Thursday, June 15, 2006

More thoughts on the SBC in Greensboro

On the resolution calling for integrity in church membership

I mentioned previously that I would try to get the exact quote of Dr. French's argument against bringing my resolution out of committee and before the convention. Here it is, as sent to me by my brother, Bill. After I read my resolution from the floor, Tommy French, the chairman of the resolutions committee gave this response:
Brother Tom, we understand and we are concerned about these things. However, we are also concerned about the accuracy of the claims because what we receive through the statistics are just those things that are reported by the local churches. And so we would have to challenge what they send us.

And we certainly do not want to throw away from our membership rolls the names of the non-attenders because we would be throwing away a very valuable prospect list for reclamation in evangelism. Now in Sunday School we don’t cull the rolls as long as those people live in our area so that we can continue to pray for them and visit them and secure them in Bible study.
Also, Tom Nettles thinks that as many as 40% (not 25% as I had suggested) of the messengers voted to consider the motion.

I was told by a friend that when I stood up to speak against Resolution 5 (calling for abstinence from consuming alcoholic beverages) that I fairly well sealed the fate of my effort to bring the resolution on membership to the floor. It was politically foolhardy. I was actually very conscious of the fact that some would probably misconstrue my comments and think that I am an advocate of alcoholic beverages. But the resolution struck me as ill-conceived and unbiblical. We have enough problems dealing with real sins. We certainly don't need to manufacture more sins out of cultural preferences. When an amendment was offered urging that no Southern Baptist be allowed to serve on any SBC board if he consumes acohol as a beverage, I simply could not sit idly by. So I rose to speak against this amendment and the motion. The reslution, as amended, passed overwhelmingly.

By the way--I am a tee totaler.

On Frank Page's election to the presidency

I had the opportunity to speak briefly with Frank Page, once before he was elected and once, afterward. Before the election he said that he had very little hope that he would be elected. Yet, he won a 3-way race on the first ballot. After the race, he said that he really did not have an "agenda" because he really had not planned on winning. Donna and I assured him of our payers. We plan to keep our word.

A reporter whom I did not know emailed me for a comment about how Dr. Page's election would impact the "resurgence of reformed theology among Southern Baptists." Evidently he emailed the same question to Dr. Nettles. As it turns out he is the managing editor of the Baptist Standard and his story was published online today. Without conferring with one another about this, Dr. Nettles and I gave very similar answers. The kind of reformation that we need cannot be affected by denominational politics.

The prominence of Calvinism

Several speakers felt the need to mention Calvinism or some aspect of the doctrines of grace. Sometimes the tone was rather conciliatory but more often with at least a hint of fear or hostility. In addition there was a motion to study the influence that Calvinism is having on the SBC. It was referred to the Executive Committee. Regardless of the negative attitude that was displayed toward reformed theology, the fact that so many brought it up and felt compelled to speak to it is a good indication that more and more people are considering it. This can only be healthy for the denomination as it will inevitably move us toward more and more theological dialogue. Regardless of what your views are on the doctrines of grace, this should be seen as a healthy development.

The spirit of the convention

With all of the pre-convention anticipation as well as the obvious dissatisfaction with the status quo, the spirit of the debates and disagreements remained for the most part, healthy. Bobby Welch moderated with fairness and good humor. This helped set the tone for the whole meeting. If this kind of spirit can prevail in our ongoing efforts to recover historic Southern Baptist principles, then we have many reasons to be encouraged about the future.

104 comments:

Jeffro said...

Tom and My Calvinist Brothers Out There,

I have a confession to make. Tuesday morning when the messenger made the motion to put together a committee to study Calvinism and its effects on the SBC, I was the one who yelled "SECOND!" I did this for a reason. I think that it would be wonderful for some of these guys to actually take a good look at Calvinism. And in fact, I have such a high view of the sovereignty of God, that I nearly went to a microphone to make a motion that Ergun Caner chair the committee. Of course that was in jest, but I really considered it. However, wouldn't it be wonderful if they actually do an honest study (hopefully they will) and find that we are not the demons that we are often portrayed to be. I am assured that they will find that Calvinism and Calvinists split fewer churches than arguments over worship style or building programs. I am assured that they will find a group of people who are very interested in evangelism for the glory of our God. A people who take church membership and discipline very seriously. I am convinced that they will not have that much bad news.

I, like you, found it interesting how often Calvinists and Calvinism was mentioned. As for me, I was amazed at how everyone that mentioned it seemed to say something similar to this, "We're not Calvinists. We're not Arminians. We are Baptists." We have heard this before. I think it was Morris Chapman or maybe Ed Young that said Baptists were always somewhere in the middle. Though I appreciated their spirit, I am not somewhere in the middle, and if we are going to have the unity that seemed to be so important at the convention this year, they are going to have to accept that. I could say more, but I don't have time.

By the way the Founders Breakfast was wonderful. Thank You.

Affectionately Yours,
Jeff Holder
Messenger from New Faith Baptist Church
North Carolina

willreformed said...

Tom
I, located here in Cedar Hill, Texas, actively involved in trying to find a chuch home, find myself incredibily depressed. An anti-Calvinist, whose book as you critiqued shows an amazing lack of knowledge and insight, is now elected President? The major resolution discusses is an anti-alcohol motion, which is not based on biblical truth?

I cannot find a reformed SBC pastor here in this area. I really feel led to abandon the SBC.

Will

Greg Hicks said...

Since Wade Burleson's motion on the IMB was referred to the IMB BOT, shouldn't the request for a study on the impact of Calvinism on the SBC have been referred to Founders Ministries?

Christopher Redman said...

Calvinism is being discussed and mentioned alot. However, there is a fear among those who do not embrace it. They are dogmatic that they cannot allow it to continue to gain momentum.

I am currently attending classes at BCF. One of my professors are 5 pointers but most are very anti-calvinism. We joke about it in class and I feel as though I have a bullseye on my back. However, the dialogue is good. I am struck however by the unwillingness of my fellow classmates to discuss the subject seriously.

However, most of them seem to think that they really don't know the answers or the truth regarding Calvinism.

One more thought, why do our professors today insist on teaching seminary/Bible classes with the approach of "you decide what you think is right".

In other words, the founders of the SBTS knew what they believed and they taught the scriptures. Today, it seems that the professors make a point of not telling you what you should believe but letting you decide for yourself. That is of course except for the Doctrines of Grace. Those are almost always off limits for anyone to believe.

(I must be fare and say that the director of the college where I attend is very friendly and reformed minded. He and I have had pleasant and spirited discussions. He reads MacArthur and Piper.)

One more thought, those within the SBC who are afraid of calvinism are simply wrong. They are wrong about the scriptures. They are wrong about history. They are wrong about methodology. They are wrong about those who embrace the Doctrines of Grace. They couldn't be more wrong if they were deaf, blind, and dumb. Why is this happening today?

CR

Timmy said...

RE: the prominence of Calvinism, I listened today to James White's response to some of the things said at Greensboro (in particular Morris Chapman, Dick Lincoln, and Ed Young Sr.). To listen to the recent Dividing Line, go here:

http://www.aomin.org/dl15.ram

art rogers said...

I think we need to lobby Morris Chapman to have Tom Ascol chair the committee and mark Dever also serve. I am not advocating stacking the committee. If they both simply serve, I would be satisfied.

If we form such a committee, then it should take a balanced approach. Nothing more and nothing less.

