A Suggestion for Frank Page’s Committee on Calvinism

I have suggested that Drs. Mohler and Akin and others have used their positions of influence as Seminary Presidents to deliberately and methodically recommend individuals of like mind and theology to a variety of places of service within the agencies and entities of the SBC with the expressed purpose of using the influence of those entities to foster a revival of Calvinism in the SBC, which will in effect move the convention to a Reformed position. I maintain the revival of Calvinism in the SBC is at least to some degree a sign that the efforts of a few are working and working well within the SBC community.

I am suggesting that this effort that has been undertaken by these men needs to be made public and I believe these efforts are what has caused the divide in the SBC due to Calvinism to grow much deeper. I have been challenged on this position by many. Here is a simple solution for Dr. Page’s committee to adopt.

Have representatives of both side of the issue write a two or three page summary of their respective positions and have the Executive Committee of the SBC (not Lifeway) to put this out to the churches of the SBC with a brief survey response to let the people in the pew decide whether they want Reformed Theology being promoted in THEIR entities. I have heard denominational people say almost all my life, The International Mission Board is YOUR International Mission Board. The North American Mission Board is YOUR North American Mission Board and so on and so forth. Now, I must confess, I have not heard that in the last decade but it used to be more prevalent than it seems to be today.

Well, let’s put this decision in the hands of the people who give their money to the CP and pay the bills for salaries for all these folks in denominational positions. Let’s let them tell the Executive Committee what THEY think about this issue. Perhaps that will be the BEST way to settle this issue for a good while. One thing is pretty clear; the committee that is meeting is not going to come up with a solution that is anything close to one the people in the pew can produce.

><>”

Advertisements

About sbcissues

Interested in bringing the issues facing The Southern Baptist Convention to light.
This entry was posted in Calvinism, SBC and Calvinism, SBC Issues, Southern Baptist Convention, Transformed Theology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to A Suggestion for Frank Page’s Committee on Calvinism

  1. Elder oto says:

    What you are suggesting sounds more like an invitation to an inquisitional investigation. In your previous post you admit that these leaders have done nothing wrong: they are doing good work in their leadership positions to which they were appointed, they are not teaching heretical doctrine, they are not cheating or abusing their positions and they are not involved in immorality. Your problem is their theological position and their persuasiveness amidst many voices that are speaking. They have nothing to “defend”.

    • sbcissues says:

      I am not suggesting anything of the sorts of an “inquisitional investigation.” The contention has been for months that the SBC is this or is not this and no ground is being gained. My suggestion is simple. Let each party make their case and lets get it into the hands of the people in the churches and let them decide this issue.

      In this way, the argument of who is or is not the majority position will be settled and the people of the convention can decide where we go from here. If they are ok with a Reformed influence in the entities then hey, let’s go with it. If not, then let’s get it settled now as opposed to later.

      ><>”

      • otowood says:

        It is unclear to me why we have to ‘decide’ what is the ‘majority position’. Our convention has held that autonomy of local churches is vital. We are not discussing heresy are we?
        The suggestion that we should bring this to a vote of the people is not the pattern that has been used by previous transformations within our convention.
        We really should be focusing on our commision to take the Gospel to the world, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit , working through the proclamation of his word, to a world in need. His people do not need to start arguing again.

      • sbcissues says:

        Otowood….

        The issues I raise have NOTHING to do with the autonomy of the local church but rather the theological underpinning of the entities of the SBC. Whether you approve or agree, seems to be based on the theological predisposition that you hold. I do not want the entities of the SBC being led from a Reformed perspective.

        This is the issue. I do not believe the issue of RT in churches should be a denominational issue. The theological disposition of the entities is a different situation altogether.

        You made the following statement: “We really should be focusing on our commision to take the Gospel to the world.” When I read statements that Calvinism is the gospel… I have a problem. When I hear that gospel message being cloaked with language declaring that God and God alone is the One who determines who is and is not saved and He and He alone determines who goes to heaven and who goes to hell… I have a serious problem.

