It is understood that the term “cult” is often used in a vague sense without a standard definition. Some of the most extreme cults require living in a communal setting, control over personal decisions, cutting ties with family, among other anti-social behaviors. When some people think of a cult, they visualize a tight-knit group of this sort living in a compound in isolation where everyone and everything is bound to the dictates of the cult leader. Those are the most extreme cults. Are those the only groups deserving a cult label? Dictionary.com starts off with an eight-part definition for the term cult, which we provide here for your convenience:
1. a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers: [example] the physical fitness cult.
3. the object of such devotion.
4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
5. Sociology. a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.
6. a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.
7. the members of such a religion or sect.
8. any system for treating human sickness that originated by a person usually claiming to have sole insight into the nature of disease, and that employs methods regarded as unorthodox or unscientific.
Only one of the eight possible definitions refer to an extreme communal living behavior, and only in the last part of the definition: "6. a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader." However, many of the other more broad definitions at dictionary.com focus on a person or ideal that is the focus of devotion or interest.
Further down dictionary.com provides an alternative definition from the British dictionary that does not even mention the isolation from society element:
1. a specific system of religious worship, esp with reference to its rites and deity
2. a sect devoted to such a system
3. a quasi-religious organization using devious psychological techniques to gain and control adherents
4. sociol a group having an exclusive ideology and ritual practices centred on sacred symbols, esp one characterized by lack of organizational structure
5. intense interest in and devotion to a person, idea, or activity [example] the cult of yoga
6. the person, idea, etc, arousing such devotion
7. something regarded as fashionable or significant by a particular group (as modifier): a cult show
8. (modifier) of, relating to, or characteristic of a cult or cults: a cult figure
Any reasonable person that is remotely familiar with Ruckmanism recognizes that it does not involve “members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.” If this was the only way the term cult was used, or its only definition, then Ruckmanism is not a cult. However, many other aspects of the definitions provided (such as “intense interest in and devotion to a person, idea, or activity”) seem to fit Ruckmanism like a glove.
It should be noted that it is a frequent practice for Ruckmanites to bring up extreme cults as a diversionary tactic when defending themselves from cultic behavior accusations:
…a "cult" under some heretic called "Ruckman." The idea is to identify Bible believers with people like the "Davidians" under Koresh, or Jim Jones. (Bible Believers’ Bulletin. Dec. 1993, p. 11)
Read our research and decide for yourself whether Ruckmanism deserves to be described as cultic or an outright cult.
In practice Peter Ruckman has a very loose definition of what constitutes a cult
The fact is that Ruckman himself is very loose with his use of the term “cult.” This can be demonstrated by his frequent use of the “Alexandrian Cult” label. He even has a 257-page book about what he chooses to call “the Alexandrian Cult.” We examined the titles of articles in the Bible Believers’ Bulletin and counted 91 cases of utilizing the term cult or cultic in the titles of articles from 1978-2014! An example of one of these include “Cult Members at Lynchburg, Va. Speak Up For Jerry Falwell” (Bible Believers’ Bulletin July 1979, p. 2). Here are some scattered examples of how loose Ruckman is in applying the cult term to others, some being respected figures of Christianity:
Cultists…Matthew Henry…A.T. Robertson, Machen, Warfield, Robert Dick Wilson, Gleason Archer (Ruckman, Peter. Minor Prophets Commentary. Pensacola: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1978, 1984 p. 466)
And the Alexandrian Cult has as many Evangelicals and Fundamentalists in it as it has Liberals and Neo-Evangelicals. (Ruckman, Peter. The book of Minor Prophets Vol. 1 Hosea-Nahum. 1978, 1984 reprint, p. 258)
…these Jim (Bob) Jones people… (Ruckman, Peter. Twenty-Two Years of the Bible Believers’ Bulletin Vol. 8 Essays on Bible Topics. 2010, p. 85)
If we used Ruckman’s own loose definitions of “cultists,” “cult members” and “Jim (Bob) Jones people,” Ruckmanism is indeed a cult! We have written about Ruckman’s use of the “Alexandrian Cult” label in our article The Alexandrian Cult and its Creed: A fantasy of Peter Ruckman.
Ruckman has publicized, repeated and encouraged the cultic statements of others about himself or his views
Ruckman has frequently used his Bible Believers’ Bulletin to publicize cultic statements about himself written by others. Observe these examples:
The Filipino people are so loyal. Every one of these men read your literature, Dr. Ruckman. The whole time I was there, we would sit out under the stars at night and have little “preacher” sessions. Your name was in much of the talks. They have learned a lot from your influence. They told me that you are the “big dog” and they are “the puppies.” (“A Report From the Philippines” Bible Believers’ Bulletin. Feb. 2008, p. 18)
You and your friends are so filled with “Ruckmanitis” that you are so blind to the truth that God has revealed to the Body of Christ via Dr. Ruckman. … Reject dozens of Bible truths that God has revealed to Dr. Ruckman with the result being that they stay thirty years behind the Body of Christ and never catch up. You see, “Ruckman” is not the problem. The Lord has hidden these great truths from them because they have rejected the source from which Dr. Ruckman got them. He is only guilty of believing the source: the Book—the Authorized Version of 1611. (Waddle, Tom. “The Source” Bible Believers’ Bulletin. May 2008, p. 17)
As you now, [sic] the faculties and staffs of the fifty major Christian Colleges in America have decided that “Ruckmanism is a cult,” and “Ruckman is a cult leader who teaches heresy.” I thought you might like to see the other side of the coin.…Then I came in contact with Brother Ruckman’s material. It was absolutely, totally from God. I have no doubt whatsoever! Brother Ruckman’s work confirmed to me, factually and historically, what God was trying to tell me for a long time. … I get letters like that all year round. (“From a Typical ‘Cult Member’” Bible Believers’ Bulletin. June 2006, p. 20)
I now officially consider myself a “Ruckmanite” that believes everything I hear and read by you, and I want to be a little nut in Kentucky who follows the “nut in Florida” as long as he follows the leading of the Holy Spirit of God. (Bible Believers’ Bulletin. Oct. 1999, p. 10)
In March, 1992 the Bible Believers’ Bulletin passed along a demonstration for a method that a Ruckmanite pastor utilized with prospective missionaries for filtering out those who reacted strongly against Ruckmanism. The hypothetical conversation in the demonstration between the Ruckmanite pastor and the prospective missionary led to this key part: “But if he [the missionary] says, ‘I believe the King James Bible,’ then my next statement will be, ‘Oh, you must be a Ruckmanite!’” (the pastor pretends to be against Ruckman in order to elicit a reaction). This technique has cultic overtones, and it reveals that in the end —for Ruckmanites— it’s all about Ruckman! A side benefit, however, is that balanced non-Ruckmanite missionaries would not feel comfortable ending up inadvertently in a Ruckmanite church.
