Time to Get Real: The Southern Baptist Convention Is Shrinking Faster Than the United Methodists

It is my growing conviction that the Baptist churches in America are behind the age in missionary spirit. They now and then make a spasmodic effort to throw off a nightmare debt of some years' accumulation, and then sink back into unconscious repose. Adoniram Judson link

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=189352&picture=chair-sits
Chairs sit

Thank you all for your kind wishes during my recent serious setback due to my fairly new diagnosis. All of the meds, injections, etc. are finally taking hold and I am starting to feel better and less tired. Hopefully, over the next week, I will get caught up on the blog revamp.

Two conversations with Reformed SBC church planters who seem reluctant to call themselves Reformed SBCers. Why?

1. This week, while waiting in an office for some lab tests, I bumped into the pleasant wife of a young pastor. She told me about a new church they had started. Since i knew that her husband had trained at a Reformed Baptist seminary, I reckoned that their church as most likely an SBC plant. So, being direct, I asked " Is the church a member of the SBC?"

She looked like a deer caught in the headlights. She found it difficult to answer me. "Well, it really isn't like a Baptist church." "Um, it serves the community." "We want young people." "OK, I guess it is a member of the SBC." 

She seemed embarrassed by the question. Why?

2. A couple of months ago, I had the opportunity to speak with another young pastor who was involved in another church plant nearby. It had one of those goofy names like Resuscitate. So, I asked him whether his church was a member of the SBC. He did not answer my question directly. Instead, he said his church was here to serve the community, not the church. He mentioned how they would stress *grace.* I looked at him and said, "So, your church is a Reformed SBC, right?" He looked shocked and not particularly pleased." How did you know," he sputtered. I told him that I study this stuff. 

These two conversations alone are indicative that the SBC has a real problem when their new crop of preachers and church planters are embarrassed to admit that they are even Baptist. We even all live in Raleigh, North Carolina, not Stratford, Vermont. That is why the following article caught my eye.

Both of these conversations are well represented by Growing number of congregations changing name to shed baggage

These South Florida churches are joining a growing number of Southern Baptist congregations around the country that are quietly moving away from their denomination's historic namesake — worried that it conjured up images of pipe organs, narrow-mindedness or stuffy, formal services.

The reality, pastors say, is that many modern Baptist churches mix their liturgy with rock bands and gourmet coffee, and sermons are more likely to be about personal growth than fire and brimstone.

While their approach to saving souls has kept up with the times, some pastors feel the name has not.

"Baptist today has as many flavors as Baskin and Robbins ice cream. It has no defined meaning, and where it does, no positive meaning," explained Bill White, Christ Journey's lead pastor. Ninety-three percent of his congregation voted to change the name.

The SBC has lost 1 million members in 10 years. Why?

Secularism?

On 6/9/17, Bon Allen of Baptist News Global posted Southern Baptists have lost a million members in 10 years. The simple loss of membership is concerning but it runs deeper than even that. The talking points from certain leaders whose paycheck depends on the success of the SBC might say something like "all denominations are declining due to the rise in secularism." I don't buy it,

Lack of diversity?

Why is the Assemblies of God seeing an increase in membership while the SBC is declining in membership? According to the RNS post, this is due to an increase in immigration from Africa and South America. These folks are more drawn to this AoG. Why? What do they do different? Could it be that they respect the roles that women of color have played in the growth of the church? Could it be they allow for women leaders, especially women who are from a diverse racial and ethnic background?

Take a look at this chart on the racial, ethnic makeup of the SBC.

An historical tie to racism?

Timothy Paul Jones wrote Church History: The Racist Heresy in Southern Baptist History. This is well worth the read.

The founders of the Southern Baptist Convention and of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary were zealous defenders of biblical orthodoxy.

They were also heretics. Their heresy was racism, and this heresy ran deep within them.

…The Southern Baptist Convention was founded in 1845

by men who held to an ideology of racial superiority and who bathed that ideology in scandalous theological argument. At times, white superiority was defended by a putrid exegesis of the Bible that claimed a “curse of Ham” as the explanation of dark skin—an argument that reflects such ignorance of Scripture and such shameful exegesis that it could only be believed by those who were looking for an argument to satisfy their prejudices.

The decline in baptisms is the most alarming detail in these statistics.

Back to the Baptist Global News article. Baptisms are now the lowest they have ever been since 1946!!!!

 baptisms dropped to the lowest level in 70 years, according to statistics released in advance of the 2017 SBC annual meeting June 13-14 in Phoenix.

Baptisms, long considered a benchmark for denominational health, fell for the fifth straight year to 280,773. That’s the fewest since 253,361 in 1946.

Folks, this is important. Since the SBC practices believers' baptism, only those who are new to the faith get baptized. Since most evangelicals would say that one of their primary purposes in the faith is to go and make disciples, these numbers should be dismaying. Do Reformed Baptists overlook this statistic because God isn't calling many of the elect into the SBC? 

There is a large Reformed Baptist church with a respected leader in North Carolina that is doing all it can to encourage baptisms. He announces that they will be baptizing immediately after the service from the pulpit and anyone can come forward to be baptized. Done! No problemo. Then they report *all* these baptisms that they are doing. But the SBC baptisms are still declining.

In our area, there are several Reformed Baptist churches which all participate in the game of trading members. I know dozens of people who have made the rounds of each of these large churches, staying until they get tired of the hype and move to the next church. Sadly, there is little difference between any of these churches. (These are Reformed SBC churches.)

Church membership, attendance and baptisms are declining while SBC church plants and church affiliations are increasing.

Now this should get everyone to thinking. Shouldn't church plants lead to the unchurched coming to church? Isn't that what people are sacrificing their tithe money to pay for? Shouldn't new church affiliations lead to more people coming into the SBC? From a 2016 Baptist News report:

The number of churches cooperating with the Southern Baptist Convention grew by 479 to 47,272, a 1 percent increase over 2015. The number of Southern Baptist churches has increased the last 18 years. Southern Baptist churches also reported 4,492 church-type missions last year.

Although the number of cooperating Southern Baptist congregations grew, reported membership of those churches declined by 77,786, down 0.51 percent to 15.2 million members. Average weekly worship attendance declined 6.75 percent to 5.2 million worshippers.

In 2015, Christianity Today posted As Church Plants Grow, Southern Baptists Disappear.

This past year, however, the number of SBC churches grew by 1 percent to 46,449. That’s in part due to church planting efforts, aimed at starting new churches. Southern Baptists started 985 new churches in 2014, up 5 percent from the previous year.

SBC church are infamous for leaving names on the membership rolls at churches. I know. I led a Sunday school class that listed names of people who had never attended. When I asked for the names to be deleted, the church office would not allow it. This is a Gospel Coalition SBC church.

From that CT article in 2015.

About a third of Southern Baptists show up in church each week, with attendance dropping to about 5.67 million Sunday worshipers.

From Christianity Today's Hundreds of New Churches Not Enough to Satisfy Southern Baptists.

The only measure where Southern Baptists are growing is their number of churches, adding 479 churches last year for a total of more than 47,000. But leaders are concerned that they have fewer people to fill those churches. Congregations reported an overall drop in Sunday service attendance (down 7%) and fewer new believers being added through baptism (down 5%).

Even Greg Laurie is coming to the SBC but it won't help. 

On 6/13/17, Christianity Today posted Greg Laurie, Calvary Chapel’s Big Crusader, Joins Southern Baptist Convention. Read this announcement carefully. Note the statement "the SBC just gained one of the biggest evangelists and megachurch pastors, as if this is a sign of success. It isn't. That is the problem the SBC has yet to address. It isn't about glitz and megastars, it is about simple faith which is getting loss in the morass of programming.

Following another year of declining membership and baptism, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) just gained one of the biggest evangelists and megachurch pastors in the country: Greg Laurie.

The day after Laurie’s annual Harvest America crusade, he announced that his church would be joining the SBC, which was also holding its annual convention in Phoenix.

Laurie is among the best-known leaders of the Calvary Chapel movement, and the one-time heir apparent to its late founder Chuck Smith. Though his 15,000-member Harvest Christian Fellowship in California will remain affiliated with the 1,000-plus church network even after moving into the SBC, the move makes Laurie’s shift toward mainstream evangelicalism official.

The SBC is shrinking faster than the Methodists.

On 6/9/17, Christianity Today posted Hundreds of New Churches Not Enough to Satisfy Southern Baptists.

For years, evangelicals watched their fellow Protestants in mainline denominations undergo widespread and much-talked-about decline, while hoping their more conservative theology would sustain them. Yet, as Ed Stetzer noted a year ago, “Southern Baptists are shrinking faster than United Methodists.”

Where I think the SBC is off track.

Women of color have historically been the backbone of the African American church yet are sidelined in today's SBC.

Why is does the Assemblies of God churches attract more women of racial and ethnic diversity? Unfortunately, with the rise of strict complementarianism within the SBC, leadership roles for women have diminished. Did you know the LifeWay would not sell a magazine which featured African American women preachers? In Report: LifeWay Pulls Magazine Featuring Women Preachers? Why would you want to bring a woman of color to such an organization?

Pastor Tamara Bennett of Pentecost Fellowship Ministries in Sacramento, Calif., said in the Church of God in Christ where she grew up there were no women pastors, but when she was in her early 30s "the power of the Holy Ghost knocked me to my knees."

"I'm just doing what God told me to do," she said.

Hairston told the Atlanta newspaper she was "pretty shocked" to learn the magazine had been pulled. "We weren't trying to pick a fight," she said. "We just did a story on an emerging trend in a lot of churches."

LifeWay spokesman Turner did not respond to an e-mail request for comment from EthicsDaily.com in time for this story, but the 2008 SBC Annual said LifeWay stores distribute products "consistent with the Christian values and doctrines set forth in the Bible using the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message as a doctrinal standard."

As I see women of color assuming positions of influence in the culture in law enforcement, medicine, business, etc; I see a push by many of the Reformed segments in the SBC to emphasize masculine Christianity and male faces, which, unfortunately are mostly white. To women who held the African American church together during those horrendous days of slavery and Jim Crow, the apparent sidelining of the role of the women in the church can be perceived as a kick in the face.

Sadly, there are women in the church who go along with this. For example, there are supposed *strong women* who do not think women should be allowed to read the Bible out loud in church? Seriously? And they wonder why strong women of color don't buy their "I'm not racist" statements.

The rise of authoritarian culture in the church through the Calvinista revolution.

Over a decade has passed since the Young Restless and Reformed crowd has grasped the church by it's proverbial neck. Along with this movement has come abusive church discipline, church covenants, gender rules, silly discussion about whether women can be police officers, etc. It is embarrassing that a book like Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is promoted by many churches in the SBC. Have any of you read it?

Deb just wrote a post Young Restless & Reformed Superstars – Where Are They Now? Could it be that the so called revolution is causing concern amongst the rank and file? As stories like the Sovereign Grace child sex abuse scandal, The Village Church's infamous abuse of Karen Hinckley, churches which won't let people resign, etc. increase, I bet another seat or two becomes vacant.

Yes, yes, I know that the gospel™ dudebros know they are right but the question is "Do they know what they are doing and the impact that it is having?" Do churches like Capitol Hill Baptist Church ever wonder why the church that Mark Dever pastored before CHBC no longer exists? Do they ever check to see why their church plants are failing or dying? Do they wonder why people aren't coming back?

A couple of years ago, a young man came to our blog, asking for help because his Calvinista SBC church plant In the Boston area was threatening to discipline him. Now, this church probably had about 25 members after a couple of years. Our friend disagreed with the new *vision* of the church and decided to leave. However, they decided to discipline him. TWW applied some pressure and the church backed off. Our friend no longer attends any church in the SBC and I don't blame him.

I, too, am one of those 1 million people who left the SBC. I found a home in a liturgical church and am growing in my faith as I experience the love of the pastors, something lacking in my former SBC church whose pastors always told us that they were soooo overworked.

There are no coffee bars, incredible bands, and hipster presentation that will cause the SBC to grow. It will need to dig deeper and get very, very uncomfortable in order to deal with the difficult problems that face the convention. I am not sure they are ready to do so. When pushing the doctrines of grace, hardball church membership, protectionism of churches which covering up child sex abuse, domestic violence and abusive church discipline takes priority over faith and love, the SBC will continue to decline. 

Let me leave you with another one of John Piper's strange tweets. I'm sure it will bring them back to church in droves.


Comments

Time to Get Real: The Southern Baptist Convention Is Shrinking Faster Than the United Methodists — 251 Comments

  1. We've been having fun with Piper's weird tweet with the hashtag #sexystones on Twitter.

    The Calvinistas are going to destroy the SBC. I'm at another church convention this week and already talked someone out of going to SEBTS. Once we got talking he started connecting the things he heard from them and what I was saying. I wish I didn't have to do that as a former student, but I can't let people go and get locked into that.

  2. The SBC should expect even more decent Christians of all ages — men and women — to abandon ship as the boot of authoritarianism comes down on their lives.

    Folks, slam your wallets shut and don’t give any of your hard-earned money to these authoritarian NeoCalvinists!

  3. “When pushing the doctrines of grace, hardball church membership, protectionism of churches which covering up child sex abuse, domestic violence and abusive church discipline takes priority over faith and love, the SBC will continue to decline.”

    looks like a pre-occupation with ‘that male thing’ brings out the worst in people – it seems very, very destructive

  4. Having a loving pastor makes a world of difference. When we left the church I had attended for more than 40 years, and found a new one, my children suddenly started inviting their friends. Why? “This is a church where we feel welcome,” they said.

    No more “all divorce is a sin” sermons.

    No more relegating women to doing nothing more than passing the offering plate.

    No more apologizing to guests for the anti-science sermons.

    No more hearing that all poor people are lazy.

    No more “hate the gays” sermons.

    I remember bringing a couple of Christian friends, and after coming they said, “No, I don’t really fit at this church. This is a church for people who are perfect.”

  5. By the way, have the Southern Baptists under reported the loss of living church members?
    I have heard they were losing 200,000 living members a year, which would be 2 million members in 10 years (double the 1 million number that was reported).

