Signing a doctrine aggrement

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Nov 23, 2008.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    Our SS class was talking about insuring that sound doctrine is taugh in our SS and churches. The manual suggested that all teachers sign a doctrine statement each year.

    Does your church do so? Are there are requirements for your SS teachers?

    Salty
     
  2. Revmitchell

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    This is a good idea as there is no unity outside of doctrine.
     
  3. canadyjd

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    It is a good idea.

    I once attended a church where the youth (15+) SS teacher taught her class that abortion was OK and a matter of choice.

    The teacher remained unrepentant and left the church (eventually) when confronted.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  4. Rippon

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    I don't agree with your unique spelling of agreement.:laugh:
     
  5. tinytim

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    I think it would be a good thing for some churches... There are too many Pentecostal** doctrines sneaking into Baptist churches... I am glad, our teachers all teach Baptist doctrine....

    What's wrong with Pentecostals**... Nothing if you are a Pentecostal**! lol
    But when people come to a Baptist church.. they expect Baptist doctrine...
    Otherwise, it is bait and switch...


    And if I thought another denomination was Biblical.. I would be in that denomination... Obviously, I feel Baptist is the closest to the Bible.



    ** Substitute any denomination you want.
     
  6. Revmitchell

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    We don't want our Sunday school teachers teaching doctrine contrary to the Pastor regardless of what it is or at what level.
     
  7. Grasshopper

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    Wow, no room for an open mind in that church.
     
  8. Jim1999

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    Every local church should have a doctrinal statement and is signed when one becomes a member. It wouldn't hurt to have Sunday School teachers confirm their doctrinal agreement each year.

    Notice I said local church. The pastor is excluded so far as doctrinal agreement is concerned..clarification; the local church may be leaning to dispensationalism and the pastor is not. Too many details just create havoc.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  9. Salamander

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    It would do some pastors good to have signed one before they became the dictator they are.

    Seems too many are willing to attack members they have an ought against in front of other key members without following the guidelines to attempt to be reconciled one on one FIRST!

    As before, I have become the target of another pastor who has a preconceived notion about me and against me.

    Why can't we just be honest and stop playing politics in the assembly?
     
  10. Gold Dragon

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    As a past sunday school coordinator, I understand the need for teachers to undergo a "vetting process" (using the terminology of the day) of sorts.

    For most churches, especially smaller ones, it is an informal process where the sunday school coordinator or pastor knows all the teachers, their general beliefs, trustworthiness, level of respect among peers, ability to teach, ability to work with children/adults, etc.

    In larger churches, it may be difficult for any one person to have that type of knowledge of all the sunday school teachers and the informal process often involves the recommendation of other teachers and leaders working in some other capacity with the potential teacher.

    A more formal process may involve things like a police check, resume, interview and signing a statement of agreement.

    I have used a statement of agreement but its focus was about spiritual and practical responsibilites and not doctrinal statements. Things like a commitment to personal spiritual growth (devo and prayer), attend planning meetings, preparation, attend other church functions, etc. Basically to see their ministry as one of spiritual leadership not just for their class but also other areas of life and church outside of their class. The doctrinal aspect was a basic confirmation that the person was indeed a Christian who had confessed Jesus as Lord and Saviour of their sin.

    I can see doctrinal statements of agreement being useful if the church leadership is particularly fearful of certain doctrines. Readers of my posts know that I am very open to discussions about non-traditional views on doctrines. At the same time, I would not want people who are not intellectually or spiritually ready for certain discussions to be challenged with those types of issues in Sunday school. An annual statement of agreement might be a little over the top.

    I would hope that if someone was regularly attending service and small groups that their views would generally be in line with that of the church/pastors and any specific disagreements that are major would eventually come out and could be addressed at that time. An interview with questions about church background and journey of faith would usually suffice. I think it is part of the responsibility of the coordinator/pastors to maintain a relationship with the teachers to see how their class is going, what they are generally teaching, where their spiritual life is generally heading and whether they need any support.
     
    #10 Gold Dragon, Nov 23, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2008
  11. Grasshopper

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    If not SS then where? Seems like the perfect place to learn and grow and ask questions.
     
