Resignations Due to Infidelity Rock Elmbrook Church, JD Greear on Calvinism and the SBC, A Pedophile Hunter Discusses His Job and More on Tom Chantry

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door […] You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.” –The Fellowship of the Ring

Here are a few links dealing with a variety of subjects worthy of discussion.

Elmbrook Church sadly faces multiple resignations due to infidelity/addiction.

This is a sad story for me to write. Wisconsin’s Elmbrook Church is the church in which Steve and Jill Briscoe faithfully served for many years before retiring. It is also the church in which Pete Briscoe, my former wonderful pastor, grew up in. The church is nondenominational and has woman pastors and elders.

The Journal Sentinel reported: Elmbrook resignations are the latest to rock evangelical Christian churches.

Members of Elmbrook Church, Wisconsin’s largest Christian faith community, were shocked and disappointed in February when Executive Pastor Brodie Swanson resigned amid revelations of infidelities with another church staffer, who also stepped down.

The sense of betrayal hit home again this week when Senior Pastor Jason Webb resigned from the Brookfield megachurch citing “multiple marital infidelities” and an unspecified but “serious addiction.”

The Journal Sentinel also reported on the resignation of senior pastor Jason Webb in Elmbrook Church senior pastor resigns due to marital infidelities and ‘serious addiction’

Here is the letter he wrote to the congregation.

“It is with deep remorse that I write you this letter. As you are aware, over the last two years I have been on a journey towards emotional, spiritual and relational health.

“While I have been open with you about much of the journey, there is one part that I have kept hidden. I have also been struggling with a serious addiction, which has led to many betrayals, including unfaithfulness to my wife, Heather.

“Words cannot fully describe how sorry I am for my sin. The gravity of all of this is not lost on me. I have lied to Heather, my counselor, the men in my life, the elders, the staff and the church.

“I am so very sorry. As I come to terms with this, I must take two difficult steps for myself, my wife and my children.

]”First, I will immediately seek intensive inpatient treatment for addiction over the next six weeks. Second, I am offering my resignation as senior pastor of Elmbrook Church.

“Elmbrook will always be dear to me. I will continue to count it one of the greatest honors of my life to have served under the Elmbrook umbrella in various capacities for the last seventeen years, and as senior pastor these last four years.”

The Christian Post added more information in Wisconsin Pastor Jason Webb Resigns ‘Due to Marital Infidelity, Addiction’ Here is the statement from the church’s elders. I am grateful that Webb’s wife will still be able to work for the church. I also believe that Webb must never be allowed to return to the pulpit at Elmbrook. Frankly, he is disqualified from the pastorate at any church.

Gary Gregg, chairman of the church’s council of elders, said in the letter to the church that Webb’s wife would remain as the church’s global partnership director as they seek to support their former pastor’s family as much as possible. He explained, however, that there are no plans to reinstate Webb at any point.

“We have mutually agreed with Jason that going forward he will not be returning to ministry at Elmbrook. We are working diligently on an interim plan in the absence of a senior pastor and will communicate a way forward as soon as possible,” Gregg told the church.

“We understand this is unimaginable news. It is a staggering loss, and we share your sorrow and sense of betrayal. It would be easy to lose hope, but let’s gather together as a family this weekend to find solace and anchor our souls to Jesus, the only One who is capable of calming the chaos,” he added.

JD Greear urges members of the SBC not to split over Calvinism

The Christian Post posted JD Greear: Don’t Split Over Calvinism, Bicker About Theology ‘When People Are Lost, Going to Hell.’ Recently, I was approached by some pastors in another denomination who asked me about the apparent animosity between the Calvinists and the non-Calvinists in the SBC. They asked why this debate was still a hotly debated question after such a long period of time. In other words, why wasn’t it settled eons ago? They come from a denomination which has long settled theological distinctives.

Greear is a seriously committed Calvinist. In my opinion, the SBC has experienced a coup d’é·tat. Most positions of influence in the denomination are now held by Calvinists. In 2012, Greear answered this question, ““Pastor J.D., Are You a Calvinist?” on his website. This is well worth the read as Greear attempts to tap dance around his commitment to Calvinism. Note carefully how he answers the question on salvation and see if you find that he “doesn’t know all about the finer points of Calvinism.”

Here are some of his statement that I believe are humorous as he pretends he really doesn’t understand all this stuff about Calvinism.

  • “Calvinism is never an issue to me.”
  • “what I do know is that the more I go and share Christ, the more people seem to keep getting elected.”
  • I do not know all there is to know about the particulars of Calvinism

I predict that there will be a split in the SBC over the issue of Calvinism. The Calvinists are just too sure that what they know is true and have trouble staying quiet about it.

On the trail of pedophiles: Dennis T. Guzy, supervisor of the state Attorney General’s Child Sexual Exploitation Unit describes his difficult job.

Trigger warning: Some graphic descriptions.

Hold you breath as you read this account. It is amazing that Guzy can do what he does year after year. Thank God for people like him.

  • Since March 2001, Guzy has arrested about three dozen men — including several from Lancaster County — intending to have sex with his young children, bringing them candy, money, sex toys and lingerie.
  • In his Harrisburg area office recently, Guzy showed stacks of pictures and home movies he’s confiscated over the years. Many show naked children being physically abused or forced into sex acts — all for some twisted adult’s sexual gratification.”Welcome to my world,” Guzy said. “It’s the darkest, seediest type of world you can imagine.” It’s the thought of the trauma and horror these children endure, Guzy said, that motivates his sole mission in life: to catch sexual predators before they can hurt another child.
  • But the urge to have sex with kids is that great, that they’re willing to risk it all,” Guzy said. “And pornography reinforces their beliefs that it’s OK to do this with kids.” One of the most frightening things about child pornography, Guzy said, is how easily it’s shared on the Internet, catching innocent children along the way.The Internet features pictures of smiling, happy naked children. The reality is anything but, Guzy said, picking up a picture of one little girl. Lying on her back, naked, her eyes and mouth are squeezed shut in a grimace.”Does she look happy?” Guzy asked.Another girl stands naked, a dog collar around her neck and bondage cuffs on her arms, grimly staring at the camera without emotion.
  • “Pedophilia is a nice-sounding, free-flowing word,” Guzy said, the politically-correct definition of someone who is sexually attracted to children, “but these people are child sexual predators — that’s what they are.” The alarm bells sound in Guzy’s mind when he sees the predator adding violence to the pornography, someone who is “taking it to the next level of deviance.” He points to the drawings of another suspect. Artistic pencil sketches of little girls, except that in the picture, are shown pulling down their pants and exposing themselves. The same artist goes sketched other girls in bondage and impaled.
  • After his team makes an arrest, Guzy said, they go back and talk to the suspect’s children, “to make sure there hasn’t been molestation in the family or neighborhood.” If the team suspects there has been a problem, Guzy said, it contacts local police and children’s social service agencies.
  • He also asks if they were molested as a child. Most say they were.Many also tell him “the weight of the world is off their shoulders,” when they are arrested, Guzy said.

Todd Wilhelm asks “Who’s Funding Chantry’s Defense?”

Todd is keeping a close watch on Tom Chantry who is still a guest of the beautiful state of Arizona. John Sears, Chantry’s attorney, at least for now (rumors are he is about to retire) is a well known and respected defense attorney. That should tell you that he doesn’t come cheap.

Todd posted a copy of Chantry’s declaration of his financial resources. He claims to only have $194 in savings!

Todd makes a guess about who is bankrolling Chantry’s defense.

My guess is Al Huber, Chantry’s father-in-law is the individual largely responsible for bankrolling Chantry’s defense. Huber owns “NAFCO” a successful machine shop that employs 43 people.  I guess the number of employees is now 42 since Chantry has been arrested.  That’s right, in addition to likely being the source of Chantry’s defense fund, Huber also employed Chantry as a “buyer of raw material/manufacturing.” Perhaps Chantry also takes a turn leading the weekly bible study for NAFCO employees!

Given the link I post about Dan Guzy above, I certainly hope that the state has checked on he welfare of the Chantry children.

Lots to discuss!


Comments

Resignations Due to Infidelity Rock Elmbrook Church, JD Greear on Calvinism and the SBC, A Pedophile Hunter Discusses His Job and More on Tom Chantry — 271 Comments

  1. “Recently, I was approached by some pastors in another denomination who asked me about the apparent animosity between the Calvinists and the non-Calvinists in the SBC. They asked why this debate was still a hotly debated question after such a long period of time. In other words, why wasn’t it settled eons ago? They come from a denomination which has long settled theological distinctives.” (Dee)

    Well, it was settled … about 150 years ago! SBC was founded prior to the Civil War by Calvinist slave-holders. When the War broke out, these early Southern Baptists believed sovereign God was on their side … until early Confederate victories turned to defeat. After the War, SBC began to distance itself from its Calvinistic roots and remained distinctly non-Calvinist in belief and practice for 150 years … until Al Mohler and his band of New Calvinists decided to take the denomination back to its roots without asking the millions of non-Calvinist Southern Baptists what they thought about that. As a former 60+ year Southern Baptist, I also belonged to a denomination that long ago settled theological distinctives … 150 years ago. This rebellion can be laid at the feet of one man … Al Mohler … and he has pulled it off because of the complacency of members in a once-great evangelistic denomination.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  2. Re: calvinism.

    I know many young people who have walked away from the Calvinist god (who they tell me is a viscous monster for deliberately creating sentient beings with the express purpose of destroying them and consigning them to eternal torment, through no choice of their own). At best, they may be agnostic, but atheism seems a logical choice to them.

    Are non-Calvinist churches as effective at inoculating people against faith in God or interest in the Bible beyond horror that others are caught in the monster-god’s web?

    I wonder if my kids would still go to church if we’d raised them in an arminian church? Or whatever non-calvin teaching is called.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  3. “Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear has urged Christians not to “tear apart” their unity over theological disagreements, such as Calvinism.” (Christian Post)

    Southern Baptists were united behind a whosoever-will-may-come message for 150 years. While there were some rifts along the way, the theology of Southern Baptists was distinctly non-Calvinist. Let it be known that it is the New Calvinist movement, of which J.D. Greear is a prominent member, which is tearing apart the SBC. They want the stuff amassed by the faithful giving of millions of non-Calvinists … seminaries, mission agencies, publishing house, and thousands of traditional churches … and they aren’t ashamed to take it by stealth and deception.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  4. If you leave the faith or your family leaves the faith – in judgment will God accept the excuse “it was Calvinism?”

    I don’t think so.

    Funny thing about Calvinist like JD and Alastair Begg – they give altar calls. They too believe “all who will may come.” Very, very little difference between modern Calvinists and conservative Arminians. The differences are more theologically technical than practical/behavioral. They both give altar calls.

    [ Hyper-Calvinists do NOT give altar calls – however there aren’t a lot of hyper-Calvinists in the SBC.]

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  5. “The Calvinists are just too sure that what they know is true and have trouble staying quiet about it.”

    The Arminianists are just too sure that what they know is true and have trouble staying quiet about it.
    The Baptists are just too sure that what they know is true and have trouble staying quiet about it.
    The Lutherans are just too sure that what they know is true and have trouble staying quiet about it.
    Spiritual abuse survivors are just too sure that what they know is true and have trouble staying quiet about it.
    The falsely accused are just too sure that what they know is true and have trouble staying quiet about it.

    Should I be less sure of what I know to be true, or just stay quiet about it?

    I think it is time to read “The Subtle Signs of Spiritual Abuse” again.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  6. senecagriggs:
    If you leave the faith or your family leaves the faith – in judgment will God accept the excuse “it was Calvinism?”

    I don’t think so.

    Funny thing about Calvinist like JD and Alastair Begg – they give altar calls.They too believe “all who will may come.”Very, very little difference between modern Calvinists and conservative Arminians.The differences are more theologically technical than practical/behavioral.They both give altar calls.

    [ Hyper-Calvinists do NOT give altar calls – however there aren’t a lot of hyper-Calvinists in the SBC.]

    Such comfort. Not.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  7. When I became a Christian back in the olden days (1973) I was part of a Bible study that met after school. We were from churches all over the city, and we ran our own Bible study out of a generous teacher’s classroom. We represented a number of different churches. The church I attended wouldn’t allow us to play volleyball with the kids from the church across town because they were Arminians (I was so dumb I thought they meant Armenians). Later, I learned more about the distinctions between dispensionalism and Arminians, but I still think it was dumb that we couldn’t play volleyball.

    Our response: We organized a volleyball game with our friends at the other church on our won, not youth group time. We had fun!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  8. refugee: I know many young people who have walked away from the Calvinist god (who they tell me is a viscous monster for deliberately creating sentient beings with the express purpose of destroying them and consigning them to eternal torment, through no choice of their own).

    senecagriggs: If you leave the faith or your family leaves the faith – in judgment will God accept the excuse “it was Calvinism?”

    Not sure whether the second comment was related directly to the first; the context of the thread suggests that it probably was. Taking that as a working hypothesis, I seriously doubt whether anyone leaves the faith because it was named after Calvin, or because among the many different religions each with adherents calling it “the faith”, one of them is calvinism.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  9. Linn: The church I attended wouldn’t allow us to play volleyball with the kids from the church across town because they were Arminians (I was so dumb I thought they meant Armenians).

    If you ask me (which, to be fair, you haven’t), you weren’t the dumb one here!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  10. Apparently some of what the OP said about adults who prey on children is also true of adults who prey on adults:

    Bill Cosby is a predator who will likely offend again, psychologist says at sentencing
    http://time.com/5404838/bill-cosby-predator-psychologist-sentencing/?xid=tcoshare

    Kristen Dudley, a Pennsylvania state board psychologist, testified that Cosby has an uncontrollable urge to violate young women and would probably commit another offense if given the chance.

    Dudley added that Cosby’s assault of Andrea Constand fits a long pattern of predatory behavior by the former “Cosby Show” star.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  11. These sick freaks were in the news recently. Police caught them before they could carry out their plot:

    Four charged in plot to kidnap, rape and kill a [randomly chosen] child [from a public place]
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/09/22/plot-kidnap-rape-kill-child-leads-charges-michigan/1398636002/

    Four people in Michigan have been charged with a plan to kidnap, rape and kill a child.

    Michigan State Police said Friday they uncovered evidence of the plan to find a child at a local county fair or in a parking lot of a Walmart or Meijer store.

    The group intended to torture and sexually assault the child until the child was dead and then dispose of the body, according to the Office of Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.

    …The charges stem from evidence state police collected from an investigation involving alleged sexual assault and manufacture of pornography by the four suspects.

    …”They committed acts on their own children and were making sexually abusive material,” Yott said Friday afternoon. “They were all sharing and exploiting their own children and other children.”

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  12. I’m a pastor in the SBC. Nobody cares about this stuff. The SBC is an association not a denomination. There are a few old guard people in the South who care and everyone else just worries about their own church and local ministry. Huge non-story.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  13. Bah. I can’t be bothered dealing with calvinism either. As long as the theological wars don’t affect my income, why should I care?

    You’re all rubbish.

    Up Yours,

    Roger Bombast

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  14. Jimmy:
    I’m a pastor in the SBC. Nobody cares about this stuff. The SBC is an association not a denomination. There are a few old guard people in the South who care and everyone else just worries about their own church and local ministry. Huge non-story.

    To you, maybe. But our church was nearly destroyed by a deceptive and well-trained Neo-Calvinist (by Mohler and Dever) that snuck his way in around the search committee. Fortunately, we called him out on it and he booked. These guys are playing for keeps. They want to control church members through fear and intimidation. You might think it’s a “non-story” until it happens to you, then perhaps you’ll care!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  15. Bridget: ??

    Typo, or has Greear has lost it!

    Nope…that wasn’t a typo unless they wrote it down incorrectly in the original article. Perhaps your second analysis is more accurate!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  16. Now that all the Neo-Cals are firmly entrenched in all the key leadership positions of the SBC, they no longer want us to bicker over Calvinism…hmmmmmm. Isn’t it remarkable that after all of THEIR whining, fighting and arguing, that they are now humming the tune of “why can’t we all just get along?” I don’t think it works that way, folks!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  17. senecagriggs: [ Hyper-Calvinists do NOT give altar calls – however there aren’t a lot of hyper-Calvinists in the SBC.]

    Neither do a lot of classic Calvinists. The altar call is a 19th century tradition, and many conservative Presbyterian denominations never adopted it.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  18. “Calvinism is never an issue to me…. I can assure you that what is not biblical is sitting around bickering about finer points of theology when people are lost and going to Hell.”

    *sigh* Tell that to Al Mohler, who asked, where else are they going to go?

