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Albert N. Martin's parting words of counsel

July 30, 2008

“The four giant-killers of preachers—money, pride, unbridled ambition, and women—have killed their thousands. By the grace of God, they’ve not slain me.”

So are the words of Albert N. Martin, who, after 46 years of ministry at Trinity Baptist Church in Montville, N.J., recently resigned his pastorate (read past posts citing Albert Martin here and here). If you are not familiar with the ‘Reformed Baptist’ (a moniker he does not like) ministry of Pastor Martin (no relation to yours truly), you should be. His sermons are worth hearing. He’s not as hip as some of the Reformed evangelicals out there, but his pulpit ministry is one most students of Scripture will appreciate. He was ‘Reformed’ long before it was trendy to be so. I had the opportunity to hear Pastor Martin in person here in Minnesota this last Lord’s Day evening, and his preaching has all the life of a young man, yet the wisdom of one now well-seasoned and advanced in years.

In preparation for his transition out of his New Jersey pulpit, Pastor Martin preached a series of nine sermons to his congregation, Parting Words of Counsel to the Members and Friends of Trinity Baptist Church. I commend these to your hearing. In them, Martin admonishes his congregation to hold fast to several particular doctrines or practices that have been important to Martin over the last several decades. The nine sermons are as follows:

  1. By faith and love, cling tenaciously to the person of Christ, and out of faith and love, obey resolutely the word of Christ.
  2. Hold fast to your ‘Biblical churchmanship’: hold fast your convictions and practice concerning the unique place of the church in the saving purpose of God, hold fast your convictions and practice the necessity of doctrinal purity and unity in the life of the church, and hold fast to your convictions and practice concerning the maintenance of Biblical standards for membership in the church. (This one is gold–an excellent summary of good Biblical polity.)
  3. Hold fast to your ‘Biblical churchmanship’: hold fast to your convictions and practice concerning the worship that is acceptable to God in his church; have worship that is ‘God-centered, Bible-dominated, prayer saturated, and spirited animated.’ This sermon stresses the importance of conservative worship and the regulative principle of worship. (You must listen to this one.)
  4. Hold fast to your ‘Biblical churchmanship’: hold fast to your convictions and practice for the necessity of holding Biblical standards for the recognition of office-bears and implementing biblical directives for the function of those office-bearers, and hold fast your convictions and practice concerning the ministries you are to perform to one another and to the entire church and body of Christ.
  5. Hold fast to your ‘Biblical churchmanship’: hold fast to your convictions and practice regarding the duty of this church to theChurch universal andto a lost and needy world. (“The best thing I could do for the progress of the gospel with some professing Christians is to put duct tape on their mouth.”)
  6. Hold fast to your convictions and practice concerning the Lord’s Day Sabbath. Martin provides a thoughtful and compelling treatment of the subject.
  7. Hold fast to your convictions and practice concerning Biblically ordered, ‘gospel-flavored’ family life (part 1). This particular message more directly addresses marriage.
  8. Hold fast to your convictions and practice concerning Biblically ordered, ‘gospel-flavored’ family life (part2). This continues the former message, addressing child-rearing and the obedience of children. Both of these are pointed and practical.
  9. A Farewell Sermon (6 realities at the heart of Martin’s 46 years of labor at Trinity). He talks humbly and frankly about what God has done through him and then asks forgiveness for his sins against his congregation (!). He aptly shows how difficult ministry is, and what a high calling it is, but also stirs a great desire to be a pastor such as he was.
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72 Comments
  1. July 31, 2008 7:26 am

    Praise the Lord for his finishing strong! Thank you for spreading the word of these messages.

  2. July 31, 2008 7:56 am

    Ryan,

    I went to the Trinity website and it said that the church started in 1967, 41 years ago. Where did you get the information stating that Pastor Martin had served for 46 years at Trinity? Do you know if he was the senior pastor for the entire time served at Trinity?

    Thanks, Garrett Wishall, Towers Editor, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY

  3. July 31, 2008 4:46 pm

    Hello, Garrett. The sermons, as I recall, mention ‘nearly 46 years’ several times. He explains in at least one of the sermons that Trinity Baptist Church came into existence after the congregation was already meeting as some ‘denominational’ church; it reconstituted itself as a Baptist church on the 1689 2d London Baptist Confession. (I am unaware of what denomination the congregation was before Trinity Baptist Church.) So he was that congregation’s pastor for 46 years, even though Trinity Baptist Church. The number ’46’ is confirmed in the sermonaudio summary of the sermon here.

  4. August 2, 2008 7:04 am

    Thanks for this, Ryan. I was introduced to Pastor Martin’s ministry several years ago and have returned to his recordings often. His series on repentance is a must-hear, especially for those who (astoundingly) deny that it is part of the gospel.

    Those who have followed his ministry will appreciate the lecture entitled “What’s Wrong with Preaching Today?” It’s especially valuable because it was delivered in 1967. By God’s grace, he spent 41 years modeling the very things for which he called. This one is also interesting because it was given “at the Ministers’ Conference of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church at Westminster Theological Seminary in September 1967,” then published by Banner of Truth (from sermonaudio.com’s summary). DMLJ had preached at the same conference.

    Praise the Lord for such a man and such a Word-dominated ministry.

  5. Bien permalink
    August 4, 2008 12:50 am

    I personally heard him back sometime in the 1980’s when he visited the Philippines. I have never heard a better preacher in my whole life. His voice always resounds in the depths of my being, his persuasiveness always leads me to the feet of my Lord. As a preacher, I think many will agree with me when I put him along the likes of Spurgeon. I have always been blessed by regularly listening to his tapes back in the 80’s and I still download his sermons now. His early sermons are as fresh and relevant today as they were 20 or 30 years ago. As the Scripture testifies, “The grass withers, the flower fades,But the word of our God stands forever” Pastor Martin is to quote him “a model of a Gospel preacher”!

  6. Trish permalink
    August 6, 2008 10:42 pm

    I didnt find him that great of a preacher. He had a contrived voice but more importantly he has been faithful.

  7. Brian permalink
    October 19, 2008 9:12 pm

    I have hundreds of Albert Martin sermons available for free on CD. His “Here We Stand” series of 116 messages has just been completed, and is an excellent Manifesto of historic reformed Christianity. For this, and/or a list of other messages by pastor Martin send an email request to e_proverbs@yahoo.com.

  8. Emma permalink
    November 11, 2008 7:41 pm

    for all the strength he imparted to me throughout the many years i bought his sermon tapes since 1980 iam truly gratefull. Because of him i did not fall into the hands of the now prevailing false prophets……….i thank gGod for this pastor who taught me who God was….and is …I thank him for imparting to me a high and lofty view of a God Eternal…………some of my tapes have been destroyed and i wonder if someone might have the series pastor Martin preached early 80,s on “Hell”..especially the one on degrees of punishment……i can be reached at mediaexxe@aol.com

  9. November 29, 2008 10:22 am

    Many sermons by Pastor Martin, many of which are neither on sermonaudio.com or on the Trinity website, have recently been uploaded onto EternalLifeMinistries.org (http://eternallifeministries.org/messages/audio.htm).

    Some of these go way back to the early 1960s when he was in his 5 year post-college itinerant ministry. Of particular note for pastors is his “Our Vision For These Days” series delivered at the TBC Pastors Conferences (1st message: “A Recovery of the Biblical Gospel”).

  10. January 16, 2009 11:15 pm

    How can a preacher of the gospel boast that “pride has not slain me”? Is this not for the Head of the Church to declare in the eschaton?

    Ought not a minister of the gospel rather say, following in the steps of Jesus, “I am simply an unprofitable servant”?

  11. brian permalink
    January 25, 2009 8:05 pm

    Dear Mr. Hoss:

    Psalm 131:1 “Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty. neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.”

    I do not know if your quote of Pastor Martin is accurate (please give a tape title or something), but assuming that it is, Psalm 131:1 shows that there is a proper way to say this sort of thing. You used the word “boast”: according to the Bible there is a sinful boasting in SELF, and a God-glorifying boasting in the grace of God. I am sure (if he said this) that he was boasting in the grace of God (“I am what I am by the grace of God.”) My guess is that Pastor Martin said this for the edification & warning of OTHERS, because he knows how quickly pride can ruin a minister’s usefulness. He has measures of usefulness all of his life because God – for his glory – was pleased to keep him from being dominated by this sin.

    While on the one hand the Lord taught us to say, in and of ourselves we are unprofitable servants, on the other hand the same Bible says that the servants of God will recognize that they are “laborers together with him”, and that God uses unworthy sinners “to plant”, “to water”, & at times, “God gives an increase.” There are times when we can properly say “Lord, thy pound has gained ten pounds.”

  12. January 29, 2009 11:33 pm

    Brian – Review the context of the statement. How can a preacher say “pride has not slain me”? The statement in itself has all the trappings of the oxymoronic.

    And similarly, if our children are not following the Lord we preach, of what good is our vaunted claims to having withstood this or that heart sin?

    Martin and the Deformed Baptists are of apiece – They mistake their own fundamentalistic, subjectivized version of the law of God for the law of God as it appears in Scripture.

    Don’t mistake the shouting and the spitting for true biblical holiness. Holiness is meek, gentle, kind. It draws no attention to itself, or how this or that sin has not slain us.

    • May 31, 2009 3:17 pm

      Dear Mr Hoss, anyone can shout and spit from the pulpit…
      Pastor Martin is not perfect, and i admit there are some subjectvism since he reads the word of God then interprets it and faithfully applies it…

      That same subjectivism is found in everything else in our world, everything is assimilated then interpreted, this applies to even science as we know it

      the books of the bible were written by men that had their own subjectivism, however that does not mean that their were not inspired… you get the point… God uses vessels of clay so His name is glorified even more….l

      True biblical Holiness is not shown, by the way you speak alone, but by the way you act and live your live Pastor Martin has a good track record as a servant of God

      Pastor Martin has done much for the kingdom of God in the way he preaches from the pulpit, but thats not what impresses me the most.

      His own life is his message….

  13. Allen J. Hulshizer permalink
    March 8, 2009 3:45 pm

    I am looking for the 10 part sermons on Hell given by Al Martin about 20 or 30 years ago.

    I purchased the set from Trinity Pulpit during the above time frame.

  14. March 8, 2009 4:01 pm

    Dear Allen,
    That series is available here:

    http://www.sg-audiotreasures.org/am_hell.htm

    The messages can be heard (or downloaded) individually, or, a single large installation file for the entire series is available on the same page.

    Brian.

  15. Leah permalink
    April 14, 2009 7:20 pm

    Sometimes, one gets very flustered when they read the total nonsense of some of these comments. Very, very few have not a clue of what they are talking about.

    ….They hear a “stirring” sermon that gives them chills; or they might listen to a series of sermons that “have been very valuable to them,” or have seen Mr. Martin in person a few times….

    THE SAD FACT OF THE MATTER is that money, pride, unbridled ambition, and women ARE the very things that has already destroyed this man – PRIDE being the deadliest!

    I speak as one who had been a faithful member of his church for OVER 20 YEARS! Yes, I was a member of “Trinity Baptist Church” in Montville, NJ for many years… checking my brain at the door, (as all their members are taught to do) but I always knew something was amiss in there, and that Christianity had become twisted. I became a bobble-head Christian; just bobbing my head up and down to anything and everything that was said by Mr. Martin and his fellow elders.

    Albert N. Martin has deliberately destroyed my marriage (AND MANY OTHER MARRIAGES AS WELL); all because of his PRIDE…for no other reason than to gain his own ends.

    Albert Martins teaching on “eldership/authority” structure in his church and many other denominations as well, was not founded by Jesus Christ, but by men who love to control other human beings. He has contaminated and disfigured what Jesus founded. It matters not that “He has now retired” because his monstrous teaching is spread world-wide through “his students.”
    “What God has joined together, let not man put asunder”
    has been spit upon and has now become: “Let the pastor put asunder what God has joined together.”

    It’s just like as in the days when Jesus Christ walked the earth…..it is the “spiritual” leaders who decry anyone who challenges their man-made customs and traditions because they claim their territory is divinely appointed.

    And when one spouse makes that challenge, WATCH OUT !

    If you think I’m joking, you are greatly mistaken and deceived. Please prayerfully read this article that goes into great detail as to what I am talking about:

    http://www.wickedshepherds.com/awordtothewives.html

    It gets straight to the point of how these “spiritual monsters” are lurking about especially, but not exclusively, in reformed baptist churches.

