Examining Essential Doctrines
Part 2a: Who is God?
Probably the foremost doctrine of Scripture is the doctrine of God. What a person believes concerning God, such as who God is, the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, who the Holy Spirit is, etc., can be a determinative factor regarding ones salvation. The Bible is very specific about who God is, about His attributes and character and so forth. If one believes in a God that does not fit the attributes, character, requirements, etc., as set forth in Scripture, then one is worshiping a false god of one’s own design, and that is nothing more than idolatry.
To begin with, let’s take a look at what the New IFB claims it believes about God. According to the various statements of faith for each of the New IFB churches,
“We believe that Jesus is God, and that Jesus Christ was conceived of the Holy Ghost and born of the
virgin Mary. We believe that the Godhead consists of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and that
these three are one (1 John 5:7). The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are three distinct persons
(John 1:1, 1 Corinthians 15:27-28, John 8:16-18, John 17:5). This doctrine is commonly known as the
trinity. We reject the heresy of modalism or so-called ‘oneness.’”1
We believe in the traditional and historical teaching reagarding the Trinity. We believe in one
God that is manifested in three seperate persons. (God the Father, God the Son, and God the
Holly Spirit)...We believe that Jesus is God, and that Jesus Christ was conceived of the Holy Ghost and born
of the virgin Mary.2
We believe that Jesus is God in the flesh, and that Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Ghost of the
Virgin Mary. (John 1:1-14, 2 Tim. 3:16, Luke 1:27-35, Matt. 1:23, Isaiah 7:14) … We believe in the Trinity, That is God the Father; God the Son (Jesus); and God the Holy Spirit; and
these three are one. We reject modalism and oneness theology and regard such as a damnable heresy
not consistent with the nature and character of God. (1 John 5:7-8, Hebrews 1:3, Genesis 1:26-27, 2
Cor. 11:3-4, Galatians 1:8-9)3
We believe that Jesus is God in the flesh, and that Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Ghost of the
TRINITY – God created the heaven and the earth and consists of three persons: The Father, Jesus
Christ (The Word), and the Holy Ghost and these three are one God.
THE FATHER – The Father so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son to die for the sins of
the world. No man has seen the Father but he has been declared by his son, Jesus Christ, whom he sent
to be the saviour of the world.
THE SON – Jesus is the word of God, the son of God and God. He created all things and became flesh
born of a virgin and died for the sins of the whole world, was buried, and rose again.
THE HOLY GHOST – The Holy Ghost is the spirit of truth and guides believers into all truth but he
does not speak of himself.5
We believe that Jesus Christ was God manifest in the flesh, born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, was crucified on a cross, was buried, and rose again from the dead after 3 days. … We believe that the godhead consists of the Father, the Word (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Ghost and these three are one (the trinity.)6
And the rest of the New IFB churches are pretty much in line with those shown here. Sometimes exact wording, sometimes similar wording. All of them look to be fairly standard church statements of faith regarding the trinity. Well, all except Manly Perry and Old Path Baptist Church, but we’ll get back to him in a moment.
Let’s compare these statements regarding the Trinity with what the Bible teaches about the Trinity, by taking a crash course in the biblical doctrine of the Trinity.
