Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Southern Baptists in Oklahoma Are Blessed

In 1982 I packed all my belongings into a 1975 Chevy Malibu convertible and made my journey to First Baptist Church, Holdenville, Oklahoma as the summer youth pastor. My summer vocation turned into a full-time call to serve First Baptist Church as their youth pastor, then their interim pastor, and then in 1985 the church called me to be their senior pastor. My first encounter with the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma was at the annual meeting in November, 1982 at the Council Road Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma where this green, wide-eyed youth pastor was asked to pray.

Over the past twenty-five years I have served on the Board of Directors of the BGCO for a total of eight years. I have also served two terms as First Vice-President of the BGCO (1994-1996) and two terms as President of of the BGCO (2002-2004). It was my privilege to call Dr. Joe Ingram and Dr. William Tanner close friends, both former Executive Directors of the BGCO who have now gone home to be with the Lord. Dr. Herschel Hobbs and I served together on a couple of different tasks force at the BGCO, and though I sometimes disagreed with my friend from First Baptist Church, Oklahoma City, I can truly say he and I had a great relationship. I served on the search committee that called Dr. Anthony Jordan to be the new Executive Director of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma in 1995 and have seen first hand the progress of the BGCO from the old days in the dilapidated building on 10th Street across from First Baptist Church, Oklahoma City, to the new, gleaming six story steel building at 3800 N. May.

This Oklahoma Southern Baptist is impressed with the progress of the BGCO. I spent the early part of this week in Oklahoma City at the BGCO Board of Directors meeting. Three things caused me tremendous gratitude this week about my involvment with the BGCO.

(1). First, there is an understanding among the brethren that our convention cannot be expected to conform to a unique ideology or narrow theology.

It seems that a handful of Oklahoma Southern Baptists desire for the BGCO Board of Directors to take a stand 'against Calvinism.' They requested that our Board . .

"take a stand against the presentation of reformed theology - often called “Calvinism” - as a legitimate topic that we need to debate; and instead of recommending that we should debate reformed theology, take a public stand against reformed theology”

The Board of Directors officially responded this week by reminding the brethren that Southern Baptists have historically cooperated with each other even though people take different positions on the doctrines of soteriology. Differences of opinion on 'reformed' theology should not hinder our cooperative work in evangelism and missions. In fact, the very nature of a cooperative work is that people with differences cooperate. Ironically, one particular church in Oklahoma is requesting that other Oklahoma Southern Baptist churches stop giving to the Cooperative Program if there is no official 'stand against' Calvinism by the BGCO Board. I would recommend that the church and pastor change the name of the Cooperative Program giving at their church to 'The Conformity Program.' (smile).

Thankfully, Oklahoma Baptists have resisted the demand of some to seek conformity on tertiary issues.

(2). Second, there is an increasing trend in Cooperative Program giving among Southern Baptist churches in Oklahoma.

In 2004 the average percentage CP giving among Oklahoma churches was 8.4%. In 2005 it rose to 8.94%. in 2006 it skyrocketed to 9.7% and it very well could be possible that when the 2007 ACP statistics are tabulated for Oklahoma churches the average Cooperative Program percentage giving of our nearly 18,000 Southern Baptist churches in Oklahoma will be over 10%.

I chair the Stewardship Committee for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma and have seen up close the work of Bob Shelton, staff member responsible for stewardship at the BGCO, and the entire communications team. The Oklahoma BGCO staff is responsible for the 'Ten Again' campaign that will be taking off nationwide very shortly. Oklahoma BGCO staff is also playing a key role in national agencies, including the IMB, NAMB and our seminaries in helping them all to see the importance of the Cooperative Program. There is a tremendous weakness in the CP system when national agencies put more time and energy in their respective 'offerings' (or proposed offerings as in the case of the seminaries) than in promoting the Cooperative Program. And, speaking as an insider with nothing to gain, I am far more comfortable with the accountability involved in CP funds than in designated offerings. Oklahoma has caught the vision of CP. It's not well known that the national average for CP church contributions has declined from 10.4% per church to 6.4% per church over the last several years. With Oklahoma's help, this trend will begin to reverse nationwide.

