Is There a Calvinist Agenda to ‘Reform’ Traditional Southern Baptist Churches?

"If a church wants to hire a Calvinist pastor, then God bless them. Unfortunately, many Calvinist pastoral candidates are not revealing their Calvinism during the pastor search process in order to secure a pastoral position."

Les Puryear

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=105942&picture=john-316-bible-verse-decorationJohn 3:16

You know the saying… Hindsight is 20/20.  Well, there is a growing number of traditional Southern Baptist congregations that have uttered these words when it finally dawns on them that their newly hired pastor is Reformed (Calvinist).  How in the world did that happen? 

Almost four years ago, the Biblical Recorder – a bi-weekly newspaper published by the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina – featured an article that helps explain how this trend is occurring.  Les Puryear, a Southern Baptist pastor who was nominated for SBC President in 2008, wrote a guest post which the Biblical Recorder published.  It was entitled:  Is there a Calvinist agenda to reform traditional Southern Baptist churches?  The article begins as follows:

Recently, I [spoke] with a pastor search committee about a pastor search they were conducting. When I mentioned that Calvinist candidates may not be forthcoming in regard to their true beliefs, they asked, “What is a Calvinist?”
 
I wasn’t surprised that a small rural church was not aware of the Calvinist plan to reform [Southern Baptist Convention] SBC churches.

It may come as a surprise to those of you who live in larger metropolitan areas, but the vast majority of Southern Baptist churches are relatively small.  Consider this statistic that was published just last year in the Baptist Press:

Approximately 90 percent of all Southern Baptist churches have 250 people or less attending worship on any given Sunday. Nearly 70 percent of all our cooperating churches have 100 or fewer in attendance each week. Less than 2 percent have more than 1,000 people present for Sunday worship. Clearly the Southern Baptist Convention is composed of far more smaller churches than larger churches.

That's an awful lot of pastor search committees that in all likelihood have no idea what's really going on with the Calvinista power grab taking place in the Southern Baptist Convention.  So far Al Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Convention and architect of the Neo-Cal takeover, has managed to get Calvinists appointed to key leadership positions throughout the SBC.   An important next step is to get as many Reformed pastors as possible at the helm of Southern Baptist churches.  The seminaries keep pumping out graduates who are predominantly 'reformed' in their soteriology.  Is it any wonder that we are hearing about more and more traditional Southern Baptist churches that are unknowingly hiring pastors who have a different theological viewpoint, that being Calvinism?

First Baptist Church in Rocky Mount is one such church where this has recently happened.  It is interesting that Les Puryear's article appeared in the Biblical Recorder on July 30, 2012, and nine months later this same publication announced that Dennis Darville had been called to pastor FBC Rocky Mount, where he had been serving as interim pastor since January 1, 2012.

Before accepting the position of lead pastor at FBCRM, Dennis Darville had been Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS).  The Biblical Recorder article written by Puryear included a statement by Darville's colleague, Dr. Daniel Akin – SEBTS President – which was originally published on the Between the Times website.   Akin admonished his students with these words:

“Act with personal integrity in your ministry when it comes to this issue. Put your theological cards on the table in plain view for all to see, and do not go into a church under a cloak of deception or dishonesty. If you do, you will more than likely split a church, wound the Body of Christ, damage the ministry God has given you, and leave a bad taste in the mouth of everyone. …”

Clearly, his colleague Dennis Darville didn't put his 'theological cards on the table in plain view for all to see'.  In hindsight, Darville appears to have gone into FBCRM under a 'cloak of deception'.  Members of FBCRM have come onto our blog to confirm that Darville did not reveal his plans to change church polity or its theological bent.  As a result, he did exactly what Akin warned against… He split the church, wounded the Body of Christ, damaged the ministry God gave him, and left a bad taste in everyone's mouth, including the TWW community.

Now in Rocky Mount there are two separate congregations, divided families, broken friendships, and total disharmony.  And this was all because Darville had an agenda that he was going to carry out no matter what.  Never mind that the super majority voted down his plan to change the church polity from congregational to elder-led.  It appears that Darville and his colleagues at FBCRM began secretly planning a new work some time after the disappointing vote.  We understand that he was able to gain access to the giving records of the congregation, so he knew who the large contributors were.  Remember how Maranatha Campus Ministries was accused of keeping close tabs on tithing?  

Does any of this sound like God's will for His church?  Absolutely not!

Getting back to the premise of the post…  Is there a Calvinistic agenda to reform traditional Southern Baptist churches? 

It's been four years since Les Puryear's article was published, and history has proven that there is indeed a Calvinist agenda

The Biblical Recorder article ends with these sobering words:

Ernest Reisinger, the chief architect of Founders, a Calvinist ministry, describes in great detail [in an article on the Founders Ministries website] how to “reform” a traditional church. He even gives the agenda a name: “The Quiet Revolution.” Make no mistake, there is an intentional effort to “reform” traditional SBC churches into “reformed” (code word for Calvinist) churches.
 
Traditional SBC church leaders and their churches need to be informed about this Calvinist agenda. They need to be informed on how to ask the right questions to determine the true theological positions of their pastoral candidates. Not only would this process identify Calvinist candidates but other candidates who may not be a good fit for their church, such as candidates who speak in tongues, candidates who believe that one can lose their salvation, or candidates who believe that the Ten Commandments are no longer valid. 
 
But the main difference between Calvinists and other nontraditional Baptist candidates is that only Calvinists are actively trying to change local SBC churches to their beliefs.

In response to the Calvinist efforts to reform non-Calvinist churches, a group of traditional Southern Baptist leaders and scholars wrote a “Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation.” The list of signatures includes over 250 pastors (representing small, medium, and large churches in 29 states), six former SBC presidents, seven state Baptist convention executives, four members of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 committee, over 20 associational directors of missions, five Baptist seminary and college presidents, and hundreds of other evangelists, church staff members, and lay ministers. After the release of this statement, many Calvinists said they wanted unity in our convention.
 
Traditional Southern Baptists also desire unity, and I believe that unity is an attainable goal but only when Calvinists cease trying to reform traditional SBC churches to their views.

Ken Keathley, senior vice president of academic administration and dean of the faculty at SEBTS (and another colleague of Dennis Darville when he worked at the seminary), responded to Les Puryear's article.  Here is a portion of that response:

Les and I strongly disagree on one point: he intimates that Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) is complicit in a Calvinist attempt to takeover [Southern Baptist Convention] SBC churches. Absolutely not. Perhaps others have such a scheme; SEBTS does not.
 
Even though he doesn’t say so explicitly, Les seems to imply that Southeastern is a major player in a Calvinist coup when he warns that a “majority of these Southern Baptist Calvinist pastors are coming from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, Ky.) and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest, N.C.).” Does Southeastern have Calvinists on its faculty? Yes, as do all six SBC seminaries. 
 
Calvinism is a part of our Baptist heritage, so Calvinists deserve a place at the SBC table. But the majority of faculty at SEBTS do not subscribe to TULIP. And we have no faculty members who evangelize more for John Calvin than they do for Jesus Christ. Puryear also seems to assume that the typical rural church in North Carolina is a “traditional” Baptist church (“traditional” as defined recently in a statement published by Eric Hankins). Maybe; maybe not. During the 10 years I have lived in the Carolinas I have had the opportunity to preach in many rural churches. Instead of finding many “traditional” Baptist churches, to my dismay I have encountered numerous churches with practically no theological moorings at all. Many historic churches have had pastors who held to a low view of biblical authority with few doctrinal commitments, and the results have been very damaging. Without apology I contend that I would rather see the pastorate of those churches filled with mission-minded, Spurgeon-type Calvinists than to have those congregations remain in the theological murkiness in which many are wandering. 
 
Southeastern Seminary does have an agenda – the Great Commission…

I cannot emphasize enough that this exchange took place almost four years ago.  We believe history has proven Les Puryear to be correct — there has been an upswing in Calvinista takeovers.  To be frank — anyone who tries to deny it is either deluded or lying. 

Just look at what happened when Southern Baptists gathered in St. Louis last week to elect a new president.  In the run-off election, the votes were divided 50/50 between Steve Gaines (who is a Non-Calvinist)  and J.D. Greear (who self-identifies as a Calvinist).  Greear bowed out, and Gaines became SBC President.  In case you missed it, we covered the story here.

And to show that this continues to be a hot topic, take a look at these comments posted over on Jared Wilson's blog (on The Gospel Coalition website) over the last few days:

https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/gospeldrivenchurch/2016/06/21/3-ways-the-gospel-might-divide-a-church/#comments

https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/gospeldrivenchurch/2016/06/21/3-ways-the-gospel-might-divide-a-church/#comments

For churches like First Baptist Church Rocky Mount, which will no doubt be hiring another pastor at some point, we have some excellent information that should help them avoid the fiasco from which they are still reeling.

Before we get to that, allow me to rant one more time… 

Can you just imagine what was going through the minds of FBCRM members outside the Calvinista bubble when ALL the pastors (except one) as well as the secretary and a good number of deacons and Sunday School teachers quit immediately following the 60/40 vote of confidence on February 14, 2016?  As Dee would say, that was DESPICABLE!!!

Just this evening I stumbled upon some incredibly helpful information that all pastor search committees should be using when interviewing pastoral candidates.  For those who are not savvy about Reformed Theology (Calvinism), this information will be a tremendous help!  

We can hardly wait to share it with you in our upcoming post! 

Comments

Is There a Calvinist Agenda to ‘Reform’ Traditional Southern Baptist Churches? — 786 Comments

  1. not quite sure about the speaking in tongues. millions of Christians all over the world have this gift – millions don`t – most of them aren`t from the US and wouldn`t know a Southern Baptist or a Reform Church leader from a rabbit. Good grief most of the Christians I know here in Hong Kong haven`t even heard of Mars Hill let alone FBCRM and all the rest of it.
    in fact most Christians wouldn`t know a Calvinist from a not Calvinist.

  2. And it’s coming to Europe too: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/god-has-a-people-for-his-name (this was posted yesterday).

    “Every place I went I saw a growing, gospel-saturated movement of largely younger (but not only younger!) Europeans committed to church planting and aggressive evangelism and life-transforming Reformed theology. In France, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany, the influence of The Gospel Coalition (TGC) is discernible.”

  3. I have found this subterfuge to be very unsettling because I think that the practice extends far beyond the SBC, and, for that matter, beyond the USA and I have come across disturbing similarities in my own experience of joining a church here in Scotland.

    After many years of being a “None” I decided that my position was untenable and unscriptural and I started to consider joining a church. I consider myself Reformed, Evangelical and have been a member of Baptist and Presbyterian churches in the past. This was a couple of years ago. I started attending a well known evangelical, reformed, Presbyterian church that had recently seceded from the Church of Scotland on doctrinal grounds. I agreed with their view and, after contacting them, I started to go along to the mid-week afternoon service. I was made very welcome and after a few weeks I started attending regularly on a Sunday and then the midweek “small groups” Bible study. After a year, I joined the church.
    But there were things that had troubled me during that period. I found the casual informality of the service odd but I put it down to the fact that I was out of touch with things. I noticed that almost no-one turned up with their own Bible, preferring to pick up the ESV at the door. At the offering, hardly anything went into the “plate” and people chatted away, moved around while it was being taken. There was no reverence in the giving. There seemed to be a specific format to the preaching, no matter who the speaker was. Expository -yes, but the headings and sub-headings seemed strained. The same topics seemed to come up on the Sunday, midweek and prayer meetings. Then I noticed that on the church’s website, their affiliation had changed. Over the period, it had gone from the International Presbyterian church, to an American one (I can’t remember which one) then the word “Presbyterian” changed to “presbyterial”. The online newsletter stopped, as did the pastor’s message.Then the church formed a ” Gospel partnership” with a few other independent or Baptist churches and at the commissioning of a one of our young men as a pastor, none of the existing church elders laid hands on him, that privilege was given to pastors other churches and a couple of others from the USA. At the service when I joined people were wandering about filming the occasion as it was taking place. Even more strangely, before we joined, we were photographed for their records!)
    It was my custom every week,, usually on the Monday, to raise my concerns with one of the pastors whom I respected. His reply invariably was that he (the pastor) didnt worry too much about the theology of these things and that I shouldn’t either but rather join them on this great adventure. And this from a man whom I knew had three degrees from Cambridge University!
    It seemed clear to me in the end that they were preaching a form of New Calvinism. The links were clear to see. Timothy Keller and Alistair Begg were on their Council of Reference. Don Carson had links to the church too as had Tom Oates of Grace Church CT. The small groups used the “Christianity Explored” study guides. The more I looked, the more links I found between them all. I spent that summer reading all their materials and the writings of those whom they recommended. I came to the conclusion that this was wrong. Their entire ministry seemed to me to be focused on attracting students -preferably those who were going into serious professions like law or medicine – or specific international groups to give the appearance of a wide-ranging ministry. But the ordinary man in the street, the poor, were marginalised. Recently they opened what the USA would call a church plant, in a more affluent area of the city which seems to confirm what I thought.
    I lasted four months and then left. A couple of months after that I got a letter from the senior pastor expressing bewilderment at my decision. I think my problem was that I had been around the block too many times. I had been there when lots of new Christian movements had started and wasn’t an inexperienced newcomer or youngster and they couldn’t or wouldn’t answer me.
    Just today I went back to their website and read the “What we believe” section. I googled this part of it:-

    “our church life and in our personal lives we submit to the authority of the Bible
    In our church gatherings we place an emphasis on teaching from the Bible
    In our church family we encourage personal and corporate Bible study”

    I found that word for word lots of other churches, of all denominations are using the same formula. I worry that the deception is more widespread. You will notice that the formula includes the word “submit” – You submit to the authority of the Bible; then in the church gatherings you emphasise (submit to) teaching from the Bible; then in the church family you encourage (submit to) Bible study, personally and corporately. In other words, they way is open for submission in every role in the church and in the family.

    Apologies for rambling.

  4. Lowlandseer wrote:

    It was my custom every week,, usually on the Monday, to raise my concerns with one of the pastors whom I respected. His reply invariably was that he (the pastor) didnt worry too much about the theology of these things and that I shouldn’t either but rather join them on this great adventure.

    Your story is surprising to me, that they would even seek to convert non-Baptist congregations to new Calvinist Baptist ones. And it sounds like there was no discussion about this with the congregation, it was all decided for you.

    It seems that they want congregants to act like they expect their wives to act. No questions, no “theology”, no input. Submit to those that teach the Bible, but don’t learn it for yourself.

  5. Ken F wrote:

    a growing, gospel-saturated movement of largely younger (but not only younger!) Europeans committed to church planting and aggressive evangelism and life-transforming Reformed theology. In France, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany, the influence of The Gospel Coalition (TGC) is discernible.”

    I love how they redefine words like “evangelism”. There’s no Good News in this.

    They are aggressive, I’ll give them that.

  6. @ ishy:
    I don’t think that is the main objective. New Calvinism is an end in itself and will find its expression in both Baptist and non-Baptist churches. It’s the brand that counts as can be seen from the fact that Mark Dever and Ligon Duncan are under the same umbrella, so to speak.

  7. Ken F wrote:

    “Every place I went I saw a growing, gospel-saturated movement of largely younger (but not only younger!) Europeans committed to church planting and aggressive evangelism and life-transforming Reformed theology…”

    Oh, goody. In other words, “Our glorious infection has taken hold.”

    http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=389551

    Knowing the Pied Piper and his “gospel-saturated” buddies, the terms above can be translated as follows:

    “church planting” = sheep stealing
    “aggressive evangelism” = covert infiltration followed by abusive, authoritarian browbeating
    “life transforming” = soul-sucking
    “Reformed theology” = determinism, victim-blaming and female subordinationism

  8. I’m glad Jared Wilson said pastors shouldn’t try to change churches over to Calvinist. I doubt that this is a majority view in the TGC based on what I’ve seen with my own eyes at SEBTS and in churches since, but I’m glad he said it.

    I do think he’s either naive or doesn’t want to admit that some pastors aren’t going to be upfront about their views in a church that holds opposing ones, especially if they have a view to turn it into a church of their own flavor.

  9. @ clarissa:

    completely agree about speaking in tongues being an issue.

    this level of fear of holy spirit and spiritual things in general is so strange for a religion founded on (1) an invisible spiritual supreme being, (2) a God-human who went around doing spiritual things like miracles and wonders, and (3) a being so qualitatively spirit as to be named “Holy Spirit”.

    the need to weed out, breed out, and siphon off spirituality? ridiculous for a religion based on what is spiritual. especially especially considering all that Paul has to say about it (cornerstone of the faith in all but namesake as he seems to be).

    i have a feeling the SBC powers-that-be would be surprised at how prevalent and normal speaking/praying in tongues (at least privately) is even amongst its own. 16 million(?) members as of 2012? i’d say millions of SBCers are happily nurtured by this spiritual practice.

    i agree, too, that ‘most Christians wouldn`t know a Calvinist from a not Calvinist’.

    but to circle back to the main intent of this blog post, it’s like Calvinism is becoming its own distinct religion, proselytizing and evangelizing for itself. it feels very weird. like, you can’t be serious.

  10. “During the 10 years I have lived in the Carolinas I have had the opportunity to preach in many rural churches. Instead of finding many “traditional” Baptist churches, to my dismay I have encountered numerous churches with practically no theological moorings at all. Many historic churches have had pastors who held to a low view of biblical authority with few doctrinal commitments, and the results have been very damaging. Without apology I contend that I would rather see the pastorate of those churches filled with mission-minded, Spurgeon-type Calvinists than to have those congregations remain in the theological murkiness in which many are wandering.

    Southeastern Seminary does have an agenda – the Great Commission… ”

    What an awful smear on Traditional churches–basically calling them Liberal without listing one shred of evidence.

    I do not believe Ken.

  11. Lowlandseer wrote:

    @ ishy:
    This website draws together a number of facts about them.
    http://www.newcalvinist.com/proclamation-trust/

    Thanks for the website. I am quite familiar with the movement at the church-level, having a church fall apart in part over these issues, and that group went and planted a church which is now 9 Marks affiliated. I also was at SEBTS when Akin was put in charge, somewhat against the will of most of the students there. I went to SEBTS specifically because I was not new Calvinist, even though most of my friends from the church that fell apart went to Southern.

  12. There are more Calvinists coming out of the SBC seminaries (and this is not disputed by Trads or Cals) so more established churches are having to deal with Calvinist candidates. My observation is that there are far less stealth Cal candidates than five years ago and there are far more Cal savvy churches (even average sized or smaller) than five years ago, vastly more than a decade ago. This stuff just doesn’t fly under the radar like it did earlier, thanks to blogs like yours.

    There are a number of resources for search committees including the famous “How to Smoke Out a Calvinist” of some years ago. Hope you can find that and use it here. No church can afford not to have some level of understanding about this stuff.

    Akin and Keathley of SEBTS are good, decent trustworthy men. I’d accept Keathley’s anecdotal reading of churches in which he has preached.

  13. mot wrote:

    “mission-minded, Spurgeon-type Calvinists”

    I studied missions at both undergraduate and graduate seminary levels, and for the life of me cannot process how they view missions. Every new Calvinist I’ve known seems to give lip service to missions, then proceeds to assume everyone else is not Elect, and tell them to just do what they say.

  14. ishy wrote:

    I’m glad Jared Wilson said pastors shouldn’t try to change churches over to Calvinist. I doubt that this is a majority view in the TGC based on what I’ve seen with my own eyes at SEBTS and in churches since, but I’m glad he said it.

    Jared Wilson posted this on TGC not many days ago: https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/gospeldrivenchurch/2016/06/21/3-ways-the-gospel-might-divide-a-church/.

    At the risk of sounding like a cynic, it’s not the pastor that divides the church, it’s the gospel. It gives them the top-cover and rationalization that it’s the gospel doing the dirty work, not them.

  15. mot wrote:

    What an awful smear on Traditional churches–basically calling them Liberal without listing one shred of evidence.
    I do not believe Ken.

    Me, neither. I don’t trust his assessment of rural, non-Calvinista churches. When he says that the pastors there have a “low view of biblical authority with few doctrinal commitments”, he probably means that those pastors refused to set themselves up as mini-popes, and enshrine complementarianismism and tithing as obligatory. “The results have been very damaging”, Keathley? To what exactly, the bank accounts of your buddies?

    I also don’t trust Keathley when he denies that there’s a Calvinista agenda. Not when Al Mohler’s going around claiming that anyone who wants to be “real” Christian will have no choice but to become Reformed. And he’s been president of the SBC for how long?

  16. Rural clarissa wrote:

    in fact most Christians wouldn`t know a Calvinist from a not Calvinist.

    Man, you do not know how true that statement is….

  17. @ Serving Kids In Japan:
    It’s probably the ‘wimmen’ who purportedly make these rural churches liberal in the seminary’s view. In small churches there will likely be women (gasp!) serving as deacons and teaching mixed Sunday School classes. No doubt it drives these BFM2000 enforcers CRAZY!

    These churches have not embraced the edict that came down from on high in 2000. Clearly they are filled with unregenerates. 😉

  18. >>But the majority of faculty at SEBTS do not subscribe to TULIP.

    Ah! Didn’t someone point out that this is a tell? (I.e. If they subscribe to four or out of five they won’t count in this)

  19. so Ken Keathley wrote this:
    “Without apology I contend that I would rather see the pastorate of those churches filled with mission-minded, Spurgeon-type Calvinists than to have those congregations remain in the theological murkiness in which many are wandering.”

    it sounds like he wants traditional Baptists to give up their rightful diversity in areas that are ‘non-essential’ in favor of conforming lock-step to a version of Calvinism

    But in that diversity, have not Southern Baptists always found some breathing room to exercise their ‘soul freedom’ in good conscience?

    Not being lock-step in the non-essentials of a faith community is NOT the same a ‘murkiness’;
    there is a kind of strength in being able to have different points of view within the parameters of what is considered non-essential

    The thing is that Calvinism is bringing teachings into traditional Southern Baptist teaching that differs in ESSENTIALS, not just non-essentials. The neo-Cal stealth program reveals these difference in essential are SO dramatic that they lead to churches which have been infiltrated splitting apart.

    They are NOT splitting over non-essential diversity, no. Neo-Calvinism is a different religion from traditional Southern Baptist teaching in essentials. I can see the stark differences in Christology clearly because I am looking from the outside in, and I don’t think that Calvinism in the neo-Cal form wants compatibility with traditional Baptist soul-freedom.

  20. Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    Me, neither. I don’t trust his assessment of rural, non-Calvinista churches. When he says that the pastors there have a “low view of biblical authority with few doctrinal commitments”, he probably means that those pastors refused to set themselves up as mini-popes, and enshrine complementarianismism and tithing as obligatory. “The results have been very damaging”, Keathley? To what exactly, the bank accounts of your buddies?

    Someone needs to give Ken the history of the SBC TAKEOVER. He obviously is ignorant about it. The Calvinist TAKEOVER is just the next step.K.D. wrote:

    Rural churches liberal? Ha! Ha! Ha! That’s the funniest thing I have read all day!

  21. K.D. wrote:

    Rural churches liberal? Ha! Ha! Ha! That’s the funniest thing I have read all day!

    So you do not misunderstand my comment. Liberal in the mind of Ken who thinks they need to be reformed.

  22. Deb wrote:

    @ Serving Kids In Japan:
    It’s probably the ‘wimmen’ who purportedly make these rural churches liberal in the seminary’s view. In small churches there will likely be women (gasp!) serving as deacons and teaching mixed Sunday School classes. No doubt it drives these BFM2000 enforcers CRAZY!

    These churches have not embraced the edict that came down from on high in 2000. Clearly they are filled with unregenerates.

    I do and do not wish for the SBC to try and enforce the 2000 BF&M when it comes to women deacons and women teaching a mixed class. But you are right the purists enforcers in the SBC must be going crazy!

  23. Ken F wrote:

    And it’s coming to Europe too: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/god-has-a-people-for-his-name (this was posted yesterday).

    “Every place I went I saw a growing, gospel-saturated movement of largely younger (but not only younger!) Europeans committed to church planting and aggressive evangelism and life-transforming Reformed theology. In France, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany, the influence of The Gospel Coalition (TGC) is discernible.”

    Just what we need. More of this rubbish.

  24. One problem that I’ve seen in a few churches who’ve gone through a Calvinist takeover is that the Pulpit Committee did know the candidate was a Calvinist and they didn’t think it would be any big deal. So a candidate can declare “I’m a Calvinist” and because the committee is simply not in the loop on what Calvinists are doing they think of it as some ivory tower distinction. And of course there are some Calvinists who openly admit that if a pulpit committee ask a candidate if they’re a Calvinist that it’s ok to say no because the committee probably doesn’t understand Calvinism and therefore has a distorted view of Calvinism and so the candidate believes themselves to not be a calvinist in the way the questioner is asking.

    For an example at how Calvinist get around directly answering the question and throwing up distractions google, I think the name is Jason Allen???? from Midwestern Seminary. He had a public quote about how to handle the “are you a Calvinist question” and his answer was the non direct – look we all believe in the Gospel don’t we? type diversion.

  25. mot wrote:

    K.D. wrote:
    Rural churches liberal? Ha! Ha! Ha! That’s the funniest thing I have read all day!
    So you do not misunderstand my comment. Liberal in the mind of Ken who thinks they need to be reformed.

    I am telling you, this entire Neo-Calvinist movement is going to kill the SBC…..people will become ” Nones,” ” Dones,” or they will go to non -denominational….or some other denomination….

  26. Celia wrote:

    For an example at how Calvinist get around directly answering the question and throwing up distractions google, I think the name is Jason Allen???? from Midwestern Seminary. He had a public quote about how to handle the “are you a Calvinist question” and his answer was the non direct – look we all believe in the Gospel don’t we? type diversion.

    It is just plain lying to not answer the question honestly.

  27. mot wrote:

    Serving Kids In Japan wrote:
    Me, neither. I don’t trust his assessment of rural, non-Calvinista churches. When he says that the pastors there have a “low view of biblical authority with few doctrinal commitments”, he probably means that those pastors refused to set themselves up as mini-popes, and enshrine complementarianismism and tithing as obligatory. “The results have been very damaging”, Keathley? To what exactly, the bank accounts of your buddies?
    Someone needs to give Ken the history of the SBC TAKEOVER. He obviously is ignorant about it. The Calvinist TAKEOVER is just the next step.K.D. wrote:
    Rural churches liberal? Ha! Ha! Ha! That’s the funniest thing I have read all day!

    I must agree, he needs to taught about the ” CR” and it was ugly, trust me, I was in the middle of the mess back in the 1980s and I seriously don’t think y’all know the psychological damage it did, if not to just me, then the hundreds of faithful Christians who were thrown out like yesterday’s trash….

  28. I’ve been contemplating why it is appealing to so many in the younger generations. Answering this may be how we combat these takeovers.

    I think for one thing, services going uber contemporary have lost much of their meaning and foundation. They feel empty. I for one have enjoyed going to a liturgical church after leaving the SBC, because services have a lot more meaning. I don’t think we have to dump everything contemporary, but we do need to start creating worship that has a stronger focus on the Bible, and worship songs that are more than just general phrases.

    Another reason is that new Calvinism specifically appeals to men who feel insecure. They want to know all the answers, and they like feeling completely in control of their lives and everyone in it. I knew a guy who jumped on the new Cal ship full throttle, and remember having a discussion with him where he said that I had to accept what these theologians said because everyone had to understand everything about God. He was shocked when I said that I had no need to understand everything about God, because that would make God smaller than me. Later, I decided that God would have given us a 200-volume systematic theology collection if He wanted us to obsess over systematizing Him. Instead, He gave us a book about His love for humanity. New Calvinism has the big picture wrong, they measure everyone’s level of “electness” by whether or not they are following them, and they obsess over things like complementarianism from only a few verses in the Bible. We’ve got to focus on the big picture of God’s love for us. We also have to start building up younger generations of men and women to handle what life throws at them. How to do that is the hard part.

  29. Ron Oommen wrote:

    Ken F wrote:

    And it’s coming to Europe too: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/god-has-a-people-for-his-name (this was posted yesterday).

    “Every place I went I saw a growing, gospel-saturated movement of largely younger (but not only younger!) Europeans committed to church planting and aggressive evangelism and life-transforming Reformed theology. In France, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany, the influence of The Gospel Coalition (TGC) is discernible.”

    Just what we need. More of this rubbish.

    The tentacles are here down under too. The tentacles are stretching into India, Singapore and other parts of Asia.
    What is it that Jesus says about the Pharisees crossing the seas to make a convert even more of a son of hell than they are?

  30. @ mot:
    They’re very paternalistic. Calvinist believe they are so much more biblically literate than anyone who rejects Calvinism. It’s like they’re patting those who question them on the head “now, now you’re asking questions about things you don’t understand.” Was it’ Whitefield who had a stupid quote about graduating to “the University of Election”

  31. K.D. wrote:

    I must agree, he needs to taught about the ” CR” and it was ugly, trust me, I was in the middle of the mess back in the 1980s and I seriously don’t think y’all know the psychological damage it did, if not to just me, then the hundreds of faithful Christians who were thrown out like yesterday’s trash….

    KD: So many Southern Baptist do not have a clue how ugly the TAKEOVER was. I am truly sorry you were in the middle of it. What you say about the psychological damage done to you and thousands of FAITHFUL Christians were were thrown out is beyond human imagination.

    I have heard the only way to agree with a FUNDAMENTALIST is to agree with what they believe. These people were and are a nasty bunch of folk!

    IMO when the TAKEOVER occurred the heart of the SBC was cut out.

