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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Calvinist Pastors need to "Come Clean"


I am going to shock some of you by saying that I completely agree with the demand from many SBC Leaders lately for Calvinistic Southern Baptist Pastors to come clean and tell pulpit committees of prospective churches that they are indeed “Reformed” in their understanding of the doctrine of salvation... (thats code for “I'm a Calvinist”).

There is really no excuse for not “coming clean” on this issue, and really no reason not to anymore!

Here's why... I am not sure what the exact numbers are nationally (they must be staggering) but the numbers of Traditional Southern Baptist Churches, like First Baptist Church ________(fill in the blank) in the panhandle of Florida that cannot seem to find a qualified pastor to fill their empty pulpits is almost epidemic.

These are not just small churches, but are in fact churches of all sizes. These are not poor churches in rundown areas, but many of them are financially sound and are offering very nice compensation packages to potential pastors. In years past highly qualified pastors were standing in line to get these churches... but no longer. Some of these churches have been without a pastor for more than two years! And when I talk to their pulpit committees their voices are filled with desperation... I had one member of an overworked committee exclaim to me just this week “Where have all our pastors gone?”

So for Southern Baptist Pastors it is a “Buyers Market”... Therefor, it is my advice that Calvinistic Southern Baptist Pastors not wait for someone on the pulpit committee to ask them if they are a Calvinist, but it is my advice that Calvinistic Southern Baptist Pastors take the initiative and ask the pulpit committee the direct question “Are you Anti-Reformed?” Then when they ask what that means (and most will) then it is a great opportunity to break out the copy of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 that you always carry in your shirt pocket and go carefully through articles 4, 5, and 2c. Then ask them if they believe what our Southern Baptist Confession of Faith teaches in these articles? If they say “NO” politely inform them the interview is over at this point... if they say “YES” inform them that they are Calvinist and continue with the interview.

Grace Always,



15 comments:

WatchingHISstory said...

Greg

Do you agree that regeneration preceeds faith and repentance? It does not work simultaneously with regeneration?

John MacArthur preached today that cross bearing was a condition to salvation. The Christian comes to Christ in desperation. I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

At the very end less than two minutes to go he clarrified that faith and regeneration were not to be viewed chronologically. They work together. What happened to our salvation decreed before the foundation of creation? Regeneration is monergistic not syncreistic isn't it?

Is MacArthur moderate Calvinist?

G. Alford said...

Charles,

Yes I think the Bible is clear that regeneration always precedes faith and repentance...

I do not know what MacArthur was attempting to communicate… I do know that he is one of the most respected and solid Calvinist of this generation… and knowing that; I would give MacArthur the benefit of the doubt that I was not understanding correctly what it was that he was meaning to communicate.

But, with that said… even our greatest Heroes of the Christian faith make mistakes… That’s why the Word of God is our only standard by which all doctrine is measured. And I am confident that MacArthur would say Amen to that statement.

Grace Always,

WatchingHISstory said...

oops! mean to write Sinner comes to Christ in desperation...not Christian

WatchingHISstory said...

Please, someone help me here. This clip is about Kirk Cameron and John MacArthur. Are they Arminian or Calvinist (maybe reformed Arminian)?
Watch it and give me your opinion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgtrKojXk5k

Paul W. Foltz said...

In Regeneration, the Holy Spirit implants the graces of repentance and faith, which lead to the initial conversion experience.
The elect sinner is passive in Regeneration, but active in Conversion.
Regeneration is compared to conception. Conversion to the live birth.
Paul W. Foltz

WatchingHISstory said...

Paul

Your comment is not consistent with your post about what free Grace is.

Everybody has a different spin on the moment of regeneration.
There is death then regeneration from the good (and generous) pleasure of the Father in unconditional election. only after regeneration does anything make sense. Only Arminians have any explanation about pre-conversion grace.

G. Alford said...

Paul,

Hello my good brother :-)

I have been on a bloging sabbatical for the month of March... sometimes I just need to take some time off... anyway, it is good to have your comments.

I like your analogy “Regeneration is compared to conception. Conversion to the live birth.”

Grace Always,

Anonymous said...

Dear Greg, I thank you for your kind words.
Paul W. Foltz DD
ps. check out my blog on Doctrine od Regeneration-34posts.

Anonymous said...

watching his story. it is consistent,in that free grace relates to the experience of conversion, not to regeneration, or the awakening of the sinner.
Paul W. Foltz DD

WatchingHISstory said...

Anonymous

I want to avoid having Moise Amyrant interpret Dort for me.
I also want to avoid hypo-Calvinism and cling to the sovereignty of God in election and avoid a universal Arminian gospel appeal.

I believe that a great preacher like McArthur is guilty of this.

And yes, I want to avoid hyper-Calvinism. I just want to be a Calvinist!

Anonymous said...

There's\ no such thing as a hyper-calvinist. Either You are a Calvinist or are not.

Calvinsts accept human responsibility.

Anonymous said...

dear watchinghisstory,
I don't know who Amyrant is. I never have read Him, or heard of him, what I know and believe, I got on my Knees, asking the Holy Spirit to open the Bible.
I HAVE ALSO MADE IT A PRACTICE, NEVER TO READ ANYTHING BY JOHN CALVIN.

What I BELIEVE, I HAVE GOTTEN FIRSTHAND.

WatchingHISstory said...

As I understand it responsibility issues from regeneration.

John Murray in "Regeneration" (Banner of Truth 1976) says that "to argue that we should not repent and believe until we are generated is to introduce confusion in the relation that regeneration sustains to our responsibility."

Then he turns around and says: "the unknown purposes of God are not the rule of our conduct nor the grounds upon which we act, so the inscrutable operations of God are not the rule and ground of our actions, but his revealed will.

Now it seems to me he has introduced confusion by insisting that there are possibly conflicting difference between what God has proposed and what he has revealed. What is unknown and inscrutable to us are somehow different than what is revealed.
There seems to be manipulation that allows for all sinners to repent and believe. He says: "we never know that we are regenerated until we repent and believe." In my opinion this does a disservice to so many. The Father in electing, the Holy Spirit in regenerating and the sincere sinner in a false conversion. Perhaps the very reason we have so many unconverted Church members.

It disallows limited attonement yet claiming to hold to limited atonement.

All this would be expected of an Arminian appeal but for a Calvinist (5 pointer) to cling to a well-meant offer or free offer in evangelism is confusing.

Anonymous said...

watchinghisstory, God has put responsibility on all the human race, in that He commands man to repent and believe, which they can't do except by being regenerated. Man's liability to sin does not preclude him from his
responsibility to obey God.
Paul W. Foltz DD

WatchingHISstory said...

God desires that all men assume their responsibility to obey him but only saves those he elects for regeneration.

In all respect to you Paul, it seems that you are saying that man's depravity does not render him incapable of liability toward God. He is marred but not defaced.
He is not totally depraved.