Friday, March 14, 2008

Gettin' Set Up For The Kill!

Call me crazy, but I think perhaps SBC Calvinists are being set up for the kill.

Think this through with me:

A number of the elite SBC "non-Calvinists" have gone on the record saying that Calvinists need to make sure they put all of their theological cards on the tables for pulpit committees when being considered as a pastoral candidate.

Yet, even as they encourage "honesty" among Calvinists in this regard, we can see that they're working hard in the background to disseminate information against the Calvinist perspective so that when Calvinist ministerial candidates do "lay their cards on the table," the pulpit committee will recoil in horror and send the Calvinist packing.

This tactic reminds me of how deer hunters will use scents and lures to cause a buck to let down his guard long enough to expose himself to a 170 grain, supersonic dose of hot lead from the muzzle of a Winchester .30-30. The moment the buck lets his guard down thinking all is safe: BOOM! He's finished! The same fate will await us SBC Calvinists if we get lulled into thinking our esteemed leadership is really looking out for our best interests and interested in allowing our views to have a fair hearing before the masses.

I, for one, will no longer take them seriously until I see them stop misrepresenting our theological perspectives through books such as Trouble With The TULIP and scheduling conferences dedicated to an Arminian eisegesis of John 3:16...

Speaking of the John 3:16 Conference, yesterday I read that Steve Lemke has written that its "intended as a majoritarian Southern Baptist response to the 'Building Bridges' and 'Together for the Gospel' conferences."

I'm sure that apart from the few Calvinists who've fallen for the sweet smelling lure of Synergist double-speak, most of us aren't surprised to see this. In fact, that's what we've come to expect from our esteemed leadership!

While these SBC muckety-mucks give lip service to unity and cooperation between Calvinists and "non-Cavinists" in the SBC, I'm not about to let them fool me. It's plain to see that they're out to put a stop to the Reformed Resurgence by hook or by crook if they have to!

(Pic: me and an 8 point I harvested in Oct '03)


Gordan Runyan said...

Yeah, Rhett, it is telling that they feel the need to "respond" to Building Bridges. That conference brought together monergists and synergists for the purpose of discussing how we can live and work together.

Now, instead of that kind of dialogue, it looks like we're in for a monologue from folks who cling to tradition (by invoking their majoritarian status)and somehow feel the need to "respond" to a call for unity in Christ.

I still think Dr. Ascol's advice is best, on the topic of pastoral candidates and full disclosure. If you're asked whether you're a Calvinist, respond with a request to define the term.

When the asker comes forth with some outrageous, inaccurate, distorted definition, you can honestly say, "No, if that's a Calvinist, then I'm not one."

Or, I fantasize about this exchange being a possibility:

"Sir, are you one a them there Calvinists?"

"Before I answer, let me ask you: is this church Pelagian, or semi-Pelagian, or monergistic? I ask, because I'm all about the Bible. I'm a biblicist."

Rhuiden said...

As someone who is SBC and who recently found and embraced the Doctrines of Grace, I think it will be very hard for them to stop this reformed resurgence without dividing the denomination.

Pfister5 said...

You are wise to say we should be on our guard. I met recently with a denominational exec who had been told I was a Calvinist. His first question was: So when a momma's baby dies, what are you going to say to comfort her, maybe your baby's elect?

I think you are wise to have them define Calvinsim for you first, then you can point to Spurgeon, a great preacher and evangelist, then to Carey, the father of missions, then to the founders and first seminary professors at Southern.

kelly jack said...

They ask for tranparency on our part and the whole time they don't want to deal.
As rhuiden pointed out,I do not believe they will stop this sbc reformation but they will go down with out a fight. After reading Gordan's assessment of Trouble with Tulip I have just about given up on any dialouge within the sbc on this. If this is the leaderships definition and response to this movement then it is truly sad.
Sadder still is that while they are lashing out at nothing more than the biblical gospel our church's are declining. Where's that link to Global Warming?


kelly jack said...

Sorry, not go down without a fight.

Anonymous said...

Gor DON Runyanni-

That was a good hit. Solid concrete waders :)

It does make you wonder just who is talking to whom.

"I'm sure that apart from the few Calvinists who've fallen for the sweet smelling lure of Synergist double-speak, most of us aren't surprised to see this. In fact, that's what we've come to expect from our esteemed leadership!"

Rev. said...

I'm appalled that the first thing out of that denom. exec's mouth to you was what it was. Being in that position, he should: a) have a better grasp of Reformed Theology; and, b) have a much more refined sense of tact and humility.

I, for one, am still trying to build bridges and dialogue about what "we" actually believe (as opposed to the caricatures), but I fear there are many who really don't want to talk as fellow Christians and who really don't want to understand.

Eloquorius said...

Psst.. heya SBCers... I have a question: If this gets much worse for those who believe in sovereignty, will there be a move out of the SBC to Reformed Baptist? I'm thinking along the lines of, say, James White or something like that. As a non-SBCer, I have always wondered why the Baptists who are Reformed don't just go Reformed Baptist? On top of that, nearly all RB churches are independent (heehe... just like many SBC's seem to think they are). Is it the elder-led thing? I guess most RB churches are elder-led. That might be a problem for churches where the mob rules. (Full disclosure: I'm a strong supporter of the "plurality of elders" ecclesiastical model.) Anyway, I'd like to hear your thoughts on this.

Gordan Runyan said...

pfister5: I share in the disgust at hearing that story from your exec.

Thomas Twitchell: I've had my name spelled wrong in many different ways (as I'm betting you have as well)but that one took the cake. But I must point out that this particular hit was ordered by Machine Gun Kelley, not me.

Eloquorius: Good questions. Having been raised in a "real" denomination, I can say from my own small experience that the SBC isn't like that. In fact, about the only thing that seems to hold the group together at all is the Cooperative Program, and similar institutions designed to pool our resources to get big stuff done.

And, truly, it isn't that bad for us, to begin speaking of what we will do if it gets much "worse." We just get slandered and lied about by the religious establishment. And even that is rarely done so that our names are named. So, in the honorable tradition of poorly-treated gospel ministers, we are still way, way down on the list.

But I think our point is that we shouldn't have to go anywhere. That's the principle that's involved. It'd be like the US Government suddenly asking people who want to follow the Constitution, why they don't just go do that somewhere else. Y'know? We shouldn't have to. The system we're in right now, by all rights, should welcome us.

Rhett said...


I think Gordan is correct in what he's stated, I'd affirm all of that.

Now, speaking for myself, I'd probably be happy in a real Reformed Baptist Church. I know other SBC Calvinists who probably would be also...

If things did get intolerable, that might be an option. I kinda think elder-led is more Scriptural than mob rule anyway.

Gordan Runyan said...

Depends on the elders.

I'm half-joking there, of course. The Bible does show a plurality of elders per congregation.

Like the joke about democracy goes: elder rule is the worst possible form of church government, except for all the others.

Rev. said...


The options (I know of) are -
Acts 29

Eloquorius said...

Thanks, guys! I completely understand and totally support you in fighting the good fight.

Mike Hardin said...

October 03? OCTOBER OF 2003? Man, if I was going to be creative enough to tie TWTT to a hunting trophy, I'd at LEAST want to make it a fairly current trophy! Come on Rhett, what have you killed lately?

Rhett said...


All I've killed is a lot of time and that's about it!

Honestly, I haven't had anything walk past me that's even been worth taking a picture of since Oct 03.

It keeps me humble I guess.... ;)