  32. K.D. wrote:

    mot wrote:

    K.D. wrote:
    Rural churches liberal? Ha! Ha! Ha! That’s the funniest thing I have read all day!
    So you do not misunderstand my comment. Liberal in the mind of Ken who thinks they need to be reformed.

    I am telling you, this entire Neo-Calvinist movement is going to kill the SBC…..people will become ” Nones,” ” Dones,” or they will go to non -denominational….or some other denomination….

    They can not blame the “Liberals” this time. Pray tell who will be the blame when the SBC goes up in flames.

  33. I’m not surprised at this post but I would posit that this is trouble of their own making. Throughout the eighties we heard in the news about the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition. Add in the rise in home schooling (not in itself a bad thing but it does isolate those being educated), ever more emphasis on an completely inerrant bible and more harder line on what a Christian MUST be (believe in young earth creationism for example)
    This has gone on for a generation with an ever harder line against everything – feminism, abortion, gay rights, breaktrhoughs science & technology.
    Traditionalist evangelical churches fed their children a diet of intolerance for years – in my home town the evangelical kids were most judgemental against us “unchurched” (and keep in mind I was a church attending Christian then – just not their church – which happened to be Baptist). That was in eighties, now 30 years later, look what has been wrought.

  34. ishy wrote:

    It seems that they want congregants to act like they expect their wives to act. No questions, no “theology”, no input

    Good comment.

  35. Lowlandseer wrote:

    New Calvinism is an end in itself and will find its expression in both Baptist and non-Baptist churches. It’s the brand that counts as can be seen from the fact that Mark Dever and Ligon Duncan are under the same umbrella,

    Great comment.

  36. ishy wrote:

    I’m glad Jared Wilson said pastors shouldn’t try to change churches over to Calvinist.

    I would take this statement with a grain of salt. Wilson is involved with this group up to his eyeballs. The latest things for this crowd to say is that they all agree with the Baptist Message, etc. Its not about Calvinism, etc. But it is. However, they know that people are getting upset as church after church experiences conflict so they are claiming that Calvinism isn’t their objective.

    Caveat Emptor.

  37. mot wrote:

    Southeastern Seminary does have an agenda – the Great Commission… ”
    What an awful smear on Traditional churches–basically calling them Liberal without listing one shred of evidence.
    I do not believe Ken.

    I thought exactly the same thing.

  38. Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    Me, neither. I don’t trust his assessment of rural, non-Calvinista churches. When he says that the pastors there have a “low view of biblical authority with few doctrinal commitments”, he probably means that those pastors refused to set themselves up as mini-popes, and enshrine complementarianismism and tithing as obligatory. “The results have been very damaging”, Keathley? To what exactly, the bank accounts of your buddies?

    As a country girl in a rural Southern Kentucky, I can tell ya, our Baptist preachers and teachers preach and teach the Bible. God’s authority, not the Authority of men, not authority of deacons or elders. Our churches are not elder led. Decisions are made by poplar vote – all members are allowed to vote on all decisions.
    The average attendance in our rural churches range from 25 to 125.
    Many/most churches do have a problem with wimmen, though, but we do get to vote.
    As far as Cavinists/YRR ……. yeah, clueless.

  39. mot wrote:

    “During the 10 years I have lived in the Carolinas I have had the opportunity to preach in many rural churches. Instead of finding many “traditional” Baptist churches, to my dismay I have encountered numerous churches with practically no theological moorings at all. Many historic churches have had pastors who held to a low view of biblical authority with few doctrinal commitments, and the results have been very damaging.

    Translated this means that those rural churches have not placed the pewishioners firmly under the pastor’s thumb.

    “No theological moorings” means the rural church hasn’t issued a separate ‘statement of faith’ complete with prooftexts revealing the need for the submission of the pewishioners to the pastor’s authority.

    “A low view of biblical authority” – just in case Ken didn’t make it clear earlier, those rural churches have not yet been manipulated into believing that “biblical authority” actually means “pastoral authority”. Those rural pastors have completed failed to inculcate in the pewishioners just how important and above them he is as pastor.

    And “few doctrinal commitments” – these rural churches are failing to produce conscience-binding *covenants of loyalty and obedience to the pastor* and *requiring* the pewishioners to sign them.

    What Ken found in rural churches was indeed “traditional” Baptist churches. Perhaps Ken could enlighten us how specifically rural Baptist churches have been “very damaging”?

    I would hazard the guess that by “very damaging” Ken means that he didn’t encounter men and women who quickly and easily drank his Calvin Koolaid, and instead he found a bit of resistance.

    My mother attends a rural Baptist church with less than 100 members. A few years ago Warren’s Purpose Driven Life was presented as a study. Mom, with an 8th grade education, no Christian conferences, no Biblical manhood & women studies, no covenant signing, and without the spiritual benefits listed by Ken – *immediately* knew that there was something WRONG with it.

    This same woman spent ~30 minutes with me and the shepherding church I was in more than 30 years ago. Not in the church setting, just in a casual setting. As she walked to her car to go home, she informed my brother, “Your sister is in a cult.”

    My prayer regarding those men and women Ken encountered in the rural churches? – may their tribe increase.

  40. William Thornton wrote:

    I’d accept Keathley’s anecdotal reading of churches in which he has preached.

    Let me make sure that I understand what you are saying. The majority of *traditional* churches which I take to mean non-Calvinist, are doctrine light. Forgive me if I misunderstood you. Can I give you my observations based on traveling all over the country and finding good and bad churches?

    1. There are stupid churches everywhere. Ed Young Jr’s church qualifies as that. He once said that doctrine just confuses people. It was in the Dallas Morning News.

    2. There are non-Calvinist churches which are excellent on doctrine. Pete Briscoes Bent Tree Bible Church in Dallas was one of those.

    3. There are good churches which have Reformed pastors who teach good doctrine which is not overtly 5 point harshness. Wade Burleson’s Emmanuel is one.

    4. There are hardline Calvinist churches who preach doctrine until they are blue in the face and after an hour, you think you are going to sink under the harshness of it all. Sovereign Grace Churches are like that. IMO.

    In my years as a Christian, I have chosen churches that reflect great teaching and non authoritarian, loving churches. In that time I have been, get ready: Baptist (SBC and America), Episcopalian, nondenominational, Congregational, and flirted with Anglican.

    In each of these circumstances, I loved the teaching of the church. As some can tell on this blog, my experience with lots of doctrinal issues is extensive and that I owe it to those churches and their encouragement to study the Word, church fathers, systematic theology, etc.

    Bottom line: There are awesome churches in all denominational bents and crappy churches.

  41. I can see how older SBs might be unaware of the difference between trad cals and neocals. Although they don’t use a lectionary, my experience with presbyterian calvinists is that they often focus on making their way through the Bible without any particular agenda. They will preach from their POV on certain texts when they come to them, but there’s no sense of “my way or the highway”.

    I hope bloggers covering this issue remember to point this out for churches who may not be up to speed on the history of the gospel coalition crowd.

  42. William Thornton wrote:

    Akin and Keathley of SEBTS are good, decent trustworthy men. I’d accept Keathley’s anecdotal reading of churches in which he has preached.

    I think there are many people that would disagree with you about your assessment of these men. Good, decent, trustworthy men do not train young men on how to split churches.

  43. Is there some sort of new Calvinism primer out there? I was trying to explain their whole agenda to some friends from church and we all got lost in the weeds of terminology. We disagreed over what reformed meant and they we're put off by all the seminary words like soteriology. Which of course is part of their strategy; obfuscate with big words so your average Joe gives up the debate.

  44. Christiane wrote:

    it sounds like he wants traditional Baptists to give up their rightful diversity in areas that are ‘non-essential’ in favor of conforming lock-step to a version of Calvinism
    But in that diversity, have not Southern Baptists always found some breathing room to exercise their ‘soul freedom’ in good conscience?

    But, we are no longer a “priesthood of the believer”! We are now a “priesthood of believers”. Stepford Baptists, all in lock-step. Just ask Al!

  45. Nancy2 wrote:

    But, we are no longer a “priesthood of the believer”! We are now a “priesthood of believers”. Stepford Baptists, all in lock-step. Just ask Al!

    Yep, us non elect do get the Holy Spirit to guide us, we need Al and the others to help us. Disgusting!

  46. William Thornton wrote:

    Akin and Keathley of SEBTS are good, decent trustworthy men. I’d accept Keathley’s anecdotal reading of churches in which he has preached.

    Then I assume that you understand his assertion below, and can flesh out the details for us? What data, what facts are the foundation for his assertion that the rural churches “had practically no theological moorings and held a low view of biblical authority” and how is “doctrinal commitment” defined?

    Instead of finding many “traditional” Baptist churches, to my dismay I have encountered numerous churches with practically no theological moorings at all. Many historic churches have had pastors who held to a low view of biblical authority with few doctrinal commitments, and the results have been very damaging.

    Keeping in mind what else he said:

    During the 10 years I have lived in the Carolinas I have had the opportunity to preach in many rural churches.

    How would you explain how a visiting guest preacher could make a definitive statement about a single rural church, much less such a sweeping statement of rural churches in general?

    Can a guest preacher coming in for a Sunday service actually assess a whole church? Even if he was a guest preacher for multiple Sundays, how could he possibly know enough about each church that he could make such statements about them?

    I would appreciate your insight on this.

  47. dee wrote:

    ishy wrote:

    I’m glad Jared Wilson said pastors shouldn’t try to change churches over to Calvinist.

    I would take this statement with a grain of salt. Wilson is involved with this group up to his eyeballs. The latest things for this crowd to say is that they all agree with the Baptist Message, etc. Its not about Calvinism, etc. But it is. However, they know that people are getting upset as church after church experiences conflict so they are claiming that Calvinism isn’t their objective.

    Caveat Emptor.

    You’ll notice Jared wouldn’t rule it out completely and he puts a lot of caveats in…’if they hire one obviously Calvinism will be around sort of’ etc.

  48. BL wrote:

    Can a guest preacher coming in for a Sunday service actually assess a whole church? Even if he was a guest preacher for multiple Sundays, how could he possibly know enough about each church that he could make such statements about them?

    Excellent point! He must be an excellent discerner if he can do this after one or even several times just preaching. Did he even spend anytime with the people in the church or just show up preach, get his honorarium and go home.

    Come on William!!

  49. With a post under this title, we would be remiss not to note Al Mohler’s words a few years ago as he responded to an inquiry about the proliferation of New Calvinism:

    “Where else are they going to go? If you’re a theological minded, deeply convictional young evangelical, if you’re committed to the gospel and want to see the nations rejoice in the name of Christ, if you want to see gospel built and structured committed churches, your theology is just going to end up basically being Reformed, basically something like this New Calvinism, or you’re going to have to invent some label for what is basically going to be the same thing, there just are not options out there, and that’s something that frustrates some people, but when I’m asked about the New Calvinism—where else are they going to go, who else is going to answer the questions, where else are they going to find the resources they are going to need and where else are they going to connect. This is a generation that understands, they want to say the same thing that Paul said, they want to stand with the apostles, they want to stand with old dead people, and they know that they are going to have to, if they are going to preach and teach the truth.” (Dr. Albert Mohler, President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)

    Dr. Mohler is essentially saying that the non-Calvinist SBC, which supports him financially, is off-track theologically. With a charge like that, what are young seminarians to do but go forth and use whatever means are necessary to reform millions of Southern Baptists who aren’t preaching and teaching truth! Dangerous indoctrination that is wrecking havoc in SBC life.

  50. Nancy2 wrote:

    Christiane wrote:
    it sounds like he wants traditional Baptists to give up their rightful diversity in areas that are ‘non-essential’ in favor of conforming lock-step to a version of Calvinism
    But in that diversity, have not Southern Baptists always found some breathing room to exercise their ‘soul freedom’ in good conscience?
    But, we are no longer a “priesthood of the believer”! We are now a “priesthood of believers”. Stepford Baptists, all in lock-step. Just ask Al!

    Anglicanism is looking better and better….

  51. ishy wrote:

    It seems that they want congregants to act like they expect their wives to act. No questions, no “theology”, no input.

    I totally agree. I posted the following on another thread, that iterates this same point.

    Deb wrote:
    After the marriage license is signed, she is stuck with him FOR LIFE!

    Well, that triggered a thought train for me!

    She is stuck with him for life – Ah, but just like in the days of Moses, these pastor-hubbies have given themselves the right to issue a bill of divorce at any time they please and then move on down the road to a better church-wife.

    Come to think about it, their positional pastor-stance makes them the uber husband of the church, made in their image of husbandness.

    Pastor-hubby can go completely off the rails, and church-wife is called to submit, submit, submit.

    Pastor-hubby can speak harshly and make enormous demands, and church-wife is to respond in humility with respectful ‘yes sirs’ and provide whatever pastor-hubby desires. And, with joy!

    Pastor-hubby has purpose and vision from God to accomplish important things, and church-wife is to sublimate her purpose and vision and do everything possible to help pastor-hubby in the pursuit of his purpose and vision. Because God called pastor-hubby to this position see? God called church-wife, sure, but in a completely different way.

    There is no abuse that pastor-hubby can do that would possibly justify church-wife seeking assistance or intervention from others, or speaking to others about the relationship, and separation or divorce initiated by church-wife is right out!

    However, if pastor-hubby gets burned out on his current church-wife, or gets a seductive wink from a prettier church-wife across town – no problem! Pastor-hubby announces that God has called him and he must follow.

    Yep, pastors are the uber-hubbies of the church.

  52. Max wrote:

    Al Mohler’s words: “If you’re a theological minded, deeply convictional young evangelical, if you’re committed to the gospel and want to see the nations rejoice in the name of Christ, if you want to see gospel built and structured committed churches, your theology is just going to end up basically being Reformed”

    Dr. Mohler is essentially saying that the non-Calvinist SBC, which supports him financially, is off-track theologically.

    He’s also saying that nobody who studies the Bible could ever come to a different conclusion, which is *outrageous* in view of church history. I definitely could have been defined as “a theological minded, deeply convictional young evangelical” when I went to SEBTS, and I’ve rejected new Calvinism just like many others here.

  53. Christiane wrote:

    But in that diversity, have not Southern Baptists always found some breathing room to exercise their ‘soul freedom’ in good conscience?…….The thing is that Calvinism is bringing teachings into traditional Southern Baptist teaching that differs in ESSENTIALS, not just non-essentials.

    Not exactly. I assume you meant ‘soul competency’ and if that is what you meant then the answer is not exactly. This link explains both what the idea of soul competency means and who introduced that concept (perhaps not totally de novo) into SBC thinking and when. ” The Axioms of Religion: a new interpretation of the Baptist faith,’ E. Y. Mullins (1908). The article also notes that there has been and is a degree of caution on the part of some in that it differs from some thinking which preceeded it.

    http://www.theopedia.com/soul-competency

    As to what is ‘traditional’ or not that also is ‘not exactly.’ Baptist thinking has always been a combination of calvinist and arminian theology. Has some calvinist style thinking been traditional in the baptist tradition? Yes. From the get go? Yes. Has some arminian style thinking been traditional in the baptist tradition? Yes. From the get go? Yes. Well. which? Both. Has neo-cal been traditional? The emphasis of focus on scripture, yes, the conclusions which they draw from scripture, not so much. Like that character in the Disney movie ‘Bambi’ they made that last part up themselves.

    At the same time there are also significant differences between conservatives and moderates (aka fundamentalists and liberals) and that is not new. This is a separate but related issue.

    IMO both sides can document how some of the things they say are ‘traditional’ mostly based on how far back one wants to go and which tradition one chooses to emphasize. I prefer to say is it biblical, is it common sense, does it contribute to the common good, and basically ‘you are not the boss of me’ like the children say.

  54. When human choice or free will is nullified in one’s doctrine, then it ought not be a surprise when one disregards others’ freedom of conscience. That is a major danger of Calvinism.

    That said, I know some Calvinists who do not behave in this way but are humble and kind. It does not necessarily have to be final outworking of said theology. However, I think one needs to be weary of that trajectory just as other theological frames have their own dangers.

    To the unaware or ones who do not care, the spread of “Calvinism” is treated as the spread of “maturity” in the faith. They do not view it as much as a takeover as a necessary maturation of the Body. That’s what is scary.

  55. Something else occurs to me. We’ve been hearing how the SBC is shrinking, how apparently their membership rolls resemble the voter rolls in Chicago. I don’t know the rate at which seminaries are churning out grads relative to the number of actual calls every year. There is some involvement with Acts29, but they probably can’t absorb them all.

    I’ll go out on a limb here and say that Darville was probably intending to calvinize the entire church if he could. Long before he could be fired however, he lead a split and bingo, he still has a job.

    Maybe I’m too optimistic, but I hope that these younger guys looking to pastor start out with no intention whatsoever of causing any church splits, as a tactic of ensuring they will have jobs no matter what. Even the Mars Hill bus rationalization is something less than crass opportunism.

  56. ishy wrote:

    I studied missions at both undergraduate and graduate seminary levels, and for the life of me cannot process how they view missions.

    The Great Commission – is defined differently between traditional Baptists and the new Calvinistic Baptists.

    To Baptists, the Great Commission was to take the Gospel of God’s salvation out into the world.

    To the Calvinistics, the Great Commission it to take the Gospel of God’s rule/authority out into the world.

  57. Divorce Minister wrote:

    That said, I know some Calvinists who do not behave in this way but are humble and kind. It does not necessarily have to be final outworking of said theology. However, I think one needs to be weary of that trajectory just as other theological frames have their own dangers.

    I think most people here make a distinction between Calvinists and New Calvinists. The New Calvinist movement offends many Calvinists, as is seen right now in their fiery shots at one another over the issue of eternal subordination of the Son.

    I know a lot of Calvinist Presbyterians who I can have an open theology discussion with, and we both come away feeling like we had an equal voice. However, most of the New Calvinists I know have backed me into walls yelling that I just really didn’t know or respect the Bible because I didn’t point blank accept everything they and their theologians said. The New Calvinists are a very specific movement with an agenda to force people over to their way of thinking.

  58. BL wrote:

    To the Calvinistics, the Great Commission it to take the Gospel of God’s rule/authority out into the world.

    Ah, this makes more sense. Subject the world, and everything in it. Therefore, the subjection of churches is considered part of the commission.

  59. @ Lowlandseer:
    If only more people would do research and observation like you. In effect, it seems They have big plans and it takes money to implement them. Doesn’t have a thing to do with our Lord.

  60. K.D. wrote:

    Anglicanism is looking better and better….

    One of my daughters is attending an Anglican church right now, which is conservative. I went with her one Sunday and was very impressed.

  61. @ Lowlandseer:
    I used to think they were aiming toward a big super denomination. This was back when Acts 29 was planting churches in church saturated Southern cities in high end zip codes and SGM was going strong.

  62. ishy wrote:

    I definitely could have been defined as “a theological minded, deeply convictional young evangelical” when I went to SEBTS, and I’ve rejected new Calvinism just like many others here.

    Out of curiosity, would you say that your tribe (non-Cal) is the silent majority, or the silent minority?

  63. NJ wrote:

    my experience with presbyterian calvinists is that they often focus on making their way through the Bible without any particular agenda.

    I agree with that. The exception would be the Reconstructionists beginning in the late 70’s who morphed into the Federal Visionists. If you do not see things their way, then you are by definition outside the kingdom. They are extremely cult-like, just like the Calvinistas. They also make the claim that only they understand what the Bible means. They are church-centered instead of being Jesus-centered. They, like the Calvinistas, have no need of the Holy Spirit or his work in the lives of individuals. In short, conservative Presbyterians are being assaulted on both fronts, and it appears that the two cults are forming an alliance via Doug Wilson and the broader homeschooling and Classical School movements.

  64. William Thornton wrote:

    Akin and Keathley of SEBTS are good, decent trustworthy men. I’d accept Keathley’s anecdotal reading of churches in which he has preached.

    This is where we leave ourselves vulnerable to error.

    We are not called to accept at face value what is asserted by men we have deemed good, decent, and trustworthy.

    This is, I am beginning to believe, THE main entry way for error and abuse in the church.

    Are any of these men on a higher level of good, decent and trustworthy than was Peter?

    Are they closer to Jesus, more fully filled with the Spirit? Were they given the honor of being first to present the Gospel to Jews AND Gentiles? Have they sacrificed in any shape, form, or fashion at the levels that Peter did? Have their ministries been supernaturally established by God before unbelievers?

    No.

    Yet, Peter was publicly rebuked by Jesus for as speaking as Satan, and Peter was publicly rebuked by Paul for bringing the Gentiles under the bondage of law & circumcision.

    Have these men ever had the humility of Paul, who instructed believers that if he or an angel of light started preaching something other than the Gospel that he had already preached – that they should be cursed?

    We are being taught *wrongly* and we believe *wrongly* that we should accept what is said or done by leaders because we have deemed them good, decent trustworthy men.

  65. Lowlandseer wrote:

    I have found this subterfuge to be very unsettling because I think that the practice extends far beyond the SBC, and, for that matter, beyond the USA and I have come across disturbing similarities in my own experience of joining a church here in Scotland.

    Agree. As a case study, what TWW uncovers about the SBC is profound and broadly applicable.

  66. ishy wrote:

    I’m glad Jared Wilson said pastors shouldn’t try to change churches over to Calvinist. I doubt that this is a majority view in the TGC based on what I’ve seen with my own eyes at SEBTS and in churches since, but I’m glad he said it.

    I do think he’s either naive or doesn’t want to admit that some pastors aren’t going to be upfront about their views in a church that holds opposing ones, especially if they have a view to turn it into a church of their own flavor.

    Always remember. Their words and actions don’t match. The entire movement has been one of stealth and deception.

    Note how Ken Keathley describes most churches in NC. They had NO theology. That is code. I have heard that for years here from SBTS people.

    In their world, a church labels either Arminian or Calvinist. Nothing else is acceptable. A far cry from how the typical Baptist thinks. They set up a caste of theologians vs the peasants.

  67. Deb wrote:

    Out of curiosity, would you say that your tribe (non-Cal) is the silent majority, or the silent minority?

    I think I’ve always felt a bit tribe-less. I’m the only Christian in my family, and started going to church by myself at age 8. I don’t call myself a Calvinist, but I definitely see aspects of it in the Bible. I do think God has a plan for the Earth, and fulfills that plan, but I think He does allow men free will to choose Him or not.

    But– I definitely do not see the idea in the Bible as BL suggested earlier as the New Calvinist primary view that God’s gospel is the subjection of the Earth. I think God’s gospel is a gospel of salvation through Christ Jesus’ work on the cross, and I do think this is the reigning view in the SBC. Most people just aren’t aware of the New Calvinist creep in the SBC, or what they actually mean when they talk about all these things.

    The terminology has very different meanings, and that’s dangerous.

  68. ishy wrote:

    However, most of the New Calvinists I know have backed me into walls yelling that I just really didn’t know or respect the Bible because I didn’t point blank accept everything they and their theologians said.

    That looks like a style of aggressive evangelization which some hyper-fundamentalists use: in their face, back them into a corner, threaten with unpleasant eternal consequences, refuse to even discuss something in the light of either history or reason, insult and humiliate as needed, throw them off balance and above all quote biblical sentence fragments out of context hoping that the victim cannot do you one better at that. This comes under the heading of ‘you got to get them lost before you can get them saved’ with the understanding that it means whatever it takes. And if somebody ends up afraid, demoralized and in tears so much the better; have your decision card ready for a signature.

    Similar technique apparently.

  69. Lydia wrote:

    I used to think they were aiming toward a big super denomination.

    This may be where I get myself labeled extreme or crazy – I think they are being led unknowingly to establishing a one-world church & hierarchy.

    The emphasis on the authority of church leaders and the submission of the pewishioners is the primary focus and the shared goal of many disparate streams of belief.

    We’ve already seen how denominational distinctives aren’t as distinctive anymore.

  70. William Thornton wrote:

    Akin and Keathley of SEBTS are good, decent trustworthy men. I’d accept Keathley’s anecdotal reading of churches in which he has preached.

    Akin was a big Driscoll promoter while many of us knew exactly what he was. So either Akin is woefully not qualified for his job…or what? He liked Driscoll’s teaching? Ditto for Mahaney.

  71. @ Lydia:
    I actually raised this very point with them. I explained that by changing their designation from Presbyterian to presbyterial they were setting aside their church polity and opening the door to any church that had some form of hierarchical, elder-led leadership. And that is one of the big things being pushed here by regional “Gospel Partnership”. There is West of Scotland Gospel Partnership, an East of Scotland Gospel Partnership. There is a national umbrella organisation which you can read about here.

    http://thegospelpartnerships.org.uk

  72. Lydia wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    I’m glad Jared Wilson said pastors shouldn’t try to change churches over to Calvinist. I doubt that this is a majority view in the TGC based on what I’ve seen with my own eyes at SEBTS and in churches since, but I’m glad he said it.
    I do think he’s either naive or doesn’t want to admit that some pastors aren’t going to be upfront about their views in a church that holds opposing ones, especially if they have a view to turn it into a church of their own flavor.
    Always remember. Their words and actions don’t match. The entire movement has been one of stealth and deception.
    Note how Ken Kealthy describes most churches in NC. They had NO theology. That is code. I have heard that for years here from SBTS people.
    In their world, a church labels either Arminian or Calvinist. Nothing else is acceptable. A far cry from how the typical Baptist thinks. They set up a caste of theologians vs the peasants.

    I saw this transformation when I was in Ft. Worth…..you do not really know how much they see the common pew-sitter as a ” serf.” And sadly, the average pew-sitter doesn’t even realize it….and to be honest, I really do not think they care. So much of church to them is seen as social….especially in rural areas.

  73. ishy wrote:

    Ah, this makes more sense. Subject the world, and everything in it. Therefore, the subjection of churches is considered part of the commission.

    Exactly. Establish in the churches and export it into the rest of the world.

    Which is what all these groups share in common. From Wagner’s Whacks to YRRs – they have the same understanding of “make disciples of all nations” –

    All nations shall be disciples. And we’ve seen how they define discipleship. All authority to them, all submission from us.

    Dominionism – strongly wafts through all of them.

  74. BL wrote:

    I think they are being led unknowingly to establishing a one-world church & hierarchy.

    Probably, and I don’t think you are extreme for thinking that. After all it would not be the first time that somebody aimed in that direction, and it is not as if they are the only ones on the world scene right now who share that goal.

  75. @ BL:
    Did you see Piper’s retirement video shot in Geneva? It was super creepy but a good indicator of how they think.

    I was a bit blown away at the expense for such an obvious stunt. Piper was going to be a 21st century global John Calvin.

  76. Lydia wrote:

    Akin was a big Driscoll promoter while many of us knew exactly what he was. So either Akin is woefully not qualified for his job…or what? He liked Driscoll’s teaching? Ditto for Mahaney.

    Akin was by far not the choice of people at SEBTS when he was made Chancellor. It was forced on the school. A lot of people were very upset by it. Overall, SEBTS was not a bastion of Calvinism at the time, and most of the students and many professors were traditional Baptists.

    Then he came in, and started immediately rearranging everything, hiring new Calvinist professors, and other changes which included minimizing the missions department. He dropped my degree program, and I was told I had to get an MDiv in theology if I want to graduate (which was another 2 years of school). Eventually, he recanted and missions has been added back in, but I dunno how much it has changed. This is why I still don’t have a seminary degree, even though I’m only 4 hours short.

  77. BL wrote:

    We are not called to accept at face value what is asserted by men we have deemed good, decent, and trustworthy.

    This is, I am beginning to believe, THE main entry way for error and abuse in the church.

    Bingo. They also know endorsements work for most people. Then There is the shame factor: I know these men as trustworthy so it is wrong to say otherwise. A sin?

    Akin has built a dynasty. Google his sons who seem to be getting their share of NAMB dollars with their own church planting organization called Baptist 21. From what I can tell, it is Reformed, too.

  78. Divorce Minister wrote:

    To the unaware or ones who do not care, the spread of “Calvinism” is treated as the spread of “maturity” in the faith. They do not view it as much as a takeover as a necessary maturation of the Body. That’s what is scary.

    Yes. They only have to do this because we are children who do not know any better.

  79. okrapod wrote:

    That looks like a style of aggressive evangelization which some hyper-fundamentalists use: in their face, back them into a corner, threaten with unpleasant eternal consequences, refuse to even discuss something in the light of either history or reason, insult and humiliate as needed, throw them off balance and above all quote biblical sentence fragments out of context hoping that the victim cannot do you one better at that.

    I’ll note that most of these guys were young and in college or seminary who probably haven’t yet learned to do it behind doors where nobody can see.

  80. mot wrote:

    to my dismay I have encountered numerous churches with practically no theological moorings at all. Many historic churches have had pastors who held to a low view of biblical authority with few doctrinal commitments, and the results have been very damaging.

    This is the part that stood out to me, also. It’s very subjective; what exactly is he describing? and how has it been “damaging”? (One man’s ‘damage’ is another man’s freedom, perhaps?) It’s too vague and could be taken to mean just about anything is grounds for the preferable Calvinist takeover.

  81. @ ishy:
    Oh my word! They bait and switched you! See how they treat people who PAID to be there? It is insidious and they could care less. That is who they are.

  82. William, Perhaps being a trustworthy man, Akin would give back the money ishy spent on a degree he did away with?

  83. ishy wrote:

    ’ll note that most of these guys were young and in college or seminary who probably haven’t yet learned to do it behind doors where nobody can see.

    Bingo. The new crop were trained in Quiet Revolution tactics in Seminary.

  84. Lydia wrote:

    William, Perhaps being a trustworthy man, Akin would give back the money ishy spent on a degree he did away with?

