Right now, there is a picture being painted in the Southern Baptist Convention. The canvas consists of the future of the SBC. Many pastors and other leaders are taking their turns with their broad brushes. The colors being used are dark and ominous. It is a sad picture, reflecting pain and disunity. Thankfully, it does not represent reality and I do not believe anyone will ever buy the piece.
First, an introduction. I am a follower of Christ. I am a Southern Baptist. I am a husband. I am 26 years old. I am, by any definition provided by the founders of the Southern Baptist Convention, a Calvinist. I am a student who will, Lord willing, be entering graduate studies in just a few months. I am called to the pastorate. To some degree, I represent the future of the SBC.
My heart is breaking over the current words of many SBC pastors and leaders. Certain blogs and other internet sites are painting a picture that there is a rising group of young Calvinists who are refusing to cooperate or do ministry with anyone who disagrees with them. The term assigned to this group of future SBC leaders and laypeople is “New Calvinism.”
I do not know anyone who fits the characteristics of these “New Calvinists.” The common charges include: forceful in their theological positions, refusing to partner with those who theologically differ, lying about their theological positions to sneak into ministry positions.
The young Calvinists in the SBC are no doubt legion, but they are not dictatorial, forceful, and sneaky. They love the Gospel, they love the Church, they love Christ! When I survey the young Southern Baptist Calvinists I have seen, I see the work of God in a fallen people. I see a generation yearning for unity under truth and the Gospel. I see young people who truly know grace. This is all because of a God who saves to the uttermost.
It is my hope that the thousands who stumble upon the dark and disturbing picture being painted by misguided pastors and leaders will have discernment to know the painting does not reflect reality. A painting that would accurately represent the future of the SBC would have bright vibrant colors, interwoven to represent unity. It would contain Christ high and lifted up at the center and coming down from the top would be a new city, a new Kingdom. By God’s providence, this is the future of the Southern Baptist Convention. A time when the people of God usher in the new Kingdom of God by the power of the Spirit of God for the glory of God. There is a picture being painted. Which one will you set your eyes on?