If SBC Local Churches Could Take a Poll........

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by saturneptune, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. saturneptune

    saturneptune
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    If SBC local churches could take a poll of the majority of their respective congregations, what percent would be majority Calvinistic, and how many would have a majority non-Calvinistic?

    It seems since the famous letter was formed by the well oiled leadershp at the SBC, and the response from the radio entertainer opposing the letter, that the emphasis has been on denomination, not local church. Since the SBC has no governing authority, and is merely an association of local churches, the opinion that matters is within the local congregation. The local congregation of a church is the only governing authority in the SBC.

    Sometimes one gets the idea that posters have the concept we are a denomiation in the same sense as the Presbyterians where the Presbyerty decides who is pastor, what gets done to the building, and any other aspect of local church life that we take for granted.
     
  2. Luke2427

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    If that were true this letter makes no sense. It is not written to a local church. It is written to a denomination about the traditional beliefs of that denomination.

    If all churches in the denomination were so autonomous that there were NO expectations placed upon them doctrinally for being southern baptist then NO ONE should be trying to define the beliefs of any other church in the denomination but his own.
     
  3. Salty

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    Actually the question would be how many Southern Baptists even know what Calvinism vs Arm even is? I would say a good %
     
  4. blackbird

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    Salt---the churches I am familiar with here in Alabama and other places in the Dear South-----wouldn't have a clue as to who in tarnation Calvin was or who Armenian was as men

    They would not know to call the beliefs of each men----Calvin & Armenian---they would not know which man held to which belief

    But they would probably be somewhat familiar with the basic theology each man held-----that is---the reminent in each church who have given themselves to know Bible doctrine!!
     
  5. saturneptune

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    If what you say was true, then the SBC would have governing authority. Beliefs "about a denomination" are up to the local church.
     
  6. Luke2427

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    It has nothing to do with GOVERNING authority.

    It is just as you said- voluntary association.

    We DO NOT associate with people who repudiate our beliefs. That's not exercising governance. That's choosing who will and who will not be a part of your association.

    So what beliefs do we associate around?

    That's right- the BF&M.

    We demand that if you are going to be a part of our association that you affirm the BF&M.

    You are free to choose NOT to affirm it. But we are also free NOT to fellowship you.

    Do we disfellowship churches that do not affirm the BF&M. I imagine we have done that some, but no where near enough, I'm sure.
     
  7. saturneptune

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    I and our local church are in complete agreement with the BF and M. In fact, it is the basis of our church covenant. Not from your posts, but one gets the feeling that some would really like a hierachy above. I think once they ever lived it with people from above dictating local church policy, including calling a pastor, they would not like it.
     
  8. Ed B

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    I would guess that a large percentage of the average membership would assume that Armenian simply means "those who believe you can lose your salvation". The results of this survey would very much depend on how the question is asked.

    For example

    1. Do you consider your theology to be mostly Armenian?

    90% would answer as strongly disagree, somewhat disagree and with a few who say, "I don't know". Far fewer would say Somewhat agree or Strongly Agree beause they associate Arminianism with Methodist and Campbellites (rightly or wrongly).​

    2. Do you consider your theology to be mostly Calvinistic?

    In my opinion the percentage who would pick Somewhat Agree and Strongly Agree would be much higher than the Armenians, and those who pick I don't know would also be higher. ​

    Even if I am correct about these projected results, that doesn't mean that the average member is truly more Calvinistic. In fact I believe that the highest percentage would be best identified as 4-point Armenian and 1-point Calvinist.
     
  9. Tom Butler

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    I'm going to be interested to see how this places out at the SBC meeting in New Orleans later this month.

    Already, SBC Executive Committee President Frank Page is moving to seek some sort of reconciliation.

    The question is, will there be an attempt to substitute the Affirmations and Denials as a modification of the Baptist Faith and Message?

    Will there be a litmus test based on the A&D imposed on SBC Agencies, boards, etc.
    Frankly, I don't think so, but who really knows what their end game is?
     
  10. agedman

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    The vast majority of SB pew sitters have absolutely no idea of the doctrines of grace compared to any other views.

    They might hear something about baptism being a covenant and not a requirement for salvation.

    They might hear that salvation is a free gift of a loving God.

    They might still hear that pants on women are sin.

    But, to be aware of the foundational doctrinal statements that the organizing membership held as unifying the assembly is long lost to finding preachers who don't offend and staffs who would chase after worldly enjoyments to make the assembly grow.

    I have been in multiple assemblies in which they had no clue that their original statements of faith were Calvinistic, and had accepted the pablum of the centuries first fluffed out by the likes of Finney.
     
  11. 12strings

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    I assume by "we" you are speaking as if you were the SBC. However, the things you are saying are not, in fact, what the SBC has said when it comes to churches that associate. They have held missionaires and sbc entities to it, but not individual churches. They have not "demanded" that churches or members affirm it to be part of the association. So far disfellowship has been on the basis of women pastors and condoning homosexuality; not for denying OSAS, or the universal church, or hardly anything else.

    It has definetely not made ANY demands about the membership practices of individual churches. A 5-point calvinist SBC church can allow a 5-point, salvation-losing arminian to join their church, and vise-versa...
     
  12. OldRegular

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    I may be "wrong" but my understanding is that the primary requirement for being a member of the SBC is contributing to the Cooperative Program.
     
  13. preachinjesus

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    Very few.