There is an extreme and unbalanced reaction against those who disagree with Ruckmanite views
Ruckman blasts others in some of the crudest ways imaginable for not holding to his dogmatic views. If you don’t believe his nonsense that the KJV contains advanced revelations, corrects the Greek and Hebrew, is superior to the originals, etc., and you dare warn others about him, Ruckman will label you a cultist. For example, he has placed a defender of the KJV in his “Alexandrian Cult,” namely Bruce Lackey, author of Why I Believe the Old King James Bible and Can you Trust your Bible? (he answers in the affirmative). Ruckman even called Lackey an “elitist tradesman from the Alexandrian Cult.” (Ruckman, Peter. King James Onlyism versus Scholarship Onlyism. p. 3). Notice these other examples:
They [other KJV defenders] are not King James Bible champions. They are mean, thieving, sneaky, little, egotistical brats who have achieved “success” through fraud. (Bible Believers’ Bulletin Oct. 2004 p. 14)
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. Acts. 1974, 1984, p. 643)
We call these diseased pastors “patients.” They are mentally sick. The disease is called “Ruckmanitis,” or “obsession with Ruckman.” Bring up that name, and they will foam at the mouth (if they are honest!). …these powerless, fruitless fakirs… (Ruckman, Peter. BBB reprint #7 (Strictly Personal). 2004, Pensacola: Bible Baptist Bookstore, pp. 490-491)
The latest and most fantastic cult that has sprung up among Baptist “Fundamentalists” is the “anti-Ruckman-King James Only Cult.” (Ruckman, Peter. Bible Believers’ Bulletin Aug. 1998, p. 3)
Ruckman was hypersensitive at times and frequently reacted to his critics with a vengefulness far exceeding the scope of the matter being responded to.
Ruckman’s followers have often defended him in a cultic fashion
Some Ruckmanites are so cultic that in one case one declared the calendar was wrong in order to not have to admit that Ruckman was mistaken in guessing the wrong date for the rapture! This is evident in a book by the title Ruckmanism Ruckus by Geneha Kim, a 2006 graduate of Ruckman’s Bible institute. The lengths to which Kim goes to defend Ruckman in his book constitutes a tragic, but likewise fascinating look into cultic behavior.
Kim totally buys into Ruckman’s excuse for guessing wrongly that the rapture would occur in 1989: “The reason why God did not come back at May 14, 1989, is because today’s calendars are in error.” (p. 166) Kim continues defending Ruckman as follows on p. 166: “Dr. Ruckman did not do anything wrong. He merely timed the dates from the Bible and used scripture references for his guidelines.” (p. 166) Kim refuses to see anything wrong with what Ruckman did and brings it up yet again in another chapter as follows: “But as already covered in Chapter 10, Dr. Ruckman is not proven wrong on his timing of the second advent.” (p. 291) Notice the cultic use of the all-inclusive word always in the following statement: “However, Dr. Ruckman has always abided by the scriptures as his final authority, including his date-setting of the Rapture.” (p. 167)
His thinking is so twisted that he blames the calendar for being wrong instead of admitting that Ruckman was wrong in his rapture date guesses! What more proof could be needed to establish that at the very least Ruckmanism is a personality cult?
Ruckmanites are often silent about some of Ruckman’s most controversial views
Ruckman’s unbiblical position that abortion is not murder and life does not begin at conception is well known. In light of this it would be of interest to briefly look at the case of how a Ruckmanite handles Ruckman while in disagreement with his views on abortion. Pastor Glen Stocker, who studied under Ruckman, wrote a 52-page booklet in 1991 by the title What God says about Abortion vs. Pro-Life. In his booklet, Stocker makes some good arguments from Scripture, science and medicine that are in contradiction with what Ruckman has taught. For this Stocker should be commended. However, he is absolutely silent about Ruckman’s views on abortion in the booklet (he surely knew, having graduated from PBI). Not only did he not warn against Ruckman's views on abortion in the book, he actually mentioned Ruckman positively (for one of the quotes he is known for, unrelated to abortion) in passing on p. 12! Stocker has continued to associate himself openly with Ruckman, such as scheduling Ruckman to preach in his very own church the very year he wrote the booklet (Bible Believers’ Bulletin Jan. 1991, p. 7). Stocker was also a keynote speaker in Ruckman's 2008 "Bad Attitude Blowout" conference.
