Statement on Calvinism misses the mark
It is days like this that my heart grieves both for God and for his people. I know that God is truly able to take care of Himself and certainly is not dependent upon me to defend Him, His eternal purposes, and His character. Reading the “traditional Southern Baptist” statement on Calvinism grieves me terribly.
This is seemingly a response to what these SBC leaders regard as “New Calvinism.” I am not sure that I really know what “new Calvinism” is unless it is some guys who like to wear holey jeans, listen to grunge music, drink beer, and preach the doctrine of grace. I still think there is a large misunderstanding of what true reformed theology is and what the doctrine of grace is. The doctrine of grace is not a reformed theology although most reformed theologians subscribe to the doctrine of grace. For the record, I am neither a Calvinist nor do I hold to reformed theology. However, I am a committed believer in the biblical doctrine of grace, or the free grace of God.
Satan has been very clever making this argument develop to a divisive tool hinging upon the terms “Calvinism or traditional” soteriology. This statement, from May 31, 2012, sbctoday.com, shows how divisive this argument really is. Sadly, these men are both deceived and misled in regards to this monumental topic.
Jon Akin, pastor of Fairview Church in Lebanon, TN made this statement, “The SBC is big enough to include Calvinists and non-Calvinists…We agree on far more than we disagree on, so let’s unite and fight a common enemy.”
Akin’s statement and the SBC statement are froth with at least five (5) dangerous consequences:
- They reduce the argument to “Calvinism vs. non-Calvinism” rather than biblical truth
- They perpetuate the misunderstanding of several biblical doctrines
- They force an unbiblical change in the understanding and presentation of the gospel
- They perpetuate a high percentage of tares or false professions in the church
- They rob God of the absolute glory in salvation giving men opportunity to boast
It is important to get the doctrine of soteriology correct! God’s glory is at stake and man’s eternal soul is at stake. Thank God, He left nothing to us exclusively or no one would be saved. What one must understand is really at the very root of this question is first, the absolute glory of our majestic God and God head, but secondly, what you believe about salvation will determine how you will present the gospel. What you believe about the gospel will also determine how you “live out” your understanding of the gospel in daily life.
Why do you think the church is so weak and anemic today? Why do you think there is so little impact on our communities by the local church? Why do you think the church is either so worldly or “dead?” Why are so many churches today so similar to the church at Sardis? We still deny the doctrine of grace.