By Dr. James Ach and Dr. Elisha Weismann
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I think this picture says 4: We. Want. Your. Church.
Hyper Calvinist* JD Hall creates a meme of a Paul Washer quote that claims that greatest mission field is the church. It probably never occurred to Hall or Washer that Jesus told His followers to go into the HIGHWAYS and HEDGES. Luke 14:23. True, that Paul argue with Jews in the synagogues, but only a Calvinist would think that another gospel preaching church is an appropriate “ripe field” because they oppose Calvinism. Ironically, the photo used as the background is of Bellevue Baptist Church. The reason that this is unique is that just a couple of months ago, JD Hall had conspired with a leading member of the Abolish Human Abortion (“AHA”) radical anti-abortion group to stage a protest inside of this church. Even though some of Hall’s peers such as Fred Butler, Tony Miano, et al, had opposed his antics, it didn’t stop Hall from sending his chief editor Dustin Germain from Canada, and an AHA leader also Pulpit and Pen staff writer, Alan Maricle (a/k/a “Rhology”) with the group to Bellevue, even though Bellevue is anti-abortion (not simply pro-life but actively opposes abortion as well as supports and promotes anti-abortion legislation and hosts numerous speakers on this very subject).
The other members that attended with the AHA group were clearly not aware of the actual purpose of the visit, it certainly had nothing to do with abortion. And, the little tidbit about this that makes this point perfectly clear is that JD Hall had announced the visit of AHA to Bellevue pastor, Steve Gaines (@bellevuepastor, below). For the year preceding this “visit”, Hall has complained about Steve Gaines, a lot; but never about his stance on abortion. So then why else would Hall announce such a visit from a radical anti-abortion group? And how did Hall know in advance before any of the other AHA members even knew? The answer to that is in the picture, and speaks for most of today’s Calvinists: their means of evangelism is accusing anyone who holds to a Non Calvinist view of soteriology as lost men, and therefore their church becomes a field for “evangelism”. JD Hall even told a college professor at Dallas Baptist University, Leighton Flowers of Soteriology 101, that to debate him about Calvinism would be “casting pearls before swine“.**
@bellevuepastor, I have some friends visiting Bellevue tomorrow. I hope y’all have a mutually edifying time 😉
What would be interesting about their visit? Why would THIS particular visit be any different from the other churches that AHA goes to? Because the reason and motive were different this time, that’s why.
“The greatest opponents to Calvinism are lost men and the Christians who follow them.” – JD Hall
Now one has to wonder, if those who oppose Calvinism are all “lost men” then how can there be any “Christians who follow them”? Nevertheless, the motivation and agenda behind these new radical Calvinists is obvious: YOUR CHURCH IS THEIR MISSION FIELD.
The sad, sad part about this is that we agree with much of what Hall has said about matters in the SBC, but there’s just no excuse for the kind of bully tactics and “theological thuggery” being utilized for the purpose of converting Non Calvinists to Calvinism.
* We use the term “Hyper” Calvinist here to separate Hall from other Calvinists who are not as obnoxious as Hall, However, theologically we do not believe that there is any real difference between the so-called “hypers” and whatever is considered “normal” Calvinism, and believe that the differences between the infralapsarian and supralapsarian systems (with all of their variations including modified sublapsarianism) is only minor yet all of which arrive at the same conclusions with the same consequences. The term ‘hyper’ has become a convenient cop-out for Calvinists to blame for anyone who hammers on the inconsistencies of Calvinism. Calvinists themselves can’t even agree to a definition of hyper Calvinist, and Calvinist James White, though rejecting Phil Johnson’s definition of hyper Calvinism, will not himself define the term. So as far as we are concerned, the term “hyper Calvinist” is really an imaginary scapegoat.
**. Here’s the 3 screenshots of JD Hall referencing his contention with Leighton Flowers as casting pearls before swine’