Are "Conventions" or Associations Biblical/Scriptural??

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Gregory Perry Sr., Jun 17, 2006.

  1. Gregory Perry Sr.

    Gregory Perry Sr.
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    :type: :saint: To my fellow "BBoardies"....I just have a question that I occasionally ponder. I am a member of an SBC church and have a background that was IFB prior to that. I have wondered from time to time whether there is any BIBLICAL MANDATE or SCRIPTURAL JUSTIFICATION for the existense of Conventions such as the SBC or IFB associations such as the BBF,Southwide Baptist Fellowship or the more recent FBFI. As a matter of fact, although I am a Baptist and say so without pride OR malice,I'm not so sure that anyone can make a good scriptural case for the existence of ANY denomination other than Born-Again CHRISTIAN. Anybody here care to take a STRICTLY SCRIPTURAL stab at these questions?????...Or are we all too willing to stay in our comfort zones....and unwilling to part with "tradition"?? What say ye?:Fish:

    Greg Sr.
     
  2. Bro Tony

    Bro Tony
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    Greg,

    I would deal with this question in a couple of ways, first by Scriptural principle---"Let every thing be done decently and in order." and all things must be done under the leadership of the Spirit.

    Secondly---my view as to whether associations and conventions are Scriptural or un-Scriptural, I would say neither. I would say they are A-Scriptural. In other words they are not dealt with in the Scripture. This does not make them good or bad. They are a methodology, a way of doing something, a tool if you will. Can they be misused---of course. But in and of themselves they are not blessed or evil. Some would say that they are not in the Scripture, so they are bad, I would disagree. Sunday School is not in the Bible, but we do it. Bus Ministries, 3 songs offerings and a sermon followed by an invitation is not in the Bible but we do it.

    I think each person and local church should seek the Lord as to whether He is leading them to be involved in an association or convention. Then follow the Lord's leading and never let the association or convention become the guiding factor.

    Bro Tony
     
  3. Ransom

    Ransom
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    Jesus commanded that his church be one (John 17:21).

    Every "independent" church is effectively a denomination unto itself; to the extent that churches of like mind affiliate themselves with one another, the church is that much closer to obeying Jesus' commandment.
     
  4. whatever

    whatever
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    Churches in the Bible banded together at times to help those in need. That's what conventions and associations are intended to facilitate. Of course they could go too far and do things that go against scripture but the institutions themselves are not unscriptural, IMO.
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Huh??? You lost me. What does "a denomination unto itself" mean? And how does John 17:21 apply to a local church?

    In my view, a convention or fellowship is unbiblical to whatever extent it seeks to control the churches or pastors it belongs to. As a Baptist, I believe strongly in the autonomy of the local church as a Biblical doctrine. Therefore, for one church to control another is wrong.

    My Dad planted churches for the SBC in Kansas back in the early 1950's. One Sunday some guys from the county association came around to observe a business meeting. Dad said from the pulpit. "Men, this is an autonomous church. You don't have a say and you don't have a vote. If you stand up or say even a word during the business meeting, I'll have the ushers take you out." The county reps didn't even stand and sing the closing hymn! And that is how it ought to be! :thumbs::thumbs:

    Concerning the difference between the typical convention and a fellowship, in a convention the churches are members, but in a fellowship the pastors are members. So the primary purpose of the SBF, the FBF and similar fellowships is simply that: fellowship. And how can fellowship in the name of Jesus Christ be unbiblical?
     
  6. mima

    mima
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    Associations unscriptural ?

    To Gregory Perry Sr.
    Your question about whether or not associations and conventions are scriptural is very depressing. If you insist on speaking truth and asking penetrating questions I will just have to stop reading your questions. The implication behind your question is associations and conventions and such are unscriptural. So hurriedly I went to the Bible and begin the search, I found that famous phrase do not forsake assembling yourself together but after that I hit, as the rivermen say, a dry sandbar.
    Recently on another blog a lady suggested giving money to the poor rather than build a bigger and better building since they already had a very nice Church Building. As you can see the problem with her suggestion is the same problem that exists in your question. You two are actually inquiring as to what the Bible says about things. As a old man with vast experience I can assure you the churchy crowd will not look kindly on such questions.
     
  7. Mishelly

    Mishelly
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    No question is a bad question if the question is to help one understand

    Questions with answers help to grow

    A lot of people left a church because of politics, not Christ
     
  8. drfuss

    drfuss
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    Just a thought:

    In Acts 15, the apostles and elders at Jersalem decided what was required of the Gentiles, i.e. they set church policy. In a sense, Jerusalem was the denomination headquarters.
     
  9. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
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    One of my pet peeves is when a "fellowship of preachers" that supposedly strongly supports local church autonomy will get together and start lambasting the actions of another local church's methodologies on any number of things.

    Where to they get off on allowing that to occur if they really believe in the autonomy of the local church?

    (And, no, none of those methodologies that they criticize is condemed in the Bible.)
     
  10. whatever

    whatever
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    What do you find in the Bible about posting on Internet bulletin boards?
     
  11. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    Such things as conventions and denominations certainly have no Biblical mandate, other than the items mentioned by others about the effectiveness of working together as churches. One of the reasons I am a Baptist is that I know that no denominational authority is or can be exercised over the churches. But it is sadly true that denominational organizations become ends in themselves rather than means to an end .. institutional idolatry. I used to cringe every time I heard it said that we Southern Baptists don't join with anybody else in doing ministry and missions. We insisted on replicating everything ourselves. I remember, back in my campus ministry days, when our magazine for students mimiced the one the Methodists put out for theirs and our periodical for faculty was obviously drawn from the one another denomination did. We would imitate but would not cooperate.

    At least I guess we have not gone far as the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, which punishes its pastors if they pray in public in ecumenical meetings or even with other Lutherans!
     
  12. Gregory Perry Sr.

    Gregory Perry Sr.
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    Keep'em coming

    Folks...I appreciate the replies I've seen so far, both positive and negative. My OP was intended to provoke thought on all our parts since so much of what we see going on in churches,denominations and "christian" organizations is done by the will of man or some form of unscriptural "tradition". My main point is that ,as we near the time of our Lord's return we should try "ON PURPOSE" to get back to the bible and back to doing things in a strictly scriptural way. I can't say I always know what that way is but I am personally seeking to find it out....and more faithfully live by it in my daily walk with the Lord AND in my church/denominational affiliations. The bottom line is that I want to be faithful to God and His Holy Word. God Bless You All.:Fish: :praying: :saint:

    Greg Sr.
     
  13. Trotter

    Trotter
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    Plenty of food for thought here.
     

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