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Feb 28, 2008

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Scott Gordon

Peter,

What a man of conviction and consistency. Six days out of thirty! And though I don't have the documentation to prove it, I am certain that he edited his original post the first time so as to safeguard his abrogation of his statement...and then the continued inconsistencies were too many with which to deal, so I suppose he gave up on them.

That being said...GREAT POINTS on post! Which is it...minimal or maximal. It would seem that our ecumenist reform SBC brothers...and sisters...are following the inconsistent piper merrily along their way!

Charles

In my opinion, Burleson hates Paige Patterson so taking a position different than Patterson just comes natural to him.

Charles
The Calvinist Flyswatter

selahV

Oh what a tangled web we weave...selahV

Chris

Maybe a new word will be coined "complemgatarian"

volfan007

it almost makes us think that the whole idea is to do away with the bfm2k....dont it? ;)


interesting post, peter...very interesting.

david

Byroniac

Peter:

Great post. I personally wish this was not even a concern in the SBC. And I am thankful for the BFM 2000; I have read some of the previous ones and still prefer it. I think we are reflecting our culture much more than impacting it with the truth of God's Word.

Benji Ramsaur

My Fellow Southern Baptists,

Blogger Peter Lumpkins brought up the idea of "confusion" in his post.

Please allow me an attempt to make what is at stake clear.

1. The Doctrine of Closed Communion affirms that only immersed Christians should be allowed to partake of the Lord's Supper [thus excluding many Methodist and many Presbyterian believers for example]
2. The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 affirms closed communion.
3. Part of the agenda of some [including I think Peter Lumpkins] is to shut out all those who do not hold to EVERYTHING in the BF&M 2000 from employment through Southern Baptist agencies [like the IMB].
4. If their agenda succeeds, then all those who do not hold to closed communion will be successfully shut out.
5. [Assuming #4] If most Southern Baptists do not believe in closed communion, then most Southern Baptists who pay money to the Cooperative Program will be shut out from having the opportunity to be employed by a Southern Baptist agency.

Question: If most Southern Baptists do not believe in Closed Communion, then is it right for the Southern Baptist Convention to shut out the Southern Baptist Denomination?

selahV

Benji, now I AM confused. Are you saying that we, as Baptists, are to employ Methodists and Presbyterians in our entities? selahV

Benji Ramsaur

SelahV,

I said nothing about employing Methodists or Presbyterians.

I am talking about "Southern Baptists" who do not believe in excluding a visiting Methodist or a visiting Presbyterian from partaking in communion with them.

Robin Foster

Peter

I have shared your same concerns. In one instance the BF&M is argued to be a maximal statement and in another instance it is argued that we should disregard its principles in favor of egalitarianism. The convention spoke loud and clear for a complementarian view.

I won't type any slams against our brother in Enid. I just hope he sees the inconsistency of his argument.

selahV

Benji, thanks for clearing that up. selahV

volfan007

benji,

there are many who think that the bfm2k does not teach closed communion. who said that it did?

david

Ron P.

Peter,

What brilliant analysis! You have navigated through the maze of inconsistencies from Enid. I too find it amazing how he does belittle Prof. Kassian. Such is what we come to expect from Enid. The rules only apply to us spooky fundamentalist. They can do whatever they want. Kind of reminds me of Bill Clinton.


Benji,

Each SBC church is autonomous. The BFM is NOT binding on each fellowship. It is our consensus statement of faith of that which we hold most dear as a convention. Your comments make no sense.

Ron P.

Benji Ramsaur

Volfann,

1925 BF&M: Christian Baptism...It is prerequisite to the privileges of a church relation and to the Lord's Supper [in 1925 closed communion was standard]

1963 BF&M: Christian baptism...it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord's Supper [basically stays the same]

2000 BF&M: Christian baptism...it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord's Supper.

It does not take a rocket scientist to know what the word "prerequisite" means.