Another example of a Ruckmanite being silent about some of Ruckman’s most controversial views would be Geneha Kim, whom we already mentioned along with his book. Even though Ruckmanism Ruckus was a lengthy book (nearly 400 pages) and he assured readers on p. 311 “I have covered as much as I could in which Christians find fault with Dr. Peter S. Ruckman,” notice all the Ruckmanite teachings that were not mentioned (or at least not dealt with) in the book:
- Marriage is “flesh joining flesh”
- Extreme beliefs about UFO’s
- Ruckman saying abortion is not murder
- Ruckman’s belief in superstitions
- Twisted view of God’s love
- Where the Word of God was before 1611 (the matter is brought up in the book, but the question is not answered)
- Bizarre government conspiracy theories
Ruckmanites often feel excused for their silence by repeatedly making statements to the effect that “we are not saying that Ruckman is perfect” and leaving it at that. Only the most daring among them dare to specify areas in which Ruckman is wrong in their eyes. It often occurs only when someone questioning Ruckmanism brings up the offending topic. In that case a Ruckmanite will often state something akin to “I’ve never said Ruckman was perfect” and they will often minimize the matter and insist that it is still harmless and productive to read after Ruckman.
Ruckman’s criteria for spotting a cult is self-condemning
Assisted by a quote from Walter Martin, Ruckman provides the following brief formula for spotting a cult:
The way you spot a cult is by their use of a word which to them bears a different meaning than the Biblical use of the term. (Ruckman, Peter. The Bible Babel. 1994, p. 1)
We have done a number of studies in which we believe Ruckman is guilty of this exact practice in his teachings. Notice these examples, among others:
Astonishing things Ruckman claims to know that no one else can find in the Bible
Ruckman’s unbiblical spiritual circumcision teaching
Ruckman’s unbalanced definition of marriage
Ruckman: “The destruction of a child in the fetal or embryonic stage is NOT counted as murder”
Ruckman’s self-serving interpretation for 2 Timothy 3:16
Ruckman’s multiple plans of salvation for different ages
False doctrine is prominent in its main teachings
The above heavily-documented articles listed also serve to prove that false doctrines are an integral part of Ruckmanism, which is at the core of all cults. We are not covering false doctrine in depth in this article, because it is dealt with extensively throughout Ruckmanism.org. Ruckmanite churches typically try to identify themselves as Baptists, which is very deceptive, considering that the teachings they harp on the most are not historic Baptist doctrines. What Baptist churches were known for teaching a combination of believing in plans of salvation requiring works for certain periods, no women in heaven, Jesus could have sinned if he wanted to, spiritual circumcision, space travel and reproduction in heaven, sleeping together constituting marriage, the KJV can correct the Greek, is doubly inspired, and contains advanced revelations; rapture date guessing, abortion is not murder, among other reprehensible and unbiblical views we have documented at ruckmanism.org? Only God can see the heart, but it seems as if Ruckmanite churches who place "Baptist" on their church name are committing religious fraud in hopes of luring in the unsuspecting.
Ruckman himself teaches that cult leaders cultivate their education background to pass themselves off as scholars
Notice what Ruckman wrote about this:
In addition to this, every Cult leader cultivates his (or her) educational background so that he (or she) will pass off as a “scholar” even where not one earned degree shows up. (Ruckman’s Battlefield Notes. 2003, p. 158)
Ruckman does have an earned doctorate, but this should not excuse him from being suspected of using this very tactic. Does Peter Ruckman actually say not to trust any scholar except himself? He doesn’t say it outright, no doubt because of the anti-cultic backlash he would receive. However, in examining Ruckman’s abundant writings, a pattern clearly emerges. He denounces all other Christian scholars of recent times (often going back hundreds of years), and at the same time keeps propping himself up as the one scholar to fill that void (all the while being careful not to call himself a scholar). Ruckmanites are quick to point out times when Ruckman has stated that he is not a scholar. However, this is false humility, because he despises the term “scholar.” He has instead referred to himself as a “professional teacher,” which is virtually synonymous with calling himself a scholar. (Bible Believers’ Bulletin. Sep. 1993, p. 4)
Ruckman stated that cult leaders cultivate their educational background to pass themselves off as scholars. But does not Ruckman practice this himself? Observe this example:
By 1901, the Lord God Almighty was “fed up” (see Isaiah 1:10-13) with Christian colleges, seminaries, and universities, and as J. Frank Norris and Billy Sunday tried to get things back together against hopeless odds, the Lord decided he would raise up a “joke on scholars.” The joker’s name was Peter Ruckman. … What the Lord needed was a “bookworm” who could digest 500 years of Christian scholarship, interpret it correctly, place it in its proper light in regard to the Holy Bible, and defend it against 5,000 to 10,000 apostate, conservative scholars who would rather die and go to hell than submit to God’s authority. The pedagogy began November 19, 1921 [date of Ruckman’s birth]… (Bible Believers' Bulletin. Dec. 1985, p. 2)
Some cultic leaders know better than to publicly demand he be followed without question. Many are more subtle, and use manipulative tactics to tear all other leaders and teachers down leaving only themself to follow. The cultic leader may not be on record stating that only he should be followed, but that is by design when more subtle tactics suit their purpose. Ruckman more commonly uses the tactic of self-elevation or name calling and ridicule when others he targets (often those who question him publicly) do not agree with his strange teachings. See also Ruckman teaching that no other scholar can be trusted other than himself.
