Petition In Support of Dr. Page Patterson

<https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/the-right-thing-for-the-southern-baptist-convention-and-paige-patterson.html

 

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The malicious attacks against Paige Patterson have brought to attention the need to vocally and verbally support the President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Here is an open letter of support for Dr. Patterson in his role as President of Southwestern Seminary.

The Right Thing for the SBC and Paige Patterson

An Open Letter of Support for Paige Patterson to the Trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; forwarded to the Vice Presidents and Deans of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Convention President, Steve Gaines

by Samuel L. Schmidt

Brothers and Sisters of the Southwestern Board of Trustees;

I write this letter to you, not in a spirit of malice or anger, but of tremendous grief. I am burdened beyond explanation of all which has recently transpired against Dr. Patterson. Please receive this letter in the spirit of which it was written; one not born of ill intent, but of a desire for wrongs to be righted. You are in the position to fix the evils of the recent wave of malicious assaults and words against a common father in the faith: Paige Patterson.

Nothing But A Vicious Onslaught
The immediate past days on Twitter have been rather interesting for us, haven’t they? Decades old comments from one of the SBCs most polarizing figureheads have been circulated, examined, retweeted, and for many, have been determined to be grossly inappropriate, malicious, and downright abusive.
Of the 330 million active twitter accounts, a couple thousand individuals such as self-proclaimed news journalists (writing for the most liberal of newspapers in existence) homosexual bloggers (who have repeatedly marginalized the Southern Baptist Convention) church growth experts (who have zero experience actually growing churches) and social justice warriors (seeking to capitalize on a politically correct drama) have taken it upon themselves to urge Southern Baptists to end the courageous leadership of Paige Patterson.

The Greatest Among Us
Should we be surprised Paige Patterson is yet again the target of another string of unnecessarily evil attacks? Why wouldn’t our common enemy want to destroy Paige Patterson? Satan hates Paige. Satan despises him, and would not be content with anything less than the total destruction of Patterson. No wonder.
Patterson – with key individuals – just so happened to save the Southern Baptist Convention from liberalism and the decline of the authority and sufficiency of Scripture.

Patterson, by the grace of God, has traveled and preached the Gospel in over 125 countries, seeing untold numbers come to Christ – probably more people than all of you serving on this board combined.

Patterson holds to the Scriptural importance of the permanence of marriage, and is committed to helping couples resolve whatever tension exists in their God-ordained covenant, believing Scripture is sufficient.

Patterson, who advised Christians in chapel (the first I ever attended), “you would be better off dead than to bring dishonor and shame to the kingdom of God.” He’s right, trustees. We should all seriously consider Patterson’s words.

#MeToo
In such a volatile culture, journalists are often looking for the “next big story,” with which they can captivate audiences and generate clicks, likes, shares, and retweets. With the growing prominence of the #MeToo movement, any comment concerning women which might even remotely be perceived as aggressive, inappropriate, or morally unethical, has the chance of coming under tremendous scrutiny.

Paige Patterson has made numerous comments in his half-a-century ministry, many of which relate to the God-ordained institution of marriage.

Naturally, such comments in a politically correct twitterverse, are now more relevant than they have ever been, even though the culture perceived them as irrelevant two decades ago.

Abuse or Marriage?
Why have these comments raised a few people to uproar? While many individuals would try to steer the discussion toward abuse, they are wrong. The issue at stake here has nothing to do with abuse; we all know this.

Paige Patterson strongly condemns abuse in any circumstance or situation. As a matter of fact, comments on Twitter have surfaced of late of ladies who personally attest to Patterson helping them get out of abusive relationships. Ironic that the writers of the Washington Post have yet to capitalize on these remarks of individuals who have personally been helped by Patterson in abusive relationships. Perhaps these comments do not fit their narrative and witch-hunt? Perhaps they don’t fit yours either?

If the core issue in this discussion is not abuse, then what is it? The issue is marriage.

Is marriage permanent, or can a marriage be dissolved? The root of all these arguments goes back to the ever-penetrating question; is divorce permissible?

Dr. Patterson believes marriage ought not to be dissolved in any circumstance. He is right. I, and a host of other conservative evangelicals, agree wholeheartedly. Most importantly, we believe Scripture agrees.

To paraphrase Dr. Patterson’s recent remarks, “as ministers of the Gospel how could we believe otherwise?” Scripture is sufficient, and we need not step outside Its bounds in dealing with any matter!

Fortunately, this issue is minute and we can still serve Jesus together. Marriage has been an issue Christians have agreed to disagree while moving forward. For millennia, Christians have worked cooperatively together regardless of their views and opinions on divorce. If we have stood hand-in-hand for the sake of the Gospel before, why then, is the issue of divorce causing problems weeks before the annual meeting in Dallas and the sermon slated to be delivered by Paige Patterson?

The Real Problem
The members of the Southern Baptist Convention are not stupid. We can read between the lines; we understand what is happening. This is a coup to forcibly remove Dr. Patterson from his position at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary by discrediting his ministry, from outside sources who are now putting pressure on you, as trustees. Some of you stand with those outside sources. Some of you ARE in bed with those outside sources. This isn’t about divorce at all with some of you; this is about removing Paige Patterson. You know who you are; the Holy Spirit is calling you by name.

There is never a right time to do the wrong thing. Will the trustees of SWBTS now bow to the culture warriors, and worship their idol of political correctness at the expense of the glory of the Gospel?
Will we cowardly cringe at the sight of a few “social-media experts” who have no interest in the Gospel whatsoever, at the expense of a father in the faith?
Will we shamelessly follow the leading of outside sources who have personal vendettas against Dr. Patterson and have had an axe to grind for decades?
Is our Lord and our Gospel so weak and futile that we shudder at their words? Will we stand with those maliciously assaulting Dr. Patterson or will we stand with Jesus?

Strengthen your hearts Trustees, and be courageous! Paige Patterson does not stand alone. Neither do you. Demas may have forsook Paul, but Luke was him. Even greater, stood the Lord. Some may forsake Paige Patterson, but the Southern Baptist Convention stands with him. Greater yet, the Lord stands with him all the more. God will honor this saint’s commitment and courage to the Gospel.

I knelt by the chapel as I left graduation on Friday and I asked God to rightly judge the heart and attitude of every trustee at SWBTS. That includes you. I asked Him to search your hearts, and to decisively execute a divine standard so powerful among you, all who see it would recognize His glory. I pray He does so quickly. I pray you are found on the right side of God’s mighty standard. I pray you are found standing with Jesus. There is never a wrong time to do the right thing. The right thing to do, today, is stand with Paige Patterson.

In closing, I want to commend Dr. Patterson, for a lifetime of service he has given to King Jesus. Not content with just preaching the Gospel, he has given his ministry to defend Its glorious truths and oftentimes been found standing alone.

