David Platt Steps Down as President of the SBC’s International Mission Board

“The Executive Committee of the board of trustees of the International Mission Board voted in a special meeting Sept. 13 to approve Dr. Clyde Meador as interim president starting Sept. 27, subject to full board approval.”

International Mission Board

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Platt_(pastor)#/media/File:David_Platt.jpg

David Platt

The Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board (IMB) is once again undergoing change. Four years ago David Platt became IMB president at the youthful age of 36, succeeding Tom Eliff, who had been in that position since 2011. Over the last decade or so, Platt has become widely known because of his popular book Radical, which he authored while serving as lead pastor of The Church of Brook Hills, where he had served since 2006.

A recent IMB article stated the following:

After receiving the resignation of Dr. David Platt, IMB president, to be effective at the Sept. 27, 2018, trustee meeting, the Executive Committee of the board of trustees of the International Mission Board voted in a special meeting Sept. 13 to approve Dr. Clyde Meador as interim president starting Sept. 27, subject to full board approval.

We assume that this transition took place yesterday. Platt began serving as pastor/teacher of McLean Bible Church in September 2017. According to the IMB article:

“Trustee officers recently discussed with David the possibility of the need for an organizational transition to an interim time as the presidential search continues,” said Dunbar, a member of First Baptist Church Madison, Mississippi. “The board’s Executive Committee met, and after prayer and discussion decided to release David from his commitment to the IMB in order to allow him to focus full time on his new role in gospel ministry at McLean Bible Church, and for the IMB to move forward into a transition period.”

You may recall that in February 2016 a huge restructuring took place, as reported by Christianity Today. The CT article indicated that 983 Southern Baptist missionaries and 149 staff in the U.S. accepted the IMB’s offer of voluntary early retirement or resignation. That brought the number of Southern Baptist missionaries in the field down from 4,700 to about 3,800.

The CT article went on to state:

The news “is disappointing to all of us,” SBC president Ronnie Floyd told Baptist Press…

“This reset is not regress or retreat,” Floyd told Baptist Press. “Southern Baptist churches must see this as a fresh calling to reaching the world for Christ. Now is the time to go forward with a clear vision and an aggressive strategy …

Who will be going forward with this clear vision and strategy?

For the time being, it will be interim president Clyde Meador. The Christian Index recently featured an article on Meador, who is pictured below.

IMB board Executive Committee votes for Meador to be interim president

The Baptist Standard explained that:

After a year and a half in retirement, Meador returned to his current role as executive adviser to the president in January. In his 42 years of service with the IMB, Meador has worked closely with three presidents as an adviser and executive vice president, and he previously served as IMB’s interim president from August 2010 to March 2011.

He and his wife Elaine were appointed as missionaries to Indonesia in 1974. Their service also included leadership in South Asia, Southeast Asia and Central Asia before joining the IMB’s leadership team in Richmond in 2001.

When Meador retired, the Baptist Press published an article highlighting his career. Now he’s back, and we can’t help but wonder why…

Could it have anything to do with this news story that aired on a Richmond station in July 2018? Take a look…

You may remember reading about this matter in a post Dee put together back in July when this story first broke

Did the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board Decide Not to Report Sexual Assault They Knew About for Years?

Shortly after this segment aired, IMB president David Platt released the following statement on July 25, 2018:

I just returned from the last couple of weeks in Sub-Saharan Africa, and after meeting immediately with IMB trustee leaders, I want to speak clearly about recent news concerning an internal IMB investigation in 2007 of alleged sexual abuse by a former youth pastor who had become an IMB missionary and then went on to serve in other ministry leadership positions. In order to fully guard the integrity of an ongoing criminal investigation (with which IMB is committed to full cooperation), I believe it is wise, for the sake of everyone involved, for me to refrain from commenting on specific details in this case.

However, I do want to say that many facets of this situation are extremely disturbing. For this reason, I am commencing a thorough, outside, independent examination of IMB’s handling of past actions, including this case and any other similar situations. In addition, I am commencing a thorough, outside, independent examination of IMB’s present policies and practices to ensure that our current commitment to zero tolerance for child abuse, sexual abuse, and sexual harassment is completely and consistently enforced across IMB today. Further, I am presently in conversations with leaders of other churches and ministries, particularly within the SBC, to establish practical ways we can and must prevent situations like this in the future. Any attempts to minimize, ignore, cover up, or overlook child abuse, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment are absolutely intolerable, and we must take action together now to ensure safety and support for every person employed or affected by a church or ministry.

Moreover, I want to publicly apologize for the hurt and pain that Anne Miller has specifically suffered in this situation. I will not presume to know the variety of other emotions and challenges that she, those around her, and others who have walked through similar situations have experienced. Further, I want to apologize for various ways we in the IMB have contributed to such hurt and pain through our response to this point. In addition, I want to publicly thank Anne Miller for the courage she showed in approaching IMB in 2007, and the courage she is showing now. I realize the actions I have outlined above cannot remove her hurt and pain, or the hurt and pain of others who have experienced similar situations. But I am committed to doing all that I can so that her courage, and the courage of others like her, will prevent hurt and pain among others in the future.

In conclusion, we must do better. In the IMB. In the SBC. In any church and any ministry, we must do everything we can to protect children and adults from abuse and harassment, and we must do everything we can to hold anyone who is guilty of these things fully accountable.

Then two months later David Platt announced that he would be stepping down.

As a Southern Baptist, I will be paying close attention to any news coming out of the International Mission Board and will try to keep our readers informed.


Comments

David Platt Steps Down as President of the SBC’s International Mission Board — 89 Comments

  1. A sobering observation from denominationnomore on a recent thread:

    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.

    As one observes the game of musical chairs at the glittering, snow-capped summit of the para-church career ladder, one should remember those who never set out to climb it. It is incredibly hard to soldier on in the proverbial trenches year after year. It’s sad that the people whose books we should really be reading never get theirs published.

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  2. <complete_tangent>

    There have been one or two comments recently to the effect of “my comment didn’t appear”. I’ve noticed this once or twice two, and in fact it’s just happened again.

