Now, we will discuss the Calvinist part of salvation that is believed by Southern Baptists.
Presbyterians, founded by John Calvin, 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. As a young man, 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, and our family never knew him as a Presbyterian. 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 within Baptist churches. Many Southern Baptist Seminaries promote their Calvinist leanings. Al Mohler, Bruce Ware, Wade Burleson, and many other Baptist Christians 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.
Methodists, and other denominations, do not claim ‘once saved, always saved’ because of the Calvin belief associated with it because unlike Calvinists, they believe that everyone always is open to salvation.
If I were Calvinist, I would be out fishing today instead of writing this.
But I am not, so here I am with a section that is far too long so I have divided it up one more time in order to continue the discussion of how Southern Baptists are saved.