McLean Bible Church – Predestined to be a Southern Baptist Congregation?

“According to McLean Bible Church’s FAQ document on its website, ‘MBC became a cooperating church with the SBC in 2016 to more effectively engage in church planting across Metro DC.’ The church also began giving through the Cooperative Program that same year.”

imb.org

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Platt_(pastor)

David Platt

Church planting – it’s all the buzz in Christendom these days. I guess whoever plants the most churches wins???

It appears that one of the strategies the Southern Baptist Convention is using to expand its missions outreach is to encourage non-denominational churches to participate in its Cooperative Program. One megachurch that has joined forces with the SBC to help fund church planting in the Washington, D.C. area is McLean Bible Church (MBC), located in northern Virginia. According to the FAQ on MBC’s website:

“MBC became a cooperating church with the SBC in 2016 to more effectively engage in church planting across Metro DC.” The church also began giving through the Cooperative Program that same year.”

The above information was posted on the International Mission Board (IMB) website. The IMB article goes on to state the following about McLean Bible Church:

MBC recently affiliated with the SBC of Virginia (SBCV). So far in 2017, the church has contributed $100,000 through the SBCV to the Cooperative Program. Church planting records show that MBC is currently supporting 22 SBCV church planters through monthly support and/or church planting grants.

So who at this non-denominational church made the decision to affiliate with the SBC in its church planting efforts? Were congregants informed and were they allowed to have any input into whether or not the church would contribute to the SBC’s Cooperative Program?

This article, published on the IMB website on September 29, 2017, further states: (see screen shot below)

Two days earlier MBC voted overwhelming for David Platt to serve as its next Pastor-Teacher. See screen shot  below.

https://www.facebook.com/mcleanbible/photos/a.901155749942003.1073741835.101394153251504/1569341183123453/?type=3&theater

Apparently, the fact that David Platt was serving as the SBC’s International Mission Board president did not negatively effect their decision to vote for him as their pastor-teacher. Platt will continue as president of the IMB until the Board of Trustees finds a replacement.

For our readers who are not familiar with McLean Bible Church, it was started in 1961 by five families. MBC’s fourth and most recent pastor, Lon Solomon, began serving in 1980 when the congregation was 200 strong. During his 37 year tenure, the church grew to 11,000 people worshipping in five locations in the Metro D.C. area. As Lon neared the end of his long pastoral career, he wrote a letter to his church family.

It would be interesting to know what went on behind the scenes that led to MBC joining forces with the SBC. According the the IMB article previously cited:

Send City coordinator Clint Clifton shared that MBC began supporting the North American Mission Board’s Send City effort for Washington, DC in October 2015.

David Platt began serving as IMB president in August 2014. It’s fascinating that just a year later this non-denominational church began supporting the North American Mission Board’s church planting effort in D.C. Let’s not forget that Al Mohler’s (former) pastor Kevin Ezell is NAMB’s president. Six months ago David Platt announced that he is ready to step down as president of the IMB.

It’s been interesting to read some of the commentary in social media written by MBC members and attendees. It is amazing how many are just now finding out about their church’s affiliation with the Southern Baptist Convention. One commenter speculated a name change from McLean Bible to McLean Baptist Church. How many members still don’t know that MBC is now considered to be a Southern Baptist church?

Now that McLean Bible Church has a high profile Neo-Calvinist at its helm, we wonder how many who attend know about the Young, Restless, Reformed movement. David Platt is a key player, and we predict he will bring considerable change to MBC. Look what’s already happened.

In an upcoming post, we will share with congregants at McLean Bible Church what we believe they need to know about the Neo-Cals, whom we call ‘Calvinistas‘. We have been researching them for a decade now and have amassed a wealth of information about this movement, as well as some great concerns which we have shared in many posts over the years.

As we wrap up this post, we’d like to point out that not everyone is thrilled with MBC’s new ‘pastor-teacher’. See comment below.

 

 


Comments

McLean Bible Church – Predestined to be a Southern Baptist Congregation? — 191 Comments

  1. From the post, a comment from someone in the audience: “I have never met a pastor able to cry every week, at identical times during all three services.”

    Why crying? Do pastors cry during the worship service? Do they shed tears when a child has been abused in a church, or a young person has been violated by their youth pastor?

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  2. jyjames,

    I saw Platt speak a few times while I was a student at NOBTS. He managed tears every time. For me it always came off as melodramatic theatrics, for his fans it demonstrated how concerned he was for the lost. Something about the whole stick just seems contrived and insincere to me.

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  3. mitch: for his fans it demonstrated how concerned he was for the lost.

    How about the alleged criminal behavior of Pastor Aderholt (he’s been arrested?) and a victim approached Platt as an administrator? Empathy or apathy?

    “David Platt: President of the International Mission Board this year when Anne approached the IMB, once again, to deal with the Mark Aderholt situation. The buck must stop there. He is part of the *new and improved* SBC. Is the what we can expect in the future?”

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2018/07/13/did-the-southern-baptist-conventions-international-missions-board-decide-not-to-report-sexual-assault-they-knew-about-for-years/

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  4. I attended MBC for a short period of time around 1980/1981 when LS was early into his “pastorship” there. If my memory serves me well, the Gospel (as it would be defined and understood by a non-Calvinist) was preached and the Bible was taught in an expository manner. The size of the congregation was comfortable at a couple of hundred, more like a family, and they met in a school.

    Fast forward to around 10 years ago. I had occasion to meet someone for lunch but agreed to go to the MBC worship service at their new location on Rt. 7 just beyond Tyson’s Corner. What a shock! Megachurch that was more like a shopping mall, couple of thousand people. LS basically preached on “you need to give money” as I recall. Big disappointment! I was very uncomfortable there and couldn’t wait to leave. In my opinion, LS and MBC lost their way as far as what a “church” should be long before David Platt came into the picture.

    And re: church planting – as I recall, the NT calls us to make disciples not plant churches.

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  5. I used to attend MBC. Lon’s sermons weren’t exactly high-content theology-wise, and deliberately so. The arrival of a Mohler disciple to MBC’s pulpit is going to be… interesting.

    But given MBC’s obsession with growing, I’m not surprised that they went this path. I left just as (and partially because) of their move to the old NWF campus in Tysons Corner – a move leveraged to the hilt with mortgage debt. I recall Lon saying he’d eventually like to see all DC-area Christians attending an MBC-affiliated congregation. They are taking over the coffee house timeslot my church used to use for one of their satellite meetings.

    I can only encourage the Deebs, in spite of all else that’s going on, to keep half an eye on this situation as it develops. I suspect Chinese-curse levels of Interesting are in the offing…

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  6. So glad to see that final comment about Platt’s fake crying. That was the first thing I noticed about him when he gained notoriety in the SBC 10 years ago. Glad to hear he can do his whiny fake crying each and every service on queue. He is a great performer/story-teller.

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  7. I’ve heard David Platt on two Secret Church simulcast presentations and live on at least one occasion, and noticed an interesting and unusual emotional catch in his voice which seemed like an intentional rhetorical way to connect with the audience. It came close to “fake crying”, though I would not call it that. At the very least, it was unusual and possibly manipulative. It’s not difficult to see why he has been popular with church audiences, or why MBC would vote so overwhelmingly to call him. Whether it is wise for MBC to affiliate with SBC remains to be seen. There are multiple reasons to be cautious.

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  8. Too many teardrops for one heart to be crying
    Too many teardrops for one heart to carry on
    I’m gonna cry ninety-six tears
    I’m gonna cry ninety-six tears

    — my response at not getting Post #1

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  9. Good to see that at least one MBC member has discernment regarding Platt’s weeping displays!
    The rest of you need to look more closely – there are no tears. Whenever I hear a New Calvinist talk about partnering with SBC to “spread the Gospel”, I really know that it’s more about spreading theology than planting churches. New Calvinist church planters have their hand out for NAMB theology-planting funds which SBC’s non-Calvinist members blindly continue to give them through its Cooperative Program. While Platt may have a passion about what he is doing, it is a misplaced passion. It is not right to participate in the takeover of a denomination whose primary belief and practice have been distinctly non-Calvinist for the last 150+ years … it is not right to use the funds of non-Calvinists to accomplish that mission. Platt, like so many other New Calvinists who have infiltrated the largest Protestant non-Calvinist denomination in America, may sincerely believe that they alone are the keepers of truth and must restore the “gospel” that the rest of us have lost … but they are sincerely wrong.

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  10. Max,

    Excellent commentary! And I suspect that this tactic is exactly what has been implemented at McLean Bible Church, which to the best of my knowledge has been non-Calvinist throughout its 57 year history.

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  11. Speaking of entity leaders—Not sure if people know about this even though it was 2004. But this guy was hired to be president of NAMB and seems to be protected. I was glad to see Christa Brown tried to get the word out.

    http://stopbaptistpredators.blogspot.com/2010/09/ezells-failed-leadership-on-sexual.html

    https://baptistplanet.wordpress.com/2010/09/19/how-did-ezell-suffer-the-little-children-in-2004-case/

    http://orig.courier-journal.com/localnews/2004/01/09ky/met-5-bapt01090-6565.html

    Note: Ezell wanted to keep it secret from his church.

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  12. Tom R:
    So glad to see that final comment about Platt’s fake crying. That was the first thing I noticed about him when he gained notoriety in the SBC 10 years ago. Glad to hear he can do his whiny fake crying each and every service on queue. He is a great performer/story-teller.

    Thank you! It has worn me out since he became all the rage in YRR circles.

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  13. I especially cringe at:

    “…..the members of McLean Bible Church were invited to confirm the unanimous recommendation of the elders to……”

    Thank you for the opportunity to “confirm” your decision for me, Comrades.

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  14. Deb,

    Capturing MBC would add another jewel to the New Calvinist treasury and help more firmly establish Platt as a prominent leader in the movement. Heath Lambert is on a parallel mission at FBC-Jacksonville. Who would have believed it would be possible to Calvinize FBCJax after Jerry Vines led that key non-Calvinist congregation for years … Vines led thousands to Christ there with a whosoever-will-may-come message. But that’s another story …

    It’s not clear what MBC members think their default theology is: Calvinist or non-Calvinist? Lon Solomon appears to lean Calvinist considering his reference to Piper in his letter to the church family – “Piper” is a code word that the new reformers listen for. Solomon’s endorsement of Platt provided the initial credibility to get Platt in the door at MBC … let’s see how long it takes the good folks at MBC to see his real mission. MBC folks joined a non-denominational church for a reason … do they really want to be a part of the SBC denomination, which is proving to be populated by some of the most contentious folks on the planet?! They are coming on board at such a time as this to be a part of the takeover of the SBC by a gang of militant and aggressive young reformers … do they really want to play this game with Platt?

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  15. Deb,

    In 2004? I think he was and even teaching an adult class there, too. When Ezell left Highview for NAMB, Russ Moore became “teaching” pastor (the title that keeps one protected from pew peasants) while also Dean at Southern.

    My surprise came with Ezell’s clergy confidentiality excuse. You don’t hear that in our circles often. I think it implicates Ezell even more since he was not at Highview when the actual molestations took place. It’s like admitting to a cover up especially since he did not want the congregation to know.