Ruckmanites make exclusive “us versus them” type statements that have a cultic slant
Preachers who will not preach on the street are not followers of Jesus Christ or Paul (Bible Believers' Bulletin Mar. 2001, p. 1)
If they refuse to be intimidated by “Ruckman,” then they must stay subverted to the apostates who intimidated them; (Ruckman, Peter. BBB reprint vol 6 Worldwide Damnation/Homosexuals. Pensacola, FL: Bible Baptist Bookstore, 2003, p. 572)
“Ruckmanism” or “heresy.” You say, “Why?” BECAUSE IT IS “SOUND DOCTRINE;” IT IS BIBLICAL TRUTH FROM THE HOLY BIBLE. (Bible Believers' Bulletin Feb. 2006, p. 14)
“Ruckmanitess”: a contagious, terminal disease which sidetracks every proud, self-righteous, blind, Bible-perverting “Fundamentalist,” Conservative, and Evangelical who ever gets infected. (Bible Believers' Bulletin Mar. 2007 p. 14)
“Ruckmanism” is a smoke screen put up to cover and protect the sins of those who will not submit to any authority higher than their personal opinions and preferences. (Ruckman, Peter. The Last Grenade, p. 238)
“Ruckmanism” is an imaginary device invented to protect the income of the modern apostate Fundamentalist. …Ruckman is only a “threat” to the income of educated apostates; they know it. That is why they talk and act like they do ($$). (Bible Believers' Bulletin June 1994, p. 19)
Ruckmanites are obsessed with Ruckman
We recently spent a little time to see what Ruckmanites were posting on the internet, mostly Facebook and Youtube. Here are a few examples of what was noticed that prove how it is not hard to find cases of cultic obsession with Peter Ruckman:
1. A public Facebook post by a Ruckmanite pastor looking for someone to fill his pulpit during his absence: "Hello, looking for someone who is a Bible Believer who supports Dr. Ruckman to come preach…"
2. “I thank God for Dr. Peter S Ruckman” Sermon title on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy_DUUfRqcg&t=921s
3. “My journey to find Dr. Peter S. Ruckman and the perfect Word of God” lecture title https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlbmuN9CpAQ&t=37s
4. “How to honor Dr. Ruckman’s Legacy” sermon title according to the speaker, although assigned the title “Reformed Ruckmanism” when uploaded to Youtube. At the 2 hours 15-minute mark, Bill Grady affirms, “I have gained from the Ruckman position. He is my hero. He always will be. And I love his memory, because he changed my entire life.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-fkxrwvuUY
5. "I am a translator of the books of Dr. Peter S. Ruckman for many years ago. When I translated his books, I filled with his spirit (Ruckmanism) and his books and KJV beliefs are my lifelong handbooks." https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/pensacola-fl/peter-ruckman-6900884
6. A tribute to the Best Bible teacher this world has ever known, Dr. Peter Sturges Ruckman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Q2N4o-79Ps
Obviously, Ruckmanism on the internet is not limited to Facebook and Youtube. Ruckmanism is rampant on many websites and forums, especially those that deal with Bible version issues. Here is one brief example of a statement we found on a forum that is cultic through and through: “I agree with everything Dr Ruckman has ever said.” https://www.glocktalk.com/threads/peter-s-ruckman-has-died-christianity-loses-a-great-teacher.1618863/
We do not expect to persuade many Ruckmanites to abandon Ruckmanism with our writing and research. This is because it is in many ways a personality cult. The more Ruckman is exposed, the more Ruckmanites simply coalesce around each other and become even more defensive and protective of their leader. Ruckmanism revolves around a person, and that person is not Christ (remember the “Ruckman changed my entire life” testimony?). Their loyalty is to Ruckman, not Christ and his Word. Pointing out false teachings do not phase them. The more that false teachings are brought to light, the more voraciously they defend him. We don’t see the same eagerness to defend Ruckmanite-type teachings prevalent among them that did not originate from Ruckman himself. The loyalty seems to be centered more on a man and his personal writings/audio/video teachings then on a general system of teachings.
What do you think? Is Ruckmanism a cult? Comment below.
Christians really have to be careful with the term cult. To many historians, Jesus and the disciples were a cult, and to many other groups today many small churches would fall into how they want to define the term as well. Personally, I've never liked using the term because it's too broad in definition. Biblical terms such as false teacher, false prophet, and false brethren are so much better than "cult".
There are many Ruckmanites who I would call "cultic" if I was going to use the term, but a full blown cult just doesn't apply because there simply isn't any single unified group of "Ruckmanites" anywhere, unless of course you count Bible Baptist Church in Pensacola. Either way, this is a very interesting discussion!
Having spent many years in the movement, having been infected by the spirit of Ruckman, & having been involved in a Ruckman church & his followers from a young age. I would say that Ruckmanism is a cult. There is ample evidence of this & I do not know how much more you would need outside of this very website.
Your'e either with Ruckman or against him. I have yet to meet someone who is neutral regarding Peter Ruckman. Everyone I have met either hates Ruckman or loves Ruckman. And for good reason. Ruckman has set it up this way by his manner of writing. You either love Ruckman & hate his enemies, or you hate Ruckman & love his enemies. He demonizes and frames his detractors with such venom & puts them in such a light that you cannot love them. Ruckman's poison pen describes them as horrible, lying, bible denying, bible correcting, apostate, unbelieving, nincompoops who don't know up from down (and I'm being fairly gracious to Ruckman here). He then portrays himself & his followers as the only standard & possessors of truth. No one else has anything of value to add, nor have they ever, because they were not & are not, as smart or as close to God as Ruckman. So Ruckman has fulfilled his goal in gaining a following by lying, misrepresentation, exaggeration, & novel false doctrines & insults. That is the mark of a cult.
Every Ruckaminte I have met acts just like Ruckman, teaches like Ruckman, uses a white board or chalk board like Ruckman, & teaches the same doctrine as Ruckman. I have heard them denounce some of Ruckman's teachings PRIVATELY, but I have yet to hear any public disagreement from Ruckamnite pastor about Peter Ruckman's doctrines. Ruckman or one of his cronies is always the standard by which somethig is to be judged if you are a Ruckmanite. If your'e not a Ruckmanite they might give you a token nod as a Christian, but your'e really outside the camp so to speak, & you have a lot to learn. I remember Ruckman telling his students one time that when they went out into the ministry to start working at a church somewhere after they graduated from his institute, that other preachers would be nervous around them becasue Ruckman gradutes knew so much more bible & doctrine than everyone else. Other preachers & pastors really don't kow anything in the eyes of a Ruckmanite. You are the cream of the crop, the remnant in the midst of Christian apostates in the Laodecian church age, the sole possessor of truth that can straighten out all of Christianity if only others will listen, if your'e a Ruckmanite. That is the mark of a cult.
