Faith Baptist Bible College has removed Saylorville [formerly Baptist] Church from its approved churches list

102 posts / 0 new
Last post
SharperIron's picture
Offline
Since
Mon, 6/29/09
Posts: 1666
Faith Baptist Bible College has removed Saylorville [formerly Baptist] Church from its approved churches list

Tags: 

“Our clear intention was that employees and students would attend churches that openly identify themselves as Baptist churches, an intention made explicit in our
standing, published position, and policy statements…”

“…this Board action means that faculty and staff who currently attend Saylorville Church will have a grace period up to June 30, 2013, to decide whether they want to remain members at Saylorville or continue employment at Faith.”  Full statement

Donn R Arms's picture
Offline
Since
Tue, 6/2/09
Posts: 72
Approve?

Why is a school approving churches in the first place? Churches should approve schools, not the other way around.

Donn R Arms

Offline
Since
Sun, 8/29/10
Posts: 59
Well...

Should a fundamental Baptist school that trains pastors allow their students to be members of the local Catholic church? Assembly of God? Methodist? Would that make sense?

Chip Van Emmerik's picture
Offline
Since
Thu, 6/4/09
Posts: 1696
Disappointed in Faith

How disappointing of Faith. I have not seen anything yet that gives the impression Saylorville changed anything except the name. It seems to me they are still a Baptist church in doctrine and practice. Frankly, I have been convinced for sometime that, though I remain Baptistic in belief by biblical conviction, I no longer want to be identified with the label Baptist because of the ridiculous breadth of doctrine held by churches bearing the same. Would you rather be associated with Saylorville Church or Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe AZ or Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, KS - not to mention all of the Baptist churches who are more liberal than Faith? 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Offline
Since
Mon, 3/1/10
Posts: 741
OK I'll say it. I agree with

OK I'll say it. I agree with Alex for once, though JVDM has a point. There has to be a way that a school can protect its integrity, without giving the impression the school is the approver of churches. 

Offline
Since
Sun, 8/29/10
Posts: 59
For what it's worth

For what it's worth, the GARBC used to have an "approval system" of sorts, which meant that certain schools were indeed approved by the GARB churches. It was basically reciprical--GARB churches sent their kids to places like Faith or Cedarville and Faith and Cedarville in turn required that students attend a GARBC church near campus, or another Baptist church approved by the school. That all changed in the Cedarville brouhaha and the GARBC did away with the approval system.

In 2000...I think...the GARBC affirmed that a member church had to have "Baptist" in the name. So Faith left their handbook to say, students must attend a GARB church or another approved Baptist church. The GARBC just changed their policy on this, and Salorville jumped to remove Baptist from the name. Faith basically said, "nope, we're still the same as we were. The Baptist name is important." (Paraphrasing, of course.) 

In fact, the school was exercising its sovereignty over its own affairs as opposed to the policies of the national GARBC council of 18. Obviously, churches within the state GARBC approve of whatever institutions they want. Some lean towards BJU, some lean towards Hyles Anderson, most lean towards Faith and Central, a few towards Southern, and some lean towards a degree in Entertainment Design and Technology for their future ministers. 

But this "approval" we are talking is entirely different. This issue is simply about where the school would like their students to become members of and to minister in so that the doctrine and philosophy in their church is also shared by the doctrine and philosophy at the college. This is no different than any other school. 

Whether one disagrees with this or not, Faith is training Baptists to do the work of the ministry as Baptists do it. 

Chip - for what its worth, many within the state would say that Saylorville and some others are much more in line with the GARBC across the country than they are with the IARBC here at home. Saylorville folks would probably agree. For better or worse (depending on your perspective), the GARBC has always had one of the larger tents among the Fundamental Baptist associations. You can find a few KJV only types in parts, and you can find huge entertainment driven ministries all within the GARBC, as I say, for better or for worse.

Anyway, I'm eager to hear what folks have to say - folks that are familiar with the GARBC and are much smarter than I am. I'm interested to see where this is headed. It seems that certain states and institutions aren't in line with the GARBC decision to drop the word Baptist from their vocabulary.

Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 780
I am part of a Fellowship

I am part of a Fellowship where some churches would not have the word "Baptist" in their name even though they are Baptist in their theology s because of the American Baptist Churches in their area.

 

We have a Baptist church down the road from us that is pro-abortion, and pro-homosexual.  They even had a lesbian pastor for a while.  There is another Baptist church in our area that does have a lesbian pastor.

 

It is up to a church to determine their name, not a college.  What happens if you graduate from this college and become the Pastor of a Bible church - do they revoke your degree?

 

 

Greg Linscott's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 5/22/09
Posts: 2268
Consistency

@Shaynus- I think you meant Donn Arms, not Alex.

I applaud my alma mater for acting in a way that is consistent with their institutional position, which is clearly articulated in several position statements available for anyone to review here: http://www.faith.edu/about-faith/position-statements

I am sure this was not an easy decision to arrive at. Pat Nemmers, the Saylorville pastor, is a prominent figure in Iowa Regular Baptist circles, and during my time as a student there, was universally lauded and beloved, both for his ability as a communicator and his perseverance through personal trial. Saylorville has been, historically, one of the "default" congregations for students to attend, being, I believe, the second closest Regular Baptist church to the campus for most of the time since it relocated to Ankeny in the late 1960s. Pat's predecessor, Ralph Turk, was one of my profs at Faith, and Joe Hayes, the current State Representative for the Iowa Association of Regular Baptist Churches, once served as pastor there.

Pat has been progressive in his practice in the last 10-15 years compared to most of the other pastors and churches in the association (which is among the most conservative groups in the GARBC). It is to Faith's credit, I would argue, that a similar decision to this did not take place much sooner, simply due to competing philosophies of ministry. The differences in practice were certainly there, most prominently seen in music, but I would say not exclusively so.

As the document from Faith indicates, there is much to admire about Pat as well. He is fervent in his efforts to fuel evangelistic outreach. He has been a tremendous model as a father, and was an evident vessel of God's grace when his first wife died unexpectedly.

But Faith has been one to champion, among other practices, the importance of identifying as "Baptist." This Faith Pulpit article by George Houghton would articulate that position as well as anything. When I was a student circa 2000, a professor by the name of John Colyer was released mid-semester, because he left his pastoral role (ironically enough, at Saylorville) to take a similar position at a large Des Moines congregation known as Grace Church. So in many ways, this is nothing new or unprecedented.

Whether one agrees with Faith on the reasoning behind the principle, I believe you have to admire them for being consistent with their stated beliefs, even though it will have painful consequences. I think it would be fair to say that Saylorville under Pastor Nemmers is acting consistent with their philosophy and approach to ministry as well, and that they would have also anticipated these kind of consequences for members of their congregation before the decision was proposed.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Aaron Blumer's picture
Offline
Since
Mon, 6/1/09
Posts: 7230
Approving churches

Donn R Arms wrote:

Why is a school approving churches in the first place? Churches should approve schools, not the other way around.

I'd encourage everyone to read the full statement.

Approving churches in this case means churches that students and teachers are permitted to attend. It should be pretty easy to imagine reasons why a Bible college would want to do that.

I hope that it all works out well and Faith and IARBC and GARBC can amiably disagree on the point and otherwise work together as before.

I'm supportive of the idea that schools that have historically claimed a particular doctrinal tradition should maintain that tradition in both substance and name, whether it's Baptist, Presbyterian, Reformed or whatever. These labels have historical significance and if there's anything we need more of these days (especially in schools) its historical awareness. Not that there isn't a downside to the labels as well. I'm not sure what the bottom line is. But I have to respect institutions that honor their roots.

Greg Linscott's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 5/22/09
Posts: 2268
Revoking (eyeroll)...

It is up to a church to determine their name, not a college.  What happens if you graduate from this college and become the Pastor of a Bible church - do they revoke your degree?

I guess I would expect that kind of a comment from a nondenominational institution grad...  ;-)

Faith interacts with people other than Baptists. They have had speak on campus, in my own recollection, Paul S. Jones (from Tenth Presbyterian, Philadelphia), Bob Jones III, John Whitcomb, Charles Ryrie... I am sure there are others, but that is just off the top of my head. They also have been a member of the ACCC since the 1940s, I believe.

At the same time, like Jesse said, they exist to train Baptist pastors. They will accept some students in the area from other churches (or did, as I recall) on a limited basis, but by and large, in order to attend, you have to give a credible testimony, not only of salvation, but that you are a member in good standing of a Baptist congregation. Therefore, you also must attend a Baptist congregation while a student.

It is up to a congregation to determine their name, sure. It is up to a church to determine a great many things. If said church elected to practice the baptism of infants, I doubt some of you would have anywhere as near as much a problem if Faith reacted similarly (Donn Arms might, since he works with Jay Adams and all... Smile ). I understand why this issue may not rank high with most of you. It does with Faith, though, and is clearly a part of what makes them the institution they are. I am glad they have made this consistent decision, and I am not ashamed to identify as an alumnus (even if our basketball team did get rung up for 138 points by one guy...).

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Offline
Since
Sun, 8/29/10
Posts: 59
Pastor Joe Roof wrote: What

Pastor Joe Roof wrote:

 What happens if you graduate from this college and become the Pastor of a Bible church - do they revoke your degree?

 

Not even close. Even though they may have wanted to, they didn't revoke Dr. Bauder's degree, or Dissidens' degree, or even Greg's, if you can believe that! Haha! (I refer possibly to degree's granted, perhaps, by institutions that may, or may not, have merged with Faith at a later date). 

Donn R Arms's picture
Offline
Since
Tue, 6/2/09
Posts: 72
Jay Adams

Greg Linscott wrote:

If said church elected to practice the baptism of infants, I doubt some of you would have anywhere as near as much a problem if Faith reacted similarly (Donn Arms might, since he works with Jay Adams and all... Smile ).

Hey, give me a little more time, Jay will come around.