    That is a pretty well known stat too btw. While a larger portion of the ministers graduating from our six seminaries are Reformed, the churches in our convention are (imho) overwhelming not Reformed.

    If we were able to take a poll today, asking if Reformed theology is the preferred theological paradigm, across all SBC churches the Calvinists would be outnumbered 4-to-1 or worse.
     
  14. preachinjesus

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    Thankfully, we don't run our convention by denominational polls.

    I welcome my Reformed friends and point out that historically the only mark of cooperation necessary to the Southern Baptist is giving to the Cooperative Program. There is no theological litmus test for membership in the SBC. That is generally a self-policing thing.
     
  15. TadQueasy

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    If only more in the actual convention understood this stuff.
     
  16. Winman

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    People know doctrine, but they seldom attach a "label" to it. If I were to ask everyone in my church what they know about Calvin or Arminius, I believe only a very few persons would know much about either man and what they believed.

    However, if I were to ask everyone in our church which occurs first, faith or regeneration (or being born again), I believe every single person in my church would answer faith.

    Or if I were to ask whether Jesus died for all men or just the elect, I believe every person in my church would answer ALL MEN.

    So, folks know doctrine, but they do not attach labels to it.
     
  17. Michael Wrenn

    Michael Wrenn
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    Thank you for affirming Baptist principles!
     
  18. Luke2427

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    I love the point Tom Nettles made about the letter's statement that the MAJORITY of Southern Baptists are non-cal.

    He said something to the effect of, "The MAJORITY of Southern Baptists are PAGANS. We can't FIND 10 MILLION of our "members." They don't go to church, they don't tithe or support missions. Who cares what the MAJORITY of Southern Baptist members think theologically? They HAVE no theology."

    That's exactly right.

    The way we let people walk the aisle, join the church, never see them again and keep them on our rolls has filled the SBC with pagans.
     
  19. Iconoclast

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    Michael,

    At what point if any do you see affirming baptist principles as dangerous and opening people up to serious error. It seems sometimes as if you think it more important than affirming truth.
    Where do you personally draw the line/ Confessional churches agree that a confession of faith helps as a guideline-[if done properly]
    I had a presbyterian challenge me on this...not so much to argue, but his statement was baptists fight to maintain liberty and independance, and yet the scripture speaks of growing together as a household of faith.
    The balance is hard to find.The scripture does not seem to indicate an assembly of lone rangers, who do their own thing...but thats okay because they stress liberty.
    What would you say would need to be watched so abuses did not happen?

    if you start to use guidelines, it seems like you end up like the confessional churches, or go the other way like false groups wind up..like bahai.
     
  20. Michael Wrenn

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    (See bolded part at top of your post first): I just think that if people are claiming the name Baptist and intending to be Baptists, then they should hold to and practice Baptist principles.

    Now for the rest of your post: I think you raise a very important point and question. It is a fine line to walk, and, as you say, the balance is hard to find. I faced this issue when starting the CAC. I wanted to affirm historic Baptist principles, and I wanted to keep the CAC on a "middle path" in most every way -- for instance, in the issue you raise, how can one allow liberty of conscience and yet not become unduly exclusive on one hand as to end up in Pharisaism, but not so inclusive on the other as to fall prey to left-wing "anything goes"? I prayed long and hard about this. What I came up with, I believe under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, was to frame the doctrinal and ideological emphases of the communion within the historic Baptist principles, the simple presentation of the Gospel as stated in the Apostles Creed, and standing on traditional morality. I believe this allows for a considerable breadth of orthodoxy. I also had in mind John Wesley's statement that "As to all opinions which do not strike at the root of Christianity, we think and let think." And then I thought about the Anglican Church's ability to allow for a great diversity of Christian heritage and beliefs within one denomination -- although it's true that these various "parties" as F.D. Maurice called them have not always peaceably co-existed.

    I ask that our ordinands affirm the Statement of Principles -- not every jot and tittle, not by 100% agreement but that they are in general and substantial agreement with the Principles. Further, they must affirm traditional morality. I believe this preserves the CAC from a takeover of right-wing or left-wing. As a result of this, we have had people come in from all different backgrounds -- Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Baptist, etc. -- who feel attracted to the unique combination of Baptist/Anabaptist and Celtic heritage. Also, we have people who range from the very conservative to the moderate-liberal on some things. We had a few of what I considered fundamentalists come in, and a few liberals, but they didn't stay. They were not forced out; they left voluntarily.

    Everything with us is voluntary, even though we have bishops. People come in voluntarily, and if at some point they no longer feel they can affirm the Principles, they leave voluntarily. So far this has worked well; we have not forced anyone out. We have had people come and go, based on their changing views, or based on their not being able to force us to change. Our Principles cannot be voted on, so there is no danger of the CAC one day voting to change our stance on traditional morality, for instance, as some of the mainline denominations have done.

    What I see on this forum by some Baptists is that they wish that they could make the BF&M mandatory for every church and every member. That is not Baptist; that is a characteristic of a hierarchical denomination, or a denomination whose churches are not completely autonomous. The CAC, while having monarchical bishops, does not work that way; we take the traditional Baptist view. We affirm Bible freedom, soul freedom, religious freedom, and church freedom, operating within a framework of traditional morality. In this way, I hope to keep the communion away from extremes.

    I wrote this not as an advertisement or recruitment tool :) , but to show the way I have dealt with the very serious issue that you raised. It has indeed been a difficult path to find and follow.
     
    #20 Michael Wrenn, Jun 9, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2012

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