Back to our roots

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Clint Kritzer, Oct 23, 2001.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    It was this topic that first interested me in joining the Baptist Board in the first place. Now for days it has remained inactive but it is really where I feel the most at home. I feel so strongly about my faith as a Christian and my grip of doctrine as a Baptist. In the other forums what may begin as a topic of faith or doctrine seems to dwindle to stalemates or worse still, turns into a totally unrelated topic than the original poster designed.. I felt led today to make this posting in the category where I feel most at home. I would like ANYONE who may read this to pick up the thread so that we may have a reaffirming discussion about the topics that make us Baptist, the largest Protestant denomination in the world. I will start with a listing of the topics that most Baptist seem to hold.
    1) the congregation has been REGENERATED
    2) the church has a DEMOCRATIC form of government
    3) the importance of each INDIVIDUAL
    4) the PRIESTHOOD of each believer
    5) the high REGARD of Jesus Christ as Lord and Scripture as God's Word
    6) the New Testament as the SOLE and SUFFICIENT rule book for a church
    7) the right of the individual to be free of civil or ecclesiastical authority, or SOUL LIBERTY
    8) the duty of the state to protect all men, believers and non-believers to exercise RELIGIOUS LIBERTY and the SEPERATION OF CHURCH AND STATE
    9) the concept of BELIEVER'S BAPTISM, as opposed to infant baptism
    10) two church ordinances: BAPTISM and the LORD'S SUPPER
    11) INDEPENDENT, AUTONOMOUS churches
    13) a GOD-CALLED CLERGY
    14) implementation of the GREAT COMMISSION

    Again, I invite any comment, argument or discussion on these topics. I hope that one of our members who is not Baptist will ask about any of these points. I figure the worst that can happen is that it remains a dead link for days and days.
    I feel that we are a misunderstood lot. I think that many folks view the extreme right wing of our religion the standard on which our faith is built. It is actually the contrary. Baptist have historically fought against such issues as Scripture being read in classrooms, monetary support of church's through taxation, and laws which would enforce one groups opinion onto the whole. We are the great free-thinkers. There are dangerous under-currents in our denomination these days that would try to dictate national policies to individual churches. Education of our members and youth is our best defense at preservation. Perhaps someone out there can tell me why Baptist doctrine by the Baptist General Assembly ceased two generation ago.
    - Clint
     
  2. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    I, as well, find much interest in the Baptist history topic. In contrast to what you have posted, I am copying from a post of Joshua Villines on "Were there that many?" in the BBMembers Forum.

    Villines post:

    "Baptists are Christians who believe in (per Buddy Shurden's Four Fragile Freedoms:

    - Separation of Church and State
    - Local Church Autonomy
    - Priesthood of the Believer
    - The individual's right to interpret Scripture under the guidance of the Holy Spirit

    Beyond those four things, Shurden has not found anything else that unites all baptists."

    Not that I agree completely with Shurden. I would probably make my list broader than his, but narrower than the fourteen you posted. Anyway, thought this might make a good springboard for discussion.
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    rlvaughn -

    HOW WONDERFUL!!! A REPLY!
    I like the use of the tem "fragile freedoms". Indeed, it is hard to classify Baptist in one sect. My list is a common thread found in our denomination. Noone can really state, "This is what all Baptist believe." I remember when I studied existential philosophy in college (no degree, spent all my time studying philosophy LOL) existentialism defied definition in the same way. The contrast is that all existentialist denied the title, all Baptist embrace their's.
    I do have issue with one ommission on your list: the New Testament being the sole and sufficient rulebook for a church. This is, I consider, a hallmark of the Baptist. We like to think that if a Bible were dropped from a plane into a remote region and the people of that region were able to read and comprehend the text, were saved, and started a church, that church would be a Baptist church. I am proud of this in our heritage. So many of our fore fathers endured terrible persecution from the government and the people. We take our religious liberty so casually but it is because of the early Baptist ministers who addressed Alexander Hamilton that we have an ammendment protecting religious freedom and seperation of church and state at all.
    One of my favorite accounts I have read is in A History of Baptist in Virginia by Reuben E. Alley in which he states that some town ruffians went so far as to throw a live hornet's nest into a Baptist assembly. All of this because those early ministers refused to allow the government to dictate doctrine to them. Despite bullying, jailings and beatings, they continued to look only to the Word of God for guidance! What fervency! I hope to keep this thread open. Thank you so much for giving me the opening. I want to address other ommissions in your list but I'm such a long-winded fellow, I do not want our readers' interest to wane
    - Clint