Donn R Arms

Joel Tetreau's picture
Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 652
Private notes first

So I have a few things I'd like to say but because I love FBBC and several of the leaders connected to it, I'll need to have some private correspondence before I would say anything in public. I would encourage pastors who have had students at FBBC and S to do the same. I understand that in one sense because this has been made public it would be OK to comment publicly - I still think private correspondence first is the better road. At least for me. I'm trying to be more consistent with this - especially when this is with friends.

Straight Ahead!

jt

Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Baptist Church (sevbc.org); Regional Coordinator for IBL West (iblministry.com), Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

Offline
Since
Fri, 7/31/09
Posts: 214
Dissent

I dissent from what seems to be the majority opinion here.  What's the old quote -- "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds"?  I read the entire statement, including the attempt to rationalize that this has always been the school's position.  But the history recited establishes only that the school has always required its students and faculty to attend Baptist churches.  Nothing supports the claim that the policy has always been that the church has to not only be Baptist in its doctrine, incorporation, practice, and/or affiliation, but that it also has to have Baptist on the sign.  The various comments above that stress that Faith has always been Baptist are missing the point.  Saylorville Church is still Baptist, including in its GARBC affiliation and, apparently, in its legal name.  Nothing has changed except the signage.  (The statement makes no attempt to claim that Saylorville Church dropped Baptist from the name because it isn't or doesn't want to be Baptist anymore.)  And for that, students and faculty who are part of that body, and have been for any number of years, now have to choose between the college and the church?  C'mon, folks.  That's ridiculous.  Which degree of separation is it when you separate over nothing other than a name?

 

 

Greg Linscott's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 5/22/09
Posts: 2268
Reality

The reality is that this situation has been brewing for a while. There are competing approaches to ministry (and have been for quite some time), and this is the place where it was brought to a head. Maybe it's like Al Capone getting nailed for tax evasion, but there you go. Everyone knew what was coming, on both sides.

 

Illustration:
 

Christmas at FBBC:

http://youtu.be/qXJTeCoK8-g

 

 

Christmas at Saylorville:

http://youtu.be/fEadG0LQcuE

 

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Joel Shaffer's picture
Offline
Since
Tue, 6/16/09
Posts: 377
Greg, your are very right

Greg, your are very right about the significant differences between Faith and Saylorville (as evidenced by their Christmas programs) But FBBC's main public argument for separating is not because of their differing ministry and music styles, but because Saylorville doesn't have Baptist on their church sign.  

 

Greg Linscott's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 5/22/09
Posts: 2268
Yes...

Yes, that is true- and as I observed, that has been an important issue to the school over its history. When I was a student (around 1999-2000), a popular professor by the name of John Colyer was removed from his classes mid-semester because he took a pastoral position in a church that had been founded as Des Moines Baptist, but was by that time known as Grace Church (and had been for quite some time)- and even previous to that, Grace was not on the list of approved churches for students to attend. So the action is not without some precedence.

Within the GARBC context itself, one can look at the history of the transition of Grand Rapids Baptist College to Cornerstone University to see why an issue like this is of concern if a school like Faith has a desire to maintain its institutional distinctives, measures like this seem prudent. A big issue with the Grand Rapids situation at the time of the transition (I lived in GR in those days and was in a GARBC church, though I never attended the school) was the push for students and faculty to be able to attend Calvary Church, pastored at the time by Ed Dobson, and quite literally almost adjacent to the school property.  

In this case, the name (and changing the name, especially when one has had it in the title) is often indicative of changing ideas. There are conservative churches that don't have "Baptist" in the tile and all that. I understand. At the same time, I also understand in their Iowa context, the name "Baptist" does still tend to mean something, and certainly would cause no more of a problem that would, say, "church." Other preferable labels (say, "Bible Church") tend to have a different significance in Iowa than they might elsewhere (example- http://www.openbible.org/about_history.aspx).

So, this is not necessarily a policy I would argue for universally for every church in every situation. But for the context of where Faith is-  in Iowa, in the GARBC, and so on, it makes sense.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Offline
Since
Tue, 6/2/09
Posts: 144
Hmmm. Faith "celebrates the autonomy of the local church"?

As it was said in an article linked on SI predicting the future of Churches in America [something like] "Baptist" will continue to be a meaningless term since almost any heretical doctrine and practice can be found in churches which call themselves "Baptist." [Full disclosure: my daughter attended Faith and the Saylorville church a few years ago.]

I especially find this statement to be disingenuous: 

We readily recognize Saylorville’s autonomous right to make their own choice to change their name. Our own Definition and Direction Statement celebrates the autonomy of the local church. We freely acknowledge that local churches are at liberty to make their own decisions and only ask that others acknowledge our own freedom to pursue intended consistency when we are faced with new events beyond our control. 

However, Faith only exists to serve and promote local churches. But, they are now asking Professors, staff and students who are members at a local church to make a decision: either look for a new job or stick with the church they have served in for many years. If they really believe in the "autonomy of the local church" (one of the Baptist distinctives) and that the Saylorville church has not begun teaching false doctrine they would not ask their staff to make this decision. At worst they should grandfather in anyone who is already a member there and not approve of new memberships in churches that do not have "Baptist" in their name. If all of the Faith people leave Saylorville they probably will gut the leadership of the church. If all of the Saylorville people resign, it will hurt the college. They should have just let sleeping dogs lie.

I don't know what this really will do to Faith. I am in total agreement with their "historic" position but using the name "baptist" in the name of a church is not a biblical requirement. I would think as long as a church clearly identifies itself as "baptistic" in its documents (and practice), they should accept it. If they don't reexamine this position they may end up going the way of Pillsbury which narrowed their constituency so much they separated themselves out of existence. I do think a school can require its students (and faculty) to go to certain churches (e.g. I don't think a prof at Faith should be free to join a RCC church or one of the liberal denominations) but the more tightly they regulate this issue the more they are meddling in the autonomy of the local church.

 

MS
--------------------------------
Luke 17:10

Offline
Since
Tue, 6/2/09
Posts: 144
Does the url count?

I just noticed their URL is still http://www.saylorvillebaptist.com/

Doesn't that count for something? Biggrin

MS
--------------------------------
Luke 17:10

Chip Van Emmerik's picture
Offline
Since
Thu, 6/4/09
Posts: 1696
Greg Linscott wrote:Pat has

Greg Linscott wrote:
Pat has been progressive in his practice in the last 10-15 years compared to most of the other pastors and churches in the association (which is among the most conservative groups in the GARBC). It is to Faith's credit, I would argue, that a similar decision to this did not take place much sooner, simply due to competing philosophies of ministry. The differences in practice were certainly there, most prominently seen in music, but I would say not exclusively so.

If there are doctrinal issues, then make the stand on doctrinal issues. They staked their position in this decision on a label. 

Greg Linscott wrote:
Whether one agrees with Faith on the reasoning behind the principle, I believe you have to admire them for being consistent with their stated beliefs, even though it will have painful consequences.
I don't have to admire them if I am convinced the principle they are choosing to uphold is faulty.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Chip Van Emmerik's picture
Offline
Since
Thu, 6/4/09
Posts: 1696
Aaron Blumer wrote:I'm

Aaron Blumer wrote:
I'm supportive of the idea that schools that have historically claimed a particular doctrinal tradition should maintain that tradition in both substance and name, whether it's Baptist, Presbyterian, Reformed or whatever. These labels have historical significance and if there's anything we need more of these days (especially in schools) its historical awareness. Not that there isn't a downside to the labels as well. I'm not sure what the bottom line is. But I have to respect institutions that honor their roots.
Aaron,

You are hitting on my point exactly. There is NO significance to the title Baptist any more. You have right wing nut cases like Westboro Baptist, First Baptist Hammond and Faithful Word Baptist on one side and pro-abortion, pro-homosexual Baptist nut cases on the left. Identifying as a Baptist on the street-side sign or church stationary literally communicates nothing, or next to nothing, about a church anymore.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Greg Linscott's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 5/22/09
Posts: 2268
But FBBC's main public

But FBBC's main public argument for separating is not because of their differing ministry and music styles, but because Saylorville doesn't have Baptist on their church sign.

I would argue, for the sake of this discussion, that the removal of "Baptist" from the church was an indicator of "differing ministry style."

Again, as I said elsewhere, I realize that isn't a universal principle (keeping "Baptist" in the name). I would even go so far as to say that there are issues that could have been addressed more clearly and directly other than the "Baptist" label. It strikes me as a process very similar to the way the Cedarville issues was handled in the GARBC. There were definite concerns with their position and practice amongst much of the GARBC constituency for years, but there were also concerns of preserving the unity that led to a moderating kind of effort, or what I called in conversing with a friend last night a sort of "non-confrontationalism." Eventually, they did say what needed to be said and do what needed to be done, but not before doing things like re-vamping the approval system for schools and institutions into a "Ministry Partnership," and eventually disposing of the system altogether in an effort to distance themselves with taking the issue head-on. It was, as I understand it, after all these steps were taken and Cedarville desired to keep advertising in the Baptist Bulletin and use the National Conferences as opportunities for promotion and alumni gatherings that the issue finally came to a head in 2006 (see here: http://sharperiron.org/2006/06/29/garbc-messengers-separate-from-cedarville-adopt-separation-statement).

At the same time, with Faith and the Baptist label, this isn't the only church to which this policy would apply in the Des Moines area. The outcome of the policy in the immediate vicinity, for them, has been an effective filter in helping them maintain their course, which has definite parameters that would include but not be limited to some of the issues discussed in this thread (they are committed to a pre-trib/pre-mil dispensationalism, for example).

I can also understand the remarks being made about local church autonomy. I would ask, though- what other solution would you propose for them to pursue that would allow for local church autonomy yet permit Faith to preserve the course they have committed to traveling? 

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Donn R Arms's picture
Offline
Since
Tue, 6/2/09
Posts: 72
Greg Linscott wrote: I would

Greg Linscott wrote:

I would ask, though- what other solution would you propose for them to pursue that would allow for local church autonomy yet permit Faith to preserve the course they have committed to traveling? 

