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JOSEPH M. CANFIELD

A SHORT BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH BY JOHN S. TORELL

THE BEGINNING

Joseph M. Canfield was born January 12, 1919 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Joseph and Elizabeth Canfield. They had two children, Joseph and his sister Margaret Louise. His family was Christian and his grandmother had gone forward at a meeting with D.L. Moody, which was held in Philadelphia in 1876. Joseph’s parents were devout Christians attending a fundamentalist Baptist church in Philadelphia and their children were raised in the church. Joseph received Christ as his personal Lord and Saviour in 1934.

The parents were extremely conservative and the family did not purchase a radio until 1932, which was constantly tuned to Christian broadcasting. His father did not purchase an automobile until 1940 and the children were not allowed any outside activities except church and school.

During the depression years Joseph’s father had to work in New York to make a living by commuting and sometimes he stayed in the city. When he was in the city, he would attend the First Baptist Church at 79th and Broadway. Pastor I.M. Haldeman was a strong dispensationalist and a follower of Darby and Scofield. The message preached by Haldeman was that there was hope left in the world, the Church of Jesus Christ had failed, and that return of Christ was imminent. Christians were to withdraw from all activities in society such as local schools and politics since Jesus was coming back any time. The general teaching was to leave the world to the Devil and his crowd, when Jesus came back, He would smash the world system.

The father would bring home booklets written by Haldeman and young Joseph would take these with him to school and read them during “study time.”

Joseph states that he was raised in a “Baptist Five Dont’s fundamentalist home,” with no other teaching on wholesome activities to do instead. This would be the logical outcome of a theology that viewed the world with pessimism, the only thing to do was to survive and wait for Jesus to come back.

Despite all the negative teaching, Joseph attended college at Temple University in Philadelphia and graduated in 1941 with a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce. He was to spend most of his time working in the field of industrial traffic management and railroad freight rates.

He married his first wife Louise in 1947, which battled a heart condition for many years and died in 1965. There were no children in this marriage. Later in 1965, he married his current wife Charlene, but they do not have any children.

Joseph has worked in the following places in his profession: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 1941-46; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1946-48; New York, New York 1948-50; and Chicago, Illinois from 1950 to 1984. During the last period, Joseph and his wife lived in Brussels, Belgium from 1973-75, when he was employed by the International Body of Customs Cooperation Society. He retired in 1984 and moved from Chicago to Weaverville, North Carolina.

Over the years, Joseph has attended a number of Baptist and Presbyterian churches. During three years when he lived in Chicago, he attended A. W. Tozer’s church, who was a member of Christian Missionary Alliance. As of 2006, he and his wife are attending Presbyterian Church of America.

WHY DID MR. CANFIELD WRITE A BOOK ABOUT SCOFIELD?

Many people want to know: “Why would a layman attempt to research the background of a well-known Christian leader like Scofield, write a well documented book that will hold up to any kind of scrutiny, knowing that the wrath of the dispensationalists will come down hard on him?”

After reading material sent to me by Mr. Canfield and speaking to him over the telephone, it is clear that the dispensational teaching hurt him greatly as a young man, since it was hammered into him that there was no real point of doing anything on this earth, since Jesus return was imminent and Christians should basically just lay back and make no plans for a long life on this earth. As a result, Mr. Scofield and his generation lost all hope of doing something on this earth, they only existed from day to day, waiting until Jesus removed them from the earth. Here is what Mr. Canfield wrote himself:

“My venture in writing about things of the Lord developed after I read Iain Murray’s ‘THE PURITAN HOPE’ and I realized that there was something unsavory about the beginnings of premillennialism, something that British Evangelicals would not think about. I was amazed to find no biography of C.I. Scofield and had no idea of the can or worms I would uncover.”

Furthermore, Mr. Canfield wrote the following:

“The Rapture Cult reacted somewhat less foolishly to World War II than it did to World War I. I soon realized that Daniel chapter two could not be used to define the events of those horrible years, but most Rapturists seemed to follow the ‘Party Line’. I did not join in the enthusiasms of 1948 and I soon outgrew that miasma. My break with Dispensationalism was accelerated by a retired Pittsburgh grocer who at his own expense reprinted works by Tregelles, B. W. Newton, Bishop Frank Houghton, Samuel Kellogg and others who had never accepted or else broken away from the Darbyite excesses. Georg Ladd’s ‘The Blessed Hope’ [1956] suggested that departure from Dispensationalism did not mean denial of the Faith nor disobedience to Our Lord. It did have hints that there was something not quite nice about the origination of the Rapture idea. A period under the ministry of A. W. Tozer convinced me that the moral implication of Dispensationalism were negative. Further it appeared that it was totally unsuited to life during the ‘Phony Revival of the Fifties.’ Eschatologically I sort of floundered during the late 50’s and the 60’s…

The intent of all this is to show that the Rapture cult does not really produce understanding nor real incentive for Christian living on the highest plain, either individually nor social under the conditions of the present day. It creates a distorted vision of the future of the Church (absolutely NO future) and hopelessness for mankind…

Having been convinced for some time that the Preterist view of Matthew chapter 24 and related passages is the correct way, I am now attracted to the imperative of The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) and its inherent Eschatological Universalism…

As a former and converted ex-Dispensational teacher said to me when we re-established contact after many years. ‘Thank the Lord you have been delivered from Dispensational Premillennialism.’ The Lord be Praised!”

