Yeah, right...I have a really, really hard time believing it with these recent developments in the great state of Florida.
First, we have this event in Holmes Association.
You can read the notes from the meeting here.
And this isn't the first time Brother Cecil has been involved in such behavior.
And if that's not enough, Jim Sullivan the Executive Director of the Florida C0nvention has decided to mail out anti-Calvinist propaganda to the churches.
Oh, but that's not enough. He's defending Brother Cecil, while Brother Cecil asks "Are you calling me a liar?" Well, I'm not as nice as some, so I'll just say it. Brother Cecil, I have read the minutes of the meeting, and five of the six persons there were not Calvinists and have no need to lie. So, unless you can produce a motive for them to lie and the evidence for it, yes, Brother Cecil, you are a liar, and you need to repent, and Brother Jim needs to step up and do his duty to Florida Baptists and remove you if you refuse correction. Further, lest you think I am not an equal opportunity kind of guy: If these charges are false, and I truly hope they are, then those who have bore false witness against you need to repent and they should step down or be removed. Whatever happens, there needs to be complete transparency.
Further, Roger Moran has been outspoken in Missouri Convention.
Let us not forget Brother John Connell who has been handing out anti-Calvinist material, if Timmy's report is correct, to Reformed Baptist and Presbyterian students at his school. This brother claims in the meta, if you read carefully, that he's just voicing the concerns of average Southern Baptists in the pew. He then discusses Calvinism as settled in Presbyterian churches. Pray tell, then, why is he handing out material to Reformed Baptist and Presbyterian students if he's fine with the matter being settled in such churches? Let's not forget, too, that apparently on page 63, he called for the dismantling of SBTS' Abstract of Principles as its governing confession and he's the one who called for the study on Calvinism's effect on the SBC at last year's Convention.
Yeah, Calvinists are "dividing churches" and "sowing disorder." Riiiight. Most of us speak up these days to reply to this sort of material. When we reply, we're told we're the ones who are making offense. So apparently, "sowing division" and "dividing churches," and "extreme" are defined as "engaging the matter in defense." We have to suck it up, while they dish it out. It’’s like we’re getting mugged in the street and when we fight off the muggers, we’re the ones that the police arrests and charges with a crime. What is wrong with this picture?! Is this the Inquisition? Maybe Brother Ben Cole is right about Baptists and Rome.
This isn't about Calvinism as such. This is about truth. This is about integrity. This is also about the autonomy of the local church. Don't start talking about how divisive and dishonest Calvinists are when this is the level to which the anti-Calvinists are stooping. Further, if you're going to start mailing Dr. Vines' material to the churches of the FLBC, then by all means follow up with a mailing of material from the other side. My brother, Timmy Brister is right:
The problem in the SBC is not that we have too many Calvinists in the Convention but that we have too many liars in the Convention. Brothers, whether you agree with Calvinism or not, we must agree that we must be people committed to the truth, to being truthful people, and at all costs, maintain the integrity of visible church which is the pillar and buttress of truth. If what Roger Moran is allowed to say and do what he wants in MO and Sulivan/Seagle in FL, there will be no questions why churches are dying and Southern Baptists are leaving.This sort of systemic dishonesty and underhandedness needs to called into the light. I feel like I'm watching Emperor Palpatine, Darth Vader, Darth Maul, and Count Dooku manipulate the Galactic Senate in the Star Wars Prequels, while Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Mace Windu struggle against them. Will there be a Queen Amidala to sit back and say, "So this is how liberty dies...with thunderous applause." I pray not.
It does not matter if you are a moderate or a conservative, a Calvinist or a rank Arminian, Landmark or Whittsitite, it needs to be called out. The days when this sort of thing can go on unchecked are over. People are wise now. They take notes, and what you say is in writing for the world to see. They also post it on the internet, where it will be picked apart and analyzed by many. The days when you could hide what you're doing in the dark are long gone. Some have said blogging is irrelevant. Others have viewed it as gossip. Well, I submit, this is precisely why we Baptists need to blog. The people in the pews are having their eyes opened. Indeed, some who once doubted what some of us have been saying are now persuaded otherwise.
Brothers, when you go to San Antonio this week, every one of you needs to shake the hands of these men and then tell them they need to resolve this issue. Most, if not all, of the parties involved will be in TX for the Convention next week. You will all be in a place with plenty of privacy in your rooms to sit down face to face and, if Brother Cecil has been wronged, expose it. If the charges are true, then Brother Cecil needs an intervention, as does Brother Jim. Brother Jim needs to explain why he's using churches' dollars/God's money to send these mailings, and he needs to be urged to agree to a mailing of another point-of-view if nothing else. The same is true of Brother Roger and Brother Cecil. Do the right thing, brethren. I would love nothing more than for you all to come back home and blog next week about a powerful movement of God's Spirit, where offenders and offended repented and forgave and where monologues became dialogs.