Troublemakers in the SBC: Do We Want Unity or Division?

July 18, 2016

Dr. Bob Hadley | Pastor
Westside Baptist Church, Daytona Beach, FL

*This article is taken from Dr. Hadley’s website, sbcissues.com, and is used by permission.

Only July 12, the New Orleans Baptist Association published a statement titled, Which Way Forward, Toward Unity or Division?” It can be read in its entirety by CLICKING HERE. I understand the need for unity and the desire for unity. As Christians, one would think that this would be a given. As the old saying goes, union is one thing; unity is another.

Reference is made in the article to J.D. Greear’s move in stepping down in the SBC presidential race to help lay a foundation for unity in the convention. The article stated, “This act sparked surprise, relief, gladness, and even celebration.  We witnessed an act of grace motivated by a desire for unity.” Dr. Greear’s decision was a gracious one and was without question one that helped avoid other potential problems. It must also be stated, Dr. Gaines was prepared to do the same thing for the sake of unity. Both of these men are to be commended for their humble response to what was a very difficult position to have been placed in.

The article acknowledges positive strides in their association toward racial reconciliation and then moves its focus to the divide related to the theological issues specifically tied to the rise of Calvinism in the SBC and the issues the state convention and its college, Lousiana College has faced in recent years. They acknowledge disappointment in attacks against certain agency heads in SBC entities: “we are troubled by the critical editorials in our state Baptist paper against SBC agency heads David Platt and Russell Moore.”

The article asks a pointed question and then makes a definitive statement: “Do we want our Convention split in two? Do we want to continue to read editorials in our state Baptist paper critical of SBC agency presidents?  Do we want unity or division?

Leaders lead.  What kind of qualities do we want our leaders to demonstrate?”

I want to address the question, “Do we want unity or division?”

How we answer that question certainly addresses the thrust of the article and the statement, “Leaders lead.”

I will address the issue from the “other side of the tracks” and speak to the issue of Troublemakers in the SBC. The perception is that those who LEAD are going to do so for the sake of unity while those who do not work toward unity are not leaders but in fact troublemakers.

There are two types of troublemakers. There are those who take the bull by the horns and seek to make tough changes to the status quo. This is what the reformed leaders of this Calvinist revival in the SBC have done and are continuing to do. While I do not agree with WHAT they have done, I applaud their successful efforts and even acknowledge that they have the RIGHT to do what they have done. I might argue rather successfully that their methods were underhanded as far as being forthright in their intentions from the onset… but that would have been horribly unsuccessful so if I were in their shoes I might have done the same thing.

These guys are rightfully troublemakers. So were the reformers of the past. That is not being critical it is actually complimentary, even though I do not like what they have done.

The other type troublemaker is the one who seeks to maintain the status quo. In the Conservative Resurgence both of these groups existed as well. The liberals did pretty much then what the Calvinists have done today with one exception; they were not as successful! The conservative camp did pretty much then what the non-calvinist camp is doing now with ONE KEY exception; they were successful while the non-calvinist camp today has not been.

In the CR, there were LEADERS/Troublemakers who stood up and spoke out and the liberal faction in the seminaries was pushed back. There were two key factors that came into play there. First, the liberal faction did not manage to gain control of the larger group of entities and I am not sure that was ever their intention and so their influence was still rather limited. This group was not “bunkered down” as well as the Calvinists of today are. I believe this group today learned some important lessons from the CR and those lessons have proven effective in the new CR, Calvinist Resurgence today.

There is one other issue that stands out as we compare the problems we face today as compared to the CR. Liberalism in Biblical theology was an easier topic to popularize than Calvinism is today. People could grasp it. 80% plus of the people in the pew in the SBC have no idea how to even spell Calvinism much less understand what it teaches. There is no sense of “urgency” in this struggle although those who understand the issues KNOW that this is every bit as important a theological issue as has ever existed in the SBC. While it is true that Calvinism has been in the SBC since its founding, it has never held the level of importance it has garnered in the last decade and its influence has never been more prevalent than what it holds today where the direction of the convention is concerned.

There is a vacuum of leadership willing to stand up and speak out today against this Calvinist Resurgence. This is what is so surprising where this issue of Calvinism is concerned. Some have suggested that the CR of the 80’s and 90’s took a lot out of people and there is no “fight left in a lot of folks.” Well, to ask for “fight” in Christians is sort of a tough expectation in the first place but as Solomon said, “There is a time for everything under the sun.” There seems to be a move within the MEGA church pastors to not want to “rock the boat” and to stay in good graces so to speak with the new power brokers of the SBC. Calvinism is just not an issue that is garnering much attention among those who have the clout to do what it would take to stop its continued influence. It just is what it is.

So who are the troublemakers in the SBC today? Are the troublemakers those who are working feverishly to change the SBC? Are the troublemakers those who are actively involved in reforming the SBC and moving it to a Calvinist Convention?

Are the troublemakers those who have finally woke up and realized what has happened under their noses where this Calvinist Resurgence has been concerned? Are the troublemakers of today the unifiers of yesterday who had no clue what the reformers were doing until this “lady” was eight and a half months pregnant before anyone even noticed and realized that “she” was about to give birth?

Calvinism is a real issue. It is a real issue for both sides. It is not going away. It is an issue for those seeking to move the SBC in that direction. It is not going away when the majority of the entities of the SBC are being led by men associated with the Mohler machine. This is not an idle cry; it is a bold faced fact. This has not simply “just happened” This is the “eight and a half month” reality that could not be hidden any longer.

Now, let’s go back to the initial quesiton, “Do we want to continue to read editorials in our state Baptist paper critical of SBC agency presidents?  Do we want unity or division?”

The answer to that quesion sadly is going to be this: it depends on which side of the Calvinist issue one is standing. If it is not a big issue then the answer is going to be “No; it is time to seek unity and let this Calvinist Resurgence continue.” Leaders will lead in that direction. Those who do not follow are the troublemakers.

For those who see Calvinism as an indictment against the character of God because it contends God and God alone decides who does and does not get into heaven and they see it as a faulty philosophical theological system that is every bit as dangerous or even moreso as the liberal faction of the 80’s and 90’s then you can expect their leaders to lead and those who do not follow are the troublemakers.

Do we want our Convention split in two? Do we want to continue to read editorials in our state Baptist paper critical of SBC agency presidents?  Do we want unity or division?

Leaders lead.  What kind of qualities do we want our leaders to demonstrate? Do we want unity or division?

The answer sadly depends on which side of the issue one is standing.

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tim miller

The reason I left the SBC for a CMA church- no over-emphasis on Calvin vs Arminius.

    Bob Hadley

    I did not know the Country Music Assn had churches now! JK.

    The problem is NOT calvinists being IN the SBC; the problem is the position of calvinism IN the entities of the SBC which WILL move the convention to a reformed position in the next decade.

Jim Poulos

The SBC has set up a paper tiger in Calvinism/Reformed to avoid the real fight in this World. The real fight is Sin in our lives personally and corporately.

The paper tiger is less threatening of the two.

    Bob Hadley

    If sin is anything that falls short of the glory of God then a theology that falls short of WHAT the Bible presents about God and His relationship is the beginning of sin for those who are being influenced by it.

    Jim Poulos

    To answer ‘WHAT the Bible presents about God and His relationship is the beginning of sin for those who are being influenced by it’ is a difficult exercise we are all suppose to be involved in.

    To accuse Calvinism/Reformed to not be involved in that exercise is just not being fair.

    Matter of history, The Reformed people, like it or not, initiated work in that exercise, mistakes and all, during the reformation. A contribution to the entire Church that should be acknowledged.

      Bob Hadley

      Lets be fair here. You said the calvinism issue was a paper tiger to draw the attention off the real issue which is sin. I responded to THAT statement.

      You said the paper tiger (argument about calvinism) is less threatening than the other, sin. Theology is important as you said in your response. I did not accuse calvinists of no right to be involved in the discussion; that was your poor assumption.

      The original OP is a response to who the REAL troublemakers are in the SBC. This comment thread has really nothing to do with the original OP.

        Pastor Charlie Parish

        Hi Pastor Bob,

        Thank you for your article and admire and respect your passion on this issue. However, I have trouble seeing Calvinist labeled the trouble makers of the SBC. I am a former pastor of a Southern Baptist Church and I hold to what would be deemed as a reformed theology. Although I agree with Calvinism, I do not like the label. As Charles Spurgeon once said, I do not believe that Calvin was the author of his beliefs, rather I simple think he saw these great truths in the scriptures, and systematized them in his Institutes of the Christian Religion. I do not waive a John Calvin flag, but I desire people to know the one true King, our Lord Jesus Christ. All this being said, when I pastored this Baptist Church, I did not preach Calvinism. It was not my agenda or hobby horse. I literally only preached exegetically through books of the Bible. However, when we crossed a passage that dealt with God’s providence and sovereignty of God, I was faithful to my belief in what I see the scriptures saying in my exegesis. Of course, this led to some members accusing me of a Calvinistic agenda, even attempting to remind me, in their words, “We’re Baptist, we don’t hold those beliefs.” However, as you well know, there are many original Baptist Confessions from the particular Baptist, such as the 1869 2nd London Baptist Confession, that plainly adhere to Calvinistic theology. All this said, it seems to me that there is a reverse discrimination at times among Reformed Baptist and Arminian Baptist. Many reformed pastors like myself only want our hearers to know and see the Glory of God and have no desire to promote a theological camp. I want people to know Jesus Christ, and Him preached to the ends of the earth! However, from the free will camp, there seems to be a lower tolerance for our views and at times, their authority seems to be grounded in the Baptist Faith and Message and not the Bible and or church history. It seems as if they are the ones who really don’t want unity, rather they want unity among the reformed camp as long as they will keep their Calvinistic beliefs to themselves. That is not unity. Its seems many in the SBC have defined troublemakers as anyone with a different soteriology than they themselves hold. Just my two cents. Again, thankful for your passion brother! Keep preaching the Glory of Christ! May your ministry be blessed!

