Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Gershom, May 17, 2007.

  1. Gershom

    Gershom
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    I spoke with a Baptist pastor today whom I had not seen for years. After a few exchanges about how we were doing, I mentioned that I had planted a new church in the area. He was happy to hear that, but then his smile turned into a frown when I explained that we were not using the name "Baptist" for the church. He went on to tell me how other men he knew had done the same and there was now a dis-fellowship among them because of it. I tried to explain that the name shouldn't cause an ex-communication.

    It pretty much ended with his quoting Amos 3:3 and a handshake. I said "God bless you", and he walked away.

    Now, I and our church hold to the fundamental, essential doctrines of the Faith. We agree with the "Baptist Distinctives". But we don't have "Baptist" painted on the sign, so to them, we are not walking in agreement, and this, to this brother, is just cause to separate from a local body.
     
  2. webdog

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    Old habits die hard...
     
  3. Joseph M. Smith

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    Personally, I object to the use of Amos 3:3 to mean that we cannot have fellowship with those with whom we disagree. Read it again and find that it means that before two people can walk together, they have to make an appointment, agree on a time and place. It says nothing about doctrine or ideology.
     
  4. PastorSBC1303

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    I was part of a church plant in Indiana 10 years ago and ran into this same mindset. Some are more interested in people being "baptist" than believers. It is rather sad.
     
  5. Scarlett O.

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    Whew! One of the other posters, Joseph M. Smith, is correct. This verse is out of context.

    I've always heard that verse, myself, used as a fellowship/dis-fellowship verse.

    But when Joseph M. Smith said that wasn't right, I read the whole of chapter 3 for myself. He is correct.

    And your friend is wrong. Waaay wrong.
     
  6. Tom Butler

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    For a church which holds to the Baptist distinctives to decide not to use the name Baptist is not necessarily wrong, and certainly no reason to break fellowship.

    However, such a decision ought to be recognized for what it is: a marketing technique, pure and simple.
     
  7. Gershom

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    The decision was based upon a desire to break away from denominational barriers in an effort to reach those who might not come otherwise.
     
  8. Gershom

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    That's they way I left from talking with this brother: saddened. What happens when we see each other in Heaven?
     
  9. Gershom

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    I agree with you here.
     
  10. billwald

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    The Christian Reformed Church is seeing the same phenomenon - local congregations don't want to reference the CRC in their names. I think it has to do with the dumbing down of America.
     
  11. FriendofSpurgeon

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    I see this in South Florida too --- mainly Baptist churches dropping their "Baptist" names.
     
  12. bmerr

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    bmerr here. I can't understand why anyone would want to be known as anything other than "Christian". Tell someone you're a Christian, and they'll ask you "What kind?" The NT knows nothing of any "kinds" of Christians, other than faithful and unfaithful ones.

    I've never read of any "Baptist distinctives" in the Bible, either.

    Where do people come up with this stuff?

    In Christ,

    bmerr
     
  13. BobRyan

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    #1. Baptists are not "supposed" to have a "creed" or an agreed upon statement of faith. Just the name "Baptist" on the door.

    #2. As it turns out they DO have the agreed upon creed. In my opinion it is far more "meaningful" to agree to the same doctrines than to have the name "Baptist" - but having said that - why not have the name "Baptist" if you believe as they do anyway? Where is the benefit?
     
  14. DHK

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    Who gave you this right to say what Baptists are supposed to have and not to have. Do you define Baptists from a SDA handbook. I find your statement quite hilarious actually.
    Every Baptist Church that I know of has a statement of faith. If they didn't how would a potential member know what they would be getting into. There are many different kinds of Baptists.
    Not every one is familiar with Baptist distinctives. Usually they are written down in a constitution and expanded on as well as the statement of faith, and church policy and polity. If the potential member does not want to agree with both the statement of faith and the constitution, and in some cases the covenant, then they are welcome to find another church. A church is a voluntary organization made up of regenerated baptized members who have come together for the purpose of keeping the two ordinances of Christ (baptism by immersion and the Lord's supper), and carrying out the Great Commission. That is our purpose for existence. Nothing within that definiton prohibits the use of a statement of faith, a constitution, a covenant or even a creed.
     
  15. Rufus_1611

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    Would the "Amos 3:3 is about scheduling" folks please expound on why you believe this?
     
  16. DHK

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    How can two walk together unless they be agreed.

