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Nov 15, 2011

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James

"As I stated at the beginning of this commentary, I know that, if past reactions to any criticism of the Calvinist position are the norm, I will be duly roasted, skewed and taken to task by people who don’t even know me and furthermore couldn’t care less if they did. I would simply say this in response to that possibility and probability: I am doing nothing more than voicing what many, many people in the SBC are saying and thinking. For one reason or another they simply don’t want to get involved any further than giving their private opinion to another in a private setting. I can appreciate that but, quite frankly, I really don’t care what someone might say about me. At this stage of the game I am not building a resume’ and it really doesn’t matter to me what anyone says. And, you know….that’s really liberating!"

As a Calvinist in the SBC, I feel the same way. I have no other desire than to labor for Christ and His Church.

lmalone

"Question: Is agreement on Calvinism really worth all the vitriol and division that this unnecessary family argument is bringing?"

Yes to the Calvinists it is. Many of the agressive Calvinists will deny this but they really view this as an overall salvic issue" Those who made a "decision" know if they are saved or not.

Let us not kid ourselves. This is EXACTLY what Mohler was really saying in that video clip with the GC. So an SBC leader is basically teaching that if you are "theologically minded" and want to see the nations......you will be a New Calvinist.

How much more evidence do we need?

lmalone

Opps. This: who made a "decision" know if they are saved or not.

Should read:

Those who made a "decision" for Christ cannot know if they are saved or not.

Chris Gilliam

AMEN, from one who hold 4of5. Peter this is the same thing you have been misunderstood as to saying for so long. The post is most excellent.

One point worth mentioning, I do think many in the YRR camp and the aggressive 5pt camp do in fact believe if you espouse the 5 then you are OK. Only espouse the 5. The evidence in in all kinds of ungodly words and actions being either overlooked, or accepted because the "brother is a 5 pointer."

Peter I believe you are saved and spirit filled, and I know you affirm such of me, even if we disagree on smaller points. Calvinism, to which I agree in part, did not save me, Jesus did.

Ron Hale

Bro. Bill,

T.S. Eliot once said, “The years between fifty and seventy are the hardest. You are always asked to do things, and you are not yet decrepit enough to turn them down.”

That statement is funny to me (now).

Like you … I have found new freedom in my mid to late fifties that I didn’t experience earlier on. We’ve seen different movements (wax and wane), and have some scars from denominational mêlées.

Regardless if people want to read/hear my perspective (or not), I don’t want to live “unheard” any more. Thanks for sharing!

Blessings!

David Krueger

OK. So who are these "aggressive Calvinists" withing the SBC?

Steve Evans

Al Mohler for just one example............

mary

Who is David Krueger and why is he making a funny this morning?

One stupid argument you see people like Danny Akin making which of course the calZombies pick up and and parrot is "so what, Calvinism has split churches, nonCalvinism splits churches too." OKaaaaay, so show us the nonCalvinist agenda to go in and take over churches one church at a time. Show us perhaps the charismatics who've orgaized themselves and have conferences and have put leaders in positions to push their agenda? Or perhpas it's the abstentionists. Where's that organization?

Churches split and will continue to split and have problems for a whole host of reasons. What's different about this, is that there is an actual movement that has caused all these problems and the Calvinist keep singing la la la la - "so who are these "aggressive Calvinist" and name calling all those victims. They do this to control the calZombies, the press and the conversation.

Jesse

I don't think Krueger was making a funny; it appears he was asking a very simple question. If someone is keeping a list, then share it.

selahV

Bro. Bill, Before 2006 I didn't even know there were Calvinists and non-C's. Nor did I know Peter was a Calvie when we fellowshipped over gallons upon gallons of coffee and argued all kinds of things. We were just friends. We didn't know he was a Calvinist when he led revivals in our churches and had "invitations". And we were the closest of friends (still are...he finally saw the light). I wasn't aware of Calvinism in his life till reading his blog. Funny when you think about it.

Since I discovered Calvinism, I have been embraced by some as sister, and shunned by others because of my alliance with my life-long friend, Peter. I have several folks I know who are Calvinist. I have no idea if they are 4-pt or 5-pt. I don't even know if they know. In fact, I've come across so many in blogland who cannot explain what they know, who do not agree on what they believe, that it leads me to simple accept them where they are and let God keep teaching them by His Spirit as He is teaching me. In the beginning of all this controversy (in my life with Calvie's), I felt rebuked by many of the more devout and deeply pious. However, the ones, like Chris Gilliam, Trish Reilly and others have been extraordinarily kind to me. Many have treated me with civility. It's the few fermenting apples in the bunch that seem to spew their vinegar that sours my views on their views. Thus, I have learned to just stay clear of the conversations as much as able in order to live at peace.

It saddens me to think that Dr. Mohler thinks the way he does. I do wonder if what he believes that the only course we have as Christians is through the "reformed" course of systematic belief in the DoG. I may be ignorant of the complexities of Calvinism and Reformed, but I'm not ignorant of Jesus Christ, my Redeemer and Lord. He has made Himself known to me. I chose that day Whom I would serve and decided it would no longer be Satan and his temporal pleasures. I chose to rest in Christ's forgiveness of my sins, the attoning work He completed with the shedding of His blood at Calvary. I chose to follow Him and I choose to yield to His Spirit. I choose to abide in Him and am grateful for His mercy and grace to do so. I have no faith in my own strength, only in my weakness do I see the power of God. He is so good. So very good. I don't know anything apart from what He allows me to know. And what I know is that I know enough to know Him. selahV

William Marshall

Bro. Bill,
Thank you for your honesty and sincerity in your article, I appreciate that.

I do struggle with this quote:
"Non-Calvinists have never really cared if a person was a Calvinist or not as long as they both believed and preached the Bible, and as long as they both tried to win the lost, and as long as advocates of neither viewpoint made a point of insisting that their theological position be adopted."

As a Calvinist, I totally agree with this quote. Although the issue of election is important, it is not so important that we cannot work, serve, attend Church, with those who disagree with us on that issue. Yet, it seemed to me that the rest of your article argued that Calvinists and Non-Calvinists could not do that. You believe that a Calvinist should not pastor a Non-Calvinist Church (and vice versa), but doesn't that end up splitting everyone up along the lines of their belief on election? If all that matters (like you stated in the above quote) is believing and preaching the gospel, winning the lost, and not insisiting that their position be adopted, then why does it matter if a Calvinist (who is doing those things) goes and pastors and Non-Calvinist Church (or vice versa)?