    The thing about SBC seminaries is that the churches pay for half through the Cooperative program. So I’m sure they’d argue that since they are in charge of that, then they make the decisions and I should have just gone for the MDiv.

  85. Plus, I’m a woman, so I didn’t really “need” a seminary degree, just a pastor husband to tell me what to do.

  86. ishy wrote:

    The thing about SBC seminaries is that the churches pay for half through the Cooperative program. So I’m sure they’d argue that since they are in charge of that, then they make the decisions and I should have just gone for the MDiv.

    Yes. I know how it works. It is still not right. You did not sign up for the M.Div.

    Trustworthy? To whom? The other insiders?

    Patterson got rid of Hebrew Prof Klouda who obtained her PhD at SWBTS. They will take female money then throw them to the curb.

  87. We have lived border to border, from NM to ND and most states in between. Our SBC experience covers all of them. So bear in mind I am ONLY recounting what we have seen, not saying it is normative for the whole SBC.

    SBC in those areas pre 1979 was extremely conservative, mildly landmark, and definitely NOT fundamentalists. We were closed communion, yes. No alien baptism, yes. Creationist but not YEC, yes. Women served every way except pastor, but that does not equate with what today passes for comp.

    The fundamentalists took over in 1979. And at the same time, the church growth movement, Four Spiritual Laws, etc also took over. Which sad to say DID mean a watered down faith where many thought they were being taught correctly that all you had to do was pray a formulaic prayer, sign a card, get dunked, and then they were good to go for heaven no matter how sinful the lifestyle.

    So SBC folks went from being a very decent upstanding bunch of nice people to some of the worst womanizers, man chasers, drinking, divorcing, basically sinful people you ever saw. A church full of the unconverted.

    About that time Johnny Mac got popular. He correctly noted that ought not to be so. He happened to be a Calvinistic Baptist. He over corrected to a puritanical form of NeoCalvinism which even Calvin would likely repudiate. And made mega bucks doing it. And the movement was on.

    And a lot of good Baptist people looked around at the average SBC church full of people no more obedient to Christ than the average unsaved person, and figured maybe he was onto something. The rest is history.

    My personal beliefs can be called modified Arminian, or modified Calvinist, or modified Molinism, or modified…..you get the idea. Some of this, some of that.

    I agree with Johnny Mac that Christians should behave better. In point of fact, I agree with him that person with no desire to follow and obey Christ is probably not saved at all. Of course a saved person may desire to follow but fail. Hard to see the difference but God knows.

    I would like to see the pendulum in the middle–away from the antinomianism that passes for the faith among so many, and away from the puritanism some preach today.

    You see, the puritan sees the behavior and wants to stamp it out if the Bible labels it sin. The historic Baptist, Arminian or Cal, particular or general, sees the behavior and wants to bring the person to Christ.

    Or as it used to be said, God told us “You catch’em and I’LL clean’em.

    And I’d like to see both Baptists and Presby’s return to understanding that with soul freedom comes the individual responsibility to know what the Bible teaches, and flee those that teach it wrong.

    Or fire them 🙂

  88. K.D. wrote:

    you do not really know how much they see the common pew-sitter as a ” serf.” An

    I didn’t really see it until I was behind the scenes at seeker megas. The spectators, who pay for it all, never sense the contempt they have for them.

    They guy who came here and mentioned Hayeks “Road to Serfdom” was spot on!

  89. Kemi wrote:

    Which of course is part of their strategy; obfuscate with big words so your average Joe gives up the debate.

    This is part of a larger problem I think, and others here have voiced it:
    The average pew serf doesn’t give a rat’s rip who the lord of the manor is so long as the potlucks and social events continue as before, and the parking lot doesn’t have too many potholes. Nor does he (or she) have any desire to do their own homework on the big words and find out what they really mean. The Huns (calvinistas) know this and exploit it to their advantage.

  90. BL wrote:

    This is where we leave ourselves vulnerable to error.

    We are not called to accept at face value what is asserted by men we have deemed good, decent, and trustworthy.

    This is, I am beginning to believe, THE main entry way for error and abuse in the church.

    This was the way the debate was reframed in our church. Those who questioned things that were being taught on scriptural grounds were said to be insulting/disrespecting a leader who these others *knew* to be “a good, trustworthy man.” It was constantly reframed as being about personalities, not about scriptural truth. People took offense that you disagreed with the pastor, as though to disagree is an insult to the pastor’s character/worth as a human being. Very immature.

  91. Divorce Minister wrote:

    To the unaware or ones who do not care, the spread of “Calvinism” is treated as the spread of “maturity” in the faith. They do not view it as much as a takeover as a necessary maturation of the Body. That’s what is scary.

    *shudder*

    As I implied above: Just like Phyrexia.
    “You are hopelessly obsolete, my brothers. Come and join the Great Work.”

    http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=213726

  92. ishy wrote:

    I’m glad Jared Wilson said pastors shouldn’t try to change churches over to Calvinist. I doubt that this is a majority view in the TGC based on what I’ve seen with my own eyes at SEBTS and in churches since, but I’m glad he said it.

    I get the feeling that what Wilson really meant was:
    Place the frog in a pan of room-temperature water; turn the stove cap on low heat ………

  93. mot wrote:

    “During the 10 years I have lived in the Carolinas I have had the opportunity to preach in many rural churches. Instead of finding many “traditional” Baptist churches, to my dismay I have encountered numerous churches with practically no theological moorings at all. Many historic churches have had pastors who held to a low view of biblical authority with few doctrinal commitments, and the results have been very damaging. Without apology I contend that I would rather see the pastorate of those churches filled with mission-minded, Spurgeon-type Calvinists than to have those congregations remain in the theological murkiness in which many are wandering.
    Southeastern Seminary does have an agenda – the Great Commission… ”
    What an awful smear on Traditional churches–basically calling them Liberal without listing one shred of evidence.
    I do not believe Ken.

    I am relating my personal experience in having gone through this type of situation. It is not a matter of perspective victim churches being liberal or conservative. The victim is successfully taken over by the predator because the victim has been unhealthy for a prolonged period of time. Likely it has been a matter of years. Doctrinal illiteracy, is the ideal condition for a Neo-Calvinist takeover.

  94. Deb wrote:

    K.D. wrote:

    Anglicanism is looking better and better….

    One of my daughters is attending an Anglican church right now, which is conservative. I went with her one Sunday and was very impressed.

    what a beautiful choral tradition the Anglican Church has, there is nothing to compare to it

  95. BL wrote:

    Can a guest preacher coming in for a Sunday service actually assess a whole church? Even if he was a guest preacher for multiple Sundays, how could he possibly know enough about each church that he could make such statements about them?

    It's been my experience that people who are not church members (sometimes not Christians) will come to a church to hear guest preachers for a variety of reasons. Often times, devout members may not be able to be there because of work, family, etc. How does a guest preacher pop in for a few hours and make a judgment call about the church?

  96. @ Muff Potter:

    That's a bit harsh, but to some degree I agree with you.  With those in rural churches, you don't know what you don't know.

    It's way past time for everyone to wake up and do some serious internet research.  TWW is a great place to start!  Go through our archives and start getting clued into what's REALLY going on in Christendom.  It's quite scary!

  97. Nancy2 wrote:

    How does a guest preacher pop in for a few hours and make a judgment call about the church?

    Perhaps they see 'wimmen' helping pass the offering plate or praying from the platform (like was forbidden in John Piper's church). Just a guess…

  98. Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    I also don’t trust Keathley when he denies that there’s a Calvinista agenda. Not when Al Mohler’s going around claiming that anyone who wants to be “real” Christian will have no choice but to become Reformed. And he’s been president of the SBC for how long?

    I thought Mohler fired all the non-Calvinist professors at Southeastern.

  99. @ Christiane:

    This church had more contemporary music, including drums the Sunday I went. But it was still tastefully done!  The music was not loud at all.  I hope to go back sometime.

  100. BL wrote:

    This may be where I get myself labeled extreme or crazy – I think they are being led unknowingly to establishing a one-world church & hierarchy.

    The emphasis on the authority of church leaders and the submission of the pewishioners is the primary focus and the shared goal of many disparate streams of belief.

    We’ve already seen how denominational distinctives aren’t as distinctive anymore.

    What if it is not so much a stated or agreed upon direction as just the natural course that the old nature takes, uncorrected by the word and Spirit of God?

    Certain ideas are picked up and carried through all of these different streams of theology and movements so that, as you said, distinctives are getting harder to define. The same basic ideas come to be practiced in slightly different style, to different levels, slightly redefined. Shepherding becomes accountability becomes discipling, but the same basic subordination of one person to another under a guise of spirituality is common to all.

    What if these are simply the ideas/methods that appeal to the old nature? The setting up of hierarchies, amassing of power, pursuit of position, etc.

    Just as Machiavelli merely enumerated the course that the fallen human nature takes to achieve it’s most selfish goals- he did not invent the methods but was perceptive enough to recognize them- the methods themselves are universal to the fallen nature of man and have been practiced in all places and times by those who were inclined to seek power above all else.

    We have the tower of Babel as a reference point of man’s fallen religiosity; the seeking of universal control of the spirituality of all under a single authority. It seems that it is a continual force. It plays out throughout history in everything from small to monumental ways. I guess what I’m trying to say is, maybe it is a natural law or force that must constantly be corrected for?

    …or maybe it is more like what is described in 1 Timothy 4:1 “deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons”

  101. nathan priddis wrote:

    The victim is successfully taken over by the predator because the victim has been unhealthy for a prolonged period of time. Likely it has been a matter of years. Doctrinal illiteracy, is the ideal condition for a Neo-Calvinist takeover.

    I don’t have any experience with churches as organizational structures per se, but I have seen an awful lot of people, and doctrinal illiteracy has been epidemic for a long time. And yes, those who are doctrinally illiterate are easy pickings. When I left SBC with my kids for basically this reason the church in question was First BC in a small town over in the same general region of the state as Rocky Mount. Lots of people, sufficient staff, relatively prosperous, been there a long time, same old programs, enough gossip to pave a new parking lot, good place to make business contacts and to keep an eye on who was doing what around there, but nearly zero doctrinal emphasis of any kind-and I had kids to raise so I left. And that was way before the days of the neo-cals. But yes, this pattern does happen in churches.

  102. @ Linda:

    I’ve seen a similar progression in other churches, also. First comes the ‘seeker’ tactics, defined as ‘evangelism’: fill the churches with the lost by any methods that will bring them in. Then comes the problem with the church filled with tares who act like tares and what to do about it. The response is to find some sort of system of law that will make these people act like Christians. End result, an abusive church system that the true believers flee from.

  103. Max wrote:

    but when I’m asked about the New Calvinism—where else are they going to go, who else is going to answer the questions, where else are they going to find the resources they are going to need and where else are they going to connect.

    What about the exhaustive list of non-Cal people and resources? It’s not like non-Cals have never written anything.

  104. Quoting from OP:

    Can you just imagine what was going through the minds of FBCRM members outside the Calvinista bubble when ALL the pastors (except one) as well as the secretary and a good number of deacons and Sunday School teachers quit immediately following the 60/40 vote of confidence on February 14, 2016?

    Unadulterated betrayal.

    And the exodus of leadership shows us just how much collusion and covert planning was going on behind the scenes.

    Is there video or audio available of this?

  105. I still think that the quality that makes more SBC churches ripe for new Calvinist takeover isn’t so much Biblical illiteracy, as the new Cals redefine all the words and assume everyone who isn’t in their leadership is a serf.

    I think what makes SBC churches prime targets for new Calvinists is their idea that pastors should be celebrities and going to church is about hearing the sermon. Baptists do like their potlucks and such, but in every Baptist church I’ve ever been in, sermons are considered the center of worship. Most of the SBC churches I’ve been to place so much emphasis on the sermon that they’ve idols out of their pastors.

    New Calvinists can come in and bully people into authoritarianism because most have already put their pastors on a pedestal.

  106. Does it seem that ‘neo-Cal’ism is a new amalgan of its own, rather than just a chip off of the Calvinism block. Wade Burleson, I believe, once identified as Calvinist, but he NEVER abused any soul in the way of the neo-Cals, and as a matter of fact, WADE sought to help abuse victims and got punished for it in the process.

    I don’t think ‘Calvinism’ and ‘Neo-Cal’ are that close in their ethos as to how people are to be treated.

    The ‘neo-Cals’ …. did they bring in a bunch of cult stuff, some Patriarchy, and some misogyny, some wacky Christology, and a whole lot of need for absolute ‘control’;
    and then tried to market it off as ‘Calvinism’? Or did they not turn a corner and attempt some fairly destructive behaviors towards those they saw as potential sheep?

    ‘Neo’ is right. Wow.
    EXCEPT haven’t we seen this kind of destructive manipulation before … back in the Garden? Oh yeah.

  107. ishy wrote:

    Baptists do like their potlucks and such, but in every Baptist church I’ve ever been in, sermons are considered the center of worship.

    Sit and watch ……. you’ll see a lot of people who skip SS, but come to hear the sermon – even some people with small children!

  108. ishy wrote:

    Most of the SBC churches I’ve been to place so much emphasis on the sermon that they’ve idols out of their pastors.

    I’ll follow that up by saying that this was definitely the theme in preaching classes at SEBTS and a Liberty U. Pastors are definitely being taught that their grand purpose in becoming a pastor is preaching sermons. So I’m sure this is being taught, not just a trend.

  109. Nancy2 wrote:

    Sit and watch ……. you’ll see a lot of people who skip SS, but come to hear the sermon – even some people with small children!

    Oh definitely! I noticed this en masse at the large SBC church I used to go to. And this was not a new Calvinist church. That pastor, who I do respect, actually preached against it a few times, but people are just so well trained in it from other churches that they don’t realize they’re doing it. I also knew people who would church hop 3 to 4 churches in one day to hear all the sermons.

  110. @ BL:

    “Honestly, I have experienced nothing but warm, gospel-centered relationships with everyone I have met from Sovereign Grace. Even those I have talked to at conferences have seemed like exemplary Christians—the kind of brothers and sisters I would love to have in my church. All that to say, as much as an outsider can, I know and love Sovereign Grace.”

    Kevin DeYoung says a church must be great if its members fawn over him enough, so maybe that’s Akin’s metric for the Carolina rural churches.

    @ Divorce Minister:

    Westminster Confession of Faith: God alone is Lord of the conscience,[10] and has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are, in any thing, contrary to His Word; or beside it, if matters of faith, or worship. So that, to believe such doctrines, or to obey such commands, out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience: and the requiring of an implicit faith, and an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience, and reason also.

    Of course, I believe the gospel-centered crew’s respect for traditional Presbyterianism is limited to the PCA’s money.

  111. Stan wrote:

    “Honestly, I have experienced nothing but warm, gospel-centered relationships with everyone I have met from Sovereign Grace. Even those I have talked to at conferences have seemed like exemplary Christians—the kind of brothers and sisters I would love to have in my church. All that to say, as much as an outsider can, I know and love Sovereign Grace.”

    That’s weird. We had a lot of Sovereign Grace kids at Liberty U, and I have a few who came out of that church from elsewhere. Overwhelmingly, they were really messed up people, and some have never fully recovered. A lot of the kids at Liberty from the Virginia Beach church just went nuts at college, because they had every fragment of their lives dictated at home.

  112. Nancy2 wrote:

    Sit and watch

    so much for the service being ‘the work of the people’ as ‘liturgy’ is defined …. at least the people are still singing the beautiful old hymns? My grandmother used to sit at her piano and play her favorites. But that was a very long time ago.

  113. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

    I’m not going to say that the Calvinist leaders in the SBC who are spearheading the “revolution” aren’t sincere in their faith. I can’t make a judgment call on whether or not they’re truly saved, but this is surely some rotten, stinking fruit. Deliberate deception, even if it’s styled as “they didn’t ask me, so I didn’t tell”? Attempting to completely change a congregation’s structure when that’s not what the congregation wants? Yes, there are Calvinists in the SBC and there always have been, but this isn’t “living Reformed.” This is living badly.

  114. Christiane wrote:

    so much for the service being ‘the work of the people’ as ‘liturgy’ is defined …. at least the people are still singing the beautiful old hymns? My grandmother used to sit at her piano and play her favorites. But that was a very long time ago.

    In the rural areas, we still sing the songs: Amazing Grace, Just As I Am, I’ll Fly Away, When We All Get to Heaven, He’ll Pilot Me, In the Sweet Forever ……..

    There are some true blues still there. I used to be one. But, in my lifetime, especially in the last 15 or so years, I’ve watched women be demoted, degraded, and dismissed as non-essential secondary members of the body. It has left a very sour taste in my mouth.

  115. ishy wrote:

    Baptists do like their potlucks and such, but in every Baptist church I’ve ever been in, sermons are considered the center of worship.

    Yes, the sermon as the center of worship. At the same time some of that sermonizing is superficial and repetitious and a lot of words to say basically not much. Something to keep the people happy and the preacher employed. Hence the old idea of the preacher as a hired mouth for the congregation.

  116. ishy wrote:

    That’s weird. We had a lot of Sovereign Grace kids at Liberty U, and I have a few who came out of that church from elsewhere. Overwhelmingly, they were really messed up people, and some have never fully recovered. A lot of the kids at Liberty from the Virginia Beach church just went nuts at college, because they had every fragment of their lives dictated at home.

    Maybe the operative part of that quote is “the kind of brothers and sisters I would love to have in my church” hmmmmm

  117. @ ishy:

    Are you new here? Why yes, we talk about Sovereign Grace Churches/Sovereign Grace Ministries/People of Destiny International/I Kissed Legitimate Reformed Doctrine Goodbye: A New Attitude Toward Charismatic Shepherding here at TWW. 😉

    This was from the “diverse panel” that declared CJ Mahaney fit for ministry in 2011:

    http://www.sovereigngrace.com/sovereign-grace-blog/post/findings-from-our-preliminary-panel

    That statement just creeps me out. Kevin DeYoung is the certified, approved, gospel(TM)-centered celebrity pastor, of course all the starstruck sycophants were nice to him. And I’m betting dollars to donuts that he only met people from Mahaney’s privileged inner circle and received the love bomb treatment from him. Can you imagine how these exchanges went? “Ooooohhh Pastor Kevin! You just GUSH wisdom that has blessed my life in SOOOOO many ways!” I say, how about he tell us how they treated the wait staff at these conferences?

  118. Stan wrote:

    @ ishy:
    Are you new here? Why yes, we talk about Sovereign Grace Churches/Sovereign Grace Ministries/People of Destiny International/I Kissed Legitimate Reformed Doctrine Goodbye: A New Attitude Toward Charismatic Shepherding here at TWW.

    Relatively to TWW, not to these ideas. I am the same age as Joshua Harris, and I believe his dad was the preacher at the time, but I could be wrong. Sovereign Grace was PDI when I was in college, but I think they did change their name about that time, but it wasn’t to SG until later. I actually did a scathing editoral about I Kissed Dating Goodbye in the Liberty Champion (newspaper).

  119. I will add that sometimes I have trouble with quoting on this site, so mean to include the sources, but I don’t always quite get it right.

  120. nathan priddis wrote:

    Likely it has been a matter of years. Doctrinal illiteracy, is the ideal condition for a Neo-Calvinist takeover.

    I understand your position, I really do. But expecting people who work full time to pay for it all to study theology in their ‘hard to come by’ spare time is a bit much. What if they just simply love Jesus Christ, want to be more like him and help tell others about him? It really is that simple for a lot of people.

    What happens is the pew sitters don’t trust their gut. They often notice that something is not right. but they don’t want to be a trouble maker. I know some, like me, who questioned things in a very nice professional manner who were then asked, “what? you do not believe God is sovereign”? They are Masters at reframing everything.

    The truth is, there really is no way to talk to these guys. They don’t come in telling you that Grace means something else than what you always thought it meant. It can take a long time to figure it out and by then it’s too late.

    People do not assume that the young men they are helped pay for their Seminary education are there to pull a bait-and-switch. They stupidly assumed the best of them. They trusted.

  121. @ ishy:

    You know, ishy, one of my kids went to Liberty for three? or four? semesters and had a different sort of experience there than what you had. I am trying to figure out why that was.

    For one thing, I never heard about Sovereign Grace kids, so maybe her time was before yours—and theirs. The trouble you had with boys was not what she experienced, but then she was dating somebody exclusively at the time and maybe that partially explains the difference. She did have one boy approach her in the cafeteria and announce that God had picked her out for him because he had put out a fleece (a dropped notebook which she picked up and handed back) and that was the sign. She said no, and that ended it. But harassment behavior, no. The whole fleece thing is nothing I ever got into, but it is rather common I think. She was not a religion major so maybe she ran into mostly a different crowd. That is about all I can think of to explain the apparent difference.

    I don’t know, but it bothers me to hear that LU may have generally deteriorated from what it was to what you describe.

  122. siteseer wrote:

    a similar progression in other churches, … an abusive church system that the true believers flee from.

    1. Seeker – Enter the system – tactics for numbers. (Evangelism)
    2. Control – With a system of rules – tactics for $$$ or control. (Discipleship)
    3. Maintain the system (with no individuality and get rid of anyone who thinks critically) tactics for stability and sustainability. (Fellowship)

  123. okrapod wrote:

    She said no, and that ended it. But harassment behavior, no. The whole fleece thing is nothing I ever got into, but it is rather common I think. She was not a religion major so maybe she ran into mostly a different crowd. That is about all I can think of to explain the apparent difference.

    I think being a religion major made me more of a target, as I was often approached in the religion hall. But a number of my female friends had similar experiences.

    I am guessing your daughter went after me. I went back for a missions conference about 5 years later after Falwell’s death, and the school seemed very different. Just the fact that women were wearing jeans instead of dresses was very different. They are really trying hard to be a large university, and that probably meant softening their extreme views to some degree.

    As for the Sovereign Grace/PDI kids, it could have just been a mass exodus at the time due to certain factors. Very few other very conservative Christian universities were accredited then.

  124. Lydia wrote:

    They will take female money then throw them to the curb.

    That gives me an idea. As a matter of principle, these principled and trustworthy men should refuse any money coming from a woman working outside the home. Do they want to fund church operations with money that comes from an ungodly source? Surely not.

  125. Patriciamc wrote:

    I thought Mohler fired all the non-Calvinist professors at Southeastern.

    Mohler is SBTS. I think he has been a mentor to Akin.

  126. Lydia wrote:

    What if they just simply love Jesus Christ, want to be more like him and help tell others about him? It really is that simple for a lot of people.

    The trouble is, it is actually not that simple. Jesus linked living Him with keeping his commandments, and regardless of the simpleness of the condensed form ‘love thy neighbor’ actually he was more specific than that-not different, just more specific. And what if they want to be more like Him, does not this immediately require something more than a superficial idea of meek healer, because He was/is more than that. Also to tell others about Him immediately plunges one into a number of theological issues, as in tell them what exactly about him.

    I mean, how does one recognize wrong doctrine if one has an inadequate idea of doctrinal options in the first place. One sees what one knows. Also known as: You see what you look for; you look for what you know to look for. Where does that leave the poorly catechized person who has no idea what to look for? How does he sort the good from the bad if he has no starting place for comparison?

    But I surely agree with you that people cannot work all day and half the night when they get home and then have time or energy to self educate themselves on theology. Such a person has not failed, but their church has failed them instead.

  127. nathan priddis wrote:

    It is not a matter of perspective victim churches being liberal or conservative. The victim is successfully taken over by the predator because the victim has been unhealthy for a prolonged period of time. Likely it has been a matter of years.

    Brilliant way of putting it. Thanks.

  128. okrapod wrote:

    Such a person has not failed, but their church has failed them instead.

    This is true. The study of different systems and interpretations should come from their experience at church. The problem might be qualified pastors/teachers who are willing to discuss differing interpretations?

    I still have a problem with blaming the people who pay for the system in being deceived by one they thought was honest and forthright. Their big mistake was trusting the institutions they help to pay for.

  129. Lydia wrote:

    Their big mistake was trusting the institutions they help to pay for.

    Absolutely. What a sad thing that is.

  130. Lydia wrote:

    Their big mistake was trusting the institutions they help to pay for.

    But those institutions have been strategically shifted away from the majority view by a minority. I still don’t think new Calvinism is close to a majority view in the SBC, but a majority of the top positions are occupied by new Calvinists, and even the resolutions committee carefully weeds out spreading this at the convention. I’m sure publications are controlled as well. Others may just not think it’s subversive, and want to assume the best about these leaders until it’s too late.

  131. Lydia wrote:

    People do not assume that the young men they are helped pay for their Seminary education are there to pull a bait-and-switch. They stupidly assumed the best of them. They trusted.

    That is exactly right. If you cannot trust everyone, then you have to put locks on the doors. The doctrinal doors on too many churches are too weak to keep out the intruders with bad intentions. That doesn’t mean that the trusting church members are wrong. It just means that they are vulnerable to becoming prey.

    Personally, now that I’m older, I realize that doing love is a *lot* harder than doing doctrine and is a better measure of Christlikeness. The degree of one-anothering is now my metric. But it wasn’t always so since we have been in various seminary environments and *assumed* what you know is the very most important thing.

  132. Gram3 wrote:

    I realize that doing love is a *lot* harder than doing doctrine and is a better measure of Christlikeness. The degree of one-anothering is now my metric.

    +1 hundred million!

  133. Dee said: “Let me make sure that I understand what you are saying. The majority of *traditional* churches which I take to mean non-Calvinist, are doctrine light. Forgive me if I misunderstood you. Can I give you my observations based on traveling all over the country and finding good and bad churches?”

    Neither Keithley nor I made an assertion about the “majority” of any churches, cal or non-cal. I’d accept his reading of “many’ of the churches he has come in contact with over a decade or so. I’ve interacted with Puryear a good bit in the past and don’t consider him much of an authority on this. His experience and knowledge base about SBC matters and churches is limited.

    I’ve watched and listened to this stuff for years. I see and hear less about Cals blowing up churches now than 5 or 10 years ago. No question that cals are more numerous now, though. That’s verified by data. I’ve never seen anything other than anecdotal evidence on cals hijacking churches.

    I keep a hard hat handy for the occasional foray here. Don’t want to get hit by some of the heavy trad hymnals tossed about…but I’m looking forward to your search committee guidance.

    BTW, the Trad statement has over a thousand signatures now which doesn’t mean much other than there is a pretty strong anti-cal lobby in the SBC.

  134. @ ishy:

    Heh. Very interesting stuff, would’ve loved to read that review. Did you know Sovereign Grace Churches are part of the Southern Baptist Convention now?

  135. @ ishy:
    It has been one of the most clever deceptions I have ever witnessed over a period of time.

    The very young Mohler was sold as culture warrior not a Calvinist. And he was all over the media. Mohler learned from the CR– except the CR was voted on. Mohler by-passed that part and worked in stealth and deception with his earlier Founders buddies using Quiet Revolution tactics to take over entities. Not just churches.

    Now he mocks victims of child molestation from stage at T$G.

  136. nathan priddis wrote:

    The victim is successfully taken over by the predator because the victim has been unhealthy for a prolonged period of time. Likely it has been a matter of years. Doctrinal illiteracy, is the ideal condition for a Neo-Calvinist takeover.

    I’m sure this is the case in some of these situations, but I don’t think I would say that it is the case in the majority of these situations.

    Diotrophes took over an assembly, driving out those who did not submit to his authority.

    I don’t think any of the denominational doctrines provide any in-depth teachings or guidelines regarding false teachers. Do any provide guidance on the responsibility, the right, of pewishioners to address false pastors?

    Do pastors, seminaries, anyone in churchianity leadership warn the pewishioners that the pastor speaking truth to them today, can and may teach error the next day?

    Do any of the churches have some sort of mechanism in place that allows pewishioners to address in front of the whole assembly questionable teachings from the pastor?

    Are the pewishioners encouraged to “test the spirits” when it comes to the teaching from the pulpit?

    Does leadership teach as often from Scriptural warnings regarding false teachers, as they do on the Hebrews ‘obey your leaders’?

    I guess I am asking what specific category of ignorance in doctrine leaves people vulnerable?

    What was it you saw in your experiences?

  137. William Thornton wrote:

    I’ve interacted with Puryear a good bit in the past and don’t consider him much of an authority on this. His experience and knowledge base about SBC matters and churches is limited.

    Based on reading you for a while now in posts and comments, I would have to say that you tend to believe whatever Kevin Ezell tells you to believe without backing it up with actual documents/numbers. People still cannot get Ezell to give them numbers on how many reformed only church plants that NAMB or other CP funds helped to pay for and how much.

    It would help if your guys were honest and forthright.

  138. Kemi wrote:

    obfuscate with big words so your average Joe gives up the debate.

    okrapod wrote:

    I mean, how does one recognize wrong doctrine if one has an inadequate idea of doctrinal options in the first place. One sees what one knows. Also known as: You see what you look for; you look for what you know to look for. Where does that leave the poorly catechized person who has no idea what to look for? How does he sort the good from the bad if he has no starting place for comparison?

    Hi OKRAPOD,
    this is an interesting observation and question. . . and I think one answer can be found in people observing the ‘fruit’ of a person’s teachings …. the Holy Spirit’s gift of ‘discernment’ can be applied to examining actions and consequences. The old adage: ‘preach the gospel at all times, if necessary, use words.’ Sometimes peoples’ actions speak so loud, that it doesn’t matter what they are saying. The simple person in a congregation who loves Jesus Christ will be able to understand actions that bring division and pain into his Church family. This may happen late in the day, but I do not doubt that people of faith can know what is ‘of Christ’ and what is not by observing the fruit of leaders’ actions and the corresponding consequences impacting their Church family.

