Independent Fundamental Baptist Churches??

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Mrs. Ekie, Oct 14, 2002.

  1. Mrs. Ekie

    Mrs. Ekie
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2002
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    My husband and I have been attending an independent fundamental Baptist church after having left an inter-denominational church after 12 years. I think we basically agree with the doctrine but I don't understand one thing and wondered if you folks could help.

    Why is "membership" in the church so important? In our experience with inter-denominational churches membership was not required to attend Bible studies, sing in the choir, or even teach in Sunday School. It was not emphasized at all. I suppose after a time, if you were to take a leadership role, it would have been required but really you didn't NEED it.

    At the independent fundamental Baptist church we have been at for several months, they are pressuring us to join and requiring us to be rebaptised in THEIR church. They will not allow me to attend the women's Bible study until we join (which my husband isn't interested in doing right now). Is this a common practice to exclude non-members from Bible studies?

    I don't want to argue but can't understand this.
     
  2. C.S. Murphy

    C.S. Murphy
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2002
    Messages:
    2,302
    Likes Received:
    0
    In my view these practices will end up being the tip of their legalistic iceberg. Many churches will only allow members to do certain things such as teach, but I have never heard of one who would not allow you to come to Bible study. Be careful
    Murph
     
  3. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2002
    Messages:
    3,348
    Likes Received:
    14
    I agree with C.S., you may be in for more than you think. Legalism usually rules in these type of churches.
     
  4. Bible Student

    Bible Student
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can understand some of what these folks are doing as far as teaching and chior goes. They are trying to insure purity of doctrine I think. But the one thing I do not agree with or understand is not allowing you to atten the Bible study. Wish I had an answer. :(
     
  5. g_1933

    g_1933
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Messages:
    334
    Likes Received:
    0
    It would seem that they would want you to attend the Bible study so that you could make sure of what they are all about. I have attended my church for years and not been a member. I even serve on some commitees!(sp?) When I was told that I was not a member because I had been baptised and joined at another church I promptly joined, but I was certainly not forced to.

    Some believe that you are not saved unless you are a member of the church! The body of Christ. While you are not saved if you are not part of the body of Christ, it has nothing to do with joining a church. Getting saved makes one a member of the one true church.

    G
     
  6. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    Church membership is important for a number of reasons. Accountability, commitment, fellowship, obedience, all come immediately to mind. Why wouldn't you want to be a member of a church?
     
  7. Don

    Don
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2000
    Messages:
    10,548
    Likes Received:
    212
    What G is alluding to, and what Ms. Ekie is describing, is known in some circles as "bridism" or "Briders."

    These are dangerous, because ultimately what they teach is that if you're not a member of THEIR church, then you're in danger of not going to heaven. They equate the body of Christ with their church membership only.

    It's not limited to Baptists, but it's not foreign to us either.

    I suggest, Ms. Ekie, that you and your family invite the pastor over and ask some pointed questions. Such as, if you've already been baptized, why does he feel you need to be baptized again? If for some reason you had to leave the area, does he believe you would need to be baptized in the next church you became members of? etc., etc.
     
  8. g_1933

    g_1933
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Messages:
    334
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you Don, that is what I meant.
     
  9. Mrs. Ekie

    Mrs. Ekie
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2002
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is a study on being a better keeper at home. It has no controversial things in it; by that I mean there are not any doctrinal things that could be discussed or debated. It is a very clear biblical study on the biblical role of women in the home.

    As I was thinking about this last night, I realized that Jesus would have been glad to have me at a study to learn about how to be a better wife and mother. He also would have been glad to let the tax collectors and prostitutes come to learn.

    We don't want to join right away because it is a decision that greatly impacts our family and children. It isn't a decision to be entered into lightly. Especially when they are telling us that we need to be rebaptized because our first baptisms didn't take place in an independent fundamental Baptist church. All in all, I hope my husband will decide that we can keep looking.
     
  10. Bible Believing Bill

    Bible Believing Bill
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/bbb.jpg>

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    3,761
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sounds like you may want to keep looking. I think as usual Don nailed it right on the head.

    Did the pastor give any reasons why he didn't consider your Baptisim valid, other than not in an IFB chruch. For instance I was Baptised in my IFB chruch because I had been baptised as an infant in the catholic church. As we are all aware Baptists do not believe in infant baptism. Was there some type of reason like that?

