Baptist churches taking Baptist out of their names?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by mr. messy, Apr 21, 2005.

  1. mr. messy

    mr. messy
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    I remember a tract from GARBC entitled "Is It a Sin to be a Baptist?" The title is all that I remember.

    In the last 10 years or so, I can think of three different Baptist churches that have removed "Baptist" from their church name here in the Indianapolis area.
     
  2. chipsgirl

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    Hmm. I wonder how faithful the members are if they let that happen? I can't imagine.
     
  3. csmith

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    I have considered taking it off of our name--I may still bring it up to the church someday. We don't feel tied to the name "Baptist" like many other churches do. Why should we?
     
  4. TC

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    People do it because they claim there is a stigma in the name that keeps them from growing. I know of an Assemblies of God church that changed their name to remove Assemblies of God from their name so that they can get people to come that won't otherwise because of the negative associations people have with the Assembly of God name. Yet, the still want to be an Assembly of God church. It's dishonest if you ask me. Just say what you are in your name and let people decide if they want to attend or not. Once they find out what you are, they are just going to leave anyway. So just tell them up front.
     
  5. csmith

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    What does Baptist mean? That's a blurry narrative to start on. I am a Bible-believing Christian. That is a better description than Baptist. There is another thread where a man claiming to be a baptist was encouraged in his church to speak tongues.
     
  6. Pete

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    "Is It a Sin to be a Baptist?" (PDF file) Is that the one you were thinking of?

    Mr. Walker contends that anyone who insists upon "Baptists for the Baptists" or "Presbyterians for the Presbyterians" and so forth is engaged in raising the "ugly head" of the "dragon of evangelical sectarianism."

    At the risk of "dragon of evangelical sectarianism." raising... ( :rolleyes: ;) ) ...In the case of "charismatics/pentecostals" I am a BIG fan of "Baptists for the Baptists" and they can feel free to behave or go elsewhere.

    Generally here if a Baptist Church starts changing it's name it is already quasi-charismatic....Part that bugs me are those that go off and keep the name Baptist....

    I wonder if it's too late to register "Baptist" as a trademark? :D
     
  7. webdog

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    <<<Hmm. I wonder how faithful the members are if they let that happen? I can't imagine.>>>

    Here's a perfect example why one would want to take Baptist out of the name.
     
  8. exscentric

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    Getting so you can't tell what a church is without a doctrinal statement. Baptists and assemblies dropping thier identification, Reform churches going as "Community churches" which were usually non-denominational.

    Some CBA churches are dropping Baptist or changing to completely different names.

    Used to be you could tell those fuzzy names were Charismatic but not any more :)

    Of course most mission boards have changed names, colleges change names, why not think I'll change my name :)
     
  9. Dave Taylor

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    In my area, we have seen this pattern also.

    The First Baptist Church of Franklin, TN; which was organized in 175 years ago.

    They changed their name to 'The Peoples Church' several years ago; and are no longer referred to as 'The First Baptist Church' of Franklin on any of their advertising media.

    I checked their website; and it also doesn't say anything about them being apart of the SBC either; but does say they now pattern themselves after Willow-Creek and Saddleback.
     
  10. Deacon

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    The church I attend changed their name from "**** Baptist Chruch" to "***** Ministries" about a year ago.

    Attitudes toward Baptists around us tended to be negative. We heard reports that some invited friends and aquaintences who said that they would never come to a "Baptist" church (we draw about a third of our new converts from recovering Catholics).

    We still hold to the Baptist traditions but felt that our ability to reach others was hampered by the miss-perceptions of those we were trying to reach.

    Personally I have no problem with it and I must say the jury is still out as to whether it has made a difference.

    Rob
     
  11. Scott J

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    Two sides to that issue. On the one side you have churches dropping the Baptist label because they no longer hold to baptistic distinctives... on the other side you have churches dropping the label because they recognize that a large number of "Baptist" churches no longer hold to baptistic distinctives but still keep the name.

    "Baptist" should be a description, not a denomination. It seemed to first be used as an accusation (like Christian was) rather than a term of respect.

    Unfortunately, "Baptists" have stretched their "liberty" to the point that the label's meaning is in the ear of the hearer. Some non-Baptists have their impressions of Baptist shaped by Hyles type churches, others by very liberal churches, others by just about any variant in between.

    When the label was invented, most people probably could have told you that Baptists stood for believer's baptism only and separation of church and state. What is the likelihood that the average "Baptist" pew sitter could do this today much less the "man on the street"?
     
  12. av1611jim

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    Good points Scott.

    We keep our name "Treasure Valley Baptist church" for an identifier. Folks know, when they walk in the church for the first time, that we are "Baptist" in the historical sense of the word mostly because of how we "have church".
    Then as they sit under the preaching and teaching they learn what "Baptist" means. Usually if they had any preconceived ideas, they are quickly dispelled.

    We think you ought to be up front about who you are. So, we are.

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  13. Scott J

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    Unfortunately Jim, where I live many people see Baptists as the self-professed Christians who can't get along with each other.