  139. William Thornton wrote:

    BTW, the Trad statement has over a thousand signatures now which doesn’t mean much other than there is a pretty strong anti-cal lobby in the SBC.

    They don’t really have many of what we would see as celebrity gurus. The Driscoll types. Driscoll was huge for a long while. His DNA is everywhere in the SBC from Villiage church of Chandler ro the Sojourn guys.

    There were many more elevated as celebrity gurus complete with the whole conference circuit. Young minds in our seminaries jumped right in the bandwagon as they were told that Neo Calvinism was the only place to go if you wanted to see the nation’s Rejoice for Christ. They were also told by Mohler that they were God’s appointed agents to teach the ignorant in the pews. Heady stuff for a 20 something.

  140. @ David W:
    Hi WILLIAM, I also am a Catholic and by ‘Jesuit’ parish, do you mean that your bishop is a Jesuit, or your priest? I’ve never heard of a ‘Jesuit’ parish before, but I know that there are Jesuit seminaries and orders. Jesuits are among the best educators in the Church, yes!

  141. Deb wrote:

    That’s a bit harsh, but to some degree I agree with you.

    Please accept my apology if it was too abrasive. The same could have been said for Lutheranism when it underwent its own synod-split way back when. And yes, you and Dee are doing Southern Baptists a great service. I believe you guys are getting many of them to care what goes on, even some who weren’t particularly alarmed when the calvinistas first arose as conquerors.

  142. Lowlandseer wrote:

    At the offering, hardly anything went into the “plate” and people chatted away, moved around while it was being taken. There was no reverence in the giving.

    The general lack of reverence in New Calvinist works is disturbing (at least the YRR churches in my area). There’s way too much flippancy in the pulpit and pew about the things of God. We attended an SBC-YRR church plant near us once after reports of it growing in leaps and bounds. We wanted to see what made it tick. The sanctuary was full of folks in their 20s from a nearby university swaying to the beat of a very loud band. The “praise & worship” team included young “ladies” in tight pants gyrating on stage, their singing accompanied by loud whining electric guitars. There was a spotlight on the young “lead pastor” who delivered his sermon Jay Leno-style punctuated by laughter from the audience (it was a crowd, not a congregation of the Lord). At the end of the service, the young pastor mentioned it was communion Sunday and that he had picked up the cheapest grape juice and crackers he could buy at WalMart (more laughter). He then noted that the crowd could pick up their juice and crackers by the door on the way out! Reverence? No!

  143. Stan wrote:

    @ ishy:
    Heh. Very interesting stuff, would’ve loved to read that review. Did you know Sovereign Grace Churches are part of the Southern Baptist Convention now?

    I guessed from reading here, but it makes sense. I went and read a little just now, and when I was at Liberty is right when they were changing from charismatic to new Calvinist, so I wonder if parents started sending their kids to Liberty instead of charismatic places like Bob Jones and Pensacola Christian College.

  144. Muff Potter wrote:

    Kemi wrote:
    Which of course is part of their strategy; obfuscate with big words so your average Joe gives up the debate.
    This is part of a larger problem I think, and others here have voiced it:
    The average pew serf doesn’t give a rat’s rip who the lord of the manor is so long as the potlucks and social events continue as before, and the parking lot doesn’t have too many potholes. Nor does he (or she) have any desire to do their own homework on the big words and find out what they really mean. The Huns (calvinistas) know this and exploit it to their advantage.

    Man, you do not know how true this post is…..hit the nail on the head, post of the day, week, month, possibally the year….

  145. @ William Thornton:
    So basically there never really was much of a problem with Calvinist taking over churches and even if there was just a bit of a problem there’s no problem now.

    Did I miss it? You usually trot out the line “I’m not even a Calvinist” wink, wink. when you’re proclaiming that there is not now and has never been a problem with Calvinism in the SBC.

    People who’ve watched you for years recognize that you are not a valid source for anything regarding the SBC since you are so enamored of all the Calvinist celebrities that you cannot write BOO without showing your overwhelming bias.

  146. @ Lydia:

    Stick around, Lydia, I’ve got some real numbers on Ezell and NAMB. I predict you will not like them.

  147. @ Christiane:

    I think there is a problem with relying on being a so called ‘fruit inspector’ while at the same time being information challenged, to try to use gentle terminology here. The problem is that what one person sees as good fruit another person sees as bad fruit.

    For example the issue of strong authoritarian leadership; the neo-cals see it as good (biblical) fruit of someone’s ministry, but the non-neo-cals see it as bad (not biblical). Or what about the teachings on female submission which the neo-cals see as biblical and the non-neo-cals see as non-biblical. Or what about ‘division’ in the church family, some see it as a good and necessary outcome of the preaching of the gospel (as we have read here) and others say it ought not be and things should always stay as they were. So is division good fruit or bad fruit, and who decides which view of this is correct.

    This is what is happening in baptist-ville even as we speak. Each person has his own opinion to which he believes he has arrived by being guided by the Holy Spirit, but this cannot be unless we assume that the Spirit is unreliable given the different conclusions. ‘A’ cannot be ‘Non A’ under the same conditions. There is no baptist equivalent of a magisterium, and here is where IMO baptists leave themselves open to such huge areas of disagreement. To each his own uninformed opinion including is own opinion about the quality of the ‘fruit’ leads to disagreement. To each his own gut feeling needs to lead to the nearest gastroenterologist.

  148. @ William Thornton:
    Lydia, why on earth would Ezell give to Thornton something they have refused to give to anyone else? The fact that they are putting together any kind of numbers must mean too many people are asking questions. Of course someone like Thornton will just accept whatever he’s told and attack those who ask questions about how said numbers were collected. Wasn’t it Thornton who declared that asking questions was slander?

  149. Max wrote:

    At the end of the service, the young pastor mentioned it was communion Sunday and that he had picked up the cheapest grape juice and crackers he could buy at WalMart (more laughter). He then noted that the crowd could pick up their juice and crackers by the door on the way out! Reverence? No!

    hard to imagine someone mocking the Lord’s Supper in that way …. first ESS, then a strange Christology, then reading about this ….

    I wonder, did the removal of “The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.” from the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message was not an invitation for people like the neo-Cals to move in with their own special ‘lens’ …. perhaps I’m wrong, but something sad about the removal of those special words that were in the 1963 Faith & Message, and what has followed in the denomination as a result of it.

    The removal of those words WAS a message, yes, but was it a dog-whistle sent to folks who wanted to take advantage of setting Our Lord aside in that formal way?

  150. Stan wrote:

    Did you know Sovereign Grace Churches are part of the Southern Baptist Convention now?

    We know CJs church in Louisville is part of the SBC, but that does not mean all SGM/SGC churches are.

  151. Celia wrote:

    @ William Thornton:
    So basically there never really was much of a problem with Calvinist taking over churches and even if there was just a bit of a problem there’s no problem now.
    Did I miss it? You usually trot out the line “I’m not even a Calvinist” wink, wink. when you’re proclaiming that there is not now and has never been a problem with Calvinism in the SBC.
    People who’ve watched you for years recognize that you are not a valid source for anything regarding the SBC since you are so enamored of all the Calvinist celebrities that you cannot write BOO without showing your overwhelming bias.

    My statement was that I don’t see as much stealth cal hijacking in the SBC as I did 5 or 10 years ago…back pre-blog queens when only a few people were attuned to the issue. There has been a good bit of progress made in informing churches. I have long advocated that committees educate themselves about cals.

    WW is much broader than the SBC and I appreciate that.

    There are a few things I say “BOO” about where even Lydia agrees, though I may be batting below the Mendoza line with my acerrbic friend.

    Have a nice Lord’s Day tomorrow.

  152. William Thornton wrote:

    I’ve never seen anything other than anecdotal evidence on cals hijacking churches.

    You keep bringing up *anecdotal* evidence. Unfortunately, that is all we have since it is based on individual experiences. Therefore, FBCRM is one which got blown up by an SEBTS guy who had cult experience in his blood.William Thornton wrote:
    Why?

    I’d accept his reading of “many’ of the churches he has come in contact with over a decade or so.

    William Thornton wrote:

    I keep a hard hat handy for the occasional foray here

    I should think you would be pleased that we allow you to comment unlike some of your friends who do not accept comments or delete uncomfortable comments.

    What I often find irritating about a number of Calvinistas or their BFFs is thins. They speak about respecting the faith of others but their comments are a bit passive aggressive. Perhaps they do not mean it come off the way that they do. If so, that would speak to the lack of writing skills and English language usage on the part of those graduating from Calvinist seminaries.

  153. okrapod wrote:

    There is no baptist equivalent of a magisterium, and here is where IMO baptists leave themselves open to such huge areas of disagreement.

    This would have been something to help in the way of a ‘magisterium’: ” “The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.” from the 1963 Baptist Faith & Message. Those were powerful words, and if honored, would have been a magnificent guide, as the Holy Spirit points only to Our Lord.

  154. ION:

    I had a thought today.

    In these days of 3D-printing, it should be possible to email someone a pizza.

    (It was a slow day.)

    IHTIH

  155. Oh, and by all accounts, Croatia vs Portugal at Euro 2016 is among the very worst games of fitba’ ever. From Phil Dawkes, the BBC’s text commentary laddie, on the game going to extra time:

    Thirty more minutes of this? I might cry.

    Viewer Peter Budd went one better, imo:

    Please please no more! I will never moan about an England performance again after this match.

    Now that is despair.

  156. Deb wrote:

    Some important discussion is continuing on the previous post. 

    What – they’re talking fitba’ over there?

  157. Muff Potter wrote:

    The average pew serf doesn’t give a rat’s rip who the lord of the manor is so long as the potlucks and social events continue as before, and the parking lot doesn’t have too many potholes. Nor does he (or she) have any desire to do their own homework on the big words and find out what they really mean. The Huns (calvinistas) know this and exploit it to their advantage.

    Maybe this is where the gift of discernment is meant to be operating among the body for its good. But the discerners have been run off from the church.

  158. William Thornton wrote:

    I’ve never seen anything other than anecdotal evidence on cals hijacking churches.

    Do we need some controlled, double-blind takeovers published in peer reviewed journals, then? 😀

  159. okrapod wrote:

    For example the issue of strong authoritarian leadership; the neo-cals see it as good (biblical) fruit of someone’s ministry, but the non-neo-cals see it as bad (not biblical). Or what about the teachings on female submission which the neo-cals see as biblical and the non-neo-cals see as non-biblical. Or what about ‘division’ in the church family, some see it as a good and necessary outcome of the preaching of the gospel (as we have read here) and others say it ought not be and things should always stay as they were. So is division good fruit or bad fruit, and who decides which view of this is correct.

    I see what you are saying, good point. There is some fruit we should all be able to agree is bad, though. Deception, lying, abuse and running off of those who disagree or ask questions. And:

    Lydia wrote:

    Now he mocks victims of child molestation from stage at T$G.

  160. William Thornton wrote:

    I’ve never seen anything other than anecdotal evidence on cals hijacking churches.

    The anecdotes posted on TWW are anything but hearsay. They are agonizing reports about ministries and ministers who have gone astray. They are written by hurting people who have been abused in one form or another by church leaders. Many are reluctant to share names of pastors and churches because they still live in communities where they know they will be shunned. So they come to watchblogs to share their stories and hope ministers, like yourself, will listen and respond compassionately to their pain. These folks share personal accounts about things that happened to them to provide anecdotal evidence which needs to be heard and responded to rather than written off so flippantly and arrogantly. There are, indeed, New Calvinists who are running roughshod over the people of God; you may not have experienced it or seen it, but others have, and so they share their stories.

  161. BL wrote:

    don’t think any of the denominational doctrines provide any in-depth teachings or guidelines regarding false teachers. Do any provide guidance on the responsibility, the right, of pewishioners to address false pastors?

    This is a big issue to me! How much space does the Bible devote to so-called gender roles, vs how much time is devoted to teaching them? And in comparison, how much space does the Bible devote to false teaching (tip: A LOT) vs how much time is devoted to teaching on that?

  162. @ Max:

    Notice from this:

    William Thornton wrote:
    I’ve never seen anything other than anecdotal evidence on cals hijacking churches…

    To This

    William Thornton wrote:
    My statement was that I don’t see as much stealth cal hijacking in the SBC as I did 5 or 10 years ago…back pre-blog queens when only a few people were attuned to the issue. There has been a good bit of progress made in informing churches.

    It’s was only ever anecdotal to it’s not as bad as it used to be. It’ didn’t see it – it was only “anecdotal” to now he doesn’t see it anymore.

  163. Looks like I'm gonna have to start naming specific churches where Calvinistas have taken over.

    Open Door Baptist Church, Raleigh, NC

    Bethesda Baptist Church, Durham, NC

    Chapel Hill Bible Church, Chapel Hill, NC

    First Baptist Church, Rocky Mount, NC (prior to the recent split).  Hopefully, it will return to its roots of what I assume was Non-Calvinism.

    No doubt others can add to the list.

  164. William Thornton wrote:

    There are a few things I say “BOO” about where even Lydia agrees, though I may be batting below the Mendoza line with my acerrbic friend.

    I don’t do deception, brain gaming or totalitarian niceness. It makes a lot of people think I am mean. I don’t find using people and their money for power or their dismissal of victims nor embracing those who protect predators… one bit amusing or no big deal.

    If progress has been made where is the public repentance? Where is the stepping down because deceiving pastors are automatically unqualified?

    Why does your buddy Ezell need non disclosure agreements with state groups? What is so secret? Is that how Christians operate with other entities using other people’s money?

    When people stop caring if they are liked or Not by what they percieve as the right group, maybe something honest can actually get done.

  165. Hey Deb, maybe you should create another site with a directory of churches that have been calvinized. Complete with interactive map. 😀

  166. dee wrote:

    I should think you would be pleased that we allow you to comment unlike some of your friends who do not accept comments or delete uncomfortable comments.

    I don’t think they get this part?

  167. Lowlandseer wrote:

    @ Lowlandseer:
    This old NAMB survey gives a better but dated insight into the takeover
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/assets/10025.ppt

    Ooo a Powerpoint! Fancy!

    And that is interesting to me, as SEBTS was at the bottom at that time, considering I left in 2006. I bet if this were done now, SEBTS would be right under Southern.

    That brings me to SEBTS as another example of the takeover. Akin was not wanted by SEBTS students and staff when he was brought in. The decision was made almost completely outside Southeastern, mostly by people at Southern.

  168. William Thornton wrote:

    @ Lydia:

    Stick around, Lydia, I’ve got some real numbers on Ezell and NAMB. I predict you will not like them.

    This makes no sense. A while back you and others implied NAMB did not differentiate between planting reformed and non reformed churches in the budget.

    I have no doubt Ezell has come up with a fancy maze. Too many people are now asking questions.

    Let me be as clear as I can. Based on many years– perhaps even the last 10 years– of what I know of these men and their movement, I do not believe one single thing they say nor do I believe any documents they provide have not been laundered first.

    I am well aware of the brain gaming Ezell played at Highview. The only thing I can recommend is that people not believe a word they say. It’s the only safe way.

  169. @ Lydia:
    Everybody should watch SBC Voices. William will post some sycophantic post about NAMB and Ezell declaring everyone who thinks that NAMB is now a Calvinist church planting network as crazy and/or haters. The comment stream will blow up with the usual commenters mocking the “conspiracy” people and declaring they’re all crazy and/or haters. A couple of brave souls will show up asking questions and they will be declared slanderers because how dare you question one of the great ones like Ezell. At the end of the day they will pat themselves on the back for defending the SBC Elite who give them their marching orders.

  170. In the original post, the comment was made that one pastor at FBCRM didn’t resign. Technically, he did that Sunday after the confidence vote. That shocked all of us. He was to have gotten us through transition and then leave. He had to know that his lack of loyalty in resigning didn’t endear him with many members. After some time, he came before the membership and asked for forgiveness. He admitted to having put the call of a man – darville – ahead of his calling from God. At that point, he was reinstated. I rather doubt that darville’s church wants others to know that he changed his mind about them, but that is the first hand truth.

  171. Ken F wrote:

    And it’s coming to Europe too: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/god-has-a-people-for-his-name (this was posted yesterday).
    “Every place I went I saw a growing, gospel-saturated movement of largely younger (but not only younger!) Europeans committed to church planting and aggressive evangelism and life-transforming Reformed theology. In France, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany, the influence of The Gospel Coalition (TGC) is discernible.”

    I know this is a pernicious movement… but can we hope this claim is a delusion of grandeur, like those churches with 14 members that claim to be evangelizing entire cities that have never heard of Jesus?

  172. Friend wrote:

    but can we hope this claim is a delusion of grandeur

    He does not know how Europeans think. I married one 25 years ag (and still going), so I think I have a little more experience.

  173. mot wrote:

    What an awful smear on Traditional churches–basically calling them Liberal without listing one shred of evidence.

    Call them liberal, call them dying, call them mainline, call them un-biblical, call them false… People fall for all of these terms: “Ew, I’m not going there!”

    Most of us write from countries with a wonderful variety of churches. When I visit a church from a different tradition, I nearly always learn something different about Christianity and humankind. There’s so much beauty in the varied beliefs and practices around us.

  174. Deb, THANK YOU for naming churches!! My brother and his family are highly involved with Open Door. We use to be very close, but things have changed and our relationship is very strained. They have always been loving people, but now there is a wall around them that can not be penetrated. I used to ask my brother about 9 Marks and covenants, but he said he’d never heard of that. My research shows otherwise. I think my brother gets a lot of affirmation (and pressure) for being a role model there. I am so sad how this has played out. I mourn the relationship I use to have and have now lost.

  175. nathan priddis wrote:

    It is not a matter of perspective victim churches being liberal or conservative. The victim is successfully taken over by the predator because the victim has been unhealthy for a prolonged period of time. Likely it has been a matter of years. Doctrinal illiteracy, is the ideal condition for a Neo-Calvinist takeover.

    I agree with you. However, all churches have their weak spots. If you want to help divide a church, just stand around coffee hour for a few months telling everybody how your heart is hurting because you don’t think the sermons reflect the Bible well enough, and you’re afraid for your children because they haven’t even learned X in Sunday school yet. Soon you will form a group of schismatics, and you’re off to the races.

    Or you can say the pastor is out of touch. Lots of messages work.

  176. @ Deb:
    You’ll figure this out but Thornton will give out some information that he miraculously didn’t have any problem getting from NAMB even though countless others have been asking for years now. Why does Thornton suddenly have access to information that was denied others (and denials were not done in a polite way – people were made to feel like fools for daring to ask questions). Because it was becoming a problem that so many people were asking and being denied. Someone called William a troll on another blog. He’s not a troll – he’s a propagandist. If you search his history you’ll see he’s been an apologist much like he tried here today. The line “only anecdotal evidence” is what the Calvinists have been saying for years to deny a Calvinist takeover. When people wrote blog posts with questions about NAMB or IMB or any of the other SBC entities Thornton always showed up with the line “why don’t you call them and ask them” It became ridiculous because the response to that question was “they refuse to answer questions.” So now NAMB through Thornton is going to throw a bone to the masses. Of course no one will be allowed to ask questions. When someone asked questions about the latest Lottie Moon figures (it looks like they switched up how the thing is counted) Thornton declared that they were committing slander. He will declare that anyone who doesn’t accept his information is just a hater/crazy/ slanderer. The matter will have been settled according to Thornton and the NAMB. It’s what a good propagandist does. SPIN SPIN SPIN. Oh and look for him to remind everyone he’s not a Calvinist. People insist Kevin Ezell is not a Calvinist either. He’s a four pointer.

  177. Celia wrote:

    Lydia, why on earth would Ezell give to Thornton something they have refused to give to anyone else?

    I think Voices and Plodder act as sort of trial balloon blogs for some of the big cheeses.

  178. @ siteseer:
    I am not convinced “good fruit” is doctrinally based. I think it is behavioral. As in ‘don’t lord it over others’, all the one anothers, etc. Good fruit of repentance would be someone you could trust with your life. They would not consistently deceive you without public remorse, nor use syrupy sweet love bombing tactics while marginalizing you or your beliefs to promote theirs, etc, etc.

  179. siteseer wrote:

    Do we need some controlled, double-blind takeovers published in peer reviewed journals, then?

    Brilliant… I feel like I’ve been part of the experimental group in a couple of places.

  180. @ Celia:
    It is strange to read Furticks signature phrase over there..a lot. “Haters gonna hate”.

    Any disagreement they don’t like is put in the “hate” category. It is bizarre and cultish. And non thinking.

  181. @ Lydia:
    They are very cultish and very predictable. I’m thinking Thornton will try to act independent and declare that he too was concerned by the fact that SBC Entities refused to answer questions from pew sitters and so he put in a lot of time and effort to get some answers. Of course he never bothered to tell anyone that he was disturbed that the entities refused to answer questions. He just snarkliy would goad those with questions to pick up the phone. Someone pointed out that he should go get the answers and bring them back if it was so easy. I guess NAMB and Thornton realized the jig was up and they were gonna have to come up with something. It’s almost like some of these guys forget that they are posting publicly on the internet and there are a lot of people who just lurk. It must be a great concern that this blog is getting so many comments which would indicate probably a lot of hits.

  182. @ Ann:

    I have a vague memory of the theological shift that took place. I knew absolutely NOTHING about any of this when I heard about it years ago.

    North Raleigh Christian Academy had a second campus there in the early years before the new school on Perry Creek Road was built. It was called the Durant Campus. The other campus was at Mount Vernon Baptist Church.

    I am so sorry there is a divide in your family. Looks like that is what some of the families in Rocky Mount will be experiencing if they don't patch things up. 🙁

  183. mot wrote:

    K.D. wrote:

    Rural churches liberal? Ha! Ha! Ha! That’s the funniest thing I have read all day!

    So you do not misunderstand my comment. Liberal in the mind of Ken who thinks they need to be reformed.

    They must accept Calvin as their Personal LORD and Savior.

  184. The doctrinal illiteracy discussion makes me wonder how many think the YRR are doctrinally illiterate.

  185. Ken F wrote:

    “Every place I went I saw a growing, gospel-saturated movement of largely younger (but not only younger!) Europeans committed to church planting and aggressive evangelism and life-transforming Reformed theology. In France, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany, the influence of The Gospel Coalition (TGC) is discernible.”

    And 50-100 years ago the “committment to church planting and aggressive evangelism and life-transforming Ideology” was Communism instead of Calvinism. “REVOLUTION!”

  186. ishy wrote:

    Another reason is that new Calvinism specifically appeals to men who feel insecure. They want to know all the answers, and they like feeling completely in control of their lives and everyone in it.

    According to an editorial at the now-defunct Church for Men website, Islam has a similar appeal to men, promising security amid secular chaos and (more important) Results.

  187. Celia wrote:

    People insist Kevin Ezell is not a Calvinist either. He’s a four pointer.

    It is heady stuff to have the president of the local Seminary teach SS at your church (when he is in town)

    Highview became a sort of experimental church for all their grand ideas. Ezell gets the NAMB gig. (Not before the backdoor tactic of elder rule). Highview takes over other churches as satellite campuses with the celeb on the screens.

    Moore is brought in to double dip as teaching pastor when Ezell leaves.

    The beat goes on. Ezell is a card carrying member, mover and shaker in that movement. He is Mohler bred. He is not his own man.

  188. Celia wrote:

    They’re very paternalistic. Calvinist believe they are so much more biblically literate than anyone who rejects Calvinism.

    Just like Marxism’s appeal to Intellectual Superiority and the resulting attitudes.

    It’s like they’re patting those who question them on the head “now, now you’re asking questions about things you don’t understand.”

    I literally saw that happen to a Cuban refugee women who tried to speak up to 19-year-old Social Justice Activist types about the reality of their hero Comrade Fidel. Pat-pat-pat on the head and “you don’t REALLY Understand.”

  189. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Ken F wrote:

    “Every place I went I saw a growing, gospel-saturated movement of largely younger (but not only younger!) Europeans committed to church planting and aggressive evangelism and life-transforming Reformed theology. In France, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany, the influence of The Gospel Coalition (TGC) is discernible.”

    And 50-100 years ago the “committment to church planting and aggressive evangelism and life-transforming Ideology” was Communism instead of Calvinism. “REVOLUTION!”

    Cracks me up to read “Switzerland” in that quote Ken shared. Oh. The. Irony.

  190. mot wrote:

    They can not blame the “Liberals” this time. Pray tell who will be the blame when the SBC goes up in flames.

    The Bitter, the Divisive, the Heretics, and the Homosexuals, of course!

  191. Terminology is so critically important. One of the ways the YRR’s get so much traction is by the way they muddy the waters. Here are some links that have been posted on TWW before, but I don’t think they’ve been posted all at the same time. Reading them all together paints a picture.

    9Marks playbook for reforming a church: https://9marks.org/article/church-reform-when-youre-not-necessarily-the-pastor/
    9Marks exhortation to be patient when reforming a church: https://9marks.org/article/journalfive-unexpected-lessons-church-revitalization/
    The Gospel Coalition’s theory that the gospel divides churches: https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/gospeldrivenchurch/2016/06/21/3-ways-the-gospel-might-divide-a-church/
    The Gospel Coaltion’s advice on how to turn people into sheeple to avoid church splits: https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/thabitianyabwile/2006/10/24/how-to-prevent-church-split-part-1/. Interesting quote – “Absent members exhibit pride when they say, ‘Leave me alone; this is my life.’ This pride is deadly serious.”

    Notice the subtle way the words are used. They make it clear that a pastor should not divide a church. But it turns out that it’s not the pastor’s fault even if a church does split. It’s the gospel’s fault. It’s the gospel that divides churches. But since they define the gospel as Calvinism, they might be right on this one. It’s Calvinism that divides churches when the non-Calvinists don’t play their game.

    There is also this:
    9Marks questions pastors should ask churches: https://9marks.org/answer/questions-to-ask/. This list of questions highlights the need for church search committees to ask equally penetrating questions of prospective pastors.

    And a late-breaking post from Desiring God (dated tomorrow): http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/no-normal-sundays. Note this remarkable statement: “Missing Sunday Is Missing Grace. But not only are we prone to go into Sunday morning ill-prepared; sometimes we even neglect meeting together, for the lamest of excuses. So I also asked Kauflin, ‘What are Christians missing when they miss Sunday morning?’ He answers in this short clip: not only are we missing family, but we are missing God himself at work to pour out his grace.” Protestants started the reformation on the premise that grace is given by God, not by the church. But now it turns out that “we are missing God himself at work to pour out his grace” when we cannot make it to church.

  192. Celia wrote:

    It’s almost like some of these guys forget that they are posting publicly on the internet and there are a lot of people who just lurk.

    I think that is right.

    It’s not about truth. Never was. It’s about shutting people up. Most won’t dare say they don’t believe the figures or Ezell. But I will because I know that past behavior predicts future behavior unless serious repentance is involved.

  193. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    And 50-100 years ago the “committment to church planting and aggressive evangelism and life-transforming Ideology” was Communism instead of Calvinism. “REVOLUTION!”

    The YRR’s keep saying the reformation is still ongoing. Here’s just one example: http://t4g.org/media/2016/04/why-the-reformation-is-not-over-2/. It’s exactly the same way communists continue to speak of old revolutions as ongoing. Isn’t Cuba still revolting?

  194. @ Celia:
    I also don’t think what William said about Les Puryear was accurate. I know years back Les was trying to put together some sort of small church coalition or something like that. I would rather hear from Les his perspective.

  195. Celia wrote:

    mocking the “conspiracy” people

    If SBC’s New Calvinists want concerned Southern Baptists to stop talking about conspiracy theories, they need to stop giving us so much evidence about their conspiracies. Actually, mainline Southern Baptists who have been expressing concerns about these developments don’t have to theorize – the New Calvinist agenda is out in the open now! From church takeovers to church plants to control of entities, SBC Calvinization is well underway.

  196. Lydia wrote:

    The doctrinal illiteracy discussion makes me wonder how many think the YRR are doctrinally illiterate.

    Here’s the deal. I know I am NOT doctrinally illiterate nor are you and most others who visit here. Doctrinally illiterate is sometimes code for not a 5 point Calvinista.(This is to separate them from a dear friend who is 5 points but who is not a Calvinista.)

  197. Max wrote:

    If SBC’s New Calvinists want concerned Southern Baptists to stop talking about conspiracy theories, they need to stop giving us so much evidence about their conspiracies.

    Yep-one too many well documented *anecdotal* reports.

  198. @ Ann:
    I am so sorry. I have heard the same things from a few others who attended and the left that church. I live about 2 miles from there.

  199. Friend wrote:

    Soon you will form a group of schismatics, and you’re off to the races.
    Or you can say the pastor is out of touch. Lots of messages work.

    Is your solution not to stand around and discuss what is going on in the church?

  200. @ Lydia:
    William is one of those vain arrogant types. He likes to play this affable knowledgeable old man who has no bias. Every once in a while the mask slips. Les Puryear didn’t agree with him therefore he’s not credible. But Puryear’s a name from those wild west blogging days. Wasn’t Puryear a Calvinist who got fed up and gave up Calvinism?

    It seems like there are more people who have only recently stumbled into this blog because of recent personal experience. They have to understand that there are people who have been doing this for years and you have to be very careful about who you listen to and what you believe. Kevin Ezell at the NAMB has been accused (some say caught) of using SBC money to shut people up and force associations and churches to sign non-disclosure agreements. Nothing the NAMB puts out should be seen as credible at this point. And people like William have been the go-to propagandist for people like Ezell and the platform is SBC Voices.

  201. Celia wrote:

    It’s almost like some of these guys forget that they are posting publicly on the internet and there are a lot of people who just lurk.