A Crash Course on the Biblical Christian Doctrine of the Trinity
1. There is only one true and living God. Who is infinite, eternal, and perfect. [Deut.6:4; 1Thess.1:9; Jer.10:10; Job 11:7;26:14; Isa.43:10; 1Cor.8:4; cf. 1Tim.2:5]
2. The one true living God is a Spirit, pure, invisible, without body or parts, or human passions, without change. As a spirit, God is not limited by a body. He neither made up of, nor is limited by, any material elements, and therefore is omnipresent. He is immense, eternal, incomprehensible, omnipotent (almighty), perfect in wisdom and knowledge (omniscient), perfect in holiness, perfect in freedom, perfect in His absoluteness. [Jn.4:24; 1Tim.1:17; Exo.33:20; Lk.24:39; Jam.1:17; Mal.3:6; 1Kgs.8:27; Jer.23:23-24; Ps.90:2; Ps.145:3; Gen.17:1; Rev.4:8; Rom.16:27; Is.6:3; Ps.115:3; Ex.3:14; Job.11:7]
3. The one true living God is, in His nature and essence, A Triune God. The Triune God is comprised of three distinct, but inseparable Persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit. They are co-equal in power, co-existent, co-eternal, and consubstantial (of the same nature, substance, or essence, however, this is not to say each is Triune in nature, as they are not). The Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God. At the same time, however, even though the Three are the One God, they are also distinct in subsistence (having a real individual existence). The Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Father, the Father is not the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is not the Father, the Son is not the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is not the Son. The Father is never “sent” in Scripture, nor is He incarnated or poured out at Pentecost. The Holy Spirit does not die on the cross for our sins. The Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding from; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Spirit is eternally proceeding from the both the Father and the Son. [1Jn.5:7; Matt.3:16-17; 28:19; 2Cor.13:14; Jn.1:14,18; Jn.15:26; Gal.4:6; Jn.6:27; Rom.1:7; 1Pet.1:2; Jn.1:1-3; Col.1:16-17; Tit.2:13; Heb.1:2; Acts 5:3-4; 1Cor.3:16; Rom.15:30]
4. Steven Anderson complains about using words that do not appear in the Bible, such as “sovereignty,” “soteriology,” “hamartiology,” “Christophany,”7 and so forth; apparently not understanding that while they do not appear in the Bible, they are used to succinctly describe a concept that is in the Bible, like “Trinity” and “Trinitarian,” both words that he does use. Another word that is used to describe a concept taught in the Bible is perichoresis, which is used to describe the special relationship between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Three, while distinct (as shown), are inseparable; mutually surrounding, indwelling, and glorifying each other. The Father indwells and glorifies the Son, the Son indwells and glorifies the Father, the Father and the Son indwell the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit indwells and glorifies both the Father and the Son. [John 1:1-3; 3:16; 10:37–38; 13:31-32; 14:8-11,18–20; 15:26; 16:13-15; 17:1-5, 20–24; 2 Cor.5:19; Heb.1:3]
Note the illustration of the Trinity below, showing the special relationship that God has with Himself, as expressed by the word, perichoresis.
In order to understand the view of God that Steven Anderson and other New IFB pastors have and preach from their pulpits, it is necessary to understand how it has changed over the past year or two. It is also necessary to understand that as goes Steven Anderson, so goes the rest of the New IFB.
From the outset of his ministry, Steven Anderson believed, taught, and preached Modalistic Monarchianism, which is also referred to as “Oneness Christology.” Monarchianism teaches that God is one single entity or person, as opposed to the Trinitarian belief of one God coexisting consubstantially in three persons. Modalistic Monarchianism is the belief that the single entity of Monarchianism is Jesus, who also manifests as the Father or the Holy Spirit. In many of Steven Anderson's sermons he clearly and explicitly taught that Jesus is the Father, often turning to passages such as Isaiah 9:6, John 14:9, John 10:30, Hebrews 1:3, and others to support his Modalistic beliefs.8
When one former member of Steven Anderson's church was asked if he had ever heard Steven Anderson preach from the pulpit that Jesus is the Father, the man's instant response was, “Of course.”9
Anderson was so insistent in his Modalistic beliefs that, when James White presented Anderson with Luke 23:42-43, where the thief who is being crucified along side Jesus says to the Lord, “Remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom” and Jesus replied to him, “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise” and asked Anderson to explain how Jesus could be in hell for three days suffering torment (another Anderson belief) while at the same time being in heaven with the thief; Anderson looked at him with a straight face and said that Jesus was in hell, and the thief was in heaven with the Father. When White reiterated that Jesus said the thief would be with Jesus, Anderson said that it spoke to the Trinity. However, unless Anderson is prepared to say that Jesus lied, then he must clearly believe (or at least believed in 2014 when the film was made) that Jesus and the Father are the same person.10
This hard and immovable belief of Anderson's naturally caused other New IFB pastors and evangelists to follow suit and preach from their pulpits the exact same Modalistic Monarchianism that Steven Anderson preached from his pulpit. Donnie Romero,11 Manly Perry,12 David Berzins,13 Roger Jimenez,14 Jonathan Shelley,15 and others all fell into lockstep obedience and began believing and teaching and preaching the exact same thing as Steven Anderson. Then came the bizarre Tyler Baker incident at Faithful Word Baptist Church.
