Category Archives for Uncategorized

Uncovering Unconditional Unfairness The Root Injustice of DREAMer Deportation and Reformed Reprobation

January 22, 2018

Dr. Rick Patrick, Pastor
FBC Sylacauga, Alabama
Exec. Director, Connect 316

In the vocabulary of the immigration debate, DREAMers were brought to America by their illegal immigrant parents when they were too young to bear any responsibility for the crime. Their name derives from the DREAM Act first introduced in 2001, which never passed. (Perhaps we should simply speak of the DREAM Bill.) The acronym stands for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors, a group of people generally innocent of any wrongdoing. But what happens when a DREAMer becomes an adult? They are neither citizens nor criminals. Their unique status has resulted in no small amount of controversy regarding what to do with them. In addition to the ethical concerns, political strategists clearly covet these 3.6 million potential voters.

The aim of this essay is not to discuss the ethical or political implications of the debate, but rather, to explore the underlying philosophical and theological arguments concerning injustice that have been presented by those who oppose DREAMer Deportation, on the one hand, and those who oppose Reformed Reprobation, on the other. In listening to the logic of deportation opponents, I have been struck by the similarities and parallels with my own line of reasoning concerning the basic unfairness of the Calvinist doctrine of Reprobation.  Continue reading

Pastors Dare Not Become Enablers of Spiritual Milkoholics

January 11, 2018

By Ronnie Rogers, Pastor
Trinity Baptist Church Norman, OK

I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able (1 Cor 3:2).

Note the past tense verb, gave milk, referring to times in the past when Paul taught the Corinthians milk because they were not ready for meat and that was okay; but the poignant criticism is indeed, even now, you are not yet able. Even now, still, at this point they were not able, when in reality they should have been much more mature and able to think as spiritual followers, feeding on the meat of the Word.

These words of Paul are not only words of chastisement but also words of hurt. Paul had been involved in seeking to mature the Corinthians for about five years, but to no avail. W. Robertson Nicoll notes, “Paul had attempted to carry his Corinthian converts further, but had failed.”[1] The heart of Paul, or anyone who works to mature others in the faith, is conveyed by the words of the Apostle John who said, “I have no greater joy than this to hear of my children walking in truth” (3 John 4). A.T. Robertson said, “It is one of the tragedies of the minister’s life that he has to keep on speaking to the church members ‘as unto babes in Christ’ . . . who actually glory in their long babyhood.”[2] For Christians to mature, the pastor must be solemnly devoted to maturing the believers in the flock of which God has given him oversight, and the people must also desire to mature (1 Peter 2:2). Continue reading

Why Must Some View SBC Elections as Wars? How Classifying a Denominational Decision as a Military Operation Only Promotes Disunity

January 10, 2018

Dr. Rick Patrick, Pastor
FBC Sylacauga, Alabama
Exec. Director, Connect 316

A recent article by William Thornton posted at SBC Voices was entitled Another Denominational Election War? While I greatly admire the author’s forthrightness and lucid writing style, I disagree with most of his denominational opinions. In his story, he quoted my recent remarks from the SBC Today comment stream. I was replying to a wonderful 86 year-old Christian gentleman who seemed to feel that our current SBC President was not making the kind of strong appointments that Adrian Rogers made during the Conservative Resurgence. My understanding was that President Steve Gaines was making the very kind of appointments that would move our denomination forward toward a bright and positive future. Continue reading

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