Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Evil Calvinist Conspiracy

Today is day 2 of the 2009 Southern Baptist Convention. Yesterday saw the attempt to blame all of the decline of the SBC on a resurgence of Calvinistic teachings. In fact, during the discussion of the motion to appoint a Great Commission task force, one speaker felt we didn't need a task force, we need only get rid of Calvinists.

Here is my question: Why would Calvinists want to take over the Southern Baptist Convention? We exist as the SBC for the sole purpose of funding and sending missionaries. A portion of that includes supporting education for pastors and missionaries. If Calvinists are anti-evangelism, anti-missions, then why take over the SBC?

I can't think of a good reason. Unless it's that the SBC has become evil, and Calvinists want to destroy it. But the Calvinist detractors seem to equate Calvinism with fatalistic determinism. If Calvinists really believed that whatever happens, happens, without any human involvement, we could just sit back and watch the SBC explode while we get a pizza!

Perhaps the Calvinism isn't the problem. Perhaps that some of us preach Christ because we know that God uses preachers and missionaries and believers to proclaim His word, to proclaim The Word, Jesus Christ, and that God then acts to bring some to repentance, isn't really a problem. And if the man who stated that 30% of our seminary grads and pastors are Calvinists is right, why a 95% vote in favor of the task force? Why continued support of missions and evangelism? Because, perhaps, Calvinism isn't the problem. Does it make that big of a difference in how one preaches the Gospel? Do we not recognize that God has a hand in salvation some way, and that man has a responsibility to go and tell?

After all, Calvinism would be a great comfort to one who is plowing a rough field, who toils preaching and teaching day after day, and sees little results to report. Comfort, that God is working even though human eyes can't see it.

If Calvinists are taking over the SBC, I can't figure out why. Unless Calvinism is also a motivator for missions, evangelism, and a passion to see the world hear the Gospel.

Then, we just might be in the right place.


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