Calvinist Monomania: Ed Stetzer's Tack

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Jerome, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. Jerome

    Jerome
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    Timely advice from a Southern Baptist denominational bureaucrat on dealing with "issue Christians" who show up at your church (those obsessed with Calvinism, or politics, or homeschooling, etc.):

     
  2. mandym

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    Really? "Issue Christians"? So now we need another label? Maybe Stetzer should get more mission minded himself and stop worrying about applying labels. He contradicts himself here.
     
  3. Rippon

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    Stetzer has issues.
     
  4. Luke2427

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    I actually agree with this- at least what it is saying on the surface.

    These types can be a drag on the aggressive Kingdom work of the church.

    If he means something hidden like, if it is a Calvinist at all, then move them on- I think that would be unfortunate.

    But I do agree with this much: there are some Calvinists who ARE obsessed with the doctrines and care far more about debating them than fulfilling the Great Commission.

    I also know some Calvinists who are obsessed with home schooling. They see this as a bigger issue than reaching the world for Christ.

    I would try myself to move both these types of Calvinists along from my church.

    So I agree with Stetzer here. But I would say that Southern Seminary, for one example, is pumping out Calvinist ministers who have a fire in their bones for the Great Commission. These young people are way more interested in building strong, evangelistic, growing churches than they are in riding the Calvinism hobby horse. To turn them away is irresponsible.
     
  5. Aaron

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    I agree that Calvinists cannot work closely with noncalvinists. Calvinism is the Gospel, and noncalvinism is not. The foundation of a building is its most critical component. It does not fulfill the Great Commission to build a house upon the sand.
     
  6. 12strings

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    Posted by Aaron:
    1. I'm not sure who you are agreeing with that said this. No one yet on this thread other than you.

    2. I DISAGREE that calvinists cannot work closely with non-calvinists. The SBC (to which my church is joined) will destroy itself if calvinists and non-cals don't learn to work together. Would you advocate instead that the SBC expell all non-cals so that they can be more effective?

    3. "Calvinism is the Gospel." It is unfortunate that the ever-quotable Spurgeon wrote this line. It has been used too often to drive a wedge between Christians. ***If I preach that Jesus Died on the cross to save sinners, and that a person must place their trust in him for their salvation rather than in their good works, have I not preached the gospel?

    4. I do believe that a proper understanding of human depravity, God's work in salvation, and the sovereignty of God will lead to an evangelism that is less-manipultive, more hopeful, bolder, freer, and that puts more trust in God's ability to use flawed people delivering his word to change a heart. So in that way, Calvinistic beliefs can help correct some of the abuses that have been present in evangelism in the past.


    Signed, a 4-pointer.
     
  7. 12strings

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    Also, I don't believe Stetzer is saying churches should try to exclude calvinist, rather, those calvinists who cause problems by constantly pushing calvinism in every sunday school class, small group, or side conversation they get into. I think he would say the same about rabid arminians, "the pope is the anti-christ", or "you need to shut up your women" crusader.

    I'm basing this on the fact that Ed has himself worked at conferences and other venues WITH Calvinists.
     
  8. JesusFan

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    Think that I differ from some of our more "hard core" Calvinistic brethren as I am technically to be seen as being not a cal, but an Amyraldist!
     
  9. preachinjesus

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    We need to be willing to encourage troublesome believers who hinder the growth and outreach of local churches to move on.
     
  10. MNJacob

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    How many of the responders to the OP read the blog?

    Who was Ed addressing?

    What was the issue for the specific individual that Ed was describing?

    Was soteriology even mentioned?
     
  11. J.D.

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    I agree that peace in the church is important, but we should be willing to teach people rather than "help them move on and do so quickly." That comment reveals a disgusting attitude. It sounds like something Sanderson would say.

    It makes me wonder if Stetzer is concerned about missions, or maintaining the consensus-built status quo. No minority opinions allowed.
     
  12. 12strings

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    From Stetzer's blog:

    While I would agree with the bolded sentance above, I think this approach limits the sanctifying effect that troublesome people can have on your church. It also seems not to trust God to put people where he wants them. Here are 3 examples I have witnessed personally:

    1. A new person visits your church, and immediately after the service criticizes the pastor for not giving a real invitation (The pastor invited anyone who wanted to to talk to him after the service, we sang 2 verses of a hymn and closed the service. Our pastor was kind and basically tried to diffuse the issue by saying something like "Well, I though I did."
    2 weeks later he attended a business meeting and tried to tell us we should form a committee of deacons to address a certain missions funding issue. (the deacons at our church are deacons, not a governing board). Our pastor then had to tell the person our deacons don't function this way, and also that only our members should decide things in business meetings, though he was welcome to attend. This person attender for several weeks, and eventually found another church. I think God protected us from a potentially divisive situation.

    2. A person calls our church to ask the pastor if he is reformed (ours is, though it is not a hobby-horse of his). He then visits for several sundays and consistently brings up calvinism in a senior adult sunday school class, where he is treated kindly I think, (some of our seniors thought he had some good things to say, some probably didn't). He comes to talk to us (pastors) about reformed theology, and how he has a strong dislike (my words) for John Wesley. He attended for several weeks and then decided to move on.

    3. A special needs adult from a next-door apartment complex visits, stands vary close to people when he talks, once mentions that he might get mad a smash a window if he gets upset. He follows people around and has trouble letting a conversation end. He ends up joining our church, and has been here for at least a year, and though he often tries our patience, he is a joy to have around, and from the beginning our people have treated him kindly, such that he always now talks about how he loves being a "church family member". It has definitely been good for our people to be forced to show patience and kindness even when it is difficult and they might rather not be stuck in a conversation.
     

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