70 year old Brother in CHRIST said...

DR TOM and ALL My Brothers,
I Pray that they have EYES to SEE and EARS to HEAR GOD'S WORD.

Joh_6:65
The people did not believe (Joh_6:64) because it was not granted to them by the Father. There is a balance in this chapter between God’s initiative and human response. The multitude is told about the election of the Father (Joh_6:37), and yet all are invited to believe (Joh_6:40). The same is true of the Jewish leaders (Joh_6:44, Joh_6:47) and those called disciples (Joh_6:63).
Your Brother in CHRIST

Christopher Redman said...

Regarding the SBC, I read a Baptist Press article regarding Frank Page's election. The article stated that Mrs. Adrian Rogers said that Adrian Rogers would not want a narrower convention.

Is this the reason why innerency is the only theological requirement within the leaders of the SBC? Is this why the reformation of the SBC has stopped with the battle for the Bible. I know Dr. Nettles has written a book on the subject but I have not had the priveledge to read it yet.

CR

Sojourner said...

I was struck by the irony of the alcohol resolution. Oddly, if a Trustee drinks a glass of wine, he would be disciplined/removed from being a Trustee. Yet, if he returned home to be a drunken profligate, he should stay on the roll as a good prospect for evangelism. Irony is always interesting.

Christopher Redman said...

Page Patterson stated, "I see no evidence for Irresistable Grace in the Bible."

Ask Jonah, Moses, and Paul about Irresistable Grace! Paul didn't sit on the fence trying to make up his mind while 5 verses of Just As I Am played on the organ.

Page is smart. He knows what the doctrine states. He knows that effectual calling is the same as irresistable grace. He knows the term "called", "calling", "Holy Calling" are used throughout the scriptures speaking directly about salvation.

He knows Rom 8:30! I conclude that Page Patterson knowingly mistates the facts to promote his own biased and unbiblical opinions about Calvinism. Besides, he's still an arminian in my book.

CR

Brian R. Giaquinto said...

If the deck stays stacked...if anti-Calvinist people are in leadership, things will get worse. We need to pray that:

1) Proper theology (namely Calvinsim) grows. The more churches represent Calvinism, the harder it will be to "silence" them, and

2) Reformed-minded pastors get elected to convention entities. Hopefully this will balance out the rhetoric and create a leadership voice.

The feeling that I had at the convention was that, in the current situation, theological discussion is not a reality. We had a discussion at the pastor's conference, and yet, the Calvinist bashing was pretty vocal. If the deck stays stacked, will that improve? I am very suspicious of this investigation on the impact of Calvinism in SBC life. Since most have already decided that Calvinism is the source of all things evil in the convention, will an investigation change their minds. Sure, they could seek proper sources to understand true Calvinism, but they could do that without the investigation - it's available everywhere. I'm just afraid that their report in '07 will paint it in a bad light. Lord knows what kind of a motion wil be made then.

Stephen Thomas said...

Willreformed--

You said that you live in Cedar Hill, TX, and that you are looking for a good Reformed Baptist church. I live in Arlington, and my wife works in Cedar Hill. An excellent church is in Mansfield, which might be a 30 minute drive for you, but oh well. It is Heritage Baptist Church. They are thoroughly reformed and are part of the SBC as well. The Southwest Founders Conferences are always held there. I am sure that Dr. Ascol is familiar with Heritage and its elders and would second my recommendation. Another church relatively close by (the one I go to) is Christ the Redeemer Church in Ft. Worth. This would be a longer drive, but it is excellent. It is a Reformed Baptist church. The reason my wife and I started going there instead of Heritage is mainly to satisfy my wife's desires for more musical worship (Heritage tends to sing only about two songs on a Sunday morning). Also, the preaching and teaching at Heritage is very deep doctrinal stuff, and a lot of it tended to go over my wife's head (she being a lot newer to reformed faith than I am, and not being the type of person to read systematic theologies). However, Christ the Redeemer is not a compromise, however, as the preaching is still very doctrinal. The pastor is just better at bringing high truths down to the common people. It is also a very new church, and so they are just getting settled. They are both excellent and I wish I could be a member of both!

The websites for both churches are http://www.reformedbaptist.org/ and http://www.redeemerfortworth.org/
You can find out where exactly they are located on their sites. Again, these would require a little bit of a commute, but I find that driving 30 minutes for a great church worship is a lot better than going next door for a "worship" service that does not go deep into the Bible.

Btw, if any of the elders of Heritage Baptist church read this blog, I want you all to know how much we have appreciated your ministries when we were just coming to grip with our new-found convictions.

GeneMBridges said...

However, we are also concerned about the accuracy of the claims because what we receive through the statistics are just those things that are reported by the local churches. And so we would have to challenge what they send us.

If they really believed this, then they wouldn't introduce people to the Convention by their baptism statistics at all. If statistics are undependable for the reason cited for support of your resolution, then they are equally undependable for SBC Evangelists and Pastor's Conferences where they are trumpeted ad infinitum.

GeneMBridges said...

Jeffro, where in NC are you located? Please email me. I am in NC.

GeneMBridges said...

Regarding the motion to examine Calvinism. This went to the Executive Committee. I know some folks on the X Comm. They are much more likely to be sensitive to issues than the folks on other committees (the IMB being the most striking example). I would lobby for them to include men like Dr. Nettles and Brother Tom on this committee, but I'd also add that even if they don't they are not as shrill in their activities as the other agency committees.

GeneMBridges said...

By the way, with respect to Calvinism itself, did you take a look at the Lifeway exhibit? With the exception of President Page's book, which they were selling for obvious reasons, and I think Why I Am Not A Calvinist (which will turn people off since it is written by Wesleyan Arminians and is philosophical and not exegetical), there was a very impressive amount of Reformed material available. I saw a TON of Sproul, Piper, MacArthur, and even James White books. Think on that.

kingofbleh1 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kingofbleh1 said...

I think the biggest source of resistence we reformed-minded Southern Baptists are dealing with is inertia. For decades now our denomination has been permeated with Finneyite dispensationalism such that far too many pastors shun theological systems and discussion and encourage their staff member and congregations to do the same. In a sense this is good because it helped facilitate the return of inerrancy. But now we seem to have made camp there rather than continuing to advance our reformation.

Of course fear is a factor as well...fear of honestly reporting and managing our local church membership rolls, fear of perceptions about systematic theology, fear of reestablishing Biblical coventant church membership requirements, fear of contemplating one's own election (of course both sides should take Dr. Mohler's "whosoever will" remarks during the debate to heart - in other words, don't dwell on it too much).

No matter what their "views on election", I will always love Dr. Welch, Dr. Patterson and yes even Dr. Caner as if they were my own brother (who by the way is a reformed So. Baptist pastor in Indiana). This is the only way we are going to be able to promote understanding of the doctrines of grace among our SBC brethren - by loving them and by showing them that we are just as committed, yea even more committed, to spreading the Gospel to the world, because we are ultimately motivated out of obedience and the overwhelming desire to glorify God.

GeneMBridges said...

I sincerely hope that any investigation into Calvinism in the SBC will have a lot to say about the large number of Calvinist missionaries at home and abroad, through the IMB and NAMB. The slur that we are anti-missions tacitly disparages the good work that these dedicated servants of the Lord are doing. If we were anti-missions, these people would not be doing what they're doing. I know of a couple coming here soon to visit with one of our churches. I'm going to try to get them to come to ours as well, even though we're not SBC, because I want our people to hear and see folks from our perspective who are active on the mission field.

