means is that when God causes someone to believe the gospel, the propositions that make up the gospel, and all the logical implications as well, create a whole new axiomatic foundation in the believers life. And following from these propositions is an entirely new system of thinking that branches off (through deductions and implications) and creates what the Bible refers to as the "fruits of the spirit." Being transfromed through the renewing of the mind means that one becomes more Christlike by consitently making the logical conections from the gospel into all areas of his life. I don't want to take this line of thinking to far as of yet, but it makes an awful lot of since to me and I believe can be used to explain in modern and clear language what is meant in passages such as Romans 6.

Therefore, in verse 12: "Then do not let sin reign in your mortal body, to obey it in its lusts." Paul is not by saying, "do not let" in the sense that a true Christian may actaully let their mortal bodies be overcome and reigned by sin, but He is using this sentence to show that withstanding against sin is a logical implication that naturally follow from one who believes the gospel. The "then" refers to the fact that they are already truly dead to sin and have been given a new mind. So, as a result of the propositions they were caused to believe, Christians automatically (by logical implication) do not let sin reign in their bodies. God has preserved His people by causing them to believe propositions that prevent then from certain things and at the same time yield fruit in certain things.

I'll stop here although I have much more I'd like to discuss. I know you are busy with many emails and such, but if you would just let me know if I am going in the right direction I'd truly appreciate it.==

==Thanks a lot for the e-mail, it has given me a lot of motivation! In a non-Biblical and now Biblical sense, I'm truly outside the camp in nearly everyway possible at this point in my life...even outside the Christian camp unfortunately. There's so much I'd like to talk about with you but in this email I'll only address your questions. However, I hope you will not mind :) if I elaborate while answering your questions. I think just saying yes or no for some of these questions really doesn't cut it. Instead, I'm compelled to explain why it is not logically possible for my answers to be any different than what they are as a result of the logical consequences of propositional gospel doctrine. (by the way, I'm curious if you ever received a mammoth 11 page email from my yahoo email address?)

Part 1: 4 Questions

Q1) Are you saying that the day that you wrote this, God regenerated you?

A) Yes.

Because it was the first time I understood that the implications of believing the gospel left no room for what I had been assenting to previously. When you defined "death to sin" as a life not characterized by sin, the block in my mind was lifted. Almost at once, it all made since and I talked about this in some detail in my last two emails.

Basically, believing the gospel is believing assurance. Christ's death is inexorably, logically linked into Gods promise; one means nothing without the other. To say you believe in Christ is to admit by implication that you have been promised eternal life. If you do not believe this is so, the only logical alternative is "works" in some form or another. Any doubt about ones salvation is an affront to Gods promise and Christ's death.

The next logical step had to follow; if, just moments before I had written my email to you, I did not understand (and therefore believe) I had assurance in Christ, then of course I was not a Christian…all my works and prayers were as dung.

Q2) Are you saying that you were unregenerate when you thought the Bible was saying you were not a Christian because you had sin in your life?

A) Yes.

Following the above logic, with its foundation in the propositions constituting gospel doctrine, my answer has to be yes. For me to say any different would be to contradict the very gospel I have been caused to believe, which of course is impossible. Really, you are asking me the same question as above only more specifically, as if to truly find out if I mean what I mean. That is why I said I am compelled to elaborate on my answers.

I wrote what I have learned about sin in my last email but I will recap just so you can see what I have come to understand sins logical place within the gospel propositions to be.

The vile sin Christians logically must hate and strive against must always exist in their lives or else God would own some small portion of glory to the creature towards entering heaven. So sin, although we hate it, confirms our assurance and brings us to joy in Christ.

However, my biggest stumbling point was on how I could discern if the sin in my life constituted lostness. If the thief will not enter heaven, I thought, what chance have I? The verses in 1 Corinthians imply not only the sins specifically mentioned but also include by implication any transgression of the law. So, by my faulty reasoning, that would mean that a Christian who dies transgressing any one of Gods laws would not enter the kingdom of God. This is clearly in contradiction to gospel doctrine.

God promises to save His elect completely aside from their immorality. We often hear that God saves man apart from any of their good works. Yes, but on the other hand, it must also mean that those who God saves must also be saved completely apart from their bad works as well. With this as a foundation, you pointed out the obvious last piece that I needed in your sermon on Romans 6. You showed that in order for a man to be a thief or a homosexual they must live a life characterized by that sin. Characterized makes all the difference. A Christian might steal but he can not do so without regard, regret and repentance.

Ultimately the bottom line is that God promises that those who believe the gospel can not live in a way that would exclude them from heaven. To worry about present sins is to deny Christ died for us, to worry about living a life characterized by sin in the future is to deny Gods promise: that He has made us incapable from living as such when He caused us to believe the gospel. Believing the propositions of gospel doctrine does not logically allow a man to sin without regard, regret and repentance.

Q3) Do you believe that every true Christian is constantly assured of his salvation and that he never believes he is unregenerate and never doubts that he is regenerate?

A Christian believing he is unregenerate is a contradiction in terms.