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  19. On the Calvinism thing, my nearly 70 year old dad is a lifelong Baptist and he always said “Once saved. Always saved.” as though it was a Baptist creed. He doesn’t know anything about Calvinism vs Arminianism, but that statement is a pretty standard Calvinist statement (Perseverance of the Saints), and all the arminians I’m around now routinely mock it. So…I’m not sure how new Calvinism is in the SBC. Maybe it’s just the authoritarianism and aggressiveness that’s new.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  20. I’m not sure I understand what they mean by “elect”. Are you only elect if you become a neo-calvinist? I read somewhere that even those who are five point calvinists feel anxious because they don’t really know if they were supposed to be predestined as one of the elect or not. Very confusing. Can someone explain this to me.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  21. Root 66,

    NJ,

    It’s odd, isn’t it, how the people in power want unity…

    What Mr Greear is missing here is exactly why people are going to hell. They’re going to hell because there’s not enough bickering over theology. They’re going to hell because people are putting women into pulpits whence they are blaspheming God by pretending to preach His Word. In truth, of course, they are only preaching the lying words of satan, and in doing so they are sweeping their hearers into his foul dominion. Thank God for the faithful men of the SBC who expel such churches – we can only be glad that these godly men are faithful enough to “bicker over theology” in order to defend God’s Word against the monstrous onslaught of the satanic power of satan.

    That was a joke, BTW. It should be obvious, but Poe’s Law an’ a’ tha’.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  22. Jimmy:
    I’m a pastor in the SBC. Nobody cares about this stuff. The SBC is an association not a denomination. There are a few old guard people in the South who care and everyone else just worries about their own church and local ministry. Huge non-story.
    Bold statement. I think “nobody cares” may be a reach but it does seem that the ordinary person in the pew has little understanding of theology and its implications. I would not, personally, refer to it as a “huge non-story”. Calvinism, reformed soteriology, and Lordship theology have created much havoc in the church and have nearly obscured the simple message of believing in Jesus for everlasting life. So sad. I work for a Christian non-profit and although many that I work for would not designate themselves Calvinistic, there is still a subtle influence. Pastor Jimmy, my prayer is that you would not turn a blind eye to what is happening due to this errant teaching. You are in a position to influence through the clear teaching of scripture.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  23. Sorry about the previous post. My comments actually begin with the words “bold statement”. I promise that I will eventually learn to accurately post.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  24. Lily Rose:
    I’m not sure I understand what they mean by “elect”. Are you only elect if you become a neo-calvinist? I read somewhere that even those who are five point calvinists feel anxious because they don’t really know if they were supposed to be predestined as one of the elect or not. Very confusing. Can someone explain this to me.

    In my very limited understanding of it, one cannot truly know who is part of the ‘elect.’ That is why Calvinists still engage in missions and evangelism, albeit it seems rather pointless, since, according to them, God has everyone already sized up and selected anyway. They have a very disturbing teaching you don’t hear much about called “Evanescent Grace”, in which a reprobate (unsaved or unregenerate) person is led to think and feel they might be saved, but in the end they are not. In my opinion, that’s a pretty nasty thing for God to do. No thanks! The Bible tells me that I can KNOW that I have eternal life! I think I’ll stick with that!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  25. Jimmy: I’m a pastor in the SBC. Nobody cares about this stuff.

    Jimmy, I lay the primary blame on the proliferation of New Calvinism at the feet of church leaders like you. Millions of non-Calvinist Southern Baptists don’t realize that their denomination (association) is being Calvinized because they are uninformed or misinformed about the militant and aggressive new reformation in progress. Pastors, like you, at 45,000+ SBC churches should be having “family talks” to address this drift in theology and shift in ecclesiology. In the meantime, the New Calvinists have gained control of most SBC seminaries, home and foreign mission agencies, publishing house, church planting program, and a growing number of traditional (non-Calvinist) churches that have been taken over by the stealth and deception of the young, restless and reformed. Maybe in your neck of the woods this is a “non-story”, but I can guarantee you it is a huge story for those who care about a once-great evangelistic group of Christians. The whosoever-will-may-come message that has been on the lips of Southern Baptists for the last 150 years is gradually being silenced by a new breed of “pastors” who don’t preach it. I’m sorry that you don’t care.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  26. Jerome: “Calvinism, ‘is never an issue to me,’ Greear said. Southern Baptists have always held in tension God’s free will and man’s sovereignty. Believers must not lean too heavily in either direction, he said.”

    “Ain’t no big deal” messages like this are intended to steer millions of non-Calvinist Southern Baptists to stand in unity, agree to disagree, go along to get along, and make room under the big SBC tent for theological diversity. Yep, Greear lulls the masses to slumber in Zion while the New Calvinists complete their mission to wrest the denomination from their hands. When they wake up, it will be too late. Where else are they going to go?!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  27. senecagriggs: [ Hyper-Calvinists do NOT give altar calls – however there aren’t a lot of hyper-Calvinists in the SBC.]

    There are a dozen or more SBC-YRR church plants in my area. I listen to their sermon podcasts. None of them give altar calls. Whether they would be considered “hyper” or not, it’s clear that they don’t preach the Cross of Christ for ALL people. SBC is planting 1,000+ churches like this each year with young pastors fresh out of seminary and intent on doing their part to Calvinize the SBC in belief and practice.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  28. LeRoy: Calvinism, reformed soteriology, and Lordship theology have created much havoc in the church and have nearly obscured the simple message of believing in Jesus for everlasting life.

    Which is why 90+% of Christendom have rejected the tenets of reformed theology for the past 500 years.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  29. Max: Which is why 90+% of Christendom have rejected the tenets of reformed theology for the past 500 years.

    I am interested in this. Can you point me to anything I can read?

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  30. Max,

    I live a few miles from SEBTS. Ewe are tripping over the number of start up Reformed Baptist churches around here. They all have names like *Relevant*, etc.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  31. Root 66: They have a very disturbing teaching you don’t hear much about called “Evanescent Grace”, in which a reprobate (unsaved or unregenerate) person is led to think and feel they might be saved, but in the end they are not.

    I did not know about this. Have you heard any of the current crop of Calvinistas address this? Joe Carter just wrote a piece at TGC on how to make sure yo9ur kids don’t become atheists. I thought that was decided by God before the beginning of time.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  32. dee: I don’t buy what Greear says for one minute. I’m watching what goes on around my neck of the woods There are two side of the mouth from which he speaks.

    Well, here’s a “what if”:

    Suppose he actively takes a stand against theological bickering. Specifically, suppose he goes on public record as saying that there is indeed an unresolvable tension between God’s sovereignty and human free will (or vice versa) and that, while he understands the desire of calvinismists to resolve it, they haven’t done so. Therefore, nobody should think or speak less of any other believer over it, and calvinism must not be thought of as any more than a thought experiment – much less should it be incorporated into the gospel itself.

    All irony and sarcasm genuinely aside, that might be a great demonstration of unity, and much more effective than a mere call for it. But if he actually does that – well, we’ll see how that goes for him.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  33. Root 66: They have a very disturbing teaching you don’t hear much about called “Evanescent Grace”, in which a reprobate (unsaved or unregenerate) person is led to think and feel they might be saved, but in the end they are not.In my opinion, that’s a pretty nasty thing for God to do.No thanks!The Bible tells me that I can KNOW that I have eternal life!I think I’ll stick with that!

    Sounds like bait and switch. No thank you! Thanks for your answer.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  34. J D Greear says, “Don’t split over Calvinism,” when in reality, how many churches have been split because of Calvinism?
    When Southern Baptists rejected Calvinism 150 years ago, they didn’t choose Arminianism. They chose not to follow John (Calvin) or Joseph (Arminian), but the Bible. Yes, imperfectly all these years, but at least they were headed in the right direction!
    Sadly, the new-Cals are just liberals masked as evangelicals. So stealthy did they infiltrate the SBC, trusting pew sitters just let it happen because they were too nice to “question the finer points in theology”. What Greear calls the minor issues is a slick campaign. Let’s ask him: 1. Did Christ die for all men or just some? 2. Does God desire all men to be saved or not? I Tim 2:4 3. Do I need to be born again in order to believe, or do I need to believe in order to be born again? 4. If men are so dead that they are totally unable to respond to the gospel message, then how can God hold them responsible for rejecting the gospel if they had no other choice?
    Their next step: normalizing LBGT in the church. You just wait. It’s just a matter of time.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  35. I would not worship a Calvinist God. Jesus invited all to follow him and to have eternal life. I worship the God that sent Jesus to redeem all those who choose to follow him.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  36. dee: Max: Which is why 90+% of Christendom have rejected the tenets of reformed theology for the past 500 years.

    I am interested in this. Can you point me to anything I can read?

    John Gerstner in his church history series on the Ligonier site estimates that only 2% are classical Calvinists when it comes to predestination and election. https://www.ligonier.org/

    A 2011 report of the Pew Forum on Religious and Public Life estimated that members of Reformed churches make up 7% of the estimated 801 million Protestants globally, or approximately 56 million people. http://www.pewforum.org/2011/12/19/global-christianity-exec/

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  37. dee: They all have names like *Relevant*, etc.

    Yep, you have to look hard to discover they are Southern Baptist! SBC affiliation is usually tucked away in a remote corner of their websites … “Relevant” is a bigger draw than “Southern Baptist” I suppose. A young reformer in my area did an amazing thing. When he planted his New Calvinist church, he painted “A Southern Baptist Reformed Church” under the cool church name. I may not agree with his theology, but I sure appreciate his integrity to let current and prospective members know who they are.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  38. dee: I did not know about this. Have you heard any of the current crop of Calvinistas address this? Joe Carter just wrote a piece at TGC on how to make sure yo9ur kids don’t become atheists. I thought that was decided by God before the beginning of time.

    I really haven’t heard much about it from them. I think they like to treat that certain teaching as if it’s Calvin’s weird uncle, or something. It’s very similar to how they don’t like to call limited atonement “limited” but prefer to use the term “particular”! It’s all about the spin for these guys!

    In my own journey in exploring Calvinism, I have discovered that it tends to philosophically paint itself into the corner in many places, so that’s why they have to come up with stuff like “feeling like you’re saved when you aren’t!” I certainly don’t think that God would do that to folks–especially when the Bible clearly states that it is His will that ALL people should be saved and come to repentance!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  39. “Wisconsin’s Elmbrook Church is the church in which Steve and Jill Briscoe faithfully served for many years before retiring. It is also the church in which Pete Briscoe, my former wonderful pastor, grew up in.” (Dee)

    It’s a crying shame that Christian integrity doesn’t always accompany the passing of the mantle in the succession of church leadership. It should … but it doesn’t in all cases. Sadly, TWW continues to chronicle the moral failings of church leaders and the impacts on their congregations. The consequences of the betrayal of the sacred office of “pastor” are far-reaching.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  40. Max: Yep, you have to look hard to discover they are Southern Baptist!SBC affiliation is usually tucked away in a remote corner of their websites … “Relevant” is a bigger draw than “Southern Baptist” I suppose.A young reformer in my area did an amazing thing.When he planted his New Calvinist church, he painted “A Southern Baptist Reformed Church” under the cool church name.I may not agree with his theology, but I sure appreciate his integrity to let current and prospective members know who they are.

    I agree. At least they give people a caveat at the outset. Much better than “sneaking it in the back door!”

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  41. “We understand this is unimaginable news. It is a staggering loss, and we share your sorrow and sense of betrayal.” (Gary Gregg, chairman of Elmbrook’s council of elders)

    This is becoming a broken record in the American church! We need a “reform” alright … a return of righteousness in both pulpit and pew. Church-as-usual just ain’t cutting it. When will the people of God across the landscape shout in unison “Enough is enough!”? When will our pastors stand in both awe and fear of God in the office entrusted to them?! Is it too much too ask a preacher of the Gospel of Christ to keep his pants on?!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  42. Root 66: At least they give people a caveat at the outset. Much better than “sneaking it in the back door!”

    This young reformer even put an explanation on the church website of what “reformed” means … expounding on TULIP. Yep, much better than sneaking around in stealth and deception to slowly release your pet theology into the church. Just put it out front for all to see and decide if they want to be a part of it.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  43. Root 66,

    This sounds almost work oriented. A person becomes a new calvinist, spends a lot of time in mission work or sabatoging local churches to promote neo calvinism in a vain attempt to reach the elect without any guarantee who that might be, and all the while fearing they might not be one of the elect themselves. Who wants to spend all of their time devoted to this theology when you’re not sure of salvation? Very weird.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  44. Max:
    “Wisconsin’s Elmbrook Church is the church in which Steve and Jill Briscoe faithfully served for many years before retiring. It is also the church in which Pete Briscoe, my former wonderful pastor, grew up in.”(Dee)

    It’s a crying shame that Christian integrity doesn’t always accompany the passing of the mantle in the succession of church leadership.It should … but it doesn’t in all cases.Sadly, TWW continues to chronicle the moral failings of church leaders and the impacts on their congregations.The consequences of the betrayal of the sacred office of “pastor” are far-reaching.

    I live a couple of hours from Elmbrook church so it is too far away to attend for me, but I always enjoyed listening to radio sermons by Jill Briscoe. Very sad that this has happened there. On the other hand, I heard an independent Assemblies of God church in my town had a pastor who was taking his mistress on church related business trips using church funds, and he was fired when it came out so it can happen anywhere I guess.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  45. Lily Rose:
    Root 66,

    This sounds almost work oriented. A person becomes a new calvinist, spends a lot of time in mission work or sabatoging local churches to promote neo calvinism in a vain attempt to reach the elect without any guarantee who that might be, and all the while fearing they might not be one of the elect themselves. Who wants to spend all of their time devoted to this theology when you’re not sure of salvation? Very weird.

    Very weird indeed. My salvation is based upon what Jesus did, not on what I can do for Him and then hope for the best! I like what I John says about this, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may KNOW that you have eternal life.” (Emphasis added) God doesn’t want us to be ignorant about our salvation. We can have confidence!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  46. Let me see if I understand ‘the gospel’ according to J D…

    Believe in Jesus.
    So OK, but what does believe mean?
    It means what you think-who, what, etc concerning Jesus.
    Oh, you mean theology.
    Well, no, you have to quit it with the theology stuff. Too divisive.
    But you just said ‘believe’ so, believe what, and you just said…theology. I don’t get it. What is being said here?
    Let me spell it out. I do theology, you shut up and sit down and listen.
    Oh, so now I understand what you are saying. And is next that you try and make me? I don’t think so. There are too many other voices than just yours in this situation.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  47. Patti,

    I had a response to you but I accidentally deleted it! It looks like your church is handling things now, but they appear to have believed their pastor over the women who accused him a couple years ago or at least accepted his denials. I’m not sure about all that.

    In the situation at Elmwood, I think its great they aren’t firing the pastors wife, because that would be unnecessarily horrible, but I wonder how much pressure she will face to stay in that marriage and if she leaves it, will her source of income still be there? I’m also curious if addiction is addiction or ‘sex addiction’ used as a way of excusing behavior.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  48. Leslie Puryear: Yes, a split is coming.

    Is it truly possible for two competing theologies on the plan of God’s salvation to co-exist in a single denomination going forward? And who will “own” all the vast SBC resources when the split occurs (seminaries, mission agencies, publishing house, etc.)? Will the New Calvinists or Traditional Southern Baptists “inherit” most of the stuff? Do you envision the denomination splitting its entities in some manner and going off in different directions? As a 60+ year Southern Baptist, I feel like crying as I witness what has become of a once-great denomination.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  49. Lily Rose: I heard an independent Assemblies of God church in my town had a pastor who was taking his mistress on church related business trips using church funds, and he was fired when it came out so it can happen anywhere I guess.

    Unfaithfulness to your calling and your spouse does not have a denominational affiliation. God has a lot to say about such shepherds … they will hear what He thinks face-to-face some day.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  50. Lily Rose: A person becomes a new calvinist, spends a lot of time in mission work or sabotaging local churches to promote neo calvinism in a vain attempt to reach the elect without any guarantee who that might be, and all the while fearing they might not be one of the elect themselves.

    That’s why some young reformers eventually lose their minds and become atheist or agnostic. The really hard-core among them stick with their aberrant faith and become antinomian.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  51. Max:
    okrapod,

    Yep, that would be a proper dialogue.

    Yes, “Big Brother” Greear knows what we need…so we don’t need to think (or speak) anymore! We just need to shut up and continue to pay for the expansion of Neo-Calvinism in the SBC!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  52. For those interested in exploring Calvinism, Arminianism and a mediate position, I recommend Dr. C. Gordon Olson’s book Beyond Calvinism & Arminianism. His word studies of the Greek words proginoskein, eklegomai and others are worth the price, and the quotes from Calvinists like Sproul are priceless. Very scholarly.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  53. “Jason Webb … an unspecified but “serious addiction.””

    Pornography?

    “Most pastors (57%) and youth pastors (64%) admit they have struggled with porn, either currently or in the past … Overall, 21 percent of youth pastors and 14 percent of pastors admit they currently struggle with using porn.” (Barna Group)

    (https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2016/january/how-pastors-struggle-porn-phenomenon-josh-mcdowell-barna.html)

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  54. Vinnie: I recommend Dr. C. Gordon Olson’s book Beyond Calvinism & Arminianism

    “What Love is This? Calvinism’s Misrepresentation of God” by Dave Hunt is also a good read (590 pages).

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  55. dee: I did not know about this. Have you heard any of the current crop of Calvinistas address this?