However, one cannot expect Cooperative Program giving trends to reverse without the agencies funded by those CP dollars transforming ministries to reflect cutting edge ideas and technologies for reaching people with the gospel. The dollars invested by our state in video technology, internet websites, and the updating of our state paper are impressive. The thought and time invested in redesigning campus ministries, renovating youth camps, asking the tough questions that keep our state from being satisfied with status quo has offered all our churches the knowledge that Oklahoma does not live in the past - but is investing for the future. The effort to involve businessmen, women, people of color, and Southern Baptist leaders other than white, male pastors is one of the reasons Oklahoma Baptists is seeing a richness of diversity. Our national agencies would do well to follow such an example and think outside the box when it comes to the way SBC conventions and agency meetings are held electronically, the manner by which SBC churches are kept informed about agency business, and the ever increasing need to work toward more cooperation in missions ministries, not less.

(3). Finally, the BGCO understands that we are to keep the main thing, the main thing.

The Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma has never officially adopted a doctrinal statement. The BGCO believes that doctrine should be left to the local church and association. The Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma believes that all Baptist churches in Oklahoma should cooperate to see people come to faith in Jesus Christ, and keep the main thing, the main thing.

I thank the Lord that I have been able to serve in Oklahoma for the past quarter of a century. Have we done everything right? No, not at all. Some of my friends would agree wholeheartedly with that confession. Could we have done things differently or even more wisely in some areas? Absolutely. But on the whole, the kingdom of Christ is being advanced through the cooperative nature of the Oklahoma Southern Baptist churches, pastors and people that compose the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. For that, I am very grateful.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson


Anonymous said...

It's always great to hear how God is working in other places. Rock on Oklahoma!

I dropped in on the blog out of habit today, but I thought you weren't blogging for the rest of Feb., Wade. Is this one that was just already sitting in the works? said...

The thirty days pertains to the IMB and the posts I have written that are in reserve on that issue. I am weighing which is the greater good - to publish those posts under no restrictions, or to remain silent.

I always resere the right to post on any other issue.


Anonymous said...


I have been praying for the situation as you requested on your last post & had a thought, if I may.

Must these choices - "to publish those posts under no restrictions, or to remain silent" be your only options? You could turn over any body of evidence to a state newspaper editor and allow him to investigate - thus separating yourself from the investigation. It may be wise to bring in a third party to avoid a conflict of interest.

Just a thought. You can take it or leave it as the Lord leads.

Anonymous said...

I, too, was in Holdenville (at least on weekends and Wednesdays) in the mid 1980's -
I served as youth/music minister at Calvary Baptist in Holdenville while I was at OBU. I had a student in my high school group who was older then me.
On the blogging/IMB stuff. I vote you love your family, your ministry, and yourself and keep your sanity. If you can 'disclose' and do that, then fine, but if not - the three things I mentioned are more important.

David Robbins said...


Would never disagree with your assessment. John, the issues are ideological, philosophical and political - not moral or legal - and as a result, I'm not sure state papers are the proper venue.


Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author. said...

Belief Matters,

A Southern Baptist church is considered to be a church that is orthodox (confesses that 'Jesus Christ is God'), evangelical (confesses 'salvation is by grace through faith in Christ'), separate ('believers only are members') and a contributer to the Cooperative Program. None of the churches you mention qualify. If someone sought participation with the BGCO and were not orthodox, evangelical and Baptist, then I'm sure an objection to the seating of their messengers would be presented. By the way, the above definition of 'Southern Baptist' churches is the historic definition (articulated by Tom Nettles in his book 'By His Grace and for His Glory').


Wade Burleson

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
truth, not religion said...

makes me homesick for oklahoma. ver homesick.

grace said...

We have a doctrinal standard at our church. It is different than the one from your church. We cooperate in missions and evangelism through the SBC and were you a part of the BGCO, we would here as well.

Anonymous said...