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  16. The takeover of MBC is indicative of the tactics of the new and improved SBC. Not only are they now Baptists – they are also Calvinists. They are a long way from the man who built the church – Lon Solomon.

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  17. I visited Platt’s church in Birmingham. he did the *tears* thing there as well. I was told to go to the first service because if one went to the last service, Platt took the opportunity to keep on preaching way beyond the time frame. He was difficult to listen to since he spoke in a whispering voice and managed to get across his message that the people were not doing enough and somehow conveyed that he was doing stuff the way it should be done.

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  18. Max,

    There is an uproar going on at FBC Jax. I have been contacted by a number of people who are irritated . Frankly, I’m not sure who’s worse: Mac Brunson or the Calvinistas.

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  19. ___

    “Washington’s 501c3 Religious Monkeys, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    See, hear, speak?

    Probably not.

    Lon deliberately threw his mega bible church to the proverbial Calvinist stealth dogs. I doubt his parishioners know what is in store for them. David Platt is already filling their minds with sin issues and doubt about their salvation just like Mahaney did with SGM. It is SOP. TULIP IS NOW THE GOSPEL AT MBC. Warnings? hmmm… I doubt anyone will even listen.

    Deb, who is/are the TWW victim(s) in your post now?

    – –

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  20. Lydia,

    In hindsight, I find it extremely fascinating that when Kevin Ezell was in charge of the 2010 SBC Pastors Conference, one of the pastors who was invited to speak was C.J. Mahaney.

    Not long after, it was revealed that there had been widespread abuse in Sovereign Grace Ministries, which had been systematically covered up.

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  21. Bill: What a shock! Megachurch that was more like a shopping mall, couple of thousand people. LS basically preached on “you need to give money” as I recall. Big disappointment! I was very uncomfortable there and couldn’t wait to leave. In my opinion, LS and MBC lost their way as far as what a “church” should be

    Parable of the Mustard Seed + Overgrown Tree + Birds suggests the Megachurch:

    “In the parable of the Mustard Seed, a seed which is not the Word grows up out of proportion and provides a place for the birds to nest. The seed could represent human wisdom or false teaching. If the role of the birds from the Sower is continued into the Mustard Seed parable, the birds continue to prevent understanding of the Word. They are making noise which hinders, distorts, or denies a person the opportunity to understand the Word. Their noise would also draw attention to the ‘impressive’ tree where they nest.”

    https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/27006

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  22. Eeyore: I recall Lon saying he’d eventually like to see all DC-area Christians attending an MBC-affiliated congregation.

    Wait, what? That’s not a church, that’s a cult.

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  23. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: that’s a cult.

    … and/or a corporation.

    The larger entity provides legal protection, particularly when individuals in leadership run amuck with covert improprieties out in the hinterlands of the vast dynasty. “The buck stops, … hold on there, nowhere.”(Realizing you are an attorney, correct me if I’m wrong here.)

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  24. Eeyore,

    Sounds eerily like what J.D. Greear recently told Christianity Today about his future intentions.

    https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/june/jd-greear-southern-baptist-president-candidate-summit-nc.html

    “Afterward, several attendees asked Greear when the Summit would launch another location in this or that area. He nodded enthusiastically. The church hopes to one day offer gatherings within 15 minutes of anyone living in the Triangle.”

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  25. Tom R:
    So glad to see that final comment about Platt’s fake crying. That was the first thing I noticed about him when he gained notoriety in the SBC 10 years ago. Glad to hear he can do his whiny fake crying each and every service on queue. He is a great performer/story-teller.

    He must have taken lessons from CJ Mahaney. Peas in a pod?

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  26. In my view many SBC churches are no longer Baptists. MBC becoming ‘baptist’will not change the church government, only the theological orientation towards full blown Calvinism. Baptist church government is properly congregation led, unlike the occasional charades at MBC where members (the ones who actually vote) fall in with the elders on all decisions. Baptists at their inception believed in freedom, tolerance, soul competence, the priesthood of each believer, and true congregational church governance. Many calvinista ‘baptist’ churches in the SBC deny practically all of these distinctives.
    We attended MBC for four years and were merely sheep wandering in to the satelite church to hear Lon Solomon on a video link. Although Lon preached rather lightweight sermons, there was no indication of his stance on Calvinism in those days. There was a strong emphasis on the subordination of women as we found to our cost. When a group of elderly believers asked me to speak I was told by the leadership that I may do so on one occasion if my husband was standing beside me to cover me with his authority. Ah well. We did not last long there after that.

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  27. As churches grow larger in numbers true congregationalism breaks down and authority becomes increasingly more delegated to deacons, elders or staff as the case may be.

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  28. I may have mentioned this in comments on previous posts, so please forgive me if this is similar in content. I first visited MBC in late 1980 or early 1981 when I was in town to attend a wedding. Lon Solomon was new at the time and the service was nothing out of the ordinary as I recall. The next time I had any dealings with MBC was nearly 25 years later when I took a dance class through their singles ministry. Church rules prohibited dancing on the main campus so classes took place in a local middle school cafeteria. I also attended a few other singles activities at MBC. I also attended MBC’s Career Network Ministry after I was laid off from a longtime job during the last recession; I found CNM to be quite helpful. MBC was one of several area churches sponsoring ministries to job-seekers. CNM remains active today.

    This was all before MBC affiliated with SBCV. I wonder what effect their new Calvinist leanings will have on ministries which attract people from outside the church, such as CNM and the singles ministries.

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  29. Deb: I find it extremely fascinating that when Kevin Ezell was in charge of the 2010 SBC Pastors Conference, one of the pastors who was invited to speak was C.J. Mahaney.

    I suspect Al Mohler had something to do with that. Prior to his NAMB appointment, Ezell was Mohler’s pastor … and of course, the whole world should know by now that Mahaney and Mohler are buds … Mohler’s wife calls Mahaney a member of Al’s little playgroup (that creeps me out).

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  30. “It appears that one of the strategies the Southern Baptist Convention is using to expand its missions outreach is to encourage non-denominational churches to participate in its Cooperative Program.” (Deb)

    SBC’s Cooperative Program (CP) was once a great idea … it provided a huge bank account for a once-great soul-winning denomination. Funds from thousands of cooperating SBC churches were pooled to support state, national and international missions. It was a primary income stream to help home and foreign missionaries in the work they were called to do … millions of Southern Baptists reached into their pockets to help. But some of those CP funds are now being directed on another mission … Calvinization of the SBC.

    Platt (a New Calvinist), during his brief tenure at IMB, recalled 1,000+ foreign missionaries (primarily non-Calvinists). He cited a CP funding shortage, but his New Calvinist bud Kevin Ezell continued to spend $60 million per year to plant 1,000 new churches annually (primarily staffed by New Calvinists). SBC non-Calvinist churches (the majority) which still give to the CP are essentially funding their own takeover as church plants (aka theology plants) and “re-plants” (aka takeovers) proliferate! The New Calvinists thank you for cooperating with their mission!

    Non-denominational churches which are now being picked off by SBC’s young reformers will be drawn into the CP funding stream … to help bankroll more SBC New Calvinist church takeovers of traditional (non-Calvinist) churches, capture more deep-pocket non-denominational churches to be turned into New Calvinist churches, and planting of thousands of New Calvinist churches in North America. It’s a brilliant strategy … just required a little re-tooling of the Cooperative Program.

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  31. Max: It’s a brilliant strategy … just required a little re-tooling of the Cooperative Program.

    Thanks for explaining this, because on earlier threads it has been said that SBC churches are strictly autonomous with no strings being pulled from the top to the local church.

    It appears that the Cooperative Program was originally in place to gather staff and funds to funnel up and go out, outreach to the world. Also, to support seminaries for training those that would go.

    However, no need to go out since according to Piper, “whosoever will” may NOT come. Now, the Cooperative $$$ stays at the top, to maintain Dear Leaders, legally and financially. And the locals “get to be part of” a grand enterprise. How endearing for the pew. How special.

    For those who use their local church for networking: real estate, sales, politics, investors, and other various business connections, this is ideal. Bring your business card and plug in.

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  32. Grainne,

    “There was a strong emphasis on the subordination of women as we found to our cost. When a group of elderly believers asked me to speak I was told by the leadership that I may do so on one occasion if my husband was standing beside me to cover me with his authority.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    nothing like mystical allusions turning into hard and fast rules.

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  33. Max,

    Lambert fake cries too…at least it seems like it to me. He cries nearly every service. Guess who’s doing the music for the pastors conference this year at FBCJAX..(in 2019) C.J.Mahaney’s music director. I’m now reading up on sovereign grace churches.

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  34. Max: I really know that it’s more about spreading theology than planting churches. New Calvinist church planters have their hand out for NAMB theology-planting funds which SBC’s non-Calvinist members blindly continue to give them through its Cooperative Program.

    Blindly?
    All of them?
    Or do many continue to shell out as always over fear for the eternal destiny of their wretched souls?

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  35. Dee Parsons,

    It’s heartbreaking to watch the church with the LIGHTHOUSE go this route. I told my sister this morning, it used to flash with a “whosoever will” light, now it flashes with an “elect only” light. I’m heartbroken for this church…FBC JAX I mean.

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  36. I have lots of thoughts and experiences around the SBC social hierarchy system and how they monitor, utilize, classify, and label people into prominence or lesser status and classes.

    David Platt is one of the best examples I can think of to demonstrate it. He was relatively young, late 20’s, when they started pushing him and being enarmored over him. I would say he was *almost* a victim – kind of/almost/but not really – of the whole thing at first because of his younger age and lack of experience. But certainly not anymore as he has aged and the results of it has gone on for so long. He has too much personal responsibility and liberty now over everything, his own choices and path.

    I noticed and observed the terms “rising star” and “best and brightest” a lot in their circles. I have noticed it recently in a lot of other evangelical circles as well. And you see it in non-church as well. But it’s something I started hearing a lot in the SBC and felt like I was being asked to participate in.

    They have a rising star category, which David Platt was defined by and engineered within – and then beneath that is the “best and brightest” category. The rising star is originated in that category but transcends it into its own superior class with special social, opportunity, and economic priveleges.

    The “best and brightest” is still elite. It is fundamentally utilitarian underneath and not based on moral or academic categories, where best (moral) and brightest (academic) would seem to say you have people with both superior morals and intellectual aptitude in this special class.

    Though I do know a few in that social class who do have good character, and an even smaller few who also have what you would call superior or gifted intellect, the point is that’s not what the categories are exemplifying in real SBC life/norms and what it really means.

    “Best and brightest” is mostly based on how aptly and cogently you utilize the SBC system and social norms in a way that is stabilized and obedient to the SBC. And how well that is consistently and purely demonstrated to your fellow SBC peers and as an ambassador to outsiders. Sometimes it is surfacey and charisma-like personality characteristics or apprarances of a person that are delegated and used to act as an initial signifier for the SBC brand and identity. So moral character isn’t so much a concern as how bright the SBC way shines through you in a convincing way.

    In short, there is a lot of utilitarianism and not a lot of personalism going on under the surface in the SBC.

    (I am likely in so much trouble for this comment lol). It probably sounds mean to those I know in the SBC circles I was in if they were to read it. But I think and feel and experienced it as fully true. And I didn’t want to be a part of it, at all.

