My Views, Your Vote

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Michael Wrenn, Nov 5, 2001.

  1. Michael Wrenn

    Michael Wrenn
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    First, I want to thank everyone who has responded to my "Personal Poll" thread; this is sort of a continuation of that, but with a somewhat more serious intent. One of my problems with finding a church and denominational home is that my beliefs cannot be confined to those of any one denomination. So, I'm going to list most of the views that are important to me, and I'd like y'all, if you would, to tell me what you think I am, denominationally speaking ;), based on these views. I'll greatly appreciate any and all responses.


    My views, in no particular order:

    (1) Associate church membership for infants/young children
    (2) Infant dedication
    (3) Believer's baptism only (no infant
    baptism)
    (4) No "once saved, always saved"
    (5) Baptism by immersion, with exceptions
    (illness, disability)
    (6) Symbolism of ordinances
    (7) Soul lioberty
    (8) Church-state separation
    (9) Religious liberty
    (10) Priesthood of the believer
    (11) Freedom of Bible interpretation
    (12) Absolute local church autonomy
    --voluntary giving
    --church may call pastor
    --church may ordain whomever it wishes
    --church owns its property
    (13) Absolute equality of members, including
    gender equality--any member, male or
    female , may serve the church in any
    capacity
    (14) Prayers for the dead
    (15) Candles in worship service
    (16) Periods of silence in worship service
    (17) Some written prayers acceptable
    (18) Open communion--any believer may
    partake; water baptism not a
    prerequisite
    (19) Occasional readings from the Apocrypha
    acceptable
    (20) No clergy titles such as "Reverend"
    (21) Bible, the final external authority, but
    use God-given reason and experience in
    interpretation of scripture
    (22) The Light of Christ in every human being
    (23) Jesus Christ, the criterion by which
    scripture is interpreted under the
    guidance of the Holy Spirit
    (24) Lay-administered ordinances

    Okay; there they are, so, now...what do you vote? Am I a Baptist? If not, what? [​IMG]
     
  2. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    Michael, that is quite a list. I find it quite interesting, because many of these things appear contradictory to my way of thinking (such associate church membership for infants/children, yet insisting on believers' baptism). But I have heard of all of these in churches that are called Baptist, with the exception of numbers 14, 15, and 19. These three are more toward the Catholic extreme. Are you a Baptist? In my opinion a number of these are not Biblical, and, of course, I think Baptists ought to be Biblical. So, in the strictest sense, I would say no. But you are as much a Baptist as many others who carry the name; and I would not be surprised if even numbers 14, 15, & 19 are used in some Baptist churches today. The chief problem you will have is finding all these 24 things combined in one church. I know of no denomination that has this particular combination of beliefs, though perhaps there is one.

    [ November 06, 2001: Message edited by: rlvaughn ]
     
  3. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    Michael

    I have to agree with Robert on this one, (Course Robert and I are pretty close theologically).

    I think you are going to have to prioritize which values/attributes you think are most important to you. I would assume the candless thing is fairly low on your list, but I, of course, don't know that.

    It may be that you could find a church like that somewhere, but where it would be I don't know. (I would be doubtful of it though).

    In the real world, unless you want to start your own church, you are going to have to prioritize your list, then make a list of the churches close enough to get to on a regular basis, and visit each, and check off which does what. You might want to assign a points value to those ideas in your list, and thus you might come up with one as close as you can get.

    Jeff.
     
  4. DocCas

    DocCas
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    Okay, Michael, I have read your views and am ready to vote on what denomination you should belong to.

    And my response? Michael, you are not Baptist. You are not Methodist. You are not Episcopalian. You are not Lutheran. You are not Catholic. You are not Pentecostal. You are not Presbyterian.

    You are confused! :D
     
  5. donnA

    donnA
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    If your views don't fit into any denominations beliefs, don't you think there is something wrong?
     
  6. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    OH BROTHER!... Brother Glen :confused:
     
  7. Michael Wrenn

    Michael Wrenn
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    katie,

    Yeah, there IS something wrong--with denominations. Jesus didn't create them; humans did that.
     