As long as I am alive, Paige Patterson will never stand alone.
Praise God for Paige’s faithfulness.

Thank you Dr. Patterson. Your consistent faithfulness in the midst of gross opposition and heartbreaking mischaracterization, reminds us you will remain faithful to the end. We are eagerly anticipating your sermon in Dallas. God has a powerful word Southern Baptists desperately need to hear at this pivotal hour and it is you who must deliver it to us. Our denomination is at stake. No one else but you will do. Just as God has chosen you time and time again to be the sounding trumpet to a wayward denomination, so He has chosen you once more.

In the GREAT name of Jesus and in defense of Paige Patterson,
Samuel

Samuel Schmidt
SWBTS MDiv, May 4, 2018

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JD Greear for President of the Southern Baptist Convention: Since When Did We Become Southern Baptist?

Click on the picture below to hear Greear’s comments to his church.

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JD Greear announced to his church that he had been asked to allow his name to be placed in nomination for president of the Southern Baptist Convention. In his remarks he noted three questions that the church members would have and the third was an eye-opener. He said, “the third question many of you will ask is ‘Since when did we become Southern Baptist?” I get that. That is not something we wear on our sleeve here. There are obviously parts of the Southern Baptist Convention that do not excite us and represent who were are as a church.”

Here is a guy who pastors a multi-campus church that is not even aware that they are part of the Southern Baptist Convention and this is after he had run for the same position two years ago. So in the past two years, the Summit Church that Greear pastors still has no idea they are Southern Baptist.

It would also be interesting to note what there is about the Southern Baptist Convention that does not represent their church and who they are.

I do not know JD Greear. We have met. He seems to be a great guy and one that I do believe with all my heart loves the Lord and is faithful in being the servant God has called him to be. While this is a good start as a qualification to serve the SBC as president, there are other factors that do need to be considered.

Listen to Greear’s own words as he states why the Summit Church ought to be thankful to be part of the SBC. He notes that their church has 158 people serving on the foreign mission field. He notes that their church could not afford to send them and that the International Mission Board funds those members to the tune of $6 Million Dollars. What an incentive to continue to be part of such a wonderful organization!

Now, step back from Greear’s statement to his church for a minute. Understand something. The president of the SBC is not really a big deal with one exception. The president nominates the Committee on Committees that in turn nominates the Committee on Nominations who then nominates trustees to fill various positions of the entities of the SBC. 

Generally, the process described in the SBC Bylaws is as follows: 1) The president of the Southern Baptist Convention appoints the Committee on Committees; 2) The Committee on Committees nominates the Committee on Nominations [two members from each qualified state or region] to the messengers attending the next annual meeting of the Convention; 3) During the following year the Committee on Nominations reviews the qualifications of potential nominees to fill SBC trustee and committee vacancies whose names are brought to its attention by interested Southern Baptists; 4) The Committee on Nominations nominates to the messengers attending the next annual meeting of the Convention those nominees they believe to be most worthy of election; and 5) The Convention then elects its trustees and committee members for terms stipulated by the bylaws of the Convention and other appropriate governing documents [http://www.sbc.net/aboutus/legal/bylaws.asp]

This is important for one reason; the influx of Calvinism has brought the trustee nomination process into central focus because the direction the entities take with respect to Calvinism will determine the direction the SBC eventually goes and the Southern Baptist Convention is in serious trouble where the issue and influence of Calvinism is concerned, especially for those who are not Calvinist and have no interest in seeing the SBC become a Reformed denomination.

The truth is, JD Greear will in the selection process of nominating the Committee on Committees without question choose individuals who will advance the Mohler/Akin effort to Calvinize the entities of the SBC. This is a non-debateable statement. Some will argue that Greear is not a Calvinist but the Gospel Coalition would disagree with that position. In an article that lists the Top 125 Influences in the Gospel-Centered Movement, JD Greear is listed as number 52. Notice the following statement about the Gospel-Centered Movement: “Who has shaped this gospel recovery movement?”

Notice that phrase, “Gospel Recovery Movement.” Folks will say that there is no move to Calvinize the SBC but it appears the GC thinks there is. Ok. Some will argue that the “Gospel-Centered Movement” is not a Reformed Movement but rather a return to a solid Biblical Position. Once again, the Gospel Coalition clears that issue up very well with the following statement: “2. I tried to think keenly about all the folks whose voices have given shape to this still-developing movement, sometimes called “young restless and Reformed” (YRR), “neo-Reformed,” “gospel-centered,” etc.”

Note the top 15 influencers according to this article:

1. John Piper
2. Matt Chandler
3. Tim Keller
4. R.C. Sproul
5. Mark Driscoll
6. Al Mohler
7. D.A. Carson
8. John MacArthur
9. Justin Taylor
10. Francis Chan
11. Tullian Tchividjian
12. Collin Hansen
13. Tim Challies
14. Russell Moore
15. C.J. Mahaney
[https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/jared-c-wilson/top-125-influences-gospel-centered-movement/]

JD Greear is a Calvinist. He believes that God is the One who decides who does and does not get into heaven. He believes that men are totally depraved and totally incapable of repenting of their sin unless and until God gives them new life allowing them to THEN repent and exercise believing faith. In the Calvinist system, one does not repent and believe to be “born again”, one is “born again” so that he can THEN repent and believe. This is the direction the current tide is taking the SBC and a JD Greear president will further promote that agenda to move the SBC to a Reformed position.

Others have highlighted the CP giving of the Summit Church noting that their giving is half the national average of churches giving in the SBC. It should be noted that the Summit Church does give to other mission causes but to lead the SBC, one should first lead their church to support the Cooperative Program before asking the churches of the convention to do so. [See http://sbctoday.wpengine.com/a-true-cooperative-program-champion/]

The Southen Baptist Convention simply cannot afford to have JD Greear nominating the Committee on Committees for the next two years. This election places our convention is a critical position and the outcome may well determine the direction the convention goes in the very near future.

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Free Will in a Response Driven World

I am not a proponent of any discussion concerning the subject, “free-will.” The term itself is vague and ambiguous in and of itself. The whole idea that men are “free” to will what they choose, is in and of itself a losing argument even outside the field of theology. A man cannot of his own accord, choose to fly. He cannot step off a 20 story rooftop and “will” to land safely on the ground. He will land.

The truth is, when God created man, He gave him the choice to choose. Man did not have a choice in that matter. Life itself is the result of the decisions we make that are themselves a response to everything that takes place round us. Those who argue against “free-will” in the theological arena are correct when they say, “man is a slave to his nature and is not ‘free’ to choose outside that nature.” That is an accurate statement, where our physical nature is concerned. It is not necessarily accurate where our spiritual nature is concerned. We have physical limitations and we have mental imitations. We are not omniscient so our choices are limited to our experience and our ability to assimilate information that is both available to us and understood by us. We can have accurate information available to us but we have to be able to understand how that information can help us to accurately make the best choice.

