What does Baptist mean now?

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by SolaSaint, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. SolaSaint

    SolaSaint
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,824
    Likes Received:
    25
    Hi All,

    Salty made a good post on changing the names of Baptist Churches. This has struck my interest. Are the Baptist churches in your neck-of-the-woods the same as they were 30 years ago. I live in Southeast Missouri and I remember back in the 70s and early 80s, we had several Baptist churches with about 200 members on average that were very conservative and traditional as Baptist's go. Several of these churches hardly bring in 40-50 at weekly services now. Most of the towns here now have one or two new churches that are Baptist without the name Baptist. Some have even left their associations and went independant. I have found where a small town once had two or three solid Baptist churches with about 100-250 members, there are now one Baptist church that is still solid but low in attendance and two seeker type churches that run over 500 a week.

    Has the Baptist denomination sold out for the Purpose Driven model and abandoned fundamental Baptist doctrine? I know this has been posted before, but where do you think we are as Baptists?
     
  2. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,516
    Likes Received:
    49
    How did the name Baptist become a detriment to reaching the lost? Too much focus on tradition and the cultural norms of the past? Notice all the KJVO and KJVP baptist churches. Rather than adorning the gospel for the culture of today, too many said if was good enough for the past, it is good enough for the future.

    Too often we see turf battles where all sorts of malice flows toward those who seek to present the gospel in an effective way. For example a church held two services, one traditional, with hymns and another contemporary with praise songs and rather loud music. After a year, the traditional service attendance had remained static, but the contemporary service attendance had doubled. Note, the exact same sermons were presented by the same pastor at both services.

    Those that find fault with contemporary services, and claim the use of the NIV corrupts the gospel message, are those that have damaged the name of Baptists. Or so it seems to me.
     
  3. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,517
    Likes Received:
    1
    For those that are of the mindset of, "If the name of the church doesn't actually have the word 'Baptist' in it, well then, it just isn't a 'Baptist' church," might do well that Charles Haddon Spurgeon, "The 'Prince' of Preachers,' " had as his last pastorate, the 'Metropolitan Tabernacle' in London, England.

    I suppose that WAS NOT A Baptist church, right??!!??
     
  4. SolaSaint

    SolaSaint
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,824
    Likes Received:
    25
    I'm not advocating the use of the KJV or NIV, I think both are good bibles.

    It is interesting that you bring the example of the church with two services, I saw this happen in my old church. The result is a church that now preaches about social issues: finances, marriage, sex withe very little scripture used and when it is used it is usually misquoted. The Pastor had to do this because he attracted unchurched Joe and he reached him and now can't offend him with the truth, so instead entertain him with loud rock music and how to have you best life now. How sad.
     
  5. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,386
    Likes Received:
    790
    That is a complete mischaracterization from reality. When people look to come to our church the name Baptist indicates what we stand for. It distinguishes us from Charismatics, Mormons etc.

    Second who said it was detriment to reaching the lost as if that is the only factor that is to be considered. That is a strawman.
     
  6. SolaSaint

    SolaSaint
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,824
    Likes Received:
    25
    I agree Rev. I belonged to a SBC church in Nebraska about 17 years ago that the preacher wanted to remove baptist from the name of the church. He told me that the word baptist scared many people away. I was astounded. I should have asked him, who it scared off? Probably people who don't want to hear the gospel preached. When I grew up that is what baptist meant to me. bible preaching, exposing sin and giving the remedy in Christ. What is so bad about that from our viewpoint?
     
  7. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,516
    Likes Received:
    49
    This is exactly the kind of argument that has given baptists a bad name. Note the exact same sermons were preached so the charge is false. And lots of the lost are unchurched Joes. And the gospel does not offend, it brings joy.

    Now lets talk a little about social issues. Are we to discriminate in favor of who can do us good? Maybe we could preach against that using James. How about a holier than thou attitude, can we find a verse or two about that? Greed? How about saying wicked things about others? Maybe we could find something about that in Ephesians 4.

    Just saying
     
  8. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,386
    Likes Received:
    790
    That is exactly scared them off but they won't admit it. Instead what they do is create strawmen and false accusations based on poor characterizations of the things you just listed. But in the end it is just an excuse not to get off the pew.
     
  9. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,516
    Likes Received:
    49
    Have you not noticed the number of churches who have changed their name to something open and inviting, i.e Mission Hills Church or Christ's Love Church? And the idea is not to attract folks from other churches, i.e. those shopping for ear ticklers, but those who are unchurched and are open the the gospel of Christ.
     
    #9 Van, Oct 23, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2012
  10. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,386
    Likes Received:
    790
    Open and inviting is your words. A lot of people are doing a lot of things. Doesn't make any of it right.
     
  11. SolaSaint

    SolaSaint
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,824
    Likes Received:
    25
    Van,

    I think you missed my point. I don't have a problem with what you explained. If the gospel is being preached that is great. My example was one where the gospel and biblical preaching were thrown out in favor of social issues. We had 6 straight weeks of financial counselling with maybe one or two verses of scripture taken way out of context. We even had commercials at the end of sermons for a local financial guru. How to balance check books, make a budget and what kind of stocks to invest in...come on?? I hope you will agree this isn't what you would agree with from the pulpit.
     
