For good or ill, some things have changed!

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by nodak, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. nodak

    nodak
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    This is quite a trip, growing up in one Southern Baptist culture, leaving for the northern plains, and returning many years later! So much has changed!

    Examples:

    Growing up, sbc churches had no sanctuaries. That implied a place to worship. Baptists (I will use the term shorthand for sbc although I KNOW all Baptists are not sbc. Just lazy typing.) had auditoriums where the Word was preached. We were expected to worship at least daily wherever we were.

    We had no altars. That implies a place of sacrifice, and we made no sacrifices. Jesus made the greatest and final sacrifice. Now the preacher speaks of the "sacrifice of praise" when we sing, and at the invitation tells us the altar is open. In the 50's in my neck of the woods that would have made him be considered "popish" and implied works based salvation.

    Our sign out front would never read "Worship at 11" or such. We had Sunday School for Bible study, Wednesday evening prayer meeting to pray (not study the Bible), Training Union to learn Baptist doctrine and customs and disciple new believers, and either "preaching" services or "evangelistic" services Sunday morning and night for the purpose of winning the lost. Yes, preachers often considered their calling "the equipping of the saints", hence SS and TU.

    THE JOB of the church and of Baptists was winning the lost. We weren't concerned with meeting "felt needs" or trying to make the world fit our morals. My high school speech teacher was also a Baptist preacher and he summed it up this way: He said Baptists did not need a bunch of rules and regulations or to try to manage everyone elses lives. Get'em saved and the Holy Spirit can be trusted to clean up their lives.

    We had no creeds.

    And everybody knew that when you bring a pecan pie to the church supper you:

    1. Make it with dark karo syrup or ribbon cane. No white karo pies.

    2. Bring the homemade vanilla ice cream to go on top of it.

    Whatever flavor of Baptist you are, what changes have you noticed most?
     
  2. Dr Mike Kear

    Dr Mike Kear
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    The main thing I've noticed over the past twenty years or so is the amazing politicizing of the Baptist churches. "Back in the day" you didn't promote politics from the pulpit. Now it seems that there are two main kinds of Baptists: those who politic for the left, and those who politic for the right. I like the old version better - the churches who preached that the answer is Jesus, not a political party or candidate.
     
  3. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    I think the one change I've noticed is that worship services are a bit looser than when I was a child. We were encouraged to come into the auditorium (sometimes called sanctuary), to quieten down and prepare for worship.

    Overf the years, things have have become much more informal. Actually, sometimes I think it's a contrived informality, promoted by the worship leadership, including the pastors. Instead of a quiet atmosphere, the pre-church activity is visiting, talking and laughing.

    That's not all bad, of course, because it does involve fellowship. The risk, of course, is that in promoting such an atmosphere, we carry it over into the worship services, where we can lose our sense of awe at being together in the adoration of the Creator of the Universe.
     
  4. nodak

    nodak
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    Good points, both of you!

    I also miss seeing and hearing kids in the service. Instead they are off in children's church.

    I do enjoy the air conditioning of today! And central heat! One little church we were part of many years ago ran out of propane in early January. No money for more, so we sure bundled up til spring!
     
  5. billwald

    billwald
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    "We had no creeds" is a creedal statement aka dogma. <G>

    Play with words if you want, but if you do not conform substantially to the ecumenical creeds then you are not "Christian."
     
  6. billwald

    billwald
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    Sorry, messed up again. Fingers get ahead of brain.
     
  7. Bob Alkire

    Bob Alkire
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    Mine would be a lot like your and mine would be Dispensational Baptist which was an IFB type. We didn't have a sanctuaries either, our was called a meeting hall.
    Being a rural church all parts of our life came out of the church house.
    Sunday morning and night SS and Training Union and morning and evening service, Wednesday night prayer meeting, with Thursday night bible study. Farmers meeting Saturday morning, folks going over how to better work their farm. Sat. after noon going out and help folks who need help, like painting their house, barn or other kinds of work.
    As far as so called morals and how to dress that was the job of the Holy Spirit and good study of the Scriptures. A few looked at us kind of funny when we started getting crew cuts in about the late 50's.
    We might have had 2 Hymns and an invitation hymn at the end of service and about an hour of preaching and everyone was in the church hall.
     
  8. EdSutton

    EdSutton
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    A big welcome to the Baptist Board.

    Ed
     
  9. EdSutton

    EdSutton
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    Welcome to the Baptist Board.

    Ed
     
  10. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
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    Amen, Brother Dr Mike Kear -- Preach it! :thumbs:

    (and a big Oklahoma Howdy! to the Baptist Board)

    I don't like occult/secret societies, a couple of deacons in my church* have belonged to the masons. Until the present paster, we would have somebody put on the cars in our parking lots just before election day, how to vote. The present pastor had them taken off the cars. They were a bunch of Republican/pro-life anyway. I am Republican and anti-abortion, but if others wish to be different, I don't see a problem. I consider myself a political conservative; my pastor probably thinks that Obama is a good presidential candidate (I don't know, he preaches Jesus from the pulpit, not politics).

    *note on 'my church'. I know the church belongs to Jesus. I mean the church I'm a member of - that is all.

    Anyway, I agree with your description of the trend. I'm just glad my church hasn't been a part of the trend
     

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