Jimmy Draper - Frog in the Kettle

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Jimmy C, Jun 26, 2004.

  1. Jimmy C

    Jimmy C
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    According to Jimmy Draper, the SBC is like a frog in the kettle - he sits there while the temperature is turned up and boils to death without knowing it.

    Baptisms down - significantly. I have a theory on that - the SBC is becoming more Calvinistic, less emphasis on soul winning. Say what you will about moderates, but in general they are more active in evangelism. As the moderates have continued to leave the convention baptisms have plummeted.

    Leadership in the SBC is concentrated in the hands of a few older men, younger pastors are either tired of the mess, or dont think it relative to thier ministries and ignore the national SBC issues while concentrating on thier own congregations. My pastor is a prime example, smart as a whip, evangelical, very conservative (by anyones definition) - but does not give a care about what goes on nationally SBC wise.

    What do you all think - is this the beginning of the pendulum return to the middle? What will the SBC look like in 5 -10 years? What are you seeing in your own churches? With our new president, will evangelism be given a higher priority? Will leadership be opened up to a younger, perhaps less political group?

    See the link below for Drapers article from Baptist Press

    http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/bpnews.asp?ID=18576
     
  2. Hardsheller

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    How big is your church?
    How many baptisms last year?
     
  3. Jimmy C

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    Our church is a medium sized church (for the DFW area), we average about 300 in attendance on a weekly basis.

    We average 2-3 baptisms per month. We have not been as active in evangelism as I personally would like us to be, but are considering doing FAITH this year as well as a more active visitation program.
     
  4. Joseph_Botwinick

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    I am guessing this is really only important for the bean counter who are really into the numbers game. I personally see evangelism as a command from God, and that is why I personally do it as a Calvinist. No other reason, really. If God doesn't lead them, then I guess they won't come and that is in God's hands. What, exactly, is the problem?

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  5. blackbird

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    Folks are lazy and don't want to do evangelism---that's what the problem is!

    Blackbird
     
  6. Hardsheller

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    Blackbird, I haven't seen a dime's worth of difference between Calvinist or Arminian Southern Baptists when it comes to evangelism.

    The fact is - Most Southern Baptist Churches are not doing enough regardless of their theological leaning.

    Having said that I have observed that Most Southern Baptist must be Calvinists because they are surely leaving evangelism up to God!
     
  7. blackbird

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    Hardsheller---true! Whether folks are Calvinist or Armenian---both brands have their brand of laziness!
     
  8. DeclareHim

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    I recently went to a 1 day conference on Soul winning and I personally know I don't do it enough its not that I'm ashamed I just never really get around to it. I think we could all do more evangelism. The world is dying and we know the Way to true Life.
     
  9. Jimmy C

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    Topic 1, - so why the decline in Baptisms, and is there a parallel to the SBC becoming more fundamentalist and more calvanistic. The timing of the decline in baptisms seems to parallel the moderates of the convention throwing up thier hands and giving up their fight with the fundamentalists. Granted I know that there is not one simplistic answer, but the timing makes me wonder.

    Topic 2. No one yet has addressed the leadership issue. Are young pastors checking out of the fight and just worrying about thier own congregations? do you think that this will change, and how?

    Hardsheller, you asked me some pointed quesitons, what about your church - size and baptisms? How involved in the SBC are you ( I assume you are the pastor) Are you finding paths of leadership within the SBC open to you?
     
  10. WallyGator

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    Young pastors are leaving the SBC in droves. Got involved mentoring a young pastor about a year ago. He introduced me to a network of postmodern leaders/facilitators(don't call them pastors). There exists an underground church network where "the action is"! But didn't see much emphasis on baptisms. Why are SBC baptisms slipping? Younger would-be Baptists are being wooed by postmodern and non-denomination churches. They are made to feel relavent. I know this is just one factor in the equation.
     
  11. Daniel David

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    I have said for years that I hope the number of members in the convention gets gutted severely. Only when churches are full of believers will evangelism be a priority.
     
  12. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Amen, Daniel.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  13. Jimmy C

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    The issue is not if there are members of our churches that are not saved, we know there are plenty. How an individual church deals with them is up to that church. In our church, the pastor meets with potential members for an extended period of time to assure (as much as he can) that they are saved - before they walk the isle and are presented to the church.

    I would hope that over time those non saved members would be convicted by the Holy Spirit of their condition and get saved. I dont however forsee a mass purging of the rolls until Christ returns however.

    Wally, you raise some interesting points, if baptism is not important, is evangelism important to them - and they are not following through on the baptism?
     
  14. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Non-saved Members of the Church. Now there is a contradiction of terms. It would seem to me that the more the Biblical doctrine of Calvinism is preached in the Church, the less relevant it would be to those who are perishing and consider it folly, and they would either get frustrated and leave or get saved through the drawing of the Holy Spirit. Now, granted, that may be bad news for the bean counters. But, I certainly agree with Daniel that it would be good news for the cause of Christ and evangelism in the long run.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  15. JGrayhound

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    Well, I don't know why you think that moderates are more involved in soul-winning...their churches definitely aren't growing (as a whole).

