|C.H. Spurgeon, "The Prince of Preachers"|
Of course these presumptions from both camps are at best misleading and fallacious. Baptists strongly abominate the idea of carnal security, the same way that Reformed Christians abominate all forms of works-salvation. Both camps agree that a truly saved believer in Christ will evince good works as an outward manifestation of his saving faith (Jn. 10:27; Rom. 6:1-2; Eph. 2:10; 1 Jn. 5:18), and that by God's grace, none of those who are once justified will ever fall away from their faith and totally perish (Jn. 10:28-29; Rom. 8:30-39). Personally, I call this doctrine as "preservation of the saints" (by the way, many Baptists and Reformed Christians also use this term) to emphasize the involvement of God's sovereign grace in the salvation of the elect, but I don't have any problem calling it "perseverance of the saints," "once saved, always safe," or "eternal security." It's just a matter of preference. After all it is the content of the teaching which matters most, not the term that represents it.
Anyway, I was pondering over the sovereignty of God in preserving His saints and the different views concerning this subject yesterday night when I realized there's something fishy going on about the non-Calvinist Baptists' denial of the doctrines of grace. As you know, they hold to eternal security but reject the Calvinist doctrine of irresistible grace, and I find that somewhat inconsistent. Perhaps you already have an idea what I'm talking about, but let me explain further.
Non-Calvinist "Freewill" Baptists contend that God's grace isn't intrinsically efficacious, but it has its efficacy dependent on man's consent. Because God is a "Gentleman" and he "respects" our freewill, we are always free to reject or choose God. Men's choices are not driven by any form of necessity and they can do just whatever they wanna do with their own lives. This undetermined freedom, according to them, is possessed equally by all men - believers and unbelievers alike.
Now here's comes the dilemma for the non-Calvinist Baptist: If all men possess equal freedom between good and evil and God cannot control our choices, how can we affirm with certainty that nobody among those who genuinely trust in Christ will totally fall away and perish? If turning away from Christ remains an open possibility for Christians, how can there be any real eternal security? Conversely, if we firmly believe that nobody among those who are truly born again will totally and finally repudiate their faith in Christ (Heb. 10:38-39), we are in effect denying the idea of libertarian freedom. And if we confess it is God's grace which keeps believers from losing their faith and the final outcome is just that (1 Sa. 2:9; Psa. 40:11; Jn. 10:27-29; Rom. 8:30-39; 2 Tim. 1:12; Php. 1:6), what other kind of grace are we affirming except the Calvinistic grace?
My point here is very simple: There's no way one can consistently hold to Eternal Security, philosophically speaking, without denying libertarian freedom and affirming the invincibility of God's grace. Thus, non-Calvinist Baptists who reject the doctrine of sovereign grace are actually affirming it (unwittingly) every time they talk about eternal security!
That's how you reject the sovereignty of God in salvation while affirming it at the same time. Who does it better than the non-Calvinist Baptist?