    Incidentally, there are many other valuable articles too.

    Read the “testimony” section also to see how Albert N. Martin has worked his tactics on others’.

    In His service,
    A destroyed home and family,

    Leah

  16. Ed Rivard permalink
    April 15, 2009 9:34 pm

    Leah,

    Pastor Martin’s teachings on authority and headship, which have been spread through the pastors he’s taught, have done great harm to our family, contributing to the destruction of my daughter’s marriage.

    God bless you for speaking out. I believe that you and my daughter are the tip of the iceberg in the Reformed Baptist churches that are under Pastor Martin’s influence. You represent many who dare not speak out.

    Would to God many others will speak up before other marriages are ruined. The emphasis needs to be, “Husbands, love your wives AS Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it” and not, “Wives, submit no matter what.”

    Personal feedback is welcomed from Leah and others.

    Ed Rivard
    erivard@i2k.com

  17. Leah permalink
    April 17, 2009 8:26 am

    Mr. Rivard,

    Thanks for your encouraging words to speak out. Yes, Albert N. Martin’s twisted and demented teachings on authority and headship has done great harm to many a family. I hear and know of many, many people who have been deeply scarred by this man.

    There are many young Christian men and women who are presently in these types of “churches” and exposed to this kind of satanic teaching who cannot even begin to realize that they are nothing more than cattle headed for the slaughterhouse when they get married.

    His constant drumbeat concerning “eldership rule”; his weekly, never-ending drone of the deadly on-going morphine of “…be subject to your god-given elders”; has led to these dastardly deeds. And no one sees a problem?

    Is a spouses’ decision to question the “pastor”, or church doctrine, or policy, or even to leave the church to attend another, so evil and rotten that their “partners” are being “counseled” to separate or even divorce if necessary from them?

    This is exactly the state of affairs today in many RBC’s.

    And like I said before, it doesn’t matter one iota that Albert N. Martin is now “retired” and moved to Michigan. The damage has been done. The damage continues to be done through his teachings on many venues. The damage continues to be done with his “clones” and “wannabies” scattered across the globe!

    It’s a disgusting, damnable thing what many so-called teachers like Al Martin (and many others) have done to well-meaning people who think they are following Jesus. And what’s worse, many of these sincere and well-meaning people….many of these poor deluded and deceived husbands and wives and many other church members, often become just like their leaders. They defend this evil and false teaching with every ounce of their being. This is not Biblical Christianity. This is not Christianity. This is not the teaching of Jesus Christ. This teaching and counsel from “the pastor” and his cronies comes right from the pit of hell! It is sad, but thank GOD, some people are being shown the Truth!

    That’s why this website that I found: http://www.wickedshepherds.com is so vital.

    It’s not like the countless websites on spiritual abuse that are out there, but what makes this website stand out is its’ heavy emphasis on how these spiritual monsters are destroying marriage after marriage. You will not hear or read about this on other sites.

    Thanks again Mr. Rivard and don’t be afraid to spread the word.

    Leah

    • May 31, 2009 3:56 pm

      Leah,

      Shame on you for becoming a bobble-head Christian

      i dont blame Pastor Martin for this, I BLAME YOU….

      Pastor Martin always encouraged from the pulpit to check things from the bible…

      Why didn’t you leave the church, if you werent happy there ?
      by your previous posts it seems you where you being held hostage by these evil men for that long… blinded

      Many people have left for lesser reasons, like moving or jobs or whatever….

      you see the same (free will )that brought you to Trinity could have taken you out before your marriage got ruined as you claim…

      bobble-head people exist in all realms of society and have always existed, the bible is clear in 1 Tes

      • Larry permalink
        August 3, 2009 1:39 pm

        It’s not as easy as it looks to leave a Reformed Baptist church. I was a member at Venice Center Baptist church, which is Reformed Baptist. I was having a very hard time with the negative sermons from the pastor (Manley Johnson) and when I left I was excommunicated for being a trouble maker and not having a Biblical reason. OK, I didn’t have a Bible verse to quote (I told them God was leading me in another direction) and they couldn’t prove the latter. The point is this excessive authoritarian behavior. You can’t leave a church you don’t like without being judged by the pastor and the congregation. It felt like big brother is watching. THe Pastor in these churches wield a lot of power and the people often submit. A recipe for an abusive church
        Just my own opinion

  18. Leah permalink
    August 3, 2009 7:56 pm

    You’re right Larry. Good points.

    And yes Enny, “shame on me!” I did not have a Berean spirit. I did not check things out for myself but allowed the “rulers” to do it for me!

    But thankfully, the time came (all in His time) when GOD gave the eyes to see and the ears to hear.

    But, shame on you Enny. You miss the whole point. You say, “…Pastor Martin always encouraged from the pulpit to check things from the bible…”

    That is true (somewhat). But what happens when you check out what he says, searching the scriptures for yourself, and come up with questions or doubts as to what he is teaching?

    THAT IS THE QUESTION AND THAT IS THE POINT! You will certainly not be around very much longer. “How dare you question his teaching and authority!” You will be “called on the carpet” and the demand will be for you to repent and confess your sin! Albert N. Martin will not stand being questioned!

    “Better is a poor and wise youth that an old and foolish king, who knows not how to received admonition anymore.” Ecc. 4:13

    Leah

  19. Rick permalink
    August 17, 2009 8:35 pm

    To: Larry, Leah, and Elder Hoss,
    I have listened to Pastor Albert Martin’s sermons off and on since 1974. One of my best friends moved to Montville, NJ to be under his ministry and I met Pastor Martin in person at an RC Sproul conference about 5-6 years ago. I’ve always considered him to be a great preacher and from what I could tell a committed man of God.
    It really bothers me that you all would speak so negatively about him on this website. It seems like if you had a problem with him that you’d go to him personally and deal with the issues. I experienced him as a very approachable man.
    I don’t really know or understand your real issue with him, but I have to say I am deeply bothered about your comments. I was actually looking for a sermon on infant baptism by Pastor Martin and came across this blog. I didn’t know he had retired yet, but I started reading thinking I was going to hear some real moving stories about how he’d ministered to people over the years. To my surprise I came across a lot of negative comments about him. I even dreamed about it last night. It was very troubling.

  20. August 17, 2009 9:49 pm

    I agree with Rick. I cannot verify or unverify the allegations made here, but I have some serious doubts concerning their validity.

    All the same, I very rarely delete comments on my blog. I let people speak for themselves, even if defame themselves while doing so. Lots of capital letters and lots of exclamation points usually speak for themselves.

    This is not the place to hang out a church’s dirty laundry.

  21. September 6, 2009 2:58 pm

    To Leah and anyone else who uses this forum to smear Pastor Martin,

    My wife and I were members of Trinity from 1979-89 and left TBC because of a disagreement with Pastor Martin, in ’89. I left writing letters about Pastor Martin to all the members of the congregation, and for 20 years I justified this sin of publicly accusing him until the Lord granted me repentance earlier this year. Therefore, having removed the beam in my own eye, I can speak without hypocrisy to some of you regarding the speck in YOUR eye. To echo the above commenter, it is WRONG to publicly “air a church’s dirty laundry in public” as you are doing. Only Satan gains from these actions.

    I apologized to Trinity Baptist Church publicly and to Pastor Martin PERSONALLY only a few months ago, and I think you ought to seriously consider whether what YOU are doing is something that should be repented of….

    1.) The “#1 guy” at that website you (suspiciously) advertised in BOTH of your comments, Leah, is a follower of Harold Camping…..you know, the man who thought the world was going to end 15 years ago tm’w?? YOU may not know this about the “#1 guy” because YOU may not know him PERSONALLY like *I* do, but instead of focusing on Pastor Martin’s teachings you think are false, perhaps you should focus on what THIS man who is NOW a teacher to you, (through his website), believes.

    2.) The “#2 guy” at that website seems to question the salvation of virtually EVERYONE except himself and the “#1 guy!!!” Though Scripture warns us to examine OURSELVES to see whether WE be in the faith, and to make OUR calling and election sure, this “#2 guy” examines and questions everyone ELSE and finds THEM deficient. He would do the same to YOU, no doubt, if YOU knew him personally as *I* do…..but I suspect you don’t. I urge you to not focus so much on some who WAS ministering to you and pay careful attention to those who presently ARE.

    You mention the “testimony” section of that website….it is filled with anonymous commenters and it has zero credibility. Honestly, for all we know, it could be one person claiming to be several. Each “testimony” is anonymous.

    In the 20 years when I justified my sin, I mingled with PLENTY of folks who had gripes against Pastor Martin and left TBC as we did but MANY of these did NOT go on with Christ, did NOT join another church and seemed to use the “injustices” they suffered as an excuse to not live up to the light they HAD. They threw out the “baby” (Pastor Martin’s undeniably SCRIPTURAL preaching) with the “bathwater” (ways in which they found that Pastor Martin is a sinner who is saved by grace ALSO.) What YOU are doing with your public comments is slinging MUD into the “bathwater”, which will harm BOTH baby AND bathwater.

    In my recent face-to-face meeting with Pastor Martin I found him HUMBLE, and GRACIOUS…..and I’m all the more sorry for the way I slandered him 20 years ago. I hope one day YOU will be sorry for slandering him, ALSO.

    To Ryan Martin,

    I agree, as stated earlier, with your last sentence but as far as criticizing those who employ lots of caps and exclamation points, I think you are off-base. As you can see, *I* am the same way and I write in DEFENSE of Pastor Martin!!! “Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgement” comes to mind. God has made some of us more expressive that others, it should not be held against us HOW we say things but rather WHAT we say.

    You are apparently the MODERATOR of this site, and you say you “cannot verify or unverify the allegations made here”. In light of that, shouldn’t the accusations about Pastor Martin be taken DOWN?? We are not to receive an accusation against an elder except at the mouth of two or three witnesses. I’m new here, obviously, but how does that passage NOT apply in this situation??? Just a thought.

    Chet Jelinski

  22. September 6, 2009 10:50 pm

    I have a P.S. for “Leah”….

    In your first comment here, you said the following….

    “THE SAD FACT OF THE MATTER is that money, pride, unbridled ambition, and women ARE the very things that has already destroyed this man – PRIDE being the deadliest!”

    Your comment gives the wrong impression, probably accidentally, that Pastor Martin has been “destroyed” by all four of these sins. If you were indeed a member of TBC as I was, you know that he was NEVER accused by his enemies of the love of money or the seduction of women which so many pastors fall prey to!! I urge you to at least re-state and clarify which of those sins you are referring to (IF you must publicly speak of Pastor Martin’s alleged sins at ALL.) It is a very serious matter to accuse ANY believer of monetary or sexual sins without the two or three witnesses Scripture requires….much less to falsely accuse a PASTOR of such.

    Thank you

    Chet

  23. Anne permalink
    September 14, 2009 6:54 pm

    He shouldn’t have said it. It’s a tacky thing to say. Whatever his point was, it comes off bad – particularly for a preacher.

  24. September 18, 2009 7:36 pm

    Anne:

    The bottom line in all issues is this: “what saith the Scripture?” And so the question is: yes or no, do we see anything like this in the Bible? If ‘yes’, is it cast in a positive light or a negative light?

    I do not see your word “tacky” in the Bible. What I DO see however is a Psalm written by a man after God’s own heart (Psalm 131:1): “LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty. neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.” This passage shows that, at times, there IS indeed a proper context & way to say this sort of thing. Paul says that “he was what he was by the grace of God”; that he “labored more abundantly than they all”; that he “was a wise master-builder”, etc. “Yet not I, but the grace of God that worketh in me mightily” he says. Likewise, pastor Martin says that these things were true of him “by the grace of God.” Herod gave an eloquent speech, but he was struck down because he gave not God the glory. Pastor Martin was not boasting in himself but the grace of God that has worked in him mightily through the years. It appears off-hand that you are not seeing the words “BY THE GRACE OF GOD” sufficiently enough. The chief end of man is to glorify God, & this is exactly what he has done by making this statement: he is casting down his crown before the throne of the Lamb & attributing it all to the grace of God.