Tyler Baker had been hired by Steven Anderson to be his church deacon, after which he ordained Baker to the deacon position. As it happened (and apparently happens quite a bit at Anderson's church), some unnamed informant for Steven Anderson was eavesdropping on one of Baker's conversations with other church members, discussing Anderson’s modalist beliefs. This informant then went to Anderson and told him that Baker and the others were talking and mentioning his name and so forth. Anderson took that information and managed to work himself up into a rage, convinced that his deacon was leading a conspiracy against him. He immediately took steps to remove Baker from his church.16
An hour after Tyler Baker's wife had given birth to their son, Baker and his two other children stopped off briefly at Faithful Word Baptist church. While there, Tyler was called into the church office by Anderson. The meeting was secretly video recorded by another church member and later posted to YouTube. To say that Anderson came unhinged would be one of the greatest understatements since Noah said it might rain.17 During a lengthy anger-filled screaming tantrum by Anderson, the Faithful Word pastor repeatedly sticks his finger in Baker's face, screams at Baker, makes several threatening movements toward Baker appearing as if he would strike him, calling Baker names, slandering him, and making repeated false accusations of conspiratorial plans on Baker's part, and then ending his dictatorial tirade by firing Baker. All of this while Baker's wife was in active labor, a fact that Anderson himself acknowledges in the video. To his credit, Tyler Baker did not lower himself to Anderson's level of worldliness. He tried to reason with Anderson, he tried to explain things to Anderson, all to no avail. Anderson was beyond reason and he wasn't going to accept anything from Baker with the single exception of the figurative pound of flesh he was extracting through his schoolyard bullying tantrum.
Before it was all said and done, several more left Anderson's church. He fired his evangelist Garrett Kirchway when another of Anderson's informants who was monitoring Mrs. Kirchway's social media activity noticed a comment about Mr. Kirchway's modalistic beliefs. Then came Domonique Davis, another Faithful Word staff member fired by Anderson, followed by church members Elliott Ray, Russell Bopst, and Rick Martinez.19
All three left of their own accord because of Anderson's behavior and flip-flopping doctrine. Anderson would not, however, allow them to simply leave on their own accord; and he made it a point to publicly expel them from his church in front of the congregation, while railing against them from the pulpit, calling them names, vilifying them, and more. All of this was, of course, followed by a number of slanderous YouTube videos lobbed at the “heretics” and “reprobates” and (fill in the blank with the Anderson invective du jour). A practice painfully common within the New IFB.
It was not long after, however, that Tyler Baker, Elliott Ray, and others were making videos of their own, using clips from Anderson's church sermons, featuring Steven Anderson and others, clearly and explicitly teaching modalism, the exact same thing Anderson was calling them heretics for believing. Anderson's hypocrisy must have become immediately apparent to him, as he soon posted a video in which he claimed he never taught or believed in what he called “Oneness Pentecostalism” and has always believed in the orthodox view of the Trinity.20 (it should be noted that, the issue has never been Oneness Pentecostalism, as none of them have Pentecostal beliefs or practices. The problem is, in addition to Anderson's hypocrisy, he also has no idea what he is talking about. He does not understand what Oneness Pentecostalism is, nor does he understand what Modalistic Monarchianism is. One would think before leveling charges of heresy, he would have at least learned a bit about the issue at hand.)