Wade -

Thanks for the clarification as to not posting on IMB matters only, for a second there I thought you had gone to the "Dorcas Hawker School on Taking a Blog Sabbatical" wherein not posting a blog for longer than a week is considered torture to the writer's soul.



Bowden McElroy said...

Belief Matters,

The mission statement for the BGCO is lifted directly from the constitution/bylaws: The Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma is a cooperating body of local Southern Baptist churches joined together to glorify God. Our mission is to fulfill the work of Jesus Christ by assisting churches in accomplishing their Biblical mission; providing channels for cooperative ministry in Oklahoma and the world.

It's the closest thing to a doctrinal statement we have in the BGCO.

I'm always half afraid to point this out to people: I'm concerned some will be motivated to push for an adoption of something specific. Being of the "Don't fix it if it aint broken" school of thought, I'm happy with the way things are. said...

SBC blogger, identify yourself to me at and your comment will be allowed.


Wade said...


My sentiments PRECISELY. I can think of two young pastors who are probably already trying to figure out how to get the BGCO to get tools of doctrinal accountability. By the way, wish you the best as you serve OBHC as a director on their board.

Lin said...

"My sentiments PRECISELY. I can think of two young pastors who are probably already trying to figure out how to get the BGCO to get tools of doctrinal accountability."

Exactly how does one do that short of hiring magistrates?

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wes Kenney said...


Robin Foster said...


truth, not religion said...

I am sooo glad to here Oklahoma has not demanded a conformity type of unity document.

This total conformity group needs to watch the PBS film on the "Bear Family"

It seems a couple decided to spend thier lives studying the bears in the wild. (couldn't keep a job??)

Anyway, they learned to walk, grunt, snort, fish, eat and even play with the bears. FILMED IT ALL!

They began to think of themselves as part of the bear family. Thought they had really been accepted as equals by the bear,

then,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,the bears ate'em.

so much for conformity, a walking, talking human one day and bear dung the next!


Lord, can I move to Oklahoma??


truth, not religion said...

The point was, careful which bears you decide to side with!

Bowden McElroy said...


I don't know how we do it, but somehow we do. I would guess that the vast majority of churches in the BGCO are very conservative and we have virtually none of the problems that our some of our neighbors have.

I think that in Oklahoma, issues of doctrinal accountability are addressed at the Associational level.

If the "handful of Oklahoma Southern Baptists" want to take a stand against Calvinism in their Association, then - as far as I'm concerned - power to them. I won't be moving to that association any time soon.

Wayne Smith said...

One of the most important quality of ones character is Attitude.
It’s a shame these two you mention don’t display the Love of Jesus Christ in their witness here on these Blog’s. I have tried to see their Hearts for over 2 years now and have to say they just don’t know what Truth is. Pastor Les Puryear should / would be a good witness for them. You still live up to the name of your Blog and display the Love of the Lord in your witness as always. You and yours are always in my Prayers. May God continue to Bless you and use you for His Kingdom?

In His Name
Wayne Smith

Bob Cleveland said...

After reading the comment string I'm reminded of the old story about the grandmother that took her grandson to the beach for a swim. He wandered out a bit into the surf and was promptly swept far out to sea by a huge wave.
She couldn't swim and there was no one around so she fell to her knees and cried out to God to deliver the boy. A few seconds later, another huge wave dumped the boy at her feet. She was heard to say...

"But Lord, he had a hat on when he went out....." said...


That's funny. said...

Robin and Wes,

I said two young pastors.


Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Wade, this (your post) is another excellent commentary on the theme for which some here are "tone deaf". This Christian continues to pray that the Lord will richly bless you and yours during this time. Thanks again, for the many times you have volunteered yourself to be "point man" on important issues with which the SBC must address or become "relatively irrelevant".

In His Grace and Peace,

T. D. Webb

Craig Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rex Ray said...

“The scribes and the Pharisees are seated in the chair of Moses.” (Matthew 23:2 Holman)

“The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses.” (NLT)

You may be wondering what I’m talking about. Bob told the humorous story of the grandmother complaining “he had a hat on…”

I’m quoting some humor of Jesus, and think its best brought out by the Living Bible:

“You would think these Jewish leaders and these Pharisees were Moses, the way they keep making up so many laws!”