    I would not have any other person except an IFB person preach in my pulpit.
    I would not have a KJVO person preach in my pulpit. We did once, and that is all he railed on. It goes against some of the very beliefs that we outline concerning inspiraton in our statement of faith. "How can two walk together unless they be agreed." One says they are in agreement, but if they are not willing to take the name Baptist, then in reality they are not in agreement. There is something within the Baptist distinctives that he is not fully in agreement with. What the Baptist distinctives do is give a body of doctrine that make us distinct from all other sects and denominations. Should, I therefore, be ashamed of that?
     
  17. Scarlett O.

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    Rufus, I have read this again and again this afternoon and I think it's figuratively about scheduling, directionality, like-mindedness, covenant making, timing, and a whole lot more.

    But it isn't about two people.

    Verses 1-2: God is angry and justifiably so. Verse 1 says God is angry and verse 2 tells why.

    Verses 3-6: God then asks 7 questions. What's the purpose of these questions?
    • Can two walk together, except they are in agreement?
    • Will a lion roar in the forest when he has no prey?
    • Will a young lion roar in his den when he has caught nothing.
    • Can a bird fall into trap if there is no trap set?
    • Can you collect an closed trap with nothing in it?
    • Can an alarm be sounded in a city and the people not be afraid?
    • Can disaster fall upon a city and God not be Sovereign over it?
    I kept wondering what these questions meant, so I went to Clarke's commentary.

    He says that these questions serve a purpose. God is making a point to His people. I'll paraphrase his longwinded commentary.
    • Can two walk together unless they are agreed.? Clark says that God is saying that the Israelites aren't walking in the paths of righteousness with God anymore and that God is telling them that there is no way that He and His people can "walk together" unless they are on the same page, spiritually. This isn't talking about two people who disagree on doctrine. It's people walking in the opposite direction from what God has planned for them. In my opinion, not Clarke's, people find themselves out of the will of God because they are not walking in the same direction, not following God's timetable, or not in a covenant with God in the first place. Lots of things implied here.
    • Will a lion roar in the forest with no prey (in the den with no capture)? Clarke says that God is saying that He will not pass judgement on His people without justification and that He definitely has justification.
    • Can a bird fall into a trap that isn't set? Clarke says this is God saying that the people cannot be disciplined unless God wills it or plans it.
    • Can you take up a trap that that been snapped shut and have nothing in it? Clarke says that God is saying that He cannot and will not cease his judgment on His people until they have been disciplined according to His will.
    • Shall an alarm sound in the city and the people not be afraid? Clarke says that God is saying that His people should fear Him and His righteous anger.
    • Can there be disaster upon a city and God not in Sovereign over it? Clarke says that God is saying is that He will bring judgment on His people.
    I am more convinced than ever after my reading of Amos 3 and reading Clarke's commentary that Amos 3:3 is not about two people who cannot agree on Biblical issues having to not fellowship with each other anymore.

    It isn't about two people at all. It's about a person walking in obedience before God and with God.
     
    #17 Scarlett O., May 18, 2007
    Last edited: May 18, 2007
  18. Gershom

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    While the church is commissioned to go out into the world and tell them about Jesus, some might come to us even though we may not have spoken to them directly. By not having a denominational name, our hope is to reach those who we might not have come because of this barrier. Maybe they have some pre-conceived idea that keeps them from coming or whatever. The goal is to get folks saved and discipled. This offers another avenue. And it's a biblical one.
     
  19. BobRyan

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    As I have recently been becoming accustomed to finding yours sir.

    It is pretty funny that one who is supposed to agree to the "priesthood of all believers" and who knows full well the Baptist churchs HAVE no such thing as a "creed" would feign surprise to learn of this fact now -- jut because "I" said it.

    That is downright hilarious "to me".:applause: :laugh:

    That is an interesting "dodge".

    The point is whether ALL baptist churches have the SAME one or if ANY of them would agree to let a higher organized authority within the group of Baptist churches define one "FOR THEM ALL". (IFB, SB, Seventh-day Baptist, Free Will Baptist, Reformed, Old Regular, ... endless list down to snake-handling)

    And we ALL already KNOW the answer to that one (The SBC not withstanding).

    Why do you work so diligently to obfuscate the obvious?

    And in the case above - the point about Baptism (which IS the point of the question asked by agnus-dei) "remains".

    How is it that you work so hard to struggle with even the most basic points??

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
    #19 BobRyan, May 19, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2007
  20. BobRyan

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    hmm -- IFB?? Misssionary Baptist? SB? Moderate? Reformed? Full-Gospel Baptist? Seventh-day Baptist? Free Will Baptist??

    The "list is endless" for a group that you claim should be said to "have a creed" that all have signed.

    Kinda fun to watch you flip-flopping on this one DHK.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     

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