SBC Churches

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by untangled, Oct 9, 2004.

  1. untangled

    untangled
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    What's the deal with every church I visit being dual affiliated???? I like the SBC but alot - a whole lot- of them are dual affiliated with the CBF, which I do not want to be associated with closely. It seems confusing. I know quite a few CBF pastors,including my uncle, however I think their version of moderate (which they claim to be) is slipping a little farther into liberalism in quite a few congregations. I am not too serious about joining another church now because I am about to move, but afterward I will definitely be joining a Southern Baptist congregaion. Any advice/comments. Thanks.


    In Christ,

    Brooks
     
  2. Ben W

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    I think that the idea of the CBF thing is tending towards female pastors. I think that the CBF do have female Pastors, yet they have condemned the idea of being in anyway pro homosexual which was a common complaint made against them.

    The SBC does seem to be at the cross roads having withdrawn from the BWA and seemingly shifting towards the right a little more.

    My advice would be to have a look at the SBC and define the exact reasons as to why you like being involved there and find a church that has alot of those things in common with you. Yet maybe other groups like the Freewill Baptists could be worth a look as well if they meet the same criteria?
     
  3. Bro Tony

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    Brooks,

    I have been a pastor in the SBC for over 20 years. There are about 6 SBC churches within a five mile radius of our church. Not one of them is like our church. Some have a liberal view, some are more traditional, some are very denominational. My advise is speak with the pastor, find one who shares your views on what a church should look like. Then I would stay out of any SBC church that is involved in denomination politics. Nothing good can come of it. Find one that preaches the Word, loves the Lord, and reaches out to people.

    I pray you will find the place where God wants you.

    Bro Tony
     
  4. rsr

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    This must be a reflection of your geography; in my state, I am aware of only one church with dual affiliation with the CBF and SBC and one that is dually affiliated with the CBF and the Baptist General Convention of Texas (which is affiliated with the SBC.)

    The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina has been going through some difficult times, with many congregations that are unhappy with the SBC unwilling to finally cut the ties with the past and being part of both organizations. I suspect that will sort itself out over the next few years and dual affiliation will gradually disappear.

    I'm sure there are many singly affiliated SBC churches in your area and there may be more when you move.

    A caveat: A church need not be affiliated with the CBF to be sympathetic. Often, a pastor or lay leader may be active in the CBF without the church officially being affiliated. This is possible because the CBF, unlike the SBC, allows individual membership.
     
  5. untangled

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    Hey People,

    Thanks for replying.

    The CBF is really starting to bother me. I'm not going to criticize them or anything. They are just not for me. I am called to ministry and will be going to a Southern Baptist Seminary. I have looked at many denominations and feel I am called to be a Baptist minister. SBC stands out, however I do not like this CBF ordeal.

    I would pastor any Baptist Church that shared my beliefs (i.e. Independent Baptist, SBC, CBA, etc.) It is better for me to stay away from the CBF because I do not believe in the ordination of women, whicn is my biggest issue. If a congregation that I pastor is dual affiliated, couldn't there be problems? Anyway, thanks for replying everyone.


    Ben W.,

    I've looked into the Free Will Baptist church as well mainly because my college degree is from a Free Will Baptist College. They do not believe in the security of the believer. But I have the upmost respect for the Dean of Religion at Mount Olive College. He is an awesome guy and a humble man. He has an excellent background in academics but puts himself as a minister first.
     
  6. Bro. James

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    "Avoid the dilema"

    Find a Baptistic Church which is not "affiliated" with any convention, association or any other man made organization.

    There are still churches out there which" contend for the faith once delivered to the saints". They have maintained their sovereignty since the first church was started on the Shores of Galilee, nearly 2000 years ago--just like Jesus said they would. He has been with them through all the apostasy, inquisitions, and dark ages. The New Testament Churches still hold the Banner of Jesus high--even though they may be unrecognized by the so-called churches of the world.(which are the majority)

    The majority of the world of "Christianity" is apostate or reprobate and/or Jesus "never knew them."

    Choose wisely.