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  37. Dee Parsons: Platt took the opportunity to keep on preaching way beyond the time frame. He was difficult to listen to since he spoke in a whispering voice and managed to get across his message that the people were not doing enough and somehow conveyed that he was doing stuff the way it should be done.

    Neecha (Nietzsche) said…

    “All great things must first wear
    terrifying and monstrous masks..

    in order to inscribe themselves…

    on the hearts of humanity.”

    Listen, children…

    to the sound of the Nuremberg night.

    In a seance…

    the shaman leads a sensuous panic.

    He acts like a madman.
    A professional hysteria.

    Have you ever seen God?

    — From Oliver Stone’s film The Doors

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  38. *Meant to close with:

    When you view David Platt in that kind of value/social system, he makes a lot of sense. He operates more like a SBC persona than a person.

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  39. emily honey,

    This is what was done to the 33 year old Al Mohler. He was a “brilliant scholar”, read 5 books per week and a “great leader”. He was in Time Mag 100 rising influencers, on Larry King, radio, etc etc, etc.

    How that doesn’t negatively affect someone so young and basically inexperienced through lots of struggles that bring wisdom, I don’t know. I think we have witnessed the fallout and other problems with it. I get what you mean by victim. They are a victim of their own PR and admiration, they just don’t know it. Platt proved he is really a hollow man with that deceptive stunt he pulled in Dubai. I doubt he has much self awareness.

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  40. emily honey:
    *Meant to close with:

    When you view David Platt in that kind of value/social system, he makes a lot of sense. He operates more like a SBC persona than a person.

    Exactly! There was nothing on his CV to make him uniquely qualified as IMB prez. His church did not even participate! He was a popular personality with the YRR. And my guess is he was tired of being/living his “Radical” fad about that time.

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  41. jyjames,

    “Thanks for explaining this, because on earlier threads it has been said that SBC churches are strictly autonomous with no strings being pulled from the top to the local church.”

    That is strictly a convenience these days of top down organizational management and purse strings for church planting or “revitilization”. They are autonomous when there is embarrassing trouble.

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  42. Grainne: When a group of elderly believers asked me to speak I was told by the leadership that I may do so on one occasion if my husband was standing beside me to cover me with his authority. Ah well. We did not last long there after that.

    I remember hearing a Messianic Jewish fundamantalist tell his audience that
    Hadassah (Esther) couldn’t have done what she did without Mordecai as her “covering”.

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  43. jyjames: it has been said that SBC churches are strictly autonomous with no strings being pulled from the top to the local church

    Technically, that is still the case in SBC churches with congregational polity (the majority of them). Each church has the power to put the brakes on infiltration of young reformers into their pulpits. Unfortunately, the masses in the pew are either uninformed, misinformed, or willingly ignorant about the New Calvinist movement within SBC. Spending Cooperative Program money to plant churches and fund seminaries sounds like a good thing so they keep sending their hard-earned dollars up the ladder to help accomplish that mission. But the fact of the matter is most of these new churches are planting theology – reformed theology that is contrary to the mainline non-Calvinist belief and practice of the folks sending them CP money … and the seminaries are spending CP funds to educate young Calvinists to help with that task. That’s why I say that millions of non-Calvinist Southern Baptists are funding their own takeover. It’s the darnedest thing I’ve ever seen!

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  44. Indeed. I’ve been teaching this for years. Not all, but many

    Max: Technically, that is still the case in SBC churches with congregational polity (the majority of them).Each church has the power to put the brakes on infiltration of young reformers into their pulpits.Unfortunately, the masses in the pew are either uninformed, misinformed, or willingly ignorant about the New Calvinist movement within SBC.Spending Cooperative Program money to plant churches and fund seminaries sounds like a good thing so they keep sending their hard-earned dollars up the ladder to help accomplish that mission.But the fact of the matter is most of these new churches are planting theology – reformed theology that is contrary to the mainline non-Calvinist belief and practice of the folks sending them CP money … and the seminaries are spending CP funds to educate young Calvinists to help with that task.That’s why I say that millions of non-Calvinist Southern Baptists are funding their own takeover.It’s the darnedest thing I’ve ever seen!

    If SWBTS goes Cal, all bets are off.

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  45. Anybody have a clue as to what they will be paying Platt? It’s my experience that you could get an audience with the Pope easier than finding out what kind of financial “package”is offered to these guys.

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  46. Oh, gee, people are still falling for the crying pastor shtick? I’ve never been able to stomach that. I guess there’s a style of manipulation for each personality type. I fear those who are that easily manipulated may not be the type to ask any hard questions. Sadly, I foresee a parting of the ways between two types of current attendees with no small amount of hurt, disillusionment and resentment. Time will tell.

    I have a question about church planting. Is this something that’s done in this country or overseas? Is it done in areas where there are no other churches available to meet people’s needs?

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  47. mitch: for his fans it demonstrated how concerned he was for the lost.

    The ones I’ve known that employed this method tended to be very concerned with anonymous lost people, out ‘there’ somewhere, and not so much for the actual family of God, the believers right in front of them.

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  48. Linn,

    who knows. i imagine it would be utterly unbearable for them to allow even a single woman to have freedom and her voice. maybe make an elder stand beside her as her covering…?

    aaaahhhhrrrrrgggggg — the stupidity of complementarianism is just too much.

    feeling their pretend authority with its locus in their loins must be quite energizing for them. such a convenient notion to ward off the threat of all the fearsomely capable and articulate women.

    no, i’m not going to be sweet about it.

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  49. Max: funding their own takeover. It’s the darnedest thing I’ve ever seen!

    “Tis. Very strange, indeed. Like Ezekiel 16, where God said He rescued an impoverished and needy Israel and treated them well as His own, only to have them freely give themselves away to a predator. Yes, the darnedest thing.

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  50. Max: Unfortunately, the masses in the pew are either uninformed, misinformed, or willingly ignorant about the New Calvinist movement within SBC.

    Or, mesmerized by shiny things.

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  51. jyjames: mesmerized by shiny things

    Generations X, Y and Z particularly appear to be unduly dazzled by the New Calvinist movement. Within SBC ranks, there is largely a generational shift to this aberrant theology. The faith of their fathers doesn’t appear to interest them much. The 20s-40s are an easy target for the new reformers. The other easy target are traditional non-Calvinist Southern Baptists by the millions who don’t appear to give two hoots about things like theology, as long as the social side of church in untouched. While they go to their potluck dinners, the New Calvinists progressively change their belief and practice. Easy pickins’.

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  52. Max: Generations X, Y and Z particularly appear to be unduly dazzled by the New Calvinist movement.Within SBC ranks, there is largely a generational shift to this aberrant theology.The faith of their fathers doesn’t appear to interest them much.The 20s-40s are an easy target for the new reformers.The other easy target are traditional non-Calvinist Southern Baptists by the millions who don’t appear to give two hoots about things like theology, as long as the social side of church in untouched.While they go to their potluck dinners, the New Calvinists progressively change their belief and practice.Easy pickins’.

    It’s in large part the books. Discipleship groups, small groups, and even supposed Bible studies increasingly consist of whatever supposedly new or relevant perspective is marketed to the minders of these endeavors. Just look at the average church’s activities and see Platt and other T4G authors pop up all over the place.

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  53. JDV: It’s in large part the books. Discipleship groups, small groups, and even supposed Bible studies increasingly consist of whatever supposedly new or relevant perspective is marketed to the minders of these endeavors.

    Agreed. Walk into any LifeWay bookstore and you will find all the popular books by New Calvinist authors. LifeWay has also produced materials that subtly introduce reformed theology into SBC life – I complained to them years ago that their young adult Sunday School literature was loaded with New Calvinist commentary (Piper, Keller, Chandler, Driscoll, etc.). The reformed movement has gained ground because they are prolific in publishing books that attract young generations, holding cool conferences, and have a host of charming young leaders. The New Calvinists have all the bells and whistles. Makes it look like old fuddy-duddy religion is standing still.

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  54. As recently as 2013, MBC had a document on their website that explained the church’s position on Calvinism. The document is no longer on the website, but the archive is available:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20130123223653/http://www.mcleanbible.org/uploads/mbc_calvinism_position_2012_overview.pdf

    This position documents indicate that they hold to conditional election, a position significantly at odds with the views of David Platt and the Neo-Calvinists. Regarding their view of election, it says:

    “MBC Believes…
    God’s elective choice of certain
    individuals for salvation before the
    foundation of the world was based upon
    His foreseeing that they would respond
    to His call.”

    (Found under the “U” section of the TULIP diagram in the document.)

    Notably, this document also cites Norman Geisler’s book Chosen But Free as one of its sources. I doubt that any Neo-Calvinist leader would think well of Geisler’s attempt in this book to articulate a “moderate Calvinism.”

    So, this seems to indicate that, by selecting David Platt as pastor, MBC called a pastor whose view of election is at odds with the church’s previously stated position. Presumably, then, either the church’s or Platt’s view of divine election had to give in order to make his appointment to MBC work. I don’t have to stretch my imagination very far to take a guess at which view gave out.

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  55. “McLean Bible Church – Predestined to be a Southern Baptist Congregation?”

    For you MBC folks listening in, don’t let Platt convince you that you are predestined to be a Southern Baptist or a Calvinist. If there’s anything in the divine plan for each believer that you have been “predestined” for, it is to be conformed to the image of Christ. A church label won’t get you there, adhering to a particular theology won’t move you into holy living – you have a personal responsibility to humble yourself, pray, repent and seek God’s face yourself. Don’t put your hope in your church or church leaders to lead you into Christlikeness – put your hope and faith only in Jesus to help you. Denominations and their leaders may fail you (TWW documents this every day) … Jesus never will.

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  56. Eric Price:MBC had a document on their website that explained the church’s position on Calvinism. The document is no longer on the website … they hold to conditional election, a position significantly at odds with the views of David Platt and the Neo-Calvinists … by selecting David Platt as pastor, MBC called a pastor whose view of election is at odds with the church’s previously stated position

    Much has been written on TWW and elsewhere about the stealth and deception used to takeover non-Calvinist churches. I suppose the New Calvinists justify being elusive on their exact theological leaning because they sincerely believe that they have come into the world for such a time as this to restore the gospel that the rest of the church has lost. Ironic that they feel the need to do a little lying to bring truth back to the church.

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  57. “It appears that one of the strategies the Southern Baptist Convention is using to expand its missions outreach is to encourage non-denominational churches to participate in its Cooperative Program.” (Deb)

    Well, that can work both ways. Certain non-denominational church leaders have also found that the SBC has a big cookie jar they can put their hand in for church planting funds, as well as access to seminary training for up-and-coming New Calvinist stars in their congregations. C.J. Mahaney (SGM) and James MacDonald (Harvest Bible Chapel), recent SBC converts, come to mind.

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  58. Max,

    Add to that it’s a sort of protection racket. Why did James McDonald become SBC? CJ Mahaney? I think this protection racket extends to the timed and well coordinated take down of Patterson while ignoring the “other” just as bad guys who actually hold all the power. They are presenting it now as a “new and improved” SBC you can be proud to be a part of. So if we, the leaders, say they are good, then they are good. Just be sure and forget the last 20 years of deception and coddling evil. It’s been one big deception op. There are no good guys in this one, imo.

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  59. Lydia,

    It’s hard to be yourself and know yourself, and really get to know others in that kind of world.

