Wednesday, June 20, 2007

"Floundering" In Florida


Bob to Charles:

Tom Ascol of the "Flounders" is now promoting a special "project" to spread Hybrid Calvinism in Florida via a DVD.

On his blog, he is asking for only $20,000 -- not for spreading the Gospel in an effort to seek the lost "elect" souls in Florida -- but rather to spread Hybrid Calvinism to all the Southern Baptist Pastors in the Florida Baptist Convention.

Tom writes:

"I have made a special arrangement with the producers of the Amazing Grace DVD to secure and distribute copies of this tool . . . more than 4 hours of professionally produced interviews, quotes and explanations of the issues surrounding the doctrines of grace. Among those interviewed are Dr. Tom Nettles . . .
It will only cost $20,000 to get a copy of this powerful presentation into the hands of every Southern Baptist pastor in Florida".

As if Hybrid Tom Nettles is not enough, there are also five "baby regenerationist" Presbyterians, including R. C. Sproul and R. C. Sproul Jr., who are among the 12 men who are on the DVD, promoting the "born again before faith" Hybrid Calvinism.

I wonder if Tom Ascol has ever led a "special" $20,000 project in an effort to reach the lost souls in his own church's area?

Is it the case, Charles, that the "Flounders" leader is more zealous to make an effort to convert professing Christians to Hybrid Calvinism than to convert lost souls to Christ?

This appears to be consistent in spirit with the clandestine-like "reformation" idea promoted by Ernest Reisinger wherein Hybrid Calvinist preachers manage to get into churches as pastors and become more engaged in the effort to "reform" the "Arminian" membership by infiltrating the church with Hybrid Calvinism than they are engaged in evangelizing to reach the lost "elect."

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Ascol Announces A "Calvinism" Conference

Brother Bob Ross questions whether Tom Ascol is really holding a "Calvinism" conference.

Click here to discover the difference between real, creedal Calvinism and the hybrid/hyper/neo/extreme "Calvinism" of Tom Ascol and the "Flounders."


Bob to Charles:

Tom Ascol has announced on his blog a Calvinism Conference for Southern Baptists in November.
He says:

A conference on Southern Baptists and Calvinism
Today at the Founders Breakfast in San Antonio, I announced an upcoming conference on "Building Bridges: Southern Baptists and Calvinism." The conference is being jointly sponsored by Founders Ministries and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. It is scheduled for November 26-28 at Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina. . . .

The purpose of this conference is to bring together Southern Baptists of various theological commitments in order to hear pointed presentations and dialogue about what is arguably the most important theological movement among us today.

What are the chances, Charles, that a Creedal Calvinist who has a "theological commitment" which opposes Hybrid Calvinism with its "born again before faith" theory will be invited to make a "pointed presentation and dialogue" on this issue?


WARNING! Spurgeon Abuse from Tom Ascol and Roy Hargrave!

If it were not for Brother Bob Ross, Tom Ascol and his "Flounder Friends" would completely remake Spurgeon in their own inept image. Brother Bob has found another example of "Spurgeon abuse" to share with Flyswatter readers.

On many occasions The Flyswatter has found fault with the reporting of Baptist history by Tom and his friends, especially in regards to Spurgeon. Also, I have asked whether Brother Tom should be awarded the title of The King of Hypocrisy. Anyone can make mistakes but the sheer number of errors coming from Brother Tom and his Flounder Friends seems to be more than mere ignorance.



Bob to Charles:

It appears that there has recently been a fresh outbreak of "Hybriditis" in Florida, Charles. Tom Ascol has featured it on his blog, and Pastor Roy Hargrave of Ormond Beach, Florida (where Scott Morgan used to roost), has entered the fray with what amounts to a small "book."

Hargrave seems to be of the anti-public invitation variety of "Reformed" preachers inasmuch as he has fallen into the common Hybrid Calvinist malpractice of trying to enlist C. H. Spurgeon on his side.

Hargrave alleges that "Spurgeon explicitly warned against such practices as the altar call."

This only demonstrates Hargrave's lack of knowledge about Spurgeon, or is he deliberately misusing Spurgeon? What Hargrave presents in his article does not properly represent Spurgeon at all.

As you know, we have several times vindicated Spurgeon of such abuse by Hybrid Calvinists both here and to our own email list, as well on our website:

Some of my articles are also available at this website:

Spurgeon advised his students that "we must give the invitation," and one of the methods was to "hold numerous inquirers meetings" (Lectures to My Students, pages 186, 187, 190). Spurgeon used the Enquiry Room method, and so did the Evangelists he sponsored in the Tabernacle Evangelistic Association. Spurgeon also commended the methods used by Evangelist D. L. Moody, and had Moody hold services at the Tabernacle. Spurgeon also used the "Sinner's Prayer" method seeking a profession of faith

These are items of information you never get from the Hybrid Calvinist anti-public invitation camp.

