I normally don’t focus much on what is happening in US Fundamentalism here. But you’d have to be asleep or seriously disconnected with the blogosphere to have missed the current ruckus over Danny Sweatt’s message at the recent meeting of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International.
Let me start by saying that I have deep love and respect for many of the FBFI board members and count some of them personal friends at some level. That said, I wonder if Bro. Sweatt’s message may bring some crucial issues to a crisis point.
I think that would be good.
Still, I’m aware that we younger men tend to lack the wisdom, tact, and balance to address these types of issues as credibly as older men. So I’m going to point you to an older man—a seminary president—who is wise, tactful, balanced, and—in this instance—forceful.
Some excerpts from Kevin Bauder:
The problem is not that Pastor Sweatt rejects Calvinism. Plenty of good men do. The problem is not that Pastor Sweatt wishes to argue about Calvinism. Such arguments can and should be a form of fellowship through which we strengthen one another. No, the problem is that Pastor Sweatt has used his privileges as an invited speaker to misrepresent and falsely accuse his brethren. He wants to treat an acceptable difference as if it were a heresy.
And addressing the older Fundamentalists:
Pastor Sweatt has placed us in a very difficult situation. In a public venue, as a spokesman for fundamentalism, Pastor Sweatt has impugned the doctrinal integrity of his brethren. He has made charges without evidence and uttered recriminations that are simply false. Those of us who are leaders within fundamentalism have a stewardship, and we cannot afford simply to sweep this scandal under the rug.
The need to confront the problem is all the more acute if any of us regard Pastor Sweatt as a friend. Younger fundamentalists want to know whether we fear God or men. We cannot say that we believe in rebuking and separating from erring brethren, which we clearly practice to our Left, and then ignore public error when it occurs among our friends. If we are that inconsistent, then young leaders are right to dismiss us as hypocrites.
Within the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International I have no power at all. The only thing that I can do is to appeal to the members of the board, whom I believe to be men of integrity and good will. Pastor Sweatt has handed you an opportunity to show what you really believe. If you wish to model the kind of fundamentalism that really is worth saving, then the time has come.
Source: In the Nick of Time