    Yes and many of them people who have been through this already.

  202. Lowlandseer wrote:

    Let me guess. You found that only 30 out of 2500 were Associated with Calvinism or Acts29. The methodology used is poor to say the least.
    http://sbcvoices.com/is-namb-planting-vast-numbers-of-calvinistic-churches-by-william-thornton/

    Here is what he says in that post.

    Here’s the kind of church NAMB plants, and no other kind of church:

    A church that affirms the Baptist Faith and Message.
    A church that gives at least 6% (above the SBC average) to the Cooperative Program and at least 10% to missions.
    A church that has an SBC sponsor church.
    A church with a pastor/planter vetted by faithful Southern Baptists.

    Now why does that exclude a majority of Calvinista churches? I’m not buying it.

  203. dee wrote:

    Here’s the kind of church NAMB plants, and no other kind of church: A church that affirms the Baptist Faith and Message.

    There’s so much theological wiggle room in the BFM2000 revision, that just about any church would fit the bill.

  204. This is an extension of tactics of the conservative resurgence which really has not ended. Taking over churches that are not viewed as doctrinally sound has been a tactic within free church Congregationalist churches, like baptists, for quite awhile. I have friends who were involved in earlier baptist struggles up north during the modernist-fundamentalist conflict. They told me that one way to change a liberal leaning church to conservative was for that church to call a fundamentalist pastor. That pastoral candidate didn’t have to be transparent about his beliefs or where he would take the church. These Neo Calvinist stealth tactics may be no different.

  205. Celia wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    William is one of those vain arrogant types. He likes to play this affable knowledgeable old man who has no bias. Every once in a while the mask slips. Les Puryear didn’t agree with him therefore he’s not credible. But Puryear’s a name from those wild west blogging days. Wasn’t Puryear a Calvinist who got fed up and gave up Calvinism?

    It seems like there are more people who have only recently stumbled into this blog because of recent personal experience. They have to understand that there are people who have been doing this for years and you have to be very careful about who you listen to and what you believe. Kevin Ezell at the NAMB has been accused (some say caught) of using SBC money to shut people up and force associations and churches to sign non-disclosure agreements. Nothing the NAMB puts out should be seen as credible at this point. And people like William have been the go-to propagandist for people like Ezell and the platform is SBC Voices.

    William gets to put blog topics up at SBC Voices and sadly I think this has dulled his objectivity and swelled his head with SBC importance.

  206. Celia wrote:

    He had a public quote about how to handle the “are you a Calvinist question” and his answer was the non direct – look we all believe in the Gospel don’t we? type diversion.

    I’ve heard the words “the Gospel” thrown around so vaguely in recent meetings that I’ve felt like saying, along with Inigo Montoya, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  207. Celia wrote:

    And people like William have been the go-to propagandist for people like Ezell and the platform is SBC Voices.

    William thinks he is helping the SBC by trying to put a positive spin on just about everything that deserves being questioned related to the SBC. He and others that are trying to do the spinning are not fooling anyone that has even a small amount of critical thinking skills.

  208. Mark wrote:

    These Neo Calvinist stealth tactics may be no different.

    Hi MARK,
    but wouldn’t the earlier Baptists at least have had some conscience about what they were doing to ‘collateral damage’, ie. those they ‘purged’?

    I don’t think that would be true for the neo-Cal purgers of today, as IF they have genuine Calvinist beliefs, they may view their ‘collateral damage’ as objects belonging to the predestined refuse pile of the lost human race. . . and the neo-Cals would have ‘purged’ their victims, in their minds, to ‘the glory of God.’ (where’s the justice and morality in this, I cannot imagine, but certainly I cannot see Christ’s Presence in it at all)

    There has to be some way to account for how the perpetrators of these purges can look themselves in the mirror and still call themselves followers of Christ; so I think at least the earlier Baptists must have had some misgivings (I hope) about their destruction of people’s lives.. . . some remorse ?

  209. Celia wrote:

    At the end of the day they will pat themselves on the back for defending the SBC Elite

    Internet blogs have given some little guys with big mouths a chance to run with the big dogs. What they don’t realize is that they are being used by an elite which don’t really give a big whoop about them. Their reward is nothing more than to be acknowledged for their part in the revolution by the generals. When the war is over and their role on the front line ends, they will return home to obscurity.

  210. Celia wrote:

    Everybody should watch SBC Voices. William will post some sycophantic post about NAMB and Ezell declaring everyone who thinks that NAMB is now a Calvinist church planting network as crazy and/or haters. The comment stream will blow up with the usual commenters mocking the “conspiracy” people and declaring they’re all crazy and/or haters. A couple of brave souls will show up asking questions and they will be declared slanderers because how dare you question one of the great ones like Ezell. At the end of the day they will pat themselves on the back for defending the SBC Elite who give them their marching orders.

    I am very disappointed in William. He has sold his soul for what i do do not know.

  211. dee wrote:

    First Reformed Presbyterian Church of Durham?

    You mean the one that was a Non-Calvinist Southern Baptist church before it, too, was taken over by a Neo-Cal pastor who is a Mark Dever protégé?  I seem to recall that it was Dever who recommended Andy Davis to the church.

  212. dee wrote:

    I should think you would be pleased that we allow you to comment unlike some of your friends who do not accept comments or delete uncomfortable comments.

    Yep some of us could never get a comment posted at Voices, but I’m thankful. I’m not just a go a long person any how. I’ve always had a questioning mind. That is unwelcome at Pravda.

  213. Christiane wrote:

    Mark wrote:
    These Neo Calvinist stealth tactics may be no different.
    Hi MARK,
    but wouldn’t the earlier Baptists at least have had some conscience about what they were doing to ‘collateral damage’, ie. those they ‘purged’?
    I don’t think that would be true for the neo-Cal purgers of today, as IF they have genuine Calvinist beliefs, they may view their ‘collateral damage’ as objects belonging to the predestined refuse pile of the lost human race. . . and the neo-Cals would have ‘purged’ their victims, in their minds, to ‘the glory of God.’ (where’s the justice and morality in this, I cannot imagine, but certainly I cannot see Christ’s Presence in it at all)
    There has to be some way to account for how the perpetrators of these purges can look themselves in the mirror and still call themselves followers of Christ; so I think at least the earlier Baptists must have had some misgivings (I hope) about their destruction of people’s lives.. . . some remorse ?

    It was a terrible struggle that ended in much carnage. Two denominations separated from Northern Baptist, the separatist fundamentalist GARBC and the more moderate Conservative Baptist Association. As far as feeling remorse, there may have been some. Only thing I heard was some remorse my friend felt that a conservative baptist split off group within a church had cause a pastor grief. I don’t know? Baptists tend towards the absolute. I wish it weren’t so.

  214. Ted wrote:

    I’ve heard the words “the Gospel” thrown around so vaguely in recent meetings that I’ve felt like saying, along with Inigo Montoya, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    Good one! I’m embarrassed to admit that it took me a long time to discover that he was Jason Gideon on Criminal Minds. Gideon has always been my favorite character on that program.

    https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=montoya+and+criminal+minds&ei=UTF-8&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-002

  215. Ted wrote:

    I’ve heard the words “the Gospel” thrown around so vaguely in recent meetings that I’ve felt like saying, along with Inigo Montoya, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    Caveat, TED. This week, I shared about trying to clarify the multiple versions of “that term” I encountered on a Southern Baptist blog and OMG, firestorm. There was however a ‘strawberry’ full moon at the time 🙂

  216. @ Deb:
    It’s gonna be interesting how he tries to spin his bombshell that is supposed to disappoint Lydia so much. I’m wondering if he regrets throwing that lil passive aggressive punch.

  217. dee wrote:

    namb

    Who did this study to come up with such a small number–NAMB did a study.

    Seems hardly unbiased.

  218. @ Christiane:
    TED,
    THIS is what I said that set off the trouble, just so you can prevent any incoming:
    “Christiane UNITED STATES on Mon Jun 20, 2016 at 01:27 PM said:

    @ Burwell:
    Hi BURWELL,
    I tried for a long time to find out how the term ‘gospel’ was defined when I first began exploring my grandmother’s Southern Baptist faith. But I couldn’t get a specific answer …. only many answers, some emphasizing certain things, and some in conflict with other answers.

    In my Church when we hear the word ‘Gospel’, we also think of the four holy Gospels that witness to Our Lord.”

  219. @ Christiane:
    LOL Christiane you have always been a hoot the way you twist everything to make yourself look like a victim. Of all the people Voices has banned through the years you are probably the one person who actually deserved to be banned. Those people at Voices are a lot of things but they are not anti Semitic Westboro Baptist people as you would passive aggressively accuse them of frequently.

    No Ted that wasn’t the extent of the conversation and several of us know Christiane’s history of “just asking questions”

  220. dee wrote:

    Friend wrote: Soon you will form a group of schismatics, and you’re off to the races.
    Or you can say the pastor is out of touch. Lots of messages work.
    Is your solution not to stand around and discuss what is going on in the church?

    Sorry I was not clear. People should certainly talk about what is actually going on, but sometimes they talk cheaply and meanly instead. Someone who complains at length about a contrived problem will create a genuine problem. Keep on repeating any charge, and your fellow malcontents will find you. Schisms and takeovers can be facilitated by folks who say cruel things. (I’m super tired… hope this makes sense.)

  221. Hi Celia,
    I don’t know any ‘Celia’, but TED is a blogging buddy from IMONK and I didn’t want him to get tarred an fethered over any discussion of the vagueness of the term ‘the gospel’. Please discuss this at the Open Discussion section in future so we can return to the topic of this post.
    TED can look up what followed my original comment if he has questions or concerns. Hope this pleases you as a solution which is respectful to TED and the work of the DEEBS. Have a great Sunday.

  222. @ Christiane:
    Ted is not going to get tarred and feathered Christiane. You suggesting that he is is just another one of the games you play. No one was actually talking about the “vagueness of the term the gospel” but about your games and proselytizing.

  223. @ Celia:
    What??? Ted, Christiane and i are longtime commenters both hete and at internetmonk, and i have *never* seen this kind of behavior or comment from either of them.

    I don’t know why you’re attacking her, but it seems unwarranted to me. (Btw, I’m Lutheran, and Ted is Protestant, too.)

  224. dee wrote:

    Here’s the kind of church NAMB plants, and no other kind of church:

    A church that affirms the Baptist Faith and Message.
    A church that gives at least 6% (above the SBC average) to the Cooperative Program and at least 10% to missions.
    A church that has an SBC sponsor church.
    A church with a pastor/planter vetted by faithful Southern Baptists.

    Here is what is weird. Neither Ezells old church OR Platt fits point #2 but they are entity presidents! Do as I say not as I do?

  225. Mark wrote:

    It was a terrible struggle that ended in much carnage. Two denominations separated from Northern Baptist, the separatist fundamentalist GARBC and the more moderate Conservative Baptist Association.

    Mark wrote:

    It was a terrible struggle that ended in much carnage. Two denominations separated from Northern Baptist, the separatist fundamentalist GARBC and the more moderate Conservative Baptist Association. As far as feeling remorse, there may have been some.

    Hi MARK,
    The thing about ‘remorse’ is that it indicates that people have had a conscience ‘ping’ from the Holy Spirit, and they are examining their consciences closely to re-evaluate their actions and what has resulted. From this, SOMETIMES people can reach out and try to make amends to the injured. When that happens, I think there is some understanding of ‘the gospel’s ability to heal the wounded and ALSO the person responsible for the wounding. The gospel of Our Lord seems to care for us especially in the way it can bring healing in those difficult areas where we have no power to heal on our own.

  226. @ numo:
    There are actually commenters here who have seen this behavior from her. She’s been around the blogs for years. She is the one who decided to tell Ted that he was in danger of being attacked twisting what the conversation the other night was actually about. Nobody is attacking Ted. It’s only Christiane insinuating that he was about to get attacked, again, by twisting what happened the other night. It’s a pattern where she stirs things up and tries to pit commenters against each other when she’s called out for something like her proselytizing.

  227. Celia wrote:

    No one was actually talking about the “vagueness of the term the gospel” but about your games and proselytizing.

    You might as well drop it. The syrupy sweet passive aggressive victim act worked for her here.

    Evidently she had never been around regular Baptists growing up and saw a Westboro group on TV doing horrors so came to Baptist blogs to check them out. Heard that story years ago on another blog.

  228. @ Lydia:
    Back before the Calvinist were in control of everything the Calvinist churches didn’t have to give much to CP. Now that the Calvinists are in control the CP is very important to them.

  229. Christiane wrote:

    In my Church when we hear the word ‘Gospel’, we also think of the four holy Gospels that witness to Our Lord.”

    Were your priests thinking that while molesting children?

  230. @ Lydia:
    Some people will be fooled by her act but others will be more cautious. Her behavior tonight actually proves the point that was made the other night.

  231. I cried every day for 3 months over Calvinist doctrine. I had been happy in my SBC church for 20 years when it hit the fan. So glad I bailed three years ago!

  232. Hey all involved in the *difficult* conversation

    Could we please drop the awkward conversation? I am really tired and have had a tough couple of days. My MIL is quite a bit worse. My mother had cataract surgery yesterday and the health docs freaked out during it because she went into A Fib and they called for back up.

    I am not on my *A* game and am having trouble figuring out the conflict so it might be best to say good night and pray for one another.

  233. @ dee:

    You should be in bed. 🙂

    Praying for you and your family. Hoping this coming week will be much calmer for all of you.

    Talk to you soon.

  234. Christiane wrote:

    @ David W:
    Hi WILLIAM, I also am a Catholic and by ‘Jesuit’ parish, do you mean that your bishop is a Jesuit, or your priest? I’ve never heard of a ‘Jesuit’ parish before, but I know that there are Jesuit seminaries and orders. Jesuits are among the best educators in the Church, yes!

    St Peter’s in Charlotte is a Jesuit parish.

    We had a Jesuit pastor at our little rural mission back in the day. Now we have a diocesan priest from Cameroon, and he totally rocks.

  235. numo wrote:

    I will not engage with further comments on this topic. Your attacks are unkind.

    You might want to go back and reread the original thread before you make up your mind on that…

  236. Oops, Dee, just saw your note. So sorry! What is the difficult conversation? I had not gotten that far when I responded to Christiane’s post. I hope I didn’t inadvertently contribute to anything difficult…I was just being chatty. Prayers for you and your MIL!

  237. Lydia wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    In my Church when we hear the word ‘Gospel’, we also think of the four holy Gospels that witness to Our Lord.”

    Were your priests thinking that while molesting children?

    Treaty of Westphalia ended the Reformation Wars in 1648, Lydia.

  238. Oh goodness. I just read a few of the “difficult” comments. Lord have mercy. Time for bed. 😮

  239. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    In my Church when we hear the word ‘Gospel’, we also think of the four holy Gospels that witness to Our Lord.”

    Were your priests thinking that while molesting children?

    Treaty of Westphalia ended the Reformation Wars in 1648, Lydia.

    Yep, that was the comment I was specifically thinking of. No comment. Just…no comment.

  240. dee wrote:

    I am really tired and have had a tough couple of days. My MIL is quite a bit worse. My mother had cataract surgery yesterday and the health docs freaked out during it because she went into A Fib and they called for back up.

    Hey Dee. I’m praying for you and your family.

  241. Dee, i, too am praying for you and your family.

    As someone from a high church Protestant background (having much more in common with churches that aren’t Protestant than, say, with German Anabaptists or any denomination that has “baptist” in its name), it is painful to see some of the recent discussions here. There has been a lot of misunderstanding, but i sure hope that can be set aside. We all have far more in common than any single one of us can realize. We are all part of the body of Christ. I hope that thought will help us in engaging with each other.

  242. Ken F wrote:

    Here are some links that have been posted on TWW before, but I don’t think they’ve been posted all at the same time. Reading them all together paints a picture.

    Back to the main point of this thread, last night I posted some links about YRRs muddying the waters through misuse of words, but I think that comment got list in the other discussion. Here’s another link I should have added from The Gospel Coalition: https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/trevinwax/2012/03/22/behind-every-theological-crusader-theres-usually-a-story/

    It sounds like a balanced approach, but here’s an important quote:
    “Instead, it’s best to point them away from the bad examples of leadership they’ve seen to what’s good in the movement they crusade against. There is always a mixture of good and bad in every cycle that comes through church history. Every revival has its excesses. Every leader has shortcomings. Lower the level of idealism a bit. And then bring the conversation back around to grace.”

    Let’s take the example of abusive leadership, coverups, damaged lives etc. Let’s look for what’s good in the movement… Uhm, still thinking…. Nothing coming to mind…

  243. @ dee:
    Thinking about you and your family and praying for you, Dee.
    Your family is blessed to have you! You are a real warrior in so many ways – good ways!

  244. Ken F wrote:

    “……. Every leader has shortcomings. Lower the level of idealism a bit. And then bring the conversation back around to grace.”

    Grace ……. Define grace. Someone should publish a YRR dictionary!

  245. Oh ok. I tried to post a response to siteseer and the site thought I was spam.

    Gist? Gender roles are mentioned way less (and more mildly) than pride. Pride is a huge huge issue and preachers seem to be eaten up with it.

  246. Celia wrote:

    It’s gonna be interesting how he tries to spin his bombshell that is supposed to disappoint Lydia so much. I’m wondering if he regrets throwing that lil passive aggressive punch.

    Whatever William puts out there, he would be well-advised to remember that at least one of the Deebs has an MBA, as I recall. (Maybe both??) If Ezell has tried any shenanigans with numbers, they’ll be onto him for sure.

  247. Deb wrote:

    Looks like I’m gonna have to start naming specific churches where Calvinistas have taken over.
    Open Door Baptist Church, Raleigh, NC
    Bethesda Baptist Church, Durham, NC
    Chapel Hill Bible Church, Chapel Hill, NC
    First Baptist Church, Rocky Mount, NC (prior to the recent split).  Hopefully, it will return to its roots of what I assume was Non-Calvinism.
    No doubt others can add to the list.
    We are trying very hard to monitor those who preach in our church to keep this from happening again.As we found out there are some smart liars out there. 🙁

  248. Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    Whatever William puts out there, he would be well-advised to remember that at least one of the Deebs has an MBA, as I recall. (Maybe both??) If Ezell has tried any shenanigans with numbers, they’ll be onto him for sure.

    William is a retired SBC pastor of almost 3 decades. I ask again why not just be honest about the SBC numbers?

  249. @ mot:

    Actually, both of us. 😉

    Over a decade ago, I had an inkling to go back to school and work on a Masters degree at SEBTS. I even attended the Preview Days on April 14-15, 2005. Bruce Ashford was the leader of my little group, and he gave us the campus tour. Wow, that seems like a long time ago! Now I'm grateful I didn't waste my $$$.

  250. Christiane wrote:

    I shared about trying to clarify the multiple versions of “that term” I encountered

    You clarified nothing. You said that the Southern Baptists had no specific answer, multiple answers, and confusing answers, however YOUR denom had the answer.

    I asked you to stop proselytizing for your denom.

    I have refrained from listing out the multiple, confusing and ever changing doctrines of gospel your denom has promulgated, because it is inappropriate to do so on these threads.

    It was completely unnecessary for you to resurrect this again, surreptitiously getting an dig knowing that if anyone responds that you have once again initiated a thread derailment. As you then stand on the side blinking your eyes in feigned innocence.

  251. Celia wrote:

    Speaking of the posters with a passive aggressive history….

    Agreed, however, would that it was just history, instead it is a passive aggressive *present.*

  252. @ Catherine:

    One of the reasons we are on our A game is because we've been there, done that… I think the closer you live to GROUND ZERO (Wake Forest), the more likely you have seen a Calvinista takeover.  And it's not exclusive to Southern Baptist churches.  🙁

  253. Celia wrote:

    The line “only anecdotal evidence” is what the Calvinists have been saying for years to deny a Calvinist takeover.

    And while they were denying it, New Calvinists leaders were silently slipped into leadership roles at most SBC entities (leading seminaries, mission agencies, publishing house, ethics commission). Additionally, an aggressive church planting program was launched to provide YRR graduates from SBC seminaries their first pastorates, while the braver among them took on the challenge of reforming/splitting traditional churches. But, it’s not a takeover – only anecdotal evidence, of course ;^)

  254. dee wrote:

    Hey all involved in the *difficult* conversation
    Could we please drop the awkward conversation?

    My apologies, Dee. I posted before seeing your request and will comply. Prayers for you and your family.

  255. Celia wrote:

    People insist Kevin Ezell is not a Calvinist either.

    Good Lord, prior to his NAMB position, he was Al Mohler’s pastor! Think about it!!

  256. Yeah, SBC Voices and SBC Today folks can post on here without being censored or blocked, but go to their site and post something they don’t like?

    I think that says it all….

  257. Deb wrote:

    @ mot:

    Actually, both of us.

    Over a decade ago, I had an inkling to go back to school and work on a Masters degree at SEBTS. I even attended the Preview Days on April 14-15, 2005. Bruce Ashford was the leader of my little group, and he gave us the campus tour. Wow, that seems like a long time ago! Now I’m grateful I didn’t waste my $$$.

    Deb: Also glad you saved your money. I would love for William to explain in detail how over 210 million dollars was overspent and why over 1000 missionaries were brought home.

  258. K.D. wrote:

    Yeah, SBC Voices and SBC Today folks can post on here without being censored or blocked, but go to their site and post something they don’t like?

    I think that says it all….

    Tis true. I am blocked from one of these sites and my comments always go into moderation at the other sight and are never published. I am not just a go along person.

  259. Lydia wrote:

    I do not believe one single thing they say nor do I believe any documents they provide have not been laundered first.

    NAMB planted 1,000 churches in 2015 and is on the way to do that again this year. I doubt very seriously that the church planter application contains a check box to indicate theological persuasion: Calvinist / non-Calvinist. But those of us who spread conspiracy theories can assume that when a new church planter comes to town, fresh out of seminary at SBTS or planted by a reformed parent church, that they have reformation in mind. I can tell you that several church plants in my area over the past 5 years are exclusively led by New Calvinists. You trip over ESV bibles getting in those places and are never greeted by superior “lead pastors” who “unpack” Scripture with a reformed slant once the loud music dies down. No message of the Cross for ALL people, no altar calls, no sinner’s prayer, no invitation to accept Jesus, no Gospel that saves.

  260. Nancy2 wrote:

    Ken F wrote:
    “……. Every leader has shortcomings. Lower the level of idealism a bit. And then bring the conversation back around to grace.”
    Grace ……. Define grace. Someone should publish a YRR dictionary!

    Or even better. YRR Directory. As my late great-aunt would say, ” Who is, and who ain’t. “

  261. Linda wrote:

    “You catch’em and I’LL clean’em.”

    You’ve put in a nutshell what is wrong with the reformed, new calvinists, and fundamentalists everywhere. They don’t trust God to do His job. Or they don’t like how God does His job so they suppress the working of the Holy Spirit.

  262. siteseer wrote:

    We have the tower of Babel as a reference point of man’s fallen religiosity; the seeking of universal control of the spirituality of all under a single authority. It seems that it is a continual force. It plays out throughout history in everything from small to monumental ways. I guess what I’m trying to say is, maybe it is a natural law or force that must constantly be corrected for?

    Really interesting observation. Let’s hope the Lord confuses this new calvinism the same way!

  263. Stan wrote:

    Kevin DeYoung says a church must be great if its members fawn over him enough, so maybe that’s Akin’s metric for the Carolina rural churches.

    Blech. Jesus, the GOOD shepherd poured his life out for the sheep. Yet over and over you hear from the dudebros how the sheep can take better care of the shepherd. So, so wrong.

  264. Gram3 wrote:

    That gives me an idea. As a matter of principle, these principled and trustworthy men should refuse any money coming from a woman working outside the home. Do they want to fund church operations with money that comes from an ungodly source? Surely not.

    Ha ha – yes! Can we make this a thing?? Someone should challenge them with this!

  265. Kemi wrote:

    Really interesting observation. Let’s hope the Lord confuses this new calvinism the same way!

    It’s already working for Piper. He no longer expresses coherent thoughts.

  266. @ Lea:
    When you see the spam message, it is not from us. In fact, I get the spam message myself regularly. I am being totally honest with you. When that happens, I reboot and it usually works.

  267. @ numo:
    I am so sorry that i have not returned your call. I am overwhelmed these days. I told my husband that i am as bust as I was when my kids were tiny. I know that I am doing the right thing and feel at peace about that. And one day, I will fully be back in the saddle. Sadly sooner, rather than later.

  268. dee wrote:

    @ numo:And one day, I will fully be back in the saddle. Sadly sooner, rather than later.

    Sorry, I just snapped to what you are going through Miss Dee…..prayers that God will give you comfort and direction during this time….

  269. From the top of the TWW website today: “John Piper’s latest weird tweet. Piper: Is the exposure of God’s buttocks really a faithful exposition of Exodus 33? Or is the pope being mooned?”

    Uhhhhh. I’m sure that gem was re-tweeted a zillion times by the YRR! The youngsters love stuff like this – the reformation is so much fun!

    The Pied Piper has a pornographic tweet on his Desiring God twitter on June 23 that I’m too bashful to repeat here. Check it out. The man is a little “tweety” for sure.

  270. @ dee:
    Oh gosh – no need to apologize! But i believe you’re thinking of someone else re. phone call. I’ve not called since all of this started. Hugs – you sound worn out. Hoping you can get some rest today.

  271. Deb wrote:

    Actually, both of us.

    Two MBA’s running the same blog… now that’s impressive.

    I’ll bet it really burns up the Evangelical Big Boys that there are women out there — and Christian women no less — who can see right through any nonsense that they try to serve up.

  272. Dee,

    So sorry to hear about your mother-in-law. I’ve been praying for her and for you. May all the days you have with her be filled with love.

  273. dee wrote:

    I know that I am doing the right thing and feel at peace about that.

    It is good that you realize that. You are being a faithful daughter to your mother-in-law and a faithful wife to your husband and a good example to your children of real love in action.

    Thank you for providing this forum, especially when you have so many other pressing concerns.

  274. Deb wrote:

    @ Lea:

    Not sure why… It has happened to me as well. It’s a blogging mystery.

    Mysteries are ok!

    Btw my pastor talkies about tulip this morning! I was like hey, I know what that is lol. (Not baptist) I would actually have liked to hear a longer sermon in exactly where he stands since I have been considering joining…

  275. Deb wrote:

    Over a decade ago, I had an inkling to go back to school and work on a Masters degree at SEBTS. I even attended the Preview Days on April 14-15, 2005. Bruce Ashford was the leader of my little group, and he gave us the campus tour. Wow, that seems like a long time ago! Now I’m grateful I didn’t waste my $$$.

    I’m sorry I was not your tour guide that day. But I’m also sorry that SEBTS went the direction it did right after that. That was right about the time we got the announcement about Akin and everything was in uproar. Plus, I was teaching 30 hours a week. I seriously had no life when I was at Southeastern.

    I believe Dr. Ashford was one of the earliest new Calvinists at SEBTS? I never had him as a professor, because at the time I believe he was only teaching undergraduate. I could pick him out of a crowd, but that’s about it.

  276. dee wrote:

    I told my husband that i am as bust as I was when my kids were tiny.

    Those were stressful time but we were younger then. I don’t have near the stamina now as I did then. When my wife was caring for her mother, I felt wrung out just caring for care giver. Hopefully even during these hard times you can make some good memories. My hat is off to you.

  277. Ken F wrote:

    Kemi wrote:

    Really interesting observation. Let’s hope the Lord confuses this new calvinism the same way!

    It’s already working for Piper. He no longer expresses coherent thoughts.

    Ha, who says God doesn’t answer prayer.

  278. Gram3 wrote:

    That gives me an idea. As a matter of principle, these principled and trustworthy men should refuse any money coming from a woman working outside the home.

    Absolutely. And any married women who attend without their husbands – don’t the leaders need to teach her that she cannot give without first getting her husbands approval?

    Even better, in order to be sure, she should be required to have all checks given to the church signed by her husband.

  279. Dee, Thank you for your honesty about feeling overwhelmed. Never feel guilty if you need a break here. Maybe on the TWW’s tenth anniversary we should start a fund to send you and Deb to a two week spa!!! I also know from experience that the psych unit at Duke can offer many amenities-meds, ECT and other ways to detox from your hard work! ;-).
    I hope you both know what a lifesaver ya’ll’s blog has been for many of them us. What can we do for the both of you??? Xo Ann

  280. BL wrote:

    The victim is successfully taken over by the predator because the victim has been unhealthy for a prolonged period of time. Likely it has been a matter of years. Doctrinal illiteracy, is the ideal condition for a Neo-Calvinist takeover.
    I’m sure this is the case in some of these situations, but I don’t think I would say that it is the case in the majority of these situations.
    Diotrophes took over an assembly, driving out those who did not submit to his authority.
    I don’t think any of the denominational doctrines provide any in-depth teachings or guidelines regarding false teachers. Do any provide guidance on the responsibility, the right, of pewishioners to address false pastors?
    Do pastors, seminaries, anyone in churchianity leadership warn the pewishioners that the pastor speaking truth to them today, can and may teach error the next day?
    Do any of the churches have some sort of mechanism in place that allows pewishioners to address in front of the whole assembly questionable teachings from the pastor?
    Are the pewishioners encouraged to “test the spirits” when it comes to the teaching from the pulpit?
    Does leadership teach as often from Scriptural warnings regarding false teachers, as they do on the Hebrews ‘obey your leaders’?
    I guess I am asking what specific category of ignorance in doctrine leaves people vulnerable?
    What was it you saw in your experiences?

