Bob Allen, of the Associated Baptist Press, has a report about an Acts 29 church being denied membership in the Kentucky Baptist Association:
OWENSBORO, Ky. (ABP) – A Kentucky Baptist association denied membership to a church after a credentials committee found its confessional statement too Calvinistic, according to a report in the Western Recorder.
Daviess-McLean Baptist Association voted 104-9 to deny membership to Pleasant Valley Community Church in Owensboro during its annual meeting held Oct. 17-18, the Kentucky Baptist Convention news journal reported in its Oct. 25 issue.
“Our concern in the initial stages of our investigation revolved around the fact that Pleasant Valley Community Church’s confessional statement is one that (is) Calvinistic in nature,” the newspaper quoted from a recommendation by the association’s credentials committee. “It affirms the doctrine of election and grace.”
“While we know the doctrine is not heresy, we do recognize that it is vastly different than the majority of churches within the DMBA,” the statement noted.
Pleasant Valley Community Church’s 60-page confession of faith affirms: “From before the foundation of the world, in order to display His glory, God freely and unchangeably ordained all things that would come to pass. From the casting of the lot, to the bird falling from the sky, to the activities of the nations, to the plans of politicians, to the secret acts of individuals, to what will happen to us tomorrow, to scheduling the very day that we will die, God has written our stories and the stories of the entire universe.”
That includes “the results of His plan of salvation as set forth in the Gospel of Jesus Christ….
Frank Page, head of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, recently identified the growing influence of Calvinism — also called Reformed Theology or the Doctrines of Grace — as one of the biggest challenges facing the nation’s second-largest faith group.
According to a 2007 study by LifeWay Research, about one in 10 Southern Baptist pastors considered themselves to be five-point Calvinists. Among recent seminary graduates the rate nearly tripled, to 29 percent. Page, a former SBC president elected as the Executive Committee’s CEO last year, said he hears often from churches struggling with the divide between Calvinist and non-Calvinist — also known as Arminian -– theology….
Jamus Edwards, a Southern Seminary graduate and now pastor of preaching and vision at Pleasant Valley Community Church, told the Western Recorder that the church does not self-identify as Calvinist because it is not “helpful in most contexts” but rather “distracting and largely misunderstood, precisely like it was in this situation with the DMBA.”
Greg Faulls, the pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Owensboro, who recommended Edwards’ church for membership in May, said he thought the church’s teachings fell within parameters of the SBC’s Baptist Faith and Message doctrinal statement, “but apparently the association didn’t agree.”