Ethics: Anti-Calvinist Evangelist Passes Out Tracts at a Church

What would you do Wednesday!

I don’t write on Calvinism much anymore though I am a Southern Baptist who understands there is unnecessary tension over Calvinism among Southern Baptists. I think Southern Baptists can, should, and do work together for the gospel. The purpose of this is not to fan the theological flames, but the core of this post is based on a true story. A story I would not favor whether a non-Calvinist went into a Calvinist church to pass out tracts or vice-versa.

So, let’s talk about it.

An evangelist friend asks if you want to go pass out gospel tracts with him on Sunday morning. While Sunday morning sounded like an odd time, he explained that you would still be able to participate in morning worship.

You decide to go pass out gospel tracts since he’s known for doing street evangelism. He picks you up Sunday morning. He drives you across town and pulls into a Baptist church parking lot. While walking into the church building, he explains that you will get to pass out gospel tracts before and after the service.

Looking at the tracts you realize they are tracts that have an anti-Calvinist message. They emphasis John 3:16 and express that Calvinism teaches a false, damning gospel. Shocked, you ask your friend about the tracts.

He tells you that this Southern Baptist church has a Calvinist pastor and preaches from a Calvinistic perspective – a damning perspective! He stands in the parking lot, smiles at you, and says, “Let’s go save some Calvinists!”

What would you do?

  • Go save some Calvinists by passing out tracts.
  • Go worship, but decline passing out tracts.
  • Go find a church officer and report your friend.
  • Call someone to pick you up.
  • Aggressively pass out tracts during the sermon.
  • Or….

Here I blog…


tagged as , in Christianity,Church Issues,Culture

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rhology July 17, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Open the Bible and rebuke him right then and there.

2 Mark Lamprecht July 17, 2013 at 4:30 pm

@Rhology 🙂

3 Bennett Willis July 17, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Clearly inappropriate behavior on the part of your friend–both the handing out of tracts and taking you along with discussing it first.  The only issue (seems to me) is whether you are going to walk back or if he will take you.  I think that I’d try to insist that he take me back.  You may save him from being stoned (with rocks).

4 Christiane July 19, 2013 at 2:51 pm

I am posting here a comment I made in answer to you on SBCvoices,  as most of my comments are ‘lost in the machine’ on that blog.   I hope you will read it and think about it,  and I hope you take it in the right spirit of someone from a different background who is trying to help:Christiane
July 19, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Your comment is awaiting moderation.
It IS true that our black citizens will see this verdict in the framework of their own experiences . . . how can they not?
What white American has ‘in their genetics’ (to use Dr. McKissic’s apt phrase),
that their ancestors were sold off from one another, subject to
beatings and abuse of all kinds, and witnessed that white people used
the Holy Bible as a way to justify the institution of ‘slavery’ ?
You know, I am blond and white and French Canadienne by ancestry on
my good father’s side . . . but my father who was an immigrant to this
country REMEMBERS prejudice and he suffered from it as a young boy
growing up in the north of our own country. At least I can understand
how experiences scar folks and affect their young often in ways that
REACT to the pain of abuse from prejudice by wanting to take an active
role in ending it in the world we live in . . .
You can’t KNOW or understand what is not within your own experiences
perhaps, but you can LISTEN and OBSERVE and make an effort to try to
comprehend the suffering of a portion of our citizenry whose ancestors
endured more of the pain of this world than yours did.
Don’t close yourself off from your countrymen and women whose history
is different from your own. The keys to finding answers to racial
problems won’t be found in isolation or exclusion or condemnation of a
present reality that is rooted deeply in the past. – See more at:

5 David July 19, 2013 at 3:58 pm

I would tell my friend in love that he is wrong and find a church officer and report him (privately, if my friend repents).  He says, “Let’s go save some Calvinists!”, but God is the one who saves.  (I’m Reformed and a deacon in a not officially Reformed SBC church.)
Two other things this reminds me of:
1) My heart to minister to “church kids”: Before I was in a church that taught a regenerate church membership, I was in a church with a lot of people who had grown up in church but didn’t display any fruit of repentance or affections for Christ. In my small group, I felt like I was a missionary to my own church.
2) There are bigger issues at play here than just Calvinism vs. Arminianism.  I try to look first at issues with heaven-or-hell implications.  I would want to see what kind of way of salvation is being presented in those tracts, and make sure that it was not incomplete or heretical.  As I heard in a TGC 2013 sermon this week, one example, Four Spiritual Laws, makes no mention of repentance.  This is incomplete.  Anything with the prosperity gospel or a “pray this prayer, sign this card, and you’re saved” bent, I would call heretical.

6 slimjim July 20, 2013 at 1:01 am

Whoah!  Inappropriate!  I would try to encourage him to go with me evangelize elsewhere

7 Charles Spurgeon Jr July 21, 2013 at 12:41 pm

I would pass out to him a Bible and encourage him to read it .

8 Robert June 6, 2014 at 7:12 am

It is really a question of what is at stake? Are these people lost sinners? Or Saints and citizens of Heaven?

When I first heard about Calvinism it was presented as a “this is a theory about what goes on under the hood”. Which would be fine, one is not saved by understanding how things work, or lost for misunderstanding any particular detail.

Recently, I have seen Calvinist become more militant, some claiming that TULIP is the Gospel. I think that is dangerous.

#1 It occurs to me that some will never be saved because they will wait for God to do, what they are commanded to do.

#2 I also worry that people who blame the “secret counsel” of God for their sin, can never truly repent, never understanding that they are “without excuse”.

I think these are two HUGE issues.

As for your scenario, I would be ecstatic to have an Evangelism buddy. If the church pastor of was militant, I might be persuaded to give out tracts. If people were being saved there, I would rather direct him to a fishing hole where we could find many lost sinners.

9 Anti Mammon August 16, 2014 at 5:23 am

Ask the person about their doctrines, whether they believe God is sovereign, believe that grace is not irresistable and whether they accept Trinity, that salvation comes through Christ alone

10 Mike Chitwood October 15, 2014 at 10:21 am

Peter Lumpkins? 🙂

11 Andrew Johnson October 15, 2014 at 10:29 am

Interesting thumbnail…

12 Donna Davis October 15, 2014 at 10:30 am

give it back to him, ans tell him he has no business uninvited in our church trying to cause trouble. which is his only purpose.

13 Andrew Wray October 15, 2014 at 10:43 am

3. report him to his church elders for causing division in the body of christ and have nothing to do with him.

14 Nicholas Potts October 15, 2014 at 10:47 am

Hand him over to satan, his father, the father of division and accuser of the brethren.

15 Mark Lamprecht October 15, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Not sure why the right images are not always captured. LOL

16 bklynsouth October 15, 2014 at 5:01 pm

Tell him is wrong and leave


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