Howard Fisher said...

Tom,

It saddens me that a denomination is more concerned about manufactured sin (Resolution 5) than with real Biblical church discipline.

If I were in your situation, I would hope I would have had enough guts to do what you did. Please keep doing what is right. We need more men like yourself.

God Bless

Adam Winters said...

"If this kind of spirit can prevail in our ongoing efforts to recover historic Southern Baptist principles, then we have many reasons to be encouraged about the future."

I too am grateful for the hope that the spirit of Christ can unite us in brotherly Christian love as we wrestle through controversy.

And I just watched Dr. Mohler on Larry King's CNN pannel discussion on homosexuality tonight. Mohler was excellent as expected, and he was a bright light of truth in the midst of much deception being preached by others.

I am so glad that Southern Baptists are no where near the level of theological disaster that is facing the Episcopal churches of America and other denominations. Such blatant heresy prevalent in American Christianity should serve as a reminder that we Baptists of like mind on so many essential issues should stand together against perversions of the gospel in spite of our secondary misunderstandings.

And thank you, Dr. Ascol, for your fair and thorough analysis of the convention this year.

deusvult2 said...

I vehemently agree with Gene Bridges, Adam Winters, and Howard Fisher! You guys are on the mark with all of your comments and I could not agree more.

To Gene,

About the Establishment idea, do you think it's true? Is there really such an upper level group of leaders in the SBC who are the unofficial elders of our denomination? I have often felt this way and I know many others have as well. What are your honest thoughts on this? I would greatly appreciate any feedback. - Stephen

One Salient Oversight said...

Tom,

Here are some thoughts from a Pedobaptist Presbyterian living in Australia.

You mention that your work in resolution 5 was a "political mistake" and "foolhardy".

The reality is that the people present were not aware of the biblical facts and had made a judgement based upon their impressions.

I think you did the right thing. Prophets in the OT did not shy away from truth for the sake of being biblical.

There always needs to be a person who gets up and says what needs to be said.

By accepting resolution 5, the SBC is embracing legalism and rejecting the Bible.

J. Gray said...

Dr. Ascol, I thank you for your work on the behalf of the SBC. It is needed, even if many don't realize it is needed.

There were many ironic and hypocritical decisions made. But such is SBC life.

The alcohol resolution blows my mind. I don't drink, but for all the reasons stated the claims made in the resolution are unbiblical.

Which leads me to the irony of the approval of the resolution and the denial of your resolution that has the full weight of the Bible and event he BFM behind it. Yet it gets rejected. Amazing. It is also odd that they deny your stated statistics saying they don't trust the reported numbers. THAT"S THE POINT!!!!! We can't trust the numbers reported.

We need to break free from the pragmatism that enslaves so many of our churches, and return to actually believing that the Bible is authoritative (we SAY we believe it, but most SBC churches act completely different). Uuntil that happens, we'll see more of the same old deal.

Someone at the Convention asked me why I was a Calvinist...I told him that as a guy who grew up after the conservative resurgence started that I was actually crazy enough to believe what everyone said about inerrancy and authority. I was too naive to realize that for most people its just a pretty phrase that draws "amens".

Timmy said...

Gene,

Concerning the investigation of Calvinism, I must say that I know about 10 IMB missionaries and 9 of them are Calvinists.

Tom,

While I was updating my compilation post on Greensboro, I noticed that Associated Baptist Press posted the same article you linked to in your post. However, as the usual spinsters they are, they change the title from, "New President Author of Book Critical of Calvinism" to "Will election of SBC president deal blow to neo-Calvinism?" Gotta love that rhetoric!

Neo-Calvinism . . . death blow . . . seems like SBC Calvinists should be shaking in their pants.

Jim Shaver said...

Does somebody have the exact quote that Ed Young made about "systematic theology" in his sermon?

I should have written it down at the time. I remember being amazed that he said it.

Thanks

Jeffro said...

Jim Shaver,

In Ed Young's sermon, he defined Southern Baptists as people who believed in inerrancy, the virgin birth, the substitutionary death of Christ, and other basic tenants similar to what you would find in the Apostle's Creed. Then he said something to the effect, and I think this is direct, "Our theology is not systematic. It is biblical."

Ben said...

Tom,

When you rose to speak to the alcohol amendment, I had the same thought--that it would have political ramifications for the integrity resolution.

Fortunately, defending truth is not now and never has been a political game. What you said needed to be said. That's really all that matters. People whose votes would be swayed by your speaking against that amendment would not have been likely to take the action your resolution prescribed anyway.

jmattingly said...

Tom,

God is concerned ultimately about truth and the glory of His own name. He were right to question the unbiblical nature of Resolution 5.

You acted on biblical principles and not on a pragmatic fear that it would hurt your chances with the resolution on integrity.

That, in and of itself, says more to me about integrity than much that I see in SB life.

May God continue to give you and all of us boldness to stand on the Scriptures.

In Christ,
Jeremiah

Ecygtheow said...

I'm currently serving an internship in Thailand under IMB supervisors. The internship is for Boyce College, SBTS's undergraduate seminary. With one's knowledge of SBTS, one could deduce how I feel about Reformed Theology, and while I am reformed, this only came about last year, and I give the credit to God's word, not to the frothing Calvi-nazis we used to have so many of. Be careful friends to follow Dr. Mohler's advice to give the proper emphasis to spreading our faith, not our theology.

I agree with Brother Aschol that the election of our new president over Ronnie Floyd is a cause of excitement. I think it shows that the SBC Christians can think for themselves, all the more reason for us to actually think through the issues. We must be careful not to nit-pick too, as critiquing Ed Young's theology comment is useless. Dr. Charles Draper, one of our professors and a firmer Calvinist cannot be found, once blasted a theologian by saying that his viewpoints show that he is a systematic theologian, not a biblical one.

Christopher Redman said...

I am still considering Page Patterson's blatant misrepresentation: "I don't see any evidence for irresistable grace in the Bible."

What about the gospel of John?

John 6:37 "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me..."

John 6:44 "No one can come to Me unless the Father who has sent Me draws him and I will raise him up at the last day."

John 10:16 "And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; THEM ALSO I MUST BRING, AND THEY WILL HEAR MY VOICE; AND THERE WILL BE ONE FLOCK AND ONE SHEPHERD."

To say that one believes in inerrency and not actually believe the text is hypocricy.

BTW, Patterson's quoting of R.C Sproul on the origin of sin is a cheap shot not unlike the Caner's practice on this blog.

No one can answer the question of where sin came from. Granted Sproul offered his philosophical answer but the reality is the origin of sin is unknown and hidden; "the mystery of iniquity".

Bottom line, Sproul has a lot of good things to say but he is not one of us (SBC), therefore, his views do not belong in a theological discussion within the SBC.

If Patterson wanted to act with integrity on the subject at hand, he could have chosen any of the current or historical baptists who have been calvinists to quote and take issue with.

CR

Christopher Redman said...

I remember being told/taught that there is systematic theology and biblical theology.

The difference, if I remember correctly, is that systematic theology systematizes what the Bible teaches on various doctrines. Biblical theology focuses on the interpretation of the text within its immediate context. In other words, I biblical theologian would not go the the OT to quote a verse in support of his interpretation of a verse in the NT. Nor would he quote Paul while interpreting and preaching from Peter.

