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2008.04.27

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David Rogers

Peter,

It is what it is.

David Rogers

David Worley,

I just realized I never answered your last question to me. Sorry.

In any case, No, I would not be okay with that.

Dave Miller

David Rogers,

May your honesty, forcefulness and grace be an example to other bloggers.

volfan007

david rogers,

then, how could you join with pentecostal type groups in evangelistic endeavors?

david

David Rogers

David Worley,

Because I don't accept the premise that cooperating with certain Pentecostal groups in certain evangelistic endeavors will necessarily lead to the scenario you indicate:

"knowing that if a person who was saved, but having doubts, talked to the pentecostal counselor about it.....that that pentecostaly counselor would tell him that he had become lost again, and needed to be saved again."

Rev.

Dr. Yarnell, when writing that it "has come to the fore amongst Southern Baptists due in part to recent efforts by some high profile Southern Baptist leaders, who have called our people to focus upon the building of bridges," are you speaking implicitly of the recent "Building Bridges Conference"? It seems you are saying, if this is your implication, that 'Calvinism' has the "potential to undermine our New Testament ecclesiology." Is this what you are saying?

You also seem to be implying that the recent "Together for the Gospel Conference" has led to "the diminution of Christ’s commands to His followers," and that being part of such a conference goes against your conscience because Presbyterians (or Methodists) are "errant believers" who "directly disobey our Lord Jesus Christ with regard to baptism." So, then, in your opinion, are all those Baptists who joined with fellow Evangelicals - whether Presbyterian or other - disobeying God when they attended that conference?

Do others at SWBTS agree with your view? If so, does this mean that Southwestern Seminary will soon stop accepting non-Baptist students?

peter lumpkins

Rev.,

My brother, glad you logged on. I am unsure about how Dr. Yarnell would answer some of your concerns, James, but if I may, I'd like to point out--NOT for Dr. Yarnell, please note--a couple of things for myself.

First, in Part 1 I posted, I made as clear as I know how to make with English language my love, appreciation and spiritual unity with believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, no matter their Church politic or "ecclesial" (Dr. Yarnell's term) connection. Indeed one of the few promotional "buttons" on this blog site is "The Schooley Files".

Keith Schooley is a Pentecostal Christian, a graduate of Gordon Conwel and a darn good scholar and theologian in his own right. He is a self-identifying Arminian with whom, James, you would very much enjoy irenic, sober but challenging conversation over the Doctrines of Grace.

That said, Keith's classical Pentecostalism possesses profound differences from historic Baptists in the way we "do Church"--not the least of which, as you well know, is the unique teaching of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the initial evidence of speaking in other tongues. Unlike later doctrinally liquid Charismatics who chose to make tongues "optional", classical Pentecostals affirm the initial evidence as necessary.

I embrace the view that while I can have real, authentic spiritual community and fellowship with classical Pentecostals as is Keith, there is no way to "ecclesially" align with them in a formal way. I can't.

And from my view, they can't either. Because if we did, who is going to concede their conviction? Will it be the Pentecostal, with demanding necessary evidence of speaking in tongues as a sure sign for Holy Spirit baptism?

This is a written doctrinal statement in the Assemblies of God Church, the largest body of classical Pentecostals today. It stands non-negotiable. Or will it be me, a Baptist, who demands no such criteria and in many respects I view the phenomenon with suspect.

What's very telling to me about this present conversation is, on Burleson's blog a year or so ago, the conversation is there when these same issues were being debated.

Then we raged about PPL. I made the point several times that the same arguments they were making for PPL, argued as well for Classical Pentecostals to be included. My point was virtually laughed at.

Today, in this thread, not one person has so much as uttered PPL. Rather, the argument has been over Pentecostals. The conversation subtlety shifted from PPL to full Pentecostalism without the slightest blink from those who argue it.

I apologize, James, for the long version but somewhere this open, "big-tent" philosophy must be stopped. Period.

David Rogers in this thread assures us he is not for giving up Baptist doctrines in the BF&M or planting Churches with Pentecostals but in the very next statement chokes the assurance to death by suggesting it would not be "impossible" to forge those formal alliances resulting in planting Churches with Pentecostals with, of course, a lot of planning work and dialog leading up to it, etc.

I am simply not going down that path. If I want an interdenominational Church, there are plenty to choose from.

As for the T4G, I have reservations about the theological footsies with those who Baptize infants. And, even John Piper--Oh, boy, I'm in trouble now for criticizing Dr. Piper--is so theological fuzzy now about his understanding of baptism, it's just weird.

Am I against T4G? I honestly have not thought that through as has Dr. Yarnell. That said, at the moment, I don't know. I am open to a full dialog with Dr. Yarnell concerning that.

