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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Why SBC-Today’s Anabaptist concerns me.

I have debated writing this post for some time. The reality that anything written can be misconstrued is enough by itself to cause hesitation. The last thing I want to do is leave the wrong impression with anyone. I love Anabaptist and I love Calvinists. I work with both and even some in other groups. So I write the following to voice concerns that I am seeing and hearing. I write to add clarification as to why I did NOT signed the Anabaptist/Traditional Statement. I write to reveal why this issue of growing Anabaptist influence in the SBC is problem. And since I write best by making lists, I will compile a list of my concerns while making it clear that NO priority is given other than the first one on the list.

The list will include specific and generic issues tied to people and promotion. Again, these are my concerns and are questions that I have yet to get consistent answers from (NEW) Anabaptist/Traditionalist. The older SBC Anabaptist/Traditionalist that I have known and respected were totally different.

My Concerns:

1. Ask 10 different Anabaptist what they believe must occur for a person to be saved, and you will get at least 5 different answers.

2. Do Anabaptist really believe that John 3:16 shows that God loves those he sends to Hell?

3. Do Anabaptist really believe that all people are born with an equal opportunity of salvation?

4. At what point do Anabaptist believe salvation occurs?

5. How can Anabaptist call Calvinists divisive when it is the Anabaptist who have web sites and blogs that repeatedly state that Calvinism is a danger to the SBC?

Here is an example:  SBC-Today

6. Old Anabaptist Pastors are speaking and writing articles claiming that all a child needs to do in order to be saved is “repeat this prayer”.  If this is true, does the pastor have any responsibility to make sure the child really understands what sin, repentance, and faith in Jesus truly are?  Is there any minimum age at which a child should be led through this prayer?  I have known children who were talking at 30 months… is that two young?  Why?  

7.  Why are Anabaptists opposed to Lifeway sponsoring The Gospel Coalition conferences?

8. Why are Anabaptists opposed to Lifeway promoting anything written by a Calvinists?

9. Why are Anabaptist leaders NOT doing more to instill that Anabaptist pastors must be upfront with their soteriology?

10. Why are Anabaptists leaders sending out DVD/CD’s by Jerry Vines warning churches about the dangers of Calvinist doctrine and pastors. If there is no move to purge the SBC of Calvinism; then why are they doing this?

11. Why the aggression from Anabaptist because many in the SBC do NOT agree with them?

12. If the BF&M is enough, why do we have the Anabaptist pushing their “New” statement of faith that was written to exclude their Calvinist brothers in the SBC?  

13. Why do we have two seminaries pushing an Anabaptist agenda upon the unsuspecting young men our Southern Baptist Churches are sending them? 

14. Since when did Anabaptist and Southern Baptist go together? The day-to-day operations of the church do not even match!

15. If there is no plan by the Anabaptist to purge the SBC of Calvinism, why then do we have a SBC Professor writing an Anti-Calvinist statement of faith, and State Executive Directors pressuring their staff to sign it, and asking Local Association DOM’s to sign it?

16. Why are Anabaptist upset that Lifeway did a survey that offered respondents no option other than saying they were, essentially, either Calvinists or Arminians?  Did they want Semi-Pelagianism to be an option?

17. With the exception of eternal security, since when were Southern Baptist and Methodist so much alike? John Wesley was my kind of Methodist, but today’s “NEW Anabaptist” are nothing close in belief and practice.  From John Wesley’s own writing on the doctrine of election I think they would even condemn him as a Calvinist?

In case you are not aware by this point… This article was written as a “complete” parody of  Tim Guthrie's article over at SBC-Today that sadly was not written as a parody.

Grace for the Journey,      


R. Cofield said...


Well done.

The hysteria being whipped up over at SBC Today and Tomorrow is beginning to become...hysterical.

"The Calvinists are coming, and they are bad hombres."

Why are they coming? "'Cause we said so."

Why are they bad hombres? "'Cause we said so...dang-it! Are you questioning my integrity???!!! How dare you, you young, arrogant whippersnapper!"

Peace, brother.

Steve Martin said...

Anabaptists. That word means, "against baptism"...right?

Infant baptism, really.

I knew there was a reason I didn't care for the Anabaptists.

We believe that since Christ commanded baptism, that He is actually in it...for us. And since we are not the ones to make the decision for Him (but vice-versa) that He is the One who actually does the baptizing (not the pastor, or priest).

We like this view because it outs God's grace, ahead of our faith. "We love because He first loved us"...and the like.

Anywho...I hope you don't a radical point of view now and then :D

Dr. James Willingham said...

I think you are right to be concerned Greg. I wrote a response on one of the articles at SBC Today, and a writer responded giving links to something Wesley had written in response to Whitefield in the beginnings of their set-to. What the writer had not learned or chose to ignore was that John Wesley in his journal wrote a letter in response to Whitefield's efforts to be reconciled, and in that letter he recognized that there were some whom God had chosen and that some would reach a state from which they would never fall. I could also mention that the SBC Today people show no awareness that Spurgeon said John Wesley used terms about forcing men to respond that he would never use. I pray you are wrong that the Arminian (?) traditionalists will not try their hand at forcing the calvinists(more biblical to say Sovereign Grace believers as the theology was around before Calvin and before some one got the bright idea of hanging the term calvinism on the theology as a pejorative. What is really happening is that the folks who think they run things are getting worried lest another Great Awakening occurs and the whole earth is converted, including every soul on it, and that it continues for a 1000 generations (minimum of 20,000 years, allowing only 20 yrs per generation. maximum ?)and spreading to millions of worlds in order to have enough souls to justify Rev.7:9.

Dr. James Willingham said...

To Steve: Anabaptist means rebaptizer. This was the charge against the Anabaptists that they repeated baptism, whereas their view was that they were doing it right for the first time. The charge of rebaptizing even came to America and was answered in this way by Sovereign Grace Particular/Regular Baptists.

Greg Alford said...


I am with you on this one... These "New Anabaptist" are getting out right histerical. As our outgoing SBC President said "Calcinism is HOT!" and many of the "New Anabaptist" are feeling the heat.

I even had one pastor in my local association tell me that I was “not a Baptist at all”… Why? Because I lead my congregation to end some long standing traditions in “my” church… I guess local church autonomy is no longer a “Cherished Baptist/Anabaptist Principle”?

Anyway, I think we would see a “much improved” relationship between all Southern Baptist if we would learn to trust the leadership that God has called to oversee the work of our local churches (Pastors, Elders, and Deacons) and stop trying to impose our own convictions upon other congregations that God has not called us to lead!

Greg Alford said...


No I don't mind a radical point of view from time to time... After al my views on some things are pretty radical :-)

Greg Alford said...


Wesley's commentary on Romans 8 makes it very clear he believed in election... He just never could reconcile election with the rest of his theology.

To me that is why the Traditionalist (New Anabaptist) Statement of faith is weak... It is not consistent, and cannot be reconciled with the BFM2K.

Anonymous said...

Oh fellow man where to begin? Now I know why I argue politics and not religion. Which go hand in hand by the way. However, the natural man can completely understand politics because it is purely foolishness. While trying to convince a religious man who doesn't and can't fully understand what God meant or didn't mean is like shooting a dead horse. There will be many who cry out Lord! Lord!.... and HE will say? Just to throw a wrench into it. What is there to be said about those who were called up without passing GO?.... I mean without being put into a grave first? Ahhhh, relgion... I mean theology. Don't you just love it.