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Thursday, 28 June 2018


The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is a network of autonomous churches formed in 1845 based in the United States. The SBC is the world's largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant denomination in the US. {1}

The recent election of the new SBC president, JD Greear, has to a significant degree focused on the question of whether or not he is a Calvinist. This is important, because although the position is largely a symbolic, the president of the SBC has a major influence on whether Calvinists or non-Calvinists are nominated into leadership positions in various SBC institutions and seminaries. In other words the SBC will eventually be taken over by Calvinists if Greear wills it to be.

Greear studied at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) under Paige Patterson. Patterson, a staunch traditionalist, was amongst more than 1300 SBC leaders who signed A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation in 2012 countering New Calvinism (posted on the Connect316 website):

An excerpt from Article 3: "We deny that this atonement results in salvation without a person's free response of repentance and faith. We deny that God imposes or withholds this atonement without respect to an act of the person's free will. We deny that Christ died only for the sins of those who will be saved.

Psalm 22:1-31; Isaiah 53:1-12; John 12:32, 14:6; Acts 10:39-43; Acts 16:30-32; Romans 3:21-26; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:10-14; Philippians 2:5-11; Col. 1:13-20; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Hebrews 9:12-15, 24-28; 10:1-18; I John 1:7; 2:2."  

Unfortunately the various scandals that have come to light surrounding Patterson's poor leadership have effectively played into the hands of the Calvinists. In fact Calvinist teachers are very adept at putting forward their theology, and there are few within the "traditional" camp to compete with them. A notable exception is Kevin Thompson, Beyond the Fundamentals. {2} I would sing Thompson's praises to the skies if it were not for his pre-trib rapture view. Leighton Flowers Soteriology 101 {3} puts forward a good case against Calvinism, and yet he is quite prepared to put up with a little Calvinist leaven. (1 Corinthians 5:6). Flowers' appeasement of Calvinists and his toleration of Calvinism is a total contradiction of all he says he stands for. To stand against the error of Calvinism and to refuse to call it heresy is doublespeak. In reality, Flowers shocking support of Roman Catholicism and various ecumenical teachers marks him out as someone to avoid. (Romans 16:17). Flowers claims that he was a "closet traditionalist" for a long time because he did not want to lose his friends! I didn't know we were in a popularity contest! (Matthew 10:34-39).

Some equivocators prolong the agony and relegate the debate between Calvinists and traditionalists as a secondary issue. Soteriology i.e. the doctrine of salvation, is of critical importance due to its implications about the very character of God. Calvinism is a philosophical system, it is not biblical Christianity. (1 Kings 18:21). Interestingly, the masonic phrase “Great Architect of the Universe” is attributed to John Calvin. Wherever Calvinism is found there is confusion and strife! (1 Corinthians 14:33). Those who gravitate towards Calvinism are often intellectuals or pseudo-intellectual wannabes. They often boast in their vanity that they have had a revelation of God's sovereignty and that they have a superior knowledge. (Luke 10:21; 2 Corinthians 1:12). We should resist such people and stand firm in the faith! (1 Peter 5:9).

O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith.” 1 Timothy 6:20-21).

Unfortunately Greear will not give a straightforward answer to questions about his Calvinist views, and many of his statements are plausible enough to be acceptable from either perspective. (James 5:12). The ordo salutis (Latin "the order of salvation") in the Reformed/Calvinist camp is: "election / predestination, followed by evangelism, regeneration, conversion, justification, sanctification, and glorification." {4} According to Calvinist RC Sproul, the doctrine that "regeneration precedes faith", captures the essence of Reformed theology, since it "solves" the problem of “total inability", the T in TULIP {5} Greear's view concurs with Calvinism 100%: "It takes the illumination of God's Spirit and his regenerative work inside our hearts before we will ever believe." {6} 

The Reformed Augustinian doctrine of total depravity has a devastating weakness.. it is not biblical! The phrase "regeneration precedes faith", belies several verses of scripture indicating that faith precedes regeneration e.g. but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:31). The human will plays a part in whether or not a person's heart becomes calloused to the things of God. (Exodus 8:32; Acts 23:24,27). Ephesians 2:8; Romans 10: 9-10,17; James 1:21; John 1:12; Isaiah 45:22 etc.

Greear's evasiveness suggests that there is a devious agenda at work. (Proverbs 3:32). We should be aware that Calvinists are known to be deceitful! (Matthew 7:20). The unbiblical practice of stealth Calvinism is a tactic often employed by Calvinistic pastors i.e. they avoid declaring their true beliefs when they are interviewed by a search committee in order to avoid detection. The question posed by Leighton Flowers prior to the SBC presidential election was: "Would an SBC presidential nominee use the same tactics?"