Looking at sin and doubting is the same as looking at works and feeling assured. To fear that you may end up in hell because of evil acts you may commit in the future is to deny the very axiom of the word of God. Such a person can not have logically been regenerated from anything because one has to believe the Bible before He believes He is a sinner. If one believes they are a sinner from Bible authority, they must also accept the fact that Christ died for their sins (past, present and future) and that they must go to heaven as a result.

Q4) Can a Christian temporarily fall into the sin of believing or confessing a false gospel?

A) No

Q5) Do you believe that remarriage after divorce is adultery?

A) Yes.==

==Finally, below are some of the topics and question from the 11 page email I sent on April 1st.

Some Replies to out past correspondence that I never had time to give a proper reply to:

You said) I do resent the accusations that I'm the "leader" of some kind of "movement" and am out to make people believe in "Marc Carpenterism." That's not what I'm about at all.

Reply) No, I totally understand your situation. All you are doing is asserting a logical implication against those who claim to hold to the highest standards of logic. All their rebuttals have failed and now all they can do is hurl accusations against you. You have exposed their idolatry of certain men and their Calvinistic idolism lingo as well. Then, of course you really put the last nail in the coffin by rejecting the KJV as the standard. That's true heterodoxy for them, lol.

I recognize that you have been bearing the reproach of nearly the whole of men around you for proclaiming the gospel. You have not compromised with the world, and in turn you are as a sheep sent to the slaughter. I can relate you how you must feel.

It's also funny that they consider you some cult leader, as you are 99.9 percent in agreement with everything the Calvinist teaches. You assert one entirely logical implication about the gospel and suddenly you're a cult?

It's so laughable and ridiculous I am beside myself! You have exposed Tolerant Calvinists as idol worshippers who can no longer charade themselves as the logical Christian men they purport to be. They are logical idol worshippers rather than mystical ones. If fact they are the most logical idol worshippers in existence. You pointed out their Achilles heel!

You said) Is Praewa a true Christian? You had said you do not know any true Christians.

Reply) She is not even a Christian. She is really a Buddhist who has expressed her desire to become a Christian and who has read a least a mediocre portion of the new testament. I have been witnessing to her by sending her costly translation of my more complicated English emails.

I have already told her and have set in my heart that if she is not a Christian I can not marry her. I know I could not live with that at all.

So I am paying for her to take English classes and am talking to her slowly about the gospel.==

With the response about Praewa's being a Buddhist and that he cannot marry her if she is not a Christian, I thought Rhett had severed the courtship.

Rhett then joined the Outside the Camp discussion group. In that group, we were discussing the law of marriage (that is encapsulated in www.outsidethecamp.org/marriagelaw.htm ) and what constitutes marriage (that is encapsulated in www.outsidethecamp.org/marriage.htm ). Three days after he joined the group, he posted the following to the group:

==Brothers and sisters in Christ,

I'm trying to catch up with you all on the marriage posts. I must admit I am greatly disturbed by what I have been reading. By implication you are telling me that I can not have children or take the woman I love as my wife. This truly, deeply distresses me! Literally, I nearly had a breakdown as I was reading. This subject, for me, cuts at the very center of my soul.

On such a sensitive subject, I have noticed that there seems to be little compassion for those on this board who might have been married for years with children and have now been told they must divorce or prove they are unregenerate. I hope we could all put ourselves in their shoes while we assert such statements. For all the warmth and brotherly love I have seen in correcting others in the early posts, on such a delicate issue there seems to be so little.

Because this is such a delicate issue for me, I am not able to accept your conclusions.==

Just a short while after Rhett had said that Praewa was a Buddhist and that he could not marry her if she is not a Christian, he turned around and talked about wanting to "take the woman I love as my wife"! What was this all about?

I wrote the following to the list:

==Where do we want to start -- from God's Word, or from our own behaviors or wishes? Do we want our own behaviors or wishes to align with God's Word, or do we want to put God's Word in alignment with our own behaviors or wishes?

Do we say, "God's Word says something that is contrary to my behaviors and wishes, so I need to change my behaviors and wishes," or do we say, "God's Word doesn't line up with my behaviors and wishes, so I have to find some way to make God's Word fit into my behaviors and wishes"? God's Word should determine our behaviors and wishes, should it not? And if we find our lives not to be in line with God's Word, is it God's Word or our lives that need to change? On this issue, do we come to it thinking, "Well, if this is true, then I'm not going to be able to marry, so I can't accept that God's Word says this"? Or do we come to it thinking, "Whatever God's Word says, I'm going to bow to it, no matter what the consequences in my personal life"? Let me give a very absurd example to make a point. Suppose God's Word says that Christians are not to drive red trucks. Now suppose I drive a red truck that I love, and I find out the God's Word says I am not to do that. What should be my response? Should it be, "I love my red truck, and I cannot accept that God's Word says I'm not to do that. I need to come up with an interpretation that lets me keep my red truck"? Or should it be, "God's Word says it, and I'm going to obey. I'm going to give up that red truck that I have loved so much"?==

I then wrote the following to Rhett publicly on the list:

==<<By implication you are telling me that I can not have children or take the woman I love as my wife.>>

<<Because this is such a delicate issue for me, I am not able to accept your conclusions.>>

Issue #1: I'm not telling you anything. I'm putting forth Scripture and am asking -- what is God is telling us? What if God is telling you you cannot marry or have children? Would you accept it? Well, from the second quote, it seems that you are not able to accept "[my] conclusions" (which are not my conclusions) because -- why? Because it's unbiblical? No -- because it's such a delicate issue for you. That's not good, Rhett. If you do not accept a conclusion, it should not be because of what it implies for your life. It should be because God's Word does not support such a conclusion.