For example, the couple you mentioned from South Carolina who left their Church over a Calvinist pastor could have been encouraged to stay (or return) as long as the pastor was preaching the Bible, seeking to win the lost, and not insisting on his view of election?

My hope would be that we could have more relationships like the one you described with your Calvinist friend. I believe we can have those relationships within the Convention and even within our Churches. Like you, my hope is that God would raise up Calvinist and Non-Calvinist pastors who will faithfully proclaim the Word of God and lead their Churches into believing it and obeying it by His grace. As a Calvinist pastor in the SBC that is my hope. Thanks again,

wm

Mary

William Marshall, the problem has become that these new aggressive Calvinist have come into churches and decided that those who are not Calvinist are not fit to do anything but bring a crock pot for pot luck.

The agenda of the new Calvinist is not just to have a pastor who pastors a church and occasionally talks about his veiws on election. These people are coming in removing all nonCalvinist from any positions of any kind of authority within a church. They insist on changing statements of faith and covenants within the church and those who refuse to affirmn new statements or covenants become lessor members or in some cases have no membership at all.

For those who are genuinely interested in the agressive Calvinist you need only to peruse the Founder's web site. The whole purpose of Founders is to "reform" churches. To bring back the "real gospel" A Quiet Revolution is the handbook which can be found on websites. Yes we know the author is dead and so now the young calZombies claim that Calvinist never ever pay attention to what a dead guy wrote. There is also some idiocy being bandied about that Founder's has toned down their rhetoric which is actually admitting that everything that's ever been said was not actually a "caricuture" a favorite accusation of the Cavlinist, but had basis in fact. Where has Founder's changed their mission? Have they apologized for their purpose which lead to division and discord in the SBC? Why is Al Mohler still practicing theological discimination in Kentucky?

For people who really want answers the answers are plain. But calZombies have been trained to attack attack attack and call liars to everyone who points out anything that goes against the brainwashing they have received. They can't handle the truth.

peter lumpkins

David,

So far as I am concerned, I am not interested in re-inventing the literary wheel. I have argued for over five years now precisely who the aggressive Calvinists are and have given some examples of non-aggressive Calvinists along the way on this site. And, had you bothered to follow the link I gave in the introductory to Harrell's piece, you'd have an aggressive Calvinist caught on tape, so to speak.

With that, I am...
Peter

Austin Maddox

Mary,

Serious, when I read alot of your post I just roll my eyes and shake my head...SERIOUS. Not trying to be mean but what you call Aggressive Calvinism...Calvinist believe what they believe to be true soooooo they fight and defend truth just as you would fight and defend truth. I believe you and other noncalvinist are wrong on the doctrine of salvation however, I do think you need to give the following statement a real thought.. Noncalvinist fill majority of the pulpits across the SBC...Evangelism is pretty much dead with the average SBC member(Noncalvinist and calvinist), look at all the noncalvinist pastors that have been run off by the many senior adults at noncalvinist SBC churches because they wanted to stretch them...the noncalvinist SBC churches are dying or are dead.. SERIOUS Mary !!!! Calvinistic Baptist want to see reformation in many areas in the SBC. Yes, there are noncalvinist(Lots of them) that want to see the same thing but REMEMBER...Noncalvinist make up majority of the SBC pulpits and pews...You guys might want to pause in the mirror before you start talking the INSANE talk of church splitting by Calvinist. I REALLY do question your thinking Mary. Your a sister in Christ so I do want you to know that you aggravate "the stew out of me"...congrats but do know that I will start to pray for you and would you please pray for me because I need it probably more than you. :)

Mary

Serious, Austin, I don't know what planet you're living on but SERIOUSLY you seem to have no clue what's actually going on in the SBC. SERIOUSLY, I could care less what you and your zombie Calvinist brothers are doing in your churches.

SERIOUSLY, if nonCalvinist make up a minority of the SBC than SERIOUSLY why is the seminary system practicing theological discrimination and promoting only Calvinism. SERIOUSLY Austin if the majority of the SBC is nonCalvinist why should nonCalvinist pay for the take over agenda in the SBC. SERIOUSLY, Austin can you deal with facts Austin SERIOUSLY actual facts. What exactly is the PURPOSE of Founders? Why is Al Mohler who is supposed to be servant of the entire SBC allowed to hire only Calvinist at Southern Seminary and SERIOUSLY Austin would it be ok with you if nonCalvinist organized ala Founders to take back the SBC?

SERIOUSLY, Austin your posting alot of the usual brainwashing spiel. So SERIOUSLY you Calvinist need to start dealing in the actual reality and that is that through Founders and Al Mohler a majority nonCalvinist SBC convention has an out of proportion amount of Calvinist in positions of authority. And those Calvinist in their positions of authority are imposing a Calvinist agenda on a nonCalvinist convention. But as long as you think it's ok for one to fight to death for their theological conviction than what's your problem SERIOUSLY? Aren't nonCalvinist allowed their convictions too?

Now as far as insane talk of church splitting, thank you for proving yet again that Calvinist call people like me and ol Bill Harrell up there whom I don't know from Adam all liars even though we've actually experienced and witnessed churches being damaged and split by agressive Calvinist. I appreciate that you can admit that I'm saved, but I don't appreciate the implications that because you SERIOUSLY don't want to deal with reality and actual facts you think it ok to call people you don't know liars and insane. And what's really sad is you don't realize that you are being manipulated by Mohler et al to go around spewing such nonsense.

We're all just antiCalvinist, Austin whatever you do don't start thinking for yourself and ignore that man behind the curtain, here drink a little more Kool Aid - it'll make you feel better and by no means Austin do not, do not, go over to Founders' and download A Quiet Revolution which puts truth to all the so-called insane talk of the antiCalvinist.

Of course I'll pray for you dear young brother. We were all young and dumb once. And no dear Austin, you don't get to me at all - as the mother of three teenagers two of them boys I'm used to dealing with nonsense and fairy tales.

