Let the dominoes fall

So Dr Paige Patterson got fired. But those who fired him knew all this time how he felt about women. It is right there in The Danvers Statement of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and it is right there in the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. It is right there for all to see.

They know it. They also agree with it.

They have not denounced either one of those statements and they will not. Paige is just the fall boy. Patterson is old, involved in another lawsuit about homosexuality assault (along with the Southern Baptist Convention and Houston First Baptist Church).

So, what is it going to take to change their minds about women’s equality? The secular world led this charge and they got rid of Paige.

But wait! There are others who need to be called to account. John Piper, Bruce Ware, Wayne Grudem, and Denny Burk all need to apologize for the damage they have done and continue to do against women.

If your church denies women doing any of these things: take up the offering, pass out attendance pads, hand out bulletins, read scripture out loud in church, teach men in Sunday School, be a deacon (oh, my soul, what blasphemy!) preach (oh, I am about to faint – can’t have women preachers), speak up. One giant has toppled, Give a push – push the others out your way – and claim your equality.

 

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Pentecost – the Advocate

Today is Pentecost Sunday which is observed in many churches, while others ignore it altogether. This Sunday completes Easter, and is also called the Birthday of the Church.

Mary at the tomb completes the picture of Jesus and women. But the story does not end there. This is where you come in. This is how I can assure you that women are equal – No Buts.

Jesus promised an Advocate, the Holy Spirit. He told them to wait for the Holy Spirit.

Women, Jesus did not promise you a husband to lead you! He promised the Holy Spirit to lead you and advise you. Listen to what Jesus said.

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.” John 14:16

Women, that Advocate is not your husband. It is the Holy Spirit. Jesus didn’t mention husbands, and why would he? Nowhere does Jesus tell women that they are to be ruled or lead by their husbands. In fact, these four women had no husbands leading them.

Women are Equal – No Buts: We have been powered by the same Source.

Suggested reading:
Dethroning Male Headship: Second Edition
Women Equal – No Buts: Powered by the same Source
Raising the Hood: A Christian Look at Manhood and Womanhood

 

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Like Mother, like Daughter

This Mother’s Day, preachers will preach on the glory of motherhood, and some preachers will preach on the glory of womanhood (submissive women), but I want to preach on a different kind of motherhood. I want to tell you the story of Sarah in the Bible, mother of nations. I want women to know that in 1 Peter 3:1-6, we have the promise of being like Sarah, a mother of a nation of new believers.

Let’s begin:

Some like to quote Peter when he said Sarah called Abraham “master” in Genesis 18:12, “So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, ‘After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?’” The New International Version Bible uses the word “master,” unlike other translations that use the word “Lord.”

It is impossible to connect 1 Peter 3:1-6 to the words of Sarah found in Genesis to support the doctrine of wifely submission, but Bruce Ware, one of the founding members of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, attempts to do just that in his book, The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: The Trinity as Theological Foundation for Family Ministry.1

Ware writes, “I find it astonishing that it is in this text, of all New Testament passages that teach on husband and wife relations, that the strongest language is used to describe a wife’s submission! Peter appealed to Sarah as an example and said that she “obeyed Abraham, calling him lord” (1 Pet 3:6a), indicating that they would be Sarah’s “children” if they fearlessly followed this example.”

Ware, who is a professor of Christian Theology, has missed the beautiful promise of this passage. The promise is not that women would be Sarah’s children if they are submissive, but that they would become mothers like Sarah because they themselves would be founding a new nation of believers, not by giving birth in the physical sense, but by spreading the gospel message so people can be born again by the spirit.

To emphasize, Peter does NOT tell wives they are Sarah’s daughters if they submit to their husbands like Sarah did. What he DOES say was startling, and likely raised the hairs on their heads by its audacity. Peter tells these women that “like mother, like daughter” and just as their mother Sarah birthed a new nation, they, too, are birthing a new nation of believers.

We can interpret Peter’s words something like this, “That was the way it was done back in Sarah’s day, but things have changed. We are now under grace by faith, not under the law. You have done what is right in becoming Christ-followers, and are Sarah’s daughters—children of the freed woman—if you do not fear as you keep following Christ, and, like Sarah, you will birth this new nation of God’s people.”

Again, Paul says the same thing:

“Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise. These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother (Sarah)….Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman” (Galatians 4:21-26, 31).

Mothers of a nation of believers!