    It’s nearly impossible to find any Calvinist, new or old, who can or will explain evanescent (vanishing) grace as detailed by Calvin in book 3 chapter 2 section 11 of his Institutes. It’s the silent point of Calvinism.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  56. All i can say at this juncture is, according to calvinists’ main point (elect vs non-elect) in theology, how convenient it must be for their god to use their churches, of all things, to drive the non-elect far, far from him. Strangely ironic. Their god must have a wicked, hellacious sense of humor.

    One thing I can say for the non-calvinists I have known: at least they truly grieved over the lost, and they did what they could to tell people about how Jesus came to seek and save them.

    Nick Bulbeck:
    Not sure whether the second comment was related directly to the first; the context of the thread suggests that it probably was. Taking that as a working hypothesis, I seriously doubt whether anyone leaves the faith because it was named after Calvin, or because among the many different religions each with adherents calling it “the faith”, one of them is calvinism.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  57. “Todd is keeping a close watch on Tom Chantry who is still a guest of the beautiful state of Arizona … Todd posted a copy of Chantry’s declaration of his financial resources. He claims to only have $194 in savings!” (Dee)

    Sin will take you farther than you want to go, cost you more than you want to pay, and keep you longer than you want to stay.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  58. refugee: All i can say at this juncture is, according to calvinists’ main point (elect vs non-elect) in theology, how convenient it must be for their god to use their churches, of all things, to drive the non-elect far, far from him. Strangely ironic. Their god must have a wicked, hellacious sense of humor.

    A sense of humor worthy of Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  59. “Our disagreement on finer points of theology should not tear apart our unity in the Gospel,” Greear said. “Calvinism is never an issue to me…. I can assure you that what is not biblical is sitting around bickering about finer points of theology when people are lost and going to Hell.” (The Christian Post)

    This is the same tactic used by Al Mohler a few years ago to divert the attention of mainline (non-Calvinist) Southern Baptists from the New Calvinist takeover of the denomination. He came up with a mumbo-jumbo “theological triage” which tossed out soteriology as a lesser doctrine that Southern Baptists shouldn’t fuss about. In my humble – but accurate – opinion, God’s plan of salvation is an essential!! These guys are smooth – Southern Baptists shouldn’t trust them … they have hidden motives behind their persuasive rhetoric. https://albertmohler.com/2004/05/20/a-call-for-theological-triage-and-christian-maturity-2/

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  60. dee: Joe Carter just wrote a piece at TGC on how to make sure your kids don’t become atheists.

    Did he advise parents not to send their children to New Calvinist churches?! Some of the young reformers are throwing in the towel to become atheist or agnostic. The tenets of reformed theology mess with your mind after a while; the twisting of Scripture to make make the puzzle pieces fit will drive you crazy!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  61. Max: Is it truly possible for two competing theologies on the plan of God’s salvation to co-exist in a single denomination going forward?And who will “own” all the vast SBC resources when the split occurs (seminaries, mission agencies, publishing house, etc.)?Will the New Calvinists or Traditional Southern Baptists “inherit” most of the stuff?Do you envision the denomination splitting its entities in some manner and going off in different directions?As a 60+ year Southern Baptist, I feel like crying as I witness what has become of a once-great denomination.

    Max: My guess is the Calvinist will take all of the SBC assets just as the Fundamentalist did from the ‘moderates.” I wonder out loud if the non-Calvinist Fundamentalist ever dreamed they would be taken over?

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  62. Why is there animosity over Calvin’s theology?

    A house divided against itself can not stand. The verdict handed down as the Canons of Dort is a division in the Kingdom of God. That division will not be resolved in this lifetime.

    Just as the Synod was a lower Court, Heaven is a higher Court. An appeal of the ruling is guaranteed. The resolution of the conflict will take place only with a final decision, or retraction by one side.

    The argument put forward that the Church should not divide over Calvinism is dishonest. It appears targeted toward those that have not read the Canons. The only outcome I see is God’s hand will be forced into a ruling.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  63. mot: My guess is the Calvinist will take all of the SBC assets

    Al Mohler has been making the argument that SBC was founded as a Calvinist organization and should return to its roots. He put that trumpet to his mouth during his first convocation address as SBTS President:

    “the doctrines of grace … a powerful testimony to a Baptist theological heritage that is genuinely evangelical, Reformed, biblical, and orthodox … We bear the collective responsibility to call this denomination back to itself and its doctrinal inheritance. This is a true reformation … This people of God must reclaim a theological tradition which understands all of our denominational activity to be founded upon prior doctrinal commitments …”

    http://equip.sbts.edu/resource/dont-just-do-something-stand-there/

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  64. mot: My guess is the Calvinist will take all of the SBC assets just as the Fundamentalist did from the ‘moderates.” I wonder out loud if the non-Calvinist Fundamentalist ever dreamed they would be taken over?

    The “non-Calvinist” majority within SBC represent various degrees of “conservative” and “fundamental.” For the most part, they are a good people who believe that ALL people everywhere are within reach of salvation in Christ. That message will change as the New Calvinists become entrenched in SBC life. SBC evangelism will never be the same again.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  65. JD Greear: “Don’t Split Over Calvinism”
    +++++++++++++++

    instantly thought of Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka:

    “Stop. Don’t. Come back.”

    …with all the conviction of his deadpan expression. didn’t mean a word of it, of course.

    but he got the politically correct message out. no one could claim otherwise.

    perhaps JD Greear is doing the same.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9ZD3_ppcPE

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  66. Preacher’s Wife,

    What your dad was referring to was Preservation of the Saints which means once saved always saved and sealed by the Holy Spirit. Calvinists believe in Perserverance of the Saints which is totally different. If you are one of the elect, then your life will prove it by living a holy life to the end. Calvinists do not understand the Doctrine of Carnal Christianity as described in I Corinthians 3:1-3. Neither Calvinists nor Arminians understand the difference between our Standing in Christ which never changes when justified and our State which is always in flux and involved in sanctification. I praise the Lord I am sealed by the Holy Spirit forever and enjoy such a sweet assurance. I can’t imagine what it would be like to always be wondering if I had lost my salvation every other minute.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  67. Preacher’s Wife,

    What your dad was referring to was Preservation of the Saints which means once saved always saved and sealed by the Holy Spirit. Calvinists believe in Perserverance of the Saints which is totally different. If you are one of the elect, then your life will prove it by living a holy life to the end. Calvinists do not understand the Doctrine of Carnal Christianity as described in I Corinthians 3:1-3. Neither Calvinists nor Arminians understand the difference between our Standing in Christ which never changes when justified and our State which is always in flux and involved in sanctification. I praise the Lord I am sealed by the Holy Spirit forever and enjoy such a sweet assurance. I can’t imagine what it would be like to always be
    Lily Rose,

    wondering if I had lost my salvation every other minute.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  68. Max,

    Leslie, I feel like crying, too. I am a little older than you and am broken-hearted that pastors have done such a poor job through the years of not educating their congregants on the dangers of Calvinism. I have asked 4 Baptist pastors if they could please warn the church to this rising danger and not a single one wanted to touch it. Such a shame. There is a lot of SBC real estate to divide up and now we know why the calvinists have stealthily moved in!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  69. Finegold: I can’t imagine what it would be like to always be wondering if I had lost my salvation every other minute.

    This is not really common Presby concern in my sect. In fact I would say the opposite. I think I even heard a joke about ‘wouldn’t you rather be sure’. Sometimes I hear people talking about what ‘Calvinists’ believe and it all sounds pretty far afield from my experience with it.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  70. finegold,

    Years ago I read that book when I was part of a Bible church. This was during the attempted takeover. I had to get a book cover for it to keep prying eyes away from what I was reading. When I discussed (or tried to discuss) the book with a Calvinist friend, I have rarely experienced so much vitriol and outright hatred for a book or directed at it’s author. It was quite an endorsement in favor of that book. I figured, if it got them that worked up, it must have hit close to home. Thought the episode was quite comical.

    Funny thing is, it wasn’t the only book I had to conceal. My Study Bible and another book were also wearing camo. Fun times…

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  71. Ya’ll pray for guidance for us. As I said in another response thread, our denomination is in flux making some major changes we just are not cool with. So we have resumed church search in our new town.

    Never thought to say it, but one is SBC with a Reformed pastor. More new covenant theology than old time Calvinist or calvinista either. But thing is, he came to a deeply split church and is working with the Arminian side. Even preaches their point of view quite accurately at times. Makes the point over and over that Baptists hold to soul freedom and need to realize maybe it takes both points of view to get to the whole truth, or closer to it. Happy folks, truly seeming to love each other and Jesus even while disagreeing. Definitely not legalistic, but do teach pretty close to what Bro. Wade teaches.

    We intend to visit them and another more traditional church for a while. May join or may never join (getting gun shy of upheaval and 180 degree turns)but this one is more like the church of my childhood in beliefs even if the music ain’t my cuppa tea:) And I admit it, they do tone down the rock and roll enough it resembles southern gospel, and they do some of that which is a plus, plus some hymns, so I can cope:) But the preaching is realllllllyyyyyy good so far (8 or 9 sermons) so we shall see.

    Never in a million years would have thought this.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  72. Finegold: I have asked 4 Baptist pastors if they could please warn the church to this rising danger and not a single one wanted to touch it. Such a shame.

    That attitude most likely has something to do with protecting their SBC retirement annuity, rather than protecting their flock from aberrant theology. Such pastors will flow with the prevailing theology in order to stay afloat long enough to retire.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  73. Noevangelical: When I discussed (or tried to discuss) the book with a Calvinist friend, I have rarely experienced so much vitriol and outright hatred for a book or directed at it’s author.

    That’s because Dave Hunt strikes too close to home in his book “What Love is This?”, revealing the underbelly of Calvinistic belief and practice in scholarly detail.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  74. Finegold: There is a lot of SBC real estate to divide up and now we know why the calvinists have stealthily moved in!

    When I think about it, I never saw a value provided for total SBC assets in my nearly 70 years as a Southern Baptist. I suspect that number would be 1-5 billion dollars as I think about the large SBC spread in Nashville, multiple seminaries and foreign property holdings … but it’s just a guess. Does anyone know?

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  75. Max: The “non-Calvinist” majority within SBC represent various degrees of “conservative” and “fundamental.”For the most part, they are a good people who believe that ALL people everywhere are within reach of salvation in Christ.That message will change as the New Calvinists become entrenched in SBC life.SBC evangelism will never be the same again.

    Max:The “moderates” also believed that all people everywhere are within reach of salvation in Christ IMO, yet they were taken over and driven out by the fundamentalists. It was ugly and hateful. What the Calvinists are doing seems very similar to me. Just my 2 cents worth.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  76. Max: Does anyone know?

    No, but looking at the history of baptist colleges and universities I am thinking that no telling who actually owns some of the real estate. Not everything with baptist in the name is actually owned by the baptists. What do you know about this aspect of property ownership?

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  77. mot: The “moderates” also believed that all people everywhere are within reach of salvation in Christ IMO, yet they were taken over and driven out by the fundamentalists.

    Agreed. It was a shame before God what the “conservatives” did to the “moderates” within SBC. While there were some extremely “liberal” teachings going on at the time in some seminaries and churches which needed to be addressed, the moderates were thrown into the same bucket as the liberals. I hate labels – why can’t we all just be Christians?!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  78. Roger Bombast:
    Bah. I can’t be bothered dealing with calvinism either. As long as the theological wars don’t affect my income, why should I care?

    You’re all rubbish.

    Up Yours,

    Roger Bombast

    Yeah. Cuz all that matters is my little echo chamber.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  79. I probably should be more upset about the SBC itself, but what bothers me most is the incredible spread of the idea among groups about how special they are. So the calvinists are special to God (elect). Yes, well, with the rapid multiplication of specialness I wonder about the rest of us who are not special-either by secular or religious standards. I am thinking that special is a dirty word about now.

    So maybe I am special since I am old (ageism) and female (sexism) and have a disease which apparently is more special than other diseases (cancer). Now if only I were calvinist/elect special to God himself I would have it made. Heaven help me I do so despise this way of thinking.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  80. mot: What the Calvinists are doing seems very similar to me.

    The Baptist calvinists are fundamentalists. They just have a few different issues than the other kinds of Baptist fundamentalists.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  81. dee:
    Max,

    I live a few miles from SEBTS. Ewe are tripping over the number of start up Reformed Baptist churches around here. They all have names like *Relevant*, etc.

    *Relevant* – It sounds so harmless on the face of it. ‘Come into my parlor said the spider to the fly.’

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  82. dee: I did not know about this. Have you heard any of the current crop of Calvinistas address this? Joe Carter just wrote a piece at TGC on how to make sure yo9ur kids don’t become atheists. I thought that was decided by God before the beginning of time.

    Evanescent Grace is addressed in Book III, Chapter II, Section 11 in Calvin’s Institutes. I have had discussions about this belief with Calvinists and many embrace it wholeheartedly. Others are reluctant to endorse it fully because of what is implies about the character of God. It basically makes God out to be a trickster.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  83. Lily Rose:
    Root 66,

    This sounds almost work oriented. A person becomes a new calvinist, spends a lot of time in mission work or sabatoging local churches to promote neo calvinism in a vain attempt to reach the elect without any guarantee who that might be, and all the while fearing they might not be one of the elect themselves. Who wants to spend all of their time devoted to this theology when you’re not sure of salvation? Very weird.

    This is exactly what the counter-reformation efforts were post Luther
    This points to the Jesuits for me.
    Who else has managed to destroy so many people in the past and are expert in infiltration and deceptions and indeed perversions to black wash entire faiths and lead the opposition themselves into oblivion. IHS remember? Who do they serve anyway? The pope Francis is the first Jesuit pope in history.
    Now think of the proclivity to torture during the inquisitions and this chantry fellow. There is reason to explore the connections.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  84. Lily Rose:
    Root 66,

    This sounds almost work oriented. A person becomes a new calvinist, spends a lot of time in mission work or sabatoging local churches to promote neo calvinism in a vain attempt to reach the elect without any guarantee who that might be, and all the while fearing they might not be one of the elect themselves. Who wants to spend all of their time devoted to this theology when you’re not sure of salvation? Very weird.

    This is exactly what the counter-reformation efforts were post Luther
    This points to the Jesuits for me.
    Who else has managed to destroy so many people in the past and are expert in infiltration and deceptions and indeed perversions to black wash entire faiths and lead the opposition themselves into oblivion. IHS remember? Who do they serve anyway? The pope Francis is the first Jesuit pope in history.
    Now think of the proclivity to torture during the inquisitions and this chantry fellow. There is reason to explore the

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  85. senecagriggs: If you leave the faith or your family leaves the faith – in judgment will God accept the excuse “it was Calvinism?”

    I don’t think so.

    That kind of statement is easy to make unless it is YOUR child that was devastated by the harsh, unmerciful, authoritarian treatment of Calvinist pastors… people that she thought loved her, who SAID they loved her, and then threw her out and shunned her for no good reason… threw her out when she was already in pain and pleading for their help. In my Bible I find that God actually has some pretty strong words to say to evil wolves who do damage to the flock. Yes, each person is accountable for their own decisions. But your comment only holds the damaged person accountable and ignores the need for accountability of the one who did the damage.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  86. dee,

    I know this is not where this belongs, but I had tried to add this to the older Willow Creek thread, and it seems to be closed for comments. So, I will leave you to move this or delete it as you see fit.
    I just wanted to pass along this blog post from 21 Sept. from ES Martin’s blog, pertaining to prof. Bilezikian, retired, of Wheaton and Willow Creek, per allegations of sexual misconduct.

    https://esmartinonline.wordpress.com/2018/09/21/point-of-contacty/#comments

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  87. And then not only do you have the Reformed group, you now have the “Reformed Charismatic” segment (e.g. Matt Chandler). Which sounds a lot like “jumbo shrimp”, “beauty mud”, or “government efficiency”.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  88. Darlene: I have had discussions about this belief with Calvinists and many embrace it wholeheartedly. Others are reluctant to endorse it fully because of what is implies about the character of God. It basically makes God out to be a trickster.

    I have found few Calvinists who admit to knowing about it. The few who have engaged me in discussion about ended up talking about something else. Instead of admitting that it’s a grace that god gives and then takes away, they make it sound like a person with false repentence, as if the person is at fault rather than god. But as you know, that is not what Calvin wrote about it. Calvin was very clear that evanescent grace does not depend on the person afflicted with it.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  89. Max: When I think about it, I never saw a value provided for total SBC assets in my nearly 70 years as a Southern Baptist. I suspect that number would be 1-5 billion dollars as I think about the large SBC spread in Nashville, multiple seminaries and foreign property holdings … but it’s just a guess. Does anyone know?

    I did a little research regarding assets in the SBC. Technically, The Southern Baptist Convention owns nothing. All assets are owned by 13 separate corporations set up by the convention. The Executive Committee of the SBC is one of these corporations and probably owns SBC headquarters in Nashville. The other corporations are the 6 seminaries and the SBC entities (NAMB, IMB, LifeWay, GuideStone, ERLC and WMU).

