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.