Yesterday I discussed my concern with the issue of Landmarkism. There are those who might claim that this view is not prevalent within the SBC. To some extent, that is true. Ask any rank and file Baptist whether they believe in Landmarkism and most would stare blankly at you. However, the debate over Landmarkism, as well as the whys and wherefores of baptism in general, is raging at the leadership level.
Despite protestations that each Southern Baptist Church is autonomous, the majority of the membership marches in lockstep with the leadership. One only has to observe Paige Patterson’s profound influence on the direction of the SBC through his supposed “conservative” (baloney-see yesterday’s post)) resurgence. In the near future, we will also be looking at the SBC response to the issue of sexual predators in the churches. There appears to be a fairly uniform response and it ain’t pretty.
Years ago, when my children were little, I heard James Dobson make a remark that has been the hallmark of my view of raising children. He said that, as a parent, you have to say “no” so much; you should find every opportunity to say “yes.” Christianity is a faith offered to all men and women but salvation is available to those who specifically ask for the forgiveness of Jesus. We Christians already have to bare the brunt of criticism of exclusivity. Why must we narrow the Gospel to such an extent that only those who have the “right” baptizer are the “real” Christians?
we have extensive documentation about this debate. Please go to thatt link to see the rather ridiculous argument going on in this arena.
The Pipers Respond to Dever in the Baptism Debate
Wayne Grudem Changes His Mind on Baptism
Wayne Grudem Replies to John Piper on Baptism
John Piper Disagrees with Wayne Grudem Over Baptism Graciously
Wayne Grudem Says Sam Storms is Right About the Lord's Supper
Sam Storms Feels Mark Dever is Confusing on the Lord's Supper
Mark Dever Joins the Grudem Versus Piper Baptism Debate
John Bunyan and the Grudem & Dever Versus Piper Baptism Debate
Please note the names involved in this debate. We have well known Baptists and Calvinistas. Oddly enough, these guys serve on many of the same committees such as the Council of Biblical (questionable) Manhood and Womanhood. I know all of them would agree with an emphasis on the Great Commission. So, how does this work? If Piper leads a person to Christ, would he insist that the convert become a paedobaptist? Paedobaptists believe in infant baptism. This is routinely practiced by the Presbyterians. Would Dever attempt to interfere and tell the man he must join a church that practices believer’s baptism by immersion? Then, roll on in the Landmarkers and you have one heck of a mess. Come on, guys. You are beginning to sound like the fools who debated how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. (Has anyone ever asked why angels would want to dance on the head of a pin)?
Here is where I depart from those who insist on a certain type of baptism. I believe that, as Christians, we need to major on the majors; minor on the minors. As anyone reading this blog would notice, I am firmly opposed to the agenda of the Calvinistas. However, I would share communion with them and I don’t care one whit about how or when they were baptized. I know I will see them in heaven where, hopefully, they will be remanded to a woman to give them their heavenly assignments!
Remember the thief on the cross next to Jesus? Jesus told him that very day Jesus would be with the thief in paradise. As far as I can tell, Jesus did not ask anyone near the cross to get some water so that the thief could be baptized prior to his demise. Baptism is merely an outward expression of an inward reality. We need to put our differences aside and fulfill the Great Commission, which would greatly benefit from us all working together.
we have some impressions coming out of the SBC convention on Tuesday. Both make the point that the old guard, which includes Paige Patterson, is losing out to the new guard, which includes Albert Mohler. Both sites seem to believe that this is a cause for rejoicing. I do not. Al Mohler, the president of Southern Seminary, has been at the vanguard of the New Calvinism movement within the SBC. This is like asking me if I want white sugar or brown sugar. Why?
Tomorrow, I will be looking at the second reason I am leaving the SBC: the strange new emphasis on the rolling back the role of women as the solution to most of society’s and the church’s problems. Both Mohler and Patterson adhere to a complementarian view of women. However, their definition of complementarianism is not what you might think. Stay tuned…