"Now, what you’ll hear about this place is that it’s a cult, and of course, that’s just nonsense. We are Bible-believing Baptists, and I am the pastor of a local Bible-believing Baptist church. I am an ordained Southern Baptist minister, and when I was ordained, my pastor was moderator of the Escambia Bay Association. I have not changed my convictions from the day that I was ordained until right now." (Bible Believers' Bulletin. Feb. 2000, p. 2)
We personally highly doubt that last statement about not changing his convictions from the day he was ordained. Due to lack of literature available written by Ruckman before the mid 1960's, we are not setting off to prove what all of Ruckman's original views were at the time he was ordained in 1950 that could have changed. However, we do notice a progression to more extreme views over the years in some areas. The oldest writing we have by Ruckman is a first edition copy his 1964 book The Bible Babel. Even though the topic was Bible versions and exceeded 100 pages in length, notice all the differences compared to his later views:
- There were no “throw out the Greek” statements.
- There were no “superiority of English over the Greek” statements.
- You will find the statement “In the original,” which he denounces harshly in his later works.
- No mention was made of advanced revelation in the KJV.
- No statements resembling “the KJV corrects the Greek and Hebrew.”
- He utilized the phrase “Word of God” in reference to the Bible, with “W” capitalized, which he denounced as Neo-orthodox in his later writings.
- Very minimal childish remarks.
- No name-calling of fundamentalists (not even John R. Rice, BJU, nor Sword of the Lord).
- More respectful of those he disagreed with.
- Defines “Scripture” as “signifying the total body of all manuscripts extant; for example, the more than 4,800 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament.”
Although the above does not encompass all of Ruckman's controversial views, we believe it is strong evidence that his views evolved considerably and became more extreme over time. We therefore highly doubt his statement about not changing his convictions from the day he was ordained.
We find it hard to believe that a Baptist church with a typical ordination council of several Baptist preachers would have ordained Ruckman if he would have been forthcoming about 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.
What do you think? Does the fact that he was ordained by a Baptist church constitute proof that he could not be cultic? If you had been on his ordination council and was made aware of Ruckman's views, would you have consented to ordain him and place your signature on his ordination certificate? If you had been on Ruckman's ordination council, or associated with the church that ordained him, but was not made aware of his controversial views, would you have been willing to revoke his ordination certificate once his controversial views were confirmed and attested?