    The town where I work has one RCC church, one SDA church, one Mormon church, one UMC church, one church of Christ, on AoG church, one 7th Day Church of God, and 3 Baptist churches... 2 of which split from the FBC. The splits were due to personalities and other non-biblical reasons as far as I can tell.

    I go to church 9 miles away. That town has one church each of: Nazarenes, JW's, CoC, Christian Church, AoG, Presbyterian, and RCC. It has two Methodist churches- one may not be UMC.

    It also has 3 SBC churches, one baptistic "Bible Chapel", and two IFB churches associated with the BBFI. At least two of these churches were started after church splits.
     
  14. Paul33

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    Since when does Baptist mean you can't speak in tongues or believe in the charismatic gifts?
     
  15. JohnB

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    The church I recently joined changed it's name from Immanuel Baptist Church to Exciting Immanuel.

    I have no problem with that. And we are exciting!

    We are an SBC (SBCT) church. But Baptist here in Texas could also mean Baptist General Convention of Texas (Liberal) and SBC Texas (Conservative.) Then there are independent baptists and fundamentalist baptist.

    If I say I am Baptist, I would not someone thinking I am liberal, or KJV only, or a BJU fan.
    And since the population of El Paso is like 90%+ Roman Catholic, I don't want folks that need to hear the gospel thinking we hate them (and what Catholic does not think "Baptist" and "Catholic hater" are synonyms?)
     
  16. ktn4eg

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    Let us also remember that there is another "historic Baptist distinctive," namely the autonomy of the local church. In essence, this simply means that each local congregation is free to do what it wishes, so long as it does not violate a clear-cut Bible doctrine and/or practice.

    If this is the case, what difference should it make to others outside that congregation what a particular local Baptist church chooses to call itself?

    Some have already posted their reason(s) why some local Baptist churches have changed their names. If that is what that particular local church chooses to do, why should it matter to others?

    As was suggested in an earlier posting, the name "Baptist" has pretty much lost its distinctiveness in this day and age. When people with such diverse beliefs and practices as former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, Martin Luther King, Jerry Falwell, Jesse Jackson, and Jack Hyles considered themselves as Baptists, maybe it's time that we look at what that name really means to the average non-church goer.

    If a local Baptist congregation wishes to continue using the name "Baptist" in its title, fine. On the other hand, if a local Baptist congregation so chooses to change its name to something else, that ought to be just as fine.

    "A rose [or a skunk] by any other name is STILL a rose [or a skunk]."
     
  17. blackbird

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    I shall keep the name "Baptist" --- why not?? I'm not ashamed of what I believe!!! We adopted as our basic doctrinal beliefs---the Baptist Faith and Message 2000---its in our constitution---its in my blood---I can find that I can be a true blue Born Again Believer and be a Southern Baptist at the same time----

    People ask me all the time, "What do Southern Baptist believe??"

    I always reply----"Well, turn to Genesis 1:1 and start reading and don't stop reading until you get to Revelation 22:21! Every verse sandwiched inbetween those two verses---are Baptist beliefs!!"

    I'll go one step further!! Folks take the name "Baptist" out of their church name---because it is a hindrance-----my wife and I visited a church in the New Orleans, LA area----was called a "Bible Church"----so I grabbed some of their literature---their doctrinal beliefs, etc----you know what they are????

    Southern Baptist!!! I told my wife, "Baby! These guys might be Bible Church---but they have Southern Baptist written all over them!!" The only difference in their "Bible church" and my "Baptist church" is that they hve a board of elders----to which I would give just about my right hand to have one---but I don't!

    Blackbird
     
  18. mcgyver

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    Maybe I'm off base, but I think (my opinion only) that there is something almost....deceptive(?) in removing the word "Baptist" from a Baptist church.

    If you go into "St Elizabeth" Episcopal church...well it's no surprise to find that it is in fact an Episcopal church.

    Go into "******Church of God", and you know it's a Church of God.

    Same with any denomination.

    If we are a Baptist church....when people come in the door for the first time I don't want them feeling surprised that we are a baptist congregation.

    I've heard most arguments I guess, about why we should change our name; and from everything I (personally) have heard it seems to be that we want to be "seeker friendly" or some such thing. I've heard the argument that people have a bad "view" of baptist churches and won't want to come to one...."Woe is us, how's we gonna grow our churches?" Sheeesh. If one doesn't want to come to church any excuse will do!

    In the part of the country that I am in, people know what Baptists are and what we stand for....

    My opinion therefore is very simply this: Keep our name and live up to the great commission gien us by our Lord to preach the gospel. Evangelize, disciple the congregation, keep true to the Word of God and church growth will come.
     
  19. Soulman

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    Mabey churches changing their name shouldn't have been baptists in the first place.
     
  20. Craigbythesea

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    It is not Baptist doctrine that many churches are disassociating themselves from by changing their name—it is Baptist behavior that they are disassociating themselves from—especially bigotry and a judgmental attitude. But of course the errors of KJOism, millennial exclusion, and millennial punishment don’t help. And the total lack of academic standards for the Baptist clergy is also a major turnoff. This very day, on this very message board, a “Baptist” pastor wrote, “Baptism in the spirit was a rare event that ended during apostolic times.” The average high school student in my church knows better than that!

    [​IMG]
     

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