Biblical Recorder Article: Is There An Agenda to Reform the SBC?

The Biblical Recorder has printed an article written by Les Puryear, a pastor/church planter at Cornerstone Community Church in Lewisville, NC. The article is titled, “Is there a Calvinist agenda to reform traditional SBC churches?” This article can be read in its entirety by CLICKING HERE.

Les begins his article with a conversation with a pastor search committee and his comment to them, that Calvinist candidates may not be forthcoming in regard to their true beliefs, they asked, “What is a Calvinist?”

Like it or not, this is a reality in the SBC today. There are 1000’s of churches in our convention that have no idea what is going on with this discussion of calvinism in the SBC. Pastors are not aware of the ramifications of what some are saying are changes that are just around the corner. I am one of those who believes calvinism presents a danger that we can not ignore.

Puryear speaks to the present danger that churches looking for pastors are facing today. He says, “If a church wants to hire a Calvinist pastor, then God bless them. Unfortunately, many Calvinist pastoral candidates are not revealing their Calvinism during the pastor search process in order to secure a pastoral position. Many times after the Calvinist is called as the pastor of the church, they begin to teach Calvinism in order to “reform” the traditional Baptist church in ecclesiology, polity, and worship. In many of these churches, the result is either a church split or the church is traumatized by the process of firing the pastor.”

Puryear continues, “Is there an issue with pastoral candidates not being truthful to search committees about their beliefs? Apparently it is an issue that Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Seminary, thought was worthy of comment. [In an article published on the Between the Times website] he wrote:

“Act with personal integrity in your ministry when it comes to this issue. Put your theological cards on the table in plain view for all to see, and do not go into a church under a cloak of deception or dishonesty. If you do, you will more than likely split a church, wound the Body of Christ, damage the ministry God has given you, and leave a bad taste in the mouth of everyone. …”

Les moves from the local church issue to the issues related to the convention. He correctly notes that there is a calvinist agenda to reform the SBC. I agree with Les; this is as clear as the nose on our faces; it is a fact. I have made my position clear on this.

Here is a comment I left at the bottom of Les’ article.

Brother Les,

We both know this needed to be said and I am greatful that you have written this and that the Biblical Recorder has published it. I know there are those who will say there is no agenda or effort to reform SBC churches. There is this cry for unity that simply says, let’s live and let live and lets all get along for the sake of the convention and the sake of unity and cooperation.

Here is really what is behind that cry for unity: lets all get along while we continue doing what we are doing for God’s glory. You concluding statement is on that I believe is sadly inescapable.

I believe that unity is an attainable goal but only when Calvinists cease trying to reform traditional SBC churches to their views.

Those leading the calvinist infiltration of the entities and organizational structure of the SBC are not going to back down and that has created the problem that will find no simple solution for Southern Baptists and a solution had better be found BEFORE the SBC goes to Baltimore in 2014 for its annual meeting.

It is what it is and that is spelling concern as I see it.

 

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About sbcissues

Interested in bringing the issues facing The Southern Baptist Convention to light.
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9 Responses to Biblical Recorder Article: Is There An Agenda to Reform the SBC?

  1. DRT says:

    Hi, could you drop me an email for a discussion?

  2. tommy9999 says:

    Can Les back up all of these alarming charges about Calvinists? For example he said:”Like it or not, this is a reality in the SBC today. There are 1000′s of churches in our convention that have no idea what is going on with this discussion of calvinism in the SBC. Pastors are not aware of the ramifications of what some are saying are changes that are just around the corner. I am one of those who believes calvinism presents a danger that we can not ignore.”

    1000’s. I can not believe this until I see the hard evidence.

    I think this whole situation of Calvinism vs. Non-Calvinism has gotten way out of hand.

    • sbcissues says:

      Tommy,

      Surely you are NOT questioning the statement that “There are 1000′s of churches in our convention that have no idea what is going on with this discussion of calvinism in the SBC.”

      I know of NO ONE who is the least bit in touch with what is going on that would argue that this is NOT true! Goodness… that would apply to a number of issues and in reality… very few SB churches have any real idea what all this is really all about.

      For anyone to question that statement seems to me to be incredible regardless of WHICH side of the isle you want to stand!