One has to recognize that even the task of “making the best choice” is relative. In this sense, the whole concept of “free-will” is both possible and impossible. We are not free to choose what we “will” or want to choose. We are only free to choose within the limits of the options we have at the time. For example, we cannot walk into a bank and freely will to take out any amount of money we want. We are free to choose to take out any amount of money that we have access to. We can withdraw money we have in an account at the bank or we may borrow more money and we may even choose to take what is not ours by robbing the bank. All of those choices may be valid choices and each of those choices carries with them certain consequences.

This illustration should accurately settle the whole notion of “free-will” where salvation or conversion is concerned. An individual walks into a bank to leave with some money. That is a “free-will” decision or better yet, a choice one makes. That choice in and of itself is really a response to some outside influence or more accurately, a number of outside influences. First of all, there is the influence of economics that makes money a necessity and then there is the social influence that necessitates the need to get money. If money was not a medium of exchange there would be no need for banks to exist and there would be no need to acquire money.

For example, cigarettes are not as valuable as money. Now, many choose to purchase cigarettes and then decide to smoke them. If one were to ask the question, “Which would you choose, a pack of cigarettes or $100” most would choose the $100. Here is the fallacy of “free-will.” Our choices are limited to our sphere of influence. We are only free to choose from among the choices we have to choose from and our ability to accurately assimilate information related to those choices. Let me explain what I mean. Is there ever a circumstance where choosing a pack of cigarettes is the better choice over choosing $100? Most would answer, “no.” In almost every circumstance, that would be the correct choice. However, if that $100 was in confederate money, the choice to accept the pack of cigarettes could be the better option. The problem with “free-will” is men are limited in their choices. Men not only have the ability to choose but he also has the responsibility to choose and then there is the need to make the best choice given the options he has as he understands them.

Here is another consideration. Our choices are responsive and relative. Is it ever bad to accept a $1000 gift? Some would conclude, “no.” While it is true that a $1000 gift would be universally accepted as being a good thing, that choice would be bad if it disqualified that person from receiving a $100,000 gift. This is where temptation comes into play. It is not that temptation necessarily offers us bad options, temptation always robs us of what God has in store for us and so the choice to choose to submit and succumb to temptation is always the wrong choice. When that which is good robs us of that which is the best, a good choice can be a bad choice. There are consequences to our choices. The consequences of our choices yesterday can have a lot to do with the choices we are forced to make today. For example, if we went into the bank yesterday and withdrew all our money and spent it at a casino, it is obvious that the choices we have to make today are heavily dependent on what happened yesterday! If we took out a loan and took that money to a casino, the consequences of those choices are probably going to be life changing! It is one thing to spend all the money one has in the bank, it is another to throw away all the money one gets from a loan that has future long term obligations tied to it. If one robs that bank, he may or may not even have the option of getting to a casino and the consequences of that choice is most certainly going to be life changing.

So, while we are indeed free to choose, we are not free from the consequences of those choices. So in that sense, we do not exercise “free-will” but we do have “free-will”” when it comes to the choices we are confronted with, given the options we are free” to choose from.

If it is true that men were created to respond, it would be difficult to argue that he is not response-able. To attempt to argue that man is not response able in a world that is response driven is like trying to argue that one can defy gravity if he chooses to do so. If one defines life itself as the result of the responses one makes in every single decision he makes, then it would be accurate to say that he is response able and responsible for every single decision he makes and every decision has the potentiality to impact some or even every future decision.

Here is an example of what I mean. An individual makes the decision to get into an automobile and drive to the bank to make a withdrawal to go to the casino. His cell phone rings and he reaches for that phone and in the split second he takes his eyes off the road, a car pulls out of a side street and there is an accident that leaves the driver paralyzed for life. One decision that would have been fine in 9,999 cases out of 10,000 changes one’s options to choose for life. The same thing could be said of a decision to stop at a convenience store and in the check-out process, you tell the cashier to take the $2 in change and give you a power-ball ticket that could be worth millions and that ticket is a winner! In most cases purchasing a power ball ticket is absolutely a waste of money. It is in almost every case an irresponsible decision. The odds of being struck by lightning a dozen times is probably better than winning the powerball but someone does win and the consequences of that choice are life changing just like the choice to pick up a cell phone can dramatically change one’s life.

It is also interesting to note the choices one makes and the consequences of those choices are varied as well. The person who wins the powerball would seem to be on top of the world. However, statistics show that winning huge sums of money has proven to cost entire families dearly. On the other end of the spectrum, there are testimonies of individuals who have made poor choices that landed them in jail or prison, that ended up helping them come to Christ because they attended a bible study because that was better than sitting in a jail cell all alone. Now, most of us would certainly choose to win the lottery than go to prison. However, we do not have the benefit of hindsight. If we knew that winning the lottery would cost us the life of our children to drug abuse, we might choose not to purchase that lottery ticket and if going to prison brought us to a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus and impacted our eternal destination, we might look at that differently as well.

Life is nothing more than a series of choices we all make one right after the other. Decisions and choices are as essential to life as our heartbeat and the necessity of oxygen molecules to be taken into our lungs and delivered to our cells. One is no more important than the other nor is either any less important.

To attempt to argue that this is not true of conversion on any level is an interesting endeavor in and of itself. Logically, it makes no sense whatsoever that God would create man and give him life that is in its essence the sum total of the decisions he makes and then attempt to argue that the single most important decision in his life, is not his to make but God’s. It can be argued that the whole purpose of a man’s life is to get his soul to heaven. Since man is both response-able and responsible for every single decision he is confronted with in his life and his life itself becomes the sum of the decisions he makes, it would seem strange to attempt to argue that God would take that most important decision from him.

If God is a God of love as the Bible contends, there has to be the possibility of rejection where mankind is concerned; it is humanly impossible for love to exist without the option of rejecting love offered. That is true in our relationships one to another and it is true in our response to God’s initiatives of love toward us. God loves us unconditionally; our love to Him is everything but unconditional and that is certainly true of our love one to one another. To argue a Calvinist position of love, one would have the ability to walk into a room and simply walk over to a person and say, “you are going to marry me today and we will live happily ever after.”

Life does not work that way here and it does not work that way where our eternity is concerned. God has taken the initiative in redemption by sending His Son to die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin and through the initiative of revelation He has made the way of salvation plain and simple enough for anyone to understand it and through His initiative in reconciliation the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin and convinces us of His love for us so that we will in turn respond to those initiatives in repentance and find forgiveness or rejection resulting in our damnation. The choice to repent is ours, not God’s. The initiatives are his and the results are His but the choice is ours.

