I'm a Christian first, then a Baptist...

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Daniel David, Dec 2, 2002.

  1. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    Is this an accurate statement or a way to hide the fact that you are a Baptist?

    Before my girlfriend and I were married, we discussed this at length one night.

    People are often nervous about expressing their belief about being Baptist. To them, they merely attend a Baptist church but have no read conviction about the issue.

    I do not tell people I am a Christian first and then a Baptist. I tell them I am a Baptist. If they ask questions, I tell them what I believe.

    The problem is this: people think of Christian as including a very wide variety of groups. To them, Mormons are Christians. Likewise, Jehovah's Witnesses, Episcopalians, Catholics, and other groups are saved. They aren't.

    If I say I am a Baptist, chances are pretty good that the person I tell knows that I don't accept the belief system of everyone else.

    Saying you are a Christian and then a Baptist no more identifies you with Christ than saying you are a Baptist. The name Christian was given to identify a particular belief. It does not have the same meaning today as it once did. It won't either as long as "Christians" have such liberal theology and are friendly toward Catholic theology. Also, our protestant brothers had no problem persecuting us either. Therefore, I don't call myself protestant.

    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. GrannyGumbo

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    I always say I'm Baptist, never have been a protestant, and the Lord saved me a long time ago.
     
  3. Mike McK

    Mike McK
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    I don't know that entire groups can be "saved".
     
  4. Siegfried

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    I'm confused. Are you saying you're married and you still have a girlfriend?

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    See, it would take a journalist major to pick at my post.

    Okay, she was my girlfriend when we discussed the issue. She is now my wife. She wasn't my wife when we first discussed the issue.

    It is sort of like: I did not kiss my wife until we were married.
     
  6. Don

    Don
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    I know of a church in the town where I'm currently living that has an ex-Baptist as its pastor. He wanted to get away from the negative connotations that "Baptist" seems to invoke. So he started a new church, calling it a "community church," and has pretty much done away with all references to "Baptist" (which is why I put the "ex" in front of it up there).

    Yesterday, a friend of mine walked out of that church. Said it's the first time that he's ever walked out of a church. He walked in, and there was an OSU flag hanging up at the front of the church, and pretty much the entire teen section in the pews was wearing OSU hats and t-shirts. He said it grieved his spirit so much, he just couldn't stay.

    I guess you could say that pastor has gotten away from the negative connotations of the word "Baptist" all right....
     
  7. Siegfried

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    I've got to disagree with you on this one, Preach.

    Saying you're a Baptist doesn't do what it used to, either. By identifying yourself as a Baptist, you may be sending the message that you go to one of a zillion old, dead churches and you're just one more hypocritical religion freak that talks pious but really just wants to control people's lives.

    Plus you communicate to the unfamiliar that a debated doctrine is more central to what you are than Christ is.

    No matter what you call yourself, you're going to have to do some explaining.
     
  8. Johnv

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    Being a Baptist doesn't save you, being a Christian does. There are probably just as many unsaved Baptists in the pews as there are unsaved Episcopals, Catholics, Lutherans, etc etc etc.

    I don't consider Mormons Christian (or, more specifically, Judeo-Christian) because they don't use the Bible alone as Scripture. As far as the JW's, they use the Bible, but their interpretation is way off of what we'd call Christianity (the Trinity, etc). But if the JW's are saying you must be saved through faith in Jesus Christ alone, then I'd be less inclined to call them non-Christian, and more inclined to refer to them as a Christian cult. Dunno, really. I don't know too much about them.

    Oops, probably getting off the topic a bit. When you identify yourself as a Baptist, you're simply identifying your religious affiliation, not your state of grace.
     
  9. Abiyah

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    I think some are sometimes in danger of thinking
    Baptist = Christian
    Christian = Baptist
    and in the same say,
    Catholic = Christian; Christian = Catholic
    Assemblies = Christian; Christian = Assemblies
    Nazarene = Christian; Christian = Nazarene
    Pentecostal = Christian; Cchristian = Pentecostal
    (Granny Gumbo would love that one 8o) ! )
    Methodist = Christian; Christian = Methodist

    And in the same way, too,
    Messianic = believer; believer = . . . nah!

    When I moved here, I began to realize the truth--
    that being an AFer (our term in the old church
    which excommunicated me, meaning a member
    of that church) did not automatically mean we
    were believers. In fact, as I lived here, I began
    to realize that I worshiped an organization: it
    was my god.

    I think we need to be careful and distinguish the
    two. Are we followers of our God or followers
    of an earthly organization?

    We must be believers (or Christians, for most of
    you) first, taking the name of the organization
    as secondary.

    Suppose, as for me, you realize that the church
    you are in has taken a wrong turn. Will you follow
    it because you are Baptist, or will you have the
    guts to say, "I am a follower of the Messiah, not
    an organization; I will go where He leads, not
    where you lead."

    [ December 02, 2002, 02:32 PM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     
  10. Ransom

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    Is this an accurate statement or a way to hide the fact that you are a Baptist?

