What IS a baptist???

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Bartholomew, May 14, 2004.

  1. Bartholomew

    Bartholomew
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    Hi,

    I came to believe in the truth of believers baptism a few years ago, and spent some time trying to find a fundamentalist baptist church that I could attend, join, and be baptised in. I eventually did, and was baptised last year. If I were American I get the impression that I would be pretty typical (in many ways) of those who call themselves "fundamentalist": I believe in believer's baptism, 6-day creation, 1000 year reign of Christ, street-preaching, independent churches, etc...

    However, although I get the impression that churches like this are common in the USA, over here they certainly are NOT. Indeed, soon I'll be moving away, and there is no such IFB-type church anywhere near (probably not within 100 miles?). But I've been looking round, and the church that seems by far the best is an open Brethren assembly. Here's their web page:

    http://www.benshamgospelhall.co.uk/

    They're very Biblical, and of course they practice believer's baptism. But my question is, are they baptists??? I would say "yes" because they believe and practice everything I think you could call "baptist". But it's not in their name! When I join them later on this year, will I still be able to call myself "baptist" and carry on posting on these pages???
     
  2. Frogman

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    I think A.W. Pink was influenced by these Brethren when he first came to America.

    Perhaps Dr. Bob or someone will know more, but I believe they are dispensational. I wouldn't call them baptists, but that is just me. I will try to find their history out and let you know.

    Bro. Dallas

    [edited to include link]

    Brethrenonline

    See if these are similar enough to be considered the same as the link you posted. This link came up from a search "Plymouth Brethren" in my web browser.

    [ May 14, 2004, 08:21 PM: Message edited by: Frogman ]
     
  3. Ed Edwards

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    In England they were called Baptists
    In Holland they were called Mennonites
    In Germany there were called Dunkers or Brethren
    ("Dunker" comes from German "tunken" which
    means to dip or immerse.)

    Now in America we have all three.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Ronald

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    ORIGINALLY, Baptists were known as Anabaptists. Because they re-baptized people who were baptized as infants. This is where the title originated to begin with. Then in the 19th century all who held to "believers baptism" were strictly Baptists. All others were either labeled Protestant or Catholic and the rest as cults.

    In the present century this has all changed. For there are now many DIFFERENT Baptists denominations. They all hold to believers' baptism, but that is about all they hold to in common. There are independent Baptists who wish to be SELF governing and do not want structural organization from outside churches. Then there are Freewill Baptists who are pretty much ARMENIAN in their teaching on salvation. Then there are the American Baptists who ARE an organization of many churches COMBINED and so hold conferences and have appointed leaders who govern the organization.

    The SOUTHERN Baptist organization is one of the largest structured organizations in America and personally my favorite. The Southern Baptist has produced some of the finest preachers ever, from Charles Stanley to Billy Graham. Then there is your REGULAR Baptist organization which is also combined with other churches of the United States.

    The PRIMITIVE Baptist are cult like, in that they claim they are the only TRUE Baptists that can be traced in historical origin. Some even claiming John the Baptist as their first Baptist. Also they have closed communion, limited atonement only for the elect, and some still hold to "feet washing" as a church ordinance.

    The REFORMED Baptist are Baptists that hold to the Calvinistic teachings generally brought forth from St Augustine and John Calvin. True Calvinism is teaching not only a limited atonement but that the wicked are also predestined to hell by God arbitrarily. John Gill a Reformed Baptist and Arthur Pink both taught this false teaching of John Calvin. One great minister from the Reformed Baptist is Pastor James White who is a prolific debater and very able writer as well.

    But nowadays there are some NON DENOMINATIONAL churches who have borrowed the Baptist distinction of "believers baptism" and incorporated it into their belief system and yet hold to differing views.

    So what is a Baptist? It certainly is not just any group of believers who hold to "believers' baptism". No, it is much more than that. A Baptist is one that believes one is saved forever by believing in the simple gospel and trusting upon the Lord Jesus Christ .Acts 16:31. Also a Baptist is one that cherishes the "Lord's Supper" and believes in the premillenial return of Christ and that he will establish his kingdom on earth for a thousand years and Israel will be restored. These were the basic beliefs of the pure and early church before it became corrupted just a few centuries later. I hope this helps you. God Bless
     
  5. Bartholomew

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    Thanks Ronald. That's an interesting definition, because it would include me and most/all the Brethren. But it would exclude a whole lot of "baptists" posting in this forum, as well as many of the "baptists" in history to whom you refer.
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    In addition to orthodox doctrinal fidelity to the Word of God, Baptists are marked by polity (church government and function) that distinguishes them from others:

    Bible is sole authority for faith and practice
    Regenerated church membership
    Automony of the local church
    Priesthood of the believers
    Soul liberty
    Immerson/Lord's Supper are only ordinances (not sacraments)
    Separation of church and state
    Separation ethically (from the world) and ecclesiatically (from spiritual error/compromise)
     
  7. Ronald

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    Dr Bob

    Respectively, I must disagree with you on two issues you added. Those are Autonomy of the local church and the Bible is sole authority for faith and practice

    The Southern Baptist church organization and the the American Baptist organization is not totally autonomous. There are conferences and missions that local members are asked to support, even though they have nothing to do with their own individual church.