          Pastor Charlie Parish

          …..I meant to type “1689 2nd London Baptist Confession.” Sorry for the typo!

          Bob Hadley

          Pastor Parish… Thanks for the comment. You wrote, “I have trouble seeing Calvinist labeled the trouble makers of the SBC.” Well… I did say who is and is not the troublemaker depends on which side of the fence you are standing on.

          While it is true that I am not even a 1 pt calvinist, I will defend your right to hold into your errant theology. JK.

          My problem is with what the powers at be have done to gain control of the entities of the SBC. The ones who have done this are the ones I claim are the real troublemakers… not calvinists but those who have taken the initiative to move the entities of the SBC to a reformed position. I am seen as a troublemaker by those who do not understand this concept. That is the essence of my OP.

          People will ask me… do they have the right to do what they have done.. and the answer is “yes” they do and “no” they didn’t.

          My problem is that they have done what they have done under the radar so to speak. I maintain no one really understood what was happening until the trustee system had been manipulated to facilitate this plan to reform the entities. So these denominational employees were doing much more than they were hired and paid to do. Had they made their intentions known BEFORE taking the initiative to pull this gargantuan task off… then I would have no issue other than I disagree with the theology. Since they did what they did without any co-operative effort from anyone on the outside… I will argue they are the troublemakers for doing what they have done with no consideration to the majority non-calvinist position of the SBC, especially the people in the pews whose money is being used to change the direction of the SBC.

          Understand WHAT I am saying?

            Charlie Parish

            Thanks for your reply pastor. I see your point, and would agree that both the free will baptist and Reformed camps have people who perhaps push their agenda too hard. So as you so rightly insinuated, there are troublemakers on both sides of the fence. Sadly, issues such as these take our collective focus off of the real problem, and that is the lack of disciples being made in our churches today. One of the big errors of those who would describe themselves as free will believing baptist is that many times, the fail to see the glory of God, and to properly understand His amazing grace in light of our undeserving state. As a result, church becomes programmatic as well as pragmatic. It becomes moralistic in order to be seen as a Christian as opposed to joyfully serving God out of a heart that has been broken by His grace and serving due to a heart of thankfulness. On the other side, Calvinistic baptist at times can stray into hyper Calvinism, where it becomes the agenda to convert people to a theological leaning rather than to Christ. Arrogance can take the place of compassion, and missions can be devalued. But I believe there is a happy medium. I believe that if both reformed and free will baptist would simply let their focus be on the preached word of God instead of playing tug of war over who will control the SBC, that God would be most glorified and God would use this to draw more people to Himself. Our eyes, both reformed and free will camps, are taken off of the mission way too easily in my opinion.

              Bob Hadley

              No one is going to argue the points of practical necessity where our churches and communities are concerned. The point is related specifically to the control of the entities of the SBC which will determine the direction of tomorrow’s SBC. That is it. All these other arguments are for another day. This has to do with what Mohler and company have done on their own with no co-operation from anyone outside their narrow group who have taken it upon themselves to reform the SBC whether anyone likes it or not.

              When people start pointing fingers at the “troublemakers” in the SBC, all I am saying is where one stands on the issue of calvinism will determine who the troublemakers really are.

James Forbis

As one who is Reformed and holds to the Augustinian tradition of theology people attribute to John Calvin I truly do not understand how you view it as sin. God alone is God and only He alone has the power to save. This being said God alone can decide who to save and who to be a vessel of wrath. It is not up to us who He chooses to impart sovereign grace and eternal life, but it is up to us to be a part of the work of evangelism and discipleship and preaching of the Word of God. Brothers why fight about whether or not someone is Reformed or not, all of us are charged to Preach the Word of God boldly and faithfully. God will use our preaching and evangelism as He sees fit and it will not fall on deaf ears. Scripture is clear on this issue, again I think many in the non-Reformed camp think those of us in the Reformed camp are not mission minded or evangelistic, brothers it is far from that. I am far more evangelistic in my preaching and very much so missions driven (I’m a church planter for crying out loud) because I am Reformed. They go hand in hand for me. I have faith in my Sovereign God to save whosoever calls upon His name upon hearing about His name. I do not worry about how many people will or will not come forward in my invitation, I don’t worry about membership numbers or whether or not my evangelistic outreach is hitting everyone. What I worry about is whether or not the church of God is being faithfully built up, disciples are being made and are reproducing in others, and that those who do profess Christ are becoming active members of the local church, and if not my church where they were saved then someone else’s church whom I trust. My Reformed theological interpretations of the Bible ensure me that people will be saved, maybe today, tomorrow, or 35 years from now seeds I planted yesterday will bear fruit, but it doesn’t hinder my belief in missions, evangelism, or preaching. I think in the SBC people need to stop arguing about who’s in leadership and who’s Reformed versus who’s not, and be thankful to God that all of our seminaries are growing, all of our seminaries are conservative, and all of our seminaries have a bountiful mixture of Reformed and non-Reformed professors. As a student of Southern Seminary I can tell you personally I’ve had equal number of professors who were Reformed and non-Reformed. I can also tell you that the majority of non-Reformed pastors I have been in contact with know absolutely nothing about Reformed theology and are just scared because it’s articles like this that paint it as a sinful doctrine. Upon teaching what Reformed theology states I’ve had more Arminian minded pastors agree with me than not. I’ll ask this for the un-Reformed brother pastors, why continue to prop up men like Charles Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Martin Luther, John Knox, Thomas Ellwyes, Adoniram Judson, William Carey, and the great female missionary Lottie Moon who were all devout Christians, Missionaries, Disciple Makers, Pastors, and founders of the modern day missions movement and Reformed if you think Reformed theology and those who follow it our living in sin?

    Robert

    James,

    “I truly do not understand how you view it as sin.”

    That’s easy James, if the Word says one thing and a theology or doctrine says another. Then that doctrine is both false and a violation of God’s Word/sin.

    Easy example. The scripture explicitly says (e.g. 1 Jn. 2:2) that Jesus died for the whole world (i.e. the unlimited atonement view). Some Calvinists argue for limited atonement that Jesus died only for the elect. Well that doctrine is a violation of 1 Jn. 2:2 and is therefore both false and a violation of the Word.

    Another example. In the Word people sometimes resist God’s grace (including believers resisting the leading of the Spirit and instead following the flesh which is sin). So according to the Word God’s grace can be resisted. Some calvinists come along and claim that there is “irresistible grace”. There is no scripture for this doctrine and it is contradicted by scripture where the grace of God is resisted. Therefore, this doctrine is false and a violation of scripture.

    “God alone is God and only He alone has the power to save.”

    True and this is believed by everyone. But non-Calvinists believe He saves those who freely chose to trust Him (i.e. justification through faith, throughout Romans and Galatians). One need not be Calvinist to believe that God alone has the power to save as God alone justifies a person, sanctifies a person, glorifies a person, gives believers the Holy Spriit, etc.

    “This being said God alone can decide who to save and who to be a vessel of wrath.”

    Scripture does not say that, it says that He saves those who trust Him (i.e. those who have faith): and those who are damned are damned because they choose to reject God and His grace towards them. Faith is a choice made by a person, a decision made by a person.

    You make some statements about evangelism, and it is true that both non-Calvinists and Calvinists can be evangelistic and missions minded. That is not the disagreement. The disagreements go to the nature of salvation (Does God unilaterally save and damn people, or do people decides to trust and decide to reject Christ? Etc.)

    “I think in the SBC people need to stop arguing about who’s in leadership and who’s Reformed versus who’s not,”

    That is naïve and mistaken because Calvinism is splitting churches and causing division. If the only issue was evangelism and we all evangelized there would not be division and confusion. But Calvinists tend to want (and even demand that) everyone believe exactly as they do, trying to convert other believers to Calvinism (and THAT results in the division and confusion caused by it).

    “I can also tell you that the majority of non-Reformed pastors I have been in contact with know absolutely nothing about Reformed theology and are just scared because it’s articles like this that paint it as a sinful doctrine.”

    They are scared because they have heard of the division, confusion, split churches caused by Calvinism (or spoken to others who have directly experienced it). Again you are being naïve here, there is real division on this (which is why some are even suggesting they should split on this).

    “I’ll ask this for the un-Reformed brother pastors, why continue to prop up men like Charles Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Martin Luther, John Knox, Thomas Ellwyes, Adoniram Judson, William Carey, and the great female missionary Lottie Moon who were all devout Christians, Missionaries, Disciple Makers, Pastors, and founders of the modern day missions movement and Reformed if you think Reformed theology and those who follow it our living in sin?”

    Your question is naïve and assumes that Calvinism is true and these past Calvinists represent true doctrine.

    But what if Calvinism is false?

    What if it contradicts scripture (I gave two clear examples at the beginning, limited atonement and irresistible grace)?

    What if some of its doctrines are inventions that are false?

    If these doctrines are false and contradict scripture, then THEY ARE SINFUL.

    Bob Hadley

    James,

    This article is NOT about calvinism. It is about who the troublemakers are and who it is that is not seeking unity or at least harmony in the SBC.

