"I don’t know anyone who fits the profile that these documents present. I doubt such a person exists within the SBC. Nevertheless, this is how some people perceive us."
Seven years ago Tom Ascol over at Founders Ministries featured a post entitled: Memo: How to smoke out a Calvinistic pastor in your church. He was greatly disturbed to learn that some Southern Baptist churches in Western Tennessee were circulating three documents with tips about how to spot a Calvinist pastor. Apparently, he was trying to contact the individuals who created these documents (purportedly not official denominational workers) "in hopes of better understanding what has provoked this mission".
After sharing screen shots of these three documents, Ascol stated:
Much could be said about the wickedness and ignorance behind a campaign to “smoke out” Calvinistic pastors using these dubious tools. However, I want to conclude by issuing a plea to my fellow pastors who may be more reformed in our understanding than others in the SBC. Though these documents promote caricatures and distortions, they are a sad reminder that this is the way that at least some people perceive us. As I have indicated, I don’t know anyone who fits the profile that these documents present. I doubt such a person exists within the SBC. Nevertheless, this is how some people perceive us.
A wicked and ignorant campaign? We have posted story after story where this very thing has happened. 'Calvinista' pastors weasel their way into churches and do a total transformation in five years or less. We just posted someone's account of how such a takeover occurred at a Baptist church in the Midwest. It is entitled Church Takeover Success Using Strategies from the Calvinista Playbook and it is one of the most detailed testimonies we have ever read about how the transformation occurs.
Let's take a look at those documents and see whether the information that was being circulated seven years ago could possibly be accurate. Here are screen shots of the first two (sorry that they are not perfectly straight):
Sorry Tom, but I have to agree with a good number of those "Reformed Red Flags" because I have seen some of them first hand and have met with others who have seen these red flags at their churches when they unwittingly hired a Reformed pastor.
The third document that was being circulated is pictured below (see screen shot).
There has been so much pain in non-reformed congregations that have hired Calvinistic pastors by mistake, and it would behoove them to use a belief statement and pastor's pledge like the one above to avoid such a problem in the future. It's time for congregations to wake up regarding the backgrounds of some of these pastoral candidates. If they recently graduated from seminary, chances are they are Calvinistic in their soteriology. It's time for pastor search committees to wise up and begin asking pastoral candidates very direct questions about their theology.
Ascol is either an ignorant person or one of those abusive calvinistas himself.
@ Law Prof:
Another late night of blogging, but it's worth it! 🙂
@ Law Prof:
When Dee and I started blogging over eight years ago, we would often say "Time will tell…"
Well, it definitely has with regard to stealth takeovers by closet Calvinists.
Of course Tom knows this, of course he’s seen it first hand, possibly he has perpetrated it himself. It happens again and again, and I sat as an elder in a church with a takeover that met virtually every one of the criteria listed by that document. Which part would Tom disagree with? Which criterion is a myth? Apparently he gave no specifics–as per usual, they typically don’t–just used the document as a springboard to call other people “wicked”. As a general rule, when someone calls another “wicked”, I default to the belief that they are a lunatic.
My very wise and very strong, Zipporah-esque wife says something very similar: “Time and truth go hand-in-hand.”
Great lists that all became true. One can add that if a minister/pastor can’t say “Jesus loves you and died for you” without breaking out in thousands of open sores. Or if you ask him/her if there’s a way to get to heaven without going through Jesus and he says “Calvin” before you’ve even ended your sentence. Oh, and the Calvin T-shirt, the Institutes under one arm and the ESV under the other and his/her insistence that one can only understand the Bible via those especially “appointed” people who happen to think they know something about Greek.
Oh, and the wandering eye, ladies…watch the wandering eye, whether said deceiver and pimp of the false gospel’s wife is present or not. Talking of experience here. Oh, and the talk of sex…it always comes up. Always. Well, it is a false gospel, after all, and so we should not fall off our chairs when these things happen.
The minute the pastor starts showing his true dark colors, run for your life.
Kicking myself. I knew NOTHING about Neo-Calvinism when I went searching for a “Biblical church” where I could know others and be known.
I ended up with every bizarre NeoCalvinist teaching that there is, including Complementarianism and Patriarchy.
If you see the word “Reformed”, run for the hills. Unless it’s some kind of moderate place that is a “Reformed” church, that others can vouch for, just don’t bother with anything to do with “Reformed”. You will be saving yourself a world of grief.
Ironically, it’s the word “Biblical” that’s the problem there. “Biblical” provides the perfect cover for abusive teachers, so much so that when I see a para-church group of believers describe itself as “biblical” or an author (or reviewer) describe the contents of a book as “biblical”, my working hypothesis is that it will be anything but.
As a rule of thumb, I generally consider that these two statements:
“Everything we believe is based on the bible”
“The Bible agrees with us on everything”
… are equivalent.
In the strictest logical sense, that isn’t quite true. But in practice, the bait-and-switch is so powerfully seductive, and so subtle, that it’s very hard to avoid it. And once the bible agrees with me, it follows that everyone else is wrong (unless they also agree with me).
Like you, Velour, I say this with the benefit of hindsight rather than with prescient wisdom…
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
Spot on, Nick!
Wow! I’ve seen that article before. I find it very disturbing that they can’t understand why people “perceive” them this way. It is because they ARE this way! Quite frankly, that “Pastor’s Pledge” isn’t such a bad idea, especially after how our church got burnt by our last pastor (who, incidentally, embodied a vast majority of the traits listed in the first screen shot!)
Off topic perhaps, but it looks like the SBC is monkeying around and changing their Sunday School series “Explore the Bible.” It is to be released in the Fall, but has anyone heard if it has the same reformed leanings like the “Gospel Project?”
Off-topic prayer request.
Shauna in Texas requests that we continue to pray for her son Billy. He is continuing to have problems with night terrors from trauma, lack of sleep, and problems at school. He has some 40-hours in absences to make up. And he has has problems with a teacher.
Please pray for this situation. Thank you.
Yes, definitely put into play, the pastor's pledge. It's about the only way a congregation can ferret out the calvinista crowd.
I would venture to say many of these pastors do not view themselves as deceitful because they believe the non Calvinist is deceived…. it's their God given duty to gut out that doctrinal error, period. Lot of hubris in these pastors, very blind to their own deceptions.
To me, the core issue is transparency, or lack there-of.. How can a pastor come to a new church with "hidden agenda" ? Lack of transparency, or "deception", is not a G$dly trait..
Hmmm, these documents make it seem as though being Calvinist is the ultimate evil. I think the problem is more authoritarianism often coupled with youth. Most of the red flags have more to do with character than theology. Also, their descriptions of “Traditional” versus “Extreme Calvinism” ignore the more moderate Calvinism that was taught in my reformed Baptist church growing up. Or even just a middle of the road approach that my husband and I have, There is a definite tension in the Bible between free will and not, but that second document paints everything so black and white.
We would never sign such a specific statement of belief either, unless the rest of the church had to sign one as well. I don’t pretend to have theology all figured out, but I also don’t believe anyone else does. That document would also tempt me to be more secretive about my beliefs, since any sort change or questioning could lead to us lose our job and our home. Maybe it’s because I’m on the opposite side of the clergy/laity divide, but I could see this document being used aggressively and abusively towards the preacher. But, in our denomination the preacher often has the least amount of power compared to the elders – the preacher is just the employee while the elders are the board of directors.
I believe there’s abuse and authoritarianism within churches. And I don’t agree with reformed theology or even what the evangelical world is doing generally. I’m just not convinced that the problem is strictly with Calvinism, as these documents seem to apply.
@ Preacher’s Wife:
I hear you. Candidates in the PCA are examined closely about their doctrinal beliefs and intentions by their peers and above before they are allowed near a congregation. That does not happen with Baptists, so there is a need for something like this to protect non-Calvinist Baptists who are targeted by new seminarians coming out of Calvinist seminaries. That is a very sad thing, but one can hardly blame the churches. It is the fault of the seminaries and the people encouraging these young candidates to be deceptive in order to “reform” these “defective” churches.
@ Preacher’s Wife:
I don’t think we are talking about moderate (middle of the road) Calvinism here. Dee and I have friends who are Calvinist, and we have fantastic relationships with them.
It’s the ‘Calvinistas’ (defined in the previous post) who are problematic – the ones who worship at the feet of Mohler, Piper, Dever, MacArthur, etc. It’s the crowd that flocks to the Together for the Gospel conference each time it’s held.
Praying for Shauna’s son.
One of the things I see the YRR putting on their social media sites…. ” Truth tellers” ……like other preachers are lying.
“If they recently graduated from seminary, chances are they are Calvinistic in their soteriology.”
Deb, I think it would also help to come up with a comprehensive list of seminaries where these graduates are coming from. I know about SBTS in particular, but I’m not sure about any others. Not everyone who comes from there will necessarily be a Calvinista, and it’s always possible for someone coming from a more traditional seminary to morph into a Calvinista given the range of their influence, but such a list would provide another helpful tool for Baptist and other churches to isolate and put the spotlight on these people. Give them nowhere to hide.
I agree with that. And I would definitely pay attention to who people quote, what books they recommend, and where they went to school. I just worry about going to the opposite extreme and throwing the baby out with the bath water. There seems to be a general attitude problem that’s not necessarily exclusive to age or theology.
I spoke to a recent grad of SWBTS in Ft Worth, and slowly, the Calvinists are working their way into ” Ft Worth” as alumni call it. The divinity schools associated with SBC universities, are the best place to find a non-Neocal. And even there, it’s a chance.
Southeastern is definitely cranking out its share. I’m not saying everyone who graduates from there falls into this camp. I think the speaker line-up for chapel is very telling…
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will be heading in the Calvinist direction soon if it hasn’t already. There is no doubt in my mind that Jason Allen was selected as the current president at Al Mohler's behest. He is a two-time graduate of Southern Seminary and worked with Al Mohler for 6-1/2 years before becoming seminary president. (http://www.mbts.edu/video/exchange-between-dr-paige-patterson-and-dr-jason-allen/) Mohler presided during the installation ceremony. Also, Owen Strachan (son-in-law of Bruce Ware who teaches at Southern Seminary) is a professor at MBTS (http://www.mbts.edu/about/faculty/owen-strachan/).
I’ll be looking into Gateway (which recently moved from San Francisco to L.A.(?), SWBTS (recently hosted its first 9Marks event), and NOBTS.
It’s just a matter of time before SWBTS and NOBTS go in this direction since both presidents will be retiring in the foreseeable future. The president of NOBTS Chuck Kelley – is Dorothy K. Patterson’s brother.
To all readers, please note that the reference to James White in the documents above is NOT a reference to author/pastor James Emery White, who is very publicly not a Calvinist.
There was a time when you could look at the leaders of a young Calvinist organization and be quite sure that they were required to buy all their clothes at The Gap or Old Navy. I think it's still wise to ask prospective pastors where they buy their clothes. A visible t-shirt at the neckline is also something worth investigating. I'm not criticizing anyone's fashion choice, I'm just making an observation about the odd influence of subculture norms on the individual. It's similar to the side part that dominated pastor hair in times past.
Thanks for clarifying that.
What else needs to go on this list? Several behaviors you’ve discussed before on the blog:
1. The pastor’s wife wears a hat or scarf or “head covering” consistently. (Don’t buy it when she says she’s having a bad hair day. For real? Every day?)
2. Church changes to elder rule, and an “elder” is clearly male. All women are out of leadership.
Yes, this is one of their most important goals. Gotta keep women in their place…
Preacher’s Wife wrote:
There is the danger of that extreme. However, having experienced first-hand the kind of damage this does to a church, people become extremely gun shy, and rightly so. Having a pastor be deceptive and lie to you is as hurtful as an unfaithful spouse, IMHO. He was a person we trusted and he broke that trust. It’s VERY difficult to get over that!
I’m personally not a fan of their theology, but I can live with it if they are civil. However, the back-room “Calvinista” tactics to “reform” churches are beyond despicable and incredibly destructive to the church!
Law Prof wrote:
Connect 316 has put out a questionnaire for pastor search committees to help churches find out a candidate’s views on Calvinism.