Contrary to what some believe, Dr. Yarnell and I have had very little personal conversation about doctrinal issues in depth. Nor have I ever met him face to face. I look forward to the day when I can have fellowship and in-depth chat.

Back to T4G: presently, I have reservations but, the way I view it now, if there are no formal alliances which would demand concession on say, Biblical Baptism, or some other vital ecclesiological convictions, I would not officially object. And I fully invite Dr. Yarnell's worthy view at this juncture.

Know I stand open to correction on such either way.

I have presumed upon you James. For that I am sorry.

With that, I am...

Peter

volfan007

david rogers,

do you really believe that pentecostal type churches would not counsel in the way i described? that they would not talk to people about being saved again? that they would not tell people that they had to speak in tongues to give evidence of being filled with the Holy Ghost?

my brother, i have been around them all my life. some of my family were from pentecostal type groups. i can assure you that they would counsel in that way.... in your unified evangelistic efforts and church planting.

would you not counsel the people that you were talking to about assurance of salvation...if that's the way the conversation was going? and, if they mentioned the tongue speaking that the others were doing in your joint church start efforts, and what about it? wouldnt you feel compelled to share with them the truth concerning tongue speaking? to help that young believer to understand sound doctrine?

david

David Rogers

Peter,

Apparently, you are unable to grasp the difference between "advocating" something and allowing for a cautious consideration of it. Not everything in life is black or white. Shades of gray exist as well.

volfan007

david rogers,

one more thing...and, when you shared with that young convert about the joy of eternal security, how do you reckon those arminian, pentecostal types are gonna respond? do you reckon that they'll respond with a "that's alright if you believe that way." i'd imagine the next few sermons would be on losing salvation being possible.

it just wont work....not unless someone is willing to change on some very important, second tier doctrines.

"let's get together and just preach Jesus" sounds good, but it's impossible to do. your theology will bleed thru everytime.

david

peter lumpkins

David (Rogers),

Why, gee, David, Thank you! I really had not noticed such. One learns something each and every day.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

David (Rogers),

By the way, as I look back, I did not even mention "advocating" in my comments to you, nor about your position. I did mention about you "assuring" us but then that assurance being "choked" to death, etc. by your later qualification.

I suppose now, my brother, perhaps a lesson or so in accuracy would be well advised.

Thanks though. I trust your evening well. With that, I am...

Peter


David Rogers

David Worley,

I admit it is possible that the scenario you describe may indeed take place. However, I have been in plenty of situations involving cooperation in evangelism with Pentecostal-Charismatic type believers in which these issues have never even come up. In most pre-conversion evangelism, there is usually no need to talk about these issues.

The fact of the matter is that, in many circles, many people from Pentecostal-Charismatic backgrounds are backing off of their extreme positions of the past, and coming to a more middle-of-the-road position.

Once again, you insist on implying I am advocating, arguing for, or recommending joint church starts with Pentecostals. If you read carefully, you will see that I have never said such a thing. I can see many potential pitfalls in such an endeavor. However, I am merely observing, at the same time, that it is not impossible. I have even seen some instances where it has worked.

There are actually many mission groups out there that are neither Pentecostal-Charismatic nor Anti-Pentecostal-Charismatic. In these organizations, people get matched together with those of differing convictions all the time. If this the ideal? In most cases, probably not. But, it can, and has worked. That's all I'm saying.

Even within teams of all Southern Baptists, you can find yourself on the same church planting team with convinced Calvinists and convinced "non-Calvinists" (let's not call them Arminians). In order to make it work, you make certain concessions. There are many other issues of a similar nature. It is hard to work on a team with others. You rarely see eye to eye with everyone on everything. But, in the long run, I believe it is much better working on teams than all by yourself.

David Rogers

Peter,

I am the one who said in this comment...

http://peterlumpkins.typepad.com/peter_lumpkins/2008/04/baptist-ident-1.html#comment-112666722

...that I am not "advocating joint church plants together with Pentecostals."

My point is that my comments are consistent with each other, if viewed from the perspective that "advocating" and "allowing for a cautious consideration" of something are not the same thing.

Yet, you say that I "choke an assurance to death" that I have previously given, insinuating that I am being disingenuous in what I say.

Or, at least, that's how I read it.

r. grannemann

Peter,

"Repent, for the Church is at hand."

No, John didn't preach this, although maybe he could have. But then "church/ecclesia" was the term used for the temporal manifestation of the Kingdom AFTER it had arrived. Before it had arrived (when John preached this) there were no people to assemble.

The problem with postulating both a Church AND a Kingdom is that you develop two classes of Christians. All Christians are in the Kingdom by virtue of the New Birth, but not all Christians make it into the Church - at least that is the way I read Dr. Yarnell (see his discussion with David Rogers on David's blog). If I am wrong about this, then probably my disagreement with you and Dr. Yarnell about the equivalence of the Kingdom and Church is not that important to me. However, if all Christians are also in the Church, then what is the difference between the Kingdom and the Church? On the other hand, we are told "there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." If some Christians are in the Church and some not, then how can all Christians be one?

