Tuesday, February 21, 2012

In Case You Missed It ... Best Quote Of Feb 2012

From Mary on the SBC Tomorrow blog:

Isn't it funny the number of people who wail and gnash teeth over "antiCalvinists" who allegedly want to get rid of all Calvinists in the SBC, but they are silent over a ministry who for thirty years has worked toward getting rid of all the nonCalvinists in the SBC?
Amen, Mary. Amen. I can understand Al Mohler since he is one of them. What I can't understand is why self-professed nonCalvinists such as Danny Akin, Alvin Reid and others give a church-splitting conspiracy such as Founders Ministries the time of day.

Not only have The Flounders "worked toward" their goal by splitting churches all over the Convention, they openly state their agenda on their website!

The Bible says, "As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned" (Titus 3:10-11) (I'm quoting from the ESV since it apparently is the only Bible the extreme Calvinists understand).

Do Danny, Alvin, and the rest believe the Bible or not? In SBC churches, Tom Ascol and his followers have stirred up more division in the last twenty years than anyone. Godly Southern Baptists should follow the scriptures and stay away from Ascol and his "ministry."


Monday, February 20, 2012

Crybaby Calvinists In The Southern Baptist Convention

They're known as the Young, Restless, and Reformed.

Maybe it's their lot in life by being born into a generation that has never known any real hardship.

Maybe it's because most of them were never spanked as children.

Maybe it's because their Mommies told them how special they were and they were born into smaller families than the generations before them.

Maybe it's because before they were born their schools changed from emphasizing hard work and discipline to teaching self-esteem and self-affirmation.

Maybe it's because they were exempt from the horrors of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the military draft and service that their fathers and grandfathers had to face.

Maybe it's because they were exposed to Reformed Theology and were told that Jesus loved them enough to die for them but He "passed over" most of the rest of the world. Maybe it's because their Reformed theology only confirmed their Mommie's affirmations that they were indeed, "special."

They've had a good life. Mommy told them how wonderful they are and now their theology confirms it. And they are growing in numbers in the SBC.

But Young, Restless, and Reformed? That's not what comes to mind when I think of them. I call them the Crybaby Calvinists.

Never has a group of people had so much and felt so entitled. At the same time, never has a group of people been more thin-skinned and whinny. On blogs and in books, in Sunday schools and theological schools, in pews and pulpits, the Crybaby Calvinists are here to stay!

Because of their growing influence in the Southern Baptist Convention, The Calvinist Flyswatter is pleased to announce a continuing series reporting on their antics.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Who Is NAMB's Aaron Coe?

Who is Aaron Coe?

He's the Vice President of Mobilization at the Southern Baptist Convention's North American Mission Board. He reports directly to NAMB's President Kevin "The Annie Armstrong offering is not important" Ezell. An April 2011 report in SBC Life listed him as having reached the ripe old age of 34.

Based on our sources at NAMB, The Calvinist Flyswatter can now report that Coe is the point man for distributing millions of dollars of SBC money to NAMB's church plants throughout the USA.

What is Coe's qualifications that Ezell would task him to distribute millions of dollars from SBC churches?

Media outlets have described Cole as an "innovative leader with a vision" who planted The Gallery Church in New York City. The church was launched in 2006 "by a team ... at the North American Mission Board, in partnership with NAMB's 'New Hope New York' strategic focus initiative." In other words, NAMB pumped a lot of money into starting this church with Coe as the founding pastor.

In 2006, the Baptist Press reported on Coe's efforts to recruit "college students from across the nation to spend a year in New York taking Christian leadership classes and doing ministry in churches across the metro New York area. The program originally was an initiative of Southern Baptists’ North American Mission Board under its New Hope New York emphasis before moving to The Gallery Church." Coe appeared to be successful in mobilizing college students to come to the Gallery Church and help them in their work.

In addition to college students, various churches sent workers to New York to help Coe and his NAMB-funded church (see, for example, here). In one instance, "Gallery members were scattered among more than 40 ministry sites... Among the most grateful were the health clinics that strive to test residents for HIV/AIDS. Coe said he and other members determined the clinics were ideal places for the volunteers to offer their services."