Wonder how many of our leaders think they’re Moses today?

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...


I am shocked to see that reformed theology is thought of as problematic in Oklahoma churches. As a pastor here in Oklahoma I am glad to see that the BGCO did not feel the need to re-establish what the Synod of Dort accomplished. I think that the repulsion towards Calvinsim in the SBC has very little to do with doctrinal standards and more to do with, not to be insulting, ignorance. Most of those that I have encountered that have expressed a hostility towards reformed theology do not even know what it is but have been told that it is bad, very bad. I think this has to do with overall ignorance of Calvinism much like many in our pews ignorance of what the Bible says even though they carry it to church with them every Sunday. Thank you for standing up for the freedom for churches to teach automously the doctrine of scripture without the threat of alienation by those who just need to study a little bit more.

Oklahoma Joe

truth, not religion said...

Dear Jeff,

I think you might be accidently overlooking the obvious.

Brother Wade is a walking, talking example of what is expected in the Oklahoma Baptist Convention. That is Servanthood . This is the reasonall SBC institutions were started. None were ever intended to be a top down ruling body. it was the corruption of men that turned it upside down.

I have no doubt that as we speak, some have plans to try to take over in Oklahoma and run/ruin it to suit their ways.


OC Hands said...

The Convention you describe in Oklahoma seems to be close to the convention I remember (way back when). In our little country church, we concerned ourselves with worship, evangelism and Christian education. Revivals were regularly scheduled events, and fellowship was primary.

Perhaps the bad rap reformed theology has gotten in recent years could be traced to the actions and attitudes of some who have attempted to make that the only doctrine among SBC. Just a thought. said...

Belief Matters,

What does your job have to do with commenting?

The BFM 2000 is a local church decision. The BGCO and the SBC do not have the authority to demand churches approve it.

Lin said...

"I think that the repulsion towards Calvinsim in the SBC has very little to do with doctrinal standards and more to do with, not to be insulting, ignorance."

Maybe we need to call it Doctines of Grace instead of Calvinism. The "c" word conjures up images of magistrates policing people to make sure they are in line with the parameters the leaders have chosen. Wait! That is happening...

Don't forget, Calvin had no problem with a state church, baptizing babies, etc. That is NOT Baptist. Maybe that is what scares people the most.

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rex Ray said...

You wrote, “The BFM 2000 is a local church decision. The BGCO and the SBC do not have the authority to demand churches approve it.”

How does the SBC get the authority to demand members of local churches to approve the ‘2000’ when they become employees of the SBC when their salaries are paid by local churches? Hmmm

Now if the SBC rejected the money of those churches that don’t agree with the ‘2000’, then I believe their rejection of the non-agreeing ‘2000’ members would be legal.

Until that time, I believe another lawsuit may be around the corner.

Patterson, Patterson, what have you started? All things work for good for those that love the lord…

RonK said...

Oklahoma Joe is spot on.

I know of a NAMB Mission Service Corps missionary serving at a restarted mission church (studying at an SBC seminary and preparing for the mission field) who's being slowly ostracized with the possibility of losing monetary support because the pastor from his home church (where he served for several years prior to seeking seminary instruction) found out that this brother believes in the Doctrines of Grace. Without speaking with my friend and armed with our president's "Trouble with Tulip" book, he is convinced that this brother can't care about missions if he is a Calvinist (although he's currently serving and intends to do so vocationally). For many, ignorance leads to this type of alienation that is happening today in more places than an association in Oklahoma.

and Lin,

No baptist "calvinist" ever followed John Calvin down those paths. You couldn't find one southern baptist who agrees with him on infant baptism or State Church.

Anonymous said...

Brother Ron

I don't write this for argument or spite. It is only an FYI.

