Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Am I a Southern Baptist: Part Two?

As I read through the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, I didn’t find anything I disagreed with. I believe everything stated in our confession. So I realized I truly am a Southern Baptist. I’m a Christian who is a member of a Southern Baptist church and I hold to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. Before you start clapping your hands in joy, this raised a question that has to be answered.

If I’m Southern Baptist, then what are those people that are making rules I don’t agree with? The answer is they are Hyper-Baptists. So if I confused you with a new word. Let me illustrate my point by using Calvinism as my example. Some of the best Baptists are Calvinist, but there is a form of Calvinism that is dangerous and it is called Hyper-Calvinism. Hyper-Calvinists were against evangelism and missions because they thought men were trying to do God’s job of saving. Under Hyper-Calvinism ton of people went to Hell without hearing the gospel. Listen to a regular Baptist Calvinist and you will hear a passion for evangelism and missions. Calvinism and Hyper-Calvinism are completely different even though they share lingo and some beliefs.

The same thing that happened with Calvinism is happening with Southern Baptist beliefs. As regular Southern Baptists, you and I hold to the Baptist Faith and Message as our Confession, but this isn’t enough for the Hyper-Baptist. What is sad and hard to understand is that many of our heroes over the past 30 years have joined this Hyper-Baptist movement. It is true that many Baptist heroes have stayed true to regular Baptist beliefs like Morris Chapman, Thom Rainer, Jerry Rankin, Ed Stetzer and many others.

The Hyper-Baptist sound like they are concern about the same things we are as regular Baptists, but the honest truth is they aren’t. Their goals aren’t the same as ours. As regular Baptists we want to practice what the Bible teaches. Hyper-Baptists want to practice what the Anabaptist and Separatist Baptists did 300 hundred years ago. As regular Southern Baptists we want to give people the freedom to practice anything the Bible teaches. Hyper-Baptists want to make rules that force you to do what they think makes you Baptist. A Hyper-Baptist battles for Baptist traditions to build a Baptist Kingdom while serving a Baptist God. Regular Southern Baptists are focused on being obedient to the Word of God, building God’s Kingdom, and inviting as many as possible to enjoy God forever.

Stay tuned because I will be writing a series of articles on Hyper-Baptist beliefs.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said. I think that while the Calvinism debate will always exist, we have to agree on both sides of the aisle that hyper-Calvinism is dangerous and not from the mind of Christ. We are given a mandate in Scripture to make disciples - and that includes the step of evangelism.

I'm a Calvinist who is passionate about people who don't know Christ. I realize that God uses people as vessels; as means to deliver the Gospel and speak on His behalf. I also believe that God can cause the Gospel to fall on deaf ears - but that should not prevent us from sharing it. True: God alone brings about salvation - but He uses us to take it's message wherever it needs to go.

...and I'm in complete agreement. The BF&M is a document that I, too, can hang my hat on.


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