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
  7. dianetavegia

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    Hi Brooks, why not check out the SBC website for churches in your new area, view their websites or call for more information before attending? That's how we have eliminated churches to visit.

    The CBF is a very liberal group and I would not darken the door of a church that chose to affiliate with them.
     
  8. gb93433

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    The groups amidst the SBC are becoming more and more polarized. Also all of them are less and less evangelical. I hope the new Pres. will help that a lot. If they don't quit fighting and get down to business with God they won't have a door to open. Where I once lived the SBC churches were so dead that they are about ready to close the doors. Everyone of them have less people today than they did 30 years ago. While the area has been growing and in some cases quite rapidly.

    Bro Tony is right. Every church is different. Some are great and some are in need of death because of heresy. While others need to be planted to replace those that are dying.
     
  9. koreahog2005

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    Untangled, I am an SBC (IMB) missionary serving in South Korea. I was an SBC pastor before I became a missionary. A good place to begin evaluating the SBC is with our most recent confession of faith (the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message). You can find it at the following web site:

    http://www.sbc.net/bfm/bfm2000.asp

    The SBC supports about 5,000 foreign missionaries like me. I think it is a good system.
     
  10. untangled

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    Diane,

    About all of our churches in my area are SBC/CBF dual affiliated. I will be moving to Wake Forest soon for seminary at Southeastern. I can't wait. I'm waiting on my acceptance letter, God willing I'll get in and find a job up there.

    Koreahog,

    Thanks for your input. I know its a great system for missions work. I like the SBC and agree with its Faith and Message. One of the problems is what I mentioned earlier about ordination of women. I know of a local congregation that broke up over the issue. It was dual affiliated. But I guess its as it was stated by someone earlier, each congregation is different. God bless you in your service as a missionary. I will pray for you.

    In Christ,

    Brooks
     
  11. koreahog2005

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    Untangled, thanks for your prayers. You'll enjoy Southeastern Seminary. I'm a big fan of Danny Akin, the new president there. The 2000 Baptist Faith and Message does speak on the issue of ordination for women:

     
  12. untangled

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    Hey Koreahog,

    I am aware that the SBC does not ordain women, but does it apply to dual affiliated churches? What I'm asking is if I pastored a congregation that had CBF members would I have to take part in ordaining a woman if they wanted me to?

    I think I will be fine once I find a good church in Wake Forest. Can't wait!

    In Christ,

    Brooks
     
  13. Phillip

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    In my little corner of Oklahoma, all of the Baptist churches in our association are SBC only. Now, the biggest church has a quite liberal pastor, who wasn't Southern Baptist until he went to seminary. He has poured several times and has open communion even on television for anybody watching (not just members).

    But, the other churches are all pretty strict conservative. Of course, we are in the middle of the Bible Belt. (Sadly, also the Meth manufacturing capital of the world, as said the Dallas newspaper.)

    Second Baptist church in Oklahoma City decided they didn't want to go conservative, so they dropped their SBC affiliation. This was sad, but I think it is what a church could do if they don't stick to the beliefs. I understand we have several Baptist churches with women pastors.

    This is the difficult part since the convention is run by the churches (by vote) instead of the convention running the churches (like a lot of people incorrectly think.)

    Talk to the pastor of the church, you will find out very quickly how liberal they are. Don't be afraid to ask the tough questions. If they can't answer, be careful.

    There are some Baptist churches that we do not accept, mainly because I believe they do not believe in once-saved always-saved. This should be a MAJOR factor of deciding which church because it will have an effect on your whole life, whichever way you believe.
     
  14. GeneMBridges

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    Brooks,

    That depends on the church and the reason it is dually affiliated. I have been in the NCBSC since 1989. Dually affiliated churches here are either dually affiliated because they are "on the way" to affiliating with the CBF alone and are thus in transition or because they have been hurt by the SBC. Like it or not, conservatives in the SBC can not claim altruism. While we've learned to relatively peacefully coexist in NC that's not so in the SBC itself. Many conservatives have left the SBC or chosen to be affiliated with both groups because they perceive, in many cases rightly, a growing "good ol' boy" system within the leadership and they would rather not be a part of it. Find out why any prospective church is dually affiliated. If they are in the "we've been hurt class," you may find they do not ordain women at all.