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My problem with Calvinism and Reformed Theology:

Calvinism as I see it is an indictment against the character of God; it portrays God as the One who decides who does and does not receive the “get out of hell” card that all deserve (hell) but only a few get. It is an illogical theological position that is based on a philosophical position related to the atonement and its efficacy. If Jesus’ death itself paid the penalty for the sins of the world, then there would be no need for eternal punishment in hell; since that is obviously not the case THEN Jesus could not have died for the sins of ALL MEN and walla we have the philosophical underpinning of the calvinist response.

The problem is simple; the atonement makes provision for forgiveness; it did not effectuate forgiveness not even for the extreme calvinist, whatever that is. For even in that system, the benefits of the atonement are bestowed on the elect; and until they are “bestowed” the elect is in an unregenerate state. If the atonement were in fact effectual, there would be no sins to atone for nor repent of IF they were atoned for on the cross. There is an ambiguity in the efficacy argument where the atonement is concerned in the theological system itself.

The position of total depravity and inability cannot be effectively defended Scripturally; especially in the OT… there is unquestionably no concept of TD in Jewish writing nor in OT Scripture. The whole notion that an individual is incapable of responding to God’s initiatives in redemption, revelation and reconciliation is ridiculous in and of itself and is not found in ANY other philosophical argument that I am aware of. Men are constantly making decisions in every aspect of their lives even down to the choice to read this statement; to argue one’s inability to respond to God of ALL entities seems so outrageously incredible to me and that anyone would even accept that premise today blows my mind. To me it smacks of God’s sovereignty… how powerful can He be if He cannot speak to the unregenerate? The statement, one cannot be responsible if he is not response-able deserves thought.

Finally… the Word says the “gospel is the power of God unto salvation; calvinism says regeneration is the power of God unto salvation for in that system… the gospel is POWERLESS to save the unregenerate. In the calvinist system… repentance and believing faith are first acts of sanctification NOT new life for new life is necessary FOR repentance and not the other way around. So the gospel is a manual for Sanctification in the calvinist system, not conversion since conversion is at the sole discretion of God’s efficacious will with no input from sinful man; God simply rebirths who He chooses to re-birth and they THEN take hold of the gospel and begin to grow from there.

God saves those who repent; He is not the One who decides who gets to repent. That is the problem I have with calvinism. PERIOD.

 

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New Life In Christ

There continues to be this question about regeneration and the issue of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

If one is dead, that means there is no life. Death is like darkness; it does not really exist but is the result of a lack of light or a lack of life. The Spirit is what gives us life. “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” John 6:63 Spiritual life is the result of the presence of the HS and spiritual death is a lack of life given by the Spirit. Spiritual death which is the lack of spiritual life can ONLY be overcome by the life giving presence of the HS. If death is the absence of life and since it is the Spirit that gives life, the presence of the HS is necessary for regeneration, which IS NEW LIFE in the RT system.

New life or regeneration cannot overcome spiritual death apart from the presence of the HS. Now… regeneration does not GIVE SOMEONE THE ABILITY TO COME ALIVE. Regeneration is NEW LIFE which ALLOWS the individual to repent and believe. To try to reword this is to attempt to sidestep RT. The HS cannot make someone alive to repent and believe and THEN make them alive again. This makes no sense and there is no way to avoid this issue for the proponent of RT.

 

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Troublemakers in the SBC: Do We Want Unity or Division?

Only July 12, the New Orleans Baptist Association published a statement titled, Which Way Forward, Toward Unity or Division?” It can be read in its entirety by CLICKING HERE. I understand the need for unity and the desire for unity. As Christians, one would think that this would be a given. As the old saying goes, union is one thing; unity is another.

Reference is made in the article to J.D. Greear’s move in stepping down in the SBC presidential race to help lay a foundation for unity in the convention. The article stated, “This act sparked surprise, relief, gladness, and even celebration.  We witnessed an act of grace motivated by a desire for unity.” Dr. Greear’s decision was a gracious one and was without question one that helped avoid other potential problems. It must also be stated, Dr. Gaines was prepared to do the same thing for the sake of unity. Both of these men are to be commended for their humble response to what was a very difficult position to have been placed in.

The article acknowledges positive strides in their association toward racial reconciliation and then moves its focus to the divide related to the theological issues specifically tied to the rise of Calvinism in the SBC and the issues the state convention and its college, Lousiana College has faced in recent years. They acknowledge disappointment in attacks against certain agency heads in SBC entities: “we are troubled by the critical editorials in our state Baptist paper against SBC agency heads David Platt and Russell Moore.”

The article asks a pointed question and then makes a definitive statement: “Do we want our Convention split in two? Do we want to continue to read editorials in our state Baptist paper critical of SBC agency presidents?  Do we want unity or division?

Leaders lead.  What kind of qualities do we want our leaders to demonstrate?”

I want to address the question, “Do we want unity or division?”

How we answer that question certainly addresses the thrust of the article and the statement, “Leaders lead.”

I will address the issue from the “other side of the tracks” and speak to the issue of Troublemakers in the SBC. The perception is that those who LEAD are going to do so for the sake of unity while those who do not work toward unity are not leaders but in fact troublemakers.

There are two types of troublemakers. There are those who take the bull by the horns and seek to make tough changes to the status quo. This is what the reformed leaders of this Calvinist revival in the SBC have done and are continuing to do. While I do not agree with WHAT they have done, I applaud their successful efforts and even acknowledge that they have the RIGHT to do what they have done. I might argue rather successfully that their methods were underhanded as far as being forthright in their intentions from the onset… but that would have been horribly unsuccessful so if I were in their shoes I might have done the same thing.

These guys are rightfully troublemakers. So were the reformers of the past. That is not being critical it is actually complimentary, even though I do not like what they have done.

The other type troublemaker is the one who seeks to maintain the status quo. In the Conservative Resurgence both of these groups existed as well. The liberals did pretty much then what the Calvinists have done today with one exception; they were not as successful! The conservative camp did pretty much then what the non-calvinist camp is doing now with ONE KEY exception; they were successful while the non-calvinist camp today has not been.

In the CR, there were LEADERS/Troublemakers who stood up and spoke out and the liberal faction in the seminaries was pushed back. There were two key factors that came into play there. First, the liberal faction did not manage to gain control of the larger group of entities and I am not sure that was ever their intention and so their influence was still rather limited. This group was not “bunkered down” as well as the Calvinists of today are. I believe this group today learned some important lessons from the CR and those lessons have proven effective in the new CR, Calvinist Resurgence today.

There is one other issue that stands out as we compare the problems we face today as compared to the CR. Liberalism in Biblical theology was an easier topic to popularize than Calvinism is today. People could grasp it. 80% plus of the people in the pew in the SBC have no idea how to even spell Calvinism much less understand what it teaches. There is no sense of “urgency” in this struggle although those who understand the issues KNOW that this is every bit as important a theological issue as has ever existed in the SBC. While it is true that Calvinism has been in the SBC since its founding, it has never held the level of importance it has garnered in the last decade and its influence has never been more prevalent than what it holds today where the direction of the convention is concerned.

