Monday, June 11, 2007


I just finished reading Nathan's blog, along with several other's including Tom Aschol and Timmy Brister concerning what the Florida Baptist Convention has done in distributing what they feel are "evils" coming into the church. First and foremost, it simply should have never been done. Whoever authorized it should not only apologize, but should have to foot the bill or lose his job. Many of you who know me, know I can be very gracious about a lot of things, but when it comes to someone outrightly attacking the doctrine of God's sovereign grace, well, I have no patience for that at all. If someone is not understanding the doctrines, fine, I have no problem with patience, but when men who should be able to read and articulate properly another's view and should have been trained to exposit Scripture and they openly misrepresent and mischaracterize and demonize those who hold to those doctrines that they are so foolishly balking at, then it is time to do what the apostle Paul says to do.

Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

This passage falls right in the midst of a section concerning elders. Many of those in the position of leadership in the SBC are in fact elders, though most want to use the title pastor. As such, we must remember that those in leadership in the SBC must be held accountable and that does not merely mean some "apology", but biblical repentance.

Just so that we understand, the SBC has been politicized for over a decade. While some of the men such as Dr. Jerry Vines, Dr. Adrian Rogers, and Dr. Paige Patterson were incredibly effective in bringing the SBC back from total liberalism, these men, along with others, are the ones keeping the convention from returning to truly conservative Christianity and a clear biblical gospel AND returning to the rich calvinistic heritage of their forefathers. As a matter of fact, many who founded the SBC would see these men as liberals. This must be kept in mind when confronting this situation.

Once the SBC had pushed the issue of inerrancy to the forefront, many thought that was all that needed to be done and as long as you hollered from the pulpit that you believed the Bible was inerrant made you one of the "good ole boys". Well, there are many great men of God who have been used of God in that. However, what eventually happened was that many of the liberals wanted to stay in the SBC and try to retake the convention. When this happened those who had battled their way to the top via standing upon the Word of God as the Word of God, sunk to political maneuvering and sought to rid the convention of the liberals through means of money. By using money as a ploy to maintain status in the SBC, those in power hoped to rid themselves of the liberals. Gentleman, you should have simply stood fast upon the Scriptures apart from the political tactics.

With that in mind, now calvinism (the true gospel), is under open and blatant attack. There is no reason for the ignorance of these men. They are PhD's for crying out loud, not some small town guy from South Carolina. There is simply no excuse for the blatant misrepresentations, dishonesty and yes outright lying concerning the doctrines of grace. These men evidently express such arrogance in their sermons that sometimes I simply think they are desirous of the applause of men when it comes to this issue and not good pleasure of God (that's my opinion). You can hear it in their tones.

As Dr. Nettles told me at the conference in October in Virginia, "the battle right now in the SBC is over recovering the true gospel." He is right. Basically we are seeing a similar battle raging in the SBC that took place 500 years ago. Many Southern Baptists don't know their own heritage and are WILLINGLY IGNORANT OF IT.

I recall receiving Bob Selph's little book titled, "What Southern Baptists believe about the doctrine of election" some years ago. He detailed a tremendous amount of history concerning our forefathers and the faith they held to. While I applaud the efforts of men like Dr. Aschol, Dr. Nettles, and others, I wonder if in the end many in the SBC should not simply pull out, let it implode and be separatists rather than puritans. Maybe I'm wrong, but I have experienced the same thing in the local church and it seems that when a little leaven enters in it leavens the whole lump. Getting rid of it is next to impossible. You don't have to remind me that all things are possible with God. This I know. I'm just saying that even history bears out that there will more than likely be a clear break that will have to be made in the SBC between the Arminians and the Calvinists. I am not a prophet, nor the son of a prophet, but I can't see it any other way.


Gordan said...

You may not be a prophet, but the spirit of prophecy resides in you, my brother. I realize what you mean is that you are not claiming to infallibly predict the future, and that's right and good. But it is the testimony of Jesus within you that roars and shakes with horror at the attacks that even Christian men make on the Gospel. Nothing to apologize for.

I happen to think that you are right about the chances of real reform taking place, versus coming to a place where a split is inevitable.

But the structure of the SBC provides an interesting dynamic that is fairly unique as we approach what looks like an obvious boiling-point on this issue. I mean, the fact of local church autonomy makes any heavy-handed kick-em-out strategy very hard to accomplish. While you're bringing up the leaven analogy, all these guys you're talking about are using it in the reverse direction, and, if their words are to be believed, are worried that Calvinism will spread like leaven.

We've got 10 percent of the pastors right now, and more are on the way, thanks to Dr. Mohler's work. And, the youth and energy and will to reform are all on our side.So, you may be right about an eventual split, but I think that's a "fer piece" in the future yet. There's a lot of battling to be done. I wish a guy like yourself would come in and join us! (Half-kidding.)

Sorry to ramble. Almost started preaching there.

Tim said...


I do believe you are correct in seeing that 10% of the pastors are reforming and that the Lord is really raising up a new generation and for that I am thankful. Maybe I'm more pessimistic in that area in the fact that I think the SBC in the main, has become a proud arrogant convention rather than one that is humble before the Lord and instead of truly seeking God's glory in their alliance have sought to propogate their own, albeit many don't even realize it.

I was in the SBC and ordained in it. Yet the church we attended seemed to despise more than the doctrines of grace. There was open disobedience and sin and even opposition to true discipleship. We (my wife and I along with our head of deacons, who we not meet with) were constantly in the struggle. I was constantly dealing with attacks from parents who didn't like what I was teaching their kids in Sunday School. However, there was some rays of sunshine, so to speak in the fact that, we did see a few of the kids seem to grasp how to evaluate the context of Scripture and understand for themselves and that was a tremendous gift of the Lord and source of encouragement.

The issue most pertinent to me was my children. Though I am not the best father or the best teacher, I believe that going the right direction even without the best means is better than the wrong direction with the wrong means. With that said, I do pray for my brothers in the SBC in hopes that God will bring about reformation, but I sometimes wonder if that is truly what He desires to do with the SBC.

Gordan said...

Re: your last paragraph above: I wonder that as well. I do understand and respect your decision.

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