If you're SBC & a Calvinist...

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by rlvaughn, Mar 27, 2003.

  1. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    This topic is mainly for members or former members of SBC churches.

    I've known a few men (preachers in these cases) who, after developing "Calvinstic" theology or belief in the "doctrines of grace," left the Southern Baptist Convention. But it appears to me that most "Calvinistic" or "Reformed" Southern Baptists tend to stay within the Convention. From my vantage point (non-SBC), it appears that some of the purposes, programs, and dominant "Arminian" theology of the SBC would be incompatible with their Calvinstic theology. I realize that Calvinism was the dominant theology when the SBC was formed, but many changes have taken place since that time. To me it also seems that the "Reformed" theology is overall more conservative than the average SBC theology. Just wondering what it looks like from the SBC perspective.

    If you are Calvinistic or Reformed and are currently in the SBC, why do you stay?
    If you are Calvinistic or Reformed and have left the SBC, why did you leave?
     
  2. npetreley

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    Just so I get an idea of why you're asking these questions, can someone tell me if the SBC is generally calvinist or arminian, or something else?
     
  3. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    My understanding is that the majority of SBC churches would be two-point Calvinists, or as I heard one preacher describe the "TULIP" - a sandwich made of 3 bad pieces of meat between two good pieces of bread. An SBC-er might better answer, but I would think that the majority hold total depravity and eternal security in combination with a general or universally available atonement.
     
  4. npetreley

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    Thanks. That's the impression I've gotten from the Baptist churchs I've attended in the past, so i guess they ran along the lines of the SBC.
     
  5. Hardsheller

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    I am a SBC Calvinist who has stayed within the SBC for several reasons.

    1. The Confessional Statements of the SBC down through the years have allowed for a wide diversity of belief in Soteriology. We all believe that Salvation is only through Jesus Christ but disagree over how it happens.

    2. The SBC Church I currently pastor has a strong Calvinistic Confession of Faith and has had since its beginning in 1826.

    3. There are plenty of us who share common belief in the Doctrines of Grace and who fellowship together within the SBC's greater circle.

    4. Nobody ever told me I had to leave. Not even God. :D
     
  6. All about Grace

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    While I do not label myself with titles such as 5-pointer, Calvinist, etc., my soteriology is more God-focused and so most would identify me as more Calvinistic in my theological thought.

    The reason "5-pointers" and "less than 5-pointers" can both stay in the convention is because the Calvinism and Arminianism issue is not of primary concern. The day that it becomes the primary concern we have lost our focus.

    BTW, your presupposition regarding a domination of Arminian theology in programs, etc is a misnomer.

    I pray that as a convention the SBC never allows the C/A debate to DISTRACT them from the things that are truly important (making disciples).
     
  7. KenH

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    The now retired pastor of the church I am a member of was basically a Calvinist without using Calvinistic nomenclature. Our new pastor is not but is basically your run-of-the-mill conservative SBC pastor who emphasizes revivalistic techniques.

    I stay because it is my wife's home church that I joined after I left the Church of Christ denomination and there are no truly out-front Calvinistic churches in my county that I am aware of.
     
  8. rlvaughn

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    You have misread me. Here's what I mean: "it appears that some of the (1) purposes, (2) programs, and (3) dominant "Arminian" theology of the SBC would be incompatible with their Calvinistic theology." That is, it appears to me that some of the purposes of the SBC would be incompatible with their Calvinistic theology, some of the programs of the SBC would be incompatible with their Calvinistic theology, and that the dominant "Arminian" theology of the SBC would be incompatible with their Calvinistic theology.
     
  9. Kiffin

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    If you are Calvinistic or Reformed and are currently in the SBC, why do you stay?

    The one strong thing about the SBC is it's diversity. When I was in the ABA, they had a scorched earth policy toward Calvinists. You couldn't even debate it and would brand a person a heretic.

    In the SBC you can debate it and discuss it more freely. It is helpful for both Calvinists (such as myself) and non Calvinists to understand one another.
     
  10. All about Grace

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    As would some of the dominant Calvinistic emphases be incompatible with those of a more non-Calvinistic persuasion (the majority of pew people in the SBC). Eg, Southern Seminary has developed somewhat of a repuation in certain parts of the country as being the place to go if you are a Calvinist. This reputation hurts the school in many circles of SBC laypeople who associate Calvinism with divisiveness and non-evangelism.

    IMO the SBC must seek in its seminaries, programs and curriculum to maintain the biblical balance between sovereignty and responsibility. One without the other creates an unbalanced ship. All the while we must keep the main thing (making disciples) the main thing, which is our primary purpose. [​IMG]
     
  11. rlvaughn

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    I'm wondering if SBCbyGrace & Kiffin haven't touched on what would be fairly true of most Calvinists who operate within the Convention - you like the diversity, don't find this a fellowship issue, think the SBC has hit on a good balance between God's sovereignty and man's responsibility, and find that the main thing such an organization ought to be doing anyway is missions. Would that be fair to say?
     
  12. Daniel David

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    My pastor is not a calvinist. He is calvinist enough though.
     
  13. Hardsheller

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    You've got it. There is no top down mandate in the SBC that says a local SB Church has to walk the line laid out by the denomination. We're still autonomous bodies in spite of a few who would like to make us franchise operations.
     

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