However, if one needs a scholar--here you go:

http://www.baptisttheology.org/documents/BaptismasPrerequisteforSupper.pdf

Therefore, the situation is one today where honest men such as David Rogers and Wade Burleson could possible get shut out whereas intellectually dishonest men [and you may quote me] are able to get in [at least somewhat] because of their "interpretation" of the 2000 confession.


Ron P.,

In order for my statements to make no sense, it would have to necessarily be true that the majority of the Convention always voted in harmony with the majority of the denomination.

Since this is not necessarily true, my statements stand.

Ron P.

Benji,

You miss the importance of local church autonomy. No church is tied to the BFM. If they want to have an open Lord's supper, they can and still be Southern Baptist. You are not distinguishing between the Convention and the local church in your argument. That is the point I was making.

Ron P.

Benji Ramsaur

Ron P.,

I never said that the Convention made the 2000 confession binding on all local churches.

My point is that if the majority of those in local churches DO NOT believe in closed communion, then they would be shut out of having the opportunity to serve THROUGH Southern Baptist Agencies [like being missionaries through the IMB].

Colin McGahey

This reveals an interesting, yet not untried, approach to ecumenism. It also reveals a potential inconsistency in application if proponents indeed want to thrust this ecumenical approach upon the Southern Baptist Convention.

If a sincere rendering of applicable passages leads one to an egalitarian position, and if this position should be accepted with full cooperative benefits, why should one not conclude the same for those who come to a paedobaptist position? If the SBC would embrace egalitarians, why not paedobaptists? And if this follows, why would a true cooperative evangelical even isolate themselves under the umbrella of Baptist?

Paul indeed already combats this ecumenical tendency in Scripture with a principle dealing with sincerity- that is, sincerity with emotive influence, otherwise known as zeal.

Rom 10:2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.

Though Paul was addressing those who denied God's revealed righteousness, the principle applies here: that one's zeal can be lauded, but cooperation and acceptance is based on God's revelation, not one's sincerity.

Debbie Kaufman

Colin: A bogus but predictable Anabaptist response.

Benji Ramsaur

Colin,

You said "one's zeal can be lauded, but cooperation and acceptance is based on God's revelation, not one's sincerity".

Obviously you believe that a sincere egalitarian cannot base his egalitarianism on God's revelation.

However, why not apply your principle to other theological disagreements as well [the millennium, atonement, etc.]?

Then I suppose you could divide, divide, divide from about every person on planet earth and then declare to the squirrels "Behold, I am right!"


Ron P.

Benji,

That is not what you told SelahV:

"I said nothing about employing Methodists or Presbyterians.

I am talking about "Southern Baptists" who do not believe in excluding a visiting Methodist or a visiting Presbyterian from partaking in communion with them."


You clearly stated that you are talking about a local church having communion and not employing someone in the convention.

So, to keep this from going round and round. If you are referring to a local church, your point is not valid. If you are talking about being employed by an SBC entity, then yes, the BFM does serve as a minimal doctrinal standard. Though in Enid, it is both maximal and minimal depending on the circumstance. :)

Ron P.

Ron P.

That should read:

Though in Enid, it is both/neither maximal and/or minimal depending on the circumstance. :)

Ron P.

Benji Ramsaur

Ron P.,

I am a tad confused in your interpretation of what I said.

However, to be clear, yes I am talking about being employed by a Southern Baptist entity.

Ron P.

Benji,

My apologies then, because I have read it several times and still thought you were talking about a local church not being able to have open communion because of the BFM.

Ron P.

Scott Gordon

Ron P.,

Don't let Benji sidetrack the issue...the BFM2000 teaches CLOSE communion and not CLOSED communion. Anyone who has been baptized by immersion as a believer without the understanding that it was a prerequisite for SALVATION is welcome to participate in the LORD'S Supper with our church.

Benji,

You have well learned the pedantic arrogance of the leader of your cause.

SG!

Colin McGahey

Debbie,

I think you need to review your Baptist history. I am not Anabaptist, nor do I hold to an Anabaptist spiritual kinship theory of Baptist origin. Could you explain your thoughts?

Colin McGahey

Benji,

However, why not apply your principle to other theological disagreements as well [the millennium, atonement, etc.]?