    This does not include the state conventions, which have various relationships the Baptist colleges and universities, plus other state stuff. It would be very difficult for a layman to figure out what is owned by what corporation.

    This is very basic research, so I could be wrong on some points. Feel free to clarify if you know anything more.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  90. Jimmy:
    I’m a pastor in the SBC. Nobody cares about this stuff. The SBC is an association not a denomination. There are a few old guard people in the South who care and everyone else just worries about their own church and local ministry. Huge non-story.

    As a Southern Baptist, I can attest that this is commentary is absolutely NOT TRUE. It is becoming a HUGE issue even in rural Southern Baptist churches.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  91. Deb,

    I suspect “Jimmy” is a New Calvinist. Using the “nobody cares” line makes them feel better about deceiving their way into a denomination that didn’t ask for them. Southern Baptists may be waking up too late to this mess, but the ones who have stirred out of their slumber in my area care a LOT about the young reformers wrecking havoc in their churches.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  92. Mark R:
    And then not only do you have the Reformed group, you now have the “Reformed Charismatic” segment (e.g. Matt Chandler).Which sounds a lot like “jumbo shrimp”, “beauty mud”, or “government efficiency”.

    “falsely true”, “genuine imitation”, “openly deceptive”

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  93. “It is amazing that Guzy can do what he does year after year. Thank God for people like him.” (Dee)

    AMEN! It is amazing that America has so many pedophiles to hunt down! What has become of our society?! Has such depravity and perversion always been here? Perhaps I’m just becoming more aware of this sickness in America … or perhaps wickedness is intensifying as we draw nearer to the Lord’s return.

    “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” (Psalm 9:17)

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  94. I followed the link and read the article about Officer Guzy.

    In my opinion, he would make an ideal expert witness for the upcoming Tom Chantry trial. He shared with the reporter a home video of a little boy being spanked, and all I could think of was Chantry’s victims.

    Thanks for sharing this article.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  95. dee: I did not know about this. Have you heard any of the current crop of Calvinistas address this? Joe Carter just wrote a piece at TGC on how to make sure yo9ur kids don’t become atheists. I thought that was decided by God before the beginning of time.

    Evanescent Grace is addressed in Book III, Chapter II, Section 11 in Calvin’s Institutes. I have had discussions about this belief with Calvinists and many embrace it wholeheartedly. Others are reluctant to endorse it fully because of what is implies about the character of God. It basically makes God out to be a trickster.

    Ken F (aka Tweed): It’s nearly impossible to find any Calvinist, new or old, who can or will explain evanescent (vanishing) grace as detailed by Calvin in book 3 chapter 2 section 11 of his Institutes. It’s the silent point of Calvinism.

    And Ken, as I recall, it was high who told you about evanescent grace in the first place. I still remember your reaction when you first discovered what it was.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  96. Darlene: And Ken, as I recall, it was I who told you about evanescent grace in the first place. I still remember your reaction when you first discovered what it was.

    You are correct – I was shocked. It’s a very sick teaching, but absolutely necessary to hold Calvinism together.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  97. Ken F (aka Tweed): It’s nearly impossible to find any Calvinist, new or old, who can or will explain evanescent (vanishing) grace as detailed by Calvin in book 3 chapter 2 section 11 of his Institutes. It’s the silent point of Calvinism.

    And by the way, it isn’t as though Calvinists can’t explain the meaning of evanescent grace. It’s quite plain after reading that section in Calvin’s Institutes what he means. It’s just that some Calvinists struggle in coming to terms with the God that is portrayed by their hero. What kind of a God is it that tricks people into thinking they’re saved, only so that they can suffer an even greater damnation? And all for the purpose of God’s glory!!!???

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  98. Preacher’s Wife,

    In my General Association of Regular Baptist Churches, GARBC, high school, in the 1970’s, our Bible teacher, and major power broker in the school would proudly proclaim he was a 2.5 Calvinist… GARBC ranks up there in the fundamentalist orbit, but they do not have much of a southern flavor….. I never detected “Southern cultural” stuff that you would find at Bob Jones U, for example, but boy were they fundy with alter calls at least once a month, we had regularly scheduled youth rally/revivals….

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  99. Max,

    I can’t co-exist with it. I had to leave. It’s up to each individual what they can or cannot co-exist with. That’s what will determine what takes place…each individual’s actions. It’s SALVATION…what can be more basic to my faith than the beliefs held about that?

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  100. Max,

    I think such perversion has always been around…. there is nothing new under the sun..
    I am reading Shelby Foote’ three volume set on the Civil War,,,,, things were not “rosy” back then either…. the volumes are not discussing pedos, obviously, but there was plettly of “sin” to go around back then…

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  101. Darlene,

    “evanescent grace” is just one of many “ doctrines” of Calvinism that, IMHO, are not in scriptures, and that result from the “itellectual gymnastics” that calvinist “theologians” get into….. if Calvanism is pushed to hard it leads to many conclusions that are fundamentally contradictory of what is generally assumed to be the “attributes” of G$d…

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  102. Max: “Our disagreement on finer points of theology should not tear apart our unity in the Gospel,” Greear said. “Calvinism is never an issue to me…. I can assure you that what is not biblical is sitting around bickering about finer points of theology when people are lost and going to Hell.” (The Christian Post)

    There is only one thing such rhetoric can possibly be intended to do, and that is deceive.

    In case you do not know it, under Calvinism, God and God alone determined, in eternity past, who would go to heaven and who would go to hell. It is not based on anything he foresaw or knew about a creature – it was his sole, unilateral decision. This is not optional or arguable doctrine – it is the essence of Calvinistic determinism.

    To suggest that we ought not bicker about theology while people are lost and going to hell is deliberately devious, deceptive nonsense. Why not bicker over theology? The people that God selected for hell are going to go there, no matter what anyone does or does not do. A Calvinist might as well argue theology until the sun goes down. Or go fly a kite, because God has chosen, unchangeably, who will be saved and who will not, and there is not a darn thing any preacher boy can do about it. No one is going to go to hell because Calvinists argued too much or too little (is that even possible?), or because they didn’t preach enough, or give enough or pray enough. People go to hell because, and only because, God has so ordained it.

    I cannot say it emphatically enough – this only proves that these people are deceivers. How dare they pretend to mourn over the people their theology asserts God righteously destined for destruction? They cannot lift one little finger to change anyone’s eternal destiny, even if they wanted to, under their perverse theology. Those who perish NEVER HAD A CHANCE to do anything but perish. Jesus did not die for their sin. God had no intention of saving them, from the moment he breathed life into their doomed body. I’m sorry this does not sound very ‘nice’ but it really isn’t very ‘nice’ theology. I sat under it for over a decade, and have studied it intensively since then.

    The ignorant rubes in the pew might not understand what this theology really demands, but the preacher boys sure do, or they have no business calling themselves Calvinist!

    When I was on my way out of my Calvinist church (It was a long process, as I had many family members to consider) the pastor had the gall to claim, in a sermon, that every week he shed ‘real’ tears over the thought of the millions going to hell. My spouse almost had to hold me down, as I spluttered indignantly while my pastor, oh so humbly, wiped imaginary tears from his eyes over ‘the lost’.

    How can anyone – if they have the slightest understanding of Calvinism – sit and listen to such absurdity? There are no ‘lost’ under Calvinism – only ‘rejected’. God will ‘lose’ none of his own. God randomly created countless millions deliberately to send to hell. Remember, it’s all about his glory? And this pastor had the gall to say he ‘grieved’ over those he so ferociously defends his God as justly, irresistibly dooming to hell with no hope whatsoever of salvation.

    Why would any honest Reformed person weep over men, women and children heading to the very destruction for which – they claim – God created them? It’s all part of his glorious plan; why weep? God could have saved these people had he so desired, so don’t give it another thought. Just go back to declaring his marvelous ‘grace’.

    I’m sorry, but this almost makes me physically ill. The theology itself is unadulterated evil, but then add on these pompous ass*s who pretend to care about ‘the lost’. Sorry, that just won’t play. God pulled off a daisy petal and said ‘Go to h*ll’ to countless men, women and children whom he could just as easily have saved. This is Calvinism, and cannot be denied, even if these deceivers pretend otherwise. I know that many, many people have been misled and not really had the full implications of the theology explained to them – that’s how they play. Simply look into it for yourself, if you want to understand it. I recommend https://soteriology101.com/, a blog by a former Calvinist pastor and theologian, as a good place to start.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  103. Lea: Sometimes I hear people talking about what ‘Calvinists’ believe and it all sounds pretty far afield from my experience with it.

    Unfortunately, most Calvinist pastors, now attempt to distance themselves from the very central planks of their own theology, and prefer to call themselves ‘Reformed’, which gives them a little more wiggle room.

    I worshiped and served in a Calvinist church for over a decade, and it was only when I began an intensive study on my own that I came to fully understand what the theology demands. My pastor always avoided a head-on study of Calvinism, even though nearly every new person who came to the church requested it. He simply did not teach honestly what the doctrines actually mean, and often spoke in what I came to later see as deliberately misleading language. When the pastor ‘borrows’ non-Calvinist language and concepts, you cannot blame the naive pew for not properly understanding what Calvinism is. While some details are arguable, the major plank of Divine Determinism, God choosing who will be saved, Jesus only dying for those select few and all others deliberately, unchangeably created for destruction simply cannot be debated. Few pursue this through to all of the horrible, logical conclusions, which most pastors attempt to keep hidden until the people are in ‘too deep’ to escape. It is essentially what so many here have testified to as happening within their SBC churches – the Calvinists will never honestly declare what they believe. Most self-claimed Calvinists I know do not understand or live by the dictates of the theology, and would insist, upon hearing them ‘that’s not what Calvinism really teaches’. My own pastor would quickly brush aside all genuine questions about what Sproul termed ‘the scary stuff’ with, ‘Oh that’s just ‘hyper-Calvinism’. Hyper-Calvinism is simply consistent Calvinism.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  104. Mary27: That kind of statement is easy to make unless it is YOUR child that was devastated by the harsh, unmerciful, authoritarian treatment of Calvinist pastors… people that she thought loved her, who SAID they loved her, and then threw her out and shunned her for no good reason… threw her out when she was already in pain and pleading for their help. In my Bible I find that God actually has some pretty strong words to say to evil wolves who do damage to the flock. Yes, each person is accountable for their own decisions. But your comment only holds the damaged person accountable and ignores the need for accountability of the one who did the damage.

    Amen. Seneca Griggs’ comment makes him sound smug, or uncaring, or both.

    I don’t like to label people, but…

    Pharisee?

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  105. Darlene: *Relevant* – It sounds so harmless on the face of it. ‘Come into my parlor said the spider to the fly.’

    Love bombing works best when it’s high on emotion and light on the details. So does car sales.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  106. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    This is the relevant section from the Beveridge translation. It also takes in the first few sentences of section 12 but I would recommend that you read more than this small section in order to put it into context. As far as I can understand it, he uses the word evanescent to explain why some/many fall away as referenced by many portions of Scripture.

    11. I am aware it seems unaccountable to some how faith is attributed to the reprobate, seeing that it is declared by Paul to be one of the fruits of election; and yet the difficulty is easily solved: for though none are enlightened into faith, and truly feel the efficacy of the Gospel, with the exception of those who are fore-ordained to salvation, yet experience shows that the reprobate are sometimes affected in a way so similar to the elect, that even in their own judgment there is no difference between them. Hence it is not strange, that by the Apostle a taste of heavenly gifts, and by Christ himself a temporary faith, is ascribed to them. Not that they truly perceive the power of spiritual grace and the sure light of faith; but the Lord, the better to convict them, and leave them without excuse, instils into their minds such a sense of his goodness as can be felt without the Spirit of adoption. Should it be objected, that believers have no stronger testimony to assure them of their adoption, I answer, that though there is a great resemblance and affinity between the elect of God and those who are impressed for a time with a fading faith, yet the elect alone have that full assurance which is extolled by Paul, and by which they are enabled to cry, Abba, Father. Therefore, as God regenerates the elect only for ever by incorruptible seed, as the seed of life once sown in their hearts never perishes, so he effectually seals in them the grace of his adoption, that it may be sure and stedfast. But in this there is nothing to prevent an inferior operation of the Spirit from taking its course in the reprobate. Meanwhile, believers are taught to examine themselves carefully and humbly, lest carnal security creep in and take the place of assurance of faith. We may add, that the reprobate never have any other than a confused sense of grace, laying hold of the shadow rather than the substance, because the Spirit properly seals the forgiveness of sins in the elect only, applying it by special faith to their use. Still it is correctly said, that the reprobate believe God to be propitious to them, inasmuch as they accept the gift of reconciliation, though confusedly and without due discernment; not that they are partakers of the same faith or regeneration with the children of God; but because, under a covering of hypocrisy, they seem to have a principle of faith in common with them. Nor do I even deny that God illumines their minds to this extent, that they recognise his grace; but that conviction he distinguishes from the peculiar testimony which he gives to his elect in this respect, that the reprobate never attain to the full result or to fruition. When he shows himself propitious to them, it is not as if he had truly rescued them from death, and taken them under his protection. He only gives them a manifestation of his present mercy. In the elect alone he implants the living root of faith, so that they persevere even to the end. Thus we dispose of the objection, that if God truly displays his grace, it must endure for ever. There is nothing inconsistent in this with the fact of his enlightening some with a present sense of grace, which afterwards proves evanescent.
    12. Although faith is a knowledge of the divine favour towards us, and a full persuasion of its truth, it is not strange that the sense of the divine love, which though akin to faith differs much from it, vanishes in those who are temporarily impressed. The will of God is, I confess, immutable, and his truth is always consistent with itself; but I deny that the reprobate ever advance so far as to penetrate to that secret revelation which Scripture reserves for the elect only. I therefore deny that they either understand his will considered as immutable, or steadily embrace his truth, inasmuch as they rest satisfied with an evanescent impression; just as a tree not planted deep enough may take root, but will in process of time wither away, though it may for several years not only put forth leaves and flowers, but produce fruit. In short, as by the revolt of the first man, the image of God could be effaced from his mind and soul, so there is nothing strange in His shedding some rays of grace on the reprobate, and afterwards allowing these to be extinguished. There is nothing to prevent His giving some a slight knowledge of his Gospel, and imbuing others thoroughly“

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  107. In a spare 5 minutes once I downloaded a copy of Calvin’s “Institutes of the christian religion” from the interweb; opened it in Pages (i.e. the Mac equivalent of Word) and removed all the endnotes and bibliography at the end. It still came to over 600,000 words. This was an english translation, of course. To be fair, the bible itself has around 800,000. But still, that’s a vast, runaway thought experiment.

    To my mind, the fundamental problem with calvinism-ism began before Calvin ever wrote a word of his (his) institutes. Once you decide you’re going to construct a box into which your God will fit, then you’re just carving an idol. Had Calvin been a man used to working with his hands, he might have done what the laddie parodied by Isaiah did: gone out and cut down a tree, cut it in half, used one half for firewood, and fashioned the other half into a God. (And then prayed to his lump of wood for deliverance.) It happened that Calvin was a reader, lawyer and all-round blogger. Words were his thing, and of course they are better for starting or strengthening revolutionary movements than statues are.

    So, Calvin did his thing and came up with all the stuff he came up with. I wonder whether given even slightly different circumstances, he might have come up with a very different set of calvinist-isms. An idol with a very different face, so to speak. But it would still have been what it is: an idol. It wouldn’t have set people free. But it still would have appealed to people who want a magic box that gives a detailed specification for all the aspects of god they care about (it’s then easy to dump the rest, that you don’t really care about, into the “This is all a mystery we can't know about" bin.

    Meanwhile, impassioned young men with all the answers they want accept The Call and take over churches.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  108. Jimmy:
    I’m a pastor in the SBC. Nobody cares about this stuff. The SBC is an association not a denomination. There are a few old guard people in the South who care and everyone else just worries about their own church and local ministry. Huge non-story.

    You care about this stuff if it’s your church that’s taken over, or you are “disciplined” for not accepting absolute authority of men over your life. This does happen and has happened over and over in the SBC.

    My former church has the phrase “prove your commitment to the church” all over their website (I’ve shown it to dee). Their expectations for proving your commitment, and discipline if you do not, are anything from missing a Sunday of church to not posting on their Facebook page once a week to make it popular.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  109. Finegold:
    Preacher’s Wife,

    I praise the Lord I am sealed by the Holy Spirit forever and enjoy such a sweet assurance. I can’t imagine what it would be like to always be
    Lily Rose,

    wondering if I had lost my salvation every other minute.

    Not sure what you’re saying here. My salvation has never been in doubt. I was asking about neo-calvinist beliefs on the elect and THEIR idea of salvation.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  110. The issue has never been Calvinism or Arminianism. It’s greedy men who want ways to gain power, money, and control in the church. The New Calvinists have made a theology to support those goals, but others have made very different theologies to accomplish that.

