What does being a Baptist mean to you?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, Aug 27, 2006.

  1. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
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    So you call yourself a Baptist? Tell us what that means to you. What beliefs are necessary for one to hold to, in order for one to be rightfully deemed as a Baptist?
     
  2. Jim1999

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    As a Baptist, it doesn't really matter what I think a Baptist is, but what others think a Baptist is.

    Going by this Board, baptists come in all stripes and colours of theology and bents. When I tell others I am a Baptist, the usual response I get is Bible-believing, strict Christian...whatever that means.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  3. gekko

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    baptist smaptist.

    who cares what we're called?
    live according to God - and you are a child of God.
     
  4. LeBuick

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    I agree, I et remarks like that all the time. One thing that seems to be common is our view on eternal security. We are saved and will remain saved. There are differeences on how we got saved, election or free will.

    I believe we all honor the trinity though there are difference when it comes to Jesus and the old testiment. I know there are metaphores of salvation in the OT, (ark, blood on the door post etc...) and we all believe salvation is the funtion of the second part of the God head but I believe Jesus (the flesh that earthly held the divine spirit) was born out of time (on a day) where as Christ (his spirit) lived though all eternity. I furthermore believe Jesus died (the earthly flesh) on a cross but the spirit (father I commend my spirit) moved out of the earthly vessel and did not die.
     
    #4 LeBuick, Aug 27, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2006
  5. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    For me, the heart of being Baptist is:

    [1] That there is no other way to salvation than a personal relationship with God through Christ;
    [2] That as a person made free by Christ I have the right and the responsibility to read the Scriptures and draw the best conclusions I can about what they mean;
    [3] That I have a responsibility for engaging in and supporting Christ's redemptive mission at home and around the world.
     
  6. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
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    Are there any Baptists out there that do not believe in OSAS? Is this an absolute watershed issue or is there room in the Baptist tent for those refusing to accept that notion? How about Joseph Smith. Is it a requirement for full fellowship in the circle you are in to require OSAS as a doctrinal belief that must be agreed to?
     
  7. Jack Matthews

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    Soul Freedom, or Priesthood of the Believer.

    Bible Freedom, the responsibility to read, study, and interpret with the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit.

    A free, autonomous church, not under the influence or control of the state.

    A local body of believers in Christ whose membership is defined by salvation in Christ alone, an experience of grace through faith that is initiated by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin and repentance from sin.
     
  8. FriendofSpurgeon

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    Here is my understanding of Baptist distinctives:
    • Inspiration and authority of Scripture
    • Salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone
    • Priesthood of the believer
    • Two ordinances only -- Lord's Supper and Baptism by immersion only and of believers only
    • Once saved, alway saved
    • Tongues, healings, etc. ended at the apostolic times
    • Separation of church and state
    In addition, I think most Baptists (but not all) would agree with the following --
    • Dispensational view of Scripture
    • Separation/holy view of living (though this ranges tremendously between fundamentalists and other Baptists)
    • Dispy, premil view of the end times
    • Emphasis towards evagelism and missions
    Did I miss anything??
     
  9. Jack Matthews

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    I would agree that these are things with which most Baptists agree. As to their being Baptist "distinctives," perhaps the combination of holding all of these things together makes them distinctive among Baptists, but there are lots of other Christian denominations and groups that believe these things pretty much the way most Baptists do.

    The Baptist church I attend, and several others in the community with which we frequently fellowship, would not accept the teaching that tongues and healing ended with the apostles, since the Bible doesn't teach this. Nor would we accept a dispensational view of scripture, separationist views regarding personal holiness, nor would we accept a dispensational, pre-millenial, futurist view of end times. In fact, this board is the first place I've encountered these views among the Baptists I've been part of for nearly 15 years.

    One thing I am learning about Baptists, after a month or so on the board is that there is a lot of diversity in beliefs and interpretation of scripture. I had no idea.
     
  10. Jim1999

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    Quote:

    Dispensational view of Scripture
    Separation/holy view of living (though this ranges tremendously between fundamentalists and other Baptists)
    Dispy, premil view of the end times

    The above would be rejected by the majority of Canadian Baptists...the dispensational part...and the majority are most likely amil with the remainder historic premil.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  11. pinoybaptist

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    Autonomy of the Local Church - Its right to self-government and freedom from dictation by other "bigger" congregations on what to believe, what to preach, how to worship, and whom to fellowship with.

    Priesthood of the Believer - that every believer is a priest before God, with full access to the throne of grace, fully responsible only to his High Priest and Savior.
     
  12. Joseph M. Smith

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    Well, since you asked ... I had one member of my church who would say, nearly every Sunday, "One thing I disagree with Baptists on is 'once saved always saved'." I would tell him that I too disagree with his interpretation of what that means! For me, that saying has to be nuanced to incorporate notions of human free will as well as of the sovereignty and faithfulness of God. I could go on, but think it would be off topic. No, in my "circle" there would not be a requirement for that to be believed, as indeed the very idea of requirements is itself suspect.
     