      James Forbis

      That’s the thing though. You make it about Reformed theology because you call those men who are in leadership who adhere to Reformed theology troublemakers. “Mohler machine” Brother I assure you Dr. Platt, Dr. Mohler, Dr. Akin, Dr. Allen, Dr. Moore are not troublemakers, but are men who desire unity in the essentials within the SBC and freedom in the non-essentials. The pastors and men who line up with these leaders theology are also not troublemakers. Baptist 21 is not an organization of troublemakers, but an organization of pastors who desire to seek unity and biblical orthodoxy and orthopraxy in the 21st century and beyond. Yes it’s a bunch of young guys, but young guys who have tremendous vision for the future of the SBC and want to keep it safe and well guarded from theological liberalism. “My side” if you will, of the argument does not want a split convention at all. We want to stay unified and strong, I’ve never heard any discussion otherwise from my friends in Baptist 21 or other young SBC organizations. I’m a part of several and also the founder of the Millennial Pastors Network and we’re all about unity and not divisiveness. The majority of people I find who want to split the convention are people like yourself and those who see Reformed theology as a threat and sinful. It’s not a threat and it’s far from sinful.

        Robert

        James,

        My past experience includes working in counter cult ministry with Walter Martin. I am very familiar with aberrant theologies and philosophies. I am very familiar with how cults operate. I am also not one to seek to be “politically correct”.

        In your earlier post you asked whether or not Reformed doctrine is sinful or not?

        Unless the nature of sin has changed: sin is anything that violates the Word of God, anything contradictory to the Word of God.

        False doctrine is sinful no matter who espouses it or how orthodox they may be in some areas of their theology. If something contradicts scripture it is false.

        Now some would like to pretend that the issues separating those advocating Reformed theology and non-Calvinists (in this context Baptists) are trivial, I beg to differ, the differences include not only local church government and baptism, they also concern the nature of salvation, the plan of salvation, and thus involve essential doctrine.

        You wrote:

        “The majority of people I find who want to split the convention are people like yourself and those who see Reformed theology as a threat and sinful. It’s not a threat and it’s far from sinful.”

        Reformed theology is a direct threat to Baptists beliefs including believer baptism and local church government. And in the context of correct beliefs concerning salvation where people believe that God loves all people, sent Jesus to die for all people, and gives people opportunities to come to Him through the witness of the church. Anyone who is historically informed knows that wherever theological determinism (which is also part of Reformed theology) is promoted, confusion and division and false doctrine has resulted. Reformed theology promotes both infant baptism and covenant theology (e.g. Calvin and Luther). Infant baptism is contrary to Baptist beliefs and practices (it should be remembered that those who advocated believer baptism were severely persecuted, literally tortured and killed by the Reformers).

        It should be noted that some modern day advocates of calvinism who call themselves “Reformed Baptists” (desiring to be both Baptists and hold to Calvinism) are rejected by others holding Reformed theology who do not consider them Reformed.

        Reformed theology is broader than just the five points of TULIP. It includes non-Baptist views of church government and baptism, and even relations with the state (e.g. look at how closely associated church and state were aligned under the Reformers).

        So ***Reformed theology*** is contrary to Baptist theology in multiple areas.

        Not only is it contrary to Baptist theology if its beliefs contradict scripture this means they are both false and sinful.

        A doctrine that claims that God does not love all people, that Jesus only died for some not all, that God only desires to save some and so only some ever have a genuine opportunity to be saved is opposite the truth as given by scripture. If it is opposite the truth as given by scripture it has to be false, no matter how nice those who present it may be (cf. Mormons are some of the nicest people you will ever meet and yet their doctrines are false).

        Now as a fact of logic both sets of beliefs cannot be true at the same time, one set is false and one set is true. The set of beliefs that contradicts scripture is sinful because anything that contradicts scripture is both false and sinful. You assume Reformed theology is true, but as I pointed out in my earlier post, if it is not true, if it contradicts scripture it is both false and sinful.

    Dennis Lee Dabney

    James,

    Vessels of wrath and other reprobate teachings bring forth illumination from Holy Writ or error. Vessels of wrath do not and can not be reconciled into The Creation account to the extent the LORD GOD declared the “whole” of Creation very good with the man and his progeny before Him prior to Adam’s offense.

    These Vessels of wrath prepared “themselves” in “time”.

    Romans 9 does not support Reformed theology no matter how you cut it and therein is the problem.

    Preach!

Rick Patrick

Bob,
Thank you for pointing out that one’s view of “unifying statesman vs. divisive troublemaker” is totally a function of which side one is on. The British thought of George Washington as a divisive troublemaker. The Pharisees thought the same about Jesus.

The future of the SBC is worth the hassle of engaging in the conversation rather than stifling it. There are major matters of vision casting rooted in each of these theological systems that will yield entirely different results over time. Our current divide is much larger than a minor soteriological difference.

Particularly troubling to me was the suggestion that editorials should never be critical of SBC leaders. This is a truly frightening proposition from the standpoint of press freedom. There simply must exist a system of checks and balances against denominational totalitarianism. Religious news writers and editorialists who do their jobs well are essential to Southern Baptist life. Part of doing their job well is reporting all of the news, even when it sometimes is not particularly flattering to certain SBC leaders.

    Bob Hadley

    Thanks Rick. I will try to point comments BACK to the original OP as opposed to getting caught up in arguments related to the theology differences.

Denice Yeagin

The Young, Restless & Reformed continue to grow. I believe we should split the Convention. After the 20 year CR fight I don’t want our Convention to continue arguing and fighting. Let’s go our separate ways and put our attention on the Great Commission. It would be so refreshing to not be in a “discussion” with Calvinists every time I turn around. Also, Russell Moore does NOT represent my views nor my SBC views. I believe we should shut down the ERLC.

    Ken

    Denice Yeagin:

    I support your position that a divorce between Calvinists and Non-Calvinists is the only logical solution to the SBC theological problems.

    I cannot envision how any person who holds to the Biblical truth about who can be the recipient of God’s graceful forgiveness of sin, who can be saved, and how they can be saved, could ever accept unifying with the Mohlerites and their satanic Calvinistic ideas about those doctrines. The Calvinist TULIP is nothing but a concoction of lies and we know what Revelation 21:8 tells us awaits all liars.

    Consequently, SBC unity is just not a possibility now or in the future!!! This Traditionalist would not only consider himself guilty of the rankest form of hypocrisy while, at the same time, would be subject to the dire condemnations so clearly threatened in Revelation 22:18 and 19 regarding those who either add to or take from the words of the God-inspired Bible.

    I remember during the CR the predictions on how a split would fatally injure the CP. We know that that prediction turned out to totally false; the CP and the SBC soared to record heights. I attribute that to the fact that God blessed the convention because most members were truly on the same truthful page regarding the Gospel. I have no doubt the same result will occur after a C/NC split. God will bless again!

    But, I am convinced God is not pleased with this phony unity that is being fostered by the likewise phony SBC leadership.

    What is needed is another Adrian Rogers to meet the opposition head-on and convince the NCs to leave the SBC. I say they should be the ones to do so because, although they hold all the high level positions in the convention, I suspect that they are still in the vast minority.

    I realize mine is a controversial opinion but I am convinced it is the only solution.

      Andy

      Ken, I am sorry you feel this way.

      I would only say that I have seen those on both side of this issue who truly love God and work together to share the Gospel and serve him with their lives. Some are in the same church….and some are married to each other. I know one godly ” mixed” couple who are far apart on the Calvinism issue. I’m not saying it hasn’t caused it’s issues, but it hasn’t ruined the marriage…far from it…both accept the other as fellow believers and partners in a life of service to God.

      I simply don’t accept that it HAS TO be the issue over which Christians divide. I’ve seen too much ground level cooperation to accept that.jq

      Now, on a denomination level, it may be more difficult, because those on differing ” sides” don’t really know each other, and are known only as ” the other side.”. It is easier to assume the worst about them.

        Lydia

        Andy, “Godly” includes how they treat others, right? And how those who are paid to follow Jesus model such things instead of making excuses, censoring and shutting down others, being deceptive about their intentions, viewing others as ignorant, right?

        How would you define Godly? Correct Doctrine?

          Andy

          “Andy, “Godly” includes how they treat others, right? ”

          –Yes.

          “And how those who are paid to follow Jesus…. model such things instead of making excuses, censoring and shutting down others, being deceptive about their intentions, viewing others as ignorant, right?”

          –No one is paid to follow Jesus.

          –and yes.

          “How would you define Godly?”

          –in this context, I was using Godly to describe the fact that this couple do not bicker constantly about Calvinism. Nor do they view their spouse as less Christian due to differing beliefs. They handle their theological differences in a godly, loving way.

          “Correct Doctrine?”

          –doctrine is important, some issues more than others, but Christians with imperfect doctrine ( which is all of us) can still behave in godly ways.

            Lydia

            Andy, so your church would continue to pay you to be consistently ungodly?

              Andy

              I don’t know what you are trying to say. Following Jesus is not a paid position, it is a calling for all believers….among them, some are paid to do certain tasks and lead in certain ways…but we’re they not paid, they would not stop following Jesus.

              Back to the original point you responded to, perhaps you could clarify how you think the couple I described is being ungodly? I didn’t really get that point.

                Lydia

                Andy, you do it for free? I was asking if your church would pay you for consistent ungodly behavior.