  6. Dee – you know my feelings about people being left on the rolls. Even if they leave the country only to get Facebook stalked by Sunday School teachers they’ve never met.

    Good article. I think the ultimate reason the SBC is declining is their refusal to look in the mirror to see the issues that have so deeply taken hold.

  7. A retired Baptist minister in our little corner of the world said that 20 years from now, 80% of the churches in this area will be gone. They are full of older people who just won’t be around that long.

    And that’s going to happen, apart from any neo-calvinist influence. Add in the impact of neo-cal attempts at “reformation,” and you have a perfect storm.

  8. Currently on mission and lounging at a Methodist institution in Central America. 🙂

    It was a poster here who compared the various SBC church planting schemes to a Ponzi scheme – it vastly outgrows the resource pool.

    The Village Church’s latest annual report DID NOT include money/members figures year by year. Instead, just the latest 2016 figures and a scolding. But no one’s ever going to scold them for trying to use their membership contract to force a woman to have sex with a pedophile.

    On the baptism number, I have definitely heard stories of born-and-raised church goers who think they were never really followers of Christ until they knew the gospel™ (when Tim Keller or John Piper became popular). And thus, they need another baptism.

    And feel free to moderate out a political comment, but the joke I’ve been making is that for traditional Arminian Baptists who vote Republican, all are welcome in the United Methodist Church.

  9. Janey wrote:

    Having a loving pastor makes a world of difference. When we left the church I had attended for more than 40 years, and found a new one, my children suddenly started inviting their friends. Why? “This is a church where we feel welcome,” they said.

    I am so glad that you and your family found a healthy, loving church, Janey.

  10. “church planters are embarrassed to admit that they are even Baptist”

    That is modus operandi for SBC-YRR church plants in my area. They have cool church names, but avoid “Southern Baptist” on their marquee like the plague. You might find reference to the SBC Faith & Message on the beliefs page of their website, but that would be about it. However, the young reformers gladly accept SBC church planting funds! If you were to do an exit poll of their members as they leave church on Sunday morning, few would know that they attend an SBC church and might even ask what is a Southern Baptist? It’s all part of the stealth and deception that the YRR use to get established in a community, feeling that the Millennials really don’t want to belong to a denomination.

    There is one SBC reformed church planter in my area, however, that did a very bold thing. He painted “A Reformed Southern Baptist Church” under the church name on the sign out front. He then explained what “reformed” meant on the church website. I may not agree with his theology, but I sure appreciate his honesty. Just tell us who you are, young pastor! You will always know who I am!

  11. Velour wrote:

    have the Southern Baptists under reported the loss of living church members?

    Why not?! They are known for over-reporting dead members! My wife was a volunteer church secretary several years ago at a rural Southern Baptist church. When she reported to the deacon board that there were members still on the church rolls who were deceased, along with others who had moved from the area or just plain unaccounted for. She advised them that she would need to reduce the total membership for the annual report to be mailed to the State convention. That suggestion was met with weeping and gnashing of teeth! Southern Baptists like to count nickles and noses and they must always be going up.

    Speaking of noses, Southern Baptist leaders like to report that they have around 16 million members. From my 60+ years in SBC churches, it’s my opinion that the real number is about half that (considering those that are dead, etc.). Of the 8 million or so actual members, only half of those darken the doors of an SBC church on a regular basis. So the number of active Southern Baptists is probably around 4 million … with an increasing number of those joining the Done ranks each year.

  12. Max wrote:

    Is that weird Piper tweet a multiple choice question?

    I think it’s more like a multiple personality question.

  13. It is my firm opinion that Piper needs to stop talking. He needs to go home, open his Bible and read what James says about the tongue. Seriously. Piper, if you can hear me out there, go home and read James…and then pray, pray a lot.

  14. Sam wrote:

    It is my firm opinion that Piper needs to stop talking.

    But Piper’s tweets are so entertaining!

  15. Sam wrote:

    It is my firm opinion that Piper needs to stop talking. He needs to go home, open his Bible and read what James says about the tongue. Seriously. Piper, if you can hear me out there, go home and read James…and then pray, pray a lot.

    In my opinion John Piper’s behavioral problems seem much more serious. I think he should have a full medical examination and evaluation by specialists. There’s something terribly wrong with the man. He seems to be losing it.

  16. Welcome to Regurgitate Church, the happeningist church in town. We call our small groups Vomit Groups so we can Regurgitate together.

  17. Is there a link between Calvinism and complementarianism I’m unaware of? Why is it they always seem to go together when the two doctrines aren’t inter-related?

  18. To answer one of the questions in the post, yes, I have read parts of “Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood” when I was part of a PDI/SGM church. I think I read it way back in 1995. It fit in with the PDI/SGM gender roles model, which focused on men being the leader of the family & women getting married & raising children. There was also an emphasis on homeschooling in the PDI/SGM church in which I was a member. As a single, there were parts of the family focus I liked, but the legalism, especially with the courtship-instead-of-dating rule (which pre-dated the “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” book in my church), was burdensome.

    I left PDI/SGM in 2001. But I didn’t throw out that “Recovering” book as well as other books by John Piper until he preached at C.J. Mahaney’s church in Louisville AFTER the Nate Morales conviction for child sex abuse (Morales had been an active member of Mahaney’s previous church in MD who was not reported to the authorities by Mahaney or other church pastors).

    At one time, I had great respect for Piper as an author & pastor, but I could not tolerate his support for Mahaney. That opened my eyes in a lot of ways. While I do believe that a husband is head of the household, I don’t believe in authoritarian husbands or male domination at the expense of women and children. Men are to serve and love their families, not bully them or prey on them. The Bible also states that we are to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

  19. Several years ago SBC President Ronnie Floyd revealed that their coming growth strategy would be to assimilate existing church networks:

    http://www.bpnews.net/44513/floyd-recruit-churches-to-sbcs-exciting-work

    Since then the churches of leaders of Harvest Bible Fellowship, Sovereign Grace Ministries, Baptist Bible Fellowship, McLean Bible Church have been successfully courted. There was a Baptist Press article recently about the Phoenix Calvary Chapel joining up. Most of these do not publicly identify themselves as Southern Baptist. Anyone know of others?

  20. Molly245 wrote:

    Odd that this article just popped up on CNN.com. It’s entitled “After high drama, Southern Baptists denounce the alt-right”.
    This article gives some behind the scenes info about how this all came about. Worth reading I think.
    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/06/14/politics/southern-baptist-convention-alt-right/index.html

    The resolution was toned down. The information about the “curse of Ham” was removed. Since the “curse of Ham” was part of the package of Bible verses used by racists to support their beliefs, I think removing this information was wrong. It gave background for why the SBC was coming to this.

  21. Jerome wrote:

    Most of these do not publicly identify themselves as Southern Baptist. Anyone know of others?

    There are several SBC-YRR churches holding dual affiliation with Acts29. While there is no formal partnership, most observers feel that SBC’s North American Mission Board modeled its church planting program after Driscoll’s Acts29 network.

  22. srs wrote:

    Welcome to Regurgitate Church, the happeningist church in town. We call our small groups Vomit Groups so we can Regurgitate together.

    Join us this weekend for a lively Rumination in the east Vomitorium.

  23. My grandfather was a Southern Baptist preacher in Louisiana and he believed black people were meant to be slaves and were black because of idolatry. My grandfather made my parents home school me because he would not have his white granddaughter going to school with black people. Many people say racism started the moral majority.

    After I grew up and learned about the Southern Baptist Convention I have been baffled as to why women and black people have anything to do with it. We are obviously second class, subhuman, and were meant to be their slaves.

    Their mean-spirited, hateful, heartless, selfish, petty, racist, misogynistic, rube attitudes have been talked about much the past two days. As if their reputations could not get any worse.

  24. Sam wrote:

    It is my firm opinion that Piper needs to stop talking. He needs to go home, open his Bible and read what James says about the tongue. Seriously. Piper, if you can hear me out there, go home and read James…and then pray, pray a lot.

    I don’t think Piper is well at all.

  25. hoodaticus wrote:

    Is there a link between Calvinism and complementarianism I’m unaware of? Why is it they always seem to go together when the two doctrines aren’t inter-related?

    There is a link between NeoCalvinism and complementarianism. It’s all about authority. The man’s authority in the church and the family. Obeying and submitting to overlords…or some such nonsense.

    I’m glad to be free of it. It truly was terrible.

  26. There is an elephant in the room that was not really a part of Dee’s post. The SBC has made itself essentially a subsidiary of the Republican party. While there is nothing wrong with being Republican, perception is that there is no room in the SBC for anyone else and that doctrine is being written by political operatives. The recent election seems to show this to be true. Polling has shown this behavior is especially off-putting to younger Christians. All of these being true, the SBC is trying to recruit from an ever decreasing slice of the pie.

  27. My experiences with Assembly of God churches is that they offer a strong emotional experience or appeal and a very weak teaching background. I think individuals with limited education find this attractive, as may be the case with immigrants from South America and Africa.

  28. @ Loren Haas:
    dominionism?

    Honestly, I’ve lived a long time and today’s Republican Party is not the one we knew when I was young. After the sadness of today’s trouble in Alexandria, I hope we can get past some of the partisan bitterness.

    I hope people will pray for Steve who is still ‘critical’ and apparently has some very, very serious injuries. And also for the other people who were shot.

    What does it take for us to wake up? Please pray.

  29. About 10 years ago, our American Baptist church changed it’s name, dropping “baptist” entirely. We are still strongly affiliated to the ABC USA. This was done because of the extremely poor perception of “baptist” due to Westboro Baptist church and their revolting protests at funerals, etc. Even a local SBC church changed to “Grace”Church. Yep, you guessed it- they are neo Cal. Another SBC church closed their doors after many years as they continued to worship as if it was still the 50’s and the average age of congregants was in the 70’s. The only church in town that still uses “baptist” in their name is another SBC congregation. I wish them well, but they are carrying all that old baggage around with them.

  30. @ Christiane:
    Christiane, I was very sad to see this happen today. Too many people believe that violence is the best response to what they perceive as injustice. Jesus never used violence and cautioned his followers about living by the sword. (Yes Jesus used a whip at the temple, but I think that should be seen as political street theater, more than violence. He provoked the Jewish leaders but did nothing to end the corrupt money lenders.)

  31. Ken G wrote:

    My experiences with Assembly of God churches is that they offer a strong emotional experience or appeal and a very weak teaching background. I think individuals with limited education find this attractive

    You mean like illiterate fishermen?
    I passed through a Charismatic phase of my faith journey and I am grateful for the experience. I think that we should respect many different faith expressions.

  32. Ken G wrote:

    My experiences with Assembly of God churches is that they offer a strong emotional experience or appeal and a very weak teaching background. I think individuals with limited education find this attractive, as may be the case with immigrants from South America and Africa.

    My son is ‘white’ and blond and has no ‘book learning’. He has Down Syndrome. He has a gift of being able to walk where many other residents of Eastern Christian Children’s Retreat are stretcher-bound and my son uses his gift of walking to select toys for them and place the toys gently in their hands. The staff tells me that my son will frequently show kindness in this way.

    I am not so certain that he is ignorant of the great teachings of Our Lord.

  33. Christiane wrote:

    fter the sadness of today’s trouble in Alexandria, I hope we can get past some of the partisan bitterness.
    I hope people will pray for Steve who is still ‘critical’ and apparently has some very, very serious injuries. And also for the other people who were shot.
    What does it take for us to wake up? Please pray.

    Yes, I have been praying all day for him and for the others.

    Thank you for reminding all of us to keep him in prayer.

  34. @ Ken G:

    that’s more than a bit insulting.

    the AOG gives place to freedom of outward expression physically, verbally, emotionally, spiritually. many cultures have as their natural modus operandi this very outward free expressiveness. of course people from such cultures would feel very at home in an AOG environment as opposed to one that represses such things.

  35. “These folks are more drawn to this AoG. Why? What do they do different? Could it be that they respect the roles that women of color have played in the growth of the church? Could it be they allow for women leaders, especially women who are from a diverse racial and ethnic background?”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    Before opting out of the institution, the AOG i attended for many years was equal opportunity central.

    There were a few pastors, one was a woman who preached on Sunday as often as any other. Women could do anything — i mean, it wasn’t an issue in the slightest. We were all human beings, seen as human beings. Not gender on legs.

    There was nothing i couldn’t do. I was supported and championed to lead to my heart’s content. i started leading one of the weekly small groups, and by the third round i wanted a bigger one. it sounded exciting — in the same way that conducting a symphony is that much more exhilarating than leading a small band. to me, leading or facilitating a group of people in spiritual exploits is like…. crazy productive. like being in the jet stream of productivity that matters.

    i asked for the prime day/time/meeting location — the one that drew the most people. They let me have it and supported me however i needed. it was one of the greatest opportunities I’ve ever had. I learned so much and loved every minute of it. I think there were at least 50 people, men and women of all ages. I grew tremendously in so many ways that go way beyond how to lead and facilitate large groups. i’ll never be the same.

    To deny women opportunities like these because of their female appearance — and that is what it comes down to — is cruel. Beyond unreasonable. Utterly backwards, all the way to caveman-ish.

    well, it’s incredibly stupid, too. That church of mine was loaded with human assets because it freely developed them through equal opportunity. and loaded with enthusiastic people who wanted to be involved — because they could.

    it truly was the best church in so many ways. it has more than doubled in size in the last year or two. like a productive, energetic, happy factory.

    to only invest in only half your church is to choose to be asset-poor. there is no other outcome.

    not to mention one-dimensional as opposed to multi-dimensional.

  36. Michael Spencer, AKA Internet Monk, penned this piece called The Coming Evangelical Collapse in 2009 just over a year before his passing. He contended that the fallout from political entanglement will be Evangelicalism’s death knell.

    Evangelicals have identified their movement with the culture war and with political conservatism. This will prove to be a very costly mistake.

    The evangelical investment in moral, social, and political issues has depleted our resources and exposed our weaknesses. Being against gay marriage and being rhetorically pro-life will not make up for the fact that massive majorities of Evangelicals can’t articulate the Gospel with any coherence. We fell for the trap of believing in a cause more than a faith.