There is a vacuum of leadership willing to stand up and speak out today against this Calvinist Resurgence. This is what is so surprising where this issue of Calvinism is concerned. Some have suggested that the CR of the 80’s and 90’s took a lot out of people and there is no “fight left in a lot of folks.” Well, to ask for “fight” in Christians is sort of a tough expectation in the first place but as Solomon said, “There is a time for everything under the sun.” There seems to be a move within the MEGA church pastors to not want to “rock the boat” and to stay in good graces so to speak with the new power brokers of the SBC. Calvinism is just not an issue that is garnering much attention among those who have the clout to do what it would take to stop its continued influence. It just is what it is.

So who are the troublemakers in the SBC today? Are the troublemakers those who are working feverishly to change the SBC? Are the troublemakers those who are actively involved in reforming the SBC and moving it to a Calvinist Convention?

Are the troublemakers those who have finally woke up and realized what has happened under their noses where this Calvinist Resurgence has been concerned? Are the troublemakers of today the unifiers of yesterday who had no clue what the reformers were doing until this “lady” was eight and a half months pregnant before anyone even noticed and realized that “she” was about to give birth?

Calvinism is a real issue. It is a real issue for both sides. It is not going away. It is an issue for those seeking to move the SBC in that direction. It is not going away when the majority of the entities of the SBC are being led by men associated with the Mohler machine. This is not an idle cry; it is a bold faced fact. This has not simply “just happened” This is the “eight and a half month” reality that could not be hidden any longer.

Now, let’s go back to the initial quesiton, “Do we want to continue to read editorials in our state Baptist paper critical of SBC agency presidents?  Do we want unity or division?”

The answer to that quesion sadly is going to be this: it depends on which side of the Calvinist issue one is standing. If it is not a big issue then the answer is going to be “No; it is time to seek unity and let this Calvinist Resurgence continue.” Leaders will lead in that direction. Those who do not follow are the troublemakers.

For those who see Calvinism as an indictment against the character of God because it contends God and God alone decides who does and does not get into heaven and they see it as a faulty philosophical theological system that is every bit as dangerous or even moreso as the liberal faction of the 80’s and 90’s then you can expect their leaders to lead and those who do not follow are the troublemakers.

Do we want our Convention split in two? Do we want to continue to read editorials in our state Baptist paper critical of SBC agency presidents?  Do we want unity or division?

Leaders lead.  What kind of qualities do we want our leaders to demonstrate? Do we want unity or division?

The answer sadly depends on which side of the issue one is standing.

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The Crux of Calvinism

At the heart of Calvinism is an answer to a very simple question. Is a person saved BECAUSE he repents and by faith believes in the finished work of Christ on the cross or is a person saved so that he can THEN by faith repent and believe in the finished work of Christ on the cross?

Calvinism stands solidly on the latter. Calvinism contends that an individual who is lost has no capacity or ability to respond to the gospel message unless and until he is given new life at God’s sole initiative and the result of that initiative of grace on God’s part. At that point, the new born individual’s only response is one of repentance and believing faith. In this scenario, repentance and believing faith are in reality the new born’s first acts of sanctification.

The question must be asked, is repentance necessary for salvation? It is crystal clear that the Scripture establishes the fact that repentance brings forgiveness, which brings about conversion.

Notice what Peter said in Acts 11 when he recounted the event of the Holy Spirit falling on a group of gentiles: “17 If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?” Peter did not say, “God gave them the same spirit that He gave us so that we COULD believe.” There is a major difference in these two concepts.

Consider the following passages of Scripture with respect to the importance of repentance to salvation, not salvation for repentance.

Acts 2:38 38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.     We do NOT receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (which is essential to regeneration) before we repent; we repent and THEN receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 3 “19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before,[a] 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” Notice repentance comes before times of refreshing comes from the presence of the Lord. This alone would seem to negate the “regeneration prior to repentance position.

Romans 1:16 says, “the gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believes.” It does not say the gospel is the power of God unto salvation so that ALL may believe.” Salvation is the result of believing faith not the other way around.

Mark 1 14 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom[e] of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

Acts 16  29 Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 3So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

John 3 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but[b] have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

I John 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  Confession comes BEFORE forgiveness which procedes new birth.

Rom 10:13   For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Paul did not write, everyone who is saved will call upon the Lord.”

Mark 16:16   Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. Notice once again, believing precedes being saved.

Ro 10:9   Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. If one confesses, believes and repents he WILL be saved. We do not do these things BECAUSE we are saved.

Romans 10:10   “For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth, one confesses and is saved.”

Acts 2:21   And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

2 Cor 7:10   “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”    Repentance leads TO salvation, not the other way around.

John 1:12   “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” Believing in Christ gives us the right to BECOME children of God. We do not become children of God and THEN believe.

 

Galatians 2:16   “16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.”

 

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A Response to Dr. Russ Moore’s Article, “2 Chronicles 7:14 Isn’t About American Politics”

Dr. Russell Moore has written an article titled “2 Chronicles 7:14 Isn’t About American Politics”. Moore’s article can be accessed by CLICKING HERE. In the article, he laments the use of this great text on patriotic holidays. He writes, “In so many sermons, the ‘people’ referred to in the passage are the American people, and the ‘land’ is the American land. The meaning of the text is understood as an invitation to 21st century America to ‘return to God’ and then enjoy God’s blessing once again.” I will agree with the statement that “people” is not a reference to the American people and “land” is not a reference to Americans. 2 Chronicles 7:14 was not written about American politics.

My disagreement comes in Moore’s next statement, “But the fact is 2 Chronicles 7:14 isn’t talking about America or national identity or some generic sense of ‘revival.’ To apply the verse this way is, whatever one’s political ideology, theological liberalism.” I believe this text is probably one of the best references to revival in the Bible. Perhaps Moore’s criticism is part of this underlying current of criticism that American patriotism does not belong in the church. I disagree with that. The truth is, God did not ordain government and expect His people to remain insulated and isolated from it. Hope for America is not going to come from the White House; any hope or help is going to have to come from the church house.

While it is true 2 Chronicles was written to the people of the nation of Israel, one must remember God’s greater purpose for the nation was to be a light to the rest of the world. Psalm 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” With this I mind, the promise of God in 2 Chronicles is as applicable today as it was day it was written. One has to be careful in accepting Moore’s approach to this text because the same arguments can be made of all Scripture passages, including the Ten Commandments and the Great Commission. Jesus’ statements were made to Israel. Are we to dismiss those because they were addressed specifically to Israel as not applicable to the church today?

Here is the full text beginning at verse 12, “12 Then the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: “I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. 13 When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. 17 As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, and do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments, 18 then I will establish the throne of your kingdom, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man as ruler in Israel.’