WHY ARE THERE NO HONEST DISPENSATIONALIST ACCOUNT'S ABOUT SCOFIELD?

Simply put, when a person begins to research this man, the most incredible facts begin to show up. At the outbreak of the American Civil War, Cyrus I. Scofield enlisted on May 20, 1861 in the Confederate Army and served with the 7th Regiment of the Tennessee infantry. Twelve years later Scofield committed perjury when he took an oath to become the United States District Attorney for Kansas and stated that he had never voluntarily born arms against the United States.

Scofield did not last very long as a District Attorney, and by 1877, he was making a living on scams and writing bogus checks. He was taken to court several times and even served jail time.

Prior to his time as a district attorney, Cyrus had married a Roman Catholic woman by the name of Leontine. They had two girls, Abigail and Helene. About the time he resigned as a district attorney, Cyrus abandoned his family, leaving his wife to support herself and their two girls. Eventually the marriage was dissolved in divorce. Fundamental Christians are very hardnosed on divorce, and if a minister’s marriage ends in divorce, the minister will be forced to resign and barred from being in the ministry. Scofield’s supporters ignored this matter and kept it a secret for a long time in order to make Cyrus Scofield a licensed minister of the Gospel. While Cyrus was still legally married to Leontine, he began to date a young woman in his congregation by the name of Hettie Van Wark. They were married on March 11, 1884.

The Bible version that bears his name is a tainted version produced by two British clergymen, Westcott and Hort. These men are hailed as Bible scholars, but what is not brought out is the fact that both men were devoted Satanists and very active in occult rituals during their lifetime. The Devil must laugh his head off every time he thinks back on this coup. Think about it, the Fundamental Christians in the United States preach out of a Bible that Satan’s disciple’s doctored up and perverted. Here is a quote from page two of the Introduction to the 1945 Scofield Bible edition: “….The discovery of the Sinaitic MS, and the labours in the field of textual criticism of such scholars as …..Westcott and Hort, have cleared the Greek Textus Receptus of minor inaccuracies…..”

Scofield seemed to have access to money above what he earned as a minister. Research shows that one of his backers was a well-known Jewish lawyer from New York, Samuel Untermeyer (1858-1941). He was a criminal attorney, but he was more well known for his political connections, bribery, and for being a fanatical Zionist. In 1901, Scofield was offered a membership in the Lotus Club of New York, a prestigious club in the literary circles of the United States catering to non-Christians. This was not a club in which one applied for membership, rather, you had to be invited and have a sponsor. Why would a wealthy German Jew like Untermeyer living in America sponsor Scofield and spend money on a man who was working on a new Bible translation and preaching Jesus Christ?

There were two reasons. First, Jewish leaders had long ago recognized the bonanza for them if they could force the teaching of an imminent rapture on the Christians and move them to abandon their moral hold on society. John Darby had been financially supported earlier, and since Scofield was the successor to Darby, they could influence him to work hard and make this teaching central in all Christian churches. Removal of Christians from politics and public schools would leave the door open for liberal Jewish writers and political leaders to move in and remove the Bible and prayer from public schools and political institution. Remember, the ACLU is a Jewish organization, having only a few Gentiles in it for window dressing.  

Secondly, the Zionists were already working on capturing the land of Palestine and establishing the State of Israel. They knew in advance that unless they had the backing of the Christian churches in the West it would not happen. Therefore, Untermeyer made sure that Scofield presented a teaching in which Jesus was coming back shortly but also that the Jews were to have their land restored to them. This was the birth of Christian Zionism, which today is dominating the Christian churches in Western Europe and North America.

By 1948, Christians in the West fell like ripe plums for the propaganda that God was opening the door for a Jewish state. The hype in the Fundamental churches, even Pentecostal churches, went into overdrive and a number of prominent ministries began pushing hard for Israel. Oral Roberts, Rex Humbard, Jack van Impe, Kathryn Kuhlman, Hal Lindsey, Jim Bakker (PTL), Pat Robertson (the 700 Club), Jerry Falwell (Moral Majority), John Hagee, Paul and Jane Crouch (TBN), Ulf Ekman from Sweden, and many more became fanatical supporters of the State of Israel. In 2006, the hype has gone into overdrive with a new theology being pushed that Jewish people do not need to come through Jesus, God has a special salvation plan outside of Christ for them. Christians are support them financially and send as many of them as possible to Israel but do not preach Jesus Christ crucified to them.

Television ministers and leaders of the Fundamental churches are not going to rock the boat. They know that Scofield was a liar, an adulterer and a crook, but if the truth were known, it would cost them financially. Prominent pastors and television ministers are not living as poor people, most of them have an annual income of half a million dollars or more. They do not live in just one home, but have several homes, drive expensive cars, dress well and eat well. All while they are begging people to give more so that the Gospel to the poor can be preached.

We should not at all be surprised by this, after all, the mentors of Darby and Schofield were dishonest men taking money from wealthy Jews and their followers are just like the founders. As a proverb goes, the apple does not fall far from the tree.

ORDER YOUR COPY OF THE BOOK ON SCOFIELD TODAY!

The Incredible Scofield and His Book is a must read for all Christians who are hungry for the truth and not afraid to face their false doctrine. If the young people of today are going to have a future on this earth, they need to be set free from all lies, and know that Jesus commissioned us to go out into the whole world making disciples and teaching them all things Jesus taught his apostles. Look at these words Jesus spoke:

“I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” John 17:14-21

 


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