Flounders discover the commission?AT LONG LAST, HAVE THE FLOUNDERS
DISCOVERED THE COMMISSION?
On his October 28, 2008 blog, Timmy Brister, Assistant to Flounders' chief, Tom Ascol, wrote:
"On July 13,Tom Ascol shared with the church the evidence from Scripture (in particular the book of Acts) that a church cannot fulfill the Great Commission apart from being a church planting church."
If this statement is valid, it raises a disturbing question about Flounders' Friendly churches -- including the base church in Cape Coral, Florida -- and that is, since the beginning of the Flounders' movement, how many of their churches actually qualify as "fulfilling the Great Commission"?
To my knowledge, the Flounders' base church in Cape Coral has never planted another church. In fact, planting churches was not even mentioned in the original "purpose" of the Flounders movement which got its start under the leadership of Ernest Reisinger. The movement majored on conferences, promotion of the "doctrines of grace," propaganda about "recovering the Gospel," and "reforming" existing churches to "Reformed" Pedobaptist theology and ecclesiology.
Since we have been emphasizing the fact that neither the Flounders nor other "Reformed" Baptist churches have a significant track record of evangelism and the establishing of churches, -- and that churches cannot merely depend upon proselyting "Arminians" to "Calvinism" to survive and flourish -- there has seemingly been a very considerable change of emphasis in some Flounders' activities and writings.
They are increasingly talking, frequently conferring, and elaborately writing about "church planting" and "missional lifestyle" matters. One can research the history of the Flounders back to the origin in 1982 when Ernest Reisinger and several of his proteges among the Southern Baptists -- Fred Malone, Tom Nettles, Ben Mitchell, Bill Ascol and Tom Ascol, R. F. Gates -- met together at a motel in Euless, Texas and planned a "Conference" to be held in Memphis (A Quiet Revolution, pages 56-57), and there has been little to no "church planting" emphasized -- and no statistics reported.
After all these years, they are finally at least talking about planting churches. Perhaps they have at last "discovered" the Great Commission and are taking their first steps toward trying to participate in its fulfillment. Perhaps they are coming to the realization that the Commission is about winning lost souls, not about "reforming" (or splitting) alleged "Arminian" and "Pelagian" churches and turning them into Hybrid Calvinist "Reformed" Pedobaptist-like churches.