This led to even more videos of Anderson teaching modalism, which led to Anderson producing yet another video claiming yet again that he has never believed in anything but the Trinity, that Baker and others were taking him out of context by showing only clips of videos where he was actually refuting modalism.21
When yet more videos which were longer and demonstrated that he was not being taken out of context (some of which are still on the Faithful Word Baptist Church website, indicating that Anderson apparently has no problem with them); Anderson then produced a video claiming that he did say Jesus was the Father, but that he misspoke,22 and clarified that it isn't really heresy to say Jesus is the Father (even though he ostensibly ejected church members for saying that very thing), and then justifying his modalistic comments by claiming that he never said that “Jesus is God the Father.” Apparently in his mind there is some distinction; and saying Jesus is the Father is not modalism, but saying Jesus is God the Father is modalism, or something like that.23
During this mess, it was revealed that Anderson was being less than honest in his actions. Although he railed against and kicked out his church a group of men for believing the exact same thing that Anderson himself believed; at the same time he was very much aware that other New IFB pastors, such as Roger Jimenez, were teaching the exact same thing, yet he only “disagreed” with his very good friend Roger Jimenez as the email shown here demonstrates.24
Would it not be more pastoral, if the pastor finds a group of people in his flock that perhaps might hold some unbiblical views, would it not be more biblical and loving to take them aside, find out for sure what they actually believe, and if it is unbiblical then disciple them, teach them, and bring them back in line with God's Word? Would that not be the biblical method of correction? Yes, it would. But by his actions, we can see that Steven Anderson is anything but biblical. By his actions we can see that Steven Anderson is a destroyer. And, as Jesus said, by his fruit we will know him!
But Anderson had made his mistake. He had publicly excoriated several people, ejecting them from his church simply because they believed the same thing he himself had been teaching them to believe. When he tried to cover it up, his lie was exposed, and this was repeated over and over again. He could not back down, however, lest he be exposed as a false teacher.25 Nor could his fellow New IFB pastors, as they too were quick to change their doctrine of God to be in line with Steven Anderson.26 It has been reported that in one instance, Anderson personally telephoned Manly Perry of Old Path Baptist Church in Texas, and told him to change his doctrine of God to reflect what Anderson now believed. It allegedly took about an hour to change Perry's way of thinking to more in line with Steven Anderson.27
Anderson continued to double down on his condemnation of heretical oneness people, as well as maintaining his “I've always been a trinitarian” rhetoric, in video after video after video. The longer he kept this up, however, the more “I'm a trinitarian” videos he and other New IFB pastors uploaded to YouTube, it became increasingly apparent that not only did they have no discernible clue as to what modalism actually is (especially when they were teaching it and calling it trinitarianism), they also do not understand true biblical trinitarianism.
Although Steven Anderson currently states that God is a Trinity, it is worth remembering he stated the exact same thing when he taught modalism. As he goes on to define and describe his version of the Trinity, however, it quickly becomes clear he still does not believe in the biblical Trinity. Anderson describes each person of the Godhead as having:
1. Their own separate, personal body (further explaining the Father and the Holy Spirit have a “spirit body” with hands and a face, etc);
2. Their own separate, personal spirit (Anderson explains that if you believe there is only one Spirit, then you are a “oneness modalist”);
3. Their own separate, personal “seat of consciousness.” He states there are “three seats of consciousness” within the Trinity. Not consciousness in the sense of qualia (which deals more with individual subjective sense perceptions), but rather consciousness as in self-awareness.
