Moore’s Response to Reformed Red Flags

Jared Moore has responded to the document that was recently being distributed among West Tennessee churches in order to help them determine if their pastor is a “dirty Calvinist”.  It contained 16 things that churches should look for.  Moore responds to each of the 16 things with some much needed sanity.

There does not have to be a division in the SBC over this issue.  It is my hope that at some point those who are so vocal about their opposition to Reformed Theology in the SBC will realize this.

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2009 SBC Annual Meeting

If you can’t attend the annual meeting you can watch it online.  Click here to go to the 2009 annual meeting website and then click the “Watch live stream” button at the top of the page.

If you watch, leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.

Is The Teaching Of Theology “Weak” In The SBC?

There seems to be a general conception that the SBC is weak on theology.  I first encountered this claim several years ago from a co-worker.  I don’t remember the context of the conversation but one comment he made has stuck with me ever since.  He was a Presbyterian and he made the comment that Baptists did not know theology.  At the time, it did not concern me because I did not think theology was an important topic.  I was very uninformed!

Recently, The White Horse Inn played some question and answers they did with some pastors at a conference.  I don’t remember the date of the show or the date of the conference where they did the interviews and I don’t know the denominational affiliation of all the pastors interviewed but I was shocked to hear some of the answers these pastors gave.  The interviewers asked the pastors if their congregation would be able to define certain theological doctrines.  Most of the pastors said some could and some could not but it seemed that many of them also noted that they don’t use the theological terms and that their congregations might not recognize the term but would know the concept.

With the last couple weeks, I had a member of my Sunday School class ask me what the point was in studying theology.  I can relate to the question because I had asked the same question myself only a couple years ago.  Her point was that by studying theology we can go to far into legalism and create divisions within the body of Christ.  After all, we have the Bible, so why spend the time on theology.  I have encountered this same thought in other people as well.

Now, to the point, Is the teaching of theology “weak” in the SBC?  In some churches the answer would be yes but in others it would be no.  There are many very good Pastors (some well known and others not well known) at SBC churches who strive to teach the truths taught in the Bible.  Some use the theological vocabulary and some don’t. Either way, sound preaching leads to sound doctrine or theology.  Sound theology is essential to someone growing in Christ.

I think that problem lies more with the individuals in the congregation than with the pastors.  The congregation has to spend time on their own exploring what is taught from he pulpit by comparing it to what the Scriptures say.  If people faithfully do this, then they can’t avoid studying theology.  If they don’t then they will never gain and understanding of what they claim to believe.  We must strive as church leaders to motivate our brothers and sisters to dig into the Word on their own.  Once they do this, we can overcome the reputation that the SBC is weak on theology.

What do you think?  Have you come across the same sentiments?

Jeff Noblit: Causes for Rejoicing Concerning the Rise of Calvinism

Jeff Noblit of Anchored In Truth has been releasing a series via his podcast with the above title.  It is a very good series and I would recommend that you take the time to listen to it.  You can find it here.

I have been very excited about the rise of Calvinism in the SBC.  I think it is a very good thing that we get back to theology.  Whether you agree with Calvinism or not, the cause for Christ is advanced when we return to the study of theology.  What do you think?

Tom Ascol Says “SBC Churches Are Not Christian Enough”

Wow.  Here is the full quote:

The great problem with many churches in the Southern Baptist Convention is not that they are not Calvinistic enough, but that it is not Christian enough.

He makes this quote in an article entitled “The Other Resurgence” in the current issue of the Founders Journal.  You can read the article here.  In the article, Ascol compares the Conservative Resurgence of the 70’s to the Calvinist Resurgence occurring now within the SBC.  It is a good article and worth your time to read it.

What do you think?  Do you agree with Ascol’s assessment?  Why or Why not?