William Marshall

Mary,
Thanks for your comment. I have wanted to respond to you for a while, but never have. I just want to say that I am sorry for whatever hurtful things were done to you and your family. I really am sorry and I really do hope that the Lord will show you much grace and mercy as you continue to work through it. I know my apology does not mean much since I was not involved, but as a brother in Christ (and a calvinist), I do want you to know that I am sorry for your hurt and I hope that your opinion of calvinist brothers/sisters has not forever been marred. Thanks again,

wm

Scott

Peter,
If a Calvinist posted a comment that referred to those who were not Calvinist as zombies who are young, dumb Kool-aid drinkers, would you let that slide or would you post a pretty quick comment to call that person down?

James

Scott, please remember, Calvinist are the aggressive ones. :)

Joe Donahue

Mary - I can vouch for William Marshall. I can think of no greater friend with a burden for people than William. I have known William since 1991 and his apology and regret comes from one of the most sincere hearts I have ever met. He genuinely loves and cares for the people of his church and the lost in the community.

cody

Mary,

I think you'd be totally up for a non-calvinist sr. pastor cleaning house with calvinistic sunday school teachers.

lmalone

William and Scott,

When we see vulgar blasphemous charlatans like Driscoll given a pass by the other NC elite, we have to wonder about the credibility and real reason for this movement

mary

William (and Joe) thank you. I appreciate the apology and please understand I do not judge all Calvinist by the actions of the aggressive Calvinist so prevalent today. We actually have several Calvinist friends through homeschool groups so we don't just wear the garlic to ward off all Calvinist.

But Scott and Cody, I guess you won't appreciate the red thriller jacket in your stockings this year. Tell me do you prefer the grape flavor to your kool aid or the cherry? Gosh what was I thinking not only am I a woman commenting without the authority of some man, but I'm a nonCalvinist and according to the Pope of Louisville that makes me a subparChristian. Let's see followers who will jump through semantical hoops to defend Calvinism, an employee of the SBC insulting the majority of the SBC on one hand and on the other a laywoman calling some punk kid who insulted her and questioned her sanity a zombie and kool aid drinker. Yeah what was I thinking obviously the Calvinist with the obsession with sex and the SBC leader insulting the majority of the SBC multiple times - let's go after the little ol woman. Who said men are getting wimpy!

You know I'm a little worried about some of you young zombies - didn't you get the memo that you were supposed to ignore Peter and his blog and commenters. Yet here you are. It's amazing how no one addressed the points of the posts - you know the actual facts that can't be refuted about Calvinist? I'm thinking that makes the young Calvinist more mad than the zombie kool aid cracks.

mary

William, I just realized that I lost a couple sentances to you when I was gigging the youngin's

I appreciate your apology. You don't really owe me an apology and I've always known that not all Calvinist are like the new branch of agressive Calvinist. I pray that more Calvinist like you will start to work together with those of us who would truly like to see unity within the SBC. The problem isn't that the so-called "antiCalvinist" (name calling anybody?) want to see all the Calvinist gone. We simply want this agenda of the aggressive Calvinist very clear stated goal of an SBC takeover to be acknowledged and denounced. NonCalvinist and Calvinist seemed to get along fine up until Founder's decided that the thing to do would be to get rid of all the nonCalvinist. We need to get back there and the seminaries need to be taken in hand so that everything is being taught - not the caricutures of nonCalvinism that Mohler and Co. seem to be promoting.

But getting back to the original point of the OP ED as long as one side continues with the we are right and you must agree attitude I don't have a lot of hope for "unity" anytime soon. But it does seem more and more that there are Calvinist who are seeing the "anti" points. Just the other day we had a young Calvinist on here who actually liked the zombie name - of course he didn't fit the definition of a calZombie. When we get our Decalvinize the SBC group going one of the first items on the agenda is a cure for this zombie virus being spread through the kool aid.

Austin Maddox

Mary,

You just need to study with Al Mohler on John 6, 10, 17, Romans, Ephesians, Acts 13:48, Rev 13:8, Rev 17:8, Matthew 1:21. Then take a course with Dr. Tom Nettles at Southern Seminary on Historical Baptist Theology and while u are in class with him...He will teach you some manners.

peter lumpkins

Austin,

Al Mohler is not the one to instruct Mary or necessarily anybody else for that matter on John 6, 10, 17, Romans, Ephesians, Acts 13:48, Rev 13.8, or Matt. 1:21. If you want her to be scholarly tutored on NT texts, then please recommend NT scholars. Dr. Mohler knows a lot about theology, and without hesitation, he is a darn good cultural critic. However, he is not a NT scholar.

Even so, your recommendation of a systematic theologian to tutor on biblical texts reflects, at least for me, the quintessential contention I often have with my more Calvinistic brothers, namely--the raw substitution of polemical theology and theologians for Scripture and Scriptural exegesis. In other words, theology replaces exegesis; system functions as the "red-one" with trumping power even over the rook of Scripture. Here's the hermeneutical dictum of a non-Calvinist Baptist

--exegesis precedes theology--

Now I'm quite sure you'll say, "hold it right there!"

Grace, brother.

With that, I am...
Peter

lmalone

study with Mohler? He is a culture warrior. He also publicly supported a cult leader....CJ Mahaney which nulled his recent article about calling the authorities when it comes to child sexual abuse. he is advocating 1 rule for everyone else and different rules for SGM who, as a system do not call the authorities. Mohler can claim he knows nothing about this but the vast information has been public for 4 years now. At the very least Mohler should not have immediately given a total support statement to the Courier Journal about bloggers being against SGM's strong leadership model. Mohler is.playing games.

Austin Maddox

Ok my noncalvinistic SBC brothers(Peter Lumpkins especially), it's not our fault when you guys form pastor search committes that Have No Clue on theology or don't Even bring Bibles to discuss with a potential pastor for the church...my Calvinist friends talk of this often because it's true. When I say no clue on theology I don't mean this because they are not Calvinist but I hear this from noncalvinist guys... Your own guys !! Over and over from your own guys !! Peter, you are way different.. You study and are very well read but majority of your members (SBC)are not...You know I'm right on that statement. I will bet you Peter that majority of noncalvinist SBC pastors andtheir members don't even know the BFM 2000 but I will guarantee that Calvinistic SBC pastors and their members do. Try me on this...Lawson, Ascols, Hargrave, Noblitt, Newton,and I could go on....and I bet you if anyone of those guys left that their pastor search teams would bring Bibles to the interviews and would know what to ask instead of the. Typical noncalvinist questions " Brother Jim, whatcha u believe about deacons, whatcha believe about singing praise songs, whatcha believe about a pastor not wearing a tie on Sunday nights, ..And Calvinist get blamed for defending and teaching truth so we are accused of Aggressive Calvinism....we believe it's the truth guys.

peter lumpkins

Austin,

Uh? What has what you just wrote, my brother Austin, got to do with a single line I wrote-me, or in your words,Peter Lumpkins especially?

