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Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by SaggyWoman, Jul 6, 2010.
Has all Baptists ever been united? Can all Baptists ever be united?
Speaking only for the Anglo-American strain, no and no.
Even at the recorded (1) beginnings of the Baptist movement in England, we were split into General and Particular Baptists. As the backbone of our movement is the local church, I doubt we will ever come together to present a "united" front. It just isn't in our DNA.
(1) Early to mid 1600s, with the General Baptists coming to the forefront first. Logical agruments can be made for the existence of Baptists in England at earlier dates. But, these are not derived from "best" evidence. Not that I personally have any problems taking a position by faith. But to be accurate, I have to acknowledge it's by faith.
To unite, there must be a uniter. As long as man is involved; it'll never happen.
Only those who are born again. The problem is that all born again people (Baptist or whatever) don't seem to know that we are all "in Christ" and are therefore "united in Christ". I see so much fighting and bickering among those who claim to know Christ, and I'm sure that pleases the devil immensely but displeases our Lord.
Christ is the Uniter, but, unfortunately, very few know what it means to be "united in Christ.
I dunno. Wanna fight about it?
The question becomes then "why." As in,
Why do we want to unite in a visible organization this side of Heaven?
I'm a Historic Northern Baptist. I have no problem with cooperating with like minded brethren. But, I will not be a member of a local congregation which is subject to an outside governing body.
Only on the renewed earth.
We automatically become a member of Christ's "church" (called-out assembly) and are told to assemble together in prayer, worship, and fellowship. However, I don't think we were ever commanded to join a local group--just to be part of one, encouraging one another, edifying one another, praying for one another, and reaching out to those around us who are in need of the Saviour and the love joy, peace, contentment, forgiveness, eternal life (and SO much more) that He offers freely to all.
I fear our problem is I hold to the position of ekklesia referring only to a local assembly. What unclear verses there are I would posit refer to the local church in a generic sense.
That's what I think, too. It may also be used in a prospective sense, as well.
That too. The question isn't what we would like ekklesia to mean in 2010. The question is what did Demosthenes of Syracuse though it meant in 90 AD. Ekklesia is not a word without secular meaning back in the day. IOW, it wasn't a theological word as it is in 2010. Depending on context back in the day, its synonyms include, assembly, lodge (like Moose. Elks, et al. Lodges), association, ect.
So are you going to assemble together with me while I stand up and preach that Christ doesn't offer eternal life freely to all? I don't ask this question to start a debate on theology but rather to illustrate a point, that being that the reason for a lack of unity in fellowship is a lack of unity in doctrine and practice that cannot simply be ignored.
If you are born again (I KNOW I am), then we are brothers in Christ--regardless of differences in beliefs. I believe that salvation IS offered to all, but not all will accept it. God would not be a just God to offer forgiveness to some and not offer that forgiveness to everyone. Condemning some without giving them a chance to repent and be saved is not the way of a loving God, and God is a God of love as well as a God of wrath.
JM, the question the Admiral asked is a classic one. It has divided Anglo-American Baptists since the mid 17th century. I believe if you read his post he's only asking the question. He is not stating his personal theological position.
I believe that God can do whatever God wants and it would still be just. Because of our birth into sin, all are condemned. If God want to offer salvation to everyone or just some, that's God's prerogative.
I think it's dangerous to assume that God's imminent characteristics are somehow equal to our own definitions.
Please keep to the OP, i.e., the prospects (or lack thereof) for unity among Baptists.
Concur, it's one matter to lay out historical differences and is quite another to advocate either side.
The short answer is no.
Most of us who live down here in the south and are around my age have been to city wide meetings, where Baptist from many camps were evolved in as well as let’s say Presbyterians and Methodist.
Most Baptist I know of clam to be an independent church, even SBC churches as well as IFB churches. I must say that I don’t know much about how Freewill Baptist churches are run as well as some others.
Not often today. I was brought up in a strong Calvinistic Presbyterians church and went to a seminary of their view, but my view has changed, but many of their camp I still know and love and believe they are find Christians as far as we can see today. We believe almost the same except with the mechanics. But I've been in many Reformed Churches and heard many a good sermon and teaching without getting into our differences. With that said, no I would not unite with them but would still love them.