Tim Rogers sends me the following email:
After discussing your last comment with Robin and Wes, we have decided to moderate your last comment. If you would like to re-submit without calling the majority of SB heretics, then be our guest.
Now I want to be upfront with everyone that I did not once use the word “Heretics” in any of my comments. And even if I did, I do not feel that would rise to the level of offensiveness that it needs to be Censored by the Baptist Idenity “Thought Police” over on SBC Today.
So I will post my exchange with Bart Barber that got my hand spanked by my Brother in Christ Tim Rogers and let you be the judge.
(I have removed the comments in the original post that were not related to this discussion)
Bart Barber Says: December 9th, 2008 at 4:31 pm
I, for one, am really confused. You recently indicated at your blog:
“And when you take any one of the 5-points away you diminish the Gospel and in truth you have no Gospel at all… what you have is Semi-Pelagianism or full blown Pelagianism, both of which have been condemned as preversions of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (heresy).” (See here)
So, you have explicitly anathematized as heretics all four-pointers, three-pointers, and so forth. Two questions come first to mind:
1. Why on earth would you take such interest in the actions of a convention full of heretics bound for perdition? Why such grave concern over Wes’s viewpoint, CB’s viewpoint, or any other such person?
2. Although the Landmark Baptists called all other denominations as false churches, they acknowledged the true believers in their midst as fellow Christians bound for heaven. Yet you, who condemn all who do not cross every T, dot every I, and affirm every L in the same way as you to be heretics and condemned, dare to call them arrogant and closed-minded?
Bart Barber Says: December 9th, 2008 at 4:37 pm
You know, come to think of it, you must be calling OURS false churches as well, unless you believe in true churches entirely led by and populated with heretics.
Greg Alford Says: December 9th, 2008 at 9:21 pm
1st of all my esteemed brother I sate a fact of History when I say that Semi-Pelagianism and Pelagianism have both been condemned as Heresy. This is a fact that I am sure you are aware of brother Bart, so are you saying that you agree with Semi-Pelagian or Pelagian doctrine? And that they should not be considered Heretical?
2nd Salvation is not found in mastering correct theology, there are many who incorrectly or imperfectly understand the great gift of god’s grace in salvation (4-3-2-1 pointers) that are nonetheless saved. I never once said that those who are not 5-point Calvinist are bound for perdition. Brother I say enough stupid things for myself
I don’t need your help in adding to the list.
3rd Brother, should not I be just as concerned about my convention as you? Or are you hinting that I should just give up and get out?
4th Bart you really are confused! Just where did I ever say that those churches who are not 5-point Calvinist are not true churches? No brother, do not paint me with your own detestable Landmark brush, that is something I most certainly do not agree with! And to prove it I will be glad to show up at your church and take communion with you… now the question is, am I welcome?
Bart Barber Says: December 9th, 2008 at 9:49 pm
Please pardon my dimwittedness. Foolishly I drew the strange and unwarranted conclusions that:
“when you take any one of the 5-points away” = anyone holding any less than 5 points (i.e. 4, 3, 2, 1)
“in truth you have no Gospel at all” = not just an imperfect understanding of the gospel, but a complete lack of it (i.e. “no Gospel at all”)
“what you have is Semi-Pelagianism or full blown Pelagianism” = anyone holding any less than 5 points are really Semi-Pelagians or Pelagians.
“both of which have been condemned as . . . (heresy)” = these folks are condemned as heretics. So, forgive me for concluding that you meant what you wrote, rather than something else.
Bart Barber Says: December 9th, 2008 at 9:52 pm
Now, after thinking it through for a while, I think I have it.
We are not heretics, we are just people who believe a heresy. Our churches are not false churches; they are true Pelagian churches where you would gladly share communion with us as a memorial to the gospel that we have not at all.
Greg Alford Says: December 9th, 2008 at 10:18 pm
As your brother in Christ how could I not Pardon your dimwittedness.
Now, go forth and dimwit no more…
Greg Alford Says: December 9th, 2008 at 10:45 pm
I have already confessed to saying “Stupid” things, so it is little wonder that you misunderstood my meaning.
I have explained my comments here, but if you will not take my word for what I actually believe then there is little else I can say that will change your mind.
By the way, you have not answered any of my questions. Which leaves me to only assume the worse?
Bart Barber Says: December 10th, 2008 at 9:03 am
Greg Alford Says: December 10th, 2008 at 2:55 pm
(From comment #47)
Are you saying that you agree with Semi-Pelagian or Pelagian doctrine? And that they should not be considered Heretical?
Are you hinting that I should just give up and get out (of the SBC)?
Am I welcome (to partake communion with you)?
