Steve Van Nattan
3:5 Thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that make my people err,
that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their
mouths, they even prepare war against him.
24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
As we come down to
the end of the Age of the Church, I am finding it a real burden to watch my friends
and the last of the Philadelphian Church walk into the ditch and clamber over
onto the broad way, and then turn and take shots at me. I have to wonder how it
was with Noah. He preached for 120 years, and as he came to the end of the age
in which he lived, we know he had to be very lonely.
convinced only his three sons and their wives, so I have to figure that Noah and
his family had little or no fellowship with the righteous. I have to then figure
again that God will help me through this time. Our family does still have a few
friends who have not betrayed our Lord or gone bonkers.
As we come down to the end
of the Church Age that the problem of "short rounds" is getting worse
and worse. What are "short rounds?" In battle, during warfare, there
are those rare times when a man gets hit by his own men by accident. This is also
called "friendly fire" in Henry Kissinger's New Speak. It ain't very
"friendly" if you are dead or wounded by your own people.
problem with this Fundamental Baptist mob is that they are shooting at each other
on purpose. To let a stray round go once in a while is troublesome. To shoot at
each other instead of the enemy is treason and deluded.
Recently, an exchange went on, between myself and an old Army friend of mine in
San Diego named Bob, in which I tried to find a Bible Believing church in San
Diego for him. Before I received Bob's letter below, I had sent the name of a
church which another friend thought would be a good one. My second friend will
not be named, but his response to Bob's frustration will be the second letter.
for the suggestion.
I've been to every KJV Baptist church in San Diego that I'm aware of including
_________ Baptist; I could tell you some interesting stories. Several have Hyles
ties and tendencies. At least one pastor who claims to be KJV is hoping for a
better translation. The content of the preaching is generally shallow and, all
too often, unsound -- but they make up for lack of content with the obligatory
bellowing and tasteless, ill-advised levity.
addition, self-indulgence, arrogance and/or lack of repentance in the face of
unbecoming behavior, even on the part of some pastors, a severe shortage of Godly
meekness, and scandal contribute to foster spiritually dead churches. I regret
to say that I have just about given up on fundamental Baptist churches as they
appear to be forsaking the fundamentals.
There was supposed to be a Bible church at a distance that I thought I'd check
out, but I was never able to locate it at the given address -- perhaps it went
belly up after the directory was printed.
Although it is some distance away, I have recently visited a small Orthodox Presbyterian
church a few times which, surprisingly, is far stronger on the fundamentals as
well as on holy living (something on which Baptists often appear weak) than the
above-mentioned Baptist churches; unfortunately, this church uses the NAS -- so
I follow along in my KJV. (Actually, I'm not aware of any denomination that hasn't
fallen victim to "textual criticism" and takes a stand on using the KJV, although
a few of the cults do... strange day we live in, huh?)
have also visited a few other denominational churches, none of which are as strong.
This begs the question: Which is better: Attend raucous, prideful, perhaps unsound
and/or pointless services lacking any real spiritual meat? Or attend a denominational
church which does have a strong testimony and powerful preaching? (Joining in
membership might be questionable in either case.) Or is it better to stay away
altogether? Meanwhile, we are confronted with the admonition of not forsaking
the assembling of ourselves together.
Please don't misunderstand; I'm not as forlorn as the above ramblings might suggest.
They were only intended to convey the church situation as I have found it. Although
some things are hard to understand, I am confident in Christ and rejoice in Him
in the midst of these tribulations.
Also, I do get together with a couple of others for Bible study on Sunday evenings.
your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as
ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Heb 13:5
forwarded the letter from Bob to my friend in a Bible believing church and Bible
Institute. He obviously was disappointed that the people who had come to visit
a conference in his church were not very helpful in telling him about the church
in San Diego. The following letter is his response to Bob's dilemma.
Responding to Bob's letter: The Bluster, The Bombast, and the Bull
(Speaking of the ones
whom Bob had dealt with while visiting Fundametnal Baptist churches) I can only
think of about one thing to do for these people any more, and it's the same thing
I tried to get (an old mutual friend) to do after he got back from the missionfield.
Find some little, hole-in-the-wall church out in the middle of nowhere, with some
overworked and under- appreciated pastor who needs help, really loves the Lord
and his people, and isn't a jackboot. He might not even understand the King James
Bible issue. It could be tolerated if he wasn't a Greek jerkscholar and trying
to butcher the Bible every chance he had, but maybe just didn't know any better
about the Bible issue. There's always a remnant, it seems, in any dispensation,
so this type of guy and church does exist. The question is where?
I think God sends the type of pastor that a congregation deserves. Most Christians
nowadays like the bluster, the bombast, and the bull. They actually thrive on
the "action", until of course Pastor Bomburst has to counsel them because he looked
at the offering and found out they didn't tithe last week. I know a family that
lives in another state, and they used to follow a certain Jackboot preacher around
everywhere he went before he took the church there in that state. I mean everywhere;
they went to his meetings wherever he went. They thought he was the greatest thing
since sliced bread. It is just about nauseating to think about it.
I was teaching Sunday school for the teens over in a nearby city, some of them
spent a week at some kind of youth meeting at a Fundamental Baptist College. When
they came back, on Sunday morning I asked them if they had learned anything. One
kid said, "Brother ________, it was really cool; one preacher smashed a TV set
with a sledgehammer." So, I said, "Maybe it was really cool, but did you LEARN
anything?" The kid who told me about the preacher and the TV stared at me like
a dog when you whistle and he turns his head sideways and gives you a goofy look.
