Marks of a Baptist/New Testament church

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Tom Butler, May 6, 2014.

  1. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    The thread :"Are Baptists Protestants" has triggered some thoughts in my mind so I'm going to start a thread with the question, What are the identifying marks of a true New Testament church?

    For the record, I believe the Baptist congregation I serve is a true NT church

    Among the areas I want to get into:
    Since most Baptist claim to be "New Testament" churches, what are the marks of a Baptist church?

    Further, since there are forty-leven kinds of Baptists, are there somethings Baptists can disagree about, that are not Baptist distinctives? (Eschatology, for instance). Thus are not tests of fellowship.

    Then, what are some beliefs and practices which would disqualify a congregation from calling itself Baptist, or a NT church for that matter?

    I'm hoping this discussion will aid us in the debate over whether Baptists are Protestants or not.
     
  2. Jordan Kurecki

    Jordan Kurecki
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    Messages:
    1,452
    Likes Received:
    60
    I would say that the Baptist Distinctives are as follows:

    Baptism by Immersion for Believers Only
    Regenerated Church Membership
    Autonomous Independent
    Separation of Church and State
    Soul Liberty/Priesthood of all Believers
    Bible as sole authority of faith and practice.
     
  3. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,133
    Likes Received:
    221

    dis·tinc·tive

    adjective \di-ˈstiŋ(k)-tiv\ .headword .ld_on_collegiate { margin:10px 0 0 0;padding:0 0 0 19px; width: 405px;} .ld_on_collegiate p {margin:0 0 10px 0;padding:0;line-height:20px; } .ld_on_collegiate p.bottom_entry {margin:0 0 3px 0;padding:0;line-height:20px;} #mwEntryData div.headword .ld_on_collegiate p em, .ld_on_collegiate p em { color: black; font-weight: normal; } #mwEntryData div.headword + div.d { margin-top: -7px; } .ld_on_collegiate .bnote { font-weight: bold; } .ld_on_collegiate .sl, .ld_on_collegiate .ssl { font-style: italic; }
    : having a quality or characteristic that makes a person or thing different from others : different in a way that is easy to notice

    Many groups other than Baptist believe those items listed above.....
     
  4. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    8,123
    Likes Received:
    1
    I guess that's why at least one order I know of came out with not just the Baptust Bride crap but THEIR order the only true Baptist Bride dog dung doctrine.
     
  5. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2013
    Messages:
    8,448
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Southern Baptist Church has only two "distinctives" though they don't call them that. We call them "ordinances," and they are the Lord's Supper (communion) and baptism by immersion.

    Many other brands of Baptist adopt the Baptist Faith and Message, or some variation of it, as their own guideline as well. It describes what we believe and provides Scriptural support for those beliefs.

    There is nothing to prevent a church from calling itself "Baptist" regardless of what it believes. A prime example is that horrendous group of people 60 miles west of me in Topeka, calling themselves "Westboro Baptist Church" even though they never were affiliated with any Baptist denomination of any sort.
     
  6. InTheLight

    InTheLight
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    Messages:
    16,272
    Likes Received:
    620
    That's a pretty good list.

    All of them simultaneously? Supposing they do--what denomination are they?
     
  7. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,133
    Likes Received:
    221
    Bible churches / non-denominational
     
  8. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,133
    Likes Received:
    221
    Actually, Phelps was ordained by East Side Baptist Church, a SBC church - and then founded Westboro as a mission church of East Side. Shortly thereafter Westboro broke all connections with the SBC.

    From The Gospel Coalition

    From The Pathway
     
  9. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2013
    Messages:
    8,448
    Likes Received:
    0
    He actually never affiliated with the SBC. It was assumed by Eastside that Westboro would become an SBC church, but Phelps never applied for affiliation, and the SBC has denounced Westboro almost from the start.
     
  10. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    I believe it is one of the forms of church available in the NT. :)

    I've always found the Baptist acrostic to be pretty good, when it is done historically it is helpful:

    B - Believer's baptism by immersion
    A - Autonomy of the local church
    P - Priesthood of the believer
    T - Two ordinances: (baptism, Lord's Supper)
    I - Inspired and authoritative Bible
    S - Separation of church and state
    T - Two offices: (pastor, deacon)

    Some folks add a last "S" to mean "soul liberty" but that isn't always agreed upon historically. I believe that when coupled together, these distinguish Baptists from other denominations. That said, most non-denim churches are Baptist in polity and autonomy.

    There are certainly things Baptist can, and do, disagree about. Eschatology being a good example. In terms of distinctives, I've only really seen security of the believer and frequency of Lord's Supper. There are some others too, including the nature of women in ministry, worship style, nature of missions support, and such that will be areas goodly Baptists can respectfully disagree.

    Well, since I don't hold Baptists to be the only NT church form, I'll answer these independently.

