Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Recently there have been discussions about who Southern Baptists are theologically. Some say we are Calvinists. Some say we are Arminian. Others have offered the term "Modified Arminian," for those of us who call ourselves Traditional Baptists. I am perplexed as to why people think Baptists need to be identified with a theological system.
To me, the people who insist we be identified either Calvinist or Arminian cannot get their heads wrapped around the fact that we believe that God will not be explained or contained in any of man's systems. While man attempts to put God in an Arminian box or a Calvinist box, He doesn't fit into either one. To me, this effort to define God in a format in which men can control is unwise. "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!" Rom. 11:33.
I believe it's a dangerous thing to go beyond what the Bible says. The Bible tells us we are sinners. The Bible says by our sin we are separated from God. The Bible says God loves us and has provided the way for us to be forgiven of our sins. The Bible says that Jesus died on the cross to take the punishment for our sins. The Bible says that if we receive Christ, He gives us the right to become children of God. The Bible tells us that Jesus rose from the grave. The Bible tells us that Jesus ascended to Heaven. The Bible tells us that Jesus will return to set up His kingdom.
The Bible does not tell us the complete details of the salvation process. The Bible does not tell us when Jesus is going to return. The Bible does not give us complete details about how Jesus will return. These things and many others are not detailed in Holy Scripture. There is a mystery to these things. Can we not accept the mystery of God without trying to systematize every aspect of God?
I think this is one reason why Calvinists and Arminians get so frustrated with Traditional Baptists. We are not Calvinist, Arminian, or Modified anything. We do not proclaim a system. We proclaim the Bible and the Bible won't fit into anybody's system. We are Baptists.
Posted by Writer at 8/07/2012 09:00:00 AM