I personally to not accept this distinction because the ultimate context of any verse is the whole Bible. If we believe the Bible is a unified revelation with one truth (ie: the faith once for all delivered to the saints), than there is no problem with considering the unity of the Bible within theology and interpretation of the text.

Nevertheless, this "biblical theology" is one way that Christians today deal with the doctrines of grace in appropriately. They refuse to look at the big picture when examining Romans 9 for instance. Then, by making the assertion that election in Romans 9 is election to service and not to salvation, the misconstrue the entire text.

So, the problem is two fold. They mistintepret the immediate text and they fail to consider the whole text of the Bible.

This is what I believe is being promoted with statements from the Pastor's Conference and even Ergun Caner... we are not arminian, we are not calvinists, we are biblicist.

From my perspective, a biblicist is a calvinist.

CR

reform the sbc said...

“Rather than accepting a belief system which is based upon a reformer’s beliefs or teachings, I propose that we adopt God’s teaching on salvation,” Page writes.

“It is most grievous to see a large number of individuals accept without question the doctrine of John Calvin in regards to salvation,” Page writes in Trouble with the Tulip: A Closer Examination of the Five Points of Calvinism. “This acceptance of his manmade system of logic has led many to say things about God which are simply unbelievable!”

Calvinism distorts the biblical picture of God as a loving Father who wants to see all people brought into relationship with him, he asserted.

“The true nature of God is not shown by a Calvinistic theology that presents a God who selects one to be saved and another to be lost,” Page writes.
“Our theology is biblical, it is not systematic. Therefore we as Baptists, we are not Calvinist; we are not Arminian; we are Baptists,” Young said. “That’s who we are, and we always come down somewhere in the middle.”
________________
This is totally ridiculous. Our SBC leaders don’t “always come down somewhere in the middle”. If they did, then why are they always backhanding Calvinists? Our SBC leaders are hot against Calvinists prior to their leadership...then they have to take back their words in some fashion to get along with us. They still have the same view with kinder words.

The SBC leaders are Arminian .... They view Calvinism as unbiblical...yet they don’t want a split. I am not pleased with the SBC.

C. T. Lillies said...

I am more than a little horrified at the quote from Dr. French and the comments here regarding the ACP. Especially considering the enormous pressure that is put upon the local associations and the state conventions to get their numbers in. "just those things that are reported by the local churches." I know some battle-hardened church secretaries who would skin a guy for a comment like that. Oh well, it seems to me they were always more interested in the marketing numbers of the various programs and literature items than anything else.

About the alcohol thing...I always just have to shake my head at stuff like this. One year it was Mickey and now its booze next year it will be something else. Probably ban the use of ethanol in Convention vehicles.

BTW, I like the verse Jer. 6:16 that is on the Founders web page but the context (see below) is a little ominous. Do you guys have a back up plan if the stiff-necked SBC refuses to reform?

Jer 6:14-16 (NASB)
14 “They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace.
15 “Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done? They were not even ashamed at all; They did not even know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; At the time that I punish them, They shall be cast down,” says the LORD.
16 Thus says the LORD, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’

SBCTulip said...

Congrats...you join Wade Burleson in being used by the APB (CBF) to spew their anti-SBC banter...

At least you don't have them on your speed dial like Burleson does though...

martyduren said...

Tom-
I was waiting at microphone #5 to speak to your motion coming back out of committee, but wasn't allowed to do so.

Bring it back next year just as it is.

sparrowhawk said...

Those of us who embrace Calvinism read. We are readers. We read dead guys, modern guys, and then Bereanize it all against the Word.

Conversely, I've seen multiple examples in my own circles that, by and large, every critic of Calvinism does not do the necessary reading, or they stopped reading years ago. Yes, there are exceptions. But think about it: the pragmatic evangelist, like their secular sales executive counterparts, skim. They don't read thoroughly. The result? Misconceived conclusions based on the skim, and also from who they listen to.

If true, how do we overcome this? Well, I am hoping that Dr. Rainer had something to do with all the Reformed material at the LifeWay exhibit. This is a good sign. I hope others are to come.

Houston said...

Tom, I'm a 1st time ever blogger. 'Preciate your work and insights. I wanted to offer to more reasons I think your much needed ammendment did not pass: 1)After watching on-line, it was a long time of debate before they got to where you could present the motion---I think overall the convention was tired of debating and ready to move to something new. I think Wiley's comment about moving on (quit riding this drunk horse and vote) captured the spirit of the convention wanting to stop debating. 2) As an English major, the resolution for the convention was too long. I don't know if there's a way to shorten it because think all of it is needed. But our convention will not want to think through ALL the points (and, again they are all correct)your motion made at ONE time. I know this doesn't change the past but maybe next year hopefully you can get a better time slot and maybe there's a way you can shorten it to a 'bullet shot' for the time being. Thanks and keep up the great work. God bless.

Stephen A Morse said...

Tom, It was a pleasure to meet you on Tuesday morning. The breakfast was wonderful. I wonder how many of the indivudals on the other side of the partition listened in to Dr. Dever's Sermon. I am sure they could hear it well, I could hear their conversations and I was sitting up there by you.

I posted my reflections on the annual meeting at:
www.throwtheword.com
So I will not rewrite my blog here.

I appreciate all of your work to promote integrity within this convention.

God Bless.

Christopher Redman said...

Abstract Article 8 "Regeneration" reads:

"Regeneration is a change of heart, wrought by the Holy Spirit, who quickeneth the dead in trespasses and sins enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the Word of God, and renewing their whole nature, so that they love and practice holiness. It is a work of God's free and special grace alone.s:"

This is monergistic regeneration. Regeneration prior to repentance and belief. The work of Regeneration enables a person to "savingly understand the Word of God".

The BFM also affirms monergistic regeneration by placing regeneration prior to justification, sanctification, and glorification.

Both the Abstract of Principles and the BFM affirm monergistic regeneration.

Point - the doctrine of irresistable grace is monergistic regeneration. It is held confessionally by SB's at both the denominational level and the seminary level.

Why then does Page Patterson state: "I see no evidence in the Bible for irresistable grace."

Again - Page is a smart guy. He is not that ignorant. I believe he purposely mistates the facts to promote his own bias against Calvinism.

The result is that Page is untrue to the BFM, the Abstract of Principles, the SBC, and worst of all, the scriptures themselves.

You must be at least a four point calvinist to sign the Abstract of Principles. Page is apparently an anemic two or three pointer. (Really, a one pointer since he denies Total Depravity and "Unconditional" election).

How can he say that he affirms both the BFM and the Abstract and not believe, teach, preach, and promote their content?

CR

volfan007 said...

i came away from the sbc with great encouragement. it was a tremendous convention, and it was spiritually uplifting. i believe that it's clear that our sbc is not going to be reformed. we are baptist. we believe in witnessing and missions, and we dont want to go off the deep end into hyper...whoops...five point calvinism. i beleive that the voting that was done at the convention showed that the sbc does not want to be reformed. i thank God for the way things went at the convention this year. halelujah!

Brian R. Giaquinto said...

I am grateful that Tom - and really, all of you - speak up for truth. As evidenced by Welch's rhetoric, being silent is what they want.

Christopher Redman said...

volfan007 -

We are all happy that you are happy! That makes everything worthwhile.

CR

jdlongmire said...

I wish that the anti-Calvinists would quit tring to redefine Historic Calvinism into hyper and "neo".

