God Whips His Children - So Bogard Whips Norris
Children often need to be whipped. Sometimes, perhaps, they get it when they don't need it; but more often they need it and don't get it. When I was a child I absorbed a number of whippings. I am not going to argue that I did not need them; at least, my parents thought I did. And so they administered them to me. But this lesson is not to tell parents how to rear their children nor when to whip them. It is instead a study of the chastisement of the children of God. That God chastens his children is plainly stated by Paul in Heb. 12:5-11. Hence we know that children of God need chastisement sometimes and that God administers it. But I am not going to discuss the methods by which God whips his children. I know, however, that preachers sometimes draw false conclusions from the fact that he does and as a result preach false doctrines. For example, Baptist preachers claim that a child of God can commit every act in the catalog of sin: adultery, rape, theft, murder, idolatry, and every form of uncleanness--and die in the very act and still go to heaven. For such sins, they claim, God will whip his child, but he will not send him to hell as Ben M. Bogard so often and inelegantly puts it: "God will not send his children to hell, but he whips hell out of them." The trouble seems to be, however, that there is so much hell is so many of them that he never gets it all whipped out.
In 1 Cor. 6:9, 10 Paul said: "Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." But Baptist preachers deny this. They say that fornicators, idolaters, thieves, drunkards, etc., will not inherit the kingdom of God if they are alien sinners, but if they are children of God, they will go right on into heaven. They make their inheritance of the kingdom depend on whether they are alien thieves or Christian thieves, alien drunkards or Christian drunkards, and so on. In Gal. 5:19-21 Paul defined the works of the flesh, including these things already mentioned and a number of others, and said: "They which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." He should have said, according to Baptist doctrine, "They which do such things, except children of God, shall not inherit the kingdom of God." And in Eph. 5:5 it is put this way: "For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of God." What? No whoremonger? No unclean person? No covetous man? That is what he said. But, according to Baptist preachers, he should have said: "No whoremonger except he be a child of God will have any inheritance in the kingdom of God." If he is a child of God and becomes a whoremonger, an idolater, a thief, an unclean person, or a drunkard, God will whip him for it while he is here, but he will still give him his inheritance in the glorified kingdom. Such is Baptist doctrine but Paul did not make any such exception. In Rev. 21:8 the apostle John added this: "But the fearful, and the unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone." Does this mean "all liars" will be lost? Maybe he should have said: "All liars except the children of God." Maybe so, but I have an idea that he said it like God wanted it said.
Do you think I misrepresent Baptist preachers when I tell you that they teach that a child of God can commit any or all of these sins and die in the very act and still go to heaven? Well, I am going to let them speak for themselves about it. First we note the following quotation: "Well, some one asks, What happens to saved ones who so act?' 'Will he become lost again?' No, his Father, God, whips him for it.
That servant, which knew his Lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes' (Luke 12:47)."-A. C. Thompson in Orthodox Baptist Searchlight.