Even so, let's take your scenario you just set up: "it's not our fault when you guys form pastor search committes that Have No Clue on theology or don't Even bring Bibles to discuss with a potential pastor for the church"

a) we--Peter Lumpkins especially--have not blamed you for anything you mentioned in the comment so why you imply we've said it's your fault I don't understand

b) we allegedly form PSCs which "Have No Clue on theology or don't Even bring Bibles to discuss" with a "potential" pastor. There you go again--theology rules with you guys. Nor is it necessary to have a Bible at a PSC interview. I bet you a week's worth of starbucks, Austin, that you and I could have a fairly serious conversation about what Scripture teaches without either of us lugging a 20 lb Scofield Reference edition under our arms. Or, perhaps for you, a "Reformation Study Edition" ESV, of course!

c). Suppose you were right about all the pastors and the pastors' churches you mentioned. O.K. And, you were right about all the churches all the pastors you mentioned have interviewed. Let's run it up to a solid 100 churches which you personally can vouch for which had poor PSCs in place. Granted. So, you're saying that because you personally know of a firm 100 churches which have horrible PSCs, that it follows that the rest of the 40,000 non-Calvinist churches are likely to possess poor PSCs? Is this the logic my Calvinist brothers would like to pursue?

If so, I can understand how they can reason their way to limited atonement.

Grace, Austin.
With that, I am...
Peter

mary

Austin, first obviously you've never been taught anything from anybody about manners.

Secondly Austin, I'm just gonna call you Skippy cause you seem like a Skippy to me.

Thank you Skippy so much for admitting that Calvinist believe that churches deserve to be deceived because they are just too dumb and need to be taken over by Calvinist for their own good.

Thank you Skippy for demonstrating that calling Calvinist theologically arrogant isn't just a caricuture - Cuz here you are!

Yes Skippy if only every nonCalvinist would just study the Bible. If only nonCalvinist would set at the feet of any Calvinist - not just the theology professors, but any Calvinist would be able to school us poor dumb Biblically illiterate nonCalvinist. If only we would just admit Calvinist are right and we must all agree.

Thank you Skippy! You proved the original point of the opEd for the author in excellent fashion!

peter lumpkins

Mary, you are too funny ("Skippy":^).

With that, I am...
Peter

Kevin

Hi Austin et al –

Take it from me, bro. As a Calvinist, there are more useful tactics for engagement with Peter et al. We need to do a better job talking to rather than past one another. Your approach is not the best for SBC cooperative Calvinists.

Now listen, I don’t think Mary’s is either. “Zombies” and “Kool-Aid” is just downright disrespectful. In a grudge match, “Tom and Al started it first,” might work. But we’re Christians—right? I wish we would do better.

So take it from me, a Calvinist. Wringing-of-handsers won’t build bridges. Neither will broad-swath allegations. I can think of two examples, one from each side of this talking-past-each-other debate: (1) lots of non-Calvinists don’t have a clue what the Bible says; (2) we’re against those “aggressive” and “obsessed” Calvinists. (Bear with me on the second one.)

Here’s the deal. (1) exists, but to lob bombs at non-Calvinists like this is unfair, and not helpful because those who care do know the Bible. (2) those “aggressive” and “obsessed” Calvinists exist, but when I read some vitriolic comments, I get the feeling I’m included in that “aggressive” and “obsessed” group just because I am a Calvinist. It’s those bombs. They just aren’t as precise as they should be.

In Christ,

Kevin

Mary

Uhh no Kevin if you are reading comments here frequently you would notice that even I take a civil tone with the nonobsessive nonaggressive Calvinist. There's an example even in this thread. So let's try not to promote the myth that we're all just a bunch of "antis" here.

volfan007

Mary,

"Skippy?" lol

Mary, I always enjoy reading what you write. You're one sharp cookie.

Now then, William Marshall, I appreciate your attitude greatly. I have many 5 point Calvinist friends, who are much like you. They believe in evangelism and missions. They dont see the 5 points on every page of the Bible. And, they dont tell me that I'm not preaching the true Gospel, just because I'm not a 5 pointer. And, I can worship and serve with those kind of Calvinists all day long.

But, these new, aggressive Calvinists with an agenda....those are the ones that I'm concerned about, and that I cry out against.....they're divisive and cause strife...they're arrogant and rude...they're off the deep end...and they are truly "Skippy's"....lol.

David

Kevin

Hi Mary –

That is not what I said. Please re-read my comment. Oh, and I assure you when I comment, and it's not that often, I do my homework.

In Christ,

Kevin

Mary

Yes, of course Kevin, the implication that all the comments here toward Calvinist are full of vitriol and make Calvinist feel unwelcome was no where implied. Forgive my lack of reading comprehension - I just don't know how many times I have to be told by a Calvinist that I don't understand plain English. Maybe some day.

Mary

Peter and Vol, Sparky's about to be Christianed real soon here.

Kevin

Hi Mary –

Let’s start over. I only made a simple request: “please re-read” what I wrote … because your interpretation was contrary to what I, as the author, intended. You insinuated similar of me: that if I were around to follow the conversation I should be able to discern how you were nice to one Calvinist, and mean to another—both on purpose. I nowhere indicated doubt as to whether you can read. OK? This is stupid. We are better than this stuff.

Here’s what I intended: (1) to encourage Austin to consider the fruits of his engagements here, and whether he should modify his method; (2) to show examples of how the debate runs into brick walls.

Do I applaud your tone toward William Marshall? Sure! On the other hand, are the “zombies” and “Kool-Aid” cracks downright disrespectful? You better believe it. As others point out so well: the means matter as well as the ends.

