Are Reformed Baptists really Baptists

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Earth Wind and Fire, Jun 10, 2010.

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  1. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    I just came from a RB Church & they would not allow me to stay because I didn't want to be defined by the 1689 Confessions and would not conform to Covenant Theology:BangHead: It was like I didn't believe that Christ was my Lord & Savior. I was treated like an apostate which I believe they saw me as.
     
  2. Ruiz

    Ruiz
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    Earth,

    Each church, who subscribe to the LBC 1689, operates in a different manner. Some churches require strict adherence to the doctrinal statement while others give great latitude to members but require a more strict adherence for Deacons and Elders. I, too, have been shunned by non-reformed churches because I believe in reformed theology. So, the problem is not limited to reformed churches.

    There could be many issues the Elders may be considering. For instance, they may have had someone who caused problems in a certain area or they may have felt wisdom demanded that they encourage you to go to another church.

    Yes, Reformed Baptists are truly Baptists. We are creedal (and have been since the very early days of Baptist history). As a local church, they have the right to hold their beliefs... which is Baptist Autonomy.
     
  3. Tom Bryant

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    I am not reformed, but yes, they are truly baptists...

    When you say they wouldn't let you stay... I am not sure what you mean by this? Can you enlighten me?
     
  4. gb93433

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    Creeds tell what one believes about God but it says nothing about their relationship with God.
     
  5. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    Well if they're baptists then why do they concentrate on Reformed Theology so much? One would think that you were dealing with Orthodox Presbyterians the way they continue to quote their Confessions ....?!? In fact they preferred the Westminster Confessions to 1689 Baptist one & did not like when I indicated I would be going to a Regular Baptist Church.

    When I would quote Baptists instead of Reformed Theologians, they would get mad at me & really were aghast when I sighted inconsistencies in Covenant theology that I disagreed with.
     
  6. Ruiz

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    I agree GB, but it is still important to define what you believe about God. As well, belief without having a clear understanding of what you believe is not wise. I can say I believe in Jesus, but if my creed says Jesus was the brother of Satan, I have a futile belief.
     
  7. gb93433

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    The Bible does a much better job than any man. If a man says that Jesus was the brother of Satan that is disputed by the Bible. The Bible is the standard of faith and practice.
     
  8. Ruiz

    Ruiz
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    GB,

    I agree, the Bible is the final authority. However, I want to make it clear where I stand. My creed is based upon what the Bible says. The Bible says Jesus is fully God and Fully man, so that is my creed.

    I do not mind quoting Baptists, I quote Spurgeon, Judson, Bunyan, and others. However, I quote greats when preaching, teaching or in academia to show what they believe, but I first run to the Bible. I believe in something because that is what the Bible teaches, then I write what I believe in a very specific manner so people understand what I believe. For a church, we want people to be clear in what we teach and we try to make that as simple as possible but specific so even those with theological astuteness can see the nuances.
     
  9. gb93433

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    When was the last time you heard or preached a sermon from 1 Samuel 16:15-23 on evil and how that fits in with the doctrinal statement of your church?

    If your sermon does not have the Bible as its foundation then others can question your authority and opinions.
     
  10. Ruiz

    Ruiz
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    GB,

    I do not know what you are getting at with the Samuel Passage. Yet, I do not think the author intended this to be directed to creeds.

    As well, I would only preach and would only recommend churches who preach expository sermons. Among all groups I have seen out there, Reformed Pastors are usually the most adamant about the need for preaching expository sermons. Name me another movement more keenly focused on expository sermons. I dare-say, I believe we are the most fervent because of our view on the centrality of Scripture. Creeds explains that view well.

    Also, we would not only believe in the innerency, but also the perspicuity and sufficiency of Scripture. I have often wrote and state that while the innerancy of Scripture is attested by most Baptists, the battle for the next age is her sufficiency.
     
  11. saturneptune

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    Wow, I agree with you. End times must be near. Yes, the Bible is the best creed ever written. Others are merely rehash and opinions.

    There is nothing wrong with a local church adopting a creed. Since they autonomous, if one cannot live with the beliefs or standards, then walk down to the next block and check out another Baptist church or one of like faith and order.

    I cannot answer why a given church would place such emphasis on reformed theology. That is their right. It certainly does not permeate all Baptist churches like conservative Presbyterian churches. A lot of their beliefs are more uniform as they are under presbyteries.
     
  12. Ruiz

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    If I may input on why we believe it is important. Reformed theology deals with the nature of God, nature of man, nature of salvation, the nature of scripture and nature of grace. To that end, it deals with some of the most important topics in all Christianity.

    If you still have problems seeing why salvation is important, then I would invite you to compare it to something like Baptism. Baptists have historically made a big deal out of mode and meaning of Baptism. I agree, as a Baptist this is an important issue. However, in comparison to the nature of God, man, salvation, scripture, and grace I must weigh heavier on the the nature of God, etc....

    Spurgeon said that reformed theology "is the Gospel." So, defining your beliefs clearly is important.
     
    #12 Ruiz, Jun 11, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2010
  13. jaigner

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    The words of the Apostle's Creed, for instance, say very much about a relationship with God, though they're not in any way sentimental. For a Christian, what one believes about God and ones relationship with God are intertwined.

    I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth,
    And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
    Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
    Born of the Virgin Mary,
    Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
    Was crucified, dead and buried.
    The third day he rose again from the dead,
    Ascended into heaven,
    And sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
    From there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
    I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church,
    The communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
    The resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.
    Amen.

