« Finally!: The Truth About Conservative Christians | Main | Professor Roger Olson: An Interview »

2006.10.19

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

peter

Dear Brothers Michael & Volfan,

I do not at all mind some "fun" and poking at one another. However, I equally do mind if the jesting turns to serious comments.

For me, I am uninterested in any one particular group leaving the SBC. For heaven's sake, we are still bleeding from our last amputation. May God's Sovereign grace pour down on us brotherly kindness in our journey.

With that, I am...

Peter

p.s. the above statement should be taken as clear exhortation to cool it, guys...

volfan007

michael and selah,

God bless you. i pray that the Lord will pour out His grace and love on you in a special way today.

i dont know how to play a banjo, but i wish i did. i'd love to play one.

selah,

my point is...that there are some things that would cause us to not be able to serve the Lord together. like,if someone believed in sprinkling instead of immersion... i could not agree with that person, and i would not want them to be missionaries in the sbc....would you?

whoops, i think i done beat up another one of those straw men...didnt i?

selah, if you are a five pointer, then i love you in the Lord, and i thank God for your walk with Jesus. but, i would not want you teaching that in my church.

not trying to be mean...just honest.

where'd my sweet tea go?

thar it tis...right where i left it.

from the rainy hills of tn,

volfan007


Michael

After sleeping on it, I thought I might need to clarify something. I would hate for you to think I am one of your enemies the pesky Calvinists that you guys and your leaders seem to hate so much. They do not deserve such publicity. I will say this, you would run me out of your denomination just like it seems that you have with this Kelly guy and those he seems to know who left. Your desire is to see them leave but what happens at that point? I am not sure what I believe about that stuff but I will say that the fighting that I see among you Baptists is one reason I would never want to join you.
I feel sorry for your denomination because I think if you keep it up you are going to begin fighting over whose version of Scripture is the only one. Why? Because I see that you have already created your own in the HSB version so I see that argument coming up next. Before long you won't have anyone to fight with because there won't be any one left. I still don't think that God is honored by splitting into multiple denominations. The New Testament church was one universal church not several denominations.
By the way Peter, you said that you would leave it up to your readers as to whether you misrepresented the guy who left your denomination...As a reader of your posts, my vote is yes.
Pastor David, if you are still reading this, I am sorry for you having to leave your heritage behind.
Michael

volfan007

let's see....the sbc is bigger than it's ever been...we are baptizing hundreds of thousands of people every year...we are starting thousands of churches here in n. america and around the world...our finances have been better than they have ever been.

and, you, michael, feel sorry for us. bro., what denomination are you in?

and, if someone wants to leave us...well, so long. you ought to do what you gotta do. it's been my experience that some people leaving a church or a denom. is not always a bad thing.

from the hills of tn,

volfan007

peter

Dear Michael,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. And, I fully accept your vote. Thank you for expressing it.

Also, there is much you said in the last comment with which I agree. I do, however, believe you do not appear to undestand Baptists. The first Baptist history book to which I was ever exposed, was a little volume written by historian, Walter Shurden entitled "Not a Silent People". That was over 25 years ago. But I still remember the very first chapter's title: "Here Come Those Battlin' Baptists".

It is true that we "fight" alot. Paradoxically, in one sense, Michael, that is the very reason I began this site. To make sure diversity could continue. I have often said I have absolutely no desire for Calvinists to be squeezed out of the SBC.

However, there is a tiny, yet very vocal Calvinist "machine" in place that, from my observation, desires to take us back to 19th century Calvinist majority. I fully believe to "Creedal Calvinism".

I may very well be mistaken. In fact, I hope I am. But until it is evident to me that I am mistaken, I will continue to offer the millions of God-honoring, gospel preaching Southern Baptists, who may not have a voice for various reasons, a venue to express their non-Calvinist vision of salvation. It's a small contribution, I realize. But it is my contribution nevertheless. After all, it's the Baptist way.

By the way, there are many non-Baptists who are also non-Calvinists who may benefit from my site and it also exists for them. Many of them feel quite alienated on some of the Calvinist sites. I desire this to be a place where one may dialog without feeling he/she must enter "a debate" in order to participate.

Have a great afternoon, Michael. And I trust you feel welcome to drop by anytime. With that, I am...