He had been discussing the matter of sin and had called attention to the fact that if a man knew to do good and did it not, it is sin. But it can't cause the saved one to be lost again, he insists. "His Father" will "whip him for it," but he will not let him be lost. And he even tried to prove it by Luke 12:47. Let us take a look at that passage and see what it does for Mr. Thompson. The servant that "knew his lord's will" but did not prepare himself the gentleman claims, is the saved person who neglects his duty. What about him? He will be "beaten with many stripes." That means according to Thompson, that God will not send him to hell but will just give him a good threshing. But the next verse tells about another fellow: "But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes." So this fellow must be the unsaved man, the fellow that did not know the Lord's will. What will happen to him? He will get a whipping too--he "shall be beaten with few stripes." His whipping is less severe than that of the saved person; one is beaten with few stripes, the other with many stripes. If saying that the saved person will be beaten with many stripes proves God will not send him to hell but just give him a sound threshing, then saying the other fellow will be beaten with few stripes also proves he will not go to hell but just get a little paddling. In other words, Mr. Thompson's position on this passage would cause the child of God to get a worse punishment than the child of the devil. But I wonder how the gentleman happened to overlook verses 45 and 46 of this same chapter. They are the verses that just precede the one he quoted. Could it be that he couldn't read them? Anyway, they upset his whole system of theology. Let us read them: "But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the men servants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; the Lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers." And following immediately is the statement about his being beaten with many stripes. The passage shows clearly that it has no reference to any whipping God will give his child during his lifetime, but it refers to the second coming of the Lord, and to the punishment to be given him then. Then is when he will be beaten with many stripes. But what happens to him then? The passage definitely says that the Lord "will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers." This fellow is not an unbeliever--for he is contrasted with the unbelievers--but he is one of the Lord's servants. But at the second coming of the Lord he is given his "portion with the unbelievers." I wonder what the portion of unbelievers is. John says in Rev. 21:8: "The unbelieving * *shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone." So this unfaithful servant of the Lord gets the same portion. The many stripes with which he is beaten, then, are the stripes that he receives in hell. The gentlemen will have to hunt some other passage; this one is very unfortunate for his theory. This reminds me that back in 1941 Elder Ben M. Bogard visited J. Frank Norris' tabernacle and school and church in Fort Worth, Texas. He tells of the small number he found in the Bible school, contrary to reports he had received about the school. And he says he counted the chairs in the auditorium to see how many it would seat and found that, by filling the aisles with chairs, it would seat only slightly more than half as many as Norris had been reporting. He reports all of this in the Orthodox Baptist Searchlight, issue of April 25, 1941. And following are some of his comments:
"Wish Dr. Norris and those who are working with him would quit exaggerating so much. It is big enough to tell it like it is without so much exaggeration."
Bogard refers to the report of 166 students in the school and said that "One hundred and five were counted to pad the report."
Then he expresses himself this way:
"Such exaggeration shakes confidence when the facts are known. The same way about the house packed to the doors' that we read about and the five thousand' present, etc. Just exaggeration that is needless. But all of us have our faults and one of Frank Norris' outstanding faults is telling it too big."
After this Bogard tells that a court found Norris guilty of "malicious libel," assessed a fine of "twenty five thousand dollars" against him, and then after all of this Norris denied "that anything of the kind had been done." Yet Bogard says: "When I get to heaven I expect to find Frank Norris there in spite of that wicked streak that runs through him."
In fact, he plans, according to his report to get Bob White and Frank Norris together and the three of them have a talk about this whole affair. And relative to the talk Bogard says:
"I expect to ask Norris why he sought to ruin Bob White all because White would not submit to his dictation and then when he practically destroyed White and White got a judgment of twenty-five thousand dollars damages and the court called it malicious libel, why then did Norris publicly deny that anything like that ever happened? Selah! My! How the grace of God is magnified when we think of how it takes all three of us to heaven in spite of our devilment!"
"Peter, the apostle, cursed and swore and even denied the Lord and Paul withstood him to the face because he was to blame and if Peter got by with all that and went home to glory, I think it likely that Norris will also."
And somewhat as a conclusion to all of this Bogard says concerning Norris: "I feel sure he is in for a terrible chastisement that God gives his children. I see no way for him to escape." this terrible chastisement" that Bogard "feels sure" he will get, will that keep him out of heaven? Oh no, not according to Baptist doctrine. He will go right on to heaven anyway, whipping or no whipping.
To compare his case with Peter's is out of the question; they are not parallel at all. It is true that Peter "cursed and swore" and "even denied the Lord," but who ever read where Peter later "denied that any such thing ever happened?" Well, according to Bogard, that is what Norris did relative to his devilment. If Peter had remained impenitent and denied the whole affair, there is no reason to think he would have got by" and gone "home to glory." And to claim that a man can "get by" with any sort of wickedness and devilment just because he is a child of God is out of harmony with divine teaching. Peter himself said: "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse than with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them." 2 Pet. 2:20, 21. This does not sound like Peter thought men could get by with anything just because they had once been made free from sin. Why, then, use Peter's case to justify a doctrine of that kind?