    I do agree that I see nothing in the Bible of the heartless god of the New Calvinists, but neither do I see in the Bible the “pray and be rich” god of the prosperity movement. Both of those are men making God in their own image, instead of seeking Him on His terms.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  111. The funny thing is that some of these trolls who think they would be fine if their church is taken over could be the first ones to go if those in the takeover think they might not have the charisma needed and the desire to say yes to the “ultimate leader”.

    Just because you share their theology doesn’t mean they won’t treat you like dirt, because none of this is really about theology at all.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  112. Finegold:
    Preacher’s Wife,

    What your dad was referring to was Preservation of the Saints which means once saved always saved and sealed by the Holy Spirit. Calvinists believe in Perserverance of the Saints which is totally different. If you are one of the elect, then your life will prove it by living a holy life to the end. Calvinists do not understand the Doctrine of Carnal Christianity as described in I Corinthians 3:1-3. Neither Calvinists nor Arminians understand the difference between our Standing in Christ which never changes when justified and our State which is always in flux and involved in sanctification. I praise the Lord I am sealed by the Holy Spirit forever and enjoy such a sweet assurance. I can’t imagine what it would be like to always be
    Lily Rose,

    wondering if I had lost my salvation every other minute.

    Not sure what you’re saying here. My salvation was never in doubt. I just asked a question about neo-calvinism beliefs on the elect and their idea of salvation. I don’t know how this came about my salvation all of a sudden.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  113. Finegold,

    I don’t know why my comments aren’t posting, but I’ll try again. I never doubted my salvation. I was asking questions about the neo calvinism beliefs on the elect and their idea of salvation. Sorry if more than one post shows up later, but my comments weren’t going through.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  114. ishy: The issue has never been Calvinism or Arminianism. It’s greedy men who want ways to gain power, money, and control in the church.

    Yes.

    My experience with a traditional reformed church has been positive and above board. It’s these people sneaking in and lying that are a problem

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  115. Nick Bulbeck: To my mind, the fundamental problem with calvinism-ism began before Calvin ever wrote a word of his (his) institutes. Once you decide you’re going to construct a box into which your God will fit, then you’re just carving an idol.

    Nick Bulbeck: the fundamental problem with calvinism-ism began before Calvin ever wrote a word of his (his) institutes. Once you decide you’re going to construct a box into which your God will fit, then you’re just carving an idol.

    Astute observation. And like today’s big names, who knows who and what was really behind him? I doubt Calvin arose out of the mist, unaided, to co-opt the Anabaptist resistance anymore than Mohler arose on his own to spearhead the conservative resurgence or a certain individual came to be the so-called leader of the free world. How many know that how he sought to murder Servetus via the Inquisition by sending personal papers to the supposed Roman Catholic ‘Enemy’? Which is probably why Servetus showed up to confront Calvin, and was murdered over semantics. We are naive when we refuse to acknowledge the conspiring of men described by Paul and others.

    Anyone who claims to be a believer, who still puts store in Christianity’s scriptures, ought to be fully aware that therein is taught the story of a super-villain, a secretive, powerful anti-Christ persona who will go down fighting. History is simply his version of the true story, which usually conceals the true powers that manipulate the talking heads of the day. Some things never change. And the naive buy the cover story.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  116. Lily Rose,

    Yeah, I appear to be under moderation as well. Too vehement in my disgust with the deceptions of Calvinism, I suppose. If one tries to logically set forth the Reformed soteriology he or she will quickly discover just how abhorrent it is. This is what led to, as Max puts it, 90% of mankind rejecting it.

    So it has now come slinking back under a new name, its teachers masquerading as angels of light and speaking deceptive, misleading words that hide their true beliefs and intentions. Of course, that is exactly what Calvin did in Geneva, and by the time the people realized what he really was about, he was in complete control of them and widely influential over the known world. In his day, he would have been viewed much as Mohler is – brilliant, calculating and out to ‘save The Church’ from its many, admitted ills.

    Yet Calvin’s many misdeeds, meticulously documented in still existing Geneva records, have been carefully whitewashed from history, and countless people still bow to the theology of a man who tortured and/or murdered those who he could not control by authoritarian force.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  117. Lea: My experience with a traditional reformed church has been positive and above board. It’s these people sneaking in and lying that are a problem

    Agreed. I’ve noted on here before that, in my long tenure as a non-Calvinist Southern Baptist, there was a sprinkling of classical Calvinists in the SBC churches I attended. While I didn’t agree with their theology, I found them civil in their discourse and respectful of other expressions of faith. These “New” Calvinists are totally different animals … they are militant, aggressive, deceptive, and arrogant. I suppose the “Old” Calvinists within SBC (Founders Ministry and others) are reluctant to chastise the young reformers because they are accomplishing what the old guys couldn’t over the years … Calvinization of the largest non-Calvinist Protestant denomination in America. Somehow, the whole bunch justifies a little stealth and deception if the overall mission is accomplished. God, on the other hand …

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  118. Finegold: Calvinists do not understand the Doctrine of Carnal Christianity as described in I Corinthians 3:1-3. Neither Calvinists nor Arminians understand the difference between our Standing in Christ which never changes when justified and our State which is always in flux and involved in sanctification. I praise the Lord I am sealed by the Holy Spirit forever and enjoy such a sweet assurance. I can’t imagine what it would be like to always be wondering if I had lost my salvation every other minute.

    I think that they understand what you are saying quite well, as do multiple groups with varying theologies understand what you are saying. It is not that the don’t understand what you are saying but rather that they do not agree with what you are saying. Saying that somebody ‘does not understand’ is at best an error and at worst haughty. But if you want to talk about not understanding just look at your last sentence. Who pray tells thinks they may lose their salvation every other minute; of all people certainly not the calvinists.

    Oceans of christians neither agree with them or with you, and it is not that we do not understand what you are saying.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  119. Jeffrey J Chalmers: evanescent grace” is just one of many “ doctrines” of Calvinism that, IMHO, are not in scriptures,

    I hear you. The scripture does mention that at one point God sends a strong delusion because…
    At some point we have to stop short of saying that God would never do anything remotely like that, ever, under any circumstances and for any reason.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  120. Anyone see the Pope’s comments yesterday? Seems to be saying ‘let bygones be bygones’, that the church shouldn’t be judged for covering up child sex abuse in the past because that’s the way everyone handled things back then…
    Incredible.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  121. Nick Bulbeck,
    A few years back (2011) Justin Taylor wrote an article encouraging people to read “old works” and, specifically, The Institutes. He quoted John Piper who wrote
    -“Most of us don’t aspire very high in our reading because we don’t feel like there is any hope. But listen to this. Suppose you read about 250 words a minute and that you resolve to devote just 15 minutes a day to serious theological reading to deepen your grasp of biblical truth. In one year (365 days) you would read for 5,475 minutes. Multiply that times 250 words per minute and you get 1,368,750 words per year. Now most books have between 300 and 400 words per page. So if we take 350 words per page and divide that into 1,368,750 words per year, we get 3,910 pages per year.

    The McNeill-Battles two-volume edition (for now the generally accepted authoritative standard) runs about 1800 pages total—so you could technically read it twice in one year at just 15 minutes a day!”

    By that reckoning the Institutes come in at less than 700,000 words and Calvin’s purpose wasn’t to make an idol of them but this
    – “Calvin would have hated the designation of his Institutes as a book of academic theology. That was precisely what it was not. Above all, his creation was a structured exposition of the biblical account of divinity and humanity, of what Christians should know and how they should live. The opening words of the book set the tone for the whole. Calvin moved directly to how we know God and ourselves, to how we are in a relationship with a God who has reached out to a lost people. The Institutes is about relationships, principally God with us, but also us with our neighbors and ourselves. These relationships are inseparable in the sanctified life Calvin envisaged for women and men. Calvin walks us through the redemption and sanctification of life, not in some abstract argument but as Moses forging a path in the desert. The Institutes is a book to be lived.” (Bruce Gordon).

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  122. As a former SBC Moderate pastor, it is interesting to see the Calvinist takeover and its “creeping creedalism.” Fundamentalists always have to have something to fight about, so after creating denominational “purity” by forcing the Moderates out, you had to wonder what the next controversy would be. The meteoric rise of Al Mohler said it all and how SBTS is now Calvinist. And how all of this winnows down to the church level. The following words come from a TN church that at one time was a major Moderate church and a leader in CBF. But times change and pastors come and go. The pastor’s words from their website say so very much about where they are headed:

    “I know most Baptists do not have much experience with creeds and may even be hostile to the idea of creeds. But my hope is that over these 12 weeks we as a church will understand what are those distinct truths that all Christians in all places and at all times have believed. What is it that unites us with Christians across the world? It is these basic Christian doctrines that form the core of our common faith. They set the boundaries of orthodoxy (“right belief”), and as we know, orthodoxy leads to orthopraxy (“right practice”). If we get these doctrines to take root in our souls, then our lives will bear their fruit every where we go.”

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  123. readingalong:
    Anyone see the Pope’s comments yesterday?Seems to be saying ‘let bygones be bygones’, that the church shouldn’t be judged for covering up child sex abuse in the past because that’s the way everyone handled things back then…
    Incredible.

    It’s always that kind of response that keeps allowing it to happen.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  124. readingalong,

    I challenge the TWW readers to really contemplate the Pope’s statement. What is the Pope really saying? Morality is realitive, and based on current cultural norms?

    From the PA Grabd Jury Report: a pornagraphy ring was run by Priests that circulated pedo pictures, including a naked boy on the cross??
    I am old enough to remenber that as a kid that porno rings were arrested and thrown in jail…… I am sure some were covered up, but as a kid, in the 1960’s, I know THE LAW hammered pedos and porno people..

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  125. JD Greear’s call to pacifism reminds we of the wedding party scene from Monty Python’s “Search for the Holy Grail”. After slaughtering many of the wedding guests, the master of the manor sees some advantages and tells the remaining people to stop bickering, because this is a “happy day”.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=y05eFDQnSfE

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  126. ishy: The funny thing is that some of these trolls who think they would be fine if their church is taken over could be the first ones to go if those in the takeover think they might not have the charisma needed and the desire to say yes to the “ultimate leader”.

    But these trolls KNOW they’re going to be Fearless Leader’s Court Favorites.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  127. Luckyforward: They set the boundaries of orthodoxy (“right belief”), and as we know, orthodoxy leads to orthopraxy (“right practice”). If we get these doctrines to take root in our souls, then our lives will bear their fruit every where we go.”

    Once upon a time in Germany, both Catholics and Lutherans had ‘right belief’ coming out the wazoo. But the cattle cars still got packed with Jews headed East for the gas chambers and the crematoriums. So much for orthodoxy as the required progenitor of orthopraxy.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  128. dee:
    Max,

    I live a few miles from SEBTS. Ewe are tripping over the number of start up Reformed Baptist churches around here. They all have names like *Relevant*, etc.

    Remember this:
    NOTHING GETS OLD-FASHIONED FASTER THAN OVER-RELEVANCE.

    Remember that RELEVANT comedy revue of The Sixties, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In? “GROOVY, MAN!”

    Except Dan Rowan & Dick Martin didn’t brand(TM) it as anything more than a current-events comedy revue. NOT the Cosmic-level Answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything for all Eternity.

    THE ONLY THING THAT AGES FASTER THAN OVER-RELEVANCE IS PRETENTIOUS OVER-RELEVANCE.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  129. Mary27: But your comment only holds the damaged person accountable and ignores the need for accountability of the one who did the damage.

    Because The Party Can Do No Wrong, Comrades.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  130. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    I think some of them think they will be the “Fearless Leader”. I know at least one who believed that who was the first to go.

    Some if then also think their own church is safe until NAMB plants a church across the street with a young and newly indoctrinated minion and takes all their members.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  131. Lowlandseer,

    You sound like a voice of reason. Yet I cannot get past the idea that a god would deliberately create living, breathing, sentient beings who have no hope of salvation because he determined to condemn them from the foundation of the world, even before he knit them together in their mothers’ wombs, and did this to glorify himself, of all things.

    (Which sounds to me like a capricious 2yo smashing the clay figures he made while yelling, “Mommy! Look at me! Look! Look!” I cannot reconcile this picture with an omniscient, omnipotent, *loving* God.)

    Do you have any help for this conundrum?

    I miss the feeling of being loved, of believing that God was trustworthy and never changing and who desired that none would be lost and a Good Shepherd and Bread of Life and Living Water. But I cannot follow a cruel and capricious toddler.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  132. Jeffrey J Chalmers:
    Max,

    I think such perversion has always been around…. there is nothing new under the sun..
    I am reading Shelby Foote’ three volume set on the Civil War,,,,, things were not “rosy” back then either….the volumes are not discussing pedos, obviously, but there was plettly of “sin” to go around back then…

    Shelby Foot, one of my favorite American historians!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  133. readingalong,

    Many lay Catholics are hoping and praying that Francis will resign. I doubt that he will, though. Although who knows? Once the AGs in other states launch investigations, more mitred heads will probably roll. And perhaps the Holy Father’s as well.

    I used to defend him and make excuses for him. No more. As a Catholic, I respect his office. But it is increasingly clear that he is part of the problem. I pray he will come to see this and will stop gaslighting us. But I’m not holding my breath.

    Viva Vigano! Cardinal Sarah for pope!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  134. TS00: There is only one thing such rhetoric can possibly be intended to do, and that is deceive.

    In case you do not know it, under Calvinism, God and God alone determined, in eternity past, who would go to heaven and who would go to hell. It is not based on anything he foresaw or knew about a creature – it was his sole, unilateral decision. This is not optional or arguable doctrine – it is the essence of Calvinistic determinism.

    To suggest that we ought not bicker about theology while people are lost and going to hell is deliberately devious, deceptive nonsense. Why not bicker over theology? The people that God selected for hell are going to go there, no matter what anyone does or does not do. A Calvinist might as well argue theology until the sun goes down. Or go fly a kite, because God has chosen, unchangeably, who will be saved and who will not, and there is not a darn thing any preacher boy can do about it. No one is going to go to hell because Calvinists argued too much or too little (is that even possible?), or because they didn’t preach enough, or give enough or pray enough. People go to hell because, and only because, God has so ordained it.

    I cannot say it emphatically enough – this only proves that these people are deceivers. How dare they pretend to mourn over the people their theology asserts God righteously destined for destruction? They cannot lift one little finger to change anyone’s eternal destiny, even if they wanted to, under their perverse theology. Those who perish NEVER HAD A CHANCE to do anything but perish. Jesus did not die for their sin. God had no intention of saving them, from the moment he breathed life into their doomed body. I’m sorry this does not sound very ‘nice’ but it really isn’t very ‘nice’ theology. I sat under it for over a decade, and have studied it intensively since then.

    The ignorant rubes in the pew might not understand what this theology really demands, but the preacher boys sure do, or they have no business calling themselves Calvinist!

    When I was on my way out of my Calvinist church (It was a long process, as I had many family members to consider) the pastor had the gall to claim, in a sermon, that every week he shed ‘real’ tears over the thought of the millions going to hell. My spouse almost had to hold me down, as I spluttered indignantly while my pastor, oh so humbly, wiped imaginary tears from his eyes over ‘the lost’.

    How can anyone – if they have the slightest understanding of Calvinism – sit and listen to such absurdity? There are no ‘lost’ under Calvinism – only ‘rejected’. God will ‘lose’ none of his own. God randomly created countless millions deliberately to send to hell. Remember, it’s all about his glory? And this pastor had the gall to say he ‘grieved’ over those he so ferociously defends his God as justly, irresistibly dooming to hell with no hope whatsoever of salvation.

    Why would any honest Reformed person weep over men, women and children heading to the very destruction for which – they claim – God created them? It’s all part of his glorious plan; why weep? God could have saved these people had he so desired, so don’t give it another thought. Just go back to declaring his marvelous ‘grace’.

    I’m sorry, but this almost makes me physically ill. The theology itself is unadulterated evil, but then add on these pompous ass*s who pretend to care about ‘the lost’. Sorry, that just won’t play. God pulled off a daisy petal and said ‘Go to h*ll’ to countless men, women and children whom he could just as easily have saved. This is Calvinism, and cannot be denied, even if these deceivers pretend otherwise. I know that many, many people have been misled and not really had the full implications of the theology explained to them – that’s how they play. Simply look into it for yourself, if you want to understand it. I recommend https://soteriology101.com/, a blog by a former Calvinist pastor and theologian, as a good place to start.

    I just want to repost this..this is the whole thing I think

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  135. TS00,

    TSOO – I’ve come to the conclusion that Calvinism boils down to:

    Either you’ve been chosen or deemed a reprobate before ever taking breath, and there’s not a darned thing you can do about it. Why bother telling anyone to repent, when those will repent will do so whether you tell them to or not. And those who can’t have never been given the chance to repent.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  136. Max: Is it truly possible for two competing theologies on the plan of God’s salvation to co-exist in a single denomination going forward?

