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Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by John3v36, May 10, 2004.
Beyond the name what makes you a Baptist?
-Individual responsibility to God
-Regenerate church membership
-Priesthood of every believer
-Autonomy of the local church
-Separation of church and state
-Freedom of conscience (religious freedom for all)
-The evangelization of the world
My adherence to the Baptist distinctives, and to requirements setforth by the Southern Baptist Convention (since I'm SBC).
Belief in the Baptist Distinctives
Regenerate Church Membership
Autonomy of the local church
Perseverance of the Saints
Two ordinances - Baptism, Lord's Supper
Individual Priesthood of the Believer
Separation of Church and State
Separation Ethically and Ecclesiastically
These make one Baptist, no matter what the Name on the church sign is
My adherence to the Baptist distinctives, and to requirements setforth by the Southern Baptist Convention (since I'm SBC). </font>[/QUOTE]Yet it does get a little problematic. There are different lists of Baptist distinctives, even in this thread. IFB's seem to have a very particularly defined view of separation in practical effect. And note how baptism by immersion is not mentioned here. Yet I expect people are assuming immersion in listing two ordinances.
As for requirements set forth by the SBC, actually there are no SBC requirements. The convention is composed of autonomous churches. Messengers to the convention pass resolutions that are only resolutions. My SBC church is not bound to carry out those resolutions. I do not have to agree with SBC resolutions to be a member of my SBC church.
I used to be a member of a Baptist church that has gone through quite a transformation. It begain about 8 years ago as your standard IFB church. After 3 or 4 years, the pastor decided to officially move the church to a Reformed Baptist, non-dispensational position. We left when this happened. They began to attract non-baptists to the ministry, probably because of their new reformed, covenant theology stand. Consequently, after another 3 years they dropped believer's baptism as an official requirement for church membership, even accepting paedobaptism. I think they dropped the Baptist from their name at that point, but I'm not sure. Now, I hear they have decided to become Presbyterian, although they have not decided which presbytry to affiliate with. Needless to say, this has been a facinating transformation to watch.
Interesting to see where "compromise" on the issue of baptism has led.
The General Association of Regular Baptist Churches version of the "distinctives" from the GARBC Website :
My first, quick reaction to this question, without giving it any real thought, was "Two things: First, because I don't believe in any magic ceremony to make me a child of God. Only in my Savior's shed blood and my having received His offer of salvation. And second, as an obedient believer in Jesus, I have been baptized by immersion."
Isn't that really the essence?
Your point illustrates how well the leaders knew their Bible. Then we promote congregational rule! Imagine what the congregation is like if the leaders are that poorly equipped. It is a well known fact that in most congregations only ten percent can give reasons for their faith.
But don’t feel too bad I pastored a church that had a practice of telling others the Mormon bishop was a Christian. They even invited him to preach at Christian events they were in charge of. You can imagine the heat I got for putting a stop to that. That church was SBC. The local and state association knew about the practice and did nothing except to accept their cooperative program money for missions.
Dispensational theology is not historically Baptist nor is covenant theology.
I would bet they have not done any evangelism in many years. Evangelism does a lot to keep one on course. It allows people to ask questions.
The pastor went to seminary shortly after he became a Christian. He started the church right after seminary, obviously not settled on what he believed about the doctrine of the church.
After we left, I believe they went to elder rule with the pastor and another man as the elders. I think a well-grounded congregation, committed to Baptist polity, could have stopped such a thing from happening.
That's true. I adhere to the Distinctives as defined by the SBC, since I'm SBC.
Immersion is our (Baptists') interpretation and custom. However, there are clearly cases where immersion may not be suitable, such as if someone is in a wheelchair, or in frail health. Sure, immersion is generally preferred (since in the NT, the examples are ones of immersion), but to require it by all falls upon the legalism side. I'm sure there are Baptists congragations that have other modes of baptism, such as pouring, and that is their right if they so choose under the distinctive of local autonomy. However, the focus is that it should be a believer's baptism, as outlined by the distinctive of the same name.
Not quite so. For example, if the SBC passes a resolution that forbids women from being pastors, and your church has a woman pastor, the SBC can disfellowship your local church. That's not to say that all resolutions are binding inthe manner, but some are. (I don't wish to start a debate over women pastors... I was just using that as an example).
The only valid baptism is by immersion. That should not even be brought up.
I will also say that congregational government is hardly a defining mark of Baptists.
What makes a Baptist?
Don't forget the chicken dinner on Sunday.
Would Barbecue, extra-crispy, original, baked, fried, broiled, boneless, skinless, gizzards, livers, nuggets, dumplings, etc. all fall under priesthood of the believer?
BTW, I agree with all of these, except the final statement that calling a fish a chicken makes it anything but a fish.
1 - As Baptists, we accept immersion as being a sole valid baptism. However, it's an interpretational issue that we Baptists have turned into a doctrinal issue. Other Christian faiths are not biblically required to practice immersion only. We, however, are.
2 - If we require that immersion is the only mode of baptism without exception, then we're guilty of legalism. There are cases where immersion is not practical due to physical or health concerns. Since baptism is a symbolic gesture, then to require its use when it is impractical would make us guilty of legalism.
No, but local autonomy is, and sometimes that autonomy is most demonstrative in the congregational government.
However, I will agree with TinyTim. The #1 thing that makes us Baptists is Chicken Dinner on Sundays!!!!
In some locales, it's the Pot Luck Dinner on Sundays. These are none as PotLuck Baptists.
Perhaps requiring fruit of repentance is also driving us into legalism?
I doubt observance of scriptural commands will warrant a charge such as legalism against Baptists besides, we do still have it to our favor that we say let us sin that grace may abound, don't we.
No, holding a believer to scripture is not legalism.
1. It is the only valid method we accept because it is the only valid method. Other groups are in rebellion.
2. It isn't legalism at all. It is a direct command of Christ. If a person is absolutely physically incapable, then they shouldn't be baptized.
I disagree. Immersion is the only example given in the NT, and it's based on an OT cleansing ritual. Since it's the only example given, we Baptists have adopted only that method. Nothing wrong with that, as it's our demonimational right. Other denoms are not required to adherre to our interpretations, so long as another interpretation does not violate scripture. Other modes of baptism do not violate scripture, and those who practice other modes of Baptism are not in rebellion.
Ridiculous. If a person wants to be baptized, but are phycically unable to be immersed, they should be accommodated. Jesus said "the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath". I would venture that Jesus would also infer that Baptism was made for man, and not man for Baptism.
I admit I am not very much of a Bible Scholar, but I have heard the statement before that immersion is based on an OT cleansing ceremony, can you point me to that source?
I have difficulty accepting it because when the pharisees sent to John to learn whether he was the one or not or if he was Elijah, they asked if he was not why he came baptizing. I believe the Jews were looking for one baptizing in the manner John did. But I may be wrong.
I also would wonder what you guys would call 'physically' unable to be baptized.