Wednesday, 31 December 2014

More Slippery Slopes in 2015

As you can see, my old friend #Hamblin has cast his eye back over 2014 and given us his list of "5 slippery slopes", by which I assume, he has seen some folk lose their footing. Well and good. There are slippery slopes out there and we all need to avoid them, especially in the New Year that (God willing) lies just around the corner. When the blind lead the blind, then both finish up in the ditch and that isn't the place where God wants you to be. In this respect, #Hamblin does us all a favour by reminding us that slippery slopes exist. That said, the usefulness of the above tweet is just about done. Here's why.

1) One mere, single tweet with its limit of 140 characters (not words - characters, including breaks) is used to convey a most serious 5 fold warning. As we will see this leads to some of the warnings being so cramped that we hardly know what he is talking about.  I will return to this at the end of the article. 

2) Some of these warnings are so vague as to be worthless. For example, what does #3 mean? "Having to dismantle everything"? I can only hazard a guess at #4 which (IMO) refers to blogs with a #Neo lean. This guess is on the basis that Hamblin sometimes refers to those with a #Neo lean. (See the outline he shared with us all on John the Baptist) I can only surmise that he is referring to a recent blog article from another (hardly mine) from within the IFB that centred round his recent sermon published in the Sword/Lord magazine. We know what #1 "books with a hidden agenda" means, but without an example or two, we slip back into a practical meaningless warning.

4) IMO, it is #2 ("weak separation") that lets #Hamblin down. Again, playing heavily on previous rhetoric from his tweets and sermons (including his pretext sermon on Jeremiah 5:5 mentioned above) he is referring to those who will not separate from false teachers and teaching. Some of his fighting talk includes this and this and this.  Yet, who is that constantly quotes these perceived false teachers in his tweets and promotes them in his sermons? It is Hamblin himself. For all his "Calvinism is the Devil's #1 doctrine" stuff, it is #Hamblin who acknowledges leading Calvinists like Spurgeon and Whitefield as #oldpaths. Another one of Hamblin's heroes was Billy Sunday. A good brother recently tweeted that he always assumed that Billy Sunday was an IFB evangelist. This is the way he is portrayed in IFB circles.  But Billy Sunday was an ordained Westminster Confession of Faith Presbyterian evangelist. (which I cover here and here) who worked with all kinds of folk in his campaigns. If the wikipedia article on Sunday is correct (I really sincerely hope not) then he sadly sent his converts back into the Roman Catholic and Unitarian churches. Another #Hamblin hero is DL Moody. Spurgeon acknowledged Moody's "scented Calvinist theology" and Horatio Bonar defended Moody's Calvinism when he was attacked (to Spurgeon's embarrassment) by John Kennedy of Dingwall in Scotland. Even if Sunday and Moody weren't Calvinists, they were prepared to preach with and for them. As did Campbell Morgan quoted in the recent wayward Jeremiah 5:5 sermon. (Morgan took on a young but noted Calvinist preacher called Martyn Lloyd Jones to be his assistant in London) Tell me, who is weak on separation now? It is the very man who holds the red light of warning against being weak of separation.

5) It is interesting that #Hamblin in the tweet above introduces a time element. 2014 is on its last legs as I type these words. Should God spare us, we will see another year in. One aspect of #Hamblin's tweets is to mark the more significant (and less significant anniversies) "On this day" crops up regularly. IOW, if 2015 follows the same pattern as 2014, then his readers will constantly be reminded that these Calvinistic preachers like Spurgeon and Moody etc., are #oldpaths. Personally, in this regard, I think #Hamblin (and others of his school) do a good job in this. They are keeping the names and anniversaries of these great men to the fore. But they are hardly the great separatists they like to think they are, when they do so. If Calvinism is the Devil's #1 doctrine as #Hamblin says, then how on earth can those men who believed and propagated it widely be #oldpaths? If #Calvinism etc., is of the Devil and a slippery slope, it is Hamblin and others of his way of thinking who are introducing the ice to the #oldpaths and causing many a soul to fall. If the doctrines of sovereign grace are not of God, then it is still Hamblin and others of his way of thinking who are introducing the ice to the #oldpaths and endangering the souls of men. You can't ride two horses at the same time.

At the beginning of this article, I mentioned about returning to the cramped warnings. The truth is that Hamblin needs the warnings to be cramped. He thrives on throwing us out single words or as short as necessary platitudes. His warnings do not stand examination and are as thin as pie crust because he promotes the very things that he is supposedly warning us about. If what he says is true, then he is the weak separatist. In fact, he is not a separatist at all. He sincerely thinks he is, gives the impression he is and allows others to say that he is, but wait until the next anniversary comes round and we'll see who is considered #oldpaths.

Are these things not so? 


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