    I also think that the lack of evangelism is due to laziness...this is true of Calvinists and Arminians. It is ridiculous to lay the blame for the lack of decline in baptisms at the feet of the Calvinists. Blame the lazy people in the pew who can't spell Calvinism or Arminianism, much less know what they are. Blame the lack of passionate, Biblical preaching. Blame the after-effects of liberal seminary education for pastors. Blame the anti-theological pastors, who don't equip their members for service and evangelism. Blame the unregenerate members who have infiltrated the churches due to lack of a Biblical ecclesiology. Blame the trap of "American-dream Christianity" that the churches are in.

    There are many places to blame...let's look at ourselves and our own churches and fix these problems before we start the "Calvinist inquisition". Laziness and sin are the blames of declining church membership...not Calvinist theology. That is a cop-out, IMO.
     
  16. gb93433

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    I have never seen those who are rocking the boat ever spend much time rowing it.

    The old question still must be answered. Who's living for Jesus Christ because of our life?
     
  17. Major B

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    We are a very conservative, fairly Calvinistic (4-point) church, and we have continued to grow and see people saved. Our pastor of 30+ years preaches expositionally. We have a lively blended worship service, and the youth service is totally contemporary. We have several dozen people who are capable of teaching Sunday School straight from the Bible, and who do so. But we are rare.

    The reason that young pastors are leaving is not the SBC itself; the problem is the hidebound traditionalism of so many churches, especially smaller bivocational and full time pastorates. The guys I know who are leaving are calvinistic AND evangelistic, but they are not tolerant of unbiblical traditions.

    A clear concern of most of the young "preacher boys" that I know is "What is the Gospel?" Another is "Why don't we disciple people more effectively?"

    The question "what is the Gospel?", is one that goes beyond calvinism and arminianism to gross easy believism. As yourself the following questions:

    1. How many times in the Bible is Jesus referred to as "Personal Savior?"

    none

    2. How many times is someone in the Bible told to "open their heart to Jesus?"

    none

    3. How many times is someone in the Bible told to "accept Jesus?"

    none

    4. Are there ANY instances in the Bible of someone being told to "pray to receive Jesus?"

    no

    5. Except for the much-misapplied Rev 3:20 (which is NOT talking about the human heart in any way shape or form), is there any reference to "Jesus knocking on the door of your heart?"

    no

    6. What is the difference between baptizing a 5-year old who had to be coaxed to a profession of faith and baptizing an infant?

    none

    We could go on, but you get the picture. If you study in the Gospels and in the Acts how Jesus and the apostles dealt with people, you will find the following terms thrown around aplenty:

    Repent
    Confess
    Believe
    Follow
    Call upon the name of the Lord

    The heart of our evangelistic problem is that the hordes of unregenerate church members we have can't give away something they never had themselves.

    This is not about Calvinism or Arminianism; this is not even about CBF vs SBC; it is about "What is the Gospel?" Until we return to the evangelism of the Bible, the discipleship of the Bible, and a biblical understanding of church membership and discipline, the situation will merely get worse.
     
  18. All about Grace

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    The SBC has won its battle over theology. Now the battle is over methodology. That in my opinion is why many young pastors are walking away from the SBC. The SBC has spoken regarding its beliefs. Now it must allow for some flexibility in how those beliefs are presented. IMO the older generation of pastors has failed to welcome the new & innovative approaches employed today. That is why many simply opt out of the politics of the SBC and focus on their own local church.
     
  19. Jeffrey H

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    Good points made by many here. Calvinism and Arminianism are not the problem. People from both theological camps find excuses to avoid sharing their faith.

    Easy-believism is the main problem which results in an unregenerate church membership. We rush folks into making a "decision" for Jesus and then declare them to be saved when nothing really happened but a mere emotional experience. Scary, huh?

    These newly "saved" folks become active in the church by joining committees, becoming deacons, and vote at business meetings on spiritual matters

    OR

    they fall away and never return.
     
  20. Kiffin

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    I must say that I am not in agreement with Draper. I guess I would be considered a "young" pastor by some (I turn 40 this week). I hold a position in my local association. Matter of fact if you attend your local association meetings on a regular basis sooner or later you will end up getting elected to something since probably only 25-33% pastors attend these meetings.

    Actually I think new Methology is being pushed down our throats. I cannot understand why the SBC pushes many Evangelistic programs that are designed for Mega Churches when the average SBC church runs under 100 in attenedance. In my local association we have I believe 19 churches. Only 3 of them run over 100 and one of those I believe has over 200. The majority of the remaining 16 churches averages between about 20-60 in attendance. And what does the La. Baptist Convention promote? 40 Days of Purpose! A program that is designed for LARGE churches not churches running our numbers.


    The heart of the SBC problem is NOT that 10,000 Southern Baptist churches did not baptize a single person last year. The heart of the problem is as Major B states "the hordes of unregenerate church members". If I am not mistaken do not only 3 out of 10 Southern Baptists attend Church? That issue needs to be addressed first.

    Also is not Lifeway part of the problem also? I must say that I think Lifeway provides at best mediocre education material (Though in fairness this Quarter it is greatly improved). Why does not Lifeway emphasize Baptist History more or the Reformation? How many Southern Baptists even know who John Smyth, Thomas Helwys, John Bunyan, William Kiffin or John Gill are? It is a disgrace! Yet Catholics are taught who St. Francis and Teresa Avila are and Methodists are taught on John Wesley. Much of the Fault is with Lifeway and Dr. Draper in that most Southern Baptists know little of the Protestant Reformation or Baptist heritage. I think Draper misses the mark.
     

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