    [ October 23, 2001: Message edited by: Clint Kritzer ]
     
  4. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    Ok, Clint, I'll bite. [​IMG]

    You wrote:
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Again, I invite any comment, argument or discussion on these topics. I hope that one of our members who is not Baptist will ask about any of these points. I figure the worst that can happen is that it remains a dead link for days and days.
    I feel that we are a misunderstood lot. I think that many folks view the extreme right wing of our religion the standard on which our faith is built. It is actually the contrary. Baptist have historically fought against such issues as Scripture being read in classrooms, monetary support of church's through taxation, and laws which would enforce one groups opinion onto the whole. We are the great free-thinkers. There are dangerous under-currents in our denomination these days that would try to dictate national policies to individual churches. Education of our members and youth is our best defense at preservation. Perhaps someone out there can tell me why Baptist doctrine by the Baptist General Assembly ceased two generation ago.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I will try to get them as they come. 1st, my point of view is that there should be no liberal or conservative in religion. I know there is, but those terms turn lots of folks, including me. There are subjects on which I would take a "Conservative" view and others in which I would take a "liberal" view. But the religious right seems view itself to be the arbiter of all things pertaining to right and wrong. Often I agree with what is being said, but abhor the manner in which it is presented.

    I can't speak for any Baptist but me on this one, but the separation of church and state seems to be erroding. I know I will be railed against for saying this, but I am glad the Supreme Court took prayer out of the public schools. Prayer is for private places, in the home, in worship, and not for show. I also don't want someone with whom I would have theological differences teaching my child how to pray. That is my job. I think a lot of my denomination (Primitive Baptist) feel this way about it as well.

    As for the rest of the post about the Baptist General Assembly, I don't understand, and wouldn't be qualified to answer at any rate.

    BTW, I looked at your web page, very nicely done. I am related to those Weaver's mentioned on your history page.

    And remember the United States ends at Cumberland Gap. [​IMG]

    Warm regards
    Jeff Weaver
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Jeff - Welcome to the non-head-banging corner of the forum and thanks for replying! When I refer to "conservatism" I do so in a classical sense:
    con·ser·va·tism (kn-sûrv-tzm)
    n.
    The inclination, especially in politics, to maintain the existing or traditional order.

    and so with liberal(ism):

    lib·er·al (lbr-l, lbrl)
    adj.

    Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others.(Dictionary.com)

    I'm quite sure I said right-wing, not conservative. They are not synonyms. I consider myself a true conservative Baptist. I adhere to the doctrine of the early founders and do not subscribe to any sect trying to tell others what is right or wrong. (I won't know if that's clear until I read it on the posting.)

    Honestly, we are in agreement over the issue of prayer in school. I will find you a name in a few days, but one minister in the '50's actually spoke to the Virginia legislature on such a topic. His main point is a non-believer's demeanor would do more harm than good toward the spread of the Gospel. The argument is still valid. Matthew 6:6 confirms your feelings on the privacy of prayer.
    I need to do my research on the formal Baptist training of our grandparents. I will endeavor to keep the thread going, but one way or the other, I will inform you. I hope to re-institute this practice in my own church this summer.
    Finally, thank you ever-so-much for visiting the website. It was founded by me as a place to post my findings about church history. I am endeavoring to make a true internet presence and I love watching my counter climb. You may also as a Virginian, want to visit the link to the Virginia Baptist Historical Society on my page. There is also an essay I wrote about my visit there (got pictures of my Mom on it!)