What do I mean by that? Well, you take serious issue with Mohler’s recent video comments. You definitely take issue with Founders. Hence my references to Tom and Al. So, Al and Tom “started it.” What’s the biblical, what’s the RIGHT way to respond? What’s the most helpful way to respond? Will the response break down bridges with those of us that really do want to cooperate with all Southern Baptists? Bombs can do that. Just because someone has deep respect for Mohler, and has learned from him, and doesn’t see this to be as big of a deal as others do, doesn’t make them a Kool-Aid drinker.

I called a fellow Calvinist out, here, on this blog. It was gentle, and that was on purpose. So give me a break, huh.

In Christ,

Kevin

William Marshall

Mary, David, and others:
I appreciate your kindness towards me (you too Joe, love you brother!). Hopefully that gets us back on common ground. But I still have a struggle with the OP, namely how are we (Calvinists and Non-Calvinists) going to work together if the only option is for Calvinists to pastor Calvinist Churches (which very few exist at this point in the SBC I assume) and Non-Calvinists pastor Non-Calvinists Churches. To me that means that even if the Convention doesn't split outright over these issues it will still be split between Calvinist Churches and Non-Calvinist Churches. I guess my question is this: is that the only way forward?

wm

Bill Harrell

Brother Marshall:

If you will read my article carefully, you will find that I have never said that a Calvinist could not pastor a non-Calvinist church. Neither have I said that a non-Calvinist could not pastor a Calvinistic church. Each church is free to call the person they see fit to call as their pastor. What I am calling for is integrity and fairness in that a person should let it be fully known what his theological leanings are BEFORE a church calls him. They should not wake up one day and find that they have called someone who has kept his leanings from them whether he be Calvinist or non-Calvinist. I do feel that a person's theological leanings should be matched up with the church they are going to serve or else, sooner or later, there will be fireworks. I also think that a church should be clear about the theological leanings of their church body so that a man (whether a Calvinist or non-Calvinist) will not find himself mismatched and in a bind over the situation. The real problem is that this kind of clarity has been lacking in too many situations. And, I think you hit the proverbial "nail on the head" when you said that there were not that many Calvinistic churches in the SBC. The young Calvinist men that are being turned out in number are having difficulty in finding enough Calvinistic churches to meet the demand. Therefore, some of them are perhaps being less than clear about their stances because they know they would be rejected as a Pastoral candidate if their true leanings were made known during the interview process. This only seems like common sense to me as well spiritual sense.

Thanks for your comments,

Bill Harrell

Mary

Kevin, seriously, BOO HOO you don't like the zombie and Kool Aid references. If you seriously think that what Al Mohler is doing with his theological discrimination at Southern Seminary with full resources of the SBC and the avowed purpose of Founders of stealthily infiltrating churches for the purposes of reform is the equivilant of a zombie or kool aid references than you need to do a little more "research" as to what the topic of conversation actually is here.

William, again I don't think the problem is with Calvinist or Calvinism, but with these agressive Calvinist who are clearly part of the agenda to reform churches ala Founders. There are and have been Calvinist pastors of what would be considered a nonCalvinist church without incident for years. It's not just about a doctrine that we can take out an examine and debate from time to time in our churches, but about all the other things that have been added to it. It's this "reformation" of churches where these people are being taught to go in, get rid of those with dissenting soteriology and than insure that everyone left conforms to the reformed agenda. My husband teaches an adult SS class and when he needs to miss his go-to substitute is a Calvinist friend. We all know where we stand and there's none of this attitude of "we are right you need to agree or get out."

Pastor Harrell, you bring up the point of all of the young Calvinist pastoral candidates - this is increasingly becoming an issue because I know in our area because of the several churches who have had problems with agressive Calvinist that search committees don't even call resumes of anyone from Southern or Southeastern now unless someone reliable can vouch for them. This means that the pool of nonCalvinist candidates are very small which is an indication that are seminary system is failing at its mission - pulpit supply. I think this is why nonCalvinist are going to be forced to pay for new Calvinist only church plants.

Personally, I don't really have hope of anything less than a split because too much damage has been done with the takeover agenda and the fact that you deal with people who call you liars and insane for stating real life actual facts that have led to churches not accepting resumes from two seminaries doesn't help. We first have to admit there's a problem, which Calvinist refuse to admit, before we can begin discussing how to fix it. And the truth is Mohler and Co don't want to fix anything because everything is going just as planned. If they can't take over existing churches the plan has now moved to planting new churches and I think we'll begin seeing cooperation with Acts 29 and SGM like networks as part of that agenda. Existing nonCalvinist churches need some of that money from NAMB - they ain't gonna get it when a new Calvinist church can be started around the corner.

Kevin

Hi Mary –

I'm done. Cooperation between Calvinists and non-Calvinists cannot move forward if your voice wins the day. In this case, not because you are right or wrong - but because of your mouth.

You have a quick wit, a sharp intellect, and a studied knowledge. But those don't win cooperation. Call me a whiner all you want. I'll just bow out and bite my tongue.

Kevin

Mary

No Kevin there can be no coversation in the SBC because Calvinist refuse to have the conversation and in fact will do everything they can to distract from the actual facts of the conversation by calling people liars and insane and trying to keep the focus away from the real issues by instead focusing on trivaliaties all while pretending to take the sanctimoneous high road.

William Marshall

Bro. Bill,
Thanks for taking the time to comment. I still feel that what you say in your comment does not line up with what you said in the OP: "Non-Calvinists have never really cared if a person was a Calvinist or not as long as they both believed and preached the Bible, and as long as they both tried to win the lost, and as long as advocates of neither viewpoint made a point of insisting that their theological position be adopted."

If Non-Calvinist do not care about whether or not a person is a Calvinist, then why must it be an issue that comes up in searching for a pastor. If the PSC asks if the guy is a calvinist and he says yes, then they should follow that up with whether or not he is going to "insist that their theological position be adopted." If he says "No, I am simply going to preach the text and state what I believe when it comes up in the text." Then that should be enough for them.

But, as you pointed out, that is not what is happening. PSC are not even asking if guys are calvinist at this point. Rather, if they graduated from Southern or Southeastern they are not even considered (see Mary's comment). How is that helpful? If you statement is true, then why would a young pastoral candidate's view on election keep him from serving in a Church as long as was not going to "insist on his theological position."