To me, the true church/false church dichotomy (strong among Landmark Baptists but also a trait of many Protestant sects) is just one of many Christian perfectionist schemes. Others are the Pentecostal Holy Spirit baptism, Free Methodist second blessing, the Catholic church infallibility - all pretending powers we in our finite existence don't have. The "true church" doctrine which comes out of the Kingdom/Church dichotomy I take to be another "special class of Christians" thing related to these others.

peter lumpkins

David (Rogers),

Please, my brother. Here are your words here...just 10 minutes ago to which I responded:

"Apparently, you are unable to grasp the difference between "advocating" something and allowing for a cautious consideration of it. Not everything in life is black or white. Shades of gray exist as well.

How the rejoinder you just posted even comes close to making sense out of my observation that I have not used "advocating" and etc for your position, I cannot tell. Consequently, your moral in life for me to consider that all is not black & white but gray exists is just not sensible, David. It makes no sense.

Lord help us!

We're simply going to have to get past this tit/tat/tit/tat/tit/tat. It's driving me nuts. You "prove" you didn't say something but I did. Then I "prove" I didn't say something but you did.

The way I see this, David, we are simply not going to agree on the real content of this post. But rather than either of us admitting such, or engaging real content, we tit/tat/tit/tat/tit/tat with not a knat's behind of difference whether tit or tat is true as far as this post is concerned.

As for my part in this, my brother David, I deeply am sorry. I have wasted your time and my time, not to mention the readers time who have to wade through the tit/tat/tit/tat to even find substance.

Nor am I not a little embarrassed I've kept it going so long. Again, I apologize and am deeply sorry.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

Dear Brother R.

Sorry, Brother. I just don't accept your interpretation.

First, the words I quoted were Jesus' not John's.

Secondly, you write: ""church/ecclesia" was the term used for the temporal manifestation of the Kingdom AFTER it had arrived". Could you show me just one single verse in the NT that validates your claim. Just one, that's all.

Thirdly, if what you say is true, there is a strange silence from Jesus Himself in the Gospel. He referred to the Church only twice in only one of the four Gospels.

Fourthly, you assert "The problem with postulating both a Church AND a Kingdom is that you develop two classes of Christians". How it necessarily follows that two classes come from this you do not explain.

You misunderstand Dr. Yarnell, Brother.

So far as I know, Dr. Yarnell does not deny what is called the Universal Church, which is made of all believers of all time. The Universal Church is clearly distinguished in the NT, it seems to me, from the Local NT Church. Nor are the two coextensive.

All true believers are a part of the Universal Church. In addition, no nonbeliever is a part of the Universal Church.

On the other hand, the Local Church is made up of both believer and nonbeliever--though that is not the ideal. The Local Church ought to be thoroughly regenerate.

Unfortunately, it is not nor never has been from the beginning. Even Jesus' disciples were not all regenerate.

The New Birth is absolutely necessary to be part of the Universal Church. The New Birth ought to be necessary to be a part of the Local Church. It is not.

What is necessary is profession of faith in Jesus Christ and assurance one is born again. Upon such profession, persons are baptized and become a part of the Local Church. Consequently, one is now nurtured in faith through, among other things, The Supper.

A person needs as prerequisite neither Baptism nor The Supper to be a part of the Universal Church. A believer must submit to both to be a part of a Local congregation.

I am not offering Dr. Yarnell's view but my own which I think is a thoroughly mainstream, historic Baptist understanding. Most of what I just reiterated comes straight out of John Dagg, the first writing Southern Baptist theologian.

I trust your day well. With that, I am...

Peter

David Rogers

Peter,

Fair enough. Let's shake hands and make up.

David Rogers

Tat. You're it.


Just kidding! :)

r. grannemann

"In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.'" Matt. 3:1-2, NIV. Yes, Jesus also said that in Matt. 4:17.

In any case, I went back and looked through the Letters in the Rogers-Yarnell Dialogue on the Great Commission on David's blog. I now see it is possible I misread Dr. Yarnell because of my past Landmark background and sensitivity to certain issues. For example when Dr. Yarnell writes (In Letter #9 paragraph 11):

"The visible local church is entered through baptism."

and then specifies the myriad of qualification for true baptism on your blog, I presume he does not think other Christian assemblies are true churches. For he says In Letter 18 paragraph 14 "the Presbyterian churches deserve rebuke no more than any other non-New Testament churches."

But I now see I may be taking Dr. Yarnell too literally. I honestly don't know what he thinks, and I may go ahead and buy his book.