Also, here is the SBC Today post where the Calvinist screening questions were referenced. Read the comments if possible. They are quite interesting.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
Because ‘biblical’ is a word that is meant to stop conversation, argument, disagreement. It’s a thought stopper. And it’s use is a red flag.
Root 66 wrote:
The cynical part of me thinks they would just lie.
Ken P. wrote:
Thanks, Ken P! This looks like a very helpful resource for our pastor search committee.
Yes, but at least you have it writing and you can send them packing when they show their true stripes!
Preacher’s Wife wrote:
Would you say the same thing about a PCA church which painfully questions each and every pastor about their adherence to Calvinism?
It boils down to this. Is the pastor a Calvinist and will he admit it? I have no problem with the PCA and other Reformed church insisting on careful adherence to theology so why would there be a problem in asking a nonCalvinist to do the same….unless he is a Calvinist in disguise?
If they have lied, they get canned.
I plan to discuss this tomorrow.
I can’t understand how it is that a neo-Cal pastor can pose as a Southern Baptist pastor in the beginning weeks and months of a stealth take-over of a Church. Aren’t the theologies so very different that people would know something was ‘off’?
Maybe the seminaries have special classes in ‘theology stealth techniques’ or how to get into the sheepfold through a hole in the gate?
Traditional Southern Baptists and neo-Cal folk are almost two different denominations ….. certainly two different theologies in the basics, yes?
Good. Because it seems to be a huge part of things. And a clear separation at the moment from some of the mainline Calvinist denoms.
Who a person quotes is a big deal to me. I recently heard Driscoll quoted in a sermon, and the guy wasn’t being sarcastic. Piper quotes are also a red flag. Even if the guy isn’t a Calvinista, he certainly lacks discernment, or at least a knowledge of the broader trends in the sideshow wing of Christianity.
And I’ve never heard a woman quote Driscoll or Piper while teaching. That would be weird.
Law Prof wrote:
Tom Ascol is the executive director of the Founders Ministries. He has strongly insinuated in several articles and interviews that a healthy church is a Calvinist church. http://tomascol.com/why-work-for-biblical-reformation-in-the-sbc/
Preacher’s Wife wrote:
Of which you have both on steroids in the Truly REFORMED(TM).
Thank you, Deb.
Remember “Little Lord Fauntleroy ESQUIRE” cosplaying 18th Century Noblemen?
These guys are cosplaying/LARPing Commanders of Holy Gilead.
scott hendrixson wrote:
Like SGM-influenced Pastor-boyz shaving their heads in imitation of The Humble One?
And those Kirk types in Moscow with their bowler hats and brolleys and veddy veddy faux-Brit accents?
Tom Ascol has taught at both NOBTS and SWBTS.
So House Patterson/Lannister is already joined to House Kelley/Baratheon?
The Cause so Righteous it justifies anything whatsoever to bring it about.
Just ask Citizen Robespierre and Comrade Pol Pot.
They have accepted their Rings of Power from Sauron the Deceiver.
Speaking of, you should read the sermon quotes from shauna in the other thread about a 17 year old who was taken advantage of by her youth director!
I believe they use expository preaching to disguise their theological bent in the early phase of their pastorate. After getting comfortable with the congregation (and vice versa), these pastors slowly begin to introduce their Calvinista theology. Perhaps they will offer a Bible study using one of Wayne Grudem’s systematic theology books (either the huge book or ‘Bible Doctrine’). Those who attend it become the pastor’s loyalists who will follow him wherever he goes. Those who do not participate in the Bible study become outsiders, and a rift begins to develop in the congregation.
Been there, done that. It happened at MY CHURCH last summer. The pastor resigned three months ago. Now we are beginning the pastor search process again.
@ Lea: Read it. 🙁
So are Calvinists really “evangelical”? It doesn’t sound like it.
Also the part about “revival” preaching – just because they’re not into that doesn’t mean they’re Calvinist, some of the “revival” preaching I’ve seen is a bit more intense than I like to get when it comes to religion. As in “break out the chickens, it’s voodoo time!”
Or is Baptist revival different than Pentecostal revival?
Ultimately a pastor has to fit the culture of the congregation, they should be mutually compatible.
That being said, does the Baptist culture already have an authoritarian bent? It does seem that rigidity in belief (ie biblical literalism, the “all or nothing” bible, theological superiority complex) seems to make these takeovers possible.
The majority of the congregation seems ok with it – those that don’t leave.
Given the success these pastors seem to enjoy, are those at TWW the minority?
While I’m done, my wife still attends church with the kids, she’s a committed Christian – though certainly not a blind follower.
I get deeply concerned about this trend to authority and what it means to my family’s well being.
The SBC and a lot of baptist churches have always been a mix of old school Calvinists and non-Calvinists, Calvinists being the minority. For over 100 years, we have lived together and simply agreed to disagree on certain issues.
The Conservative Resurgence opened the gate for the up and coming YRRs (Mohlerites), when “traditional” baptists and Calvinists joined forces against “liberals”. YRRs, Founders Ministries, etc. insist that the SBC was originally Calvinist and has lost it’s way …….. and needs to reform and return to Calvinism.
Just my opinion here, but I think the shared beliefs about women between “fundamental” and the YRRs was a big part of what gave the YRRs a stronghold during the CR.
This may be why the comp thing is such an issue…they ran all the reasonable people out? They unbalanced things.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend, basically.
WOW!!! Whoever wrote up this warning was very thoughtful and Gracious. I can concur by experience for 26 years in these churches that this document should be freshly circulated by everyone who can see the truth of what Calvinism is doing to God's church. It is a great way to let people know what is happening. No tone of bitterness, just the truth.
that makes sense when you think about how Paige Patterson treated Dr. Sherri Klouda and how the YRR’s are so intensely male-headship people ….. that may have been what bonded the new coalition, especially when those who did not agree to the submissive-wife thing were driven out or left (I’m thinking President Carter)
I don’t think the ‘old’ Calvinists were so dreadfully patriarchal as the YRR, were they? The YRR’s treatment of women seems in a class by itself. And Patterson represents the fundamentalist grouping of patriarchists, I suppose, who were non-Calvinists.
1. cautious and surreptitious action or movement.
“the silence and stealth of a hungry cat”
synonyms: furtiveness, secretiveness, secrecy, surreptitiousness, sneakiness, slyness
“the stealth of a cat burglar”
There’s something to be said for being really upfront so that church members know what to expect. And the PCA church, as I understand it, has a pretty detailed and specific theology. I don’t know if the SBC has ever been exclusively Arminian or Calvinist. “Once saved, always saved” has it’s origins in the P of TULIP (at least that’s what I’ve been told). So it seems this debate may be an intrinsic problem for the Baptist. Even if the Calvinist win the day in this generation, the pendulum may swing back in the next. But when someone is being intentionally deceptive, it’s a straight sin and a character issue.
Right now I really struggle with anyone having every aspect of theology boiled down, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for spiritual or intellectual growth. That’s partly my personality, I’m more comfortable with tensions than absolutes. And the Bible is not nearly as black and white as people want it to be (at least on philosophical issues like free will and the origin of evil). My current denomination (Church of Christ) doesn’t fight or argue about things like Arminianism or Calvinism, but they get upset over whether the man behind the pulpit is called a Pastor or a Preacher, or whether Christmas is celebrated in the church, or whether piano accompaniment is sinful, or whether we are even a “Denomination”. So I guess I look at the Pastor’s Pledge and instinctively imagine churches in our group replacing Calvinism with Muscle and Shovel (terrible book that represents the super-conservative CoCs).
All of these doctrines, T4G, TGC, 9 marks, New Reformers or whatever gives me a massive headache. Never before 2007 had I ever dealt with this type of stuff. I mean seriously I grew up in a nice conservative baptist church worked at a camp all like minded to the gospel where the invitation was given every Sunday. Baptism’s were done every month. The only bible study I attended was through our youth group on wed nights where we met at the youth pastors home(so fun and wonderful fellowhsip). The youth was the life source of the church, the seniors and families were the wisdom and grace that welcomed new people and served the old. I remember on any given sunday there were always extra seats set at some of the members homes for people who dropped in. I remember sitting at the dinner table on those sunday afternoons and afterwards the word of God opened and read. These are my most sweetest and most precious memories. I miss sitting in the lounge at camp and going through the story of David in how he was a teenage winner for God. I miss those evening devotions with the leaders after spending a day serving campers. What happened to just going to church hearing the messages and fellowship with members, serving because you wanted to not because the church pushed it. The offering plates passing by every Sunday and if you gave you gave. I miss seeing more seniors in positions in the church which offer counsel, wisdom, and care for the members and their pastor with out being the yes men. What happened that churches like this are dwindling. They are being sold out to all this crap. Theology was not debated as the churches doctrines were set without doing covenant applications or having legal bylaws drawn up. Churches have existed for years without all the legal crap. I will say only things that would be proper legal wise would be securing something that protects children from preditors as churches seem to attract them.
I lived through a Calvinist takeover at a baptist church when I was ten. I don’t remember much but I do remember it got ugly because the preacher and his yes men lied about their Calvinism until their takeover was complete.
Funny enough though, this post reminds me of the takeover at my former church, except it wasn’t by calvinists. It was by hardline IFB who turned the church into a traditional IFB church when it formally was such a sweet, relaxed middle of the road baptist church. It was without a doubt a takeover though and a painful one for many people.
Root 66 wrote:
Yeah, trust and trustworthiness seem to be a core problem. Does the Pastor trust his congregation to be loving, discerning, and filled with the Holy Spirit? Does the congregation trust the Pastor to be honest, genuine, and fully committed to serving God and His church? Do they both trust God to ultimately lead the church? If either side has had bad experiences, it makes it hard to trust again. It’s all very sad and not how it’s supposed to be with God’s people.
Maybe its time for a TR? Traditionalists resurgence?
Tom Ascol is a classical Calvinist. You won’t find him, nor other “Old” Calvinists within the SBC Founders Ministry, mixing much with SBC’s “New” Calvinists and their leaders. They have been behind the curtain for years conducting a “Quiet Revolution” (that’s what they call it). However, there is no doubt that they have had a tremendous influence on the resurgence of Calvinism sweeping through SBC ranks. They took a young reformer under their wing years ago to bring him up in the way he should go … you might recognize his name, Al Mohler – yep, the man at ground-zero of the New Calvinist movement!
While most “Old” Calvinists may be opposed to the message, method, and mission of their neo-brethren, others in the old guard appear to be putting up with this new brand as long as the essential reformed message moves forward in SBC ranks and elsewhere. After all, the young guys are accomplishing what the old boys couldn’t … Calvinization of the largest non-Calvinist Protestant denomination in America. There is nothing “quiet” about their revolution – the young whippersnappers are aggressive, militant, and in-your-face with their aberrant belief and practice.
Thanks, Tom Ascol, for all you’ve done.
Preacher’s Wife wrote:
You raise a point that I have commented on in the past. I have been a Southern Baptist for 60+ years (a non-Calvinist). I have worshiped alongside classical Calvinists within SBC membership. I have found them to be civil in their discourse and respectful of majority SBC belief and practice, which excludes certain reformed tenets. While many who comment on TWW do not agree with Calvinist theology, our problem rests more with “New” Calvinism, than “Old” Calvinism.
This new thing is a totally different beast … it is mean-spirited, aggressive, militant, and arrogant. As you note, character is of most concern as it plays out in SBC churches. Much has been recorded about the stealth and deception being used by the young, restless and reformed to takeover SBC traditional churches. Encouraged and emboldened at certain SBC seminaries, these young pastors have revolution on their mind and are intent on changing the SBC landscape. While some old guys are certainly at fault (e.g., Al Mohler), most of the trouble is being caused by 20-40 year old New Calvinists who think they have it all figured out. They are applying authoritarian methods of control, manipulation, and intimidation in efforts to reform churches and people. There is not much about the reformed movement that one would call Christlike.
So when you say “I’m just not convinced that the problem is strictly with Calvinism”, I will reply “I’m convinced that the problem is strictly with New Calvinism.”
“Who is like unto The Beast? Who can stand against Him?”
— Book of Revelation
I fear a cage wrote:
“For you cross land and sea to make a single convert; and when you do, you make him twice the child of Hell as yourselves!”
— some Rabbi from Nazareth
Because there can be only One True Way.
“The Universe cannot have two Centers.”