                  Andy

                  1. I follow Jesus because he paid it all, all to Him I owe…not because of my church paycheck.

                  2. No they would not but I have no idea why you are asking that question.

                    Lydia

                    Andy, I asked it because of your first comment.

                    I understand your position of always presenting unicorns and rainbows ignoring many years of nefarious behavior by the YRR you pretend never happened. Which was Not “godly’.

                    I am glad your church won’t pay for ungodly behavior by its servants but many churches and the SBC have done just that. Including partnering and promoting some of the most despicable charlatans out there.

Lydia

“The conservative camp did pretty much then what the non-calvinist camp is doing now with ONE KEY exception; they were successful while the non-calvinist camp today has not been.”

I think the key difference between the CR and Neo Cal movement is voting.. however having a vote and knowing which direction your vote means makes all the difference in the world. The CR was not a deceptive stealth movement. The Neo Cal movement worked hard at bait and switch on the donors who did not even know they were paying to indoctrinate young men in Calvinism.

Randall Cofield

Hi Bob,

I read your OP with interest, then re-read it twice more to try and understand exactly what you are saying. I’m still not sure what you are saying.

Are you calling for a split in the Convention?

    Rick Patrick

    Hi Randall,
    I read Bob’s piece and came away with this synopsis: The answer to the question, “Do we want unity or division?” depends upon one’s perspective on the SBC’s Calvinist Revolution. Those happy with it are fine with unity and peace, for they have already made their trouble in quietly taking over the convention. Those unhappy with the Calvinist Revolution will lead by promoting a different vision, which will be viewed as divisive, but is truly a function of the fact that leaders lead. I did not hear Bob calling for the convention to split, as in, one side break away and form their own group. I just heard him to say that the Calvinists want everyone to hush, but the Traditionalists want to discuss and work out our differences. Hence, the writing of editorials by Traditionalist authors and editors to attempt to bring about needed change in the SBC.

      Randall Cofield

      I don’t know, Dr. Patrick. This statement gives me pause:

      “For those who see Calvinism as an indictment against the character of God because it contends God and God alone decides who does and does not get into heaven and they see it as a faulty philosophical theological system that is every bit as dangerous or even moreso as the liberal faction of the 80’s and 90’s then you can expect their leaders to lead and those who do not follow are the troublemakers.”

      Further, one commentator has pronounced the central doctrinal beliefs of C. H. Spurgeon and Lottie Moon “false,” and has declared Calvinism “sinful.” Another has deigned the ideology of a certain Calvinistic SBC entity president “satanic,” and at least two have called for a split in the convention–all of which has, thus far, gone uncontroverted by any Traditionalist here.

      Do you agree with these contentions, Dr. Patrick?

        Rick Patrick

        Randall,
        I am among those seeking a peaceful resolution to our conflicts so that we may continue having Calvinists and Traditionalists in the convention just as we have since 1845. I believe we are “divided” as evidenced by the comments you reference, but some of this is due to the frustration of not having our concerns addressed. I do not believe we necessarily need to “split” into two denominations. When viewed against the backdrop of these concerns, any statements calling for journalistic censorship or a unity rooted in stifling dissent seems wildly out of place to me. We have issues to deal with and pretending that we don’t will not make them go away.

        As to the theological concerns that have been expressed, perhaps some have overstated a bit. But Calvin himself referred to reprobation as a “dreadful decree.” There are many who question Calvinistic patriology on the basis that the Father’s love is diminished when His meticulous determinism *causes* the reprobate to have no chance at all for salvation. Dave Hunt wrote the book “What Love Is This?” in 2002. Calvinists simply have to live with the fact that some will look at the Calvinistic conception of God and conclude that, under Calvinism, He is a Divine Monster, void of love for all of His creation. I have met such Calvinists, Randall. One looked me right in the eye and said, “God doesn’t love everyone.” It should not surprise us that this provokes a strong reaction.

        How we manage the ministries of our convention given the existence of two competing theologies is a subject for reconciliation and peacemaking. I do not believe we will ever reconcile the theological issue, which is to say that neither side will ever convince the other that their beliefs are wrong. We must learn to share the convention’s resources in proper measure. Presently, as you know, I believe those resources are being applied unevenly in favor of the Calvinistic view. But I am hopeful for peace and unity once we iron out solutions for the discrimination against Traditionalists so evident to those of us on this side of the soteriological aisle.

          Randall Cofield

          Dr. Patrick,

          You may be among those seeking a peaceful resolution to our conflicts, but the comments by many here belie a far different sentiment. Bob states plainly that he disagrees with you that a peaceful resolution is even possible. And if you honestly believe that “under Calvinism, (God) is a Divine Monster, void of love for all of His creation,” I am genuinely at a loss in understanding how you can envision a peaceful resolution to our conflicts.

          I’m afraid what is taking place here is very similar to what is unfolding in the streets of our nation at this very moment. Certain “leaders” in our nation incessantly cry “racism” every time a law officer shoots a black man, with no regard to whether the evidence actually warrants such an accusation. The result? Law officers are now gunned down in the streets almost daily in cold blood out of sheer hatred–and the race-baiting leaders are culpable.

          Likewise, when certain among us incessantly cast Calvinists and Calvinistic leaders in the SBC in the worst possible light, the extremists among us will inevitably push the envelope even further. The manifest animosity toward Calvinists that often shows up in the comment threads here is often an extension of the OPs, and I have yet to see the extremists called on the carpet. Indeed, you come very near trying to justify their antics in your previous comment.

          *****To be clear, I am *not* saying that Traditionalists want to gun down Calvinists.***** But when Bob posits that a “showdown” is inevitable and unity is not even possible, another commenter posits that an SBC entity head is “Satanic,” yet another labels Calvinists purveyors of “false” and “sinful” doctrine, and yet others *demand* a split in the Convention…well, Houston, we have a problem.

          I guess my question to you is this: Brother, are your tactics promoting the peaceful resolution you seek, or are they undermining even the possibility of such a resolution?

          Now, to be fair, there are extremists on both sides of this issue. The Calvinistic leaders in the Convention have been called upon to confront the extremists in our camp, and I am personally aware of substantial efforts by these leaders to do so. Such efforts must continue and increase. But Dr. Patrick, are you not likewise responsible to confront the extremists in your camp?

          Finally, Dr. Patrick, you posit: “I do not believe we will ever reconcile the theological issue, which is to say that neither side will ever convince the other that their beliefs are wrong.” Let me say that at the end of the day, I do not view your soteriological position as “wrong,” per se. I don’t think your position deals sufficiently with the whole of the biblical data, but we share enough common ground that I am unwilling to declare your soteriology “wrong.” We both believe that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, and that is sufficient ground for us to be able to work together, in my opinion.

          May I offer a suggestion as to a way forward in this situation? Rather than dismissing your Calvinistic brothers as simply “wrong” in their soteriology, why not extend to me the same grace I extend to you? I think that would look something like this, on your part: I think my Calvinistic brothers make too much of the biblical data on soteriology, but I am unprepared to declare them “wrong.” We both believe that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, and that is sufficient ground for us to be able to work together.

          Dr. Patrick, if you would work *with* your Calvinistic brothers rather than *against* your Calvinistic brothers, I am convinced you would find us far more willing to work with you in addressing your concerns.

          Grace to you, brother.

            Rick Patrick

            Randall,
            I would very much like to work *with* my Calvinistic brothers. Presently, they do not see anything for us to *work on.* They just want me and others like me to be quiet and go away. That’s not cooperation. It’s denial. To clarify, the kind of work I envision is not really theological, but practical. It’s not about accepting other people’s theology. I can live with the fact that many Southern Baptists are Calvinists. You have assumed that I am “against them” which is a common assumption by many Calvinists. But if you will take the time to read my stuff, you will learn that I don’t care so much about the Calvinism per se. What I care about is a Calvinistic minority view setting the agenda for the SBC instead of the Traditionalist majority view which is primarily paying the bills. Our forefathers called it “taxation without representation.” My appeals are usually stated in terms of “proportionality” and “balance.” In other words, I am not against Calvinism, although I certainly disagree with it, and strongly. What I am against is the Calvinization of the SBC, because I believe most Southern Baptists are not Calvinists at all, and we should not be paying for a reformation we do not believe in. Hope that clears a few matters up, anyway, brother. Blessings upon you and yours.

              Randall Cofield

              Dr. Patrick,

              I take your statement that you want to work with Calvinists at face value. However, if I may, I’d like to point out to you the perspective of the Calvinists with which you want to work.

              When you state without equivocation that Calvinists’ soteriology is “wrong,” and that “under Calvinism, (God) is a Divine Monster, void of love for all of His creation,” Calvinists are significantly disinclined to accept your overtures for cooperation as genuine.

              Further, when you, whether by your silence or by your attempted justification, give tacit approval to those who a) label Calvinistic SBC leaders “satanic,” b) claim a “showdown” is inevitable, c) declare Calvinism “false” and “sinful,” and, d) demand a split in the Convention, I don’t think Calvinists may be reasonably expected to work with you to resolve your concerns.

              As a Calvinist, I want to work with you. Further, I want the Calvinist leaders of the Convention to work with you where you have legitimate concerns. But you are tying our hands by the tactics you are using.

              One such tactic is your model of “proportionality” and “no taxation without representation.” As to proportionality, the teaching, preaching, and advancement of the truths of Scripture does not function under the rubric of a democratic republic. The Word of God is living, powerful, and sharper than a two-edge sword. Simply put, the Word of God does not submit to your template of proportionality–it has a life of its own. As to taxation without representation, this is a red herring. Traditionalists are not without representation in the SBC, they simply lack the “proportion” which you desire–in which case, see my previous comment about the Word of God. The Word alone is the means by which you may increase your “proportionality.”