Leighton Flowers: "In the same way Calvinistic pastors often 'go stealth' while being interviewed by a search committee so as to avoid detection, could it be that a presidential nominee may not be all that forthright about his own beliefs or agenda regarding this highly controversial issue? If you were a Calvinist with political aspirations within a convention that overwhelmingly rejects Calvinistic soteriology would you downplay and distance yourself from those beliefs so as to be a more likeable candidate? More importantly, would Greear?" {7}

Actually Flowers clearly established Greear as a Calvinist in 2017 in his video: Ephesians 1 Critique of Calvinist JD Greear https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6F9S6H-8JM

Flowers suggested that Greear was keen to conceal the fact that he is a Calvinist in January 2018: JD Greear on Romans 9: Concealing Calvinism or Contradictory Calvinism?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6F9S6H-8JM

Flowers latest update is that Greear is in fact a "traditionalist": Traditionalist, JD Greear, elected SBC President: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etfs7T1XPAk

Either Flowers is very naïve, which I doubt, or he is playing games! It seems that the SBC will do anything to avoid a split, even if their leaders have to play politics to keep the SBC together. This is called people pleasing and contradicts the scriptures. Unity at the expense of TRUTH is an affront to God and an abomination. (Proverbs 11:20). Sound doctrine must always triumph over human agendas. (1 Thessalonians 2:4; 2 Timothy 4:3). Greear cannot be both a Calvinist and a traditionalist - the two positions are incompatible. Either Jesus died for everyone, all, whosoever, or he did not!.

Although Flowers says that he believes that Greear has "changed sides", and is now a traditionalist, I am unconvinced. Greear was described as a "whosoever will gospel preacher", by Ken Whitten during his nomination speech. Whitten continued: "He (Greear) believes that anybody, anytime anywhere can be saved." {8} Greear is obviously very shrewd, saying nothing to offend either Calvinists or traditionalists in the final sermon of the conference:"How God builds His church", with four ideas from Matthew 16. {9}

Whatever Greear's true position, he cannot play both sides of the fence indefinitely. It remains to be seen where his true allegiance lies. 

{1} https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Baptist_Convention
{2} http://beyondthefundamentals.com/
{3} https://soteriology101.com/
{4} https://www.gotquestions.org/ordo-salutis.html
{5} gallery.myff.org/gallery/1281301/What+Is+Reformed+Theology+Study+Guide+Sproul.pdf
{6} https://jdgreear.com/blog/three-tips-as-you-share-christ-with-your-muslim-friend/
{7} https://soteriology101.com/2018/02/05/is-jd-greear-a-calvinist/
{8} https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etfs7T1XPAk
{9} http://bpnews.net/51060/pastors-conf-elects-danny-wood-president

Sunday, 10 June 2018


Leighton Flowers refers in the link above to the allegations of sexism against Dr Paige Patterson, former President of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS). It is true that we should not entertain an accusation against an elder except on the testimony of two or three witnesses. The scriptural procedure for establishing the truth of a matter is clear. (1 Timothy 5:19). In this particular instance, the board of SWBTS were presented with irrefutable conclusive evidence, and as such they were justified in acting decisively and immediately terminating Dr Patterson's employment.{1} Flowers insists that we do not know all the facts, but in my view, if the matter were left to him then precisely nothing would be done! Flowers goes round in endless circles justifying apostates and "clarifying" matters which are already patently clear to the rest of us mere mortals. I adhere to the principle: "Think the best of someone until you know the worst", but when we do know the worst, then we should not equivocate!

Outgoing SBC President Steve Gaines has publicly condemned Patterson's behaviour in an official statement: "I disagree with the counsel he gave to a woman who was married to an abusive husband. I personally believe that if a husband abuses his wife physically, the wife should immediately: 1) notify the police and follow their instructions, 2) remove herself and her children physically from the abusive husband under the protection of police for her safety, and 3) notify the family's pastor so the church can engage in church discipline toward the abuser. The church should also seek to come alongside the woman and help her in any way possible to ensure her protection and care.. Regarding Dr. Patterson's more recent remarks about a teenage girl, I believe they were improper." {2} 

Contrary to Flowers often repeated out of context opinion that we should not judge, Christians ARE called to judge matters within the church. However, we are not to judge outsiders, that is God's business. (1 Corinthians 5:12). God hates hypocritical judgement i.e. when we condemn someone and are doing the same things. If this is the case then we can expect God's judgement to fall upon ourselves. (Romans 2:3).

