Arminian Today

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Posts Tagged ‘SBC

The SBC & Calvinism

Many Calvinists have already been blogging and tweeting about the SBC report on Calvinism and non-Calvinism within the SBC.  I applaud the work headed by Dr. Frank Page (a non-Calvinist SBC pastor) in this statement.  You can find the statement here.  I believe that it is possible for both non-Calvinist SBC members and leaders to work with their fellow SBC members and leaders who are Calvinistic.  God can use both.  I consider the friendship of John Wesley (Arminian) and George Whitefield (Calvinist) and yet God used them powerfully for His glory.  

I pray that the SBC would see a mighty revival from men and women of God standing firm for His truth.  The gospel and not Calvinism nor Arminianism is the message that saves sinners (Romans 1:16-17).  

Written by The Seeking Disciple

05/31/2013 at 10:04 PM

Is There Really A Theological Middle Position?

Over the years I have met many who claim not to be either Arminians or Calvinists.  While I was working in an Assemblies of God church for several years, I encountered many pastors who claimed to hold a “middle of the road” approach to the Arminian/Calvinism debate.  They claimed to not hold to any one view and they claimed that they could not be labeled as either.  In fact, some claimed to hold to a little bit of both systems.  Some tried to be humorous with the tag, “Calminian.”  The Assemblies of God themselves, while historically Arminian in every way, does not use the term to describe their views and even tries to avoid the term Arminian in their systematic theology text edited by Dr. Stanley Horton.

Many in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) are the same.  They are neither Arminians nor Calvinists they claim.  They are somewhere in-between.

Is this true?  Can a person be somewhere in-between?  I have a friend in the Restoration movement (Churches of Christ) and he does not hold to either Arminianism nor Calvinism.  He leans much more Arminian but he rejects some aspects of Arminianism such as total depravity.  He also disagrees, to a degree, with the Arminian teaching of imputation of righteousness.  He definitely does not hold to Calvinism and rejects all five points of Calvinism.  Yet he does not wish to be called an Arminian at all.

I am of the opinion that most are not in his camp.  Most either are Arminians or Calvinists and I believe the vast number of people are actually Arminians.  I know many SBC pastors who do not wish to be labeled Arminian yet they only hold to eternal security and yet would rather be called simply a Baptist or a Calvinist then to be an Arminian when in fact they would much more comfortable in an Arminian church then in a Calvinist church.  For example, many AG and SBC pastors would hold to nearly all five major points of Arminianism in comparison to the five points of Calvinism.  While some SBC pastors would hold to perseverance of the saints in Calvinism, that would be about it.

And so why the rejection of Arminianism?  I believe that a lot of it has to do with the attacks we face from Calvinists.  When you have prominent Calvinist teachers saying that Arminians are “half saved” or that we are borderline heretical in our views, this causes borderline people to not want to take a stand.  It’s much easier to stay on the fence than to make a decision to fight.  Furthermore, in the SBC there are many pastors who are Arminians in essence and then many pastors who are Calvinists.  The church we take our boys to on Wednesday night for Awana has a secret Calvinist pastor.  He knows that many in this SBC church are not Calvinists so he uses phrases that I catch on to but most would not when he is teaching the Bible study that let’s me know that he is a Calvinist (not to mention many handouts having quotes from John Piper on them).  Because there is a range of different pastors in the SBC, some choose not to opt for either and simply never teach theology so they won’t give away their views.  Let’s face it, many SBC churches now are so watered down theologically that they need not concern themselves with Arminianism and Calvinism.

I for one am thankful to be an Arminian.  I am proud of my heritage.  I am thankful for the godly example left to us by great Arminians such as Arminius, Wesley, Asbury, Clarke, Chadwick, and many more.  I am proud of our gospel preaching and of our emphasis on missions.  I am proud to be called an Arminian.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

12/15/2011 at 5:45 PM

Posted in church

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