  12. Revmitchell

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    Very well said.:thumbs:
     
  13. Gold Dragon

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    I agree. But I think physical and spiritual age appropriateness should be considered. Those teachers with more controversial views that want to teach on those topics should not teach younger children or newer Christians.

    While my church was more open to controversial views and discussion of those views in SS than the average baptist church probably is, at the same time teachers needed to be respectful of the beliefs of the rest of the general community and the leadership. That doesn\'t mean they cannot teach or discuss things outside of those beliefs, but they need to approach controversial topics with sensitivity. It takes a humble leadership to be open to views that disagree with them, but it also takes a humble teacher to encourage openness to those differing views.
     
  14. preachinjesus

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    We ask for our small group leaders to sign a leadership covenant that talks about their leadership qualifications, expectations, and some basic doctrinal beliefs.

    Our approach to small groups is that we do a good job screening our leaders on a number of core doctrinal distinctives. We don't look for exact, rigid conformity over certain issues but do ask for uniformity over significant ones.

    I think a leadership covenant is a good thing. What is dangerous is if we ask for rigid conformity over matters of preference and fairly peripheral issues. Good conversations often lead to tremendous opportunities for growth. :)
     
  15. Dr. Bob

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    We use the oldest Baptist confessions as our "doctrinal statement" and folks must sign fidelity to it to become members.

    Our ministers (elders and deacons) also confirm it publically on the first Sunday of the new year. We don't have SS per se, as all our families home school and the fathers pledge to take responsibility for teaching the Word to the family.

    In previous churches, SS classes (taught by well-meaning but spiritually ill-equipped) was the #1 place for false teaching to sneak in, followed by the Women's Missionary Society at #2 and the Youth Program #3. These are places where the minister is usually NOT present and errors may go unnoted and unchecked for a long time.
     
  16. Crabtownboy

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    Good idea or bad idea it does not conform with the long strongly held Baptist prohibition of creeds or forcing people to sign such statements. Baptists have always been proud of being non-creedal and we should keep it that way. The Baptist Faith and Message has become the creed of the SBC and thus they are no longer Baptist in the historical sense of the word Baptist.

    Each Baptist church is autonomous, and I think that is good. Thus a church could impose a creed for their Sunday School workers ... but it removes them from being in line with what it has traditionally meant to be Baptist.

    I would think that a church would know its own members and their beliefs well enough that such a statement or creed would not be needed.

    Every Baptist church I have been a member of has always had a statement of faith. Often it was pasted in the front of the hymnbook.

    http://209.85.129.132/search?q=cach...m.htm+baptist+creeds&hl=cs&ct=clnk&cd=8&gl=cz

    This is one reason I call myself a traditional Baptist. I see creeds as a creeping step away from being Baptist. It is also a step in rejecting the Priesthood of the Believer. It is a method of a strong pastor imposing his beliefs on everyone, or a clique of people within a church of imposing their stance on doctrinal issues. There are dangers in both directions. A statement or a creed is imposing man's understanding on others ... and that is very liberal.
     
    #16 Crabtownboy, Nov 24, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2008
  17. donnA

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    In our old SS class in our old church we heard some pretty out landish things, that were not a matter of his opinion being different then ours, but a matter of being purly false.

    I would agree. why would anyone want to be a part of a church or denomination they did not feel as scriptural.
    sounds like a good idea. It's nothing more then accountability for a teacher.
    I had never actually heard of small groups until we joined our current church. We joine don Sunday and then joined a small group that wednesday. Now we've been asked as a couple to co lead our group with another couple. So I'd love to know more about small groups in your church.
     
  18. ktn4eg

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    The Baptist church that I eventually joined after being released from active duty in the USAF (4/15/69) (I grew up in a very, very liberal Protestant church [Its Pastor was a Harvard Theological Seminary grad!] where the only "gospel" that was preached was a far-left-leaning "social{ist)} gospel" and received Christ as my Savior at age 19 some thousand miles from home.) had something like this for all prospective members.

    IOW, there was no such thing as joining "by letter" or even "by baptism." Everyone (or at least of age 16+ if it was a family unit) had to fill out an application form stated (among other things) that he/she/they were in agreement with the church's constitution & by laws as well as its doctrinal statement/statement of faith/church covenant.

