The apostle Eric vonAnderseck continues to work hard to spread his particular system of non-orthodox theology. This latest attempt at trying to vindicate himself is an examination of me on his website researchoncults.org. The title of the section is called, "Matt Slick and C.A.R.M.: Babylon's Self Appointed Apostle, Watchman on the Wall." I must admit that I find it rather amusing to be called a self appointed apostle of Babylon. Turn about is fair play, but can Eric vonAnderseck back up his claim? Not at all. Do not be deceived. The apostle Eric is not a good and true teacher of Christian doctrine and his paper against me is lacking in substance and depth, but is long on opinion and personal attacks.
The apostle Eric vonAnderseck's web goes on to cite "30 analysis exposing Matt Slick and his Watchman Show." What it turns out to be is a misrepresentation of what I've said combined with faulty logic, opinions, and personal attacks from various "analysts." None of the analysts list any degrees or any theological training which might help validate their opinions. Instead, these so-called "analysts" offer short comments of attempted rebuttals which are not very good at all.
Therefore I will analyze the 30 points and attempt to demonstrate that the "apostle Eric" (and his analysts) do a very poor job of analyzing me and my comments. Eric not only teaches some very faulty doctrines, but he is also a bad apologist.
The bold statements are quotes from the website. I have responded after each one.
- "Matt Slick wrote that Eric is a self-appointed apostle. Is this true?"
- Instead of addressing the issue at hand, this "analyst" named Maria, ignores the issue and raises another. Eric is not appointed by God. Therefore, he is self appointed. But she does not address that. Instead, she says, "Matt Slick also said that real apostles are psychics, that they should know things that other people are trying to hide." This is not what I said. I did not say that real apostles were psychics. This is a misrepresentation of what I have stated. Her comments were generated out of an earlier conversation where the "apostle Eric" was an able to discern who I was. I asked why he didn't know if he was a true apostle of God?
- Maria continues with an ad hominem attack against my person, stating about me: "His own carnal mindedness is his own God..." Sadly, this is nothing more than an opinion, yet is offered as a rebuttal.
- If Maria wishes to portray herself as defender of the truth, then she should at least get the facts straight before she makes her criticism public.
- "Matt Slick doesn't think that Jesus is the focus of Eric's conversion."
- Again, with this point an opinion is offered - by "Charlie A" - as a rebuttal, which says that Eric's focus is on Jesus. Okay, that's fine. People are entitled to their opinions. But I have read much of Eric's material and I find it to be convoluted, misleading, and false in many ways. Of course, those who work with Eric will defend him. This is to be expected.
- But since Eric has yet to define the Trinity, says that salvation is a process, you must speak in tongues, we don't need to be baptized, grace is not unmerited favor, and that righteousness is gained by obedience to a standard, etc., we are still left to wonder which Jesus is the alleged focus of his writings.
- Anyone who teaches that he was the seventh in line in the pre-existence and that he is the apostle to the North American continent has problems. Jesus said that in the last days many false christs and false prophets would arise and deceived many, (Matt. 24:24). Eric, among others, is the fulfillment of Christ's prophecy.
- "Matt Slick says that according to the Bible, an apostle is one who has seen the risen Lord."
- An "analyst" by the name of John W states, "Many believers don't accept that criteria for apostles because Paul was an apostle and he did not see the risen Lord. Matt Slick's objections are only within his own theological background (which not everyone shares). If we are to listen to him then he is the one with all the correct doctrine. But he said himself that he did not have a calling. So Matt Slick is the self appointed apostle."
- First of all, Paul claimed that he had seen the Lord Jesus (1 Cor. 9:1; Acts 1:21-22). On the road to Damascus in Acts 9, Jesus appeared to Paul. Therefore, Paul had encountered the risen Lord and Paul appeals to this in 1 Cor. 9:1. So, John W is quite wrong.
Also, notice how John W tries to suggest that I am claiming to be the only one with all the correct doctrine. This is of course ridiculous and I'm making no such claim. But in order to make his case sound better, such statements, which are ad hominem attacks, must be made. Nevertheless, I am not a self appointed apostle. I do not claim to be anything other than a Christian and a defender of the Christian faith.
- "Matt Slick says that while reading through Eric's website we are introduced to new thoughts and new terms with a writing style reminiscent of Mary Baker Eddy in Science and Health With Key."
- JoAnne C.'s rebuttal to this is to simply say that she disagrees. She further states "as a student of the apostle Eric I have not found any of the Christian Science doctrines."
- Notice the error here. I did not state that Eric was teaching Christian Science doctrines. I stated that the writing style is reminiscent of that of the founder of Christian science in that he uses new terms and has a style similar to its founder. I can state this because I have been studying the cults since 1980.
- This person then concludes by using the term "CARM Cult guru." This is not an adequate rebuttal to my statement. It is an empty and emotionally laden attempt to defame my character and imply that I have false motives.
- "Matt quotes a clip from Eric teaching about the elements of the gospel: "These elements are not only paired to show binary relationship, but must also be understood in proclitic relationship." Then Matt says, "Wading through such prose requires much effort and acceptance of what Eric tells you the Bible "really" means."