I actually had to read & listen to material that was critical of Ruckman before I finally had my eyes opened to the truth about this man & his teachings. I had a mentor who I admired greatly & they introduced me to Ruckman. I was fed all the usual jargon about his wisdom, smarts, & wit which in turn intrigued me so that I became enamored & spellbound. And I have found this same phenomenon to be true everywhere Ruckman is found. He is the smartest, most spiritual man in the room so you had better listen up. That is a cult.
Ruckmanism has found a doctrine that no one has ever found before, that no one else knows about, & so therefore you have a special status as a follower of Peter Ruckman. Just like the Jehovah's Witnesses & the Mormons: Christianity was fractured & apostate until they came along with a special charasmatic leader sent from God & restored it back to it's true purity with a special book, a special prophet, & a special revelation. So it is with Peter Ruckman's extreme KJVOism & dispensationalism. That is a cult & Ruckman was the cult leader
Webmaster, your'e right. Ruckmanism is about Peter Ruckman & his novel teachings. Not the Lord Jesus Christ. That's why it's a false cult that needs to be exposed.
Thank you as always for your valuable insight as someone who was once an insider.
Webmaster define what a cult is. Because Ruckmans does not deny The Virgin birth,he does not deny The Trinity, also he doesn't deny the rapture of the believer's nor does he deny the 1,000 reign of Christ.So does that sound like a cult to you.
I in fact started off with a definition for a cult, from a neutral source no less! I even provided Ruckman’s brief definition of a cult. Have you asked yourself if all those who Ruckman calls members of a cult deny the virgin birth, the Trinity, the rapture, the 1000 year reign? Oh, I forgot, you Ruckmanites refuse to hold Ruckman to the same standard you impose on others because…you fill in the blank!
As a Christian who also grew up in the faith devouring everything Peter Ruckman wrote, I think you're "either, or" argument doesn't hold water. The argument that you either completely hate Ruckman or completely love Ruckman is an extremely immature statement and unrealistic.
For example, as I matured in Christ, I began to see the serious problems with Peter Ruckman's attitude, some of his claims and his follower's man worship, and so I have no problem blasting Ruckman or his followers when they're wrong. However, God has also given me the good grace to still be able to agree with Ruckman where he is actually scriptural and right on. Just an observation from another "insider" who used to be in the Ruckmanite camp.
There may have been some misunderstanding with the comments I made. I'm not sure if you were taking my words as a response to what you wrote, but I was not trying to rebut anything you said. And perhaps I did not communicate very well what I was trying to get across, and so I will try to be a little more clear. You wrote that you don't believe Ruckmanism is a cult, and you have a right to your opinion, and I can respect that opinion.
When I wrote my comments, I was not intending to present it as an "arguement" for or against anything, nor was I looking to debate whether Ruckamanism is a cult. I was simply trying to give my experience of what I have witnessed in my personal dealings with Ruckmanism & Ruckmanites.
When I wrote that your'e either for or against Ruckman and you either love him or hate him, I meant that Ruckman doesn't leave any wiggle room for disagreemant when he writes or teaches. What he says is law, and there can be no alternatives. And if you do disagree or take a different approach to the scriptures or the doctrines that he espouses (as so many have in the present and throughout church history), you are labeled as a lying hypocrite, a bible denying heretic, a bible corrector, and so on. When he writes that way and teaches that way, you really only have two options: love him or hate him. That's why he had so many enemies, even within the ranks of fundamentalism, not to mention outside of Baptisitic circles as well. And that's why he had so many loyal followers. If your'e in his circle, you almost have to make a choice to either be with him or against him, becasue Ruckman was always right. Sure, Ruckman might give a token concession here or there to people he disagreed with. He might give a nod sparingly to his enemies and even give them credit in certain areas or compliment on occasion, but then he'd turn right around and call then a heretic at the drop of a hat. That's what made Ruckman a walking contradiction. And the fact that I never heard any of his followers pick up on those massive contradictions one time in all of my years of interaction with them, proves cultic to me.
I never said I disagreed with Ruckman 100% of the time in everything. Of course I don't, and that would be a foolish mindset to espouse. I learned plenty from Ruckman, as you can from anyone. There are people throughout the entire scope of Christianity that would find plenty of things with which to agree with Ruckman. But that doesn't equal endoresement of recommendation. When it came to dealing with people, Ruckman tried to distance himself from mainstream Christianity as much as possible becasue he hated the idea of being assoctied with them because he thought everyone was a heretic based (many times) upon secondary issues. And so, the way I see it, he had many haters and many lovers/supporters because that's the way he liked it.
I'm not trying to portray myself as a victim. I'm just someone who went through something, and found a really great website with a lot of valuable information, and wanted to put my "two cents" in and maybe it will benefit someone else or prevent another from falling into the same trap as myself.
I would not recommend Ruckman to anyone because I do not believe he was an honest man and he confuses much more than he clarifies. I'm still trying to unlearn errors from his books & audio. You could probably shrink his massive collections of writings into a fairly small volume if you could eliminate all of the diatribes & rhetoric, because in my opinion, that was about 80% of his material. He was constantly looking for a fight, or to prove someone wrong, or correct someone. I believe he was very manipulative and would be an extremely poor example for any Christian to follow as this website has proven conclusively. God bless
Thanks for the clarification. Yeah Ruckman is a very mixed bag and there are so many issues we could continue to discuss. I didn't take any offence to anything you said, just thought I'd point out the problem in the "either, or" argument, although you did a good job clarifying what you meant. As for myself, there are a few books by Ruckman I would still recommend, but only to very seasoned and mature Christians. Thank God we survived his flaws.