    I think the Evangelicals’ pivotal role in the election of Donald Trump is Evangelicalism’s death rattle, but you wouldn’t know that if you tune into Christian radio shows. Franklin Graham, ACLJ, James Dobson, and Jerry Falwell Jr. see the Trump Era ushering in another Great Awakening

    L
    O
    L

  37. @ srs:
    Actually, a case can be made for regurgitation. In Psalm 1 it is a blessing to meditate on His law day and night. Like cows, we are nourished by repeatedly chewing on the cud of God’s word.

  38. My town has an SBC mission supported plant. Very young pastor, doing the “hip” worship. The name if the church is contemporary, no baptist affiliation mentioned.
    Digging deep into the the website one finds the info. about being SBC affiliated. Many of the congregants came from other churches, they are not new to church.

  39. SBC….Lack of Diversity?…..An Historical Tie to Racism?
    ++++++++++++++++

    what is it with the SBC and its struggle to take a stand against white supremacy?!

    i’ve been watching the developing story at the SBC convention and whether or not to pass / reconsider Dwight McKissic’s resolution taking a stand against the alt right & white supremacy.

    well, thankfully it eventually did. (although it is tainted with PR rescuing)

    but it would not have happened if left to the leaders of the SBC, who nixed it because “it was poorly written”, end of story, let’s move on.

    thanks to a tenacious relative few who were vocal about it and determined, the conviction spread. but blimey it took several attempts to get enough people to vote yea.

    it’s just breath-taking. the astonishing lack of awareness. like they live on another planet. and it doesn’t occur to them how the consequences of their actions/inactions are deeply hurtful to huge segments of the population. so oblivious.

    let me tell you, if women were allowed to be leaders in the SBC this would never have happened.

  40. @ Janey:
    I heard all these sermons at the assemblies of God Church I used to attend. It’s one of the reasons I don’t go to church anymore. The AOfG was birthed out of racism as well, and while the membership is more diverse, they really seem to like to put people into buckets.
    My wife and I are from different cultures, when we first started attending, the pastor pointed out that the church had a gathering for her background. I was standing right there!
    I’m surprised the numbers are growing, I wouldn’t be surprised if those numbers were cooked as well.

  41. srs wrote:

    Welcome to Regurgitate Church, the happeningist church in town. We call our small groups Vomit Groups so we can Regurgitate together.

    Do you have to bring your own ‘bile’-ble?

  42. Jerome wrote:

    Several years ago SBC President Ronnie Floyd revealed that their coming growth strategy would be to assimilate existing church networks:

    http://www.bpnews.net/44513/floyd-recruit-churches-to-sbcs-exciting-work

    Cause, you know, the long history of Baptists actually sharing the gospel with non-believers is a waste of time when you can just “reform” current churches. They seem to have a problem of chasing all those people out of those churches into other denominations though…

  43. I was raised Assembly of God. Went to one till in my 30’s. The women of the church were encouraged to do anything they want. We had a young woman become a missionary to the American Indians. She was single. She did a great job. My niece is an ordained AoG minister. My cousin’s daughter is going to school so she can also be an ordained AoG minister. While I have my gripes with the AoG, they still did a lot of good things. I could never go back to the AoG and consider myself a done Baptist.

  44. It took all that to get that resolution passed? I am embarrassed that I ever was a Southern Baptist.

    The official position of our family, as expressed by one of my younguns is, utilizing a standard old southern saying: Their is something wrong with their hearts, ‘they ain’t all the way saved’, that is all there is to it: ‘They ain’t all the way saved’.

    ‘Jesus is Lord’ and alt-right crap cannot come out of the same mouth.

  45. Loren Haas wrote:

    There is an elephant in the room that was not really a part of Dee’s post. The SBC has made itself essentially a subsidiary of the Republican party.

    I remember visiting a large, well-known SBC church in the DFW area one Sunday prior to the 1996 Presidential Election. Elizabeth Dole happened to be speaking that morning during the worship services. (I know, surprising that a woman was allowed to address the congregation.)

    The pastor introduced Bob Dole as the next “President of the United States” and most of the congregation stood up and applauded for 5 to 10 minutes. It felt like the worship service had turned into a campaign rally. It was awkward being among the few who remained seated.

    I don’t understand Christian allegiance to any political party. Salvation is found in Christ – not a party platform.

  46. I read this week where a group of individuals with Southern Baptist background are starting a new church here in Fort Worth. From the information given, I couldn’t figure out if there were any official ties to any existing denomination or church planting organization. I can’t imagine this city needing another Baptist flavored congregation. It seems we already have almost every demographic, soteriology (we even have a Baptist church with “Reformed” in the name), worship preference, inclusionary practice, and political inclination covered. What target group do they perceive as under-served? That said, I wish them well and pray that they will have their part in reaching our community for Christ.

  47. elastigirl wrote:

    let me tell you, if women were allowed to be leaders in the SBC this would never have happened.

    What bothers me as much as what happened with racism is where women are left dangling! Yea for a stand against racism, but when will women be viewed as equal in the SBC?

  48. FW Rez wrote:

    I can’t imagine this city needing another Baptist flavored congregation. It seems we already have almost every demographic, soteriology (we even have a Baptist church with “Reformed” in the name), worship preference, inclusionary practice, and political inclination covered. What target group do they perceive as under-served? That said, I wish them well and pray that they will have their part in reaching our community for Christ.

    A lot of baby pastors have this idea that they will be the next megachurch pastor, and all their favorite pastors normally started their own churches.

    I can’t even tell you how many baby pastors stared conversations in college and seminary with “I’m going to plant a megachurch…”

  49. Ken G wrote:

    My experiences with Assembly of God churches is that they offer a strong emotional experience or appeal and a very weak teaching background. I think individuals with limited education find this attractive, as may be the case with immigrants from South America and Africa.

    What a rude comment.

    I guess disciples of Jesus who were fisherman and tax collectors and ladies of the night, etc., were drawn to Jesus by emotional experience or appeal then? Seems to me they were drawn by something other than education . . .

  50. One of the most valuable things I have learned from reading TWW, and there are many, is to be more sensitive to the victim’s perspective when viewing social issues. That is why I was perplexed that yesterday’s SBC resolution denouncing white supremacy and the alt-right ended with a prayer for “those who advocate racist ideologies and those who are
    thereby deceived” but no prayer for healing for those that have been injured by these practices.

  51. FW Rez wrote:

    One of the most valuable things I have learned from reading TWW, and there are many, is to be more sensitive to the victim’s perspective when viewing social issues. That is why I was perplexed that yesterday’s SBC resolution denouncing white supremacy and the alt-right ended with a prayer for “those who advocate racist ideologies and those who are
    thereby deceived” but no prayer for healing for those that have been injured by these practices.

    From Russell Moore’s Facebook post:

    “When we stand together as a convention we speak clearly and say that racist ideologies are dangerous because they suppress our brothers & sisters in Christ.”

    What about non-believers who are suppressed?

  52. ishy wrote:

    A lot of baby pastors have this idea that they will be the next megachurch pastor, and all their favorite pastors normally started their own churches.

    That is my first thought when I see a new church in a strip mall. In this case, however, one of the teaching pastors had several years experience pastoring a local church.

  53. Bridget wrote:

    What bothers me as much as what happened with racism is where women are left dangling! Yea for a stand against racism, but when will women be viewed as equal in the SBC?

    As an SBC baptist, from what I’ve seen misogyny and discrimination towards women has increased exponentially over the past two or three decades.

  54. Pingback: The SBC’s continued decline | Civil Commotion

  55. @ Ken G:
    Wrong Ken G.Dead wrong. After our families dust up with Calvinism we landed at a fabulous AOG church. God has blessed us there.

  56. Ken G wrote:

    I think individuals with limited education find this attractive, as may be the case with immigrants from South America and Africa.

    So, are you saying is the those who go to the Assemblies of God are stupid and Baptists are intellectually superior? if so, the SBC is in deep trouble.

  57. @ Ken G:
    Two of the brightest, academic opthamologists we know who have received a number of awards attend an AOG church? So, they are stupid as well?

  58. FW Rez wrote:

    I wish them well and pray that they will have their part in reaching our community for Christ.

    The problem is I am not convinced that these churches are reaching anyone for Christ-merely getting them to switch churches.

  59. Loren Haas wrote:

    There is an elephant in the room that was not really a part of Dee’s post. The SBC has made itself essentially a subsidiary of the Republican party. W

    Good comment.

  60. elastigirl wrote:

    it’s just breath-taking. the astonishing lack of awareness. like they live on another planet. and it doesn’t occur to them how the consequences of their actions/inactions are deeply hurtful to huge segments of the population. so oblivious.

    I do not believe that they are all that oblivious. This looks to me to be symptomatic of a far deeper problem. I had not paid any attention to the ‘alt-right’ issue and knew basically nothing about it until today so I looked it up on WIki. Anybody and everybody at that convention could have looked it up on at least Wiki if they were all that oblivious.

    I have seen this ideation before. Long ago and under a couple of different names. Decent humans must oppose it at every turn.

  61. dee wrote:

    The problem is I am not convinced that these churches are reaching anyone for Christ-merely getting them to switch churches.

    Sheer sheep swapping? I have seen a number of families leave SBC churches for Gateway, so maybe there is a demand that is not being met by the current Baptist options.

  62. I read on another site that SBs were trying to inflate the baptism figures by churches re-baptising folk and by parents pushing their young children into baptism. All churches ‘spin’ facts I think. In my welsh village, anglicans dwindled so much that they can’t afford a vicar, so now share one with the next villages. The Bishop’s letter announcing this made it sound like the best thing since sliced bread, (‘Wonderful new opportunities for mission’)not a decision made of desperation, a denomination clinging to the cliff edge by its fingertips!, 5 churches, 3 english and two welsh anglican, one vicar and just a handful in each congregation.

  63. Bridget wrote:

    What a rude comment.
    I guess disciples of Jesus who were fisherman and tax collectors and ladies of the night, etc., were drawn to Jesus by emotional experience or appeal then? Seems to me they were drawn by something other than education . . .

    Do you know what the Four Core Beliefs are of the Assembly of God churches? They are the following,

    Salvation
    Baptism in the Holy Spirit
    Divine Healing
    Second coming of Christ

    These beliefs are non-negotiable; they are core beliefs. The emphasis on Baptism in the Holy Spirit is an emotional experience. And many Christian churches believe Baptism in the Holy Spirit (speaking in tongues) is no longer applicable today. Rather than placing an emphasis on solid teaching an emphasis is placed on emotion.

  64. Jack wrote:

    Welcome to Regurgitate Church, the happeningist church in town. We call our small groups Vomit Groups so we can Regurgitate together.

    Do you have to bring your own ‘bile’-ble?

    Of course not. We are seeker sensitive. The worlds will be projectile vo… er, projected onto the screen.

  65. Guest wrote:

    My grandfather was a Southern Baptist preacher in Louisiana and he believed black people were meant to be slaves and were black because of idolatry.

    That attitude has been fairly common in southern Southern Baptist churches. After all, the SBC was founded by Calvinist slave-holding pastors and deacons in the South. The founders truly felt that sovereign God was on their side going into the Civil War, until early Confederate victories turned to defeat. After the War, Southern Baptists had enough sense to distance themselves from their racist ways and the theology (Calvinism) they believed had supported this sin. But, it still took 150 years (in 1995) for the denomination to pass a resolution repenting of racism and asking African Americans to forgive them. This week, another resolution was passed denouncing white supremacy groups in America.

    Which brings up Galatians 3:28 again: “Gone is the distinction between Jew and Greek, slave and free man, male and female — you are all one in Christ Jesus.” I’m sure that early Calvinist Southern Baptists skipped over that verse regarding race, just as the New Calvinists are now regarding gender. However, I will give the young reformers a little credit this morning. They led a Twitter rally this week to get out the vote to do the right thing in denouncing the “alt-right” white nationalist movement.

  66. Ken G wrote:

    These beliefs are non-negotiable; they are core beliefs. The emphasis on Baptism in the Holy Spirit is an emotional experience. And many Christian churches believe Baptism in the Holy Spirit (speaking in tongues) is no longer applicable today. Rather than placing an emphasis on solid teaching an emphasis is placed on emotion.

    Is your objection to an emphasis on the Person and work of the Holy Spirit, or is your objection to ‘speaking in tongues’ or is your objection to ’emotion’ or some combination of those?

    These are not all the same thing, you know.

  67. Ken G wrote:

    My experiences with Assembly of God churches is that they offer a strong emotional experience or appeal and a very weak teaching background. I think individuals with limited education find this attractive, as may be the case with immigrants from South America and Africa.

    When all Hell breaks loose in America, I would rather be in a foxhole with Assembly of God Christians than most Southern Baptists I know … and I am a Southern Baptist! Free expressions of faith should not be categorized as spiritual ignorance. Southern Baptists may focus more on the Word and less on the Spirit, but it takes Truth and the Spirit of Truth working together in the Kingdom of God.

  68. dee wrote:

    Baptists are intellectually superior?

    The only Southern Baptists I know who claim intellectual superiority are SBC’s New Calvinists. 🙂

  69. ishy wrote:

    We’ve been having fun with Piper’s weird tweet with the hashtag #sexystones on Twitter.

    Somebody really needs to do a Piper vs Trump Tweet-off.
    Online celebrity cage match between the two most famous Twitter Fingers.

  70. Max wrote:

    dee wrote:
    Baptists are intellectually superior?

    The only Southern Baptists I know who claim intellectual superiority are SBC’s New Calvinists.

    More like intellectual snobbery than superiority.

    “You don’t need any intellect to be an Intellectual.”
    — G.K.Chesterton, in one of the Father Brown Mysteries

  71. FW Rez wrote:

    dee wrote:
    The problem is I am not convinced that these churches are reaching anyone for Christ-merely getting them to switch churches.

    Sheer sheep swapping?

    Or Sheep Rustling.

  72. FW Rez wrote:

    From Russell Moore’s Facebook post:
    “When we stand together as a convention we speak clearly and say that racist ideologies are dangerous because they suppress our brothers & sisters in Christ.”
    What about non-believers who are suppressed?

