Tag Archives: The Rod

J.D. Faust’s book is just total nonsense

J.D. “Joey” Faust’s sole claim to recognition is his supposed chronicle of the history of the accountability movement; however, The Rod, Will God Spare It? is anything but scholarly. In fact, it’s impossibly bad.

Briefly…

1. Faust assumes anyone from antiquity who writes about the millennial kingdom is also writing about exclusion, i.e., the punishment of carnal Christians in the millennium. His source for these ancient documents is a CD-ROM, which he apparently word-searched to find relevant information. Unfortunately, the mere mention of the millennial kingdom in these documents qualifies the author as a kingdom exclusionist. That Faust has made of an actual study of these documents is dubious.

2. Faust’s interpretation of allegorical texts is utterly pedestrian. He actually envisions a rod of fire protruding from Christ’s mouth in the day of judgment! (Incidentally, the image on the book cover is equally ridiculous.)

3. Faust’s criticism of the Catholic doctrine of purgatory is painfully hypocritical. He assails the church for representing purgatory as a “place,” but then spends chapters discussing where his form of exclusion will occur literally. He makes no effort to describe what Catholic purgatory actually is, and judging from his sources, it is doubtful that he knows anything of the doctrine. (I’m not endorsing the doctrine of purgatory, but I do expect its critics to at least represent the doctrine accurately.)

4. He is a King-James-onlyist.

5. He, and the few people he numbers in his church, are about the only people who believe his version of exclusion. His interpretation of scripture is so utterly unique, he contradicts nearly everyone else whom he lists in the text as allies of exclusion.

The book, which is really simply a bad outline of a book, fails completely to make the case for exclusion, rendering it the work of neurotic or else a heretic.

Baptist preacher attacks Joey Faust’s “bizarre” doctrine

Don’t know much about the pastor in this video — he appears to be a devout, fundamentalist Baptist preacher — but I found his comments on Joey Faust, pastor of Kingdom Baptist, interesting. That Christians could end up in hell, which is what Faust teaches, is indeed an extraordinary heresy. The pastor in this video connects Faust’s teachings to those of Jehovah Witness’s.

Note, this pastor preaches the strange doctrine of “King James onlyism” —

Frankly, his teaching regarding the NIV is as heretical as Faust’s teaching on soul death.

What we have here is a faction of Baptist preachers forming a “house divided.”

Comments on Dr. Greg Dixon’s apology for Kingdom Exclusion

“Now if I am to be considered a heretic because of what I believe God has led me to understand from His word, then so be it.” — Dr. Greg Dixon

Comments on: Dr. Greg Dixon on Kingdom Exclusion

It should be understood that a radical form of dispensationalism undergirds Kingdom Exclusion. Writes Dr. Greg Dixon, defending his belief in it, “My journey in this area really started with a search for material on the parables that would be consistent with my eschatological position of pre-mil, a literal 1,000 year reign, etc.” Despite seeking a doctrinal point of view consistent with his beliefs in a “literal 1,000 year reign,” Dixon imposes allegorical interpretations onto Revelation, particularly chapter 20.

Kingdom exclusion is entirely absent in Revelation 20, the one part of scripture that explicitly describes the millennial kingdom. No mention is made of so-called carnal Christians being excluded, nor of temporary punishment. By importing texts from other places in the Bible, namely the parables, Dixon claims to “see” exclusion in Revelation. His chief influence is J.D. Faust’s The Rod:Will God Spare It?, which Dixon argues displays impressive “scholarship and meticulous research.”

Briefly, a word on The Rod: Will God Spare It?: It’s not meticulously researched. In a chapter on Catholic purgatory, Faust never once cites a Catholic source on the subject. His representation of the doctrine is grotesquely inaccurate. (Ironically, as he goes on to describe kingdom exclusion, he creates a doctrine quite similar to Catholic purgatory!) None of his primary source citations from the earliest centuries of Christianity even mention exclusion (let alone a rod of fire), despite Faust’s assertions that they do. Dixon’s description of the text is uncritical and somewhat juvenile.

His concern that he may be deemed a heretic is extreme, but telling. If he is guilty of anything, it is simply bad theology. Writing on forgiveness, he explains, “If believers do not want to be judged for their sins at that Judgment, then God has made provision through His precious blood based on I John Chapter one and two for forgiveness and continual cleansing to maintain fellowship (sanctification). It is an ongoing, daily responsibility of the believer through the Word of God and the Spirit of God to maintain this continual cleansing.” John never mentions this form of “continual cleansing.” Apart from referencing 1 John (cf. 1 John 1:9), Dixon does not explain.