1 Peter 3 contains a powerful promise of building a nation of believers that is for all time.

Twenty-first century Christian women are also children of the free woman, but some still choose to cling to Hagar by holding to a master/slave relationship with their husbands, and pastors still enforce this type of submission, even when they know it is wrong.

Sarah is mentioned four times in the New Testament, three of which are specifically about her becoming the mother of a nation. 1 Peter 3:6 is too, but the greater truth of it has been neglected. By passionately claiming the first part of the scripture that says wives must submit to their husbands, the promise it held for New Testament wives has been ignored. This particular reference to Sarah in 1 Peter 3:6 emphasizes the new covenant and has those new Christian women actively participating in the ministry of the gospel by birthing a nation of believers (1 Peter 3:6; Hebrews 11:11; Romans 4:19; Galatians 4:2-26, 31).

Wives, continue in your marriages even if your husbands are unbelievers, for by doing so, you will be like Sarah, mothers of a nation of believers.

Male headship is dethroned when Peter told Christian women that they will be like Sarah, mothers of a nation of believers.

From my book “Dethroning Male Headship: Second Edition

www.shirleytaylor.net

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My plea to Dr. Paige Patterson

It is not egalitarians that is bringing down the complementarian giants. It is the giants themselves. And, again, it is because the secular world has led the way. Dr Paige Patterson is coming under fire because of a 2000 interview in which he said he was happy that a woman had two black eyes because her husband hit her, and for other outrageous statements that he has made about women.

Dr.  Patterson has not given up yet, but he is taking a beating on twitter and blogs and in the minds of many Christian egalitarians. The Southern Baptist Convention will stand beside him and a showdown is coming because he is on the program to speak in June at their annual meeting.  We’ll see what happens but many are calling for him to recuse himself and let somebody else speak that day.

 Note: Patterson is the President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, TX, and a co-founder of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and also helped instigate the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 which prohibits women from pastoring a church and declares that wives are to submit to their husbands.

In 2015, I wrote to Dr. Patterson and sent him a copy of my book Dethroning Male Headship. I offered to meet with him.

April 17, 2015
Paige Patterson
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
2001 W Seminary Dr
Fort Worth, TX  76115

Dear Dr Patterson,

Would you spare a few minutes for me to sit down and talk with you?

There was a man named Stephen who spoke the Word of God, but the religious men of the town connived against him. The young man Saul approved of the murder of Stephen and held their cloaks while they threw the stones. Armed with righteous fervor, Saul tried to destroy the church; going from house to house, he dragged out the believers, both men and women, and threw them into jail.

Saul knew the Law. He was determined that the Law would be honored because God wanted that. So he set about doing it. But he was wrong.

Saul knew only part of the story. He knew God wanted righteousness, but Saul thought he knew what that righteousness was. Saul had not encountered the risen Christ.

While the new-born church body was gathering converts, Saul kept up his violent threats of murder against the followers of the Lord. Until one day he came face to face with Jesus himself.

I refuse to believe that it is too late to stop the teaching against women that is causing so much harm to the church body. I believe that it can be reversed. I believe that God is even now speaking to hearts of those who have persecuted women while citing the Law.

I believe that you can use your considerable influence to setting this right. I would love to meet with you for a few minutes in your offices or if you are in the Houston area.

Your sister-in-Christ,
Shirley Taylor
Street Evangelist for women’s equality

Got a reply from Dr Patterson:

Thank you for your letter of April 17 along with the book “Dethroning Male Headship.” In a sense, I am not fully certain why you wrote me. Obviously I am on the other side of this issue. You, of course, have every right to hold your position and to propound your position whenever and wherever you want.

The issue in the final analysis is not really about gender, however. It is about the sacred Scriptures. Given the extensive misrepresentations of our own positions that I read in your book I do not think anything is served for us to sit down and talk. Especially is that true when all such discussions take away from the time we might spend leading men and women to faith in Jesus Christ.

 Thank you, however, for the communication and may God richly bless you in every way.

Until He Comes, Paige Patterson.

I would like to tell Dr. Patterson that it is still not too late to make this right. It is too late to make amends to the women you have harmed by denying their calling, but it is not too late to stop harming young women and girls who feel called to preach, yet are denied that privilege and responsibility by the Southern Baptist Convention.

He is coming under fire because of a 2010 interview in which he said he was happy that a woman had two black eyes because her husband hit her.

