Thanks for another great issue. I had been checking the web site for over a month everyday anxiously awaiting your publication. Once again your publication gave me a word of encouragement just at the right time. I have recently re-enrolled in one of our SBC seminaries to conclude my M.Div. studies. I consider your publication a must-reading for my academic studies. It constantly reminds me that ministry is more than growth techniques, new paradigms, human ingenuity, and creativity but rather is a sovereign act of God as we submit ourselves to Him.
I'm now faced with the dilemma of trying to decide which Founders conference to attend! I plan on being at the convention in Orlando, and I'm hoping and praying that you guys will have the Founders breakfast again. It was the highlight of my convention experience last year in Atlanta. I wish you guys were responsible for the Pastors Conference! It sure could use some help in the area of focusing on God instead of human efforts. I always feel guilty after the Pastors conference since I pastor a small SBC church (50 in SS). I'm looking forward to attending one of the Founders Conferences this next year. When will information be available on the summer conference? It will help me determine whether to go to a Spring or Summer conference.
Thanks again for lifting high our Lord as revealed in the Scriptures and not fearing to speak out on the "Doctrines of Grace."
Your fellow servant in Christ,
S. H., via e-mail
There will be a Founders Fellowship Breakfast at the SBC this year. See the news items for details. Check the website for information on the Birmingham Founders Conference. The theme is "Providence" and the keynote speaker is Ligon Duncan of Reformed Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi.
Dear Founders Journal,
An internet friend of mine gave me the web address of the Founders movement and I just couldn't believe there was any type of movement to bring reformed doctrine into the SBC. While still a young teenager my parents started going to a Southern Baptist Church and being a minor I had to go along. Some years later I came to embrace the doctrines of Sovereign Grace and left the SBC because they were totally at odds with what I came to believe in.
In fact, many of the pastors in the SBC hate reformed doctrine with a passion as I found out. When I first understood these doctrines I wanted to share them with other people so I brought the subject up with the pastor of the local SBC where my family had attended for a number of years. I soon was sorry I did because his fierce hatred of these doctrines was clearly evident throughout the conversation. It was soon evident to me that the SBC denomination was with VERY few exceptions a denomination with an "ultra-arminian" bias. I even came to see that the adult Christian education/Sunday School material was slanted to this bias as well as the structure of the average worship service.
Of all the SBC church services I've ever attended all of them had what was called an "invitation" at the end of the services which, quite often was longer than the sermon itself. It was apparent that the various pastors who held the pulpit believed that salvation was really a matter of "arm twisting" and that if the pressure was put heavy enough on people some would yield and walk the aisle. Almost always this meant that the congregation would sing the lines of the closing hymn over and over again and the pastor would say something to the tune of, "I know there's someone out there who needs to make a decision." We'd repeat the lines of the hymn over until the pastor was at least somewhat satisfied with his results of getting people to "walk the aisle".…
At any rate I find it quite interesting that there is this movement attempting to make a difference. I had considered the SBC a lost cause however, maybe there's at least a small ray of hope. I wish you and others well in your endeavors, however knowing where the huge overwhelming majority of SBC churches and leaders are I'm sure you'll encounter strong walls of opposition.
R. H., via e-mail
I enjoy reading your articles in the Founders Journal on the web. I didn't know Baptists were Calvinist. The preachers for the most part that have been at the church I go to have been Arminian or just afraid to preach sound doctrine. One day when I was at the Baptist Book Store, I saw a book titled Have the Baptists Changed Their Doctrine? It looks like they have.
A friend gave me a book by Arthur W. Pink, on the sovereignty of God, and when I read about election, I put the book down and didn't read it for a couple of years. When I picked it up to read again it started to make sense. Thank you for putting the articles on line, they've been a great help to my understanding of the Word.
M. T., via e-mail
Thank the Lord that some are willing to defend the truth of scripture. I have been a Christian for 60 years and only recently have been made aware of the doctrine of Election. The Scriptures of God's sovereignty were skipped over even though they are so obvious. May the Lord bless and strengthen you as you continue to proclaim the truth of the Word!
L. L., via e-mail
I must tell you that the information on your website has been very interesting and enlightening to me. My family recently left the SBC church we had belonged to for nearly 9 years, and last Sunday we joined an Independent Methodist Church. I never knew there were Baptists who thought like I did, and I never even knew there was a name for it, "election". That concept explains all the observations I have made of unregenerate church members. It became increasingly difficult to teach among people who see no need for discipleship, and church leadership that did nothing to support it.
All efforts were toward evangelism, with little or no follow-up, with disastrous consequences. Though I loved the people, I always felt like I was beating my head against the wall there. I cannot help but wonder how many families, like mine, who are willing to serve, the SBC churches are losing. They lost us due to their lack of attention to Christians that need mentoring so they can mature in the Spirit, and their narrow focus on "saving" souls that exhibit no changed lives after the altar. I came to feel that we were doing a disservice to the name "Christian" by pumping out so many fruitless trees.
I want to thank you for your efforts, and I hope you are successful in bringing the denomination around.
J. C., via e-mail
If we would preach well to the souls of men we must acquaint ourselves with their ruined state, must have their case always on our hearts both by night and day, must know the terrors of the Lord and the value of the soul, and feel a sacred sympathy with perishing sinners. There is no masterly, prevailing preaching without this.
|Charles Haddon Spugeon|