The Heresy of Infant Baptism

by Pastor Kenneth Daniyel Willis 


Introduction

From whichever direction one desires to examine the practice of infant baptism or paedobaptism, they will be confronted with the plain truth that even Luther and Calvin recognized the word baptism in Scripture is by immersion. So after reading from Calvin’s own writings that such a notion is not set forth in Scripture, and that the Reformers’ battle cry was Sola Scriptura or Scripture alone, how is it that some Reformed voices cry so loudly for the practice’s Scriptural validity? Paul Washer went so far as to label infant baptism as “the golden calf of the Reformation”. How can such a novel concept with no Scriptural support be held up with such authority? In Reformation times, the doctrine was so staunchly defended that Baptists and anyone preaching against it were persecuted and executed by Reformed parties. Calvin was such a fierce opponent of believer’s baptism that he encouraged drowning Baptists, saying he was giving them their beloved “second baptism”. Make no mistake, the issue of infant baptism has evoked sharp division and sadly violence throughout Church History. But why? How can men that claim the name of Christ defend such a teaching? How can one justify from the Scriptures such a man-made, and as John MacArthur calls it, “an absurd off the wall practice that is totally meaningless and worthless.”? 

We could examine the shaky history of the “church fathers” and the mixing of Origen, Augustine and Roman Catholic doctrine with that of the Reformers. That would give great insight into paedobaptism’s origins, but we can summarize the origins as heretical and a pragmatic solution to a need for ecclesiastical and even political solidarity. In short, infant baptism was the answer to Rome’s need to control the religious and political field. By inducting all baptized into their diocese’s authority, it only made sense to recruit from birth and induct newborns into the ranks of the Catholic Church. The theology of it was concocted to fit the scheme and as the Roman Catholic Church normally does, it did not fail to twist and add to Scripture to justify the baseless practice of baptizing infants before the child even had the mental capacity to repent of sin and confess Christ alone as LORD. It is sad enough the Catholic Church came up with such heresy; it is sadder still that by and large the Reformers bought into it..  

There are two arguments Reformed folks use to validate what is otherwise an off the wall concept as baptizing a child before they even have the mental capacity to repent of their sins and confess Christ as their Lord and Savior. 

First, there is the argument of the replacement of physical male circumcision with male and female infant baptism. Second, there is the argument that the New Testament implies infant baptism. I do not seek to offend anyone who practices infant baptism, but if and since the Scriptures alone are my authority, I must profess that paedobaptism is so far out and off the wall that it is a complete embarrassment to regulative Biblical hermeneutics. It is such poor interpretation and grandiose extrapolation, I causes my face to turn red to even have to address it within the Church of Jesus Christ. But for obvious reasons we must examine these two arguments. 

The First Argument: Infant Baptism Has Replaced Circumcision 

This is an astounding claim nowhere taught in Scripture. No Reformer in history could or can find anywhere in Scripture that makes this claim. First of all, the idea that circumcision is equated with baptism is incorrect. Circumcision was an outward sign of a Jewish male’s ethnic identity. It carried zero weight on his spiritual condition. Christ and Paul echoed this. If it had replaced baptism, why did Paul encourage Timothy to be circumcised if it was obsolete by a new covenant sign? We may receive answers to these problems, but none can validate this absurd quantum leap from Scripture that is being properly applied in context and interpreted through regulative Biblical hermeneutics. To even have a remote possibility of applying Scripture to this argument, you must be a Replacement Theologian, and that is to dive even farther down the cliff of theological error. 

The Second Argument: The New Testament Implies Infant Baptism 

This assertion is much better than the first argument, yet still flounders hopelessly in the waters of reality. We are going to examine each “proof text” offered in the argument that the New Testament implies the baptism of infants. There are two aspects of this argument. First, that Christ taught it and second, that the Apostles taught and practiced it. 