Confessions, as you know, historically apply the principle to a whole host of doctrines. In fact, this is why we have denominations. Were they unnecessarily dividing?

peter lumpkins

All,

Been away since I pushed "publish." I see there's been some good dialog here. And, thanks to those who've offered your kind remarks.

One thing I'll mention is, someone noted--Colin I think--Enid's strategy likened to ecumenism. From my view, I could not agree more.

If one is talking about Interdenominational projects, focusing on a very narrow purpose, there stands an unusual amount of doctrinal freedom that not only may be honored but, most of the time, must be if the ministry project remains cohesive. It's in the nature of the purpose.

Perhaps it's a humanitarian project like building a house, or feeding a community, etc. Or, perhaps it's a mass evangelistic project like partnering with a variety of evangelical groups to host a city-wide festival/crusade.

Dr. Graham successfully used such a strategy for over half a century, drawing groups of many persuasions around the one simple truth to which they all adhered:

"Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, was buried and on the third day rose again. Now God calls all everywhere to turn from sin and turn to Christ"

This approach has great potential with an empirically proven track record.

On the other hand, such an approach cannot, for obvious reasons, work within a confessional convention of churches.
From my view, that is exactly the contract Enid desires Southern Baptists to sign. No thanks, Mr. Burleson.

Grace, all. With that, I am...

Peter

Benji Ramsaur

Scott G,

From wikipedia: "The term close communion normally means the same thing as closed communion."

From Dr. Nathan Finn: "For the record, I believe that (modified) open communion is obviously an historic position held by many Baptists, but closed/close/restricted/strict communion is both the best biblical manner in practicing the ordinance and the position that is clearly articulated in the BF&M."

From you: "You have well learned the pedantic arrogance of the leader of your cause."

From me: I believe you are so humble you should have been named Moses.

Grace my brother

Benji


Benji Ramsaur

Colin,

Confessionalism was not included in your comment. Therefore, I don't think that was the angle I was coming from.

However, from a confessional angle, Baptists did not define themselves confessionally as Complementarians until recently if I'm not mistaken.

I was asking you, from a personal standpoint, why you don't go on and on in dividing from those who disagree with you.

Colin McGahey

Benji,

My comment began, if proponents indeed want to thrust this ecumenical approach upon the Southern Baptist Convention.

But to answer your question, which is unrelated to my comment, for the same reason you do not continue undividing and undividing.

Benji Ramsaur

Volfann,

I probably should temper my "intellectual dishonesty" charge.

Dr. Luter stated: Here’s what Herschel Hobbs said about communion: “Some Baptist churches hold that one should be a member of the church in which he partakes of [the Lord’s Supper]… . Most Baptist churches hold that any member of any Baptist church is eligible” (p. 90). And, since Hobbs rejects “the charge that Baptists are ‘closed communionists,’” that seals the point that the current wording of the BFM does not teach “closed communion.”

I think Luter sincerely believes this [and those who might follow him]. However, I think his logic is faulty since he does not take into account that the 1963 basically follows the same wording as the 25 and thus Hobbs forfeited his right to claim a different interpretation when it came to the issue of open or closed communion in my opinion.


Benji Ramsaur

Colin,

How do you know the reason I do not continue undividing and undividing?

In fact, how do you know I do not continue undividing and undividing?

This is getting fun.

peter lumpkins

Benji,

I would be delighted to chat with you sometime about the BF&M and its articles about the ordinances. However, the old 'bait & switch' tactic you've developed on this thread offers me no real interest.

The post I put up specifically cites Mr. Burleson's continued appeals for SBs to accept egalitarians as equals, ignoring his argued position that because the BF&M is our "maximal" theological criteria, PPLs--which is not addressed implicitly or explicitly by the "maximum" document--cannot be cited as reason to deny employment.

Unlike PPL, the BF&M explicitly and definitively makes complementarianism a clear article of faith.

