Baptist Distinctives

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Tom Butler, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    In another thread, I listed what I thought are the identifying marks of Baptists. But that thread was running in several different directions, so rdwhite suggested a new thread.

    We all know that there are 40-leven kinds of groups calling themselves Baptist out there.

    At any rate, here's my list of doctrinal distinctives that, taken together, make one a Baptist.

    Salvation by grace through repentance and faith.

    Baptism of believers only.

    Baptism by immersion.

    Baptism as a non-sacramental picture of both the gospel and one's conversion.

    The Lord's Suipper as a non-sacramental memorial to remember Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.

    Eternal Security.

    Others may wish to add Priesthood of Believers, Soul Competency and the Autonomy of the Local Church.

    Several denominations hold some or many of these doctrines and practices, but only Baptists hold them all.

    I know, there are General Baptists, Two-Seed-in-the-Spirit Baptists etc., but in reality they don't fit the historic Baptist mold.

    The larger question is, are Baptist doctrine and practice the nearest thing to lst-century doctrine and practice. Using my list above, the answer is yes.
     
  2. Tom Butler

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    Let me approach this from a negative perspective.

    You hold to baptismal regeneration? You're not Baptist, even if you wear the name.

    You sprinkle converts? Not Baptist.

    You baptize infants? Not Baptist.

    You believe in a works salvation? Not Baptist.

    You believe one can lose his salvation? Not Baptist.

    You hold to a sacramental view of the Lord's Supper. Not.


    All rightee, then, let's have your list.
     
  3. donnA

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    Well, I would agree with you. And many calling themselves Baptist, are in actuality not Baptist at all. Baptist is nt just a name, there are distinctives that make one a Baptist. These are not new, but historic Baptist distinctives, if one does not hold to the Baptist distinctives, they are not Baptist, no matter what they call themselves. I know a church like that. Use the name Baptist, but don't want to be held to anything, want to do ti their way, even if it isn't Baptist, and they in truth are not Baptist, just carry the name.
     
  4. Zenas

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    Tom, I think you have covered all the bases but I would leave off eternal security as a Baptist distinctive. Free Will Baptists expressly reject this doctrine and maintain that a believer can lose his salvation "through infirmity and manifold temptations." I think all other Baptists adhere to eternal security but Free Will Baptists is a large enough group that you can't say it is a Baptist distinctive.
     
  5. Revmitchell

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    Free will Baptist are not a measure of Baptist distinctives.
     
  6. Zenas

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    I'm pretty sure they would say otherwise.
     
  7. sag38

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    Can someone define what a free will Baptist is?
     
  8. Salty

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    You have a free will to sin, which means you loose your salvation - (their belief)

    Q If you re-confess your sins, to regain your salvation - do you have to be baptized again?
    If not, why not?
    (serious question)
     
  9. donnA

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    You can't start leaving off Baptist distinctives just because sme church doesn't beleive it, they just aren't actual Baptists.
     
  10. donnA

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    So would a lot of others who aren't actual Baptists, but carry the name only.
     
  11. JustChristian

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    I found this list at http://www.baptistdistinctives.org/. It fills out some areas that weren't on the first list notably salvation from sin and eternal death to forgiveness and eternal life only by faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior who is the grace gift of God. It also includes soul competency and the priesthood of the believer. It emphasizes the importance of being born again.

    The Baptist recipe includes several key beliefs or doctrines:
    ■ the Lordship of Jesus Christ
    ■ the Bible as the sole written authority for faith and practice
    ■ soul competency
    ■ salvation from sin and eternal death to forgiveness and eternal life only by faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior who is the grace gift of God
    ■ the priesthood of each believer and of all believers in Christ
    ■ believer's baptism
    ■ baptism and the Lord's Supper as wonderfully symbolic but not essential for salvation
    ■ church membership composed only of persons who have been born again
    ■ religious freedom and its corollary, the separation of church and state


    The author:

    Bill Pinson was asked by Noble Hurley to author these articles because of his long involvement in Baptist life and his experience as an author. Born in Texas, Pinson’s ministry has taken him throughout the world and involved him in various aspects of Baptist life. Pinson received his undergraduate education at the University of North Texas, where he was president of both the Baptist Student Union and the student body. Following his graduation from The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with a doctorate in 1963, Pinson served as a professor at Southwestern Seminary, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Wichita Falls, Texas, president of the Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in California, and Executive Director of the Executive Board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas with the longest tenure of any person in that position. In addition he has been a member of various denominational committees and commissions.