    Since the pastoral office has come under such reproach in our generation by high-profile men in Christendom, dishonoring God thereby, I believe that it is Biblically right and proper to let the world know that Christ by his grace and infinite resurrection power can & does preserve men from these sins which so easily beset preachers. Christ has promised to give pastors after his own heart, to give men who are blameless, to give men who have a heart for only one woman, to give men who are not given to filthy lucre, to give men who are not seeking their own but the things that are of Christ Jesus. Has He done this,,,?!? With men falling on the right hand and on the left, it is for God’s glory to let it be known that, yes indeed! He can & does still fulfill this promise to give us such.

    While on the one hand the Lord taught us to say that in and of ourselves we are “unprofitable servants,” on the other hand the same Bible says the servants of God will recognize that they are “laborers together with him”, and that God uses unworthy sinners “to plant”, “to water”, & that (at times), He will give an increase. According to the Scriptures there are times when we can properly & blamelessly say “Lord, thy pound has gained ten pounds.”

    Let’s just say for argument’s sake that he is a hypocrite, that he has multi-faceted evil motives and selfish ambitions in everything that he has ever done,,, that even more he is even Satan coming as an angel of light. Paul says in Philippians 1 that some preached Christ “not sincerely”, YET, his attitude was: “whether in pretense, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.” Anyone who knows their Bible must acknowledge that Christ has been preached with unusual clarity during this man’s ministry. Just listen to the “priest” “prophet” “King” “his deity” “his humanity” sections of the “Here We Stand” series for example (www.sg-audiotreasures.org/am_hws.htm). If someone wants to believe that this is Satan overthrowing his own kingdom ,,, I don’t know what to say. All I know is that Christ has been lifted up and exalted. His honor and the edification of His people has been promoted.

    I must confess that as I have read the various postings on this blog over the months, & knowing what the Bible says about how His people would be treated in this world, the thought has often occurred to me: “Man! ,, I would WORRY if there were NOT opposition like this.” Not being omniscient God however, one cannot be the final judge regarding what people have said they’ve experienced, and thus one must leave all to Him who judgeth righteously. All I can say is that when I want some edifying, challenging, clear, fresh & exemplary expositions/applications of the Scriptures – a clearer sight of my Savior – I can go to the sermons of Al Martin & not be disappointed. This is historically good material in my opinion, and – should the LORD tarry – will most likely be remembered & used by future generations long after the names of everyone on this blog are long gone and forgotten.

  25. September 18, 2009 10:26 pm

    Anne,

    You say “he shouldn’t have said it, it’s a tacky thing to say”??? I assume you are referring to the quote of Pastor Martin’s at the very top of this piece….

    “The four giant-killers of preachers—money, pride, unbridled ambition, and women—have killed their thousands. By the grace of God, they’ve not slain me.”

    Sister, I don’t see how you can reach that conclusion without knowing the CONTEXT in which he spoke. Presumably, knowing him, it was a context of GIVING GLORY TO GOD.

    You say “it comes off bad-particularly for a preacher”. Who else BUT a retiring preacher COULD make that statement, Anne?? And note: he credited “the grace of God”!!!

    Regarding your criticism, you are entitled to your opinion, of course, but MY opinion of your opinion is that you shouldn’t have said it, it was a tacky thing to say.

    Chet Jelinski

  26. September 19, 2009 9:48 am

    Ryan Martin:

    You said: I cannot verify or unverify the allegations made here, but I have some serious doubts concerning their validity.

    My response: 1 Timothy 5:19 says “Do not receive an accusation against an elder except at the mouth of two or three witnesses.” Why allow allegations which cannot be verified to remain here, undeleted?? The Internet is a powerful, powerful thing…..what is written is accessible WORLDWIDE, 24-7 and can be easily cut-and-pasted, and linked to, with clicks of a mouse. Is it Scriptural, is it FAIR to allow unverified allegations to remain here?

    You said: All the same, I very rarely delete comments on my blog. I let people speak for themselves, even if defame themselves while doing so.

    My response: I see your point, but what I don’t see is how “Leah” and others “defame themselves”. Can you be sure “Leah” is not writing under an ALIAS?? If he or she IS operating under an alias, how is he or she defaming his or herself?? Let’s be clear….PASTOR ALBERT N. MARTIN is being defamed here. No one else.

  27. September 28, 2009 10:26 pm

    Chet, Leah at el. – I think we would do well not to confound personal mea culpas (Chet) or pastoral mea culpas (Leah) with just what it is that consitutes sound and faithful Christianity, sound and faithful pastoral praxis, etc.

    While it is true that good men are slandered (and bad men are extolled), at the end of the day, we don’t have an internal geiger counter as it were, which enables us to detect “who is for real” (“Are You For Real?” was a sermon series preached in Montville – a number of the members of the church were on anti-depressents during that exhilarating sermon series of morbid introspectionism). Absent that, we have the objective standard of the word, one which says radically different things about, among other things, children/raising them in Christ, and the requirements of the eldership (note the part about pastors having “believing children”, or the Pauline exhortations to children addressing them as “in Christ”, as “saints”, etc.) than what Reformed Baptists, from numerous “camps”, say.

    It is liberating to know at the end of the day, that such issues as Montville vs. Carlisle, or “was it faithful pastoring or abusive pastoring” are peripheral to this larger point: The Reformed Baptist articulation of the Christian faith, AT LEAST AS IT HAS COME TO EXPRESSION in the Montville and Carlisle camps is anemic, stifling, ineffectual, and culturally doomed. In 20 years, most of their small little enclaves will not exist.

    Remember that the next time you hear the prayer letter on Wednesday night (you know, the meetings where women can’t pray) urging prayer for this or that irrelevant congregation of 12-people-in-a-bunker listening to their 231st Sunday School message on the “1689” (which is a deformation of the Westminster and Savoy confessions).

    Whether all of this is ultimately due to abusive pastoring or non-abusive pastoring, is beside the point. I would suggest it’s due to more basic issues that RBs like Martin, Chantry and others simply get fundamentally wrong.

    The sad thing is of course, that while there are ex-“Reformed” Baptists who leave the bunkers for less arid environs, many of them going from frying pan to fire, not taking the time to assess the root errors intrinsic to this entire movement – errors which go far beyond that of theories of the eldership, or pastoral counseling, etc.

    For more on this, see THE FAILURE OF THE AMERICAN BAPTIST CULTURE, available thru the late R.J. Rushdoony’s Chalcedon Report.

  28. September 30, 2009 8:54 pm

    The following comments are not directed back to Brucer (certain passages of Scripture seem to forbid it in this case), but to any others who might read these posts and potentially be influenced by them:

    He says: “,,,you know, the meetings where women can’t pray.” This statement is a false witness: the women ALWAYS pray at the prayer meetings – they just do not LEAD in prayer, & that because of 1 Timothy 2:8 which says that the males are to do it (note that the BROAD context of this Epistle is to set out church policy, and in the IMMEDIATE context Paul is listing specific male & female roles & functions in the Church, and roots it back to the original pre-fall creation and roles of Adam and Eve – see the last verses of the chapter).

    In reading through the previous post I see a multitude of words & much high-falutin’ verbiage, but almost zero Scripture. Check it out yourself! The one reference to “believing children” can legitimately be translated “faithful children”. The comments of John Gill are worth noting: “for by faithful children cannot be meant converted ones, or true believers in Christ; for it is not in the power of men to make their children such; and their not being so can never be an objection to their being elders, if otherwise qualified.” Elders are to “rule their own households well”, and “have their children in all subjection.” They are to “command their households after them” (like Abraham). Might as well say that a man cannot be an elder if he does not raise the dead, as to say that he cannot be an elder unless he can quicken his children unto eternal life. Perhaps God leaves some of the children of his choice and fruitful servants unconverted, in order to keep them humble.

    The phrase: “camps (are) anemic, stifling, ineffectual, and culturally doomed” is also a false witness in my judgment: the most Godly, zealous, fruitful, effectual and vibrant Christians I’ve ever personally met, who have the word of Christ most richly dwelling in their heads, hearts and feet, have been from these ‘camps’, & I’ve been to more than enough Churches to make an accurate assessment. Also, the saints which have the most effectual prayers have been from here, which Scripture says is a God-borne witness that they are “righteous” (Ja 5:16).

    It is also stated: “In 20 years, most of their small little enclaves will not exist.” What arrogance. Is this a prophesy? How can someone possbly know what a day might bring forth? Even Gamaliel (who apparently was unconverted) had more sense than to say something like this (see Acts 5:38-39).

    I have heard the entire “Are you for real” series, and characterizing it as “morbid introspectionism” is another false witness. Rather, it is a balanced Biblically-based series that helps the Christian do what the Bible says we are to do: examine ourselves to see if we be in the faith (2 Cor 13:5). The Scripture warns that “many” will find out on the last Day that they were self-deceived (Mat 7:21-22), & thus the need for self-examination is critical. This series was immediately followed up by another one called “Texts For Tried and Proven Saints”, and was some excellent follow-up Biblical ‘medicine’ by a proven God-blessed physician of souls. But, who ever heard of “Brucer”?

    The accusation that there is an over-emphasis on the 1689 Confession is also a false witness (at least with regards to the available tapes & ministries of Albert Martin & Trinity Baptist Church – I cannot speak for other places although I suspect it is true in general at RB assemblies). For proof, just look through an exhaustive list of messages, & you will see many many series through entire books of the Bible, and many topical series based on the Word, and an occasional series through the confession (which by the way was the confession of Spurgeon & other of God’s greatest lights; but who ever heard of “Brucer”?)

    PS, since the last post has been exposed as having (almost) no Scripture (for all it’s verbiage) – my guess is that a follow-up post will soon come, WITH a bunch of quotes. However even the Devil can easily do this (see Luke 4:1-), so it does not mean much necessarily. Thus I would encourage anyone who “knows the LORD”, to re-read the last post RIGHT NOW, and see if they discern anything of the gracious savor of their Saviour – in the attitude, in the manner, in the wording.

    Please, do not let comments like his prejudice any of Christ’s precious lambs from availing themselves of the ministries & the ministers which He has provided to our generation in what are designated as “reformed Baptist” ministries. My judgment is that it is HERE that you will find the saints & ministries that are walking closest to the living God in our generation. Previous generations have also born this out (just consider Spurgeon & George Whitfield, to name a couple). However, who ever heard of “Brucer”?

    2nd PS. Any follow-up posts by Brucer will not be answered out of conviction of Biblical principles – not because there are no answers to what he might say. I would encourage readers of this blog to hear for themselves the messages of Al Martin & prayerfully judge for themselves whether they be “of God” or not (visit the TBC website, SermonAudio.com, sg-audiotreasures.org, etc.)

    “Of the increase of His Kingdom there will be no end.”

    “And though this world with devils filled should threaten to undo us; we will not fear for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us.”

    “I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

  29. October 1, 2009 9:28 am

    Bucer- I believe you meant to say “et al”, not “at el”. That is the only flaw in your comments that *I* will point out…..Brian pretty well covered them.

    Brian- You did an EXCELLENT job responding to what Bucer said, the only flaw I see is that you kept calling him “BRUCER”. Or do you know who he really is??

    Ryan Martin- Again, “Bucer” proves that people can write under an alias, name PASTORS and CHURCHES (in a slanderous way) here while remaining virtually anonymous in the process. So how is it that these ones “defame THEMSELVES”, as you have said (emphasis mine)?? Again I say, it is the PASTORS and CHURCHES being named who are defamed, and I’m sad that this forum is enabling that.

  30. October 2, 2009 11:23 am

    Brian/Chet,

    I would imagine your knowledge of church history is such that you missed the irony in “Bucer.” One of you called me “Brucer”, leading me also to wonder whether you are even aware of the work of Martin Bucer.

    Martin Bucer wrote under a pseudonym in several instances, and with good reason.

    The writer to the Hebrews never divulged his name, as well, as I’m sure you’re aware.

    So, if you see blank characters in the name of this post, or “Bucer”, remember those two things.

    Now, as to Scriptural references….

    – Trees are known by their fruit (Matt. 7). The disciples of Trinity Ministerial Academy have gone out into the world, splitting churches left and right, mimicking their guru. Thankfully, the place shut down.

    Their annual congregational meetings would bear witness to the fact that the members were so fearful of expressing questions or alternative perspectives, that in one such meeting, the only point of discussion raised by members in 2 hrs, was the spelling of two words in a ministry report.

    How’s that for body life?

    Or what about when women of the church were getting together in a gal’s home to LISTEN TO AL MARTIN TAPES and the elders shut down the meeting for apprehension about female coffee clatches, etc.