        I believe the gospel message needs to be shared with all men and that whosoever wills may come to the throne of God’s Amazing Grace and repent and find forgiveness and be saved. I understand the application argument but I believe the Bible is clear that Jesus died for ALL MEN and that ANYONE can repent at the hearing of the message that Jesus Christ died to pay the penalty for their sin and by faith ANYONE can take that gospel message and repent and come to Christ…

        God does not give lost men the faith they need to be saved and if He does not do it then WILL NOT AND CANNOT be saved. I cannot sit quietly by and let this theological perspective continue to perpetrate itself in the SBC because I do not believe for one minute that the rank and file majority in the SBC would tolerate it IF they understood what was going on.

        ><>”

  2. Elder oto says:

    You and I both know that this is not the way that theological issues are decided in Southern Baptist churches. We do not ‘get it (theological issues)’ into the hands of the people in the churches and let them decide the issue.
    Calvinism has had a strong history in Southern Baptist life, so why ‘vote’ about its relevance in our churches. Why not look for ways to work together with fellow christians to carry out the Great Commission that God has given us. The argument that has been proposed in these two recent posts is decidedly non-cooperative and divisive.

    • sbcissues says:

      You and I both know that this is not the way that theological issues are decided in Southern Baptist churches. We do not ‘get it (theological issues)’ into the hands of the people in the churches and let them decide the issue.

      Perhaps it is time to put it into the hands of THE PEOPLE because the hands that it is now in definitely needs to be changed.

      What amazes me is this repeated tendency to refute my argument by making the argument something it is not even about. You wrote… why ‘vote’ about its relevance in our churches… Show me one comment that I have made that has anything to do with the relevance of this argument in our churches… it is not there.

      I am singularly and solely concerned with the relevance in the entities of the convention. It is my contention that Calvinism does not belong there.

      ><>”

  3. Matt T. says:

    Pastor, it is posts like these and your last one that grieve me. I am a young, reformed man preparing for a lifetime of glorifying The Lord through the preaching of the gospel to the ends of the earth. I have a strong desire to partner with the SBC to do this. While I think much joy would be found in partnering with the SBC, my main commitment is to the local church. It is posts like these that cause me to question my desire to be a part of the SBC. Though that grieves me, I am comforted by the fact that it is through the church that God has promised to accomplish his plan. Further, I truly believe that your opiniom is in the minority.

    Posts like these lead me to believe that pastors like you do not want to be on the same “team” as me- a young, reformed guy who wants to see the gospel advanced to the ends of the earth. Some of the men you are calling out are not even Calvinists. Others of them are Calvinists as well as gifts from God to lead various institutions. Praise God for men like Al Mohler who take a stand for the gospel in his various media opportunities. How dare you call for his resignation. Many people consider Southern the finest seminary the world has ever seen. Much of that is because of Dr. Mohler’s leadership. I pray that you rethink what you are writing. Please rethink it. It deeply saddens me. I truly believe that you are wrong.

    • sbcissues says:

      Matt,

      Thank you for your heart felt response. Believe it or not I do understand your position and in some ways agree with you in more ways that you would probably realize. My position has absolutely NOTHING to do with our partnering together in the proclamation of the gospel. As I noted in a comment above, I am concerned from a denominational standpoint and a convention entity standpoint how that gospel message is foundationally based.

      Remember something. The cry of the reformers is that “the gospel needs to be reclaimed and some argue redefined.” Why? The inference is that the non-reformed folk have it wrong. Jesus did not die for the sins of ALL MEN. Jesus died for the sins of the elect and the elect alone and those that Jesus did not die for were therefore condemned to hell at Calvary. That is the Calvinist “gospel” if you will and I for one as a lifelong Southern Baptist am not wanting that kind of theological position to be promoted by the entities of the SBC.

      That is MY POSITION. I respect the fact that yours differs. I respect that. The Conservative Resurgence took place in the early 70’s and 80’s because there were those who believed the Bible is the WORD of God for whosoever would come. The liberals had infiltrated the entities of the SBC and the theological flavor that they sincerely believed to be the gospel truth was beginning to permeate the landscape of the convention. People stood up and said… that is not what we believe about the Bible and the moderates (a softer word than liberal) were moved out of the entities… not necessarily out of the convention.