Hence, Wade's dilemna. His solution appears not to be bleed off some air from his "maximal" principle making the BF&M into a "minimal" criteria--something perhaps expected. Rather, he curiously ignores his "maximal" document altogether as if it does not exist, inciting SBs to accept what they've already definitively denied.

Now, if you'd like to engage that, please do so. We'll talk about your preference some other time.

With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

All,

Unfortunately, I'll be away from my computer a long spell. Lease address complementarianism and the BF&M and do not get baited into discussing communion which is not the focus here.

Play nice. With that, I am...

Peter

volfan007

benji,

first of all, what's the intent of your "tempering my intellectual dishonesty" statement? are you calling me something?

secondly, i have read the bfm2k, and i dont see a closed communion taught. it does say that only baptised believers should participate. well, duh. dont you believe that? shouldnt only believers take the Lord's Supper? and, shouldnt believers be baptised? and, does it say anywhere that only people baptised in a baptist church be eligible to take the Lord's Supper? and besides, ron is right. your church can do whatever it wants to do.

thirdly, when you said, "However, from a confessional angle, Baptists did not define themselves confessionally as Complementarians until recently if I'm not mistaken." benji, back then, they didnt need to put it in a confession. it was a way of life in that day. now, in our modern age, with the liberal feminist movement, it is needed. that's why it was added in 2000. and, i personally, am thankful that it was added so that we dont head down the wrong road of feminism in the sbc.

benji, all the squirrels in my backyard say, "hi."

david

Benji Ramsaur

Volfann,

Not calling you anything. I said what I said because I could see how someone could sincerely think it does not mean closed communion based on the reasoning of Dr. Luter. I just think he's wrong.

My view of what closed communion means has been set out in my previous statements. I never said anything about being baptized in a Baptist church.

I want to try and honor Peter's house. So this is probably my last statement on communion.

Grace

Benji

Benji Ramsaur

Scott Gordon,

The Bible tells me to not grieve the Holy Spirit.

Right now I feel grieved.

Please forgive me for my statement to you.

Grace

Benji

Debbie Kaufman

Dr. Graham did more than that Peter, he was everything that you would wish to exclude. His ministry is the most successful in the history of the SBC, my dad himself becoming a Christian through listening to his crusade when we were in grade school. Dr. Graham's daughter is a minister herself. I admit to being comfortable where our church is in being more complementarian yet without the attitude. But I have no problem welcoming a egaltarian into my church or fellowshipping with them in every sense of the word.

volfan007

dr. graham was mightily used of God. i agree. i'm thankful for all the people who were truly saved under his preaching. i personally feel that he went to far with his ecumenical ways. why would you want cussing, drinking, liberal episcopalian priests involved? who dont even believe the gospel? why would catholics be asked to participate? do they hold to the gospel? thus, did this not open the door for a lot of errors and heresies later on?

also, his daughter is wrong to be a preacher. i dont care who's daughter she is, either. she's wrong.

david

greg.w.h

Peter:

the sbctomorrow.com link is forwarding to peterlumkins.typepad.com (note the missing p in lumkins).

Just thought it would be helpful for you to know.

Greg Harvey

peter lumpkins

Greg,

Thanks for the info. Strange. Hopefully, I got it fixed. Glad you dropped by.

With that, I am...

Peter

greg.w.h

It redirected properly when I checked just now. Glad to help!

Greg Harvey

Dave Miller

I am in basic agreement with the gist of this post. The biblical teaching on the roles of men and women seems abundantly clear to me and it seems to me that when people compromise hermeneutical principles to adopt culturally based teachings, there are usually more compromises to follow. So, I agree with your point.

On the other side, I would make a couple of points.

1) Wade Burleson was the focal point of the reform movement because he was the first to take a stand. But I think that many of us who seek reform are uncomfortable with the direction he and Ben are headed.

2) Bashing Wade Burleson does not advance the cause of Christ. The same Bible that teaches us about the divinely created roles of men and women also tells us to season our speech with grace, to be kind and compassionate, tenderhearted and forgiving.

Just because Ben Cole savages Paige Patterson doesn't give you the right to do the same to Wade.