— Kooks Magazine, about conspiracy cranks
Great state-of-the-seminary comment, Deb.
From my vantage point (in the Midwest), young reformers wreaking havoc in churches here come primarily from the following seminaries:
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS), Louisville, KY
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS), Wake Forest, NC
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MWBTS) Kansas City, MO
While the other SBC seminaries usually don’t pop up in discussions like this, personally I don’t think that churches can really trust fresh graduates from ‘any’ SBC seminary. New Calvinism is the theme of the day and so many young folks are jumping onto the wagon – its followers can be found on the campuses of all SBC seminaries. A reformed graduate from Southwestern can lie to a search committee just as good as one from Southern.
I think The Masters Seminary California, The Masters College California, The Pastor’s College (SGM) if that is still open. TMS Graduates you will find that they are hard core Calvinists not just our former pastor and if you read about the many TMS grads take overs in churches it is just as bad as the SBTS, SEBTS, MWBTS. I would even dare say DTS as well possibly is in the category.
You know this “lying for Jesus” among the YRR crowd to gain control…And the SBC seriously wonders why the numbers go down….
Has anyone heard the numbers for the SBC? Or has the downward spiral not been reported yet?
Yes and no. At the same church there was one woman who was never without her headcovering. She was not an elder’s wife. The pastor’s wife never wore a headcovering and I would never have thought she was an elder’s wife by her dress or her demeanor. In fact, I would have thought she was a professional suburban mom, not someone married to a committed Female Subordinationist. The headcovering thing is only for the really super-spiritual ones. 🙂
It doesn’t matter. The numbers lie. There are thousands upon thousands of people who are members of SBC churches who no longer attend, or rarely to occasionally attend.
I personally know one pastors wife who wants to purge members from the roll who have not attended in the last three years. Problem for her is SBC churches don’t take roll, mark absentees, and keep attendance records like schools do, so how can they know for sure who has not attended in three years? Church attendance is voluntary, not mandatory…… no truant officer committees!
I have never done the headcovering but some women in their walk with the Lord do it for their own personal relationship. I have to say if they are doing it because they feel convicted in their relationship with Christ I fully support it. If it’s for any other reason which serves the needs of controlling men then I would say doooon’t.
I don’t think they are, and I personally object to this term being used to describe them.
As for stealth takeovers, I have witnessed one, and he basically lied through his teeth. And yes, he clearly did know all the right answers. One particular question was about following the will of the congregation, and his answer was that he had no desire to create major upheaval in the church, and that he would follow the wishes of the congregation.
Now, I’m pretty sure he did stack his new congregation with Calvinistas to change things, so he probably would argue that he did follow “the wishes of the congregation”, but he did indeed create major upheaval.
These questions are only useful if the potential pastor is honest in answering them. A better tactic would be to recruit pastors from outside the SBC from more egalitarian denominations.
Yup, first move, change the polity. Women are removed from positions, never to hold any authority again, except maybe in the Nursery or Kitchen.
@ Preacher’s Wife:
The fallacy I find is this. How many non Calvinists have tried to deliberately take over Calvinist congregations?
Here’s a Great Summary from the Babylon Bee: http://babylonbee.com/news/bee-explains-calvinism-vs-arminianism/
Calvinism: Theological framework that centers around God’s sovereign choice in salvation. The points of Calvinism include total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, perseverance of the saints, and being a condescending jerk.
Arminianism: Theology that focuses on man’s free will to choose or reject God. The five points are kinda-sorta depravity, election but not really, errybody gets some atonement, grace that looks pretty cool but you can say no if you want to, and better hang onto that salvation pretty tightly.
Calvinism: Originally discovered in a remote California forest by a pipe-smoking lumberjack, Calvinism was first codified in book form by John Piper in his 1986 classic Desiring God. Piper was said to have yelled “Eureka!” and hugged his Jonathan Edwards plush doll in joy upon discovering the beauty of the doctrines of grace.
Arminianism: Grew out of the backwoods of Appalachia in the 1950s, where the Holy Ghost is active, preachers wear suits, church signs are hand-painted, and snakes are handled.
Calvinism: Anyone named John, that really annoying guy on your Facebook feed, the Apostle Paul.
Arminianism: Jacobus Arminius, John Wesley, Billy Graham, Satan.
Calvinism: That long-winded Facebook rant your Calvinist friend goes on almost every week, Final Destination 3, the Book of Romans.
Arminianism: Back to the Future, The Matrix, Chick tracts.
HOW TO SPOT A FOLLOWER
Calvinism: Look for long, flowing beards, flannel T-shirts, and empty bottles of craft brew strewn around their location. The Calvinist can also be identified by that smug sense of superiority he carries about his person.
Arminianism: Look for an expression of concern on their face as they desperately try not to lose their salvation today. Calvary Chapel summer camp T-shirts, acoustic guitars, and Rainbow sandals are also key indicators.
So there you have it! We hope this helped you make an informed decision on which of these theological systems to choose—or is it “which of these theological systems chose you?”
As a DTS grad with a PhD in Reformation History and Theology, I would not classify DTS as fully Calvinistic. Historically, the Presidents and majority of faculty have not embraced limited atonement. There are some five point Calvinists there and they are welcome, but to dump DTS in with the Calvinistas does not hold up to scrutiny.
Preacher’s Wife wrote:
Sorry if some think this is off-topic, but it caught my eye because of the Church of Christ and things I’ve wondered.
Our oldest child went off to college this year (from Midwest to Boulder, CO) and got involved with the first campus fellowship group which came his way, which happened to be affiliated with a nearby Church of Christ.
They were controlling (NO, you’re not allowed to take notes in Bible Study, we’ll take notes and give them to you; Bible study very regimented and didn’t know what to do with questions; if he missed a meeting he got the little ‘where were you’ text);
and theology skewed (Intern would say things like “I don’t know if I’m DOING enough to be saved”, and “going to 4 meetings a week isn’t really enough to show commitment”, also super-focused on sin)…
When it got to the ‘you need to be re-baptized in OUR church to be a real Christian’ he got out, but even though it was only 2 mo. of involvement there was definitely some wounding. After weeks of pestering him to meet, they did finally leave him alone.
I haven’t been to the church, and it’s probably not a Calvinista church like you mostly cover. Have wondered if it’s just a subset of Church of Christ which is like that since we have never been affiliated with one.
Are pastors with theological convictions about God’s sovereignty the only ones who inappropriately exert their views? I wonder if there are any pastors with views about charismatic gifts, manifestations of the Spirit, views of health and healing, views about wealth and poverty, arminian emphases on losing salvation, etc, who inappropriately exert their views in a church? There might be a whole series of articles there?
Please forgive me if I am missing the point here…but the thing that has *always* bothered me about this is that Reformed theology is not traditionally Baptist theology. I know that there has been some melding and so on (Reformed Baptist, eg.) but when I went to an SBC church in the 70s, I knew that it was theologically not the same as a Presbyterian church. So I have *never* understood how Reformed pastors have any business in a Baptist church. They spring from completely different roots.
I guess the world has changed in these 40-50 years, but the lack of transparency (leaving alone the methods) in taking a Baptist pastorate as a Reformed theologian (term used lightly) seems disingenuous at best.
If you put it in reverse, and the question generated by Mae’s post (2 up), what would a Reformed congregation do if the new pastor started having altar calls and talking about making a decision for Christ?
Maybe nothing–it was my experience in my last years as a Presbyterian that there was not a lot of clarity about the differences in theology (and how it works itself out in practice) among the churches that DO fit into the world of Mere Christianity (a description I borrow without disdain).
It just seems disingenuous, at best.
Determining the “real” number of Southern Baptists has always been elusive. The number frequently quoted is 16 million members in over 45,000 SBC churches. But, based on my 60+ years experience, you can reduce that number by half since 8 million are dead (but still on the rolls), joined another denomination, or otherwise missing in action. Thus, there are only about 8 million Southern Baptists … but of that number only half regularly attend. Thus, there are about 4 million Southern Baptists meeting on any given Sunday.
Are any of those other groups sneaking in and writing books about and articles about how to do it?
I don’t think anybody has a problem with anyone who is reformed, stepping into a reformed denom, confessing reformed faith.
The issue is with deceit.
And there are many many articles about other general issues with other types of churches.
Are you a NeoCalvinist? Are you defending NeoCalvinism?
Yes, that is how it happened at at our most recent former church. I have since learned that it has happened that way at other churches, like so many other things that I thought were particular to my most recent former church once I started asking. I am not as special as I thought.
I”m just curious why there are no sermons about salvation or altar calls. Is it because of God’s sovereignty to choose the elect?
Sure there could be. Still, I do not know of too many of these persuasions, except Calvanistas, that deliberately set out to overtake another congregation. And, it’s not just about doctrine,it also about gaining a physical building, with all the finances.
If that is why they do it, then I agree. I do not understand it, but there is freedom in Christ.
If any human could have made me into a 5 pointer it would have been S. Lewis Johnson. Never went to Believer’s, but heard him preach several times. At a Baptist church. It is complicated…
There was a prior attempt at this in the late 1990s.
From the Founders website, 1995:
“Midwestern Baptist Seminary….Mark Coppenger began his duties as President of Midwestern Baptists Theological Seminary in Kansas City, KS on August 1….This truly marks a new day for Southern Baptist theological education in general and for Midwestern in particular. In addition to Dr. Coppenger, Don Whitney has just recently been elected to the faculty as professor of spiritual formations. This move greatly strengthens an already strong theology faculty. All Bible believing Southern Baptists will rejoice over the new direction and bright prospects which these moves bring to the seminary in Kansas City. The trustees are to be commended for their foresight.”
“1995 Founders Conference Report….Dr. Mark Coppenger, newly elected President of Midwestern Baptist Seminary in Kansas City, KS, presented a revealing study of the history of Southern Baptist preaching. His title tells the story in a nutshell: “The Ascent of Man in Southern Baptist Preaching.” Through the use of confessions and potent sermon excerpts, Dr. Coppenger portrayed the death of the Augustinian and rise of Pelagian views of man in Southern Baptist life.”
But Coppenger was fired several years later:
“A majority of trustees of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary voted to fire President Mark T. Coppenger Sept. 14, concluding that Coppenger’s expressions of anger have “irreparably damaged his ability to lead this seminary.” His dismissal was effective immediately.”
Coppenger eventually landed at SBTS, hired as a professor there by Mohler.
SBC in its founding was overwhelmingly Calvinist. @ PaJo:
The New Calvinists within SBC are taking two approaches to Calvinize the denomination, both being financed by non-Calvinists. The toughest row to hoe is for a young reformer to deceive his way past a search committee in a non-Calvinist church and proceed to establish elder governance which usually splits the church after much weeping and gnashing of teeth. The new pastor and his elder team then gain complete control of the building and other church resources as the old members, who paid for all of it, fade into the sunset.
The other approach is to plant a church using funds available from SBC’s North American Mission Board (NAMB) now under Calvinist leadership (Kevin Ezell, Al Mohler’s former pastor). Non-Calvinist Southern Baptists are currently financing NAMB’s church planting program at $60 million per year via the annual Annie Armstrong Easter offering. NAMB is planting such churches at the rate of 1,000 per year.
An outside observer might ask why traditional Southern Baptists are allowing this to happen! As a 60+ year insider, I can say that mainline Southern Baptists are a very trusting people who focus on local ministry, without an awareness of theo-politics at higher levels. They would never think that a “pastor” would lie to them to gain control of their church or that SBC leaders were in place at national entities to change the belief and practice they have known for a lifetime. Many remain uninformed or misinformed about the New Calvinist agenda and countless more are just willingly ignorant as a once-great denomination slips away. Old geezers like me are kicking and screaming, but there aren’t enough of us to make a difference.
Yep, they were slave-holding pastors and deacons who thought sovereign God was on their side during the Civil War … until early confederate victories turned to defeat. After the War, Southern Baptists distanced themselves from the Founders’ theology and remained non-Calvinist for over 150 years … until Al Mohler and his band of New Calvinists showed up to take the denomination back to its roots.
Many of those pastors start their own churches, and don’t take over churches by deception which have radically different viewpoints. In most charismatic circles, being the pastor of a church you started is considered much cooler than taking over a pastorate.
