21 June, 2008

The Partial Gospel Baptist Church

Spartanburg, WV –Cumberland Park Full Gospel Baptist Church of Spartanburg, West Virginia voted last Sunday evening to change its name to Cumberland Park Partial Gospel Baptist Church.

The name change was originally sparked by a TBNN post back on February 19, 2008. In the post “72 Bible Verses that Simply Can’t Mean What They Say," Elder Eric, D. TSaB, reported on the published statement of Asbury Theological Seminary to help evangelical churches fend off the increasing threat posed by Calvinism.

"Someone from the church read the post, looked up the verses, and left everyone confused, especially me, said Pastor Walter Barnhill. "At the very next business meeting, we established a committee to see if we could determine what the verses really meant."

After months of study, the committee brought its findings before the church at the June 15th business meeting. The committee had a simple conclusion stating, in part, "Our best conclusion is that these 72 verses mean exactly what they say.”

Upon the reading of the report at the June 15th business meeting, confusing discussion ensued until someone asked, “Perhaps we should not be Full Gospel after all?” Before the meeting ended, a motion was passed to change the name to “Cumberland Park Partial Gospel Baptist Church” and amend the church’s statement on scripture to the following:

*We believe that almost all of the holy bible is the inspired word of God.
*With only 72 questionable verses (see attached list of exceptions) the holy bible is a revelation from God to man.
*We believe the holy bible is the closest possible revelation (see attached exceptions) to the infallible and authoritative word of God that exists today.
*We believe the holy bible has supreme authority in almost all (see attached exceptions) matters of faith and conduct.
*We further believe that the holy bible is almost entirely (see attached exceptions) inerrant in the original manuscripts.

Pastor Walter Barnhill is adamant that the heart of the Gospel remains unchanged, “The central theme of the good news is the same: Jesus loves everybody and is waiting for you to choose Him.”


Jonathan said...

What's so sad is that the majority of mainstream 'Christian' churches have been 'partial gospel' for ages!

Just listen to our good friends Benny, Joel and Kreflo!

Good work, keep it up!

Darrin said...

I think you need over 100 verses in order to impact your doctrinal stance (wait, never mind - found 'em)

William Birch said...

“The central theme of the good news is the same: Jesus loves everybody but has only chosen to save a few.”

There! I fixed it. Nothing could be clearer in Scripture :)


Darrin said...

Looks good to me! Only possible caveat is that He doesn't love everyone in the same sense of the word - clearly His love for His elect is much more intimate.
Glad you're not inferring that God is obligated to shed salvific grace on everyone! After all, the problem is due to our failure, not His!

William Birch said...

"Obligated"? Nope. It's just that the very nature (1 John 4.8) is at stake here, as is the prima facie reading of John 3.16.

Now, if you can make the "world" mean the "elect," then that is quite a feat!

In Christ,

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Richard said...

William, would you prefer it say:

“The central theme of the good news is the same: Jesus loves everybody and has chosen to save everyone.”?

Or how about:

“The central theme of the good news is the same: Jesus loves everybody but has chosen to save no one.”?

Seems to me that:

“The central theme of the good news is the same: Jesus loves everybody but has only chosen to save a few.”

...is the most Biblical of the three.

William Birch said...

Please . . . are these the options? Read 1 Cor. 1.21. God has elected/chosen to save THOSE WHO BELIEVE. Simple.

If one did not know any better, he or she would think that the guys at TOM IN THE BOX were SBC Calvinists with an agenda! Calvinism is certainly never caricatured or poked fun at here!

No sir! What we have here are Five Pointers hi-fiving each other on how they alone have the gospel right and everyone else is a semi-Pelagian poor sap.

Now THIS is what I call Building Bridges!

Team Tominthebox News Network said...


Lest ye become further tantrumized let me interject here. You stated...

If one did not know any better, he or she would think that the guys at TOM IN THE BOX were SBC Calvinists with an agenda!

Well, you're partially right. We're all Calvinists here in the sense that we all believe in the sovereignty of God in Salvation and hold to what is commonly known as "Calvinism." But we are not all SBC. Now, if you're just now discovering our blog then I can understand your confusion. But we are unashamedly Calvinists, and yes we do have an agenda, as does everyone who writes anything opinionated! I would ask you to show me any blog out there that has no agenda. If you notice our very logo reads "Theological News, Fairly Unbalanced."

You also stated...

Calvinism is certainly never caricatured or poked fun at here!