To me, Wade is becoming irrelevant to Southern Baptists. He is moving to form his own denomination (or whatever) so he is not a player in the SBC anymore.

Why can't you deal with issues without the invective directed toward Wade?

peter lumpkins

Dave,

Thanks for logging on, Dave. I appreciate your words. A few clarifications are in order.

First, Dave, you need to be specific about precisely how this post fits your description: "Bashing Wade Burleson does not advance the cause of Christ." In what way is this post "bashing' Burleson?

Moreover, who said I have a right to bash Burleson because Ben Cole bashes Dr. Patterson? I do not think I implied that. If so, please show me.

Second, to suggest that Wade Burleson is irrelevant to the SBC now is based upon what evidence? Of course, you mentioned "becoming irrelevant". Well, "becoming" irrelevant is not the same as being irrelevant.

Thus, until his ideas are irrelevant, there is no reason to lay them aside.

Finally, Dave, your final statement in question is troubling: "can't you deal with issues without the invective directed toward Wade."

I must insist again you produce the evidence for your use of "invective", which, by the way, is a very strong term--"vehement or violent denunciation" "railing accusation" "insulting or abusive word"

Even worse, the unstated assumption seems to be that I never deal with Wade's ideas apart from employing "invective" toward him.

Know, Dave, assertions about are easier to produce than evidence for. My hope is next time you log on, you will employ the latter a lot more than the former.

Grace, always. With that, I am...

Peter

Debbie Kaufman

Dave: Before rumors begin to run amuck, Wade is not forming a new denomination. He is still SBC, our church is SBC. Wade is still relevant to the SBC and who is this "many" you speak of.

Peter: Dave isn't totally wrong and I think we both know that. I just know you can't or won't be stopped, so I like you to show all your true colors. And you have not disappointed me.

Katie

Hi Peter,

Thanks for this excellent analysis. It often amazes me that Burleson, who has no seminary degree, loves to disagree with, challenge, and otherwise cast doubt on the ideas of others whose credentials are much superior to his own. Curious, isn't it?

Byroniac

Katie, credentials are not the ultimate validation of opinions. Those are sometimes, and of necessity, far down the priority list. God can grant spiritual wisdom and completely bypass the credentials and praise of men when He does so. Just look what he did with a group of ignorant fishermen and other undesirables we now call apostles!

Having said that---

There are probably many things I agree with Wade Burleson over Peter Lumpkins, but truthfully, this is not one of them.

Excellent post, Peter.

peter lumpkins

Katie,

Thanks, Katie. Your view is always important to me. Grace today. With that, I am...

Peter

Bill

Katie: Since you have in essence, posted your disagreement with Wade, are we to assume your own academic credentials exceed Wade's?

sam

Gender roles and the complementarian/egalitarians debate is a legitimate and necessary topic that we Southern Baptists need to explore -- and we need to explore both sides of the issue.

Consider that we, as a Convention, operate inconsistently in how we view women. There's the obvious stance that, according to Article XVIII that you mentioned, the office of pastor is reserved only for men, and that women are to submit to men's authority. In some circles, that means that a woman cannot teach any Sunday School class that includes even one man.

The inconsistency is obvious when we consider that there are a LARGE number of IMB missionaries who are female -- and a large number of them serve in roles that would be prohibited in America. Having served as an IMB missionary in the recent past, I can tell you how my team consisted of women who were highly experienced in missions, and it would have made absolutely no sense to subjugate them simply because I am a man (and, at that time, a brand new, unexperienced missionary). And you know what? We were better for it. IMB was better for it. Our target people group was better for it. The kingdom is better for it.

You might say that women serve in leadership roles in the IMB because "there are no men available to preach and to pastor". However, what is sin in one part of the world is also sin in the other part of the world -- so why the different stances on the gender issue?

My point in all of this is that there's enough inconsistent application of gender roles across the SBC that we need to give both stances a good, hard, scholarly look. And this is rightly so, for there are heaps of scholarly research on both sides of the debate of gender roles that must be considered.

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