But so what? Charismatic pastors have been covered here. Robert Morris has been a number of times. Nondenominational pastors have been covered here, like Furtick and Noble. Your argument is a straw man.
Anyone that lies or abuses people does not deserve to be a pastor, no matter their theology. The Gospel Coalition has established itself and preaches on these notions of authoritarian abuse, and that they should be demolished deserves to be shouted from the rooftops.
Yes they do spring from different roots. But the Reformed Baptist 1689ers do not consider the others fully formed, for lack of a better word. I have had some interaction with some of these pups. They think of traditional SBC folks as English General Baptists who went sideways or Anabaptists who went sideways in other directions or Great Awakening revivalists who went sideways in yet other directions or worse.
If the Presbyterians have their Truly Reformed, then the Baptists have our Founders and our 1689er Reformed Baptists. ARBCA is their church organization and some of their churches are dually affiliated with the SBC with all those benefits. Nice.
And they will probably soon find themselves without all the non-Calvinists to fund their operations if they keep going the way they are going. If they want the SBC, let them have it. Just don’t let them have souls.
Since we are discussing Founders, here is what they posted today: http://founders.org/2017/05/18/why-stay-in-the-sbc/. It makes it sound like the Calvinists are the oppressed minority in the SBC.
With so many significant SBC leadership positions filled by Calvinists, their concern strikes me as hollow. Perhaps blogs like this are making a difference.
Another clue: Your pastor is a Calvinista if he spends more time quoting Piper and other reformed icons, than he does talking about Jesus. He will also talk a lot about sovereign God, but hardly a word about Jesus, and will only rarely mention the Holy Spirit.
Bryan has not told the entire story, and I think he knows it. “Majority” (English Particular Baptist on the coastal plantations) is not “entire.” After the Civil War, as people moved west, the SBC did not remain majority Calvinist. Because the English Particular Baptists lost their influence. Because they lost their plantations and their money. And there I go again saying it is all about the money.
Totally relate. Not an SBC but our former non denominational, was taken over.Half the congregation was purged, heart breaking, ugly stuff. We too were way too trusting of the Pastor. Never again.
Another clue: Your pastor is a Calvinista if he is always teaching/preaching from the writings of Paul, rather than the Gospels. He will particularly camp out in selected passages from Ephesians and Romans, which are twisted to support reformed theology.
Ken F wrote:
The opposition is because of their authoritarianism, not their Calvinism. If they acted like most classical Calvinists, I doubt there would be any protests.
And to add to Bryan’s claim, I think it is fair to state that one of the recent textbooks on Baptist history is By His Grace and For His Glory by Tom Nettles. Tom Nettles teaches in that book that the Atonement is sufficient only for the elect and efficient only for the elect. The traditional Reformed formulation is sufficient for all and efficient only for the elect. The Reformed will recognize that Nettle’s view is a truly hyper-Calvinist view, and so I think that we should take Dr. Nettle’s Calvinistic viewpoint into account when reading his Baptist history.
Dr. Nettles’ view. My apologies.
They also like to go through the books of the Old Testament, one short passage at a time so they never get to anything at all in the New Testament.
Duggar Sisters Sue Cops for Releasing Josh Molestation Reports
Preacher’s Wife wrote:
Of course Calvinism isn’t the only place where you’ll find abuse, and no one has ever said that here. I’ve been in four churches that on closer inspection turned out to be abusive cults,`and only one was Calvinist (the others were Arminian, Pentecostal and a home church). There are, however, certain theologies that tend to attract abusers and certain theologies that tend to bring out the worst in those with abusive tendencies, and the recent brand of neocalvinsm most decidedly fits this category. I read the same documents and felt like they were precisely describing a phenomenon that many have seen and experienced, they didn’t seem to be painting all Calvinists as the problem, but there is undeniably a very real problem within certain ranks of Calvinism, of which old fashioned reformed types like some Presbyterians (not, generally, PCA types, who very often are a part of the problem) or old school Baptists.
He’ll answer to the Lord for that.
Has anyone else seen Gospel Project Sunday School curriculum for kids from The Gospel Coalition?
Overall it was like my daughter elementary school curriculum; having an obscure objective and difficult to connect with as a parent. It seemed like preparation for advanced trivia. My daughter was in kindergarten and the was material chosen was way too advanced even for the people teaching.
scott hendrixson wrote:
That’s a point the New Calvinists have been making. They feel that traditional Southern Baptists have been swimming in shallow water and need to get back to their deeper Calvinist roots. They are smarter than the rest of us, you know. They equate Calvinism as spiritually intellectual stuff and non-Calvinist theology as far below reformed doctrine. They have come into the world for such a time as this to rescue us Biblical goobers. Such arrogance!!
Law Prof wrote:
LP, these folks seem to have no fear of God, nor an inkling that they just might be wrong. However you spin it, forcing a theology and ecclesiology on a people who didn’t ask for it or want it is just plain sick and wrong.
SLJ taught me greek and I have listened to hundreds of hours of his tapes. Outstanding preacher. There were few Calvinist profs when I was at DTS but he was a giant. I recall him seaying to us, “Read a little Luther, read a little Augustine, read a little Calvin… read a lot of Calvin.” His sermons are available free here: http://sljinstitute.net/
Preacher’s Wife wrote:
Hitler’s Brown Shirts. Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge. Mao’s Cultural Revolution.
This was the feeling my wife and I got upon entering the world of neocalvinism in 2008. It was populated by extremely insecure, underachieving men looking to make a name for themselves in a small, insular world. They were a mix of college dropouts, blue collar workers, middle school teachers, fast food workers, carpet cleaners, etc. But they thought they were IT. They held their knowledge up like an idol and really thought themselves deeper and more committed than the common Christian–the Navy Seals, the hard core. They had something we commoners needed, and they were going to impart their deep knowledge on us for our own good, by any means necessary, even if it meant lying, scheming.
Our first encounter was an invitation to a church Christmas party and at first blush the people seemed young, nice-looking, enthusiastic, full of passion, but when they found out my wife was a former university educator and I was currently one, immediately a hard edge showed up: they were extremely competitive, every game we took part in at the Christmas party was an opportunity for them to take down the profs, to show us up. My wife and I are not particularly competitive in that manner and not all that taken with our “brilliance”, because we’ve spent our careers around people who truly are brilliant and know the difference between them and us. But these young calvinistas were treating board games like life-and-death struggles, like the fellow in the bar who’s told a prize fighter is sitting a couple stools down and immediately wants to take a poke at him. We were put off by it, but chalked it up to youth and foolishly joined the church. It wasn’t long before we noticed the secrecy and top-down style, the emphasis on church fathers such as Calvin, on celebs such as Piper and Washer, all the talk of Boyce College and SBTS, as if the Lord had, is His sovereignty, focused all the accumulated wisdom and knowledge of the ages on a handful of great men and a few institutions and everyone else was lost. They all could quote their celebs, most had a pretty good working knowledge of the Bible, but they sure didn’t have love, kindness, peace, patience, goodness, self control (except for the self control necessary to carry out a clandestine scheme to consolidate all power in a few hands and start abusing anyone who stood in their way).
“A wicked campaign” is pretty strong works for pew peons wanting to be sure that their new pastor will not pull a take over as has been well documented many times now…
True. They love the caricature of Paul they’ve created. The irony is I think most of them would be disciplined or run out of church by the real life Paul and labelled as “superapostles”.
Law Prof wrote:
Law Prof wrote:
I think they’ve immersed themselves in ‘theology speak’ too and it gives them this reason to feel like they are so smart because people who aren’t into this don’t talk about their faith like that. So they’ve decided they’re smarter, better, more spiritual and obviously right because they learned this lingo. When that is really all it is. Lingo. I know a bunch of lingo and acronyms that are relevant at work but not so much to other people. That doesn’t mean anything though. These guys seem to think it does.
Law Prof wrote:
@ Law Prof:
Unfortunately, such “competitive” attempts to prove how smart, and biblically smart you are is not limited to Neo-cals…. IFB can be, and I have seen para-church groups be that way also….
And, boy do I see that in academia….
humans wanting to be better than that “other guy”, other group is fundamental to being human, unfortunately..
Law Prof wrote:
Or life! I’ve attended several New Calvinist services (to see what makes them tick). There is little or no spiritual life flowing through their gatherings … nothing that you could contribute to the Holy Spirit working in their teaching, preaching, or music. Even the Scripture proclaimed comes across as a dead letter because it is not connected to the Spirit of Truth.
Power, however, of bullies. Lord of the Flies.
Find receptive host.
So, who is the Motherchip? Motherboard? Mothership?
And their Animate Property.
Then the rest of us had better start looking for another god.
A god who doesn’t HATE evryone who isn’t one of his Speshul Pets.
It really is heartbreaking Max and I sincerely feel that. It’s almost as if dissenters like you and other Baptist folks here at TWW are a lone minority. I hope I’m wrong but it also seems that so long as the pot-lucks and social functions continue as usual, the rank and file pew-serfs don’t really care who’s in the pulpit, or who runs the elders and deacons.
God created us for fellowship with Him.
With the God-shaped vacuum God placed in one’s heart, fill it with an idol of a person, likely a man, and the result = idol + idol worshipers.
Muff Potter wrote:
Sadly, that appears to be the case in my neck of the woods. And the New Calvinists don’t really care about the old folks; they just want their stuff.
Earlier today I listened to a panel discussion by Mohler and friends where they answer questions written by audience members and selected by a moderator. Each panel member paused before answering the question regardless how simple the question and the audience always waited a similar amount of time before applauding. There was little spontaneity or emotion; each answer a learned mechanical response.
As I put my daughter to bed tonight, I remembered the cold, calloused way one panel member described God’s selective love and my heart broke that my daughter doesn’t have a the broader Christian community with those few priceless souls that exemplified God’s love in a way that few did then and fewer do today. Her bedtime stories are populated with the beautiful characters from my childhood that have been abused and misused routinely by the modern church. I have a friend who humbly manages the slides during the pastors sermon that is one of those people, but is bogged down with the business of supporting the pastor. When his father passed away I sent flowers from the Sunday school class that had recently become part of the churches organization chart. I had only known him for a few months while the class manager had known him for years. When he thanked the class for the flowers, the class manager had nothing wise or spiritual to say. I’ve seen these people everywhere, but their effectiveness and fellowship is muted in a divide and conquer scheme under the guise of leadership.
Yes, Al Mohler and others are building a Kingdom reflecting their”intellect”, but institutionalized divide and conquer of the saints is what made the takeover possible. I want my daughter to experience the beauty of fellowshipping with those beautiful humble people that I knew.
Ah….could have Mennonite leanings. That is about as far away from reformed as you can get. We don’t even believe in “Once Saved Always Saved.” Also highly unlikely to be found around a flag waving SBC church.
Are reformed gals really doing this????
I really like the beliefs and statements pledge. If only pastor search committees would be educated on this, a lot of the problems with Calvinist pastors going to non-Calvinist churches could be avoided. Unfortunately, many churches ask their local Association DOM for advise on how a search committee should conduct their search and the DOM will never warn them of such a mismatch. Why not? Because they don’t want to risk alienating Calvinist churches in their Association. That might result in a reduction or even elimination of their giving to the Association. The attitude is the same in the state conventions when churches ask for search committee assistance. None of them (expect may Louisiana) will warn churches of the dangers to which you have posted. Once again, the issue is dollars. Like it or not, this is the real world in the SBC. Calvinist pastor candidates have been taught how to take advantage of it (see Ernest Reisinger’s book, “The Quiet Revolution’) and they’re doing a very good job of infiltration. If a difference is to be made with search committees, some other way has to be devised to get the message out other than local Associations and state conventions.
Pretty much. It seems to me that the majority are embracing authoritarian theology.
Why? I think it’s a reaction to a perceived rejection by the wider society.
And with them being elect and all, they don’t need to waste resources on missions since the elect are irristibly compelled to go to church.
The rest of us stay home and save 10%.
