Sometimes we have been led to believe things about the Word of God that just doesn’t hold up under close examination. The separate roles for men and women is one of those things that sound like it would be true, but no actual basis for this teaching is found in the Bible.
Once saved, always saved, or sometimes known as the security of the believer, is a belief that has been dear to the hearts of Baptists for a long time. A friend recently told me that she could not be a member of a church that did not believe that.
For years I have been struggling with that belief, and this gave me the perfect opportunity to check out what it meant. It has its roots in Calvinism. I am not Calvinist, as I’ve said many times before. Baptists have always had a closeness to Calvinism, and perhaps half do today and it is growing.
Edward Fudge was at our CBE Houston Conference A New Creation. A New Tradition in Houston in April. Fudge wrote the book Hell A Final Word and the movie Hell and Mr. Fudge has been made into a movie showing this year. Listen to what he has to say in his book Hell A Final Word.
There is a form of Calvinism which says that before creation, God programmed everything that would ever happen, then sat back to watch the show. In this view of matters, the final destiny of every individual was settled before any human existed, whether heaven or hell, and there is simply nothing anyone can do to change that.”
Once saved, always saved means, in Calvinism, that a person is created to go either to heaven or hell, and that if they had been created to go to heaven, it can never be taken away from them. In other words, once they were saved they were always saved. Conversely, if they had been created to go to hell – well, you get the picture.
My supervisor at Baptist General Convention of Texas once told me that SBC missionaries were adopting this belief in large numbers. I couldn’t believe it. Why be a missionary if it is already determined who will feel the irresistible draw toward God, and accept Christ?
In the comments section of Discipleship versus Culture, a non-believer wrote and challenged me on accepting the authority of the Bible. In particular was the discussion of man being the head of women in marriage. Yes, I accept the authority of the Bible, but as I told him, I don’t accept translations that make men little gods, in the image of Christ, so they can have headship over their wives.
Just so you all know, there are lots of beliefs that Baptists have that I cannot accept. Once I learned that once saved, always saved is Calvinist and means that people are born destined for heaven, and others are born destined for hell, I could not accept this oft repeated Baptist phrase.
I also cannot accept the teaching of Baptists that the wife is under the authority of the husband, and that she cannot have authority over a man.
If you are questioning pat phrases about the role of men and women in the church because that is what you have been taught, stop by and read the comments, and learn about equality. Just because you have always believed that something is true, does not mean that it is.