Finally, from what you wrote, I don't see how you distinquish the Universal Church from the Kingdom of God.

r. grannemann

Peter,

Also, you wanted verses which indicate the church is the temporal manifestation of the Kingdom.

"In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.' ... Confessing their sins they were baptized by him in the Jordan River." Matt. 3:1,2,6.

Now read the Great Commission to see that baptism is a sign of the work of the churches (since we take the Great Commission as a command to the churches). Thus the connection between the Kingdom and the Church.

I will be out the rest of the day and can only check back late tonight.

William Marshall

Bro. Pete,

I have been thinking through some of these issues as they relate to membership. So I have an honest question about something you wrote in a comment.

You said: "A person needs as prerequisite neither Baptism nor The Supper to be a part of the Universal Church. A believer must submit to both to be a part of a Local congregation."

Here is my question: on what Biblical grounds do we make entrance into the local Church more difficult (more strict) than entrance into the Kingdom? Or how can we refuse membership in the local Church to someone we would consider a true believer (in the Kingdom)? I hope that makes sense. Thanks for your time,

wm

bill

Peter brings up an interesting point. I wonder how many Baptist churches discipline their members for not partaking of the Lord's Supper?

I would suspect that most SBC churches partake of the LS so infrequently that they probably wouldn't notice.

Steve

Our consitution states " Members who have notshared felowship at the Lord's table for a period of 3 consecutive months, without adequate reason shall be visited and every endeavour made to regain their participation in the church. In the event of a negative response, such members names may be removed from the rollby vote of the church, upon the recommendation of teh diaconate."

We have communion monthly.

On a differnet matter..
Do you guys know anyone called to university ministry? We have a university across the road from us with about 10,000 students on this campus and no active local church based ministry.

Steve

Steve

mmm still no reply to my question.. I guess it has been ignored...
"Mr. Burleson, What conditions would require a person baptised by immersion to be EXCLUDED from church membership?
Surely whatever case required exclusion from church membership would also require one to refrain from baptising the person."
Or was there ad hominem in it?
Steve


David Rogers

Steve,

I thought I answered your question. If not, you are going to have to explain it to me a little more clearly.

Todd Benkert

Peter,

You stated,

“What is necessary is profession of faith in Jesus Christ and assurance one is born again. Upon such profession, persons are baptized and become a part of the Local Church.”

http://peterlumpkins.typepad.com/peter_lumpkins/2008/04/baptist-ident-1.html#comment-112788518

I completely agree. However, Dr. Yarnell seems to be stating more. He seems to indicate that a person who does not believe in eternal security cannot have assurance that he is born again.

It is this idea that is behind the IMB policy on baptism as it relates to eternal security, and it is with this idea I respectfully disagree.

Blessings,
Todd

Wade Burleson

Steve,

You ask a question and then make a statement:

(Question) What conditions would require a person baptised by immersion to be EXCLUDED from church membership? (Statement) Surely whatever case required exclusion from church membership would also require one to refrain from baptising the person.


Your statement only makes sense when one assumes baptism is the entry door into a local church. I do not believe the Bible teaches that - at all.

Baptism is identification with Christ. When the Ethiopian eunuch, after believing on Christ, asked Philip (not the local church), 'there is water, what prevents me from being baptized?'

Of course, the answer was nothing, and Philip immediately baptized him.

However, when a person petitions to join our church we examine their faith, their baptism AND their walk with Christ. Anything that would cause that person to be disciplined by our church is a barrier for admittance into our church.

Hope that answers your question, which I did not realize was addressed to me.

Wade Burleson

Steve,

You ask a question and then make a statement:

(Question) What conditions would require a person baptised by immersion to be EXCLUDED from church membership? (Statement) Surely whatever case required exclusion from church membership would also require one to refrain from baptising the person.


Your statement only makes sense when one assumes baptism is the entry door into a local church. I do not believe the Bible teaches that - at all.

Baptism is identification with Christ. When the Ethiopian eunuch, after believing on Christ, asked Philip (not the local church), 'there is water, what prevents me from being baptized?'

Of course, the answer was nothing, and Philip immediately baptized him.

However, when a person petitions to join our church we examine their faith, their baptism AND their walk with Christ. Anything that would cause that person to be disciplined by our church is a barrier for admittance into our church.

Hope that answers your question, which I did not realize you were addressing to me. I, too, read David Roger's answer and understood and agreed with everything he was saying in response to your question.

Rev.

Peter:
Thank you for your response. I agree with your statement, "I embrace the view that while I can have real, authentic spiritual community and fellowship with classical Pentecostals as is Keith, there is no way to 'ecclesially' align with them in a formal way." I understand that position completely. Of course, only Dr. Yarnell may answer for himself, but from the way I read his article, it seems that he is stating that not even "authentic spiritual community and fellowship" is possible with those who are non-Baptists. That is a huge problem for me, to say the least. Of course, Dr. Yarnell has said that my conclusions are a result of my own faulty logic and not from his statements. I'm hoping he will be able to clarify his statements because I don't believe I'm the only one reading his article in the same manner.