 

OK, I'll bite. I don't usually involve myself in these discussions but FBBC is where I first cut my teeth theologically. Solution? Christian liberty. Let any student who wants to take classes at FBBC do so--Catholic, Mormon, Charismatic, KJV only Fundamentalist. If they do the work, give them a degree. Let students become members of whatever church they please. It is the duty of the board and administration to assure doctrinal orthodoxy of what is taught, not the students. What does where a student attends church have anything to do with "preserving the course" Faith has "committed to traveling."

A diploma from FBBC does not certify anyone's fitness for ministry. FBBC does not ordain, churches do. Any church that treats an FBBC diploma as a Baptist union card does so at its own peril.

Donn R Arms

Offline
Since
Sun, 8/29/10
Posts: 59
MShep2 wrote: But, they are

MShep2 wrote:

But, they are now asking Professors, staff and students who are members at a local church to make a decision: either look for a new job or stick with the church they have served in for many years. If they really believe in the "autonomy of the local church" (one of the Baptist distinctives) and that the Saylorville church has not begun teaching false doctrine they would not ask their staff to make this decision.

 

MShep2 - for honesty's sake, people need to stop setting this thing on its head. Faith didn't change its policy. The GARBC changed its policy a year ago. Faith had to think about how it would respond in clarifying their documents (handbooks, purposes statements, etc., were all written based on the assumption that a GARB church had "baptist" in the name, because that was the GARBC's policy until a year ago). But they did nothing hasty. Saylorville forced their hand in much the same way that Cedarville did to the GARBC several years ago. Saylorville was the one who stepped outside of the FBBC bubble. You really can't honestly blame FBBC for being who they have always been. You can't jump over the line and then play the victim card. Saylorville was fully aware that they were forcing some of their members into a terribly awkward position, but they went ahead with it anyway.

As Greg said, these are two different ministry philosophies. The connection was going to break at some point, this just happened to be the "efficient cause." The same can be (and has been) said of the Reformation (and no, I'm not saying this is that important). There were many causes at work. The name change was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak.

Offline
Since
Sun, 8/29/10
Posts: 59
Donn- I actually agree with

Donn- I actually agree with you, but that isn't Faith's policy. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending your perspective) you and I are not the policy makers at Faith!

 

It is interesting to the bullying FBBC is taking from the GARBC and Saylorville. Not that it is necessarily intentionally so. Matt Lapine said on facebook, and I agree with him, the real story here is probably bigger than FBBC and Saylorville. This speaks to the state of the GARBC that you are starting to see fissures form within the association. I don't know where it will lead, but the fellowship seems to be breaking. Even Elrond's and Gandalf's councils can go amiss. Or so it may seem for a time. 

Greg Linscott's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 5/22/09
Posts: 2268
To Donn...

Let any student who wants to take classes at FBBC do so--Catholic, Mormon, Charismatic, KJV only Fundamentalist. If they do the work, give them a degree. Let students become members of whatever church they please.

Okay... what about faculty? Does church affiliation not matter, either? That is a major issue in this matter, I would say.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Susan R's picture
Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 4309
The role of church

Donn R Arms wrote:

Greg Linscott wrote:

I would ask, though- what other solution would you propose for them to pursue that would allow for local church autonomy yet permit Faith to preserve the course they have committed to traveling?

OK, I'll bite. I don't usually involve myself in these discussions but FBBC is where I first cut my teeth theologically. Solution? Christian liberty. Let any student who wants to take classes at FBBC do so--Catholic, Mormon, Charismatic, KJV only Fundamentalist. If they do the work, give them a degree. Let students become members of whatever church they please. It is the duty of the board and administration to assure doctrinal orthodoxy of what is taught, not the students. What does where a student attends church have anything to do with "preserving the course" Faith has "committed to traveling."

A diploma from FBBC does not certify anyone's fitness for ministry. FBBC does not ordain, churches do. Any church that treats an FBBC diploma as a Baptist union card does so at its own peril.

This is an important point. Church DO take diplomas as a significant sign of qualifying for ministry. All the policies and diplomas in the world are not going to guarantee doctrinal fidelity. Motivations may be noble, but the execution is, IMO, defective. The role of the local church in preparing men for ministry has been supplanted instead of enhanced. Again, in my opinion.

Perhaps one reason these policies are in place is to ensure a place of moral purity for students (and parents). After all, if our doctrine is right, our conduct will be right. Right? <yes, I typed that with my sarcasm hand>

Is there evidence, by the way, that Saylorville is indeed devolving into false doctrine? Other than the name change? Have they revised their SoF or church constitution? Did I miss that?

Greg Linscott's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 5/22/09
Posts: 2268
Is there evidence, by the

Is there evidence, by the way, that Saylorville is indeed devolving into false doctrine? Other than the name change? Have they revised their SoF or church constitution? Did I miss that?

No. Even now, though- has Cornerstone University changed doctrinally in their statement since they were Grand Rapids Baptist (Bible- dropped earlier)) College? I don't have one in front of me, so if they have, that would be interesting to know. But have they changed practically?

 

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2009/11/cornerstone_uni...

 

http://www.rexmrogers.com/home/42-education/137-cornerstone-university-f...

 

This may not present a problem for some of you, and that is fine for the purposes of this discussion. I am observing that Faith desires to prevent the same thing from happening to them that happened to CU. This move is how they are going about it. If this isn't the best way to accomplish that, what would you suggest would be a better way?

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Offline
Since
Tue, 7/21/09
Posts: 672
The larger view...

Preface:  I was a full-time student at FBTS from 1994 to 1998 and received two master's degrees there. I have been away from Iowa since 2000, though I attempt to keep in contact with my alma mater. I have no direct connection to Saylorville, other than that my beloved professor, the late Dr. Ralph Turk, was once the senior pastor there -- in part while he was my teacher. For the sake of full disclosure, I do part-time, freelance writing and editing for Regular Baptist Press.

Premise: This situation has to be understood in a very specific context. You may ultimately disagree with either this decision or the way it was executed, but please be careful about viewing it as part of some larger, unrelated issue.

Faith offers the student an intimate academic experience at a (relatively speaking) small school -- located in the major metro area of the state. More importantly, Faith promotes a very specific view of theology -- a balanced fundamentalism intertwined with traditional dispensationalism -- and traditional views of scholarship, ministry and excellent, conservative worship. In my view, they do all of this in a way that does not come off as being heavy-handed, legalistic, stuffy or ingrown.

In other words, it is an excellent school! I have said that it is the best-kept secret in fundamentalism -- since it seems I run into many people who are unaware of this historic institution.

While I was a student there, there were full-time seminary students who pastored churches that were not identified as "Baptist," including one IFCA and one United Brethren. Several more non-Baptist pastors attended seminary modules -- including those from Bible, Grace Brethren and EFCA churches. These men were fully welcomed as colleagues and fellow students. Many, if not all, of the faculty have also had significant interactions with the larger evangelical world. The school has also allowed non-Baptist groups to make use of its facilities. Hence, my suspicion is that this matter is not ultimately about the name, "Baptist."

As Greg noted, for whatever reason, "Bible Churches" seem somewhat hard to find in Iowa, so in the past the normal practice of the school was naturally to be involved with local "Baptist Churches." Historically, Faith has also carried out its mission against the backdrop of its ties to the GARBC and the IARBC, which has given it a slightly different culture than other Baptist Bible colleges. I would argue, in fact, that it has caused less of an appearance of the college standing in authority over the local churches.

Application: My purpose is not to attempt to settle this situation, as I am not in position to offer any authoritative statement on it. But, personally, I would be very surprised if this signals a radical new course for the school in terms of either doctrine or practice.

My specific prayer is that Faith, Saylorville, the GARBC and the IARBC will each continue to fulfill God's particular purposes for them under the Great Commission, until Christ returns, and this matter will cause each one to "sharpen" its theological and ecclesiastical "iron." I also hope that this will not signal any long-term, widening division between Faith and the GARBC. May God give us wisdom.

The views I express are purely my own. However, I am happy to promote the great ministries with which I work: I minister for www.SermonAudio.com/Whitcomb. I do freelance writing for www.RegularBaptistPress.org. I speak through www.IMISOS.org.

Joel Shaffer's picture
Offline
Since
Tue, 6/16/09
Posts: 377
one slight correction

Within the GARBC context itself, one can look at the history of the transition of Grand Rapids Baptist College to Cornerstone University to see why an issue like this is of concern if a school like Faith has a desire to maintain its institutional distinctives, measures like this seem prudent. A big issue with the Grand Rapids situation at the time of the transition (I lived in GR in those days and was in a GARBC church, though I never attended the school) was the push for students and faculty to be able to attend Calvary Church, pastored at the time by Ed Dobson, and quite literally almost adjacent to the school property.  

I was a student at Grand Rapids Baptist College (now Cornerstone) from 1987-1991 and a very part-time seminary student at Grand Rapids Baptist  Seminary (now Grand Rapids Theological Seminary) from 1992 until I graduated in 2006.  Students were allowed to attend whatever fundamental or evangelical church that they desired.  However, it was later during the early 1990's that faculty and administration were allowed to attend conservative evangelical churches such as Calvary church.  

Greg Linscott's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 5/22/09
Posts: 2268
Thanks, Joel...

... for the correction.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Offline
Since
Sun, 8/29/10
Posts: 59
Another aspect to this

Another aspect to this situation, as pointed out to me by a reading non-SI member, is that Saylorville has planted 3 non denominational churches which are not GARBC or baptist in name or anywhere in any of their documents. One of these church plants merged with an E-Free congregation. Some of these plants have been planted very close to GARB churches in the metro area. So it seems to many (this person I spoke with made this clear) that Saylorville is trying to play both sides of the street, so to speak. I wasn't fully aware of these things until today. But it really helps put the thing in perspective.