      ><>”

      • tommy9999 says:

        You can say what you wish this is an all out war against the Calvinists and whatever rhetoric it takes to raise the alarm will be used and is being used and it was used by Les in his post.

        What is this Calvinist Agenda?

        Just to say it does not make it so.

        I find it sad that in SB life their always has to be a bogeyman and right now it is Calvinists.

  3. sbcissues says:

    It appears to me you are evidence of your own reluctance to believe that there are 1000’s of churches (which are made up of people) who have no clue what is going on.

    What is sad in SBC life is that people have no real clue what is happening and then write about it as if they do. And for the record, I understand that hammer can fall on either side of any issue.

    I had NOTHING to do with the calvinist infiltration of the SBC entities. It happened quietly and reverently and by rightly and justly doing what some deem as Scripturally necessary.

    I simply disagree and am engaged in doing what I believe to be Scripturally necessary in response to what has already been done. Whether you or anyone else agrees or disagrees is fine. That is the purpose of the dialogue. As people are made aware of what is taking place, THEN they can make decisions about it.

    Otherwise, we will all wake up one morning and wonder… how did all these changes take place without anyone agreeing to them? Well, that is what has happened and will continue to happen IF no one stands up against the current direction the SBC is headed in. I am doing my part in the process.

    ><>”

  4. K. Fine says:

    I was one of the SBC members who had no idea what was going on until it happened to my church. My church was NOT calvinist. A new pastor came, and did not reveal that he WAS a Calvinst/Reformed preacher. Within 4 years he caused the church to spit. It is now is a completely Calvinist/Reformed church. Many families who do not believe Calvinism is biblical had to leave. We found out too late what was happening in the SBC. I encourage regular church members to do their own research and get informed. I beg leaders in the SBC to realize that this New Calvinist/Reformed movement is very dangerous and individual people are being hurt. We have faces. Our children are suffering. Please stand firm. We need your help.

  5. sbcissues says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience. There are those who would have people believe that the problem is not the calvinist preacher who came but some other much deeper rooted problem. You are not in a boat all by your self. Churches have been experiencing the same thing you experienced and unfortunately there will be others to follow you.

    May God bless you and your family as you seek to serve Him with another church family!

    ><>”

  6. I am a Calvinist pastor serving in a non-Calvinist SBC church. I made my beliefs clear to the search committee in the cover letter for my resume and doctrinal statement; we discussed them extensively during the interview process; I provided a list of authors/theologians whom I have found most helpful; and I provided a brief written summary for public reading before the congregation (along with my entire resume and doctrinal summary being made available) 2 full weeks before coming in view of a call — plus multiple discussions via email and phone. I don’t know how I can be more forthright than that regarding theological convictions.

    Of the men I graduated with from SBTS in 2008 (by the way, I adhered to Reformed theology long before attending SBTS), to a man, I can vouch that they have followed the same approach. The professors at Southern pounded into our heads, “Make these matters clear beforehand. Otherwise you are deceiving the church. And if you’re a real Calvinist, this is the time to rest in God’s sovereignty in a particular way.” I know of none who have attempted to conceal their convictions.

    I don’t write these things to accuse you in any way; I sincerely hope you hear respect in my tone. I do, however, ask you for a more charitable engagement: please don’t bear false witness of the pastors who adhere to Reformed theology. Most of us bend over backwards to be forthright in our convictions, to evangelize faithfully, to cooperate with the local Association winsomely, to lead our churches to love and obey Scripture fully, and to help our people live for God’s glory — just like our non-Calvinist brethren. We are not slipping into the nursery during Sunday School to sprinkle the children! We agree with you on far more matters — and on far weightier matters — than where we disagree. Please, may we unite there as brothers, and stop throwing stones at one another?

    Grace to you, and thank you for your time.

    In Christ,

    Reagan Marsh
    Pastor, Beacon Baptist Church, Albany GA

  7. sbcissues says:

    Bro. Reagan,

    You wrote, “please don’t bear false witness of the pastors who adhere to Reformed theology. Most of us bend over backwards to be forthright in our convictions, to evangelize faithfully, to cooperate with the local Association winsomely, to lead our churches to love and obey Scripture fully, and to help our people live for God’s glory.”

    May your tribe increase.

    ><>”

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