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Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Ruckman...

Peter S. Ruckman...

Ever heard of him? Most people haven't, and they should count their blessings. I had never heard of him either—until yesterday. And had I known then what I know now, I would have counted my blessings too. But now I can't, because now I am aware of him.

In the KJV Only camp, he is the pitbull of the cause. And this is an entirely fair simile for he is nothing short of a pitbull, demonstrating anything but the grace, gentleness, compassion and self-control Christians are exhorted to show one another in love. When I first began researching this individual, I came across no shortage of Christian articles and opinions that expressed sentiments ranging from sadness to disgust for the man. Practically everything I had read talked about the seething vitriol, uncouth style, and vehement animosity that he demonstrates to other Christian brothers and sisters, feelings about which I suspended for the time being because I had only just begun my research. But then I started to come across some of his own writings—some from his own pen held within his own hand in his own handwriting—and, as I read, I very soon realized why all these people had these sentiments about him: because that is precisely what he is like. I even found statements and opinions from other KJV Only advocates who desperately wanted to put as much distance as they could between themselves and Peter S. Ruckman, offering their own reproofs against him and imploring him to demonstrate more fruits of the Spirit.

Are you familiar with Donald Waite? He is another KJV Only advocate who presents "the four-fold superiority of the KJV" in his book Defending the King James Bible, which he identifies as (1) superior texts, (2) superior translators, (3) superior technique, and (4) superior theology (these issues are, of course, entirely debatable). Donald Waite is such a staunch advocate of the primacy of the KJV Bible that he is often thought to be a Ruckmanite. But oddly enough, Ruckman considers Waite to be an "apostate Fundamentalist" and a member of "the Alexandrian cult" who is full of "nonsense" and "hot air" (The Bible Believers Bulletin, Feb. 1989, pp. 4-6). Why is that? Waite is a staunch advocate for the primacy of the KJV Bible, its texts, its translators, its theology, etc., so why doesn't Ruckman consider Waite to be a true Bible believer, even though he holds all the same beliefs about the KJV that Ruckman does? For the simple fact that Dr. Waite rejects Ruckman. David Cloud, another strict KJV Only advocate, is likewise considered an apostate because, like Waite, Cloud rejects Ruckman's teachings.

I had also heard it claimed (from his very few but intensely loyal followers) that no one has ever dared to debate him on the KJV Only issue, that no one anywhere, ever, was bold enough because everyone knew how weak their position really is and knew how devastating Peter S. Ruckman's evidence and arguments are. Interesting claim. Obviously there was something to the claim, evidenced by its very existence. So I started looking around at this issue—and found out it was a complete falsehood. When James R. White published his book The King James Only Controversy, he sent Ruckman a package containing two copies of the book (because in the book White deals with Ruckman and his claims) and a letter which outlined what the book was about plus an invitation to publicly debate the issue. The sheer madness that ensued is simply unbelievable and, if your stomach can take Ruckman's vitriolic petulance and foul mouth, you should really have a look at the stark difference between White's correspondence and Ruckman's responses. No one is will dare to engage Ruckman in debate? You decide [here]. Incidentally, as the correspondence shows, Ruckman was ultimately unwilling to engage White in public debate. In a series of articles in his closed-forum The Bible Believers Bulletin, Ruckman attempted to address a number of the arguments White raised in his book—and on White's website he responded to Ruckman's every article. It is quickly evident why Ruckman would be unwilling to debate White [here].

Some of the names he's called people are "stupid," "jackass", "silly asses," "two-bit junkies," "egotistical jack legs," "conservative asses whose brains have gone to seed," "cheap, two-bit punks," "mush-mouthed sissy", "mealy-mouthed," and "stupid, little, Bible-rejecting apostates." In his letters to White, he referred to him as "apostate," "conceited ass," "sonny," "little wimp," "old liar," "slick," etc. Ruckman is like this for a reason—he's on a mission from God. Yes, he has managed to convince himself that this sort of unchristian behavior and horribly foul mouth are mandated directly from God Himself. In the December 1985 edition of The Bible Believers Bulletin, he said (the All Caps are his):
"God called me to sit at this typewriter and pour forth VINEGAR, ACID, VITRIOL, AND CLEANING FLUID on the leading conservative and fundamental scholars of 1900 through 1990. [...] God is in charge. He [...] destines me to sit at this typewriter and LAMBAST, SCALD AND RIDICULE these Bible rejecting fundamentalists who ‘believe the Bible is the Word of God,’ [...] I hereby dedicate myself anew to the task of DESTRUCTIVE CRITICISM AND NEGATIVE BLASTING against every adversary of that Holy Book..."
What does the Bible say about vitriol, lambasting, scalding, ridiculing, insults and name-calling?
Proverbs 22:24-25, "Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go. Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul."

James 3:14-18, "But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace."