              For the sake of clarity, I ask you: Do you think you will ever come to the position that you may say, without reservation, “I think my Calvinistic brothers make too much of the biblical data on soteriology, but I am unprepared to declare them “wrong.” We both believe that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, and that is sufficient ground for us to be able to work together”?

              Grace to you, brother.

                Robert

                Interesting post by Randall:

                “When you state without equivocation that Calvinists’ soteriology is “wrong,” and that “under Calvinism, (God) is a Divine Monster, void of love for all of His creation,” Calvinists are significantly disinclined to accept your overtures for cooperation as genuine.”

                I wonder that aloud as well: if Calvinism is wrong, if its beliefs are unbiblical, false, at times contradictory to the Bible, how do you work with folks holding these false beliefs?

                “Further, when you, whether by your silence or by your attempted justification, give tacit approval to those who a) label Calvinistic SBC leaders “satanic,” c) declare Calvinism “false” and “sinful,” and, d) demand a split in the Convention”.”

                Calvinistic leaders are not “satanic” (merely misguided in believing it would be a good thing for the entire denomination to be converted to Calvinism).

                I explained in a post directly written to Randall why I would declare some Calvinistic beliefs to be false and sinful (i.e. if they contradict scripture they cannot be true, and whatever contradicts God’s Word is sinful) and was ignored. And it is understandable, he is inconsistent here as I am sure he tells his people that beliefs and practices that contradict scripture are false and sinful (yet he will not apply this to his Calvinistic beliefs, those who are not Calvinists if they think properly about these beliefs reject them as false and contradictory to the Word, and if that is the case they are sinful and false). Regarding **demanding** a split, I don’t think folks are demanding this, only predicting that it will occur.

                “As a Calvinist, I want to work with you. Further, I want the Calvinist leaders of the Convention to work with you where you have legitimate concerns. But you are tying our hands by the tactics you are using.”

                Speaking of “tying our hands by the tactics you are using”: isn’t this exactly what the non-Calvinists are concerned about? That a minority is actively trying to convert the majority to its beliefs and doing whatever they feel is necessary to make this occur? And in attempting to convert the denomination they end up operating as Bob put it “under the radar.”

                “One such tactic is your model of “proportionality” and “no taxation without representation.”

                The proportionality term was used to convey that a small minority (the Calvinists) are trying to dictate the beliefs of the majority (which are not Calvinists). Randall speaks of scripture not functioning via democracy. True, but what Randall fails to take into consideration is that the majority view Calvinism as FALSE DOCTRINE. The same scripture that is not “democratic” tells leaders especially, and all believers to test things and reject what is false.

                Regarding the term representation, the point was why should money from the majority go to funding the beliefs of the minority which the majority consider to be false?

                Now it is inconceivable to Randall that his Calvinistic beliefs are false, but he needs to consider things from the perspective of those who do believe his beliefs are false.

                Randall asks:

                “Do you think you will ever come to the position that you may say, without reservation, “I think my Calvinistic brothers make too much of the biblical data on soteriology, but I am unprepared to declare them “wrong.” We both believe that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, and that is sufficient ground for us to be able to work together”?”

                If he was “unprepared to declare them wrong” he would not be a Traditionalist. Traditionalists believe the Calvinistic doctrines to be wrong.

                Randall brings up some things where he believes there is agreement, what he leaves out is the very things that cause the disagreement (e.g. rejection of free will in favor of determinism, rejection of unlimited atonement in favor of limited atonement, unconditional election where God decides everyone’s fate before they ever exist, the irresistible grace doctrine where this grace forces a person to believe so they have no choice but to believe, with this grace only being given to a few and being withheld form many others, the belief that God ordains every event including every sin and evil, a representation of God where He appears not good and loving but as a person of bad character and evil intentions towards most people). Randall just wants to put these things under the rug as if they do not matter.

                I like Bob’s response:

                “What I am against is the Calvinization of the SBC, because I believe most Southern Baptists are not Calvinists at all, and we should not be paying for a reformation we do not believe in.”

              Bob Hadley

              Rick,

              What I am against is the Calvinization of the SBC, because I believe most Southern Baptists are not Calvinists at all, and we should not be paying for a reformation we do not believe in.

              These guys “get it”; they just don’t want to acknowledge it. If you can’t refute the message then shoot the messenger. It is what it is.

        Lydia

        Who said that about Lottie Moon? A woman who lived through the fact that God did not foreordain chattel slavery?

        Lydia

        Randall, should YOU be silenced by your Calvinist comrades for your arrogant and divisive comments for the sake of unity? As always you are a binary thinker that only understands the authoritarian approach of censoring those who disagree with you.

        Robert

        Randall,

        You are a pastor that presumably tells your people that anything contrary to scripture is both false and sinful, correct?????

        And yet you are not consistent with this at all.

        Another commenter in this thread, James, asked if Reformed theology is sinful?

        If it is contrary to scripture it is both false and sinful.

        He also brought up a list of Calvinist luminaries, also asking if their beliefs could be sinful?

        It does not matter who promotes something, how famous they may be, how orthodox they may be in other areas of their theology:

        If the doctrine they promote is contradictory to scripture it is both false and sinful.

        “Further, one commentator has pronounced the central doctrinal beliefs of C. H. Spurgeon and Lottie Moon “false,” and has declared Calvinism “sinful.”

        I don’t care if Spurgeon or Lottie Moon promotes it, if it contradicts scripture it is false.

        Conversely, even if the devil presents something that is true, even if it is the devil, if it is true, it is true.

        Our standard is always the Word of God properly interpreted. Anything and anyone who contradicts it, where they contradict scripture they wrong.

    Bob Hadley

    Randall,

    I guess you need to read my piece a third time. I am NOT calling for a split in the convention. Rick echoed my position pretty well in his response. He is more optimistic than I am in being able to establish some sort of “unity” in our convention. I do not think that is even remotely possible and even worse, I do not think we can even establish a reasonable fraction of harmony in the convention where the issue of calvinism is concerned. My OP is I believe evident of that.

    The TROUBLEMAKERS in our convention are the ones who are being portrayed as those who are not for unity or harmony. My article points out the FACT that the vision of unity clearly depends on which side of the fence one is standing. Do I see calvinism as an indictment against the character of God? Yes. Do I believe God decides who does and who does not get saved? No. Do I believe this needs to be taught to card carrying Southern Baptists as the “gospel”? No I do not because the overwhelming majority of those SB’s who are sending the money and paying the bills have no clue this is happening. They have NO CLUE that the Gospel Project is a calvinist propaganda piece that is setting the stage for a calvinistic generation in the future. They have no idea that the majority of college students are being indoctrinated with this errant theology as well as a large percentage of our seminary students. Mohler and his cohorts have deliberately taken it upon themselves to reform the SBC. Now… whether one is in favor of that move or not, to deny that FACT is either intentionally deceptive or ignorant denial. It is what it is. They have done a masterful job and if they would be honest about it, I am sure they had no idea they would manage to get as far as they did before the “you know what hit the fan.”

    Now the point of my OP could have bene titled, “Will the REAL Troublemakers in the SBC Please Stand Up!” I maintain it is those who have deliberately taken on the self-appointed initiative to reform the SBC. They would argue that I am the troublemaker for not sitting down and shutting up about all this. I have my perspective and they will have theirs. In addition to that are a BIG percentage of SBC’ers who are familiar with the calvinism issue but cannot undertand the issue of the extent of calvinism in the entities and its sure effect on the direction of the future of the SBC. Then there is the vast majority of SBC’er in the pew who have no idea what calvinism is or what all the fuss is all about. Mohler understands this very valuable position and knows that this fact alone will and is working well in his favor.

    Am I advocating a split in the SBC? No. Do I see an amicable solution to all this? No. A show down is going to come.

    Thanks for your caring concern! I would not want anyone to read what you havev written and think you were a troublemaker. :)

      Lydia

      “Mohler understands this very valuable position and knows that this fact alone will and is working well in his favor.”

      Yep. And his groomed YRR followers, who don’t use the word Calvin when taking over, have been taught to view congregants as ignorant if they don’t recognize it. The deception has been astounding

      The arrogance of that movement has been part of why it worked. Think of asking a congregation to vote on Calvinism or even going elder ledinstead of first getting rid of troublemakers and grooming yes men.

      Ken

      Bob Hadley.

      You mentioned the Gospel Project series as a calvanist propaganda piece published by Lifeway. Are you aware that another series, the Masterwork series, is of the same ilk? Of the last three quarters’ lessons almost all are written using the propaganda of such calvinist diehards as Sturgeon, who boasted during his lifetime that he considered himself the most devoted calvinist alive. And both series are available to all age groups in the church. So, the calvinist agenda to spread the calvinist propaganda is not limited to the seminary students.

      So, Lifeway is well on the way to becoming almost exclusively Calvinistic in its SS literature. The decade estimate for a complete takeover of the SBC by Calvinists is probably optimistic, I think it will be much sooner. In fact, in reality, thanks to the political correctness and “go along to get along” philosophy of men like Fred Luter and Frank Page, I think for all practical purposes, it has already occurred. When I emailed Lifeway to protest the literature, they replied that all their SS lessons are true to the BFM 2000. Another blatant lie by a SB entity.