Oh my! Um…I grew up Baptist so I’ve only been with CoCs for about 5 years. There is a group called the International Church of Christ that does a lot with college kids and is very controlling. I think they were also known as the Boston Movement back in the 80s. That experience sounds absolutely horrible and I would not associate with them. CoCs are formally autonomous, but there are general similarities amongst them, like a Capella music, the essentiality of baptism, Communion every week, etc. Most of them are like Christian Churches, but with out instruments. My husband and I and our current church is considered very liberal, and we’ve been disfellowshipped by other nearby churches. Liberal just means we have female ministry leaders, we think the Methodists and Baptists down the street are also Christians, and the preacher went to an actual accredited university and not a preaching school. Churches of Christ, the Christian Church, and Disciples of Christ all came out of the Restoration Movement in the 1800s. The Restoration Movement is cool, but then the fundamentalist movement hit it hard in the early 1900s. I like the denomination overall (and I love our church), but each church has it’s own flavor.
I’m really sorry about your son’s experience. Most of the Church of Christ people I talk to would consider the International Church of Christ a cult.
scott hendrixson wrote:
I know intellectuals, I work with people with degrees from Yale, Duke, Vanderbilt, Rice, Harvard, Stanford, and I know what they are and through reading their work know what people like Mohler, Piper, etc. are, and they are NOT intellectuals, they don’t even come across as particularly intelligent.
@ Law Prof:
Thus the quotation marks.
scott hendrixson wrote:
True that, point taken.
The flock held down by, “the boot”. It’s such a contradiction….why Calvinists feel it necessary to compel people to be calvanists….thought believers were elected.
I’m reading a seminary textbook about Old Testament prophets.
One type of prophet was the “oracle” prophet, a prophet who was a messenger from Yahweh. The oracular prophets often informed the kings and powerful leaders — the ruling class of Israel — that they were mistreating the common people, and therefore breaking God’s covenant (see Hosea 4:1-3 and Micah 6:1-5).
Standing up for the average Christian in the pew — against the power hungry pastors and leaders — carries on a great tradition of Amos, Isaiah, Micah, Jeremiah, Zephaniah, and others.
Here’s what Amos has to say about these heartless leaders:
“They trample on the heads of the poor
as on the dust of the ground
and deny justice to the oppressed.” (2:6-7)
That’s a major problem with the doctrine of Election–how do you know you are elected? New Calvinists, much moreso than classical Calvinists, will say that you can’t know and then at the same time say that if you declare Christ, you are. But then, many do not believe that those outside of New Calvinist churches can be elected, even if they also declare Christ.
So they have developed this system whereby you have to be “in covenant” and “in submission”. The leaders teach this a lot, sometimes in veiled ways, but I’ve heard less of their followers talk about it. They might not say it often, but many also seem to believe that leaders are special in these ranks and have some sort of special shoo-in privilege.
Because most New Calvinist churches do not teach much more about Christ than atonement, sadly, I think many will find themselves standing in front of the Judgement Seat and Christ will say, “I never knew you.” Christ is the Judge, not the Father. Over and over in the New Testament, but especially in Christ’s ministry, the Bible says Christ is the way of salvation. Christ is not just an atonement, but the Living God, equal to the Father. Church doesn’t save us; a relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit does.
@ Law Prof:
That is actually one of my biggest problems with the Calvinistas, there is not a lot of real scholarship there. I consider Piper, Mohler, and friends to be pop-theology. Academic commentaries don’t even give them a mention in the footnotes; Grudem is the rare exception. So when preachers quote folks like them I assume they just aren’t very well read. If I were interviewing a pastoral candidate I would ask what resources they use in addition to the Bible. And what theologian, aside from school professors, has had the greatest impact on their faith. Or, if you could recommend one book for the congregation to read besides the Bible, what would it be? Or bait them by saying, “I recently read (some popular Calvinista book) and found it very intriguing. I would love to know your thoughts.”
scott hendrixson wrote:
Yes, our church used it during the reign of our former YRR pastor. We found the material focused only on the evil things people did in the Bible. It was very violent and dark. I think they were trying to drive home “total depravity.” We went to something else after the pastor left! Oh, and did I mention this was preschool material? They would spend the entire lesson on David and Bathsheba’s sin, but then have have only a little blurb about Jesus at the end. Our teachers wisely refused to use it!
@ Preacher’s Wife:
There is little doubt in my mind that readingalong’s son was exposed to this group. They were seducing students when I was in college.
I just don’t get it. It’s like playing, “Christian”, or if I behave this way , it must be so. Seems like the cart before the horse. What drudgery to be always hoping but never knowing.
I don’t think there’s too much mystery about it. It’s not really about God. I don’t believe some of the leaders care one bit about theology. It’s about men seeking power and getting other people to submit to that power. They bait men into believing they are the only special ones that will be saved and also thinking they can rule their households, and maybe one day rule everyone else in the church. But those men are considered peons along with the women by the leadership and the leaders will not hesitate to cast them out of their “salvation” if they start having questions about the whole system. You have both promise of being in charge and fear of losing your salvation–which is exactly the tactic cults use to control their members.
sounds like they were stalking your son
there is an element of ‘stalking’ behavior among the ‘churches’ that claim a hold on members that want to get away from them ….. I think that ‘stalking’ behavior is a symptom of something terribly evil as it does not show respect for the person’s ability to make his (or her) own decisions about religion
There is a very short jump between ‘stalking’ behavior and violence. That is something to worry about because the same individuals capable of stalking someone may also have even worse destructive tendencies within themselves.
Jesus Himself saves …. ‘all else is commentary’ 🙂
Root 66 wrote:
sometimes; but there are other times when hope is seminal to who we are as human persons …. sometimes we ‘hope’ because we know what is seems impossible is not going to be always impossible, so we keep pressing on, as is a feature of our humanity to have goals beyond our current reach
“Between Austria and Italy, there is a section of the Alps called the Semmering. It is an impossibly steep, very high part of the mountains. They built a train track over these Alps to connect Vienna and Venice. They built these tracks even before there was a train in existence that could make the trip. They built it because they knew some day, the train would come. ”
(Martini, “Under the Tuscan Sun”)
One big problem with Calvinism, old or new, is Calvin’s teaching on evanescent grace. See http://wikibin.org/articles/evanescent-grace.html:
This is a translation of what Calvin himself wrote, so this is not something that old Calvinists can escape from. The bottom line is the God of Calvin tricks some people into believing they are among the elect so that he can punish them even more for their false belief. This means there is no way to know whether or not one is saved. Therefore, no Calvinist, new or old, can claim assurance of salvation.
@ Law Prof:
Thus the quotation marks.Root 66 wrote:
The spinning ball of eyes did it for my wife.
Ken F wrote:
When the ‘assurance’ breeds smugness, then I would question its value to a Christian person. At some point, people need to be able to pray:
“Lord, I believe. Help Thou my unbelief.”
And at some point, having fallen along the way, a Christian person needs to return again to the foot of the Cross and experience repentance by way of a broken heart before the gaze of the Crucified One Who forgives. There is no point where ‘sin’ doesn’t matter any more because ‘I am saved.’ And there is never a moment during our sojourn on this Earth when we can be smug and no longer need to trust in God’s great mercy.
Better to be a trusting lamb at peace in the arms of Jesus, than to be a smug and prideful goat who no longer needs Him.
They are sick puppies IMO.
I had this discussion with a more classical Calvinist friend of mine, and she said that the smugness of New Calvinists mystified her because Calvinist theology should lead people to extreme humility.
I think it comes more from the cult tactics they use, and their belief that leaders are automatically Elected. The YRR seem to have this belief that they will be leaders because they are so smart and aggressive, so God must be happy with them. It certainly isn’t derived from their theology.
I do not think they ever study the Gospels, they are so clueless about being like Jesus.
Ken F wrote:
Calvinists are not required to believe everything Calvin ever wrote, though. I was told we are to be ‘guided’ by the confessions, not beholden to them. There was a big to do about double predestination I believe, because some people hated it so much.
That middle sentence…that’s almost like the “prosperity” gospel they claim to hate, isn’t it?
Who said being smart means you are righteous? Who said knowing terms means God is happy? They concentrate on the least important things to the exclusion of the basics.
maybe it’s not Jesus to whom they wish to conform? Study their behaviors and then take another look at who is/are the possible role models of that behavior
I don’t think the YRR are very strong on the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, no ….. absolutely not
Root 66 wrote:
Welcome to New Calvinism!
Elected to believe in Calvin.
@ Leslie Puryear:
Thanks for chiming in! Some of our readers may not be aware that five years ago the Biblical Recorder published an article you wrote regarding the Calvinist takeover.
I read Kenneth Keathley’s response to you, and with all due respect, I do not believe history is on his side. These last five years have demonstrated that there is indeed an agenda to reform traditional Southern Baptist churches, and SEBTS grads are helping to accomplish that goal. Claiming to be a ‘Great Commission’ seminary does not conceal the evidence that they are cranking out clones that plan to carry out the YRR agenda.
Over the past year my church, which hired a Southeastern grad, began to go through some of this transition, much to my disappointment. Our pastor planned to teach a bi-weekly Sunday night Bible study for the next two years, and the text he would be using was Wayne Grudem’s Bible Doctrine. Because I objected via social media, he canned Grudem’s book and used a new LifeWay resource. Our pastor resigned a few months ago.
Actions speak much louder than words. Case in point – I was deeply disappointed that Danny Akin preached at Dennis Darville’s new church plant in Rocky Mount last fall. We covered that fiasco last summer when Darville attempted to transform First Baptist Church Rocky Mount into a Calvinista church. He split the church, and there is still much hurt. Tragically, some families have been divided over it. 🙁
That is an interesting statement – it basically means Calvinism can be just about anything based on what set of Calvinist beliefs Calvinists are or are not required to believe. It makes me wonder if Calvin was a Calvinist.
@ Leslie Puryear:
One more thing. I used to be highly supportive of SEBTS. In the spring of 2005 I attended their Preview Days and considered applying so that I could earn a graduate degree. Bruce Ashford was the tour guide for my group. For various reasons, I decided not to apply.
In the years that followed, I would joyfully attend chapel services at Southeastern, probably averaging one every two weeks. Some of the professors knew me and would acknowledge me because our children attended the same Christian school.
In 2006 I drove out to Wake Forest to hear Al Mohler speak. This was several years before I knew anything about the Calvlinist takeover. After Mohler spoke, I shook his hand in the narthex of the chapel. Shook Danny Akin’s hand, too.
The following year Danny Akin preached through the book of Jude, and I heard every single message that year in person. I sat at the back of Binkley Chapel and took notes.
Back in 2007/08 Dee and I served together on the Community Panel of our local newspaper (The News and Observer). We met once a month with N&O editors to critique the paper. Reporters at the N&O would sometimes go after Akin and SEBTS, and Dee and I would staunchly defend them (the seminary and its president).
I used to be a big supporter of Southeastern, and I am so sad that they have gone in the direction that they have. 🙁
Leslie Puryear wrote:
Yep. The Director of Mission (DOM’s) across SBC are taking a neutral stance on this mess as Calvinization sweeps through the denomination. They should be representing the majority of non-Calvinists within their associations who pay their salary! The DOM’s are a big part of the problem since they are trusted intermediaries between local assemblies and SBC’s State/National entities. Speaking from experience, you can’t trust the DOM in my area – he speaketh out of both sides of his mouth, playing both sides of the fence and always jumping on the most popular wave.
Note: For those not familiar with SBC organization, SBC’s 45,000+ churches in America are divided into “Associations”. Each association has a Director of Mission who works with churches within his area of responsibility. He is used by the churches as a trusted resource for all things SBC. Most DOM’s have found themselves between a rock and a hard place when it comes to Calvinization of the denomination, since New Calvinist leaders now control most SBC entities at a time when most SBC churches are still traditional in belief and practice. Not standing for majority Southern Baptist belief and practice (non-Calvinist) is to not stand at all.
Yes…could you imagine trying to teach that to a three-year-old? Then our former pastor had the audacity to defend the material saying, “does this mean you wouldn’t teach the crucifixion to children, since it’s so gory?” He missed the point entirely–children should learn the Bible on a level that’s suited for them. They harp on “total depravity” so hard, it was like killing a fly with a ball bat!
Again, it was all about control since he was so adamant about us using the material HE wanted! He was totally oblivious to many long-time teachers’ concerns over the material.
Root 66 wrote:
These guys seem to be nothing more than Stepford Men–almost like Robots only repeating what they have been programed to say.