Anderson goes on to teach:
4. Jesus does not simply have His own spirit, but in fact has “seven spirits”;
5. Both Jesus and the Holy Spirit look identical to the Father in their outward appearance; and,
6. Jesus has always been, for all eternity, a human man. Anderson explains this by saying this is how Jesus was able to walk around on earth during “Old Testament times.”28
It is safe to say that Steven Anderson no longer teaches modalism (although he continues to keep sermons up on his church website that teach modalism, so he may very well go back to a modalistic belief system at some point). However, while it is clear this new belief system of Anderson’s is not modalism, it is equally clear it is not trinitarian either, in spite of Anderson’s claim that he beliefs reflect the orthodox Christian belief of the Trinity that has been held by the Christian church for past roughly two thousand years.
To say, as Anderson does, that the Trinity has three separate people, with three separate and distinct bodies, each with their own separate and distinct spirit (seven for Anderson’s Jesus), and three separate and distinct seats of consciousness is certainly not the orthodox teaching of the Trinity. It is, in fact, tritheism, the belief that there are three gods. In essence, Steven Anderson is trying to meld a monotheistic belief of one God, and a tritheistic belief of three separate gods, and call this blasphemous amalgamation the Trinity.
Hypocritically, Steven Anderson claims Sam Gipp is “demonic and evil” claiming that Gipp is “blaspheming Christ in such a wicked, wicked way” when Gipp preached that Jesus was supposed to be named Emmanuel and not Jesus. While Gipp’s message may have been horribly bad exegesis, or even bad eisegesis, it was certainly not demonic and evil and blasphemy and wicked as Anderson claims;29 While Anderson’s trithesistic three gods in one, with a Jesus that has always been a human man with seven spirits is most certainly blasphemous heresy.
As per the usual course of action among the New IFB pastors, as soon as Steven Anderson teaches something or does something, they rest will undoubtedly don their lemming suits and follow him right off a theological cliff. They did here as well. Donnie Romero and Roger Jimenez went to great lengths to express to their congregations that they too believe and have always believed in the Trinity, just like Steven Anderson. Unfortunately for them, perhaps a little too much like Steven Anderson. Donnie Romero began teaching the members of the Godhead each possessed their own personal and separate body, as well as their own personal and separate spirit. Roger Jimenez repeated this agreeing each had their own body and spirit, but went a step further in an attempt to reiterate his belief in the Deity of Jesus Christ by exclaiming that Jesus is “100% God and 100% of God,”30 like some sort of extension of God, much like a sleeve on a coat. Clearly, Donnie Romero is firmly on the tritheistic bandwagon with Steven Anderson, but it appears Roger Jimenez has one foot on the tritheistic bandwagon, with his other foot still stuck on the modalism wagon.
There is no doubt, however, just where Manly Perry stands. As much as he is trying to obey Steven Anderson and get on board with Anderson's tritheistic view of the Trinity, he seems to be completely stuck on the modalism wagon, teaching that God is one entity, and not three persons, and rebuking those who say God is three persons in one God, as unbiblical. He compares God to man by saying man is a Trinity as well having a body, a soul, and a spirit. In keeping with this train of thought, Manly Perry states that God the Father is the soul of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit is, of course, the Spirit of the Godhead, and Jesus is the physical flesh and blood body of the Godhead. “Three in one!” he states as he stands there in this pulpit smiling. But this is the same old modalism he has always taught. It is just that now, like the others, he calls this a trinitarian view of God.31
Other New IFB pastors have already jumped on Anderson’s coat tails, running YouTube and uploading “Trinity” sermon after “Trinity” sermon. The problem is, however, in their zeal to not be identified as the modalists they once were, they have sprinted past orthodox Christianity and right back into heresy; moving from modalism to tritheism.
New IFB pastor Joe Major delivered a sermon not long after the Tyler Baker / Garrett Kirchway incidents, and in that sermon he emphasized that a denial of the Trinity would not be tolerated by him. Not in any way, shape, or form.32 Steven Anderson was apparently impressed by this and posted that particular clip from Major's sermon to his own YouTube channel. In light of the fact the New IFB has moved from modalism to tritheism, one wonders if Joe Major will hold true to his word and separate himself and his two churches from Steven Anderson and the New IFB, or, if he will capitulate to Anderson and walk back back his statements?