    Who is this person, really? Everything is hidden and repressed behind personas and the latest SBC and trendy evangelical catch phrases and speech cadences (it is unnerving because even the tone and rise and fall of the words are repeated in the exact same way with every single person.)

    Most conversations and relationships in that world are solely built around those identities and words and maintaining them. There’s not a lot of natural connection or freedom of expression or possibility for self/others awareness and exploration.

    No matter who you are, David Platt, Mohler, to those at the bottom, you have to live behind some sort of persona to survive and sustain yourself. It’s ultimately anti-social, it doesn’t produce true connection and love.

    The innate humanity and unique value and expression of each person is secondary or not important. You disappear or don’t exist if you aren’t operating in the way and ever changing norms set out for you. Your value and place is determined solely by your utility and function in the group.

    Instead of rest and freedom, there’s posturing and lots of fear underneath every social interaction. Everyone is up for a sudden discard at any moment, even David Platt. Paige Patterson is the latest example. It just takes longer for those at the top because the morals are abitrary and not what is ruling the group. The removal of Patterson wasn’t *really* about women and concern for how he has consistently mistreated others. Everyone knew about it and enabled it and was fine with it for years because they didn’t want their place in the system compromised. He finally just became an embarrassment to the SBC brand to outsiders, and doesn’t fit the new agendas and SBC themes. Patterson merely outlived his usefulness and utility. That’s what the system is really about.

    So…a lot of these questions on these type of threads always seem to be asking a deeper identity question to these leaders: Who are you? What are you really about? Who is this person?

    Who *is* David Platt? In this world, how can anyone know? We don’t know. Does he know? We can’t figure anyone out. Everyone is hidden behind secrecy. Goals and agendas and personas fluctuate. Who is the person behind the persona?

    Who and what is McLean now? We’re all guessing and trying to read behind the lines. No one really knows.

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  60. elastigirl: who knows. i imagine it would be utterly unbearable for them to allow even a single woman to have freedom and her voice. maybe make an elder stand beside her as her covering…?

    As I’ve commented here before, these guys are scared $#itless of the primal strength and power of women.

    I think that on one level they recognize this, but rather than making women powerful allies, they opt for the stupid path of suppression and control.

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  61. Max: Walk into any LifeWay bookstore and you will find all the popular books by New Calvinist authors.

    I had to do that yesterday because an out of town visitor wanted to get some music. The only systematic theology book they had on display was from Wayne Grudem (the one who keeps pressing his heretical view of the Trinity). They had many fewer books by non-Calvinists since the last time I was there. But I was pleased to find a handful of Platt’s “Radical” on the clearance shelf.

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  62. emily honey: Who *is* David Platt? In this world, how can anyone know? We don’t know. Does he know? We can’t figure anyone out. Everyone is hidden behind secrecy. Goals and agendas and personas fluctuate. Who is the person behind the persona?

    Whole comment was amazing. I think you really put your freedom on the problem.

    If you look at church as a market, then it seems like the consumers are demanding this kind of persona-driven product where we never actually know the people we follow even more. I’ve been jerked out of that slumber, and I hope many more will wake up

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  63. Muff Potter,

    “…these guys are scared $#itless of the primal strength and power of women.

    I think that on one level they recognize this, but rather than making women powerful allies, they opt for the stupid path of suppression and control.’
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    watched Monsters Inc again last night (funnier than ever). the parallels struck me.

    the monsters are scared $#itless of human children because of myth and because they are so ‘other’. yet they need the human children to power their world with their screams.

    but actual interaction and engagement, and by golly human children are not dangerous after all. in fact, they find that the product of a bit of collaboration (leisurely give and take of comedy/audience instead of a controlled and quick scare) generates something even more powerful. success with fun and doses of happiness, too.

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  64. Ken F (aka Tweed): But I was pleased to find a handful of Platt’s “Radical” on the clearance shelf.

    That’s wonderful news!! You can tell when a movement has plateaued if you start seeing once-popular books by religious icons at yard sales. I collect vintage fishing items and frequent all the garage sales and flea markets in my area. I see Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life” all the time for 50-cents. I’m always watching for Piper books cooking in the sun on a driveway table, but haven’t run across many yet. Which means, by my crude “yard sale barometer”, the New Calvinist movement is still on the upswing. The disappointed, disillusioned, and deceived will unload them when it’s time.

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  65. Lydia: They are presenting it now as a “new and improved” SBC you can be proud to be a part of. So if we, the leaders, say they are good, then they are good.

    Nope. That’s not how it works. Saying is not doing. But the leaders (and most lay people) don’t seem to understand the simple logic of this concept.

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  66. Lydia: It’s been one big deception op

    Too bad that about 16 million other Southern Baptists can’t see what you and I see, Lydia. But once you see it, you can’t un-see it. Once it’s in your knower, you can’t un-know it. We wouldn’t have to come up with all these conspiracy theories if the New Calvinists would stop giving us so much evidence to support the hypothesis!

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  67. Max: A glimpse of Platt’s preaching style: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPhEEzjU8xQ&t=50s

    Good luck McLean.

    Thanks Max, I haven’t listened to much of Platt. He has that same breathless, earnest, imploring tone as Paul Washer, that same sense of always being on the edge of tears. I don’t understand how people are drawn to this style of delivery. By the thousands, apparently.

    emily honey has a great point, that we don’t know the real David Platt, and maybe David doesn’t either. These guys can be seen as victims of their own success, trapped in the persona they created.

    Still, I’m also sad for the people of McLean Bible. When you’ve spent tons of time and money on a church, and it’s part of your identity and the center of your social connections, it’s hard to admit that a bunch of guys have changed “your” church completely, without any input from you. It’s hard to realize that you are just a “giving unit” and free volunteer labor.

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  68. GSD [Getting Stuff Done]: Still, I’m also sad for the people of McLean Bible. When you’ve spent tons of time and money on a church, and it’s part of your identity and the center of your social connections, it’s hard to admit that a bunch of guys have changed “your” church completely, without any input from you

    This is what bothers me so much about these stealth takeovers. There is nothing Christ-like about it.

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  69. GSD [Getting Stuff Done]: When you’ve spent tons of time and money on a church, and it’s part of your identity and the center of your social connections, it’s hard to admit that a bunch of guys have changed “your” church completely, without any input from you.

    This is happening all across the SBC landscape as the New Calvinists take over one traditional (non-Calvinist) church after another. In many cases, the new reformers lie their way into a pulpit, silence long-established members by replacing congregational polity with elder rule, split the church – scatter the flock, and gather in the church and its resources which the old members labored to finance over a number of years. God is not pleased and the deceivers will eventually reap what they sow, more than they sow, later than they sow.

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  70. Pastor Under Fire for Purging Members Who Attend Church Poorly

    https://www.christianpost.com/news/pastor-under-fire-purging-members-who-attend-church-poorly-cave-city-baptist-226185/

    Snippets:
    by Leonard Blair

    …Cave City Baptist Senior Pastor Ryan Broers told WBKO he was trying to send the delinquent members of his church a “wake-up call” when he sent them delisting letters this week.

    …Some critics of the delisting noted online that elderly people who were unable to attend church were also sent letters.

    …Since the members went public with their grouse over being delisted, the church has suspended its social media accounts and several calls for comment went unanswered.

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  71. Daisy: Cave City Baptist Senior Pastor Ryan Broers told WBKO he was trying to send the delinquent members of his church a “wake-up call” when he sent them delisting letters this week

    Perhaps those members weren’t coming to church because of Pastor Ryan … he sounds like a scary autocrat! With all this talk about disciplining your congregation to get them in line, I guess he thought he should get in on it. I wonder if he visited their homes or gave them a call before he mailed out his missive to chastise them one last time? I suspect he will be getting a “wake-up call” from across cyberspace in the days ahead. He will probably also be shunned by the ex-members when he goes to the grocery store.

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  72. Deb,

    Pastor Broers’ Facebook page indicates that he is a graduate of Boyce College with a BA in Biblical Studies/Counseling. Boyce is affiliated with Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I hate to keep bringing up the SBTS/Calvinist connection with some of these bad actors, but …

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  73. Max: Pastor Broers’ Facebook page indicates that he is a graduate of Boyce College

    Just thinking out loud here … I wonder if Cave City Baptist was a non-Calvinist congregation before Pastor Broers took the pulpit? If so, that might explain why some of those members opted to stop coming to church. (folks who attend Boyce College lean Calvinistic)

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  74. Two paragraphs removed. Incorrect info about Cave City Baptist. 😉

    I feel bad for the people of McLean Baptist because we’ve been through the process of realizing that we were in a different church than the one we joined… a couple of times.

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  75. GSD [Getting Stuff Done]: I feel bad for the people of McLean Baptist because we’ve been through the process of realizing that we were in a different church than the one we joined… a couple of times.

    That’s why I left the SBC after 60+ years … it’s a different denomination than the one I joined.

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  76. So I watched the clip on YouTube with Platt talking about sharing the “watered down” gospel. I do not think I disagree with him…. but the whiny, drawn out way of saying it makes me want to throw my iPad across the room. If he delivered the same sentiment with a more “fire and brimstone” style, it would resonate better. It can be said in one third the time. He sounds like he is trying to make them feel guilty if their hearts are not breaking like his. “Look at how Godly I am”.

    I do not know anything about him, but I agree with what everyone is saying here about the crying. I also dislike the clapping for a message…. like it was a performance.

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  77. George: So I watched the clip on YouTube with Platt talking about sharing the “watered down” gospel. I do not think I disagree with him….

    There is no doubt that there are church members who responded to an invitation, walked an aisle, knelt at an altar, prayed a sinner’s prayer, and accepted Jesus into their heart … who have never really had a personal encounter with the Living Christ.

    On the other hand, there are church members who responded to an invitation, walked an aisle, knelt at an altar, prayed a sinner’s prayer, and accepted Jesus into their heart … who experienced the real deal and have grown in their personal relationship with Christ.

    In every church, there is a counterfeit gathered with the genuine. Whether they consider themselves “saved” or “elected”, some are not really part of the Body of Christ … church members, but not members of the Kingdom of God. If you’ve really met the Savior, you know it. The essence of Christianity cannot be found in doctrines about grace, but in a life-changing touch of Grace.

    Platt’s mistake is to discredit the sinner’s prayer and accepting Jesus as superstitious acts. Some folks have genuinely found the Savior after hearing a whosoever-will-may-come plea to receive Christ. Just because his theology won’t allow him accept that, doesn’t mean it’s not so. This new generation of preacher boys would do well to preach the Gospel rather than debating the jots and tittles of theology. Souls are at stake.

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  78. Deb: If Platt’s message at T4G2018 is any indication of what lies in store for McLean Bible Church, I am greatly concerned for them.

    He may preach the house empty.

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  79. Hi Max! I think your comments are very wise. The gospel is simple, and I love to tell people that I “accepted Christ”. Some people get saved when they hear the message and make a “decision”, and others are not sure when it happened. Care and discipleship is key as a guard against false assurance… just my two cents.

    When it comes to false assurance, I heard a great quote once about the great deceiver: “Satan wants unsaved people to think that they are saved, and saved people to think that they are not”. That quote changed my life and how I think about teaching and caring for people.