You said; "No baptist "calvinist" ever followed John Calvin down those paths. You couldn't find one southern baptist who agrees with him on infant baptism or State Church"

Over the last 20-30 years I have met and discussed the Doctrines of Grace and condemned infants with thousands of men. I would guess that, in the right circles that 25% of them believed EVERYTHING about John Calvin. In the area I pastor, thier is a pastor of a Christian church who left the Baptist because he believed Calvin in all things and most Baptists did not. This man baptized his grandchildren as infants to "cover the bases". He also told a family who's infant had died that the Scriptures teach that the infant was in hell.

When this type of thing came to the forefront and started creeping in around here from Professors and Pastors there was such a firestorm that they all quieted down on the subject. (I didn't say they had changed, they just quieted down)

I truly do hope that those who believe newborns who die go directly to hell come to understand what grace actually teaches about it.

These types are around. Sad but true.

I know MDiv's, DMin's, and PhD's who believe newborns that die go directly to hell.


Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
truth, not religion said...

Belief matters

could you email me so we can discuss this away from wades blog.
I am very interested in finding out new things and learning.


John Calvin on infant baptism:
"By infant baptism, regeneration is begun..."
(The Teaching of John Calvin, Chapter VIII part III, page 159)

greg.w.h said...

I dug up this acrostic from Page's book:

G-Given through Christ (election)
R-Rejected through rebellion (resistible grace)
A-Accepted through faith (freedom of the will)
C-Christ died for all (unlimited atonement)
E-Everlasting life=security of the believer (perseverance of the Saints)

I think they're quite representative of what is typical Southern Baptist soteriology. Most Southern Baptists would not completely acknowledge the English Particular Baptist connection with Southern Baptists and those knowledgeable enough would point to Sandy Creek as the point of division with the Particulars.

The points are clearly a mixture of Arminian and Calvinistic positions. From my experience as a lay person in over a dozen SBC churches (across the political spectrum) and from the time growing up in Indonesia around 120 Ms, the vast majority of Southern Baptists would agree with the following statements:

1. God is a gentlemen and doesn't force himself on you.

2. Once saved, always saved.

3. God is not willing that ANY should perish.

4. Romans 1 & 2 does not apply to those who come to faith in Christ Jesus...the depravity only applies to those that do NOT come to faith.

5. The Roman road (or other witnessing tool) results in salvation because the person is led to publicly confess faith in Christ Jesus. (I.e., no dependence on regeneration prior to pronouncement of faith.)

Landmarkists of course demur on the thought that Baptist faith is reformed or Protestant since they believe the crimson thread extends all the way back to the Apostles (hence requiring no reform or protest.) I've discussed that with Rex in the past and as I posted then, I find the history that supports that view VERY weak and disconnected. But the Bible DOES say that God always has a remnant.

While I understand the reservations in the five points I've listed, I lean pretty fully on the doctrines of grace as a pride-avoidance thing as much as anything else. I think God can work with us without violating our conscience and free will, but I also know the Bible claims that he elects us, that the Holy Spirit woos those who come to Christ, and that we're commanded to missions and evangelism. I also know the very earliest Baptist missionaries--Carey and Judson--were both reformed.

Should we teach TULIP or GRACE (Page's acrostic)? I think not. They both argue for a deeper understanding of what Scripture leaves as mystery. We can TRY to expound and explain it, but we don't get the kind of help from Scripture that we need for full and deep explanations. So we ought to tolerate the ambiguity (since God clearly does) and my opinion, of course.

Greg Harvey

RonK said...


I say that no actual baptist calvinists exist that believe in infant baptism because part of what we define as being baptist is the belief in believers baptism upon profession of faith right?

I didn't say that there are those who are around who follow calvin on those things, I was meaning that if you follow calvin's teaching on these things, you can't honestly be defined as a baptist. Just like your Christian church pastor friend, they would more appropriately serve where their practice lines up with our doctrine.

I said you couldn't find any Southern Baptists (meaning those who affirm the BFM on baptism) that affirm those two statments lin made, because our associational document, the BFM, excludes these positions. Are there preachers, teachers and PhD's who do not live up to the BFM, maybe, but they need to follow their consciences and associate with those who hold these doctrinal positions.