- Another analyst by the name of "Melissa" says that she disagrees with my assessment. She says that she does understand what Eric is saying. Of course, this would be the case since she is a member of the group that has been trained in the method's and substance of teaching within it. Nevertheless, phrases like "binary relationship" and "proclitic relationship" are good examples of the kind of new phraseology that is used by Eric and his teaching method. The danger here is that he can introduce phrases and then tell you what those phrases mean. As a person learns these new phrases, he can easily be led into believing something false since Eric tells you what these new phrases and terms mean. This is potentially very dangerous, particularly since the Christian church throughout history has not employed them nor supported them.
- And yes, I do say self appointed because, since he contradicts biblical doctrine, he is not an apostle of the true and living God. He must then be self appointed.
- "Matt Slick thinks Eric is talking about himself when he refers to his calling. He wrote, "As I read through his material, in my opinion he talked about how he is called of God, a true apostle, prepared by an angel..."
- Another "analyst" named Patricia states that Eric is not talking about himself, "as other so-called apostles do. He is teaching sound doctrine..." Unfortunately, no examples are given except two short paragraphs of unrelated prose. Furthermore, her comment is an ambiguous statement. Without a doubt Eric does talk about himself since he must attempt to establish his position of authority as an apostle called out from the pre-existence.
- Also, to offer a comparison to other "so-called apostles" is a meaningless statement. What other "so-called apostles?" None are listed. Furthermore, this person begs the question by assuming that what Eric is teaching is true. Of course this is to be expected by those who follow his teachings. Just as Mormons believe Mormonism is true and the Jehovah's Witnesses believe the watchtower is true, those who follow the apostle Eric will believe basically whatever he tells them -- as they already have been.
- "Matt: I don't want to see anyone afflicted or held under bondage by Eric's false teachings."
- Rina B dismisses my comments as a "tool of fear and suspicion." Rina is entitled to his/her opinion. But the fact is that Eric's teachings are indeed false in many areas as I have documented in my previous writings. Rina's statement is not rebuttal, but opinion.
- "Matt Slick finds fault with what the apostle Eric wrote, "When Jesus said, 'It is written' He was saying, 'This is the desired pattern of the Spirit.'" Matt Slick says that this is incorrect. Matt S. says, "When Jesus said, "It is written," He was referring to the Old Testament Scriptures."
- Maria responds to this by stating "Moses wrote about the articles on service for the temple that this was the desired pattern of the spirit to represent Jesus..." Unfortunately, Maria fails to understand the context of what was really said regarding Moses and she fails to examine Jesus' use of the term, "It is written" (which I have done here).
- Jesus would often quote the Old Testament and state, "it is written ..." Take, for example, Mark 7:6, "Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me." Quite simply, that is how Jesus referred to the Old Testament Scriptures. But the apostle Eric says that that isn't what Jesus "really" meant. Eric says Jesus really meant it was a "desired pattern of the spirit." That is not what Jesus said. But, if anyone were to believe Eric's twist on this statement, then he would be that much more willing to believe the other errors as he reinterprets scripture according to his own preferences -- just as he has done here.
- "Matt Slicks objects to the apostle Eric's teaching concerning the Godhead. He quotes Eric as saying, "There is only ONE God (Eph.4:6), and that ONE God chose to manifest Himself in 3 different ways: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit (Mt.28:19)."
- Another "analyst" by the name of John W. then states "Matt wants to interject the word 'modelism' as a means to scare his readers into subjection." First of all, John is not a good mind reader since I am not trying to scare anyone into subjection. Second, after reading Eric's description of God, it is apparent that he is a modelist in that he denies the doctrine of the Trinity and affirms the teaching that God is one person in three forms. This has been condemned by the Christian Church as the false teaching. If Eric does indeed teach the true doctrine on the Trinity, then I would welcome a correction on this subject. I would very much welcome him putting up a statement on his website defining the true doctrine of the Trinity and maintaining that God is indeed three simultaneous, distinct, and eternal persons known as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- "Some object to God restoring the original foundation of truth through the apostle Eric by saying, "I express deep concern for your pursuit of Eric."
- I'm not sure what the purpose of that statement was or how it can be rebutted. But this analyst called JoAnne states, "Could it be that Matt is starting his own religious group? He boasts of multitudes of people who visit his site and embrace his theology and use him and his standards as the criteria to measure ALL others. Again, Matt is caught in his guile, deceit and hypocrisy." (All caps in original).
- Please note is that she is manufacturing an attack upon my person with unsubstantiated questions. This method of attack is often made when people cannot defend their position very well or feel threatened.
- Nevertheless, I'll answer these objections. No I'm not trying to start my own religious group. I do not "boast" of multitudes coming to my site, but I do mention how many come to carm when asked and I give glory to God for it. What I write is not the criteria to measure "ALL" others. I only analyze what I see the Scriptures teaching in accordance with historic Christianity. I often check my analysis with others of equal or greater learning in biblical theology, being careful to not make any mistakes and mislead anyone regarding doctrine.
- Finally, JoAnne offers nothing but another ad hominem attack with the words in reference to me: "guile, deceit, and hypocrisy." You would think that if these were real analysts, such personal attacks would be left out.
In conclusion, after reading through their first ten "analysis," nothing of any consequence or substance has been offered. Comments were taken out of context, mind reading attempts made, my character was attacked, and faulty logic was used repeatedly. It is very apparent that their comments and reasoning are sufficient to satisfy Eric, which is why their material is placed on his web site.