    God Bless

    - Clint
     
  6. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    Clint, I'd like to go a little farther with the two lists of things Baptists hold in common. First, I'd like to note that the list of four statements is by Walter Shurden, not me. I take issue with it as well, because it is too limited. I have not read Shurden's book "Four Fragile Freedoms", so I cannot comment on these as relates to his book. He is noted as a careful historian. But I suspect he is influenced too much by bringing in all the present-day Baptists, and he has narrowed what Baptists hold in common. In other words, I believe that many in the year 2001 who hold the name Baptist are not distinctively or historically Baptist. How far will we go trying to accomodate those who use the name Baptist. There are several Pentecostal/Holiness groups who have "Baptist" in their name (e.g., the Pentecostal Freewill Baptist Church or the Holiness Baptist Association), but can we really consider them Baptists? No, they are Pentecostals.

    I totally agree that the New Testament as an all-sufficient rule of faith and practice makes up the definite Baptist distinctive. While Baptists have never been one unified group without variations, there are certain historical principles that unify Baptists, and those who leave them are not truly Baptist, in my opinion. I am afraid that Shurden gave enough leeway to accomodate present-day Baptists who now deny the nature and sufficiency of the Scriptures.

    I will try to develop a list as we go.
    1. The New Testament as the all sufficient rule of faith and practice
    2. Regenerated church membership
    3. Baptism of believers (by immersion) rather than baptism of infants
    4. Separation of church and state - that the state has no right to compel men in matters of conscience.
    5. The priesthood of the believer
    6. The autonomy of the local church - no heirarchical system of church governance
    7. A non-sacramental understanding of the ordinances (nothing salvific about them)
    8. Soul Liberty - the right to believe and practice as guided by the Holy Spirit.

    If careful, I would add that most Baptists historically have had an experiential understanding of the doctrine of salvation. I would add that historically Soul Liberty was never a license for a Baptist church member to believe and practice anything, regardless of what his church believed. While the Baptists believed he was FREE to believe and practice whatever he wanted, he might not be free to do so and still be in fellowship with the church!

    In my list, I differ somewhat on the ordinances, because there has always been a strong minority opinion among Baptists that feetwashing should be practiced as an ordinance. A few Baptists have added others. For example, some Separate Baptists recognized 9 rites or ordinances; and even the Philadelphia Confession of Faith (which stood preeminent as a Baptist Confession of Faith in the U.S. for years) called the laying on of hands an ordinance. So I'm just saying that two ordinances only is not as historic of a Baptist practice as many think.
     
  7. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    Bro. Robert

    You finally done went and done it now. ;)

    Feetwashing!!!!! You wouldn't believe some of the reasons I have gotten why folks don't wash one another's feet. Of course I am one who believes it is an ordinance of the church and should be done. While Primitive Baptists generally practice it, it is not a test of fellowship, and there are a very few churches that don't do it.

    I know the Mountain Union Baptists make it a requirement, and the majority of Old Regular Baptists practice it (don't know if they make it a test of fellowship or not though). I know that some/all? Separate Baptists and some/all United Baptists practice footwashing. A question would be what other Baptist groups routinely practice it, whether or not it is a test of fellowship.

    Thanks.
     
  8. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    As to feetwashing, would you believe some Southern Baptists still practice it? I know several of the Southern Baptist associations (or sometimes a few churches in an association) in north Georgia still practice it. Also SBC churches in NC (See Foxfire 7), TN (Mulberry Gap Assn), AL (Blount Co. Assn) - these are ones I know of. It is practiced by Landmark Missionary Baptists, particularly the Interstate and Foreign Landmark Missionary Baptist Association (AL,MS,LA,TX,AR,CAN), the Southwestern District Association (TN), the Original Smyrna Association (GA) and, I think, maybe some of the Big Bear Creek Assn. churches (AL). It is practiced by most non-affliated associations in Georgia (Jasper, Pleasant Valley, Pleasant Grove, Coosawattee, Chestatee, New Hope, et. al.), all of the churches of the General Association of Baptists (commonly known as Duck River and Kindred Baptists), and the East Washington Regular Baptist Association in AR. (Other Regular Baptists = Little River, Little Valley, Enterprise, Original Mountain Union, Primitive, Union) In addition to these, on the Arminian side, it is a practice of the General and Free Will Baptists as well as the Separates. The practice has a greater following than might be expected. Of course, in all honestly, some members of churches that practice feetwashing, don't show up when it is observed.