    May we all show people Christ’s love regardless of our theological camp. If we cannot do that, God help us.

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  80. Max: Good luck McLean.

    I couldn’t endure much more than 45 seconds of Platt’s preaching.
    What makes people want to listen to this kind of spiritual sadism?
    Do they enjoy being told they’re worthless and not living up to what God expects of them?

    Do they lack, and are they so bereft of any joy in their lives that they feel they must somehow placate a god who is much like a mean kid with an ant farm, a magnifying glass, and strong sunlight?

    It is my fervent hope that through the efforts of TWW and others, more and more people will find the courage to love themselves and get free of these despots who peddle a fear-based religion.

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  81. Max: That’s wonderful news!!You can tell when a movement has plateaued if you start seeing once-popular books by religious icons at yard sales.I collect vintage fishing items and frequent all the garage sales and flea markets in my area.I see Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life” all the time for 50-cents.I’m always watching for Piper books cooking in the sun on a driveway table, but haven’t run across many yet.Which means, by my crude “yard sale barometer”, the New Calvinist movement is still on the upswing.The disappointed, disillusioned, and deceived will unload them when it’s time.

    …unless they recycle or burn them.

    We’re getting ready for a yard sale, but the remnant of neo-cal books that we hadn’t already trashed won’t be on offer. Most of them went into the recycle bin, and a few choice bits (like “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”, some Piper and some R. C. Sproul) were rescued from the bin by family members planning a burn pile.

    I’m not a fan of book burning, but some members of the family are exorcising bad memories…

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  82. George: “Satan wants unsaved people to think that they are saved, and saved people to think that they are not”.

    Good quote. Are we being groomed (for a leadership motive) or discipled (for Jesus) in our church engagement? Maybe that’s why some are Done.

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  83. emily honey: Who *is* David Platt? In this world, how can anyone know? We don’t know. Does he know? We can’t figure anyone out. Everyone is hidden behind secrecy. Goals and agendas and personas fluctuate. Who is the person behind the persona?

    What’s really funny is I’ve never heard of the guy until this blog. How much influence do they really have?

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  84. Jack,

    It’s a small world, but it feels big and all-encompassing to those inside it. There is often total enmeshment and codependency amongst the people in it. So if you have influence, you really have influence. And you’re often influencing because you are a voice for an approved idea, so it’s also just as much about the idea that’s influencing everyone and keeping everyone in line.

    To move the wrong way about a certain thing or to significantly disagree with a major idea or person can often mean the bubble and all of your support system and source of identity suddenly goes “Pop!” And it’s all gone. So it kind of feels like everyone is holding their breath all the time.

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  85. refugee: We’re getting ready for a yard sale, but the remnant of neo-cal books that we hadn’t already trashed won’t be on offer. Most of them went into the recycle bin …

    That would be the right-minded, principled, and honorable thing to do … to prevent further influence by the new reformers in your community.

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  86. Jack: What’s really funny is I’ve never heard of the guy until this blog. How much influence do they really have?

    Within the New Calvinist movement, LOTS! Platt is considered a key leader in the new reformation. He is a a key speaker at YRR gatherings around the country. Thousands of YRR count him as a primary influencer – his book “Radical” was their first taste of reformed theology and launched them as followers of the movement.

    Within SBC, Platt had enough influence and power as director of the denomination’s International Mission Board to recall 1,000+ veteran foreign missionaries (predominantly non-Calvinists). He cited a funding shortage, but SBC found enough money during the same period to plant 1000+ new churches per year in North America (primarily staffed by New Calvinists). That influence at a once-great evangelistic denomination is startling.

    Yep, Platt has a lot of influence. Multiple thousands have fallen for it. Time will tell if the members of MBC will succumb to his charm.

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  87. Max,

    I don’t know. I have mixed thoughts. Just yesterday the g’kids went with the other g’parents to a fairly large and affluent moderate local baptist church where previously that whole bunch were, and for a time where I was during my looking-for-something-better years. In other words, I have some first hand experience with it as well as some family experience of how other people experience it. You did hear me say ‘moderate’ of course. And it is very close to how I grew up. In other words-been there.

    You keep saying how clueless the SBC congregants are. Well this church is a typical Sunday morning country club association for the middle middle class white population who call themselves ‘born again’ but who are just not interested in much actual ‘religion’ beyond born again on the one hand and the social aspects on the other hand, and of course giving money to missions. So there some folks are: walk the aisle, get wet, give money; what else could one even want?

    Is neo-cal really any worse than this? At least the neo-cals have a belief set, ideas about life style/behavior, an attitude that what one believes is important, and a theological stance which is at least a starting point. Now I disagree with most of their theology, but the issue is which is worse, something which is basically no theology or some badly flawed theology.

    IMO neither position is a good position. But calling oneself ‘born again’ which often only means that the person made some ‘profession of faith’ at age 9 or so and was baptized by immersion and claims eternal security based on that while all the while being clueless (if you are correct about that), that is just fair to middling pitiful. Based on my own first hand experience with that style of religious practice and based on my observation of people who think like that, I am of the opinion that this is just not good enough. It is not wrong; it just leaves out a lot. Maybe even calvinism is better if it comes down to just those two options.

    Maybe some of the people in some of these churches are more than glad for the neo-cals to come in and change things. Maybe that is partly why the neo-cals are effective in getting it done.

    Like I said, I have mixed ideas about this.

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  88. okrapod: I have mixed thoughts.

    Me too, okrapod. You have never heard me defending the business-as-usual Southern Baptist life. My concerns have always been focused on what I believe to be aberrant theology in the message and method of the New Calvinists. There was a lot wrong with the Southern Baptist Convention before the New Calvinists showed up. The “religion” of the average Southern Baptist is more social than spiritual, but for all their faults they have been the keepers of a whosoever-will-may-come message that genuinely brought millions to Christ for the last 150 years. Certainly, there have been false conversions – that occurs in every expression of faith. And the average SBC church has never been very good at discipling believers – they come into the family of God but never seem to grow in their faith or be equipped as effective saints in a lost world. So, you see, I have mixed feelings as well about the denomination I spent 60+ years in (I’m a “Done” now). I pray for a genuine revival and spiritual awakening in America to purge the church from that which is off-track – I think things are going to have to get a lot more desperate in the nation for that to happen.

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  89. Max: My concerns have always been focused on what I believe to be aberrant theology in the message and method of the New Calvinists.

    Beware of focusing so much on “aberrant theology” to where you miss abusive behavior towards their people. Seventies-era “Christian Anti-CULT Ministries” made that mistake – tunnel-visioning on parsing theology letter-by-letter – to where they completely ignored the abuse If Their Theology Was Correct. And the fallout of that was terrible.

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  90. Jack: What’s really funny is I’ve never heard of the guy until this blog. How much influence do they really have?

    Definitely a LOT in their own mind.

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  91. Muff Potter: Do they lack, and are they so bereft of any joy in their lives that they feel they must somehow placate a god who is much like a mean kid with an ant farm, a magnifying glass, and strong sunlight?

    Maybe the Dynamic is “God is Just Like Me, so That Makes Me OK”?

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  92. okrapod,

    “Now I disagree with most of their theology, but the issue is which is worse, something which is basically no theology or some badly flawed theology.

    IMO neither position is a good position”

    I am trying to figure out how “no theology” works in a church. Even still, my non peer reviewed experience at YRR ground zero over the last 20 years saw more athiest come out of the neo Cal movement than anywhere else. One was the wife of a neo Cal professor! Another a pastor who was a rabid internet apologist for Calvin. This is all been a new experience for me. in my Baptist upbringing we saw many a backslider, as they were called, more than welcomed back -no questions asked. We didn’t see a whole lot of: “I hate God now” types. We were pretty loosey-goosey when it came to theology. A position I now agree with as a focus on the very basics. I think how we behave as Believers is much more important.

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  93. GSD [Getting Stuff Done]: These guys can be seen as victims of their own success, trapped in the persona they created.

    That 1943 OSS psych profile reprint on my shelves said pretty much the same about a certain Adolf Hitler.

    That this slacker loser created the “Invincible Hypermasculine Fuehrer” persona when he first got involved in politics after WW1, and that persona took him over. In the words of the prologue to Fellowship of the Ring re Gollum, “It CONSUMED him”. And went on to consume an entire continent.

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  94. George,

    It’s a shitck. A performance. A brand. How do I know? The mega church world behind the curtain taught me what to look for.

    It’s worked so well it’s who he is now.

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  95. Lydia: I am trying to figure out how “no theology” works in a church.

    Remember the phrase “Not deciding is making a decision”?
    Well, “No Theology” is a theology. A theology of Nothing.

    Even still, my non peer reviewed experience at YRR ground zero over the last 20 years saw more athiest come out of the neo Cal movement than anywhere else. One was the wife of a neo Cal professor! Another a pastor who was a rabid internet apologist for Calvin.

    Burnout, flip 180, go to the opposite extreme with the same Fanatical Zeal.

    Communism begets Objectivism.

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  96. emily honey,

    “Instead of rest and freedom, there’s posturing and lots of fear underneath every social interaction. Everyone is up for a sudden discard at any moment, even David Platt. ”

    This is why we would often see articles on SBCVoices why the pastor should not be friends with the Pew sitters. Instead, the pastor is surrounded by his small group of Elders who tend to be yes men or even controllers. The pastor sets himself up as the guru whose stage personality is supposed to communicate who he really is. It’s a sad pretend life disconnected from reality. Then they preach messages on how we should live day to day. But they lack real experience in such for years. Uncanny that we buy into that so easily.

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  97. I’m a former member of McLean, and frankly, one who left because McLean was NOT calvinist — when I left around 2004, they’d recently fired one of the young adult pastors who taught Calvinism, though that wasn’t the stated reason (but everyone knew it was!). McLean — which was founded as a church plant from 4th Presbyterian Church of Bethesda, MD, was decidedly dispensational and seeker-sensitive. Lon preached through the Bible in one sense, but really just used a text to launch into a sermon that may or may not have been in the text. But there were a lot of Young Restless Reformed types who hung around, because if you were single, McLean was the place to be for fellowship. Worship leaders were all heavily influenced by Passion, and therefore by Piper. As the older pastors began to retire or move on, the younger associate pastors they hired were all raised on Passion and john Piper.

    Lon himself began reading and studying MacArthur and Piper and his views on Calvinism softened. As Lon approached plans for retirement he was looking for his replacement. David Platt’s theology would not have scared Lon or the board of elders (congregationally elected) away at all by this point. In fact most of the current pastors would support Calvinist theology even if they may shy away from the label. For example, the current McLean Lead Campus pastor, who was when I left the church’s lay youth pastor, was and is a Calvinist. As Lon planned his retirement, this lead campus pastor reached out to Platt who was living an hour away in Richmond, to consider filling in while they did a full pastoral search. I suspect (though don’t have first hand knowledge of this unlike everything else I’ve written) that the church elders became SBC in order to make way for Platt to become the new pastor for preaching at MBC when it was clear there was mutual interest.

    Unlike most here, I rejoice that MBC has a reformedish pastor preaching there. I don’t know anyone who knows Platt who would begin to suggest his tears are fake or staged in anyway. Like it or not, everything I’ve seen and heard from people who know him up close is that he is the same passionate man in every setting. His pleading for sinners to repent is genuine, his love for Christ authentic, and his tears are real even if they may be offputting to some.