Okay, good observation. Why in the world would I poke fun at something I agree with? Now, if you look back we've caricatured hyper Calvinism, and other erroneous doctrines from within certain "Calvinistic" circles like Federal Vision and Pauline New Perspective. But you see, I'm not about to caricature something I whole-heartedly agree with and believe to be true and Biblical. I wouldn't expect an Arminian to do that if he or she ran a satire site. Do you poke fun at things you hold dear and true?

"No sir! What we have here are Five Pointers hi-fiving each other on how they alone have the gospel right and everyone else is a semi-Pelagian poor sap."

We are five-pointers! As for "hi-fiving" each other, well, we reserve that for football games. And not to sound arrogant, but we do believe we have the gospel right. Don't you believe you have it right? If you don't believe that you have the gospel right then what are you believing in, speculation?

Now, as far as some of the "arguments" you presented here against Calvinism, these have been debated over and over and over again in the comments section of various past posts. I have not the time nor energy to go over every detail again and again. But let me just say...

1. No, God does not love everyone the same. In fact God does hate. He hated Esau. He hates the wicked.

2. There are plenty of examples in Scripture where words like "world" and "all" do not refer to every man, woman and child on the planet. Do a simple search at biblegateway.com and you'll discover this to be true.

3. God's election is not based on our choosing, but his. Being dead in trespasses and sins we are incapable of responding to the call of the gospel.


William Birch said...


Well, thank you, at least, for responding. And yes, I have poked fun at Arminians among my Arminian friends before, not because I do not love Arminianism (because I truly do), but because I realize that sometimes we all take ourselves too seriously (and yes, I think Calvinists take themselves WAY TOO SERIOUSLY).

IMO, and I know it means little to nothing to you all, this blog is not accomplishing unity in the body of Christ (especially where Southern Baptists are concerned: you all are featured on "Said at Southeastern" after all). I know this is merely satire and now I'm taking things too seriously :)

Perhaps I'll use this experience to create my own Satirical Blog and hound on Calvinism, especially Calvinism in the SBC. Thanks you guys!


Team Tominthebox News Network said...


Without going into too much detail, not all of us here are Southern Baptist. So, I'll admit, usually when I write a post here one of the first thoughts in the front of my mind is not "Let me see how I can foster unity in the Southern Baptist denomination." If you read at the top of our website it says "The purpose of this blog is to make a point through the use of satire." The way we address theological topics here is through satire. So, therefore, instead of taking a point of doctrine I don't agree with and writing a paper on it, I write a short humorous article, taking the weaknesses and absurdities of the opposite side and showing them in a humorous light.

That being said, I'm all for unity, but I also know that doctrine DOES divide. Not being a Southern Baptist, I know enough about them to know that Arminians make up the overwhelming majority of the denomination. That being said, those from the Arminian side who say "Calvinists are divisive. What don't they stop causing so much trouble." are really just saying "You can believe that if you want to, just don't talk about it." So as long as the Calvinists brothers in the SBC quietly go along with "Jesus died for everyone...God loves everyone..." and "...God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life" then everyone will be happy.

But I digress. That's all I'm going to say about the Southern Baptist. I'll leave any further comments to Eric and Brother Slawson on this issue.

I'm curious to know though, you talk about not fostering unity, do you take as much offense when the likes of Ergun Caner says "Calvinists are worse than Muslims" or when Dave Hunt calls Calvinism "Heresy."? They don't seem to be fostering unity when they say those things.

I would encourage you to start an Arminian blog, especially about Calvinism in the SBC! I personally think that would be great. I'd love to read it, and would perhaps even link to it.


Richard said...

Hello again, William. This is my last post on this one- you're welcome to respond but Tom hates long-winded debates that go nowhere.

You said this:

"Please . . . are these the options?"

Well.....yes, they are.

Jesus died in order to secure the salvation of all men, some men, or no men.

You can poke at our "some men" all you want. Consider the implications of the alternatives, though.

That is, unless you don't believe that the death of Christ was enough to secure anyone's salvation.

Have a nice day, sir.

William Birch said...


I DO have a blog, and a website. I guess you didn't follow the link. Thank you for responding. I appreciate your attention to this matter.

God bless.

William Birch said...

I'm sorry, I forgot to respond to the Caner comment, and I wanted to say that, Yes, he does upset me when he makes comments like that.

But also note that Caner refuses to call himself an Arminian (preferring the label "Biblicist," which is equally obnoxious, eh?). I believe the Calvinist/Muslim comment was in the context of a Deterministic God, much as Muslims believe.

His obnoxious banter aside, please remember his conversion from that horrible religion. I'm sure he is quite touchy when it comes to things which smack of Islam.

Now, in case anyone responds to any more comments which I have made, please understand that I will not be back to this blog. So, that is why I did not comment further.

God bless all you do for the Lord.
Billy Birch