Peter

Michael

Transfer growth and proselytizing do not account for growth. According to your own Lifeway Christian Resources, your baptisms declined and I quote “significantly”. I believe the rate of decline was 4.15%. I do believe that if you continue on the course you are charting, that God will remove your witness among the people and you will see an even greater loss. As for my denomination, I do not believe denominations are pleasing to God. Honestly, I hope that more SBC pastors are taking on this attitude of we don’t need you. I know a SBC pastor from Ohio, who moved to another state and one by one he ran the people out of his new church. Three years later the church that had been seeing steady growth and running 120 in Sunday school has dwindled to 40 in worship. They have not baptized anyone in two years and they are begging members to go on “FAITH” visits with them. Yet people are still leaving the church and they wonder why. Oh and he has the same attitude, “If you don’t like what I say behind the pulpit there’s the door…” I have heard a few of his “sermons” and I can say that the only thing offensive about them is him and his works based salvation messages. And yes, Peter, I do understand the Baptist heritage. I know Baptists are known as scrappers but some scraps push it to the limit and continued fighting brings down morale. As a matter of fact you could almost say “I went to a fight the other night and a Baptist Business meeting broke out.” You guys would fight over the last piece of fried chicken if you weren’t so busy fighting over who cut in line at the potluck. Yes, I know Baptists.

volfan007

michael,

you obviously dont know baptists, and you dont know me. our baptisms are down...but thats still hundreds of thousands of baptisms each year. we just didnt baptise as many as the year before. and, we are starting thousands of churches each year. what denom. do you belong to?

also, at my church, we have many former methodists and presbyterians and church of christ. they all came into our church for various reasons, but one of the main reasons was to hear good bible preaching and teaching.

also, we dont tell people its my way or the highway. but, if people wanna leave...i always say a mans gotta do what a mans gotta do. if you dont like sbc teachings and practice, then maybe another denom. is best for you.


God bless you, michael.

from the rainy hills of tn,

volfan007

peter

Dear Michael,

I am unsure what you mean by "scrappers" but it does not sound like a very positive evaluation.

My suggestion to you Michael is twofold:

1) Help us by praying for us
2) Help us not so much by negative criticism but by positive contribution. Assemble some very good principles you have learned in your theological tradition that helps you thrive so well

Have a great evening. With that, I am...

Peter

SelahV

Gosh...fellers. I go wash the dishes, take out the trash, clean up my hubby's mud from my freshly vacumned floors and come back to a full-fledge monopoly game.

Volfan....I love you. I truly do. If I get to come see my daddy in Tennessee anytime soon, I do hope your church is nearby so I can come hear you preach and get some of that sweet tea. Here in Oklahoma, they don't bother to put a bit of sugar in it.

And you won't have to worry none about me teaching Calvinism. Don't know what they believe yet. I get more questions to my questions than answers. So who cares, anyway? I do need to warn ya though, that I may get to dancing a bit if the gospel music gets peppy.

Michael: I don't know you. But you seem to know all my brothers and sisters in the SBC. Amazes me, since I've been in the family for 51 years and I don't know those folks you do. Course I spend most of my time socializing with the Lutheran, Church-of-Christ, and Catholics that joined our SBC church a few years back. Who fights over chicken legs? I hit that dessert table before anyone gets through the meat and veggie line. SelahV

SelahV

PETER: Ain't God good? We plant, water, till abit and He gives the increase. Ya oughta see my pepper plants now! SelahV

Michael

Peter, it is not necessarily a negative term. Scrapper means fighter. Baptists are known for their fights. Am I right? I think so, I have a few Baptist in my family and I have been to a couple of Baptist churches in my life.
Volfan, I am not a member of a denomination. A community church but no denomination. Your baptism are down as a whole from 2005 but your 2005 baptisms are down from 2004 also. I have read the reports.
Peter, I am not trying to be negative I am just pointing out the reason why the SBC should have need for concern. I have listened to charges against your brothers the 5 pointers and some who disagree with them have said some pretty rotten things including your Dr. Vines. I listened to the same sermon you are praising and he recalled saying to a student pastor that he was not to teach that "Calvinism" stuff in his church (that is Dr. Vines church) and if he wanted to teach it he could get his own church and kill it with that sort of teaching. It was one of the last comments he made. That my brother is arrogant and flat out rude not to mention a direct attack against his supposed Calvinist friends. I find it suspect that he would speak so poorly about the two men that he mentioned and actually say that he has friends who are Calvinists. He probably doesn’t now. If I were present, well I should be more Christ like than that. I heard blasts from your beloved Adrian Rogers, God rest his soul, that were charging against this belief too. And here I see a sense of callousness toward your, our brothers, who leave your denomination because the feel disenfranchised by hateful pastors and parishioners. As I said earlier, be careful or the next thing you fight about will be translations or something like worship styles or hymns versus contemporary music. I keep bringing things like this up because Volfan is a, and no ill feelings here and no intent to bad mouth, but he seems to be one hard headed mule when he keeps going on about the proselytization of people from other denominations and looks at a continued trend of reduced baptism as just a down year. I do pray for your denomination but I pray that God open your eyes to where the fighting is leading and I pray that you repent and get right with your brothers. We don’t need more denominations, we need less. Honestly, I am surprised that I have not heard something to the effect of the Landmark Baptist thought spit out yet. Oh by the way Augustine is the one who believed that babies go to hell if they are not elect. I have read several reformers and I have yet to come across one that believes that way but Augustine is not a reformer he was a Catholic and those guys are dead wrong. The strange thing is how far they strayed so far from his original teachings. I have to agree with the 2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith, which from what I can tell in my studies is the first Confession that the original SBC used until they developed their own. This confession names the Catholic poop, I mean pope as the man of sin, the antichrist. I think they got that right. I am looking at a book right now that was written about one of your first Presidents. I think it is funny the guy was one of the first, Patrick Hues Mell president from 1863-1871 and 1880-1887, he was a Calvinist. There were a couple of them back then. Don’t forget your heritage brothers.

