Christianity Today has a story about Baptist pastor Joe Elam complaining about the rise of Calvinism in Southern Baptist seminaries. In the story, Elam reported this shocking story:
Though forbidden to do so, a former youth pastor at his church secretly taught predestination to teens, Elam said, sowing seeds of lingering division among several families.
How dare a pastor teach the biblical doctrine of predestination! What next? Will justification be secretly taught?
Do these pastors not even know the traditional teaching of the Baptist churches? In their 1689 confession, Baptists confessed that:
God hath decreed in himself, from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely and unchangeably, all things, whatsoever comes to pass
In the story, the SBC President Page goes on to worry...
...that extremists could undermine the SBC's emphasis on outreach. He isn't impressed by arguments that most convention founders embraced Reformed ideas.
Sounds about right, the worst extremist neglectors of missions have to be those frozen chosen Calvinists like William Carry, and Adoniram Judson, and Calvinistic preachers like Spurgeon and James Boyce barely ever preached the gospel.
The Southern Baptists would be well advised to be conservative about their founding principles, rather than think the last 50 years of drift from their roots is actually their heritage. Word is that Al Mohler, a Calvinistic Baptist, was put up as a potential candidate for SBC president. Might be an interesting year for the SBC.
Page ends the article on the most mind-numbing note:
"The totality of history shows the vast majority of Baptists have not been [Calvinists], so why go back to the founders?" Page said. "I think we need to go back to the Bible."