At issue: Progressivism in the SBC

Wednesday, May 9, 2018
 | 
Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

Bible in lap (black-and-white)Southern Baptists are fighting over doctrinal ideas like "eschatology" and "Calvinism" as their annual convention approaches – but it's hardly a disagreement about trivial points of theological minutia. In fact, the future of the Southern Baptist Convention may be at stake.

In a recent interview with Christian radio talk-show host Janet Mefferd, former two-term SBC president Dr. Jerry Vines warned the Calvinists are coming. "The other issue today is Calvinism, five-point Calvinism," he stated. "We have a new brand today that is called New Calvinism ... [and] it is hostile, militant, and aggressive. And it's causing difficulties in our churches."

More than a decade ago, it was labeled as the "Young, Restless, and Reformed Movement."

Vines added: "In some of our churches, it [New Calvinism] is the death knell of evangelism if you following it to its logical ramifications. It kills evangelism."

The "militant and aggressive" part of New Calvinism, according to a former SBC official, is its view of eschatology – or the End Times.

"They believe that it is the role of the Church to help establish the Kingdom of God here on earth – here and now," says Rob Chambers, who served on the SBC's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. "And they believe, as I understand, that it will be getting progressively better."

No rapture, no anti-Christ, no Tribulation – at least in the sense as that portrayed in the Left Behind series of novels.

"Russell Moore and others have a progressive view of society," Chambers continues. "[They believe] it is the role of the Church to work, almost hand in glove, with the government to make sure that it is moving in that direction."

Russell Moore is the head of the SBC's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

Chambers

According to Chambers, Moore's and others' progressive theological outlook is married to a progressive political outlook – hoping to achieve that climb to world harmony and the return of Christ, which is where their stinging criticism of Donald Trump comes in.

"Russell Moore and J.D. Greear and those in that faction believe that [SBC pastor Robert] Jeffress, [evangelist] Franklin Graham are leading Trump in the wrong direction," Chambers adds.

J.D. Greear, a pastor in North Carolina, is among those vying to be the next president of the Southern Baptist Convention, which will gather for its annual meeting early next month in Dallas. Chambers contends that with Greear comes the whole "social justice freight train" – issues such as global warming, wealth redistribution, the politics of privilege, and "Black Lives Matter" racial ideals.

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