Is There a Reformed Conspiracy to Take Over the SBC?

The following is a comment I left at SBC Voices concerning an article, titled, “Is There a Reformed Conspiracy to Take Over the SBC?” The article can be read by clicking HERE.

For the record, there is no Reformed conspiracy to take over the SBC. You are correct. A conspiracy would involve a “secretive” effort. Calvinists are way past that point and are successfully extending their reach farther and farther into SBC Life. There is a marked difference in the Convention and the entities. You are correct in your statement that the SBC is an annual meeting of messengers who vote to do or not to do certain things.

The entities of the SBC are entirely different. The trustees make decisions that determine the direction of the various entities. The trustees of NAMB elected the new President. They voted “sweeping changes” of NAMB in Feb 2011. The same thing is true of the seminaries. Trustees are responsible for the leadership and direction of the entity they are charged to oversee. Same for Lifeway. Trustee appointments are crucial to the overall health of the convention because the entities are kind of like a rudder on a ship. It may be one of the smallest parts of a ship, but it is the most important part when it comes to navigating the direction of the ship.

While I do not claim any conspiracy theories, there has been a definite effort to get key people in key positions in the various entities to give the Reformed Platform the visibility it needs to prosper and the viability it needs to persevere. To try to argue against this is ludicrous. Here is an excellent article that speaks to the positioning of key people in the seminaries, NAMB and Lifeway that are clearly and carefully charting the course for a Calvinistic led SBC. The article is titled, “Calvinism in the Southern Baptist Convention: Code RED” Most of you know I wrote the article.

Anyone who understands how the SBC works understands that those who control the entities eventually directs the future of the convention. Like it or not, it is the way it is. The Reformed minority has managed to gain control of the entities and that is reality. They have done a masterful job in accomplishing so much with so little attention on what they have done.

The article can be read by clicking HERE.
http://sbcissues.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/is-there-a-reformed-conspiracy-to-take-over-the-sbc

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9 responses to this post.

  1. Bob,

    Thanks for both the comment there and the reposting here. The article you linked is little more than a collection of unsubstantiated assertions trying to convince readers realty corresponds to the author’s assertions. Not one single example…not one single quote…not one single action…not one single post or publication did the author offer the readers to prove his theory concerning conspiracy theories. Rather readers are expected to take his word for it that what he is saying is so. In addition, the entire piece clearly attempts to make those offering any evidence of aggressive Calvinism into wacko nut-jobs.

    Also, what the author proposes he proposes ignores other viable alternatives to describe those whom he criticizes. In other words, Miller makes “conspiracy theory” the only explanation for those he criticizes. But why just “conspiracy theory”? Why not good old fashioned politics? Would not denominational politics characterize many of the maneuvers which gain the attention of non-Calvinists? If so, why would criticizing denominational politics be equated with conspiracy theory? The truth is Miller gives those whom he criticizes (whomever those are because he is much to vague to actually know) no benefit of doubt whatsoever. They are conspiracy theorists hands down, and they need to become moderate, fair and rational like he is. At least that’s the impression I get.

    Following this, I thought it interesting that the author did not acknowledge one single, moment when his so-called “conspiracy theorists” got anything close to right. They flat out missed everything. Not a single piece of concern they raised drew any sympathy that they possibly had a point. In fact the characterization he gave toward the phantoms he criticized is not pretty. According to Miller, they rely on and create a culture of suspicion, innuendo, accusation and distrust thereby becoming both divisive and dangerous.

    Nor as you and others have rightly pointed out do those of us who lament aggressive Calvinism in the SBC ride the wave conspiracy theory to get our point across. We routinely offer tangible evidence to substantiate our concerns, evidence anyone can check for themselves. We link to sources and provide for people an opportunity to reason it our for themselves, something I must point out many bloggers fail to do. When we mentioned Al Mohler’s scarey remarks about “Reformed” theology being the only viable theological alternative for young pastors, we posted the video so people could watch, listen make up their own minds as to whether or not we had a valid point of concern. And, while it was an edited version of video (no use posting 15 mins when 3 mins would do), we also posted a link to the full version lest some say we “doctored” the video but hid the “real” video (in fact we actually were accused of “doctoring” the video by one Calvinist contributor to SBC Voices blog). In other words, we tried to be open and frank about our reasoning, offering others the same date we used to come to our conclusion. They are welcome to dissent or to agree.

    More importantly, we deal almost exclusively with public information anybody can get. We don’t rely on “secret” knowledge which hardly no one knows which, from what I can tell, seems to be intrinsic to the idea of conspiracy. Indeed it’s no secret Founders Ministries explicitly states their goal to reform the SBC. Yet when this is mentioned, most of those who like to fling the “conspiracy theory” mantra toward those whom they criticize yawn and turn their head.

    On final thing: the author of the post you link seems overly confident in his credentials to speak authoritatively about the subject of his post–conspiracy theory. In fact it looks like the entire first half of his post was written after quickly scanning a wikipedia-like article on “conspiracy theory.” Even so, Miller appears to speak with an unusual air of authority on “conspiracy theory”: “A conspiracy theory is…The elements of a conspiracy theory are…To posit a conspiracy, you have to answer these questions yes…” The way the author comes across, one would think he had accomplished a measure of expertise in identifying conspiracy theories. How do we know Miller knows what he’s talking about? How can we be sure he can rightly distinguish between those who are genuinely operating on a “conspiracy theory” basis and those who see an unusual amount of unhealthy denominational politics being pursued?

