SBC: An unregenerate Denomination by Jim Elliff

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Ruiz, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. Ruiz

    Ruiz
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    Messages:
    2,021
    Likes Received:
    0
  2. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    A mission trip to Romania a few years ago forced me to re-evaluate everything we Baptists in American do and say in presenting the gospel.

    At the time, Romania was eight years out of Communist oppression, so Romanian Baptists have an entirely different frame of reference.

    First, the result. A our mission team's headquarters church, it had 150 members but routinely ran about 300 in its Sunday service. The contrast with American churches was impossible to ignore.

    The host pastor answer to our question was "we don't play church." He related that when they were under communism, a public confession of Christ as Lord could get one killed, imprisoned, beaten, cost his job, and cost him his family. So, when one came to them wanting make a profession of faith, they tried to talk him out of it!!!! They first gave him the downside, all the bad things that could happen. If he still desired baptism after that, they figured that his conversion was real.

    Romanian Baptists don't have altar calls or invitations. The pastor explained: "we have come to believe that when the Holy Spirit stirs someone's heart, he will come to us without begging. We can't keep him away. And we have come to believe that the Holy Spirit does not need us to create an atmosphere for his work."

    Even after baptism, new converts are on probation for two years. They will be discipled and taught. Said the pastor: "If they're still around after two years, then we'll give them some church responsibility. We don't give baby Christians adult jobs."

    In soul-winning class, we were taught to use the Roman Road, culminating with the Sinner's Prayer.
    I'm reluctant to reject them outright. But when they become a sales pitch followed by closing the sale with "say these magic words (repeat after me)," I shudder.

    I'm not necessarily against invitations. What I am against are manipulation in order to get a response, any response, somebody, to "walk the aisle," or "come to the altar."

    We may disagree whether some of the things I have mentioned are responsible for our toleration of missing members. But we have a problem. And for a long time, "methods" and "strategies" have done little to fix it.
     
  3. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    There are several misstatments in the article. First of all, the SBC is not a denomination. It is an alliance of local autonomous churches with no hierarchy. Second of all, the number patterns given closely follow the main protestant denominations. There is nothing unique about the SBC.

    After that, I pretty much agree with the article. It is obvious that gimmics do not work, whether modern day or fifty years old. Things like pack a pew Sunday, high attendance Sunday, pot luck Sunday, your typical revival with music and guest speaker do not work. Neither to the modern counterparts to that in the form of recreation centers. There is no pat answer to the problem, other than people in general now compared to a few decades ago are much for fixated on themselves rather than caring about others. It reminds me of the Bible saying love for each other will grow cold.

    Part of the problem is within our local churches. The number one reason we are here is to spread the Gospel to a lost world. That means number one. The average church member looks around the sanctuary and wonders why all the empty seats. It could have something to do with the fact that outreach and visitation are the least participated ministries in the church. If only three or four people are showing up for visitation, and one is the pastor, what does one expect?

    Most church members are great at fellowship. They have their eyes fixated on each other and smile, when in fact, they need to turn their eyes around 180 degrees and look outward. If a church has been in this pattern for say, 35 years, you might notice that there is a population gap in the congregation of say 35 years. Ages 15-50 is typical. We were not put in churches to feel comfortable in a social setting. We are there to spread the Gospel.

    If every church took this seriously, we would see a change in the numbers, maybe not as good as in the past, but certainly above the dismal record in this article.
     
  4. HAMel

    HAMel
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,048
    Likes Received:
    83
    Tom Butler, how right you are.

    As a layman (converted in 1972) it appears to me that way too many churches are relying upon everything under the sun to enhance their efforts and not enough relying upon the Son.

    The church is dead if the Holy Spirit is not permitted to do it's work.
     
  5. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2002
    Messages:
    9,835
    Likes Received:
    115
    My thoughts exactly as I was reading this article. I agree that there is a problem of people who claim salvation, but have no desire to darken the doors of the church, but I kept thinking....."How is this any different than Methodists or Catholics or Pentecostals?"

    Here in the Bible Belt, I'd say back post-WWII, church attendance in all denominations became a social obligation. You attended on Sunday mornings because it was the thing to do. It looked good for your social standing for your family to be church attenders.

    Post-Vietnam, when the rules of society changed and we decided that other things increased your social standing, church attendance dropped off. It still looked good, but could cramp your style, also.

    Today, the remnant who still attend for legitimate reasons are just trying to keep the remnant intact.

    We have neglected our burden for the lost.
     
    #5 Scarlett O., Jun 19, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2010
  6. Ruiz

    Ruiz
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    Messages:
    2,021
    Likes Received:
    0
    A couple of you have asked why he is picking on Southern Baptists. Well, he is a Southern Baptist.

    Thus, he really is not as concerned about UMC or other places.

    Yet, for the record, the last 4 churches I have been a part of, all had a larger Sunday Morning attendance than membership.
     