Joel Shaffer's picture
Offline
Since
Tue, 6/16/09
Posts: 377
No. Even now, though- has

No. Even now, though- has Cornerstone University changed doctrinally in their statement since they were Grand Rapids Baptist (Bible- dropped earlier)) College? I don't have one in front of me, so if they have, that would be interesting to know. But have they changed practically?

 

 

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2009/11/cornerstone_uni...

 

 

http://www.rexmrogers.com/home/42-education/137-cornerstone-university-f...

 

 

This may not present a problem for some of you, and that is fine for the purposes of this discussion. I am observing that Faith desires to prevent the same thing from happening to them that happened to CU. This move is how they are going about it. If this isn't the best way to accomplish that, what would you suggest would be a better way?

Cornerstone's doctrinal statement is different than it was when it was Grand Rapids Baptist College.  It no longer embraces the more traditional dispensationalism that it once did.   However, I must say that most of my Bible professors at the College and Seminary embraced a more progressive dispensationalism already during the 1980's and 1990's so this is not surprising.  

 

Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 780
Attention Pastor Linscott - I

Attention Pastor Linscott - I have two degrees from Bob Jones Baptist University Smile

 

Joel Shaffer's picture
Offline
Since
Tue, 6/16/09
Posts: 377
There is much more than meets

There is much more than meets the eye with Grand Rapids Baptist becoming Cornerstone. In some ways its circumstances were different in that it was in the process of absorbing Grand Rapids School of Bible and Music, a non-denominational fundamentalist Bible school (IFCA).  Also, the school was slowly dying right before it became Cornerstone.  Finances did play a part in the decisions that were made with the name change.    

You ask a very good question whether Faith could have done something better.  I'm really not sure since I do not have strong connections to the GARBC in Iowa nor Faith, nor Saylorville to really know everything that was going on.  I do wonder, however, how Faith will deal with Baptist churches that resemble Saylorville in philosophy of ministry/music but still retain the name Baptist?  Will they allow their students to serve in these churches even when there is such a polarization when it comes to cultural issues such as music, dress, and etc...  For instance the two largest GARBC churches in the Grand Rapids area, Blythefield Hills Baptist Church and Kent City Baptist Church are very contemporary in these areas.  They still have Baptist in their name.  

 My only recent connection with Faith Baptist Students was when I spoke at Lincoln Lake Baptist Youth Camp a few years ago and got to know some of the counselors. Two young men from Faith that I was especially impressed by their godliness were also closet Christian Hip-Hop lovers, especially Lecrae.  That really surprised me.  

By the way, are certain people really bullying Faith about this?   

dcbii's picture
Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 950
Tough situation

This is truly an example of the "tail wagging the dog" when a school usurps the authority of the local church and tells employees they must leave a church they are members of and have been faithfully attending *after* they were already employed, and which was clearly approved when they started.

It's too bad that realities being what they are, most of the affected people will likely end up leaving the church rather than all of them leaving the school, since they will probably feel they have little choice in the matter.

If the church were truly becoming non-biblical, then most of the school staff there would end up leaving anyway of their own free wills, and this wouldn't have to be dictated to them. But since it's over something like "Baptist" being in the name, while it might be "consistent" for the school to take this stand, frankly, it's unwise for the school to put its employees in the position of choosing continued employment over something they believe to be wrong.

Sounds like the real lesson to be learned here is that most Christians should think long and hard before working at a place like this school, and given the school might force them out of a church, should just find a better place of employment since it could possibly happen to anyone. It's just not worth being yanked out of your church.

Dave Barnhart

Joel Shaffer's picture
Offline
Since
Tue, 6/16/09
Posts: 377
Another aspect to this

Another aspect to this situation, as pointed out to me by a reading non-SI member, is that Saylorville has planted 3 non denominational churches which are not GARBC or baptist in name or anywhere in any of their documents. One of these church plants merged with an E-Free congregation. Some of these plants have been planted very close to GARB churches in the metro area. So it seems to many (this person I spoke with made this clear) that Saylorville is trying to play both sides of the street, so to speak. I wasn't fully aware of these things until today. But it really helps put the thing in perspective.

That is very interesting.  To be honest, planting churches near other churches of like doctrine doesn't necessarily bother me because there are enough people that don't know Christ for everyone to evangelize and disciple.    I co-planted a non-denominational church (we are part of the Gospel Coalition) 3 blocks from a GARBC church whom we were (and still are) neighborhood missionaries with in inner-city Grand Rapids.    Since we were leading several thugs (gang-bangers and drug dealers) to Christ, we would have damaged this church if we'd have forced our way because the systems did not allow those whom we were discipling a way to become spiritual leaders in the church.  For instance, its child protection policy absolutely allows no repeat felons to be approved as youth leaders (we're not talking about crimes that were sexual) even if the crime took place 10 or 15 years ago and yet they were the best ones to reach back on the streets with the gospel because they came out of that lifestyle.   Yet they could not be approved to mentor a gang member that had started attending the church.    

 

Greg Linscott's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 5/22/09
Posts: 2268
I'm sure this will be in the front page lineup eventually...

...but another, more articulate perspective on the matter from Bauder-

http://www.centralseminary.edu/resources/nick-of-time/in-the-nick-of-tim...

"This may represent the hardest decision that the administration and board at Faith has ever made. They are not angry with Saylorville. They love its pastor and its staff, and they believe that Saylorville is in some ways a good model. They are not denouncing the church, but they are separating from it at one level. They are making this move because, if they do not, their principles will be obscured. They are aware that the decision will be costly."

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Offline
Since
Mon, 3/1/10
Posts: 741
Greg Linscott

Greg Linscott wrote:

@Shaynus- I think you meant Donn Arms, not Alex.

 

 

You're right. I knew something wasn't right.

dcbii's picture
Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 950
Bad (or false) reasons for separation

Greg Linscott wrote:

...but another, more articulate perspective on the matter from Bauder-

http://www.centralseminary.edu/resources/nick-of-time/in-the-nick-of-tim...

"This may represent the hardest decision that the administration and board at Faith has ever made. They are not angry with Saylorville. They love its pastor and its staff, and they believe that Saylorville is in some ways a good model. They are not denouncing the church, but they are separating from it at one level. They are making this move because, if they do not, their principles will be obscured. They are aware that the decision will be costly."


Well, if they are really making this decision over "Baptist" in the *name* of the church, then if there is any justice in the world, it *will* be costly for them. I'm afraid, though, that it's likely the ones paying the high cost will be those long-time church members who must leave their church rather than lose their employment.

If, on the other hand, it's really about a different direction in ministry that the church is taking, and there are practice issues that demand separation, then the school should be honest about the reasons for their separation, rather than hiding behind a "name change."

Dave Barnhart

Offline
Since
Sun, 8/29/10
Posts: 59
dcbii wrote:Greg Linscott

dcbii wrote:
Greg Linscott wrote:

...but another, more articulate perspective on the matter from Bauder-

http://www.centralseminary.edu/resources/nick-of-time/in-the-nick-of-tim...

"This may represent the hardest decision that the administration and board at Faith has ever made. They are not angry with Saylorville. They love its pastor and its staff, and they believe that Saylorville is in some ways a good model. They are not denouncing the church, but they are separating from it at one level. They are making this move because, if they do not, their principles will be obscured. They are aware that the decision will be costly."

Well, if they are really making this decision over "Baptist" in the *name* of the church, then if there is any justice in the world, it *will* be costly for them. I'm afraid, though, that it's likely the ones paying the high cost will be those long-time church members who must leave their church rather than lose their employment. If, on the other hand, it's really about a different direction in ministry that the church is taking, and there are practice issues that demand separation, then the school should be honest about the reasons for their separation, rather than hiding behind a "name change."

 

Dave - Faith isn't changing anything. They aren't leaving anyone in the lurch or making any of their employees or students make this decision. The church in question is forcing this issue. The church is the active participant here, not the innocent victim bystander. 

Offline
Since
Wed, 7/22/09
Posts: 22
Praise God

That Bauder article is awesome.  Praise God for Faith's stand.

 

Jamie Hart's picture
Offline
Since
Tue, 6/2/09
Posts: 100
Having a hard time with this...

I attended Faith from 1994-1999 (got married in there someplace and took a year off). When I read this statement I had a lot of mixed emotions...none of them positive. 

In lieu of the recent events in the GARBC, Faith is making a statement. They are making a declaration and saying, "We exist for the furtherance of a name." More than that, they are saying, "We refuse to support others who do not also exist to further that name."

The value they place on furthering that name is high. It's worth potentially hindering the ministry of a local church and their own effectiveness. 

At the end of the day, it's all about preserving a name. Unfortunately, it's the wrong name. 

 

Greg Linscott's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 5/22/09
Posts: 2268
Really, Jamie?

Jamie, your response sounds really strange to me, coming from someone who is planting a church that has to identify by a particular and even more specific name than "baptist" ("Harvest Bible Chapel")...

Maybe I don't understand your parameters, though. But why would requiring one name be a problem over another for someone like you?

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

dcbii's picture
Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 950
Messy, no matter which way you look at it...

JVDM wrote:

Dave - Faith isn't changing anything. They aren't leaving anyone in the lurch or making any of their employees or students make this decision. The church in question is forcing this issue. The church is the active participant here, not the innocent victim bystander. 

While Faith may not be changing anything on paper, their "clarification" that while they didn't specifically state that Baptist must be in the name, but now stating that that's what they meant, and now applying that "unwritten" rule at the very least gives the appearance that the rules mean what the school wants them to, not what is stated.  It's an application done in a way that makes it appear underhanded.

Again, if the *real* reason for this separation is clear differences in direction of ministry, then the school should just come out and say it.  People would still disagree, but then there wouldn't be the perception that this is all over something as ridiculous as a *name*, rather than a serious issue that warrants biblical separation.

And again, I don't change my contention that schools (at least Christian ones) serve the church, not the other way around.  The church in question is not (at least from what we have heard) changing its name just to cause a split with Faith.  Faith is making the issue out of this.  I'm not saying the church was completely passive, but if they are being separated from over a *name*, then I think it's clear which side has problems here.

