Baptist churches changing their names

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by JamieinNH, Jul 21, 2006.

  1. JamieinNH

    JamieinNH
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2005
    Messages:
    2,277
    Likes Received:
    0
    On another board, I was reading about this article where Baptist churches are changing their name and removing "Baptist" from it to attract more members.

    What say ye about this?

    Story Link


    Jamie
     
  2. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,278
    Likes Received:
    780
    If I belong to a denomination that I was afraid to put on the sign out front then I wouldnt just change the name I would change the denomination.

    Many churches are using secular methods to draw in attendies. All these secular methods leave got outside in the cold. Church growth in many large churches are not from new births but from church swappers looking for greener pastures.

    So now we have many mega churches that are "fun" but spiritual failures.
     
  3. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/532.jpg>Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2000
    Messages:
    17,527
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think I am probably glad they changed their names and would encourage them to go the next step and just leave the denomination.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  4. Deacon

    Deacon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    6,968
    Likes Received:
    128
    With the likes of Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church I could see why some would choose to distance themselves from the Baptist name while still holding fast to the doctrine.

    Around where I live many historically Baptist churches have taken the name from their title and flourish.

    Many people around here associate the title “Baptist” with inter-city Pentecostals, poor doctrine, and undisciplined morality.

    Rob
     
  5. rbell

    rbell
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    11,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't think we can definitively determine why every church that changes its name does so.

    If they're preaching Jesus, and still Baptist in how they "do church," I'm not fretting a great deal.

    We have a church in our vicinity that did that. However, 75% of their members joined through Professions of faith. Maybe there's been fewer "hangups" for non-Christians in their first visit to the church for that reason. I do know that as they begin to talk to folks about commitment to Christ and accountability to a local body, they are unashamedly baptist in doctrine and polity. Maybe they're in the minority...but I'm not going to be critical of what tons of churches do, when there's probably a multiplicity of reasons (some, I'm sure, better than others).

    I'm probably going to be in the minority on this. Oh well.
     
  6. El_Guero

    El_Guero
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,714
    Likes Received:
    0
    Some church plants do well; some proselytize; & some convert the lost.

    Sometimes removing the name 'baptist' helps a new church, sometimes it hurts. But, just taking off the name won't attract members.

    The greatest key is the movement of God within the church. Even if all the church planting 'gurus' say otherwise. If God is not moving there, then they are a waste of God's oxygen!

    IMHO that is.

    Wayne


     
  7. Lagardo

    Lagardo
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Messages:
    691
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have been part of two SBC churches that did not have "baptist" in the name. One, I thought seemed to be trying to hide their association with the SBC, and that seemed odd to me...although I understand they have come around a little these days. The other was quite open about the fact that they were a baptist church. It was very clear, even in the monthly luncheon for visitors and new members. The reasoning behind the name change was that if there is someone who might otherwise drive on by because they have some negative association with the word, "baptist" should we remove it so that our denomenational label does not become a stumbling stone? That makes sense.

    This is a trend that started in the late 70's/early 80's and it made more sense back then. Most unchurched folks in that time were people with some religious upbringing may associate all kinds of things with a denomenational label. A couple of years agao, I attended a seminar by Thom Rainer and he addressed this issue saying it was a passing concern. He said that more and more unchurched people that our churches might reach have no religious background, thus not association with the word "baptist." In fact he said that his research indicated that most new Christians didn't have the slightest idea what the denomenational name at their church meant when they first attended. So maybe the idea makes less sense now.

    I do think its awfully unfair to judge why a church makes such a decision. I also think its unfair to assume that any church using church growth strategies is growing off the backs of other churches. I have known many to be very proactive in making sure they aren't getting new members from other churches. But then again, there are plenty that are too.

    I wonder if this trend of renaming churches is less the influence of some 1970/1980's church growth models than it is a lack of doctrinal teaching in our churches, regardless of style.

    Aaron
     
  8. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    Makes no difference whatsoever what a name of a church is. To claim that all baptist churches that do not have "baptist" in it are using worldly methods of evangelism and preaching is plain foolishness.
     
  9. LeBuick

    LeBuick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    11,537
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree wit the webdog...
     
  10. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Messages:
    4,807
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know of many Baptist churches that have removed "Baptist" from their name because Baptists as a whole have abandoned traditional Baptist doctrine, such as the preaching and teaching of the Kingdom.

    Also, around here, "Baptist" has become associated with frothing-at-the-mouth KJVO types, so I expect that in some areas, churches will remove "Baptist" from their name to avoid this connection.
     