Issue #2: You mention "the woman [you] love." You also wrote to me in a separate e-mail, "If what you are all saying is true, I do not know that I can change my relationship with the woman I love." So you have a "relationship with the woman [you] love." For the others on this list who do not know some of your history, saying that you have a relationship with a woman you love and are planning to take this woman as your wife wouldn't raise any eyebrows. But it raises BIG TIME red flags for me. MEGA BIG TIME red flags. SUPER MEGA BIG TIME red flags. Since you brought the issue of this woman onto the list, I must give the readers of this list some background.

On 3/19/06, while you were still unregenerate, you wrote, "Ill be in Thailand for another week or so visiting my furture wife, Praewa. It is also a relief to know a woman like her still exists."

On 4/9/06, as a regenerate person, you wrote regarding Praewa: "She is not even a Christian. She is really a Buddhist who has expressed her desire to become a Christian and who has read a least a mediocre portion of the new testament. I have been witnessing to her by sending her costly translation of my more complicated English emails. I have already told her and have set in my heart that if she is not a Christian I can not marry her. I know I could not live with that at all. So I am paying for her to take English classes and am talking to her slowly about the gospel."

From that last response, I assumed that you had broken off the relationship, were not considering her to be your "future wife," and were just witnessing to her. But now I find out that you are still having a "relationship with the woman [you] love"!! I am taken aback. You say God has regenerated you, which means that you realize that she is an enemy of God and an enemy of the people of God, including you. Yet you are having a pre-marital loving relationship with a child of the devil??!! And you know I'm not talking about "loving your enemies" here. This "love" that you talk about is one between a man and a woman that is heading toward marriage. And this woman is an evildoer, a blasphemer, an idolater, a spiritual adulteress, a wicked God-hater!! Yet you are looking at taking this "woman [you] love" as your wife?? I'm sure you'll say that you're witnessing to her in hopes that she will be saved, and then you can marry. But you have ABSOLUTELY NO BUSINESS being in this kind of relationship with a God-hater!! You MUST cut off this relationship IMMEDIATELY. Of course you can still witness to her, but if witnessing to her tempts you to restart the relationship, then either witness to her long-distance or get away from her altogether. How can you even think of having a loving intimate relationship with a God-hater? Are you a new creature in Christ? Have old things passed away and all things become new? I wonder if this is totally coloring your view of the whole marriage issue.==

Rhett then wrote the following to the list:

==American women in general have been actvily pursuing the fundemental alteration of their femininity. It's not about Political Correctness, what has happened to them is completely fundamental. The very matrix of their logical mind has been corrupted by their own feminist virus which has altered their feminine circuit's at the most intimate level. Over 40+ years or more of this constant onslaught of wicked logic saturating their every waking moment within American culture makes any hope of finding a woman that has anything like Christian femininity like finding a needle in a haystack.

For years I've had an acute awareness about feminisms effects on women and men and saw how the closest women around me were being affected by it. It literally came to a point when I woke up in the middle of the night hitting my pillow in a rage. Other times truly losing sleep over the problem. It seemed every woman I saw triggered this insatiable rage in me. Even if she was just asking me a question, I could identify and point out all the little nuances in her voice, body language and choice of words that reflected her conformity to feminist dogma and consequently her subtle implications that I was an evil man. American women have managed to construct a social language/environment in which a woman can completely humiliate a man without saying anything offensive.

No single thing has created more contention in my life then this issue. I really can't emphasize that enough. Then I went to Asia to work for one year, specifically Burma, and I met the Asian woman. With just a look I could see that my contention and rage could be over. The year I spent in Burma and Thailand was completely unexpected for me. Spending time with the women there in all the various circumstances was such a tremendous medicine for me. Totally profound.==

I responded to Rhett on the list:

==Rhett,

You wrote:

<<No single thing has created more contention in my life then this issue. I really can't emphasize that enough. Then I went to Asia to work for one year, specifically Burma, and I met the Asian woman. With just a look I could see that my contention and rage could be over. The year I spent in Burma and Thailand was completely unexpected for me. Spending time with the women there in all the various circumstances was such a tremendous medicine for me. Totally profound.>>

Yet what is the difference between an unregenerate raging American feminist and an unregenerate subservient Asian woman? Both hate God with all their hearts. The devil has been deceiving you, Rhett. You love Praewa because she is a subservient Asian woman, not a lover of God.==

I had put forth the following series of questions on the list:

==What I've done recently is to ask every man on this list about a scenario that the Makis responded to. Some have responded, some have not. This scenario is not about what defines marriage. It is on a very basic moral level, and I want to make sure we're all in agreement on this very basic thing. So before we go further about the relationship of sex to marriage, I would like every man on this list to respond to the scenario. And I'm going to reiterate this scenario to make it even more clear what I'm trying to get at. So as not to bring up the controversial issue of what defines marriage, let us assume that when I talk about marriage, I am talking about the traditional view of marriage that includes a ceremony, an exchange of words signifying commitment, and sex. Okay?

