Saturday, March 31, 2012

Is LifeWay's Ed Stetzer As "Creepy" As Obama?

In the March 29th Wall Street Journal, columnist and former speechwriter Peggy Noonan wrote the following about President Barack Obama:
Events of just the past 10 days have contributed to the shift. There was the open-mic conversation with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in which Mr. Obama pleaded for "space" and said he will have "more flexibility" in his negotiations once the election is over and those pesky voters have done their thing. On tape it looked so bush-league, so faux-sophisticated. When he knew he'd been caught, the president tried to laugh it off by comically covering a mic in a following meeting. It was all so . . . creepy.
Indeed it was. Here was a President who got caught and then tried to diminish the impact by making a joke of it. Creepy indeed.

Southern Baptists, however, do not have to look to Washington in order to see creepy. We've got it in spades at LifeWay HQ in Nashville.

Unless you're been under a rock for the past ten years, you're no doubt aware of the Deformed Reformed Calvinist movement known as the Founders who have as their stated goal the takeover of Southern Baptist churches to hybrid/hyper/extreme/Reformed Calvinism. They even have a "how-to" manual on their web site telling their pastor friends how to convert our churches.

LifeWay's Ed Stetzer knows all this. He knows that concerned Southern Baptist leaders such as past SBC presidents Adrian Rogers, Frank Page, Bobby Welch, Jack Graham, Paige Patterson, and others have spoken out and warned Southern Baptists about the Reformed movement.

Like Obama, Eddie got caught with his pants down. When LifeWay wanted new curriculum, Ed put together an advisory board, not a broad spectrum of SBC pastors, but a closed group that was overwhelmingly Reformed in theology, many of whom were not even Southern Baptists!

Then he got caught. The Calvinist Flyswatter first broke the story and the rest is history.

Now comes the creepy part. Did Ed attempt to make amends to those concerned about the new curriculum? Did he offer to create a more balanced advisory board? Did LifeWay offer to rewrite the curriculum after an advisory board was in place which reflected the views and theology of the vast majority of Southern Baptists? No. Instead, like Obama, Ed decided to dismiss concerns by joking about it.

At 1:03 PM on March 15, 2012, Ed tweeted the following:
(In case you don't know, Tom Ascol is the head of Founders Ministries, and Timmy Brister is an assistance pastor at Tom's church.)

Funny? Maybe to Ed. Maybe to Obama. But to me?



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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Blast From The Past: Five And Six Years Ago From The Calvinist Flyswatter

We are running these "blasts from the past" to remind readers that many of the issues today with the Reformed-Hyper-Hybrid-Extreme Calvinists are not new. The Calvinist Flyswatter has been swatting them for years. Enjoy.


Spurgeon Rebukes The Founders
("It will be seen that those who never exhort sinners are seldom winners of souls to any great extent, but they maintain their churches by converts from other systems.")

Al Mohler: Homosexuality May Be Genetic
("Dr. Al Mohler is at it again. Instead of concentrating his efforts on training pastors, something he is paid to do as the President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, he has apparently decided again that he wants Richard Land's job.")

Apologetics: D. L. Moody vs. James White
("As I read Spurgeon's remarks, I wonder what fruit 'Dr.' James White has to show for his efforts? After all, James spends most of his time challenging and debating people of similar stripe.")

Church Discipline and Tom Ascol
("Is Tom willing to 'cover all the bases' with his disciplinary proposal, applying it to all categories of non-attending members...?")


Mark Dever vs. the SBC and Charles H. Spurgeon
(Unlike Dever, "CHS promoted both early child conversions and baptisms. He said that among his best members were those who were converted very young and were baptized and became members of the church.")

Southern Baptist seminary professor affirms "regeneration before faith" heterodoxy
("Dr. Schreiner strongly affirms the 'born again before faith' heterodoxy which is neither Baptist nor biblical.")

The James White 'Born Again Before Faith' White Lightning Distillery
("When James comes out and repudiates his 'born again before faith' doctrine for which he has contended, we will know he is serious when he says he agrees with the London Confession and Spurgeon.")

Regeneration In Relation To Faith In Calvinist Theology
(Bob Ross argues that the modern "born again before faith" view is not true Calvinism.)

Bob Ross: Why Are Calvinist Churches Usually So Small?
(No further explanation needed.)


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

LifeWay Statistics: An Apology From The Flyswatter

Dear readers, The Flyswatter let you down. For that, we apologize.

Last month when we published our blockbuster story on LifeWay's misuse of statistics we failed to do our homework. This is so embarrassing. Please forgive us.