    This is almost certainly NOT to do with comments going into quarantine or customs (a quarantined comment normally displays as such when you post it – you can see it but naebdy else can). I think there’s some kind of quirk in a PHP function.

    So, if emdy hits “Post Comment” and the comment just disappears into thin air, it’s not Deebs or GBTC.

    </complete_tangent>

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  3. In another small piece of good news, Dr Fundystan’s West Ham United are 2-0 up on Evilchester United at half-time. It may all change, of course, but so far that’s two morale-boosts for the price of one.

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  4. Nick Bulbeck: It is incredibly hard to soldier on in the proverbial trenches year after year. It’s sad that the people whose books we should really be reading never get theirs published.

    AMEN! I have known such pastors in rural American churches. They labor year after year, faithfully serving God and the congregations entrusted to them. Unlike many young preacher-boys today, these seasoned men of God visit the homes of their flock, pray for the sick in hospitals and nursing homes and are known in their communities as genuine representatives of God. I have considered it an honor to have known some of these servants. They don’t write books … but their lives of faith are being read every day.

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  5. “983 Southern Baptist missionaries and 149 staff in the U.S. accepted the IMB’s offer of voluntary early retirement or resignation”

    As I understand it, “voluntary” meant that they had to accept the offered retirement/resignation packages promptly since there would be no guarantee of any provision for them later. Platt cited an IMB funding shortage in his reduction of these veteran foreign missionaries (primarily non-Calvinist), but SBC during the same period spent $60 million per year to plant 1,000+ churches led primarily by New Calvinists. Reckon what theological persuasion new missionaries will be if/when IMB returns to better financial health? Such leaders in corporate America are are called axemen – they are used on a short-term stint to reduce workforce and budgets.

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  6. On a different note, I’ve reached a bit of an impasse trying to dig in / design the shuttering for the foundations I’m laying at the moment (for a retaining wall that’ll create a flat space for the new shed). I think I need to go for a run – I often get inspiration while running.

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  7. Nick Bulbeck: This is almost certainly NOT to do with comments going into quarantine or customs (a quarantined comment normally displays as such when you post it – you can see it but naebdy else can). I think there’s some kind of quirk in a PHP function.

    The disappearing comments happened at the same time the site quit recognizing my phone and computer (it used to auto-populate my name and email address). I suspect customs works as always but we are no longer getting to see our quaranteed comments. I have noticed that comments appear out of nowhere higher up in threads, which makes them appear to be coming out of customs later than when they were entered.

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  8. Max: I have considered it an honor to have known some of these servants. They don’t write books … but their lives of faith are being read every day.

    Both the old shepherds and the preacher boyz will reap exactly what they’ve sown one day.

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  9. I doubt churches will ever do this,but I wish they would give young people self-protection skills. The school I teach in has a “family life” class for kids beginning in kindergarten. One of the themes covered, as part of healthy living, is learning to say no to people who want to mess with your body. It goes far beyond “good touch/bad touch”, and puts a lot of stress on boundaries. The staff is also trained on responding to kids’ placing their own boundaries, as well as what is appropriate physical touch per age. And, any touching should be initiated by the child (i.e if a child hugs you, a sideways hug is fine) High fives are greatly encouraged. I know nothing is full-proof, but I was trained at home (50 years ago), that if any teacher/scout leader/church worker wanted to get physical with me, I was to whack them one and get out of there. i guess my mom had seen more than she should have as a kid. I don’t know…but i did have some self-defense skills regarding grooming. Obviously, there isn’t much a kid can do if the there is strong physical aggression.

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  10. mot: How many other ways are there for the SBC leaders to destroy a once IMO organization that was blessed by God?

    The SBC has been dying slowly for years – too much bickering and strife over this and that … the New Calvinist movement will finish it off. I’m old enough to remember when the SBC was focused and on-track around the world with the Gospel of Christ that reached millions with a whosoever-will-may-come message. It’s been agonizing to watch a once-great evangelistic denomination in its final death throes.

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  11. Max: The SBC has been dying slowly for years – too much bickering and strife over this and that … the New Calvinist movement will finish it off.I’m old enough to remember when the SBC was focused and on-track around the world with the Gospel of Christ that reached millions with a whosoever-will-may-come message.It’s been agonizing to watch a once-great evangelistic denomination in its final death throes.

    Do you remember–Bold Mission Thrust?

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  12. mot: Do you remember–Bold Mission Thrust?

    Yes. The year was 1976, as I recall. One of the Bold Mission Thrust goals was for the SBC to have 5,000 missionaries on foreign fields by the year 2000. That goal was reached, then Platt recalled them! Missions and evangelism are not the same to a New Calvinist no matter how they spin it.

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  13. Ken F (aka Tweed): The disappearing comments happened at the same time the site quit recognizing my phone and computer…

    Disappearing comments tend, in my (limited) experience here, to appear as if by magic shortly afterwards. I dinnae ken the list of plugins Deebs/GBTC are using, or even what theme, but it certainly looks like a wee WordPress quirk.

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  14. I recall Baptist missionaries stating that Assembly of God missionaries came into established missions zones and tried to “convert” the converts to Pentecostalism. But what goes around comes around. The New Order of the Latter Rain (NOLR) attempted to take over Pentecostal churches and fellowships in Canada and eventually overran the AOG in Australia. Sheep are drawn to whatever movement is trending… New Calvinism will give way to something else eventually.

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  15. Vinnie:
    I recall Baptist missionaries stating that Assembly of God missionaries came into established missions zones and tried to “convert” the converts to Pentecostalism. But what goes around comes around.The New Order of the Latter Rain (NOLR) attempted to take over Pentecostal churches and fellowships in Canada and eventually overran the AOG in Australia.Sheep are drawn to whatever movement is trending… New Calvinism will give way to something else eventually.

    Yes, just as the seeker sensitive groups always build in geographical places where there are strong church backgrounds socially. They don’t try to plant churches in Vermont, where nearly nobody wants church.

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  16. Meanwhile (per the not too well liked P&P website) they mentioned that Devers’ church in DC was hosting a “gay Christian” event.

    https://pulpitandpen.org/2018/09/27/gay-christian-event-planned-at-mark-devers-capitol-hill-baptist-church/

    My comment below is not to debate whether people are or aren’t born with same-sex attractions, but to show the fallacy of Calvinism.