I wish your statement was true. I wish that all we cared about was faithful bible teaching and evangelism and not insisting on other issues (like election or whatever else). But we are just not good at agreeing to disagree over secondary issues. If this persists then our denomoniation will likely split over several different issues, which I don't think any of us would see as good.

Again, thanks for your time.

wm

peter lumpkins

Hey Kevin,

I've followed the comments you've logged. Unfortunately, your own contribution cannot be viewed as moving the conversation along, the very lament you're attempting to glue to Mary. Two examples suffice--your "stupid" retort, along with your latest "because of your mouth" invective, hardly conversation ice-breakers.

Have a great evening.

With that, I am...
Peter

lmalone

"Just because someone has deep respect for Mohler, and has learned from him, and doesn’t see this to be as big of a deal as others do, doesn’t make them a Kool-Aid drinker."

Actually, it does. And it is one of the biggest problems the NC crowd in the SBC have. What he is saying and doing concerning the NC is a very big deal. Mohler is the grand leader and face of NC for the SBC AND the Reformed movement. What he said on the GC video ought to make you cringe if you mean what you have said in these comments. If you respect him, then we have a problem. He IS divisive. And worse, a PAID employee of the SBC.

lmalone

If Non-Calvinist do not care about whether or not a person is a Calvinist, then why must it be an issue that comes up in searching for a pastor. If the PSC asks if the guy is a calvinist and he says yes, then they should follow that up with whether or not he is going to "insist that their theological position be adopted." If he says "No, I am simply going to preach the text and state what I believe when it comes up in the text." Then that should be enough for them."

This is not going to work because the Calvinist pastor has been taught by Mohler that the non Calvinists in these churches are not theologically minded and do not have the mental structure in place to understand truth.

Mohler has cast the die, folks. If you cannot see it, it is because you choose not to.

Kevin

Hi lmalone –

I interpret Mohler's statements differently. I think it's a matter of context. But that you and others are offended, I understand, and it makes sense.

Mohler has blessed me. He's been a helpful voice in my life. With that said, I don't idolize him. In fact, many don't. I'm my own man, not a Kool-Aid drinker. And I'm tired.

Have at me - just know I won't comment further.

In Christ,

Kevin

Johnathan Pritchett

I know, personally, that my Calvinist pastor friends and myself (I am not a Calvinist) won't tolerate what keeps happening with this issue with lots of people.

We all get along fine, cooperate quite a bit, serve together, etc...What is it with some people?

We are SOUTHERN Baptists...we should act like we have SOUTHERN (read: Biblical) manners, courtesy, and charm!

Divisiveness is a cause for public church discipline and rebuking. Which includes naming names.

Any Calvinist or "non-Calvinist" around my way making trouble and being divisive is gonna find a bunch of Baptist Hog fans here in Arkansas on both sides of this issue, side by side, ready and waiting to shut them up something fierce.

This is getting old. All SOUTHERN Baptists need to start acting like Christian ladies and gentlemen again.

Johnathan Pritchett

P.S. It figures that mostly Yankees, west coast weirdos, and people from Kentucky (no offense) are the ones that lead most of the trouble...

Steve Evans

I am from Kentucky but serve in SOUTH Carolina does that me southern enough?
I just know to go and share the Gospel with anyone who will listen to tne Good News. Yes, I know that is redundant. Let's "go and make disciples."

Steve Evans

Also, Bill Harrell is quickly becoming on of my "heroes" of the faith. He understands what the top down leadership is trying to impose on the convention as a whole.

lmalone

"interpret Mohler's statements differently. I think it's a matter of context. But that you and others are offended, I understand, and it makes sense"

I know, Kevin. It IS a matter of "context" that is what makes it so despicable. He is a paid employee of the SBC. If he would not say the exact same words in the exact same way to the Convention from the microphone, he has a character and integrity problem.

I am very sorry you cannot see that.

Randy Everist

"Kevin, seriously, BOO HOO you don't like the zombie and Kool Aid references. If you seriously think that what Al Mohler is doing. . .is the equivilant [sic] of a zombie or kool aid references than you need to do a little more 'research' as to what the topic of conversation actually is here."

I'm not a Calvinist by any stretch of the imagination, but let's just say I have some doubt as to whether this is how Jesus would respond. Incidentally, in order for Kevin to have a valid point within your reference yours and Mohler's infractions need not be equal or even similar. It simply needs to be an infraction. The fact you don't appear to care is more an indictment than anything else.

That said, loved the article. :)

Paul Henebury

I agree with the above comment. Mary may well be "right" on the main point, but she is in the flesh and it shoes in her emotive and angry language. There's no excuse for it.

Paul Henebury

And I ought to check my spelling before I hit "Post" :)

mary

Randy, being neither young nor stupid, I admit to failing frequently and miserabley so the WWJD standard is certainly something I strive to but with age have realized that even on my best days that I don't come close to accomplishing. Anybody who has reached a certain age realizes that everybody was young and stupid is a simple fact of life and if you don't get that everybody was young and stupid than you're probably too young to get it yet.

So if you loved the article Randy, I'm sure you didn't appreciate when young Skippy up there called me insane and a liar for basically stating the same things as the orginal OP writer which means that by implication he called Bill Harrell a liar and insane.

So in response my reply was basically "Skippy you're doing the same thing the agressive Calvinist do when faced with facts that Calvinism is causing a deep divide within the SBC - not dealing with facts but resorting to the ad hominem" kinda like the nonsense that Al Mohler didn't really insult the majority of the SBC with the recently revealed remarks - the Calvinist defense was what he was really saying is "where are the already reformed to go, if they want to be reformed" So yes my reply in kind was an ad hominem of you "kool aid drinking zombie" but the defense to the charge of slander is that one slander is true and one is not. And Randy, since you loved the article you must think at the very least I'm not a liar. How bout the fact that young Skippy doesn't appear to "care" or that Kevin in his so-called "correction" (anybody else notice his little "wink wink" bear with me cuz I don't think Calvinist are really bad inference in his "correction" of Skippy?) he didn't mention the fact that calling me and Bill Harrel liars and insane doesn't exactly help the conversation.

