Sunday, November 13, 2011

Why Can't Roderick Edwards and Sam Frost Get Along?

First, if upon reading the title of this article, if your initial reaction was "Who cares" then please move along. Don't comment, because it would be insincere and not productive to the goal of this article.

Secondly, the goal of this article is amicable resolution between myself and Sam Frost. This article was prompted by a comment Sam made on Nov 11, 2011:

"What ever I have "done" to you, you have got to let it go, brother. Just let it go. Do you really want to hang on to that? I don't. I HATE the fact that you and I fight. Absolutely hate it. I get along with every other ex [hyperpreterist], except you. Stop. Think. Why is that? What do you want me to do? Admit I am a fraud? A liar? A drunk? A failure? A snob? Fine. I am. It's time to team up. There are far TOO MANY who have come out of this movement to be sidetracked by the highway accident that is the Roderick and Sam show...I mean, without listing greivances, we can simply say, "Sam. I forgive you." "Roderick, I forgive you." Yes is yes. No is No. And move on. I am going way, way out of my comfort zone here, Roderick. I forgive you. Do you forgive me? No need to go on lists and records of past wrongs. Just a simple manning up will do. And our past can be erased as far as the east is to the west. Just like that. Poof."

The suggestion is very magnanimous and therefore I certainly don't take it lightly. My initial reaction was that Sam and I should have a phone chat to try to resolve the issues as face-to-face as possible. But, as is my practice with major issues, I try to wait a few days to act so that I can pray about, reflect upon and search Scripture over the matter. This way my actions are hopefully wise and thoughtful, productive and enduring.

I have read over Sam's comments several times, looking for keys to what is going on in his heart; for the Bible tells us the heart is desperately wicked, who can know it (Jer 17:9) and that we often do things we don't want to do; over-riding our own conscience. (Rom 7:15-20) and lastly, that what comes out of a man's mouth is what actually reveals what is in the heart. (Mt 15:17-19, all of James 3)


By all accounts, Sam and I should get along because our backgrounds and beliefs are similar. He is even from my home state of Indiana. We both are former hyperpreterists. We both are types of Calvinists. We both are types of presuppositionalists. So, why can't we get along? Why can't we just "let it go" whatever it is? Isn't this the Christian thing to do?

First, in everyday life and in the Bible there are examples of the hurdles to overcome in this regard. First, the Bible calls for REPENTANCE before FORGIVENESS. It has been common among more liberal acting people to summarily forgive without repentance. Not only is this NOT biblical, it is counterproductive. It is unbiblical because God didn't summarily forgive us but requires repentance first. Sure, we should always be ready to forgive those who trespass against us; and so I am always ready and willing to forgive and to repent.

In everyday life, we see the result of summarily "letting it go" without resolution. North Korea and South Korea for example is an unresolved conflict. Modern Israel and its neighbors is a situation that was imposed on the region without consideration of all the issues. I want enduring peace with Sam if we are going to attempt this. I don't want a false, let's just move on situation that either he or I may regret in the future.

In the Bible, at times, Christians had sharp disagreements. We see this with Paul, Barnabas and John Mark in Acts 15:36-40 where it appears they had to just part ways. We see this in Gal 2:11-14 where Paul has a sharp disagreement with Peter. Ultimately this issue must have been resolved since Peter stopped his segregating practice. But never do we see Christians resolving the issue with the unproductive and syncretic phrase; "agree to disagree" or "let's just let it go". Nor do I want to ignore the underlying issues between Sam and I. I want to resolve them so that our message can be strong and unified.

Even in Sam's outreach to me, there is latent hostility. To claim I need to "simply man up" by ignoring the issues and move on is an insult itself; as if the concerns are petty. Rather, they are systematic and as troubling as Paul's issues with John Mark and Peter. It isn't just a matter of personal sins against me by Sam. If that were all it was, I could easily enough forgive since we are ALL sinners. Sam confesses to things he doesn't believe he is guilty of. That is even worse and it is insincere. I want a sincere and enduring peace between Sam and I.

Martin Luther once said:

"If you are a preacher of grace, then preach a true and not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly, for he is victorious over sin, death, and the world." -- source

In this same way, let us "bear a true and not fictitious sin". Let us NOT confess to sins we don't even think we have committed simply so we can "man up" and move on. A true "manning up" is bearing our sins. I believe this whole-heartedly and have been subjected to all sorts of attacks by confessing my sins so openly; even when it really is no one else's business.

I too would like peace with Sam and his fellows but let's get this resolved. We can do so in public or private but either way it needs to be done.

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