Ken F wrote:
Is there anyone in life you agree with on every point?
I think this is sort of silly. People who consider themselves reformed in that way (which, I’m back and forth on using reformed as a designation for this but it’s a common one) have some basic similarities, as I said look at the confessions, but individuals will disagree on points too. If you disagree on enough points you’ve probably sorted yourself into another category.
Traditional Baptists disagree on things too.
Indeed…as Jesus said in Matthew 23:23-24 that they have neglected the weightier matters of the law…and strain at gnats and swallow a camel!
Our former pastor was more worried about us not following his “leadership” than our concern over what was being taught to our children. Again–where’s the love, folks?!?
New Calvinists are indoctrinated cookie-cutter purveyors of error. They are parrots of their icons and stick to the script.
@ Root 66:
In fact–I think the entire CHAPTER of Matthew 23 gives a pretty good indication of what Jesus thinks about this “reformed movement!”
I just read (ed.) his article. He's right about rural churches. Here in rural Kentucky, I am thoroughly convinced that most pew peons are clueless about Calvinists, and especially the YRRs. The few peons who do know have a vague knowledge and greatly underestimate what is going on in the SBC.
One difference is there is no such thing as a single source for Baptist theology, so we should expect there to be disagreements on details. Similarly, there is no such thing as a single source for Reformed theology. But there is such as thing as a single Calvin who wrote very specific things. It strikes me as odd for someone to say they are a Calvinist while at the same time disagreeing with Calvin on some of his bigger points.
Prior to becoming President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS), Akin served under Al Mohler in various positions at Southern, including Dean of the School of Theology. Think about it … theology! Taking SEBTS down the New Calvinist road was predictable, just as MWBTS is under Jason Allen’s leadership (Allen was Mohler’s executive assistant before going to MWBTS).
Is there anything good that comes out of Louisville?
Agreed. I fault non-Calvinist pastors at over 45,000 SBC churches for not having “family talks” along the way about the ails of New Calvinism. Thus, the pew is largely unaware that the train has wrecked, while continuing to support the derailment.
Hot Browns and baseball bats perhaps, but other than that…I’ve got nothin’!
Root 66 wrote:
I used to teach a teenaged SS class. The church used LifeWay. I didn’t like LifeWay, so when I started teaching the class, I tossed the SS books and started teaching straight from the Bible. My kids had a good grasp on the NT but knew nothing (and I do mean NOTHING!) about the OT. So, I taught OT, beginning with “In the beginning…”.
Before we covered Rahab, I talked to the parents to warn them and ask if it was okay to be blunt with the kids. Focusing on David’s and Bathsheba’s sin with a bunch of three year olds??? No way! (And, btw, it was David’s sin. I don’t believe Bathsheba had a lot of choice in the matter!)
Ken F wrote:
I think most people would claim to be reformed, not ‘calvinist’. Presbyterians are confessional, but those confessions were not written by calvin himself. I’m not a church scholar, so I’m just giving you the bits and pieces I know.
Root 66 wrote:
The Kentucky Derby.
I like horses. When I was a very young child, I read a book about Exterminator (1918). Exterminator’s companion was a Shetland pony named Peek-a-boo. A couple of months after reading the book, I got a Shetland pony. I named him Peek-a-boo! He was a dream. I rode him up my grandparents front porch steps and into the living room. Papaw didn’t let Mamaw whip me for it. Tee hee!
I will take the widsom and knowledge of your old school, old time 70 something and up pastor who has spent years preaching, reading, studying Gods word while on his knees in prayer who has years of life experience in ministry dealing with people one on one who has a little church somewhere and has not purchased properties, built buildings, or gone to seminary over these hacks who call themselves theologians or have these degrees in bible. I’m sorry anyone can get a degree in seminary and say they know scripture but without living out the scriptures without the life experience with living out trials and the word they got nothing on these old timers. Give me the old time pastor who just seeks God’s grace and direction not numbers siting in his pews. I have found one and this man speaks with the power of the Holy spirit when he preaches. He has a little ole church in Tennessee anyways it’s about time we kick these others to the curb until they can grow up and actually live out the word. Maybe then they will be ready for the ministry
The saddest part of this was that our former pastor was totally gob-smacked that we didn’t like the material, and instead of offering options for us, he defended it and essentially dared us to challenge his “authority!” Most of the material I’ve ever taught over these 30 some-odd years of teaching, I basically used the curriculum for the passages to look at and went from there.
And yes, “David’s sin with Bathsheba” would have probably been a much better way to phrase it. However, I really don’t recall the “Gospel Project’s” actual spin on it. They might have tried to blame her for everything for all I know!
Max, the sad part is that Pastors in the SBC stayed quite when the SBC moved far right from 1979 on with the TAKEOVER IMO.
Nancy2, if we had more Southern Baptists like you, New Calvinists would have never taken over the denomination!
so cute this story! 🙂
Root 66 wrote:
A lot of them do! I just assumed that’s what you meant 🙂
With more women like Nancy there never would have been the submission to men amendment in 1998 or the 2000 BF&M IMO.
I may have been born a female, but I wasn’t born submissive – wasn’t raised to be submissive, either!
I suppose that has a lot to do about protecting the Cooperative Program at all costs. Thus, they agree to disagree, get along to go along, and make room under the big SBC tent for everybody. In that sort of environment, one can see how easily it would be to merge the Conservative Resurgence into a Calvinist Resurgence (Al Mohler knew that). Strange, but I can’t find mixture being blessed in Scripture.
Obedience is doing what you are told to do. Submission is doing what you should do because you want to.
My grandmother didn’t think it was cute. She heard those hooves on her floor and knew what I had done. She came out of the kitchen with a rolling pin in one hand and a fly swatter in the other.
Submission has been redefined over the past 35 or so years. It is now synonymous with blind obedience.
No, and I apologize for not phrasing that any better than I did! I just wanted to make the point that they over-emphasize mankind’s wickedness and sinfulness.
In another one of their lessons, it was in Judges when Ehud stuck the dagger in King Eglon and it wouldn’t come out. They spent 75% of the lesson on that point–for 2 and 3 year-olds!! Really?!?
Ashford was the first Calvinista professor to be put in place after Akin took over. And there were some really angry people over it. I had one friend in particular that knew him fairly well and was incensed that they hired him when he had just graduated and had little experience. At the time, my friend said that something was really off about his hiring, because there were hundreds of applicants with doctorates who had been pastors for years, and they picked this yearling because he was a fan of Mohler.
The FUNDAMENTALIST greatly distort Ephesians 5:22 IMO.
When I started my MDiv the first book they had us read was A Little Exercise for Young Theologians by Helmut Thielicke. The basic premise was that while in school you’ll learn a lot of really cool and interesting stuff, but you don’t have the wisdom and experience to match it. Therefore you should probably work on humility and keeping your mouth shut for a while. We called it How Not To Be A Jerk. Age and experience can work miracles sometimes.
There are no nationwide searches for key SBC positions these days; the best candidates need not apply. Mohler simply makes a few phone calls to bend a few ears. Important job hires must now be blessed by the Pope.
Root 66 wrote:
What on earth???!!
That is idiotic.
Common sense would tell you that is clearly not what is meant. We are not meant to be blindly obedient to ANYONE.
Exactly. When New Calvinists stress that women should be submissive, they really mean blindly obey. When I visit New Calvinist churches, you can cut the oppression with a knife; one only has to look at the countenance of young women who have bought this lie – blind obedience is written on their faces. Not exactly the freedom in Christ they may have dreamed of at one time for their spiritual life.
Perhaps, we should itemize red flags for “How to spot church members who sit under a Calvinista pastor.”
After a nationwide search (tongue in cheek) for a new President of the North American Mission Board, Kevin Ezell was appointed. (prior to that, he was Al Mohler’s pastor)
After a nationwide search (not) for a new President of Midwestern Seminary, Jason Allen was hired. (prior to that, he was Al Mohler’s executive assistant)
Which is exactly why we broomed it!
What’s even more sad is that the parallel adult lesson for that week didn’t even mention it at all. “The Gospel Project” is just not good material, and its Calvinistic bent is unmistakable. And if your new pastor really starts pushing it–push back! 🙂
IMO, that started well before the YRR invasion. Bailey Smith, Jerry Vines, Adrian Rogers, Paige Patterson …….. The YRRs are just jumped on the horse that was already broke to ride and saddled for them.
there used to be a little song for children that age… something like ‘Jesus loves me …’
poor little ones being taught about knives and murderers, they will absorb that and it will give them nightmares, so better they learn the little song about Our Lord Who loves them, yes
@ Preacher’s Wife:
and others, too:
Thank you for your insights.
Sad to think that those types of groups are on the campuses trolling for new faces as well as the legitimate ones.
Ken F wrote:
Well then, rejoice in it, because it brings god glory…
The more I read the more I’m genuinely lost in this conversation.
If Baptists have not traditionally embraced Calvinism, how did their seminaries get “taken over”.
And a pastor lies in his job interview, how is it so difficult to get rid of him (doesn’t sound like there are any Neo-Calvinist women pastors). I lie in my job interview, I get a “thanks for coming out” letter.
Do churches have the power to hire but not fire? Once “God” has chosen the “right” pastor, all control is handed over and that’s the end of it?
I guess I really don’t get how a congregation that is not Calvinist leaning, would accept Calvinist teaching. One would expect a heck of a fight or a mass exodus. In the stories shared here, it seems some folks leave but most stay. How do these pastors get the support that they do?
I had heard with the SBC that at one point, as a denomination, they had removed the right for women to vote. Upthread someone mentioned 1998. That tells me this trend has been going on for quite a while.
Are Baptists “de-evangelicalizing”?
I’ve been out of the SBC for a while but I don’t think this is true. It’s true on some individual church levels. Baptist polity is a mix, so I think part of the problem is that these guys come in and start changing the rules to make themselves impossible to fire? I did think your question here was interesting:
You can get rid of pastor in a few ways, but it’s much harder in some churches than others. Or you can ‘vote with your feet’ which has the benefit (to some) of being non-confrontational and that’s when you end up with these tiny churches that can no longer afford their buildings. I wonder if anybody has any stats on how often that sort of thing happens and how quickly?
Nancy, thanks for the above comment–Smith, Vines, Rogers, Patterson, etc. created these YRR Monsters who have no use for women and they surely can not control them and yet many in the SBC idolize these men that created them.
For a long time, the non-Calvinists and the Calvinists got along pretty peaceably. They do lie, and they got people onto all the committees that weren’t entirely honest about their beliefs in authoritarianism. But it’s a good question that deserves a lot more scrutiny. There was something definitely fishy going on, and there seems to have been a deep-seated conspiracy.
There are three main reasons why some of these pastors have been hard to oust. One is that when they come, they start seeding the congregation with yes-men. Then they start initiating church discipline for stupid reasons on people who ask too many questions or who outright disagree. Sadly, many Christians don’t challenge those processes enough, or just accept whatever the pastor says. The last reason is that the Calvinistas were rather astute in taking over the institutions, but particularly the institution that pays for pastors’ retirement benefits (now called Guidestone). Basically, the Calvinistas control the money.
Right now, the president of the North American Mission Board is engaged in a battle with the state associations, and that might start their downfall. People are catching on that they are not really about theology, but about power.
Our job as pew sitters is simply to obey and above all tithe.
It is awful, isn’t it? I realize there are many things in the Bible that are unsavory. And although we should be diligent students of the Word, I don’t think some things are theologically within the grasp of toddlers. Jesus’ love WOULD be the best place to start. Sadly though, in their theology Jesus only loves the “elect!” 🙁
Funny you say that. I have had several of them repeat almost the exact same words in reply to the same question I have asked them. They were very clearly talking points. When pressed further, they had nothing else to say in response, and it was rather pathetic. I’m talking about seminary graduates.
Because they are not as smart as they think they are. They haven’t reasoned for themselves, they haven’t thought through all the possibilities…
This is where ‘authority’ comes in. Then they can just say whatever they like and think less of you for not buying it.
I do not think these YRR have any critical thinking skill and will do what they are told to do by their authorities–that is frightening.
Southern Baptists were always known for their missions, for contributing to them, and going on missions all over the world
Lottie Moon even has a special day commemorating her service to the Church in the Anglican liturgical calendar.
