Rey, BaptistFire and the Reformed Faith

A concerned reader wrote in and asked me questions regarding my relationship (if any) with Baptist Fire. The question was most likely drawn from my comments on Strange Baptist Fire in response to some misrepresentations, textual presuppositions and/or bad opinion regarding Lost Season 3—I can’t remember. I figured the questions burned in one mind so it may have also found some kindling in the minds of others. That being the case, I choose to maintain this reader’s anonymity while answering the questions for the general public.

Did Rey have anything to do with setting up BaptistFire.com?
No, Rey did not. I’m not even a Baptist. Checking the whois database I noticed that BaptistFire was purchased in January 27, 1999 which is about a full year before I purchased BibleArchive.com. That proves nothing, merely functioning as pure trivia. 1999 was the year I got married and any point after September 1998 (when I proposed) I was much too busy daydreaming about my wedding date than dreaming up website schemes.

I am honest with which sites I have set up and have listed them on my personal (and in horrid need of updating) portfolio site multifaceteddesign.com. Sites not currently listed on there are thatsgood2know.com and tripledesign.com the former because I haven’t worked on it and the later because it was a failed attempt at a company.

Did Rey have anything to do with BaptistFire.com closing down?
No, Rey did not. I didn’t even know it was closed down until I received the email asking the questions. And even now, I’m not sure if it officially closed down or if they forgot to pay Network Solutions and soon it will return a fully operational deathstar website. Additionaly, I don’t have any clout to push anyone off the web. I’ve been trying with TheWriteJerry for years and he just keeps getting more readers.

Did Rey have anything to do with BaptistFire.com at all?
Only as a disappointed reader. I first heard of BaptistFire.com from Tim Challies when he said “StrangeBaptistFire.com is a great site which answers all of BaptistFire’s heretical charges” (paraphrase). I went over to StrangeBaptistFire.com and wondered what charges they were answering when they kept putting up fallacious pro-Calvinist arguments, bad recipes or in general forced reviews of Lost Season 2 (I can’t remember). Forced to investigate, I went to BaptistFire.com and saw the same sort of rhetoric coming from the other side. Since there was no place to write on BaptistFire.com I addressed StrangeBaptists first then complained to my wife on account of both sites before turning over and going to bed. I posted on Lingamesh’s (closed) fallacy site saying they both deserved a “Full of Baloney (or something similar)
Award” and that was the last time I bothered with either Fire sites.

Upon hearing that BaptistFire closed down I wondered if StrangeBaptist would follow suit with a proud Mission Accomplished on their header but I didn’t bother going to find out (until now—they’re still going strong answering invisible charges with arrows aimed at the void of non-Calvinism and mostly fixing the Southern Baptists Convention, apparently).

Does Rey hate the Reformed Faith, the Doctrines of Grace, sometimes called Calvinism?
I’m not quite sure everything is the same here, but I’ll break it down as best as I can.

I thank God for the Reformers during that epic period of time who unearthed long forgotten truths. God worked through them and his Good News spread far and wide as a result. Conversely, I believe that a lot of error abounded during that period which few addressed because they had greater concerns. Some of these errors wound up being framed as a creed by which anyone outside of those errors was labeled a heretic—in some cases killed.

Some of these things have become fortified and thus left the Reformed churches as entrenched bastions for them. So a Reformed Church might not consist of Reforming (as in the nature of the Reformation—semper reformda) but rather committed to the locked-in doctrines of the Reformers. This might consist of Calvinism (though not necessarily), Covenant Theology, and in some cases baptizing of infants (although this has often proved not to be the case).

But, I don’t like the words “Reformed Faith” since it makes it seem as if it’s another gospel or The Gospel. I don’t think anyone would like it if I said the Plymouth Brethren Faith—I hate even writing that since the One who I have set my trust in is the same One that those of the Reformed Churches have set their trust in. And although we may have a different eschatological framework or ordo salutis or stance on baptism, it doesn’t affect our abiding in Him, our Lord and Savior Messiah Jesus, God’s only Son manifested in the flesh.

Nor do I like the words “the Doctrines of Grace”. The Doctrines of Grace is just a synonym for Calvinism; but by labeling it in such a manner it makes anyone who doesn’t believe in Calvinism a person who does not believe in the doctrine of God’s grace. In other words, by labeling it as such the question “Do you then deny the doctrines of grace?” becomes very complex indeed. It’s akin to me asking MCF: “Have you killed again?” or Curt “Does your wife know you like men?” MCF isn’t a murderer and Curt doesn’t like men (in that way) but the questions presuppose a certain thing so that both are cornered to agree with that presupposition.

Calvinism as a system is erroneous by taking Biblical passages, overlaying a presupposition then proceeds to the logical conclusion which is winds up being un-Biblical. Thankfully it’s a system based on logic and doesn’t compromise the preaching of the gospel (unless someone upgrades to Hyper-Calvinism where their might be a denial of the preaching to the Lost).

I don’t hate Calvinism or Arminianism—I just think they’re wrong. Nor do I hate Calvinists or Arminians—I think they’re wrong.

Hey,I think there’s a lot of Wrong going on in churches. I don’t believe in a church under the rule of a single Pastor with Sub Pastors beneath him. I don’t believe that we should take collections from unbelievers. I don’t believe infants should be baptized and I don’t believe that unbelievers should partake in the Lord’s Supper. I don’t believe that having the Lord’s Supper every week cheapens its meaning. To solidify my heresy I believe that women should wear head coverings. Does that mean that I think people are backsliding and embracing another gospel? Of course not—it just means that I don’t think folk are convicted in those areas.

I also think that Calvinism and Arminianism besmirch the testimony of the Church by their incessant bickering and for that reason whenever I address their errors in posts it’s usually in the context of studying Scripture and more as an after thought instead of the main point of the study. I think spending too much time on the debates with other believers in the public arena effectively sullies the Gospel and for that I cast a frowning glance at both sides. But hey, I do the same thing to Dispensationalists and Covenantalists. That’s why I don’t bother getting into a fight so much as trying to address a small point and move on.

Be that as it may, I love my brothers and sisters in the Lord and welcome their critiques and duck-shooting when they do so. I don’t mind it since they’re convinced and I’m convinced we’re just filling the corners of our faith with these talks. And I promise not to strut when we get to heaven and find out that James, Peter and Paul are Dispensational Non-Calvinist Brethren. And I promise not to say “I told you so” when Jesus says “Yeah guys, James, Peter, Paul and Rey are right.”

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