Alleged To Be Taught By Christ

(Matthew 18:1-6) 1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? 2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. 6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea

Also in these verses: 

(Matthew 19:14) But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

(Mark 10:14) –  But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

(Luke 18:16)But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God

The only mention of water in these verses is that of offenders of children being drowned in the sea. These verses speak of the attitude one must have to come to faith in Christ. He or she must have childlike humility. Nowhere in these verses does one ounce of any Greek word have anything to do in any universe with baptism, let alone infant baptism. This is embarrassingly poor handling of Scripture. No Bible scholar would ever find infant baptism here unless his extra-biblical theology dictated it be there. As John McArthur notes concerning paedobaptism and those who defend it, “Friedrich Schleiermacher, the German theologian wrote, ‘All traces of infant baptism which are asserted to be found in the New Testament must first be inserted there.’”. 

Alleged To Be Taught And Practiced By The Apostles

This is another astounding claim that rests on a bridge of invisible materials over a tempestuous river of Biblical contradiction to the fact. What Peter did preach in Acts 2 was “repent and be baptized”. Therefore as we will conclude, repentance always precedes baptism–therefore making infant baptism heresy and completely oppositional to everything Scripture teaches concerning baptism and salvation. 

These are the texts from which Reformed folks try to substantiate their claim. 

(Acts 10:44-48; Acts 11:14-18)44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days. 14 Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. 15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. 16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. 17 Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? 18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

Unless of course your theology demands these verses to, you will find no mention of infants or infant baptism in this passage. It is clear from Peter’s interaction with Cornelius and report to his brethren that all those in Cornelius’s house heard and received the Gospel and repented of their sins. The fact that Peter said the whole house would be saved is a testament to the need for them to hear the Gospel. An infant cannot hear the Gospel, let alone repent and believe. This is  a ludicrous assertion. The order of salvation and baptism must always be  and is here that one hears, believes, repents and is then baptized. 

(Acts 16:14-15)14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. 15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

(Acts 16:31-34) 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. 32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. 34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. 

(Acts 18:8)And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.

Again in each passage there is no mention of infants, infant baptism or anything other than those who heard the Gospel, believed then were baptized. Any other interpretation is pure fantasy. 

(I Corinthians 16:15-16) – I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) 16 That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth. 

This passage presents a huge problem to the argument because the household is credited with being actively involved in the ministry. I hardly imagine infants were engaged in ministry. This is absurd to entertain as evidence of infant baptism. 

(I Corinthians 7:12-14)12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. 13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. 

This passage has nothing to do with baptism, let alone that of infants. It simply means that a godly life will spill over into an unsaved life and the family of a saved person will be influenced for good and exposed to the truth of the gospel. Paedobaptism in this verse, as with all other, is a dangerous leap of hermeneutics, interpretation and doctrine. 

(Acts 2:38-39)38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 

Again, it is made overwhelmingly clear that one must hear, repent and then be baptized. The promise here is not that if you baptize your infant, God will bring the child into the Covenant as sealed through baptism. That is not Biblical, in the Bible or even close to what the Bible teaches. It is nothing but a worthless human invention. It is meaningless, but more so it is dangerous. 

Conclusion

The teaching of infant baptism has no basis in Scripture or reality. It is a dangerous heresy that creates a third class of spirituality. The Bible teaches there are the saved and the unsaved. Yet paedobaptism creates a class of unsaved people who are inside the Covenant of God–something no Reformed teacher can explain, let alone substantiate by Scripture. The greater danger of this synthetic doctrine is that it leads people to believe their child or they themselves have inherited something from God that He has not. It is reminiscent of Jesus’ words in Matthew 23:15. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”. 

Traditional vs. Relevant Church

There is no lack of material showing the vast difference in the traditional church vs. the relevant and hip church we see so prevalent today. Here is a brief overview in the fundamental differences.

The Traditional ChurchThe Relevant Church
Doctrinally Defined Name (ex. Calvary Baptist )One Word Name (ex. Newspring)
Fierce Doctrinal BoldnessAvoidance of Doctrine to prevent division
Traditional English Bible (KJV) Modern Perversions of the Bible
Reverent SanctuaryRock Concert Hall
Modest and formal dressCasual and sloppy dress
Centrality of the Pulpit Centrality of Musical Equipment
Physical PulpitAbsence of Pulpit
Centrality of Congregational SingingCentrality of Praise Team
Centrality of Deep, Theological HymnsCentrality of Shallow and Rock-like songs
Pastor dressed in Suit and TiePastor in t-shirt
Pastor a man of reverence and wisdomPastor a man of juvenile entertainment
Emphasis on Doctrinal TeachingEmphasis on Relevant Encouragement
Vigilant Guard Against False TeachingCommon Acceptance of False Teaching
Sermons based on the Word of GodSermons based on the Pastor’s charisma
Rejection of Charismatic teachingEmbracement of Charismatic teaching
Spirit of discernment Catastrophic lack of discernment

These differences should alarm the sober student of Scripture and the circumspect follower of Christ. They do not inherently make anyone better or more sanctified, yet they do reveal a great deal about one’s heart and their understanding of God, His Word, Worship and the Christian walk.