peter

Dear Michael,

As to being negative, I would have to simply say, that, at least from my vantage position, we possess two entirely different definitions which will obviously give us different conclusions about it.

Secondly, do you happen to recall that I acknowledged that Baptists were born out of controversy (a.k.a., Here Come Those Battlin Baptists")? The Priesthood of the Believer that appears to be losing traction in our Churches today is one reason for this type of culture. "No creed but the Bible" has been a banner of ours for quite sometime.

Third, I did not at all know I was praising Dr. Vines' sermon. Rather my post was more in the line of Dr. Vines' right to preach about Election, which, unfortunately by some Calvinists' understanding, no non-Calvinist really can either address the subject properly for they lack understanding of it and surely no non-Calvinist could ever honestly portray correctly the Calvinists' view.

As for your own desire of "being more like Jesus", I think that is honorable and worthy, Michael. I share your heart about that. Yet, for me, I would wonder about saying to someone else, what you have assured us you would do: "If I were present, well I should be more Christ like than that"

And, for the record, Michael, I would, were I you, slow down a bit. The more you write, the more careless you are becoming.

After assuring us you have a good understanding of our heritage, you make a horrid historical blunder: "I have to agree with the 2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith, which from what I can tell in my studies is the first Confession that the original SBC used until they developed their own."

Michael, the SBC did not possess a confession until 1925. From 1845-1925 they possessed no confession. And in 1925, our confession was based not on the London Confession as you state but the New Hamshire Confession of Faith of 1833 was the BF&M's primary source.

My advice to you Michael is to be careful talking to others about their own history whoever they may be. Credibility vanishes very quickly when it is seen that such elementary blunders are made.

God's grace this day. With that, I am...

Peter

volfan007

a hard headed mule....well, dust my britches and call me dirty! hard headed mule? wow, and he says that i am the one who would say, my way or the highway. and, as for my church being full of former methodists and presb. and church of christs and others.... well, they must be coming over for a reason. i aint going after them. they are coming here.

in fact, i used to be a methodist. we left the methodist church and joined the baptist when i was about 13. they had turned away from the bible and turned too liberal for my family.

michael,

sounds like you need to meet a mule before you go to callin em names.

from the hills of tn,

volfan007

ps. aint it funny when people think that they know all about ya when they aint never even met ya?

Michael

Peter,
My mistake on which confession it was. I will check into that further. However, if you look at the New Hampshire confession it is a Calvinistic document and in my appraisal of the 1925 Baptist Faith and Message has preserved at least three of those points in part. I know that reading the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message that they seem to have preserved the same three to some extent. But this is contrary to many Southern Baptists. What is your take on this? Also, my comments about Baptists being known for their fights was in acknowledgement to your pointing me to my lack of knowledge of Baptists. I was simply remarking on the history book that you mentioned.
Volfan,
You seem stubborn because you overlook what I have seen as at least two years worth of declines in overall baptisms as a bad year so to speak. Those were not your words but mine as I try to understand you. Was it not you who said that founders type 5 pointers should start their own denomination...? That is the "my way or the highway" your words not mine but very good analogy, mentality that concerns me. I am glad you stepped out of such a liberal denomination Praise God that we have conservative Christian families who will set such a strong example as your parents did.
By the way on a lighter note:
You might be a Southern Baptist if you wake up at 3 in the morning with an overwhelming desire for Fried Chicken and sense this as a call to preach. :O Or You might be a Southern Baptist if you believe that the Holy Spirit moves strongest in the back three pews. :) No they are not mine, I just borrowed them from a SBC pastor I once knew.