    The churches in my circles that practice it, are usually scrupulous to call it an example rather than an ordinance. I prefer that terminology as well. Anyway, the fact that feetwashing is much more common among Baptists than most suppose, makes it impossible for me to agree that TWO ordinances are a Baptist distinctive.

    [ October 24, 2001: Message edited by: rlvaughn ]
     
  9. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    Thanks for the information, I appreciate it.
     
  10. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Thanks, again, to both of you gentlemen for your responses. I think I have found the gentle side of the board here. You both seem quite knowledgeable about this topic and I am absolutely delighted.
    Footwashing, eh? No offence intended in any way, but the subject always brings a smile to my face. I lived in Michigan for a while and attended an Independent Baptist church which tried to institute the ordinance/example (at least the pastor did) but it never seemed to gain favor with the congregation. As for my home church here in Fork Union, we have never practiced this rite in my lifetime. I will get back to you on our history of that after I check our records. I haven't had so much homework since high school.
    I did want to get back to Mister Vaughn's list. The third item he listed was baptism by immersion rather than baptism of infants, with immersion in parenthesis. My home church felt it necessary to add into our Constitutional by-laws exceptions to this rule. I think this was wise and humane. We have a nursing home in our community where, of course, many folks are invalid, or at least, incapacitated. In such instances we allow for sprinkling.
    This leads me into the priesthood of believers that we have all been accepted into upon our professions of faith and Baptism. After wandering this board in search of topics of interest, I found folks who were obviously professed Christians arguing over lesser points of faith until they were obviously quite steamed. This concerns me. We recognize the church as the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:31-32) and in Acts 20:28 it is implied that there is only ONE church, the Church of God, and furthermore, that a common thread of Baptist doctrine (though not agreed on yet by either of you) is the competency of the soul and the belief of Soul Liberty. Do we accept the beliefs and doctrines of other faiths and persuasions? Are they members of OUR priesthood? I think I can safely say that we agree that sacraments will not get one into Heaven (point #7 on Mr. Vaughn's list). So where does that leave us? Believe me, I left the other posts to fight it out amongst themselves, but as Mr. Weaver stated, I, too, hold to no pigeon-holed belief system. I have always accepted that people all feel differently and that is their God-given right. I love the faith I was raised in but if another is saved and has another denominational faith, am I not right in agreeing to disagree? THIS is the dangerous undercurrent I feel in our ranks. Intolerance. It's as un-Baptist as it is un-American.
    I have heard of certain moves by the Southern Baptist Conference to influence church decisions as well. Is the passivity of the doctrinally uneducated going to allow this transformation? Not at MY church! The SBC was established as an organizing implement for foreign missions. PERIOD! The influence of the present day Baptist, Mr. Vaughn?
    Well, Lord knows that's enough for now. Talk to you gentlemen tomorrow I hope.

    God Bless

    - Clint

    [ October 24, 2001: Message edited by: Clint Kritzer ]
     
  11. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> While the Baptists believed he was FREE to believe and practice whatever he wanted, he might not be free to do so and still be in fellowship with the church!
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    One last thought on this, sir, after re-reading our discussion. You are absolutely correct. My family has a female deacon and I, personally, would never have voted to allow women on the committee. She fulfills her duties excellently but I feel it is not scriptural. I concede to the decisions of my church. - Clint
     
  12. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    Howdy once again, will post your entire note above, here, so I can better organize my thoughts/comments.

