SBC and Calvinism: The Point of No Return

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Pe 3:9 NKJV)

This post is going to be very simple and relatively short. God is either “lonsuffering toward us” or He is not. He is either “not willing that ANY should perish” or He is not. Here is something that really troubles me in my spirit. I really do hate the issue of the divide that calvinism is causing in the SBC. I have been accused of “hating my brothers in Christ” because I disagree with the implications and ramifications of this issue and its relevance in our convention. Nothing could be further from the truth. This has no personal aspects to it whatsoever. I do not “hate anyone” because of their position with respect to calvinism or any other issue that I am aware of.

Here is question that I would love for someone to answer. Either God is the One who solely determines who is or is not saved or His decision on my eternity is based on my decision with respect to Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection. Either God decides who spends eternity in heaven or His decision is based on my decision. The latter in no way diminishes God’s sovereignty because that is an impossibility! God is ALWAYS sovereign because He says He is. This fact does not mean that God cannot base His decision on my decision and that does not elevate free-will to some position over God as has been argued on several occasions.

My question is this: At best, one of these two positions is true and the other false. It is entirely possible that BOTH could be wrong but one thing is absolutely true: both of these positions cannot be correct. Given that premise, how can a calvinist be so critical of my position that theirs does not fit 2 Peter 3:9 when they are in effect saying at least indirectly that their theological position is to correct the inerrant theology of the majority of Southern Baptists and it is clear that they are doing just that?

The calvinist does not like my position any more than I like his but there is this cry for unity when it is obvious to anyone that has eyes to see or ears to hear that neither group wants the other group dictating and directing the theological tenets that will help determine the future direction of the SBC. If one of us is wrong in our portrayal of the character of God, how can either plead for unity when deep down, the divide that separates us is as important to one group as it is to the other?

I believe the SBC is going to have to determine which side it wants to stand on, where the issue of calvinism in the SBC is concerned. The issue has escalated, like it or not, to a winner take all position and it is time for that decision to be made. If the SBC continues to sit on the sidelines and let the current direction continue, the decision will be made for the SBC and the people will one day very soon sit asking, “How on earth did this happen!”

We cannot co-exist as a denomination at this point. Those leading the resurgence of calvinism have taken this issue to a no-return position and one side will ultimately emerge as the predominate theological position and that is now inevitable and irreversible.

May God bless the SBC and its future.

Bob Hadley, Pastor Westside Baptist Church Daytona Beach, Fl.

4 thoughts on “SBC and Calvinism: The Point of No Return

  1. I totally agree. This is a local church issue and we who support the convention should decide this issue. Not the SBC elite! My pastor has said it is a waste of time even going to the convention. If he were to try and lead our church out of the convention unless a change is made in the SBC, I would happily support him. I do not believe Calvinism is the true gospel and I do not want my money supporting Calvinism. I believe the divide is too great in the two views to ever bring about unity. Calvinism has split three local churches in our community. Our seminaries should not be teaching Calvinism as the only true gospel! I do not believe it is wrong to only want to support what I believe the Bible teaches. Perhaps if our money given to the SBC could be designated NOT to support any Calvinism in any way, it could bring some peace of mind.

  2. My recomendation is that your pastor reconsider his position on attending the convention. If more guys like him actually DID attend the convention THEN we could make a difference in what is taking place. Staying home is actually the problem because we are now allowing a minority voice dictate the direction of the future of the convention because too many are staying home and not being part of the process and if that continues we will loose the war. Right now we are losing battles but the war itself is not over.

    Even the issue of designating monies will not be THAT effective because of the huge budgets that are coming in. The other side knows a percentage of the monies will be decreased but even a 50% cut in funds available will be much more to work with than if the calvinistas tried to organize on their own and that is why they are so focused on gaining control of the SBC.

  3. Having lived for ten years at my present address, and having observed at least 300 churches across my state over those years I have found that most of them have no idea what is going on eithere in the SBC or their local convention. The convention is actively promoting the Gospel Project and most likely speaking to the issue of who the contributors are. This is not being honest in light of the present environment within the SBC. I have noticed on larger church websites that the GP is being promoted and most likely without understanding the issues at hand. The decisions are being made without consideration of the outcome of the SBC. In my mind, the ship has sailed and the wind away from shore is growing stronger and the antagonistic cargo will be thrown overboard without obvious consent or discussion.

  4. I think, you are asking the wrong question, or asking it the wrong way. I also think the opening statement about Calvinism is way off base. It’s sad that we call a known accepted doctrine in the bible by a mans last name. Calvinism is not dividing the church the church, as usual, is dividing it self.
    As for 2 Peter 3:9, yes it is God’s will that everyone should repent and come to him. Everyone should pay taxes, everyone should obey the law, everyone should live a moral Godly life too. God himself knows this will never happen and his overall will is that it will not happen or the world would be a very different place. We all read the bible even the damned to hell read and know the stories. We know the bible has both predestination and free will teaching, yet how could anyone not see the overwhelming amount of scripture pointing to what we call Calvinism. I believe it is because men are men and will always inject themselves into what God has done perfectly on his own. It’s good for us that he will still love us, those called “from the foundations of the world” even if we don’t by predestination.

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