For a more detail study on the Biblical model of Worship, please click HERE.

Hebraic Aspects of Scripture: Tongues As A Sign

What Charismatic Pentecostals Teach Concerning Tongues

Charles Fox Parnham 

  • Azusa Street Revival – convulsions, lying prostrate babbling and shaking, and speaking gibberish
    • Regarded as the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in a second Pentecost
    • Birth of the Pentecostal, Charismatic movement 
  • Heretical beliefs _+ others 
    • Speaking in tongues is the primary evidence of Holy Spirit in a believer’s life. 
    • Only those who speak in tongues are baptized in the Holy Spirit
  • Sexual, financial and doctrinal scandals

What Scripture Has To Say Regarding Tongues

Acts 2:1-39

1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.


  • The Rushing Mighty Wind = The Holy Spirit = Ruach
  • The Cloven Tongues of Fire was a sign to Israel
    • Joel’s Prophecy (Joel 2:28-32)

33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

  • The Kingdom of God extended to the Gentile nations 

38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.


  • Definition of “Tongues” in Scripture
    • The physical body part
    • A spoken language associated with a physical nation(s)
      • Proof of this in Acts 2 
      • The Tongues spoken were known human languages. 
      • None of it was gibberish or convulsant babble 

5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?

8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,

10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,

11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.


I Corinthians 12:10

To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:


  • These diverse tongues are known tongues for Gentiles to hear. 
  • The interpretation is for the known human tongues. 
    • Nowhere is gibberish or babbling associated with speaking of tongues. 

Paul’s Exhortations On How To Use Tongues in The Church (I Corinthians 14:1-40)

  • Follow after Charity; desire gift, but prophesy more than anything else. (1)
    • Speaking in an unknown tongue helps no one unless an interpreter is present (2,5-6)
    • Prophecy helps all present (3-4)
  • Speaking in tongues without an interpreter is blowing out hot air and useless (9)
  • Seek to edify the church, not to babbel uselessly (12)
    • If you have the gift of tongues, pray that you will receive interpretation  (13)
    • We must have understanding from the Spirit or from an interpreter for tongues to be meaningful (15-17)
  • Paul spoke with tongues more than anyone else and yet we never read about it. (18)
    • He sought to speak words people could understand to teach them (19-20)
  • Tongues are a sign to unbelieving Gentiles (21-22)
    • Believers who put emphasis on tongues in church are being immature and misusing it. 
    • If all start speaking in tongues in a service, the unbelieving will think you are insane. (23)
    • But if there is preaching in a known tongue, the lost are helped (24)
  • There should only be three MEN max speaking in tongues in a service (27-30)
    • It must be an actual language
    • It must be one that someone there can interpret or keep silent 
  • God is not the author of confusion (33)
  • Women should keep silent in the service; they are not permitted to speak (34-35)
    • No women pastors or preachers
  • Forbid not to speak in tongues, but do it decently and by these commandments. (39-40)

Are Tongues Still Being Used Today?

I Corinthians 13:1-13

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.


  • Though = “even if I could”
    • Paul clearly did not have tongues of angels, all mysteries, knowledge and faith
    • Paul clearly did not give everything he owned away or give his body to be burned
  • Tongues of angels is being used as an extreme hypothetical example. 

8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.


