While Louisiana College burns, another Louisiana pastor is calling for cooperation and unity around the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 (BFM2000). Sadly, to my knowledge, only two Louisiana pastors (David Crosby, Jim Law) have publicly spoken to the issues at Louisiana College (LC) since the non-renewals of three professors by Dr. Joe Aguillard and the LC administration. To this day, our Louisiana Baptist Convention Executive Director Dr. David Hankins has not publicly called for cooperation and unity of Calvinists and non-Calvinists since Dr. Joe Aguillard personally condemned Calvinism as something outside of the BFM2000.
Dr. Jim Law, Pastor of First Baptist Church Gonzales, has recently posted an article on his blog titled, “There is No Time for That!” ~ Thoughts on the present Calvinism Conversation at Louisiana College and the Louisiana Baptist Convention.
Regarding cooperation in the Louisiana Baptist Convention (LBC) under the BFM2000, Law writes:
The present situation in the LBC has given me pause to think through some concerns. Specifically, beyond the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, what parameters or litmus tests’ are we requiring for those who would serve in the LBC work?
For our convention to take a position that excludes those who hold to a reformed/Calvinistic soteriology from positions of service at the college, and on our boards and agencies, is to take a step away from our historical, theological roots. As Baptists, we have never been monolithic on this issue, and yet have chosen to work together in the task of obeying the Great Commission.
…To disqualify a brother or sister in Christ from serving in our convention because of reformed/Calvinistic convictions would be in defiance to our history. Furthermore, to exercise such action would eliminate a large number of influential and prominent Baptist family members from the past and in the present.
Dr. David Crosby, pastor of First Baptist Church of New Orleans, articulated my deepest concerns in a recent online post, “I think most Baptists are satisfied that we have drawn the lines sufficiently tight in defining our fellowship theologically. If we tighten them much more, we will surely throttle down the Cooperative Program even further, disaffect thousands of members in our churches and even churches themselves, and likely hang ourselves with our own rope.”
Read full article here
Louisiana Baptists need more leaders like Drs. David Crosby and Jim Law who will boldly call for peace and cooperation in our state convention and Baptist state college. Louisiana Baptists need Louisiana Baptist Convention leaders who will boldly stand and call for such cooperation. The fear and loathing of all things controversial must end and those who desire cooperation and unity in our state convention must act now while there is still time to act.
I call again on Dr. David Hankins to publicly call for peace and cooperation between Louisiana Baptist Calvinists and non-Calvinists in all areas of LBC life. Our state convention and Baptist college need not be torn apart by this issue.
Dr. Hankins, please speak out and call for cooperation now. This is no time to remain silent.