    The not being able to join a Bible Study really bothers me. There is NO reason ANYONE should be excluded. If its a ladies study then all ladies should not only be allowed to attend, but they should be encouraged to attend.

    May God Bless You and Your Husband.

    Bill
     
  11. Mrs. Ekie

    Mrs. Ekie
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2002
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    We have had the pastor of this church over several times. They would have us be rebaptized because we were not baptized in an IFB church. Both my husband and I were baptized in Christian churches at about 10 years old. He said that those baptisms wouldn't be good enough for us to have membership because the Christian church places some of your salvation in baptism. This isn't the doctrine we grew up believing in the Christian church and we explained that we did not think our baptism in any way had "saved" us. That it was only by Jesus' perfect sacrifice that we were saved and that we had been baptized out of obedience to the scripture. But he still said we would have to be rebaptized.

    His wife leads this Bible study and she doesn't want any non-members to attend because she wants to "protect her ladies" from outside influences. So what does she do when they leave and go home? I don't understand this thinking. Are they so weak that they can't have a non-member come study the Bible with them? If they are this weak, how are they going to be effective at witnessing for Christ? It's like some sort of exclusive club or something. Trust me when I say that I am a conservative, modest woman who would not in any way disrupt a Bible study.

    It is a disappointment because we can't seem to find a conservative fundamental church where we live without it seeming to be really off in some way. My husband isn't ready to say we aren't going back but we are going to try to visit some other churches, pray some more and give it more time.
     
  12. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2002
    Messages:
    3,461
    Likes Received:
    45
    I think your "prospective" Pastor is just being cautious. You may be able to say that you understood your baptism to be just an act of obedience and not a sacrement. The problem is, what if a couple comes from the Church of Christ? They just got saved and now want to join the church. The preacher tells them they need to get rebaptized and they point at you and say, "They didn't. Why should we?"

    I think your Pastor is doing the right thing. It is not a legalistic thing. It is not a "Our church is better than your former one" thing. I feel he is just being safe.

    Besides, if that is where you feel God wants you to be, why is there a problem getting baptized.

    If you were baptized in a church that believes in baptismal regeneration, or believes that you're not saved if you have not been baptized, then it is not a New Testament church. That church does not have the authority to administer the ordinance of baptism.

    My advice would be to sit down and talk to this man again. Even if you do not understand or even agree with him in this situation, God still placed him as under-shepherd over that local church. He must do what he thinks is right and biblical.

    My vote goes to him on this one.
     
  13. LAWC

    LAWC
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2002
    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yikes! I would RUN from a church that wants you to be "rebaptised". Baptism is obedience to GOD and has nothing to do with the specific church. Baptism is between you and God, not man! It is not who baptises you but your heart and attitude at the baptism. If it was about "who" baptises you then Jesus, who of course was perfect, was baptised by a sinner. In a "who baptises" perspective, Jesus' action would not make sense.
    Obviously there is no perfect church, perfect pastor or perfect baptiser. That is ok, because it is an act to signify YOUR obedience to the Lord.
     
  14. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you talked to him and gave testimony of your baptism and can identify the church and its doctrinal statement, then that should be sufficient. Most baptist churches accept baptism from churches of like faith and practice.

    As for the Bible study and keeping nonmembers out, that, IMO, is simply wrong. I find that the most evangelistic thing we do is Bible study. That seems totally off the wall. I Would probably keep looking if the case is as you have presented it here.
     
  15. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2002
    Messages:
    3,461
    Likes Received:
    45
    I would almost bet that if you asked your Pastor if someone from a Christian Church, Church of Christ, Methodist, or any church other than Baptist needed to be rebaptised to join, he would say "yes."
     
  16. Wisdom Seeker

    Wisdom Seeker
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Messages:
    5,702
    Likes Received:
    0
    My church is this way in that I had to be re-baptised into the Baptist Church because of the "Do not be unequally yoked" thing. They wanted to make sure that I was a "Like believer" And membership is required for any ministry involvement.

    But, my church doesn't require membership for Bible study, Adult Bible Class attendance, or attendance to any fellowships...just ministry involvement. They want to make sure that anyone in a position of representing the church to non or new believers is aligned with the church doctrines.