Dave Barnhart

Greg Linscott's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 5/22/09
Posts: 2268
True...

And again, I don't change my contention that schools (at least Christian ones) serve the church, not the other way around.

...but which church(es)?

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Offline
Since
Sun, 8/29/10
Posts: 59
Dave - the "unwritten rule,"

Dave - the "unwritten rule," as you say, had been written down in several places. Greg already linked to the 20 year old essay written by Dr. George Houghton spelling out why they think the name Baptist is important. The GARBC in 2000 (I think) also stated that member churches had to have Baptist in their name. It is dishonest to portray this as if it were some unwritten rule. 

Greg is right - which churches does Faith serve? They serve the churches that think it is important to have Baptist in their name, just like they have for 20+ years, and just like the GARBC affirmed 12 or so years ago.

Offline
Since
Tue, 6/2/09
Posts: 144
Personification

In reading through this thread I have come to realize more and more how the "pathetic falacy" or "personification" muddles the argument. (I admit I participated in it too in my posts.) "Faith" is a college. "Saylorville Church" is an organization (local church). These entities decided nothing on their own. What should have been said is the BOARD of Faith has decided..... and the Congregation (or leadership) of Saylorville Baptist Church has decided.....

It confuses the argument to postulate through personification that the Faith College of today is the same as the Faith College of x number of years ago just because the same bricks and mortar are still there. People make decisions, not organizations. And, since they are people they can have right or wrong, correct or incorrect, motives when they make their decisions. AND, history, constitutions, "founding documents," etc. are creations of man and should not be seen as inspired and unchangeable.

I hope the decisions of the board of Faith and the congregation and leadership of Saylorville Church were based totally on God's Word and that they were done to glorify God and advance His kingdom.

MS
--------------------------------
Luke 17:10

dcbii's picture
Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 950
Dishonesty? Really? Let's take a look.

JVDM wrote:

Dave - the "unwritten rule," as you say, had been written down in several places. Greg already linked to the 20 year old essay written by Dr. George Houghton spelling out why they think the name Baptist is important. The GARBC in 2000 (I think) also stated that member churches had to have Baptist in their name. It is dishonest to portray this as if it were some unwritten rule. 

Well, lets examine this so-called dishonesty.  From the paper referenced in the first post above:

Faith Baptist Bible College wrote:

These issues impacted Faith because our Faculty and Employee Handbooks contained the following statement about church attendance.

Because of the importance that the College and Seminary places on the local church, all administration, faculty, and staff, full-time or part-time, are required to belong to an approved church and to become involved as the Lord leads as a member within one year of employment. An approved church consists of one associated with the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches or another independent, fundamental, separatist, Baptist church in the Des Moines area which holds and supports the doctrinal position of this institution.

The Administration at Faith carefully considered this church attendance policy. The Administration was in agreement that when we included all GARBC churches on the approved list, we did not consider that a church in the GARBC would not have the word “Baptist” in its name. Our clear intention is that employees and students will attend churches that openly identify themselves as Baptist churches, an intention made explicit in our standing, published position, and policy statements.

Notice that "openly identify themselves as Baptist churches" is NOT equivalent to "must have Baptist in the name."  Further, this paper makes it clear that they did not "consider that a church in the GARBC would not have the word "Baptist" in its name."  Otherwise, they would have written it down.  Since they didn't, it's unwritten.

 

Faith Baptist Bible College wrote:

Our stated policy with clear intention has been and continues to be that employees and students are to attend fundamental churches that have the word “Baptist” in their names.

Sorry, but the intention in the policy as written above is not as clear as Faith would like to make it.  Their intention is as unwritten as it gets.

Note this statement under their "convictions":

Faith Baptist Bible College wrote:

We firmly believe the title “Baptist” is to be part of the advertised name of Baptist organizations, churches, institutions, and agencies.

Note that while this seems like a clear statement of their convictions (but not written as a rule, and certainly not a doctrine straight from scripture), the actual policy, quoted above, does not make it a requirement, and as they themselves stated, they didn't consider that when writing the policy.

Sorry, but I completely reject your charge of "dishonesty."

Dave Barnhart

dcbii's picture
Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 950
Which churches?

Greg Linscott wrote:

And again, I don't change my contention that schools (at least Christian ones) serve the church, not the other way around.

...but which church(es)?

That is, of course, a good question.  In their case, the policy says that it would be either GARBC church or other approved independent fundamental Baptist church.  They did not consider that such could exist without Baptist in the name, as they themselves stated.  Interestingly, their new policy statement doesn't include something to really fix that part.

The bigger question of course, gets to the heart of why many believe that a model where a school is not an outgrowth and ministry of a single church, and subordinate to that church, cannot maintain doctrinal purity, and gets itself into political entanglements, often with churches that were originally closely aligned with the school, but now have shifted in doctrine, practice, or emphasis.

I would actually agree that going forward, they could state their policy clearly for new employees.  To retroactively apply something that they considered was "clearly" intended, but wasn't actually stated, and force people to leave a church that was acceptable when those employees started attending, over something that is not a stated doctrine of scripture, rather than a clear separation issue, is, in my view, illegitimately forcing people to have to decide either against their church (the institution Jesus set up for this age) or lose their employment.

Dave Barnhart

Greg Linscott's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 5/22/09
Posts: 2268
Single Church Model...

The bigger question of course, gets to the heart of why many believe that a model where a school is not an outgrowth and ministry of a single church, and subordinate to that church, cannot maintain doctrinal purity, and gets itself into political entanglements, often with churches that were originally closely aligned with the school, but now have shifted in doctrine, practice, or emphasis.

There are advantages to single church, yes. But that isn't a streamlined answer, either (reference, for example, Tennessee Temple...). 

Whatever else, Faith's boards (link- http://www.faith.edu/about-faith/personnel) consist of several local church pastors and members from Iowa and other states- churches that would be indicative of the clientele and constituency they serve, I would submit. The Iowa Association of Regular Baptist Churches maintains a very strong working connection with FBBC and between its affiliated congregations (in a way I've never seen anywhere else in the country, frankly), and is able to cooperate to Faith's ministry, even though no one single church in the state would really have the resources to keep a ministry like that going on its own. One thing that hasn't really been spoken of to this point in the conversation is that, though Saylorville maintains their connection to the national organization (GARBC), they no longer do with the state (IARBC) because of the name drop.

That may not make any difference to you, but there you go.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Offline
Since
Sun, 8/29/10
Posts: 59
dcbii wrote:   Sorry, but I

dcbii wrote:

 

Sorry, but I completely reject your charge of "dishonesty."

 

I mention two specific places where having Baptist in the name actually was written down by a Faith professor in a Faith publication as well as the GARBC from 12 or so years ago. When they limited church membership to GARBC churches, it was built in that Baptist would be in the name. That is, until one year ago.

You really can't win this argument, Dave. Dishonesty or inability to read...I don't know which suggestion is more charitable. This was Faith's written policy for at least 20 years. You can disagree with the policy, but that is not even part of this discussion. We are discussing whether this was a written policy or not -- and it obviously was.

As Greg points out, Faith could have changed the wording to "IARBC" instead of "GARBC" and it would have accomplished the same thing. Kudos to the board for not taking the easy way out on this by making it a matter semantics only to be rehashed in the future if the IARBC goes the way of Saylorville and the national association.

Jamie Hart's picture
Offline
Since
Tue, 6/2/09
Posts: 100
Really, Greg?

Greg Linscott wrote:

Jamie, your response sounds really strange to me, coming from someone who is planting a church that has to identify by a particular and even more specific name than "baptist" ("Harvest Bible Chapel")...

Maybe I don't understand your parameters, though. But why would requiring one name be a problem over another for someone like you?

Greg,

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you. Are you trying to say that Harvest's partnerships and associations are more separatist than Faith's? I'm sure you're not. I'm sure you know that along with planting Harvest churches we also partner outside of ourselves to support other works that preach the same gospel. We give ourselves to Harvest...but not JUST Harvest. Faith seems to be saying just the opposite. This is a statement to say that they are only interested in churches that carry the Baptist name. This satement says "It's about more than the gospel...more than doctrinal agreement. It's about the name."

Greg Linscott's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 5/22/09
Posts: 2268
Well...

In lieu of the recent events in the GARBC, Faith is making a statement. They are making a declaration and saying, "We exist for the furtherance of a name." More than that, they are saying, "We refuse to support others who do not also exist to further that name."

Jamie,

Are you saying that Harvest puts as much into church planters and efforts that aren't Harvest Bible Chapels as the ones in their network? I'm asking. It seems surveying the site that there is an expectation for new or "re-plants" to assume the name and approach in order to get the benefits of the support structure and so on. Maybe I'm wrong, though. If so, please, enlighten me.

Faith, as we would both know, is aware of and benefits from, and provides benefits to other people than Baptists. They did when we were there, and still do now. They would invest in and service churches other than Baptist ones, too, in limited ways- I know they have provided things like pulpit supply, bookstore services, Biblical counseling... But just like your network has a specific focus and obligation to its affiliates, Faith serves a constituency that is in some ways, geographical (the IARBC/IRBC dynamic), some ways organizational (the GARBC), and some ways ideological ("unaffliated" churches represented by people like Ernie Schmidt or Rick Shrader). In the past, you have  had people like George or Myron Houghton or Hartog III speaking at these conferences hosted by a group of New England Bible Churches (Link- http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/conferen/ministry.htm).

Central Seminary drew some lines not too long ago that addressed students not attending Bethlehem/Piper's church. This isn't that different, in my mind. There are specific ideas that the school wants to promote, partners that will help them as they work toward fulfilling ministries in ways they mutually agree with. For that matter, Faith has been quite diverse in the congregations represented and philosophies coexisting on campus (I sat under both John Colyer and Bill Edmondson; I took Biblical counseling courses as well as "Intro to Psychology and Counseling"; I listened to Ken Ham in chapel and Harry Gray in class...). 