    Usually, women being more sensitive (and often times, MORE DISCERNING) than their husbands, detected this kind of totalitarianism long in advance of their kool-aid drinking husbands, and found a way to endure it longer than perhaps wisdom would have suggested.

    We could also reference cases where members were suspended from the table and/or excommunicated WITHOUT BEING TOLD IN ADVANCE of such proceedings. One man simply requested a tape of the congregational meeting announcing his suspension, at which time, the head deacon at that juncture called the police and had him removed from the premises.

    You want more Scripture? Consider Paul’s admonition to the saints at Corinth re airing their disputes before pagans.

    Rather than taking the Great Commission seriously, “Go into all the world and make disciples of the nations, baptizing and teaching them” (Matt. 28), the “Reformed Baptists” have engendered church split after church split, in some instances with their “elders” taking over thriving evangelical or Southern Baptist congregations, and whittling them down to the “faithful” frozen chosen, muttering around in their enclaves of irrelevance – the department of redundancy department. After doing so, and “pressing on” with their congregations of 15 and 20 people, the “elders” have the nerve to send out prayer letters moaning about “the day of small things”. Yes, indeed.

    As to Reformed Baptist theology of children, when you have time, read Pastor Alan Dunn’s 40+ pages on children and discipleship, where he and the Trinity elders (who endorsed his Anabaptist heterodoxical nonsense) argue that children cannot be regarded as disciples, since among other reasons, children had not yet passed through puberty (perverse reasoning to the core) and disciples must be those who are prepared to forsake father and mother for Jesus.

    Pharisaical theology knows how to proof-text anything, doesn’t it? On this line of reasoning, children shouldn’t be allowed to eat, since, if a man doesn’t work, Paul says he shouldn’t be fed.

    Never mind that Paul addresses church after church in the NT and refers to his addressees as IN CHRIST, then proceeds to address the children in same manner.

    No wonder several Reformed Baptist members’ kids now hate God. Their theology gave them that as the unspoken option, since after all, they were presumed totally depraved and unconverted from jump street, and addressed accordingly.

    As to their size, the Reformed Baptist movement, insofar as it has been identified with Montville and their counterparts in ARBCA, is thankfully, a contained virus. FAR BETTER, if you are convinced of Baptist theology, to consider the ministry of men like Mark Dever, or Albert Mohler.

    Yes, let us ask, “what sayeth the Scripture.”?

    “Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made you free, and be not entangled again therein, in the yoke of bondage.”

  31. October 10, 2009 8:09 pm

    Ryan Martin,

    I am going to follow Brian’s lead and no longer reply directly to “Bucer”, but again, my main concern will be directed to YOU, as the Moderator of this Forum.

    The first time I came on here, I was heartened by your comments which stated…..

    “I agree with Rick. I cannot verify or unverify the allegations made here, but I have some serious doubts concerning their validity.

    “All the same, I very rarely delete comments on my blog. I let people speak for themselves, even if defame themselves while doing so. Lots of capital letters and lots of exclamation points usually speak for themselves.

    “This is not the place to hang out a church’s dirty laundry.”

    These comments of yours were made on August 17th, 2009 at 9:49 PM, and you’ll note that my FIRST comment EVER here was made AFTER them.

    I ventured to comment because it seemed as it there WAS a Moderator here who would intervene and guide situations in a godly manner.

    On three subsequent occasions I have addressed you here regarding issues such as 1.) If allegations cannot be verified, they need to be removed because Scripture commands us not to receive an accusation against an elder except at the mouth of two or three witnesses. By allowing unverified accusations to stand, you not only “receive” them, you help SPREAD them (in this context.) 2.) The ones who are probably writing under aliases are not SPEAKING for themselves or DEFAMING themselves……they are DEFAMING the ones they are NAMING. You are allowing PASTORS to be smeared here, by NAME….you are allowing ministries to be discredited and churches to be dishonored. and 3.) I cautioned you against judging someone’s intent or credibility based on something like whether or not caps and exclamation points are overused (in your opinion). You ought rather to weigh people’s words by OTHER factors, such as Are they hiding behind false names? Can such “witnesses” be credible? And, do they have the 2-3 witnesses Scripture requires, when they accuse Men of God?

    You have not only failed to respond to MY prior comments, but you’ve been totally M.I.A. here since August 17th….7 weeks. You have not responded to ANY of us.

    I want to zero in now on your statement that “this is not the place to hang a church’s dirty laundry”. Brother, is this not exactly what “Bucer” has done AGAIN, in this NEWEST comment of his?

    Note that he ADMITS (and RATIONALIZES) that he is not using his own real name, then makes an accusation against Pastor Dunn (adding to his PREVIOUS accusations against Pastor MARTIN) and NAMES HIM BY NAME! If this were a secular court of law, would someone cloaked by anonymity be allowed to accuse someone publicly?? How you can allow PASTORS to be publicly chewed up in a so-called CHRISTIAN Forum, without the 2-3 witnesses Scripture requires, when even a WORLDLY system wouldn’t allow such anonymous accusations?

    “Bucer” himself said “Consider Paul’s admonition to the saints at Corinth re airing their disputes before pagans.”

    It has apparently not occured to “BUCER” that his “disputes” he is airing here may WELL be seen by pagans…..how do we know they WON’T? Again, the Internet is 24 / 7/ 365 and it is WORLDWIDE. How do you know what “Bucer” has written WON’T be seen by the unsaved, and be a stumblingblock to them?? You don’t….so why allow a church’s dirty laundry to be hung out in public, though you yourself said this should not occur?

    Brother, I’m old enough to know WHY you “rarely delete comments”….it is not because some commenters “defame themselves”……………….admitted anonymous commenters (like “Bucer”) CANNOT defame themselves. It’s because you, as the Moderator of this site, naturally LIKE comments of ANY kind under what you post, and I understand that. I run my own Forums elsewhere and ANY comments beat FEW comments or NO comments. Nonetheless, I do have rules that others must follow if they wish to participate in my Forum and I thought YOU had rules, TOO.

    I’m not here to tell you what to do, but I am going to tell you that unless you delete the UnScriptural, unwise and unfair comments by “Bucer” regarding specific pastors and churches, I will not be commenting here MYSELF anymore, as a matter of principle.

    You yourself said this is not the place to air a church’s dirty laundry. Since that time, “Bucer” has flat-out disregarded your correct assertion and so far has not received even a follow-up WARNING from you. I will not contribute to a “Christian” Forum which is perpetually run in such a manner!

    Chet Jelinski

  32. October 12, 2009 9:19 am

    I came across this site only to find myself appalled by the willingness of those who profess that they know about the “Love of Christ”, to openly slander a faithful minister of the Gospel. Today I just happened to be studying the Larger Catechism on the 9th Commandment, “Thou shalt not bear false witness”, and I commend the reading of this to those who believe it is their responsibility to trash a minister, whoever he is, on a open blog.

    I was also a member of Trinity for 5 from 1981 – 1985. I have also been in contact with Al Martin since our departure for the last 20+ years. I remember Chet very well and was glad to see his openness and defense of Trinity. All I will say concerning the accusations is that the Al Martin that I have seen slandered is not the Al Martin that I have known for over 28 years.

    We left Trinity to move down to Georgia to be closer to my wife’s family. It is a decision that we have regretted many times as we wondered from church to church, seeking the level of biblical teaching that we were blessed with during our years at Trinity. Thankfully, after 16 years, we have finally been blessed again by such preaching as we are seeking to grow a Reformed Baptist Church in North Atlanta. I, and my wife, are convinced that the faithful teaching we received for the 5 years at Trinity helped us to endure our 16 years of “wondering through the wilderness”.

    Please note my use of the word “faithful”. Being faithful and perfect our two entirely different things.

  33. October 12, 2009 9:37 pm

    Chet,

    Thank you for your concern for Pastor Martin. I share similar concern. I will not be deleting any comments.

    Allow me to explain why. People have on this blog slandered Augustine and Calvin and other pastors. They have slandered me. I have not deleted any of their comments. I do not intend on beginning that now (though I do deserve the right to do that if necessary).

    With respect (because I am in agreement to your position concerning the character and benefit of the ministry of Pastor Martin), I simply do not agree with your assumption that to leave a comment on my little blog is akin to “receiving” the charge against a pastor. When someone makes a baseless slanderous charge against another pastor, that charge has been made and cannot be taken away. Receiving the charge does not mean you do not hear it, but that you do not believe it and act upon it, that you do not allow it to stand.

    Let me be as clear as possible. We can act in discourse, but I do not have either the time nor the energy to moderate every comment made on this blog. There are times I respond, times I do not.

    I repudiate any false claims made against a pastor of gospel ministry, including the ones made on this blog. I, again, insist that the behavior of those who make the comments can be seen even in the manner in which they make their case. If you have to resort to typeface to make your point, your case is damaged. I expect the readers of this blog to be more serious than to give shrill people any weight.

    What is truly sad, Chet, is that you have managed to stoop to the same sin as these others in your zeal. I am an ordained man, and you have accused me of keeping the comments of these individuals simply to bolster this blog’s pathetic popularity. Oh, if you only know how false that was. I truly wish that these defamers would go far away and never return again. They have hurt Christ’s body.

    But I still do not, in the interest of fair and open conversation, and except in very rare cases, delete comments. I run in fundamentalist circles (I am a fundamentalist!), and I know what the abuse of power looks like, and I am very hesitant to indulge in it except in dire straights.

    But, again, let me stress, no accusation against the good Pastor Albert Martin, whom I respect and admire greatly, and whose ministry of the Word has blessed my soul, has been “received” on this blog. They’ve merely been aired.

    I encourage strongly any reader of this blog to reject outright these claims.

  34. October 13, 2009 9:58 pm

    Ryan,

    Thank you for your response. First of all, I humbly and publicly apologize to you, I was not aware that you are an ordained man. My sin against you was not done because of “zeal” but because of my IGNORANCE of that very fact (that you are ordained). I confess to an unintentional HYPOCRISY and ask for your forgiveness, in Him. I do wish to clarify, though that I do not believe your blog is “pathetic”, nor did I state that (as you know.) If I thought it WAS that, I never would have commented in the first place!!

    Regarding your unwillingness to delete the offensive comments, we disagree but I trust we can AGREE to disagree and I do not in any way, I trust, judge you for your position….to your own master you stand or fall. True to my word, I am now departing from here because, as you know, we must each follow our conscience. I leave now KNOWING, from the Christlike tone of your response, that I already have the forgiveness I’ve asked for.

    God bless you, my brother!!

    Chet Jelinski

  35. October 16, 2009 11:08 pm

    Chet Jelinski – It is no slander to point out to you the wicked and detestable teaching which asserts that believing children are not to be accounted disciples of Christ, that children cannot be accounted as such since they have not passed through the fires of puberty.

    Did you even know that Bucer wrote pseudonymously, or did church history start with the Puritans in your world?

    Alan Dunn reasoned that, after all since disciples must be prepared to forsake mother and father for Christ, one can’t predicate this of children, hence they cannot be church members, cannot receive the supper, cannot be baptized, on it goes.

    No, no slander there. Just drawing attention to heterodoxy, EVEN AS SOMEONE SUCH AS YOURSELF DRAWS ATTENTION TO A WACKO LIKE HAROLD CAMPING.

    More to the poin, I defy you to find more balanced Baptists like John Piper, Mark Dever or D.A. Carson reasoning in this fashion. Actually, their ministries are witnessing real evangelism, growth, conversions, whereas the groups associated with Montville are withering away into increasing societal irrelevance.

    Stay in your bunker with Montvillian teaching all you wish, but understand in doing so that you are far afield from 99% of what the Protestant faith has taught since jump street, AND ALSO FAR AFIELD FROM EFFECTIVE BAPTIST PREACHERS PRESENT HOUR.

    If you have further questions as to what I have written, call Greg Nichols. He has counseled several people I know to stay as far away from Montville as possible, urging instead that they consider a ministry such as John Piper’s. For that matter, call John Piper as well.

  36. October 18, 2009 10:24 pm

    Bucer – I am putting the link to a document prepared by David W. Merck. http://www.reformedreader.org/rbs/cacm.htm. In this document Greg Nichols is quoted, and was apparently and elder serving with Mr. Merck at Reformed Baptist Church of Grand Rapids a number of years ago. I believe that this document gives an excellent overview of the position that you have shown such disdain for. The document is about church membership and not discipleship. As Pastor Merck delves into the subject he states the reason that Grand Rapids came to the position of holding off church membership until adulthood. This statement accurately reflects the problem I saw when we were members of Presbyterian Churches for many years. The non adult would be confirmed at 13 only to be excommunicated at 18.