The scriptures rather speak of a one-time cleansing, a moment in time, a point, that has continuous effect in the life of a believer (cf. Romans 5:19 & 6:10). In 1 John, the apostle does not say that confession continuously cleanses sins committed intermittently in the life of a believer, but that confession (once) cleanses a person of “all unrighteousness.” Believers are exhorted throughout the scriptures to rely on the gospel message they received when they first believed, not on the institution of confession.

Dixon’s explanation of Kingdom Exclusion devolves into little more than an endorsement of Faust’s book, not an actual explanation of Bible truths. In the end, exclusion is simply imposed upon the texts of the Bible. If Dixon prefers a literal reading of Revelation, perhaps he can explain where and when the exclusion of so-called carnal Christians occurs.

Mechanics: How does it all work?

About a year or so ago, I spoke with J.D. Faust about kingdom exclusion as part of my research. Faust is the author of The Rod, Will God Spare It?, a text which purports to recount the history of exclusion theology (it’s decidedly not that, but rather a presentation of his own theology). Within five minutes of the conversation, we were debating the topic. I did not make secret my reservations about KE, and posed several challenging questions. Faust, liking a good argument, posed several challenging questions of his own. Essentially the argument rested on the question of what we are to make of sin committed after ones conversion. Sins committed before conversion are obviously forgiven — a person can do nothing to absolve ones sins except rely on the grace of God. But what are we to make of sins committed after conversion?

Continue reading Mechanics: How does it all work?

Baptist purgatory

J.D. Faust writes in The Rod, Will God Spare It? that Kingdom Exclusion is not a type of “Baptist” purgatory, but he does little to explain the distinction. He does not say what purgatory is, nor does he explain how KE is not simply a reworking of the Catholic idea of purification and purgation.

Certainly, KE and purgatory are not the same, but they are not very different either. Both propose that carnal Christians will be purified/punished before attaining full salvation. Faust believes this will be realized in the millennial kingdom; the Catholic Church in purgatory. The nature of that experience and its duration varies, but beyond that, the ideas are the same.

The modern Protestant form of purgatory appears to originate with Watchman Nee (I can find no earlier proponent of the teaching). He held that carnal Christians will be purified in the lake of fire (cf. Rev. 20 — though that text does not mention carnal Christians, but unbelievers). Arlen Chitwood holds a similar view, except he sees exclusion as a form of punishment, not purification. Faust holds that exclusion is punitive, but that carnal Christians will be beaten with a celestial rod, not cast into the lake of fire.

(For an analysis of Nee’s view, visit http://www.bcbsr.com/topics/lc.html#purgatory.)

Strangely, exclusionists like Faust, Chitwood and Nee would have a stronger position if they adopted the Catholic stance, for, as it stands, they possess the idea, but no real evidence for it. KE/Purgatory is not represented in the canonical texts, but it is attested in some of the writings of the church fathers. Without those witnesses, KE rings hollow.

J.D. Faust gets it, er, doesn’t get it

Among kingdom exclusionists, Pastor Joey (J.D.) Faust is something of an authority, having published a book on the topic — more an outline — entitled, The Rod, Will God Spare It? On his church website, he expresses frustration that KE writings are often banned by religious organizations like GES.

In an on-line challenge, Faust writes:

Robert (Bob) Wilkin of Grace Evangelical Society has banned Govett, Pember, Panton, and “The Rod: Will God Spare It” from all book-tables at GES Conferences. Yet, Wilkin teaches that some true believers will end up in “outer darkness.” Wilkin believes that these various warnings (i.e. in Hebrews, Matthew 25, etc.) are only figurative in nature, and do not imply that some unfaithful believers will be excluded from the Millennium and/or suffer any physical punishments (i.e. stripes, etc.). It appears that Wilkin actually believes that outer darkness is ETERNAL for some believers!

As a casual observer, I note the following: If Wilkin believes the warnings in Hebrews and Matthew 25 are figurative, he cannot believe — as Faust implies — that the punishment is “ETERNAL.” What is understood figuratively cannot be understood, well, how should I say it? — what is understood figuratively cannot be understood literally. If the warnings are to be understood figuratively, the punishments must equally be figurative.

We’ll have to leave it to Wilkin to explain the nuances of his argument, but based on Faust’s presentation, Wilkin’s views are not outrageous.

On a final note, Faust complains that Wilkin has ingorned requests to debate the matter, and he implies that Wilkin’s silence suggests deficiency of argument. I note that I have challenged Faust (see Kingdom Exclusion: A theological challenge — and I notified him by e-mail), and he has not replied. Should I ask, “Why the silence?” No, I should not. Faust is welcome to reply or not, as is Wilkin.