While doing research for another post I came across an article about some documents that the “Traditional Southern Baptists” had put out on how to “smoke out Calvinists”
That article is worth reading, whether you have any ties to the Southern Baptist Convention or not. I am Confessional Presbyterian, though in the past I was an SBC member.
What is more tragic than these “Traditional Baptists” hatred for Calvinists, is the theology they promote. If they were Arminian, or the Baptist form of Arminianism that somehow believes in Perserverance of the Saints, I wouldn’t be so bothered by it. However, it seems that at least some of the more vocal leaders of this movement are at best semi-Pelagian, if not fully Pelagian, believing that man on his own volition can offer up a prayer at any time to be saved, and that God’s regenerating works is not necessary. This belief was condemned by the Church as a whole in 529 A.D.
The above image comes from the article linked at the beginning of my post. While some of what they said in these papers misrepresented Calvinists, this part is accurate as to what Calvinists believe. Why they chose to call Calvinistic Baptists “Extreme Calvinists” I don’t know.
“Traditional Baptists believe while we were dead in our sins, we are still able to hear, understand, and respond to the Gospel…”
Have you ever tried to talk to a corpse? Most likely you wouldn’t, because a corpse cannot hear, understand, or respond to what you are saying. A corpse cannot respond because it is dead.
It is by the work of the Holy Spirit that the man who is dead in sin is regenerated, given the gifts of repentance and faith, which he then uses to repent and believe. Without this miraculous work of God none would ever be saved.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:1-10, ESV
With that said, I leave you with an illustration of what exactly it means to be dead, and the actual traditional beliefs of the Southern Baptist Convention from their Abstract of Principles.