I do think these men would best serve congregations whose convictions are alligned in those decidedly non baptistic directions. Don't take me to mean that these men need to be hunted down or anything, it just is a matter of integrity that they should go where their doctrine leads them to go.

I do not question your anecdotal evidence, and as I am younger than you mine may not be worth as much, but I have met perhaps hundreds (as opposed to thousands) of SBC calvinists nd never met one, so forgive my generalization. I have met only 2 I can think of who believe that non-elect babies go to hell. This is never a question of infant baptism, but a reasoned stance from the doctrine of election and doesn't include the baptism of infants in their minds.

Anonymous said...

Worship Leader Ron said,

"I say that no actual baptist calvinists exist that believe in infant baptism because part of what we define as being baptist is the belief in believers baptism upon profession of faith right?"

My concern is that there appears to be a "movement" being jettisoned by some key leaders to have Calvinist principles become part of Southern Baptist identity. They are not content on being a minority in the larger body. They insist on changing the body.

It's not relevant to them that the majority of Southern Baptists do not identify with Calvinist beliefs. They are determined to change the identity of Southern Baptists.

Like other positions ram-rodded into the BF&M, those adhering to this pro-Calvinist position will not accept that Southern Baptists do not have this as part of their current stated identity. They are like those few discontents in a church that don't like the pastor. They are not content to just leave the church and find another that is consistent with their ideals. Instead, they are determined to change the body so that it agrees with them.

Spooky times.

Unknown said...

Liberty of beliefs in secondary doctrines is one thing that Southern Baptists have usually been pretty good about. Unfortunately, we are losing that. I hope we don't lose that any more than we already have. :(

RonK said...


Could you identify the members of this movement? I am a young "calvinist" attending a southern baptist seminary and I don't know any here who have this agenda. I am serving at a church where I am likely the only one who holds to the Doctrines of Grace and the reason I don't know is that I don't make it an issue. I'm not trying to teach. I seek to lift up Christ ALONE.

Dr. Mohler isn't trying to bring in infant baptism. The founders ministry aren't advocating a takeover. Is it possible that this a boogie man that is being drummed up to purge the sbc once more? Unless you can identify the "key leaders" as you say who are trying to take over the sbc, then I'll assume it's the latter.

You can download the audio to the Building Bridges conference at SEBTS and hear from their own mouth. Read the founders blog. Listen to Dr. Mohler and Dr. Patterson discuss this from the 2006 pastor's conference.

I don't hear anything like what you say.

Bob Cleveland said...


I happen to be a Calvinist and I have yet to see any sort of movement to foist off on Baptists, something the majority don't believe. Can you cite some specific examples?

As I've said before, the most objectionable thing about "Calvinists" is the things that inadequately informed Baptists say about them, and say about what they allegedly say.

truth, not religion said...

Wade, I apoologize. I was afraid if I asked Belief Matters to clarify and discuss off your site that it might change the direction of your did.

I won't let it happen again.

It is God who gives me life, God who gives me breath, God who gives me Jesus, God who gives me faith, God who gives me everything.

That about covers it all in every discussion

I try to not get bogged down in discussions about "isms" like Lutherism, Calvinism, landmarkisms, Pentacostelim, Baptistisms, etc,.


In His Name

Debbie Kaufman said...

RRR: The only thing spooky is that rumors like this are being passed around and that people such as yourself are believing them and continuing to pass them around. Dr. Mohler, I, Bob Cleveland, Dr. Mohler and every other Calvinist I know that is Southern Baptist believes in one baptism by immersion. It's one reason we are Southern Baptists. I too dare you to listen to the Building Bridges tapes and point out anywhere that would indicate this rumor would even be remotely true.

Debbie Kaufman said...

The second Dr. Mohler mentioned in my comment is the first Dr. Mohler's twin brother, or at least that's the rumor. :)

Rex Ray said...

Greg Harvey,
Once again I believe you’ve made and excellent comment.

