http://www.abpnews.com/www/2469.article Opinion: Are local Baptist churches wholly autonomous? By Beth Newman Published June 12, 2007 A philosopher once said “the meaning of a word is its use.” He didn’t mean that a word can mean anything but rather that words can mean different things according to their context. I remember arguing with a former professor about this. I offered the word “circle” as having a singular meaning. Doesn’t it always refer to something round and, well, circular? His response: “What about a women’s circle?” Similarly, how do we understand the word “autonomy?” When applied to the church, is autonomy a kind of individualism drawn large, another version of “me and Jesus got a good thing going?” So understood, autonomy contradicts the Scriptural vision that the oneness of the church is the will of God (Eph. 4:4-5).