By our good friend, John
The Southern Baptist Convention’s long-standing cooperation between traditional Lordship “Salvationists” and Calvinists has been getting testy of late.
The crux of the issue seems to be the surge of full-fledged 5-point Calvinism within the ranks of the SBC and the reaction from the still-majority of SBC members who oppose Calvinism, but until recently have seemed willing to tolerate it.
The SBC recently formed a team to determine how SBC traditionalists and Calvinists can work together. Following is a quote from an article dated August 17, 2012, from “The Christian Post” entitled “Calvinism Debate: Southern Baptists Form Team to Figure Out How to Work Together”:
“There are extremes on both sides that have garnered attention and I want us to pull us back together to that group who say ‘I may or may not be a Calvinist but I love Calvinists, I love non-Calvinists and we can and will do missions and evangelism together,’ Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, said Thursday.”
This past summer, hundreds of Southern Baptists signed “A Statement of The Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation.”
Following are a couple of salient excerpts:
“For the most part, Southern Baptists have been glad to relegate disagreements over Calvinism to secondary status along with other important but ‘non-essential’ theological matters. The Southern Baptist majority has fellowshipped happily with its Calvinist brethren while kindly resisting Calvinism itself.”
“We affirm that any person who responds to the Gospel with repentance and faith is born again through the power of the Holy Spirit. He is a new creation in Christ and enters, at the moment he believes, into eternal life.”
The long-standing “Baptist Faith and Message” includes the Lordship “Salvation” concepts of “turning from sin” for salvation and “committing one’s life to Christ” for salvation. See excerpt below:
“Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.”
(Note: Jack wrote a previous article called “Who Makes These Errors?” in which he commented on the SBC errant statement as follows: “…salvation is not by turning from sin nor by committing our ‘entire personality to Him as Lord’”). Link is: Who Makes These Errors? << Click
The sad part of the whole debate is that neither side is defending the REAL GOSPEL, which is salvation by Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
Lordship “Salvation”, also known as “bi-lateral contract salvation” and Calvinism are both based on the same theological roots. According to the “Grace Chart” that accompanies “The Gospel” by Ron Shea:
“Bilateral contract salvation” and the “Perseverance of the Saints” are two separate but interrelated doctrines within a complex theological system of salvation by works, which relies, at its core, on redefining the word “grace” as some sort of mystical empowering substance. This theological system is set forth in Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica, Part 1 of the Second Part, Questions 109-114, “Treatise of Grace,” a 12th century manifesto of Roman Catholic Theology. In Protestantism, it is known as “Reformed Theology” or “Calvinism”.
The SBC, which is the largest Protestant denomination in the US, is now an amalgam of Lordship “Salvationists”, Calvinists and believers who lack the Biblical discernment, courage or good sense to disassociate from the SBC.