    “In the church where I am pastor, we increasingly found ourselves uncomfortable with the following scenario. A child who is still easily influenced by his parents (and who naturally wants to please them) appears to be a Christian, is baptized and joins the church. Then later, as he is becoming an adult with a clearly-independent identity, he, by running impenitently into a sinful course, manifests that he no longer desires to maintain his former childhood profession. And the church faces the unpleasant duty of excommunicating him. Unfortunately, such a scenario is not merely hypothetical, but all too realistic from sad experience.”

    I am putting this here for the benefit of those who don’t know what “Bucer” is referring to and in hopes that the extreme accusatory rhetoric will cease.

    Finally, the usefulness of any ministry in the Kingdom of God is not determined by the size of the movement but in it’s faithfulness to God. If size is the great determiner of social relevance, than we should all close our doors and go see Joel Olsteen.

  37. October 19, 2009 10:47 am

    Jay – The Book of Acts has a great deal to say about conversions, and the Lord adding to the church. This was long before the smooth-talking heretic Joel Osteen showed up, as I’m sure you would agree…..

    However, it would appear that the circles in which you move believe that the parting words of our Lord prior to the ascension were actually “Go into all the world and split/reform the church – He who believes and follows the Montville elders shall be saved”, and not “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”.

    There is a big difference between these two approaches to Christianity, along with their fruit.

    “Go into all the world and split and reform the church”….

    Practically speaking, though they would deny this on paper, the “Reformed Baptists” believe they are the true church (hence their first aim when they meet a Presbyterian, or a Fundamental Baptist, or a Lutheran, is to convince them to get Al Martin tapes and leave their churches for Montville or a similar organization). They despise Christendom and the universality of the church, and practice a cult-like zeal in seeking to press all they meet into their narrow, petrified mold.

    This has been, in fact, the modus operandi of a number of the graduates of Trinity Ministerial Academy as they’ve striven to “Reform the church”, after their own image, of course.

    The Reformed Baptists of the Montville and ARBCA varieties (ARBCA is the group connected with Walt Chantry, who broke from Albert Martin over their differing views of pastoral authority, among other issues), know precious little of this. For all of their insistance on “adult baptism only by immersion only”, it is often the case that one can sit in their pews for 5-10-15 yrs and witness a handful of such “baptisms”. Not so with many a Southern Baptist and Fundamental Baptist church who are actually witnessing conversions by proclaiming a very straight ahead, simple message of the cross…

    Re the doctrine for which I show disdain, it is commendable to show disdain for what is evil. It is evil to exclude children from God’s covenant. Our Lord had much to say in this regard.

    It is a sad fruit of Montville and ARBCA theology that so many of their children reject the faith, seeing it so odiously perverted by their parents and their pastors. Many of their pastors have a good number of their children rejecting the faith, and yet, they pride themselves on the fact that this is simply attributable to God’s sovereign decree, and is a matter wholly disconnected from the way they raised them, raising them in unbelief, educating them in public schools, and treating them as if they were God-hating reprobates in need of a Puritan-style conversion. Let them step down from the ministry for their radical unfaithfulness.

    So, yes this is perverse, and yes, I disdain it with every fiber of my being.

    For all their criticism and disdain of Fundamental and “non-Reformed” Baptists, the “Reformed” Baptists need to realize that many Fundamental and Southern Baptists are far more covenantal than they are in that they witness true evangelism/great commission dynamic in their churches, and in that they often include children as disciples, baptizing them at a very young age, and bringing them to the Table.

    The Reformed Baptists associated with Montville and ARBCA are thankfully, Luddites, engulfed in internecine warfare which has them saying virtually nothing to the wider culture. The Fundies however, continue to go into cities, plant churches and schools (as they understand the implications of God’s covenant as it relates to Christian education), and see drug addicts, prostitutes, alcoholics, and countless others, washed in the blood of Jesus.

    No such thing is occurring among the “Reformed” Baptists.

    Far better, if you are convinced of Baptist theology, to consider the work of men like John Piper, Mark Dever, and D.A. Carson, along with some of the fine Southern B and Fundamentalist Baptists who are actually taking Matt 28:19 seriously. Again, you or Chet can feel free to call Greg Nichols. He’s counseled people I know well to, by and large, avoid most of the RB churches, and consider moving to Minnesota to be part of Piper’s work.

  38. October 19, 2009 1:22 pm

    This will by final comment on this page.

    If anyone understands the full weight of Matthew 7:21; ” Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

    If anyone understands the shallow evangelism that has gone on in this country for over 50 years. An evangelism where somebody just prays some prayer without any true conviction of sin or true understanding, to some degree, of the holiness of God. An evangelism that does not require any true violence to the Adamic nature. I quote from A. W. Tozer in “The Pursuit of God”. (He was not a Reformed Baptist).

    “The doctrine of justification by faith–a Biblical truth, and a blessed relief from sterile legalism and unavailing self-effort–has in our time fallen into evil company and been interpreted by many in such manner as actually to bar men from the knowledge of God. The whole transaction of religious conversion has been made mechanical and spiritless. Faith may now be exercised without a jar to the moral life and without embarrassment to the Adamic ego. Christ may be `received’ without creating any special love for Him in the soul of the receiver. The man is `saved,’ but he is not hungry nor thirsty after God. In fact he is specifically taught to be satisfied and encouraged to be content with little.”

    If anyone understands these things then they, like myself, will not convinced that the accusation that Reformed Baptists are not concerned about evangelism, or seeing men truly come to Christ holds any water.

    I apologize for detracting from the original intent of this page, which was to pay respect to a man who understands what I have just written and been faithful in seeking to see sinners saved from the wrath to come. I am old enough, (almost 60), to know that those who people hold up today will be trashed tomorrow.

    Finally, I know many of the people at Trinity and their love for Christ and desire to see many converted Christ. I have heard the prayers of people for the conversion of their families, coworkers, and friends. I have been a recipient of the love of these people through financial and physical help. I will always be thankful to God that he gave me an opportunity to be a part of this, howbeit, for a brief period of time in my life. I will always be thankful for the many sermons I have heard from Al Martin, Greg Nichols, Pastor Fisher, Walter Chantry, Lamar Martin and the many others who came through Trinity while I was there, to numerous to mention, that helped us immensely through their faithful preaching. All of this has convinced me more of the truth of Titus 2:11-14; “For the grace of God hath appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us, to the intent that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly and righteously and godly in this present world; looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a people for his own possession, zealous of good works.”

    Thanks and Goodbye.

  39. October 19, 2009 9:51 pm

    Righto – When Fundamentalist or other non-Reformed Baptist churches grow, seeing some of the most helpless of souls recovered by the power of the risen Christ, and frequently, it’s because they preach a shallow gospel, or no gospel at all. When the Inerrancy/Conservative Anglicans in Sydney Australia bring the gospel to thousands, incorporating hundreds of ex-pagans into their churches through believing upon the Lord Jesus, it’s because they’re compromising the message.

    Right.

    How convenient an explanation.

    It’s offered to justify the defensive bunker posture of those who say that the “true” proponents of “the gospel” are the followers of Montville, most of whom shun the universal church (Southern Baptists, Fundamental Baptists, Missour-Synod Lutherans, Reformed Anglicans — such are not part of “true” churches, but need to come under the “oversight” of Montville).

    Nothing like outromanizing Rome, and Milton was indeed correct when he observed that “new presbyter is old priest writ large!”.

    The “Reformed” Baptist coterie of churches (that is, the ones most commonly associated with Montville) often appeal to weak, sycophantic people, a goodly number of whom sit in the pews for 10-20-30 yrs, never once lifting a finger in service to Christ whilst the world perishes, and their own children reject their detestable perversion of the gospel of the grace of God in Christ Jesus.

    Don’t be bamboozled by loud messages where preachers spend more time exegeting their sermon headings than they do the very ipissima verba of the Holy Spirit. Jesus warned us most clearly concerning the teachings and traditions of men, men whose very children reject this religion for its suffocating hypocrisy….

    May God raise up some men and women (not as pastors of course), to minister to the scattered and bruised sheep who have been through the “Reformed”/Deformed Baptist meat grinder. Jesus is in the business of recovering lost and wounded sheep and restoring them to Himself.

    What sayeth the Scriptures? Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made you free, and be not entangled again therein in a yoke of bondage!

  40. NNoone permalink
    October 20, 2009 5:40 pm

    Dear Ryan,

    The best solution to the postings here that would appear to be defamatory would be to require the person posting them to positively identify themselves before the posting.

    For instance, I agree with Mr. Jelinski that the “Leah” person is probably not a real name.

    Thus, my suggestion is that you moderate the postings before they are posted to your site.

    Thanks for listening.

    NNoone

    • Larry permalink
      October 20, 2009 7:23 pm

      “May God raise up some men and women (not as pastors of course), to minister to the scattered and bruised sheep who have been through the “Reformed”/Deformed Baptist meat grinder. Jesus is in the business of recovering lost and wounded sheep and restoring them to Himself.”

      I’ll second that. I’ve been through 15 years at a Reformed Baptist church; not at Trinity, so I can’t comment. I found my old church legalistic, authoritarian, and a warped love. They loved there own kind. Not everyone has a good experience at these churches.

  41. October 20, 2009 8:28 pm

    NNoone – Iactus est. I have nothing else to say on this matter, only to remind you that Martin Bucer wrote pseudonymously, Calvin did at one time, Knox did, and – as you may know – Hebrews cites no human author.

    With Chet, you can simply get over it and pay closer attention to both Scriptural, and post-Scriptural church, history

    Larry – Be encouraged brother. Many of their pastors have checked out of the RB hotel, almost rejecting entirely the “Reformed Baptist Distinctives” they once held to be “the things most surely believed among us” (a text hijacked by the RBs, and found as you know, in Luke 1, originally spoken concerning Jesus and His history). I have spoken to not a few of them and am encouraged concerning these developments.

    Many of the kool-aid ingesting former members have moved on as well to Southern Baptist churches, Fundamental Baptist churches, Presbyterian, and Evangelical Anglican churches where they are serving God and making Jesus known.

    God is at work gathering, restoring, and equipping His battered sheep, preparing them for fruitful works of service in the years that lay ahead.

    Let us let the dead bury the dead, and go preach the kingdom of God, even as Jesus directed.

  42. Brandon permalink
    October 21, 2009 10:11 am

    After reviewing all of the blog entries, along with all of the ridiculing back and forth as to whether this one or that one is a real person, or whether this one or that one “is a He or a She that is operating under an alias,” I could not help but think of a very apropos quote that I came across not too long ago. I’ll paraphrase, but I believe that it goes something like this:

    “You know when someone has spoken truly, and spoken truly well, when the identity police begin to surface and question whether or not you are for real.”

    Brandon

  43. George permalink
    October 26, 2009 7:55 pm

    In my opinion the Pope, most televangelists and Albert N. Martin have something in common, they have done more to tarnish the name of Christ than any self-proclaimed anti-christ.

    In the late ’70s the book Shepherding God’s Flock pointed towards the abuses inherent in Martin’s dictatorial system. It is a very sad statement to know that today that Montville church has not produced a single nonvocational elder. All those decades listening to that blowhard with his contrived histrionics has not produced a single man out of the hundreds who listen to him every Sunday who could take up that leadership position.

    Pastor Joe Torres of the Sunland, CA RBC church was convicted of child molestation and possible other crimes within the past few years. Former members of that Sunland church published A Testimony of Pastoral Misconduct, which basically legitamately points fingers at NJ Pastor Pineros, the Sunland oversight pastor. Pineros in my view was a creation of the Martin cultic system.

    Look at Martin’s family. By their fruits you will know them. If you are a gifted Christian and want to see your gifts wasted and trampled on — then go join a church that was spawned by Martin’s system.

    I remember listening to one of Martin’s disciples (a man who is unfortunately respected as an RBC pastor in his own way), claim “a tenth of my money and a seventh of my time, they may call me a legalist, but that is what I believe”. Well he is a legalist! What a sad statement, a going back to the OT ceremonial tithing laws that are clearly abolished according to the Westminster and London Baptist 2nd Confessions. By the way, there is one photograph in the sanctuary of that pastor’s church building — of Al Martin — talk about icon worship!