      Like it or not, we may BOTH be wrong when it comes to our respective salvific positions…. but one thing is crystal clear; we cannot both be right. That is the struggle that is now presenting itself in the SBC… and it is a battle for control of the entities of the SBC… not control or authority over the church. Mohler and company have intentionally and methodically placed people in positions of leadership with in the various entities to have a say in the theological position in those entities and that is the problem I have with the way things stand today.

      Let me go on record while I am at it to say… If the only issue were SBTS and its calvinistic stand, I would not be engaged in this argument. His influence and the influence of a few others has gone far beyond the scope of their respective positions of responsibility and that is the basis for my position with respect to their continued positions in the entities they are responsible for.

      May God bless you in your ministry and may God use you in a mighty way for His glory and the benefit of a lost and dying world! There is indeed a hell to shun and a heaven to gain!

      ><>”

      • Matt T. says:

        I appreciate your gracious response and I don’t plan on using your comment section to argue. I just wanted to state two things and then I will be done! 1) those of us who disagree with you simply ask for EVIDENCE regarding those in leadership using intentional and methodic measures to put people in power. Perhaps this is more likely: Mohler is a great leader and has put together a great team of men who, as a result of his discipleship become great leaders that elected trustees of our convention WANT because they see how incredibly gifted these men are. Please provide some evidence for your position. Second thing: your explanation of Calvinism is simply wrong. That is to say, you did not summarize what those of us who are reformed believe. You said, “Jesus died for the sins of the elect and the elect alone and those that Jesus did not die for were therefore condemned to hell at Calvary.” That is not what we believe. We do not believe people are condemned to hell because Jesus did not die for them. We believe all people are deserving of hell because all people are sinners. We are condemned to hell because we have sinned against a holy God. God, in his mercy sent Jesus into the world to die for sinners. He was not obligated to die for anyone. But in his mercy and kindness, Jesus did die. And all people who repent of sin and trust in Jesus Christ wil be saved. That is what Calvinists believe. We also happen to affirm, along with Paul in Ephesians 1, that God is fully sovereign over every aspect of this planet, including salvation. That is the Calvinist position. The Calvinist gospel is simply this: through the substitutionary life and death of the God-man Jesus, men and women who repent and believe in Christ will be saved. This is the gospel of Calvinists and non Calvinists- for there is no other gospel.

  4. sbcissues says:

    I do NOT have a problem with your statement… and this is why I have said that Dr. Mohler has done nothing wrong… Mohler is a great leader and has put together a great team of men who, as a result of his discipleship become great leaders that elected trustees of our convention WANT because they see how incredibly gifted these men are.

    Here is my point of contention. The careful recommendations in key places have made a decided difference in the theological flavor of the entities. The problem as I see it is not what WHAT Dr. Mohler and a few others has done. My point is that these guys need to be replaced now that the result of the overall intention is so obvious. That is MY position.

    Now to your response to my statement on calvinism… “Jesus died for the sins of the elect and the elect alone and those that Jesus did not die for were therefore condemned to hell at Calvary.” That is not what we believe. We do not believe people are condemned to hell because Jesus did not die for them.

    I understand that this is NOT WHAT YOU SAY YOU BELIEVE. However… this is an accurate statement related to the tenets of calvinism. Just because you do not believe something has no bearing on the validity of the statement related to the theology. I will not attempt to put words in your mouth… but I can make statements about calvinism itself.

    You wrote, He (Jesus) was not obligated to die for anyone. But in his mercy and kindness, Jesus did die. And all people who repent of sin and trust in Jesus Christ will be saved. That is what Calvinists believe.

    I understand this is what calvinists consistently claim… but the truth is calvinsm contends Jesus died for the elect and the elect alone… God and God alone decides who is and is not saved. Calvinism posits that God and God alone determines by His efficacious will who gets to go to heaven and He and He alone is responsible for those who go to hell. I am NOT saying this is what you or any individual believes or preaches… I am saying this is what calvinism contends. So in this vein, the statement I made is true…. those that Jesus did not die for were condemned to hell at Calvary… and that my brother is not what the Bible teaches.

    ><>”

    • Matt T. says:

      I don’t know a single Calvinist who believes that. And I have never read a single Calvinist who has ever believed that, so it is hard for me to understand how you can say Calvinism teaches something that no Calvinist holds.