  12. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,386
    Likes Received:
    790
    You keep creating these strawmen. And only liberals make the case that is gives Baptists a bad name.
     
    #12 Revmitchell, Oct 23, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2012
  13. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17,134
    Likes Received:
    52
    Where i live, outside detroit, heavy islamic and catholic influences, and have found that "baptist' brings up some preconceived notions that tend to hinder and stop any meaningful dialog!

    In a way, its a back handed compliment to show that we baptists have been used by the lord to do some 'damage' in their ranks, to be used to bring some to christ!
     
  14. mont974x4

    mont974x4
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    2,565
    Likes Received:
    1
    I think the point of the OP is determine just what it means to be "Baptist". Look around BB and you find a variety of answers. This is indicative of a larger issue, even though at the core it is almost all doctrine related. On the large scale we have several Baptist groups (Southern, Fundamental, Independent, etc) and we cannot ignore the differences. Then even within the single group, like the SBC, we have a variety of ideas of what it means to be Baptist. Even within the local church we have this going on. During my ordination process I sat down with one of the deacons to discuss his concerns regarding my doctrinal positions. Right off the top he was concerned that I was a Calvinist and he didn't want that because Calvinism tears churches apart. We had a great discussion and I was able to show him that I was a Calvinist, but not in the way he had imagined it.

    So, while we can say we are Baptist and that means we are distinctly different from Mormons we cannot assume that having the name "Baptist" on a church or ministry means the same thing to all Christians...let alone all people who call themselves Baptist.

    This is not an issue that is isolated to the Baptist world. While on staff at a Nazarene church I often heard, in relation to doctrine, that many people wanted to be sure they were "distinctly Nazarene". The problem is it is quickly becoming harder and harder to state what that means.

    The success of purpose driven seeker sensitive ideals played a huge part in this. So does the current emergent church movement. It is the inclusive nature of humanism reeking havoc in churches.

    Perhaps we need to rephrase the question and ask, what does it mean to be a Christian?
     
  15. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,516
    Likes Received:
    49
    Yes, we have churches presenting truth from scripture, and we others presenting the opinions of men. I attended a Baptist Church in Arkansas, where the sermon opened with a biblical study, but after about 15 minutes the speaker took a right turn and presented his view of the politics of that day.

    This was not a contemporary service.

    Yes we had a seminar presented by a financial planner at our church once. It was a mid week deal, but the feedback was that it was really about drumming up business rather than teaching the economic truths of the bible. As I said, we only had one, and as long as our present leadership is in place, we will not have another.
     
  16. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,516
    Likes Received:
    49
    Since we all think we are born again believers, we would get the same set of divergent distinctives. 1) Once saved always saved. 2) Separation of church and state. 3) Christ died for all mankind. 4) We did not become elect when we chose to trust in Christ. 5) We were chosen through faith in the truth. 6) Faith before election and regeneration. Shall I go on? 7) No one is saved because they did not do anything bad, i.e. babies and the feeble-minded.
     
  17. mont974x4

    mont974x4
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    2,565
    Likes Received:
    1
    You do have a point. That's how we ended up with the creed's. People wanted to define what is and what is not a Christian based on doctrines. I know that is not popular today but the division is actually biblical. A reading of 2 John tells us one such point of division is teachings related to the person of Jesus Christ. That is not a sermon you preach when you are trying to make friends. It is a sermon you preach when you decide you fear God more than you fear men.
     
  18. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,516
    Likes Received:
    49
    Sometimes a liberal view is good.

    Labeling to tar someone with a loaded and negative connotation is hardly biblical behavior. During my life I have had several heroes. I was in high-school when I listened to JFK, and working in a shipyard when I listened to the announcement of his death. I listened to MLK's dream and dreamed of walking hand in hand with my brothers and sisters in Christ. Liberal heroes of mine. When we come of age, we enter a world where somethings are bad and should be torn down, thus a job for liberals, and some things are good and should be protected, thus a job for conservatives.

    When a boat came and picked up JFK crew, and they were heading home, they sang on the deck of the boat. The song, Jesus loves me this I know.... Just saying.

    Last thought, when I visited Arlington National Cemetery, I stood for a while by the "eternal flame" marking the grave of JFK. Then I walked down a path, where there was a plain white cross marker, the only one in the facility. His name was RFK. All men have faults and sometimes it is to label those who died for their Christian beliefs as liberals.
     
  19. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,517
    Likes Received:
    1
    To those who are of the mindset that a BC just isn't REALLY a BC UNLESS the word "Baptist' appears in that BC's name it just isn't really a BC, I might remind y'all that BOTH the Park Street Tabernacle AND the Metropolitan Temple that Charles Haddon Spurgeon, "The 'Prince' of Preachers," had pastored for many years did NOT have the word "Baptist" in EITHER ONE of them while CHS was her Pastor.

    I guess, therefore, that fact made NEITHER ONE of them a "genuine" BAPTIST church, right??!! :smilewinkgrin: :BangHead: :tear:
     
  20. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17,134
    Likes Received:
    52
    lets see!
    there are baptists in Free Will churches, Full Gospel, Reformed, SBC, Independent etc, so a lot depends on which Baptist we are speaking about!

    IF we cannot agree among ourselves what it means to be a Baptist!
     

Share This Page

Loading...