Featured SBC Evangelism Conference- Try harder!

Discussion in 'Evangelism, Missions and the Persecuted Church' started by YRRSBCGuy, Feb 13, 2017.

  1. YRRSBCGuy

    YRRSBCGuy Puritan Board Freshman

    I recently attended our states evangelism conference conducted by the SBC. Dr. Steve Gaines, president of the SBC and Sr. Pastor of Bellevue Pastor church was the main speaker. Now, it should go without saying that I disagree with Gaines theologically and philosophically in regards to soteriology, but that does not mean we are not brothers and colaborers in Christ. I attended the conference curious because I had never heard Dr. Gaines preach (I had gathered bits and pieces on the television growing up, but never fully engaged in a sermon.)

    To be honest, I was a little shocked. Let me set the scene for you: there were about 300-400 ministers present, most coming from rural towns within our small state, and Dr. Gaines made statements like this:

    "When's the last time somebody got saved when you were preaching? Do you think that's Gods fault, or maybe you're not doing it right? Because when you give the gospel, eventually, somebody is gonna get saved"

    "If we will be more serious about it, maybe they'll be more serious about it...instead of just getting up there preaching a homiletically correct-perfect sermon; explanation, illustration, application...introduction, conclusion, and your conclusion is: ok let's go home now. You haven't concluded anything, and you haven't preached anything until you preach with evangelistic persuasion. If that bothers you then good, it needs to bother you, because you're not doing it the way they did it in the bible."

    Dr. Gaines also took subtle jabs towards Calvinists within the SBC, spoke on the "Sinners prayer" controversy, and gave a "biblical" explanation for the invitation system. It seems Dr. Gaines believes that baptisms are down within the SBC because preachers are proclaiming the gospel, and instead buying their heads in their seminary textbooks. So his prescription is this: try harder! Do better! If you're not seeing results, you may be not doing it right!

    Sometimes I feel like pragmatism will be the death of my denomination. And I cannot imagine the guilt/shame an arminian pastor would feel after hearing a sermon like that. Rants like these given by the traditionalists within our convention do more harm than good in my opinion, and I'm not so sure the division between theologically-minded calvinists and pragmatic, numbers-based arminians within the SBC will continue to remain amicable.

    Now I know what you're thinking, I should have known what I was getting into. And to some extent, I did. It was just shocking to hear the implications of an erronaeous view of soteriology. Try harder! Do better! Plead! Weep! <-None of which are wrong in their own right, if they are genuine.

    Here's the link to portion of the sermon I am addressing. I brought this up to a couple close friends of mine, and a respected brother told me I was being a little too dogmatic. Perhaps I am. I'm just finding it increasingly difficult to identify as a Southern Baptist within the Bible belt.
  2. Stope

    Stope Puritan Board Freshman

    I would say, when he says "Try harder! Do better! Plead! Weep!" he is almost correct, that is, he need to do these things in prayer
  3. Bill The Baptist

    Bill The Baptist Puritan Board Senior

    Steve Gaines also said this:

    "“If you say the only way God can speak to you is through the Bible, you have missed it.”

    So, yeah.
  4. Gforce9

    Gforce9 Puritan Board Junior

    I'm thinking Mr. Gaines, unlike Mr. Spurgeon, has trouble believing the Bible is a lion that merely needs to be let out of it's cage, but rather must be accompanied by the whole Barnum and Bailey show.......
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  5. jwithnell

    jwithnell Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I've long thought weak soteriology leads to misery. Can you imagine, your family member, friend, colleague dies, and he's going to hell because you never convinced him to say the sinner's prayer. Yikes.
  6. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable Staff Member

    Spurgeon was on to something when he preached the likely prayer of the man who thinks he is captain of his own soul:

    “Lord, I thank thee that I am not like these poor, presumptuous Calvinists. Lord, I was born with a glorious free will; I was born with a power by which I can turn to thee of myself; I have improved my grace. If everybody had done the same with their grace as I have, they might all have been saved. Lord, I know that thou dost not make us willing if we are not willing ourselves… it was not thy grace that made us differ… I made use of what was given me, and others did not—that is the difference between me and them.”
    -"Free Will a Slave" The New Park Street Pulpit, 1855- 1856, Volumes I & II (Pilgrim 1975), 395-402.

  7. YRRSBCGuy

    YRRSBCGuy Puritan Board Freshman

    Agreed, I don't know how Armenians (much less Armenian pastors) sleep at night.
  8. Bill The Baptist

    Bill The Baptist Puritan Board Senior

    I've wondered that myself seeing as I've heard that Armenia gets quite cold at night.
  9. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable Staff Member

    Yes, and they have been seen in the news protesting about how they are misunderstood.
  10. YRRSBCGuy

    YRRSBCGuy Puritan Board Freshman

    Bahaha! Got me. Auto-correct must be reformed because it refuses to acknowledge Arminians*
  11. Bill The Baptist

    Bill The Baptist Puritan Board Senior

    Yes that seems to be the case.
  12. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable Staff Member

    Heh. I had the board's auto correct set for Armenianism to be rendered Arminianism. I guess the auto-correct was just to aggressive. Deleted it so all should work as intended now, even when intentions are, well, suspect. ;)
  13. jprince

    jprince Puritan Board Freshman

    The SBC's got no clue on how to respond to the marginalization of Christianity in the West. Really sad to see.
  14. KGP

    KGP Puritan Board Freshman

    I don't know this man; nor have I listened to this sermon; but just based on the quotes it is worth noting that his confusion notwithstanding, he is right to say we ought to do better, work harder, plead more seriously and weep more deeply. Paul is an exemplar of all four of these responses to the gravity of the great commission, he could have preached on Paul's life and it would have been a wonderful encouragement to the effect he was aiming for I am sure. Paul's soteriology might have rubbed off him too, a happy thought.

    It doesn't matter if ones concerns are well founded or not; when publicly and formally addressing Christians, especially those who minister; one should be eager to unfold the scriptures and let the Lord work and thus avoid taking the audience for a ride on a hobby horse.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  15. Bill The Baptist

    Bill The Baptist Puritan Board Senior

    No doubt we do need to work harder, but the problem is that Gaines equates the size of your church with success, so if your church is big you must be doing everything right, but if your church is small then you obviously don't care about the gospel.
  16. KGP

    KGP Puritan Board Freshman

    That's the confusion I was referring to. Paul is such a prime example of right effort and emotional response to the work of evangelism and pastoral ministry while maintaining that it is the Lord alone who builds his church when and where and with whom he pleases by the power of the gospel. Content in all circumstances; including small churches!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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