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.