There are actually 2 promises made in this text. The first was to the people who would come to the temple to worship the God of creation, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Verse 13 is an interesting verse. God knows that there will be times when He will bring judgment on His people because of their sin and rebellion. It is imperative that we understand that the primary purpose of this judgment is redemptive in nature. What is the redemptive remedy for this move on God’s part? Verse 12 gives us that answer. The truth is, God’s people, whether it be the nation of Israel in Solomon’s day or the church in our day, are all alike; we are rebellious more than we are righteous and God is still sending judgment to bring His people back to Him. Now, to try to make this text a message to America is one thing but to make it a message to the church in America is another. When the church in America turns to God in repentance, one of the benefits is its impact and influence in America or any nation where the church of God is planted.

In verse 17, God’s promise shifts from the people who come to the temple to worship Him to Solomon himself. God promised Solomon if he walked with God and keep His commandments, He would establish his throne forever as He had promised Solomon’s father, David. I believe the same is true of leaders today. Listen to the words David wrote in Psalm 1: “Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor  stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” When leaders look to God, God promises His provisions to those who are obedient to Him and seek to walk with Him. To argue that this is not applicable today, is a sad commentary.

The truth is, Christians are called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. When our salt gets contaminated and our light contained, we need to turn to God and humble ourselves and pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways so that God in turn can hear our prayer from heaven and forgive our sin and in some manner begin a healing process for our land. Now that land may be our Jerusalem; it may be our Judea or Samaria and it may be beneficial to the uttermost parts of our world.

Moore makes a critical statement that itself is primarily baseless. He writes, “If we take this text and bypass the people of God, applying it to America in general or the Bible Belt in particular, as though our citizenship as Americans or Australians or Albanians is the foundation of the “covenant” God has made with us, the problem is not just that we are misinterpreting the text; the problem is that we are missing Christ.” While WHAT he says is correct, the implication is not because these messages are brought to the “people of God” (the church) by the men of God (the preachers). The messages, at least in most cases, are for the people of God to return to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ to come into His manifold presence (which was what God expected from the children of Israel when they came to the Temple to worship with their presence and their offerings) because where God’s presence is, there are His power and His protection and His provisions. Now, God’s protection and His provisions are not to be measured in material things; these provisions may or may not be given to us according to our expectations but they are part of God’s promises to those who endeavor to walk with Him.

Let me end with Moore’s final statement, “He is the one who tells us who we are and tells us where we are going, because He’s promised us, in the short term, a cross on our backs, and in the long term, a crown of life.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 serves us as well today as it did in Solomon’s day because “My people” is a direct reference today to those who have been saved by God’s amazing grace and His marvelous mercy made available to us by faith in the finished work of Christ at Calvary.

 

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Louisiana College Elects 11th President, Dr. Rick Brewer

by Norm Miller

PINEVILLE, La. (LCNews)–Louisiana College trustees unanimously elected Dr Rick Brewer as its 11th president, March 5.

Brewer takes office at LC in Pineville on April 7, leaving his role as vice president of student affairs and athletics at Charleston Southern University, Charleston, S. Car., where he gained extensive senior-level administrative experience during his 28-year tenure there.

“God’s hand and external confirmation have been evident in bringing Cathy and me to Louisiana College,” Brewer said. “I am thankful that this new role found me. It was not even on my radar.”

Chairman of LC’s board of trustees and presidential search committee, Dr Tommy French, said, “When our search committee first read Dr Brewer’s resume, we believed he was God’s man for Louisiana College. Then after we met with him, we were convinced God sent him to us.”

“Louisiana College and Louisiana Baptists are blessed to have one whose multi-faceted credentials reflect stellar administration, studious academics, effective development, and an unswerving commitment to the advancement of God’s kingdom,” French said.

CSU president, Dr Jairy C. Hunter, said: “Dr Rick Brewer is a strong Christian leader with extensive experience in strategic planning and budgeting, enrollment management, student development, revenue development, athletics and Christian ministries.He has provided visionary and exemplary leadership for 28 years as a senior officer at Charleston Southern University.”

Born in New Orleans, where his father attended seminary, Brewer earned a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policies with cognates in Management and Higher Education Administration from the University of South Carolina, and an MBA and BS in History from Charleston Southern University.

He also completed post-graduate certifications at Harvard and Duke Universities.

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Administrative experience

While at CSU, Brewer helped envision a comprehensive, liberal arts campus environment, as well as lead initiatives to champion the significance of Christian higher education.

Brewer emphasized shared responsibility for the general administration for strategic planning, academic affairs, enrollment management, institutional advancement, external relations, financial management, legal affairs, student affairs, athletics, and technology.

He helped to double enrollment from 1600 to more that 3400 students, increase unrestricted giving and endowment support, and improve freshman retention from 50 to 78 percent.

Under Brewer’s leadership, the integration of planning, budgeting, and assessment with broad-based campus participation produced additional academic programs and facilities, including a state-of-the-art science building, athletic facility, and expansion of the School of Nursing building.

He served as director for external relations, assistant to the president, interim director of athletics; held vice presidential roles for planning, student affairs, and athletics; and was a member of the president’s cabinet since 1989.

Brewer was a SACS-COC QEP evaluator for a comprehensive, liberal arts university in 2011, and remains an evaluator for SACS-COC and the NCAA, having conducted both on- and off-site accreditation/certification assignments at several colleges and universities.

Academic accomplishments

“I have worked with Dr Rick Brewer for more than 25 years as a faculty member and colleague,” said Dr Linda Karges-Bone, CSU professor of Education. “His leadership style can be described as energetic, empowering, and empathetic. He applies both scholarly and spiritual gifts to moving individuals and organizations forward in a positive way, never losing sight of the value of each individual created in God’s image.”

Committed to the practice of shared governance and academic freedom, Brewer has effectively demonstrated direct involvement in SACS-COC accreditation leadership, curriculum design, development of new programs, implementation of distance education, support for the integration of technology campus wide, faculty search committees, and service with faculty and staff on numerous campus committees.

Brewer helped establish a global service-learning emphasis by providing the requisite funding to support faculty and students through strategic revenue enhancement initiatives. Brewer also established a partnership with the University of South Carolina’s Washington Semester program for CSU Honors students. “I am committed to creating an academic environment that supports intentional learners while providing transformational experiences,” Brewer said.

An adjunct professor in CSU’s School of Business Master of Business Administration program, teaching Management Theory, Organizational Behavior, and Transformational Leadership for the Marketplace, Brewer also serves as a member of the adjunct faculty in the University of South Carolina’s Wardlaw College of Education graduate programs in Higher Education Administration. He is also a member of the adjunct faculty in The Citadel’s Graduate School of Education

“At Louisiana College, my focus will be on leading the college into the future by building on its mission and vision for effectiveness in global Christian leadership,” Brewer said. “We will build upon the college’s excellent academic reputation while preparing graduates to navigate the challenges of the 21st Century marketplace. Collectively, we will promote a comprehensive, liberal arts education, challenging students to think critically, learn continuously, and serve creatively.”