Tom Ascol is loud for what he calls "integrity," but do you know, Charles, that despite my refutation of quite a number of Hybrid Calvinists who have vainly tried to enlist Spurgeon for their cause against invitations, not a single one of them has demonstrated enough integrity to admit that they have not properly represented Spurgeon. So much for the "integrity" of such Hybrid Calvinists.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Would Founders' Founder Agree with Tom Ascol's Resolution?

If Ernest Reisinger, the Founder of Founders Ministries (yes, they really believe what they are doing is a ministry), were alive, would he agree with Tom Ascol's proposed Resolution? Doesn't look like it.

Many thanks to Brother Bob Ross.


Bob to Charles:

As you are aware, Charles, the SBC is meeting next week and Tom Ascol is poised to make a pitch once again for his Resolution on Integrity in Church Membership.

One of the items I do not find prominently emphasized in Ascol's Resolution has to be with the importance of "follow-up" on those who are new professors of faith. His resolution seems primarily directed at scaling down the number on the church roll due to a lack of church attendance.

But to you know, Charles, that ERNEST REISINGER, the Founder of the "Flounders," apparently was somewhat "fatalistic" about doing "follow-up" on those who profess faith? Doing "follow-up" evidently was not a part of Reisinger's "revolution."

This is the approach advocated in the Founders Press book, A QUIET REVOLUTION, wherein Reisinger actually alleges that "follow-up" on new converts is "not necessary." He says:

"In God-centered evangelism, follow-up of believers is not necessary -- the sinner willingly becomes a follower . . . to do what everyone who is born again will want to do and will do without calling them every week to remind them and coerce them to worship and serve the Lord in his church" (page 81, A QUIET REVOLUTION).

So -- just as the "Reformed" theory on regeneration dispenses with the necessary use of "means" as an instrumentality used by the Spirit in "regeneration," the Founder of "Flounderism" likewise dispenses with the necessary use of "means" in "follow-up" on new believers.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Wade Burleson Refuted

Chadwick Ivester has refuted Wade Burleson's Jimmy Carter love fest with logic and humor. See Bat Man Says: “Wade Burleson, Please Stop Diggin’”

He also asks some pointed questions about Burleson in Wade Burleson: A Modern-Day E.Y. Mullins?

Not bad.


Friday, June 01, 2007

SBC Pres Frank Page Warns of Jimmy Carter's "Celebration"

Southern Baptist President Frank Page has now given a harsh rebuke regarding ex-USA President Jimmy Carter's Baptist "Celebration."

Page's rebuke comes a few days after The Calvinist Flyswatter published Brother Bob Ross' exposé of the event.

In my opinion, by rebuking Carter, Frank Page has also by extension rebuked Pastor Wade Burleson who was a big supporter of Page's candidacy for President.

Regarding Burleson's overtures to Carter, I said on May 24th,
Burleson's agenda, in my opinion, is to oppose Paige Patterson in all that he does. If Burleson has to team up with Tom Ascol to do it, so be it. Jimmy Carter? No problem. It seems to me that as long as someone is opposed to Paige Patterson, then they are a friend of Wade B.


Page responds to Carter:
By Will Hall
May 30, 2007

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Southern Baptist Convention President Frank Page has called on organizers of a planned January 2008 gathering of moderates and liberals to focus less on their plan to "take the microphone away" from conservatives and attend more to spreading the message of the Gospel.

Page's response May 25 comes about a week after former U.S. president and former Southern Baptist Jimmy Carter made a pitch to Southern Baptists to attend the New Baptist Covenant he is organizing with Bill Underwood, president of Mercer University. Bill Clinton, also a former U.S. president with Southern Baptist ties, has described himself as a "cheerleader" for the event. Clinton's wife, Hillary, a U.S. senator from New York, is a leading contender for the Democrats' 2008 presidential nomination.

Carter invoked Page's name May 17, saying the SBC leader "has not been negative" in discussions about the gathering. According to one media report, Carter claimed to have spoken twice to Page about the planned conference and that Page did not express any reservations about it.

Page said Southern Baptists "were not invited to be a part of the initial meetings of this group." He also responded strongly to the political overtones surrounding the meeting.

"I will not be a part of any smokescreen leftwing liberal agenda that seeks to deny the greatest need in our world, that being that the lost be shown the way to eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord," Page said in a statement.

Page's public denouncement of what has been dubbed the "Clinton-Carter confab" was preceded by several days by the sudden withdrawal of former Arkansas governor and current Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, a Southern Baptist and former pastor. Carter had touted Huckabee's participation as lending credibility to the meeting.

Huckabee indicated he had given tentative agreement to attend as long as the program was a celebration of faith and not a political convocation.

Speaking to the Florida Baptist Witness May 21, Huckabee cited the involvement of the "very, very liberal" Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children's Defense Fund, as evidence of the political leanings of the gathering.