At the end of the day, regardless of their reasons for doing so, the god being described by Steven Anderson, Donnie Romero, Roger Jimenez and the rest is the god they serve and worship. It is not, however, the God of the Bible. What Steven Anderson and the New IFB have done is they have created a god of their own design in their own minds; and by doing so they have created and are worshiping an idol. Perhaps not one crafted from wood, stone, or precious metals, but an idol nonetheless. A false god.
The One True God stated in Exodus 20:3-5, “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God.” You will notice this passage says nothing of crafting an idol using solid materials. God simply says, “you shall not make for yourself an idol...” Deuteronomy 4:15-16 says, “Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the Lord spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female.” Yet, this is exactly what the New IFB has done.
The Sovereignty of God
Steven Anderson also has a strange view of the sovereignty of God. In a video clip created by Steven Anderson, and uploaded by him to his personal YouTube channel, Anderson states he does not like the word sovereign because “it’s not in the Bible at all, not in the King James one time, and people twist it to mean whatever they want it to mean. And, so, it’s a word that brings confusion. It doesn’t bring clarity to any discussion. It’s a word that’s deceptive, and so I don’t use it.”33
Anderson’s argument here is at best a very weak attempt to justify his belief that God is not sovereign. If he does not want to use a word that does not appear anywhere in the King James version; a word that people twist to mean whatever they want it to mean; a word that brings confusion rather than clarity – then why does he use the word Trinity? It doesn’t appear in the Bible, people twist the meaning of it all the time, and in a conversation with those who do not understand what the Trinity is – like Steven Anderson – it brings nothing but confusion. So why does he use it? No, he doesn’t like the word sovereign, as it applies to God, because Steven Anderson does not want God to be sovereign.
He goes on to say, “You know, it’s better to use the words God uses – the Bible says, I started the sermon with this, 1 Corinthians 2:13, ‘Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth;’ So the words which we should use are not the words of man’s wisdom.” This is Anderson’s attempt to equate the sovereignty of God with the false teachings of man, rather than the true teachings of the Holy Spirit, thus delegitimizing the sovereignty of God. Then he continues in a mocking tone, “hermeneutics, homiletics, soteriology, hamartiology, Christophany, Theophany, protoevangelium.” In using the mocking character voice he uses when saying these words, Anderson is mocking those who use such words, trying to make them appear stupid. In fact, he goes on to say, “It’s just stupid to use big words just to impress people – I’m not impressed. Jesus spoke and the common man heard Him gladly. He wasn’t tryin’ to just impress by usin’ big crazy words that no one understood.”34
Well, neither are those who use such words. And while the words may not actually appear in the King James Bible, they describe solid biblical concepts, To mock hermeneutics seems to imply that Anderson thinks it is stupid to employ sound standards of interpretation when reading and studying the Bible, for that is the essence of the word hermeneutics. To mock homiletics is to say it is stupid to be able to write a good sermon that impacts people and teaches them the truths of Scripture. Soteriology – the study of the doctrine of salvation; hamartiology – the study of sin and hw it affects people; Christophany and Theophany – the study of the appearances of both the preincarnate Christ and God on the earth; and protoevangelium – understanding the actions of the serpent in the Garden of Eden, and the impact of that first Messianic prophecy – Anderson must think all these are stupid, and through his mockery of them he is encouraging his followers to eschew these studies. Why? Probably because once they actually sit down apart from Anderson, and actually read the Scriptures, they may very well discover he has been leading them down a very wide path to their eternal damnation.
