Pastor Dan Sweatt from Berean Baptist Church in Lilburn, GA preached a “message” at a meeting of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International meeting held at The Wilds in NC and his message has caused quite a stir. He railed against Calvinists, John Piper, young preachers and generally anyone who approves of any of the above. Oh yes, I listened to the whooooooole thiiiiiiing, all fifty-five minutes of it. And folks, I can never get that time back. It’s all gone. I’m now 55 minutes closer to meeting the Lord. But I did it, so that you don’t have to. Thank me later.
(My favorite part is when Pastor Sweatt says he’s old enough to pull on his prophet’s robes. This is more of the same “I’m older than you so I can say what I want even if it’s wrong and because you’re young you should just shut-up and listen” that drove so many of us from fundamentalism. Well, that and that despite all his talk about the Bible being our only rule and his reminding us that we must preach the Scriptures, he himself never actually expounds the Scriptures. Hypocrisy anyone?)
I’m trying not to be mean, nasty, sarcastic on this blog (at least not any more than I already have been) not just because there too much of that already but mainly because I value my eternal soul. In light of this, I’ll keep the rest of my comments to myself so I’ll have less to confess in my prayer closet. I will say what I already posted on one comment thread (yes under my name; I do not post anonymously because I’m a man, not a scared sissy):
It is ignorant messages like this preached with hateful attitudes like this defending this same behavior that made me not even want to be associated with fundamentalism for twenty years. Thank God for people like Kevin Bauder and Dave Doran and schools like Central and DBTS for showing Fundamentalism in a positive light as a truly biblical movement.
In short, what’s to be shocked at? This is the same tired old invective that made me come to loathe the Bible College where I attended which will remain nameless (at least in this post).
Enough about me.
I first heard of this when Dr. Kevin Bauder’s weekly newsletter appeared in my inbox last week. In an article entitled “Time to Speak Up” He graciously but pointedly laid out the event and the problems with Pastor Sweatt’s “message.”
He has further comments in this week’s newsletter (“‘Nuff Said“).
Dave Doran from ICBS and DBTS in Allen Park has weighed in also on his new blog. This is the kind of post that makes one proud to be associated with him (kinda-sorta, my son goes to school there_.
I don’t know how I forgot these two excellent posts over at Pensees in my original post but I will add them here:
Of course the forums over at Sharper Iron are all abuzz. Just scroll through the articles for more stuff (you might find a few book reviews by yours truly in there.)
The FBFI had to issue a statement which is posted on their home page and which some (myself included) thought was a little weak.
Over at My Two Cents, there is a good post explaining the real reasons people like Piper and are leaving fundamentalism (I think he did three or four posts in all, check out his archives). Note: This is one of the best of the lot.)
Phil Johnson, who considers himself an expert on all things fundamentalist, has weighed in, not even having heard the sermon itself yet. Not the first time that’s happened if memory serves.
(Note: I put this link in last and as I did, I realize that this post is resource list, pretty much the same as the one here. I’m just telling you because I don’t want the emails that will come telling me this that I already know.)
And even John Piper himself, the recipient of some of the diatribe got into the mix by recommending Dr. Bauder’s newsletter article. (Note: wrote an excellent piece commending fundamentalists here: 20 Reasons I Don’t Take Potshots at Fundamentalists) Maybe Phil Johnson can mosey over there and give it a thoughtful read.
With that we have come full circle. I’ll post an update if anyone says anything that is (a) really good or (b) that hasn’t already been said. Phil Johnson is going to listen to the sermon this weekend. Who knows what he’ll come up with after that.