This is Neo-Calvinism!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-Calvinism

-JD

jdlongmire said...

"Tom
I, located here in Cedar Hill, Texas, actively involved in trying to find a chuch home, find myself incredibily depressed. An anti-Calvinist, whose book as you critiqued shows an amazing lack of knowledge and insight, is now elected President? The major resolution discusses is an anti-alcohol motion, which is not based on biblical truth?

I cannot find a reformed SBC pastor here in this area. I really feel led to abandon the SBC.
"

Feeling that way myself...for selfish reasons, I think.

Trying to justify - maybe "fight the good fight"...

-JD

John Wootten said...

Volfan007, what did you think of Dr. Mohler's presentation of the Gospel on Larry King Live last night?

slmayes said...

volfan,

What specific votes were taken at the convention which sought to repudiate Calvinism?

Why do you insist that Calvinism is inconsistent with witnessing and missions? I have traveled overseas to do mission work in Europe, support and encourage missions in my church, and engage in personal evangelism.

David B. Hewitt said...

For those interested, I have written briefly on this matter (Dr. French's comments) and the issue of evangelism having become an idol in our convention over at my blog.

Forgive me if this sounds like a blatant advertisement; it's not so much meant to be that as to be another means of refocusing us toward Christ Himself rather than where we are now.

SDG,
David Hewitt

volfan007 said...

i didnt hear dr. mohler on larry king. i have heard dr. mohler in the past, and he always does a good job.

what votes repudiated calvinism? well, our sbc didnt vote mark dever into the office of first vice pres. and ascol's resolution to encourage the calvinists views on church discipline was voted down big time. also, statements to the effect were made over and over about how we are not calvinists and we are not arminians....we are baptists...which always led to much applause.

David B. Hewitt said...

Volfan:

Such statements like "Not a Calvinist, not an Arminian, but a Baptist" make no sense at all! They are category errors to be sure. There are Reformed Southern Baptists, Arminian Southern Baptists, and those who fall somewhere between. ALL of these are BAPTISTS and it really makes no sense whatsoever (that I can tell) to say such things.

If I am wrong, feel free to correct me. Otherwise, please feel free to be corrected.

A worm redeemed by Christ,
David Hewitt

slmayes said...

I watched the nomination speech in which Dever was presented to the convention. To the best of my memory, he was not presented as a Calvinist candidate. Nor was Tom Ascol's resolution an endorsement of Calvinism.

It is not possible to link those two votes as an endorsement or rejection of Calvinism. Where the resolution was concerned, even Dr. Caner has written on this blog of his support for church discipline: "The reason why only 37% of church members ever darken the door of the churh on a given Sunday is the lack of church discipline" and "a church without church discipline does not meet the standards of the New Testament."

You did not answer the second question about the inconsistency of your position that Calvinism excludes missions and evangelism.

Amicus said...

volfan007,
You say that you "thank God for the way things went at the convention". Why? Shouldn't you just thank the individuals who made completely free-will decisions to vote the "right" way? I am serious. If our wills are as free as anti-reformed brothers say, how does God get any glory when people, all on their own, choose to do the right thing?

My guess is that you pray all the time for God to change people's hearts, to bring them to do the right thing, and even to draw them to Christ.

Unless you really do follow Finney, who said that sinners must change their own hearts, our Pelagius, who said there is nothing wrong with us except bad examples and bad behavior.

But I don't think so. I think you are really what you say you are, a Bible-believing Baptist with an aversion to theology. Meaning one who doesn't think straight, but who prays (and praises) like a Calvinist. Even when you are glad because you think the Calvinists are losing.

amicus tuam,
David

Amicus said...

Oops - bad editing - I meant to say "unless you follow Finney...., or Pelagius" but instead said, "Finney...., our Pelagius."

But hey, we're all Americans here, and wasn't Finney our very own Pelagius?

volfan007 said...

to make the statement that not a calvinist and not an arminian....does not make sense just shows how deeply involved in the extreme tangent of theology you are. that just shows that you are blinded by your allegiance to five point calvinism. you are so steeped in five pointism that you cant see anything else, and you miss the truth.

come out. rise above five points. know the truth.

Greg B said...

Dear Volfan:
Interestingly enough, the first talk of cleaning up the rolls of our churches, and how terrible it was that we carry non-resident members and keep folks on the roll that havent been seen inside the church for years wasn't a Calvinist.... drum roll please...
IT WAS DR PAIGE PATTERSON! What constitutes a church membership and church discipline isn't, or doesn't really have anything to do with Soveriegn Grace controversies, it has to do with The Bible's clear teaching and expressedly Matthew 18:15-18. This is expressedly Biblical Theology, no need to systemetize at all.
Greg B

Greg B said...

Volfan:
Rise above this false freedom of the will, read the Bible!
Sorry brother, I just couldn't resist.
Greg B

Timmy said...

volfan,

Because I am blinded by my allegiance, I wanted to ask you to explain to me/us what a Baptist believes. What are the doctrinal positions of being "baptist"?

If you go to Herschel Hobbs, you get an Arminian; if you go to James P. Boyce and the Founders, you get Calvinists. I ask, then, do tell, what is the "baptist" doctrinal beliefs? And can you explain to me the theological framework? Thanks.

Help me rise. :)

volfan007 said...

i said that i believe in church discipline...sheeeesh...dont people read the blogs? i dont believe in it like you all do. you all seemed thrilled to kick people out of church. i believe in following the teachings and commands of scripture. i just dont agree with yall over how to go about it, and over what things to kick people out of church over...i mean, calvin had people thrown in prison for not attending his church...wow!

i also want to thank sovereign God for putting dr. page as our president. i am glad that the Lord predestined that dr. page, an anti tulip man, to be our next president. i am glad that God chose, or elected, for this to be. halelujah!

Andrew said...

Volfan:

Do you ever repent of slandering Christians or is this an unbroken pattern of sin in your life?

J.D. Rector said...

Tom: It was good to meet you at the Pastor's Conference break-out session on Church Discipline!

We were admonished at one point during the convention session to do less blogging and more witnessing. I heard applause and amen's to that sermon bit... so here I am. Did anyone else hear that?

As a reformed blogger and witness... again, it was good to meet you finally Tom.
J.D. Rector

Greg B said...

Hey, does anyone find it mildly amusing that Jesus Christ couldn't qualify to be a Seminary of Missions Board trustee in the SBC.
Mildly amusing isn't right. Think on it a little bit and it is appalling.
Greg B

Greg B said...

How does a reformed church do discipline differently?
I have been a member of a RBC who had members under discipline for years without tossing them out. Many non-reformed churches I know of simply do 1,2,3,4 strikes your out.
As for the rolls. Most churches just attempt to contact them by letter and ask them to state their wishes about membership. If you can't contact them or they have no intent to attend the church, they are released. Many churches find their members have moved away or are members of other churches. Many know this, but for all sorts of silly reasons (free plot in the cemetery is a popular one) they stay on the roll.
Greg B

Timmy said...

JD,

It was said by an editor of a state paper that bloggers were the "graffiti" of the SBC.

However, could it be considered vindication when TIME magazine writes an article about the Convention in which the first paragraph says this:

"For those who follow the internal politics of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) somewhat less avidly than the NBA playoffs or even the World Cup, perhaps the most interesting news out of their annual meeting, held this week in Greensboro, N.C., is that bloggers elected a president."

