It has been brought to our attention that certain Bible teachers are using a quote found in Things That Differ to imply that Pastor Stam would be sympathetic with what they believe to be a fuller understanding of the Word, rightly divided. On page 13, Pastor Stam states:
“Though we have sought to make this book as comprehensive as possible, it is not presumed to be exhaustive for, as we say, the field of dispensational study is as great as the Bible itself. Should there still be some time remaining before the Lord returns to catch His own away, the Spirit will enlighten the hearts and minds of others to see what we have missed and other writers will doubtless improve upon what has been written here.”
While we would never want to discourage anyone from being a Berean, we do want to set the record straight as to what Pastor Stam does and does not believe. This matter has caused a great deal of confusion among the brethren. In fact, we have received an endless stream of letters regarding the subjects that follow. Since we feel Pastor Stam’s views are in full agreement with the Word, rightly divided, they will also serve as the official position of the Berean Bible Society.
Prayer: Over the years, Pastor Stam and I have had numerous discussions regarding the dispensational aspects of prayer. He was so dismayed with those who teach that believers should only pray about spiritual things, he used to say, “But God is our heavenly Father, like any good father He’s interested in every area of our lives. I don’t deny that we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies, but this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t offer thanks at meals or pray about an upcoming trip, Paul did!! In fact, he encouraged others to pray for his deliverance from a physical prison, didn’t he?” (See Phil. 1:19,20). Mr. Stam writes:
“Be careful [care-full, anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
`And’ what? “Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive?” NO!!
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep [garrison] your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6,7).
“Here is ample proof that God is not deaf to the cries of His children in this age. He wants them to pour out all their hearts before Him. There is nothing He does not wish to hear about. He says, `Tell me everything and be anxious about nothing for I’ll work it all out for your good.’ He who loves us is working out our future!
“How foolish then to say `What’s the use of praying if we may not even receive what we ask for?’ It is because of the very `darkness of this age’ that we must be willing to leave the outcome with Him. He may grant our request—but if not, He will give us what He knows is better! He is the Head of the Body and, remember, the head always does the thinking.”
—The Berean Searchlight
The Word of God: Although Pastor Stam has always held the King James Version of the Bible in high esteem, believing it to be a faithful and trustworthy translation of the original languages, he has never endorsed the teaching that it is perfect, inerrant, or without proven error, as some teach. He writes:
“Is the King James Version inerrant? If so, which edition? The late edition, which most `Inerrant KJV’ believers use? This would be like the pastor saying, `This Bible, the King James Version, is word-for-word, the inspired, inerrant Word of God,’ while holding up a late edition of the KJV. For remember, the King James Version has been edited and revised several times.
“Is it then the original 1611 edition of the KJV that is word-for-word inspired and inerrant? Then what about the hundreds of marginal notes put in by the translators, suggesting alternate readings? This in itself proves that the KJV text is not inerrant—not even the 1611 edition….But more: if the 1611 edition of the KJV is a word-for-word inspired, inerrant Word of God, it surely must follow that the English-speaking people had no Bible prior to 1611 and that non-English-speaking people today have no Bible at all!
“The `Inerrant KJV’ theory is, as we have said, not merely erroneous; but it is foolish, and especially so when associated with the preservation of the Bible through all generations.”
—The Berean Searchlight
The Lord’s Table: Concerning the Lord’s Supper, Pastor Stam has always taught that the Apostle Paul received a special revelation from our Lord regarding communion. The command of Christ is unmistakably clear that it should be observed until He returns for the Church, which is His Body. Mr. Stam writes:
“We believe firmly that the celebration of the Lord’s Supper was included in the great revelation committed by the glorified Lord to Paul and is therefore an integral part of the `one faith’ to which he refers in Ephesians 4:5, that body of doctrine to which all believers in this present dispensation of grace should subscribe.”
—The Lord’s Supper and the Bible
Chastisement: Based upon the fact we are living in the dispensation of Grace, many teach that God no longer chastises His saints. However, it is Pastor Stam’s conviction that chastisement is a transdispensational truth. “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world” (I Cor. 11:30-32). He writes:
“We do not believe that the weakness, sickness and death referred to in these verses were the result of miraculous judgments dealt out to the recalcitrant believers at Corinth by spiritual leaders. The apostle states all too clearly that they were chastisements from God, inflicted on irresponsible believers that they should not be condemned with the world (ver. 32). This reminds us of that oft-repeated truth of Scripture.” “For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth” (Heb. 12:6, et al).
—Commentary on I Corinthians
While the above brethren are certainly entitled to their opinions, we would greatly appreciate it if they didn’t infer that Pastor Stam, or the Berean Bible Society, would endorse their teachings in any way. As ministers of the gospel may God help us to have a balance as we minister to others.
Copies of the above articles and books are available upon request.