As I read through this forum I have to constantly ask myself what has happened to the Fundamental Baptist Church? I believe the answer to be nothing but I will come back to this thought perhaps in a bit. There is a great necessity for Baptists to understand why they are Baptists and not a member of a denomination. Here are a few things that Baptists are not: We are not a denomination. A Denomination is a man made organization that is guided by human leadership. Baptists are lead by Jesus Christ Who guides each local congregation through a Pastor. (Per the Bible) We are not Protestants - A Protestant is a member of a religious entity that came out of the Catholic church. Baptists, were never a part of the Catholic church. Baptists hold to 7 distinctive's: We believe that the Bible is our Sole Authority We believe that the Church is Independent We believe membership is limited to those who are Born Again! We believe that scriptual Baptism is by immersion! We believe in a Priesthood of Believers (1 Pet. 2:5) We believe in Soul Liberty We believe in true seperation of Church and State. Baptist have been around from the onset of Christianity (known by many other names other than Baptist, but holding the same beliefs) and have persecuted by many other churches due to our beliefs. Baptist history has been defined by endurance, faithfulness, and overcoming in relation to a variety of problems they have always faced, such as prejudice, persecution and internal controversies. Here are a few examples. Because of our belief in the Bible as their sole authority, many looked upon Baptists as idolaters, guilty of worshiping the Bible instead of God. Because of our belief that the church is to be autonomous, many believed Baptists to be rebels (which were called nonconformists.) See the history of Roger Williams. Baptist suffered at the hands of organized religion! Their persecutors were some of most zealous, religious people in the world. But, they were wrong. Ignatius was the bishop of Antioch. He was a fierce defender of the faith and very vocal against infant baptism. He became the enemy of the emperor Trajan who had him arrested, transported to Rome and fed to the lions. Polycarp refused to bow to Caesar and renounce Christ. He was condemned to be burned alive. He was tied to a stake and the fire was lit. But eye witnesses testified that his body refused to burn. Out of desperation, the officials had him stabbed with a sword until he was dead... Constantine started what became known as the Catholic church and server as both the emperor and the first Pope. He too persecuted the Baptists of hsi day (called the Novatians). These people fled to Italy where they became known as the Waldenses and were later known as the Mennonites. In 1534, King Henry the VIII issued a decree that gave Baptists 12 days to pack up and leave the country or suffer the consequences. The primary offense of these Baptists was that they refused to have their infants baptized. During the reign of Queen Mary, John Rogers was sentenced to be burned alive at the infamous "Smithfield." In Europe, the Catholics, Lutherans and followers of Zwingli of Switzerland combined to rid the land of Anabaptist's. In 1528 400 special police were sent against a group of Anabaptist's to kill them. The number of Anabaptist's were so large that another 1000 executioners were dispatched to kill them. In America for the first 120 years, Baptists were encountering persecution by the Church of England (Puritans) because of their refusal to submit their infants for Baptism. It became illegal to start any church in opposition fo the official church! A law was passed in 1644 that permitted fines, imprisonment, and banishment for those Baptists who refused to have their infants baptized. In 1643, it was made a crime for anyone to preach or teach who was not an ordained minister of the Church of England. In 1673, a law was passed that made it illegal not to attend Episcopalian services. In 1709, a Baptist preacher from Rhode Island went to New York to preach the gospel. He was arrested and imprisoned for 3 months for preaching without a license by the Episcopalian church. Of all the persecutors of Baptists in the colonies Massachusetts was the worst. It was here that Obadiah Holmes became the first Baptist martyr in America. If it were not enough for Baptists to fight organized religion, it soon became apparent that in order to maintain doctrinal purity, they would need to fight among themselves, and it continues to this day. General Baptist of England became known for their belief that a Christian could loose their salvation. Spurgeon, was voted 2050 to 7 to be removed from the fellowship of the Baptist Union. They believed the Bible was flawed and came to be known as modernists. Not much has changed. Separate Baptists rejected formal training and distanced themselves from the Regular Baptists. Freewill Baptists broke away from the more Calvinistic Baptists in New England. Something we could all take a lesson from, Calvinism is nothing more than Heresy. Slavery caused the Baptists to divide into the Southern Baptist Convention and Northern Baptist convention. Hard Shell Baptists separated from Regular Baptists because they were opposed to the missions programs such as William Carey and Adoniram Judson. Alexander Campbell, and Barton Stone former Presbyterians became a Baptists but then later separated from them because they viewed baptism as necessary for salvation. Campbell's followers came to be known as the "Disciples of Christ." A later split of this group came to be known as the Church of Christ. The followers of Stone came to be known as the "Christian Church." The greatest controversy among Baptists was and still is fought over the Bible, Modernists infiltrated the major conventions with their views of a Bible what was not perfect,led by Henry Emerson Fosdick and others. This battle still exists in the SBC. Now wolves are infiltrating even the most fundamental churches with this doctrine and the heresy of Calvinism. Another issue has been between premillennial and postmillennial. When William Miller began to preach that Jesus would return in the 1840's he acquired a band of followers. When his teaching proved erroneous, Miller later returned bo be a Regular Baptist while his followers became known as the Seventh Day Adventist Cult. Modernism became even more of an issue which gave rise to a group of Baptists who refused to be a part with the traditional views held by the original Baptists. They became known as the Fundamentalists. We maintain the beliefs knows as "fundamentals" which are: inerrancy of scripture, the deity of Christ, The Trinity, the Virgin Birth, the atonement, Christ's bodily resurrection and the Second Coming. New evangelicalism was another issue that face Baptists to take sides. They believed fundamentals of the faith but refused to separate from modernists and those who rejected the Bible. Their leader was Billy Graham and it was not an unusual thing to see Catholics, Charismatics and Seventh Day Adventists on the platform in a Graham crusade. I tell you all this to say this: The fundamental Church is alive and well. I attend an Independent Baptist Church by choice, not because it is Independent, or Baptist or fundamental but because it teaches what is in the Bible, nothing more nothing less. God Bless. BTW, I am happy to discuss but not more than that.