Obviously, the idea that he had gone to a Fundamental Baptist College to learn
something was new and unusual, and he was caught really off guard by my questions.
One sweet little girl raised her hand and said, just as serious as could be, "Brother
_______, we didn't learn anything that we didn't already know." That little girl
was the daughter of those people who followed the Jackboot preacher everywhere,
and was USED to not learning anything.
A Baptist church in one city used to have a loudmouth, yelling, screaming, frothing
at the mouth hyper-Fundamentalist from Hyles-Anderson as the pastor. He preached
on tithing, soulwinning, soultithing, tithesouling, wintithing, and tithewinning,
and then started over. Some years back he had some zipper trouble, so they had
to get another pastor. Guess what they got? A loudmouth, yelling, screaming, frothing
at the mouth hyper-Fundamentalist from Hyles-Anderson, who preaches on tithing,
soulwinning, soultithing, tithesouling, wintithing, and tithewinning. We're not
supposed to be glad at calamities (Prov 17:5), but it sure is hard not to wish
those people an unmitigated disaster. Do they not deserve it, or am I just that
See, we all know that TV is bad, so if you or I preach about it using only a Bible,
it's just the same old thing, and it becomes BORING, thus insuring we are never
billed on flyers as a "fiery, dynamic speaker"! But, if we would actually smash
a TV in front of a bunch of impressionable teenagers, we would then qualify as
bona fide, great men of God. Probably we would then get a number of invitations
to come and smash TVs at Bible conferences, revivals, and youth rallies at various
locations around the country. "Brother ___________, that was one of the greatest
messages I ever saw (get it?); could you come and smash a TV at MY church?"
The second advent, for example, makes for much more mundane preaching that is
just plain boring, especially if you have no other props than a Bible. (Who cares
if Jesus is coming back, anyway?) If Nintendo-style action and sound effects could
be worked into the message, though, it would be "really cool, Preacher." Most
preachers and churches, lacking this type of techno- expertise, have to settle
for the sledgehammer. It's still good and loud that way, and hey, the splinters
fly all over the platform. If you get a really old TV, the tube explodes. Coooooolll.
all the people out there like this guy Bob who want some preaching and teaching,
you'd think that every guy that went to our Bible Institute would have a waiting
list of churches who wanted him by the time that he graduated. Almost no CHURCHES
want good, old-fashioned Bible preaching and teaching. A lot of individuals still
do, but the churches in which they sit, for the most part, want nothing to do
told you that the one church up in (a certain state) had a retired preacher sitting
in it (which I didn't even know). I preached on Sunday night on the mind of Christ.
He later told the other people in the church,"Ah don' need nun o' thet mahnda
Christ stuff. All ah need tuh know is the deth, burrial, an' rezrection." And,
because he was a REAL preacher, not at all like me, half of the church agreed
withn' him. This is the church where the men went out to smoke in the parking
lot between Sunday school and church, where the choir director was unsaved and
had his hand in the offering plate unless somebody watched him carefully, and
where one man on the pulpit committee (who had just started to come back to church
after not setting foot in a church for 20 years) said of me, "I couldn't understand
a word he said."
Jeremiah 5:31: The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests
bear rule by their means; AND MY PEOPLE LOVE TO HAVE IT SO: and what will ye do
in the end thereof?
I think most of the Christians in the U.S. are prodigals who ENJOY the hog pen
(see above verse from Jeremiah). Everyone is a flag waver all of a sudden, and
is determined not to stand for terrorism up in New York, but Christians have allowed
covert terrorist operations to take place in their churches for so long that they
are comfortable with getting slaughtered instead of shepherded, and aren't even
trying to change things. No wonder every time you hear a broadcast on NPR you
hear about how Islam and Christianity are so very similar.
James Bible only students need to get used to being the pastor of a very small
church in an obscure place. This is because a King James Bible believer will never
be received into the larger and big city churches. If they are, they will have
compromised in other areas. So, the man training to pastor in the USA must be
prepared to never be famous, and he will undoubtedly have to work on the side
to support himself.
30:13 There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are
new section of the Journal then will be aimed at helping wounded sheep learn how
to start home churches and continue in the model of Paul and Philemon as they
learn to BE the church instead of follow hirelings. We will also recruit compassionate
pastors in various areas of the USA and the world to be on call to counsel, reprove,
edify, and encourage these folks who start home churches. Please pray for us as
we try to be a blessing to the Lord and His Church.
want to thank you hirelings who have thrashed us for our love of the sheep, for
you men have given us a large dose of what we had only mostly heard was the problem.
If this is heretic, we glory in such alleged heresy, and we have no fear that
our Lord agrees with you fellows. We know He does NOT. For, He said:
9:36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because
they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye
therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
Matthew 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the
John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into
the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his
own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
4 And when he putteth forth his
own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know
not the voice of strangers.
6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they
understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.
7 Then said
Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did
not hear them.
9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved,
and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
10 The thief cometh not, but for
to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and
that they might have it more abundantly.
11 I am the good shepherd: the good
shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
12 But he that is an hireling, and
not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth
the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life
for the sheep.
16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them
also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold,
and one shepherd.
John 21:17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou
me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me?
And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love
thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
100:3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we
ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
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