  • Before the Scriptures were complete, God used these gifts as signs to Gentiles
    • That which is perfect = the canon of Scripture
  • It is childish to rely on tongues signs when we have a complete Bible

A Warning On Steven Anderson

Steven Anderson’s Early Life & Education

I have waited since 2006 to address in detail, the online sensation that is Pastor Steven Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona. This article is not one of defamation or unkind attack; it comes in response to a prolific amount of online sermons, international news stories, thousands of news references, distributed DVDs and his astoundingly popular Youtube channel, which spews forth vast amounts of hate and false doctrine. Anderson is not at all scared of publicity and would probably appreciate this article for getting his name out to anyone who has not heard it. I have no intention of naming anyone in his church or religious network unless they are in leadership and directly related to this saga. I have no ill will towards Anderson or his family and certainly I have nothing but compassion and pity for those who sit under his preaching and even join with him in his doctrines. These people I consider brainwashed or deceived and therefore we must keep a patient attitude with them and hold them up in prayer that the Holy Spirit will open their eyes–as He has for many of Anderson’s followers. This issue is not a petty one, but rather is one that has caused immeasurable harm to the cause of Christ, Fundamental Christianity and to many churches that have fallen to his influence and teaching. This article will contain many links, videos and photos. This has been done to give every reader the opportunity to read and hear for himself and make his own decision. I make no apology for saying that this article has been released as a warning on the false teachings, hate-filled spirit and unqualified nature of Steven Anderson and those who mimic him. This article is meant as a warning to faithful brethren and faithful congregations. We are commanded to “mark and avoid” such men as this, and it is in following that command that I unapologetically proceed with this article.

Pastor Steven Anderson

Steven L. Anderson was born July 24, 1981 in California. He attended Hyles- Anderson College until 2005 when he left the college without graduating. He is currently married and has eleven children. He was not ordained in his former church by his pastor, Steven Nichols. There are conflicting accounts as to whether or not Anderson was sent by Nichols to start a church in Tempe, Arizona. Anderson claims Nichols suffers from amnesia and others claim Anderson is lying. Nichols and those who claim Anderson to be lying say that Anderson was neither ordained nor sent by Nichols or Regency Baptist Church. Nichols has confirmed in an open letter that he felt Anderson was not ready to be a pastor. Anderson admits in his own YouTube video that Nichols refused to ordain him because of Anderson’s rejection of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture and belief in a Post-Tribulation Rapture. From my research and observation of Anderson’s preaching, ranting and videos posted of him without his knowledge, I can conclude with great certainty that Anderson is a habitual liar and twister of facts. I believe the words of Anderson’s former pastor, Steven Nichols and those who support his statements over Steven Anderson.

I have severe concerns over Steven Anderson based on the facts that he thought enough of Hyles-Anderson College to go there, where the school has a history of problematic teachings and handling of sexual abuse. The same pattern of Jack Hyles can and will be seen in Anderson’s ministry. I am also deeply concerned that Pastor Steven Nichols saw the attitude of hostility and lack of pastoral material in Anderson early on, only for Anderson to reject his warnings and proceed to start his own church anyway.

Steven Anderson Founds Faithful Word Baptist Church

Founded in 2005, the same year Anderson left Hyles-Anderson College and was urged by his pastor to wait and spend time training under a veteran pastor, Faithful Word Baptist Church of Tempe, Arizona is now home to several hundred members. The church has only had one deacon in its history, Tyler Baker, who was fired and told to leave the church by Anderson after Baker had a theological difference regarding what Anderson described as “Pentecostal Oneness heresy”. Whether or not Baker was in fact teaching that, I leave to you to decide by watching the youtube videos posted by both Anderson and Baker. Since Baker’s dismissal, Anderson has remained the only person in leadership of FWBC. Anderson brought FWBC into the national spotlight in 2009 when he was arrested during an altercation with the U.S. Border Patrol at a checkpoint.

Steven Anderson’s Timeline of Controversy

2005 – Left Hyles-Anderson College after a dispute with the Bible faculty. Anderson founded FWBC in Tempe, Arizona and his former pastor refused to ordain him.

2009 – Anderson was tasered and arrested by the U.S. Border Patrol for resisting an officer’s orders. Anderson won his case and gained instant notoriety. This launched his YouTube account into fame and gained many members of FWBC and an online following. The next publicity he received was for his public statement that he was praying for the death and eternal damnation of President Barrack Obama. Anderson also publicly stated he prayed someone would kill Obama. The next week, one of his supporters attended an Obama rally armed with a rifle. Many felt Anderson’s hate-filled preaching had spurred the young man to consider using the rifle. The church member said he was merely expressing his displeasure with Obama and had no intention to use his weapon. This incident only multiplied Anderson’s internet presence and ratings among his followers.