SBC Resolution #5 – On Political Engagement

SBC Resolutions

5. On Political Engagement
June 2008

WHEREAS, Christians acting as the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16) have a responsibility to engage their culture, including participating in the political process; and

WHEREAS, Candidates for political office seek the endorsement of Christians for their candidacies; and

WHEREAS, Christians exercising their rights as responsible citizens may choose to endorse candidates for political office as part of the exercise of their engagement of culture; and

WHEREAS, Christians should seek to apply their spiritual and moral values to the political process rather than politicize the church; and
WHEREAS, As responsible Christian citizens we should pray for our elected officials (1 Timothy 2:1-2), submit to just laws (1 Peter 2:13-17), pay taxes (Romans 13:6-7), and serve in various capacities, such as on juries, in the military, in public office, and by voting for our representative leadership; and
WHEREAS, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and the North American Mission Board have partnered together to call Southern Baptists to a 40-day prayer emphasis culminating in a 40-hour prayer vigil (40/40 Prayer Vigil) for spiritual revival and national renewal between September 24 and November 2, 2008 (www.ilivevalues.com/prayer); now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, June 10-11, 2008, encourage Christians to take seriously their calling as salt and light; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we urge Christians to engage the culture through discipleship within the churches and through participation in the democratic public policy and political process in order to help fulfill the kingdom mandate taught in the Bible and expressed in the Baptist Faith and Message “to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love,” while always protecting freedom of conscience; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we plead with all Christians to exercise vigorously their responsibilities to participate in the political process by registering to vote, educating themselves about the issues, and voting according to their biblical beliefs, convictions, and values; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we commend to our churches the iVoteValues initiative created by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, an initiative joined by Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council, in order to assist efforts to register church members to vote and educate them on the moral issues being debated in the public arena; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage our churches regularly to teach and preach biblical truth on moral issues and to urge their members to vote according to their beliefs, convictions, and values; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we ask all Christians, and particularly those in leadership positions, to prayerfully seek God’s mind and will and strongly to consider the potential problems of politicizing the church and the pulpit before endorsing candidates; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on candidates for political office to endorse the Judeo-Christian beliefs, convictions, and values upon which society should rest; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we commit ourselves to pray for personal and national spiritual revival and cultural renewal; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we urge all Southern Baptists to participate in the 40/40 Prayer Vigil for spiritual revival and national renewal sponsored by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and the North American Mission Board.

SBC Resolution #7 – On The California Supreme Court Decision To Allow Same-Sex Marriage

SBC Resolutions

7. On The California Supreme Court Decision To Allow Same-Sex Marriage
June 2008

WHEREAS, On May 15, 2008, the California Supreme Court struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage thus frustrating the will of the people who, on March 7, 2000, voted in favor (61.4%) of Proposition 22 which affirmed, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California”; and

WHEREAS, This decision has dire national implications because California law will allow same-sex couples from any state to marry in California, return to their home state, and challenge that state’s traditional marriage laws based on the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution of the United States; and

WHEREAS, The United States Congress has repeatedly refused to pass a constitutional amendment defining marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman, thus providing no federal protection from attacks against traditional marriage; and

WHEREAS, Marriage is ordained by God as a permanent union of one man and one woman (Genesis 1:27-28; 2:24); and

WHEREAS, Jesus reaffirmed marriage as a sacred, monogamous, and life-long institution joining one man and one woman (Matthew 19:4-6); and

WHEREAS, Any action giving homosexual unions the legal status of marriage denies the fundamental immorality of homosexual behavior (Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11); and

WHEREAS, The people of California have collected over 1.1 million signatures on a petition requiring the state to place a referendum on the ballot in November defining marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, June 10-11, 2008, wholeheartedly support the people in California who have worked tirelessly to place this referendum on the ballot; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we strongly urge all Southern Baptists in the state of California to be informed about this issue and to exercise their civic and moral duty by working diligently to support and voting to pass this referendum; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage all Christian pastors in California and in every other state to speak strongly, prophetically, and redemptively concerning the sinful nature of homosexuality and the urgent need to protect biblical marriage in accordance with God’s Word; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on all Southern Baptists and believers from all denominations everywhere to pray for the people of California as they seek to right this terrible wrong that has been forced upon them by the California Supreme Court’s overturning of the vote of the people and to pray for the people of every state where biblical marriage is under attack; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we reaffirm our historic and consistent support of the biblical definition of marriage as an exclusive union between a man and a woman; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we once again call on the United States Congress to pass, the President to sign, and the states to ratify a constitutional amendment defining marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman.