        Rick Patrick

        Ken,
        I do see the Calvinistic bias in The Gospel Project. Perhaps that is to be expected. The editorial board and contributors are OVERWHELMINGLY Calvinistic. The actual content produced may only be SLIGHTLY Calvinistic—very subtle, but present—usually in the form of the resources cited and the authors quoted. (If all the “experts” cited and quoted are Calvinists, it will encourage people to read more Reformed perspectives.)

        However, in the Masterwork Series, I see titles by A.W. Tozer, John Stott, Beth Moore and Henry Blackaby. Granted, I haven’t read the material, but the authors whose devotional books have been chosen for these Bible studies do not appear to me to be reformed. If you can show bias, I would love for you to write an article and document it, like Ralph Green did for The Gospel Project. In the case of the Masterwork series, though, I don’t really see it—at least from a cursory glance.

          Randall Cofield

          Dr. Patrick,

          Are you kidding me?

          An anonymous commenter shows up here and labels the President of the SBC’s flagship seminary “satanic,” and advocates a split of the Convention…and you invite him to write an OP??!!

            Rick Patrick

            Randall,

            We welcome an open exchange of ideas here without censorship. (That’s why we let YOU post.) Unless I am mistaken, Ken called the “ideas” of Calvinism “satanic.” I believe he overstated, just as James MacDonald did when he used that term to describe the form of polity Southern Baptists affirm in the Baptist Faith and Message. If MacDonald can be invited to speak at our Annual Meeting, I think Ken can write a blog post. Also, I’m not sure if Ken was so much advocating for a convention split as he was predicting one. I know many who are less optimistic than I am that we can hold this thing together. That’s certainly not a crime. He is entitled to his opinion.

            You may have misunderstood my request to Ken. I offered information contrary to his premise that the Masterwork Series leaned Calvinistic, since I am not sure that it does, and invited him to prove his case. In other words, I more or less challenged his thesis and invited him to prove me wrong in an essay. Somehow, you have turned that into an attempt by me to confer upon him this great honor of submitting an essay. We receive contributions from a wide variety of authors all the time. I am interested in learning more about Ken’s perspective on the Masterwork Series. That is the only topic for which I requested additional information.

              Randall Cofield

              Dr. Patrick,

              Ken writes: “What is needed is another Adrian Rogers to meet the opposition head-on and convince the NCs to leave the SBC.”

              You spin: “I’m not sure if Ken was so much advocating for a convention split as he was predicting one.”

              smh…

              You posit: “You may have misunderstood my request to Ken.”

              Dr. Patrick, I’m afraid I understand all to well. It is becoming painfully apparent that in your war against Calvinism, the end justifies any and all means. Hence, the marginalization of which you complain is self-inflicted by the tactics you employ.

              I’m guessing you have aquaintances who are concerned that you are overly invested in this issue, possibly to your own detriment. Do you honestly think this is a worthy hill upon which to die, brother?

                Rick Patrick

                Randall,
                Thank you for pointing out Ken’s statement regarding the need for a leader to convince New Calvinists to leave the SBC. You are right. He is clearly advocating such, while I am not.

                You are indeed misunderstanding my concerns as if they were a war against “Calvinism.” What I have been trying unsuccessfully to impart to you is that my concerns are not so much with Calvinism as they are with the “Institutional Calvinization” overtaking the SBC.

                Randall, you are right that I am invested in this issue. After all, I serve as the Executive Director of a ministry fellowship committed to the promotion of Traditional Southern Baptist salvation doctrine. Our twenty board members and I believe there should exist an organized and respectful response to New Calvinism and its many similar organizations. For this, we make no apology.

                Finally, thank you for your personal concern regarding acquaintances who may feel I am overly invested in this issue. Actually, I have found the opposite to be the case. I have received profound support from my family, my church, my deacon body and my Director of Missions, as well as various individuals who have called me and written me from all over the country. From time to time, I hear from my critics. I listen, and whenever valid, I seek to make adjustments.

                Let’s forget for a moment about all the “-isms” and just focus on this: “Should an organization be run by the minority or the majority?” I feel like right now in the SBC, our minority wing is calling all the shots, spending money the way they think it should be spent, promoting doctrines and leaders and ministry philosophies that they embrace, and that the majority wing is being ignored in leadership posts, speaking engagements, book deals and other opportunities. Traditionalists are still paying the bills, but part of what we are paying for is the Reformation of our convention and the shift to a greater embrace of Calvinism. Believing that this is not God’s will, and is not in the interest of Southern Baptists, yes, I believe it is a hill on which to live. (I’m not planning to die on it.)

            Ken

            Randall Colfield:

            You wrote, “An anonymous commenter shows up here .”

            My name is Ken, clearly shown at the top of all posts. Apparently you have criticized others for not including their full names so I feel I am included in a good class of people.

            I can readily understand why some posters have labeled you a hypocrite of the tallest order. Apparently, you feel that you are the only person qualified to express an opinion.

            I’d sure hate to be a member of your congregation. In fact I probably wouldn’t remain as such for more that one sermon.

            You are the antithesis of open-mindedness.

          Ken

          Rick:

          I did not intend to address the lesson contents of the Masterwork series of lessons. The reason is that I have never and, I hope, will never read or have in my possession any literature written by Reformed writers or any based upon a Reformed writer’s writings. I am firmly convinced that Calvinism is a creation of Satan in his attempt to destroy the Christian faith and I vow to stay as far from it as I possibly can. I’ve been a Christian for over 66 years and I am thoroughly entrenched in my beliefs on what the true gospel is.

          That may make me sound narrow-minded in your view but it is a practice I hope I will never disavow.

          My concerns about the Masterwork series began a few months ago when I was attending a Senior Men’s SS class in our church and the class voted to use the Masterwork series of lessons. The very first quarter featured seven lessons which were based on the writings of Sturgeon. I dropped out of that class for the seven lessons. The next six lessons were by a Traditionalist leaning author, so I returned to it.

          After that, I began reviewing the lesson writers for each series of lessons and discovered that almost all were based on the writings of calvinists. Then, for the next 1 1/2 quarters, I decided to rotate my SS attendance between that class and another, depending upon the author’s soteriology.

          Finally, after discovering that the next quarter’s lessons were all authored by Reformed persons, although it was a gut-wrenching decision because I had formed that class 20 years before and taught it for about 18 years before my severe loss of hearing compelled me to stop teaching, I decided to leave the class permanently and attend a class whose material used is authored by Traditional believing Christians.

          So, again, I am saying that it isn’t the content of the lessons to which I object, just that I will never read any materials written by Reformed persons to determine how appropriate or inappropriate they are doctrinally, even though I realize that Reformed persons hold to the same thinking on many scriptures as do I.

          Sorry, but my self-avowed intention of never reading or possessing any material written by Reformed persons will ever permit me to do a Ralph Green type analysis.
          The moment I see the name of a Reformed man, I immediately shut him down and out.

          Forrest Bedford

          Looks to me (Randall/Rick) like you guys are already about as “split” as two camps can be

          The only difference between the discourse on display here and that of Clinton vs Trump are the added words “Grace to you” and “blessings upon you”.

          Kinda like cherry toppings on a sewer sandwich. Good luck with that “unity” thing.

      Randall Cofield

      Bob,

      Ok, brother. I asked “are you calling for a split in the Convention,” and you reply “Am I advocating a split in the SBC? No. Do I see an amicable solution to all this? No. A show down is going to come.”

      So you are not calling for a split in the convention, you just think a split is inevitable because you can’t envision Calvinists and non-Calvinists working together amicably. Seems I wasn’t too far off base with my question after all, was I?

      I must confess, Bob, that it grieves me you feel so strongly about this issue that you allow no room for reconciliation. Not that it will make any difference, but I want you to know that despite the fact you wrongly view my theology as “an indictment against the character of God,” I do not view your theology in like manner.

      So when the “show down” comes, if it comes, you may shoot me, but I’ll not shoot you.

      Peace, brother.

        Bob Hadley

        Randall, If it comes to a “showdown” I will not only NOT shoot you, I will take a bullet for you.

        Here is the issue you continue to avoid. You choose to pick up on SOME of my statements but refuse to acknowledge the WHY I say what I say. I find that unhealthy.

        Look at the make up of the entities. Lifeway is reformed leaning. Southern, Southeastern, Midwestern are all calvinist leaning. NAMB, IMB and ERLC are all calvinist led. Calvinism is in many of our baptist colleges. These are stat run institutions so that is not really and SBC issue. It is cause for concern.

        If you think as I have heard a time or two that these men are “the best qualified” and that is why they got their jobs and it just “happened” then I have some nice fertile land in south Florida I want to sell you. Walt Disney did good with some of it. There is a working agenda being promoted in the leadership of the SBC to place people in key positions to promote reformed theology in the SBC. It is clear there is a move to move the SBC to its reformed roots. There is a move to “get the gospel right.”

        Whether or not you want to address or even acknowledge that FACT is immaterial. My contention is those who are the movers in this movement are the ones who have brought this TROUBLE to the table. I had NOTHING to do with it but make no mistake about it, I do not like it and am going be very vocal in my opposition to the changes that are taking place without my consent.

        Do I see harmony in the SBC? NO. Here is why. Those in positions of leadership that are moving the SBC to a reformed position are not going to back out or back down on their own. So am I the problem with the harmony issue? I say, NO. If harmony means sitting down and shutting up so these guys can continue their agenda whether I like it or not then call me a troublemaker.

        If you do not understand that, I am sorry. I have tried to the best of my ability to make my position as clear as it can be made. I cannot control comprehension.

