I'm often intrigued when the question is raised concerning the destructive results untold churches have experienced when Calvinism is both introduced and imposed upon a local congregation--a congregation whose theological heritage is not Calvinism or Reformed >>>
Inevitably, skeptics will log on and challenge the assertion suggesting that non-Calvinists destroy just as many churches as do Calvinists. Of course, in one sense that may be true. Controversial beliefs are no respecter of persons. We may all have controversial beliefs; that is, beliefs which may be entirely incompatible with a particular local congregation. For example, some churches do not practice nor will they ever accept a divorcee as either a pastor or deacon. Period. It doesn't matter that there exists sober, biblically-nuanced, and scholarly evidence that divorce does not necessarily rule out a person from being pastor or deacon.1 Nor does it matter that high-profile names exist who do not think divorce necessarily prohibits a man from serving.2 Whatever the case. some churches are not going to budge in this area.
Now, if a pastor is being considered at a church which has a divorce policy differing with his, both decency and integrity demand that this issue is resolved prior to his taking the position at the church. In short, he has no business taking the church and keeping to himself a contrary position on a significant polity issue only to reveal it to the church later or worse still, to begin to teach and "correct" their "faulty" belief. If he could not live with their stated, forged difference, he had no business taking the church to begin with.
I think similar circumstances exist when many non-Calvinists point out the all too frequent destructive nature of aggressive Calvinists and their Calvinism. The truth is, Calvinists have no business taking a church with a decidedly non-Calvinist background without also revealing to the church their deep Calvinist convictions. In other words, just like above, both decency and integrity demand that the Calvinist issue is resolved prior to his taking the position at the church. He has no business taking a non-Calvinist church and keeping to himself a contrary position on a significant theological issue only to reveal it to the church later or worse still, to begin to teach and "correct" their "faulty" belief. If he could not live with their stated, forged difference, he had no business taking the church to begin with. This is the real issue here--integrity.
In addition, one must ask a simple question to those who presume to challenge the assertion that aggressive Calvinists and their Calvinism destroys churches by suggesting that non-Calvinists destroy just as many churches as do Calvinists: would you please inform us of examples where non-Calvinists have taken churches whose definitive heritage has been Calvinistic and Reformed only to transform or at least attempt to transform the churches into theological non-Calvinism?
For my part, I think this fairly well pulls the teeth from their criticism since there seems to be a complete lack of evidence that such a scenario exists much less that non-Calvinists quietly getting called to Calvinist churches only to commence reforming them is now becoming a visible problem in the SBC.3
With that, I am...
1Robert Saucy, The Husband of One Wife, BSac 131:523 (Jul 74)
2for example both John Bisango and Charles Stanley argue divorce does not necessarily rule out serving as pastor or deacon
3just this week, I've received three lengthy letters from SBCers who're now going through or have just recently experienced a hostile takeover (or attempt to takeover) of a non-Calvinist church by aggressive Calvinists who took the church by surprise about a year into the ministry. There is no end to this. Now, it appears even church planting is being silently but thoroughly swallowed up with planting Calvinist churches via NAMB while Lifeway publishes SS curriculum written exclusively by Calvinists. The window to deal with this continually slides down toward being sealed shut for good...