SBC Resolution #8 – On Planned Parenthood

SBC Resolutions

8. On Planned Parenthood
June 2008

WHEREAS, Scripture speaks to the sanctity of human life in the womb (Psalm 139:13-16) and God’s abhorrence of those who murder the innocent (Proverbs 6:16-17; 24:11-12), which apply directly to Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider; and

WHEREAS, Planned Parenthood is the offspring of Margaret Sanger, an early advocate of eugenics or the weeding out of “undesirable” people; and

WHEREAS, Planned Parenthood markets its warped view of human intimacy and encourages promiscuity among underage girls through its Teenwire Web site; and

WHEREAS, Planned Parenthood profits from helping underage girls abort their pregnancies without notice to their parents; and

WHEREAS, Planned Parenthood has launched a massive campaign to mobilize voters this year, planning to raise at least $10 million to recruit people to lobby legislators and vote for candidates who support the Planned Parenthood agenda of unlimited abortion, sex outside of marriage, value-free sex education in public schools, and increased taxpayer subsidies for the organization; and

WHEREAS, Planned Parenthood is already aided by huge federal subsidies, with over 300 million of our tax dollars funding the deaths of nearly 300 thousand innocent pre-born babies every year; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, June 10-11, 2008, decry the immoral actions of Planned Parenthood clinics across America; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage the evaluation of candidates for elected office based on their affiliation with Planned Parenthood; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on both houses of the United States Congress to defund Planned Parenthood; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we urge President George W. Bush to veto any budget requests that include funding for this merchant of family disintegration and death.

SBC Resolution #6 – On Regenerate Church Membership And Church Member Restoration

SBC Resolutions

6. On Regenerate Church Membership And Church Member Restoration
June 2008

WHEREAS, The ideal of a regenerate church membership has long been and remains a cherished Baptist principle, with Article VI of the Baptist Faith and Message describing the church as a “local congregation of baptized believers”; and

WHEREAS, A New Testament church is composed only of those who have been born again by the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the Word, becoming disciples of Jesus Christ, the local church’s only Lord, by grace through faith (John 3:5; Ephesians 2:8-9), which church practices believers’ only baptism by immersion (Matthew 28:16-20), and the Lord’s supper (Matthew 26:26-30); and

WHEREAS, Local associations, state conventions, and the Southern Baptist Convention compile statistics reported by the churches to make decisions for the future; and

WHEREAS, The 2007 Southern Baptist Convention annual Church Profiles indicate that there are 16,266,920 members in Southern Baptist churches; and

WHEREAS, Those same profiles indicate that only 6,148,868 of those members attend a primary worship service of their church in a typical week; and

WHEREAS, The Scriptures admonish us to exercise church discipline as we seek to restore any professed brother or sister in Christ who has strayed from the truth and is in sin (Matthew 18:15-35; Galatians 6:1); and now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, June 10-11, 2008, urge churches to maintain a regenerate membership by acknowledging the necessity of spiritual regeneration and Christ’s lordship for all members; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we humbly urge our churches to maintain accurate membership rolls for the purpose of fostering ministry and accountability among all members of the congregation; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we urge the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention to repent of the failure among us to live up to our professed commitment to regenerate church membership and any failure to obey Jesus Christ in the practice of lovingly correcting wayward church members (Matthew 18:15-18); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we humbly encourage denominational servants to support and encourage churches that seek to recover and implement our Savior’s teachings on church discipline, even if such efforts result in the reduction in the number of members that are reported in those churches, and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we humbly urge the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention and their pastors to implement a plan to minister to, counsel, and restore wayward church members based upon the commands and principles given in Scripture (Matthew 18:15-35; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15; Galatians 6:1; James 5:19-20).

SBC Annual Convention Live Streaming

There is a link on the SBC home page that will allow you to watch the annual convention via live streaming over the internet.  If you are able and want to got the the SBC home page and watch.