    Martin may have started out well in the 1960s when he rediscovered the doctrines of grace. However, he married the worst parts of Baptist and Presbyterian church polity and ended up with a monstrosity that probably would have burnt many a Servetus at the stake were it not for the protections of our secular government freedoms. As it is, I think the damage that Martin’s system has caused many a marriage, a family and wasted years of many a peson that could have been more fruitfully serving Chist can not be matched by many in our time.

  44. George permalink
    October 27, 2009 6:14 am

    Knowing how some RBs in leadership positions are known to twist words of others, I think I need to make some clarifications.

    As of this writing the Montville Churches website indicates they have three elders — all vocational. As far as I know the congregation is large enough that perhaps at least one non-vocational elder should have matured and taken on an elder role, but that apparently is not the case.

    The Testimony of Pastoral Misconduct did not accuse anyone (other than former Pastor Joe Torres) of criminality. However, as its title indicates, it does seem to accuse in my opinion Pastor Pineros of “Misconduct” — it is at best not very flattering.

    I should not have to write this, but knowing the RB system, I will — Al Martin had no direct involvement in Sunland that I know of. Al Martin is not mentioned by name in Shepherding Gods Flock (maybe it was Shepherding Gods Sheep); however, my very strong opinion, is that considering the authors (most of whom were connected with the RB movement), and what they wrote, his system of church governance could not have been far from their minds.

    Finally, many if not the great majority of self-identified RB churches do not, again in my opinion, come anywhere close to the super-authoritarian tendecies of Martin’s church or the handful of churches most closely connected to Martin’s church.

  45. October 27, 2009 9:42 pm

    Where to begin with some of this stuff? I hesitate to even answer, but once in awhile think it is good to do so, so that anyone reading these postings can see how false the claims are, & not be wrongfully prejudiced against Reformed Baptists by them.
    The report of molestation is very grievous to hear, for sure, but at the same time I must admit to laughing when I read George’s first post. Trying to place the responsibility of child molestation (either direcly or indirectly) on anyone but the molester himself, is, Biblically, a manifestation of Adamic wickedness & blame shifting. How ludicrous. Instead of blaming the molester himself, the indirect blame not only shifts back one level (to pastor Pinero), but TWO levels. (Remind anybody of anything? “the woman, that you gave me,,,” Gen 3. In this case however we just insert two different names: ‘Pastor Pinero, that Al Martin sent & influenced,,,’). Let it be noted that an “oversite” pastor gives counsel & input in response to the request of a local church ,,, but that the local church always maintains & exercises final authority in all matters.
    Thankfully, George apparently still has enough conscience that he did some back-peddling in his second post.
    Some of these statements remind me of the “Bush Derangement Syndrome”. If you ever listen to the Democrats, you’ll know that everything is “Bush’s fault.” If they get a flat tire, it’s Bush’s fault. If they stub their toe, it’s Bush’s fault. Every problem in the country & in the world is “Bush’s fault.” Similarly, although George has back-peddled a bit, notice how he ultimately still points back to Al Martin by saying the following: “his system of church governance could not have been far from their minds.” In other words: “It’s Bush’s fault,,” I mean “it’s Martin’s Fault.” I leave it to any fair-minded reader to judge whether or not this, in and of itself, does not show how certain bloggers are suffering from “Martin Derangement Syndrome.” Here a guy molests a child & who is to blame? Trace it back (it is said), indirectly to Albert Martin!
    As I’ve said on more than one other occasion on this blog, I would worry if there were not railings like this.
    For many years Jeff Smith, Belton Brevard and Frank Barker were “non-vocational elders.” Donald Dixon was a “non-vocational elder” from the beginning, right through until the time he retired. (By “non-vocational” I am guessing he means those who have their primary wage-earning job outside the church, & do not labor in the Word & in doctrine for a living). This railing accusation then is clearly a false witness, when we look at the facts. Many years later some of these men began to labor full-time in the ministry, but providentially, it could have just as easily worked out that they continued for the rest of their days “non-vocationally.” What is this concern supposed to prove anyway,,, that the RB pastors are only in it for the money? It just ain’t so, folks.
    Since Christ was called “Beelzebub”, I would worry if God’s servants were not put in the same category as “the Pope & most televangelists.” I would worry if there were not railings like this.
    According to the Faithful & True Witness, a divided house is generally to be EXPECTED. Christ said that in the typical household “two would be divided against three, & three against two.” According to the Bible salvation “is not of bloods”, so the railing accusation that all of a man’s relations are not converted is a straw-man argument. Even the earthly brethren of Christ did not believe on him – the only revealed exception being James – & that apparently later on. Children must be in subjection while they are under the man’s roof (which they were), but the most godly man can no more convert his children than he can raise the dead. The “fruits” can be seen in the many eminently godly, fruitful saints that have been edified and matured by the accurate exposition & application of God’s word & by a good example over the years. “Fruits” is an expansive term, and thus to confine it to a man’s household is Biblically wrong. “Fruits” include the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in different character traits, and the influence of a man’s ministry on regenerate souls. One of his daughter’s serves faithfully as a pastor’s wife, but of course that good fruit is conveniently not mentioned. There is indeed much good fruit to be seen here.
    Offhand I do not see anything in the 1689 confession abolishing tithing(?). Where is this? The constitution says the following: “Since it is clearly taught in Scripture that Christians should support financially the work of the Lord by systematic and proportional giving (Mal 3:8-10; 1 Cor 16:1-2; 2 Cor 8 & 9), all the members are expected to conform to this rule of Scripture.” (This is the non-negotiable statement about giving ,,, but note that it does not say how much). It goes on to state: “The tithe is strongly urged upon each member (but note it does not say “commanded”, or “required”) as an expression of worship and as the Biblical norm for basic giving.” Since the tithe is so prominent in the Scriptures, & since the NT is silent one way or the other for NT saints, the tithe is “urged” as a basic starting point, but again it is not mandated or commanded. I believe it is safe to say that most saints over the years, having read their Bibles, generally have looked at a tithe as a good base line starting point, & then give more & less as God prospers them & as they are made willing in the day of His power.
    A personal testimony might be proper at this point. I was a member of Trinity for a number of years, and for a handful of them, directed my financial giving away from the local church & toward some poor brethren/churches overseas. Never was I approached on this, so obviously they were not “checking the checks”. Actually, at one point this was even mentioned directly to one of the elders, & he never said a negative thing about it. I am not sure if he mentioned it to the other elders(?), but if he did, they never approached me on it. If he did NOT say anything, then it only confirms that this railing accusation that they are “legalistic” about tithing is a false witness. Additionally, I have heard directly from the mouth of another office-bearer that he did not see the tithe as an absolute necessity under certain circumstances. “Giving” is necessary; yes; “tithing” is “urged” but not mandated, & the elders do not bind anyone’s conscience about it – even when they hear directly from a member that they chose to redirect their offerings to the poor abroad. (Note, at the time that this was done, there were more than enough members of the church – many quite well-off – that it was judged that our relatively small offering would not really make a difference locally, but could perhaps make a difference abroad. This is mentioned only because I do not want any readers to be encouraged to neglect the supporting of the needs of their local assemblies first.)
    Offhand, reading some of the postings on this blog, it sounds like perhaps a “root of bitterness” may have sprung up with some. I would submit that any healthy & Biblically sensitive Christian who listens to any of Albert Martin’s messages from the 1960’s, right through to his latest, will discern much of God in them. Please do not take my word for it or anyone else’s on this blog – but prayerfully judge for yourself.
    Christ said that when there is sin amongst the brethren it needs to be brought up with the goal of “gaining” the brother. Offhand, I do not see a lot of this attitude in some of these posts; but rather, it seems to be “rail rail rail,” with much bitterness. Christ, in Rev. 2 & 3, gave mixtures of commendation AND correction to almost all of the churches. I do not see much of the “commendation” spirit in some of these posts. This tells me then that the Spirit of Christ seems to be absent in the attitudes of some. In 1 Cor Paul first says “I commend you,,,” before he says “I commend you not.” Most of what Sara said to Abraham on one occasion was sinful, but when Peter quotes her in the NT, he picked out the one commendable part, & mentions: at least she called Abraham ‘Lord’. Paul says to focus on “whatsoever things are right, and lovely, and of good report,” etc. Here is a challenge for Brucer: in the light of Rev 2/3, and the example of Paul and Peter, let’s see you put up a posting with some commendable things about Albert Martin & reformed baptists ,,, (start “Jeopardy” music ,,,,,).
    I must say it is a joy to report that this blog has been blessed of God to increase the # of downloads of Al Martin sermons on our site (sg-audiotreasures.org). Thanks! I would recommend that both Brucer & George listen to John Reisinger’s illustration about “cutting down the tree” in his excellent sermon called the Sovereignty of God & Providence, which can be heard here: http://www.sg-audiotreasures.org/sovereignty/jr_sovprov.mp3.
    Note, it was thought it proper to give at least a sampling of answers to some of the accusations on this blog, to show that they can be answered, but since one could spend all day doing things like this, & since there are other labors from which I do not want to be distracted, this will be my last.
    PS I am not a champion necessarily (either for or against) of Al Martin, Brucer, George, or anyone else. May Yahweh be the final judge in every man’s labors. What I DO desire however is to see the Kingdom expanded & increased, & inasmuch as Albert or George or Brucer are instrumental to that end – let it be for His glory. Thus far however, it must be confessed, in my limited experience, so far, I see much more of such things in ANM’s ministry. If however George or Brucer or anyone else has exemplary & edifying materials to this end, pass them on, & with prayerful consideration they may likewise be put up on our website.
    May the Kingdom of God come. May His will be done more & more on earth as it is in Heaven. May all of the saints be perfectly joined together & have no divisions amongst them. Even so, come Lord Jesus.

  46. October 28, 2009 8:45 pm

    Brian,

    Per your stated desire to the “Kingdom expanded and increased” via materials designed for that purpose, here is a great reason NOT to follow the grave errors of Montville.

    http://www.faithtacoma.org/doctrine/covenant.aspx

    Thankfully, many Baptists, particularly Southern Baptists, embrace a great deal of what is contained in this fine treatment by Pastor/Dr. Rayburn, though they might use different terminology. Countless Fundamental and Southern Baptist men I have met have seen each of their covenant household members walking in the faith, unlike countless Reformed/Deformed Baptists, many of whom view and treat their children like pagans, with tragic self-fulfilling prophecies ensuing….

    Broken churches and broken households are one sad legacy of Trinity Ministerial Academy, a legacy made possible by sincere, but radically unbiblical and unreformed doctrine and praxis.

    Best Wishes,

    Bucer (not Brucer)

    • Larry permalink
      October 31, 2009 11:52 pm

      I thought I’d comment on a few of Bucer’s statements from my own experience at my former Reformed Baptist Church (Venice Center).

      “Countless Fundamental and Southern Baptist men I have met have seen each of their covenant household members walking in the faith, unlike countless Reformed/Deformed Baptists, many of whom view and treat their children like pagans,”

      Yes I agree with this.

      “The “Reformed” Baptist coterie of churches (that is, the ones most commonly associated with Montville) often appeal to weak, sycophantic people, a goodly number of whom sit in the pews for 10-20-30 yrs, never once lifting a finger in service to Christ whilst the world perishes”

      There were a few people who strongly agreed with the pastor but most were followers or bobble-head Christians; and there was no evangelism.

      “Practically speaking, though they would deny this on paper, the “Reformed Baptists” believe they are the true church (hence their first aim when they meet a Presbyterian, or a Fundamental Baptist, or a Lutheran, is to convince them to get Al Martin tapes and leave their churches for Montville or a similar organization). They despise Christendom and the universality of the church, and practice a cult-like zeal in seeking to press all they meet into their narrow, petrified mold.”

      Put a BIG check-mark next to this one. I believe the root cause of this is spiritual pride. My church had an elevated view of itself as being special; the chosen (elect) of God. God may not have met with other churches on Sunday, but he sure did meet with our church.

      “, it is often the case that one can sit in their pews for 5-10-15 yrs and witness a handful of such “baptisms”.

      I saw only two in 15 years; myself and another. I was excommunicated so maybe that’s only one.

      I nearly had a nervous breakdown being at that church.
      I had to sort through a lot of things before I confronted the Pastor and asked to leave the church peacefully.

      I don’t know if legalism is a problem in the Reformed Baptist church as a whole, but it sure did cause me problems and gave me a distorted view of Christ. Salvation should humble a person and not cause them to be judgemental looking down on others as being inferior.

