Dr. Rick Patrick, Senior Pastor
First Baptist Church, Sylacauga, AL
Executive Director, Connect 316
The recent SBC Today post entitled Helps For the Baptist Search Committee is already making a significant impact in fostering greater understanding between churches and candidates. This article pointed to a resource entitled Questions For Non-Calvinist SBC Pastor Search Committees. The following is a brief testimony showing how effective this questionnaire can be in preventing yet another theologically-driven church split tragedy.
Honesty. It really is the best policy. Integrity and honesty are important in the home, important on the job, and are certainly important in the ministry. However, that is not always practiced as the case. Most of the time the problem is not a case of outright lying as it is a case of withholding information. This is especially true as it relates to the issue of Soteriology. I believe that a potential pastoral candidate should be open and up front with the pastor search committee and the congregation as to whether he is a Calvinist or a Traditionalist, in the realm of Soteriology. I have had good friends express a desire to recommend me to a particular church and once I find out that the church is not a good fit for me (which may be in worship style or the church might be a Calvinist/Reformed church) I decline their offer to be recommended. Continue reading
Calvinism’s decretal theology and commitment to compatibilism create a host of conundrums that result in Calvinists’ frequent visits to the storehouse of mysteries. One of which is the idea that even though God has unconditionally elected only some to have any meaningful opportunity to experience the forgiveness of salvation, we are to have hope for all and offer salvational hope to all. This is to be done without ever divulging that such hope only exists in the theoretical cauldron of unconditional election and reprobation for which there is not one whit of concern that the so elect will perish nor hope that the reprobate will not. Continue reading