The Northern\American Baptist Conventions

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by Squire Robertsson, May 1, 2006.

  1. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
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  2. Joseph M. Smith

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    The material linked is more focused on the divisions within various brands of conservative Baptists than it is on the ABC-USA. Is there an intent in the OP to get us to discussing American Baptist history and/or current issues?
     
  3. John of Japan

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    Joseph, the story of the ABC-USA cannot be understood properly without understanding the CBC, which came out of it, and likewise Northern Fundamentalism cannot be understood without knowing these roots.

    As a BWM missionary, I'll be interested in how this thread goes. In my experience, Squire knows much more than anyone on the BB about this piece of history, including yours truly, who, with Squire, is honored to have known some of the principle Fundamentalists who came out of the ABC-USA and then the CBC. I'm all ears, Professor Squire! [​IMG]
     
  4. Squire Robertsson

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    To help connect the dots, I recommend</font>
    • Ernest Pickering's Biblical Separation available at the Baptist World Mission Bookstore</font>
    • Notes on the Principles and Practices of Baptist Churches by Francis Wayland (1796-1865) available through the University of Michigan</font>
    • New Directory of Baptist Churches by Edward Hiscox (1814-1901)</font>
    Dr. Wayland's book lays out the main differences between Baptist churches in the north and in the South. He was a participant in the Triennial Baptist Convention on Missions. Hiscox came a generation after Wayland. Between the two a person can see a continuity of Northern Baptist thought. For a good view of Hiscox, I recommend an older unrevised edition. Not that I think all here will agree with these brethren. But, they are a good start if a person knows as much about Northern Baptists as I do about Southern ones.
     
  5. John of Japan

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    So, Squire, what are the main characteristics of Baptist churches in the North, according to Wayland?
     
  6. Debby in Philly

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    For the record, the "CBC" is now known as the Conservative Baptist Association of America, or CB America for short.

    LINK TO WEBSITE
     
  7. John of Japan

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    Thanks, Debby. "My bad," as the young folks say nowadays. [​IMG]
     
  8. rsr

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  9. rsr

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    Not to steal the Squire's thunder, but Wayland was very protective of local church autonomy and considered that joint efforts should be focused upon missions, not upon united action on other fronts. He considered it silly for a convention to take positions that would represent all Baptists on questions that did not touch upon the job at hand and feared that conventionalism would impinge upon the authority of local churches.

     
  10. Squire Robertsson

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    What developed in the North was a group of interlocking organizations. There was a Northern Baptist (fill in the purpose) here Society covering just about every conceivable ministry need. Each of these organizations were focused on a particular need be it foreign missions, home missions, Bible and literature publication, colleges and seminaries, etc. . I characterized them as interlocking as many of the same men sat on the boards of these institutions. Not that the board membership was identical, but there was sufficient overlap for philosophical continuity.
     
  11. rlvaughn

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    Perhaps someone "in the know" could start another thread to explain the history being made right now with the group on the west coast pulling out of the American Baptist Churches USA (formerly Northern Baptist Convention). Thanks.
     
  12. Joseph M. Smith

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    Very briefly, and without real insider information -- this latest division in a denominational family that seems to splinter off dissidents regularly seems to me to arise from a stubborn unwillingness to listen to reasoned debate and from a desire to be "more righteous than thou".

    ABC of the Pacific Southwest seems to have a cadre of leaders who deeply mistrust the ABC's national leadership, particularly when the national leaders and the denomination's policy boards have said repeatedly that God's plan for sexual expression is the marriage of a man and a woman. There is no equivocation, as I read it, in the ABC's stance concerning marriage over against homosexual activity.

    But there are individual churches which are homosexual-welcoming. The ABC has refused to disfellowship those churches, saying that in Baptist polity the local church is autonomous and determines its own policies without interference from the denomination. That is not strong enough for ABCPSW -- or, that is, many of its folks. They want the ABC to turn loose of so-named "Welcoming and Affirming" congregations. And so the region, as a whole, has voted to leave ABC.

    However, just to illustrate the point about Baptist polity, a number of ABCPSW congregations that disagree with this decision are moving toward affiliation with another ABC region, the one based in Los Angeles. That does not mean that they are gay-friendly; it means that they are committed to their ABC heritage and missions work.

