Greetings brethren in Christ! If you are reading this, you have probably already watched the video Monty Collier has placed on youtube about me. There are a lot of things I would like to say about it, but Monty has never given me the opportunity on the actual youtube page to post my comments. Indeed, he has disabled the comments section for that video, and I don't know why. If you search for "Brandan Kraft" on the internet, the top hit is this video. But I am now going to officially respond to this video because it has me greatly disturbed. It has troubled me now for sometime, and although it's been over three years since this video has posted, I am finally motivated to respond to it because it has affected me in a very personal way. And while I will not disclose how this video has hurt me, I would like like to state up front that this video is flat out slander. I liken slander to murder. It is very destructive and it can destroy relationships (Prov 16:28).
I am not going to speculate as to why Monty would slander me. But he has. I have taken the time to transcribe the six minute video so that I can respond to it in print form. I will now disect the transcription line for line.
Brandan Kraft also known on the internet as "Darth Gill" manages the following websites: 5solas.org pristinegrace.org and predestinarian.net.This part is correct and true.
The first thing you need to know about Brandan Kraft is that he complete rejects Sola Scriptura.Monty, you are wrong. I do not reject Sola Scriptura. I believe Scripture ALONE is the standard for doctrine and practice. The inspired Word of God is indeed the ONLY standard we have!
Kraft does not begin with nor believe in the 66 books of the protestant bible.Monty, you are wrong. I believe in most of the books that make up the protestant bible. Officially, at the time of writing this, I really only have a problem with the book of James.
For example, he openly claims that the book of james is not inspired, not authoritative and not part of the bible.I do not believe the book of James is authoritative because I believe it contradicts the Gospel set forth by Christ and His apostles. Please read Martin Luther's preface to this Epistle published in 1530. I agree with Martin Luther completely on the book of James. Martin Luther referred to James as an epistle of straw as it was fit for burning at one point. Do you preach anathema on him too?
But I do not deny that the book of James is part of the collection of books designated by church councils as "the bible." God obviously included James in the protestant and roman catholic canon. This, I do not deny! Although the book clearly teaches falsehood, I do not believe this diminishes God in any way whatsoever.
In fact, brandan kraft claims that any writing that does not contain the gospel within it cannot possibly be inspired by God.Anything that does not preach Christ and His work is not authoritative. As Martin Luther so wisely wrote: "All the genuine sacred books agree in this, that all of them preach and inculcate Christ. And that is the true test by which to judge all books, when we see whether or not they inculcate Christ. For all the Scriptures show us Christ, Romans 3; and St. Paul will know nothing but Christ, I Corinthians 2. Whatever does not teach Christ is not apostolic, even though St. Peter or St. Paul does the teaching. Again, whatever preaches Christ would be apostolic, even if Judas, Annas, Pilate, and Herod were doing it. But this James does nothing more than drive to the law and to its works. "
As a result, the book of Esther and other books which make up the protestant bible are outright rejected by Brandan Kraft. Kraft asserts this strange position on the 5solas.org homepage when he writes, "This website is deigned to serve as a learning center for all those who believe that inspired scripture alone as judged by the Gospel is the standard for doctrine and practice."I haven't found any benefit to the book of Esther, however, unlike James, I find it does no harm to Christ and His work to keep it in my bible.
The next thing you need to know about Brandan Kraft, at least in my opinion, is that he is a hyper dispensatialist. This means that he believes only the pauline epistles contain the gospel for us who are living today. Kraft believes that only paul teaches justification by faith alone and that Jesus for example even taught a gospel of justification by faith in works. This of course means that their official position, that of the 5solas.org, their group, their official position by deduction is that only the pauline epistles are the inspired authoritative word of God. This is blasphemy.This allegation angers me the most. Not once have I or anyone else that represents Predestinarian Network in any official capacity promoted or taught this at all! I believe the Old and New Testaments of Scripture excluding the epistle of James are inspired, authoritative and infallible! I believe the Gospel of Justification by Faith alone is taught from Genesis to Revelation. I do not believe Jesus ever taught a gospel of justification by faith in works. I would agree with Monty that this is blasphemy. But I have never taught or espoused this, and if I ever led anyone to think that I did, then I am very sorry. All we have ever opined is that the books of Paul are primary and it is these writings that the Gospel is presented in its most mature and full form.
I have already stated that his official position on the book of james is that it is not inspired. Brandan kraft openly admits that the roman catholic interpretation of this book is correct. Strange as this is, Kraft still claims on certain webpages to be protestant and reformed.I do not claim to be protestant (what am I protesting?). I do not claim to be "reformed."
Especially concerning holy scripture. Kraft does this for example on his 5solas.org homepage. On that homepage, the claim is made that he subscribes to the Gospel Standard Articles. A confession that clearly asserts the protestant bible with all 66 books is in fact the inspired authoritative word of God.I do not claim to adhere strictly to any official confession. I generally agree with many confessions on many points. I also have my disagreements. Besides, the Gospel Standard Articles of faith are generally not considered to be a traditional "reformed" confession, but one that is held to by "hyper-calvinists" of the 19th century.
