Homeschool activist Kevin Swanson lamented the account of Baptist twins where one became an Anglican bishop and the other a Roman Catholic priest.
In his tirade, Swanson went off on how could anyone could go from the perspective that the just shall live by faith alone to one where an anathema is pronounced upon those that undermine the role of works in securing eternal salvation.
One cannot speak to the nature of the Baptist church attended by these twins in their youth, but in some of these hardline Baptist and Presbyterian churches in Swanson’s orbit, often the soteriological formulations on either side of the Reformation divide have degenerated pretty much into a distinction without a difference.
Granted, this particular variety of Protestant talks an exquisite game regarding the nature of salvation as a free gift and how our works are as filthy rags.
However, from the clarifying expositions and admonitions of these pulpit homilists, it is not enough for the believer to strive for the big virtues such as loving your family, refraining from sex outside of marriage, and slipping a few dollars into the collection plate every once in a while.
According to this particular strain of Protestantism, you might not even be a Christian if you don’t share particular viewpoint regarding the propriety of denying females access to education, the necessity of begetting more than five children, and the imperative of being married by 25 years of age.
Perhaps more would hold to the liberty that is claimed to be found in Christ if they were allowed to experience the liberty found in Christ rather than being forced into the spiritual slavery found under another form of legalism.
Kevin Swanson isn’t even Baptist but rather Presbyterian.
So how would he like it if some fanatic Baptist raved that Presbyterianism was a slide back down into Rome’s eventual embrace?
Instead of insinuating that your formerly Baptist child is one step away from being a serial killer if they become a Catholic or Anglican, perhaps Kevin Swanson will also give as much time reflecting upon what might have pushed these individuals away from a Reformed understanding of the faith in the first place.
By Frederick Meekins