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From: Pilgrimpub@aol.com
Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 2004 10:21 AM
To: Mentonebay@aol.com
Subject: RESPONSES TO RECENT ARTICLES? [05/25/04]
A PASTOR INQUIRES ABOUT THE RESPONSES WE HAVE
HAD FROM THOSE WHO OPPOSE PUBLIC INVITATIONS [05/25/04]


In a message dated 5/24/2004 11:21:35 PM Central Daylight Time, a Pastor asks:

Bob
 
Have any of our Founders' friends responded to your concerns about the use or abuse of the public invitation or about the infant altar call? 


BOB'S REPLY:

We have had no replies from any of the writers whose anti-invitation articles we have mentioned or critiqued -- which includes brethren Erkel, Zaspel, Ehrhard, Reisinger, Murray, and Hulse -- and so far as I know we have not had any response from any one of "our Founders' friends," as you call them. Some may be in the process of "loading their gunes," but so far none of them have "fired."

I really don't think the brethren are used to having someone -- especially a Calvinist -- question or expose their misappropriation of C. H. Spurgeon, nor their endorsement of the objections to public invitations put forth by those who promote Pedobaptist soteriology, such as Iain Murray. And I don't think they are used to having the objections offered against the "invitation system" applied to the objectors' own practices, such as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones' "office system" and Mr. Murray's "infant baptism invitation system."

Neither has any one attempted to collect our $100 reward
for information from Spurgeon which proves that he opposed the public invitation system. This offer not only was mailed to our list, but it is now on our website, inviting anyone in the world to collect the $100. If and when any one substantiates the assertion made by Brother Zaspel that --
>>Charles Spurgeon often warned against the invitation system, even in his public preaching to the lost. It was not uncommon to hear him warn, "God has not appointed salvation by enquiry-rooms">> then we will publish the winner's name on our website and of course let you know.

Nothing is said in that snippet from Spurgeon to the effect that he warned against the "invitation system." The fact is, he here referred to "enquiry-rooms," and he was not saying that he was "against" enquiry-rooms as such; rather, he spoke against the mistake of thinking that "salvation" was "appointed by enquiry-rooms."

We have demonstrated from Spurgeon's own magazine that the use of enquiry-rooms was a common practice at the Tabernacle and was used by Spurgeon's own "Society of Evangelists," according to the numerous instances we cited from Spurgeon's "Sword and Trowel." The Evangelists he sponsored, supported, and used in campaigns at the Tabernacle made use of enquiry-rooms, so Spurgeon obviously did not oppose them.

But if Brother Zaspel is equating "enquiry-rooms" with the "invitation system," then that would mean that in all those references we gave where Spurgeon spoke approvingly of enquiry-rooms he was therefore speaking approvingly of the "invitation system."

These brethren have "gotten away with" distorting, misusing, misapplying, misappropriating, and perverting Spurgeon long enough! Enough is enough!

It seems that those who lap-up the palabber which the anti-invitation writers have on the Internet are not aware of what Spurgeon actually believed and practiced, and thus these brethren have had a "free ride." But we are "sick and tired" of their abuse of Spurgeon, so we will keep the "heat" on them until they do what the Preterists did when we put the "heat" on them -- finally, finally, they admitted the truth that Spurgeon did not endorse Preterism, but was a Futurist and a Premillennialist. -- Bob L. Ross

A FEW EXCERPTS FROM THE GOOD RESPONSES WE HAVE HAD:

>> [From a Pastor]

Dear brother,
 
The other day, a lady approached me after the service saying "I want to receive the Lord."  All my Reformed Baptist dashboard alarms and buzzers went off, my first thought was: "This is because I was emotional and she was moved by my tears, this is not a true conversion", and all of that subtle hyper-Calvinism and "preparationism" that creeps into some of us (to our shame) came to my mind.  Yet, I sat down with this dear lady, repeated the Gospel to her, invited her to pray for mercy, and so she did, and I rejoiced at an old style fundamentalist profession of faith that I had not seen for years.  We are hopeful that it was a true conversion.  1/2 hour later, I did the same with a young black man, who again approached me with some disturbances of soul.  Of course, only the Lord knows when and what really happened with these people, and only He knows, when and if they were (or had already been) truly regenerate.
 
I am not planning to go on the "invitational system," and I sincerely do not feel comfortable with spending time at the sound of "just as I am" asking people to come forward, you do not come across as someone who would "manipulate" people into a profession either, but I still appreciate your thinking "outside of the box."
>>

>> [From a Missionary]

Bob--

How about you reworking all of your "public invitation" correspondence and posts into a published book?  I think it would sell well--I know I'd buy it for the documentation alone, and I'm sure it would prove popular with many independent Baptist groups. 
>>

>> [From a Pastor]

Brother Bob,

I appreciate these series of articles. I am a Calvinist who is NOT comfortable with the attitudes of most Calvinists. Most of these fellows are suspicious of anyone who is not exactly where they are on every issue (eschatology, church government, invitations, etc.) I have ceased attending any pastor's fellowships of Calvinists, because of these attitudes.
      
Interesting that the truth that should humble us the most, seems to be held by the proudest of people. Your articles reflect a sound balance. God bless you.
>>

>> [From a Church Member] 
                 
I am not altogether sympathetic with the booklet "The Invitation System."  I am a Reformed Baptist . . .  and we do not use the invitation in the services.  I was interested in your comments to Ian Murray.  Something is wrong when people are not given the opportunity to respond to the message.  I really believe that that is the reason that Presbyterianism has died on the vine.  Although I do not agree with a continual giving an invitation in every service, visitors and children have no way of knowing how, when or where to respond to the message.  Perhaps you could share with me some of your thought on the matter. 
>>

>> [From a Pastor]

Brother:

Your reply is certainly on target.  Sadly, the "Reformed Baptists" seem to have  read more of the paedo "baptizers" than the historic Baptist fathers.  Even more alarming is their attempt to force upon Scripture what is patently not there regarding "covenant children" and the "baptizing"  of infants. Although we do not use the typical "altar call" it is our practice to "invite" convicted sinners to make their concern known and to instruct them in the Gospel.

This is all an aside to my other purpose in writing, which is to inform you that I am receiving duplicate copies of your emails. 
>>

NOTE: If any of you are receiving two mailings, please let us know. -- Bob

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