“We will partner with LC’s faculty, staff and coaches to equip students with a holistic educational experience producing cultural thought leaders and thoughtful leaders, who practice servant leadership daily,” he said.

Financial development

Since 2001, Brewer’s leadership with internal and external constituents produced $75 million in strategic budget initiatives addressing faculty/staff salaries, new academic programs, additional faculty/staff positions, facilities improvements, campus enhancement, expansion of technology, and additional facilities.

With a participatory approach to higher education management, Brewer helped garner significant resource development, including $50 million for student scholarships, academic programs, and campus construction.

Brewer is a member of the university’s leadership team tasked with securing $3M in unrestricted financial support annually, as well as raising support for the construction of new academic and athletic facilities while also providing leadership for acquiring external revenue of more than $1.5M annually for the university’s NCAA Division I athletics program.

“Fiscal stability will be the driving force of my daily leadership and service at Louisiana College,” Brewer said. “Responding to changing financial circumstances while protecting the mission and institutional integrity will be my chief fiscal focus and responsibility as president.”

Ministry minded

An ordained Baptist Minister, Brewer has more than 40 years of continued local church ministry as a volunteer, part-time, or full-time worship leader; youth minister; and teaching pastor. He completed the South Carolina Baptist Convention Transitional Pastor training in 2012. Brewer also is an accomplished musician, playing the piano since age 5. “Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs” is the theme for piano/vocal concerts he offers to churches.

“God has transformed my life under the leadership of Dr Brewer,” said Rev Jonathan David Davis, CSU’s campus minister, adjunct Christian Studies professor, and pastor of Summit Baptist Church on the campus of CSU. “He took an assistant football coach with no direction and no clear future and inspired me to make an impact for Jesus. While under Dr Brewer’s tutelage, I have been in two Master’s programs and now a PhD program. The whole trajectory of my life has changed. I no longer work to live, but I live to work so I can spread the love of Jesus. Dr Brewer inspired me to give everything I have for Jesus and not settle for anything less.”

Civically oriented

Brewer’s extensive community service leadership experience includes: founding board member for the Volunteer Center of the Low Country, Charleston YWCA Study Group on Racism, Charleston United Way Loaned Executive, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce Business/Education Partnership Leadership Team, Dorchester County Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors, Summerville YMCA Board of Directors, South Carolina College Football Hall of Fame Board of Directors, and the South Carolina Fellowship of Christian Athletes Board of Directors.

Vision and motivation

“My vision for Louisiana College will be to establish and project a national distinction for excellence as a Christian college devoted to preparing students for lives of learning, leading and serving,” Brewer said.

“It will be my role as president to tell the story of Louisiana College, cast the vision, build the case, and ensure the college remains committed to its Christ-centered mission and service to students by preparing them for lives of significant service for the cause of Jesus Christ in a variety of ministries and careers,” he added.

“I am confident that God will complete the good work he began in me when I embarked on my academic sojourn,” Brewer said. “And I am equally confident that the Lord will complete the good work he planted on this hill in Pineville back in 1906.”

“This promise from Philippians 1:6 is not just for me, but it includes the entire Louisiana College family as well,” Brewer noted. “This powerful institution is here for the glory of God, and God called me to serve him, too. Therefore, I am as humbled as I am elated that our Lord has brought us together to complete his purposes for both Louisiana College and myself

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Dr. Rick Brewer | Biograph

Dr. Rick Brewer is in his 28th year of service to Charleston Southern University (CSU). Currently serving as the Vice-President for Student Affairs and Athletics, Brewer has extensive senior-level administrative experience at Charleston Southern University emphasizing shared responsibility for the general administration for strategic planning, academic affairs, enrollment management, institutional advancement, external relations, financial management, legal affairs, student affairs, athletics, and technology. As a result of CSU’s ongoing planning process, the university has doubled enrollment from 1600 to over 3400 students, increased unrestricted giving and endowment support, and improved freshman-to-sophomore retention from 50% to 78%.  The integration of planning, budgeting, and assessment with broad-based campus participation has produced additional academic programs and facilities, most notably the addition of a state-of-the-art Science building in 2005, Athletic Facility in 2012, and expansion of the School of Nursing building in 2014.

A participatory approach to higher education management has allowed Brewer the opportunity to be involved in significant resource development efforts for the university.  His involvement has included serving as a member of the management team successfully completing the “Achieving Excellence” capital campaign securing $50 million for student scholarships, academic programs, and campus construction. Brewer is currently a member of the team tasked with raising support for the construction of new academic and athletic facilities while also providing leadership for acquiring external revenue of more than $1,500,000 annually for the university’s NCAA Division I athletics program. He is a member of the university’s leadership team tasked with securing $3M Unrestricted financial support annually. Brewer contributes to the goal of enlisting 400 business and community leaders for service on the University’s Board of Visitors, identifying and enlisting prospective donors for this pivotal group of institutional stakeholders.

Since 2001, Brewer’s leadership with internal and external constituents of the university has produced $75 million in strategic budget initiatives addressing faculty/staff salaries, new academic programs, additional faculty/staff positions, facilities improvements, campus enhancement, expansion of technology, and additional facilities. CSU has operated within a balanced budget for 29 of the past 30 years.

Throughout Brewer’s tenure at Charleston Southern University, he has played a vital role in shaping the university’s vision for a comprehensive, liberal arts campus environment, spearheading and executing countless initiatives that underscore what Christian universities are about. He has consistently taken on positions of increasing responsibility, and has brought to each his unique blend of commitment to excellence, administrative skills, and student-centered focus.  Rick has served as the Director for External Relations (1987-1989), Assistant to the President (1989-1995), Dean of Students (1995-2001), Interim Director of Athletics (1999-2001), and Vice President for Planning and Student Affairs (2001-2009) and Vice President for Student Affairs and Athletics since 2009.  He has been a member of the President’s Cabinet since 1989 and has worked with the university’s Board of Trustees in a Senior Administrative capacity since that time.

Brewer is committed to the practice of shared governance and academic freedom. He has effectively demonstrated direct involvement with the university’s faculty in SACSCOC accreditation leadership, curriculum design, development of new programs, implementation of distance education, support for the integration of technology campus wide, faculty search committees, and service with faculty and staff on numerous campus committees.

Brewer serves as an evaluator for SACSCOC and the NCAA, having served in leadership capacities for both conducting on-site and off-site accreditation/certification assignments. Rick served as the QEP Evaluator for Campbell University in 2011. He has served as a Certifier for the NCAA including on-site visits to Lafayette College, Longwood University, University of Richmond, and Southern University.