    I get the skepticism, I really do. But not every Calvinist is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I’d suggest most are not. I won’t bother debating the doctrinal disagreements. But I will say that most of us younger evangelicals who were drawn to Calvinism out of SBC-type churches came to these beliefs not because we were charmed or deceived, but because we were turned off by the weak preaching that flowed from churches following the WIllow Creek Model. The Bible-as-launching-pad-for-my-own-self-help-thoughts kind of sermon that Hybels and Warren perfected left us hungry. We found in Piper, Sproul, MacArthur, Carson, Keller, etc a fierce commitment to preaching the text in its context. God’s Word spoke to us without the fluff from the seeker nonsense. We were challenged not to live our best lives now, but to live for something, Someone, deeper and greater whom we found in the Scriptures. I suspect that MBC members are finding the same thing from Platt now, and it’s why McLean is once again growing, not shrinking. More than that, McLean from what I understand, is sending out more missionaries than ever to places around the globe where Christ has not been named. I’d hope that’s something all of us can rejoice in.

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  98. Lydia:
    Dee Parsons,
    I agree! My working hypothesis is there was some sort of a Coup d’Etat.

    I’ve wondered that, too. i attended MBC for a bit in the 90s/early 2000s. The teaching didnt seem at all calvinist.

    I had a college friend there (male), who checked all the right boxes for the inner circle at that time. He’s polished, intelligent, charismatic, etc…, so he was taken in by the leadership for extra mentoring.

    From things he said as well as what I observed, it seemed like LS had to walk a fine line between the longtime, non-Calvinist members and some wealthy and prominent Calvinista types who were just starting to become pushy and vocal.

    I don’t know if he was a member (not all joined but plenty of conservative politicos floated through there) but I seem to recall Howard Phillips being active there, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a role in the direction of the church. I know H Phillips more for his politics than his theology, but I am aware that he is the father of Doug Phillips of Vision Forum fame/infamy. He’s also father of Brad Phillips of Persecution Project, a nonprofit beloved in Calvinista circles where I’ve traveled.

    As an unrelated side note, does anyone know what Persecution Project actually DOES? I’ve searched their website but it’s a little vague. Especially considering the amount of cash that seems to flow their way.

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  99. linda: Max, you need to be the next SBC president!

    It wouldn’t work – I never learned how to compromise! Besides, I’m no longer an SBC member. I left the denomination recently after 60+ years. Folks like me don’t fit there anymore, to which the New Calvinists shout “Great news!.” However, I will continue to make input as the denomination trends toward Calvinism, until it’s clear that no one is listening to the warnings I offer.

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  100. Jack: What’s really funny is I’ve never heard of the guy until this blog. How much influence do they really have?

    That’s because most of the stuff here at TWW is oriented for what goes on below the Mason-Dixon line here in the states. You’re in Canada right?

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  101. Longtime Lurker: From things he said as well as what I observed, it seemed like LS had to walk a fine line between the longtime, non-Calvinist members and some wealthy and prominent Calvinista types who were just starting to become pushy and vocal.

    Looks like the wealthy, prominent, pushy and vocal are steering the boat at MBC … but that’s fairly common in the organized church in America. It’s amazing how many churches are run by a handful of members who don’t have a spiritual bone in their bodies. Combine that with a movement which is theo-political and deceptive and you have trouble on your hands.

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  102. Longtime Lurker: the longtime, non-Calvinist members and some wealthy and prominent Calvinista types who were just starting to become pushy and vocal

    I have a feeling this ain’t going to end well for longtime MBC members. Where this has happened in the SBC, older members who financed the church over the years were forced out and the New Calvinists took their stuff.

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  103. JW,

    Lol. I have been amused watching so many YRR churches adopt seeker methods and marketing they used to claim were unchristian. (Shhhh…it’s about money coming in)

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  104. JW: The Bible-as-launching-pad-for-my-own-self-help-thoughts kind of sermon that Hybels and Warren perfected left us hungry. We found in Piper, Sproul, MacArthur, Carson, Keller, etc a fierce commitment to preaching the text in its context. God’s Word spoke to us without the fluff from the seeker nonsense.

    This is a false dichotomy in terms of historical Christianity. I would be less bothered by these New-Calvinists if they were more humble about their particular interpretations. But they are not. They teach New-Calvinism as if there are no other viable options. My own personal contact with with New-Calvinism led me to investigate church history. Even though I’ve barely begun to scratch the surface, I am finding New-Calvinism to be quite a departure from historical Christianity. I’ll go so far to say that if the New-Calvinists are correct it means true Christianity is only a few hundred years old. The only ancient church father consistently cited by New-Calvinists is Augustine, and he had some problems with both his character and his theology. They mostly ignore the rich resources written by so many other Christians from the first 1000 years of Christianity. It’s quite a shame that they don’t open their aperture wider. I suppose if they did they would find they are actually on a small side branch of historical Christianity, and that could be too great a loss for them.

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  105. Lydia: I have been amused watching so many YRR churches adopt seeker methods and marketing they used to claim were unchristian.

    Yeah, for folks who assert that they are orthodox, the sole-keepers of truth, and the purest strain of religion … they borrow a lot of stuff from those they accuse of being unorthodox heathens.

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  106. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    Ken, if you were chosen before the foundation of the world, you, more than likely would struggle to be humble too.

    If you really track what piper says, he is like Augustine, all over the map. Just about every theological debate from around the 6th century, both sides claimed Augustine was on their side. To say that his (Augustine/Piper) theology has evolved, would be akin to saying Donald Trump is just a building contractor….

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  107. JW,

    JW – thank you for your insider’s perspective on developments at MBC. It helps us to better understand how a once non-Calvinist congregation has merged into the New Calvinist movement.

    As a 60+ year Southern Baptist, I have known SBC churches which were characterized by “weak preaching that flowed from churches following the Willow Creek Model.” I’ve also known many more which preached the Gospel with a passion to reach souls for Christ in their communities, without seeker-friendly gimmicks. I’m sorry that you weren’t around to witness that.

    Some of us old-timer Southern Baptists have been concerned about the stealth and deception that has been used to Calvinize a once-great soul-winning denomination. Prior to the New Calvinist movement, 45,000+ churches with 16 million members united behind a whosoever-will-may-come message to reach lost souls around the world (minus the seeker-friendly in the mix). Some of us older Southern Baptists (well, I used to be one) have been concerned that the YRR prefer to think the essence of Christianity are doctrinal propositions about grace rather than a direct experience of Grace, an encounter with the living Christ. Folks like Platt seem to have a mistrust of personal Christian experience.

    As for the New Calvinists “preaching the text in its context”, it’s clear that a certain amount of eisegesis is involved based on the tenets of reformed theology rather than proper exegesis based on the whole of Scripture. (A point that Calvinists and non-Calvinists have been arguing for the last 500 years, so won’t do any good to jump into it here). However, I think it is important to note that 90+% of Christendom has rejected reformed theology as an expression of faith. Within New Calvinism, there is an over-emphasis on the writings of Paul, at the expense of the Gospels. In my interactions with YRR converts in my area, I counsel them “If you read Paul first, you might read Jesus wrong. But if you read Jesus first, the writings of Paul come into perspective.” I then suggest that they put their new-found fascination with Piper, etc. on hold for a few weeks and read the Gospels themselves, focusing on the words in red. Some have taken that advice and walked away from the movement; others just smiled and walked away from me.

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  108. Ken F (aka Tweed): They teach New-Calvinism as if there are no other viable options.

    “There just are not options out there, and that is something that I think frustrates some people, but when I’m asked about the New Calvinism, I’m going to say basically, Where else are they going to go? … This is a generation that understands that they want to say the same thing that Paul said. They want to stand with the Apostles. They want to stand with old dead people. And, they know they are going to have to if they are going to preach and teach the truth.” (Al Mohler)

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  109. Glimpses into the effort to absorb churches and denominations of other traditions into the SBC:

    2015 mention of a ‘recruit existing churches’ stategy for reversing the SBC’s sharp decline:

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

    “Recruiting existing churches to cooperate with the Southern Baptist Convention is among the components of convention president Ronnie Floyd’s strategy”

    “Some of these like-minded churches are nondenominational and others may be a part of a denomination…Southern Baptists should adopt a cumulative approach to growing and strengthening the convention that includes…church recruiting…church recruiting represents a significant opportunity for denominational growth”

    [Not long afterward, it was revealed that the churches of C.J. Mahaney (of the Sovereign Grace Ministries network) and James MacDonald (of the Harvest Bible Fellowship network) were suddenly Southern Baptist too]

    Get this:

    https://sbcvoices.com/what-should-we-think-about-pastor-platt/#comment-353004

    James Forbis: “regarding the Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville…I also personally hand delivered the first of many CP offerings to the Executive Committee in Nashville while on a business trip there…as I stated in the previous comment I was specifically sent to SGCL to help them make the transition to dual alignment with the SBC. I was under the direction of then president Ronnie Floyd”

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  110. Daisy: Pastor Under Fire for Purging Members Who Attend Church Poorly

    https://www.christianpost.com/news/pastor-under-fire-purging-members-who-attend-church-poorly-cave-city-baptist-226185/

    Snippets:
    by Leonard Blair

    …Cave City Baptist Senior Pastor Ryan Broers told WBKO he was trying to send the delinquent members of his church a “wake-up call” when he sent them delisting letters this week.

    …Some critics of the delisting noted online that elderly people who were unable to attend church were also sent letters.

    …Since the members went public with their grouse over being delisted, the church has suspended its social media accounts and several calls for comment went unanswered.

    You have got to be kidding me. I know, I know, it is becoming all too common. But I hope that people are waking up! Wouldn’t it be great if that congregation threw the bum out? Although they have probably already given control of the church to the ‘ruling’ elders, without the church members fully understanding what that means. I would encourage anyone to leave the minute any church starts talking ‘ruling’ anything. Why don’t churches have ‘serving’ elders, who are at the beck and call of the members, meeting their needs?

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  111. JW: As the older pastors began to retire or move on, the younger associate pastors they hired were all raised on Passion and john Piper.

    Thanks for the inside perspective, JW. It sounds as if the Neo-Cal transition was gradual, and reflected Lon’s personal shift of theology. Was the average member in the pew aware of this process? Are any of them surprised to find that they are suddenly members of a neo-Calvinist Baptist church? That’s my main concern, having been in a couple of very similar situations.

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  112. GSD [Getting Stuff Done]: It sounds as if the Neo-Cal transition was gradual, and reflected Lon’s personal shift of theology.

    There is a Calvinist group within SBC – they call themselves the Founders Ministry – who produced a book several years ago called “The Quiet Revolution.” In it, they advised Calvinistic-leaning pastors who led primarily non-Calvinist congregations to transition them into Calvinist belief and practice by gradual indoctrination. Perhaps Pastor Lon read that book.

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  113. truthseeker00: You can see his glazed, listening look, and his pause between each phrase. I wonder who writes these guys’ scripts?

    I saw that too. He looks to me like he’s had a few too many but can still keep from slurring his words. He wouldn’t be the first preacher to mount the pulpit drunk. (mod.ed.)

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  114. truthseeker00,

    Looked at the video a bit. The scam is not “Accept Jesus into your heart”.