So here's part of the scenario: Woman A is married to Man A. Woman A then has a sexual relationship with Man B.

Question 1 is this: Is Woman A committing adultery?

More of the scenario: Woman A then divorces Man A. Woman A then marries Man B.

Question 2 is this: Is Woman A an adulteress?

More of the scenario: Woman A then "gets saved" yet continues to be married to Man B.

Question 3 is this: Is Woman A still an adulteress?

Question 4 is this: Is it possible for Woman A to remain married to Man B if she is truly saved?

Question 5 is this: If Woman A is truly saved, will she stop having a marital relationship with Man B?==

Rhett responded in this way:

==Scenario 1: Woman A is married to Man A. Woman A then has a sexual relationship with Man B.
Question: Is Woman A committing adultery?
Response: Yes. However, if sexual intercourse constitutes marriage that would mean that the woman is now married to two men and no adultery has been committed.

Scenario 2: Woman A then divorces Man A. Woman A then marries Man B.
Question: Is Woman A an adulteress?
Response: Yes. She is still an adulteress because she divorced Man A without cause.

Scenario 3: Woman A then "gets saved" yet continues to be married to Man B.
Question1: Is Woman A still an adulteress?
Response: Yes. But it was not the marrying that made her an adulterer. She was that already.
Question 2: Is it possible for Woman A to remain married to Man B if she is truly saved?
Response: Yes.
Question 3: If Woman A is truly saved, will she stop having a marital relationship [i.e. Divorce] with Man B?
Response: No. If they are married then he is her husband and leaving him would be adultery. I think sin frequently leads to situations in which there are no sinless ways out. It would be the greater sin for her to leave her second husband than to remain with him, especially if there are children involved. The woman at the well had five husbands, and now was living with a man who was not her husband. Yet Christ did not command her to return to her first husband.

I think we should also keep in mind that there is a distinction between innocent and guilty parties. Innocent parties are free to remarry; only guilty parties are forbidden to remarry.

Another thought on sex as constituting marriage: If we use the Christ/Church Man/Woman example, we see that there is no sexual intercourse equivalent in here at all. Yet God calls it the marriage of the lamb. Instead we see a promise from God and an acceptance of that promise by the Church.==

I responded to Rhett on the list:

==<<Scenario 1: Woman A is married to Man A. Woman A then has a sexual relationship with Man B.

Question: Is Woman A committing adultery?
Response: Yes. However, if sexual intercourse constitutes marriage that would mean that the woman is now married to two men and no adultery has been committed.>>

We're not getting into whether or not sexual intercourse constitutes marriage. But you are saying that a woman married to two men is not an adulteress!

<<Scenario 2: Woman A then divorces Man A. Woman A then marries Man B.
Question: Is Woman A an adulteress?
Response: Yes. She is still an adulteress because she divorced Man A without cause.>>

I made no mention of the causality of the divorce.

<<Scenario 3: Woman A then "gets saved" yet continues to be married to Man B.

Question1: Is Woman A still an adulteress?
Response: Yes. But it was not the marrying that made her an adulterer. She was that already.

Question 2: Is it possible for Woman A to remain married to Man B if she is truly saved?
Response: Yes.>>

Wow. Your response to Question 1 shows that you believe that this woman who "gets saved" is still an adulteress, yet your response to Question 2 shows that you believe that this woman, who is still an adulteress, can remain married to the man with whom she had the "affair" if she is truly saved! Thus, contrary to what the Bible says (1 Corinthians 6:9-11), not all adulteresses are unregenerate!!

<<Question 3: If Woman A is truly saved, will she stop having a marital relationship [i.e. Divorce] with Man B?
Response: No. If they are married then he is her husband and leaving him would be adultery. I think sin frequently leads to situations in which there are no sinless ways out. It would be the greater sin for her to leave her second husband than to remain with him, especially if there are children involved. The woman at the well had five husbands, and now was living with a man who was not her husband. Yet Christ did not command her to return to her first husband.>>

You must not have read the first post on the issue carefully enough. Jesus was not saying that she was living with a man who was not her husband. Also, Deuteronomy 24:1-4 shows that the woman is not to go back to the first husband and if the first husband takes her back, it is an abomination to the Lord.

I think we should also keep in mind that there is a distinction between innocent and guilty parties. Innocent parties are free to remarry; only guilty parties are forbidden to remarry.

Says who? God certainly doesn't say that! The marriage bond is a life-long bond for BOTH parties. If the "guilty party" leaves, that does not dissolve the life-long bond for the "innocent party." You are saying that the marriage bond is NOT a life-long bond for both parties; instead, it is a contract that can be dissolved. This is not God's view of marriage.

