Leighton Flowers is best known for his anti-Calvinism podcast, Soteriology 101. Being so vehemently opposed to the sovereignty of God, Flowers produces almost daily material designed to accentuate the primacy of man’s own contribution to salvation, the preeminence of a free-will decision, and regular arguments against God’s freedom in salvation. It is not uncommon for those opposed to traditional Southern Baptist Calvinism (most early Southern Baptists held to Calvinism) to find their way to denominational employment or appointment. Unfortunately for Texas Baptists, however, Flowers – who was just selected as their “evangelism lead” – is also a radical inclusivist, believing that it’s not necessary to hear the Gospel to be saved.
According to David Hardage, the Executive Director for the Texas Baptists, “Leighton Flowers is the right person to lead Texas Baptists in Evangelism at this time. I’m excited about his heart for the lost and his ability to communicate the Gospel. I’m grateful for the leadership Dr. Delvin Atchison, Great Commission Team director, has shown in filling this vital role for our BGCT family.”
Atchison, who was responsible for filling the position, said of Flowers, “Leighton is one of the brightest stars in Texas Baptist life. He grew up in the BGCT. He is the pride of our past and the promise of our future. We are fortunate to have him as our Evangelism Lead.”
There was no indication that Atchison is aware that Flowers believes it’s possible for someone to be saved without having heard the Gospel or having faith in Jesus. One wonders if that would change Atchison’s mind regarding the person who is now responsible for helping to train Texas Baptists in evangelism.
The Texas Baptist press release bragged that Flower’s podcast has nearly 10 thousand downloads per episode, which is far more than reality.
In a recent podcast, Flowers said the following at the 46.30 mark (click here to see the video yourself):
Would God show Cornelius grace even prior to when Peter showed up with the Gospel? Of course…why…of course He would. He obviously showed him enough grace to send him the Gospel. Why wouldn’t He show him enough grace to save him if he perished prior to hearing the specifics of Jesus’ work? Again, I don’t think that’s unreasonable and that’s not beyond orthodoxy to hold to that worldview.
Flowers doubled-down on his “you can go to Heaven without the Gospel” claims in a follow up episode, which you can see here. We wrote about those claims from Flowers, in which he very explicitly teaches that someone can be saved by their ignorance, here. Flowers, realizing his error and being criticized on all sides (both Calvinists and Arminians) for what is clearly heresy, tried to claim that John MacArthur once taught inclusivism, for which he was quickly rebuffed by Grace to You director, Phil Johnson.
The social media controversy, following Flower’s anti-Gospel claims, eventually died down when Flowers stopped defending his heretical statements and moved on to other topics.
Please pray for Texas Baptists who have asked a man to help lead them in evangelism who doesn’t believe the Gospel is necessary for salvation.