    What will become of the ABCPSW as a unit? Too early to tell whether it will become another Baptist mini-denomination or will join another affiliation or, more probably, just wither.
     
  13. tinytim

    tinytim
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    Also just because a region pulls out of ABC-USA, does not mean a local church within that region has to. You don't need to belong to region to belong to ABC-USA. That precedent was set in 1999.

    Our church belongs to the ABC-USA, and the Region WVBC. If the WVBC would decide to pull away from the ABC, our church could still vote to belong to both.

    The WVBC would have no authority to tell our church to get out of the ABC. That is local church autonomy. Something that I will fight for.

    Without autonomy, we are no longer Baptists.
     
  14. Debby in Philly

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    Not so, Tim. When my church wanted to pull out from the ABC (over the same issue as the southwest region is), we were told that to do so required us to leave the Philadelphia Baptist Association (our region), and in so doing, we would be leaving the ABC.
    Therefore, if a region leaves, its churches would as well, unless they joined another region or formed their own. No church is a direct member of the ABC national organization.
     
  15. Joseph M. Smith

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    Interesting. Theoretically Baptist polity would have it that a local church determines any and all of its affiliations. For example, here in the D. C. Baptist Convention, the Convention itself is triply aligned with ABCUSA, SBC, and PNBC. But each church makes up its own mind about those affiliations, with some of our churches having overtly rejected SBC, and other churches having historic affiliations with NBC, etc. It is true that I know of no church with an affiliation with ABCUSA and not a regional affiliation, but the pattern here certainly speaks to local autonomy. While a local church that wanted to leave ABCUSA but not the region would make for a certain degree of organizational chaos, I really do not think our polity should require "all or nothing" affiliation.
     
  16. tinytim

    tinytim
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    Who told you that? ABC, or PBA?
    In the late 90's a few churches were disfellowshiped from their regions because of welcoming and affirming. ( I think it was 5 of them) The ABC-USA allowed them to be aligned with the ABC-USA without going through a region.

    That set a precedent.
    We, the WVBC, acted on it and in 2000 a vote was held at our annual meeting that allowed a church to pull out of the ABC-USA but still be aligned with the WVBC. I know it, I was there, and it was one of our biggest votes ever.

    So right now we have a few churches that belong to the WVBC that don't belong to the ABC-USA.

    It is the church's right (autonomy) to belong (or not to) to any organization it desires.

    When the ABC-USA allowed the W/A churches to still be connected to them without a region, that set up a precedent.

    So if a church here in WV wanted to belong to the ABC-USA, without going through the WVBC they could. It is unorthodox, but the precedent was set.

    Now if the WVBC would want to pull out of ABC-USA, what would stop a church from petitioning ABC to join, or just realign with another region? Or a set of churches starting their own region? theoretically a church in WV could:
    1) be a part of WVBC + ABC-USA (the norm)
    2) be a part of WVBC and not ABC-USA (some are)
    3) be a part of ABC without going through WVBC.
    4) or if WVBC were to pull out of ABC, join together with other churches to form another region (XYZ) and be apart of that region (XYZ) affiliated with ABC, and still be a part of WVBC.

    (toooo many letters)!!!!!!
    Tim
     
  17. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
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    Pardon me for a moment while I endeavor to channel my inner Myron Cedarhom, Robert Ketchem, Arno Wenigar, Sr., Archer Wenigar, Richard Clearwaters, Richard Weeks, James Hollowood, Ernest Pickering, et al..
    [rich, thunderous, baritone, preaching voice, on]
    [rich, thunderous, baritone, preaching voice, off]
     
  18. tinytim

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    No, but standing for truth and being willing to fight for what is right, instead of turning a whole denom. over to apostates is honorable.

    There are plenty of great ABC churches out there that are standing on truth. But the more that run away from the fight, the weaker we become.

    At what point in history has a Baptist ever been afraid to fight for the truth?
    NOt until the homosexual issue came along.
    It seems that some are afraid to tackle the issue. Affirming homosexuality is WRONG! But forfeiting the game because it seems impossible to win is wrong also.
     

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