    Following retirement as Executive Director he was named Executive Director Emeritus. He also serves as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Baylor University, where he teaches a course on Baptist identity in the George W. Truett Theological Seminary, and as Distinguished University Professor of Dallas Baptist University, where he annually delivers the Pinson Baptist Heritage Lectures. He is a member of the board of trustees of the Baylor Health Care System, serving as co-chair of the Centennial Committee, of the Advisory Board of the Baptist History and Heritage Society, and of committees of the Baptist World Alliance. In addition he serves as the volunteer director of the Texas Baptist Heritage Center and assists in coordinating the work of the Baptist Distinctives Committee of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Thus much of his attention is given to Baptist beliefs, practices, and heritage. He writes, preaches, and teaches often on these subjects.
     
  12. chuck2336

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    What I find as sad is if you ask any church group of any size most would not be able to tell you what a Baptist Distinctive is. They may have been in church for years, but still dont know what makes us Baptist.
     
  13. jcjordan

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    Tom, would you consider the following an acceptable baptist view of the Lord's Supper?:

     
    #13 jcjordan, Aug 25, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2008
  14. jcjordan

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    Tom, how abou this....would you consider the following an acceptable baptist view of the Lord's Supper?:
     
    #14 jcjordan, Aug 25, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2008
  15. Marcia

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    I know you asked Tom this question, but to me it sounds less Baptist and more Lutheran or Presybterian.

    Of course, some Baptists might agree with it.

    And it depends on what one means by "spiritually present."
     
  16. jcjordan

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    Marcia, actually, this is from one of the earliest Baptist Confessions. The 1689 London Baptist Confession, to be exact. It's very similar to the Presbyterian belief, in fact, I think it pretty much exactly what conservative Presbyterian's believe, although they word it just a little differently. Lutheran's however are somewhat different. Their view is almost equal to the Roman Catholic Church, though they deny it.
     
  17. Marcia

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    Well, I even thought it might be from that confession, but I've never heard of it until I saw references to it on the BB recently. However, just because it's something baptists confessed in 1689 does not make it binding or even applicable to baptists today, imo. And I would still want to know what they mean by "spiritual presence."

    I am pretty strong, however, on the other baptist distinctives mentioned here and think they are important to know.
     
  18. Tom Butler

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    jcjordan, Let's take your quote first:

    The first sentence is just fine. The rest of the quote goes a bit further than I would. The second sentence (...confirm believers ini the benefits of his death..) is less clear to me. How does the Lord's Supper confirm anything? It REMINDS me of those benefits, of course.

    I also don't see how it is promotes commitment to all the duties we owe; nor do I see how it is a bond and pledge for anything. It's a memorial, nothing more, nothing less. I think this assigns more to the Lord's Supper than is necessary.

    I suspect I'm just to dense to decipher the 17th century flowery language. Maybe some of you can exegete it clearly.
     
  19. drfuss

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    I am a Christian who just happens to have attended a Baptist Church for the past 16 years. Baptist Distinctives mean nothing to me nor should they. It is such thinking that tends to divide Chrsitians.

    BTW, Freewill Baptists do not believe a Christian can lost their salvation, but they do believe a Christian can forfeit their salvation by apostasy.
     
  20. Tom Butler

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    Now, the next one:
    This one makes me uncomfortable. I may be reading this wrong, but the receiving of the Lord's Supper does not confer on any of us the benefits of his death.

    In taking the LS, we do not feed on the crucified Christ; we feed on the bread and the cup, to REMIND us of the crucified Christ. I really don't like terms which suggest the Christ's body and blood are "spiritually present" in our faith.

    Again, this is making way too much of the LS. Jesus said do it in remembrance of him. That's it. Once we start acribing mystical characteristics and benefits to it, we are on dangerous ground, in my opinion.
     

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