Huckabee pointed to harsh comments Carter made May 19 against President Bush as adding to his concern that his appearance would be "giving approval to what could be a political, rather than spiritual agenda." During a promotional event for his new audiobook series, "Sunday Mornings in Plains," a collection of Bible lessons from Plains, Ga., his hometown, Carter blasted Bush's foreign policy, his "pre-emptive war," the administration's efforts on peace in the Middle East and nuclear arms, and the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. The Associated Press reported Carter as saying "this administration has been the worst in history" in its impact on the nation's standing with other countries.

Page rebuked criticisms by New Baptist Covenant organizers aimed at the Southern Baptist Convention. Carter and Clinton have used terms like "negative" and "exclusionary," and Underwood has said there is a need for "a true Baptist witness." Defending the SBC, Page pointed to Southern Baptists' national ministry efforts aimed at meeting social needs but not to the exclusion of evangelism.

"Since 1974, Southern Baptists have given over $220 million -- almost one quarter of one billion dollars -- to domestic and overseas hunger relief," Page said. "Last year in the U.S. alone, the Gospel was shared with 650,000 people and 30,000 made professions of faith because of hunger ministries.

"The Christian Women's Job Corps program combines job training to meet practical needs with spiritual training to meet eternal needs," he said, adding that both President Bush and former Vice President Al Gore have described the CWJC program as the best "at lifting women out of government dependency and helping them to become self-supporting, wage earners.

"During the past 15 years, [Southern Baptists] have rehabilitated over 11,000 homes, mostly in inner-city areas," Page said.

Page also pointed to the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief organization, which is the third-largest in the United States.

"The SBC has 74,000 trained volunteers and more than 900 mobile units ... [and] the Red Cross stated Southern Baptist volunteers served 90 percent of the meals at Red Cross disaster relief sites during Hurricane Katrina relief efforts," he noted.

For Southern Baptists, the mark of their ministries is spiritual, Page said.

"Unlike those who focus only on the social good of ministry, we give a man a loaf of bread and also introduce Christ as the Bread of Life," he said, emphasizing that statistics alone do not show the extent of ministry by local churches "across racial, denominational and cultural barriers" to share the Gospel and minister to those in need "with no strings attached."

The list of New Baptist Covenant participants includes a number who have been the harshest critics of the conservative movement in the SBC that has seen Southern Baptists elect conservative leaders consecutively since 1979.

The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, whose moderate and liberal constituency fled the SBC to form an alternative fellowship in 1990, is listed as an organizer. The event is being formed under the umbrella of the North American Baptist Fellowship, a division of the Baptist World Alliance, an organization the SBC left over concerns about its liberal leanings and antagonism toward Southern Baptist missions and ministries.

Also included among the notables attending is Tony Campolo, a pastor, writer and professor popular among the left, who has described Southern Baptists' belief that Scripture limits the role of pastor to men as "evidence of demonic influence."

Other participants with not-so-friendly SBC ties include Al Gore, Democrat insider-turned-journalist Bill Moyers, and Julie Pennington-Russell, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Waco, Texas.

Although Carter, Clinton and Underwood do not appear to have convinced SBC entity leaders to participate, they also have made overtures to four SBC pastors identified with blogging. Underwood and Carter met May 17 with Marty Duren, pastor of New Bethany Baptist Church in Buford, Ga.; Wade Burleson, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Okla.; Ben Cole, pastor of Parkview Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas; and C.B. Scott, pastor of Westmont Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala.

Duren is essentially the founder of a close-knit network of bloggers who maintain an ongoing exchange about issues relating to the SBC. Burleson was drawn into national controversy after blogging his dissent as a trustee about policies adopted by the SBC's International Mission Board that disqualify missionary candidates based on baptism experiences and speaking in tongues practices described as not consistent with the Baptist identity.

Cole has been a vocal critic of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Paige Patterson, most recently over his firing of a female professor because she was teaching men preparing to be pastors. Scott began his blog in May 2006.

The outcome of the May 17 meeting is not clear. Participation by the four likely will not increase participation by Southern Baptist laity or pastors, but it indicates Carter and Underwood are targeting at least a segment of Southern Baptists.

Page, in an apparent reference to the New Baptist Covenant themes of "Justice," the "Poor," "Diversity," the "Stranger," the "Captive" and the "Broken Hearted," took issue with the groups' focus on social ministry and lack of evangelical emphasis.

"To be 'a true Baptist witness,' any group must see the winning of souls to Christ as the cohesive factor in our fellowship," Page said. "I pray that the Covenant Partners will truly seek to promote a biblical mandate. I hope that they will encourage all those who are not at the meeting to do the same."


Will Hall is executive editor of Baptist Press, a national news service supported by contributions from Southern Baptist churches through the Cooperative Program.