The article link is:

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1204271,00.html

By the way, the statement by Welch, though well received, is weak, hypocritical, and unverifiable.

Look it, when less than a hundred bloggers in the SBC are being talked about in a convention of "16 million" in the presidential address of the annual meeting and written about in TIME mag and other secular media outlets, you've got to say something, don't you?

kingofbleh1 said...

volfan -

Only a portion of SBC messengers truly understood the doctrines of grace (aka 5 points of Calvinism) going into this meeting. And an even smaller portion really know/care who is or is now a 5 pointer. Therefore I don't think the 1st VP election was necessarily a vote AGAINST Calvinism. As has already been noted, the runoff election was after many had left and without prior notice and consequently had far fewer messengers voting. In the first vote, Dever votes outnumbered Jackson 29.72% to 27.48%.

I also got the impression talking to many of the messangers in my section they did not really know much about any of the candidates. It would seem that they short 5-minute nominating speeches were the only thing many had ever heard about the candidates (including Frank Page). People only knew Ronnie Floyd because of his national TV ministry and Jerry Sutton because of his books. So I don't think anyone can say that either election was a definitive vote for or against anyone's particular theology.

As for the "I'm not Arminian, I'm not Calvinist, I'm Baptist" sentiment, what is the definition "Baptist" if does not include the convictions and theology of it's forefathers? Are we to ignore the predominant teachings of the first 300 years of our denomination's history in favor of something relatively new that seems to be in the "middle"?

Why do we fear systematic theology in favor of "Biblical theology"? And what is "Biblical theology" anyways? Are we to expect people to fully comprehend God's word simply by reading one word after another? Doesn't this place the onus of interpreting the Word on man (man-centered) rather than on God's Word itself (God-centered)

slmayes said...

volfan,

I repeat my entry from 3:58 pm for you:

I watched the nomination speech in which Dever was presented to the convention. To the best of my memory, he was not presented as a Calvinist candidate. Nor was Tom Ascol's resolution an endorsement of Calvinism.

It is not possible to link those two votes as an endorsement or rejection of Calvinism. Where the resolution was concerned, even Dr. Caner has written on this blog of his support for church discipline: "The reason why only 37% of church members ever darken the door of the churh on a given Sunday is the lack of church discipline" and "a church without church discipline does not meet the standards of the New Testament."

You did not answer the second question about the inconsistency of your position that Calvinism excludes missions and evangelism.

Greg B said...

Funny about the Biblical theology quip. Most reformed presbyterian seminaries teach 2 semesters of Biblical Theology before they teach 2 semesters of Systematic Theology. When I went to SEBTS, I only got 2 semesters of Systematic Theology. Biblical Theology wasn't an MDiv requirement, I don't even know that it was offered for MDiv candidates and wasn't aware of the Biblical-Systematic-Practical Theological ladder that is used in many seminaries. Do any of our seminaries require Biblical Theology at all?
Greg B

bristopoly said...

Volfan,

1. We've already established by your theological statements that you hold hook and line with the Arminian position. The "sinker," which is once saved always saved, is a weird theological animal that you probably hold to. So you are an Arminian in most points and a third inconsistent option on the fifth.

2. What are ALL the Biblical areas you see as justification for administering Church discipline? And what is Church discipline biblically?

thanks

Greg B said...

Oh, according to the websites at SEBTS, SBTS, SWBTS, MWBTS (sorry Golden Gate and New Orleans)Biblical Theology is not carried as a requirement by any of them. However, the 6 hours of Theology are called Systematic at SWBTS, Dr Patterson likes the sound of it. But the others seem to refer to it now as Christian Theology. Maybe they are combining Biblical and Systematic? I know the main prof at SEBTS...he teaches Systematic.
Greg B

Jeffro said...

Volfan

Saying, "We are not Arminian. We are not Calvinists. We are Baptists, and Baptists are in the middle." is fraught with problems.

First of all it is like saying, "We are not Apples. We are not Oranges. We are horses." Arminian refers to a specific soteriology. Calvinism refers to a specific soteriology. Baptist refers to a denomination which could mean and include a multitude of things. But Baptist does not refer to a specific soteriology.

Secondly, this idea of coming down somewhere in the middle is a philosophical attempt at reconciling two opposite statements. It is the Hegelian dialectic method. You have a thesis and an antithesis. You combine the two to have a synthesis. This will not do for Biblical theology. If we presuppose the Bible to be true then we cannot take one point of view that states one thing, and another point of view that states the opposite, and meld the two together to create our own system. We must believe in the law of non-contradiction, or we can have no truth.

Third. A Biblical worldview must start with a sovereign creator God. This is nothing that can be argued. In fact, we are silly to argue that such is not the case. Either the triune personal God of the Bible is completely sovereign or He is not. We believe that He is, and a Calvinistic soteriology which is very Biblical is the only such consistent view with Biblical theism.

Fourth. I take great offense at being lumped in with the majority of Baptists that are "somewhere in the middle." This is terribly intolerant and destructive to the doctrine of autonomy that we hold so firmly as Baptists. As I mentioned earlier in this comment thread, there was great talk about unity with a tremendous amount of exclusion attached. I am a five point Calvinist. I am not an Arminian, Pelagian, or anywhere in the middle. I am not asking them to become a Calvinist. Stay in the middle if you like. As I said, there are loads of problems in the middle, but stay in the middle and preach the Gospel. I will preach the Gospel as well, from, as you put it, the "extreme tangent" of Calvinism. Please understand though, that I am no more extreme than you are. I believe the Calvinistic soteriology lines up with Scripture. You do not. Your view, though you claim it to be middle of the road, is still an "extreme tangent" of theology, and you obviously hold it just as firmly.

Greg B said...

Volfan:
Not jumping on. I don't know when I'll be back on line before Monday, but I do want you to answer a couple of questions. I will be glad to return the favor if you wish, but probably not until Mon.
What makes Tom's motion/resolution Calvinistic? I learned about church purity and accurate reporting from DR Patterson as stated before. What does church discipline look like to you?
What do you think it looks like to a Calvinist?
As stated before, I have been a member of an expressly Reformed Baptist Church (Bob Selph had been the Pastor before I got there). They regularly practice discipline, though only 2 cases came before the body while I was there. One was restored 2 years later. One has spun out and proved his lack of saving faith. Hopefully God will change him. The church has tried to be a tool of God's to that end and continues to pray for him. Many cases never come to the body because the pastors and elders (or in the early stages just normal church members) confronted them, found the truth and when the party shows a desire to repent, and the elders supervise their efforts with personal ministry (teaching, counseling and supervision).
I am not aware of a British or American Reformed/Particular Baptist throwing a member or former member in the klink... Why must you always include things that have little relevance. Servertus and the stake and paedobaptism? If you want to actually understand how most ... well some including myself see covantental theology and real baptistm Chantry has a great booklet and Fred Malone's Baptism of Disciples Alone is fantastic. He is a former Baptist...Presbyterian (because he was ostracized for being a Calvinist) and then when he couldn't avoid the truth of Baptism, a Baptist and a great scholarly and practical pastor in LA. Give Fred's book a try, you can probably get a good price from Founders Press.
Greg B

Stephen A Morse said...

Greg B....
Great point of argument about systematic theology and biblical theology! They certainly ought to make their walk match their talk!

Greg B said...