With the fact in mind that Baptist preachers teach that a child of God cannot so sin as to be lost in hell but will go to heaven in spite of all the wickedness he might commit, though God may give him a whipping while he is here, we are made to wonder about the following statement:
"Eld. J. T. Moore had a shadow resting over his life that was pitiful. His oldest son started out to be a Baptist preacher and in fond hope Dr. Moore helped him go to Baylor University, a Texas college and one of the greatest in the Southern Baptist Convention. The result was that the young man lost confidence in the inspiration of the Bible and came out a full-fledged Modernist and quit the Baptists and became an Episcopal Rector and Dr. Moores heart was broken."-W. A. Heard in Orthodox Baptist Searchlight.
I can see no reason for all of this, if Baptist doctrine be true. This young fellow who started out to be a Baptist preacher certainly had the necessary "experience of grace" that caused the Baptist Church to accept him for baptism and membership in the Baptist Church. And that was proof to them that he was already a child of God. And certainly he had evidence of a "divine call to preach." Why then should his father have such a "shadow resting over his life" and be so "broken-hearted" just because his son "came out" of college a full-fledged Modernist and quit the Baptists and became an Episcopal Rector?" After all, if a child of God cannot go to hell anyway and God will take those to heaven who turn to adultery, idolatry, murder, theft, and malicious lying, then why be disturbed about a fellow who turns to modernism, quits the Baptist church and becomes an Episcopal Rector? The only thing God could do, according to Baptist doctrine, would be to give him a good whipping and take him on to glory. So I can't see why the shadow that rested over the life or Elder Moore was so "pitiful." It is admitted that a person does not have to be a member of the Baptist Church to be saved. In fact, it would be claimed that this fellow who "started out to be a Baptist preacher" was saved before he entered the Baptist Church, and since "once saved, always saved," of course, he was not lost after he left the Baptist Church. Hence, there was no need, in view of such teaching, for Mr. Moore to let his heart break over the result to his son.
And in addition to all of this you might be surprised at the following report of a Baptist meeting: "At the close of the meeting there was a total of 33 conversions, 6 additions by letter, 1 addition by statement, and a host of backsliders restored. The church was happy indeed." Orthodox Baptist Searchlight.
I can understand how the church might be happy over a number of "conversions," but I see no reason to have so much joy because "a host of backsliders" were restored. After all, we might wonder what they were restored to. It could not be to the fellowship, communion and favor of God, for it was impossible for them to "backslide" from that, since it is claimed that "once in grace, always in grace" is true. And if they were merely restored to the fellowship of Baptist brethren, I see no reason for so much happiness about that, for, even according to them, there will be multiplied thousands who will go to heaven and enjoy the glories of eternity who have never had fellowship with the Baptist Church. These "backsliders could do the same, for surely they were already children of God or they could not have become backsliders. Therefore, the restoration of "a host of backsliders" sounds funny when given in a report of a Baptist meeting.
As matter of fact, the whipping which God gives his children, according to Baptist teaching, is a matter of injustice anyway. Paul said: "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons." Heb. 12:6-8. In conversion, Baptist preachers claim, the spirit, or inner man, becomes a child of God, but the body, or outward man, remains a child of the devil till the resurrection. And all the sins committed after conversion, they insist, are committed by the flesh, the child of the devil. The inner man, the spirit, or child of God, after conversion is just as holy as God himself and cannot possibly sin. So we are led to ask: For what does God chasten his son? Does he whip his child for sins which the old flesh, the child of the devil, commits? If so, he whips the wrong man, and it is therefore unjust. Unless he whips the inner man, the one who does not commit the sin, the child of God will have to go without chastisement. But Paul said: "If ye be without chastisement, then are ye bastards, and not sons." So the doctrine of Baptists would make every child of God a bastard, or God would have to chasten the fellow who does not commit the sin. In fact, there would be no reason, according to Bogard's position, for God to chasten Norris for his devilment, for that streak of wickedness which Bogard says now runs through him is all in the old outward man, the child of the devil, anyway. His spirit has never sinned since his conversion. His exaggeration, his malicious libel and his denial were all done by the fleshy man--the spirit had nothing to do with it. So instead of whipping the spirit for what the flesh did, it looks to me that the sensible thing to do would be to take the spirit to heaven and send the flesh to hell.