So now it is obvious that you, too, have made numerous exceptions to your answer of "yes" to the question as to whether remarriage after divorce is adultery. So your answer should have been, "Yes, except ... and except ... and except ..." My question had no exceptions. I guess I need to reword the question to make sure people know that I'm asking about no exceptions.

Please see

http://www.prca.org/articles/family/family_12.html

http://www.prca.org/prtj/apr2001.html#MarriageMystery

http://www.prca.org/current/Marriage/Pages%201-58.htm

Rhett, I really would like to correspond with you off the list. I hope my taking you off the list doesn't stop our correspondence. But, as you know, I must take you off the list because you are endorsing blatant immorality.==

I then wrote to Rhett off the list:

==Does God put His people in situations where the only options are sin?

May it never be.

There is ALWAYS at least one non-sinful option for God's people.

Just think if God put His people in situations where the only options are sin. He would then have His people choose between a "greater sin" and a "lesser sin," but sin nonetheless.

But think about something even worse: What if God put His people in situations where the only options are living in sin? Would this be a just God?

The Bible gives us the answer:

"No temptation has taken you except [what is] human; but God [is] faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able. But with the temptation, [He] will also make the way out, so that you may be able to bear [it]." (1Co 10:13)

Why does God make a way out of temptation? Why does God always give His people a non-sinful option? Because GOD IS FAITHFUL!!! To say that God will put His people in situations where His people must choose between one sin and another or one sinful lifestyle and another is to say that GOD IS NOT FAITHFUL.==

Rhett responded:

==After giving it some time and thought I want to bring up a couple of points with you.

1) I do not believe that sex is marriage.

2) From what I can tell, remarriage after divorce is adultery.

3) I'm not sure if a couple married in an adulterous relationship should divorce after being saved. (I'm leaning towards they shouldn't.)==

A little more than 3 months later, Rhett had his "Carpenterism Discerned" web site up. And this is very telling: On the web site, Rhett opposes the doctrines that he claimed to believe even when he disagreed about marriage! Before putting up his web site, he never even once said anything about his disagreement with us on gospel doctrine. Yet on his web site, he says things like this:

==Proponents of Carpenterism typically first argue a true Christian will never profess a false Gospel. Then, they incorrectly define the Gospel by making a circle around a specific set of doctrines closely related to the doctrine of the Atonement. Because of the close relationship of those doctrines to the Atonement, Carpenterism holds that a true Christian will never ever get any of those doctrines wrong.

In other words, upon regeneration God causes a true Christian to believe a specific set of doctrines and to understand them all correctly from the word "Go" without any questions or errors. Carpenterism argues a true Christian cannot have error in any one of those doctrines, because those specific doctrines ARE the Gospel itself. To misunderstand any one of them, they argue, is in some way or another to implicitly deny that it is Christ's blood alone through faith alone that saves.==

What does this tell you? It tells you that his condoning of immorality was merely a symptom of unbelief of the gospel. He never believed the gospel to begin with, and this did not come out with a blatant denial of the gospel at first; it came out only after he was exposed as someone who speaks peace to a Buddhist and who condones ongoing adultery! It is very interesting how this plays itself out sometimes. We have had people like Rhett who have said they agree with us on all essential gospel doctrines, but then they disagree with us regarding a point of basic morality. Once they are not in fellowship with us anymore, they start to disagree with us on the essential gospel doctrines! Very telling.

Rhett also has on his site some lies about me, and he has been confronted with them and given the truth, and yet he continues to keep these lies on his site. Here is what I sent to Rhett:

==This is to Rhett Schafle, the creator of the "Carpenterism" web site: Let's see if you're a man of integrity. There are some lies on your web site, and if you are a man of integrity, you will take them off.

<<In 1997 a professing Christian teacher asked: "Can a man who believes Christ died for all men without exception (Universal Atonement or UA) ever be considered a Christian?" The response he received from Reformed Christendom was: "Yes, as long as that person does not also believe and teach all its implications." Unsatisfied with this response the questioning man separated himself from his local church and began his own "congregation", which is mostly propagated via the internet.>>

I did not separate myself form my local church in 1997.

I did not begin my own congregation.

The congregation of which I am a part is not propagated at all via the internet. The OTC list is not a congregation at all and has never claimed to be.

<<Marc coined "Tolerant Calvinist" to denote those men who accept that inconsistent UA advocates might be brothers in Christ.>>

I did not coin that term at all. The first time I heard it was from John Pedersen.

<<By logical extension, Marc includes nearly the whole of professing Christendom, because either most people believe UA or will not outright denounce those who believe UA to be necessarily unregenerate heathen.>>

Those who "will not outright denounce those who believe UA" are in two camps -- those who know what universal atonement advocates believe and those who don't. Those who don't (such as those who have never heard of UA or have never heard of the argument between efficacious and universal atonement) I will not judge to be lost based on their not denouncing those who believe UA. This is a fundamental flaw in your logic.