    Anyways, yes, Reformed Baptists are Baptists and some of them are very dogmatic and pretty elitist about their theology. I appreciate much about reformed theology, but I cannot understand the lack of Christian love and temperance many of them demonstrate.
     
  14. gb93433

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    How does the 1 Samuel passage fit in with the doctrinal statement of evil in your church or your personal understanding? I have read and heard numerous times that God does not create evil and is not a part of evil. In light of a doctrinal statement about evil that you have seen how would one interpret the 1 Samuel passage?

    My point is that preaching and teaching creeds does nothing and in fact can hinder correct interpretation of scripture because people too often use the filter of a creed to interpret a passage. Even today we have groups of people who will point to a doctrinal statement to tell you what they believe and they are not Christians.

    When I was in seminary I had some professors who were teaching and promoting expository preaching before some of the leaders of the reformed movement were born. Those professors are not a part of the reformed movement at all. Some have died.

    While there may not be another movement that focuses more on expository preaching, that does nothing when compared to how Jesus preached and what he taught. I have encountered some preachers who will talk about what the movement stands for and promotes, but when I ask them about some things from scripture they still must go back to scripture. The danger in being a part of any movement is relying on what the movement teaches and fitting into a mold that may or may not be correct. The movement tends to have a particular focus. However scripture does not change. I can easily discuss scripture with others in an effort to get at the correct interpretation but I cannot argue with a doctrinal statement without going back to the source of the statement to discuss the matter.

    For example how many of the reformed pastors today would stand before a congregation and teach that they must have women deacons because the early church did? There are a number of documents that indicate that there were women deacons and how they functioned in the early church. It is not all about having correct doctrine intellectually but about living correct doctrine. If one goes to ABC Baptist Church and in their doctrinal statement they have a statement that there are only two offices--pastor and deacon, then how does that work out when someone from 123 Baptist Church discusses the matter of pastor, elder, deacon, and deaconess? I have personally shown some pastors some of the studies I have done and given them the sources I have on deaconesses. The look on their face told me everything. It was if they did not want to be bothered with the facts but would feel more comfortable tied to the doctrinal statement of a church or movement. When Jesus picked grain on the sabbath how did that fit in with a doctrinal statement and how did that fit in with scripture? From what I can tell it fit in well with their beliefs but not what the OT taught and God wanted.

    Isn't correct doctrine exhibited by correct actions? Correct actions come from a correct understanding of scripture not the correct understanding of a doctrinal statement.

    People may want to belong to a movement but I fail to see Jesus as doing that. He was a part of God's work from the beginning. I think we must always point back to the source of our faith and focus on Jesus.
     
  15. gb93433

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    There was a time when I repeated that creed every Sunday and believed it, but did not know God. I only knew about God. I think James teaches about the contrast between a creedal faith and genuine saving faith. I also think that if we look back over church history we will see where the formation of creeds has led people.
     
  16. gb93433

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    Recently I read an article by a theologian stressing the importance of "living out the gospel". When I spoke with the pastor (who claimed to subscribe to reformed theology for many of the reasons mentioned) who told me about the article, I realized the author of the article wrote about something that he had not done any study on, but rather fell into the trap of what others said. The pastor was also going down that same road. I pointed out to the pastor that I could not find one usage of the word gospel in any context like that and then asked him if he could. The man is a great pastor and I know he walks with God.

    Christianity is not about following reformed theology as sheep but about knowing the God who is, and focusing on Jesus.
     
  17. jaigner

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    There was a reason for these creeds and, even today, there is something very powerful about reciting such a declaration of faith among believers. Of course, you're right that some repeat it but do not know God. That doesn't change the relational and personal nature of them for those who love God.

    Everyone recites creeds. Even if they say something like, "I have no creed but the Bible," that in itself is a creed. Songs we sing in church can (and should) be creeds.

    Even the fundie who resists creedal statements with everything in them does, in fact, have their own creeds.
     
  18. gb93433

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    There is an even greater need today than ever before for people to know their Bible. The cults by deception and ignorance are filling their buildings with former church people. I am sure many of us can think of people who have left or waivered from the faith because of ignorance. Creeds do not keep people from leaving the faith. A thorough knowledge of scripture gives them trustworthy reasons for their faith. Creeds will never do that. If one discusses what they believe with another it is the knowledge of scripture that will win the other not a creed. People seldom leave the faith because of a thorough knowledge of scripture.
     
  19. John of Japan

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    Kind of a weird location for this thread, don't you think, folks? I hope the powers-that-be move it.

    But welcome to the BB anyway, Earth, Wind & Fire. :wavey:

    God bless all.
     
  20. Ruiz

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    You bring up a false dichotomy. It is about following Jesus... and following his teachings. To love God and not love his teachings is not to love God. To love his teachings without loving God is just as dangerous.

    I do not know why some people hate digging in deap into theology as a pursuit of loving God with all our mind. I love God so much, I can't get enough of Him or His theology. In fact, because I love God, I want to know more and more and more and more about Him and His Word. Reformed Theology stresses loving God with your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Some in our modern culture love to leave out the mind.

    If reformed theology, as I purport, is all about the nature of God, man, God's Word, God's Salvation, and God's Son and Reformed theology is true, then a way of showing God you love Him is by loving HIS theology. To Love God, you must love all of God... and the more you know the more you can love.

    I would have more of a problem with those who say, "I just love God" but they do not want to continue to study and learn more about Him.
     
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