    Thanks, again, to both of you gentlemen for your responses. I think I have found the gentle side of the board here. You both seem quite knowledgeable about this topic and I am absolutely delighted.

    Robert is more knowledgeable than about anyone I have met on the subject of Baptist History. Now if we are talking Civil War, I might give him a run for his money. I have written 21 books in the Virginia Regimental History Series, which you reference on your history page. [​IMG]


    Footwashing, eh? No offence intended in any way, but the subject always brings a smile to my face. I lived in Michigan for a while and attended an Independent Baptist church which tried to institute the ordinance/example (at least the pastor did) but it never seemed to gain favor with the congregation. As for my home church here in Fork Union, we have never practiced this rite in my lifetime. I will get back to you on our history of that after I check our records. I haven't had so much homework since high school.

    I would be surprised if they did. Historically Virginia has been weak on footwashing, even among Primitive Baptist types.

    I did want to get back to Mister Vaughn's list. The third item he listed was baptism by immersion rather than baptism of infants, with immersion in parenthesis. My home church felt it necessary to add into our Constitutional by-laws exceptions to this rule. I think this was wise and humane. We have a nursing home in our community where, of course, many folks are invalid, or at least, incapacitated. In such instances we allow for sprinkling.

    Better not let anyone else see this one. I have baptized disabled folks, and did it by finding a heated swimming pool, and take them out in the wheel chair till just their head was out of the water, and then just a gentle plunge and that was it, but would suggest it without doctors approval, and lots of folks in the water with me to make sure there was no accident. I have never heard of such a practice (adult invalid sprinkling), but have no real objection to it, as baptism is an outward and visible expression of inward and spiritual grace. And I know some around will consider it heresy. [​IMG]

    This leads me into the priesthood of believers that we have all been accepted into upon our professions of faith and Baptism. After wandering this board in search of topics of interest, I found folks who were obviously professed Christians arguing over lesser points of faith until they were obviously quite steamed. This concerns me. We recognize the church as the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:31-32) and in Acts 20:28 it is implied that there is only ONE church, the Church of God, and furthermore, that a common thread of Baptist doctrine (though not agreed on yet by either of you) is the competency of the soul and the belief of Soul Liberty.


    You noticed that too? Yes, some folks get quite worked up over this and that. I tend to stay with subjects I am comfortable with, competent to comment on, or things I think might be useful to others. Sometimes I think Brother Robert and I should just have our own board, we tend to agree on about everything, except he is a Republican and I am a Democrat. I may be the only Democrat on this board. ;) In all honesty if I get steamed over something I refrain from adding anything till I have calmed down.

    As for the Church of God, one church, universal, invisble, yes, I absolutely believe that, but there are a lot of Baptists who don't.

    Do we accept the beliefs and doctrines of other faiths and persuasions?

    +++++

    I am not sure where you are going with this one, but will give my 2 cents worth.

    Absolutely. There is as much division in the ranks of Baptists, so that we might have more in common with a group of another name than we would with other Baptists. Is that to say there are not errors other places, and we are perfect? No. I don't believe that any of us in this life has perfect understanding, and there are errors in every church. The problem is we can't see them. The "H" word (Heresy) gets thrown around this board quite often. I am extremely reluctant to call anyone a heretic, even those with whom I don't agree. The word has very negative connotations, and is hurtful, and should be used only in extreme departures from the basics of Christianity IMO. Those basics, IMO are:
    --One God, in three manifestations, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
    --Salvation through the blood of Christ, intercessor for us.
    --The Virgin Birth
    --The Bible is the written word of God, and our only rule of faith and practice.
    --By the Ordinances we give outward testimony of inward and spiritual grace.