          Randall Cofield

          Bob,

          I understand exactly what you are saying. I don’t think your position is reasonable, but worse, it grieves me deeply that you feel the way you do.

          Thanks for the exchange.

      Robert

      Bob,

      Earlier in this thread you wrote:

      “My problem is that they have done what they have done under the radar so to speak. I maintain no one really understood what was happening until the trustee system had been manipulated to facilitate this plan to reform the entities. So these denominational employees were doing much more than they were hired and paid to do. Had they made their intentions known BEFORE taking the initiative to pull this gargantuan task off… then I would have no issue other than I disagree with the theology.”

      So it appears that you were not so much bothered by the theology of these Calvinists but by the manner in which they “have done what they have done”: specifically they did so “under the radar so to speak”. That phrase to me indicates some manipulation and deception going on if they truly did operate “under the radar.”

      And it seems that if we ask why they would do this “under the radar” operation? The answer is that they wanted more people in the SBC to adopt and accept Calvinist theology. If that is so, you cannot separate their theology and their operation as their operation is aimed at getting more people in the SBC to hold Calvinist theology.

      If someone operates in this manipulative and deceptive way, it seems persons like this need to be eliminated as they are inherently divisive and deceptive persons.

      And how will you have “unity” with such persons? Unity involving believers always is based on truth: not manipulation and deception.

      Later in the thread you repeated this theme that they operated “under the radar”:

      [[“Since they did what they did without any co-operative effort from anyone on the outside… I will argue they are the troublemakers for doing what they have done with no consideration to the majority non-calvinist position of the SBC, especially the people in the pews whose money is being used to change the direction of the SBC.
      They have NO CLUE that the Gospel Project is a calvinist propaganda piece that is setting the stage for a calvinistic generation in the future. They have no idea that the majority of college students are being indoctrinated with this errant theology as well as a large percentage of our seminary students. Mohler and his cohorts have deliberately taken it upon themselves to reform the SBC. Now… whether one is in favor of that move or not, to deny that FACT is either intentionally deceptive or ignorant denial. It is what it is.”]]

      They did it “without any co-operative effort from anyone on the outside”, “with no consideration to the majority non-Calvinist position of the SBC especially the people in the pews”. That AGAIN suggests manipulation and deception in the way they carried out their operation. You even give the Gospel Project as an example of manipulation aimed at producing a Calvinistic generation (“They have NO CLUE that the Gospel Project is a Calvinist propaganda piece that is setting the stage for . . .”). You immediately give another example of this operation in action: “They have no idea that the majority of college students are being indoctrinated with this errant theology as well as a large percentage of our seminary students.” Hmm, so the operation is targeted at converting young people to Calvinism. I said that the reason they are conducting this operation is to convert more SBC folks to Calvinism which you confirm with your next statement: “Mohler and his cohorts have deliberately taken it upon themselves to reform the SBC.” And exactly how are they trying to “reform the SBC”? By converting more and more believers to Calvinism.

      I said this before that in the past I worked in counter cult ministry. I know errant theology when I see it and I know how cults operate.

      If we took away references to the SBC, took away names such as Mohler, etc. If we just looked at this “under the radar” operation that you speak of, with its manipulation and deception and goal of getting others to embrace an errant theology we would think this is **exactly** how a cult operates when attempting to gain new converts. THAT ought to be totally alarming for folks who do not want manipulation, deception, and false doctrine in their group. If this operation is real, and if it really involves deception and manipulation and false doctrine, there is no justification for “unity” with people engaging in these practices. If it were merely a doctrinal disagreement that would be one thing, and perhaps unity would be possible. But if this operation really is on-going and involving deception, manipulation and false doctrine, then you cannot have unity with these folks.

        Lydia

        “If we took away references to the SBC, took away names such as Mohler, etc. If we just looked at this “under the radar” operation that you speak of, with its manipulation and deception and goal of getting others to embrace an errant theology we would think this is **exactly** how a cult operates when attempting to gain new converts. THAT ought to be totally alarming for folks who do not want manipulation, deception, and false doctrine in their group. If this operation is real, and if it really involves deception and manipulation and false doctrine, there is no justification for “unity” with people engaging in these practices. If it were merely a doctrinal disagreement that would be one thing, and perhaps unity would be possible. But if this operation really is on-going and involving deception, manipulation and false doctrine, then you cannot have unity with these folks.”

        Exactly Robert. How can there ever be trust in that scenerio? And we do know that deception was part of the early playbook on reforming the SBC by the founders movement going back almost 40 years. It became the normal and I doubt if many young Neo Cals read it. The playbook is “Quiet Revolution” by Ernest Reisinger. I read it and was appalled that any man who considers himself godly could have written those words. He managed to spiritualize deception. Pay close attention to chapter 4 and that is very similar to what has taken place in the SBC. Even worse, the Neo Cal leaders have partnered with and promoted well known shepherding cults. Still do.

        One of the things that impressed me with the traditional movement despite some differences, is they were forthcoming in their disagreement and made it public for discussion.

        I would love to see churches go deep with the differences between the determinism of Calvinism and free will. But I can also see why Calvinist fear that so they attempt to censor by using stealth, authoritarian tactics and doctrines. It really is a weak position in a free country. Determinism works much better in a church state venue. Yet ironically, the rise of resurgent Neo Calvinism complements the rise of our oligarchical government and acceptance of the idea that adults need someone to lead them instead of being self governed. It has been a perfect storm.

          Robert

          Lydia,

          “Exactly Robert. How can there ever be trust in that scenerio? And we do know that deception was part of the early playbook on reforming the SBC by the founders movement going back almost 40 years. It became the normal and I doubt if many young Neo Cals read it. The playbook is “Quiet Revolution” by Ernest Reisinger. I read it and was appalled that any man who considers himself godly could have written those words. He managed to spiritualize deception. Pay close attention to chapter 4 and that is very similar to what has taken place in the SBC. Even worse, the Neo Cal leaders have partnered with and promoted well known shepherding cults. Still do.”

          You see exactly what I am saying: what is alarming about this so-called “Calvinist resurgence” is that some are using the exact same techniques, same deceptions, same manipulations, same methods of infiltration and power plays, that cults use. This is completely unacceptable and will lead to division, confusion and false doctrine. Of course those who point out this use of cult like methods will be patted on the head as “alarmists” or “extremists”, all the while those gaining power will keep on doing what they have been doing (they really are out to convert the denomination to Calvinism, for the good of all of course, at least in their eyes).

          “One of the things that impressed me with the traditional movement despite some differences, is they were forthcoming in their disagreement and made it public for discussion.”

          This is one of the dead give aways to discern those seeking truth and unity and those using cult like methods: how open is the discussion of differences? Those engaging in cult like methods don’t want things to be out in the open and for all to see (because they have things to hide, and manipulation works best on the unsuspecting). If everything were done above board and out in the open, I doubt these discussions of the nefarious attempts would even occur.

          “I would love to see churches go deep with the differences between the determinism of Calvinism and free will. But I can also see why Calvinist fear that so they attempt to censor by using stealth, authoritarian tactics and doctrines.”

          If your goal is openness and truth you have nothing to hide regarding your beliefs or your methods. Only those engaging in deception and manipulation, those operating “under the radar”, want things quiet, out of sight, certainly not in the open for all to see.

          “It really is a weak position in a free country. Determinism works much better in a church state venue.”

          Why do you think it “worked” with Luther and Calvin? They both operated in the context of a state run church.

          “Yet ironically, the rise of resurgent Neo Calvinism complements the rise of our oligarchical government and acceptance of the idea that adults need someone to lead them instead of being self governed. It has been a perfect storm.”

          Interesting parallel that you bring up, always beware of leaders who want you to believe that they have to do the thinking for you.

          Baptists have maintained state and church separation because we were smart enough to learn from the examples in Europe that state run churches and dictatorial leadership (whether by a King or a charismatic individual) always leads to problems: especially for the poor and less educated who have no choice but to go by what the ruling elites say.

        Bob Hadley

        Robert,

        You have fairly accurately represented my view correctly. I would not call those who have undertaken this endeavor as a cult but I do understand the association you make. There is without question manipulation and deception in the deliberate move of those who have taken it upon themselves to move tomorrow’s SBC to a reformed position. While I am not even a 1 pt calvinist, I have no problem working with those who are.

        The issue is not working WITH calvinists in churches but working with those who have deliberately and without co-operation have taken control of the entities of the SBC is not going to happen by their own design!

        A confrontation is coming and it is not going to be pretty.

          Robert

          Bob,

          “You have fairly accurately represented my view correctly.”

          I thought that I had, good to see that you confirm that it was an accurate presentation of your view. If these folks had not gone and carried out their under the radar approach/not used manipulation and deception to carry out their agenda. Then you could work together with these folks, you could have unity. Unfortunately, rather than doing the right thing, they did the wrong things in order to convert as much of the SBC to Calvinism as they could. One of my mentors used to tell me, control the seminaries of a group and you control the doctrine of that group. I believe Mohler, et all were smart enough to recognize this and this is exactly what they are going for. Further, another corollary to this aim is to control pulpits. If you control pulpits then you control what doctrine is acceptable among the people. Seems they have done this as well. Especially saddening are the reports that they often do this in a stealth manner (e.g. not telling people you are calvinist or that you want to “reform” the congregation until after you get in).

          “ I would not call those who have undertaken this endeavor as a cult but I do understand the association you make.”

