Ruckman, his defenders, and the issue of accountability

Although there are slight variations in the manner in which Ruckman defenders attempt to defend Ruckman, We often see a common theme. The theme often centers on such arguments as:

“Let God judge him”

“The fruit of his ministry (i.e. souls saved, Bible institute graduates on the mission field, etc.) vindicates him”

“You have no right to judge him until you’ve seen as many souls saved as he has”

“Leave him alone. Who are you to judge him?”

“Everybody makes mistakes and nobody is perfectly consistent, so you can’t expect that from him”

“You are wasting valuable time attacking another brother in Christ”

The principle of biblical accountability

Ruckman claims to be a Christian, in which case it would make him part of the body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12 indicates that we are to watch out for one another and implies that we are to keep each other accountable. 1 Peter 5:5 instructs us “all of you be subject one to another.” Many other Scripture passages teach Biblical accountability, including Galatians 6:1-2 and Ephesians 5:21.

As a leader who writes many books, pastors a large church, trains young men for the ministry in his Bible institute, and preaches nationwide in many conferences, Ruckman should set an example and not resist efforts to keep himself accountable. To the contrary, Ruckman’s writings are full of ad hominem reactions for those who dare to question him. The following is but one example:

Look out for any Fundamental, Pre-Millenial, Independent, Soul winning boob that spits, spats, splutters, or flushes when you say “Ruckman.”…he’d burn the King James Bible if it wouldn’t “hurt his testimony.” (Ruckman, Peter. The Book of Acts, 1974, 1984, p. 643)

Dr. Ruckman and his defenders need to realize he is not above accountability, and as a leader is held to a higher standard and faces greater accountability (James 3:1). Like any other preacher, he should be transparent and welcome legitimate criticism. The fact that he is credited with many conversions or any other type of success does not excuse him from any Biblical responsibility.

Ruckman believes in accountability for others

The most cursory examination of Ruckman’s writings reveals that he believes whole-heartedly in keeping others accountable, often to the extreme. If he limited himself to keeping others accountable (in a humble manner) who are violating clear Scriptural teaching, we would have no objection. However, we believe he frequently goes overboard in judging the personal opinions of others especially in subjective areas in which the Bible is silent. He has written entire books hundreds of pages in length (such as The Christian Liar’s Library, The Last Grenade) judging other Christians with some of the harshest invectives imaginable. Those who defend Ruckman saying he should be left alone, but see nothing wrong with Ruckman writing entire books judging other Christians harshly, are exercising a double standard.

Ruckman himself says a man should not dish out what he cannot take

Since a man should not "dish out" what he cannot "take," and since the law of life is that a man sows what he reaps, it is always interesting to see how these girl scouts react when the retaliating rifle fire starts. (Ruckman, Peter. The Last Grenade. 1990, p. 234) 

Take you beatin’ like a man, brother! Don’t let them intimidate you with anything. … “Sock it to me, baby! You ain’t knocked me down yet!” Pour it on, Alexandria! (Ruckman, Peter. The Christian Liar’s Library. 1997, p. 318)

Although we don't go near approaching Ruckman's level in our criticism of him, we believe that Ruckman should have a taste of his own medicine.

Why we believe Matthew 18 does not apply 

I did write Ruckman a personal letter several years ago in which I pointed out a few things that now appear on this website, so I did fulfill the first part about going to him alone according to Matthew 18. He wrote back with a nasty letter, accusing me of being a "lying rascal" (among other things) without demonstrating that I had indeed lied. I live far away from Peter Ruckman, and he did not personally "commit a trespass against me" (until he responded to my personal letter). I do not belong to his local church, so I could not possibly take him before his church (which he pastors) if he would not listen to me alone in person or with witnesses. Judging by the way he publicly bashes those who disagree with him (going as far as saying they should "rot in their own dung" in one case), he makes it clear that he does not want to be approached. 

I have a question for Ruckman defenders who believe I should have applied Matthew 18 before writing about Peter Ruckman: Why have you not likewise asked Ruckman if he has applied Matthew 18 before bashing people publicly in his books?

Accountability as Webmaster of this site

One of the ways I try to stay accountable is by documenting everything I say about Ruckman. As promised, I will reveal my identity by the time my book on Ruckmanism is ready. I didn't want to be distracted by projected personal attacks by name while working on the book. In the meantime, the comment section is available to the public in part for the sake of accountability. I welcome legitimate criticism, which is revealed in some of the comments which have been approved. Most of the comments that were not approved had to do with a lack of substance on the part of the poster or an attitude implying that Ruckman was above criticism.


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1 Response to Ruckman, his defenders, and the issue of accountability

  1. Craig says:

    This is good stuff. From someone who has personally attended a ‘Ruckman’ church for a few months, and wanted to give it and him the benefit of the doubt, I can tell you from my personal experience that the leaders hold Dr. Ruckman above criticism. When I tried to speak about how the Bible says a Christian should conduct himself and treat others, I was told I was effeminate and sensitive. The truth be told is that the main members of the congregation came from dysfunctional lives, and they were very much alone in life, and on low incomes. I think that ‘Ruckmanism’ preys on people who are in vulnerable positions, which is what cults are known to do. Someone can criticize me for this, but I am only speaking of personal experience from being in a ‘Ruckman’ church for several months. It was a bit scary when I left, and had the expected personal attacks. I just worry now about other vulnerable people being lead astray. Keep up the good work, and if you finish your book, i’d like to get a copy for myself and maybe to pass on to others too.

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