If the YRR are still raising money off of the names of Annie Armstrong and Lottie Moon, then what are they going to do with that money if it is no longer for the missions ????
Excellent question and I am willing to bet the YRR hate Annie Armstrong and Lottie Moon and have probably never studied about these wonderful missionary minded women.
I don’t think ANYONE can know about the work of these good women and hate them, no.
I could only think that such people are in ignorance.
My point is they detest these two strong women and have no desire to learn about them.
My mantilla covers a multitude of bad hair days. 🙂
Excellent article. We saw most of this happen in our takeover. I didn't mention that the pastor (per point one on the first document) put down altar calls and invitations. We saw many people come to faith during invitations in our traditional Baptist and Quaker churches. The general attitude towards our children and unbelievers was (I don't have it verbatim) was "you can present the Gospel to them, but if they reject it, simply move on." The pastor even said when he first preached direct TULIP from the pulpit that he had many parents grinding their heels at this idea of unconditional election and predestination in regards to their children (being elect or not). Of course, I would like to ask them how do you know who is "the elect" and who is not per their view?
I wouldn’t go that far, but it is sad that these non-Calvinist SBC leaders during the Conservative Resurgence did not do enough to prevent it from merging into a Calvinist Resurgence, which precipitated the YRRs and their subordination of female believers. It was primarily non-SBC reformed icons and entities who created the YRR monsters (Piper, The Gospel Coalition, etc.) … but of course, they are now SBC monsters to contend with.
My point is someone had to turn a once man and women friendly denomination into a man leading only denomination and these men certainly led the charge. I know a time when it did not matter whether a man or a woman was doing the work of God in the SBC, but now it must only be men.
Root 66 wrote:
Hey, my husband is from Louisville!! I resemble that! Anyway, you forgot Papa John’s, the Colonel, and kuchen. 😀
Yes, there has been a long history of macho SBC leaders who endeavored to keep women in their (unBiblical) place. A desire to subordinate women believers is nothing new to the SBC … but the New Calvinist movement has succeeded in making it happen.
Only if they can retain congregational church governance. That is why a young reformer who deceives his way into a traditional SBC pulpit moves quickly to establish an elder-rule polity. They essentially become untouchable at that point.
Slowly but surely through strategic recruitment of reformed professors by a few SBC Calvinist elite (e.g., Al Mohler).
yes, I see ….. no female role-models allowed who are strong women ….. that makes sense
Oh they still call themselves “missional”, they’ve just redefined what that means. They put some of that money into “church revitalization”, or taking over already established churches. The rest of that money goes to the leaders and the social media campaigns and propaganda. But try to get them to define their terms and you’ll either lies or be stonewalled for daring to challenge their “authority”.
And Lottie Moon was the real deal. I have read lots about her life.
Then there’s the total eclipse on August 21st. My daughters are going with a group from their school down to Hopkinsville to see it.
My daughter lives in Hopkinsville. Her hubby is the IT guy for the city. I live about 25 mi. from Hopkinsville – I’m a stayin’ home! Traffic will be an absolute nightmare. Hoptown: the Pennyrile Parkway; Ft. Campbell Blvd.: HWYs 68/80, 41, 41A, 109, etc. are not designed to support that magnitude of traffic. Hotels in Hoptown and .cadiz have been booked for months @ $400 per night for the eclipse!!!!
PS – while your daughters are in The Hopkinsville area, tell them to go check out the Kelly Little Green Man Festival – just north of Hopkinsville off hwy 41!!!! The festival coincides with the eclipse……. Also the Jefferson Davis Monument on the Todd/Christian county line, off Hwy 68/80!!!
Yes, I have memories of those times, too … when the Body of Christ worked together (regardless of gender) to reach the lost and disciple them in Jesus’ name. Southern Baptists were truly “complementarian” in those days … we complemented each other’s spiritual gifts. The current emphasis on complementarity does not make the church complete.
Root 66 wrote:
The adult material had lots of references to reformed thinkers. My impression was that it just didn’t fit with the long established church and the pastor seemed oblivious when I spoke with him.
From my experience, the key is to prevent them from changing the constitution. The wording was very careful and subtle, but once it was voted in, our church moved from congregational to elder ruled polity with little checks and balances left.
Ashford was really young to be a professor back then. I’m sure you know that he’s an elder at The Summit and a close friend of the lead pastor.
It wasn’t so long ago that women took charge of and organized VBS. No more …… not around here any more. Men are in charge of everything church connected. Women just do as they’re told. It just keeps getting worse. The only thing women are truly involved in are kitchen duties, now …… and the men make the major decisions there
(Scheduling, repairs, appliance purchases, renovations, etc.). Women are outsiders now – free childcare, cleaning, and catering services. So ……. I quit.
Summit …… is that J. D. Greear's church???
That’s part of the stealth and deception … modus operandi of the new reformers.
He is younger than me by a few years at least, so was indeed very young to be a professor, especially when there were many people who would be better qualified for the position. They just handed the position to him upon graduation.
Of course, we now know that all that’s important to Mohler is to be a yes-man, not to be qualified or experienced.
scott hendrixson wrote:
I’m really tired of hearing about all these oblivious Southern Baptist pastors when it comes to the New Calvinist agenda. They will have to answer to God for not being aware of or not concerned about what is happening around them, as those entrusted to their care are ensnared by the new reformation. Being a shepherd requires that you remain watchful and diligent, lest a wolf gets your sheep. Regarding Sunday School curriculum, you really can’t trust LifeWay materials these days.
That’s the last hurdle to cross. Unfortunately, most of the congregation has either been purged, or is lock step with pastor by the time the change is proposed.
A lot of the younger generation have been told that congregational polity is purely an American invention, rather like our democracy….and not biblical. The idea of the priesthood of the believer, freedom in Christ, has been lost….actually disdained by the new Calvinists.
Christ died to set us free from bondage. Now, a whole generation is in bondage to their rulers, so frustrating.
Exactly, Max. They are re-vamping the “Explore the Bible” series and really, really pushing it. My wife (the Sunday School Director) and I are extremely suspicious of it and she has put the Sunday School teachers on high alert. It is not coming out until fall, but my “Spidey-Senses” are already tingling!
Root 66 wrote:
As they should be! It was just a matter of time before the New Calvinists within LifeWay targeted “Explore the Bible” which is used extensively as adult class curriculum.
There’s no doubt that LifeWay’s young adult Sunday School literature has been slanted in a reformed direction for some time. Several years ago, a church I taught in used the Life Matters “Threads” material produced by LifeWay. I complained to LifeWay’s editor of these publications about the extensive use of marginal notations pointing students to sermons, articles, books, websites, and blogs by leading influencers of the reformed movement. For example, in the Winter 2010/2011 Life Matter’s issue, I noted that students were referred predominantly to Calvinists for extracurricular readings/sermons, including: Joshua Harris, John Piper, Matt Chandler, Francis Chan, Mark Driscoll, Tim Keller, C.J. Mahaney, and others. There were frequent marginal notes highlighting Piper’s Desiring God website, as well as Driscoll’s Resurgence site. Visiting either of these took the student on a linked tour of who’s-who and what’s happening in New Calvinism … from the newest book to recommended conferences/events. However, it should be noted that subsequent issues of Life Matters appeared to have addressed this subtle approach to introducing young adults to a reformed “thread” (perhaps others complained as well), as I didn’t see as many marginal references of this sort compared to issues produced in 2010-2011 and perhaps earlier.
With this in mind, my antennae were already up when I first heard about LifeWay’s “The Gospel Project.” When the list of TGP writers and advisers appeared, I must admit that I had formed an opinion without reading the materials … so waited for reviews by others to come forth to confirm or dispute what I was feeling. The careful reviews provided by Pastor Green and Dr. Caner at the time supported my overriding concern that such materials were intended to effect a generational shift in SBC ranks to reformed theology, targeting primarily young folks.
Sunday School departments throughout SBC need to be vigilant in this regard. They should consider praying for gifted teachers to step forward in their churches who can teach directly from the Bible without the aid of printed materials. Wouldn’t that be radical?! And the money saved by not buying LifeWay materials could be used to care for orphans and widows in their distress.
It should be noted that Thom Rainer is President & CEO of LifeWay. Before he went to LifeWay, guess where he was at? Surprise … surprise … he was on staff at Mohler Seminary.
Boston Lady wrote:
Yep, I would posit that saying “Jesus loves you” for a Calvinist just might make them go into conniptions. They most certainly REFUSE to say it when evangelizing. So a good question on that list to the candidate for pastor would be:
“Can you tell a person that God/Jesus loves them while evangelizing?”
And watch out if they use some kind of cloaked language about “common grace” as God’s love for the non-elect.
Also not Millenial.
A couple weeks ago, I read an online survey of Millenials regarding favorite type of government. The winner? “Strong Leader”. (“Fuehrerprinzip” auf Deutsch.)
And I have heard anecdotally about Millenials at con parties asking “What’s so wrong about Slavery?” (And my source says every one of them asks about Massa’s sexual rights to his Animate Property at some point without being prompted in any way.) Seems Millenials see themselves as naturally entitled to hold the whip.
Or “The Vapors”, fluttering hands and all.
Oh, yeah, Hopkinsville!
A town memorialized by Old School UFOlogists, and other aficionados of the Weird:
If it hasn’t gone down the memhole by then…
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
Yep. They’ve used the word “biblical” in such egregious ways that it has become meaningless. Hence, most times when I hear or see that word “biblical” – I consider it a Red Flag. I don’t use the word because of all the trappings that come with it.
How about: Are you a church/person that loves Jesus and loves His teachings from the gospels? How about: Are you a church/person that loves your neighbor and shows it by helping others in need and praying for them?
At one time, it used to be “Are You Rich?”
Nowadays it’s “Is Your Theology Perfectly Parsed?”
And I’ve concluded that a LOT of the obnoxious behavior of the Elect is them trying to prove to themselves that not only are they The Elect, they are More Elect Than Thou.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
I believe this. Power hates a vacuum, and the kids have taken up the whip.
I red a book a couple of years ago written by someone who had been a reporter with the SBC and Houston Chronicle. It deals a lot with SBC politics and personalities, including the Conservative Resurgence. I won't give e the whole book away with my biased reviews and turn this into a runaway post, but I feel strongly that the politics of power climate established the precedent and climate for what's happening now. The mechanisms and techniques employed with the takeover are the same ones being employed by the YRR crowd. It is my opinion that Al Mohler is the bridge between these two movements. Let me be clear that I am talking primarily about the battle that occurred and how it was waged. The book is by a guy named Louis Moore, unrelated to Russell, and is called "Witness to the Truth".
scott hendrixson wrote:
scott hendrixson wrote:
Agreed. Mohler learned how to play the power game through his association with leaders of the Conservative Resurgence … using the seminaries to change the message, planting key leaders to accomplish a theo-political agenda, etc. Those non-Calvinist CR leaders might not agree with his theology, but they can’t argue about his takeover methods since they used them, too!
I know where Exterminator is buried. His nickname was “Old Bones.”
You hit the nail on the head. They had their own takeover methods used against them and they had run off many of the people that could have helped them.
The title of the book I read …… “Old Bones the Wonder Horse”.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
They’re planning a big eclipse to-do at the Jeff Davis, too!
This is really… stupid, just plain stupid. Those men have no inkling of what powerful allies you women can be rather than relegated to just subservient vassals.
They continue this idiocy to their own peril.
@ Nancy2: Yes
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
Some people suspect that there might have been a little Kentucky moonshine involved with the sighting. Year before last, there was a band named Crash Landing there; they did “Come Sail Away”! Festival is very small, but fun – good barbeque, ribs, pork chops, red velvet funnel cake, oh my …….
Muff Potter wrote:
don’t the men realize that they are building ‘their’ church on the premise that their ‘importance’ depends on the submission of other persons to THEM?
they may call that what they will, but it is not servant-leadership; it’s ‘male leadership’ demanding unquestioning, silent servitude from ‘lesser beings’
the difference? the two models are as far apart from each other as the Kingdom of Our Lord is from the mouth of hell
Muff Potter wrote:
When, as a group, the YRR men attempt to build themselves up by actively and willingly destroying the human dignity of a whole class of people,
they inadvertently lower their own dignity which opens the door to the kind of false pride that will bring evil upon them that they cannot control …. so ‘peril’ is a good word for their actions, Muff, yes
Ack, I need to check back in these comment threads sooner. Unfortunately, my girls are going with a group from their school in two charter buses to see the eclipse, and then will hit the road to come right on back to northern KY. They won’t have time for anything else. I have to admit though, a solar eclipse makes a nice finale to a festival about little green men and their flying saucer.
