Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My Response to Exclusionary Tactics by Calvinists and Arminians in the SBC

I have watched and listened to many people on both sides of the soteriological debate.  I have been misrepresented and caricatured for my honest efforts to exegete the Scripture by those on both sides of the issue.  I believe the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 provides a sufficient statement of doctrinal understanding as to salvation.  Articles IV and V deal responsibly with the biblical text and graciously to those understanding certain details diversely.  The BFM can be accessed here:  http://www.sbc.net/bfm/bfm2000.asp.
While people are debating how Jesus saves a person, I am resolved more than ever to expend my energies telling everyone possible that Jesus Saves!  He has saved me, He can save you, and He will save all who repent and believe.
I know we need effective and lucid doctrinal confessions and some of these discussions are iron sharpening iron.  But our swords should be sharp by now, let's use them to remove sin instead of each other.
I am reminded of a story once told of A.W. Tozer.  A young man was coming out of his church in Chicago and headed to Bible College.  The young ministerial student was concerned that maybe he was not well-versed in the Calvinism/Arminianism debate so he sought the advice of Tozer.  He asked the wise pastor what he should do to be better equipped for the conflicts that were sure to encounter him in the academic world.  Tozer wisely responded by telling the young man that he would surely encounter such debates.  The pastor told him that there would be groups studying certain doctrines and emphasizing certain aspects of God's sovereignty and that many would attempt to engage him with a debate.  Tozer told the young man that every time someone sought to enter into these discussions with him he should depart and pray.  At the end of your years they will still be debating, but you will be closer to God and know much more about His sovereignty.

May we do the same.

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