No vice origins

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by saturneptune, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    For years (decades), most of us have always heard certain vices are not allowed in the Baptist faith. Among these, but I am sure not a complete list is:

    No drinking
    No smoking (in some cases)
    No dancing
    No gambling
    No mixed swimming
    etc
    etc
    etc

    If one examines local church by laws and Constitutions, there is no reference to these unwritten rules execpt drinking. Our local Constitution says no alchohol or frequenting places that sell it. (which needs to be changed as most all restaurants sell it)

    My question is, does your church by laws address these other areas, and if not, where do the unwritten rules come from, or are they valid at all?
     
  2. Bible Believing Bill

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

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    3,761
    Likes Received:
    0
    Church by laws rarely address these types of issues. The bylaws and consittution are really documents on how the church is to be run, and not rules for members to follow. Most of thses type of rules come from the pulpit.


    Bill
     
  3. StefanM

    StefanM
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    72
    They are usually in church covenants.
     
  4. David Lamb

    David Lamb
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,982
    Likes Received:
    0
    One or two thoughts crossed my mind as I read your post.

    The first is that because Baptist churches are "organised" (not the right word exactly, but I hope you get the general idea) on the local church level, there really is no such thing as the Baptist church or the Baptist faith, with the meaning of "all baptists in the world".

    On this Board, there are pre-millennial, post-millennial and amillennial Baptists; there are Baptists who believe that man has sufficient free will to choose to believe in Christ, and Baptists who believe in the Doctrines of Grace of the Reformation; there are Baptists who believe in a literal 6-day Creation, and Baptists who don't. etc., etc. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that there are varying views among baptists about smoking, the consumption of alcoholic drinks, and so on. Having said that, I became a baptist soon after my conversion in 1970, and I have yet to meet a baptist who smokes or gambles. I have met baptists who drink alcohol in moderation, and I have not met a baptist who has any problem with mixed swimming, unless of course the swimming-costumes in use are so skimpy as to be hardly worth wearing, or the changing facilities were also mixed.

    My second point is to do with bylaws. Baptists here just don't have bylaws. (Though each local church will have a statement of faith and a constitution). I just did a Google search for "Baptist bylaws". I got almost 200 "hits", until I restricted the search to "Pages from the UK", then the number of hits was reduced to exactly zero! Who makes these "baptist bylaws" you mentioned? The local church? A grouping of local churches?
     
    #4 David Lamb, Sep 4, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2007
  5. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the excellent post. Well, first of all, bylaws are on the local church level, created by a committee of some type usually and approved by the Congregation. In most instances, the Constitution is the governing document, and by laws tend to be practical every day explanations to what is in the Constitution or an interpretation.

    About smoking, I was kind of surprised that you never knew a Baptist who smoked. When I first started attending a Baptist church in the mid 70s, (from a conservative Presbyterian) I would see some of the men lined up outside between Sunday School and church smoking, so never gave that much thought.

    As far as the gambling goes, we have minutes of the church back in the 20s that exercised church discipline on someone who invested in the stock market. That has never really been a problem in our church except some bingo games or maybe dollar office pools. One thing I have noticed over the years, whenever a local question comes up about gambling or drinking comes to the ballot, when the church makes a strong push against it, (churches collectively in the community), it always seems to energize the other side the we usually lose. If seems like when we take a low profile, we usually win.

    One last point, we do have groupings of local churches called associations, and they too have bylaws and Constitutions, as does the SBC, I am sure.
     
  6. Lagardo

    Lagardo
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Messages:
    691
    Likes Received:
    0
    Our church is celebrating its 150th anniversary this months and in preparation we have been going through a lot of the historical records.

    In 1911, the church voted in a business meeting to prohibit:

    the use or sale of alcoholic beverages, including the leasing or selling of land to be used for the sale of alcoholic beverages.

    Games of chance, whether for money, "pass-time," or prizes.

    And dancing of any form, in any place, "public or private."

    The wording of the motion has some things in it that do not apply to our community nor would it have applied in 1911; words such as "university hall, YMCA, etc."

    Reading it, I'm guessing it was a trend, possibly going from association to association and it may indicate the start of these rules.
     

Share This Page

Loading...