    P&P claims that those who believe people are born with same-sex attraction are living in sin. Yet they also teach predestination. But if God did in fact create some to be consigned to Hell for eternity, sinners with no chance of redemption, then it would make sense that at least some of them were born with same-sex attraction and cannot change that no matter what. That’s a logical conclusion if you hold to predestination.

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  17. Jess: Yes, just as the seeker sensitive groups always build in geographical places where there are strong church backgrounds socially.They don’t try to plant churches in Vermont, where nearly nobody wants church.

    And those churches are always in upper middle class suburbs. I live within a 30-minute drive of FOUR megachurches (Fellowship, Prestonwood, Village, and Gateway).

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  18. Vinnie,

    “Sheep are drawn to whatever movement is trending… ”
    +++++++++++++++

    i suppose it’s just a base aspect to being alive — a bright light, a sudden movement.
    whether it’s a plant to sunlight, a moth to a kerosene lamp, or simply “Squirrel!”

    i would hope for more discernment amongst humans.

    it’s disappointing.

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  19. Hi Dee and everyone. My name is Bruna I’m new here, but I’ve enjoyed reading your posts. Especially the ones about Neo-Calvinists hehe. I got saved at a Baptist Biblicist Church back when I was a kid and now attend a wonderful non-denomination church that is also Biblicist, neither Calvinist or Arminian, or much less universalist, just simple folks who read the Bible through Dispensationalism lens :-). Anyway, I’m so sad to hear things like these happen in the body of Christ. I have worked with missionaries from IMB Brazil in Asia and I’ve seen how leadership at missionary agencies fail to serve their missionaries with a humble heart. We all sin everyday and fail to love our brethren like Christ loves us, but what I’ve seen was inhumane. Extremely abusive behavior towards the missionaries, leaving them traumatized at the missionary field, therefore hindering them from working to the Kingdom of God with a peaceful heart. Thank you for allowing this space to expose these things and also to allow fellowship among other believers 🙂 xx Bru

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  20. Vinnie: Sheep are drawn to whatever movement is trending… New Calvinism will give way to something else eventually.

    I was young and now am old; I can attest to much wandering of the sheep to and fro. I’ve observed church movements come and go. I’ve witnessed the holiness movement, the charismatic movement, the Jesus movement, the shepherding movement, and strange ones like the holy laughter movement. I’ve seen emergent church become resurgent church and observed the rise and fall of numerous parachurch organizations. New Calvinism, too, will pass from the scene … but in the meantime, the young reformers are causing significant disruption in the Body of Christ.

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  21. Ken F (aka Tweed): These folks are not gifted in the area of logic or discernment…

    Considering the nonsense going on in the American church on various fronts, it’s clear that there is a dearth of logic and discernment. I’ve never seen such gullibility among God’s people – they have become so open-minded that their spiritual brains have fallen out. The enemy of the Cross of Christ is having a heyday in the institutional church. I have great concerns about the condition of the church my grandchildren will inherit; in the years I have left, I will teach them to ‘be’ the Church whether they ‘go’ to church or not.

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  22. Max: I was young and now am old; I can attest to much wandering of the sheep to and fro.I’ve observed church movements come and go.I’ve witnessed the holiness movement, the charismatic movement, the Jesus movement, the shepherding movement, and strange ones like the holy laughter movement.I’ve seen emergent church become resurgent church and observed the rise and fall of numerous parachurch organizations.New Calvinism, too, will pass from the scene … but in the meantime, the young reformers are causing significant disruption in the Body of Christ.

    The difference, as I see it, is that the leaders of the most of the others movements have been fairly upfront that they are a part of those movements, whereas, as we have seen, these Neo-Cals are attempting to take over a denomination by stealth. Recently, I had a conversation with some older SBC women, the strong type of women that have been the backbone of the church. I told them of the things I have learned about on this site, Church covenants, predestination, the sidelining of congregational polity, etc… They couldn’t believe it, because they said these things aren’t Baptist. These were women, who had been born and raised in the SBC, they got married and raised their families in the SBC, their fathers, husbands and brothers have been deacons(never elders, because again that’s not Baptist), the women have served on WMU boards, and AWANA, they have taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, they make the fried chicken and cakes for the pot-lucks and funerals, but they did not know their beloved SBC was under assault. Thankfully, I let them know what is going on, and because they know of a church that is currently searching for a pastor, they are going to now educate their friends at that church, hopefully I helped to save an SBC church from the Neo-Cals. And, I urge anyone else who knows SBC members to educate them, because many in the pews do not know what is going on.

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  23. Bruna,

    “Extremely abusive behavior towards the missionaries, leaving them traumatized at the missionary field”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    can you explain more?

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  24. Mark R:
    But if God did in fact create some to be consigned to Hell for eternity, sinners with no chance of redemption, then it would make sense that at least some of them were born with same-sex attraction and cannot change that no matter what.That’s a logical conclusion if you hold to predestination.

    I believe there is something political going on in that and Mohler/Moore’s sudden switch to being LGBTQ accepting, but I can’t figure out what it is.

    If I had to guess, I would think that since they think everyone who isn’t a New Cal is going to hell, and they seem to have no problem with tricking people into “submitting” to a church, then they probably are trying to trick more people into joining their churches and submitting to church discipline to “fix” them. Their main focus has always been more on submitting to them, not sin, despite claiming it’s about theology.

    The whole NAMB push goes along with that. Disciples by force and deception. And I’m sure it’s about money, too. International churches need everything translated, and missionaries are likely to create their own programs. Less money going to Lifeway.

    I certainly wouldn’t trust anything they say.

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  25. Mark R:
    Meanwhile (per the not too well liked P&P website) they mentioned that Devers’ church in DC was hosting a “gay Christian” event.

    https://pulpitandpen.org/2018/09/27/gay-christian-event-planned-at-mark-devers-capitol-hill-baptist-church/

    My comment below is not to debate whether people are or aren’t born with same-sex attractions, but to show the fallacy of Calvinism.