We told you in the story about how churches are failing to report their ACPs, even big churches such as David Platt's. We asked how Ed Stetzer at LifeWay could say with a straight face that baptisms were down in the SBC when he didn't have the numbers from the churches. How could he give interviews to secular media trashing the denomination which pays his salary when he didn't have the data to back it up? Does one plus one still equal two or is it different for LifeWay?

We apologize because we completely missed a May 11, 2011 story in the Tennessee Baptist Convention's Baptist and Reflector entitled "Analyzing trends difficult when fewer churches report stats." The article says,

[H]istorically the Southern Baptist Convention data has been the envy of all other denominations. In recent years, however, participation in the Annual Church Profile by churches has declined, thus making it hard to evaluate accurately what type of progress, if any, is being made to reach our state and nation for Christ.
Another article in the B & R says that "LifeWay is charged with the task of gathering data from churches all across the country."

A month after the May 11th B & R article came out, LifeWay's Ed Stezer was quoted in USA Today on the "decline" in SBC baptisms. Ed said, "This is a trend. And the trend is one of decline." Ed said nothing about the decline of reporting baptisms among SBC churches.

Sorry, readers. We were too easy on Ed in our first article. We cut him far too much slack.

His culpability is way beyond what we first imagined.

Why Ed? Why report data that you do not have and act like you have it?


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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Crybaby Calvinists - Will Somebody Get Tim Brister A Seat At The Table?

When speaking of Crybaby Calvinists one has to mention Timmy Brister. Timmy has been shamelessly crying for years now about the lack of Reformed Calvinists in the SBC. The Flyswatter will revisit Timmy often as we profile the Crybaby Calvinists but for now let’s look at his whining about not having “a seat at the table.”

In October 2005, when Timmy was but a mere student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, he emailed his seminary in protest over their inviting SBC President Jack Graham to speak in chapel. Timmy was shocked that the school would invite someone like Graham who did not hold to the extreme-hyper-hybrid-Reformed Calvinism that was taught at Southern. In response, the seminary emailed him back, essentially saying, “Like it or lump it,” and then referred to Timmy’s pitiful blog as being “juvenile” (Apparently, Southern also recognized Timmy as a Crybaby Calvinist).

In his screed against Jack Graham, Timmy said, “If there is any offense and division, it is not from the Reformed side. Time and time again, we have listened and appealed to Scripture, wanting to have transparency and a seat at the table, but this is not allowed.”

Seven months later in May 2006, blogger Timmy was still crying: “Well, the SBC bloggers may not ever get their questions answer or their seat at the table, but in my opinion, they are doing some of the greatest work in the SBC.” Sorry dear reader, I know after reading that you had to pick yourself up off the floor from laughing so hard. Here’s a kid sitting around in seminary housing saying that he is doing “some of the greatest work in the SBC.” Can anyone spell “hubris”?

Then someone spanked this crybaby. I mean really, really spanked him. Responding in general to the Crybaby Calvinists in the SBC, Ergun Caner wrote:

For the past few years, I have become increasingly frustrated as I have watched young preachers turn on our elders. I mourn when I hear of another young minister demand a “seat at the table,” as if leadership was our birthright. I shudder when I read blogs of men who have never grown a single church, or accomplished anything to deserve to have an opinion, criticize those who have toiled the fields of souls, sweat through all-night prayer meetings, and bled on the battlefields of spiritual warfare.
Ouch! That hurt! Did Timmy repent of his ungodly pride? Not a chance! Instead, Timmy picked himself up and sat back down at the keyboard. After crying about having no “seat at the table” on at least two previous occasions, you can almost see the tears falling as he writes in May 2007:

Jeremy Green and others in the short-lived “Joshua Convergence” were saying the same thing last summer. Who are they talking about? Can this charge be substantiated? Perhaps the editors of Baptist Press pulled the wrong editorial piece. Rather than looking for a seat at the table, most young ministers I know are looking for the exit sign, and I can substantiate that. But I suppose Caner was saying things that resonated with the particular audience which approves of such sentiment; therefore, it stands. Isn’t that what has become of the political arena of the SBC?
Timmy Brister: An all-American Crybaby Calvinist.


Blast From The Past: Five Years Ago From The Calvinist Flyswatter

Are Altar Calls Justified by Founders' Founder, Ernest Reisinger?

Bend it Like Timmy Brister!
Quote: "I challenge Timmy Brister to name one Southern Baptist pastor or evangelist who believes that a 'mechanical formula' can 'unlock the heavenly code' and save a sinner! Put up or shut up, Timmy! I made a similar challenge to Steve Camp months ago and I’m still waiting for an answer. Hello?"

Timmy Brister Attends Billy Graham School Yet Attacks Billy Graham's Methods

Timmy Brister Attacks Altar Calls in Southern Baptist Churches

Good articles all. And five years later, I'm still waiting for Timmy and Steve to answer.