"Christian" Churches

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by 12strings, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. 12strings

    12strings
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    Does anyone else see "Christian churches" as being silent, or at least vague about whether they beleive baptism to be part of salvation or not? I know Church of Christ people will usually be much more upfront speaking about it, but it seems there are several large Christian churches I have encountered that easily draw members from baptist and other churches, and it seems that this issue doesn't concern any of the people who go there.

    Anyone else seen this, or have any thoughts about it?
     
  2. Iconoclast

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    In our country at this time,perhaps being under the judgement of God to some extent for national sins.....doctrinal distinctives and understanding is at low tide so to speak.
    Many churches avoid taking a stand on doctrine...to avoid offending goats who might attend. Pragmatism rather than scriptural based teaching has gotten the upper hand.
    This is why there is a growing movement to return to confessional based churches who will stand for truth and join with those who historically understood the importance of doctrine.

    we have seen threads that show a trend of many churches to not include any denominational title...under the guise of being more contemporary.

    One church by my house speaks of being relevant, and "the church with you in mind"...which translates to entertaining the flesh...rather than worshipping in Spirit and truth.
    These flesh pleasing .purpose driven churches seem to be following the purpose driven church in the ot who purposed to make a golden calf when moses went up on the mountain.

    Not having a creed or confession, baptism loses it's God ordained importance to such people...as long as they can sing 5 more two sentence choruses..they do not miss bible doctrine at all.:wavey:
     
  3. Allan

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    Not really, no.
    Baptism does nothing regarding one's salvation so you wont here baptist churches preaching that it does, and thus most likely the non-dominance the subject. However, have heard various sermons of this last year from backwater preachers to those of renown on the issue of baptism being an ordinance, the symbolism, and the first step of obedience once a believer has come into a relationship with Christ Jesus (much more included but I'm just giving a quick rendition).

    Most pastors I know speak with members individually about baptism, it's import, and symbolism and relevance in to the Christian walk. So not sure what you are looking for.. a constant preaching from the pulpit or that they are sitting down the people one-on-one to make sure the understand the issue accurately.
     
    #3 Allan, Dec 5, 2011
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  4. Allan

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    There are many more of us who aren't confessional that have already paved the way in this area and are still standing strong.. so I don't see the how 'confessional based churches' are doing anything different but catching up.

    The above is a silly statement and I believe you know better. Not having a creed or confession does not cause baptism to loose 'any' importance any more than not preaching about it every month would do so. In fact, having a creed or confession can either bring undo importance to baptism or even lesser importance, depending on creed or confession, and that goes for any view addressed in the confession. Additionally, creeds and confession precipitate the tendency to rely more on the creed or confession over and sometimes even against scripture (ie. baptismal regeneration - Many Lutheran Churches, Catholic, ect).

    Don't get me wrong, I agree we aught to have statements of faith that allow people to know what we believe 'regarding scripture', however we should not be placing undo importance toward these things. They are condensed reference material about our views on certain issues but still having the potential for error regarding interpretation.
     
    #4 Allan, Dec 5, 2011
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  5. Zenas

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    I think what the OP is asking is:

    1. Do these "Christian" churches believe baptism is necessary for salvation?

    2. If they do, should that be a matter of concern for Baptists who want to join them?
     
  6. Allan

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    If that is the case, and I misunderstood.. (which is a distinct possibility).. then my answer to #2 is yes... if #1 is yes as well
     
  7. glfredrick

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    I have some intimate knowledge of the largest Christian church in existence, Southeast Christian in Louisville (and one of the largest churches in the world, period!).

    They have softened their public stance on salvific baptism but still INSIST on baptizing everyone who becomes a member of their church regardless of their former baptism.

    In conversations with Rusty Russell I have asked the exact question posed on the board. I also had a Christian pastor as a part of my pastoral group when I was with Sojourn in Louisville (he had joined Sojourn) and he was on the same page. Baptism is a requrement, which in essence makes it salvific, though not the driving force of salvation.

    Baptists who wish to unite with the Christian church should at least understand the history of the church. They are a split off of baptists and the split involved two primary issues, salvific baptism and missions. They are for one and against the other (at their founding) but have since gravitated to a more mediating position. They are (were) called Campbellites after their leader, Alexander Campbell, and were part of the "restoration movement" at that point in history.
     
    #7 glfredrick, Dec 5, 2011
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  8. JesusFan

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    Would they view salvation as the "Church of Christ" denomination does?
    In that their take would be that salvation is obeying the requirements of the Lord, and that by submitting to water baptism, would "complete the salvation process?"

    regardles, adding water baptism as being a necessity would make it NON Baptist, and into areas of akin to Lutherism/RCC!
     
  9. 12strings

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    Yes, Zenas & Allen, I was refering to "Christian" churches specifically by the denomination, if you want to call it that. Christian churches are similar in their baptismal beleifs to "Church of Christ". Though, as Gilfredrick says, it is often not clear in their teachings. I too have some familiarity with SouthEast Christian in Louisville, and even attened a service in which the topic was "What is Baptism?" However, I left that service not knowing what the church beleived about baptism, but suspecting they considered it part of salvation, based on 2 things:

    1. The pastor used this analogy to make his main point: When are you actually married? After the vows, after you kiss, when itis pronounced, when the document is signed by the minister later in the day, or when you consumate the marraige that night? I don't know, but you don't want to leave any of those out do you? (so I guess his point is, We don't really know when you are truly saved, but you don't want to leave out baptism.)

    2. In that same service, they announced a special evening Baptism service later that night in which anyone who believed in Jesus could come and be baptized on the spot, no church joining necessary, just come and get baptized if you feel you need to. That open of a baptism invitation only makes sense if you believe these people need to be baptized quick to make sure they are really saved.
     
  10. Robert Snow

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    This may be true for that specific Christian Church, but it is not true for all of them.

    Some years ago we had very unreliable transportation and because of medical problems were living hand to mouth. We were unable to attend a Baptist church because the closest one was much too distant to walk to. Since there was a Christian church in walking distance, we joined this church. We were never asked to submit to re-baptism.
     
  11. freeatlast

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    There is no doubt that baptism has become a very miss-understood and miss-applied event. It was never intended to be used as a way to join a church or denomination. It certainly is not necessary for salvation, but if a person refused to be baptized after they made a profession of faith I would question their salvation as that is the first command pointing to being united to Christ after salvation.

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  12. glfredrick

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    They and the Church of Christ stem from the same roots and saw their own split after they all left the baptists, so there is a distinct possibility that they see these issues in the same light.

    As has been mentioned above, it is difficult to pin down what an "anti-denomination" holds as true when they each tend to do their own thing, yet like everyone else, there are more similarities than differences in their doctrine.
     
  13. glfredrick

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    Were you indeed full members or just attending?

    I've yet to find a Christian church that does not insist on baptism of all members.
     
  14. Jerome

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    Yes, and as is common, they claimed to be just "Reformed Baptists" for a while before finally breaking with our denomination.

    The Encyclopedia of Louisville:

     
  15. Zenas

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    Robert might be talking about Disciples of Christ, which in my town is called the Christian Church. They are Campbllites as well, but are a lot more moderate (can you say liberal?). Over the years they have lost several members to my church and we have lost several to theirs, and I don't think there have been any rebaptisms on either side.
     

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