Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing?

Thanks to AiG researcher Steve Golden for his valuable research for this blog item.

I received a letter from a supporter recently, who wanted to bring yet another example of the sad state of the church to my attention. Last month, a story was released about a Baptist pastor who preached a sermon on the inerrancy of Scripture—but really, it was a sermon against biblical inerrancy. (You can read the story online.)

Dr. Richard Kremer, pastor of Garden Lakes Baptist Church in Rome, Georgia, recently preached a sermon called “Is the Bible Inerrant?” which has since been removed from the church’s website (a transcript is still available).

Even though the sermon will appall you, I encourage you to read it and experience for yourself an example of what is being taught in part of the church! No wonder the church in this nation is in trouble!

In the sermon, the pastor challenges the accepted definition of inerrancy, claiming that the Bible has no original autographs.

There is no such thing as an original autograph of the Scripture, and to claim such a manuscript is the basis for the inerrancy is intellectually dishonest.

While it is true that we do not possess the original manuscripts today, Kremer is arguing that they never existed. He even goes so far as to claim that “the Bible is not a history book,” “the Bible is not a philosophy book,” and “the Bible is not a science book.” With all those caveats, what exactly can we trust in the Bible? More importantly, how can we trust all that it has to say about Jesus Christ? Well, that’s an exception, says Pastor Kremer.

When you come to talking about the character of God, the Bible is indeed inerrant. When you’re talking about the revelation of God in Christ, we can trust that information with perfect confidence.

My question to Dr. Kremer is this—“Who decided you can trust this section but not the rest? On what basis did you determine this? Or is it just your fallible human opinion?”

Well, as it turns out, Pastor Kremer’s issue with inerrancy largely hinges on the Genesis account of creation. And this should be a warning and lesson for all of us. Of course, his statement that “the Bible is not a science book” gave that all away—Pastor Kremer does not believe in a literal six-day creation. He says that the ancient biblical writers didn’t even know what geology was, so certainly the Genesis account of creation cannot be trusted.

I don’t want a scientist having to put his/her brain on ice because his/her discoveries contradict what the Bible allegedly teaches about one scientific discipline or another.

The goal of secular historians is often to discredit the miracles of the Bible, such as the Resurrection. Over the years, however, I’ve seen more and more pastors who are doing the exact same thing as this pastor. They are unwilling to defend a miraculous creation in six literal days because they have accepted the secular beliefs of the day in regard to millions of years (and even evolution). Thus they have unlocked a door that undermines the authority of Scripture at the beginning. They use man’s ideas outside of Scripture to reinterpret what the Bible clearly states concerning the account of Creation, the Fall, and the Flood. This then brings them one step closer to denying the miraculous Resurrection of Christ. After all, if we take secularist Richard Dawkins’s views of evolution and millions of years to the Bible, why not take his views that reject the Resurrection and Virgin Birth and reinterpret the Bible too? And we see this as Dr. Kremer goes on to point out supposed mistakes in sections of the Resurrection account (e.g.,when the women came to the tomb, etc.).

Often, when people argue against the inerrancy of Scripture, they will say things like, “Man is fallible, so we can’t trust the Bible because it was written by men.” This is a fallacy, since it does not follow that man has to make mistakes in everything he does. Of course, we know that man is indeed fallible, but that does not mean that men cannot write an infallible book, especially when they are inspired by the infinite Creator God to do so. But Pastor Kremer goes a step further and says that there are intentional contradictions in Scripture.

In the creation account of Genesis, chapter one, God creates everything in the world, then creates humanity last. In Genesis, chapter two, God creates humanity first, then creates the remainder of the natural order. The brilliant editor who brought those two accounts into one sacred text was fully aware of the discrepancies in the accounts—but he did not care!

One of the ways that some people try to discredit what Genesis teaches us about history is through the Documentary Hypothesis, which claims that there were at least four different authors who wrote the Pentateuch over many centuries and multiple editors (or “redactors”) who combined the writings into their present form. (For a detailed explanation of the Documentary Hypothesis, see Dr. Terry Mortenson’s article, “Did Moses Write Genesis?”)

Now, Pastor Kremer’s explanation of Genesis sounds awfully close to the discredited Documentary Hypothesis. There’s no doubt that Pastor Kremer mistrusts the Bible’s history. He even uses supposed contradictions regarding the circumstances surrounding the Resurrection to make his case. But our staff members have already responded to many of these alleged contradictions in our book series Demolishing Supposed Bible Contradictions. And Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell, AiG–U.S., wrote a detailed article dealing with the circumstances of the Resurrection.

When I hear these kinds of teachings where the trustworthiness of the Bible is being questioned, I often ask myself: What are the youth in the church learning from this? How are these teachings affecting their thinking? But we know the answer—they’re learning that God’s Word can’t be trusted, and thus they’re experiencing doubts about it! Sure, Pastor Kremer can try to say that passages about Jesus Christ are an exception and can be trusted, but that is not consistent with his views about Scriptural authority, and the teens in our churches know it. And statistics in America show clearly that at least two thirds of young people are leaving the church by college age. If this continues, the church will be only a relic in the future—as it is already in England today!

When Answers in Genesis contracted with America’s Research Group to perform the research for the book Already Gone (which we published in in 2009), we found that the vast majority of youths begin having their first doubts about the Bible in middle and high school. If you have never read Already Gone, I strongly urge you to do so. In this time when the church in America is in big trouble because of the compromise of pastors on the authority of Scripture beginning in Genesis, we have to strengthen ourselves and our children in the knowledge that we can fully trust God’s Word.

One day Dr. Kremer will have to give an account to the God of creation of what he taught adults, teens, and children in his church. I would not want to be in his shoes! Scripture reminds us that teachers will bear a stricter judgment.

My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. (James 3:1)

I’m also reminded of other Scriptures as I studied what Dr. Kremer is teaching his flock.

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.” (Matthew 7:15)

Yes, it may sound harsh to say that shepherds in churches can be “wolves” because of their destructive teaching. (I am not saying, though, that these shepherds are not Christians—I believe the destructive term can fit Christians as well as non-Christians.)

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

Ken