Stand up and be a man, Dr. Paige.

Suggested reading:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/05/04/southern-baptist-leader-who-advised-abused-women-not-to-divorce-doubles-down-says-he-has-nothing-to-apologize-for/?utm_term=.eae9fe7490b0

http://www.wadeburleson.org/2018/05/it-indicates-wicked-society-when-women.html

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2018/05/04/culture-and-complentarianism/

https://wp.me/pRQSb-1iO

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/05/sbc-patterson/559532/

 

Also my books

Dethroning Male Headship: Second Edition
Women Equal – No Buts: Powered by the same Source
Raising the Hood: A Christian Look at Manhood and Womanhood

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Mega abuse from mega pastor

Why did Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Church think it was all right to make sexual advances toward the women on his church staff and with other women?  What kind of excuses did he make for himself every weekend when he stood before 25,000 people assembled there to hear the gospel? The accusations began decades ago, long before the #metoo movement. But they were dismissed – swarms of people kept coming to church, money poured in, and Willow Creek with Bill Hybels reached star level. Wanna-be megapreachers studied his methods and tried to apply them to their own congregations.

The leaders believed Hybels.

But what did he believe about himself? Did he try to convince himself that the women were at fault for tempting him?

 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it. Genesis 3:12

Was God at fault for giving him this desire to dominate women?

To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16

Was his wife at fault for something?

So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than (his wife) Leah, and served Laban for another seven years. Genesis 29:30.

He admitted a tiny, tiny little bit of responsibility, calling himself “naive.”  This megapreacher Rev. Bill Hybels said that “he had placed himself in situations that would be far wiser to avoid. I was naive … I commit to never putting myself in similar situations again.”

“I won’t ever do it again!” But he got away with it for years. Long enough for him to build his empire and wealth and retire.

The 25,000 people who came to hear him did not all know what he had done. But listen to their response upon hearing of his early retirement.

Some members of his congregation shouted “No!” in response to his decision, and the crowd gave him a standing ovation following his address. 

What is your response to abuse of women? Make no mistake about it. Men who make unwanted sexual advances toward women are abusing women. The church gives men this right to dominate women.

#timesup!

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Escaped by the skin of their teeth

Whew, that was close! The #metoo movement and #timesup didn’t make a dent in churches that deny women equality. Escaped by the skin of their teeth. The groundswell for women swirled around, but churches were not affected by it. Sexual misconduct toward women stems from the very idea that women are not real people – which is propagated by the church.

Women are not clamoring to be deacons in their churches, or to be able to find a church to pastor, and are not even asking for the privilege to read scripture in front of the congregation, nor are they asking to be allowed to be an usher or to even take up the morning offerings.

Who is surprised?

I’m not.

Church women got here in this pitiful state of non-citizenship in their churches because they did not ask and they did not receive.

It should come as no surprise that those who have leadership is not going to share it. They haven’t so far, and they are not going to now.

They are breathing a sigh of relief as the Florida students march on Washington, and as women marched in March 2017 for equality. Nobody is marching against the church that keeps women from all these positions mentioned above.

What is taught in the church bleeds out into society and those who do not even go to church abide by the culture the church has produced. That culture is patriarchal. It will remain so.

It will remain so until we begin standing up and speaking up in our churches. It is time we act like we are real people. IT IS TIME!

I dare you. Tell your pastor that times up. Tell your pastor that taking up the offering, ushering, reading scripture should be open to all members and that includes “me too.”

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Part 9. Desiring to BE God, they have made themselves God

Not content to be god to their wives on earth, Southern Baptist leaders believe that males will continue to be God over women in heaven. Here we will see how they believe that women were created from earthly men and it is through an earthly man that she becomes the image of God. Desiring to be God, they have made themselves God.

Baptist Seminary Professor Bruce Ware teaches that a woman derives her status as image-bearer from the man rather than directly from God. He says women are the glory of the man WHO IS THE IMAGE OF GOD. Listen here. Around the 22 and 26 minute mark, Dr. Ware discusses the means of the woman’s creation out of man. He says, “Woman came from him indicating that she owes her existence to what he was first and by that establishes again male headship.” While both man and woman are fully made in the image of God, according to Dr. Ware “nevertheless the woman’s humanity as image of God is established as she comes from the man.” He clarifies that he is not saying that the woman is not made in the image of God, but he is saying that “her means of being the image of God is because she comes from [man] who is the image of God.”