    P&P claims that those who believe people are born with same-sex attraction are living in sin.Yet they also teach predestination.But if God did in fact create some to be consigned to Hell for eternity, sinners with no chance of redemption, then it would make sense that at least some of them were born with same-sex attraction and cannot change that no matter what.That’s a logical conclusion if you hold to predestination.

    Pulpit and Pen are JMacs worshippers. They dishonestly tried to distance JMac from TGC when he is happily associating with them. And I am not sure how honest their statements about Allberry are. Nothing P&P says has any value.

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  26. ishy: I believe there is something political going on in that and Mohler/Moore’s sudden switch to being LGBTQ accepting, but I can’t figure out what it is.

    Try looking into the connection between Moore and George Soros.

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  27. Max: I was young and now am old; I can attest to much wandering of the sheep to and fro. I’ve observed church movements come and go. I’ve witnessed the holiness movement, the charismatic movement, the Jesus movement, the shepherding movement, and strange ones like the holy laughter movement. I’ve seen emergent church become resurgent church and observed the rise and fall of numerous parachurch organizations. New Calvinism, too, will pass from the scene … but in the meantime, the young reformers are causing significant disruption in the Body of Christ.

    What this looks like to me is the work of the enemy, using tares to sow confusion and false ideas among the members of the Body of Christ. This is, of course, his main agenda, so why would we be surprised? Why, I ask myself, was I so shocked to discover that The Church contains so much abuse, corruption and evil?

    Our mistake is in putting our trust in an institution. The Body of Christ is not an institution. Quite contrary to what The Church has always insisted, there are no men with the authority to claim ‘We are the True Church’ and anything we declare ‘True’ must be believed. No men have the authority to declare other men ‘heretics’ and murder them. You look back to the moment that was declared, and you see the moment a corrupt institution was born.

    It is very unsettling to realize that this is what the institution has nearly always been about. As much as many will decry the number of denominations, this actually strikes me as a positive sign of good people seeing the errors of a corrupt institution. Not quite ready to confront and abandon the root problem, people, again and again, seek to ‘reform’ the church into something that is constructive and God-honoring.

    Perhaps someday the hold that the concept of an authoritarian, controlling institution has on people will be broken by the radical idea of just loving God and others. Sounds a lot like what Jesus came to do, as he sought to lead true believers out of the corrupt and deadly institution that Israel’s ‘Church’ had become, as man-shaped religion always does.

    Those within The Church are programmed to view all outsiders as heretics. Note the subtle corruption of viewing evildoers as ‘wicked’ into viewing anyone who challenges your theology as ‘wicked’. History documents that the countless number of people murdered as heretics by The Church were righteous, upstanding people who lived frugal, just, God-fearing lives. Their crime? They dared to believe something other than what The Church said they could. This was as true of Protestantism as it was of the Catholic Church, until a few brave men – daring to speak against ‘the True Church’ – eventually convinced the masses that their only safety was in removing the power of the sword from the hands of those who called themselves The Church. We ignore this history at our own peril. And if they who claim to be ‘the True Church’ ever amass that sort of power again, we will see the same evil arise. I pray that it never goes beyond ‘discipline’ and excommunication.

    This is why this blog is so valuable. The evils of authoritarian, hierarchical religion are exposed, as they were in whispers ages ago. It is my hope that many heed their warnings.

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  28. Max: Considering the nonsense going on in the American church on various fronts, it’s clear that there is a dearth of logic and discernment. I’ve never seen such gullibility among God’s people – they have become so open-minded that their spiritual brains have fallen out. The enemy of the Cross of Christ is having a heyday in the institutional church. I have great concerns about the condition of the church my grandchildren will inherit; in the years I have left, I will teach them to ‘be’ the Church whether they ‘go’ to church or not.

    Precisely. We were called to come out from that which was wicked and BE like Christ. That does not require a membership in any institution.

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  29. TS00: Max: Considering the nonsense going on in the American church on various fronts, it’s clear that there is a dearth of logic and discernment. I’ve never seen such gullibility among God’s people – they have become so open-minded that their spiritual brains have fallen out. The enemy of the Cross of Christ is having a heyday in the institutional church. I have great concerns about the condition of the church my grandchildren will inherit; in the years I have left, I will teach them to ‘be’ the Church whether they ‘go’ to church or not.

    Precisely. We were called to come out from that which was wicked and BE like Christ. That does not require a membership in any institution.

    Amen to both of you. It’s the same here in the UK and I am glad I left the institutional church. Yes the Bible does call us to fellowship but it also tells us to depart from evil. Leaving a church that turns a blind eye to abuse sends them the right message. Staying in there sends them the wrong message. Modern churches (especially those with paid pastors) are just businesses in disguise.

    When I look at modern TGC type churches, they keep using these words “accountability”, “membership” and “church discipline” whilst words like justice, empathy, compassion, love and mercy are strangely absent from their vocabulary.

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  30. Ken F (aka Tweed): ishy: I believe there is something political going on in that and Mohler/Moore’s sudden switch to being LGBTQ accepting, but I can’t figure out what it is.

    Try looking into the connection between Moore and George Soros.

    No doubt many will laugh off such a comment. Those who have limitless funds, used to shape and control the beliefs and behavior of society, (whether they are named Rothschild, Rockefeller, Gates or Soros) are merely administrators. It is not their money, or their agendas being tossed around. I have little doubt that such funds are behind the rise of some of the people and movements in the institutional church. We ignore scripture’s warning about the ‘gods’ of this world to our own peril.

    Note that, for some reason, supposed philanthropists never manage to adequately address the real needs of those who suffer the most, such as potable water, nutritious food and adequate shelter, yet spend billions of dollars to force, er, provide unwanted GMO’s and vaccines on third world countries,(they were once voluntary, but are increasingly being issued at gunpoint). I would add that ‘missions’ whose goal is merely to spread their particular doctrines, rather than genuinely meet real needs, are equally suspect. I doubt that any missionary ever convinced people of God’s love by simply handing out bibles. And yes, an awful lot of abuse scandals have been exposed among so-called missions agencies. (Please don’t get me wrong. Pointing out the rot in the system does not indicate that all of the people involved are suspect. Many are simply naïve, and join corrupt systems with the best of intentions. I have a good friend who learned this lesson via the Gideons, and I believe many others, as the commenter Bruna suggested, could tell similar stories of how money and politics affect para-church organizations as well as church missions. On a more hopeful note, God has used even corrupt institutions to spread the good news of his love, for even false shepherds have to speak a good deal of the truth.) Seems off topic, but the enemy is real and at work, and will always appear garbed as an angel of light, spreading ‘gifts’ of philanthropy. Our error arises when we become more loyal to a particular institution than to the message of love, justice and the equal value of all men and women that Jesus demonstrated.