    Luke 9 and Matthew 16: “Take up your cross and follow me,” Jesus said. Wow.

    The scam is in dickering over wording regarding salvation and Eternity. The Pharisees, scribes, Sadducees, Great Sanhedrin, High Priests or Levites – all did this with Jesus himself. Word plays and mind traps because they knew their authority was threatened by Jesus who was the authority, God’s Son.

    Word players and mind trappers are playing with fire. We’ve seen these scammers before. Not pretty for them. Jesus triumphs.

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  115. JW:
    I don’t know anyone who knows Platt who would begin to suggest his tears are fake or staged in anyway. Like it or not, everything I’ve seen and heard from people who know him up close is that he is the same passionate man in every setting.

    Being passionate about something does not make one automatically correct. I’ve studied the Bible in context for the past almost 50 years and, except for TULIP point number five, have come to the exact opposite conclusion from David Platt and the Calvinists.

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  116. JW,

    You can be sincere and yet be sincerely wrong.
    Personally, I find David Platt’s weepy preaching style slightly embarrassing – but then I am British. A bit of a stiff upper lip needed there. But Mohler’s ‘rugged’ arrogance is equally offensive….

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  117. Max, I appreciate your reply. Without getting into a debate that has probably been had a hundred times here, I make no distinction between the words of Jesus and the words of Paul. If all the Scriptures are breathed out by God, they are all red letter, they all cohere, and the clearest parts of the text help to interpret the less clear (that last part is the doctrine of the analogy of Scripture, a foundational piece of Reformation-era theology that hopefully all evangelicals can agree on, Calvinist or not). The same Spirit who inspired the composition of the gospels, recording the words of Jesus, is the same Spirit who inspired Paul, Peter, and the other apostolic authors of the NT. But to your point, it was Jesus’ own words in the gospel of John which convinced me the plainest reading of Paul in Romans 9 and Ephesians 2 was perfectly in step with what Jesus taught about the nature of election and grace.

    But to your point about the SBC of old, I will say that I was raised in such an SBC church in the south, a large congregation where the gospel was clear, the Bible was preached, and evangelism was prioritized. But while there were people genuinely coming to know the Lord because of those things, the church was full of a lot of Sunday Christians. It was an inch deep. And so while the church was full of baby boomers and their children like me, those children were active in the youth group — until they graduated. I’d say maybe 20% of the youth group were genuinely converted. Because this church like most of those SBC churches of old taught a gospel of conversionism (walk the aisle and say the magic prayer for your hell insurance). Once saved always saved, not because your salvation was rooted in God’s eternal decree, but because you’d been lucky or smart enough to say the magic prayer. Every kid in the youth group had said that prayer in tears at least 10 times by the time they graduated. But it meant nothing to most of them outside of youth camp.

    And so for me (like I think for Lon Solomon), MacArthur was our gateway drug to Calvinism. The Gospel According to Jesus was a sharp, biblically saturated rebuke to what I grew up on.

    The SBC that you are heralding is one that had a lot of baptisms and a lot of members…but not nearly as much lasting fruit. What you guys call the New Calvinism (what we call old school, historical Baptist theology) certainly isn’t perfect, and there will always be tares in the wheat, but the goal is seeing people genuinely brought into saving relationship with Christ through faithfully preaching the Word. We genuinely believe that the doctrines of grace taught by Spurgeon and Whitefield and Calvin and Piper are what Jesus and Paul taught, and are part of what the lost world needs to hear from faithful churches, so that they can escape the judgment that will come to all who reject Christ. I know without a doubt that is what John piper and David Platt and Lon Solomon are most passionate about. Not power, or influence, and certainly not money. I’d just plead with you all to be careful how you judge, brothers and sisters.

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  118. Bill,

    I’m not saying it makes him correct, Bill, just that people here seem to be universally declaring him a fraud. He very well could be wrong. You could too. But to call the man a fraud citing only his tears as evidence is terribly judgemental.

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  119. Jerome,

    Your research acumen always astounds me. Would love to question Mr. Forbis on the logistics surrounding his comment.

    1. Did he flee to Louisville with CJ and then hired by KBC or did he work at KBC and was dispatched to attend SGL like others? (I know another long-term employee of KBC who was told he had to leave his long time SBC church because it was not SBC enough.) And church planting for SGL- with NAMB money?

    2. it is truly amazing the lengths Al Mohler and co. went to to prop up and legitimize the SGM pedophile ring leader, CJ Mahaney. But no well timed and coordinated political hits to bring Mohler down. Strange that. It’s just kids?

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  120. Lydia,

    That wasn’t a major scam, and I don’t know how much Platt had to do with the marketing. i understand why Todd felt like the danger was exaggerated, but I think it’s pretty easy to justify saying that Christians’ lives are in danger in a Muslim majority nation, even when there are governmental protections. If you don’t think there are radicals who are incensed by the presence of a church in Dubai with the nerve to broadcast around the world, you don’t know a thing about radical Islam. Just because the church made known the location of the event doesn’t mean that making that church’s existence known to the broader world of radical Islam which surrounded it would not have been wise. I know a lot of missionaries who will talk about their location freely in some settings be much more circumspect on widely-announcing their ministry location in blast emails. That seems to me to be the exact thing Platt was doing in calling it an undisclosed location. Hardly qualifies as a scam to me.

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  121. JW,

    Well you certainly didn’t convince me since there are Christian Church buildings in Dubai. And Dubai has long been an R&R stop over for missionaries in my family traveling home from Afghanistan since the war started.

    But I bet Platt was scared while there. So that part is probably true. (wink)

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  122. JW,

    The context surrounding the situation in Dubai was trying to give Platt some credibility as a new IMB president. You see, a point of contention for a lot of people was that Platt’s church was never involved in the CP.

    Platt even made the comment after being appointed that he “now sees the beauty of the Cooperative Program”. He didn’t even understand how it works! it became obvious he was chosen for his popularity with the young restless and reformed. A figurehead appointment. his appointment did not sit well with a lot of people and he needed instant credibility as a brave missionary to dangerous places like the Dubai Marriott. Lol.

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  123. Lydia,

    I guess that’s one way to look at it, very skeptically, and I get why you are skeptical. But my appeal to you is to ask how confident you can be of his motives? And if you aren’t 100% confident, does it not bother you that you might be maligning a godly man unfairly? I’m not saying “believe the best” — I’m just saying be kind and treat others the way you would want to be treated, at least until there is pretty incontrovertible evidence to the contrary.

    Yes Dubai is the safest place in the ME for believers. But to say it’s so safe Christians have nothing to worry about is the opposite of what I’ve heard from my IMB friends who served in the Middle East.

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  124. JW,

    I don’t do “motives”. I do words and actions. Will you now tell me Platt is not responsible for his words or actions? Basically, all you have done is positioned Platt to come off as naive, totally inexperienced and lacking in wisdom -celebrity empty jeans and flannel shirt.

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  125. JW,

    ” And if you aren’t 100% confident, does it not bother you that you might be maligning a godly man unfairly? I’m not saying “believe the best” — I’m just saying be kind and treat others the way you would want to be treated, at least until there is pretty incontrovertible evidence to the contrary”

    1. I don’t do the “godly man” shitck. He is a celebrity Christian. I am not a celebrity Christian who makes a good living off Jesus. If I were, I would be cognizant of the fact that I am open game since I chose to jump up and down begging people to look at me, buy my books to tell you how to live and believe and give me money.

    2. Nice try on the guilt and admonition. Yes, I am “mean’ when it comes to celebrity Christians paid well to be celebrity stage Christians. I suggest they put their big boy pants on and take unvetted questions from the peasants. Lol. But they are too busy being deceptive and maintaining their stage personality.

    3. You ARE saying “believe the best” because you brought in “motives”. Which ironically was the mantra of seeker leaders. I know the game cold. I used to consult for megachurches until I got saved and seriously looked into metanoia. I know how the celebrity rise and circuit works. A lot like the Pharisees. And it is hilarious to me you don’t see the connections between the seekers and the calvinists. Method. Gotta keep the money flowing!

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  126. Lydia,

    I think you did, unintentionally perhaps, do motives. You interpret his words and actions through the lens of what you seem to believe is motivating his words and actions, to give himself credibility, and that is alone what guided the claim that it was dangerous and in an undisclosed location. I didn’t say he isn’t responsible for them. I said his words and actions are defensible, unless you start with a preconceived notion that he must be in it for his own self interest. I know several missionaries who have told me they would feel SAFER, but far from SAFE in Dubai. And it is standard procedure for missionaries to disclose the mission location work in some settings while keeping it “undisclosed” in blast emails (ie a broadcast). If those two things are true (and they are), then isn’t it possible that he wasn’t lying at all, that he believed those things on the basis of those facts, and that to assert that he is a self-promoting liar and scammer is to attack his motives? It’s fine for Todd to say he thinks Platt and lifeway exaggerated the danger, but I don’t think it is within the bounds of Christian charity to declare him a liar and scammer without knowledge of why he believed there was danger.

    Does that make sense?

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  127. Lydia,

    1. How do you know it’s a “schtick” and that he’s not actually godly?

    2. I don’t know you, so I don’t know what you believe about Jesus’ command to treat others as you’d want to be treated, regardless of their status in your eyes. But if you’re a Christian, it’s not a nice try. It was a genuine appeal to your love for God, and God’s command on how we treat others. I wasn’t trying to lecture you or anyone…making an honest appeal at what seemed really unkind and unjustified.

    3. I’m not saying believe the best. Scripture doesn’t teach that. I’m saying don’t pronounce judgment on the worst possible motivation until there is real proof beyond conjecture that your understanding of his motives are valid. Scripture DOES teach that.

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  128. JW,

    They used terminology like “undisclosed location” , dangerous, etc. I am going by their words and actions and the context of the circumstances at the time. Perhaps he should try it in Pakistan, Afghanistan or even Yemen. . I get that you feel a need to spin the obvious for Platt. You are free to believe what you want. I just wanted to let you know I am not buying. And that I don’t buy into the godly man and motives shitck. It’s been overdone since the 80’s. My idea of a godly person has changed drastically and isn’t as glamorous or profitable using Jesus.

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  129. Muff Potter: That’s because most of the stuff here at TWW is oriented for what goes on below the Mason-Dixon line here in the states. You’re in Canada right?

    I am Canadian. We have Calvinist churches here but they’re smaller churches on the whole. In my city, the larger churches that you would call ‘megas’ are more charismatic in belief though there are some pretty big mennonite, mainline Baptist & RC churches as well. Go south about an hour and you get more conservative, old order mennonite & hutterites in greater numbers.
    It could be geography or it could be I’m so disconnected from religion that I don’t hear about it any more.

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  130. JW,

    1. How do you know it’s a “schtick” and that he’s not actually godly?

    How do you know he is godly and it isn’t a shitck? My experience in that world is most celebrity Christians end up believing their own PR persona. That comes from practicing it. And they end up insulating themselves with a small group of men and distancing themselves from the peasants. Then the peasants feel honored just to be in their presence. It’s sick.

    2. I don’t know you, so I don’t know what you believe about Jesus’ command to treat others as you’d want to be treated, regardless of their status in your eyes. But if you’re a Christian, it’s not a nice try. It was a genuine appeal to your love for God, and God’s command on how we treat others. I wasn’t trying to lecture you or anyone…making an honest appeal at what seemed really unkind and unjustified.