    Well put. I must say you have knocked me for a loop as I did not have a ready answer. If you asked a fish what it’s like to swim, I rather imagine he would say, “what is swimming?”

    Let me pick one sentence. (…”I guess I am asking what specific category of ignorance in doctrine leaves people vulnerable?”….) I would answer with everything. Life, the Universe and everything, to borrow a favorite phrase. Here is one verse.

    ..”Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”..

    Born Again:

    In theory – Can pew sitters identify what it means to be born again? Are they? How do they know? What happens to you when you are born again?

    In tangible example – Mark Driscoll reported he was born again after reading Augustine in college. Does this contradict the word of God that states, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Remember he was also a pew sitter at one time. Later, one of the Mars Hill Executive claims to have had some sort of similar experience listening to MD podcasts on a flight to South Africa. Would these two individuals not be very vulnerable to believing in vain? Would it not be wise to consider them as possibly self deceived, and therefore unable to rightly divide the Word of God?

    Kingdom of God:

    In theory – Can pew sitters describe in one paragraph the nature of the Kingdom of God?

    In tangible example – If shown a synopsis of Seven Mountain Theology, can pew sitters identify any portion of scripture that condemns this as heresy and anathema? Can they identify specific Christian leaders and ministries that promote this heresy? Can they identify what might be a good actionable step in their own life as a result of identifying these leaders and ministries.

    That is one verse and I have not tried to tie it to my personal experiences. If a church had years of near zero doctrine, lack of leadership by elders and spiritual narcolepsy, the amount of scripture the congregation did not understand, or care about, would be immense. This is compounded by the thought that many are not born again at all. They just show up for some personal reason, until such time as they stop showing up, for some different personal reason.

  281. Ken F wrote:

    It’s already working for Piper. He no longer expresses coherent thoughts.

    Does anyone who follows Twitter have any idea what he is talking about? It is wildly inappropriate at the very least.

  282. Gram3 wrote:

    Does anyone who follows Twitter have any idea what he is talking about? It is wildly inappropriate at the very least.

    I don’t follow twitter, but I check his web site pretty regularly. His latest tweet posted above reveals serious error in his understanding: “Is the exposure of God’s buttocks really a faithful exposition of Exodus 33? Or is the pope being mooned? https://twitter.com/desiringGod/status/746878900907610113

    The painting in question depicts God ejecting Adam from the Garden of Eden. Adam’s bum is uncovered to show the extent of his shame. It is not God’s bum, and the bearded figure is not the Pope. It would be hard for him to have gotten it more wrong, just like with much of his theoflawgical diatribes.

  283. @ Ken F:
    Um, not to be a pest, but that panel actually is meant to depict God’s creation of the sun and the moon. The ecpuldiin from the gsrden of Eden is several panels further up.

  284. numo wrote:

    Um, not to be a pest, but that panel actually is meant to depict God’s creation of the sun and the moon. The ecpuldiin from the gsrden of Eden is several panels further up.

    So was Piper correct?

  285. @ numo:
    I was hoping you would comment on this. What is weird is that Piper might imagine that Michaelangelo was an expositor of the Bible. Or even a believer at all. Quite possibly he is mooning the pope and profanely imaging God. So what? People profane God all the time, yet Piper frames this as an assault on the dignity of the church! I do not get the way that Calvinistas hang on every syllable Piper utters. The solution to my confusion might go a long way to explaining the calamity some of us have seen in Calvinista circles.

  286. @ Ken F:
    It *could* have had something to do with Michelangelo’s feelings about the whole project, but it’s been so long since I studied Renaissance painting that I’d need to check to be sure. So, i dunno.

  287. I do not mean that it is no big deal if people profane God’s name or image him. I really mean that it is a leap from that to an insult to the true, invisible church.

  288. @ Gram3:
    I wouldn’t assume that Michelangelo didn’t believe, Gram. The relationship between Pope Julius II and the artist was highly contentious. Without knowing the order in which those sections were psinted, it’s impossible to mske an informed comment.

    I feel for the poor man, having to lie on his back to create the actual ceiling paintings. It was very, very hard on him, and thr working conditions were appalling. (He painted other frescoes in the chapel sitting on a scaffold, since the rest are on the walls.)

  289. @ Gram3:
    Piper should have hired a tour guide who knew what they were talking about. His ignorance of the subject id what stands out to me. (On a number of levels.)

  290. Sadly, it is true that there is an aggressive push toward Calvinism in the SBC. This is one of the reasons I felt led to go off to Seminary. But even as a student at Southwestern, which I chose because it was supposed to be the least-Calvinist of the Baptist Seminaries, I still felt that there was a strong bent towards Reformed doctrine. A large percentage of our required texts came from Reformed, Calvinist and Presbyterian sources. While relatively few Southwesterners hold to all 5 TULIP petals, the teaching is often influenced by Reformed Doctrine and as a Non-Calvinist, there were many times I was concerned over something that was taught, both in chapel and in class.

  291. Ken F wrote:

    It’s already working for Piper. He no longer expresses coherent thoughts.

    Perhaps the poor man has had some medical issues. Incoherent thoughts, taking an eight-month sabbatical, someone mentioned ‘flutter-hands’ …. sounds like signs of a possible medical issue

  292. dee wrote:

    Here’s the kind of church NAMB plants, and no other kind of church:
    A church that affirms the Baptist Faith and Message.
    A church that gives at least 6% (above the SBC average) to the Cooperative Program and at least 10% to missions.
    A church that has an SBC sponsor church.
    A church with a pastor/planter vetted by faithful Southern Baptists.

    Dee, a church that fails on any of the above doesn’t get NAMB money. Period. These requirements do not exclude calvinistic churches or pastors, nor should they. The SBC has one adopted doctrinal statement, the BFM. Trads and Cals both are comfortable in affirming it. Trads don’t have the option of substituting their own doctrinal statement (the Traditional Statement) in any denominational entity or process. The Trad lobby is certainly entitled to speak up and advocate for what they think is a better process.

  293. Gram3 wrote:

    I do not get the way that Calvinistas hang on every syllable Piper utters. The solution to my confusion might go a long way to explaining the calamity some of us have seen in Calvinista circles.

    My take on it?
    To the Truly Elect Heirs of Calvin, Piper is Speaking SCRIPTURE(TM).
    “IT IS SPOKEN! IT IS SPOKEN! IT IS SPOKEN!”

  294. William Thornton wrote:

    Trads don’t have the option of substituting their own doctrinal statement (the Traditional Statement) in any denominational entity or process. The Trad lobby is certainly entitled to speak up and advocate for what they think is a better process.

    Until they are Purged in the Name of Calvin.
    “GET WITH THE PROGRAM OR UNDER THE BUS!”

  295. The anonymous Mot said: ” I would love for William to explain in detail how over 210 million dollars was overspent and why over 1000 missionaries were brought home.”

    After a few hundred comments, detail may not be welcome but IMB leadership used overseas property sales and reserves to meet operating costs, and this over a period of years. Regular revenue streams (mostly LM and CP) were not sufficient; thus, a $210m deficit over time. No debt was incurred, so “overspending” isn’t the precise term that applies.

    Personnel levels (the costs for which make up almost all of IMB budget) had to be reduced because the org did not have inexhaustible reserve funds nor an unlimited supply of assets that could be sold. That’s why retirement incentives were offered and accepted by 800 or so, why another 200 or so voluntarily resigned (a few dozen were terminated).

    My criticism of all this, and I’ve said it often, is that previous leadership failed to address the deficits in operating revenue. Others complain that financial shortfalls could have been addressed by reducing personnel by attrition but, along with some other issues, the math doesn’t work on that. The deficits were too large.

    I’d be interested in our resident MBA’s reading on this. I don’t recall seeing it. I am a mere BBA and that in the distant past. I once balanced a checkbook…way back when folks used those things.

    Cordially.

  296. mot wrote:

    William Thornton wrote:

    A church that affirms the Baptist Faith and Message.

    What does that mean? Serious question.

    I know girls have to submit to ‘servant leadership’ which is not a biblical term.

  297. mot wrote:

    A church that affirms the Baptist Faith and Message.

    What does that mean? Serious question.

    It would be nice if they accepted Churches that held to the ’63 Baptist Faith & Message. It is superior to the 2K BF&M in two ways:
    A. no ‘submission’ nonsense that feeds the patriarchal male worship god
    B. It has the beautiful phrase: ” The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.”

    those two ‘benefits’ were discarded in the 2K BF&M, and I think that heralded a dog whistle message to the neo-Cals ‘Y’all come.’ My opinion. Silly me.

  298. Christiane wrote:

    Ken F wrote:

    It’s already working for Piper. He no longer expresses coherent thoughts.

    Perhaps the poor man has had some medical issues. Incoherent thoughts, taking an eight-month sabbatical, someone mentioned ‘flutter-hands’ …. sounds like signs of a possible medical issue

    Or Merlin’s practicing the Curse of Babel before using it for real on N.I.C.E…

  299. mot wrote:

    William Thornton wrote:

    A church that affirms the Baptist Faith and Message.

    What does that mean? Serious question.

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”
    — Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57ZKO2hownw

  300. William Thornton wrote:

    My criticism of all this, and I’ve said it often, is that previous leadership failed to address the deficits in operating revenue. Others complain that financial shortfalls could have been addressed by reducing personnel by attrition but, along with some other issues, the math doesn’t work on that. The deficits were too large.

    I agree with your criticism, but I think the problem is deeper than math. I think the real problem is Trustees who do not act in the interest of either the donors or the missionaries. The non-transparency of the various boards is the reason so many of us distrust any information coming out of them. The Trustees who were there before Platt deserve the blame for the problem. The current Trustees and Platt deserve the blame for the lack of transparency now. I don’t see how the root problem has been addressed at all or why there is any reason we should trust them and their numbers and their narrative.

  301. I actually think that the IMB fiasco of a financial faceplant illustrates how arrogance produces really bad results because it prevents any correction which would prevent really bad results. Not rocket science and no MBA required to understand that. Arrogance comes in Calvie and non-Calvie flavors.

  302. The Baptist Faith and Message is really general and so you can have people who believe in Private Prayer Language affirm it and those who believe all the gifts ended also affirm it. The 2000 revision definately moved toward appeasing the Calvinist. Al Mohler was on the committee but so was Adrian Rogers. The big, big change that no one really paid attention to at the time but in hind sight matters a great deal in how churches function is the change from Priesthood of THE believer to Priesthood of Believers. That went from individuals being Priests to now it’s the church of Believers and we all know who controls the church. The change made from “the criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.” was made because of the CR – people were throwing out (as they do today) whole portions of the Bible because they said well Jesus never talked about this or that so it doesn’t matter what the rest of the Bible says. Yes the Bible should be interpreted by Jesus but you don’t get to throw out things you don’t like because Jesus didn’t speak directly on a matter but you should keep Jesus in mind when interpreting all of the Scripture. I know there are a lot of different view points who post here but the SBC is not Universalist so watch out for those who want to emphasize that one change to support their universalism. When Max comes around I think he’s done some study on the changes and can tell more.

  303. @ Gram3:

    It was a head in the sand kicking the can down the road mentality. The economy crashed but surely it would recover helping the IMB to recover. Platt and the Trustees are responsible for the way they treated those who were forced into retirement. They were made an offer with inference being this was the best offer and the next offer would be less but they were going to forced out one way or other. Platt definitely took advantage of the financial situation to remake the IMB in his image. Get rid of all the older people and bring in his kind of people.

  304. @ numo:

    The tweet was a sentence out of a longer article by Piper. I think Piper et al tweet the ridiculous tweets on purpose to draw people to the original articles. Of course, reading the original article does not necessarily bring further clarity. It does tick the number box for visitors to the site. 😉

  305. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    LOL, you help lighten it up, Headless. Poor Piper, he’s a mess. So weird.
    His followers remind of the German legend of the children and the pied piper whose tunes beguiled them away from the town forever …
    I still think he may be ill. Or confused. Or both.

  306. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”
    — Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass

    This explains a lot in the arcane world of theology.

  307. @ Christiane:
    Other commenters have raised the issue of possible health problems (his) in the past. Am beginning to think you folks are onto something.

  308. @ Gram3:
    One thing with the IMB going forward is watch how they will have changed the definition of who is a missionary so they can pad the numbers. Within a couple of years Platt will be giving glowing reports of having replaced the lost missionaries and having done it with less money then was previously spent. Platt is changing the IMB and so all the numbers going forward will only be comparing apples to oranges. No one’s going to admit this – it’ll just be that he’s a genius lightbringer who has straightened out the IMB.

  309. Muff Potter wrote:

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”
    — Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass

    This explains a lot in the arcane world of theology.

    Love that quote. I’ve used it myself in dialoguing. I hate that some people, for the sake of ‘agenda’ have co-opted beloved terms in the Church and attempted to define them in self-serving ways. I think, in any dialogue, where people come from different traditions, it’s really important to understand HOW they are defining these shared terms. Right from the get-go, they have begun then to understand one anothers’ shared use of a term, or one anothers’ different idea of how that term speaks to what is important for them.
    Clarification. Always healthy.

  310. Christiane wrote:

    I still think he may be ill. Or confused. Or both.

    Or exhausted from his European ministry junket to rally the troops. He is the new global apostle or whatever he said a few years ago about his new role after leaving BBC.

  311. I agree with about every syllable of Gram3’s two comments on IMB. Not so, Celia. The CR is in the receding past.

    Mot, to receive NAMB funds, a pastor and his church plant must affirm the BFM. That means the prospective planter is interviewed in detail on his theological beliefs. I haven’t seen the docs but I suppose the church, if constituted, has to vote affirmation and the pastor/planter has to sign a statement that he affirms it. Yes, I suppose that there are folks who will sign for the money with their fingers crossed behind their back. Don’t know how to fix that.

    Neither of these prevent the pastor or church from a hasty dis-affirmation once the funding ends. If in a few years we see large numbers of SBC plants departing from the SBC and/or affiliating with the Presbys or other denomination, heads will surely roll. This is what critics are already saying but no one has numbers to confirm it.

  312. Celia wrote:

    @ William Thornton:
    It’s not really a debate that some of the changes to the BFM 2000 were because of the CR is it?

    BFM2k was unnecessary, even from a conservative POV, if all they were concerned about was inerrancy. When you factor in the composition of the committee, it looks political, and they took no pains to disguise that. By 2000, the moderates were long gone and the issue of liberalism was moot. It was transparently a move to keep women out of the pastoral pool and constrain competition for their prized pulpits. It is the spirit of Danvers in action.

    I say that as a born in, saved in, married in SBCer. I no longer recognize the SBC, and I am as conservative as the day is long. I will say that I heard some encouraging things about a local SBC church today, but it is hard to trust anything anymore.

  313. @ Gram3:
    There are churches here and there that are like the SBC I remember from 45 years ago. I’ve watched a few of those kinds of churches get Calvinized.

    I think that even the changes or additions regarding women was still a reaction from the CR. And also as I mentioned above the change with the “criterion of Biblical interpretation….” has always been explained as trying to correct what was wrong before to prevent the need for another CR. The CR was a mess – I say as a conservative SBC – the way it was handled was poor and I think there are still repercussions today. One of them being the Calvinists from the CR felt the whole need for the CR was because the SBC strayed from what they felt was the SBC foundations which was Calvinism. Somewhere on a blog there was a recent quote from Tom Nettles that moving away from Calvinism is to move toward liberalism. Reisenger believed that and that’s the reason why he created the Founders Movement. For those Calvinist – of which Al Mohler is one – the CR didn’t go far enough since it didn’t officially Calvinize the SBC. The Calvinist are still fighting the CR.

  314. Gram3 wrote:

    He is the new global apostle or whatever he said a few years ago about his new role after leaving BBC.

    The first time I read this I thought you wrote “he is the new global apostate.” I had to read it again. I have followed him enough over the past few months to wonder how anyone can take him seriously. He issues so many contradictory statements. Usually the contradictions are in different articles. But lately I’ve been finding more and more contradictions within articles/interviews. I don’t know how his followers can miss this. Maybe they just tune him out.

  315. Max
    “Where else are they going to go? If you’re a theological minded, deeply convictional young evangelical, if you’re committed to the gospel and want to see the nations rejoice in the name of Christ, if you want to see gospel built and structured committed churches, your theology is just going to end up basically being Reformed, basically something like this New Calvinism, or you’re going to have to invent some label for what is basically going to be the same thing, there just are not options out there, and that’s something that frustrates some people, but when I’m asked about the New Calvinism—where else are they going to go, who else is going to answer the questions, where else are they going to find the resources they are going to need and where else are they going to connect. This is a generation that understands, they want to say the same thing that Paul said, they want to stand with the apostles, they want to stand with old dead people, and they know that they are going to have to, if they are going to preach and teach the truth.” (Dr. Albert Mohler, President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)

    I can’t express how much this quote angers me. I’m on the younger end of the generation that went the YRR route. I love the Lord, have a high view of Scripture, am deeply comitted to correct doctrine and want to see all come to Christ. I did NOT need to turn to New Calvinism in order to live out any of that.

  316. Marie wrote:

    I can’t express how much this quote angers me.

    If what he says is true, it means that there were no true Christians until about 500 years ago. He is saying that the church got it mostly wrong for 1500 years. The “church” has always had its problems, as evidenced by Paul’s letters to the Corinthians. But it’s never been THAT messed up.

  317. Ken F wrote:

    But it’s never been THAT messed up.

    I should have clarified that the body of believers has never been THAT messed up. But the “leadership” of the church is another story…

  318. Marie wrote:

    when I’m asked about the New Calvinism—where else are they going to go, who else is going to answer the questions, where else are they going to find the resources they are going to need and where else are they going to connect

    Mohler’s question ‘where else are they going to go’ was answered 2000 years ago in a response to Our Lord that was inspired:
    “67So Jesus asked the Twelve, “Do you want to leave too?” 68Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69We believe and know that You are the Holy One of God.” (John 6)

    These words were spoken 1500 years before Calvin’s Institutes were written.

    the ‘funding’ …. the sacred Scriptures can be had free from the Gideons, if there is no money for a Bible

    Too much money and too much pride and too much fame and too much power …. his words reveal that Dr. Mohler has got a bit lost inside that dreadful ‘too much’ maze

  319. Marie wrote:

    Al Mohler: “structured committed churches”

    This might be the one that disqualifies most of us, because it sounds very authoritarian to me. I personally don’t understand at all how one can come to the conclusion of authoritarianism from the New Testament. It seems wholly unbiblical to me, the opposite everything written about God’s Kingdom in Scriptures.

    But I always thought new Calvinists were really poor scholars, as much as they pride themselves on being biblical, because they toss out any verses that don’t support their presuppositions with the worst argument possible: “That just doesn’t count!”

    But yes, Mohler’s quote is pretty offensive.

  320. ishy wrote:

    I personally don’t understand at all how one can come to the conclusion of authoritarianism from the New Testament. It seems wholly unbiblical to me, the opposite everything written about God’s Kingdom in Scripture.

    Matthew 20:25 comes to mind.

  321. Marie wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    I personally don’t understand at all how one can come to the conclusion of authoritarianism from the New Testament. It seems wholly unbiblical to me, the opposite everything written about God’s Kingdom in Scripture.
    Matthew 20:25 comes to mind.

    That doesn’t count!

    ;D

  322. Marie wrote:

    I can’t express how much this quote angers me. I’m on the younger end of the generation that went the YRR route. I love the Lord, have a high view of Scripture, am deeply committed to correct doctrine and want to see all come to Christ. I did NOT need to turn to New Calvinism in order to live out any of that.

    Marie, may your tribe increase!

    Dr. Mohler’s words should anger all non-Calvinist Christians (that would be the majority). While they are busy proclaiming Christ to All people, the New Calvinists sit smugly in their “election” and fail to steward the Great Commission as they ought.

  323. Max wrote:

    Dr. Mohler’s words should anger all non-Calvinist Christians (that would be the majority).

    Hi MAX,
    surely, Mohler’s words must ALSO offend those reformed Christians who are not strangers to humility before the Lord …. Mohler dwells in a relative little pond surrounded by ‘yes’ people, and I think he cannot be seen to represent all reformed people as being that arrogant and prideful … neo-Cals, yes, arrogance run amok with no responsibility for the misery that arrogance has caused

  324. @ Max:

    You are so right. I’m a newbie chaplain at a women’s shelter and you know what? They don’t stinking care about TULIP. They need to know who Jesus is, right now, in the middle of broken families and addiction.

    I enjoy a good theological discussion and I don’t mind disagreement, but at the end of the day the Body should be able to unite and do the work of proclaiming the Gospel, not fight over whether a woman should share Jesus with her male coworker or whether that homeless woman is really elect.

    I know some Reformed folks who have no problem doing that. To those who do I’d say, “Let’s leave those ivory towers of theory and smugness behind. There’s a dying world right on our doorstep.”

  325. Celia wrote:

    quote from Tom Nettles that moving away from Calvinism is to move toward liberalism.

    Nettles is a true hypercalvinist who wrote in BYGAFHG that the Atonement was sufficient *only* for the elect. He minimizes to the vanishing point any influence of Anabaptist thinking on the SBC, as if English Baptists were uniformly Particular.

  326. William Thornton wrote:

    The CR is in the receding past.

    I strongly disagree. The CR was and is a bludgeoning of those people that will not toe the party line. You have almost 30 years as a SBC pastor and you really believe the CR is the past. IMO the CR killed the SBC and and the signs of the SBC’s dying are all around for those who want to deal with reality.

  327. William Thornton wrote:

    That means the prospective planter is interviewed in detail on his theological beliefs.

    Sounds like an inquisition to me. Surely the pastor is well informed of the what the “answers” to the “questions” are.

  328. Marie wrote:

    Mohler: “but when I’m asked about the New Calvinism—where else are they going to go, who else is going to answer the questions, “

    Is this their “gospel” their good new? It is hubris cloaked as doctrine. Regardless of my understanding of theology, if his choice were the only one to flicking the whole thing in, then I would choose the latter and walk away instead simply because of the arrogance in his statement.

  329. Marie wrote:

    if you want to see gospel built and structured committed churches

    Excuse me, but the former denominational journalist has some stuff terribly wrong here. The Gospel is built on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is assuredly *not* built on any institution whether said institution calls itself a church or not. A “structured” church in the former denominational journalist’s way of thinking is one that is ruled from the top down where he would be at the uttermost height. A “committed” church is one where the members are shackled to a “covenant” drafted for the sole benefit of the rulers of the LocalChurch. So, that is what the former denominational journalist means by the Gospel. How in the world has the SBC found itself in such a state that the kephale of the denomination/association defines the Gospel in a way that is nowhere found in the Bible?

  330. Celia wrote:

    The Baptist Faith and Message is really general and so you can have people who believe in Private Prayer Language affirm it and those who believe all the gifts ended also affirm it. The 2000 revision definately moved toward appeasing the Calvinist. Al Mohler was on the committee but so was Adrian Rogers. The big, big change that no one really paid attention to at the time but in hind sight matters a great deal in how churches function is the change from Priesthood of THE believer to Priesthood of Believers. That went from individuals being Priests to now it’s the church of Believers and we all know who controls the church. The change made from “the criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.” was made because of the CR – people were throwing out (as they do today) whole portions of the Bible because they said well Jesus never talked about this or that so it doesn’t matter what the rest of the Bible says. Yes the Bible should be interpreted by Jesus but you don’t get to throw out things you don’t like because Jesus didn’t speak directly on a matter but you should keep Jesus in mind when interpreting all of the Scripture. I know there are a lot of different view points who post here but the SBC is not Universalist so watch out for those who want to emphasize that one change to support their universalism. When Max comes around I think he’s done some study on the changes and can tell more.

    The 2000 BF&M surely put women in their place. A backwards move if there ever was one IMO. A twisting of scriptures because the SBC boys just can not have a woman in authority over them. If you challenge this new change in the 2000 BF&M, guess what, you are a LIBERAL. Or the refrain is if you do not like the changes, why not just leave. Just maybe some of these hundreds of thousands leaving the SBC can not or will not affirm the 2000 BF&M CREED.

  331. William Thornton wrote:

    After a few hundred comments, detail may not be welcome but IMB leadership used overseas property sales and reserves to meet operating costs, and this over a period of years. Regular revenue streams (mostly LM and CP) were not sufficient; thus, a $210m deficit over time. No debt was incurred, so “overspending” isn’t the precise term that applies.

    Who gave the IMB the authority to overspend 210 million dollars? That is not chump change. I am not expecting any valid answers from anyone in the SBC. We peons are just to trust them–NOT!!

  332. Ken F wrote:

    Marie wrote:

    I can’t express how much this quote angers me.

    If what he says is true, it means that there were no true Christians until about 500 years ago.

    …when CALVIN came unto us.

    He is saying that the church got it mostly wrong for 1500 years.

    Joseph Smith, Charles Taze Russel, Ellen G White, Sun Myung Moon, and Landmark Baptists all say the same.

  333. Max wrote:

    William Thornton wrote:

    The CR is in the receding past.

    The past “Conservative” Resurgence has merged into the present “Calvinist” Resurgence.

    All this destruction of peoples lives to remove a few LIBERALS. The ones who helped with the CR are in many of the big positions today in the SBC. Seems to be something in the Bible about sowing and reaping.

  334. Gram3 wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    I still think he may be ill. Or confused. Or both.

    Or exhausted from his European ministry junket to rally the troops. He is the new global apostle or whatever he said a few years ago about his new role after leaving BBC.

    Don’t we know of another ManAGAWD who Humbly titled himself “Head Apostle”?

  335. Celia wrote:

    Get rid of all the older people and bring in his kind of people.

    20-year-old Plattjugend “Elders(TM)”.

  336. Gram3 wrote:

    Mohler: “if you want to see gospel built and structured committed churches”

    Excuse me, but the former denominational journalist has some stuff terribly wrong here. The Gospel is built on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is assuredly *not* built on any institution whether said institution calls itself a church or not.

    At first, I thought, “it says ‘and’ and not ‘on'”. Which it does.

    But then I looked at the word “built”. That’s an awfully odd word to describe the gospel (which is Christ and His work on the cross, I might clarify, -not- the church).

    And if this is true, that what new Calvinism really preaches is the church and not Christ, then it’s a heresy. Maybe a cult. And maybe people should start getting really loud about it.

  337. William Thornton wrote:

    Mot, to receive NAMB funds, a pastor and his church plant must affirm the BFM. That means the prospective planter is interviewed in detail on his theological beliefs.

    Not only does a church planter have to “affirm” BFM2K, he has to sign a contract agreeing to it. If the planter is married, his wife is also required to sign a contract agreeing to the BFM2K, with a statement on her contract saying that she will submit to her husband and do everything she can to help him plant the church.

  338. K.D. wrote:

    I am telling you, this entire Neo-Calvinist movement is going to kill the SBC…..people will become ” Nones,” ” Dones,” or they will go to non -denominational….or some other denomination….

    I’m a lifetime southern baptist, and the Neo-Cal takeover is absolutely the reason I left the SBC (and took my IMB giving elsewhere). Why would I support a missions organization who has decided to adopt a soteriology with which I disagree? Looking at you, David Platt.

  339. @ ishy:
    Should be, “gospel-built and structured, committed churches.” That is a little better than my misreading of the former denominational reporter’s view. Still, I wonder what it means to be a gospel-built church? A gospel-structured church? I think I got the “committed” part right, at least. 🙂

  340. Gram3 wrote:

    . The Gospel is built on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    Gospel: From Old English, meaning “good news”.
    The good news shared with us by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John was the good news of what Jesus came to earth in human form to do for whosoever will.

  341. Nancy2 wrote:

    William Thornton wrote:

    Mot, to receive NAMB funds, a pastor and his church plant must affirm the BFM. That means the prospective planter is interviewed in detail on his theological beliefs.

    Not only does a church planter have to “affirm” BFM2K, he has to sign a contract agreeing to it. If the planter is married, his wife is also required to sign a contract agreeing to the BFM2K, with a statement on her contract saying that she will submit to her husband and do everything she can to help him plant the church.

    What does it really mean to submit to a husband? And what does a pastor signing off on the 2000 BF&M really add to the equation?

  342. ishy wrote:

    And if this is true, that what new Calvinism really preaches is the church and not Christ

    If you were able to make it through Piper’s article about Europe, you will find the curious observation that he found people in Europe who were “in love with the church.” I, for one, am not in love with the LocalChurch. I’m not even “in love with” the invisible Bride. Where in the ESV does it tell us it is a good thing to be “in love with the church?”

    I think this is a new heresy, but the fanboys are so in love with their heroes like Piper (and this really means that they are in love with themselves) that they are blind to it. It is a recurring theme that we should love the LocalChurch which they conflate with Christ’s bride. It goes something like, “If you claim to love Christ, then how can you not love Christ’s Bride?”

  343. mot wrote:

    All this destruction of peoples lives to remove a few LIBERALS. The ones who helped with the CR are in many of the big positions today in the SBC. Seems to be something in the Bible about sowing and reaping.

    Steve Gaines is Adrian Rogers’ successor at Bellvue.

  344. mot wrote:

    What does it really mean to submit to a husband?

    Joyfully eat whatever flavor of ice cream he hunts and puts in the freezer?

  345. ishy wrote:

    And if this is true, that what new Calvinism really preaches is the church and not Christ, then it’s a heresy. Maybe a cult.

    That is my opinion.

  346. Here are all of the members of the 2000 BF&M Committee:
    Adrian Rogers, Chairman
    Max Barnett
    Steve Gaines
    Susie Hawkins
    Rudy A. Hernandez
    Charles S. Kelley, Jr.
    Heather King
    Richard D. Land
    Fred Luter
    R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
    T. C. Pinckney
    Nelson Price
    Roger Spradlin
    Simon Tsoi
    Jerry Vines

    Sarcasm alert–Let’s see a major change is made in the view of women and how many women were on this committee?