Truthfully, we should be tighter in how we teach theology. I agree with how Westminster and Greenville Pres do it. Biblical, Systematic, then Practical classes.
Of course those first 2 years include the Bible and language classes. I think we could do it without using Berkoff and Vos. But don't ask me to do it, I didn't even break 3.0 on my final SEBTS transcipt.
Greg B
A question for those more scholarly than myself. Are are there actually Evangelical Biblical Theology books that are not based on Vos? ie Reformed

C. T. Lillies said...

Volfan

Hey I'd like to say I admire your persistence here. I've read several of your comments and they, at the very least, appear to be what you really feel. Candor is a rare and good thing.

Its fine if reformed churches don't do as well as regular SBC churches. The truth isn't that popular anymore and these folks aren't in the business of tickling ears. These are hard sayings for a Baptist to hear too so I feel for you bro. One of the things that sickens me about the current state of affairs in the church in general is the idea that church is some sort of popularity contest. (Thats probably why I have to listen to a drum kit on Sunday morning now days.) And that a church isn't doing its job if their numbers aren't up. Its crazy. "And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved." Acts 2:47

And thats the whole reason this resolution makes sense--some folks haven't been added by the Lord and its obvious. Honestly I don't think the idea is to boot anyone who wants to be in church. In fact it might do some good if they get a call along the lines of, "Hey we haven't seen you in a few years? Can we come by and visit and talk about your membership here?" Talk about ministry opportunities. Plus, I don't know a single church that doesn't keep a prospect list of non-members.

So I don't see a down side. If they're not interested enough to show up they surely don't need or want the privilege of voting as a member.

fred said...

volfan007,

You
"i came away from the sbc with great encouragement. it was a tremendous convention, and it was spiritually uplifting."

Me
If this is true, you have to quit eating all that spiritual junkfood and drinking milk and get some meat in ya!

You
"i thank God for the way things went at the convention this year. halelujah!"

Me
Now why would a "free-willer" like you want to go and blame God for all that happened?

Now before you go bannana's, I'm just having fun with you.

P.S. I also am thanking God for everything that happened this week.

Dr. Ascol, it was good to see you again. And add me to the list of those thankful to you for all your efforts to bring reform to the SBC, "One person and one church at a time" God bless you!

Byroniac said...

Personally, I am tired of hearing the same old, "I'm not a Calvinist or an Arminian. I'm a Biblicist." line. That's like saying, "I'm not male or female. I'm purple." Excuse me?

This is very similar to the third-sex argument I heard in the way-back machine from a certain segment of our society which shall remain nameless for the rest of this post. I don't know the particulars, but I'm sure the third-sex argument crumbled for the very same reason this argument deserves to crumble. It is a mythical projection of false identity which cannot survive in reality with the presence of the actual facts.

I find it ironic that these same Biblicists seem to rely more heavily on Baptist traditions than actual Scripture to support their cause, in many instances.

Byroniac said...

Oh, I wanted to say something about the alcoholic abstinence resolution. I too am a tee-totaler, personally, and I recommend abstinence strongly. However, I do not believe that drinking alcohol by itself is sinful, with the very important exception of drunkenness (which is scripturally sinful).

In my thinking this includes both excessive consumption of alcohol for pleasure's sake and the consumption of alcohol by those who cannot restrain themselves from drunkenness.

I suppose the SBC shouldn't attack such things as unregenerate membership, unbiblical soteriology, and anthropocentric evangelism. Instead, we should pursue the real sins: drinking, dancing, and gambling! Shame on all of you for neglecting these things.

Tom said...

Thanks for the comments, encouragements and suggestions. I will try to post a more thoughtful response next week. I am in New York, preaching a dear friend's funeral and hope to return home late tonight. Once I recover, I hope to interact with some of the comments.

John said...

Dear Tom,

Thanks so much for the wonderful work you are doing in the SBC. Please be encouraged and continue.

May I make a couple of suggestions:
1. In the future, perhaps add a prefatory "whereas" statement to the integrity in membership resolution describing how integrity in membership is an aid in evangelism. Dever has commented on this.

2. Have trusted friends take up other fights (such as against legalism, like the alcohol prohibition) so that you can focus your energies. I believe that integrity in membership (or the regenerate church membership) is an extremely important issue.

But most of all, please keep up the good work!

John Carpenter
www.covenantdubois.com

John said...

The SBC resolving to form a committee to study Calvinism is almost like a Methodist committee to study John Wesley!

Brian R. Giaquinto said...

Will somebody make a motion that the Founders Ministries Board of Directors conduct a study of the impact of Arminianism...er...semi-Arminianism on SBC life - to be presented in '07?

It may be a point of order, but funny nonetheless!

SavedandSure said...

Some know that real contradictions and APPARENT contradictions are not the same but...

it is rather easy to see how many (even most) of the SBC messengers would think your position on the two...

membership integrity and alcoholic consummation are contradictions.

In your final paragraph, Dr. Tom, prior to stating you are (a gin-u-wine) TT (LOL) and never a user of alcoholic beverages, you very correctly stated HOW and WHY you lost your case for membership integrity in 2006.

But it may be different in 2007.

SavedandSure said...

OOPS! Let's make that alcoholic consumption...

rather than consummation.

I think I have had too much cough medicine which, as you may or may not know (being a gin-u-wine TT)...

contains alcohol. (Proverb 17:22)

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Dr. A,

Hearing as prominent a Southern Baptist as Dr. French talk about "reclamation evangelism" was very distressing. He evidently feels that once we have determined that a church member shows evidence of not being saved, and little evidence of having been saved, we should leave that person on the roles as a member, so as to win the person to Christ. Whatever happened to regenerate membership? Wow! This kind of logic is unbelieveable. This kind of ignorance is troubling. I am determined to learn good ecclesiology and help teach the SBC, including the leadership! Thanks for your leadership in this cause.

Love in Christ,

Jeff

G. Alford said...

As far as the resolution on all alcoholic drinks the SBC has proven once again that one of our English Baptist Brothers had it correct (and no I do not know who said this) “You Southern Baptist take the Bible in-errantly but not seriously!”

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isa.50:7)

The SBC has now passed a resolution declaring wine (which Jesus drank, which he produced in abundance for others to drink, which he declared to his disciples that he would drink with them again in heaven, which the Bible says makes glad both the heart of man and God, and which was an acceptable O.T. offering unto God) TO BE EVIL!!!

What part of “Woe unto them that call… good evil” does the SBC not understand? In passing this resolution the SBC has pronounced “Woe” upon themselves… God takes every word of the Bible seriously even if we do not.

Mike Miller said...

I know I'm late on this, but I've been out of town and otherwise occupied for a few days.

Anyway (and I'm not trying to be judgmental--it's just a question/observation), I wonder how many overweight gluttons voted for the alcohol resolution. I think that probably more faithful Southern Baptists--pastors included--are slaves to food rather than alcohol. I also wonder when we'll have a resolution on gluttony.

Mike Miller said...

BTW--I'm not advocating a resolution on gluttony (I'd rather see one on church membership, for example). I'm just pointing out some hypocrisy.

centuri0n said...

I'm wondering whether or not we are preaching the Gospel when we are corporately outlawing alcohol without biblical warrant.

I have a coupla blog articles on this as it has effected us locally here and here.

Gummby said...

Cent: I was wondering where you were on this.

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear CenturiOn,

The best part of your articles is where you differentiate between a reason and an escuse. Very good stuff. I think that will become part of my discussion of several issues in the future.