The full text of Page's statement follows:

Press Release

Southern Baptist Convention
Statement of the President
Frank Page
on the New Baptist Covenant gathering


TAYLORS, S.C., May 25, 2007—“A recent announcement outlined next January's New Baptist Covenant gathering in Atlanta, Georgia, sponsored by former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, along with Mercer University President William D. (Bill) Underwood. Included in that announcement was also the news that several Republicans had announced their planned attendance at the January 31 - February 1, 2008 meeting.

“Organizers say they are attempting to provide an opportunity for Baptists to come together to counter a negative and judgmental image of Baptists in North America. However, many involved in the event are the very ones who have contributed to the press’ reporting of negative images about Southern Baptists.

“Let me state (as I have stated before) that I encourage any group of evangelicals to meet for mutual support, instruction, and edification. I think it is wonderful when brothers and sisters can join together in a positive and refreshing way. As an ethicist, pastor, and believer, I support efforts to exalt the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and to seek His example of compassion to be manifest in greater and broader ways.

“However, Jesus said in Luke 19:10 that he came to ‘seek and save that which was lost.’ To be ‘a true Baptist witness,’ any group must see the winning of souls to Christ as the cohesive factor in our fellowship. Again, as an ethicist, I commend anyone who wants to seek the application of Jesus' teachings to a hurting world. I will not be a part of any smokescreen leftwing liberal agenda that seeks to deny the greatest need in our world, that being that the lost be shown the way to eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

“Earlier press reports from the Covenant Partners stated that one of the primary reasons for this meeting is to ‘take the microphone away’ from the conservatives. Southern Baptists were not invited to be a part of the initial meetings of this group, so let me offer that rather than this being a tug of war to see who can get most microphone time, I encourage the Covenant Partners to truly seek to focus on Biblical mandates. I believe God would bless that!

“I appreciate that early on in my tenure as SBC president, both Presidents Carter and Clinton called me and offered congratulations, prayer support, and encouragement as I spoke of my goal to present a positive face for Southern Baptists. However, these same men have worked against Southern Baptists, creating a negative caricature of our churches and our beliefs through the press to the world. Their call for a more positive face of Baptists in North America must be measured against such statements as those by President Carter who has used the word ‘fundamentalist’ to equate the democratic election of conservative leaders in the SBC with the rise to power of Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini.

“Much more can and needs to be done, but Southern Baptists have been compassionate followers of Christ even as we have taken biblical stands on cultural issues in the public square of debate.

“Despite our woeful early history, Southern Baptists have been leaders in racial reconciliation, in 1995 addressing our corporate failure about slavery with repentance and asking forgiveness. Our effort to reach diverse people is evident in the vibrant and growing fellowships of Hispanics, African Americans, Messianic Jews, Koreans and other ethnic groups who call the SBC ‘home.’

“Southern Baptists long have been committed to meeting the needs of the hurting, and tremendous work continues to be done in social ministries in our desire to be the face of Christ while serving as His hands and feet:

-- Since 1974, Southern Baptists have given over $220 million -– almost one-quarter of one billion dollars -- to domestic and overseas hunger relief. Last year in the U.S. alone, the Gospel was shared with 650,000 people and 30,000 made professions of faith because of hunger ministries.

-- The Christian Women's Job Corps program combines job training to meet practical needs with spiritual training to meet eternal needs. In 2006, 13,163 volunteers ministered to 2,134 participants at 168 sites. In 2004, WMU established a similar program for men, CMJC, which now operates seven sites in three states. Both then Vice President Gore and then Governor George W. Bush described the CWJC program as the best of its type, private or government, at lifting women out of government dependency and helping them to become self-supporting, wage earners.

-- Over 22,000 individuals participated in 86 World Changers missions projects at 1,000 work sites in North America during the summer of 2006. During the past 15 years, participants have rehabilitated over 11,000 homes, mostly in inner city areas.

-- The Southern Baptist Disaster Relief organization is the third largest in the U.S. behind the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. The SBC has 74,000 trained volunteers and more than 900 mobile units. Importantly, both the Red Cross and the Salvation Army depend on the SBC for volunteer manpower to staff their disaster relief centers. The Red Cross stated Southern Baptist volunteers served 90% of the meals at Red Cross disaster relief sites during Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

“Importantly, the mark of our ministries is spiritual. Unlike those who focus only on the social good of ministry, we give a man a loaf of bread and also introduce Christ as the Bread of Life.

“Statistics alone do not show the true extent of ministry going on in local churches as Southern Baptists reach out across racial, denominational, and cultural barriers to share the Gospel and minister with no strings attached to our entire country. As I said, much wonderful work is being done. Yet, there is much more to do!

“I pray that the Covenant Partners will truly seek to promote a biblical mandate. I hope that they will encourage all those who are not at the meeting to do the same.”