  8. Michael Wrenn

    Michael Wrenn
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    Robert and Jeff,

    Thanks for attempting to answer my questions. I agree with you. Jeff, you're right; I must prioritize those beliefs. In fact, I've been trying to do that for quite some time. It would probably come down to Baptist, Methodist, or Episcopal, based on theology and practical considerations. I would add Quaker, but there are none near me, and I'm no church organizer. BTW, the Quaker meeting in Memphis is much too liberal for me.
     
  9. Michael Wrenn

    Michael Wrenn
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    Glen,

    Could you elaborate? [​IMG]

    Thomas,

    But I already knew that! :D
     
  10. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Michael,

    The more I read from you, the more I think you would be happier (perhaps) in a United Methodist Church...or else a very liberal CBF church. The only thing that would not work for you in the Methodist denominations is that they are not very high on freedom of the Believers. However, I doubt that you would find much to disagree with in their doctrines as they do tend to be more liberal anyway (IMHO).

    Hope this Helps,

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  11. Michael Wrenn

    Michael Wrenn
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    Joseph,

    I find it interesting that you would say that; I don't consider myself as being "very liberal"; in fact, I don't consider myself liberal at all. I do have a couple of what some might term liberal beliefs, but overall I would classify myself as moderately conservative. I have gotten quite a lot of flack from the supposedly moderate BaptistNet board--not nearly as much as I've gotten here, but some nevertheless, especially on the homosexuality issue; I consider homosexuality a sin.

    I have great difficulty with some Methodist doctrines--their belief in infant baptism and their definition of it. And as for polity, I agree with United Methodist polity less than any other denomination. And I cannot accept the Methodist view of entire sanctification, although the UMC emphasizes this less and in a different way than the Holiness bodies do.

    In what ways, other than the ones you mentioned, do you think I would fit in with the Methodists? And I'd be interested in your reaction to what I've said about them.
     
  12. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Michael - No cheap shot here (this time [​IMG]) but an honest evaluation. IF you truly believe what you have listed in your 25 theses, then please do not call yourself a "baptist".

    You hold to views of theology and liturgy that are not only extra-biblical, but totally unbiblical. While Baptists have a measure of freedom of belief, it is always with orthodoxy.

    I would say you'd probably get into trouble in ANY denomination and MOST cults! Can you say "defrocked"? :eek:

    And if you find some others who DO agree with you, please take them with and start a new sect of "Wrennites" (oh, I can't pass up another option - "birdbrains" - forgive me, that was way too easy!) ;)
     
  13. Michael Wrenn

    Michael Wrenn
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    Bob,

    There is nothing extra-biblical or unbiblical in my list.
     
  14. Roadrunner

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    Can I ask a question? What do you mean when you say you believe in church candles?
     
  15. Michael Wrenn

    Michael Wrenn
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    I like lighted candles during the worship service--to represent the Light of Christ and to help beautify the service.
     
  16. Chris Temple

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    What is apparent in this thread - and the several others Michael has posted - is that in his mind, it is all about Michael, when the truth is, it is all about Christ. The Bible has told us what we need to believe about the essentials of the faith; they are not deniable. Not while remaining orthodox and a true believer.

    This is my only word on this subject. Until you, Michael, are crucified with Christ; and no longer live, but it is Christ who lives within you; and then the life which you then live in the flesh you live by faith in the Son of God (Gal 2:20) you will always find yourself at odds with the orthodox denominations. Stop relying on self and vain prefences and rely on Christ alone.

    Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

    [ November 06, 2001: Message edited by: Chris Temple ]
     
  17. tyndale1946

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    In my church and I can speak for no other but mine... The beauty of God house is the Son and his doctrine and people... Outward beauty is only for carnal eyes... Inward beauty is for spiritual eyes that carnal eyes can't see... Brother Glen [​IMG]

    [ November 06, 2001: Message edited by: tyndale1946 ]
     
  18. Michael Wrenn

    Michael Wrenn
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    Chris,

    That is a lie; I do not think it is all about me. If that's the kind of **** you have to say to me, don't say anything else.