      A disillusioned ex-reformed baptist.

  47. George permalink
    October 28, 2009 11:06 pm

    Windbags.

    Brian, this post is just my OPINION, mainly based on what you have posted above.

    You are a windbag, who can’t apply scripture and doesn’t know the 1689 Confession. And yet in comparison to Albert Martin, you are Laconic and wise as Solomon.

    See the “Enter” key three over from “L”? Try it out. It took me seven screens to click through your long pointless diatribe that misapplies scripture. But it’s OK. I’m used to it. I’ve listened to hundred of AMN RB type sermons — including dozens by AMN himself.

    As noted in my second post, I assumed an AMB groupie would be twisting my words. Contrary to what you seem to be implying, I am not “trying to place the responsibility of child molestation” on anyone other than former Sunland RBC pastor Joe Torres.

    I just mentioned the April 2007 “A Testimony of Pastoral Misconduct”. I have a copy in front of me. Let me quote you three sentences from its Abstract:

    “After seeking unsuccesfully to confront Pastor Pinero in accordance with I Timothy 5:19

    ‘Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses’

    “we, the members of the Reformed Baptist Church in Sunland California, decided to compile this account of the imposition of Mr. Joseph Gary Torres (“Torres”) as our only Pastor and Elder. We allege that Pastor Pinero of “Iglesia Bautista Refomada” of North Bergen, who served as Torres’ supervisor, counselor and confidant for over 15 years, in that capacity knew, or should have known, of Torres’ questionable character long before Torres’ ordination in 1998….May this account be used of ‘our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own posession, zealous for good deeds’ (Titus 2:14)”

    The account runs roughly 60 pages and would make a normal person’s skin crawl. You ought to get a copy and stick it on your website.

    Brian, if I am reading you correctly, you are either calling me “Adamic” or the victims of Pastor Torres “Adamic”. And then you cite Gen. 3, where Adam blames God for the woman. Well, Pastor Torres committed the crimes — not me, not the victims. That would make Pastor Torres, the analog to Adam. Adam perpetrated the initial sin. Torres perpetrated the crime. And you are pointing fingers at me or the victims — it’s kind of, well, Adamic.

    Here is a little snippet from page 15 of the Testimony of Pastoral Misconduct:

    “In the early 1990’s Becky was concerned over the family’s inability to make ends meet. In particular, Torres had been issued a Court order to make child support payments for his children from a prior marriage. Becky’s testimony as written in March 2007 follows:

    “‘I am writing about what I can remember and I have documents that can help with dates. I was told by Joseph Torres that Trinity would monetarily help us [to make child-support payments]. I remember seeing incoming mail with the return address from Trinity, Montville, NJ. This would come once a month. Joseph had told me that the amount of each check was $1,000. I know that the total of monetary help equaled ten thousand dollars. Therefore, we received checks for 10 months. Joseph was the one who deposited them and I have no record of the deposits or copies of the checks.

    “…Given the possibility that Torres lied to his wife, about the only certain fact regarding this financial aid that can be gleaned from the above testimony, is that Torres received correspondence from the Trinity Montville church on a regula basis for several months. However, Mr. Romero — unaware of Becky’s testimony above — has provided the following independent account

    “In 1993 or 1994 Pastor Pinero confided in Mr. Romero that Torres ‘has received help’ to pay for court-mandated child support. Mr. Romero does not remember the exact sum of the assistance; his recollection was ‘about $15,000…a large amount’. The source of this help was not disclosed in this conversation; Mr. Romero assumed it had been the Sunland church.”

    Well, I am going to go way out on a limb here and speculate that tithes from either Montville or Sunland were used to pay child-support for a dead-beat dad RBC Pastor who was subsequently convicted of child molestation. Brian, you are not disputing that Trinity has ZERO lay elders today, are you? Why does it matter? In my view, a dead-beat dad potential child molestor can make it into the ranks of AMN disciple RBC pastors, if he is enough of an AMN bootlicker — but apparently it is very difficult to become an elder even if you listen to AMN live and in-person week in and way out. I guess I’m going out on a limb again, but since the AMN RBC way is wing-nut elder rule with regards to church budgets — and all elders are vocational — the foxes run the hen house. AND DO NOT PUT WORDS IN MY MOUTH, my problem is with the system and AMN and not with the great majority of other RBC pastors.

    You set up straw men, along the lines of Trinity Montville not enforcing tithing. Never said they did. That is twisting my words in typical RBC apologist fashion. I merely quoted an AMN disciple about tithing. However, if you check out wickedshepherds.com, you will seem the AMN tithing view.

    Are you familiar with London Baptist Confession XIX 3. “all which ceremonial laws being appointed only to the time of reformation, are, … for that end abrogated and taken away.” What part of “abrogated and taken away” don’t you understand? Tithing was a Levitical OT ceremonial law.

    You mentioned this “railing accusation” that “they” were legalistic and that it was false witness. I didn’t make a railing accusation that “they” were legalistic, I wrote that one particular disciple of AMN was legalistic. I think you owe me an apology for a railing accusation and a false witness against me.

    You mention that the tithe is so prominent in scriptures. And yet it is only mentioned once after the resurrection. And that is in Hebrews 7. Brian, tithing was an OT ceremonial law in place to support the Levitical priesthood. But Hebrews 7:11 notes “If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should arise after the order of Melchisidec, and not be called after the order of Aaron.

    Contrary to what you wrote. Most saints over the years did not feel urged to tithe, at least not until the mid-1800s. Check out Luther, Calvin, Gill on this subject. NT era tithing is a fairly recent innovation, cooked up to justify expenses such as windbag AMN type RBC pastoral salaries among other things.

  48. George permalink
    October 28, 2009 11:23 pm

    Brian, when you reply. Skip the part about it being ANM and not AMN.

  49. November 2, 2009 10:41 am

    Greetings All;
    .

    I was a member of Trinity BC Montville NJ for 15 years in the 70s & 80s. I was married in Al Martin’s living room.
    .
    .

    The witness of the wickedshepherds.com web site is correct!

    .
    My ‘testimony’ is the one where Al Martin leveled a threat that he was ready to “lower the boom” on me. The last time I looked in the mirror there was a guy looking back at me who looked like me. I assure you therefore that I am not bogus! 🙂
    .
    .
    I have friends who were also members of Trinity for about 20 years; the man played the piano there. Well after about 30 years of marriage his wife up and divorced the man about 2 years ago and guess what for? The man saw the nonsense that was going on in the place they were attending at the time, which was Monroe Chapel in NY under a man by the name of David Dykstra. That place is also a clone of Trinity and some of the elders were right out of Trinity. They wickedly encouraged the woman to divorce the man because he refused to attend and “be in subjection to the elders”. The woman makes the absurd claim that “the holy spirit is telling me to divorce him”.
    The man lost his wife and is deprived of his responsibility to raise two lovely daughters. I am now in the process of helping the man pick up the pieces. I repeat… what the wicked shepherds web site says is Correct!
    .
    .

    Sadly, Mr Chet Jelinski has shown himself to be a bearer of false witness in his comments above and has himself been exposed. Please read and judge for yourself here;
    .
    http://wickedshepherds.com/CurrentNews.html

    You may also be interested in an instance where a Reformed Baptist pastor by the name of Paul Gordon denies the Gospel and condones heretics as saved Christians. See it here;

    http://home.paonline.com/jamesjay/RBden.htm

    Mr Gordon is a product of Trinity and is an Al Martin clone to the point where he almost sounds exactly like him.

    Please feel free to contact me if you so desire. E-mail address is on my site… Prove All Things

    James Kirby

  50. November 2, 2009 10:55 pm

    Dear Brother Larry,

    I am very sad to hear of your experience among the Deformed Baptists, who Deform God’s covenant and pervert the simplicity of the gospel as it is found in Jesus.

    Our Lord, the True Shepherd, is all about restoring wounded sheep to Himself.

    If I can be of any use to you in terms of coming to grips with this detestable religion and its dominant voices, I stand ready and willing (if convenient, feel free to spell [to avoid spamination] your e-mail address, and I will glady contact you to discuss these things further.

    Rejoice – Our redemption draws nigh, and the Deformed Baptists are a rare and contained virus, headed for the ash heap of history, and soon, the Lord-willing.

    Yours,

    Bucer

    • Larry permalink
      November 5, 2009 10:04 pm

      “If I can be of any use to you in terms of coming to grips with this detestable religion and its dominant voices, I stand ready and willing (if convenient, feel free to spell [to avoid spamination] your e-mail address, and I will glady contact you to discuss these things further.”

      A few good articles or a book you could recomend will help.

      This is a comment from Brian
      “Please, do not let comments like his prejudice any of Christ’s precious lambs from availing themselves of the ministries & the ministers which He has provided to our generation in what are designated as “reformed Baptist” ministries.”

      I have to say that Bucer’s comments (which I highlighted on my earlier post) rings true to me from my experience at a Reformed Baptist church (Venice Center). Without love all the Bible verses in the world means nothing because they’ll be misapplied. (1 Corinthians 13:2 – If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.) This is what I call legalism and I’ve experienced it. I’m never regretted leaving my old church which didn’t have a clue how to practice it. Going thriugh the motions doesn’t cut it.

  51. November 6, 2009 12:37 am

    Larry – As a PS to your last note, isn’t it interesting that a number of “Reformed Baptist” pastors warn other Christians about attending “Reformed Baptist” groups such as some of the ones in New Jersey, associated with Montville, or the RB bunker in New Hampshire.

    “Reformed Baptists” decrying other “Reformed Baptist” ministries as harsh, unloving, legalistic, theologically heterodox, and just downright weird.

    I will loop back with some recommendations. Certainly the prior recommendation I referenced in this thread, from Robert Rayburn, pastor in Tacoma WA is absolutely vital for a proper understanding of how we view the covenant and our children (http://www.faithtacoma.org/doctrine/covenant.aspx).
    If you are a parent, or may become one, or, have opportunity to encourage brethren who are parents, this treatment is crucial.

    A great remedy for the nonsense spouted by Deformed Baptists particularly the more strict ones associated with Montville, Flemington, New Hampshire, etc., would be to simply read the Pauline epistles, particularly I Corinthians, with these kinds of questions in mind:

    1. Why does Paul address people who have engaged in various taboo sins as “in Christ” as “saints” as “washed” etc., when “Reformed Baptists” would presume them all unregenerate and in need of a “deep, heart conversion.”

    2. Why does Paul begin his letters addressing them to “saints”, “brethren”, “holy ones in Christ”, and then include THE CHILDREN OF THE CHURCH in these designations, viz. the instruction and admonitions he gives them? Why do Deformed Baptists excommunicate children, when Paul communes/includes them in the fellowship of God’s people.

    3. There are helpful critiques of “Reformed Baptists” by other Reformed Baptists, viz. such books as “Shepherding God’s Flock” (Banner, I believe, put it out), and also, the book on eldership by Greg Nichols, Montville partly being in his cross-hairs in that book.

    However, I should point out that the internecine critiques from other “Reformed Baptists” don’t get to the root of the matter. Since “Reformed Baptists”, even the more balanced one, have a wrong view of grace, a wrong view of the gospel, a wrong view of love, a wrong view of worship, a wrong view of the eldership, a wrong view of women, and such, such intra-family disputes, of necessity, don’t get to the real root of the matter. This is why I advise truly convinced Baptists, who have no plans of further study to discern whether their positions are in conformity with Scripture (vs. individualism and Enlightenment thinking), to avoid “Reformed Baptists” like the plague, and instead, consider the ministries of men like a D.A. Carson, or Mark Dever. They are soteriological Calvinists, and Baptists, but as far as possible from “Reformed Baptist”, a movement which thankfully is a contained virus, a blip on the dot of Christendom, soon to be extinguished….

  52. November 6, 2009 11:43 am

    Larry – Here is an additional website I highly recommend, mainly for its positive perspectives on such things as the Covenant, the role of children in the covenant, the interrelation of Christianity with society/culture, etc.

    http://www.godslambs.com/?page_id=2

    These are all things the “Reformed Baptists” of the strict Montville and ARBCA variety simply get wrong, so, it may be like going through detox when one encounters the perspectives of http://www.godslambs.com for the first few times!

    For Christ and Covenant!

