Friday, October 28, 2011
News: Baptists Turn Away Church for Being "Too Calvinistic"
News out of Owensboro, KY, reports that the Daviess-McLean Baptist Association has refused membership (by a lopsided vote of 104-9) to the Pleasant Valley Community Church. The story can be read on the Associated Baptist Press website. And the church's website can be seen here.
I especially want to bring to your attention the statement of the Association's credentials committee: "Our concern in the initial stages of our investigation revolved around the fact that Pleasant Valley Community Church’s confessional statement is one that (is) Calvinistic in nature. It affirms the doctrine of election and grace." This is a stunning expression of ignorance, considering the Calvinistic roots of the Baptist churches. The London Confession of Faith (1689), a Baptist adaptation of the Westminster Confession, says in Article 3, "God has decreed in Himself from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely and unchangeably, all things which shall ever come to pass," which is quoted almost word-for-word in the objected portion of PVCC's statement of faith (60 pages?!?). The Confession continues, "By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated or foreordained to eternal life through Jesus Christ, to the praise of His glorious grace. Others are left to act in their sin to their just condemnation, to the praise of His glorious justice."
Thus we can see that Calvinism is well-entrenched in Baptist roots. Doesn't this mean that the Association is aberrant, not Pleasant Valley? Consider this article on the tradition of Calvinism among Southern Baptists. And I chose the picture at the top for one very good reason: Charles Haddon Spurgeon, perhaps the greatest preacher in the English language, was both a Baptist and an unapologetic Calvinist!