A Baptist weakness?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    On the Bap Theology thread, JDale said "The biggest concern I have about this issue from a Baptist Polity perspective comes from the opposite direction. What can Baptists do when someone who was ordained for wrong reasons, or who has fallen into immorality, or has adopted false doctrines, simply takes his original "ordination certificate," presents it to another unsuspecting Baptist Church, and is called into a Pastorate? I've seen this happen more than once, and in several different Baptist denominations (SBC's included). I believe this is a weakness among Baptists that they have not and perhaps cannot fully address...


    So do you consider this situation a "weakness" or is it simply Baptist autonomy.

    When calling a pastor, how do you conduct a "search" on him or her ( :smilewinkgrin: just joking)
    Do you require references - 2nd and 3rd generation references?
    Any other suggestions to make sure a pastor is still "properly ordained.

    Do you think a church can defrock a pastor fro immoral or theological behavior.
    Suppose a church has disbanded - then what?
     
    #1 Salty, Aug 5, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2009
  2. sag38

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    This isn't a weakness on part of Baptists in general. This reflects the weakness of a Baptist church who calls a preacher without doing their homework. A church must check references, conduct back ground checks, etc. If not, buyer beware.
     
  3. JDale

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    I agree with that SAG38, but there are Baptist churches way up in the hills of West Virginia and way out west in Montana that can't get to all that info quickly, and a good con-man preacher can be very inventive with his resume and cover his tracks. Truth be told, it doesn't have to be in a backward church or rural environment -- some years back a First Baptist Church in a North Carolina town called a man who had been there for 6-8 months before someone from outside the church brought up a discrepency. His story unravelled after a bit of investigation -- but he'd covered his tracks very well! So, Baptist Churches beware! :)
     
  4. JDale

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    Also of interest -- has anyone ever known of a Baptist church to revoke the credentials of a man they ordained into ministry? If so, how'd they do it/enforce it?
     
  5. Revmitchell

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    If the church has called the wrong man it is because they did not wait on God. God calls pastors not churches acts 20:28
     
  6. JDale

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    Rev -- I don't disagree with that, but do churches never make mistakes? I mean, not even good churches? We live in an imperfect world -- even the Godliest of disciples can miss something -- or be deceived. Perhaps it is because they are indeed human and fallible. I'm not sure we can conclude it was simply because they "didn't wait on God." Things are not always so precise, so cut-and-dried, in this life...
     
  7. Tom Bryant

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    I am personally acquainted with a few churches who have de-ordained men. One of them because he quit believing in the inerrancy of Scripture, which was the correct thing to do.

    The other was an IFB church who pulled the ordination because the pastor went to a SBC church. His SBC church then ordained him again.
     
  8. Salty

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    That was the scriptural thing to do according to Hezekiah 6:6 :smilewinkgrin: :laugh:
     
  9. donnA

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    Our pastor search commitee actually spoke to people at the new pastors previous churches, with his permission of course. Thats what references are for.
     
  10. Tom Bryant

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    Hezekiah is such a practical book! :tonofbricks:

    When we searched for a student pastor, we got 2nd generation recommendations. You expect the first list of people to say good things, but sometimes you get more info out of others.
     
  11. Jim1999

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    In our Canadian group of baptists, the local church may ordain a pastor, but it is the association that issues the certificate. If a pastor falls into illrepute, the association will withdraw his ordination and have done so. He loses his licence to perform weddings. Yes, men have been disassociated over the years and all our churches consult with the association before engaging a pastor. Pastor search is also on a consultation basis with the association.

    Some baptist organization may not like our system, but it does work.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  12. Tom Bryant

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    Jim,
    Can a church call a pastor that the association doesn't want?

    In what you described I can see some advantages. I wouldn't like it, but if it works to help keep predator pastors away from unsuspecting churches, i am happy for it.
     
  13. Jim1999

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    Tom, the local church can call whomever they please, but, the whole church may lose affiliation with the Fellowship if the man proves to be in the wrong shoes...immoral, etc.

    Cheers,

    Jim

    PS. We are not talking about minor disagreements.
     
  14. Tom Bryant

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    No, I understood that it would take something major for an association to pull a man's certificate
     
  15. Jim1999

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    For example, Tom. I wore a clergy collar from my British and military background. Some men in the association took exception to it, but the association ruled that it was up to the local church. It was the same as one man wears red ties and another wears blue ties.

    On the other hand, there was a pastor who, after nursing his ill wife for years, after her death dated his secretary. He resigned himself and the local church asked for the association's opinion. Three of us local pastors interviewed him and the church and we advised him to step down from ministry for five months.

    After this down period the local wanted him back in the pulpit and that is where he went. The association agreed. He pastored that church to retirement and expanded that ministry.

    We understood his emotional situation and so did the local church. We feel, and I still feel, we made the right decision. One good example of our association's involvement in local church affairs.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  16. tinytim

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    Well, shucks.. .those of us up here high in the hills of West Virginy are a beholdin to all the other Baptists in the US for keepin us informed!... LOL :laugh:

    Actually, Let me explain our system in WV... At least in our convention (WVBC- West Virginia Baptist Convention) and denomination (ABC-USA)

    First from the Pastors perspective...
    The pastor feels the call.. he announces it.
    The church licenses him.
    After a period, the church ordains him, inviting the local association, along with state convention pastors to approve him before the ordination service.
    He then has to be recognized by the State Convention (WVBC).. in order to be recognized, he must hold at least an equivalent BA or BS degree, and have a Ordained pastor sponsor him by writing a recommendation to the leadership commission of the WVBC. (Which keeps records on us Pastors)
    Once he is recognized by the WVBC, then he can contact ABPS (American Baptist Personnel Services), and fill out the appropriate forms to be recognized Nationwide. This of course requires 3 good references from 3 ordained individuals.

    If that pastor wants to fill a pulpit, he submits his updated profile to the Convention to be circulated statewide, or to the ABPS to be circulated Nationwide, or both.

    NOW the Church side...
    If a WVBC church needs a pastor they can contact the ABPS for a list of names from which they can choose.. along with this list is information about the pastor's strengths and weaknesses, gifts and talents, etc.
    They also contact the State Convention's Area Minister that is serving that church's region. The Area Minister will provide the church a list of names from the available ministers within the state that have their profiles circulating.

    The Area Ministers are very familiar with the ministers in the State Convention, and will suggest a few good candidates, and share with the church the candidates profiles which also gives the history of the candidates, gifts, talents, strengths, weaknesses, etc. The church then can contact who they want in the candidates history.. and proceed from there.

    I think we have an awesome set up full of checks and balances that will enable the church to make the proper decision.

    Of course if the church doesn't go this proper route, then they may get a con-man.. I have seen it done...

    The next time the church needed a pastor, they took the time and did it right.
     
  17. tinytim

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    That sounds a lot like our Leadership Commission for our State Convention.
    They perform the way you describe.
     
  18. tinytim

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  19. webdog

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    When I saw the title, I immediately thought of green bean casserole and chicken 'n dumplings :D
     
  20. Jim1999

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    A difference, Tim, our association does not dictate what degrees a man must have. When we first formed, a lot of men had only 3 years of Bible College, no degrees. Degrees do not make a man.

    When D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones became the pastor of his church in London, he had a medical doctors degree!

    Cheers,

    Jim

    PS. Obviously I don't oppose education and all one can get.
     

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