Pray For Tom AscolITEM #1: The Lord hates "a lying tongue" and "one who sows discord among brothers" (Prov. 6:17-19) (I'm using the ESV since it apparently is the only Bible version that extreme Calvinists understand).
ITEM #2: Rather than promote openness and honesty among its supporters, Founders Ministries (yes, they actually call it a ministry) encourages pastors in non-Calvinist churches to "avoid terms such as Calvinism, reformed, doctrines of grace, particular redemption, etc."
ITEM #3: Bill Harrell, a former chairman of the SBC Executive Committee, has commented:
Over the last couple of years I have been casually compiling a list of churches which have been bothered, disrupted and split by [the attempt to "reform" non-Calvinist Southern Baptist churches to Calvinism]. This list continues to grow as I become aware of such churches through conversations with others. The stories are all basically the same and they are tragic. .... it is tragic what happens to a church body when a pastor uses the above mentioned process to try to change a church’s theological orientation from non-Calvinist to Calvinist and the people needlessly and unnecessarily suffer great trauma.ITEM #4: Many extreme Calvinist pastors who are friendly with Founders Ministries (yes, they actually call it a ministry) have disrupted churches all over the Southern Baptist Convention to the point where many of these churches have split or lost significant members.
ITEM #5: In 2008 the Lord struck Tom Ascol with a lightning bolt prompting The Calvinist Flyswatter to solicit prayers for him.
ITEM #6: A review of the Founders blog shows that after his "lightning rod" experience, Tom significantly cut down on his blogging. By stopping his own blogging he also stopped a lot of the "trash talk" of SBC leaders that were frequently the subject of comments on his blog.
Only the uninformed or the foolish would dispute items 1 through 6.
An unanswered question is, why did the Lord strike Tom down with a bolt of lightning? Was it because the Lord got tired of Tom's promotion of lies and discord among brethren? Did Tom finally see the light (pun intended), realize the discord he was causing and attempt to lessen the trash talk that so frequently filled his blog?
If so, then we need to pray fervently for Tom because he's at it again!
As Flyswatter readers know, an autonomous Kentucky Southern Baptist association recently refused to associate with a church. This church was one with extreme Calvinist Reformed theology such as the heresy that one must be born again before he can believe on Jesus for salvation. I had high hopes that Tom would let this go but no, he lapsed back into his old ways of stirring up trouble among the brethren. In other words, the old Tom Ascol is back!
Look out Tom! Remember the Lord sees and hears all!
Readers, again, I urge you to pray for Tom Ascol!
One final note: I hope Tom realizes that it's better to be hit with a literal bolt of lightning that to be hit with the White Lightning heresy of regeneration before faith! As you pray for Tom, pray that the Lord will open his eyes to the truth of God's Word regarding the new birth.