Calvinism has become a hot topic of conversation within the SBC in the last decade. Some people gladly embrace it as a return to our roots and our founding fathers while others worry that it is going to destroy our convention. Often we hear stories of churches being torn asunder over the issue of Calvinism.
Now, am I fearful that Calvinism is going to rent the SBC? The answer is no I am not. What I am more concerned about is a Laodicean spirit within the churches of our Southern Baptist Convention where we have lost our passion for Christ, the gospel and the fulfilling of the Great Commission. Further, I think our real problem is not so much with Calvinism as it is immature, prideful and insensitive pastors who go into a church pushing an agenda that is not honoring to Christ and reflective of a shepherd’s heart. In other words, I think churches get torn up by pastors who do not know how to pastor. They get torn up because these men lack wisdom, love and a shepherd’s heart. I have seen just as many, if not more churches, torn up by non Calvinists as Calvinists. In other words pastors who divide and tear up churches are no respecter of theological systems. As a seminary president, I take this issue very seriously because it is our responsibility to teach our students to have the heart of a shepherd and to love their people above all else. Do I think that an aggressive Calvinist agenda is a problem? Yes. But, I think any aggressive theological agenda runs the risk of being a problem. However, I am not one that fears Calvinism is going to be a great divide within the SBC. I think there is a way for us to move forward together with respect and love and a common agenda built around our healthy and common confession of faith (the BF&M 2000) and the Great Commission. That is certainly my heart, and I sense it is the heart of many within the SBC. So lets talk, listen and be brothers and sister to one another. After all, that is who we are.