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I’m writing concerning Dr. Mark Rathel’s article series, “Calvinist & Arminians: Just the Facts.” Dr. Rathel has done a wonderful job in sharing the difference between Calvinist and Arminian doctrine without trying to persuade toward one or the other, which is very good considering what is taking place throughout the Southern Baptist Convention.
But there seems to be something that is not being said in all the conversations and articles concerning the doctrines of Calvinism and Arminianism: neither represent who I believed all Southern Baptists were according to our Baptist Faith and Message. The Southern Baptist Convention was formed as missionary Baptist churches (“Traditional Baptists”) came together to create the most wonderful missionary arm that God had ever ordained, the Cooperative Program.
Now with the influx of Calvinism in the Convention we are being faced with this new comparison, which wants to say, “Which camp are you in—Calvinist or Arminian?” I am neither! And most of the Southern Baptists I know are neither. I will claim no part of either, because I don’t have to.
As a missionary Baptist that chose to join with other missionary Baptists and form the Southern Baptist Convention so our efforts could reach more as we cooperated together, we preach that the Bible is inerrant, and that God is sovereign, omnipotent (meaning He has no limits), omniscient and omnipresent. We preach that He is holy, righteous and He through His grace and love rejects no man, woman, boy or girl. His love is abundant and free to all who will repent of their sins and receive Him as their Lord and Savior, and they will be saved for all eternity.
The simple truth is, if I had a desire to teach the Arminian doctrine I would join the Methodists or Free Will Baptists. And if I had a desire to teach Calvinism I would gladly join the Presbyterians or Primitive Baptists. But because I am a missionary Baptist cooperating with other missionary Baptists, I will continue to preach whosoever will can be redeemed for all eternity through the saving power of the sinless blood Christ gave on Calvary’s cross and continue to reach to the uttermost parts of the world proclaiming His power to save and His love for all mankind.
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