I'm also curious as to how the T4G Conference fits into this. I don't view it as an "ecclesial" affair, but simply as a conference. It isn't being promoted as a denomination or as a "fellowship" (ala CBF).

You speak of the need to draw down the "big tent" philosophy, such as including PPL, etc. With that being the case, should those who agree with your position seek to have PPL, etc., addressed by a new BFM Committee? If such a committee is formed, what will the issues at hand be for reducing the "big tent" (i.e., PPL, "Calvinism," etc.)?

Steve

So whom Christ has accepted is not acceptable to your church?
Steve

peter lumpkins

All,

I do apologize. I've just been unable to post. But I monitored to make sure we play nice.

I hope to respond to a few, at least, by this afternoon. I'll post again on this topic--Part III.

It's 95% a done deal to be posted by Sunday. It promises stimulation.

The plan now is that Part III will also be penned by a guest author. And, I'll probably wrap it up in a summary statement in Part IV.

I thought the series on Wine reign in popularity for a while (Still three posts to go). These two present posts, however, buried the entire wine series in the cellar.

The volume is amazing, which I think is, at least in some ways, indicative of much confusion about Baptist ecclesiology nowadays.

Were it not tragic, my britches would but bust with laughter. The slightest trace of Biblical confidence asserting historic Baptists are right in their understanding of NT ecclesiology brings the boldest pronouncements that we are arrogant, prideful, puffed up, love Southern Baptist more than our Savior Jesus, wed to Baptist but not Bible, etc etc. That is amazing to me.

And, even more amazing is the publicly stated but ignorantly believed implication that I do not believe in cooperation on any level with other evangelicals.

Given my very real, demonstrative involvement with evangelicals of all stripes--even recent, not distant pass--assures me that this dialog is driven not so much by quests for understanding but by political agendas.

I'll catch this thread later. With that, I am...

Peter

David Rogers

"And, even more amazing is the publicly stated but ignorantly believed implication that I do not believe in cooperation on any level with other evangelicals."

Peter,

I've looked through the comment string here on this post again, and skimmed through the string on your Post #1. I am not seeing where others have said or implied that you "do not believe in cooperation on any level with other evangelicals." I know I have not said it. Maybe it's somewhere else on someone else's blog.

If you could point me to where others have said or implied this, I will be happy to join you in debunking their misguided rhetoric.

Ron P.

Peter,

Their only way to win is by fear mongering. By casting fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) upon historic Baptist (biblical) beliefs, they are playing the fundamentalist and Landmarker cards. What so many seem to miss is that the issue is not narrowing the parameters of what it means to be Baptist, it is the widening of them! Their movement is nothing less than a watering down of historic biblical Baptist beliefs in order to be more ecumenical across the denominational divide while sacrificing our confessional identity.

To that end we either see a marked embellishment of facts and/or apparently deliberate misinformation or rather a shading of information (i.e. not telling the whole story by purposefully leaving out information that disputes their own viewpoints). Misinformation continues to be shown to be a tactic of the ecumenist. Those arguments are easily answered. But the arsenal also includes ad hominem personal attacks by the ecumenist (unlike the imaginary ones). Personal attacks are fine and encouraged by the irenic. But disagree with the irenic, point out the hypocrisy of the irenic, or not engage the irenic that is lawsuit happy, and voila, you are a "conversational terroist" or someone that is making personal attacks. What gamesmanship!

You are correct that this would be funny if not so tragic.

Ron P.

David Rogers

Ron P.,

It may well be that you are referring to completely other people, and not to me at all.

But since I have been a major contributor thus far in this particular conversation, I am concerned about the possible perception that I may be one of the ones doing what you say here.

Thus, it would be helpful to me if you could specify a little more what you are talking about.

Who, specifically, is using a "marked embellishment of facts and/or apparently deliberate misinformation or rather a shading of information"?

If you believe it is me, you need to provide some specific examples.

If it is not me, it would be helpful, given the context of this conversation, to clarify that.

Ron P.

David,

It is obvious that it is not you. Notice that the term ecumenist is singular not plural. I do believe the references to personal ad hominem attacks, imagined ad hominem attacks, and "conversational terrorist" clearly identify the leader of the ecumenical movement that I am referring to.

Bart and CB clearly identified on said person's blog, the misinformation, which has become a pattern and identified on numerous blogs.

BTW, I hope you and your family are enjoying your time stateside.

Blessings,

Ron P.

David Rogers

Ron P.,

Thank you for that clarification.

