Saturday, December 5, 2009

Peter Ruckman Sets Us Free--Really

Peter Ruckman had no problem ripping into his alma mater. Some of his accusations were true, some were false, none were Christ-like, and all of them were irrelevant. But independent Baptists were surprised to learn that you could attack BJU, criticize its wrongs, and reject its authority, even though they had been taught that this was impossible.

Having been driven into steadily-smaller, hostile camps that spied on and criticized each other, independent Baptists had no one to champion BJU, and its leadership over the group virtually disappeared.

Whether disciples of Peter Ruckman, members of the Southern Baptist Convention, practicing Biblical Christianity without the word "Baptist" in their name, or even continuing as they always had been, independent Baptists rarely send their students to BJU today.

The third reason why God allowed Ruckmanism to gain such influence over independent Baptists was to break Bob Jones University's control over them.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fighting for the Lead

Bob Jones University had a well-organized network that kept track of various Christian publications, conferences, and churches. They began attacking Christians who were not in obedience to BJU, denouncing them across America and forbidding God's people to have anything to do with them. They took a new and strong stand for "secondary separation," teaching that we were to disobey the Biblical commands to fellowship with Christians who would not obey BJU. Eventually, they expanded this false doctrine to forbid Christians from associating with anyone who associated with anyone who associated, etc., with anyone whom BJU did not approve of.

Drunk with power that neither God nor man had given him, the president of BJU forbad any Christian anywhere to criticize him or his practices, and forbad Christians to fellowship with anyone who did. And with large numbers of fundamentalist churches being pastored by BJU grads, strong, fundamental evangelists who had already been rejected by moderate Christians found themselves unable to get speaking engagements if they did not did not obey him. He drove deep divisions into fundamentalists, isolating them from Godly Christians and groups who realized BJU's errors, as well as isolating them from each other.

Their new magazine, "Faith for the Family," spread this fighting into congregations whose pastors would not obey BJU, and he invented the word "pseudofundamentalist" to describe Christians who obeyed the Biblical commands to love one another.

And then it all backfired.