Autonomy of the Church

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Istherenotacause, May 8, 2003.

  1. Istherenotacause

    Istherenotacause
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    If autonomy means self-governing, where does the SBC come in governing the churches in it's association by kicking them out for what it holds as right or wrong?

    This is a thought from another thread, but wouldn't the cutting off of fellowship be the correct way? "Kicking out" of an association just seems to contradict autonomy. Autonomy being the subject, not an individual action of the SBC.
     
  2. go2church

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    You just hit the nail on the head. This is why so many SBCers are not happy about the changes in the SBC. What used to be a local church to convention workers system is now becoming a convention worker to local church system. A huge "violation" of local church autonomy.
     
  3. Daniel David

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    If a church freely joins another group (liberal, conservate, moderate, etc.), it still must abide by the agreed upon principles.

    The SBC stands for what is in the BFM2000. If a church is pro-homo (a position that is contrary to the rest of the SBC), it should expect to be rejected.

    There is no violate of autonomy. That church is free to believe as it wishes. The SBC though is also free to reject certain churches.
     
  4. KPBAP

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    When an association expels a church they are dis-associating with them (obviously) and refusing to take $$$ from the local church.
     
  5. Istherenotacause

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    That's why I'm an Independent Fundamental Baptist.
    Anytime you have an association "mothering" over your local, indigenous church you're asking for trouble. It's eventually going to come to the point of the association telling the local assembly how to govern. I'm not throwing off on southern Baptists by any means, but the convention ideal just isn't found in the Bible, but the "local" church is. I wouldn't send my money to an association or a convention to begin with.
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    As association is just a loose fellowship of churches that agree to work together on specific goals, based on doctrinal agreement. The association has no influence or control over the autonomous congregation. There is no "hierarchy" or "denominational" feel.

    A convention purports to be the same, but it is not. It is a tight fellowship of churches, with great influence and/or control over autonomous congregations. There is a heavy denominational structure and feel.

    On paper the two groups look alike. In reality, there is a vast difference.
     
  7. USN2Pulpit

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    Here's a different way of thinking of things, so don't flame me for this...I'm just "thinking out loud." How many local churches do you suppose put themselves under the authority of the Apostle Paul? In a certain way, then, they were tied together, and thank God for Paul's faithfulness to the task. I know it's not a fair comparison, but in this case, there was a divinely appointed human authority from outside the local body.

    As far as that local association "disassociating" with the pro-gay church, I find nothing scripturally wrong with what they did. If you read the whole article, you find that they method used was completely scriptural.
     
  8. Hardsheller

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    WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? :confused:
     
  9. go2church

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    The emphasis in the SBC used to the local church. That is why the claims of liberals in the SBC was not totally false, although not near to the degree many have been lead to believe. Now the emphasis is on the convention, moving away from the local church. This has been done to protect from liberalism, a good thing, but unfortunatly the baby has been thrown out with the bath. Hardshell, does this help?
     
  10. bapterian

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    Just because a church is self-governing, does not give it the right to have "lifetime" membership in the SBC. If the self-governing church is operating beyond the parameters of the beliefs of the SBC, then the SBC has the right to remove them from the fellowship of the convention.
     
  11. TomVols

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    Besides, you don't technically "join" the SBC, state convention, or association for that matter. So the idea that the conventions or associations "mother" or "lord over" the local church is really not an accurate description.
     
  12. bapterian

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    Anytime you have an association "mothering" over your local, indigenous church you're asking for trouble. It's eventually going to come to the point of the association telling the local assembly how to govern. I'm not throwing off on southern Baptists by any means, but the convention ideal just isn't found in the Bible, but the "local" church is. I wouldn't send my money to an association or a convention to begin with.

    You have a poor understading of associations and conventions. Local churches affiliated with the SBC are independent, self-governing Baptist congregations that make all of their decisions without outside interference. They own their own property and they have the freedom to affiliate or not affiliate with any organization they choose. There is no "mothering" over the congregations as you state. You may not find the word "convention" or "association" in our english bibles, but I do not believe that independent baptist churches that come together to do missions, education, benevolence, etc. is contrary to the teaching of the Bible.
     
  13. Bible-boy

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    The SBC can not "kick" anyone or any church "out." There is not a mechanism within the SBC to allow for such an action.

    What can happen is that a local association of Southern Baptist Churches can vote to discontinue their fellowship with a particular church (that is a member of that association) if they feel that that church has departed from a particular doctrine that formerly united all the members of that association. Note that the members of the association are not telling this particular church how it should govern itself. However, they are saying, "If you want to embrace doctrinal error we choose not to cooperate or fellowship with you." This has nothing whatsoever to do with that particular church's autonomy. That church remains autonomous because none of these other churches are governing that particular church. Its congregation remains responsible for making all decisions concerning that particular church.

    The SBC technically only exists for about three days each year when all the Southern Baptist messengers meet together in an annual convention. I don't think there has ever been a vote held at an annual Southern Baptist Convention to "kick" a particular church "out" of the convention.

    What has happened here (in this thread and/or another one) is that somehow some terms and/or meanings have been equivocated.

    [ May 10, 2003, 05:15 AM: Message edited by: BibleboyII ]
     
  14. Jeptha

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    The only real problem with associations is that they are unscriptural - man made - organizations that assume denominational powers over others.

    J
     
  15. Hardsheller

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    I disagree with you. I think the emphasis is still on the local church. My church has never been told what it must affirm or what it must do in order to be a "good" Southern Baptist Church.

    When you analyze the amount of money the NAMB is allocating for New Church Plants I think you will see that Local Churches are still the priority in the SBC.
     
  16. Hardsheller

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    Every level of SBC Life - Local Church, Association, State Convention and National Convention is an autonomous entity and has the right to determine its own membership.
     
  17. Hardsheller

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    I think we did it for the first time at the SBC in Indianapolis in 1992. You might want to check the report from that year. It was about 2 Churches who were ordaining homosexuals If I remember correctly.
     
  18. Speedpass

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    I think we did it for the first time at the SBC in Indianapolis in 1992. You might want to check the report from that year. It was about 2 Churches who were ordaining homosexuals If I remember correctly. </font>[/QUOTE]U R right :cool: Two North Carolina congregations(Pullen Memorial Baptist in Raleigh, and University Baptist--I think--in Chapel Hill).

    Also, the BGCT expelled University Baptist Church in Austin back in '98 for their pro-homosexual views.
     
  19. go2church

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    Hardshell thanks for the response,
    It is interesting that you mention the NAMB effort to plant churches. Just this past couple of weeks the association that my church is in has been told either get on board with the NAMB plan of making church planting THE priority in the association or we will cut the funding to your association for your ADOM! We are a small association (13 churches) in rural Northeastern New Mexico and this would in effect kill the any association work that we have going now. We are being strong armed by the convention via the money that comes to us through NAMB.

    So exactly who is the priority? You need to find out what they mean when they say planting churches, because it is not what you might think. The days of churches starting churches with the financial help of the convention are gone in New Mexico. If you want to start a church and don't follow the conventions way of doing things, you get no help.
     
  20. go2church

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    Just for the record we are not dealing with theological issues. In New Mexico being apart of the convention is not based on signing the BF&M of any year, it is about contributing to the Coop Program, $250 a year. This has become all about the "proper" method of church planting. The convention is saying it is our way or you fundit all by yourself.
     

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