    If any one can accept those things I am willing to believe that they are a Christian, and I do believe Catholics are Christians, (with some things I would consider error) though that might not be clear from the above. I do have a hard time believing Mormons, though are Christians, though some are very moral people.
    ++++++
    Are they members of OUR priesthood? I think I can safely say that we agree that sacraments will not get one into Heaven (point #7 on Mr. Vaughn's list). So where does that leave us? Believe me, I left the other posts to fight it out amongst themselves, but as Mr. Weaver stated, I, too, hold to no pigeon-holed belief system. I have always accepted that people all feel differently and that is their God-given right. I love the faith I was raised in but if another is saved and has another denominational faith, am I not right in agreeing to disagree? THIS is the dangerous undercurrent I feel in our ranks. Intolerance. It's as un-Baptist as it is un-American.

    ====

    I will absolutely agree with you on this one, see comments above for more on it. It is difficult, I think, for folks not to try to persuade others to their way of thinking. No one likes being alone--it is a basic nature of being human. Some believe they are saving someone else from a terrible fate, and do it in good faith. I just think they are wrong to do it, and without a good grounding in theology, psychology, compassion, and good manners and humor. (I should note that I would be considered a 5-point Calvinist.)

    ====
    I have heard of certain moves by the Southern Baptist Conference to influence church decisions as well. Is the passivity of the doctrinally uneducated going to allow this transformation? Not at MY church! The SBC was established as an organizing implement for foreign missions. PERIOD! The influence of the present day Baptist, Mr. Vaughn?
    +++++

    I am not a Southern Baptist, so I won't comment on what goes on there, it is none of my business.
    ++++

    Well, Lord knows that's enough for now. Talk to you gentlemen tomorrow I hope
    ++++
    If the Lord will I should live till tomorrow, I will look forward to your comments. It has been an enjoyable conversation for me.

    Jeff
     
  13. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    Just wanted to let everyone know that Brother Glen from Little Bethany Primitive Baptist Church in San Diego... Song leader and church clerk and member for over 30 years is sitting on the fence observing this brotherly conversation.

    Enjoying the posts and agree with what has been said and may jump in later if I have anything that might be of benefit to the discussion... Greeting Brother Jeff and Brother Robert... I sure enjoy constructive argumentation that is edifying and honoring to God and his people... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  14. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    Clint, I noticed in your profile that you are a carpenter. Though I don't really follow the trade now (I am a maintenance supervisor at a public school), that is what I am. It is one of the few things that I know how to do well. My favorite part is roof framing. Enough of that: On the feetwashing - over the years I have compiled materials toward the history of feetwashing. One thing I am doing is listing Baptist churches and associations that do or have practiced it. If possible, I would like to get a name and location of the Michigan church, and would like to know if you find that Fork Union practiced it. Also please notice that I have gone back and added a few groups to my FW list above. BTW, I usually refer to it as feetwashing. Years ago, an old preacher in Louisiana told me that you wash both feet, not just a foot. :cool:

    I listed immersion in parentheses because some historians believe that the early English Baptists and Anabaptists sprinkled and poured. I am not be surprised to find some irregularities here, but I do believe that immersion is and has been standard for Baptists past and present. As to the sprinkling in cases where medical or other reasons prohibit immersion: I personally would prefer to take them under the watch care of the church on their profession of faith alone, rather than sprinkle them. I think one's heart is acceptable to God in cases where a person is actually unable to do a thing (e.g. the thief on the cross). Perhaps a minor under the authority of a parent who will not allow baptism might fall under the same principle.

    Bro. Jeff, you have to bring up those ugly political terms. :eek: Actually, I might be a Libertarian rather than a Republican, if they had any chance of winning! Being from the South, you must know I am from a long line of Democrats. My father-in-law is a "yellow dog" - do you know that term up there? He was always telling me I couldn't be a Democrat and vote such and such or believe such and such - so I just decided I wouldn't be a Democrat. :D

    Gotta go, will try to get back to the rest later.