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  31. Bruna: Hi Dee and everyone. My name is Bruna I’m new here, but I’ve enjoyed reading your posts. Especially the ones about Neo-Calvinists hehe. I got saved at a Baptist Biblicist Church back when I was a kid and now attend a wonderful non-denomination church that is also Biblicist, neither Calvinist or Arminian, or much less universalist, just simple folks who read the Bible through Dispensationalism lens :-). Anyway, I’m so sad to hear things like these happen in the body of Christ. I have worked with missionaries from IMB Brazil in Asia and I’ve seen how leadership at missionary agencies fail to serve their missionaries with a humble heart. We all sin everyday and fail to love our brethren like Christ loves us, but what I’ve seen was inhumane. Extremely abusive behavior towards the missionaries, leaving them traumatized at the missionary field, therefore hindering them from working to the Kingdom of God with a peaceful heart. Thank you for allowing this space to expose these things and also to allow fellowship among other believers xx Bru

    Welcome Bruna. I was glad to find this blog a year or so ago and TWW are doing a great job in exposing these things. Commentators on this blog come from various theological and denominational backgrounds but we are united against abuse in Protestant and Evangelical circles. I come from a similar theological position to yourself – free grace and dispensationalism. I also hold to a six day creation however many here would not hold to these views. If there was abuse found in any of these circles, I would bless and support in TWW in exposing them and saying what needs to be said.

    I am sad to hear about the abuse suffered by the missionaries but it does not surprise me. I know some people who have worked with various mission boards and they were treated badly. We have come a long way from the early church where they had no buildings of their own – much less mission boards and Bible colleges. I don’t think it has been a good thing.

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  32. ishy,

    “Mohler/Moore’s sudden switch to being LGBTQ accepting”
    +++++++++++++++

    i guess i’m behind in my news reading. what…how…?

    i can’t see how this could be anything but disingenuous.

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  33. elastigirl,

    What, you mean joining forces with the very liberals they asserted were out to destroy the church when they begat their ‘conservative resurgence’? Surely you don’t think they were less than sincere? Funny how they can attempt to embrace gender equality when they subjugate one of the genders. I can’t help but wonder if they think they have so succeeded in teaching people not to think that they can pull anything off.

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  34. Max,

    ” I have great concerns about the condition of the church my grandchildren will inherit; in the years I have left, I will teach them to ‘be’ the Church whether they ‘go’ to church or not.”
    +++++++++++++

    i understand your feelings.

    the way i see it, one can be exponentially more productive without the cumbersome institution. it’s a huge drag on one’s ‘engine’.

    and a distraction from the main point, duplicitously disguised. (apologies for the annoying aliteration)

    the main point (as i see it) is to learn to live one’s life knowing God, just as one can know a human being (but more multi-dimensional, of course). and how that impacts all interpersonal relationships, human interactions, and my own skills and abilities.

    (i tried to flesh out ‘the main point’ but it got too long — i’ll just stick with my summary statement above)

    the main point of the institution is to build a machine that builds ideological platforms, powerbases, and brings in revenue. with the hope that people might be somehow helped in the process (but that is not the point).

    …but this is old news.

    i think your grandkids are better off without the drag of the institution.

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  35. Jerome:
    Is this what the Pullet and Hen blog is squawking about?:

    Christian and gay – Living Out

    http://www.livingout.org/local-washington

    “A Living Out event in partnership with Capitol Hill Baptist Church”

    If it is then P&P are not exactly being honest in their article as this presents a very different picture. But then P&P have been dishonest before. This event sounds like an opportunity for fraudulent church leaders in TGC-ish to have a nice day out together bashing easy targets whilst their “church members” pay for this with their tithes and offerings. There seem to be no end of conferences to discuss male and female gender roles and how to respond to SSA. How much is the travel, air-fare from the UK and accommodation going to cost? Surely helping the poor is a better way for believers to spend their money and time.

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  36. Just to clarify on my last post. I say “fraudulent church leaders” because a paid pastor is not Biblical and most of them are appointed by men, not by God. Whether it is a full time paid pastor in an evangelical church or a vicar/priest in an Anglican church, it is the same. It is a false clergy/laity distinction which allows one Christian to exercise fraudulent another another Christian and this is where the “church discipline” and “accountability” systems are rooted. Sam Allberry – one of the team at Living Out- also works for Ravi Zacharias Ministries and he has associations with CJ Mahaney. He has also written articles on John Piper’s website and spoken at Matt Chandler’s church. This does not fill me with any confidence.

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  37. Max,

    How did you arrive at the conclusion that the missionaries who were asked to resign (or accept resignation) were non-Calvinists? Do you believe (and have proof) that one of the metrics was their belief or non-belief in Calvinistic principles?

    Also, how did you arrive that the new churches that were funded for church planting are funded because they were Calvinistic? That’s not how funding is considered in the SBC.

    Thanks for offering your views, but I want to seek clarification.

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  38. elastigirl,

    I could name a lot of things I’ve seen. A local church raised a reasonable amount of money to the missionaries, and it was supposed to be sent through the agency, but they never received anything. They were eager to share the good news with the local village, but were discouraged to do so due to various politic reasons in the leadership board. We saw a devoted disciple give everything for three years to a city and then be suddenly transferred to another location, because the leadership board needed to keep up with reports to the churches. The supervisor at one of the locations lived in an expensive apartment in a place where you could easily live very comfortably with a lot less. He used to bully the missionaries that were truly devoted to the mission. There was no true spirituality. My husband and I used to be missionaries without any agency and our work was a lot more peaceful.