    Not Our Tribe.
    “It’s All Gonna Burn…”

  73. dee wrote:

    Two of the brightest, academic opthamologists we know who have received a number of awards attend an AOG church? So, they are stupid as well?

    Did I use the word stupid? No, I didn’t. I attempted to explain why there may be rapid growth of AOG churches due to an emphasis on emotional experience.

    By the way, many medical doctors used to recommend smoking to aid digestion and cigarettes were distributed at medical conventions. Take a look at old medical books such as the Physical Training of Children published in 1871. Some of the treatments recommended makes one wonder how children could survive the treatment. And the book was endorsed by many doctors and the clergy. Today, if anyone used some of the recommendations, they would be arrested and sent to prison for child abuse.

  74. CENG1 wrote:

    I remember visiting a large, well-known SBC church in the DFW area one Sunday prior to the 1996 Presidential Election. Elizabeth Dole happened to be speaking that morning during the worship services. (I know, surprising that a woman was allowed to address the congregation.)

    The pastor introduced Bob Dole as the next “President of the United States” and most of the congregation stood up and applauded for 5 to 10 minutes. It felt like the worship service had turned into a campaign rally.

    No, it was still a Worship service.
    Just change of object of worship.
    (Or revealing the TRUE object of worship?)

  75. The SBC is shrinking faster than the Methodists.

    Anyone making book on whether they do the usual response in such situations?
    Double Down and SCREAM LOUDER?
    Or claim (like Scientology) that they’re really growing and anything else is Fake News?
    Or disinformation planted by The Vast Conspiracy?

  76. @ Loren R Haas:
    So much for generalization.
    Reminds me of the story about the non-swimming statistician who decided it was safe to Wade across the river because it averaged only 2 1/2′ deep.

  77. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Ken G:
    that’s more than a bit insulting.
    the AOG gives place to freedom of outward expression physically, verbally, emotionally, spiritually. many cultures have as their natural modus operandi this very outward free expressiveness. of course people from such cultures would feel very at home in an AOG environment as opposed to one that represses such things.

    I am suddenly reminded of two congregations in two quite diverse denominations who almost complacently called themselves the Frozen Chosen.

    (But, yeah. One of the many faith bodies with whom we worshiped over the years was AoG. We spent six months in that church. Our problem in the end was not the form of worship, it was that it was a megachurch, and when we asked if we could speak to the pastor, we were told he was too busy and we could make an appointment with some kind of sub-pastor or assistant pastor or something. This was four decades ago, so I don’t remember the conversation, exactly. I just remember feeling bewildered that a pastor did not have time to talk to the people he was preaching to every Sunday.)

  78. Some Southern baptists are blaming the decline in membership on SBC families producing fewer children. I guess we are not out breeding the Mormans.

  79. Ken G wrote:

    Did I use the word stupid? No, I didn’t. I attempted to explain why there may be rapid growth of AOG churches due to an emphasis on emotional experience.

    You have made it clear that in your mind there is a link between less education and more emotion. And between less education and more emotion and religious experience. And between religious experience and emotion, apparently education or not.

    There are those who think that those of us who have at least a short string of academic credentials after our name are devoid of either religious experience or emotion or both, and somehow that makes us superior Vulcan persons. Not so. I almost want to say, do you want to see my diplomas, or do you want me to tell you of my religious experiences, or do you want me to discuss emotion and religion in a non ’emotional’ way; or do you just wish that people like me would mostly just go away rather than challenge your apparent concepts?

    Not to get too personal much less emotional about this, of course.

  80. okrapod wrote:

    s your objection to an emphasis on the Person and work of the Holy Spirit, or is your objection to ‘speaking in tongues’ or is your objection to ’emotion’ or some combination of those?
    These are not all the same thing, you know.

    It’s the emphasis placed on the emotion and emotional experience combined with certain behaviors such as standing and the raising of your hands and swaying back and forth during a service. Speaking in tongues was speaking in an unknown language. I didn’t experience that in the AOG church I attended. I experienced individuals repeating the same phrases which anyone could do without that gift, assuming it is still a valid gift. I found that the emotional experience was used as a sign of or an indication of salvation.

  81. @ Loren R Haas:
    Loren, that Pew Research U.S. Religious Landscape was an eye-opener for me too. I had thought we Evangelical Christians were an “elite” group.

    In fact: 34% of us have household earnings of less than $30,000 per year. And only 21% have a 4-year college degree.

  82. Bridget wrote:

    but when will women be viewed as equal in the SBC?

    I would hazard to guess when a certain place reputed to be very warm freezes over.

    Complementarianism appears to me to be on the increase, in a variety of denominations and non-denominational churches, at least from reading their websites.

  83. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Some Southern baptists are blaming the decline in membership on SBC families producing fewer children.

    They are looking for an excuse. In my humble, but accurate, opinion, too many SBC churches have given in to the whims of the culture, with members who don’t reach out to and evangelize their communities as they once did. It’s not that Americans are producing few children, it’s that the church is producing fewer spiritual children.

  84. Ken G wrote:

    Speaking in tongues was speaking in an unknown language. I didn’t experience that in the AOG church I attended. I experienced individuals repeating the same phrases which anyone could do without that gift, assuming it is still a valid gift.

    Did the phrases repeated include the occasional Hebrew word like “shekinah” or “Adonai”?
    I observed this pattern, as well as the hacking/aspiration sounds you find in Semitic languages.
    (Someone once referred to it as “sounding like scat-singing in Hebrew”, and that isn’t a bad description.)

    Though this is not actual proof either way. Those were Hebrew words that were well-known in that church context, as was enough other words to give some idea of their rhythm. Nobody who actually spoke Hebrew was present. (And on the real fringe, there was the idea that Hebrew was a Heavenly Language; I heard that occasionally from radio preachers of the time.)

  85. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Some Southern baptists are blaming the decline in membership on SBC families producing fewer children. I guess we are not out breeding the Mormans.

    Bedroom Evangelism.
    Another similarity to the old Massachusetts Puritans.

  86. Janey wrote:

    @ Loren R Haas:
    Loren, that Pew Research U.S. Religious Landscape was an eye-opener for me too. I had thought we Evangelical Christians were an “elite” group.

    In fact: 34% of us have household earnings of less than $30,000 per year. And only 21% have a 4-year college degree.

    Christianity has always appealed to the have-nots more than it has the haves.

    But there’s also the “Holy Nincompoop” trope that ignorance = Holiness, usually justified by a verse about “Foolishness of Men or Word of GOD”. Internet Monk once said that in his rural Kentucky culture, the highest praise you could give a preacher was “He has NO Book Larnin’ and HE IS LOUD!” That would tend to widen the gap.

  87. dee wrote:

    The problem is I am not convinced that these churches are reaching anyone for Christ-merely getting them to switch churches.

    Bingo! An SBC-YRR church plant pastor near me bragged that they had members from 14 different denominations attending … mostly Millennials and Generation Xers. And I can tell you that most of them have no idea that they are attending a Southern Baptist church – the young pastor keeps that hidden from them (while taking SBC church planting funds).

  88. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    HUG, I agree with your story about “self-taught confidence” being praised, but there’s another identity that Christians cherish: That we Christians are superior in education, talent and morality, and God is blessing us for our faithfulness.

    And our belief in Evangelical superiority makes us turn a blind eye to the bad behavior of our pastors and leaders.

  89. Max wrote:

    It’s not that Americans are producing few children,

    Except of course that America is producing fewer children; the fertility rate is at a new low. Some concerns (secular) are that even with immigration this presents a possible economic problem.

  90. srs wrote:

    Of course not. We are seeker sensitive. The worlds will be projectile vo… er, projected onto the screen.

    I once had a pastor ask me to “throw something up” on the screen. I bit my tongue to keep from saying “Only if you’ll help me clean it up afterward…”

  91. I attended an AoG church for a season when I was looking in which direction to go to replace Baptist when I first moved to where we are now. It did not work for me very well for the long run, but the fact that the people are enthusiastic and involved in worship was a plus. And, yes, the issue of what actually is a ‘tongue’ in the biblical sense can be distracting. I see in scripture where whatever is was/is Paul played it down even while defending it, and so should the church-both defend it and play it down, in my opinion.

    But the fact that they raise their hands and move their bodies, well, they do it spontaneously while we have body movements programmed into the liturgy which are every bit as potentially off-putting to some people. Personally, being somebody who never could sit still, aka ‘ants in the pants’ as the teachers called it, I never intend to go back to religious worship as a purely spectator sport. My choice; no bible verses on that one.

    And though I am more cognitive than emotional by far I do utilize a ‘private prayer language’, whatever the explanation for that is. Thus, I do prefer to not be ridiculed for either my worship style (Episcopal-fanciness and all) or for my prayer habits (rather charismatic on occasion).

    Not everything works well for everybody.

  92. Ken G wrote:

    And many Christian churches believe Baptism in the Holy Spirit (speaking in tongues) is no longer applicable today

    I would disagree with people who say that speaking in tongues doesn’t exist. I went to a NeoCalvinist church that said this all of the time, quoting their favorite pastor John MacArthur on the topic. (I am also against the other emphatic declaration that people aren’t saved if they don’t speak in tongues. We all have different gifts.)

    I witnessed a friend who is a long-time Christian speak in tongues when we were praying together at her home. I know that this gift does exist.

    Wade Burleson, pastor here for TWW’s E-Church, protested the Southern Baptists rule a few years back in which missionaries who spoke in a private prayer life, i.e. in tongues, would be forbidden from the mission field. That has since be revoked by the Southern Baptists.
    Wade too has seen Christians with the gift of tongues.

  93. In the 1970s, every SBC church in Texas made it their mission to run Vacation Bible Schools on the Rio Grande section of Texas, from Brownsville to El Paso. The goal was to convert large numbers in the Latino community to Christ, from the “dreaded Catholicism.” ( As I heard a pastor in Beaumont, Texas once say)
    They (we) did too good a job. In college, I spent my summers in the Los Indios, La Paloma section of what we call here in Texas “The Valley.” As quickly as missions to South Texas started, they ended. And the excuses were, ” South Texas is too dangerous for our Youth, We are having a language problem, etc.” And churches stopped sending people to Colonias and instead, we started sending our youth to Colorado….lily white sections of Colorado. In the mountains, where it was cool. No longer on the hot, dusty border, literally a stones throw from Mexico.
    What happened? And I am convinced of this, too many Latino converts. God forbid we have Mexicans sitting in the pews with us.
    No, the SBC is reaping what it has sewed.

  94. Stan wrote:

    It was a poster here who compared the various SBC church planting schemes to a Ponzi scheme – it vastly outgrows the resource pool.

    I think it’s more like when a franchise starts opening too many, and later have to cut back.

    The problem, to me, is that the goal seems to be merely ‘planting churches’ without a lot of thought to it. There are already like 50 churches in most of these places. Why does there need to be another?

    Unless you can answer that, you shouldn’t plant one! Generic goals like ‘we will plant 1000 churches’ are stupid.

  95. hoodaticus wrote:

    Is there a link between Calvinism and complementarianism I’m unaware of? Why is it they always seem to go together when the two doctrines aren’t inter-related?

    I think the ‘link’ is that a bunch of culture warriors/pseudo fundamentalists are reformed and trying to reform the denom. But the comp stuff is more important to them then anything.

    PCUSA is reformed and not at all complementarian.

  96. elastigirl wrote:

    @ elastigirl:

    my church was also extremely multi-cultural. African American, latino, asian, caucasian, caribbean, pacific islander,…

    AoG seems to have done a good job with this, compared to most other denominations. I think we should look at what they’ve done. Definitely the ones I have attended here and there have been more diverse (and I didn’t find the teaching any less studious than your local non-denom, at least. I do like a more cerebral church, but that’s a personal preference. I also like hymns and pipe organs 🙂

  97. FW Rez wrote:

    “When we stand together as a convention we speak clearly and say that racist ideologies are dangerous because they suppress our brothers & sisters in Christ.”
    What about non-believers who are suppressed?

    This is sort of like when people say they want to protect their wives and daughters.

    What is everyone else, chopped liver?

  98. hoodaticus wrote:

    Is there a link between Calvinism and complementarianism I’m unaware of? Why is it they always seem to go together when the two doctrines aren’t inter-related?

    I believe New Calvinists are less Calvinistic than they purport to be and more authoritarian Judaic. They often focus very little on Jesus. And to be authoritarian, what is easier than subduing more than half of the church into servants and sex slaves right off the bat?

    It’s not just women, though. They often employ a bait and switch tactic with men. “Come with us,” they say. “Your wife will serve your every need and want and maybe one day you can be an elder and order the WHOLE CHURCH around!” But New Calvinists often only choose not the gullible, but the most subversive to lead.

  99. K.D. wrote:

    No, the SBC is reaping what it has sewed.

    The SBC has tried to maintain an empire built on ‘no’, and IMO that is one of the problems. Do they want racial and ethnic diversity even as the nation itself swung in that direction? No, except as missions but not here at the main campus. Do they want ‘educated’ people, understanding that these tend to be those with cash money? No, not exactly, if you mean a liberal arts education that taught them how to think; and not after Brown v Board of Education for sure, and not if you mean philosophers and scientists and real intellectuals; but sure if you limit it to highly paid job skills. When the nation made opportunities for women did they want the women to seize the opportunities? Heck no, not in this life or the next. When the charismatic movement came along did they adjust some of their rhetoric, at minimum, and make room for charismatics? What–no–are you kidding. When politics got bad and badder did they make room for both sides of the political aisle/ ideas in their thinking? Not in a pigs eye. When the economy tanked and people were hurting did they come along side small struggling churches and help? Nope, spent all their money on new church plants in affluent suburbs. When some churches and some people resisted the compulsory swing to calvinist doctrine did they maintain their history of being a moderate group somewhere in the middle? No, it had to be radical Calvin or nothing regardless of who they hurt in the process.

    So what are they selling? Privilege and hierarchy all justified with a distorted and deterministic idea of the sovereignty of God, who by the way they seem to think is the ultimate tyrant of the kind that they want to be. And they call that grace. I call it a crying shame.