    [ October 24, 2001: Message edited by: rlvaughn ]
     
  15. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    RLV wrote:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Bro. Jeff, you have to bring up those ugly political terms. Acutally, I might be a Libertarian rather than a Republican, if they had any chance of winning! Being from the South, you must know I am from a long line of Democrats. My father-in-law is a "yellow dog" - do you know that term up there? He was always telling me I couldn't be a Democrat and vote such and such or believe such and such - so I just decided I wouldn't be a Democrat. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    [​IMG]

    Couldn't resist. Sorry, I was having some fun! Yes, I know about yellow-dogs. I come from a long line of yellow-dogs on mom's side. Dad's folks were Republicans till Nixon, and then my heretofore Republican grandmother made me promise never to vote for one. I have actually voted for a few, and was a big fan of John McCain, but grandma is gone, but might come back to haint me. ;) Also when I started dating my wife, her grandmother point blank asked me what my politics was, first thing she ever said to me, and told me in order to be in her family I had to be a "D". In plain language. So, I have made two promises to be a Democrat, so I am. I don't know about churches in other areas, but in Primitive Baptist churches here in the east politics is never mentioned, and I think that is the best policy for the most part (99.9% of the time). But a vast majority of Primitive Baptists in this part of the world are Democrats too. Most of the PB churches here abouts divided over politics at the end of the Civil War, and all the republican/whig families left and organized the Mountain Union.

    Jeff
     
  16. rhoneycutt

    rhoneycutt
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    Gentlemen,

    Very interesting discussion. I am lurking but needed a little clarification if you don't mind.

    Dr. Shurdens list is only those distinctives common to all who call themselves Baptist right? Suppose a group decided that the seperation of church and state was no longer one of their distinctives. Would they cease to be Baptist in your opinion or would Dr Shurden only have three fragile freedoms left?

    By the way Mr. Weaver you are not the only D on the board [​IMG]

    Thanks and I'll resume lurking now.
    Russell
     
  17. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    Dear RH.

    Thanks for the note, and a little help in the political department. [​IMG]

    As for the point
     
  18. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    What I would like to know is why does one person believe one way and another believe another way? IMO I believe that God is the one that gives us the believeability if not we can believe in anything and usually do.

    I see in our roots that many believed in many interpretations and practices according to the Word of God. We here on the West Coast wash feet and I don't know of any of our sister churches that don't.

    If I was raised in a church that didn't wash feet, I would probably not wash feet, unless compeled to do otherwise. If I was raised in a church that believed in a non-resurrection of the body I might embrace that to or maybe not. I'm discussing that now on the theology site because there is a group called the Preterist that believes exactly that.

    Out of a family of four that went to the same church I go to only I joined the church and the rest don't belong. My brother joined when he was 12 and left the church when he became an adult. Mom and I belong... Dad did but is no longer with us. My sister was of another denomination but doesn't go to church anymore. My brother never went to church. Are we the product of our environment and does this effect the way we believe? Just me and my thoughts... Brother Glen
     
  19. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good afternoon gentlemen -