    Depends on whom I'm talking to.

    To a pagan, I'm a "Christian." Many pagans don't understand the differences between the various Chrisitan denominations; why confuse the issue?

    On the other hand, within Christendom, the significantly finer distinctions between Baptist, Presbyterian, etc. are more important, and to other Christians I have no problem being a "Baptist."
     
  11. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    Siegfried, I agree. That is why I said:
    There are so many different kinds of Baptists today that even that needs to be clarified. I would hate to be lumped in the same group as Cooperative baptists and the General Texas baptists. Oh the humanity...

    Johnv, saying you are a Christian no more makes you a believer than saying you are a Baptist. Christian was just a name given to identify a belief just like the name Baptist was given to identify a belief.

    My point is that some people are very timid about identifying themselves as Baptists. I don't know if they do not agree with traditional Baptist theology, or they are ignorant (but I repeat myself), or what the issue is. If you don't like the Baptist name, why attend a Baptist church? If you agree with the doctrine, have a spine and let people know.

    [ December 02, 2002, 02:49 PM: Message edited by: Preach the Word ]
     
  12. Siegfried

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    Ohio State or Oklahoma State? Because if it's . . .

    Ok, it doesn't matter. I know.
     
  13. GrannyGumbo

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    I have found when people stop using the name Baptist, it isn't long before they start abandoning our "Baptist" Biblical beliefs.
     
  14. Helen

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    Since it was Christ who saved me and not the Baptist Church; since it is Christ I follow whether a member of a Baptist church or not...

    I'm a Christian.

    That is enough in Arab countries to get me killed or put in jail!

    In Australia we are members of a Baptist church. In the US we are not, simply because the Baptist church in our area is incredibly snotty and the minister holds to some doctrines (has nothing to do with Calvinism, folks!) which are not biblical at all.

    So my profile says "Baptistic" which is better than "part time Baptist" or Australian Baptist.

    But no matter what, we are ALWAYS Christian!
     
  15. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    Helen, that is not the point. You saying you are Christian does not identify you with Christ any more than Baptist does. The terms have been extremely blurred from their original usage. You still have to clarify what you mean.

    Christian was a name given to followers of Christ.

    Baptist was a name given to followers of Christ who immerse believers.

    Since the N.T. undeniably teaches immersion, we can conclude that Christian and Baptist can be interchangeable.
     
  16. wjrighter

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    I am a baptist and proud of it ,but what does that prove? only GOD & myself know the real truth.
    it's your walk in this life,that lets other folks know where you stand,not what you want them to hear.
     
  17. Scott J

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    Labels can be dangerous things... often they are used for an excuse not to know and prove what you believe. I have relatives that still vote the Civil War... they are Democrats because great, great, great great grandpa was- so they vote that straight ticket no matter who is running.

    By the same token, I know "Baptists" that couldn't even begin to tell you what differentiates baptistic beliefs from any others. This is one way we get a whole bunch of unsaved people into our congregations. Many people identify with the Baptist label rather than the Baptist beliefs.

    The more the term "Baptist" becomes defined by folks like Joshua V on one extreme and Peter Ruckman, Jack Hyles, et al on the other, the more interested I become in being labeled something else.
     
  18. Don

    Don
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    LOL [​IMG]

    Oklahoma State.

    From Johnv:
    AMEN!!! (but I'm still proud to be a Baptist, which, in my personal experiences with several different religious denominations, are the ones most closely living and reflecting scripture).

    As Scott just pointed out, I, too, have come across many Baptists that don't know why they're called Baptists as opposed to Mormons. That's where people like us, Scott, step in and teach 'em.
     
  19. Deacon

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    Double post, sorry

    [ December 02, 2002, 07:18 PM: Message edited by: Deacon ]
     
  20. Deacon

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    I work in the medical field. One of the things many hospitals ask in their pre-admissions questionnaire is, “What is your religion?” (This is for any potential Pastoral visitors, so they might know if a patient might be Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, etc). I’m dismayed at the number of people who write “Baptist”. Many (perhaps most) are no more Baptist than the man on the moon. Many list “Baptist” only because they were ‘born’ Baptist. They walk the walk of the unsaved. They mangle the name of Christians and Baptists. In churches that bound these areas the label of Baptist would not be particularly inviting, so changing a church name from Baptist Church to Community Church may encourage some to attend that may otherwise be turned away.

    I’m Baptist and I’m not afraid to tell anyone. I became a Baptist because it most closely mirrors what I believe. But I’m a Christian before all and ‘proud’ of Christ’s work. We may not agree with the beliefs of the “other Baptists” but its not necessarily our beliefs that people see but our walk, even “liberal” Baptists can walk the walk of faith.

    You can’t say it better than Bro. Adam: ”I am Christian by faith, Baptist by doctrine.
    If you want to show people that Christ lives in you, it will not be by the labels you carry with you, but instead by the actions of love and grace that beam through you.

    Amen Brother A!
     

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