    You don't know my heart or my spiritual condition.

    You've got a fall coming; I can't say I'll be sorry when it happens. That's not Christlike, but neither are you.
     
  19. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    My views, in no particular order:

    (1) Associate church membership for infants/young children - plenty of baptist churches with this option

    (2) Infant dedication - baptists invented this

    (3) Believer's baptism only (no infant
    baptism) - baptist distinctive

    (4) No "once saved, always saved" - tends to be an issue of debate among baptists. It's unlikely you'll find a church where all of the believers believe one way or another.

    (5) Baptism by immersion, with exceptions
    (illness, disability) - Baptist churches vary here, but it's certainly consistent with the baptist heritage

    (6) Symbolism of ordinances - a traditional baptist perspective

    (7) Soul liberty - Baptists were hung in some of the be st places in Europe defending this concept. Shurden would be proud of you.

    (8) Church-state separation - Baptists pretty much invented this too.

    (9) Religious liberty - If we don't have it, we don't have baptists.

    (10) Priesthood of the believer - Surden would again be proud. Another of the 4 (baptist) fragile freedoms.

    (11) Freedom of Bible interpretation - Yet another traditional baptist freedom (Shurden again).

    (12) Absolute local church autonomy
    --voluntary giving
    --church may call pastor
    --church may ordain whomever it wishes
    --church owns its property
    --efforts by the SBC to the contrary, this is still the way almost all baptist churches work.

    (13) Absolute equality of members, including
    gender equality--any member, male or
    female , may serve the church in any
    capacity - Here you get into the fundamentalist issue. In fundamentalist baptist churches, you'd be right out. In conservative, moderate, and liberal ones - no problem.

    (14) Prayers for the dead - Huh? In a Mormon or get-outta-Purgatory kinda way? I can't think of a baptist church where this would happen.

    (15) Candles in worship service - Not uncommon in liturgical (i.e. Charleston tradition) baptist congregations.

    (16) Periods of silence in worship service - Again not uncommon in liturgical baptist congregations. We usually do ours during the call to confession.

    (17) Some written prayers acceptable - David Buttrick, retired baptist homiletics professor at Vandy, says (I'm paraphrasing), "Steal your sermon if you have to, but be sure to write out and plan your pastoral prayer." Perfectly baptist, but more common in liturgical churches.

    (18) Open communion--any believer may
    partake; water baptism not a
    prerequisite - certainly biblical, and there are plenty of baptist churches that take this approach

    (19) Occasional readings from the Apocrypha
    acceptable - You'd almost have to be in a church with a (non-SBC-post ~1993) seminary-educated pastor, but you should be able to find this. Of course, for regular scripture readings in worship, you'd probably need a liturgical congregation.

    (20) No clergy titles such as "Reverend" - Plenty of baptists will agree with you here, Brother Michael.

    (21) Bible, the final external authority, but use God-given reason and experience in interpretation of scripture - Well, you've ruled out any baptist church that adopted the new SBC creed, but you'd still be fine in a conservative, moderate, or liberal church.

    (22) The Light of Christ in every human being - Well, the calvinist churches are out for you, but they seem to be experiencing a resurgence only among the fundamentalists. This might shift you away from the conservative churches, but still plenty of baptist ones out there for you.

    (23) Jesus Christ, the criterion by which scripture is interpreted under the guidance of the Holy Spirit - see # 22

    (24) Lay-administered ordinances - doesn't get much more baptist than that

    Based on all of the above, I'd say you belong in a conservative or moderate liturgical baptist congregation. With the exception of 14, I'm not sure where you'd find all of the above except for maybe in a UCC or Disciples congregation.

    Joshua

    [ November 06, 2001: Message edited by: Rev. Joshua Villines ]
     
  20. rhoneycutt

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    Michael,

    I think 1,14,&19 are a little squirrely but you sound like a Baptist to me. Your welcome at my Baptist Church.

    Russell
     

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