Bart Barber Says: December 10th, 2008 at 3:08 pm
I do not agree with Semi-Pelagian or Pelagian doctrine. My disagreement with your comments (gosh, MOST people’s disagreement with your comment) is that I do not believe that, for example, Russell Moore at Southern Seminary is a Pelagian or a Semi-Pelagian.
If you are recanting from your statement that all who are not 5-point Calvinists are heretics, then I think it would be fine for you to remain in the SBC. But if you were indeed to believe that the vast majority of Southern Baptists are Pelagians of some stripe, then yes…leave…leave now.
Are you welcome to participate in the Lord’s Supper at our church? I can’t really answer that entirely. I know of no reason why you could not, but participation in the Lord’s Supper should only come after careful self-examination for any areas of stubborn rebellion in sin. I cannot confidently say that Bart Barber should participate in the Lord’s Supper when next we celebrate it. But the topic that has been before us is whether a person who has refused believer’s immersion should partake. I believe that such a one should not, but I presume that you do not belong in this category.
Greg Alford Says: (Your comment is awaiting moderation.) December 10th, 2008 at 3:54 pm
I agree with you that most people disagree with my statement… gosh, most people think that they are saved by saying the magic words and clicking their heels together three times.
“recanting”… I should rather suffer the flames of the Protestant Martyrs than recant from the Gospel of my Fathers.
As I have stated above “Salvation is not found in mastering correct theology, there are many who incorrectly or imperfectly understand the great gift of god’s grace in salvation (4-3-2-1 pointers) that are nonetheless saved.
Bart, I am absolutely convinced that the vast majority of Southern Baptists are Pelagians of some stripe… And you have only reinforced this conviction.
Pelagianism views humanity as basically good and morally unaffected by the Fall. It denies the imputation of Adam’s sin, original sin, total depravity, and substitutionary atonement. It simultaneously views man as fundamentally good and in possession of libertarian free will. With regards to salvation, it teaches that man has the ability in and of himself (apart from divine aid) to obey God and earn eternal salvation
Pelagianism is overhwhelmingly incompatible with the Bible and was historically opposed by Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo, leading to its condemnation as a heresy at Council of Carthage in 418 A.D. These condemnations were summarily ratified at the Council of Ephesus (A.D. 431).
Pelagius was a monk from Britain, whose reputation and theology came into prominence after he went to Rome sometime in the 380’s A.D. The historic Pelagian theological controversy involved the nature of man and the doctrine of original sin.
Pelagius believed that the consequences of Adam and Eve’s sin (the Fall) were restricted to themselves only; and thereby denied the belief that original sin was passed on (or transferred) to the children of Adam and thus to the human race. Adam’s sin merely “set a bad example” for his progeny and Jesus “set a good example” for mankind (thus counteracting Adam’s bad example). Pelagianism teaches that human beings are born in a state of innocence with a nature that is as pure as that which Adam was given at his creation.
As a result of his basic assumption, Pelagius taught that man has an unimpaired moral ability to choose that which is spiritually good and possesses the free will, ability, and capacity to do that which is spiritually good. This resulted in a gospel of salvation based on human works. Man could choose to follow the precepts of God and then follow those precepts because he had the power within himself to do so.
The controversy came to a head when Pelagian teaching came into contact with Augustine. Augustine did not deny that man had a will and that he could make choices. But, Augustine recognized that man did not have a free will in moral issues related to God, asserting that the effects original sin were passed to the children of Adam and Eve and that mankind’s nature was thereby corrupted. Man could choose what he desired, but those desires were influenced by his sinful nature and he was unable to refrain from sinning.
Pelagius cleared himself of charges, primarily by hiding his real beliefs; however, at the Council of Carthage in 418 A.D., his teachings were branded as heresy. The Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D., again condemned Pelagian doctrine and it was banished in the Greek portion of the church. However, in the West, the teachings held on, primarily in Britain and Gaul.
Pelagian teaching was replaced with Semi-Pelagianism which sought a middle ground between Pelagianism and Augustinianism, but it too was condemned at the Second Synod of Orange in 529 A.D. However, elements of Semi-Pelagianism continued in the Western (Roman) church. It emerged again after the Reformation in modified form in Arminianism which was rejected by the Reformed churches at the Synod of Dort in 1618-1619 A.D.
Yes Bart, the vast majority of Southern Baptist hold Pelagian beliefs of some sort or another… You may not like to admit this, but can you prove me wrong? You may not claim Pelagian as a Brother, but clearly Pelagian would claim the majority of Southern Baptist as Brothers.
Bart you say to me “Yes…leave…leave now.” (Smiling)
At this point I received the email from Brother Tim Rogers informing me that the above comment was going to be Censored.
To which I respond Wow!
Our “Baptist Identity” Brothers must be really feeling the heat if they censored that comment.
Well, what do you think? Was I out of bounds?