  13. Jim1999

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    I don't like the term OSAS, but I do believe in the eternal security of the believer, or as it is expressed in the perseverance of the saints...sanctified unto eternal life in Jesus Christ.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  14. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: There has been a lot of good responses to the question. I appreciate the attitude of Joseph Smith in the toleration he seems to imbibe. I would think it in the best interest of unity not to try and state my personal position too frequently in the assembly, no matter what side of the issue I was on.

    I like Jim’s explanation as well. I come very close to that myself. I believe that God is indeed able to keep that which he has delivered unto that day. Where I might differ, is that I believe that our will is indeed active in that keeping, and that I must maintain a clear conscience before God and man with the help God provides us by the aide of the Holy Spirit. I personally maintain, that as we walk by faith, our assurance is only as steady and bright as our walk is straight and true.

    I believe it should be the heart cry and desire of every believer to walk holy, and that consistently with the help of the Holy Spirit. I believe that the light and sure hope of that security of the believer is only steady and bright by faith as we so walk humbly and righteous before Him. Not in our own strength, but not apart from the steadfast formation of proper intents of our wills in agreement to His Word. It is not accomplished simply by our wills, but neither is it accomplished apart from our wills.
     
  15. Jack Matthews

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    Whatever being a Baptist means to me, I think the image of who and what Baptists are in general needs to be corrected. Even in the Christian community, there is an unfavorable perception of who Baptists are, and what a Baptist community of faith is like.

    I encounter people all the time, especially in Nashville with the high visibility of the SBC here, who don't think favorably about Baptists. I've had people politely refuse my invitation to church because they think that all we do is argue about doctrine, and when we can's get out own way, we split off and go make our own church. I've had people tell me they think our worship services are not much different from funerals. They think we are arrogant because we don't get along with other believers, and are always critical of other denominations and Christian groups and their beliefs. And they question our vitality and relevance because, frankly, if you randomly visited nine out of ten Baptist churches these days, you would find a congregation made up mostly of caucasians past 65 years of age rattling around in a 1950's style sanctuary made up mostly of empty pews in a sanctuary that dates back to "the good old days."

    Now, I happen to think that those things are not really representative of who Baptists really are. So how do we correct the misperceptions?
     
  16. FriendofSpurgeon

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    Good question. What many Baptist churches in South Florida have done is to change their name since they see the word "Baptist" being a detriment to their mission.

    They haven't changed their beliefs - only their name. As far as I know, they are the only denomination to have done this.
     
  17. Jim1999

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    The name was given by our enemies based on what we once held true. In that sense, I am not in love with the name Baptist, but I am in love with what it once stood for.

    I would never change my name because a lot of Jim's have comitted crimes and gone to jail. Even though I am now a member of an Anglican Church, not one person, including the bishop, knows that I am a dedicated Baptist. I like that.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  18. Joseph M. Smith

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    Thanks for the little pat on the back. I needed that today. I did not reply more fully because I thought it would be off-topic. But let me now, since this has been pursued a bit, say that I thoroughly embrace what I think that cliche, "Once Saved, Always Saved" was really meant to say -- that, as you have put it, God is able to keep that which we have committed unto Him. It is an expression of the sovereignty of God, and was never intended to suggest any form of libertinism. Liberty, yes, but not libertinism.

    The human side of this equation has not been explored enough. I think you could put it like this: in my free will I may have the capacity to turn against the Savior who received me, but I will do so at the expense of my personal wholeness and sanity! In other words, the idea of eternal security means not only that God is able to hold us in His grip, but also that as my heart and the heart of God grow closer and closer together, to turn against Him would be to turn against myself -- which is by definition, insanity (schizophrenia). So disciples are free but are not likely to reject what they have been given because it is integrated into them.

    None of this is intended to counter in any way your statements about the indwelling Holy Spirit and His power to strengthen our resolve. I agree with that too.
     
  19. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: I believe I follow you here. I have always felt that the fastest way to insanity is to reject the truth one has been given.

    I would like to agree with the statement you make about ‘not likely to reject what they are given.” I am thinking though of the statement in Scripture about that falling away before the return of Christ. It would seem to me that there are going to be many that have once tasted of the gift that will reject it and turn away from it in the end. I am sure that many of that number were only ‘surface believers’ believers in the sense that they outwardly appeared to accept Christ, but possibly it never really took root. Just the same, deception is possible for all of us walking by faith, is it not? I believe the key is to walk close enough with the Lord every day that the enemy of our souls will not prosper against us.

    One thing about security, I do not believe one can be too sure about their security IF they are just as sure that their walk is pleasing to the Lord. We need to be secure in our faith, and we need to walk holy before Him. It is the one that tries to lay hold of the promises granting security while in a state of an evil conscience that I see as skating on thin ice if any ice at all.
     
  20. Inquiring Mind

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    nevermind, nevermind
     

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