  7. Ruiz

    Ruiz
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    Messages:
    2,021
    Likes Received:
    0
    According to the Southern Baptist Convention's own website, they consider themselves a denomination:

    http://www.sbc.net/aboutus/clwhydenomination.asp

    Thus, Jim's statement reflects Southern Baptists own view of them being a denomination and is not a mis-statement.

    While other denominations show the same scenario, this is not a mis-statement. As well, there are many churches which have the opposite issue.
     
  8. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
  9. rbell

    rbell
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    11,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    SBC is not a denomination.
     
  10. Paul3144

    Paul3144
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Messages:
    2,378
    Likes Received:
    0
    I fail to see why it matters.
     
  11. Ruiz

    Ruiz
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    Messages:
    2,021
    Likes Received:
    0
    It talks about the convention, but then acknowledges "denominational entities." You can use the SBC to refer to either the convention once a year or to the denomination/denominational entity.

    Yet, i agree with the previous poster, who cares. You can call it what you want, the issue is whether it is a regenerate denomination.
     
  12. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    I do not find that in scripture but rather Mt. 28:19, 20 and 1 Cor 10:31. Our sole purpose is to glorify God in everything.
     
  13. Alive in Christ

    Alive in Christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Messages:
    3,822
    Likes Received:
    0
    Goodness.


    OF COURSE the SBC is a denomination.


    I can not comprehend why our brothers and sisters in the SBC keep saying they are not a denomination. I have been involved in 3 SBC churches at different times as a christian, so I have experience with the SBC.


    **They all uses the same quarterlies, the same magazines, the same teaching materials, the same programs.

    **They have a centralized "Headquarters" in Nashville.

    **The general "feel" and "atmosphere" at all 3 churches was the same.

    **When they invite guest preachers or teachers, they are always SBC.

    **They keep track of membership numbers and and baptisms world-wide.

    ** when talking with a potential member who has been water baptised, they ask if it was an SBC church where it took place.

    **A large SBC Church in the county where I live has a large group of "consultants" who are helping identify problems and issues that the church might need some *adjustments* regarding. Where did these "consultants" come from?

    Why, Nashville of course.

    From the SBC headquarters.



    The only...the ONLY...thing they dont have is a hierarchial headquarters that can FORCE things onto a particular church.

    Other than that...if it swims, waddles, and quacks...its a DUCK.

    Likewise, regarding the SBC...if all the normal denominational identifiers are there, :wavey:...its a denomination. :thumbs:


    I have NEVER understood SBC peoples weird reluctance to admit that they are a denomination.
     
  14. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,116
    Likes Received:
    220
    You answered your own question! " hierarchial headquarters that can FORCE things" That is what make a group a denomination. Of course, if our church needed some assistance, then we first go to another SBC church.
    As far as baptism - I have joined several SBC churches - have never been asked if I was baptised in a SBC. Of course, I was asked if it were scriptural - ie immersion - and I was- in a GARBC church. If I wanted to join a SBC and they demanded I be baptised - I would flatly refused.
    Same thing with my ordination - ordained by an independent Baptist church.

    Now the second dictionary meaning of denomination does imply similar beliefs - and that does fit the SBC! I doubt that any 2 SBC churches would agree on every last detail

    My question is - why is the "denomination" issue so big with you?
     
  15. rbell

    rbell
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    11,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    quite a few factual errors in your assessment. Perhaps you should reconsider.
     
  16. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,116
    Likes Received:
    220
    A big difference is when a SBC church leaves the "denomination" they get to keep the building!

    Check these reports:
    New York

    Virginia

    Penna

    Rbell, great post! :thumbs:

    Also, I will add that many SBC churches support independent missionaries.
     
  17. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    And the best way to glorify God is to do His work, which is telling a lost and dying world about the Gospel. Glorifying God is not a work, it is a result of what happens when a Christian does His will.

    You know, I believe you argue for the sake of arguement. What can we do to honor the Lord more than to spread the Gospel? Fellowship where we smile and stare at each other? This is the exact mindset that has the local churches in the shape that they are today, any excuse not to tell others the Good News. So if the pastor comes up and says, "Will you participate in visitation this week, what are you going to say?" "Uh, sorry, I am going to spend that time glorifying God."

    Say, in all the courses you took for that high powered degree you always talk about, did they have a Common Sense 101?
     
  18. Alive in Christ

    Alive in Christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Messages:
    3,822
    Likes Received:
    0
    Salty and RBell....

    Ok, fine.


    if you dont agree with the common sense in my post, then try reading Ruiz's post #7 in this thread, where the SBC themselves say that they are a denomination.


    :thumbs:

    I just dont understand why its such a big deal for so many Southern Baptists regarding denying that they are a demonination.

    Even when the SBC says they are one! :laugh:
     
  19. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,116
    Likes Received:
    220
    I simply want non-SBC'ers to understand we are not subject to a SBC hierarchy- that is one main difference between Baptists and Protestants! :thumbs:

    Salty
     
  20. Ruiz

    Ruiz
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    Messages:
    2,021
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am a Baptist, and I am a Protestant. Protestantism is not a denomination nor a denominational structure, it is a theology.
     

Share This Page

Loading...