2015 – The Paris Attack. Anderson praised the attack at a Paris music concert where many were killed and injured.

2016 – The Orlando Club Shooting. Anderson and fellow pastor Roger Jimenez praised the shooting as God’s vengeance on homosexuals and thanked God that “the world now has 50 less pedophiles”.

2017 – Anderson founds the New Independent Fundamental Baptist Movement to separate from the allegedly no longer valid Independent Fundamentalist Baptists Movement. The NIFB, whose website is now been removed, is a network of churches under Anderson’s unofficial control and heavy influence. During this time, former detective, now NIFB Pastor Grayson Fritts was investigated for his public call for the execution of homosexuals. NIFB Pastor Logan Robertson was also deported from New Zealand for harassing Muslims and advocating that people shoot homosexuals. While the NIFB holds to many solid Biblical teachings, it also teaches many unbiblical doctrines and false teachings, only a few of which we will deal with in this article.

  • Borderline Ruckmanism
  • Rejection of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture for a Post-Tribulation Rapture
  • Extreme Anti-Semitism
  • Holocaust Denial
  • Replacement Theology
  • Open Advocation for the execution of homosexuals.
  • Totalitarian Dictatorial control by a single pastor over the church
  • Zionism is a fraud perpetrated by Jews
  • Jews worship Remphan and are the Synagogue of Satan.
  • Jack Hyles style easy believism and repentance-less salvation.

Here is a link to Way of Life Literature’s website an article by Fundamentalist David Cloud on Anderson’s Holocaust denial:

https://www.wayoflife.org/reports/steven-andersons-holocaust-denial.php

Some videos of Anderson’s anti-Semitic teaching could not be published here as they would immediately result in getting this website suspended. You may find some still on Anderson’s YouTube page, which was recently suspended. He is re-posting his videos under different names now, so you will have to search for more on this topic. However, the following link will take you to his DVD “Marching To Zion”, which was sent to most IFB churches several years ago. This documentary is purely antisemitic and full of Replacement Theology and Augustinian heresy. The author of this post categorically rejects Anderson’s teaching on the Jews, Israel, the Holocaust and Eschatology.

Anderson’s Documentary on Replacement Theology.

2018 – Due to Anderson’s continual public statements calling for the execution of homosexuals and wishing that AIDS would kill all homosexuals and that they would burn in hell, Jamaican nationals learned that he had plans to return there to preach. A national began a petition to ban Anderson from traveling there. Anderson publicly told the petition author that he “hoped he would get AIDS” and called him a “faggot”. Anderson is currently banned from over 33 countries on the charge of being a spreader of hate and hate speech.

2019 – Anderson founded and hosted the Make America Straight Again Conference on the anniversary of the Orlando Club Shooting of 2016. The conference consisted of hatred for homosexuals, preaching that they should be executed, they cannot be saved and that LGBTQ stood for “Let God Burn Them Quicker”. When protesters outside the conference venue encountered Anderson, he told them, “Get AIDS and die”.

Scandals Within The New IFB

In January of 2019, Pastor Donnie Romero, an outspoken advocate for the killing of homosexuals and adulterers, was forced to resign as pastor of Steadfast Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. Romero was caught engaging in casino gambling, smoking marijuana and hiring prostitutes. Anderson stepped in and took temporary control of SBC, where he immediately recommended and brought about the ordination and installation of Jonathan Shelley as the new pastor of SBC Fort Worth. Adam Fannin, the main preacher of SBC’s Jacksonville, Florida campus church, publicly rejected Anderson’s decision and refused to acknowledge the authority of Pastor Jonathan Shelley. Anderson, Shelley and Fannin publicly traded accusations and web-video rebuttals of financial wrongdoings, rebellion and being cult leaders. Fannin was eventually ejected as the lead preacher of SBC Jacksonville.