Now Randy, you know what I truly don't care about? I truly don't care what conclusions strangers on the internet draw from a few words I write here, come to about me or my values, morals or my walk with my Savior. I know my redeeemer liveth and that's all that matters.

What I care about is the SBC, I care about an organization that has been used by God to draw countless numbers to Him. An organization that has been used by God to show His love in a world that is growing increasingly darker. I care that it's in very real danger of being split by more than just a few references by a laywoman on the internet. I care that we cannont have a serious conversation because the kool aid drinking zombies cannot accept the real live facts on the ground and so will fight back with personal attacks and take conversations into "she's mean to me!" school yard nonsense. It's a battle for the SBC and arrows are flying. I personally don't have time to deal with the nonsense and I really don't care to.

mary

Gee Paul, you know if I were an egalitarian I might bring up the point that when a woman is strong in her convictions and beliefs the men show up throwing around sexist words like "insane" "angry" and "emotive" Are there any other posters who have posted "in the flesh" here, I think there was only one other woman who commented - how bout it Paul any other "angry" "insane" "emotive" posters among the men?

It's gonna be a whole lot of fun watching these men who've taken me off the Christmas card list show their inconsistency when men in future comment streams offer "angry" "insane" "emotive" comments and they remain silent.

Gee why me? Why now? Could it be someone somewhere doesn't like the message so we must discredit the messenager as an "angry" "emotive" "insane" woman?

mary

And yeah, Paul, what a hoot the "shoes" comment with the sexist language - Freudian slip much? LOL!

lmalone

Mary, Phil Johnson over at Pyro has a message for you in one of his recent posts. You are part of the "monstrous regiment of women" in Christianity who are shrill and think they have the right to rebuke men. Know your place.

You are in big trouble.

All they have to do to shut down a woman's perspective is to allude to it being "emotional", "bitter" or shrill. Works every time. Because only women can be those things. (wink)

mary

I'm shakin' in my boots (shoes) here Lmalone.

Give a girl a link before she hauls herself off to the kitchen today would ya?

mary

lmalone, first, the photo and the title by themselves I think show the misogyny that is so prevalent in these more cultic calvinist such as SGM. You don't need to hear anything being said because a picture's worth a thousand words and the title pretty much adds another thousand or two.

From the comment stream I get the impression (can't stand watching videos of these guys) but it would seem the message is women who disagree with Phil Johnson, Calvinism, Al Mohler, Driscoll et al are deserving of being called Jezebels (monstrous regiment of women) and they deserve to have their looks mocked etc etc.? How dare these women post on the internet, why on earth do their husbands even allow them to have a computer, don't they have enough to do with the cooking, cleaning, massaging the hubby's feet and bearing of his chilren yearly?

It's one thing to fall back on the tried and true sexist lines of "emotive" "insane" "angry" "shrill" " diva" but what Johnson does with his monstrous regiment of women reference is imply that women who dare say something he doesn't agree with, something against Calvinist and the idols of the kool aid drinking zombies, what he does with that reference to Knox is imply that those women are Jezebels and not just "unregenerate" but that they are pure evil. But yeah the whole kool drinking zombie thing was sooooooooo mean!

And for the record it doesn't take any particular gifts to point out truths such as Founders is all about reforming the SBC and Al Mohler being in full agreement with the Founder's ministry has used his position at Southern to hire only Calvinist thereby indoctrinating a whole new generation of kool aid drinking zombies.

Call me any name you want. You could call me a b%$#@ and I'd laugh and say yeah you're right I gots a mouth on me, but to imply that someone is evil (not just me but other women who are pointing out the same things about Mohler, Driscoll and co)is wandering into the realms of the cults. When Calvinist can't deal with and refute truth they will attack viciously. Calvinism will be defended at all costs.

mary

Oh my Timmy Brister, just put up a post about "busybodies" LOL! Is there gonna be a flurry of posts of "men get control of your women now?" How dare women post the words of Calvinist against them and point out actual activities of leaders in the SBC.

I told my husband that the Calvinist are in the same bind as the Democrats. Democrats and Calvinist used to control the internet and thus control conversations. But those politically conservative and the nonCalvinist have found the internet and are able to talk and share information and experiences. The poor Calvinist can't control the conversation and the information being shared and they don't know what to do but call names and try to destroy the messengers with personal attacks. Yet they reveal the truth of everything that is being said about them.

Paul Henebury

Mary said,

"Gee Paul, you know if I were an egalitarian I might bring up the point that when a woman is strong in her convictions and beliefs the men show up throwing around sexist words like "insane" "angry" and "emotive" Are there any other posters who have posted "in the flesh" here, I think there was only one other woman who commented - how bout it Paul any other "angry" "insane" "emotive" posters among the men?

It's gonna be a whole lot of fun watching these men who've taken me off the Christmas card list show their inconsistency when men in future comment streams offer "angry" "insane" "emotive" comments and they remain silent.

Gee why me? Why now? Could it be someone somewhere doesn't like the message so we must discredit the messenager as an "angry" "emotive" "insane" woman?"

I reply: I don't think any of that kind of language is Christlike. Yours or the other examples you cite. Do you? But some of it is just sinful and that needs to be pointed out. I've done so and you can respond sarcastically and keep ranting or not. That's between you and the Lord. I said I agreed with your main points remember? Whoever called you "insane" (if they did) should repent publicly. As for "angry" and "emotive", well, I'm afraid you are.

If you think the Holy Spirit is driving your spirit you will no doubt continue your invectives and pass me off as "sexist." If not, you will no doubt cease.

lmalone

Mary, I wouldn't be so proud of quoting Knox if I were them. The man collaborated to murder Lord Darnley and even concocted a sermon to excuse their deed. He also married a 15 year old girl when he was in his 50's and even his parishoners were not happy about that. The guy was a creep and was more than willing to try to "play" Elizabeth 1 for a dupe. She was too smart for him, though.

mary

Neither my language or that of the others is Christlike and yet the woman is the only being called out?

Yes Paul, I do believe that I a mere woman have been gifted with the Holy Spirit. And yes Paul my language can be offensive. I've already admitted as much if you are actually reading what I'm writing, but since you've missed the insane comment - (are you now implying I'm a liar too) I'm not too confident that you haven't just decided to cherry pick what the woman is saying for whatever purpose today.