So the Gallery Church was started by Coe with NAMB's money. Under Coe's leadership, it received free college student labor and free church volunteer labor for years. With all those resources, one would think The Gallery Church would be a model of NAMB's church planting efforts, right? For Kevin Ezell to give him such a high position at NAMB, Aaron Coe must be the next Rick Warren, right?

You be the judge.

SBC Tomorrow recently provided some information on Coe and the profile of him as an "innovative leader with a vision" is not good.

A commenter on SBC Tomorrow writes the following:

Likewise, Aaron Coe, NAMB’s new VP for mobilization, was hailed as "a gifted strategist [who] has demonstrated his mobilization effectiveness through his work in New York City" http://bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=34629, and identified as “a leader among young Southern Baptists for many years,” http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=34606, despite leading a declining Acts 29 church plant. Here are the ACP numbers for Gallery Church in Manhattan while under Coe’s leadership:

Worship attendance 190
Baptisms 14

Worship attendance 125
Baptisms 3

Worship attendance 120
Baptisms 8

Worship attendance 100
Baptisms 6

In other words, Coe is a Deformed Reformed, Acts 29, born-again-before-faith young Calvinist who was good at taking the money and labor from godly SBC churches and then squandered it by planting a Calvinist church which greatly declined under his leadership. Look at the numbers. All that money. All that volunteer labor. All in the most populated city in America.

Amazing, isn't it?

Oh, one other thing. When Kevin Ezell was pastor of Highview Baptist Church, it "partnered" with the planting of The Gallery Church.

Now we have more proof of the type of churches that Kevin Ezell wants to plant and the leader he has selected to give millions of dollars of our money to plant them.

Aaron Coe. Get to know him. Get to know Kevin Ezell. Then pray hard for NAMB. Really hard.


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Monday, February 13, 2012

Is Ed Stetzer Mathematically Challenged Or What?

I won’t bore you with the details of my reaction the day I heard that Ed Stetzer was made head of statistics at LifeWay. The Eddie I knew, head of statistics?

Let me give you one example which explains my reaction of that news-worthy day. Last summer, Eddie looked at the annual church profile (ACP) reports from our Southern Baptist churches and proclaimed that baptisms were down to the extent that we were in trouble. In fact, Ed said, it was “a trend. And the trend is one of decline.”

Naturally, since he is the top dog of statistics at LifeWay, Ed’s report was picked up by the secular media. USA Today ran a headline, “Nation's largest Protestant group faces 'decline’.”

The problem with Eddie’s numbers is this: There is a growing movement among some churches not to report baptisms! This is especially true with Deformed Reformed-Flounder-friendly churches. Tom Ascol hates the ACP and encourages his followers not to report. Also, my sources at NAMB have told me that many of their new church plants do not report.

Question #1 to Eddie: How does this affect the numbers?

Question #2 to Eddie: Why didn’t you mention it?

My #1 challenge to Eddie: Give us the complete data! We not only need to know the number of baptisms, but a year-by-year report on the percentage and number of churches that do not turn in their ACPs. How does the decline in baptisms correspond to the increased number of churches not reporting their ACPs? Ed, your failure to address this does not inspire faith in your statistical abilities.

My #2 challenge to Eddie: Give us the data on the number and percentage of new church plants that are not reporting. These churches should be experiencing the most growth, right? At least that’s what we’re told when NAMB takes our money and gives it to them. So what are the numbers, Ed? (Note to self: Write Kevin Ezell and demand that complete and proper ACP reporting become a mandatory requirement for any receipt of NAMB money).

My #3 challenge to Eddie: Start “outing” the churches that do not report. I want to see a list. I want names of pastors and churches on LifeWay’s website. Ed, you shame us as a denomination in the secular media when you release this data knowing you don’t have all the numbers. Turn it around and shame the non-reporting churches instead.

You can start with our mutual friend, “Secret Church” seminar speaker David Platt. Davy has not reported baptisms for years now (see also here). Maybe his lack of ACP reporting is part of his “secret” thing but the fact is he pastors a very large church. There has got to be some baptizing going on there, Ed! How many more churches are like David Platt’s? And what does their lack of reporting do for our overall numbers?

Eddie, I know you’re busy. Pastoring, writing books, blogging, tweeting, traveling, seminar speaking, etc. Not sure when you find the time but you do still work at LifeWay, don’t you? You still get paid to count numbers, right? THEN DO YOUR JOB AND GET THE NUMBERS! Then get back to me.


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