Former Pastor Donnie Romero of Steadfast Baptist Church, Fort Worth, TX
Pastor Jonathan Shelley – Current Pastor of SBC in Fort Worth, TX

Steven Anderson announcing Pastor Romero’s resignation and taking control of the new pastor ordination, which he urged to take place immediately within a few days.
Adam Fannin of SBC’s Jacksonville, FL campus

In July of 2020, Anderson’s three eldest sons were involved in an episode where they engaged with multiple underage girls in an online chat that spanned 500 pages of graphic sexual content of a deviant and abusive nature. The eldest Anderson male involved is over 18, as is another boy involved who does not attend FWBC. As many as a dozen females were the targets of the chats and all are under age. Anderson addressed the incident after being confronted by multiple fathers within his congregation whose daughters were targeted in the chat. Anderson responded by delivering a rant, in which he covered the criminal and pornographic nature of the chat and berated anyone who would accuse his sons of anything other than stupid adolescence. I am not interested in parading the details of this incident here, but anyone can find it on the internet quite easily and therefore I have posted a link below that will show some of the milder chat and then Anderson’s rant, which was recorded by a parent whose daughter had been targeted. After the recording, Anderson confronted the family who recorded it and threw them out of the church on the spot. I will warn you that the link below is intended only for mature audiences.

An Assessment of Steven Anderson

Anderson is a prime example of what happens when someone not ready and unqualified for pastoral leadership ignores the counsel of seasoned men of God and strikes out anyway to begin a church or lead one. His aggressive, rude, hateful and arrogant tendencies make him unfit for pastoral leadership, or leadership in general. He exhibits continually the spirit of a totalitarian dictator who uses manipulation, mind control and bullying as the means of keeping his followers in line. He also has a habitual practice of mocking, hatred, cursing, railing, ranting and a general distaste with authority of any kind other than his own. Those who dare to disagree with him are publicly cursed, mocked and physically thrown out of his church and branded as heretical, demonically deceived or backbiting splitters of the church.

Anderson’s famous rant concerning his “Reprobate” doctrine.
Anderson curses out his former deacon.

Anderson interacting with protesters of his Make America Straight Again Conference

Anderson kicks out a member who opposed his doctrine that Homosexuals could not repent and accept Christ.
Anderson throwing people out of the church.

I can only think on the words of Christ when two disciples wanted to burn some unbelieving people to a crisp. “But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” – Luke 9:55-56 Jesus came to seek and save the lost, not pray they burn in Hell and die of AIDS. He came in humility and compassion, not hate and rage. My number one thing to say about Anderson is that he knows not what manner of spirit he is. He does not have the Spirit of Christ. While I do agree that Homosexuality is an abomination and those who practice it will burn in Hell, I do not want them to die and go to Hell! I pray that God will save them! I witness to them and show them the Gospel! To wish for anyone to go to Hell is altogether unbiblical and unchristian and furthermore proves an absence of the Spirit of Christ within.

On top of Anderson’s hateful and arrogant spirit–things that have no place in a born again believer’s heart, let alone pastoral ministry–there are several pet doctrines Anderson holds that cause serious concern in my heart. Some have been listed above, but again, my full list of concerns are:

  • KJV onlyism for Salvation (no one gets saved unless they read from the KJV)
  • Rejection of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture for a Post-Tribulation Rapture
  • Extreme Anti-Semitism
  • Holocaust Denial
  • Replacement Theology
  • Open Advocation for the execution of homosexuals.
  • Reprobate Doctrine – he teaches that no homosexual can repent and be saved.
  • Totalitarian Dictatorial control by a single pastor over the church
  • Zionism is a fraud perpetrated by Jews
  • Jews worship Remphan and are the Synagogue of Satan.
  • Jack Hyles style easy believism and repentance-less salvation.
  • Jack Hyles style infallibility and total non-accountability of the pastor
  • Hitler only wanted to deport Jews, not kill them.
  • Rejection of Biblical Repentance
  • Salvation does not produce observable fruit and we should not examine for fruit.
  • Christ suffered and burned in Hell for our sins.