And yes, the kids probably should see monuments like the one of Jefferson Davis while they’re still standing….. <:^|
In reading the history of the alleged event and what the aliens supposedly did, my impression was that they sounded like a group of bratty kids having a bit of fun with the adults in the area.
“Stealthy Takeovers By Closeted Calvinists?”
You want Clarity?
Truly, at its core, the 9 Marks 501(c)3 organization , lead by Mark Dever, intends (with the help of other Calvinistic 501(c)3 para-church organizations such as TGC, T4G, CBMW, Lifeway, Southern Baptist Seminary, and others) to cast a expansive Calvinistic vision within the Southern Baptist Convention’s of churches…
“True to form?”
This is the prevailing thought in these groups – this is only right and fitting since they believe the gospel equals Calvinism; TULIP equals the true gospel, to glorify their God is to spread Calvinism any way they can.
From the post: “It’s time for pastor search committees to wise up and begin asking pastoral candidates very direct questions about their theology.”
Are you Calvinist? Are you and your wife Complementarian or Egalitarian?
Furthermore, in regard to family values, it is evident that when God’s human values of: “Love God, love your fellow person as yourself” – are compromised, indeed, the family crashes. There’s a personal family fallout to being a narcissist in the pulpit. The evidence is what becomes public knowledge regarding the very public lives of narcissistic celebrity pastors. Pride goes before a fall. There is a great deal of pride in being a narcissist.
Here’s a random thought: maybe churches should interview the potential pastors’ wives, too!
I was reading some articles over on Leslie Vernick's site the other day and one was by a pastors wife talking about whether it was wise to be honest about what an (abusive maybe, narcissistic definitely) person her husband is when it is their family's livelihood.
Wow. The wife is not in denial, at this point. What to do about it, she ruminates in her conscience. After all, in the scheme of things, she is nothing. (Which makes him the boss over “nothing”, LOL, old joke.)
Would there be a post with testimonies from the YRR’s wives with their awakenings.
Obviously that one in Pennsylvania who sat in the video side-by-side with her pedo husband is not a candidate. She is totally in denial.
These wives have chosen to cease to be human, cease to have souls, to exist solely for man and never for God. My husband and I have had problems, but to “live” the way they think they have to “live” would kill me.
“Right now, the president of the North American Mission Board is engaged in a battle with the state associations, and that might start their downfall.”
a battle over what, exactly? (my understanding of all this is fragmented – my only knowledge/experience of the SBC is what i have gleaned here)
but i want to understand.
(since they seem to have very far-reaching influence, and i observe wholly non-SBC churches and leaders being carried down the stream of “Evangelical, Inc.” like twigs and leaves)
Muff Potter wrote:
If someone believes there is no difference between men and women then it would be a shame to lose the perspective of half the population. But if you believe that there are intrinsic differences between men and women then you lose not only half the people, you lose a crucial perspective. Men who exclude women are one eyed fools, they will walk in circles and never figure it out.
@ Headless Unicorn Guy:
“A couple weeks ago, I read an online survey of Millenials regarding favorite type of government. The winner? “Strong Leader”. (“Fuehrerprinzip” auf Deutsch.)”
interesting. so…. why might this be the case?
preferring a strong leader isn’t inherently wrong or bad, of course. but it seems it would make one susceptible to missing the line where it starts to become incrementally more abuse of power.
i’m sure there are sociological studies for why millenials have developed their values and perspectives. anyone know of any to recommend?
most of these studies are not short-term, but done over time
could be that the millenials are among the first group of Americans to not be able to do as well or better than their parents did before them and they are really pi$$ed off about it ….. was a time when a person could pull themselves up by their own bootstraps in this country but things are changing as the rich grow richer and the middle class shrinks with each generation
strong leader? law-abiding people in a free and honorable land should be very cautious about what they wish for, yes
We could expand on this, but alas, it would never get through customs…
…I am not a psy*…
@ Muff Potter:
I think you are right. There is a ‘nexus’ where ‘strong leaership’ has an appeal, but it is too easy to wander into the wrong lane in discussing the ‘why’s of this phenomenon. Best to leave it, yes.
I’ve heard a few interesting speakers make references to the subject but it seems that who ever has a piece of the puzzle has some group trying to silence them. More than a few times someone proposing a piece of the puzzle is hard to hear because some goons in the background are banging on cowbells or blasting air horns. I’ve seen some examples of research and the sciences that were corrupted because they lacked openness and discourse.
Each person has only a part of the answer and the refining process of speaking and listening is crucial. Within the bounds of reason, one way to gauge validity these days is to see if they and their supporters are silencers or if they being supressed.
there are gaps in my ‘culturing’, shall we say (& i hate to say it!). i had to look up Thersites. see, i never read the Iliad or the Odyssey (at least i don’t think i did…maybe i was supposed to have & at 14 didn’t see the point…).
anyway… i think i have a clue about your church experience.
I often take refuge from the present by reading history but it keeps pointing back to the current condition.
i do the same… by looking at the moon.
i look at the moon and think of all the people, for millenia upon millenia,… and each one looked at this very same moon. looked at it in wonderment, perhaps pondering their own past, present, and future…
i dunno…. it’s a cozy feeling i get. that i’m not alone. that the present moment isn’t as austere as it feels. the moon is a connection point, connecting me with company of all those who have gone before and felt everything i’m feeling now….
it connects me with loved ones in far away places. we’re all looking at the same moon.
i do the same with orion.
“…but it keeps pointing back to the current condition.”
yes, true. nothing new under the sun. discouraging? comforting? i tend to see the latter. people are neither as unique & special as they think, nor as freakish and misfit.
i think people are so awesome (with a few exceptions). sounds weird, but i’m proud to be human. it’s comforting to me to see how we’re all linked together.
maybe i’m launched on odd tangent #654e.
So do I elastigirl, so do I…
The names of the three belt stars are from left as you look skyward at the hunter (Orion):
The left most is Alnitak, the middle one Alnilam, and the right most one is Mintaka.
501(c)3 is the tax exempt status that means the money is not for the benefit of any individual. There are non-profits across the whole political and religious spectrum
that have this tax exempt status from the I.R.S.
An I.R.S. tax exempt status has nothing to do with the issue of NeoCalvinism/authoritarianism.
@ Muff Potter:
are these names Menominee names? (i’ll feel real stupid if they’re greek mythology and everyone knows it but me… mintaka sounds more…. menominee, i guess?)
i remember many years ago, i was on the other side of the world, had met a guy, we fancied each other. then it was time to return ‘home’ (whatever transient home that happened to be at the time). our ‘homes’ were thousands of miles apart. as departure day loomed, i would look at orion in the eastern hemisphere and console myself with the fact that i would also be able to see it back ‘home’ in the western hemisphere.
once the overseas adventure came to end and i was back in stupid & shallow american suburbia, i pined for what had been and ached for this guy something fierce. but it was comforting knowing that wherever he might be and wherever i might be, we could both look at orion.
maybe even at the same time.
indeed a connection point. to people & places in the present, and in the past.
Yup. Sure is.
But, self-aggrandize GODLY MEN (TM) insist on being idols, particularly unto their wimmenfolk.
My wife and I were visiting the coast several weeks ago for our 39 anniversary, walking the beach and watching the waves I had the same thoughts.
yes ….. they build themselves up by kicking others ‘down’ and it shows everyone who they really are and how fragile is their understanding of what it means to really be a man in human terms
Big red flag – the self-aggrandizing.
“He [God] must increase and I must decrease,” John the Baptist speaking with Jesus’ disciples. John 3:30
Note: in looking up this verse, a Desiring God post on the verse popped up. Hijacked.
“Note: in looking up this verse, a Desiring God post on the verse popped up. Hijacked.”
hmmm… were you looking up this verse in something like Bible Gateway?
Google. Yes, Gateway was there, and I used it. However, the Desiring God teaching about this verse also popped up. It is enough to turn one off to the Bible, the way they use the Bible subversively, however, best to just stick with the Bible. Yes, the Bible. Can’t go wrong there. Sometimes the teaching/commentary becomes an obstacle rather than a path, to truth.
There are pastors who post why they are not Calvinists, i.e., http://bit.ly/2rEVNF7 with Joe Beaker.
i just want to understand this better. you typed in John 3:30 into google, then a list of things came up, …. was desiring god’s pop-up thing one of the search results? or did you enter one of the search results like Bible Gateway and then it popped up?
“He must increase and I must decrease,” was typed in to get the address – John 3:30. Got that from Gateway, and underneath was the post teaching that used this verse as a theme, from Desiring God.
I don’t know what you are getting at, however, it is amazing that in looking for a verse, these teachings show up, and at first glance, look pretty good, but the message between the lines, as we at TWW all know, can completely derail the message.
Therefore, it is evident why some folks get turned off by the Bible itself – after these teachers quote really good verses and then insert their particular off-key “teaching”.
We all have to be discerning, I guess, and stick with the Bible and what the Bible says about God and the Bible itself, as a whole message.
Is it the one where the Pied Piper of Bethlehem talks about (cough, cough) “roles”?
Happy Anniversary to you and your wife!
thanks for describing it all. i wondered if Desiring God’s message was a part of Bible Gateway — if they had put a deal together where Desiring God could provide exclusive commentary on something, ‘advertising’ their message on Bible Gateway as the ‘right’ way to interpret scripture.
that would be incredibly wrong.
there is so much propaganda in christian world, and so much shady-ness — i sort of expect christian organizations to put profits and self-interest before integrity. always on the alert for such things, so i can warn my kids as they grow towards independence.
According to Wikipedia, Mintaka is Arabic for “belt”.
Alnilam (“the sapphire”) & Alnitak (“the girdle”) are a lot easier to recognize; when a star name begins with “Al-” (“the”), it’s Arabic.
With or without the silly Snapchat filter?
Whenever I hear something like that, my first thought is “A platoon of Brownshirts with iron-cored rubber truncheons will take care of THAT”.
“Germany was in big trouble
What a sad sad story!
Needed a new Leader
To restore her former glory!
Where oh where was he?
Where could that man be?”
— Mel Brooks, The Producers
Zero Sum Game.
Where the only way to climb up is to kick someone else down.
Semantics, My Dear Wormwood.
The redefinition of the Enemy’s words into their “diabolical meanings” for Our Father Below.
Nope. Not connected. I just get disappointed when looking up a good verse, then finding another entry by one of these posers right below the Bible entry.
Oh well, freedom of speech. One must be discerning.
HUG pretty much answered your query about the stars in Orion’s belt. I was gonna’ say pretty much the same, as far as I know, they’re Arabic names. Point is, virtually all cultures have lore and wonderment about the constellation of Orion. And you’re right, it appears to be a connection point for all peoples throughout the millenia.
well, i feel a little stupid.
but don’t you just love outer space?!
it’s my dream to see something extraterrestrial. (one of my dreams)
Last week on Etsy I came across a soap maker in Norway who makes Galaxy soaps, Northern Lights, etc. https://www.etsy.com/listing/225062540/galaxy-soap-bar-best-friend-gift
I am ordering some as a treat for having completed a big goal.
I periodically listen to a podcast on the history of rome. Amazing how often the issues are the same.
dang, those are pretty.
Aren’t they gorgeous!
Some people are so creative.
You are far from stupid elastigirl.
Ignorance is fixable.
Stupid is not.
Fixable asks questions.
Stupid does not, it doesn’t care.
Stupid curses the darkness.
Fixable finds a way to fix it.
The True Gospel: “Apostle Peter’s Revelation to Take the Gospel to the Gentiles?”
Q. Why do you permit a false gospel (The lie of Calvinism) to darken your hearts? Hear now Apostle Peter preach the true gospel, and believe! (Acts 10:1-48; 11:1-18)
Believe in Jesus, and you shall be saved and your household!