I think it is unfortunate that, in the midst of discussion on important issues, there is a tendency to brand the participants as representatives of one "camp" or "movement" or another.

Jesus said, "He who is not with me is against me." But, if we are all, in this discussion, at the bottom line, "with" Jesus, we ought not to categorize our brothers and sisters in Christ as either "with" or "against" us.

As individuals, we each have opinions and ways of thinking regarding many different issues.

I happen to agree with Wade Burleson on a number of different topics, and disagree with him on other topics. I also agree with Peter on certain topics, and disagree on others. And with Malcolm, etc.

That is not to say that we should not feel free to openly discuss issues, and express our points of view and disagreements with each other. And, whenever certain individuals get out of line in the way they treat others, we should feel free to correct them, and call them to task.

But labels are dangerous because people tend to get unfairly branded, and their ideas unfairly judged, just because others assume they are part of such and such a group or movement.

For me, the term "ecumenist" and "ecumencial movement," especially as used in the present discussion, is one such unfortunate label.

In some senses of the word, I identify myself as an "ecumenist," because it simply means someone involved in "initiatives aimed at greater religious unity or cooperation" (Wikipedia on "ecumenism").

However, there are many extra connotations that people attach to the everyday usage of that term with which I most certainly do not identify.

I will also go on record here as saying this does not just cut one way. The term "Baptist Identity" movement, "fundamentalists," etc. can also be used to broad-brush and unfairly brand people. So, I am not just saying this to one group of people.

Ron P.

David,

Thank you for the dialog. This is what I think Peter envisioned having with this post - open dialog without the personal attacks on the author. Thank you for not going to your own blog and attacking Dr. Yarnell and calling him names.

Unfortunately, the movement towards a more ecumenical SBC, which we do not agree on, is also defined by those who support it. Wade has almost become as caustic as his associate pastor. The repeated pattern of personal attacks against people from Enid, over the last couple of years has left a decidedly bitter taste in the mouth of many. Even those that agree with Wade on some of the issues have made the same observations.

I, like Peter have worked with non Baptists. Several years ago, while at my previous church, I actually helped build pews for a very poor charismatic Pentecostal Church in Mexico on a mission trip in cooperation with another SBC church. However, no CP dollars were spent, only the personal funds of those who went and the money raised by the church sponsoring the trip were used. I could help them in their time of need, but I could not partner with them and send converts to them because of their doctrinal and ecclesial practices. Why would I want to send new believers to a church, that, IMHO, does not teach proper Biblical doctrine?

I believe all of us who want to maintain Baptist identity, without compromising the doctrines we hold dear, regularly will reach across denominational lines where appropriate. But we will do it without compromising a view that we believe to Biblical and appropriate. Nor do we expect those of other denominations to compromise theirs. That is what being Baptist is about. I'll fight for my right to practice and believe, but I will also defend the right of those with whom I do not agree. It does not mean though that I want nor need to establish cooperation in areas that would require either of us to compromise.

Blessings,

Ron P.

Ron P.

David,

Let me also address your issue of labels. Ecumenism is not pejorative, at least in my view. It is a distinct term that I believe aptly defines the core of the movement that Wade is advocating. I prefer the dictionary.com definition:

of or pertaining to a movement (ecumenical movement), esp. among Protestant groups since the 1800s, aimed at achieving universal Christian unity and church union through international interdenominational organizations that cooperate on matters of mutual concern.

If you know of a better definition than ecumenical to define the movement to widen the parameters of what it means to be Baptist, I would be open to using it.

However, fundamentalist, Landmarker and now Wade's choice of calling Baptist Identity a "fringe" movement are clearly intended to incite others for the purpose of firing up opposition to those of us who hold to a historical Baptist view, not some mythical new one that he claims has just recently been invented.

Blessings,

Ron P.

David Rogers

Ron P.,

The definition you providehere of "ecumenism" is precisely a good example of what I am talking about. It leads one to assume that if you support "ecumenism" you also support the World Council of Churches.

I believe in unity of all true born again Christians, but I do not believe in "church union through international interdenominational organizations" per se. That is, if you understand, as most people do, "church union" to refer to the organizational merger of all the denominations into one happy institution with recognized rules and leaders.

To tell you the truth, in what I have read from Wade, I don't think he believes in this either. Now, in regard to his choice of words in describing or labeling others, I prefer to remain unattached.

Of course, you aware that there is disagreement over the use of the term "widening the parameters" as well. Whether the parameters are actually being "widened" or "narrowed" all depends on your perspective.

If, for example, the starting place is the BFM (even the 2000 version), I don't hear Wade asking that we "widen" that parameter. I know the whole gender issue thing has been discussed. And, honestly, it sounds like he would be at least open to "widening" the parameter regarding only male pastors. But I do not hear him demanding or clamoring for us to do that.