    Seems to me this committee was stacked.

  347. Christiane wrote:

    @ Christiane:
    TED,
    THIS is what I said that set off the trouble, just so you can prevent any incoming:
    “Christiane UNITED STATES on Mon Jun 20, 2016 at 01:27 PM said:

    @ Burwell:
    Hi BURWELL,
    I tried for a long time to find out how the term ‘gospel’ was defined when I first began exploring my grandmother’s Southern Baptist faith. But I couldn’t get a specific answer …. only many answers, some emphasizing certain things, and some in conflict with other answers.

    In my Church when we hear the word ‘Gospel’, we also think of the four holy Gospels that witness to Our Lord.”

    Christiane, Celia’s attacks are a little bizarre. Maybe she thinks you’re a different Christiane. I googled your message above and found it at TWW, June 17th. Your reference to Philippians 2 is a pretty high-quality view of “gospel” in my book.

  348. roebuck wrote:

    And if this is true, that what new Calvinism really preaches is the church and not Christ, then it’s a heresy. Maybe a cult.

    That is my opinion.

    Calvinism seems a strange ‘thought system’ wherein one portion needs something else to shore it up, and then that addition requires another supporting doctrine, and on and on …. so that if any portion of all the system were to be disproved, the whole would collapse

    But don’t Calvinists depend on units within the system to ‘verify’ that other portions of it are ‘true’? As a logic system, that is its structural weakness in my opinion. They made stuff up as they went along, and then they used the made-up stuff to support other made-up stuff.

    Not all unlike the neo-Cals trying to justify their pitiful domination/subordination patriarchy by making up the Eternal Subordination of the Son heresy. You can’t support one untruth with another made-up untruth. Very fragile logic system. Quite transparent.

  349. @ Ted:
    Thank TED. I was looking out for you there.
    The DEEBS have requested we not speak of this matter on the main blog. Some comments did ‘overflow’ to the ‘Discussion’ site, but even there, we are trying to respect the requests of Dee and Deb. Dee is very tired and her mother had a difficult time in surgery yesterday, AND her mother-in-law is very ill.

  350. I haven’t commented here in some months. At this time, I simply want to say that Dee and her family are in my prayers during this difficult season. I’m praying for Deb as well since she will undoubtedly carry a heavier burden at TWW while Dee is dealing with her family.

    I wish all of you well and bid everyone a good night.

  351. Deb wrote:

    @ Loren Haas:
    As usual… We are night owls once again.

    Thanks, Deb, for posting my questions from the TGC site directed at Jared Wilson. I wondered if he would answer. However, I’m inclined to take his answer as disingenuous. The Calvinist world in which he lives makes a point of stressing their doctrine as superior to all other doctrines. They aren’t able to co-exist in a church environment with non-Calvinists because to do so would be compromising on the truth in their minds. A “secondary” issue. Who is he trying to fool?

  352. Deb, for the life of me I haven’t been able to find my comment or Jared Wilson’s response over at TGC. I’m wondering if they didn’t take it down already. If so, it’s a good thing that you got a screen shot of it.

  353. https://youtu.be/drtmCuUJdwM?t=20m4s

    This is a much milder form of you cant be angry upset .. at God because of a tragedy like the loss of a child. This was a mainstay in my early Christian experience that things like fear, frustration and the very vilest of human responses grief should never enter a Christians heart. We are such add list of horrid adjectives to describe us all that God owes us nothing. Listen to the five or so minutes, what a horrible way to answer this lady in her sadness. These are very sick men they really are and that thing they call a “god” does not exist, the True Father of Lights understand our grief and anger even our hatred. They have no Gospel at all. How sad for them.

  354. Gram3 wrote:

    I, for one, am not in love with the LocalChurch. I’m not even “in love with” the invisible Bride.

    Right. We are the Bride. That would be narcissism.

  355. mot wrote:

    Who gave the IMB the authority to overspend 210 million dollars? That is not chump change. I am not expecting any valid answers from anyone in the SBC. We peons are just to trust them–NOT!!

    Both previous leadership and trustees are responsible but, since the $210 was overspent only in the sense that deficits were covered by reserves and one time sales of assets, it is not as if there is a quarter billion debt hanging over IMB’s head. The $210m is not an insignificant sum but it is the sum of annual deficiencies of $30-35m for six years or so, 10-15% of the annual budgets, add up to less than a year’s budget. IMB was able to manage but erred, I believe, in postponing addressing the deficits until it reached a serious crisis stage; hence, the massive VRIs. All of the shortfalls, the property sales, the use of reserves was public information, just buried in notes to annual reports that very few people bother to read. We need more openness and transparency, something I and others have called for for a very long time.

    We peons are indeed expected to just trust the trustees but, since trustees have often proven to be the weakest part of our governance system, a lot of that trust has been eroded. Sometimes the entities cannot regain all of that trust. Everyone is harmed by that. There’s no way to put positive spin the IMB debacle. It is the SBC’s most serious financial crisis since the HMB treasurer ran off with the treasury back in the 1920s.

  356. @ Darlene:

    I just visited Jared's blog and the comment is still there. Are you going down to the bottom of the post and clicking the 'Comments" block?

  357. @ singleman:

    It's not a burden. It's a blessing! 🙂

    There are so many brothers and sisters in Christ out there who are hurting, and we are given them a forum that allows them to tell the truth. Thank God for the internet!

  358. William Thornton wrote:

    Both previous leadership and trustees are responsible but, since the $210 was overspent only in the sense that deficits were covered by reserves and one time sales of assets,

    Uh, overspent means overspent in *every* sense. Overspent for several years. That they sold off assets to cover the overspending for several years is not a laudable action.

  359. BL wrote:

    William Thornton wrote:
    Both previous leadership and trustees are responsible but, since the $210 was overspent only in the sense that deficits were covered by reserves and one time sales of assets,
    Uh, overspent means overspent in *every* sense. Overspent for several years. That they sold off assets to cover the overspending for several years is not a laudable action.

    No. IMB did not overspend in the sense of having to incur debt to cover it. Huge difference. My point about the asset sales is that excess overseas property and the considerable revenue from such sales could have been used to fund new initiatives or improve critical facilities. Instead, money was used to pay operating costs and it’s gone forever. I do not disagree with your point that such was not a laudable action. Perhaps for a year or two to buy time until normal channels of operating revenue increased. When they did not recover and increase, actions should have been taken to face the deficits. Instead it was put off until the new guy showed up and had it dumped in his lap.

    Plenty to criticize here.

  360. William Thornton wrote:

    No. IMB did not overspend in the sense of having to incur debt to cover it.

    Anyone in finance will tell you that selling off your assets over multiple years in order to cover ongoing budgetary excesses is overspending.

    Why do you keep emphasizing the supposed lack of debt? Because there WAS debt, at the end of it all those assets used to service that debt were *gone*.

    The organization was POORER .

  361. BL wrote:

    Anyone in finance will tell you that selling off your assets over multiple years in order to cover ongoing budgetary excesses is overspending.
    Why do you keep emphasizing the supposed lack of debt? Because there WAS debt, at the end of it all those assets used to service that debt were *gone*.

    It is akin to a person selling their house, their farm, and their car to cover their bad spending habits.

  362. William Thornton wrote:

    BL wrote:

    William Thornton wrote:
    Both previous leadership and trustees are responsible but, since the $210 was overspent only in the sense that deficits were covered by reserves and one time sales of assets,
    Uh, overspent means overspent in *every* sense. Overspent for several years. That they sold off assets to cover the overspending for several years is not a laudable action.

    No. IMB did not overspend in the sense of having to incur debt to cover it. Huge difference. My point about the asset sales is that excess overseas property and the considerable revenue from such sales could have been used to fund new initiatives or improve critical facilities. Instead, money was used to pay operating costs and it’s gone forever. I do not disagree with your point that such was not a laudable action. Perhaps for a year or two to buy time until normal channels of operating revenue increased. When they did not recover and increase, actions should have been taken to face the deficits. Instead it was put off until the new guy showed up and had it dumped in his lap.

    Plenty to criticize here.

    Who gave the IMB permission to do this and why did they not tell us people in the pews? There is no legitimate reason the IMB did this.

  363. BL wrote:

    William Thornton wrote:
    No. IMB did not overspend in the sense of having to incur debt to cover it.
    Anyone in finance will tell you that selling off your assets over multiple years in order to cover ongoing budgetary excesses is overspending.
    Why do you keep emphasizing the supposed lack of debt? Because there WAS debt, at the end of it all those assets used to service that debt were *gone*.
    The organization was POORER .

    You and I are saying the same thing about asset sales. Perhaps you could agree that overspending that is not covered by borrowing is more burdensome on the company, an unarguable point. If you want to call something “debt” that is not owed to a third party, fine. Money from cash reserves used for operating costs would have to be repaid in time since the company needs a certain level of reserves. A portion of the overspending was covered by reserves but this is a routine, if not frequent practice. The big money covering the overspending came from selling those high dollar overseas properties.

    All the overseas assets that were sold were declared to be excess inventory. You can’t call the loss of the “debt.” The criticism we share is that this money could have been put towards capital expenditures, etc.

  364. mot wrote:

    William Thornton wrote:
    BL wrote:
    William Thornton wrote:
    Both previous leadership and trustees are responsible but, since the $210 was overspent only in the sense that deficits were covered by reserves and one time sales of assets,
    Uh, overspent means overspent in *every* sense. Overspent for several years. That they sold off assets to cover the overspending for several years is not a laudable action.
    No. IMB did not overspend in the sense of having to incur debt to cover it. Huge difference. My point about the asset sales is that excess overseas property and the considerable revenue from such sales could have been used to fund new initiatives or improve critical facilities. Instead, money was used to pay operating costs and it’s gone forever. I do not disagree with your point that such was not a laudable action. Perhaps for a year or two to buy time until normal channels of operating revenue increased. When they did not recover and increase, actions should have been taken to face the deficits. Instead it was put off until the new guy showed up and had it dumped in his lap.
    Plenty to criticize here.
    Who gave the IMB permission to do this and why did they not tell us people in the pews? There is no legitimate reason the IMB did this.

    IMB, leadership and trustees, were able to do all this without any further action by the SBC. I think the charter for the organization would require some action if significant borrowing had to take place. They didn’t need permission.

    It is a legitimate point to say that SBCers were not properly informed. The asset sales and financial shortfalls were appended in notes to financial reports. Leadership spoke in general about needing more money, about people having to wait to be sent overseas, etc. but the crisis wasn’t exposed until Platt said the org was severely overstaffed and did the VRI. If my church was facing a crisis, I’d make sure the people knew about it early and often and with as much detail as they desired. There’s no profit in stifling bad news.

    There absolutely is a legitimate reason IMB did this, unable to cover the costs of a personnel level of 5000 or so.

  365. No Lottie Moon offering last year from us because of these shenanigans, and we are usually generous contributors.

    Now that they appear to be replacing the missionaries who were brought home with 'Calvinistas", we are not inclined to provide financial support for the advancement of the Neo-Cal agenda.

    Looking for other opportunities outside the SBC to support missions.

  366. Nancy2 wrote:

    BL wrote:
    Anyone in finance will tell you that selling off your assets over multiple years in order to cover ongoing budgetary excesses is overspending.
    Why do you keep emphasizing the supposed lack of debt? Because there WAS debt, at the end of it all those assets used to service that debt were *gone*.
    It is akin to a person selling their house, their farm, and their car to cover their bad spending habits.

    Well…no it’s not. It’s akin to selling a vacation house, excess unfarmed or used land, or an excess car.

    These assets were likely burdensome in some cases, taxes to be paid, etc., and so far as I am aware were not income producing assets that contributed to budgetary needs. EXCESS is the word.

    There’s plenty to criticize here…just not this in the way it has been framed.

  367. William Thornton wrote:

    mot wrote:

    William Thornton wrote:
    BL wrote:
    William Thornton wrote:
    Both previous leadership and trustees are responsible but, since the $210 was overspent only in the sense that deficits were covered by reserves and one time sales of assets,
    Uh, overspent means overspent in *every* sense. Overspent for several years. That they sold off assets to cover the overspending for several years is not a laudable action.
    No. IMB did not overspend in the sense of having to incur debt to cover it. Huge difference. My point about the asset sales is that excess overseas property and the considerable revenue from such sales could have been used to fund new initiatives or improve critical facilities. Instead, money was used to pay operating costs and it’s gone forever. I do not disagree with your point that such was not a laudable action. Perhaps for a year or two to buy time until normal channels of operating revenue increased. When they did not recover and increase, actions should have been taken to face the deficits. Instead it was put off until the new guy showed up and had it dumped in his lap.
    Plenty to criticize here.
    Who gave the IMB permission to do this and why did they not tell us people in the pews? There is no legitimate reason the IMB did this.

    IMB, leadership and trustees, were able to do all this without any further action by the SBC. I think the charter for the organization would require some action if significant borrowing had to take place. They didn’t need permission.

    It is a legitimate point to say that SBCers were not properly informed. The asset sales and financial shortfalls were appended in notes to financial reports. Leadership spoke in general about needing more money, about people having to wait to be sent overseas, etc. but the crisis wasn’t exposed until Platt said the org was severely overstaffed and did the VRI. If my church was facing a crisis, I’d make sure the people knew about it early and often and with as much detail as they desired. There’s no profit in stifling bad news.

    There absolutely is a legitimate reason IMB did this, unable to cover the costs of a personnel level of 5000 or so.

    If the “Liberals” had did any thing like this there would be hearings, firings, etc. But all we get is crickets chirping. You and I must have different definitions of legitimate. BTW, what kind of accounting system does the SBC have, it sure seems like a very poor one to me.

  368. William Thornton wrote:

    Money from cash reserves used for operating costs would have to be repaid in time since the company needs a certain level of reserves.

    We are not talking about a company, we are talking about a charitable organization. It’s not like they have taken on debt to produce more widgets, which will be sold, etc…

    William Thornton wrote:

    All the overseas assets that were sold were declared to be excess inventory.

    By the same people overspending. You trust these people?

    That’s a poor way to operate, regardless.

  369. Deb wrote:

    No Lottie Moon offering last year from us because of these shenanigans, and we are usually generous contributors.

    Now that they appear to be replacing the missionaries who were brought home with ‘Calvinistas”, we are not inclined to provide financial support for the advancement of the Neo-Cal agenda.

    Looking for other opportunities outside the SBC to support missions.

    I can assure you that if I were pastoring an SBC church’ until the IMB gives me credible reasons for this overspending and calling home of 1000 missionaries my church would be looking to not support the Lottie Moon offering. Somebody at the SBC headquarters better wakeup and realize what they have done to long term missions giving by SBC.

  370. Deb wrote:

    No Lottie Moon offering last year from us because of these shenanigans, and we are usually generous contributors.
    Now that they appear to be replacing the missionaries who were brought home with ‘Calvinistas”, we are not inclined to provide financial support for the advancement of the Neo-Cal agenda.
    Looking for other opportunities outside the SBC to support missions.

    This is a black eye on IMB, no question about it. I’d be interested in how you arrived at the conclusion that “Calvinistas” are replacing those that took the VRI or that there is a Neo-Cal IMB agenda. The closest I can see you coming is to point out that as a group, more SBC seminary grads adhere to some level of Calvinistic beliefs that they did 20 or 30 years ago. Here again, every IMB appointee has to affirm the BFM, along with the most exhaustive vetting process for any SBC position or job. I interact with not a few overseas personnel and when I ask them about the Cal/Trad stuff, I get an eyeroll and a comment that such is a stateside affair. These people just try and hack it in hard places day-by-day.

    Everything in the SBC doesn’t rise or fall on Calvinism. Thank God for that.

  371. mot wrote:

    If the “Liberals” had did any thing like this there would be hearings, firings, etc.

    Liberals? Ha! What would happen if the WMU did anything even remotely similar to what the IMB did?

  372. mot wrote:

    The asset sales and financial shortfalls were appended in notes to financial reports.

    So the way we peon SBC members were supossed to find out about this overspending was to be reading the footnotes of the financial statements–rolling my eyes.

  373. Nancy2 wrote:

    mot wrote:

    If the “Liberals” had did any thing like this there would be hearings, firings, etc.

    Liberals? Ha! What would happen if the WMU did anything even remotely similar to what the IMB did?

    Thank God they can not blame it on the wimmin. For me what happened rises to the level of a scandal, but no we just need to move on is what we are told.

  374. mot wrote:

    Deb wrote:
    No Lottie Moon offering last year from us because of these shenanigans, and we are usually generous contributors.
    Now that they appear to be replacing the missionaries who were brought home with ‘Calvinistas”, we are not inclined to provide financial support for the advancement of the Neo-Cal agenda.
    Looking for other opportunities outside the SBC to support missions.
    I can assure you that if I were pastoring an SBC church’ until the IMB gives me credible reasons for this overspending and calling home of 1000 missionaries my church would be looking to not support the Lottie Moon offering. Somebody at the SBC headquarters better wakeup and realize what they have done to long term missions giving by SBC.

    Mot, what would be an answer that you would accept? They overspent because income declined and costs went up. They offered VRIs and other incentives to personnel and 1000 volunteered to accept them. Now they are at a sustainable level.

    Other SBC entities (the seminaries, state conventions, etc.) had to react immediately to the 2009 economic recession by quickly cutting personnel and programs. IMB was large enough, had enough reserves, and had millions in marketable overseas assets that were sold enabling them to ride things out for 6 or 7 years. I think it was a mistake to handle it this way and that previous leadership and trustees are open to criticism on this.

    Water under the bridge at this point. Lottie Moon was up almost $13 million from last year, probably a one time bump up. I understand that people make choices in giving for reasons that are sufficient to them. So be it.

  375. Nancy2 wrote:

    It is akin to a person selling their house, their farm, and their car to cover their bad spending habits.

    While trying to claim that it wasn’t *really* overspending.

  376. mot wrote:

    mot wrote:
    The asset sales and financial shortfalls were appended in notes to financial reports.
    So the way we peon SBC members were supossed to find out about this overspending was to be reading the footnotes of the financial statements–rolling my eyes.

    I’m with you there. Bad way to handle it. Those chickens have come home to roost.

  377. William Thornton wrote:

    so far as I am aware were not income producing assets

    I was under the impression that those assets were not acquired in order to produce income, but to be used in helping spread the gospel. Silly me.

  378. William Thornton wrote:

    Water under the bridge at this point

    Maybe you do not mean to. But for me that is a heartless sentence. You explain to the 1000 missionaries that it is just water under the bridge. I can not imagine the devastation that it has brought to these real people.

  379. William Thornton wrote:

    Well…no it’s not. It’s akin to selling a vacation house, excess unfarmed or used land, or an excess car.
    These assets were likely burdensome in some cases, taxes to be paid, etc., and so far as I am aware were not income producing assets that contributed to budgetary needs. EXCESS is the word.

    Men who basically hid their overspending for years, are hardly credible when asserting that an asset was burdensome OR excess.

    Aren’t these the same men who told us that there were an EXCESS of missionaries? The same forced-out missionaries are now seemingly being replaced with *different* missionaries?

  380. Lea wrote:

    William Thornton wrote:
    Money from cash reserves used for operating costs would have to be repaid in time since the company needs a certain level of reserves.
    We are not talking about a company, we are talking about a charitable organization. It’s not like they have taken on debt to produce more widgets, which will be sold, etc…
    William Thornton wrote:
    All the overseas assets that were sold were declared to be excess inventory.
    By the same people overspending. You trust these people?
    That’s a poor way to operate, regardless.

    The overseas assets are a historic item with an interesting back story. There’s no issue here and simple explanations that I don’t see anyone disputing. “Company” is the term used by IMB people, shorthand. IMB is big bidness, with a budget larger than all six seminaries combined. They better have some reserves.

  381. William Thornton wrote:

    Mot, what would be an answer that you would accept? They overspent because income declined and costs went up. They offered VRIs and other incentives to personnel and 1000 volunteered to accept them. Now they are at a sustainable level.

    I am “thankful” that this did not happen under a LIBERAL SBC administration. I can not not begin to imagine the head hunting that would have been going on for months now.

  382. Nancy2 wrote:

    I was under the impression that those assets were not acquired in order to produce income,

    Stop trying to keep your eye on the ball!

    Just quietly listen to the sweet soothing of the words as it is all explained…. 😉

  383. BL wrote:

    William Thornton wrote:
    Well…no it’s not. It’s akin to selling a vacation house, excess unfarmed or used land, or an excess car.
    These assets were likely burdensome in some cases, taxes to be paid, etc., and so far as I am aware were not income producing assets that contributed to budgetary needs. EXCESS is the word.
    Men who basically hid their overspending for years, are hardly credible when asserting that an asset was burdensome OR excess.
    Aren’t these the same men who told us that there were an EXCESS of missionaries? The same forced-out missionaries are now seemingly being replaced with *different* missionaries?

    Nope. Wrong on the data. IMB is appointing new people, as they have from the beginning because it is a sending agency. Some have said IMB should have shut down new appointments and let the deficits be reduced by normal attrition. Math didn’t work on that, and there were other good reasons not to take that approach.

    If you know of some assets that shouldn’t have been declared excess and sold, I’m all ears.

  384. Deb wrote:

    As a Southern Baptist, I’ll be following the IMB’s actions closely this year…

    So will I. I believe you can see the SBC spin masters, including William are not going to Blog about “controversial’ SBC issues. SBC people deserve the truth.

  385. mot wrote:

    I can assure you that if I were pastoring an SBC church’ until the IMB gives me credible reasons for this overspending and calling home of 1000 missionaries my church would be looking to not support the Lottie Moon offering.

    Mot, that ought to be the position taken by SBC’s 45,000+ churches. For years, Southern Baptists have faithfully given to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and Annie Armstrong Easter Offering to support foreign and home missions, respectively. SBC’s International Mission Board (IMB) over-spent nearly a quarter of a billion dollars (!) without the pew knowing it, until missionaries were called home. SBC’s North American Mission Board (NAMB) is using half of its annual budget ($60 million) to plant churches, most of which have YRR pastors with belief and practice that go contrary to mainline Southern Baptist theology. It would be best for SBC churches to directly support missionaries, even para-church ministries, whom they trust rather than toss millions of dollars into theo-political agendas (both IMB and NAMB leaders are New Calvinists). For the first time in my 60+ years as a Southern Baptist, I now look with sadness at the Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong offering envelopes stuffed in the pew racks.

    P.S. Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong are about the only women “preachers” Southern Baptists talk about. If alive today, both would be eternally subordinated by the New Calvinists … but they sure like the money these girls are still generating for their cause.

  386. William Thornton wrote:

    Math didn’t work on that, and there were other good reasons not to take that approach

    What other good reasons? I and others are all ears. Tell us, please.

  387. A couple dozen IMB employees were terminated. Of the other 980 or so, all volunteered after some degree of incentives were offered. Nancy2 wrote:

    William Thornton wrote:
    so far as I am aware were not income producing assets
    I was under the impression that those assets were not acquired in order to produce income, but to be used in helping spread the gospel. Silly me.

    IMB has gotten out of a lot of fixed institutional assets for a number of very good reasons. Some of these were turned over to national Christian organizations for use. Some were residences no longer needed. Stuff like that.

  388. William Thornton wrote:

    Some have said IMB should have shut down new appointments and let the deficits be reduced by normal attrition. Math didn’t work on that

    If they had done that from the beginning of the deficit, do you think the ‘math’ may have worked better?

  389. Max wrote:

    P.S. Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong are about the only women “preachers” Southern Baptists talk about. If alive today, both would be eternally subordinated by the New Calvinists … but they sure like the money these girls are still generating for their cause.

    The SBC’s only use of Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong has been to raise money for missions and now the big boys have messed that up.

    IMO these two dear ladies would never be commissioned as SBC missionaries today.

  390. Lea wrote:

    If they had done that from the beginning of the deficit, do you think the ‘math’ may have worked better?

    Oh, that little thing called math. I all sounds so cold to me.

  391. mot wrote:

    William Thornton wrote:
    Math didn’t work on that, and there were other good reasons not to take that approach
    What other good reasons? I and others are all ears. Tell us, please.

    Not that an answer is actually desired but if IMB had shut down new appointments for, say, five or so years (maybe a longer period would be required to get the numbers down) then hundreds of individuals, couples, and families who had been preparing for overseas service would immediately be cut off. Anyone interested in overseas service would understand that it would be five, ten, or more years down the road before they had a chance to serve. And this while the normal attrition (retirements, resignations, deaths, and terminations) provided holes in ministry positions and locations unevenly without the possibility of replacement.

    There isn’t a good way to downsize by 800+ people. The route chosen seems to me to be the best way. Others disagree.

  392. mot wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    If they had done that from the beginning of the deficit, do you think the ‘math’ may have worked better?

    Oh, that little thing called math. I all sounds so cold to me.

    We reduce our staffing levels by natural attrition all the time. That is the least cruel way to deal with the math.

    I would love to dig into budgets just out of curiosity at this point…Point me towards the spreadsheets!

  393. William Thornton wrote:

    Of the other 980 or so, all volunteered after some degree of incentives were offered.

    Yep–they volunteered to leave their missionary post. William how can you even type this to be published on the internet. You and I and everyone else knows they did not volunteer. But you know and I know they can not talk about their volunteering.

  394. mot wrote:

    William Thornton wrote:
    IMB has gotten out of a lot of fixed institutional assets for a number of very good reasons
    What are the reasons William?

    Decisions were made years ago to move away from the institutional model for missions: expensive fixed assets like schools, seminaries, hospitals, childrens homes, etc. In some countries national Christian organizations were large enough and strong enough to provide indigenous leadership, staffing, and management of the institutions.

  395. William Thornton wrote:

    Not that an answer is actually desired but if IMB had shut down new appointments for, say, five or so years (maybe a longer period would be required to get the numbers down) then hundreds of individuals, couples, and families who had been preparing for overseas service would immediately be cut off. Anyone interested in overseas service would understand that it would be five, ten, or more years down the road before they had a chance to serve. And this while the normal attrition (retirements, resignations, deaths, and terminations) provided holes in ministry positions and locations unevenly without the possibility of replacement.

    You are worried that people interested in overseas service would be sad(?) that they couldn’t go, but not worried about sending people home en masse?

    I get the holes thing, although I would think missionaries could be moved around generally…

  396. mot wrote:

    William Thornton wrote:
    Of the other 980 or so, all volunteered after some degree of incentives were offered.
    Yep–they volunteered to leave their missionary post. William how can you even type this to be published on the internet. You and I and everyone else knows they did not volunteer. But you know and I know they can not talk about their volunteering.

    Name one who did not voluntarily accept the offer of retirement incentives. No need to tell me what I know. Tell me what you know.

  397. Max wrote:

    using half of its annual budget ($60 million) to plant churches, most of which have YRR pastors with belief and practice that go contrary to mainline Southern Baptist theology.

    Plant churches in underserved rural areas? Why, of course not!

    Planting churches in the US in areas that have more than enough churches. College towns, high-property market value areas.

    How, how… sacrificial of them!

  398. William Thornton wrote:

    Decisions were made years ago to move away from the institutional model for missions: expensive fixed assets like schools, seminaries, hospitals, childrens homes, etc.

    And think those decision were entirely independent of the budget issues? Does the timing work out on that?

  399. Lea wrote:

    Point me towards the spreadsheets!

    Sadly, the SBC mantra when it comes to all major decisions is just Trust and Obey!

  400. mot wrote:

    Sadly, the SBC mantra when it comes to all major decisions is just Trust and Obey!

    They wouldn’t let me near anything anyway, since I’m just a girl.

    Which is also why I’m no longer a southern Baptist.

  401. William Thornton wrote:

    Name one who did not voluntarily accept the offer of retirement incentives. No need to tell me what I know. Tell me what you know.

    So let me get this straight. People who have dedicated themselves to IMB service for the upcoming years, are given a chance to retire and they just said yeah we volunteer to take that. Sorry, I’m not buying that.

  402. Deb wrote:

    As a Southern Baptist, I’ll be following the IMB’s actions closely this year…

    If/when IMB funds recover enough to re-staff its foreign mission effort, will the veteran missionaries who were called home (primarily non-Calvinists) be replaced by younger inexperienced ones (primarily Calvinists)?

  403. William Thornton wrote:

    Name one who did not voluntarily accept the offer of retirement incentives.

    William you might fool 20 year olds with the above assertion, but for anyone that’s been around the block – they know that *voluntary* in these situations was less than voluntary and more than a little coerced.

    Tell me, were they required to sign a contract limiting their ability to talk about this?

  404. Lea wrote:

    since I’m just a girl.

    Which is also why I’m no longer a southern Baptist.

    You and who knows millions of others have left. But how many times have I heard in the SBC if you do not like the way it is just leave.

  405. mot wrote:

    Deb wrote:
    As a Southern Baptist, I’ll be following the IMB’s actions closely this year…
    So will I. I believe you can see the SBC spin masters, including William are not going to Blog about “controversial’ SBC issues. SBC people deserve the truth.

    I’ll be following it closely as well. I don’t know what to call all this here if not a discussion of a controversial SBC issue. There are several SBC sites that tackle this stuff regularly. There is disagreement among us on many of these things. My view is that IMB is on the right track, has financial stability for the near future, and is able to move forward with its mission. Others differ. So be it. We all make our choices and have our opinion. I have no objection to those who disagree with me other than when facts are left out or distorted. If we look at the same set of facts and come to different conclusions for whatever reasons, fine.