    For Baptists, if you're not immersing believers and if you believe in sacramental theology you've pretty much gone away from the strongest Baptist distinctives. Keep in mind that historically, it was the Baptists in England who recovered believers baptism by immersion. Likewise, Baptists have, since the beginning, eschewed sacramental theology and any notion of the ordinances being salvific.

    As for marks of the NT church, well that's a much broader category. I'm not Mark Dever, but there are some marks of the NT church seem to find themselves in the various ecclesiologies within the NT:
    - Preaching of the Gospel
    - Baptism as means of initiation or rite of church
    - Orthodox theology in line with the regula fide of the Apostles
    - Redeemed membership (they understood this differently than we do)
    - Just care for each other and those outside the local community
    - Regular meeting
    - Some kind of leadership, not inherently hierarchical though
    - Discipline of members
    - Openness to new members/converts
    - Equipping and training in matters of ethics, theology, and worship

    And I do think Baptists are Protestants, if for no other reason than Baptists are the first ones willing to protest something.


    ...and because they arose from (in some manner) the Radical Reformation. :)
     
  11. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2013
    Messages:
    8,448
    Likes Received:
    0
    ... but only after forming a committee, which thereupon appoints four subcommittees, before ultimately approving the protest. :laugh:
     
  12. InTheLight

    InTheLight
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    Messages:
    16,272
    Likes Received:
    620
    And should you do a historical study of these churches how many of them once had "Baptist" in their title and dropped it?
     
  13. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,133
    Likes Received:
    221

    Some but not all
     
  14. Bob Alkire

    Bob Alkire
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    3,134
    Likes Received:
    0
    I like and believe the Baptist acrostic you noted above. The first Baptist Church that I became a member of taught that along with along with soul liberty.

    I one who does not think Baptist are Protestants.
     
  15. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,133
    Likes Received:
    221
    Who came up with the acrostic - why JOHN THE BAPTIST - of course!!!



    For those of you are interested as to the origins of the acrostic, it was authored by Dr. L. Duane Brown, a personal friend of mine. It was published in the 28 Oct, 2010 issue of the Baptist Bulletin, the official organ of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches (GARBC).
    It is interesting to note that the second paragraph of the article stated: Baptist beliefs developed during the 1600s in several different places, led by local congregations that were eventually named “Baptist” by detractors who sought to discredit the growing movement
     
  16. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17,134
    Likes Received:
    52
    Priesthood of all believers
    Right to decide what we hold with, apart from denominational stances/ as long as withing bounds of orthodoxy
    Bible ONLY authority source for teaching/doctrines/practices, only inspired source
    Seperation between church/state regarding religious autonomy
    Local autonomy
    Gospel of saved by grace alone, thru faith alone
     
  17. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,516
    Likes Received:
    49
    Top down or bottom up? When separatists separated from the Church of England, who had the authority to baptize? Because of the "priesthood" of all or any believers, they had the authority to baptize themselves.

    Now if you are a top down authoritarian, and trace your authority back to Peter, or Calvin or Luther, these self baptizing folks were an affront, not really Protestants who had received their authority through the Catholic line.

    How can we make fun of them, disparage them and belittle those who baptize themselves. Oh I know, lets call them Anabaptists.
     
  18. prophet

    prophet
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Messages:
    1,037
    Likes Received:
    2
    Right on. :cool:
     
  19. Bro. James

    Bro. James
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Messages:
    2,648
    Likes Received:
    16

    There is still a dilemma/trilemma of authority in this discussion. If the holy see has authority as given in Mt. 28 where Jesus said He had all authority in heaven and earth, the holy see has vested this authority on no other entity. All those religious outside the prevue of the Vatican are usurpers including the Church of England which was birth by Henry VIII.

    The Vatican has either had authority or not since the beginning. Jesus vested this authority in the First Church, see Mt. 20:16-20. Just who the usurpers are remains a major bone of contention.

    Who has the authority to baptize is what got the saints in so much trouble with the religious powers that be--also where the term Anabaptist came from. These poor saints refused to baptize their infants and disallowed any baptisms from pedobaptists as null and void of authority. This caused no small amount of consternation in Rome, Wittenburg and Geneva. Many of these saints died(were killed) along with their infants.

    How soon we have forgotten.

    True New testament Churches, what ever their names, were never part of Rome or the daughters of Rome.

    The Lord knows them that are His.

    Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

    Bro. James
     
    #19 Bro. James, May 8, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2014
  20. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    My post after this one is basically a double post, so I've zapped this one. Another question to go with the ones in the next post:

    Those who are anti-succession tend to pooh-pooh those faith groups (Petrobrusians, Lollards, etc) as not Baptistic for various reasons, which damages any claim of succession. What were some of those disqualifying aberrations?
     
    #20 Tom Butler, May 8, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2014

Share This Page

Loading...