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  39. ZechZav,

    Welcome Bruna. I was glad to find this blog a year or so ago and TWW are doing a great job in exposing these things. Commentators on this blog come from various theological and denominational backgrounds but we are united against abuse in Protestant and Evangelical circles. I come from a similar theological position to yourself – free grace and dispensationalism. I also hold to a six day creation however many here would not hold to these views. If there was abuse found in any of these circles, I would bless and support in TWW in exposing them and saying what needs to be said.

    I am sad to hear about the abuse suffered by the missionaries but it does not surprise me. I know some people who have worked with various mission boards and they were treated badly. We have come a long way from the early church where they had no buildings of their own – much less mission boards and Bible colleges. I don’t think it has been a good thing.

    I read a previous post where Dee says she doesn’t believe in YE. I’m no scientist, and I can’t even elaborate much against it, only that I have my own conviction. I’m just glad to have fellowship with believers anywhere 🙂 Also glad to find another dispensationalist. I agree that having so many procedures, steps and rules for missions only create obstacles instead of enabling missionaries to serve successfully. My church sends missionaries directly from our missions board and it’s so different. Less is more hehe.

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  40. TS00: We were called to come out from that which was wicked and BE like Christ. That does not require a membership in any institution.

    As I look at the condition of the American church in far too many places, Christians are faced with a Scriptural tension: “forsake not the assembling of yourselves together” vs. “come out from her and be not a partaker of her sins.”

    Another Scripture comes to mind: “As He is, so are we to be in this world.” That’s getting to be extremely difficult as a member of the institutional church … it is so exhausting. If you were to lift the Holy Spirit out of the American church, most of the stuff would still go on.

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  41. Bruna: Add me to the dispy list.
    I’m not sure what that means

    I think it means that they adhere to the idea of dispensationalism. It does not say to which variation of the idea of dispensationalism they adhere. FWIW Al Mohler has said that he is not a dispensationalist but that he has hired people who are.

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  42. Max,

    I think the “Cleanest Dirty Shirt” analogy still holds true for the most part. But eventually they all seem to need washing. To paraphrase Martha, “Lord, by this time it stinketh…”

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  43. Jarrett Edwards: I urge anyone else who knows SBC members to educate them, because many in the pews do not know what is going on

    Agreed – the pew is either uninformed or misinformed as SBC Calvinization proceeds. But the pulpits at 45,000+ SBC churches know – I lay the fault at the feet of mainline (non-Calvinist) church leaders … they should have had “family talks” about this a long time ago.

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  44. TS00: Our mistake is in putting our trust in an institution. The Body of Christ is not an institution.

    Jesus came to redeem and work through individuals, not institutions. As the old hymn goes “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” The institution we call “church” is OK if it is reaching the lost for Christ, mobilizing their individual giftings, equipping them to do the work of the ministry, and releasing them to fulfill the Great Commission together. Anything less than that is doing church without God.

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  45. Jay Bird: How did you arrive at the conclusion that the missionaries who were asked to resign (or accept resignation) were non-Calvinists?

    Well, it is true that you won’t find “Calvinist” or “Non-Calvinist” on the list of boxes to check on an SBC-IMB missionary application. However, I use a little logic here. SBC’s default theology ‘was’ distinctly non-Calvinistic for 150 years before the New Calvinists showed up. Sure, there have been Calvinist members in SBC churches along the way, but they have been the minority. The sending churches for most of those missionaries would have told you at the time, they were non-Calvinist in belief and practice … however, that landscape is changing as New Calvinists take them over by stealth and deception.

    Jay Bird: how did you arrive that the new churches that were funded for church planting are funded because they were Calvinistic?

    Again, you won’t find “Calvinist” or “Non-Calvinist” as check boxes on the application for SBC-NAMB church planter. I can tell you that most SBC new church plants in my area (for the last 10 years) have YRR pastors … I have visited them, I have listened to their sermon podcasts. Given the Calvinization of a number of SBC seminaries, numerous YRR seminary graduates are hitting the street each year and showing up as “lead pastors” at SBC church plants. Additionally, it is no surprise that Kevin Ezell, SBC-NAMB President (formerly Al Mohler’s pastor!) leans reformed … he directs SBC’s church planting program. I have no facts other than what I observe on the local scene, the numerous reports of others in the blogosphere on what they see where they live, and a measure of common sense as Calvinization of a once-great evangelistic denomination continues at the hands of the New Calvinists.

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  46. Max,

    So it is only your belief and not a fact that the missionaries who were offered to take early retirement were asked to come home because they were non-Calvinists. Missionaries who were above the age of 50 and had 5 years of on-the-field experience were given Voluntary Retirement Incentive. Then the International Mission Board sent out a voluntary request to others who were either younger than 50 or who had less than 5 years experience. The responses that came back were more than the IMB had anticipated – meaning that those who responded did so on their own accord and were not pinpointed because of theology.

    Platt said in an interview that they (IMB) did not want to make the process involuntary (meaning that the IMB would make the decision for the missionaries), but wanted to leave as much decision-making as possible in the hands of the missionaries and other personnel.

    I think it is important to follow the facts. Yes, neo Calvinists have gained a great influence in the SBC, but the driving force of this missionary recall was not a type of theological purging.

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  47. Nick Bulbeck: As one observes the game of musical chairs at the glittering, snow-capped summit of the para-church career ladder, one should remember those who never set out to climb it.

    “Game of Musical Chairs” or Game of Thrones?

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  48. Jay Bird: How did you arrive at the conclusion that the missionaries who were asked to resign (or accept resignation) were non-Calvinists? Do you believe (and have proof) that one of the metrics was their belief or non-belief in Calvinistic principles?

    I am thinking that perhaps the prior episode of requiring that missionaries sign off on the latest BFM statement may be influencing people’s thinking about how the Board functions. Where I live a missionary couple were relieved of duty so to speak because they refused to sing off on the newest BFM, and when they came home that was the story that they went around telling. Perhaps that has set a precedent for Board behavior in people’s minds.

    Also, there is a mystique about missionaries that somehow would preclude the idea that the missionaries themselves would be glad to get the opportunity to call it quits for one reason or another.