You can read it to be about "the name"- but it is also about ideas and a philosophy contained in and connected to that name. We both know there were churches with Baptist in the name in the area students were not encouraged to attend (like the one of First Street, whose name escapes me at the moment). Faith hasn't changed on this. Maybe that makes some upset because they should have by now, but you and I both know that they are where they have always been, even as others have changed. Whether or not that is a good thing or not is beside the point. They are being consistent- and whether or not some want them to change, this is not a surprise to anyone who really knows the school. It's just not.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Offline
Since
Sun, 8/29/10
Posts: 59
Cornerstone Baptist Church is

Cornerstone Baptist Church is on First St....but that may be about the name too. ;)

There's also this: http://truthconference.org

Faculty from BJU as well as a Southern Baptist Seminary...and probably more, but I don't know who they are.

Jamie Hart's picture
Offline
Since
Tue, 6/2/09
Posts: 100
Thanks

Thanks, Greg. Your post was helpful.

I don't agree with Faith's stance on separation. I don't agree with many of their views, though we still agree on the same core doctrines I was taught when I was there. But I have to be careful about demonizing them and making this out to be more than it really is. Good reminders. 

Blessings. 

 

dcbii's picture
Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 950
No one wins here

JVDM wrote:

You really can't win this argument, Dave.

I don't have a need to win anything.  I don't have anything to do with Faith, and given what they are standing on here, I wouldn't want to.  I'm simply expressing my view of their standing on a name vs. a real separation issue.  I think when a stand is taken on something this trivial, everyone loses, especially those who have to choose between their church and their jobs.

Feel free to give kudos to the board and extend them your charity.  I, for one, don't need it.  If this is representative of what people think is a good application of separation in fundamentalism, then the movement is already dead.

Dave Barnhart

Greg Linscott's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 5/22/09
Posts: 2268
...

If this is representative of what people think is a good application of separation in fundamentalism, then the movement is already dead.

Dave,

Calling this "separation in Fundamentalism" is kind of like saying that my being excluded from the BJU alumni association is. Yes, they are both a kind of a separation, but not like separating from apostasy.

The Faith situation is a little more serious, but in a way, it's not much different than Faith not serving the interests of gospel-preaching Presbyterians, or continuationists, or pre-wrath rapture advocates. They are maintaining distinctives. They aren't the first Christians to do so, and won't be the last. As much as Saylorville claims they are still Baptists (and I would say that they are), they aren't the kind of Baptists that Faith will identify with, just like Saylorville, by dropping the name, doesn't especially want to identify with the kind of Baptists Faith are.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Chip Van Emmerik's picture
Offline
Since
Thu, 6/4/09
Posts: 1696
Greg, I think the whole point

Greg,

I think the whole point is about the reasoning Faith has used in writing to explain their actions. Would this action have taken place if Saylorville hadn't dropped "Baptist" from the name?

If yes - then this whole kerfluffle is a cop-out to try and avoid the real issues and pursuant controversy and all the ciriticism here is deserved.

If no - then all the criticism here is deserved because the label doesn't mean a thing anymore, the beliefs and practices are what's important.

I don't have a problem with Faith saying here we stand, and your movement at Saylorville has moved us appart - if the changes cited are legitimate, biblical issues. Those issues may exist. But Faith apparently chose not to deal with those issues. Consequently, this will all blow up again in a few years when another neighboring church changes philosophy but doesn't change the name.

Ultimately, this is the same path fundamentalists have followed when remaining aligned with KJVO, no pants on women, short hair on men, label Calvinism heresy churches because they still call themselves fundamentalists while denouncing more doctrinally sound ministries (like MacArthur's, Dever's or Mohler's) because they refuse to be called fundamentalists. If you are going to militantly stand for what's right, then stand all the way for what's right - not just for what's convenient to hopefully get where you think right is.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Offline
Since
Sun, 8/29/10
Posts: 59
This is a worthy line of

This is a worthy line of thinking, Chip. Others agree

Greg Linscott's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 5/22/09
Posts: 2268
I don't have a problem with

I don't have a problem with Faith saying here we stand, and your movement at Saylorville has moved us appart - if the changes cited are legitimate, biblical issues. Those issues may exist. But Faith apparently chose not to deal with those issues. Consequently, this will all blow up again in a few years when another neighboring church changes philosophy but doesn't change the name.

Chip,

Though they have dealt with an issue to some degree, I expect you are right in your last sentence. Though I haven't lived in the area for some time, there are other IARBC churches in the area who have philosophies of ministry that would be, um, different from Faith's stated positions (which was true when I was there, I know).

So who knows? Saylorville, as I understand it, was the most aggressive in pursuing changes in ministry approach. It will be interesting to see what transpires in the future. Faith has made some practical changes of late. It will be interesting, since so much is being left unsaid regarding philosophical differences (which, I suspect, is because there are differences even amongst the board members on what acceptable latitude is in these areas), what ends up being included in principles of unwavering conviction and what ends up being considered acceptable as   "...changing... standards among those in ministry."

 

Consequently, this will all blow up again in a few years when another neighboring church changes philosophy but doesn't change the name.

Or, if someone would start an unaffiliated church with Baptist in the name in the area, but have a prominent philosophical or ministry difference with Faith- say, progressive dispensational, or plural elders, or strict family-integrated...

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

dcbii's picture
Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 950
Finality

JVDM wrote:

This is a worthy line of thinking, Chip. Others agree

What Chip stated is exactly what I've been saying all along, although apparently not as well as Chip.  You can see some of my earlier posts to confirm this.

In any case, after having my heart refreshed and convicted this morning, I have concluded that I should cease participation in this thread.  You and I have stated our positions on this issue, and we are not going to convince the other.  Hence, any further discussion along these lines is going to be unproductive, and, at least in my opinion, not likely to be God-honoring.  From my side, I'm going to agree to disagree.

Have a great Sunday.

Dave Barnhart

Offline
Since
Sun, 8/29/10
Posts: 59
There are several issues here

There are several issues here and several different discussions. 

Most of the reaction has been from folks that have an ax to grind against Faith, and so they are attacking them for clarifying their stance on the Baptist name. These folks can disagree with Faith's conviction that the Baptist name is important within their context. But you can't say "it was an unwritten rule." That is a lie. And you can't say (like most of the social media attacks have said) that you are surprised and hurt and shocked that FBBC would do such a thing. As Dennis Green once said, "they are who we thought they were." So get over yourself on that front. That is my position, and I'll defend FBBC's right to defend their long-held convictions. Even though I actually don't think the Baptist name thing is such a big deal.

Others have brought up that the college shouldn't be lording over the churches in the area. But it is also a false depiction. Faith has rules for its employees and its students, just like every place of employment has such rules. If anyone is doing any bullying here it is the church in question. 

 

The issue Chip brings up is entirely different. It is the issue that Dissidens describes so vividly in the link above. 

 

FBBC has mostly sat on its hands and kept its mouth shut while allowing its students and employees profane holy things next door. And now they're going to hide behind the name issue to do what they've wanted to do for a long time? 

As always there's a lot going on behind the scenes that we will never know about. I'm sure a great deal of the silence has come about due to the large numbers of students and employees that either go to Saylorville or would love to worship like Justin Bieber. Having a king or a "Doc" is a sword that cuts both ways. FBBC has never been that kind of institution, so issues like this are decided by groups of people who have to consider their own families and flocks and all of that. For better or worse, that is the way FBBC has always been.

I also agree with Dissidens that even the conservatives in the FBBC orbit that had serious concerns over the Saylorville direction simply don't have the tools in their tool box to make the case. Dr. Bauder does. Dissidens does (mostly explosives and sharp knives). Aniol does.

But I think Joel Tetreau's comment in the "Open Letter" thread is telling - most people who are conservative like him don't really know why or how to defend it, and they are skeptical when anyone tries. You know, cuz it'd be real bad if all we sang was Bach and Beethoven. Can't have that!

But seriously, Joel is conservative, and he wants to stand up against the only conservatives that are articulating a truly conservative philosophy? 

"They are fighting the only battle they know to fight, and I think we should mark this confusion."

Offline
Since
Fri, 10/5/12
Posts: 28
Salorville christmas vs Faith christmas

Side note-  It appears to me from the little glimpses of audience that you see in the "Salorville Christmas" that the audience does not cover the same demographic as the "Faith Christmas".  While I am not comfortable with the Salorville video linked may I suggest that the audience at Salorville looks like a very young crowd.  I would liken the Salorville Christmas video to a youth group entertainment hour.  I skimmed over a good portion of it and it looks to me to be fairly typical of the E-free youth group entertainment.  (this goes into a different philosophy of what we do with our youth)

Contrast the Faith Christmas concert which is a much different demographic.  It has many guests from many different churches-some even from out of state.  It is not a "youth group" setting by any stretch of the imagination.  It is a very "elegant" setting from my own experience.  

  I would contend that it looks like we are not comparing apples to apples.  IF the Salorville service linked was an official christmas church service-ie, invite your children, grandparents, uncles, aunts, unsaved neighbors... it would be a more similar comparison IMO.  Even in the church I grew up in things were not done the same way with a crowd of young people as were done for a church service.  

Even though it is not something that I would want happening in our church I believe we should fairly represent it.  We can discuss if what was shown in the video is across the board representative of their services as a whole-but the context in which it was happening is important IMO to the discussion. 

Greg Linscott's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 5/22/09
Posts: 2268
A fair point...

I have attended youth events that were more entertainment oriented that the Christmas concert. A couple of years ago, our daughters went with our church teens to FaithFest and heard Will Galkin... That was pretty intense... Smile

That being said, the truth is somewhere in between. The videos are representative of extremes (and different audiences), but not too far off from what would be center for Faith or Saylorville, especially where college students would be concerned and constitute the primary audience.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Rob Fall's picture
Offline
Since
Tue, 6/2/09
Posts: 827
A Dr. M. James Hollowood Moment

Dr. H is the late Maranatha Systematic Theology professor.  His take was why are these folks (students, faculty, and staff) here (in Watertown, WI).  They are here to study, teach, and support  MBBC.  This philosophy was shared by his wife, Mrs. Jane Hollowood, MBBC's Dean of women and lead to some low level friction with the local churches.