    Bucer

  53. NNoone permalink
    November 6, 2009 3:05 pm

    Bucer, or is it really, Kevin D. Johnson??? (http://www.intensedebate.com/users/256533) (same website is listed for Bucer here and Kevin there)(see also, http://tinyurl.com/yk8aggd), Bucer wrote anonymously because he could be killed for what he was writing. I don’t think you can say the same.

  54. November 8, 2009 1:49 pm

    NNoone

    I preached a 3 point sermon today, so I’ll quickly do another one now.

    1. “Bucer, or is it really, Kevin…” – Martin Bucer is in glory now, free from sin and theological wrangling and jangling.

    Kevin, I’ve not met, but I’ve read some stellar work of his both at prophezie and reformedcatholicism.

    2. A man’s identity, or whatever identity he lists for purposes of internet discussion, don’t establish pro, or con, the validity of his perspectives.

    You may wish to read mine here.

    3. Murder takes many forms. Of course, this would be apparent if one cared to read Matthew 5.

    Best Wishes,

    Bucer

  55. November 12, 2009 8:18 pm

    If anyone is interested, users of the e-Sword program can find J. C. Ryle’s “Expsository Thoughts” on Matthew, Mark & Luke here: http://www.sg-audiotreasures.org/e-proverbs2.htm. “Luke” was finished & added to this file yesterday, & today I have started on “John”. Judging by some statements in his preface, it will probably be a couple of months before this can be added, at least, the good Lord willing (he says that “John” is a more extensive a exposition than the other three Gospels). Also available is the Charles’ Bridges’ Commentary on Proverbs, which Spurgeon judged to be “the best work” on the this Book.

    Psalm 28:9 Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever.

  56. Sally permalink
    December 3, 2009 11:19 am

    I want to thank Leah, Bucer, and all that have come forward to expose the truth about Trinity BC in Montville, NJ. I also am grateful to wickedshepherds, without finding Leah’s comments and then being directed to the wickedshepherd website, I would have suffered far worse by not removing myself from Trinity when I did. My heart goes out to all those that were deluded by Trinity and the wickedness and perverted twistedness that goes on there. I almost was. I can tell you that I went searching for info on Trinity specifically because I felt that something was very wrong there after attending some Sundays. After I found these truths, I still continued to attend on/off, I tried to give Trinity the benefit of the doubt. My heart grew heavier, my fears increased, and my perception of God and Jesus’ simple message of the Good News, took a serious hit. The time I spent and perverted ideas put forth from the Trinity pulpit (and I attended 3 of Martin’s sermons that he gave when visiting NJ), and also having had a personal friendship with some hardcore Trinity members, has left a scar on my heart. I pray that the Lord heals it, and I believe that He is, in part, by being able to find out that it was not just me, the problem is with Trinity! That place is a cult!

  57. George permalink
    December 5, 2009 2:08 pm

    I agree with Sally’s categorization of Trinity as a cult. I was a member of a Trinity satellit church for quite some time. Just before and during my time there, there were two changes to the church constitution.

    The first had something to do with the “involuntary” church doctrine. The idea that you can’t leave the local church except by death, excommunication or letter of referral. This is an unbiblical doctrine of Presbyterian circle origin no more than a few decades old. It works great at using fear of excommunication to keep the cult together. My view is that many RBC famililies have actually moved in order to escape the RBs. That led to Albert Martin types preaching that members actually had to consult with the blowhard before considering moving due to career or job changes.

    The second consitutional change had to do with elimination of the secret ballot. It seems that the elders were ticked about not knowing who was not toeing the line on votes that were supposed to be unanimous.

    It reminds me of when I saw Louis Farrakahn on C-Span a decade or so ago. Bragging about his trip to Iraq. He said Saddam Hussein got 99.9% of the vote and that “you can’t get that in America.” That’s right. Those RBC congregational votes — unanimous over and over again. Surprise. Surprise.

    I think I disagree with Bucer that all RBC churches are problematical. But the Albert N. Martin circle is (maybe was now that he left) sick, in my opinion.

    • Larry permalink
      December 6, 2009 11:25 am

      “The first had something to do with the “involuntary” church doctrine. The idea that you can’t leave the local church except by death, excommunication or letter of referral. This is an unbiblical doctrine of Presbyterian circle origin no more than a few decades old. It works great at using fear of excommunication to keep the cult together.”

      I was excommunicated for leaving my RBC (a Martin friendly church) without their permission. I don’t know if this was part of church’s doctrine or not but I agree fear is a way to keep people in line. I was made an example of in order to keep others who might want to leave a second thought. They all blasted me for leaving the church. Even my family commented on the unusual devotion the minister had with the congregation. Whether it was a cult or not I don’t know, but it had cult like tendacities. I think it’s all about power and control and a self righteousness that won’t quit. I knew there was something very wrong with my church but couldn’t put my finger on it for years. Finally I bought a set of Matthew Henry commentaries and did a comparison with my pastor’s (Manley Johnson) sermons. Since his preaching is expository, the comparision was easy. My pastor’s sermons lacked mercy and grace. If someone reached out for grace he would stomp on their fingers, so to speak. In my 15 years as a member I can count on m hands the number of times the pastor used the word “love” in a sermon. When I confronted him about it he yelled at me and warned me about leaving the church without permission. It was all about law and judgement with a light dusting of forgiveness. He once said that he wanted people to “feel a little dirty” when he preached.
      It’s not just his preaching that bothered me but the way he handled my leaving. He could have just let me go and leave the whole matter in prayer before God but instead chose to make me an example for others. I didn’t see this as faith in God at all. This makes me wonder if my church was the Lord’s house of worship or a man made church. After my confrontation with the pastor over his sermons I was ordered to appear before the church else I would be in violation of Matthew 18:17. I didn’t and so I was excommunicated. I guess that’s why I have a problem with those who like to quote scripture for everything they do. Scripture can and is twisted to justfy whatever man wants. If the heart isn’t right with the Lord then scripture can be used a club.
      Larry

  58. George permalink
    December 6, 2009 1:23 pm

    Larry,

    Sounds typical. I have friends in the middle of leaving an RBC church now. They recently received a certified letter in the mail asking them to meet with the elders and noting that a congregational meeting would be held on the topic.

    This kind of bullying goes on in churches of all sorts. My understandind is that RC Sproul Jr. was defrocked from one Presbyterian denomination (subsequently RC Jr. joined a CREC “reformed” denomination) partially over an issue concerning use of a tax ID, but I think also about shunning a family that wanted to leave his Presbyterian church to join an RBC church (hopefully not an Albert N RBC).

    I pray that you heal from your experience. The sad thing is that I love the members and even the elders of the ANM RBCs. Somehow they just got caught up in a particularly hurtful form of church governance.

    The ANM churches have episcoplian tendencies. Trinity was (and maybe still is) like the Mother Church. There are some advantages to a Presbyterain system where members from an abusive church can appeal higher up in the Presbytery. However, sometimes the Presbytery is a good ‘ol boys network and an abusive pastor can still get away with things. Still I wish there was some Presbyterain type oversight of Trinity Montville — it might have helped.

  59. Larry permalink
    December 12, 2009 12:12 pm

    “I pray that you heal from your experience. The sad thing is that I love the members and even the elders of the ANM RBCs. Somehow they just got caught up in a particularly hurtful form of church governance.”
    Thanks for the empathy. Since I was the only one to leave my church (and have this happen to me), I felt very alone in my experience untill I ran across a few blogs relating to the authoritative nature of the RBC. Life goes on and I’ll eventually get over this bad experience. I’m just glad I woke up and recognized what was happening. I’m particularly satisfied about my approach to my pastor concerning this. Even though he brushed me aside I made the effort to reason with him. Some of the issues expressed in this blog about legalism and pressure to conform to that legalism, the bully pulpit, inept counseling, women being treated as second class citizens and so on I found on other blogs. This has been helpful to me.

    Larry

  60. December 12, 2009 11:03 pm

    Brethren – I would encourage any and all who went through the personality cult meat-grinder at Trinity, Flemington, North Bergen, Lafeyette, New Hampshire, or other “Reformed” Baptist churches to forgive, lest the very real root of bitterness consume you.

    The liberty of forgiveness!

    This of course, is contrary to what they themselves teach, viz. the popular doctrine in their circles that “you cannot forgive others who do not ASK for your forgiveness.” D.A. Carson cured me of that damnable doctrine in his very helpful work on the PRAYERS OF PAUL.

    There, Carson urges disciples to forgive, regardless as to whether the person being forgiven has repented.

    “But when you stand praying, FORGIVE….”

    “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

    Yes, forgive them, but run like the Pink Floyd song says – Stay a million miles away from their groups/services, etc.

    Forgive, and RUN (to another, truly Reformed and gospel-suffused church- there are still a number of good ones across the fruited plain).

  61. Mickey permalink
    December 14, 2009 2:18 am

    I stumbled across this website looking up sermons and I would just like to say,”Please give Albert N. Martin a break.”

    He has suffered the past through years through physical hardships and losing loved ones etc. He is not a young man, just let him have some peace.
    For those of you wondering who I may be, I am using an alias, but I can assure you that I have intimate knowledge of TBC and ANM. I would even say more then any of the others who have commented.

    I unlike other posters was born into TBC when they met at the “cracker box” and were truly a group of people seeking out to follow Jesus Christ. I attended TCS and ultimately left when I was sixteen because there were several spiritual abuse issues to be righted. I wrote directly to Pastor Martin-a letter by which was considered threatening as it was mentioned in a Wed night prayer meeting. This made me sad for being misunderstood more then anything else.

    Anyway, for those of you whom have been hurt please let it go or seek professional counseling, forgive, open your hearts and don’t slander people online. It’s just really tactless. I’ve looked at the wicked shepherds site also. I am not sure I agree wholeheartedly with it, but I understand the idea of it. Have peoples’ lives and marriages been destroyed while in RBC? Yes of course, but seriously blame is a terrible thing because we are all sinners folks. We all need the cross just as much as the man from the pulpit or the person sitting in front, behind or next to us.

    Sometimes there is no absolution of wrongdoing, it just is and we can either accept and learn and grow or just let it eat at us until we shrivel and die. For all the most horrible spiritual abuse Love is the only cure. (Proverbs 10:12) Jesus’ love most importantly.

    So let’s not slander a man who I truly believe has tried to live according to the Word of God. Has he gotten it wrong on some issues? Yeah. But honestly how many of us in that position would not do exactly the same? I’m just saying don’t throw those stones. Some of the greatest lessons/sermons I learned and heard from ANM. I also learned of his great love for classical music, and Fiddler on the Roof. So please don’t slander the guy. Don’t let your egos get in the way either.

    God Bless…
    an ex-Trinity survivor

  62. December 14, 2009 7:46 am

    With the comment from Mickey, I will be closing comments to this post.

    The original post was intended to be a long-distance observer giving honor to a pastor who in rather dire times finished his course strong. I love Albert Martin’s preaching. I am thankful for his doctrine.

    Having said that, it is evident that there are some people who have (for reasons I know not) a great deal of angst towards him. I am very hesitant to take any of the negative comments in this post seriously. Church discipline can undoubtedly be exercised wrongly. I have no idea of how TBCofMNJ exercised it. But there seems to me to be a common theme in these comments of complaints over what they perceive to be improper church discipline. Given the nature of church discipline, I would expect (generally) two responses: that those against whom it is exercised would either (1) repent of their sin or (2) feel a great of anger at being disciplined. Moreover, there may be enough people impacted by such decisions that they search one another out, and in so doing make a post like this look very impressive in a place so big as the internet. Those who have grown angry at Pastor Martin or TBCofMNJ, they would be very impassioned at a post like this praising this man’s ministry. Let us not let these things deceive us. For those of you who are still reading these comments, please keep these elements in mind. In fact, we have very little to go on in these comments, especially when we have not done the service of hearing a defense from either the man or his ministry.

    As I say this, I cannot defend the actions of Albert Martin or RBC, the specifics of which I know nothing. What I do know is that the messages to which I linked above are good messages, and grounded firmly in Scripture and the Baptist faith. They are very valuable to hear. I pray that what has been alleged is not true. If church discipline has been exercised wrongly, if the Bible has been taught incorrectly, it must not be tolerated. The messages to which I link above, or any other message I have heard from Al Martin, have not been marked by any false doctrine or encouragement to un-Christian practice.

    What I have definitely learned is that Albert Martin and the Reformed Baptists are a bit of a lightning rod. To this end, I am now closing the comments to this post.

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