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Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by StefanM, May 8, 2010.
Interesting information here...
I found this statement, "Much could be said about the wickedness and ignorance behind a campaign to "smoke out" Calvinistic pastors using these dubious tools," a rather strong charge against the promotion to separate truth from error in the church and from behind the pulpit.
It's alarming to see a witch hunt, but when it reeks of so much confusion (intentional or otherwise), obfuscation (again, either on purpose or not), and just flat out nonesene, it goes beyond alarming.
The documents are just bizarre. The person that composed these obviously has no clue.
I't going on in Western KY as well. According to what I received from a "highly placed source," a year or so ago, most of the DOMs in the area got together and an unnamed functionary from KBC spoke to them on the topic of getting rid of calvinists and cutting down Southern Seminary. Shortly after that, some pastors began to preach anti-calvinist message using verbage that was virtually identical--even some of the false stories and other "illustrations" were the same.
I agree that the documents TomVols showed were pretty ignorant, but I imagine the much more closely held information is just as silly.
Having said that, as we discussed in a previous thread, a lot of this is to the blame of some Calvinist leaders who teach young Calvinist pastors to hide their doctrinal beliefs and "reform" their churches, subverting the doctrinal base these churches have often held for many years. Those documents, if used, would have saved several churches I know of from a lot of heartache and division. If the young preacher boy can't find a church with his doctrinal beliefs, then he shoud bet a job at McDs or Wally World and plant a church with eldership, five-point calvinism, buckled shoes, broad brimmed black hats, capes, and muzzle loading blunderbusses. I know that a paycheck from a full time pastorate beats Wally World or McDs, but integrity is a nice thing to have.
I won't argue that churches need to know what they're getting before they get it. But this is a witch-hunt, pure and simple. I don't agree that these documents are all that useful to church search teams. Why? Same reason credit reports aren't. They don't know what to do with them. Most churches are so non-theological, they just don't have a clue. So this is like handing a pistol to someone who's never used one before.
I hadn't heard that about the KBC, but I wouldn't doubt it. Problem is, what do you define as Calvinism? Do these documents mean we must now accept partial depravity? Universal atonement? Wishing the saints will persevere rather than trusting God will preserve them?
And I don't know about DOMs cutting down SBTS. Pravda (known as Western Recorder) does a pretty good job at that all by itself :laugh:
I know in East TN in the previous decade, groups were forming to purge the "liberals." Paige Patterson was alleged to have said that when all of them were gone the Calvinists were next. Would to God that there were more men like Danny Akin out there - four pointers who have no problem working with five pointers. Some of the prominent leaders like Akin, Mohler, and others (and depending on the day, Patterson) are much more friendly especially now that the whole "non-evangelism" label has been debunked.
Finally, I'd say to both my more Calvinistic and Arminian brothers: the object of the game is not to persuade people to or from Calvin, but to the Cross. Keep the eye on the ball.
Please don't insult Pravda like that...:laugh::laugh::laugh:
I know several DOMs who are pretty rabid anti-Cals, and some of the DOMs and others who are anti-cals are also openly and vehemently attacking SBTS over the issue.
So very true. Well said my friend!! As an ex Calvinist, I had no problem with them and have many from my seminary and early church days as friends. I have spoke in many a Calvinists church over the years, they were not my enemy, I just didn't buy their doctrine, but called them brothers and sisters in Christ. We have had a rash of what you are talking about over the past 15 years or so. Dauphin Road Baptist in the Mobile area is one of the big ones that come to mind. What a shame.
For years we got along well with each other, why not today. If I recall correctly, W. A. Criswell was Calvinistic but seemed to get a long well with most Christians, As was D. James Kennedy and others.
Take a look at the tactics advocated by the so-called "Founders Movement".
And they wonder why people are reacting to them so negatively?
At the Founders site, ministers who want to "Reform" their Baptist church are instructed to:
Establish spiritual credibility in their church before making their move.
Initially accomodate in some way congregations' expectation of an altar call. Remember it is just ignorance and the fallen nature that motivates the belief in the invitation system.
Avoid tackling a whole church; first just initiate a select group of men into the doctrines of grace and try to get them installed as church "elders".
