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Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by SaggyWoman, Jan 8, 2005.
Missionary supporting, no matter how they do it?
Primitive Baptists come to mind, but I'm not that acquainted with them, so this is merely a guess.
Actually, Primitive Baptists are generally missionary supporting. They usually see the supporting of missionaries to be done biblically through a local church rather than through a missionary society. Primitive Baptist churches broke away from regular, missionary Baptist churches in the 19th century because the PBs considered the missionary agencies of the missionary churches unbiblical.
OTOH, hyper-Calvinistic Baptist churches would be opposed to sending missionaries. Such churches, not to be confused with Calvinistic Baptists, believe the offering of the gospel "promiscuously" to the elect and non-elect alike to be casting the pearls of the gospel to the swine.
Calvinistic Baptists, though, disagree with such an attitude and, historically, have lead in missionary efforts. For instance, William Carey, a five-point Calvinist and Baptist missionary to India, is often called the father of modern missions. C. H. Spurgeon also was strong in his evangelism efforts and missionary support.
I've heard that criticism of Calvinism before- -that it could lead to a disinterest in missions. One of my SBC pastor friends has that fear. I went to a Christian & Missionary Alliance college that taught a Calvinistic brand of systematic theology. We used Louis Berkof's book. My professor was Infralapserian in his views, as were many of the other profs there. They valued missions. I've often wondered which hyper-Calvinistic denominations have actually neglected missions. Could that be a myth?
I've heard that criticism of Calvinism before- -that it could lead to a disinterest in missions. One of my SBC pastor friends has that fear. I went to a Christian & Missionary Alliance college that taught a Calvinistic brand of systematic theology. We used Louis Berkof's book. My professor was Infralapserian in his views, as were many of the other profs there. They valued missions. I've often wondered which hyper-Calvinistic denominations have actually neglected missions. Could that be a myth? [/QB][/QUOTE]
It seems that Calvinistic congregations are typically called "hyper-Calvinists" by those who think they themselves are Calvinists because they believe in eternal security while rejecting other fundamental points of Calvinistic soteriology (is that sentence as clear as a glass of muddy wather?). In other words, many castigate Calvinists with the term "hyper-Calvinist" without understanding either.
Actually, I'm not aware of very many hyper-Calvinistic congregations or denominations. OTOH, those holding to a Reformed view of soteriology typically take seriously the command to make disciples of all nations. Our congregation hold to Calvinistic soteriology and regularly do short-term missionary work in Romania as well as support the work of the SBC International Mission Board.
This is a very interesting point ... and one that seems internally contradictory. I can't seem to get a straight answer from our PB brethren here. They believe that the elect are saved without ever hearing the gospel. They do not believe that hearing and conscious faith is necessary. That is a standard definition of hyper-Calvinism, but that is beside the point. The point is this: Why support missionaries since they are unnecessary?
I have never understood that about them. I would love ot hear a good explanation of it.
Another interesting point is that modern missions as we know it was started by William Carey, an avowed Calvinist. And much of the early American church planting work and indian missions was done by Calvinists. The claim that Calvinism detracts from evangelism is simply false.
I know the Calvinstic churches in my area aren't very focused when it comes to evangelism and missions. However, the non-Calvinistic churches (the ones the Calvinist churches slam) are very evangelism & missions focused. I recently left one of the Calvinist churches and have been attending a non-Calvinistic one - very refreshing.
"Why support missionaries since they are unnecessary?"
— Elder Claude McKee
As to hyper-Calvinism: By the early 17th century, strong currents within the English Baptists tended toward a view that preaching repentance was not only a waste of time but might be infringing upon the sovereignty of God. (There also was a streak of antinomianism, unintended by the preachers, creeping in.)
It must be remembered that Carey's missionary efforts were not universally favored by Baptists.
As one minister said: "Sit down, young man. You are an enthusiast! When God pleases to convert the heathen, He will do it without consulting you or me."
There also is a schism of sorts occurring within the Primitives over a missionary effort to the Philippines. A nonprofit foundation has been set up to support missionary efforts, which has come under severe denunciation from some Primitive Baptists.
Among PBs are Calvinists and hyper-Calvinists. Calvinists believe that missionaries (i.e., "evangelists" of Ephesians 4:11) are necessary, but they are to be under the direction of a local church, not a missionary society.
Hyper-Calvinists would be anti-missionary, believing that it sullies the gospel to have it preached promiscuously to the elect and non-elect alike.
BTW, I know many Arminian churches, as well as semi-Arminian, which do little in evangelism and missions.
Well, since I am one of them there Primitives being referred to, I guess I'll put my 2 cents in.
It is my feeling, as well as the vast, vast majority of PBs in Texas, did I say vast?, that if a man is led of God to go somewhere to preach, then he should go. It is not for the church or for any group to tell or send an elder anywhere. God does the calling, and the directing. The only thing the church does is recognize his gift and call for his ordination.
rsr is right that there is a big schism going on right now. One which is tearing our churches in two. Fortunately, since the "missionary movement" has not really caught on down here yet, there is not all that much controversy amonst the Texas churches. There are some, but most have yet to experience any great battle over this issue. This is sadly not the case in other parts of the country.
Of course, if one were to know that the churches in Texas were split from the 1920's to the 1980's into 3 or 4 seperate groups, then they might realize why we have been very slow to act on anything that has yet to reall affect us and which could tear the churches apart again.