  406. mot wrote:

    So let me get this straight. People who have dedicated themselves to IMB service for the upcoming years, are given a chance to retire and they just said yeah we volunteer to take that. Sorry, I’m not buying that.

    Having seen this sort of ‘volunteering’ up close, I can tell you that their options were:

    Rock

    or

    Hard Place

    Now, ‘voluntarily’ choose between the two.

  407. William Thornton wrote:

    There are several SBC sites that tackle this stuff regularly.

    Not like it can be discussed here. Here you can comment without being blocked.

    You keep saying–So be it. It is over for you, huh. What if you were one of the 1000 called home?

  408. mot wrote:

    The SBC’s only use of Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong has been to raise money for missions and now the big boys have messed that up.

    And these “big boys” ……… what are their salaries? I’ll bet no one volunteered to take a pay cut!

  409. William Thornton wrote:

    If we look at the same set of facts and come to different conclusions for whatever reasons, fine.

    Maybe you get to see the facts, but I have not seen any as it relates to the recalling of the missionaries.

  410. Nancy2 wrote:

    And these “big boys” ……… what are their salaries? I’ll bet no one volunteered to take a pay cut!

    I am willing to be you–not a one!

  411. mot wrote:

    we volunteer to take that

    I think it came down more like “you volunteer to take the severance, or else.” The religious press at the time was reporting that the IMB “retirement” offer contained language indicating that a window was open for a period of time to accept the arrangement, after which they could not be guaranteed a severance package.

    Note: these were called-by-God foreign missionaries, not just ordinary ministry staff. Can an agency un-do a call of God? Aren’t God’s people called to support those who have been sent (money was coming in, but being spent with little accountability)? Should SBC have channeled other funds to IMB to keep those missionaries on the field (e.g., putting a $60 church planting program on hold for a while)?

  412. Max wrote:

    Deb wrote:
    As a Southern Baptist, I’ll be following the IMB’s actions closely this year…
    If/when IMB funds recover enough to re-staff its foreign mission effort, will the veteran missionaries who were called home (primarily non-Calvinists) be replaced by younger inexperienced ones (primarily Calvinists)?

    That’s the question that is ricocheting around on all this. Younger SBs are proportionately more Calvinistic than older ones. New appointees are mostly younger. Is therefore the IMB mission force more Calvinistic. Probably. But no one is vetting candidates on the basis of their Calvinism. In fact, the vetting is more attuned to screening out agenda-driven, foaming-at-the-mouth Calvinists. Whomever is appointed has to affirm the BFM, along with a ton of other stuff.

    Will, retirees be reappointed? I don’t know. I’ve heard that some are being utilized in ways other than as FT, career mssys. IMB is at about 3800. I don’t see any long term increase in revenue that will push this number up substantially. There are alternative routes to service that will increase the numbers, just not with full funding, career type positions.

  413. William Thornton wrote:

    Name one who did not voluntarily accept the offer of retirement incentives. No need to tell me what I know. Tell me what you know.

    I personally know a couple who returned to Muhlenberg Co., KY from Asia in the first wave under the “voluntary retirement incentives”.
    When someone in our SS class asked the wife if they liked the area they had worked in as missionaries, the wife replied, “We loved it there. If we had had a choice, we would have stayed.”

    Slip of the tongue?

  414. Lea wrote:

    William Thornton wrote:
    Decisions were made years ago to move away from the institutional model for missions: expensive fixed assets like schools, seminaries, hospitals, childrens homes, etc.
    And think those decision were entirely independent of the budget issues? Does the timing work out on that?

    Ask a missiologist but my reading is that it had more to do with general changes in approach (indigenous, not imperialist) than budget. These trends run across all mission sending organizations and denominations I think.

  415. Max wrote:

    mot wrote:

    we volunteer to take that

    I think it came down more like “you volunteer to take the severance, or else.” The religious press at the time was reporting that the IMB “retirement” offer contained language indicating that a window was open for a period of time to accept the arrangement, after which they could not be guaranteed a severance package.

    Note: these were called-by-God foreign missionaries, not just ordinary ministry staff. Can an agency un-do a call of God? Aren’t God’s people called to support those who have been sent (money was coming in, but being spent with little accountability)? Should SBC have channeled other funds to IMB to keep those missionaries on the field (e.g., putting a $60 church planting program on hold for a while)?

    I continue to be shocked that William can attempt to Spin what is a major SBC issue. I could be wrong but what I know about SBC folk if we had been given the truth about what was happening financially those 1000 missionaries would be on the job this very morning. Why were we not given a chance to keep these missionaries on the field?

  416. Nancy2 wrote:

    I personally know a couple who returned to Muhlenberg Co., KY from Asia in the first wave under the “voluntary retirement incentives”.
    When someone in our SS class asked the wife if they liked the area they had worked in as missionaries, the wife replied, “We loved it there. If we had had a choice, we would have stayed.”

    Anyone who has ever been through a reduction in force knows how this works. If they were voluntary in the truest sense, that would be more along the lines of natural attrition.

    What they do is offer an incentive, with potential for worse options if you don’t take it. Carrot/stick.

  417. William Thornton wrote:

    Ask a missiologist but my reading is that it had more to do with general changes in approach (indigenous, not imperialist) than budget.

    Point me towards a missiologist and I will ask them.

    My reading would be to look at dates. If the overspending by 30mil (?) happens to coincide with a new decision to sell off a lot of assets, well I think that’s pretty likely connected.

  418. Lea wrote:

    What they do is offer an incentive, with potential for worse options if you don’t take it. Carrot/stick.

    Yep, coerced voluntary.

  419. Lea wrote:

    William Thornton wrote:

    Ask a missiologist but my reading is that it had more to do with general changes in approach (indigenous, not imperialist) than budget.

    Point me towards a missiologist and I will ask them.

    My reading would be to look at dates. If the overspending by 30mil (?) happens to coincide with a new decision to sell off a lot of assets, well I think that’s pretty likely connected.

    Lea, you and I and others are nor going to be allowed to see the “data.”

  420. Lea wrote:

    What they do is offer an incentive, with potential for worse options if you don’t take it. Carrot/stick.

    Hmmmm …… it is difficult to pink-slip personnel with tenure, isn’t it?

  421. BL wrote:

    William Thornton wrote:
    Name one who did not voluntarily accept the offer of retirement incentives.
    William you might fool 20 year olds with the above assertion, but for anyone that’s been around the block – they know that *voluntary* in these situations was less than voluntary and more than a little coerced.
    Tell me, were they required to sign a contract limiting their ability to talk about this?

    Ask them. Perhaps. No one was coerced but if you find one, I’m all ears. Your opinion is shared by many partly because it fits your narrative and pre-formed conclusions. Surely someone can come up with some who say they were forced to sign the retirement papers. It’s no small thing that anyone with years of service would take a VRI but none were told that they must, or that their positions were being eliminated. You need not accept it and I don’t expect you will. So be it.

  422. @ William Thornton:

    What we know is they were given offers they couldn’t refuse because the next offer would have been less. We also know they were all forced to sign non-disclosure agreements or risking losing their severance. Typical Calvinist response – PROVE IT! NAME NAMES!

  423. William Thornton wrote:

    Surely someone can come up with some who say they were forced to sign the retirement papers.

    Wasn’t there a “hush” clause in the “retirement papers?

  424. Nancy2 wrote:

    William Thornton wrote:
    Name one who did not voluntarily accept the offer of retirement incentives. No need to tell me what I know. Tell me what you know.
    I personally know a couple who returned to Muhlenberg Co., KY from Asia in the first wave under the “voluntary retirement incentives”.
    When someone in our SS class asked the wife if they liked the area they had worked in as missionaries, the wife replied, “We loved it there. If we had had a choice, we would have stayed.”
    Slip of the tongue?

    Was she asked who forced the choice? If someone did, she has legal recourse.

  425. Nancy2 wrote:

    “Tie their hands, duct tape their mouths shut. Now, I’m all ears!”

    But according to William we just need to discuss this matter with these “retirees’ and they will just spill the beans of how nice the IMB was to allow them to finish their long-term missionaries years earlier than was originally planned.

    My heart breaks for these missionaries. I can not begin to believe how devastated these folks are this morning.

  426. William Thornton wrote:

    No one was coerced but if you find one, I’m all ears.

    Goodness, William. I’m guessing you’ve never been through a department or organization downsizing?

  427. William Thornton wrote:

    Was she asked who forced the choice? If someone did, she has legal recourse.

    She caught herself and would not answer any more questions.
    Legal recourse ……. after signing a non-disclosure agreement?

  428. Celia wrote:

    @ William Thornton:

    What we know is they were given offers they couldn’t refuse because the next offer would have been less. We also know they were all forced to sign non-disclosure agreements or risking losing their severance. Typical Calvinist response – PROVE IT! NAME NAMES!

    And the Truth Squads of the Neo-Cal/SBTS Ministry of Truth are screaming The Party Line…

    doubleplusgoodthink, comrade thornton!
    doubleplusgood doubleplusduckspeak!
    dog biscuit and pat-pat-pat on the head from Big Brother Danville Himself!

  429. mot wrote:

    Max wrote:
    mot wrote:
    we volunteer to take that
    I think it came down more like “you volunteer to take the severance, or else.” The religious press at the time was reporting that the IMB “retirement” offer contained language indicating that a window was open for a period of time to accept the arrangement, after which they could not be guaranteed a severance package.
    Note: these were called-by-God foreign missionaries, not just ordinary ministry staff. Can an agency un-do a call of God? Aren’t God’s people called to support those who have been sent (money was coming in, but being spent with little accountability)? Should SBC have channeled other funds to IMB to keep those missionaries on the field (e.g., putting a $60 church planting program on hold for a while)?
    I continue to be shocked that William can attempt to Spin what is a major SBC issue. I could be wrong but what I know about SBC folk if we had been given the truth about what was happening financially those 1000 missionaries would be on the job this very morning. Why were we not given a chance to keep these missionaries on the field?

    Maybe so, Mot. But I know no one who sees another $50 million annually for IMB as far as the eye can see. SBCers gave another $13 million this year following the crisis. If, five years ago, the matter was plainly put, do you think it would have motivated folks sufficient to avoid the $30-$35 million in deficit spending. The largest one year LM increase in history was about $20 million.

  430. Nancy2 wrote:

    I personally know a couple who returned to Muhlenberg Co., KY from Asia in the first wave under the “voluntary retirement incentives”.

    “Comrade Commissar has told us that we have Volunteered, Comrade.”

  431. @ mot:
    He knows for a fact no one was coerced but he pretends to not know about the non disclosure agreements which would penalize them if they talked about being coerced. He speaks with authority and then plays dumb. If they’ve forced into silence how can he possibly know they weren’t coerced?

  432. Nancy2 wrote:

    She caught herself and would not answer any more questions.

    They have been gagged or their retirement will be taken away from them. Imagine wanting to talk about an issue that devastated your life and not being allowed to because your retirement would be taken away from you.

  433. mot wrote:

    So let me get this straight. People who have dedicated themselves to IMB service for the upcoming years, are given a chance to retire and they just said yeah we volunteer to take that.

    Ees Party Line, Comrades!
    Comrade Commissar Thornton hath said so!

  434. William Thornton wrote:

    mot wrote:

    Max wrote:
    mot wrote:
    we volunteer to take that
    I think it came down more like “you volunteer to take the severance, or else.” The religious press at the time was reporting that the IMB “retirement” offer contained language indicating that a window was open for a period of time to accept the arrangement, after which they could not be guaranteed a severance package.
    Note: these were called-by-God foreign missionaries, not just ordinary ministry staff. Can an agency un-do a call of God? Aren’t God’s people called to support those who have been sent (money was coming in, but being spent with little accountability)? Should SBC have channeled other funds to IMB to keep those missionaries on the field (e.g., putting a $60 church planting program on hold for a while)?
    I continue to be shocked that William can attempt to Spin what is a major SBC issue. I could be wrong but what I know about SBC folk if we had been given the truth about what was happening financially those 1000 missionaries would be on the job this very morning. Why were we not given a chance to keep these missionaries on the field?

    Maybe so, Mot. But I know no one who sees another $50 million annually for IMB as far as the eye can see. SBCers gave another $13 million this year following the crisis. If, five years ago, the matter was plainly put, do you think it would have motivated folks sufficient to avoid the $30-$35 million in deficit spending. The largest one year LM increase in history was about $20 million.

    We were not even given the chance to save these missionaries, so we will never know.

  435. mot wrote:

    Lea wrote:

    Point me towards the spreadsheets!

    Sadly, the SBC mantra when it comes to all major decisions is just Trust and Obey!

    “SLAVES, OBEY YOUR MASTERS!”
    — SCRIPTURE(TM)

  436. @ William Thornton:
    Some had questions about how that extra 13 mil number was counted. But hey those questions were nothing but slander amirite William. Asking questions = slander.

  437. William Thornton wrote:

    If, five years ago, the matter was plainly put, do you think it would have motivated folks sufficient to avoid the $30-$35 million in deficit spending. The largest one year LM increase in history was about $20 million.

    You mean to tell me that you think the IMB could not have come up with some plan to save these 1000 missionaries if we as Southern Baptist had been given the honest facts about such a huge number of missionaries being brought home. I believe SB would have risen to the occasion and raised these additional funds.

  438. William Thornton wrote:

    Younger SBs are proportionately more Calvinistic than older ones. New appointees are mostly younger. Is therefore the IMB mission force more Calvinistic. Probably. But no one is vetting candidates on the basis of their Calvinism.

    Thank you William for clarifying this and supporting the concerns expressed on this blog.

  439. mot wrote:

    They have been gagged or their retirement will be taken away from them. Imagine wanting to talk about an issue that devastated your life and not being allowed to because your retirement would be taken away from you.

    And I have probably already said too much. How hard would it be for the IMB to track down the couple I mentioned?

  440. In Keathley’s response in the OP, he wants to paint SEBTS as not being a major player in the neo-Cal movement. SEBTS loses all plausible deniability, however, since they host and promote 9-Marks conferences.

  441. Celia wrote:

    @ William Thornton:
    Some had questions about how that extra 13 mil number was counted. But hey those questions were nothing but slander amirite William. Asking questions = slander.

    You’ll have to explain this one. I haven’t seen anyone question the accounting on the LMCO.

  442. I oppose NDAs for Christian organizations. Let the org take the shots if former employees want to criticize them.

    The fact was that IMB needed to reduce personnel by 600, preferable 800, a staggering number. I haven’t seen anyone suggest a way this could have been done that was less objectionable to the VRI and HRO.

  443. mot wrote:

    We were not even given the chance to save these missionaries, so we will never know.

    I have a feeling that people might have been very generous in support of these God-called missionaries, if they had KNOWN what was going down and had a opportunity to do an intervention to prevent the culling of the Called. Dear God, what a waste of ‘resources’ in the removal of His servants, who ARE the only resources that cannot be ‘replaced’, no matter what new young folk of what persuasion are NOW being sent by them what did the culling. EXPERIENCE in the service of Our Lord is a resource with a price above rubies, it has a value that cannot be reckoned, and the loss is tragic.

  444. William Thornton wrote:

    BL: Tell me, were they required to sign a contract limiting their ability to talk about this?

    Ask them. Perhaps.

    I’m asking you because you seem to be the one in the know.

    It’s a simple yes or no question. Were they required to sign an NDA or forfeit the offer?

  445. William Thornton wrote:

    The fact was that IMB needed to reduce personnel by 600, preferable 800, a staggering number. I haven’t seen anyone suggest a way this could have been done that was less objectionable to the VRI and HRO.

    What is the natural attrition rate? That for the years with a large deficit would have been a good start.

  446. Christiane wrote:

    mot wrote:

    We were not even given the chance to save these missionaries, so we will never know.

    I have a feeling that people might have been very generous in support of these God-called missionaries, if they had KNOWN what was going down and had a opportunity to do an intervention to prevent the culling of the Called. Dear God, what a waste of ‘resources’ in the removal of His servants, who ARE the only resources that cannot be ‘replaced’, no matter what new young folk of what persuasion are NOW being sent by them what did the culling. EXPERIENCE in the service of Our Lord is a resource with a price above rubies, it has a value that cannot be reckoned, and the loss is tragic.

    Oh, but according to William we just need to move on. I believe I saw somewhere where an SBC President blamed the people in the pews for having to bring these missionaries home. My goodness, how could we save them if we did not even know about the crisis.

  447. @ BL:
    I met one of these missionaries who was brought home a few months ago. She (there’s a clue!) was careful about what she said. I think she was single, although I didn’t ask.

    She was doing some kind of work with the Baptists of North Carolina. It was a transition job from the missionary field. When that temporary job comes to an end, she’s not sure what she’ll do to earn a living.

    She spent decades on the mission field, and this is how she’s treated…

  448. @ William Thornton:
    You’re trying to distract. It’s your spin that missionaries were just happy to volunteer and said thank you for allowing me to retire that’s ticking everybody off. Calling it VRI doesn’t make it voluntary especially when the options to not “volunteering” were worse. It was a Corleone “offer they couldn’t refuse.”

  449. Deb wrote:

    @ BL:
    I met one of these missionaries who was brought home a few months ago. She (there’s a clue!) was careful about what she said. I think she was single, although I didn’t ask.

    She was doing some kind of work with the Baptists of North Carolina. It was a transition job from the missionary field. When that temporary job comes to an end, she’s not sure what she’ll do to earn a living.

    She spent decades on the mission field, and this is how she’s treated…

    Yes, Deb, but William says just move on. It is over–seems to remind me of how some of the CR victims were treated.

  450. BL wrote:

    William Thornton wrote:
    BL: Tell me, were they required to sign a contract limiting their ability to talk about this?
    Inquiring minds my want for
    Ask them. Perhaps.
    I’m asking you because you seem to be the one in the know.
    It’s a simple yes or no question. Were they required to sign an NDA or forfeit the offer?

    Inquiring minds want to know…

  451. Deb wrote:

    William Thornton wrote:
    BL: Tell me, were they required to sign a contract limiting their ability to talk about this?
    Inquiring minds my want for
    Ask them. Perhaps.
    I’m asking you because you seem to be the one in the know.
    It’s a simple yes or no question. Were they required to sign an NDA or forfeit the offer?

    Inquiring minds want to know…

    William IMO is trying to help the IMB here, but it is not working.

  452. @ mot:
    I said it earlier, going forward everybody needs to watch how the IMB will change up the way they label, identify, and count going forward. From here on out Platt will be seen as the savior of the IMB but they will not be comparing apples to apples to prove his magnificence.

  453. Deb wrote:

    @ mot:
    Sickening

    These guys are spinmeisters!

    And William appears to be one of the best spinmeisters!

  454. Celia wrote:

    @ mot:
    I said it earlier, going forward everybody needs to watch how the IMB will change up the way they label, identify, and count going forward. From here on out Platt will be seen as the savior of the IMB but they will not be comparing apples to apples to prove his magnificence.

    I would love to know if the financial statements of the IMB are audited and if they are which CPA firm audits them.

  455. Celia wrote:

    @ Deb:
    Pravda’s Professional Propagandist!

    Undoubtedly being a spinmeister is one of the requirements at Pravda.

  456. Celia wrote:

    @ Deb:
    Pravda’s Professional Propagandist!

    He can post an item at his blog and hardly get a comment, but if he reposts it at Pravda the comments are much higher. Just do not understand that blogging technique.

  457. @ mot:
    It’s not just the money. Platt’s already indicated he’s going to change what/who counts as a missionary. So within a couple of years he’ll announce the IMB has more missionaries than they had before he decided to get rid of 1,000 of the old folk. IMB will be declared as being better than it’s ever been thanks to Platt.

  458. @ mot:
    The content and the comments are very controlled. Notice in the comments how one negative comment will we swarmed by the crew over there. Dissent is not tolerated. There are only a couple of dissenters allowed to post there and they are treated by these oh so fine christian gentlemen with utter contempt and vitriol.

  459. Celia wrote:

    @ mot:
    It’s not just the money. Platt’s already indicated he’s going to change what/who counts as a missionary. So within a couple of years he’ll announce the IMB has more missionaries than they had before he decided to get rid of 1,000 of the old folk. IMB will be declared as being better than it’s ever been thanks to Platt.

    What would the SBC have ever done without Platt showing up to save the day, but I bet the 1000 missionaries do not look at him as the Savior of their day.

  460. William Thornton wrote:

    I haven’t seen anyone suggest a way this could have been done that was less objectionable to the VRI and HRO.

    I worked in corporate America for 40+ years. The companies I worked for had multiple departments. In years when one department struggled, the profits of another were diverted to help it through difficult times. I realize the church is not a business (or is it?), but it seems to me that NAMB’s $60 million annual church planting program could have been shelved or curtailed for a while and some of those funds channeled to its sister agency, the IMB. I realize that Southern Baptists earmark monies for foreign vs. home mission efforts in the Lottie Moon & Annie Armstrong offerings, but I think Southern Baptists would have preferred to keep veteran missionaries on the field, rather than plant new churches for the time being. I know that NAMB tried to help by transferring some money to IMB, but I think Southern Baptists (if allowed input on that decision) would have directed more funds to IMB instead of church planting. Instead, millions of Southern Baptists were notified of the IMB decision to cut its force after the fact.

  461. Celia wrote:

    @ mot:
    The content and the comments are very controlled. Notice in the comments how one negative comment will we swarmed by the crew over there. Dissent is not tolerated. There are only a couple of dissenters allowed to post there and they are treated by these oh so fine christian gentlemen with utter contempt and vitriol.

    They are a nasty bunch when it comes to dissent.

  462. Lea wrote:

    mot wrote:

    Celia wrote:
    @ William Thornton:
    Everyone go right now and be sure to read the comments.

    http://sbcvoices.com/before-we-get-sidetracked-lets-celebrate-lottie-moons-big-year/

    The timing of this post was one week before the SBC Convention. How timely.

    Ooh, that Rick Patrick guys comments are interesting. Sounds like there is some money moving around…

    Oh, they do not like Patrick. He truly believes the Calvinists are taking over the SBC, but for the most part they try to marginalize any comment he makes in regards to this. But in fairness Patrick does not like dissenting comments at his Blog either.

  463. @ Max:
    Max, they didn’t want a solution to save those missionaries. They wanted to clean the slate – out with the old in with the new. The money problem was the perfect excuse to remake the IMB.

  464. Also interesting comment from William: “If no evidence, then it’s slander.”

    That is not right, I think. I love how when anybody says anything questioning some folks seem to turn into a defense attorney all ‘where is the evidence’.

  465. @ Nancy2:
    Excerpt from article. (Sorry, I can’t get my iPad to do this in a single comment box!)

    “Next week those eligible workers will receive a personalized, tailored package that fits their specific situation. They can respond as early as September 21st with a clear yea/nay response. However, no responses are need until November 2. On that day, your “yes” will mean yes and your “no” will mean no. Once you say “No thanks,” the die is cast. No going back. However, if you accept the package, you will enter into the transition process.

    In early December, those who accepted the deal will sign official letters. Despite that signature, everyone will have 7 additional days to back out, no questions asked. At that time, everyone who continues with their retirement plans will officially become “volunteers on the field” instead of IMB employees.”

  466. Also, from the comments…Can somebody translate this for me?

    “Our baptisms are way down from the glory days of the ;1980’s when we regularly had over 300,000 baptisms. The problem that we discovered was that we were not making disciples which is what we are commanded to do.”

  467. Lea wrote:

    Also interesting comment from William: “If no evidence, then it’s slander.”
    That is not right, I think. I love how when anybody says anything questioning some folks seem to turn into a defense attorney all ‘where is the evidence’.

    Hide the evidence, boys!

  468. @ mot:
    The contempt they have for Patrick just oozes “off the page.” SBC Today does a little better with dissent but they will not let anyone go on about the Conservative Resurgence. But there are some resident Calvinists at Today that get pretty nasty and some of the commentors there go right back at them.

  469. Nancy2 wrote:

    http://sbcvoices.com/imbs-voluntary-reduction-begins-anonymous/

    Editor: This is not anonymous to me, but comes from a friend who shared the information with us. This information was given in a worldwide town hall meeting, so details can’t be completely private. My reaction is that this is VERY generous and whatever you think of the VRI, the IMB is demonstrating that it cares deeply about those who have served Southern Baptists.

    The editor is Dave Miller. Notice he says:”the IMB is demonstrating that it cares deeply about those who have served Southern Baptists.” Excuse me while I lose my breakfast–pure SPIN!!

  470. @ Lea:
    Remember in this thread that William stated with a straight face that he didn’t know anybody who’d questioned Lottie Moon.

  471. Celia wrote:

    @ mot:
    The contempt they have for Patrick just oozes “off the page.” SBC Today does a little better with dissent but they will not let anyone go on about the Conservative Resurgence. But there are some resident Calvinists at Today that get pretty nasty and some of the commentors there go right back at them.

    Yep, discussing the CR at SBC Today will get you banned. What Patrick does not realize is that just as the FUNDAMENTALIST had no sympathy for the plight of the “Moderates”, the Calvinists have no heart for the Cals. It is in a sense a repeat of the CR, but Patrick is not willing to see this. He is a believer in the CR.

  472. Celia wrote:

    @ Lea:
    Remember in this thread that William stated with a straight face that he didn’t know anybody who’d questioned Lottie Moon.

    Oh, but he does not go to blogs like TWW were all can comment.

  473. mot wrote:

    The editor is Dave Miller. Notice he says:”the IMB is demonstrating that it cares deeply about those who have served Southern Baptists.”

    Yep. Business as usual.

  474. Nancy2 wrote:

    mot wrote:

    The editor is Dave Miller. Notice he says:”the IMB is demonstrating that it cares deeply about those who have served Southern Baptists.”

    Yep. Business as usual.

    Mr. Miller once said he was a foot soldier in the CR and sadly IMO he still is. He sold his soul to the CR.

  475. mot wrote:

    Imagine wanting to talk about an issue that devastated your life and not being allowed to because your retirement would be taken away from you.

    Been there (secular corporate setting)…but in my case, it’s severance, not retirement.

    This stuff makes my blood boil. I’ve done a lot of Google research about it. Apparently many states look somewhat askance at non-disclosure agreements and gag orders, unless they meet very specific criteria (e.g, protecting trade secrets). If a plaintiff challenges a non-disclosure or non-compete in court, he/she usually wins.

    In the current climate, I’m thinking there will be more and more demand for labor and employment lawyers. Maybe young law students should start specializing in that area!

  476. @ Lea:
    One of the Calvinist hobby horse is false conversions. So what they’re saying is that Baptism being down is not a bad thing because when the numbers were higher those weren’t actually “real” conversions. See the number of church plants goes up every year but membership is heading down. This is all with an increase in Calvinism. So even though the numbers are going down, according to Calvinist they’re actually better numbers because they’re REAL.

  477. Celia wrote:

    One of the Calvinist hobby horse is false conversions. So what they’re saying is that Baptism being down is not a bad thing because when the numbers were higher those weren’t actually “real” conversions.

    Wait. Ok. If they are Calvinists, are they just those people weren’t elect? And how would they know, exactly?

    I just went through ‘Presbyterian 101’ yesterday and this doesn’t really seem to track with what we were talking about regarding elect and baptisms (although they aren’t immersion).

  478. Lea wrote:

    Also, from the comments…Can somebody translate this for me?
    “Our baptisms are way down from the glory days of the ;1980’s when we regularly had over 300,000 baptisms. The problem that we discovered was that we were not making disciples which is what we are commanded to do.”

    Sure.

    “Not making disciples” means we were not requiring them to sign our covenants, nor were we teaching them how they were supposed to submit to their hierarchical authorities, nor were we teaching them how their authorities were to be obeyed unquestioningly.

    That’s what they mean by “making disciples’.

  479. @ Lea:

    Sorry, are they SAYING those people who were baptized were not elect?

    This whole thing where a few random men seem to think they know who is elect and who is not and which conversations are real and which are not is really strange to me.

  480. mot wrote:

    Yep, discussing the CR at SBC Today will get you banned. What Patrick does not realize is that just as the FUNDAMENTALIST had no sympathy for the plight of the “Moderates”, the Calvinists have no heart for the Cals. It is in a sense a repeat of the CR, but Patrick is not willing to see this. He is a believer in the CR.

    And all the savagery will be ‘biblically’ justified as ‘prophesied’:
    “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” (ESV version: Ecclesiastes 1:9)

  481. @ Lea:
    If a person gets baptized at a church and at some point stops going to church (for Baptists if you move to another church your first church would send a letter stating your were a member and had been baptized) but if your church doesn’t know what happened to you then you’re are seen as “unregenerate” There was a resolution some years back from the Calvinist about unregenerate church membership – a lot of Baptist churches have more members than attendees. This also leads to the Calvinist thought of “holding the keys to the kingdom” – when a member stops showing up they get thrown into discipline etc.

  482. Celia wrote:

    One of the Calvinist hobby horse is false conversions

    Snort. How can there be conversions, false or otherwise, when you either are of the ELECT, or you are not.

  483. @ Lea:
    They believe they can tell who the elect are because they’ve set up all these conditions that must be met to prove you’re elect. So #1 you have to go to church x number of times each week. These churches also have requirements for “home” groups, giving etc. If you question the church too much then you may be put under “discipline” You would have to ask permission to move your membership to another church which can be denied. If you’re moving they want to approve which church you go to in another area.

  484. @ Nancy2:
    Calvinist are always worried about people having false hope that they’ve been saved. If you’re a Calvinist that shouldn’t matter because if the person is elect that will get straightened out at some point and if they’re not elect why not just allow the person to have some false hope. They speak out both sides of their mouth.