Be careful at first about using the terms Calvinism, Reformed, etc. in their sermons.
Use a carefully screened book table to introduce people to Presbyterian and Reformed authors, starting with little things at first.
Search their churches' archives for old documents that could be exploited in their attempt to establish their doctrines in their churches.
Use preaching as their weapon.
Be aware that their efforts will be opposed by unregenerate and religiously ignorant deacons.
You're missing some very critical context for these extrapolations. You can lift anything and make it seem sinister.
By the way, so what? What's wrong with a pastor wanting to make what he deems are Scriptural corrections? NNE bats an eye if an Arminian does this.
Kennedy, yes. Criswell, not as thoroughgoing. But we're all very Calvinistic relative to some. We need to be careful with these labels.
I've heard him say many times he was Calvinistic, with that said, I believe one could say he was a four pointer. He was I believe a lot like Lewis Sperry Chafer and our friends from DTS.
Regarding the Founders article cited by Jerome, it seems to me that nothing is being done under the table or in secret.
Yep, stand right up there behind the pulpit and preach God's sovereignty and nobody will suspect a thing.
Uh huh, right out there where everybody can see it, and not suspect a thing.
Of course, it will really be easy to keep this a secret.
It's not only not wrong, but if a pastor believes something to be biblical and the church is believes and practices something else, he must, repeat must, seek to give his flock the truth.
And, a Calvinist pastor cannot hide his view for very long. His preaching will eventually reveal what he believes. Same for a non-Cal preacher. It won't take long to figure out where he's coming from. No "smoking out" is necessary.
Charles Spurgeon, "Ministers Sailing Under False Colours":
Likely so. A great many are when you nail them down. That said, most baptists are allergic to the term as can be seen from the visceral reactions.
Ironic that you're quoting the most famous Calvinistic Baptist to ever live :smilewinkgrin:
Tom Butler, I agree with everything you said. :thumbs:
I agree, that is why when ever I'm ask to speak where I haven't spoke, I let them know where I stand. Each church that I was called to pastor, I let them know. If they were Calvinistic, I felt like I would be the wrong person to be their pastor and God was letting me know that I wasn't called there.
Most I've know until a few years ago(maybe 15 or so) it wasn't a problem, the cal's and non cal got along fine. They agreed on what happen just different mechanics. We all agree God knew who would accept His offer before the foundation of the world, we just differ on how He carried it out, the mechanics of it.
What hurts, I've seen both sides not being totally honest on what they say about the other or not knowing the other side.
Spurgeon called a spade a spade:thumbs:
"when I accepted the office of minister of this congregation, I looked to see what were your articles of faith. If I had not believed them, I should not have accepted your call; and when I change my opinions, rest assured that, as an honest man, I shall resign the office" —"Baptismal Regeneration"
"Christ's Spirit will not be an accomplice with men in the wretched business of shuffling and deceiving. Does it really come to this—that you preach certain doctrines, not because you believe them, but because your congregation expects you to do so? Are you biding your time till you can, without risk, renounce your present creed and tell out what your dastardly mind really holds to be true? Then are you fallen indeed, and are baser than the meanest slaves. God deliver us from treacherous men, and if they enter our ranks, may they speedily be drummed out to the tune of the Rogue's March. If we feel an abhorrence of them, how much more must the Spirit of truth detest them! —Lectures to My Students
That's the thing. Most churches (if they have a doctrinal statement, and it's baptistic at all) will have an open door to Calvinism of varying points and stripes. Thus, to say "we've been duped" is a duping of their own. BFM is open. New Hampshire Confession is very Calvinistic and most churches who do not have BFM either have this or the Abstract.
If a pastor search committee goes through the search process without determining the soteriology of the prospective pastor, it's not doing its job.
The committee needs to ask the right questions, and also should agree in advance on how it will respond to the answers.
Do your homework, and no amount of sidestepping the question will succeed. Proper homework and proper questions will eliminate the need for "smoking out" anybody.
True, but I've been interviewed by committees who didn't even know what Calvinism is? They didn't have a clue.
Tom Butler, right on again.
So are you Sag. It's sad to see the ineptitude of some pastoral search teams.