Some of the above teachings are simple historical error, but much of it is heretical teaching straight from Hell. It is not my intention to take the time here to expound each false teaching of Anderson and address the content displayed in the above videos and audio and text. Any Spirit-filled believer can see there is something drastically wrong here. No Spirit-filled man of God behaves or speaks in this manner. No Spirit-led church would tolerate such abuse from the pulpit. I wrote this article for several reasons, but one is that Anderson is exceptionally dangerous because he does teach some truth and he does some things well. The mixture of truth and error is one even more deadly than solid error because at first glance, the mixture looks harmless and even desirable. Only once it is ingested does the recipient discovery the lethal potency it holds. Because of the internet prominence this man and his movement hold, I beseech pastors and church leaders to address the issue and warn their flocks about him and the NIFB.

I will most likely produce a video to be posted here as well, but this article is the culmination of hundreds of hours of reading, examining audio, listening to his sermons, watching his DVD’s, hearing testimonials of those thrown out, pastors addressing his doctrines and even reading articles dealing with his false teaching. I would strongly recommend Fundamentalist David Cloud’s book from Way of Life Literature: “What About Steven Anderson?”. Brother Cloud deals in extensive detail with Anderson’s false and heretical teachings. The book is free and may be downloaded here:

https://www.wayoflife.org/free_ebooks/what_about_steven_anderson.php

God bless and let us remember the words of Paul and Jude:

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” – Romans 16:17-18

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Jude 3-4

-Kenneth D. Willis

Daily Devotional: Galatians 1:6-10

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. – Galatians 1:6-10

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Paul was amazed that true believers could give up the true gospel of Christ for counterfeit ones. There are hosts of counterfeit gospels today, all of which contain elements of truth or terms of sound doctrine, yet these all either add to or take away from the truth of Scripture and hinge on man made teachings. Some of these teachings are simply humorous in their stupidity and many are overtly sinister in their open attack on true gospel teaching. Regardless of the level of intentional evil, all counterfeit gospels are from Satan and designed to deceive God’s people and damn sinners to an eternal death in Hell.

Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. Paul asserts that these “false gospels” are actually not gospels at all. There is only one gospel, and that is the one Scripture gives. Anything else is an error, lie or damnable heresy. We see today the myriad of false teachers and false prophets and even false denominations that spread their heresy in churches, conventions, conferences, on the radio, television and internet. The sad reality is that most of what people find in Christian book stores, television, radio and the web is exactly what Paul is preaching against here: those that would “pervert the gospel of Christ”. These people intentionally pervert the gospel for many reasons; the most common one is that of monetary gain. Popularity and power would come in second and third place. Regardless of the why, these folks are intentionally using false gospels to gain something from others. They deserve to be called out, marked and avoided by God’s people. Their damnation will be much greater than the ordinary lost person because they are profiting from the intentional misleading of others. I cannot fit the list of such false teachers in this devotional, and frankly don’t desire spend time doing so, but I will list some of the most popular ones. I do this to make it painstakingly clear the kind of folks Paul and I are referring to, and to make it plain that I for one am not the least bit hesitant to name false teachers. Today’s most prominent examples of these kind of false teachers promoting another gospel for gain are names and organizations such as:

  • Rob Bell
  • Bethel Church, Redding, CA.
  • Kenneth & Gloria Copeland
  • Jesse Duplantis
  • Elevation
  • Tony Evans
  • Stephen Furtick
  • Hillsong
  • Benny Hinn
  • International House of Prayer
  • T.D. Jakes
  • Jesus Calling
  • Jesus Culture
  • Marcus & Joni Lamb
  • Eddie Long
  • Joyce Meyer
  • Kelly Minter
  • Beth Moore
  • Shauna Niequist
  • Joel & Victoria Osteen
  • Rod Parsley
  • Don Piper
  • Joseph Prince
  • Sid Roth
  • Robert Schuler
  • Priscilla Shirer
  • Perry Stone
  • Ann Voskamp
  • Rick Warren
  • Wellspring Group

The above list is far from complete.

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Most false teachers love to elevate themselves above other believers as though they have some more direct line to God and His revelation. Some of these folks even make the impossible and ridiculous claim to be an apostle. The previous verses of Galatians 1:1-5 deal with Paul’s apostolic claim and we dealt with why such a modern day apostle is a physical and doctrinal impossibility. Paul here upped the game when he declared under divine inspiration in essence: “even if an apostle or a heavenly angel” comes and preaches something contrary to the Gospel of Christ, let them be accursed and rejected. Wow. That is a pretty stark warning to God’s people. Sadly, many people follow these false apostles and teachers in droves and throw away all such Scriptural warnings and wholeheartedly embrace false teachers as divine messengers.