Southern Baptist leaders and complementarians are not content with ruling over women in the present world, causing the CBMW to take male headship into heaven itself, leaving no avenue of equality for women. The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood endorses this heresy that male headship will continue on into Heaven, and that males will eternally rule over their wives, and that wives and children will eternally be submissive to the husband and father in the family.

Click on the link to read their Spring 2006 Spring Journal to read it for yourself. Find it here: “Relationships and Roles in the New Creation” (Article by Mark David Walton, Senior Pastor, Glenwood Baptist Church, Oak Ridge, Tennessee).

(Please note that this is Mark David Walton’s belief, not mine. My belief is that there will not be any gender identity because the soul is sexless, and it is the soul that will be in heaven, not some body that needs clothing).

Walton says: “Given that gender identity will remain, is there evidence that functional distinctions will likewise remain in the new creation? Will resurrected saints as male and female have gender-specific roles? How will we relate to one another? Will male headship apply? Initial responses will likely depend on whether such questions are approached from a complementarian or egalitarian perspective. Complementarians, who view male headship and gender-specific roles as part of God’s original plan for creation (and for the present age as well) are more likely to answer these questions in the affirmative. Functional distinctions will remain. Egalitarians, on the other hand, who view male headship and functional distinctions as a result of the edenic fall—and therefore as being inappropriate to mature Christendom—are likely to reject such a notion as inconsistent with the Kingdom ideal of equality for all. Which view is correct? Does it matter?”

(Let me repeat, this is Mark David Walton’s beliefs, and in my personal opinion, it is a false teaching and reflects a human ego that is not godly. And yes, it does matter.)

Bob Allen says, “Bruce Ware, professor of Christian theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, suggests that “women will be saved through childbearing” in 1 Timothy 2:15 should be taken literally, noting the Greek word translated in the New Testament as “saved” always refers to eternal salvation.

The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood continues in their great evil against women. They are selling men a bill of goods that they cannot deliver. In the final day, when God has his say, man will find himself stripped of what he thought was his male headship. Consider who is Head in Heaven. It is not human man, because for a man to be Head in Heaven, that would mean that he had divinity on earth. Who among you will say that males are created to share God’s Lordship?

The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood’s office is located on the campus of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. Supporters include Southern Baptist Convention leaders like Southern Seminary President Albert Mohler and Russell Moore, head of the SBC Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. The group’s core beliefs are detailed in the Danvers Statement, drafted by evangelical leaders in Danvers, Mass., in 1987.

(excerpt from my book “Raising the Hood: A Christian Look at Manhood and Womanhood.”

 

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Part 8. Making Males Essential to Women’s Salvation

Ok. Now for the crazy part. These Southern Baptist Seminary professors say that human males are essential to women’s salvation. You gotta read this.

Many scriptures in the Bible cannot be understood as written. But one scripture, 1 Timothy 2:15, has theologians, seminary professors, and pastors creating a separate step that women must take in order to enter into heaven. Men can simply ask for forgiveness for their sins and accept Jesus Christ as their savior. But certain complementarian Christian leaders are introducing a new element into salvation for women. So great is their desire to keep women subordinate, that they have reached into salvation itself and changed the way women are saved.

“But women will be saved through childbearing – if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety” (1Timothy 2:15).

Bruce Ware, a founder and prominent member of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and a professor of Christian Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where Al Mohler is president, uses this scripture to change the way women accept Christ as their savior. What Ware says is shocking and you must read it carefully. Look for two things: 1) that women cannot become Christians (submit to God) until they accept the fact that they are not men; 2) Ware’s elevation of earthly men by putting a man as a factor in a woman’s salvation.

Read Ware’s words in the following interview as reported by Bob Allen, then a reporter for ethicsdaily.com. Allen quoted Ware when Ware spoke at a church in Denton, Texas:

“Ware also touched on a verse from First Timothy saying that women “shall be saved in childbearing,” by noting that the word translated as “saved” always refers to eternal salvation. “It means that a woman will demonstrate that she is in fact a Christian, that she has submitted to God’s ways by affirming and embracing her God-designed identity as—for the most part, generally this is true—as wife and mother, rather than chafing against it, rather than bucking against it, rather than wanting to be a man, wanting to be in a man’s position, wanting to teach and exercise authority over men,” Ware said. “Rather than wanting that, she accepts and embraces who she is as woman, because she knows God and she knows his ways are right and good, so she is marked as a Christian by her submission to God and in that her acceptance of God’s design for her as a woman.”