Most, if not all, of the ruckmanites that I have encountered drove beater cars with bible verses plastered all over the car.
That's definitely one of the trademarks of a Ruckmanite. And it's almost a competition and a sign of spirituality between themselves and the rest of the world to see who can post more scripture on their cars or on their front lawns. Who shouts louder at church. Who has read their bible through more times. Who preaches on the street and who doesn't. It's a never ending battle for supremacy and superiority
I agree with most of what you said.
Here is a video of William P. Grady, a disciple of Ruckman, preaching at a church somewhere.
At about the 23:00 mark he begins his message and followers of Ruckman, called Ruckmanites, are portrayed as a remnant left over from the "Philadelphia church period" in the "Laodecian church age" who have kept the word of God. Grady calls them the "core group" in the KJV only camp. Ruckmanites are equated with the Waldensians of Church history and Peter Ruckman with their leader Peter Waldo.
Even among KJV onlyist, Ruckmanites are the stalwarts, the elite, & the cream of the crop.
It is also notable that Grady is inventing his own interpretation of the phrase "have kept thy word" in Revelation 3:8 to mean the the keeping of an English translation of the Bible. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and allow that perhaps he is using it as a spiritual application to his audience, but I don't believe he ever clarified that in his message so that causes great confusion in my opinion.
Grady also invents new terms such as "the Philadelphia church period" and "the Laodecian church age" which are found nowhere in scripture. Again, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, but it sounds as if he lays it out as a dogmatic doctrine that is true.
In my opinion, these are cultic traits that continue to flourish even after Ruckman is gone.
This is an easy answer. If the first words out of a Preacher , Teachers mouth aren't let's see what Gods word has to say about this or that, turn with me in your KJV bible chapter and verse, whatever topic they're teaching on , If they are not teaching from the word of God as He is the final authority on all matters then run your dealing with a cult. The problem with those who take on authority over God , they get puffed up to the point of lie after lie and it gets harder for them to repent of their nonsense and their followers seem to coax them on. Stop! putting these men in places of authority over God and other men.
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Who will do the Judging on all things, for the saved or unsaved? That would be God, Jesus Christ.
Saved —> 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
Unsaved —> Romans 2:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
Funny I didn't see Ruckman , Hyles, Gipp , Olsen , MacAuthur , or any other Pastor or Dr. or Preacher , etc. in the place of Jesus Christ as final judge, yet the way some of you people carry on, you would think their names should appear in the scripture , it tells me something about you and it's not a good.
Ruckman's puerile language stands out. How can anyone who has put away childish things 1 Cor 13:11 take him seriously.
The one thing I do not see in the comments is that Dr Ruckman was friends with Jack Chick. They are both dead now and they both taught a False plan of Salvation called lordship Salvation. This is why Ruckmanism is a Cult because they do not teach Bible Salvation.
Ruckmanite(s) I 1st discovered Dr. Ruckman in 1984. I have read a lot of what he has written and have heard and seen him preach numerous times. I went to his Church briefly. I think he was great in his defense of the AV 1611 KJV Bible. His chalk talk sermons were very original and good.
If you are a person like me who has read a lot of Dr. Ruckman’s books, heard a huge amount of his preaching…. Than you know he beats a dead horse better than anyone.
I find it extremely hypocritical of people who are followers of Dr. Ruckman, that get hateful anytime he is questioned. They can not dispute the criticism given so they lash out with extreme vile hate.
It is so hypocritical because no person who ever lived (In my opinion) has been more critical and vocal in lashing out at people he disagreed with than Dr. Peter S. Ruckman.
He was full of himself with such pride. He loved to pat himself on the back. In his sermons he would demand that people shout Amen at him. "What are you all asleep? If you will not say Amen…. I will!!! Amen. Amen. Amen.
He repeated himself over and over and over again in each of his commentaries. Try reading one of his longer books a Bible Commentary and you can skip at least 25% of the book because it is him repeating the same stuff he has said at least a few hundred times in his other books. He goes on the same long rants in his books that really have nothing to do with the topic at hand. These rants are directed at people he disagrees with.
The purpose for these rants is to heap praise on himself….. "I am more intelligent than anyone else."
He should have just written one book with all of these rants in it. He could have called it: My analysis of the errors of Christian Scholarship. And the errors of celebrated Lost People.
I do not think repeating the same rants over and over and over again was driven by anything other than his own ego. Something that may be true doesn’t need to be repeated in many different Bible Commentaries. This is redundant.
The biggest issue I have with Dr. Ruckman is his association with Jack Chick publications and with Jack Chick himself. Jack Chick publications teaches Lordship Salvation in everything they publish.
Dr. Ruckman has a booklet the ABC’s of Salvation which I think is one of the best explanations of how to be Saved. But he also has another book: Soul Winning. In this book he actually teaches Lordship Salvation.
He talks about using Chick Tracts and how he really loves them. He also talked about a Tract from John R. Rice… which I do not think is in print any longer, I could not find it.
He says he was in a barber shop once. That there were several other men in the barber shop that were looking at a Kinsey Sex book…. (Right now I will say I doubt this ever happened. The time this was to have happened would have been in the 70’s. Not once in my life have I ever been out in public and seen men anywhere openly looking at pornography and being rude and crude over it.)
Dr. Ruckman said he thought of just getting up and leaving even without his haircut being done. But he finished getting his hair cut. And as he was leaving he said: “I told those guys they needed to Repent, they need to stop their sinful ways or they would all go to Hell.”
This is 100% Lordship Salvation. I could not believe that Dr. Ruckman would say this, let alone say this in a book on Soul winning.
His book on Soul winning did not teach how a person is Saved. It pushed Lordship Salvation.