Anderson claims that people twist the meaning of the word sovereign to mean whatever they want it to mean. People do that all the time with any number of words. What is the actual definition of the word? According to Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, as an adjective the word refers to supreme in power, possessing supreme dominion, superior to others, predominant. As a noun, the word refers to a supreme ruler, one who possesses the highest authority without control.35
Does God fit these definitions? Is God a Supreme Ruler who possessed the highest authority? Does God posses supreme power and dominion? Is God superior to others? Is God predominant? According to Easton’s Bible Dictionary, God’s Sovereignty is defined as God’s “absolute right to do all things according to His own good pleasure.36
He also tries to belittle to sovereignty of God by implying it is a satanic doctrine thought up by Calvinism (which Anderson believes is of satanic origin). He claims, “you’ll constantly hear people that are Calvinists harp on this [imitating a chicken] ‘braaak, braaak, God’s sovereign, God’s sovereign, braaak, sovereign, sovereign, sovereign’ they just keep repeating it, and they repeat it so much you start to think it’s a biblical truth! It’s like, ‘well of course God’s sovereign’, right? Like whenever you try..start talking to them that’s like their starting point. ‘Well, you agree that God’s sovereign, right?’ and I always just, ‘No.’...When people say He’s sovereign, here’s what they mean, ‘Oh, He’s controlling everything. He’s controlling everything. Everything is happening on this earth according to His will.’ Let me tell you something. That is a lie. If that’s what you mean by sovereign, no. … That’s a false doctrine. If that’s what you mean by sovereignty, that God’s controlling the events on this earth, then that is a heresy and a false doctrine.”37
Not surprisingly, Scripture disagrees with Steven Anderson. For example:
1. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure – Philippians 2:13
2. Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. – Philippians 1:6
3. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any many should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. – Ephesians 2:8-10
4. For who maketh thee to differ one from another? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive? – 1 Corinthians 4:7
5. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. – John 15:5
6. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God – 2 Corinthians 3:5
7. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. – 1 Corinthians 12:3
8. Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth My counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. – Isaiah 46:9-11
9. Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? Shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it? – Amos 3:6 [note: evil in this context means calamity or disaster]
10. “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” – Ephesians 1:11
11. A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps. – Proverbs 16:9
12. There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand. – Proverbs 19:21
13. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, – Romans 9:17-2317
14. There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord. – Proverbs 21:30
15. Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked? – Ecclesiastes 7:13
16. The LORD hath made all things for Himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. – Proverbs 16:4
17. Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not? – Lamentations 3:37
18. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. – James 4:15
16. And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; – Revelation 3:7
19. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. – Isaiah 45:7 [note: evil, as used in this context, means calamity or disaster]
20. “I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” – John 15:5
And perhaps one should review the Book of Job, noting that Satan does absolutely nothing to Job without God’s sovereign permission.
There is no doubt that God is sovereign, and there is no doubt that Scripture states this clearly, plainly, and repeatedly. He and He alone created the universe and everything in it. He and He alone sustains the universe and everything in it. He and He alone is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. There is not one thing that happens that He is not aware of, not one thing that happens that is outside of His control; and, as we see in Ephesians 1:11, He works all things – all things – after the counsel of His own will. Did you catch that? All Things. God works all things. He knows all things, and all things are done according to His will. That is the very definition of the sovereignty of God; and yet, in spite of what Scripture clearly and explicitly states about this, Steven Anderson refuses to acknowledge the sovereignty of God. Why do you suppose that is? Could it possibly be that if he acknowledges God’s sovereignty as clearly and explicitly taught in Scripture then he must also admit that he is not in control; that he does not save anyone (contrary to what he repeatedly states); and that he will be held accountable for all the things he has done that are contrary to the word of God. Could these be the possible reasons?
At the end of the day, only Steven Anderson can answer as to why he rejects the clear teaching of Scripture regarding the sovereignty of God. We should pray that he would reflect on these passages of Scripture, and seriously and honestly ask himself these questions.
Links for Series Articles Posted Thus Far:
Steven Anderson and the New IFB Movement -- Update #1