<<By implication, Carpenterism and its followers comprise the true remnant of Christian believers on earth. The Church of God has not been upheld as Christ promised He would uphold it; until the advent of Marc Carpenter the Church has been utterly lost in darkness.>>

Absolutely false. There are people around the world whom I have never met who are true Christians. In fact, the ones I have met comprise only a very small percentage of the true Christians on earth. And I do not believe that until my advent, the church has been utterly lost in darkness. God has always had His true church from the beginning of time. His true church has NEVER been utterly lost in darkness, and there has NEVER been a time when the true church did not exist on the earth.

<<Excerpts from Marc's article are in courier font type and in red quotes. All CAPS are Marc's.>>

Wrong - I am not the author of the Christian Confession of Faith. The primary author is Christopher Adams. After Christopher wrote the CCF, then a bunch of men got together to finalize it. I guess you'll have to call your web site "Adamsism Discerned", eh?==

Here is another post I wrote regarding what Rhett wrote about evolution on the Carpenterism site:

==Rhett wrote:

<<Take the Christian evolutionist for example. Let's say this man believes in Christ's atoning blood and imputed righteousness and also believes Universal Atonement is a heresy. But he also believes that evolution is true. Now evolution implies death, dying and suffering before sin as being simply a normal and natural part of life. Ultimately, such a view undermines man's responsibility for sin and destroys any need for a Saviour. Also, believing in evolution ultimately undermines the doctrine of the divine authority of scripture, which implies the Bible is fallible and the list goes on. These two points alone have obvious and fatal implications for the doctrine of the Atonement.>>

Yeah, Rhett, let's take the "Christian evolutionist" as an example. This once again shows your moral bankruptcy. There is NO SUCH THING as a "Christian evolutionist." It would be like saying there is such a thing as a "Christian Buddhist." (Oh, yeah, you think there is a "Christian Buddhist," don't you? And you'll be committing adultery with her soon if you aren't already, eh?) Evolutionism is a religion. It requires its adherents to deny the Bible. Everything about evolutionism is anti-God. It is anti-gospel, as Rhett noted -- death before sin means that death did not come into the world through sin. Thus, there is no true SALVATION in evolutionism. It denies that God created man in His image. It denies that God created the world in six days. It denies the very foundation of Scripture. Yet Rhett believes that one can believe the true gospel and believe in evolution at the same time. This, of course, tells you a lot about Rhett. OF COURSE, then, Rhett can believe that one can believe the true gospel and believe in universal atonement at the same time. OF COURSE, then, Rhett can believe that one can believe the true gospel and believe in ANY NUMBER of gospel-denying heresies at the same time. This shows how much of a God-hating fool Rhett is. So, Rhett, why not take the next examples: "Take the Christian atheist for example." "Take the Christian agnostic for example." "Take the Christian who does not believe in the infallibility of Scripture for example." "Take the Christian who denies the deity of Christ for example." And on and on we could go. There is NOT A SINGLE CHRISTIAN who is an evolutionist, and THERE IS NOT A SINGLE EVOLUTIONIST who is a Christian. Rhett's inability to realize this shows him to be blind.

To God alone be the glory,

Marc==

Rhett then replied, and here is my response:

==Rhett wrote:

<<Marc's Initial Attempt (and Failure) at Refuting Implied Perfectionism>>

<<Marc continually practices perfectionism, but he cannot see it. He shows his intellectual and spiritual blindness in the situation.>>

<<However, because it is not in fact the case that Christians must believe all doctrines perfectly, as Marc's false teachings verify [that is at present I still consider Marc to be a Christian, although at present he is advocating heretical doctrines], Marc exalts himself over Christ and forces teachings into Christ own mouth.>>

<<At this point, after being shown the numerous inconsistencies, double-standards and self-serving, invalid reasoning noted above, Carpenterists usually offer their implied "Righteous Judgment" argument via a rhetorical question: If UA advocates may be brothers in Christ, then why not Jehovah's Witnesses, atheists etc. also? By this rhetorical question the Carpenterists think their self-serving inconsistencies and invalid reasoning are justified.

The simple answer of course is that many of these other people not only do not confess CATFA, but many of them explicitly deny and ridicule not only CATFA, but also the Bible and the whole Christian system.

However, if, say, a Jehovah's Witness does truly confess CATFA, is that person really still a Jehovah's Witness or a Christian? This is not to be misunderstood as saying these people are Christians. All it means is that a far more robust analysis and arguments need to be presented to make a convincing case either way, than the typical self-serving, fallacious and double-standard reasoning, which Carpenterists offer.>>

This was not an "attempt at refuting implied perfectionism" or "an attempt to shake the charge of doctrinal perfectionism" at all! It wasn't ANY attempt, let alone an an initial attempt, to address the charge of perfectionism at all! Man, what a liar you are! You have absolutely no morals, do you? It's no wonder that you have no problem committing adultery with a Buddhist! My article was focused just on the fact that you are speaking peace to evolutionists. Are you just too stupid to get it?

There is NO SUCH THING as an evolutionist who believes in essential gospel doctrine.

And your response regarding a Jehovah's Witness who "truly confesses CATFA" is very telling.

Hey, I have some more people for you to consider:

How about "Christian nihilists"?

Or how about "Christian annihilationists?"

And on the morality side:

How about "Christian abortionists?"

