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Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by SaggyWoman, May 21, 2002.
What is the difference, exactly?
American Baptist Association is 77 year old voluntary fellowship of local Baptist churches, with it's own curriculum for SS, devotional, missions, etc. All 3 of their churches in Wyoming go by "Missionary Baptist Church" in their handle.
American Baptist Churches is the northern equivalent of the SBC. It is almost totally controled in action and content by liberals. Sad. 1.5 million members in US alone, + missions, Judson Press, etc.
American Baptists (one mono-lithic group that accepted only state or regional groups of churches) was split over the issue of slavery in 1845 into the Northern Baptist Convention and Southern Baptist Convention. The NBC changed its name to American Baptist Convention, and more recently to American Baptist Churches.
I thought that ABA was a really ultra conservative group.
ABA Short Course
Saggy, the American Baptist Association was organized in December of 1924 by several groups (mainly in Arkansas and Texas) that had left the Southern Baptist Convention from around 1895 to 1910. Two large state groups were organized around 1900 - the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas and the Arkansas State Missionary Baptist Association. A new state convention in Oklahoma was also organized around that time. Another association, the Baptist General Association of the United States, was organized in 1905. It was intended to be a national organization for missionary Baptists that did not want to support foreign missions through the Southern Baptist Convention. The General Association had fairly strong support from the Arkansas churches, but the BMA of Texas for the most part, though cordial, steered clear of it. The BMA had their own foreign mission work. The organization of the ABA in 1924 represented the BMA and the General Association churches finally coming to terms of cooperation. The ABA was formed at the 1924 meeting of the General Association and the General Association adjourned sine die (which I basically means adjourning without setting a day to meet in the future, or indefinitely).
The split of these missionary Baptists from the Southern Baptist Convention was largely over mission methods and other matters of practice (and no doubt power struggles). There was very little difference in their theology. Landmark ecclesiology is seen as a large contributor to this split, and it was. But this must be understood correctly. BOTH sides of the split (SBC & ABA), at least in the southwest, held to Landmark ecclesiology. But the ABA side applied it more consistently and thoroughly to the missions issue, thereby denying the authority of mission boards.
I think it would be incorrect to refer to the present-day American Baptist Association churches as an ultra conservative group. Though they are conservative on fundamental issues - virgin birth, creation, inspiration, blood atonement, etc. - they, for the most part, don't hold what I would consider the ultra conservative issues that divide many IFB's. I'm not sure what you have in mind when you say ultra conservative, but I think about narrow standards of dress and grooming, KJV Only, no TV's, etc., etc.. Maybe that's not at all what you have in mind. BTW, there are some among them that hold the standards just mentioned. They have around 250,000 members in about 1700 churches in the United States, but they also have churches in Canada, Mexico, and many other foreign countries.
[ May 22, 2002, 11:08 PM: Message edited by: rlvaughn ]
When I said ultra conservative, it is as you said, dress, grooming, KJV Only, etc.
How heavily is ABA in to landmarkism? I am SBC and have had strains of it growing up taught to me, but I have a hard time holding to it.
The ABA has a strong landmark foundation. But as the association ages, it seems to be following the same road as the SBC - modifying the landmark principles. I would predict (based on history and current trends, not prophecy ) that the main trunk of the ABA will gradually leave its landmark roots, and in 50 years (if the Lord tarries that long) will be no more landmark then than the SBC is now. As the ABA moves in that direction, the stronger landmarkers will pull out, hastening their trek to a more moderate ecclesiological stance.
[ May 23, 2002, 09:15 PM: Message edited by: rlvaughn ]
Having been ABA nearly 40yrs. myself, & my husband even longer-his dad was a preacher as was an uncle or two-I can testify to the fact that the ABA is not what it once was & is actually about 20yrs. behind the SBC, altho' this was a few years ago, so it may be closer than that now. I grew up SBC & had an uncle who was a preacher, yet I knew in a flash that I wanted "to switch". We've spent many happy years serving the Lord (mostly in Missions).