Love in Christ,

Jeff

Brian R. Giaquinto said...

Mike Miller,

When the mic was opened for discussion on the resolution, Ben Cole made a great point. He said that people don't die of heart disease because they eat; but rather that they eat too much. Will we pass a resolution on eating? We're condenming sins that we DON'T necessarily commit.

centuri0n said...

Gummby:

Don't bait me.

Mr. Young:

Exactly. However, in this situation, that door swings both ways. On the one hand, many people are looking for an excuse to say, "I have a God-given right to drink." So be it -- but let;s not confuse "moral liberty" with "irresponsible license."

On the other hand, there's a place where we swap out our virtue for legalism, and we are merely looking for an excuse to lord virtue over people for whatever reason is in our hearts. Demanding, for example, that all people be tea-totalers goes way beyond the Biblical warrant. So in that, are we seeking a reason to preach Christ and Him crucified to people, or are we looking for an excuse to beat people up with our alcohol-free lifestyle?

It goes both ways, and when the SBC gets that part right it will be a better convention. And it will actually be a more conservative convention, theologically.

volfan007 said...

proverbs 20 and 23 state that a person is not wise and foolish for drinking fermented grape juice.

Jesus was no fool.

GUNNY said...

I agree that it's a good sign that Calvinism is getting noticed. It must be making progress and striking fear in the hearts of men.

Just a fair shake ... that's all we ask.

GUNNY said...

How funny. I read the article in the Baptist Standard about Page.

Note the irony.

... Page calls for “a scripturally based understanding of salvation” rather than reliance on “manmade doctrines” such as Calvin’s systematic theology.

THEN we get what from Page? his own "manmade doctrines"


... In place of the “TULIP” acronym, he offers “GRACE.” He maintains salvation is “Given by Christ,” “Rejected through rebellion” but “Accepted through faith.” Further, he says “Christ died for all” and “Everlasting life” means a believer is secure in salvation.

I just wish I had the capacity to employ the rolled eyes smiley right about now.

John said...

Dear volfan007,

John 2 says that Jesus manufactured wine. He was accused to being a drunkard, because he drank wine. He used wine at the Lord's Supper. The Apostle Paul tells Timothy to drink some wine and stop being a "water-totaller". "Wine", in the NT, means "wine." Those who want to re-interpret the meaning of the word are no different than liberals who want to re-interpret words so as to get a meaning more to their liking. Besides, in Biblical times they did not have the technology to keep grape juice from fermenting even if they wanted to.

Another blog, attached to www.reformation42day.com has an article entitled "SBC takes a step backward into legalism". The author notes, "Spin it anyway you want it, neither the Lord Jesus nor the Apostles would be eligible to be leaders in the SBC."

volfan007 said...

again, proverbs 20 and 23 say that a fool drinks grape juice after it's fermented. Jesus, our Lord, was no fool.

also, if you will study the way they fixed thier "wine" as the kjv calls it, they mixed three parts water to one part grape juice to keep it from being strong drink!
it was so watered down in the day of Jesus that it would have been hard to get hi on it even if it had begun to ferment.

also, why would a christian, who is filled with the Holy Spirit, need to get hi on alcohol or weed or meth or cocaine or heroin anyway???????????????

wow! you five pointers are wino's on top of being off the deep end in your theology. wait a minute....any time someone departs from the truth they do tend to live in some sin....hummmmmmmmmm

John said...

Dear volfan007,

Do you seriously think that Solomon, of all people!, was telling us to totally abstain or not to be a gluttoon of wine -- gazing at it, lingering over it?

I've heard that "watered down" argument before. I doubt there's much to it. Perhaps some people watered down their wine sometimes but it couldn't have been common practice. If it was common practice, there would be no warnings against getting drunk on wine because it would all be watered down! By the way, what sense would it make for Paul (inspired by the Holy Spirit) to tell Timothy to stop taking only water but take extremely watered down grape juice? Wine means wine.

Again, the Lord Jesus manufactured wine, drank wine socially, used it at the Lord's Supper and said He was going to have it again when He returns. That's what the Bible says. Your attempts to change the meaning of the word "wine" are no more convincing than those who want to change words to prove the Bible doesn't really restrict women from headship positions or that homosexuality is wrong. If you don't like what the text says, just change the meaning of the words! It's really no better for a "conservative" to twist scripture than it is for do it.

Actually you show that people who won't accept what scripture says about salvation (that it's not by man's "desire or effort", Rom. 9), also won't accept what it says about other issues that run counter to their traditions. The Lord Jesus was quite strong in His condemnation of those (especially "conservatives"!) who twist scripture to defend their traditions.

volfan007 said...

so, is it ok to smoke weed? to use cocaine? heroin? meth? these are mind altering, mood altering drugs just as alcohol is?

also,prov. 20 and 23 is about drinking the fermented stuff. it says that you are foolish for drinking it.

also, as a christian who is full of the Holy Spirit...i dont need alcohol nor weed nor meth. why do you?

John said...

Dear volfan007,

Hi. You might like to go to www.reformatin42day.com and argue with the guy there that prohibiting alcohol is not legalism.

Let's put it bluntly: If the Proverbs passages mean (as you say) that any and all drinking is a sin, then the Lord Jesus sinned. Period. Or, to try it again another way: When you say that all drinking is sinful, you accuse the Lord Jesus of sinning. Do you really want to do that? Jesus did not turn the water into watered down grape juice!

You don't seem to be really considering what scripture says. It is the word of God that is authoritative, not your tradition. That your particular tradition happens to be "conservative" doesn't give you a license to twist scripture to get it to support you.

volfan007 said...

you are the one accusing Jesus of being foolish. i say that He turned the water into grape juice.
i am not calling Jesus a sinner. i am saying that He would not turn the water into jack daniels or mogan david wine or ripple. you are saying that Jesus was foolish, according to your view.

do you think smoking a little weed is ok too? how about meth?

John said...

Dear volfan007,

The Bible says the Lord Jesus tured water into "wine", that He drank "wine" socially, that He used "wine" in the Lord's Supper, that the Apostle Paul told Timothy to drink "wine" instead of just water, etc.

volfan007: "i say that He turned the water into grape juice."

Now, why should I believe you over the inspired, inerrant Word of God.

Sir, the fact is that you have rejected the teaching of scripture in favor of your tradition. Others in other threads have shown you plainly that the Proverbs passages speak of drunkenness. The NT clearly tells us the Lord Jesus turned water into "wine" -- not grape juice. I'd encourage you to accept scripture over tradition.

volfan007 said...

john,

get off the juice, bro. put down the bottle. get off the whiskey and wine and weed and whatever else you may be smoking and be filled with the Spirit.

besides, if we follow your thinking then we must not drink anymore grape juice...or else be fools...because v. 31 says to not look upon the wine when it's red.....

your thinking is off, my friend. its speaking of fermentation.

i used to drink and smoke weed all the time before the Lord saved me. thank God i was delivered from that life. why would you want it????????

Aaron Kirchhefer said...

Maybe someone already said this, but I remember in Church Administration class in seminary hearing what I already knew. The SBC practices what is called a "prospect list." They are people the church is attempting to reach but not yet members.

Remove people from the roles and put them on the prospect list.

Of course, the real problem is that too many peope find their "membership" sacred, and they do not understand the importance of church membership.

The convention had some encouraging signs. Yet two very disappointing signs.

John said...
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