    In NC, you have to understand a few things about the geography. Around RDU and down East, the CBF churches are going to most likely be CBF / SBC only. Where they are CBF, they tend to be more "liberal." By liberal I do not mean neo-evangelicals that ordain women. I mean truly neo-orthodox or classically liberal. (Note there are very few classically liberal CBF churches in NC, most Baptist churches of that stripe left long ago and are affiliate with completely different groups). The further west you go, the more evangelical / fundamental churches become, so CBF becomes more of a dual affiliation, and most CBF churches here are churches that are evangelical, not neo-orthodox or liberal (tho. there are some) but ordain women. However, none to my knowledge have Women senior pastors. Those that ordain women are evangelical theologically, and most only ordain women as deacons, but not all of them ordain women at all. It really does vary with the churches.

    This geographical distinction is not unique to NC Baptists. It is the same for most all Protestants in NC. That is because the history of NC has always been with a conservative west culturally and a much more liberal east. It actually has to do with the way the rivers run. The East is more like Charleston culturally. The West is more like Tennessee, with the present exception of Charlotte, which is most like Atlanta.

    Episcopalians settled Down East. Presbyterians settled around Fayetteville and Charlotte. The Moravians settled here in the Piedmont along with the Quakers. The Baptists and Methodists sent circuit riders who established churches all over the state. However, those riders left when a pastor came to take over the church, no matter what denomination the pastor represented. The end result was a more religiously conservative Western Piedmont, Metrolina, and Mountains and a more liberal Eastern half of the state. so, here, theological "liberalism" is largely cultural as well as a matter of the heart alone.

    Keep this in mind about NC churches of all denominations.
     
  15. Phillip

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    Gene, How has the SBC hurt churches, considering that the churches vote for the leaders of the SBC, not the other way around?

    Also, why don't the dual churches just leave the SBC like Second Baptist of Oklahoma City. It seems as if they are living a lie if they cannot accept the Faith and Message? Or is the Faith and Message, not the problem?

    I'm as conservative as you can get and I am glad the SBC has reformed from the liberal element in many of its colleges. It will always be a threat; however, because I believe the devil is hard at work trying to destroy things of God. Besides, nobody or no organization will be perfect as long as men/women are involved, due to our nature of reverting to sin at times.
     
  16. koreahog2005

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    Untangled, you asked:

    All SBC local churches are autonomous. They can ordain women if they want to do so. At the same time, the associations, state conventions, and the national convention are also autonomous. Thus, those groups of churches can disfellowship a local church for various reasons. Traditionally, the association has been the primary doctrinal watchdog that would disfellowship a local church. It must be understood, however, that the groups cannot force the local church to do anything. The groups can only say, "We will no longer consider you to be a part of our group."

    I don't think you would want to be on staff at a church that might ask you to do something of a doctrinal nature that you would not want to do. You should thoroughly investigate a church's policies in regard to certain theological matters before you are hired. For instance, who are qualified to be deacons in that church? If the church's policy is to ordain women and you don't agree with that policy, then you would not want to be on staff at that church. If you don't check things like that out in advance and find yourself in a situation like you mentioned, conflict will be unavoidable.
     
  17. untangled

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    Thanks for replying again Koreahog.

    I would be sure to do so. It would be better for all parties involved. But like the church I stated above that split they originally did not ordain women in any way, deacon or clergy. The pastor stepped down from the congregation and half of the congregation left as well. Its really sad in a way.

    Anyway, I visited a local church yesterday that is dual affiliated that is dual affiliated. The pastor is conservative but the church has ordained a woman as a deacon in the past that still serves on the board. They do not believe in the ordination of women, but do believe in the installation of women deacons. But that's a whole different thread. Thanks.......