    Yesterday I had said:
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> . I would like ANYONE who may read this to pick up the thread so that we may have a reaffirming discussion about the topics that make us Baptist, the largest Protestant denomination in the world. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I must say that my expectations were MORE than amply satisfied thus far. It seems to me that a bit more of an intro than the BB profile is in order at this point.
    My screen name is my actual name and I am native to the town of Fork Union, Virginia. I was baptized at 12 in the local Baptist church. I, too, Mr Vaughn, am an unpracticing carpenter. Presently my mainstay is working for a local stained glass artist and I spend one workday a week doing my church history research (more of a clerical position at this point), an office to which my church elected me in September. I, too, love to frame. Big hammers, big wood, and slap a nail through it. As for my political affiliations, my party starts with an "R" except for my sister who uses an expletive before the word that starts with a "D". I am married to a very lovely lady, named Margie who likes to post in the Ladies' forum. We were both divorced and married last April (Easter Sunday) but we have known each other since 6th grade. I consider myself a very lucky man. I feel honored and blessed to have the two of you posting on a topic I brought to the board. Again, thank you.
    Now that we know each other a bit better, back to the topic at hand. After reading through a bit hurriedly, the one topic that stands out in my mind is Mr. Honeycutt's question about would a Baptist church who dismissed the doctrine of seperation of church and state still be labeled Baptist. Sir, I personally do not feel that they would under historical definition. The Baptist movement began, most believe, by a pair of Englishmen named Thomas Helwys and John Smyth who fled Their country to Holland pursuing religious liberty from James I who mandated allegiance to the Church of England. For this reason alone I would disregard that church's claim to our faith. Mr. Weaver made a statement yesterday that he wasn't sure where I was going with a certain statement. To be honest, I do not know either. I write by inspiration alone with no agenda, but in my own explorations of our doctrine, I find that the COMMON threads, those to which we as Baptist all claim to adhere, tie together intergrally. Our COMMON doctrine is more than a list of customs and rules, it is an overall philosophy that those of us born into Baptist households absorb by osmosis.
    That brings me back to Mr. Vaughn's and Mr. Weaver's position on strict adherence to baptism by immersion. These sprinklings are the exception for sure, and our church adhere's to immerion, but you'll notice point #3 on my list is the importance of the individual. We seem in agreement that the sacraments have nothing to do with salvation, however, I would never dare to keep one seeking salvtion from the rite of baptism, even if it is in the non-standard way. I feel that my adherence to "strict" doctrine would prevent my brother/sister in the faith from peace. I defend my church on this point and this believer would always vote in the affirmative to support this by-law.
    I will post more later this evening and if any other of you gentlemen out there feel the fence is getting to crowded, please come help our brothers here enlighten me.

    God bless

    - Clint

    P.S. Will inform you of the First Baptist Church of Capac's footwashing soon, Mr. Vaughn.
     
  20. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    Clint, I'll try to get back to some things I skipped over the last time I posted. On Soul Liberty, I would agree that it is a common thread of Baptist doctrine. I did some research and found this web page that gives the "four fragile freedoms" as stated by Shurden. Here is his statement of Soul Freedom:

    "Soul Freedom is the historic affirmation of the inalienable right and responsibility of every person to deal with God without the imposition of creed, the interference of clergy, or the intervention of civil government."

    I completely agree with this. And it was the Baptists, more than any others, who, guided by this belief, fought for and influenced the freedom from religious coercion that we have in this country. For example, a Baptist elder, John Leland frequently argued that this freedom was not only for the Christians, but also for the Jews, Turks, and infidels. The stories of his influence on James Madison have a true background, though some of the details may be fuzzy after all these years. It has been my opinion for several years now, that where some problems come in is the tension between the God-given right that one has an individual to soul freedom and the responsibility that one has when he identifies himself in covenant relationship with a gathered body of believers. So it is my opinion that persons may believe anything they want, but persons should only identify with a particular church if they believe and accept the basic principles of that church body.

    As far as tolerance is concerned, I think there is a difference between tolerance and liberty. I haven't looked at this in a while, but I think if you look at the Pennsylvania colony, you will find an example of tolerance. The Quakers (Friends) had a sort of religious state, but exhibited tolerance towards those who disagreed with them. On the other hand, the "experiment" in Rhode Island created no kind of religious state at all. Now that's liberty!

    I'm not sure I understand exactly what your point is on the Southern Baptist Convention, and I don't understand all its inner workings, so I can't speak all that well on it. But I will say that it has from its beginning always been too authoritative for my tastes. The original charter gives its purpose "to elicit, combine, and direct the energies of the Baptist denomination." (that's at least very close, though perhaps not an exact quote since I don't have that before me).

    Hey, Bro. Jeff, I like your idea for us to have our own board! If you'll pay for it, I'll post on it. :D I agree with you about keeping politics out of the church. Though I find politics very interesting, and think that all Americans (even Christians) have a right to influence the political system, I also believe that to trade the spiritual influence we might exert as Christians for the political influence we might exert as Americans is a poor trade. And most of us don't have the time to fully pursue them both. So if we can focus on one...
     

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