We all stumble in many ways. (James 3:2; 1 John 1:18). Nevertheless, if we are truly Christian and have made bad decisions, then we should repent and put things right quickly so that restoration can take place. To the shame of the SWBTS and Patterson, this matter has been reported publicly in the Washington Post! It is astonishing that Patterson has an attorney and that this dispute cannot be settled quietly between believers. (1 Corinthians 6:5-6). Patterson has actively discouraged female abuse victims from going to the law, and yet he is quite prepared to avail himself of legal redress in this situation rather than simply "forgive". There is a word for that somewhere! Why not rather be wronged (if indeed he has been wronged)? (1 Corinthians 6:7). Perhaps Patterson should take his own advice and pray! {3} We should of course expect nothing remotely Christian from a big game hunter who kills animals for pleasure! Apparently they don't matter either! (Proverbs 12:10). Patterson will no doubt have time to reflect on these things as he enjoys his grotesque taxidermy collection. {4} What a sad reflection on the state of Christianity in these last days that many church leaders despise the vulnerable and seem incapable of repenting. We should ALL humble ourselves, otherwise God will do the job for us! (Matthew 23:12).

Flowers states that he wants to avoid the drama. Oh dear, I fear he is in the wrong profession then. These remarks from Flowers are typical of his insipid rhetoric and his constant excuses for his "friends". He is such a nice guy and wants good relationships with all and sundry, including those who teach doctrines of demons. (1 Timothy 4:1). Drama followed Jesus Christ and His apostles wherever they went! We are actually promised trouble if we are true followers of Jesus Christ. (John 16:33). Why would Jesus' followers experience trouble if they do nothing and offend no one as Flowers is at such pains to do? The very cross of Christ IS an offense! (Galatians 5:11).

Putting the Patterson issue aside, Flowers reveals in his statement that he holds an utterly flawed understanding of Christianity. That old humbug: "You do not understand", is a phrase used repeatedly by Flowers in various contexts. This is an insidious device to suppress freedom of expression! Flowers spends an inordinate amount of time accusing others of a lack of understanding. This makes me very suspicious of his real agenda. Who is Flowers to say that believers "do not understand", and that they do not have the right to speak out about critical issues affecting the church? (Ephesians 5:11). Concerning Calvinism, actually the issues are very simple: Calvinism depreciates the very nature of God Himself and severely impedes the Gospel - the Good News, the very message of salvation to everyone, all, whosoever, the whole world.. (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4; 1 John 2:2). It doesn't get much more blasphemous than this, and yet incredibly, Flowers does not refer to Calvinism as heresy! In refusing to condemn Calvinism outright, he actually gives it a perverse kind of acknowledgement. (2 John 1:11-12; Ephesians 5:7). Flowers actually defines a heretic as someone intent on dividing the church, and he applies the term to anyone who exposes false teachers. Biblically heresy refers to those practicing and teaching things contrary to sound doctrine. (Acts 5:17, 24:5, 14; Galatians 5:20; 1 Timothy 1:10). Jesus' letter to the church at Pergamum warns against tolerating those teaching false doctrines.(Revelation 2:14-16 cf. 2 Corinthians 11:4). The Apostle Paul states that divisions are a sine qua non:

..for there MUST be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. (1 Corinthians 11:19).

Heresy (N) from a Greek word signifying (1) a choice, (2) the opinion chosen, and (3) the sect holding the opinion. In the Acts of the Apostles ( 5:17 ; 15:5 ; Isaiah 24:5 Isaiah 24:14 ; 26:5 ) it denotes a sect, without reference to its character. Elsewhere, however, in the New Testament it has a different meaning attached to it. Paul ranks "heresies" with crimes and seditions ( Galatians 5:20 ). This word also denotes divisions or schisms in the church ( 1 Corinthians 11:19 ). In Titus 3:10 a "heretical person" is one who follows his own self-willed "questions," and who is to be avoided. Heresies thus came to signify self-chosen doctrines not emanating from God ( 2 Peter 2:1 ). {5} 

Flowers: "What concerns me most about the recent developments in the SBC over the last few weeks and months is not so much the uncovering of mistakes made by the leadership; after all, that really is not that uncommon throughout church history. If you do not believe me just read back through the history of Catholic and Protestant leadership, or even more evident is the history of Israel’s leaders. People are sinners and they will fail. That’s nothing new."

Above we have Flowers acknowledgement of Roman Catholicism, which in reality was never true Christianity!!! The apostate ecumenical Protestant Church is despoiled and cannot seriously be categorised as biblical Christianity! (2 Timothy 3:5). Israel became apostate to the point that they rejected and killed the prophets and rejected and betrayed their own Messiah! (Matthew 23:31; Luke 20:14). Flowers nonsense gives credence to that which is evil! (Isaiah 5:20). The failure of so many denominations is prophesied in the scriptures and is due to the infiltration of deceivers, not "mistakes". (2 Peter 2:1-3; 1 Timothy 4:1-3). Frankly we should expect all kinds of shenanigans amongst false teachers! (Matthew 7:20). However, we should expect faithful leaders to act with integrity and to be examples to the flock! (1 Peter 5:3).

I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; (Acts 20:29).

Flowers: "People are sinners and they will fail." !!! I have some news for Dr Flowers: THE TRUE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST WILL NOT FAIL. ..I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18).