Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Blog Closing

I have decided not to post anymore on this blog. The views of Southern Baptist Traditionalists are being expressed much better at SBC Today. I highly recommend their blog to you. Their address is sbctoday.com.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Dr. Nelson Price: A Review of Calvinism and Southern Baptists

A book written by Dr. Fisher Humphreys entitled, "The Way We Were," was reviewed by respected Georgia pastor Dr. Nelson Price.  Dr. Price has served the SBC in a plethora of positions, including the study committee for BFM2K, so he has an unique perspective on recent SBC history. This portion of his review deals with Humphreys' chapter on Calvinism. I commend to you Dr. Price's full review of this chapter. Here are a few excerpts:

The five Canons of Dort are summarized by the acronym TULIP standing for:
Total depravity
Unconditional grace
Limited atonement
Irresistible grace and the
Preservation of the saints. The last of these is the primary one with which the original Baptists agreed as do most present day Baptists. The other four tenants are held by a vocal minority of Baptists.

Calvinists point out various Christian leaders who adhered to their beliefs. A far larger number can be noted who disagree with them. It is not a matter of who believes what but the validity of what is believed that matters. These held by an articulate minority of Baptists are presented with viable objectivity.

In general Baptists believe God chose to save those who would of their own free will put their faith in Christ. They do not believe God in His sovereignty arbitrarily decided who would be saved and who damned. They believe God wants all people to be saved but will not override their free will given them by God.

Southern Baptists in general believe that to hold the Calvinistic view would result in their loss of evangelism and soul winning missions efforts.

Calvinists believe in...“limited atonement” in that they believe the atonement is limited in that it was intended only for he elect.

Baptists believe in “general atonement,” that is Christ died for all sinners and by their free will they determine whether to respond to it receptively in faith. Only a minority of Baptists believe Christ died just for the elect.

Calvinists believe that since all persons are spiritually dead they cannot repent and respond to God. They hold that a person must first be born again then they can respond to God in faith and repent.

Most Baptists agree no one can save him or her self. They believe salvation is all by God’s grace through faith in Christ. Repentance and faith are held by them not to contribute to salvation but are the means whereby the all sufficient grace of God is received. There is no merit in receiving grace. All merit is in grace being given by God.

Calvinists believe God’s grace cannot be resisted by those chosen by God to be saved. Calvinists believe that if this is not true God is not sovereign.

Southern Baptists in general believe that God’s grace can be resisted and this results in a person not being saved. They also believe in the sovereignty of God and that He sovereignly gave man a free will with which to respond or not respond.

Southern Baptists are in general agreement on the concept of the security of the believer known as “once saved always saved” or preservation of the saints.

Humphreys concluded that in light of this Southern Baptists who resist Calvinism may be called traditional Baptists in the sense that the first Baptist resisted Calvinism, and in the sense that today most Southern Baptists resist it.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Paedobaptist Persecution of Baptists - Thomas Painter

The Puritans greatly influence today's New Calvinist movement. They read their books, pray their prayers (Valley of the Vision) and venerate the Puritans as models to be emulated. For Baptist Calvinists, when they venerate the Puritans, they are supporting people who were actively seeking to stop Baptist theology and influence within their communities. Puritans went to great lengths to stop the Baptists. Here's another story of their viciousness toward Baptists.

"In 1644, a poor man by the name of Thomas Painter was suddenly turned Anabaptist, and for refusing to have his child baptized, he was complained of to the court, who, with judicial dignity, interposed their authority in the case...and because the poor man gave it as his opinion that infant baptism was an anti-Christian ordinance, he was tied up and whipped." (David Benedict, "A General History of the Baptist Denomination," p. 370

Mr. Painter's torture at the hands of Puritans happened in Massachusetts, a stronghold of Puritan life. In the same year of Mr. Painter's torture, the General Court of Massachusetts passed a law which included the following statement (spelling is as it was in the document):

"It is ordered and agreed, that if any person or persons within this jurisdiction shall either openly condemne or oppose the baptizing of infants, or go about secretly to seduce others from their approbation or use thereof, or shall purposely depart the congregation at the administration, or shall deny the ordinance of magistracy, or their lawful right or authority to make warr...and shall appear to the court willfully and obstinately to continue therein after due time and meanes of conviction, every such person or persons shall be sentenced to banishment." (John T. Christian, "A History of the Baptists.")  

It is my hope that the next time a Baptist Calvinist exalts a Puritan writer or prays a Puritan prayer, he remembers the suffering of courageous Baptists at the hands of Puritans.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Endorsement of Marc Sanders for 2nd VP in North Carolina

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina's annual meeting is scheduled to be held in Greensboro, NC on November 11-12. Pursuant to that meeting, I would like to endorse Rev. Marc Sanders for the position of 2nd VP. Marc is a small church pastor through whom God is mightily working. His church is the smallest of all the candidates for all officer positions and his CP % is higher than all of the churches of the other candidates for all positions (12%). The following is a brief interview conducted with Marc in regard to his candidacy for 2nd VP.

