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Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Ps104_33, Dec 31, 2004.
Would "Eternal Security of the Believer" be considered one of the Baptist Distinctives?
It would be for some---others, no. It is one for the Southern Baptist.
No, it's not. Arminian and Calvinist Baptists (and all those in between) hold to the same distinctives.
Soteriology and eschatology, among other topics, are not dealt with by the distinctives.
Yes! Because it was in the Bible (KJV).
rsr: I was just looking at a Free Will site the other day and it appeared to deny eternal security. Check this out:
Free Will Baptist Treatise
Yes, the Free Will Baptists are Arminian-Wesleyan in soteriology. (As are some other Baptist groups; there was a recent discussion elsewhere on the board.)
Most Baptist confessions have items that are not Baptist distinctives, such as affirmation of the Trinity and statements about soteriology. But those are not Baptist distinctives.
There are several lists, but generally they include:
1. The Bible is the final authority in all matters of belief and practice.
2. The local church is an independent body accountable to the Lord Jesus Christ, the head of the church. No religious hierarchy outside the local church may dictate a church's beliefs or practices.
3. Priesthood of the believer: Every believer is a priest of God and may enter into His presence in prayer directly through our Great High Priest, Jesus Christ. No other mediator is needed between God and people.
4. Soul liberty: Every individual, whether a believer or an unbeliever, has the liberty to choose what he believes is right in the religious realm. This liberty does not exempt one from responsibility to the Word of God or from accountability to God Himself.
5. Local church membership is restricted to regenerate individuals.
6. Immersion is the proper mode of baptism.
7. Separation of church and state: God established both the church and the civil government, and He gave each its own distinct sphere of operation. Neither should control the other, nor should there be an alliance between the two.
There are a couple of other distinctives that are frequently found: 1) There are two offices, those of pastor (or elder) and deacon; and 2) there are two ordinances, the Lord's Supper and baptism. Not all Baptist groups have strictly assented to those two distinctives, so I haven't grouped them with the others.
(Post edited to fix mistake pointed out below.)
[ January 01, 2005, 02:21 PM: Message edited by: rsr ]
(On your #5)
In my reading and understanding of historical Baptist Distinctives, I am not aware of any that limits church membership to regenerate adults only. Children can also manifest inward grace by their belief and confession in Christ, and therefore should be proper canidates for baptism.
I misspoke; I should have just said regenerate individuals and kept it at that. I am editing my list to reflect that. Thanks.
Baptist distinctives deal with POLITY (how to run a Baptist church) not with DOCTRINE. Those would be things like fundamentals of the faith, etc.
Bible is SOLE authority for faith and practice
Regenerated Church membership
Autonomy of local church
Priesthood of the believer
Immersion/Lords Supper as only two Ordinances (not sacraments)
Separation of Church & State
Separation - Ethical (from worldliness) and Ecclesiastical (from church error; ecumenicism)
The Bible does not claim to be the SOLE authority for faith and practice, and I do not believe that Baptists, even educated Baptists like Dr. Bob and myself , have the authority to add to the Bible . That is why most Baptists say that the Bible is the "FINAL" authority for faith and practice.
For example, the GARBC words the first Baptist Distinctive as follows:
The Bible is the final authority in all matters of belief and practice because the Bible is inspired by God and bears the absolute authority of God Himself. Whatever the Bible affirms, Baptists accept as true. No human opinion or decree of any church group can override the Bible. Even creeds and confessions of faith, which attempt to articulate the theology of Scripture, do not carry Scripture's inherent authority.
2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:20, 21
(the emphasis in bold type is mine)