No Paul I am not an angry woman and emotive is not a bad thing for those who care. We're not all professinal apologetics so trying to hold a lay person - or in your case trying to hold a woman to your professional standards shows a bias on your part. It just so happens that your sexist comments are coming on a day when the sexism against those who've spoken out against the Calvinist agenda in the SBC is dominant.

Lmalone, the only important thing we need to know about Knox is was he a good Calvinist. As long as he was a good Calvinist, misogyny is aok hunky dory. See Mark Driscoll for modern day example.

Paul Henebury

Mary,

I'm sorry if you think my remarks were sexist and I ask your forgiveness. I assure you such was not my intention. and I'm not calling you a liar!

mary

Paul, thank you. Of course I accept your appology and offer forgiveness. And let me very clearly apologize for my unkind words and attitudes. I don't like being attacked, but I know exactly WWJD in such a situation.

And Paul if I may make a couple of points without this being construed as me getting in the "last" word. It's one thing to point out that my words are not Christlike and quite another to use what are considered in a lot of areas to be sexist comments against my person. I've used some of the very same comments and they've been taken as the joke they are, but claiming them as a joke when others are offended is not acceptable.

Also when someone comes into a conversation where the woman has been attacked and called names and yet this someone decides to only "correct" the woman - well I get a little suspicious.

But forgive me if I've misread your spirit as I certainly don't like for people who misread me. My husband cautions me frequently that my wit may be a little too "dry" for most people.

mary

OK to be clear the comments that I've used construed as a joke are the kool aid drinking zombie comments - not the sexist comments.

Bob Hadley

Hello Bro. Harrell,

It is good to read once again your comments. I would only wish your following statement were true: “What I am going to say about this will undoubtedly be misunderstood by some.” I am afraid it is not that it is misunderstood but rather misconstrued. I am really amazed at how “innocently ignorant” aggressive Calvinists can be concerning this issue of the integrity of their theological positions. It is as if that argument is “flaunted by non-Calvinists” and it is simply preposterous that such a charge would be leveled against them in such a mean spirited manner. As Mary and others have pointed out, go to the Founders web site and read the article on reforming churches. Google, Walking Without Slipping” and you will find that article in a file ironically noted as “quiet”!

I personally agree with your statement that being a Calvinist or not has never been a problem. To be honest, I had no real idea what a Calvinist was until 2000. It has never been an issue that I cared to give much consideration to. I also agree with your statement, “I might also point out that the non-Five Pointers such as myself and the vast majority of the people of our convention, did not create the current issue in the SBC which is becoming very divisive. It was created by the aggressive Five-Point Calvinists who insist that people agree with them and who are willing to push the issue to a breaking point just to hear people say that they will adopt their stance. I would hasten to add that not all Calvinists are part of those who hold such a position.

One of the major problems is that Calvinism has been taught more and more in the last few years. Consequently, many of the younger people ascribing to it have taken that theological position beyond the Calvinism of Spurgeon and the like. They have adopted an aggressive attitude which becomes very indignant and aggravated when people don’t join them in their theological stance or when a person voices one word of caution or difference of opinion.”

My whole perspective is really aimed at curbing the influence of the minority position in the convention entities, which is this aggressive Calvinist position. I have not been silent in my assertion that this position needs to be curbed. It does not matter where we have come from; it does not matter to me “how Calvinistic” the founders of the SBC were in the early years, which is not as clear as some would like. What is crystal clear to me is the FACT that the SBC is not Calvinistic today and there are those who would like for that to remain the case and there are those who would like to see that changed. To see this in any other light is irresponsible on someone’s part. To cry foul is simply unacceptable in my opinion.

Calvinists know that non-Calvinist churches are woefully ignorant of what is quietly taking place but if you read a lot of their comments it is as if no such thing happens. “It is not our fault that they do not as the right questions.” OK. I believe you are absolutely correct in your remarks of integrity concerning staff candidates being upfront and honest with PSC’s and churches BEFORE they are called to serve a church. Of course, there is the argument that the Calvinist’s are being “upfront” because the churches have a misconception of their real positions and if they said they were “Reformed” the church would pass over them because of those misconceptions and that simply would not be fair to the Calvinist prospect. I disagree.

If a church does not want to hire a Calvinist, or they want to hire a Calvinist, I believe they ought to be able to do what they believe the Lord is leading them to do. I also believe it is imperative for the candidate to be upfront with the church when He knows there are significant issues in their respective positions. Of course, that is a problem in and of itself because the issue is not theological but rather Scriptural and once the church is educated at what the Scriptures actually say, then the theological positions will take care of themselves. I am afraid we certainly do have a problem!

Thanks again for your position and for seeking to make your position plain for anyone to understand it.

Grateful to be in His Grip!

><>"

Randy Everist

"Now Randy, you know what I truly don't care about? I truly don't care what conclusions strangers on the internet draw from a few words I write here, come to about me or my values, morals or my walk with my Savior. I know my redeeemer liveth and that's all that matters.

What I care about is the SBC, I care about an organization that has been used by God to draw countless numbers to Him."

I'm only asking you to care about your words themselves. A "tu quoque" response won't ontologically remove you, and you weren't quite apologetic. Also, the last sentence of the penultimate paragraph I quoted directly contradicts the first sentence of the last one. I only "singled you out" because you appear to be quite arrogant, or you lack social skills. You have some kind of feminist chip on your shoulder that can at best be described as a persecution complex. If that doesn't bother you, OK. It's not my problem, but I do wish to inform you. I have done so. God bless, and have a great day!

peter

Randy,

Look. There's absolutely no reasonable need to make an exchange into a psychological evaluation. Good heavens, man. Lighten up! Mary either "appears arrogant" or lacks "social skills." Furthermore, she allegedly possesses a "feminist chip" which reduces to a "persecution complex". But it's alright to say that because you ended your string of insults with a "God bless you". Is this really what you want to contribute to this thread?

Even granting for argument's sake everything you said about Mary was so, how does your screed toward her assist with her so-called "lack of social skills"? More importantly, how does it show your social skills are superior enough to judge someone else's?

Perhaps you did not want to assist her. O.K. What under the blue sky are you writing about then? Your comment hardly qualifies for any substantial contribution in any other sense--at least so far as I can tell.

With that, I am...
Peter

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