 

Why does this matter here?  The same question can be asked of the FBBC faculty and students attending Saylorville Church.  Why are they in Ankeny in the first place?  Is it to be educated and teach at FBBC?  Is it to attend and serve at Saylorville Church?

 

 

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Jim's picture
Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 6519
? re scope of impacted employees and students

Question about the scope of the impact in term of numbers of employees and students:

  • Does anyone know how many students this impacts (current FFBC students attending Saylorville Church who will need to find different church)?
  • And then how many FFBC employees are impacted (currently members of Saylorville Church and will need to find another church)?

Does someone in the Ankeny area have a definitive answer? 

I ask because I hypothesize that the impact is small. Perhaps just a handful of employees and several dozen students.

 

Greg Linscott's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 5/22/09
Posts: 2268
Well...

Jim-

"Several dozen students" in an enrollment like Faith has is not a "small impact."

According to the Wikipedia- 
Academic staff 30
Students 330

Also, would you count students who attended there only during the academic year, or only students who were year-round members?

Rob- 

Not knowing MBBC as well, I would say it is a little different, still, at Faith. Pat Nemmer's predecessor was a Faith prof. The church is full of alumni, and several staff and faculty have been a part of the congregation over the years. Now, as I understand it, some  faculty have left on their own accord well before this decision was made, because of concerns with methods and so on. Some have stayed, too- Randy Smith (who was my English instructor) is a member of Saylorville- you can read some of his comments on the topic in this Facebook thread- https://www.facebook.com/faithbaptistbiblecollege/posts/295208817269033

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Offline
Since
Tue, 6/2/09
Posts: 64
Maranatha

Maranatha went through a similar situation years ago when a church in nearby Waterloo, WI removed Baptist from their name. Students and staff were not allowed to attend the church anymore. At least one staff member resigned from his position because of his role with the church.  It did affect several students as well. The pastor at the time was a graduate of MBBC and the church was largely MBBC people. The pastor's desire was to remove any negative feelings the small community had towards the church. The church went through their struggles, changed names again, and is currently going very strong. All that said, I did not blame MBBC then, and I don't blame FBBC now. A school needs to have some control over where the students go to church. I am just thankful I went to a school where I COULD go to a local church on a Sunday morning - even more than that, I was encouraged to go to a church where I could be mentored by pastors and lay leaders that would support what I was learning in the classroom. I guess my point is, every school has to make some kind of call as to where they will allow their students and staff to attend church. What is interesting to me is that the opposition to Faith's decision seems to be more than the opposition to BJU's rule for years that prevented staff living on campus to even attend their church on a Sunday morning. That one I could never figure out.

Rob Fall's picture
Offline
Since
Tue, 6/2/09
Posts: 827
That happened way after my

That happened way after my time on campus.  Keep in mind I came home to San Francisco after graduating and have no other ties back East (anyplace East of Sacramento)

Bob Nutzhorn wrote:

Maranatha went through a similar situation years ago when a church in nearby Waterloo, WI removed Baptist from their name. SNIP

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Jim's picture
Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 6519
Answering my own question

Jim wrote:

Question about the scope of the impact in term of numbers of employees and students:

  • Does anyone know how many students this impacts (current FFBC students attending Saylorville Church who will need to find different church)?
  • And then how many FFBC employees are impacted (currently members of Saylorville Church and will need to find another church)?

Does someone in the Ankeny area have a definitive answer? 

I ask because I hypothesize that the impact is small. Perhaps just a handful of employees and several dozen students.

 

I had contact with a Faith student whom I know well. He does not attend Saylorville. He reports:

  • "I have heard around 40 students attend Saylorville. The students from the area that are members at the church will still be allowed to attend."
  • "I am not quite sure on the number of faculty/staff, but there are 2 professors that will not be returning next year. Also several from the financial aid office attend, as well as both the athletic director and assistant athletic director and the head of maintenance"
  • "Within the student body, the reaction is mostly negative, even though there is a large number, including myself, that would never attend. The primary reasoning that Saylorville removed "baptist" from the name is because is at times was a hindrance to their evangelism ministry which is quite large (they have planted 3 churches in 5 years.) When Saylorville called their current pastor (I believe it was 7 years ago,) this pastor brought in a more contemporary-style atmosphere to the church. My belief is that if Faith had to remove Saylorville from the approved list, they should have done it either at this time (since the music of the church clearly violates the school's music philosophy,) or wait until a later time when (if) Saylorville begins to deviate doctrinally."
Jim's picture
Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 6519
Answering Greg

Greg Linscott wrote:
I would ask, though- what other solution would you propose for them to pursue that would allow for local church autonomy yet permit Faith to preserve the course they have committed to traveling? 

  • I appreciate Faith.
  • We financially support Faith (and I say this not to brag ... for all you know perhaps I only gave them $ 5 last year! My financial support - and it is the only Bible College I support financially - is indicative of my confidence in the school!)
  • I appreciate Dr Maxwell and the Faith admin team (including Don Anderson!) And I have confidence in these leaders
  • I appreciate Faith's consistent Baptist, separatist, dispensational position (although I am less-dispensational then they!)
  • I appreciate their quiet approach - not out blogging and being shot at! (In contrast to another school / President not named (whom I also appreciate!)
  • I appreciate their narrow focus - preparing young adults for vocational ministry
  • I appreciate their fiscal conservatism and financial transparency.
  • I add that I know and work with many Faith grads (Don Anderson's son in our Y/A ministry and others at 4th Baptist). Faith produces a solid product!

In my view they:

  • Had to act
  • It makes particular sense with regard to employees - that seems crystal clear to me
  • Sounds like their policy makes provision for local students ... you come from a Bible church in the area ... makes sense to stay there
  • It makes sense to the students in general ... but I think in this area they could have grand-fathered in current students who attend Saylorville and made the policy effective for new students only

But in conclusion: I stand behind the administration.

 

Greg Linscott's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 5/22/09
Posts: 2268
Pastor Pat Nemmers

When Saylorville called their current pastor (I believe it was 7 years ago,) this pastor brought in a more contemporary-style atmosphere to the church.

Pat has been there longer than 7 years. He was in place (and had been for a while) in 2000-01 when I was a student. He even spoke at a Men For Christ rally when it was at Faith sometime around then... Saylorville was always, speaking charitably, on the "leading edge" of things, but the changes in methods Pat made at Saylorville were not as pronounced at first as they are now.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Greg Linscott's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 5/22/09
Posts: 2268
Saylorville Response

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Offline
Since
Tue, 6/2/09
Posts: 37
JVDM wrote:I mention two

JVDM wrote:
I mention two specific places where having Baptist in the name actually was written down by a Faith professor in a Faith publication as well as the GARBC from 12 or so years ago. When they limited church membership to GARBC churches, it was built in that Baptist would be in the name. That is, until one year ago.

This was Faith's written policy for at least 20 years. You can disagree with the policy, but that is not even part of this discussion. We are discussing whether this was a written policy or not -- and it obviously was.

Faith's written policy was that the churches be a member of the GARBC. Just because a professor wrote it in a publication, does not make it part of the rules. It was NOT written policy for 20 years. If it were, the board at Faith would not feel it necessary to further define what is and isn't an acceptable church. Faith has changed its stance. You can try to explain it away in that the intent is still the same, but the policy DID change.

Until 2000, the term Baptist in the name was NOT a requirement for joining the GARBC. In 2000, it was added, and then in 2011 that policy was once again changed to state that a church seeking membership in the GARBC “must publicly identify itself as a Baptist church in its corporate documents and in its practice.” So, once again, the word Baptist has not always been a distinguishing term.

As has been mentioned, it would just be more honest if Faith would come out and say, we don't like how Saylorville Church and their leadership does church, therefore, Saylorville is not approved.

Greg Linscott's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 5/22/09
Posts: 2268
"NOT a requirement for joining the GARBC...:

I wonder, in light of wbarkema's observation, if the GARBC has an official statement on whether clergy should be male. If not, and a statement was made, say, this year, would that mean that was a new position, and not reflective of where the Association has stood through its history?

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Offline
Since
Tue, 6/2/09
Posts: 37
Greg Linscott wrote:I wonder,

Greg Linscott wrote:
I wonder, in light of wbarkema's observation, if the GARBC has an official statement on whether clergy should be male. If not, and a statement was made, say, this year, would that mean that was a new position, and not reflective of where the Association has stood through its history?

That is a straw man argument Greg. Bernie Augsburger in his article in the Baptist Bulletin addresses the name Baptist in a church's name and talks about the historical fact, that it had NOT been a requirement until 2000. http://baptistbulletin.org/?p=27236. The implication might have been there, but the Council at that time was much more concerned with how the church functioned than what was in it's name.

Greg Linscott's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 5/22/09
Posts: 2268
Why is it a straw man?

W (may I call you W? Smile ),

 

Why is it a straw man? I understand what Bernie Augsberger is saying, but at the same time, what he doesn't say is if  there were ever any churches that didn't actually have Baptist in the name in the GARBC. I honestly don't know for sure, but I suspect there have not been until recently. This development is pretty recent as far as the Association goes (I know there is historical precedent outside the Association- Spurgeon, etc.).

All I am saying is that a policy may have been changed, but that doesn't mean the stance has. Even with the GARBC and the Baptist label, they had to address it in policy because practice was changing, even though it had not been codified in a policy requirement previously. Like the example I cited, if they would say something in a policy today that required affiliate congregations to have male pastors only, that would not indicate a change or shift- it would be codifying something that has been to this point assumed. To say it had never been a requirement previously might be true, technically, but would not be true of the established practice.