    Also all the Baptist denominations I mentioned have some kind of "statement of Faith" or creed by which they expect their members to adhere to. So one who is a member of a particular Baptist denomination is not really following just what the Bible states on doctrinal issues, but what what a particular Baptist denomination INTERPRETS scripture to say according to THEIR understanding.

    For instance some Baptist denominations are 5 point Calvinist and some not at all. Some hold to "closed communion" and some to open communion to born again believers. Some hold to a premillenial return of Christ and some hold to no millennial return of Christ. The differences ARE very significant.
     
  8. Frogman

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    Except for the feet washing, I guess I ain't no landmark missionary baptist after all [​IMG] The borrowing you speak of, can we borrow John's authority to baptize? :confused: The truth is Dr. Bob's list is sound, I pecked it and it didn't echo, the truth further is that only John was sent of God to administer Baptism, and that baptism was Christian baptism.

    Brother Dallas The missionary primitive, feet washed in the tub landmark baptist [​IMG]

    Hey, a new cult :D

    I am glad that at least these primitive Baptists don't have to add adjectives to their name in order that everyone knows what they believe and preach [​IMG]
     
  9. rsr

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    Ronald said:

    Speaking for Southern Baptists (and I am sure they wish I wouldn't), this is not true. The Baptist Faith and Message is obligatory for some employees of the convention, but not for congregations or individuals. At least not yet; I see associations are pushing this agenda and the outlook is not clear.

    As far as autonomy, every SBC or ABC-USA church is autonomous. It handles its own affairs and associates with whom it will. Should it decide to leave, no outside source has a right to reverse the decision.
     
  10. rlvaughn

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    Ronald, because of its size, your personal favorite, the Southern Baptist Convention, is exceptionally diverse doctrinally (and in practice). Among some Southern Baptists can be found everything that you attributed to the so-called "cult-like" Primitive Baptists, though not necessarily all of them in the same local church. One matter of clarification is that Primitive Baptists (and the few Southern Baptists that still practice it) do not call feet washing an ordinance. You might find an exception, but I'm not aware of any that do call it that. Also a minority of Primitive Baptists do not practice feet washing.
     
  11. rsr

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    Bro. Dallas: I have gained a deep respect for the Primitives in my time on the board.

    My problem is that the local (about 10 miles out) PB church doesn't post meeting times, and it's not on the list compiled by folks such as Robert Vaughn. My only chance, it seems, is to go out there some Sunday and wait and see who shows up.
     
  12. pinoybaptist

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    Ronald said;

    Lots of Baptist churches, once you get around, and hopefully travel abroad also, claim that they are the only true Baptists that can be traced to Jerusalem. Some say they are THE Bride and other churches, Baptist or otherwise, are the guests.

    I know my church, the Columbia Primitive Baptist Church, does not claim either position, therefore, you ought not issue a sweeping statement like you just did.

    We only trace as far as the Wales churches, because that is the only trace my former pastor can do which he says can be historically done. To go beyond that is purely speculative, and no Baptist church can prove by Scripture that they are the true church descended from Jerusalem.

    Now, I don't know what your definition of a cult is, but, it seems to me a "Christian cult" is one where another book has equal or higher authority than the Bible, tradition is as authoritative as Scripture, and a personality is lifted above, or placed on equal footing with Christ.

    Primitive Baptists have none of the above.
     
  13. Dr. Bob

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    Then they are not historic baptist. Can't change the definition because a group doesn't abide by it!

    BTW, I do not think that churches banded together for missions, camps, meetings, etc has anything to do with AUTONOMY. If such a group (like the SBC) makes policy which all must adhere, then the local church STILL must decide what they believe and whether they want to fellowship. It is "proof" of autonomy.

    And while many churches and groups have "doctrinal statements" (like the Baptist Faith & Message of the SBC) it is truly just Scripture systematized.

    If something other than the Bible, then it should be discarded.
     
  14. Bartholomew

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    So does that mean the Baptist Board recognises "brethren" as "baptists"?
     
  15. Frogman

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    As the crow flies, the nearest PB church to me is also approximately 10 miles from us. Closer to 15-18 by the road. We did go there one Sunday and sat waiting. Fortunately our wait wasn't long. A member living near saw me and invited us to his home. We visited and fellowshipped in his home for a while. We learned the meeting times and have visited a few times as we have been able.

