[The following is from O Timothy magazine, Volume 12, Issue 1, 1994. David W. Cloud, Editor. The author holds all rights to this material. O Timothy is a monthly magazine. Annual subscription is US$20 FOR THE UNITED STATES. Send to Way of Life Literature, Bible Baptist Church, 1219 N. Harns Road, Oak Harbor, Washington 98277. FOR CANADA the subscription is $20 Canadian. Send to Bethel Baptist Church, P.O. Box 9075, London, Ontario N6E 1V0.]
The following is from a letter to this editor by Evangelist Paul Freeman. We print it with his permission:
"I see that Jack Van Impe is now praising the Pope and Billy Graham. Let me give you a personal word concerning Jack & Rexella. In 1962 I trained the personal workers and directed the inquiry room at a Jack Van Impe crusade in Bangor, Pennsylvania. I had Jack and his wife in my home for dinner. My daughter was born in the middle of the crusade. While my wife was in the hospital, I ate hamburgers with Jack after the meetings. Since I was also involved in Youth for Christ, the subject of Billy Graham was discussed thoroughly.
"I was concerned about the Modernists sitting on the platform at the 1957 Madison Square Garden meetings, which I had attended several times. Jack convinced me to leave Billy Graham and to subscribe to the Sword of the Lord by John R. Rice. Later that summer I walked down the lane with him from his cottage at Pinebrook Bible Conference in Stroudsburg, Penn. He took me to his car and from the trunk he pulled some old copies of the Sword of the Lord. He showed me full-page ads for Billy Graham crusades which were provided free by John Rice in support of Billy [Rice soon stopped supporting Graham]. This was to show me that Billy was once a Fundamentalists but had now become a Neo-evangelical and was guilty of compromise. At this same conference Jack stopped the people from applauding after he played his accordion. Years later I saw him receive applause at a crusade in Levittown, Penn., and he said nothing. It is hard to believe how far he has moved. The same man who told me not to follow Billy Graham is now saying that Billy showed us how to love.
"Now I hear he is setting the Lord's return in December 1998. That is probably his retirement date. He gave me good advice; sorry he did not follow his own advice. I believe he was led by the Spirit when he told me to part with Billy. I do not know what spirit is moving him now.
"I think the pattern for his compromise was beginning to emerge back there in the early 60's. About a year after our 1962 crusade in Bangor, Penn., I took my congregation to Scranton, Penn., to attend his crusade there in Watres Armory. He asked me to sit on the platform with the other ministers. I was introduced to the Salvation Army captain, pastors from various churches (including Holiness, Christian Missionary & Alliance, Nazarene, Bible, and Baptist). I thought it was strange that he would work with those who did not believe in the Bible doctrine of eternal security. I have since taken the position that I cannot work with or share a platform with a man who believes that you can lose your salvation.
"When the desire for a greater outreach surpassed his base of support, he did what Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell did--water down the message and call everyone a Christian so that you can gather more money to pay for air time. Much air time is now being provided by `the prince of the power of the air' (Eph. 2:2)."
(O Timothy, Volume 12, Issue 1, 1995, Way of Life Literature, 1219 N. Harns Rd., Oak Harbor, WA 98277)
In the March-April 1994 issue of Perhaps Today, Dr. Jack Van Impe slanders defenders of the faith and twists the truth in an amazing manner. He does this in the context of defending his video entitled "Pope John Paul: Startling Revelations." In this presentation, Van Impe depicts the pope of Rome as an ardent defender of the faith! With fabulous lack of discernment, he treats Roman Catholicism as a true Christian denomination which is in danger of being dragged away from the truth by modernists. The fact is that Roman Catholicism has been apostate for the entire 1,600 years of its wretched history, and countless multitudes have marched into eternal hell trusting the false gospel it has proclaimed.
As a result of this video, Dr. Van Impe has received much criticism by men of God, and rightfully so, and his article is in response to this criticism. Instead of repenting of his error, Van Impe claims that he is being persecuted by hateful, unloving maligners. Hiding his disobedience under a cloak of love for the "one world church," Van Impe says, "Since I obeyed Christ's command to love all his children, articles have appeared that malign, slander and vilify me." He calls these articles "bigoted statements" written with "poison pens." Amazingly, he compares the fundamentalist Bible preacher with Sunni Muslims and other "bigots who propagate prejudice and hatred." Consider an excerpt from this bitter diatribe against the truth:
"Tens of thousands slaughter one another in the name of their god or religion. Hindus and Muslims kill one another in India, Shiite and Sunni Muslims destroy their own in Iraq because of differing ethnic backgrounds, opposing religious warriors are dead in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Christians annihilate one another in Ireland over politics. Bloodshed permeates most religions globally. Here's why.
"Every religion, cult and Christian denomination includes numerous bigots who propagate prejudice and hatred. Their rationale for maligning or killing others is justified under the guise of a `holy jihad' or `contending for the faith' (Jude 1:3). Seldom do they follow God's admonition to "speak the truth in love" (Eph. 4:15). Instead their statements are centered around half truths, distortions, innuendoes, fabrications, falsehoods and even outright lies. Deceit and deception matter not as long as `the end justifies the means." Such distortions inundate today's religious tabloids."