    Yes, it is. The EFCA has been doing it for decades. See this 2014 doctrinal survey.

    https://go.efca.org/sites/default/files/resources/docs/2014/05/efca_doctrinal_survey_and_summary_4.pdf

    Page 2 shows that 38% of pastors identify as Calvinist and 35% as Arminian/Wesleyan. I am told that the balance used to lean slightly the other direction, but they have always co-existed in harmony. We ain’t perfect, but this is certainly a strength of the EFCA.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  137. ishy: Headless Unicorn Guy,
    I think some of them think they will be the “Fearless Leader”. I know at least one who believed that who was the first to go.

    He never realized the Iron Throne has room for Only One.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  138. My former church has the phrase “prove your commitment to the church” all over their website (I’ve shown it to dee). Their expectations for proving your commitment, and discipline if you donot, are anything from missing a Sunday of church to not posting on their Facebook page once a week to make it popular.

    Disciplined for not posting on their Facebook page? For missing church on Sunday? What else do they discipline you for. Blank stares at the pastor while he’s preaching? What about leaving in the middle of the sermon to use the bathroom?

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  139. There are certain philosophical issues to be resolved, not all of the proposed resolutions being calvinistic determinism.

    For one, assuming free will, why would God create anybody at all if he knew that some would choose to defy him to the bitter end?

    For another, would it be possible to have free will if will were not free to choose either way? In other words, is the possible choice of defying God a necessity for there to be a possible choose of choosing God?

    Yet another. If God by his foreknowledge knew that somebody would defy him to the end which is better, to let that person live like everybody else and then die, or should that person be denied even that?

    One more. If indeed the sun shines and the rain falls on the just and the unjust, and if the choice as to which sort of person one is depends on free will, then does that not ‘at least’ show the mercy and justice of God that he lets that play out to the end?

    None of this is calvin’s determinism, but it does address some of the issues.

    So why would God not just wave a wand so to speak and ‘save’ everybody. Why wait for free will. What about those who never heard the message. Well, personally, I think he does do some of that, perhaps a lot of that. We do note that Jesus himself said that there were more things that he had to tell but he could not at the time because the listeners could not ‘receive?’ it.

    I see nothing in scripture which claims to be the whole story. Truth claims? Yes. Exclusivity of the person of the Christ? Yes. Total revelation of the mind of God for all eternity? Nope. Not yet.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  140. Darlene: Disciplined for not posting on their Facebook page?For missing church on Sunday? What else do they discipline you for. Blank stares at the pastor while he’s preaching? What about leaving in the middle of the sermon to use the bathroom?

    Yeah it’s totally nuts. I was there when the pastor was brought in, too. Pretty certain nothing he said in that process was honest. All of the other staff were fired and replaced by the standard yes-men elders. It had been a good church, too.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  141. ___

    “God And His Promise.”

    hmmm…

    okrapod,

    As per your comment: Wed Sep 26, 2018 at 01:43 PM ,

    God, in Genesis, made a promise; “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” (Genesis 3:15)

    God with Israel sent his Son to be bruised for his people (the crucifixion) They rejected the offer. Jesus took the keys of death and hell away from Satan.

    Jesus raised up Saul Of Tarsus to bring the offer to the Gentiles. Many have received that offer.

    The offer still stands. Romans 10:9-10.

    Delightfully So…

    ATB

    Sòpy

    ;~)

    – –

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  142. ___

    “Unconditional election?”

    Lily Rose on Tue Sep 25, 2018 at 08:34 AM said: “I’m not sure I understand what they mean by “elect”. Are you only elect if you become a neo-calvinist? I read somewhere that even those who are five point calvinists feel anxious because they don’t really know if they were supposed to be predestined as one of the elect or not. Very confusing. Can someone explain this to me?”

    hmmm…

    Lily Rose, Sure. (I’ll take a bit of a stab or two at it…) 🙂

    “Unconditional election’ ™ is the teaching that before God created the world, he chose to save some people according to his own purposes and apart from any conditions related to those persons. The doctrine was first articulated by Church Father Augustine of Hippo, and is today most commonly associated with Calvinism. The counter-view is conditional election, the belief that God chooses, for eternal salvation, those whom he foresees will have faith in Christ. Unconditional election is drawn from the doctrines of salvation adopted by Augustine of Hippo, was first codified in the Belgic Confession, re-affirmed in the Canons of Dort, which arose from the Quinquarticular Controversy, and is represented in the various Reformed confessions such as the Westminster Standards. It is one of the five points of Calvinism and is often linked with predestination.” (1)

    *

    ‘Unconditional election’ ™ is the Calvinist doctrine derived primarily from Augustinian 4th century Gnostic religious writings which states that God chose those whom he was pleased to bring to a knowledge of himself, not based upon any merit shown by the object of his grace and not based upon foreseen faith (especially a mere decisional faith). God has elected, based solely upon the counsel of his own will, some for glory and others for damnation (Romans 9:15, 21). He has done this act before the foundations of the world (Ephesians 1:4–8).
    * See:Unconditional election
    * See also Election, Predestination, and Foreknowledge of God (2)

    *

    John Calvin revised his Institutes many times during his prolonged stay in Geneva. (3) The doctrine of Unconditional election was not contained in his first published copy and was added later.

    *

    Q. What assurance does a Calvinist or Arminian have that they are saved?

    Q. Does Calvinism or Arminianism offer a Basis for the Assurance of Salvation?

    The Bible answers these questions the same whether one is a Calvinist, Arminian, or simply a devoted Bible believing Christ follower. —>The bible says that if you confess with your lips the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. Romans 10:9-10 And as Paul says in Philippians 1:6: “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

    Hope this helps a bit,

    ATB

    Sòpy

    (1) https://www.definitions.net/definition/unconditional%20election
    (2) https://www.theopedia.com/calvinism
    (3) http://www.apuritansmind.com/the-reformation/a-short-summary-of-calvins-institutes-by-dr-c-matthew-mcmahon/

    Additional supplemental notes:
    https://www.usna.edu/Navigators/_files/documents/The%20Wheel.pdf
    http://www.ibcberlin.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/bridge.pdf
    http://www.discipleshiplibrary.com/pdfs/GMS08.pdf

    ;~)

    – –

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  143. Luckyforward,

    “If we get these doctrines to take root in our souls, then our lives will bear their fruit every where we go.”” — the pastor of the formerly moderate TN church
    ++++++++++++++

    yeah, let’s put phrases and punctuation in our souls. that’s the ticket.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  144. elastigirl:
    Luckyforward,

    “If we get these doctrines to take root in our souls, then our lives will bear their fruit every where we go.”” — the pastor of the formerly moderate TN church
    ++++++++++++++

    yeah, let’s put phrases and punctuation in our souls.that’s the ticket.

    Looks like doctrine trumps the work of the Holy Spirit in his world.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  145. ___

    “A Perpetual Religious Lie, Perhaps?”

    Darlene on Wed Sep 26, 2018 at 12:43 PM said:
    TS00,
    TSOO – I’ve come to the conclusion that Calvinism boils down to:
    Either you’ve been chosen or deemed a reprobate before ever taking breath, and there’s not a darned thing you can do about it. Why bother telling anyone to repent, when those will repent will do so whether you tell them to or not. And those who can’t have never been given the chance to repent.

    hmmm…

    The lethal depths of John Calvin’s lie:

    “God preordained…a part of the human race, without any merit of their own, to eternal salvation, and another part, in just punishment of their sin, to eternal damnation. ” -John Calvin

    *

    What really is Calvinism?

    It is a series of felonious theological beliefs first promoted by Augustine, resurrected by John Calvin (1509-1564), one of the brutal murderous leaders of the Protestant reformation in Geneva. These beliefs were with mistaken abandonment later affirmed by the lengthly Synod of Dordt (1618-1619 CE) as being the true doctrine of salvation which they believed was contained in the Bible. This lie laid the foundation for Reformed Theology.

    Reformed Theology abuses the minds and hearts of men to this day.

    (sadface)

    Sòpy

    ;~)

    – –

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  146. Sòpwith: >The bible says that if you confess with your lips the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.

    I believe that fervently.
    Nonetheless, in some circles, I’m still not “saved” because I refuse to sign onto a whole cartload of other stuff that comes with it as a package deal.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  147. Luckyforward: “I know most Baptists do not have much experience with creeds and may even be hostile to the idea of creeds. But my hope is that over these 12 weeks we as a church will understand what are those distinct truths that all Christians in all places and at all times have believed. What is it that unites us with Christians across the world? It is these basic Christian doctrines that form the core of our common faith. They set the boundaries of orthodoxy (“right belief”), and as we know, orthodoxy leads to orthopraxy (“right practice”). If we get these doctrines to take root in our souls, then our lives will bear their fruit every where we go.”

    I do not know who authored this, or how it is being spread, but I have heard at least two Non-Calvinist pastors recite nearly the same statement. I’m guessing they all get their material from TGC or the like. You can even get accompanying videos for sound bites and Sunday School. I guess it gives the pastor more free time to go fishing, or whatever it is he prefers to do, if he takes someones prepackaged material and reworks it a tad.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  148. Darlene: Disciplined for not posting on their Facebook page?For missing church on Sunday? What else do they discipline you for. Blank stares at the pastor while he’s preaching? What about leaving in the middle of the sermon to use the bathroom?

    The pastor in our neocal former church once took the congregation to task for too many people getting up and going back and forth to the bathroom during his sermons…

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  149. refugee: The pastor in our neocal former church once took the congregation to task for too many people getting up and going back and forth to the bathroom during his sermons…

    Nodding off at Caesar Nero’s lyre concert?

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  150. Luckyforward (quoting a pastor from a congregation website):

    They set the boundaries of orthodoxy (“right belief”), and as we know, orthodoxy leads to orthopraxy (“right practice”).

    Actually, we know that the truth is almost (though not quite) the opposite. Orthodoxy leads to fights over who’s got the right orthodoxy. But dogma and ideology have a strangely limited effect on the behaviour we cannot help but demonstrate everywhere we go.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  151. refugee: The pastor in our neocal former church once took the congregation to task for too many people getting up and going back and forth to the bathroom during his sermons…

    Maybe the coffee was too strong.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  152. For what it is worth, there are those who adhere to all five of the solas and are thus reformed but reject every last petal of the tulip, so are not Calvinist.

    Back in the day, before the dispensational endtimers took over the SBC, there were that sort of Reformed Baptist churches around. Some were historic premill, some amill, some postmill. Some of the amill were soul sleep like Wade Burleson, others were not.

    We weren’t Arminian or Calvinist. We dismantled the tulip this way:

    Instead of total depravity we held that there was no original sin, hence no need for infant baptism. We did hold that ALL would sin once they reached the age of accountability and need the Savior.

    Instead of unconditional election we held to election by foreknowledge. Nobody goes to hell for not hearing the gospel–all who respond to whatever little light they have will be given enough light to make heaven by being in Christ. Evangelism is a command of God, so we better do it. But our failure would be our loss of blessing, not their loss of heaven.

    Instead of limited atonement we taught limited acceptance, meaning free will means some will choose to refuse and thus be lost.

    Instead of irresistible grace we believed all those God the Father foreknew would accept Christ got the chance, even were receivers of providential grace to give them that chance. But free will gives anyone the right to refuse salvation.

    Instead of perseverance of the saints, preservation. No matter how unfaithful we are He remains faithful. No matter what.

    Hmm. Going over those old teachings are sweeping away so much I’ve learned over the years–or mislearned.

    As to the church we held pretty close to E Y Mullins and Herschel Hobbs.

    I still hold to those old teachings. I guess that makes me a sandhill or bush Baptist as we used to call someone of Baptist faith unaffiliated with a Baptist church.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  153. Lowlandseer (quoting Bruce Gordon):

    Calvin would have hated the designation of his Institutes as a book of academic theology… That was precisely what it was not. Above all, his creation was a structured exposition of the biblical account of divinity and humanity, of what Christians should know and how they should live… The Institutes is about relationships, principally God with us, but also us with our neighbors and ourselves. These relationships are inseparable in the sanctified life Calvin envisaged for women and men. Calvin walks us through the redemption and sanctification of life, not in some abstract argument but as Moses forging a path in the desert. The Institutes is a book to be lived.

    Fair enough; but to me, that raises another question: why can followers of Jesus not do this for themselves? Why not forge their own paths, and explore for themselves the possibilities of a relationship with god, and one another? Why not live their own books? Especially for those christians who believe that god’s own spirit lives within them – the same spirit as raised Jesus from the dead, never mind Calvin.

    Something that always bothered me as a professing follower of Jesus was the refusal of my fellow-congregants to do anything other than download resources off the interweb for every and any occasion. Some cool preacher they’d heard at Spring Harvest? We’ll listen to his podcasts in the home group. Or go through some book someone else has written – but only if they’ve added a helpful study guide for each chapter. Some important church service coming up? Better download some helpful prayers. It was sad to be surrounded by so many people – and good people at that – who couldn’t bring themselves to believe they had any spiritual life in them.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  154. refugee,

    This is what even finding out that Calvinism existed & people believed it did for me. I understand now that this was not, & is not, the dominant theology of the Church over the last 2000 yrs, & is basically totally missing from the accounts of the earliest believers, but still…it broke something in me that has never been fixed. I go now to an Anglican church that is a bit Vicar of Dibley & follows a decent God, but I’m not sure I’ll ever really believe that again.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  155. Another evangelical plagiarism scandal by evangelist Christine Caine. Caine and her husband are in charge of a denomination that has a number of churches around the world. I get the impression they have a charismatic bent, but it’s unclear. The denomination website for the churches in Europe does have a giant picture of Christine Caine on their front page.

    https://www.christianpost.com/news/evangelist-christine-caine-sued-by-colorado-author-for-copying-book-227574/#.W6v321WK68A.twitter

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  156. ___

    Legitimate Legacy: “Refusal Of signature, Perhaps?”

    Muff Potter on Wed Sep 26, 2018 at 04:03 PM :

    Sòpwith: “The bible says that if you confess with your lips the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.””

    Muff: “I believe that fervently.
    Nonetheless, in some circles, I’m still not ‘saved’ because I refuse to sign onto a whole cartload of other stuff that comes with it as a package deal.”

    *

    hmmm…

    Sir Muff, 🙂

    You have already ‘signed in’ —in an eternal document. (The Lamb’s Book Of Life)

    Never-you-mind the malicious flak/flack, as it has only one single source.

    The one you serve has only to ”bruise his head” … (if he hasn’t already…)

    Taking your own council as a matter of course (at this stage of the game), is necessarily prudent.

    “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen…” -Sir Winston Churchill

    Take care,

    Sòpy

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=G0np-5xbkus
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0rSBYJcG8pg&list=PL7AC6F77F7109C9BC&index=17&t=0s

    ;~)

    – –

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  157. Lowlandseer: As far as I can understand it, he uses the word evanescent to explain why some/many fall away as referenced by many portions of Scripture.

    I think you are right. As far as I can tell, Calvinists believe that if humans have anything at all to contribute to their salvation, even if it us just the act of making a decision, then somehow humans become ultimately decisive and thus undermine God’s sovereignty and diminish his glory (whether or not all Calvinists believe this, John Piper definitely teaches it with zeal). If this is true (along with irresistible grace), then the only way to explain anyone falling away is to put it on God since it cannot possibly be put on humans since humans have no real choice in the matter. For Calvinists, salvation has to be entirely monergistic and not at all synergistic.

    I think a better way to look at it is through the lens of rescue. In the physical world, rescuers sometimes rescue completely incapacitated people (i.e. monergistic), but more often than not the person being rescued plays a role in their rescue, such as calling 911, climbing into a basket, getting into a boat, grabbing a life ring, reaching out a hand, grabbing a rope, or even just vocalizing their need for rescue (i.e. synergistic). Whenever we hear of dramatic rescues we never hear the people being rescued bragging about how they did it all on their own. Their very minor contributions in no way detracts from the glory, heroism, or contribution of the rescuers.

    But to take the analogy a bit further, if the rescuers were like the god of Calvin, they would refuse to rescue anyone not incapacitated our of fear that the person rescued would falsely boast. In fact, they would actively reject anyone consciously trying to be rescued and reject their efforts as filthy works of the flesh. The only people worthy of rescue would be those who can do nothing but passively participate.

    To take the analogy even further, evanescent grace is pretending to rescue someone, but then abandoning them and blaming them for falsely thinking they were lucky enough to be rescued.

    There is a very good reason that Calvinists don’t talk about evanescent grace.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  158. ishy:
    Another evangelical plagiarism scandal by evangelist Christine Caine. Caine and her husband are in charge of a denomination that has a number of churches around the world. I get the impression they have a charismatic bent, but it’s unclear. The denomination website for the churches in Europe does have a giant picture of Christine Caine on their front page.

    https://www.christianpost.com/news/evangelist-christine-caine-sued-by-colorado-author-for-copying-book-227574/#.W6v321WK68A.twitter

    Caine has spoken at Hillsong on several occasions so I would say yes she is Charismatic.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  159. Nick Bulbeck: In a spare 5 minutes once I downloaded a copy of Calvin’s “Institutes of the christian religion” from the interweb; opened it in Pages (i.e. the Mac equivalent of Word) and removed all the endnotes and bibliography at the end. It still came to over 600,000 words.