  100. okrapod wrote:

    I see in scripture where whatever is was/is Paul played it down even while defending it

    I think one of my favorite random paul things was where he goes off on a tangent about how talking in tongues is all well and good, but it’s much better if someone is actually there to interpret it, otherwise its pretty useless. lol.

  101. You all saw where one of the Capitol Police heroes is a woman.

    I love that. Can’t wait to see how some of the neo-cals react to it, if they do.

  102. okrapod wrote:

    You all saw where one of the Capitol Police heroes is a woman.
    I love that. Can’t wait to see how some of the neo-cals react to it, if they do.

    No, I didn’t see that. Do you have a link? I’m interested in learning more about it.

  103. @ Max:
    But how can NeoCalvinists do missions? How can they jùstify the time and expense? After all, God chose those to be saved before the foundation of the universe. You’re preaching either to those already chosen by God or to those already condemned by God. So what’s the point??

  104. TomkeinOK wrote:

    But how can NeoCalvinists do missions? How can they jùstify the time and expense? After all, God chose those to be saved before the foundation of the universe. You’re preaching either to those already chosen by God or to those already condemned by God. So what’s the point??

    Exactly. Missions and evangelism take on entirely different meanings in the reformed world. The mission is to harvest the elect, not reach the lost. They preach doctrines of grace, but not a direct experience of Grace. Calvinist and non-Calvinist soteriologies are distinctly different. How can they co-exist within a single denomination? The SBC is destined to become Calvinist as its default theology within a few short years since most young “pastors” are of the reformed slant. They will take Calvin to communities across America, not Christ.

  105. okrapod wrote:

    You all saw where one of the Capitol Police heroes is a woman.

    I love that. Can’t wait to see how some of the neo-cals react to it, if they do.

    So far, SBC’s New Calvinist who’s-who haven’t commented. They’ve been too busy patting each other on the back this week at the SBC annual convention in Phoenix.

  106. Ken G wrote:

    Bridget wrote:

    What a rude comment.
    I guess disciples of Jesus who were fisherman and tax collectors and ladies of the night, etc., were drawn to Jesus by emotional experience or appeal then? Seems to me they were drawn by something other than education . . .

    Do you know what the Four Core Beliefs are of the Assembly of God churches? They are the following,

    Salvation
    Baptism in the Holy Spirit
    Divine Healing
    Second coming of Christ

    These beliefs are non-negotiable; they are core beliefs. The emphasis on Baptism in the Holy Spirit is an emotional experience. And many Christian churches believe Baptism in the Holy Spirit (speaking in tongues) is no longer applicable today. Rather than placing an emphasis on solid teaching an emphasis is placed on emotion.

    You didn’t respond to my answer to you at all.

    And many churches believe all kinds of crazy things . . . like women are not equal to men in the Church.

    Speaking in tongues can be an abused distinctive — like any other distinctive. It can also be a simple and meaningful part of many Christian lives.

    You say that it is an “emotional experience” like it is ONLY an emotional experience and because of this, it is not a good thing. Unless you have experienced speaking in tongues, you can’t possibly know if it is not a good thing.

  107. From Wikipedia
    “Kingdom Now theology is a branch of Dominion Theology which has had a following within Pentecostalism. It attracted attention in the late 1980s.[19][20]
    Kingdom Now theology states that although Satan has been in control of the world since the Fall, God is looking for people who will help him take back dominion. Those who yield themselves to the authority of God’s apostles and prophets will take control of the kingdoms of this world, being defined as all social institutions, the “kingdom” of education, the “kingdom” of science, the “kingdom” of the arts, etc.[21] C. Peter Wagner, the founder of the New Apostolic Reformation, writes: “The practical theology that best builds a foundation under social transformation is dominion theology, sometimes called ‘Kingdom Now.’ Its history can be traced back through R. J. Rushdoony and Abraham Kuyper to John Calvin.”[22]
    Kingdom Now theology is influenced by the Latter Rain movement,[23] and critics have connected it to the New Apostolic Reformation,[24] “Spiritual Warfare Christianity,”[23] and Fivefold ministry thinking.[25]
    Kingdom Now theology should not be confused with Kingdom theology, which is related to inaugurated eschatology.”

    In my experience an A of G church can be just as political, patriarchal, anti-science, intolerant and fundamentalist as any Neo-Cal group discussed on this blog.

    Along with fantastic claims of resurrections, healings, tongue talking – and you must believe wholeheartedly without question – for they and only they have the answer. Certainly not the mainline protestants (“as bad as catholics”) or the Baptists “errant in doctrine”

    If folks have had great experiences – awesome. Maybe individual churches have more leeway.

    However I disagree that it plays to an inferior Christian mindset. The folks I know who are A of G are just as bright and educated as anyone else I’ve met.

    I just can’t idealize it as being a “better” alternative.

  108. ishy wrote:

    It’s not just women, though. They often employ a bait and switch tactic with men. “Come with us,” they say. “Your wife will serve your every need and want and maybe one day you can be an elder and order the WHOLE CHURCH around!” But New Calvinists often only choose not the gullible, but the most subversive to lead.

    Waving the juicy carrot of POWER before the already-corrupt and easily-corrupted…

  109. Lea wrote:

    This is sort of like when people say they want to protect their wives and daughters.

    That always sounded like an echo of the Klan’s fixation on “Protecting Our White Women!”

    Or the “Protect Our Children” card played by so many activists, church and secular.

  110. @ TomkeinOK:
    And just saw that the woman is a lesbian in a SS marriage. She’s being comforted in the hospital by her wife. Report in in politicus online journal.

  111. Lea wrote:

    The problem, to me, is that the goal seems to be merely ‘planting churches’ without a lot of thought to it. There are already like 50 churches in most of these places. Why does there need to be another?

    But they’re all the WRONG churches.

  112. Max wrote:

    Dale Rudiger wrote:
    Actually, a case can be made for regurgitation.
    “As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.” (Prov. 26:11)

    “For the dog returns to its vomit,
    The sow returns to her mire,
    And the burnt fool’s bandaged finger
    Wobbles back towards the fire…”
    — Rudyard Kipling, “Gods of the Copybook Headings”

  113. Dale Rudiger wrote:

    Actually, a case can be made for regurgitation. In Psalm 1 it is a blessing to meditate on His law day and night. Like cows, we are nourished by repeatedly chewing on the cud of God’s word.

    I’m not a teacher, but it seems to me that regurgitating previously memorized material happens at an early stage of education; ideally, students are expected to grow beyond that and work toward the development of critical thinking and creative problem solving skills. But what do I know, maybe that’s just satin’s deception at work in me, because I’m not content to limit myself to merely hurking up previously learned One and Only True Southern Baptist-Approved Answers™.

  114. Perhaps SBC baptisms are down because many pastors are adopting the Mark Dever/9Marx mode; they refuse to baptize a new believer for a year or two after his conversion because they want to make certain the individual is truly a Christian. They also generally refuse to baptize children until they are living on their own, again wanting to be absolutely certain that the youngster is legitimately born again and not just parroting his parents beliefs.

  115. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    Perhaps SBC baptisms are down because many pastors are adopting the Mark Dever/9Marx mode; they refuse to baptize a new believer for a year or two after his conversion because they want to make certain the individual is truly a Christian. They also generally refuse to baptize children until they are living on their own, again wanting to be absolutely certain that the youngster is legitimately born again and not just parroting his parents beliefs.

    I thought the same.

    By that time, some portion of the children and the adults have likely left the church.

  116. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    They also generally refuse to baptize children until they are living on their own

    The 9Marxists also want members to sign Membership Covenants/contracts, which children aren’t legally enforceable on children.

  117. Dropping the denominational name is happening among other than the SBC. Many Nazarene, AoG, Foursquare, Church of Christ, and Methodists are doing so. You pick between Gateway and Woodlands and RiverEdge and Crossroads and CrossChurch, etc, not Baptist or Nazarene or Methodist.

    All in the name of confuse the masses so we can put more butts on the bench and bucks in the bag.

    I will venture here to say this: probably most of the missing Baptists died or moved out of town or joined a nonBaptist church and are still on the rolls. The CotN even sets boundaries on how many folks you can remove in a year, even if you know them to be dead or gone elsewhere. It is more than a Baptist problem.

    And then I will say this: the SBC was a convention, not denomination. It allowed for soul competency even within a silken web of conservative theology. Then it went fundy, which is now combining with Calvinism in a perfect storm of straight jacket theology.

    The real Baptists are elsewhere still practicing the real Baptist faith.

    ESS doesn’t help. I wonder at times when the gurus pushing it will realize that combining it and patriarchy leads them to the same moral abyss as the Roman Empire. Which leads to the one thing they hate most of all, gay sex. I believe gay sex is a sin, but with patriarchy some will come pointing out being with a woman is inferior to being with a male. So they bring in the very sin they hate.

    Wake up, SBC, before you are only a misty memory.

  118. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    They also generally refuse to baptize children until they are living on their own, again wanting to be absolutely certain that the youngster is legitimately born again and not just parroting his parents beliefs.

    What the heck is ‘legitimately born again’ and how would they know, and how would whatever they thought they knew translate into economic independence like living on their own? One of my middle aged kids brought her children and moved back in with me-due to economic disaster. Does this mean that she was never ‘legitimately born again/ and would her kids now be required to reject both my beliefs as well as their mother’s beliefs as well as their absent father’s beliefs in order to be considered ‘legitimately born again’, pending of course finishing some terminal degree and obtaining employment?

    I suppose this idea is because of water rationing, such that if somebody uses up their lifetime baptismal water allotment being illegitimately baptized after being illegitimately born again they might not be able to get baptized legitimately if they ever get legitimately born again.

    I mean, that makes sense to whom? Do we need to be thinking about possible substance abuse in the originators of this theory? Surely this mess did not originate in a stable mind.

  119. K.D. wrote:

    The goal was to convert large numbers in the Latino community to Christ

    An Orthodox Jewish colleague told me that, during his childhood, his synagogue warned families every time the local SBC church planned to target Jewish children. This colleague was born in the US in the 1950s or 1960s, and surely his synagogue had members deeply scarred by the Holocaust.

    Children should never be induced to convert other children. This is not outreach or evangelizing.

    Invitations are fine. Go ahead, fling open the doors and have a community supper. Churches should be good and generous neighbors. But they don’t need to claim scalps.

  120. okrapod wrote:

    Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    What the heck is ‘legitimately born again’ and how would they know, and how would whatever they thought they knew translate into economic independence like living on their own? One of my middle aged kids brought her children and moved back in with me-due to economic disaster. Does this mean that she was never ‘legitimately born again/ and would her kids now be required to reject both my beliefs as well as their mother’s beliefs as well as their absent father’s beliefs in order to be considered ‘legitimately born again’, pending of course finishing some terminal degree and obtaining employment?

    I too want to know what is ‘legitimately born again?’ How do they know? I thought this was between them and God?
    And don’t plan on them coming back after a terminal degree…or any degree….and besides, the “Modern” SBC doesn’t want them with degree, that “book learnin’ ” might make them challenge the pastor….

  121. Friend wrote:

    K.D. wrote:
    The goal was to convert large numbers in the Latino community to Christ
    An Orthodox Jewish colleague told me that, during his childhood, his synagogue warned families every time the local SBC church planned to target Jewish children. This colleague was born in the US in the 1950s or 1960s, and surely his synagogue had members deeply scarred by the Holocaust.
    Children should never be induced to convert other children. This is not outreach or evangelizing.
    Invitations are fine. Go ahead, fling open the doors and have a community supper. Churches should be good and generous neighbors. But they don’t need to claim scalps.

    The older I get, the more I see so many pastors were just ” scalp hunting” for their own benefit. So many of the boys when I was growing up were baptized so they could play church league basketball. They have not “darkened the doors” of the church house since their player eligibility ran out.

  122. okrapod wrote:

    What the heck is ‘legitimately born again’ and how would they know, and how would whatever they thought they knew translate into economic independence like living on their own?

    Simple:
    “ME, NOT THEE.”

  123. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    they refuse to baptize a new believer for a year or two after his conversion because they want to make certain the individual is truly a Christian

    And, of course, only true Christians will submit themselves to the rigid rules and regulations of New Calvinism. Make sure they do that before you declare them elect.

  124. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    Perhaps SBC baptisms are down because many pastors are adopting the Mark Dever/9Marx mode; they refuse to baptize a new believer for a year or two after his conversion because they want to make certain the individual is truly a Christian.

    I am thinking that Phillip the Evangelist would be surprised to hear this!

  125. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    Perhaps SBC baptisms are down because many pastors are adopting the Mark Dever/9Marx mode

    Todd, I was thinking along those lines. In Dee’s article, she says,

    SBC church are infamous for leaving names on the membership rolls at churches. I know. I led a Sunday school class that listed names of people who had never attended. When I asked for the names to be deleted, the church office would not allow it. This is a Gospel Coalition SBC church.

    If a lot of SBC churches are becoming reformed through Mark Dever’s 9Marks network, that attitude toward membership may be changing. In Chapter 2 of Dever’s book The Deliberate Church he has a section called “Cleaning the Rolls” where he insists that membership be taken seriously and that prolonged non-attenders be removed from membership.

    On a semi-related note, he says also that “when we allow prolonged non-attenders to keep their names on the membership rolls, we actually help deceive them into thinking they are saved when their behavior is in fact calling their salvation into question.” He calls membership “the church’s public affirmation of a person’s conversion.”

    I appreciate that he doesn’t want the church’s reputation to be maligned because of the sins of a non-attender still on the rolls, but he assumes too much about the salvation of the non-attender. And he’s skating on the thin ice of works-righteousness, tying salvation to attendance.

    Purging the rolls in reformed SBC churches could be one cause of the decline in SBC membership, but you can bet that complementarianism is having a lot to do with it. Discouraging women from leadership, to say nothing of blacks and millennials and Democrats, will cut the numbers pronto.

  126. Max wrote:

    Is that weird Piper tweet a multiple choice question?

    Top Downism is probably going to get me again, but I think a Stoned Stone tweeted that.