I have been apart of many KJV only Churches and still am. I have not seen many KJV only Churches that do not sell Chick Tracts and Fellowship Tract League Tracts both teach Lordship Salvation. (Half of Fellowship Tract League tracts are good the other half teach Lordship Salvation.)
Over the years I have confronted a bunch of KJV only Pastors about Lordship Salvation. Most of them either believed in Lordship Salvation or they refused to even discuss it.
If you are Saved you should have a serious problem with a lot of what Dr. Ruckman has published and for his association with Jack Chick.
I think Dr. Ruckman has done more harm than good in his life’s ministry. I am not sure how a Saved man can teach Works Salvation. Lordship Salvation is Works.
Lordship salvation: "You have to Turn from your sins in order to be saved." This is simply not True and is not found in the Bible.
A person is saved by believing on Jesus. The gospel by which we are saved is the belief that Jesus died, was buried and that he rose again on the 3rd day to pay the entire world’s sin debt.
Nowhere in the Bible does it say to be saved a person has to 1st turn from their sins.
You are Saved only thru the Shed Blood of Jesus. If you realize you are a sinner that deserves to go to Hell and believe: Jesus died for your sins, was buried and rose again on the 3rd day to Save you from your Sins, than pray and ask Jesus to save you, accepting him as your Lord and Savior, trusting in only Jesus work on the Cross than you are Saved.
To clarify before I get started, I do not believe a person has to reform their life, turn their life around first in order to then have a chance at getting saved. That is getting the cart before the horse. One cannot battle sin effectively by sheer willpower without the power and presence of the Holy Spirit which comes at salvation.
It does say something close to what you eagerly seem to characterize as Lordship salvation:
Eze. 18:31 "Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?"
There is nothing wrong with using similar Bible terminology or phrasing, but because of dealing with cultures who have been confused with a meritorious works salvation, I would have a tendency to balance out verses such as the previous one with Eph. 2:8-9 or Titus 3:5.
Eze 33:14 Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;
Eze 33:15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.
Eze 33:16 None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.
Act 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
Some Bible passages and some statements by preachers who are sound in doctrine could be misunderstood as works salvation. Could an unbeliever potentially confuse repentance with merit or works? Absolutely! Could some preachers and teachers be a little more careful with some of their statements regarding salvation and repentance to help avoid misunderstandings? Absolutely! However, if an unbeliever, hearing a definition of salvation that includes “no repentance of sin required,” could he reason, “Oh, this means I could accept Christ and yet continue right on with my wicked lifestyle!”? It would be hard to characterize that as a misunderstanding if one is teaching that for salvation “no repentance of sin is required.” Any biblical position could be misunderstood. Some of the people in the pews may not have grown up in church, but even if they have, their mind could be full of all sorts of misconceptions. So it’s important to clarify and explain as we teach and preach. This has always been necessary, as we read in Neh. 8:8: “So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.”
That's a load of nonsense! Lordship salvation is NOT heresy. If Jesus Christ is NOT your LORD then you ain't saved. It's that simple.
Dr. Ruckman and Jack Chick may have gotten some things wrong, but salvation isn't one of them! And they've led more souls to Christ than most people who comment on this site, including myself, ever will!
Salvation by grace through faith is anti-biblical heresy of the worst sort in both testaments according to Ruckman; do you concur with his denial of the law-gospel distinction? If so, your lot is in that of the little papal horn.
Thank you for all the detailed information you've presented! I can't tell you how helpful I've found it to be.
From what I've learned here and elsewhere, I know that Ruckmanism is at heart a pseudo-Christian cult as well as a personality cult that oftentimes coincides with traits of mental illness.
Many of Ruckman's followers display mild to severe symptoms of schizophrenia, including delusions, paranoia, believing ridiculous conspiracy theories, and they also exalt a man who was clearly deranged.
They believe he is the greatest Bible teacher in history, mostly because he taught them to believe that.
And after encountering enough of his followers, I've started to wonder how many of them were originally drawn to him because of mental illness.
Most aren't able to argue their views from any reasonable standpoint. And they also rely on insulting those who stand up to them. Trying to reason with them is like trying to reason with any other delusional person since they're unshakable in their oftentimes ridiculous assertions. Do you sometimes feel as I have that arguing with them is about as productive as arguing with any other person with advanced mental illness? Not asking that to put them down, it's just this is the experience I've usually had.
Since Ruckman was infatuated with occultic topics and claimed to need self-exorcism on a daily basis (wow!) I've mostly considered his influence demonic.
It's such a sad legacy he left that causes one to consider both that the powers of darkness are at work and that mental illness can be present also. I think at least 3 factors are involved. Since Ruckman was a major liar yet did so well at staying in business for life, he seems to have had demonic help. He causes mental disturbances in people who remain under his influence, young and old. And people with mental disturbances also seem to be attracted to him so that the sicknesses they display seem to be what they find most appealing about him as well. I think it's one of the reasons they connect to him. That they could listen to his teachings and not turn away to begin with makes me think that they are susceptible to more mental illness or personality problems than the average population might be.
Ruckman was also clearly a narcissist. His followers model his behavior and display terrible pride and narcissism too. They're usually disagreeable. They like to insult people. And these are major narcissistic traits. I think many of them were narcissists to begin with and that this also attracted them to his thinking.
He's like a magnet for narcissists and crazy people. And some types of mentally ill people just seem to love him.
I guess I could have just said that since Ruckman was mentally and spiritually sick, many other similarly afflicted people are attracted to him. And he encourages sickness in others. A cult leader doesn't need to attract the entire population to succeed. He simply has to attract the types of people who are most susceptible to his devices. And these turn out to be pretty sad cases.