We remember that in Genesis 3:4, Satan tempted Eve with the fruit by telling her that God knew that their eyes would be opened and they would be like God, knowing good and evil. God was the ultimate Being, there was none like God. Now Ware claims that women want to be men and I find his comments very disturbing. Ware says that women’s salvation depends upon their denouncing their desire to be men. In this way, Ware has elevated men on earth to the status of God on earth. This doctrine diminishes God and elevates man to the status of earth-gods. In addition, Ware is claiming that women are still seeking to be as God just as the serpent said in the Garden of Eden (only now it is an earthly man-god that Ware claims women desire to be). My message to these complementarians: It is not women who desire to be God.

Ware is not the only seminary professor who subscribes to the belief that women must first bow to human males before they can be saved. James (Jim) Hamilton,Associate Professor of Biblical Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) where Bruce Ware is a professor, says the same thing as Ware. Before coming to SBTS, Hamilton served as Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Houston campus and was the preaching pastor at Baptist Church of the Redeemer. This connects two major Southern Baptist affiliated theological seminaries with Ware’s theology.

Hamilton says, “All women must embrace their role as women and bear children, and if they do so in faith they will be saved.” Hamilton continues, “And I agree with Schreiner and others on the point that Paul wants women to embrace what it means to be female, and he has chosen childbearing as an example of something that only women can do. This doesn’t mean that single women or barren women can’t be saved, but they should by faith embrace what it means for them to be women.”

 Note that Hamilton says that a woman must be willing to embrace childbearing (what it means to be female). Thus, these words by Hamilton make a woman’s salvation dependent upon a human male, because it is only human male sperm that can impregnate a woman and complete the childbearing. Hamilton says the woman also has to put aside her so-called yearnings to be a male and accept the fact that she does not measure up. That is so far away from Jesus, that it astonishes me that a professor who believes that way can teach in a Christian seminary.

Not all complementarians believe that a woman must denounce her desire to be a man, and then have sex or be willing to, in order to be saved. Tom Challies, (pastor in Canada with key relationships with Desiring God Ministries by John Piper, and The Gospel Coalition) is often quoted and he weighs in on 1 Timothy 2:15 by saying that the scripture means that women in general have been given the chance to redeem Eve’s sin by bearing children (have a baby and be good theology).

Challies says, “There is good warrant to expand the word childbearing here so it points not just to the act of giving birth, but to all that Paul has just discussed a couple of verses earlier—godly womanhood. In the wider context of the passage Paul is referring to the whole of a woman’s calling within the family, within the church, within the world. She is to embrace godly womanhood, to be who and what God has created her and called her to be. She is to fight against that tendency to usurp authority that is not hers.”

They wonder why people have stopped going to church. Maybe it is because of this kind of ungodly theology!

According to complementarians, Godly womanhood is totally dependent upon human males. It is solely a woman’s relationship to a man that determines whether or not she is exhibiting Godly womanhood. Depending upon which complementarian you believe, 1) women are saved by having a baby and denouncing their desire to be men; or, 2) women have a chance to redeem all mankind by having sex and giving birth to babies and not usurping authority from males (or at least she must have the desire to have sex with a man).

It appears that Ware, Hamilton, and Challies believe that a woman’s salvation is dependent upon the sex act by a man inserting his seed into the woman. If this is the case, then it is as if he has inserted his godliness (giver of salvation) into her; or if she has no male to have sex with (marriage does not come into the picture), she must be willing to have sex with a man (because sex is the way children are conceived), and it is only then that she, or mankind, can be saved.

The one thing all these men have overlooked is that Jesus was born of a virgin, and that would signify that men no longer would have saving power for women. Of course, men never had saving power for women in the first place, but why let a few facts get in the way of demeaning women.

If they do not believe it this way, then why are they saying it? There is no justification for making such outrageous statements about women. There is no justification for making women’s salvation different from a man’s salvation. It is their desire to be god – giver of salvation – that compels them to do this.

Can you imagine Jesus telling women that in order for them to be saved, they must denounce their desire to be men, and then be willing to have sex with a man?

Pastors, you who have studied the Word, do you have no understanding of what you are saying! How is it that you do not understand that in your desire to elevate man, you have diminished God? My soul, my heart, cries out for to you to repent. Do you not see your own desire to be God?