Webster defines Calvinism: “The doctrines of the French theologian, John Calvin, (1509-1564), including election or predestination, limited atonement, total depravity, irresistibility of grace, and the perseverance of the saints. Calvinism especially emphasizes the sovereignty of God in the bestowal of grace.”

The most I know about this subject is my Baptist preacher father was against it. Some of it may be correct, but Calvinism reminds me of Christ warning: “Beware of the teachers of religion!” (Mark 12: 38 Luke 20:46)

Overall, on this subject, I think it’s been said before that we should worry more about what we know as truth than to worry about what we don’t know.

Greg, you said, “The Bible does say that God always has a remnant.”
Here is more evidence of that ‘crimson thread.’

1. Truth: Jesus said John the apostle would be martyred, and history records him dying by being boiled in oil before 70 AD.
2. Truth: Apostles were never referred to as elders because they never became elders.
3. Truth: Second and Third John are identified by being written by an elder long after John the Apostle was dead.
4. Truth: History does NOT say Diotrephes attacked an apostle, but it says he publicly attacked elders of the church.
5. Truth: The Jerusalem church required Jewish Christians to be circumcised.
6. Truth: In Acts 15:1, Paul caught ‘teachers’ from ‘mother-church’ demanding Gentiles to be circumcised.
7. Truth: I believe Diotrephes caught the teachers in 3 John doing the same as the teachers in Acts, and thus the ‘crimson thread’ was never broken.

RB Kuter said...

Dear Debbie and Bob and others,

Lord, please forbid me from being a spooky boogie man.

After reading your comments and then re-reading mine, I can easily see how the way I expressed myself would be offensive to you. I apologize for suggesting that any of you are trying to ram-rod your position upon the SBC or take over. It was a hurtful thing to say to nice people.

Though my perception is that more SBCers, including people of great influence in the Convention, are identifying themselves as Calvinists, I should not say that it is currently being forced upon anyone.

Anonymous said...

My original blog name was rrr. Not sure how it got to "Richard" on my apology.

Lin said...

No baptist "calvinist" ever followed John Calvin down those paths. You couldn't find one southern baptist who agrees with him on infant baptism or State Church.

08 February, 2008

I guess this is the part the confuses me...if that is so, why call it Calvinsim? I get nervous calling anything that belongs to Christ by a man's name. We don't refer to altar calls as 'Finneys'.

But, I do see some parallels to the magistrates of Calvin's Geneva and some in the SBC today.

BTW: As far as I know, I am one of about 5 people in my church that believe the Doctrines of Grace. But as we study scripture in depth in SS, more and more are seeing it. It is not something to divide on. It is something to 'love' with.

RonK said...


I agree with you 100%. I think the term "calvinist" is a terrible one. When someone asks me If I am one, I ask them what they mean by it, then go from there. I only use it freely when I'm around those who know what I mean when I say it-that since i'm a baptist, I can't be confused to believe several major things that Calvin taught.

You know, the same is the case with "arminianism." No baptist can rightly ever be called arminianin if they hold to the security of the believer or to a reformed understanding of depravity and the necessity for regeneration. I get very frustrated when reformed-minded baptists go around calling non-reform minded baptist "arminians" precisely for the reasons I think being called a "calvinist" is insufficient.

Only By His Grace said...

I would like to respond in some way to a number of these comments on Calvinism.

When most Baptist refer to being Calvinist, they are not referring to the whole Reformed or Presbyterian doctrines of Calvin such as changing of the elements of the Lords supper to the "real" or "actual" blood and flesh of Christ, pedeobaptist with its belief on baptismal regegeneration even for infants, unity of church of and state, and a dozen other things which they and Calvin believe which we do not. They are simply referring to five so called doctrines of Grace which eveyone of us believe in to some degree an reject with an over emphasis.
We all believe there is nothing in any of us that we can polish up to offer to God to be saved (original sin or total depravity); that the saints are have redemption without any limits upon it for having begun in grace we will be perfected in grace; we all believe that only those who accept Christ are saved (Limited Atonement or Particular Redemption); we all have problem with Irrestible Grace but still believe that faith for salvation comes from God, that God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world which logically leaves that God began our salvation expeperience and that beginning must end in our conversion; we all believe that the true saint will Perservere (of the Saints) to the end or "onced saved, always saved."