Colossians 3:8-17, "But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him..."
How does the Bible say we are to treat brothers and sisters in Christ?
1 John 4:20-21, "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also."

Ephesians 4:26-32, "Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. ... Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

Ephesians 4:1-3, "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

Colossians 3:12-17, "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."
"But," a Ruckman admirer might object, "Ruckman is only striving with and showing bitterness toward the enemies of the Bible." First of all, Ruckman considering 98% of Christians throughout the world as being "enemies of the Bible" is not only unfair but also extremely questionable—and I would be one of the first to boldly question it, if so many others hadn't already preceded me. Second of all, even if they truly were "enemies of the Bible," the Holy Spirit gave instructions in 2 Timothy 2:24-25 on how to deal with those who oppose the truth—and he said nothing about pouring vitriol and acid on them!
2 Timothy 2:24-25, "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth."
Some, despite this passage from the Holy Writ, might gesture towards Christ and how he wasn't always gentle unto all men (Matt. 23) or how Paul spoke severely about the false teachers (Acts 13), but there are a couple of points to be raised here also. First of all, there is a huge difference between the language used in the Bible and the language Peter S. Ruckman uses. Secondly, and far more importantly, there is a huge difference between how Christ deals with his disciples and how he deals with the Pharisees, how Paul approaches his erring brother in Christ, Peter, and how he speaks against false teachers in Acts 13. However, Ruckman makes no discrimination; not only does he speak about 'erring' Christian brothers in the same tone as Christ-denying sinners, but he even lumps the former in the same camp as the latter!

But, they might say, I've been to his sermons and I've seen the way he talks to the people in his church and his organization. He was gentle and quite a nice man. Yes, I expect he would be—these are his followers. The question to ask is, "How does he treat those that do not follow him?"

His horribly unchristian vitriol is matched only by his lunacy. In his various writings (see The Mark of the Beast, Black is Beautiful, The Unknown Bible, several selected editions of his The Bible Believer's Bulletin, etc.) we learn that Ruckman believes:
  • that Judas wasn't human

  • that Satan and Eve conceived a son together named Cain

  • that the Anti-Christ will be a ten-foot tall alien that disembarks from a 600-foot wide UFO landed at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and will run around kissing the Mark of the Beast on everyone with these huge black lips

  • that angels are thirty-three year old males without wings

  • that all woman in the Church Age will receive thirty-three year old male bodies at the Rapture

  • that in eternity, God will call Christians to Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Uranus, etc., placing them down and saying, "be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth"

  • that when the believer is born again, his soul is literally cut loose from the inside of his fleshly body

  • that sexual intercourse constitute marriage in God's sight

  • that Noah's flood was the SECOND global flood
For some, it may not be convincing. It might be convincing enough for me and perhaps a lot of other people out there, but what really drove the nail home into this coffin was learning that Peter S. Ruckman volunteered himself as a false prophet. In the May 1997 edition of The Bible Believers Bulletin, Ruckman prophesied what must "shortly come to pass" within "the next two or three years" (again, the All Caps are his):
"Certain law-abiding, patriotic males [e.g. Marrs and Ruckman] are targeted for destruction, and I KNOW WHO THEY ARE. I know who theyare because I know the News Media; what it's done, what it plans to do, what it is doing, what it intends to do, and what the BIBLE says it's going to do [p. 8] ... Now, the dykes and sex perverts in Washington have drawn up a hit list. The WEB and the Internet and the fax and the surveillance going on now is to define those targets and then remove them. If you want to know who those targets are, I can name them for you [...] you will see the sudden 'SUICIDE' of these targets or their 'HEART FAILURES' or their ACCIDENTAL death in a PLANE CRASH [...] all kinds of ACCIDENTS happen to people like this [...] They had the 'scope' on them. I KNOW WHO the targets are in the next TWO or THREE years. On this 'prophesy' I CAN'T MISS!" [p. 12] ... I know my destination. I am predestinated to stop a bullet or maybe a more subtle method, such as an accidental car wreck or accidental plane crash or logical looking 'suicide' or an ordinary 'heart attack.' The CIA has all kinds of ways of keeping a secret. And I know at least twenty of them" [pp. 14 and 17]
He had a list of five men which, he said, would find themselves all dead before May of 2000. On this list were Texe Marrs (who likewise said in his own April/May 1997 newsletter Flashlight that he was "targeted for destruction" and that "satanic forces" were "arrayed against us"), Jack Chick, Don McAlvaney, Tom Anders, and Peter S. Ruckman himself. Of course, May of 2000 came and went and all five men survived it. Robert S. Ruckman himself is alive and well today.

I'm not sure much more could be said about this man. He has said enough on his own. His unbiblical treatment of Christian brothers and sisters, especially his publicly viewable treatment of James White, his foul mouth and ungraceful behavior, and especially his false prophecy... he has accused himself. If after learning of all these things someone could still loyally defend and stand by Ruckman and his teachings...