          I hope you understand that I am not claiming they **are** a cult, sadly they are engaging in the same techniques and deceptions and manipulations that actual cults use in order to take over a group or infiltrate a group or get more people to join their groups. And again, this is alarming, that professing believers are acting in the same ways as cultists. And it is these actions that make it necessary to separate from folks who do this, to not attempt a false “unity” when there is no real unity (unity is not just agreeing on some things, it also includes actions, actions done in a Christian manner).

          “There is without question manipulation and deception in the deliberate move of those who have taken it upon themselves to move tomorrow’s SBC to a reformed position.”

          And THAT precisely is the problem, that is what is unacceptable about this whole Calvinistic resurgence.

          “While I am not even a 1 pt calvinist, I have no problem working with those who are.”

          Understood and I know exactly how you feel on this. In some situations I work with Calvinists whom I respect though I disagree with their Calvinistic beliefs: but they are not engaging in manipulation, deception, not trying to CONVERT AN ENTIRE DENOMINATION TO CALVINISM! The Calvinists I respect are those who are trying to CONVERT THE WORLD TO CHRIST rather than convert other believers to Calvinism (big difference).

          “The issue is not working WITH calvinists in churches”

          Right, we can be unified with those calvinists who hold their beliefs but are not trying to convert an entire denomination to their beliefs by using manipulation, deception, taking over positions of influence, etc.

          “but working with those who have deliberately and without co-operation have taken control of the entities of the SBC is not going to happen by their own design!”

          Right, it is these deceptive and manipulative folks who are the problem that is causing confusion, division and trying to convert everyone else to their false teaching.

          “A confrontation is coming and it is not going to be pretty.”

          I believe you are correct about this. Unfortunately the cult-like methods used by some is going to split the SBC. Very sad, but it seems like it is coming.

    Andrew Barker

    Andy: This is not the first snotty nosed contribution from Stephen Altrogge and I regret it probably isn’t the last. ? This is ‘adult’ behaviour??

      Andy

      Sorry, Andrew. I don’t know of any history of Stephen Altrooge. Someone sent it to me and I just thought it was humorous.

      Lydia

      That link made the rounds and “adults” saw it as a childish attempt to excuse and normalize seriously problematic and sinful behavior in young pastors.

        Andy

        While I would guess Stephen is probably a Calvinist, AND I agree that some of the symptoms he lists are serious son issues that can cause real hurt…

        ….I also believe that there is a place for humor in pointing out blind spots, such that a young Calvinist may read that list and seriously reconsider they way he has treated people, like his parents, perhaps. I think SOME of the posts on Babylon be can serve the same purpose. (Ie, “Local Calvinist’s Sense Of Superiority Visible From Space”)

          Andrew Barker

          Andy: No big issue here but….if you’re going to quote someone or give a link perhaps it’s best to know a little of the background? Babylon is another example of the Reformed straining at the leash to be funny….. and failing. It’s painful to watch!!

    Jim Poulos

    To use the terms used by Mr. Baker about any person, good or bad, simply reveals what he is all about, not the person he aims is comments at.

      Andrew Barker

      Jim : If you say so.

        Andrew Barker

        Jim: BTW have you seen some of Stephen Altogge’s other snotty nosed contributions? I thought not ;-)

        Jim Poulos

        Q.E.D.

Andy

More seriously, I still contend that for most within the SBC, the Calvinism issue is not that big of an issue, simply because their worries are more focussed on their marriage troubles, on their unbelieving children, on their friends with substance abuse issues, and on a desire to see their lost friends come to Christ.

Most are not calvinists. But I would guess most also do not fit within the slightly to narrow Traditionalist definition. Many don’t know where they stand, many see soverienty and free will as an unsolvable paradox, and are content to leave it as such. Many have close friends, and even spouses, who disagree with them on these issues, and have no desire to separate, and have little desire to try to convert them to their side, because they don’t see it as a “side.”. I know one Calvinist friend in particular who is approaching 20 years married to a woman who retains her beliefs from her Nazarene years. Godly couple, they are on the same “side” even though they disagree on this issue.

I really have no idea what the LBC papers have said to draw this kind of response from the New Orleans mega pastors, but I believe 2 things are true:

1. Such papers are, and should he free to bring up issues of concern in their own denominations leaders, provided they do so in a way befitting a Christian.

2. If they write articles inconsistent with Christian charity, other LBC pastors are and should be free to respond and to call them to greater Christian love in their writings.

    Andrew Barker

    Andy: If you really think ….”Most are not calvinists. But I would guess most also do not fit within the slightly to narrow Traditionalist definition.” where do you think these people do fit? Seems to me that you just can’t accept that most SBC Baptists fall into the ‘traditionalist’ camp. Plus, how can you start to define traditionalists as being ‘narrow’ in any sense when they advocate “whosoever believes will be saved” whereas the Calvinists (and those like yourself who are somewhat ambivalent about their soteriology and can’t/won’t identify as fully blown Calvinists) restrict this to whoever is elect can/will be saved? Which camp is being more ‘narrow’ and restrictive in its beliefs?

    BTW there is no unsolvable paradox between sovereignty and free will. This is yet another false claim made by Calvinists when trying to prop up their own doctrinal position. It is only because they define sovereignty in the way that they do, that the so called ‘paradox’ arises. It really is another case of trying to lumber the non-Calvinists with baggage that they just don’t have. ;-)

Denice Yeagin

@Andy, “I still contend that for most within the SBC, the Calvinism issue is not that big of an issue.” When I visit my brother’s church in another state and their is NO invitation it is a big issue for me. I don’t want to argue with my brothers and sisters, I truly believe it would be better if we parted ways. Differing theological beliefs distract from the command given us to, “Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

D. Morgan

Well, this is where I am afraid this situation is leading;

https://randywhiteministries.org/articles/left-southern-baptist-convention/

Good, God Fearing devoted men are going to leave.

Ray

Stunning lack of historical understanding in this article. And your slap at Mohler, how sad.

    Bob Hadley

    So are you saying WHAT I wrote is inaccurate? Mind elaborating as opposed to just 8 short words? No “historical” comments even made with the exception of the past decade.

    And what I said about Mohler is sad; you are correct.

Kimberly Rock-Shelton

The division in the SBC uses the guise of theology to sanctify the greed for power, money and control. Make no mistake about it, Mohler, Moore, Platt, et all would not be so interested in changing the fundamental structures of the SBC were their no money, power or control as a reward.

The same people who oversaw the “liberal” purge that cost so many people career and livelihood are the same people who accept Grudem’s heresy of the Eternal Subordination of the Son.

Fundamental Baptist truths like Priesthood of the Believer, Soul Competency, Democratic Church Polity, No Creed but the Bible, and Freedom of Conscience have been replaced by a very Presbyterian/Catholic structure and theology.

Pastors, Seminary Presidents, and Agency Heads no longer feel accountable to the people who support them and demonstrate the arrogance on a routine basis.

Added to this is the embracing with open arms of groups that are not Baptists in their beliefs, polity, or economic support until they gifted 100’s K to SBTS. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the common term for people who exchange favors and position for financial gain is prostitute.

People in the pew who financially support the SBC deserve better from leadership.

Denice Yeagin

I would say the Calvinist take over is almost complete. At my church we did not go with the Gospel Project SS literature. I raised objections and had previously given out the White Paper http://www.baptisttheology.org/white-papers/neither-calvinists-nor-arminians-but-baptists/ to my Pastor and other members. The Paper is signed by David L. Allen, Ken Keathley, Richard Land, Steve Lemke, Paige Patterson, Jerry Vines and Malcolm B. Yarnell, III. My Pastor is a traditional Southern Baptist (thank you Lord) and we have been dealing with problems of finding Youth Ministers who aren’t YRR. Going into Lifeway to find a Father’s Day gift for my 88 year old Dad was shocking to me. You now have to research any author that you purchase a book by as the beliefs presented are all over the map.

Again, I do not wish to continue “discussing” nor arguing my beliefs. It is time to part ways. The traditionalists also need a new book store and literature.

Lydia

8. Dispensing of Existence – The group’s totalistic environment emphasizes that the members are part of an elite or special group. Outsiders are considered unworthy or unenlightened. This thinking leads to the thinking that their whole existence centers on being in the group. If you leave, you join nothingness. This is an extension of doctrine over person. Existence comes to depend on creed (I believe, therefore, I am), submission (I obey, therefore, I am) and total merger with the group’s ideology. This is the final step in creating members’ dependence on the group.

Lydia

Oops, comment got cut off

Anywho, if interested, Google Robert Liftons Thought Reform characteristics for Totalist groups and read up on the eight characteristics of these sorts of movements. See how many are similar to the tactics and mode of operation of the stealth Neo Calvinist SBC takeover.

Denice Yeagin

I’m just a lay person sitting in the pew and I know what’s going on. Yes, I agree, most don’t have a clue which opens another topic as to why Southern Baptists no longer understand who they are. If we go our separate ways maybe we could spend some time rectifying the situation. I also agree with Lydia’s portrayal of the deception by the reformers going back almost 40 years. It reminds me of the socialist take over of America which goes back 60+ years. It’s clear and simple to me that our Convention should split. I am a Christian and a 4th generation Southern Baptist. My 88 yr old Father has been a Deacon all of my life as well as Sunday School Superintendent, Training Union Director, etc. I am active in my Church in teaching, greeting, etc. There are still some of us left that grew up learning about our faith and denomination in SS, Training Union and GA’s as well as at home. Please prayfully consider that it may be time to go our separate ways and focus our attention on the Great Commission. Enough is enough

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