    This application was then reviewed by the church's pastor and board of deacons at a private meeting (i.e., not during or immediately following a public worship service). The prospective member(s) awaited their decision (Visions of a first-time father pacing the floor just outside the delivery room just popped in my mind! :laugh: ).

    If the propspective member(s) "passed muster," then he/she/they were brought before the church right after the next public service (usually the next Sunday Morning Service). After a motion and second, that propspective member was then "voted in." (I never saw one whose desire for membership was "voted down")

    And that was just to join this church (which didn't have a "large" membership--depending on what you'd call "large" :smilewinkgrin: )!!!

    If you actually wanted to serve in a position (SS teacher, Bus worker, office staff, etc.) then you had to go through an additional process of "certification" and sign a more exhaustive doctrinal statement every year.

    Some people thought that this smacked of being way too suspicious of "outsiders," or violated their "privacy rights" or something like that.

    The fact that I joined that church ought to tell you that I didn't see things that way.

    There were a few shades of difference between what I believed (and still do) on some things but I was up front about these things and told them that I could still in good conscience join that church and that I would not publicly oppose these differences (which to me weren't as important as other "related issues").

    I was encouraged that here was a church that cared more about what/why her members and/or her workers believed rather than just getting members/workers for the sake of getting them.

    I was only a member of that church for about 3 years until I moved from SE PA to TN {talk about a church cultural shock that was for me! :smilewinkgrin: }, but I believe that I learned more Bible truths and how to practically apply God's Word in everyday situations during that time span than in any other 3-year span of my 44 years as a born-again Christian.
     
  19. ktn4eg

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    The Baptist church that I eventually joined after being released from active duty in the USAF (4/15/69) (I grew up in a very, very liberal Protestant church [Its Pastor was a Harvard Theological Seminary grad!] where the only "gospel" that was preached was a far-left-leaning "social{ist)} gospel" and received Christ as my Savior at age 19 some thousand miles from home.) had something like this for all prospective members.

    IOW, there was no such thing as joining "by letter" or even "by baptism." Everyone (or at least of age 16+ if it was a family unit) had to fill out an application form stated (among other things) that he/she/they were in agreement with the church's constitution & by laws as well as its doctrinal statement/statement of faith/church covenant.

    This application was then reviewed by the church's pastor and board of deacons at a private meeting (i.e., not during or immediately following a public worship service). The prospective member(s) awaited their decision (Visions of a first-time father pacing the floor just outside the delivery room just popped in my mind! :laugh: ).

    If the propspective member(s) "passed muster," then he/she/they were brought before the church right after the next public service (usually the next Sunday Morning Service). After a motion and second, that propspective member was then "voted in." (I never saw one whose desire for membership was "voted down")

    And that was just to join this church (which didn't have a "large" membership--depending on what you'd call "large" :smilewinkgrin: )!!!

    If you actually wanted to serve in a position (SS teacher, Bus worker, office staff, etc.) then you had to go through an additional process of "certification" and sign a more exhaustive doctrinal statement every year.

    Some people thought that this smacked of being way too suspicious of "outsiders," or violated their "privacy rights" or something like that.

    The fact that I joined that church ought to tell you that I didn't see things that way.

    There were a few shades of difference between what I believed (and still do) on some things but I was up front about these things and told them that I could still in good conscience join that church and that I would not publicly oppose these differences (which to me weren't as important as other "related issues").

    I was encouraged that here was a church that cared more about what/why her members and/or her workers believed rather than just getting members/workers for the sake of getting them.

    I was only a member of that church for about 3 years until I moved from SE PA to TN {talk about a church cultural shock that was for me! :smilewinkgrin: }, but I believe that I learned more Bible truths and how to practically apply God's Word in everyday situations during that time span than in any other 3-year span of my 44 years as a born-again Christian.
     
  20. go2church

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    No signatures. As members we agree to follow in general the Baptist Faith and Message 1963 and trust each that, that will be the case. We use Baptist materials - if someone chooses to teach something different they have to have it approved by the pastor.
     

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