We actually had something similar to this happen when I was at Altoona. When our church was founded, they essentially borrowed from the GARBC doctrinal statement to comprise the statement of the church. At that point, the statement affirmed pre-mil, but was not explicitly pre-trib in its eschatology. Over time, the GARBC did specify, but our church never did update things to reflect that in the document, though we were right there with them practically speaking. We had someone who joined, a believer who had been converted in a church outside our circles of influence, and was at that point undecided on his eschatological conclusions. He reviewed the existing statement, saw it was ambiguous in that area, and decided he would not be conflicted and joined. He never brought it up, even, because he thought we permitted a variety of views.

Eventually, the pastor preached on the matter, and made a statement to the effect that what he was teaching (a pre-trib interpretation) was both true and was what the church believed. This raised a flag in the mind of the member, who then went to the pastor for clarification. The pastor was surprised, to say in the least, that a pre-trib statement wasn't actually in our constitution. The congregation did eventually vote to place one in there, and the man did eventually end up leaving amicably because he did not reach a pre-trib conclusion.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Offline
Since
Tue, 6/2/09
Posts: 37
Because it isn't an equivalent argument

It's a straw man because it isn't an equivalent argument. First, the Articles of Faith point towards a male clergy, so it is not equivalent. Second, I would equate this to writing into the Articles of Faith that worship should always be done with a piano and organ with no other accompanying instruments. Then, having them say that there has been a number of articles written by founding members of the GARBC to demonstrate the ills of contemporary worship and a majority (or more) of the affiliated churches do not use contemporary forms of worship. Therefore, they are not changing their position.

While Baptist has been important, it has not been a requirement until 2000, and is now not a requirement again. Whether anyone "took advantage" of that or not is irrelevant.

Greg Linscott's picture
Offline
Since
Fri, 5/22/09
Posts: 2268
Hmm...

W said:

First, the Articles of Faith point towards a male clergy, so it is not equivalent.

The Articles of Faith actually say:

...that its officers are pastors and deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures.

That is all. The conclusion seems obvious (and is), but still must be drawn. If we were using a slightly different example, say, whether or not "husband of one wife" applies to divorced people, it might not be so clear, though perhaps most people and churches in the GARBC assumed that at one time... Anyway, the point is that the assumption is that male clergy is mandated, but if a statement was made to clarify, it wouldn't necessarily be a change. I don't think that the situations are completely dissimilar with the Baptist name- and apparently enough other people didn't either, if the GARBC felt the need to clarify the situation with a formal statement or two.

You can argue Faith changed, but again, all you have to do is look back to 2000 and John Colyer's mid-semester release because he took a position at a church that didn't have Baptist in the name, but was nevertheless a Baptist church (just not a GARBC one). There is precedence of the position and its enforcement (more than just the Houghton article), whether or not the policies needed to be amended to reflect the positions or not.

Now, per your earlier post, I do think that Faith should make other matters clear, too. I just don't think that the one issue being discussed is a trumped-up charge.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Offline
Since
Thu, 2/14/13
Posts: 6
Christmas program

Saylorville's has been made 'private' on Youtube.

:/

Offline
Since
Sun, 8/29/10
Posts: 59
Just that one video has been

Just that one video has been removed from youtube and their website. Is this a sign of conscience, or are they just sweeping it under the rug like Fundamentalists like to do?

Joel Tetreau's picture
Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 652
JVDM

So JVDM,

I am conservative because the positions I take based on my views of Scripture and then the application/implication of that make me conservative in the eyes of most........especially in a humanistic, post-modern society. A few short thoughts.

1. Conservative is not the issue pro or con.

2. Biblical authority is where it's at. If you're going to bind other believers to some version of conservative "whatever" you better come with Scripture. Not philosophy.....not rhetoric....not even logic by itself.

3. For the record I love Classical music. My friendly jab at the Beethoven group is just that - a friendly jab. Many of them have an idea as to what "good" in the area of musical esthetics - in my view they import their idea of what "good" is into the Biblical text and treat it as a standard for all of us to follow. I actually love conservative music ..... because I like it. I have a taste for that kind of music. I also have a taste for other kinds of music.

4. If a ministry is more conservative than I, that in and of itself does not bother me. It's how they try to leverage that on to or against other ministries.  

5. Being "Conservative" can be an idol. Let me say that another way - just as we had Pharisees in the first century that defended "conservative" vis-a-vis "Christian" - a fear is that some today would devote themselves to being "conservative" that would also displace directly or indirectly the gospel message itself.  

6. I would rather be Biblical than "conservative." When one is Biblical in a postmodern culture, you will by default often be viewed as "conservative." That should be a result rather than a mission.

I actually appreciate much of what you are saying - thought I'd just throw this in as you mentioned me earlier.

Straight Ahead!

jt

 

Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Baptist Church (sevbc.org); Regional Coordinator for IBL West (iblministry.com), Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

Offline
Since
Sun, 8/29/10
Posts: 59
1. Yep. 2. Certainly. 3. Some

1. Yep.

2. Certainly.

3. Some men have a taste for other men. Some, believe it or not, have a taste for men AND women. Should we applaud them?

4. Okay.

5. Yep.

6. Possibly. The Bible is pretty clear on how we are to approach the Almighty. Humans have no taste for humbling themselves in reverence and awe in the fear of the Lord. We are born with a taste for indulging our own passions. It used to be widely assumed by Christians that this changes when one is born again, but not so much anymore.

I see nothing in Saylorville's type of entertainment that even slightly resembles the burning bush, the whirlwind, Isaiah's vision in the temple, John's visions of the apocalypse, or Saul on the road to Damascus. There's not even the tender affections of a mother hen who would gather her offspring under her wing. And nothing of the self-sacrificial Son of God, of whom we are to be like. All I see is an indulgence in the passions which Paul tells us to crucify.

 

My point in mentioning you way back there was just to say that even the self-professed conservatives will not let articulate conservatives articulate their ideas. It is a problem that "conservative" is seen on a sliding scale instead of being a commitment to transcendent and eternal truths. My conservatism in culture and worship is founded on the revelation of God in his Word, in nature, and in my own experience of Him (which accords with Scripture). There are folks out there who are much more articulate than I am. But nobody is listening to them (it seems). 

Joel Tetreau's picture
Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 652
Fair response

thx brother

fair response

jt

Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Baptist Church (sevbc.org); Regional Coordinator for IBL West (iblministry.com), Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

Joel Tetreau's picture
Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 652
One exception to post 52720

Jesse,

I said fair response - It didn't click with me your point on #3. The Scriptures are clear on homosexuality. Less clear on musical differences. I would say your third point is a gross fallacy both in content and comparison. Were you trying to be funny? It missed.

Straight Ahead!

jt

Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Baptist Church (sevbc.org); Regional Coordinator for IBL West (iblministry.com), Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

Offline
Since
Sun, 8/29/10
Posts: 59
The bible is clear on what

The bible is clear on what affections are proper for worship. No joke.

 

The point is that "taste" is a terrible argument. People have tastes for all kinds of wicked things. Not least among these is idolatrous feelings toward God. Should it be applauded that people have conflicting tastes? The first and greatest commandment deals with our affections. The Word gives us numerous examples of how this should play out in our experience of and communication with God (worship). Truly, certain "tastes" should be mortified in humility and the fear of the Lord.

Offline
Since
Tue, 6/2/09
Posts: 1734
JVDM, Are you saying that all

JVDM,

Are you saying that all believers must have identical tastes in music? Perhaps a definition of "taste" would be helpful.

It seems to me that the idea that people having a taste for all sorts of wicked things doesn't really answer the argument. I think we all agree that "certain 'tastes' should be mortified in humility and fear of the Lord."

But does it follow that the great commandment leaves no room for variety?

Offline
Since
Sun, 8/29/10
Posts: 59
There is variety of emotion

There is variety of emotion that is acceptable, nay, required. This is seen in Scripture. But to speak as if taste was authoritative is hogwash. To say you have a taste for this or that style says nothing of the music itself. It only speaks of you as the subject. 

 

I am saying that believers should not only think of God rightly--the demons do this--Christians must also feel rightly about Him. That is the greatest commandment, after all. Insofar as music is an expression of feeling (take the words away from the discussion), then, yes, I am saying believers should have identical tastes (which is a variety) in music.

 

Does the great commandment leave room for feeling like we are on a carousel during worship? Does it leave room for feeling like preteen girl with a crush on Justin Bieber during worship? Does it leave room for feeling uncontrolled rage and the urge to smash things during worship? Does it leave room for any self-importance or self-promotion? Does it leave room for the love of the Cult of the Insignificant? Does it leave room for a "taste" for any of these things? 

 

To have a taste for something, is to have an affection, or love, for that thing. So, the feeling in music is representative of what kind of love with which we love the thing--in worship, this 'thing' is God. To express the wrong kind of love in worship is idolatry. I absolutely believe that Christians should uniformly avoid idolatry in their worship.

 

"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world--the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions--is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever." (1 John2:15-17)

Greg Long's picture
Offline
Since
Tue, 6/2/09
Posts: 946
Jesse, just so I understand

Jesse, just so I understand you correctly, are you saying there are certain kinds of music that necessarily and exclusively result in someone feeling like a preteen girl with a crush on Justin Bieber, to the exclusion of, say, feeling like he is worshiping and exalting God?

------------------------------
Pastor of Adult Ministries

Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Religion
Liberty University Online

Offline
Since
Sun, 8/29/10
Posts: 59
What one thinks he is feeling

What one thinks he is feeling and what he is actually feeling can be different, for sure. We delude ourselves all the time. And, yes, there are certain kinds of music that treat God like a rock star instead of God almighty. So, "exclusively," yeah, that is what they do - that is what they were designed to do. 

 

Necessarily? It doesn't work if you don't allow it. Many of the songs I hear on Sunday are carousel/carnival tunes. I'm so mad that I don't really enjoy the ride. Smile

Pages