PHOENIX (BP)--The need for renewed evangelism, concerns about Calvinism and comments regarding North American Mission Board budget cuts were voiced during the annual evangelists-sponsored worship service prior to the SBC annual meeting.
The Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists' gathering June 12, with the theme "Ageless Urgency," featured three preachers: Eric Fuller, Harold Hunter and Brian Fossett.
"If there was ever a time that evangelism needed to be at the forefront, now is that time," COSBE president's, Braxton Hunter, told the assembly. "There is little concern for evangelism in our convention."…
Calvinism is "a big problem today in our country, and among Christians," [Eric] Fuller said.
"If you are a Calvinist in this place this morning, stop trying to convert Christians to Calvinism and begin sharing the Gospel with lost people so that the Lord can convert them to Christianity," Fuller said. "If you are a non-Calvinist this morning, stop talking about sharing the Gospel and get out there and actually do it.
Brian Fossett, a former COSBE president and member of Liberty Baptist Church in Dalton, Ga., preached from Ephesians 4:11, encouraging attendees to get back to "the three T's" of evangelism -- "tracts, training and testimonies" -- that he said would "revolutionize our churches."
Harold Hunter, president of Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary in Newburgh, Ind., and the father of Braxton Hunter, said in his message he is "burdened about the direction of our Southern Baptist Convention," noting that Southern Baptists baptized 17,416 fewer people in 2010 than in 2009, representing the lowest number of annual baptisms in 60 years.
"Evidently this new wave of trying to be relevant to the people in the bars on Friday night is not really working," Harold Hunter said. "Either what you do at your church and what this convention does is supernatural or it's superficial."…
"I hear those of Reformed theology say, 'Well, the founders of our great convention -- all of them were basically Calvinists,'" Hunter said, adding that for every Calvinistic founder of the SBC he could name three who were not.
"Let me tell you something: It was not the giants, be they Calvinists or not, who made the Southern Baptist Convention great," Hunter said. "It was the great host of people whose names are never mentioned: the evangelists, the missionaries, the small church pastors, the laymen, and the women, bless God."
Noting he wanted to "clearly preach about the ethics of those who aspire to leadership in our convention," Hunter said: "There is scarcely a week goes by that in my office I hear of some church fallen into disrepair because some man who was a Calvinist -- limited atonement -- and didn't tell the pulpit committee or the deacons until he became pastor, and then it split the church. I believe you ought to be honest. If that's what you are, then tell them that's what you are."
-bpnews.net, June 21, 2011, by Norm Miller and Art Toalston.
Read the entire Baptist Press article: COSBE Lifts Evangelism, Laments Funding Cuts
Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists (COSBE)
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, June 27, AD 2011.
Other articles of interest:
Patriotism and Christian Worship
Unlimited Atonement, Jesus Died for All
Acts 29, Alcohol, and the Southern Baptist Convention
See more under Gulf Coat Pastor Articles (Labels) in lower right margin.