    Well, we don’t. The author doesn’t give us the first clue he is in a position to accurately and legitimately make these distinctions. He never once linked to a reputable source to sustain his exposition of what theories are, the elements always present in a conspiracy theory, or why answering “yes” to all the questions he posed was key in “positing a conspiracy” or for that matter whether the questions were the right questions to ask.

    More significantly, Miller never informs us why there’s no reasonable basis for concluding those whom he criticizes are not conspiracy theorists; rather they are concerned Southern Baptists who see unhealthy political maneuvering taking place in convention life and consequently raise awareness toward the issue upon each occasion they observe by pointing out the visible evidence. Upon what reputable basis does Miller conclude the one and not the other? We don’t know because he offered absolutely no examples, quotes, posts, engagement, accusations, nor any piece of tangible evidence to substantiate his claim. Now, if Miller is an accomplished expert in the field of conspiracy theory, and therefore expected to know what constitutes conspiracy theory; what elements are necessary to substantiate a charge of conspiracy theory; what the non-negotiable questions are to which people must answer “yes” to make “conspiracy theory” stick; and especially how to legitimately distinguish between those who posit conspiracy theory and those who observe unhealthy political maneuvering, then Miller needs to inform us of his credentials as an expert in conspiracy theory. We’ll be glad to consider them.

    Nor will it do any good for him to claim “I never said I was an expert.” Granted. He didn’t. But he used the language of an expert apart from the least citation of an expert–“A conspiracy theory is…The elements of a conspiracy theory are…To posit a conspiracy, you have to answer these questions yes…” Hence, if one is going to make the accusation that “non-Calvinists need to stop positing conspiracy theories” like our brother Dave repeatedly did, in one form or another, in the post you linked, and given the extremely negative connotations toward those people believe are “conspiracy theorists” including being a genuine wacko-nut-job, one really needs his or her accusation to be reputably substantiated.

    Unfortunately for the author’s post you linked, Bob, it fairly well reduces to one, long assertion without proof. In short, the post is mostly rhetoric worked up in the author’s mind and corresponds not to facts and sources we may check but to purely subjective opinions the author developed.

    Thanks, brother for allowing me to post this long tome here.

    With that, I am…
    Peter

    Reply

    • What is wrong with conspiracy theory?

      Psa 2:1-4 KJV
      (1) Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
      (2) The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,
      (3) Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
      (4) He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.

      Conspiracy theory is entirely biblical. Conspiracies do exist, and Jesus was killed by those who conspired together against him.

      Reply

    • By the way, David also was a conspiracy theorist…

      1Sa 20:1-2 KJV
      (1) And David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said before Jonathan, What have I done? what is mine iniquity? and what is my sin before thy father, that he seeketh my life?
      (2) And he said unto him, God forbid; thou shalt not die: behold, my father will do nothing either great or small, but that he will shew it me: and why should my father hide this thing from me? it is not so.

      If anyone is unfamiliar with this story, they can read can read the rest to find out who was right: David the conspiracy theorist, or Jonathan the skeptic.

      Reply

  2. Thanks Peter. Your insight and input are always appreciated.

    Personally, I like “agenda” as opposed to “conspiracy. ”

    I did not write the article in question and simply copied the title give by its author.

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    Reply

  3. I take my boys to a medium sized SBC church near our home on Wednesday nights. All of the church leaders are Calvinists (Reformed Baptists) but are not open about it. They teach using “code words” that I do recognize from my studies in theology but the average Baptist would not pick up on. They consistently use quotes from various Reformed guys including John Piper, John MacArthur, David Platt, and many more. I don’t appreciate how “secret” they are about their reformed Calvinism and would rather they admit to the church that they are moving the church toward being a reformed Baptist church. The problem is that they would lose many folks if they did.

    Reply

  4. Posted by wingedfooted1 on February 5, 2012 at 12:31 am

    Seeking Disciple, Bob, and others….

    I pretty much experienced the exact same thing. I was visiting a very small non-denominational church in a small town when a new pastor took over. This pastor and his entourage were from a much larger reformed church from a nearby larger city. The new regime didn’t openly discuss their beliefs and deliberately concealed them from the congregation. However, the study material was clearly calvinistic with quotes coming from Augustine, Luther, Piper and others. One Sunday morning the entire sermon was dedicated to Martin Luther. We never even opened the word of God. It took a while, but eventually the name of John Calvin was mentioned from the pulpit. When I approached the original members and told them what the new leaders really believed, they couldn’t believe it. And basically refused to believe it.

    Led by the Holy Spirit, I eventually moved on.

    God bless.

    wingedfooted1

    Reply

  5. I experienced the opposite thing some years ago. I was at a SBC church that was what I would call moderately Calvinistic. The church called a new pastor who did not inform the church that he was a semi-Pelagian if not a full Pelagian. His previously hidden horrible theology soon began to show itself, caused much division and ultimately led to a church split. I had moved on before it got to that point.

    Reply

  6. Posted by Judy on May 9, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    If the calvanist theology is the truth…Why do they have to sneak their views into the Baptist Church…think about it people….You need to know what you stand for…Or you will fall for any thing…

    Reply

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