    Some churches are strict, some are lenient... I would ask "why?", of someone who is in authority at your church to get a real answer as to their reasons for this policy. And base your decisions on that knowledge rather than the speculation of all of us "well-meaners" here. ;)
     
  17. LRL71

    LRL71
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Messages:
    580
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd agree with Pastor Bob on this one, too. A New Testament church is one that believes in the fundamentals of the faith. Pastor Bob is correct to say that the authority of the church is an important point. Baptists believe in two *ordinances*, not sacraments -- which a sacrament is a means of grace. Let's say you were baptized, by immersion, in an Assemblies of God church (for example), then we can agree that you were baptized scripturally-- so long as that Assemblies of God church also believes in the fundamentals of the faith-- especially salvation by grace through faith. Based on that, you can be accepted as a member by letter from another church, although not Baptist by name, but by one that is 'of like faith and manner'. Many churches out there don't perform water baptism nor believe in salvation by grace through faith, and therefore are not NT churches.

    My question to you is: were you baptized by immersion after you trusted Christ? If your previous church didn't baptize you by immersion (or, if you have never been baptized by immersion in water), then you should accept this pastor's recommendation to be baptized scripturally.

    Although Pastor Bob didn't bring this up, I think that membership is important, but you should not be obligated to 'join the choir' or teach Sunday school, or any other leadership function. You should be supportive of the church's functions and ministry, and attend faithfully the worship times.

    One thing that does concern me is that they are not allowing you to attend a Women's bible study time. This is a problem, but I think that the pastor here is trying to 'coerce' you to join the church. I don't think this is a good thing for him to do, although he is probably protecting the flock that he has been given charge over. Sometimes people who attend Bible studies, and are not members, end up trying to 'take over' the Bible study for ungodly gain. Such protective moves by the pastor keeps people out who are trying to corrupt the church.

    Do ask the pastor questions, but make sure that they aren't a church that is trying to be manipulative or controlling of its members. There are some IFB churches that are 'sanctificationally legalistic' and don't allow the Holy Spirit to guide each believer into truth.
     
  18. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2002
    Messages:
    3,461
    Likes Received:
    45
    I agree with the above post and would like to add to this thought. We need to give the Pastor the benefit of the doubt. He may have been "burned" by non-members attending Bible Studies. That may have initiated the policy requiring membership to attend Bible Studies.

    Membership is very important in that it promotes unity. It gives you a voice in church business. It places you under God's ordained authority and protection.

    Although I never "coerce" people into joining, I strongly recommend it.
     
  19. Maverick

    Maverick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2002
    Messages:
    960
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was saved in a IFB (GARBC) church from a Methodist background and my wife ws Lutheran. Technically, we were not rebaptized because we had never been scripturally baptized. That is the only reason why any IFB I know would require a baptism. We usually accept people into membership by letter if the folks came from a church of like faith and doctrine. Inter-denominational does not say much and it could be a good one or a messed up one so the pastor may have some concerns as to your doctrinal stand. You want people of like mind in your positions of leadership or service hence members who have somehow declared to the congreagation and the leadership that they are of the same doctrine. Different churches have different methods for this. As to attending anything in the church outside of deacon meetings I have never known a church to require membership for that. A visitor or non-member can even stay for a business meeting, but they cannot vote. That is another reason for membership. If you did not have that rule anyone could go out in the neighborhood and bring in a bunch of folks to vote out the pastor or even move to close the church. So, only members vote and usually onl active members. How that is defined varies as well.

    For everyone to suddenly jump on this church as a legalistic one with a power mad pastor is a bit of an overkill don't you think? We have not heard the pastor's side and for a person that is new to the whole thing the lady may just have a misunderstanding or not conveying the situation in language we like to hear.

    I know there are some like that out there, but before we burn them at the stake and run off a potential member we might need to hear more or someone to get the pastor's number and call him.
     
  20. Maverick

    Maverick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2002
    Messages:
    960
    Likes Received:
    0
    Plus,if this lady leaves and then tells the whole town that the Baptists online said that church is nuts we have hurt the entire ministry and maybe falsely accused that congregation and aided the enemy.
     

Share This Page

Loading...