SelahV

VOLFAN: I'd rather like being called a mule, myself. Would rather be a stubborn mule than "like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed" or a "double-minded man" who is "unstable in all his ways."

My grandma from the hollows of Tennessee had a mule. That mule would go anywhere my Uncle Dubb would lead it and it plowed the straightest rows ya ever did see for planting corn.

But when some silly kid got ta thinking they could get him to be a horse instead of a mule, well that kid ended up on his derriere(another name for donkey) right in the middle of the hogslop.

Incidently, my brother never did try to make that mule into a horse again. :) SelahV

peter

Dear Michael,

Thanks for the claity. I also am appreciative of the conversation.

As for the New Hampshire Confession also being Calvinistic, you are quite correct. It was. However, as Schaff notes in his "History of Creeds", Vol 1, p.857, the New Hampshire tradition was a conscious softening of Baptists' allegiance to strict Calvinism. Of the New Hampshire Confession, he writes: " it is shorter and simpler than the Confession of 1688 [London Confession]and presents the Calvinistic system in a milder form".

In addition, not only did the Committee who put together the BF&M of 1925 to present to the SBC employ the New Hampshire Confession as a "model", the primary influence on the Committee was its Chair, Dr. E.Y.Mullins, President & Professor of Systematic Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

And Mullins was anything but a strict Calvinist. He was a champion of the free agency of human beings--"soul competency" was his buzz word, he believed regeneration did not precede faith but was simultaneous with it, that Christ died for all, not just the Elect.

My point is this, Michael: Southern Baptists, in 1925, made a deliberate, conscious, open choice to soften any widespread committment to Historic, Five point Calvinism. They chose instead to support a Confession of Faith that, while not banning 5 Point Calvinism from the SBC, did not baptize 5 Point Calvinism as official Baptist tradition either.

For my part, I think that's a win/win for all. The BF&M is "rubbery" enough to accept both Calvinist and non-Calvinist. It's when one group says "we are the REAL or ORIGINAL or OLDEST or TRUE tradition that appears to provoke drawn swords.

Personally, I possess a deep appreciation for our Calvinist tributary to the Baptist river. But it is not the only tributary nor the oldest.

Indeed, almost three decades before The London Confession of 1689 to which our Calvinist brothers so often allude, over twenty-thousand Arminian Baptists met in London and approved "The London Confession"(Schaff, Vol.1, p.858).

Baptist heritage is rich, deep and sometimes, extremely wierd :)

With that, I am...

Peter

SelahV

Gosh Peter, that was the clearest message I've ever read about our heritage as Baptists. Any books written By D.Y. Mullins? I like his thinking (at least from the taste I got from your post above.) What was his full name?
SelahV

peter

SelahV,

Good morning! I trust your night was well. Mine was virtually sleepless. I tossed all night. I kept thinking about the New Hampshire Confession :)

His name in full is Edgar Young Mullins. And, of course, your old Teddy Bear will have a copy of his systematic theology--The Christian Religion in its Doctrinal Expression. It was our theology text in Louisville.

If he yard-saled it, you're probably not only going to fall from grace, you also are clean out of luck because I think it's out-of-print :(

Grace today, SelahV. With that, I am...

Peter

SelahV

Well, didn't yard-sale it. But we think he may have given to a young preacher who was starting a library at his church in Kentucky before we moved to Oklahoma. We would've had to rent another U-haul to bring all library here. At this writing, I am absolutely surrounded by books. Spurgeon, Sproul, Murray, E.M.Bounds, Lucado and of course, my Watchman Nee. No matter, I will google the title and someday someone will have one for sale. Why don't you do a blog on him later on? Or isn't he blog-material?

P.S. Me didn't sleep either. Had some corrective thinking going on in my brain. :) selahV

Michael

On October 25, 2006 I said that there were going to be other battles within the SBC. I thought the correct version of Scripture might be next but I was wrong. I see that William F. Harrell, chairman of the SBC Executive Committee, has offered the newest battle line to be drawn. In an interview with "The Christian Index" he pointed out that a specific brand of worship needs to be defined as being "Southern Baptist". If I read his interview correctly, he is a traditionalist and does not consider contemporary worship to be worship or Southern Baptist. Here is the link: http://www.christianindex.org/2715.article In the interview he said, "...First, concerning the matter of worship style, we must decide what identifies us as Southern Baptists. This will be difficult, because we are autonomous, but I believe our Convention leaders need to make a more definitive statement about how we identify ourselves in worship and who we are as Southern Baptists. We are never going to be homogeneous, never have been, but there are some lines we should never cross as Southern Baptists. There must be something distinctive about us or we will lose our identity." Keep it up guys, you won't have a denomination left before long.

