are we immune?

Are we (Fundamentalists) immune from the entrance of savage wolves (Ac 20.29) or the rise of men from our own selves, speaking perverse things (Ac 20.30)?

I am listening to Kevin Bauder’s series of lectures at International Baptist College in Tempe, AZ. His whole presentation is exhaustive (and perhaps exhausting!). Some will strenuously disagree with his ecclesiology [though I do not]. Regardless of your views on that topic, his presentation is worth listening to. I have not yet made it to the end, but if you want to understand how Bauder himself arrives at his conclusions, his presentation is well worth your careful attention.

I have no comments or critiques as yet on his work here since I haven’t made it completely through to the end. I may make some comments later, I am sure I will have an opinion!

But a comment in the seventh lecture in the series got me thinking about the questions with which I commence this post.

Bauder’s comments on Paul’s sermon to the Ephesian elders, the passage prompted my questions above. And I wonder if many who are called fundamentalists make the assumptions I challenge by my questions.

The apostle Paul asserted to the Ephesian elders that wolves would infiltrate their work and that perverse speaking men from within would rise up. Is it possible that the Fundamentalist church is immune to such dangers?

Now I don’t want to give in to a paranoia that suggests everyone (but me) is suspect and that we must be constantly sniffing out the smell of sulphur in the robes of our compatriots in ministry. Nevertheless, can it be that we should escape this warning?

And if not, what would such wolves or such perverse speakers look like? Where would they be found? How would they manifest themselves?

The fact is that the Christian church has suffered numerous invasions and inversions through its long history. Our modern era has witnessed many of these. We can name some of the enemies and traitors who have sought their own ends with the Lord’s church in the last hundred years or so.

Is it possible that men whose apparent orthodoxy today will be seen to be anything but in the future?

Ought we not, therefore, be vigilant? Ought we not challenge erring brethren? Or examine practices and statements that may be in error? Or must we simply keep silent, because after all, the eminent Dr. So-and-So has spoken, or faithful brother Hail-Fellow-Well-Met is merely offering his broad ranging, far-sighted and fair-minded survey of knowledge gleaned from every source, reputable or otherwise. Don’t be so negative! Don’t you know we are the pure? Why are you always stirring up trouble?

[I suppose the answers to those rhetorical questions may be obvious… Am I nuanced enough, Kent?]



  1. Don,

    I thought this statement you made:

    Some will strenuously disagree with his ecclesiology [though I do not].

    Was very nuanced.

    You could replace, “Some,” with “Kent.” I believe Bauder reads his view of the church into Scripture with the metaphors of Scripture—flock, etc. But I am going to listen to them and give him a chance to talk me into it. As you probably know, I believe local only ecclesiology is the only way consistently to practice biblical separation. I believe Bauder’s universal church dogma is why he must tell his students to attempt to grapple with concepts.

  2. Heh, heh, I was thinking of you when I wrote that. I guess you could tell.

    I’ll comment on your other post further.

    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3