Desiring to be God – Part 6

We ended Part 5 with salvation as taught by Presbyterians. Today we will discuss the Calvinist part of salvation believed by Southern Baptists.

Presbyterians used to be a very common faith denomination and every city and town had a Presbyterian church. My father was born into a Presbyterian family and was baptized as a baby in the late 1800s. He became a Baptist and was a licensed minister, pianist, and deacon in a little Baptist church which he helped start as a mission church. I never met a person who I knew was a Presbyterian until recent years.

Baptists and Presbyterians have long had a commonality with John Calvin who shaped the Presbyterian faith, and Baptists who follow this are called Calvinists.  Many Baptists are Calvinists, and more are becoming so. Calvinists are a very strict, conservative sect operating with the Baptist church. Many Southern Baptist Seminaries promote their Calvin leanings. Al Mohler, Bruce Ware, Wade Burleson, and many others that you might recognize are Calvinists.  I insist on repeating over and over: I am not a Calvinist.

Baptists who subscribe to Calvinist doctrine, (they also operate under the umbrella of the Southern Baptist Convention), believe that in the womb God decided if you were destined for heaven or hell, and thus Baptists use the term “once saved, always saved (from the womb forward),” which gives assurance to many Baptists, and causes unbelief by others. Baptists often use the words “if they were truly saved” which most do not understand that this, too, comes from the Calvinist view because it means that perhaps they were not chosen for salvation before birth.

If I were Calvinist, I would be out fishing today instead of writing this.

But I am not, so here I am with a blog post that is far too long so I will divide it up one more time and in Part 7 we will continue the discussion of how Southern Baptists are saved.

About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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10 Responses to Desiring to be God – Part 6

  1. No Baptist can really say they aren’t a Calvinist. Sorry, but if you are a Baptist, you are a Calvinist whether you realize it or not. And Arminianism is also Calvinism. The only difference between the two is that Calvinists say election is random (they refuse to say that explicitly but this is what they mean) and Arminians say election is based on foreseen faith. Either way, you have people being elected INDIVIDUALLY to salvation, and the result of such a belief, automatically, is that you also believe in OSAS (once saved always saved). That’s why there is not even one Southern Baptist is existence who doesn’t believe in OSAS. The truth, of course, according to the Bible, is that election is corporate, that is, that only the church is elect, and if you are in the church you share that status. Its not that you are individually elected, because if you were, OSAS would follow, and Scripture clearly doesn’t teach OSAS.


    • Welcome! I am glad you added your comments. You are right about once saved always saved in that most Baptists believe it and almost no Baptist realizes it comes from a Calvinist teaching. In fact, in the Baptist church that I attended for 10 years and received most of my Baptist foundational beliefs, I realize now had heavy Calvinist teachings, including that one. But many Baptists flatly do not want to have anything to do with Calvinism. So I don’t think I would go so far as saying that there is not one Baptist in existence who doesn’t believe in once saved always saved. Let me ask you, what do you do with the fact that few people ever feel the need to return to the altar and ask for salvation again and again? So, if Church of Christ believers do not believe in once saved always saved, am I to infer that since they do not return over and over to accept Christ and be saved, that they, too, are “once saved, always saved?” Or do I believe that once they fall from grace (I guess that term is Calvinistic, too) that they never return and thus lose their salvation?


      • In the church of Christ the belief is that when you commit a sin that is private you pray to God and ask for forgiveness, and ask others to pray for you if you feel it is necessary, but if you sin in a public way that “brings shame and reproach on the church” then you are expected to make a confession in church. At the end of every sermon they ask if anyone wants to be baptized or to make a confession, and if anyone does they go and sit on the front bench while the “invitation song” is being sung. They don’t call it an altar call, but I guess it is in some way similar to that. The preacher will hear the confession whispered in his ear and then say something like “Brother so-and-so has come forward confessing he hasn’t been the Christian he should be and asking for the prayers of the church,” and he will ask someone to lead a prayer.


      • That is very interesting. Thank you for sharing it. But I have a problem with it. You do not believe in once saved, always saved. Yet, in your explanation, you say that if a person needs to confess, then that person comes forward and confesses his sin, and prays. But, if the person has lost his salvation, shouldn’t he be baptized again? I can’t believe that one baptism covers every other time a person has lost his (or her) salvation. In my blog post I say that many denominations believe a person can lose his salvation, but few people ever actually go forward to be saved again and baptized. I stand by that. Again, I thank you for taking to time to answer. I hope you will engage me in the conversation regarding women in ministry, since that is what this blog is all about. (We are getting there in Desiring to be God).

        > Date: Sat, 1 Feb 2014 23:30:07 +0000 > To: >


      • When Peter denies Jesus, did he lose his salvation? He had to repent, and he had to ask for forgiveness, but he wasn’t rebaptized. Is baptism a magic washing that just cleans off sins, that is to be repeated over and over, or is it the entrance into Christ? Paul says in Galatians 3:26-27 “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, because as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” When Jews sinned, did they get recircumcised? Its the entrance only, not something that saves in an of itself.


      • Hmmm. I never head baptism being described as an entrance to Christ. So then once you have the entrance secured, you can come and go as desired? In other words, in and out of salvation. A convenient door that would be.

        > Date: Sun, 2 Feb 2014 01:38:33 +0000 > To: >


      • No so much like a come and go. Its more like John 15:1-7.


      • Ok. I read it. If you remain in Christ, you do not have to be re-baptized. But we are talking about a person who HAS LOST his salvation (remember you disdain once saved, always saved). If that person has lost his salvation, then he does not remain in Christ.

        > Date: Sun, 2 Feb 2014 04:23:57 +0000 > To: >


      • But Paul picks up the vine metaphor, changing it to an olive tree, and says God is able to graft him in again.


      • Yes! That is all and good. But if God has to be grafted in again, that means he is GONE, and the person is getting saved all over again, and MUST be re-baptized in order to be saved (starting all over as if the first had never happened). That is, for those who believe that baptism is required for salvation. Don’t you see? Otherwise, you still have part of your salvation hanging on.

        > Date: Sun, 2 Feb 2014 04:53:56 +0000 > To: >


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