Baptist Distinctives

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by rmodis, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. rmodis

    rmodis
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    Howdy!

    I read much of this board, but I usually refrain from interacting. I hold a tight schedule while in college, yet I have steadily been developing a passion for Biblical theology (systematic theology in particular).

    As a result, I have become more interested in the similarities and differences of various denominations. I was wondering if you guys could enlighten me concerning the distinctive features some of the different groups (primarily Baptist and Southern Baptist).

    Thanks and Gig 'em

    Grace and Peace

    Ryan Modisette
     
  2. humblethinker

    humblethinker
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  3. rmodis

    rmodis
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    Thank you!

    Is there anything about the other denominations.

    I would like to be able to serious study, compare, and contrast all of the different Christian denominations so that I can visibly see and mentally grasp which ones line up most closely with what the Bible teaches in all areas.

    Thanks again.
     
  4. Van

    Van
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    As you may know, the body of Christ is split between those that believe individuals were predestined for salvation, and those that believe predestination applies to individuals after they have been saved by grace through faith. So faith provides our access to the grace of salvation, and therefore whoever believes in Him shall not perish. Both Baptists and Southern Baptists can be found subscribing to either view.

    Baptists believe in the Priesthood of believers, so individuals within a local body usually are allowed to govern the body according to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Other denominations might have a more of top down, autocratic governance.

    We believe in Believer's baptism, where believer's are baptized after they profess their faith in Christ, and some also include the need for testimony of a changed life. In any event, we believe water baptism is ceremonial and symbolic of our spiritual baptism into Christ. Thus the immersion symbolizes our baptism into Christ's death, the removal of the body of sin, and then arising as a new creature, born from above. Generally Baptist's do not believe water baptism accomplishes anything except getting wet, nothing is accomplished by water baptism that affects whether or not God saves us. Salvation is by grace through faith and not of works.

    We believe in the separation of church and state which means we do not believe those that govern, i.e. have the power of the Law behind their beliefs, should dictate doctrine to other believers.

    Thus the Bible is our final authority for faith and practice, and therefore just because Billy Graham or Joe Biden asserts a doctrinal point, only the local body of believers may decide whether to adopt or reject it.

    We believe in God in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    We believe Jesus is God.

    We believe in heaven and Hades/Gehenna
     
  5. humblethinker

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    You are ambitious! I admire your zeal. I've heard that there are over 40,000 christian denominations so where would you like to start? ;-)

    I'd like to recommend this series by Andy Stanley. It's an excellent 7 part series about the first church found in the book of Acts. I think you will find that it speaks to what you are looking for in that it gives a good, solid understanding of what 'church' was all about when Jesus started it.

    http://www.northpoint.org/messages/big-church
     
  6. quantumfaith

    quantumfaith
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    Excellent series HT, currently we are involve with "Boulevard of Broken Dreams"
     
  7. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    The link provided by humblethinker is a fairly good summary of basic Baptist beliefs. Van added some that are valuable.

    You'll notice that there was no mention of eschatology. There is no distinctive Baptist view. We're all over the place with regard to the end times.

    Keep in mind that some Baptist groups are Arminian--that is, they believe that one may fall from grace. Among them, General Baptists, Free-Will Baptists and some United Baptists.

    I think it's interesting that most Southern Baptists (and IFB Baptists) also believe in a general atonement and free-will salvation

    Most SBCers and IFBers believe in eternal security, but they are neither Calvinist nor Arminian.

    Within SBC circles are significant numbers who embrace Calvinism--less so among IfB's.

    Rarely, if ever, will you find a General Baptist or Free-Will Baptist who is a Calvinist.
     
  8. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    Baptists seem to have been redefined.
     
  9. Salty

    Salty
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    Here is the short answer -

    when you say Baptist, I will assume you mean Independent Baptists. Well ALL Baptists churches are independent.

    One of the primiary differnece is the way missions are accomplished. The SBC has two mission boards, one for Home and one for foreign. Missionaries are actually employees of the the mission board. Upon accepteance and after a short training period (times may vary) the missionary is on the field virtually immediately. Independent Baptists must go on depution for months and even 2-3 years to raise enough finanical support to pay their roundtrip to the overseas field and enought to live on a monthly basis. In addition some mission boards require that a portion of their support be given to the mission board for overhead expenses. Many IFB believe that a couple of years on deputation is a wonderful experience.

    One thing to keep in mind is that the SBC does NOT control the local church.
     
  10. Iconoclast

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