1. Do you believe in the vision of the BSCNC?
    Yes, I wholeheartedly agree with the stated vision of the BSCNC to become the greatest force in the history of our convention to reach people with the life saving Gospel of the Lord Jesus.  I am excited about the potential of our new strategy to impact lostness across North Carolina.  However, I am concerned about the implementation of this new strategy in some very important areas.  First, I fear that church planting will overshadow the even more pressing need of church revitalization.  Our churches are dying at rates many are frightened to admit.  Thom Rainer stated last year that he would not be surprised if 8000-10000 churches closed in America this year alone.  Where can we find the continuing support to plant new churches if our existing churches are actively dying in overwhelming numbers?  Hence, the great need for serious church revitalization.  Now, my concern should not be seen as opposition to church planting, Sandy Branch is very active in church planting, particularly amongst the Montagnard community in North Carolina.  I just realize that much like the federal debt, eventually things are going to catch up to us if we do not take corrective actions immediately.  Secondly, I believe that it is essential to the success of reaching these eight areas of increased lostness that the creation and expansion of compassion ministries as stressed by Jesus in Matthew 25 as well as in James 2 are emphasized.  Unfortunately, I have yet to see such an emphasis presented in the strategy.  North Carolina’s increased urban populations are placing heavy strains on government to meet basic needs, especially within the immigrant community.  Who better to fill this vacuum and share the visible manifestation of God’s love than the Church?  Such ministries would promote the work of ethnic church plants, which is the where the majority of our church planting should be focused, while emphasizing discipleship through service in existing churches. Additionally, these ministries would allow younger Christians, which studies suggest are most concerned with being Christ to the world than simply pew sitting, a place to serve as well as being an attractive starting point in reaching others in the Millennial generation.   

2. How can you help NC Baptists as a VP? (Include why you are running for office.)
    I believe I can help strengthen our convention by being a voice first for those issues I raised in question one as stronger churches make for a stronger convention.  Secondly, so many pastors I talk to sense a growing separation within the convention between large and small congregations with the smaller congregations being left behind.  I serve a small church and know full well the joys and trials of serving in such an environment.  I want to be a voice for those smaller churches across our state that love the Lord and simply want to be enabled to do greater Kingdom service.  I fear the needs and concerns of the small church are getting lost in too much of our convention work.  Also, I want to be a champion of the Cooperative Program.  I am proud to serve a church that sends 12% of our undesignated gifts to the Cooperative Program and have honestly grown weary of the fact that so many of our leaders do not lead the way in CP giving.  It is a travesty that across North Carolina we have small churches that consistently give more to CP than their larger counterparts.  Now, I certainly understand that many churches are doing wonderful ministry with the funds that they could be sending to CP and I applaud their efforts.  However, if CP is to remain the primary vehicle by which we fund Southern Baptist missions and ministries then we should either expect our leaders to fully do their part or scrap the whole program.   Let us not be ignorant of the fact that increased CP giving means more foreign missionaries, more church plants, stronger seminaries, and most importantly the potential to reach even more with the awesome Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.  I desperately want to see God’s Kingdom expanded and I believe a stronger convention enables stronger churches and that’s why I am running. 

 3. How is your church involved in BSCNC/SBC and other kingdom work? (Including CP and other missions giving)  
     Sandy Branch is very active in Baptist life.  We are blessed to contribute 22% of our budget to missions including 12% to the Cooperative Program and 6% to the Sandy Creek Baptist Association.  We participate in the NCMO, Lottie Moon, and Annie Armstrong offerings.  Our 5/52 Campaign has generated over $20,000 to church planting over the last 3 years.  We are active supporters of church planting amongst the Montagnard community in North Carolina.  North Carolina’s Montagnard population is second only to their native Vietnam’s.  We also work with a church plant in Euclid, Ohio through NAMB’s SEND Cleveland initiative.  Our Kentucky Hope Box project is coordinated through NAMB’s Appalachian Regional Ministry and next year will expand to 7 schools and Gospel presentations to over 2200 elementary and middle school students.  Our HOPE (Help Out Public Education) Project feeds 47 hungry elementary school children each weekend, provides supplies to teachers and students both locally and in Kentucky, created a prom dress ministry in poverty stricken Coeburn, Virginia, and has opened multiple doors to share the Gospel to the next generation.  We have recently begun ministries to assist in curable disease eradication and increased education initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa as well ending human trafficking in North Carolina.  We are a small church with a big heart and vision for winning the world for Jesus. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

African American Pastors Fight Against Same-Sex Marriage

Illinois is the next battlefield for same-sex marriage. Next week, the state legislature is expected to vote on same-sex marriage. Among the people working to defeat the same-sex marriage proposal are African-American pastors.

These pastors are threatening political opposition to remove those lawmakers who vote for same-sex marriage. Bishop Larry Trotter said, “I think that they will feel the crunch. I think that they cannot take for granted that they can come to the church; and get the church’s sanction, and votes, and signatures; and then go to Springfield, and don’t speak what the people want them to speak. And so now, if that’s how we have to be heard, we will be heard,”

The homosexual movement has compared their campaign to force acceptance of their lifestyle upon Americans to the black civil rights movement of the 1950's and 60's. This untenable position was responded to by Dr. Martin Luther King's daughter who echoed the position of these African-American clergy when she said, "I know deep down in my sanctified soul that he [Dr. King] did not take a bullet for same-sex marriage."

We support the brave stand these African-American pastors are taking against the onslaught of the abomination of homosexuality. Keep fighting the good fight!