    And there is the story going around that the missionaries agreed to not talk about it-a sort of silence clause, but I am not sure which of the episodes or both of the episodes that is said to have been.

    When people have too little information they use what information they have and fill in the blanks. If the blanks are not being filled in correctly and if the Board wants to clarify its actions, then it certainly would be in a position to know how to do that.

    Disclaimer: Back when I was young and Baptist I spent a summer ‘on the field’ and met/listened to a number of missionaries who were seriously disgruntled. I am not the least surprised that there would be those only too willing to ‘transition’ to something else.

    Right now I have too little information to choose between Max’s version and your version as to what went on.

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  49. Jay Bird: So it is only your belief and not a fact that the missionaries who were offered to take early retirement were asked to come home because they were non-Calvinists.

    I was a Southern Baptist for nearly 70 years; I’ve witnessed countless “traditional” Southern Baptists commissioned as foreign missionaries. Until the New Calvinist movement within SBC ranks, it was common knowledge that Southern Baptists were primarily a non-Calvinist people as I have noted before. Based on their age and number of years of service, some for decades, non-Calvinist belief and practice was the prevailing theology in SBC life. I believe most Southern Baptists of my vintage would agree that those foreign missionaries delivered a whosoever-will-may-come non-Calvinist message to lost people throughout the world and supported their efforts in that regard through missions giving. Can you prove they were not non-Calvinists?

    Jay Bird: those who responded did so on their own accord and were not pinpointed because of theology

    My heart breaks for the veteran missionaries who gave their lives to a calling to serve on foreign fields, who witnessed from afar the theological wrangling of SBC elite. I truly believe that many surrendered their posts feeling that God’s blessing and denominational gifting of evangelism were being forfeited by a handful of SBC leaders vying for power and control. My cousin, a foreign missionary for 20+ years, saw the handwriting on the wall and bailed out before Platt’s offer, weeping his way home.

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  50. Jay Bird: the driving force of this missionary recall was not a type of theological purging

    Time will tell, as the theological purging of the SBC proceeds. New Calvinist leaders now control most SBC entities … leading seminaries, home and foreign mission agencies, publishing house.

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  51. okrapod: Where I live a missionary couple were relieved of duty so to speak because they refused to sign off on the newest BFM

    Older foreign missionaries would have affirmed the 1963 version of the Baptist Faith and Message. The BFM-2000 revision trends toward Calvinism as has been noted on this blog and elsewhere.

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  52. Noevangelical: I think the “Cleanest Dirty Shirt” analogy still holds true for the most part.

    Derived from Murhpy’s Law:

     In order to get something clean, you have to get something else dirty
     You can get everything dirty without getting anything clean

    I won’t pretend this is especially relevant. But I like it.

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  53. Jay Bird: the driving force of this missionary recall was not a type of theological purging

    Platt cited a funding shortage for IMB’s recall of over 1,000 foreign missionaries. At the same time, IMB’s sister agency NAMB spent $60 million per year to plant new churches in North America. I realize that SBC’s home vs. foreign mission funds come from different revenue streams, but what should have been SBC’s priority?

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  54. Something which I have not put together is how ‘comp’ has come to be labeled as exclusively? calvinist? Restrictions on women are as old as history, including church history, and something which looks the same as comp to me is a part of baptist fundamentalism as I knew it back before the calvinist resurgence in baptistville and still is. Just because the neo-cals took up the cause does not make them the owners much less the originators of the concept.

    I am not defending anybody’s five this and several that and I am not a calvinist, but the comp thing does not look to me like anything exclusively calvinist.

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  55. ZechZav: If it is then P&P are not exactly being honest in their article as this presents a very different picture.But then P&P have been dishonest before.This event sounds like an opportunity for fraudulent church leaders in TGC-ish to have a nice day out together bashing easy targets whilst their “church members” pay for this with their tithes and offerings.

    Maybe a bit of both. I’m not sure who I believe. I didn’t see too many references in the P&P article about Moore and Soros that weren’t written by them. I certainly wouldn’t trust a New Cal event to be what it is stated, either.

    I do think Moore will jump into politics soon. I hated the ERLC when it was founded and haven’t seem much reason to feel better about it. I don’t think there’s any sincerity there, just an intention to gain more power and connections.

    The only thing we can keep doing is talking about how deceptive the New Calvinists have been in the past. I’ve had a front row seat to their methods on more than one occasion. Don’t trust them with your reading time, your church membership, your tithes, and especially not your signature on anything!

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  56. Max: Platt cited a funding shortage for IMB’s recall of over 1,000 foreign missionaries.At the same time, IMB’s sister agency NAMB spent $60 million per year to plant new churches in North America.I realize that SBC’s home vs. foreign mission funds come from different revenue streams, but what should have been SBC’s priority?

    But Max, you’re supposed to just believe everything they say and not look deeply at it or you are not submitting to God’s will via their authority!

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  57. okrapod:
    Something which I have not put together is how ‘comp’ has come to be labeled as exclusively? calvinist?Restrictions on women are as old as history, including church history, and something which looks the same as comp to me is a part of baptist fundamentalism as I knew it back before the calvinist resurgence in baptistville and still is.

    I definitely don’t think it’s exclusively or historically Calvinist, but the New Cals often identify themselves as comp more than anything else, so I bet that is where it has come from. And they just really like social media and indoctrinating people into thinking they are more biblical than anyone in history.

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  58. ishy: they just really like social media and indoctrinating people into thinking they are more biblical than anyone in history

    There would be no New Calvinist movement without social media. They have become masters at using the internet to indoctrinate and mobilize an army behind their aberrant theology. The only way to challenge it is to use the same tools. It’s easy to convince Generations X, Y and Z that “they are more biblical than anyone in history” since young folks have little historical reference to authentic Christianity.

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  59. Max: Platt cited a funding shortage for IMB’s recall of over 1,000 foreign missionaries.At the same time, IMB’s sister agency NAMB spent $60 million per year to plant new churches in North America.I realize that SBC’s home vs. foreign mission funds come from different revenue streams, but what should have been SBC’s priority?

