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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Yet Again . . . God Help Us

As we were sharing prayer requests this morning in Sunday School, someone requested prayer for a couple who just recently graduated from Southern who took an Associate Pastor position with a church in Haynesville, AL. What was painful for this request was that he and his pastor were yet another brothers who were kicked out of their church by a few families who found out they were Reformed. From what I understand, the church recently became registered with the Founder's Movement in the SBC, and the families constructed the famous "straw man" of Calvinism and appropriated it to these men who ministered to them. This couple, with a child on its way, had been with this church for only three months - long enough I assume for the power hungry to reveal who really is in control of their church (which is not God of course). My instant reaction is outright indignation because of the baseless and unbiblical ousting of men called by God. But later I was filled with broken-heartedness for these men and others (of whom their train is increasing weekly) who are victims of churches who are bound to tradition and not to God's Word. Why don't SBC leaders come out and condemn these actions? Although SBC churches autonomous, are they not accountable to the SBC? In some sense they are, for some [churches] have been removed [from SBC or local association] for women in the pastorate, homosexual endoresement, and the like. Why can't these ungodly and unjustified actions of such churches be held accountable to the sister churches in their association and convention? My guess is that when BaptistFire finds out about it, they will have it on their frontpage as they have done in the past and gloat over the recent "victory" over Calvinism. Other churches will find precedent to remove their pastor or staff member the same way this church has done. You know, before we begin to talk about baptizing millions or fundraising for our oversized church buildings, maybe the best thing we can do is figure out this thing called "Church" and work to get it right. If not, the next glitzy sign over the next church building might as well have "ICOBOD" written over it.

3 Comments:

Blogger Ben said...

Wow, that's quite the page you linked to. Sad, but not anything new. Thanks for bringing this up!

11/20/2005 10:50:00 PM

 
Anonymous Kyle Barrett said...

Hey Timmy...

Do you think that associating with Founders after just 3 monthes in the pastorate of a church is a smart move? While I agree with the end (Reformation), I'm not sure we Calvinists always go about that end in the wisest way possible. Not saying they shouldn't have done it. He is accountable to act in accordance with the dictates of his conscience. Just speaking from my perspective...seems a longer tenure and getting folks used to expositional, theogical preaching would have prepared the way for an association with Founders.

Kyle Barrett

ps. I'm not saying that I would ever align with Founders...not that that's a bad thing. Just speaking to this situation.

11/23/2005 11:47:00 AM

 
Blogger Timmy said...

Kyle,

From what I understand, the pastor had been there for at least a year or two. The deacons where supportive of him and the associate minister as well. I agree with you that reforming a church is can be a long and tedious process (maybe that's why so many opt for church planting vs. church reforming). It has been said that it takes seven years for a pastor to truly become a pastor of his people.
In this case, however, it seems that there were just a few families (powerful and influential nonetheless) who were antagonisitic about the affiliation with Founder's Movement. As you have pointed out, the blame/fault usually doesn't lie fully or squarely on the churches that oust their Reformed pastors, and the Calvinistic minister could be guilty of ram-rodding doctrines of grace down the church's throat. There are two sides of the story I guess. But my point is that this is a serious problem in the SBC. I don't know all the details of this firsthand, but I know several ministers and pastors who have been laid on the chopping block.
Pastors should be careful not to instigate or give reason for members or deacons of the church to force the issue. But much like the issue with big name preachers in the SBC, the issue is 99 out 100 times with Arminians attacking Calvinists.
What has Founders or Reformed Theology or Southern Seminary done to incite this conspiratoral Arminian campaign in the SBC? And this campaign eventually finds its grass-roots effect in the uprooting of pastors who are "guilty" of what their superstar preacher is preaching against.
Where culpability can be found in the reality of all of our depravity, one must not be careful to equivocate a theological framework built on the Scripture such as Reformed theology sinful if you disagree with it.
Anyway. I think I am getting carried away. Probably more than you wanted in an answer, and I think I am rambling again. I just think that there needs to be more ecclesiastical accountability between churches and/or assocations in our denomination to churches who, without warrent or justification, get rid of their pastor simply because they disagree with them. Fundamentalism has shown itself to be unreasonable in the past, and if this continues, the past will predict the future.

Thanks Kyle for your comment! Have a great Thanksgiving holiday!

11/23/2005 02:35:00 PM

 

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