  127. Jerome wrote:

    Most of these do not publicly identify themselves as Southern Baptist. Anyone know of others?

    If McLean Bible has joined, then it is reasonable to expect that other Bible or non-denom churches from the DTS/Moody/TEDS stream might be expected to join.

  128. Lea wrote:

    The problem, to me, is that the goal seems to be merely ‘planting churches’ without a lot of thought to it. There are already like 50 churches in most of these places.

    It is bad enough to use a business model for a church but these guys appear to be using a bad business model. There are numerous examples of failing but formerly successful businesses that began overlooking their loyal followers, forgot the reasons for their past success, and went off chasing new customers. In this case they even dumped their old product and are attempting to sell a different product. What even more striking is they named it “New Calvinism” as if they had not heard of “New Coke”.

  129. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    I think removing this information was wrong. It gave background for why the SBC was coming to this.

    I think it is good to denounce the racism in which the SBC was formed. In fact, I think it might just be a good idea to remember that at every convention, though I’m probably cranky. Ironic, isn’t it, that the ones pushing this are the ones who are so adamant about women being created subordinate! Where is CNN on that issue? I wonder if they will interview Russell Moore on it and what would he say? What would Thabiti say?

    I think it was a truly terrible idea to frame it in political terms (alt-right) which are designed to be highly charged rather than in moral terms (racism) which describe a belief which can be refuted by the truth revealed in Christ. And that is what the SBC should be talking about, ISTM.

  130. Gram3 wrote:

    I think it was a truly terrible idea to frame it in political terms (alt-right) which are designed to be highly charged rather than in moral terms (racism) which describe a belief which can be refuted by the truth revealed in Christ.

    I was thinking the same. I’m not even sure what the alt-right is. I can find definitions, but the definitions are not helpful because they describe an extreme that does not seem to fit how the term is actually used based on what I read in the press. It seems more of a catch-all label that is thrown out by the left to shut down people on the right. I think the right’s equivalent term might be “deep state.” I think one of the big problems in our country is the lack of dialogue. Instead of trying to understand what the other person is saying, it’s all about throwing around labels.

  131. okrapod wrote:

    You all saw where one of the Capitol Police heroes is a woman.

    She took a bullet, too. What a hero. I hope they put her picture up on the screen at the SBC convention. But, not a chance of that happening.

  132. Gram3 wrote:

    okrapod wrote:
    You all saw where one of the Capitol Police heroes is a woman.
    She took a bullet, too. What a hero. I hope they put her picture up on the screen at the SBC convention. But, not a chance of that happening.

    Maybe we can send Mirele (aka Muslin) out with a sign in front of the SBC convention, going on in her neck of the woods (desert).

  133. Max wrote:

    And, of course, only true Christians will submit themselves to the rigid rules and regulations of New Calvinism. Make sure they do that before you declare them elect.

    Can it get any worse, Max? Surely this is as bad as it is going to get.

  134. If a church focuses too much on speaking in tongues, then I think they are very wrong. I prefer it to be mid-line. Yes, I too have had my own private prayer language. Sometimes, when there are not enough words in the English language, the spirit takes over from there. Did the AoG that I went to do some great Bible teaching. Yes, they did. I still remember some sermons from over 35 yrs ago. I don’t want to attend a church they sing the same song 11 times that has 7 words in it. I don’t like services, where they “work up” the congregation with the loud music and choruses. I prefer a mix of the old hymns and praise and worship music. This is just me. To think that someone would say that my active church membership is relevant to my salvation is so very very wrong. No where is that Biblical. So the person who can’t go to church because of health problems, isn’t saved. I dare you to say that face to face to any dear saint in a nursing home. They will preach their own sermon to you and you will probably learn a thing. When I was a kid, we went to VBS at 4 different churches. The AoG, Baptist, Methodist and Lutheran. We had a great time. Try that in today’s world and see if it would happen.

  135. Ted wrote:

    I appreciate that he doesn’t want the church’s reputation to be maligned because of the sins of a non-attender still on the rolls

    I don’t. It seems in far more trouble from abusive, lying, women hating pastors!

  136. Velour wrote:

    Maybe we can send Mirele (aka Muslin) out with a sign in front of the SBC convention, going on in her neck of the woods (desert).

    Great idea, though I would really love to see CNN show Mirele interrogating Russell Moore about “Complementarianism” and how that plays with the younger people.

  137. Gram3 wrote:

    okrapod wrote:

    You all saw where one of the Capitol Police heroes is a woman.

    She took a bullet, too. What a hero. I hope they put her picture up on the screen at the SBC convention. But, not a chance of that happening.

    The SBC …. they had access to her pictures as they are all over the media and the web ….

    if they chose NOT to show her picture on purpose, then that was a mean and petty thing to do not in sync with an organization that presents itself as Christian.

    I hope they didn’t do this ‘on purpose’. If they did, then things are MUCH worse than we even knew. 🙁

  138. okrapod wrote:

    Can it get any worse, Max? Surely this is as bad as it is going to get.

    In Calvin’s Geneva, dissenters to his theology were shunned, excommunicated, tortured, and executed. Surely, in a civilized society it won’t get that bad. But, I suppose we haven’t seen the last of the New Calvinist abuse of the church. I keep saying that New Calvinism, if allowed to run its course, will lead to antinomianism. Some of these guys talk like Christians are freed from the moral law by virtue of grace … whew, that could lead to just about anything!

  139. K.D. wrote:

    I too want to know what is ‘legitimately born again?’ How do they know? I thought this was between them and God?

    If I asked this question over at SBCvoices two years ago before I was ‘banned’, I can tell you that the response would have been one of anger, and ‘you should know’, and ‘you are being ingenious by asking that question’ ….. but I would not likely have gotten a clear response that was meaningful

    these ‘terms’ they throw out ‘biblical’, ‘clear meaning of scripture’, etc. ……… it’s just so much ‘code’ for something I could never sort out ……… and apparently THEY don’t have a firm grip on what these dog-whistle ‘code’ phrases mean either

  140. Gram3 wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Maybe we can send Mirele (aka Muslin) out with a sign in front of the SBC convention, going on in her neck of the woods (desert).
    Great idea, though I would really love to see CNN show Mirele interrogating Russell Moore about “Complementarianism” and how that plays with the younger people.

    I have every confidence in Mirele to do all of the above assignments!

  141. Lea wrote:

    Ted wrote:

    I appreciate that he doesn’t want the church’s reputation to be maligned because of the sins of a non-attender still on the rolls

    —I don’t. It seems in far more trouble from abusive, lying, women hating pastors!

    I’m with you there. But I followed that with a “but…”

  142. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    I was thinking the same. I’m not even sure what the alt-right is. I can find definitions, but the definitions are not helpful because they describe an extreme that does not seem to fit how the term is actually used based on what I read in the press. It seems more of a catch-all label that is thrown out by the left to shut down people on the right.

    No different than Republicans referring to anyone who disagrees with their perspective as a “libtard.”

    I’m extremely tired of all the name calling.

  143. Gram3 wrote:

    She took a bullet, too. What a hero. I hope they put her picture up on the screen at the SBC convention. But, not a chance of that happening.

    Definitely a hero!

  144. Ted wrote:

    If a lot of SBC churches are becoming reformed through Mark Dever’s 9Marks network, that attitude toward membership may be changing

    Great comment Ted. I agree with you. I think it is healthy to “purge” your church membership list. It makes good sense to me that a membership list should reflect those who are actually attending the church. But I have problems with the way Mark Dever frames the issue. With him everything seems to boil down to church discipline. Instead of simply removing people from his church membership roll who have not attended in years Dever made it into discipline issue. He wrote an article which appeared in Christianity Today titled “Why We Disciplined Half Our Church” in which he stated that 256 people were removed from their church rolls. Dever then ties this in with discipline stating that “Church discipline properly practiced is one of the most powerful evangelistic tools God has given us. It aids in highlighting the nature of true conversion, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the urgency of the issues involved.”

    IMO Dever simply proves once again that “to a hammer everything looks like a nail.”

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/pastors/2000/fall/16.101.html

  145. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    ut I have problems with the way Mark Dever frames the issue. With him everything seems to boil down to church discipline. Instead of simply removing people from his church membership roll who have not attended in years Dever made it into discipline issue. He wrote an article which appeared in Christianity Today titled “Why We Disciplined Half Our Church” in which he stated that 256 people were removed from their church rolls.

    Like you Todd, I have a problem with Mark Dever’s abusive, heavy-handed, non-adult way of dealing with things like the church membership roll. Dever lacks civility, problem-solving skills, and respect for others.

    It’s really quite simple. All Mark Dever had to do was call up the church members and ask them if they still considered themselves to be members of Capitol Hill Baptist Church or if they would like to be removed from the list. But Mark Dever never did that. The guy likes to make a federal case about everything. And as you stated he takes a “hammer approach” to life and sees everything and everyone as a “nail”.

  146. Velour wrote:

    Dever lacks civility, problem-solving skills, and respect for others.

    it’s the lack of respect for others that so often reveals an insecure man …..
    someone who is comfortable in their own skin does not need to bully or manipulate others in order to make up for their own lack of self-respect

  147. Christiane wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Dever lacks civility, problem-solving skills, and respect for others.
    it’s the lack of respect for others that so often reveals an insecure man …..
    someone who is comfortable in their own skin does not need to bully or manipulate others in order to make up for their own lack of self-respect

    Precisely, Christiane.

  148. Velour wrote:

    @ Christiane:

    By the way, how are you feeling Christiane and how is your eye doing?

    I’m good. Thank God. Very concerned for what is going on in our country, but I realize that we have a whole lot more people of good will here than not, and that is encouraging.

    How are YOU?

  149. Christiane wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    @ Christiane:
    By the way, how are you feeling Christiane and how is your eye doing?
    I’m good. Thank God. Very concerned for what is going on in our country, but I realize that we have a whole lot more people of good will here than not, and that is encouraging.
    How are YOU?

    I am so glad to hear that you are on the mend, CHRISTIANE!

    I will – and the rest of the group here – continue to pray for you.

    Yes, there is so much to be concerned about in your country (the shooting at the baseball field). And then there’s the terrible fire in London and all of the people who perished.
    And the survivors.

    And we must just continue to support each other and lift others up in prayer.

    I am on the mend from very acute asthma. So I am relieved to have my breathing almost back to normal.

    Hugs to you.

  150. Velour wrote:

    I am on the mend from very acute asthma. So I am relieved to have my breathing almost back to normal.

    Asthma is serious business. I hope you have good medical support to help with this. May you feel better soon. God Bless!

  151. Velour wrote:

    in your country (the shooting at the baseball field).

    Typo – was multitasking. Should read: “our country”

  152. Christiane wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I am on the mend from very acute asthma. So I am relieved to have my breathing almost back to normal.
    Asthma is serious business. I hope you have good medical support to help with this. May you feel better soon. God Bless!

    Thanks, Christiane! I am on the mend. Out of the all healthcare business in my California county, and problems getting care in our hospital emergency rooms which are overwhelmed, I did file a confidential complaint with the my county’s civil grand jury. They had me in to testify months ago. And they did a huge 17-page report that was just released and written about in the newspaper. So hopefully what I noticed — the problems in the system — will make it better for everyone. (Even the emergency room staff supported me in filing a complaint with the civil grand jury since they weren’t permitted to complain about the terrible situation the emergency rooms have been placed in.)

  153. @ Velour:
    Wow. That is an accomplishment, turning your difficulty into a crusade for the common good of the county.

    You know, asthma is considered a medical emergency. You would have been proud of the act I pulled in a military clinic when my little daughter was having an asthma attack and the desk personnel told me to take her on home, she would be okay. I demanded that she see a doctor and raised quite a fuss. Well, they did see my daughter, and had to give the poor thing breathing treatments and other medications. She was really ill.

    People don’t realize how serious asthma can be, I’m afraid.

  154. Christiane wrote:

    People don’t realize how serious asthma can be, I’m afraid.

    Good for you, Christiane, for demanding medical care for your daughter when she had asthma. Yes, it does require breathing treatments.

    I know of people, as I am sure you do, who have died from asthma attacks. It is quite serious.

    I just told the hospital emergency room staff — when I was wheezing and low on oxygen (they had that device on my finger measuring my oxygen and told me it was really bad) — that I wouldn’t stand for this for any of us…and I’d file my complaint with the county’s civil grand jury. The emergency room staff told me they’d take great care of me for doing that — that they would take great care of me anyway, but they would take SUPERB care of me because I was filing a complaint with the civil grand jury.

    I think I will print out some copies of the grand jury report for the hospital emergency room staff, buy a cake and have the words “Thank You” written on it, and take it over to the hospital in a few days to tell them that I had followed through.

  155. Velour wrote:

    It’s really quite simple. All Mark Dever had to do was call up the church members and ask them if they still considered themselves to be members of Capitol Hill Baptist Church or if they would like to be removed from the list. But Mark Dever never did that. The guy likes to make a federal case about everything. And as you stated he takes a “hammer approach” to life and sees everything and everyone as a “nail”.

    After all, it could have been Capitol Hill’s fault. Clerical errors do happen. And there could have been a season where one of their pastors refused to remove people, like we’ve heard about before (don’t really know their history, but assuming they are an older church).

    Dever needs to be put under church discipline for missing Jesus’ mark of a Christian.

  156. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    legitimately born again

    “Legitimately born again” huh?

    I can’t help thinking back on this whole episode from 5 years ago. Yeah, the “legitimate rape” guy.

    Just learned that in addition to a long career as a far right winger, he earned a degree from Covenant Theological Seminary which boasts of prominent Calvinistic figures such as Ligon Duncan who is the current president of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.

    I am sure both the “legitimate rape” guy and Ligon Duncan both have lots to say about “legitimately born again.”

  157. Velour wrote:

    I am on the mend from very acute asthma. So I am relieved to have my breathing almost back to normal.

    Asthma is nasty business. It runs through one side of my family and has killed a few of us. There are related issues, in that the hypertensive crisis which I had with my last surgery may have been in part due to the use of prophylactic albuteral for asthma. I am so glad you are better. In my family we have had some good success with various preventative regimens as a rule, but there are problems even with that.

