Sunday, April 20, 2008

Ascol's "real deal"

Tom Ascol comments on his blog:

'This is not a Calvinism issue. It is a salvation issue. If you are content to preach a "Gospel" that apparently only converts at a 25-35% rate of "professions," you can have it. I want the real deal, and I believe that most serious, thinking Southern Baptist pastors do, too.'

Ascol's comment is based on the Flounders' "numbers game" being used in regard to the Southern Baptist Convention's statistics. Where is the "real deal" in this regard? Does Ascol know who is saved and who is lost, based on "attendance"?

The fact is, according to the Parable of the Sower, 25% would be an acceptable percentage of converts where even the pure Word of God is preached (see Luke 8:4-18).

Also, although Jesus had thousands often attending His ministry, after three years only 120 showed up on Pentecost (Acts 1). Was something wrong in Jesus' preaching which accounts for this comparatively small number?

Paul seemingly had a great response to his preaching in Galatia, but he later expressed some strong reservations about the spiritual status of these professors (Galatians 1:6, 7; 3:1-5; 4:8-20). He said, "I am afraid of you," "I stand in doubt of you." Was this Galatian circumstance due to a fault in Paul's preaching and methods?

Furthermore, since when is "church attendance" the measure of who is born again and who is not born again? If non-attendance implies these people are lost, does attendance imply that those attendees are indeed saved?

Do all of those who are still alive, who ever joined Ascol's church, still attend church services? If not, has he followed up on all of the missing ones and found some of them to be unsaved? If he has had such cases to join and drop out of attending, does this mean there was something wrong with Ascol's Gospel?

Also, is non-attendance of Sunday services the "test"? What about those who do not attend other mid-week services or special services at other times? Are they saved, despite not attending except on Sunday? What is their spiritual condition?

No doubt, there are names on the rolls of all churches which should not be there, but neither the SBC nor the "messengers" to the annual convention have any power to either dictate to or intimidate a local church in regard to how it regulates its membership roll.

Let Ascol and his church mend their own fences, and respect the rights of other churches to do the same.

As for Ascol's "Calvinism" remark, I could cite a number of "Calvinist" churches which not only have had some "joiners" who failed to faithfully attend, but the churches themselves have even ceased to exist! There have been at least six to ten such "Calvinist" churches within a range of 30 miles or so from where I am sitting.

And whatever became of that church in North Pompano, Florida which Ernest Reisinger claims to have "reformed"?


At Wednesday, April 23, 2008 2:14:00 PM, Anonymous Fred said...

Tom Ascol has always been more concerned with converting Southern Baptists to Calvinism than evangelizing the lost. This is just more proof of it.

I enjoy your blog.


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