Exodus 20: 1-5 “I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in Egypt. Do not worship any other gods besides me. Do not make idols of any kind, whether in the shape of birds or animals or fish. You must never worship or bow down to them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not share your affection with any other god!”

(excerpt from my book “Raising the Hood: A Christian Look at Manhood and Womanhood.“)

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Part 7. Salvation – The Baptist way

What must I do to be saved? Acts 16:30-31 “He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”

Southern Baptists used to believe that salvation came about when a person, child or adult, man or woman, answered the urging of the Holy Spirit, and repented of their sins, which was called accepting Christ as their personal savior. This is better expressed as personally accepting Christ as their savior, because otherwise it sounds as if we have chosen Christ to be our valet.

(This expression more than likely came about by Protestants who do not believe in infant baptism. However, the way it is said “accepting Christ as your personal savior” seems to indicate that Christ is yours, instead of the other way around. Personally accepting Christ affirms that you as an individual made the decision to follow Christ instead of your parents doing that for you.)

About the time of Evangelism Explosion, the Sinner’s Prayer came into favor across the world, and forms of it were used by Billy Graham and Campus Crusade for Christ, and televangelists. (Remember, Evangelism Explosion’s author was Presbyterian.)

Baptists, along with other evangelicals, latched onto this method of bringing people to Christ. Pastors began asking those who came forward to accept Christ to say the Sinner’s Prayer. It was usually like this, “Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and I do not deserve eternal life. But, I believe you died and rose from the grave to make me a new creation and to prepare me to dwell in your presence forever. Jesus, come into my life, take control of my life, forgive my sins and save me. I am now placing my trust in you alone for my salvation and I accept your free gift of eternal life.”

Baptists reaffirmed this prayer in June 2012 by this resolution, “We affirm that repentance and faith involve a crying out for mercy and a calling on the Lord (Rom. 10:13), often identified as a ‘Sinner’s Prayer,’ as a biblical expression of repentance and faith,” the resolution said. But then it added, “A ‘Sinner’s Prayer’ is not an incantation that results in salvation merely by its recitation and should never be manipulatively employed or utilized apart from a clear articulation of the gospel (Matt. 6:7; 15:7–9).”  This was added, in part at least, because David Platt, a Calvinist Southern Baptist, said that this prayer was superstition, and they bowed to him. Until recently, Platt was president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board.

This prayer was brought to vote in 2012 because it was felt that the Sinner’s Prayer does not bow to Calvinism (even though the added part does), and many fear that Calvinism is taking hold in Southern Baptist churches. A major disagreement is that Calvinists believe that God predetermines or predestines who will be saved, and the other half of Southern Baptists believes that each person has free will to either accept salvation or reject it.

In fact, the pastor of a First Baptist church, posted this blog on his non-Calvinist church website in November 2013 which said: “We can argue the merits of Calvinism. But of this we can be certain. Those who call on his name shall be saved. Whether you believe God has predetermined whom he will allow to call on his name or not, know this. If you call on his name, you will be saved.”

That statement by that pastor contradicts itself, and is very confusing. He says that it might be possible that Calvinists are right and that God had already predetermined if you are going to heaven or hell, but if you or your friends call on God’s name, you and they will be saved. He leaves out the part of what if you or your friends are not predetermined to go to heaven. What this pastor means is that he leans toward Calvinism, and that you or your friends cannot call upon God for salvation unless you have been predetermined to be one of the elect. So, if you cannot call upon God, that means you will never be denied because you cannot call upon God in the first place. (I am not Calvinist and do not believe that God made certain people predestined to go to Heaven and certain people predestined to go to Hell. That is not how I see God.)

If you were to ask a Baptist sitting in a pew today how to be saved, this is what you would be told, “When the invitation is given, go forward, the pastor will take you by the hand and will ask you if you are accepting Christ as your savior. You say yes, they will pray with you and it is done.” Baptism will follow if and when you decide to be baptized, but baptism is not a part of the salvation process. Male and female salvation was always the same.

That is the way it used to be. And that is still the official way Baptists and other evangelicals are saved.

But a new element has been introduced, and even though it is not a part of a church’s “altar call” or “invitation to receive Christ,” it is what is being taught to young preachers. This is discussed next.

(excerpt from my book “Raising the Hood: A Christian Looks at Manhood and Womanhood.”)

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Part 6. Southern Baptists and Calvinism

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.

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