How about "Christian adulterers?"

How about "Christian strippers?"

How about "Christian murderers?"

How about "Christian homosexuals?"

And I see that you still won't put your name in your responses. You really are a coward, aren't you? You don't want your name all over the web. I noticed that you didn't actually address the issue of your adultery with the Buddhist. Why not? Are you afraid that your credibility will suffer when people realize that you are or will be not only a continual adulterer but a continual adulterer with a Buddhist? Does John Robbins know this? It sorta puts all your writing in a new perspective, doesn't it?==

Finally, here is a post I sent to the Outside the Camp list:

==Hello, everybody.

If anyone wants to look back at Rhett's posts and responses to Rhett's posts on this list, just type in "Rhett" in the search box.

Since I don't have access to my old e-mails until I get my new computer, I can't look up my pre-list correspondence with Rhett, but all of us can see what he wrote on the otc list. Interestingly, when I introduced Rhett to the list, I posted some excerpts of my pre-list correspondence with Rhett (before I considered Rhett to be saved).

Here's some of what Rhett said:

<<Well, the first thing I want to say is that I have no doubt that I have been unregenerate. My key to figuring this out was when I realized that not too long ago I had told an old friend back home who was baptized with me when we were kids that he was a Christian even though he doesn't know what the Gospel is.

So after all this time studying at the Trinity Foundation, with all the ideas and high concepts, I have nothing left but empty words and I am no better off than a Satanist. I haven't been a Christian all these years; I've been a "Scripturalist."

Its embarrassing and freighting to me that all my past prayers, tears, study, energy, excitement, all the times I was so certain God was helping me, all the loved ones who cried to heaven and all their singing, and just everything....where all nothing but lies and nonsense. I really have no idea what to think anymore. I know those things were false, but I still feel mostly lost. How can I know if my prayers are being heard and are genuine?

...

What I didn't state clearly in my last email was, if Gordon Clark doesn't trust his sense to give him knowledge, then how can he trust what he reads from Bible is not some demonic illusion? I think this is a good point, and Dr. Robbins rebuttals never satisfied me. But now I want to know how much of what I have been learning at TF.org is false.

...

1) How does God deal with the sins in the lives of those he has caused to believe the Gospel. You have said that God hates sin and that those who do certain sins will not enter heaven. But I have certain sins.

2) I have small lingering doubts about salvation because I am not certain as to what salvation entails. Is salvation siimply a mental asent to the Gospel? And in the process of asent to the Gospel I have nessasarily asented to the fact that God has cuased me to asent and that this asent involves Gods promise to see it through?

3) Than I have one more question. What about my sin? I understand that Christs rightousness is imputed to me, but the Bible also says that those who have certain lusts and sins will not enter heaven. The sins of the saved were imputed to Christ on the crioss but they are also still very much alive in their daily lives. So what does this mean? It seems that Paul is saying Christians have the ability through Christ to live sinless lives.

4) I have obvious sins that I hate and wish would leave my soul but they are still there. What does this mean?>>

Interestingly, Rhett said, "So after all this time studying at the Trinity Foundation, with all the ideas and high concepts, I have nothing left but empty words and I am no better off than a Satanist. I haven't been a Christian all these years; I've been a 'Scripturalist.' Now that he has gone back to Clarkism and Robbinsism, he has gone back to the "ideas and high concepts and empty words," showing that he has always been no better off than a Satanist.

And VERY interestingly, Rhett said that "It seems that Paul is saying Christians have the ability through Christ to live sinless lives"!

He was saying that it seems that Paul was a perfectionist! So now he is accusing ME of being a perfectionist! Interesting, eh?

My response to him then was:

<<No way! Paul NEVER said that Christians have the ability through Christ to live sinless lives! In fact, he said just the opposite!

Look at Romans 7! Also, check out what John said in 1 John 1:8 & 10.

Now there is a difference between sinning and LIVING in sin. See www.outsidethecamp.org/romans42.htm and www.outsidethecamp.org/romans32.htm .>>

After being so clear against perfectionism, Rhett turns around and calls ME a perfectionist. He doesn't define what "perfectionism" I believe, since I have always been very clear that NO Christian has the ability to live a sinless life (which is what perfectionism is, isn't it?), that sin is ALWAYS with EVERY Christian, that Christians CONSTANTLY fall short of God's standard of perfect righteousness, and that NOTHING a Christian does or is enabled to do forms EVEN THE SMALLEST PART of the ground of his salvation or of his acceptance with God or of his entitlement to final glory. How much more clear can I be?

Oh, but wait - Rhett might say that perfectionism is an IMPLICATION of my teachings, no matter what I say outwardly! But, hey, we can't hold people to the IMPLICATIONS if they deny those implications, right? People can believe CONTRADICTIONS, right? People can be INCONSISTENT, right? So I guess, according to Rhett, I'm an inconsistent believer.

Another interesting thing is that Rhett gave absolutely NO indication that he was against our view that all universal atonement advocates are lost; in fact, he said just the opposite, and very strongly. He said that it was the only conclusion that one could logically make.

But what was it that led to his being removed from the otc list? It was the issue of his relationship with a woman!

