As a pastor, it seems 1-2 times per month the Bible itself forces me to confront the theology of man in Calvinism verses the free will doctrine as I prepare each weeks sermon. I do not seek this confrontation, but when going through the Bible, this fight is forced upon me.
I have looked for some good podcasts and websites regarding the debate for a couple of years and never really found one. I signed up for the 316 group a year or so ago and then just kind of moved along as life and the Bible dictated. Always being drawn into battle, whether I wanted to or not.
This morning, while listening to a podcast and contemplating the well-known names vying for leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention, I am forced again to think of the Traditional vs Calvinism debate. While I do not want to rent a barge and ship all the Calvinists to Australia, I also do not want them leading the SBC and having their hand on the rudder, possibly impacting missions and evangelism. The souls of the lost matter because theology matters.
The focal point for me in leadership of the convention is the Calvinism vs Traditional debate. The ramifications of Reformed Theology being in positions of leadership reach well beyond the church a pastor leads. If a pastor of an individual church is Calvinist, it impacts that church, those members, and the community they live in, which is still pretty impactful any way you look at it.
Leading the convention as a Calvinist can impact every facet of the combined efforts of all Southern Baptists. Calvinist leadership can impact missions, giving, seminaries, and so much more that Traditionalists arranged for a group of combined individual churches. It is not that a single Calvinist can turn the ship, but if over time, Calvinists can come in and gain more seats on committees, then over time the ship will turn. This is why I take the potential of a Calvinist in leadership as something worth fighting.
I found a new podcast as I struggle in this battle, which is linked to this website:
Theology matters. Theology impacts our churches, believers, and our communities. Theology matters when we decide to open our mouth and share the gospel or not. Theology matters when we see the lost.
Theology matters more than a weak-brained individual like I can fully explain and this is why Jesus spoke about it so often. The Bible is our platform, as Christians it is incumbent upon us to learn it and live it. When we do, we discover theology matters. When Jesus spoke to the Pharisees and Scribes and Sadducees, he was correcting their thinking because, theology matters.