It's really very sad to watch this happen and know that it could be prevented very easily if some were to back down.
Unfortunately, men with their pride and all...
If we follow God's will then we'll all - preacher or not - go where we're He wants us to and do what He wants us to do. Whether others decide to support us - preacher or not - does not take anything away from God's plan if in fact that as well is His will. Who are we to say it is or is not God's will for a Church to send a preacher to do that which God has called him to do simply because the Church joins in funding the expenses? We'd do better not to be too critical of what others do or don't do with respect to missionary work since often we don't really know what they're doing until we walk with them a little way. What we hear second hand, and further removed, may well be based in nothing more than blatant ignorance, envious gossip, power plays between leaders, or insecurity to stand apart for the truth.
I am an "Old Time" Missionary Baptist, and most of our churches, though not all, do not support foreign missionary efforts, which causes lots of confusion for many people who cannot understand why a "Missionary Baptist" church would not support missionaries. Like the Primitive Baptists, the "Old Time" Missionary Baptists withdrew from larger associations and/or conventions, primarily in the South because of disagreements about supporting missionary boards and missionary associations, which they felt was unscriptural in that it usurped power from the local congregation. Also like the Primitive Baptists, we feel that God calls an individual to preach, and he may go to another area to preach, which would be his mission. It is much like Brother Reed noted:
"It is not for the church or for any group to tell or send an elder (we would probably substitute the word brother here) anywhere, God does the calling and directing."
Also, many local congregations feel their mission is to share the faith with unsaved neighbors and/or people in the local community rather than contributing money to pay someone else to do what we feel we should be doing anyway. Many, and perhaps most "Old Time" Missionary Baptist preachers do not receive salaries.
It should be noted that there are many churches that are called "Missionary Baptist" that are not "Old Time" Missionary Baptists, and many of them do actively support foreign missionaries, and that there are some "Old Time" Missionary Baptist churches who have sent missionaries supported by the local church, sometimes to neighboring communities, and a few even send some overseas. However, each church is completely independent in this regard.
I'm not familiar with "Old Time" Missionary Baptist Churches, and I suspect others may not be also. Could you further enlightened, perhaps a brief synopsis of beginnings, geography, theological distinctions, etc.?
Of course, it may be even better to start a new thread.
For a better explanation than I would be able to give, there is a very good article recounting the history of the Old Time Missionary Baptists at:
or if you go to the top of this forum under "Denominational Sites", and click "Old Time Missionary Baptists", you will be connected to a site with information for and about Old Time Missionary Baptists.
Keep in mind that like most Primitive Baptists:
1) There is no official "Old Time Missionary Baptist" site as there is no official organization, as you would find in a more "modern" denomination and
2) There is a wide variety of practices among individual churches once you get past the basic tenets that identify Old Time Missionary Baptists.
There is also another thread on this forum regarding "Old Regular Baptists", that has a lot of information regarding other groups which share similar histories to the Old Time Missionary Baptists.
Thanks Zane! That's some good basic information. I'd never have thought to check Wikipedia for it even though I've used that site for several other things.
The position of the Calvinist brethren is that in order to be saved eternally speaking that one must hear the gospel preached... Ergo it is the hearing of the gospel and not Christ that is responsible for the saving. I'm third generation PB and having been raised in the church it is not Gospel Regeneration that saves it is Spiritual Regeneration.
That is what the disagreement between those called Missionary Baptist and PB's have been about since the two factions split. It is true that God can surely send a minister if he so desires to those who have never heard the gospel but and it is a big but according to PB's does God need the preached gospel to save eternally his children.
What is gospel Salvation?... Is it a means to be saved and if so from what?... The gospel PB's believes purpose is to save Gods children from untruth?... One question we all believe is the child of God who seeks the things of God are saved already... That is why we are OSAS and grace to us is so amazing. That has always been my stand and the three generation of PB's I come from. We don't argue our position but we stand by it God saves the totally depraved dead alien sinner and it is his work alone. Romans 28: 28 thru 30 declares nothing else and the rest of the chapter puts Gods stamp on it... Who shall lay anything to the charge of Gods elect?... Who shall separate us from the Love of Christ... Missionaries help God's children but because they are not sent out has NEVER cost God one of his blood bought, grace wrought tokens of eternal glory... No matter what the world says!... Brother Glen
Hi, Glen. It's good to see you posting. I haven't noticed you in awhile, although I haven't posted very much recently either. Hope all is well.
I think that several groups might be considered such, according to how one defined "missionary supporting". The main idea in our country in our day is probably of some kind of mission board or missionary mechanism that sends, coordinates and collects. Several bodies are not missionary by this definition, including most Primitive Baptists, Old Regular Baptists and even some missionary Baptists & Freewill Baptists. It is probably hard to look at this question without a great deal of bias, much of it going back to controversy at least 200 years old.
I would submit that some of the "anti-missionary" groups are just as active in preaching the gospel as others, though they may have a different methodology and sometimes even different reasons for preaching it.
Daniel Parker, Predestinarian Baptist of "Two-Seed" fame, is noted as one of the original American "anti-missionaries". He spent about the last ten years of his ministry in Texas, and it appears that he traveled more miles, preached more sermons and organized more churches (about a dozen) than any other one preacher of that era (1834-1844).
Just something to think about.
Good to hear from both Bro. Glen and Robert again.