    That said, and because of the family history, I went to a CME seminar on asthma about ten years ago and got the best information I ever heard. The asthma specialist who was the presenter said that research had shown that it is the people who fail to recognize the very earliest symptoms are the ones most at risk for a fatal outcome. Well, of course, so? So the punch line is that minimal symptoms are really easy for asthmatics to miss; they get used to substandard breathing because it is after all better than when they are in an attack. I have totally re-thought how we handle asthma here. However, that rethinking and caution may have contributed to the HTN problem, so of complicated things this one is complicated.

    I am glad you are better. Making people aware of problems with the ER system was a really good thing to do.

  158. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    With him [Mark Dever] everything seems to boil down to church discipline.

    Some people feel the need to be in authority, to lord it over others.

    Worse, some feel the need to be under the law, to have more rules in order to be justified.

    Those in authority exploit the second group. It’s a match made in hell.

  159. ishy wrote:

    After all, it could have been Capitol Hill’s fault. Clerical errors do happen.

    And DC is very transient. Sometimes people leave and forget to do ‘letter transfers’ or what have you. To refer to it as ‘discipline’ is stupid.

  160. Ted wrote:

    Some people feel the need to be in authority, to lord it over others.
    Worse, some feel the need to be under the law, to have more rules in order to be justified.
    Those in authority exploit the second group. It’s a match made in hell.

    Precisely. And it seems to me that there is evidence of this in the epistles, so this apparently has been with us from the get go. That is a discouraging thought.

  161. ishy wrote:

    Dever needs to be put under church discipline for missing Jesus’ mark of a Christian.

    Time wounds all heels.

  162. Regarding the purging process at Capitol Hill Baptist Church, TEN of those listed on the church roll were dead, so they couldn’t respond.

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/pastors/2000/fall/16.101.html

    From the CT article:

    Church membership is our public and corporate assent that a person is living as a disciple of Jesus. We could not realistically give that for people we did not see regularly.

    We had labored for months to contact every member by phone and by letter. Some we simply couldn't find. In the letter, we asked for members of the church to sign the church's statement of faith and the church covenant.

    We informed them that if they were not regularly attending, and if they failed to sign and return the statement and covenant, it would be recommended to the congregation that their names be removed.

    Our letters produced all sorts of replies. Some people were happily active in other churches; some were going nowhere. We learned that ten of our members were deceased. One member had become a Unitarian and was upset at being contacted at all.

    Dever and Driscoll pulled the same stunt. They made those who were already members of the church sign a covenant if they wanted to remain a member.

    They are in violation of Matthew 5:37:

    “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.” (ESV)

  163. Ken G wrote:

    Muslin

    African immigrants are the most educated immigrants in the United States. The way they choose to worship God has nothing to do with their education or supposed lack thereof. Christians of color have been criticized for ages because of the fallacious assumption that their faith is rooted in nothing more than emotionalism, as if they cannot grasp sound doctrine. Your comment is racist and condescending in nature and it reeks of the kind of ignorance this blog sets out to expose.

    From Bloomberg:

    “Perhaps most surprising is that, by many measures, the most-educated immigrant group in the U.S. isn’t East Asians. It’s Africans.

    According to Census data, more than 43 percent of African immigrants hold a bachelor’s degree or higher — slightly more than immigrants from East Asia. Nigerian immigrants are especially educated, with almost two-thirds holding college degrees — a significantly higher percentage even than Chinese or South Korean immigrants. African immigrants are also very likely to hold advanced degrees, many of which are earned at U.S. universities. By many measures, African immigrants are as far ahead of American whites in the educational achievement as whites are ahead of African-Americans.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2015-10-13/it-isn-t-just-asian-immigrants-who-excel-in-the-u-s-

  164. Deb wrote:

    One member had become a Unitarian and was upset at being contacted at all.

    Now that is a story I would like to hear.

  165. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    They also generally refuse to baptize children until they are living on their own, again wanting to be absolutely certain that the youngster is legitimately born again and not just parroting his parents beliefs.

    I would love to see what being legitimately born again means in this context. For example, does that mean people will not occasionally stray off the reservation and then come back? In other words, just how “Christianly” must they be at all times to declare them a Christian?

    What are the rules? Do they believe they can baptize someone who is an egalitarian or is that suspect? All three of my kids were baptized around there of 9. All three of them are still Christians as adults. I know someone who was baptized in the CHBC type church at the age of 20 and is no longer following God. How long must we wait? Lots of rules…

  166. linda wrote:

    the SBC was a convention, not denomination. It allowed for soul competency even within a silken web of conservative theology. Then it went fundy, which is now combining with Calvinism in a perfect storm of straight jacket theology.

    Loved this comment.

  167. Ted wrote:

    Some people feel the need to be in authority, to lord it over others.

    This always makes me giggle. Here some guy is in a 500 member church and he feels important because he is in “charge.” They are admirals in rowboats trying to pretend they are on ocean liners.

  168. David C wrote:

    Yeah, the “legitimate rape” guy.

    When I hear statements like this, I immediately begin to suspect the person who is making them may be making up excuses for his own past behavior.

  169. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    Instead of simply removing people from his church membership roll who have not attended in years Dever made it into discipline issue. He wrote an article which appeared in Christianity Today titled “Why We Disciplined Half Our Church” in which he stated that 256 people were removed from their church rolls.

    This is excellent. Oh yeah-they had to discipline people who had walked out of the church and went on with their lives. Rules should be spelled out a priori. He was out of line to even think he could or should discipline those folks.

    I can almost imagine all of his sycophants, running around, finding more names to put on the list so they could be “disciplined.” They sound like the creepy kid in 6th grade who was always reporting stuff to the teacher. Even the teacher didn’t like him.

  170. @ Bridget:
    Here is what I tweeted when it happened.

    “In a reckless, defiant act against biblical™ gender roles, a female police officer, wounded by gunfire, continues to fire & saves many lives”

  171. Jack wrote:

    In my experience an A of G church can be just as political, patriarchal, anti-science, intolerant and fundamentalist as any Neo-Cal group discussed on this blog.

    I agree with you.

  172. Matilda wrote:

    I read on another site that SBs were trying to inflate the baptism figures by churches re-baptising folk and by parents pushing their young children into baptism. All churches ‘spin’ facts I think. In my welsh village, anglicans dwindled so much that they can’t afford a vicar, so now share one with the next villages. The Bishop’s letter announcing this made it sound like the best thing since sliced bread, (‘Wonderful new opportunities for mission’)not a decision made of desperation, a denomination clinging to the cliff edge by its fingertips!, 5 churches, 3 english and two welsh anglican, one vicar and just a handful in each congregation.

    Thank you. for sharing this excellent comment!!!

  173. My former UMC church wanted to take quite a few people off the rolls, some of whom they could not even find and some who had moved far away even. The problem was that the church had to remit monies to the hierarchy based on the number of people on the roll-not based on attendance or the budget. But, the hierarchy would not let them take the people off the roll-at least not the last I heard. Hmmm. I do wonder why (sarcasm).

    Disclaimer: This is how the pastor explained it. I have no personal first hand information about how the UMC system works.

  174. __

    Measure Of Stature: “The True Gospel Of Jesus Christ”

    hmmm…

    We are no longer to be stealthy calvinistas, heavy laden with a false gospel, being tossed hither and thither by theological T4G convention waves and carried about by every utterance of TULIp doctrine, by the trickery of unvetted reformed pastoral candidates, by the craftiness in their deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ Jesus Our Lord, to the attainment of the unity of the faith, and of the through knowledge of the Son of God, to becoming a scripturally mature Christian individual, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the true gospel of Jesus Christ, who will have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of true biblical truth.

    (Please sēē your bible for details)

    You’ll be glad you did!

    ATB

    Sopy

    🙂

  175. dee wrote:

    “In a reckless, defiant act against biblical™ gender roles, a female police officer, wounded by gunfire, continues to fire & saves many lives”

    Put that in your pipe, Piper, and smoke it!

  176. @ Gram3:

    “She took a bullet, too. What a hero. I hope they put her picture up on the screen at the SBC convention. But, not a chance of that happening.”
    +++++++++++++++

    do you know if they put a picture of the Capitol Police man on the screen? (as a current event to be concerned about / pray about)

  177. linda wrote:

    confuse the masses so we can put more butts on the bench and bucks in the bag

    That needs to be on the “Statement of Faith” website pages of church plants in my area!

    linda wrote:

    The real Baptists are elsewhere still practicing the real Baptist faith.

    Yep, they may be ex-Southern Baptists who have joined the Done ranks … done with SBC, but not done with Jesus.

  178. dee wrote:

    Jack wrote:
    In my experience an A of G church can be just as political, patriarchal, anti-science, intolerant and fundamentalist as any Neo-Cal group discussed on this blog.
    I agree with you.

    That is true….I saw a AofG minister lose his job over politics and he might have been the most honest, most humble man I have ever met….Why? Someone’s nephew needed a pastorate, and nephew ” blew up the church” and he left 19 months later.

  179. Max wrote:

    linda wrote:
    confuse the masses so we can put more butts on the bench and bucks in the bag
    That needs to be on the “Statement of Faith” website pages of church plants in my area!
    linda wrote:
    The real Baptists are elsewhere still practicing the real Baptist faith.
    Yep, they may be ex-Southern Baptists who have joined the Done ranks … done with SBC, but not done with Jesus.

    And us “Dones” are going in numbers.

  180. linda wrote:

    All in the name of confuse the masses so we can put more butts on the bench and bucks in the bag.

    Furtick Mansions and private jets are EXPENSIVE.

  181. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    FW Rez wrote:

    dee wrote:
    The problem is I am not convinced that these churches are reaching anyone for Christ-merely getting them to switch churches.

    Sheer sheep swapping?

    Or Sheep Rustling.

    This makes me think of Preacher Steve Lawson who caused a split at Dauphin Way Baptist Church & was eventually told to leave by the congregation because they resisted Calvinization. Lawson said that people who had been in that church for years would come to his office inquiring how to get saved. By the time he left, he said around 100 people had been influenced to put their faith in Christ due to his preaching. These were people who had been in that church before he ever started preaching there. Call me skeptical, but I’m not buying it.

  182. K.D. wrote:

    “Dones” are growing in numbers

    I dare say it is the largest growing segment of Christianity in America! Believers are finding organized religion just too darn exhausting. When it’s easier to find the counterfeit church in a community, than the genuine one, it’s time to come out from among them and reevaluate things.

  183. There is no questions that the SBC is in decline. I do not think they know what the problems are.

    How can you ever have “problems” when you’re Perfect in Every Way and Can Do No Wrong?

    On 6/13/17, Christianity Today posted Greg Laurie, Calvary Chapel’s Big Crusader, Joins Southern Baptist Convention.

    PASTOR(TM) Greg Laurie was Calvary Chapel?

    That explains why he was such a CELEBRITY on Christianese AM radio out here (which at the time was dominated by Calvary Chapel). Right up there with Papa Chuck and Raul Rees.

  184. Darlene wrote:

    By the time he left, he said around 100 people had been influenced to put their faith in Christ due to his preaching.

    Faith in Christ or Faith in Calvin’s Institutes?

    (And sounds like Calvinspeak for padding his sales record, i.e. “And how many Souls(TM) have YOU Saved?”)

    These were people who had been in that church before he ever started preaching there. Call me skeptical, but I’m not buying it.

    In any situation like that, you always have a few who’ve been there but don’t get it.
    But a whole HUNDRED?

  185. dee wrote:

    “In a reckless, defiant act against biblical™ gender roles, a female police officer, wounded by gunfire, continues to fire & saves many lives”

    That might explain to the comps/pats why she was wounded!!!
    But, OTOH, the other victims were males, so ……….
    Piper would probably accuse her of stealing some potential male hero’s thunder by stealing his biblical job.

  186. dee wrote:

    This always makes me giggle. Here some guy is in a 500 member church and he feels important because he is in “charge.” They are admirals in rowboats trying to pretend they are on ocean liners.

    But Dee, he’s using that 500-member church as a platform and has increased his influence far beyond.

    The first time I heard of Dever was in a video, a chat with Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald about multi-site churches. Dever seemed to be the only sane person in the discussion, with Driscoll and MacDonald bragging about how big their, uh, churches were.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ukvHuwFzBA

    Dever’s approach, rather than expand and go multi-site, has instead become a form of franchising, or “revitalizing” existing churches. And this extends outside of his denomination, to Congregational, independent, Baptist churches, you name it. I don’t think there’s a “fee” or licensing charge for membership (and a lot of churches are doctrinally affiliated though not members) but his conferences, and sale of books and material, and influence within the SBC and New-Cal and Comp worlds, may have given him the last laugh over Driscoll and MacDonald.

  187. It has been a while since I posted a comment. Every year when the SBC has their Convention it gives me a bout of depression. A once great and loving organization is being led by bunch of small minded men. They are totally clueless what they are doing.

  188. okrapod wrote:

    So the punch line is that minimal symptoms are really easy for asthmatics to miss; they get used to substandard breathing because it is after all better than when they are in an attack. I have totally re-thought how we handle asthma here. However, that rethinking and caution may have contributed to the HTN problem, so of complicated things this one is complicated.

    This is good information, Okrapod.

    Thank you for your kind words about my recovery.

  189. dee wrote:

    @ Velour:
    I am sorry for your bout with asthma. Not being able to breathe has to be the scariest thing ever.

    Thanks, Dee. Yes, it was very scary indeed. It was so bad I lost my speaking voice for…weeks!

  190. mot wrote:

    It has been a while since I posted a comment. Every year when the SBC has their Convention it gives me a bout of depression. A once great and loving organization is being led by bunch of small minded men. They are totally clueless what they are doing.

    Small-minded men who Can Do No Wrong, because GAWD is on their side.

  191. dee wrote:

    Here is what I tweeted when it happened.