For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? Preaching and teaching the Bible has never been something God’s people were commanded to do or able to do with the goal of pleasing the listeners. Preaching and teaching is deadly work. In a free country such as America, doing so faithfully leads to hate mail, nasty social media comments and being “unfriended” on Facebook. In less than free countries however, faithful preaching and teaching of God’s Word leads to persecution, imprisonment and or death. If millions are embracing our preaching and teaching, something is wrong with both. Jesus said He came not to bring peace in His preaching, but division. He used the word “sword”. Jesus said identifying with His teaching would divide homes, siblings, parents and children and would lead to His followers being thrown out and persecuted by other religious organizations. The true preachers and teachers of God’s pure Words can expect to live the life of the Old Testament prophet. Leonard Ravenhill summed up such a life when he said,

Prophets are God’s emergency men for crisis hours. They are tragic figures. They are lonely, rejected men. They are defined by their fierce loyalty to God and a broken heart over a lost nation.

Leonard Ravenhill

for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. How can a devoted servant of God and His Word expect to please the enemies of God and His Word? If we are pleasing the masses, we are certainly not good preachers and teachers. For the pure preaching and teaching of Scripture will enrage the sinner and call false teaching and teachers what they are.

Strange Fire Q&A Sessions

The videos below are from the Strange Fire Conference, where various false teachings are addressed. These are excellent corrections and admonitions from men of God who are fighting false teaching with Biblical-based, doctrinal responses.

An Appeal To Fellow Preachers

It never ceases to amaze me how easily entertained people inherently are. Even folks that would seldom think to darken a church door seem to appreciated a “good preacher”, much like anyone is intrigued with a  good story teller. But it has been my observation, through at least 22 years of experience in hearing sermons from some of the greatest names in Fundamentalism, that far too often it is the charisma and showmanship people flock to rather than the accurate exposition of Scripture. This is something I constantly witness and honestly is deeply troubling. What good is a “fireball” preacher if he is performing much in the same way a circus act would to grab the eyes and ears of those in the pew, and yet is failing to preach what the Scripture he uses actually means. I see this the most in relation to money and giving, specifically to the one preaching or their ministry. This is not to say a faithful preacher cannot have charisma and a way of captivating those hearing him, but if that is the full extent of what he does, he is worthless, and I say even dangerous to the cause of Christ. This article is not intended to be unkind or scathing, but rather to cause soul searching and careful self-examination. To proclaim the Word of God is not a trivial performance, but a sacred duty that historically has cost men everything, and must be given the absolute utmost of care and holy fear it demands. The word preach in the Scripture means precisely to herald a message, a message given by God. Therefore, how we herald that message is gravely serious. I have been a Baptist all my life, and believe in general, they are closest to the Scriptures, but I believe we as Baptists are not perfect and have room for growth; much more, we are in need of returning to the Scriptures in how we preach and train young men to preach and teach the Scriptures. I am not presuming to have all the answers in that endeavor, but am bold enough to admit and proclaim that we are in danger of teaching the traditions of men for the doctrines of God. There must be some form of reformation where we examine how and what we preach, and examine our hearts to see if we are preaching to win the crowd, or preaching to speak the whole council of God, as it is written. My heart is heavy by seeing how often IFB preachers work up a proverbial or literal sweat, charismatically preaching messages in which they–whether by intention or ignorance–extrapolate, misapply and even mislead those under the sound of their voice. Many times their applications are good, moral things, yet had nothing to do with the actual meaning or teaching of the text. The saddest part of this is that many times the youth pick up on this and an instant questioning of everything being preached begins in that young heart. And no one is to blame but us, the preachers. I do not believe the answer is more seminaries or Bible colleges, but rather the instruction within them, and most importantly, the education only provided by the Holy Spirit and much time spent in prayer and faithful, exhausting study of the Word of God–not just pulling verses out of context to suit a presupposed thesis. This will not do and is wrecking our denomination.

I understand this article may cause misunderstandings and even outrage, but we must have the honesty and humility to examine ourselves and consider whether or not these things be so.

Sincerely and Brokenly,

Kenneth D. Willis