Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Founders fostered by Pedos?


Not a few Baptists have observed that the Founders Ministries, a parachurch organization in the Southern Baptist Convention, relies heavily upon Pedobaptist authorities for many of its various peculiarities which are dubious in the light of even the Pedobaptist Confessions of Faith such as Westminster.

I will cite a few examples from the Founders Ministries itself.

1. The "command, example, and inference" hermeneutical approach in regard to defining what is authorized in the worship of God. This is the thesis of the book on "Worship" by Ernest Reisinger and D. Matthew Allen. The book amounts to little more than an exposition of the pedobaptist and Campbellite approach in "establishing biblical authority." The Campbellites borrowed this from the Presbyterian Church from whence they originally derived.

This book acknowledges the fact that the so-called "regulative principle" has been primarily promulgated by the pedobaptist Presbyterians. This is the avowed interpretive guideline for the Founders in regard to what constitutes the approved elements involved in worship (pages 49, 79).

The Campbellite system of "command, example, and inference" as the method by which to determine what is authorized by the Bible is promoted by this book published by the Founders Press (page 79). Thomas and Alexander Campbell brought that over into their "restoration" movement from the Presbyterians from whom they separated in the early 1800s..

In fact, the bibliography of the book contains more Pedobaptist (baby sprinklers) sources than Baptists and perhaps all others combined. Names such as Bannerman, Packer, Frame, Murray, Hodge, Girardeau, Cunningham, Calvin, Luther, Dabney and others are enlisted by the authors in the effort to substantiate their conclusions.

2. I do not know if it is characteristic of all Founders affiliates, but the "elder rule" type of church government practiced by the Pedobaptists and Campbellites is favored by many pastors and churches related to this movement. This has been a cause of division, and even the church which Founders' founder, Ernest Reisinger, pastored in North Pompano, Florida was split over this system of church government (Ernest Reisinger, A Biography, page 197).

Reisinger offers the North Pompano Baptist Church as an example of "reforming" a Southern Baptist church according to the "pattern" promoted by the Founders (A Quiet Revolution, pages 73-75; Ernest Reisinger, A Biography, Chapter 19). I'm not sure, but it appears that this Florida church no longer exists. The "reforming" work by Reisinger seems to have come to naught.

3. The anti-invitationism which characterizes many in the Founders -- such as Reisinger and Tom Nettles -- derives from Pedobaptists, notably Iain Murray and Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Whenever someone writes against invitations, he usually will quote from Pedobaptist Murray. Of course, pedos have no use for invitations other than inviting parents to dutifully bring their infants to the minister for infant baptism and immediate enrollment as church members. This is how the pedos get the majority of their members.

4. Hybrid Calvinism -- the "born again before faith" theology -- also derives from pedobaptist sources, as we have frequently observed on this blog. This is a post-seventeenth century departure from the Puritan and Creedal view on Effectual Calling. Iain Murray, the "grandfather" of the Founders movement, has published and promoted the Systematic Theology of Louis Berkhof in which this aberrant teaching is dogmatically promulgated. It is perpetuated by modern pedos such as R. C. Sproul, John Frame, John Murray, Iain Murray, and similar "Reformed" pedobaptist sources.

Clues by which you might
recognize a "Hybrid Calvinist" --

If you happen to meet someone who makes one or more of the following remarks, it is possible, even probable, that you have met a Hybrid Calvinist. Here are a few clues which point in that direction.

If the person says --

"I have never met and don't know a hyper Calvinist."

"I don't follow any man's theology; I just follow the Bible."

"We don't win souls, the Holy Spirit does."

"Invitations to accept Christ are Arminian."

"Charles Finney invented public invitations."

"How can a dead man believe on Christ?"

"Most professions by youngsters are false professions."

"Most of those who respond to invitations are false professions."

"Invitations have corrupted evangelical Christianity."

"Regeneration (new birth) precedes repentance and faith."

"Praying the sinner's prayer is Arminianism."

"Making decisions for Christ is Arminianism."

"I am Reformed, a Monergist, and a 5-point Calvinist."

"My favorite websites and blogs are by Reformed writers."

"I am affiliated with the Founders Ministries."

"I like the writings of R. C. Sproul, Iain Murray, Tom Nettles, Ernest Reisinger, James White, and similar writers."

"I like to attend Reformed conferences on the doctrines of grace."

"I believe in Covenant theology."

"I believe in following the Regulative Principle."

"I believe in the primacy of expository preaching."

"If it were not for baptism, I would be a Presbyterian."

These are a few of the clues which may -- but not necessarily -- indicate that you just might be talking to a Hybrid Calvinist, one who advocates the heresy of "born again before faith."


At Wednesday, February 13, 2008 10:23:00 PM, Blogger Charles said...

Brother Bob, Hello!

This is one of your best! May the Lord give it wide distribution.


At Wednesday, February 13, 2008 11:02:00 PM, Blogger Rev. said...

"I have never met and don't know a hyper Calvinist."
- I've met two. Have you met any? What's your definition of a 'Hyper-Calvinist'?