This is as spiteful and mean spirited and false as anything I have ever seen in print by a professing Christian. The answer to Van Impe's question about why men slaughter each other in the name of religion is simple. They do it because they follow false religions and are unregenerate and destitute of the truth. To include the fundamental Baptist preacher with such a crowd is silliness. Tell me, Dr. Van Impe, the name of even ONE person whose blood has been shed by a fundamental Bible preacher who was raging about on a holy jihad! Van Impe gives absolutely no support to his claim that his detractors are practicing deceit or that they have their facts wrong. He gives not one fact to support such a serious charge.
Rather, to support his claim against the men who have exposed his error, he tells of a "world gathering of `defenders of the faith'" which he attended a number of years ago. He claims that he heard so many "defamatory diatribes and denunciations of Catholics" that week that he "returned home disturbed." He claims, "Repeatedly the term `Papist Rats' was used by numerous speakers."
I don't know what conference Dr. Van Impe was attending; but, folks, I have been preaching in fundamental churches for 20 years, and I receive a great many of the publications produced by the "the defenders of the faith." I have not once heard such a term used in reference to Catholics. Of course, Jesus Christ used some pretty rough names in His public sermon to the Pharisees. He called them hypocrites, children of hell, blind guides, fools and blind, full of extortion and excess, whited sepulchres, full of hypocrisy and iniquity, serpents, generation of vipers (Mt. 23:13-33). It would be difficult to top that! It is possible that "Papal Rats" was used in reference to the Jesuits. History tells us it would be an apt and true description.
I am surprised that Van Impe concerns himself with the tiny group of preachers who still care enough about the souls of men and the truth to raise a voice of warning about compromise such as his. The vast majority of so-called evangelical leaders are as quiet as a church mouse in the face of apostasy. They have created a man-made, positive-only Christianity which is not found in the pages of the Holy Bible. Neo-evangelicalism is not Bible Christianity. They refuse to deal with error, because it is unpopular to do so, and because you cannot have a large, popular ministry if you deal with any negatives today.
Dr. Van Impe confuses the rebuke of God's Word with persecution. The Bible says the preacher is to "reprove, rebuke, exhort" (2 Tim. 4:2). Those who are the objects of this correcting ministry are not being persecuted; they are being warned. Dr. Van Impe is deeply confused about what biblical love is. He thinks biblical love is to smile in the face of sin and error. Jesus Christ said, "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten" (Rev. 3:19). He said, "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me" (Jn. 14:21). John, the Apostle of Love, said, "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments" (1 Jn. 5:3). In fact, the Bible says it is the failure of love which causes men to refrain from administering correction (Prov. 13:24).
Dr. Van Impe claims there are 20,780 denominations in the world (quoting a Christianity Today statistic), and says, "...these multitudinous groups are, according to God's word, `one body in Christ Jesus' or, literally, members of the one true world church.'" Where, I ask, do you find such a concept on the pages of Scripture? The denominations of the world today could more fittingly be labeled the "great whore" of Revelation 17 than the "one true world church." Where do the Apostles teach about a so-called world church? The only place they do so is in Revelation 17, which is a prophecy of the full blossom of the program of apostasy which has been leavening the truth through the past 2,000 years of church history.
The Scripture prophesies of a leavening apostasy which will grow within the lump of Christendom until the whole is leavened (Mt. 13:33). The mystery of iniquity will increase over the course of the church age until the final revelation of the great Harlot of the seventeenth chapter of Revelation. 2 Ti. 3:13 warns that "evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." This is a prophecy of increasing apostasy, not of revival.
The progress and nature of the church age is given in Christ's parables of the mystery form of the kingdom in Matthew 13.
1. The Sower (Mt. 13:1-23). The Gospel begins to be preached worldwide and falls upon every kind of soil--people and nations.
2. The Tares (Mt. 13:24-30). Satan puts false Christians and false teachers among the true churches and Christians.
3. The Mustard Seed (Mt. 13:31-32). The church experiences abnormal growth and becomes the home of evil things. A seed intended to produce a vegetable plant becomes a tree. The birds are revealed as evil in verse four. They are demons and professing Christians and teachers controlled by demons. Compare I Tim. 4:1 and 2 Cor. 11:13-15. This is exactly what has happened in Christianity. The simple church that Christ established has become the largest religion in the world. It is mostly apostate and full of demonic teachings and activities. This is Van Impe's "one true world church"!
4. The Hidden Leaven (Mt. 13:33). Christendom will gradually increase in error until it is entirely apostate. "Till the whole was leavened." The final apostate "church" is pictured in Rev. 17 as the Great Harlot. That which professes to be the pure and faithful bride of Christ is actually a prostitute with the world and the devil.
5. Immediately after the parable of The Hidden Leaven, Christ describes His return to earth and the destruction of the apostate religious system (Mt. 13:36-43).
Beware of Dr. Jack Van Impe. He has gone off the DEEP end! The river of apostasy is running swiftly in these closing hours of the church age. If a man stops pulling against the current, he will be carried downstream at brakeneck speed toward that clever old Harlot which sits on seven hills.
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