    At the time they did not have a pastor and two preaching brethren were traveling from Tennessee, their personal responsibilities in other churches dictated odd meeting times for this congregation.

    Now, they do have a place in the local paper, you know on that page that says go to the choice of your church this Sunday? But, I think you are right, I don't remember seeing any times listed.

    May be a typo though, here I mean.

    Sorry about the questions on the demon in town thread, I guess I do have a sick hillbilly humor. In reading that question just came out from the page, you know Jesus said not to believe them when they say he is here, or there or in the desert, so when they said 2000 folks found him, I wondered when he had gotten lost [didn't mean it as depraved]. Then I saw a mention of an Okie geologist calling TBN and giving them the what for, so I tied that to you, but I thought it might be best to verify whether you were actually a geologist or not, I mean before I begin to spread the story all over the wwwworld :D ;) [​IMG]
     
  16. Ronald

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Landmark Baptists who are Primitive Baptists DO claim they can be traced back to John the Baptist as their founder. They publish a longtime cherished booklet called "the Trail of the blood" by a B.H.Carrol, who originated this false historic scenario. I also believe Landmark Baptists claim ONLY "baptists" comprise the "bride of Christ" as well. That IS cultism, just as much as JW'S and Mormons claiming they are the true bride of Christ.
     
  17. Frogman

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    You are wrong dear Brother, Landmark Baptists are for the most part Missionary, many Sov. Grace, many Arminian, many completely free will, some landmarkers have found a renewal of their cherished home in the SBC, especially in west Ky. but, I don't know any landmark primitive baptists, just as I believe Pinyobaptist stated, Primitives do believe they are the visible church, but they are not 'briders' they do not distinguish in any dispensational terms between the church,Israel, or other groups of Christians.

    If I am wrong someone can correct me. But, believe me, I am a particular landmarker, I have spent some time reading these things. Most landmarkers will not practice anything but closed communion, most are premil, pre trib believing Christ is on the right hand of the Father in HIS throne, not Christ's.

    There may be some other differences, but these are the major ones. Hope that helps.

    Not all Landmarkers subscribe to being the Bride of Christ, B.H. Carrol was also instrumental in the SBC if I am not mistaken, the correct author of the Trail of Blood is J.M. Carrol, but I will have to check that this Sunday when I pass by and do homage to his image in our Sunday School Room [​IMG]

    But you are right, landmarkers do trace themselves back to the baptism John the Baptist, an self-confessed non-member of the Bride, imagine that :eek:
     
  18. Kiffin

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    First of all there is no such thing as a Southern Baptist church organization. All Southern Baptist Churches are automnous. The Convention has no authority over the churches nor is it a church. It is really only a fellowship of churches that work together to do business.

    Second, a Confession or a Creed is not viewed as having the authority of scripture. You are correct a Confession or a Creed is a interpretation but ultimately the only source of faith Baptists view as having authority is the Bible which is actually true for most Protestant denominations (So it might not be a true Baptist distintive). Just saying you believe the Bible makes you no differant than a Jehovah Witness in that would say they believe the Bible. A Confession or creed is just stating what you believe but ultimately the Source of Authority goes back to the Bible.
     
  19. Kiffin

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    Regarding Landmarkers ONLY some trace themselves back to John the Baptist. I have noticed a great divesity in Landmark succesioninist theology. I am an ex Landmarker. Most I have known from the ABA would trace the Church back to the personal ministry of Christ. It is actually very similar to what Roman Catholics, Orthodox and Anglicans do in trying to prove Apostolic succession.

    The Trail of Blood was written by J.M Carrol not B.H. Carroll though B.H. Carroll probably would have been a moderate Landmarker. Landmarkism however predates "The Trail of Blood" and J.R. Graves is actually the founder of the movement.

    The Baptist Bride is not held by all Landmarkers. It is often difficult for people who are not familiar with Landmarkism to understand the Baptist Bride view. It is nowhere near JW'S and Mormons beliefs but more a theology that God rewards his TRUE Church more than other believers. It was explained to me this way

    NEW JERUSALEM - The Abode of Faithful Baptists (Some also put Faithful Old Testament Israel in there)

    AREA SURROUNDING THE NEW JERUSALEM - Faithful Israel from the Old Testament

    OUTSKIRTS - Unfaithful Baptists and all other Christians

    The great danger of this theology is it could go into the area of Jehovah Witness theology if amplified just slightly.
     
  20. rlvaughn

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    Stephen, if you will pm me the name of church & location, I can probably get some info for you.

    Bartholomew, I can't speak for the Baptist Board, but from what I know of them, I would think the Plymouth-type Brethren share many traits with Baptists, but I would not consider them to be Baptists.
     

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