If we throw out Calvinist do we realize that we are throwing out not only John Calvin, but G. Cambell Morgan, D. G. Barnhouse, C.H. Spurgeon ("Defense of Calvinism"), R.A. Torrey, John Newton and dozens of our leading commentary writers who were men of God. We should not forget that Luther's main work next to his commentaries was "Bondage of the Will." I have read commentaries on Romans for forty-five years. Hodge's commentary on Romans is the best and deepest I have read. I think what concerns most of us is the "gone to seed" Calvinism such as Calvin's double predestination and the drawing in of the boundaries of what it means to be a Southern Baptist and who can serve in the Southern Baptist Convention.

Rex Ray said...

While you’re catching your breath, can you see Wade’s situation closely resembles Paul's?

A voice that was not complaining but bragging (my opinion)told Paul:

“You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are who have believed, and they are ALL zealous for the law.” (Acts 21:20)

Wade could say the same as Paul (“No man stood for me”) when Wade spoke against zealous ‘laws’ of the IMB.

Because Paul preached against their zealous laws, he faced death by his own Christen brothers (‘What can be done for they will hear you have come?’)

Since all of Jerusalem was in an uproar, thousands of Christians that were there would have heard Paul say he was sent by Jesus to the Gentiles.
“Then with one voice they shouted, ‘Away with such a fellow! Kill him! He isn’t fit to live.”

The IMB has shouted, ‘Away with such a fellow! He isn’t fit to serve.’

We know in Paul’s case, he lost the battle with the majority that laws were not necessary for salvation.

Hopefully, Wade’s will not be the same, and the established walls of rules will crumble in the SBC.

Only By His Grace said...


Concerning my above comment on Calvinism, allow me to show how we pick and choose from any commentary we read or from any school of the systematic theology. If anyone has read any of C.H. Spurgeon, they can never doubt his evangelistic and missionary zeal, and yet an avowed Calvinist. I remember reading in his sermons; I think from the 1863 volume he mentions "The Wordless Book." That little book is that old. I have used it for some forty-five years. Here is a comment Spurgeon made about infant salvation taken from his "Morning and Evening: I am sure this sticks in some Baptist Calvinst's crow, but it shouldn't.

"Plenteous Redemption."
Psalm 130:7: "...; for with Him is plenteous redemption."
"Christ has redeemed the souls of all His people who shall be saved. To state it after the Calvinistic form, Christ has redeemed His elect; but since you do not know His elect until the day revealed, we will alter that, and say Christ has redeemed all penitent souls; Christ has redeemed all believing souls; and Christ has redeemed the souls of all those who die in infancy, seeing it is to be received, that all those who die in infancy are written in the Lamb's Book of Life., and are graciously privileged by God to go at once to Heaven, instead of toiling through this weary world.

The souls of God's people whoever they may be, tend they are a multitude that no man can number—and I could fondly hope they are all of you—redeemed effectually."

from Phil in Norman.

Jeff said...
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truth, not religion said...

I feel the need to clarify something.

After reading Wade's post here, I said I wish God would send me back to Oklahoma.

That was not because of anyone being for or against Calvinism, but because of the spirit of cooperation and the refusal of Oklahoma Baptists to start down the path of binding documents.

I would agree with John Calvin on some things and not agree with him on others. Such is the nature of a faith walk.


Kevin Scantlan said...

Working with Oklahoma Baptists all these years you may have had the opportunity to meet my great uncle, Sam Scantlan.

Jack Maddox said...


Actually I did not name any of the men you mentioned. In fact many of the leaders of that time were professed conservatives...but not all. But it is not I alone that came to this conclusion. I would reference you to the report of the peace committee.

To answer your question...I am 44 years old and was saved in 1984....5 years after Houston. Does that disqualify me from having a historical opinion concerning the pre CR days?

by the way....Russell Dilday was Pres of SWBTS when I attended there