    I will never be convinced there had to be a funding shortage. If SBC folk had been informed that missionaries were going to be called home for lack of funds–IMO they would have gladly given these funds. They wanted these missionaries to come home.

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  60. mot: If SBC folk had been informed that missionaries were going to be called home for lack of funds–IMO they would have gladly given these funds.

    Agreed. Likewise, if SBC folk had been informed that the church planting program was moving full speed ahead with young unproven pastors while veteran missionaries were recalled, I believe they would have opted to redirect their hard-earned money to the foreign field rather than church plants. In my humble opinion, SBC’s aggressive church planting program is more about planting reformed theology than churches. But, nobody asked millions of Southern Baptists (predominantly non-Calvinist) what they thought about it … an elite few SBC leaders did their thinking for them.

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  61. One of the first deeply disturbing incidents in our former Calvinist church – back before my spouse became so brainwashed that questioning anything was out of the question – was when the head of missions came to give a report. There was not a single – not one – reference to winning souls or spreading the gospel. It was all about persuading seminaries to accept Reformed materials, and convincing non-Calvinist missions to at least allow Calvinists to participate in their work. I remember going home and wondering what in the world what we had heard that Sunday had to do with ‘missions’. It was simply about spreading Calvinism.

    I wish I had thrown in the towel then and there, but it took many more years and many more unsettling events.

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  62. TS00: not a single – not one – reference to winning souls or spreading the gospel

    “Winning souls” is not a phrase in the New Calvinist vocabulary. Souls are elected, not won by the efforts of Christians who spread the gospel. Gospel = Calvinism to them; everything has been predestined you know.

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  63. I’m a complementation and I don’t think the interpretation from the Bible to encourage couples to be comp come strictly from Neo-Cals. I grew up reading the Bible with literal interpretation, with no allegories, I feel peace that way and I love submitting to my husband. I feel joy doing it. But I think it’s because we don’t look at Ephesians 5 with the legalism lenses. We fully trust God knows us better than we do ourselves and submit to His word for sanctification. I was very proud before getting married and my marriage has humbled me, sanctification is hard, but the end is truly happy. The process of living out God’s word brings out your sin nature more than anything else in the world. I can only speak for myself about being us being complementarians. My husband knows and lives by this goal: being a spiritual leader is not a matter of handling tough situations, it’s about being the first to serve, the first to love, the first to forgive, the first to repent, the first to call for prayers, the first to show humility. I would submit to this every day of my life haha. It’s truly humbling and it throws me on my knees to thank God for such blessing. I was condemned to death, and He rescued me, and on top of that gave me a loving husband who wants to love me like Christ does. Complementary roles can only work if there’s joy in submitting to one another, even though this submission may look different on each side (Christ submitted Himself to the church in a different way). I wouldn’t want to live life in any different way. And I’m not a Calvinist. I truly think that their main issue is that they get so caught up in doctrine, and sometimes are afraid of just being positive towards other believers who think differently. Salvation and sanctification are two very personal processes, I cannot judge other people’s marriages, I can only say that I feel honored and humbled to submit to my husband 🙂

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  64. I’m a complementarian and I don’t think the interpretation from the Bible to encourage couples to be comp come strictly from Neo-Cals. I grew up reading the Bible with literal interpretation, with no allegories, I feel peace that way and I love submitting to my husband. I feel joy doing it. But I think it’s because we don’t look at Ephesians 5 with the legalism lenses. We fully trust God knows us better than we do ourselves and submit to His word for sanctification. I was very proud before getting married and my marriage has humbled me, sanctification is hard, but the end is truly happy. The process of living out God’s word brings out your sin nature more than anything else in the world. I can only speak for myself about being us being complementarians. My husband knows and lives by this goal: being a spiritual leader is not a matter of handling tough situations, it’s about being the first to serve, the first to love, the first to forgive, the first to repent, the first to call for prayers, the first to show humility. I would submit to this every day of my life haha. It’s truly humbling and it throws me on my knees to thank God for such blessing. I was condemned to death, and He rescued me, and on top of that gave me a loving husband who wants to love me like Christ does. Complementary roles can only work if there’s joy in submitting to one another, even though this submission may look different on each side (Christ submitted Himself to the church in a different way). I wouldn’t want to live life in any different way. And I’m not a Calvinist. I truly think that their main issue is that they get so caught up in doctrine, and sometimes are afraid of just being positive towards other believers who think differently. Salvation and sanctification are two very personal processes, I cannot judge other people’s marriages, I can only say that I feel honored and humbled to submit to my husband 🙂

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  65. Max: There would be no New Calvinist movement without social media. They have become masters at using the internet to indoctrinate and mobilize an army behind their aberrant theology.

    Just like the Global Caliphate of ISIS!

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  66. Bru,

    Glad your happy with your marriage and walk with God, and your interpretation of the Bible. I’m sure there are as many mutualists and egalitarians that feel exactly the same way. Neither the complementarian word nor the egalitarian word, however, are in scripture.

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  67. Amen Bridget! I find it fascinating how religionists add words to the Bible text that aren’t even there.

    I am humbled to believe and follow Jesus Christ…..doesn’t get any better than that for this sheep.

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  68. So, I attended McLean Bible in the 80’s while in high school. It was NOT SBC then. This seems weird. Also, are you suggesting IMB forced out Platt because he took a hard line on predators within the SBC and IMB? Isn’t Seth Whatisname at P&P an SBC guy and a former losing candidate for SBC Prez?

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  69. Bridget:
    Bru,

    Glad your happy with your marriage and walk with God, and your interpretation of the Bible. I’m sure there are as many mutualists and egalitarians that feel exactly the same way. Neither the complementarian word nor the egalitarian word, however, are in scripture.

    I don’t know how the “complementary” word came about. I’m afraid it might make couples feel like they have very specific roles to play. I guess I say I’m “complementarian”, because that’s how other people would define us since my husband is the main provider. But I never stop to think about it, it’s just how we live life everyday. The Holy Spirit’s work in us is the most natural thing we can ever experience, there’s no need to go so deep into “what we should do”, when we can simply walk according to the Spirit and relate to each other in a Christ-like way. We do see each other as equals. And I don’t judge who does marriage differently 🙂

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