A Response to NelsonPrice.com on “Covert Calvinists,” Part 3

Dr. Nelson Price continues his article on “Covert Calvinists” as follows:

The biggest disagreement I have with a large segment of modern Calvinists is not just doctrine but spirit and style.

Many have worked their way into local churches as covert Calvinists. They seem to operate on a no ask no tell basis. If representatives of a local church don’t know what a Calvinist believes and how to ask questions subversion often occurs. Once a Calvinist pastor comes into a church his approach seems to be not to preach it from the pulpit but to mentor or if you prefer disciple cell groups until their base is perceived to be strong enough to go public. Thus, they precipitate confusion and division in the church.

This is basically the same [non-]issue raised at the now-defunct BaptistFire.com website in the [in-]famous “Crept in Unawares” article, to which Evan May thoroughly responded. [Evan May’s response to “Crept in Unawares” can be found under BaptistFire.com-Direct Responses.] This tale about Calvinists splitting churches has basically reached urban legend status within certain circles in the Southern Baptist Convention. Notice again that Dr. Price gives no examples of churches that have actually been split by Calvinism. In my experience, once a person comes to embrace the Doctrines of Grace and to realize that the church he or she is in does not sufficiently emphasize the majestic sovereignty of our Lord, that person does not become “covert” and try to stir dissention behind the backs of leadership; rather, it is normal for someone to seek out another congregation where more discipleship can take place. This was true- to give two concrete examples– in my life as well as in the experience of my fellow Strange BaptistFire.com blogger Nathan White.

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6 Comments on “A Response to NelsonPrice.com on “Covert Calvinists,” Part 3”

  1. Pat McGee Says:

    As I came to the doctrines of grace (Calvinism) I wondered why I did not find a preacher who believed as I did. This led me to leave a church and to try to find one which had a pastor who believed in the doctrines of grace. I believe in submitting to my elders, and if the church’s doctrine is seriously flawed, I have the responsibility to move on. It would be rebellion to teach something other than that which the local church advocates. I discussed my beliefs with the pastor and it became obvious that I needed to find another place to worship.
    As an item of prayer, I and another family under the sponsorship of a church three hours away, are trying to bring a Reformed Baptist Church to the greater Fresno area. There is nothing remotely like it in the area. There is not a Founders Friendly church in the area. I ould covet your prayers in this endeavor.

  2. genembridges Says:

    A. Notice the nature of the objection:

    1. If a Calvinist pastor starts to “disciple” a “cell group” he is “sowing division in the church.”

    2. If a non-Calvinist pastor does the same in the same church, what’s he doing? He is, in Henry Blackaby’s terms, “going where God is working.”

    So, when this objection is raised, it is always one sided.

    Would Brother Price feel the same way about certain mailings in the states of TX and FL? Were those people “sowing division?”

    3. And notice that if a Calvinist pastor leaves a church, he’s accused of going over to the enemy or starting a dead church or trying to attack the church he left by another means (I’ve seen these all trotted out at one time or another).

    So, really, these are objections that really don’t mean anything, because we’re all collectively sent to the dustheap whatever we do.

    And Pat McGee…you are not alone. This phenomenon is playing itself out all over the place.

  3. Pat McGee Says:

    Thanks for the encouragement Gene.

  4. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    Pat,

    Doesn’t a believer owe it to others to bring light into darkness. If I was lost I would want my brother to do all that he could to find me and bring me back. If a brother truly loves, then he will not leave me in error, will he? Now, I am presuming upon the doctrines of grace, that they are the Gospel. Having come to the knowledge of the doctrines of grace within an Arminian Church, I was compelled to speak out about them. God forbid that I do not, as Paul would instruct, I am compelled.

    It will indeed cause division. But, Jesus said, that he did not come to send peace, but a sword, to cause division. I take it that he meant the Word of God. If it is the truth spoken in love, and love being that self sacrificing service to the edification of the body of Christ, then it just does not make sense to pack it in and leave until such time as one is forced out. How critical are these doctrines to the health of the body? Such a question can not lightly be considered.

    I appreciate you seeking to start a fellowship based upon these doctrines. Praise God for you! I have recently been forced to seek a Reformed Church here. Sadly, there is only one that I know of that can be trusted. There are no SBC Reformed Churches nor any Baptist Churches of a Reformed heritage. Perhaps, what we need nationwide, is the establishment of a Founders church planting organization. But, my suspicion is as Gene’s. Such an action would be viewed as an attempt to attact sister Baptist Churches that do not hold to a Reformed Faith. I relish the thought of a Reformed Southern Baptist Pastor coming here to do such a work. I would gladly be spent in helping such an endeavor.

    May this revival continue, may God have mercy and bless it richly.

    tt

  5. Justin Says:

    “Many have worked their way into local churches as covert Calvinists.”

    Oh yes, because it’s so hard to get into a local church as a Calvinist. 🙂

    You know, if Mr. Price were as truly concerned as he says he is about “covert Calvinism,” he would do well to talk to a Calvinist and show us our error, instead of simply slandering us.


  6. Pat,

    You’ll certainly be in our prayers. BTW- have you read Stan Reeves’ articles on church planting on the Reformed Baptist Fellowship blog?

    http://reformedbaptistfellowship.wordpress.com/2007/07/01/a-layman%e2%80%99s-guide-to-church-planting-%e2%80%93-part-1-cultivate-the-characteristics-of-an-effective-lay-leader/


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