  11. tinytim

    tinytim
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/tim2.jpg>

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Messages:
    11,250
    Likes Received:
    0

    :applause:
     
  12. LeBuick

    LeBuick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    11,537
    Likes Received:
    0
    Were talking about Churches not mental institutions...
     
  13. Lagardo

    Lagardo
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Messages:
    691
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is the primary role of a baptist church to be called baptist?
     
  14. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    Legardo's question is an excellent one.

    I am priviledged to serve in a distinctively Baptist church in polity and doctrine, but one that does not have the term "baptist" in our title. We on staff are under the conviction that in our hopes to reach the unchurched we can present a greater door of opporunity and engagement with them this way. We have no desire to put together a social club or an exclusive hide away for Christians, rather we are intentionally going out and seeking the unchurched and engaging them with the hopes of bringing them into fellowship with God.

    We are in a time of anti-denominationalism. No one cares about your denomination or my denomination. Baptists, particularly my home denom of the SBC have done a great job with the other denominations of drawing a poor picture of Christ for a lost and dying world in our public representation of Him (i.e. politics, social stances, etc.) Dropping the denominational distinctive from one's name is nothing new...remember the New Connexion from the mid-1600s and the start of the English Baptist who were the forefathers of our contemporary expression?
     
  15. Trotter

    Trotter
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/6412.jpg>

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2003
    Messages:
    4,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not so much KJVO association in my area (they are there, but a small minority), but more of a reputation for fighting in and amongst themselves.

    Basically, the name on the sign doesn't mean anything to me. What is taught and preached inside the doors, as well as what is lived outside of them, is.
     
  16. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    I agree. Today I do not know of one denomination or convention that is doing God's work through and through without a political footballl associated with gossip. Gossip is so bad that the majority accept it as news instead of what it really is.

    Within quite a number of denominations and conventions are particular churches which are doing God's work.
     
  17. Major B

    Major B
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/6069.jpg>

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    2,294
    Likes Received:
    0
    You have not been to some of the Baptist business meetings I've been to. Though the verse is not talking about Baptist business meetings, most of them, including associational meetings, have often degenerated into the following: Acts 19:32.
     
  18. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/532.jpg>Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2000
    Messages:
    17,527
    Likes Received:
    0
    Of course not. But, if the Church is ashamed of having the word Baptist in their name, then they probably should not associate with us. A few things I have just generally observed:

    Those who wish to remove Baptist from the name of their Church:
    • generally wish to remove Baptist Theology and doctrine from the Church.
    • are being less than forthright and honest to those who enter their church about who they are and what they believe.
    • are typically "seeker" churches who wish to focus more on emotions and pop church culture than they do on doctrine and the Word of God.
    If you are ashamed of the word Baptist, then be honest about it and break away from the denomination. Become non-denominational. I was raised in a Baptist Church, saved by the grace of God at a Baptist Camp, and although yes, we certainly have our problems, I am in no way ashamed of being called a Baptist. If that offends the lost, then so be it. What are we gonna do next? Abandon the title Christian because it offends those who may have been effected by the Crusades and relate that to Christianity? Enough is enough. If you're ashamed of who you are and where you come from, then leave. That is just my not so humble opinion.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
    #18 Joseph_Botwinick, Jul 23, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2006
  19. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/532.jpg>Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2000
    Messages:
    17,527
    Likes Received:
    0
    PJ,

    Do you know what a negative reaction many in the lost world have of the Christian Church in general and how Christians have historically given the Church a black eye? Have you considered taking the title "Christian" totally out of your doctrine, name and association? This is the folly of allowing the lost world to decide how we as Christians should run our Churches and relate to the lost.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  20. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/532.jpg>Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2000
    Messages:
    17,527
    Likes Received:
    0
    The name on the sign is typically a good indicator of what is taught and preched inside the doors. For example, if I see Freewill Baptist on the sign, I have a good idea that what is preached and taught inside the doors is something along the lines of the arminian heresy. If I see something related to "community Church" on the sign in many suburban communities, what I am probably going to find inside the doors is the seeker sensitive heresy. If I see the letters SBC on the sign, I can look at the BF&M 2000 and see what is being preached inside. If I see the words Reformed Baptist on the door, I will probably find the Biblical doctrines of grace taught inside the doors. The title on the sign most surely effects what is taught inside the doors even for everyone.

    Joseph Botwinick
     

Share This Page

Loading...