Sunday, August 07, 2005

Do Southern Baptists not know Scripture, or their history?

Maybe I'm a little misinformed or something, but it seems to me that the men who are the most promoted in the SBC are the men who are more opposed to the historic viewpoint of their own convention. Recently, I listened to the comments of Johnny Hunt and Jerry Falwell. Both seemed to lay down some attacks against those who would hold to Reformed theology. Johnny Hunt's comments are as follows:

By the way, arn’t you grateful, that there’s hope? Listen to me carefully, its important we understand this convention. There’s hope for everyone in Jesus. Everyone. Everyone. Not a select group. Everyone.

Someone says, ‘Pastor you believe that you’re the elect?’ I sure am. Everybody that gets in is the elect; and he’s elected all of us. I believe everyone can be saved. Anyone can come to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Someone said, “I don’t think you ought to preach like that.” Well, I just hope no one gets saved that’s not supposed to.

I’m serious. We better get away from that and get back to the book and invite everyone to come to Christ! Just preach it! Invite everybody! Tell everyone!

Now I don' know about you, but isn't it a strange thing when you have to speak loudly to make your point? I am by no means saying that we cannot emphasize our points by raising the level of our voice, but the fact of the matter is that Mr. Hunt did not reference the Scripture at all at this point. Not only that, what is he actually saying? I know that Mr. Hunt is not a Universalist, yet he says, "Everybody that gets in is the elect; and he’s elected all of us." By everybody that gets in, I assume he means that everyone that comes to faith in Christ, they are the elect. I have not problem with that at all for that is biblical. Jesus said as much in John 6. However, it is only the elect that come to faith in Christ. Mr. Hunt adds that Christ has elected all of us. Now, if Hunt is addressing all Christians the way the apostle Peter did in 2 Peter 3:9, then his statement would be true. However, he is using it in the context of getting rid of a theology that teaches that God redeems only those who are his elect and leaves some sinners to face the consequences of their sin. If consistent, wouldn't Mr. Hunt understand that he is contradicting himself in the same sentence?

I might ask upon what basis is he doing this? I have heard that he was scolded by Adrian Rogers once for even wanting to give Calvinism a fair hearing. Whether this is true or not I do not know. However, knowing Dr. Rogers' views of Calvinism (actually a straw man view of Calvinism), I see that so many in the SBC will follow Dr. Rogers' thinking without seriously considering what the truth is concerning the doctrines of grace. Is it possible that many of these men love the applause of men, rather than the approval of God? It is possible. Why we face the same thing every day. My desire is not to condemn them for what they are speaking, but to plead with them to repent either of their ignorance of the truth, or to repent of their blatant misrepresentation of the doctrines and those who hold to them.

Mr. Hunt continues on to say that we should, "invite everyone to come to Christ! Just preach it! Invite everybody! Tell everyone!" I could not agree more! We should, for we have been commanded by our Lord to do so. That does not however mean that all men can come to Christ. The preaching of the gospel is to be a sweet incense in the nostrils of God and of the elect. But to those who are perishing, it is the smell of death. Therefore, we must remember that our primary audience is God. God loves to smell the fragrance of the gospel and His people love it too. Therefore, let us not jump on the bandwagon of becoming charasmatic in our preaching without being biblically accurate.

It seems though, that Hunt was not the only one promoting such false statements. Jerry Falwell also spoke such an untruth in his statements about what Baptists believe. I have a great respect for Jerry Falwell in that he is a man who puts his money where his mouth is in regards to things that he has spoken about. When the man speaks against abortion, he uses his own home and money to house young women and care for them so that they won't abort babies. He does have a great reputation. However, when the man stands and says that Baptists don't believe in particular redemption, he simply is either ignorant (and willfully so), or has an agenda. You can hear Falwell's comments on James White's "The Dividing Line" here. Has Dr. Falwell ever heard of William Carey? C. H. Spurgeon? A. W. Pink? James Boice? Maybe it's because he has only been in the SBC for a short period of time that he would make such a statement. However, as a Baptist minister all these years you would think that Dr. Falwell would have familiarized himself with some of these great Baptist preachers.

Alas, another problem that will soon be rising to the top in the SBC. First it was the liberals, next it will be the Calvinists. The liberals were gotten rid of through political means, not biblical ones. They were forced out by being required to give money. While I applaud the stand that the leadership took agaisnt the liberals, I don't agree with their method. However, the money approach won't work with the Calvinists. No, the leadership is not interested in biblical dialogue and debate. They would rather shout down those who would stand on God's sovereign grace. I say this only because it is a sad thing that so much progress has taken place in the SBC to stop short of coming fully back from liberalism. May those in the SBC receive from God the grace that enables them to listen and repent of some of the above statements and glorify God.


Nathan White said...

Tim Brown...sounds familiar. Where are you from?

Anyway, great post. And if you havent already noticed, a fellow southern baptist has written some good stuff on Johnny Hunt's comments at the SBC. Go to

I also have been discussing this issue with Mr. Hunt, both publicly and privately. I have posted some of this dialogue on my blog.

I agree with you. It seems as though many at the SBC are starting to make enemies of those who hold to Reformed doctrine. It will be intersting to see what develops over the next 10 or so years.


DOGpreacher said...

"Come out from among them..."

As a SBC church, and pastor, I see it coming (the big split), and I am not horrified at the prospect of it.

It is time for the Timothy's to "preach the word", in season or out (whether they like it or not), and truly be preachers with a fire in their bones, who will not compromise one jot or one tittle for anything. May God bless you guys in your service to Him. ...I am.....

grateful for grace