By the same token, if the parameter is the BFM (any version), throwing PPL and non-eternal-security-based baptism in the mix would most certainly be "narrowing" the parameters.

If the parameter is, however, the understanding of certain theologians and many lay people(past and present) of these same questions, perhaps Wade (and I) are asking that this parameter be "widened." However, I believe it would be a big stretch to say the "narrower" views on these issues have been a consensus of Baptists, except for perhaps in the Landmark hey-day of the late 19th century (PPL, of course, being a more recent debate altogether).

As far as a better term, I personally like "Christian unity movement." But I'm pretty sure that wouldn't make much sense to those who believe in "Restoring Unity through Biblical Discipleship and Baptist Identity."

Ron P.

David,

Regarding whether these issues are narrowing or widening of parameters: Might it not be possible that Baptists previously have never had a need to address PPL, Women Pastors, and other issues until recently? I believe those are issues that Baptists never thought would be necessary to speak of, as no Southern Baptist would have raised them. In previous generations of Bapitsts, these were non issues. Thus, I would argue that issues that did not need addressing in the past, do now, because they are a shift from what Baptists have traditionally believed, even if it was not in our confessional documents. Our Baptist forefathers did not perceive a need for such. Baptists would never have thought there was a need to address something that Baptists basically agreed upon universally without the need to put it in a confessional statement, save the core doctrines that define Baptists and what we believe about God, salvation, etc. For example, our country's forefathers would never have believed that the U.S. Constitution would need to define marriage between one man and one woman as it too was something that none of them would have thought of. No one would have ever believed that such a thing would need to be put into the Constitution. Until recent times, none of issues that we are accused of "narrowing parameters" would have been raised in Southern Baptist churches, associations, state conventions and the SBC.

Therefore, I would argue that the issues that many of us are accused of narrowing parameters, are quite the opposite. We are defending historic Baptist beliefs that many are seeking to change, though it is not us that are changing what it means to be Baptist. I like the way Mike Morris put it tonight on Wade's latest post regarding the Baptist Identity movement:
I think it’s an attempt to clarify historical Southern Baptist distinctives rather than to redefine who we are in the sense of historical revisionism.

Blessings,

Ron P.

selahV

Ron P., that is the clearest most succinct explanation for what I see the recently labeled Baptist Distinctive "Movement" to be. It reminds me of the joke where the old man is driving his truck and his wife complained because they didn't cuddle and sit close to one another like they did when they were first married. And he said, "I didn't move."

As I see it, the voices defending Baptist Distinctives are simply standing where they always stood. It's others who are moving. selahV

volfan007

but alas, all of us "non-blue blooded" southern baptists seeking to clarify are only "small church" pastors of "declining" churches....thus, we ought to be quiet and let the "big boys of the sbc" dictate the way the sbc should go.

david

David Rogers

Ron P.,

What you write here makes a lot of sense in a lot of ways. It helps me to better see your perspective.

But, I think it would be good to be open to looking at things from a little different perspective, as well.

With regard to the issues that "Baptists basically agreed upon universally without the need to put it in a confessional statement," I think there is some legitimate debate as to just how universally Baptists have agreed on these things.

For instance, though I am not privy to the discussions on the BFM 2000, my impression is that the decision to not specifically address issues such as continuationism, tongues, and charismatic gifts was intentional. That is, because there was a realization that the opinion of Southern Baptists on these matters was not a consensus opinion. In "A Hill on Which to Die," Judge Pressler had already stated that it was not the intent of the Conservative Resurgence to go there.

Also, that I am aware, the IMB BoT policy was the first time eternal security had ever been officially linked to the validity or lack thereof of so-called "alien immersion." And, if it was addressed elsewhere, it was far from a universally accepted, consensus opinion of Southern Baptists.

On Women Pastors, I am more on board with the traditional conservative position. And the SBC has offically defined itself through the BFM. I am in support of the BFM on these questions.

The only thing I would add in is that, although we may, as Southern Baptists, choose not to officially support women pastors, that doesn't mean we should treat those who do, and even women pastors themselves, as anything less than our full-fledged brothers and sisters in Christ. We should be open to praying with them, fellowshipping with them, and sharing Christ together with them. And, also debating in a Christ-like spirit with them to try to show them why we think they are wrong.

David Worley,

I feel awkward saying this. But, the "blue-blooded" reference was something I had nothing to do with personally, and is something I would have never chosen to say about myself. I want to assure you that in no way do I consider myself as superior to anyone, and I very much support the idea that small church pastors, lay people, and all of God's people, have as much of a right and responsibility to let their voices be heard as anyone.

r. grannemann

I've had Russell Moore's book The Kingdom of Christ for a couple years, and looked inside it this morning for the first time. Here is some of what I found:

"The early fundamentalists and evangelicals were correct that issues such as baptism, the Lord's Supper, church polity, and the biblical basis for church membrship were not 'first order' issues requiring separation in terms of cooperative interdenominational endeavors, unlike the 'fundamentals' of biblical authority at stake in the denominational skirmishes. It is a mistake, however, to assume that these 'distinctives' are not matters of biblical authority, or that they have nothing to do with the church's 'primary task' of evangelism and missions." p161.