Rick was intricately involved in establishing the university’s global service-learning emphasis by providing the requisite funding to support faculty and students through strategic revenue enhancement initiatives. Brewer also established the university’s partnership with the University of South Carolina’s Washington Semester program for CSU Honors students.  He is committed to creating an academic environment that supports intentional learners while providing transformational experiences.

In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Brewer serves as an adjunct professor in CSU’s School of Business Master of Business Administration program teaching Management Theory, Human Resource Management, Organizational Behavior, and Transformational Leadership for the Marketplace. He also serves as a member of the adjunct faculty in the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business and Wardlaw College of Education Master and Doctoral programs in Higher Education Administration. Dr. Brewer is also a member of the adjunct faculty in The Citadel’s Graduate School of Education.

Dr. Brewer is an ordained Baptist Minister with over 40 years of continued service to the local church as a volunteer, part-time, or full-time Worship Leader, Youth Minister, and Teaching Pastor serving churches in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. He also completed the South Carolina Baptist Convention Transitional Pastor training in 2012. Rick is also an accomplished musician playing the piano since the age of five.  “Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs” is the theme for piano/vocal concerts he provides for churches region wide.

Dr. Brewer’s extensive community service leadership experience includes: founding board member for the Volunteer Center of the Low Country, Charleston YWCA Study Group on Racism, Charleston United Way Loaned Executive, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce Business/Education Partnership Leadership Team, Dorchester County Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors,  Summerville YMCA Board of Directors,  South Carolina College Football Hall of Fame Board of Directors, and the South Carolina Fellowship of Christian Athletes Board of Directors.

Rick has a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policies from the University of South Carolina with cognates in Management and Higher Education Administration and a Master’s in Business Administration and Bachelors of Science in History from Charleston Southern University. Brewer also attended the Snowmass Institute for Strategic Planning and completed the Harvard University Graduate School of Education Institute for Educational Management Executive Certificate program in 2008. Dr Brewer completed Duke University’s Non-Profit Leadership Executive Certificate program in 2012.

Rick’s wife, Cathy, shares his passion for servant-leadership in higher education. She plays a vital role in assisting the university’s Women’s Council—a select group of women who assist the university in resource development for academic scholarships and campus beautification projects. Rick and Cathy are members of Summerville Baptist Church where they have served on various committees and Rick has served as a deacon.

Rick and Cathy have two sons, Jason, a professional musician in Nashville, Tn. where he resides with his wife Krista and daughter Adalyn Kay; and Jonathan, a banker with Bank South in Lake Oconee, Ga. where he resides with his wife Catherine and son Knox Jameson.

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The IMB of the SBC Has a New President: Welcome Dr. David Platt

Well, the SBC has a new president of the International Mission Board. Hip Hip Hurray.

The trustees were aware that this appointment would draw a ton of attention, support and criticism. Well, of all the candidates they could have chosen, this one certainly hit that nail on the head.

 

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I am not going to reiterate all the criticism leveled at Dr. Platt. Let me say for the record, I have no question in my mind that Dr. Platt is a quality individual and one who is passionate about seeing people saved. I believe he believes passionately in what he sees as “the gospel.” I am confident he and I and the majority of Southern Baptists will not see that in the same light but it is what it is. He is now the new president of the IMB whether I like it or not.

I will make a couple brief comments. First, he admits that he SHOULD have given more to the Cooperative Program. I am sure he wants us all to contribute since that is now the primary source of his income. Anticipating this move, he could have encouraged his church to up their cooperative giving percentages BEFORE being selected instead of not doing so and now his goal is encourage us all to give sacrificially to the CP and no doubt to the LMCO.

Dr. Platt I understand believed it was more beneficial to by-pass the CP and give directly to the IMB. He apparently knew more about what the SBC needed than the rest of us do. Apparently he did not agree with the percentages of monies actually going to the IMB and so he took it upon himself to by-pass his state ministries and the seminaries and contribute directly to the IMB while all the SBC partners tried to walk forward in unity to fulfill the promises of GCR making the CP the primary funding vehicle for convention causes. David Platt chose his own way. What is sad is now he will be asking us to do what he himself did not see the need to do. Consider the following statements of guys who have stood up in defense of Platt’s poor choices related to his CP giving.

Pastor J.D. Greear said:

“It is true, David has wrestled with the CP, but not because he doesn’t believe in cooperating in mission. Because he does.

We all know the statistics, and they are discouraging. Of the $481 million given to the CP in 2011-12, only $96 million (20%) made it to the IMB. If you add in the North American Mission Board’s portion, it is only 29%. That gives even the strongest supporters of the CP an uneasy conscience. This is what David has wrestled with.”

Dr. Russell Moore said:

“I have friends who were concerned because David’s church, The Church at Brook Hills, though they heavily supported world missions, didn’t do so mostly through Cooperative Program channels. I understand that concern. If I didn’t know David, I might be just as concerned. I believe in the CP, and always have. As the president of an entity funded through the CP almost entirely, I would be insane to celebrate the election of someone I thought wasn’t committed to CP.

David believes in the importance of CP. He does not want the mess that we came out of before 1925: a missionary force having to spend inordinate time at home fundraising. The society model doesn’t work in reaching the world for Christ, and he knows that.”

 Dr. Hershael York, a professor at Southern Seminary in Louisville and trustee of the International Mission Board said:

“Going through this process has been healthy for David Platt. By his own admission he now sees the beauty and the usefulness of the Cooperative Program as a mission’s dynamo for a large denomination and would certainly do things differently.”

I do not understand how someone can be hired for a denominational position in the SBC and not be an ardent supporter of the Cooperative Program. I do not understand how the trustees of the IMB could simply pass on his record of not giving to the CP and hire him on an, “Oh now I see the beauty and usefulness of the Cooperative Program and would certainly do things differently.” No board of directors of any national corporation would make such a hire based on the kind of support Platt gave to the CP. Not one.

Let’s forget that for a moment. Let’s look at the Annual Church Report. Brook Hills apparently does not see the need to fill out and file those reports either. Now for the record, let me say up front, I do not believe the SBC ought to compel or require churches to fill out an ACP Report. Churches are an autonomous body and can do what they want to do and they should not be compelled to do what they do not want to do; I am not so sure that will be the case in the not so distant future. When it comes to an individual being qualified to serve in a SBC entity or as a trustee of one of those institutions, they ought to come from churches that file a completed and accurate ACP Report and members of those churches that cannot or will not fill out and file an ACP report ought to be excluded from the selection process. If that were the case, Dr. Platt would not be president of the IMB.

So, let’s see; Platt did not believe in the CP prior to becoming president of a CP funded entity; he was pastor of a church that did not fill out or submit an accurate ACP Report. I have not looked very deeply into this debacle but what I have seen does not bode well for this hire. I am sure time will add a couple more questions to this mix and I have not even mentioned his disdain for the use of the sinner’s prayer.

Simply amazing.

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