Here's what Rhett said AFTER he claimed to have been regenerated:

<<She is not even a Christian. She is really a Buddhist who has expressed her desire to become a Christian and who has read a least a mediocre portion of the new testament. I have been witnessing to her by sending her costly translation of my more complicated English emails.>>

My response was this:

<<From that last response, I assumed that you had broken off the relationship, were not considering her to be your "future wife," and were just witnessing to her. But now I find out that you are still having a "relationship with the woman [you] love"!! I am taken aback.

You say God has regenerated you, which means that you realize that she is an enemy of God and an enemy of the people of God, including you. Yet you are having a pre-marital loving relationship with a child of the devil??!! And you know I'm not talking about "loving your enemies" here. This "love" that you talk about is one between a man and a woman that is heading toward marriage. And this woman is an evildoer, a blasphemer, an idolater, a spiritual adulteress, a wicked God-hater!! Yet you are looking at taking this "woman [you] love" as your wife??>>

This is when everything came crashing down. He was going to marry a Buddhist!!

This all came about from the discussion of marriage, divorce, and remarriage. It turned out that Rhett was an advocate of adultery and adulterers, including with his Buddhist wife-to-be. So he was removed from the list. And then what happens after he's removed from the list? His true colors rise to the surface -- he showed that he did not even believe that all universal atonement advocates or tolerant Calvinists were lost!

Now this should tell us something. This is a VERY important lesson.

When we talk about moral issues and we find out that someone is actually advocating immorality and immoral lifestyles, it ALWAYS means that there is a deeper issue of doctrine. ALWAYS. WITHOUT EXCEPTION. Rhett is a great case in point. Instead of just rejecting our views of remarriage, he out-and-out rejects everything we believe, including essential gospel doctrines. I'm very glad we were able to see this first-hand. As I have said before, there is NO SUCH THING as a person who lives in immorality who also agrees with us on essential gospel doctrine. They might claim to for a time, but THEY DO NOT. Those who believe the gospel will ALSO live moral lives and will ESCHEW immorality. God says it in His Word. And if someone does NOT live a moral life and DEFENDS the immoral lifestyles of others, then that person DOES NOT believe the gospel. What a great example we have in Rhett Schafle.

I am also Ccing this post to Rhett. Rhett, how would you like me to tell the world that you are having a relationship with a Buddhist?

Wouldn't that look great on a rebuttal site? NO WONDER you're tolerant of universal atonement advocates and tolerant Calvinists -- you're tolerant of BUDDHISTS! Hey, after all, "not all Buddhists realize the implications of their Buddhism," eh, Rhett? What a hypocritical, phony, tossed-by-every-wind fool you are, Rhett.

Now to respond to Rhett's post on the Carpenterism list:

<<Rather than appealing to secular protocol, make an argument from the Bible and tell me why Marc is obligated access into this discussion group. Then I want to know why Marc is allowed to decide who enters his yahoo group but he should be allowed into mine. ...

Perhaps I might let Marc into this group if Marc allows those who oppose his thought into his yahoo group.>>

The otc list is for believers only. It is for encouragement and edification of believers only. Is that what you claim the Carpenterism list is for? Are you restricting it to believers only?

<<Moreover, this site is not dedicated to refuting Marc Carpenter; this site is dedicated to refuting his teachings. This is not a personal attack; it is an attack against his public statements.>>

Give me a break. You called it "Carpenterism." How much more personal can it get?

As an aside, since you now can separate the person from his doctrines and cannot judge anyone to be lost based on what doctrine he confesses, then I guess you can't judge me to be lost, eh, Mr. Hypocrite?

<<Logic and the Bible are accusing Marc; what difference does it make who points it out; unless you and Marc intend to deflect from the challenges facing you both and make Ad Hominim attacks against the authors. ... We are not interested in attacking and denouncing a man, only his arguments.>>

No - the reason I wanted to be on the list was NOT to deflect the accusations but to ADDRESS THEM HEAD-ON. By the way, there is no such thing as "Ad Hominim." Check your dictionary.

<<Bottom line: Marc simply need to address the arguments.>>

I am most certainly willing to "address the arguments," but you will not let me do so in a forum that is specifically for doing so.

<<Perhaps Marc thinks that anyone who disagrees with him is obligated to confront him about it?>>

If you are putting up a "Carpenterism" site, then this is no mere "disagreement"; this is a public slander.

<<Personally accusing Marc of anything but the heresies presented on his own website is outside the purpose and scope of this group and website.>>

Oh, really, Mr. Double-Talk? Then what about the part where you said that I "excommunicated" people because of views on Natural Theology and Remarriage? Where is that on my website, you hypocrite? So don't tell me that you're accusing me of anything other than what I present on my website, you liar.

What a low-life coward you are, Rhett. Go speak peace to Buddhists and Arminians and Calvinists. Go commit adultery with your Buddhist woman. Go commit spiritual whoredom with your universal atonement brothers in Satan. As for those of us who are Christians, we will continue giving God all the glory and continue smashing the idols that you and your ilk raise up and worship.

To God alone be the glory,

Marc==


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