The Southern Baptist Convention is a broad cooperation of Baptist churches with the mission to train and send missionaries around the world for the furtherance of the Gospel. There is theological diversity among the 40,000+ SBC churches and this diversity is also seen in Southern Baptist entities. The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 (BFM2000) serves as the SBC statement of faith, an umbrella that seeks to provide a set of broad boundaries for the Convention to operate and cooperate.
In the past few years, some churches have been led by their pastors to divert Cooperative Program giving away from certain Southern Baptist seminaries because of Calvinistic theology. Recently, some Southern Baptist pastors are threatening to divert funds away from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary because of the nomination of Dr. Jason Allen as president of the Kansas City seminary. Allen, a Southern Baptist Theological Seminary alum and former administrator at the Louisville seminary, affirms a Calvinist theology just as former great Baptist statesmen W.A. Criswell, James Boyce, B.H. Carroll, and many others.
Here is my plea: If you abhor Southern Baptist Calvinism to the extent that you can no longer support all 6 of our Southern Baptist seminaries, you are no longer a Southern Baptist. Please, I ask humbly, leave the Southern Baptist Convention. The spirit of uncooperation shown by refusing to give money to Southern Baptist seminaries because of an historic and legitimate Southern Baptist theology is damaging to the Convention. Narrow fundamentalism, that which sees Calvinism as dangerous and to be opposed to the extent of seeking to damage SBC entities, is a poison to the Southern Baptist Convention.
Southern Baptists cooperate under the doctrinal umbrella of the Baptist Faith & Message 2000. Whatever falls within this doctrinal framework is to be tolerated in the Convention. When we Southern Baptists become divisive and intolerant toward our BFM2000 affirming brothers, we essentially stop being Southern Baptists.
Let’s fund our seminaries, train pastors, and send the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Refusing to cooperate with our giving because of Calvinism, an historic and legitimate Southern Baptist theological framework, is cancerous to our mission as Southern Baptists. Let us continue to cooperate under the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.