    I guess these folks don’t really believe in sola scriptura…

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  160. Sòpwith: “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen…” -Sir Winston Churchill

    Take care,

    Sòpy

    Thanks Sopy, it’s good advice for anybody.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  161. Ken F (aka Tweed): To take the analogy even further, evanescent grace is pretending to rescue someone, but then abandoning them and blaming them for falsely thinking they were lucky enough to be rescued.

    There is a very good reason that Calvinists don’t talk about evanescent grace.

    I’ve said this a few times before, so here goes again:
    Theirs is a sick and twisted religion.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  162. Muff Potter: I guess these folks don’t really believe in sola scriptura…

    I’ve never come across anyone – literally anyone – who believes in “scripture alone”. Even the Nicene Creed is an interpretation of scripture, not (for example) a straight unbroken quote from the original Hebrew. In fact the only way “scripture alone” (in english or any other language) is tenable is when it is surrounded by umpteen caveats explaining why obviously it doesn’t really mean X, Y and/or Z… So many caveats, in fact, that the two-word summary is functionally useless.

    The nascent church certainly didn’t believe in it, since their judgement that gentile believers don’t have to be circumcised is clearly at the very least a significant development (if not a flat contradiction) of scripture as they had it at the time. But then, they seem to have believed that the Author of scripture was actively present among them. More controversially still, they seem to have believed that the Author was greater than the books. This is extremely dangerous, because the minute you suggest god can be known through anything other than scripture, you have implicitly devalued scripture and rejected its authority. And the only result of that is a chaotic free-for-all in which everyone invents his own religion. You’d have a “church” split into, I don’t know, 30,000 separate denominations by now!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  163. Nick Bulbeck,

    The short answer to your question is that they can and should. The interweb is a handy tool but I had most of the books I reference before it came along. As for Spring Harvest, my friends started a Christian music festival before it came along. Some of the artists we had subsequently became celebrities at SH. And as far as I can see the nascent church (and much later, Calvin) believed in Sola Scriptura + the Holy Spirit and reached decisions that way.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  164. Nick Bulbeck,

    Yep. It boggles me why people do not see the difference the ‘sola’ idea makes. The church prior to the reformation did not say ‘sola’; the reformation brought the ‘sola’ concept to the fore. It was a serious mistake in the long run, and it still is a serious mistake. Of course, though, and like you say nobody at all actually believes that. It is always this or that interpretation or understanding or doctrine or conclusion or whatever.

    In the meantime, however, it does create the opportunity for people to focus on ‘our identity as (denom)’ or our church culture/procedures and how well that markets to the populace, or our political beliefs and connections and how we impact the larger culture to do it our way, and on and on. All in the name of ‘sola’ of course for protestants who seem to persist in not dealing with the idea of how ‘sola’ morphed in ‘many’ when it comes to interpretations and beliefs.

    I am not seeing, however, how that works any better if it is done all in the name of ‘church’ seeing the problems over the centuries that such an approach has taken. It all boils down to ‘church’ vs ‘churches’ vs ‘my favorite theologian or author or preacher’.

    I have no hope for this situation as it stands now. It is too easy for the sola people to see in scripture whatever they want to be there, and too easy for the church people to slide into politics, and it is way too hard to manipulate God in any way whatever. Therein lies a problem in the heart of man, I think, the desire to be his own God which includes of course accepting no limits on just what that may mean in practice.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  165. Max,

    Ha! Like SBC retirement is anything to brag about. When my SBC pastor dad retired, he had to start preaching again to stay afloat. Small church pastors in the SBC give their lives to the call and end up living in mobile homes living check to check. Unlike the big whigs in the SBC.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  166. Thank you for covering the pedophilia aspect. I’m seeing more and more of this coming to light and it is truly sickening.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  167. Max: dee: Max: Which is why 90+% of Christendom have rejected the tenets of reformed theology for the past 500 years.

    I am interested in this. Can you point me to anything I can read?

    John Gerstner in his church history series on the Ligonier site estimates that only 2% are classical Calvinists when it comes to predestination and election. https://www.ligonier.org/

    A 2011 report of the Pew Forum on Religious and Public Life estimated that members of Reformed churches make up 7% of the estimated 801 million Protestants globally, or approximately 56 million people. http://www.pewforum.org/2011/12/19/global-christianity-exec/

    Which is why I always say with a fair amount of assurance that most people are not consistent Calvinists; even those who consider themselves so. They make statements like ‘I’m Calvinist, but I don’t believe God chooses who to save or not’ or ‘I don’t think God ordains evil.’ It’s sort of like calling oneself a ‘Vegan’ while remaining a meat eater. Sure, you can call yourself whatever you like; but if you do not meet the official or most commonly agreed upon definition of the term, you are either an idiot or a deceiver.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  168. refugee: The pastor in our neocal former church once took the congregation to task for too many people getting up and going back and forth to the bathroom during his sermons…

    That is just narcissism really…He believes himself to be so important that even your bodily functions should obey.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  169. Nick Bulbeck:

    Actually, we know that the truth is almost (though not quite) the opposite. Orthodoxy leads to fights over who’s got the right orthodoxy. But dogma and ideology have a strangely limited effect on the behaviour we cannot help but demonstrate everywhere we go.

    Completely agree. Knowing is different from doing. This is true in religion and in life.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  170. ishy: Another evangelical plagiarism scandal by evangelist Christine Caine. Caine and her husband are in charge of a denomination that has a number of churches around the world.

    I was wondering if she was related to Paul Cain, but it appears they have different last names. He used to come to our church a lot – apparently there have been many scandals with him though, the internet tells me. Sigh.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  171. TS00: They make statements like ‘I’m Calvinist

    I have not heard reformed people actually refer to themselves as ‘calvinists’ – for the most part this seems to be used by people who are opposed. Most people say reformed or Presbyterian or what have you.

    And those people I’ve met don’t worship Calvin. They don’t adhere to every jot of thought he had. Even with the Westminster confession, you are not ‘bound’ to believe it in any way. And in my experience, churches are full of people who have all sorts of beliefs and happily coexist.

    Of course, when you have an authoritarian control freak you are going to have problems, whether you are ‘calvinist’ or fundamentalist or any other thing.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  172. ___

    The Punch Line: “Examining Calvinism, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    As I have stressed time and time again, only a fool will debate a Calvinist on John Calvin’s theological belief system. They like Augustine, have cherry-picked scriptures to idiotacy.

    KRunch!

    Again a reading copy of the entire Calvinist religious system can be found here:
    http://www.ntslibrary.com/PDF%20Books/Calvin%20Institutes%20of%20Christian%20Religion.pdf

    *
    The work of Luchesius Smits entitled Saint Augustin dans l’oeuvre de Jean Calvin is probably the most thorough study on the degree to which Calvin depended on Augustine for his doctrine of Predestination, and indeed his entire theological stance, as well as the doctrinal dissimilarities between the two theologians. Smits statistically shows that Calvin’s entire works contain 4,119 references to Augustine.
    According to Smits there are 1,175 references in the Institutes, 2,214 in other theological treatise, 504 in commentaries, 47 in his Letters, 33 in his Sermons, and 146 in the letters of authors cited by Augustine that Calvin used. Smits, L. Saint Augustin dans l’oeuvre de Jean Calvin, (Assen, 1957), pp. 271ff.
    https://theglobalchurchproject.com/augustines-influence-calvin-luther-zwingli/

    Below is a good (new purchase copy) summary of Calvin’s system, if your inclined/interested:

    THE FIVE POINTS OF
    CALVINISM
    DEFINED
    DEFENDED
    DOCUMENTED
    by
    David N. Steele
    Curtis C. Thomas
    Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing Co. 1963, revised ed. , 1978

    https://www.amazon.com/Five-Points-Calvinism-Defended-Documented/dp/0875528279/ref=sr_1_1/138-2626579-2894157?ie=UTF8&qid=1538057705&sr=8-1&keywords=Steele%3A+calvinism

    ATB

    Sòpy

    ;~)

    – –

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  173. linda: Back in the day, before the dispensational endtimers took over the SBC, there were that sort of Reformed Baptist churches around.

    But now the Truly Reformed are staging THEIR coup and purge.
    However, Dispy Endtimes will have an established influence.
    Calvinism plus Dispy Endtimes is a Really BAD Combination.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  174. Nick Bulbeck: I’ve never come across anyone – literally anyone – who believes in “scripture alone”.

    Yes, it’s like that for all the solas. Considering that “sola” means “alone” the fact that there are five of them is already a problem. The reformers really meant something different, but “sola” apparently has a nice ring to it.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  175. Patti:
    https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/article218827470.html

    I am pleased to see how the board of a church that I am connected has finally handled this mega-church pastor, whom I personally know, and now some things finally make sense.

    If Fulton Buntain were alive today, he’d be turning in his grave.
    Seriously, Pastor Buntain (who turned plain old 1st Assembly of God into the Life Center megachurch it is today) HAD to have known his successor is a wolf. On the slim chance he didn’t, he should have. And the board and denomination should have made the right call 2 years ago. It’s much like Willow Creek.
    On a side note, I wonder if former Mars Hill leader Bubba Jennings, who was BFF with Curry a few years back, still believes him rather than his victims.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  176. Lea,

    You’re quite right. They always say ‘Reformed’ these days, but I use them interchangeably; for a point. 🙂 I would like those who have been sold a kinder, gentler Calvinism called Reformed Theology to understand what really, unavoidably is built into their system, whether admitted by their teachers or not. The very fact that they chose to rename themselves is rather telling – because they did not discard any doctrines in the process.

    Yes, I was impressed by my pastor’s assurance that I didn’t ‘have’ to embrace the Westminster Confession. Until I realized the unfinished statement was: ‘to be a member of the church’. But to be an elder or deacon (i.e., anyone who has any authority to speak) or to consider yourself truly ‘Reformed’, it really is not an option.

    I don’t mean to be obnoxious. It’s just that I was once where you are . . . And yes, initially, I assumed it was just one authoritarian pastor who was my problem. Until I undertook a multi-year study of the doctrine (for the second time) which convinced me that it was the authoritarian, unloving view of God which created, not simply one, but many authoritarian, unloving ‘shepherds’ and sheep. I know, and love, good godly people who call themselves ‘Reformed’. I’m just not so convinced that they would continue to do so if they really understood the ramifications of the other side of the Reformed view of ‘grace’.

    Reformed grace, unlike that which most other believers hold to, demands that God, and God alone, is responsible for anyone not receiving grace. That is why there is such a great divide between the two groups, which Mohler et al. are attempting to conquer. As sad as the thought of people rejecting God is, the concept of God deliberately rejecting people (Creating them deliberately for destruction, consigning them to hell before they had done anything good or bad, but simply for his ‘good pleasure’) is, in my mind, unthinkable.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  177. Dave A A,

    Yes, yes he would. Fultan Buntain was a man of integrity. Life Center was never really my church, but lots of family very involved there, and Pastor Buntain married my husband and I 37 years ago! And some people thought that wedding where I made him promise not to make me say “to love and obey” or talk about my husband leading would never last, pffff! But that new guy? Even though he was saved at Life Center, well, he had kinda liked that complementarian stuff. I know personally from when I went to see him with a female family to support her . . . well, I shouldn’t go on.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  178. Max,

    No Deb, I’m not a New Calvinist or even an old one. It’s actually pretty easy to blame theological streams when more often than not the real problem is cultural ones.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  179. I met Jesus in Elmbrook as a five year old girl and daughter of the music minister there at the time. My dad had his faults but was a great man. Elmbrook had its faults (being mega was one of them… but oh, we had fun and a nice building to be in because there was plenty of money there. Plenty. Which is one of the reasons I distrust most in the evangelical church today. I will always think that if a pastor has a British accent though then he has something to say that’s worthwhile. I’ll always remember Stewart, but from what I remember Pete was a little arrogant. Hopefully he grew up. Sad to hear about Elmbrook but the church (and others) need a check up in their worship of money too. Maybe someday???

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  180. ___

    “Stop, Look, And Listen, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    The concept of a god deliberately rejecting people (creating them deliberately for destruction, consigning them to hell before they had done anything good or bad, but simply for his ‘good pleasure’) is, is part of a doctrine religious system out of Augustine’s proverbial Gnostic playbook. This was later picked up by Calvin, later to become the foundation of reformed theology.

    It’s premise is a false one: a great abuse of holy scripture. Apostle Paul was not called by Jesus on the Damascus road to build a theological religious system. He was called to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to the nations, which can be summed up in Jesus’ words in John 3:16 and Paul’s words in Romans 10:9-10.

    It was Augustine and later John Calvin who corrupted and polluted the holy scriptures to great detriment to the nations receiving their diabolical and felonious words.

    The promise made to the Israelites is now made available to the gentile nations, and has been for some 2000 years.

    The result of the crucifixion of Jesus, God’s only Son has been made available to all who will receive it.

    It is illicit men who seek by their error to promote another theological religious system, another gospel who create confusion within Christ’s body and bring such horrendous alienation.

    Jesus Christ’s offer is inclusion not exclusion to all who will receive it. Listening to a foreign voice will only bring grief, and separation from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.

    Receive it to day.

    You’ll be glad you did!

    ATB

    Sòpy

    ;~)

    – –

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  181. Lisa Martinez: I will always think that if a pastor has a British accent though then he has something to say that’s worthwhile.

    Well… I’d be careful how far you push that one. I've got a British accent (or rather, I speak english with literally no accent).

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  182. Nick Bulbeck: I’ve got a British accent (or rather, I speak english with literally no accent).

    Well, you have British spelling, so you might just as well go ahead and use one of the British accents; you ain’t foolin nobody nohow.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  183. okrapod: Well, you have British spelling, so you might just as well go ahead and use one of the British accents; you ain’t foolin nobody nohow.

    As a writer, I’ve wondered if you could distinguish a British/Commonwealth accent in print by using Commonwealth spelling of words instead of USA spelling. (Granted, this would break down with Canada, whose spelling is Commonwealth while pronunciation is North American.)

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  184. TS00: I don’t mean to be obnoxious. It’s just that I was once where you are . . .

    Don’t presume, please.

    TS00: You’re quite right. They always say ‘Reformed’ these days, but I use them interchangeably; for a point

    This is my point. People who hate this theological theory use ‘calvinism’ to label it, and then rant at everyone who they think is ‘calvinist’ to accept all parts of the institutes. And say they worship Calvin. I don’t like that and it isn’t accurate. You are not bound even by the confessions, much less the institutes. I wish I could remember what it was called, but there is a whole deal just for people who disagree with various aspects of ‘tulip’. If your denom is not authoritarian, they do not try to impose their will on you.

    Disagree and make your points, if you like, just maybe with a little less of this.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  185. ___

    “Proverbial Pick-Up Thinking, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    Okrapod,

    A moment that matters? I think efficiency within the ‘religious blame game’ ™ is not the driving issue here, but rather, presenting a level of understanding —and that AT the very core of a felonious theological religious system adamantly propounded by John Calvin…”

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=f55KlPe81Yw

    Subverting ‘the secret counsel of GoD’ ™ to establish the free-will of man?

    huh?

    hahahahahaha

    SKREEEEEEEEEETCH

    “Calvinism has done great damage to the protestant cause. I say this because although it is now thoroughly infused into protestant thought, it is sufficiently irrational to put off many thinking Christians. It has caused a massive number of breaks from, and subsets of most protestant denominations. It has caused many thinkers to leave Christianity all together. “-Terry Wooden

    “One of the reasons why there are so many different denominations of Christianity is because people tend to cherry pick their favorite passages and sort of ignore the others that don’t quite fit their own personal agenda.” -Kathryn

    *

    John Calvin’s : ‘the secret counsel of God’ ™ , “by which he chooses some to salvation, and appoints others to eternal destruction” ?

    What?!?

    You might find the following links —of some proverbial ‘christological vaping interest’ ™ :

    🙂

    http://www.covenanter.org/reformed/2016/5/17/a-treatise-on-the-eternal-predestination-of-god#treatise

    http://www.particularbaptistlibrary.org/LIBRARY/Theology/JOHN_GILL_THE_DOCTRINE_OF_PREDESTINATION.pdf

    ATB

    Sòpy
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lrVQR6QlPNA
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oacelnX3VSQ
    https://youtu.be/HCucos4qGQw

    “Think Different ™ ”
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GEPhLqwKo6g

    ;~)

    – –

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  186. No, no, a thousand times no: reformed theology is not limited to those who believe in predestination. Reformed and Calvinist are not the same thing. One can be Reformed and be Lutheran, be Reformed and be Arminian, or be Reformed and be Wesleyan.

    Not all Reformed hold to all or even any of the TULIP. In fact, for all the hyper’s and those that hate them like to say, not every Calvinist holds to the entire tulip. Many toss the U in the TULIP, holding election is according to foreknowledge rather than unconditional. A strong case can even be made that Calvin would not be Calvinist as defined today. (Of course, Luther might not care for where Lutheranism has gone, and for sure Wesley would have a bone or two to pick with some Wesleyans).