    Being deceptive is not treating others as one wants to be treated. Running away from “Radical” wasn’t either.

    3. I’m not saying believe the best. Scripture doesn’t teach that. I’m saying don’t pronounce judgment on the worst possible motivation until there is real proof beyond conjecture that your understanding of his motives are valid. Scripture DOES teach that.

    Actually, you ARE saying it because we both know “motives” cannot be proven. It’s the default position:. “Believe the best until you can prove otherwise with “motive” which we both know you can’t”

    Sorry, but I am well versed in that cognitive dissonant world. That’s why you keep beating on “motive”. i will stick with context, circumstances, words and actions as the best indicators of credibility.

    You might want to study up on the CJ Mahaney apologists over the years. They used the exact same arguments to defend him. We could not prove his “motives” were bad so we were falsely accusing him. (Never mind the children victims)

    It’s a dangerous way to think. I will never go back there.

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  131. Lydia: How do you know he is godly and it isn’t a shitck?

    You seem to assume the worst and feel validated simply because he is a well known preacher. I don’t know how you can possibly defend that biblically, but I won’t argue any further about it because it’s clear your mind is set.

    I understand you’ve been burned in the past with the SGM stuff, but I’d only say that I don’t think you are free to ignore the commands in Scripture in how to treat others simply because you had some bad experiences with that in the past.

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  132. Jerome: James Forbis posted at SBCVoices, “I was specifically sent to SGCL to help them make the transition to dual alignment with the SBC. I was under the direction of then president Ronnie Floyd”

    Lydia: “Would love to question Mr. Forbis on the logistics”

    More:

    https://sbcvoices.com/steve-gaines-on-the-cooperative-program/#comment-342101

    James Forbis: “I had been tasked by [Ronnie Floyd] to assist Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville’s transition to become affiliated with the SBC and continue to have dual alignment with the Sovereign Grace Ministries network of churches…Sovereign Grace did give [to the SBC]…I hand-delivered the check to Frank Page while passing through Nashville on my way home for Thanksgiving break in 2014.”

    Elsewhere he says he was a pastoral intern under CJ Mahaney.

    Bio from his blog:

    http://jamesbondservant.blogspot.com/

    “Graduate of the Cross Church School of Ministry [Ronnie Floyd’s church’s Bible institute]
    M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
    Kentucky Baptist Convention: Evangelism & Church Planting associate”

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  133. More insight into this operative in the ‘recruit other churches’ scheme:

    https://www.christianpost.com/news/why-do-many-christians-think-calvinists-are-arrogant-jerks-172084/

    “James Forbis, student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, future church planter”

    “Forbis, 26, hails from Longview, Texas and dreams one day of planting churches in New England. He affirms all of Calvin’s famous five points”

    “Some Calvinists ‘have the reputation, whether it is a factual reputation or not, of coming across as either smug, arrogant, or even angry,’ said James Forbis, a third-year student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky who believes in Reformed Theology. ‘I think the only reason there is that reputation out there is because of a few who kind of ruin the soup'”

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  134. JW: I’d just plead with you all to be careful how you judge, brothers and sisters.

    So let me examine and judge what you have said-not you as a person but what you have said.

    You said that salvation is “rooted in God’s eternal decree” which sounds like you are saying predestination/election according to how calvinists understand that concept. Then you say : “but the goal is seeing people genuinely brought into saving relationship with Christ through faithfully preaching the Word. …. so that they can escape the judgment that will come to all who reject Christ.”

    So which is it? If people are saved through predestination to election by the sovereign will of God totally apart from what said people do or believe, and if grace is irresistible for the elect, then the elect will not come into the judgment regarding their salvation since the elect cannot reject Christ. The only ones who will reject Christ are those predestined to do so, so preaching to them so that they do reject Christ only shows their preordained damnation-to the glory of God(??!!)

    Obviously that is not what I believe, and of course not what the majority of christianity teaches.

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  135. Jerome: Jerome: James Forbis posted at SBCVoices, “I was specifically sent to SGCL to help them make the transition to dual alignment with the SBC. I was under the direction of then president Ronnie Floyd”

    Is “transitioning to dual alignment” anything like “serving two Masters”?

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  136. So, let’s note that the admonition to do unto others as you want others to do to you gets mis-heard sometimes. There is no admonition to do unto others as others want you to do unto them. It is as you want them to do to you.

    So, if you were a wolf preying on the flock would you want people to let you get away with it? Apparently so if you think there is a biblical admonition to be good to wolves when it is the other guy. If you were a sexual predator, a teacher of false doctrine, one driven by greed or lust or power how would you want to be treated? Apparently you would want to get away with it if you think that getting away with it is what scripture commands you to let the other person do.

    The wolves have tried to mislead people in this matter. The they have said ‘forgive’ and ‘do not judge’ in unbiblical scenarios until neither forgive nor judge has any biblical meaning in their eyes. ‘Forgive’ and ‘judge not’ are code words for ‘let me/ let them get away with it’. Scripture has right much to say about wolves and false teachers, but ‘let them get away with it’ is not in scripture.

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  137. okrapod: So which is it? If people are saved through predestination to election by the sovereign will of God totally apart from what said people do or believe, and if grace is irresistible for the elect, then the elect will not come into the judgment regarding their salvation since the elect cannot reject Christ. The only ones who will reject Christ are those predestined to do so, so preaching to them so that they do reject Christ only shows their preordained damnation-to the glory of God(??!!)

    That was one of my biggest objections to Calvinism for many years. But as i read and thought about it, I realized in Scripture it’s both/and, not either or because God uses means. Yes, he ordains all the means that he uses, but he uses preachers and housewives, businessmen and college students, to tell others about the hope they have found. There’s a harvest that will surely come, and my disobedience will not stop it and my obedience will not cause it, but he has ordained to use me! My prayers, my pleadings, to see others whom he foreknew before eternity past respond in faith to the saving call of the gospel.

    Let me ask you this. Why do you pray for anyone to come to faith in Christ? Why do you pray at all?What are you actually asking God to do that he hasn’t already done?

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  138. Lydia: I’m not saying believe the best. Scripture doesn’t teach that. I’m saying don’t pronounce judgment on the worst possible motivation until there is real proof beyond conjecture that your understanding of his motives are valid. Scripture DOES teach that.

    Actually, you ARE saying it because we both know “motives” cannot be proven. It’s the default position:. “Believe the best until you can prove otherwise with “motive” which we both know you can’t”

    Sorry, but I am well versed in that cognitive dissonant world. That’s why you keep beating on “motive”. i will stick with context, circumstances, words and actions as the best indicators of credibility.

    You might want to study up on the CJ Mahaney apologists over the years. They used the exact same arguments to defend him. We could not prove his “motives” were bad so we were falsely accusing him. (Never mind the children victims)

    It’s a dangerous way to think. I will never go back there.

    Still the default mode of my spouse, even after watching the destruction of endless lives and marriages at our former Calvinist Church for over a decade.

    Of course you cannot prove motives, which is why the slick manipulator rarely gets caught. One can always be persuaded that they misunderstood the situation, etc. Yeah, I deceived myself with that stuff for a decade, until I finally figured out that words mean nothing. If you evaluate actions, and results, that pastor was either a deceiver or incredibly ungifted to be a pastor. Except for his gift of gab. Could talk a whale into buying a desert island. Could turn on a dime, and convincingly retract what was said earlier and exposed as faulty or inconsistent. Plausible deniability was his food and drink.

    I too will never again fall for the ‘Always believe the best’, while the bodies pile up in the ditch. ‘Disposable people’, a friend once described them, which is what most people are to manipulative narcissists convinced that they are God’s chosen vessels to usher in the kingdom of God. In other words, they’ve something of a Messiah complex, and God help anyone who stands in their way.

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  139. JW,

    ” Why do you pray at all?What are you actually asking God to do that he hasn’t already done?”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    plenty.

    heal diseases. give wisdom, knowledge & insight to scientists and problem solvers to

    —find cure for parkinsons, alzheimers, cancer, many more;

    —to part the political red sea so the cures can get to those who need them, and to woosh back over and drown immoral commercial interests;

    –to solve problem of hunger;

    ….just getting started, here…

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  140. JW,

    I have not been “personally” burned by SGM stuff. I think victims of pedophile rings deserve understanding and support. And I believe we must warn others of their deeds when justice was not done to all the perps and those who purposely protected the perps. I was appalled the Neo Cal movement and the SBC of Al Mohler and his followers embraced and protected CJ Mahaney of the shepherding cult, “People of Destiny” then SGM. CJ fled to Al Mohlers arms at SBTS with a new church started at my kids school (not long after told to leave) and eventually became SBC. Disgusting.

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  141. back to Cave City. For years I went to SBC FBC of XX in Los Angeles county. 2000 members on the roll but attendance was only 50 people per week. Over the year trillions of people saved and baptized. I remember VBS when 50 kids raised their hands that they loved Jesus. Each were baptized. I am so not Calvinist, but this traditional SBC church was pure fluff. Not to mention that gross sin was tolerated.

    My current SBC church in Colorado has a huge membership but only a fraction in attendance. Most sbc membership list do not reflect a saved regenerate membership. If the rolls were cleaned to reflect actual reality SBC membership would be cut in half.

    I was told that the snow on top of California mountains were Southern Baptist membership records tossed by members when they came to LA. I personally knew many SBC people from the south who now lived in LA but had not been in church for 20 years.

    Of course the above does not justify Calvinist stealth and deception. This is the bad and sloppy traditional SBC that set up the conditions for a Calvinist takeover.

    I will shortly be done forever with the SBC. My heart is grieved by this.

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  142. Jeffrey: My current SBC church in Colorado has a huge membership but only a fraction in attendance. Most sbc membership list do not reflect a saved regenerate membership. If the rolls were cleaned to reflect actual reality SBC membership would be cut in half.

    I’ve heard the same said about Scientology’s claimed numbers.

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  143. Jeffrey: My current SBC church in Colorado has a huge membership but only a fraction in attendance. Most sbc membership list do not reflect a saved regenerate membership. If the rolls were cleaned to reflect actual reality SBC membership would be cut in half.

    As a 60+ year Southern Baptist, I won’t argue with you about this. Let me add to your start on estimating the ‘real’ number of Southern Baptists. SBC claims to have 45,000+ churches with 16 million members. From my long SBC journey, I can tell you that the numbers were inflated in the churches I was a member of. About half of the folks on church rolls had dropped out, transferred their church membership, moved from the area, died, or were otherwise unaccounted for. Half of the half on those rolls showed up in church at least once per month. Using that yardstick … of SBC’s 16 million, 8 million only exist as names on church rolls (where are they?) … leaving only 4 million in the flesh who attend on a given Sunday. Over 80% of all SBC churches have less than 200 members.

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  144. Bill,

    I went to MBC for over 25 years and I can assure there are only a handful of Lon’s sermon asking or even mentioning money. That is an unfair assessment.

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  145. Sòpwith,

    I don’t think it was deliberate on Lon’s part. I think it was an inside job and Platt was a part of it. Time will tell. Many things point to Lon Solomon being pushed out against his will.

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