"I don't follow any man's theology; I just follow the Bible."
- Isn't this what most Christians claim?! Isn't this what you claim?

"We don't win souls, the Holy Spirit does."
- I seek to win souls, but only God draws sinners to Himself savingly. Do you think people can be saved apart from the work of the Holy Spirit?

"Invitations to accept Christ are Arminian."
- Invitations are biblical. What many people argue against is the employment of the altar call, not the invitation. Do you see any difference between the two?

"Charles Finney invented public invitations."
- No, but he did popularize them, didn't he?

"How can a dead man believe on Christ?"
- How *can* a dead man believe on Christ?

"Most professions by youngsters are false professions."
- Is there evidence for this claim?

"Most of those who respond to invitations are false professions."
- Are you talking about invitations or altar calls?

"I am Reformed, a Monergist, and a 5-point Calvinist."
- Is there a problem with that?

"I like to attend Reformed conferences on the doctrines of grace."
- Is there a problem with that, or with enjoying attending evangelism conferences?

"I believe in the primacy of expository preaching."
- Isn't that what many non-Calvinists are advocating in our seminaries these days? (e.g., Paige Patterson)

At Thursday, February 14, 2008 9:22:00 AM, Blogger Stephen Garrett said...

Dear Bob:

Good article! I agree 100%! All this needs to be expanded upon!

I have added these to your list about how to recognize a "hybrid" Calvinistic Baptist.

“A church should have a plurality of elders to rule in it”

“Asking Jesus into your heart is not a gospel invitation”

“I am against ‘easy believism’”

“I am against ‘decisional regeneration’”

“Numbers are not a sign of spiritual growth in a church”

“Losing members can be a sign of a healthy growing church”

“Most Southern Baptists are unregenerate”

“I am for purity in church membership”

“People like Joel Osteen do not make any lasting converts”

“Southern Baptists need to ‘reform’ or be ‘restored’”

“Confession of Christ is equal to baptism”

“Calvinism doesn’t hinder evangelism”

“I am a Reformed Baptist”

“Most of our new members have come from non-Reformed churches”

“Mega churches cannot be healthy”

“Every church needs to be taught the ‘nine marks (points)’”

“Spurgeon was a 5-point Calvinist and yet was a great evangelist”

“‘Altar calls’ are modern and not the biblical or best way to win souls to Christ”

“We don’t believe in order to be born”

“A man’s will and decision has nothing to do with his being born, either naturally or spiritually”

“New converts should not be baptized too quickly”

“Sinners are not won to Christ by oratory or high pressure tactics”

“Sinners must be taught the doctrines of grace in order to properly believe to salvation”

“Belief in the doctrines of grace is the chief proof of regeneration”

“God must first give a man ability to believe before he call upon him to believe”

“Are not infants and idiots regenerated without faith and repentance?”

“God must give one eyes before they can see”

“God must give one ears before they can hear”

“The Book of Acts is the church’s pattern of things is binding as law upon the churches”

“Men must have the law preached to them before the gospel will benefit them”

“Calvinists must all band together to preserve Calvinism”

It is my intention to also address some of the issues involved in those who are seeking to "quietly reform" Baptist churches, especially issues dealing with gospel invitations and with elder rule.

In Christ,

Stephen Garrett

At Thursday, February 14, 2008 3:46:00 PM, Blogger Bob L. Ross said...


Bob to Rev [See Rev's post]

I have observed that various religious cliques (or whatever) have developed their own peculiar vocabulary and nomenclature.

For examples, Campbellites, Hardshells, Arminians, Calvinists, Pedobaptists, Mormons, Pentecostals, JWs,
Charismatics, etc. -- all have rather easily identifiable verbal expressions, cliches, shibboleths,catchphrases,
slogans, and the like which serve to portray their basic religious identity.

The "clues" I offered in regard to identifying Hybrid Calvinists, were not intended to be items for debate, but rather were offered simply as possible indications of a person's basic Hybridism. These are the type of expressions frequently heard from Hybrids.

At Thursday, February 14, 2008 6:31:00 PM, Blogger Rev. said...

I'm not looking for debate, per se, I'm looking for interaction. What is your definition of a 'Hyper-Calvinist'? I'd honestly like to know. I'd also like to know if you see any difference whatsoever between an invitation and an altar call. I've heard invitations given in preaching without the use of an altar call, and I've heard altar calls given without a biblical invitation.

At Friday, February 15, 2008 8:44:00 PM, Blogger Bob L. Ross said...

"Hyper," etc.

Rev. said...
What is your definition of a 'Hyper-Calvinist'?. . . I'd also like to know if you see any difference whatsoever between an invitation and an altar call.

(1) A "Hyper" Calvinist is one who goes beyond Creedal Calvinism.

(2) Both the "invitation" and the "altar call" are simply alternative descriptive terms which refer to the opportunity for the listener to publicly confess Christ as Lord and Saviour, or to receive biblical instruction in the matter of salvation.


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