    Calvinism has much to disagree with, but let’s disagree without assuming all Reformed are Calvinists. Some are. Some quite simply are not.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  187. Megan:
    Jimmy,

    I don’t think the “old guard” is the problem.It’s the new guard – the just-educated men graduating from our SBC seminaries.

    Chairman Patteson’s Red Guard.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  188. Lea: People who hate this theological theory use ‘calvinism’ to label it, and then rant at everyone who they think is ‘calvinist’ to accept all parts of the institutes.

    I don’t know how to ask this the right way. Can you help me to understand what you mean? I have not yet found any resources showing a difference between Calvinism and Reformed theology/tradition – everything I’ve read or heard equates the two. And I have never heard a Reformed person say they are not Calvinist. In fact, the New Calvinists seem to be proud of the title. And while I have heard different Calvinists reject a point or two if the five points I have not yet come across a Calvinist who has been critical of Calvin’s Institutes – they all seem to praise it (JI Packer called it one of the wonders of the world: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/why-and-how-to-read-calvins-institutes/). I am not disbelieving you – I just don’t have any experience with what I think you are saying.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  189. linda: Reformed and Calvinist are not the same thing. One can be Reformed and be Lutheran, be Reformed and be Arminian, or be Reformed and be Wesleyan.

    This seems to be a yes and no issue. Yes, in the sense that all Protestant denominations have their roots in the Reformation. But no, in the sense that the word “Reformed” has become synonymous with Calvinism. Here is a LCMS article that illustrates this. Whether or not the word “Reformed” should be synonymous with Calvinists, it now is.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  190. Headless Unicorn Guy: And then there’s written Gaelic, which HAD to have been spelled by Scots specifically to screw up Englishmen’s minds.

    My favourite Scots Gaelic word is mheadhoin, simply because it’s the first non-trivial one I ever worked out how to pronounce without looking it up. It means “middle” and it’s pronounced “may-n”. Note the similarity with the word “mean” (as in, average). Gaelic is sometimes thought to be an ancient language, and to some extent it probably is, but it shares much common ancestry with English.

    IHTIH

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  191. Nick Bulbeck: It means “middle” and it’s pronounced “may-n”.

    Not to quibble– OK– totally quibbling here– probably should be vay-n. Just as Mhairi likely will prefer you call her Vah-ree, the haich changes M to V. So the Munro in the middle of the Cairngorms is Ben Vane rather than Ben Maine. But you’ve likely climbed it. I haven’t.
    ION When I drove (not hiked) in the Cairngorms I made the mistake of hiring an economy sedan, which I had to put in 1st gear to climb some hills at 15MPH. IHTIH

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  192. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    Just my own thinking here: my perception is that traditional Reformed do take some issue with the compression of their elaborate system and tradition to one of its (admittedly very important and controversial) elements, monergistic infernalistic (double) predestinarianism.

    There’s a lot more to the Reformed, especially their vision of the meaning of “the church”. There’s a lot IMO in the system that is worthy of respect for what looks to me like attempts to think and design carefully (even if one does not agree with the content of the system; I say this as one who would be regarded to be a heretic by the people I’m trying to respect).

    “Reformed Baptist” is a bit of an oxymoron. It would be better to be more explicit: “predestinarian independent baptist.” In Reformed ecclesiology, there is recourse above the level of the local church if one believes oneself to have been treated unjustly. Not so in reformed independent baptistic churches (and independent churches in general), in which the local pastor/elders have the final word on discipline.

    The problems in ARBCA are an illustration of this — it’s an “association” and the associational body, ARBCA, has no ecclesial authority over the local congregations. Once TJC had fled the Prescott church, there was no way, within the polity of the Association, to go after him. The only recourse was to secular law enforcement, and as we know the injured parties were at the time reluctant to resort to that.

    Baptists have historically distrusted supra-congregational authorities, but that comes with the cost of “no recourse” when things go wrong at the congregational level.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  193. Dave A A: So the Munro in the middle of the Cairngorms is Ben Vane rather than Ben Maine. But you’ve likely climbed it. I haven’t.
    ION When I drove (not hiked) in the Cairngorms I made the mistake of hiring an economy sedan, which I had to put in 1st gear to climb some hills at 15MPH. IHTIH

    Now, this is an interesting one. “Beinn Mheadhoin” IS anglicised to “Ben Vane” in two cases that I know of (one Munro and one Corbett). But Beinn Mheadhoin in the Cairngorms is pronounced, locally, as Ben May-n. I learned this in a phone conversation with the Head Stalker (deer stalker, that is, not creepy weirdo) of the Mar estate. You’re quite right; Lesley and I have done it together, twice; the first time, we saw a golden eagle hovering on a thermal less than 100 yards away. Awe-inspiring… with or without eagle sightings, Beinn Mheadhoin is a magnificent hill, fully worthy of its place in the heart of the Cairngorms.

    One day some 26 years ago, Lesley and I officially fell in love whilst doing the Cairngorm 4000’s. I’ve had a soft spot for them ever since. There’s an extraordinary magic about the Cairngorms; it kind of creeps over you as you walk the 8 miles from the car-park to the start of your first ascent of the day. It stays with you as you stride out over the tundra on the summit plateaux, and is still with you as you walk back through the ancient pine forests in the glens, with tens of thousands of trees but no two of them the same shape.

    It’s nice to read that another Wartburger has been there…

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  194. Dave A A: Just as Mhairi likely will prefer you call her Vah-ree, the haich changes M to V.

    Incidentally, the name “Mhairi” is not uncommon here in Scotland, where no-one would think of pronouncing it other than “Varry”.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  195. Samuel Conner: There’s a lot more to the Reformed, especially their vision of the meaning of “the church”.

    I definitely agree with you on this – the people calling themselves “Reformed” are not a monolithic block. But it think the question I was addressing was whether or not the term “Calvinist” is derogatory. As far as I can tell is is not viewed that way by the vast majority of people who call themselves Reformed. I am sure there are outliers, but they don’t appear to have the numbers or voice to counterbalance those who seem happy to be called Calvinists. If any feel insulted by the term I have not yet found evidence for it.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  196. linda: not every Calvinist holds to the entire tulip

    In my long Christian journey, I have met several “moderate” Calvinists … they call themselves 4-Pointers. While they agree with 4 out of 5 of the Calvinistic doctrines expressed by the acronym “TULIP”, they don’t accept the “L” referring to limited atonement. They refuse to stick their neck out and say that Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross was limited in scope, that it wasn’t available to ALL people everywhere throughout time.

    R.C. Sproul, Calvinist icon, essentially held that moderate Calvinism is non-existent when he said “There is confusion about what the doctrine of limited atonement actually teaches. However, I think that if a person really understands the other four points and is thinking at all clearly, he must believe in limited atonement because of what Martin Luther called a resistless logic.” Thus, to be a “Calvinist” by Sproul’s deduction and Luther’s logic, you must hold all 5 petals of that flower.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  197. Ken F (aka Tweed): And while I have heard different Calvinists reject a point or two if the five points I have not yet come across a Calvinist who has been critical of Calvin’s Institutes

    I’m not sure what you’re saying here. They are ‘not critical’ of the institutes but rejects pieces of it. I think rejection of belief in elements could be considered a criticism in and of itself…

    Mostly I’m saying don’t tell people they ‘worship’ calvin because they are Calvinists, when they don’t put nearly as much emphasis on the man himself as the critics do. Obviously this varies by denomination and individual.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  198. Ken F (aka Tweed): I was addressing was whether or not the term “Calvinist” is derogatory.

    Perhaps because I only hear the term here, and everyone here seems to use it in a derogatory fashion, it certainly seems that way.

    I think it’s better to use other terminology because it puts too much emphasis on one man. Reformed churches are not really worshiping Calvin. I’m speaking more broadly here not of individuals like Piper.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  199. Max: Thus, to be a “Calvinist” by Sproul’s deduction and Luther’s logic, you must hold all 5 petals of that flower.

    And get denounced as Arminianist Thought-Criminal by those who hold SIX petals of that five-petal flower.

    Who in turn get denounced by those who hold SEVEN out of five petals…

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  200. Nick Bulbeck: Well… I’d be careful how far you push that one. I’ve got a British accent (or rather, I speak english with literally no accent)

    No, I have a British accent with no accent (except that of the educated Southerner, which is what the world really means by a British accent). I STRONGLY suspect you have a bit of a Scottish lilt.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  201. Max: R.C. Sproul, Calvinist icon, essentially held that moderate Calvinism is non-existent when he said “There is confusion about what the doctrine of limited atonement actually teaches. However, I think that if a person really understands the other four points and is thinking at all clearly, he must believe in limited atonement because of what Martin Luther called a resistless logic

    He asked the Schaeffers to write on this exact point for a book he wrote on this. They turned him down as they did not hold this belief.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  202. Lea: Mostly I’m saying don’t tell people they ‘worship’ calvin because they are Calvinists, when they don’t put nearly as much emphasis on the man himself as the critics do.

    I’ve never done this and I don’t believe that Calvinists “worship” Calvin (but many do venerate him). What I question is why they don’t appear to critically analyze what Calvin taught and what “Calvinist” denominations teach. I also wonder why it is so hard to find a Calvinist who knows about the stranger aspects of it, such as evanescent grace. In my assessment Calvinism is a complicated edifice needing many planks to hold it together in light of its inconsistencies. Calvin built in all those planks to keep it standing. This is why I question how sincere Calvinists can pick and choose which parts they want to believe without causing the house to crash down. One way to do this is to turn a blind eye to difficulties. I don’t say that all do this, but the New-Calvinists seem particularly good at it.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  203. Lea: Perhaps because I only hear the term here, and everyone here seems to use it in a derogatory fashion, it certainly seems that way.

    I think it’s better to use other terminology because it puts too much emphasis on one man. Reformed churches are not really worshiping Calvin. I’m speaking more broadly here not of individuals like Piper.

    What word is better? I’ve never thought of “Calvinist” as being a derogatory term, I’ve never heard anyone use it in that way, and I’ve never heard of a Calvinist who opposed the term. I have also found that not all Calvinists call themselves reformed and not all reformed people call themselves Calvinists, even though the terms are commonly equated (see the Wikipedia entry). Is calling someone a Calvinist any worse than calling a person a Lutheran or a Mennonite? I don’t think you would say that Lutherans worship Luther. Why would it be different for Calvinists?

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  204. Ken F (aka Tweed): What I question is why they don’t appear to critically analyze what Calvin taught and what “Calvinist” denominations teach.

    A lot of people do though? Didn’t you even say in your post that some reject aspects of the institutes or was that somebody else?

    There is even a whole officially statement in my denom about how you don’t have to accept all of it (Westminster, etc) if it goes against your personal opinions/conscience.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  205. Ken F (aka Tweed): This is why I question how sincere Calvinists can pick and choose which parts they want to believe without causing the house to crash down.

    So you know people questions aspects, you just don’t accept it and think they should reject it all?

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  206. Ken F (aka Tweed):

    In my assessment the Bible is a complicated edifice needing many planks to hold it together in light of its inconsistencies. Theologians have built in all those planks to keep it standing. This is why I question how sincere Bible readers can pick and choose which parts they want to believe without causing the house to crash down. One way to do this is to turn a blind eye to difficulties.

    You clearly made a few small typos, so I went ahead and fixed ‘em for you. See if you can even spot the changes! 🙂

    Seriously, it’s remarkable how well your post describes *any* interpretive lens people bring to the Bible — not just Calvinism, but dispensationalism or biblicism or what-have-you.

    They’re *all* attempts at smoothing out the differences between biblical authors. And they *all* involve some amount of picking and choosing — passage X is more important than passage Y because of Z. We think A is a time-bound commandment but B is universally applicable because C. Our stance on faith vs works is derived from Verse V, and we downplay Verse W, which suggests the opposite conclusion.

    “Picking and choosing” is a ridiculous criticism, because biblical interpretation — much like life itself! — is all about making choices.

    And, just like w/life in general, no one makes consistent and rigorously thought-out choices all the way through. But so what?

    P.S. I have no dog in this fight. I’m probably the only never-Christian person who reads TWW. I’m just sayin’ if you think *your* theology isn’t picking and choosing, you’ve got another think coming.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  207. Lea: Generally speaking, I call people what they ask to be called.

    I think you are saying that you do not identify as a Calvinist. If this is true, I don’t understand why you seem bothered by the term “Calvinist” since it does not apply to you, and the vast majority of people who identify as Calvinists use this term to describe themselves, some with great pride. What term do you suggest we use for people who self-identify as Calvinists?

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  208. David: Seriously, it’s remarkable how well your post describes *any* interpretive lens people bring to the Bible — not just Calvinism, but dispensationalism or biblicism or what-have-you.

    I think you and I might be much more in agreement than you might think. Of course, your remark applies even to atheism and agnosticism. All of us pick and choose what we want to believe – this is universal to humans. Where you and I might differ is in what we pick and choose, and the level to which either of us believe that some systems of thought are more consistent than others. What bothers me about New-Calvinists is their insistence on doctrinal precision and their belief that their system of thought beats all others. They make it sound like Calvinism is a highly consistent system when in fact it is full of inconsistencies, and it does tend to stand or fall on the entirety of the system because it has so many caveats that attempt to patch up the inconsistencies.

    As for where I stand, I am at a point where I’ve questioned so much that I don’t know where to land. I very much like Eastern Orthodox theology, largely because they admit to not knowing everything. As I have interacted with them I have found them to be very receptive to hard questions and open to dialogue. But I don’t think I can become Eastern Orthodox right now. I am currently finding value in people willing to engage in meaningful and respective in conversations (which is becoming increasingly rare). It’s possible that I have an overly negative view of Calvinism because of my recent with New-Calvinists. Time will tell.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  209. The precise and very appropriate name for the five point folks is GOMARISTS:

    https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/kevindeyoung/2012/09/14/how-did-we-get-the-canons-of-dort/

    “In 1610, the Arminian party issued a document called the Remonstrance, setting forth the ‘Five Articles of the Arminians.’ Gomarus and others formed a Contra-Remonstrance party (Gomarists) to oppose the Arminians.”

    “The Contra-Remonstrance from Gomarists was submitted to the States of Holland in 1611. Oldenbarneveldt and the States of Holland decided on toleration. But the Gomarists wanted an official theological pronouncement to settle the issue once and for all…”

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  210. Gomarists – Dictionary of Religion

    https://books.google.com/books?id=5xBWAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA476

    Gomarists or Anti-Remonstrants. —The opponents of the Arminians. They take their name from their leader, Francis Gomar, who was born at Bruges in 1563. He commenced his studies at Strasburg and Heidelberg, and in 1582 came to England, and went first to Oxford and then to Cambridge, where he took his B. D. in 1581. In 1594 he was elected Professor of Divinity at Leyden, and he is chiefly known for his violent opposition to the doctrines of his colleague Arminius. He was present at the Synod of Dort, in 1618, and was the main instrument in getting the Arminians expelled from the Reformed Church…He was a man of great learning and very bigoted in his views.”

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  211. Jerome (quoting Kevin of Young): “In 1610, the Arminian party issued a document called the Remonstrance, setting forth the ‘Five Articles of the Arminians.’ Gomarus and others formed a Contra-Remonstrance party (Gomarists) to oppose the Arminians.”

    The only people we 'ate more than the Romans are the ******* Judean Peoples' Front! – from, of course, The Life of Brian.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  212. Beakerj: I STRONGLY suspect you have a bit of a Scottish lilt.

    Actually, I don’t – cannae dae a Scottish accent tae save masel’, despite living here for nearly 30 years. I have kind of bilingual conversations in Alloa – folk understand me, and I understand them, so it’s all good.

    No, I really do have absolutely no accent at all.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  213. Max: Oh yeah! How do you pronounce Edinburgh?

    With no accent at all.

    One pronounces Edinburgh “enbruh”, as locally defined. I had the privilege of discipling Dee in this noble art when she and I met there this summer.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  214. Root 66: These guys are playing for keeps. They want to control church members through fear and intimidation. You might think it’s a “non-story” until it happens to you, then perhaps you’ll care!

    And when “it happens to you”, it’s too late.
    “The rule of The Party is Forever.”

    I grew up with a sociopath. They can spend YEARS setting everything up behind the scenes, grooming third parties, fattening the target for the slaughter, arranging the pieces on the chessboard just right, then drop their cover for the Final Strike Endgame. And when they do, it’s all over but the screaming.
    “The rule of The Party is Forever.”

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  215. Catholic Gate-Crasher:
    Oh my gosh. What on earth is a 7-point Calvinist?

    Someone so Calvinist that he adds an extra point so he can denounce 6-point Calvinists as Heretics, Apostates, and Reprobates.

    More Calvinist than those More Calvinist than Calvin.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  216. Jerome: The precise and very appropriate name for the five point folks is GOMARISTS:

    Sounds like the name of an alien invasion force in a bad first-person-shooter.

    Or the underground cult of some Cthulhu-like Great Old One. “IA! IA! GOMAR FTHAGN!”

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  217. From the elmbrook church article, the pastors who are now retired are Stuart (not Steve) and Jill. Apologies this is a duplicate comment.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *