SBC Association Rejects Acts 29 Church

"We are all in the same boat in a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty."

G.K. Chesterton

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Have you seen this breaking story – “Church deemed too Calvinistic for Kentucky Baptist association”? Yesterday, Bob Allen of the Associated Baptist Press reported:

“A Kentucky Baptist association denied membership to a church after a credentials committee found its confessional statement too Calvinistic, according to a report in the Western Recorder.

Daviess-McLean Baptist Association voted 104-9 to deny membership to Pleasant Valley Community Church in Owensboro during its annual meeting held Oct. 17-18, the Kentucky Baptist Convention news journal reported in its Oct. 25 issue.

“Our concern in the initial stages of our investigation revolved around the fact that Pleasant Valley Community Church’s confessional statement is one that (is) Calvinistic in nature,” the newspaper quoted from a recommendation by the association’s credentials committee. “It affirms the doctrine of election and grace.”

“While we know the doctrine is not heresy, we do recognize that it is vastly different than the majority of churches within the DMBA,” the statement noted.”

The pastor of preaching and vision at Pleasant Valley Community Church is Jamus Edwards, who graduated from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. To discover more about Edwards’ background, we ventured over to the Acts 29 website, which provides the following information: (link)

Briefly describe your story of your call to plant a church (Jamus Edwards)

“I [Jamus Edwards] had an opportunity to lead a brand new church plant that was going to be supported by another church while I was in seminary. I took 2 church planting classes at Southern Seminary, and prayed about the opportunity for 6 months or so. I declined the offer, as I felt as though the Lord was calling me into more of an established setting, and that my primary giftedness was not to be a “lead planter.” Then, ironically enough, the Lord called me to PVCC (which was basically a re-plant). I came in and inherited a decent sized core group (35-40 people), a building, and a decent budget. However, while we had these basic components, the church had no mission, no theology, no government, no philosophy, and no plans. So, I was able to come in and in many ways do the work of a planter (w/ the perk of having money readily available, etc.). Now, my calling is to raise up other men and send them out to plant. It is to equip the saints at PVCC to have a heart for planting and to motivate them to give and “go” in such a way as to see this happen.”

As many of our readers know, Acts 29 is a church planting network founded by Mark Driscoll. To learn more about the Acts 29 Network, we recommend checking out their website.

We have made it abundantly clear in previous posts that we have serious problems with Driscoll’s crass language and Macho Man image. John MacArthur has gone on record condemning Driscoll for his outrageous language.

The Acts 29 Network does appear to be successful in church planting. In our area The Summit, led by J.D. Greear, is part of this network of churches, as is Matt Chandler’s church network.

Last week the Associated Baptist Press published an article with this headline: “SBC leader cites Calvinism as top challenge”. Thanks Arce for bringing this to our attention. We appreciate it when our friends in the blogosphere keep us informed.

This ABP article states: (link)

“I think one of the issues which is a tremendous challenge for us is the theological divide of Calvinism and non-Calvinism,” Frank Page, CEO of the SBC Executive Committee said in a blog interview posted Oct. 18 at SBC Today.

“Everyone is aware of this, but few want to talk about this in public,” elaborated Page, who assumed the post of president and CEO of the SBC fiduciary and executive agency last year. “The reason is obvious. It is deeply divisive in many situations and is disconcerting in others. At some point we are going to see the challenges which are ensuing from this divide become even more problematic for us. I regularly receive communications from churches who are struggling over this issue.”

Page, a former South Carolina pastor who served as SBC president 2006-2008, authored an 80-page booklet in 2000 titled Trouble with the TULIP: A Closer Examination of the Five Points of Calvinism. In it he termed Calvinism a “man-made” doctrine not supported by Scripture and defended what he called "the true teachings of grace."

The article also includes the following:

“Renewed interest in Calvinism, also known as Reformed Theology and the Doctrines of Grace, began with influential leaders, including Southern Seminary President Albert Mohler, who view it as a healthy return to Southern Baptists’ historic roots.

Others see it as a negative trend that threatens to take over the convention in a manner similar to the “conservative resurgence” of the late 20th century. That is a name used to describe a movement that redirected the more moderate and mainstream theology held by many SBC leaders before the 1980s toward a more conservative embrace of biblical inerrancy that now holds sway.

Page, who has a Ph.D. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, claims he is neither Calvinist nor Arminian but says there needs to be honest dialogue between the camps.”

Roger Olson, Professor of Theology at George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University, has chimed in with a timely blog post — Controversy over Calvinism brewing in the SBC. Olson writes:

“According to a report published by the Associate Baptist Press dated October 19, “SBC leader cites Calvinism as top challenge” in the Southern Baptist Convention. This is hardly news; the Calvinist-non-Calvinist (really Arminian) controversy has been bubbling up among the conservatives who took over the SBC for years…

Here are some of my reactions to this brewing Baptist brouhaha:

“First, I think it is ironic and a little funny (as well as sad) that the ultra-conservatives who took over the SBC and pushed out moderates are now fighting among themselves. I’ve predicted this ever since the take over was complete. Fundamentalists are never satisfied to be at peace–even with their own brothers and sisters. Fundamentalist DNA is to fight over something. If it weren’t Calvinism versus Arminianism (even if the Arminians in this controversy aren’t calling themselves that) it would be eschatology or the gifts of the Spirit (cessationism versus charismatic belief). Oh, come to think of it…these are also controversies among fundamentalists!

A quick caveat–I do not mean to imply that ALL SBC conservatives are fundamentalists, but some are. And they tend to be the ones who always have to be fighting over the finer points of doctrine.

Second, I wish the Baptist Arminians would quit running from the word. Frank Page claims he’s neither a Calvinist nor an Arminian. I heard that all the time among Baptists in the South especially. And the only reason for it is a wrong impression of what it means to be Arminian. As I have demonstrated in Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities, one can be fully and authentically Arminian and believe in inamissable grace (so-called “eternal security”).

Third, in a denomination as large and diverse as the SBC there should be plenty of room for both Calvinists and Arminians. Historically there has been. But many Calvinists are arguing that the SBC is “historically Calvinist.” Really? If you want to go back to the beginnings of the Convention in pre-Civil War days you’d find many of the founders were Calvinists who owned slaves! So if the SBC founders should be followed in their Calvinism, why not in their racism? In fact, the Baptist Faith & Message is worded intentionally to allow for both soteriologies. And probably the majority of SBC leaders throughout the last century have been so-called “Calminians”–a position I think is inconsistent but at least not full blown Calvinism.

Finally, the real issue should be full disclosure by pastoral candidates and congregations seeking pastors. Knowing how controversial it is, Calvinist pastoral candidates should be completely “up front” about their Calvinism with churches interviewing them. And churches seeking a pastor should lay all their cards on the table, so to speak, and tell pastoral candidates what theologies they cannot tolerate.

I, for one, have no problem with Calvinist Baptist churches and Calvinist pastors in Baptist churches. There have always been some. The only time it becomes a problem is when Calvinists or Arminians sneak into pulpits hiding their theologies and then “come out of the closet” with them, surprising the congregation by attempting to enforce their distinctive view of God’s sovereignty on an unsuspecting and unprepared congregation. This is happening a lot these days. For the most part it is Calvinists doing it. I have heard no reports of Arminians sneaking into pulpits hiding their Arminianism and then attempting to enforce it on a largely Calvinist (or “Calminian”) congregation. So far as I know this never happens.

Within denominations that lack a clear confessional stance on God’s sovereignty in salvation, there should be tolerance and mutual respect combined with complete transparency. This would solve most, if not all, of the controversies over this matter."

We concur with Roger Olson's assessment of the current climate in the SBC and pray that Southern Baptists will heed his words.  Sadly, the conflict taking place in Kentucky represents on a small scale the HUGE conflict that is taking place in the Southern Baptist Convention. 

As the internal conflict continues, sides are being formed.  There must be a way to find a common ground in the SBC and reject the extremes on both sides

Unless SBC leaders get their act together and acknowledge two different viewpoints which are equally acceptable, there will be infighting and ultimately DIVISION.  The current trajectory will divide the Southern Baptist Convention, resulting in tremendous harm to the cause of Christ, particularly missions.

As Chesterton stated, "We are all in the same boat in a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty." Calvinists and Arminians and those in between are not in separate boats — they are all in the same boat – the Christian boat!  The storms are raging and we Christians must stick together if we are to fulfill the Great Commission as Jesus commanded. 

Lydia's Corner:  2 Chronicles 21:1-23:21    Romans 11:13-36    Psalm 22:1-18    Proverbs 20:7


SBC Association Rejects Acts 29 Church — 39 Comments

  1. You know, I grew up Southern Baptist. I attended SBC churches in Alaska, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Alabama and not once growing up did I ever get taught a Calvanistic gospel. Predestination was presented as something the Presbyterians believe and it was viewed as initially a MAJOR stumbling block to the modern missions movement. That is, initially some of the arguments made against sending missionaries was that God had predestined who would and would not be saved and thus missionaries were unnecessary.

    So I have been and continue to be baffled by those that think Southern Baptists churches and Calvanism have some kind of intrinsic connection. And in all the years I attended a relatively Calvanistc SBC church I lived in denial that the Calvanism there could be as pervasive as it was. This was, after all, a Southern Baptist church – right? Not the Presbyterian church down the street.


  2. Deb

    Good post. I think there are extremes on both sides. I am not fan of the extremes of the conservative resurgence and I am no fan of the insistence of Calvinism being the true way. As you know, I hold to a mix of the two theologies which makes me an outcast, all around.

    But, why can’t we all get along? Why can’t we all coexist within the same denomination? The SBC claims that each church is autonomous, especially when it comes to pedophile databases. Why not here? I would feel equally at home in a Reformed church and a pure Arminian church if such differences were looked at as an opportunity for growth, not as a sledgehammer to control the faithful. Growing Christians are all in process. For example, my views on the Second Coming have changed quite a bit from those “left behind” days.

    In the end, I believe that there is a element of authoritarianism and rigidity on both sides. In Pete Briscoe’s church, I knew of folks on all sides of this issue. What is even more interesting, I do not know what Pete believes on this issue. He successfully navigated some of those differences.Unity in diversity is my hope.

  3. Deb

    PS, if it is true that some pastors, Calvinists or otherwise, it does not matter, are hiding their beliefs in order to obtain a pulpit in order to bash people into believing “their way” , then this is wrong. I do know of a church in this area in which this did happen. It broke the heart of a dear woman who is a friend of mine.

  4. Dee,

    Sledgehammer – what a descriptive way to put it!

    Hopefully, there has been enough publicity over this theological divide that pastor search committees will be more careful during the interview process.

    Since there seems to be a trend in Calvinista circles to abide by creeds and sign manifestos, I would recommend that a church that has an Arminian bend draw up a contract that the new pastor must sign stipulating certain expectations and the consequences of breaking the covenant with the congregation. Is that a winsome way of putting it?

  5. Did you just claim that if the SBC followed their founders in theology, they would also follow in their racism? Really? Look into the history of the church and find one era where the church didn’t do something wrong. That’s how the new testament was written, addressing problems in the church. So saying we shouldn’t follow a certain theology because of sinful acts by those people is ridiculous because you won’t find anyone without sinful acts.

  6. In 25 words or less, what is the difference between Calvinist and Arminian? Sorry to be so stupid.

  7. David

    Let me be clear. We didn’t claim it. I believe that one of the people we quoted made that connection. Once again, we have no bone to pick with Calvinism or the Reformed perspective. We are merely pointing out that a war is brewing and that the extremes on both sides need to learn to get along.

    I agree with you commentswholeheartedly.

  8. Former Fellow
    This one is hard but i will try. Any of the readers who adhere to either of these doctrines are free to correct me.

    Arminians believe that man can freely choose to follow Jesus.
    Calvinists believe that man is totally depraved and that God must change the man’s heart before he can choose. Man is unable to do so on his own.Many believe that men are predestined by God to accept or reject the Gospel.

    Historically Calvinists are like Augustine and Arminians are like Aquinas. That should get the battle going.

    In your case, it appears to me that Ed Young Jr is a pure Arminian.Unless of course he finds out that Calvinists make more money. (could not resist).

  9. I have spent half my life in a Calvanistic church, and the latter half in more Baptist-type/Bible churches. I have theological training in both. Basically, both try to resolve the soverignty/free will issue between God’s will and mans’ responsibility. These are issues that will NEVER be resovled this side of eternity. BOTH are presented/hinted at/implied in the Bible. BOTH sides have true, converted souls. BOTH can give glory to God….but I would also have to say that the churches that lean in the more Arminian direction have more passion for evangelism and the working of God in a believers’ life. The more reformed churches have more of an intellectual approach that can, sadly, become arrogant or indifferent to unbelievers. I have seen this over and over. I came out of the Christian Reformed Church, and I know countless persons that understand a LOT of theology, but lack an experiential conversion as they believe they are part of a covenant through family heritage.

  10. This is an interesting topic, but I think it is one that will just continue on, with the Calvinists continuing to gain ground.

    This church can still joint the State Convention and the SBC. I would not worry about the rejection of the Association. I would just move on. I don’t think it means that much, really.

    I like much of what Olson had to say, except for the suggestion that because the SBC has a new found desire to return to the theological roots of its founders (Boyce, Broadus, Manly etc.) that means they should also follow them on the slavery issue.

    Oh, come on. That would be true of lots of groups – nearly every denomination, the Democratic Party or even every American for that matter. What a silly thing for a serious person to write. How is that helpful?

    I think it would be good for most denominations in the U.S. to return to the faithful theological confessions of their ancestors, without adopting their culture beliefs about slavery. I think it would be good for us to adhere to what men like Washington, Jefferson and others thought made a good nation, and risked their lives to found one. That should not mean that we should admire their slave ownership. And because Democrats laud men like Jefferson and Jackson, that doesn’t mean they are required to admire their slave ownership. Can’t we be more sophisticated in our thinking?

    In the case of the SBC, it has even made clear by denominational action that it is not proud of its founders’ position on slavery.

    Hopefully, we can take issues one at a time here.

    I would think that Olson would be a more careful scholar than that. I don’t know Olson, but he probably harbors some animosity at the SBC founders’ conservatism.

    The Baptist Faith and Message is not a five point Calvinist pamphlet, but it affirms much of Calvinism. The SBC was clearly the product of English Separatists coming out of the Puritan churches. They were Calvinists.

    I am not a so-called 5 point Calvinist. But I think that this church will find a warm welcome in the SBC.

  11. Olson is a kind and gentle man, who has been atrociously attacked by the Calvinistas, and by Piper in particular.

  12. dee

    I’m kinda like you – An outcast with both theologies…

    Predestination – Free Will – Hmmm?

    A topic that has caused many problems and divisions for believers over the years.

    Do Calvinists (Predestination) and Armenians (Free Will) really believe what they teach?
    Seems we find lots of scriptures that can point to both?

    …Choose you this day who you will serve.
    Joshua 24:15

    No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him:
    John 6:44

    Doesn’t it seem – those who believe it’s “Either — Or,” and only see one option,
    have some questions to overcome?

    1 – If “Predestination” (Calvinism) is the only correct option…
    and a challenger believes in, defends, and teaches “Free Will:” (Armenianism)

    Then – Did God “Predestine” them to believe in “Free Will?” (Armenianism)

    For how could they believe in “Free Will” unless
    God “Predestined” them to believe in “Free Will?”

    2 – If “Free Will” (Armenianism) is the only correct option…
    and a challenger believes in, defends and teaches “Predestination:” (Calvinism)

    Then – Didn’t God give them a “Free Will” to choose “Predestination?”

    For how could they believe in “Predestination” unless
    God gave them a “Free Will” to choose “Predestination?”

    So where is the argument? 😉

    When Arminius preached, people realized,
    *they could choose* to follow Christ.

    When Calvin preached, people realized,
    *they were chosen* to follow Christ.

    Jesus loves me this I know…


  13. @justabeliever:
    “I came out of the Christian Reformed Church, and I know countless persons that understand a LOT of theology, but lack an experiential conversion as they believe they are part of a covenant through family heritage”

    I agree with you completely on the tendancy of Calvanists to Ivory Tower Theology which causes problems. However, I would argue that the issue has nothing to do with a lack of “experiential conversion.” Faith alone is what saves, not the experience, not the heritage. Conversion can be dramatic, or it can be like a seed that slowly grows into a tree. I have also seen people question another’s or even their own faith solely because the story wasn’t dramatic enough, completely ignoring that there was lots of evidence. I have seen others who believe that salvation hinges on a dramatic confession and baptism (its a really awesome insurance policy)- if you don’t have one (or more) – you better correct that. The tendancy of making salvation something its not is in both camps.

  14. As someone who grew up in churches in the SBC, it saddens me to see such discord, but I am also encouraged that this issue is being examined. I have found freedom in the new reformed movement — freedom from the weekly shame bashing for “not doing enough” because I now know that nothing I can do can add to my salvation. What I do for Jesus is done out of gratitude and love. The Calvinistic leanings of my church are gradually wiping away the sense that I am somehow responsible for being saved. “I accepted Jesus” is replace by “Jesus called me and gave me the faith to respond.”

    BTW, my church is Mars Hill in Seattle, and I’ve watched Mark Driscoll develop from that “macho man” image with somewhat crass language to a humble servant who speaks God’s truth no matter how it will be received. His sense of humor is still intact however, and I thank God for that. We need to laugh at ourselves, and his perspective makes that easy. I suggest you give him another listen.

    I’m praying that God will shed some SCRIPTURAL light on this Cal/Arm debate and help those of us who are on the same team find some unity and a game plan that honors and glorifies the God who called us.

  15. Joyce
    God has given us the Scriptures. Everyone is debating what they say.

    Actually I am so glad you visited out blog. Unfortunately your two blog queens are not particular fans of your pastor. Perhaps you would like to contend for him? Here are two links to posts that we have recently written here and here . I look forward to your assessment.

  16. Eighty-six% of churches are stagnant or in decline while only 10% of SBC pastors claim to be Calvanistic. Calvinism is the least of the SBC’s problems.

  17. John

    I agree with you. In fact, people are leaving the evangelical church in general. I think the issues include authoritarianism and egotistcial church leaders and holier than thou church members.

  18. I honestly think what I think has been going on in this so-called conservative resurgence is creeping baptist landmarkism. This move to oust the church is proof it. I just left a IFB church where the preacher finally asserted his opinion on his position on baptist landmarkism. He rejected the notion that baptists were a part of the Protestant Reformation and were always in existance.

  19. While it wasn’t stated as Calvinism, that it was one of the things that helped push me out of the Baptist church. (This was a General Baptist, not SBC).

    I was in Sunday School, and this comment came up. “I am responsible for any bad that I do, but God is responsible for any good that I do.”

    That just turns me the wrong way. Either you are responsible for both, or neither. I don’t remember anyone else challenging the statement, nor do I remember how I reacted either.

    I have no problem with God planting the seeds of grace, nor encouragement and help along the way, just as a loving parent helps a toddler learning how to walk.

  20. Casey
    Have you read our series on the IFB? I would love to get your take on it. I think your comment is astute. I am not sure if the Baptists leaders would agree but you have hit on an important point.

    Years ago, before a certain former pastor decided to interfere with the process, I was about to join an AMIA (Anglican Church in America) church. I asked about the concept of successionism which is taught in the Roman Catholic church. This goes back to Peter who, according to the RC, was the first Pope and the blessingfrom Peter went to the next Pope and the next. Although the AMIA church does not teach this, the pastor said that he likes to think about how the laying on of hands for ordination goes all the way back to the time of Peter.

    Well, imagine my surprise to learn that there has been the same movement amongst the Baptists in the past. Here is a quick quote from Wkikpedia on Baptist Successionism.
    “Baptist successionism is one of several theories on the origin and continuation of Baptist churches – also known as “Baptist perpetuity” or “The Trail of Blood”. It is the theory that there has been an unbroken chain of churches since the days of Christ which have held similar beliefs (though not always the name) of the current Baptist churches. Ancient anti-paedobaptist groups, such as the Montanists, Paulicians, Cathari, Waldenses, Albigenses, and Anabaptists, have been among those viewed by Baptist successionists as the predecessors of modern day Baptists. Their history is documented in books such as the Martyrs Mirror.”

  21. Anna A

    “I am responsible for any bad that I do, but God is responsible for any good that I do.” That is a fascinating statement. I would be curious to hear what our readers on both sides of the fence would say to this. It does mesh well with the reformed belief in the “total depravity of man.”
    BTW, I loved you last line. I, too, see God as a loving Father to His people. Why else would he send Jesus?

  22. “I am responsible for any bad that I do, but God is responsible for any good that I do.”

    Partially makes God the mastermind of Stepford. uch — don’t like this statement one bit.

  23. I came across a real good book on Baptist Successionism by an author by the name of McGregor that points out the groups mentioned in Carroll’s book were not sound in doctrine where some even denied the sufficiency of Christ’s atonement. I was quite stunned. I asked the pastor of the time about the book and he said that not all the sects were like that but the more I have researched about the emmersion position and landmarkism those who hold the view honestly are making the same arguments that was made by the RCC in the 7th, 8th, and 9th century on the neccessity of emmersion for faith. Also, the RCC emmersed up until late in the 10th century. Charlemagne also believed in baptism as a neccesity for Christian faith that he often forced it on those he conquered as a means to Christianize them. Landmarkism among baptist seemed to be a move in the late 19th century to break away from the other denominations. James E. Tull has book on this movement. The other thing I wonder is that in the early church I noticed was that baptism was not always needed to be done among other believers in an assembly such as in the case of the Ethopian. I totally value emmersion baptism of the believer but what about the importance of sound doctrine. The Trail of Blood would suggests it does not matter.

  24. The author was James McGoldrick. Something also I did not realize until recently was that the Didache was discovered by Protestants researchers within a couple of years after the Trail of Blood was written.

  25. Casey
    Wow, another great comment. This Sunday seems to have been inspirational for many. I am being challenged by all the comments. I did a review of the book, Son of Hamas. He wanted to be baptized but there was great concern for his safety. So, if i remember correctly, a young woman who was a Christian took him for a walk on the beach and there immersed him and baptized him. There is no question in my mind that such a baptism was as valid as anything in a church community. However, we have had Baptists visit this site who would disagree and say the baptism, as well as communion, would need to be done by a pastor.This sort of thinking would most likely give a nod to successionism. Thoughts?

  26. I have not done enough research but I tend to think that baptism in of itself is an indication of a pledge of faith toward God. An assembly could be indeed a witness but not necessary. I keep thinking that upon conversion baptism needs to be as immediate as possible to help provide a significant memory (time and place) of the believer’s conversion experience.

  27. Baptism is a symbol of the commitment of the new Christian to follow Christ. It is a testimony to those who observe or learn of the baptism. It is a symbol of the end of one life and the beginning of another.

  28. Casey

    I agree that immediate baptism is important after it is ascertained that the person truly understands what she/he is asserting. The early church had a proselyte year in which a new convert was instructed in the beliefs of the church. I am not condoning that but do believe that there needs to be some serious teaching before someone assents to being baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is not to be taken lightly, as some ritual to join a club. I have watched one too many baptisms in which someone who, in the heat of the moment, mouths they believe, only to go onto live a life in absence of faith.

  29. In my opinion, and mine only, this associations rejecting Calvinism is a positive move and is a first step in rejecting today’s version of theology which is fast forwarding to personal power within each church within the Baptist Conventions which means we are heading more towards “Pastor Lead” churches vs Christ focused ministries.

    For example, I know for a fact, The Ga Baptist Convention is silently becoming one of the biggest examples of how to slowly and step by step push the Calvinistic agenda and theology to Baptist in GA without them even knowing it. You have the leader of the GBC using others ( Mike Everson and his now overseeing 900 + Baptist Churches in South Ga and others ) to push this agenda and when teamed together they are a majority within Georgia who are silently moving the state closer to Albert’s and Marcs’s goal of becoming ACTS 29 churches.

    To understand what happened to me and others at my church, I had to study what was behind the meanness and arrogance of the perpetrators i.e., Mike Everson and his disciples. Calvinism and its theology is a subject I have studied and most all of its teaching has pointed me in the direction as one of the main reason for being spiritually abused they way I, along with others, were abused.

    J Robert White is now pushing Calvinism in Georgia, even though he nor his disciples, will never admit it!

    So my question is, what do you do about a whole state moving in the direction as an ACTS 29 church?

    Revolt? Thanksfully, some are in Ga and a battle is brewing. Go here to see what is happening in GA
    ( and as a footnote – I have nothing to do with his blog!)

    Following Christ, Not Man
    Doug Pittman

  30. Interesting that in all the previous replies, no one brings up these issues:

    1. Who is the head honcho of Acts 29?

    2. Is it not just a little naive to think that the SBC should grant membership to a church which claims allegiance to another denomination which demands that its member churches adhere to doctrines that are not in agreement with the SBC and perhaps hostile toward it?

    3. Does not anyone question the practice of the Acts 29 denomination requiring member churches to “tithe” to Acts 29 church plantings?

    4. What must an Acts 29 church give up or pay if they choose to leave the Acts 29 denomination (read the fine print)?

    ANSWER to No. 1 above:

  31. Acts 29 does not claim to be a denomination and their web literature suggests that they are a “cross-denominational” network of church planters. But they have an extensive statement of what they believe and what they do not believe, which seems Reformed, masculinist, missional, etc.

  32. ACTS29, 9Marks, and other groups like them are, what I KNOW to be, ( NOT think as I have first hand experience dealing with some of the leadership within this group) very Extremist, Legalistic, and Judgmental.

    Stay away from anyone associated with them unless you are a follower of “Men”.

    Following Christ, Not Man
    Doug Pittman

  33. Ted/Doug

    As you know, this blog is no fan of Driscoll and that is an understatement. I consider our post Mark Driscoll, Did I Stutter to be a comprehensive look at what he has said. Here is the problem that I had with the local SBC action. Instead of saying that this was an action based on the leadership and actions of Mark Driscoll and this organization objects to that influence in this instance, they made an allusion to Calvinism.

    Wade Burleson is a Reformed Baptist and I would attend his church because he is a different sort. There are many decent Calvinists. There are also some who are hellbent on imposing their particular doctrinal slants on an unsuspecting church. That is why this blog came up with the term Calvinista.

    if this action was based on the history and nonsense that has proceeded from Seattle, they should have said so. Frankly, if they had, I, for one, would have supported their decision.

  34. Dee, I agree But all I know ( and U too) is what happened to us under a very hostile Calvinist. Again it is the 20%, 80% thing, but the problem is the 20% in Georgia are the leaders and the other 80% are afraid to speak out – so far – and it is BAD!

    Following Christ, Not Man
    Doug Pittman

  35. One day in being in Moscow in adopting our daughter I was wondering as to how Christ reached this nation and their Golden age. In thinking about this we decided to visit the art museum. Often one can see the works of art like that of Nicolas Gi in Moscow. In the golden age when Dostoevsky wrote his Christian works, Nicolas Gi painted Christian works as well. I came convinced in that trip that God leaves his marks all over the earth. To somehow think that God is limited to America I believe has somehow become egotistical. He leaves his landmarks all over the world and it is also not limited to denominations. From Afrahat, the Persian sage, to Watchman Nee, Asia has such a history that is forgotten. Shouldn’t we seek His Streams instead of asserting our own landmarks?

  36. I’m surprised to see Calvinism in the SBC. I was raised in the SBC and Calvinists were put down almost as much as Catholics.

    “In fact, people are leaving the evangelical church in general. I think the issues include authoritarianism and egotistcial church leaders and holier than thou church members.”

    I largely agree. Many evangelicals mock the idea of a Pope, but I’ve observed how they hang on every word of the local pastor as if he were saying the very words of God. Then when he makes a mistake, it can cause a lot of disillusionment.

    I think the holier-than-thou attitude is also a problem. I can look back and see it in myself when I was an Evangelical. Now, I spend most of my time alternating between Lutheran and Presbyterian churches, and discovered this ancient thing called “Confession”. I’ve found that confessing my sins every week keeps me humble. When I was an Evangelical, confession was something you did once to get saved. Then you’re supposed to be 99.9% perfect thereafter, or you’re not truly “born again”. There is no confession expected thereafter, so it’s very easy to develop that holier-than-thou attitude without it.

    Also, since you’re supposedly 99.9% perfect once you are saved, but the lives of every Christian you know contradicts this unstated but heavily implied “theology”, then the whole thing looks like a fairy tale. I always heard that if you’re truly born again you won’t want to sin. However, every Christian I knew seemed to partly still want to sin. It took me years to come back to church after seeing so many Christians that were “good” in high school go wild and crazy in their 20s. It wasn’t until I read Luther and Calvin that I realized the Christian life is a constant battle between a good nature and a sinful nature, and Christianity finally seemed to correspond to the reality of my first and second-hand experience.

  37. Stan,

    Thanks so much for sharing your perceptions. I’m sure there are other Southern Baptists who would agree with you. We will NEVER achieve perfection this side of heaven.

    Blessings to you!

  38. Stan
    Thank you so much for your excellent input.

    You said “Many evangelicals mock the idea of a Pope, but I’ve observed how they hang on every word of the local pastor as if he were saying the very words of God. Then when he makes a mistake, it can cause a lot of disillusionment.” So true! I watched a church implode over a pedophile situation. Many people could not believe a pastor could do anything wrong.Oh, he can do a little something wrong like confess pride over his achievements (God, forgive me for being so good I can hardly stand it) but that is the extent of it. This teaching is perpetrated by the pastor who rails on and on about his authority, saying it so often that the pew sitters buy it.

    You said “since you’re supposedly 99.9% perfect once you are saved, but the lives of every Christian you know contradicts this unstated but heavily implied “theology”, then the whole thing looks like a fairy tale.” And it is a fairy tale. We are still struggling with our sin and will do so until the day we are called home. The happy ending is the Resurrection and the life eternal. We are positionally holy but we do and will struggle to be holy in practice.
    I have become impressed, more and more, with confession on a weekly basis as practiced by Anglicans, Lutherans and Presbyterians. There is much to be said for getting the focus off of us and directing our attention to God. There isa reason that many evangelicals are running to the liturgical traditions.

    Great comment!