Roland

PRAISE GOD!
Coming from an ex-Calvinist.
This is the major problem with Calvinisim. It robs you of joy. Joy in Christ. I was raised Mormon, and right at the time I was ready to prepare for my mission, BAM! I got saved! Born again! Born from above! The law was shown to me , I repented and believed (in the Jesus of the Bible) and the joy of the Lord became my strength. I served Christ for the next 3 to 4 years by sharing the Good News with how ever many people that crossed my path. Even my brother who was raised Nazerene by his father, he then rededicated his life to Christ after seeing the change in my life knowing I was raised Mormon.
And then I met a Calvinist pastor and attended his church for 7 years. I became a strict Calvinist and my life changed from sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ to non-believers to 'Calvinizing' non-Calvinists. My relationship with my brother went into the toilet because I looked at him as someone not saved because he did not see the 'light' of Calvinism. He and everyone else I knew. My Wife and I even made a special trip to California to our home town to tell everyone we knew about the 'good news' of Calvinism and that they needed it too. I even snuck books that my pastor had written in other church pastor's bibles when we visited their church. I will not tell you all the reasons now why I am not a Calvinist anymore but I will tell you this one. When I hear of Calvinists whine and or cry that they are being excluded and or persecuted for what they believe I SCREAM and cry in frustration! There are believers in other countries that don't even know the meaning of Calvinism and go to the grave in blood for their faith in Jesus Christ. Calvinist like Kelly David with these 'hurt feelings' are mistaken and his beliefs are unfounded, nor do they matter when Christians around the world are dying for their faith in Christ daily, I shed tears. I will not go by a book written by , John Calvin , Martin Luther, Chuck Smith , or Joseph Smith. The Word of God only, sola scriptura. Calvinists should be ashamed of themselves for their selfishness, period.
Thank you for this, sincerely Mr. Roland Faucett

Kelly

Roland,
Let me begin by saying praise God that He called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. I have friends who God has also led out of Mormonism and it would be of benefit to those of us who have not had great dealings with the religion to learn from those, such as yourself, who have been indoctrinated into this belief but whom God has providentially and sovereignly drawn out unto Himself. Let me also say it saddens me that you were robbed of your joy by a pastor’s teachings and I pray that the fervor you once had for reaching the lost with the hope of the Gospel has returned and that God is using you to reach the lost around you.
I have to agree with you regarding some who embrace different teachings and their zealousness for new found teachings and in the throws of their eagerness to share, they miss the point of taking what they have learned and humbly embracing it as a morsel of truth from God. I also praise God that He corrects us and gets us back on track by reminding us of the urgency of the Gospel. It sounds as though God has been bringing you back to His Truth after having been led astray by this pastor.
I also have to agree with you regarding how we often trivialize the severity of the persecution of our brothers and sisters in places like China, across Africa, and India when we reflect on ourselves and the pains that we have experienced. It is selfishness on our part when we will focus on self rather than looking at others as more important than ourselves. I have been guilty of this myself and I have had to repent of my sinfulness.
I must say though that I am perplexed by your mention of my name and labeling me a “Calvinist”. I have to say, I am not a Calvinist; though I embrace the doctrines of Grace. As I said in a post back in October, “I embraced the doctrines of grace and not with the help of Calvin, Spurgeon, Gill, Piper or any other known “Calvinist”. Rather I embraced the doctrines of grace from an intense attempt to prove the Sovereignty of God in salvation as known to reformed teaching as being wrong. It was God’s election of Abram, Isaac, Jacob, Paul, Lydia, and the study of the Passover and the Pascal lamb in light of an extensive study in John’s Gospel and Genesis that God instrumented to bring me to a point where I submitted to this truth.”
I also concur that we must not follow men, Paul even warned of this in 1 Corinthians 1:11-13 when he said, “For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you. Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, ‘I am of Paul,’ and ‘I am of Apollos’, and ‘ I and ‘I am of Cephas,’ and ‘I am of Christ.’ Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” I am in full agreement, with Sola Scriptura! When we follow men we may as well be prepared to drink the purple Kool Aid per say because men will fail us because men are flesh.
With this in mind I do wish to point out that the pain suffered by fellow brothers and sisters in Christ at the hand of fellow professing believers is not a thing to be considered trivial. By reading your post, I see that you have been hurt by the misleading of a pastor who was over zealous about his beliefs and his zeal defeated your joy in the Lord. Scripture tells us, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another“ (John 13:35). Despite our differences, and though I have never met you, I love you my brother in Christ and rejoice with you in God‘s salvation.
Sincerely,

Kelly David
Sovereign Grace RBC
Olympia, WA

The comments to this entry are closed.