    “In a reckless, defiant act against biblical™ gender roles, a female police officer, wounded by gunfire, continues to fire & saves many lives”
    </bl
    Oh, I hope you tweeted it to CBMW and Owen and Piper. That brave female officer embodies the idea of an ezer kenegdo, IMO, rather than the rigid role of subordinate that CBMW has made up to prop up their fragile little male persons. It would be far better for them to realize their own dignity as men in Christ than to diminish women’s dignity while pretending not to by using clever words.

  192. mot wrote:

    It has been a while since I posted a comment. Every year when the SBC has their Convention it gives me a bout of depression. A once great and loving organization is being led by bunch of small minded men. They are totally clueless what they are doing.

    Not SBC….all the same, it’s distressing to observe the state of some churches.

  193. elastigirl wrote:

    do you know if they put a picture of the Capitol Police man on the screen?

    No, I do not follow the convention closely because it is too depressing as one born and raised, married, and hoping to be buried as a Southern Baptist. For me personally, it would be a great day to see the SBC celebrate the heroism of a black female officer. Is that not a great American story? Is that not a great story of sacrifice for another? But it would never be spoken of because it touches the third rail of the Gospel Glitterati gravy train.

  194. dee wrote:

    @ Bridget:
    Here is what I tweeted when it happened.
    “In a reckless, defiant act against biblical™ gender roles, a female police officer, wounded by gunfire, continues to fire & saves many lives”

    LOL regarding the first half of that! Did any of the gospelly boys respond to correct you??

  195. Gram3 wrote:

    elastigirl wrote:

    do you know if they put a picture of the Capitol Police man on the screen?

    No, I do not follow the convention closely because it is too depressing as one born and raised, married, and hoping to be buried as a Southern Baptist. For me personally, it would be a great day to see the SBC celebrate the heroism of a black female officer. Is that not a great American story? Is that not a great story of sacrifice for another? But it would never be spoken of because it touches the third rail of the Gospel Glitterati gravy train.

    Once again small minded men who must view women as less than men. It does not bother them one bit to misuse the Bible for this evil purpose.

  196. Bridget wrote:

    dee wrote:

    @ Bridget:
    Here is what I tweeted when it happened.
    “In a reckless, defiant act against biblical™ gender roles, a female police officer, wounded by gunfire, continues to fire & saves many lives”

    LOL regarding the first half of that! Did any of the gospelly boys respond to correct you??

    I wonder, in my worry about Steve and the other wounded, IF those in our Congress who were spared by the professionalism and devotion to duty of this brave African-American woman have realized that what makes a warrior against evil is not found in one’s reproductive organs, but is born and resides within the human heart????

    She took a bullet for these men so that they could continue their work for our country. I hope they remember her when it comes time to speak to ‘the place of women’ in our country and in its defenses against evil.

    There are so MANY lessons coming out of this event. Some of them may actually bring healing to wounds we already bore a a nation. Dear God, I hope something changes for the better come from all of this worry and suffering, but does it take something like this for good to come?

  197. Though I don’t agree with this, the Calvinist explanation for a group shrinking would be that it was God’s will. Calvinism teaches quite a strong view of God’s sovereignty.

  198. Steve240 wrote:

    Though I don’t agree with this, the Calvinist explanation for a group shrinking would be that it was God’s will. Calvinism teaches quite a strong view of God’s sovereignty.

    so after the neo-Cals have done all they could to ‘take-over’ and drive people away from traditional Southern Baptist Churches,
    they can then claim that it was God’s Will that this should happen?

    I can see the lack of acceptance of responsibility for what has been done there, and I can see that God is being blamed for it;
    but one thing I do know is that God is NOT behind the shenanigans of the stealth takeover schemes, no. That you can rule out.

    Maybe the neo-Cal boyz ought to man-up and assume responsibility for their actions that have injured many Churches through the ‘stealth’ takeover tactics and the hardball manipulation and controlling of congregations that didn’t see this coming.

  199. TomkeinOK wrote:

    And just saw that the woman is a lesbian in a SS marriage. She’s being comforted in the hospital by her wife. Report in in politicus online journal.

    I noticed that headline this evening and came back to add it to the discussion, but saw after a quick review that you’d already done so. Frankly, her being a woman and a lesbian transgresses gender roles in multiple ways, so no wonder it’s hard for some of the usual suspects to process!

  200. Steve240 wrote:

    the Calvinist explanation for a group shrinking would be that it was God’s will

    It’s God’s will for me to act like a jerk and empty the house of believers? It’s God’s will for me to control, manipulate and intimidate the spiritual life out of God’s children? It’s God’s will for me to kick Christ off the throne and put Calvin there? Yep, that sort of shepherding will clear the pews except for the “elect” who act just like you. That’s why hyper-Calvinism has never really took for over 500 years; perhaps this New Calvinism will fool enough folks to make a go of it for a while.

  201. Max wrote:

    That’s why hyper-Calvinism has never really took for over 500 years; perhaps this New Calvinism will fool enough folks to make a go of it for a while.

    Thank goodness the research shows that most people end up leaving cults, which is exactly what NeoCalvinism is at these churches.

  202. Velour wrote:

    Thank goodness the research shows that most people end up leaving cults

    Praise God! That is exactly why I comment on blogs, hoping someone who is tuning in will listen to the warnings and escape the snare. I’m an old guy – folks say I should be fishing – but, the Lord won’t let me lay this thing down.

  203. We’ve been having fun with Piper’s weird tweet with the hashtag #sexystones on Twitter.
    The Calvinistas are going to destroy the SBC. I’m at another church convention this week and already talked someone out of going to SEBTS. Once we got talking he started connecting the things he heard from them and what I was saying. I wish I didn’t have to do that as a former student, but I can’t let people go and get locked into that.

    I’m kind of in the same boat as you. When I began at SWBTS, Ken Hemphill was still president, and he placed such an emphasis on loving people, and walked the walk. Then Ken Hemphill was escorted out (literally), Paige Patterson moved in, and by the time I graduated, so much had changed, including views on women in the ministry/mission field and doing away with the amazing, second-to-none Christian counseling program (note: I am a very conservative woman in every way, but the changes and ideals that Patterson brought to SWBTS make ME look more like a theological liberal. Now when I hear people are considering SWBTS, I really want to say, “There’s a pretty good seminary in Dallas, just 30 miles east of Fort Worth!” I thoroughly enjoyed and was so blessed by my professors and fellow students at SWBTS when I was there, but sadly, so much has changed, and not necessarily for the better.

  204. Max wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Thank goodness the research shows that most people end up leaving cults
    Praise God! That is exactly why I comment on blogs, hoping someone who is tuning in will listen to the warnings and escape the snare. I’m an old guy – folks say I should be fishing – but, the Lord won’t let me lay this thing down.

    Amen, brother Max. You are still “fishing” and still doing “catch and release”.

  205. Links regarding results of the ‘recruit existing churches’ strategy described by Ronnie Floyd:

    Baptist Press article mentioning Phoenix Calvary Chapel now affiliated with Southern Baptists:

    http://www.bpnews.net/48939/phoenix-church-planters-turning-back-darkness

    “Before planting CityView, Semmler served as the youth pastor at the nondenominational Calvary Community Church in Phoenix for more than 16 years. He didn’t know much about the SBC or NAMB before being connected with NAMB Send City Phoenix missionary Monty Patton. Calvary Community is now affiliated with the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention.”

    The church’s website:

    https://calvaryphx.com/about/

  206. okrapod wrote:

    This one is for Max, with the idea from Velour.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zXtnLD5glQ

    I resemble that remark! My kind of singin’! In fact, my wife and I attended a Gaither Vocal Band concert in Springfield, MO Friday night! There were about 2,000 folks in attendance, mostly geezers like myself. We were all helping each other get back to our cars.

  207. Great article, Dee! I found it odd my former church (first was unaffiliated/independent Baptist) joined the SBC later on per the YRR pastor’s suggestion, then decided to dump the name “Baptist” from the church name afterwards. I thought they’d be proud to bear the name Baptist considering they just joined with the largest denomination of Baptist. Those of us who were discerning sheep saw the ulterior motives. Another SBC church in our immediate area also recently dumped the Baptist name from their sign. It makes me wonder if they too were Neo-Cal converted/taken over?

  208. Hello Max! My husband and I love the Gaithers music and I’m (barely) still in my 30’s. We actually used to live near the Gaither recording studio several years ago and attended church (not the Neo Cal one) just down the road from it. We even saw ole’ Bill out once at a local restaurant. My mom buys their CD “Heaven” to send to people who have recently lost a loved one. Anyway, just liked your comment.

    I resemble that remark! My kind of singin’! In fact, my wife and I attended a Gaither Vocal Band concert in Springfield, MO Friday night! There were about 2,000 folks in attendance, mostly geezers like myself. We were all helping each other get back to our cars.

  209. Janey wrote:

    When we left the church I had attended for more than 40 years, and found a new one, my children suddenly started inviting their friends. Why? “This is a church where we feel welcome,” they said.

    ‘… and a little child shall lead them’
    (from the Book of Isaiah)

  210. Jerome wrote:

    Floyd speaking at the fundamentalist Baptist Bible Fellowship national meeting in 2015:

    https://www.bbfi.org/events/2015/5/4/may-national-fellowship-meeting

    February 2017 – President of BBF announced his church is affiliating with with SBC:

    https://brnow.org/News/February-2017/Independent-church-aligns-with-Missouri-Baptists-S

    I wonder if these churches joining the SBC have a financial interest in joining? What is in it for them to join a dying organization?

  211. Midwesterner wrote:

    We even saw ole’ Bill out once at a local restaurant.

    Ole’ Bill is now 81 years old. He reflects another reason that SBC numbers are shrinking … the Baby Boomers are aging and passing from the scene. If the New Calvinists aren’t running them off, they are going home to glory.

    Glad you “youngsters” like southern Gospel music! I grew up on it – it’s in my blood. When I was a youngster, I woke up each morning with my mother singing along to gospel tunes on the radio. Guess I’m just nostalgic, but the world seemed to be much better in those days … if you had told me when I was a kid that the church would be in the mess it’s in today, I would have said “No way!” New and improved is not always better.

  212. @ Max:

    I am just a tad older than you-83. I too like southern gospel music, but the reason I knew about that particular song is that I have a soft place in my heart for Guy Penrod. He and Angie were students at Liberty the same time my oldest child was a student there. She did not know either of them, but none the less I kind of look at them as ‘somebody else’s kids’ who’s lives have peripherally crossed the path of our family. His daddy was an IFB pastor in New Mexico, but Guy was born in Texas and claims Texas. Angie’s dad was also a pastor from somewhere up north. She got a masters in education from Vanderbilt and home schooled all eight of their children. They live on a cattle ranch/farm (black angus) in southern Tennessee. Something in me just says ‘way to go’ about all that. Had Guy not been at Liberty, and had I not accidentally found that out, I never would have heard of the Gaithers, but I do like music that is upbeat and makes you want to clap you hands and/or stand up and shout.

    At my church we are mostly into Bach and Latin, and I like that also. When I was younger I played the violin, not the fiddle. You know the difference between a violin and a fiddle? A violin has ‘strings’ and a fiddle has ‘strangs’. I like them both. When we all get to heaven, from the song to that effect and whatever that means, I am going to see if I can’t take up music of some sort again. I figure with endless eternity I might be able to get the hang of it.

  213. Max wrote:

    Ole’ Bill is now 81 years old. He reflects another reason that SBC numbers are shrinking … the Baby Boomers are aging and passing from the scene. If the New Calvinists aren’t running them off, they are going home to glory.

    So many people have left the SBC in more ways than one and the current leaders seem to just ignore this and hope the end never comes. When the older folks are gone and I count myself as one of them-what will happen. The leaders can keep ignoring the reality but it will not change this reality.

  214. Time to Get Real: The Southern Baptist Convention Is Shrinking Faster Than the United Methodists

    No, Time to Pad The Numbers like Scientology.

  215. TomkeinOK wrote:

    @ TomkeinOK:
    And just saw that the woman is a lesbian in a SS marriage. She’s being comforted in the hospital by her wife. Report in in politicus online journal.

    At the time she took that round and was emptying her clip at the shooter, she wasn’t acting as a Lesbian. She was acting as a Cop on-scene in a mass-shooting/shootout situation.

    Though her being Lez reminds me of an anecdote from my old Dungeonmaster when he once worked temp for the 1980 or 1990 Census. He had a co-worker who was “a blind, black Lesbian” who jokingly called herself “Quota” (and the name stuck).

  216. FYI, the only reason the United Methodist Church is not shrinking as fast is due to the explosive membership growth in Africa, which is not noted in either the CT article or the original Baptist Post article it referenced.

    Does the SBC have a presence outside of the US (aside from missionaries)? I honestly don’t know. But I imagine if you only compared membership trends in the US, the SBC’s downward trend would look much more favorable.

  217. mot wrote:

    When the older folks are gone and I count myself as one of them-what will happen.

    The New Calvinists will rejoice … until they realize that the money also left with the old geezers.

  218. @ okrapod:
    Thanks Okrapod for sharing a bit of your journey. Guy Penrod is one of the best in my book! I believe his singing is a spiritual gift, not just a talent.

    When we all get to heaven
    What a day of rejoicing that will be
    When we all see Jesus
    We’ll sing and shout the victory!

  219. mot wrote:

    So many people have left the SBC in more ways than one and the current leaders seem to just ignore this and hope the end never comes.

    Like to hear their official pronouncements as they circle the drain.

    “The wildest fantasy fiction ever written appears in a wartime country’s news media the day before they surrender unconditionally.”
    — James Dunnigan, military-affairs analyst of the Seventies & Eighties

  220. Divorce Minister wrote:

    I’m not sure the UMC is the best measure. They seemed headed for a split with the LGBTQ issues coming to a head.

    And in my neck of the woods, UMC churches are growing with much of their growth coming from disenchanted Southern Baptists. One of the megachurches here is affiliated with the United Methodists; their pastor is the son of a former SB evangelist who went charismatic. The dad went non-denominational for a spell, then felt God was calling him to return to the church of his youth (which just happened to be UMC). The son followed.

    It’s pretty much Methodist in name and polity only; doctrinally, it’s closer to Bapticostal.

  221. Pingback: The IM Saturday Brunch: June 24, 2017 | internetmonk.com

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