Because they find in Ruckman many of the signs of their own mental illnesses reflected back at them, this is also one of the things that excites them so much about him. They then become his staunchest fans and followers. They couldn't find anyone else with his kinds of symptoms who was functioning well enough for them to listen to. So when they find him, they become cultic and won't let go. He becomes their guru. And nothing can persuade them he's not great. But they're actually infatuated by the negative traits that he and they possess. And they're blind to the fact that these things are negative.
I guess I'm trying to communicate that there is a deeply disturbed mental health side as well as a dark, erroneous spiritual side to his staunchest supporters and that those things go together a lot anyway. If you're approaching Ruckmanism or any cult from a mental health standpoint, then you'd naturally shy away from dealing with the spiritual side as you focus on the mental warning signs. And if you're coming from the spiritual angle, then you'd shy away from dealing with mental health. Cults are by nature aberrant, and are damaging to every aspect of a person – mind, body, spirit, finance, social standing, etc. It's just hard not to witness the damage in multiple ways.
Trying to deal with Ruckman's followers has been so frustrating that I just have to stop and wonder about what's really wrong with them. That they've been blinded by a liar is true. But I also see plenty of evidence that they could have been predisposed to mental deficiencies and disturbances also. Not a happy combination by any means.
Thanks for writing. I do not personally take the approach that Ruckmanites are mentally ill, but when dealing with certain ones it made me wonder at times. It would not be fair to pre-judge them all. Not all Ruckmanites are as loyal, far-out, or as cultic as others. You made a good point when you stated, “If you’re approaching Ruckmanism or any cult from a mental health standpoint, then you’d naturally shy away from dealing with the spiritual side as you focus on the mental warning signs. And if you’re coming from the spiritual angle, then you’d shy away from dealing with mental health.”
I think that an analysis of Ruckmanism by a conservative Christian psychologist who is fair-minded and balanced with no ax to grind would be very interesting and revealing.
What a load of hogswallow!
People who read, agree with and recommend various and conflicting Bible versions/translations which all contradict one another are the ones with the real mental illness. As far as "Ruckmanism" goes, in my experience, so-called Ruckmanites have a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures and can stand up to any challenge most of them are presented with. Thanks for another strawman argument from a small mind there Joe lol
I would have to say that I agree with much of what you wrote, and your conclusions could only be based on personal and close interactions with Ruckman and or his followers. I know that territory well.
I am by no means a psychologist or a mental health professional, so I cannot comment on those issues. But your description of Ruckman's behavior, attitude, and persona is very much spot on from my experience. I was in that movement for many years, and was very much affected by it. What does this say about me? I know I am dealing with, and have dealt with, some deep spiritual and emotional issues which definitely drew me to his style of Christianity and approach to people. Now that I've taken a step back away from that crowd, I can see how spiritually and emotionally detrimental that it is to others. I was introduced to Ruckman from someone I deeply cared about and respected. Who I now realize, has some very deep seated spiritual issues that attracted this person to Ruckman as well. There is a logical reason for the attraction to such a person.
I only hope and pray that others will be led away from his false teachings. I am watching someone right now that I sincerely care about continue to follow his doctrine and emulate his attitude and I hate it. They cannot be reasoned with as you stated. This website has been a great resource for me and has helped me out immensely.
Thank you for your comments and I'm glad to see that there are others who have their eyes open to his manipulations. God bless
I prefer a "ruckmanite" a Bible Believer that try hard to study scripture and stay true to the word of God as it says, than a wishy washy christian that fall into modernism and true cults and are moved by their emotions with the crap music they put into churches today, and true heresies of post trib, calvinism and prosperity gospel lie.
But overall I say thank you, because articles like this make you evaluate preachers like Ruckman considering him as the human he was, instead of the spiritual and scriptural enligted man he once was.
Right now his body is resting in peace, he did his work for the Lord in a incredible fashion!
For me, his teachings make more good and blessed my life once I understand them with the Holy Bible to confirm them.
Instead of harming me.
What do bothers me is the changes made in modern bibles as he point out and the trouble people have with the gospel of the way the truth and the life that is Jesus Christ the only savior.
I realize you guys are helping the division also calling Bible Believers "Ruckmanites" there is no such thing as a "ruckmanite".
Anyway… watever man, I think this is the natural direction for every interaction today.
Anything can be a motive to separate ourselves and live in the boxes we created for ourselves.
As in the Bible said that people will go against one another and love will be cold!
There are many who defended the kjv before ruckman, I think by saying I would rather be something as dangerous as ruckman teaching instead of laodocea lukewarm is like going from one extreme of the spectrum to another extreme
I am just speaking from both experience myself as an ex Calvinist and ex ruckmanite
I think the best is really to do your own study on all these separate issues: kjv dispensationalism etc
best yet is just to read the Bible without any added man made comments
best and God bless
Yes, I would appreciate an honest answer. Was Peter Ruckman an antisemite.? What is his stance on the Jewish people getting saved now and in the Great Tribulation?
Peter Ruckman could be considered an antisemite in certain circles. He definitely had a lot of negative things to say about Jews in his literature. In my opinion, what kept his feelings at bay about the Jewish people was his belief that Christians "have to love the Jews" for the sake of the Abrahamic covenant (see Genesis 12:1-3). He had a real and evident aversion to certain races of people, and in my opinion, the Jews were one of those peoples.
As far as his belief in the ways the Jews are saved in his different time periods theory: he believed salvation is by grace through faith in the "church age" for both Jew and Gentile. But, salvation is by faith and works in the "seven year tribulation period". But he also believed that all Jews will be saved that are alive at the "2nd Advent" when Christ returns. I guess the blood atonement of Christ operates differently for different people during different time periods according to Ruckman. Although, going back to all the Jews being saved at the 2nd Advent, I think he believed that Christ will make another covenant with the Jews and perhaps that's how they will be saved at that time. Another covenant besides the new covenant. Based on what I'm not sure.