In arguing for a regenerate church membership on pp 163-62 Moore says: "If inaugurated Kingdom blessings are received by those who 'see the Kindgom of God' through the new birth (John 3:3), then it would seem that the church, as an initial manifestation of the Kingdom, must reflect that in its membership those who have experienced this new birth and are participants in the Kingdom blessings of the new covenant."

and

"a biblical ecclesiology seeks, however fallibly, 'to draw the line of distinction between the church and the world, exactly where God will place it at the last day.'" where he quotes R.B.C. Howell.

I couldn't find that Moore had any concern about being "baptized into the church" and that "true" baptism would require the doctrine of eternal security as a precept of the church which "authorizes" baptism.

In fact, Moore quotes Carl Henry p. 135 (Moore doesn't clearly comment as to whether he agrees or not, although he seems to) that the "closest approximation of the Kingdom of God today is the Church, the body of regenerate believers that owns the crucified and risen Redeemer as its Head."

This seems to be a healthier view of the church (to me) than what I interprete Dr. Yarnell to be saying. It would be helpful if Dr. Yarnell would clarify whether he views his requirements for "true" baptism as things a church should most appropriately do, or whether such "qualified" baptism separates Christian into "true" churches and non-New Testament churches and whether that puts born again believers into two catefories of Christians.

Ron P.

David,

I only have a moment, but again I thank you for the thoughtful dialog.

Regarding the issues, I agree that in 2000, there was debate on these issues. But I was referring to previous generations that did basically agree. For example, in 1925 I am unaware of a Southern Baptist who would have advocated any of the issues that you or I mentioned above. Therefore, the need to address it either through BOT actions, SBC resolutions or confessionally, did not exist. It does now.

Blessings,

Ron P.

Byroniac

SelahV:

You have expressed a form of the argument from tradition. It can be a persuasive argument, but by itself it is simply not enough. For me personally, arguments from tradition carry little weight (not none, mind you, but little). If we have always done it this way, show me why, and from Scripture. At the very least, I will not be the first who has had to be patiently taught the truth because I insisted on seeing it for myself, and not taking it simply on the authority of others.

Ron P.:

You said, "That is what being Baptist is about. I'll fight for my right to practice and believe, but I will also defend the right of those with whom I do not agree. It does not mean though that I want nor need to establish cooperation in areas that would require either of us to compromise."

I understand where you are coming from in making that remark. However, as I see it, no one has an inherent right to believe and practice error. I believe the right to freedom of worship is purely from the human perspective in one sense, and must be defended in the coding of our laws and practice of religion. We are free to worship God within the boundaries of the liberty He gives us by His Spirit, of course, and I am not discounting that. But what I mean is, I do not pretend that all forms of belief and practice have equal validity; I even have to acknowledge that wherever I am in error, the truth is superior to whatever I have in its stead.

This is what I am driving towards in my comments. I believe all denominations are essentially man-made divisions of theological categories. There is only one truth, because there is only one God, one faith, one baptism and all of that (Eph. 4:5). Though I believe that the Baptist denomination is the most Biblically accurate of all denominations, the label itself is a man-made invention. As far as I know, I personally will always remain Baptistic, even if I do not fall neatly into the theological category of "Baptist". But it seems to me, because I was once here myself, that we have become Christians, invented labels, conflated them with Christianity, and tried to maintain control over our inventions, instead of being subject to the Spirit in obedience to Christ, however sincere our intentions.

volfan007

david,

my comment was not directed toward you. i know that you did not make that comment, nor did you approve the "blue blooded" southern baptist comment. i'm sorry if you took it as a dig towards you. that was not my intention. i was moreso playing off of selah's comment...to expand on her accurate thoughts... with the arrogance diplayed by some others, who are so "against" the so called baptist identity guys, in mind.

david

peter lumpkins

All,

I have to go back on my former comment where I said I would respond to your questions. Please forgive me. I must move on.

I placed up another post. I feel like some sort of response was necessary to Burleson & Brister, both dissenters, even if possessing different agendas.

This is getting hotter than i expected it to. Now, Brister has gone about as dirty as it can get by suggesting one's integrity is missing if he pastors/attends a church that meets his definition of "regenerate". He explicitly indicts Barber & Yarnell with such moral absurdity.

So, if your question is very important, either email it or bring it back up on Part III I hope to post Sunday afternoon.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

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