In article 8 of the Gospel Standard Articles, the confession cites James chapter 1 verse 18 as inspired authoritative proof of sovereign grace. It states that God's work of regeneration is not an act of man's free will and natural power, but that it springs from the operation of the mighty efficacious and invivincible grace of God. Gospel Standard Articles, article 8. This categorically contradicts Brandan Kraft's claim that the book of James is not the inspired authoritative word of God. But it seems that Kraft cares little for consistency.Yeah, I admit it contradicts me. So what? I don't claim strict adherence to this confession.
Brandan Kraft and his hyper-dispensational group also list the 1729 Goat Yard declaration of faith as something they hold to. But this confession was authored by reformed baptist John Gill who professed the 66 books of the protestant bible to be the inspired authoritative word of God.John Gill was also an infralapsarian baptist churchian. I don't claim to be baptist, infralapsarian, or a churchian! However, I find many of John Gill's writings to be very good and beneficial for reading and learning. I agree with much, if not MOST of what John Gill has written. There are not claims by me to "follow" John gill or strictly adhere to the 1729 Goat Yard.
Kraft and his gang deceptively list and provide pictures of a group of calvinistic theologians whom the falsely claim to follow. These theologians whom they claim to agree with, first, Dr. Gordon H. Clark. Clark was a Presbyterian who strictly held to the Westminster standards. So he would never reject the book of James. And he clearly states time and time again that the 66 books of the protestant bible is the only axiom of Christianity. So they have no right to pretend they follow Dr. Gordon H. Clark.Putting up a picture of a man we admire does not mean we claim to follow him. We depart from Clark on a number of things such as traducianism, augustinianism, original sin, and the fall of Adam. We are not pretending to follow Gordon Clark. We do like a lot of what he's written though!
The second person whom they would like people to think that they follow is John Gill. John Gill was a Calvinistic Baptist who also held to the 66 books of the protestant bible. Not only does Gill cite James authoritatively throughout his many many writings, He even wrote a commentary on the entire book.See above.
Third person whom they would like people to think that they follow is Herman Hoeksema. Hoeksema was a Dutch Calvinist who strictly held to the Belgic Confession of Faith and that confession lists the book of James as the inspired authoritative word of God. Hoeksema held that sola scriptura was the belief that the word of God was the 66 books of the Protestant Bible and NOT the Pauline epistles only.See above.
The fourth person they would like people to think that they follow was Gilbert Beebe. Beebe was a primitive baptist who also held to the 66 books of the protestant bible and who cites them often in his many editorials you can still get today.Rinse and repeat.
These men that Kraft and his gang claim to follow would not only reject Kraft's blasphemous beliefs on Scripture, but they would condemn him as a heretic.Heretic, or HAIRY TICK? Bwahahaha, all this from a guy who calls himself a red beetle.
Brandan Kraft's conclusion that the book of James is not the inspired word of God is based on Nicholas Laurienzo's small little essay titled, "James Exposed." This essay claims that the book of James is best understood from the Roman Catholic interpretation.This is more misrepresentation. While I do agree with Nicholas' essay, he will openly admit that he came to his opinion about the book of James after I did, and I believe he would state that he based his essay on some of the research presented to him by us (myself included) on predestinarian.net.
In order to defend his ludicrous position, Kraft must reject and he does reject all Calvinistic interpretations of the book of James in favor of the Roman Catholic position. Notice how Brandan Kraft first bows the knee to the Roman Catholic Church before denying God's word. This is not a coincidenc, but a pattern for heretics.
This is the funniest statement of all by Monty. Yes, I do reject all reformed interpretations (there is only one). I don't reject this interpretation "in favor" of the Roman Catholic position. I despise the Roman Catholic position on Justification. I believe the RCC interpretation of James is correct even though it is very wrong and damnable. I have not bowed any knee to the RCC in denying God's word, I am simply stating that this is not God's word and it is my desire to defend it.
I wonder if Monty would deem Martin Luther a hairy-tick also?
I wonder if Monty would deem Martin Luther a hairy-tick also?
"He (author of James) mangles the Scriptures and thereby opposes Paul and all Scripture. He tries to accomplish by harping on the law what the apostles accomplish by stimulating people to love. Therefore, I will not have him in my Bible to be numbered among the true chief books, though I would not thereby prevent anyone from including or extolling him as he pleases, for there are otherwise many good sayings in him. One man is no man in worldly things; how, then, should this single man alone avail against Paul and all the rest of Scripture?" (Martin Luther, Preface to the Epistle of James)And don't try to tell me he changed his position either! This is from a Table Talk near the end of his life:
We should throw the Epistle of James out of this school [Wittenberg], for it doesnt amount to much. It contains not a syllable about Christ. Not once does it mention Christ, except at the beginning [Jas. 1:1; 2:1]. I maintain that some Jew wrote it who probably heard about Christian people but never encountered any. Since he heard that Christians place great weight on faith in Christ, he thought, Wait a moment! Ill oppose them and urge works alone. This he did. He wrote not a word about the suffering and resurrection of Christ, although this is what all the apostles preached about. Besides, theres no order or method in the epistle. Now he discusses clothing and then he writes about wrath and is constantly shifting from one to the other. He presents a comparison: As the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead [Jas. 2:26]. O Mary, mother of God! What a terrible comparison that is! James compares faith with the body when he should rather have compared faith with the soul! The ancients recognized this, too, and therefore they didnt acknowledge this letter as one of the catholic epistles [LW 54:424].If this is indeed a "pattern for heretics," then I am glad to be numbered amongst them. I feel like I'm in good company with men like Martin Luther!