    In Christ,

    Brooks
     
  18. koreahog2005

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    If you cannot find an already established church, another option would be to help plant a church. The North American Mission Board works with Southeastern Seminary students in the Nehemiah project. You can download the church planting manual for seminary students at the following web site:

    http://www.namb.net/cp/Recruitment/Nehemiah.asp
     
  19. GeneMBridges

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    In NC, where the reason has not been the BFM, the churches that have chosen to affiliate dually or whose leaders have affiliated have done so because of the practice of nepotism that is running rampant in the SBC. Now, I believe that nepotism has always been a problem in the SBC on both sides of the aisle. Regardless, that is the stated reason. I did not mean to say the SBC has hurt churches as whole organizations. I should have written that the practices of the SBC's leadership has hurt many persons. This can't help but filter down to the churches when students at seminaries come home and speak of the problems. I was at SEBTS when Dr. Drummond left. I was at the board meetings when they were "considering" Dr. Patterson. There was no real consideration of other candidates. Dr. Drummond was not treated well either. I also had to sit in classes with men with whom I theologically agreed as an evangelical, but who were among, frankly, some of the most unloving persons I have ever met. I remember to this day that one of them publicly said, when discussing homosexuality that not only is it a sin, on which we agreed, but if one of them was in his presence he'd have no problem beating him up. I'll never forget that. My best friend at that time and I were there together and spoke up. We were silenced. I didn't know what was worse, the fact that this man, who was pastoring a church in lower VA actually said it or that nobody else thought it was wrong!

    Some churches that have separated from the SBC over the BFM here have not done so because they reject the content of the BFM. They have done so because they also hold a high regard for the BFM as a confession but not a creed for who is "cooperating" and who is not. When associations do that, they are elevating the BFM to a level that would supercede a local churches own confession. Some churches, for example, that are adamantly Five Point Calvinists that ascribe to the London Baptist Confession, do not want to have anything to do with the current BFM. If their leaders refuse to sign onto it, are they now "noncooperating," "liberal," and worthy of disfellowship? You see, not all churches that separate over the BFM are truly "moderate," and not all that have chosent to affiliate with the CBF here in NC have done so over the BFM. Some simply want nothing to do with Baptist politics altogether. They perceive the SBC as being more political these days than in the days when the resurgence was in full swing, and they want little or nothing to do with the SBC for that reason. They simply think it is time to move on.

    I too am glad that theological liberalism has left the seminaries. However, I'm concerned that there is a fundamental/evangelical split slowly occurring beneath the surface. Some evangelical church leaders in this area have expressed some concern for several years now. The split is akin to the kind of animosity that the NC Baptist churches, even the most conservative of them have been on the receiving end of from IFB churches in NC. Even now, many NCBSC churches that are very conservative are regarded as not conservative enough. Likewise, where Reformed theology has taken root, those churches and their leaders are deemed heretical by IFB Arminians. Awhile back, I sat and watched an entire church service on tv in which the pastor of a local, large, influential IFB church preached against Calvinism from his pulpit and completely misrepresented (even outright lied) about what Reformed theology teaches. I replied to a letter from the editor in the NC Biblical Recorder recently in which the writers, from Fayetteville, could not believe predestination is being taught as "an accepted Baptist" doctrine in the seminaries, as if there is no concept of it in Scripture at all, and they called for NC Baptists to quit giving to the seminaries because of this.

    No, conservatives in the SBC are not in a place to claim altruism, some moreso than others.

    [ October 11, 2004, 12:39 PM: Message edited by: GeneMBridges ]
     
  20. Phillip

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    Gene, I understand what you are saying. After reading several books, such as Judge Preslers, among others, I noted a very defined social status levels. Somewhat of an egostical association with the biggest churches and the level of power within the organization.

    I have even seen it at the state level where it is obvious that someone bringing up a motion before the floor is almost laughed at by the leaders because they came from small churches and/or towns.

    Of course, as long as organizations are made up of human beings, I believe this will always be a problem. Fame and power have a tendency to be addictive to a lot of people and those people are the ones who have a tendency to push very hard for the highest positions of power.

    I have even seen people change when they became deacons in small churches. Before, they were open and would talk to anybody. Even right after being nominated, the attitude appears to change to more of a smugness that is hard to describe, but is obvious to those people who thought themselves as close friends.

    I think this is just a fact with all human organizations, churches or not; and the SBC is no exception.
     

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