      Also, again, you say it is obvious, but fail to provide evidence. It is obvious to you. Not to me. Not to many others. But you might be convince people if you provided evidence.

      Alright! I’m out. Thanks for discussing with me.

  5. Matt says:

    Is there any reason why SBC denominational leaders should take seriously a man who runs a non-SBC on-line seminary and puts up on his church’s website the words “Non-Calvinist – Non-Reformed”? Just asking …

    Methinks you and the SBC Today take yourselves waaaaaaaaaaaaay too seriously.

    • sbcissues says:

      Matt,

      A non-SBC Seminary… we have had over 700 students enroll since June of 2010. We have had students enroll from some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the US and some students from other countries as well. Our programs are self-directed and since it is of a theological nature, we do have the privilege to do what we do and we are licensed by the state of Florida as a degree granting institution. We are very proud of the programs we have and believe we are helping older students primarily who have already learned most of the life lessons that I guess accredited institutions are apparently having a difficult time teaching today. We are able to help our students focus on the theological aspects they believe are beneficial to help them be better in the areas of ministry they are called to. Education is really what individuals put into it not what an institution tries to put into them.

      As for the Non-Reformed Non-Calvinist designation on our church’s web site; what difference is that and churches putting reformed in their church names… I do not see that as a problem and for the record, neither of your comments as ANYTHING whatsoever to do with the articles I have written.

      Thanks for stopping by though.

      ><>”

      • Matt says:

        Of course the comment is relevant, as you administrate a competing theological institution that is not even accredited (I assume this from your comments). Why not support NOBTS, the closest theological seminary near you in Florida? Surely, you are close to them theologically. You see, no one in the SBC is able to hold you or your school accountable, yet merely for the fact that you are a Southern Baptist pastor you feel free to publicly critique SBC institutions and people (as if any of these men are ever going to read your site). Must be nice to criticize and never receive criticism! Sure, of course, you have every “right” to do this on your blog. By the way, if you feel free to name drop open letters to SBC men, why not list the SBC churches that actually have the title of “Reformed” in their church name or would ever dare to publicize themselves as “Non-Arminian – Non-Traditionalist” on their church website? I encourage you to find them and publish a blog about them. Cheers!

      • sbcissues says:

        Matt,

        It appears to me that you are straining at nats here. The fact that I am part of a program that offers a niche to individuals who otherwise might not be able to get some theological training, does not mean that I do not support the seminaries in the SBC. I DO lead our church to give to the CP as well as Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong, and yes, I know that LM and AA offerings do not go to support the seminaries but they do go to support entities of the SBC, which is the primary source of my concern. If individuals choose to enroll at Atlantic Coast that is their choice and one they believe to be beneficial to them or they would not do so. Your opinion of our work is of little concern to me. There are a number of schools and seminaries that are not SBC affiliated by the way. Correct me if I am wrong but I think your statement has also impugned such outstanding institutions as Liberty University in Lynchburg as well as Mid America Theological Seminary in Memphis as they are accredited institutions that are not accountable to the SBC but to their own respective trustee boards.

        I hate to break it to you but no one in the SBC is really able to hold the entities of the SBC accountable either. The entities are accountable to the trustees that are selected by committees and then approved by the convention. The SBC voted in session to have the 2011 NIV taken off its shelves and the trustees decided to leave it on the shelves. Now, there is some accountability if churches in the SBC begin to support individual entities as opposed to the CP model and more churches are looking at those options.

        As for your comment, “Must be nice to criticize and never receive criticism!” I guess your comment is excluded. I am not on an SBC payroll nor am I attempting to reform the SBC from the inside out. I am simply sharing what I believe is taking place and the results are pointing to the fact that I am correct.

        If I want to put Non-Calvinist and Non-Reformed on our church’s web site, I can certainly do so. I do not care if churches put Reformed or Deformed for that matter on their church signs or in their names. That is none of my business and as I see it, nor is it any of yours that I have what I have on our church’s web site.

        Cheers to you to.

        ><>”

  6. otowood says:

    I’m thinking you ought to look at the grammar you have selected on your title page. I think you are indicating that you want to examine the issues that are having an “affect” on the SBC. I could be wrong though.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s