Are Catechisms useful?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Dale-c, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. Dale-c

    Dale-c
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    Do any of you use Catechisms, either at home or at church?

    I have been going over a few different ones lately and I have been amazed at how helpful they are.

    WHen I was raised, Catechisms had been replaced by bible stories.
    It is no wonder that baptists have such wide and varies doctrines now, all we are taught are stories at the expense of sound doctrine from the time we are children.

    Here is a link to Spurgeon's Catechism

    Here is a link to the audio version than I am working on

    Another project I am working on is the Westminster Shorter Catechism.
     
  2. Gold Dragon

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    Most baptists express their catechism in the form of a statement of faith or constitution.
     
  3. LeBuick

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    We use one as part of ordaining either deacons or preachers.
     
  4. gb93433

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    Most sitting in the pew know little about what scripture teaches though.
     
  5. Soulman

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    That can certainly be true. However, it really depends on the level of teaching that takes place in the church. If you just show up Sunday mornings you won't get a whole lot of teaching other than the salvation message. Come Sunday night and Wednesday, you may stand a better chance of learning something.
     
  6. Dianna

    Dianna
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    A Pastor told me once that on Sunday morning you see how popular the church is, Sunday night how popular the Pastor is, and Wed night(or whatever night Bible study is held)you find out how poplular God is.

    Dianna
     
  7. ituttut

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    Most definitely. The best one is the book we make ourselves, when we go to The Book. In it are the answers to all of our questions. It is a person we are talking to. When we use a "go between" to lean on we then must determine if they give the correct answer to the question.

    I once asked a man in St. Paul to call me back with information I needed by 8P.M. at the restaurant where entertaining my client, as my flight departed New York at 9P.M. He would have his right hand man contact me for he had a flight at 5:15P.M. to Seattle. It had been "one of those days" that just wasn't my day.

    You know the story. Sometimes in relaying messages, there is always room for error when we have a "go between" helping us. It is human nature we know as "Murphy's Law". Even though the information I got was the right information for "that day", it didn't apply to the day after.

    What am I talking about? It is much more likely the answer we receive may not really apply, when we have someone other than Christ Jesus standing between us and our Father.
     
  8. preachinjesus

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    I think so, they help you remember the big things of the faith. A spoken confession that is theologically accurate will do great things to increase your ability to understand and recall important things.
     
  9. Dale-c

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    Exactly, this is not a replacement for reading the Bible, but neither is going to church.
    My main point is that, especiallly with Children, we have replaced catechisms and doctrinal studies with "stories".
    Stories are ok, but we need to be teaching something solid.


    As far as that middle man goes, if you take that to a logical conclusion, just stay home and read your Bible. Never hear a preacher again since he is a middle man.
    That said, better check out the catechism to make sure it is Biblical before you teach it to your kids.
     
  10. Dianna

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    I had never heard of a Catechism till your post. Then I happen to download some files from a group I am on last and night and there are a number of Catechism.

    I have never been personally in a church where these are taught. I am finding them very interesting and want to study them more. I am at a point in my spiritual growth, I guess you could say, where I just can not get enough information, enough teachings regarding God's word.

    I do have a question about the Catechism..the ones I have here on these files...there is a question, an answer , then scriptual reference. For the scriptual reference the verses are not written out, just the book, chapter and verse. Is that how is it typically learned or is it learned with learning the verses themselves?

    This file is interesting b/c there are many things besides the Catechism that I have not really heard of before...some creeds and confession of faith.

    Dianna
     
  11. Brother Randall

    Brother Randall
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    I've found that to be an accurate gauge!
     
  12. Dale-c

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    I was just like you until not too long ago.

    As I started recording these, I realized I was learning as I recorded.

    As far as references, typically, a catechism will be written with them. Usually you will look them up yourself, which is a good thing because that way you can read the whole passage to make sure it is in context.

    Aside from catechisms, the London Baptist Confession is a good thing to study as well.
    It of course doesn't replace the Bible, but it is a tool that can greatly help us to understand the Bible.
     
  13. Dianna

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    I will look into that too.

    Yes, will not replace reading of the Bible, but am always looking for more options to add to bible studay :)

    Dianna
     
  14. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
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  15. Dianna

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    I happen to be at that site right now :) Thank you. Have been reading over the site and message board there.

    Dianna
     
  16. Alcott

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    I've never been to Rome to look inside those tunnels to see if they are useful or not.
     
  17. Dianna

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    Thank you. Now I remember why I post here with much hesitation. Back to lurking and having questions unanswered.

    Dianna
     
  18. been_around

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    Our church uses a catechism in two forms. The church constitution contains a statement of all the key elements of faith, with references. It is required reading for membership.

    The second form is for new believers. We call it a discipleship program. This is a mentored program, although there is printed material involved.

    Neither of these replaces solid teaching which is done not only in the Sunday school, but in all messages. Both the teaching and the discipleship program/constitution are needed. We also strongly encourage individuals in self-study.

    It is difficult to teach if the student is unfamiliar with the basics of faith. The basics without teaching do not provide for growth.

    We are blessed to have a pastor who is very capable and able to meld preaching and teaching together. Every message presents the Gospel of salvation, yet there is exposition which enables growth in the Christian.
     
  19. NateT

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    our church uses the catechism for boys and girls in the children's sunday school curriculum.

    I personally have benefitted from the Baptist Catechism (especially the version set to music by Dr. Jim Scott Orrick.)

    Just to "name drop" I've heard Dr. Nettles talk on numerous occasions that he used various catechisms with his children.

    A previous poster said that baptists typically put their catechism in a statement of faith. I would say "yes and no" to this. The catechism is set up as a Q&A with usually a short Q and short A. It reflects the statement of faith, but it is used in teaching. Go ask a presbyterrian to recite at length one of their statements of faith and you'll have a hard time. Yet go ask them "what is the chief end of man?" And you'll probably get a lot of people who can say "The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever."

    Similarly, if you asked me to recite the BF&M I couldn't do it. But I can answer a lot of questions that the BF&M was founded on because I know some of the Baptist Catechism.

    As an interesting anecdote. I think it was Allistar Begg who said he had a friend who's house burnt to the ground. As it was burning, his family was outside safe, but watching it go. He turned to his son, who might have been early teens(?) He said "What is the chief end of man?" The son replied "To glorify God and enjoy Him forever." He then asked him "What has changed?" The implied answer of course, is that nothing, even as we watch our house burn we are to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

    Some will argue that the catechism replaces Scripture. But I think if you let that happen it is an indictement against you, not against the catechism (it, of course, is not a volitional agent like you are.) I think they're great tools for teaching about God, and every one of worth that I've seen has the scripture references, which would be very easy to incorporate into the memorization.

    The caution I would make is this, be aware of your children's maturity levels and personalities. I tried to start with my daughter when she was 2.5-3 because I'd heard other parents doing that. Well, with my daughter, she just wasn't ready for it. So we backed off. Better that then endless hours of frustration on both parts :)
     
  20. Gold Dragon

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    I agree that the form baptists use to express their beliefs is usually not catechismal (Q&A) which is why I said they usually express catechisms in the form of a statement of faith or constitution. The form is different, the purpose the same.
     

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